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Letters to the Editor

Security patrolslacking in new garage

Is there any security in the new parking garage?

I attend evening classes at USF Monday through Thursday. My classes end at either 8 p.m. or 9 p.m., and typically, when I enter the parking garage at that time, I encounter few, if any, other students. I have never seen a security patrol.

This is a situation which certainly needs a human security presence, not just an alarm button which might be out of reach when needed.

Kathryn Loggie is a graduate student in instructional technology.

Electoral systemflawed; vote anyway

Are you voting for the lesser of two evils this year? Either way, it really doesn’t matter — the system itself is evil. It’s broken. It can’t be reformed and it can’t be replaced because it is inherently oppressive and inherently curtails the innermost human freedoms.

We are raised to believe in imaginary borders that separate one authoritarian from the other. We are raised to think that we can’t handle things ourselves. We have to relinquish self-determination to the people the TV God says to vote for, that the corporations buy off, that will not enact real change because the “system” — this overarching dominion of humanity and Earth — will, like a god, always exist to consolidate real power and placate the masses with freedom (to buy SUVs in a hundred different colors — that’s freedom) and (representative) democracy — an imaginary rule by the people; but how much power do we have versus how much they have?

But it doesn’t have to be this way. I am not writing this to dissuade you from voting. Vote! Vote with your heart. It doesn’t matter anyway, but if you must, do what you want. We can run our own lives harmoniously with others’. We can practice mutual aid and cooperation. We can live peacefully with the Earth and its children. It has happened in the past, countless times. It characterizes our humanity.

It happens everyday. If your idea of healthy human relations is a dinner with friends, where everyone enjoys everyone else’s company, responsibilities are divided up voluntarily and informally, and no one gives orders or sells anything — then I am talking to you.

Don’t just vote. Don’t shove your dreams and freedoms into a box, or punch them out on a computer screen. Realize that you have the power to shape your own world, and shape the world of others. Build an alternative — you don’t need the government, politics, economy, etc. Try to realize your human potential — a potential that cannot be defined as left or right, Republican or Democrat. These alternatives don’t have a blueprint or an architect, nor should they (otherwise you would get the same rotten system again). Just abandon the rotten and do it yourself — be free and run your life. You’ll see that it won’t be a state of chaos, but a freedom that allows you to actualize your wildest dreams.

Anthony Schmidt is a senior majoring in anthropology.

Not all conservatives back Bush’s policies

It was perfectly logical for conservative Americans to vote for George W. Bush in 2000, just as it was right that all Americans rallied for the president during our time of national crisis.

However, in spite of the existing atmosphere of permanent crisis, not all conservatives have felt compelled to temper our convictions.

Many true conservatives question the legitimacy and the wisdom of the war in Iraq, how it has been managed and what it is now costing us economically, politically and spiritually.

We don’t agree that getting Saddam was more important than getting Osama bin Laden.

There are conservatives who are still angry about the handcuffing and stonewalling of the 9/11 Commission and the Bush administration’s attempt to prevent its very existence.

Some of us do care about finding out who really wrote and who is profiting from Vice President Cheney’s secretly written energy and environmental policies, and we are unhappy with the drastic changes in direction and protection.

Conservative parents share the distress of Republican governors over the unfunded “No Child Left Behind” act and its repercussions on our schools and children. Many of us question the fairness of the Bush tax “relief” and are greatly concerned about the debt we are leaving our children.

Conservatives believe in the American Dream. We know that it can’t be available to our children if health care is not. Being conservative means believing in traditional values such as these. Sometimes being conservative means believing change is necessary.

Mark McKinney is a former USF student.

Presidential debates on war in Iraq needed

The need for a full schedule of presidential debates is clear with the release of the National Intelligence Estimate about the future security and stability of Iraq. The outlook, according to senior government analysts, is bleak. The best we can hope for is a tenuous security situation, and the worst case is an outright civil war.

The presidential candidates should debate the issue: Is Iraq lost?

The commission on presidential debates has called for debates on Sept. 30 in Coral Gables, Fla., with a second one set for Oct. 8 in St. Louis, Mo. and a third for Oct. 13 in Tempe, Ariz.

There are news reports that President Bush wants to drop one of the debates. Debates are one of our cherished democratic institutions. As a veteran, I feel the president has a responsibility to debate the Iraq issue since he made the decision to send troops to war. Bush has proven to be a skilled debater and he should not short change the American people on such a critical issue.

Maj. Robert Tormey is a retired U.S. Air Force officer.