Letters to the Editor 4/11

Trust President Bush and his motives

I love my country, I support my president, and I am proud to be an American. Right now our country is in critical need of support for the Bush administration. Personally, I am tired of hearing antiwar sentiment. Did we not elect the president into office? Did we not put our faith in him to run our country? Yes, we did, and therefore, we should keep instilling that faith, and trust him to make the right decisions, whatever those may be.

Some people may see America’s involvement in the war as hasty and unnecessary, but I see it as the exact opposite. Some people may think that Bush is a “war-monger,” but I see his actions as justified and promoting peace. President Bush has nothing to gain, and everything to lose from the war with Iraq. Currently, Bush holds a steady public opinion, but if the war turns ugly, he could risk his chances of being re-elected.

Many people do not understand why this war is absolutely necessary. It’s necessary to bring peace to the Iraqi people, but also to ensure a safe future for every country.

I agree that this war may bring many unnecessary deaths to innocent people, but many more could be threatened if we do not act now. Most antiwar advocates see our involvement as unprovoked because Saddam Hussein has not presented a material threat.

My answer to that outlook is to present you with an example. Pretend that you are driving down the road, and you notice that your low on gas. Are you going to pull over and get gas before your car stops in the road, or are you going to wait until you are stuck and then realize that you could have prevented the inevitable from happening if only you had gotten gas?

This may seem like a silly example, but I see it as a parallel to what we are experiencing now. Saddam Hussein is a ticking time bomb and presents a threat to the entire world. Do we want to wait until he takes action against an innocent country to involve ourselves in war? No. President Bush is making the right decision to intervene and stop him before he can do any harm. If the U.S. does not act, who will?

The way I see it, people, as well as the United Nations, would surely be pro-involvement if Hussein bombed a country killing hundreds of people, but why wait for that to happen?

I hope that this letter will help antiwar advocates to see our involvement in the war in another light. Even if people don’t support the war, I hope that they support our country and our president.

I pray for the safety and well-being of every soldier fighting for peace in Iraq, and also for the families that they left behind. Once again, support our country for we are so lucky to have the freedoms that we do.

Support our president and trust that he will lead us in the right direction, and God bless America.

Robyn Pepin is a sophomore majoring in political science.

Proposed bill won’t stop drug abuse

I disagree that passing Mike Fassano’s bill to regulate drug prescriptions would prevent drug overdoses from prescription drugs in the state of Florida.

This bill was actually first introduced in the House of Representatives as HB 989. This database will not help catch or deter the majority of people who overdose on drugs — recreational drug abusers who buy their drugs off the street.

These recreational drug abusers often mix several drugs, such as Oxycontin, Methadone, Ritalin and Ativan, with illegal drugs, such as cocaine and heroin — and add a splash of booze — to create a bigger high for themselves.

These recreational drug abusers are very rarely prescribed these drugs directly from doctors. Instead, they buy them off the street, after they are smuggled in from other countries. To support this claim, I refer to an article in last month’s Journal of Analytical Toxicology that showed that well over 90 percent of the people who overdosed on drugs had at least five drugs (and often alcohol) in their system at the time of death.

By the way, the authors of this study — who studied overdoses from coroner’s offices around the country — are from the University of Florida.

The present regulations in the state of Florida work. Look at the successful conviction of Dr. James Graves of Pace, Florida, who dispensed the “Grave’s Cocktail” of Oxycontin, Lortab, Ativan, and Soma to many of his addicted patients. Police and prosecutors were able to obtain detailed information on Grave’s prescribing habits — and the prescriptions filled by all his patients — without Mike Fassano’s uber-database.

What needs to happen to prevent prescription writing abuse is better cooperation between medical and pharmacy organizations and law enforcement. The “Oxycontin controversy” has already facilitated this type of cooperation and it will continue.

You imply that many of the 2,700 overdoses in Florida were acts of intentional self-harm or suicide. The money for this database is coming from a $2- million settlement from Purdue Pharma to the state of Florida to get the state to drop its lawsuit over marketing practices for Oxycontin.

Wouldn’t a better way of preventing the next potential 2,700 Floridians from harming themselves be to use that $2 million to better fund Florida’s dreadful mental health services?

Mordecai Potash is a staff physician for Moffitt Cancer Center and an assistant professor for the department of interdisciplinary oncology.

Coach search should be more inclusive

Is it just me or is the search for the new USF basketball coach not as inclusive as it should be? Why is Lee Roy Selmon (whom I respect) not contacting any big name coaches who are currently unemployed? Steve Lavin, Nolan Richardson and Matt Dougherty are three respected coaches with proven records. Salary for these top-tier coaches should not be an issue, especially considering how Judy Genshaft was absurdly rewarded an $80,000 salary increase. Yet “supposedly” our budget is suffering? If Genshaft has the lack of moral conscience to accept such a ridiculous raise, why can’t USF hire a nationally recognized coach to compete with the current structure of Conference USA coaches such as Rick Pitino, John Calipari or others?

If we end up hiring an average coach with no national name recognition, we can be sure to set our sights for the NIT bubble each year (if we are lucky). Our football team has made more strides in four years than the basketball program has made in the past decade. Season tickets for USF hoops are at an all-time low. A campus of close to 40,000 students does not deserve a second-rate coach.

I kindly request Mr. Selmon to go after coaches, rather than having coaches come to him. Ask yourself the question: Do we want 16 wins a year for the next decade, or do we want to progress, rather than regress? Boosters would have no problem contributing to the salary of a nationally renowned coach if it will take us to the Big Dance. Remember, if Genshaft can take advantage of the system, it is only fair to reward the students for their suffering.

Mulham Shbeib is a USF alumnus.