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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    College Republicans’ motives were patriotic

    I’m writing in response to Paul Metcalf’s Friday letter that criticized the 9/11 memorial displayed on Heritage Hill on Tuesday through the use of American flags. His primary criticism seems to be that, since not all victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were American citizens, we should have used flags from their country of origin, and that the College Republicans’ glossing over of this issue proves their political
    motivations.

    As the person who pursued the idea of such a memorial, fundraised for the idea, bought the flags and oversaw putting up and taking down the flags last year for the five year anniversary, as well as the person who has stored the flags for the past year until they were used again this year, I would like to take complete responsibility for this horrendous misrepresentation. It is due to great citizens like Paul that I can be exposed as someone who would so flagrantly misrepresent a victim of a terrorist attack’s nationality for surly some clever and ingenious political purpose that’s logic now escapes me and almost everyone else. I assure you though, that whatever my true purpose was, it is part of the continuing vast right wing conspiracy of which I am fortunate enough to be a prominent member and has nothing to do with a sense of grieving over the loss of so many innocent people, Americans and non-Americans alike.

    And let me tell you all that even before I came up with this brilliant political plot, I had even spent several hours online looking for mini-British flags – and fortunately I could not find small versions of such, nor of the Ukrainian flag or the Ivory Coast flag or the flags of the several other dozen counties that lost citizens in the attacks. Indeed Paul is correct to assume that my spending several hours trying to find the flags of such victim’s nationality was an obvious false front on my part to appear as if I cared, and had I really cared I would have flown to all previously mentioned counties in order to find small versions of their respective flags – or else not put up a memorial at all. Now I can only hope the families of the non-Americans that died on September 11, 2001, can forgive me and the rest of the College Republicans for our horrendous actions, for surely representing one’s nationality with 100 percent precision is more important than any so called “”larger issues”” like terrorist attacks.

    Sarcasm aside, the College Republicans went out of their way to NOT politicize the issue. Our name was barely displayed; we were not trying to advertise the Republican Party. Last year as a “”panel on 9/11″” sat in front of the flags and gave their socialist and communist views on how President Bush had planned the 9/11 attacks (politicizing of the issue?), we sat quietly by. Frankly a 9/11 memorial is not about politics, despite Paul’s attempts to make it seem so. And hey perhaps in the long run it is okay to represent the murder of a foreigner in America with an American flag because it symbolizes liberty and democracy which are righteous causes, which hopefully will continue to beat back the forces of terrorism that killed said foreigners. Just perhaps.

    -Blake Rebling
    immediate past president of the
    UA College Republicans

    Columnist shouldn’t ridicule churchgoers

    I know that the Catnip section in the Daily Wildcat is the subject of Andrew Austin’s satirical and humorous views of the world, and more power to him, but I have to disagree with what he said about church and his ideas about its meaning in the Thursday Wildcat. Austin claims that church is suppose to be “”boring and painful.”” I know that this is his opinion, and I don’t hold that against him, but to some people, they are happiest when they are at church and engaged in fellowship.

    Here is the problem with an attitude like Austin’s, though: you claim church is just a time for a preacher to tell you how bad you’ve been or you only go at Christmas or Easter to keep your neighbor from nagging you about church.

    This is where you’re wrong. Those who give up their Sundays to spend time with fellow believers have a sense of fulfillment that you may never feel. Don’t say that church is boring; it’s only boring because you don’t believe in what is being taught. You go so far as to be prejudiced against those who do believe and find church worthwhile.

    What infuriated me the most was when Austin said that if God wanted church to be fun, he would have had Jesus die doing something chic. According to Austin, dying in a chic fashion would be when someone dies while bungee jumping or overdosing on drugs and other things that warrant being cool. Is Jesus dying on the cross not good enough for you? That he shed his blood just so you would have the opportunity of eternal life? I’m sorry that you feel that way, but don’t say church isn’t fun and that God failed to make you personally like church.

