Abortion exhibit stirs up debate

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Sep 302002
Authors: Willow Welter

A giant display of posters showing bloody, aborted fetuses caused controversy in the Plaza Monday.

“Warning: Genocide Pictures Ahead” read the signs erected at the free speech Plaza, where the anti-abortion group Justice For All had set up for day one (the group will be on the Plaza again today) of its controversial exhibit. Billboard-sized posters showed fetuses at different stages of pregnancies, after the women had undergone abortions.

Surrounding the anti-abortion demonstration area were blank white boards where spectators could freely write their thoughts. Written in marker on the “Free Speech Boards” were remarks like, “This is Bullshit,” “It’s too bad you have to use gory pictures to persuade people to believe you,” and “I hope this makes you sick because it’s murder and if you support it, you need help.”

Justice For All was not the only organization present, although their display towered in size over the others. The pro-choice group, National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, had a booth focused on the upcoming election.

Nearby, shouting ensued between another pro-choice platform, Life and Liberty for Women, and several anti-abortionists.

Throughout the Plaza, students engaged in heated discussions, some wearing neon-colored “I Am Pro-Choice” stickers that NARAL had distributed. Some of these conversations were sparked by a group of about ninety people that had traveled from Colorado Springs to engage students in non-confrontational dialogue about the topic.

The Colorado Springs group was composed of students at the Focus Institute, a Christian organization and school against abortion. The students individually strolled through the Plaza, meeting spectators and posing the question, “What do you think about all this?”

Bonnie Bolz, a student at Focus Institute, said Justice For All came to their school and asked them to come engage in dialogue without necessarily expressing conflicting views.

The resident supervisor at Focus Institute, Lindy Beam, said their group came to educate people about abortion.

“I don’t think people really think about what abortion really is,” Beam said. “If it’s legal and it’s the most common surgery in the United States, why don’t we ever see pictures of it? Why don’t we ever look at it?”

Beam said the group of students came with the approach of engaging in conversation without trying to force their beliefs on people.

“We’re all pro-life and we want to get our view across, but basically the truth is going to stand for itself,” Beam insisted. “I don’t have to force you to believe it.”

The bloody abortion posters upset some students, inciting obscenity, shouting and disappointed sighs.

“I completely disagree with this,” said Hannah Girtin, a sophomore English major, as she examined the Justice For All exhibit. “It’s so atrocious. If I don’t even have a right to choose, then how can someone expect me to be a mother?”

“Yeah,” agreed Emily Latta, a freshman open liberal arts major. “It kind of makes me numb to the whole thing. Why scare me with something like this?”

Nate Enyart, a young man who had traveled from Denver to witness the demonstration, had other thoughts.

“People are just mad that they have to see these pictures, but no one is forcing them to look,” Enyart said. “Students can see it if they want to see it, and if not they don’t have to look at it.”

Conversations between the leaders of the Wichita, Kan. group, Justice For All, and members of the crowd continued throughout the first day of this display, which lasted from 8 a.m. until about 3 p.m.

Tammy Cook, spokesperson for Justice For All, sat on a stool addressing comments and questions that passersby confronted her with.

“This is just another form of education,” Cook said. “Our main goal is to help raise awareness that abortion takes the life of an unborn baby.”

Cook said she realized the pictures may disturb people, but for a reason.

“If something is so horrifying,” she said, “then maybe we need to rethink how we view abortion.”

On the other end of the Plaza stood Peggy Loman from Life and Liberty for Women, arguing with a cluster of people surrounding her. Loman also had bloody pictures displayed at her pro-choice platform, but instead of aborted fetuses they showed a naked woman bleeding on a floor after undergoing an illegal abortion.

“I’m here to educate the people on this campus about what illegal abortion looks like, because they don’t know,” Loman said. “It’s important that against those (Justice For All) pictures, which I believe are distorted, that you see what an illegal abortion looks like.”

