As a college student, I often get asked which class or which professor I enjoy most. While I’ve definitely had a number of great people influence my education and my world view, I’ve always held a special appreciation for a different group of individuals and this piece is dedicated to them. I extend my gratitude and appreciation to the janitorial, custodial and general maintenance staff that work in the student dormitories and campus buildings. You guys have always shown the most consistent kindness whenever I have interacted with you. Your responsiveness has been uncanny whenever I send in general maintenance requests. Your politeness has been thoroughly refreshing through numerous experiences I’ve had with you on campus.
By: Steven Nemcek
In the late 19th and early 20th century, de jure racial segregation was a cultural phenomenon prevalent in the United States. Known as “Jim Crow segregation,” Southern states sought to divide black and white communities in the public square utilizing “separate but equal” facilities. In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled state-sponsored school segregation was unconstitutional; what is separate is inherently not equal. Later, the remaining state-enforced segregation laws were generally overturned by the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. While the case can be made that the Civil Rights Act may have overreached in terms of the rights of private property owners, no one today seriously argues that public (taxpayer-sponsored) programs should be allowed to segregate based on irrelevant characteristics such as skin color, gender, religious creed or sexual orientation. Or, so I thought.
“Steven, no one needs an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle in their everyday lives. No one needs a 30 round magazine. That gun was used in the Aurora theater massacre, and Adam Lanza brought that gun to the scene of the crime at Sandy Hook. Hunters and collectors don’t need that kind of firepower. That gun is overkill for self-defense purposes,” my leftist friend said.
With the Supreme Court to rule on affirmative action this session—Fisher v. University of Texas—and our university to design a new Diversity Plan—our previous plan expired in ’08—I thought it appropriate to take a look at the idea of diversity as tied to ethnicity and address its misguided and racist nature. It’s a touchy subject and I really hope that I can have an open conversation with individuals about the topic. Feel free to comment on the article online or send me an email at email@example.com.
While civil rights issues in the 2012 presidential election were doomed from the start due to the two candidates being Bush 2.0 (President Barack Obama) and Bush 2.5 (former Gov. Mitt Romney), a few state initiatives were passed that lit up the gloomy aura hanging over our country (pun intended). In both Colorado and Washington, ballot initiatives called for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. In Massachusetts marijuana was legalized for medical use. Colorado also has decriminalized the personal cultivation of marijuana.
In 2005 Elizabeth Goodwin, PhD, a geneticist and professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, admitted to manipulating data on a research grant application in order to convince reviewers that her lab was worthy of the money it was requesting. She was turned in by graduate students working at her lab.
Watching the second presidential debate on Tuesday was a sobering and frustrating experience. Once again, both candidates were unable to draw any serious policy distinctions between themselves. Once again, both candidates avoided giving direct answers regarding what exactly they are going to accomplish and how they are going to accomplish it.
Last week I wrote an article bashing President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney, and I characterized them as center-right fascists with so much policy overlap as to be almost farcical. Almost. I promised I would write about an alternative candidate, one who is also on the ballot in 47 states, with the exception of Oklahoma, Michigan and Pennsylvania. In those last three states, challenges are currently in place to put him on the ballot. This man’s name is Gary Johnson. In my mind, he is the only qualified candidate running for the office of the presidency, and he is certainly the most rational.
While 30,000 individuals saw fit to flood Bascom Hill last Thursday to see Presidnet Barack Obama, there were a number of staff and students that weren’t so enamored. The Daily Cardinal ran an article earlier this week discussing Professor Mayer’s and Professor Downs’ opposition to the visit; namely, political events taking place on school grounds were prohibited by the university’s own policies (an argument which Vice Chancellor for University Relations Vince Sweeney thought fit to completely sweep under the rug), classes were cancelled for which students had already paid and professors were forced to take a vacation day during the event. In addition, the requirement that students provide their phone numbers to the campaign to receive a ticket was controversial.
The website politicalcompass.org has mapped out the 2012 presidential candidates on its grid based on all elements of their policy, and the results should horrify anyone who bothers to look. On the organization’s graph of political positions, they have a scale of the political “left” and the political “right” on the x-axis and authoritarian and libertarian on the y-axis. On the graph, the points representing Obama and Romney nearly overlap, which should send a strong message to voters; whatever happens this election cycle, nothing is going to change. The policies advocated for by the executive of the United States, for all practical purposes, will be nearly identical. Also, because both candidates represent right-of-center authoritarian viewpoints, with Romney being a smidgen more right and more authoritarian than Obama, civil rights activists, libertarians and other espousers of freedom should be worried.