4A.- Thursday, September 11, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
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None of us will forget this day. Yet, we go
forward to defend freedom and all that is
good and just in the world."
-President Bush, in his address to the nation on Sept. 11, 2001.
The seventh September
EDITOR IN CHIEF
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
Congress must make birth control available, affordable
After a summer of rising gasoline and food prices, students
can add one more essential to the list of increasingly unaf-
fordable products: birth control. Despite a concerted pre-
vention effort, the price of a popular birth control pill doubled at
the University Health Service recently, just in time for a new school
year. Now, many students must choose whether to shoulder the extra
cost, switch to a cheaper alternative or abandon the pill altogether.
This is a choice women shouldn't have to make and one Congress
should ensure they don't have to.
The Deficit Reduction Act, which went
into effect in January 2007, restricts phar-
maceutical companies from reducing the
price of prescriptions for certain buyers,,
including universities. Before the law went
into effect, UHS stockpiled prescriptions
in an effort to keep prices low. But its sup-
ply has finally run out, prompting a price
hike. Notably affected by this hike is the
popular birth control pill Ortho Tri-Cyclen
Lo, which now costs a whopping $50 for a
one-month supply - more than twice what
it cost at UHS before.
Luckily, coughing up the extra $29 each
month for the pill isn't the only option. Stu-
dents who want to continue using the pill
but can't afford Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo any-
more can purchase a more affordable gener-
ic brand at most pharmacies. And affordable
alternatives to the pill, including intrauter-
ine devices, condoms and, yes, even absti-
nence, are also readily available.
But there's a reason there are so many
birth control options: No two women are
the same. While many women use the pill
simply as a preferred method of contracep-
tion, doctors also prescribe it to calm acne,
regulate menstruation and even treat ovar-
ian cysts. Further, birth control pill brands
vary in components like hormones and dos-
age, which often makes finding the right
prescription a difficult matter of trial-and-
error. A pill that works for one woman may
cause spotting, weight gain and depression
Of course, the new price hike shouldn't
be a problem for students with health
insurance - except that many plans
exclude birth control from their cover-
age. Nationally, women pay more out of
pocket on average than men for birth con-
trol and reproductive-related health care.
And even more questionably, many plans
cover the cost of drugs like Viagra while
neglecting to cover contraceptives like the
birth control pill.
If we hope to foster a safe sexual atmo-
sphere in this country, and especially on
college campuses, women need the full
range of birth control options - and they
need them at affordable prices.
When Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) intro-
duced the Prevention Through Affordable
Access Act in their respective chambers
last November, they recognized this need.
The bill, designed to provide more afford-
able birth control to college health clinics,
has not yet passed. Even if it had, it prob-
ably didn't stand much chance of getting
past President Bush, who seems unwilling
to face the fact that teenagers are going to
have sex, one way or the other.
Teenagers and college students are having
sex, and more expensive birth control isn't
going to change that. We should be making
sure that are doing it responsibly and pro-
viding them with the tools to do so.
s I watched the Republican
National Convention last week,
this year's theme was easily dis-
cernible. It was no
surprise; it was the _
same one Republi-
cans had in 2004.
All the tough talk
on Iraq, terrorism,
foreign policy and
oil - coupled with .
a supposed Sept. 11 -
"tribute" video - IMRAN
really boiled down
to one thing: Today, SYED'
seven years after the
terrorist attacks of
Sept. 11, Republicans want us to know
that we still need to be scared.
Seven years ago, we were told that
our lives would never be the same,
because our days of being removed
from the world's fray were over. At the
same time, though, we took pride in not
letting those attacks change our way of.
life. Americans were encouraged to go
about their business normally, to take
vacations, go shopping, buy cars and
do everything to maintain that which
we value. Do anything else, we were
told, and the terrorists will have won.
As dire as that sounds seven years
later, I can't deny the kernel of truth
to it. The terrorists probably wanted
nothing more than to scare Americans
away from doing the things they love
and value. Had we let fear drive us
in those days, our nation really could
have become a fundamentally differ-
ent society today. We the people did
not let that happen.
Why then do Republican leaders
take every opportunity to tell us that
Sept. 11 changed everything?
It's because they - the presidentand
congressional leaders - let it do just
that. For all the resolve, patience and
courage the people showed in over-
coming the horror of those attacks,
for all our conscious efforts to ensure
the fabric of America was not stained
in those trying times, our government
failed to do the same.
As a result America has changed
much from what it was in 2001, mostly
in the ways we once swore not to allow.
