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The Blue Banner
The Blue Banner
Several students and faculty said they would be in
favor of amending the Electoral College out of the Con
stitution, a feat that would take two-thirds of the major
ity of Congress and three-fourths of the states to ap
In the past 40 years, polls have shown that over half of
the American public are in favor of eliminating the
archaic Electoral College. In fact, over 700 proposals to
reform or eliminate the procedure have been submitted
to Congress, more than any other proposed Constitu
tional reform, according to the National Archives and
Records Administration Web site.
The ongoing presidential stalemate and potentially
dismal conclusion could prompt a successful proposal to
change or abolish the Electoral College. If and when that
happens, careful consideration must occur. Right now,
voters in each state choose electors to serve in the Elec
toral College Nov. 7. Then, when the election results are
final, the electors meet to select the President and Vice
President of the United States.
In the coming weeks or months, a proposal to fix or get
rid of the Electoral College might make it through Con
gress and the states. The unprecedented closeness of
votes between Rep. candidate George W. Bush and Dem.
candidate A1 Gore have already caused many Americans
to be leery of the presidential outcome.
More than likely, this will be the catalyst for change.
Americans will need to decide what is the most fair and
democratic replacement for the Electoral College.
The question is, what do we put in place of the Electoral
College? Some individuals advocate relying on the
popular vote to decide our next president. However, this
would require candidates to only carry the more popu
lous states, thereby neglecting less significant states like
N.C. States like New York, Florida and California would
receive all the attention from the candidates. Millions of
votes would lack importance.
As America waits with baited breath to find out who, in
fact, will lead the free country for the next four years, we
are left to wonder whether the seemingly petty legal
actions of both parties will produce a national uproar
about the present election system that will cripple our
democratic system and weaken our leaders for decades.
The world is already laughing at the absurdity of this
year's presidential election. Need we make it any worse
by dredging up an argument that's only bound to hurt
us in the long run?
BRe the bullet
After the ongoing, never-ending, incessant controversy
over distributing free music over the telephone (or cable)
wires, one would think Internet freaks would get over
the fact that free music will soon be no more.
Remember the old phrase, "nothing in this world is
free?" Just deal with the fact that in a few months, big
corporations will be controlling what you download off
the good ol' reliable PC.
With the recent uproar over Internet users downloading
entire songs, often unlicensed by the musician, many
Web sites who distribute music are being shut down
(thank you, Metallica).
MP3.com was recently shut down for copyright in
fringement. Its Chief Executive Michael Robertson is
about to start building his own business, My.MP3.com,
according to yahoo.com.
My.MP3.com is going the direction Napster-lovers fear
most, which is (brace yourself), paying actual American
dollars for music. My.MP3.com will have licenses with
five labels, including Universal Records, making it legal
for users to download full-length songs for a minimal
fee, which will probably cost more than it would to drive
to the local music store and by the CD. The site will set
up ways to track what songs each individual downloads,
giving the artist royalties for each piece of music.
The corporations have opted for the "if you can't beat
'em, join 'em" motto. Eventually, almost all web-based
music sites will suffer the same fate as MP3.corri, and
instead of trying to fight the Supreme Court, the public
should just suck it up, go out and buy the CD.
Age doesn^t change alcohol responsibility
The age limits on alcohol con
sumption pre-judge every 18 to 20
year old to be a criminal. The law
presumes that if an 18 year old were
to have a drink, he would most
certainly be raucous, rowdy and
Never has there been a 19 year old
that didn’t immediately forgo the
shot glass and chug the bottle in
stead, until the point of alcohol
poisoning and death. Twenty-one
years of age is needed, or else the
co-ed would drive her Ford Fiesta
into a minivan, causing it to ex
plode, burning the little children
No one is responsible until they
have lived at least 7,665 days. Any
one who drinks before such time
has passed is a menace to society.
All people who have made it past
this point are always responsible.
They never drink and drive. They
never drink too much. Alcohol has
no effect on them. Its biology.
Actually, if an 18 year old were to
kill an old man and his dog while
tearing down Merrimon Avenue
under the influence, he or she would
be held accountable for the death.
You see, people of this age aren’t
responsible enough to be allowed
to buy the booze in the first place,
but they are considered competent
to stand trial and go to prison for
everything they did while under the
influence of the illicit booze that
they weren’t supposed to have in
the first place.
Either we are responsible or we are
not. Either we are adults or we are
children. Those of us who reside in
this twilight zone of graduated
adulthood are asked to take charge
of our lives in every way save one. I
can work and pay taxes. I can serve
in the armed forces, to kill and be
killed. I can make babies and care
for them. I can commit crimes and
die for them. But I can’t have a
Apparently, this is because drunk
driving is the biggest killer of people
under 25 years old. Does this say
that there is an epidemic of drunk
driving deaths? No, it’s just that the
under-25 crowd hasn’t had its
chance to get old and fat and can
cerous, so nothing else is killing us.
We rely on being wild and out of
Thanks to those who go about
and do stupid things when they are
drunk, I get pe
similar is this to
member of the
class talked out
of turn? All
should not be
punished for the
mistakes of the
proven guilty is
the way it’s sup
posed to work.
Now, its guilty
until 21. This
sort of age profiling may work well
for the car insurance company, but
it should not be government policy.
