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Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 14, 2005
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True sacrifice would be higher gas prices

I could not agree more with Scott Patterson's column about the benefits of the rising cost of gas ("Costly gas could save environment"). However, I feel there are better reasons to have high gas prices.

If the last five years have shown anything, it is a complete lack of both accountability and sacrifice in the United States today. We have a war where the only Americans sacrificing are those who are killed or wounded and the families of these people. For everyone else, the cliché is "support our troops." Furthermore, by consuming more gas than any other country on Earth, we are also helping to fund the very terrorists that the war on terror is supposed to fight.

Currently, the support for our troops consists of shopping at Wal-Mart and taking advantage of GM employee pricing to buy crappy Chevys. Considering that the gentlemen who attacked New York and Washington four years ago hailed from the world's largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, and that the terrorists Americans are so fearful of appear to be funded at least in part with oil money from filling up our SUVs, simple conservation could allow us to remove a source of their funding.

Is it possible this would reduce the ability of insurgents to buy weapons used to kill American troops in Iraq? If so, then it is not just the world we live in that is being hurt; Americans are providing the enemy with financial support. That sounds rather treasonous. To increase conservation and force change, I propose a $2 per gallon freedom tax on all gasoline sales.

The funds from this tax would be used to support transportation infrastructure, alternative fuels and useable public transit. On top of this, a $3 per gallon patriot tax will be assessed in order to support our military in time of war. Wartime calls for sacrifice from all citizens and accountability of leaders. The American people would be more likely to have both if they were given a stake in this war. In the meantime, support our troops by using less gas. It's the least we can do.

Paul DiMaggio
second-year medical student

Child care shouldn't be an ASUA issue

After mulling over your article on Monday ("Bernsen calls on alumni for child care"), I felt compelled to write my two cents concerning this issue.

During his campaign last year, Mr. Bernsen stated that child care facilities were vital for the students on campus. Really? Vital? I am a senior and have been walking around this university for the last three years. During this time, I have yet to see a student-parent walk his or her child around on campus in three years. Amazingly, this is longer than Cade has been at this school (almost one year), so I doubt whether he truly believes this is as big of a problem as he claims.

In your article, he plans to spend thousands of dollars to campaign for issues like childcare. With well fewer than 1,000 student-parents, is it really necessary to devote such resources to a clearly remote and isolated group? The school already provides $500 subsidies for students with children.

This is just one of many examples of how the Associated Students of the University of Arizona's myopic agenda does little to improve overall student life. With the exception of SafeRide (implemented years before Cade took office) and sparse concerts, what has ASUA done for the average student? I would bet that most students reading this letter could not name three programs that ASUA provides (hint: I already gave two). With more than a $1 million budget, ASUA would probably be better off liquidating their assets and writing each student a check for $50. At least this gift is tangible and something every student can truly appreciate.

Jacob Levy
finance senior

Students unable to protect themselves

Being subject to abuse of police authority, such as that which happened at the Kappa Sigma house on Aug. 26, is but a consequence of students being disarmed by law.

Imagine if the men - and I do not call them gentlemen - in question, were out to rape or rob partygoers instead of to merely deprive them of their First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights under color of law (a federal offense). Bystanders would have been nearly powerless to stop it.

Perhaps it's time for civil disobedience; it's clear that the law prevents us from protecting ourselves on or en route to campus.

Bennett Kalafut
physics graduate student

Police should focus on safety, not drinking

The two stories on the student hitting the pedestrian with her car and the Gestapo style raid on the Kappa Sigma fraternity really ticked me off big time. I have an idea to solve both issues. Why don't the Tucson Police Department and Pima County Sheriff's Department concentrate on protecting pedestrians from irresponsible drivers (I myself have almost been hit a number of times)? The thing that surprises me is that that pedestrian rage hasn't become widespread.

Crosswalks are becoming unsafe, not only in the UA area, but all over Tucson. And that's not all folks - even walking on the sidewalks is dicey with the guys on bicycles who should be in the bike lanes. If the police and sheriff deputies really wish to vent their frustrations, why don't they tee off on these unsafe drivers and bicycle riders instead?

Jim Scholl
optical sciences graduate student

Columnist doesn't understand Minutemen

I just had to comment on the very interesting slant taken by Dan Post regarding the Minutemen Project ("Minutemen show stamina in the media"). It is obvious that he is a liberal, and his bias is barely hidden beneath the surface of his statements related to the group, as well as how he "paints" certain other liberal groups.

First, Derechos Humanos, while it is a human rights advocacy group, does not deal with "border issues" - it would prefer to see the border disappear altogether.

In the third paragraph, Mr. Post states that the Minutemen are often criticized (true, by their liberal opponents), and many of these criticisms appear to have merit - but he doesn't list any particular criticism(s) to highlight his argument. Then he further darkens the image of the Minutemen by alluding to "negative attention toward poor Mexican nationals who only wish to make a better life." The Minutemen Project is not trying to make life miserable for anyone from any country - unless they are trying to enter our country illegally.

At no time have the Minutemen made any "admissions" that some within their ranks are racist vigilantes - but (they) have stressed time and again that they are diligent in their efforts to weed out any racists or vigilantes from their ranks by doing background checks on applicants.

I am also amused and slightly surprised that even though Mr. Post commented several times on Chris Simcox's relaxed ease and demeanor at numerous points wherein the liberal speaker seemed to lose his or her cool, he doesn't want to believe that perhaps Simcox is relaxed because he actually is on the higher ground of the moral debate on this issue. Mr. Post seems more convinced that Chris Simcox's behavior and responses are the result of being a "media savvy" practitioner and not just that he feels great confidence in his belief on the issue at hand.

Perhaps if the "smarter, Ivy-League intellectual Democrats" took the time to fully analyze the issues and arguments, they might see the truth behind them and not lose their cool as they lose the discussion.

Dave Brehmer
Washington, D.C.

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