The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 17, 1997, Image 7

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l£/sjpnday • November 17, 1997 O The Battalion PINION mi he more you know... indents should take time to understand diverse world of other peoples’ cultures JH Kendall Kelly columnist |\ irnej Wire <ed Men'i in a fie their fina;l ! ason, th Invitati red the* th place! ast ig 298 te! week tion. LecM^th 0 el, whosw 6 In for id for sirftrsity indings Jference )3, theaJ held on f 289. |Texas ie first rj!l cam- Aggie sc! and id 11th ™ week, Irto Ri- Jme com I Week 13-1531 ins its Is: off of programs. I Jnfortunately, the only peo- fjnj who attend these culturally ( iching events are the very [am« >p le who p it the programs |AtA&M, it seems like the Ire attempts made to educate Idents about those different nourselves, the more peo- turn away. ketball'ej jugoslaii] he toda; dllie W han tea- eam j n , tappears that the only Id adva' its Un« to lull Ite, Deni 1 Missoc' oounds. their Si |e sea; nner in which cultural s last - 3reness can ca U attention to ilfis if the title “Affirmative ion” is stamped on the front t.What a tragedy it is how iplecan become hysterical Ag: ira change in policy, yet illti mill oxas Ail Id Df| Inkedi Texai at a i yfail to make any individ- effort themselves. Seems a lehypocritical to me. Affirmative action does not aalmulticulturalism. The ma- ity of Americans seem to think this is the key for diversify ing our country. Movements such as affirmative action are merely the beginning of con quering the ethnocentric per sonality of a large population of this country. The true success of hearing a harmony of cultures in America lies within the individ ual, and the easiest place for the individual to begin striking the right chords is in the University. There are countless programs and a variety of entertainment to promote multiculturalism in College Station. What is multi- culturalsim, anyway? It seems when students en counter this popular phrase, they are turned off, believing they will be forced to engage in some “feel good” activity. Multi culturalism simply means “many cultures.” Anyone can educate themselves multiculturally. Students need to take it upon themselves to interact with other cultures. For example, comedian Paul Rodriguez performed in Rudder Auditorium last month, and 1 think I was one of only a few students present who was not of Hispanic background. Salsa and merengue lessons will be offered this Thursday as part of the Puerto Rican cele bration, and it will come as no surprise if the students partic ipating in this fun and rare op portunity are, no doubt, Span ish or Latin American. What a disappointment it is to those students who work to bring activities and out-of-the- classroom education to A&M and students are too busy or too ignorant to take part in learning a little something about some one else for a change. Because "multiculturalism” means “many cultures,” it con sequently stands for the United States of America. Our country is the prototypi cal melting pot for what the rest of the world will eventually be come. We are no longer a world in which each country is its own boat racing against one another. Instead, we represent a planet that will soon operate full-time on multi-national fuel. The United States is the captain of this ship. Have you made the individual decision to come aboard and realize the enrichment and opportunities other cultures have to offer? Gl are you standing on the shore, waiting for the wave of affir mative action to come and wash away the borders that ex ist between cultures? Instead of relying on affirma tive action, students should take more individual actions to learn Dr. Cullen, the keynote speaker for the Drive In for Di versity Conference last Friday said, "Hopefully people can act or believe the way they do." Herein lies the answer to having an equal and harmo nious world. Because after all, of brown. Kendall Kelly is a junior Spanish major. 