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January 10, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-10

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 10, 2003

OP/ED

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

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX

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

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

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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.

tI don't know
of any Democrat
who's going to
vote for it."

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- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-
Calif) on President Bush's proposal to
eliminate the dividend tax, as quoted in
yesterday's New York Times.

Hitch hits the road; pass the whiskey
JOHN HONKALA Too EARLY IN THE SUN
s Christopher any airwave that Christopher Hitchens hap- tary we need. Since when are the liberals
Hitchens really pens to be occupying accomplish anything. the ones in the bow ties? Aren't we the
so drunk that he Their incestuous infighting may seem rele- ones with the musicians on our side?
believes any of us vant to them, but to us readers they sound The Left hasn't been the same since
actually care? Likely like children - their sneering diatribes Richard Nixon - a bitter man himself -
not, since he's arro- sound more like grammatically hip play- weaseled his way into the presidency. By
gant enough to ground banter than actual dialogue. the end of the 1960s, once enough people
believe we just don't The Left is full of pompous asses who bought houses in the suburbs, property taxes
Sget him, but either purport to champion the people, but who and communism became the great concerns
way the man frus- roll their eyes when people don't "get" of the middle class. But those aren't our
trates me. After all, he was supposed to be Iraq's Kurdish situation. Hitchens is the issues, and we know it. Economic decline
a voice of the Left, one of our leaders, you worst of these offenders. His ideas are threatens the middle class more today than
know, with a Nation column and all, and provocative and he, for example, has it ever has. The conservative revolution that
yet he's opted for the other side. He's offered an important critique of the Left's prosperity begat is beginning to crumble
moved on, maybe? To tidier pastures? aversion to war in Iraq. But the smugness under its own mandate as the gap between
I am speaking, of course, of Hitchens' and arrogance that stains every word he rich and poor continues to accelerate at an
decision to end his 20-year run as a Nation says or writes renders his omnipresent cig- obscene rate and a generation begins to
columnist. Now he's spending his time on arette and highball glass the props of a truly understand that it will not be more
the pundit circuit trashing the Left for its stodgy curmudgeon instead of the insight- prosperous than the previous one. Comfort
myopic anti-war stance. And apparently ful free spirit that I wish he was. has bred a complacency that cannot last in
his former colleagues can't help but take it Bitterness and an acid tongue no longer in today's economic structure.
personally because they won't stop talking resonate with the people. Latent Lefties But here we are. With an aimless
about him. aren'tr getting stoned and watching David Democratic Party and a handful of snooty
Regardless of Hitchens' motives, I am Spade and Dennis Miller in their parents' radicals who would rather bicker about
relieved that he forsook the Left. It's what basements anymore. They're thinking who's leading the anti-war movement than
has happened in his leaving's wake that about becoming vegetarians or trying to participating in it. If Spurious George does
has me down. Why all the fuss? get their 2nd-generation Buicks running, nothing else, he inspires people. And
Since Hitchens left the Left, the cries of They're worried about Spurious George's sadly, the Left can't seem to find an
colleagues scorned and a polemicist soak- cavalier administration and that they might answer for him.
ing up the limelight have drowned out not be able to buy the houses that their But the Left's revival doesn't - and
much the actual news in my media outlets. parents have. shouldn't - depend on a single leader. We
Christopher, the scorned colleagues sob, So, I couldn't be happier that Hitchens are bigger than that. We are, to borrow a
how could you? My dear friends, he packed his scurrilous pen and left. The phrase, of the people. And therein lies our
answers, my epiphany proves my genius, more Hitchenses that leave, the more room strength. Rather than cultivate charismatic
won't you join me? No, they shout, not for there is for liberals like Jim Hightower to leaders and esoteric campaign strategies,
a million speaking engagements. And so represent our voices. Hightower is a pun- we need to return the Democratic Party to
on, until I am left - not alone I'd wager slinging, progressive Texan who's never the people, infuse our bowling leagues
- wringing my stubby little hands: Who met a&fight he didn'tlQve and, joke he with politics. It's time we got fun again.
gives a flying you-know-what? Not me, couldn't make. His Rolling Thunder The issues are too serious not to. Hotdogs
that's for sure. Democracy Tour last year brought progres- and Budweiser for everyone!
-The Left's big guns are delusional if sivestogether in cities across the country _"1-1
they believe the personal grudge matches for speeches and music, hotdogs and beer. John Honkala can be reached at
that lately waste pages of The Nation and This is the kind of leadership and commen- jhonkala@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Logic behind researchers' exposed to more media violence are more likely son's fault that the 2000 season was a dis-
b n,. to become criminals, to hurt anyone, to commit appointment? The first loss was to UCLA,
claims that video games any violent crime or any serious aggressive act, which happened when Henson was injured
There is not the slightest significant indication and in the other two losses the offense
cause violence is suspect that watching media violence for many years scored a combined 82 points! Personally I
leads to more aggression or that ceasing to do not think that it is very much to ask a
watch or play games leads to less aggression. Michigan defense to hold their opponent
To THE DAILY: Playing video games will not make me practice under 30 points.
In response to the story More video games violence in real life. The skills are far too differ- Also, Clarahan blaming Henson for the
marketed toward adult audiences, (01/09/03), ent. If I want to hurt someone, I can hardly use programs performance in '98, '99 and '01,
children are hostile after playing violent video my "Doom" skills against them, because click- thereby taking the blame off Carr was
games because it is a stimulating activity. Sit a ing a mouse won't get me very far. The prob- laughable. No matter what Henson alleged-
kid in front of any video game and he'll push a lem comes from being unable to distinguish ly demanded, it was Carr who complied and
button faster, hit a ball harder or tend to be fantasy from reality. if Clarahan's allegations are correct then
more aggressive simply because it's arousing. It's not blood on the screen, it's an off-col- Carr should be fired instantly for letting a
It could be argued that getting out of my chair ored red pixel and people who commit vio- 19-year-old kid run the football team.
and walking to the fridge could make me more lence because of video games are psychopaths. JOEL WOLLBERG
hostile. By the time I get there, my heart rate I highly doubt that playing "Super Mario Alumnus
will be faster and I'll be breathing harder and Bros." will cause children to jump on each
be more alert. others' heads.
Violent video games have come under JASON BRONSON Student lends helping hand
heavy criticism in recent years for their effect LSA freshman
on society, especially because of Columbine. with her knowledge of Science
That exemplified the violent nature of the
games as it became clear that the killers played Carr bears culpability jir To THE DAILY:
many of them.
Dozens of psychofogical studies spanning Michigan's football struggles In this week's Weekend Magazine
three decades have tried to link aggression with (01/09/03), in the Elite Entertainment Expo-
watching grisly, violent media. Jonathan Freed- sition, there is a comment regarding the
man wrote an assessment of scientific "evi- To THE DAILY: movie Maid in Manhattan," which incor-
dence" last year detailing that media violence I just read James Clarahan's viewpoint rectly states that the plague is a virus. It is a
has shown nothing of causation for violence. Lloyd Carr 2004 (01/09/03), and literally bacterium.
The results have not been consistent, he writes. had my jaw drop at Clarahan's twisted CLARiSSA LIEBLER
Not one study has shown that those who are logic. How in the world is it Drew Hen- School of Public Health
VIEWPOINT
Dow is not responsible for Bhopalis' suffering

