4A - Thursday, October 20, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4A - Thursday, October 20, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
EDITOR IN CHIEF
and EMILY ORLEY
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS
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.
FROM Il-E DAIL
Support the struggling
Welfare program funding should be continued
ith a stagnant economy and a job market still in turmoil,
Michigan is searching for ways to cut its budget. But the
government is attempting to salvage the state economy
at the expense of Michigan's low-income citizens. In November, the
state will take away cash assistance from likely 41,000 people and
this past July, the state passed a law limiting residents to 48 months
of welfare eligibility. The state government needs to make cuts in a
way that spreads the burden among all residents and does not target
one group specifically.
Recent cuts to social welfare programs
have raised the question of whether the
money saved is worth the potential harm that
could come to Michigan residents.
The cuts resulted in large reductions
in funding for food banks and soup kitch-
ens. Food banks and soup kitchens provide
an invaluable service to communities and
residents. Many of these organizations are
already facing massively reduced resources,
often preventing them from meeting the
needs of their area. Organizations that feed
the hungry are important resources for
Michigan's moststrugglingresidents, and it's
crucial that they are properly funded.
Another $62 million was also cut from the
funding of agencies like the Salvation Army
and the Heat and Warmth Fund. The major-
ity of that money was supposed to be used
to fund heating and other utilities for low-
income residents during the winter months.
Michigan has one of the highest state
unemploymentrates inthe country with more
than 11 percent of its citizens out of work.
Though this number has decreased in recent
years, there are many residents throughout
the state who are struggling to make ends
meet, and cuts to welfare programs penal-
ize the state's most disenfranchised citizens.
The decision to reduce funding to programs
designed to aid low-income families and
unemployed Michigan residents could not be
coming at a worse time.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's economic
plan touts tax cuts for businesses that could
ultimately create jobs and help rebuild the
economy. But in order to balance the loss
in revenue from reduced corporate income
taxes, welfare programs that help feed Mich-
igan families and allow them to stay in their
homes are losing funding. While the state
needs to cut spending somewhere, taking
away funds from the less fortunate is not the
wayto do it.
The best way for the thousands of strug-
gling Michigan residents to get back on their
feet is through aid and education. It's clear
the government cannot continue to operate
with such a large budget, and cuts will have
to be made. But rather than making massive
cuts from programs that help Michigan's
struggling residents, the government should
make smaller cuts across the board.
The prosperity of Michigan's low-income
residents will ultimately contribute to the
economic health of the state as a whole. Rath-
er than being downsized, programs that give
aid and support to residents who are strug-
gling need to be properly funded, so they can
continue to give help to those who need it.
Please don't take my babies."
- Marian Thompson, the wife of Terry Thompson - who took his life
took his life after allegedly releasing dozens of wild animals from their cages at his Ohio home
yesterday - said to authorities as they tracked the animals, according to The New York Times.
fter my last column's focus, Believe" series would be appropri- able to pick. only through the por-
I decided I'd shy away ate. Perhaps it's the cynic in me, but tal that subsides as page and ink,
from controversial topics I've read numerous "This I Believe" binding and cover, am I allowed to
this week. Like essays from NPR's long-running become familiar with their words.
many of you, I series. Topics range from the typi- Man himself composed each and
returned home cal religious rant about God and every word, each and every tragedy
to my family sinners and heaven and hell and and triumph and sorrow.
for Fall ,Break. everything between, to the obscure
For me, stints half-wit essay about believingin ice
between long " cream. (I'm sure realists are ques-
periods of school tioning how someone could refute I m left to think
serve as a time EGHN the existence of ice cream.) c hat's beco
to relax and I'm laying my column out like Of me
recharge. But DAVIS any author would. Scene comes f life.
conversations first, characters second. Except in o my
with my parents this context, you're already aware
always seem to lead down the same of the character - the column is
road. When their incessant ques- titled "This I Believe," a simple clue In many of my English classes
tioning about recent developments as to whom we're talking about. I've been told art mimics life. But I
in my life ends, I'm left to think of When I contemplated my father's believe the contrary. When I look at
what's become of my life. Some- question, I was left with uncer- the sky filled with clouds, I think of
how there's a negative connotation tainties rather than answers. So Monet. When I have a realization,
to the aforementioned statement, I return to the most fundamental I think of related ideas I've read in
maybe not inherently to some peo- reasons for my uncertainty. books. When I thought about this
ple, but the question leaves me with I believe in the act of reading, in ideal more, I return to the fact that
an uneasy feeling. the experience that goes into the I believe in humanity.. Perhaps this
At this point in my life, I can't ordeal. Reading for me is a pseudo- is a basic realization for most peo-
pinpoint many things. As I learn holy experience. Just as many of my ple, but I've always had an affinity
more about the world, I question people proclaim they have feeling of for ideals that-aren't tangible.
