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Letters to the Editor 10/25
Published 10/25/2011
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Comparison between the unborn and criminals is faulty


Last week, Taylor Kowalski criticized the apparent inconsistencies of pro-life advocates on abortion and capital punishment policies. Unfortunately, she overlooked major points as she was chastising them for “play(ing) God” and arbitrarily “weigh(ing) the value of one life against the next.”

Doubtless, the loss of any human life is the repeated tragedy of our existence, but there are clear and distinguishable differences between abortion and capital punishment. The most obvious difference is the decision process utilized. For capital punishment, the decision rests with a judicial system composed of numerous people in various positions. But for the unborn, the decision rests with one person alone: the mother, who may resent her pregnancy. This is the equivalent of turning her into the sole judge, jury and executioner. Should we support that tyranny?

The unborn child has had no opportunity to commit a crime – that is, as long as we recognize that natal existence is not a crime. The child holds no responsibility for its own creation; that falls to the parents. An individual on trial for a capital offense, however, is in a far different position. And usually the inquiry surrounding a defendant seeks to establish the commission of an actual offense and the proper punishment for it. Compare the suffocating silence of the abortion clinic with the public defense afforded in a courtroom, and you will find the answer to Kowalski’s false dilemma.

Jaron Robinson
J.D. candidate, University of Idaho College of Law

Arab Spring is about the people, not technology


I hate to reply to William Stetson again, but his assertions dictate it. While he is correct that technology have aided oppressed democratic forces into organizing collective action into full-on revolutions, his analysis is too shallow.

The ongoing Arab Spring is not a culmination of technology defeating censorship. It is accomplishments by democratic activists in conveying rallying political messages by identifying political opportunities and thereby creating subsequent opportunities to use or exploit weaknesses in closed political systems to enact socio-political change. Aided by such agencies as the National Democratic Institute, Dr. Sharp’s work on nonviolence and other solidarity forming variables, the global 99 percent cannot be silenced in this new age of information travel.

Stetson missing this, however, is understandable. It is a complex system to grasp. What is not understandable is his naïve justification of the GOP’s so-called “axis of evil” by framing hate mongering in economic terms while attempting to sound knowledgeable about national security. It is this sort of couch-commando limited cognition that has caused the last approximate decade of war and cost the lives of 5,000-plus of my peers.

Insinuating that defense is all “fancy toys” is insulting. There is no greater weapon in the U.S. arsenal than the rifleman and his weapon. Taxes are needed to raise, train and sustain this weapon-system. It is unfortunate, however, that the right-wing is so adamant about neglecting this generational process that benefits all living in America and abroad to instead benefit greed.

Damian Ramirez
Ph.D. student, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs

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