Letters to the Editor 10/24

Proposed board powerlimited to universities

I would like to correct a misstatement in Tuesday’s edition of The Oracle, in the article titled “Trustees oppose amendments,” which was based on Amendment 11.

The new Board of Governors will govern only the state universities, not “all levels of education throughout the state.” The latter is the current overextended role of the Florida Board of Education and, in fact, the restoration of a separately maintained university system is a strong argument for the new law.

It would be interesting indeed if, in drafting its resolution, USF’s Board of Trustees mistook this distinction as the article suggests.

The full text of the amendment is available online.

Nancy Jane Tyson isan associate professor at USF.

INS restrictions on students necessary

This is in response to the Oct. 16 editorial in The Oracle. The editorial dealt with the Immigration and Naturalization Service tracking of foreign students here in the United States. It disagrees with the fact that since Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. government, through the INS, is more closely watching the comings and goings of students here to further their education. It has (no surprise here) some real objections when those students are from the Middle East. It points out that these new regulations are an intrusion into these students’ individual rights.

This country was attacked Sept. 11, 2001 by a group of people who were mostly here on student visas. None were going to school, nor were they where they were supposed to be. These individuals were from the Middle East. Does that maybe clarify why students from the Middle East might be looked at a little closer than someone from China?

All these students are here as guests of our country. They are not citizens. We, as a nation, are at war. People who came into this country as students attacked and killed us, so if they have to go through a little inconvenience, then so be it.

How do you think you would be treated in other countries? There aren’t many that would let you come and go to school, and the ones that did would have you monitored 24/7. How much actual freedom do you think you would enjoy in most other places?

You need to wake up to the fact that after Sept. 11, 2001, things in America are not what they once were. You need to put the blame where it belongs, and that is on the group of people who came here with the deception of being students. These people started a war with us, and now we have to do what is best for our security.

Gary Stanley is a senior majoring in secondary education.

CTEA law hinders modern preservation

In Friday’s editorial, the editor wrote that “The 1998 law [CTEA – Copyright Term Extension Act] granted copyright protection to any work created on or after Jan. 1, 1978, from the moment of its creation for the length of the author’s life plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death.”

That is true, but more than that it extends to any work under copyright. Therefore, Steamboat Willie, Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, The Great Gatsby, etc., are covered for 95 years.

This was a cornerstone of Eldred’s case. By retroactively applying this extension, the works that would have expired in the next few years are essentially getting unlimited protection. Content owners lobbied for this legislation because they feared losing some exclusivity and thereby losing some potential profit.

The truth is that content owners can still sell their works, they just won’t be the only ones. Now is the time to use our technological advances to help preserve film, books and music. Many works will be forgotten or destroyed if action is not taken quickly.

If the Supreme Court doesn’t rule all or parts of the CTEA unconstitutional, you can look forward to CTEA part deux in 20 more years. Our founding fathers used the words “limited times” for a reason.

Joseph Yanes is a sophomore majoring in computer engineering.

Evolution no more factual than creation

In Thursday’s letter to the editor by Mr. Marc Defant, he reminds us that there are consequences for staying cooped up in an ivory tower for too long. Mr. Defant, scientific theory and fact are two entirely different things.

Despite the “plethora of data supporting evolution” you speak of, evolution is a theory and never has been a fact. Plenty of scientists, geologists and professors believe and teach evolution, but it is not unlike any other scientific theory. It can be revised or even junked, if and when, better theories arise.

Keep in mind, Mr. Defant, that it was once professors like you who were so sure that the sun and stars revolved around Earth and that Earth was flat.

These were both preached as being fact by the all-knowing scientific community and eventually replaced with better theories. It would appear that overzealous professors and scientific theory are “consistently incorrect about the physical world,” and not the Bible, as Mr. Defant claims.

Professors who have a captive audience of impressionable college students should not be so quick to dismiss creation as a myth and at the same time incorrectly hold up scientific theory as fact.

Tim Hobbs is an MBA student.