The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 20, 2002, Image 9

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V. NE«s HE BATTALIO) ■lapse -telfon theAntarcit collapsed «io js and fragments, stracting since 1995 March 5,2002 \ Jan. 2002 > 1 ■Wl Weddell Atlam Sea . Ocean ITARCTICA : , ■ 0 sr- 0 5001 ’ish Antarctic Survey, it NASA s Terra sateUt! Scambos. Natmral 'ara Center. Unrversit, elder. ' ice sheet has & s than a month.'' measuremei uitarctic Penint. in average of me ts Fahrenheit (h alf-century. IN BRIEF Health closed ! ut a I Health Cent- d today due to i :e workshop c mseling Service: will resume t, fay and EMS serr ivailable by calrt it Health Service; hursday at 8 am. ional ociety ting 20th 111 rt time tion. job line at V ET? Opinion THE BATTALION Wednesday, March 20, 2002 EDITORIAL Pricey Politics Everyone knows the importance of money in getting and keeping a political office. It buys campaign materials and name recognition. Politics and cash always have been together in America and are not likely to be separated any time soon. But when voters head to the polls April 9 for runoff elections, they should look beyond familiar names achieved with a barrage of television commercials. There are many other factors that merit consideration. A Dallas Morning News analysis of candidate expenditures found the spending of two successful Texas Democratic candi dates varied widely. Tony Sanchez, a candidate for governor, spent nearly $32 for every vote he received. But U.S. Senate hopeful Victor Morales spent just 3 cents. Sanchez already has surpassed the campaign spending record in the state of Texas. Sanchez committed $20 million to win the primary and has vowed to spend "whatever it takes" to defeat Gov. Rick Perry in the November general election. Money has been key to his success thus far. But voters get to determine the final results. Maybe Sanchez deserves to be governor, and perhaps he would be a good one. However, he should not receive support just because of the television commercials that are sure to blanket the state this fall. Public service must not become the pastime of bored, wealthy men. Unfortunately, this appears to be the trend. Witness Sen. Jon Corzine, D-NJ and Mayor Michael Bloomburg of New York City, each of whom spent more than S50 million of their fortune to win office. Dedicated, experi enced public officials find it difficult to compete on such a costly level. People should be able to spend their money in any legal way they see fit. But voters must carefully consid er politicians' background to determine their level of com mitment to constituent interest. Votes should be earned through a candidate's explanation oftheir views and goals, and their qualifications and experi ence. Thus a close scrutiny of the background and profes sional dealings of those who wish to exercise power over their fellow citizens is necessary. Informed voters who bestow their trust in a candidate who have earned it through hard work strengthen democracy. Ideally, political support is earned and never bought — a decision in the hands of voters. THE BATTALION Httutging Editor Opinion Editor News Editor ■ News Editor EDITORIAL BOARD Editor in Chief MARIANO CASTILLO Melissa Bedsole Brian Ruff Cayla Carr Sommer Bunce Brandie Liffick Member Member Member Member Jonathan Jones Jennifer Lozano Kelln Zimmer The Battalion encourages letters to the editor. Letters must be 200 words or less iitd include the author's name, class and phone number. The opinion editor reserves the right to edit letters for length, style and accuracy. Letters may be submit- in person at 014 Reed McDonald with a valid student ID. Letters also may be mailed to: 014 Reed McDonald, MS 1111, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 17843-11 1 1. Fax: (979) 845-2647 Email: MAIL CALL Corps of Cadets is losing credibility response to Brandie Liffick's March 19 article: Exposing those who perform objectionable deeds is perfectly Acceptable. However, if some- one's affiliation with an unin- ^olved organization has absolute- lynothing to do with his or her fense, the name of that organi sation should not be hastily kked onto the offender's title, ^cent articles that have focused sex/pornography offenders, and both times the writers have felt it necessary to include the offenders' affiliation with the Corps of Cadets in a very obvious fashion. The Corps of Cadets is an organization that prides itself on Producing soldiers, statesmen nd knightly gentlemen. Granted, not every person Within the Corps or who leaves [ be Corps has these characteris es, but a large majority of Corps rriembers do. Many of the best loaders that this University has to offer come out of the Corps of Gadets. The actions of one do lot necessarily reflect the actions °f a whole. Travis Brown Class of 2004 Personally I think that it is trag ic that we have people at our university who molest children or view child pornography. These people have no place on our campus. However, I have to question The Battalion's motives behind printing such articles. I find it hard to believe that out of a stu dent body of approximately 44,000, cadets are the only ones who break the law, while that is all that seems to appear in the pages of The Battalion. You forgot to mention that of the 40 people in custody nation wide, 4 are members of the cler gy, two of which were catholic priests. Maybe instead of con stantly attacking the Corps, you should mention that we are the largest contributor to the March of Dimes, how about the Aggie Band Christmas toy drive, or the large Corps participation in the Big Event and how each outfit has a service project. 