Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Tuesday, November 9, 2004
Volume 9, Number 47

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1) Eben Moglen ’80 discusses the state of freedom

2) Faculty panel discusses Darfur genocide, students urge action

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events


1) Men’s soccer to play in ECAC championships

2) Women’s soccer names two to All-Centennial Conference squad

3) Upcoming contests


Today: Sunny. High of 44.
So apparently there was a freeze warning for this morning.

Tonight: Clear. Low of 29.
The world has entered that awful state of “pre-winter”:

Tomorrow: Sunny. High of 46.
We are taunted with cold without receiving the fun consolation of snow.


Lunch: Open face turkey ham sandwiches, curly fries, veggie chili, open face vegetarian sandwich, green beans, mixed vegetables, pumpkin mushroom, cream of tomato, Asian chicken salad bar, marble cake

Dinner: Fish of the day, corn pudding, broccoli mushroom stir fry, veggie strata, peas and onions, brussel sprouts, cajun bar, cheesecake


1) Eben Moglen ’80 discusses the state of freedom

by Andrew Quinton
Gazette Reporter

Free Culture Week kicked off last night as Eben Moglen ’80, a law professor at Columbia University and a longtime defender of the free culture movement, discussed why he believes that the “free union” is doing very well indeed and offered reasons why freedom will continue to expand in America.

A predominantly male crowd of about 20 gathered in SCI 183 to listen to Moglen’s “state of the free union” address. “The state of the free union is strong,” he began, and then outlined the reasons why four facets of the freedom movement: Free software, free hardware, free culture, and free spectrum, have been doing well. Moglen believes that there will never be another new proprietary system in the style of Windows; all future OS’s will be freely distributed like Linux is today. On the culture side, Congress is becoming increasingly disturbed by the increasing consolidation of ownership of media and cultural outlets. At some point, they may act to break up the media conglomerates which would open up the industry. Globalization has also worked to further freedom, as anti-American sentiment around the world lowers the respect and obedience for American copyright laws (which are quite restrictive compared to similar laws around the world). “Intellectual property means people dying because the drugs they need are copyrighted and are priced too highly for people to afford,” Moglen said. “People are getting angry.” He also noted that Brazil, the world’s 8th largest economy, has “copylefted” all software, meaning that all software in Brazil must be free. Summing up the state of affairs, Moglen noted that “Our union is strong because their union is weak.”

“We’ve built capital, and now we’re going to spend it,” was Moglen’s description of how the movement plans to force the creation of pro-freedom legislation. Microsoft was a target of several criticisms and witticisms throughout the talk. According to Moglen, Microsoft Office is not designed for the modern office and will soon be supplanted by free software. On the free hardware side of things, Moglen expressed the need to reassert the right of an individual to have complete control over the hardware they buy; overt spyware and more subtle invasions of computing privacy must be stopped. This is a conservative viewpoint, but it fits into the general idea of freedom.

Free culture will arise, Moglen explained, when the economics of zero marginal cost products (products for which the cost of production does not increase with the number of units produced) are fully understood. It does not cost money to share music, literature or other forms of culture, and the current system of copyrights impedes the natural distribution of such products. He noted that the RIAA suits against filesharers have not affected the amount of sharing done on P2P networks; if people want culture, they will find a way to get it.

Moglen explained that cellular phones have destroyed the traditional argument against free spectrum, which was that if all people are allowed to send signals at radio and television frequencies, interference and chaos would ensue. But cellular phones function perfectly fine even though thousands of people may be sending signals at a time. “The spectrum belongs to us,” he declared. “Broadcasting is unconstitutional.”

He closed by offering guidelines for the movement in the future, noting that history teaches that it will be best to merely try for small gains instead of trying to make one giant leap to a totally free society. He was hopeful for the eventual establishment of such a society, saying that “this time we make it (freedom) universal. This time we win.”

Free culture week continues tomorrow night with an evening of movie showings beginning at 9:30 p.m. in SCI 199.


2) Faculty panel discusses Darfur genocide, students urge action

by Micaela Baranello
Gazette Reporter

An enormous crowd packed the smaller Science Center lecture hall last night for a faculty panel discussion on genocide, particularly recent events in the Darfur region of the Sudan. Swarthmore professors Pieter Judson (history), James Kurth, Raymond Hopkins, and Jeffrey Murer (all political science) discussed general issues surrounding genocide and Professor Eric Reeves, a professor of English at Smith College, spoke about Darfur in particular. Professor Lee Smithey moderated. Amnesty International members implored Swatties to take action against genocide by writing letters, raising awareness and raising money.

Professor Judson began, describing the history of genocide. “Contrary to popular belief,” he said, “mass killing of specific population groups is a product of the last 150 years and usually not a result of ancient enmities.” Genocide is possible when groups of people see each other as fundamentally different, even when their identities have been constructed relatively recently.

Professor Kurth spoke next. “Stopping genocide requires an outside force,” he argued, “and that force must have both political and military authority.” Unfortunately, groups with strong political authority are usually fairly ineffective (such as the UN), and groups with the power to stop genocide are usually seen as illegitimate (such as NATO). He proposed a special branch of the military to stop genocide quickly, but noted after failures in Iraq the US will probably be hesitant to intervene for a while.

Professor Hopkins spoke on the African Union, a group with the potential to stop the genocide. Unfortunately, they lack the resources to get much done and have no military power. He argued that the AU can in a way confer its legitimacy on NGOs or negotiate between heads of state and organize national forces. “They may not be capable,” he said, “but they are the best there is.”

