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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 13, 2000)
Editor Sarah Baker
Opinion Page Editor Samuel McKewon
Managing Editor Bradley Davis
Dubya's tenure will see
quick voter backlash
George W. Bush is pretty close to becom
There are a few more hand counts that
will probably take place. And the absentee
ballots still have to be counted.
Sorry, A1 Gore, but we don’t think your
chances of becoming President look too
good, no matter how far you decide to chal
lenge the count. The fact remains that Bush
has maintained his thin lead since early
Election night when the networks mistak
enly declared him the winner of Florida and
But take heart, liberals. Four years of
Bush could be just what you need to shift
the electoral winds, if you will.
Bush supporters and detractors have
both said he is running in part to avenge his
father’s fall to Clinton in 1992. Many have
said the younger Bush will
surround himself with some
of the same men that filled
out his father's administration
from 1988 to 1992.
It seems like we’re in store
for another four years of Bush.
Whether it’s George W. or
George H.W., it doesn’t seem
Like he has most of his life,
George W. will probably try to
ride on the coattails of his
father, pressing him - or his
colleagues - for as much
advice and direction on how
to run the presidency as pos
Once George W. gets into
the White House, he will prob
ably sell out quickly to one
sector of the electorate that
helped him get elected - the
s that 49
add up to a
by the time
He knows how to speak nicely, but once
he gets into the White House, George W. will
probably cave in to the sound of money
rather than that of the moral majority.
Couple that with frustration over grid
lock that will exist in the Senate and the
House because the Republicans don’t have
enough of a majority to get anything done.
Unless George W. outperforms the expec
tations that 49 percent of the country has
for him, the ingredients add up to a recipe of
disaster for Republicans by the time the
election rolls around in 2004.
Enter a Democrat who can use this frus
tration to rally against the administration
and Republicans to secure the Presidency in
The real question is what kind of
Democrat will rise to the occasion? Will it be
another moderate, New Democrat who
stays just to the left of the center when
advocating policies and speaking out on
Or will it be a true liberal, who can har
ness the country’s frustration and win the
election by a large margin?
Bush will determine that, beginning the
moment he can celebrate being named
President. If he fails at his task, it seems the
latter will be a real possibility.
Maybe to the relief - or chagrin - of A1
Sarah Baker, Bradley Davis, Josh Funk, Matthew Hansen,
Samuel McKewon, Dane Stickney, Kimberly Sweet
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Letters to the editor
Simon Ringsmuth, if you were able to get over
your self-pity then maybe you would experience
Sometimes, when people blame their Mures and
misfortunes on everyone else, they are just hiding
from the reality that maybe their efforts aren't enough.
In life, few people give a rip about die amount of effort
we put into something.
They only care about the results. And the results
better be quality.
For instance, if your employer asked you to do a
project, they would expect quality and nothing less.
Your employer would not care if you said, “Oh, but I
put so much effort into it!” Most likely, if the results
were not satisfactory, you would even lose your job.
Also, don’t downplay the difference between
Honors Students and die rest of us. These students are
not like the rest of us, as you assert. They are in the
Honors Program for distinct reasons. They have
proven their intelligence, and they have put in the
quality work required. Even if all Honors Students
took the ACT five times as you suggest (which is high
ly unlikely), this just shows their strong ambition to
If you are so convinced that they are just like the
rest of us, then why don't you fill out an application?
(Or maybe you’re too good for that)
It appears you are very resentful toward a lot of
people who seem to be out to get you. Maybe a new
attitude and new perception is what is really needed
here. Work on that shoulder a little because it appears
to have a real big chip on it right now.
pre-med/ comm, studies
The real third world?
As an international student, I regret the day I
decided to come to Nebraska to study. I have never in
my life before seen a community of people so igno
rant, careless and afraid of democracy and human
Initiative 416 was approved overwhelmingly last
Tuesday. I want to ask the people who created this ini
tiative and those who voted for it, what are you going
to say to your grandchildren in 20 years from now
when they ask you why this state is so behind in man
ners, democracy, equality and human rights?
