21, 2001: Letters
doesn't learn, doesn't care
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PAW welcomes letters.
We may edit them for length, accuracy, clarity, and civility. Our
address: Princeton Alumni Weekly, 194 Nassau St., Suite 38, Princeton,
NJ 08542 (email@example.com).
Judging from your cover
story in the February 7 issue, Maxim is no more a mens
magazine than Hustler is an adult magazine. Rather,
both appeal to considerably more immature appetites.
When a corporation exploits women in areas like wages and hiring,
PAW surely does not consider running a puff piece no matter
how many alumni are on the corporations board of directors
calling the company naughty with a wink and a
smile. Why are the standards different when the corporation exploits
women by objectifying their bodies?
Walter M. Weber 81
This is to register embarrassment
to the Princeton community in your featuring the brand of journalism
of Keith Blanchard 88. You have aimed low in terms of content
and cover. The story, of some general interest, does not deserve
the emphasis you have given it. Perhaps on review, you will share
our concern that PAW glorified the tawdry.
Harold Scott 41
Chapel Hill, N.C.
We do not shop at stores
where Maxim is displayed, and we surely do not want it coming into
our home in the guise of PAW. Please remove our names and address
from your mailing list immediately.
Christine C. R. Parham
James C. Parham III 81
I am embarrassed to be
associated with an alumni publication that would feature on its
cover a magazine that is not simply a naughty mens magazine,
but one that blatantly degrades women and animals in addition
to its more innocent defect of being a waste of paper.
If this is the type of
career that you honor at PAW, I no longer want a subscription. No
doubt you have more newsworthy alumni to report on. I understand
and respect that people choose to pursue different career paths,
some of which may be distasteful to me, but a cover story honoring
the editor of Maxim from the school that claims to be in
the nations service is laughable.
Lisa Frack 91
Thank you for your coverage
of former Tiger editor Keith Blanchard. In the words of Mr. Justice
Holmes, I thank God that I am a man of low tastes.
John Hellegers 62
doesn't learn, doesn't care
So Ralph Nader (feature,
February 7) didnt care who won the presidential
election because he believes that most decisions in Washington are
made by what he calls the permanent, corporate government
of corporate lobbyists, political action committees, and the
whole corporate infrastructure. Well, no corporate government
gave us right-wing extremist John Ashcroft as attorney general,
no corporate government made George W. Bush reinstate
the antichoice global gag order restricting family-planning
organizations (as one of his first official acts, no less), and
no corporate government is going to make the new administration
take any of the other actions it is surely going to take to turn
back the clock on social justice in this country. Perhaps Nader
has conveniently forgotten that Bush has identified Antonin Scalia
and Clarence Thomas as his models for Supreme Court Justices.
Only a person who doesnt
really care about or prioritize the rights of women, racial minorities,
and gay men and lesbians, let alone achieving this countrys
promise of equality for every American, could say he didnt
care who won the election. Only such a person could take the
position, as Nader did during the campaign, that there was no real
difference between Bush and Gore. We are already seeing the difference.
Judith E. Schaeffer 74
Regrettably, the interview
with Ralph Nader reveals that he has managed to learn absolutely
nothing about the political forces he helped usher into power. One
might have hoped the sight of Republican thugs shutting down the
vote count in Florida might have awakened him to reality. No such
Soon Ralph will discover
the GOP is no more willing to allow him to participate in any great
debate on national issues than it is to enforce environmental or
civil rights laws or to conduct fair elections. However, it wont
be Nader and his followers that pay the highest price for their
On the contrary, one
day this year a future Rosa Parks will make another gallant stand
for justice. Whether shes supporting immigrants seeking amnesty
or workers organizing a union or minorities still seeking equal
access to education, shell have to challenge established power,
just as those determined Montgomery activists did five decades ago.
When she does, shell have to confront the combined opposition
of Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, and all their minions in the federal
bureaucracy. As shes dragged to the back of the bus, bloodied
but I hope unbowed, I doubt if shell be praising the Nader
campaign for its efforts to bring back government of
Bob Brownstein 68
San Jose, Calif.
As a longtime reader
of PAW, I was disappointed but not surprised to read the letters
(January 24) attacking PAWs editorial judgment in running
a photo of a group of Princeton students holding a vigil to commemorate
Palestinians killed by Israel (Snapshot, December 6).
The authors of some of
the letters seem to think that a lot turns on whether the vigils
are political, as if political is some kind of dirty
word. It seems to me that they are political in the broad sense
of a morally informed concern about justice in the world, well within
the tradition of Princeton in the service of all nations. If PAW,
in quoting the organizers as saying that the vigils are apolitical,
has quoted accurately, how is it deserving of criticism?
The authors of the letters
use the pretext of inappropriate coverage by PAW to launch a defense
of Israels brutal and illegal occupation of the Palestinians,
all using the same tired clichés used throughout the U.S.
by those who would deny the Palestinians the basic human rights
guaranteed to all people. In their zeal to express support for Israel
no matter what, they cannot even tolerate a peaceful commemoration
of the dead.
I rely on PAW to help
me keep current about what is happening on campus. That includes
vigils, protests, memorial services, and expressions of unpopular
As a resident of the
town of Princeton, I am aware that the vigils mourning the Palestinians
were held on a daily basis at noon. If PAW provided no coverage,
I for one would be asking why.
Chip Jerry 69
It is stunning the lengths
to which some people will go in an effort to blame the victim. The
authors of letters responding to the photograph of Princetonians
protesting Israeli aggression are a case in point. Admittedly, the
protesting Princetonians unwittingly provided an opening for the
backlash they received, by stating that their protest was apolitical.