Her posters included more text than it did pictures, first posing the question, “Does God Condemn Roe vs. Wade?” then answering it with sentences like, “God Committed the Deliberate Act of Abortion,” and “Abortion is Absolutely in Line with God’s Laws.”

Pro-choice group keeps focus on elections

Steering clear of students hoping to debate, the NARAL members had a booth on the north end of the Plaza focused solely on the upcoming election. Since the Colorado State Senate has a pro-choice majority by merely one vote, NARAL emphasized the stance, “We Must Elect Pro-Choice Candidates!”

Corrie Bonnar, campaign coordinator from the Laramie county NARAL, said the group just began its Voter Contact Program, which involves informing voters of the pro-choice candidates in their districts. To further this cause, NARAL has organized a pro-choice rally to take place in Denver on Oct. 7.

“What we’re doing today is focusing our efforts on the election because it’s a really important election year,” Bonnar said. “So today we’re signing people up for our pro-choice rally next week and signing them up to volunteer in our Voter Contact Program.”

Tammy Cook and the Justice For All group, labeled “anti-choice” by some people, disagree with that term.

“I say that I am vehemently pro-choice for women to be able to choose their schools, their careers, what color their hair is, what they wear, their husbands,” Cook began, “I am for all of these choices. But some choices are wrong, like taking the life of a human being.”

Justice For All, as well as the pro-choice groups NARAL and Life and Liberty for Women, will continue to demonstrate on the Plaza today.

-Edited by Shandra Jordan, Colleen Buhrer, Ben Koerselman and Becky Waddingham

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Equine Reproduction Lab opens new stallion barn

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Sep 302002
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

CSU will soon be able to ship horse semen internationally.

Construction of a 44 foot by 84 foot stallion barn at CSU’s Equine Reproduction Lab is nearly finished. The barn is capable of comfortably housing 10 stallions, said Associate Professor Patrick McCue.

A 1,200 square foot semen collection area and an expanded and updated laboratory were also recently completed.

The $300,000 facility will enable CSU to test, store, freeze and export horse semen internationally, McCue said. The lab provides these services for private horse owners, as well as for CSU’s veterinary and biomedical sciences teaching programs.

A stallion’s semen is usually tested to determine his potential fertility, or how many mares he will be able to impregnate in one breeding season, said McCue.

There can be anywhere from two to six billion sperm in one semen sample. The sample is magnified and projected on a television screen where employees can find the number, volume, concentration and motility of the semen. Once obtained, the semen is cooled, frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen tanks until it is ready to be shipped.

Horse semen is shipped overseas to horse owners that want to breed their mares with American stallions, McCue said. Though the extraction and shipping of semen is a difficult process, it is often easier and more cost-effective than transporting a horse across seas.

The Equine Reproduction Lab is also largely used as a teaching tool.

“Our students need to know how the breeding industry works,” McCue said.

Both graduate students and undergraduate students spend time at the Equine Reproduction Lab. Students majoring in equine science or veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences can be found at the lab.

Paula Moffet, a graduate student studying biomedical sciences, has worked at the Equine Reproduction Lab for about two years.

“With the commercial and research programs, you get to see so many more different things,” Moffat said. “That’s something not every facility has access to.”

It is the most important part of what he does, says Jason Bruemmer, an associate professor in the equine reproduction department.

“The idea is to provide students that want a firsthand knowledge of the breeding operation an opportunity to rotate through this program,” he said.

Edited by Shandra Jordan, Colleen Buhrer and Ben Koerselman

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Volleyball comes home unscathed, not unbeaten

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Sep 292002
Authors: Lee Miller

The injury bug was kind enough to leave Ram volleyball alone over the weekend, and the Rams were able to rack up two wins to take second place in the University of San Diego Tournament.

Senior middle blocker Michelle Knox and sophomore setter Melissa Courtney, both of whom were injured last weekend, were able to play in all three matches, and freshman outside hitter Tess Rogers returned for the Rams’ two Saturday matches.

Friday’s match against Columbia, which CSU swept 30-23, 30-21, 30-16, lasted only one hour and seven minutes, the shortest match for the Rams this season.

