Opinion

The Lesser of two evils

It’s time for me to set the record straight. With any luck, the age-old debate will finally be put to rest. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Drinkers are more annoying than smokers. Sky Frostenson/ Guardian To understand why I feel the way I do is to understand that while growing up, I have known many drinkers. Whether they have been close friends, or even family members who would get a little tipsy now and then, drinkers have been a staple of my life. In fact, I recall a picture of myself as a toddler proudly holding a Bud in my tiny hands. I have also shared the company of plenty a smokers, most notably my father, who could not shake the habit until my family finally made him quit after nearly 20 years. Being Korean, it’s a wonder I did not pick up smoking the minute I hit puberty. Alas, I can’t say the same for some of my peers, many of whom light up as often as they eat a meal. Needless to say, I’ve had my share of alcohol and cigarettes. Easy access is truly an understatement when it comes to finding the stuff on campus. While no clear-cut distinction exists between drinkers and smokers — and indeed many people do both — a smoker is still more tolerable than a drinker. No doubt, students are shaking their heads right now, either in disbelief or disgust. They are probably wondering how I could conclude that drinkers are the worse of the two groups. Before I continue my little diatribe, however, I must admit that even smokers can be a tad annoying in their own right. Understand that it’s all a matter of preference. With smokers, all someone really has to deal with is the stench. Then again, if you are like me and the smell of smoke doesn’t send you sprinting in the other direction, smoking really isn’t all that annoying. Aside from all the havoc second-hand smoke wreaks on a person’s body, the annoyance level of a smoker continues to be significantly lower than that of a drinker. Honestly, some people actually like the smell, and understandably so. For many, it’s a very soothing smell, not unlike the rich aroma of a wood-burning fire. Smokers tend to be a mellow bunch. Much like their pot-smoking cousins, they choose to chat openly about their problems and ponder deep, philosophical questions. In other words, a smoker usually still has his mind intact. Even though they may still be “”escaping”” their problems with each puff, they are still there, mentally at least. Not surprisingly, they tend to be a more thoughtful, contemplative crowd, less inclined to act like morons and annoy somebody in the process. I can recall many times I’ve found myself in a crowd of smokers. I remember the calmness of the mood in the circle. The vibe was good. Sure, their frequent spitting and coughing got to me after a while, but that was a minor distraction. The point is that everyone was pretty real, which is more than I can say for most people who get wasted. We shared laughs and had a good time. I am not advocating smoking, you see. Few would argue that it isn’t a bad habit. I am simply saying that compared to most obnoxious drinkers I have known in my day, smokers are a much more tolerable crowd. I feel it necessary to clarify my argument a bit, so as not to confuse our loyal readers. When I say I find drinkers annoying, I am referring to a specific type of drinker. I’m not referring to the drinker who has a couple of drinks to unwind every now and then. That type tends to be mellow and cool, almost on par with the most bearable smokers. Instead, I’m talking about the kind who cannot hold their liquor and periodically end up vomiting chunks over a railing at the end of a party. What exactly makes these sorts of drinkers so very annoying? For starters, they have a tendency to get very loud. Losing all inhibitions is to be expected, but many take it to the extreme. Often, sexual energy takes charge of a drinker’s entire being, and before you know it, there’s a greasy drunk hunched over your lap trying to straddle you and lick your forehead. Drinking can be very fun, and I realize this. Losing control isn’t, however. Unfortunately, too many drinkers often do the latter. Bliss for them is chugging shot after shot of Bacardi 151 until they lose count. Maybe losing his mind occasionally is fun for the person doing it, but it is rarely so for everyone else witnessing it. We laugh at drunken people because — let’s face it — they’re hilarious. Few things are as entertaining as incoherent and goofy drunks. Comedy, though, only goes so far. After a while, their wild ways are no longer as funny and soon become downright irritating. Particularly striking is when they are so smashed that they’re whining about how bad they feel. Before you know it, they’re hugging a toilet, wishing to God something would come up. That reminds me of a party I was at not too long ago. Alcohol was flowing and the mood was festive. I could barely walk five feet without encountering another happy drunk venting about his problems or just acting silly. Being buzzed myself, I didn’t mind the inebriated ones around me. No sooner had I started to enjoy the ambiance of the party, however, than did their over-the-top behavior start to really bug me. The drinkers started to get rowdy and idiotic. They became insincere up to the point where I wasn’t sure if they were really that stupid or if it was just the alcohol talking. Comments were thrown around, such as, “”I am so wasted right now, let’s see how many more shots `til I pass out!”” It was this sort of self-proclaiming, self-aggrandizing behavior that I found particularly vexatious. It’s about as annoying as a group of guys bragging about who’s got a bigger package or who’s slept with the most girls. Many drinkers become pretentious and feel the need to declare how cool they are by the number of shots they can down in one sitting. Let’s face it, some people are annoying enough sober. But if you give them a few drinks, forget it. They become unbearable. Smokers smell and drinkers can be fake. Pick your complaint. As for myself, I have no trouble breathing a little smoke. The Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “”Drunkenness is simply voluntary insanity.”” Show me one truly sane person, and I’ll show you a completely honest world. From time to time, a little insanity is a marvelous thing. Drinking can provide the necessary fuel for a perfectly mindless experience, one fraught with fun and merriment. Crossing the line by acting fake and brainless is when it becomes old. Some smokers may be fake, but at least it isn’t the cigarette that’s causing it. I’ve said it twice and I’ll say it again: Drinkers are more annoying than smokers. ...

