PSU better off without OHSU
As an alum of both PSU and OHSU, I am enraged that they would consider taking PSU out of the public university system ["Proposed PSU-OHSU bill moves to House," Feb. 18]. PSU is affordable, accessible and a wonderful institution for its value and diversity of offerings.

Its professional programs, including the public administration program which I attended, are among the finest. To put PSU under the OSHU "umbrella" will mean it would cease to be an affordable option for Oregon’s youth, as well as many older students returning. In an era where both our president and governor tout the value of a college degree, why on earth would we want to take that chance away?

Let PSU and OHSU go their own ways. They are not ripe for a combination.

Courtney Brooks
Hillsboro, Ore.

University Studies part of PSU’s appeal
Part of the reason I’m going to be coming to Portland State University from out-of-state is because of the University Studies program, so I hope they keep it! If [PSU] had a regular core-class structure I really wouldn’t have looked at Portland State that seriously and probably wouldn’t have ended up deciding to come here ["Committee to examine University Studies," 3-11-05]. I think the program is very progressive and seems to encourage students to be more creative. I’m not a PSU student yet, so I don’t know of any problems there might be, but I really hope they maintain the basic structure/idea of the program throughout the time I am a student there.

Matt Denney

"Ugly American" a misguided stereotype
It is sad that someone so hate-filled and bigoted as Michelle Howa could write such a viciously anti-American column for your paper ["Cleaning up the ‘ugly American,’" March 11]. Obviously Michelle is filled with narrow-minded stereotypes of other cultures, but to advocate such hate for cultural expression puzzles me.

Does Ms. Howa wish the entire world to march in lock-step, without the individual expressions that make us all unique? Maybe her next article could be about her hate for "The Ugly Mexican" or "The Dirty Jew." Or perhaps she could teach blacks how not to look and act black.

As for this American, I will always be proud of my country, my flag and my president.

Benjamin Johnson

Deaths in Iraq still unjustified
I am dismayed to hear assertions that the war in Iraq is now justified because Iraq is on its way to a democratic government. For those who feel that such a justification for war is acceptable, I ask this: Would you send your child to die for the sole purpose of regime change in a foreign country if that country posed no threat to America? Is it right to ask another parent to send his or her child to die for that reason? We now know that the only original justification given by the president for the war – an imminent WMD attack – was wrong. Two years later, more that 1500 American solders have been killed, more than 11,000 have been wounded and more than 1000 American children have lost a parent in Iraq. While any improvement in the lives of Iraqi citizens is welcomed by all, the president’s primary duty is to improve the lives of the American people. He is the American president, not the Iraqi president. In my opinion, asking Americans to sacrifice their children for regime change in a foreign country which posed no threat to America demonstrates an appalling failure to satisfy that duty.

Michelle Neumann
Portland, Ore.

MacTavish misses point
Chaelan MacTavish clearly wishes Saddam Hussein were still in power in Iraq, killing, raping, torturing, and oppressing ["U.S. stands for Unabashedly Savage," March 11]. When the United States does wrong, there is an investigation. The media get involved. People are punished. When Saddam carried away entire families in the middle of the night for execution, there was only silence.

MacTavish clearly favors Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship to the democratically elected government that now controls Iraq. American troops will come home with the victory and honor they deserve. Bush will be remembered as a true leader. MacTavish and his ilk will go down on the wrong side of history, like those that supported Hitler and the Third Reich.

Benjamin Johnson

Americans should stand against Bush
I could not agree more. I was never afraid of the "evil terrorists" even after September 11, 2001. Now, however, we should be afraid ["More fuel for anti-Americanism," May 4, 2004]. Bush is screwing us, and if I were in Iraq I would want to plan a terrorist attack against him. (Oh shit, am I allowed to say that?) I hope that the people of Iraq and every other country that we are destroying know that every American is not evil and bad. There are plenty of people who do not support this "war for freedom." Sadly, not enough to stop it.

Sarah Conway
Southern Oregon

Two forms of runoff voting
Actually, what you describe as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is actually only the "eliminative" form of it ["Change to voting method approved," March 12]. The "additive" form is where if no one gets 50 percent, the next choices are added in, and so on, until someone finally does. It appears that since IRV was first used in Australia, the eliminative form has been used, but it is more skewed, that is, the additive form is more top dead center. See www.preferentialballotparty.org, for how to install Preferential Ballot (PB) extra-legally, no matter what ladders any legislature might conspire to pull up, and put all the money the world wastes on dead-end arms to productive use.

