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January 24, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-24

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 24, 2002

"

OP/ED

le Ilirigttrn iaiI

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
~He's very
famous in
Europe.
- Lorenzo Minoli on former New York
City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Yesterday,
Minoli's company, Five Mile River Films
bought the movie rights to Andrew
Kirtzman's book, 'Rudy Giuliani:
Emperor of the City,"

E, - t'iK e oe -
Aid O s w o~n1. 3ev%

0

Not another column about Sept.i
DAVID HORN HORNOGRAPHY

friend today said,
"Is Sept. 11 still
going on?" The lev-
els on which that question is
amusing are many.
I told her no, Sept. 11
ended four months ago.
But I considered her
point. There was a time
from Sept. 12 until mid-
Nov. when I followed the news thoroughly and
passionately, as all of a sudden there was some-
thing remarkable going on (not that the Gary
Condit circus wasn't interesting, it just ... yeah
... nevermind). Admittedly, the hype about my
generation not "knowing tragedy" and being
sheltered from the horror of the rest of the
world was sort of true and I was impassioned
and engaged by the world's sudden new reality
as described to me.
That immediate fascination dissipated,
though, for most people. Whereas for a few
months following Sept. 11 there could not be a
conversation in any forum that didn't end with
some consideration of Osama, now I've found
that my family, friends, classmates, professors,
colleagues, popular news media and elected
officials are ready to "return to normalcy."
Isn't this premature? Are we calling it a day
and hitting the showers (or the re-election
trail)? In the immediate aftermath, the news
cycles moved quickly as plans to "eliminate
evil" - at least you didn't set your sights too
high, Georgie boy - were set in motion.
Things were very new and it seemed that with
everyone (politicians, media, public) interested,

we could arrive at some short-term finality.
But after those caves in Tora Bora were
cleaned out a few weeks ago and the boys in
Washington said they had no better idea of the
whereabouts of bin Laden than they did of my
M-card (Do you have it?), the news seem to
slow down and get really repetitive. Israelis
march into another West Bank town. Enron
caught jaywalking. Helicopter crash. Ashcroft
arrests all left-handers, detains righties. Heli-
copter crash.
I guess I can't get over how quickly Ameri-
ca "got over" that silly issue of finding Osama
bin Laden. People don't seem to be outraged
that bin Laden is kickin' it in Kashmir. The
media has allowed Bush to allow bin Laden to
still be free.
Now the issues surrounding the "war" are
the quality of conditions for the POWs at the
oddly named Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba and what to do about John Walker
Lindh. (Side note: NBC described the manner
in which Walker was taken off the USS Bataan
as having been "whisked away." Get it? It took
me a minute. John Walker ... Johnny Walker
... whiskey ... "whisked away." They're too
damn clever at NBC). As far as that situation
goes, I don't know what ought to be done. As
far as what will be done, Americans don't seem
to be particularly sympathetic to this over-privi-
leged Benedict Arnold story and we have an
attorney general who described Walker's
actions as having "turned his back on our coun-
try and our values." That heavy language
doesn't bode well for our unshaven anti-hero.
See you in hell, Johnny.

It sounds naive but we've been distracted
by a corrupt energy giant, a war in the Holy
Land and a half-dozen issues (Walker, POWs,
etc.) that are peripheral to the central ones. Fur-
ther, I think the White House is pleased as
punch. It troubles me that when they couldn't
figure out who was sending anthrax, people
stopped worrying. They can't figure out how to
find Osama and people seem to have stopped
worrying or at least stopped talking. When they
admit that they can't figure out how to balance
the checkbook, people will just stop worrying.
It's passively fatalistic and the popular media is
not doing a good enough job following stories
and maintaining the public's engagement.
It's been a few months and it's too early
for any real perspective. And while my 20
year-old sensibility is new to the life cycle of
a world-altering event, I feel like it's too soon
for Americans to close the book; the caper's
not done. Nerdy intellectuals shouldn't be the
only worried about pinning the whole thing on
Prof. bin Laden, in the conservatory, with a
couple of Boeings. As I had been doing some
months back, I want to turn on the news and
be inundated with information about the war
we're still fighting. Tiresome as it became, I
want every conversation to come back to Sept.
11. It was an unfortunately rare phenomenon
when John Q. Everybody was concerned with
these issues of importance. That phenomenon
is fading. Is Sept. 11 still going on? Please
don't forget that it is.