Letters to the Editor

Editor: I am responding to the article “”Hillel Seeks to Buy Vacant UCSD Lot.”” The circumstances surrounding the development of this city-owned space parcel (not a “”UCSD lot””) are far more complex than have been presented in your article. Residents of the La Jolla Highlands neighborhood recognize and respect Hillel’s desire to have its own facility to accommodate the social, religious, cultural and educational needs of its constituency. Opposition is based solely upon the proposed use of this site. This site is zoned single-family residential (R-1) and has been designated “”open space”” or “”landscaped park”” in official planning documents over the past 25 years. Residents purchased their homes here with the expectations that zoning regulations would be upheld. In fact, there is a great deal of controversy concerning the process by which this property is now suddenly available for lease or sale, with priority given to nonprofit organizations. The Hillel organization proposes to build a 10,000 square-foot center on this site. The proposed facility would accommodate hundreds of persons — not just UCSD students — for a variety of social activities and religious services, including meal service for 150 to 200 persons ar a time, at least weekly. The facility would be in use seven days a week, including evenings, weekends and holidays — sugesting a use more compatible within a commercial environment. The increased volume of pedestrian and vehicular traffic drawn into the neighborhood by participants accessing the facility would significantly impact the quality of life of its residents due to additional traffic congestion, parking problems, noise and safety issues. Similar Hillel facilities at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and SDSU are not located in residential neighborhoods, but in densely populated student housing areas surrounded by fraternity houses, apartment buildings and commercial establishments. The proposed student center does not conform to zoning regulations for this site and is not a compatible use within a single-family residential neighborhood. Further, institutional development of any kind on this site is not appropriate. There are several possible solutions. First, Hillel could utilize existing facilities. Two synagogues are located in our neighborhood and withing walking distance of UCSD. The Jewish Community Center with its own Judaica library is also located neaer UCSD. Second, UCSD plans to increase student meeting space on campus — with the possibility of an ecumenical center for use by all student/religious groups. Third, other city-owned sites nearby may be available. The full City Council will meet soon to discuss and vote upon this issue. — Linda Smith La Jolla Highlands Homeowners ...

