Volume 94, Issue 91

Wednesday, March 14, 2001


Letters to the Editor

Media have themselves to blame for Clinton frenzy

Better bar scene in seven easy steps

Grump talks trash about darn kids and their drinkin'

Letters to the Editor

The evils of Gamblor

Re: Know when to hold and know when to fold, Mar.13.

To the Editor:

Once again The Gazette continues to dazzle its readers with naive stories that never search for any deeper issues. "Gambling is beneficial," the rhetoric goes. Shall we actually unpack a few of the arguments in the article to show the deep flaws in this argument?

Gambling is an addictive habit for a small percentage of the population: Gambling may only be a small problem in the population at-large, but what about in the population of gamblers alone? How do these figures define "gambler" – an occasional lottery player or a slot junkie? And what about "addictive" – someone who can't pay bills because of their habit? Someone whose kids go without meals because they're too busy gambling? Word to the wise, kids: Don't take definitions like this for granted.

Casinos are built based on market demand: If this weren't true, we wouldn't see so many advertisements on television and in newspapers for casinos. The "needs" for gambling are wholly manufactured.

"We are all well known as being good community citizens:" While the jobs that casinos provide may be a boon, little else is. Casinos may give money, but often, it comes from the people that can least afford it; gambling, with lottery in particular, appeals most to the uneducated.

We may also have a problem that once confined itself to the United States with regards to Native-run casinos. In the US, individual members of each reserve receive part of the income that casinos pull in, so much in fact,

that people do not need to work, ever. Gangs, drug use, and incredible job turnover plague this system – Casino Rama may become equally problematic if the government allows this type of distribution to happen in Canada.

Casinos' promise of wealth appeals not only to the poor individual, but the poor groups, of which a disproportionate amount of Native peoples count themselves a part of.

Most casinos have programs available for people who struggle with gambling problems: Tobacco companies fund quit smoking initiatives too, but too many people still smoke. Why on earth would a company want to kill its most devoted market, the addicts?

Curtis W. L. Jones
Honours Sociology II

VPs + USC= Stinktown?

To the Editor:

There is something in the air at Western and it smells like hypocrisy.

The University Students' Council rejected a motion to open up vice-presidential elections to a popular vote, claiming that it can best represent the views of 20,000 students.

The USC rejected a motion to support an executive pardon for political prisoner Leonard Peltier, claiming that it cannot represent the views of 20,000 students.

So, essentially, when the USC wants to reproduce itself, it takes a hard stand and claims representative power. When a motion is raised asking the USC to take a principled position on a matter of social significance, it cannot perform.

Perhaps it is time to prioritize student democracy on this campus. This would include revisiting the autocratic decision by council half a decade ago to affiliate with a splinter group called the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, thereby removing Western undergraduates from the largest, most democratic student organization in the country, the Canadian Federation of Students.

Kendra Coulter
Scholar's Electives III

Those nutty Kogyarus!

Re: I just called to say "I love you", Mar. 9.

To the Editor:

In Japan, cell phone abuse has been a problem for about five years now, with cells even banned in certain areas, such as on public transport. But in other places, such as movie theatres, self-restraint seems to have worked.

I like to hope that it's because the novelty (or coolness) of showing the world you have a cell has worn off. (Presently over 50 per cent of the ENTIRE population has a cell) Remember when flipped-out pagers were the rage over here? Where are they now?

Talking about Japan, look at where cells have gone and you'll realize that they are here to stay. Kogyarus (read: Japanese high school valley girl sorority wannabes) use their phones not only to e-mail, but to surf the Net as well. Phones can display full colour pictures, download the latest songs as ringing melodies, have screen savers and prototypes are out for real-time video conferencing.

Wait until these features make it over here and you'll see that the problem will only grow. If Estey believes that "the medium is the message" he's in for a nasty surprise.

Maybe users will smarten up and be more considerate of others. Although listening to some of the conversations, it might be a while before that happens.

Unless people start using cells to detonate bombs (which are just as annoying), don't expect to see those "cell jammers." The technology can't be restricted, it's the users who need to be improved. Or you can just accept them as an annoying social fad, like puffy vests.

Advice for those who still can't stand cells: www.phonebashing.com

Roger Fuchigami
Administrative and Commercial Studies IV

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