    -Brian Greenwald
    sophomore majoring in journalism

    More like “”Fast Fallacies!””

    Most days I read the Wildcat over lunch, often with my friends. One of our favorite features is the “”Fast Facts”” column, better known to us as “”Fast Fallacies.”” We take a certain pleasure in seeing how many of these supposed facts are actually incorrect, and some weeks we find one or more every day! We normally just point and laugh, but today you committed an error so egregious and so easily checked that I find myself compelled to write about it.

    You reported that the temperature of a particular breed of lightning, at 5032 degrees F, is five times the surface temperature of the sun. This converts to roughly 2800 degrees Celsius, which is about half the mean solar surface temperature of ~5600 degrees C. Your statement was wrong by a factor of ten; I needed almost three whole minutes of Google searching to find multiple reliable sources that verified these numbers.

    Those responsible for compiling the Fast Facts should bother checking their ‘facts’ before publishing them. Surely it is basic journalistic procedure to do research for the sake of error checking. A few minutes spent researching each Fast Fallacy might just unearth an actual Fact. And if we don’t get Facts from the newspaper, then why bother reading it?

    -Tim Chambers
    second-year Ph.D. student in physics

    Harassment not the victim’s fault

    I didn’t have a chance to read Tuesday’s paper, but an Opinion piece was brought to my attention (“”Sexism Alive and Well at UA””). It was not Ms. Myers’ opinion that was cause for concern, but rather some of the comments posted online about the piece. While I do not intend to be the “”Comment Police,”” I do feel impelled to replace some of the purported myths with truisms in the hope that students, both men and women alike, will think twice before engaging in harassment or other types of violent, degrading and base behavior. First, I want to commend Ms. Myers for speaking out about sexual harassment. Oftentimes, people think sexual harassment is more a nuisance than something worthy of attention. However, sexual harassment can be traumatic for those targeted, as it goes toward making people feel unsafe. The comments posted that referred to sexual harassment as “”not being a big deal”” reinforce the dangerous myth that speaking out about harassment is unnecessary. Silence, and in this case trying to silence others through degradation, is what fuels further harassment. Moreover, the assumption behind harassment is that the harasser is entitled to say whatever he/she wants about the harassee, thus establishing an unfounded power differential. Harassment, like other forms of sexual violence, is about power and control. When people believe they have more power and can do whatever they want to other individuals, bad things can happen. Whether these bad things are lewd comments yelled from a car window, stealing one’s bike or sexually assaulting someone, they all stem, in part, from a belief that the perpetrator has a right to do whatever he or she is doing, and it is his or her right based on the fact that he or she is more powerful and can control another individual or group of individuals. Lastly, it is never the survivor’s fault that such incidents occur. The notion that women wouldn’t get harassed if they looked or dressed differently is archaic and speaks to people not taking responsibility for their actions. All students, including men, need to recognize the part they can play in ending violence, including sexual harassment. A step toward doing this is realizing it is not a survivor’s responsibility to prevent a perpetrator’s behavior by changing outfits. Rather, it is a perpetrator’s responsibility to change his or her behavior by not making comments in the first place. Furthermore, we have a collective responsibility as a community to speak up and let others know this behavior will not be tolerated. With this in mind, I applaud Ms. Myers for bringing this troubling issue to light and hope we can work together as a community to end all forms of oppressive and violent behavior.

    -Zach Nicolazzo
    violence prevention specialist, Oasis
    Program for Sexual Assault and Rel. Violence

    Society growing rude, disrespectful

    I wanted to make a comment about Alyson Hill’s article titled “”A little common courtesy won’t kill you.”” It was so ironic because just a few days before I read the article I was complaining to my friends about the lack of consideration from the students in the majority of my classes. I too have noticed the disrespect and mannerless behaviors of others. Whether to me or another person, it is apparent that we have evolved into a selfish society. For example, in my classes, I have students who will have a meaningless conversation aloud during lecture! What are we….three year olds?! We are supposed to be going to college to better ourselves as adults and academic scholars. I feel terrible for the professor who has to talk over them. I have been tempted many a time to raise my hand to let the professor know that I am being distracted by the conversation of the two idiots behind me and if I could kindly tell them to shut it. But, I am not one for confrontation. I would hope that something will change among the disrespectful public, but that is out of my hands. I sympathize for those who do not have any common courtesy and wish them luck out in the real world.

