Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Realistic movies honor veterans

I couldn't have agreed more with Brett Berry on the issue of war and Veterans Day in general. Being a part of the world's finest Air Force, I can truly say that we need to commemorate the day of the veterans to the fullest. To piggyback on what Mr. Berry wrote in his article titled "Silencing Private Ryan," it really hurts my feelings to know that there are people out there that would commit such an act as to not air movies that consist of wars and tragedies, especially on Veterans Day.

We as Americans need to face the facts of life and how it affects us one way or another. I have been there myself. I will not disclose any information about the location I was deployed to for the sake of confidentiality, but being away from your loved ones and being in a completely foreign nation can be distressing and one surely suffers greatly.

Movies like "Saving Private Ryan," "Behind Enemy Lines" and others are a great way to remember those that made history and lost their lives. I applaud them for fighting for this great nation of ours. If people out there are either anti-war or pro-war, they shouldn't base their opinions on what someone else tells them. These movies are made for us to realize the tremendous and yet horrendous experiences that people in the military have faced in the past and are currently facing at their deployed locations. I also applaud the directors and producers of these movies who try to make all Americans face the reality and the truth. What better way to commemorate Veterans Day, at a minimum, than by airing non-fictional movies depicting events that in fact occurred and are currently in progress?

For those people who haven't served any time in the military, my advice to them: the least they can do is to experience it by watching such movies and becoming a part of our airmen, marines, soldiers and seamen. Those individuals that lost their lives while saving the freedom of our country should at least be remembered through the acts of watching these movies. These men and women were just like you and me. They came from families just like ours. They had dreams and goals just like we do. So please don't close them from your lives. They should be heroes in our books of glory.

Mir M. Ali
psychology junior

Basketball needs all-student section

I've been a UA basketball fan since the day I was born. Six family members have attended this school before me, and I learned the importance of Arizona basketball before I spoke my first word. I love Arizona basketball more than anything in the world, but one thing that bothers me is the lack of a true student cheering section.

If you watch great programs like Duke, Stanford, Texas, Kentucky and even UCLA, you will notice that all of these schools have a designated student section. The students cheer, taunt and act as though they were a sixth player on the court. Unfortunately, Arizona does not have a designated student section for basketball games, and I think it pulls a lot away from the program.

When I finally got my first chance to watch a game inside McKale Center, I was disappointed to see how spread out the student population was and that there was no central student section. It felt strange to win "student section" seats for basketball games and sit next to a pair of grandparents with their 6-year-old grandchild. Arizona should work toward making an all-student cheering section at court level, much like the Zona Zoo is at football games.

Matt Mayberry
business freshman

Dodgers and deserters also protect freedoms

I spent Veterans Day listening to someone who is unlikely to speak at the UA any time soon: Pvt. Brandon Hughey. Hughey went AWOL before being shipped to Iraq, and is now part of a growing group of soldiers (one, David Sanders, is from Tucson) seeking asylum in Canada. If he returns to the United States, he will probably be jailed and, in theory, risks the death penalty.

In his words, "I feel that if a soldier is given an order that he knows to not only be illegal, but immoral as well, then it's his responsibility to refuse that order . . . If you were ordered to participate in an unlawful occupation that is resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent people with no justifiable cause, would you be able to live with yourself if you carried it out?"

As you honor veterans, spare a thought for Hughey, the "draft dodgers" who fled to Canada to avoid serving in Vietnam and soldiers who went to jail in Israel, Russia and many other countries rather than participate in wars and occupations they consider unjust.

Almost all of them are paying their choice with imprisonment, economic deprivation and social exclusion.

Believe it or not, they protect freedom as much or more as those who choose to serve.

They remind governments that human beings are not robots who can automatically be counted on to kill and be killed on the authority's whim. Soldiers can think and make moral judgments, and sometimes decide that the best course of action is refusing to obey.

If a war is really necessary to defend one's home, there'd be no deserters. If there are lots of deserters, it might be the time to start listening to them and asking what are we fighting for.

