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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Mail Bag

    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 So the factory worker who has been replaced by a robot can get more skills.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

    Can’t destroy Constitution to destroy terrorists

    In response to Kara Karlson’s opinion on the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (“”No rights for terrorists””), the author has confused two arguments in her piece. She says that terrorists should not be granted constitutional rights, which is an issue that has two defensible sides. It is an ethical issue, whether any human being should be deemed a terrorist or held indefinitely without charge, but there are two legitimate sides to that issue.

    But the author also talks about whether enemy combatants should be given access to the U.S. court system, which is an issue with only one defensible conclusion: they must have access. The enemy combatant label can be applied to American citizens, and under no circumstance (no circumstance!) should an American citizen be denied habeas corpus or a full legal trial in civilian court with a jury of peers. It is completely indefensible to suggest otherwise, because no American is a terrorist until proven such and no American can be proven guilty of anything without a constitutionally defined fair trial.

    After all, the author herself writes, “”[I]t is crazy to think that the very people who are intent on destroying what this country is based on should nonetheless be able to use it in their own defense.”” If the author would like to be able to use the Constitution in her defense, she shouldn’t try to destroy it for other Americans by allowing them to be denied its protections.

    Jimmy Sanford pre-business sophomore

    Engineering more ‘useful’

    In response to the letters I have read (both on the website and in print) I would like to defend both myself and all the devoted engineering students. First off, a liberal arts degree does not make one more culturally literate than a “”boring”” engineer (or architect, doctor or scientist). A person can substantially broaden ones horizons by “”simply”” reading a book, just as many of the most famous self-taught authors, statesmen, theologians and philosophers of previous eras. Our entire civilization was built by engineers, technicians and people such as mentioned previously.

    This has been a bone I have wanted to pick for some time now and the present debate on the issue of academic political bias was merely an impetus to finally do so (though I must admit my attack was as crass as those accusations have indicated; God, I love messing with people who take themselves so seriously). I am also annoyed with the mass of opinions tossed around by liberal arts majors in this publication and I would like to see more contributions by students in useful majors (yes, I will use that term).

    Sadly it is hard to do so with the challenging class load that we are subject to (ask any engineering student with a liberal arts roommate about the disparity in study times if you don’t believe me). Luckily here in this modern era of ours I need not talk to a professor of history, philosophy or music appreciation to learn all I want to about these things because they are at all at our fingertips on the Internet (for instance, Project Gutenberg has made so many great classics available with a quick download).

    However, the medical, science and engineering disciplines require rigorous study and training, and are truly the core of our society. In the end, the best proof I can offer is to raise the point that every engineering student (including many from lower economic classes motivated to improve their lives) I know is taking at least one general education class, but how many religious studies majors are taking medical, science or engineering elective courses? Few, I’d imagine, and not nearly enough.

    Antony J. Mills sophomore majoring in optical sciences and engineering

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