Letters to the Editor

UCSD Students Deserve An Enjoyable Social Atmosphere Editor, Hmmm…some say UCSD life needs more spice? I agree entirely. It’s sad to see students who chose to come here for college ridicule the endlessly dead weekends and lack of student unity. UCSD and pride are two words that simply cannot go together for such reasons. We have no football team, no reason to paint our faces and show sufficient pride or even develop a rivalry. The administration simply does not understand this: there are two sports which college students go crazy over, football and basketball. Sure it was nice to move up to Division II, but football is what this campus needs. Additionally, as a result of skyrocketing rent fees in La Jolla, UCSD is becoming more of a commuter school. Now, why would such commuters even find any such reason to make the long drive back to campus and hang out? To go to the library? Oh please. However, the library is pretty much one of the few things open on campus late at night. There simply is nothing to do here on the weekends, no big football match-up to look forward to, no frat row to hit up, nothing to do even within walking distance of campus. What I have seen around my dorms is that students find it more beneficial to go home for the weekends than enjoy their college experience away from their parents. Are there any fun traditions here at UCSD (besides studying) that have been thus far established? I admit that the all-campus dance at the beginning of the year was cool, but why not more of such all-campus events? US News and World report ranks UCSD lower than I believe it deserves because of its low alumni contribution. What was it 200th in the nation? The reason for this is because alumni have no programs, i.e. athletics, to give back to. There has been nothing truly extraordinary about my college “”experience”” here at UCSD up to now. What will I remember thus far of the “”cultural mecca”” that is UCSD? Oppressive administration, one hell of a lot of studying, and a lack of student unity and pride that desperately needs improving. — Daniel Alyeshmerni UCSD Student ...

Fanmail Makes For An Interesting Read

At first I thought it was a joke. I mean, who really has the time to write a two-page, single-spaced letter when she could be shaving her armpits instead? This thought plagued my mind as I read over the fascinating, if not unintelligible, letter from an anonymous “”fan.”” Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m ungrateful to my loyal readers. I just wish “”fan”” mail would really mean “”fan”” mail, instead of a diatribe against the current American political infrastructure. When my editor first called me to tell me I had a package to pick up, I dropped everything and ran to my car. As I sped toward UCSD, images of adoring letters from gorgeous, intelligent, single men danced in my head. I could picture it in my head: “”Dear Divya,”” it would begin, “”your prose is sweet music to my unworthy ears. Please be mine now and forever,”” or, “”Dear Divya: Enclosed is a first-class ticket for a flight on Air France. Meet me on the top of the Eiffel Towel. Love, Pierre (a.k.a. handsome and wealthy exchange student).”” As I walked into the office, my heart throbbing and my head ringing, I was filled with gleeful anticipation. However, my joy quickly turned into confusion after I opened a thick manila envelope and found, to my chagrin, documents on science and abortion instead of flowery poetry. I couldn’t believe it. Here was my first fan mail and it was a disappointment! I realized the “”fan”” letter may not actually have been from an admirer at all when I saw the line “”Your writing could have been seen as humorous with a little more work/polish on it.”” Call me hairy and an idiot, but not funny? That’s a direct stab to my heart. Worse, instead of commenting on my article, the author encouraged me to watch “”CSPAN for a year or two”” in order to “”become an expert on the real issues.”” Sorry, dear reader, but I don’t have cable, so that’s an impossibility. Besides, aren’t pointless articles more enjoyable than suffering through boring congressional speeches? At least the author, who is obviously an intelligent person, had good intentions. After a lengthy discussion on everything from Napoleon to abortion, the author finally got to the good part: me. I am sure he or she was being considerate when stating, “”Keep some of your paranoia.”” it will protect you from something worse “”trying to become a syrupy goody two-shoes,”” but it sounded like something Ted Kaczynski would say. Anyway, I’m sure my parents would be horrified if I got drunk in TJ, so I think I have to stay on the straight path, however boring it may be. (Besides, they pay for my hair removal.) Perhaps my favorite line was, “”You are insecure because you need seasoning like a good soup.”” Of course I’m insecure. If you were a hairy, dramatic 18-year-old girl who had never kissed a boy and was failing your classes, I doubt you would be extremely chipper. Call me a brat, but when a reader informs you that “”the best way to become a logical person is not to study philosophy, religion or courses in logic,”” you might be a tad perplexed too. Additionally, when someone says “”Don’t buy any books (except a good dictionary, anatomy and physiology textbook and other good reference books),”” she is basically stating that great works of literature are meaningless. I’m sure the literature and history departments would have a field day over that quote. Frankly, I can’t remember anything particularly meaningful or life-changing occurring when I opened up “”Webster’s Dictionary”” to look up the word “”pernicious”” (no offense to dictionary lovers). The point is that the one time I hoped to get an adoring “”fan”” letter, I got an interesting but not exactly understandable letter instead. Throwing in “”Ophra … is a beautiful although fat woman”” didn’t exactly make anything clearer. Anyway, whoever you are, I forgive you this indiscretion. However, the next time you have this much time on your hands, I suggest a good waxing experience instead. ...

