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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pulse of the Pac: Oct. 28

    This week we talked about racist Halloween costumes, presidential hopefuls and the student loan debt crisis. Meanwhile, the rest of the Pac-12 offered thoughts on freedom of speech for corporations, Islamophobia and the idea of greed being good in America.

    The Daily Californian

    UC-Berkeley

    In the decision for Citizens United against the Federal Elections Commission, the Supreme Court recognized that campaign finance laws limiting political spending by corporations are an inhibition of freedom of speech. In winning over five of the justices, lawyers for Citizens United pursued a broad interpretation of the First Amendment by making the small theoretical leap that corporations are in fact people, too, and should therefore enjoy the same right of free speech protected by the Constitution … The real victor here is democracy, which flourishes when power is appointed to the people. It took a very long time, but the recognition that corporations are people, and that they are entitled to free political speech finally completes the unification of government with the interests of those who can make their voices heard … The influence of money on legislators in Washington is well known. As the Supreme Court’s perpetual swing vote and writer of the court’s 5-4 majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy responded to the threat of increased corruption by explaining that any danger a torrent of corporate money might bring would be mitigated by the court’s additional mandate (8-1) for “transparency (which) enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.

    — “Cashing in on free speech” by Christopher Coulter

    The Daily Utah Chronicle

    Utah

    Thursday, student government hosted a Lunch and Learn Dialogue about Islamophobia, where speaker Amer Ahmed of the University of Michigan emphasized the peacefulness of Islam and simultaneously criticized the United States. Although Amer did a fantastic job illustrating the religion of Islam as one of benignity, he rarely addressed the actual term of Islamophobia. There are different types of offenses, especially in a post-9/11 America, which Ahmed never distinguished separately. Racism, the predominant form of bigotry today, against Arabs and those with similar skin complexions, are atrocious phenomenons in the United States. That should, however, be separated from criticism of certain interpretations of Islam, such as the radical interpretation that is Wahabism, a conservative form of Islam seeking to purify the religion. Although Ahmed conflated bigotry and Islamophobia, recognizing the distinction between the two is crucial in order for us to move forward. This type of criticism leveled at Islam is valid, as radical interpretations of the Quran are palpable threats in the world today. Because this type of criticism rests on real world premises, those who unleash it aren’t Islamophobic — rather, they are critical of certain constructions of Islam.

    — “Prejudices are not phobias: Islamophobia and bigotry evaluated” by Joseph Suh

    The Daily Trojan

    USC

    The best way to describe Occupy Wall Street is as an eclectic movement expressing a shared discontent toward the nation’s distribution of wealth as well as the perceived greed of corporations and Wall Street. Though the opinions, grievances and goals of the Occupy protesters are too numerous and diverse to succinctly categorize, there is one observable, important characteristic that separates the protesters into two distinguishable groups. There are protesters whose primary interest is putting what they see as a rigged system back onto a level playing field where everyone has a fair chance to compete … The other group of protesters is primarily concerned with crusading against what it sees as an inherently flawed system based on corporate greed and capitalistic malfeasance. For those, the idea is to eradicate capitalism and the greed it perpetuates altogether … What protesters should understand when addressing problems such as a shrinking middle class, highly skewed distribution of wealth and political system beholden to special interests — all serious problems that require real solutions — is that greed has absolutely nothing to do with them.

    _— “Greed in America beneficial” _
    by Justin Davidoff

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