Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,

Is political correctness out of bounds the minute the Anteaters step onto the court?  So the goal is to deride defining characteristics of your opponent — I get that.  What I can’t imagine is anyone going to a Notre Dame game clad as a nun or an abusive priest, or riling a Muslim opponent by dressing men in hijab.

As a BYU fan, I’ve been to games where people mock missionaries. That’s one level of ridicule, but parading scantily clad students around like pregnant polygamists, then having two girls “marry” each other and give birth in the middle of a volleyball game is taking things too far.  Apparently UCI only tolerates certain types of diversity.

Cherilyn Harline
San Clemente

Dear Editor,

(Responding to ‘Where’s The Change?’, Jeremy Moore, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010)

While I, myself, can find a great many things to criticize about the Obama presidency so far, Mr. Moore’s column glaringly illuminates one of the greatest problems with political discourse in this nation – that of uninformed opinion masquerading as intelligent editorial or, worse, righteous indignation.  Point: Obama did promise during his campaign to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq and has done so. Point: Obama did not promise to end the war in Afghanistan but instead, actually did promise to return the focus of the fight against Al-Qaeda to Afghanistan, where it had rightly been directed before America became distracted by George W. Bush’s unconscionable resolve to use whatever means (and mistruths and American lives) necessary to pursue a personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Point: Obama did promise to begin closing Guantanamo by January 2010 and has already taken the first steps towards doing so by beginning to try in civilian courts the detainees still harbored there and by refusing to allow any new detentions there. Point: There does seem to be general agreement among the world’s leading economists that the bank/automaker bailouts and stimulus package did help avert a world-wide depression.

It’s possible that Mr. Moore is merely guilty of youth (or the age of instant gratification) in believing that a President should be able to right a shattered economy in just 365 days (even if it did take FDR 10 years to do so), and that I can excuse. But his other expressed opinions show a decided lack of knowledge of or concern for actual facts, even of any attempt to discern the actual facts, before opining on paper, and are symptomatic of what will probably someday spell the death of democracy in this country, i.e., an electorate that believes what it wants to believe, facts notwithstanding, and then speaks, acts, and, sadly, votes based upon ignorance, misperceptions and even outright distortions. You don’t have to be an Obama supporter to realize almost immediately that Mr. Moore failed to do the requisite research that a university education should be teaching him to do before committing his thoughts to public discourse on facts which can easily be verified or disproven by even a casual perusal of reputable public sources.

My first-grade teacher, many many years ago, had one cardinal rule in her classroom, a dictum repeated over and over again until it became ingrained in mine and (I fervently hope against hope) her other students’ minds and behavior, to wit: put mind in gear before putting mouth (or pen or keyboard) in motion. I’m no diehard fan of Obama, Mr. Moore (or of any politician for that matter, although I like him at least 53 percent more than I ever cared for Bush), but voters of all stripes, and our American democracy itself would be infinitely better served by less rhetoric and more research or, in short, by actual reasoned discussion of the problems facing the country and the world today.

Mark Vega
UCI Libraries