Revelle Administration's Actions Backfire

Would you believe me if I told you that Revelle administrators think a 13-inch television is a bigger fire hazard than a wood table, wood desk, wood sofa, wood bed, wood shelves, wood doors, wood closets and wood chairs? Well, they do. As ridiculous as this may sound, Revelle college forbids televisions to be left in students’ suites, citing them as fire hazards. This inane rule states that a television may only be in the shared suite area if it is being watched and that the moment it is turned off, it must be unplugged and placed inside one of the rooms. If the owner fails to do so, he is written up. Although we all just love repeating the tedious process of setting up the television and unplugging it shortly thereafter (a very therapeutic way to spend a study break, of course), it is hardly worth the effort just to watch a single television show. The idea itself is just plain ridiculous. What is so flammable about a 13-inch television? Think about it: The television is made out of plastic, but virtually everything else in the suite is made out of wood or flammable cloth. I am far more worried about the wooden table bursting into flames than the television that sits on top of it. Furthermore, how can a television possibly be a bigger fire hazard than the microwaves many of us have in our rooms? To my knowledge, more fires have been started by unattended microwaves than by unattended televisions. How can Revelle possibly justify its claim? None of the other colleges have this absurd rule. I called the provost’s office to find out, and was told that someone would call back with information. Unfortunately, no one returned my call, so one can only speculate about the rationale being applied here. The fact that televisions are electric will not fly; we have electric lights bolted to the walls. Worried about water dripping on it? No, I think that an electrical outlet placed within a foot of the bathroom sinks is a bit more dangerous. Worried about tripping on the power cord? Come on, if you panic during a fire, you’re more likely to get your foot stuck in the wastebasket than trip over that. Spontaneous combustion? A television is about as likely to spontaneously combust as a bowl of corn flakes. Then what can it be? The lack of a sprinkler system? If the school thinks these buildings would be seriously endangered in the case of a fire, we should not be living in them. While we do not need to have a television in our suites to survive, it would definitely make life a bit easier. Besides, what is so wrong with leaving a small television in our suite? Yes, there is a risk of theft, but if that is a risk the owner is willing to take, then so be it. It is neither the school’s responsibility nor its jurisdiction to tell students where they can or cannot leave their televisions. Keep in mind that these are freshmen students living in the residence halls. Does the administration want us to feel like this is truly our home or like we are guests? A 13-inch television really is not that great a safety risk, and if no one is bothered by it, then why not allow us to leave it in our suites? ...

