Condi controversy

I am very disturbed to learn that Condoleezza Rice will give the keynote address at the 13th annual Korbel Dinner and receive the 2010 Josef Korbel Outstanding Alumni Award [“Facing Forward, Looking Back,” summer 2010]. There are several other distinguished graduates from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies who have demonstrated honor, integrity and the commitment to improve the well-being of humankind and who deserve this award much more than Condoleezza Rice. As a fellow alumnus of the Korbel School, I am very ashamed to be associated with Condoleezza Rice. While there is no doubt about her intellectual and leadership capabilities, she definitely lacks integrity and the ability to mobilize all the facts before making a major decision, as she most clearly demonstrated prior to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. I am among the critics who believe the Bush administration will be ranked as one of the worst in history. I have met several refugees from Iraq who have deeply suffered as a result of the war there. For Condoleezza Rice to proclaim that there will be democracy in Iraq is totally naive. Given the current situation in Baghdad—where electricity and sewers run very poorly and security forces and sectarian violence loom despite national elections—I personally do not foresee a stable and democratic Iraq any time soon. Instead, in the wake of Condoleezza and the Bush administration’s irresponsible and misguided decision making, thousands of United States soldiers have died, over a million Iraqi civilians have perished, millions more have fled the country as refugees and there are currently over 2 million internally displaced people. As Condoleezza Rice has retreated to academia, violence and instability continue to plague Iraq and the Middle East. While some believe she has earned the outstanding alumni award, I believe she should be held accountable for her policy decisions in the Bush administration and recognized for both her achievements and failures.

Gabriel Kadell (MA ’06)


I totally understand that Ms. Rice is a DU alumna, and it is important to cover her as part of the University of Denver Magazine. What amazes me is how much of a bubble she continues to live in. I was very disappointed to read this paragraph: “Throughout her career, Rice has made history and generated controversy—as the first female national security adviser, as a provost who took aggressive steps to balance the budget, and as the foreign policy adviser who, in the months preceding the Iraq War, first warned about the dangers of smoking guns and mushroom clouds.” You failed to mention that while Rice did “warn” about the dangers of a smoking gun and mushroom clouds, she did so without any sort of valid information to back it up. It was mere conjecture to drum up the fear, uncertainty and doubt necessary to send us to war in a country that we had no business going into. It just makes me ill to read statements like this. I was a fan of hers when she was appointed national security adviser, but by the time she became secretary of state it was clear she was merely a puppet for the Bush administration. How about a cover article about someone who truly deserves it? Madeleine Albright. At least her moral compass isn’t out of alignment.

Brian Garrett (MCIS ’00)


High times

I read, with considerable interest, the article on medical marijuana in Colorado [Q&A, summer 2010]. I was struck by the similarity of the issue in Colorado and California. Voters in both states approved a medical marijuana initiative. Unsurprisingly, in Venice Beach, Calif., as well as other locations, the medical-marijuana cards are handed out like so much candy, with little, if any, regard for a true medical need. The same will happen in Colorado, if it has not already. While I agree that the legalization of marijuana is a separate issue from medical marijuana, the planning for a voter approval of marijuana usage, beyond medical marijuana only, is already under way in Colorado. The effort to legalize marijuana generally, following the approval of medical marijuana by the voters, will follow, just as surely as night follows day. California voters will vote on this very issue this year. To frame the issue as one that simply involves providing marijuana to the medically needy is hardly accurate. This is not a matter of social justice, and the issues go far beyond what is presented in the article.

Richard Parry (BA ’72)
Laguna Niguel, Calif.

Radio days

I read the two letters regarding KVDU in the fall 2009 issue of the University of Denver Magazine. As a former program director and manager of KVDU in the early ’60s, I have a personal interest in this subject. When I first started as a DJ on KVDU, we joked a lot about the poor carrier current signal and the real difficulty in receiving the KVDU signal in Johnson-McFarlane Hall. Eventually, we learned that the transmitting equipment was not working, and the station had not been “on the air” for the entire quarter! I recently corresponded with Sandra Dallas, who was in the School of Journalism while I was at DU. In her book Tallgrass (St. Martin’s Press, 2007), Dallas writes that the J-school classes were taught in a World War II-era wooden structure that came from the Amache Internment Camp in southeast Colorado. It turns out that all those structures, including the home of KVDU, were moved from the camp near Granada, Colo., to DU. KVDU proved to be a useful testing ground for those wanting to be on the radio. In that era we were able to experiment with a variety of formats and “try our wings” in broadcasting. Some went on to broadcasting careers. Many others enjoyed the experience and moved on to other endeavors. While we railed against the limitations of the carrier current signal, those technological limitations helped us to experiment and test the limits of the radio medium.

Burnill Clark (BA ’63, MA ’64)
Woodinville, Wash.

Take the tram

I had two experiences that would be called “Tramway Tech” [Alumni Connections, spring 2010]. The first started when I was 10 years old in 1932 and I would ride the No. 8 tram to see the DU football team play. We saw the games for free by going in a small doorway in the north fence. DU called us the “Knothole Gang” and sat us in the east stands except on Thanksgiving, when DU played CU. Then we were allowed to sit in the bleachers behind the north end zone. The second time was in 1947. When I enrolled in the business school in March 1946, I was given 50 hours of credit for military activities during World War II. The business school at that time was downtown on 15th Street. Because I was on the varsity tennis team I rode the tram to the tennis matches and to practice.


I. Bernard Munishor (BSBA ’48)


Hockey memories

I read with great interest the article “Excellence on Ice” in the fall 2009 issue, which brought up a lot of memories of Pioneer hockey. As I grew up in south Denver, I am one of the original fans of the Pioneers. We used to walk, probably beginning in 1949 or 1950, from our home in University Park to the arena for freshman hockey games. They played CU, CC, School of Mines and others. Admission was 10 cents. We most always went home with a broken but useable hockey stick. No helmets. They cleaned the ice with snow shovels and surfaced with 55-gallon drums on wheels—lots of hard work to prepare the ice for the next period. I remember celebrating wins at the Campus Lounge. Sounds like that has been a longtime tradition for Pioneers hockey fans.

Tom Sand (BA ’62, MA ’70)
Dayton, Ohio


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