Racial profiling is not acceptable
because more people of one race
have been caught stealing cars or
because more people of a certain
ethnicity have had carry-on bags
full of explosives they used to blow
up airliners. Racial profiling is
unacceptable, and so is age profil-
“Either we are
adults or we are
children. Those of
us who reside in this
twilight zone of
are asked to take
charge of our lives
in every way save
And it isn’t as though people over
21 years ofage don’t ever drink and
drive. Twenty-one year olds drink
and drive. So do people in their
30s, 40s and 50s. It doesn’t get |
better with age.
America tried Prohibition. It i
didn’t work. Sometimes our free
dom hurts, but that’s how we know
we have it. Be
ing free means
that we have to
You don’t be-
come more re
having fewer re-
You do not be
come a respon
sible drinker by
them out of
school for mak
ing their own
what they should and should not
do makes no sense.
Public safety should cease all in
vestigations and arrests, and cancel
all reports relating to underage
drinking at UNCA. The legislature
should repeal the laws and institute
an 18-year-old drinking age. For
those under 18, it should be left to
the parents’ discretion. Give us our
booze and be gone.
Web sites to entertain and educate
T o take everyone’s mind off of the
pending electoral vote and other
overwhelming topics, I give you the
list of keen Web sites.
The best daily comic strip in the
entire world is on www.sluggy.com.
The strip involves two dense males,
one hapless college co-ed, one de
mon-possessed witch, adistractable
ferret, an alien secretary who eats a
lot and a mean mini-lop with a
switchblade called Bun-bun, mixed
in with Santa Claus, the Dimen
sion of Pain (may cause severe tire
damage), an Easter bunny that de
stroys Tokyo, kittens, time ma
chines and a carnivorous Smurf.
This comic follows the exploits of
Riff and Torg, two stereotypical
cartoon heroes that have many ran
dom, wacky adventures. Start read
ing this comic from the first strip
(all of them are kept online) and see
if you don’t get addicted to it, too.
You never have to buy a paper to
read this cartoon, as it is kept en
tirely on the Internet.
The home of the greatest board
games is www.wunderland.com
(even MENSA says so). These are
the people who bring you Fluxx,
Set, Quiddler, Apples to Apples
and Equate. These people run a
small business that distributes games
directly to consumers.
Most college students have played
the card game Fluxx at some point
(never the same rues twice). This is
where you can get it.
This is also a highly recommended
site for mathematicians. A great
deal of this site is devoted to a group
of games called “Icehouse games.”
These games are often the pinnacle
of mathematical modeling.
Not to scare off the general pub
lic, however, the majority of these
games are made by a bunch of
Nader-voting hippies. So, you can
explore these people’s home pages,
which host many interesting pieces
of artwork (often done with Rubik’s
Cubes), political essays and fun gags
to play on your friends.
“What do you really think of your
professors at UNCA?” asks
www.collegesucks.net. Trying to
figure out whom to take for Hu
manities 324? Check out this place.
This is a service run by college
students to give other college stu
dents a forum to rate their profes
UNCA already has a large num
ber of its professors listed and rated
(on a scale of one to five). If your
professor is not listed, you can add
them with just the click of a mouse.
All posting to this site may be
done completely anonymously. You
can rank a professor that you have
had without fear of them discover
ing whom you are. Posting is com
Remember that this is a service for
people who are considering the
professor for a class. Don’t abuse
the power that it presents by fag
ging on a professor who gave you
a poor grade because you deserved
After you use www.google.com,
you will never need another search
engine. This is the most accurate
and expansive search engine on the
Google searches across more Web
sites than any other search engine,
and also does it with far better accu
racy than any other search engine I
know of. It is also fast and easy to
When you want to see how sick
and twisted humanity can be, or
want a good laugh at another
person’s expense, go to
www.rotten.com. Every vice that
you could want is found here, in
This site has everything from a
graphic version of “News of the
Weird” to a detailed version of the
evil things that happened in history
on any particular day.
Mind you, this site is visually
graphic, and can be quite unnerv
ing. If you are under age, have a
weak stomach or any sort of reli
gious restrictions, you probably
should not visit here. But if you do
visit, it is quite entertaining.
My personal hero’s homepage is
admire anyone who can amass that
much of a fortune without build
ing anything. Maybe one day I
shall be lucky enough to work for
Here you can read Gates’ various
speeches, an excerpt from his book
and get some nice background in
formation on the man who revolu
tionized the computer software in
Try and learn about this man be
fore you bash him for being a better
businessman than you.
A good place for some simple, free
software is www.freeware
home.com. It’s great for special
ized text editors, physics programs
and the like. I have found this to
be a great site when I need a quick
and dirty program to do some
thing for a class, like some scien
tific conversions or something like
This is not a very exclusive site,
either. There are programs of all
sorts available here. My personal
favorite is a telnet program called
Console Telnet. I recommend it
to anyone who uses telnet ses
T une in next time for more of that
lack of political coverage you love.
The Blue Banner welcomes your comments, letters and other submissions
The Blue Banner welcomes letters and comments regarding the content or quality of this publication. Letters
should should not exceed 300 words. Letters for publication must also include the author’s signature, class
standing and major or other relationship to UNCA.
All submissions are subject to editing for length and content. The deadline for Letters to the Editor is noon on
Tuesday. Please send letters to: The Blue Banner, Karpen Hall 244, One University Heights, Asheville, N.C.
28804, submit a letter via the Blue Banner Online, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.