North Carolina Newspapers

THURSDAY, JUNE 1.9, 2008
Dan Siegel is a senior political sci
ence major from Durham.
owes his
to Bush
Barack Obama says "thank
you" a lot. He doesn't
really have much choice in
the matter.
After his introduction at rallies,
the crowds explode with approval.
Obama often has to just stand
there, smile and say "thank you" a
few dozen times until the adoring
mob finally relents.
And now that he has finally
won the Democratic nomination.
Obama has been busy thanking
all of his supporters yet again
w hile revving up for the general
Hut one name has conspicu
ously been left of!'the Obama
camps thank-you list, and it curi-
ously belongs to
the same man
who has con-
tributed more to the candidate's
campaign than any other.
Naturally, I speak of President
George W. Bush.
Without a doubt. Obama is
a skilled politician, a remark
able orator and an inspirational
symbol of American opportunity.
Hut without the mind-boggling
incompetence and corruption that
have plagued our president and
his party for the hist eight years.
Obama's political star might never
have elimlntl so high.
imagine if things had gone
differently. In the wake of Sept.
11. President Hush unites the
country and the world to swiftly
annihilate Islamic extremism.
This president takes his “com
passionate conservative" slogan to
heart and makes concessions with
Supreme Court appointments and
scientific funding in the hopes of
greater national unit).
Hush's belief that he was hand
picket! by God actually proves
true, and the Archangel Gabriel
advises him not to engage in a
pointless war that will kill thou
sands while hefting a giant debt
upon future generations.
If this all happened, there's
no way Obama could knock a
Republican out of the White
House until at least 2012. But,
you’re right, this is just too
much, so let's find a nice balance
between reality and that fun little
dream I just had.
Pretend that not a whole lot
happens during Bush's presidency.
Instead of a Bush Doctrine that
threatens state sponsors of terror
ism with preemptive war. Bush
mandates that all hamburgers
come with complimentary fries.
Instead of suspending habeas
corpus, he petitions Congress to
pass the Siesta Act. protecting
working Americans' right to nap
between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Instead of the nightmarish
assault on civil rights, human
rights, social justice, scientific
progress and competent gov
ernment that our country has
endured since Bush took office,
the last eight years could be
summed up with a bored shrug.
But even in this scenario.
Obama doesn’t get in. The
unparalleled national outrage
and desire for change that have
fueled Democratic campaigns for
the last two years don't exist in
this America, so why should any
one believe in this obscure, very
liberal first-term senator?
Obama's indebtedness to Bush
might seem bizarre, but candi
dates who pledge to fix their pre
decessors' mistakes are nothing
new. Franklin Roosevelt blasted
Herbert Hoover in 1932. Ronald
Reagan humiliated Jimmy Carter
in 1980.
So Obama and Democrats
everywhere should thank
President Bush for making their
jobs so much easier at least in
the electioneering department.
Unfortunately, the actual task
of repairing the damage Bush
has inflicted on our country
and world is beyond daunting
and will require the efforts of
Americans who are as brave and
brilliant as our president has
proved foolish and small.
But only upon accomplish
ing that task might come a time
when we can all say, without
sneering irony:
“Thank you, Mr. President"
EDITORIAL CARTOON By Don Wright, Palm Beach Post
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Land grab to help town
University Square purchase shows forward thinking
For UNC Chancellor James
Moeser and Chapel
Hill Mayor Kevin Foy,
University Square-Granville
Towers is a fixer-upper.
The University announced
June 13 that it will purchase
the property with the intention
of giving it a serious face-lift.
Specifically, the space will be
purchased by the UNC-Chapel
Hill Foundation manager of
UNC's endowment and non
public funds for $45.75 mil
University Square-
Granville Towers could be a
valuable acquisition for UNC
and. if handled well, could
stimulate business in Chapel
Hill, as well as improve park
Most of Franklin Street is
lined with highlv-visible, eas
ilv-accessible stores, but the
University Square establish
ments sit back from the street,
with some facing Granville
Water too cold for Heels
far Heel trios return a boon for Carolina, NCAA
Tar Heel fans held their
breath June 16 as they
w aited for the official
announcements from Wayne
Ellington, Danny Green
and TV Lawson about where
they'll be playing basketball
when fall rolls around.
First there was a sigh of
relief. Then there was a shout
of celebration.
Remarkably, all three play
ers y anked their names from
the NBA Draft pool and
decided to suit up the blue
and white for Roy Williams
next season.
.After testing the waters, they
found the NBA undesirable
at least for now.
