Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 3, 2005
Supreme Court justices not political candidates
In response to Kaara Karlson's column, "Appoint a chief justice, not an enigma," I have one thing to say: Judges are not politicians. The popularity or unpopularity of their decisions should not govern whether they are fit to serve on the Supreme Court. John Roberts, or any other nominee for that matter, has no obligation to reveal whether the space he occupies on the political continuum is left or right of the middle.
The Senate doesn't need to know where he sits on any one specific issue, be it gay marriage or abortion or eminent domain, to send him to the high court. All it needs record of is his character, his intelligence and his willingness to interpret the Constitution carefully, thoughtfully and independently of any personal agenda.
We elect officials with the knowledge that they will then appoint judges on our behalf. We do not elect judges specifically because the framers of the Constitution wanted to preserve judicial integrity (meaning, they wanted judges to interpret laws purely on their reading of the Constitution without worrying about pleasing their constituents).
Once we jump on the "pick him, he's a liberal, he disagrees with the decision on eminent domain" soapbox, we throw the idea of judicial integrity out the window. Liberal or conservative or moderate or some mixture of the three, it is time that we stop demanding that our judicial branch be accountable in the same manner as the other branches of government.
It is also time that we stop waiting until a Supreme Court justice is nominated to start caring about the political process. Yes, I appreciate the whole "the courts are important" sentiment that the Wildcat editorial staff has chosen to highlight as of late. Jumping into things this late in the game, however, is akin to looking in your rearview mirror after you switch lanes. All you see is what you've hit (or narrowly missed). The time to care is now, but the time to act is before the election.
I don't want to see potential judges made into politicians. Essentially, if given the choice between a politician and an enigma, I'd rather an enigma.
Raised prices won't solve fair trade coffee issue
As a former "Roastmaster" for a large, Southern California specialty coffee roastery, I feel that much of what was said in the column "Sip on this" was factually correct, but some of the conclusions are questionable.
To understand the real injustice, you have to see what happens inside these affected countries. In certain countries, primarily in Central America, Indonesia and Africa, farms are small, family owned plots with a few hundred trees. In order to gain access to international markets, these small growers sell to consolidators. These consolidators may buy from hundreds of farms stretching over many square miles.
In the grand scheme of things, these small farmers are going to receive bottom dollar for their products. There is any number of ways to screw these farmers, but basically they are at the mercy of those companies that have access to markets. They can sell their cherries to these consolidators or let them rot. It's their choice. When you live hand to mouth, this really puts you in a difficult spot.
Farmers are still going to have to make a deal with a broker in order to move their beans out of the country. These brokers will have the political clout within their countries to control access to the ports and therefore the market. Again, the cooperatives will perhaps fair better than the individual farmer, but not much.
All of this is sad, but of little consequence to the larger American and European roasters. The vast majority of coffee purchased and roasted in the U.S. comes from one of three countries: Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. In Brazil and Vietnam, the growing and cultivation of coffee is a state business. Large machines roll down lines of trees miles long, shaking cherries from trees into large hoppers, much like grain combines in the Midwest. These countries have removed much of the traditional hand labor from the process.
When you look at the tremendous line of processes, products and people involved in moving the coffee from the farm and into the cup, it changes your perspective a bit. Artificially inflating the market price of coffee will not have the desired impact, I'm afraid.
Dole Mushrooms Distributors
Campaign Arizona celebration a waste of funds
First I would like to say that it is wonderful that Campaign Arizona has reached it $1 billion goal, and I am glad that alumni have contributed to future of this institution. On that note, I need to ask a question: How much of the $1 billion raised went to fund the celebration event Saturday?
I think that it is absurd that the university is spending the much-needed funding to help donors gloat about their contributions. The point of donating to a cause is that the cause will benefit the recipient, not the donor. Once again, the university puts students on the back burner in order to satisfy the conceited alumni. Other fine examples of misappropriated funds are the recent Women's Plaza and last year's Alumni Plaza. I, and many others like me, feel that it is about time that the university put its focus back on its students.
engineering management junior
Women only recently allowed to contribute to society
After reading the letter "Men's great accomplishments more deserving of a plaza," I began to think of all the things men and women are responsible for in this world. Yes, we all know that men "created" America, but this is only because of the chauvinistic thinking that women were inferior that has only been altered since the 1980s when women started becoming common in the work force. Yes, we all know that men are behind most of America's history, but women are in there too. We have served very important roles in American history including vital roles in our nation's wars.
You all might have drafted the Magna Carta, which did not work, and you all might also have been the construction workers on the Eiffel Tower, but you are also at fault for many government and political scams and embarrassments including slavery, slaughtering of nationalities and creating discord among people in this nation and all over the world. Yes, men, you are responsible because women have only been allowed to serve in the government in our more recent history.
I am not a women's rights activist; I think that those people need to get a life because they push for and complain about a lot of things that are ridiculous. Gradually the world will transition and will see woman as we are meant to be viewed: as hard-working, intelligent individuals deserving of everything a man is as long as they accomplish the same standards. And if they do surpass those standards, they deserve more than that man.
So the school dedicated a plaza to important women in our community. So what? Why does this offend you? If you want one too, go out and petition for it. Men have made important contributions to our society as well. Do a little work to prove you all are worthy of have a plaza dedicated to men as well. What's stopping you?
pre-physical education freshman
Women prominent in the fight against discrimination
The comments recently made about the Women's Plaza must have been a joke because no one could seriously say that women have not contributed to history. We live in a country that waited until 1920 to give women the right to vote, and that is much more recent than we like to think. Women have fought and still do fight discrimination, and history only favors men because of this discrimination.