Students' Reputation as Nerds is Ill-Founded

It’s eighth week. Do you know where your parties are? Odds are you still don’t, because UCSD’s reputation as a nerd school has got you discouraged and disenchanted, so for Friday night excitement, you throw down a bottle of Jack D. in your dorm room and read the Guardian. This is where I come in. After a few years of close scrutiny, I have come to the conclusion that most UCSD students are not as academically driven as the Greekfreaks would have us think. Many, in fact, are just itching to ditch those TI-92s and bust loose a few differential equations on the geometric plane of the dance floor … or better yet, the topology of your naked body. It’s not lack of instinct that restrains us, it’s lack of information. The resident advisers, housing advisers and the PD go to great lengths to educate us about the risks of partying, of going to TJ, of unprotected sex at the annual Darkstar Halloween Orgy, and well they should. Such joyous activities cannot be enjoyed without serious hazards to one’s health. Rarely, however, does anyone chime in to give the skinny on how to have good, illicit, or explicit fun — and get away with it. Like I said before, this is where I come in. Without further ado, here’s my exhaustive guide to the art of partygoing. Going to a party is like going out into the field in ‘Nam, except without the napalm, screaming, burning children, and other quaint features of actual warfare. The similarity is this: When you go out, you have no idea what kind of heaven, hell, hot bodies or highway patrol sobriety checks you may face. Newsflash: You are no longer a little child, and if you are reading this you are no fool, so you cannot expect God’s angels to watch out for you. Gather information. You have to know where the party is before you and yours can attack. Ask around. Do not be subtle. Do not ever say, “”Hey, give me a ring next time.”” They will forget. Ask only about what is on for the next weekend. Ask that fly looking slacker who keeps sleeping through your bio lecture. That’s probably me, and baby, I’ll let you know. Create a plan of attack. Line up two or three parties in one night. Any one party might suck, get busted, or fail to occur. Create a pack. The best defense is a good offense — or something like that. Set out for the night with eight good friends in two cars, and if all else fails you can always hit Denny’s in style or go back to the dorms and play drunk Twister. Take care of each other. Watch each other’s backs, do head counts, provide cover fire — all that cool A-Team stuff. Be thoughtful as you construct your own little Saturday night commando group. Always bring cash. Even if you are female. Even if you are an incredibly attractive female. Get liberated, get some dollars and come prepared. Do not hassle the host about the cover charge. Pay your money or get out of line and go home. Your party hosts will almost certainly end the night with a noise citation and less play (i.e. random hook-ups, cuddling and other fun skin sports) than the average guest. More particularly, it’ll be the sober host that most likely ends up with no lovin’ except from the cops, so respect this fact and, if you must complain, bring your whining to the drunk hosts. Have realistic expectations. That rush week frat party next quarter is not going to be thronging with sonnet-reading, wine-sipping, rose-petal-munching gentlemen who just want to chat. That gorgeous woman in the sequins who’s dancing to your favorite song may not be in the mood for you to ask if you can munch on her rosebush. For a realistic idea of the general atmosphere of the average party, get a few friends to read the Muir Quarterly at the top of their lungs, and imagine that you are in the middle of a crowd of people who actually think the jokes are funny. Learn to party sober, then expand your horizons once you have mastered the art. Seriously, don’t jump for the jungle juice the first time you jam. The subtleties of partying under the influence merit their own article, which is forthcoming. Don’t throw a party for lack of finding one. Wait a week or two and I’ll break down for you the specialized skills it takes to host your own local commotion. Until then, try the simple techniques I’ve outlined, and you too may find that, despite the rep, this university can be a very happening place indeed. ...

