November 13, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 42  

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Those who cannot remember

To the Editor:

This is just a small request to those who were students standing in the back of the University Community Centre by the jewellry stand during the Remembrance Day Ceremonies.


Would it kill you to keep your damn mouth shut for 30 minutes? Next time you see a whole bunch of people gathered to show their appreciation for those who served and those who died for your freedom to speak, have a little respect and stop talking or at the very least take it outside.

Aaron Collins

To the Editor:

I was pleased to see a number of articles in The Gazette on Nov. 11 reminding us to reflect on those who have paid the ultimate price so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have today.

I also wanted to comment on those businesses that allowed their employees to take Nov. 10 off as their so-called "Remembrance Day." I find those who do this have completely lost the point of this special day. Remembrance Day is not something that should be conveniently relocated in order that people might have a long weekend. If you work at a business where you are lucky enough to get the day off, that time is supposed to be used as a period of reflection and, even better, to attend a ceremony.

Jamie Bridge
English/French III

To the Editor:

Nov. 11, 11 a.m. came and went. Unless you went to an organized event, there was nothing. Not a single mention of the atrocities of war and why every effort should be made to ensure such things never happen again. Not a story about the horrendous conditions lying in the freezing cold mud, with only the height of the trenches to protect you. Not a moment to think of the torn families.

Standard lectures are 50 minutes. Is 51 minutes too much to ask? If you're a professor or a TA running a class on a future Nov. 11, take a minute before beginning your lecture. Can someone go on the PA system at 11 a.m. in each building and library and ask those in transit or studying to pause for a moment of silence?

Pausing for 60 seconds is not a glorification of war, it is remembrance of those who died and suffered.

Many people's voices were silenced forever so yours can continue to be heard.

Lest we forget. Nov. 11, 11 a.m., once a year, 60 seconds of silence.

Jeff Nocent
M.E.Sc. Civil and Environmental Engineering

USC e-mail fails to rock vote

To the Editor:

The University Students' Council has outdone itself once again!

An e-mail sent out by the USC to all undergraduate students on Mon., Nov. 10, regarding the municipal elections demonstrates their lack of consideration. The e-mail was to remind students they have "both the right and the responsibility to cast a ballot" in the municipal elections. To help students make an "informed decision," they inconsiderately compiled a list of candidate Web sites for students' perusal.

Instead of fairly representing all the candidates running for the respective positions, the USC decided to selectively choose which candidates they wanted to advertise for. They left out 75 per cent of the candidates running for those positions and even more surprisingly, left out six incumbents who are running to be re-elected. This act characterizes the USC's lack of respect and thought for the election process. If they were so concerned with students' ability to make an informed choice, then why did they not include ALL of the candidates running in this election or simply referred students to the City of London Web site, where they could have acquired the correct information?

This not only limited students' knowledge of who was vying for those positions, but was damaging for the candidates not included in the list. As the USC is an organization which supposedly represents the student population, they SHOULD have been fair and accurate in this e-mail. As a representative body, they don't have the right to support specific candidates and disguise it as an e-mail encouraging students to vote. This is an insult to the intelligence of the student body. The USC should apologize to the student population and to all the candidates they left off the list.

Rasha El-Tawil
Political Science & Philosophy IV

The road to Tel Aviv

Re: "A unique look at life in Israel," Nov. 7, 2003

To the Editor:

In Friday's Gazette, Hussam Ayyad, president of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, "was wondering how it could be that [Israeli Bedouin speaker Ishmael Khaldi] emphasized democracy [in Israel] when a Jewish person can walk in and claim to citizenship rights just by being Jewish." I would like to address Mr. Ayyad's question.

Israel has an immigration and citizenship system much like any other open democratic state in the world. It's approximately a three to five year process of application, immigration, naturalization and citizenship. Canada has a similar process, except for one notable exception for which Mr. Ayyad was wondering.

Israel has something called the Law of Return that allows anyone who is Jewish or has a Jewish parent or grandparent to become an Israeli citizen. This policy may seem odd at first, but it is in place for a reason. The state of Israel was created as a place where Jewish people could be safe. Unfortunately, history has shown the safety of Jewish people has been sparse, fleeting and sometimes non-existent in all too many places and times. The Law of Return exists so a Jewish person who was fleeing Europe after the Holocaust or who was escaping from a Middle Eastern country for fear of persecution, become an Israeli citizen without undue restraints.

This does not mean others can not apply and be granted citizenship or that the rights of non-Jewish groups in Israel, such as Bedouins, are infringed upon. Rather, it is part of the intricate balance that is the constant goal of Israeli society - to remain both as a safe, secure and viable homeland for the Jewish people, and a modern, pluralistic liberal democratic state that respects minority rights.

Matthew Fisher
Honors Political Science II

Tastes great, less filling

To the Editor:

With respect to your V-Day editorial (Oct. 30), I would like to clear up some misconceptions. Firstly, V-Day is not a day, it is an international and ongoing movement to eradicate violence against women and girls everywhere.

Secondly, I don't know if we really need a "White male between the ages of 18 and 34" day.

Lastly, the vagina cake did not taste like tuna, it tasted very yummy as all vaginas do.

Mandy "Beaver" Alves
Vagina Monologues Co-director

The hard sell of stem cell research

Re: "Cell-out," Nov. 6, 2003

To the Editor:

Ms. White claims embryonic stem cell research is unjustified. Has she read Bill C-13 or looked at any of the previous research on the subject? Bill C-13, as it stands now, states that only embryos that would OTHERWISE BE DISCARDED after in-vitro fertilization procedures be used. These embryos will be used in research under stringent government guidelines. I think the fact the bill itself has been tossed around Parliament for 10 years shows people have given substantial thought to the ethics behind it.

