4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 2, 2003
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EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
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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.
stereotypes in an effort,
they say, to break down
- US. Solicitor General Theodore
Olsen, during yesterday's Supreme
Court oral arguments, as reported
by The Associated Press.
SAM BUTLER Ti, SOAPBOX
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Choking on the fog of war
KASHIF SHEIKH FROM TE WASTEBIN OF HISTORY
T hey say that soon chemical weapons facility that Secretary of add some humanity to this romanticized con-
after the bombs State Colin Powell cited over a month earlier in flict, and al-Jazeera was booted from the New
started falling, the making his case for war wasn't quite the "smok- York Stock Exchange for the same. MSNBC's
skies over Baghdad turned ing gun" he expected. highest rated show, Donahue, was cancelled
an ominous blood red in an Long before any shots were fired, the first due to the host's anti-war stance, while its
act of divine intervention, casualty of this war was the truth. award-winning reporter, Peter Arnett, was fired
a manifestation of God's Over 15 such stories have recently made for telling an Iraqi journalist how the Bush war
growing anger. Little more headlines, only to be discredited by later plan had largely failed.
than a week after com- ones. Most have been sad attempts by the The spectrum of acceptable opinion has
mencing the "shock and White House, the Pentagon or Big Media to narrowed to this: Show support or stay quiet,
awe" campaign, a bomb hit a crowded Baghdad dramatize, glorify or else legitimize the and suppress diversity over the airwaves lest
market, killing 58 civilians and injuring hun- onslaught and undermine the large civilian someone should dissent. A black TV pundit is
dreds more. Army officials mentioned the death toll and friendly fire accidents rare, but an Asian or Latino talking head is a
unlikely possibility it may have been an Iraqi incurred in just two weeks. What it all fantasy. Sure, they exist outside Fox News,
attack, and the American media were quick to amounts to is fictitious war propaganda that CNN or MSNBC - but national opinion is
include this disclaimer in what sparse coverage has hypnotized America into believing that quite polarized when you break the demo-
they gave the debacle. this liberation (though most Iraqis have graphic into its minority components, and
A day earlier, two cruise missiles shown fear of foreign invaders more than meaningful opposition is something your typi-
slammed into a residential section of Bagh- Saddam) is somehow going well. cal patriot would rather not hear.
dad, killing more than 14 - in what Fox's Or so it should be, according to Pentagon In the timeless pursuit of ratings, Big
Geraldo guessed might be America's fault advisor Dick Perle, who expected a "cake- Media has failed miserably to help avert an
- then blamed the sandstorms. walk" and help from defectors before Bush unjustified war and widely expose the admin-
But the missile that hit a Kuwait City mall advised the country to prepare for a protracted istration's clear financial interests, lack of
was almost certainly an Iraqi strike from a war with substantial casualties. Dick, who is credibility and asinine case to the public.
Chinese-built Silkworm, a theory that Big largely responsible for this mess we're in, is Opting to be the White House lapdog instead
Media rode until it was forgotten. When under fire for his criminal conflicts of interest of a government watchdog, major media out-
questioned about evidence pointing to a U.S. and profiteering from postwar Iraq. He lets are largely responsible for dragging
cruise missile, chief Pentagon spokeswoman resigned as chair of the Defense Policy Board America feet-first into a minefield and keep-
Victoria Clarke said it was too early to specu- last week to avoid entanglement, but amid the ing us there, kicking and screaming.
late. Two Kuwaiti officials testified - the fireworks over Baghdad, the media avoided With the White House set on Iran, Syria,
markings were clearly American. this issue along with the Bush administration's and North Korea next, it's become irrelevant
Elsewhere in the news: Saddam, thought to several questionable corporate ties to this war. whether these countries harbor terrorists or
have been killed on the first day of strikes, It's a censorship of a different kind; an weapons of mass destruction. In the land of
looked quite healthy in a televised speech days implicit abrogation of the First Amendment the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and he'll
later. A much-hyped popular Shiite uprising in imposed by businesses instead of the govern- manage to convince the witless so long as the
Basra proved to be less popular than anticipated ment. Even comedian Chris Rock was warned networks unquestioningly bow to his whim.
when it was quickly crushed. Reports about by his film studio Dreamworks to steer clear of 'Godspeed America, into the global quagmire.
8,000 Iraqis that surrendered en masse didn't Bush-bashing for which the Dixie Chicks have
materialize. Umm Qasr was reported as taken been boycotted, YellowTimes.org was pulled by Sheikh can be reached
nine times before it was actually taken. And the its ISP for showing images of dead soldiers to at email@example.com.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Rooting against rival sports For those that have never been to giving me a look.