16 jiereAtf I both the [vents. Ireslmian lowed &)' U/onals push, CIA hold secret ties of government F reedom?” This some what cryptic pstion was spray- painted on a wall near le Pavilion during the seek of the George Presidential Li- and Museum dedication, when hun- March.pds of leaders of the bad John Burton columnist the tee world assembled 1000 nAggieland. In the newly released book Secrets: The 'IKsWarat Home, the late investigative ^ ournalist Angus Muckenzie uncovered everal controversial aspects of the recent istory of the Central Intelligence Agency. As a staunch supporter of the First T imendment, his investigations as a re- lorter resulted in personal harassment by lovernment agencies. A particularly interesting aspect of Mackenzie’s research focused on the re liction of American freedoms as a re- alt of George Bush’s role as director of he CIA. Bush was appointed Central Intelligence jn Igency Director by President Gerald Ford, 'ho, at the recent Library dedication, not- ,“Bush joined the CIA at a most difficult Voit htie in our intelligence community.” Indeed the agency was rampant with earlifreat scandal — domestic spying on U.S. itizens and involvement with Watergate fere among the allegations made against alofieCIA at the time. In his confirmation hearings before the ini enate Armed Services Committee in 1975, lush spoke of “Operation MHCHAOS,” a IAdomestic spying program which had |p aSS 'een uncovered by the media. He said, “This agency must stay in the ureign intelligence business and not ha- sAmerican citizens, like in Operation HAGS.” At that time, however, CIA offi- TWO FEIMLB HAVE rateN nIAtaed gASKETBALL REFS. cials were still claiming MHCHAOS was only investigating foreign issues. Oops, Bush had spilled the beans. He later changed his position on the is sue and adopted the official position of the CIA. After being director for less than a month, Bush was confronted by the House Select Committee on Intelligence “Pike Report,” named after U.S. Representative Otis Pike. This revealing report detailed official findings of CIA extravagance. Among oth er things, the agency paid for extensive propaganda operations — incurred cost overruns of 400 percent above budget for foreign operations and 500 percent above budget for domestic operations. Keep in mind the CIA should not be in volved in domestic operations at all. Also, the agency had constructed a military ca pacity greater than most foreign armies. The most shocking fact is the CIA’s largest category of foreign secret projects involved the news media. The agency planted articles in newspapers, and dis tributed books and pamphlets around the world. Often, this propaganda “information” was picked up by U.S. newspapers, thus leading Americans astray. Bush handled these controversies with his charming and persuasive personality. In a meeting before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, he issued a formal plea for reducing Congressional oversight. His lobbying was effective. Con gress drastically reduced its own access to CIA secrets. From then on, only the Senate and House Intelligence Committees would oversee the CIA. Also, President Ford — by issuing Executive Order 11905 — autho rized Bush to allocate secrecy contracts in the entire executive branch and control all intelligence budgets. As a result, Bush managed the CIA, the National Security Council and the Nation al Reconnaissance Organization — as well as other agencies — for a total of 13 sepa rate agencies in all. The New York Times noted Bush had more power — unchecked power —- than any Director of Intelligence in history. This power led to reductions of freedom for Americans. New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug, an outspoken critic of the McCarthy witch hunts, had been spied on by the CIA for 23 years. She testified before a House sub committee, blasting the CIA for its domes tic spying activities. Rather than eliminating, or at least re ducing spying on Americans, Bush re sponded by organizing the Publications Review Board in 1976. This was the first U.S. government censorship body estab lished during peacetime. Its purpose was to censor the writings and speeches of CIA officers. In 1976, while Americans were celebrat ing our country’s bicentennial and the freedom it represented, Bush was squelch ing some of the very freedoms upon which our country was founded. The Publications Review Board was a pivotal accomplishment for Bush. It was a near-foolproof system in preventing nega tive disclosures and Congressional in quiries, as well as effectively quieting pub lic outrage. Yet Bush never mentioned it when running for office. Likewise, the George Bush Presidential Libraiy and Mu seum and Web page fail to mention the sig nificance of the Publications Review Board. It is fitting that a portion of the Berlin Wall, a symbol of government secrecy, is located at the George Bush Center. But what about “Freedom?” John Burton is a junior bioenvironmental science major. TL MARKING THE FIRST TIN\E TWO PEOPLE WHC> r ACTUALLY BEIPNG in vvomens CLPTHES pm- PART OF THE NBA. a* , - Larv Albert tewrnftBW Mail Call Arts funding, taxing proves dry in writing In response to Robby Ray’s Nov. 14 "The Art of the Sale” column: As a human and an artist, I was sickened by the narrow-minded capitalist viewpoints expressed in Ray’s column. I consider it an insult to Aggies to say the