That discussion begins in a familiar
place - the tacit (or outright) approval
of things like torture, surveillance
and profiling - but for the sake of our
immediate future, it must not dwell
here. We have to think in terms of
actions, not sentiments.
Sept. 11 was a brief, horrific event
that continues to drive every bit of our
government to this very day. Should it?
Under such circumstances, the energy
debate has taken on shades of nation-
alism, the immigration debate now
embraces ethnocentrism and every-
thing from science education to Amer-
ica's performance at the Olympics is
talked about in the sense of gaining a
strategic advantage in the dangerous,
We'll never forget that tragedy
- nor should we - but how long can
we afford to have a government that
understands no urgency other than
aggression to ward off evildoers? Isn't
seven years long enough?
Before such questions became the
norm, former Vice President Al Gore
asked in his film "An Inconvenient
Truth": "Is it possible that we should
prepare against other threats besides
terrorists?" His point was that our gov-
ernment should take climate change
more seriously, but even he couldn't
have considered the wacky reality
we have today - where even climate
change has been warped and melded
into something vaguely related to the
This madness of wrapping every
issue we face blindly together with one
black-letter talking point has inflict-
ed this country before. Obsessions
with and manipulations of powerful
devices (like the free market or com-
munism) have dominated periods in
our nation's history. Those results are
largely regrettable (the Great Depres-
sion and the Red Scare, in this case),
and one would hope we're not headed
down that path again.
Or are we already there? Has "ter-
rorism" become so blinding a force
that it already clouds every deci-
sion our government makes, even in
cases where such influence is not only
uncalled for, but actually destructive?
Has our government already let fear
drive us to a fundamentally differ-
ent society? And didn't we agree that
when that happened the terrorists will
But that cannot be, at least not if we
realize the significance of our present
We are still feeling
losses of Sept. ll.
People changed in the aftermath of
those attacks. A once-promising iso-
lationist president became the most
glaring antithesis to that notion in our
nation's history. It's now time to decide
how we feel about that. Our president
took it as his responsibility after Sept.
11 to instigate our.enemies and "smoke
'em out." The merits of that policy will
be debated forever, but our govern-
ment's next move has to be decided
Just how much America changed on
Sept. 11 remains to be seen and will be
decided very soon.
Imran Syed was the Daily's fall/winter
editorial page editor in 2007. He can
be reached at email@example.com
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I T U T Ts F> ') SENSEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU
recent bus route changes
that had already ca
I got to the stop. Be
schedule of this bus
20 minutes for th
Though I did notic'
TO THE DAILY: mentioning the sch
Since classes began, I have noticed Central Campus sto
several changes to the bus service as adequate notice.
that have not been well publicized to In the future, I
students. One example of this is the University's Parki
new "Diag to Diag" route. This route tion Services woul
- which is an express service between in ensuring that t
North Campus and Central Campus use the bus service
- started running at the beginning of about service chani
this month. However, there is no posted it would be nice if'
schedule (aside from a small blurb on keep the schedules
Magic Bus) and only one sign along the tion website up tod
entire route that identifies the route, old schedule for the
Given that, it isn't a surprise that I've route is still posted
seen these buses running mostly empty route is barely ment
and this service mostly going to waste. be nice if some cor
However, even more concerning than given to fixing the
this is the recent, unadvertised change the bus system, lik
to the Northwood Express route. wood routing and t
Unbeknownst to students living in the Hill-area dorms.
Northwood Community Apartments, While adding nE
the pick-up times along this route were making the exis
changed this semester to be five min- friendly should bea
utes earlier than before. Because of
this, I was slightly late for a morning Tim Hull
class and ended up waiting for a bus School ofIhformation
me and went before
ecause of the limited Avoid bi
s, I waited more than
e next bus to come. with nai
e a handwritten sign
edule change at the
p, this hardly served TO THE DAI
would hope that the pharmaceuti
ng , & Transporta- ever, for tho
d be more proactive the world, w
hose who frequently natural bird
are kept in the loop readily avail
ges. At the very least, bought at los
the University could of research ii
s on the transporta- ods of cont
date - as of now, the women unw
Northwood Express have even he
and the Diag to Diag
tioned. Also, it would Milena Soc
'nsideration could be LSA senior
quirkier aspects of
:e the current North- Saving
he limited service to '
ew service is great, by eatin
ting service user-
trth control prices
of birth control, like any
cal, is very inflated. How-
usands of years, all across
vomen have found forms of
control. Most of these are
able in nature and can be
w prices. However, the lack
nto these alternative meth-
raceptive has made most
illing to try them (if they
ard of them).
ig less meat
SA M BUT LE R
T k wi cato a rgnlypitdo ete r ,20 .