The Rams came out a little rusty in the first game, hitting only .250 and having trouble in the service game. At one point, they committed four consecutive service errors and the Lions pulled within one point.

But after a timeout, the Rams were able to roll and close out the game.

“I thought we had a lot of unforced errors at the beginning of the match, but we really stepped up and played great after the first game,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said.

The Rams dominated the next two games, getting a career night from outside hitter Becky Sarauer with 16 kills and five service aces. Opposite side hitter Andreya Downs added 11 kills and also had five aces.

Melissa Courtney’s return was greatly appreciated, as she added 39 assists and helped out with four blocks.

“This was a good win for us,” Hilbert said. “It was great to have both Melissa and Michelle back on the floor, and Becky had a breakout match for us tonight. This was definitely the best serving match of her career and she hit great.”

Columbia middle blocker Kathy Lavold was the only Lion with double figures in kills (10). The Lions only had two service aces and one block in the entire match.

On Saturday morning the Rams picked up another three-game win against Robert Morris, 30-19, 30-17, 30-23.

Rogers, recovered from the concussion she suffered last weekend, immediately made her presence known. Rogers led the Rams with 15 kills and hit .448.

Michelle Knox was sharp as well. She put up 14 kills and added 11 digs for a double-double, and also led the team with three blocks.

The Rams again allowed only one player to get kills in double figures; Robert Morris’ Morgan Bell had 10 kills and led her team with 12 digs.

“I thought we played great (Saturday) morning,” Hilbert said. “We had a well-balanced attack and played with a lot of intensity throughout. Tess (Rogers) had a fabulous match and we were excited to have her back on the floor and healthy after last weekend.”

CSU was not able to come away from San Diego unbeaten, though. San Diego took the championship in a highly competitive 30-27, 29-31, 25-30, 23-30 win, avenging a loss to the Rams last season.

The Rams played very impressive through the first two games, but were not able to contain San Diego’s Noel Frohman, whose 24 kills was the best among all players. She completed a double-double with 12 digs.

San Diego also got a double-double from outside hitter Devon Forster, who finished with 14 kills and 22 digs.

Rogers had another solid match, her 17 kills once again leading the Rams. Knox added 12 kills and led the team with eight blocks, while sophomore libero Lindsey Kerr put up a career-high 23 digs in the losing effort.

“The first two games we played great,” Hilbert said. “That was as good as volleyball as we’ve played all year. San Diego stepped up its defense, which frustrated us and we became very one-dimensional. We still need to play well at the end of games and aren’t quite doing that. However, we showed glimpses of a great volleyball team (Saturday).”

-Edited by Jon Ackerman and Josh Hardin

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Who needs identity?

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Sep 292002
Authors: Reed Saunders

You think you know someone.

I thought for sure I had our Rams figured out. They were a fast-starting team, used to closing the first quarter with the lead. They used a steady defense and spectacular special teams units to stay on top.

After half, the Rams’ fast feet would hit quicksand. Turnovers and a stalled offense would allow the dudes in different colored jerseys back into the game. It got close, but in the end, the Rams would hang on. “Rams escape with victory” was the ever-present headline.

That wasn’t Saturday’s Rams. A trip to Reno brought out a different team for a different kind of victory.

CSU was slow out of the gate against the Nevada Wolf Pack. Instead of going up, it was the Wolf Pack who jumped out to a 14-0 lead behind quarterback Zack Threadgill’s torching passes. The normally disciplined Rams also committed uncharacteristic penalties. Bradlee Van Pelt opened the Rams’ offensive game with a 23-yard option dash, only to see it negated with a holding penalty.

The Rams special teams weren’t so special. Jeff Babcock missed a chip-shot field goal that would have opened the scoring. Joey Huber, a Ray Guy award candidate for the nation’s top punter, shanked a wounded duck punt for three yards and averaged a meager 29.6 yards on five punts.

