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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Columnnist errs in comparison between Model-T, Mustang
    As I read Justin Huggins’s article (“”No bailout for automakers,”” Nov. 20, 2008), I agreed with him that the government should not bailout the “”big three”” (auto companies). One problem I have with Mr. Huggins’s argument, though, is his comparison of a 1908 Model T Ford to a 2008 Mustang GT. He only compares the two cars merely by their mileage per gallon. He failed to mention that the Model T has a small 4 cylinder engine producing a whopping 20.2 horsepower, with a top speed of roughly 45 miles per hour.

    On the other hand, the new Mustang GT has a powerful 8 cylinder engine producing 300 horsepower with a top speed of 143 miles per hour. Taking these factors into consideration, the 2008 Mustang GT that gets 15-23 miles per gallon (not 14-26 as Huggins said) compared to the Model T with 13-21 miles per gallon, has decent gas mileage. But even these factors do not necessarily rationalize an engine that gets around 15 miles per gallon. On the other hand, different cars are built for different reasons. The Mustang GT is a sport car, and the Model T was designed to simply be an “”around the town car.””

    A modern non-hybrid “”around the town car”” that is more suitable for comparison is the new Ford Focus that receives 24-35 miles per gallon. It seems Mr. Huggins should have done a little bit more homework for his article. Taking this all into consideration, no matter how good the gas mileage of a 1999 Honda or a 2009 Toyota Prius might be, they still are not going to be fun to drive or even look cool compared to a 2008 Mustang GT.

    Brandon Johnson
    criminal justice freshman

    National service vital to nation in times of crisis
    I am dismayed by Connor Mendenhall’s opinion “”Serf’s Up!”” (Nov. 20, 2008). As an alumnus of Teach For America, a national corps of teachers serving in underperforming and underprivileged urban and rural school districts, I have seen firsthand the help and hope that a personal commitment to national service can bring to our communities. We should not forget that it was largely government-backed service programs like the Public Works Administration, TVA, and Civilian Conservation Corps that put many Americans back to work, helped to improve our country’s infrastructure, and advance the quality of life during the Great Depression.

    Our sense of national service was mobilized in World War II through the sacrifice of rationing, Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), USO, and the iconic Rosie the Riveter, all of which brought millions together for the war effort. Since the ’60s, the Peace Corps has called upon young people to work to improve the way of life and promote goodwill in developing countries. Since the ’90s, Americorps has asked many to serve our country at home in public education, environmental conservation, and disaster response. And we cannot forget the members of all-volunteer armed services who put their lives on hold and on the line every day for duty and country.

    The opinion distastefully clumps these noble groups of thanked and forgotten volunteers with feudal serfs who, harkening back to high school history, did not freely avail themselves of their servitude but were born into it.

    Add to that an allusion that President-elect Obama is their impending master? Far too much bathos for us all. National service has mobilized Americans to do countless and priceless works of good for our country. At home and abroad, men and women, young and old, rise to make this land a better place for all and defend it from its enemies, to continue the unfinished work… “”so that this nation … shall not perish from this earth.””

    Christopher Dang
    first year law student
    alumnus, Teach for America

    Veterans Day meant to honor end of World War I
    I would just like to address Laura Donovan’s “”Sound Bite”” that was published in Friday’s Daily Wildcat(Nov. 21, 2008). In regard to Veterans Day, Donovan said, “”For whatever reason, the university granted this day off on Tuesday instead of Monday, ruining any long weekend plans students may have had in mind.”” The university did not choose this date; it is a federal law that it be honored on the 11th.

    In fact, the sole reason that we today observe Veterans Day on the 11th of November is a product of the veterans themselves rising up against dismissing their honor for a three-day weekend. Veterans Day is formerly known as Armistice Day, representing the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when Germany signed the armistice that ended World War I.

    In 1968, the government made strides to put all national holidays on a Monday, and it wasn’t until 1978 that the massive backlash from the veteran community was heard and their day of honor was restored. This is a day to promote peace in the world. Oh, and one more thing. According to the United States government, the holiday on the 11th of November is spelled without an apostrophe. So next time, it might be better to check your facts before you blame the university for lack of long weekend.

    Sarah Schuman
    fine arts sophomore

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