0

01

David Horn can be reached
via e-mail at hornd@umich.edu

Y LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Rainr's col nin reveals I hope the Daily will consider preventing doing that as well? Why aren't we "barbar-
SRaiji from publishing futher columns. ians" or "monsters"? Is it because we are
'biased view point' HANNAH MURRAY white, Christian or American?
Engineering senior It is funny how you could almost use Mr.
Taub's arguments against the U.S. just as he
To THE DAILY: uses them against Afghanistan. "These Ameri-
Over the past four years I have read the .blood cans kill without reason, having an impassioned
Daily on a daily basis. While I do not always U.S. buILt Of ,love of money, power and control. Their goal in
agree with the viewpoints of the editorial staff, I life is to make money, regardless of how many
respect the right to freedom of speech. Thus, I exploitation lives they destroy. They are without remorse
continue to read the viewpoints and articles and would rather die with as much money and
published by the paper. TO THE DAILY: power as possible". I could continue, but since
However, today I believe that Manish Raiji FranklI'm criticizing the U.S. rather than kicking
("I don't care if God tells you it's wrong," y,I am outraged y the Daily's print- Afghanistan and its defenders, the Daily won't
1/23/02), while exercising his right to the First ing of David Taub's letter ('Guantanamo print this story anyway, so why bother? In
Amendment, crossed the line of respect that we detainees should 'rot in hell'," 01/23/02). The short, Mr. Taub must realize that this country
all must exhibit at this university in order to level of intelligence exhibited by Taub nd the was built on the blood and exploitation of
coexist with others from a multitude of back- editors of this newspaper in writing and printing countless innocent human beings and nations
grounds. He has an excellent point. It is better this farce makes me wonder how many people and we have no right to damn others for doing
to argue with persons of opposing viewpoints are actually being educated at this university. as we have done in the past.
from a vantage point that both parties share, The Daily states that it will not print base- Taub may believe that the Taliban soldiers
which in many cases is not a religious one. less attacks, but perhaps this statement only can "rot in hell", but I'd prefer that the space be
Yet, in the process of making his point Raiji holds true for causes that the editors favor. reserved for men of Mr. Taub's ilk who would
offends with sweeping statements and brash Taub responded to a well-written and logically prefer to not offer prisoners of war basic human
accusations. He may not be speaking from a argued article with a letter full of little more rights and protections. After all, "hell" is built
religious viewpoint, but he is certainly speaking than racist and xenophobic trash. He calls the just as much for evil Americans as it is evil
from a biased one. Ironically, his argument Taliban fighters "monsters" and "barbarians" Afghans.
seems to contradict another elementary rule of without realizing that most of these men were
debate: Do not use anger and insults to prove simply "patriots protecting their homeland SEAN CARON
your point. from foreign attack." Wait a minute, aren't we Engineering freshman
Yr VIEWPOINT
Stat a New Era' with student action

01

Y IN PASSING

CAMPUS NEEDS INFUSION OF
CONTROVERSY: HOROWITZ CAN PROVIDE
Randall Robinson, author of "The Debt:
What America Owes to Blacks" spoke at
the University on Monday to commemorate
Martin Luther King Day. Robinson, an out-
spoken advocate of reparations for slavery,
has many critics. Chief among them is con-
servative stalwart David Horowitz.
Horowitz fomented controversy throughout
America's campuses last year with an
advertisement campaign opposed to slav-
ery reparations. While Horowitz makes sev-
eral decent arguments, he frames arguments
in strictly economic terms and brushes
aside the unspeakable evils of slavery. For
example, Horowitz stated that American
blacks are better off because of slavery.
While these arguments are sometimes cal-

lous, nonetheless they should be heard. The
University should invite David Horowitz to
speak and thus raise the level of both
awareness and debate on campus.
An evening with Horowitz would also be
interesting for pure spectacle. University stu-
dents will surely have plenty to say to
Horowitz and the resulting controversy will
liven up this often apathetic campus. While
the event would most likely incite extremists
on both sides of the issue the majority of stu-
dents would benefit from critically thinking
about the thorny topic of reparations.
- Zac Peskowitz
Jess Piskor
In Passing views are those of individual
members of the Daily's editorial board, and do
not necessarily represent the opinion of
The Michigan Daily.

BY SHEILA MCCLEAR
Outside Buffalo, N.Y, a metal barrel sits
alongside a busy road. In it, a small fire, fueled
by logs found on the roadside and old newspa-
pers, burns and warms about a dozen women
gathered around, stomping their feet and rub-
bing their hands together. One thing is clear: It's
cold out. The mercury reads around 20 degrees,
but the frigid wind makes it nearly unbearable.
As close to the road as they can get without
blocking traffic, more workers are marching up
and down wearing signs saying, "CWA on
strike" around their necks.
This is a picket line. The workers are
employees of New Era Cap Company and
members of Communication Workers of Ameri-
ca Local 14177. They have one major tie to Ann
Arbor: They make hats bearing the University
logo. They have been on strike for the last six
months.
Car horns blare as they speed down the road.
The strikers raise their hands or wave in recog-

ignored by management and misdiagnosed or
brushed off by plant doctors. The workers are,
needless to say, both disappointed and angry
about the decline of their work environment.
Mary Catalino, who has worked at New Era for
the last seven years, tells me that the proposed
contract from New Era would have cut her
hourly wage by $7. Her statement is typical of
the effect management's proposed contract
would have on the New Era plant's workers.
Unable to accept such a contract, the union
voted to go on strike last July.
In addition to the wage cuts, New Era moved
some of its production to two new plants in
Alabama (a relatively poor and union-unfriendly
state) after workers affiliated with the CWA in
1997. Now, there is a plant in Bangladesh, too.
The "made in Bangladesh" tags on these hats are
sewn to the hat in a place where they are not so
obvious - after all, New Era has a long history
of their caps being "made in the U.S.A." and
wants to hide the fact that it now subcontracts its
work out to countries where it can pay its work-

supporting families and can't afford to be out on
strike.
At this point, the power to induce change lies
with New Era's customers, like the universities
who hold contracts with the hat-making plant.
Because of said labor practices, New Era is cur-
rently in violation of the contract it holds with the
University. Suspending a contract with New Era
would send a strong message to their manage-
ment, namely: We won't tolerate our apparel to
be made in factories with grossly inadequate
compensation, insufficient care for work-related
injuries, sub-standard pay and a work environ-
ment rife with intimidation and threats.
It is the responsibility of the University to
ensure that apparel and other goods bearing the
University logo are made under decent and fair
working conditions providing a living wage to
its workers.
What can students do to stand in solidarity
with the workers in New York? First of all,
don't buy New Era baseball caps. They are
made with scab labor (in the case of the Derby

0l

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