It was not. On the contrary, their protest of Israeli aggression
is political, and their attempt to draw attention to the human costs
of that aggression is not undermined by saying so.
Unfortunately their voice
seems to have been drowned out by those whose letters have appeared
in PAW. They seem to think that Palestinian victims of Israeli aggression
have brought on themselves the deaths, casualties, and innumerable
losses resulting from illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank
and Gaza Strip. Furthermore, they will have you believe that the
Palestinian reaction, their uprising or Intifada, is nothing more
than an itch for violence, a reflection of Palestinian or Arab depravity,
such that Palestinian mothers will send their children to be shot
by armed Israeli soldiers, and a congenital and self-destructive
lack of appreciation for the presumably more civilized
acceptance of their own occupation.
Apart from the fact that
such racist arguments defy logic, reason, and basic human compassion,
it would be so much easier to simply admit the following: The creation
of the state of Israel in Palestine in 1948, however necessary for
Jewish victims of the Holocaust, nevertheless resulted in the dispossession
and displacement of the Palestinians. They have thus understandably
resisted the annihilation of their own past and future. In this
they are and have been no different from Native Americans, South
African blacks, and any number of people seeking their own self-determination,
including us Americans.
That Palestinians have
accepted the fact of Israels existence has unfortunately done
little to earn them the same right to an independent, albeit truncated,
Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Instead they
are subjected to endless futile negotiations, continued occupation,
the threatened loss of their own spiritual and historic capital,
demographic penetration in the form of settlements, and the countless
and constant harassment of border closures, detentions, home demolitions,
etc., etc., that have resulted in a society both trapped and turbulent
with frustration. Is it any wonder that civilian uprising continues?
The question is why does
Israeli occupation continue? What end does it serve? What has a
world military power to fear such that its soldiers kill unarmed
Sumaiya Hamdani *95
The negative responses
to PAWs photograph of the silent vigil for the Palestinian
dead are extremely defensive and fail to acknowledge the intent
of the vigil. Anyone who has followed the news knows that a much
greater proportion of Palestinians has been killed than of Israelis
in the past four months. While the loss of any life is disheartening,
the vigil focused on the deaths of Palestinians in order to emphasize
the suffering of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation for over
Having lived both in the Occupied Territories and in West Jerusalem
studying at the Hebrew University, I have witnessed firsthand the
oppressed lives of the Palestinians and the sharply contrasting
free lives of the Israelis.
There is a large gap
between the immense military strength of the Israeli and Palestinian
peoples. The Palestinians have the right to protest their oppression,
just as the blacks did in South Africa. It is unfair to create a
moral equivalence between the deaths of Palestinian civilians and
Israeli soldiers, just as it is unfair to create an equivalence
between the political strength of the Palestinian and Israeli leaderships
in devising a peace accord.
Perhaps if the Israelis
obeyed the U.N. resolutions and withdrew from the Occupied Territories
and permitted the Palestinians to possess the same human rights
that their own citizens possess, then both Israeli and Palestinian
lives could be saved.
Nawal Atwan 01
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In reviewing Mr. James
Paulsons letter published February 7, I was astonished at
the apparent lack of understanding of the very basic difference
between the perjury of former president Clinton and his subsequent
public statements, and the position of an advocate taken by former
secretary James Baker 52 in connection with the Florida vote.
Apparently Mr. Paulson does not consider the machine tabulation
of all of the ballots a counting, but most knowledgeable
people, including yellow-dog Democrats, do. The method of counting
to be used in an election where the margin of victory for either
candidate would be smaller than the margin of error for any method
of counting, is a different issue. The Bush campaign favored a machine
count of the ballots, the Gore campaign favored a manual count.
I would accuse neither campaign of being altruistic in its preference
of method, but to equate Bakers legal arguments, made to the
American public on C-Span, with Clintons conduct is unfortunate,
at best. I have known James Baker for over 30 years. He has been,
and continues to be, a man of honesty and integrity and the mischaracterization
of his public conduct does everyone, including Princeton, a disservice.
Charles B. Wolfe 66
Please stop this partisan
and fruitless debate over whether Bill Clinton is honest enough
to be Princetons president. This issue is irrelevant since
he is not qualified to be the universitys president, regardless
of his personal prestige. He does not have a Ph.D., and he has never
been an administrator or professor at a college of arts and sciences.
Furthermore, he has never attended Princeton as either an undergraduate
or graduate student. His having been a law professor and attorney
general in Arkansas do make him qualified to be dean of Princetons
law school if it had one.
Jay Geller 95
New Haven, Conn.
I was pleasantly surprised
to see the photo of the student from the 1970s performing a barbell
curl (From the Archives, January 24). I dont know who he is,
but Im happy to learn that nowadays there are upgraded
facilities in the Dillon Gym exercise room.
When I attended Princeton, weight training was virtually unknown,
a maligned undertaking, and its practitioners derided at
least, I was.
I had my own set of weights
in my room at Lockhart Hall. I wanted to practice the Olympic lift
known as the snatch (pulling the weight from the floor to straight-arm
overhead in one fast movement). I didnt dare try that lift
in my room, fearing that I could lose the weight behind me, sending
it crashing to the floor.
I took the barbell into
the quad outside Lockhart and tried to practice the lift. What I
got for my efforts was a lot of hoots and catcalls from students
peering from their dorm windows.
John A. Peters 47