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April 07, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-07

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 7, 1999

az £Iirbipn &dlg
420 Maynard Street HEATHER KAMINS
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
daily.letters@umich.edu9
Edited and managed by JEFFREY KOSSEFF
students at the DAVID WALLACE
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

'Every ghetto, every city and suburban place I've been

Gome odothsno
Government should not snoop online

Make me recall my days in the New
Jerusalem."
- Lauryn 2:11
0 here are certain refrains that one
becomes accustomed to hearing if one
hangs around here
long enough.
"The girls at
Michigan suck.'
"Labatt's? No,
thanks. I only drink
Bell's, served in a
freshly washed glass
bong."
"I'm finally donez
with my thesis. I'm
going to make a nui-
sance of myself at
Ashley's." James
"Know of any par- Miller
ties tonight? Man, this
town is dead:'
Which brings us to n Tap
the grand champion
refrain of every student; from the rankest
greenhorn freshman to the paint-by-numbers
fifth-year senior:
"Man, I can't WAIT to get out of Ann
Arbor."
I'll be the first person to acknowledge a
need for a vacation or temporary respite
from one's surroundings. That's a fairly
understandable human impulse. I get bored
with Ann Arbor too, and I've been here
longer than any two of you put together.
But what I find more interesting is the
impulse to leave Ann Arbor, in particular, is
almost pathological and rapid, like the need
to get insulin or the need to get off Riker's
Island.
"I am just like so sick of Ann Arbor. The
club scene is just shit, the bars suck and you
have to drive to Detroit just to see anything

interesting. I can't wait until I:
graduate/leave for the summer/transfer, etc."
I'd like to look at this a little more closely.
First, there is a misplaced sense of social
cache attached to leaving town. I remember
it from high school. Moving to another city
when you're young automatically implied
that you were going to have some kind of
life-altering transcendental experience.
Anyone who tires of Ann Arbor and tries
to remedy this by going to another universi-
ty in another town is in for an expensive and
inevitable disappointment. This is not to say
that one college town isn't different from the
others. Each has it's own character, it's own
kind of student, it's own style.
But it's still a college town. After you
get over the little differences, there's not
much else there. Several thousand fairly
well-heeled children of fairly well-heeled
parents. Preppie guys like preppie clothes
and the Dave Matthews Band. Bookish
types like Woody Allen and Kafka. Most
of the student body will have approximate-
ly the same tastes, within certain limits,
the same reactions to things and the same
aspirations for their adult life. Once you
get used to a different library, street names
and student union, you're right back where
you started.
The second most popular reason for want-
ing to leave Ann Arbor is that the city is bor-
ing. Okay, I can kind of see that. If you're
from New York (I hate you) you are used to
a certain critical mass of consumable enter-
tainment, from Korn to God Street Wine to
Blues Traveler to Korn. People from other
large cities have the same feelings. Yet I dare
say that there are few cities in the country of
this size that have such an impressive and
long-standing tradition of supporting and
promoting the performing arts. Name anoth-
er city of 100,000 people that gets the

Harlem Nutcracker every year. How about
the Jazz and Blues Festival"? Restaurants of
every taste and ethnicity in the known
world? Dozens of different bars? I could go
on.
The point here is not to sound like a tourist
guide for the Ann Arbor Chamber of
Commerce. Rather to point out a weakness
of the "boring defense." Instead of going out
and looking for fun they have this illusion
that Method Man, J.D. Salinger and the
Beastie Boys are supposed to show up to
their apartment every weekend night.
"Yo, what's up, G?" says Adam Yauch.
"Me and Meth and J.D. was just in the area
like and we wuz wondering if you wanted to
come to this club with us, throw back some
free drinks and like spin a little bit, maybe
freestyle. Hey, bring those lyrics and stuff.
J.D. says he's looking to come out of retire-
ment and publish your work, you undiscov-
ered genius you."
If you're waiting to begin your life as a
raging hipster at the height of the college
experience, going where someone said cool
things happen to cool people won't help, no
matter how close to San Francisco you move,
or how crappy your midtown walkup is.
Bottom line: Cities are only as stimulating
as you make them. Wait for fun to happen to
you, and you'll be waiting awhile.
P.S. - To the two junior staffers at the
Review who wrote the "hilarious" fake
crime note about me in the last Review par-
ody of the Daily. You two work for the jour-
nalistic equivalent of a dad-pitch baseball
team for 7-year-olds. No one pays attention
except your parents, and in the rest of the
world you are recognized as sad, half-assed
and gameless. Anonymous insults are the
province of cowards.
-.James Miller can be reached over e-
mail atjamespm@umich.edu.

