Wednesday, June 18, 1997 - The Michigan Daily - 5
"The verdict doesn't diminish the great sadness that
* occurred in Oklahoma City two years ago. Our only hope
is that the verdict will go some way to preventing such
a terrible, drastic crime from ever occurring again."
- Federal prosecutor Joseph Hartzler; commenting on the death sentence
handed down to Timothy McVeigh by a juy in Denver; Colo. last Friday
LETTERS TO THE DTR
TO THE DAILY:
have possessed t
grounds crew in
down several of
large trees. I'm
lt I'd like them
scaping plan the
has, I'd remind t
trees, while per
niently placed, a
vide campus wit
If one desire
sure a trip to We
f THE DAILY:
must be forgive
of its editorials is sometimes
tting less than professional, but it
ees on has outdone itself with its
analysis of the Ypsilanti
Human Relations Committee
("The right time," 6/11/97).
The editorial claims that there
thing seems to is a pressing need for the
he University's Ypsilanti City Council to
to chopping bypass HRC and enact an ordi-
the Diag's nance banning discrimination
not sure why, on the basis of sexual orienta-
to stop imme- tion. Should they instead
it new land- choose to allow the current
administration process to be completed, the
hem that these Daily warns that the council~
paps inconve- would be "asking for trouble."
re winconve- Itsis impossible to resist
re what pro-f asking the question: Trouble
so much from whom? Are local
Christians going to begin
sthe overly lynching gays and lesbians (or
cape look, I'm those suspected of being such)?
st Bloomfield Or will the trouble come from
angry gays and lesbians break-
JEFF KEATING ing into local churches and
LSA SENIOR forcing outraged members to
sign a statement approving of
Perhaps what the editorial
ti reveals is the Daily's fears that
the HRC will not call for an
not anti-discrimination ordinance
and that without such a man-
H RC date, the city council will not
draft one. Thus, if the process
is allowed to proceed without
the Daily is a agitation, the outcome the
per and hence, Daily prefers will not prevail.
n if the quality As a citizen of Ypsilanti as
well as a member of the
University community, what
particularly disturbs me about
the editorial is that it views the
situation here as cut and dried
- if the ordinance the Daily
wishes for is passed, all will be
well; if not ... who knows what
might transpire? The city coun-
cil has shown wisdom in both
conducting an investigation of
the legal situation and asking
the HRC to give its report.
My guess is that some sort
of ordinance banning the type
of discrimination at Hansens
Printers will be enacted.
Probably, that is a good thing,
though I am not sure it is
unproblematic. What I wonder
further is whether all of the
people who are so outraged by
the actions of the Hansens
would be equally upset if
members of the Ku Klux Klan
wanted to have literature print-
ed at that same shop.
Meanwhile, I am content
that the horrors the Daily pre-
dicts are no more than fig-
ments of overly simplistic
imaginations and naive politi-
cal analysis. Fortunately for
the citizens of Ypsilanti,
calmer and wiser heads are in
the position to decide what
course to pursue.
An open letter to the baby boomer generation
H ello baby boomers, welcome to my world of beat Super Mario World than the government.
angst-ridden apathy. I would first like to Also, we've learned from the past. Protesting
congratulate whomever coined the catchy term didn't get the the United States out of Vietnam,
"Generation X" - simple, yet chic. Kudos to nor did medicinal marijuana bills passed in
realizing how hip a single letter can be. I admit Arizona and California make the federal govern-
full-blown jealousy over your catchy, two-word ment rethink its stance on the drug war. We can
name "baby boomer," but I'll learn to stick with yell and scream all we want, but it seems noone
my one-letter generation. is listening, so why bother? As I see it,
Rumor has it you see us Xers as lazy the United States is run by a bunch of
and apathetic. You claim you don't old white guys, and until they're six feet
understand us. You see us as pierced under, we're bound to be faced with
freaks with no motivation for success. insurmountable irrationality.