Will you feel ashamed? God created us equal; who
are we to decide who to include and who to exclude
from our society? What makes us so powerful to dis
criminate against people because of their color, back
ground, sexual orientation, nationality and so on?
What makes us so insecure to think that giving
people what they deserve for being a human will dete
riorate our family values? Come on people, what will it
take to realize that life is not only about cornfields?
There is a whole world out there. Be loving, be
accepting, be a real human being. God will not reward
youforpassing416, he will ask you why you excluded
people because of who they are and not what you
want them to be.
Only God is to judge, he is just, not us. We are all
the same. As Americans, you claim to be the best
democracy in the whole world. Well, let me tell you
proudly that where I come from, we have a whole lot
more democracy than you do here.
And you call us a third-world country. I am happi
er to be in the third-world than in Nebraska. Shame
Drug reforms significant
The whole aim of practi
cal politics is to keep the pop
ulace alarmed (and hence
clamorous to be led to safety)
by an endless series of hob
goblins, most of them imagi
America has a long tradi
tion of periodic mass hyster
ics that are forgotten or even
mocked by later generations.
In the 1920s, religious leaders preached
earnestly about the demon-liquor. In the 1950s,
every non-conformist was an instant commie and,
therefore, an unparalleled threat to democracy. In
1999, thousands of Americans spent millions to
prepare for the Y2K apocalypse.
And hysteria can go on for decades. An exam
ple: The War on Drugs. Fortunately, the end (while
not near) can be glimpsed in recent ballot initia
■ California voters passed, by a 2 to 1 margin, a
constitutional amendment requiring treatment
instead of incarceration for nonviolent drug
offenders. The law is expected to save hundreds of
millions of dollars that would otherwise go to oper
ate and construct prisons.
■ In Massachusetts, voters narrowly defeated a
similar measure 53 to 47 percent.
■ Colorado voters gave the nod to medical
marijuana. Patients with debilitating conditions
will now be issued identification cards enabling
them to use the law as an affirmative defense
should a prosecutor bring charges.
■ Nevada voters also passed a medical mari
juana law in a 65 to 35 percent decision. This makes
10 states that have voted to legalize marijuana for
■ Itoo states, Oregon and Utah, acted to limit
police in the War on Drugs by requiring that pro
ceeds from seized property must be used for drug
treatment or public education instead of being
added to law enforcement budgets.
■ In Alaska, the broadest of all drug-related
ballot initiatives failed 61 to 39 percent. The pro
posed law would have completely legalized mari
juana (subject to regulation like alcohol), granted
amnesty for all persons convicted of marijuana
offenses and created an advisory group to study
restitution for those convicted of marijuana
Although the measure failed, its proponents
are surely encouraged by the result and will likely
return with a less sweeping measure.
America is finally beginning to understand
there are always costs to legislating morality, in me
War on Drugs, the cost is exorbitant In April, we
reached a record 1.86 million imprisoned adults.
The Omaha World-Herald reported in April the
U.S. now has the dubious distinction of being first
worldwide for highest rate of incarceration. And,
according to the Aug. 31,2000, World-Herald, there
are 1.5 million children with a parent in prison, a 60
percent increase since 1991.
The War on Drugs costs us in other ways too. We
now know the White House drug policy office
offered financial incentives to magazines and tele
vision networks that ran stories discouraging drug
Public service announcements are one thing.
But offering financial incentives to change a show’s
content comes dangerously close to censorship.
In Los Angeles, in the largest corruption trial in
the city’s history, many of the charges are related to
manipulation of drug charges: The money is big,
and the evidence easily manipulated.
Even proponents of the War on Drugs admit
they are losing. In March, Barry McCaffrey (the
government’s so-called Drug Czar) appeared
before a House Appropriations subcommittee and
testified that the prices of cocaine and heroin have
fallen to record lows and remain widely available.
His report also stated that 4.7 million people have
tried methamphetamine and that its use is spread
ing. (World-Herald, March 23,2000)
As Mark TWain said about alcohol, “Prohibition
only drives drunkenness behind doors and into
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The importance of even one state, such as
California or Alaska, reforming its drug laws
should not be underestimated.