my position on nearly every sub- subservience and gratitude to their I believe in man. I believe in
ject. Religion? Don't ask me. My almighty creator, I feel the same everything man has created, in
position on the current economic for Wilde, Hemingway, Cummings everything man will create and in
crisis? I'd tell you, but my opinion and Kerouac. When I walk into a the triumph and tragedy and sorrow
will undoubtedly change before bookstore, the experience is like each and every man, real or fiction-
this piece is published. This week- walking into a church for me. I bask al, will experience and has already.
end my father asked me the simple in the words, in the wisdom, in the But I guess there's no need to tell
question: "What do you believe in?" intricate philosophies each author you to believe in what exists.
And herein lies today's column. paints with each and every word.
I thought paying homage to When I read, I feel small com- -Eaghan Davis can be reached
National Public Radio's "This I pared to the author's mind I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Complete Spectrum: Chris Dyer remembers Frank
d Kameny - an influential leader of the LGBT community.
podiu m Go to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium
SETH SODERBORG |
A troubling assassination
SARAH SQUIRE I
Mind your manners
Manners are pounded into us from the
moment we can speak - when it suddenly
becomes rude for a 1 year old to point.
In theory, being polite is great. Nothing is
gained from being outright rude to strangers,
or even friends, and it can be surprising how
much an unexpected smile can do for your
day. But some people cross the line by being
overly polite to the point where they waste
hours every week performing meaningless
and often unnoticed formalities. Even worse
is the unending stream of people I am forced
to have passing interactions with who believe
they are polite because they hold the door for
me, but who then continue to walk next to
their three friends, blocking the entire side-
If you want to continue with your ineffi-
cient, repetitive life - holding the door open
for me when my hands are free and I'm still
20 feet away, sending me e-mails with only
two words, "thank you," when I'm sitting 5
feet away or, worst of all, saying you're wel-
come to every reflex "thanks" - go ahead.
But I will not allow your bad habits to affect
my life any longer.
When you move aside, setting your feet
to offset the weight of the first door into the
Chemistry Building while I make my grand
entrance, do not expect me to break my stride
for the second door. I'll give it a little extra
swing for you to catch, but that's it. If you
want to sit in your car and wave me on at the
crosswalk when I have made the clear effort
to stop all my momentum, then fine. Never
mind that it takes 10 more seconds for me to
cross the street than it will take your car and
that I am the one in 50 people who will stop
for you. Go ahead and sit with that I'm-such-
a-considerate-person smile on your face.
I'm not a mean person or a social outcast.
I understand how society works. My problem
with many niceties is they end up clogging
our already hectic lives without any benefit.
Further, many proponents of these formali-
ties ignore common street sense. These are
lose-lose situations. Whether you agree or
not, allow me to propose a few new rules for
us 1 to follow, either in replacement of or in
addition to the classics, while we attempt to
cohabitate in this city.
1. Get off the bus (or elevator). Are you on
a crowded bus from North Campus, on your
way to receiving another tardy? Another
stop, another minute late. Or maybe not. If,
instead of leaning over the poor soul seated
in the aisle seat while the freshmen pile off at
the Hill,you stepped offthe bus and out ofthe
way (and somehow convince the five other
people blocking the door to do the same), you
all might finally reach C.C. Little in a normal
amount of time. Keep in mind that getting
off the bus and out of the way means moving
clear from the door. While we're on buses,
try putting your backpack between your feet,
and you'll witness that 15 more people can
pile in for the adventure ride.
2. Don't sit in the aisle seat in lecture with-
out a good reason. Good reasons include no
other available seats, crutches, a lefty desk,
leaving early or you are 10 minutes late and
want to sit down as soon as possible. This is
especially important in a crowded classroom
where you know someone will eventually be
forced to climb over you.
