Residents of Ann Arbor responsible for demanding workers’
living wage

To the Daily:

Wednesday’s letter by Dan Smith of Borders Group Inc. is
characteristic of the Borders campaign to misinform the public,
Borders treats employees fairly, acting “in good faith,”
(10/22/03). As a member of the Ann Arbor community, I am outraged
that Smith believes that as a community and consumers we should
have no say about working conditions within our city.

Smith claims that it would be irresponsible to pay Borders
workers in Ann Arbor a living wage, but Borders’ labor practices
are already irresponsible. He claims that Borders workers at Store
001 are demanding “more than what our other stores received.” There
are two problems in Smith’s reasoning that point to what he is
really saying. If we read between the lines, Smith is admitting
that all of Borders’ 140 stores pay their workers poorly. Workers
at Store 001 are only demanding fair wages, a guarantee of benefits
and a desire to improve customer service. Second, Smith seems to
suggest that communities and their workers should not be able to
make any demands on corporate labor practices. Retail workers in
Ann Arbor know how much they need to earn to live in Ann Arbor.
Having the same pay structure nationally misses the point in the
simple fact that the cost of living varies from community to
community, from Portland, Maine to San Diego.

As a community we need to come together and demand that Borders
treat its workers as assets to Ann Arbor’s social and cultural
lifeblood. As educated consumers we can both create a community
that supports the welfare of workers and invest in our common

Matthew Ides


iTunes presents more options than Daily reports

To the Daily:

I am appalled at the presentation of the article Apple
releases PC-compatible website for iPods
(10/20/03). Has the
author even used iTunes? In the future, please make more of an
effort to get your facts straight, iTunes is music software with a
built in store, not just a website for iPods. There are many other
strong points about the software that are completely disregarded by
the author, such as the ease of use, the fact that there is no
limit to the number of CDs that can be imported or recorded. It
imports, plays and manages music in standard formats such as mp3,
wav, aiff, and aac (mpeg-4). Music can also be streamed to another
computer on a network for playback anywhere in the house or

Perhaps a comparison to WinAmp or Windows Media Player is in
order? The results might take many by surprise.

Regarding the compatibility issues mentioned in the article,
Rhapsody and Buymusic offer songs in WMA format, a non-standard
codec, iTunes music store offers songs in AAC format, also known as
MPEG-4. AAC is a newer standard format that is still being phased
into new devices and the list of supporting devices will grow. As
far as converting an AAC file from iTunes music to an mp3 that will
play in any player, yes it can be done, yes it is easy, but that is
a violation of the copy protection and I won’t offer

The article concludes stating that iTunes music downloaded songs
only play in iPods, but Rio and MPIO mp3 players are compatible
with both Mac and Windows. This is like comparing a CD to a stereo.
The iPod, the RIO and the MPIO are all mp3 players and are
compatible with both Mac and Windows. The song files downloaded
from iTunes music are simply in a format that is not yet supported
by the RIO and the MPIO. In fact an iPod is not required to utilize
the iTunes music store.

Rob Middleton

Engineering sophomore

Hoard’s prayer repulsive, shows lack of respect toward

To the Daily:

Joel Hoard’s Putting ‘God’ on Trial (10/22/03) was
ludicrous, offensive and irrational.

The column was an opinionated response to the issue of
separation of church and state. And, as the First Amendment of the
U.S. Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law … abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press.” So as much as I may
disagree with what was written, there is nothing that can legally
be done to stop such opinions from being expressed.

My problem is not with the issue though, but the senseless and
repulsive “prayer” offered at the end of the article which read as
follows: “… and see that they (Congress) will find it in their
hearts to remove the heinous mentioning of You from our Pledge of
Allegiance. Oh, and while You’re at it, can You do something about
the whole ‘In God We Trust’-currency thing, as well? Thank you, and

There is a noticeable difference between making a cheap shot and
writing an opinion. This “prayer,” stating that the mention of
God’s name is “heinous,” crossed the line between the two. It is
unfortunate that the author had to sink to the level of defaming
God and prayer in an attempt to get his point across.

It is not a total shock that the column included such a shallow
attack on God and the act of prayer. What is more alarming is that
the Daily published such a column without editing out such slander.
The column would have been complete in its absence, yet it
remained. Say what you will about your view on the issue of
separation of church and state, but have the maturity and respect
to avoid such offensive issues as the forthright attack on God and
the act of prayer.

Anthony Hessler

Art and Design junior

Women seeking abortions victims, need support

To the Daily:

Interesting. Lauren Strayer actually took a totally different
slant to this column, Doctoring a woman’s right to choose
(10/23/03), than I thought she would. Strayer states, “I cannot
decipher how pro-lifers reconcile their need to end abortion with
their refusal to condemn those who seek and obtain it.” She wonders
why pro-lifers are going after the doctors instead of the women.
Maybe what pro-lifers realize is that women do not want to kill
their children. But many women see abortion not as a choice, but as
their only option. Most women who seek abortion do so because they
lack the emotional and financial support they would need in order
to have a child. They see abortion as their only solution because
our society tells them again and again that this is the case. They
are told that they can’t continue their education if they have a
baby. They are told that they will have no help from the father if
they have a baby. They are left with no resources and therefore
have no choice but to have an abortion. Most women do not realize
that such choices do exist and that there are organizations that
are working to help them. For example, the activist group Feminists
for Life is working extremely hard to give women in crisis
pregnancy the choice to have the baby and complete their education.
Why not condemn the women? Because the women getting the abortions
are as much victims as the children they are aborting.

Rachel Faitel


Strayer ‘doctors the language of abortion’

To the Daily:

In her column Doctoring a woman’s right to choose
(10/23/03), Lauren Strayer does just what she condemns pro-life
proponents of doing: She “doctors” the language of the abortion
debate to numb the emotions of her readers. To her, partial-birth
abortion is a matter of “reproductive rights,” a “recognized
medical procedure” and in the interest of the “mother’s well
being.” She removes any hint of humanity from the aborted baby.
Treating abortion as simply a woman’s issue – part of why
“navigating life as a woman is not always easy or fair” – Strayer
clouds what is really at stake: What value will we as a society put
on the most vulnerable of human lives? Do pro-life proponents have
to prosecute women for seeking abortions to be idealistically
consistent as Strayer suggests? Not as long as they consistently
strive to maintain the lives of the unborn.

Laura Davis

LSA junior

Bobby Raham

LSA sophomore

Co-chairs, Young Americans for Freedom
























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