Letters to the EditorFeb. 8, 2001
United States needs to be debt-free before sending aid to India
I couldn't disagree more with The Lariat's Wednesday editorial on Indian earthquake relief. In 1989, when San Francisco area was hit with an earthquake registering 6.9 on the Richter scale, did the United States request billions of dollars in relief aid from other countries? No, we did what needed to be done to get things back to normal as best we could. India and the United States are totally different in the arena of world power, but I think the point remains true. I don't mind India asking for aid; it's obvious (especially as of late, as fear or disease is growing) that they need help. But to ask for $1.5 billion, and for our citizens to complain that we're not doing enough to help them?
Maybe we're not doing enough to help them because we can't (or shouldn't). As of Tuesday, the national debt for this country was nearly $5.7 trillion, a $3.8 billion dollar increase from the day before! To imply or assume that the government would have even half a billion dollars on hand that we could donate to India is ludicrous. Any accountant would be in court in a nanosecond if he juggled the books like Congress does to declare themselves with a budget surplus. So we're not paying down the debt as our elected officials in D.C. say we are. Instead, we're going further and further in to debt. If we're the world's only superpower, the world's leader, who will be there to bail us out when our creditors come calling?
Let's concentrate on getting this country headed in the right direction before we start distributing more money to other countries. We're not the only country in the world who could help. Why not get all the members of the United Nations to chip in? To declare that the United States 'needs' to help India because we 'have the resources to do so' shows how uninformed the editorial board was. And to conclude that if we don't, no one will either, is simply preposterous.
After learning about the anti-discrimination legislation re-proposed by Dallas area Rep. Harryette Ehrhardt in Wednesday's Lariat, I am cheerfully optimistic that a redress of past and current prejudices is soon to be implemented. The ensuing protection of civil rights for 'non-traditionally' sexually oriented citizens is an overdue step in the dissolution of institutional discrimination.
Currently, national and state legislation is inadequate regarding gay/lesbian/bisexual rights, not to mention far behind the Supreme Court's decision that said gay and lesbian couples are being unconstitutionally denied the rights that accompany legal marriage.
Nearly all persons of the sexual minority suffer physical, mental and emotional discrimination from heterosexual prejudices, and this bill is a step toward ending that trend. It's no secret that students nationwide are often subject to homophobic attitudes, and their physical and mental safety is compromised by this prevailing bigotry. As a concerned citizen, Christian and Baylor student, I am elated and inspired by Ehrhardt's and other reformers' efforts to look after the rights of the sexual minority and check the oppressiveness of narrow-minded policies made by the ignorant far right.
Jacob David Ornelas