Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 11, 2004
Coulter's visit upsets ASUA's political balance
I disagree that ASUA was "without any plan to provide an equal and balanced opposition," as Jeff Steinkamp put it in Friday's Wildcat. If anyone has been paying attention, then anyone could see the David Hardy banner on the Mall right next to the Michael Moore banner. Furthermore, the opportunity to see David Hardy, which has already come and gone, was free. Therefore, it was actually much more available, with the only difference being a $5 price tag.
What do you call inviting a liberal author and then inviting a conservative author? That's called balance. However, apparently mere balance isn't good enough for the UA conservative Republicans. So now Anne Coulter is coming to town. Now the Republicans can feel proud to have brought so much "balance" to the campus.
Indeed, a 2:1 ratio of conservative authors to liberal authors feels like perfect balance. I'm so glad that I understand the grave imbalance we had before so clearly now, back when the number of conservative and liberal authors invited to campus was 1:1.
Also, can anyone tell me how much it cost to bring David Hardy to campus? His discussion was free, so ASUA probably lost money bringing him here, unless he came of his own volition.
On the other hand, Michael Moore will be bringing a profit to ASUA. Everything should be fine so long as the College Republicans don't expect ASUA investment for Anne Coutler's free speech.
Moore's reputation of greatest concern
In all the recent debate and sniping over Michael Moore's planned appearance at our much-loved university, the critics can't seem to find any real reasons why Mr. Moore should not be welcomed.
We know the College Republicans don't like Mr. Moore, and would like ASUA to offer some balance by hosting a prominent conservative (they suggest Sean Hannity, though surely there are many more articulate and, frankly, more intelligent commentators to choose from).
As for ASUA, it isn't under any actual obligation to offer a balance of political viewpoints, though it would be to its advantage.
The real debate about Michael Moore's appearance should not be his politics, rather the genuine concerns regarding his methods and truthfulness. For example: Moore attempts to spin the post-Sept. 11, 2001, flights of Saudi nationals as some nefarious presidential conspiracy, intent upon painting the administration as complicit in a kind of cover-up. Richard Clarke (media darling of the 9/11 Commission Hearings), whom Moore has fawned over as an iconoclastic hero, has taken individual responsibility for the flights, explaining that passengers were thoroughly vetted by the FBI before departing.
Michael Moore is notorious for using quotes out of context, a "Fahrenheit 9/11" example being the golf course interview with President Bush. Here, not that the film explains, the president was not referring to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but recent attacks in Israel. Rhetoric and truth need not cross paths in Mr. Moore's propagandizing.
Mr. Moore has made a mint through employing cheap pathos as a means to sway. Witness his pushing a wheelchair-bound shooting victim up to Kmart headquarters in "Bowling For Columbine," attempting to expose the company as unconcerned with killings because they sell ammunition.
If the College Republicans had crafted more artful arguments against Mr. Moore's appearance they may have been able to gain the ethical high-ground. Instead, they have chosen those hackneyed arguments of bias and balance. I only hope they don't plan to hold signs and protest the event like some insipid PETA rabble, camping out at a KFC or Burger King.
Coulter no better a choice than Moore
I'm glad to see that the College Republicans took the high road in selecting a speaker. Sure, like Moore, Ann Coulter distorts facts, ignores context and is basically a raving loony, but her celebrity is of equal caliber!
Why was she available on such short notice? Because many conservatives, and even the Wall Street Journal, concede much of the aforementioned analysis, just as many liberals distance themselves from Moore. While she is preferable to the talking-head that is Sean Hannity, why not a conservative of substance? Ben Stein? Tony Blankley? Buchanan? Hell, even Emil Franzi from the Tucson Weekly would have been been better than Coulter's definitively un-American "dissent is treason" rant.
To be fair, it's understandable that the College Republicans were in a time crunch and so their options were limited. However, two wrongs (loons) don't make a right. Maybe in the future, ASUA (and the College Republicans) will be sensitive to both balance and substance, and invite speakers less appropriate for county fairs.
environmental microbiology graduate student
Inviting Moore to UA a 'total disgrace'
Michael Moore speaking at the UA? Please. That is a total disgrace to the university. Anyone can take a video camera, film only what they want, edit out what they don't like, and then put it out as a "documentary."
If the UA wants to promote political discussion among the students, hosting one of the presidential and vice presidential debates makes more sense and is a much better use of funds.
ASUA working hard, doing the right thing
This letter is in response to the protesting that is occurring from the University of Arizona College Republicans that will not drop the issue of Michael Moore coming to speak at the UA.
At first, most of the arguments arose from Moore's "horrendous" fee of $27,500 to speak at the UA. By now, I hope that the ASUA's statements concerning the complaints have cleared things up.
No one is wasting anyone's money, and people who want to listen to Moore speak are gladly shelling out five bones to cover the cost.
The College Republicans are still unhappy according to the article run in the Tuesday's Wildcat. Apparently, they wish to draw a speaker of "equal name recognition."
It appears the ASUA has already lined up David Hardy, author of "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man." Who would better balance the issue than a man who wrote an entire book on the subject of Michael Moore being a "big fat stupid white man"?
