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November 01, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-11-01

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 1, 2001

OP/ED

4

abe llibigua atiI

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
(( The recent
enforcement is
indicative that we
have not lost our
priorities in other
areas since Sept. 11."
-Susan Dryden, a spokeswoman fr the
Justice Department, commonting on the
federal government's renewed goal
of imposing federal dru- laws in states
that have legalized meaJcal marijuana
use for the sick or dying.

0

YYY

Imagining an open-ended end of the world
JOSH WICKERHAM TINS b9TMIVIM WORLD
eople are scared. The horrid because the very moment something still a toddler. But other forms of technology
public is on edge. comes into existence, it vanishes before our have taken supremacy over biology in every
The bombing, as eyes like a rusty SUV. way but in processing power. We are still
expected, isn't getting So we muddle on, eating, scratching, smok- smarter than our, technology. And that means
Osama bin Laden out of his ing, fucking, murdering, bombing the shit out we're still in charge.
caves. The Taliban forces of each other. Nuanced, you know, like it Scary, isn't it?
are still secure, still intri- means something, like we're really going So what do you want most? That's the
cately tied to the Al-Qaeda somewhere, like things are changing and get- question. It's not what do I want to buy at the
network, and the Northern ting better. mall? It's getting what you have always want-
Alliance isn't doing any- Then the reckoning comes. Somebody has ed, but could never name: That's the end of the
thing to step in. The White House has created to pay. It's not like we weren't expecting it. world.
the greatest media blackout in the shortest Every western religion, and most of the indige- I've heard human history described as a
amount of time in U.S. history. At the sa me nous peoples of the world point to an apotheo- 15,000-year dash from nomadism to starflight,
time, we curtsied to the King as he handed sis where God's dead son returns to claim his a suicide mission to free our minds from the
down one of the biggest threats to civil liberties throne or the earth shakes gr fire strikes down monkey. I particularly like the idea that history
we've ever seen - the Anti-Terrorism Bill. from the sky or any such prophetic malarkey is a dream from which we're trying to wake,
We're, unfortunately, on our way to more masquerading as biological warfare or,nuclear but even more the idea that it is a nightmare
destruction without most of the world's sup- winter comes true and the historic moment is from which we're trying to escape into dream.
port. Maybe if we had backed off from this over. We have a species-wide moment of fight Whatever it is, it sucks, doesn't it? It's so
threat like world citizens instead of the world's or flight where we find out if Darwin was right. classical to think of history and civilization as
police, this wouldn't have happened. Bush said We learn whether the end of the world is really the highest ideals our species can strive for.
the collective will of the world was behind us the end of the planet or really just the end of People were happier when they could live
when we went into this and he lied. . our consciousness as monkey-bound hominids. freely, before land was fenced off and slavery,
They say good writers write what they think Let's call this force the unforeseen. property, poverty and prostitution were invent-
about - and I know what I do is a lot of wor- So the "unforeseen" could be anything. It ed.
rying. I think about the end of the world or could be a lost American mind gunning from a And now the dominant dummies are forc-
to clarify, a moment where everything becomes bell tower. It could be 90 million Americans ing federal agencies to take public information
entirely different than it is now, and people can who stop taking their anti-depressants and deal from the Internet. They're killing people.
be truly free and happy. with what's happening around them. It could be Rumsfield and all the other military serial
At first I didn't think the end of the world good or bad. Giving cultural validity to the big killers are brutalizing nations under the very
was necessary because people know they don't three religions, this force could be very well be definition of terrorism that was defined by our
have to play the games they play. People are God. But God is dead, man. military. They're still detaining post-Sept. I1th
fairly intelligent beings, having the best- Science tells us that all moments of great suspects without warrants, using drugs on some
equipped infortnation-processing machines in evolution have taken place during crisis, where to coax things out of them. They've got 2 mil-
the known universe lodged between their ears. the dominant forms of life are wiped clean and lion of us locked away in prison cells. They've
We're smart enough to figure out that if every- made subservient to a greater power. Physicist duped us, my friends.
one had just stopped working 13,000 years ago Freeman Dyson proposes that this great power I know they say we should wait it out and
at the advent of human history, we would have will be the life sciences, which will be at the go for the long haul, but the long haul sucks.
been better off, right? You know, John disposal of only the very wealthy, creating the The moment is now. Sometimes it seems that
Lennon's dream: Peace, man. Stop working ultimate class waf where lower classes will be independent-minded, mythic American individ-
and live. Think of all that "C'mon and take it at an extreme biological disadvantage. For one ualism, if it exists anywhere now, is the only
easy" propaganda. thing, this ignores the power of communica- thing left worth fighting for in this country, but
But no. People have dreams. People like to tions technology and the mind. it needs to be fought for collectively.
rape and pillage. People are dumb. They create To my mind, the unfinished project of net-
hierarchies and maintain social control. They working the world could still free us from Josh Wickerham can be reached
don't trust each other. Even good times seem everything we'd known before.'The Internet is via e-mail atjwickerh@umich.edu.
V LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Where's the MSU
trash-talking?
TO THE DAILY:
I don't know what it is about this year but
there is definitely less trash talking than is usual
for Michigan-Michigan State week. Historical-
ly, it is our week to publicly degrade them for
being a bunch of dumb toothless rednecks and
trashy broads. Likewise, it provides them with a
week in which they are not forced to realize
how pathetic they are.
In 20 years we will all be drinking Kristal
while we watch the game in our "Don Palace's."
On the other hand, the Michigan State people
will be drinking Keystone Light as they listen to
the game on a radio in their "Palace On
Wheels." Thus, as the superior school it is our
duty to provide Michigan State students and
alumni with a temporary relief from their low
rent existences that they call lives.
For those of you who are still reading this I
would just like to say that I am trying to make a
point. Obviously I am joking around when I
.make those remarks about Michigan State peo-
ple. My point is simply that this is supposed to
be a fun week for people on both sides. I think I
speak for a lot of people when I say that nobody
wants to see players and fans keeping their
mouths shut. That is the beauty of this rivalry
week. We talk mad smack to all our friends and
neighbors and there are no hard feelings. In clos-
ing, I would just like to tell the coaches to get the
corks out of their comholes and let the players
talk. It adds to the week, it adds to the game, and
it adds to the rivalry. Trash Talking is the
essence of the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry.
ROB MASKIN
University alumnus
Enforcement of pot
laws a misallocation
of resources
TO THE DAILY:
K,,Annc noTh euhigan nDai for an eelv-

