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December 10, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-12-10

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 10, 2003


Ub Ln &


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.

I'm not
going to talk
about Al Gore's
sense of loyalty
this morning."
- Democratic presidential candidate Joe
Lieberman, when asked yesterday on
NBC's "Today" show if he felt betrayed
by the news that former running mate
Al Gore was endorsing Howard Dean,
as reported yesterday by The Associated Press.

'u sa vitcl Ys! Las+
_- _ y opM.s
No,;+ al oer
~ lJ['


A tale of two summits


News flash: The
state of Michigan
is losing manufac-
turing jobs. Actually the
whole country is. In fact
Michigan alone has lost
about 170,000 manufac-
turing jobs in the past
three years.
This probably explains
why Gov. Jennifer
Granholm decided to hold a manufacturing
summit Monday to figure out how to
strengthen the state's manufacturing base.
The problem is that Michigan has been
losing manufacturing jobs for decades, but
instead of focusing on how to get them back,
leaders such as former Gov. James Blanchard
worked to create new jobs - better jobs -
to replace them.
Tomorrow Granholm is going to switch
gears and open the "Creating Cool" confer-
ence - a conference named by someone
who is without a doubt not cool - with a
special guest speaker, Prof. Richard Florida
of Carnegie Mellon University, best known
for advocating the importance of a city hav-
ing a large gay community and a creative
young workforce.
The governor may be trying to cover all
the bases that make up her Democratic politi-
cal base, from unions to Ann Arbor and
Birmingham liberals, but it seems that she
either can't make up her mind on these eco-
nomic matters, or she enjoys the political
benefits of vagueness at the expense of
sound, comprehensive policy.
First of all, it's not exactly clear what

Granholm means when she talks about manu-
facturing. She could mean high-skilled jobs
that require a great deal of decision-making,
training and innovation. Jobs like these don't
fit the mold of the traditional assembly-line
production that Michiganders familiar with
Henry Ford often associate with manufactur-
ing. What Granholm refers to as "advanced
manufacturing" could be the type of work
that's done using advanced computer-design
software, in which case a number of College
of Engineering graduates will likely become
advanced manufacturers after they graduate.
On the other hand, - now I sound
more like an economist than a columnist
- Granholm may wish to focus on retain-
ing and attracting lower-skilled manufac-
turing jobs. These are the kinds of jobs the
state is losing and that prompted the gover-
nor to hold the manufacturing summit in
the first place. If she plans to keep the low-
skilled manufacturing jobs that have been
on their way out of the state, then
Granholm is up against unconquerable
forces, and she's going to waste a lot of
the state's money in the process .
Part of Granholm's waffling lies in the
reality of today's Democratic Party. In the
'90s, when the economy was zipping
along, new Democrats like Bill Clinton and
the pre-2000 Al Gore were able to push
free-trade agreements that were good for
the aggregate economy, but caused job
losses in outdated sectors. Now, almost all
the Democrats running for president are
pushing their protectionist credentials,
arguing over who opposed the North
American Free Trade Association first.

During this time, Granholm happens to be
the governor of a traditionally strong union
state. She's smart enough to know that this
is probably not the time for her to sound
like Milton Friedman.
Keeping this in mind, it's not surprising
Granholm is calling a business summit a
manufacturing summit. It's actually a
clever way for her to push a pro-business
agenda. The budget deal she and Republi-
can leaders announced yesterday includes
tax cuts for businesses to help pay for
health care costs. At the summit Granholm
discussed streamlining the process for
businesses to get licenses and permits,
worker-retraining measures, overhauling
the single business tax, improving educa-
tion (although some money would be nice)
and reducing health care costs. She has
also created the Michigan Department of
Labor and Economic Growth, which com-
bines commercial and labor responsibilities
into one department. She even has the
environmentalists nervous, which is not
necessarily a good thing, but it shows her
pro-business tilt.
To be sure, not all of what Granholm
wants to do will be great for the state's econ-
omy, but it's pretty good considering the
political context. I wish.she would fund the
state's universities at higher levels, but
there's no money for that. I also wish she
would talk less about manufacturing, but if
manufacturing is a code word for small busi-
ness, I'll give her a pass - for now at least.
Pesick can be reached at


