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February 03, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-03

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4

4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 3, 2004

OP/ED

G be Atzhgt lg

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

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

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
(The tearing of Janet
Jackson's costume was
unrehearsed,
unplanned,
completely
unintentional and was
inconsistent with
assurances we had
about the content of
the performance."
- Statement issued by MTV following
Sunday's Super Bowl XXXVIII
halftime show.

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America is about to learn the lesson of the elm tree
JESS PISKOR JOIN 'THE PISKOR

icture the elm
trees, alive on
every street corner
and planted on every
block. A monoculture
spread thickly across
the nation everywhere
you looked. Picture
them again, five years
later, withered and
dead, those still alive rotting and decrepit.
If George Bush was not president we
would not have invaded Iraq. If Bush was
not president our nation would not verge
on bankruptcy. If Bush was not president,
instead of Patriot Acts we would have
Kyoto Protocols.
But Bush isn't the problem. Gore was
not the solution. Iraq isn't the problem,
nor are terrorists or taxes. How much real-
ly would things differ under Gore or any
of the politicians currently in the running?
They do not offer real different choices,
but just slight variations on the same
themes.
The real problem is systemic. The real
problem is not who is temporarily in
power, but that we are rapidly approaching
a cliff. Does anyone possibly think this is
sustainable? Do you really see this nation
going on acting like this forever? What
happens when we run out of oil or when a
real SARS-like epidemic quarantines this
nation? Remember SARS? A minor flu, it
shut down China, closed Toronto and cost
the world billions in lost tourism and trade
dollars. A minor epidemic in this nation
would bankrupt our system and send it
crashing down to depths unknown. People
would lock their doors and load their shot-
guns. A single mad cow and millions of

pounds of food go up in flames. What hap-
pens when a real food scare hits this coun-
try? Another D.C. sniper and a city of
millions will cower at home. Do any of
you realize how close to the cliff we
already are? A little push and we fall into
barbarism.
Students sitting at home with their per-
sonal computers reached out for access to
entertainment and away from the hegemo-
ny of the record industry and brought the
Recording Industry Association of Ameri-
ca to its knees. A few stockbrokers and
corrupt accountants took down a series of
the largest corporations in the world. A
single computer virus just flooded every
mailbox in the world - our interconnec-
tivity spreads destruction far faster than it
spreads healing.
Our economy depends on constant and
growing consumer spending. After Sept.
11, we had to buy buy buy, because even
one week without increasing consumerism
would send our nation down. With society
moving so fast, even the slightest slip will
send us reeling. Yes, the United States is
the world's greatest superpower, the only
hyper-power, but by God what a fragile
trophy this empire is.
But just as a fragile empire is suscepti-
ble to a violent fall, a fragile empire is
also prime ground for a revolution toward
an entirely new way of thinking - a new
imaging after we all thought that neoliber-
al free-trade capitalist democracy was the
only choice left. The rapidity of our
changing world makes a complete revolu-
tion of our current system not just a possi-
bility - it makes it nigh on inevitable.
We are the leaders of that revolution,
whether we want it or not.

