Editor, Daily Nexus,
My eyes have been opened. When I read Bill Shiebler’s article (“Fight Against Financial Aid Cuts,” Daily Nexus, March 9) I was faced with a haunting question I had never before considered: How did Bill Shiebler get accepted to UCSB?
I wish I had time to debunk all of his erroneous conclusions, but finals are 10 days away. So, for now I’ll just challenge one of his critical points. Shiebler writes about an $893 million cut in federally funded grant and outreach programs as well as eliminating 42 programs for K-12 students, but Shiebler never mentions that even after the proposed cuts, discretionary appropriations for education are up $12 billion, or 29 percent since 2001. And he never does elaborate on the scope of the programs cut. If anyone cares to educate themselves about the 42 programs being cut instead of adopting the “more is better” approach, they can visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore/.
Those facts can be corrected. My real problem lies elsewhere. Shiebler switches gears and writes, “…no president has ever stripped this country’s populace of more rights and civil liberties than our current commander in chief.” Illegal wiretaps and enemy combatants imprisoned in Gitmo are pretty bad, I admit, but, if I recall correctly, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War and FDR interned 120,000 American citizens during World War II. Wiretaps pale in comparison to the crimes committed by two of America’s most popular presidents.
Then Shiebler continues by saying Bush’s “engagement in the Iraqi war, unwarranted wiretaps and illegal surveillance are deplorable and shameful.” Those are good points, but I fail to see any correlation with education spending. His last two remarks have poisoned the well. We’re debating education right now, not Iraq. The use of fallacies is a deceitful and desperate tactic.
That brings me back to my original point. How does a student with such poor persuasive writing skills and an absurd, myopic view of U.S. history wind up here? This is a top-50 university – we’re better than this. Please Shiebler, for the sake our school’s reputation, step down off your soapbox and step back into the classroom.