Reader would rather be bigot than sensitive, dead

To the Daily:

Every week I read Ari Paul’s opinion piece, and as time goes by,
the content of his pieces surprises me less and less. This week was
no exception (U.S.A. uber allies, 10/15/03). I knew that
time would come when he would basically equate the Republican Party
with Adolf Hitler. It’s almost credible: Both discriminate, both
marginalize, both manipulate public opinion using generally
accepted ideas. The only difference is that Hitler was wrong.
Before Hitler came to power, how many Jews ever screamed “death to
Germany?” How many Jews took up arms against German landmarks? How
many Jews were ever a threat to the German national security? The
answer to all three is zero. Now, fast forward to today: To what
nationality did the hijackers of you-know-which day in the calendar
belong? To which nationality do the ones who today shout “Death to
America” belong? What region of the world poses the greatest threat
to national security? I think that all who are reading this piece
get the point.

Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in a U.S. Supreme Court opinion: Due
to safety issues, one cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater. This
decision has greater implications: When human life and civil
liberties conflict with one another, guess who wins? If there is no
life, what difference does it make whether or not there is liberty?
The Bush administration has every right to detain those of Middle
Eastern descent to prevent future attacks. Due process of law may
be suspended, discrimination may be used and freedoms of religion,
speech and press may be suppressed if the practice of all three
runs the risk of putting human life in jeopardy. Paul may be an
American that cherishes his liberty, but I’d much rather be a bigot
and a tyrant than be sensitive and dead.

Slava Goldstein

LSA senior

Contrary to Paul’s claims, no association between Manhattan
Institute, Nazis

To the Daily:

Although Ari Paul’s comparisons of Republicans to Nazis are
deeply offensive, his column U.S.A. uber allies (10/15/03)
is also full of outright falsehoods. Let me examine just two
representative sentences: “(Former New York Mayor Rudolph) Giuliani
drew many of his beliefs from the CIA-spawned Manhattan Institute,
which was not only inspired by European fascist ideology and
eugenics, but members of the organization also aided Nazi criminals
after the war in finding asylum. Giuliani’s targeting of minority
communities and his disregard for police brutality imposed upon
black men show that this institute’s Nazi leanings carried over
into his policymaking.”

To set the record straight, the Manhattan Institute was founded
in 1978 thanks primarily to Sir Antony Fisher, a British economist
(and mentor to Margaret Thatcher) who wished to spread free-market
ideas in public policy. (Note that libertarianism is the economic
polar opposite of National Socialism.) The institute’s first
chairman was William Casey, a lawyer and businessman who would
later – in 1980 – become the director of the CIA (his prior
experience in the intelligence world was mainly limited to his work
for the OSS, the CIA’s predecessor, during World War II). No doubt
Casey’s involvement with the institute is the sole basis for Paul’s
claim that it was “CIA-spawned,” a claim that is plausible only if
one believes in time travel.

But Paul’s predilection for tenuous guilt by association is also
seen in his bizarre claim that the institute has Nazi or fascist
leanings. I have virtually no idea where he gets this idea from –
surely it’s not from reading City Journal, the institute’s
well-respected magazine – but my guess is that it also stems solely
from Casey’s involvement with the institute. Although Casey played
a central role in infiltrating agents in Nazi Germany during the
war, he was later accused of being too friendly with Nazis in the
post-war period, when he was motivated by Cold War strategizing.
Even if this last claim is true, he was never attracted to Nazism,
and indeed spoke of the horror he personally witnessed at Dachau.
Moreover, Casey’s purported unsavory involvement with Nazis implies
absolutely nothing about the ideology of institute, whose
leadership happens to include numerous Jews.

In sum, Paul’s charges about the institute’s Nazi leanings are
preposterous, baseless and irresponsible. Indeed, the real question
is why the Daily allows such potentially libelous claims to be
printed at all.

Justin Shubow

Rackham

Second-hand smoke outside will not kill non-smokers; reader
needs a smoke

To the Daily:

Second-hand smoke outside? (Keep your distance,
10/15/03). You have got to be kidding me. Smokers, one of the only
groups it is politically correct to persecute, have been banished
from all buildings save for select bars and restaurants. Now people
want to take away the outdoors? Maybe I should just move to France.
Non-smokers, take a deep breath (because you can) and relax. You’re
not going to die. Man, do I need a cigarette!

Dave Simison

LSA senior

Gov. Blagojevich shames Illinois with Bartman comment

To the Daily:

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich expressed his anger at Steve
Bartman, the Chicago Cubs fan who arguably caused the Cubs to lose
their playoff game by interfering with a foul ball when saying “He
won’t get a pardon from this governor.”

While he probably was not 100-percent serious, Blagojevich
fueled anger towards Bartman with his statement, forcing Bartman to
live in fear of physical and verbal assault. As the great leader of
Illinois, Blagojevich owes better to his constituents.

We outside observers are appalled by the Blagojevich’s statement
and pity Illinois citizens. They must be terribly embarrassed by
their governor.

While Blagojevich has shamed Illinois with his comments, Cubs
outfielder Moises Alou has shown the honor and respect that we
would expect from a governor. Alou, who would have caught the ball
if Bartman had not interfered, says he feels sorry for Bartman
because every fan would act as Bartman acted.

Normally we tolerate immaturity from our athletes but expect our
elected officials to act honorably. The situation has been reversed
here. In the future, I hope Blagojevich will show the same decency
that Alou showed us.

Scott Schlimmer

LSA senior

Definitions of stem cells must be better explained

To the Daily:

As a graduate student in Biology, I was disappointed in the
article Stem cell research: Funding to ‘U’ concerns gov’t,
student groups
(10/07/03). Scientific terms were used with
inadequate explanation, and it seemed the author did not have a
strong grasp of the concepts involved.

Dictionary.com has four definitions for “clone” and the first
is: “To make multiple identical copies of (a DNA sequence).” One of
the other three definitions addresses making an artificial
replication of an existing animal, like Dolly the sheep. But, for
the average biologist cloning is replicating DNA or cells with
identical DNA. Cloning of the embryonic stem cells would involve
putting them in a dish to multiply. Bear in mind that people (and
all multi-cellular organisms) are actually a collection of clones.
Each cell has the same DNA and came from a single cell, the
fertilized egg.

Now, what is a “stem cell?” Biologists don’t actually agree on
this definition. The one I hear most in classes states that a stem
cell can replicate itself and produce at least two other cell
types. A biologist talking about stem cells is typically talking
about cells from an adult animal. Embryonic stem cells are not
widely available and aren’t used by very many scientists. When they
are used, they’re usually called ES cells.

The two definitions I provided here are a start, but “cell
lines” and “maturation” were also mentioned and not defined. To
make a truly informed decision, readers should be provided with
complete and accurate scientific definitions of what is being
discussed. This is a very emotionally charged debate, and
misinformation or a lack of information will cause more dissent and
confusion.

Melissa Tippens

Rachkam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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