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January 29, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-29

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 30, 2003

OP/ED

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420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 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
(((Americans) do not
claim to know all the
ways of Providence, yet
we can trust in them,
placing our confidence in
the loving God behind all
of life and all of history."
- President Bush during Tuesday's State
of the Union address, identifying
Christianity as a defining
characteristic of the United States.

QEDW WHAT
DO / A07
QICK 6NW

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THE PRESlIDENTOF'
TIE- ON ITED

KARL KRESSBACH UN'T QED NATION

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AND SUPPLYING Of (
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DM3TUM1ON MUST ON RED 1LERT!
BE: ADDR&.35LD. PLEA , NOT ONLY
MO~E KNOT, BUT
Ti1PWLE KNOT YIOUR.
&KCLACES. TH~E
MUEN-REOfl*N
VELCROD. A RECALL
4 ~15 UND ERWAY.,
PR~OCEDURES WILL 6L
iIILAP TO THE
PRETZLEL RECAL
AER. THE LAST
AfliTM~D
ASS 8N'ATION.i

S

This is a public service announcement
DAVID ENDERS WEIRD SCIENCE
S unday, like millions regimes go unchallenged. Colombian Presi- Predictably, the mass advertising opportu-
of others, I watched dent Alvaro Uribe V6lez came to power with nity of the Super Bowl wasn't wasted: a pair
the Super Bowl. I the help of money and influence from drug of youngish-looking parents find out they're
watched it not because I trafficking, human rights abuses and crimes going to be "the youngest grandparents in
cared who won, but there are ignored by the Bush junta because town" when their daughter's home pregnancy
because I think the spec- V6lez is amenable to U.S. business interests. test comes back positive. (Who takes a home
F tacle of the whole thing is If the war on drugs were fought in an effec- pregnancy test with their parents?)
entertaining. It's a guilty tive manner, the drug syndicates that fun- Kids don't get pregnant because they
pleasure. Washed-up pop neled money to the Taliban in Afghanistan smoke marijuana. The failure here is sex
stars, over-produced advertisements and the- would not have been so successful and less education, not drug prevention. But by the
matically corporate dance numbers. What money would be put into back-end initiatives logic of the ad, Grandpa and Grandma proba-
could be more middle American? (such as commercials and extremely punitive bly forgot they had a kid because they were
Unfortunately, this year's circus proved drug laws) and into actually stemming the too stoned. Considering how morally degen-
pretty lame. The commercials were especial- American demand for drugs or prqviding erate this family is, I bet there's an abortion
ly disappointing. Save teasers for "Charlie's alternative income sources for farmers in in the offing.
Angels: Full Throttle" (the most suggestive other countries. That's the most ironic thing about these
movie title in recent history), there wasn't But that might be asking for too much, advertisements: They all include at least two
much to get excited about. because it is clear those strategizing for the socially relevant issues, but always fail to
Except the new anti-drug commercials. "war on drugs" have very little experience appropriately address the most important one.
When I first noticed these affronts to rea- with their target. Take the myth of marijuana They also, for some reason, only seem to
son a few months ago, I wrote them off as as a "gateway drug," perpetuated by the address marijuana. A range of drugs are dis-
too ridiculous to write on. The only fitting helpful facts available at cussed on the group's website, so why not
comparison is "Reefer Madness," the propa- www.theantidrug.com: make commercials advocating awareness
ganda film of the 1930s that depicts marijua- "Usually smoked as a cigarette or joint, about ecstasy, a drug that really is dangerous?
na use leading to murder. or in a pipe or bong, marijuana has appeared People are fighting back. An innovative
Please tell the kids: They're being lied to. in 'blunts' in recent years. These are cigars measure on the ballot in Columbia, Miss.,
I don't advocate the use of drugs by teens or that have been emptied of tobacco and re- combines the common causes of legalized
pre-teens. But lying to them about the reper- filled with marijuana, sometimes in combina- medical marijuana use to less stringent pos-
cussions of marijuana use or weakly correlat- tion with another drug, such as crack." session laws. Check out www.norml.org for
ing traditionally aberrant behaviors with Yeah. I rolled one of those last night. that and other, more sensible views.
smoking pot is counterproductive, if only Does anyone know where I can get more That leaves one last question: Why would
because they'll be less likely to listen about crack? the current administration support throwing
other stuff when they figure it out. The same cluelessness is evidenced in the away so much money on this sort of silli-
"If you quit drugs, you join the fight against commercials the group has launched along ness? It makes about as much sense as the
terror in America." - George W. Bush with the AdCouncil. Have you seen the one apparent fact the Bush junta would like to
The most scurrilous argument made where the kids hit a bong and one of them prevent simple women's health initiatives
against drug use is that it supports terrorism. shoots the other with his dad's readily avail- frot reachingimpqoyerished cousiwki~in,
My first reaction was to simply advocate able, loaded handgun? Do you think the mes- interest of promoting abstinence programs.
buying domestic, but that sidesteps the real sage that ad really sends is that marijuana is (Look at the president's appointees to U.N.
problem. The single greatest supporter of dangerous? And should we ignore the discus- commissions on women's rights). Arcane
drug-related terrorism (and the single great- sion the kids are having before one shoots ideas are the order of the day.
est impediment to its own "War on Drugs") the other? The one with the gun seems pretty
is the U.S. government. As long as it's con- despondent when he mentions his parents' David Enders can be reached at
venient, the actions of drug-trafficking impending divorce. denders@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

