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March 14, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-03-14

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4A - Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com I

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
413 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Cheap rides
Megabus helpful to students, should be expanded
W hat can you buy with a dollar? Believe it or not, you can
buy a 4-hour-40-minute bus ride directly from Ann Arbor
to the hippest city in the Midwest - Chicago.

I've always cared about global warming ... but
now there seems to be an urgency."
- Actress Jennifer Garner admitting that learning the scope of global warming
made her cry, as reported yesterday by the Post Chronicle.
Admitting a mistake


Megabus.com, a company that provides
cheap transportation between Midwestern
cities, recently announced that it will be
offering rides from Ann Arbor to Chicago
for as little as a buck. Prices range from $1 to
$30, and rides can be booked up to 45 days
in advance. Not surprisingly, the sooner you
book, the cheaper the fare.
Finally having a viable alternative to the
expensive Amtrak and the slow and just
generally bad Greyhound is obviously good
news to students.
Greyhound is noted to have tedious routes:
A simple one-hour trip to East Lansing can
turn into a 4.5-hour trek through every cor-
ner of Michigan. Amtrak, on the other hand,
while more pleasant to ride, is also signifi-
cantly more expensive than Megabus.
Not only will Megabus be a cheaper,
faster and more convenient mode of travel

for out-of-state students, it can also work to
strengthen this area's important connec-
tion to Chicago. With minimal investment
required by the state, the new bus service
links this area to the hustle and bustle of
the Windy City.
It's great that students can access this
new and improved service for their traveling
needs while promoting public transporta-
tion. Also, the service is convenient enough
to be used by more than just students. More
people travelingbybus will mean less people
will be driving their cars, a definite bonus
considering what such a switch can do to
curb greenhouse emissions. Along those
lines, expanding this service to more than
just Chicago should be a priority.
With public transportation within this
region almost non-existent, perhaps a service
like Megabus can help change perceptions.

was a little reluctant to go see
the new movie "300." This film
about a heroic Spartan king
whose defeat by invading Persians
united Greece and preserved the
ideals of freedom and democracy
seemed like propaganda for Bush's
war against terror-
ism. After all, Per-
sia is the old name
for Bush's next
target, Iran, and '
treacherous Dem-
ocrats - oops, I
mean Spartan pol-
ticians - oppose
the heroic Spartan TOBY
king's troop surge. MITCHELL
It turns out I
didn't need to worry. There's no
mistaking this pubescent power fan-
tasy for political allegory. A kind of
war pornography full of blood and
guts, the film does manage to drum
up sympathy for the freedom-lov-
ing, borderline-psychotic Spartan
kamikazes and their cause. But the
analogy to current events doesn't fit.
No American war since the Second
World War could be considered a
fight for freedom.
Bush has tried to put this war on
the same footing as the fights against
communism or fascism. Over the
past several years, even liberals like
New York -Times columnist Tom
Friedman, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D,
then I-Coon.) and a couple of recent
Daily editorial page editors have sup-
ported the war on similarly simplis-
tic terms. But from the perspective
of the Middle East, America is not
the noble freedom fighters. It's the
invading empire.
The history ofthe Americanempire
in the Middle East is an open secret.
In the early 1950s, a leader named
Mosaddeq in Iran tried to found a
genuine Middle Eastern democracy.
Since Mosaddeq wanted to take back
control of Iran's oil industry, the Brit-
ish asked America to intervene to
protect their oil fields.
The CIA instigated a coup that put

a dictator called the Shah in charge
of Iran. The Shah kept the oil flow-
ing westward, all the while suppress-
ing dissent, imprisoning opponents,
spending huge sums of state money
on lavish parties and monopolizing
power for nearly 20 years.
The Islamic revolution broke out
in Iran not because its people hated
our freedom but simply because they
hated our foreign policy. America
became their "Great Satan" partly
because we had placed a brutal dicta-
tor in charge of their country.
To push back against Iran, Amer-
ica allowed the sale of weapons of
mass destruction to an anti-Iranian
dictator in Iraq. His name was Sad-
dam Hussein.
President George W. Bush
claimed that Hussein possessed
facilities to manufacture chemical
weapons in Fallujah. He had good
reason to believe it: President Rea-
gan had allowed the British firm
Uhde ltd. to build a chemical weap-
ons facility there.
When "Operation Iraqi Freedom"
began, you could forgive the Iraqis
for being skeptical. They suspected
that their would-be liberators were
playing a cynical geopolitical chess
game, because that's what America
has done in the region for 50 years.
Is this a Chomskyite radical-left-
ist conspiracy theory? Not really.
My main source is the Encyclopedia
Britannica. The facts aren't hidden,
they're ignored, and they're ignored
because Americans would rather
believe that they're heroes.
The slogan everyone will remem-
ber is "they hate our freedoms" - as
if the terrorists were simply so jeal-
ous of America's overwhelming
awesomeness that they attacked out
of sheer envy.
The real solution- for Iraq is as
simple as it is humbling. Admit the
war was a mistake. Formally apolo-
gize to both Iraq and the world for
going to war without international
sanction against a non-threaten-
ing country and killing hundreds

