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September 17, 2003 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-17

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4 -- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 17, 2003


Ua tdign atoll


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.

It made me
nauseous because I
had to use so much
of it. It was so weak
in potency that I
really threw up."
- Barrie Dalley, on legally purchased
medical marijuana. Dalley is one of the ten
patients registered to buy marijuana
from the Canadian government,
as quoted in The Canadian Press.


$ ki tf S uh IiC "

Free trade and cowbells

ike the other
111,725 people at
the spectacular
Irish humiliation on Sat-
urday, I had a really
good time. I've been
going to Michigan foot-
ball games since I was
too young to remember
them, and Saturday's was
one of the great ones of my life.
Not only were we incredibly successful
against Notre Dame, the other university with
such a rich, historical football tradition, but
the student section was out of control. It was
notably loud for a stadium known for being
gigantic, but quiet. The highlight for me,
however, was that I got to play the cowbell in
the stands, a role with which Michigan faith-
ful are very familiar.
The cowbell belonged to my friend Jeff,
and I operated it for him because of my musi-
cal background. After a while, I jokingly said
to him, "Jeff, this is like socialism because you
own the means of production, and I am the
proletariat operating them for you."
Clearly, students at the University are not
members of the proletariat class. They may
think they are or fancy themselves as being
members of the proletariat, but the point of
going to college is to become a part of the
knowledge- and skill-based economy. But
there are a number of students here and at uni-
versities around the world who have been con-
fused into believing that they are members of
the proletariat and that they must rise up
against a capitalistic conspiracy.
On Sunday, the World Trade Organization

trade negotiations collapsed in Cancun, Mexi-
co, as developed and developing nations could
not agree on much of anything. The developing
countries wanted the rich nations, such as the
United States and the European Union, to
reduce their tariffs and their domestic subsidies,
and the rich nations wouldn't do it. In recent
years, the United States has pressured countries
such as Vietnam and the Philippines to open
their agricultural markets and engage in trade
with the rest of the world. They agreed, but we
continued subsidizing our farmers, which only
further impoverished their third-world counter-
parts. This is a particularly heartless policy
because of the United States's dark history in
those two countries.
As usual, thousands of protesters greeted
the delegates in Mexico to protest against
free trade, capitalism and international eco-
nomic organizations. These people surely
have a right to protest against the talks, but
for the life of me, I can't figure out why
they'd want to. It seems that they actually
believe the quip I told Jeff at the football
game. They see the world the way Karl
Marx saw it - composed of owners and
proletariats, and for some reason, they have
decided to side with those countries most
resembling the owners. By protesting talks
designed to let farmers and workers around
the world sell their products to developed
nations, they are in effect advocating on
behalf of the status quo - a status quo that
keeps millions, if not billions, of people
around the world in desperate poverty.
By trying to stop the negotiations, the pro-
testers are making the point that subsidizing
U.S., European and Japanese farmers at the

expense of farmers in poorer nations is fair.
Either they have not fully thought through the
implications of their actions, or they are actual-
ly more concerned with the plight of the farm-
ers in the developed world than the poverty
farmers in the Third World.
But those on the left are not the only ones
supporting policies that they probably don't
intend to advocate. By bowing to political
interests and not expanding free trade and the
wealth that globalization can create around the
world, the Bush administration is pursuing a
policy that will keep the developing world in
wretched economic despair. Not only is this
morally repugnant (I wish I had more space to
discuss how morally repugnant this is), but
like the leftists, he is pursuing a policy that
will result in consequences he surely will not
want to face. The reasoning behind his deci-
sion to provide massive amounts of funding to
fight AIDS around the world and to bring
prosperity to the Middle East is so states will
not be vulnerable to those forces wanting to
use them as terrorist havens. He seems to
know that stability depends on at least a mod-
erate level of prosperity.
So in the name of slowing globalization,
we have populists fighting to expand poverty
and a war president creating instability. Bour-
geoisie unite!
CORRECTION: My last column mistaken-
ly stated that Audrey Hepburn passed away this
year. It should have read that Katharine Hep-
burn died at the age of 96.
Pesick can be reached at