When the media fails


T he comedian David
Cross once
remarked that our
country must be in trouble
because we have to read
other countries' newspa-
pers to find out what is
going on in our own
nation. Last Saturday,
community activists con-
vened at a small house on
the west side of Ann Arbor to witness video
footage compiled by independent journalists
of the police brutality at the Free Trade Agree-
ment of the Americas conference in Miami
last month. The footage, and the lack of media
exposure of what actually happened, is living
proof that our country's media is currently
divorced from our Founding Fathers' vision of
a scrutinizing press that would constantly keep
the public informed about the imperfections of
its leaders in order to keep democracy afloat.
Here are just a few crimes caught on video
by journalists at the Independent Media Center
that mainstream media completely ignored:
A police barricade informed a crowd of
protesters that if it did not disperse within two
minutes, they would be arrested. The crowd,
putting discretion before valor, complied by
rotating 180 degrees, and walking away chant-
ing, "we are dispersing." After a period bla-
tantly under two minutes, the police tackled
the protesters from behind and arrested them
for failure to disperse.
When police pinned down a nonviolent
protester with a broken hand, his fellow pro-
testers tried to inform the police that he was
injured. Subsequently, the police used tasers to

quell their message. The tasers shoot a cord
with a pin that penetrates the victim's skin to
employ the shock. The removal process is
unbearably painful, and it is difficult to
remove the pin without causing excessive
bodily injury.
A trihawked protester and self-described
"Alcoholic against the FTAA" was pelted
with 20 rubber bullets for flicking off a police
In addition, there are accusations of sexu-
al harassment and assault by police against
female and transgendered protesters. This
footage will most -likely be used as court evi-
dence in upcoming lawsuits against the
Miami police.
As someone who has witnessed the infa-
mous clashes between Catholic civil rights
activists and Ulster Unionist paramilitary huns
in Northern Ireland, I must say that the collec-
tive behavior of Miami's riot cops was rela-
tively egregious but undoubtedly beyond the
legal framework.
In the interests of full disclosure, two Uni-
versity activists who were arrested while dis-
persing are close friends of mine, so my
emotional investment in this matter leaves me
with some bias, but that does not excuse the
fact that their patriotic rights of dissent were
trampled upon by employees of the state.
But what has most tragically been violated
in this ordeal is our right to be informed about
our government. Mainstream television and
newspaper coverage from that week was shal-
low, and footage coming from the police per-
spective dwarfed any minuscule view that the
police may have actually done something
wrong. Because most Americans are divorced

from the political process in America, it is
their fundamental right to be informed about
all aspects of their government, the good and
the bad. It is essential to democracy that the
media bring the problems of government to
light. So when the media are biased in favor of
the state, and information about abuses of
power are hidden from the populace, our
democracy is in trouble.
What else didn't you hear? While Bush
and his business partners where salivating
over the potential profits their FTAA policies
would yield, countries like Brazil took a hard
stance against them and refused to back
down fearing what the FTAA would do to
them and their way of life. Bush's dream did
not come to life in Miami that week. But you
didn't hear about this because the only North
American daily newspaper that reported this
that I could find was the Toronto Globe and
Mail. David Cross' humorous remark is trag-
ically sad and true.
The debate surrounding our mainstream
media should not revolve around accusa-
tions of them being liberal or conservative.
Our media's duty, in the interests of the
democratic process, is to hold our elected
officials, regardless of party affiliations,
and their policies accountable by proliferat-
ing access to all information. Our media are
failing, the parameters of the First Amend-
ment are becoming more and more mean-
ingless and without change, our democracy
will revert into the system our Founding
Fathers fought against.

Paul can be reached at


Henretty needs to relax,
look at the world from dif-
ferent Perspectives
I was thoroughly amused at Aubrey
Henretty's column today (Say 'perspective'
one more time - I dare you, 12/09/2003).
Becoming so irate as to be filled with
"righteous indignation" about someone,
"stealing" her seat seems like a bit of an

become too comfortable; if you do, you
might become the kind of person who. wigs
out and writes an angry column in the Daily
if ever someone dares to shove you out of
your routine and force you to look at the
world from a different angle.
Note how I avoided saying "perspective."
Engineering freshman
'Oriental' a word to
describe food, not people

The usage note goes on to say that, "its use
other than as an ethnonym, in phrases such as
Oriental cuisine or Oriental medicine, is not
usually considered objectionable."
So even though Owens' "family and
friends have used that term," you may want
to think twice before using it yourself. "Ori-
ental" as an ethonym is hardly considered a
curse word, but its usage is dated and could
be misconstrued as disrespectful.
LSA Senior

at- -m --- a S- -o

j .:.;,

<. ::
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