These states provide a comparison and under
mine the often-hysterical claims of law enforce
ment groups about what will happen if some drug
use is legalized.
Just like Vermont undermined conservative
claims about how the institution of marriage
would be destroyed if GLBT people gained equali
ty, so will conservative claims about mass violence
and anarchy be undermined after reasonable drug
law reforms are put into effect.
The issue is not simple, and there are legitimate
grounds for debate. Drug abuse is a real problem. It
ruins lives and can even kill.
The fundamental question, however, is how we
should solve the problem. Shall we continue lock
ing nonviolent drug offenders in cages? Or should
we provide treatment and education but allow
individuals to live their lives in the way they choose
so long as they do not harm others?
After Nov. 7, the correct choice is becoming
I slow to pass
the red truck
with the Husker
plates. I look
towards the sky
searching for the
sunsci, uui uie
blocks my view.
Then I hear the
from someone’s car and on my radio
someone says they are having a
Husker Days sale. This is all on a
Thursday in July.
The little girl, only 8 years old,
comes out of the dressing room; she
does a twirl in the three way. "I sawyou
jiggle.” “Did not.” “Did too.” “Where?”
“Your butt.” “These pants made it look
fat.” “Let's go running tonight after
They line the steps of the Capitol
shouting for justice. The public official
says he doesn’t like it either, but it’s the
law. Someone shouts to him, “Yeah,
but can’t you change the law?” Public
official says, “It’s time to wrap things
up, I thank you for coming here today,”
and makes his exit.
Jacob doesn’t like to play soccer but
his dad will buy him a Playstation if he
finishes the season. His mother sends
him postcards from New York and tells
him she will be home soon. His father
has his girlfriend over fpr dinner later
and tells Jacob, “This is our little
Then upstairs, Jacob gave his sister
lisa a black eye. He didn’t mean to but
he was just so mad at her for not letting
him get on the Internet.
When Amy decided to make a dif
ference working in the inner-city
school, she didn’t know the kids would
tell her they don’t believe in the
American dream. What has America
ever done for them?
As far as they are concerned, they
are just prisoners waiting to be locked
up. She didn't know they would curse
her pale skin and whisper behind her
back what they would do to her if they
could get her behind her car in the
parking lot. She didn’t know when she
produced tears in the principal’s
office, he would look at her and say,
“Deal with it.”
Tim wants to be a computer engi
neer, and he takes notes during chem
istry to help out his roommate. He
knows he is the cream of the crop, has
been told that during Convocation
three times, although he only needed
to hear it once for it to sink in.
When he walks past the other stu
dents, he carries a funny smirk on his
face. “Idiots, you are all idiots; I am the
cream of the crop. Where the fuck do
you think you are going with your
expensive car? I’m going to the top,
and nothing's gonna hold me back. I’m
the cream,” he says, to himself.
“I'm the cream,” Tim repeats as ne
climbs to the top of the building with
his final grade in Speech 101, he meas
ures the distance and counts the num
ber of ways his spine will break when
Lyssa wakes up in Tommy's bed
and looks around in the predawn. She
has got class in two hours. She is so
hung over that she can’t remember if
they had sex. Doesn’t matter, she is on
the pill. Tommy doesn’t wake up as she
moves his arm to climb out of die bed.
She looks at him and wonders what he
likes to eat for breakfast.
Last night, Eric had a dream. He
dreamt the university had become the
Institute of Research and Football. All
classes had been re-routed, and there
were no more instructors - just
researchers, athletes and overpaid
The next day, Eric waits two hours
to see the TA for Economics 211, who
never does show for the appointment.
He wants to get some help with his lec
ture notes. Things just don't seem to
make sense lately, and he needs some
Then he walks the deserted cam
pus and listens to the roar of the fake
noise drone on from the stadium. He
wonders if he is dreaming.
Does it really matter who you voted
for? Does it matter if you voted? Maybe
whafmatters more is that you take a
look around you and decide for your
self if you like what you are looking at.
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