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October 24, 2003 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-24

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 24, 2003


Ulbe Ldn* &du


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.

Imade it fun. I said
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and I was going to
have to make myself
throw up but it was
going to be OK."
- Hole lead singer Courtney Love,
regarding the time her 11-year-old
daughter took care of her while waiting for
an ambulance after her recent overdose of
OxyContin, as quoted in People Magazine.


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A rush to judgement


mericans love
blooper reels,
because some-
times it's just more fun
to watch someone suf-
fer than it is to watch
them succeed. We ooh
and ahh on cue to the
misfortunes of athletes,
and sometimes even
laugh. It's sick, sure,
but somewhat understandable. Take, for
example, the most common of all blooper
clips - a skateboarder is sliding down a
staircase, and then he loses control and
falls onto the handrail. From the moment
he makes contact with the rail, smashing
his genitals into his abdomen, it is obvious
that he is in a fair amount of distress, yet I
usually am entertained - amused even,
laughing at this kid in saggy, torn jeans get
neutered by a handrail.
I tell myself, "He chose to suspend his
genitalia precariously above said handrail,
and then slide down at high speed. I did
those sorts of things, I would expect every
now and again to make love to a staircase."
Sure. Maybe he deserved it. There is a
blind, perhaps unfair justice in that - he
deserved it, so it's ok to laugh. Haha.
There are some things, however, that
are in poor taste to laugh at. Death, disease,
addiction, permanent disfigurement - all
good examples of non-funny bodily mis-
fortune. When Rush Limbaugh, the dber-
conservative radio host, announced to his
listeners that he had become addicted to
painkillers, the right thing for me to do was

to feel sorry for the guy, and offer my sup-
port that he make a full recovery. And, I
do. I feel sorry for him. He didn't deserve
this. I hope he kicks his habit.
However, deep down, underneath any
ounce of compassion I may have for the
man, I'm judging Rush, and loving it. Hey
Rush, how do you like them apples? You
built your radio empire on being firm on
"family values," the ambiguous moral code
from where you and your conservative
friends spent most of the '90s tossing rocks
at liberal America. You and your cronies
blasted Bill Clinton for smoking marijuana
and supported impeaching him for marital
infidelity. You called Jerry Garcia, shortly
after his death, "another dead drug addict."
You preached staying tough on (gasp!)
drug users, saying in 1995, "Too many
whites are getting away with drug use. The
answer is to ... find the ones who are get-
ting away with it, convict them and send
them up the river."
But Rush, you won't end up dead like
Garcia, and you won't get "sent up the.
river." Instead, once you found out that
you were being investigated, you used the
money you made in the malicious judg-
ment of ethers to check yourself into rehab
- rehab that most addicts in America will
never see affordable access to. No, these
Americans probably will end up in jail,
where their odds of becoming a repeat
offender are astronomically high. Or, they
end up like Garcia - just dead addicts. I'm
not a betting man, but I'd wager that you
won't learn a thing. You'll come out of
rehab "clean," and go back to being unre-

lentingly intolerant of everyone who dis-
agrees with you.
With this in mind, millions of Ameri-
cans, including yours truly, have taken
their respective turns kicking the man
while he's down - and, I might add, felt
justified in doing so. He earned it right?
Now that the tables have turned, can any-
one blame the Left for hitting back? Proba-
bly not, but we should have expected better
- of ourselves. There are deeper, more
intrinsic lessons to take away from this
than the realization that even ideologues
sometimes don't follow their own rules.
We knew that already.
When you get right down to it, if liber-
als are to maintain any standard of consis-
tency, Rush's shortfalls should be
understood and accepted; not cause for
scorn and ridicule. Rush didn't deserve
this disease, but he does deserve to have
his situation treated with the understand-
ing that the Left, if Rush hadn't been so
adamantly conservative, would have been
generous in giving. The fact that he has
spent his professional career throwing
punches at the Left shouldn't disqualify
him from the traditional liberal causes of
tolerance and compassion - which have
conveniently fallen by the wayside given
the chance to attack the fallen conservative
icon. How sad. It would appear that the
hypocrisy for which we burn Limbaugh at
the stake lies not just on the conservative
side of the fence.
Adams can be reached
at dnadams@umich.edu.