0

01

BY MATTHEw FRANCZAK
The implication persistently made
throughout the Jan. 9 Op/ed pieces on the
Bhopal disaster that Dow Chemical Co.
holds moral responsibility for the conse-
quences of the lethal release of methyl iso-
cyanate and other environmental damage
from the abandoned plant is both baseless
and deceptive.
While Dow may still be held to have
inherited some legal responsibility for
other environmental damages on the site,
nothing in Dow's conduct has ever harmed
or attempted to deny compensation to the
victims of the disaster. The disaster itself

liabilities related to and arising out of the
Bhopal Gas disaster." The only litigation
still pending is compensation for environ-
mental damages due to Union Carbide's
pollution of the site that is unrelated to the
disaster itself. Thus, what remains is the
complicated legal question of whether the
responsibility to clean up the site's non-
disaster related pollution has been trans-
ferred to Dow. Thus, Dow has no legal or
moral connection to the tragic events of
1984 and should not be asked to accept
responsibility for them, as environmental
groups are agitating for.
Whether or not justice was done in the
1990 settlement, the case cannot be retried

up on the site without obtaining permission
and subsequently be arrested as a publicity
stunt rather than trying to initiate a serious
third party clean-up effort indicates exactly
where the group's priorities are.
The efforts by Michigan's environmen-
tal activists to discourage the University
from accepting funds from Dow are even
more self-serving.
Since the outspoken few on this campus
tend to draw mainly from the political science
department and the Residential College, by
encouraging the university to decline dona-
tions from Dow they are attempting to trade
the educational quality of their fellow students
pursing degrees in chemistry, materials sci-

THE BOONDOCKS

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