It was a Tuesday morning in September when everything began. It was a day that was to change America forever. Soon, parents would see their children off to war. Fathers would kiss their newborn daughters goodbye, and some for the last time as they went to levy justice on those who were responsible for murdering almost 3,000 Americans. For 10 years America paid a heavy price, as we sought to extinguish any further threat to our safety. Then came Abbottabad.
On Monday, for the first time since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Standard and Poor's downgraded its long-term outlook on American debt from ""stable"" to ""negative."" The downgrade served as a warning to U.S. policy makers that something needs to be done to address the country's growing debt crisis.
As our country faces its worst economy in decades, as our national debt surpasses the entire GDP of India, as worldwide turmoil threatens our energy security and as a horrific tragedy in Japan claimed the lives of the thousands, the leader of the free world found time to pick Kansas as the champion of his 2011 March Madness bracket.
Walking down the streets of Tianjin, China, last summer, I couldn't help but notice the working conditions of a construction crew wrapping up its shift. Besides the fact that the crew lacked what we would consider proper safety equipment, the workers' tattered clothing and soot-covered faces showed they had been working all day through the brutal 90-degree heat.
Last Friday, leaflets encouraging students to walk out of class at 11:11 a.m. littered the campus. For the past week, UW students had been subject to cancelled classes, teaching assistants missing from office hours and megaphone-bearing organizers disrupting classes to encourage students to participate in the protests. One such organizer was walking through the halls of Van Vleck when a shout came from the library that spoke for the rest of us: ""Shut up! I'm trying to study!""
After President Obama delivered his State of the Union address Tuesday night, all eyes turned to Wisconsin's own Rep. Paul Ryan for the Republican response. Ryan, a Janesville native, has become an increasingly important player in the national political scene. The reason for his meteoric rise is simple: he represents the future of the conservative movement.
In the aftermath of the shootings in Tucson, Ariz., last week, Americans of all races, ideologies, and creeds came together to remember those who lost their lives and those who were still recovering. President Obama called for prayer and reflection in a moving speech shortly after the incident. Not everyone shared the President's sentiments however.
On Wisconsin! Those words greeted me during my ascent of the Great Wall last summer while studying abroad in Tianjin, China. After I was mobbed by Chinese tourists eager to take a picture with me and get an autograph from a ""real"" American, those two words were as welcome as an Ian's pizza on Friday night. What made me more ecstatic was this person, one of the few foreigners I saw outside of Beijing, was an alumnus of UW-Madison.