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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
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Real estate deserves respect, courtesy for 'ardent' work

Ryan Johnson's account of the "easy life" of realtors is misinformed and insulting ("Don't be a real estate agent"). That "fat 3 percent commission" gets split with the broker, company fees and the listing agent, so don't assume realtors are rolling in cash. My mother works ardently around the clock with clients, not so she can get the check, but so she can help them get a home they truly want. Instead of condemning the realtors and making sweeping generalizations, maybe inform the public that they should treat real estate agents with respect and courtesy instead.

Victoria Harben
journalism sophomore

Baseless criticism makes opponents sound like 'harpies'

This letter is in response to Scott Patterson's recent column, "Rice Goes to Central Asia." In the column, Mr. Patterson criticizes the Bush administration, calling its freedom agenda "a farce" and citing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent visit to several countries in Central Asia as an example of this. Mr. Patterson notes that the countries that Rice visited had less than exemplary records in terms of democracy and human rights.

The column argues that the visit, during which Rice made several speeches in which she commended the democratization of certain countries in the region and urged that more frequent and freer elections should take place, was more about saving face than promoting democracy. It is worth noting that he provides no evidence that this is true, but that is not the issue. According to Mr. Patterson, Ms. Rice went to nations where democracy has not taken hold and urged the leaders there to act in a more democratic fashion, but that there was more than one reason for the visit.

Where is the problem? Where is the farce? Why is the fact that there was more than one reason for the visit such a serious issue? Is Mr. Patterson arguing that the secretary of state, a political science Ph.D. and former provost of Stanford University, can only do one thing at a time?

Mr. Patterson then says that Ms. Rice should do more than simply verbally promoting democracy. He writes, "If the U.S. really sought freedom, it would do more than just talk about it." Like what, lead a coalition of the willing into a sovereign nation and forcefully overthrow the government? The last time that happened it was met with some criticism, and, as of yet, has proven fairly unsuccessful.

I am certainly not advocating the Bush administration's agenda; I tend to disagree with it frequently. However, criticizing the administration and its officials whenever they do anything more decisive than breathing is not only stupid, it is counterproductive. It makes critics sound like harpies, looking for anything and everything they can find to blast. It hurts the credibility of people with legitimate issues. There are plenty of actual problems for which this administration can be criticized. You don't need to go inventing them.

Peter Poer
anthropology and mathematics senior

Wildcat most responsible paper in reporting FBI crime stats

Bravo to the Arizona Daily Wildcat for being the only newspaper in Southern Arizona to look thoughtfully at the latest FBI crime statistics and get the story right.

While Tucson's daily newspapers pursued hysterical headlines about the UA being No. 1 among major universities in property crime, the Wildcat took a closer look and listened to its sources.

As it turns out, the UA is No. 1 among only universities with 20,000 students or more, among 500 universities who voluntarily report crime statistics to the FBI - among more than 6,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. Truth is, we don't know if we're No. 1, No. 50 or No. 256 in any crime rates.

When I called the Tucson Citizen to ask why it ran with a story that was so obviously misleading, a belligerent assistant city editor said the newspaper doesn't have to explain its editorial decisions to the public. When I called the Arizona Daily Star to ask the same question, neither the reporter nor the metro editor ever bothered to return my phone calls.

When I called the Wildcat, both the reporter and the editor in chief responded thoughtfully and reported the story accurately.

Most community newspapers like the Star and Citizen offer summer internships for student journalists to hone their reporting skills. Perhaps next summer the Wildcat could offer internships for the editorial staffs of the Star and Citizen, because they could learn a thing or two from you about accuracy and responsible reporting.

Paul Allvin
associate vice president for communications

Suing gun manufacturers would wreak havoc on legal system

This letter is in response to Katie Paulson's "Firearm 'protection bill' protects the wrong people." When a drunk driver runs down a family in a crosswalk and kills them, whose fault is it?Ford?Anheuser-Busch?Here's a novel concept: Blame the person who was drunk behind the wheel.

When this happens, why aren't we, the public, allowed to sue the alcohol distributor, bottler, bartender, bar property owner, auto manufacturer, car dealer and the city that didn't install protective cages around the crosswalks?Because the resulting cacophony would wreak havoc on our legal system at the hands of bottom-feeding lawyers seeking to gain a quick buck in the name of "civil rights."

After all, none of those companies manufactured their wares under the intention they would be misused and cause harm to someone.Neither do firearm manufactures intend for their products to be used illegally to cause harm to innocent citizens.Is Louisville Slugger responsible for the beating death of a woman because they failed to ensure "their product (fell) into responsible hands"?No.

Just as a baseball bat, paring knife or even a set of car keys can be lethal in the hands on one determined to use them for malice, firearms are nothing more than inanimate tools to be treated respectfully and responsibly.It is this latter term that eludes the increasingly myopic view of society subscribed to by the gun-ban crowd.

Given a logical view of the role guns play as tools for sport, military operations, law enforcement and crime as well as self-defense, it is clear that attacking the manufacturers of these items does more to satisfy an emotional ideology than address the root cause of crime itself; the criminals.

Phil Davis
support systems analyst
department of humanities

Partisan Miers should withdraw nomination to Supreme Court

Harriet Miers should withdraw as the new Supreme Court nominee. American Bar Association Model Rules require that attorneys maintain the dignity of the profession and of the judiciary. Because of the court's controversial action elevating George W. Bush to the presidency in 2000, the court suffers from the stains of partisan politics, something which lifetime appointments and tradition are supposed to elevate it above.

The insertion of the court into partisan matters, instead of allowing the constitutional process to work, demands that this administration be beyond reproach in nominating people to the bench. As recent events have shown, ethical behavior is something that this administration is incapable of conforming to. Because of the administration's failure to abide by ethical codes of conduct it falls to the nominee to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct, both as a professional attorney and as government employee.

Because Harriet Miers was chosen not because of her legal skills but because of her close relationship with Bush, her nomination and the lingering question of cronyism that will stain the court would only further soil an institution that is struggling to regain its dignity. Because her nomination dishonors the profession and appears improper, the ABA Model Rules that govern Ms. Miers' conduct as an attorney demand that she withdraw herself as the nominee.

Jared Hautamaki
Second-year law student

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