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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mail Bag

    College Republicans’ allegiances ‘schizophrenic’

    Thursday is Academic Freedom Day, sponsored by the College Republicans. If this sounds more suspicious to you than Darth Vader hosting a peace rally, you’re right to be doubtful.

    When I first heard the news, I was naively optimistic. If Republicans are willing to commit themselves to protecting our freedom and civil liberties, then maybe our country is making progress. Could the idealistic concepts articulated by our Founding Fathers be taking hold in a society that universally recognizes the importance of free inquiry?

    Not likely. In the last six years, Republicans and the president have done everything within their power (and sometimes a little extra) to curtail every civil liberty possible. For some, terrorism justifies sacrificing certain rights in the name of a greater good. But even many of those most willing to sacrifice liberty in the name of freedom have balked at the president’s latest target – student speech.

    It’s been almost 40 years since the Supreme Court confirmed that the First Amendment applies to students, assuring us that neither students nor teachers “”shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”” Now, in perfect opposition to any concept of academic freedom, Kenneth Starr and the Bush administration are asking the Supreme Court to redefine free speech in public schools.

    The name of the case is Morse v. Frederick. Complete summary is not possible here, but the judgment that the Republicans in Washington are fighting for would signify the effective end of student speech. During oral arguments, Starr even agreed that speech condoning “”violation of the law”” should be suppressed. I wonder how Thoreau, King and the authors of The Declaration of Independence would feel about this.

    Meanwhile in Tucson, Republicans are hosting “”Academic Freedom Day.”” It borders on schizophrenic to fight for academic freedom in Arizona while crusading against it in Washington. If Republicans are serious about protecting our academic freedom and their integrity, they should speak out against the policies of the current administration that blatantly conflict with their supposed cause.

    The College Republicans are right to recognize the importance of free inquiry to our society. But if committed to progress, they must also acknowledge that the most egregious offenders of academic freedom and fundamental liberties in general have so far been Republican. They hold a unique and valuable position from which to speak out against the president’s abuses and should they decide to do so would greatly serve their cause and country. Until then, I remain skeptical.

    Paul Metcalf economics sophomore

    Freemasonry no longer shuns atheism

    Well, as a European Freemason (Spanish, not French, very well related to many other European free-masons) I can assure Taylor Kessinger that we nowadays are not bounded by a restrictive interpretation of Anderson’s advice (“”Meditations on the ‘A’ word””).

    The theistic advice, still typical of Anglo-Saxon masonry, was socially justifiable and acceptable in the eighteenth century, when speculative masonry appeared in the social context of “”that”” England, involved in periodical continuous religious wars.

    It can be so understood by reading Anderson’s words carefully. A necessary first step to attract adherents was to invite men to understand and accept any religious position, founding moral principles on what “”all men agree,”” as you point out in your comment.

    Freemasonry is not at all involved in the religious “”problem.”” And “”not at all”” concerns also the existence or inexistence of a traditional religious God. In general, the majority of us agree on a First and rationally out-of-reach creative Principle, Key to the universe or “”pluriverse”” (symbolically called “”Grand Architect””).

    It is true that the Grand Orient of France does not even mention the necessity of that Principle to develop Freemasonry, but they only represent approximately 45 percent of French Freemasonry. They are not “”France”” or “”the French Masonry”” nowadays.

    Amando Hurtado 33rd., Spain

    Affirmative action amounts to ‘pseudo-reparation’

    I agree with Alex Hoogasian’s piece on affirmative action (“”Affirmative action bake sale illustrates hypocrisy””). I feel significantly inferior each time I am chosen for a position or event solely based on my race; it demeans the hard work I have done to get to where I am.

    I would like to be considered for a job based on my experience and qualifications and would hope I was the most qualified candidate for the positions I apply for, rather than being granted a position in which there may have been a more qualified applicant.

    Affirmative action essentially allows businesses and schools to assume my background and personal situation are exactly identical to an entire race – based on stereotypes and faulty statistics, which is not the case and should never be presumed.

    Though, of course, racial and economic disadvantages plague our nation, they need to be addressed by setting high universal standards of achievement that are implemented in all K-12 schools. Such a plan would take billions of reallocated government funds and years to execute, but that is a far more effective way to combat the obvious inequalities in society.

    For the most part, racism will persist since we inherently treat others who look unlike us differently, but as a “”pseudo-reparation”” concept, affirmative action does not work.

    Ashley C. Emerole sophomore majoring in political science and history

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