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September 24, 2012 - Image 4

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4A - Monday, September 24, 2012

The Michigan Daily - mi'Nigandaily.com

4A -MonaySeptmbe 24 201 Th Mihiga Daly micigadaiyco

Cb Iid igan &Ug
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

TIMOTHY RABB
JOSEPH LICHTERMAN and ADRIENNE ROBERTS
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS

ANDREW WEINER
MANAGING EDITOR

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.
Not so 'fast
Focus on Holder betrays real issues of 'Furious'
n October 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives made headlines in newspapers all over the country
when illegal American firearms - which had been allowed by
U.S. officials to cross the U.S.-Mexico border - were first implicated
in the December 2010 death of U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry.
Initially, the public and certain members of Congress began to blame
President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, until
recent reports by the Justice Department revealed that President
Obama and Holder weren't connected to the operation. Despite these
findings, Republicans have continued to use this event for political
purposes along the campaign trail. They should stop trying to politi-
cize this tragedy in the interest of figuring out the real actors and
preventing the reoccurrence of such a misuse of governance.

the plaza outsi :
ed Nations head
New York City,y
sculpture titled
"Non-violence."
It's simple: a
revolver with
its barrel twist-
ed into a knot.
The image is
emblematic
of the prin-
ciples on which DAN
the U.N. was CHA
founded. This
is a place where
weapons are useless, it sa
for dialogue.
On Tuesday, world l
convene at this very plac
the opening session of th
General Assembly. The
and lofty rhetoric that of
pany this annual gath
occur against a backdrop
global conditions - mos
the Middle East.
Without a doubt, this
get the most attention as:
Assembly proceeds. Vio
in Syria. Anti-Americai
which some have attribu
tion to the film "Innocen
lims," carry on. And the
war between Israel and
on the horizon.
For better or worse t
probably for worse - tl
Assembly also overlaps
heated political campai
in the United States. And
I mean that Republican
tial candidate Mitt Ror
hot water.
Last Monday saw the
of a video secretly taken.
door, $50,000-per-plate
held by Romneyin May. I
now infamous words, th
percent of Americans wh
for [President Obama]
what ... who believe that t
tims, who believe that g
has a responsibility to car
who believe that they are
health care, to food, to h
name it."
However, far less att
been given to Romney'se

No guns allowed
de the Unit- turbing comments on the Middle of his staffw
quarters in East, which he delivered at the same This trag
you'll find a event. Answering a question about for those lik
the (to quote one of his guests) "Pal- seek to port:
estinian problem," Romney replied, ently violen
"The Palestinians have no interest is incompati
whatsoever in establishing peace such as fre
and the pathway to peace is almost Americans c
unthinkable to accomplish." dence" of th
It's worth quoting Romney at to justify th
length: "I look at the Palestinians motion of pe
not wanting to see peace anyway, futile; that f
IIEL for political purposes, committed only current
RDELL to the destruction and elimination guage theys
of Israel, and these thorny issues, ensure regio
and I say there's just no way. And
ys - a place so what you do is you say you move
things along the best way you can.
eaders will You hope for some degree of stabil- RhE
e to kick off ity, but you recognize that it's going
e 67th U.N. to remain an unsolved problem. I we
wa
pageantry mean, we look at that sn China and
ten accom- Taiwan. All right, we have a poten- prevai
ering will tially volatile situation, but we sort
of volatile of live with it. And we kick the ball
t visibly in down the field and hope that ulti-
mately, somehow, something will
region will happen and resolve it." Never mi
the General Romney's gross generalizations engaged in
lence rages and oversimplifications aside, he while those
n protests, demonstrates here an alarmingly many. Never
ted to reac- passive, laissez-faire attitude toward Jews and C
ice of Mus- the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as if treated as at
specter of the "invisible hand" of the free mar- nuance or di
Iran looms ket wields mysterious powers, too, in Nonethele
foreign affairs. Saywhatyou will, but friends on
his year - this no-can-do attitude is certainly taking the b
he General not what I look for in a would-be generalizatic
a season of commander-in-chief. Such complex Muslims tal
gning here problems don't simply solve them- they all so vi
I by heated, selves - they demand dialogue. But These qu
presiden- a President Romney (I cringe writing and unprod
mney is in that) would unquestionably accept - plicity of the
and perpetuate - the untenable sta- bloody ima
emergence tus quo that exists today. rhetoric onc
at a closed- Romney would justify stalling sions that cc
fundraiser progress with the presumption that suspicions.I
n Romney's Palestinians don't want peace to in spewing
ere are "47 begin with. That mindset is danger- that doesn't
o will vote ous, but not uncommon in American doing justice
no matter political discourse. We see that back- This week
hey are vic- ward logic at work not only against there will be
lovernment Palestinians, but Muslims in general. lence. How
re for them, As we know, protests against barrels will
entitled to "Innocence of Muslims" escalated rhetoric will
ousing, you last week into violent attacks on knots should
American embassies and consulates.
ention has In Benghazi, U.S. Ambassador to
equally dis- Libya Christopher Stevens and three reache