Giorgio Torrieri
UA alumnus

Simple solution available for problem of organ shortage

This letter is in response to Friday's article entitled "Club aims to increase UA organ donation." The solution to the organ shortage is simple - if you don't agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.

A grassroots group of organ donors called LifeSharers is making this idea a reality one member at a time.

LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors. Members agree to donate their organs when they die, and they give fellow members "first dibs" on their organs. This creates a pool of organs available first to members. The existence of this pool gives other people an incentive to sign donor cards and join the network, and this incentive grows stronger as the network expands.

LifeSharers also makes the organ allocation system fairer. About 70 percent of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers at Membership is free.

LifeSharers has 2,656 members, including 35 members in Arizona.

David J. Undis
executive director, LifeSharers

Go back to core morals on which country was found

I am tired of hearing about how "morals" were the key issue in this past election and in our country today. If we are to correctly assess this situation, we should say that one set of morals was a factor, not morals in general. The morals of, to use a convenient label, "social conservatives" were suddenly brought to the forefront of all of our minds with their large turnout at the polls.

But what are these morals? If we examine them from just election information and news blurbs, we can see an emphasis on fundamental Christianity with a strong emotional reaction to issues such as gay marriage and abortion, the so-called "lifestyle" issues.

I suppose that my frustration stems from the lack of coverage of what I believed to be the "core" morals that this country was founded on, morals such as honesty, responsibility, integrity, respect and tolerance. Where is the discussion of these ideas? How do the "social conservatives" or those who said that morals were the deciding factors in their voting reconcile the hypocrisy of their own actions? From all the news coverage about the president that I have seen, he has shown a relative paucity of those core morals that I listed: he has been caught lying, taken no responsibility for mistakes, denigrated and viciously attacked all his political opponents (even John McCain), and made himself and this country hated abroad.

I was under the impression that honesty was more important than what a certain segment of our population does at home. Apparently, I was wrong. The party of less government decided that their banner issue was slamming governmental control right into everyone's bedroom. The sad part about this whole event is that by making sure that gays do not get the same rights as everyone else, the "social conservatives" and others have given George W. Bush the "political capital" to continue lying and dragging this country through the mud.

Eli Trainer
anthropology senior

Better Zona Zoo keepers needed at hoops games

As the basketball season starts, we have been lucky enough to get lower level seats, and will be able to watch all the basketball games at McKale Center this year. We have attended both exhibition games thus far and we must say, we are very disappointed in our Zona Zoo Keepers this season. In the game against Sonoma State, the entire student section on one side of the court was sitting. Did the Zona Zoo Keepers do anything about it? They were too busy standing quietly in the aisle having deep thoughts about life. Where did the guys from last year go?

The Keepers from last year were nuts and got everybody pumped up. The Zona Zoo Keepers should be on the border of being thrown out of every game. The current Zona Zoo Keepers don't make any noise at all. The Eegee's and lemonade sellers are louder than them! This leads us to believe that tryouts for this position were held in the library.

Who else tried out if these guys won? I think the only questions asked at the tryouts were: 1) Do you go to school here? and, 2) Do you have any paint? These two guys were the only ones to successfully answer those questions. The old Zona Zoo Keepers painted their whole bodies red and blue and had big hats, capes and Styrofoam paws.

What do we have this year? A bare-chested 73-pound Elvis impersonator who got in a fight with a paint can and a guy wearing a Salim Stoudamire jersey. Whoa, that is a bit too much creativity! Personally, when I hear one of these guys telling me to be loud, I'm not thinking I should chant, "Defense!" or "U of A!" at the top of my lungs, I'm actually thinking, "How about you get crazy, and I'll match you." How can we improve on this situation? We were thinking instead of having these guys, we should go down to a retirement home, pick us out the quietest 85-year-old woman there, paint her face, bring her to the game and put her in the middle of the aisle until she falls asleep. Then again, the quietest old ladies in town are already at the games sitting in the alumni section. Sleeping.

Justin Towne & Zach Sonnenberg
molecular & cellular biology senior/finance junior