Cartoon’s portrayal of YAF members offensive

To the Daily:
I found the cartoon Friday attacking individual Young Americans for Freedom members to be very offensive. I am not affiliated with YAF, but I know enough to recognize images of specific individuals when I see them. The cartoon, which did not include any names, undeniably portrayed three specific members as horrible people. The portrayal of them was extremely offensive and immature.

To imply that one is a white trash smoker who will be a bad mother is ridiculous. Her affiliation with YAF does not deserve this kind of personal attack. Likewise, the image of another member as a cross-dresser is absurd (and offensive to the LGBT community).

If that picture was translated into a 1,000 word article, my guess is that most of those words would be so politically incorrect and blatantly offensive that the outcry would go way beyond a girl writing a letter to the editor. I think you owe these people an apology.

Kate Cunningham
Engineering junior

Pottery Barn analogy does not apply to Iraq conflict

To the Daily:
The French painter Marcel Duchamp once showcased an old urinal that because of his credentials was met with critical acclaim as a fine work of art. Rajiv Prabhakar’s column (In defense of the surge, 02/01/2007) showcases the Pottery Barn analogy for the Iraq occupation – you break it, you buy it. Prabhakar gives no real affirmative reason to stay in Iraq, but rather lists a parade of horribles (complete, of course, with a Bin Laden reference) about what will happen if we leave.

The flaw of his argument is that it ignores the will of the Iraqi people who, sectarian allegiances aside, overwhelmingly voice a desire for an end to an American presence in their country. The flaw in Prabhakar’s argument is that it assumes that America has a paternalistic responsibility and a hegemonic ability to shape Iraq and its people to suit the vision of Americans who decide what is and isn’t a “broken” country. The flaw of applying “you break it, you buy it” to global politics is that it assumes the moral imperative to “buy it.”

Because of these flaws, the Pottery Barn analogy is a tired excuse for a colonialism that has failed miserably in the eyes of history. Prabhakar’s argument is an old urinal, and no matter how many times he or the president invoke a boogeyman of Sept. 11., neither can make it art.

Peter Shapiro
LSA senior

Human/food residue has invaded fish bowl keyboards

To the Daily:
Sitting in the fish bowl Sunday, I was aggravated at the poor state of the computer keyboards. Half of their keys are stuck in or just flat out don’t work, and the rest of them are covered in what looks like a brown film of human/food residue. A girl is sitting behind me surfed the web while shoveling chips and dip into her mouth. Does she even have a clue as to how many other hands have groped that keyboard before? Am I the only one that gets frustrated when I can’t get two sentences into my midterm paper before having to switch computers because of the crumb-loaded keyboards? I wish someone would make more of an effort to preserve these poor machines, or at least inform the fishbowl snackers of their destructive eating habits.

Jordan Zielke
Art and Design sophomore

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