Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

HUNGER STRIKE IRONY?

I find it ironic that the SEIU and UNICOO workers are on a hunger strike. It seems like just yesterday that these same people were enjoying BBQ at the Episcopal Church after their interviews with the media and snacking on doughnuts on the UC Patio. Here I directly speak to those involved and voice my grief:

1. Stop parking your trucks along the road near the church. We pay $400 to park on campus, and you don’t even use meters or buy temporary permits.

2. I can appreciate that you are trying to make the issue known, but I came to school here to learn and I don’t want to be disrupted when I do it.

3. I am in President’s 100 and give tours on campus, and when I found out that your sit-in kept people from going on a tour, I was furious. People drove over two hours to come and see the school and you denied them of the chance.

4. If you want to get the University community to take note of your cause, write more signs in English. I can understand Spanish, but many others can’t. Besides, you’re in America and the official language is English.

5. If you are going to sit on Ponce and protest/hunger strike/whatever else you do, please at least make the protest area neat, organized and classy. We are not hippies and this is not UC Berkeley (No offense). Have a touch more class.

I feel as though STAND is attempting to influence the UNICCO workers in an equal, if not greater way than UNICCO itself (the self-proclaimed reason they stepped in to help in the first place was to eliminate this bullying). Organizing a hunger strike glorifies this issue beyond its core. Recognize the strides made and use diplomatic channels to make progress; a simple concession to make the debate more civil. I have always been impressed with how open the University is. I therefore find myself scratching my head when I drive into school and see extreme actions being taken. Maybe it’s because I approached issues in a mature and non-confrontational way, and began my discussion with a smile instead of dropping my pants and urinating in the Ashe building.

Mike Levine

Senior

TEACH A MAN HOW TO EXTEND A METAPHOR

Ah, the well-worn mantra of libertarians, right-leaning conservatives, and those who worship at the altar of the free market: “Give a man a fish, and he’ll be hungry by dinnertime. Teach the man to fish, and he’ll never be hungry again.”

Sounds logical. But as with many cute anecdotes it disintegrates under the slightest scrutiny. First of all, we assume that the man has a fishing pole. If he doesn’t, then we not only have to teach him to fish, but provide said pole. Oops. Fishing gear and lessons cost money. Who will pay for this? Certainly not some government “Angling Gear and Instruction Agency,” since that would cost taxpayer dollars, which Mr. Wacholtz would doubtless oppose. I assume he would purpose an all-volunteer fishing instruction organization and rely on the private-sector to provide the gear?

Secondly, we assume that the man lives in close proximity to a stream or lake (metaphorically speaking). If not, then fishing lessons, waders, poles and bait will do him no good…unless, that is, we provide him with transportation (then what? “Give a man a ride to a fishing hole and he’ll need one tomorrow. Teach him to drive and he’ll never bum a lift again?”). Thirdly, we assume that the body of water has fish in it to be caught, and isn’t so polluted that the fish are toxic. Lastly, we ignore the fact that if everybody in the region used fishing as their means of survival, the area would soon be fished-out.

Yes, yes-it’s just a metaphor. But a metaphor used to make an economic/political point when so full of contradictions and flaws in logic is worthless at best, misleading at worst. Furthermore, his use of this clich

April 11, 2006

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