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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Monday Morning Quarterbacking

    Nebraska eliminates ‘Assassin’

    Nerf-gun toting students sneaking around dormitories are far from the strangest possible sight on a college campus. But according to officials at the University of Nebraska, fun with foam darts is a serious threat to campus safety. The Associated Press reported Friday on Nebraska’s recent crackdown on “”Assassin,”” the popular game of informal intrigue beloved by college students everywhere. According to an e-mail sent to the campus community by Juan Franco, the university’s vice-chancellor for student affairs, the game – little more than a complex version of schoolyard tag – is “”extremely inappropriate in this day and age in which we are all too familiar with the Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University shootings.”” What’s more inappropriate is bone headed fear mongering over innocent fun. Banning a game like “”Assassin”” does as much for student safety as banning hopscotch.

    Are you now or have you ever been…

    The phrase “”loyalty oath”” evokes images of McCarthy era hunts for imaginary subversives – a bizarre relic of 1950s Cold War paranoia. But the loyalty oath is still alive, and more widespread than one might think. Friday, California State University East Bay agreed to rehire a math instructor fired in February for refusing to sign the loyalty oath required of all public employees by California’s constitution. The teacher, Marianne Kearney-Brown, is a Quaker and a pacifist who felt that the oath’s requirement to “”support and defend”” the state and U.S. Constitutions “”against all enemies”” could require her to violate pacifist principles. Instead, she inserted the adverb “”nonviolently,”” and was fired Feb. 28 for the amended oath. California’s attorney general cleared up the controversy, issuing a statement that the oath does not require public employees to actually take up arms, and Kearney-Brown was rehired, but anachronistic oaths are still around and not just in California. At the UA, all employees are required to sign a similar outdated oath. Pledging loyalty doesn’t catch communists, trick terrorists or do anything besides waste paper. Governments everywhere ought to get rid of them.

    Tortuous logic on torture

    For the majority of his two terms in office, President George W. Bush – known for appending broad and spuriously legal signing statements to Congressional legislation – eschewed the use of executive veto power. Over the past year, however, the veto stamp has come out of the drawer in force, nixing bills on stem cell research (June 2007), children’s health insurance (October and December 2007) and water resources (November 2007). On Saturday, the president sent one more bill to legislative limbo, vetoing an attempt by Democrats in Congress to ban waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques used by the U.S. government. The president described “”enhanced interrogation”” as “”one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror”” and “”the best source of information about terrorist attacks”” – despite the fact that torture, besides being inhumane, is a terrible way to get accurate information. Saturday’s veto is a victory only for Bush’s legacy of expanded executive power.

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