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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Monday Morning Quarterbacking

    The Wildcat comments on the weekend’s news


    After a month of public debate, a Phoenix city ordinance prohibiting text-messaging while driving went into effect Thursday, finally forbidding uppity youngsters from typing on their newfangled cell phones in moving vehicles.

    Defending the law in the Arizona Republic, Phoenix Councilman Greg Stanton said that “”among our teenager community, a high percentage of them do text message while driving.””

    Besides the fact that this ornery ordinance is entirely unenforceable, it will only marginally improve driver safety. It seems more like a way to crack down on whippersnapper kids and their fancy technology than to actually make driving safer. The real danger is reckless driving of any kind. Chatting on a cell phone, shaving, reading the newspaper – any attempt to multitask in a moving vehicle – endangers yourself and others. Text-messaging is just one entry in a long list of dumb things to do while driving. The law shouldn’t specifically prohibit text-messaging. It should cover all careless activity on the road.

    So remember – next time you’re headed up north for the weekend, don’t text your BFF Jill to let her know you’ve arrived. Play it safe: call on your cell phone, send a smoke signal through the sunroof or wave semaphore flags out the passenger-side window instead.

    New from Mattel: Regretful Executive Barbie!

    An executive from Mattel, recently slammed by consumers for recalling toys manufactured in China that contained dangerously high levels of lead, apologized Friday to the Chinese government for damaging the reputation of the Chinese manufacturing industry.

    After waves of recalled toxic products, American consumers have grown cautious of Chinese goods – especially toys. After all, nobody worries more (and often, more irrationally) than proud parents. But a good deal of the controversy has been inflated, leaving many consumers worried that “”Made in China”” stickers are becoming warning labels and cowering in fear of the “”Chinese poison train.””

    Yes, the Chinese could have keener safety regulations, and enforcement of those they do have in place is often a mess. But recalled toys shouldn’t be scapegoats, and the hysteria over their production does a disservice to reasoned debate over the costs and benefits of international trade.

    Mattel deserves credit for setting the record straight: Ultimately, it is Mattel and its suppliers who should bear the consequences of manufacturing perilous playthings. Hopefully, they’ve learned their lesson.

    Metamorphosis in Myanmar

    Tens of thousands of Buddhist monks joined a protest yesterday against Myanmar’s anti-democratic military government. Myanmar, the southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma, has been ruled by an autocratic council of powerful and paranoid generals since they seized power in a 1962 coup.

    Many protestors are challenging the imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate and Burmese peace activist who has been under house arrest for years. Suu Kyi’s plight has become a rallying cause for democratic activists in Myanmar.

    Organized protest and public speech have rarely been tolerated by the generals in the past, but monks hold a revered role in Burmese society, and their support of the student protestors agitating for action towards democracy is a huge symbolic victory for their movement. Even in one of the world’s most repressive regimes, the spread of human freedom is inevitable.

    OPINIONS BOARD: Editorials are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Justyn Dillingham, Allison Hornick, Sarah Keeler, Connor Mendenhall, Jerry Simmons and Allison Dumka.

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