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September 17, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-17

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4A - Monday, September 17, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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.
FirsM HE 1AM'
Farming a solution
Harnessing wind power requires state-wide effort
Energy Fest 2007 - held last week on the Diag - was geared
toward educating the community about the benefits of har-
nessing wind energy, and it brought to light proposals for
building wind farms here in Washtenaw County. While they would
be better built here than not at all, there are other places in the state
where such farms would be more efficient. Ann Arbor's commit-
ment to using more renewable energy is commendable, but making
renewable energy a statewide priority would have a significantly
greater impact. Achieving this goal requires a cooperative effort
and forward thinking throughout Michigan, especially in Lansing.

People have been going inside, taking
pictures of the stall, taking pictures outside
the bathroom door - man, it's been crazy."
- Royal Zeno, grandson of a shop owner at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport,
speaking about the sudden popularity of the bathroom stall where Sen. Larry Craig
(R-Idaho) reportedly made sexual passes on an undercover cop.
Shouting at the devil


veryone is tired of hear-
ing about the antics of Paris
Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and
Michael Vick,
myself included.
As the cable tele-
media blitz shows
us, nothing about
young celebrities
has changed in the
previous decades,(
but we're still MIKE
impelled to hear MIKE
all about it. EBER
Hope for true
Hollywood penitence is not far off,
however. A book and album combi-
nation from a certain former young
bad-boy poster child, scheduled for
release this week, will prove to be
a model example of entertainment
icons promoting more than just cul-
tural decadence. Whereas people
like Hilton and Vick neglected their
duty to use fame to work for change
in our society, rock legend Nikki Sixx
is silently making amends for his past
Sixx, the bassist from Motley Crte
(and the man sometimes said to have
taught Tommy Lee how to party), put
Hilton to shane back in heavy metal's
heyday. A book about the band titled
"The Dirt: Confessions of the World's
Most Notorious Rock Band"says ofSixx:
"Nikki overdosed, rose from the dead,
and then OD'd again the next day."
A recovered heroin addict who has
shed his former epithet, Sixx is set
to release a tell-all autobiography to
accompany his rock album, The Heroin
Diaries, as a way of rightingthe wrong
left in his hairspray's wake. Building

on his appearance on Capitol Hill as
a speaker at the 18th Annual National
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery
Month, 25 percent of the book's prof-
its will go toward preventing youth
With the omnipresence of enter-
tainment media, the coverage of the
complete nothingness involved in
celebrity arrests gives credence to
these charades. Retrospectively, such
vapid distractions probably would
not have been available to the casual
consumer of MTV's monopoly in the
eighties, but with cable news and the
Internet, this boutique niche is now
Seemingly more misbehavior per-
vades the entertainment world, but
in reality the electronic media explo-
sion just allows us to see what we
want to see - voyeuristic indulgenc-
es that make us feel that we are better
than those legends we see on TV. If
we want to see the carnival of sin, you
can bet the media outlets will pro-
vide the entertainment. Sixx's new
book, however, grants an all-access
pass into the reality of glamorized
decadence that a 30-second news bite
never could.
It is easy for the naive to ambiva-
lently idolize Lohan when her arrest
is an afterthought to a high-energy
montage underscoring her chic fash-
ion, hot cars and epitomized Holly-
wood glamour. Arguably, most people
long for the same status, clothes and
cars as presented by electronic media,
but the devastation of drug addiction
can never be realistically portrayed by
a talking head on CNN.
Sixx'srepentant memoirs delve more
deeply into and give more perspective

onthe downside of drugs than E!News
ever could. Matter-of-factly mention-
ing Sixx's struggles with heroin in
conjunction with platinum albums just
fails do the topic justice. Such detailed
biographical narratives accompanied
by cathartic hard riffs pack the punch
that can paint the picture of rock real-
ity. In an excerpt posted online from
the forthcoming autobiography, Sixx
describes with harrowing detail the
struggles of his addiction:
A former celeb
n'er-do-well is
making amends.
"If you read this book, you will
never do drugs. Shitting your pants
and throwing up all over yourself, and
the detox, and the psychosis, and a lot
of the other stuff in this book is just not
Paris found God within the first
week in county jail and now aspires to
do something better with her fortune.
I look forward to reading her repen-
tant memoirs one day.
Sixx is helping prevent drug abuse
by sharing his story, but on a broader
level, his new book highlights the big-
gest problem with electronic media's
blogs and bite - an adequate focus on
deathly real consequences. That real-
ity, though, still lives in books and
Mike Eber can be reached
at mieber@umich.edu.

