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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Republican Party no champion of civil rights

    The often-spewed bile of political rhetoric that “”Republicans freed the slaves”” is an ironic display of political anachronism used to try and soften the harsh facade the Republican Party displays to Americans who are not WASPs. The party of Lott, Thurmond and Helms seems an interesting choice to marry politically with African Americans. Michael Huston: no one is buying it, particularly not blacks. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from September found 2 percent of blacks approved of Bush. This is more then an image problem.

    It is interesting to announce the party is ready to “”earn back its reputation on civil liberties.”” What reputation is this exactly? Remember you are talking about the party that fought tooth and nail against the expansion of civil rights during the civil rights movement in this country. Republicans in power continue to infringe on our civil rights with authoritarian measures like the Patriot Act. Not to mention, we currently have a Republican attorney general who condones the use of torture. It is also relevant to point out the judicial and legislative assault by Republicans on women’s reproductive freedom. Is this an example of “”freedom from government intrusion”” you cherish as one of your core values?

    Joss Jaffe and Maria Ruedinger
    landscape architecture graduate students

    Killing civilians OK in certain circumstances

    It is often said that the difference between a “”terrorist”” and a “”freedom fighter”” is little more than point of view. Simply looking at motion pictures in the last 20 years will convince anyone of this – even (and perhaps especially) Americans will cheer a “”terrorist”” as long as he is fighting for a cause we believe in. Furthermore, directly targeting civilians is often an ethically permissible option even by our own standards. Terrorist groups have very little in the way of resources and intelligence – making successful attacks on military or political targets virtually impossible – and must resort to targeting whomever they can. While this is always questionable, it is effective and, as nobody is “”innocent”” (everyone indirectly contributes to the economies that fund warfare), morally acceptable. Thus, judging terrorists by their actions only leads to hypocrisy (why did we drop the bomb on Japanese cities instead of isolated military targets?).

    We can judge them based on their intent, though. Historically notorious terrorist groups such as the Irish Republican Army and Palestine Liberation Organization have somewhat legitimate grievances that can be addressed using diplomacy (as happened with the IRA and almost happened with the PLO). The demands of modern jihadists, however, are not satisfiable by Western society. They do not fight for their countries, or Allah, or freedom or any of the lofty causes suggested when they vomit their rhetoric onto Al-Jazeera. They fight because their way of life depends on oppression that would cease to exist if our way of life prevailed. It is no coincidence that 99 percent of Islamic extremists are uneducated males who would end up on the bottom of the social pyramid if not for the religious patriarchy of Islamic fundamentalism using fear and murder to sustain their dominance.

    Matt Styer’s point is important – we should always listen to the grievances of everyone, including “”terrorists.”” In this case, however, it won’t make any difference. The jihadists are complaining not because our occupying forces of “”crusaders”” are harming them, but because we are preventing them from harming others. It is not surprising that those nations whose track records in human rights are shameful, such as Russia and China, are stressing “”diplomatic”” responses to the jihadists’ demands while the historically free countries – the U.S. and Britain – are their worst enemies.

    Jake Campbell
    computer science senior

    College students ill-prepared for marriage

    I was a little surprised at the letters that people have sent in response to Mike Morefield’s column about marriage. Morefield’s column, as I interpreted, was to encourage students to realize the responsibilities that they will have to undertake upon leaving school.

    Believe it or not, college does prolong the adolescent phase of life. People do not fully form their personalities or become adults in the clinical sense of the word until they sever financial ties with their families and find jobs. I find it appalling how many students think that it will be easy to get married directly after college. What if your fiancǸ does not find a job in the same location as you? Who handles the finances, and what side of the bed do you sleep on? These questions should be answered and planned long before saying “”I do.””

    Age does not make a difference, but where you are at in life does. My cousin was married at 19 and remains happily married, but her husband had a job, and she was going into a job. I’ve never married because I wanted to go to graduate school and my ex-fiancǸ wanted me to go live where he was working. I made the right choice, to follow my dream and move here. If the guy really wanted to marry me, he would have waited; it’s funny that he did not. I believe that was what Morefield meant. He was encouraging people to be rational and to remember that you need to be settled down first. Love is a beautiful thing, but it can make you blind. Don’t forget your dreams before you start running down the altar; you may never get another opportunity to pursue them.

    Laura McCormick
    graduate student in musicology

    Both sides should be careful with pornography stats

    I wish to comment on the recent letters about pornography. For Kyle Wade: Be careful with statistics. I don’t recall any sources being cited, nor any mention of what constitutes a Web site or a hit. Is a Web site meant to count every page in a site, every url or merely every unique url? Is a hit meant to be a hit on a Web site by a unique computer?

    Also, going with the assumption that the number of Web sites is by unique url, and the number of hits is the number of unique hits on a Web site, I would say the stats are probably accurate.

    As for Joseph Jaramillo: Also be careful with statistics. If there are 260 million Web sites of pornography, that does not imply that there are anywhere near that many pornographers. How many Web sites are you assuming the average pornographer makes to come up with half the population of internet users as the total number of pornographers? I would imagine a small group of programmers and pornographers could easily make quite a few dozen porn sites.

    Also, 60 million hits does not imply that the majority of the hits are being done by people between the age of 12 and 17. Rather, Kyle is implying that the number of people between the ages of 12 and 17 who have seen pornography online between those ages is higher than any other age group. It is far more likely that a small portion of the population gives the majority of the hits, and that this group is probably much older. Given that assumption, it is pretty hard to conclude that the number is 9 million in the U.S.

    Also be careful – Wade never mentioned anything about his views of sex being evil. His main arguments were that pornography is addictive, it may make men far more likely to commit adultery and it may cause rape. The last I may not agree with, but the other two have some merit. Neither has anything to do with any views involving sex being dirty.

    Jacob White
    senior majoring in math and computer science

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