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September 22, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-22

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 22, 2005

OPINION

Rhe irl 'cgttn ttil

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON GO
Managing Editor

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

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

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
We got to be
ready for the worst."
- President Bush, commenting on preparations
for Hurricane Rita currently underway in Texas,
as reported yesterday by The Associated Press.

4 4.
-.4-... 4',
- . - ..'

ALEXANDER HONKALA Fi1D CjuMBUCKET

. 'at" ;

>''.4

Knee-jerking continues ...
SOWMYA KRISHNAMURTHY AUDI ALTERAMNPARTEM
here is nothing In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the Big ports to minimize traveler inconvenience
quite like Foot- House and numerous other college sta- and wait time. Among these new ideas, are
ball Saturday at diums have implemented more stringent reducing pat-downs and shoe removal and
Michigan, the exhila- security procedures. There is absolutely exempting certain passengers like mem-
ration of the crowd nothing wrong with increasing fan safety, bers of Congress, airline pilots and Cabi-
and unifying pride in but one has to wonder: Just how will the net members from checks. The memo also
being a Wolverine. prohibition of say, flasks and camcorders dramatically broadens the nature of allow-
Or so I've heard. As deter terrorism? able items on a flight to include ice picks,
someone with a gen- My experience seems to echo the much throwing stars and bows and arrows. Some
eral disinterest in all larger problem of misplaced national secu- argue that passengers equipped with exotic
things athletic, I have rity efforts. In certain aspects, there is weapons could help fend off attackers, but
never really immersed myself in the col- a rigidity - anything and everything is given that mundane box cutters took down
lege football culture, and regrettably, felt scrutinized and labeled as a conduit for four airliners, is it really smart to give ter-
that I was always missing something. In terror, from the FBI monitoring groups rorists access to bonafide weapons? In
hopes of changing that, I decided to sacri- like BAMN to state officials using an anti- defense of TSA, these ideas have not been
fice my penchant for sleeping in and finally terrorism law to bust juvenile violence in implemented - but the fact that they could
purchased season tickets this year. I was schools. Ironically, in areas most vulner- even make it on the table is disturbing.
beyond excited about our first home game able to future attacks, caution is slow to Like most things in our nation, vigilance
against Northern Illinois. My tickets were come or dissipating altogether. It took the is a double standard. At times, we espouse
so close to the action, I had been told that summer terrorist bombings in London to a McCarthyesque vision and embrace Big
I would probably be able to feel the sweat catalyze New York City into heightening Brother in all facets of public life. But it's
coming off the players. security for its immensely vulnerable sub- only a matter of time until attention shifts
I never got hit with any perspiration, nor way network. Finally, the Metropolitan and we relapse into old habits, which got us
did I even get to see the game. At the gates, I Transportation Authority has pledged to into trouble to begin with. Neither side of
was refused entry because my handbag was install a substantial number of surveillance the gamut is correct. The war on terrorism
"too large" and therefore posed a security cameras and motion sensor detectors, albeit must be ongoing, like terrorism itself; there
hazard. Even after voluntarily opening the over the next three years. is no quick-fix cure. Instead of pointing fin-
bag - which was a standard-sized purse, New York City is springing into action gers superfluously - or worse - after the
by the way - and emptying out the con- while, nationally, the Transportation Secu- fact, we must be committed to more com-
tents, the officials would not budge. As you rity Administration could be cutting back. mon-sense security.
can probably imagine, enjoying the game Just last month, The Washington Post pub-
from my 27-inch television did not provide lished a memo by the TSA that proposes Krishnamurthy can be reached at
quite the experience I had hoped for. lowering the screening standards at air- sowmyak@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