As of June 27, the amount of energy that
wind farms produced nationally was 11,961
megawatts. Wyoming, the least populated
state in the country, produced 288 mega-
watts, while Michigan contributed only 3
megawatts. Clearly, to make a significant
environmental impact, the wind power
movement needs to spread beyond Ann
Arbor - and it will require the commit-
ment of legislators, energy providers and
customers to make it work.
The state legislature must require that
energy companies provide a minimum
amount of alternative energy to their cus-
tomers - an action that 25 other states have
already taken. The lack of such a require-
ment in Michigan has slowed progress in
the state. As Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje,
said of Michigan's largest energy company,
"DTE Energy has not been proactive with
obtaining (renewable) energy. I just don't
see them being interested in wind energy."
According to DTE spokesman John
Austerberry, the company is willing to
supply more renewable ener'gy, as long
as customers agree to pay more. Slightly
elevated energy costs are a small but wise
investment for consumers, given the many
potential benefits renewable energy offers
Michigan. Even so, in the long run, the
state must be proactive in encouraging
energy companies to find ways to bring
down the price of renewable energy.
Local advocates of wind power have to
be careful not to isolate the cause to Washt-
enaw County, where wind conditions are

marginally adequate at best. Wind energy
should be harnessed from areas where
such efforts are most viable. More energy
would be generated from wind farms built
on the coasts of Michigan's Great Lakes
than from turbines in Washtenaw County.
This makes the idea a statewide cause.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm's 21st Century
Energy Plan loosely outlined require-
ments for furthering the state's involve-
ment in discovering, using and protecting
sources of cleaner energy. Some legislators
are hesitant to put those types of plans
into action because of concerns about
what that would mean for the state's econ-
omy, which has taken devastating blows in
recent years. Rather than wait until Mich-
igan's economy pulls itself out of this hole,
however, the legislature should act right
away because renewable energy can actu-
ally create jobs in the state. In 2004, the
Renewable Energy Policy Project asserted
that wind power could create more than
8,000 Michigan jobs.
Wind power could very well be a step
toward a better economic and environ-
mental future for Michigan. Legislative
action requiring energy companies to
provide a certain amount of wind energy
would not only help the environment, but
also provide jobs in the construction and
maintenance of wind farms.
Ann Arbor has the right idea. It just
needs to act in concert with the state,
energy companies and consumers for wind
power's full potential to be realized.
ironic that those who urge us never to forget
have themselves forgotten that this is what
the terrorists wanted in the first place.
Bryan VanDuinen

Still not confronting sweatshops

In 1999, a group of University of
Michigan students landed one of the
first big victories in the anti-sweat-
shop movement-theyconvinced the
University to adopt the Vendor Code
of Conduct. The code stated that
the University would no longer do
business with companies that used
sweatshops. A year later, the same
students convinced then-University
President Lee Bollinger to help cre-
ate an organization to monitor code
compliance, called the Worker Rights
Consortium. Virtually all public and
most private universities have codes
of conduct now, and there are nearly
200 universities affiliated with the
However, sweatshop production
of University apparel remains ram-
pant, and even students who are
willing to be arrested are unable
to change this grim reality. Since
2000, hundreds of cases of abuse
have been reported to the Univer-
sity and no action has been taken'
to augment or enforce the code so
that it has an impact. For the past
two years students have presented a
solution to the problem of enforce-
ment, but their lobbying efforts have
been met with closed doors, indefi-

nite time in committees and even
arrests (12 students arrested in Flem-
ing, 04/04/2007). Why would stu-
dents whose protests and research
led to the creation of the WRC and
a code of conduct be met with such a
cold shoulder?
If there is anything we have
learned through meetings with big-
shot apparel companies and stacked
University committees, the appear-
ance of progress seems to be much
more important than progress
itself. The amount of money spent
by a big apparel licensee like Adi-
das on a "corporate social respon-
sibility program"- a euphemism
for a media relations department
- could easily increase the wages
of its workers several times over.
Instead of being spent on improving
sweatshops, these profits are fun-
neled into some black hole social
responsibility program.
Sure, general awareness on this
issue has increased, but the only
tangible results are flashy corpo-
rate websites. Corporations have
responded to the student demand
of sweat-free factories by pouring
money into deception programs
meant to create an appearance of

Progress is so hard to accomplish
on our campus because University
President Mary Sue Coleman and
her staff operate with this corporate
paradigm. Students aren't a constitu-
ency to them, so they could care less
about what issues are important to
us. Howeverbecause ofthe Universi-
ty's history, they know the danger of
turningtheir backs onstudents. Thus
they attempt to placate and stall stu-
dents through useless meetings with
low-level, no-power administrators,
and they force us to trudge through
committees. And when push comes
to shove, Coleman would rather
have students arrested than confront
issues of human rights.
The bottom line is that prog-
ress on this issue will be very hard
to achieve until President Cole-
man finds another job. She doesn't
answer to us. The climate she has
created at the University has atro-
phied the University's leadership
on issues of social justice, and we've
fallen behind in the ranks to some-
where near the back of the pack.
Aria Everts and Blase Kearney are
LSA juniors and members of SOLE.


