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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday September 30, 2002

Admissions goal imperils sports

I have just one question for the Arizona Board of Regents and the UA administration: If the UA raises admission standards, what will become of our athletic programs? Football is an exception, as it can't get much worse.

Yuri Bahti
Alumnus, UA human resource specialist


Graduate students seek respect

I am writing in response to two somewhat flippant and thoughtless responses to the issues of graduate student working conditions at the UA. The first was made by Laura Malamud in her article, "Graduate College will ask for more TA money," published Sept. 26. She states, "Some GTAs have complained of being overworked and underpaid." I want to clarify that there are more than "some" GTAs who are upset and that our "complaint" is actually a reaction based upon comparisons of workload and tuition costs with graduate programs similar to ours at the UA.

Malamud herself quotes Gary Pivo, who refers to the TA Taskforce Report of 2000 that uncovered many GTAs in the College of Humanities, among others, working more hours than their colleagues in other departments and for less pay and benefits than their colleagues at other institutions. Such working practices are unfair to graduate students who are working hard to provide quality educational experiences for undergraduates, as well as working on their own research and studies.

This leads me to my response to President Likins' comment in "Likins' revised budget stresses research" published Sept. 27, that moneys intended to relieve such unfair working conditions might be better suited (or more easily appropriated) to new buildings. While our Legislature might be more easily swayed to allocate funds for buildings rather than people, I would expect Likins to know how valuable graduate students are to the research that is taking place and will take place at the UA. Without top graduate students who carry out much of the research and teaching of the university, Likins and our Legislature will have a difficult time filling the buildings he speaks of.

Ryan Moeller
Co-Chair, English Graduate Union


Hand's criticisms contradictory

Dale Hand's criticisms of professor David Gibbs' recent statements regarding United States motivations for launching a military strike against Iraq (Friday, "Gibbs' speech on Iraq contradictory and ridiculous") were ill-conceived and ineffectual. Hand's logic was faulty on numerous levels.

Hand sarcastically questioned whether Gibbs used a crystal ball or a Ouija board to form his position that Iraq poses less of a threat to U.S. national security than the Bush administration would have the American public believe.

In reality, Gibbs offered compelling evidence to support his comments: The testimony of former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Gibbs didn't merely "suppose" that Iraq's weapons have largely been destroyed. Hand himself, however, rushed to suppose that the weapons still exist ¸ despite the lack of solid evidence and his own admission that the United States is well capable of detecting any such weapons.

Hand wrote presuming that Professor Gibbs, who "teaches a course on the Arab-Israeli conflict," must be one-sided and blatantly anti-Israel/United States during his lectures. In his zeal for attacking Gibbs, he failed to note that, as was clearly stated in the article, it is in fact Professor David Dunford who teaches the Arab-Israeli conflict class. Am I expected to take seriously the opinion of someone who cannot even accurately comprehend the details of a simple Arizona Daily Wildcat article? What on Earth did Hand major in at Cornell, underwater basket weaving? I speak from experience rather than conjecture (I took Dr. Dunford's class last spring) when I say that his coverage of the relevant issues is genuinely even-handed, objective, equitable and fair to both Israel and the Palestinians.

As to Hand's claim that UA faculty members are all liberal nuts, I would ask if he's ever stopped to consider why the most well-educated members of our community are often opposed to duplicitous United States foreign excursions and costly, provocative military operations. If the smartest amongst us are speaking out against unjustified state violence and imperialism, shouldn't we listen?

Phoenix Michael
linguistics senior


Gays can vote Republican too

With regard to Nick Ray's Sept. 26 letter to the editor ("Salmon and other Republicans are not champions of gay rights"), it seems rather presumptuous to assume that a gay person who has chosen to support a conservative candidate is "willing to sell their own civil rights down the river," simply because he has decided that lower taxes and less government are more important issues. I find it hard to believe that anyone who bothers to participate in the political process (gay or otherwise) chooses to support a candidate that they honestly believe is a threat to their own basic freedoms.

Not every homosexual (or minority, woman, labor union member, or any other member of a group traditionally aligned with the left) is a card-carrying Democrat. Perhaps for good reason: Virtually everyone pays taxes, and Democrats, regardless of how right they usually are on civil liberties issues, are no friend of the taxpayer. Perhaps "Mr. Peterson and his gay Republican friends" are not practicing some bizarre form of political masochism, as Mr. Ray suggests, but are simply weighing the issues that affect them directly and making a political choice accordingly. That their choice doesn't conform to Mr. Ray's vision of what is best for his "community" is of no consequence; individuals ¸ not communities ¸ cast votes.

Brian Hawkins
neuroscience graduate student


Tax cuts stimulate economy

This is in response to Kendrick Wilson's "Time the Republicans admit tax cut was a huge mistake." The true cause of the deficit our government is currently in is not the Bush tax cut, but the sluggish economy. History has shown that during economic downturns, tax revenues decrease because of the reduction of corporate and individual earnings. This applies to the economic downturn we are currently experiencing as well.

Secondly, to repeal the tax cut would only hurt the economy more because it would take money out of it. The correct fiscal policy for an economic recession is to cut taxes to help stimulate the economy. This would lead to more consumer spending and, even better, investment by corporations in technology and equipment. Through corporate investments, more jobs will be created and cause a positive ripple effect throughout the economy. But the repeal of the tax cut would just hurt the recovery and leave America in this current state longer.

Finally, Kendrick Wilson is wrong when he says that President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal spent America out of The Great Depression. The true reason that America was able to overcome The Great Depression was World War II, not social programs like the WPA. A New Deal today would just cause inflation, huge deficits, and social dependence on the U.S. government. So the best plan for America's economy is to leave the tax cut and let it run its course as America returns to economic prosperity.

Ryan Calkins
finance junior

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