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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
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Better safe than sorry

While reading Lauren Peckler's column Friday on the stereotypes that women face, I found myself thinking of one of my mother's old mantras: "It's better to be safe than sorry."

Sure, we may feel safe walking back from the library to the parking garage late at night, but on that slim off-chance that someone does try to assault us, wouldn't it be better to make like Jean-Claude Van Damme than to sit back and take a beating, mugging, or raping?

We are all (hopefully) smart enough to provide ourselves with a designated driver when we go out drinking, so why not provide ourselves with some sort of defense against an unexpected attacker - whether he be known to us or unknown - as well?

It is certainly ironic that women have to resort to violence to defend themselves against violence, but sometimes these more basal defenses are all we have if we want to avoid a lifetime spent recovering from the emotional consequences of a sexual assault.

A woman must feel confident enough in herself not to succumb to the stereotypes propagated by society, but she also must realize that defending herself physically doesn't make her an offender - it makes her smart.

Lindsey K. Gamard
physics senior

UA should be happy to host Moore

It's nice to know that those who graduate from UA receive an exemplary education, as shown with Jenifer Germain's letter to the editor yesterday. You are quite correct in stating that, "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. " Kudos to you! You've got the film editing process nailed!

Now I'll admit that Michael Moore's film does present some bias and speculation, but it also presents facts. He doesn't show doctored images of Bush doing nothing after learning of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He doesn't falsify images of children with open wounds after a bombing. He presents true footage of what is going on in the world. Some of his ideas may be arguable, but what he visually presents is the truth, and that is what makes his film a documentary worth seeing.

I think it's silly how many people are objecting to his presence on campus. Just ignore it! Let those who want to see him go in peace! His film has opened the eyes of so many people to the horrors of this war, and I see no problem in him speaking to us, especially in a learning environment such as this.

It shouldn't matter what his political affiliation is or what his views are. Michael Moore has managed to stir this country with a viewpoint, and we should be honored to hear him speak in person.

Emily McClory
music education sophomore

Residents should have known about drill

All the residents of Yavapai received an e-mail concerning the evacuation of our building at 11:15 p.m. I understand why this exercise was carried out ("testing campus and community crisis response") but when you kick someone out of his home you give a little warning.

The Disaster Preparedness Exercise began at 6:30 in the morning with fire engines and police cars racing down Fourth Street with sirens blaring. Not many of us were up at that time, but after they went by we certainly were.

Now, that the UA decided to do this is not what really bugs me. What annoyed me was that they didn't tell us about it. When I returned from my class at 10 a.m., someone was directing students into the building to get books because they failed to inform us that we would be evicted for the day.

Many of the Yavapai residents were forced out before showering or even waking up this morning. The person at the door had no idea when this "exercise" was going to end and told us that, at the latest, it would go until 5 p.m. Isn't that nice to know that you are not allowed in your building until 5 p.m. once you are kicked out? It would have been nice had whoever was in charge let us know what was going to be forced upon us before it happened.

Chris Angus
psychology freshman

Kerry proved worth in Friday debate

John Kerry won the debate on Fiday. John Kerry made amazing points on Iraq, on stem-cell research, on being pro-choice and religious, and how he can offer change for the future.

President Bush offered no new plans. Bush looked angry when responding to questions, which is not presidential. Bush is not smart enough to lead our country, and Kerry has the leadership to lead our country in the right direction. Kerry proved it that night, and I hope people were listening.

Sam Feldman
political science freshman

EC pill should be sold over the counter

As a graduate of both the UA College of Medicine and its Internal Medicine Residency, and now as the Feminist Majority Foundation's medical director, it was with delight that I read about emergency contraception (EC) provision at the student health clinic.

Having rotated through the clinic's gynecology department during my residency, I know that it is committed to providing excellent gynecological services. In that spirit, I write in support of students having timely access to EC. EC is most effective (95 percent) in preventing pregnancy when taken within 24 hours after unprotected intercourse. While it can be taken within 120 hours (5 days), its effectiveness diminishes to around 86 percent.

Despite one's best intentions, contraception is not always used during consensual sex.

Additionally, no contraceptive method is 100 percent effective. Also, did you know that college age women are especially vulnerable to sexual assault? For responsible women wanting to prevent an unintended pregnancy, EC needs to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

More than 70 medical and women's advocacy organizations support EC being available over-the-counter. It's safe and effective, so much so that experts feel that it should be standard of care to prescribe it over the phone, without the need of a clinic visit. The only thing standing between women and this drug's availability over-the-counter is antireproductive rights politics.

Talk with your healthcare provider about getting an "advance prescription" of EC so that if you need it, you can get it and take it ASAP. Learn more about EC at www.feminist.org and www.not-2-late.com

Beth Jordan, M.D.

Medical Director
Feminist Majority Foundation

Not all speech is created equal

While I realize Brett Berry's article, "A new constitutional ban" (Sept. 20, 2004) is an argument made tongue-in-cheek, I think it important to point out an egregious error. Mr. Berry likens commercial speech, that of tobacco companies' advertising, to political speech, that of people voicing their opinions on presidential candidates.

There is no similarity nor has the Supreme Court ever found any.

While corporations do not have free speech rights per se, individuals who form groups for the sole purpose of having a stronger, collective political voice, do. The 527 provision of the McCain-Feingold law should be held unconstitutional because it prohibits these groups - formed solely for this purpose (as opposed to having ongoing business concerns that no reasonable person would want to run our country) - from exercising their right to political speech.

There are various lines of Supreme Court cases on the subject of commercial and political speech, public forums, and reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on free speech, that span the lifetime of this country. It would be a good idea for all of us to familiarize ourselves with the nuances of these rights.

Perhaps then we would overtly question the efficacy of 'free speech zones' in traditional public forums (the UA Mall?).

One day soon we might find ourselves without a voice. Perhaps this is a good reason to vote Nov. 2.

Karen C. Spear-Ellinwood language, reading, and culture doctoral student

Draft not an issue; don't make it one

Kendrick Wilson's October 6th letter on Wednesday entitled, "Column ignores the facts against Bush" shows the kind of disregard for facts that has become characteristic of the anti-Bush campaign.

The truth is that the president, his administration, and the Republican Party are adamantly opposed to the use of the draft and have said so time and again.

Mr. Wilson's claim that the president's commitment to do "whatever it takes" to protect the American people indicates approval for the draft is an absurd misinterpretation of a noble goal.

Here are the facts about the draft as it pertains to this election: First, the currently proposed bills that would enact the draft are sponsored by Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Senator Ernest Hollings (D-SC) - note the party - and are supported by almost no one from either party in Congress.

The House bill, H.R. 163, was defeated by a vote of 402-2 last Tuesday and its counterpart in the Senate will soon suffer the same fate.

Further, a simple examination of the status of our military reveals that American forces are fully staffed and prepared to fight and win the war on terror without any form of draft being enacted.

This fact has been stated numerous times and the president echoed it at the debate on Thursday when he said that the military will remain "an all volunteer military."

I am appalled by the use of the draft, one of the most frightening issues in American political history, by the Young Democrats in the form of a misleading sign to attempt to scare college students into voting for their candidate. It seems that these individuals are prepared to do "whatever it takes" to attack the president in an election he is currently winning, even if it means replacing facts with fear.

Michael R. Huston
political science freshman



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