Letters to the Editor

    Editor:

    I am a transfer student. However, when I read that an All-Campus Transfer Association was created by A.S. Council, I rolled my eyes in disgust. The creation of this ACTA is just another attempt by Associated Students to consolidate their power. ACTA will be packed with a bunch of A.S. cronies. These cronies of the A.S. Council will then “”increase representation and advocacy for transfer students, (read: “”tell me what my political beliefs are and then fight for them on my behalf””), increase awareness among the faculty, staff and students, (read: “”tell them that we are freaks that only the Associated Students can take care of””).””

    Finally, last but certainly not least, ACTA will … “”Officially endorse any slate, candidate or party for A.S., local, state or national elections, (read: “”tell transfers to vote for the Green Party and Students First part 2″”).”” Look — as a transfer student, all I want is housing and parking.

    This Associated Students (and the one before) has been an abysmal failure in attaining housing and parking for any students!

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    — Bryan Barton

    Muir college junior

    Israel not an apartheid state

    Editor:

    Monday’s Guardian, reporting on the lecture given by Nagwa Ibrahim and Matt Horton, propagated the view that Israel is an apartheid state analogous to that of South Africa. This claim is inaccurate and uninformed. Based on a minority control of the majority, apartheid was an official policy of the South African government, enacted in law and brutally enforced through police violence. Israel, a majority-rule democracy like the United States, grants equal rights to all of the citizens within its boundaries. This is exemplified by the Arab members of the Israeli parliament and the fact that Arabic is an official language in Israel. Israeli citizens struggle with prejudices amongst its many minorities just as all multi-racial, multi-ethnic democracies do, but Israeli laws try to eradicate — not endorse — prejudices. The Palestinian Authority, not the Israeli government, governs the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. The Israeli army’s return to the territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip) and the success of Ariel Sharon are simply a response to the escalation in violence, namely homicide bombings, demonstrated during this second antifada. A peaceful settlement of the conflict will not be achieved by tactics such as divestment that attempt to choke the Israeli economy, effectively denying the state’s right to exist. Peace will only come when both sides find leaders bold enough to return to the bargaining table and chisel out a negotiated settlement.

    — E. Cohen

    UCSD sophomore

    Bush’s EPA policy not sufficient

    Editor:

    In “”Bush’s EPA policy not negligent”” (Jan. 20 issue of the Guardian), Dustin Frelich claims that Bush’s lowering of emission upgrade standards for industrial businesses is pro-environment. He assumes that industry, if left unmolested, will make upgrades and modifications to its plants voluntarily. This argument is completely laughable, considering that the Environmental Protection Agency and the New Source Review were created in order to prevent industry from completely destroying the environment and dramatically compromising public health.

    Industry has proven that it cannot be left alone. According to “”Darkening Our Skies,”” a report by the State Public Interest Research Groups, in 41 states, officials warn pregnant women and others against eating fish caught in lakes and rivers, due to mercury contamination. Most of that mercury can be traced to power plant and incinerator smokestacks. Also, at least 130 million Americans live in areas where it is unsafe to breathe the air due to smog pollution.

    Bush’s plan is extremely negligent, giving too much pollution freedom to an industry that already has too few regulations. Industrial businesses should be more obligated to decrease the amount that they pollute. Good public health and a clean environment should not be looked upon as a luxury that we should be “”privileged”” to have, but more as a right that we should expect. Don’t let your health and your environment be trampled on by special interests.

    — Jaime Morales

    CalPIRG volunteer

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