Wednesday, Novemeber 28, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 67


Attacks may endanger quality of life, profs say

By Koroush Ghanean
Daily Cougar Staff

UH economics professor Barton Smith offered UH community members advice Tuesday about what to do to maintain financial security in the uncertain economic environment following September's terrorist attack. Smith was one of four faculty members who participated in the third and final of a series of symposiums discussing issues stemming from the attacks.

Johnny Kow/The Daily Cougar

UH faculty members (from left) Tatcho Mindiola, Barton Smith, David Dow and Ray Ellis discuss "Prospects for Quality of Life in America" at a Tuesday

The other participants in the forum, titled "Prospects for Quality of Life in America," were Mexican-American studies professor Tatcho Mindiola, law
professor David Dow and hotel and restaurant management professor Ray Ellis. College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Dean Andrew
Achenbaum moderated the discussion.

"The preparations for the hard times must begin in the good times," Smith said. "If we haven't realized (how) to learn from the business cycles of the
past, then hopefully we will learn from this one."

Smith went on to say that the recession the country is beginning to face was not caused by the terrorist acts but only sped up by them.

"This recession is going to be less severe than the one of 1991 and '92," he said. "Unemployment is not going to be nearly as high as the figures of that

Mindiola discussed the promotion of inter-group harmony after Sept. 11. He began by dissecting the concept of race relations.

"It strikes me that race and ethnic relations seem to be the same, differing only in intensity and the intensity of the consensus," he said. "One group
dislikes another group. One group lives segregated from another group. And all groups are clambering for representation in all form(s) and level(s) of
government, whether that government is here in the United States or perhaps even in Afghanistan."

Mindiola went further, disclaiming the recently passed Antiterrorism Act, which calls for the surveillance and unlimited detainment of suspected

"This law is an example of racial profiling, which is apparently in style again," Mindiola said. "This (law) is not only racial but also gender-oriented, the
suspects being predominantly male."

Dow spoke of reconciling the need for security with the protection of civil liberties.

"On Sept. 11, two things happened. First, there was a tragedy, then there was an opportunity."

That "opportunity" was the new alliances formed outside the nation's borders in the Middle East, alliances that would have been unimaginable five
months ago.

Dow spoke harshly about new laws which, he said, violate individual civil liberties.

"Despite there being seeds of hope (in the world after Sept. 11), the early indications are far from hopeful," he said. "The United States is losing. Far
from spreading the ideas of democracy into erstwhile authoritarian societies, we are actually embracing the repressive tactics of those societies."

He went on to speak of the Antiterrorism Act, which allows the Justice Department to detain any aliens, even legal residents of the United States, whom
the Attorney General says are suspected of terrorism. These prisoners could be held indefinitely, and authorities are not required to provide anyone
with their reasons for doing so.

"There are currently at least 1,000 people who are being held I say 'at least' because nobody outside the Justice Department knows the true
number," Dow said. "President Bush has also authorized military trials for suspected terrorists, which would be held in secret without any jurors and
without any requirement to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is how trials were conducted in China and the old Soviet Union gulag."

Ellis discussed the re-establishment of public confidence in travel and tourism.

He said prospects for the future were hopeful, citing the statistic that four out of five American business travelers were moving back to the use of
airplane services in the country.

"Since (Sept. 11) I have been on 20 airplane rides around the world," Ellis said. "We're looking at rather a strange phenomenon throughout the nation,
and we have overreacted, as Dr. Dow has indicated, we have overreacted in the (tourism) industry as well."

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