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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
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HIV should have been addressed in debates

The moderators of the three presidential debates should be ashamed for not including a question on HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS, in the United States and throughout the world, is a critical issue that must be addressed in the debates as well as the next presidency.

Only Gwen Ifill asked about the disproportionate impact of HIV on black women in the United States during the vice presidential debate. While it is important that both vice presidential candidates mentioned the global AIDS crisis (Mr. Cheney reasserted the president's pledge of $15 billion over 5 years and Mr. Edwards said he and Mr. Kerry would double that to $30 billion), it is outrageous that neither candidate was able to adequately answer the question about domestic HIV/AIDS. The vice president was unaware of the way HIV/AIDS is devastating U.S. communities, even though Mr. Bush campaigned on the issue of AIDS at a black church on June 23.

We should demand that our leaders have a comprehensive plan to combat HIV/AIDS both in America and globally. The pandemic kills 8,500 people each day and is having a devastating economic, political and social impact, especially on young people who comprise half of each day's 14,500 new HIV infections. A comprehensive global and domestic HIV/AIDS plan can be found at aidsvote.org.

Voters learn about critical differences in each candidate's plan through the debates, and it is imperative that the issue of HIV/AIDS be addressed. I want to know how the next president plans to combat the worst health crisis in history.

Lauren Giesecke
Senior majoring in molecular and cellular biology and Spanish


No Child Left Behind lets records go to Pentagon

No Child Left Behind, like "The Twilight Zone" episode called "To Serve Man," is such a beautiful line carrying such deep compassion, that it was strange to hear it coming from a Texas Republican. It is so Democratic, and to many of the Texan's friends the phrase must have sounded downright socialistic. From the hovel to college, finally, somebody cares.

It sounded so 1967, so Summer of Love. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger got into the act with his very public push for after-school programs. The efforts of the Texan and the Austrian fell to naught, not because of their compassionate intentions, but because of funding, which of course they said they had no control over.

No Child Left Behind is a big program, and, despite all the failures to bring the promise home, there has been at least one part of it that has been a rousing success. All high school seniors hoping to go to college cherish their school records and strive to make them stand out so they can go to their favorite choices. High school teachers and administration officials generally add their two cents and occasional letters of recommendation for outstanding performances.

And so No Child Left Behind took this into account when it made its deal with the military and Selective Service. The program requires the records of all high school seniors each year be sent to the Pentagon for Selective Service processing. They want to have a look at our proud seniors, too.

In fact, military folks have actually gone door-to-door to interview certain gifted students that have what they need. Parents need only say "no," and the files will not be sent, which means standing up and being counted as anti-military, which overlaps with another file heading. Otherwise, all files are the property of the military and immediately sent off to the Pentagon's megacomputers, by law.

This reaping of the draftable population carries with it a sentiment altogether different from the compassionate, loving overtones that first come to mind. I am very afraid that No Child Left Behind is a kind of cookbook that allows the military to cannibalize our young. God help us.

Chris Hardaker
alumnus


Coulter a racist and a fascist 'hate monger'

With all of the hoopla involving Ann Coulter's speech next Thursday, I just thought the students here would like to see some of the ideas Ms. Coulter espouses. She has a talking doll that says such charming things as, "Swing voters are more appropriately known as the 'idiot voters' because they have no set of philosophical principles," or, "By the age of fourteen, you're either a conservative or a liberal if you have an IQ above a toaster", and my personal favorite, "Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam, post 9/11. Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now."

I hope that the College Republicans are happy that this hate monger is here to counter the liberal views expressed by Mr. Moore last Monday. At least Mr. Moore can be a little funny when expressing his liberal viewpoint, but Ms. Coulter is just a racist and a fascist, parading around as a patriot. I strongly urge all students to visit Ms. Coulter's Web site and read some of her opinion pieces to see what she really stands for.

