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Letters to the Editor 12/3

Think before drinking and driving during the holidays

I am writing to comment on Grace Agostin’s article about the USF student who is facing drunken-driving charges. Three years ago on Nov. 29, two USF students and one English Language Institute student were killed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. The four students (fortunately, one of them survived) were on the corner of Fletcher Avenue and Bruce B. Downs. They were returning to Fontana Hall from a late-night trip to McDonald’s when their car was struck by a drunk driver. Two of the students died instantly, and one died the next day. The fourth student, I believe, was suffering from the mental and physical effects of the accident until as recently as last year, and he may still be suffering today.

This letter is to tell students about this horrible day and to remind you of the dangers of drinking and driving. I encourage you to think before you drink, when you’re still able to make an intelligent decision. Please don’t think that it could never happen to you. That’s what Jaclyn, LeAnna, Majid and David thought and, sadly, they were wrong.

Jeanine Ivone is an adjunct instructor in the English Language Institute.

Obvious liberal slant evident in several national media outlets

Imagine my surprise at reading the letters to the editor page over the past days and finding people are actually 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 “history-making, a well-dressed, good-looking, intelligent and skilled politician. 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.” Laugh.

Look at how the recent court cases giving the Dept. of Justice power to share information among agencies are reported as new “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 majoring in microbiology.

True PETA agenda is to protect animals, educate public

Amber Whirtley’s Nov. 18 letter to the editor about her uncle, Joe Howard, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was so filled with errors and fantasy that we at PETA have to wonder if she was put up to it by the meat industry or the Future Farmers of America who may have given her a scholarship.

PETA has never heard of Mr. Howard, but for Whirtley to suggest that his death was caused by PETA or a healthy diet is sad as well as false.

Dr. Dean Ornish and many other noted physicians who have studied nutrition agree that a vegan diet is the optimum diet for good health, stamina and maintenance of appropriate body weight, and it also reduces a person’s risk of dying of heart attack, stroke, and cancer — all of which are linked to a meat-based diet.

Her other mean-spirited attacks are equally baseless. PETA has never funded terrorism, but we have given photographs and records of abuses on farms and in laboratories — all sent to us anonymously — to the U.S. Congress and the press. We have also sought prosecution of the experimenters and others involved in violations of federal law and provided legal defense on four occasions in our 22-year history for animal protectionists accused of wrongful actions and, in one case, harassed simply for speaking up for the animals and the environment.

Until free speech is dead in this country and the accused are no longer entitled to legal defense, such activities are not only legal but are the core of American values. Hopefully, Whirtley will include a civics class among her electives at USF.

PETA’s true animal protection mission, through the use of hard-hitting public education campaigns, protests, investigations, street-theatre-type demonstrations, as well our work with district attorneys and law enforcement officials to stop cruelty, is to protest the suffering of animals in the meat, clothing, entertainment and animal testing industries.

We welcome your readers to see for themselves what animals endure today and what they can do to help, at .

Jeffrey S. Kerr is a member of the General Counsel and is director of corporate affairs for The PETA Foundation.

Professor spends leisure time exploring places he discusses

When USF Professor Henry Aruffo is ready to travel he is prepared, extremely prepared. Aruffo who is a professor of geography at USF, spends most of his free time traveling to remote parts of the world delivering much-needed medical supplies while also studying like a true geographer.

He has traveled to many parts of the world, and his next trip to Thailand is scheduled during winter break. Aruffo will spend the better part of three weeks donating his time and materials to those less fortunate than most.

When asked why he travels with only two 70-lb. suitcases he responds, “That is all the airlines will allow me to bring.” Those two suitcases are filled with nothing but supplies, mostly medical.

He packs his suitcases full of everything from vitamins and Tylenol to antibiotic creams and decongestant nose sprays. He lives out of his backpack for close to a month to allow the delivery of a maximum of supplies to be delivered. Arrufo also spends his free time photo-documenting his journey to better his teachings during his future classes.

A professor that takes the time to explore and research firsthand the places that he lectures about is a superb teacher, and this teacher is Aruffo.

Dustin Haller is a freshman majoring in biology andchemistry.