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February 07, 2014 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-07

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4 - Friday, February 7, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4- Fida, Fbruay 7 204 Th Mihign Daly mihigadaiyco

74WC 1 0R alv
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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.
Bridging a lack of access
The NITC is a necessary investment for Michigan's future
ecently, the Canadian government announced its willingness to
begin construction on the New International Trade Crossing to
Canada, which voters approved in 2012. The NITC is a necessary
alternative to the privately owned Ambassador Bridge. Furthermore, the
NITC has the potential to contribute to economic growth - which Detroit
seriously needs. The bridge would create job opportunities, as well as lead to
needed infrastructure improvements for shipping industrial components in
and out of a city that is still heavily dependent on manufacturing. Republican
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder must work with the federal government to
provide the necessary funding and ensure the bridge's construction.




Yeah, we know.

The Canadian government is ready to
proceed with land purchases, and will be
responsible for the majority of the costs -
totaling over $2 billion. The United States has
yet to provide the $325 million needed to build
a customs plaza and 1-75 connection ramps.
Although Snyder has strongly endorsed the
new bridge, his push has not been sufficient to
pressure the Department of Homeland Security
to provide the funds.
The Ambassador Bridge, which was built in
1929, lacks the capacity to meet the demand
for trade and ground shipping exchanges
between Detroit and Windsor. According to a
2010 report, approximately 10,000 commercial
vehicles cross over the four-lane bridge on
a typical weekday. Canadian transportation
officials are expecting truck traffic to triple and
vehicle traffic to double over the next 30 years.
The Ambassador Bridge already struggles to
accommodate truck and vehicle traffic, and
increases will unnecessarilyburden businesses
with long border wait times. Because the
current bridge directs traffic through
residential and commercial areas, trucks pass
through 17 traffic lights in town. Although
there is a Detroit-Windsor tunnel as well,
public demand for the NITC demonstrates the
incapacity of the existing bridge and tunnel.
The NITC will directly connect to major roads,
simultaneously increasing efficiency and
alleviating traffic. The NITC has the potential
to enhance the already strong trade relationship
between the two countries, improving the
economies of both throughthe additional gains
of comparative advantage.
Furthermore, the NITC would provide a
public option for internationalcrossingbetween
Detroit and Windsor, disrupting the private
near-monopoly held by the Moroun family,
the current owners of the Ambassador Bridge.
The new bridge is needed to strike a balance
between private and public ownerships. This

would allow tolls to respond better to market
tolls to help offset the costs of construction, but
ownership of the bridge will be jointly held
between the United States and Canada.
The NITC may also help spur job growth
in Detroit. Snyder believes that this major
construction project will directlycreate 12,000
jobs and indirectly create 31,000 jobs as a
byproduct ofbetter trade.Also,more trucks can
smoothly cross over the new bridge for trading
business purposes. In an interview with CBC
News, Snyder said, "Getting Michigan-made
products to more markets faster will enhance
our economic competitiveness in the future
and help our state create more jobs." Once
construction is complete, the bridge may help
revitalize the city of Detroit and attract new
industry and business professionals.
While his support for the project is
commendable, Snyder needs to do more
to ensure the project moves forward in a
timely manner. Snyder should pressure the
Department of Homeland Security to fund
the plaza. As the Canadian government has
already committed to fund the project up front,
the United States should actively cooperate
with Canada so that construction can begin.
Snyder also needs to create a plan to relocate
or properly compensate the more than 1,000
residents who will have to move out of the
Delray district to make room for the plaza and
related infrastructure. Concrete plans from
Snyder could help further construction efforts
that will benefit the state.
Prompt action by Snyder and the federal
government to provide funds for the NITC
is in the best interest of the state. Adequate
funding for the customs plaza will allow
construction to begin on a project that will
enhance trade, create jobs and provide a
balance between government and private
ownership of vital infrastructure.

first heard news of Brendan
Gibbons's expulsion from the
via the benevo-
lent, ever-present
Facebook. The
Michigan Daily
article outlining
his expulsion -
er, "permanent
separation" - K
from the Univer-
sity was trending STEEN
on my newsfeed.
Rather than a
collective gasp or indication of any
form of surprise really, the general
reaction from the people posting the
article seemed to be a response of, "It
was about time!"
Brendan Gibbons? Rape
"Yeah, we know."
We didn't always know, though.
In fact, the allegations of rape
against Gibbons go back all the way
to 2009, but I didn't even hear about
the case until around August last
summer - also from a post I saw
on Facebook. I remember wonder-
ing why The Daily, in the four years
since the incident, hadn't covered
the allegations against Gibbons ... at
all ... and I felt simultaneously hesi-
tant and motivated to write about
the topic given that 'the case had
-been essentially off the radar for so
long. Could I be sued if I wrote about
Gibbons? I wondered. Is it too far in
the past to bring up now? Is there
any "point" to bringing it up now?
There's a kind of learned helpless-
ness that seems to have developed in
regard to the Gibbons case - a feeling
of, yeah, we all sort of knew about it
by now, but we had accepted that the
University, the coaches, the police
and the student body weren't going
to do anything about it. We felt pow-
erless, hopeless and, perhaps even-
tually indifferent. And this shared
sense of helplessness is particularly
unnerving given that it's such a high-
profile case. Sexual assault survivors
all too often do not get the benefit of