Misconception of Free Speech is Rampant spread

I’m right, therefore you’re wrong. Does that sound at all familiar? Or maybe you’ve had people get up in your face, yell and curse at you because your beliefs are different from theirs? Unfortunately, I have had the wonderful opportunity to experience this abuse firsthand. In the days leading up to and following the election, people who claimed to be open-minded verbally attacked some of my friends and myself when we professed our views. It was almost funny (if you discount the anger and hate that were directed at us) how fast their proclaimed open-mindedness disappeared when confronted with our differing beliefs. Either we were confronted with a frosty silence and pointedly ignored, or we were angrily lambasted about how stupid we were. It got to the point where I couldn’t even say who I wanted for president because a fight might ensue. There were five or six angry so-called liberal-minded people, and there was no way I could win just by my little lonesome self. I am so sick and tired of these obviously closed-minded people who believe in the right to free speech just as long as it only applies to them. These so-called liberal thinkers are no better than bigots. Don’t tell me that I am wrong. Don’t curse at me for what I believe. I have the right to think and form my own opinions just as everyone else does. Though this superiority of beliefs phenomenon, which I designate the Right Complex, has shown its colors in this very hotly contested election, it most definitely is not limited to it. In fact, this Right Complex phenomenon has been hitting me since the beginning of the quarter. For instance, in some of my classes, my teaching assistants make their views known in such a way that if there is a contrary opinion, the student will be trounced and made a spectacle in class. Or better yet, in a political science class, two guys told me that I was “”full of shit”” over and over when I good-naturedly attempted to point out that there was another way to look at a particular issue. The hateful views of my two fellow students stunned me. What right did they have to verbally harass me just because I didn’t share their ideology? I won’t stand for these people’s hypocrisy anymore. I have the right to my opinion, period. And in return, I must respect everyone’s opinion. I don’t have the right to verbally attack someone because of a differing belief. I don’t have the right to make someone so uncomfortable that they won’t even open their mouth for fear of being verbally harassed. It’s actually a very simple concept. It’s about respecting others even though you might not agree with them. I have the right to my opinion as long as I don’t infringe upon another’s freedom to have a different view. If everyone were meant to think all the same way, then we would have all been made exactly the same. But we have all grown up with different experiences and those experiences are what have shaped and molded the beliefs we hold today. So who is to judge one’s experiences and beliefs are more valid than others? My question to those who stand in judgment of others is this: Who appointed you God? What gives you the right to sit on your mighty throne and look down upon and verbally attack those who do not agree with you? What makes your opinions automatically right and all those who disagree wrong? I have come to realize that our society is not one that accepts differing viewpoints. Instead, it is a cutthroat, cruel society that takes pleasure in hating and attacking people who have diverse beliefs. And to think that I was naive enough to expect college students to be more accepting than the general population! Well, my eyes are certainly opened now. It will be a great day indeed when these bigots finally realized how hypocritical they are. In the mean time, the only way I see to safeguard my right to have my opinions is if I grow skin thick as armor, so the hatred and cursing of those bigots will not be able to silence my just-as-valid beliefs. ...

Editorials

Vincent Gragnani, Editor in ChiefBill Burger & Alison Norris Managing EditorsJeffrey White, Copy EditorTom Vu, Opinion EditorLauren I. Coartney, News EditorRobert Fulton, Sports EditorDavid Pilz, Photo Editor Everyone says public transportation is great, but few at UCSD actually use it, mainly because it is not convenient enough. Last Thursday, the Metropolitan Transit Development Board of San Diego met with campus representatives to discuss possible locations for trolley stops at UCSD. We believe one or more trolley stops on campus, as part of the Mid-Coast Corridor Alignment, have the potential to be invaluable transportation resources, provided they are located conveniently enough for people to actually use them. For this reason, we cannot support any plan that would not include a stop near what is now central campus, the area surrounding the Price Center and Library Walk. A trolley stop at this location would be especially convenient for the faculty and undergraduate population living off campus, as it would be close to the major lecture halls in all five — soon to be six — colleges. Several of the proposed plans would include a stop at the VA Medical Center instead of central campus. Although this stop would be significantly closer to central campus than the East campus options, it is still not close enough. A walk from there to Peterson Hall, Warren Lecture Hall or the new Eleanor Roosevelt campus would be too long for many students and faculty even to consider using the trolley. The Guardian does feel that a stop in East campus would be of great use for those of the UCSD community who have business on that side of campus, but we feel that any stop in that area, or any other, must be in addition to a stop in central campus. A stop in East campus alone would force many people to take shuttles to central campus, which would be less convenient than just parking a car in East Parking and taking a shuttle to central campus. Waiting for a trolley to get to East campus, then waiting for a shuttle to get to the Price Center, is just too much waiting for most of us. We at the Guardian understand the financial burden of constructing a stop in central campus may be heavy, considering the amount of development surrounding it. However, we also know that it would be a total waste of money if the trolley were not used. The Guardian editorial board supports all forms of alternative transportation that would save the UCSD community money, alleviate the impacted on-campus parking situation, and reduce traffic and pollution in the area. However, we do not believe these needs will be sufficiently served by the trolley without a convenient and centrally located stop that serves the students as well as the rest of the UCSD community. ...

