Letters to the Editor

Tuition hikes likely to drive students away
Re: “Six tuition proposals go to governor for approval,” Oct. 24

This article caused me great concern. I mean, a 25 percent surcharge? Are they trying to drive students away?

I thought the idea was to attract as many students to colleges as possible and keep them there, right?

One thing that I am in support of is the proposal to allow universities to charge different tuition rates for different programs. That way recreational classes, art classes, dance classes, engineering classes and business classes would all cost different amounts. But there would have to be a cap because they’d get carried away – they always do.

Raymond Rose is a senior majoring in business leadership.

Draft not scare tactics, likely under Bush

The draft is inevitable under President George W. Bush.

This is not because of speculation about legislation currently pending, but due to Bush’s inability to formulate an exit strategy and the obvious lack of adequate troops on the ground. Democratic conclusion? Paul Bremer, the former lead man on the ground in Iraq, recently admitted the troop count was inadequate. Rogue official? I suppose the recent survey by Stars and Stripes magazine (Pentagon based) of the troops in Iraq proclaiming similar inadequacies and their reluctance to reenlist (over 50 percent) should be of no concern.

Estimates by the administration have a significant portion of the country under insurgent control. You cannot have legitimate democracy if entire regions cannot participate.

These are not scare tactics. We have an inadequate troop count, we do not have control and current troops do not want to reenlist. What is the next logical step? These are conclusions drawn based on Bush administration sources.

Oh, but that cannot be true because Bush told us he would not reinstitute a draft. Of course he also told us there were weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam had a nuclear program and that Saddam was linked to al-Qaida. I could go on, but you get the point.

The draft is inevitable? Not under John Kerry. Broader coalitions are a step in the right direction. You have to first recognize a problem before you can address it. Bush seems incapable of that simple concept.

John Duddy is the president of the College Democrats.

Tort reform not that simple, needs discussion

I am a licensed Florida physician pursuing a second career in teaching. I’m a teaching assistant in the English Department, and I am fed up with the confusion and fear created by several groups, especially the Republicans, on the issue of insurance reform.

Malpractice insurance premiums have been on a roller coaster ride for the last 30 years in Florida. In the mid-1980s they were frightfully high, and ten years later they plummeted into a steep decline, all without help from our legislators. Now rates are on the rise again. Do we really think that the legislative capping of “pain and suffering” judgments will dramatically lower rates long term? And will a continuing increase in rates stop doctors from practicing in this state? The issue is much more complicated than we have been led to believe.

A more insightful question is this: If caps are introduced in a tort reform bill, will insurance companies be required to lower rates after their risk is reduced, or will we be reduced to merely trusting them to keep rates down and avoid excessive profits? There has been no evidence to date that the deal will be a clear give-and-take. The legislature may guarantee reduced risk and increased profits for the insurance companies, while the corporations will not be required to reduce rates. Without legislative obligation, rates will soon be out of control again.

The causes of variability of malpractice premium rates over a period of years and decades are complicated. Should we let our collective intelligence as a community be insulted by special and party interests? Should we be bamboozled by a few lobbyists and the party they pay off? I say no. We need more honest and more thoughtful public discussions on this critical issue.

Carmelo Saraceno is a graduate student in English literature.

Bush ‘against’ large government, yet does it

I find it very interesting that a president, for all of his talk about non-governmental intervention, has probably instituted some of the most meddling programs allowed or not allowed (as the case may be) under the constitution of this country. He says he does not believe in governmental control, however the Patriot Act is perhaps the most controlling thing the government has instituted to date. As far as I can see this is what has created longer lines, delays and increased inefficiency whenever traveling, and at the same time accomplished absolutely nothing of what it was intended to accomplish. Give him a few more years to monkey around with health care.

Also, I am not sure Bush democratically secured his office. When you combine the fact that he did not win the popular vote with all of the questions of voting legitimacy, along with the fact that the third party in the previous elections was allowed in perhaps under a very Republican administration and that said third party, it is widely accepted, took votes exclusively from the Democratic Party.

When you combine all of these things, I think it is fair to question the legitimacy of this presidency. Then, after what he has done while in office, it is absolutely absurd that he should still be in office. What we seem to have in this country as opposed to a direct democracy, or even the claim to an indirect democracy, is what you cannot even decently call democracy.

This needs to change. If he tries to enter the White House through the back door again, I feel we (believers in democracy) demand a new election that allows for four political parties: The Libertarian, The Republican, The Democratic and independents like Ralph Nader. If it is indeed true that the independents do not take from the Democratic party as widely claimed, then the Republicans should have no problem letting in a fourth very conservative party as it would not have taken from their votes but from those who would not have voted anyway.

David Jeffrey Vanden is a senior majoring in English.

Happiness important, not most pressing goal

Happiness, as explained by Bertrand Russell in the book The Good Life, is a pleasant feeling that one gets when they do something that they enjoy. Russell says that happiness is gained by “being active in the outside world and doing what we enjoy.” This is quite true in the fact that happiness is a feeling and not a tangible thing as some people have thought. Sure, books and friends give you happiness, but they aren’t happiness itself. By doing what you enjoy, you will in turn find happiness.

Is happiness so important that it is more required than anything else? Some people believe it is, but in fact it isn’t. Having happiness is important, but if you let it become the most important factor, you will miss out on a lot of other things in life. Doing so will actually make it easier for other people to control you, limiting your happiness to only what others want you to have. There are other things that can be done that can lead to happiness.

Some people think that pursuing their own happiness should be their life goal. However, that is no different from looking for the feeling of pleasure called a “high” that you get from smoking or taking drugs. If you’re constantly looking for and finding happiness, then you will miss out on almost everything that goes on in your life. If you are active in your life and the lives of others, you can find happiness in ways that you never imagined. Doing this, I believe, will give you more happiness than if you only looked for happiness continuously.

A world where everyone is seeking individual happiness sounds like a perfect world. It might be perfect in a fantasy world, but in real life it doesn’t work that easily. If we all simply looked for happiness, the world would not be as advanced as it is now. In my opinion, helping someone else find happiness can sometimes give you the most happiness you can find. If we all did what made us happy, we would find ourselves with a lot of hurt people and a world where crime is everywhere.

James Smith is a freshman majoring in geology.