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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Sound Off: Let elephants be, fix districts, cure HIV and even the sexes

    An elephant never forgets, zoo should protect friends

    About a week ago, the Tucson City Council approved a plan to send Connie, the Asian elephant at the Reid Park Zoo, to San Diego. In exchange, the zoo will be getting a small herd of African elephants, into which Shaba, the African elephant already living at the zoo, will be integrated. The 42-year-old Connie is getting on in years, and zoo staff feels that she will be better cared for in San Diego. The Reid Park Zoo will be getting an ostensibly better exhibit for its citizens to enjoy. It seems like an excellent situation for everyone. Everyone, except, perhaps, for the elephants.

    Connie and Shaba have been together for nearly 30 years. Unlike, say, keeping a couple of especially long lived reptiles together, elephants develop deep bonds with their companions. Elephant families are some of the most cohesive groups in the animal kingdom. They are relatively sophisticated communicators, and are known to mourn their dead at length. Some scientists even think elephants cry when they’re sad. Anyone who has a dog or a cat that they are close to knows the bonds that animals are capable of forming. Elephants seem to be able to form even deeper bonds than most.

    With that in mind, it would be ludicrous to think that Connie and Shaba aren’t closely connected. Connie is 42, so she has known Shaba for more than two thirds of her life. It seems quite cruel, then, to separate her from the only friend she’s had of her own species. One of the arguments for moving Connie is that she’ll be given better geriatric care in San Diego. But on the other side, shouldn’t she be allowed to spend her twilight years with her friend? The benefits, both for man and elephant, may be too great to not allow this to go forward. But when making this decision, all involved should picture the one being, human or animal, that they love the most, and ask themselves whether they would make this move themselves if it meant losing that being.

    — Andrew Conlogue is a junior studying philosophy, politics, economics and law. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

    Redistricting commission still unsettled

    There seems to be no remedy to the Independent Redistricting Commission fiasco. First, Gov. Jan Brewer tried to fire Commissioner Chair Colleen Mathis, then the Arizona Supreme Court overruled her, and then there were rumors that the commission could possibly be scraped and reformed to some extent. However, since Arizona voters approved the commission in the first place, voters would have to approve any reformation. In order to do that, the question would need to be put on the ballot, and putting it on the ballot would require a special legislation session. But it needed to have happened by yesterday.

    Nonetheless, no special session was called and Brewer was clear that she wouldn’t be rushed into such action. Brewer still feels that the redistricting hasn’t been a proper and fair process, and many in the public have expressed issues with splitting up “communities of interest.” Under the proposed plans, places like Cochise County would be split into two districts and Yuma would also be split. Nonetheless, polls indicate that voters haven’t lost all their faith in the commission so thus, perhaps even putting the commission to a vote would not be worth it.

    Senate Majority Whip Frank Antenori contends that polls are pointless and said that Brewer should do what she thinks is right and that “a lot of times polls are wrong.”

    Not that Antenori doesn’t have a point, polls can be wrong about larger trends, but they are still relatively indicative of the reality of a situation. If the poll shows voters aren’t supportive of throwing out the commission, odds are they probably aren’t. And if they are supportive of it, it’s probably not by a large majority.

    The commission has its problems, there’s no debating that. But they were formed on a voter’s mandate and that can’t be ignored. If voters don’t seem to want to abandon the commission they themselves chose, don’t try and ram it down their throat.

    — Storm Byrd is the Perspectives editor. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

    Let’s cure HIV and AIDS in our lifetime please

    Wouldn’t we all like to see a cure for HIV and AIDS in our lifetime? Good news, scientists are getting closer. It seems as impossible to many now as going to the moon seemed in the 1920s. But there should be hope.

    Recently, a man in Trenton, N.J., had his immune cells modified and injected back into him, which suppressed the disease for a 12-week period. Scientists are still hesitant to say this shows the possibility of a cure because the man had a naturally occurring mutation already and the test was for only 12 weeks. But it’s a start.

    Timothy Brown, who lives in San Francisco and was HIV positive, had a bone marrow transplant for his leukemia. His donor was one of the 1 percent of Northern Europeans who is naturally resistant to the virus, and Brown has been free of the virus for four years.

    HIV and AIDS are still a huge problem for millions across the globe and they still deserve a lot of attention. Prevention is not a long-term solution, but a cure or a vaccine could save lives and medical costs on an astronomical scale.

    Hopefully there are some researchers or students who are still interested in finding this cure.

    — Michelle A. Monroe is a journalism senior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

    The economy is bad enough without gender discrimination at work

    Today, jobs are incredibly hard to come by. No one is immune to the effects of the terrible economy, including employers. The last thing the public wants to hear is that sexism still exists in the workforce.

    According to Laura Fitzpatrick, a writer for Time Magazine, “U.S. women still [earn] only 77 cents on the male dollar in 2008, according to the latest census statistics.”

    Additionally, the Associated Press reported that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has filed a complaint against Cargill Meat Solutions, in regard to claims that Cargill allegedly avoids hiring women.

    While you could just write the Cargill situation as a random act, you can’t deny the discrimination women struggle to break through. It’s also upsetting to point out that, increasingly, women are not only supporting themselves.

    According to About.com, Jennifer Wolf reported that approximately 84 percent of parents with sole custody of children are women. So not only do discriminatory practices affect the female job applicants, they also harm the children who have no other means of support.

    Whether discriminatory practices are affecting individuals or entire families, the U.S. Department of Labor needs to keep watch on companies like Cargill, and the payment of female employees across the nation. With barely enough jobs to go around, gender inequality should not be another reason women can’t find a job.

    — Megan Hurley is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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