of thousands of innocent civilians.
Stop demanding that Iraqis "step up
and take responsibility"; that's like
telling a woman you've just raped to
stop whining and get over it.
Investigate war profiteering, con-
tractor fraud and detainee torture.
If the chain of responsibility goes all
the way to the top, impeach Bush,
Cheney, Rice and company en masse
and deport them to the Hague to
stand trial for war crimes. Then ask
for international aid to help Iraq
- only when the world knows that
America has given up its imperial
ambitions will it offer help. And only
an international force will give the
reconstruction effort the legitimacy
it needs.
More than '300'
have died for
Bush's vanity.
This is the real way forward in
Iraq. Anything less is a palliative
designed to soothe the egos and
cover the asses of the fools who led
this nation into war to serve their
narcisstic wish-fulfillment flight-
suit fantasies.
In their defense they'll claim as
Vice. President Cheney has that such
a plan means that "our troops will
have died in vain." To this admin-
istration, our soldiers are props to
stand next to Republican officials.
The amputees, the brain-damaged,
all the unglamorous used-up detri-
tus of real flesh-and-blood war are
shoved into dilapidated hospitals and
forgotten before they cansmudge our
image of the conquering hero.
The real question is not whether
our troops have died in vain, but
whether they will continue to die for
Toby Mitchell can be reached
at tojami@umich.edu.

Vote MAP for MSA, LSA-SG

On March 21 and 22, students will have the
opportunity to vote for their next student gov-
ernment representatives and executives on
both the Michigan Student Assembly and LSA
Student Government. Although voter turnout
has hovered around 20 percent in recent elec-
tions, the impact of these elections on the lives
of students throughout the University should
motivate all of us to cast informed votes on
election day. As the presidential and vice-pres-
idential candidates for the Michigan Action
Party, we would like to outline our party's
commitment to improving the lives of students
at this university.
We chose to run as candidates with MAP
because of the passion and experience of its
members who are working on issues that most
affect students. Our party slogan, "Protecting
Your Rights, Protecting Your Wallet, Taking
Action for YOU!" emphasizes our commitment
to focus on the concerns that students consider
mostimportantin theirlives -without bringing
specific political ideologies to student govern-
ment. From campus safety to academic require-
ments, MAP will continue to work tirelessly in
MSA and LSA-SG on behalf of the students.
In the spirit of our goal of "Protecting Your
Rights,"the candidates for MSA will work with
the Ann Arbor City Council to close the loop-
hole in the recently implemented Lease Sign-
ing Ordinance to keep landlords from bending
rules in their favor instead of yours. We will
also work with city and campus officials to
improve lighting, both on campus and in the
surrounding community, so that students will
be safer walking home at night. Additionally,
the candidates for LSA-SG will develop an
Academic Rights Campaign that will publi-
cize students' academic rights and make them
more accessible to everyone. The information
will include helpful facts like the requirement
for professors to accommodate students who
miss classes and exams for religious holidays.
Along with our commitment to the rights of
students, MAP will work to protect your wal-
let. Both the MSA and LSA-SG candidates will
continue their efforts to make textbook lists
available earlier so you have the opportunity
to search for the lowest prices. The MSA can-
didates will also push for the addition of more
materials to be available on the CTools website
so that students can choose whether they wish
to print out the readings for a fraction of the