Talk about a momentum
After falling to Kansas
in the NCAA Final Four,
it seemed UNC could lose
multiple players to the NBA,
including superstar Tyler
When Ellington, Green and
Lawson declared for the draft,
the light-blue faithful braced
for the worst.
Instead, the Tar Heels
R. Kelly played the system
High-power legal team a detriment to justice
Something is wrong with
R. Kelly.
Anyone who’s ever
watched the cinematic fiasco
“Trapped in the Closet’ the
pop singers 22-chapter “hip
hopera" knows this for cer
If you’re not convinced,
consider this Kanye West-style
“I'm the (Muhammad) Ali
of today. I'm the Marvin Gave
of today. I’m the Bob Marlev of
today. I'm the Martin Luther
King, or all the other greats
that have come before us. And
a lot of people are starting to
realize that now."
But perhaps that insanity
was a product of pressure.
For the last six years, Kelly
has been facing trial for 14
Asa result, shops such as
Ken s Quickie Mart and Peacock
Alley are not as firmly planted
in students' collective knowl
edge as those that open right
onto the curb.
Those establishments defi
nitely would benefit from relo
And though University
Square stands as a unique
oasis among the hustle and
bustle of Franklin Street, a
new look would bring vibran
cy to a significant chunk of
Chapel Hill.
Further, the space could help
ease the parking woes that have
consistently frustrated area
Moeser indicated a desire to
build a parking deck behind the
University Square stores an
unattractive but desperately
needed project
Yet the most encouraging
aspect of this purchase is that
will return almost the entire
team (except transfer Alex
Stepheson and graduate
Quentin Thomas) and will
pile on several promising new
recruits to an already-stacked
Needless to say, they will
be the preseason favorites to
cut down the nets at the 2009
Final Four.
And while the rest of the
NCAA field is wincing think
ing about how good Carolina
will be, they should stop for a
moment and be thankful for
the decisions.
The return of Ellington,
Green and Lawson means
UNC will be dominant again,
But it means something
more important for college
basketball as a whole.
Their decision to come back
stands as an admirable exam
ple for the rest of the NCAA.
More and more, players
have been jumping ship from
their college teams so they can
earn the big bucks at the next
And no one surviving on
counts of child pornography
namely, for supposedly
being videotaped committing
lewd acts with his 13-vear-old
He could have been jailed
for 15 years if convicted.
But on June 13, a jury found
him not guilty of all 14 counts,
and Kelly was heard thanking
Jesus and weeping.
Sadly, Kellys superstar legal
team managed to manipulate
the judicial system in a man
ner that should disturb us all.
“I’m disappointed, but that’s
the way it goes when you have
money," one of the prosecu
tion’s main witnesses said after
the conclusion of the trial.
The defense employed a
delay strategy, apparently
exploiting the appearance
it shows that the University
and the town understand that
cooperation will benefit both
After all, their fates are for
ever intertwined.
For UNC, improved business
and parking on Franklin Street
will draw students and faculty
to campus —and keep them
And for the town, a thriv
ing University community will
benefit area business, tourism
and recognition.
Moeser and Foy understand
they must plan for future
growth through deals such as
this one.
But. as of now. their plan lacks
details —a fact that does not
inspire confidence. Aside from
the parking deck proposal, few
other specifics were offered.
.And. crucially, planners must
be pressured to accommodate
residents’ suggestions and con
cerns as thev come in.
less than $1 million can blame
Predictably, this exodus has
drained loads of talent from
college basketball.
It also appears that the 19-
year-old age limit will not sig
nificantly alter this new bas
ketball reality.
This year, it’s projected by that the top
seven picks will be college
freshmen. And last year wasn’t
much different, with Kevin
Durant and Greg Oden leav
ing after a single year.
For the NCAA to thrive as
something more than a one
year launching pad, it needs
players motivated by the
desire to compete and win
championships at this level
—and to get a quality educa
The skill of players such as
Ellington, Green and Lawson
makes college basketball worth
It wasn’t an easy decision for
them (after all. it pushed right
up against the deadline), but
for the ACC and the NCAA, it
was a great one.
change that the alleged victim
would undergo in the 10 years
following the production of the
They also floated theories
about a conspiracy against
Kelly and argued that the tape
did not actually show the pop
star because the figure in the
tape did not have a mole on
his back.
Jury members interviewed
afterward believed Kelly was
on the tape, but they were not
convinced that the girl was the
23-year-old woman they saw
in court.
Money talks.
It’s a shame that our legal
system can be played so effec
tively by wealthy parties.