S ympathy for Internet child pornogra-
phy traders caught by law enforce-
ment agencies is bound to be in short sup-
ply, but by focusing on such extreme
instances, many people lose sight of the
undesirable consequences that go along
with active policing of the Internet.
Last week, LSA first-year student
Aaron Bruns was arrested for distributing
child pornography under the Child
Sexually Abusive Act when the Florida
Bureau of Investigations informed the
Department of Public Safety that an indi-
vidual from the University had been trad-
ing child pornography over Internet Relay
Chat.
Child pornography is inherently
morally wrong, and if the allegations
against Bruns prove true in court, Bruns
must be punished according to the law.
Whether the charges against Bruns are
true and as serious as have been alleged,
the Florida Bureau of Investigations
should not have been snooping around the
Internet, looking for illegal activity. With
the evolution of the Internet still in its
incipient stages, and the potential for seri-
ous rights violations in the future, it is far
too early to allow law'enforcement agen-
cies a surplus of liberty to police the new
medium.
Recent examples of law enforcement
organizations going too far in their elec-
tronic policing are not difficult to recall.
Five wealthy suburban Georgia teens
were arrested last month under the
Georgia Street Gang and Terrorism Act
for jokingly publishing a mock Website
that purported to be written by actual
gangsters.
Officials defended the arrests on the
grounds that the page could lead to

increased actual gang activity. If convict-
ed, the boys face up to 10 years in prison.
Before they were tipped off by an
America Online executive, law enforce-
ment officials were looking into the pos-
sibility of catching the author of last
week's Melissa computer virus with a
controversial Microsoft identification
number embedded into Microsoft Office.
Microsoft was recently attacked by priva-
cy activists who claimed that if the iden-
tifier was matched with hardware ID
numbers, the machine on which of a
Microsoft Office document was created
could be traced.
Most people do not use the Internet for
trading child pornography, creating mock
Websites or writing e-mail viruses.
Nevertheless, legitimate Internet users
could potentially find their rights violated
by overzealous law enforcement agencies
hunting criminals on the global network.
The prospects of profiling based on
Website visitation is terrifying. Internet
surfers who visit various political, drug or
sex-related sites or chat rooms could
potentially have their activities logged by
police.
Internet users must not allow them-
selves to become caught up in the notion
that they have nothing to fear from law
enforcement if they are doing nothing
illegal. If the current trend in Internet
policing continues, it may not be long
before individuals will have to think
twice before they click on a link for fear
that the site they are visiting could poten-
tially land them in legal hot water in the
future. Officials must put safeguards in
place to ensure that Internet usage and
paranoia do not eventually go hand in
hand.

Lower ticket price increase was a smart move

The voice of the University's support-
ers has finally been heard.
Responding to a slew of complaints from
the general public, the University's
Athletic Department reduced public sea-
son ticket prices from $35 to $31 per
game while student prices remain the
same, a decision that was announced last
week. The Athletic Department should be
commended for listening and responding
to the opinion of fans, especially at a
time when the department has come
under fire for its spending on the new
scoreboards at Michigan Stadium and the
Athletic Department's costly "M Go
Blue" Website.
The Athletic Department's decision to
reduce season ticket prices comes in
response to an earlier decision made by
the department to increase ticket prices
by 30 percent, from $27 to $35 per game.
The general public is an important source
of support - especially financial - for
the University when its athletic teams
participate in varsity sports. Fans should
not have to face the possibility of huge
increases in season ticket prices at the
end of each season.
Fans understand the principle of rising
operating costs in running the athletic
program each year, but a 30-percent
increase abused their loyalty.
The athletic department's revised
decision allows for a more reasonable
and gradual increase of ticket prices.
This decision will also help generate a
positive effect toward University
fimAraieian whkinh rnlit- nn the ane.:r1

public, especially alumni of the
University. The public is more inclined to
financially support an institution that
shows respect and listens to the ideas of
the fans - as exemplified by the deci-
sion made by the Athletic Department in
this case.
With the recent introduction of two
new varsity sports - men's soccer and
women's water polo - the Athletic
Department also needs to carefully
examine how it will restructure its
finances as a result of the decrease in
revenue.
In the upcoming year, the Athletic
Department will generate less revenue
than the expected $3 million from the
original increase in season ticket prices.
The decision will require the restructur-
ing of its funding.
The Athletic Department needs to be
careful when making changes to reduce
the possibility of affecting varsity pro-
grams, especially given the establishment
of two recently introduced varsity pro-
grams.
The Athletic Department has respond-
ed well to the opinions of the fans.
Perhaps the department has learned from
its experience with student hockey tickets,
where this past season's increase gouged
student supporters and caused many not to
purchase tickets. With the addition of new
varsity sports, it has made two good deci-
sions in recent weeks and deserves com-
mendation for doing so. But the Athletic
Department needs to continue to listen to
the lnva fans nfthe TTnivezrethr

