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Friday October 27, 2000

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Letters to the Editor

Nader vote dangerous

To the editor,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for Cory Spiller's article, "Liberals for Bush?" He said exactly what I've been saying to Nader's supporters. People voting for Nader put the environment as a top priority. However voting for Nader will help a corporate oil big-wig get elected. This is a horrible environmental decision. What will the state of the environment be when Bush is drilling for oil in Alaska? What will happen when Alaskan oil is not enough?

I understand and admire the ideas behind voting for Nader, but now is not the time. Instead I think that Green voters should focus on electing a Green congress. Maybe starting a little smaller will produce greater effects in the future. (A Green President in 4 years?) So please, for all inhabitants of this great earth, don't elect the exact opposite of all it is that you believe. Take this into your heart when voting on Nov. 7.

Melinda Koslow

Atmospheric science sophomore

We can't vote for 2nd best

To the editor,

The argument raised in the editorial "Liberals for Bush?," that those who believe in the positions of Ralph Nader and the Green Party should try to save us from Bush Jr. by voting for Gore, is flawed. How will we ever break out of this flawed two-party system, controlled by corporate money and doing it's best to keep fresh voices and serious change out of politics? Are we supposed to believe that in the next election the "two parties" will stop giving us one pro-life or otherwise backwards candidate that we aren't supposed to save ourselves from by voting for the "lesser evil?" Don't count on it. So unless we all plan to spend the rest of our lives voting for the second-worst candidate while watching nothing change, we need to start voting for candidates that stand for what we believe in.

We need people in office who will stop the overwhelming influence of corporate money in politics, politicians thinking of long-term solutions- fundamental changes that would really improve the lives of people in this country.

How will we ever get good people in office unless we vote for them?

The Green Party needs 5% of the vote in order to qualify for millions in federal funding for the next election. That's an opportunity we can't afford to miss. I'll be voting for Ralph Nader on November 7.

Steve Kidder

Geosciences graduate student

Nader column flawed

To the editor,

Cory Spiller's recent masterwork of reasoning ("Liberals for Bush?," Oct. 25) necessitates a response, and perhaps even a boxing of his ears. I'll refrain from discussing the glaringly obvious flaws in the column ("Hell, he's a great man..." in reference to the Dubya, disrespecting the brilliant Winona LaDuke, the non-sensical artwork from another esteemed talent at your paper, Josh Hagler) and concentrate on the many ways in which his analysis is dead wrong.

First of all, the assertion that "...(no) corporation in the country... would want to give old Greeny a nickel," is not only overstated and incorrect, but it misses the point completely. Nader's refusal to accept soft money has nothing to do with whether or not he could obtain it. Rather, it stresses the idea that public officials should not be for sale through the electoral process. Nader believes elections should be publicly financed because soft money financing makes the recipients beholden to their financiers. Make no mistake - a vote for Gore or Bush is a vote for tobacco companies, law firms, oil interests, even the Hollywood moguls they purport to chastise for their violent product. What, for instance, could possibly be the reason that Phillip Morris historically has contributed roughly the same amount to the two major parties? It's because they're hedging their bet.

The description of LaDuke as "even less politically experienced than Nader," implies, incredibly enough, that Nader is somehow politically inexperienced. While I don't challenge Spiller as an authority on callowness, I must take exception to this titanic error. Nader didn't just "...(fight) tirelessly for seatbelts...," he took on the entire automotive industry and changed the way they do business. Since he first tangled with behemoth General Motors in his book "Unsafe at Any Speed" (written when he was just a little older than Mr. Spiller), the automobile death rate per million miles driven is a sixth of what it was before. Maybe you've heard of the EPA or OSHA or the Consumer Products Safety Commission? These federal agencies were created by the efforts of the 150,000-person-strong organization Public Citizen, which Nader founded and headed until 1980.

Nader himself concedes that he won't get elected. But since the major parties demonstrate over and over that they ignore the will of the public, the dissatisfaction with that state of affairs must be registered. The nearly-Republican Democrats would be even closer to their pachydermal fraternal twins were Gore not afraid of losing votes to Nader. Gore's convention rhetoric, that he stands for people and not big business, is as empty as the space between Bush's ears. Voice your dissent, because as the slogan goes, power concedes nothing without a demand. Don't vote for Monsanto or McDonnell-Douglas in the coming election. Vote clean. Vote Green. Vote Nader.

Curtis McCrary

Second year law student

Drinking, driving always dangerous

To the editor,

I would like to respond to Bob Rider's belief that people can drive on .10, that he can drive under worse conditions, and that he is still alive, by saying that there are reasons that the government holds certain regulations on blood-alcohol percentages. Those reasons are to keep people safe. Obviously enough people are bad enough drivers, and intoxicated enough, with .10 blood-alcohol percentage that the government feels that it needs to lower it. As for him saying that he is still alive and has driven under worse conditions, lets see how long that will last. I have known acquaintances and a best friend that has died from drinking and driving, either by hitting someone or something, or by being hit by someone. Let me tell you, that hardly anything hurts more than to think that someone that you hung out with everyday, or sat next to you everyday in class, is not alive because of such a stupid reason as drinking and driving. Maybe personal tragedies such as these need to happen a couple of times to Bob for him to get the fucking hint. Please, everybody be responsible with drinking and driving. Every time you go out, please make sure that you have a designated driver.

Jessica Nagel

Biochemistry and Spanish junior

Why not try a democracy?

To the editor,

Could it be that we actually no longer live in a democracy? Is a democratic society one where people are encouraged to vote for the lesser of two evils and oppositional voices are not allowed in the public forum or on the publicly-owned airways? What does it say about a society where a third-party candidate cannot be considered "viable" and the candidate's offer of service is considered to be "wrong?" Does anyone realize that we will probably return 99% of incumbents to the House of Representatives, a return rate not seen since the Soviet Union's communist Duma?

We live in a society where politics, our democracy, is controlled by moneyed interests - a society in which the two dominant parties, along with their shadow groups (see Young Democrats and Young Republicans), shamefully and cowardly refuse to debate those with progressive ideas.

We line in a society where more than a million people, mostly minorities, are incarcerated for minor drug offenses while white-collar criminals get a slap on the wrist at the country club of their choice. A society where only the small businessman is "free" to fail and the corporation must be "protected" from the harshness of the marketplace. There is one candidate that will end the ridiculous Drug War and return the economy back to the people, the Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.

If a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush, then so be it. This is a democracy and if one rascal wins, maybe next time we'll throw 'em out properly. I encourage all my fellow students to vote your conscience.

As Mr. Nader points out: "How can we expect our representatives to vote their conscience, if we are not willing to do the same."

Mark A. Konty

Sociology graduate student

No excuse for drunk driving

To the editor,

Would you please pass this message along to student Bob Rider who was quoted on your front page yesterday as saying that "I think that people can drive on .10 [blood alcohol content]. I've driven on a lot worse, and I'm still alive." Would you inform him that there are many people like him still alive? And would you ask him if he forgot to think about the innocent people who are not still alive, having been killed by people with .10 or better? As a psychology major, does he have no sympathy for the mental anguish of the families left behind? I'm sure it was a remark not thoroughly thought through, and that Mr. Rider's apology will be forthcoming.

May I recommend the site MADD is for people of any age and gender now, not just moms. This is my first letter to the editor in my five years on this campus, but I have known too many victims of drunk driving to let Mr. Rider's statement pass without comment.

Patricia Baldewicz

Graduate Coordinator