Thursday, January 25, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 82



Letters to the Editor

Not amused

To the editor:

I am appalled and offended by the column "The walls come a-tumbling down" (Opinion, Jan. 22) by Matthew E. Caster. It exudes hypocrisy, ignorance and borderline racism.

Caster states, "Iive never liked (the Rev. Jesse) Jackson and I never will." To begin with, he never says or alludes to why he has so much animosity for Jackson.

Jackson has been nothing short of a god sent for humanity. He has played a pertinent role in the advancement of civil rights and has dedicated his life to attaining equality and justice. I am deeply disturbed as to how anyone can hate Jackson unless they know him personally, because until then, all one can hate are his views.

Caster goes on to write one of the most ignorant lines I have ever run across: "(W)ealthy white males are by far the most discriminated ethnic group on the planet." If that was supposed to be funny, it wasnit. That statement was a mockery of the civil rights movement and everything it stands for.

The column then embarks on the infidelity Jackson and former President Clinton committed. Was it wrong? Yes. Did they acknowledge their mistakes and own up to them? Yes.

Need I remind anyone that Republicans are also guilty of adultery? Sen. Henry Hyde confessed to having had an extramarital affair, as did two former speakers of the House: Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston. Before blaming leading Democrats for Americais "moral decay," one should be fair and just in his or her assessment.

Furthermore, Caster says that attacking Jackson would not solve anything and would only result in a mailbox full of angry e-mails from liberals and African-Americans. Attack him for what? Jackson made a mistake, which does not erase the instrumental role he has played in shaping America to what it is today.

To even suggest that liberals and African-Americans are the only ones who appreciate the contribution Jackson has made to society is preposterous and insulting.

I believe everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but I can only validate those who give sufficient adducers to support them. Caster fell short.

Samrawit Sium,
sophomore, broadcast journalism

Abortion isnit trivial

To the editor:

The following is in response to Mary Carradineis guest column ("Bush quickly drops facade," Opinion, Jan. 23).

President Bush was not dropping a "compassionate facade" in his decision to approve the executive order to ban the use of federal money for overseas groups that promote or provide abortions. He was instead demonstrating compassion for those who cannot vocalize their choice.

He was exercising compassion for the unborn in an attempt to prevent the "painful and unsafe" procedure a child endures in the process of having his life ended in his motheris womb.

Comparing the freedom of choice involved in patronizing Jack in the Box with the choice to end the life of a fellow human being reveals the trivial value the author places on the lives of those being aborted. Life is a continuum, beginning at the instant God forms us in the womb.

The choice of one person to end the life of any other, be he 10 weeks, 10 months or 10 years old, should not occur. When it does occur, we can -- and do -- mandate what happens to those who choose to commit these acts. As long as abortion takes place, the author will not have her wish that everyone in this world be "allowed to make his or her own choices." The choice of those aborted is never considered.

We do not know what life holds in store for the "nameless women" who may now bear the children they conceive rather than ending their lives, but we do know that those they bear will not remain forever nameless. One right answer to the question of abortion does exist.

Susan Owens,
secretary to the dean of libraries

The propaganda war

To the editor:

I am responding to conservative champion Justin Rayis 10th anniversary defense of the Gulf War, a war fought "for all the right reasons." In the guest column "Conservative camp cries ‘Foul!i" (Opinion, Jan. 22), Ray cites the war as an example of why we should resume military expansion and fill our executive branch with war-minded people.

Rayis first assertion is that the Gulf War was a humanitarian war. He paraphrases former President George Bush as saying that Iraqis atrocities against the Kuwaitis were reasons enough to fight. There are a number of cruel dictators in the world who either were put in power by the United States or were supplied weapons by the United States (like Saddam Hussein).

The United States government is self-serving. It is not a humanitarian organization.

Ray admits that aside from humanitarianism Bush was also fighting for economic reasons. Most folks believe that our troops were deployed to keep Hussein from stockpiling Kuwaiti oil and driving prices skyward. In reality, our troops risked their lives to raise profits for the Republican Party benefactors.

Finally, Ray reminds us that the Gulf War was so popular that Bush enjoyed an unprecedented 90-percent approval rating "only to have people forget a year later." Itis true that we as a nation were suckered, at least for a while. That we forgot about it a year later shows how shallow the propaganda war really was. I will always support our troops, but that doesnit mean Iill support the whims of our government.

Now the Republicans want to spark another arms race, both on the ground (the competing-technology Missile Defense Shield) and in space (a star fleet to protect our satellites). We as a nation should use this time of peace to encourage global disarming of weapons of mass destruction and work to fight global warming. The time of exempting ourselves from these responsibilities in favor of an all-powerful military is over.

Doug Shields,
post-baccalaureate, physics

‘Thank you, Ms. Pattoni

To the editor:

The "Smoke screens and curtains on campus" (Opinion, Jan. 18) guest column by associate professor Angi Patton was quite informative. Previously, I had been impressed by the "Learning. Leading." image campaign. Although an employee, I had not realized the number of outstanding programs and faculty at UH. And, perhaps foolishly, I assumed good faculty and programs equaled a good university.

Patton graciously shared her brilliant insights into the devious nature of the devils perpetrating the image scam upon us. I certainly did not notice, and apparently neither did the numerous nationally known and world-renowned faculty members who are the centerpiece of the image campaign. Imagine the shock when they finally acquire Pattonis wisdom and realize they have been had.

The only oversight in Pattonis critique is her failure to address the damage done to poor Shastais credibility as a result of being duped into taking part in this "cosmetically induced image."

For what must seem like a very frustrating venture, given her "peersi" ignorance in the face of such obvious transgressions, Patton might take at least temporary solace in the marketing adage that says "good advertising makes bad products fail faster." But only time will tell.

In the meantime, I would suggest Patton seek out a text that illustrates the fundamentals of critical thinking and argument. There are plenty of incoming freshman who have advanced beyond the concepts in their high school texts and no longer need them -- perhaps Patton could borrow one.

William D. Moon,
microsystems analyst,
Development Information Services

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; or faxed to (713) 743-5384.

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