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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    Organic foods can’t hurt

    I would like to offer an alternative view to Matt Stone’s column highlighting the dangers of buying and consuming organic foods (“”Organic nonsense””). In the column, it was argued that organic foods are harmful to both the consumer and the environment, and I must disagree with this.

    For one, organic foods are oftentimes fair-trade foods as well, and this “”fair-trade”” distinction helps to improve human rights and social situations in the regions where these foods are produced.

    The “”Organic Revolution”” is not about hippies trying to change all farming practices to be organic and attempting to feed all six and a half billion of us with organic food; it’s about creating balance in our world that is quickly becoming overpopulated and stripped of its resources and our very life source. It is meant to wean developed nations like ours from our insatiable appetites and our unsustainable practices.

    Eating organic foods can’t hurt, but it can help restore the balance that our planet so desperately needs. Natural toxins found in plants, such as tannins, are responsible for the bitter taste you’ll find in some vegetables, but it won’t kill you, or an entire ecosystem.

    The issue of food production is one that will increase in importance in coming years, and as free, educated, young citizens of this world, we need to start making decisions to help improve our own futures. Even if those decisions are as simple as what you eat.

    Don’t take Stone’s word for it, and don’t take mine. I urge you to educate yourselves. Do some research and make your own decisions and don’t let such negative views dissuade you without doing some questioning of your own.

    Ashley Campbell
    ecology and evolutionary biology sophomore

    UA basketball not worthy of ‘blind faith’

    I am writing to denounce the blind faith the student body has in its basketball team despite UA basketball disappointing year after year. My question is, “”Why?”” What have they done for you lately?

    Let me play out the scenario for your precious Wildcats this year: They will dominate in the Tournament until the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight, and then blow it to a team that has nowhere near the talent level.

    UA basketball has always, and will always, lack the necessary moxie to win it all. So I urge the student body to do itself a favor and lower its expectations. Losses to the University of Oregon and Washington State University are just two in a long line of future embarrassments.

    I for one hopped off the bandwagon a long time ago, and I suggest that everyone at the UA purchase a University of California at Los Angeles T-shirt, because this is going to get ugly.

    Niall O’Connor
    UA alumnus

    Troop surge necessary for victory in Iraq

    The debate over the president’s new strategy for victory in Iraq is an important one for all Americans to engage in. The oversimplifications in Quintin Cushner’s column (“”McCain’s misguided support for surge””) do a disservice to that debate and to Sen. McCain’s positions.

    It is important for our county to succeed in Iraq. Providing security for the Iraqi people is a prerequisite for progress and development. Without real security, the Iraqi people will turn to other factions to provide them with a false sense of security.

    It is clear that the Iraqi government needs to establish itself as a legitimate government and unfortunately they cannot accomplish this on their own. Our forces will give the Iraqi government a chance to have a monopoly on the use of force and become the sole legitimate authority.

    If we do not support the Iraqi government’s efforts to build a safe and stable democracy, the results would be catastrophic for the region, the U.S., and the world. Sen. McCain has been advocating since 2003 for more American troops and a more enhanced counterinsurgent effort. He believes that effort must be significant and it must be sustained.

    In the past, our efforts to secure Iraq by adding U.S. forces were successful and only when U.S. forces withdrew did the violence return. At this critical time, the only responsible alternative is to change strategy and once again add troops. We must work with the Iraqi forces and see that the mission is complete.

    A Republican and Democratic Congress voted to authorize this war and both must assume and acknowledge the responsibilities that come with such an act. Democrats in Congress have expressed interest in cutting off funding for the war – if that is their intent, then that is a debate worth having, and one I am sure Sen. McCain would welcome.

    Mistakes have been made in Iraq and we cannot guarantee success, but it is imperative that we do everything possible to create a democratic Iraq that can protect itself. Then, and only then, can our brave men and women come home – the mission accomplished and the world a safer place.

    Carmella Aja
    agriculture and resource economics freshman

    Students should experience ‘revitalized’ downtown

    Downtown Tucson has been perceived as a place of work and no play that offers nothing to us students or our young professionals. It is time for students at the UA to become aware of the new living experiences downtown.

    The new 24/7 district does not lack in entertainment by any means. Downtown is a district full of unique bars, cafes, music, theaters and cultural events. Many students, unfortunately while attending the UA, never take the time to examine the Tucsonan culture around them; hence young professionals view downtown negatively.

