Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, November 4, 2005

Baseless criticism of Bush regime doesn't offer solutions

Matt Stone's editorial "Shame of a nation" was an elegant counterpoint to the advertisement on the final page of Monday's Arizona Daily Wildcat. Both marshal rhetoric with the subtlety of battle-ax. Both harness the emotions of the faithful toward preordained destinations. And both contribute less than nothing to any sort of civilized debate.

There are legitimate criticisms of the Bush White House. Spending has increased at a percentage faster then any president in history. He has yet to use his veto. Political appointments seem to be made on the basis of personal loyalty rather then competence (see Harriet Miers). All of these have been the most sharply criticized from the right.

The mode of attack from the left, by contrast, has focused mainly on a few hysterical grievances. Failure to sign the Kyoto Protocols caused Hurricane Katrina. Elections stolen. No blood for oil, and while we're at it, no tax cuts for the rich. Such slogans are catchy but devoid of real content.

Is there room for reasoned debate anymore? If you disagree with a policy, you must provide one to take its place. If the 2,000 dead did not die for a good cause, if the Iraq war was not the right response to the fastest-growing threat to our security, then what is the proper response? Merely appealing to people's emotions is worse than worthless. Offer concrete solutions, not hysterical recriminations. This sort of debate only hardens those who disagree.

And for those who march to drive out the Bush regime, have fun. But do not imagine that you are offering anything constructive to the world.

Steven Crawford
music performance senior

Residents close to UA can problem solve with mutual respect

Thanks for your article on Oct. 27 regarding tensions that have arisen between students and surrounding neighborhoods ("Neighbors: We're held captive by students"). As my quotes indicated, I believe that when the city allows mini-dorms to spring up in existing neighborhoods zoned R-1 (single-family), clashes are predictable. I've openly criticized my opponent for allowing such developments to occur.

Students certainly ought to have living spaces where they can freely associate and have fun. The limits come in for all of us, though, when others nearby are harmed. All of us - whether students, families, homeless people or seniors - share responsibilities for the peace and well-being of our chosen communities.

I'm confident that those living in and around the university can come together to offer a model of problem solving based on mutual respect. Expecting anything less of students would be patronizing at best.

I look forward to working with UA and Pima Community College students as well as neighborhood leaders so we can sustain clean, peaceful and diverse neighborhoods in midtown and across our great city. I trust that students want to constructively participate in their neighborhoods and the wider Tucson Community. Thanks again, Daily Wildcat, for facilitating dialogue toward that end.

Karin Uhlich
Ward 3 City Council candidate

Homecoming not just greek

This letter is a response to the editorial "Homecoming: It's all greek to us." Homecoming gives an opportunity to alumni and students to connect with the UA's rich heritage and traditions. Without a doubt, it is perceived as another event for greeks from an average student. But I don't think the greek community should be blamed for it. Being greek is all about being "involved," isn't it? So, what is wrong if they are super-involved with the Homecoming activities?

Instead, clubs like Bobcats, Mortar Board and the Alumni Association, which are responsible for Homecoming activities, should be held responsible. The editorial mentioned, "Seven of the 10 Homecoming court nominees are either from or sponsored by greek houses." Most of the Homecoming court advertising is geared toward the greek community. Also, the criteria on which the court is judged are "greek-friendly."

So, if we want to see the change, these clubs need to take proactive steps: 1) Reach out to diverse clubs on campus. Make a personal call or e-mail, and 2) redefine criteria for the Homecoming court and include the UA's new theme: "Achieve, Build, Serve."

Also, events like Student Showcase, the academic portion of Homecoming weekend presented by Graduate and Professional Student Council, are often overlooked. Last year, out of 104 entries, 42 percent were undergraduate students. There is no trace of this event on the Homecoming Web site and it failed to appear under "Tent on the Mall" map because for some of us, Homecoming is all about drinking.

