Thursday, October 21, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 43

Cougar Comics Online
Mitchell on whining

Theriault on education

Staff Editorial

Editorial Cartoon


About the Cougar

Letters to the Editor


To the editor,

I wish to thank Professor William Simon for his insights ("You're part of the problem," Letters, Oct. 18) regarding former drug czar Robert Dupont and the government's decision to present Dupont with an award. I also feel the recognition is needless. I also completely disagree with our government's obsession with the "war on drugs."

A disproportionately large percentage of new inmates admitted into our nation's prisons have been convicted of the use, possession, and/or distribution of illegal substances. Correct me if I'm wrong, but addiction is an illness that needs to be treated.

What about "recreational" users with no prior criminal record? Do government officials actually believe that prison time will eliminate the addiction, when there is a black market for dope within the prison system itself?

Actor Robert Downey, Jr. was convicted of possession of heroin and a weapon, but was sentenced to a cushy detox center. Why wasn't Joe Schmoe, occasional user, treated the same? I guess we all know the answer to that one ... money.

What about the drug status of cigarettes and alcohol? Each of these kills far more Americans than any illegal substance.

The bottom line is that the power-mongers who back the "war on drugs" are 

high ... on hypocrisy. Perhaps if the money shoveled into this tragic program was invested in educating the masses about drugs, there would be no "war" -- just a few minor skirmishes.

Erin Miner,
senior, studio art/painting

Quit being so gullible

To the editor,

This letter is in response to Rohith Nandagiri's Oct. 18th column ("Houston is movin' on up to the top," opinion, Oct. 18).

His reasoning for Chuck Watson not wanting the new arena to be built is entirely false. He neglected to mention that the National Hockey League told Watson that the new arena would have to have at least 18,000 seats to host an NHL team. The Rockets, Comets and Thunderbears owner Les Alexander said he will not pay for any more than 18,000 seats.

Seeing as how you lose 2,000 seats when you convert the arena for hockey, that leaves the hockey prospect out in the cold. Why would he insist on only 18,000 seats?

It's easier to sell out 18,000 seats than 20,000 seats, driving up the price for these "sell-outs." Notice my double meaning on the word "sell-out." Alexander probably wants to own the NHL team himself. He will wait a few years until he's making money on the stadium, and then spend some of it to get himself an NHL team.

Wake up, sir. He's in it for the money, just like everyone else.

Kristian Leitzen,
sophomore, comm/journalism

That's not right

To the editor,

While otherwise informative, your story "$1M scholarship hike to attract top students" (News, Oct. 18) contained an inaccuracy. Most National Merit scholars do not "win a four-year free ride at their first-choice university, including tuition, room and board and $250 per semester for textbooks," as the article stated. Only a few institutions provide full funding to all their National Merit scholars.

For example, I was named a National Merit Scholar in 1996. I received a $2,000 award from the National Merit Scholarship Corp., as well as a $1,000 supplemental grant from Rice University, my first-choice school.

I greatly appreciate the assistance NMSC and Rice provided toward paying for my education, but like other Merit scholars I know at Rice, Duke, Ivy League schools and several more institutions, I did not receive a "free ride."

Amanda C. Goad,
Sid Richardson College,
Rice University

Letters Policy

Letters to the editor are welcome from all members of the UH community and should focus on issues, not personalities. Letters must be typed and must include the author's name, telephone number and affiliation with the University. Anonymous letters will not be published. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, language and space. Letters may be delivered in person to Room 151, Communication; e-mailed to dclettrs@mail.uh.edu; or faxed to (713) 743-5384.


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