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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Athletes should not rule registration

    I came to the understanding this week that athletes get the first crack at registration – not seniors, not honors students. Athletes?! Why do they get dibs on classes? I know the answer is probably that they have to arrange classes around games. But does that mean that the extracurricular activities of other students and honors students are any less important? In fact, I’ll bet any honors student has at least three times the extracurricular activities of any athlete – and I’ll bet their activities are much more meaningful (cancer research, Tucson-area philanthropy, etc.), not “”sports practice”” or “”games.”” I know that I had to give up one of my extracurricular activities this year because I could not get registered for a section that was not at a conflicting time. Now, I come to find out an athlete could have taken my place. I’m not a happy camper. I know athletics is a big part of college, blah, blah, blah. But I guarantee they don’t make it to every class anyway, so why not just pick another class, miss class on an occasional game day or miss an occasional game? Next year, maybe the UA will realize that there are much more important extracurricular activities than sports.

    Lauren Bartoli
    pre-pharmacy junior

    No one should call for dissent to be silenced

    It’s unbelievable that Joel Shooster (in his Thursday letter to the editor, “”Refuse & Resist doesn’t represent democrats””) thinks Refuse and Resist should be silenced.

    I mean, how is that justifiable? Should anyone with ideas a little too left or too right of center be prohibited from speaking about their political beliefs? And how can anyone honestly compare Refuse and Resist to the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Brotherhood? Has Refuse and Resist ever called for anyone’s head or done anything remotely comparable? Nobody should be calling for the silencing of dissent. It confuses and scares the hell out of me to read someone championing sensible debate, and, in the same article, calling for it to be confined to the “”sensible”” part of the spectrum.

    I stopped believing in the Democrats when they failed to stop – and usually were voting right in line with – the idiots running the country. You feel entitled to represent me, as someone on the “”left,”” or Americans in general, for doing nothing but quietly mumbling that you might kind of disagree with what the Republicans are doing, but we’re not really going to do anything about it? If the Democrats had even a fraction of the courage and conviction in their ideas (there are a few, like Russ Feingold, who the Democrats should run) that the Green Party has, or even the Libertarian Party for that matter, you guys would be sailing on just fine. But neither major party has a hint of soul or credibility to them. I encourage everyone to vote Green or Libertarian. As someone who pretty violently disagrees with most of the Libertarian Party’s economic policies, please vote for them. Anything to get us off the path we’re on.

    And kudos to Vanessa Valenzuela for her article on education and tolerance.

    She’s right that it’s needed now more than ever.

    Matt Styer
    junior majoring in international studies and linguistics

    Question answered

    In his Thursday letter to the editor, “”Iran years from nukes as North Korea detonates,”” John Bierman exclaims that he is lost. Perhaps other Daily Wildcat readers are as well, so I’ll clear up the confusion on a few of the murky topics. If you don’t understand Israel’s view of a connection between Iran and North Korea, know that Iran has partnered with North Korea to trade arms. Therefore, if North Korea has begun to polish off its nuclear weapons program, Israel can justifiably fear that this technology, like the other weapons North Korea has developed, might end up in the hands of the Iranian regime (which wants Israel to be annihilated in “”one storm””) or the terrorists it supports (who want infidels worldwide to gather in Israel so they can all be murdered more efficiently). This may not be an official trade partnership that the media would tell you about, but remember this: These are the same rulers who call their governments democratic, republican and of the people, when they are really none of the above.

    If you don’t understand the “”war on terror,”” it would help to know that the modern political definition of a terrorist is different than the simple definition of a person who inspires terror. Terrorists today are criminals who seek political power by attempting to maximize civilian casualties – hence America’s opposition to the Taliban, Saddam Hussein and Iran, who all have supported and financed such terrorism. North Korea is not directly related to this sort of terrorism, so it is only considered by our executive to be plainly evil, not a terrorist.

    If you think uninformed souls only watch Fox News, know that many uninformed souls also love to squander their time glued to a television airing CNN and MSNBC programs. Beware media bias, because if you believe one of these “”news”” sources is unbiased, you’ve been had. Lastly and most importantly: Don’t depend on BBC “”experts”” to protect you. Perhaps the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the BBC’s source in this case, is knowledgeable, wise and honest. Yet, even assuming this, they are not omniscient and cannot possibly know everything that the Iranian government is hiding.

    Daniel Greenberg
    political science freshman

    Che deserves a second look

    So Che Guevara isn’t all he seems to be. He took lives. He shed blood. He was far from perfect.

    Critics such as Stan Molever dismiss the Che cult without understanding its origins. Why didn’t Molever mention anything about the Platt Amendment that gave birth to the socialist and communist philosophies of men like Guevara and Fidel Castro? There is little doubt that both men were peverted by the very ideals that shaped them. There is also very little doubt that the inequities of U.S. foreign policy forged the fires that drove these men to Revolution.

    The Platt Amendment made a mockery of Cuban independence andÿtransformed the islandÿinto stomping ground for U.S. corporate interests. Ordinary Cubans languished in poverty. Puppet leaders such as Fulgencio Baptista brutalized people while the U.S. government looked the other way. This was the climate that gave birth to the Fourth of July movement that was led by Castro. The rest is history.

    Che is an icon because, for a while, he symbolized resistance to the beast that was U.S. foreign policy. The symbol has become more important than the man ever was. His life was indeed drenched with blood. But so was Geronimo. So was Toussaint L’Overture. So was Shaka Zulu. These men became icons to their peopleÿbecause they fought against institutionalized oppression. They all failed to create the Utopia they desired, but for a while at least, they represented an ideal. This is why Che perseveres.

