Elected officials don’t represent demographics

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Jan 312006
 
Authors:

This is a response to letter writer T.J. Herrera. "Terrorists," "un-American," "Communist." Conservatives use the same name- calling implored by liberals to discredit liberal points of view. That is not to say it is right or effective, however, it is the way the political game in the United States is played. Please dismount your high horse.

Your comment about "the U.S. government, including the military, is the voice of the people," is the real point of my debate with you. You are right, in theory, the "elected" officials in Washington are there to speak on behalf of the American people. However, in practice, this could not further from the truth. Elections are held between two parties, working together to exclude all other parties from having a fair chance at winning. Elections run white, rich, male candidates over the age of 50. These MEN do not represent the populations they claim to. Ethnic, religions, sexual and economic backgrounds, among others, are not represented in American government.

The military is more representative of the population. It is made up of mostly poor and working class people of mixed race and ethnic backgrounds. It is too bad they are dying in large numbers on foreign soil and can't speak for themselves.

And what were you talking about that most of the victims of Sept. 11 "never served?" Did you forget the Pentagon was attacked and hundreds of military officials were killed there or that numerous amounts of civil servants were killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center? I figured with all of the "never forget" ribbons on SUVs people would remember what happened and to whom.

On a final note, I am curious what you meant by the "once-great Democratic party" since the Democratic Party has it's roots in Southern white supremacy and the KKK. I don't see anything great about that.

 

Brian Minton

senior

political science

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Biodeisel provides fuel alternative

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Jan 312006
 
Authors:

I am glad to see the Collegian informing the public about ethanol, a future alternative fuel source for Fort Collins. However, it would be nice if they let the public know that Fort Collins already has a form of alternative fuel, biodiesel.

Blue Sun Biodiesel has a B20 pump at Team Petroleum, located on Lincoln Street. B20 dramatically reduces emissions on diesel vehicles, increases fuel economy up to 15 percent, is renewable, biodegradable and made in the United States, thus reducing dependency on foreign fuel.

Blue Sun B20 contains 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel. B100 (100 percent biodiesel) is another biodiesel fuel that Blue Sun offers and is made from only virgin vegetable oils like soybean oil. No petroleum products are used!

Unlike ethanol, which can only be used in specific vehicles, biodiesel can be used in any diesel vehicle with little to no modifications.

Again, I am happy to see people are becoming more informed about alternative energy like ethanol, but they also should know more is out there. All this information and more can be found on Blue Sun's Web site www.goBlueSun.com.

Brittney Walker

junior

biological sciences major

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Save the fourth

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Jan 312006
 
Authors: Tim Waddingham

Benjamin Franklin once said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Patrick Henry once said, "Give me liberty or give me death."

Apparently President Bush disagrees.

As I'm sure many of you have heard by now, President Bush is trying to pass a domestic surveillance program that would effectively eliminate our privacy and our 4th Amendment constitutional right to privacy.

Now before you pass judgment on me as a liberal "nut-job" or some wacko from the far left, try to see things from a different perspective.

By no means am I suggesting that we should allow terrorists to operate and communicate within the United States. In fact, they should not be operating or communicating anywhere on the planet because we should eliminate all terrorists. In our quest to do this, however, do we really need to give today's politicians any more opportunities to abuse their power? There is a very big difference between spying and eavesdropping on suspected terrorists and being able to spy and eavesdrop on the conversations I have with my girlfriend.

As it stands now, the USA Patriot Act allows our government to monitor suspected terrorists. So why create a domestic surveillance program applicable to all U.S. citizens?

Moreover, if we are to use 9/11 as a reason for creating such a system, doesn't it beg the question as to why we will be able to spy on U.S. citizens when none of the 19 hijackers were U.S. citizens? After all, your average American is not Al-Qaeda.

It seems to me that this whole domestic spying program is completely unnecessary when we can already monitor suspected terrorists. This would be an unnecessary power given to an already corrupt administration. As one of my professors once told me, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Sadly, I fear we are transitioning towards the latter.

Another point to bring up is probable cause. If our law enforcement or intelligence agencies had probable cause that someone was a terrorist or posed any kind of legitimate threat, there would be nothing to stop them from getting a search warrant. Why should we give President Bush and his corrupt politics, politicians and friends any more power than they already have?

Is it not enough that Bush appears to have fabricated intelligence to wage a war? Is it not enough that countless politicians from Bush's party and administration are under indictment (i.e. Scooter Libby, Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff, to name a few)? Is it not enough that Bush's buddy and number one financial contributor to his 2000 presidential campaign was Enron scumbag Kenneth Lay?

