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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 7, 2005
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Kyl actually a staunch supporter of Pell Grants

If my recent vote on Pell Grant funding was considered newsworthy enough to lead a story in Wednesday’s Arizona Daily Wildcat (“Pell Grants lose some federal support”), I am curious as to why Sen. McCain’s identical vote wasn’t worth even mentioning.

Could it be because the story is based on an unidentified attack press release issued by my campaign opponent? I suppose the issue is fair game in election season, but I would think your readers deserve to know the source of the allegations. Particularly since they’re factually wrong.

The budget I voted for increases Pell Grant funds by 6 percent over last year, to $15.1 billion. Over the previous four years, in fact, funding has grown by nearly 50 percent. That would make the per-student maximum $550 more than it was four years ago, and higher than it has ever been before. This constitutes “losing support?”

What I opposed was Sen. Ted Kennedy’s attempt to add even more money to the program, because Kennedy refused to offset the cost with spending cuts elsewhere, and would have simply added it to the budget deficit. Balancing competing goals like supporting education and controlling spending is what voters expect from responsible policy makers.

Jon Kyl
U.S. Senator (R-Ariz.)

Activist group has never urged violent demonstration

In response to Drew Alyeshmerni’s letter “Refuse and Resist has the wrong message,” I must denounce her for making malicious claims. Refuse and Resist is a human rights organization interested in stopping domestic and international injustices. The group is open to all political ideologies and principles and has never billed itself as the “Neo-Communist Party of America” (as Ms. Alyeshmerni inexplicably asserted), though we do have communists in the organization.

The group also has never advocated violent demonstration over peaceful demonstration. The organization’s recent downtown protest against the Bush administration’s wrongs is an excellent example of its peaceful political methods. Furthermore, Ms. Alyeshmerni’s belief that Refuse and Resist supports both terrorism against civilians and “a black exodus back to Africa” is completely inane and insulting.

Refuse and Resist has worked tirelessly to protect the rights and lives of war victims, especially civilian ones, all over the world. It has also challenged laws and politics that discriminate on the grounds of race, sexuality, gender and class. It is shocking and ironic Ms. Alyeshmerni had the temerity to condemn the “spewing of baseless facts,” in her letter. To her I am formally condemning the spewing of baseless lies, an accurate word to describe her accusations. Her letter could not have been a better example of such a disreputable action.

Andy Garrett
creative writing junior

Democrats had more to fear from Miers’ nomination than Alito’s

I cannot say that I was surprised by the dishonesty of Wednesday’s article, “Skewering ‘Scalito’,” a term that the National Italian American Foundation would take offense to had they read the Wildcat.

The column begins by alleging that Alito’s nomination was a concession to the religious right, an assertion that could not be further from the truth. The dreaded theocrat Pat Robertson was a vehement supporter of Harriet Miers, threatening “that if congressional Republicans wanted to stay in they would not vote against Miers.” James Dobson of Focus on the Family was also a staunch supporter. The issue was not that Miers was not appealing to “religious conservatives” (she was); it was that she did not have sufficient credentials to indicate that she would vote conservatively on nonreligious issues.

The column goes on to paint Samuel Alito as anti-abortion, which, according to his mother, is probably true. Fortunately, his history suggests that his personal views have not had an influence on his judicial rulings. He has voted on the pro-abortion side on three of the four cases he has heard as an appeals court judge.

In 1995 Alito voted to strike down a restriction requiring women seeking to use Medicaid funds to abort a pregnancy resulting from rape or incest to report the incident to law enforcement officials and identify the offender. In 1997 Alito ruled that a New Jersey law preventing parents from suing for damages on behalf of the wrongful death of a fetus was valid, and just five years ago Alito struck down a New Jersey banning partial-birth abortion basing his ruling on a recent Supreme Court decision.

It’s clear that Alito respects judicial precedent and that Democrats had more reason to be alarmed at Miers’ nomination than they do Sam Alito’s.

Brian McCoy
political science freshman

Pharmacists shouldn’t be accessories to ‘heinous crime’ of abortion

I take issue with Lucy Blaney’s letter “Wildcat readers not showing sufficient outrage.” Everyone should, and does, have the right to act on their moral principles in the workplace, including pharmacists. If a pharmacist can give a cogent moral argument against filling a prescription, they should not be forced to fill it (be it an abortion pill or an asthma inhaler).