#I

In defense of the Pledge
Pledge of Allegiance not a constitutional threat

oday, as was the case in,-1954
and 1776, a Judeo-Chris-
tian philosophy - not reli-
gion -- serves as the foundation
of American rights. Our Founding
Fathers asserted in their Declara-
tion of Independence from Eng-
land that, "We are endowed by our
Creator with certain unalienable
rights." Men and women far greater
than any of us assured King George
III that man's rights do not derive
from a King, the judiciary or the
government but rather from God
and recognizing that philosophy in
the Pledge of Allegiance does not
establish a national religion.
Secular progressives base their
argument for a metaphorical "wall"
between church and state on Justice
Hugo Black's majority opinion in
Everson v. Board of Education. I bet
very few of you reading this know
Black's opinion in Everson actually
upheld the reimbursal of parochial
student bus fees with government
money. Black admitted to his biog-
rapher, Robert Newman, that he
thwarted the majority from within
because he knew colleague Justice
Jackson's opinion would have been
more favorable to religious inter-
ests. Black's opinion set a marker
by which his successors could fur-
ther separate church from state
under the principle of stare decisis
- adherence to precedent.
In his opinion, Black alluded to a
letter from President Thomas Jef-
ferson to Baptist ministers explain-
ing why Jefferson did not call for
national days of fasting or thanks-
giving. Jefferson thought govern-
ment should not instruct man on how
to give thanks to his God and there-
fore a "wall" exists between church
and government regulation of it. If
you buy into the secular progressive

argument, then Jefferson was either
naive or a hypocrite because two
days after writing his infamous let-
ter he attended religious services in
the House of Representatives.
Now we are at the point in our
history when Michael Newdow - a
man ordained in the Universal Life
church, which "espouses the reli-
gious philosophy that the true and
eternal bonds of righteousness and
virtue stem from reason rather than
mythology," wants his beliefs thrust
on society through the courts. New-
dow admitted to Newsweek in 2002
that "In God We Trust" on our
national currency originally lit his
fire. However, Newdow concluded
the Pledge of Allegiance in pub-
lic classrooms was an easier target
from a legal standpoint. Discour-
aged but not defeated by the U.S.
Supreme Court's original decision,
Newdow found three atheist couples
and litigated on their behalf.
The real target in the secular pro-
gressive's crusade is not a symbolic
pledge or Ten Commandments but
rather the Judeo-Christian philoso-
phy inherent in our country's creed.
Imbedded within this philosophy is
a profound sense of right and wrong
that secular progressives loathe.
They do not want any judgments
made about any behavior, and for
the American people to accept their
belief requires a re-writing of histo-
ry George Orwell could not fathom.
Secularists constantly plead, "Don't
force your beliefs onto me," yet
they ask the courts to force theirs
onto you. I can just hear our Found-
ing Fathers spinning in their graves.
Can you?
John Stiglitch is an LSA junior. He can
be reached at jcsgolf@umich.edu.

Editorial page not
consistent on role of
religion in schools
TO THE DAILY:
As I was reading the Daily, I couldn't
help but notice the vast change in the Dai-
ly's editorial opinion from one day to the
next. Specifically, your editorials (Retiring
the Pledge (09/19/2005) and Making Space
(09/20/2005) appear to be polar opposites.
To summarize, in Retiring the Pledge you
stated that the words "under God" in the
Pledge of Allegiance were an implicit gov-
ernment endorsement of religion and that
the addition of the phrase in the 1950s was
a congressional attempt to make the United
States more Christian. You then went on to
interpret the First Amendment to state that
no public school could make the pledge a
part of its schedule and that doing so would
be unconstitutional. Although I do not agree
with this interpretation of the First Amend-
ment, I will admit that it is self-consistent.
I was suprised the very next day when
I saw your argument that the University
should create additional prayer rooms in
its buildings, with the main purpose of
these rooms being for Muslim students to
engage in their daily prayers. I have to ask:
Wouldn't a government-funded university
setting aside space and public money for
prayer rooms be a government endorsement
of religion and thus unconstitutional by your
logic? Did the editorial board make a sudden
shift in opinion and arrive at the conclusion
that government endorsement of religion is
acceptable, or does the editorial board favor
government endorsement of some religions
over others?
Scott Hartshorn
Rackham
Every Three Weekly joke
off color, out of context
TO THE DAILY:
I want to say first and foremost that this
is not a call for censorship of any kind. The
freedom to print whatever the staff feel is
necessary is something enjoyed by all campus
publications, and that's part of what makes
them some of the best around. I should also
mention that I write for the Gargoyle Humor
Magazine, but if you accuse me of bias, you'd
be wrong. I read the Every Three Weekly reg-
ularly, and normally it's pretty funny.

