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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?
It is the year of 2018, and speaking more than one language has become an expectation rather than a fun fact to add on a resume. In a country as diverse as the United States, bilingualism is an extremely valuable skill that has engendered cultural awareness, adaptation and competition among all Americans. But, despite the convenience of using “bilingual” as an umbrella term to refer to people that speak two languages, it is essential to recognize the significant disparity between people who have simply learned a second language and people who have carried a language with them for generations. Individuals who fall under the latter category are subject to many more obstacles and are under significant pressure to protect their language and continue its legacy within their family lineage. What does this mean? People with immigrant parents and a culturally rich background are expected to maintain fluency in both English and their native language largely out of necessity rather than interest, unlike the individuals in the first category. When someone is born into a language, he or she is also born into an entire culture and community that is ingrained into their simultaneous American identity. That being said, many bilingual people face a set pattern of obstacles during their journey of cultural identification — the consequences can be summed up with either disposing of one of the languages in order to be fully immersed into that of residency, maintaining partial fluency in both languages or maintaining native fluency in both languages. The most unfortunate consequence is the disposal of one language, which is generally one’s native language. There are many individuals who cannot speak their native language despite their parents not knowing English or despite coming from a very culturally rich lifestyle, which is engendered by what can be called “the bilingual dilemma.”
As many have assumed in the past, it is becoming more apparent that the legalization of marijuana in New Jersey is inevitable. With Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) as governor, there are new changes to come with regard to the public’s use of the drug. The Bill S830 — one that would make the use and possession of low amounts of marijuana legal for those who are 21 and over — has been introduced by lawmakers. Murphy has also already announced that doctors in New Jersey can now recommend the use of medical marijuana to their patients, which could help people struggling with various issues — and considering the state’s opioid issue, we could use something less harmful to help with things like chronic pain. With the legalization of marijuana, especially for recreational use, will no doubt bring some worries, and the negative and positive consequences of marijuana’s legalization in this state are worth pondering.
In light of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco — where it was revealed that Facebook exposed the private data of 50 million people to a political consulting firm — many users have begun to question how easily their personal information can be exploited online. Trust in the social network dropped, and some have chosen to quit the platform altogether. But, what is particularly striking about the scandal is that it proved in the business of making money, if the product is free, you are the product.
What makes a democracy? If you ask people around the world, you would likely hear descriptions of a system in which the voices of a population are expressed through its politics, one where each person has a say and one where politicians are held accountable by voters via majority or plurality rule. These are very broad notions with many possible interpretations and structures, but democracy, in a way, is like pornography: you know it when you see it.
Anyone who lives in New Brunswick sees its rapid development firsthand. Mom-and-pop shops that once served the community have since been replaced by large and wealthy corporations and new buildings. The gentrification of cities does well to improve their aesthetic and infrastructure, but there are other consequences that go along with it. It may very well be worthwhile to examine the effect that the continued gentrification of New Brunswick will have on its community, including the Rutgers community.
In a local New Brunswick elementary school, a young girl’s tiny hands meticulously built the divisions she had seen outside her window. She resurrected the very same walls of hate she has seen permeate her world. It was Valentine's Day and all the second graders were rifling through their bags for their gifted sweets. Her sugary focus at the moment was on those lovely messages — “Be Mine,” “Miss you,” “Soul Mate” — which for her, had been smothered by a darker reality. I watched as she had taken out her small container of sweetheart candies and began separating the white hearts from the colored hearts. The white hearts had to be separated, she claimed. She said the white hearts did not like the colored candies, that they hated them. They did not care if the colored candies lived or died. They hated being around them without even taking the time to listen to what they had to say — “I love you,” “Me & You,” “Friend me.”
Hanging out with family is great, especially for us college students. After spending weeks at the residence hall avoiding them and their drag-you-off-the-bed-by-the-legs, “back-in-my-day” justification for everything, it is always nice to return home to the familiar dysfunctional monotony of your siblings’ whining, lectures on the dangers of weight gain and the sudden, suspiciously coincidental influx of chores.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, people have more freely and openly discussed the issue of sexual assault and harassment and the effect it has on so many people. These issues are deeply rooted in society, and public discussion of them is necessary to mitigate the problem. Nevertheless, it can go without saying that much more work is still needed. This fact was made obvious after recent happenings on American Idol, where one of the judges, Katy Perry, seemed to ignore the fact that women are not infallible with regard to committing unwarranted sexual advances.