opinion

OPINION

Vote for the candidate, not his party

Part of the reason that I am voting this Tuesday for _____ is that I believe something: I believe that people are finite. It seems to me that a person can only run so fast, jump so high, and live so long. More to the point, no human is all-good, all-knowing, or all-wise. We have histories, cultures, desires, opinions, and beliefs—and there is tremendous diversity in all of these, across the board.

OPINION

Halloween not that bad

I have read both the opinions column and editorial concerning the events of Friday night. It struck me that somehow the blame for alcohol-induced violence and acts of sexual harassment are tied to "smelly guys dressed as The Jokers" and "piggish guys" that "treat [women] like objects." It bothers me that the blame is placed indiscriminately on males whose only purpose in life (apparently) is to go around and attack the innocent, sober and well-behaved co-eds around campus. I walked around College Avenue that night as well and guess what? Everyone was being … well, drunk. And slutty. The men and the women. Alcohol impacts everyone in the same way, and the idea that guys were somehow responsible for all the havoc that night is simply an attempt to distract us from the real issues of safety and civility.

OPINION

Voting machines are not secure

Representative forms of governments are based upon on the concept of voting. Casting a vote gives an individual a voice in matters of government, which affect all citizens. For these types of governments to be considered legitimate, they must obtain a consensus or mandate from the voting public to carry out their political agenda. This makes it absolutely necessary for voting and elections to remain free and fair. The voting public must be sure that their intent is accurately transmitted through the voting process.

OPINION

Spin shouldn't win the election

This is a response to "The complete idiot's guide to Obama's tax policy proposal." The author serves his party well and aptly deploys the Republican's art of spin to misrepresent the Obama tax proposal. He has decided to compare the Obama plan to cut taxes for any individual earning less than $250,000 per year to trimming the GPA of any student earning higher than a 3.7. In doing this he makes two false assumptions that completely undermine his entire argument. First he suggests that anyone who achieves a high GPA or earns a large income has done so by working hard, and second he implies that anyone who has a low GPA or is not wealthy has not been working hard. Both of these assumptions do hold true for many individuals who fit into either of these categories, but to ignore the fact the some affluent Americans, or some high-achieving students, have attained their status either by dishonest misconduct or a natural intelligence is wrong and misleading, and to ignore the fact that some, if not many, of the impoverished Americans or the low-achieving students do not work hard is an irresponsible assessment of the issue at hand.

OPINION

McCain set to reign

Admittedly, we don't feel so bad about the possibility of a McCain presidency as we did a few weeks ago. Instrumental to our change of heart has been the leveling out of the Iraq situation, with the ruling government coalition rejecting a dubious security pact that allowed for the possibility of the American occupation continuing past 2011. But by embracing McCain, with all of the emphasis he placed upon his military service record, you can bet your bottom dollar that he will embrace a military solution to any future problems that befall our nation rather than exhaust all possibilities for diplomacy.

OPINION

Red states, blue states and real America

With less than a week to go before Election Day, Republicans across the country are running scared. Not only is Sen. John McCain poised to lose the presidential election in spectacular fashion (A Pew Research poll yesterday found that he is behind by 19 points among early voters), he seems determined to bring every other Republican candidate in the country down with him. The GOP is seriously facing its worst case scenario: a Democrat in the White House, a Democratic majority of 250 (or more) in the House of Representatives and a filibuster-proof Democratic majority of 60 seats in the Senate. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle: "If Democrats win the White House, the filibuster would be the last institutional power left to the GOP." McCain currently trails Sen. Barack Obama in virtually every battleground state, and his situation is worsening daily. It is now possible that McCain will lose his home state of Arizona: His formidable lead of six weeks ago has shrunk significantly and, according to one poll, is now just four points. We may observe a similar trend in Georgia, a state President George W. Bush won twice by relatively large margins, which Pollster.com now lists as a true toss-up.

OPINION

McCain gettin' hosed

With less than a week to go before the general election on Nov. 4, Captain Obvious dropped the following bombshell last night: Sen. John McCain is getting completely hosed in the press. Sources from Politico have disclosed that six out of every 10 stories published about McCain in the media have been negative, while only 30 percent of stories published about Sen. Barack Obama portray him in a negative light. The study also concluded that Obama enjoys the media's good graces about twice as often as McCain. The question remains, why?

OPINION

Georgia denies war crimes

The South Ossetia War may have faded into the shady avenues of history, but some reporters from the BBC allege that they have evidence to suggest that Georgia committed war crimes during their operations in the breakaway region over the summer. The BBC recently undertook the first unrestricted visit to South Ossetia by a foreign press organization since the conflict and have amassed witness testimony to suggest that Georgian tanks fired upon an apartment building and soldiers picked off civilians as they fled the combat zones. Some witnesses claim that tanks fired on their personal vehicles, causing them to crash and others claim that Georgian tanks systematically fired shells into every floor of an apartment complex, leaving the building in a severe state of disarray and causing multiple casualties.

OPINION

Muslim Americans deserve equal representation

I just want to commend Eric Knecht on his column in yesterday's Targum. I'm the president of the Muslim Student Association at Rutgers University, so I know and interact with many religious and cultural organizations on campus, and I can confidently say you have represented the thoughts and views of thousands of students (Definitely every Arab and Muslim at Rutgers).

OPINION

The Centrist Party endorses Barack Obama

As founder of the Centrist Party, I can only speak for myself as an individual. Maybe this is representative of the Centrist point-of-view for some, but certainly not all. I don't know how much it matters, but I wanted to share why I am voting for Sen. Barack Obama.

