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December 06, 2007 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-12-06

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4A - Thursday, December 6, 2007
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
i 1 {Y_ r'Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorialboard. Allother signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
The Daily's public editor, Paul H. Johnson, acts as the readers' representative and takes a critical look at
coverage and content in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contact the public editor
with questions and comments. He canbe reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
Justice: Take III
High Court must grant long overdue rights to detainees
The Bush administration once decided that it could label
anyone an enemy in its war against terrorism and indefi-
nitely warehouse those people at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba
without legal recourse. In 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court didn't buy
it. In response, the Pentagon, without Congressional approval, set
up military kangaroo courts that were supposed to make it all bet-
ter. The Supreme Court disagreed again in 2006, and this time the
Republican Congress responded by creating its own sham tribunals.
With the Court now hearing its third case about detainees, it must
send the Bush administration and Congress a clear message about
denying prisoners habeas corpus: Three strikes and you're out.

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


I had what I called my last supper. I had a rum
and Coke and spaghetti and sausage."
- Leeland Eisenberg on what he did before taking hostages at Hillary
Clinton's campaign office in Rochester, N.H. on Friday, as reported yesterday by the New York Daily News.
Our generation's struggle

Every generation has its defining
struggle. Politicians use that
to their advantage. If they can
define our struggle,
they have our sup- _
port. They get to
paste their names
on our banners as
we go marching off
to war.
The last cen-
tury was marked
by struggles of the BRYAN
guns and explo- KOLK
sions sort. A politi-
cian mightbe temptedtouse this tried
and true approach in creating the next
big, definingstruggle. Forexample, the
Bush administration has long hoped
that this decade would be defined in
a similar fashion - a new war with
international bad guys. President Bush
chose to spend his presidency fighting
a new war in an old way, but he will be
remembered most for the war he chose
not to fight, a battle against ourselves.
Last month, the U.N. Intergovern-
mental Panel on Climate Change - a
group of approximately 2,500 scien-
tists that serves as an objective author-
ity on global warming - released its
latest report on the status of our plan-
et. The report speaks unequivocally
of the reality of man-made climate
changes. More important, it explores
the potential of current technology to
slow and reverse our harmful effects
on the planet. It also projects econom-
ic scenarios for potential worlds based

in varying degrees of reliance on car-
bon-based fuels. Strangely enough,
all of the "good" scenarios - the ones
where our economies flourish and we
survive - involve spending as much
money as possible now to eliminate
carbon-based energy.
The ball is now in the policymakers'
court. We have the problem and the
technology. All that's missing is an eco-
nomic plan to put things into motion.
Call it a New Deal; the politicians can
still look to past models for guidance.
Last week, former Vice President
Al Gore and Bush met face-to-face for
the first time since immediately after
the 2000 presidential election as the
White House recognized this year's
NobelPeacePrizerecipients. Twovery
different potential worlds faced off in
the 2000 presidential election. After a
40-minute private conversation with
Bush, Gore dodged microphones, say-
ing only that they had talked about
global warming the whole time. As
National Public Radio put it, "If it
wasn't for a quirk of fate, their situa-
tions could have been reversed, with
the president, Al Gore, receiving the
Nobel Prize winner, George Bush."
Truly, it would have been a dif-
ferent world. But it is not too late to
redefine our generation's struggle:
We just need to be active in a way
that we haven't been. How many of us
were even aware of the IPCC meet-
ing and its announcement? Are there
still those among us for whom global
warming is a matter of belief? What
are we going to do about these things?

Perhaps I have been missing all of
the activism, but our University has
struck me as a tad apathetic as of late.
We cannot wait for our leaders in the
Michigan Student Assembly or the
University administration or the fed-
eral government to act, because this is
our fight. The moral turpitude of our
leaders should anger us, and we have
to be vocal about it.
It is not up to any administration to
define the struggle of our generation: It
is up to us. As University students, we


The war on
warming is ours
to win or lose.
are some of the most informed citizens
in the country. It is our duty to at least
be aware of these things - to at least
try to understand what is going on and
to be vocal about what we learn.
As far as global warming is con-
cerned, we are nearing the point of
no return. In the words of Rajendra
Pachauri, leader of the IPCC, "What
we do in the next two or three years
will define our future." Ourgeneration
is about to define itself and the course
of the world one way or the other. We
had better be aware of our struggle.
Bryan Kolk can be reached
at beakerkgumich.edu.

