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February 21, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-21

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 21, 2003


u 9 h4w


SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
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.

(The term
'celebrity' makes
my skin crawl."
-Actress Janeane Garofalo when asked
on Wednesday by the BBC whether she
prefers the title actor or celebrity in an
interview about her anti-war stance.


. .

T "oo~wYl ),5oahc


Does this shirt match my fear?


I'm gone. I have been
gone long before
Spring Break even
started. In fact, I don't
think I've ever gotten back
from the Winter Break or
maybe even sophomore
year. But for once my
physical will catch up with
my mental as I start my
pillage of the West Coast sometime today. The
temperature should reach around the mid-70s,
decent weather for our strategically placed
spring break. I have absolutely no idea what I'm
going to do over this week. I'm leaning toward
organizing a strong anti-Kobe Bryant
rally/parade at the Staples Center. It depends on
which permit I can get. Perhaps I will be able to
schmooze in a Los Angeles coffee shop with
waiters/actors and reach new levels of preten-
sion often dreamt of but rarely achieved in Ann
Arbor. Or maybe I'll even invade a gated com-
munity in Beverly Hills or crash a Hollywood
However I definitely know what I won't be
doing. I won't be following politics or engaging
in anything resembling intellectual discourse.
I'm a little tired of caring about the world when
the people who actually control it don't know
what the hell they are doing. All week through-
out The New York Times (and other news out-
lets I guess) opined ad nauseam about Iraq,
Korea, homeland security and every other prob-
lem in the world. Well the purpose of the news
is to build awareness and inform, correct?

Right I know this but now it s just annoying. I
feel as mentally retarded listening to the
speeches by the Senate majority leader and the
secretary of homeland defense as I do if I were
to watch "Joe Millionaire" or "Are You Hot?"
For those a little behind on the brilliance behind
our country, Bill Frist, Senate majority leader,
recently said that "Americans should not be
obsessing about emergency supplies." Or "The
real cause for concern is if you are by a major
risk site." Meanwhile, almost every major facil-
ity was put on terrorist notice and no one is giv-
ing up the locations of targeted sites. Instead we
should, "Exercise regularly, eat well and get a
good night's rest." Apparently we get free med-
ical advice came with GOP rule. It should be
fun managing my health while I add the gov-
ernment's new toll-free (800) BE-READY
number to my cell phone. I promise that's a real
number, although I am not really sure what it
gets me ready for.
Essentially the government doesn't know
what going on. Because now Tom Ridge says to,
"Stash away the duct tape. Don't use it. Stash it
away." Of course a chorus of pressroom laughter
was the gift for this comment. One can't help to
laugh because sometimes laughter can defuse the
tension and confusion. Terrorism isn't an easy
thing to gauge or predict. Terrorism doesn't
involve visible planning but covert hostility and
clandestine (not Palestine) operations. While I do
not expect the government, especially this one, to
know the exact times and solutions to these prob-
lems, I also don't want their confusion. Leaders
are supposed to lead, not disseminate chaos

through color charts. The current method being
used leads to the exact opposite direction of
where our attention should be. At this rate, in
true boy-who-cried-bomb fashion, the country
will begin to ignore these warnings over time, or
even worse, assuming the government issues
these warnings intentionally to create fear and
support for bringing down anyone connected to
this ubiquitous feeling of terrorism and fear. This
cynicism is already beginning to pervade
through the nation's consciousness already.
Seemingly every generation faces inane pro-
cedures for safety. Ducking under desks for
safety from Commie nukes in the 50s and 60s
will save my life as well as sealing myself in a
masking tape sanctuary will from Sarin and
anthrax today. The responsibility of poison gas
staying far away from my skin falls squarely on
the shoulders of the government. I can't be any
more ready than I am.
I'll deal with Ann Arbor all over again and
the rest of the world in March if my mind makes
it back with me. But for now join me in a week
of decadence, hedonism, egoism and disinterest.
If you find yourself still in need of current
events, rent "Dr. Strangelove: Or How I
Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The
Bomb" and you'll be up to date. If anyone wants
me, I'll be color coordinating my duct tape with
the color-coded security alert system. Is it yel-
low or orange tonight?
Ifyou know how to match metallic gray with
citrus orange or anything else that interesting,
Rahim can be reached at hrahim@umich.


Bush should implement
innovative national energy
policy, fuel cells not enough
I'd like to thank the Daily, Fuel cell energy
proves clean alternative to oil (02/18/03), for
making fuel cells a front page issue. I look
forward to the day when our transportation
and energy systems are free from pollution
and fuel cells offer a great step in the right
direction. However, the hydrogen used to
power fuel cells should not be considered a
fuel. Despite the abundance of hydrogen in
the environment, it can only be used for ener-
gy storage, not generation.
As Prof. Yohan Schwank pointed out,
hydrogen must be generated using electricity.
This is the only process that can be scaled up
to the level of production needed for a nation-
al hydrogen supply. The problem lies in the
fact that electricity must be used, and the
process is not 100 percent efficient. The elec-
trical power must come from power-plants, so
now the source of the problem has been
moved from the roads (in the case of fuel-cell
powered cars) to the power-plants. President
Bush has failed to adequately address elec-
tricity generation issues. The current national

