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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly”

    It’s a good week for Earth Day

    Yesterday, everywhere we turned, we were reminded that it was Earth Day. Google and Yahoo took on charming eco-personas, comic strips and television shows, featured green themes and even President Bush planted a tree, all in an effort to underscore our collective responsibility to help save the planet.

    Political leaders, mega-corporations and celebrities have all clamored on the media bandwagon to remind us to do our part to live green. What started out 38 years ago as a grassroots teach-in about the environment has mushroomed into a global campaign.

    The question now is whether Earth Day has become a genuine international movement or a just a passing fad? A Washington Post editorial yesterday claimed Earth Day was dead – “”what killed it? A long but admirable struggle with celebrity piety and corporate baloney, mainly.””

    With 80 percent of Americans claiming to understand the issue of global warming according to a recent Gallup survey, we shouldn’t need Earth Day to remind us to change our greedy lifestyles, especially when that message is communicated to us through private-plane hopping Hollywood and Washington glitterati. The widespread celebration of Earth Day begs commendation, yet we should look forward to the day when its message becomes so inculcated into our consciousness that we don’t need a day, or kitschy “”eco”” neologisms, to remind us of our responsibility.

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


    It’s a bad week for Chinese manufacturing

    Federal officials reported Monday that a supply of the blood-thinning drug heparin, made in China, arrived contaminated in the United States and has been linked decisively to 81 deaths so far. Most famous for being the drug that almost killed Dennis Quaid’s kids, heparin is made from “”the mucous membranes of the intestines of slaughtered pigs that, in China, are often cooked in unregulated family workshops,”” according to an article yesterday in The New York Times. The Chinese government, upon hearing about the link between the contaminant and the deaths, argued that because the deaths were unique to the United States, they could not be related to contamination of the Chinese shipment, which was also sent to 11 other countries. The contaminated heparin is another in a series of dangerous Chinese imports, which have been exacerbating tensions between China and the United States regarding product quality. The United States wants to inspect Chinese manufacturing plants, and the Chinese refuse unless they are allowed to respond in kind and take a gander at what happens in U.S. factories. This stalemate can only result in more suffering until both sides can broker an agreement.

    – Sarah Devlin is a sophomore majoring in English and political science.


    It’s an ugly week for Chicago

    The Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday that 37 unrelated shootings resulted in six dead in Old Chicago over the weekend. In one incident, someone went to work on a plumbing supply store with an AK-47. Five of the victims were juveniles out after their 11 p.m. curfew.

    All of this is especially unfortunate for the Windy City, given that police had just published statistics on Saturday heralding a 1-percent decrease in the local homicide rate since last year.

    Explanations for the weekend’s blood-orgy are being pumped out at an alarming rate, causing deflation so massive that 12 of them can now be purchased for 10 cents. Police officials pointed out that crime rates often escalate when temperatures are high – and Chicago did reach a sweltering high of 75 degrees on Friday. Supporters of this theory, however, are currently at a loss to explain why the city of Phoenix is still functioning.

    Jody P. Weis, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, had the following alternative suggestion: “”We’ve got to get children back into being children … not cold-blooded killers.”” It remains unclear from Mr. Weis’ comments, however, how the U.S. government should go about encouraging members of a certain class of citizens to start being themselves again.

    On the other hand, crime witness Regina Bolling had this to say: “”I think the police should pay more attention than do the other stupid things they do.”” Bolling may be on to something – according to A.I.B. International statistics, doughnut sales for the central United States increased by an astonishing $100 per week from 2006 to 2007.

    In the end, though, when the smoke clears, maybe it was just a fluke ugly weekend for Chicago.

    ð- Daniel Sullivan is a senior majoring in German studies and psychology.

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