Letters to then editor

MHasty generalizations
I must commend Marty Andrade’s recent column, “Attack faults of argument, not me.” I agree that the ad hominem attacks are ridiculous. But I wish Andrade would have admitted that they are used by both liberal and conservatives. By singling out only one of the perpetrators, he is furthering the cause of ad hominem attacks by that singled-out group.

Unfortunately, I must also point out a logical fallacy in his column. His statements about liberals reek of the hasty generalization fallacy, whereby he assumes that because a few members of a group act a certain way, the whole group acts that way. Put differently, Andrade’s column assumes that because there are a few jackass liberals out there, every liberal is a jackass. This is simply not the case.

I don’t assume that every conservative views politics the same way as Rush Limbaugh. To do so would be a hasty generalization.

Toby Cryns
University student

Calling out the truth
I wonder when we’ll see a Marty Andrade column about the autopsy of Terry Schiavo. You remember it; the results showed that her brain had atrophied, she was blind, not in any way responsive, had suffered no injuries or abuse, and would not have ever “recovered.” Will Andrade take to task such luminaries as Bill Frist, who viewed a videotape of Schiavo and opined (remember, he’s an MD, but not a neurologist), “That is not somebody in persistent vegetative state … There just seems to be insufficient information to conclude that Terri Schiavo is (in a) persistent vegetative state.”

Of course, in true Republican fashion, Frist now disavows his words. Will we be treated to Andrade’s cutting wit and incisive rhetoric in this case? How about hearing about Tom Delay, Jeb Bush, President George W. Bush, et al, interfering in a decision that was her husband’s to make and a decision that had been upheld by numerous courts, numerous judges and was completely in line with the relevant legislation? The ol’ “big gubbmint BAD” part of Andrade’s psyche ought to be outraged by this blatant abuse of power. Will it?

Will Andrade write a column decrying the horrendous hypocrisy of the Republican Party leadership and their so-called “culture of life”? How about the law that Bush signed in Texas when he was governor that allows hospitals to remove life support if the patient could not pay and there was no hope of revival, regardless of the patient’s family’s wishes? It is called the Texas Futile Care Law. What about pious lawmakers bloviating about a “culture of life” while they vote to kick hundreds of thousands off Medicare and gut Medicaid? Will we hear about the inhumanity of the right? I won’t hold my breath.

Mike Westberg
University staff

Appalling process
As the majority of the Administrative Fees Committee, we are appalled at the initial recommendations from Jerry Rinehart’s fees reform committee.

The reforms being made on the administrative side embody the classic battle of administration vs. student choice. The administration is codifying student voices out of the process by instituting mandatory yearly hikes in fees. The administration has never liked it when students have made cuts to their precious groups and have taken several steps over the past few years to force students out of the process. Apparently it isn’t enough that the vice provost overturns all but one of ours decisions, the administration must always get what they want at the expense of the student’s pocket book.

Furthermore, the student side “reforms” should be more aptly deemed “regressions.” Favored groups such as the Minnesota Student Association and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (whose members make up an overwhelming majority of the committee), and other groups deemed “services” will have an easy road to fees with only one hearing a year. Student groups, on the other hand, will have to jump through a plethora hoops having operational budget presentations on top of multiple event hearings.

Obviously some groups are more equal than others.

Lastly, there is no mention of any kind of concrete objective standards within Rinehart’s memo. The only solution to what ails our abysmal fees process is a set of viewpoint neutral standards which will allow any group, regardless of ideology, mission or history, to receive fees. The current criteria are vague and allow for copious amounts of unbridled discretion to occur. Allowing this debauchery to continue is a disservice to students.

Administrative Fees Committee members Aaron B. Solem, Mark Annis and Brian Edstrom