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Letters to the Editor

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Apr. 30, 2002

Editor‚s note: Regarding the Wildcat‚s Thursday-Friday guest article from Professor Charles D. Smith, „The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict:š It was the Wildcat‚s intention to use the word „unbiasedš in that Smith‚s article was not intended to be a commentary. It was not Smith‚s request that we preface his article as „unbiased.š We apologize for any ambiguity the term may have caused.

Tuition signals őless for more‚

There is a real-world lesson to be learned from annual tuition hikes. You don‚t get more because you‚re paying more. It doesn‚t work that way in the real world. You pay more to get what you just got. Public utilities (gas, electric, phone, cable) rise every year, price of gasoline edges upward, car insurance premiums spike, property tax goes up, medical costs rise ų and you pay more just to get what you always got. Why should tuition be any different? It‚s simply the price of doing business.

I would support a university-wide indexing based on this percentage, however. If tuition rises 4 percent, this would determine how much everything in the university goes up: 4 percent rise in faculty salaries, GTA salaries, operating budgets, capital expenditure, parking fees, travel budgets, textbook expenses, internal grants, etc. In addition, everyone would work 4 percent harder, and students would be 4 percent more productive. Then we could admit 4 percent more students and offer 4 percent more classes.

The governor says she does not want to solve budget woes on the backs of students through tuition hikes. This is noble. Rather, she is solving these woes on the backs of state workers by undercutting university budgets and REDUCING promised salaries. This tuition hike, alas, signals only „less for moreš.

James P. O‚Brien, Ph.D.
school of music and dance professor

A & F Buddhist shirt not offensive

This is in response to Irene Hsaio‚s article about the racist Abercrombie and Fitch T-shirts. The only real problem that I had with the article is that it misrepresents Buddhism. First, Ms. Hsiao seems to indicate that Buddhism is a religion that is only practiced by Asians. However, Buddhism is a religion and philosophy that is practiced worldwide by various ethnicities, and therefore, the shirt telling people to „Get your Buddha on the floorš is not specifically attacking Asians. If anything, it is attacking a religion.

Second, Ms. Hsiao also compares the above phrase to „Get your Jesus on the floorš or „Get your Allah on the floor.š This too harbors problems, as the Buddha is not a Jesus or Allah figure: He is not an emanation of God sent to save humanity, and he is not God himself. The Buddha is best described as an incredible human being who was able to manifest enlightenment through various practices such as meditation. To compare the Buddha to Jesus or Allah would be to further confuse the majority of non-Buddhists who already do not understand the true nature of the Buddha. Third, as a Buddhist myself, I do not find this shirt offensive. A good majority of Mahayana Buddhists believe that every human being holds within them the potential for Buddhahood, the Buddha Nature. This Buddha Nature is covered in ignorance, anger and greed, and so it is not often manifest. However, the phrase „Get your Buddha on the floorš would say to me that I should become proactive in working to reveal my Buddha Nature in daily life.

After discussing this particular shirt with many of my Buddhist friends, we all came to the same conclusion that this shirt is not derogatory but is rather an encouragement to continue practicing Buddhism in order to become enlightened, in order to colloquially get my Buddha on the floor. I am unsure what the graphic on this particular T-shirt was, and if the graphic was offensive toward Chinese Americans, then it of course should still be pulled from shelves. Yet, based on the tagline alone, I wouldn‚t mind owning one of these shirts myself.

Nanna Sachiko Ogburn
East Asian studies and religious studies senior

T-shirt hysteria

Irene Hsiao writes of the Abercrombie T-shirts on April 26: „These statements are a symbolic gesture that pushes Chinese Americans back more than 100 years.š Sounds like some pretty serious racist propaganda. So, what are these statements? Here‚s one: „Pizza Dojo: Eat in or wok out.š Wow. Watch out Chinese Americans, you‚ll be hammering out more railroads in about five minutes. Please. Ms. Hsiao needs to quit the politically correct rhetoric. Ms. Hsiao goes out to point out the racial inequalities that Chinese Americans have endured.

There is no question that Chinese immigrants have faced prejudice. But is a T-shirt reading „Get your Buddha on the floorš going to inspire a modern racist campaign against Chinese Americans? I doubt the Abercrobie executives were plotting a conspiracy against the Chinese American community with these pun-based T-shirts. Furthermore, there exists a double standard. Something tells me a T-shirt poking fun at the Irish reputation for heavy drinking wouldn‚t cause such mania. Lighten up. Ms. Hsiao, don‚t be so serious.

