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April 05, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-05

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 5, 2002

OP/ED

0

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420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, M1 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

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

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

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
We can spend a
century thinking about
it, another century
deciding who is going
to do something and
then another century
figuring out what to do."
- Jon D. Giorgini, a scientist at the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif,
commenting yesterday on the non-urgencyo
the possible asteroid collision with thee rth
878 years from now, as quoted by the AP.

No~~YuTA~ N

0

THOMAS KULJURGIS TENTATIVELY SPEAKING
TH[ OE4GOING EE TO SlNG A MINoR-MWOK4IlU CAMS CELESKITY:

N
O
1 1
Y
i

See you at the Trash Bash
JEREMY W. PETERS DON'T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE

e white-trash extrav-
aganza that will com-
mence tomorrow at
"high noon" (oh, how
clever) is the 31-year-old
deadbeat child that Ann
Arbor just can't get to move
out of her house.
She's tried everything.
Begging, pleading, threaten-
ing and now she's just hoping her friends and
neighbors will ignore him as he loafs around in
a dazed and chemically altered state. She won't
do anything rational to discourage him like hav-
ing him thrown in the pokey for a night, so he
just won't go away.
Hash Bash, as he is known, each year draws a
truly motley crew into the city. Just walk down
any street around campus tomorrow and you'll
see a despicable display of human existence.
The hippies (and not all of them may be
accurately called hippies because the only
link they have to the '60s is having seen the
NBC made-for-TV movie bearing the
decade's name) will roll into town around 10
in the morning, clogging the streets with their
rust-rotted Volkswagen vans and cramming
the sidewalks with their nappy dreadlocks
and potato-sack pants.
They will peruse the local shops, rarely buy-
ing anything, instead making a mess of the
objects they handle and leave behind a trail of
stench reminiscent of Pigpen from Charlie
Brown. They will make getting a table at any
restaurant near campus impossible while they
linger over their bean sprout pitas and soy milk,

usually leaving a tip that consists of little more
than loose change, as any area waiter or waitress
will tell you.
Some - the chosen few - will accost
passers-by to sign their medicinal marijuana peti-
tions. As if the true motive of these people is to
provide relief for the ailing elderly. Not likely.
Then once "high noon" approaches they all
stumble to the Diag where a series of blathering,
incoherent speeches are intended to incite moti-
vation for seeking social change. But if you
glance around at those who are actually paying
attention and aren't passed out, you'll come to
the realization that the only thing these people
know about change is that they don't do it with
their underwear.
The Hash Bash coordinators even give out
awards and induct people into their "Hash
Bash Hall of Fame." What an elite society
this must be.
After all the pomp and circumstance, the
stoners assemble their hemp bags and head back
to their cars, leaving, of course, a flurry of
garbage behind them. As if their mere presence
alone didn't sully our city enough, they have to
leave us a physical reminder of their visit.
The organizers of the event have tried
recently to legitimize it. This year they are using
the deaths of two marijuana martyrs as their pre-
text. The "official" website of Hash Bash
bemoans that participants will "focus on the
tragedy that happen (sic) at Rainbow farm."
Eloquently put.
A look into the events of this alleged tragedy
reveals that what happened was actually a vio-
lent five-day standoff provoked by a man want-

ed on charges of felony possession of a firearm,
growing marijuana and maintaining a drug
house. The Hash Bash heroes, Tom Crosslin
and his partner Rolland Rohm, were shot by
authorities after they drew their guns on FBI
agents and Michigan State Police.
During the standoff, people inside the
Rainbow Farm campground fired their
weapons repeatedly and at one point hit a
television news helicopter. All the while,
Crosslin's friends and family were insisting
that all he wanted was a "peaceful" resolu-
tion. (Incidentally, Crosslin assaulted a
woman in 1995.) I'm no police negotiator,
but firing guns in the air and then turning
them on the police doesn't seem to be the
best way to a peaceful solution.
If the Hash Bash promoters think these two
potheads turned martyrs will bring an air of
validity to their annual embarrassment, think
again. The bums have lost. You're not wanted
in this city. Why else do you think Hash Bash is
overwhelmingly attended by people from out-
side Ann Arbor?
My suggestion: Move your gig to a city more
fitting of your stature. Ypsilanti, Toledo or (insert
your favorite Downriver community here);
they'd probably be happy to take you. Or you
could just move the bash to Washtenaw Commu-
nity College, most of the people who will be on
the Diag tomorrow go there anyway. Go any-
where. Just get the hell out of Ann Arbor.
Put that in your hash pipe and smoke it.
Jeremy W Peters can be reached
atjwpeters@umich.edu.