To demand they act against their moral principles would be a grave injustice and violation of their basic rights as humans. They are not prescription-filling machines, but humans who have the right to act as such even while working. If a woman decides to murder her unborn child by pill, a pharmacist should not be forced to be an accessory to that heinous crime.

Silas Montgomery
Judaic studies senior

UA community shows principles in Bush protest

Thank you, UA community, for reassuring me that our morals and principles have not been overwhelmed by apathy or jingoism (“Protest calls for Bush to resign”). Whether we are Republicans, Democrats or anything else, I hope we can all agree that we do not support or condone a political agenda that includes wars of aggression based on lies, nor do we support torture, indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial or secret government surveillance of our reading habits.

John Pepper
ecology and evolutionary biology assistant professor

Forcing pharmacists to dispense medications makes them obsolete

David Schultz’s opinion column “Pharmacists don’t have the right to deny” and most of the skewed articles on this topic coming from the Wildcat lately are ludicrous. These articles claim that pharmacists should have to fill prescriptions that are presented to them at the counter of the pharmacy. This would be analogous to seeing a physician, demanding a certain medication because a patient believes it would benefit them and forcing the physician to give the medicine.

If a physician chooses not to prescribe the morning-after pill, for whatever reason, no one would think twice. We as pharmacists should have the same right and our decisions should be respected just as much.

Pharmacists are health care professionals and do have an obligation to their patients but at the same time there is much room for interpretation within that definition for each provider to decide what they think is “best” for the patient. Doctors of pharmacy attend higher education, like the College of Pharmacy (one of Newsweek’s “Top 5 in the Nation”), for a minimum of six years to have the ability to make informed decisions about the overall well-being of patients that come into their establishment.

If we left it up to the patient and the physician to decide what medication the patient should receive, the physicians would be dispensing medications and the position of a pharmacist would be obsolete. Physicians have prescribing power with limited ability to dispense medication; on the other hand, pharmacists have no ability to prescribe but our privileges and duties as pharmacists involve getting the medications into the hands of the patients.

I chose to become a pharmacist because I would be able to use my hard-earned knowledge to, along with physicians, help decide what is best for a patient’s health. If the public chooses to take that privilege away from me and all pharmacists then I should, and would, seek another productive profession.

Aaron Thomas
second-year pharmacy student

Pharmacists shouldn’t have to check beliefs at the door

The article “Pharmacists on campus fill Plan B prescriptions” was interesting, had some good arguments and was slightly off base. I think that for a student to fully understand the dynamics of the situation, they must be fully immersed in the profession. As pharmacists, we have been called upon to ensure patient safety, promote public health and maintain the highest principles of moral and ethical conduct. However, as part of this ethical conduct we find ourselves having to sift through gray areas that include our religious beliefs and the beliefs of the patients.

In the situation of patient beliefs, pharmacists are forced to abide and acknowledge their beliefs while monitoring and dispensing medication therapies. But who are you to tell me to leave my morals, religious and personal beliefs at the door? For someone with no understanding of the profession and a blind regard to who the real patient might be, I can only dismiss your stand and hope that both sides will be presented in the future.

As a future pharmacist I do not want to divide or run the patients from care, but we need to look at the underlying problem here. Not the rape case, but the whole Plan B contraceptive situation.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I only think the UA reports about one to two rapes a year. That leaves more than 2,000 prescriptions for Plan B at the UA due to careless sexual activity. That is where our problem is. Campus Health had a great slogan for patients in their advertisement (oh, I mean article). If they were concerned with patient care, they might look at more education and counseling to try and get to the base of the problem. All I want to get across is that there is a lot more to the situation that warrants more than a one-way bashing.

Zach Finney
second-year pharmacy student

Chechen insurgency not really a matter of terrorism, rebellion

I think Mike Morefield (“Iraq’s export: terrorists”) is correct in a lot of what he says. The “war on terrorism” in Iraq does not deter hatred of the U.S. or the West. It only helps proliferate that hatred and seats it deeper.