OPINION

Eleven ways we can save American democracy

There are too many times we as American citizens take a "wait and see" attitude toward events. We go about our daily lives, assuming and hoping that someone else will take care of things — someone in City Hall, the state capital or in Washington. Well, we are that "someone else." And we need to take responsibility now.

OPINION

X-Ray airport security

The European Commission has proposed a new proposal that they believe will cut down on long lines in the airports while tightening up security measures to protect against future terrorist attacks: X-Ray vision scanners that give each potential passenger a virtual strip-search. A spokesperson for the European Commission has stressed that the plan is still in the developmental stages, and even if it were approved, people would only be asked to submit to the search on a volunteer basis, but there are still many who have voiced concerns about the possible effects such scanners could have on human rights, data protection, and personal well-being.

OPINION

Forget the economy: the election itself has been a failure

There are so many things about this election season that should bother people, but no one seems to notice that our candidates as well as our national media have taken our attention away from the really important issues. We have become so inundated with reports of our failed economy and which tax plan will save all the average Joes that no one is talking about the bigger picture. Yes, taxes and economic recovery are very important, but the office of the president is not meant to direct economic or tax policy. In every presidential election the candidates promise tax cuts of some sort, and the American people jump at the chance to save a percent or two at the end of the year. These promises rarely, if ever, become reality; however, we soon forget about campaign promises as quickly as we've forgotten about the Rev. Wright and Charles Keating and as rapidly as people discarded their American flags when they went out of style.

OPINION

Divestment 2008

On February 28, a representative from Rutgers Against the War posted an entry on the group's blog calling for Rutgers to divest from eleven companies that the group feels are "contributing to human rights violations (and often being outright murderous)." The complete list of companies from which RAW wishes to divest include Boeing, Caterpillar, DYNCORP International, FMC Tech, Forster Wheeler, General Electric, Halliburton, Honeywell International, L-3 Communications, Northrop Grumman, Exxon Mobil, and Raytheon.

OPINION

RU and the city: Gateway to the future

Rutgers, like many institutions of higher education, has often had disagreements with its four host cities, including New Brunswick. This relationship between institution and local government, known in academia as "town and gown," takes into account many different historical facts and future aspirations for both parties.

OPINION

The implosion of John McCain

With his national poll numbers plummeting nearly as precipitously as the Dow, Sen. John McCain's presidential prospects are quickly evaporating. As the economy teeters on the brink of collapse (due in large part to deregulatory Bush Administration policies which he supported), the Arizona senator has seen his slight post-convention lead of one month ago morph into a deficit of nearly 10 points and counting. National polling data now has the McCain-Palin ticket hovering at just over 40 percent, about as low as support for a major party candidate can go. McCain trails Sen. Barack Obama in a number of states, which President George W. Bush carried in 2004, including Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, a total of 112 electoral votes. It is interesting to note here that historically, no Republican presidential candidate has ever won the White House without carrying Ohio. Obama is also threatening to overtake McCain in other traditionally red states such Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia. McCain, on the other hand, has virtually no chance of carrying any of the states John Kerry won four years ago. Earlier in the campaign season, the Republican had been flirting with the possibility of carrying some light blue states such as Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but no more. The McCain campaign officially ceased operations in Michigan two weeks ago, pulling all staff and funding from the state and essentially conceding its 17 electoral votes to Obama. The Republican nominee also faces deficits of five to 10 percentage points in the other Kerry states where he hoped to be competitive.

OPINION

Same-sex marriage threatened in California

California became the second state after Massachusetts to officially recognize same-sex marriages after a May 15 state Supreme Court case struck down an existing ban on gay marriage arguing that such a ban did not provide for equal protection under the law. The decision, which went in effect in June, resulted in numerous gay and lesbian couples seeking marriage licenses in the state. But arguing for the sanctity of the man-woman marriage, a local initiative known as Proposition 8 to reinstate the ban on same sex marriage will be placed on the November presidential ballot. At this time, it appears as if the supporters of the ban outnumber the opponents, and so many more gay couples have been lining up to receive marriage licenses in anticipation of a defeat following the November elections.

OPINION

RU dining in the dark about factory produced eggs

Everyone's doing it. Princeton is doing it just down the road. UConn, UMass and about 150 other universities are doing it, as is Google, not to mention Ben and Jerry's, McDonald's and Burger King. These corporate giants, colleges and universities are protecting the environment, reducing needless animal cruelty and becoming pioneers by altering their purchasing patterns in regards to eggs. Instead of buying eggs produced by hens intensively confined in so-called "battery cages," they buy cage-free, "certified humane" eggs, insuring not only more humane treatment of the animals but also more environmentally-friendly industry practices and even, many claim, better-tasting eggs. If you are not aware of what a battery cage is, do not be alarmed. Prior to last January, I was not familiar with the term either. A battery cage is what millions of chickens are forced to call "home." Trust me, it is far from cozy.

OPINION

War on drugs hits home

The War on Drugs has made it a point to crack down on the amount of marijuana being smuggled into the country over the Mexican border. But what federal officials have been unable to effectively combat has been the ongoing problem of Mexican drug cartels growing large volumes of pot in our own national parks. It is not only a public policy concern, as it undermines our national stance against the production, distribution and use of marijuana, but due to the large amount of dangerous pesticides and fertilizers needed to provide for a bountiful harvest in unfertile, secluded areas of national parks, it is also becoming a big environmental problem.

OPINION

Voting should not be restricted

In a letter printed in The Daily Targum on Oct. 8, the author of "Too lazy to make an informed decision? Then don't vote" decries the lack of knowledge most students possess about politics and the upcoming presidential election. This is an interesting topic that deserves further examination.


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