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

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Wednesday, March 20, 2002
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.
Httutging Editor
Opinion Editor
News Editor
■ News Editor
Melissa Bedsole
Brian Ruff
Cayla Carr
Sommer Bunce
Brandie Liffick
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:
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
Artificial canned
animal hunts
target innocent
animals and
should be
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
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
Collins Ezeanyim is a junior
computer engineering major.
U2 singer Bono helps Africa
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
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.