Columnist’s rhetoric hides nature of tyranny

To the Daily:

Jasmine Clair’s article America’s paradox: selling democracy for tyranny (01/25/2005) was so full of inaccuracies and glaring failures in reasoning that I find it shameful that it made it to print.

Her most egregious error comes in her defense of absolutist governments. Apparently, we have been “brainwashed to despise absolutist tyrannical governments.” Clair seems to be making the case that absolutist tyrannical governments are things not to be despised. To my utter amazement, she went on to cite Adolf Hitler himself as an instrument of our brainwashing into thinking absolutist governments are negative things because of their “seemingly oppressive and immoral natures.” I would argue that there was nothing seemingly oppressive or immoral about the Third Reich, and that instead, it may be history’s most instructive example of the actual abusive and dangerous nature of absolutist governments. After these baffling (and to many, offensive) statements, Clair concludes her paragraph with the statement that tyranny is in fact the sibling of democracy, which then leads one to ponder the identity of the progenitor of these disparate offspring. I truly hope that the strange conclusions one can draw from Clair’s argument are the result of a failure to articulate her point clearly, and not reflective of her actual views. Whatever the case, I think that this is the single worst paragraph in journalism that I have ever read and am disappointed that it made it to print.

In addition to the aforementioned abomination, she also paints suicide bombers as valiant freedom fighters, “strapping themselves up with explosives…hoping that one day they will be free and able to handle their own affairs.” My question is, free how? Free as in enjoying freedom of press, speech and self government? This sounds like democracy to me. Asserting that the suicide bombers are dying for the cause of freedom (and not deluded religious fanaticism, desperation and a hatred of democracy) demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the political situation.

I think it would do Clair well to spend more time thinking her statements through before committing them to paper, and it would do the Daily editors well to more closely monitor the quality of the work that they publish.

Andrew Pytiak



Daily should support Rice’s nomination

To the Daily:

After reading His Loyal Servants (01/19/2005), I was shocked the editors of the Daily did not applaud President Bush’s cabinet selections. Since the Daily has taken great strides to defend “diversity” at the University, it seems logical the writers would be overjoyed with the prospect of an black and a Latino in Bush’s cabinet. This is in addition to Alphonso Jackson, the black secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Elaine Chao, the Asian American secretary of Labor and Norman Mineta, the Asian American secretary of Transportation. And this is after two blacks, Colin Powell and Rod Paige, stepped down from their positions as secretary of state and secretary of education. The way I look at it, Bush is trying to create “diversity” in his administration just as the University’s admissions policies are supposed to create “diversity” in the classroom.

It’s funny how the Daily can’t accept Bush’s “diverse” cabinet! There might not be a “diversity of ideas” at the top positions of our government, but there is certainly the type of “diversity” the University and the Daily have championed for years. It actually mirrors the University if you think about it! There’s many different skin colors, but there’s not much “diversity of thought.”

You may think this sounds ridiculous, but just imagine how conservative students feel when this institution says there’s “diversity” on this campus. Until the University appoints a few more conservatives to administrative and faculty positions, or lectures are taught in an unbiased manner, the Daily should lay off this subject before it gets tied up in blatant double standards.

Michael Vasell

LSA senior


Society finally turning against abortion

To the Daily:

Monday marked the 32nd year that men and women from around the country participated in the March for Life in Washington D.C. Because coverage of the event did not appear in the Daily, I decided that a reminder was in order. Since 1973, our legal system has turned a blind eye to the protection of the most innocent and helpless members of our society — the unborn. Instead of debating the fundamental issue at hand — the status of the fetus — we pat ourselves on the back over the reprehensible “freedom to choose” that is available here in the United States. We equivocate about “recognized medical procedures” to assuage the guilt of ending the lives of these human beings. Women who cry out in righteous anger, “It’s our choice — not theirs” have missed the point completely. It is never “your choice” if that choice involves taking an innocent person’s life — yet another reason why we must refocus the abortion debate on the status of the unborn.

Fortunately, the tide may be turning; a recent Gallup poll shows that 53 percent of Americans find abortion to be morally wrong, an increase of 8 percent from the same poll taken two years ago. I am thankful that we are slowly moving toward the consensus that abortion is a blight on our society. I can only hope that, in the near future, the U.S. Supreme Court will do the same.

Michael Saltsman

LSA senior


Stadium renovation would split student section

To the Daily:

Reading the proposed plans to transform Michigan Stadium, I joined the growing surge of alumni in outrage, disappointment and disgust.

Home football games are emblematic of the Michigan experience and should remain so. As a school that celebrates diversity and equalizing opportunities for students, our football games function as an occasion to come together as a community with one common interest. The stadium plays favorites to nobody — each seat similar to the next, no unnecessary frills, unique yet equal views.

Michigan Stadium is a strong foundation for our football tradition and the spirit of the University as a whole. Not only is equality so clearly demonstrated, but so is cohesion and togetherness. How will the wave work with luxury boxes? What about the opposing chant of “Go!” and “Blue!”? Will spoiled students segregate themselves from scholarship students?

Current and future University students should be able to reflect on their times in Michigan Stadium with the same fondness as those before them. I urge the athletic department to continue embracing the essence of the University by leaving Michigan Stadium alone.

Richard P. Mumby


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