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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    University appropriate forum for cartoon debate

    Rarely does our community of scholars engage in fervent debate over topics of any real consequence. Thank you … for giving us something to discuss beyond big sunglasses, Juicy pants and www.facebook.com.

    The UA represents an educated community of almost 40,000 people from an incredibly diverse range of backgrounds. It exists to allow us to engage each other in discourse about the world, with each member of the community bringing to the table the wealth of his or her experiences and knowledge. With any right comes responsibility. When we discuss the right to free speech, there is a tacit understanding that that right comes with limits in regard to time and place. It has become clear over the past two weeks which settings may be inappropriate for potentially caustic cartoons. I would hope that this university is not one of them. It is important to commend the Muslim Student Association for engaging in calm and rational discussion with fellow members of the university in the face of the publication of cartoons that many find to be degrading and patently offensive to their faith. At the same time, however, it is important to commend the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Thank you for drawing the UA community back into contact with the broader world. In the past four years, I have seen this campus captivated by debates ranging from the inane to the truly idiotic. Too often we view ourselves as existing in a bubble, complaining about the lack of a fall break or the fascist employment of red tags to constrict our social agendas. Rarely does our community of scholars engage in fervent debate over topics of any real consequence. Thank you, Abbey Golden, for giving us something to discuss beyond big sunglasses, Juicy pants and www.facebook.com.
    Brandon Dow
    political science and philosophy senior

    Freedom of speech doesn’t bow to civic duty

    Yusra Tekbali’s assertion in her Friday column that civic duty should outweigh freedom of speech is ridiculous. As a conservative Christian, I understand that not everyone will understand or accept my religious beliefs, nor do I expect them to. If (and it’s been done many a time) a cartoonist desires to defame my God, that is certainly his right and I won’t seek to prevent it. I also don’t expect said cartoonist to be stifled from expressing his views in the marketplace of ideas. Freedom of speech is a right, not a privilege that diminishes under certain circumstances. As for spirituality, it goes far beyond the trappings of Earth and is above the whims of a society. I know that at the end of the day my religion is between me and my God, unaffected by the decisions of a cartoonist. Violent protest over another’s expression of speech is unacceptable and should never be granted worthy consideration.

    Dan Huff
    UA alumnus

    Comic reflects poorly on Wildcat, university
    Once again the Wildcat has made everyone at the UA look like a bunch of jackasses. If another newspaper does something stupid, should this one? It did. With all the uproar from the Mohammad cartoons, you would think that this would be the perfect time to denounce Muslim-bashing. Did we? No! We jumped right in and made an anti-Islamic cartoon of our own! Free speech? Ask yourself: “”Just because I can, does that mean it’s right?”” An institution of higher learning should be condemning such libel, not participating in it. But we shouldn’t be surprised; after all, this isn’t the first time the Wildcat has published blatantly offensive and discriminatory cartoons, is it? I recall anti-Mormon and anti-Catholic cartoons being printed as well. Free speech? Why is it the idiots who speak the loudest?
    Karl Huebner
    pre-physiology senior

    English problems don’t stop at writing center

    It was heartening to see the Wildcat covering the recent budgetary struggles facing the Writing Center. That said, I’m writing this letter in the hope that it will raise awareness across the campus and among the administration about other problems facing the English department.

    Like the Writing Center, the English department as a whole is also in a budget crisis. The department has recently been put face-to-face with an unprecedented dilemma regarding the hiring of a new professor. No other department in the university has been faced with the prospect of hiring a professor by diverting much-needed funds from other areas.

    Drastically threatened by this budgetary crisis are graduate students, but this is not only a graduate student issue. English graduate students teach 6,000-plus students every semester, and are a valued and exciting part of our own education here at UA. Personally, I find the opportunity to interact with my English 101 and 102 students rewarding and enriching for all, and I would not trade it for anything. However, the current hiring crisis in the English department threatens to put an undue burden upon graduate students, a burden that would also harm the undergraduates of this university. Ask any undergraduate here, and he will tell you that he has his best learning experiences when classes are small and his teachers are not overworked and can devote significant attention to him. By placing an excessive workload upon graduate students, not only do you hamper our progress, but it also guarantees that the undergraduates in the many composition classes taught by English graduate instructors will not receive the education to which they are entitled.

    This situation has grave implications for this university. How can we attract quality graduate students if our program is not competitive with others? How can we fulfill our responsibility to provide the best education to undergraduates if they don’t receive the best learning experience possible? This is an issue that is about more than just financial cost; it is about the future of the UA and its many fine students.

    Ryan Paul
    English graduate student

    Bush administration should listen to Forbes
    The statements made by Steve Forbes on Wednesday were a refreshing dose of truth on the state of the U.S. economy. His discussion of flat tax was especially innovating, telling of the necessity of tax reform in the U.S. Implementing a flat-tax system would lead to a more simplistic tax code and increased economic productivity.

    A far more simplistic flat-tax system would eliminate many of the negative consequences that result from the current system in place. As Forbes said, “”Americans waste more than $200 billion and over 6 billion hours each year filling out tax forms,”” and consider the incalculable waste of brainpower spent on “”useless economic activity intended to take advantage of the code’s maze of deductions and to reduce taxes.””

    The chief advocates against a flat-tax system are also the ones against tax cuts for the rich – they demand fairness and believe fairness of taxation can be achieved in a progressive tax structure. Jeffery Owens and Stuart Hamilton of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, found that in New England, “”only the richest tenth of households pay much more under the country’s progressive tax than they would under a 25 percent flat tax”” proving that there is a lack of evidence for refuting a flat-tax system based upon the argument of fairness.

    A flat-tax system would increase ecomomic productivity by providing incentive for consumers to work harder and increase their skill level.

    A flat-tax system would increase economic productivity by providing incentive for consumers to work harder and increase their skill level so that aggregate labor output would increase. In fact, the individuals who are most productive within a society are also the ones who will lead the way in any increase of economic productivity, and so we need to encourage these workers by providing greater incentive for them.

    The flat tax plan Forbes proposes should be seriously considered. According to the Fiscal Associates of Alexandria, Va., an economic consulting firm, the implementation of the Forbes flat-tax plan would result in “”an estimated $6 trillion in additional assets, an immense boost to our nation’s balance sheet, and nearly 3.5 million new jobs by 2011 – jobs that otherwise would not exist.””

    The Bush administration ought to take a cue from Forbes and realize that the need for tax reform begins with implementing a flat-tax system that would rid an overly complex tax code and dramatically increase economic productivity in our nation.

    Timothy Lin
    economics junior

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