Letters to the Editor 11/25

Writer gave wrong impression of PETA

This is in response to Amber Whirtley’s letter, printed on Monday.

I sincerely hope that the naming of a few incidents involving extremist animal rights advocates did not sway other Oracle readers as easily as Ms. Whirtley. Every institution has its wackos, even the Catholic Church. Most PETA members do not hold the “beliefs” Whirtley mentioned in her letter, just as most Catholic priests are not child molesters. They are regular people with good intentions who fit well into society and do not have to be arrested or sent to mental institutions.

I am very sorry that Whirtley’s Uncle Joe Howard, an active member of PETA, died as a result of malnutrition. However, her statement that “PETA killed my uncle” seems a little far-fetched. Mr. Howard’s case is an unusual one. If he was eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes (the kind of diet PETA encourages), and not just “vegetarian junk food” like potato chips and lettuce salad, I’m certain that he would not have had a protein deficiency, and I’m sure any doctor or dietician will agree with me. Despite what many people think, meat is not the only good source of protein in this world.

As for Ms. Whirtley’s proposal that vegetarians and vegans lead an “unhealthy lifestyle,” check out the following quote, taken directly from the American Heart Association’s Web site: “You get cholesterol in two ways. Your body makes some of it, and the rest comes from cholesterol in animal products that you eat, such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, butter, cheese and whole milk. Food from plants like fruits, vegetables and cereals doesn’t have cholesterol.” And as we should all know by now, too much cholesterol can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

Angela Infante is majoring in English.

Bush should be more careful with his words

After reading yet another “entertaining” quote given by our beloved president, I was left feeling rather perturbed; so much in fact that I had to actively comment on it. This is what I think of the Nov. 18 chatter box quote.

George W. Bush was quoted to have said the following:

“I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’t feel like I owe anybody an explanation.”

Now that’s funny, because the last time I checked, he did have people to answer to. Mainly, oh what’s that group called down on Capitol Hill?

Congress? Not to mention the courts and the citizens who elected Bush in to office. The last time I checked the president was not the supreme ruler of our nation, but in fact, he and his office were a third of the ruling powers. But hey, maybe that was just a typo in the United States Constitution.

Either way, President Bush needs to be reminded that he lives in a democracy, not a monarchy, so he needs to turn in the little crown he’s made for himself. And while he’s at it, maybe he should read his government textbook, or at least take it out of the plastic wrapping.

Lorien Leonard is a freshman.

Liberal bias in media isn’t hard to find

Imagine my surprise at reading the Letters to the Editor page where I find people are still debating the proven liberal bias of the news media after all this time.

One writer actually doubted the bias based on the fact that the Enron story is no longer being reported.

Enron investigations in the media lead back to the Clinton administration.

End of story.

The writer also requested specific examples, possibly due to the fact that he does not own a television or cannot read newspapers, so here are a few:

The new House majority leader, Tom DeLay, is referred to as a controversial, right-wing ideologue by Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings.

What about Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco liberal elected to the minority leader position?

Well, she’s a history-making, well-dressed, good-looking, intelligent and skilled politician, according to Brokaw and Jennings.

How about the fact that Republicans are called the “ruling party” while Democrats, when in power, are called the “majority party.”

Or, how about the Republican “takeovers” of 1994 and 2002? How about the fact that nearly every conservative is called such, while liberals are called “centrists.”


Look at how the recent court cases giving the Department of Justice power to share information among agencies are reported as new the “lower standard for all kinds of wiretaps” by CNN and The New York Times. (Of course, the standard for wiretaps has not been altered in any way, but saying so makes those evil Republicans, especially Attorney General John “Satan” Ashcroft, look bad.)

Finally, look at the feigned uproar at the fact that one employee of Fox News is related to our president. Seriously, can you even count the number of Clinton staffers posing as unbiased anchors on ABC (George Stephanopolous) and CNN, not to mention other former liberal staffers such as Chris Matthews on MSNBC? No liberal bias? Get real.

Jason Konopack is a senior in microbiology.

Speaker’s comments not that of ACLU

In your reporter’s coverage of the “War on Iraq” forum, she identified me as the treasurer for the ACLU of Florida when quoting my remarks. When, to avoid a one-sided presentation of the issues, I presented an alternative view on the justification for waging war on Iraq, I was speaking as a citizen and a retired Army officer, not as a representative of the ACLU. The mission of the ACLU is to defend the Bill of Rights; it does not take political positions.

I am quite sure that many of my ACLU colleagues would be horrified by the possibility that my statements on Iraq might be attributed to the organization.

On two occasions I did make comments that reflected specific positions of the ACLU. The first, noted by your reporter, was to point out that freedom of speech does not include the right to impose a heckler’s veto to disrupt speakers you disagree with. The second, was to condemn specific provisions of the USA/Patriot Act which unconstitutionally and unnecessarily undermine the civil liberties of Americans.

Mike Pheneger is an employee for USF’s Professional and Workforce Development Division