Security for sale


In a time when the
Bush administration
has such a tight hold
on language that liberal
has become a naughty
word, I'll experiment to
see how well the right
can take its own medi-
cine. President Bush has
been the most liberal
president in terms of
spending government funds in recent
memory, and he has demonstrated no abili-
ty to conserve our resources and has been
completely fiscally irresponsible.
His request for nearly $90 billion while
wanting to decrease the federal govern-
ment's income by billions more by cutting
taxes is nothing less than fuzzy math, a
blunder of arithmetic to be burdened on the
working and middle classes. His lack of
thrift when it comes to feeding the military
and making contracts with his friends in the
oil industry is, indeed, liberal in the worst
sense of the word. His entire presidency has
been devoid of any notion of frugality.
But somehow it all doesn't make sense
ideologically. While Bush has fought tooth
and nail to fully privatize everything from
education to health care, insisting that the
market brings the product to its full poten-
tial, he has treated the military like a
socialist institution paid for by you and
According to the rules of American

conservatism, shouldn't the military, like
all other ventures in the public sphere, be
made better by placing it in the competi-
tive market?
Ruben Duran, editor in chief of the
Michigan Review, the free voice of the
campus right brigade, argues against a pri-
vate military saying, "the idea of having a
privatized fighting force ... I would imag-
ine, is an issue of security." In addition to
having reservations about a military "that
exists outside of direct government con-
trol," Duran added, "... in general, the idea
of hiring a rent-a-grunt to defend Ameri-
can interests irks many."
I should say the idea certainly irks me.
Could you imagine it - a military acting
only in the interests of profit, forfeiting
our security from external threats so that
some CEO in a WMD-proof bunker could
make a few bucks?
So even Duran, a stalwart defender of
the virtues of a free market, recognizes not
only the flaws of capitalism but how they
,can compromise our security, well-being
and way of life.
So why is the military an exception?
While defense from external threats is
something we cannot compromise, it is by
no means the only thing. Thomas Jefferson
taught us, "If a nation expects to be igno-
rant and free in a state of civilization, it
expects what never was and never will
be." Why risk the quality of education to
fall if the market is imperfect if an intelli-

gent society creates a freer society? Why
not ensure that intelligent society by mak-
ing education a public fiscal interest?
And any student of medical history will
tell you that viral epidemics can be just as
catastrophic as organized terrorism or
invading foreign armies. Privatizing health
care and giving pharmaceutical free reign
in the market is letting up our defenses
against an equally dangerous external
A libertarian will argue that people like
Jefferson wanted government to have no
role in public life other than protecting the
country from foreign invaders. In an aes-
thetic sense this notion may reverberate
the wishes of our aristocratic founding
fathers, but from a utilitarian and pragmat-
ic standpoint, barring the public from
determining its destiny in these arenas
weakens the fibers that make a society safe
and strong.
There is a better way. Firstly, we need
a president that knows that spending frivo-
lously while shortening income leads to
debt and ruin. Then we need to invest our
resources wisely as well as cautiously.
Imagine that. The public would be
banded together to ensure security and a
high quality of life for the United States
with some extra cash to spare. It'll be
Paul can be reached at



AAPD actions during
block parties unfair,
It is difficult to see exactly how the Ann
Arbor Police Department's actions (Police put
end to weekend's block parties, 09/15/03) taken
against this weekend's festivities were aimed
to keep Ann Arbor citizens and students safe.
In fact, it is difficult to see any purpose to
their oppressive tactics other than pure
harassment and power assertion. The lesson
that we should all draw from Friday and Sat-

my girlfriend practicing. After an awk-
ward pause when the officer realized her
offensive comment, she asked my girl-
friend if she had been drinking. She said
yes after being badgered for a few minutes
and then was breathalyzed. Of course it
came up negative, just like mine did (I do
not know why they tested me, I guess I
was guilty of standing next to someone
who did not throw a cup), but that did not
stop the cops from taking my ID and keep-
ing us there on the street as hoards of visi-
bly drunk students strolled by.
So the AAPD stopped us for throwing a
cup onto the lawn, which we did not do, and
then threatened to write us up tickets even
though our breathalyzer tests did not come
n nciaf.,o All of t+i.4 urge ,ann an hl

Daily's depiction of student
activist displays lack of
journalistic integrity
In the interest of fairness and journalistic
integrity, the Daily must provide photo-edit-
ing guidelines to graphic artists, as well as an
apology to the student activist on the left side
of the photo illustration accompanying 'U'
activists - both conservatives, liberals - stay
in the national spotlight, (9/16/03). The student
in question is an articulate leader of the anti-
Iraq war movement. The bottom portion of
her "Support our Troops" sign says "Bring


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