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Letters to the Editor

Feb. 23, 2001

Hensley's arguments contain several logical fallacies, need research

In response to Amethyst Hensley's Feb. 21 opinion column 'Bush adds to over-population problem,' I have these observations. Her claim that President George W. Bush's motive in discontinuing funding to international family planning organizations was 'the appeasement of political action committees' is a mere assertion, not an argument. She offers no evidence for this claim. Second, Hensley's attempt to establish the problem of starvation in Third World countries as a result of overpopulation is an informal logical fallacy known as 'false cause.' This fallacy occurs when someone infers a causal link between two states of affairs (e.g., starvation and overpopulation) when no such link has been established. I am not making the claim that overpopulation is not a contributing factor to starvation.

However, the degree to which the latter is a result of the former must be explored through responsible empirical research, and Hensley fails to provide that. Her use of information in the Associated Press article which claimed that 'exponential population growth' is on the horizon is irrelevant to the kind of link she hopes to establish.

John D. Basie

Church-State Studies

Doctoral candidate '04

In response to Amethyst Hensley's column 'Bush adds to over-population problem,' yes, it is a tragedy that there is suffering in underdeveloped countries. It's tragic that children are dying of hunger and disease. No one will dispute that.

Why does Hensley state as absolute truth that the problems of these countries are our problems and that we may be contributing to them? They are not our problems.

We did not cause these problems. As hardworking taxpayers who make barely enough to support our own family, my husband and I do not want our tax money sent to countries where the people do not even try to help themselves. There are plenty of adults in Mexico with the knowledge and the ability to teach teens about their bodies and the consequences of their actions. They don't need our tax dollars to do it. If the IPPF wants to take on this role, let them raise their own money, as other groups do. In the past, when the people in this country were faced with problems, they did not ask other countries for help. They tried to solve the problems themselves.

They fought hard for the freedom we enjoy. A product of that freedom is our prosperity. We earned ours -- they need to earn theirs and not expect handouts from us. Hopefully, when you get into the real world and have to earn your own way, you will understand just how hard it is for the average American to make his or her own way in the world. Before you start giving all our money away to foreign countries, look at your own country. There is more than enough need here to make use of our money.

Anna Bryan

Nursing administrative associate

Chapel has changed. Chapel on Wednesday was an incredible experience. Chapel should be a time to socialize with other Christian students as well as a time of worship. This semester, Chapel students have already been able to experience other non-traditional forms of worship. Through dance, music and song, we are united together for one hour.

GRITS, a Christian rap group performed Wednesday. Their song, dance, and words at the end were motivational and uplifting. I know that we have each been guilty about voicing our unhappiness about the two-semester requirement of Chapel, but we might as well make the most of it. So put away your homework, off with the headphones and check out what Chapel has to offer.

Shannon Garrison

Education '02

I was surprised to read the comments in Thursday's editorial 'Vendetta against Clinton.' The editorial board believes that it is a waste of time and money to investigate a president 'who is exercising his constitutional right.' I could not disagree more.

Just Wednesday, investigators found $400,000 in funds given to former President Bill Clinton's brother-in-law for his help in persuading Clinton to grant two pardons. What else could have been bought?

That follows Denise Rich's contributing huge amounts of funds to the Clinton library, and coincidentally, her husband being given a pardon after being convicted of de-frauding more than $50 million in taxes.

It is not a Baylor student's place to confer guilt on the former president of the United States, but the situation clearly needs to be investigated. If Clinton was not bought as it appears, let's investigate his reasons for giving out 150 pardons on one night to criminals.

Steve Haines

Finance '02