    -Natalie Bedolla
    communications junior

    Don’t schedule events on religious holidays

    It is wrong that the people in charge of scheduling intramural football scheduled one on Erev Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) is one of the most important Jewish holidays. The University is about 10 percent Jewish and I think that it is wrong for them to schedule the game. I have talked to many other students that are Jewish who participate in intramurals and they have tried to change the date of the game, but it was rejected by the people who are in charge of intramurals. They couldn’t care less that it is scheduled on a Jewish holiday. It is the University’s policy that students should be allowed to miss class and make up the work if it conflicts with a recognized religious holiday. I think that the people in charge of scheduling intramural games should be respectful of and change the date of the game if it is in conflict with a religious observance.

    -David Frazin
    pre-education freshman

    Cartoonist sends great message

    I would like to commend Steve Weid on an excellent message in his Sept. 12, “”The Right Place at the Wrong Time.”” Although he probably created the comic after he or a friend of his literally jumped into a puddle that was bigger than it looked, I found a metaphoric message in it. So many times, people (students) find a really fun thing(s) to do only to realize that they are in over their heads. This could be social situations, financial

    commitments, taking on too many units, volunteering in too many activities, etc. I will be using that comic in my advising practice and have hung it in my office. Thanks for the visual aid, Steve.

    -Amber R. Soergel
    pre-physiology academic advisor

    Democrat’s letter ‘partisan, paranoid’

    Friday’s letter to the editor by the Vice President of the UA Young Democrats (“”9/11 remembrance””) contained nearly 500 words of Paul Metcalf admittedly expressing his anger and his irrationality on behalf of America’s dominant political party. I’m far from a fan of most Republican politicians, but I certainly would be hard-pressed to vote for Democratic ones if the Young Democrats reflect upon the party they represent. I wonder, as well, if the hypocrisy of Metcalf’s rant could be any more evident. The College Republicans simply make a memorial to 9/11 and then get accused of “”propaganda,”” “”distort(ing) patriotism to further political agendas,”” and “”sinister calculations.”” Wouldn’t political propaganda be characterized by making the memorial political in the first place, as only the Young Democrats have done? Metcalf could have at least provided some logical reasoning to believe that this Republican demagoguery exists; yet he merely provides the same appeals to emotion and outrage that he claims he is attacking.

    Maybe those who already get as wildly emotional as he does just by looking at the word “”Republican”” will thank Metcalf for “”exposing their (the Republicans) methods,”” but his propaganda is quite clear when he encourages readers to make sure that Republicans (the fantastical American manifestations of tyranny, greed, corruption, insert-Democrat-created-label-here) “”never find power again.””

    In his partisan and paranoid zeal, the Young Democrats VP also displayed an outstanding knack for nitpicking, pointing out that some of the victims on Sep. 11 weren’t American citizens. The main attack was, after all, in New York City-hardly a bastion of assimilated Americans. Is having an American flag represent a resident of or visitor to America really that outrageous? Al Qaeda (or the Evil Rove-Cheney-Bush Imperial Triumvirate, Big Business, the State of Israel, or the Freemasons, depending on your level of “”open-mindedness””) attacked America with the aim of not only damaging structures, but murdering as many people in America as possible. If the situation was concerning Japan rather than America, Japanese flags would not be horribly inappropriate. Questioning appropriateness, of course, is the civil and respectable way to go about discussing such issues rather than, say, furiously spouting ridiculous condemnations and accusations, however fashionable and politically motivated they may be.

    -Daniel Greenberg
    political science sophomore

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