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OPINION

The forgotten man

Our Federal Union is one of the greatest demonstrations of the principles of compromise and republicanism. Protracted meetings in the Pennsylvania State House led to the creation of a federal government that balanced various forces in this great Republic with a skill that could only be exceeded by the finest of Swiss chronometers. The North was balanced with the South, the proportionally representative House was balanced by an equally representative Senate, and the creation of the Electoral College was a balance of fear and desire. They balanced the desire for the president to be the leader of the people against the fear of a tyrannical majority. Unfortunately there are those who would try to replace the current evils they find in this system with new ones. A recent column on a proposed law to tie the Electoral College to the national popular vote instead of the popular vote of each state would only serve to create new evils.

OPINION

Rap music not responsible for black social struggle

The comments made by the author of a letter in yesterday's edition of The Daily Targum in regards to an editorial on hip-hop are both distasteful and borderline racist. Why he even felt the need to attack the music genre in response to an editorial about electing a female candidate is questionable in and of itself.

OPINION

Student turnout at games appalling

I was appalled by our fans, or shall I say the lack of our fans, at the football game this past Saturday. As Jason McCourty waited to receive the opening kickoff of a crucial Big East game, the student section was half-empty. This is the support the students of Rutgers showed, after the team had just won back-to-back Big East games, and with Mike Teel, who has struggled at times this year, coming off the best game of his career. I know the team hasn't played up to their expectations this season, but they were just coming off their first win against a ranked team on the road since 1988! The team deserved to emerge out of the tunnel cheered by a loud, packed student section; instead the team came out to a student section that was half-empty. As Rutgers fell behind 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, fans were already acting like the game was already over. This was the same Syracuse team we fell behind 14-0 last year and then went on to defeat. By the start of the second half, there were even less fans, as some people couldn't weather the light rainfall and exited the stadium like it was a 35-0 blowout game. People, it was a great football game that was tied at 14 apiece! I understand it wasn't the nicest day outside, but that's no excuse not to show up to the game and not support this team. A true fan needs to battle the adverse conditions of Mother Nature and come out to support the team no matter what. By the evidence of the turnout on Saturday, evidently there are not many true fans of the student population. I applaud the small percentage of students who came out to support the team and stuck around through the fourth quarter of the game. Many Rutgers students expect the team to be great every single year now just because the team has enjoyed some success the past few years. People don't realize how far this football program has come in just the past five years, when Rutgers used to be at the bottom of the Big East every year. All the fans coming to every game and staying until the end, keep up the good work. Those of you who aren't showing up, come out and support the team. If you're not going to show up during these more difficult times, just don't come out and start saying you are a die hard fan when this team starts winning again. If we want Rutgers to be a winning powerhouse, we need a packed student section every game, no matter how good or bad the team is doing.

OPINION

I wish for readers...

Nov. 14. One thing I've never done is make a big deal about my birthday. I guess looking back on it, it really stems from my childhood experiences involving birthdays. My family was always very simple, and for assorted reasons I wouldn't have birthday parties. My preteen years were even worse in the birthday department. Despite all that, I remember being younger and taking car rides to my friends' birthday parties. The good times I had through those years stuck with me, and to this day I make much bigger deals about my friends' birthdays then I ever have about my own.

OPINION

Low turnout a good thing

The Sports article "Students should be ashamed for embarrassing turnout" chastises Rutgers students for not attending the last football game in numbers he feels are appropriate. In spite of the writer's attempt to make the football game's low attendance seem like a reflection on the lack of character of University students, I think it shows just the opposite. Unlike the writer, I am not embarrassed by low attendance at a football game.

OPINION

Klan not all to Kentucky

I have recently read the editorial "KKK, go away" in the Nov.13 edition of The Daily Targum. I found the contents to be highly patronizing. I happen to be from Kentucky and I am very proud of my state. For the writer to somehow suggest that one despicable act labels the entire state, as well as the South and Midwest as racist, is not only ignorant, but above all else, stupid. It is reasonable to say that we have had our fair share of evil in our past history, but to completely canonize the Northeast and West Coast as somehow bloodless and flawless is a step too far.

