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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pass/Fail

    Torture trickery

    According to The New York Times, months after the U.S. Justice Department publicly proclaimed that torture was taboo, officials were secretly circulating a classified opinion authorizing CIA interrogators to use euphemistically named “”enhanced interrogation techniques.”” Despite stating that torture “”is abhorrent both to American law and values and to international norms”” in a statement published in 2004, the secret memo, distributed in early 2005, authorized interrogators to slap prisoners on the head, simulate drowning, lock detainees in painful “”stress positions”” for hours at a time and hold them naked in freezing cells. When the Justice Department publicly says “”no torture,”” it should mean “”no torture”” – no matter how much CIA officials may want to squeeze in one last waterboarding. For hypocritically denouncing torture while backing up human suffering with tricky legal reasoning, the Justice Department deserves a Fail.

    Plugging the ‘brain drain’

    The largest line item in President Shelton’s budget, approved last week by the Arizona Board of Regents, is a request for $13.6 million to retain key professors and try to stop the UA’s infamous faculty “”brain drain.”” In theory, the money will be used to give raises to professors in colleges with the lowest salaries. Now, the request is off to the governor and the State Legislature for final approval. Year-to-year appropriations are important to stem the flow of faculty out of Arizona. But we hope the UA can find a way to finally plug the annual drain, rather than bailing out faculty each year. However, keeping talented faculty in Arizona always deserves a Pass.

    Two beers good, four beers bad

    In the name of preventing underage drinking, the UA administration has crafted a new Homecoming alcohol policy that promises to imbue the annual celebration with the cold, refreshing taste of totalitarian control. The UA Alumni Association has been granted exclusive rights to distribute beer within a specified “”event area”” for a two-and-a-half-hour period during Homecoming festivities. Beverage vouchers must now be purchased in advance, a two-beer quota will be enforced, and authorization wristbands will be available after presenting proper identification to authorities at stations located around the UA Mall. The university has a legal responsibility to keep minors from breaking the law, but there’s no need to establish an Orwellian Ministry of Fun to do so. For guiding us down the road to celebratory serfdom, the UA’s new paternalistic party policy deserves a Fail.

    Supreme could be stellar

    We don’t blame you if you have a hard time getting excited about the Supreme Court. But the docket for the court’s new term, which began when justices convened Monday, promises to be a blockbuster. The judicial agenda includes a whopping 19 cases, and the court is expected to rule on a smattering of important issues – including capital punishment, Guantanamo detainees, voter ID restrictions, race discrimination and Second Amendment rights. But the controversial cases also have the potential to further polarize an already ideologically riven high court. It’s exciting to see justices taking on big issues, but over the next months, we’ll see if the court can move away from its partisan voting blocs. Until then, “”the nine”” get an Incomplete.

    Breaking (into) the cycle

    Campus cyclists have something to be happy about: Bike theft at the UA is down 25 percent from last year. But don’t get rid of your U-lock, steel cable or spring-loaded bear trap just yet – according to the University of Arizona Police Department, fluctuations in bike heists are part of (you guessed it) a larger cycle. But UAPD – and even the dreaded Parking and Transportation Services – are doing their part to help fight bike theft, offering subsidized locks and free bicycle registration to UA students. For helping break the bike theft cycle, UAPD and PTS get a Pass.

    Onions Board

    Editorials are determined by the Wildcat Opinions Board and written by one of its members. They are Justyn Dillingham, Allison Dumka, Allison Hornick, Sarah Keeler, Connor Mendenhall and Jeremiah Simmons.

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