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Where’s my slice of the bailout pie?

Citizen Staff Writer

Judy Carlock catches us up on the week’s news – laced with attitude.

Are we bailed out yet? I keep counting zeroes, lopping them off and arriving at the same conclusion: $700 billion – 700 followed by nine zeroes – divided by 300 million Americans means every man, woman and child in the United States is supposed to fork over $2,300 to avert bank collapse and a long, deep depression.

I can see it. The phony Main Street vs. Wall Street ignores the reality that we all live in the same economy, one that depends on paper retaining an agreed-upon value. Wouldn’t matter if it were gold: That, too, has an agreed-upon value. The only really safe investment may be guns and ammo, which is what’s left when the social contract falls apart.

You want to see that soufflĂ© collapse? I don’t.

Still, when the dust settles, I want my piece of the pie. If that turns out to be 6 square feet of overpriced real estate in downtown Detroit – I’ll take it.

BE AFRAID: What planet do University of Arizona faculty members live on? They spoke Wednesday of a “climate of fear” surrounding the admittedly scary-sounding UA Transformation Plan.

A proposal from UA President Robert N. Shelton and the provost calls for drastically cutting administrative costs by centralizing business and administrative processes among colleges and departments.

Most academic units have their own business and administrative staff, according to Tucson Citizen coverage of Wednesday’s meeting.

Professor Ute Lotz Heumann spoke against such consolidations, citing his experience in Germany.

“I believe that you will find within five years, if you have these centralized units, faculty will be doing their own work,” he said.

Well, yeah. And plenty of professionals have found themselves doing clerical work to deal with cost-cutting. Even at the Citizen.

You want to know about fear, work for an afternoon newspaper.

LIFE IN THE BIKE LANE: Two fatal bicycling collisions, one that killed a 14-year-old boy, were in the news this week. Kevin Barajas-Robinson was hit on his way to school by an Amphitheater Public Schools bus. His mother seeks $15 million from the Amphi district.

The bus driver wasn’t cited in that case, and neither was the driver of a Saturn in the Sept. 27 death of George Goode, 46, on North First Avenue.

Bicyclists might as well assume they’re invisible, even when they have the right of way. In a collision with a car, let alone a school bus, the bike riders will always lose.

It’s not fair. It’s physics.

A HEARTBEAT AWAY? Vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin had at it in a debate Thursday and, as with John McCain and Barack Obama, no embarrassing gaffes gave the mainstream media anything to cackle about.

Dignified debates may not make for sizzling TV, but along with newscasters offering (some) post-event fact-checking, viewers get information along with the party politics and prattling pundits.

I’ll take either slate, if we can just move up the inauguration.

FUN AT THE FIREHOUSE: Sigh. The city fire chief heads a big bureaucracy, so I guess it matters how he feels about the rights of transgender people. But before I read this week’s article, it never occurred to me to question a firefighter’s sexuality.

Like, someone’s about to save my life and I’ll worry whether their plumbing is original equipment?

I call 911, I’ll take what I get. And trust he or she is the best person for the job.

Judy can be reached at 573-4608 or jcarlock@tucsoncitizen.com.

For more on these stories, go to www.tucsoncitizen.com.

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