Volume 94, Issue 99

Tuesday, March 27, 2001


OPINIONS

Letters to the Editor

Hi, and welcome to Biker U

Letters to the Editor

Rockin' in free world


Re: Summit of the Americas

To the Editor:

Is it not true that protest is a valid form of political participation in representative democracy? Have we not recognized protest as a freedom entitled to all all Canadians in our Constitution?

I am disgusted at our government's deterrent policy in respect to the potential protest at the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Québec. The Chrétien government has lost touch with the concept of representative democracy, as recent history has shown. The purpose of protest is to voice dissatisfaction to our representatives, and the job of the representative government therefore, is to listen.

I am appalled at this government's attempt to silence the voices of its citizens. And to what end? For the comfort of dignitaries? For the preservation of private and public property? Or, just to look good in the international news?

The Summit of the Americas is not the Olympics; democracy is not a game. High fences, security zones the size of small towns, emptied prisons, federal involvement in municipal affairs, the mobilization of 5,000 police officers, and leaked CSIS documents – this is not the Canadian way.

Extended power has obviously distorted the judgment of the prime minister, and while infringements will be dealt with in the courts, the protests of citizens will again be swept under the green rug of the Commons by this government. Chrétien will be able to scratch another item off his 'I am better than Trudeau' to-do list.

This is not the Canadian way.

Shame on Jean Chretien, and shame on his cronies. Protesters are not inherently violent. There are no plans for an assassination. There are no plans to destroy the city in effigy of this stagnant government. Protesters are begging the government to allow the Canadian and international legal communities to study the specific ramifications of each clause of the FTAA, so as to preserve the sovereign right of states to protect their environments, sustain their resources and support their people.

Protesters ask that the text be released. A NAFTA-like Chapter 11 clause must not be part of the FTAA. Protesters are promoting the ideas of fair trade, global environmental protection, and the cause of human rights. These are the demands our government is silencing. Our government is prepared to sacrifice its sovereignty to increase the GDP, but it need not do so.

Economic success is not contingent on making states out of corporations, but in providing a framework for competitive corporate success. The rule of law, human rights, environmental protection, resource sustainability, economic success, sovereignty – this is the Canadian way.

Eric K. Fortin
USC Councillor
Political Science II




Jock skools Sporto


Re: No method to the madness in March, Mar. 20

To the Editor:

In response to Jordan Bell's article on the Sweet 16 match-ups in this year's March Madness, I think it was imperative for him to know what he is talking about before he attempted to predict the winners in this past weekend's games.

First of all, he says Kansas is overrated, when it could not be more to the contrary. Yes, in recent years the Jayhawks have been highly overrated and turned out to be a disappointment time and time again.

However in this year's tourney, Kansas is coming in as a low-key team with no high expectations put forth on them by the media. Do not be surprised to see them take out Illinois in the Sweet 16 bracket.

This brings me to the most simple and most stupid, mistake in the article. Stanford, in fact, are not the Cardinals, which happen to be birds, as you probably know. They are in fact the Cardinal, with no 's,' which is a type of tree found throughout North America.

So in the future, get your facts right before you try to unravel the madness.

Jeff Kuchma
Health Sciences/Kinesiology I




Back to the future?


Re: R&B and the coming 'men are crap' army, Mar. 22

To the Editor:

1950s here we come, again! It definitely was not Marcus Maleus who presented his sexist, one-sided view of female R&B singers in Thursday's Gazette. Maleus seems to have forgotten that countless male artists, especially in the R&B category, sell their albums at the expense of portraying women as sex objects, without a thought in their head except to please men.

Perhaps Maleus should consider the reason artists like Pink and Destiny's Child sell so many records is not because of their "brainwashing" tactics, but because women have been used and their voices have not been heard. They sing about these issues in order to resolve the problems all women face.

Maleus is intimidated at the thought of that future daughter actually form her own opinion and voice it freely. I pity this hypothetical girl. She will have to live in a patriarchal home where her first impression of men will be formed by someone who does not support, encourage or see the value in female-centered popular culture.

Olivia Penner
Undeclared I


Natalie Haras
Scholar's Electives I

Members of the Women's Issues Network



Maleus needs to do some research


Re: R&B and the coming 'men are crap' army, Mar. 22

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in response to the claims made by Marcus Maleus that women have become a 'men are crap' army, and they are being 'brain washed into thinking today's man is nothing but a non-bill paying, anniversary-forgetting, chick-macking, free loader.'

In much of today's music, women are portrayed as sex objects, and there are repeated references to domestic abuse and sexual harassment of women. I am by no means an expert on music, or songs in which such lyrics are sung. However, I am knowledgeable enough to know there is such music out there.

As Maleus questions whether there is "some sort of growing 'boys are stupid' sentiment" in women's song lyrics, I would like to question why he makes no reference to the violence against women in musical pop culture.

If the worst thing that is happening to men in today's music is that they are being accused of not paying bills, I think they have it pretty good. Women are subjected to a constant barrage of images portraying them as sex objects, used for men's gratification, or as victims of abuse and rape.

To take back a small portion of their dignity by venting their anger in their lyrics is a right that many women have earned.

I believe that 99.9 per cent of males are wonderful people, and I have yet to meet a guy that treats women in any sort of the ways expressed in music today. I also agree with Maleus' statement that "we must learn to accept that men and women are different."

However, I disagree that the lyrics of women's music stem from being "stood up on prom night." Perhaps Maleus should do some research into women's causes. Then he could gather a better understanding about why women feel they need to vent their anger.

An 'underground cult...to rid the world of men,' women are not. They are just continually attempting to gain equal footing in today's society.

Beth Skinner
Arts III




Councillor down senator's comments


Re:f USC and its tragic boondoggles, Mar. 23

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to Senator Petrykowski's letter in last Friday's Gazette regarding University Students' Council vice-presidential elections.

In his letter, Petrykowski was quick to criticize Dave Braun's praise of the University Students' Council vice-presidential candidates. He states that every member of the USC should ask themselves one thing: "How am I going to serve the student?"

Petrykowski failed to realize that we, the elected student representatives of this university, served the students on St. Patrick's Day by choosing the best qualified leaders to join Mike Lawless' team for next year's USC. Councillors, USC Senators, Board of Governors representatives, and Board of Directors members spent eight hours working hard to decide the fate of next year's council.

On top of those eight hours, some representatives like myself spent many hours in interviews with each individual candidate to challenge them on the platform ideas the candidates proposed. We each did this in order to make the most informed decision when we voted.

However, Petrykowski was absent from the meeting on St. Patrick's Day. He did not conduct any interviews with candidates, nor did he partake in the voting process. Even though Petrykowski disagrees with the process of electing vice-presidents for the USC, it is still his duty to serve the students of this school as an elected representative on the USC by participating in this process. He failed to serve the students of Western in this regard.

I hope he enjoyed his day at some local drinking establishment while his fellow representatives were working for their constituents.

Perhaps he should consider his words more carefully before he lashes out at a student representative in the future. I hope he enjoys the taste of a rubber sole...he might want to add a touch of salt to finish off the whole shoe.

Paul Yeoman
2001-2002 Social Science Councillor



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