I understand there are coincidences in life, but I am also not naive. To put it simply, Bush is corrupt and cannot be trusted with any more power than he already has.

Ultimately, the end goal for all of us is to eliminate terrorists and prevent another 9/11. Where we disagree is on how we will accomplish this. I support eavesdropping and spying on terrorists and tracking their whereabouts within America. However, I also understand that spying on terrorists in America and being able to spy on any average U.S. citizen are two completely different things. In fact, spying on U.S. citizens is an overt violation of our fourth amendment rights. And I always thought it was the Republican Party that wanted to preserve the Constitution.

The point is that we all want to be safe and we all want to eliminate the terrorists. Do we really need to give up the liberty and privacy that our country is known for in order to do so?

By drastically changing our way of life and allowing our constitution to be violated, wouldn't that mean the terrorists are getting what they want? Doesn't it seem a bit excessive to give the government the power and authority to spy on anyone they please? Among other things, this domestic spying program would make things like Watergate legal. Is this what we want for America? Is this what Ben Franklin would have wanted?

Capturing terrorists is possible without giving the government the power to spy on everyone. If we alter our democracy and freedom in order to defeat the terrorists, then we've already lost.

Tim Waddingham is a senior, double-majoring in political science and speech communication. His column runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Ram Talk

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Jan 312006
 
Authors:

Why can't toothpaste manufacturers make a toothpaste that won't show up a bright shade of white on my shirt when I am not paying attention and it falls out of my mouth? Why can't I just use my head and brush my teeth OVER the sink instead of going on adventures through my house while brushing?

Why is it that when I finally fall for a girl, she plays me like I have played all the girls before her…Karma sucks!

To the guy who gave the advice to the guy who lost his girl: Be careful in randomly slipping in "Shawshank" quotes. That movie may be the only thing in this world more powerful than Chuck Norris' right leg. And on a side note…Mr. Pibb and Red Vines do, in fact, equal crazy delicious!

Un-phased by the roundhouse kick of Chuck Norris, John Elway promptly led a fourth quarter comeback win.

To all you people who think that wearing oversized sunglasses looks cool: It doesn't. Just think, ten years from now you will look at pictures of yourselves and laugh at your bad taste in fashion. I, on the other hand, am laughing at you now.

You know, I think CSU should hire people that write "Letters to the Editor" to teach classes because they seem to know everything about everything…Go John Elway!!!

The current dime has a picture of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the only U.S. president to serve four terms. It was first printed in 1946, soon after he died. It was meant to honor his struggle with polio and the implementation of the project the March of Dimes, which began in his first term.

While Chuck Norris and Dog the Bounty Hunter both have their fine points, everyone is overlooking the true crime-fighting superstar. Yes my friends, Steven Segal's legendary combo of ponytail, squinted eyes that are constantly in the shadows, and a voice that never rises above a whisper give him infinitely more power than Dog's mullet and Chuck's beard combined.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Palestine plus free-elections equals more terrorism

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Jan 312006
 
Authors: Ryan Chapman

In 1993, the Palestinian group Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya (Hamas for short) denounced the Oslo accords, the closest thing to a peace treaty ever established between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1994, Hamas brought the use of suicide bombings against innocent Israeli civilians to a whole new level.

Now, in what appears to be a tragic turn of events for anyone with a vested interest in peace in the region, the terrorist organization Hamas has taken control of the Palestinian government. Last week, the group won 42.9 percent of the vote giving them majority control of parliament with 74 of the 132 seats, thus unseating the Fatah, who under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, held control of the government for decades.

This all occurred after Hamas ran for election on the platform of continued "resistance" against Israel. A co-founder of the group, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, was even quoted in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia as saying that the goal of the group was to "remove Israel from the map."

Last semester I criticized Israel's decision to return the territory of the Gaza Strip to Palestine because it would only encourage the terrorists who were using violence against women and children to achieve their objectives. Now it appears I wasn't just blowing smoke, as the succession of the Gaza Strip has not only encouraged Hamas but has convinced many Palestinian civilians of the group's ability to get things accomplished.

Leaders in Europe, as well as the United States, reacted with shock last week at the obvious increase in Hamas' popularity and their overwhelming victory in a democratic election. Which begs the obvious question: could no one see this coming? Did no one think that giving terrorists what they want would encourage and embolden them? What was considered by some to be a gesture of goodwill and an investment in peace by the Israelis has set off a chain of events that could ignite centuries of warfare. It has also, in the same blow, destroyed the legitimacy of anyone who claims that Palestinians are a peaceful people.

With the full knowledge that Hamas has no plans to either discontinue violence or recognize a Jewish state; the majority of Palestinians voted to be governed by murderers.

