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By Dan Cassino
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
April 14, 2000
Talk about this story

"Cuban Boy"

For months now, there has been a tendency in the news business to refer to poor little Elian Gonzalez as the "Cuban boy." But to do so is to deny the humanity that truly underlies the story of this poor child, trapped in a struggle far beyond his understanding, trapped in a life he never made. We have always referred to him as "Elian Gonzalez," to show that we cared, to show that the "Cuban boy" had a name.

Elian has now been here since Thanksgiving, and we're not even pretending anymore. This week, even "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" referred to him as "Cuban boy." When Jim Lehrer doesn't care about a topic anymore, we can be fairly certain that no one does. The American public just wants the whole thing to be over with, they just want Elian to go one way or the other - quickly.

How can we do this? The easiest way would be to just put him in the middle of the strait between Key West and Cuba, and let him swim where he wants. He'll swim to whichever side he loves best. Happy ending, close curtain, fade to black.

They're not really squatters then, are they?

Yesterday, the high court of Zimbabwe asked the squatters living on white-owned farms throughout the country to leave.

This is a serious issue. Zimbabwe was one of the more prosperous nations of Africa, and one of the few to make a successful transition into democracy. There was no really violent revolution, and so the whites in the country retained their control of the majority of the good farmland. For some reason, the people who don't have the good land have been rather upset and have been protesting the only way they know how.

For months, they have been sitting on the land of the white farmers, refusing to leave. They haven't really done anything violent; they've just sat there. Problem is, it's difficult to farm on land that has a bunch of people sitting on it. So, the land owners have been asking the government to give them a hand. And this is what happens. The high court asks the squatters to leave.

If a squatter leaves just because someone asks them to leave, they aren't really very good squatters. That's what being a squatter is all about. You stay there, and don't leave. Of course, in the interests of fairness, they probably should leave, but not just because someone asks them to. Come on. That's an insult to squatters everywhere.

Not paying attention

Yesterday, President Clinton said the most interesting thing of his very-lame duck period. When, in one of his increasingly rare news conferences, he was asked about a pardon for the crimes he has allegedly committed in office, he got very upset. He raised his voice at the reporters, telling them that he was not ashamed of his impeachment, and that he didn't want a pardon for his crimes. He claimed that he was prepared to face any court that wished to try him.

This has made headlines becuase everyone has assumed that Clinton would welcome a pardon. Certainly, it wouldn't cause too many political problems - most people just don't care- and it would save him a great deal of trouble. It would be a way to weasel out of his problems, and that seems to fit right in with Clinton's M.O.

However, this would require that Clinton have some remorse. And that would imply that he has some conception that he has done something wrong. He has never thought that he did something wrong, and never will think that he did something wrong. This is the basis of his character, and this is why we should not be surprised at his response.

Yes, Virginia, he is insane

A man who killed three people in a shooting, after lighting his house on fire, has been ruled mentally competent to stand trial. This means that, in some way, he is sane. Let's be clear and quick about this. If someone lights their own house on fire, and then shoots a number of people, they are insane. Sane people don't kill other people, because, in general, they are caught and stand trial. You would have to be insane to kill someone else without a good reason, and we all seem to ignore this. Of course, this raises the question: how insane would you have to be to shoot yourself at point blank range at a suburban junior high school and claim that a bald hispanic kid did it?

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