Students' Party
displays 'pathetic
whining'
To THE DAILY:
Students' Party, we, the students, are
tired of you. That is why the Blue Party
won so many of your MSA seats, plain
and simple. After reading the Daily's arti-
cle ("MSA court upholds 1 party motion"
4/5/99) about your vain attempts to
reclaim MSA leadership, I was saddened.
I was saddened that you have lowered
yourselves to this pettiness. After reading
the details of these alleged campaign vio-
lations, I saw no merit in them, only the
pathetic whining of a losing party.
It seems every time I open the Daily, I
am faced with an article describing an
ineffective Students' Party motion, or
some candidate complaining because his
opponent was two feet too close to an
election polling site.
As a voter, none of these things affect
how I vote. Believe it or not, the biggest
determinant in who I cast my ballot for is
(gasp!) the issues! Yes, it's true! Some of
us don't care about gorilla suits or pizza
- we want to make sure our student rep-
resentatives actually represent us and our
beliefs.
Despite how a student views the effec-
tiveness or importance of the MSA (if the
Supreme Court rules that students fees in
their present form are unconstitutional, it
would revoke MSA's only true power), I
think we can all agree that nit-picking at
a very well run campaign is a complete
waste of time. The Students' Party has
controlled MSA for a long time and led it
no where. Give it up and let others try to
undo the damage you have caused.
MAr BIEBER
LSA SOPHOMORE
Case proves that
Internet is not
private
To THE DAILY:
I'm afraid, and so should you be. Did
you know that the Florida Bureau of
Investigation has been monitoring file
transfers on the Internet?
The implication of this is that if you
have ever used Instant Messenger, ICQ or
the equivalent, chances are the Florida
Bureau and perhaps hundreds of other
organizations hadaccess to the "private"
discourse between you and your friends.
Yes, Aaron Bruns transferred files
depicting sex, perhaps some of those pic-
tures involved minors. That's not the
point though. The problemisthat some-
one magically gained the authority to
monitor all file transfers in order to
determine which ones involved this sort
of material.
What's next? High school students
across the country have been suspended
for criticizin7 their sehn on their rner-

SCOTT ROTHMAN
cDlWe 5 ctrjt

issues, all of them must live in constant.
fear of the giant watchful eye of the same
invasive organizations that pointed the
finger at Bruns.
I don't need to tell you that the way to
stop child pornography is to stop the peo-
ple responsible for producing the pic-
tures, not viewing or sharing them. That
is self evident.
What is less evident is the fact that
goes totally ignored by seemingly this
entire campus: sorry to be trite, but Big
Brother is definitely watching,-and he has
it in for you.
Students are all so quick to jump on
the bandwagon calling for an end to
sweatshop labor, end to sanctions on Iraq,
end some of the most foreignproblems I
can possibly come up with, but when a
schoolmate, a brother, falls victim to per-
haps the greatest injustice of all, you fall
silent.
All one can say is "Child porn is sick
and illegal." Fine, I agree.
But far sicker is the notion that the
government monitors your every elec-
tronically transmitted word, hoping you'll
slip up so they can stick you in prison for
seven years.
Invasive, unjust police state? Perhaps
not yet, but the foundation is clearly laid
out.
JESSE MILLER
LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT
Women's lacrosse
continues fight to
become varsity

teams from Minnesota down through
New York.
And because of our conscious effort
to opt for a decent night's sleep over frat-
party hopping at tournaments, more dis-
ciplined coaching, increased field time
and more frequent, demanding workouts,
we have been able to rise to this more
intense, pervasive level of competition in
Midwest lacrosse.
We can remember only three losses in
the last four years playing for Michigan.
This year, we outrank 65 other teams
(including all Big Ten schools, and Penn
State - who play their No. 2-ranked
Division-I freshmen on their club team)
and are first in our league, undefeated.
We send players to compete in the nation-
al tournament every year, and have orga-
nized the first-ever successful home tour-
naments and trips to the West Coast.
Abovedall, we do ourbest to break new
ground for club sports and lacrosse
specifically.
Not only has our team grown in size,
strength, commitment, and skill level
during our time here, we have continual-
ly reevaluated our goals and structure
along the way.
Every decision we make, every dime
we spend, is deliberate in an effort to
challenge ourselves, to increase our com-
petition.
While we welcome University atten-
tion auid support, we do not invest our-
selves so thoroughly in the hopes of
receiving such politically-based, intangi-
ble varsity funding. We play because we
love the game, and because our collective
efforts have always led to success.
Varsity funding would be welcomed in
many respects, and our teammates talk
about it often.
Yet in the midst of our final season,
we know we'll walk away having inter-
nalized oui- team's accomplishments and
struggles, and value our club sport expe-
rience beyond words. We have nothing to
prove to anyone but ourselves.
So thank you to the Daily for
acknowledging in this small way the
whole "varsity" issue that every club
team faces.
Yes, "club sports members have long
been paying their dues to compete" and
thanks for the brief encouragement directed
at our team to "not give up our pursuit to

I

} N

0
9t

"L"

To THE DAILY:
On behalf of the Michigan Women's
Lacrosse Team, we would like to thank the
Daily for its editorial regarding the recent
varsity promotion of men's soccer and
women's water polo ("Good sportsman-
ship," 3/31/99).
Graduation is approaching, as is the
end of our commitment to our team, and
we would like to take this opportunity to
thank the Daily for acknowledging the
issues that face many under-resourced
club teams on campus.
A early , c fmi re aan ,we ,ere

ml

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