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November 07, 2008 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-11-07

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4 - Friday, November 7, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Je 1Iidiian a&Uj
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

I hope Mr. Waxman would
reconsider. I don't think this is a battle he
wants to put in motion."
- Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), speaking of California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman's announcement
that he will challenge Rep. John Dingell for his chairmanship on the House Energy and Commerce
Committee, as reported yesterday by the Detroit Free Press.





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.
0y i
Opening a new book
Google settlement a win-win for all
O its quest for world domination, Google just got one battle
closer last week. After a lot of legal wrangling and a lot of
money, Google is now cleared to allow millions of people to
access the vast, in-copyright bounties of Google's digitization efforts
directly from their computers. This settlement between the Inter-
net mogul and a group of publishing companies, which still must be
approved by a federal district court judge, is a great victory for the
expansion of knowledge. It's also a win that seems to benefit every-
one, especially here at the University.




Rebuilding America

Last week's settlement is a resolution
of sorts to a years-long battle between
Google and publishing companies. In
December 2004, Google launched Google
Book Search, a project to digitize books
from many libraries, includingthe Univer-
sity of Michigan's, and offer them online.
Because many books, depending on a num-
ber of criteria, have expired copyrights,
Google could offer these without prob-
lems. But there's one big problem: what to
do with the millions of books still under
Google and a collection of angry pub-
lishers and authors solved that problem
last week. Along with paying $125 million,
Google will now offer a variety of purchas-
ing options for its digitized in-copyright
books. The publishers and authors will
then allow Google to offer previews of
in-copyright books free to any users and
completely free to library systems. Like
any good settlement, this is a win-win for
both sides.
This settlement is directly beneficial
the University. Because the settlement
expands some of the texts Google will be
able to offer, Google's project at the Uni-
versity can move forward with less hesi-
tancy. This will both allow the University's
library system to preserve its collection of

books and offer to the world texts that are
unique to its collection - the two main rea-
sons the University's partner with Google
has been heralded from the beginning.
For students, the settlement may not
seem all that beneficial, but down the line it
could be. Through the University's library
system, students will be able to view free
of charge many in-copyright books that
they wouldn't have been able to view
before. That includes textbooks that they
can view online, instead of purchase. This
capability may even become the future of
textbooks, as accompanying technology
like Amazon's electronic book reader, the
Kindle, makes digital texts more useful.
Above all, though, this settlement fur-
thers Google's goal of making information
as available and accessible as possible. As
Google does this, publishers and authors
have every reason to protect their copy-
rights and intellectual property. But that
doesn't make Google's goal any less laud-
able. widely available information will
even the playing field for people across
the world and help share our single best
resource on this planet: knowledge.
Now that the legal issues are set aside,
Google can continue to progress toward
what may ultimately be the future of aca-
demic resources and books in general.

This past election cycle has
had to share the international
stage with America's crum-
bling economy.
These two mega-
events provided
virtually endless
material for jour-
nalists; but for read-
ers, they provided a
two-pronged path
to boredom. I, like-
most students,
consider myself ARI
an intellectual - PARRITZ
someone who can
engage, analyze and
critique the world and its most perti-
nent issues. And for many months I've
tried to maintain a sincere interest in
both politics and finance. But now, I
just want something new.
The election is over, and God only
knows where the stock market will
be next week, so let's consider a fresh,
uncharted topic - a virgin in intel-
lectual discourse and one dynamic
enough to stimulate proactive discus-
sion well into the future. What I'm
referring to is America's ailing trans-
portation infrastructure.
Indeed, afederallysponsored trans-
portation restructuring plan, what
some have dubbed a "National Mobil-
ity Project," could act as an antidote
to the triple poison of energy depen-
dence, political disunity and financial
turmoil. And it could even make poli-
tics and finance more interesting.
Last week, New York Times colum-
nist David Brooks discussed this ini-
tiative by relating it to core concerns
over energy, politics and finance. "A
mobility project would dovetail with
candidates have offered," Brooks said.
"It would benefit from broad political
support from liberals and business
groups alike, and it would rebalance
this economy."
Inspired by Brooks's idea, I did
some digging. America's transpor-
tation infrastructure pales in com-

