THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2005
REGISTER TO VOTE
Municipal elections are almost on us, which means its time for students
to drop what they’re doing, get a voter registration form, and fill it out.
Nine days; 216 hours; 777,600 seconds.
Lyrics from “Rent”? Nope; it is how long
students and others in the local community
have to register to vote.
And register you should before time runs out. It
might not seem like it now, but Oct. 14 will get here
sooner than you think, and hustle is of the essence.
Step one is to fill out a voter registration form,
available all over campus and on the Internet. A
group of dedicated people will staff a table next to the
Pit where the forms will be available, and major cam
pus organizations such as Vote Carolina, College
Republicans and Young Democrats will gladly
help to get you a form and fill it out.
That includes us, by the way. The Daily Tar Heel
offices, located at the back of the old Student Union,
has forms up the wazoo. It’s a good deal, really: You
can pick up a form and yell at us for one of this week’s
editorials in one fell swoop.
And if you prefer not to interact with potentially
annoying or pungent people, then you can go to
www.sboe.state.nc.us/pdf/formo6.pdf and print a
ONLY A LIL’ UNFAIR
Residents’ complaints about a trio of community presentations at UNC
are unfounded and will serve only to alienate those at the University.
Once in a while, when the town and the
University squabble over some issue or
another, it’s worth taking a step back to say:
Wait, we’re actually fighting about this?
Such is the case in the latest brouhaha, which pits
a dedicated group of local activists against UNC.
The townsfolk say the organizers of this week’s
community presentations on UNC’s Master Plan
aren’t making a good-faith effort to listen to what
they have to say. They say the University would
schedule at least one hearing in the town if it really
wanted to hear their concerns; as it stands, all three
are in the campus’s bosom. And they say the times of
the presentations noon and 7:30 p.m. today and
noon Friday don’t gel with the schedules of active,
To a certain extent, they have a point. Those times
just aren’t convenient for most people, and tonight’s
meeting bumps up against The Daily Tar Heel’s
forum for candidates in municipal elections.
But the University is making a good-faith effort to
address concerns about changes to its Master Plan,
and complaints to the contrary ring hollow.
First, grousing that the events are taking place on
A WELCOME CHANGE
A newly signed law that will limit lobbyists’ influence in the legislature
is a good step toward open government and democratic accountability.
Last week, Gov. Easley signed a much-needed
bill into law, ending an expensive system that
let lobbyists ride their way to undue influence
It was a truly happy day. Under the legislation,
just about everyone wins: the people of North
Carolina; the bipartisan coalition that supported
the bill; the politicians who had the foresight to
throw their support behind a good idea.
The only losers, in fact, are the special interests
that like to buy votes in the General Assembly.
And good riddance to them.
Starting Jan. 1,2007, the goodwill loophole which
allows lobbyists to keep their gifts to lawmakers secret
provided that they don’t discuss specific legislation
will be closed.
That’s a big deal. Now, any spending of more than
$lO must be put on paper creating greater trans
parency that lets folks see just where and how much
lobbyists are trying to influence their representatives.
It means there’s a smaller chance that our lawmakers
w ill be up on the auction block.
Not to say that influential spending is absolute.
Most legislators, in fact, say they pay no more heed
EDITOR'S NOTE: The above editorials are the opinions solely of The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board and were reached after open debate. The
board consists of four board members, the associate opinion editor, the opinion editor and the DTH editor. The 2005-06 DTH editor decided
not to vote on the board and not to write board editorials.
UNC swimmers, divers say
they're sorry for behavior
TO THE EDITOR:
On behalf of the student-athletes
representing the men’s and wom
en’s swimming and diving teams at
the University of North Carolina,
we would like to apologize for our
actions at Kenan Stadium last
Saturday when we were introduced
during a timeout as part of a sports
We realize that the actions were
embarrassing, disrespectful, inap
propriate and altogether reflected
poorly upon us as a part of the
Carolina athletic family. As cap
tains of the team, we assure you
that nothing of this nature will
Carolina athletics is known for
its class, dignity and high level of
sportsmanship. Our actions failed
to portray these values values we
strive hard to uphold. In the future,
we will do a better job of represent
ing Carolina, something that now,
more than ever, becomes of para
Once again, we request your
forgiveness for our mistake and
hope you will accept our heartfelt
Swimming and Diving Team
The form is easy to fill out and takes about five min
utes, so it won’t take up your whole day.
Once you fill out the form to vote in Orange
County, you will need to send your registration form
to the following address: Orange County Board of
Elections, P.O. Box 220, Hillsborough, N.C., 27278.
If you live in the parts of Chapel Hill that hap
pen to fall in Durham County, then send your form
here: Durham County Board of Elections, 706 West
Corporation Street, Durham, N.C., 27701.
