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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Editorial: Pass/Fail

    See if these ideas make the grade:

    PASS: Student surge in study abroad

    The onslaught of globalization is rapidly divorcing the demand for talent from the pesky constraints of physical geography. A university preparing students to live and work in a changing world has a responsibility to urge them to be globally minded as well. That’s why it’s encouraging to hear that more and more UA students are taking the opportunity to study abroad. According to the UA’s Study Abroad and Student Exchange office, student participation in overseas programs has grown by seven percent annually since 2003. Travel abroad is a significant and important experience for most students – so the recent uptick in sightseeing scholars earns a Pass.

    PASS: Significant figures

    Good news in the global fight against AIDS: Information released this week reveals that the out-of control upward spiral of the AIDS epidemic has actually been a steady decline. Yesterday, UNAIDS, the United Nations’ anti-AIDS organization, released a report acknowledging that flawed surveys conducted over the past decade have led to huge overestimates of the global scale of AIDS. There are about 6.3 million fewer people afflicted with aids than previously believed, and the rate of new infections is now believed to have peaked in the late ’90s. Still, AIDS continues to be a big global problem – there are an estimated 33.2 million people suffering from the disease. However, finding out that there are far fewer than estimated wins a Pass.

    FAIL: Playing fowl with the Constitution

    At a ceremony yesterday in the White House rose garden, President Bush granted his annual pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey. Although the poultry tradition purportedly dates back to the Lincoln administration, there’s paltry historical evidence for its origins. Abe’s absolution is likely a piece of presidential folklore, and although Harry Truman is widely cited this time of year for sparing the first modern presidential gobbler, the staff of the Truman library have exhaustively searched and “”found no documents, speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs, or other contemporary records in our holdings which refer to Truman pardoning a turkey.”” In fact, the first recorded turkey pardoning ceremony took place during the first Bush presidency in 1989, when George Herbert Walker Bush made an off hand quip about Thanksgiving clemency. Since then, it’s blossomed into a full-scale White House tradition – but nowhere in the Constitution is the president given the power to pardon an already innocent bird. The unwarranted
    expansion of executive power to pardon turkeys under the Bush dynasty deserves
    a Fail.

    INCOMPLETE: Not so sunny anymore

    Students our age fondly recall the sunny days and friendly monsters of “”Sesame Street””, the iconic PBS children’s program first aired in 1969. But “”Sesame Street”” today isn’t quite what it used to be. According to The New York Times Magazine, the recent DVD release of “”Sesame Street’s”” earliest episodes carry a disclaimer warning that “”These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”” After all, in those days Oscar the Grouch was grouchy, Cookie Monster gobbled fattening snacks (and occasionally his own pipe), and Snuffaluffagus was a hallucinatory figment of Big Bird’s imagination. It’s nice to know that “”Sesame Street’s”” creators are out to do what’s best for today’s kids, but we kind of liked the
    rough-and-tumble old days of the children’s show. “”Sesame Street’s”” DVD disclaimer gets an Incomplete.

    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 amd Connor Mendenhall.

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