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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pass/Fail

    Must have missed that memo…

    If you missed yesterday’s midweek football festivities, get out from under your rock. Yesterday’s football game against Oregon required special accommodations, including parking lot closures and restrictions on tailgaters. In a memo released last Thursday, President Robert Shelton claimed that “”classes will not be canceled, nor will any portion of the University close operations on account of game day activities.”” A noble goal, but thanks to massive parking lot shutdowns and the frenzy of media attention accompanying the game, plenty of classes were canceled and students inconvenienced. Football – and fifteen minutes of nationally televised fame – are great, but academics should come before athletics. Yesterday’s de facto campus closedown deserves a Fail.

    Define “”Tase me,”” bro!

    For more than a century, the Oxford English Dictionary has been the English language’s leading lexicon. The reference work has a mission to keep up with changes in the modern vernacular, and annually its editors choose a “”word of the year”” to welcome into its hallowed pages. A look at the contenders is a glimpse into the prevailing cultural zeitgeist – this year, “”cougar,”” “”social graph,”” “”MRAP vehicle,”” and “”Tase”” were all nominated. But ultimately, editors selected the unwieldy term “”locavore”” as this year’s winning word. The word, describing those who choose to eat locally produced foods to fight global warming, is a fun neologism – but it’s no barometer for the state of humanity. This year’s OED selection gets a Fail.

    Try Gmail, George!

    Students used to the tragically tiny 250 megabytes of e-mail space provided by the UA are certainly familiar with the challenge of deleting messages to free up space. But you’re in good company: Even the White House has to delete its most important messages. An estimated five million of them sent during momentous events like the invasion of Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina and the reauthorization of the Patriot Act were mysteriously deleted between March 2003 and October 2005. As of this week, however, the White House might want to invest in a bigger hard drive. Monday, a federal judge ordered the White House to keep backup copies of all its e-mails, to forestall similar slip-ups. The communications of public officials conducting public business ought to be archived, transparent and available to the public. For forcing the White House to play by the rules, this week’s ruling gets a Pass.

    Fuzzy math from the Democrats

    Critics of the Iraq war often point out that in addition to its human and political costs, conflict in the Middle East is expensive – over $800 billion has been requested or already spent. This week, a congressional report issued by the Joint Economic Committee suggested that the “”hidden costs”” of war may bring the total bill to twice as much as expected – up to $1.6 trillion through next year. The Democrats who drafted the report took into account things like interest on loans, health care for veterans, oil market disruptions and foregone investments. It’s an intriguing proposition, but also a dishonest one. Rising oil prices, which have tripled since 2003, have certainly been affected by Iraq – but have much more to do with massive global demand for crude. And the nebulous idea of “”foregone investment”” is more likely the result of a tumbling house market and the subsequent credit crunch. There’s no reason for Democrats to resort to using funny numbers to make the already exorbitant cost of the war look even higher. For fudging the data the Democrats earn an Incomplete.

    Editorials are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Justyn Dillingham, Allison Hornick, Sarah Keeler and Connor Mendenhall.

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