going to make fun of the Bush administra-
tion, you need to be willing to stick it to the
Democrats as well. Otherwise you're just
espousing rhetoric. The problem with this
"Free Shit" gag is that it's tasteless, and it's
tasteless because it has no context. The joke
is not making fun of anything except disas-
ter and human suffering.
In reality, this "Free Shit" joke is simply
an invitation for controversy. Much in the
same way a small child can scream simply
for attention. So "ha-ha", you're probably
getting quite a bit of mail on this one. Too
bad it's from a sophomoric publicity stunt
and not from actual social commentary.
Way to go.
Max Eddy
LSA sophomore
Gaza pullout did not
end Israeli occupation
TO THE DAILY:
Last Thursday, a group of passionate activ-
ists got together to spread the word about their
campaigns at MPowered and, though we did
not receive the attendance we had expected,
there was a lot of good dialogue that took
place. The description of the attending groups
by the Daily (Freshman turnout at activists' ini-
tiation event disappoints, 09/16/2005) was fairly
accurate except when it claimed that "Israel no
longer occupies the Gaza Strip."
The disengagement is an end to the need
for the Israeli army to directly engage with the
civilian Palestinian population on a daily basis.
It is not an end to the occupation. Just because
there are no settlers present does not remove the
title of occupation. Citizens of Gaza are still liv-
ing under some of the worst conditions in the
world, with all their borders, airspace and ports
still controlled by the Israeli military, imprison-
ing more than I million residents.
Because the borders of Gaza are either
controlled by Israel or must meet Israeli mili-
tary "standards," because thesairspace is still
under foreign control, because no trade can
occur without the consent of the Israeli mili-
tary (which often is not given for no apparent
reason), the Gaza strip is still occupied. We
must continue to include the Gaza strip in our
discussions on divestment and Israeli human
rights violations.
Rama A. Salhi
The letter writer is an LSA senior dnd
president of Students Allied for Freedom
and Equality.
Fverv Three WeekJ oe

for students wanting the easy way out.
Yet Momin's column fails to even examine
the benefits of a proposed change.in the require-
ment. It reeks of an ignorance of the benefits of
learning different types of languages concurrently
and instead relies upon the stereotype that all one
knows how to do after learning two semesters of a
language is to ask where the bathroom is.
All I can provide in rebuttal is my own experi-
ence, having studied two very different languages,
Spanish and ancient Greek. But this study has been
one that is invaluable and unmatched throughout
my college education. There are benefits to learn-
ing a practical skill such as conversational Span-
ish, but studying contrasting languages has been
a far more engaging experience. The study of
ancient Greek and the roots of Western culture is
an exploration far beyond the acquisition of a spe-
cific skill. Translating seminal texts such as Plato's
Republic or the Bible after two semesters of Greek
has been an unparalleled intellectual exercise and
one of the few instances that could be defined as
"critical thinking."
At a world-class institution such as the Uni-
versity, it seems it would be more academically
appropriate to examine whether a proposal can
benefit those who wish to pursue their educational
goals and excel. Instead, I was disappointed to see
the blatant pessimism directed toward our student
body's apparent inclination to abuse the proposal.
However, it speaks well of Momin that he rec-
ognizes the ultimate goals of the foreign language
requirement. It is imperative that we look to the
principles that guide the University for direction
in this matter. Thankfully, University President
Mary Sue Coleman outlined four principles at the
April 2004 meeting with the University Board of
Regents for the benefit of the student body. She
concluded that the University "will create greater
access to Michigan's academic quality." By sup-
porting the new language proposal, we will we
have the opportunity to reach that goal.
Matt Hanley
LSA senior
LETTERS POLICY
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters
from all of its readers. Letters from Univer-
sity students, faculty, staff and administra-
tors 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 let-
ter containing statements that cannot be
verified.
Letters should be kept to approximately
300 words. The Michigan Daily reserves the

"In Dissent" opinions do not reflect the views of the Daily's editorial board. They
are solely the views of the author.

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