Arizona Daily Wildcat Online
Front Page
· Basketball
· Columnists
Live Culture
Police Beat
Photo Spreads
Special Sections
The Wildcat
Letter to the Editor
Wildcat staff
Job Openings
Advertising Info
Student Media
Arizona Student Media info
UATV - student TV
KAMP - student radio
The Desert Yearbook
Daily Wildcat staff alumni


Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 1, 2004
Print this

Comments on both sides trivialize conflict

Could we get a reality check here, please? Justin St. Germain's comment on Andre Iguodala's skills on the basketball court was certainly in poor taste, but it is equally rash to say, as Mr. Bataineh did in his letter on Tuesday, that one man's careless remarks are a greater tragedy than a conflict that has claimed hundreds upon hundreds of lives! It is this devaluation of the sanctity of human life (saying that poorly chosen words are somehow worse than mass murder) that characterizes the doctrines and actions of groups such as Hamas and the Tanzim of the PLO's Fatah faction ... which brings another point to mind: Some have said that the brick is the Palestinian's only weapon in the war against Israel. I guess that they forgot about the explosives and the arms shipments that the Israeli government intercepts on a regular basis. Sadly, it probably doesn't catch all of them.

Remember that kid Hussam Abdo, one of many children recently thwarted in attempting mass murder? There were a couple hundred innocent Palestinians at that checkpoint. Their lives were saved by none other than the Israeli Defense Forces.

I hope that the Wildcat's editors will take note of such ridiculous comments by both their staff and readers - and publish them anyway. It's a good way to support Tucsonans' freedom of expression, and besides, laughter is good for your health.

Daniel Perezselsky
Near Eastern studies and political science sophomore

Basketball-Palestinian comparison offensive

The comment comparing Andre Iguodala's shot to a Palestinian child throwing bricks at an Israeli tank was just another example of Wildcat editors' repeated oversight or ignorance about non-Jewish sympathies and feelings. I wonder: If the situation was reversed, and it was a Palestinian occupation of Israeli people, would the comparison of an Israeli boy throwing rocks at a Palestinian tank be as acceptable in a sports column? The symbolism of Palestinian youths throwing rocks at a U.S.-provided Israeli tank might go right over your head, but that is no excuse for allowing the sensitive plight of the Palestinians (some whom are part of the UA's population) to be disrespected in a basketball column. If you have no respect for the feelings of Palestinian citizens, have some regard for the UA students that no doubt found your article personally cruel.

Mariam Durrani
UA alumna

Antidepressants make people more pleasant

I agree with Ms. Warzecka: Let's stop America's addiction to antidepressants. Let's go back to the good old days, when hearty folk drowned their sorrows in whiskey. Or better yet, let's go back even further, and simply burn the demons out!

I have known many people who have been on antidepressants. Some have only been on for the short term, and their depression was caused by a job loss, family crisis or divorce. Others have been on for years, and don't function very well at all without them. Both sets of people have been judged as "spoiled and egocentric." Frankly, people on antidepressants are much more pleasant to be around. Maybe that makes me spoiled and egocentric, but I like people around me to be happy and enjoying life; not suffering, depressed or suicidal.

I'm amazed at the neo-Puritan reaction to antidepressants. Would my friends and family members who were on antidepressants for short periods of time have eventually recovered and "decided" to be happy (or, at least, functional) again? Oh, probably. Would it have taken a lot longer? You bet. Why is it better for people to suffer, though? Drugs can help. If you want proof of that, next time you get a headache, instead of taking some ibuprofen, grit your teeth and remind yourself that things could be worse - you could be boiling in oil. Trust me, it's not gonna help.

Julie Burkhart
third-year law student

Depression, unhappiness are two different things

Sara Warzecka raises some good points in her opinion piece about antidepressants. Clearly, antidepressants are potent drugs with potentially serious adverse effects, and shouldn't be used to manage everyday malcontent and unhappiness. Considering the high numbers prescribed, the drug is probably being used inappropriately in some cases to try to manage these minor mood problems.

However, her biggest flaw is that she fails to distinguish between major depressive disorders and simple unhappiness. What she doesn't seem to realize is that major depression is a serious disease with neurobiological roots, just like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and that depression is often just as crippling. Would the author suggest that doctors try "talking the problem out" for patients with one of these other disorders? Also, the author's comparison of antidepressants to drugs of abuse is simply inaccurate: Antidepressants produce no mood-elevating effects in the short term like cocaine or amphetamine, and no real improvement in the long-term when given to those without depression (just like lithium won't affect the moods of those without bipolar disorder).

On the whole, antidepressants are fantastic tools in the psychiatrist's arsenal that when used appropriately can cure those who are irrational, suicidal and so miserable they can't go to work or school.

David Epstein

Pell Grant program dismantled by Bush

Wendy Watters criticized cutbacks to the federal Pell Grant program in a letter Tuesday. In response, alumnus Wyman Nedd described the grants as a waste of money. He cited a Department of Labor report that states that unskilled jobs are the fastest-growing sector of the American economy. While the corporatization of America and outsourcing of jobs likely will produce a higher proportion of unskilled jobs as the Labor Department predicts, does this mean we should not strive to educate ourselves to the best of our ability? Should we accept mediocrity, or struggle to achieve our dreams?

For those of us from disadvantaged backgrounds who do wish to achieve something in life, the Pell Grant system has been undermined by the current Bush administration. In 1980, the average grant covered 77 percent of the cost of a four-year public college. Today, according to an article in the March 17 issue of the Village Voice, it only covers 40 percent. Even worse is the Bush administration's handling of the current state of affairs of the program. Although calling in his State of the Union Address for "larger Pell Grants for students who prepare for college with demanding courses," obtaining a grant is harder now than ever. The Department of Education recently revised its eligibility guidelines, which will exclude 84,000 students from the program entirely and reduce awards for 1.5 million. What does this mean? It means that over 1.5 million of the neediest students will have a diminished opportunity to fulfill their aspirations. This, to me, is not the American dream.

Aaron Gubi
Near Eastern studies graduate student

Write a Letter to the Editor
Load of Belshe: The necessary limits of abortion
Issue of the Week: A man-only major
Housing Guide
University of Arizona Visitor's Guide
Restaurant and Bar guide
Search for:
advanced search Archives

Webmaster -
© Copyright 2003 - The Arizona Daily Wildcat - Arizona Student Media