Letters to the Editor

Reagan’s legacy mis-interpreted
Re: “Reagan committed punishable offenses” June 21

Until I read Jared Toney and Daniel Bertwell’s opinion, I had never imagined a letter so full of hate. They argue Reagan was blight on the American people. These liberal elites argue that Reagan was a bad man and that conservatives are the evil monsters in your closet threatening families and small children.

After separating opinion from fact, I find there is very little to speak of in Toney and Bertwell’s opinion letter. They tell only half of the story. Ronald Reagan was responsible for the then-to-date largest peacetime expansion in U.S. history and, unlike Bill Clinton, found himself picking up the pieces from a crippling period of inflation, unemployment, severe energy shortages and domestic unrest. I find it funny they wish to thank the very same unions who helped Reagan crush their hero, liberal Walter Mondale.

Toney and Bertwell never stop to tell you that Reagan, who was never proven in any court to have broken any law, funded freedom fighters fighting Russian-backed Communist forces in Central America so we would not have to fight them in Texas or California.

Perhaps I am a little too pessimistic, but in 1959, who would have ever thought Cuba would have had a communist revolution? Look at the growing democracies throughout Central America today — maybe Reagan, did in fact, do something right. In the end, I guess we will never know because communism ended up on the ash heap of history.

In the end, do you want to believe revisionists who tell you our history’s greatest men are cowards and our enemies are the good guys? People who say Stalin and Mao where misunderstood and that former Socialist presidential candidate Eugene Debs was a patriot — these are the same people who once laughed at Ronald Reagan when he took pride in being an American. These are the same people who would have us accept that we cannot make this world a better place.

President Reagan once said, “America is too great to dream small dreams.” Perhaps we can join together in that dream and work for a better America with equality between the races, economic prosperity for all with minimal government interference, justice for every citizen and hope for the free everywhere. Maybe even those whose hearts are filled with nothing but hate can join us in that America.

Charles Hart is a graduate student in accounting.

How many graduate students of history does it take to counter a conservative column? Apparently two, and not very well, I might add.

You can argue all you want about Iran-Contra, supporting Noriega, etc. Sometimes in order to achieve an objective you must hold your nose and do business with Saddam Hussein, the Saudi Royal family and others. Ronald Reagan did what he thought was right. If you remember the “good old days” with Clinton, I would like to know what you think about the missile technology to China, the (lack of) response to the bombing of a naval ship and letting North Korea obtain its uranium.

Yes, we did run up huge deficits during Reagan’s term. No, we didn’t “recover” from them under Clinton. The debt was incurred due to spending, not tax cuts. In fact, revenue to the IRS actually doubled as a result of the aggressive economic stimuli. Speaking of doubling, the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than doubled from the time Reagan took office to the day he left in 1989.

Minimum wage is a protection put in place by the government. It is outdated, as few people make $5.15 an hour. Adam Fowler would not be making “$2 per hour for 70 hours a week,” because he would refuse to work for that. Employers aren’t exempt from the laws of supply and demand. If they are, how do most graduates — who have majors and skills of value to the private sector — make considerably more than minimum wage?

Ronald Reagan was the right man at the right time. He made people feel good about America again. Without his leadership, the Soviet Union might still exist today along with the millions it imprisoned behind its lies. Old Ronnie was right, communism did end up on the ash heap of history.

Joseph Yanes is a junior majoring in electrical engineering.

Twisting facts doesn’t prove a connection
Re: “Bush Administration wrongly touting Saddam-9/11 connection”. June 17

You say that the Bush administration continues to state that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11 attacks. However, none of your quotes from President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney say that. In fact, the administration has never said that Saddam was connected with the Sept. 11 attacks.

They said there was significant evidence showing that al-Qaida and Saddam have had contact over the past decade. Even people from both political sides admit this. Joe Lieberman said, “I want to be real clear about the connection with terrorists. I’ve seen a lot of evidence on this. There are extensive contacts between Saddam Hussein’s government and al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.” He also said, “And you know, some people say with a great facility, al-Qaida and Saddam could never get together. He is secular and they’re theological. But there’s something that tied them together; it’s their hatred of us.”

Even more recently he said he remains confident of the connection. Hillary Clinton voted for the war on Iraq because of these connections. The 9/11 Commission has stated that there is no proof to link Saddam to the attacks. However, nobody has provided proof that a connection between the two is non-existent.

The fact is terrorism remains a threat. That is why we are at war. Your article is not credible and seems completely fallacious. The question therefore should be: Why do you write articles that manipulate and bend the facts?

Melanie Yates is a senior majoring in finance.

You aren’t less of a fan in times of good
Re: “Tampa Bay caught (not) looking again” June 21

I saw a picture of the Devil Rays on the bottom of the back page of the Oracle on Monday and was intrigued. Then I read the article accompanying it. I’m sorry, but do you really mean what you said? Even though we live in the Tampa area, we should not show interest in any sports team when they start doing well? Does that mean that Raymond James Stadium should not be sold out every week? If only the people who supported the Buccaneers before they started winning came to the games, the stadium would be near empty — like it was before.

Let me let you in on a little secret: It takes winning to form loyalty. The Bucs were 7-9 last year, not a very good record. Nevertheless, season tickets are still sold out for this year. No matter what happens, there will be many more lifelong Bucs fans in the future than in the past.

The same thing can be said for the Lightning. And now, the Devil Rays are showing life. You can’t just put a team in a city and expect immediate support. A team has to earn it. That’s what the Bucs and Lightning did, and it’s what the Rays are trying to do now. So don’t go ranting and raving about how no one should support the Devil Rays or Lightning because they didn’t before.

The people of this town are finally getting sports teams that are winning, and we have something to cheer for. Or, those of us who didn’t show our full support before could stay away and let you and your 5,000 regular-attendee friends fill one-ninth of the stadium on a SportsCenter highlight of the World Series at Tropicana Field.

Andrew Harshman is a graduate student majoring in chemical engineering.