They talk about planned obsolescence,
trying to convince us to buy new toasters,
new washing machines, new and more
stylish cars. Well guess what? This whole
system is about to become obsolescent.
We are an incurable virus, set to infect
the corporate behemoths that sell to us and
the politicians who rule us. As we con-
sume their products, as we buy their
brands and their images, they in turn con-
sume us, even consuming our rebellion.
As they market back our protest, they
cannot know they are making their own
fall inevitable. Corporations cannot think
in the long term. They rape forests for a
quick profit. They don't use sustainable
practices that would insure a steady return
forever, instead preferring the slash-and-
burn practices that will maximize short-
term profit and boost their stock rating. In
this hyper-speed world, corporations with
long-term thinking die, as faster, short-
term-thinking companies out-maneuver
them and steal their profit. And that is key
to the coming revolution.
Unable to look past their next quarterly
earnings reports, they will market whatev-
er we will buy. Soon, frustrated with it all,
frustrated with the utter vapidity of this
corporate world, we will begin to demand
rebellion. And they, in their short-sighted-
ness and quest for a quick profit will give
it to us. And one day it will hit them like
Dutch elm disease, and they will wither
away. But instead of barren streets, our
streets will fill with a real culture - a
vibrant quilt far more beautiful than their
gray-suited world.
Piskor can be reached
atjpiskor@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Edwards backs policies
with booklets containing
comprehensive details
TO THE DAILY:
I realize that The Michigan Daily is a
student-run newspaper, but that does not
excuse the absence of the most basic of
journalistic research practices in preparing
editorials (Evaluating John Edwards,
02/02/04). To claim that Edwards has not
provided many details about how he would
accomplish his economic plan is totally
unfair at best and a blatant disregard for
the facts at worst. His plan is laid out in
substantive detail in his 60-page policy
booklet "Real solutions for America"
which can be downloaded from his cam-
paign website at
www.johnedwards2004.com. I recommend
that the editorial staff at The Daily read the
proposals before they claim they do not
exist or are not substantive. This is espe-
cially so since they seem to agree with the
premises of his proposals for extending
economic equality to all.
LARRY ROWLEY
The letter writer is an assistant professor in
the School of Education and the Center for Afro-
American and African Studies in LSA.
Edwards's plans are
clearly outlined,
accessible to voters
TO THE DAILY:
This article (Evaluating John Edwards,
02/02/04) was poorly researched. John
Edwards more than any candidate outlines
the ways in which he plans to achieve the
issues he speaks of. All you have to do is
go on his website and look through his 60-
page plan for America. You have done a
disservice to Edwards and the country, for
he is the most likely to beat President
Bush. You are either of Republican persua-
sion or an incompetent reporter.
IRISH CAIN
Reader

against President Bush's abstinence plan
without criticizing Christianity's belief
system. Is it just me, or does the principle
of "no sex before marriage" apply to other
religions besides Christianity? Bush's poli-
cy is not only "eerily similar to the tenets
of Christianity," but also exactly equiva-
lent to the beliefs of major religions such
as Orthodox Judaism and Islam. The presi-
dent's "not-so-hidden Christian agenda" as
Hoard ignorantly labels it, is an agenda
that is supported by many Jews, Muslims
and Christians alike. It's sad to see that
Christianity-bashing is alive and well at
The Michigan Daily in this enlightened
age of political correctness. Drop the anti-
Christian propaganda, and I'll consider
your argument.
ANYA KONIUCH
LSA Senior
Columnist needs to learn
how to separate his prob.
lems from society's
TO THE DAILY:
In Joel Hoard's article (You want them to do
what?, 02/02/04), he made it quite obvious to
me that he is not actually irritated about Bush's
abstinence policy. Instead, Hoard is angry about
or at Christianity. Hoard's problems with Chris-
tianity are not societal problems (therefore, have
no grounds for being printed), but rather person-
al problems.
BRIAN CHURCH
LSA senior
Bush correct in saying
that society glorifies sex
TO THE DAILY:
I am not a Bush fan, but looking at the
Super Bowl, what has our society come to?
We live in a society that glorifies sex -
sex has become a casual act. Society does
not look at sex. As a mutual bond that you
share between your female wife and male

financial security, mental stability and var-
ious consequences. I credit Bush for the
increase in federal funds allocated to
teaching abstinence.
I am a Christian; however, pre-marital sex
concerns the whole nation, not just the Chris-
tian community.
DOMINIQUE LEE
LSA freshman
Daily's spoof issue lacks
humor, full of profanity
TO THE DAILY:
After reading your annual spoof issue
(01/30/04), I am ashamed to be a former
news editor of the Daily. I do not know
when this once-fine publication sunk to the
level of pathetic and juvenile ranting and
self-gratification that was published on
your website this week.
With articles filled with profane and
vulgar themes, you have cast a large cloud
over the 113 years of tradition you inherit-
ed. I understand freedom of expression and
I understand humor.
But I cannot understand how you could
devote such extensive energy in this vile
endeavor, which is unworthy of the great
responsibility you were entrusted with as
editors.
The Daily bylaws still pledge "We will
strive in all cases to uphold a sense of
journalistic integrity." You fail in that mis-
sion.
ANDREW TAYLOR
Alum
Former Daily mews editor, 1996
LETTERS POLICY
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters
from all of its readers. Letters from Universi-
ty students, faculty, staff and administrators
will be given priority over others. Letters
should include the writer's name, college and
school year or other University affiliation.
The Daily will not print any letter contain-
ing statements that cannot be verified.

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