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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday February 11, 2003

No logic in comparing suicide bombers to Columbia's crew

In regard to a passage I read in Caitlin Hall's Thursday column, I can only wonder how tainted her thoughts are by political jargon. "Though their aims were more noble and their deeds more righteous, the crew of the Columbia demonstrated no more bravery in its mission than a Palestinian suicide bomber who chooses to die in what he sees as defense of his homeland." I doubt bravery is even the real issue here, as she goes on to ramble about what she thinks space missions stand for. I see no logic in comparing the death of a crew who dedicated their lives to discovery for the good of our planet to individuals who are so desperate in their political and religious fervor that they feel it's necessary to mercilessly murder unsuspecting civilians, no matter from whose perspective you view their bravery. I have come to realize lately that any tragedy that occurs in this world is simply a means to an idealistic end for some people. Where is the humanity in that?

Kate Magargal
anthropology junior

Hall's views not indicative of all liberals; we aren't stupid'

I was pleased with the outpouring regarding Caitlin Hall after her column last Thursday, but please don't take her views to be indicative of liberals as a whole, as some of you surely have. That's what really gets me upset about Ms. Hall's columns, that is, that they manage to constantly make liberals look stupid and ridiculous. Comparing the shuttle astronauts (martyrs in the truest sense of the word) to cowards who take their own lives (in which there should be no glory or honor) is unacceptable.

That comparison has already been ripped to shreds, so I'd like to take issue with her politics. I'm a liberal: I believe in taxes, in the avoidance of unnecessary overseas entanglements, and plenty of civil and political rights. My country at www.nationstates.net. (Check it out!) is classified as a "civil rights love-fest."

However, my adherence to these views avoids dogmatism and irrationality, unlike Ms. Hall. One's ideals shouldn't get in the way of making sense. For example, the war in Iraq has a simple explanation, and it's not oil. It turns out that we have phone taps proving that the Iraqi government is hiding their weapons of mass destruction. This is the reason for war, and it is both sufficient and compelling.

The incompetent, Hall-centered boobery on this campus, trying to obfuscate the true need for this conflict, makes liberals look like rose-colored glasses-wearing idiots at best, and at worst, when picking fights from stupid positions like she did last Friday, makes us look dumb.

Please, for the love of everything wonderful about liberalism civil rights, unionization, political freedoms, free speech, a woman's right to choice, an active government bent on actually helping people rein in Ms. Hall and help us liberals save face.

Richard Fry
creative writing and philosophy sophomore

UA programs to be eliminated have critical mass of women

I recently graduated from the College of Architecture Planning and Landscape Architecture that includes two proposed programs for elimination. I am concerned that the 16 proposed programs slated to be eliminated under the reorganization at the University of Arizona consist mainly of a majority of women. Does the university view programs with a majority of women faculty as being expendable?

When I looked at programs that may be cut on the University of Arizona Web site, I noted that the School of Planning is headed by a woman, and 67 percent of the faculty are women. Also in CAPLA, the School of Landscape Architecture faculty is made up of one-third women. The School of Library Sciences has a woman as its director and half of its faculty members are women.

The humanities program is another program headed by a woman, and 64 percent of the faculty are also women. In the School of Health Professions' medical technology program, 83 percent of the faculty are women. However, the physiology sciences program, where the faculty is largely made up of men, is proposed to be relocated to the College of Medicine.

An internal study of the status of women at the UA, the Millenium Report (November 2001), noted many women faculty find the campus difficult and hostile. The destruction of programs with a high proportion of women reduces the UA's slow progress toward increasing representation of women faculty in tenure-track positions and leadership roles. Is it just a coincidence that so many of the programs proposed for elimination have a critical mass of women faculty?

Natasha Winnik
Tucson resident

Wildcat should look at itself before criticizing other media

Bill Wetzel's column in Friday's Wildcat, "With freedom comes responsibility," begs for this letter. He argues that it was irresponsible for Maxim to decide to publish a joke about Gandhi and that it is our "obligation to exercise restraint and discretion in utilizing [our] right of free speech in consideration of tact for boundaries that should not be crossed."

While I may not necessarily agree with Mr. Wetzel 100 percent, I think the Wildcat should take a look at Arnulfo Bermudez's "Holy Times" comic strip. Now, I have read criticisms to his comic strip before, and I would like to make it clear that I am not objecting from a religious standpoint (I do not take issue with its ridicule of Christ or Allah, I take issue with its lack of humor). It seems to me that instead of first scolding Maxim, Mr. Wetzel should look at his own newspaper and then write his column.

Michael Goyette
communications junior

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