Letters to the Editor 1/13

Friends of Jimmy Nupp deserve thanks

To the friends of James E. (Jimmy) Nupp: You came to his memorial service and, in your attendance, you gave Jimmy’s family a warm and wonderful comfort. I can hear him now in heaven saying, “Wow, I didn’t know I had so many friends.”

Your beautiful flowers graced his service and brought tears to my eyes to see such caring.

Your cards and letters of caring and friendship are wonderful, both from all who attended Jimmy’s service and from those who were not able to attend. They are with him and will be his always.

Our family sends our thanks to all of you. My tears are of sorrow and of comfort to see and to read how very much Jimmy was valued and loved by so many of you. Thank you for being there for him and honoring him. You will all be in my heart and prayers forever.

Jim and Rosemary Nupp are residents of Lake Mary, Fla.

USF holds important place in Tampa

I am writing to agree with Paul Swider’s sentiments in his column published Friday. Mr. Swider is absolutely right. USF is an integral part of Tampa and vital to the city’s growth. Subsequently, for USF to become a top-notch university, Tampa must embrace USF. It is no surprise that all of the candidates in Tampa’s mayoral race have spoken about the importance of USF to the city and their respective campaigns.

There are thousands of students, faculty almuni and friends of USF living in Tampa. This USF community is a huge voting block in the upcoming mayoral election. On Feb. 5, Student Government will host a mayoral debate on campus. It is our hope that by increasing our presence in the election, we will increase the prominence of our university in the city and its politics.

David Mincberg is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary social sciences and is student body vice president.

Anti-SUV campaign makes valid point

I would like to disagree politely, but strongly, with your opinion expressed in the article “SUV ads should be pulled” in the Jan. 1 Oracle.

In the last line of the editorial, it was stated “In fact, it has no place in a democracy.” Following the argument of the article, “it” refers to the opinion that common activities of Americans, i.e. driving SUV’s, may be aiding terrorists. In more general terms, “it” refers to an opinion.

Consequently, the last line of your article could be restated to read, “In fact, opinion has no place in democracy.” This statement, which I think is a correct extension of the argument, is more problematic, in my opinion, than the opinion of The Detroit Project.

What I think your article really wants to point out is a difference in opinion on how the relation of fuel efficiency to terrorism exists and how it should be presented.

Let me add a bit of information to the controversy at hand. It is widely known in the energy sector that Saudia Arabia has the cheapest most accessible oil in the world, which gives it the outrageously low extraction cost of $1 per barrel.

However, the country cannot extract oil for any length of time below $15 a barrel. This is because the bureaucracy that oil wealth has created needs $14 a barrel to remain civil and keep the country from erupting into chaos. This $14 per barrel goes to support, in general, a wealthy ruling class that oppresses a very poor general population. (I think we are all familiar with the unbelievable level of income inequality in this country.)

However, right now, oil is fetching around $30 a barrel, give or take a generous $5 just for levity’s sake. Where does this extra money go?

In short, such a large sum of money generally doesn’t go any place productive. In the ’70s and ’80s, this money went to European bank accounts of wealthy individuals from Saudia Arabia. The excess of money created a surplus of money to lend and was thus doled out to dictators throughout the world, especially in Africa and Latin America. This is that ugly Third World debt about which Bono sings. That money was spent on dictators’ lavish palaces, genocide and civil war. In the ’90s and the new millennium, some of this money is going to terrorism (the amount remains to be uncovered).

Don’t forget, rich individuals in many Middle Eastern countries and even in the United States contributed and continue to contribute to good Osama B. and Al Q. I don’t mean to pick on Saudia Arabia.

This exact phenomenon and ones similar to it are going on throughout the world, but especially in the Middle East through the use of oil.

The Detroit Project is merely asking Americans to think about the ramifications of their lifestyle. It’s asking people, “Hey, if you’re not pulling a boat, going camping each weekend or don’t have 10 children … would you think about buying a more fuel efficient car?”

However, even if it isn’t asking this nicely, I think we can all agree that the idea that opinions should not be expressed in our democracy is far scarier than the idea that an SUV is linked to terrorism.

Ian Hallett is a non-degree seeking student at USF.