Nov. 9, Madison man Paul Heenan was shot dead by Officer Stephen Heimsness of the Madison Police Department. Heenan, following a night of drinking, mistakenly entered the wrong house and Heimsness arrived on the scene in response to a 911 call by the homeowners. The fatal shooting occurred after Heenan allegedly struggled with Heimsness and reached for his gun. The incident has caused much controversy and once again brought the issue of lethal police force into politicaldiscussion. It recently came to light that Heimsness had faced 15 complaints prior to the recent incident, including eight allegations of excessive force, one which he was found guilty. Ibelieve Heimsness’ report and I trust that he would not have used deadly force unless he feared for his safety. However, I also believe that Heenan did not have to die that night. Police departments should work harder to prevent instances of unnecessary deadly force.
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The Associated Students of Madison Diversity Committee came away from its Ethnic Studies Roundtable with four main ideas for revamping the Ethnic Studies requirement: increase therequirement to two classes instead of one; require one of the classes be taken in the first two years on campus; have smaller discussion sections; and include service learning as part of the classes.
So for those of you who haven’t heard, a disgruntled Australian mother found her 7-year-old daughter’s “diyet”list. Yes, seven years old, and, yes spelled “diyet.” Here’s my first question: How does a 7-year-old even know what a diet is? I’m impressed with how she got the spelling so close, just one extra y in there! And my second question: Why oh why does a 7-year-old care about a diet? I already knew that society made it extremely difficult for women’s self-esteem, being that I am a woman, but after hearing about this 7-year-old’s diet plan, I realize we really have a long way to go.
Gov. Scott Walker’s recent budget announcement revealed $181 million of increased funding for the University of Wisconsin System. Despite this large influx of money for the UW System, his budget proposal has found its detractors, mainly about one point in the Governor’s plan.
Last week, Marissa Mayer, current CEO of Yahoo!, declared to her Yahoo! employees they were no longer allowed to telecommute, a change to begin June of this year. I was amazed to hear about her bold move to make it mandatory to work in the office, or as the memo, sent by Yahoo!’s human resources head Jackie Reses, actually reads, “We need to be one Yahoo!., and that starts with physically being together.”
Last week I covered the intersection of religion and science, and concluded that in many cases religion answers “why?” questions while science answers “how?” questions. I also highlighted a problem: Sometimes religion’s answers will extend beyond the why and into the how, for example the creation story in Genesis explaining how the Earth was made. This will cause some devoted practitioners who prefer the religious answers to find themselves at odds with many in the scientific community. This is okay, provided both sides understand the reasons behind this divide and keep the discussion intellectual and mature. Finally, I briefly discussed one specific problem with this conclusion: how we should approach intelligent design and evolution in public schools.
I woke up from a nap to countless Facebook posts informing me about an article posted in The Daily Cardinal. The Topic? White Privilege.
In today’s world, stalking has become a subject that many joke about. This often happens when there is a problem that we as a society don’t really understand. Mix that in with the puzzling messages the media sends, and one can see how the crime of stalking is often misunderstood.
Ben Affleck’s “Argo” took home the prize for Best Picture at the Oscars on Sunday night. While I am pleased “Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelow’s film falsely portraying torture as central to uncovering Osama bin Laden’s hideout, went home virtually empty-handed, Affleck’s film likewise comes packed with ideological baggage. Namely, “Argo” peddles in the same old Orientalist tropes long prevalent in Hollywood: bearded, wild-eyed, raging Iranians incomprehensibly attempting to inflict harm on benevolent, good-hearted Americans. Such a Manichean portrayal does no service at a time when understanding, not demonization, is required to avoid future fiascoes in the Middle East.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the Wisconsin mining legislation currently making its way through our state legislature. In the article, I mentioned conflicting information regarding the mine’s environmental impact. Well, the confusion gods are at it again. In the past week, two contradicting polls were released, one showing that 62 percent of Wisconsinites support the mining bill and the other showing that 62 percent oppose it. This is something happening all the time in the world of politics, and I mean all the time. As someone trying to stay informed on current issues, this is a bit disorienting. As someone trying to accurately and objectively report on these issues, it’s rather frustrating. As someone with a low tolerance for idiocy, it’s downright infuriating. Americans always talk about how tired we are with the dishonesty of those in politics, but we fail to realize the role we play in it. The truth is the people are just as responsible for the sea of nonsense standing between us and actually getting it together and moving forward as a country.
Yesterday, this page featured an opinion column by veteran contributor Steven Nemcek. Steven very carefully dissected what he saw as failures in how the concept of white privilege is defined and taught to students. I purposefully avoid reiterating his points in this rebuttal as Steven is much better at explaining his position than I am.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, de jure racial segregation was a cultural phenomenon prevalent in the United States. Known as “Jim Crow segregation,” Southern states sought to divide black and white communities in the public square utilizing “separate but equal” facilities. In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled state-sponsored school segregation was unconstitutional; what is separate is inherently not equal. Later, the remaining state-enforced segregation laws were generally overturned by the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. While the case can be made that the Civil Rights Act may have overreached in terms of the rights of private property owners, no one today seriously argues that public (taxpayer-sponsored) programs should be allowed to segregate based on irrelevant characteristics such as skin color, gender, religious creed or sexual orientation. Or, so I thought.