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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, November 5, 2004
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Not everyone gets their way in a democracy

The editorial titled "Do away with the initiative process" was remarkably in tune with an article I read the same day about Americans who disliked Bush's re-election and were considering emigrating abroad. A New Zealand immigration official quoted in the article was incredulous that "when Americans don't get their way, they want to move."

In the Wildcat's editorial, we read of grown adults complaining about the most democratic institution in America, namely the initiative process, because one initiative they like did not pass, and one they opposed was passed. In short, people are complaining because they did not get their way. I doubt such an editorial would have been printed had Proposition 102 been passed while Proposition 200 was defeated. Obviously, the essence of living in a democracy is that one will not always get his way; however, in a democracy, one always will have an opportunity to convince others of his way. On Tuesday, some voters were convinced, others not. So goes life in a democracy.

By the way, when will we see editorials condemning the Mexican nation (which has the second-highest number of billionaires per capita in the world) for its nonexistent social safety net (the impetus for illegal immigration), as opposed to condemning Arizonans who don't want to subsidize Mexico's oligarchs? If America's rich should pay more taxes, shouldn't Mexico's rich be expected to pay some taxes?

W. Darrell Nedd
College of Law alumnus

Celebrities should not be kept from speaking

I would like to respond to Nate Buchik's article regarding celebrities' involvement in this past political campaign. He says that they had no business getting "that involved" in politics. What about Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono and Ronald Reagan? They were all celebrities-turned-politicians. Did they have no business being involved in politics? If anything, their star power was what helped propel them to success.

Every citizen has a right to be as involved or uninvolved as they choose in the political process. It is true that celebrities put themselves at risk when they express their views, but that is a risk that apparently many are willing to take, especially when they care about the issues at hand, and I admire their courage.

All Americans deserve a voice, and celebrities have an advantage in that their high visibility and their voices are often heard more than those of the common man or woman on the street. Like the voices of every citizen, theirs are important. If you disagree with those celebrities and choose not to support their art, that is your choice.

I don't appreciate Mr. Buchik's advice for celebrities to "shut up." Free speech is still a right we all have and I believe that as a journalist, he should recognize his own interest in protecting that right rather than limiting it. He should also keep in mind that every other person you run into has a different political opinion from your own - half of this nation supported Bush, half supported Kerry. Ignoring the views of half the nation or deeming them insignificant because "they lost" is not what this nation stands for.

A democracy should represent all its citizens, not just the majority; if we only catered to the majority, slavery would still acceptable, and men would have diminished rights because women are the majority of the population. All Americans deserve representation and I hope that celebrities and anyone given opportunity to publicly express their views continue to be a voice supporting representation of all citizens and keeping that message on the minds of the American people.

Elaine Ulrich
optical sciences graduate student

Elections show public not ready for gay marriage

I truly believe the people who protested the election results need to re-think their value system. This election set a precedent and proved that the country is not ready for gay marriage and fully legal abortion.

Maybe in about 20 years people will be ready, and it doesn't hurt anyone to keep putting these matters on the ballot, but the public voted and you can't deny the results.

These protesters also need to be happy for the freedoms this country provides, especially the person who is crushing pies on the American flag. The flag is a great symbol of our country and to desecrate it dishonors those who fought and still fight to defend it. If you don't like the United States of America, move out.

Jennifer Germain

Religion has no place in politics, even for faithful

Upon Bush's re-election. I began looking into immigrating to Canada. Perhaps to many that seems too drastic. After all, we've made it through one term, we can make it through the second. That's true. However, I see Bush as the symptom of a much larger problem - evangelical Christianity's merger with politics.

I am not opposed to religion. I consider myself religious. I attended church as a kid and went to a Christian high school. I believe that one's faith is personal and best shown through their actions. I do not believe that it is the framework for public policy nor a club with which to beat those who disagree into submission. Evangelicals seem to disagree. Their fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible demands that policy be constructed in accordance with their narrow religious views.

If you believe that abortion is wrong, don't have one. If you believe homosexuality is wrong, don't have sex with those of the same sex, and don't flatter yourself. Contrary to what they told you in church, every gay person is not really dying to "recruit" you.

The public space is meant to be shared among all people, not just the ones that think God registered Republican. We live in a stressful, confusing world. We are faced with more challenging questions everyday. Evangelical Christianity seems to remove one's ability to grasp the complex. How is that a desirable quality in a president? Maybe for the next election we can get it right. Educate yourself, don't fall for the fear-mongering and wedge issues and maybe, just maybe, we can elect a president who hasn't been lobotomized by Jerry Falwell.