Many believe that with the governments of two countries in the region; Iran and now Palestine, both bent on the destruction of Israel, increased violence and even war are not too far in the future. Dan Junge, a senior history major here at CSU, conceded that he "would not be surprised at all if Israel began to take things into their own hands" in the face of this growing aggression by their neighbors.

With the backing of the United States and with the support of most of Western Europe (if that could even be considered an advantage) this standoff seems to be fairly one-sided.

At this point, we can only hope that the continued pressure by the global community and the string of strongly worded letters from the United Nations (their most significant contribution to any conflict in years) will be enough to prevent Palestine from getting a lot of people killed.

In last Friday's Denver Post, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted as saying "You cannot have one foot in politics and another in terror." It is too bad that most of the Middle East doesn't agree.

Ryan Chapman is a senior marketing major. His column runs every Wednesday in the Collegian.

 

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Fort Collins Mayor Reviews 2005 in State of the City Address

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Jan 312006
 
Authors: Hallie Woods

Timely to President Bush's State of the Union Address, Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson spoke out to the community in last night's State of the City Address. Joined by City Manager Darin Atteberry, the two community leaders opened the address summarizing the year 2005 as a year of change.

"There is a major theme in our hearts tonight, and that is change," Hutchinson said.

After thanking the city council for their unselfish efforts, Atteberry and Hutchinson reviewed the significant events of the year 2005 and proposed their hopes of things to come in 2006.

One of the major outcomes of the 2005 was the city budget. Unique to the Fort Collins government and community, the budget was based on a budgeting for outcomes.

"This city budget was the most challenging budget in this city's history," Atteberry said.

Part of budgeting for outcomes, Hutchinson said, required the city to first focus on city services rather than focusing on city departments as was done in the past. Outcomes were first established before money was allocated to different areas of the community.

The two then progressed on the some of the financial issues of Fort Collins. With a tax increase on groceries denied, Hutchinson also said that more money was directed towards road and street maintenance, allowing for better and safer driving in Fort Collins.

"I asked. They city patched 8.237 potholes in 2005," Hutchinson said.

Atterberry also focused on an important program in light of recent events in New Orleans. Beginning in 2005, the city began to review its emergency plans to implement in case disaster struck Fort Collins. With past overflows of the Poudre Valley, unforeseen problems are something the city wants to be ready for,

As the speech progressed, Atteberry began to beam as he announced Fort Collins success in Environmental issues.

"Fort Collins was named the top nature friendly community in the country," Atteberry told a wide-eyed audience.

Atteberry went on to announce Fort Collins participation in expanding use of renewable energy. With emission test requirements being renewed, the city of Fort Collins has also converted all diesel to 100% bio-diesel in community building, vehicles and partnerships with other businesses.

"The Fort Collins drinking water was ranked one of the top in the nations," Hutchinson added.

Mayor Hutchinson moved on to speak of the heart of the city and downtown Fort Collins: Old Town. With the recent installment of an ice rink, the culture of Old Town still thrives and will continue to grow in 2006. Hutchinson told the audience that there are many plans to continue enriching downtown life, including the construction of a Beat Street, named for Fort Collins' sugar beat history.

Atteberry and Hutchinson summed up the address touching on the subject most pressing to many CSU students, neighborhood communities, and Fort Collins renters. With questions from several neighborhood organizations about the continual growth of CSU and the need for more rental housing, the mayor and city manager seemed to have a positive outlook on the situation.

"I've had discussions with Dr. Penley about the importance of CSU's cooperation to work toward a solution of rental housing," Hutchinson said.

With the three unrelated rule hitting city council topics in 2005, the city council chose to enforce the already existing ordinance requiring that no more than three unrelated people live in a house in Fort Collins. The outcome pleased many Fort Collins residents who were looking for a neighborhood quality standard, but disappointed many landlords and renters.

However, regardless of the ordinance, Atteberry believes that a relationship between the city and University is strong and thriving, with students willing to be good students and neighbors.

"I've never seen the partnership better between CSU and the community," Atteberry said.

 

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

America Addicted to Oil, Bush Says

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Jan 312006
 
Authors: Vimal Patel

Reeling from his most politically brutal year to date, President Bush on Tuesday said Americans need to wean themselves off Middle East oil, train 70,000 new advanced math and science teachers to remain competitive, and seek the end of world tyranny.

"America is addicted to oil which is often imported from unstable parts of the world," he said in his sixth annual State of the Union speech. "The best way to break this addiction is through technology."

The president proposed the Advanced Energy Initiative, a 22 percent hike in funding for clean-energy research at the Department of Energy.

