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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Diss-course

    The terrible truth about torture

    The story: Terrorists worldwide, rejoice! None of the major remaining presidential candidates has stood up for the right of American soldiers to use torture when necessary.

    The response: It brings a tear to my eye to see that people want to bring torture, a practice which has been effective in stopping all sorts of bigoted, hateful, traitorous and fear-causing behavior throughout history, to an end.

    Some falsely claim that the Eighth Amendment’s clause prohibiting “”cruel and unusual punishments”” applies to torture. But the rights enumerated in the Constitution apply only to American citizens, which terrorists are not. If we rule that this amendment protects them, then what? Should we give terrorists the right to vote, too?

    Others make appeals to the Geneva Convention or the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But these are completely undemocratic pieces of legislation. Think about it: Have you ever voted, directly or indirectly, to keep one of these international agreements in place? Do you know anyone who has? Of course not – these pieces of legislation exist solely to rob Americans of our national sovereignty. Today, we can’t torture people who want us dead; tomorrow, we’re spending extra Ameros to usher in a one-world government.

    What’s more, the United Nations Convention Against Torture defines torture as the infliction of “”severe pain or suffering (…) on a person.”” But by engaging in acts of terror, terrorists have effectively waived the inalienable rights outlined in the Declaration of Independence. They therefore cannot even be considered people.

    Opponents of torture further insist that it does not yield useful or reliable information when used. But as Bill Richardson stated in his March 21 endorsement of Barack Obama, “”cynicism is not realism and hope is not folly.”” We should not be so cynical about the ability of torture to help save thousands of American lives – simply because it hasn’t done so yet doesn’t mean it won’t tomorrow.

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


    Recession and the rich

    The story: A report published last Thursday indicates that despite the current gloomy economic outlook, the wealthiest investors (those with over $1 million in assets) can expect to see their worth grow 50 percent over the next five years.

    The response: I know what you’re thinking – “”See? All this panic is for naught; those who really matter will weather this little blip just fine.”” Well hold your horses, Warbucks; I’ve got some bad news for you.

    In its Wednesday article “”Execs ‘Bear-ly’ $urviving,”” the New York Post detailed the real effects of the current – dare I say it? – recession on America’s upper crust. After news of the bank’s buyout broke, wives of Bear Stearns executives were canceling their interior design projects – even the one that only had $50,000 of finishing touches left.

    It may just be the Bear Stearns execs who are suffering now, but soon you too may be forced to choose between a new yacht and a manor in the Hamptons. Will you have beluga caviar or Dom Pérignon? If a depression sets in, you may only be able to have one.
    Some of your peers have already sold their third houses. Perhaps it’s even someone close to you, but, too ashamed to break the news, he gets a spray-on tan and makes up stories about his latest jaunt in Florida. His wife wanders the streets in last season’s Manolo Blahniks, drinking tap water from a Fiji bottle.

    What can you do to help? Why not donate a portion of your next paycheck to Microloans for Millionaires, a microlending organization dedicated to providing the needy wealthy with cashmere sweaters, children named “”FranÇõois”” and other basic necessities. When the depression hits, the uncivilized classes will be the first to perish, so there’s no better place to invest your money than right back into yourself.

    – Alyson Hill is a senior majoring in classics, German studies and history.

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