The benefits of stem cell research and therapy have already been shown in other organisms. Here are a few examples of the benefits:

- Partially reversed symptoms of diabetes in mice

- Partially restored neural function in mice with spinal cord injuries

- Relieved symptoms of Parkinson's disease in rats

- Regenerated the myelin sheath around nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord in a rat model of multiple sclerosis (caused by loss of myelin)

- Self-assembled into blood vessel-like structures

Has Ms. White taken a look at the number of people in the world that could benefit from these advances? The number is most likely in the millions. How could one value an embryo which is going to be discarded over your own brother, sister, parents or children? That is ignorance.

The ethical questions have been asked. The research has been done. It is time to take the next step. Providing a licensed, regulated and controlled environment for human research is the best way to proceed. The benefits for all of humanity outweigh the cost.

Andrew Buczkowski
Software Engineering II

Don't waste cops' time

Re: "LPD the Gestapo?" Nov. 11, 2003

To the Editor:

Len Sauer's letter made me chuckle, as he is disturbed police in this city responded to a call about a stolen "For Rent" sign, suggesting they should be focused on real crime and leave the poor misbegotten university students alone. I'm pretty sure most London police officers would much prefer NOT to respond to calls regarding some drunken student's foolishness, but the fact is some citizens called it in. London Police, like most police services in the world, have an obligation to respond to calls for service, no matter how big or small.

If there was a bank robbery or a break-and-enter occurring at the time this excitable citizen called in the sign theft, I'm pretty sure Mr. Sauer and his pals would never have heard from London Police. Police take on the calls they are sent to, regardless of how trivial some of them may end up being. The individual cops do not pick and choose where and when to go.

Poor Mr. Sauer, it must be hard to be so persecuted. What are you thinking man, that the cops in this city just cruise around looking for university students to harass? They probably thought it was as dumb a call as you did.

A comparison to the Nazi's secret state police might be just a tad over the top in this instance, don't you think? Grow up and get out of the sandbox.

Mark Laidman
Bachelor of the Arts, 1998

24/7 heaven

To the Editor:

Someone in the Social Science department isn't thinking. There are soon to be two undergraduate 24-hour computing labs in the basement of Social Sci, which is awesome for those who have to stay up late to work.

The problem with having a 24-hour computer lab is it needs to be in a building that is open 24 hours. So tell me how I can get into the 24-hour computer labs in Social Science, because even the night janitors who eventually let us in (after banging on the doors in the University Community Centre tunnel for 10 minutes) don't know. If the UCC is open 24 hours, why can't a tunnel be left open to Social Science? Heaven forbid we get card access like Engineering!

Fraser Summerfield
Economics II

Gazette goes against the grain

Re: "Gazette = Sucks," Nov. 5, 2003

To the Editor:

When I first came to Kings College, I completely overlooked The Gazette's existence, thinking it was just one of those school newsletters having to do with anything about Western I didn't care about. However, while reading over a friend's shoulder one boring afternoon in an unnamed class, I noticed The Gazette wasn't like any other school newspaper I had read before. I found the calm and random use of what would seem "offensive" words rather refreshing and humorous. I love the way The Gazette writers can turn an almost pointless story about a school awning into a rather comedic article about school opinion in a manner that wouldn't cause me to comatose before finishing the last sentence.

Lauren Starr mentioned that "none of the editors wanted to sit down and write something intelligent." I personally find most of their articles to be rather witty and admire the fact they tend to write "against the grain," which can't really be said for many other newspapers out there. Lauren continued to suggest that "instead of pushing the limits to see how shocked you (the writers) can make people, try to provide some newsworthy content that is not offensive." I personally don't find any of the material offensive (except for that one opinion piece about the people watcher dude who categorizes girls... what's that about?). Maybe Lauren just needs to calm down, remove the stick and laugh.

Before Lauren decides to challenge The Gazette to raise their standards, maybe she should try writing a newspaper that captures the same attention The Gazette does. As a Western student, I personally respect your efforts and think you are amazing for writing the way you do.

Julia Calvert
Political Science I

Your concert was not a Wonderland

Re: "Orgasmic Mayer has girls wantin' more," Nov. 6, 2003

To the Editor:

As a regular reader I was surprised and impressed to see a reference to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie. Downie and his drug-induced rants are enough to make any Canuck fill with pride.

I must say, however, I was slightly disturbed you attempted to put John Mayer in the same category as Downie. While Mayer sings about god-knows-what, Downie sings about Canada, hockey and ÔMary-Jane.' Downie, and the rest of the band, are in a category of their own; Mayer is not welcome!

Lee Musser

To the Editor:

While the review of the John Mayer concert was pretty evenhanded, the title "Orgasmic Mayer has girls wanting more" left out that orgasmic Mayer had guys watching too. I think any live-music enthusiast like me, who attended the show because he or she thought Mayer was a gifted musician and above average songwriter, would have been disappointed.

Contrary to the review, I thought the show was boring. Mayer had no stage presence, his passion was highly questionable and he was clearly outdone by his horn players (who put on the best performance of the night). His riffing on the guitar was good, but robotic and sterile.

The show was a let down musically and visually it was plain revolting. Nothing was as bad as watching Mayer's brain short-circuit, resulting in repulsive facial ejaculations on a large screen beside the stage.

A friend of mine said, "Nobody can make panties soak like John Mayer." Until I switch over from boxers, I won't be seeing anymore of his concerts.

Sam Posner
English IV



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