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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday April 30, 2003

Yellow ribbons around UA a ╬fiasco' that doesn't help

The UA College Republicans are giving the rest of us conservatives a bad name. Usually it is the liberals who resort to such silly tactics like this latest yellow ribbon fiasco. Putting up ribbons is not so bad on its own, although I don't see what it accomplishes. If you support the troops so much, then write one a letter or help their families by babysitting their kids and such. I'm proud of my brother-in-law who's in Iraq right now, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't want me spending all night patrolling the streets or monitoring Web cams with the hope of catching evil ribbon desecrators.

What's next? Are you going to station snipers around Tucson, ready to eliminate anyone who doesn't bow and kiss every yellow ribbon he or she passes?

If you are truly appreciative of the troops for protecting our precious American freedoms, then there are better ways of showing it than going out and tying ribbons to everything in sight. If you really think of all the troops that have lost their lives so far, then you'll realize that they probably prefer that you go study for your final exams and accomplish something meaningful instead.

Justin Cranmer
UA alumnus

Republicans should ╬send a check,' not hang ribbons

To the campus Republicans, I say: Welcome to being the oppressed minority. Whenever my organization wants to put up flyers for events, etc. (on approved boards, not littering on trees), they are torn down almost immediately. Unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot of disposable income (not being Republican, social policy doesn't favor my pocketbook), thus I am not able to afford Web cams to provide surveillance for my flyers.

This whole debate about the yellow ribbons is ridiculous. Perhaps the people spending time and energy (and UA resources in the form of maintenance to clean them up) to put up yellow ribbons should send a check to a relief organization that is going to provide healthcare or food, water, electricity, etc. to the Iraqi people after we demolished their cities and their infrastructure. Even sending a check to your local military support organization would be better than this minutia.

Did you know that the troops could use way less in support via yellow ribbons than they can in Chapstick or sunscreen that, even for those stationed in the Iraqi desert, are "luxury" items the U.S. military doesn't provide?

"Support our troops" is crap as well. Don't think that because people wear uniforms that say that they are from the U.S. that their lives are any more (or less) valuable than anyone killed or wounded in this conflict. If you really want to support the troops, then end the occupation of Iraq and defend the freedoms of even those you disagree with on the home front.

For example, next time you want to cry a river about your stupid yellow ribbons, and our good boys fighting for freedom, why don't you defend the rights of a gay person to put up an event flyer or the rights of your fellow Americans in speaking out against what they feel are injustices, whether you agree or not.

Jonna Lopez
sociology senior
Director, ASUA Pride Alliance

New Eller fees should help upgrade computer access

Amid the Arizona Board of Regents' decision last week to charge Eller College of Business and Public Administration students a $500 program fee next year (Note: This fee is in addition to minimum tuition hikes of $1,000 that ABOR previously approved for UA students), I hope some of the money is spent on upgrading a key resource for business undergraduates: Sands Computer Lab.

On countless afternoons this semester, exasperated students have been unable to access the Internet, UA e-mail or the Blackboard system from this crucial communications hub. (The namesake for the lab would surely be embarrassed.)

The college may have wireless connectivity for a minority of students that currently own wireless PCs, but its basic communications infrastructure is going begging at peak-use times. It's an insult to hike program fees without a commensurate upgrade in the Sands Lab's server reliability.

Stu Williams
accounting graduate student

Chapel's action on debate ╬undermines' its message

Finding the truth and passing it on to others is the duty of a Christian, as is implied with the statement of faith of Calvary Chapel of Tucson. With that being the case, after accepting James McGaha as a challenger to Duane Gish in the upcoming creation/evolution debate (see the column in the Wildcat for April 24, 2003), it puzzles me that without warning the church decided to drop McGaha and found someone else.

The only excuse the church gave was that they had a problem with his "attitude." If McGaha has a great deal of experience debating various purveyors of pseudo-science, so be it. Also if Calvary Chapel is really sure that it has the truth, why should they be worried about an opponent in a debate, particularly as McGaha is an avowed atheist, so presumably he does not have the truth? Not only that, but Duane Gish has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, whereas McGaha is an astronomer. Surely, any true faith cannot fear honest inquiry and reason.

It is claimed that Gish has never lost a debate. Of course it may be that conditions of the debates are so skewed that Gish always wins, including screening in advance that his opponents are good enough to be plausible opponents but not too good, in case Gish might lose. Following the Christian principals of honesty and integrity, Calvary Chapel should not have reneged on their agreement with McGaha, or failing that, they should at least have given a satisfactory explanation for backing out of the agreement.

Incidentally, I do not necessarily agree with the style McGaha uses in presenting the facts in a debate, and I certainly do not accept his atheistic worldview, but agreements are agreements.

If a Christian organization reneges on an agreement using underhanded techniques, this surely undermines their moral authority and stand for the truth. In the eyes of many atheists and agnostics, this kind of behavior undermines the cause many Christians make in this country on the moral decay in society.

In the ad in the Wildcat placed by Calvary Chapel on Valentine's Day, it was stated that the debate should be on the scientific evidence, not a religious debate, so let that be the case. It was stated that evolutionary scientists are not wearing any clothes. I ask, who are the ones not wearing the clothes?

Christopher Sharp
UA research scientist

╬Blueballs' creators should leave Tucson if it's so ╬getto'

I would like to comment on the "Blueballs" cartoon in the Monday, April 28 issue. This is directed to Silas and Kenzo: I, like many other Tucsonans, take offense to the fact that while our little town seems to suit your collegiate needs, you find it necessary to insult the town and its population.

You could pick out the mal aspects of any city on the map. I'm sure yours has its fair share of trash, whether they be rich or poor. I think I know what the problem may be, judging by your poor spelling habits. (It's "ghetto" not "getto.") You are bitter that you could not get into a fancy private school with the rest of your friends.

If you don't care for Tucson, then we would be happy to show you the way out. I suggest that you venture outside the student slum area and broaden your perspective. Tucson is my home, and I'll not stand by while transient students come through and leave trash in their wake.

Juliane Mortello
space planner senior

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