3. Stay to the right on the sidewalk. See
the bike speeding toward you? He can move
more adroitly than you. Stick to the right, and
he'll swerve around. Are you approaching
an intersection in the Diag? Maintain your
speed, and she can easily maneuver around
you. Slow down or dodge back and forth, and
you are asking for a collision. Don't see any-
thing? Chances are someone is behind you,
on foot or on wheels, too pissed off to ask you
to move without hissing.
I have more proposals for situations in
everyday life such as crossing the street and
getting on and off an airplane. And there
might be other ways, better ways, to improve
our collective lives. But for now, I challenge
you to explain why the methods I recom-
mend wouldn't. If only Aretha Franklin had
sung about these rules, I'd get a little more
R-E-S-P-E-C-T and make it to class on time.
Sarah Squire is an LSA senior. She is
t Daily's web developmentm anager.
The Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. military
personnel used an unmanned drone to kill U.S.-born
Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda leader living in Yemen,
on Sept. 30. Al-Awlaki was a U.S. citizen. He was also
indisputably an enemy of the United States - credible
sources suggest he played a role in training several of
the 9/11 hijackers, spoke to and encouraged alleged
Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and helped plan the
unsuccessful attack on a Detroit-bound flight last
December. In January 2010, his name was added to a
public list of persons targeted for assassination.
Drone strikes in Yemen are nothing new. American
military and intelligence personnel routinely use air-
borne drones to carry out targeted assassinations on
Yemeni soil. But until al-Awlaki's name appeared on the
list, the CIA had never officially targeted a U.S. citizen
for assassination. This is because U.S. citizens accused of
crimes have the right to be tried by a jury and face their
accusers.A targeted assassination, even one approved by
numerous analysts, lawyers and high-ranking members
of the executive branch, is not the legal process through
which criminals are normally sentenced.
I am troubled by the CIA's decision to execute an
American citizen - now that it has been done once, it
may be easier to justify similar actions in the future.
At the same time, I believe that the assassination of
al-Awlaki was justifiable. It was justifiable because his
actions were equivalent to those of a soldier in war-
time. He was in a battlefield, and the methods used to
kill him were acceptable under wartime conditions.
Before the government carries out an assassination, it
should show that the target is a soldier on a battlefield,
and the methods to be used comply with international_
codes of military conduct.
Roger Simon of the Chicago Sun-Times attempted to
justify the killing and suggested that al-Awlaki should
be thought of as a combatant on a battlefield because
any location in the world can be considered a battle-
field for the purposes of the war on terror. Such logic
could justify targeted killings anywhere there are sus-
pected al-Qaeda operatives - even Canada or within
Although it is dangerous to argue that the entire
world is a battlefield, it is not dangerous to sayYemen is
a battlefield in the war on terror because the president
of Yemen has authorized U.S. strikes against militants
in his country. The fact that U.S. forces may use lethal
force in Yemen is not a secret and has not been for
some time. When al-Awlaki went to Yemen, he entered
a place where it was known that the U.S. had permis-
sion to kill al-Qaeda operatives. He became an enemy
soldier on an active battlefield. Conceived this way, the
drone strike that killed him was no different from a
military strike against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Still, al-Awlaki did not lose his U.S. citizenship when
he began fighting for al-Qaeda, which means he didn't
lose the right to confront his accusers in court. And in
a way, he tried. After the announcement that al-Awlaki
was on the targeted list, his father sued the CIA and
asked for al-Awlaki to be removed from the list. The
judge ruled that only Anwar al-Awlaki had standing
to bring such a suit. He held that a person who wishes
to challenge his or her inclusion on the list must do so
in person. This is entirely fair. Because U.S. courts do
not try accused criminals who are absent, it would be
unfair for a U.S. court to grant relief to a person who
refuses to appear before the court, especially when
that person has deliberately placed himself outside
of U.S. jurisdiction. Instead of challenging his inclu-
sion on the list, al-Awlaki hid in a place where trying
to arrest him would have put additional lives at risk.
In this case, the CIA acted with appropriate military
force against a legitimate military target on a known
battlefield. It is important that the assassination of al-
Awlaki be justified in this way and that this legitimate
act sets an appropriate precedent.
Seth Soderborg is an LSA senior.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain,
Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Teddy Papes,
Timothy Rabb, Seth Soderborg, Caroline Syms, Andrew Weiner