At least the College Republicans are being civil and have started a petition opposed to Moore's speaking. The total signatures were truly astonishing to me! More than 1,100, as the Tuesday article reports.
With the total UA enrollment standing at 37,083 (Fall 2003), that would mean that almost 3 percent of UA's student body is opposed to Moore speaking! Let it be noted that it is hard to be sarcastic in writing.
I don't consider myself a Democrat or Republican, and do not take Moore's movies as absolute truths, but I am eager to attend speakers' forums on both sides.
However, what I cannot take is reading any more ludicrous arguments surrounding protests and Michael Moore in the Daily Wildcat. You can't please all the people all the time, and ASUA is working hard and doing its best, and we should all be a little more appreciative.
First debate a decisive victory for Sen. Kerry
Senator John Kerry won a decisive victory in the Sept. 30 presidential debate. With the debate topic being foreign policy, President Bush was expected to show his strongest possible performance. But what the American people saw was the truth.
As Kerry clearly delineated the difference between the war in Iraq and the war on terror, we saw President Bush as his true babbling self.
When Kerry pointed out the many mistakes that the Bush-Cheney foreign policy has made in the last four years, we saw our president left speechless and angry.
The question to ask is, was he angry that he could think of no more lies to tell the public, or was it because the fantasy land that his administration lives in was disappearing faster with each word John Kerry spoke?
This debate showed the true ignoramus character that is President Bush. But it also gives hope knowing that John Kerry is a mature leader that can be trusted as president of the United States.
On Nov. 2 vote to send Bush back to Texas where he can live the rest of his life in his own personal la la land.
chemistry graduate student
President Bush guilty of flip-flopping
This is in response to Danielle Roberts' letter to the editor in Friday's Wildcat. Danielle Roberts' distortions and abject ignorance as shown in her letter demonstrates the desperation and dishonesty underlying the Republican ticket. They truly have little to nothing of consequence to offer. They barely deserve the next four weeks let along the next four years.
Roberts recites the familiar refrain, "Kerry voted for the war," even though the president himself said that "Approving this resolution (the war vote) does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable." Is it just me or is Roberts calling the president a liar and a "flip-flopper?"
The irony is very delicious. Which is it Ms. Roberts? Was the president lying when he said the war was not "imminent" or "unavoidable?" The president now says Kerry knew the vote was for war. Which is it?
Next on the Republican talking points: The "voted for it, before I voted against it" song and dance. Of course, she declines to note President Bush threatened to veto the same bill. He does not care about the troops. Apparently, Bush is a flip-flopper too. He threatened to veto the bill because he did not want the reconstruction money included in the bill to be in the form of loans.
As any political science major should know, a bill changes form in the legislative process. Kerry voted for a form he liked more - just as Bush did! - and against the other. Oh, and by the way, Kerry wanted a more detailed plan for reconstruction, and guess what? Only 7 percent has been spent of the 20 billion originally appropriated according to the U.S. Commerce Department! Way to lead, Mr. President!
There you have it, the whole deck of cards comes tumbling down just like the rationale for going to war with Iraq. The Republicans accuse Kerry of changing positions on his support for the war, while they change their position on why we went to war. Talk about "mixed signals."
Column erroneous, illogical, dangerous
In her Friday column, "Precautions for women lead to fear," author Lauren Peckler utilizes such absurd argumentation that a rebuttal is in order lest other women on campus fall prey to her illogical drivel.
Ms. Peckler sets the tone for her entire article with her title, a shining specimen of reverse causation. People take precautions because they feel fear. Fear may or may not be justified, but precautions do not cause fear as her title so speciously states. I expect that soon Ms. Peckler will be telling us that wet pavement causes rain.
She asserts that common sense precautions for women like not walking alone at night are misguided because 70 percent of sexual assault victims know their offender and are therefore more likely to be assaulted at a home than while jogging.
She suggests that women should focus on preventing acquaintance-rape, which is statistically more likely to occur than assault by a stranger. She fails to consider that perhaps the reason that women are less likely to experience sexual assault by a stranger is precisely because women have greater awareness and consequently greater fear of this kind of assault.
Women certainly should take precautions against acquaintance-rape, but not at the expense of ignoring the potential for being assaulted by someone unknown to them.
Ms. Peckler does make one valid point regarding the emergency phones, stating that if a "crazed madman" is chasing someone through campus, the likelihood of the potential victim being near a blue phone or stopping their flight long enough to use it is very slim. While this is true, it also contradicts her earlier point because she now acknowledges the potential for being attacked by a stranger on campus.
Unbelievably, Ms. Peckler goes on to state that women should refrain from carrying pepper spray or learning self-defense techniques because self-defense is actually a form of "reverse bullying" and an unacceptably "masculine" attribute.
Her simplistic worldview does not discriminate between aggressive, unprovoked violence and violence undertaken only for self-defense. She actually claims that women who defend themselves share moral equivalency with their attacker. Can she truly believe that a woman who successfully fights off her rapist is no better than the scum who tried to rape her?
In summation: Personal safety precautions aren't logical, the emergency phones aren't practical and self-defense isn't ladylike. What should a woman do? "Hope for world peace" according to Ms. Peckler. Any woman who follows this ridiculous prescription for personal safety deserves exactly what she gets.
political science senior