NZ Herald 7 May 2018Family First Comment: Excellent op-ed from Simon O’Connor“Seymour must be convinced that no one will ever be coerced into dying for the convenience or financial gain of another. He obviously believes no one in his family would ever encourage someone to end their life early so that the will could be read that much sooner. Indeed, it is tempting to think that of all families in New Zealand. However, we know that elder abuse is rampant, and that seniors, the sick, and the disabled are already marginalised in our society. Many feel unvalued and unwelcome, either through the deliberate actions of others or because of a prevalent unconscious bias. In the face of these and other concerns, it is unfortunate that Seymour has dismissed anyone not wholeheartedly supporting him as “fearmongering”. This is an injustice to the issue, to those who disagree with him, and to his own bill.”www.rejectassistedsuicide.nzA few weeks ago David Seymour dismissed tens of thousands of New Zealanders who wrote to Parliament with their concerns about his End of Life Choice bill.Submissions on his bill, which allows for euthanasia or assisted dying, have barely closed and he has already stated he doesn’t care what people have to say.Armed with a handful of polls that assure him of just how right he thinks he is on this issue, he has decided Parliament no longer needs to think for itself.The problem with relying on public polling to decide serious, complex social issues is that it inherently reduces the issue to a simple yes or no question. This is a dangerous way to address difficult subjects, especially when lives are at stake.Polling questions are not only simple, they are entirely dependent on the imagination of those polled. It is very easy to support just about any proposition if you are asked only about the idealised version in your own mind.While polls may indicate broad public support for the concept of “assisted dying”, the public has never been asked about the specifics. Supporting an abstract principle is very different from writing a law that will shape the real world.Assisted suicide, and this bill in particular, is a serious risk to many people in our society.Though Seymour is at great pains to remind everyone this bill advocates only voluntary euthanasia, we also know that many people are vulnerable to abuse, bullying and exploitation.READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/wanganui-chronicle/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503426&objectid=12046348
Week one of college football certainly delivered. Apart from USC’s 55-6 trashing of Arkansas State, marquee matchups — Alabama vs. Wisconsin and Arizona State vs. Texas A&M — lived up to expectations.We now know that Arizona State should never have been ranked No. 15 and Alabama’s defense looks scary good.While these games certainly stick out to any normal fan, you’ll find some rather interesting storylines if you dig deeper.No. 21 Stanford fell to unranked Northwestern and UCLA’s Josh Rosen had a near perfect debut, passing for 351 yards and three touchdowns while completing 28 of 35 passes.In fact, Rosen’s first game, against unranked Virginia — a team that has not won a road game in three years — went so well that many experts now have UCLA as their pick to win the Pac-12 and make the College Football Playoff.This sounds awfully familiar. Just last year, it seems this same exact situation happened.On opening weekend last season, No. 21 Texas A&M traveled to Columbia to take on then-No. 9 South Carolina. Led by quarterback Kenny Hill, the Aggies crushed the Gamecocks 52-28.Hill, who was making his first start for the Aggies after the departure of former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, went 44-60 for 511 yards and three touchdowns.Texas A&M was thrust into the top 10, jumping 12 spots to No. 9, and even receiving two first-place votes.Hill immediately found himself in the national spotlight, leading the conversation for Heisman and giving himself the nickname Kenny “Trill.”Fast forward a few months and the Aggies finish the season 8-5 (3-5) and find themselves outside the final top 25 poll.Kenny “Trill” decides to transfer to TCU after losing the starting job to Kyle Allen in the aftermath of an embarrassing 59-0 loss at the hands of Alabama.Last year’s Texas A&M team is just one example of how preseason rankings are misleading.USC was ranked No. 1 in 2012, and we all know how that ended. It seems that Oklahoma is always ranked in the top 10 year after year despite their last National Championship being 15 years ago.Even the Aggies find themselves in the same position as last season — defeating a top ranked team at a “neutral site” and vaulting into the national conversation.Preseason hype will forever be a factor in all sports, professional and collegiate. However, there are steps that the NCAA could take to temper the hype a little.Instead of releasing preseason polls, why not wait until the third or fourth week to release the initial poll?Under this scenario, most teams would have the opportunity to play at least one quality opponent to show they deserve to be ranked in the top 25.Take this week for example. No. 7 Oregon will travel to East Lansing to take on No. 5 Michigan State.The loser of this game will almost certainly fall out of the top 10, so what is the point of having them ranked so high at the beginning of the season?This week alone, three new teams jumped into the top 25 — Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Utah.Next week you can expect even more teams to drop in and out of the top 25 as there are numerous high quality matchups.Besides Oregon vs. Michigan State, some of the key games this week include No. 14 LSU vs. No. 25 Mississippi State, No. 20 Boise State vs. BYU and No. 19 Oklahoma vs. No. 23 Tennessee.Basically, we could be looking at possibly 5-7 new teams in the top 25 after just two weeks.While I know this is about as unrealistic as it gets, I can still dream for the day I can turn on SportsCenter and not see Kirk Herbstreit declaring the next national champions after one week, right?But who knows?Maybe Josh Rosen will be that good and UCLA will win the Pac-12. Maybe USC will surprise everyone and go undefeated.Or maybe Rosen will be average and the Bruins will go 8-4. Maybe the Trojans will endure a mediocre season. Nobody knows until the games are played.So what’s the point of all that preseason hype?Nick Barbarino is a senior majoring in business administration. His column, “Beyond the Arc,” runs Thursdays.