price of a course pack or save even more money
and read them online. The LSA-SG candidates
will also work to protect students' wallets by
increasing the number of study abroad pro-
grams recognized by the University, allow-
ing students to apply for financial aid to cover
their expenses.
We members of the Michigan Action Party
will also "Take Action for YOU!" on important
issues in all areas of student life. The MSA can-
didates will continue to improve the student
group funding application process by reaching
out to student groups to educate them on the
process and to help them save time and effort.
The LSA-SG candidates will work with admin-
istrators to help facilitate smoother transitions
for international and transfer students by sim-
plifying registration for their first semester of
One of our major goals for both MSA and
LSA-SG involves addressing the climate of our
campus in the wake of the passage of Proposal
2.We are strongly dedicatedtomaintainingthe
valuable diversity of the student body, and we
will work with administrators and students to
find effective means to encourage people of all
backgrounds to apply to our great university.
We will also use the resources of student gov-
ernment to encourage companies to continue
recruiting students with the same intensity
as before and not let the passage of Proposal 2
discourage this effort (which happened at the
University of Wisconsin after it terminated its
affirmative action programs). MAP is commit-
ted to ensuring that the experience of every
student is represented and valued in the uni-
versity community.
When you cast your vote for student gov-
ernment on March 21 and 22, choose the
party whose members are committed to the
issues that matter most to you by electing
the candidates of the Michigan Action Party.
Check out our website at www.michiganac-
tionparty.com for our complete platform and
more information.
Zack Yost is an Engineeringjunior and the
MAP candidate for MSA President. Mohammad
Dar is an LSA junior and the MAP candidate for
MSA Vice President. Keith Reisinger is an LSA
sophomore and the MAP candidate for LSA-SG
President: Hannah Madoff is an LSA sophomore
and the MAP candidate for LSA-SG Vice President.

Vote DAAP in MSA election

If you ...
. Do not want to see our univer-
sity resegregated
. Oppose the occupation of Iraq
. Do not think a college education
should put you in debt for the rest of
your life
. Oppose prejudice and discrimi-
SKnow that immigrants deserve
the same respect and dignity as other
human beings
* Think that students should have
rights and that student government
should be independent
* Believe that justice is worth
standing up for
... then you should vote for the
Defend Affirmative Action Party in
the March 21 and 22 student govern-
ment election.
We believe deeply that the Michi-
gan Student Assembly should be an
independent voice for our interests
as students; that it should stand up
for students' rights, oppose tuition
increases and marshal the kind of
resources and collective effort nec-
essary to make our campus safe for
female students. All these things
are possible; they will take deter-
mination and struggle. There is no
reason the student government of
our university has to be simply an
irrelevant student auxiliary to the
administration. It can and should
be a genuinely independent voice for
students. Vote DAAP. Put people of
principle on MSA.
This MSA election occurs at a key
moment; the next couple of months
can determine whether or not the

passage of Proposal 2 will result
in the resegregation of our univer-
sity and other campuses across the
Following the passage of Proposi-
tion 209 in California, administra-
tors in the University of California
system declined to continue using
any effective measures to integrate
their campuses. Underrepresented
minority enrollment plummeted as
a result. We can prevent that from
happening in Michigan, but we must
act now as the policies to respond to
Proposal 2 are being formulated.
Thrust into the national spotlight
by the two recent anti-affirmative
action lawsuits and Ward Conner-
ly's ballot proposals, our university
now carries both the burden and the
opportunity of playing the leading
role in defending integration nation-
ally. Other colleges and universities
across the state will gauge their
responses to Proposal 2 based on
the response of this university. Vot-
ing for DAAP is one of the key ways
that students can participate in this
For all students on this campus,
the fight over affirmative action is
part of a larger conflict over the his-
torical direction of the state and the
nation, about what our society can
and ought to be. For minority stu-
dents in particular, this fight means
far more than just an abstract, intel-
lectual debate. What some have
portrayed as being merely a dis-
agreement over . legal interpreta-
tion has, in reality, been an ongoing
attack on the intellectual capacity

of every black, Hispanic and Native
American student on campus. It has
meant the constant pressure to work
twice as hard for half the respect, to
forget or to hide one's true self and
to perform under magnified scru-
The Defend Affirmative Action
Party completely rejects the notion
that, having been "given" the
opportunity to attend the Univer-
sity, minority students must, in
exchange, tolerate and defer to daily
racist treatment. This hostile cam-
pus climate is unacceptable, and
DAAP aims to change it.
We know that when we fight, we
can win. The Defend Affirmative
Action Party played a key role in
organizing and leading the 50,000-
person march on Washington that
successfully urged the U.S. Supreme
Court to defend affirmative action
programs. But we also know that
the fate of affirmative action pro-
grams is not determined by indi-
vidual lawsuits and ballot proposals.
Defending the project of integration
requires the power and the leader-
ship of a new civil rights movement.
DAAP exists to build and empower
that movement.
Maricruz Lopez is an LSA sophomore
and the DAAP candidate for MSA
President. Sarah Barnard is an LSA
senior and the DAAP candidate for MSA
Vice President. Liana Mulholland is an
Art and Design sophomore and a DAAP
candidate for MSA representative. Yousef
Rabhi is an LSA freshman and a DAAP
candidate for MSA representative.

