To the Daily:

‘U’ must live up to partnership with WRC

I’m glad that the Daily wrote an editorial about the University’s labor policies, but I’d like to point out that the University is already affiliated with the Worker’s Rights Consortium. Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality did a sit-in in 2000 that won that affiliation. The University has a committee that is supposed to meet for an hour and a half every month (but it hasn’t met yet this year) to discuss the reports that the WRC submits and review the status of some licensees (including Adidas).

But even though it is affiliated with the WRC, the University, citing its precious autonomy, does not listen to any of its suggestions for fixing our labor policies, like signing onto the Designated Suppliers’ Program or cutting contracts with licensees that utilize factories where the WRC documents cases of abuse.

The editorial gets the gist of the argument: The University should get serious about sweatshops, instead of talking about potentially having a committee meeting to talk about getting serious about sweatshops.

Blase Kearney

LSA junior
The letter writer is a member of SOLE.

Viewpoint distorts Gore’s statements

Emily Michels’s viewpoint from last week (Inconvenient and unworthy, 10/18/2007) could have used some fact-checking. First, her viewpoint insinuates that Gore is résumé padding. That is mostly what hack college students do, not politically active former vice presidents. Secondly, Michels makes it sound like Gore took the spotlight for his own sinister purpose with regard to his Nobel Peace Prize, despite the fact that Gore did not nominate himself.

Michels also copies the right wing attack strategy by using a previous statement by Gore to infer a long history of lies and hypocrisy. At this point she spews out a statement that is entirely invalid: that Al Gore claimed to have invented the Internet. This lie has been told many times, but Gore never claimed to have created the Internet. Republican operatives misconstrued his words. and from there the lie spread into the impressionable minds of people who wanted a dim-witted president rather than one who is a little more on top of things.

I do want to thank Michels for alerting me to the dark side of Gore’s political life – his ties to Occidental Petroleum. That could have been made into a full viewpoint if she hadn’t just been skimming Ann Coulter’s blog for talking points.

Matt Steele

RC sophomore

Big Ten Network is lesser of two evils

In response to Christopher Willis’s letter about the Big Ten Network and Athletic Director Bill Martin (The interests of true michigan fans are overlooked by University, 10/22/2007), I can see why Willis would blame the Athletic Department. But this is actually a situation where two evils are fighting over the right to screw Michigan fans over.

Personally, I’ve sided with the Big Ten Network since I have a burning hatred toward Comcast. Since it’s basically a scenario involving one of two corporate-type entities gorging on profits, I feel more comfortable giving money to the Big Ten since some of it will trickle down to the University’s athletic department. Also, I think it’s actually kind of exciting that a lot of the smaller sports will get some of their games broadcasted.

Sure most other people probably won’t care to watch and will dismiss BTN as unnecessary, but I’d rather see more Michigan sports on the air than watch anything offered on Comcast’s basic package. I’d like to see the Daily do a news story specifically looking into the assertions made by Martin. Was BTN’s offer to Comcast fair? Does Comcast’s ownership of rival regional sports networks play a role in the negotiations?

Andrew Woo

Law student

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