were killed.
edy has become fodder
ke Romney who actively
ray Muslims as an inher-
t people whose lifestyle
ble with Western values
e speech. Conservative
ite this violence as "evi-
e backwardness of Islam
eir claims that the pro-
ace in the Middle East is
orce, not dialogue, is the
cy of value, the only lan-
speak, the only means to
onal stability.
etoric, not
pons, will
l in the U.N.
nd that those Muslims
violence are very few
who call for peace are
mind that Muslims, like
hristians, shouldn't be
unilateral group without
versity.
ess, from Fox News to
campus, I hear people
bait and engaging in the
)on game. "Why can't
ke an insult? Why are
iolent?"
estions are unintelligent
uctive. With the com-
e media, which provides 4
ges and sensationalist
cue, we arrive at conclu-
onfirm our preconceived
We might feel justified
hateful rhetoric, but
necessarily mean we're
to the truth.
k at the U.N. conference,
dialogue in spite of vio-
ever momentarily, gun
be tied into knots, and
take center stage. Those
I stay tied.
- Daniel Chardell can be
d at chardell@umich.edu.

Beginning in 2006, the ATF conducted
various sting operations to track and destroy
major drug cartels in Mexico. However, it
was not until late 2011 when it was formally
recognized that the ATF was responsible for
guns that had appeared at the scenes of this
operation, known as Fast and Furious. In
this operation, the ATF allowed about 2,000
"potentially illegal firearms" to tross the
Mexican border. The aftermath of the failed
operation culminated in the first instance in
American history in which Congress held an
Attorney General in contempt.
According to last week's reports from the
Justice Department, Holder and President
Obama did not have any prior knowledge of
Operation Fast and Furious until the details
of the fiasco were made public in February
2011. Instead of pointing fingers at each other
and accusing "murder," Congress should be
looking for the real culprits behind this scan-
dal. Implicating one another in the media and
turning it into a election issue has made the
situation worse, particularly in light of vot-
ers's waning faith in the Congress.
Sting operations in which illegal materi-
als are allowed to leave government hands
are questionable enough. However, Opera-

tion Fast and Furious is even more obscene
because the "traced" weapons could only be
recovered at the scene of a crime. This sort
of retroactive investigative strategy implies
a troubling lack of concern for public welfare.
When the scandal first broke, it was hard to
separate fact from fiction. For example, it took
about four months for the Justice Depart-
ment to determine that President Obama and
Holder weren't involved. On Wednesday, the
independent inspector general of the Justice
Department released a report that may result
in the punishment ofuip to 14 government offi-
cials. It's a start, but further measures must
be taken to ensure that everyone involved in
the mismanagement of Fast and Furious is
answers for their mistakes.
While neither President Obama nor Attor-
ney General Holder were involved in
the scandal, it is time for the government to
ensure the use of efficient safety protocol
in all future covert operations. This was a
damaging blow to our government's credibil-
ity, and it's imperative that the government
establishes a legal precedent to avoid needless
deaths in the future. In the words of Holder,
"the use of this misguided tactic is inex-
cusable, and it must never happen again."

