To freeloading students: Since when is stealing OK?

To the Daily:
Regarding Paul Tassi’s B-Side article (File-sharing blues, 03/08/07), I have to disagree that everyone pirates music. His attitude of “why the hell am I going to stop and pay an outrageous price for something I barely want in the first place?” as opposed to just stealing it is extremely na’ve.

I don’t mean to defend the RIAA – their shock and awe tactics are reprehensible and their statistics on the effects of piracy are known to be overinflated. But regardless of the situation, when did stealing become ethical?

Only want one song from a new album? Try 99 cents on iTunes. Don’t know if you like a new band? Find track previews on Amazon.com or temporarily download songs. But don’t try and defend stealing with the high cost of music; you have free choice to not buy anything.

Christopher Peplin
LSA sophomore

Action necessary to prevent another Katrina

To the Daily:
The many Americans struggling to rebuild their lives after hurricanes Katrina and Rita need to know that Congress has not forgotten them. Hope was provided when three members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee flew to New Orleans in January to re-focus attention on the progress of the rebuilding efforts. The crafting of sensible policies requires the correction of three common misperceptions.

First, the aftermath of Katrina is not merely a local crisis; it is national problem. Second, Katrina was just not a natural disaster; it was a human-made disaster triggered by natural events. The flooding, caused by the breaching of the levees, was the direct result of human mistakes and neglect.

Third, the federal government was responsible for the causes of the catastrophe. Over decades, our government made decisions that eliminated the wetlands as the natural buffer against storms and allowed the water surge to devastate New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. It also designed and constructed levees known to be inadequate.

What is needed is not merely assistance but accountability. As a member of the Law Students for Government Accountability, a national organization of law students dedicated to working with Congress to prevent another disaster like Katrina, I will be traveling to Washington, D.C. on March 14. I will meet with our representatives to ask them to sign a non-partisan Statement of Principles pledging to take the steps necessary to prevent another Katrina.

Dan Chiorean
Alum

Sentiment alone shouldn’t hinder needed development

To the Daily:
Jon Koller’s argument that City Council should encourage Zaragon to build on the current location of Good Time Charley’s (Maybe it’s time to move the Big House to the Diag, 03/07/07) would be a good one if we lived in the command economy he longs for. Unfortunately for both of us, companies in America are free to build where they choose as long as zoning and building requirements are met.

Anberay may not be the ideal location, but the development of a high-quality, high-density mixed use building will only benefit Ann Arbor. Bringing more housing and commerce to city centers is an important part of curbing urban sprawl and fossil fuel use. Buildings like the one Zaragon proposes can help promote the sort of lively downtown that makes professionals want to come to Ann Arbor and stay.

Although Anberay may have some value as a historical relic, Koller’s comparing it to the Diag points out why this loss is not one to mourn. Anberay serves no important social function. Its courtyard is not a gathering place where students rally for the proletarian revolution. No one even sunbathes on the lawn, and the building itself is in poor condition. The proposed development will provide real benefit in exchange for a loss that is only sentimental.

Gabe Slabosky
LSA junior

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