The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

71° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    Need for car a tragedy

    Three events in my life have caused a time of reflection: 1. a move to Tucson in August, 2. a trip to Los Angeles, and 3. a viewing of the documentary “”Who Killed the Electric Car?””

    These three seemingly unrelated events come together under energy policy. In Tucson, a gas-guzzling car appears to be a necessity because the city is spread out, crossing intersections as a pedestrian is dangerous and the bus service ends extremely early compared to other cities I have lived in. In addition, the death of the neighborhood grocer necessitates travel even for the bare essentials. In Los Angeles, the natural beauty of the land was hidden under a cloud of smog – I asked the van driver from the airport for a bottle of oxygen. The documentary shows that the neoconservative/liberal regime hardly supports a free market. Electric cars were ripped from the hands of lessees and destroyed in the Arizona dessert.

    My personal dilemma is whether I wish to live in an area that essentially forces me to drive a vehicle and thereby support with my dollars a regime that exploits the consumer, corrupts our government and causes the deaths of our young men and women fighting for oil as contractors get rich. If we are really spreading democracy to the world, shouldn’t we start at home first?

    Michael W. Simpson
    higher education graduate student

    Anti-gender-neutral bathrooms opinion underinformed

    I am writing in regards to Ryan Nielsen’s Tuesday letter to the editor, “”Gender identity is assigned by nature.”” First, Nielsen is confused about gender. When people talk about gender, they are not referring to the biological sex of a person, i.e., whether a person has one X chromosome or two. Gender is defined as cultural and unrelated to actual physical characteristics. Gender is a learned set of behaviors that people are taught to exhibit based on what biological sex they have. What a society or culture considers “”feminine”” or “”masculine”” varies considerably. Please actually investigate and research a subject before giving an opinion.

    Second, we already have gender-neutral restrooms on campus. Often, they have been designated as male-female handicapped restrooms. Would it be so terrible if a few more of these restrooms were available? We’re not talking about throwing out our traditional bathrooms. Comparing a minority of transgender or gender-queer individuals with “”lowlifes in Tucson who would jump at the ability to access restrooms with people (including children) of the opposite sex”” is pathetic.

    Leah Baskett
    anthropology junior

    Malicious comments on school spirit hurtful

    I would like to make an additional comment regarding Rebecca Lane’s Monday letter to the editor, “”Re-evaluating sports and school spirit.”” Lane, as an anthropology senior, would do well to take to heart the words of former UA folklorist James S. Griffith: “”Most of the time, the fact that this hat is brown means that this hat is brown.”” The fact that school sports are a long-held tradition does not make them inherently good; however, it does not make them inherently bad, as Lane insinuates. Lane’s attitude is symptomatic of a need many people have to “”deconstruct”” anything they see as abstract or useless. God forbid we leave some institutions, like school spirit, intact because, for the people who choose to accept them, they give a sense of well-being and purpose. Shame on them! Note, of course, that such thought does not offer any solutions – there’s no “”instead of X, let’s do Y”” anywhere in that thought process.

    Lastly, I was personally and deeply offended by Lane’s claim that people who do not attend school sports events are contributing to a “”paradigm shift.”” It is rude and presumptuous to claim that, when I choose not to attend a school sporting event, I am doing anything other than opting to spend my time elsewhere, or that I am contributing to any such phony cause.

    Taylor Kessinger
    sophomore majoring in physics, math and philosophy

    Lower drinking age to combat low sexual assault report rate

    It has recently become clear to the University of Arizona Police Department that there are many more sexual assault cases than are being reported. They even continue to state that they are also aware that many of these cases are not being reported because they have a tendency to be alcohol-related. If the UAPD wants to hear about these cases and wishes to prevent further attacks or even justify the ones in the past, they should openly state that underage victims who were involved with alcohol will be forgiven entirely of their misdemeanor.

    Obviously, sexual assault is a much more serious crime than anything involving underage drinking and should be immediately forgiven in any such circumstance. Therefore, these prime examples demonstrate a need for lowering the drinking age. If authorities can openly state that they are well aware of the large amounts of underage drinking, then why not make it legal? Accordingly, making it a legal influence will prevent dozens of unreported sexual assaults just on the UA campus alone.

    Kent Wienzveg
    pre-business freshman

    Israeli refusal to negotiate with Hamas is for survival

    In her Nov. 21 column in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, Marian Lacy accuses Israel’s government of “”hypocrisy”” because it refuses to negotiate with the Hamas government of Gaza.ÿ

    No, it’s not hypocrisy; it’s survival! Any negotiation between Israel and Hamas would naturally have to be held with Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar. Here are just a few of his recent public statements:

    “”All of Palestine is our land,”” Zahar told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat. “”When any part of it is liberated, any Palestinian and Muslim will have the right to come. We do not and will not recognize a state called Israel. Israel has no right to any inch of Palestinian land. …This is a holy land. It is not the property of the Palestinians or the Arabs. This land is the property of all Muslims in all parts of the world.””

    At a rally in Khan Yunis in Gaza, he said, “”We will never recognize Israel, and in the end, the (fate of) Zionists will be like that of the Crusaders, the Persians and the English, who left. We want all of Palestine, every centimeter, from the river to the sea, from Rosh Hanikra to Rafah. If we can form a state within the 1967 borders, we will do so, but this doesn’t mean that we will relinquish our right to every centimeter of Palestine’s land.””

    How does one begin a negotiation with someone who is publicly on record saying that you have no right to exist, and your nation can and will be destroyed? If and when Hamas accepts the inevitable fact that Israel is a part of the region to stay, it will certainly find a negotiating partner. In the meantime, the government of Israel has the obligation to have its army protect its citizens against terror attacks inspired by Minister Zahar’s incitement.

    Jamie Martin
    creative writing junior

    Empty Zona Zoo seats could be solved with point system

    Zona Zoo needs to do something about the empty seats at the UA basketball games. For four years I was a student and never once was selected for season tickets. But I always found a way to go. My first year I remember having to be asked to sit down because I was blocking someone’s view at the games. The students finally have a student section and are in danger of losing it if they do not step up. The pressure of this situation falls on the Zona Zoo and those who run it.

    People do not want to pay individual prices for exhibitions and other lower caliber teams. I propose that Zona Zoo award a “”points system”” for the games. Each student can get a ticket if they are in the Zona Zoo. For lower tier games, the student gets 5-7 points. For mediocre talented teams, the student can get 3-4 points. For the better teams the student can earn 1-2 points. In order for a student to be able to get into a more prestigious game they should have to earn enough points. They would do this by attending more early season games as well as holiday games. This incentive will give students more reason to attend the games and stay. Zona Zoo could even offer basketball points for attending the ASU football game in order to get a better student attendance over the holiday weekend.

    I believe that a “”points system”” will allow the die-hard fans to get their tickets and get their early seats and will also ensure that the casual fans still attend the game and keep the student section roaring. The best way to monitor this would be to have students swipetheir card at the beginning and end of gamesto make sure they attend the games and stay. Students also have to study and sometimes can’t make those games, so giving points for other student sporting events (a small amount) would allow those students to get the points they need to go to the best games.

    Michael Lundin
    UA alumnus

    More to Discover
    Activate Search