For freshmen and others who might not be sure: Yes,
you live in Orange County if you reside in the residence
halls. If you have moved since last registering, then you
need to reregister using your new address.
And since all of you are going to register so you can
vote this November, you might want to know about
the issues and candidates. In that case, you should
come over to Greenlaw 101 today from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Daily Tar Heel will hold its candidates forum for
the fall’s municipal elections, asking questions about
issues relevant to students and the University.
On your way, go ahead and drop your registration
form in the mail box.
campus won’t do any good. Town residents can’t find
anywhere to park on campus? What a coincidence
neither can students or staff. It’s not necessarily a
bad thing, but if we say we want to make Chapel Hill
more transit-friendly, let’s put our money where our
mouth is. Besides, it’s not as if buses don’t regularly
run to UNC from the town.
Moreover, many of the people who are unhappy
about the location of the forums expressed a belief
that UNC was preventing participation by holding
the events on campus. Yet thankfully Chapel
Hillians have voiced no problems with coming to the
elections forum tonight. What’s the difference?
And it’s not as if hosting UNC events off campus
is inherently a good idea. If we had them at Town
Hall, for example, there would be even less public
parking than on campus —and we would be shutting
students, the least mobile population in town, out of
a meeting that’s important to them as well.
The bottom line is that criticizing the University
needn’t be a full-time affair. By making a moun
tain out of a molehill, town residents only guarantee
that no one will be happy with discussions that are
important to everyone who lives here.
to a lobbyist than an average citizen.
But the appearance of indiscretion is almost as
damaging as actual wrongdoing. And we can all sleep
better at night if we know the state has taken steps
to take money out of politics.
If anything, the rules should be even tougher. But
this is a good start.
So is the provision in the new law that creates a
six-month “cooling-off period” that forces Raleigh
bureaucrats to take a break before they jump back into
the legislative ring as lobbyists. The power of these
legislators-tumed-lobbyists is undeniable many
of them turn up on the N.C. Center for Public Policy
Research’s annual lists of the General Assembly’s
most influential movers and shakes. So asking them
to remove themselves from the fray, at least for a little
bit, rightfully dilutes their unfair influence.
Thankfully, Orange County’s legislative delegation
seems to agree. Reps. Verla Insko, Joe Hackney and
Bill Faison, as well as co-sponsor Sen. Ellie Kinnaird,
all voted for the bill.
They deserve credit for realizing that now, it’s a
whole new game —and that legislators had better
play by the rules.
PETA decries inhumane
experiments on animals
TO THE EDITOR:
North Carolinians should be
horrified to learn that millions of
their tax dollars are wasted annual
ly by the Bowles Center for Alcohol
Studies to get rats drunk and to
make such elementary revelations
as “binge drinking is bad.”
I watched these immobilized
animals who have as much per
sonality and the same capacity to
suffer as cats and dogs die in
agony over a week’s time, until,
without anesthetics, they were
decapitated with tiny guillotines so
their brains could be examined.
I taped experimenters from
BCAS admitting their studies
were “crap” and “pointless” and
were conducted to gain funding.
Alcoholism could be better under
stood by doing MRI and PET scans
on human alcoholics.
The drunk rat experiments
conducted by UNC’s BCAS make
a mockery of this life-threatening
disease. Alcoholics do not need a
“cure” for their disease or a “rem
edy” to justify their continued
use of harmful substances. They
need greater access to recovery
Referendum would better
represent democratic ideals
TO THE EDITOR:
In response to the editorial
titled “Not the Best Idea”: I am
appalled by the suggestion that
calls for Student Congress to take
direct action on stipends. This
fundamentally undermines the
idea of democracy itself. The cor
rect course of action would be for
Student Congress to approve a
referendum allowing the people
to vote on the destination of their
Stipends come directly from our
student fees, which are used to better
our educational experience. These
stipends cost students a great deal
of money, and while I am neither for
nor against stipends, I would ask:
Whose right is it to determine what
affects our educational experience if
not the student?
Tyson A. Grinstead
Columnist needs to check
her facts on pornography
TO THE EDITOR:
I wanted to correct some of
the misstatements made in Sara
Boatright’s Tuesday column “Rise
of unique pornography helps to
“It's like being the permanent winner of the door prize.’’
N.C. REP. BILL FAISON, an orange county democrat, on the array of gifts he receives from lobbyists
Bushs latest court nominee
provokes intrigue, disgust
Not gonna lie to ya: I’m a
total spaz when it comes
to the Supreme Court.
My dad’s a lawyer, but I’ve
never been interested in this
country’s judicial system. I’m
glad we have one, but the extent
of my experience is listening
along with the rest of the world
to the verdicts in the cases of O. J.
Simpson and Michael Jackson.
