Prof. Scott Yenor’s is a case of dismantling universities from within. Boise State needs to aggressively move professors into public debate with one another outside academic silos, and publicly demand that public officials answer questions in university-sponsored debates. But universities too often join the Yenors behind weakened notions of the First Amendment that leave out its crucial dimension: putting ideas to tests of rational debate outside comfortable echo chambers of potential participants. Pretending that civility is on level campus playing fields while leaving unchallenged sexist nostalgia and phobic hopes normalizes institutional bigotry against women, men, and anyone who identifies otherwise. Faculty need to challenge those who knew just enough to pass into tenure. University departments must acknowledge their denials of tenure to serious scholars for whom English is a second language and whose work calls out racist and gendered practices. Academics used to debate one another publicly in front of faculty, students, and the community. Now a single public relations statement favoring free speech substitutes. Yenor’s “Family” and “Father” tropes with sly strings of conclusion-statements should never pass for “scholarship.” Students deserve better than this old revivalist, fascist-leaning news. Failure to challenge in full sunlight promotes dead public spheres.
Ed McLuskie, professor emeritus at BSU, Boise
Masks at games
I attended my first BSU basketball game in a year and was excited until I saw so many people disrespecting BSU. As a season ticket holder for over 25 years, I was highly disappointed. BSU has one easy new rule and probably 50% of the people ignored it.
We all follow the no shoes, no shirt, no service rule. And, if a restaurant has a dress code, we either dress appropriately or don’t go. So why do some feel okay ignoring BSU’s new rule to wear a face mask except when eating or drinking?
Forget all the health reasons to wear one. I’m over that losing battle. But, when did we start thinking it’s okay to ignore the rules? It’s their right to run their business the way they see fit, right?
Even worse than not following the rules, is bringing kids and letting them not follow the rules. The next time you wonder “Why the younger generation is disrespectful,” you need to look in the mirror as you are teaching them to only follow rules they agree with.
It’s not left; it’s not right; it’s the rules. Please comply or don’t come.
Leslie Perkins, Kuna
Support Ethics Committee
Some called Sage Dixon and the House Ethics Committee’s actions unethical and political corruption. The issue is a “conservative” legislator’s (Von Ehlinger) dinner with a 19-year-old intern that ended in sex and eventually two felony charges. The ethics investigated recommending Ehlinger be removed from office; he resigned. “Conservative” Priscilla Giddings wanting to “bring out the other side of the story” helped disseminate the intern’s identity. Giddings boasted using her military training (decorated combat pilot) to deceive or mislead the enemy when testifying under oath (the truth … and nothing but …) before the committee. Perhaps “conservative” Ehlinger would boldly explain away his actions following dinner with the 19-year-old intern by citing his war veteran training in the 101st Airborne.
Merriam-Webster defines ethics as: the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.
Our nation is plagued with unethical behavior. Ehlinger’s admitted actions were wrong and unethical regardless of the outcome of his criminal charges, his military service, who supports him or what political party he belongs to.
Those calling good Representative Sage Dixon unethical, your stone-throwing is in the wrong direction and undermines the cause of moral duty and obligation.
Only virtuous people are capable of freedom.
Steve Tanner, Bonners Ferry