Meghan Tedesco
molecular and cellular biology senior

Failure of Prop. 102 breaks university's financial back

When the citizens of Arizona shot down Proposition 102 Tuesday night, they also stabbed the UA in the back.

With the UA falling within the top 25 of all U.S. universities in total research spending ($380 million), we should expect large returns to be realized. Last year, however, it stood at 78th in income brought in from licensing technologies/patents to existing companies.

How did this happen? Two words: equity exchange. Right now, the only capital the university receives back from the technologies it incubates is in the form of cash returns. This, however, alienates smaller, more entrepreneurial companies with less cash flow from investing in UA technology. Proposition 102 would have given the university the ability to gain returns in the form of equity (i.e. stock, securities), allowing for a more diverse network of university-industry relationships.

Proposition 102 was a step in the right direction for our university. Now, this campus is stuck with more budget cuts and a dismal future for innovation and intellectual capital.

Adam Falck
molecular and cellular biology and entrepreneurship senior

Alumni Plaza money could be better spent on learning

According to Tuesday's Wildcat, there will be a 2 percent "across-the-board" budget cut that will also include a removal of $73,000 from the Physics Department.

According to the Oct. 29 Wildcat, "the $2.5 million plaza will feature a Wildcat Walk, four water fountains, seating areas and an assortment of environmental landscape, such as mesquite trees, evergreen elms, red oaks and palo verde trees," which I believe it has.

While this Alumni Plaza was funded by private donors and alumni, students and professors both can reasonably argue that such funding could have been put to better use. Instead of the $2.5 million being used to further education at UA such as providing more lab equipment for undergraduate science labs, putting more resources in the UA library, raising professors' salaries or granting more financial aid to help more students attend college, such money was spent to make a small segment of the campus look more beautiful.

It is a shame that at an educational institution, millions of dollars consistently are taken out of educational budgets while millions of dollars are being used for needless landscaping. If education is clearly not a priority, such money could have at least been used to feed the 60,000 children who go hungry each night in the Tucson area.

Eric Austin
engineering physics sophomore

Tuesday's voter turnout deserves round of applause

First off I would like to say that I am a registered Republican, however, I did not vote for Bush. I won't say who I did vote for, but it wasn't Kerry either. I just wanted to say congrats to everyone involved in Tuesday's election.

First off, to all those who voted, bringing us to record voting numbers in certain states and close to those records in others, I would like to thank you all for doing your civic duty and voting.

Second, to the College Republicans, congrats on supporting your candidate and his re-election.

Third, to the College Democrats, congrats on having Kerry kick Bush's butt here in Pima County. I would also like to say congrats to John Kerry for conceding in a dignified manner, and not dragging the election out in the courts much like Gore did four years ago and what appeared that a certain vice presidential candidate wished to do this year.

Finally, I would like to say congrats to all those groups that encouraged all those voters to get out and vote, namely ASUA who did a great job bringing speakers to our campus to show both sides of the issues. And to anyone who wants to dispute that, know that ASUA did bring speakers from both sides and they both shared their opinions with all of Tucson. I only wish a third party could get enough percent of the votes to get public funding, but hey, the election went off very smoothly this year so I can't complain.

Joe Tucker
ecology and evolutionary biology senior

Tally possibly skewed by Diebold voting machine

Something terrible happened Tuesday. We nave liberals were upbeat, and with independents leaning toward Kerry and a huge turnout, it only made sense that Kerry should win. Then there were the exit polls suggesting Kerry was winning key swing states. But in the end, Bush won. Or did he? Was this all just a dream? The mainstream media is now questioning the reliability of exit polls. Is anyone in the media questioning the raw popular vote?

In a democracy, it would make sense that the popular vote is what matters, and that you can't count too much on exit polls. However, some really interesting things have happened. In most states, like New Hampshire, the exit polls predicted the outcome very accurately. It seems the discrepancy between exit polls and actual votes is happening mostly in areas which used the Diebold voting machines, like in Florida and Ohio. In each case, the discrepancy is very significant (about 5 percent), and always, always, favors Bush in the final outcome.

Exit polls have proven their reliability in previous elections, in this one in non-Diebold areas, and even in places like Venezuela where exit polls have been used to make sure there would be no voting fraud. Is this all just a funny coincidence? Now note that the Diebold CEO, Walden O'Dell, said in 2003 that he "was committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." He later "regretted" saying that. Now you can go to the UofA Bookstore and see Bush smirk on that giant screen all day (the face of Big Brother?). But shouldn't we first make sure that he won (legally that is)? Can we really pay the price of another four years by letting him get away with this?

Delphine Perrodin
physics graduate student

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