OPINION

KKK, go away!

People living in metropolitan areas on the East and West coasts of the country tend to live in a bubble in respect to the continued strain of race relations in America. But if you thought that the election of the first black president was evidence to the fact that America had finally turned the page in the fight against racial conflict, then you just don't know Kentucky. We radical chic inhabitants of the Northeast Corridor oftentimes don't realize it, but in many rural areas of the South and Midwest, organized hate groups such as the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan are still alive and well within their communities. But justice is slowly forthcoming in these aforementioned areas, thanks in large part to an initiative taken by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which seeks to use the 2006 beating of a 16-year-old Panamanian American in a high-profile lawsuit aimed at breaking the financial backbone of one of the nation's largest sub-groups of the KKK. 

OPINION

Taliban terror

Seven years after being ousted from the seat of power in Afghanistan, the influence of the uber-conservative Taliban regime still remains in parts of the war-torn nation. Two terror attacks took place yesterday in Kandahar, Afghanistan, most likely initiated by insurgents with some ties to the Taliban, who have been fighting a guerilla war with the Afghan government for years. Two men on a motorcycle used water guns to spray battery acid on at least four girls walking to school Wednesday morning, blinding and severely injuring two of them. Although the Taliban has not officially acknowledged responsibility for the attack, Al-Jazeera TV has reported that Taliban militants were suspected to have been responsible for the attack. Later yesterday, a suicide bombing occurred near a government building that killed and wounded several civilians, including women and children.

OPINION

Rap music glorifies violence and misogyny

In the editorial "The Whisper Song", published in the Nov. 10 edition of The Daily Targum, the author asks why the beacon of the free world is "lagging" in regards to electing a female into executive office. To suggest that this country is not the beacon of the free world or is not doing its job as the beacon of the free world simply because a female has not been elected into the office of the president is absurd. Having a woman president is not an indicator of how free our country is. Women in this country have the same opportunities as men to become president. The real indicator of how free this country really is would be the prevalence of rap music in our society. In what other society can you become a millionaire while promoting the degrading of women as well as the use of violence and drugs in your music videos and lyrics? Only in America can a group like the N.W.A., who has a song entitled "F- Tha Police," in which they rap about assaulting and murdering police officers, still have the ability to play shows in major cities.

OPINION

Why burst the bubble

On the evening of Nov. 4, Barack Obama's loyal email subscribers opened their inboxes to find the words, "All of this happened because of you. We just made history," signed Barack. According to the Center for Information and Research of Civic Learning and Engagement, 21.6 to 23.9 million voters between ages 18 and 29 went out to the polls with his name on their bated breath, so it's no wonder that soon-to-be President Obama showered them with the thanks they deserved.

OPINION

Gay rights and personal morality: not mutually exclusive

Proposition 8 has been voted on. Similar amendments in states such as Arizona and Florida were passed during Election Day. My question is why anyone would think it is constitutionally acceptable to subject the rights of a minority to a majority vote. According to this sort of perverse idea, blacks before the civil rights movement deserved to be discriminated against. I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but this is how I see it. As equal citizens sharing a common public domain, separation of church and state requires us to make this distinction. Here I disagree emphatically with a stance my church has always taken, but it is not merely their belief with which I have problems. Having always sought to maintain political neutrality, this time my church has been extremely inappropriate in unduly intruding their own views into the civil rights of others. For this, I am deeply embarrassed for my church and question my desire to remain a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

OPINION

The lamest duck

Last week we saw Americans turn out at the polls in unprecedented numbers, thanks in large part to the Obama campaign's brilliantly orchestrated organizing efforts across the country. The Illinois Senator's 53 percent of the popular vote — the largest plurality won by any presidential candidate since George H. W. Bush 20 years ago — translated into a 364-163 Electoral College thrashing of GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (with the fate of Missouri's 11 electoral votes still up in the air). The rest of the Republican ticket did not fare much better: the Democrats gained 19 seats in the House, with six still undecided, and six seats in the Senate, with three still undecided. (About 80,000 absentee ballots in Alaska still have not been counted; in Minnesota the two leading candidates are separated by mere hundreds of votes and a statewide recount has begun; and in Georgia — because neither candidate in the November 4 contest won a majority of the vote, which is required by state law to be elected to the Senate — a runoff election will take place in the next few weeks.)

