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September 06, 2006 - Image 4

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 6, 2006

e :W
tr4i tt t ttil

Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors Managing Editor
413 E. HURON

What we
wanted to create
is a news ticker,
if you will, of the
activity of people's
friends in their
- Melanie Deitch, director
of marketing for Facebook.
com, about the website's new
"News Feed" feature, as reported
yesterday by CampusProgress.org.


The New Orleans white-out

n the
r Katrina,
our true
have come
out. As
we all
watched the news a year ago, we
sat in horror at the sight of the Big
Easy, the city of Mardi Gras, flood-
ed and destroyed. In the following
weeks, ex-presidents - specifical-
ly former Presidents George H.W.
Bush and Bill Clinton - appeared
on television, urging us to give all
that we could.
Celebrity after celebrity joined
in. U2's Bono and Mary J. Blige,
among others, held a benefit con-
cert. Actor Sean Penn put his money
where his mouth was and actually
went down to New Orleans. We all
remember the pictures of him in a
small boat with a red cup. These
politicians and celebrities brought
the same message: The people of
New Orleans have lost everything.
Give all you can.
Now, here we are a year later.
Of the nearly half a million people
living in New Orleans at the time
of the 2000 U.S. Census, only a
fraction has returned. Areas of
the city are still devastated and
bodies are still being found in
damaged homes. On August 15,
2006, New Orleans was dealt
another crushing blow. A Missis-
sippi couple sued for $130,000 in
compensation from their insur-
ance company for wind damage
caused to their home. In a win
for the insurance industry, U.S.
District Court Judge L.T. Senter
ruled that the couple was entitled
to only just under $3,000 from

their insurer, Nationwide Mutual.
Senter concluded that the couple's
policy did not include flood dam-
age, and thus they were not cov-
ered under their insurance policy.
What a great precedent. I guess
the next time a hurricane hits, peo-
ple should stand on their roofs with
a pad and paper and keep a tally of
which damages to their property
are caused by wind and which by
floodwaters. Good luck with that
one, your honor.
This decision deals a crippling
blow not justto the residents of New
Orleans, but also to our own sense
of moral duty. We were encouraged
to help out the residents of Louisi-
ana and Mississippi, yet the very
people who should be legally obli-
gated to give not only refuse to, but
will not be forced to either.
Senter's decision, nonetheless,
has prevented the low-income
residents of New Orleans, many
of them black, from returning to
their ruined homes. The wealthi-
er, predominantly white residents,
who were able to afford a more
comprehensive insurance policy
or to pay for repairs from their
own pockets, have been much
more likely to return.
To pour salt on a fatal wound,
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- which has now come out and
admitted that poor planning and
construction on its part contrib-
uted to the failure of the levees
- has filed motions in federal
court requesting immunity from
lawsuits, including those associ-
ated with the breach of the levees in
New Orleans.
What we are witnessing is the
gradual racial and socioeconomic
gentrification of New Orleans. It's
happening right now. In the year
since Katrina, the white, non-Lati-
no population of New Orleans has

grown to 68 percent of the city's
population, up from 54 percent
before the hurricane. While nearly
everyone was forced to leave the
destroyed city before and during
Katrina, many of the city's poorer
and primarily black residents are
not coming back.
To the Bush Administration
and its parrots in Congress, this
is progress. To the rest of us, it is
injustice. Let us not forget it was
Bush's incompetence and that of
his own crony, Michael Brown,
that exacerbated the humani-
tarian disaster of Katrina. The
images of mostly black residents
in New Orleans stranded on their
roofs, flagging passing helicop-
ters for help that would not come
until later, should be burnt into
our memories.
After the court victory for
insurance companies, it will be
difficult to reverse this dangerous
precedent. As many have already
noted, if this gentrification con-
tinues, New Orleans will be New
Orleans in name only. The New
Orleans culture we have come
to know and love will have been
swept away by Katrina, replaced
by a rich, white imitation.
Instead of turning New
Orleans into a victory for greed
and capitalism, we should turn it
into a victory for true American
values of hard work, community
and egalitarianism. This being
an election year, we should be
sure to elect politicians who side
with people over corporations,
the law over the dollar, Ameri-
can ideals over politics.
If we let New Orleans as we have
come to know her die, a piece of the
American soul dies with her.
Goldberg can be reached

Send all letters to the editor to
LETTERS T O THE EDITOR totedaily@michigandaiy.com.

