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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Diss-course

    Heed the green

    The story: Alan Greenspan states in his new book, “”The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,”” that the Republicans “”deserved to lose”” the 2006 election. But in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he expressed his estrangement from modern Democrats as well.

    The response: I remember learning in high school that Greenspan’s eldritch control over the U.S. economy was once so complete and so compelling that he could start a recession simply by giving a “”thumbs-down”” sign, and that he could stop one with similar ease. OK, maybe that’s a minor exaggeration. But members on both sides of the political fence ought to be very concerned with Greenspan’s revelation of his displeasure with the two main parties.

    Greenspan’s disaffected view of economics, his praise for financially-savvy presidents like Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and his admiration of Ronald Reagan’s commitment to free-market principles ought to set strong restrictions for serious presidential candidates in the future. But if the latest series of presidential debates has been any indicator, we’ll get nothing of the sort any time soon.

    We’ll see empty, stale platforms rife with posturing aplenty and philosophical whatzits galore. We’ll see populist pandering from the Democrats, and from the Republicans we’ll see a regurgitation of standard neocon fare, despite each candidate’s constant attempts to distance himself from the current administration. If the next president wants to lead our country out of the muck of the past two terms, he’d do well to study Greenspan’s book – and fast!

    -Taylor Kessinger is a junior majoring in math, philosophy and physics.

    Another Iran conflict oncoming

    The story: France Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner advised world leaders on Sunday to prepare for war with Iran if the Middle Eastern nation succeeds in procuring nuclear weapons. Kouchner warns that since war is the worst-case scenario, European leaders should unite and consider more effective economic sanctions outside the current sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

    The response: When Bush threatens military strikes against Iran – as he did two weeks ago in a speech to the American Legion in Nevada – we can partially excuse such intimidations as a means to deflect attention from U.S. problems in Iraq. Bush has blamed Iran for helping Shia militias in Iraq – effectively diverting some of the U.S. culpability for the disastrous situation in Iraq to other external factors.

    However, when France and Germany join the fray and seriously predict combative measures against Iran, the world community must take note. The two European nations were the most vociferous critics of the U.S. invasion of Iraq; thus their support of aggressive measures to curb Iran’s uranium enrichment program should underline the severity of Iran’s potential development of a nuclear weapon. French President Nicolas Sarkozy labeled Iran’s nuclear ambition “”without a doubt the gravest issue which weighs on the international order.””

    Arguably, the prospect of war with Iran is just as grave as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with his hands on a nuclear bomb. The failure of current U.N. sanctions on Iran’s trade of nuclear and missile technology, however, is making either one of the above scenarios more and more likely. History has demonstrated sanctions rarely persuade a nation to back away from fundamental issues of sovereignty – Iran has exalted nuclear development as a national symbol of its independence. Regrettably, another protracted conflict in the Middle East seems unavoidable.

    -Christina Jelly is a senior majoring in philosophy and biochemistry.

    Humanity is next

    The story: National Geographic recently reported that global warming has fully opened the Northwest Passage through the Artic. Rising temperatures have melted away the ice that once blocked this passage, which may be used in the future as a shipping route from Europe to Asia.

    The response: It’s time to do something about global warming. Clearly, the Earth is beginning to suffer the effects of an overheated climate, and the loss of an Arctic icecap is only the beginning. If temperatures keep getting warmer, humanity may eventually face a planetary-scale ecological meltdown. The opening of the Northwest Passage should spur us to aggressively reduce energy consumption and improve efficiency, on both individual and national levels.

    Furthermore, we should investigate a broad range of possible alternative fuels.

    Unfortunately, though scientists have warned us about global warming for decades, these approaches have not been widely implemented. They are expensive, inconvenient and difficult. It’s easy to dismiss them as the burden that distant future generations will have to bear, especially while current generations get the benefit of trans-Arctic shipping routes and newly accessible fossil fuel resources. By the time any significant change happens, it will probably be too late to save the Artic ice or the polar bears and other biodiversity that depend on it. Let’s not wait until it’s too late to save humans, either.

    -Lauren Myers is a sophomore majoring in math and microbiology.

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