Thiscaroon as rignall prntedon eptmber1, 002
TO THE DAILY:
The United Nations wants you to go
vegetarian - kind of. In response to
growing concerns about global warm-
ing, the United Nations has taken a con-
troversial stance on how to end it: eat
According to The Guardian Observer,
Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the U.N.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, said that people should have at
least one meat-free day a week in order
to help tackle climate change. Accord-
ing to a 2006 report from the U.N. Food
and Agriculture Organization, livestock
causes 18 percent of Earth's greenhouse
gas emissions, less than transportation,
which causes 13 percent.
While booming enrollment in the
University's environmental programs is
a wonderful step toward creating lead-
ers who will bring about a healthier
planet, it is also pertinent to emphasize
that people don't have to go to school to
be environmental stewards. That power
also lies in what we decide to put - or
not put - in our mouths every day.
A2 needs more, not less,
TO THE DAILY:
In Monday's editorial arguing for the
city of Ann Arbor to become a sanctuary
city for illegal immigrants (Sanctuaryfor
all, 09/08/2008), the Daily displayed a
naive disregard for sound public-policy.
The editorial decried the big, bad
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
agency for committing "civil rights vio-
lations," but pointed to zero instances
of such violations. Instead it creatively
crafted an "affront to civil liberties"
from some of ICE's allegedly "question-
If the Daily is so concerned about
ICE's day-to-day operations, it should
stop regurgitating talking points from
the American Civil Liberties Union and
request to ride alongwith ICE to observe
how exactly its officers go about enforc-
ing our laws.
As a native of the Arizona, into which
thousands of migrants cross the bor-
der illegally every day, I have a unique
perspective on the importance of pre-
venting illegal aliens from disregarding
American law and reaping the benefits
of American citizenship without assum-
ing any of the responsibilities.
Unchecked illegal immigration
taxes all of us unfairly. It draws valu-
able resources from our public schools,
health care and transit systems,.and dra-
matically increases crime rates.
Fortunately, the Ann Arbor City
Council hasn't bowed to the left-wing
extremism advocated by the Daily. The
Ann Arbor Police Department should be
doing more, not less, to help ICE hunt
down and arrest those who violate our
federal laws. To suggest that Ann Arbor
adopt a policy that inhibits the ability
of ICE agents to protect the citizens of
this country reflects an appalling lack of
The federal government must act deci-
sively to secure our borders and identify
exactly who is living in our country. For-"
tunately, next year when another Ari-
zonan, John McCain, is in the White
House, he will provide the leadership
that our country so desperately needs on
this critical issue.
Killing animals isjust as
cruel as torturing them
TO THE DAILY:
I'm writing in response to Eileen
Stahl's column Monday explaining how
she loves animals but still eats them
(Natural born killers, 09/08/2008).
Stahl's argument that killing animals
is OK because animals also kill doesn't
hold water after even cursory scrutiny.
Animals engage in infanticide, terri-
torial murder, rape and even cannibal-
ism. Yet, we don't condone these acts
and give into our animalistic roots here.
The notion that we are all "animals in
the end," is not how society operates.
Humans are capable of making rational
and ethical decisions. We do this all the
time, and this is necessary to our sur-
vival as a species and a society.
Stahl also included a logical fallacy in
her argument: the notion that you can
kill animals and not be cruel to them.
The impetus for this can only follow
from the pain principle - the notion
that the ability to feel pain determines
whether a species can be ethically killed
or harmed. The idea that murdering an
animal is somehow not cruel, while tor-
turing it is, makes no sense. The human
analog would be t& argue that it's not
OK for our government to waterboard
prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but it is
OK to kill them to open cell space.
Stahl's other points are pragmatic
issues versus idealistic ones. It's fairly
common for an ideal to trump the prag-
matic hurdles no matter what they be.
For example, we would probably still be
keen on enforcingthe illegality of murder
even if disposing of the police meant only
a marginal increase in the murder rate.
There is no escape from the contra-
diction that torturing animals is wrong
but killing them is not. Stahl should
think about this next time she eats a
hamburger in front ofther lizard.
Spectators should show
respect during anthem
TO THE DAILY:
At Saturday's football game, I sat
in row 62 above the 45-yard line and
watched more than a dozen people not
remove their hats during the National
Anthem. What is wrong with people
who don't remove their hats during the
In every game there is one moment
when we must all rise above football and
stand together. Americans have paid the
ultimate price for that anthem. Show
some respect and take off your hat.
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