MSA needs to cut back on
posters, extreme waste of
paper leads to desire to vomi
To THE DAILY:
As I was reviewing my current tuition bill, I
noticed that the first thing I was being charged
for was a "school & college gov't fee". The
third item was something called simply, "Michi-
gan Student Assembly". What follows isn't so
much me telling you how to spend this $1.50
and $6.69, respectively, but rather me pleading
with you on how not to spend it.
Please, please, please do away with all the
posters. No more posters. Every time I walk
into the Modern Languages or Dennison buid-
ings around election time, I feel like throwing
up. You all have plastered the interior, wall-to-
wall with pictures, names and ridiculous
mnemonic devices.
Every night the custodians tear them down
and every morning you put new ones up. Just so
you know, this paper does not get recycled.
Believe me, I asked the custodians as they were
shoving them all into plastic trash bags one
night, cursing your existence. If any of us knew
exactly how much paper was wasted every year
on student elections, I think we'd all throw up.
This alone is the reason why I have never
voted in a student election here. If this whole-
sale deforestation continues, I assure you, not
only will I never vote as long as I am a Univer-
sity student, but I will begin withholding my
$8.19 from your pockets every semester and
encourage everyone I know to do the same. If
this means cutting funding for student groups,
then so be it. In my eyes, the enrichment of my
college education is not something for which
I'm willing to sacrifice the planet Earth. Admit-
tedly, this isn't the only issue on my University
of Michigan Axis of Environmental Evils, but I
think it's a good place to start.
Instead of accelerating our race toward
extinction and insulting my intelligence in
the process, why don't you guys do all this
stuff online?
You could have a big page full of candi-
dates, with all the colors you want and by click-
ing on their names, the extremely capable
student body could view a short biography, the
candidate's stance on student issues and even a
nice big picture for those of you still interested
in keening some of the beautv contest asnects of

damn trees!
Thank you all very much for your time
and please seriously consider my suggestion.
I think it would truly revolutionize student
government and maybe even encourage peo-
ple like myself to vote.
WILL TRAVERS
LSA senior
Local music scene flourshing,
Daily' needs to acknowledge
strength of local groups
To THE DAILY:
Thank you for Niamh Slevin's feature article
on Mons in yesterday's Daily (Mons'hugs' local
scene). It's been a while since there has been any
recognition of local talent in the Ann Arbor
music scene. The fact of the matter is, Ann
Arbor is anything but a "barren wasteland" for
local music, as Slevin puts it in the article. There
are so many great local groups here, but the
Daily refuses to recognize them, for the most
part, unless they are on the fringe of national
success; this past fall's spreads on Funktelli-
gence and Athletic Mic League were commend-
able, but only the tip of the iceberg.
There are a number of really amazing
groups around here, but the Daily gives
absolutely no thought or mention to them.
Shows happen every weekend at the Michigan
League, Union and of course the Blind Pig. In
fact, Slevin's description of the number of local
acts to become legends as "laughable" is just
plain wrong! Taproot, four Ann Arbor natives,
two of which attended the University, are now
out touring the country in support of their sec-
ond album "Welcome" which has already sold
200,000 copies and their single "Poem" is gar-
nering heavy MTV and radio airplay.
Perhaps the reason that it seems to many as
if the music scene here is dead is that the Daily
pays no attention. As the newspaper that claims
to belong to the students, it is the responsibility
of the Daily to go out and find what is going on,
and to report it to the student body. Without the
Daily's support, the music scene here can never
reach its full potential, and that is why, to the
majority of the student body, it would appear as
if Ann Arbor's music scene is lame.
BEN UMANOV
LSA junior

discussion list with over 150 members. The
purpose of this list is to serve as a space where
those involved in anti-war activism can con-
verse about issues related, directly or indirect-
ly, to Anti-War Action! As a discussion list,
people are free to express their opinions on
said issues. We decided to have a group dis-
cussion about the Israel/Palestine issue, one on
which we have consciously refrained from
taking sides as a group. We did this, hoping
for free and open discussion, because we are,
without reservation, "pro-dialogue." We are
also "pro-journalistic integrity;" Hanink is
apparently opposed to both.
Clearly, as a discussion list, statements
made in such a forum do not represent the
opinion of the group as a whole. It seems
obvious that a private statement made in the
course of such a discussion cannot serve as
an official source of information about such
a large and diverse group of people, con-
trary to what Hanink assumed. It's unfortu-
nate that the column characterizes AWA! as
being part of an "isolating, exclusive" com-
munity, when this is simply not the case.
People who identify themselves as part of
AWA! include members of the Progressive
Israel Alliance, Students Allied Freedom
and Equality, The University Snowboarding
Club, Students Organizing for Labor and
Economic Equality and the Environmental
Justice Group, to name just a few.
While we appreciate constructive criticism
of AWA!, divisive slander serves no purpose,
either for us or for the alleged "anti-people."
Israel/Palestine is an emotionally charged issue
and there are conflicting opinions both inside
and outside of what Hanink ambiguously calls
"the Left." The exchange that occurred over
the AWA! discussion list was meant to create
dialogue between people whose views differ,
in many cases strongly.
It is poor journalism to assume that a few
people's opinions are representative of an entire
organization. It is unethical and vicious to do
what Hanink has attempted and failed to accom-
plish, while passing the blame to us: "irrepara-
bly staining the movements that have put the
University in the national spotlight over the past
year with personal agendas...hypocrisy and
hatred."
GREGG JASHNANI
LSA senior
MAX SUSSMAN
LSA sophomore

0 r

THE BOONDOCKS

AARON GYRU

6

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