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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Flag bill a good waste of money

    Cheers to Rep. Russell Pearce for proposing bill HB 2583, which would require the display of American flags, no smaller than 2 feet by 3 feet, in all publicly funded classrooms in the state of Arizona. Ever since I started graduate school at the UA, I have thought to myself every day: We have way too much money and no arbitrary project to waste it on. Let the conspicuous lack of American flags in our classrooms be the enemy. Besides that, I have found the campus to be generally short on patriotism. Sometimes I look up in the middle of class and have no idea what country I’m in. An American flag would remind me that this is the U.S., not communist China, and it would instill appreciation in those ungrateful crybabies who actually have the nerve to ask the government for student loans. So, I ask you: Why stop at flags? I propose that we begin each class with the Pledge of Allegiance, and end with singing the Star Spangled Banner, or a prayer or something. Maybe we could arrange for some kind of weekly fireworks display. I mean, seriously, let’s try to remember the real reason why we’re here and not go wasting our money on teacher pay or (God forbid) books. So thank you, Rep. Pearce, for making our education your top priority.

    Lucy Blaney,
    graduate student in Spanish and Portuguese

    Dean not acting as advocate for English

    In conjunction with the very thoughtful editorial on the English department’s budgetary issues in Wednesday’s Arizona Daily Wildcat, I wanted to offer additional information and insights from the meeting that members of the English Graduate Union had with Dean Charles Tatum on Wednesday, with specific reference to the demoralizing way that the eroding quality of education is being addressed.

    The harsh lesson learned in the meeting with the dean was that “”Focused Excellence”” is basically a euphemism for “”fighting for scraps.”” In essence, if the program’s already “”excellent,”” focus on it – then cut the rest loose. He demonstrated this by literally drawing a dividing line on the white board to split apart the English department into halves between the top 10 ranked nationwide programs and the rest of the department. When a member of the audience commented that the English department does recognize the importance of Focused Excellence, he replied, “”Then why isn’t Focused Excellence being practiced within your own department?””

    It’s apparent that our idea of Focused Excellence and his are extremely different. While we’re focusing on maintaining the excellence of undergraduate education through program collaboration, he says there’s a greater need for departmental “”prioritizing”” of allocated resources. Every program within the English department is hurting for resources, and asking the programs to decide what to cut is like asking for volunteers to be cannibalized to ward off group starvation. What’s worse is that the English department looks like the bad guy for cutting programs if they’re not “”excellent”” enough, while if the individual programs decide to aggressively advocate for funding, we look like starving dogs tearing at each other for the same hunk of meat.

    I’ve always thought that the dean of the college is supposed to be our advocate – fighting with the provost to help allocate more resources, pleading with the Legislature on behalf of the humanities and cranking out calls to increase public and private support. On the contrary, my impression from Wednesday’s meeting was that he simply wanted to wash his hands of us and let us fight it out amongst ourselves.

    Andrew Winslow,
    graduate associate in teaching rhetoric, composition and the teaching of English

    Constitution designed to protect white men

    It is evident from Rob Monteleone’s letter yesterday that he has never taken a history or political science class or even bothered to read the Constitution. The Constitution was not written to ensure equal treatment of genders and races. The Constitution was written by white men who did not want to pay taxes. Incorporated in the Constitution are the facts that women could not vote, white men without property could not vote, Native Americans were not considered civilized and African Americans were only counted as three-fifths of a person. Even the 14th Amendment was not interpreted initially to protect African Americans from discrimination.

    Monteleone needs to move to Afghanistan, where he would fit right in with people who think like he does – members of the Taliban. Minorities continue to struggle with a lack of access to jobs, education, adequate health care and continued discrimination from a society attempting to eliminate the vestiges, badges and incidents of slavery, discrimination and disparate institutional racism. Hey, look at the disparity between crack and powder cocaine criminal sentences, to start.

    Jared Hautamaki,
    law student

    Muslims must learn respect for other religions

    I take issue with Yuksel Keskin’s Wednesday letter. Regardless of whether something is religiously offensive, it should be allowed to be expressed. My beliefs are routinely offended by the world around, particularly when I am on campus. However, that is not grounds enough to silence all of the detractors of my religion.