Something's wrong with
“You can watch at home like
Grandpa watches baseball but
you U just fall asleep
Due to space constraints, letters are sometimes cut. Read the full-length
versions online at the letters blog, or post your own response to a letter.
DTH shouldn't have run
letter from Gheen, ALIPAC
The Daily Tar Heel inspired
vivid dreams last night.
Waking from a deep sleep, I had
the sensation that I’d been pre
scribed anew medication called
"homeland." It was a pill designed
by Michael Chertoff to have spe
cific tranquilizer effects for those
who get too agitated by what they
see going on around them.
What was it that set me off?
It was a letter to the editor from
William Gheen, of the Americans
for Legal Immigration Political
Action Committee. Not only
is Mr. Gheen allowed to quote
himself at length, he uses inflam
matory and hateful language to
describe and smear immigrants
who are undocumented.
In doing so, he stokes the fear
and xenophobia against immi
grants that Lou Dobbs. Glenn
Beck and others have been cre
ating on cable news.
ALIPAC is an organization
dedicated to the persecution and
demonization of immigrants.
They push a harsh punitive
agenda and nothing more.
If the DTH chooses to publish
letters from such hate groups in
the future, I hope the editors
will carefully edit them and
remove such offensive phrases
as “destructive human tsunami."
A student newspaper should not
have lower journalistic standards
than other newspapers.
As my dream-iaspired tranquil
izers wore off last night, I realized
it was more like a nightmare and
threw away those little pills!
Altha Cravey
Associate Professor
Tim Russert: Thanks for 17
years of 'Meet the Press'
I was halfway through graduate
school when 1 started watching
“Meet the Press." 1 was completing
a master's degree in public admin
istration with the intention of run
ning for Cleveland City Council in
1993. In the 17 .wars since, 1 have
never missed a show and have
always been awestruck by the
method used by Tim Russert to
question his guests.
Tim portrayed a level of inten
sity that never appeared intimidat
ing but yet kept everybody's atten
tion focused on what was really
important. He was businesslike
but nice. He cared not just about
the issues of the day but those he
interviewed as well. “Meet the
Press" was never about attacking
someone but rather getting to the
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflea the opinions
of the Daily Tar Heel or its staff Editorials are the opinions solely of The Daily Tar Heel
editorial board. It consists of editorial board members, the opinion editor and the summer
editor The 2008 summer editor decided not to vote on the board
ahr Doily ear Brrl
heart of what they believed based
upon what they would say.
Tim was not only a great father
but a great son as well. He truly
loved his family. He also loved his
extended family: the citizens of
the United States of America To
all of us he will be remembered as
a brother making as adopted sons
and daughters of “Big Russ." Tim
set an incredible example for all of
us by living his Catholic faith.
Here was a man of virtue who
always maintained dignity and
respect for his fellow citizen. He
fought the good fight and has
finished the race. We are over
whelmed with sadness at his
sudden departure but will never
forget what he did while he was
among us. Our lives must strive
to set similar examples. Today
and tomorrow we shall mourn
him but the next day and the day
after we shall miss him. Thank
you, Tim. We love you.
Joe Biulek
Cleveland. Ohio
Congress to blame for the
soaring price of U.S. fuels
The U.S. Congress is respon
sible for the high gas and other
fuel prices. The destructive trade
agreements Congress enacted
transferred U.S. jobs and pros
perity to foreign countries.
Millions of U.S. workers were
devastated when their jobs went
to other countries; they lost their
livelihood, health coverage and
some of their pension. The success
they once had was given to for
eigners by Congress. Foreigners'
prosperity has increased their use
and demand for gas and other
fuels. Congress' trade agreements
brought about global trade, which
is driving up gas prices.
There is plenty of oil off U.S.
shores and in Alaska. Drilling
there would bring down the price
of gas, but Congress will not allow
oil companies to drill there or to
build new oil refineries. When
Congress ran the Alaska oil pipe
line. they said .America would not
haw to depend on foreign oil any
more. The Democratic-controlled
Congress deceived Americans
again. Congress has left Americans
at the mercy of foreign oil.
The U.S. Constitution directs
the government to “promote the
general Welfare" of U.S. citizens.
The Congress has violated this
section of the Constitution.
James R. Hardy
Hillsborough, N.C.
The June sth editorial, “Don 't
force public service." incorrectly
states that the community service
bill applies to students enrolled
after 2012. The bill actually
applies to all students graduating
after January 1,2012. The Daily
Tar Heel ajxilogizes fttr the error.
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