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Eli Cahan, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis,
Patrick Maillet, Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Gus Turner
GUS TURNER n
Tales of Romney-ville

4

4

ZACHERY MCKINNON I
Make Mond
Last month, Ann Arbor Public Schools
joined dozens of other school districts, hospi-
tals and universities in implementing "Meat-
less Monday" in their cafeterias as part of an
initiative to improve student health and envi-
ronmental sustainability. I want to urge din-
ing services at the University to follow suit by
adding more meat-free options and empha-
sizing them on Mondays.
It's clear that the University recognizes the
importance of environmental sustainability
with its programs to reduce waste, support'
local farms and compost, but if we want to
seriously address sustainability on campus,
we need to look at reducing meat consump-
tion. Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the
United Nation's climate change panel, argues
in a 2008 article from The Guardian that in
terms of having an immediate impact on the
environment, meat reduction "clearly is the
most attractive opportunity" and suggests
that we "give up meat for one day [per week]
initially, and decrease it from there." Accord-
ing to a 2008 study from Carnegie Mellon
University, going without meat and dairy just
one day a week reduces more greenhouse gas
emissions than eating locally the entire year.
Meatless Monday can also help with weight
loss and longevity. After recently goingvegan,
Bill Clinton said he lost 24 pounds and has
never felt better. A study from the Harvard
School of Public Health this year found that
when people replace meat with healthy plant

ays meatless
proteins, including beans, other legumes and
nuts, their chances of mortality can decrease.
by as much as 11 percent.
Finally, if every American participated in
Meatless Monday, more than a billion fewer
land animals would be subjected to the inhu-
mane conditions of factory farms each year.
To put that into perspective, if every Uni-
versity of Michigan student participated in
Meatless Monday, each year 140,000 fewer
land animals would be factory farmed.
By now, most of my friends and classmates
know that many animals raised for food do
not live on open pastures or die of old age. The
vast majority of farm animals today live on fac-
tory farms, where they are crammed by the
thousands into large, ammonia-ridden sheds
with no fresh air or sunlight, until the day of
their slaughterhouse deaths. Mother pigs are
crammed into cages so small they can't even
turn around and egg-laying hens are given less
space than the screen of an iPad to live on for
their entire lives.
Each time we sit down to eat, we yield enor-
mous power to change the world to our greedy
stomachs. Meatless Monday is a simple switch
that can have a profound impact on our ani-
mals, health and planet. I hope my fellow stu-
dents and the University will join me and Ann
Arbor Public School students by participating
in Meatless Monday on campus and at home.
Zachery McKinnon isan LSA junior.

I imagine it was an otherwise
average day in Romneyville this
past Monday until a campaign aide,
phone placed delicately on a gold
platter strapped across his back,
frantically crawled toward the Mitt
Man himself. Tim Pawlenty was on
the line.
"Mitt," Pawlenty said. "Do you
remember that fundraiser you had
awhile back in Boca Raton? The one
that was $50,000 a plate?"
"Were we having a clearance sale
or something?" Mitt chortled with
self-satisfaction.
"Mitt, I assure you this is no
laughing matter. Do the words '47
percent' mean anything to you?"
Romney thought for a minute. As
the realization of his gaffe dawned
upon him, he lowered his head into
his hands.
"Goddammit."
"I'm out, Mitt. Good luck with
the rest of your year."
Again, I imagine. That's what
it seemed like anyway, when the
Republican presidential nominee
called a shotgun press conference
on Sept. 17 to announce that he
hadn't really meant to denounce
47 percent of the nation as "depen-
dent" or "entitled" during a closed-
door luncheon for 30 of his most
lucrative donors. The question, he
claimed, was taken out of context.
No, there definitely hadn't been
enough context when he said that
"my job is to not worry about those
people." Perhaps, had we really
known whatwas going on, we
would've seen that he was merely
referring to the sorry state of the