1 just think its a shame to have four years of hard work and devotion to this University mocked daily, while most of those who point figures are the ones on the sidelines complain ing instead of doing. Ed Rhodes Class of 2002 NOWHERE TO RUN Artificial canned animal hunts target innocent animals and should be prohibited COLLINS EZEANYIM A domesticated tiger sits under a tree and watches as a hunter approaches. The animal is accustomed to humansTjnd does not bother to get up. The poor animal is shot where it sits, never realizing the human meant it harm. This horrendous example of animal cruelty occurred during a “canned hunt.” This activity involves killing animals on an enclosed hunting preserve for sport. The goal is to bag a trophy, which is usually the creature’s head. According to Time magazine and the U.S. Humane Society, there are about 2,000 hunting preserves in 25 different states, with 500 of them in Texas. There is no doubt that the Texas economy is impacted by hunt ing,which brings in $1 billion a year, but serious measures should be taken to stop canned hunts. They are unkind, unneces sary and unsportsmanlike. Some aspects of canned hunts make them especially abhorrent. First, humans raise many of the animals used in the activity. Thus, they trust people and, like the domesticated tiger, many of their nat ural instincts to fight or flee hunters have been numbed. They have been robbed of fundamental skills for survival. Even if the animals are wild, they are unable to fully defend themselves because they are trapped within a con fined area. The creatures will attempt to run away, but will always encounter a fence or barrier. The animal will eventu ally wear out and the hunter will then have an even easier time of killing it. While hunting animals on an enclosed preserve is a grossly unfair practice, there are techniques used dur ing canned hunts that can only be described as savage. The most disturbing of these is “shooting over bait” in which animals — deer, for instance — are lured to feeding stations and shot by hunters hiding only a few yards away. Even worse, many of the species used in this disgraceful practice are rare and exotic. Time reported that such species include “the Arabian Oryx, the Nubian ibex, yaks (and) impalas ...” Also includ ed are rhinos, zebras and tigers. How do hunting preserves acquire such animals? Sometimes zoos will sell what they call “overflow animals” to hunting preserves. The surplus of ani mals is a result of overusing captive breeding programs. Currently, there are a couple of bills floating in the Senate, and the House that would prohibit the interstate sale of exotic animals for hunts. Congress should pass these bills FRANK CHANCE • THE BATTALION and pass further legislation banning all exotic animals from being used in this shameful activity. Presently, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cannot do anything about canned hunts. It is not allowed to inter vene if the hunts do not violate state laws or involve interstate commerce. Passing these bills in Congress will give the agency more power to regulate the way hunting preserves operate. Not surprisingly, many hunters defend canned hunts and hunting exotic animals. They say zoos breed more than enough exotic animals to be used at hunting grounds. They claim that without hunting preserves, the excess animals would die on their own in the wild. But they ignore that fact that zoos should not overbreed these animals in the first place and if zoos do have a surplus, natural habitats should be found. Exotic animals should not be handed over to hunting preserves where they will be slaughtered. It is natural for humans to hunt, but hunting in such an artificial manner undermines those primal instincts. Animals deserve more humane treat ment than this. It is time to can canned hunts. Collins Ezeanyim is a junior computer engineering major. U2 singer Bono helps Africa KATHERINE TUCKER I n a country where youth place their interests and respect in the popular faces of a changing culture, it was inevitable that the rock band U2 embrace a new role. It seems stars make emo tional claims on issues, hop ing their name will be seen by helping a cause. The 22- year-old band U2 has interna tional appeal and tied its name to an important world issue — except that their efforts are more than an emo tional outcry, issues have become a part of U2’s job. With lyrics that embrace trials from all walks of life, U2 has embraced its role of comforting an ailing world and taken the next step — to. change the world. This is a bold move — one that makes eyes role, but it is a realistic possibility when stars carry such an influence in so many people’s minds. Lead singer Bono has educated himself on every detail of the situation. His knowledge has gained him access to influences such as Jesse Helms, Kofi Annan, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Pope John Paul II. With the ability to speak with the respect from millions of fans and a dozen world leaders, Bono has used his stardom to achieve an admirable influence. to 20-year-olds, a crucial time when developing minds determine their political alignments. Whether it is the political alignment factor or Bono’s overwhelming charis ma, politicians and world leaders are listening to this band’s concerns. Bono’s efforts to provide relief to Africa spring from his involvement in Band Aid and Live Aid in 1984 to Bono has used his stardom to achieve an admirable influence. Bono has established DATA (Debt, Aide, Trade for Africa), riding on the argu ment that by eliminating the public debt of 52 of the world’s poorest countries, according to Time magazine, the world can be a better place. Where does this confi dence spring from? It could be the overwhelming hope that U2 has in this world, as conveyed through their lyrics, or it could be U2’s strong world influence. U2 has cap tivated the attention and respect of a population of 15- relieve famine in Ethiopia, Time reported. Shaken and propelled by the death and sickness overcoming the nation, Bono’s initial response was out of emotion. However, as emotional involvement of celebrities is frequently ineffective. Bono has taken a different approach: think through the problem, instead of feeling the way through. His efforts in Africa cen tralize on eliminating debt. The countries are focused on paying off the principal sur rounding loans and neglecting health care and education. Bono has taken it on himself to convince America that sav ing Africa is in its best inter est. By convincing America to involve itself, Africa can focus on health care, educa tion and AIDS relief. In a world where pop stars are over-glamorized, only adding to their egos, U2 has humbled itself before a greater cause. By breaking the barrier between stardom and politics, U2 has set a new standard for the musical faces of today. U2 has challenged stars to represent causes greater than themselves. This challenge has the potential to change the world. Whether by raising the bar for today’s popular influences or encouraging fans to support a greater cause than music, U2 has pushed the envelope and challenged the world to become a better place. Katherine Tucker is a sophomore general studies major.