Tuesday October 30, 2001
Wildcat should use discretion with ads
I, for the first time today, looked at the Wildcat online. I normally scan through the paper, but today I decided I wanted to see one of today's edition's photographs more closely. When I opened the Wildcat Web page, I was totally appalled. I am a member of the Career Staff and have been working at the UA for 12 years. I was also a student here back in the mid-70s.
My dismay is that there is not one, but two advertisements on the same page for clinics that provide abortion services. There is something quite wrong here. I understand we need advertisers to make it possible to produce the Daily Wildcat, but can't we have some discretion as to the number of controversial advertisers we put on one page? Yes, I'm a pro-life supporter, and I absolutely disagree with abortion. My concern isn't for my own values or the values of my two children who attend college here. They have moralistic values and know right from wrong.
I'm concerned for the student who looks at the Web page and sees these abortion ads and doesn't have anyone to help counsel them and give them both sides of the story. These ads should not be placed on the front page of the Web site. They should be buried deep (where only those who wish to do something so terrible can find them), not throwing it in everyone's face - whether we like it or not.
Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, and freedom of speech is a constitutional benefit of living in this country. I don't dispute that. But, as much as the pro-choice folks have the right to believe what they want, so do the pro-life supporters.
I just wish that some discretion could be used in circumstances such as this. This world is going through enough turmoil right now. We've lost so many lives needlessly. Why should we advertise to kill more?
Thank you for letting a Christian woman and mother speak her peace.
College of engineering and mines
Baker letter incorrect
I must reply to Adam Baker's letter in the Monday Wildcat, in which he assures us that "fears of population explosion are ridiculous" because "anyone who's taken a calculus class" knows about the S-shaped population curve, which shows populations eventually leveling off at the carrying capacity of the local environment's limited resources.
As one who teaches that calculus class and the "logistic curve" that he's referring to, I urge him to realize that the slowing down of population growth and eventual stabilization of population are neatly described by a differential equation (a "mathematical model"). But the reasons for the applicability of the model, in the real world, are not nearly so neat and pleasant.
They include increased mortality from starvation (and, in wild animals, competition for food - read "war"), death from diseases more readily communicated in overcrowded conditions and decreased reproduction from malnutrition.
Some species such as wolves seem to respond to a reduction of resources such as drought by slowing their rate of reproduction, by decreasing litter size or temporarily refraining from littering altogether.
It is hoped that human populations can show equal intelligence by practicing family planning to reduce the number of children born. Another tool for reducing the rate of growth of population is improving the educational and economic opportunities of women, which has been shown to reduce family size.
But the population curve doesn't slow down by itself just because of the mathematics. It requires an action - either the Malthusian denial of the wherewithal to live or the conscious action of humans to reduce reproduction.
Incidentally, many population experts believe that the earth's carrying capacity has already been exceeded (which can happen on a short-term basis) and that the stable population will be approached from above - the population being involuntarily reduced by catastrophe.
John L. Leonard
Dale only interested in being inflammatory
Shane Dale has written a series of misinformed and irresponsible editorials ridiculing all who are concerned by overpopulation, urban sprawl and global warming. It would take far more than a letter to address all of Dale's many distortions of fact. Fortunately, the university offers several excellent courses, including "Wildlife Conservation and Society" (WFSC 225), which address these issues intelligently and fairly.
I would encourage anyone who is seriously interested in the environment to take one of these classes. Shane Dale is more interested in being inflammatory than in being honest, but perhaps even he can benefit from education.
wildlife graduate student
Four can be enough
In response to Ms. Roopa Batni's letter, "SafeRide system flawed": There's four of you. Come on. One of you runs for help while the other two kick the crap out of the attacker. Besides, what about the poor loners like myself who need to go from the Main Library to Lester Street at midnight, hmm? It takes 20 minutes to walk in the daytime when I'm not watching my back. If SafeRide picks you four up, that leaves four other women walking individually to fend for their selves. SafeRide struggles to get people to their various destinations in a timely and fair fashion. They are fair in their decision to not pick up four women who have the same destination.