Professor Murer spoke on reconciliation after genocide and the shaping of narrative and history of the genocide. He described steps in a process: acknowledging the genocide’s existence, blaming elements outside mainstream society, recognition of the perpetrator’s humanity and finally acknowledgment of collective guilt.

Professor Reeves spoke specifically on Darfur. He stated flatly that we have already failed to prevent genocide and can now only hope to mitigate it. Hundreds of thousands may die during the next few months, and the total could reach 1 million. Reeves challenged the numbers of authorities as much too low (70,000 versus his calculations of as many as 300,000). “Congress has agreed that the situation in Darfur is genocide,” he noted, “but has not yet taken action.”

Reeves described the horrible conditions in Darfur. The government supports the Janjawid militias to kill African tribes suspected of housing insurgents. Practically, this means mass murder. Over 2 million people have been displaced into refugee camps, often without food and the threat of murder or rape for all who leave. Disease is rampant and humanitarian assistance systematically denied. Reeves called on students to take action against the horrible crimes. Students wishing to join Amnesty International should talk to Mark Hanis (mhanis1).


3) World news roundup

* After securing a hospital and two bridges outside the Iraqi city of Falluja on Sunday, 10,000 US troops and 2,000 Iraqi troops began a full assault on the city Monday. Falluja is believed to be a control center for insurgents around the country and the headquarters of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s terror network, but it is unclear how many insurgents remain in the city today. US military officials estimate that somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 insurgents are presently in the city, but also say that many likely left in the days leading up to the offensive. Falluja was home to 250,000 to 300,000 people before violence broke out in April after four US private security contractors were killed, but with civilians fleeing the city since then, current estimates place the population at only 50,000. In the first day of fighting, troops were successful in opening a path through defenses north of the city.

* Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei, former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, and Speaker of the Parliament Rawhi Fattuh arrived in Paris on Monday in preparation for a visit with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. However, it is unclear whether the officials will be granted permission to see him or whether his condition would allow such a visit. Under French law, Yasser Arafat’s wife, Suha Arafat, controls his treatment and visitors’ access. The government officials delayed their trip after Suha Arafat made a statement to Al-Jazeera that her husband’s “inheritors” were going to visit him. She said, “I want the Palestinian people to be aware of the scope of this conspiracy. They want to bury him alive.” Speaker Rawhi Fattuh would replace Arafat for 60 days if he dies. The officials will meet today with top members of the French government, including President Jacques Chirac. Conflicting reports of Arafat’s status have been released to the press from Palestinian sources.

* Judge James Robertson of the US District Court in Washington ruled Monday that President Bush acted beyond his powers in establishing military commissions to try detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Bush administration said it would appeal the ruling, and seek a stay in the interim. The case came before the District Court on behalf of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Robertson found that the administration did not have the power to try Hamdan before a military commission, but instead needed to court-martial him. Robertson said that the Geneva Conventions require Hamdan to be treated as a prisoner of war unless a panel, as described in Article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention, determines that he is not. President Bush had declared that captured members of Al Qaeda were unlawful combatants and thus should not receive P.O.W. status, but Robertson wrote “[t]he president is not a panel…the Third Geneva Convention…requires trial by court-martial as long as Hamdan’s P.O.W. status is in doubt.


4) Campus events

Dr. Jerrold Post lectures: “When Hatred is Bred in the Bone: The Psychocultural Foundations of Contemporary Terrorism”
Scheuer Room, 12:40 p.m.

A conversation on Black-Latino/a Relations
IC Big Room, 4:00 p.m.

Rethinking Zionism: A Panel of Israeli Student Activists
Kohlberg 115, 4:15 p.m.

Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium: “How Many Ways Can You Parallel-Park a Unicycle?”
Science Center 199, 4:30 p.m.

Screening for Feminist Film class: “Madchen in Uniform”
LPAC Cinema, 7:00 p.m.

Self-defense class
Kohlberg 115, 7:00 p.m.

Film Series on Food in Film: “Tampopo”
Science Center 101, 7:30 p.m.

Shaolin Kung Fu class
Upper Tarble, 8:00 p.m.

Sigma Xi Lecture: “Automatic Face Detection and Recognition”
Scheuer Room, 8:00 p.m.

Good Schools PA Movie: “Spellbound”
Kohlberg 115, 9:00 p.m.

Rhythm N Motion Workshop: Jazz
Dance Studio in LPAC, 9:00 p.m.

Free Culture Week: movie showings
Science Center 199, 9:30 p.m.

Tango class
Upper Tarble, 9:30 p.m.

Student Council meeting
Kohlberg 230, 10:30 p.m.



1) Men’s soccer to play in ECAC championships

The men’s soccer team (10-6-2) has been selected to compete in the 2004 Easter College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Southern Region Championship. The Garnet, who are seeded fourth in the competition, with host the fifth seed Lebanon Valley College (10-5-3) for the quarterfinal. The match will be this Wednesday, at 7:00 p.m. on Clothier Field.

2) Women’s soccer names two to All-Centennial Conference squad

Jordan Shakeshaft ’05 and Jane Sachs ’07 of the women’s soccer team received spots on the 2004 All-Centennial Conference squad. Members were chosen by ballots from the league’s 11 head coaches. Shakeshaft, a co-captain, is a defender with 16 starts this season as middle back. Sachs is one of only two on the team who started all 18 games, and is second on the team in scoring with three goals and three assists. Both received honorable mention recognition. The women’s team ended up 4-13-1 overall this season.

3) Upcoming contests

There are no contests scheduled for today.

Men’s Soccer hosts Lebanon Valley in ECAC Quarterfinal, 7:00 p.m.



“Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories.”


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World News Roundup: Greg Leiserson
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This concludes today’s report.