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President Donald J. Trump and his administration have seemed to give opponents of former President Barack Obama’s administration another thing to cheer about after Wednesday night. The Trump administration revoked protections for transgender students who wish to use bathrooms and facilities that resemble their gender identity. This decision was done despite the announcements by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who said she would protect the rights of transgender students, then had to choose between defying the president and ignoring her instinct, and ended up doing the latter. But others did not stay as quiet.
In a sermon delivered by Pope Francis on Thursday, the patently liberal pontiff chastised his Christian constituents for “saying one thing and doing another.” He emphasized the duplicity of leading a “double life,” one that is manifested by adherence to religious doctrines, but failure to apply religious values like tolerance, honesty and probity to daily experiences. His opprobrium was grand in magnitude as he conveyed “to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.”
President Donald J. Trump, at a rally in Florida last Saturday, seemed to mistakenly reference a terrorist attack that occurred in Sweden the previous night. He said, “We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening in Germany. You look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they're having problems like they never thought possible.” This statement was then mocked by the media and the Swedish themselves, as there was no reported incident the night prior to this speech. Trump clarified himself, stating that he was referencing a segment from Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News that involved Carlson interviewing Ami Horowitz, a media personality, about the immigration situation in Sweden.
MEETING ON MENTAL HEALTH
Earlier this month, inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Delaware took four correctional officers hostage. Sadly, their actions resulted in the death of Sgt. Steven Floyd Sr.
Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences students understand the necessary balance between the humanities and the Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) field. So if college students can comprehend the importance of this balance, it is hard to imagine why a presidential administration is struggling with the idea of this concept.
“I am not my brother’s keeper.”
“Siri!” and “Hey Google … ” are a few of the many phrases that inevitably became a part of our daily vocabulary because of the devices available. Amazon with the Amazon Echo, Google with their phones and Google Home, Apple with Siri and the Apple Watch (which does a lot more than just tell time) and all generations of the Apple phones, toy manufacturers, designers and various industries are quickly pushing the limits in terms of technological capabilities. But what we, the people who constantly take advantage of the perks of these products, have to do is not only have open arms for these products but critically evaluate the pros and cons of each device. There are difficult questions that need answers — How far is too far when it comes to technological advancements with respect to everyday convenience? How much are people willing to give up for this incredible and futuristic way of living? Of the many things that are lost in adopting Google Home and Alexa, one that should be of utmost concern is privacy. The technology industry has done an impeccable job of forecasting and delivering the demands the market has had in the last decade or two, however, the technology produced has not made our lives necessarily easier.
Something out of the ordinary occurred between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald J. Trump. Recently, the Russian president has called upon his staffers and diplomats to put together a psychological dossier on Trump. Normally, it would be nothing uncommon for a nation’s leader to be briefed on another leader they before they meet, especially the U.S. president. But conducting a psychological report is not usually part of the protocol. So why the dossier? The Russian government claims that it is due to Trump’s performance over the past few months, but does this really call for a full psychological analysis?
Children are the very foundation of our communities and society. Our families welcome children every year — we nurture, care for, teach and love them with the hope that they will develop into happy, healthy and well-informed members of the world. Despite the unfortunate reality that many children do not have this supportive foundation, our communities should be able to step up to ensure that all children can thrive and meaningfully contribute to society as a whole. But in far too many states, including New Jersey, the cost of raising a child tells a concerning story of income and wealth inequality, segregation, personal financial hardship and economic stagnation.
With former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hopefully out of the political scene for good, it has seemed that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been auditioning to be Clinton’s heir apparent, and for the role of president of the United States. I have long been a critic of the senior senator from Massachusetts, and I don’t plan on changing that stance just because we have an unintelligible person in the White House. If you have just recently begun to follow Warren’s career, then you either think one of two things. You either believe she is a champion of leftist politics, or you believe her to be a major political annoyance — I prefer the latter, but let us delve into the former. Warren has had a field day with President Donald J. Trump in the White House and so has everyone on the left. Before Trump was even in office, Warren would take to social media at any given chance to deliver a sloppy rebuke of whatever she believed the Republicans or Trump had done. She had gotten away with a lot during these past few months, but Warren was hit with a large dose of reality the other day.
A lot of Rutgers students rely on the train to get to home and back. Being affordable and convenient, sites of train stations become popular areas with high volumes of people. If you have ever sat down to wait for a train amongst these crowds of people, you have probably noticed that there are some homeless people who inhabit these areas. But this might not be the case anymore at Penn Station in Newark.
