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• See Jim Hightower
Racist lies vs. pot
(Re: “A fine to fit the crime,” cover story, June 4.) Apparently the best argument the Longmont City Council can come up with to support marijuana prohibition is that they are too busy with “important pressing issues facing us” to reconsider marijuana policy.
Never mind that they have plenty of time to argue against changing the law.
When they say that they are “satisfied with current law,” apparently they signal approval for the outrageous claims and racist lies used to outlaw marijuana in the first place:
“Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.” (Hearst newspapers nationwide, 1934)
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana can cause white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
“...the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races”
—Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger, 1930
“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”
—Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry J. Anslinger, 1929
“Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death.”
“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
“[Smoking] one [marihuana] cigarette might develop a homicidal mania, probably to kill his brother.” (See US Government Propaganda To Outlaw Marijuana, www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/t3.htm).
It goes without saying that people who believe this tripe should never hold public office.
Ralph Givens/Daly City, Calif.
Something’s rotten at CU
(Re: “Stop the presses,” cover story, May 28.) A telephone inquiry to CU’s athletic department this morning revealed what I anticipated: no departmental layoffs are scheduled.
The university’s faculty and staff — the people who actually do the work at an institution of higher learning — are taking enormous hits. The Silver & Gold Record (S&GR), a publication that ties together the diverse strings from all of CU’s campuses, has been dumped by the privatizer par excellence, neo-conservative President Bruce Benson.
But the athletic department? It’s unscathed.
It is not a “department” in any sense of the word. It used to grant a degree in physical education, but that was halted decades ago. Its “faculty” is not required to teach in an accredited academic program. It is bloated with hangers-on and assistant coaches. It takes taxpayer subsidies through suspect loans and discretionary funds. It is subsidized in part via an onerous student athletic fee, while screwing the students by making them purchase tickets to games and providing them fourth-rate seating facilities to boot.
Yet the football coach “earns” about $850,000 per annum. That sum could keep the S&GR in business and still pay Hawkins the princely salary of $250,000. The men’s basketball coach is still receiving a salary far in excess of most professors in exchange for producing a 1-15 record in the Big Twelve, but is he taking a pay cut?
The entire budget of the department is about $35 million, or about 70 times that of the S&GR’s budget. Just a few years ago a former football coach was paid $3 million in a contract buyout, a sum that could keep the S&GR in business for five years.
Does anyone other than myself smell something rotten in CU’s administration, its Board of Regents and the athletic department? My guess is that morale among CU’s academic work force is reaching an historic low.
It’s time to fire Bruce Benson and his coterie of followers and replace them with genuine academics who have CU’s interests at heart.
CU’s budget woes are easy to blame for President Benson’s summary execution of the 39-year-old CU Silver & Gold Record. After all, lots of CU system expenses were cut and some top salaries were reduced 5 percent. Unfortunately, that otherwise plausible rationale wears thin for a number of reasons.
First, many of us recall in 2007, well before the budget issue surfaced, the CU administration tried to eliminate the S&G’s editorial independence. It seems the S&G hadn’t always pleased CU’s ruling class. Opposition from faculty and staff, some of it published in the S&G, forced then President Hank Brown to modify his plans — though the chill was felt thereafter.
Despite the stated “difficulty” of his decision, another reason the budget excuse seems hard to swallow is that President Benson didn’t bother to consult with the S&G editorial board, the Boulder Faculty Assembly or the CU Staff Council. The constituencies represented by these bodies clearly had professional and academic interests in the publication.
Earlier, the administration had announced a 21 percent cut for the S&G. The paper’s staff prepared a plan to shrink the publication and impose an 18 percent wage cut. But, apparently without the administration’s blessing, the S&G published a story about it. Then, Benson simply blanked the S&G.
Now does that resemble an orderly, transparent, well-considered or fair budgeting decision? The administration’s subsequent refusal to consider budgetary options and funding alternatives suggests it was itching to get rid of the S&G by whatever means.
As everyone knows, more budget cuts at CU are on the horizon. The criterion and methods used to justify and allocate those cuts are quite important to CU faculty and workers. The administration is considering the possibility of more layoffs, furloughs, higher tuition, larger classes, program cuts and squeezing more “efficiencies” out of CU employees.
Meanwhile, new construction has accelerated significantly. There has been no hint of slowing new construction and using the
short-term savings to protect university operations and jobs. A questionable three-quarter-million dollar “re-branding” project to make CU appear “down to earth” has gone untouched by the budget crisis. And does anyone know whether the athletic department will equitably share the burden? Transparency over the budget is needed precisely at the moment the administration boards up the only window into its operations.
What less urgent or possibly wasteful expenditures might have gained priority over valuable university functions slated for the chopping block? What might CU faculty, staff and students think about the administration’s budget priorities? The Silver & Gold Record could have shed some light on the answers.
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