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July 03, 2000 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2000-07-03

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M cWilliams'
death a
Long after the drug war
bureaucrats who persecuted
him are gone and forgotten,
Peter McWilliams' memory
and writings will live on the
*the hearts and minds of the
people he touched, with his
wit and wisdom.
The thoughts and beliefs
contained in Peter's books
have had a profound effect
on many people, including
myself, and his untimely
and tragic passing leaves an
emptiness in many of us.
1. for one, will rededicate
my efforts to seeing Peter's
and our founding fathers'
.dreams of a free country,
become reality.
Hopefully. those who
hounded and destroyed this
great American treasure,
will realize the horrible
ramifications of their self-
serving agenda and rectify
this terrible abomination in
American history, called the

information and outlaws
communities" 6:1900) as a
well-meaning attempt to
stop the flow of dangerous
Given the utterly coun-
terproductive results of hun-
dreds of other drug laws, it
is impossible to attach any
virtue to morons who pro-
mote the destruction of the
Constitution as a means of
fighting drugs. Those who
endorse an utterly failed
drug prohibition scheme are
either profoundly stupid or
have another agenda in
mind, such as incarcerating
blacks 13 times as often as
whites for violating drug
There is nothing well
meaning, honest or virtu-
ous about any new drug lasv
other than repeal.
Rose is no
longer a

Tihe two faces of modern American politics
F or those of us living happily in agendas and pricing schemes of liberal and conservative or
our era of "peace and prosper- those sources, the changing regula- Democratic and Republican side.
ity'there isn't a whole lot to worry tions on fuel production, various There is no room for a compro-
about these days. Sure, gas prices gas tax levels between states and mise position between the two and
are a little high, but the amount of the tendency of companies to definitely not a third one that nei-
driving being done has actually charge whatever the market will ther is pushing. In any debate, one
increased over last year, so we can bear for their products, I was under position will be our salvation and
obviously handle it. Sure the impression that the other will destroy humanity.
there's an impact, but if finding out what caus- This absurdity is partly the pub-
gas prices weren't slowing es fitel price shifts was lie's fault. By becoming ever less
the economy, the increas- complicated. itterested in the news in general
ingly jittery Fed would be. "Not so;' proclaims and politics in particular, the polit-
Although you'd never Al Gore. lie says this ical class has been left to pander to
know it from listening to is all the fault of big oil those who do pay attention, the
politicians, there is no gas companies. purists - those who really do
crisis. From watching the "Nonsense,: says believe Armageddon will be upon
mounting federal and con- George W. Bush, this is us if we prevent late-term abor-
gressional inquiries to the all the EPA's fault. tions or say you can't keep an AK-
endless hoards of politi- PETER These arguments from 47 under your pillow.
clans piling onto talk CUNNIFFE the head honchos of In order to appeal to these left
shows to cast blame on their respective parties and right-wing political junkies,
someone else as quickly are quickly carried to traditional news programs and the
and frequently as possible, all corners of the cotn- ever proliferating all-news cable
one gets the impression there's try by our nation's political class - channels are turning to debate pro-
some kind of imminent national its politicians at every level, their grams more and more to draw in
doom looming on the horizon. staffs and lackeys, special interest viewers. An issue is not newswor-
This debate has quickly broken groups and the increasingly coot- thy if Bill Press and Mary Matalin
down into those blaming the gov- mentary-driven news media. can't take opposing sides and hec-
ernment -- specifically, new EPA The current debate about gas tor mid-level politicians and party
regulations - and those blaming prices reflects what is happening to functionaries about it.
oil companies for raising prices to almost every national debate today. Even poor Ted, Dan and Peter
increase profits. It doesn't matter how complicated have been reduced to dragging in
Considering the innumerable an issue is, there are two sides, one pundits at every opportunity to
foreign and domestic sources from right and one wrong. Or more appease the masses with the com-
which we get our oil, the differing accurately, one right and one left, a bat they desire. And with no one

listening except the ideologues
most of time, attention-loving
politicians wholeheartedly throw
themselves into one side or the
And as the political class contin-
ues to carve itself utp into warring
factions, the public withdraws fur-
ther from public policy. The insidi-
ous dualism of modern public life
has forced most people, who don't
see the world in black and white, to
loose interest in how their nation is
being run.
I've always been interested in
politics, but find myself willing to
follow it less and less. I have a hard
time listening to shrill politicians
- even ones I agree with - who
just tout their own ideas and make
hysterical condemnations of any-
-thing else. It all becomes an end-
less blur of bitching about the
same things every day. So I stop
listening. I look around and every-
thing seems all right, so Itjust go on
with life like everyone else, bliss-
fully unaware of what my nation's
leaders are doing. I'm taking the
easy way out because like every-
one, I'm busy. And I don't really
know what else to do.
-Peter Cunniffe can be
reached via e-inail at

