The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 13, 1996, Page 4, Image 4

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Anne Hjersman
Doug Peters
Matt Waite
Paula Lavigne
Jlitch Sherman
* Anthony Nguyen
Tbo graphic?
Ignorance is no
defense — or excuse
“Remember kids, don’t tty this at home.”
Most of us grew up hearing that phrase
— in science class experiments, Saturday
morning television programs and even be
fore daredevil stunts at the circus.
We don’t hear that much anymore. At
some point, common sense must prevail.
The Daily Nebraskan Tuesday published
a story on homemade pop-bottle bombs
found around Lincoln. With the stoiy, we ran
a graphic showing the components of this
type of“MacGyver” bomb. Some readers—
and apparently one local TV news outlet—
objected to that decision.
The headline, “How a bomb is built,”
may not have been the best choice of words
in this case. While harmful, this type of bomb
has a blast equivalent to an M-80 firecracker
—not the Oklahoma City-type image such a
headline may produce.
But more than its firepower, it is the
crudeness and simplicity of this device that
make it dangerous.
When one Lincoln man last weekend
found two plastic bottles sealed with tape on
his porch, he picked them up and carried
them inside, unaware of what they were.
Tuesday morning, a similar bomb was
found outside an elementary school. Imag
ine if a student had carried the pop bottle
inside the classroom, unaware of its contents.
The purpose of the Daily Nebraskan’s
graphic was twofold:
• To inform readers of exactly how this
type of device—something as simple as alu
minum foil, glass cleaner and an empty bottle
-v— can be dangerous.
• To put these bombs into perspective.
The term “homemade bomb” conjures up
many images: the World Trade Center in New
York, the federal building in Oklahoma City,
and Centennial Park at the Atlanta Olympics.
These bombs are simply not on the same
scale, and Lincoln should not scare itself or
its children into thinking they are.
uur decision 10 puonsn me grapmc came
to whether or not we should provide infor
mation on what these bombs are and how to
identify them—in hopes that people would
take greater steps to protect themselves —
or whether we should withhold the informa
tion in the fear that someone might use it ir
An analogy illustrates this point:
If a burglar breaks into a house through
an unlocked basement window and the Daily
Nebraskan reports exactly how he gained
entry, is that responsible journalism?
We say yes. We don’t deny that such a
story could describe to a potential burglar an
effective way to break into a house, but we
hope that most readers would take precau
tions to ensure their windows were locked.
We hope our readers will use the infor
mation presented in Tuesday’s graphic in the
same way.
And if we have to say it (we shouldn’t
have to): “Remember kids, don’t try this at
Editorial Policy
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of the
fan 19% Daily Nebraskan. They do not nec
essarily reflect the views of die University
of Nebra&ka-Lincoln, its employees, its stu
dent body or the University of Nebraska
Board of Regents. A column is sdey die
opinion of its author. The Board of Regents
serves as publisher of the Daily Nebraskan;
policy is set by die Daily NebraskanEdito
rial Board. The UNL Publications Board, es
tablished by the regents, supervises the pro
duction of the newspaper. According to
policy set by the regents, responsibility for
the editorial content of the newspaper fies
solely infee hands of its student employees.
Letter Policy
The Drily Nebraskan welcomes brief let
ters to the editor and guest columns, but
does not guarantee their publication. The
Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit
or reject any material submitted. Submit
ted material becomes the property of the
Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned.
Anonymous submissions will not be
published. Those who submit letters
must identify themselves by name, year
in school, major and/or group affilia
tion, if any. Submit material to: Drily Ne
braskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St
Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448. E-mail:
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White whiner
Well, here we have another angry
white guy crying about affirmative
First, before dealing with Nick
Wiltgen’s column, I want to say,this. ,r:
I’m from the South—Mississippi —
and we don’t use archaic terms like
“ballyhooed” any more. When we
want to offend someone, we just say
“Yo Mama!”
That said, I don’t usually respond
to neo white supremacist, sexist '
arguments. I have come to realize
those arguments are like boogers in
your nose—you know they are in
there, and you eventually use a
napkin or a finger to root them out
and flick them away. But for a
change, I am not going to offer up
the customary counter empirical
argument, which can refute every
point that Nick made, because that
does not address the real issue.
Affirmative action was rally a
band-aid for a larger problem—the
problem of white supremacist
cultural hegemony, which has created
the societal divisions along racial,
class and gender lines.
For instance, you can oppress
women and deny them gender equity;
kill the Native Americans, who in
your own stories fed and kept you
alive when you arrived here (Thanks
giving); and in your own Constitution
regard black people as three-fifths of
a human being—animals—yet still
rape black women behind your white
woman’s back.
So, I don’t know why people act
surprised when they see columns like
this. It is ultimately reflective of an
element within a culture that lacks
any reliable spiritual values. -
This could almost have been
predicted, because if you believe that
your own individuality is the ultimate
reality, you will not only kill off the
environment, but, eventually kill the
God concept as well.
Reynaldo Anderson
graduate student
communication studies
Aaron Steckelberg/DN
So, the University of Nebraska
asked Pepsi, Coke and Mid-Conti
nent Bottlers (7-Up) to make bids for
a contract to sell only their line of
beverages pretty much everywhere
mi campus. On the line hoc is
several million dollars for UNL.
However, the loss of choice for us
students overshadows the possible
benefits of having a contract with (me
of the three companies.
First, I am one of the “die-hard
Mountain Dew” drinkers mentioned
in the third paragraph in the article. I
tend to have about two cans of Dew a
day—one in my morning English
class and one in my Computer
Science class in the afternoon. I do
not want to have my favored drink
removed from campus just so UNL
can get a couple more dollars for the
budget a month. Nor should a “die
hard Coke” drinker have their
favored drink removed.
Second, 1 do not think that the
money gained from the contract
would be that useful to the group
most affected by the contract: the
students. Yes, the money could be
used for scholarships and improving
the honors program, ‘information
technologies,” or the swamp that is
our parking system. However, I am
somewhat doubtful that the money
would be used for those things and
instead of just being absorbed into
the university’s budget. Also, the
question of the loss of our choice
remains adamant.
And third, I appreciate the
university consulting ASUN Presi
dent Eric Marintzer for the “student
input” factor, but I believe that this
issue, which affects almost every
body on campus, deserves to have
more input—perhaps in the form of
a vote.
I do believe in the positive aspects
of capitalism, but I hope that the
university can in fact “look the other
way” past the dollar-bill blinders and
not confine us students to only one
company’s beverages. Thank you.
Shannon Magnuson
computer science
Explosive graphic
I find it ridiculous that you’d {Mint
a graphic in your newspaper that
shows the reader how to make bombs
(Nov. 12 DN). The article was fine,
but when you include an illustration
of the steps required in die making of
a bomb, you are just asking for
Yes, the information is easily
accessible on the Internet and in
various bodes, but why make it
easier fra those who wouldn’t
normally seek out this information?
I’m all for free speech, and I admit
that I used to make these very same
bombs when I was younger. But they .
are extremely dangerous and rally a
trained bomb expert should experi
ment with such a thing.
You shouldn’t have had that
diagram in your paper, and I
wouldn't be surprised if there’s a rise
in bomb activity because of your