After three years of struggling with a biased SFC, OSPIRG has finally received full funding and all I can say is it’s about time! I’d like to thank the current SFC for providing students with a fair, viewpoint-neutral SFC process. I became involved with OSPIRG my freshmen year of college and it taught me about the importance of civic engagement, the power of individuals and how to affect positive change in my community. These are things I will take with me when I leave Portland State this June and I cannot thank OSPIRG enough. I look forward to seeing the amazing things OSPIRG will accomplish next year with their full funding.
I find it disturbing that the only news ever reported about student fees is about OSPIRG. There are close to 100 student groups on this campus, all of whom are concerned about their budgets. OSPIRG affects maybe 10 people … what about the hundreds of other students who are involved in groups on campus? And what about those students who aren’t plugged into student government but still want to know what is happening with their money? The Vanguard should get off the OSPIRG issue for once. There wasn’t even any debate this year; of course OSPIRG got full funding. Practically every member of the Student Fee Committee sat in OSPIRG hearings last year wearing "I support OSPIRG" buttons. The chair of the SFC is even a former OSPIRG coordinator. There was never any question that OSPIRG would get full funding this year. So instead of reporting on a non-issue, the Vanguard should let the campus know what’s happening with the other $8 million of student fees.
Unfortunately, Mr Adad does not seem to understand that the "right to life" is actually the right not to be killed by others. The inalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence are negative rights. There is no "right to death" as the legally binding power to call on others to assist in causing death, as Mr. Adad seems to mean. The right to death would be the right not to be kept alive by force. Rights prevent the action of others, they do not make slaves of those others.
Also, Mr. Adad misrepresents the people who actually took advantage of the substances to end their lives. These were not people "living in extreme pain." Pain would be treated with medication, not killing. (From the New England Journal of Medicine report: "Physicians continued to report that the patients who chose physician-assisted suicide in 2000 had multiple end-of-life concerns that contributed to the patients’ requests for lethal medications. There was a significant increase in the number of patients who were concerned about being a burden to family, friends, and other caregivers in 2000 as compared with other years (test for trend, P<0.001).")
Physicians do not have any duty to assist in killing of their patients, except where they have expressly contracted for that act. Not all physicians deliver babies, not all physicians remove gallbladders, not all physicians perform plastic surgery and inject Botox, not all physicians abort the unborn, and not all will write prescriptions for deadly drugs.
Beverly Nuckols, MD
New Braunfels, Texas
When I first read your review of the Blue Scholars, I laughed. Well, technically it was more of a chuckle, up until you said Kanye West was a conscious hip-hop artist, but from that point on my chuckles shifted into uproarious and often breath-stealing fits of hilarity. The nature of your article was disguise. By placing things like, "I don’t like conscious rap," which is your opinion and therefore cannot technically be wrong, next to statements like, "being a ‘conscious’ hip-hop artist too often means putting your message before your music; artists of this ilk often forget that music is as much an individual expression as a social forum," (which is just plain wrong), you’ve found a way to make a very untrue, sweeping statement seem valid.
The nature of art is such that with a few very rare exceptions it is all individual expression. The Blue Scholars just happen to be expressing their individual political beliefs. Furthermore, the greatest shifts in art have all paralleled political movements. Whether it was the re-introduction of humanism that spurred the Renaissance, the zealous Reconquista that spawned the Baroque period, the political movements that supported the radical overthrow of the government, influencing the music of the early 60s, or even the birth of Romanticism as a reaction to the cold logical nature of European society in the 19th century, it is impossible to divide artistic movements from the political atmospheres that bore witness to their conception.
It also occurs to me that you haven’t listened to any really conscious rap. If you think the message of the Blue Scholars is in danger of drowning out their music (which you claim to dislike), I can’t help but wonder if you’ve heard Jean Grae, Sweatshop Union, or even Immortal Technique, who, incidentally, spits such sick shit you’d think he was a leper. Perhaps most pathetic was your attempted jab at DJ Sabzi, when you stated "pick up Madlib’s Shades of Blue; Sabzi certainly should have" only a few sentences after you referenced Sabzi’s admiration for the man. It is almost as obvious that he has listened to this album extensively, as it is that you believed you could actually offend Sabzi by stabbing at him from your word processor in Portland.
While you make plenty of broad statements about Sabzi’s jazzy samples, you fail to provide a single example. I find it immensely amusing that your review of the Blue Scholars wouldn’t have received a passing grade in my high school’s Essay I class or Music Analysis class. Perhaps next time your write a review you’ll back it up with facts, examples, or maybe even (this may strike you as just plain crazy) the truth.
High School Student