R. Cheley
economics graduate student


Reporters make attempts to leave opinions out of it

This is in response to Monday's letter by Leigh McGill. To say that "'the truth is an entirely relative issue" is to deny the definition of truth. It is true that the media works to generate public interest, but the news is a division of the media. Reporters and journalists are under an obligation to the public to refrain from dirtying the facts with personal bias or with selective omission. It is the only way they can maintain their credibility.

If a reporter or journalist decides to manipulate the facts into a new and deceptive story, then he or she loses credibility and is now on the level of the National Enquirer and other such tabloids.

When a serious journalist or reporter reports the news, it is taken for granted that he does so with the intention of informing the public. This means that the news is free of relativism, includes all important details, and refrains from making unwarranted conclusions. I don't think it is too much to ask that journalists refrain from choosing sides, which is all that the original writer, Phillip Denton, was requesting.

If we lose hope in the existence of truth, then we have no reason to read the newspapers. Because when there is no truth in our news, it is like reading a comic book - you read it solely for entertainment.

Alexis DeWitt
biology freshman


Base your opinions off of actual political speech

I certainly do not want to get into a philosophical debate about absolute truths, as this would take far too long. However, you can report facts with less spin than beginning each sentence with "I think that..." as so many columnists in newspapers seem to do.

I find it funny that people would prefer someone to tell them what he thinks of a politician than to get a text of a politician's speech. I would much rather listen to what was actually said and then base my judgment off of that, rather than use an opinion to make my judgments.

We do not live in this utopian society where everything can be perfect. However, that doesn't mean we should resort to lying to each other since honesty is just so difficult. That's a rather defeatist attitude.

And the purpose of the media is to report news, not generate interest . Unfortunately for us all, physics prevent us from being everywhere at once to view every event going on in the world, so we depend on news networks and newspapers to tell us what we miss. This paper seems to prefer sensationalism and probably gets most of its facts from tabloids, since they are only there to generate readers' interest. I hope people don't vote based on those fictional, albeit humorous, facts.

Phillip Denton
alumnus


Government not to blame for student's death

It is always a shame to hear of someone fatally injured while working. It is especially saddening to hear that the worker was so young, as was the case with Josh Morgan. However, it is equally disturbing to see yet another example of this nation's ever-growing irresponsibility when reading Gayle Bush's attempt to blame the government for this tragic accident.

Ms. Bush questions where OSHA was prior to this accident. This year OSHA employs 1,123 safety inspectors nationally. Take away inspectors that are responding to accidents and reported violations, and you're not left with many to perform random, unscheduled assessments.

Rather than blame the government, other questions need to be asked. What kind of safety training was offered prior to using this machinery? Did Mr. Morgan follow all the standard operating procedures for the equipment?

Unfortunately, many heavy machinery accidents occur because the operator is in a hurry and tries to cut corners. Companies put a great effort into developing operating procedures that ensure the safety of their workforce. When these procedures are ignored or neglected, it makes the possibility of personal injury more likely. This is why in manufacturing settings you will often hear the phrase, "Take the time to be safe." The days of horribly unsafe working conditions are behind us; workers must now take personal responsibility for their safety and take the extra time to do a job safely.

Brian Danker
alumnus


Cartoon insensitive to serious issue of rape

I am disgusted by the lack of sensibility, as is often the case, of publishing the Parry Monster and Z-Train cartoon in Monday's paper. How is it that you can publish something that makes a joke out of a serious problem that affects people, namely women, on this campus? To show a women waking up on the roof of a house with an obvious hangover, and saying that she was "roofied" is basically disgusting.

Showing her on a roof lessens the reality that women who are drugged are typically raped. They don't wake up on roofs; they wake up to a situation they did not want to be in. The use of GHB, roofies or any other drug on an unsuspecting victim is against the law and (more importantly) morally wrong. This cartoon should not have been published, and it shows a total lack of journalistic responsibility on the part of the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

I don't know who is more irresponsible, the Wildcat or the artists who obviously have never been drugged and taken advantage of. This is truly another case of poor abilities as a journalist.

Samuel K. Harworth
materials science and engineering graduate student



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