Prashant Rajgarhia
engineering management senior

Refuse and Resist not responsible for full-page Wildcat ad

In response to letter from Drew Alyeshmerni regarding Refuse and Resist, Mr. Alyeshmerni accuses Refuse and Resist of "blindness and ignorance." He seems to be the one who is truly ignorant.

First, Mr. Alyeshmerni credits Refuse and Resist with the full-page ad regarding "The World Can't Wait, Drive Out the Bush Regime." This ad was actually paid for by a group called "The World Can't Wait." While Refuse and Resist and The World Can't Wait share some members, they are by no means the same organization.

Second, Mr. Alyeshmerni claims that Refuse and Resist is a "Neo-Communist Party." Refuse and Resist supports no political party or candidate nor is it a political party in and of itself. Does Refuse and Resist have Communist members? Yes. It also has members who are Greens, Libertarians, Anarchists, Democrats, Socialists and people who identify with no party or movement.

Third, Mr. Alyeshmerni tries to characterize Refuse and Resist based on the opinions of some of its members. William Bennett, a Republican, has said that aborting the fetuses of all black women will lower the crime rate. Does this mean that the Republican Party believes in this? Of course not. You cannot characterize a whole group, especially one that allows for a range of beliefs in its members, by the beliefs of just a few people.

Finally, I encourage people to engage in constructive criticism of all social and political movements. It is through this dialogue that we will make the world better. But we should all learn from this that one must do research first so as not to be blind and ignorant.

Dave Langen
history junior

Corporate policy enabled Fry's pharmacist to deny prescription

In response to Danielle Haller's letter in which she urged protesters of the Fry's pharmacist who denied the morning-after pill to a rape victim to "get their facts straight" ("Pharmacists have legal right to deny prescription"), I'd urge her to do the same. She alleges that pharmacists are permitted to deny medication out of moral obligation under Arizona state law, and tells those of us who don't agree to "take it up with your state Legislature."

Actually, pharmacists are not permitted to deny medication under state law. I worked as a legislative intern at the state Capitol last spring and I personally saw House Bill 2451, which would have authorized pharmacists to legally deny medication based on moral objection, make its way through both houses of the legislature and meet a fortunate demise on the desk of Gov. Janet Napolitano.

In her veto letter, Napolitano said, "Pharmacies and other health care service providers have no right to interfere in the lawful personal medical decisions made by patients and their doctors." She went on to say that the bill burdens women customers in particular and would likely be ruled unconstitutional in court on equal protection grounds. I couldn't agree more with Napolitano's wise words.

What enabled the pharmacist at Fry's to deny the prescription was Fry's corporate policy. As a protester, I did know the details of the case before I made the decision to defend a woman's right to choose not to carry her rapist's child.

Jill Holt
first-year law student

Refuse and Resist come from many political persuasions

As one of the organizers of the World Can't Wait March on Wednesday, I wanted to respond to a letter by Ms. Alyeshmerni criticizing the action and its organizers. I agree with Ms. Alyeshmerni that we must fight ignorance and teach peace. However, it is not enough just to raise awareness of the torture and killing of innocent civilians in Iraq or the neglect for our fellow citizens here at home. We must demand an end to the atrocities and the injustices that are being carried out in our name by our government. If we don't stand up to the inhumane crimes then we are complicit in these crimes.

Furthermore, Ms. Alyeshmerni seems to be guilty of the very ignorance she decries, at least in regard to her comments about the organizers of this march. Members of Refuse and Resist, other organizations that coordinated the demonstration and the individuals who participated in the march come from many different political persuasions. Liberals, greens, communists, socialists, anarchists, feminists, people of different religions and even dissatisfied Republicans joined the march.

Unlike the Republican Party, we don't force anyone to sign a loyalty oath to attend events that we help to organize. The broad coalition of people who attended the nonviolent march was truly inspirational. The demonstration marks the creation of a grass roots movement that is growing among a broad spectrum of political opinion, and which demands a complete and immediate end to Bush's hateful and dangerous policies.

Sandy Marshall
Near Eastern studies graduate student