With oral arguments beginning yester-
day, the current case before the Supreme
Court, Boumediene v. Bush, will likely be
the court's definitive answer to the ques-
tion of whether Guantanamo detainees
have a writ of habeas corpus - the right
to challenge their detention in American
civilian courts. Although the court ruled in
its 2004 decision, Rasul v. Bush, that feder-
al courts could hear cases from detainees,
the Bush administration, with Congress
looking on, circumvented that ruling by
substituting its own legal system for our
time-tested civilian courts.
Of course, there is no substitute for habe-
as corpus. The Pentagon set up "combatant
status review tribunals" and the Supreme
Court ruled those unconstitutional in its
2006 decision, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Simi-
larly, the military tribunals detainees go
through now - which the then-Republican
Congress set up in the Military Commis-
sions Act of 2006 after Hamdan - are a far
cry from anything resembling justice. Yet
the now-Democratic Congress has so far
proven incapable of living up to its prom-
ises of putting a stop to such shams.
These kangaroo courts have few of the
principles that we define our courts by and
that the Geneva Conventions necessitate.
In practice, most detainees are consid-
ered guilty until they are proven innocent.
When trying to prove their innocence,
detainees aren't allowed to have defense
attorneys at their hearings and any evi-
dence or witnesses they want to present
must be "reasonably available" to the gov-
ernment, whatever that means.
This imposter for a justice system results
in decisions handed down according to the

Bush administration's whims - which is
exactly what happened to the plaintiffs in
the current case. As their brief explains,
in October 2001 the Bosnian police arrest-
ed them for allegedly plotting to bomb an
American embassy, but the supreme court
of Bosnia dismissed the charges for lack of
evidence. Then, the Bosnian police rear-
rested them and the U.S. military sent them
to Guantanamo. At the hearing, witnesses
like one detainee's boss at the Red Crescent
(as the Red Cross is called in the Islamic
world) and the decision of the Bosnian
Supreme Court weren't considered because
they weren't "reasonably available."
Whether you call them detainees, enemy
combatants, prisoners or anything else,
denying people a chance to challenge their
imprisonmentiswrong. ForAmericato con-
tinue to do this is an international embar-
rassment. The U.N. High Commissioner for
Human Rights, 383 United Kingdom and
European parliamentarians, The American
Bar Association, a group of retired military
officers and countless other groups who
have filed amicus briefs agree.
While Congress shirked its responsibil-
ity last year to bring America closer to the
forefront of human rights and continues to
play into the Bush administration's politics
of fear, the Supreme Court has a chance
to right the wrong. But for its decision to
carry weight, it must be a true, bipartisan
consensus that the country can accept -
not another of the polarized 5-4 decisions
for which this court has become known. If
Chief Justice John Roberts wants to live up
to the commitment to unity and nonparti-
sanship that he spoke of in his Senate con-
firmation hearings, this is his opportunity.


Students must help
MSA help itself
As a representative on the Michi-
gan Student Assembly, I disagree
with the statement in a recent edi-
torial that the good MSA represen-
tatives are the exceptions and that
MSA is inactive and unrepresentative
of the student body (MSA and you,
12/04/2007). Iwould argue the oppo-
site: The bad representatives are the
exceptions. Despite the recent indis-
cretions of a few assembly members,
most are sincere and are constantly
working to hold relevant events and
bring attention to important issues,
such as textbook prices, health care
confidentiality. and streetlights in
student neighborhoods.
Sometimes progress is slow, but
this is often due to the fact that MSA
must work through bureaucratic
avenues, both in the University and
beyond it, to achieve success. MSA's
committees and commissions, in
which any student can participate,
work tirelessly as well. The Women's
Issues Commission is tryingto make
breastfeeding rooms available to
mothers, the Environmental Issues
Commission organizes campaigns
around energy-saving measures at
the University and state levels, and
the Peace and Justice Commission is
trying to provide free trade T-shirts
to student groups. The Communi-
cations Committee is working on a
newsletter and regular WOLV-TV
spot to publicize MSA's initiatives,
and two new webmasters were hired
to make the MSA website more
In the midst of all of the fallout
from the past several weeks of scan-
dals, I would like to assure students
that most people on MSA genuinely
care about students' needs. MSA
does have problems, but they will
not be solved without the work of
innovative and involved students. I
encourage students to get involved
in MSA and work on issues that
are important to them. I can guar-
antee that it will be a valuable and
rewarding experience.