OPINION

Obama, meet Mad Max

Obama's promise of sweeping institutional change is fresh on the minds of many members of the American public, fostered by rumors that the president-elect could reverse three of President George W. Bush's most controversial executive orders, including restrictions on embryonic stem cell research and drilling for oil on federal lands. But amid all of the positive reactions to Obama's victory, his promise of change has also set off a ripple within the gun ownership community, causing a surge in gun sales as people worry whether the president-elect will also make the issue of gun control one of his top priorities once entering into office.

OPINION

Gender inequality is still a problem at University

I recently ran into a former student who I have talked to several times. We were discussing the semester and he informed me that he worked for The Centurion, the conservative Rutgers magazine. Although in the past I have been offended by material in the magazine, I decided to pick up a copy to see if there had been a change in the magazine's stances. Instead, I was disturbed to find that the magazine took a very backwards and sexist attitude to an important issue in my own academic department. 

OPINION

Livingston campus will be left out of Rutgers Day festivities

I'm writing this letter as a reaction to Dean Rick Ludescher's letter to the Targum, which ran on Nov. 6, that praised the upcoming Rutgers Day event. In all the excitement about the inaugural event, there has been a minimal amount of attention paid to that fact that Livingston campus was excluded from the event. While I'm not writing as a direct response, his words made me realize something needed to be said about Rutgers Day that is going unsaid.

OPINION

A bailout for Detroit

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for "emergency and limited financial assistance" for the automobile industry on Tuesday, urging the Bush administration to help Congressional lawmakers reach a compromise that could offer a helping hand to the floundering American industry, according to the Associated Press. General Motors and the Ford Motor Company have reported record losses this past quarter, and both companies have made explicit plans to downsize thousands of white-collar positions due to a lack of available funds.

OPINION

Congress can set agenda

Once he is sworn in on Jan. 20, our new president will command all eyes. After a long campaign in which he and his rival traded policy prescriptions and accusations about their respective flaws, the country will be anxious to see the White House's agenda. Congress, it seems safe to say, will be an afterthought, its views given weight only insofar as they might hinder or abet the president's plans.

OPINION

Democracy and change

America is once again cool. And it's all because we fell in love with democracy. Anyone who voted on Tuesday or saw the lines at polling places all across the nation realized it: Democracy is here to stay. As I watched Sen. John McCain give his concession speech, it still hadn't hit me yet. I was focused on only one aspect: the unofficial end to his brand of old politics and economics. I watched a crowd comprised almost exclusively of older white people boo Obama's name like they had hundreds of times before, but I also saw McCain give probably the best speech he's ever given in his life.

OPINION

Laurels and darts

So Obama won. Congratulations to the first black president of the United States of America. We're also pretty proud of the tenacity with which he addressed his supporters during his acceptance speech, stressing that though he and his campaign had won a pivotal victory, there was still a great deal of work to be done if he would be able to initiate all of the change we've been hearing so much about. He reached out to his supporters, promising them that he would work as hard as he could, but that he would need all of his supporters to continue their efforts, lobbying Congress and continuing their activism to ensure that the social programs that he promised could be brought to fruition. He accepted Sen. McCain's concession with grace and dignity, and — invoking President Abraham Lincoln — promised to use his presidency to rebuild the ties of kinship common to all Americans. He deserves a laurel, not only for his victory in the election, but for the graceful and tenacious conduct he displayed on Election night and throughout his campaign.


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