    In a city with divided beliefs concerning downtown’s vibrancy, it is important that we students and young professionals work together to improve this perception. After all, if we do not work as a community to promote the livelihood of our downtown, how can we ever make a difference?

    Tucson’s downtown development is unfolding incrementally, and the time from dream to realization is on the horizon. Not only should city officials be excited about the revitalization of downtown, but it is also imperative that we as students and young professionals understand and participate in our city’s direction.

    Downtown’s Congress Street will be the first site in which downtown living will be made possible. Bourne Partners, a local real estate and development company, will be erecting a six-story mixed use structure named The Post. The Post’s storefront will consist of retail shops and restaurants, while the ensuing levels will be contemporary loft style living spaces.

    Downtown’s first mixed-use project will be sure to draw the attention of many within the community, especially Tucson’s young professionals. Upon the completion of the many residential development projects downtown, the good news will be that the new residential pioneers, students and young professionals will inject new life into downtown.

    With the possibility of living downtown, we need to focus on how to encourage development that all levels of income can afford, particularly students and young professionals. Who knows? Maybe keeping Tucson’s downtown affordable will help keep our Wildcats around longer than the four years it takes to get a degree.

    Bryan Mele
    regional development senior

    Seeking organic ‘truthiness’

    I hope Matt Stone (“”Organic nonsense””) puts more time into his research papers than he did on his article about organics. Cherry-picking quotes from researchers whose livelihood is dependent on grants from chemical companies is not objective reporting. They spread fear about naturally occurring agents, when in fact it is their intensive factory farming methods that are creating the greatest risk to the food supply by creating new strains ofE.coli.

    Chemical and factory farming is responsible for most source point pollution in the U.S. If you factor in the cost of cleaning up the dead zones in our oceans, bays and polluted ground water, organic food is cheaper than conventional.ÿ

    Should Mr. Stone find employment in his field of study, he will discover that most developing nations are switching to organic agriculture, since it takes hard currency to import chemicals, which has a negative impact on their current accounts balance.

    Organic farmers are achieving greater returns per acre (yield per acre is a false economic measure that is used to justify federal farm payments that end up in the pockets of the chemical companies, which is a form of corporate welfare), and in many cases organic farmers are achieving higher yields per acre than conventional farming practices.

    Most large corporate farming companies now have organic operations to meet the demand from the multi-national food companies (ConAgra, ADM, General Mills, Kraft and Nestle to name a few) that are selling organic processed foods to the largest food retailers in the world (Wal-Mart, Costco, Safeway, etc.) who have made long term commitments to organics.

    Ten years ago, professors categorically stated that large commercial organic production was impossible; today they are offering advanced degrees in Organic Agriculture.

    I hope that Stone will read Joseph Schumpeter’s “”Creative Destruction””; then he will realize that chemical farming is an industry whose time has passed, being replaced by the more long term economically viable organic methods.

    George Kalogridis
    George’s Organics Int’l Ojai, Calif.

    Republican Party at fault for economic bungles

    I’ve noticed the Wildcat seems to publish a letter to the editor from political science senior Alex Hoogasian on an almost monthly basis. Concerning Hoogasian’s last letter complaining about the wage increase, I wonder in what way Hoogasian determines that the collective will of the people of the state of Arizona constitute irresponsibility on part of the Democratic Party.

    I also wonder if the irony escapes him that if the economy collapses as a result of such action, then perhaps it is the Republican Party that is responsible for taking us to the brink, where even a minimum wage increase disrupts our precious economic balance.

    He talks about the infallability of business but since all business costs rise with inflation, would it be unreasonable to suggest, at least ideally, that wage should be congruently associated with any other variable cost increase? Of course Mr. Hoogasian is not an economist. He is a political science senior whose bias was clear.

    I sometimes wonder the use of the political science “”discipline”” and its allowance as a major. Astronomers cannot claim eleven planets. Why should Mr. Hoogasian be allowed to practice glorified opinion-making by majoring in what amounts to ideological dictatorship? It obviously “”gets him off,”” as evidenced by his continual flow of letters to the editor. Perhaps a psychology major can tell us why he feels an almost obsessive-compulsive need to impose on others his views?

    Charles Hertenstein
    philosophy junior

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