Vote independent for change

As you may know, studentgovernment elec-
tions are coming up. For most on this campus,
this means absolutely nothing. After all, what
does MSA do for most students? Yes, there are
occasionally things that MSA does - such as
the Airbus airport transportation service and
the ill-fated Ludacris concert in the fall of 2005
- but these are the exceptions. Even if you are
one of the few students who do make use of
MSA, you may be wondering, why vote? After
all, the Michigan Action Party is in position to
easily win the vast majority of seats.
As a former non-voter, I recognize this apa-
thy. However, instead of simply not voting and
poking fun at every MSA scandal, I decided to
do something about it. I applied for a vacant
representative position and was appointed
to fill the position. After my term expired, I
became the co-chair of the Students with Dis-
abilities Select Committee.
In the time I have been involved in MSA, I
have been actively working on several impor-
tant student issues. I met with members of the
Residence Halls Association last year and dis-
cussed possible improvements to meal plans
- some of which were implemented. I worked
on improving Advice Online to make the course
information website a useful resource. Finally, I
have been working on making MSA more aware
of issues relating to marginalized groups on
campus - especially students with disabilities.

Although these types of issues are impor-
tant to deal with, there is another issue that
may in fact be more important - MSA's rela-
tive inaccessibility to those outside the cur-
rent establishment. I feel that MSA is failing
students on this issue. For example, there are
few defined positions for students who want to
get involved outside of elections. Addingto the
problem, MSA's disproportionalsystemofelec-
tions makes it difficult to win a seat without
being part of the majority party. If MSA ever
wants to become more relevant to students, it
needs to fix issues that make it difficult to get
involved. In my time on MSA, I have done what
I can to help resolve these issues, despite the
general disinterest of the MSA establishment.
Although I may not be able to change the
world, I can ensure that your voice - that of
the apathetic student - can be heard. The
Michigan Action Party may very well win a
vast majority of the seats,but that doesn't mean
that I can't work to effect change as a represen-
tative. By voting, you have the opportunity to
help make MSA more relevant and to express
your dissatisfaction with the status quo.
For more info about my platform or to vote
on March 21 and 22, please visit my website
Tim Hull is an LSA junior and an independent
candidate for MSA representative.

Vote independent for results

My name is Michael Radtke, and
I am running as an independent for
LSA Student Government represen-
Last September, I decided to join
Student Government's Academic
Affairs Committee. I decided that
there were several issues facing the
university community that I wanted
to help solve. This January, I decided
I really wanted to make an impact, so
I applied and was appointed an LSA
Student Government representative.
I applied for this position because
I was concerned about the impact
party politics had on student govern-
ment. The Michigan Action Party
is the only political party currently
involved in government, and I feel
many students are not being well-
represented by MAP. I wanted tobe a
clear, independent alternative to the
current one-party system.
I felt many MAP representatives
are letting their personal ambitions
cloud their judgment. Most resolu-

tions and business that have come up
for a vote have only received token
opposition and little debate, because
almost all members of government
belong to one political party.
I wanted to use my vote as an inde-
pendent to cast a bright light on gov-
ernment and to make a difference
for all LSA students. I want to make
student government more open and
accessible to the students it serves.
Currently, I amwriting a resolution to
require allmeetingminutes andissues
to be placed on the LSA-SG website.
My current AAC project is to stan-
dardize internship credit across the
LSA curriculum in order to encourage
students to volunteer their time and
effort to both political and non-profit
organizations that work for change in
our communities. I believe that stan-
dardizing internship credit will help
combat the apathy that many people
feel has seized our campus.
I also currently serve on the Race
and Ethnicity Taskforce, working to

revise this much-debated require-
ment. The taskforce is striving to
make the R&E requirement apply to
more classes that focus on different
forms of discrimination.
Iencourage students to come to my
office hours Wednesdays from noon
to 1 p.m. in the Michigan Union room
4152, to get to know both me and my
policies. I want to get to know the
students I serve. I want to know what
problems LSA students face and how
LSA Student Government can better
help them.
I encourage students to join my
Facebook group, "Mike Radtke for
LSA-SG Representative," to ask
questions and see how I want to help
change our university for the better.
And please vote for Michael
Radtke, independent for LSA-SG
representative, on March 21 and 22.
Michael Radtke is an LSA junior
and an independent candidate
for LSA-SG representative.


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