energy policy (www.energy.gov) already
shows we are entering a electrical energy
shortage, so trying to support a national
hydrogen infrastructure from the current
power-plants will not work.
Now we hit the bigger problem, we need
to build a new electrical infrastructure focus-
ing on nuclear fission. There have been pro-
found advances in nuclear power-plant
design over the past two decades. Newer
technologies, such as pebble-bed reactors,
are inherently safe, cannot melt-down, can-
not release radiation, produce very little
waste, and are cheap to build. Other waste-
management technologies can reduce the
38,000 metric tons of nuclear waste we have
stockpiling in the United States while elimi-
nating the risk of the proliferation of
weapons material and generating electricity.
Unfortunately, although Bush recog-
nizes the advances in nuclear technology,
the national energy policy is directed to
building over 1,000 new coal and natural
gas power plants over the next two decades
while leaving nuclear options to hang in
the wind. If fuel cells are really to be the
environmentally friendly panacea we want
it to be, we need to build a sensible source
of energy. I would like to see the Daily fol-
low up on national energy policy as it
relates to these issues.
Engineering senior

Paul's column right to address
education reform, but wrong
to think reform will stop war
I'm writing this letter regarding Ari Paul's
column in Weekend Magazine, Be all that we'll
let you be (02/20/03). First let me start by saying
that I agree that education must be reformed,
and soon, I might add. However his statement at
the end of the article, "Education reform will
stop war," is the most asinine thing I have
almost ever seen written. Can Paul really
believe this? If we finally do achieve education
reform in this country, will this stop all the
Islamic terrorists from hating us? Will this stop
North Korea from wanting to turn every city of
the U.S. mainland into rubble? Will they see our
improved test scores and realize, hey, they ain't
so bad after all? The answer is no, education
reform will not stop war. The truth is that there
is nothing that will ever put a stop to war. As
long as people of different colors, different lan-
guages and different beliefs on the planet, peo-
ple will be willing to kill each other to prove
theirs is the best. Sometimes the world isn't as
idealistic as some believe a single solution to a
single small problem will stop all war forever.
Engineering junior

Innocent until proven guilty

"Dr. Sami, as I call him, is a friend of mine,
and I have absolutely no shame in calling him a
friend." The oft-racist Michigan Student Zion-
ists, in a cheap attempt to exploit yesterday's
arrest of Sami Al-Arian on terrorist-related
charges, quoted me in a press release yesterday
as saying this months ago, ostensibly in their
repeated efforts to associate me, a 21-year-old
student, with terrorism.
There is racism endemic in our government
today with its origins buried deep in the archi-
tects of our post-Sept.I11 unconstitutional, and
wholly un-American, policies. The neoconserv-
atives, who have exploited this nation's greatest
tragedy to stir fear in our society, are now recre-
ating the internment of Japanese-Americans dur-
ing World War II. This time, the victims are the
Arabs, who by the thousands have been detained
and arrested for minor immigration violations or
more often than not, for no reason at all.
Where does Al-Arian fall in this? According
to Attorney General John Ashcroft. a man not

investigation in 1996 by William Reece Smith,
former head of the American Bar Association)
and an immigration judge. In fact, after his citi-
zenship application was halted in,1995 by the
Immigration and Naturalization Service, who
cited secret evidence, a concept that in itself
continues the redundant trend of un-American
ideals staining our, judicial process. Al-Arian
filed a Freedom of Information Act to deter-
mine what this evidence was. Two years later,
the evidence was revealed as news clippings
from The Tampa Tribune.
The author of these articles was a previously
unknown reporter named Michael Fechter, ewho
built his career out of weaving fantastic tales
against Al-Arian and the Muslim community in
general: Mentored by Steve Emerson, a phony
thoroughly discredited and exposed for fabricat-
ing numerous stories in attempts to cast the
American Muslim community as a threat to
national security, Fechter's evidence was cir-
cumstantial, with guilt by association being his
preferred weapon of choice. Other Fechter
shock stories included attempts to tie the Okla-
homa City bombings to Muslim extremists.

reports surfaced last week of a "Patriot Act II,"
which would further clip our civil liberties and
constitutional rights, but whose passage would
benefit greatly from yesterday's arrests.
The reality is countless lives have been
ruined as political agendas have exploited the
media's pandering to anti-Arab hysteria and a
society drowning in fear. A clear example of
this is seen even on this campus, as the Michi-
gan Student Zionists relentlessly continue their
campaign to stifle intellectual discourse on the
Arab-Israeli conflict through charging the pro-
justice students and organizations with a dubi-
ous guilt by association. A clear example of this
has been seen numerous times on Capitol Hill,
with a continuing war on Arabs .domestically
and abroad, in Palestine and Iraq.
Taking all of this into consideration, we
must closely monitor the government's case
against Al-Arian. The attorney general's
charges are both serious and damning, so it is
imperative that we ensure a fair and open trial.
Over the past 17 months, this constitutional
right has been disregarded with countless Arab
detainees. With the high profile nature of this


.AR~PO N G~l, D


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