Boston Red Sox. C'mon guys, it's an
election year. He doesn't have time
to take a stance on Bobby V!
All kidding aside though, the guy
looked like he was going to have a
heart attack on that podium during
his quasi-apology. And truthfully,
I can't blame him. Even when you
ignore the fact that the price of get-
ting a seat at that lunch was higher
than the annual income of the aver-
age American, Romney managed to
make himself look more hopelessly
out of touch with this nation than
ever. "There are 47 percent ... who
are dependent upon government,
who believe they are victims ... who
believe they are entitled to health-
care, to food, to housing, to you
name it," Romney said. Regardless
of what his policies reflect, isn't it a
little disconcerting that the poten-
tial leader of our nation doesn't
seem to care about whether his fel-
low Americans are sick, homeless
or hungry? Mitt, I've got another
question too: does education fall
into that "you-name-it" category?
Am I considered one of those "enti-
tled" 47 percenters who will never
embrace my personal responsibili-
ties because of the financial aid I
receive every year that helps me
attend this university?
In his defense, Romney made sure
to counter back to these criticisms
by saying during his press confer-
ence: "I want to help all Americans,
all Americans, have a bright and
prosperous future." Yet, should his
campaign prove successful, I still
can't help but feel that the concerns
of America's less well-to-do citizens

will be flicked away like a speck of
dirt on one of his immaculately man-
icured fingernails.
It's been abundantly clear
throughout his campaign that
Romney is in dire need of a reality
check. Here's a quick and easy one:
Mitt, once upon a time, your father
was dependent on the government.
Yes, George Romney, the former
governor of Michigan, was also, in
fact, a former recipient of welfare
himself. Isn't it just adorable when
kids grow up and completely forget
about their-roots?
Despite his family history, Rom- 4
ney has never made his allianceswith
high society a secret, with this latest
incident only serving as evidence of
how deeply ingrained he is into the
fabric of the American upper-crust.
Have you ever wondered what goes
on during all those hush-hush meet- 4
ings in private boardrooms? Well,
we just saw it, and it wasn't pretty.
Honestly, the most shocking thing
about this entire affair was that the
Monopoly man wasn't in attendance.
Of course, Romney has every
right to yuk it up and rub elbows
with the financial elite as much as
he'd like. Certainly after his years
as a governor and a successful busi-
nessman, he's earned it. Plus, I'm
sure that $50 can buy you a pretty
tasty filet mignon. Come Election
Day, though, I hope that the Ameri-
can citizens will do the right thing:
show him that 47 percent is sup-
posed to count for a whole lot more
than 1 percent does.
Gus Turner isan LSA junior.

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM
Pro-life is Pro-freedom
abortions (again, not a choice). Strangely, the
TO THE DAILY: same organizations that claim to be pro-choice
On Sept.13 & 14in the Michigan Daily, there have routinely supported all of these things.
were attacks on the Republican Party for being It was also remarked that by being pro-life,
pro-life. It was claimed that since Republicans Republicans oppose freedom. Yet, the right to
support small government, we should keep the live is the most basic and most important of
government out ofthe abortion issue. Yet, being freedoms. Children killed in the womb will
pro-life isn't being inconsistent at all. We sup- never be able to enjoy freedom from slavery,
port small government. We do not support no freedom to receive an education, freedom to
government. Even the simplest of governments vote, freedom to raise a family, freedom to;
should make certain that people do not kill have a career, freedom to run for political
each other. office, or the freedom to do anything. Thus,
Republicans have also consistently opposed abortion tears down all the freedoms our
forcing people to pay for abortions with their society has fought so hard to achieve. pro-life
tax dollars (not a choice), have opposed man- is pro-freedom.
dating that hospitals to give out emergency
contraception (also not a choice) and have Michael Puskar
opposed requirements that doctors perform LSA Sophomore

MISS OUR LAST MASS MEETING YESTERDAY?
STILL WANT TO JOIN OUR STAFF?
E-mail opinion@michigandaily.com if you're interested in joining
our Editorial Board, writing Viewpoints, drawing comics
or having your own blog on the Podium.

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