Letters to the Editor

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To the Editor:When the federal government can jail any of its citizens for its own undisclosed reasons and then throw away the key, we are nothing more than slaves and cannon fodder. This is the case in the United States today. Our most basic right, habeas corpus, has been nullified.

When the executive branch of the government seizes the power to instigate war on countries that cannot possibly threaten the United States and ignores the voices of U.S. citizens, then we no longer have a democracy.

When the Congress rolls over in subservience to the executive branch and hands it power to wiretap its own citizens and disregard U.S. and international laws, then we no longer have a constitutional democracy.

When torture becomes a debatable issue, then our “leaders” have no moral compass.

Bush and Cheney continue on their crime spree, threatening Iran, scapegoating immigrants in the United States, and exacting dire consequences for the environment.

In view of these realities, I think Macalester College, as an institution committed to global citizenship, should declare for the impeachment of Cheney and Bush. Furthermore, I believe a general strike is in order because no one in the government is listening to the people. Garret Keizer of Harper’s Magazine called for a general strike on election day, Nov. 6, 2007, which seems like a logical date. We cannot go on with “business as usual” in the face of the atrocities unleashed by the Bush/Cheney cabal. One recourse left to those of us who are workers is to withhold our labor and stop the profit machine and the war machine.

Margaret R. Beegle
Executive Assistant
Institute for Global Citizenship

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To the Editor:

I am a parent of a Macalester student. I was visiting the weekend of Oct. 13.

I encountered a situation which I think merits discussion by the Macalester community.

The situation was an off-campus party, but located near the campus, involving Macalester students. Apparently someone had called the police and not one, but five squad cars arrived at the party.

The result of the police arriving at the scene is that Macalester students were maced and at least one student was repeatedly struck by the police. Without knowing the details I question whether or not a complaint involving a college party should result in students being maced and beaten by the St. Paul police.

My questions are:

Does the St. Paul police have a standard operating procedure for defusing rather than escalating situations such as a noise complaint for a college party?

Does Macalester College provide its off-campus students with help?

Do they give them literature on how they should behave if police enter their party?

Does Macalester College have a list of attorneys to call in case of arrest for off-campus activities?

What involvement and protection does Macalester offer its off-campus students from what appears to be an out of control St. Paul police department?

I offer these questions in this situation in the hopes that it will create a dialogue, not only among Macalester students, but with the St. Paul police.

Douglas Bristol

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To the Editor:

Allow me to respond to some of the insinuations about Makerere University that were reported by Alex Park in your “All Around the Liberal Arts News section (“Money, Get Away Edition,” 10/05/07). While it is true that about 200 degrees issued to mature entrants to the university have been revoked, it is fallacious to insinuate that any of those degrees were issued to medical and pharmacy students.

Having lived in Uganda for more than 15 years, I can aver that admission to medical and pharmacy schools in Uganda is based on very stringent and rigorous criteria that would not allow for fraud. Applicants almost always have to pass their A-Levels/IB examinations with perfect scores to be guaranteed admissions.

I don’t know what Alex Park’s motives are for publishing such a story based only on newspaper reports in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The best thing he should have done as an impartial journalist would have been to call up the academic registrar at Makerere to verify his facts before falling for the cheap and myopic machinations of the Western press-machinations that have continued to portray Africa in the most negative ways possible.

I am happy for Alex Park because as long as he remains in the United States far away from the “sort of corrupt things [that] go on at schools in East Africa” and being treated by doctors from “prestigious” universities such as UC Berkeley, he would probably avoid that dreadful encounter with the fraudulent Ugandan physician.

Kennedy Maring ’08