the doubt, which explains why 97
percent of rapists receive virtually
no punishment. We knew about this
case - we knew about Gibbons - and
yet it felt like there was nothing we
could aboutit.
I ended up writing a column about
Gibbons and football and its relation
to rape culture in general. I received
several emails after writing my col-
umn from readers expressing their
shared disgust with the issue. "Not
proud," "conflicted" and "disturbed"
were a few responses to my column
in regards to Gibbons and the overall
lack of coverage on the case.
And my response to these e-mails
was essentially, "Yeah, I know." (And,
of course, "Thanks for writing.")
And all the while, there was a
sense that it was all over anyway
- that there was nothing we could
do about it now. It was too late. The
Daily even wrote in one article out-
lining the case,
"It's unclear why
sanctions were Like the.
not decided in
this matter until the Uni
So why did it response to
take so long to ep s
get this guy out eXpu n
of here? Maybe Gibbons s
because Gibbons
was a good foot- "Yeah, we
ball player? The
Michigan Daily
ended its article on Gibbons's expul-
sion with, "Gibbons is fourth in made
field goals in Michigan history and
owns the program record for con-
secutive successful extra points with
141." Odd way to end an article about
an alleged rapist. Even stranger, the
Athletic Department spokesman,
Dave Ablauf, doesn't want to say
when Gibbons came to speak to the
Athletic Department regarding his
expulsion over sexual assault allega-
tions. And when Michigan football
coach Brady Hoke gave a press con-
ference that included comment on
the Gibbons allegations this Mon-
day, guess who wasn't invited? The

no-good meddlin' news staff of The
Michigan Daily.
But, much like I felt when I wrote
my column on Gibbons originally -
and howI feel when I write many of
my columns - I often ask myself, Is
anyone even listening?
I'm thinking back to Mar-
tin Luther King, Jr. Day, when I
stopped by the protest formed by
students of the Black Student Union
outside Hill Auditorium. The BSU
students formed a line and listed
seven demands they insisted the
University acknowledge and follow
through on.
What stood out to me most dur-
ing this protest, though, was the line
uttered by Business senior Shayla
Scales: "We have heard the Univer-
sity use the phrase 'We are listening'
since 1970, and I am tired of waiting
for a response. We are tired of wait-
ing for a response."
I think the
"We" uttered in
students, Scales's state-
ment can speak
versity's for a larger num-
ber of University
the belated students than
f Brendon just those seven
BSU protesters,
eems to be and can pertain
to a number of
knew too." differentissues.
The Student
Union of Michi-
gan posted a powerfulresponse tothe
mishandling of the Gibbons case, as
well as other unimpressive responses
from the University regarding sexual
assault, Black student enrollment
and employee salaries, to name a few.
The University does respond when
its students complain, but, just like
the belated expulsion of Gibbons
received a widely-uttered reply of,
"Yeah, we knew that all along" from
us, it seems oftentimes the Univer-
sity's response is simply, "Yeah, we
knew, too."
- Katie Steen can be reached
at katheliz@umich.edu.

Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jordyn Kay, Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble,Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman,
Paul Sherman, Allison Raeck,Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
I like Leno, sort of (not really)
This Friday night, Jimmy Fallon will host ly, and that is why I'm still fairly anti-Leno.
his last episode of "Late Night" and be on his However, if one really looks at Leno's situa-
way to hosting "The Tonight Show." The day tion, he really didn't do anything wrong. One
before, Thursday, Jay Leno will host his last day he was told by NBC that he was being
episode of The Tonight Show after 22 years. pushed out. Then shortly after he was gone,
I don't actually like Jay Leno, but I also don't NBC asked him to come back and he agreed.
believe the popular opinion to resent him is His position in the whole debacle, in a sort
necessarily fair. of messed up way, made complete sense. I
Historically, on the surface, people have believe NBC is to blame for making quick,
legitimate reasons to dislike Leno. Some shortsighted decisions.
argue he unethically received The Tonight Even if, as the reader, you're convinced Leno
Show over David Letterman by going behind isn't that bad of a guy, you probably don't think
his back. However, what really spawned he's very funny; I completely agree based on
much of my generation's hatred of Leno stems his performance as host of The Tonight Show.
back to 2010 when it appeared that Leno gave I was lucky enough to see Leno live a few years
Conan O'Brien The Tonight Show and then ago and his act was nothing like I've seen him
took it right back a few months later. I don't on The Tonight Show. He was edgier, smarter,
look at it like that and I definitely don't fully and simply funnier. If you look up some of his
blame Leno for what happened; NBC should old performances, such as interviews on Let-
have taken the brunt of the anger, not Leno. terman's Late Night, you'll see a different kind
NBC told Leno a few years prior to 2010 that of Jay: a Jay who wasn't afraid of offending peo-
he would soon be out; the show would be ple or alienating viewers.
Conan's. Then NBC gave Leno his own show I don't blame Leno for the decisions he's
at 10 p.m. Could Leno have decided to just made. He's been the most popular late night
retire altogether rather than having a pseudo talk show host forever; he panders his humor
"Tonight Show" an hour and a half before to such a broad audience and it makes him
Conan's show? He probably could have; how- popular with the "common man." It's unfor-
ever, ultimatelythat was NBC's decision. tunate, but it wasn't a bad show-business
Not even a year into his stint as host, move on his part.
NBC decided Conan's ratings were not good You can still choose to believe he's a sleazy
enough and asked Jay to host a half hour guy because of the controversy with Conan and
show when The Tonight Show normally Letterman, but I do hope you look up old clips
started and bump Conan back. Could Leno of Leno, because he truly is a funny comedian.

am an atheist. While atheism
and agnosticism are much
on the rise in the United
States, particularly among people
my age, most
people remain
affiliated. I
rarely find that
my atheism
angers religious
people I meet.
However, I am CAITLYN
often met with
(what I perceive BRENNAN
to be) pity.
The pity is not
so much for the fact that I don't
share in their particular religious
beliefs, but that I don't possess
any at all. Whether talking to a
Catholic or Muslim or Jew or Sikh
or whomever, when the subject of
religion is breached, it often seems
they'd rather I say I'm any religion
rather than none. They speak of
a void that can only be filled by
God/religion/faith, and when I tell
them my void is indeed perfectly
full, they don't believe me. Their
disbelief is magnified if I tell them
about my loss of a parent.
My father died when I was 20.
Though he died abruptly, Iam fortu-
nately able to say I have few regrets.
There were no missed "I love you"s
or agonizing loose ends left untied.
We were extremely close, and we
were extremely happy. In all hon-
esty, this makes it more difficult to
deal with his death. I feel robbed.
I mourn his loss extensively, and
sometimes I do search for something

bigger to hold my faith. breaking down and building back up,
I'm often told by others to seek to create more thoughts and more
solace in knowing I'll see him again heartbeats, more veins, more trees.
someday, but I can't. I know that We die, but our parts and pieces -
I will never see him again. I don't our atoms - stay here. I don't just
believe in heaven or hell, inan after- believe, but know, that in this way,
life where everyone you've ever lost my father never really left. He will
is waiting patiently for your arrival. I always be around me.
believe when we die, we rot into the While science has no god and
ground, decomposed by bacteria and I await no messiah, I have faith in
bugs, to return back into the earth. it. I am able to find great content-
Many people "of faith" find this ment in the truths it has to offer
haunting and tragic - dismally me. Questions about where the uni-
sad and cynical. But I believe it is verse came from or the exact origin
beautiful. of life or what our Greater Purpose
While unable to find comfort is don't faze me. Some of these
in the idea of being posthumously things I don't believe I'm capable of
reunited with my late father, I find knowing in my lifetime, while other
great relief in things I happily
knowing that seek answers to
his body, as through explor-
mine and yours ing that which
and everyone's, I believe when we I find fulfilling
will be the stuff die we return back and relevant.
of which new I'm at no loss
life generates. into the earth. and suffer no
I'm calmed by profound con-
the idea that fusion as to the
in the grand meaning of life.
scheme of the I'm happy
universe, we are small; that nothing for the religious who peacefully
is unique, and that nature reigns. explore their faith and what it has
That electrons spin around nuclei to offer them, and I ask that they
just as planets orbit stars, and that afford me the same. Don't feel bad
the veins in my body branch out, for me because I don't believe in
tinier and tinier, remarkably simi- God, and don't dismiss my faith
lar to the branches which turn into because it relies on the physical
sticks and twigs on trees. rather than the spiritual. Indeed,
Our thoughts are just the prod- put simply, when I say I have faith,
ucts of electrical firings and chemi- believe me.
cal interactions, as are our beating
hearts, and when these things stop, - Caitlyn Brennan can be
so begins a process by nature of reached at caibre@umich.edu.

Dust to dust

have said no and let Conan mature and find
his niche as host of the new show? Absolute-

Andrew Lieberman is an LSA senior.

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