It certainly did not appear to be the Rams’ day. CSU went into halftime trailing 14-7. Their defense had been picked apart. Their offense was inconsistent. Their special teams were anything but.

The stage was set for the Rams’ most impressive win of the season.

Foret Virginia, forget CU. Don’t even think about Louisville. THIS was the best win of the Rams’ season.

The Cardiac Kids became the Comeback Kids. The second half, normally a time of turmoil, was the Rams’ time to shine. Van Pelt and Cecil Sapp each rumbled for over 125 yards, shredding the Wolf Pack with their scorched earth option attack. Chris Pittman had a breakout game, catching 10 passes for 151 yards. Trailing by as many as 14, the Rams outscored the Wolf Pack 25-7 to close the game.

The defense tightened up as well. Constant blitzing pressure forced Threadgill to unload the ball much quicker – and much less accurately – than he had in the first half. They were solid when they had to be and two huge interceptions by seniors Rhett Nelson and Peter Hogan changed momentum and sealed a come-from-behind win.

Before Saturday, the Rams had been outscored 64-28 in the fourth quarter. In this second half, the Rams rallied not once, but twice from deficits to produce a victory.

What does it all mean? The Rams have become an elite team because they refuse to settle on a single identity. Coming into the season, the Rams were a running team – the Rams would live and die with Sapp because the passing game was unproven. Now Van Pelt and Holland’s arms – along with a fast group of receivers – are just as feared. The linebackers were the best part of an otherwise unspectacular defense, including an inexperienced secondary. While the linebackers have excelled, the secondary and defensive line have stepped up to be solid performers every week.

The Rams were on their way to being labeled again – the dreaded “can’t put a team away” stigma. Saturday the Rams shed that and any other stereotyping identity by coming from behind in the second half to win a game in which they were not the better team for the majority of the afternoon.

We’re still not sure just who these Rams are. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

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Cross teams return dirty, not defeated

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Sep 292002
Authors: Joshua Pilkington

Going into the Great American Cross Country Festival in Charlotte, N.C., the Running Rams of CSU cross country knew they would have their work cut out for them. However, they did not know they would be facing harsh Southern weather.

With some of the best teams in the nation competing in the event, many predicted fast, close finishes. Yet torrential downpours left the hilly course at Ballantyne Resort in a quagmire-like state, meaning slow times and muddy uniforms for all competitors.

Nevertheless, the rain and mud were not enough to stop about 350 collegiate men and women from toeing the starting line.

In the men’s eight-kilometer race, Henrik Ahnstrom of the University of Northern Arizona led the fourth-ranked Lumberjacks to a team score of 26 points and a first place finish, while Ahnstrom strolled to the overall title with a time of 26 minutes and 23.1 seconds.

The University of Georgetown (104 points) and Butler University (108), managed to hold on long enough to edge the Rams who came in with a total of 110 points.

“Everyone ran well,” said junior Bill Michel, one of the team’s front-runners who finished a season-low sixth on the team and 42nd overall with a time of 27:32.2. “If I ran where I should have ran we would have finished second.”

Senior Austin Vigil finished first for the Rams and 14th overall with a time of 26:58.1, while seniors Dylan Olchin and Ammon Larsen came in 18th and 19th, respectively recording times of 27:07.1 and 27:07.5.

Senior Raegan Robb (27:14.7) and sophomore Josh Glabb (27:19.5) rounded off the scoring for the Rams finishing 27th and 32nd, respectively.

Though the team put forth a strong effort, Michel said it could have been better.

“(Head coach Del) Hessel wanted five of us in the top 40 and we did that,” Michel said. “Only six points separated us from second place and that kind of hurts.”

Olchin agreed.

“The team did well,” he said. “But I think we should have beaten Butler.”

The Rams will have another shot to beat the Bulldogs of Butler, October 5th, when the team travels to Indiana State University to compete in another meet. And, according to Olchin, the Rams will be ready for the Bulldogs.

“We didn’t know about Bulter before the race,”

Olchin said. “But next weekend we’ll be looking out for them. I think we can beat them for sure because we are aware of who they are now.”

