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Letters to the Editor 10/21
Published 10/21/2011
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Editorial Board fails to understand our protest

Editor:

When I read the editorial, “You need more people for a proper occupation,” I was upset at how it had been written and the condescending attitude that had been used. Our location may be lacking, for the time being, but we still stand strong. And so what if we are hundreds of miles away from Wall Street? There are occupations all over the world that are so much farther away than us.

This is a college town, and college students are some of the hardest hit by the recession and budget cuts. Books are insanely expensive, tuition just keeps going up and we are losing some of our best departments. Also, I find it a bit hypocritical to tell us to make ourselves more unique, but then ask us where our tents are. And of course we have classes to attend; we are college students shelling out thousands of dollars for a secondary education. We have homework to do and jobs to work. This, by the way, makes Facebook one of the best places to spread the word. I was surprised to read, “It is a shame when Facebook is your best option of spreading word of your message,” when Facebook has been praised as one of the best ways to advertise.

In closing, I am much more concerned about a 14 percent tuition hike than “high-priced vending machines.”

Aleksander Storvick
senior, environmental science

Support and advice from Editorial Board helpful

Editor:

As an active participant in this past week’s Occupy the Palouse protests at WSU, I would like to thank you for your Oct. 14 editorial, “You need more people for a proper occupation.” Although critical, I appreciated the editorial's support for the basic ideals of our efforts: supporting the Occupy Wall Street protests, raising awareness at WSU and protesting economic disparities in America. Also, your suggestions like “diversify your form of protests and find alternative locations” were well thought-out and helpful.

Coincidentally, this past weekend, we implemented that last suggestion by holding a protest in downtown Pullman’s Cougar Plaza. Although our group was small, I was pleasantly surprised by the attention and support we received. The vast majority of cars passing by were either supportive or neutral to us with many honking emphatically, giving thumbs-up and shouting “Yeah!” and “Keep it up!” We were even given muffins and joined by a few pedestrians, so apparently a significant portion of local residents and WSU’s Homecoming visitors support our efforts. Go Cougs!

A few cars expressed their disagreement and yelled at us to “Get a job,” but even this oppositional response is valuable to engage all types of views and further consciousness about the "Occupy" movement.

As we continue our organizing efforts, please continue your coverage of the “Occupy” protests, both locally and nationwide. We both agree that this in an important, still unfolding story that many WSU students do not know enough about.

Sina Sam
senior, women’s studies

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan will raise the cost of living

Editor:

To say Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan is a good idea simply flies in the face of reason. Cain's claim that most Americans would pay lower taxes does not make any sense at all. For starters, under this plan, a very large number of Americans would start paying a 17 percent-plus sales tax on many goods they buy (state, local and federal taxes combined). We would also have to start paying much higher taxes on the food we buy.

While there will certainly be many people paying less in income tax, you have to take into account the increase in taxes on other areas of life. He not only plans to keep excise taxes on things like fuel, which is currently 18.4 cents for gasoline and 24.4 cents for the diesel used to move all of our goods, but he plans to add another 9 percent sales tax on top of that. So not only will we be paying more in taxes on the things we buy, everything we buy just got slightly more expensive.
All this plan will do is increase the tax burden on everyone except for those who can easily afford it, the very wealthy. Cain's plan does nothing other than raise the cost of living for the vast majority of Americans. To believe otherwise, you would have to be only listening to his talking points and not actually understanding what his plan is and what it means for everyone.

Derek Held
senior, computer science

Herman Cain's tax plan will be exploited

Editor:

Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 (9 percent federal sales, income and business tax) is an absolute disaster of a fiscal plan that will further drive a wedge between the wealthy and the middle to lower classes. The rich would love it since their income tax rate would be reduced from an average of 35 percent down to 9 percent while middle to low income families see their average income tax rate of 1.5 percent jump to 9 percent. Additionally, imagine tacking on another 9 percent to the existing 7 percent sales tax in the state of Washington, causing the price of goods to sharply rise, directly affecting the middle and lower classes more steeply than the wealthy.

Companies also find very tricky, yet legal, ways of passing their taxes off onto the consumer in the form of higher prices and fees for certain services. If they are able to figure out these avenues to exploit, you can bet that additional 9 percent will get passed right along to us.

This plan will not introduce an across-the-board solution to our budgetary crisis. We need to seriously examine our government’s spending, make drastic cuts in hugely unnecessary areas such as the military, allow companies to repatriate capital into this country to create jobs and audit an incredibly corrupt Federal Reserve System. If this tax plan were approved, is there any guarantee it will even stay at 9-9-9? Given the way our federal government acts, chances are remote and dubious at best.
 
