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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    McCain’s campaign antics reveal ‘desperation,’ possible status quo
    “”My friends,”” today Senator McCain called for a suspension of his campaign and a delay of the Friday presidential debate due to our “”economic crisis.”” The goal of this is apparently to show the people of the United States that “”country first”” is his motto. “”My friends,”” Senator McCain is anything but “”country first.”” This is nothing more than a political tactic, and a poor one at that.

    First of all, they haven’t suspended a damn thing. Instead of campaigning on Letterman tonight, McCain canceled, and talked to Katie Couric instead and released talking points to everyone involved in his “”suspended”” campaign on how they should campaign on the suspension of their campaign to portray it in a positive light. (See politico.com for a copy of the talking points). You may find yourself asking, “”Is this for real?”” Sadly yes. At a time when his poll numbers are slipping drastically (ABC/Washington Post have Obama up by 9 percent), and most people are beginning to realize that not only will John McCain and Sarah Palin as president and VP mean four more years of Bush, it will mean a whole lot more and be a whole lot worse. Their drastic conservatism will set the United States back uncountable years in social and civil progression. The real reason they want to stop campaigning? If they stop talking, they can’t get caught in any more lies. At a time when people need to see what both candidates stand for more than ever in a debate, McCain is suggesting that it be canceled. And why? Not for the good of America, he just isn’t ready and never will be. The debates have never been canceled before during crisis of which there have been plenty in the course of presidential races (see: Bush/Gore ’00 after the U.S.S. Cole attack) and the fact that this was even suggested shows his desperation.

    Zachary Jaffe
    political science senior

    European advocates retiring Electoral College, change in U.S.
    I am a visitor here in Tucson reading the Daily Wildcat once in a while and today I read your article about retiring the Electoral College (“”Why it’s time to retire the Electoral College,”” Sept. 25, 2008). I can absolutely agree with your point of view. I see no reason why politicians did not start to work on laws turning the U.S. into a democracy of the 21st century. So far I have never heard of a electoral system that sticks to standards that they used to have almost 250 years ago. Why is there no political uprising and until now I have not heard of anybody addressing this issue. I am from Germany and we do not elect the chancellor directly either, but there is not winner-takes-all law or something like that. Each candidate gets their own vote according to their percentage.

    Hopefully a lot of people will go out to cast their votes on Nov. 2. Even though Arizona is typically Republican there is a chance to give this state to Obama. People here just gotta believe in that. Especially younger people should make up their mind now and not just two or three days before the elections. The U.S. and the world need a change right now. This is what I and a lot of other Europeans believe in.

    Christoph Jahn
    Germany

    Use of ‘bureaucratese’ nothing new
    Sadly, the misuse of language that Justyn Dillingham describes (“”The untimely demise of plain speaking,”” Sept. 25, 2008) is not new: see George Orwell’s essay on it, “”Politics and the English Language.”” It’s so hard to get people to write clearly because that requires them to think clearly. Fuzzy writing is usually based on fuzzy thinking, except when the writer is intentionally fuzzy.

    John Blois
    Vancouver

    Salvia not ‘addictive,’ ‘harmful’;criminalization problematic
    The current push to ban salvia demonstrates the senseless and fear-driven nature of America’s war on drugs. Salvia is undeniably a powerful mind altering drug with hallucinogenic properties that rival and even surpass those of other controlled substances like LSD and Psilocybin. But is this reason enough to make criminals out of individuals who want to experience its effects? Do we have the need or even the right to control how sentient individuals choose to explore their own consciousness?

    There is no evidence that salvia has any addictive potential, or that its use is either physically or mentally harmful. Salvia has come to public attention because of the extremely potent nature of the hallucinations it can induce. However, it is this very characteristic that make it essentially harmless to users and bystanders alike. Few people even have the ability to stand up while under its influence, much less engage in dangerous behaviors or criminal activity. Furthermore, the experience is so profound that the drug attracts very few repeat users, meaning the danger of abusive use is minimal, if not non-existent.

    Clearly, no one should be operating heavy machinery while in a dissociative state. But mind altering experiences are not inherently dangerous, and people who wish to have such an experience in a safe way should be free to do so. Finally, criminalizing the substance will certainly cause more problems than it can solve. Otherwise, upstanding citizens would become criminals in the eyes of the law.

    Matthew S. Miller
    psychology senior

    Thursday Wildcat’s comics layout ‘extremely lazy, ‘blatantly bad’
    Must I really turn my newspaper sideways in order to read my favorite comic strip? I found the Wildcat’s placement of “”PhDcomics”” on Thursday to be extremely lazy, especially since there were at least two filler ads for the Wildcat of approximately the same size on the pages on either side. Although poor editing is only to be expected, as evidenced in the past few weeks, formatting so blatantly bad is just irritating.

    Dwanna Crain
    anthropology and classics senior

    Columnist misses meaning of atheism
    Taylor Kessinger, in his Friday article (“”A rational response to atheism,”” Sept. 26, 2008) brings up many valid points about the prevailing irrationality of the American people, but seems to fail to recognize an important part of what it means to be an atheist (or rather, what it doesn’t mean).

    Obviously, atheism is a lack of belief in a god. That’s all there is to atheism, actually. There is no dogma that all atheists believe or regard as true. Atheists are not required by some “”atheistic law”” to trust in rationality as a means to gain knowledge. Apparently, as the Baylor study suggests, many atheists don’t “”pride themselves in being the most rationally-minded people”” as Kessinger contends.

    “”Atheism”” isn’t a term that can accurately capture and reflect all of the ideas of those who refer to themselves as atheists. Rather, it merely reflects a lack of belief in some undefined entity. A newborn baby is an atheist, but no one expects babies to be rational thinkers. And even if an atheist who holds an irrational belief or two, such as Bill Maher, argues for using logic and reason above all else, it does not weaken this argument in the least.

    So, Kessinger, I advise against expecting atheists to be rational thinkers just because they lack a belief in a god. All we can do, as humans, is try to promote rational thinking among everyone, even the atheists.

    Blake Pellman
    psychology sophomore

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