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Wednesday, November 10, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 57

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Letters to the Editor
 

'What you talkin' 'bout, Alex?'

To the editor,

In response to the Alex Whitlock column "Ladies and Gentlemen: Planet Alex" (Opinion, Nov. 5), I ask: What side is Mr. Whitlock on?

I understand from reading a few of his articles in the Cougar that he is most likely a moderate, but these Utopian ideals you hope for are not only imaginary. Some of them are incorrect assumptions. He accuses the liberals of acting and thinking a certain way, then accuses the conservatives of acting a certain way as well. The problem is, his statements concerning the beliefs of the conservative ideal are simply incorrect.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that liberals are "criminal lovers," but what are we supposed to think when things such as the Karla Faye Tucker incident emerge and the liberals cry for her release since she was supposedly "saved?" I, as well as other conservatives, believe that America has a judicial system founded on the principle that if you break the law, you will be punished.

As for being "color-blind," conservatives hope, just as liberals do, for every human being to reach his or her full potential regardless of age, sex, color, race, preference, etc. However, I think conservatives are seen as racists because we don't believe in affirmative action. We don't believe in it for this reason: Businesses now have to hire a certain number of people of different races to fill a quota.

Looking closely at the conservative stance on violence in the media, one will notice that we do not blame the movies or video games, but the parents, for violence in today's youth. For whatever reason, they were not taught the proper moral values, nor were they taught personal responsibility for their actions.

It is not the gun that kills, it is the person. And no matter what the upbringing of a child, that child is responsible for his or her actions. While there are always examples that defy the norm, the majority of children who were raised right turn out right. Conservatives don't blame the media -- we blame the parents.

Why do you want the electric chair retired? If we were truthful in telling criminals that the penalty for their crimes was the chair, you can't tell me that crime wouldn't decrease dramatically. This country rarely comes through on its "threats" to correctly punish people for actions for which they are accountable.

Mr. Whitlock's Utopian views, though somewhat ideal in a few statements, can unfortunately never happen. Next time he writes something of a political nature, make sure you know the facts.

Christi Darden,
senior, music education


Right on, Tom!

To the editor,

Let me voice an opinion regarding Tom Carpenter's Helton column ("Despite win, voices still ring out in opposition to Helton's reign as coach," Sports, Nov. 8). Mr. Carpenter has it right that we are split with emotion on cheering for success and wanting the current head coach re-assigned.

Being an "active" Coog fan, not an apathetic one, I am in this for the long run. The current players deserve to have a program they can be proud of when they return as alumni. If we accept mediocrity, we will be mired in it for a long time to come.

Louis A. Puente,
alumnus ('93),
Houston Alumni Organization life member


To the editor,

Thanks to Tom Carpenter for expressing my feelings exactly. I want the Cougars to win, but I am scared that each win means Helton will be back next year. I am cheering for the players and happy for their wins.

Thanks, Tom, for a great column. I hope to see more articles from you on the Cougar sports scene.

Chris Mims,
alumnus ('87)


To the editor,

I have been a Cougar fan since the mid-'60s (when I was a child), and I read Tom Carpenter's column regarding Kim Helton. The column did not, but should have, stated the reasons alumni and fans are unhappy with coach Helton. Is it strictly his win-loss record? What were the comments from former players? I would be interested in knowing.

My thoughts are these: I am on the fence regarding coach Helton. His record leaves much to be desired. In addition, I'm not convinced he is in his element as a collegiate head coach. He may be better off returning to the NFL. I do believe the moves he made in the offseason by hiring new offensive and defensive coordinators were steps in the right direction.

Although the 5-4 record is an improvement over the last two seasons, I believe the Cougars have underachieved solely because of the quarterback, Jason McKinley. The Coogs have a good defensive unit, a great running game and very good receivers.

McKinley showed promise his freshman year, but in the last two seasons he has shown he does not have the skills necessary for a successful passing game.

I also believe the coaching staff lacks confidence in McKinley. Case in point: During the East Carolina game, we were down by more than a touchdown and with just over five minutes to play in the game. We were running the ball with little success, and East Carolina was stacking the line, daring us to beat them with the pass.

When Houston joined Conference USA, the football program ensured it would never have to worry about competing for a national championship, trying to recruit the top talent in the area or getting national exposure. It became part of a second-rate conference. However, UH should be able to recruit equal to the other schools in the conference. This may be one of coach Helton's, or his staff's, weaknesses. There is enough talent in the Houston metropolitan area to sustain a competitive team. Stop recruiting from the junior colleges. It is not the tool for long-term success.

If UH is to fire coach Helton, it must recognize that whoever takes over the program and enjoys a moderate amount of success will be lured to a more nationally recognized program.

These rumors about Terry Bowden being mentioned as a possible replacement are ridiculous. We could not afford him, nor would he stay. It would be better if UH could hire a former player, much like the basketball program did. If only Wilson Whitley were still alive!

Steve Goltzman,
senior, finance



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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