Let ResStaff or DPS i if you
don't want to meet the AAPD
Reading through the New Student Edition of
the Daily for the 2006-2007 school year, I was
disappointed to see "advice" to freshmen about
the Department of Public Safety's ability to enter
dorm rooms (Can I get your attention, please?,
09/05/2006). The writers advise that "DPS can-
not enter your property without your consent (that
means your dorm room, freshmen). Remember
that, you'll thank us." As a resident advisor, I was
highly disappointed to read this tip, because while
it is true that DPS (and RAs for that matter) can-
not enter a room, the Ann Arbor police can. If at
any time someone refuses to let Restaff or DPS
into the room, you can be assured the police will
be called - and the consequences from the AAPD
are much greater than from DPS or ResStaff. Not
only are their consequences greater, but it is a
waste of everyone's time to go through such has-
sles. I have seen this happen many times, and every
time someone refuses to let ResStaff or DPS into
their room, the police get involved and it becomes
a long, drawn-out, complex situation that wastes
everyone's time. So before your staff gives such
quality "advice" to freshman, they should really
look deeper into the facts and know that they will
not be thanked later after freshman get an MIP,
are arrested or face other such consequences they
would have never had to deal with had they let DPS
or RAs into their room.
Paul Gunnels
Engineering senior
U.S. should jettison corporate
ties, act justly in Middle East
The recent war fought between Israel and Hez-
bollah killed more than a thousand Lebanese and
more than a hundred Israelis. It led to the complete
destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure and to bil-
lions of dollars in damage to the Israeli economy.
It caused the most moderate and pro-Western Mus-
lims to become Hezbollah's most vocal supporters.
And more importantly, it confirmed that the United
States is willing to sacrifice as many Muslim lives
as it deems necessary to establish its influence in
the Middle East. While hundreds of children were
being killed by the U.S.-made missiles Israel fired,
President Bush was rushing the delivery of bombs
and weapons to the Israeli army. While the entire
world called Israel's actions disproportionately
aggressive and a violation of international law, the
United States labeled Hezbollah as the only prob-

lem and labeled all civilian deaths as the respon-
sibility of Hezbollah. While the world called for
a cease-fire, the United States secretly condoned
Israel's offensive.
It is time for President Bush to stop listening
to the "corporate-ocracy" that runs this nation.
He needs to fire the members of his government
who were previously CEOs of multinational cor-
porations. He needs to develop a moral conscience
instead of faking one. These words are probably
said in vain, but they are also words of advice to
fellow Americans. Look at our government and
you will see politicians who were once corporate
CEOs for oil companies or companies like Hali-
burton. This democracy cannot and will not last
long unless the people realize that the American
media, the American corporations and the Ameri-
can government are all run by the same people. It
is our duty to change this before our democracy
becomes an empire resembling the Roman Empire.
Maybe it will lead to a Pax Americana much like
the Pax Romana. But as a historian would tell you,
the Pax Romana was full of internal oppression
and frequent violence.
Fahad Farugi
LSA sophomore
Letters Policy
All readers are encouraged to submit letters
to the Daily. Letters should include the writer's
name, college and class standing or other Uni-
versity affiliation.
Letters should be no longer than 300 words.
The Michigan Daily reserves the right to edit
for length, clarity and accuracy. Submissions
become the property of The Michigan Daily.
Letters will be run according to timeliness,
order received and the amount of space avail-
able. Letters should be sent to tothedaily@
michigandaily.com. Editors can be reached
at editpage.editors @umich.edu.

