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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    ‘Advocacy’ bill threatens quality of education

    The anti-education camp is at it again. Sen. Verschoor is taking aim at academic freedom by proposing a bill that bans educators from taking sides in any “”partisan controversy”” (“”Bill would ban teacher ‘advocacy'””).

    What are matters of partisan controversy? Certainly there are obvious issues: abortion, Iraq, evolution, gay marriage. But what else? If I’m in a history class, we’d best avoid studying the Spanish Inquisition; we shouldn’t take a stand on the morality of religious torture, considering the debate over Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

    How about the Louisiana Purchase? Was it constitutional for Jefferson to buy territory despite no enumerated power to that effect? There’s controversy over presidential authority today, so let’s cut that from the syllabus; we don’t want to advocate for any side.

    The scientists should be all right though – as long as they avoid Galileo. His conflict with the Catholic Church might remind people of the debate over evolution. We can’t take a side in the science vs. religion debate, so skip that chapter.

    What about Shakespeare? The most prominent author in English literature is definitely safe territory. Except for his sonnets, that is; they express a bit too much affection towards another man. If we teach them, are we advocating male-male love? Are we supporting gay marriage?

    Certainly everyone should learn about the greatest moment in American history: the American Revolution. But wait, we received assistance from (gasp) the French?! I hear that they aren’t too popular in Washington, D.C. cafeterias. Cut it!

    These may seem far-fetched, but that’s my point. Nearly every subject can be construed as controversial by someone. A university’s primary duties are to teach students critical thinking and to challenge them to articulate and defend themselves and their beliefs. Students can’t do those things if they aren’t taught how to engage with complex and controversial subjects.

    A bill such as this is nothing more than a gag order and a threat to the quality of education in Arizona. Everyone who values learning should ask their state representatives to oppose this inane bill.

    Ryan Paul English doctoral student

    UA already reflects racial makeup of state, U.S.

    In response to Friday’s Pass/Fail (“”Breaking down barriers””), the opinions board stated that 63 percent of UA students are white and that we need a little diversity. While I agree that diversity is important, does the author realize the U.S. Census findings of the U.S. and Arizona?

    People QuickFacts: White persons in Arizona: 87.4 percent. U.S.: 80.2 percent. Black persons Arizona: 3.6 percent. U.S.: 12.8 percent. American Indian and Alaska Native persons in Arizona: 5.1 percent. U.S.: 1 percent. Asian persons Arizona: 2.2 percent. U.S.: 4.3 percent. Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Arizona: 0.2 percent. U.S.: 0.2 percent. Persons reporting two or more races Arizona: 1.5 percent. U.S.: 1.5 percent. Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin Arizona: 28.5 percent. U.S.: 14.4 percent. White persons not Hispanic Arizona: 60.4 percent. U.S. 66.9 percent.

    Taking this into account, the 63 percent enrollment of white UA students seems like a reasonable number. I think it is great that the UA is striving for ethnic diversity, and if we have a race being underserved that is an issue, but we shouldn’t have an issue with student populations that reflect the racial makeup of our country and state.

    Sara Yarlott psychology senior

    Students: Get involved in ‘9/11 Truth’ movement

    This past weekend more than 800 skeptics of the official story converged in Chandler to brainstorm strategies for Sept. 11 accountability. Unanimously, they reject the idea that 19 Arab youths foiled the most sophisticated military defense system in the world. They contend that Sept. 11 is a political tool to terrify the public, to justify war in the Middle East, and to stifle controversy. And they can prove that the saga doesn’t hold up to analysis.

    Thoughtful, concerned people came from all over the country – local organizers from New York and Washington, D.C., victims’ families, independent publishers, Iraqi Veterans for Peace, internet talk show hosts, authors and researchers, financial analysts tracing the money trail, discussants of the role of mind control in creating a complacent public, video producers, legal experts, public officials. They joined an active marketplace of information swappers in the lobby.

    Physics professor Stephen Jones explained why the evidence points toward pre-positioned explosives in the Twin Towers. Building 7, never hit by a plane, fell at free-fall speed, in a similar manner, later that day.

    Brilliant historian and analyst of “”black ops”” Webster Tarpley stressed the urgency of Brzezinski’s recent warning that a new false flag operation is being planned right now in Washington as pretext for war with Iran.

    Solidly behind 9/11 Truth is Sunday’s speaker, U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Bob Bowman. Veteran of 101 combat missions in Vietnam, director of Star Wars under Ford and Carter, with a Ph.D. in aeronautics and nuclear engineering from Cal Tech, he is one of the country’s foremost authorities on national security.

    With persons of such courage and integrity behind us, we in the 9/11 Truth movement believe we will prevail. We are a grassroots movement, but many of our roots are also gray. Where are the caring, committed young people? It is time for the younger generation to pick up the torch and help their elders in this most important and exciting struggle of our lifetimes. Visit our website at www.911truth-tucson.org and get involved.

    Karen Woerner senior office specialist, Physics department

    Education the answer to society’s ills

    Kara Karlson’s (“”Laying down the law””) correctly observed that many of our elected officials do not understand the stated purpose of the government. That is, to protect the rights of citizens from threats foreign and domestic, and little else. Many of the laws reviewed and passed act only to further restrict the freedoms of citizens. Any law that is not explicitly protecting rights or freedoms and limits personal choice should, in theory, be discarded as the garbage that it is.

    However, in our country, this is not an option. A quick look at our economic position would show that the United States is trying to run an increasingly socialistic government in a capitalistic market. The more the government tries to physically protect its citizens (free health care, welfare, Social Security) as opposed to protecting freedoms, the more those freedoms will be stripped away as a consequence.

    A good example is the mandatory seatbelt law mentioned in the article. At first glance this looks like an infringement on personal choice. But when a person without health insurance gets in a car accident and goes to a hospital that cannot refuse medical care other people (the insured) foot the bill. It is good to make personal choices, but when a person is not liable for the consequences of their choice, it is no longer their choice to make.

    Is the solution universal government-sponsored health care? No. Why would an insurance company that has guaranteed tax dollars try to attract consumers by providing a more competitive product? As soon as the choice of provider is restricted, normal supply and demand checks and balances disappear.

    What is the solution? Elimination of social programs in favor of affordable education for every citizen who wants it. So the high school dropout who realized his mistake can better himself. So the single mom can get a better job so she’ll be more able to take care of her kids. So the factory worker who has been replaced by a robot can get more skills. Education is the answer.

    Cal Gosla mechanical engineering junior

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