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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Sound bites

    Specter’s defection a beacon of ‘change’ at last?

    Justyn Dillingham

    Opinions editor

    Leaving aside the likely impact of Sen. Arlen Specter’s defection from one imperious party establishment to another, does no one see a sad irony in the spectacle of Republican stalwarts complaining that Specter betrayed them? The truth is Republican leaders, in propping up a brutal and tyrannical president, betrayed their own supposed ideals of small government and fidelity to the Constitution. This fact, frantically repressed and ignored by rank-and-file Republicans, is what has made many Americans deeply distrust their party’s unctuous efforts to assure them that it values “”liberty”” above all things. This well-earned distrust has left them a lame-duck party for as long as it takes for this widespread suspicion to pass away, which may well take a generation or more.

    The question for the Democrats is whether their filibuster-proof majority will enable them to pass real reforms, or whether they will find yet another reason to dodge it. The press’ fearful response to the puling, impotent “”protests”” of the tea-party crowd indicates that the faintest wisp of populism is still enough to put the fear of God into establishment liberals. After two years of unconvincing excuses for putting it off, can the Democrats bring us democratic government? Do they still remember how?

    Justyn Dillingham is the editor in chief of the Daily Wildcat

    Swine flu infects national media with disease of blind hysteria

    Laura Donovan

    columnist

    Sometimes, the media should be punished for unnecessarily working up an entire country, and this is all too true in regards to the pervasive swine flu neurosis working its way across the United States. The swine flu epidemic has certainly affected all U.S. citizens, but not in the fatal way the media has warned about.

    The illness has poisoned every news Web site, and I’m beginning to believe the fear of the swine flu is more dangerous than the epidemic itself. According to Mexico’s Health Secretary Jose Cordova, the new virus is the suspected cause of 159 deaths across Mexico, and the number is much smaller in the United States. Sure, people are getting sick, but is all this widespread anxiety constructive? The news is distributing obsessive fear to the public, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more people rushed to emergency rooms and psychological clinics after having panic attacks about this scary outbreak.

    There’s something to be said for being prepared and cautious, but based on the low United States swine flu death statistics, there’s no reason to lose sleep.

    -ÿLaura Donovan is a creative writing junior.

    ‘Trickle-down’ vs. ‘extort-up’ economics

    Daniel Sotelo

    columnist

    The Tucson City Council listened to an angry mob, I mean, group of citizens on Tuesday night regarding a proposed rental tax. Projected to raise about $10 million, a 2 percent tax would be imposed on landlords with at least three properties, one of which being in the city of Tucson. Officials estimate a $144 annual increase for renters who pay about $600 a month. Targeted at lower-income families and students, this proposal is a contradiction of “”red state”” principles of smaller government and lower taxes.

    If citizens are to prop up Tucson, then the City Council should look to increase the sales tax, so that everyone, including the upper class, contributes to the city’s shortfalls.

    -ÿDaniel Sotelo is a political science senior.

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