a
I

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Coverage of death insinuated
that Inter-fraternity council
and SRC are good things
To THE DAILY:
The tragic death of my friend Dustin
Goodman will obviously not affect the Greek
system at the University of Michigan, for the
brothers of Zeta Psi have deliberately sepa-
rated themselves from the North Face-wor-
shipping, suspicious sex-having mainstream
fraternities which virtually control this cam-
pus.
Rob Goodspeed's article (Troubling histo-
ry follows frat, 4/3/2002) was completely
biased toward organizations which partici-
pate in the Interfraternity Council, going so
far as to insinuate that this could have been
prevented if the "Social Responsibility Com-
mittee" could have been present.
Though I abandoned the Greek party sys-
tem before the end of my freshman year,
when most intelligent students realize that
they do not need to purchase their friends, I
distinctly remember at least a few instances
when fraternity brothers had been forewarned
of the "random" SRC checks.
These rules can be worked around or bro-
ken quite easily, yet Zeta Psi does not have
enough money to be able to "buy" back its

good image like several of Michigan's IFC
fraternities.
It is shameful that Goodspeed used this.
event to promote this superficial, racist and
exclusionary institution, one which already
exerts too much influence over the students
of this campus.
REBECCA GEORGE
LSA senior
Daily expresses biases on
all Palestinian issues
To THE DAILY:
I am writing to express my disapproval of
the biases that this newspaper provides on a
"Daily" basis when any pro-Palestinian issue
is at question. It disheartens me to see when
the whole editorial staff totally discredits the
conference in itself and does not publish three
large pages of positive remarks about the
quality of the speakers and the conference just
like it did when the "Israeli conference" was
in town three weeks ago. It just says some-
thing about the biases of the whole Michigan
Daily and the staff's lack of journalist ethics.
It's definitely not the journalistic approach
of trying to present both sides equally when
all that you see in the newspapers are how
Muslims "riot" and intentionally sell "evil"

books at their conferences and never mention
anything about the program of the conference,
about their speakers and the lectures that were
held. But yet we always seem to read about
the wonderful and innocent Israeli sponsored
events and how cruel people are to them.
Hopefully in the future you will be more
professional and ethical in covering all
events on campus.
MUHAMED HALOVIC
Rackham
LETTERS POLICY
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters from all
of its readers. Letters from University students,
faculty, staff and adminittrators will be given
priority over others. Letters should include the
writer's name, college and school year or other Uni-
versity affiliation. The Daily will not print any letter
containing statements that cannot be verified.
Letters should be kept to approximately 300
words. The Michigan Daily reserves the right to
edit for length, clarity and accuracy. Longer
"viewpoints" may be arranged with an editor. Let-
ters will be run according to order received and
the amount of space available.
Letters should be sent over e-mail to
letters@michigandaily.com or mailed to the Daily at
420 Maynard St. Editors can be reached via e-mail
at editpage.editors@umich.edu. Letters e-mailed to the
Daily will be given priority over those dropped off in
person or sent via the U.S. Postal Service.

4

4

VIEWPOINT
Drug war a blow to democratic credibility of U.S.

BY NEIL PAIs
It's a sad thing that on the eve of yet another
Hash Bash - perhaps Ann Arbor's most
endearing festival - there has never been a
worse time to be a responsible drug user. The
United States drug war has proven to be the
most ill conceived domestic campaign of our
times, claiming the freedom of hundreds of
thousands of American citizens. In 2000 alone,
there were 1,579,566 arrests, of which roughly
40 percent were for the simple possession of
cannabis; this figure alone suggests something
horribly wrong with the operation of our federal
bodies. However, the effects of the drug war are
far-reaching in other spheres, as well.
The drug war, as it stands now, is one that is
entrenched in a fundamentally poor understand-
ing of the nature of psychoactive substances and
addiction. The crusade for prohibition began in
1914; the result of this offensive on narcotics
has been the 1,500 percent increase in substance

year, an estimated $20 billion has already been
put to use in attempting to dent the supply of
illegal drugs. This gross excess of federal spend-
ing only drives street prices up and contributes
to the further tainting of drug purity.
In the months following Sept. 11 and a sub-
sequent declaration of "war on terror," the war
on drugs has somehow also come into the
national spotlight. Many have seen the televi-
sion ads that seek to equate the drug trade with
international terrorism. These advertisements,
engineered by the Office of National Drug Con-
trol Policy, are offensive and fallacious. They
depict ordinary citizens claiming direct sponsor-
ship of terrorism as a result of their individual
use of illegal drugs. This type of ad campaign-
ing constitutes nothing short of wartime propa-
ganda. The claim that personal drug
consumption is correlated with mass murder is
not only ludicrous but also incredibly irresponsi-
ble. It preys on the fear of most Americans and
seeks to manipulate the public's consciousness

drugs are deemed to be insidious elements of
society, prompting the federal government to
grossly misallocate resources when it could be
focusing on more pertinent social issues.
The libertarian response to drugs can easily
be perceived as the best resolution to our
nation's dealing with addiction and drug-related
violence. Holding private property as the focal
point of the argument, libertarians are true in
their assertion that one's body is his own to do
whatever he wishes with it. If they are as con-
cerned with individual freedoms as they purport
to be, federal lawmakers should trust in the
judgments of their constituents, rather than try
and enforce unfair and exaggerated penalties.
The detriment that brutal policies currently
employed poses a greater detriment to society
than any narcotic; families are continually frac-
tured by arrest and employment files are need-
lessly marred by information that should be
private.
In short, the drug war that the United States
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