Looking back on the election cycle when the Democrats failed to recapture the majority in both chambers of Congress and lost the White House to a millionaire real estate tycoon, President Donald J. Trump, it is clear that the party needs to be significantly restructured. If the party wants to regain the faith of the American people, new leadership needs to step up and steer the party’s focus away from the donors and toward grassroots organizing. The working class of the country needs to be involved in the political process. Presidential and congressional elections are important, but it is imperative that all citizens participate in local and state elections as well. New Jersey will be making a key decision on Nov. 7 when the state will elect a candidate to replace Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), who has been in office for seven years now and only has an 18 percent approval rating to show for it. Needless to say, the Democratic nominee will have a great opportunity to occupy the New Jersey State House in 2018.
With the publication of false terror incidents, the attacks on “fake” news outlets and rants on baseless yet inflammatory claims the man in the Oval Office insists on perpetuating, it seems as though President Donald J. Trump will stop at nothing to constantly put non-white straight, Christian males in a negative light. As unfortunate as the leader of the free world invalidating almost two-thirds of the country’s population is, it is a sad reality we’ll have to deal with for the next four years. Luckily, I’ve managed to round up some useful tips and tricks to help us get through this difficult time, mostly sane and maybe in one piece.
It is not uncommon for people to dislike the press — especially those who have political influence. The press is constantly pushing for more information and is the source behind any news that may negatively affect the image of politicians. President Donald J. Trump, known for criticizing the press, took it upon himself to publicly denounce news outlets via his favorite way of addressing the citizens of the United States of America — Twitter.
Fear, anxiety, infections, trauma and even death are faced by tens of millions of women around the world. The root of the distress is none other than female genital mutilation (FGM), also referred to as female circumcision. Worldwide, there are close to 200 million females who are current survivors of the practice, and an additional 3 million girls under the age of 15 are mutilated annually, with 6,000 girls worldwide mutilated every day. Half of these numbers come solely from Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia, and the highest prevalence rate of mutilation for girls aged 14 and younger is found in Indonesia, Gambia and Mauritania. The act has been practiced for the past 2000 years, but has slowly started dying out in the more urbanized regions, as it is an outdated practice. Female genital mutilation has no actual formal basis in religion, but is still practiced due to social and cultural pressures. FGM is still the norm in many third-world countries and several countries such as Egypt make it an unofficial requirement for women to go under the knife to “pass” into womanhood. Along similar contexts, in many countries, FGM is a requirement for marriage — a proof of the girl’s purity. It is society’s way of ensuring that the girl will remain “chaste.” Girls are told to shy away from expressing their sexuality or showing promiscuity, while the community is accepting of males doing so. It’s ridiculous because it forces women to be submissive of this lifestyle. Surprisingly, a woman's socio-economic status plays no role in the circumcision. So a woman has no say and is excommunicated if she refuses submission for the mutilation and this has generated the marginalization and stigmatization of uncut females, forcing them to live their lives in shame. This idea of “purity” is so deeply embedded in their cultures, that it has become a way of life and expectancy for every girl the minute she comes out of the womb.
There is new genre of American TV that centers itself on showcasing American life. These shows try their best to show an outsider what a cross section of American lifestyle and culture is really like. We have shows like “Modern family” “Black-ish” (the "Modern Family" for black people) and more recently “This Is Us.” “This is Us” is a new show that reshapes the idea of family and love in America. It is the show that both you and your parents are watching because there is a lot of room for viewers to connect to one of the personal struggles of the characters. The characters are a motley crew whose storyline spans across decades. The shows starts with a couple in the 70s who, the audience soon finds out, are expecting triplets. Each episode goes back and forth between the 70s and the present day when the kids are all grown up.
In his most recent and final State of the State Address on Jan. 10, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) focused on the opioid epidemic that plagues our state and many others. The issue is very close to Christie’s heart, as he personally has lost friends to opioid addiction and seen many others struggle through addiction and survive. He has decided as of Feb. 8 that during his last year in office, he will launch a $1 million anti-addiction public awareness campaign targeting New Jersey’s youth through the use of advertisements in television and other media. While combating opioid abuse is an issue for which Christie definitely deserves bipartisan support, it is questionable whether his prescribed course of action is enough to deal with the extremely complicated issue of opioid abuse. Public awareness by itself is not going to prevent drug addiction or to treat those who are already addicted.
Of all the unconventional promises made by President Donald J. Trump during the campaign season, one in particular stuck out to me, and not in a good way. Trump’s rhetoric on the North American Trade Organization (NATO) baffled nearly any astute observer of international relations. This column is not intended to relitigate past remarks but rather to explain the significance of America's commitment to European security and the importance of the current dialogue underway between the Trump administration and Western leaders regarding the infamous military alliance.
The annual career fairs at the Rutgers Business School always attract a plethora of eager college students, dressed for success, for the opportunity to try and impress potential employees. But this year, Rutgers Business School decided that “dressing for success” had a different definition.