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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pass/Fail

    A pricey proposition – Fail

    If you’re a UA student paying in-state tuition, you’re probably familiar with Proposition 300, the ballot measure that became law in Arizona last year, requiring students to provide proof of citizenship to prevent illegal immigrants from paying lower tuition rates or receiving state financial aid. Fortunately, the law has worked – after establishing another office in the UA bureaucracy, staffing it with new employees and hauling in scores of students to prove their own identity, the dastardly aliens exploiting the financial largesse of Arizona taxpayers have finally been punished with a higher bill. All six of them, to be precise.

    Although the UA’s identification dragnet ultimately reclassified 119 students as non-residents, only six students “”informed the UA that they could not provide necessary documents to verify U.S. citizenship,”” according to the Arizona Daily Star. And although some of those reassigned could well be immigrants, they could just as easily be slackers or out-of-state students telling white lies about their residence – a phenomenon not unknown to the university. So what did the mandatory manhunt cost? The UA estimates that $159,000 has been spent complying with the new law – costs that will carry over year to year, since all new students will have to prove their identities, too. The dumb hunt for harmless students brought on by Proposition 300 has been a massive waste of taxpayer money and students’ time. Worse, it’s done nothing to resolve real immigration problems, and only contributed to the poisoned political rhetoric that surrounds them. That merits an especially distinctive Fail.

    Liberty on the lose – Fail

    For more than a decade, human freedom around the world has been on the rise, according to the annual index of civil liberties and human rights compiled by Freedom House, an international nonprofit group. Unfortunately, the events of 2007 have started to turn that trend around. According to Freedom House’s latest survey, released Jan. 16, last year “”was marked by a notable setback for global freedom”” in which many nations’ move away from liberty “”was reflected in reversals in one-fifth of the world’s countries.”” Although authoritarians like Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez and the generals of Burma’s military junta may have stolen the despot-light in 2007, countries like Nigeria, Egypt and Kyrgyzstan all quietly slid away from protecting human freedom. In fact, 2007 marks the first time in 15 years that there’s been a regression two years in a row. The petty dictators around the world who made it happen deserve a Fail.

    Tag your way into history – Pass

    Avid photographers are probably already familiar with Flickr, one of the most popular tools for sharing photos over the Internet. Although Flickr is most widely known for hosting personal snapshots, a new collaboration with the Library of Congress has the Web site hosting history, as well. The library, which curates a collection of more than 14 million photos and images, is posting thousands of photographs of news events from the 1910s and American life in the ’30s and ’40s online. That means loads of otherwise unavailable photos can be easily perused and used by the public – but it also means the photos can be tagged, annotated and commented on, harnessing the contributions of individual users to catalog and describe a big chunk of digital data. It’s an excellent combination of Internet technology and amazing archives. The Library of Congress – and the many users certain to give them a hand – get a Pass.

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