parison to that of other developed
nations. High-speed, long-distance
railways in the European Union and
China are far superior to any U.S.
rail system. Only the largest U.S.
cities have subways, and bus routes
aren't generally tailored to suburban
commuting patterns. According to
the annual Urban Mobility Report,
Americans spend billions of hours a
year sitting in traffic. On the road to a
healthy economy, these are all trends
that must change.
A modern, accessible and reliable
mass transportation infrastructure
would shift commuters' reliance from
ozone-depleting cars to eco-friendly
trains. This isn't a new concept. The
real innovative potential here is the
ability to create transportation infra-
structure designed to utilize alter-
native energy, cut commuting time
and make our lives more efficient.
With widespread support, a unified,
supportive government can work to
eliminate many of the bureaucratic
obstacles that will inevitably interfere
with and delay this project.
Now, however, is not necessarily
the time for the federal government
to expand costly spending programs.
We understand that the incoming
Congress needs to balance the federal
budget, and adding a multi-billion dol-
lar project isn't the best way to do so.
If we pour money into a new project, it
will need to generate tangible returns
- and fast.
But, Congress has yet to allocate
the full figure of its massive economic
recovery package, and a creative proj-
ect like national mobility would be an
opportune and tangible way to jump-
start the economy.
I could be wrong, but wasn't this
the bailout's purpose - to jumpstart
our economy before it plunged into
further ruin? Propping up the lending
industry might restore credit, but it
won't necessarily create jobs.
Yes, a new transportation infra-
structure will be expensive, but it
will also create thousands of new jobs

across many different sectors: archi-
tects and engineers to design; banks
and venture capitalists to fund; and
laborers and contractors to build.
Employment productivity, accord-
ing to economists, is a much more
appropriate measure of the economy's
health than the securities market. If
politicians aim to bring America into a
new age of economic prosperity, they
should support and fund a project
with goals to boost employment and
America emerged as a global super-
power once we detonated the atom
bomb. In the 1940s, aglobalwarneces-
sitated unprecedented ingenuity and
innovation, and for many years Amer-
ica sat on the throne of global power
How infrastructure
improvements can
save our country.
as a result. Sixty years later, if we take
an introspective look at our place in
the world, and we ask ourselves, who
are we as Americans? Why are we so
great? Do we lead, or do we follow?
The answers aren't so clear.
In his acceptance speech Tuesday
night, President-elect Barack Obama
declared, "A world was connected
by (America's) science and imagina-
tion." To re-connect this world and re-
establish America's respect, we need
to re-adopt our foundational values
of innovation, ingenuity, imagination
and, yes, politics and finance as well.
To begin, let's show the world that
we can move people farther, faster and
more efficiently than anyone else. I'll
take the first nuclear-powered train
conductor position. How about you?
' Ari Parritz can be reached
at aparritz@umich.edu.

Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, Elise Baun, Harun Buljina, Ben Caleca, Satyajeet Deshmukh,
Brian Flaherty, Matthew Green, Emmarie Huetteman, Emma Jeszke, Shannon Kellman,
Edward McPhee, Emily Michels, Kate Peabody, Matthew Shutler, Robert Soave, Eileen Stahl,
Jennifer Sussex, Radhika Opadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Margaret Young
The Daily is looking for smart people with an interest in campus issues
and excellent writing skills to be members of its editorial board.

Behind the celebration was
two years of student work

the election, it's im
leader of the free wo
have done my bestm
cisms until he made
to do the same with

TO THE DAILY: In that spirit, Im
The dramatic images of partying students on the soldier (an acq
the front page of Wednesday's Daily were excit- who posted on Fac
ing, but slightly misleading. Students didn't America died" and
simply show up to the Diag to beat on drums similar sentiments
and shout "yes we can" joyfully into the night. cope with Tuesday':
In the hours, days and months before Tuesday, ly. Find comfort that
many had canvassed, called, knocked, cajoled, ken intellectual. In
blogged, debated and ultimately voted in record the savior and leade
numbers. Barack Obama's victory was a joint
effortby a resounding majority of the American Ali Thompson
people. Students did their part, making count- Engineering senior
less sacrifices in time, money and effort to turn
an unlikely candidate trailing Hillary Clinton A d a
by double digits into the charismatic leader A
who routed John McCain in the general elec- and a wors
tion Tuesday.
It would be impossible to post any one pic-
ture that could possibly do justice to the sacri- TO THE DAILY:
fices and effort of students in the effort to elect I headed over to
Obama. Yet it's worth remembering that behind Tuesday night aroui
all the celebration that we see in the media, but not exactly exp
there was an unbelievable amount of hard work Still, election night
by students and young people. America's youth tournament, except
came out at a time when our country needed it of brackets - regard
most to help bring change and turn the page be exciting. That i
on eight years of failed policies and decades of when swing state af
political alienation and apathy. Rest assured, Obama's way. Excit'
we were up to the challenge. appointment, and a
my friend.
Avi Bhuiyan On the way back,
LSA junior and a group of mor
ed toward us, soI de
,Saveyour Qbama criticismsI heard my share o1
y ryou" from those wh
frwhen he is oern sticker, and a few of,
fgv n It was interestingu
around here. I wish

