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Americans are an undoubtedly wasteful people, and much of this wastefulness has manifested itself in what has seemingly become an era of disposability and convenience. Food is cheaper in the United States than it is in most other places in the world, which may seemingly contribute to an ungrateful attitude with regard to it. Considering how easy it is to get, it is reasonable to say that Americans are rather picky about what they eat and the way it looks. For example, if an apple has a small bruise on it, most Americans might just throw it away rather than suffer discomfort from consuming it. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that supermarkets dispose of approximately $15 billion worth of unsold fruits and vegetables each year. Additionally, between 30 and 40 percent of the food supply in the U.S. per year is wasted — or approximately $160 billion worth. To boot, food waste is the largest contributor to America’s landfills and the third largest source of methane in the United States — which is important to note because of methane’s harsh impact on the atmosphere. Combined with all of the other things so conveniently disposed of, such as paper, plastic plates and utensils, the amount of garbage the United States generates is alarming.
On April 5, the Sex and the City column of The Daily Targum criticized “Love, Simon.” The movie, the column claimed, showed a simplistic view of coming out. The parents were too perfect. The movie did not explore the ramifications of a closeted life fully enough. Furthermore, the column argued that the movie failed to include an LGBT female character. Because of this, the writer seemed to claim the movie failed as LGBT representation.
During the winter of the 1970-71 school year, a small group of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity brothers sat in an apartment on Easton Avenue looking for something to do that would be fun, challenging and valuable to the community-at-large. Inspired in part by the recent 1969 movie “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” we decided to organize a dance marathon and chose the American Cancer Society (ACS) as the beneficiary. The local ACS chapter blessed us with the invaluable mentoring and hard work of its community volunteers Sandy and Lyn Nacht.
LOVE NOT HATE
On March 30, thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip participated in a “March of Return” declaring the right, recognized by international law, of refugees to return to their homes following displacement. In the case of Palestinian refugees, there were most notably approximately 700,000 displaced in 1948 with the establishment of the settler-colonial state of Israel in what is known as the Nakba, with an additional 300,000 displaced Palestinians in 1967 during the Six-Day War. These figures fail to consider Palestinians who were made refugees over the course of the past 70 years as a result of bombing campaigns on civilian populations or the Palestinians driven to other countries due to the everyday hardships under Israeli occupation, such as evictions, disproportionate arrests, segregated roads, checkpoints and what the Israeli Security Barrier dubbed the Apartheid Wall.
On March 30, the Senate passed a bill allowing states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers that perform abortions, ending a President Barack Obama-era precedent that prohibited states from denying funds from these organizations. Understandably, this has caused a feud between the Democrats and Republicans. Democrats criticized the measure as an attack on women’s rights. Republicans defended the decision as a way to defer power to the states to decide where to allocate the funds.
Cardi B, the artist well-known for the incredibly popular song “Bodak Yellow,” has taken part in initiating engagement in a competition between colleges nationwide. The competition is in partnership with Tinder, a dating application, and involves a “swipe off” where the school with the most right swipes will get a free concert. The 32 schools still alive after the second round of the competition were announced Monday, and Rutgers made the cut. Today we found out if we are still in the running, as the 16 schools with the least right swipes will be cut from the list. While this competition is all in good fun and is a light-hearted, and frankly funny, way to go about scoring a concert by one of the country’s most famous artists, winning might actually hold more weight for Rutgers than some would think.
Recently, the movie "Love, Simon" came out, produced by some of the same people who produced "The Fault in Our Stars," an adaptation of John Green’s hugely popular YA novel. "Love, Simon" is not dissimilar to many teen-centered romcoms of today, except for the fact that the main character, Simon, is gay. The film is considered the first major film produced specifically for teens, which centers around a gay character’s journey in regard to his sexuality — and while this achievement is awesome and seeing characters who are not straight on screen is great, it seems worthwhile to consider how a gay narrative exists in the style of a teenage love story, which, when is seen on-scene, is usually saturated in heterosexuality.
The advanced nature of American healthcare garners a good deal of attention from political and economic disciplines regarding the system and its evolution over time. We place importance on being able to cure and treat illnesses in order to preserve our extended life expectancy. In 2016, the United States alone spent an astounding $3.3 trillion on health care. But, as remarkable as this all may sound, it simply reveals that America is in the business of “sick care” rather than being in the business of “health care.” As a society, we are better equipped to treat a disease that has already developed rather than preventing it altogether — and that needs to change. This does not necessarily need to be done through political or economic means just yet, because a substantial impact could be made simply by educating Americans on the causes behind numerous manmade diseases that could be cured through changes in lifestyle, diet and exercise habits and making information readily available on how to implement those changes.