condoning marijuana use and protecting chil-
dren from drugs. Decriminalization acknowl-
edges the social reality of marijuana use and
frees users from the stigma of life-shattering
criminal records.
What's really needed is a regulated market
with enforceable age controls. As long as mari-
juana remains illegal, consumers will continue
to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs.
Unscrupulous drug war profiteers demonize
marijuana as a "gateway" drug when marijuana
prohibition provides the gateway.
The enforcement of outdated marijuana laws
remains a priority in the U.S. The Federal
Bureau of Investigation 2000 Uniform Crime
Report reveals that an estimated 734,498 Ameri-
cans were arrested fo cannabis violations in
2000, with almost 88 percent arrested for pos-
session. More Americans were arrested for mar-
ijuana in 2000 than all violent crimes combined.
This is a questionable use of scarce resources.
Draconian penalties support a multi-billion
dollar prison-industrial complex in the U.S.,
with little to show for it. Despite zero tolerance,
lifetime use of marijuana in the U.S. is higher
than any European country.
ROBERT SHARPE
The letter writer is program officer
for the Washington-based Lindesmith
Center-Drug Policy Foundation
GEO: English
language tests racist
TO THE EDITOR:
I am writing to clarify the statement attrib-
uted to me in Wednesday's Daily ("GEO con-
tract negotiations set to begin").
The University's administration of an Eng-
lish proficiency test to a select group of interna-
tional GSIs, all racial minorities within the
United States, has long been of concern to GEO.
We feel strongly that English language testing
deployed in this way is racist and does nothing
to assure undergraduates of a quality education-
al experience.
. Many of the IGSIs subjected to the test have
English as their first - or their only - lan-

GEO is not proposing contract language that
will, as the quote attributed to me implied, limit
the English test to GSIs "with brown skin." We
are proposing language that will end the racially
discriminatory use of the English test and pro-
vide undergraduates with better assurance of
well-qualified instructors, without regard to
those instructors' national origin.
ALYSSA PICARD
The letter writer is chief negotiator for the
Graduate Employees Organization.
Woomer's analysis
ignores key issues
To THE DAILY:
I would like to respond to Nick Woomer's
column ("Surprise! It's also a dirty war for oil,"
10/31/01). While reading this, I get the impres-
sion that Woomer has a problem with U.S.
action in Afghanistan because there may be
residual benefit to U.S. economic interests. First,
I'm going to point out that this is a rather spuri-
ous argument since the U.S. has economic inter-
ests in every corner of the globe. To disassociate
ourselves from the problems of all these areas
would cut us off from all international action.
Woomer further goes on to state that Presi-
dent Bush, as well as other members of govern-
ment, have financial interests in oil. He
specifically mentions that the Bush family has
invested in the Carlyle group, which invests in
defense industries. However, it would be pru-
dent to note that Carlyle group also has invest-
ments with the bin Laden family; does this
mean Bush is secretly working with Osama bin
Laden? I also feel the need to point out that the
president has personally divested himself of his
investments in this concern, per ethics rules. I
cannot in any way be considered a Bush fan, but
I don't like cheap shots. The crux of the column
seems to be that we should not associate our-
selves because of economic interests. Should we
oppose peace in Chechnya as well? This would
make the extraction of oil from the Caspian emi-
nently easier. Just because we have an interest
doesn't mean we shouldn't do what's right. And
we are doifg what's right. We were attacked,

41

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