That is, aside from a few of my
Once, I got an assignment
while reporting in Washington,
D.C., to call the Rev. Jesse
Jackson’s house and ask for his
comment after the King of Pop
was acquitted. Needless to say, he
And, let’s see, there was the
time I was working for the
newspaper in High Point and
my editor sent me to the court
house because some genius over
there had scheduled 600 various
cases (ranging from speeding to
drug charges) to be heard in one
It was a madhouse. Children
were crying, and people were
complaining at 4 p.m. about hav
ing waited since 8 a.m. to have
their case heard. The courthouse
wasn’t commenting, so the story
never got to print. But the experi
ence alone was enough to make
me never want to go back.
Later, though, I had to this
time for a much more somber
case. I drove to Hillsborough
when a former UNC football
player was charged with raping
his ex-girlfriend. That wasn’t
pretty. He was acquitted, but
there was a lot of crying and a
hell of a lot of hurt feelings.
After the case had been shut,
the girl’s mother contacted me.
She said that while she hated to
see her daughter’s name tied to
the case, she appreciated that the
coverage had been thorough and
So I’m not a total novice
First, Boatright misquotes
Gloria Steinem. It was not Steinem
but famous anti-pornography
leader Robin Morgan who said
“Pornography is the theory. Rape
is the practice.” The two women
maintain different stances on por
nography. Morgan is opposed to all
pornography, but Steinem makes
a distinction between pornog
raphy and erotica (see Steinem’s
“Erotica vs. Pornography,” 1993).
Pornography is a medium that
sexualizes violence and portrays
sex as an act of domination and
degradation, whereas erotica is a
medium that celebrates sex as a
unifying force between consenting
partners. The Web site Boatright
discusses would fall under the lat
Second, Boatright’s portrayal
of “Steinem’s well-covered bosom”
being the face of feminism is
completely inaccurate. Steinem
celebrated the female body and a
woman’s right to display it without
having to be a sex object (see “In
Praise of Women’s Bodies,” 1981).
So before you throw out her opin
ions as conservative and irrelevant,
you should know what Steinem
really had to say and the contribu
tions she has made to the fight for
IT'S A GLAMOROUS LIFE
but neither am I anything close
to an expert. The five speeding
tickets I’ve acquired have all
been handled by lawyers, so I’ve
never even been to a courtroom
to defend my own case.
But being in Washington this
summer opened my eyes to the
entire world I had been missing
out on. The day Supreme Court
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
announced her resignation, all
of our nation’s capitol was buzz
ing, either with excitement or
fear. The whole city was drunk on
the notion of such large changes
to the Supreme Court. (Or just
drunk in general. I cah’t tell.)
During the summer of
SCOTUS, as it has been called,
the late William Rehnquist’s
declining health was
Washington’s best-kept secret.
When he died and John Roberts
was approved as the new chief
justice, the Bush legacy was
solidified. It is now, to all the
horror, Bush’s Court.
And now, to add insult to
injury, we get this week’s nomi
nation of White House counsel
Harriet Ellen Miers to replace
O’Connor (who, let the record
show, is still serving on the
bench and will do so until her
successor is sworn in).
For Democrats like me, and
even those not very much like me,
the fact that Bush gets to put at
least two justices on the Supreme
Court is sickening.
In the last few years, the
president has pushed for more
and more states to adopt con
stitutional amendments that
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©fjp Hatty (Ear Mrcl
112 years of editorialfreedom
RYAN C. TUCK
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JOSEPH R. SCHWARTZ
MANAGING EDITOR, 962-0750
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dhr Daily (Ear Urri
By Philip McFee, email@example.com
ban same-sex marriage. And he
has nominated two justices in
the past four months who could
endanger a woman’s right to an
They could have a long-term
effect on the social fabric of this
country. When you think about
it, it’s kind of sad: No matter the
senseless war in Iraq, no mat
ter the major screw-up in New
Orleans after Hurricane Katrina,
Bush will be remembered
because he put two justices on
the Supreme Court.
What’s interesting, though, is
that Miers might not be one of
them because Democrats aren’t
the only people who are upset
about her nomination.
After the White House made
its announcement, a conserva
tive blogger from RedState.org
stated, “(No one) could believe
the president would (nominate
Miers).... I think I’ll let the
president fight this battle him
self, for now.”
The poster also pointed out
that Miers contributed political
dollars in 1988 to A1 Gore, who
was pro-life at the time.
This disappointment on the
conservatives’ part and the less
than-impressive resume of Ms.
Miers all adds up to well, I’m
not sure. I’m glad Bush’s nomi
nee is a woman, but what good
is a nominee without a resume?
Helping out judicial officials
doesn’t sound like enough to
qualify even the most intelligent
woman for the highest court in
Still, I imagine Miers will
be approved by the Senate and
sworn in as an associate justice.
And we’ll just have to wait to see
what that means for the ideals
that Democrats such as myself
Contact Emma Burgin,
a senior dramatic arts major,
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