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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Soundbites: Sept. 23

Daily Wildcat columnists sound off on offbeat news and strange encounters.

This isn’t Hogwarts, so leave O’Donnell alone

Earlier this week, eternal skeptic/pundit Bill Maher, in a shameless stunt to get Delaware Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell to appear on his HBO talk show, aired an incriminating clip of a comment O’Donnell made on his show, “”Politically Incorrect,”” in the late 1990s.

At least the blogosphere seems to think the clip was incriminating, though that might be playing fast and loose with the term. The snippet shows Christine O’Donnell admitting that she “”dabbled in witchcraft”” in her younger years and once even dated a “”witch.”” The intriguing words “”coven”” and “”picnic on a satanic altar”” come up in the clip.

Hear that? That’s the sound of every Fox News commentator’s head exploding.

Karl Rove immediately jumped on the comments, insisting that the “”churchgoing people”” of Delaware deserved an explanation. Since then, the Google search “”Christine O’Donnell, witchcraft”” yields hundreds of pages of wild speculation and virtual pitchfork waving.

Newsflash, America: There’s no such thing as witchcraft — at least, not the kind Harry-Potter-banning parents and Rove mean. That’s like accusing Vice President Joe Biden of once being a leprechaun. It’s a buzzword religious zealots misuse to describe anything that contradicts their dogma.

Yes, some people do adhere to religions such as Wicca and other neo-pagan faiths, but they’re not out to turn the Senate into some kind of Satan worshipping séance. They belong to a faith community, a value many Americans hold dear, and don’t deserve to have their beliefs misinterpreted and thrown around as political fodder.

It was a dirty, dirty trick for Maher to deliberately whip Republicans into a frenzy over a charge that doesn’t make any sense. If left-wing pundits want to continue to make fun of the likes of Glen Beck and his Fox cronies for their daily dose of crazy, they can’t join in. Deliberately turning O’Donnell’s Tea Party base on her on ridiculous grounds serves no purpose other than to make the usually savvy Maher look like a ratings-mad chump.

There are about a million things to legitimately make fun of O’Donnell for — equating masturbation to adultery comes to mind — and, more importantly, just as many real policy issues on which to challenge her. The witchcraft hubbub, like most political commentary these days, is just distracting.

— Heather Price-Wright is the opinions editor of the Daily Wildcat. She can be reached at

We’re getting close to the Matrix

According to a Tuesday site update on UANews, “”Researchers in the University of Arizona department of surgery have been awarded a $1.2 million grant to use a computerized undershirt to monitor the activity of diabetics with foot wounds.””

This all sounded incredibly boring, but hoping it might get cooler if I continued to read, I also found out that using these tiny monitors, doctors could detect “”if you are standing or sitting, jumping or running, lying down on your stomach or your back,”” and that they are able to “”gauge, with highly sensitive equipment, what’s going on with the foot and rest of the body based on subtle movements that occur in the trunk.””

If you combine these possibilities with reports that Dean Kamen (the Segue guy) is still working on his advanced prosthetic, the “”Luke Arm””, we may well be on our way to advanced battle suits to stop an inevitable alien attack and/or the technology necessary to simulate a dream world where existential breakthroughs come with the added bonus of kung fu proficiency.

I’m so proud of the UA for helping to usher in a new era of technology; at least some of my tuition money is being well spent.

— Remy Albillar is a senior majoring in English and creative writing. He can be reached at

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