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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Arming militants ‘objectively stupid’

    A few days ago, I saw a story in a couple news outlets that caught my eye. The headline was something like this: “”U.S. Hopes to Arm Pakistani Militants Against Al-Qaida.””

    This is such a stupid idea. Haven’t we learned anything? Didn’t we try to arm and train some militant groups in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the ’80s, from among whom this famous guy has since emerged? What was his name? It started with an “”O,”” didn’t it? O-what? Oh yeah! Osama bin Laden. That was his name.

    To the press at large: There’s a difference between objectivity and neutrality. You don’t need to be neutral towards all viewpoints to be objective. This is an objectively stupid idea. At least point out that we’ve done this before. We don’t need it to happen again. Do your job of being the public’s watchdog.

    -Matt Styer
    interdisciplinary studies senior

    ASUA election changes premature

    This was a great article (“”Elections reform aims high, falls flat,”” Nov. 16), and I’m very glad that Evan Lisull was keeping a watchful eye on his student government, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. The ASUA Elections Code passed by a razor-thin vote that was taken far too prematurely, in my opinion. The vote was 5-4 in favor of passing, and one senator abstained from voting. There were clear problems with the code itself, ranging from trivial issues – such as typos, misspellings and grammatical errors – to major issues – such as the restriction of free-speech rights, the right to vote and inappropriate delegation of authority – that I tried to raise in the Senate meeting in which this code passed.

    Unfortunately, I don’t believe that fairness or representing the students of the UA were the primary interest of the student government in this case – and I say that as an elected official, saddened that our efforts to stop the passage of this unfair and unconstitutional code failed. It is tragic that we abandoned values cherished and protected by our constitution in favor of an elections code that benefits certain small and powerful constituencies while marginalizing and disenfranchising other, less powerful ones. When many of the democratic principles are stripped from the fair elections process that is supposed to govern the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, what are we left with?

    I’m afraid the answer is not a good one. It will be even more difficult for outside voices to win elections in the coming year. ASUA is already an organization justly criticized for being closed to minorities and diversity, and the openness of the student government is now in even more jeopardy. Considering the lack of diversity of ideas, ethnicity, viewpoints, etc., in the student government now, I’d say it is a bleak outlook for next year unless more people stand up for what is right. Demand that your voice be heard by sending e-mails to your senators and President Tommy Bruce asking them to reconsider the passage of such a fundamentally flawed election code. Show your support by thanking those four senators who voted to protect your rights as a tuition-paying student and constituent of the UA and demand that we restore some common sense and fairness to the system.

    -Dustin Cox
    ASUA senator

    Second Life a natural extension of human nature

    You have a tall order, Justyn Dillingham, summoning up a board-smashing Ukranian (“”Get real: The case against virtual reality,”” Wednesday). Better to look for a Greek – a specific Greek named Pandora – if you think the contents of this box need to be collected and re-interred.

    The confusion between imagination and reality in some peoples minds didn’t start with Second Life. People used to think that Beaver Cleaver’s family was real, or that Jim Anderson really had kids nicknamed Bud, Kitten and Princess (“”Father Knows Best””). Hell, I think people even thought Ozzie and Harriet had a son named Ricky Nelson who was a singer – oh, no, wait, that WAS real, or at least some of it was (was fat Wally really a friend of Dave and Rick’s?).

    Before TV there were radio shows to listen to so that you didn’t have to face your “”messy house”” or “”rundown city.”” And movies. And novels. And opera. And plays. And …

    One of the unique aspects of being human (we think) is having the ability to imagine a reality that is different than the one we actually live in. For some, their imagined world is worse, scarier and more out of their control. We give them therapy and medication. For some, their imagined world is compelling and interferes with daily living. We chide them at best or scorn them at worst. For some, their imagined world is a springboard to invention, creation, problem solving. We give them kudos, trophies, money. Do you think the young Bill Gates never imagined a world in which anyone could have the power of a giant mainframe sitting right on their desktop? I bet the computer you typed your blog entry on (and thus your ability to broadcast your unique insights on the world) are the product of someone imagining a world that was different than the one they were in at the time!

    Today’s Second Life is just a natural extension of the first imaginative storytellers of humanity’s distant history. As humans we will always have imagination … it’s why we discovered fire. It can warm us, help feed us or burn us, depending on how we use it. Do you want to make a case “”against”” fire, just because some people misuse it and get burned?

    -Dick Dillon
    senior vice president,
    planning and development,
    Preferred Family Healthcare, Inc.

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