Things weren’t as pretty for the Rams on the women’s side, where they found themselves running on a torn-up course against 12 nationally ranked teams.

“We were hoping to be in the top eight teams, so we could add to our point total in the standings,” said senior Kim Watson, whose team finished 10th overall. “I don’t think we hurt ourselves, but I know we didn’t help ourselves either.”

Top-ranked BYU dominated the 5k scoring 50 points while placing four of the first seven finishers. Home crowd favorite Shalane Flanagan, a senior from the University of North Carolina, won the event with a time of 17:48.1.

Senior Jen Kintzley led the way for the Rams, finishing 23rd overall while running 19:09.5.

Watson (38th, 19:26.4), senior Meg Larson (72, 19:54.7), junior Katie Yemm (80, 19:59.7), and senior Kim Leal (85, 20:02.4) rounded out the scoring for the Rams.

As she did Sept. 14 at the CSU Invitational, Watson found a way to pick up the tempo and finish a personal best second on the team.

This being her first full season of cross country, Watson said she attributes much of her success to her inexperience in cross country racing.

“I’m still new at cross (country), so the racing doesn’t faze me too much,” she said. “I don’t really know what I’m doing. All I know is that the first mile and a half is going to hurt so I just set my pace and then focus on staying with my teammates.”

With the team performing under its self-imposed expectations, Watson said to expect big things from the Rams Saturday in Indiana.

“Most of the girls are disappointed with how they ran, because they know they can run faster,” she said. “We should expect a lot out of ourselves this weekend, because we’ll have another shot to go out and prove that (Friday’s) race wasn’t our best.”

-Edited by Jon Ackerman and Ben Koerselman

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Spanish not on American bandwagon

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Sep 292002
Authors: Maria SanchezTraynor

MADRID, Spain – Americans drink too much, the women are easy, they are irrational, they are trashing the world and what’s worse, among all of these faults, they are still arrogant.

They actually think they rule the world. They forget they share it with hundreds of other countries and billions of other people.

Well, at least, that’s what the rest of the world thinks of us. As my stay in Spain continues and I talk to more and more students from around the world, I almost become embarrassed to admit my home country. When I do, they smile a little, nod their head, and say “oh” in a knowing way.

They’re nice to me, and we laugh and have a good time – until sooner or later the topic of Bush politics or the environment comes up, and then it’s a no holds barred attack on America.

They have a hard time understanding why America has appointed itself as the babysitter of the world and time after time tries to solve conflicts that it has nothing to do with.

“That’s just so rude,” my friend Birte from Germany told me.

Many don’t understand why we’re not fighting harder for the environment. In Europe, the cost of gas is so high (about $4 a gallon). Europeans are also paying the cost of the environmental damage their car has on the world.

As a result, Europeans depend highly on alternative forms of transportation and the cars they do have are much smaller and more efficient with gasoline.

“Why do (Americans) get to drive everywhere in their huge vehicles, screwing up the world for everyone, and then not even try to pay for it? Aren’t they the richest country?” my friend Lyn from Sweden asked me.

These complaints are just the tip of the iceberg. When you start asking them if Europe should into what seems an immanent war with Iraq, they really get heated.

Even Spain, a country that has it’s own problems with terrorism (four people have died from ETA bombings in the last week) is passive about helping the United States.

“We’ve got our own problems, why should we worry about yours?” my friend Leo from Madrid told me.

Coming into Europe, I knew that America wasn’t winning a popularity contest with the rest of the world. But I had no idea it was this bad. I definitely understand most of my friends’ concerns, and agreed with them on most points, but I still wanted to defend our country.

After all, even though they bash us and say how much they don’t like us, most of the movies playing at the theaters here are American. There’s a McDonald’s on every block, with lines reaching out of the door.

If we’re so bad, why do they watch our movies and eat our food? If we’re so bad, why do they wear our clothing?

Obviously I’m still torn on the subject. People should be critical of America. And Americans, instead of always thinking we know more than the rest of the world, should actually listen. We affect their world too.

But I can’t convince myself that America is the cause of all the world’s problems, as many of my European friends seem to believe. We need to change, yes, but we’re not bad.

Perhaps this is my American arrogance showing through. While my stay in Europe has helped me see my country through the view of an outsider, I’m still looking at it with red, white and blue glasses.

Maria is a senior majoring in English and Journalism. She is studying abroad this semester in Spain. You can reach her at msantray@yahoo.com

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Letter to the Editor

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Sep 292002

Truth is the Reason

To the Editor:

“I hate abortion like I hate war, but both are necessary sometimes…” When is it necessary to kill an unborn child? When it becomes too much work? When it is unwanted? There is no excuse for abortion, and you either approve of it or you hate it. There is no in between.

As for Justice For All, this is what it has had to come to. Pro-lifers weren’t being heard, so Justice For All decided to step it up a notch. When people with a purpose and passion for a cause are not heard, they need to be; this is their way of doing it: showing the truth.

And what, I ask, is so wrong with the truth? Plenty, if it is abortion. JFA shows people the side of abortion that goes usually goes unseen. It is a horrible side, but it is still the truth.

Can you handle it, or will you just walk by and remain neutral? We are on a college campus, and every year I see people getting mad at someone showing the horrible truth about abortion.

So if you walk by and choose to ignore it or simply brush it off, isn’t that voluntary ignorance? As for Mr. Adams, need to hear sound reasoning from JFA, isn’t the truth sound reasoning?

Why not go up and talk to the people of JFA instead of just writing an article about your disgust? I think you’ll be radically surprised.

Brian S. Johanson



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Republican focus politicizes war

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Sep 292002
Authors: Josh Hardin

I have in my possession a PowerPoint presentation created by Karl Rove, senior advisor to the president.

It is a strategic analysis of the coming election that breaks down the nation’s most competitive Senate, House and state governor seats and how the Republicans and Democrats are most vulnerable in each. I received it in an email last June while I was working in Washington, D.C.

I’m really not that important that the administration sent it to me personally; apparently an intern dropped a disk containing the presentation blocks away from the White House and it was leaked to the media.

Almost four months later, the analysis of the coming election is mostly not surprising. However, there were some troubling statements (if this presentation is indeed authentic) that still haunt me. The scariest comes from a slide labeled Republican Strategy. The first bulleted point is “focus on war and economy.”

This reminds me of a quote from White House Chief of Staff Andy Card: “From a marketing point of view, you don’t release new products in August.”

We’ve certainly heard more about a possible war in Iraq since Bush returned to Washington from his August vacation. Is the war the suspicious product Card and Rove were waiting to introduce to the nation? And what does it take to market a war to the American people?

You don’t need to release new, fresh evidence of Iraqi weapons on mass destruction. You don’t need U2 spy plane photos of nuclear sites like we gave to the United Nations during the Cuban missile crisis. You don’t need videos of cute puppy dogs being gassed like we had from al-Qaida in Afghanistan. You can rely on the sketchy 4-year-old inspection reports as Bush does in his new national security strategy.

You don’t need allies or the UN when you control the most powerful nation in the world militarily. You wouldn’t even need any authorization from Congress if it weren’t for that pesky Constitution.

Instead you would need catchy phrases like “evildoers,” “Iraq is part of the axis of evil” and “Hussein gassed his own people.” You would need to repeat the message to the masses mercilessly on every campaign stop from Washington to Crawford, Texas. You would need to act now, while presidential approval ratings and supplies of American Sept. 11 insecurities last!

Yes, don’t touch that dial because you would also need plenty of media attention to instill fear in people to buy this war because they love their country. Think of Bush’s constantly recycling slogan, “you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists.” In other words, if you don’t support this war now, you are unpatriotic.

Bush is pressing the UN and Congress to make a rushed decision that is going to increase his power. He is asking the UN to grant access to Iraq by any means necessary – meaning the use of military force. He is asking Congress to give him broad military powers not just in Iraq, but the entire Middle East.

Bush and Rove remind me of CEOs of a corrupt corporation. No wonder Rove is telling the president to focus on war and economy. After all, this is the administration that has sat by for the fall of Enron, Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, Qwest and Tyco.

The administration needs to remember the basic business lesson that there is a price for every product up for sale. If we go to war with Iraq without more support from the rest of the world, we will be paying for it in young American lives, billions of tax dollars and the disappearance of the sympathy for the loss we suffered on Sept. 11 from our allies. Only we (and maybe our only committed ally, Britain) will be stuck with this bill.

In the end, it may be the unintended costs of war that will be Bush’s undoing. We may have more public backlash and protest than we saw during the Vietnam War. This country is not united on this issue and likely never will be.

If we invade and don’t have a plan for the future of post-Hussein Iraq, the current chaotic state of Afghanistan, with its constant political assassination attempts, is going to look as harmless as Switzerland. Imagine a hundred Iraqi clones of Osama bin Laden spewing from this conflict with a hundred times more animosity toward America.

The Bush administration needs to look at the economy of war and realize the costs may backfire on them. Support for the war in Iraq may be readily available for sale by the Bush administration, but I’m still not buying it.

Want a copy of the Bush administration’s election analysis? Want to comment on this column? Email Josh at: jhardin@holly.colostate.edu. Josh spent last summer studying at the Institute for Political Journalism at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in English and his column runs every Monday in the Collegian.

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CSU students join anti-war protest during Cheney visit

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Sep 292002
Authors: Vince Blaser

LARAMIE, Wyo. – A possible war against Iraq is not without opposition, and 12 CSU students and community members wanted to make sure Vice President Dick Cheney knew about it.

Joe Ramagli, a senior philosophy major, led the group here Friday to join a protest that swelled to over 200 before and during a discussion between Cheney and former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson at the University of Wyoming.

“We want to let the leaders of our country know that there’s a contingency in this country that’s against this war,” Ramagli said. “(Protesting) is part of democracy.”

Some of the students that took part in the protest were part of the campus organization Action Awareness. However, a couple people in the contingency were citizens from the community and some students were not members of the organization.

“I feel sorry that you guys still have to (protest against war),” said Becky Myers, a 52-year-old Loveland resident who joined the student protesters. Myers took part in Vietnam protests and is against all wars.

The contingency from CSU joined a rally of about 100 people at Washington Park near the UW campus two hours before the rally.

“Bush has caused more damage than any other president in my lifetime,” said Dick Wingerson, a 73-year-old Laramie resident.

During the rally, Ramagli talked about the need for being active against action in Iraq.

“(Cheney and Bush) talk about peace and back it up with bombs,” Ramagli said. “We have to be active in peace.”

The protesters then marched along the streets of Laramie carrying signs and shouting out slogans. A sampling of the signs included: democracy cannot be made by war, stop USA terror, no blood for oil and where is the patriot in the Patriot Act?

“One, two, three, four – we don’t want your stinking war!” The protesters shouted as they marched the streets. “Drop Cheney, not bombs!” The crowd grew in numbers as the approached UW’s Arena-Auditorium, where the discussion was taking place.

During the march, some cars honked at the protestors and made the peace sign with their fingers in support. A few peopled yelled at them as they passed, but the protest largely went without incident.

When the group reached the Arena-Auditorium, they were directed across the street behind some barricades.

“Free speech behind the dotted lines!” Ramalgi yelled to the group.

The protestors then shouted slogans and contemplated spelling out “no war” with their bodies so Cheney could see when he flew in by helicopter. Police, press and patrons of the discussion watched without incident.

“Ain’t no power like the power of the people, and the power of the people don’t stop!” The protestors continued shouting.

President Bush was also in Denver on Friday and may have lowered the numbers for the Cheney protest, said Jordan Marsh, a freshman art major.

“(But) we got a lot more people than we planned,” Marsh said.