Summer in Haifa

I've now returned to the United
States from Israel. When I listen to
talk of UN resolutions, terror, Hez-
bollah, Lebanon, "proportionality"
and Israel, I can't help but think
of one thing: the sound of rockets
exploding outside my Haifa Univer-
sity dorm room. But let's go back to
the beginning, or at least the begin-
ning that I experienced this summer
in Israel, in Haifa.
When my father and brother left
the evening of the 4th of July, I was
free to join my American friends -
five of us studying for the summer
in Haifa, and others staying in Jeru-
salem two hours away. We moved
into our rooms, settling into the
routine of university life. The sunny
southern beaches of Haifa's Medi-
terranean coast, packed to capacity,
swirling with beachgoers of all ages
beckoned to us. People of all ages
and persuasions pursued their favor-
ite activities in a polyglot society of
people hailing from a hundred coun-
tries of the world. Such was also the
makeup of my Hebrew classes at the
university where 250 students came
for the summer from more than 30
countries. The weather was great,
the hummus even better. I was in my
element. But all this soon changed.
Less than a week into our pro-
gram, on Wednesday, July 12, we
learned that Hezbollah terrorists
had crossed into Israel, killed three
Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two
others. Hezbollah began to fire
Katyusha rockets at dozens of towns
and villages north of Haifa. Still we
continued to attend our classes. In
the afternoon we went to the beach.
As we increasingly noted military
helicopters flying north and heard
the sonic booms of jets flying over-
head, we implicitly understood the
meaning of this, though we con-
tinued with the pretense of normal
life. This, too, ended as we were
informed that three Katyusha rock-
ets had struck Haifa. We were now
part of "the north."

As I sat in the bomb shelter with
my suitemates, we spoke with shock
and fear about the rockets that
landed nearby. The reports we were
receiving from the international
news websites showed pictures of
areas that looked all too familiar to
us. We spoke about the worst-case
scenario of a strike on the large
industrial complex in the city's port
area where chemicals such as chlo-
rine were manufactured.
The following morning was the
first time in my life I actually heard
the sounds of war. On my way to
class at 9:30 a.m., I heard five or six
rockets explode. Due to the short
distance between Haifa and Leba-
non, the sirens alerting people to
take cover sounded only after the
rockets had landed. Within the hour
we read media reports saying that
eight people were killed by one of
the rockets at a train repair depot
in the downtown district. We could
see smoke rising from areas where
rockets had fallen.
Even after hearing rockets
exploding, virtually none of the
250 students wanted to leave the
country; it was family outside of
Israel who insisted that many of the
program's participants return home.
The university, acting in what it per-
ceived to be our best interest, trans-
ferred those of us who remained to
the safety of the Hebrew University
in Jerusalem 60 miles farther south,
where we completed our courses
four weeks later,
As I spoke to Israeli friends, I
learned that all the pictures I saw
each day in the newspaper, of dead
soldiers in their teens and twenties
and of grieving Israeli families,
were due to the fact that the soldiers
had been given orders to take care
to protect Lebanese civilians. I was
particularly affected in learning of
the death of Michael Levin, 21, of
Bucks County, Pennsylvania, whose
background was not dissimilar from
my own. I believe the youth in Israel
fight because they believe in free-
dom for both themselves and their

Lebanese neighbors - freedom
from terrorism, freedom to live full
and normal lives without war and
without rockets. I heard the stories
from those involved, and I saw the
painful sacrifices, even as the for-
eign press spun a defensive war into
a war of aggression.
No Israeli I spoke with want-
ed this war. I saw debates raging
everywhere in Israel about justice
and saving Lebanese lives. I saw a
society so concerned with doing the
right thing that it was willing to sac-
rifice its own soldiers' lives to do so.
I saw proof of this each and every
day. And yet I returned home and
found only the reports of Israel's
"aggression" on the news. I watched
CNN journalists talk with Hezbol-
lah press secretaries of Israeli "evil"
and I wondered: Where's the story
about the Israel I saw? I saw a soci-
ety obsessed with justice and peace,
fighting an enemy obsessed with
destruction and terror. And yet,they
were seen as morally equivalent in
the eyes of much of the world media.
Even while 250 rockets - packed
to the brim with ball bearings that
behave like bullets in a large area
upon impact - fell on a daily basis,
I saw that Israelis did not lose hope
for neighbors who might one day be
taught to love, not hate.
As I begin my four years of uni-
versity, I can't help but remember that
kids my age in Israel are beginning
their two to three years of military
service. This summer has opened
my eyes to alternate realities that
exist throughout the world, in places
like Haifa and Beirut. Those of us
removed from these realities always
have a skewed view as to what really
goes on. But from personal experi-
ences - rockets outside my dorm
window, newspapers full of casual-
ties, discussions with everyday Israe-
lis about war,justice,peace,terrorists,
and civilians - this summer I had,
by all accounts, a definitive bird's-eye
view, and I will never forget it.
Rathauser is an LSA freshman.

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