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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 14, 2005
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Tucson city elections deserved better coverage in Wildcat

Today is just the day of disappointments, isn't it? I woke up this morning disappointed over Tucson defeating itself in the City Council elections. I was disappointed because the cat attacked the roll of paper towels during the night again.

I then go to see what the Arizona Daily Wildcat has to say about the election only to see a quick blurb under the "Quick Hits" section. On the front page you have a big article on Mexican graduate students, poetry and a local band, all of which get more attention than an election that will have a great effect upon the UA student body for the next two years.

I can understand giving more attention to some small protest made up of UA students over riots in France, but these elections determine who will be making the policies for Tucson (which happens to be where the UA is located), and the Wildcat shows it really doesn't really care about the UA or the community.

Anthony Ciaravella
computer engineering sophomore

Confederate flag a way of clinging to 'ideals of the past'

In response to Billy Bearden's letter "Confederate flag a symbol of bravery and freedom," I had to think quite a long time. I've spent my whole life living in Mississippi and was born in Jackson in the heart of the Civil War. However, I never quite understood my family's obsession and pride for ancestors having fought for the South.

I mean, who wants to tell everyone you meet that your family owned "body servants." That's right. My family owned slaves. Yes, the war was initially fought for states' rights; yes, the South erected the first monument to black soldiers; and yes, all those people fought in the war. But think about it: "body servants"? That's not something I would admit to being proud of.

What about the flag? Well it was a symbol of "bravery and freedom," but like any other symbol, it changes with time. Did you know that that the swastika was a symbol of peace? Charles Lindbergh squalled it out before his famous flight. I think it's safe to say that the Confederate flag in the minds of a majority of Americans has changed to be a symbol of hatred and slavery.

For those like my family, they still hold onto the ideals of the past. They cling to the Confederate flag as a symbol of Southern heritage. You can see the flag everywhere: cars, houses and even loosely used on the Mississippi flag. I suppose you have to hold onto something as your ship is sinking. Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the nation. For a group of people who have nothing, it is easy to cling to "happier" and more prosperous times and refuse to change. But current racism in the South is a topic for another letter to the editor.

Laura McCormick
musicology graduate student

Feminists conflating femininity with sex

What did I miss? Why is this so-called "feminist" raffle front-page news ("Feminists advocate self-love")? Being a woman, I seem to have been excluded from the revelation that the ability to reach an orgasm purposelessly and without companionship (or perhaps the 2 percent of the student body who bought raffle tickets consider vibrators a group activity?) was somehow intrinsically tied to my safety and self-confidence.

I've never used a vibrator, never stepped foot into a sex shop and (gasp) have decided to remain abstinent. Is this campuswide movement in defense of my emancipation, safety and self-image going to have the audacity to repress my choice as "old-fashioned," oppress my voice as "dangerous," condemn my self-respect and force me to identify my femininity with unattached, irreverent, self-decadent sex?

Don't we all think of vibrators, lubricants and sex shops when we picture feminism? Ah but, yes, I have the right to hang my self-image on Fascinations' so conveniently achievable conception of "sexy." I have the right to lay myself with a battery-operated electronic.

The right to feel comfortable with immodesty, immorality, impracticality and self-depreciation. Please, women, are we to objectify ourselves now? Don't be ashamed. Don't be relenting. Don't be compromised. Defend your true rights.

Mary Byran
linguistics junior

Columnist wrongly labeled Iran an Arab state

A quick note for David Schultz in regard to his column "Mideast peace unreachable with these attitudes." It was a well-written article overall, except for one thing. In it, Mr. Schultz explains, "His (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's) remarks were not an extemporaneous aberration but were actually a concise and unfortunately accurate summary of Arab attitudes toward the Jewish state."

While the Iranian president's belligerent (and bafflingly stupid) comment may reflect a sentiment widely shared in the Arab states, I feel obliged to point out that Iran is not, in fact, an Arab country. Perhaps the term "Islamic world" would have been more appropriate, especially given the Malaysian prime minister's rant not too long ago about Jews controlling the world and whatnot. Not all Arabs are Muslim and the majority of Muslims aren't Arab. So please, let's all be sure to have our facts straight before sounding off on international politics.

