March 24, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 91  

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Layton for prez... er, PM

Re: “Layton speaks at Western,” Mar. 17, 2004

To the Editor:
I was thrilled to have the honour of hearing the leader of the federal New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, in the University Community Centre atrium last week. It is great to know we have a viable alternative to George W. Bush as the president of the United States. I will have to do some more research before I decide whether I will be supporting Layton or John Kerry for the Democratic nomination.

Oh wait, you mean Layton was running for Canadian political office? Then why was he ranting against Bush, with barely a passing mention to Prime Minister Paul Martin and Canada? Mr. Layton, if I wanted to hear about the U.S., I’d go watch CNN. Not that you’ll be getting my support anyway, but that’s another letter.

That said, during Mr. Layton’s brief mention of Canada, he did say something right. He stated that education should be based on merit, not the size of your parents’ wallet. This is absolutely true, but that does not make post-secondary education a right. It is a privilege, to be given to those that are deserving — based on merit.

This is where Jack Layton and the NDP have it all wrong. By viewing education as a right — and not a privilege — they are guilty of destroying the system of a meritocracy they claim to espouse and creating one of “equality of privilege.” Equal opportunity is different than equal privilege.

Everyone should have the opportunity to attend university, regardless of income. However, I have little sympathy for those who waste this privilege by throwing it away due to poor lifestyle choices, and frittering away this great blessing we have been given by living in this wonderful country.

Joel Timmerman
Law I

More than drinking

Re: “Two sides to St. Patty’s Day,” Mar. 19, 2004

To the Editor:
I remain perplexed as to why society routinely associates alcohol with an Irish political/religious holiday. Granted, there are many stereotypes surrounding the Irish and their beverages, but this was anything but the basis for St. Patrick’s Day.

How many of you sporting what you think may be the Irish flag even know what it symbolizes? The green represents the Catholic and Republic cause — the orange is for Protestants, and the white is the peace in between. The tri-color is not green, white and red, so to the leprechaun wannabes who tried so hard to convince me they were wearing the tri-color, bugger off.

While alcohol is (sadly?) a part of our lives, your article pretty much tells us students that if we’re not drunk on St. Patrick’s Day, then we are not normal. Perhaps it is you who is unfortunate, as you must rely on any excuse to drink. Or are you implying that your paper is best viewed through drunken eyes?

Jason Smith
Philosophy II

Re: “St. Patrick’s Day: Irish and non-Irish rejoice,” Mar. 18, 2004

To the Editor:
I was extremely disturbed and offended by the comments made by Adam Moody and Marina Knezevic: “Moody says on St. Patty’s Day you drink your beers, then fuck your sluts [and] drink your Labatt 50,” and “I passed out at 10 [beers]?”

Where do you find these intellectually challenged, morally offside people? I’m all for freedom of speech, but Moody and Knezevic speak as though they’re dumb and dumber. This goes to show that women are their own worst enemies by supporting the stereotype that drunk Western girls are sluts. I don’t suppose this charming Moody fellow will be “fucking any sluts” anytime soon considering he’s ignorant and refers to himself in the third person. It doesn’t help me sleep at night knowing these two winners are my peers.

Sandra Gray
Visual Arts III

Raptors are losers

To the Editor:
For those of you who do not know the story, Lindsay Marshall, a member of the Toronto Raptors’ “Dance Pak,” was fired from the organization when a softcore porn site starring her was discovered. She appears topless in the pictures and there is a “members only” section that promises web cam footage, as well as video and more pictures.

While I don’t condone or endorse her actions in establishing the site, the Raptors failed to look into her background before they actually hired her. In a province where women can expose their breasts without fear of legal reprimand, I find it funny a franchise in need of attendance would fire a woman who could potentially be a large draw for the club.

The Raptors are arguing that she was let go to preserve the family- friendly nature of the organization and the league in which it plays. This argument confuses me. Is this not the same NBA where countless players have been faced with charges of rape, assault and fathering numerous illegitimate children?

While I am not sure how much money the “Dance Pak” makes, I have a sneaking suspicion it is far less than the lowest salary of their players. Would it not be logical to assume that they would expect the same level of “moral integrity” from their millionaire players? Obviously, this is not the case. I think the Raptors and the NBA should seriously re-examine where they are placing the blame for damage to their image.

Andrew Clark
King’s College History III



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