    Before Molever casts any stones, he should also consider the history of the major proselytizing religions. Many people wear crosses around their necks without even considering the genocide of the American Indian peoples, the bloody Crusades, the horrific Spanish Inquisition or African slavery. All were justified because the victims were “”heretics.”” Is Molever suggesting that all Christian students at the UA stop wearing crosses? Why aren’t these things being discussed? Because critics like Molever only see one side of the story.ÿThey never stop to ask why. They just don’t get it.

    Marlon Jones
    educational psychology graduate student

    There’s no such thing as a ‘clean’ hero

    In his opinion piece Thursday (“”Che it ain’t so), Stan Molever proceeded to supposedly tarnish Ernesto “”Che”” Guevara’s image because he’s seen it on too many T-shirts. While I agree that Che has become too popular and unfortunately a mere trendy piece of clothing, I really don’t see the rest of the article as relevant. This is just another typical example of anti-Cuban American propaganda that is at least 30 years too late. Ever since the USSR fell, if not earlier, Cuba hasn’t been a threat at any level.

    Molever also makes the erroneous claim that capitalism is the best way to help impoverished Latin American countries. That might be true, but is he aware that the U.S. and other First World nations have purposefully kept Latin America impoverished? Cuba is a good example – just because they ruined the United States’ decadent Caribbean playground. I would also like to know what Molever wishes to gain by ridiculing someone who is a hero to millions? Why not hit someone closer to home? After all, Ben Franklin was a Hellfire’s Club member, and we all know the founding fathers were very friendly with their slaves, if you catch my drift. Wyatt Earp was a cold-blooded A-hole, yet Tombstone is a thriving tourist stop thanks to him. Thus, Molever, I’m afraid you are the one who has to grow up and realize people have faults, however big or small, and no hero has clean hands.

    Angel del Valle
    religious studies junior

    U.S. very involved in Israel’s war

    I would like to correct the letter that Bethany Fourmy wrote Oct. 12 (“”Bush not responsible for problems in Lebanon””), in which she said that the grenade that destroyed Sarah Sowid’s home is “”Israeli and not American,”” and “”Bush had nothing to do with it.”” The grenade was not Israeli. It was manufactured in the U.S. In fact, there is a good chance it was manufactured by Raytheon, located outside Tucson. It was paid for by U.S. tax dollars, either directly as military aid or indirectly through economic aid and loan guarantees that the U.S. provides to Israel. It was launched in a war that 100 percent of the U.S. Senate voted to support. (This is a higher rate of support than this war received in the Israeli parliament, where there was consistent minority opposition.)

    The reason its launch was possible is that the U.S. did its best to block any ceasefire initiative by the U.N. So, the statement that the U.S. and the Bush administration is responsible for the destruction of Lebanon is 100 percent accurate. If Fourmy only watches what passes for “”media”” in the U.S., I do not blame her for not knowing. However, the rest of the world knows. More importantly, just about everyone in the Middle East knows, and a small, dangerous minority, unfortunately, sometimes wants to exact revenge on innocent U.S. civilians. Therefore, it is vital that Fourmy and everyone else in the U.S. learn a bit more what role their country really plays in the world. Literally, it is a matter of life and death.

    G. Torrieri
    UA alumnus

    Prop. 107 would be bad for Arizona

    I am writing in response to Alex Hoogasian’s letter in Thursday’s paper (“”Prop. 107 good for community””). While I agree that democracy is all about allowing the people to decide which amendments should be allowed into our constitution, I wholeheartedly disagree that passing Proposition 107 would be a leap in democracy. I doubt very seriously that Mr. Hoogasian bothered to read the proposition before stating that its passing would be a leap forward for Arizona since he seems to only know that it would ban gay marriage. I hope that before election day Mr. Hoogasian reads the proposition itself and understands that it would make it impossible for committed hetrosexual couples to provide each other with healthcare, be allowed to visit one another in the hospital or provide for each other’s children should their biological parents pass away.

    As President Robert Shelton pointed out, this will make it difficult for the university to recruit the greatest minds possible for professorship because they cannot provide for their partners (straight or gay). Also, if Proposition 107 passes, my grandfather will not be allowed to see my dying grandmother in the hospital before she passes away from breast cancer. In fact, this act itself may cause my grandmother to die all that much sooner. Why, you ask? Because my grandfather never married my grandmother. She receives a death benefit from the death of her first husband without which she and my grandfather could not survive considering her medical bills. The little insurance that they do have comes from my grandfather’s job as a janitor in the Peoria Unified School District. As a state employee, he will no longer be able to extend that benefit to my grandmother. They have lived together since before I was born.

    In addition to that, Proposition 107 would also make it impossible for a non-biological parent to provide health insurance for a child. It would also make it impossible for a non-biological parent to take care of a child in the event of the biological parent’s death, since Arizona laws do not allow for a second parent adoption. Gay or straight, the biological next-of-kin or the state could remove that child from her home no matter how long she’s been there or how much her other parent loves her.

    If Mr. Hoogasian is so much more concerned with limiting rights than he is with protecting rights, I do hope he never runs for public office. Proposition 107 is bad for the gay community, it’s bad for the straight community, it’s bad for the elderly, it’s bad for children, it’s bad for Arizona.

    Katie Mann
    junior majoring in English

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