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Something for everyone

Daniel Scarpinato
By Daniel Scarpinato
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
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The holidays are here, and gift-givers still have a few weeks to find a present for that special someone. Two thousand and three was full of winners and losers. So, December is the time for some to cash in on what's owed to them and others to show some kindness to their fellow men in spite of their mistakes.

Below are a list of the deserving and some gifts that might be appropriate this season.

  • A Caribbean cruise
    To: Campus activists
    From: The student body

    Campus activists worked hard this year to find an issue to spin around their extreme leftist ideology. Unfortunately, they couldn't find a thing.

    It was obvious at a campus "forum" early in the semester that UA's anarchical leaders were desperate as they dug up dead, ancient non-issues and slammed the university for ignoring them.

    All the crying looked more like an attempt for certain activist figures on campus to retain some kind of credibility, which none of them really ever had in the first place.But one group in particular, Students Against Sweatshops (which is no longer about students or sweatshops) did at one time have the ears of administrators and the campus community.

    Unfortunately, the group decided to argue about prisons instead and adopt tactics that put them even further outside the mainstream than they already were.

    For those of us here long enough to remember when campus activists had a little bit of latitude, the thought of them vanishing all together is a sad loss of nostalgia. After all, regardless of their unconventional views, this hard-working group is one of the most spirited and relentless on campus.

    Alas, times do change, and why not say "bon voyage" to the radical left in style.

    Maybe an exotic Caribbean cruise will give these folks a chance to relax for once. Or for those sad to say goodbye, it might serve as a chance for them to plot another comeback.

  • Head to toe makeover
    To: Peter Likins
    From: The Fab Five

    The only thing more fearless than President Likins is his dated wardrobe - obviously not modernized since his days at Lehigh, or heaven forbid, since UCLA.

    Nevertheless, with a little style and a lot less hair dye, Likins could be the talk of town.

    The man's had a stressful year. He dealt with the College of Nursing shootings, attempted to trim back programs through the very clever Focused Excellence public relations campaign and came under fire for renaming the Economics building after a union leader.

    But considering that Likins is one of the most powerful people in the state, he should invest in a style that reflects it.

    The men of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" could do wonders for this man, tossing out his double-breasted suits with kitty-cat ties and transforming his Kachina-infested Southwestern-style office into a sleek and sophisticated urban loft.

    Just don't let the campus activists get a hold of him. They're likely to model Likins' style after Napoleon.

    Still, even without a makeover, Likins is far more hip than his counterparts at ASU and NAU. While definitely not the John F. Kennedy of the UA, his high popularity and compelling public stature could make him Arizona's version of Ronald Reagan.

  • A pass at elimination
    To: The School of Planning
    From: Peter Likins

    Considering the life-changing makeover Likins should get this holiday season, it would only be fair that he and Provost George Davis spare the School of Planning from the bloody budget-cut sword.

    The program cut has become one of the last surviving elements of Focused Excellence. But since all the other cuts and changes were more or less thrown out of door, administrators should hand this important program a free pass.

    Planning is important to the future of Tucson and is still bringing in substantial fiscal contributions through grants.

    So why not just admit the program has value? Could it be that Likins and Davis are afraid that dropping the cut would kill Focused Excellence's legacy? The media blew the campaign up so much in the news that it would look like a giant failure, or worse yet, some kind of demented PR scam.

  • A veto
    To: American taxpayers
    From: George W. Bush

    The federal government is now spending $20,000 a year on each American household, a substantial increase from the Clinton years. President Bush has increased spending in nearly every category, particularly on entitlement programs that do little good.

    Since taking office, the president has yet to veto one spending bill. Sept. 11 is to blame, the administration says.

    But Republicans used to call themselves the party of fiscal responsibility. And although the party's leaders will defend the spending 'til the troops come home, true economic conservatives are disappointed in the route Bush has taken for the economy.

    Maybe Bush will leave a nicely wrapped "veto" under the tree this year.

    Either way, Democrats will cash in on his recklessness next November.

    Daniel Scarpinato is a journalism and political science senior. He can be reached at

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