WINNERS AND HEROS
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WINNERS AND HEROS
Earlier this week, political commentator and notorious Facebook celebrity Tomi Lahren was suspended by The Blaze after she had appeared on The View and said she was pro-choice. Lahren, who has become famous for taking part in four-minute long rants on Facebook in which she complains and yells about various current events, most famously about Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the pledge of allegiance, was discussing politics on The View. When the topic of abortion came up, Lahren said that it was hypocritical to support limited government and be pro-life, stating that “I’m someone that is for limited government, so I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say … that I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies.” This was shocking — not just that someone on Glenn Beck’s payroll would sit at a panel with Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar and validate their views on abortion, but especially that Lahren would make this dramatic shift in opinion, after Lahren had called the pro-choice movement “baby killers” in a previous video three months earlier. After making these comments, Lahren was been suspended for a week by The Blaze and her Facebook show remains temporarily inactive. It is unclear how long Lahren will stay at The Blaze and although it was never explicitly stated why she was suspended, it is obvious why.
Throughout the year I have often used my column to voice my discontent with various aspects of the American political scene. Last year was a year of change and 2017 is shaping up to exhibit the tangible results of those changes. At this point, it is impractical to assert which direction our country is going in as a result of these changes. However, if someone turns on the news or talks to a politically-obsessed friend or colleague with strong inclinations, they may believe the world is burning. Although there have been many things that have confounded me about the election and the current administration, I do not buy into the partisan hysteria that is projected by the media onto the populace. From my perspective, partisan hysteria — a tactic used by both parties and channeled through the media — is merely a symptom of polarization, which I have written about extensively. Recent history shows the disruptive tactics used by Republicans to block worthwhile efforts by the previous administration, and today we see those same tactics being employed by Democrats against the current administration. Hypocrisy cuts both ways in politics.
Think back to when you were in the fifth grade. You were about 11 or 12 years old and you were very impressionable, like a sponge absorbing everything around you. You were exposed to things you had never learned before and your mind was expanding with new knowledge. Now imagine being that fifth grader, and upon learning about slavery, you were put on a fake auction block and "sold" off in a mock slave auction.
As Republican leadership seeks to pass and sign into law the first full federal budget since 1997, the White House waded into the discussion with a proposed discretionary spending plan last week. President Donald J. Trump and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney proposed a huge boost in defense spending and equally large cuts elsewhere in government. While this plan only covers about a third of the total budget it reveals the president’s misguided priorities that will harm the poor, the environment and American businesses.
A new ban akin to last month’s Muslim ban restricts passengers from bringing laptops, iPads or any device larger than a cell phone in a carry-on if flying to a list of the 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority nations. The list restricts laptops in carry-ons if traveling to airports in Cairo, Istanbul, Amman, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Kuwait City, Casablanca and Doha. Devices larger than cell phones can only be brought onto a plane in check-in bags, leading many to fear that the new order may cause greater harm in the case of a lithium battery catching on fire. The prospects of putting a fire out in the check-in luggage compartment put flights at greater risk. Yet there the administration has reason to believe that the laptop ban provides a necessary security measure in light of intelligence on the Islamic State group's plan in developing a bomb that can be stored in laptop batteries. Airlines have been given notice to comply before the end of this week. Both the United States and Great Britain are set on implementing the restriction, which would also apply to British airlines.
Rays of sunshine enter my living room early in the morning. It looks like it is going to be another sunny, warm day outside. Yet, the snow left over from last week remains. The weather seems to offer some perfect picnic days only to force us under our heavy coats the next day. Many attribute this to climate change as the averages of global temperatures are rising. It is a bittersweet type of sunshine, then, that we are allowed to enjoy these days. However, though the scientific reasoning behind the flip-flopping of weather is undoubtedly a call to take heed, I am primarily interested in the sense of instability and continuous change such weather makes us experience.
Women’s history is often sidelined to showcase the achievements of men, and this is never more true than in our nation’s schools. As a third culture kid, I attended a total of six schools in my life — some public, some private — and am saddened to admit that I can count the amount of lessons I received that were exclusively devoted to women’s history on one hand.
Being university students, any proposals or changes made to the Department of Education should be at the top of a list of concerns, and President Donald J. Trump’s plans for his 2018 fiscal spending proposal is definitely a concern.
With over 81 million videos on its site, YouTube has become the go-to medium for videos. Ranging from music videos to vlogs, YouTube is the hub for both copyrighted material as well as original content from everyday people. It has become another universal method of uniting people, and making the world seem like a smaller place.