closest they come to the arts is walking by the J. Wayne Stark Gallery in the MSC. Programs such as MSC OPAS and the Stark Galleries would not have lasted long without support from A&M. The argument presented about the NEA supporting “pornogra phy” and “excrement” is straight out of the Jesse Helms “School for Cultural Ignorance.” Art is freedom of expression, and I pose the question: how many people would say Michelan gelo’s David is pornography? Another point made was only political and religious freedom, not artistic freedoms, are protect ed by the Constitution. Where would religious icons and other related art fall under this theo ry? How many communities would support funding for a military statue or a stained glass window? Maybe these would be consid ered moral artistic expenditures. The only word for trying to im pose that kind of regulation on art is “wrong.” There is no such thing as a moral majority, just a bunch of people who fear free thought and difference of opinion. To believe we have much of a say in the destiny of tax dollars is naive. The government is a busi ness, and we are its patrons. I disagree stealth bombers are more important than art; without art, society would fall into despair. Those who feel differently may be forgetting all of the different ways art can be expressed. It could be an uplifting story, a picture in a book or magazine, a greeting card and even journalism ... usually. Those who deny the role of art in society and in culture are often afraid of the reflection it portrays. Kathryn Stephenson graduate student I myself do not mind spending 38 cents a year in taxes on the Na tional Endowment for the Arts (that’s the $99.4 million budget di vided by 260 million Americans), especially when less than Icent goes to projects that could be ar gued as being obscene. I find it ironic Ray, who works in a profession constantly screaming free speech is the most important American right, would demand a public election to determine ex actly what kind of art is eligible to receive a portion of my 38 cents. Ray said, “If taxpayers are not al lowed to determine where their money goes, then die entire pro gram should be eliminated.” In diat case, it would be far more relevant to Texas A&M students to be able to vote on what appears in The Battal ion, a college newspaper funded by a state-mandated tax of $1 per year in student fees — this is nearly three times what it pays for the NEA. If students were able to vote on The Battalion’s contents, I suspect many poorly written, under-re- searched columns published this year, including this one, would never have seen the light of day. Lynn Leifker Class of’96 Ray seems to argue the rich should have to shoulder die burden because public funding for the aits is too controversial. Besides, art is not as essential as other government acdvities such as national defense. Ray is correct on this but he seems to miss the point art has been publically funded not be cause of its importance but be cause, like national defense, it is considered a public good. It could be possible to force the richest people to bear all the costs of defending the country, but it would be unfair since the armed forces work for the benefit of everybody, not just the rich. In the same way, if the arts were funded by a small group of people, it would mean the artistic output would belong to them, or at the very least, they could determine the content of the art the public gets to see based on their own interests. For example, if only the rich funded the arts, it would be impos sible to produce a piece of art that questions capitalism. I am not say ing there are better economic sys tems than capitalism, but simply, artists tend to show us the down side of things many of us are inca pable or unwilling to perceive. I think there should be some public funding for the arts for the same reason there is some public funding for scientific basic re search: it may not serve any pur pose at the start, but there is a chance eventually it may yield a considerable payoff for society in the overall scope. Dennis Muzza Class of 93 The Battalion encourages letters to the ed itor. Letters must be 300 words or less and in clude the author’s name, class, and phone number. The opinion editor reserves the right to edit letters for length, style, and accuracy. Letters may be submitted in person at 013 Reed Mc Donald with a valid student ID. Letters may also be mailed to: The Battalion - Mail Call 013 Reed McDonald Texas A&M University College Station, TX 77843-1111 Campus Mail: nn Fax: (409) 845-2647 E-mail: Batt@tamvml.tamu.edu For more details on letter policy, please call 845-3313 and direct your question to the opinion editor.