Candis Bott
political science junior

Cease printing Mr. Petersen

I am writing to request that the Wildcat not publish every opinion submitted by one Charles A. Petersen, history sophomore. Since last semester, he has seen almost weekly inclusion in the letters column, and has styled himself the voice of campus republicans. However, his letters rarely resemble intelligent political discourse and consist largely of vicious personal attacks of ad hominem against any commentator whose opinions differ from his own. He is also fond of extending these attacks to the paper in general, and no doubt his unfounded statements concerning the Wildcat‚s „liberal bias,≠š have shamed the paper into printing his diatribes in order to seem fair.

After three semesters of reading the Wildcat, I consider it to be fairly balanced in covering campus events, local, and world news. The majority of the columnists are unabashedly liberal, but the paper has done a good job of printing the constructive and corrective letters submitted by the many intelligent and reasonable conservatives on campus. Most letters submitted by Mr. Petersen are never constructive, and are rarely based in fact (he occasionally regurgitates a statistic he heard on Limbaugh without giving any context). He asserts, correctly, in his last letter that he has the right to call pacifists „radical lunatics≠š but does this need to be printed in a letters column? By repeatedly including his infantile and occasionally libelous letters, the Wildcat sends the message that our campus has nothing better to contribute to political argument than unsubstantiated and negative garbage. I hope that this is not the case.

Seth Mauzy
ecology and evolutionary biology junior

Catholics shouldn‚t feel ashamed

This is in response to Sarah Hartwell‚s April 26 letter in which she states that all Catholics „oughta be ashamed.š I am a firm believer in Catholicism, and while I agree that what is happening in the church right now is a travesty, I don‚t feel I have anything to be ashamed of. If a professor molests a student, does that mean that all professors everywhere should be ashamed because of the wrongdoing of one person? Because of the events that occurred on Sept. 11, should all believers in the faith of Islam be ashamed because of a few people‚s actions? It‚s highly unfair to say that all Catholics should be ashamed because of the errors of a number of people. I‚m sure that if you believed in something so strong your entire life, Sarah, one big controversy wouldn‚t be enough to change your mind, now would it?

In a time when the nation is supposed to be on the way to becoming more unified, the last thing we need are people like you throwing stones on an issue which you clearly have no knowledge of. The recent gathering of Cardinals at the Vatican was unprecedented; it usually takes months or years to pull a gathering like that together. This just goes to show what an effort that is being made to come to a solution to this problem.

Sarah Chavez
family studies and human development freshman

Don‚t stereotype Catholicism

This letter is in response to Sarah Hartwell‚s comments published in Friday‚s Wildcat. I agree with her position on the pope‚s decision, but I have one question for her. Sarah, who gives you the right to tell all Catholics to be ashamed? Catholics choose to practice their faith within a given set of standards, and I do not think that they should be told to be ashamed for something they had no control over. Would it be right for me to tell you to be ashamed for a decision that your parents, professor, friend or minister made without your consent? I just hope that Ms. Hartwell realizes that blame needs to be placed where the blame is deserved. Don‚t generalize or stereotype, because it only makes you more ignorant.

Kim Fielding
family studies and human development and religious studies junior

Anti-capitalist stickers posted ődestructive and ineffectual‚

Yesterday, some of our resident Commies attempted to make a deep political statement by slapping „capitalism is a hate crimeš stickers at select locations on campus. Fortunately, like all historical socialist actions, it managed to succeed splendidly on some points, namely being half-assed, destructive and totally ineffectual. If we‚re going to play degrees here, why not describe how socialism is compared to capitalism? How about genocide? Let‚s list the most oppressive regimes of the 20th century and see how they stack up: Bolshevik Russia/USSR-communist (40 million+ dead), Nazi Germany (Nazi from „Nationalist Socialist Partyš)-fascist socialist (World War costing tens of millions of lives in Europe alone), Maoist China-Communist, and proud holder of the record for the most atrocities with over 60 million killed.

And since (we live) in a capitalist society such as the United States, we can go to school and determine our own path and existence in life rather than living under the thumb of a system of total equality (equality in squalor that is). When you give anyone control over your life, the only good that can come of it is to sleep with the warmth of paternalism, only to realize when you wake up that you‚ve been chained to the bed and all your money‚s been divided among your neighbors. In civilized society, it‚s called theft and slavery, but I suppose the world‚s a different and infinitely more depressing place if the only view you get of it is through your colon.

Tylor Brand
history freshman


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