Daniel Perezselsky
senior majoring in Near Eastern studies and political science

Absentee basketball fans disgraceful to Zona Zoo

Despite some first-day glitches, the brand-new student section at the basketball games was generally a success. Its presence, however, seemed to be unjustified because of the large numbers of empty seats in the upper portions. Sure, it was a Wednesday evening, there was a popular concert on the same night and we were playing lowly Sonoma State in a meaningless game. Regardless, the mystique and the rarity of Arizona basketball failed to fill up even two-thirds of the student section.

In short, if you watched the game on television, you could have been in the student seats, adding to the atmosphere of the game (which the creation of the section has successfully achieved). For those of you in attendance, thank you for your amazing support. On the other hand, if you wasted your ticket for the Sonoma game, please, don't do it again.

Take your tickets down from eBay and stop worrying about making a profit off of them. If you can't make a game, sell them at face value (with the attendance against the Seawolves, you shouldn't have to pay much more) or, God forbid, give them away to someone who would actually go and help cheer on the team.

Your actions would justify dedicating such a large portion of the gym to the students. They would help McKale Center continue to be one of the most daunting places to play a college basketball game. Finally, they would help show your support (even by not being there) for not only one of the best college basketball teams in the country but for your school as well.

John Holden
Arizona Athletics student employee

Taxpayer money, Constitution won't solve poverty problem

In Charles Hertenstein's column "The American 'Nobility,'" he states that there is a class of nobility in America forbidden by the Constitution that we as a nation are somehow allowing. The depth of ignorance in this statement is staggering. Does he truly believe that the rich in America are a class of landed and titled nobility that need to be eliminated by forced repossession of their property? If so, would he care to propose a limit for his definition of nobility? Are millionaires nobility? Should we set the limit at $5 million? How ludicrous.

Mr. Hertenstein's main line of argument is familiar: The poor are hopelessly mired in an unfair and discriminatory system and therefore need the aid of a benevolent government to elevate them out of this position. So the solution is obvious. Take the money acquired by our supposed "American Nobility" and give it to the poor. It seems so simple. You'd wonder why we haven't thought of it before.

Except we have. President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty 40 years ago. Yet mysteriously, people are still poor. Despite our best efforts and a massive influx of taxpayer money, we can't seem to get rid of it. Hertenstein advocates nothing new, except perhaps a slight increase in scale.

America, despite Mr. Hertenstein's words, is indeed a land of opportunity. Some people have it easy; others, like our own attorney general, have to work hard. But there is nothing in the Constitution that says that success should require the same amount of effort for each individual.

Steven Crawford
music performance senior

Upbringing determines success in the future

As a business student, there is no way I can agree wholeheartedly with Charles Hertenstein IV ("The American 'Nobility'"). I've studied too many startup companies, and I have read too many Fortune magazines to believe his argument. There are many examples of average citizens who worked hard to get where they are today and started from the bottom rung of the social ladder to boot.

I say that it doesn't matter how poor or rich you are because (as cheesy as this sounds) whatever you become in life depends on you. One must only look at a few examples to see that Charles' theory doesn't hold. Paris Hilton? She has a ton of money from the Hilton Hotel fortune, but as I see it, she's a disaster. And the same with Macaulay Culkin, who made a lot of money from being a young kid actor, and last I heard, was arrested for possession.

On the other hand, to rebut Charles' Sen. Rockefeller "rich boy with no chance to fail" example, we should read the bio of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. As much as I disagree with his leadership, Reid did quite well for himself, considering he ran away from a poor mining family, lived in a shack and had a father who committed suicide when he was young.

On the urban and impoverished side of the spectrum, out of all of the ghetto-influence and "bling," a man named Terence Bradford (aka Billy Shakes) defied the odds of his upbringing to not only becoming a Citigroup banker, but now also uses his hip-hop albums to teach fiscal responsibility to the "hood" he pulled himself out of.

To conclude, I have to reiterate that your future doesn't depend on how rich you are, but more on your upbringing, and as Reid would say, "You can't make excuses."

Steven Hoogasian
business economics senior

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