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History was made on
Friday, when the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-to-4 vote that same-sex couples
have a constitutional right to marriage. This incredible and heartwarming
victory has been a long road for the gay community, and I am absolutely elated
that marriage equality has finally been achieved. It is my hope that this is a
sign of things to come.
Eastern Michigan University has recently announced that it is raising the cost of tuition by 7.8 percent. I find that while this raise itself is appropriate in order to make EMU more and more independent from government aid, the marketing tactics used before raising the cost of tuition are not.
As a libertarian, I want the Constitution upheld more than anyone. I understand the constitutional argument conservatives have used against the Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized gay marriage when they say the 10th Amendment protects the sovereignty of state law. However, I also am aware of the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment.
It’s been a little while since Caitlyn Jenner officially came out, which sparked tons of media coverage that may have gotten a little overwhelming for some. Among numerous responses—many of them LGBTQ+ positive—was Jon Stewart’s response saying, “It’s really heartening to see that everyone is willing to not only accept Caitlyn Jenner as a woman, but to waste no time in treating her like a woman.” Here he is referring to the shift of intellectual to body-focused conversation regarding her. This may lead us to ask, was Caitlyn’s Vanity Fair photo shoot good or bad for feminism?
Wednesday night at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, nine people were shot and killed by domestic right-wing terrorist and white supremacist Dylann Roof—a horrible and terrifying act of pure hate and violence brought down upon the black community— and, while I absolutely and wholeheartedly share the feelings of disgust and sadness felt by many following this event, it’s time that we stop neurotically fixating our attention on these mass shootings, because it is unhealthy and creates the right atmosphere for further extremism to come slithering out of the mist and rear its ugly head.
Capitalism is an ideology and, like many ideologies, it requires multiple factors that only exist in a textbook to ensure it works 100 percent of the time with 100 percent efficiency. Perfect competition is one example of this economic thought. Perfect competition requires multiple businesses providing a similar product competitively in order to drive the price of their product down to a natural price floor. There are some examples of this in reality that merit value, such as crops in America all essentially being the same price through various vendors, with the only difference being shipping costs. However, one part of capitalism that is not one of its tenets is crony-capitalism, popularly known as corporatism.
The Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary are the first two contests in the race to earn the Democratic or Republican nomination for president. These two states dominate media coverage of the election and candidates spend an enormous amount of time campaigning within these states—but, Iowa and New Hampshire should not be getting the attention that they are.
When I think of democracy, I do not think of the pure incarnation of the political system wherein the majority rule, but rather the philosophical term in which all people, no matter their differences, are considered equal and possess all of the same rights. This is, I would posit, how most people think of democracy – as a set of egalitarian ideals – not as a sort of mob-mentality system of political tyranny. This is fairly straightforward and most people praise this ideology of liberty, but it is being threatened by an ever-expanding and much more powerful system – capitalism, which flaunts the opposite of pure democracy, in that the very few have a monopoly on the many; an even more dangerous model.
Authority in the United States is given too much room for error and interpretation. Allowing authority figures, paid for by the American tax dollars, too much leniency is like two parents telling a child not to open the cookie jar, but then leave him unattended for a week. Eventually the cookie jar will be opened. Unmonitored and unjustified authority can become a hazard to the security of the citizens who no longer pay it any attention.
Presidential candidate for
2016, Bernie Sanders, recently scored a seemingly major win for his campaign,
as he came within eight points of Hillary Clinton in a Wisconsin Democratic
Convention straw poll. However, he has a tough road ahead of him if he’s going
to win the Democratic nomination, because while many Americans agree with his message,
Clinton is a Goliath of an opponent and it may be difficult to claim a victory
Trickle-down economics has become a popular phrase in conservative media since their king, President Ronald Reagan, in the 1980s. The term, according to Alex Andreou at The Guardian, was actually a witty catchphrase created by the Democrats of the 1980 Presidential Race to be thrown at Reagan. Despite Reagan winning the election, the Democrats were correct in their criticism of “Reaganomics” in that the trickle-down effect does not work.
Rand Paul scored a big victory in Congress, as he led a successful filibuster over the renewal of key provisions of the Patriot Act. Despite his more Libertarian stance on domestic surveillance, Paul’s past remarks show that he still holds some troubling views on many domestic issues.
On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Nebraska became the 19th state to abolish the death penalty, along with the District of Columbia. It is the first predominantly Republican state to abolish capital punishment in more than 40 years. This is an encouraging trend because the death penalty is costly, immoral, dangerous and ineffective at deterring crime.
When it comes to the athletics program at Eastern Michigan University, Mid-American Conference regular season wins, titles, appearances in MAC tournaments and championships are the most important goals for the respective teams. And no team at Eastern Michigan University has exemplified and attained these goals in the past five years more than the women’s soccer team, led by head coach Scott Hall.
According to the American Lung
Association, “smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death
worldwide.” Not only does smoking and tobacco use affect those using it, but
the results from secondhand smoke are just as bad. The American Lung Association
also claims that secondhand smoke causes more than 41,000 deaths each year.
While smoking cigarettes certainly is an unhealthy habit, the idea of banning its use on a public campus infringes upon our rights as individuals. Of course, I’m not denying the health issues associated with smoking or being exposed to second hand smoke, but we cannot ban something that can be avoided in other ways. I think it would be better to require smokers to smoke in designated areas and to be attentive of those around them.
The other week I was scrolling through social media when I came across a page a friend of mine had liked. It was commenting on the Girl Scouts’ inclusion of transgender girls. Upon looking further into it, I was struck by a statement by the American Family Association in their petition asking the Girl Scouts “to restrict its membership to ‘biological girls’,” according to CNN’s website. It read: “Boys in skirts, boys in make-up and boys in tents will become a part of the program. This change will put young innocent girls at risk.” Statements like this are not just misinformed about what it means to be transgender, but they are also constructed in a misguided way that very intentionally perpetuates prejudice and fear of what is “other.”
The TV and movies we watch, the games we play and the music we listen to form a big part of our identity. “Geek culture,” which has become the popular culture of this decade, is a cultural identity entirely based on what media you consume. Dating websites use your favorite music and movies as a means to match you with other people. Essentially, you are what media you consume and that media can influence your behavior and self-image.
If I’m being honest, I’ll admit that I appreciate a full, well-trimmed man-beard. While some people might see a man’s unshaven face as rough and barbaric, I know I’m not alone in viewing a well-kept beard as a sign of maturity, authority, and having a general indie-hipster persona. At first glance, trends like beards or tattoos may initially spark connotations of “deviance” or “relapse” from growing up into sophisticated adulthood. But our Millennial generation is turning the tables so that these trends are viewed alongside innovation and professionalism without as much conflict as before.
In 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau, about
45 million people were living in poverty. At the same time, big corporations
like General Motors continue to bring in millions of dollars in profits – $278
million in 2014, according to Standard & Poor – while paying zero taxes.
That’s right, while millions of Americans are living under the poverty line,
struggling to survive, major corporations are reaping the benefits of loopholes
and policies put in place by special interest lobbyists. This figure should
disturb you, as it does me, because when the focus of the government and its
policies is on the benefit of those with the most economic power, the system is
very clearly broken. Yet, those responsible have somehow managed to avoid any
real blame by shifting the focus to those who have no power at all: the poor.