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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
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Sen. Kyl's spin hurts students

Sen. Kyl pointed out that his vote increased Pell Grant funding by 6 percent over the last year. Let's say the number of students qualified for financial aid does not increase this coming academic year and the 6 percent increase is spread evenly to all Pell Grant recipients. Let's also say (and I'm really bending the truth here) that the cost of higher education and cost of living does not increase more than 6 percent. Then and only then would Kyl and McCain's vote have a positive impact on the finances of students.

Unfortunately, seeing that the price of higher education in the state of Arizona in the form of tuition has increased 77 percent in the past five years, the 6 percent increase to Pell Grants is more akin to adding a teaspoon to a fish tank with a massive hole in the side; it will do little in the overall scheme of things.

The UA administration and the financial aid office have done a commendable job making up for the federal and state shortfall by holding Pell recipients harmless through grants and waivers. Each and every year, however, Pell Grants become more out of line with the need of students (well beyond Kyl's meager 6 percent raise). Students know how hard it is to pay for textbooks, tuition and cost of living. Next time one of Kyl's lowly press interns writes a spin, maybe he or she ought to look at all of the facts and see how students in Arizona are being hurt.

Christopher Dang
Arizona Students' Association

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. First, 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.

Second, 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

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

Riots in Paris deserve more attention than UA protesters

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 United States' greatest critics.

Seth Ginter
senior majoring in optical sciences and engineering

Democrats not as enfeebled as columnist suggests

But to read Dan Post ("Alito can't cover for Bush"), one would think the Democrats had never held the reins of power. Instead, the weaker party was ever in the minority and never once engaged in the smashmouth politics and skulduggery of Republicans. That is, until now.

At long last, according to Post, the Democrat leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, gained courage enough to close the Senate under arcane parliamentary rules. It was as if Mr. Reid had said, according to Newsweek's Republican hack Howard Fineman, "Not on my news cycle, Mr. President."

But just how far down the rabbit hole

Democrats have fallen can be evidenced by Post's righteous anger at the mainstream media for joining the supposed Republican lovefest. Indeed, how dare the press cover the nomination of a Supreme Court justice when Democrats are busy puking and mewling in secret Senate sessions?

Likewise, the same mainstream-media cabal capitulated to the president when he proposed $7 billion to avian flu defense. How cowardly to change the subject from the Democrats gloating like vampires over the 2,000th U.S. serviceman killed in Iraq, to defensive measures aimed at avoiding an international pandemic.

Perhaps the problem stems more from their own inconsistencies and double-dealing. Consider this morsel from Al Gore back in 2002: "We know that he (Saddam Hussein) has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons." Or Nancy Pelosi's dour warning from 1998 that Iraq "has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region."

What a difference an election or two makes. Seems that while the Democrats were busy trying to forget what they once knew as fact, the truth has now become a lie. Does this mean then, that Iraqi intelligence from 1998 was untrue, or was it untrue in 2002? Or did Iraqi intelligence only become a lie when cited by a Republican president?

Patrick McNamara
journalism senior

Bush protesters should '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 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. They 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



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