    Further, Keskin says that we must be respectful ofÿthe beliefs of Islamÿif we are to “”maintain peace.”” Keskin, what planet do you live on? Islam is by far the most vitriolic and disrespectful religion existing today. Routinely, Islamic leaders blaspheme Christianity and Judaism. In the Arab world, children are told that Jews kill babies and drink their blood for Passover. In Pakistan, Christian leaders are beaten and tortured before being killed in heinous ways because they are Christian. These are but two examples of vicious hate coming from Islamic nations and leaders. Islam, Keskin, must learn and practiceÿrespect for all of the other world’s religions before it can begin to demand it for itself. Doctor, heal thyself.

    Silas Montgomery,
    UA alumnus

    Letter demonstrates a poor grasp of statistics

    In response to Gabriel Leake’s scathing and misinformed antihomosexual letter yesterday, I have to wonder if the same emotion that foils liberals’ attempts to make “”proper judgments”” was employed by this mathematics senior to write an angry, fanatical diatribe to the Daily Wildcat. The claims that “”most”” homosexuals refuse to be with one partner, get HIV, commit suicide, etc. are just plain fiction. One might expect that a math major would have a better grasp of statistics, but, judging by the other gems in his letter, this is not a reasonable expectation. I could have sworn that his god didn’t approve of lying, anyway. Perhaps we should funnel the research money that Leake alluded to into a program (in the psychology department, to be sure) that will elucidate the effects of religious brainwashing of him and his ilk on their attitudes toward homosexuals. One does not need a math degree to see that this might cure their pervasive low intellect, where hatred of others is the trend.

    David Kaplan,
    medical student

    Gay-bashers have no insight into gay lifestyle

    I know that I am not going to change anyone’s mind about homosexuality any more than people like Gabriel Leake have changed mine. The only way might be for someone close to the individual to come out but, given his views, it is highly unlikely. Nobody wants that kind of rejection. However, I have noticed that most of the anti-gay letters in the Wildcat (of which there are many) go on about how promiscuous we all are, how we hate the idea of long-term relationships and family and that we all need to find God. It always amazes me how the most anti-gay people have so much to say about what it is like to be gay – or so they think. Is it one’s own personal experience? Did he watch “”Queer as Folk”” and think it was a documentary? Where does all of his insight into the “”gay lifestyle”” come from? Most gay people want to find that one person to fall in love with and settle down, even have a family. For every promiscuous gay person, I am sure you could find a dozen straight counterparts. As for the part about finding God, it might surprise Gabriel to know that there are gay Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. There are also gay clergy (as well as those who are straight but supportive) to be found in every one of those religions – including openly gay Imams. It is unfortunate that people will read letters like Gabriel’s and think that they are getting an accurate picture of a community. It is much easier to condemn a group of people than to try and relate to them. I am just sorry that too many take the easy way out.

    Meghan Tedesco,
    veterinary science senior

    Homophobic attitudes in line with Nazism

    Yesterday’s letter from Gabriel Leake regarding homosexuality was by far the most frightening and hateful example I have ever seen regarding this topic. It was so frightening it made me skip a heartbeat. Might I remind people that Adolf Hitler was a staunch homophobe? He was so homophobic that gays suffered the worst treatments under the Nazis, especially if they were Jewish. Leake’s letter is not representative of UA’s majority population, but it is representative of a sheltered, tunnel-visioned, hateful and shamefully disgusting part of our nation’s population that is living in the 13th century. I wonder how Leake and these people must feel knowing that they have the exact same position on homosexuality as the worst tyrant in world history. Leake’s letter was not only offensive to gays but it was also offensive to non-Christians who may decide to not follow Leake’s lifestyle choice. Leake represents the shame of a nation. People like Leake are the reason that people like Matthew Shepard are brutally tortured and murdered recklessly without remorse. Regardless of how Jesus may feel about homosexuality, I wonder how he feels about people like Leake.

    Joel Shooster,
    political science sophomore

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