Giving up the ghost

NATIONAL ISSUES: Conservative politicans need to stop using Obama’s birth control mandate to score quick points this election season.

Political arguments often blur perceptions between right and wrong. In allowing religiously-affiliated institutions to shift the cost of birth control to the health insurance companies they contract, President Barack Obama fulfilled a moral obligation to provide uniform healthcare to all Americans and a political obligation to compromise with respectful dissenters.
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Road rage

CITY AFFAIRS:vThe city of Berkeley’s new ordinance to protect bicyclists is welcome but does little to fortify the effect of existing laws.

For drivers and bicyclists, sharing the road can be a frustrating experience that tests the patience and safety of both parties. An ordinance passed by Berkeley City Council in January, which went into effect Thursday, aims to promote safer roadways for cyclists but fails to do any more than existing
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Engineering equity

CAMPUS ISSUES: The UC Berkeley College of Engineering displays great initiative in its efforts to increase diveristy among students.

While receiving negative press is a destabilizing experience, what follows doesn’t have to be. After the UC Berkeley College of Engineering was spotlighted in an October 2011 California Watch article that uncovered sexism in its male-dominated student culture, the school has made a heartening start toward a more diverse student
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Overcooked occupation

CAMPUS ISSUES: Occupy Cal is back with tents in front of Sproul Hall, but celebrating three months since Nov. 9, 2011, isn’t enough.

Although members of the Occupy movement acknowledge the lack of a uniform message, they nevertheless proved their ability to stand as one. Last semester, Occupy Cal reached its peak when public policy professor Robert Reich spoke to thousands on the evening of Nov. 15. In the time since that moment
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Haste makes waste

CAMPUS ISSUES: While the ASUC Senate can and should make ideological stands, it should not spend student money so recklessly.

Students at UC Berkeley share a passion and desire for advancing justice and making wrongs right. Issues like budget cuts often draw attention from the campus community, and the student government plays an important role in expanding support. But the ASUC Senate’s Feb. 7 bill — which reiterated support for
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The noble struggle

STATE ISSUES: By ruling California’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set a just precedent.

For too long, the rights of same-sex couples have remained suspended in California, inexplicably restricted by a law that is both rationally and morally reprehensible. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ Tuesday ruling that struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban — passed by ballot initiative Proposition 8 in
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Wrongful termination

CITY AFFAIRS: The City Council’s willingness to cave to neighborhood complaints was wrong and sets a bad precedent for Berkeley.

Just because something upsets you doesn’t make it wrong. Unless, of course, members of Berkeley City Council agree, as they did with the neighbors of 2133 Parker St. in their Jan. 31 decision to declare the 17-bedroom, student-occupied building a public nuisance after the city previously allowed its expansion and
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Walking a fine line

BAY AREA AFFAIRS: Moving money away from big banks may be commendable, but ideology should not be the sole motivating factor.

While America’s biggest financial institutions certainly played their part in the economic recession that persists today, it’s hard to exact meaningful punishments on them. Unethical behavior, after all, isn’t necessarily illegal behavior. Right on the heels of Berkeley City Council’s Jan. 31 decision to consider alternatives to banking with Wells
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Delayed deadline

CAMPUS ISSUES: Though the Police Review Board must take time to gather student input, it must not delay longer than necessary.

Our campus community and the nation at large were shaken as they watched UCPD officers use batons to prevent Occupy Cal protesters from setting up tents in front of Sproul Plaza on Nov. 9, 2011. But today, it isn’t what happened that gives us pause — it’s what may be
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Baby steps

CAMPUS ISSUES: Recent revisions to the student conduct process are useless if administrators keep treating it as a punitive process.

Student protesters expect a certain degree of punishment when they engage in civil disobedience on campus. After all, the peaceful violation of rules is an important part of some demonstration tactics. But that expectation, in years past, was accompanied by an often slow, inefficient and unfair student conduct process at
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