Remembering shouldn't
mean living in fear

TO THE DAILY: YEngineeringfreshma
On the Diag last Tuesday, the sign by the
flags memorializing the victims of Sept. 11
displayed one simple message: "Never forget." M oving up
Nearby were depicted various "terrorist"
acts leading up to Sept. 11. While challenging dilutes theC
these words is sometimes viewed as unpatri-
otic, this simple phrase, "Never forget" has TO THE DAILY:
always struck me as clich6, unnecessary and This letter is in
offensive. column last we
Could anybody really forget what hap- 09/11/2007) and is
pened six years ago? There are doubtlessly trend toward the f
some people for whom the attacks were espe- calendar.
cially traumatic: families of victims, rescue All that this frt
workers and those.people who luckily decid- states will do is g
ed not to go to the office that day. But no one nations for front
will forget. ton, Mitt Romney
Perhaps I wouldn't be as bothered by the seem arbitrary a
phrase "Never forget" if the message meant, New Hampshire,
"Let's remember and honor those who died representative of:
on Sept. 11 and unite as a country against and give moments
our common enemy." But the phrase is used thing worse, tho
more often than not by fearmongers who big states - wher
seek to politicize the tragedy. "Never forget" stage and getting t
then implies something else: Remember the sible. By moving:
terror you felt on that day, trust us with your gan and Florida w
civil liberties and trust us to make the com- television advertis
plex foreign policy decisions that are beyond and concern by cs
your understanding. If anyone challenges us, who can campaig
they are not true patriots. We can and will are those who out
keep you safe like no one else can. avoid issue-based
That may be an exaggeration, but take for Having the abi
example the poster on the Diag depicting mean a candidate
the six terrorist acts. It showed pictures of ple of a state. For
three acts perpetrated by Al Qaeda: the 1998 has policy propos
bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and health care, endt
Tanzania, the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. erty and stand up
Cole off the coast of Yemen and Sept. 11. The labor unions. The
poster also showed an image from the 1979 gan Democrats s
Iranian hostage crisis and a group of Iraqis Clinton, with the
burning an American flag in 1998. hype, leads curre
The last is not even an act of terrorism. On the Republics
Surely I could be forgiven if I forget that folksy combinatit
five Iraqis burned a flag nine years ago. The and social conse
effect of the poster is to meld Persians with with many Michi
Arabs and Sunnis with Shiites, portraying an the money to com
America under attack from Muslims world- Huckabee will lik
wide who would all gladly kill us if they had pan's primary.
the chance. Iowa and New
Whether the creators of the poster were imperfectsystem,
deliberately racist or merely careless is represent the bes
debatable, but the poster is fear-inducing chance for all cant
propaganda. This fear stifles dissent, dis-
courages debate and paralyzes the decision- Matthew Taylor
making process of our nation. It is cruelly LSA sophomore

respons to Robert Soave's
ek (Good for Michigan,
s more generally about the
rontloading of the primary
ontloading of delegate-rich
guarantee the party nomi-
runners like Hillary Clin-
or Rudy Giulani. It does
nd unfair that Iowa and
states that aren't exactly
the entire country, go first
um to candidates. The only
ugh, would be moving up
e retail politics take center
o know the voters is impos-
their primaries, up, Michi-
ill see millions of dollars in
sing, but not real attention
andidates. The only people
gn in these massive states
spend their opponents and
lity to buy TV ads doesn't
is in touch with the peo-
r example, John Edwards
als to guarantee universal
the war in Iraq, end pov-
p for the middle class and
ese are the issues Michi-
seem to care about. Yet,
most media attention and
nt polls by double digits.
an side, Mike Huckabee's
on of economic populism
ervatism would resonate
gan Republicans. Lacking
pete in such a large state,
ely get creamed in Michi-
Hampshire representan
Lbut their primaries also
t way to guarantee a real
didates and ideas.




Come to our mass
meeting on Tuesday, Sept.
18 at 420 Maynard St., just
northwest of the Union.
Or e-mail



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Editorial Board Members: Ben Caleca, Mike Eber, Brian Flaherty, Kellyn Jackson, Gavin Stern,
Jennifer Sussex, Neil Tambe, Radhika Upadhyaya




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