About a month ago, letters began flurrying into communities in the United Kingdom encouraging people to scare and commit violence against Muslims, which eventually spread into the United States. “Punish a Muslim Day” was essentially a game intended to be carried out yesterday, according to the letter, and people would receive “points” for harming Muslims. For example, a person would get 10 points for “verbally abusing a Muslim," 100 points for “beating up a Muslim," 500 points for “murdering a Muslim” and 1,000 for “bombing a mosque." These are only a few of the hateful and horrible suggestions in the letter.
At the GAYpril kickoff event with Lena Waithe on Monday night, Waithe was pressed to respond to the anonymous allegation Babe published against Aziz Ansari and how that affects the quality and perception of their Netflix original series “Master of None.” Waithe said there should not be any effect. She then gave examples of “The Cosby Show” and Whitney Houston, and how the people who create art and media should then be able to be separated from it. This reminded me of a big question in my current art history seminar class that has been debated by the fathers of art history, philosophers and connoisseurs alike: How much do you consider the life of an artist in the evaluation of the quality of their art?
The best thing a human can do for themselves is to heal from within. Healing takes time, patience, hard work, new mentalities and positivity. Self-help is crucial, but why are self help books looked upon so negatively within our society? Why is it weak of someone to read a book that discusses disorders and issues one might have? The stigma versus self-help books within the United States is absurd and must reduce immediately. Self-help books can help someone feel empowered, can help someone break down an underlying issue or trauma they faced in the past and regressed from their memory and it can lead to positive thinking and meditation.
Klansman robes were notably lacking at last August’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, V.A. — instead, many of the white supremacists marching sported oddly presentable outfits, such as khakis and polos. Swastikas, other hate symbols, shaved heads and belligerent behavior are now seemingly relics of white supremacy’s past in the United States. These groups are beginning to rebrand themselves, focusing on education and appearance so as to be taken more seriously in the public eye. The de-robing of hate displays a rather interesting progression in the evolution of white supremacy in this nation. While white supremacists used to keep their identities hidden under hoods, they are now markedly outspoken.
Technology has been a saving grace. From unlimited access to your loved ones regardless of distance, to using Facebook as a tool to notify everyone of your survival from a natural disaster, there is no doubt that technology has increased our ways of communicating in a way that makes us forget that carrier pigeons and landlines were ever a thing.
A lot can happen in three years. A newborn baby can develop into a toddler. A couple can find one another and get married. A student can complete their master's degree and another may graduate. A lot of growth and development occurs to a person at an individual scale, imagine what an entire country can go through in that amount of time. Last Sunday, March 25, marked the end of the third and the beginning of a fourth year since the war in Yemen began. The war started with sudden airstrikes on the 25th, and the civilians were shocked and hoped that it would pass in a couple hours, those hours turned into weeks, which turned into months, which finally turned into years.
In 2014, an invitation extended to former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Conodoleezza Rice to speak at the University’s commencement was met with zealous backlash. Students and faculty protested the invitation for a month before Rice finally pulled out of the ceremony, at points staging a sit-in outside of University President Robert L. Barchi’s office demanding Rice’s disinvitation and interrupting a senate meeting to question Barchi’s passivity with regard to their demands. The main line of reasoning behind their doing so was embedded in Rice’s involvement in what they deemed as former President George W. Bush’s administration’s war crimes and the devastating invasion of Iraq.
Over the weekend, the world witnessed a large-scale riot along Gaza’s border with Israel. Armed gunmen and terrorists attacked the security fence, attempting to breach it, as Israeli forces were the targets of a mass assault with gunfire, bombs, burning tires, stones and chaos. Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip, made clear its intention to draw mobs of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, with embedded Hamas terrorists, to the border. Hamas sanctimoniously declared this bloody violence over the weekend a so-called peaceful “March of Return,” just one of Hamas’ many nefarious attempts at using innocent Palestinians as human shields for its operations of terror.
On Tuesday, March 27, Rutgers held its presidential symposium with the goal of “Fighting Hate While Preserving Freedom." This year’s panelists consisted of former attorney generals and chief justices as well as distinguished professors, deans, directors, members of the Anti-Defamation League and leaders of several religious communities. Each speaker shared his or her best practices to combat hate, while still preserving the First Amendment. With a rise in the rate of hate speech and hate crime on college campuses in the United States, this conversation could not have occurred at a better time. After networking with experts on the topic and learning their best practices, members of the Rutgers community were ultimately able to load their tool belts and toolkits with the best tools our country’s leaders have to offer to help alleviate a national problem.
LOVE FOR MEN’S LAX
As witnesses to the atrocities of the Syrian crisis, it is crucial to raise this simple question: Does anybody have a plan? A real plan, beyond self-interest and maintaining alliances? A real plan that actually ends this international war subjecting Syrian civilians to torment and abuse?