There are, however, some issues I would like to address. Firstly, I would like to call to your attention your choice of wording. You call rebels in Chechnya terrorists, when in fact, to anybody who reads more than the headlines in the check-out line, it is clear that Moscow calls them terrorists and the people of Chechnya know them to be soldiers in the Chechen military. There are two governments in Chechnya; one lives underground and one was installed by Moscow.

Secondly, the insurgency in Chechnya is hardly worth mentioning. Moscow likes to harp on the few, sparse cases in an attempt to justify their “police action.” Highlighting the few cases of insurgency helps the Kremlin win support in the international community, which seems, at least for the past 10 years, willing to turn a blind eye on human rights violations as long as Putin assures us that he is cracking down on Islamic extremists. In truth, the vast majority of Chechen fighters are local to the region and their brand of Islam, a form of Sufism, has a long tradition of moderation.

Dariush S. Faradjollah
Iranian and Islamic studies scholar

Bush protesters need to ‘get over it’

My high school government teacher had a sign he used to point to if we whined in class. The sign said “Get Over it.” I think the ones who were went on the protest on Wednesday need to get over it. I wanted John Kerry to be president of the U.S., not Bush, so I did something about it — I voted. I did not protest (which usually falls on deaf ears). How many of the protesters at the march actually voted a year ago? Not many, if I had to bet money. There were probably still bitching and moaning that Ralph Nader was not on the ballot.

Gabriel M. Bustamante
senior majoring in family studies and human development

Uhlich offers no solution for UA neighbors’ woes

Karin Uhlich‘s letter “Residents close to UA can problem solve with mutual respect” is typical of the Democratic strategy throughout this campaign: Complain, but offer no solution.

She criticizes Kathleen Dunbar for allowing mini-dorms, but offers no alternative solution. She states, “Students certainly ought to have living spaces where they can freely associate.” No one disagrees; this isn’t even an issue. Of course students should have a place to live. The challenge of the City Council and other authorities is to figure out where they are going to live.

If Uhlich doesn’t like more than three unrelated people living in the same residence with each other, where should they live? Her answer: “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.” This isn’t an answer at all. She just spits out some rhetorical feel-good nonsense that doesn’t solve the problem, but states merely that she feels like someone else, not her, can offer a solution.

How can she stand up and criticize Dunbar when she has no plan herself? She wants to take away one option for student residency, the so-called mini-dorms, yet does not propose any new options. We need solutions for this city, not rhetoric.

Blake Rebling
sophomore majoring in political science and economics

Republicans don’t require ‘loyalty oaths’ for events

As an active member of the College Republicans, I have been to countless events across the city since the start of the semester. These events have ranged from City Council rallies and debates to fundraisers for the state Republican Party. Sometimes the College Republicans are responsible for helping set up the various events, and then do check-in if there is a roster of who will be attending.

So as a Republican who has both attended and organized a Republican event, never once have I been given or had to issue a “loyalty oath” to fellow Republicans, as Near Eastern studies graduate student Sandy Marshall accused Republicans of doing in Friday’s Wildcat (“Refuse and Resist come from many political persuasions”). I would really like to know what evidence Sandy based that claim on.

Sandy also seemed to be associating Drew Alyeshmerni with the Republican Party. Maybe Sandy should do a little research before she does that again. After reading Ms. Alyeshmerni’s mailbag letter, I thought I’d look her up on to see if she was in the College Republicans. Ms. Alyeshmerni does not look like a Republican to me. Which is fine; I respect her political philosophy, as I do Sandy’s, and anyone’s for that matter.

Sandy seems to be guilty of the very ignorance she decries. She made a baseless claim about Republican’s making members sign loyalty oaths. Then she associated someone with a political affiliation that they don’t have. That is, do I daresay, a bit ignorant?

Michael Sistak
political science sophomore

Riots in Paris deserve more attention than UA protestors

I’d just like to comment on the fact that the cover story (“Protest calls for Bush to resign”) showed a protest consisting of a measly 60 people calling for an ousting of the “Bush regime,” while in France, there have been riots for the past week consisting of people assaulting police officers, burning cars and buildings, and causing a great disturbance in the street. I guess a march of less than one-hundredth of a percent of a city populated by about 1 million people is more important than the complete collapse of any government control in one of the U.S.’s greatest critics.

Seth Ginter
senior majoring in optical sciences and engineering

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