Residents of Ann Arbor
responsible for demanding
workers' living wage
Wednesday's letter by Dan Smith of Bor-
ders Group Inc. is characteristic of the Bor-
ders campaign to misinform the public,
Borders treats employees fairly, acting "in good
faith," (10/22/03). As a member of the Ann
Arbor community, I am outraged that Smith
believes that as a community and consumers
we should have no say about working condi-
tions within our city.
Smith claims that it would be irresponsible
to pay Borders workers in Ann Arbor a living
wage, but Borders' labor practices are already
irresponsible. He claims that Borders workers
at Store 001 are demanding "more than what
our other stores received." There are two prob-
lems in Smith's reasoning that point to what he
is really saying. If we read between the lines,
Smith is admitting that all of Borders' 140
stores pay their workers poorly. Workers at
Store 001 are only demanding fair wages, a
guarantee of benefits and a desire to improve
customer service. Second, Smith seems to sug-
gest that communities and their workers
should not be able to make any demands on
corporate labor practices. Retail workers in
Ann Arbor know how much they need to earn
to live in Ann Arbor. Having the same pay
structure nationally misses the point in the
simple fact that the cost of living varies from
community to community, from Portland,
Maine to San Diego.
As a community we need to come together
and demand that Borders treat its workers as
assets to Ann Arbor's social and cultural
lifeblood. As educated consumers we can both
create a community that supports the welfare
of workers and invest in our common future.
iTunes presents more
options than Daily reports
I am appalled at the presentation of the arti-
cle Apple releases PC-compatible website for
iPods (10/20/03). Has the author even used
iTunes? In the future, please make more of an
effort to get your facts straight, iTunes is

offer songs in WMA format, a non-standard
codec, iTunes music store offers songs in AAC
format, also known as MPEG-4. AAC is a
newer standard format that is still being phased
into new devices and the list of supporting
devices will grow. As far as converting an
AAC file from iTunes music to an mp3 that
will play in any player, yes it can be done, yes
it is easy, but that is a violation of the copy
protection and I won't offer instructions.
The article concludes stating that iTunes
music downloaded songs only play in iPods,
but Rio and MPIO mp3 players are compatible
with both Mac and Windows. This is like com-
paring a CD to a stereo. The iPod, the RIO and
the MPIO are all mp3 players and are compati-
ble with both Mac and Windows. The song
files downloaded from iTunes music are sim-
ply in a format that is not yet supported by the
RIO and the MPIO. In fact an iPod is not
required to utilize the iTunes music store.
Engineering sophomore
Hoard's prayer repulsive,
shows lack of respect
toward issues
Joel Hoard's Putting 'God' on Trial
(10/22/03) was ludicrous, offensive and
The column was an opinionated response
to the issue of separation of church and state.
And, as the First Amendment of the U.S. Con-
stitution says, "Congress shall make no law ...
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the
press." So as much as I may disagree with
what was written, there is nothing that can
legally be done to stop such opinions from
being expressed.
My problem is not with the issue though,
but the senseless and repulsive "prayer"
offered at the end of the article which read
as follows: "... and see that they (Congress)
will find it in their hearts to remove the
heinous mentioning of You from our Pledge
of Allegiance. Oh, and while You're at it,
can You do something about the whole 'In
God We Trust'-currency thing, as well?
Thank you, and amen."
There is a noticeable difference between
making ta cheap shot and writing an opin-
ion. This "prayer," stating that the mention
of God's name is "heinous," crossed the
line between the two. It is unfortunate that

Women seeking abortions
victims, need support
Interesting. Lauren Strayer actually took
a totally different slant to this column, Doc-
toring a woman's right to choose (10/23/03),
than I thought she would. Strayer states, "I
cannot decipher how pro-lifers reconcile
their need to end abortion with their refusal
to condemn those who seek and obtain it."
She wonders why pro-lifers are going after
the doctors instead of the women. Maybe
what pro-lifers realize is that women do not
want to kill their children. But many
women see abortion not as a choice, but as
their only option. Most women who seek
abortion do so because they lack the emo-
tional and financial support they would
need in order to have a child. They see
abortion as their only solution because our
society tells them again and again that this
is the case. They are told that they can't
continue their education if they have a
baby. They are told that they will have no
help from the father if they have a baby.
They are left with no resources and there-
fore have no choice but to have an abortion.
Most women do not realize that such choic-
es do exist and that there are organizations
that are working to help them. For example,
the activist group Feminists for Life is
working extremely hard to give women in
crisis pregnancy the choice to have the
baby and complete their education. Why
not condemn the women? Because the
women getting the abortions are as much
victims as the children they are aborting.
Strayer 'doctors the
language of abortion'
In her column Doctoring a woman's right to
choose (10/23/03), Lauren Strayer does just
what she condemns pro-life proponents of
doing: She "doctors" the language of the
abortion debate to numb the emotions of her
readers. To her, partial-birth abortion is a
matter of "reproductive rights," a "recognized
medical procedure" and in the interest of the
"mother's well being." She removes any hint



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