Still, there are so many females that have changed the world. Women fought for the abolition of slavery in the 1800s because all women were isolated in society. Until the 19th Amendment we had no right to create change in the White House, and it is only now that we see something close to equality. If we are ever to live in a world that is strong and united than we must acknowledge past faults in an attempt to better understand each other.
art education senior
Mothers, career women should respect individual decisions
I would like to applaud Katie Paulson's column, "Redefining the stay-at-home mom stereotype," for discussing difficult decisions that face younger women today. As an unmarried (but engaged) graduate student in my mid-20s, the choices surrounding family and work are looming ahead, and truthfully, I feel torn.
I define myself as a strong feminist and feel that women ought to have equal rights as men in every aspect; I want to have a career and have worked hard for my education, but I also desire to be the primary caregiver of my children. The juggling act of both is not appealing to me, and it is possible that I, as an educated woman, will choose to be a "stay-at-home" mother at some point in my life.
The struggle between raising a family and having a career is a real one, but I think we women should be viewing this struggle as a positive accomplishment rather than a burden. Full-time motherhood is no longer an obligation for women, but a choice. And thankfully, women are able to pursue careers and higher education on the same footing as men.
However, women do each other a disservice when we criticize the decisions that others make regarding family and work. A career/family juggler will criticize a stay-at-home mother for "not using her brain" while the woman who choose to stay at home labels her counterpoint as a "poor mother."
Rather than undermining other women, we should unite and be thankful that we have choices in our society. Rather than assigning moral values of "right and wrong" to the choices a woman makes about her career and family, we should be supportive and appreciate the choices that we make and that our colleagues make. We should not be made to feel guilty for having to decide among motherhood, a career or both, whatever the decision may be.
Only united together with respect, can we can begin addressing other serious issues and problems that still face women today.
public health graduate student
World's male population under siege, still succeeding
I am writing in response to the letter "Men's great accomplishments more deserving of a plaza." As a global minority, men have been brutalized and marginalized by overwhelming feminist rhetoric. Representing a meager 48 percent of the global population, men have been able to achieve much in the face of this significant disadvantage. Through our tireless work and struggle, men in this country have been able to overcome the odds to become CEOs, senators and even presidents in increasingly hostile times.
I would like to contradict Mr. Kox on his claims that "women have contributed very little to our society." Answer this, Mr. Kox: How many of our young soldiers would have been saved from certain death in the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific, had women worldwide been at home raising children rather than belligerently fueling the brutal industrial war complex? And answer this, good sir: How many innocent men would have been saved from cancer had Madame Curie not discovered radiation? Lest we not forget mankind's relegation to certain pain and poverty given the treasonous and sinful nature of Eve - the world's first feminist.
Mr. Kox, despite your oversights, you have raised a very valuable point. Men in this society are subject to unfair treatment at all turns. I have concluded that all we can do is continue to struggle against these unfair practices, and perhaps find some solace in the fact that these transgressions are marginalized because we make 20 cents extra on the dollar.
Celibacy vow complicates new Vatican seminary policy
Ella Peterson's column "A witch hunt among men of the cloth" makes some reasonable points about homosexuals being banned from the priesthood. However, her trivializing the matter as to say that it is stupid and comparable to a woman in a male-dominant environment or someone in a wheelchair attending public schools shows her total lack of understanding about the matter.
Women in a "male-dominant" environment don't take a vow of celibacy; neither do people in wheelchairs attending public schools. Only 33 percent of the UA population is celibate. That means that the great majority, whether homosexual or heterosexual, male or female would have a problem with such a vow. The vow not only includes sexual intercourse, it also includes not masturbating and refraining from pornographic material.
Still seems easy? It is a complex issue and I agree homosexuals are being wrongfully used as scapegoats, for pedophiles are homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. Emotionally they are children and that is why they are attracted to them regardless of sexual orientation.
Angel Del Valle
religious studies sophomore
Sughead: Vatican's seminary policy far from 'witch hunt'
I am appalled that Ella Peterson did not do her research or delve deeper into the "issues" of homosexuality/pedophilia in the Catholic Church ("A witch hunt among men of the cloth"). I am a Catholic, strong in my faith and firm in my defense of it.
First of all, the Catholic Church is opposed to the act of homosexuality. It always has been and always will be. The church is, however, firm in its teaching "Love the sinner, hate the sin." As difficult as this is for a lot of people to believe, there are many homosexuals who actively participate in church life and activities. They are included as members of the faith, but their acts are not condoned.
Homosexuality is believed to be an intrinsic disorder just like alcoholism is an intrinsic disorder. That doesn't mean that you don't love your brother or sister for engaging in that activity. It means that you love them all the same and help them when they ask, but you don't have to agree with their actions as being right.
I agree with Peterson that the church does not want homosexuals in the seminary. In fact, they do not want anyone in the seminary or becoming a priest who opposes basic tenants of the faith. Straight men are turned away from the seminary because of their disagreements with what the church has laid out. The Catholic Church has some teachings that are "easier" to follow than others, but the church is also very counter-cultural in its teachings, which is very hard for a lot of people to reconcile themselves with.
The church is making amends to those who were hurt in the sex abuse scandals and correcting the problems internally. However, it is important to keep in mind that only less than 1 percent of the whole priestly population engaged in this sort of activity when you look at the large picture.
It seems to me this "witch hunt" you talk about is more of a media feeding frenzy on the actions of human men subject to sin than on the church standing firm in its teachings.
pre-physiological sciences junior