resulting not in a student govern- denced by the 1
ment but a social club that excludes for his resignati
and harasses those who go against students want t
the agenda of sitting back and doing cannot let our r
nothing. This attitude was evident power and for
in the rude e-mails sent to Hull from their constituen
several assembly members after he I ask Willis tc
spoke out in the Daily about MSA. comments dirt
MSA's prevailing attitude against who acted full)
speaking to the media is corrupt by questioning
and dishonest. Students have every Let me remindI
right to know what MSA does. No Yost to MSA.I
one should be ostracized or have to him to honor an
fear bigoted attacks for speaking the not to mock, de
truth. MSA needs serious leaders to the oppressi
who see that their jobs are to repre- groups on our c:
sent the students on campus.
My fellow Defend Affirmative Clare Wrobel
Action Party members and I intend LSA junior
to lead MSA toward becoming a
student union that is more indepen-
dent of the administration and fights Lack of ac
against all such bigoted attacks. With
the passage of Proposal 2 last year, by U is d
MSA must take the lead in making
sure our campus does not become a TO THE DAILY:
hostile climate for people of different I wanted to:
races, genders, sexual orientations Barken for her 1
and people with disabilities. the lack of resp

arge number of calls
on, this is not how we
o be represented. We
epresentatives abuse
get the interests of
o reconsider his snide
ected toward those
y within their rights
their elected leaders.
Willis that we elected
With that, we asked
.d support our voices,
value and contribute
on of disadvantaged
sincerely thank Ruth
etter this week about
ect afforded to stu-

Emad Ansari, Anindya Bhadra, Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca, Jon Cohen, Milly Dick, Mike
Eber, Gary Graca, Emmarie Huetteman, Theresa Kennelly, Emily Michels, Kate Peabody,
Robert Soave, Jennifer Sussex, Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel
Van Gilder, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa.
The larger problem

Liana Mulholland
Art and Designjunior
This letter writer is a representative on the
Michigan Student Assembly.
Yost's critics had every
right to scrutinize him
In response to Aaron Willis's let-
ter in Wednesday's Daily (Yost's crit-
ics made a big deal out of one foolish
mistake, 12/05/2007), the University
community has every right to con-
front questionable behavior from the
people we have elected to act as our
representatives. Although I believe
the "average college student" should
be held accountable for similar con-
duct, former Michigan Student
Assembly President Zack Yost made
more than a mistake and he was more
than the average college student.
As the president of MSA, he was
acting as representative for the entire
student body. His actions reflected a
general lack of concern for the rights
of students with disabilities. As evi-

dents with disabilities (Coleman
ignores legitimate needs of disabled
fans, 12/04/2007). It is insulting and
frankly pathetic that our university,
so distinguished and lauded for its
diversity and tolerance, has brazenly
disregarded the needs of its own stu-
dents and fans.
Butthetruetragedyisnotthe wide-
spread ignorance - it is the informed
who choose to do nothing. I am not
disabled, and I personally know few
who are. But for my small part, I have
made my voice and opinion heard. If
Coleman shamefully continues to
lead the University down this path,
there will be one less student in the
stadium next year. My ticket money
will go instead to the Michigan Para-
lyzed Veterans of America, who are
suing the University in the hopes of
forcing it to comply with the Ameri-
cans with Disabilities Act of 1990 in
its stadium renovations.
Perhaps next year, as others expe-
rience that tumultuous atmosphere
of the stadium, I willbe watchingthe
game on TV with Ruth.
Francis McCarthy

