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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
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Students should remember safety first for festivities

Thanks to Laura Wilson for sharing a cautionary tale of Halloween past in her op-ed piece "You always remember your first time: But there are times I don't remember." The fact is, the best Halloweens tend to be, well, memorable. Here are few tips to make sure that those 1970s and 1980s get-ups remain the scariest part of your evening: If you drink, have a plan and stick to it. Limiting the number of drinks you have and counting the drinks until you get there is a good way to stay in the party and out of the bathroom.

Know what you are drinking and how much alcohol it has. Ever see a vat of jungle juice with the percent alcohol labeled? Enough said.

Alcohol is not a level playing field. Women break down alcohol slower than men, and will have a higher blood alcohol concentration than men even if they weigh the same and have the same amount of alcohol in the same amount of time. A good rule of thumb is two drinks per hour or less for men and one drink or less per hour for women.

Drink water to stay hydrated and eat plenty of food, even if it is all orange and black.

In case of emergency, take action and call 911. If you see that someone has passed out because of drinking, stay with them at all times and position them on their side with their legs bent at the knee and their arm under their head. This position will give them the best chance to avoid choking should they throw up. Finally, if you are in a situation where you think someone's safety is at risk or are unsure if they are OK, get help and call 911 immediately.

David Salafsky
alcohol education instructor
Campus Health Service

'Lactation stations' funded by student unions, not ASUA

The Arizona Daily Wildcat needs to do research before failing ASUA ("A nursery rhyme for lactation time"). The lactation stations that are on the fourth floor of the Student Union Memorial Center were actually funded by the student unions and not ASUA. As soon as ASUA found out about the lactation stations, myself and other senators offered our helping hands to Heather Gasser, senior coordinator of commuter student affairs.

Heather, with the aid of some ASUA senators, plan to hang fliers inside women's bathrooms across campus to inform them of the alternatives of breastfeeding/pumping in the bathrooms. I met with Heather Gasser yesterday to discuss our plans of marketing this wonderful addition to the union. "So many moms are not yet aware" because the stations have only been open since the beginning of last week.

I am ashamed of the lack of research done on last week's Pass/Fail section and feel that ASUA deserves an apology. Despite the Wildcat's sentiment, I encourage any breastfeeding mother to use the stations.

Patrick Cook
education sophomore
ASUA senator

America's doctors don't have it as easy as many think

Michael Huston's column "Will health care be there for you?" regards an issue that must come to the forefront of discussion. As the son of a retired doctor I have seen how doctors live firsthand. My dad was in court four times in the course of his practice. My favorite experience was the one in which the patient tried to sue over a scar they had where their cancer was taken out.

People think doctors have it so easy. Doctors who typically need 20 years of medical schooling before they can practice medicine only end up working for peanuts because the insurance companies and Medicare fix the prices so surgeons end up clearing $1.50 per hour in some operations, after which the government takes their cut.

For most doctors the situation is so messed up that they need to make $5 to put $1 in their pocket. People need to take a step back and look at the big picture before complaining about the way doctors do business.

Alex Hoogasian
political science junior

Insurance premium increases largely due to latest recession

It's sad that Michael Huston, in lieu of research, decided to parrot the Republican Party line about rising health insurance premiums ("Will health care be there for you?"). California enacted "tort" reforms in 1975 (MICRA), capping insurance payouts. The result? Premiums increased at the same rate as the national average (about 450 percent in 13 years).

Further, the number of malpractice suits in the U.S. hasn't really increased all that much in the last 10 years, and the median payouts have only increased about 40 percent (compare to that premium increase). Like it or not, John Kerry was correct in his claim that malpractice payouts only account for about 3 percent of health care spending.

So why the dramatic increase in recent years? Our own GAO provides some insight (GAO-04-128T) reporting that, other than malpractice suits, recent premium increases were also largely due to decreasing returns on insurers' investments as a result of the latest recession, as well as the loss of competitive price-pressure when this effect bankrupted some insurers. This also led to a higher rate of reinsurance and consequently higher premiums on the same.

This is a multifaceted problem that can't be simply dismissed as the result of frivolous lawsuits. Capping the compensation of victims of life-altering mistakes so that insurance companies can invest less cautiously hardly addresses the core of the problem.

Christopher Haney
environmental science graduate student

Primary purposes of firearms are not to commit crimes

This is in response to Joseph Jaramillo's letter to the editor ("Guns designed purely to kill, should be subject to liability"). Mr. Jaramillo attempts to debunk the argument of Phil Davis - who argued that gun manufacturers are just as responsible for misuse as automobile and alcohol manufacturers are for drunken driving - writing that "It is only the gun ... that exists purely to kill, and it does this in a blunt manner."

Nonetheless, Mr. Jaramillo fails to address the last paragraph of Mr. Davis' letter, which mentions firearms' role in "sport, military operations, law enforcement and ... self-defense." I agree on one aspect of Mr. Jaramillo's argument. Yes, firearms are killing tools. Any person who points a firearm at a fellow human being, whether in defense of good or evil, inherently expresses intention to kill.

Nonetheless, the argument falls short. The aforementioned proper uses of firearms are not crimes. Ultimately, the primary purposes of firearms are recreation and, most importantly, the preservation of innocent life. Neither are crimes.

Unless the purpose of firearms is the destruction of innocent life or the perpetration of crime, then firearms manufacturers logically cannot be held responsible for such misuse of their products.

Garrett O'Hara
political science junior

Rosa Parks deserved better coverage in Wildcat

As black citizens of the U.S., we are proud of the rights that our elders fought for us to have. We are particularly grateful for Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on that bus in 1955 and starting what we now note as the civil rights movement.

Never have we imagined that we would be utterly disgusted, embarrassed and angered with our very own Arizona Daily Wildcat newspaper. Upon discovering that the death of one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement would only be allotted a space, not even fit for an advertisement, in our newspaper is emotionally upsetting.

How dare the Wildcat reduce the story about the death of a woman with multiple accomplishments to the "back" page. She not only fought for the rights of blacks, she wanted equal rights for all Americans. We think her accomplishments are enough to be rewarded at least "front-page" respect. This is a woman who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the Congressional Gold Medal, and we feel that not just covering her death, but celebrating her life should grant her more than a story on the bottom of a page in the back of the paper. It is our duty as American citizens to never forget our past or our leaders who changed it.

Eboni Cotton and Courtney Joseph
physiological sciences junior and business administration junior

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