Zoe Zidbeck
New York

Kiosks would improve ASPSU elections
Thank you, Riggs Fulmer, for bringing some attention to how candidates campaign every year for student government positions ["Electing for a more thoughtful campaign," March 8]. Our PSU campus is a large one that covers many blocks of downtown territory and it’s hard to cover with campaign material. Your idea of having kiosks for candidates is simple but incredibly smart. I ran for positions in two different elections my freshman and sophomore years here at PSU. As I found out, the rules for posting vary from building to building and you either run out of space to hang posters or your posters get ripped down. I hated the chore of hanging posters all over the school and I hated even more having to shell out my own money to make the posters. By having kiosks, candidates can no longer get their point across by wearing out the Xerox machines, but rather by talking to students that come seeking information. Now if only

ASPSU would get behind this idea. ASPSU, and the Elections Committee especially, should concentrate on advertising the fact that elections are going on. If there were handy kiosks to direct students to, advertising would be easy.

Rebecca Pierce

Higher One not as efficient as advertised
It’s the end of the first term of the joining of PSU and Higher One and I am just amazed at the new efficiency of the financial aid office. My financial aid check arrived on February 4 and on the same day I went in and signed the check. The next step was for the check to be sent to the cashier’s office and disbursed to me. Well, today is March 15 and I have yet to see any of my financial aid money. Neither the financial aid office nor the cashier’s office knows where my money is. Is this the proclaimed efficiency and better service students should come to expect from PSU and Higher One?

Danielle Newberry

Campus campaigns wasteful
I’m really sick of the gratuitous and redundant way that many campus groups plaster their flyers around campus. Here’s a hint: when you post a flyer on a wall or locker, the next one does not need to be four feet away. Here’s another hint: instead of handing out flyers indiscriminately, try engaging people in conversation and seeing if they’re interested in taking one.

Otherwise, you are just wasting paper and becoming a litter problem. Furthermore, is this what my student fee is being spent on? Wasted paper? Perhaps student groups should look at the flyer-printing portions of their budgets, and their flyer policies in general. Final hint: the more you waste paper (both flyers and those little green rectangles called dollars) the less inclined I am to be interested in, or supportive of, what your group has to say.

Stop the inanity.

Alicia Smith

Regulation key to expanding internet access
Joseph’s article is intriguing, but misses the point ["Why not free broadband?" March 11].

Wireless broadband, like telephone service or electric power, is a "last mile" service. There can realistically only be one, maybe two (but probably not) competitors in a given market. The T-Mobile/Starbucks combo is a good start (for $50/month), but it exists only at Starbucks locations (which, despite common wisdom, does not equate to an entire jurisdiction). The bottom line is that if we really want to enable wireless broadband (WiFi, WiMAX, whatever) over entire areas to get the public benefits, then we need to either have a regulated utility model or a public-infrastructure model.

Here in Portland, the city has been looking at a wireless cloud for some time. It would improve our region’s economic viability and spur technology investment. And the author dismisses out-of-hand the idea of public sector utilities providing inexpensive services. But look at public power! They are very competitive with the private sector.

Let me throw one more argument out there. People with low incomes, in an unregulated broadband market, will end up trading privacy in exchange for access. For example, let’s say that the year is 2010. Yahoo/AOL/Sprint (Yaaosprint?) decides that they want to split their $50/month wireless broadband service into a "premium" and a "value" service. The "premium" service will now cost $75/month, but will provide higher speed and access to premium content. But the value service will now only cost $15/month, or maybe it is even free.

But the value service requires you to fill out a long questionnaire and submit yourself to advertising. You must agree to hold the company harmless if they share or lose your information.

My little scenario isn’t too far-fetched. And that is something that we need to decide as a society. Are we willing to make poor people receive their critical services in exchange for dehumanizing privacy invasions? Or are we going to regulate business and ensure that basic services are provided to everybody regardless of ability to pay?

That, my friends, is the real question of municipal wireless. Ra, Ra, PDC! Wireless for you and me!

Dave Dyk