W"War sOt
*M cU
rial Mont
death" 6
the trag
In the
of mariju
to be a
from ma
was not
I m

etglssy.TO THE DAILY:
we' .lins you. It is unfortunate that you
my frietnd. choose to characterize Jalen
Rose career as that of a
MIKE PLYLAR "loser" ("Rose gets Monday
KREMMLING, CO reprise" 619 00).
Fortunately, the great repu-
tation of U of M sports
ernm ent teams was not built on the
backs of 'losers.' Why does
)n led to the strong confidence and
V braggadocio behavior of a
Wilams young college athlete still
manage to elicit such nar-
row remarks that can best be
characterized as jealousy?
DAILY. The so-called Fab Five
Ayoe for your edito- did their best by getting past
day ("LUnecessary all others who also wanted to
19 001Uregarding play for the national champi-
ic death of Peter onship. So they didn't win.
i d fe Not every college team does.
5.000 year history Any team sthat has worked
ana use.a hisyry hard enough to play in the
dtscetted death finals has something to be
drijsana use. Peter proud of. Not all graduates
died because e are fortunate to go on and
ms iedbecusehe play for an NBA 5eam. For
allowed by his gov- those who do go on, they
to use It. find success at the hands of a
e stop this insanity. good coach a the NBA level.
School's out in the NBA.
KIRK MUSE Rose's current chal-
VANCOUVER, WA lenges in the NBA are about
the concerns of an adult pro-
fessional athlete, not a
l laws sophomoric unfocused ath-
lete. The stakes of an NBA
'we|| championship are Jar
greater than that of an
nIng NCAA basketball champi-
onship. The only thing that
DAILY: seems to be losiing here is
L1 disagree ith the logic of your compari-
.. - son.

Escaping the political fantasy world,
T he full force of the Presidential RoboGore2000 took the stage and
election year is upon us, bear- removed their masks. They were
ing down on the masses with a like two aging computer systems. I
flood of rhetoric, abortion think they could have
debates and trivial word been Apple II's; their
plays that pander to as beige cases were dis-
large a constituency as pos- colored from age.
sible. With campaigns run This Postmodern
more by poll-reliant advis- World: How do you
ers than candidates with feel about the ever
any vision, the political widening gap between
debate is nothing but a the rich and the poor'?
puppet show of intricate Dubya: I'm a cots-
proportions. If big money passionate conserva-
is calling, the advisors pull JOSH tine, so I -
the string and Dubya's WICKERHAM TPW Gore?
hand goes op. RoboGore2000: I
RoboGore2000 lurches invented the Internet.
onto the stage at S1000 a TPW Right. I see.
plate dinners and hooks his What about campaign
mind into the teleprompter, making finance reform?
just-the right plays. Duba: I'm a compassionate
It's easy to think of politics as a conservative, so I -
very complicated gatoe of chess. TNI' RoboGore2000?
But I think of it more of a comput- How do you feel about
er simulation, like IBM's Deep campaign finance refons?
Blue, the computer that beat the RoboGore2000: Does not
world chess champion some years compete. Does not cot-
back. Candidates are just the front pttte. Does not compute.
men for gigantic political Cmpitgn Aid: My god!
machines, chock full of transistor- His floating point units on
like advisors, wiry experts and the brink again!
blinking, glowing advocates. It's a But Dubya knows what to
finely tuned circuit, but something do. He smacks RoboGore-
is wrong with the operating system. 2000 in the back of the
Having a political debate in this head. RoboGore2000's
country is like trying to carry on a head slowly swivels around
conversation with your computer. he lnges at Dubya. Dubya
The answers are so fornlated that grins masiacally, morphs
there's no possible way an intelli- into his alter ego, Alfred E.
gent, sentience being with any sort Newman from "Mad
of emotional connection to reality Magazine" and takes
could have come isp with them. RoboGore2000 by the ears
It just so happens that This to unscrew the entire ial-
Postmodern World slipped into a functioning cranial region.
secret meeting of the two party Political aids swarm the
duopoly wrhere both Dubya and stage, trying to plug the two

creating my own
candidates back into their respec-
tive positions. In a desperate
attempt to regain the necessary illu-
sions of the democratic process,
aids stun Dubya with a cattle prod,
focusing their attention on
RoboGore2000. This Postmodern
World runs off behind the scene in
search of aid. Finding only a room
partitioned by a velvet curtain a la
"Wizard of Oz," TPW reveals the
final illusion: the reptilian overlord
of American politics.
He has claws of an eagle and the
head of a dinosaur. His arms are
like octopus tentacles - but scaled
- and pull at the levers of an
ancient punch card computing
machine. He wears an American
flag around his waist and is tat-
tooed with dollar signs. Squinty-
eyed and alarmed by my presence,
he bears his teeth like a raptor and

emits a long, shrill reptilian hiss
that calls the aids to his attention.
Horrified and flabbergasted, I
stumble backward as the creature
pulls the curtain closed to contain
himself. I hear aids scrambling to
this monster's aid.
Aid: Oh god, no! Uncle Sam!
Another aid approaches me:
What did you see?
TP I don't know!
Then things get frizzy.
I found myself three days later on
the floor of the bathroom at the
Daily writing this all down, not sure
what it means. I guess the neces-
sary illusions of our democratic
process are a lot more pleasant than
the demons pulling strings behind
the velvet curtain.
-Josh Wickerham can be
reached soia e-mail at
jtwvicker h aumich.edu

'A19XIN G A CtIE F"o- r thEc
CAhtI'Ai~r5 1 ,FOAct+A NEW
Lo W4. t

ash Wicker hams portrayal
of the "Methamphetamines
Anti-Proliferation Act of
1999" ('low Congress bans


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