Columbus (it's a hole in the ground) or JOSHUA BOCK
teams is 'given right' East Lansing, you've never experienced the Engineering senior
look of distaste received when the words "I
go to Michigan" are spoken. I won't even
To THE DAILY: get into the details of attending an away
I would like to thank J. Brady McCol- football or basketball game. The problem.coy
lough for his column, Ann Arbor: 'Should with many of the State fans (the fact that 'W tuI OU>W > OU
have been a Spartan,' (03/31/03). It's good they're both state schools should be obvi-
to see someone from Daily Sports actually ous) is they take it over the top. When the F G
with some nuts. I'm talking about the type Michigan basketball team had the infamous
of nuts that Snoop made famous. I was SUV rollover accident, I remember my APPY1RADAYUItVM$S.
actually expecting some sort of "Spartans Spartan cousin wishing someone would WE mPLE-DOG DARK YOU.
revive Big Ten reputation" article praising have been seriously hurt because "That's
the Green and White for making an unex- what those preppy Ann Arbor jerks.....EMAML ASONsiC*
pected run. Such an article would have fit deserve."dx
in with the usual lackluster support shown However, most Michigan fans are too GM
by many of the Wolverine faithful. worried about looking like jerks to realize
For example: the common "Puck Fenn that rooting against an arch-rival is their
State" shirts sold outside the Big House. given right. I have the right to walk into FOR THE RIA DIAL - VHE CWUD
What kind of weak shit is that? Just say Michigan Stadium wearing a shirt that says .AL , oWLUM*y Posimot.
Fuck Penn State. Not like you're fooling "Fuck Sparty" without some 50-year-old
anyone with the other shirt anyway. alum who sleeps through half the game
An open letter to President Coleman
BY JENNY LEE
While Students Organizing for Labor
and Economic Equality commends the
University administration's defense of our
affirmative action policies, we continue to
take issue with the University's inadequate
response to workers' rights violations in
the case of Morgan Services Inc.
The time to act regarding Morgan Ser-
vices is now. For the past seven months,
SOLE has been working with the administra-
tion to bring about a termination of the con-
tract the University holds with Morgan
Linens, an industrial laundry service in Tole-
do, Ohio. Workers at this factory appealed to
the University in the fall, requesting that the
University terminate its contract with Morgan
in the hopes that the financial loss would
pressure Morgan management into bargain-
ing a fair contract and ending the company's
ongoing union-busting campaign.
To date, the only action taken by the
University has been to write Richard
Senior, chief executive officer of Morgan,
a "letter of concern" over the situation. Six
weeks later, Senior has yet to respond.
The need for action in this situation has
sity's approach to labor questions. Last
year, in the case of the New Era Cap Co.,
the existence of workers rights violations
gave the University cause for termination
of its contract with the company.
An investigation by the Workers Rights
Consortium (an independent monitoring
organization of which the University is a
member) found New Era guilty of egregious
workers' rights violations. After months of
negotiations between SOLE and administra-
tors, the administration finally decided to
terminate its contract with New Era. A large
factor in that decision was the failure of
New Era management to cooperate with the
WRC investigation, its silences ultimately
signaling an admission of their guilt.
The situation at hand is quite similar.
The National Labor Relations Board has
agreed to hear 10 complaints filed against
Morgan management by the United
Needleworkers and Industrial Textile
Employees, the union that represents Mor-
gan workers. As history has shown, the
NLRB's response to complaints such as
these is ridiculously bureaucratic, often
deciding cases long after its decisions are
The case of The Detroit News and Free
with in a similar way. The University must
not let the bureaucracy of the NLRB pre-
vent it from supporting the rights of Mor-
The University has seen thorough docu-
mentation of Morgan Linen's inadequate
pay and benefits, relative to the industry
average (these numbers are based on inter-
views conducted between SOLE members
and Morgan workers, and statistics provid-
ed by UNITE).
They have heard first-hand testimonies
of anti-union hostility in the factory and
outright illegal attempts by management to
decertify their union. They have been
offered alternative laundry services with
which to do business where workers are
treated better and most importantly, have
their right to organize respected.
The University insists that it cannot
rightly terminate its contract with Morgan
Linens without fairly weighing the voice
of the management in this dispute.
Senior's non-cooperation speaks loudly
enough. The letter of concern, written to
him over six weeks ago, spoke of the Uni-
versity's high standards in regards to ethi-
cal business practices. The letter called on
Senior to address the serious complaints
THE BOONDOCKS AARONMGRUER