Seth Wall
graduate student, physical chemistry

No ill will directed toward the Honors College

Editor:

I hold a great degree of respect for the Honors College and the students who are a part of it. I lived in the Honors Hall my freshman year, and made many close and valued friends who attended the college. I have seen the hard work my peers have put in to their Honors Thesis, and the success of so many of their students.

I did not mean to lessen the accolades that Honors students earn and regret that my statements came across that way; I failed to articulate myself clearly and in doing so may have made individuals feel insulted.

Due to the unique nature of the Honors College, the Senate will do its best to find an equitable solution that benefits all members of ASWSU.

I appreciate all students concerned with a possible guaranteed seat in the ASWSU Senate. I believe that the Honors Student Advisory Committee was misinformed with the current status of that possibility. As of right now, this body has held no votes and made no decisions concerning the status of an Honors Seat. We welcome the opportunity to allow your voice to be heard. I have not made up my mind on this issue and neither have many other senators. We welcome all concerns and thoughts. Please email me at DerrickSkaug@gmail.com and I will forward any emails to the entire senate. Our information can also be found at http://aswsu.wsu.edu/branches_senate_staff.aspx.

I am glad to see that so many students feel that ASWSU is something they value, and feel invested in its decisions. Please feel free to contact the Association for any reason.

Derrick Skaug
ASWSU Senate Pro-Tempore 

Students can walk to classes rather than ride buses

Editor:

In response to the issue of overcrowded buses, I strongly feel the solutions do not lie purely with Pullman Transit. More students need to take it upon themselves to walk or bike to campus. Many of our fellow Cougars could certainly use the extra physical activity in their day.

People living in apartment land (e.g. Birch Hills, Maple Valley, etc.) have a decent excuse to continue using the public transit system, due to their inconveniently distant placement. What is with all of the Valley Road apartment residents (e.g. Providence Court, Emerald Downs, etc.) taking the bus to class? If they walked five minutes up B Street (or C Street or D Street, take your pick), they would already be on campus. Most people probably walked further than that to class from their dorms freshman year.

I lived in Campus Commons North all of last year and walked to campus every day. People may groan and presume that is way too far away, but taking the proper shortcuts through McGee Park, it took me a little more than 15 minutes to get to class. I would laugh to myself while walking past the amalgamation of people swarmed around each bus stop. By the time most of them even got on the next bus, I would be only minutes away from campus.

As far as the inclement weather, I would prefer to wear some layers and keep moving through the cold than spending upwards of five to ten minutes standing in the freezing weather waiting for a bus. Once people finally get on the bus (which, as mentioned, is no guarantee), it is so crowded and sweaty, not to mention all of the stops it still has to make along its route. What an agonizing journey. I will take fresh air, exercise and a scenic Pullman view rather than waiting for a stuffy bus ride that often ends up taking longer anyway.

Ky Kamolz 
senior, Chinese major

Phoenix Jones is a misunderstood hero

Editor:

When I was a kid, I witnessed a horrible crime. Then I watched as community members came together to subdue the man, call the authorities and then calm and treat the victim until the paramedics could arrive. This type of action does not happen much anymore. 

Crime and drugs invade communities when neighbors no longer take action in their community. People tell themselves “it isn’t my business” or “I shouldn’t get involved.” Our law enforcement cannot be everywhere at once, and we cannot expect our communities to be safe havens just because we would like them to be. It takes action. 

Phoenix Jones has chosen to do something about the problems invading his community. Sure, he chooses to do so while wearing a costume. But should that really matter? Buford Pusser stood up for his community, and we call him a hero and make movies about him. Phoenix Jones wears a costume, so we call him a freak. Shame.

Aj Southard
program assistant, Office of Admissions

Vote for Al Sorenson for District 3 Port Commissioner

Editor:

It is my privilege to recommend Al Sorensen for the District 3 Port Commissioner position. Al is a highly qualified and experienced businessman who is involved with the community at many levels.

He was always fully prepared and astutely attentive when he served on the Pullman City Council, he is intimately familiar with Whitman County's broad agriculture base, a strong advocate of regional economic development and a Cougar and Greyhound through and through.

As a self-employed businessman, Al is also a careful and thoughtful custodian of public dollars, believing that all proposed major expenditures should receive cost-benefit scrutiny.

The Port of Whitman County performs a vital function for the region, and its commissioners are entrusted with a great and important responsibility. Al Sorensen has my unqualified endorsement for the District 3 position that will be on the ballot you will receive in a few days. Please vote for this superbly qualified candidate.

C.B. "Barney" Waldrop
Pullman resident 

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