In case you haven’t heard, Chance the Rapper won a few Grammys this year. His mixtape "Coloring Book" was the first streaming-only album to ever win a Grammy Award, and though his accomplishments are a win to independent artists everywhere, skeptics continue to point to his deal with Apple Music to discredit the rapper’s status as a true independent artist. Last Friday, Chance the Rapper revealed some of the specifics to his deal with Apple for exclusive rights to his mixtape "Coloring Book." His decision was based on the fact that “more people have tried to discredit my independence,” and he elaborates that Apple paid him $500,000 for exclusive rights for his mixtape for the first two weeks after its release, and after that period the album was available on sites like Soundcloud for free. And Chance is, in his unique way, a pioneer in hip-hop’s movement away from record labels and CDs and towards independent labels and internet streaming. Independent mixtape releases are the cornerstone of hip-hop, and they have existed long before Chance’s legacy. But mixtapes have always been seen as a way to eventually move up to signing onto a record label. Rappers like Kendrick Lamar, Flatbush Zombies and Logic have all gotten record deals after initially releasing mixtapes. But Chance the Rapper offers an alternative: He has proven that mixtapes don’t need to be reduced to a crutch for new artists. And he has proven that a mixtape can not only compete with albums, but they can win.
Child marriage is a global issue, one that spans from places in Asia, Africa and even here in the United States. Young girls are mainly the victims of child marriage, often forced to wed men twice their age. In Eastern cultures, families marry their young daughters off in hopes of gaining some kind of honor, or sometimes for financial reasons. If a family cannot afford to send the daughter to school, give her an education, or provide for her, in many cases she is married off as a solution. Sometimes it’s not just a solution, but their ultimate fate. In many societies, from the minute a young girl is born, she is destined to be someone’s wife.
Since its earliest-known case in 1959, HIV/AIDS has killed about 39 million people. And although this disease is universally known, not many people know exactly what HIV actually is. HIV is a virus that can lead to the infection that is called AIDS. AIDS, which is an acronym for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the actual condition that is developed after HIV causes damage to the immune system. But despite a large majority of people who are unaware of the true definition and difference between HIV and AIDS, it is no secret that this disease is dangerous. With AIDS being the eighth leading cause of death for people between the ages of 25 and 34, the gravity of its detrimental effects are not lost on anyone.
On Tuesday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow offered a surging viewership her legendary, crooked smile as she expressed, “For the record, the First Amendment gives us the right to publish this return. It is not illegally published. Nor are we fake. Pinch me, I’m real.” In a sardonically savvy, Maddow-esque manner, she raised her arm — cloaked in that signature black blazer — and pinched it.
College tuition has been growing at a tremendous rate for the past several decades. Average tuition rates from 1995 to 2015 at private national universities has grown 179 percent, 226 percent for out-of-state tuition at public universities, and 296 percent for in-state tuition. The national student loan debt currently sits at $1.48 trillion and growing. This has propelled calls for tuition-free public college from Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.). Clearly, there is a problem that needs to be addressed, but is taxpayer funded college really the solution? As P.J. O’Rourke said, “If you think health\care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.” Although he refers to healthcare in this quote, the same principle can be applied to college.
Ever since the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, the world has been waiting to see what women would do to follow up on the protest that seemed to foreshadow a movement. And with yesterday being International Women’s Day (also known as "Women's Day"), it seems as though the world may have gotten its answer.
Throughout President Donald J. Trump’s candidacy, and especially during his election as president, the issue of women’s rights has reached a critical point. It has become imperative for women to understand, solidify and fight for rights over their own reproductive systems. However, the White House has recently proposed to continue funding Planned Parenthood if it were to end its abortion services, and this is where it all implodes.
As children, for the millennial generation, opportunities were endless. Baby Boomers and those of Generation X, who created practical, financially secure lives, innately expected more from their children born within the years of 1980 and the mid-1990s. My parents fulfilled their lifelong goal — obtain careers that put food on the table and paid the bills. But they encouraged me to think hard and large about what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be the president, I wanted to be a lawyer and the sky was really the limit. Fortunately, engineering is what I landed on, and I’m grateful for their support. They wanted a lush lawn and encouraged me to not only want a lush lawn, too, but also a flourishing garden in terms of a life. What our parents’ generation didn’t foresee was the unprecedented and massive emergence and influence of technology in today’s world. Because there’s endless options available to us, alongside the flaunting of peers’ perfect lives online and many other contributing variables, millennials are in an interesting pickle.
The female sexuality is under attack. And this attack was partly concentrated within the United States Marine Corps and its recent scandal.
On Sunday, committed partisan Democrats and retirees watched the ceremonial changing of the guard at the District National Convention (DNC). Tom Perez, former secretary of labor and assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and now the biggest sleaze in Democratic politics since the fall of John Podesta, former counselor to former President Barack Obama, was elected to succeed Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chair of the Democratic National Committee. Although this election was not as exciting, or surprising, as the 2016 election, there were many supporters of Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (D-5) that were shocked at the 235-200 voting outcome. Ellison was seen as the frontrunner to be the next leader of the Democrats after the fall of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and had racked up many impressive endorsements. Those who rallied behind Ellison included Georgia Rep. John Lewis (D-5), Hawaiian Rep. Tulsi Gubbard (D-2), Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and even Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). It would be a reasonable assumption to think that all of these high-profile endorsements would send a signal that the Democratic Party was ready for a change. It would seem that they were ready for a change away from the Democratic establishment, and a move towards Bernie Sanders’ utopianism. But even these party celebrities couldn’t save Ellison from his troubling past.