The United States' Misuse of Energy Poses Serious Environmental Threats

One day, out of the blue, a temporal wormhole appeared on my balcony from which, every now and then, I receive things from the future. Some of them are rather unappealing and, in any case, I have been vividly and convincingly invited by the government not to tell you anything about them. But, occasionally, something interesting comes up, like this column from the fall 2350 issue of the Guardian that I am happy to share with you. It is, of all things, about the energy crisis. Here it is: Last year’s gas price increase, which, for the first time, made it past the psychological threshold of $10 per gallon, offered the usual excuse for all so-called environmentalists to come up-in-arms and start chanting once again their old litany about saving energy and so on. Following the extremely liberal bias of the paper (should I mention that — alone in San Diego — the Guardian took a position against the death penalty for parking violations by illegal immigrants, ignoring how serious the parking problem in San Diego has become), two or three opinion columns in the Guardian in past months tried to make the following points: 1.) The energy crisis is caused mainly by the fact that America alone is using up 80 percent of the world’s oil supply, and that consumption is increasing, and 2.) This increase has already caused serious environmental changes, and many more will arise in the future. The old mantra of environmental damages is recited by resourceless liberals every time progress is threatening their comfortable cocoon, a mantra that is usually dotted with lies. Research carried out at the traditionally liberal public universities, for instance, has recently tried to convince us that 300 years ago, Alaska was covered with forests, and the destruction of these forests was in large part a consequence of oil drilling. They even showed us alleged pictures of the Alaskan forests, as if it weren’t easy to take a picture of any forest in, say, New Mexico and put it in the background of a photograph of Anchorage. If forests were so common in Alaska only 300 years ago, how come researchers of the Chrysler University and the Exxon University consistently failed to find evidence of their existence? Evidently, the liberal, public universities have a hidden agenda. They should stop relying on legends like that of the mythical sunny weather of San Diego centuries ago, or the even more mythical ancient neighborhood named Pacific Beach on the site of the current Pacific Beach bay. Stop relying on fantasies, and look at the hard figures, like those released last week from the Ford research institute: There is simply no evidence that harmful environmental effects have occurred in the past or are occurring now as a result of oil consumption. I don’t care if the socialist Europeans are using electric cars and public transportation: I am an American, and if I want to buy a new eight-wheel-drive Ford Exaggerate just to go from home to work, I have the right to do so, and no whining about energy or the environment is going to change my mind. If we need more oil, we should continue the successful neo-colonial policy of the last two centuries: let’s just bomb another middle-eastern country, and use its oil. What we need is more money for the military (which, since military spending dropped to 92 percent of the federal spending, is woefully under-equipped and unprepared), not more money for useless alternative sources research. If liberals are so worried about oil consumption, why did they fight so hard against the constitutional amendment that required proof of citizenship for buying a car that was passed half a century ago? Most of the environmentalist ideas are the anachronistic remains of a long-gone era, and these liberals should adapt to the realities of the new economy. I have heard a group say, for instance, that we could save a lot of energy if houses and workplaces had windows, thereby dramatically reducing the need for air conditioning. For those not familiar with the concept: In the old days, windows were holes covered with glass drilled in the walls of most buildings. Windows could have been a good idea 200 years ago, before the introduction of the effective-time work week. But now, windows would only be a way of distracting workers on the job. Distractions that, being revealed by their thought-monitoring skull implant, would cost workers dear money at the end of the month. Or, listen to this one from one of last week’s articles: “”These days, most residential apartments prohibit clotheslines, forcing their residents to use dryers that, in addition to being energy inefficient, are very harmful for your clothes.”” This statement shows a complete ignorance of our basic social and economic principles. Socially, this country is based on individualism, and that makes it absolutely necessary that all the apartments in our residential areas will look good and, most importantly, all the same. What will happen if we allowed people to put whatever they wanted in their backyards? We would sink into anarchy! Economically, liberals talk as if an early destruction of clothes were something negative, while it is absolutely necessary in order to keep our major department stores — one of the most important forces of our economy — solvent, and to foster the development of the highly profitable loans-for-clothes business. Liberals are using provably false arguments to defend positions that deny the basic principles on which our great country was founded. I would have a lot more to say on the argument, but the usual July thunderstorms have once again risen the sea level to the height of my apartment in the Mission Hills, and I have to go bail out water. If only, instead of listening to the incessant liberal whining, Congress would once and for all repeal the minimum wage so I could at least afford to have somebody do it for me! ...