portant to support the new
orld. If McCain won, I-would
ny best to hold back my criti-
a mistake, and I'm choosing
Barack Obama.
would like to recommend to
uaintance of mine) in Iraq
ebook, "I was in Iraq when
any other person who holds
about this election but can't
s results: get over this quick-
t Obama is a clever, well-spo-
fact, he is more than likely
r America needs right now.
inting election,
e realization
a College Republicans event
nd 9 p.m., full of high hopes,
ecting my desired outcome.
is like the NCAA basketball
with political maps instead
Bless of the outcome, it would
s, until the votes came in,
ter swing state went Barack
ement quickly turned to dis-
round midnight, I left with
I walked through the Diag
e than 75 students stamped-
ecided to walk right at them.
f "asshole" and "sucks to be
ho noticed my John McCain
them even ran right into me.
watching everyone go crazy
I could have pretended to be
is now the man, and I wish
tism in Ann Arbor remains
t the wall.

Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be less than 300 words and must
include the writer's full name and University affiliation. Letters are edited for style, length, clarity and
accuracy. All submissions become property of the Daily. We do not print anonymous letters.
Send letters to tothedaily@umich.edu.
eneration coming of ae


The most amazing thing that happened in Ann Arbor
Tuesday night wasn't Barack Obama winning the presi-
dential election. It was the campus reaction. Late into the
night, people were marching in the streets, unplanned,
through the Diag, to Michigan Stadium and back, singing,
dancing, hugging, playing drums, horns and didgeridoos,
waving American flags, shouting the Pledge of Allegiance
and singing our national anthem with tears running down
their faces. For students at this university and at universi-
ties all over the country, Tuesday night was more than a
landslide Democratic victory and a swing of the left-right
pendulum. It was the coming of age of a generation - a gen-
eration born on Sept. 11 and raised during an unjust war.
I've been a student at this university on and off for eight
years. I was a freshman, just beginning my politically
aware life, when George W. Bush was elected to his first
term. In his first few months in office, Bush had already
begun systematically destroying our civil liberties, dis-
mantling our economic regulations, expanding our global
hegemony and thoroughly embarrassing us in the eyes of
the rest of the world.
At that time, a friend of mine said to me, "All we need is
some kind of major disaster to bring us together, and we'll
have a movement. It'll be like the '60s again."
It's laughable now, but at the time it already seemed like
things couldn't get much worse. And then one morning I
woke up in my dorm room at East Quad, turned on the tele-
vision, and watched the towers crumble. I said to myself,
"This is it. This is the wake-up call we've been waiting for.
Now we will have a movement."
And a movement began. But it was a movement in the
complete opposite direction from the one I had imagined.
It was a movement based on fear and hatred rather than
peace and love. In the coming years I found out just how
much worse things could get. Every time something terri-
ble happened, I said to myself, "Surely now, our movement
will begin." And every time, I was disappointed.

I did my part. I joined student activist groups. I went
to protests and rallies in Washington D.C., Chicago, Ann
Arbor and elsewhere. I tried to organize. And I kept saying
to myself, "Where's the movement?"
Then on the morning of Nov. 3, 2004, after finding out
that Bush had been re-elected, I buried my head in the
sand. I swore off newspapers and magazines for almost
two years. Every news story I heard, read or watched
made me so angry it hurt. I lost hope. And even when I re-
emerged, I was so jaded that I thought things would never
But Tuesday night I saw something I've never before
seen. For the first time in my life, I saw people chant-
ing, yelling and marching in the streets - not out of rage,
but out of joy. Not fighting, but celebrating. Not trying
to change an unchangeable system but rejoicing in the
change we had already made. And for probably the first
time in my life, I felt proud tobe an American.
For us, Obama is more than a president. He is more than
a milestone in civil rights history. He is a symbol - a sym-
bol of equality, a symbol of cooperation and most impor-
tantly, a symbol of hope. He is the Franklin D. Roosevelt,
John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of a new
generation. Our generation.
Maybe this is the movement for which I've been wait-
ing. Maybe our generation will finally finish the work our
parents started. I believe that this movement has been
waiting to happen for a long time, and this may very well
be our chance. Because for the first time in my life, it'snot
something terrible that is bringing us together, but some-
thing wonderful. Bush's most successful political achieve-
ment was killing the hope of his opposition. Obama's, so
far, has been nursing it back to life.
Maybe this is our moment. But we have to make it hap-
pen. We can.
Adam Konner is an RC senior.

TO THE DAILY: happy. Alas, Oban
In the final days before the election, to my him well. Conser
disgust, I had many friends state that if John decidedly up agai
McCain won they would move to Canada. As
a proud American citizen, I think it's impor- Andrew Lorelli
tant to remember that regardless of who won LSA senior



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