Let me shed some light on your mis- No drive to succeed - why, what will
conceptions. " I ever be in life if I don't own a Jeep
Lay - yeah, so I like to sleep until Grand Cherokee and live inta gased cor-
noon on weekends, and when it comes munity with a name like "Sherwood
to doing laundry and changing my Oaks," just so I can pretend I live in the
sheets, one could possibly call me lazy. wilderness (as opposed to an ex-farm-
But taking a full load of classes, work- KRISTIN ers' field between two freeways).
ing part time and participating in AROLA Yes, I want success, but on my terms. I
extracurricular activities that make us DANCING IN want a roof over my head and food on the
employable to people like you is hardly CEILING FANS table, but I'm not going to make myself
lazy. I'm not saying you have it any eas- miserable for 35 years just so I can look
ier - working 40 hours per week and taking care good and talk about the cost of my new Jag. For the
of a household are quite toiling - but just because time that I have to be in the work force, I hope to
we do different things doesn't mean that your life is be happy and enjoy myself. And if I can't live in
an ulcer waiting to happen and mine is a breeze. Fleetwood Pines or own a $300,000 house that
Apathetic - possibly. Yet, this is not the '60s. looks like my neighbors,' I think I'll survive.
There are no major social or political movements Many of us grew up in a time when we were for-
at the time, and sad as it may be, we're all pretty tunate to have everything we really needed in life,
comfortable with our stations in life. Time and plus an exorbitant amount of extras. Yes, it was
time again we've been shown the United States fun, but it didn't seem to make our parents happy
government makes no logical sense and to boot, (look how many of them are divorced), and it did-
they never seem to listen. We're faced with the n't bring us complete gratification either. For our
inevitable fall of Social Security, 50 percent of lives, we're going to do what brings us happiness.
prisons being filled with drug offenders, and gays For some of us, that's as simple as sticking stain-
and lesbians still not being protected under anti- less-steel rings through our nipples, for others it's
discrimination laws. None of these make sense, spending a year following Phish, and for most of
but instead of starting social revolutions, we sit us, it's going to college so we can learn to play
with our Nintendo controllers in hand and ignore grown-up just like you.
the problems. Why? Because it's a lot easier to - E-mail Kristin Arola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology threatens to limit users'free speech
Tjhe mouse is truly mightier than the sword. I constructed law and its demise will be a victory
don't claim to be the first to point out that for free speech, but even many of the staunchest
little twist on the favorite cliche of smart kids civil libertarians seem to have become passive
who were regularly divested of their lunch toward what appears to be the next tool to censor
money, but there is no doubt that personal com- the 'Net.
puters are becoming as mundane and unremark- Abe next big thing is Platform for Internet
able as the ball-point pen. Their overarching Content Selection, a technology that can be
acceptance in society, not the speed of implemented at any level of the 'Net by
any processor or modem, is why those a government, an Internet service
little gray boxes are so damn powerful. provider, an institution like an office
While computers seem to be quickly building or school, or even in the home.
becoming as everyday as your toaster or PICS does not ban any sights or really
that indispensable juice weasel, we are even filter anything out; it is basically
increasingly bombarded by a press corps technology that allows for labeling
dazzled with the shimmering brilliance standards - again, the main idea is to
of the microchip. I really think that protect children, but every web user
reporters assigned to the technology beat will feel its effects.
are under the impression that they have The technology is sponsored by a
the scoop on something roughly equiva- PAUL huge consortium of companies, includ-
lent to the discovery of fire. $ERILLA ing IBM, Microsoft, Apple, AT&T and
It's not that advances in technology $E.LA the Nickelodeon Children's
are not important, but I really don't WARFARE Broadcasting Company, but they have
need to see nightly updates on the state pledged not to create the labeling sys-
of the World Wide Web. The only thing more tems - that will be left to private groups. This
poorly understood and more heavily reported means groups as different as the Christian
than the Internet are presidential elections, and Coalition, the American Civil Liberties Union,
when you've got Bob Dole handing out his web- the Ku Klux Klan, the National Association for
page address during a debate, watch out. the Advancement of Colored People, the Anti-
It's really this crossroads of politics, culture Defamation League and a host of others could all
and technology where I think many of us lose offer their judgments on speech content and push
sight of the whole potato. The best example is the their values through the new technology.
current uproar over the Communications What the PICS technology means is that the
Decency Act, which makes placing "indecent" or 'Net will be crawling with different labeling sys-
obscene material on the web illegal. While the tems which could be implemented by anyone,
law had the understandable purpose of keeping including those who control web access like
porn out of the hands of children, its vague lan- America Online or the authoritarian govern-
guage and its obvious judgments on content of ments of Singapore or China. The end of the
speech protected by the First Amendment make CDA is not the end of censorship on the 'Net,
it a legal disaster. Most pundits agree that the and it seems that free speech has more to fear
Supreme Court will strike the law down, proba- from computer code than legal code.
bly in the next few weeks. The CDA is a horribly - E-mail Paul Serilla at email@example.com
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