"This was a guy who demolished John Kerry for being a 'flip-flopper' and this was an astonishing flip flop," said Bill Chaloupka, political science chair, about Bush's newfound call for oil independence.

It was also slightly suspect that Bush tied America's national security to dependence on Middle East oil, he said, because four of the five major suppliers of petroleum to the U.S. – Venezuela, Canada, Mexico and Nigeria – aren't from the region. Only Saudi Arabia is.

Bush and previous American presidents have been criticized for tolerating alliances with human rights violators, including Saudi Arabia, to gain access to cheap oil.

"By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past," Bush said.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, oil prices skyrocketed. As oil trades for about $68 a barrel, gas prices in Colorado are hovering around $2.26 per gallon, up from $1.84 this time last year, according to ColoradoGasPrices.com.

To compete in a global economy, America should train 70,000 new advanced math and science teachers and bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, he said.

"If we ensure that America's children succeed in life, they will ensure that America succeeds in the world," he said.

But like his re-election campaign, the president's State of the Union speech dealt largely with national security and America's role in the world.

Political scientists said that made perfect sense.

"That fits the overall strategy in a speech like this," said John Straayer, political science professor. "You don't wander into an area where you're going to have a hard time explaining the situation. You use rhetoric and topics that can portray you in a positive light."

Bush did not talk about specifics in Iraq, including cost or a date for possible withdrawal of American forces.

More than 2,200 Americans have died in Iraq and 16,000 have been wounded. Since this time last year, 805 Americans have died in the desert country.

"Dictatorships shelter terrorists, feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction," he said. "Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer, and so we will act boldly in freedom's cause."

Bush warned against America's disengagement in world affairs.

"In a complex and challenging time, the road of isolationism and protectionism may seem broad and inviting," he said. "Yet it ends in danger and decline."

Prior to the speech, Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist whose son died in Iraq, was arrested for trying to sneak an anti-Bush banner into the House chamber, CNN reported.

Most of the address was a "rally around the flag" speech, said Michele Betsill, assistant professor of political science.

"The whole first half was spent laying out all the threats we faced," she said. "It's a strategy that people use to divert attention from things that are going poorly at home."

Betsill said she didn't hear many specifics about the proposals the president made, including in his call for reduced energy dependence.

"A lot of proposals were about doing new research and not really doing anything about it," she said.

The president said Iran is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions and is a sponsor of terrorism. The president spoke directly to the Iranian people.

"We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom," he said. "And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran."

The president asked Congress to reauthorize the Patriot Act, and he also defended his controversial decision to wiretap Americans suspected of terrorism.

"Previous presidents have used the same Constitutional authority I have, and federal courts have approved the use of that authority," he said.

Democrats and Republicans have criticized Bush for sidestepping the 1978 Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and secretly wiretapping citizens without authorization from courts or Congress.

Straayer seemed cynical about the whole night.

"It was typical theatre," he said. "A huge room full of wealthy people in dark suits while the country is populated by a lot of people who are struggling to make a living and pay their college bills."

The president vaguely referred to the lobbying scandal involving Jack Abramoff, who ripped off his American Indian clients and illegally influenced members of Congress.

"A hopeful society expects elected officials to uphold the public trust," he said. "Each of us has made a pledge to be worthy of public responsibility."

Betsill spent four months in Europe recently and said Europeans are weary of the president, especially his religious conservatism and references to "the creator."

Bush gave religious conservatives a nod when he reiterated his support for a complete ban on human cloning of any form.

"Human life is a gift from our creator," he said. "And that gift should never be discarded, devalued, or put up for sale."

In the end, Chaloupka said, the reaction to the speech, like everything political in this highly polarizing point in history, will be split along political lines.

"Your Republican friends will be saying he's a great leader and your Democrat friends will say they can't stand the guy," he said. "It's a reflection of our times."

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Cocaine: The party drug of choice

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Jan 312006
 
Authors: Katie Kelley

*Additional reporting provided by James Baetke

Meet Bob.

Bob has a lot of friends.

Bob has traveled through many countries to be here in Fort Collins, Colo., and has specifically come from South America.

Bob is a big hit at parties, but not many people talk about Bob – they just like to use Bob because Bob makes them feel good. Bob is what some people in Fort Collins refer to as cocaine.

Cocaine is not only known as Bob, but also as "Tony," among other terms.

Cocaine has been around since the early 1800s; however, the drug was used by South American natives to cure "fatigue." The natives also chewed the leaves of the coca plant for thousands of years prior to the development of the cocaine powder used today.

Cocaine is considered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to be "the most stimulant (drug) of natural origin." It is obtained through extracted coca plant leaves.