Walking through the campus of Michigan
State University to the Michigan-Michigan
State football game this year, I heard a fellow
group of Wolverines chanting the customary
"asshole" chant that we've all heard-numer-
ous times at home football games. Other
Michigan fans, intending to imply that our
Spartan opponents are less intelligent than us,
responded with a hearty chant of their own:
"Retards." They repeatedly shouted the word
as they pointed in the direction of the MSU
faithful. Afterward, the chanters exchanged
high-fives and congratulated each other on
their cleverness and effectiveness. I cringed
as I walked by, wondering if they would have
felt comfortable uttering that hateful slur had
they known that I am the chair of Best Bud-
dies, a student group that works with people
who have disabilities.
Last week, the revelation of former Michi-
gan Student Assembly President Zack Yost's
tasteless Facebook.com group brought to
the forefront just how hurtful words can be.
While Yost has already been abundantly rep-
rimanded for mocking colleague Tim Hull for
his disability, it is important to understand
that Yost's ignorance and insensitivity are
emblematic of a greater societal problem.
If Yost had devoted his group to mocking
an individual's race, religion or sexual ori-
entation, the outrage on this campus would
be even more tremendous, and Yost would
have resigned immediately. The actions of
our former MSA president and of my fellow
Michigan fans reflect a culture that is far too
permissive of demeaning people who have
disabilities. It is time for this to end. If we
can take anything positive away from Yost's
blunder, it is the opportunity for us to look
inward and challenge the way we talk and
think about people with disabilities. May
this serve as a wakeup call that jokes about
people with disabilities are not only tasteless
but also hurtful to real people.
The student body's outrage atYost's behav-
ior is laudable, as it ultimately forced him to
resign. Yet, why was suqi a group created

in the first place? It has a lot to do with the
culture at this university that fails to under-
stand the importance of issues regarding
disabled students. Many students, includ-
ing the other MSA members who joined the
group, would probably find the group funny.
The structure of the University is such that
students are limited in their interactions
with people with disabilities, and it is these
limitations that breed misunderstanding and
hurtful ignorance.
People feel much less compunction about
using a slur if they cannot relate to the group
or person they are attacking. When students
on this campus mock individuals with dis-
abilities, it is because they are disconnected
from those they are ridiculing. Last week, we
were able to see that it was a person with the
same sensitivities as the rest of us, in this case
Tim Hull, and not just some faceless concept,
who bore the effects of hateful mockery.
The students chanting "retards" probably
didn't understand the virulence of the word
they were screaming, intending it as a harm-
less joke. But to me, every repetition of the
word was a personal attack on the dozens of
individuals with whom I have friendships
through Best Buddies. The football fans were
smug in their humor and ignorant of how truly
insulting their words were. Before we casti-
gate them in particular, however, we should
remember that they are not the only students
on campus who have made statements at the
expense of people with disabilities.
As the story shifts from Yost's offensive
actions to his resignation, it is important
that we not lose sight of the broader issue,
which is that the debasement of individuals.
with disabilities pervades our culture, and
it needs to stop. Let us be inspired by the
misdeeds of our own student government to
challenge the way we treat our peers with
disabilities and to demonstrate the tolerance
and respect we would expect for ourselves.
Adam Gleicher is an LSA senior and the
president of the University chapter of Best Buddes.

Lisa Treumuth
Pharmacygraduate student
The letter writer is a representative on theJOHN UIIST EF
Michigan Student Assembly.
MSAS culture of

exclusion must end
As a representative on the Michi-
gan Student Assembly, a student with
a learning disability and a civil rights
activist, I have great respect for MSA
Rep. Tim Hull for overcoming his
disability to become an outspoken
leader on the assembly. Honest and
outspoken is what every MSA repre-
sentative should be. Though I often
disagree with Hull's conservative
views, I frequently find myself in alli-
ance with him against the assembly's
corrupt actions, like in our recent
fight to ensure that Public Policy
students had the right to vote in this
term's MSA election.
The recent revelation of a Face-
book.com group attacking Hull on
the basis of his disability is not an
isolated incident but an expression
of an overall lack of seriousness and
an atmosphere of elitism and exclu-
sion. Few assembly members have
goals beyond padding their resumes,


Humbly accepts praise Loves that part inthe second
by striking Heisman pose "Lets Go Blue"arrangementwhere
immediately upon completing the trumpetgoes all wild
Bleeds maize and blue thanks M-shaped heart
rare, recessive, maize and blue
aoglobin-producing genetic trait There's a block-M, somewhere,
onthe Moon. You know, the



Did you ever see thatone moviewhere
forsome reason Patrick Swayze is leading
some high schoolers against the Russians

Can be referred to by
the gender-neutral title,
"Michigan Man-Person"

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