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Volume 71, Issue 135, Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Opinion

Whirlwind tour of first half of 2006

JIM MCCORMICK
OPINION COLUMNIST

It's the end of the semester and while I attempt to account for the time I've lost to procrastination and scramble to finish the last few assignments of the term, I find myself reflecting on the events of the last term. 

So, I'm going to take a moment to say a few words about the events of the last semester that I didn't get a chance to talk about before. Why didn't I say anything at the time? Everyone was talking, and nobody was listening. Perhaps now that heads are somewhat cooler, what words I have on those topics will have an opportunity to sink in.

When news broke about the proposal of an abortion ban in North Dakota, many people asked me why I didn't write on the subject. After all, it was a matter of societal importance, and some wanted to hear my thoughts. For those people, I will say that my thoughts don't really matter in this situation for one reason: I am not a woman, nor am I currently involved in administering any kind of health care to women at this time. How can I possibly say anything intelligent or relevant on a topic that should be an issue between a woman, her doctors, and possibly her significant other, when I am in none of those roles?

Regarding immigration, I must say that there seems to be a resurgence of "nativism" in this country right now. I'm not going to ask why, as I don't have the time to listen to the answer right now. However, I do ask everyone to remember that ultimately, we're all immigrants to this land. Our earliest human ancestors were native to Africa, not America. I'm not sure that getting here sooner makes us more entitled to what this part of the world called the United States of America has to offer.

On the issue of the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, I'll say that the cartoonist obviously had a sense of humor that was unique, as almost nobody else found what he drew funny. If he were a stand-up comedian, that act would have gotten him booed off the stage. The newspaper had the right to print it, but its editors probably should have thought a little harder before doing so. Freedom of the press doesn't mean that people are free from responsibility.

To me, the entire ports deal seems like it only came up because some Republicans felt that they hadn't done enough to distance themselves from a very unpopular George W. Bush during an election year. Of course, when they started the Bush-bashing, the Democrats joined in, as it appeared that their colleagues across the aisle were moving in on their favorite sport. Let's face it: Foreign countries have managed the ports in question for several years now. Just because the guy signing the check was going to be from the Middle East doesn't change the fact that the people actually running the ports on a day-to-day basis would still most likely be American citizens. I'm all for discrediting Bush, but it's best to focus on what he's actually doing wrong instead of something in which he wasn't even really involved.

On the ongoing issues surrounding MySpace, I must say that I've never seen such bad web design in my life -- not even back in the days when Web site layout was done through tables. Beyond the eyesores that people call their pages, I cannot discern any real reason for the attention brought to the site other than the fact that Rupert Murdoch now owns it. 

Besides, LiveJournal is more interesting and better looking anyway. However, one thing is abundantly clear: MySpace is not a place for friends; it's a place for amateur pornography and pedophiles.

Send comments to dccampus@mail.uh.edu

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