Cocaine is one of the more glamorized drugs portrayed in movies and music; however, the ONDCP considers cocaine one of the less prominent drugs in America. In 2003, approximately "9.2 percent of college students reported using cocaine at least once during their lifetimes," according to the ONDCP. This is however, a relatively small number compared to the 50.7 percent of college students who reported using marijuana the same year.

(ED NOTE: we can cut this here, or at the end depending on space)

The Pulse Report from the White House Drug Policy also states the "most widely abused drugs" are marijuana, methamphetamines and heroine, placing powder and crack cocaine as the second "most widely abused drug."

Dwight Burke, a detective with the Larimer County Drug Task Force, believes cocaine is just as available as marijuana and methamphetamines. "I think meth receives a lot of attention," Burke said. "Cocaine use is very much around in college communities. There are dealers and users among college-age students."

John Matthews, a CSU senior whose name has been changed to protect his identity, feels cocaine is just as prevalent as marijuana at CSU. Matthews feels that in Fort Collins, especially at CSU, cocaine use is quickly becoming more common.

"Cocaine in Greeley and Fort Collins is out of control," Matthews said.

*To read the full version of this story, as well as many others, pick up a copy of the second issue of College Avenue, CSU's student-run magazine, which hits the racks today in the Lory Student Center, Clark Building A and the Student Recreation Center.

A launch party is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Ramskeller. Stop by for food, prizes and more!

For more information, please contact College Avenue Editor-in-chief Amanda Schank at csumag@lamar.colostate.edu or call (970) 491-7513.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Campus Calendar

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Jan 312006
 
Authors:

Wednesday

Student Organizations' Officer Orientations

4 p.m.

Lory Student Center, room 224

Student organizations still seeking official CSU recognition for the 2005-06 academic year: make sure your president and treasurer attends a student organizations officer orientation. Learn the ins and outs of funding, programming and leadership opportunities. This does not include Greek chapters and sports clubs.

For more information call Student Organizations Office (970) 491-1115.

Swing Dancing at CSU

Lessons: 7:15 to 8:15 p.m.

Ammons Hall on the Oval

$3 for students, $4 for non-students

Campus Blood Drive

9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

LSC

The campus Premedica Club in conjunction with the Bonfils Blood Center is sponsoring our annual January blood drive. Every two seconds, someone in the United States receives a transfusion of donated blood, yet currently only four percent of Colorado's eligible population generously gives blood. In less than an hour, a single blood donation can help up to three patients. Why not start a new habit in 2006 and become a regular blood donor and help patients in need?

To make an appointment or for more info, contact The Bonfils Appointment Center at (800) 365-0006.

CSU Study Abroad Fair

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

LSC Main Ballrooms

Where in the world will you be next semester? Imagine yourself studying natural resources in Tasmania, international business in Japan, Latin American literature in Mexico or cultural history in Prague…explore the international opportunities.

"Dinner with Friends"

7:30 p.m.

Nonesuch Theater, 216 Pine St.

Marrow Productions hosts a rueful, poignant comedy about marriage. Tickets are $10. Contact Dan for more information at (970) 308-4908.

Thursday

Campus Blood Drive

9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

LSC

The campus Premedica Club in conjunction with the Bonfils Blood Center is sponsoring our annual January blood drive. Every two seconds, someone in the United States receives a transfusion of donated blood, yet currently only four percent of Colorado's eligible population generously gives blood. In less than an hour, a single blood donation can help up to three patients. Why not start a new habit in 2006 and become a regular blood donor and help patients in need?

To make an appointment or for more info, contact The Bonfils Appointment Center at (800) 365-0006.

Friday

Mystery Science Theater 3000: MST3K Arachnamania

7 p.m.

LSC Senate Chambers

MSTies Anonymous presents a double feature of "Earth vs. The Spider" and "The Giant Spider Invasion." For those who have a fear of spiders, worry not, for both movies are too ridiculous to be frightening. Admission is free.

Showcase at the Stoplight: A Spring Swing Dance

7 p.m.: free lessons

9 p.m.: showcase dance competition

8 to 11 p.m.: dancing

LSC Main Ballroom

Encouraged attire – red: I'm taken; yellow: I'm not telling; green: I'm looking. Cost is $4 for students, $5 for non-students. No partner or previous experience required.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Campus Blotter

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Jan 312006
 
Authors:

Sunday

Tried to serve a summons at Westfall Hall.

Did some follow-up on a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident.

Individual contacted for trespassing on the railroad right-of-way on West Lake Street was in possession of marijuana.

Individual cited for assault that occurred the previous night.

911 hang-up at the Lory Student Center.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm