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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”

    It’s a good week for musical
    diplomacy with the Axis of Evil

    Yesterday, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra gave a concert in Pyongyang as part of the first American cultural visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

    Pundits have pointed out that it seems inappropriate if not immoral for one of America’s most celebrated musical institutions to perform in a nation that flouts international norms by continuing its nuclear program while its own people starve. Yet the orchestra’s attempt to mediate musical relations between the United States and North Korea is less superficial than one might think.

    Arts organizations can bridge the cultural divides that prevent amicable diplomatic relations. Yesterday’s concert was a far cry from the kind of conciliation the Bush administration desires in nuclear talks with North Korea, and it will take more than a touching performance of Dvorak or Gershwin for North Korea to consider the merits of individual freedoms and democracy. But at the very least, North Korea’s welcoming of the New York Philharmonic shows a new willingness to come out of its shell that may promise better days ahead. Moreover, the historic performance highlights the power of the arts to transcend the aesthetic arena and stir the political discourse about North Korea.

    Christina Jelly is a senior majoring in biochemistry and philosophy.


    It’s a bad week for civil rights
    and privacy activists

    The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review an appeal by the American Civil Liberties Union that sought to challenge the legality of the government’s warrantless surveillance program. Bush’s “”terrorist surveillance program,”” which included the tapping of domestic phone calls, purports to monitor domestic terrorists but blatantly infringes on a citizen’s right to privacy. The refusal by the Supreme Court underscores the difficulty of mounting a case against national security activities, portending the long road ahead to untangle the web of deception and secrecy that shadows the Bush administration’s war on civil privacy. The question remains: How can lawyers build a case establishing the existence of illegal wiretapping while the proof of wiretapping is held as a national secret? The microchips are clearly stacked against us. Until the privacy pendulum of national discourse swings back in the other direction, we will likely keep hearing of, but not seeing, wiretapping programs by the National Security Administration.

    Matt R—— is a junior majoring in some field at the University of Anonymity.


    It’s an ugly week for Hillary Clinton’s messy campaign

    Sen. Barack Obama has won the last 11 consecutive Democratic primaries. He’s now pulling ahead of his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, in opinion polls in Texas, and gaining ground in Ohio, two states once considered sure wins by the Clinton camp. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s biggest problem is a picture of Obama wearing a funny hat.

    The photo, depicting Barack Obama wearing traditional tribal dress during a 2006 visit to Kenya, including (gasp!) a turban, was posted on the Internet by political gadfly Matt Drudge on Monday, with a note suggesting that the photo leaked out of the Clinton campaign. The photo quietly alludes to the dumbest rumor of the presidential campaign season: that Barack Obama is a secret crypto-Muslim who hates American freedom. The Clinton camp has neither confirmed nor denied the image’s provenance, but the photo has exacerbated an already embittered race, in which Hillary has accused Obama of plagiarism, snarked over his rhetoric, and started a host of petty policy spats. Things are getting ugly for Hillary – and they’ll only get worse as her campaign meltdown continues.

    Connor Mendenhall is a sophomore majoring in economics and international studies and is the opinions editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

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