Mike Cox, a freshman forestry major, took part in his first protest and said it was interesting and empowering.

“I don’t have a huge opinion (on Iraq) but I know war is definitely not the answer,” Cox said.

The CSU group put black tape over their mouths in the shape of Xs when they entered the public discussion, a move joined by other protesters. Other protestors made T-shirts with the words “NO WAR ON IRAQ.”

After the speech, Ramagli said it was the same old rhetoric from Cheney.

“He never talked about creating an agreement (with Iraq),” Ramagli said. “He’s trying to create an American Empire.”

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Cheney: Iraq a problem for entire world

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Sep 292002
Authors: Josh Hardin

LARAMIE, Wyo. – Iraq is not just a problem for America, it’s a problem for the entire world, Vice President Dick Cheney said while visiting his alma mater here Friday.

Cheney appeared at a fundraising event for the University of Wyoming and discussed the situation in Iraq and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as well as his college days with Alan Simpson, a retired Republican senator from Wyoming. Simpson and Cheney conversed and drank coffee for about 45 minutes as they sat in wooden chairs placed around a round table in the center of UW’s Arena-Auditorium.

Iraq’s refusal to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions for 11 years and President Saddam Hussein’s history of trying to acquire nuclear weapons since 1979 were reasons Cheney claimed military action and regime change in Iraq are needed. He also said the United States knows from intelligence sources that Iraq is once again threatening to develop a nuclear capability.

“You have to look at the extent in which (Hussein) has escalated his activities,” Cheney said. “Keep it in mind that he sits on top of about 11 percent of the world’s oil distribution that he generates close to $3 billion a year outside of UN sanctions, money that he can pour into development of weapons of mass destruction. With the fact he’s used these weapons before, the level of concern becomes significant. If it were anyone else we might be able to sit back, relax and say don’t worry about it.”

Cheney believes Hussein has links to the hijackers that attacked in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, killing more than 3,000 people.

“He has a long history of consorting with terrorists and providing sanctuary to terrorist organizations,” Cheney said. “There is also evidence out there of exchanges back and forth between the al-Qaida organization and Osama bin Laden on one and hand and Iraqi intelligence service and Saddam Hussein on the other.”

Only the United States has the capacity to take on Hussein today, according to Cheney, and has the responsibility to address the situation in Iraq with or without help from other nations.

“Time is not on our side,” he said. “The situation is not going to get better – it will only get worse. Many other nations find it easy to take a path from this or to oppose taking any action or to refuse to stand up to these threats.”

The talk about Iraq and Sept. 11 was brief compared to the time Cheney and Simpson reminisced about their days in college at Wyoming, in campaigns and in Washington. They both were relieved they never had to run against one another for Congress. Cheney was a representative for Wyoming in the U.S. House from 1978-88.

“This is the most politic (sic) man I’ve ever met,” Simpson said. “He’s political; that’s our game, that’s our combat, that’s our nation. I’m told if you look that word up that is a word that includes: prudent, expedient, shrewd, judicious and sagacious.”

Cheney never planned to go to college at UW. Before arriving at the university and becoming more motivated to get an education, he said he had a “spotty” academic career from dropping out twice from other schools.

“Dropping out isn’t the right word; asked to leave is more like it,” Cheney said.

Although Cheney said Wyoming pushed him to make decisions about his career and have the opportunity to get a first-rate education he could afford as well as be exposed to students and professors in the political science field. UW is the only four-year institution in Wyoming.

Stacy Toupes, a UW English-journalism major, said she was glad she came to the speech, but Cheney’s appearance wasn’t totally what she expected.

“I came to support Cheney and it was good to have the chance to see him, but what he mostly talked about could have been a commercial,” she said.

Paul Mertin, who watched the speech with his son David, a UW history major, said Cheney didn’t provide fresh information about foreign policy.

“He talked about what we are doing to about the situation in Iraq, but he didn’t say anything new that would raise anyone’s hair.”

-Edited by Vince Blaser and Becky Waddingham

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