Articles by The Triangle Op-Ed Section
Nov. 15, 2013
Abusing and misusing the news
News used to be a simple reporting of facts. People who wanted to know what was happening in places like Korea, India, Cleveland or Bosnia tuned in to the news and listened to the facts. Yes, believe it or not, people used to listen to the news so that they could get all the facts. Nowadays, it seems like news stories are rapidly becoming less news and more stories. No one listens to Glenn Beck because they want to hear unbiased facts. In fact, according to Pew Research’s News Coverage Index from December 2012, 46 percent of CNN’s broadcasts are “opinion/commentary” rather than actual reporting. You have to wonder how an organization that only shows news half the time can call itself a news network.
Nov. 12, 2013
Are police to blame for accidental shootings?
The police serve as a protective shield for citizens from the threat of crime in a society. Especially in the United States, police officers are always armed with guns because a vast number of violent criminals like burglars, murderers and gang members make use of guns to commit crimes. Furthermore, under certain circumstances, police officers are allowed to shoot a suspect in order to protect themselves. Unfortunately, once a bullet leaves a gun, it always flies to its target, be it a violent criminal or an innocent citizen. Therefore, if an innocent citizen does not resolve the misunderstanding or fails to comply with an officer’s orders, he or she can be shot to death.
Nov. 8, 2013
Corruption in the House
A few days ago, something really crazy happened in the House of Representatives, and you probably haven’t heard a word about it. To understand the depths of this crazy, however, we have to take a painful but thankfully brief look into our recent history. More specifically, we have to go back to the 2008 financial crisis and look at the giant insurance group that made its claim to fame during that time: AIG. Remember AIG? It was that one company that nearly collapsed and eventually had to be bailed out by taxpayers to the tune of $85 billion. Well, the risky behavior that caused AIG so many problems was something called “derivatives trading.” Explaining the ins and outs of derivatives trading could be its own class, but I’ll try to offer a brief summary of the concept. Derivatives trading is essentially the act of creating a contract based on some underlying object of trade. If that seems a bit too much like baseless jargon to you, maybe an example will help.
Nov. 6, 2013
Is re-execution moral?
Many kinds of miracles exist in this world. Frankly, I believe that coming back to life from death is definitely one of the most dramatic miracles that a person can ever experience. Furthermore, if a “resurrection” involves an execution, the story would be even more unbelievable than any kind of resurrection. However, it would also leave the dilemma of “executing twice.” In other words, should we regard the return as irrelevant to the sentence, or should the government proceed to finish the unfinished sentence?
Nov. 5, 2013
Democracy dissuaded by system
For the past week, I have been fighting the City of Philadelphia. Angry emails, meetings with Drexel administrators, and idly threatening voicemails were the arms in this war, and I won. I was excused from jury duty. I have been called to serve as a juror three times in the last two years, and each time I have been excused. And that’s not good.
Nov. 1, 2013
Moo over this | Sexism, animal abuse are linked
When we think about cruelty to animals, people see animals as they are: dogs, cats, mice, pigs, fish or cows. It takes a little more effort, though, to see an antiquated but still practiced philosophy that dominates the industrial standard of animal cruelty, which is patriarchy. I think it’s important to begin a discussion on the foul art of subjecting other genders and species to inequality.
Nov. 1, 2013
The folly of objectivism
In reality, the American disdain for social science comes from our culture of pseudo-objectivism. In short, pseudo-objectivism describes the incorrect assumption that we can talk objectively about social issues. More deeply, this mindset combines a rejection of background research and an embrace of pure morality. A good example? The pro-life argument. Arguing that abortion is objectively wrong may sound morally upright, but it fails to account for cases such as rape, incest, and pregnancies that endanger the life of the mother. Pseudo-objectivist philosophies block the possibility of debate by presuming their own absolute correctness, and they create an atmosphere hostile to advancing the social sciences.
Nov. 1, 2013
Our skewed view of geography
Ever since preschool, most of us have only ever really seen one kind of world map. Rather, when trying to picture a world map, most of us will end up thinking of the same one. We probably don’t know what that map’s name is, or where and when we first saw it, or why it seems to be everywhere maps can be found, but we seem to have accepted it as our view of the Earth. Now, what if I told you that the map was wrong? To many, that isn’t a huge surprise, but to just as many, the idea of Greenland being smaller than the United States comes as something of a shock. Even those who are aware of the relative size disproportions may be surprised to know that a lot of countries aren’t even portrayed in the right sections of the globe in this map. If you’re looking at a standard Mercator projection (that is, the iconic map that seems to be beaten into all of our skulls), you can see Germany and Italy hanging out right near the center of the map. In reality, however, they are way up in the northernmost quarter of the globe. That’s right; countries like Germany, Italy, France and Spain aren’t where you think they are. In fact, if you base your geographical view of the world on the Mercator projection, almost nothing is where you think it is. Put bluntly, your internal map of the world is wrong.
Oct. 25, 2013
ACA good for economy
One of the U.S.’ most hot-button topics today is health care reform, which was recently brought to the forefront of debate on the floor of Congress and the dinner tables of families alike, in part by the Affordable Care Act, endorsed by President Obama, which will be largely implemented on Jan. 1, 2014. Of course, there has been a great deal of controversy regarding the merits of health care reform, and the ACA has been challenged at every turn.
Oct. 18, 2013
A ‘hostage situation’ in congress
This isn’t a hostage situation; hostage situations are meant to be a means to an end. They are meant to create a scenario in which the hostage-taker has leverage to bargain for what he or she really wants. Isn’t a government shutdown precisely what many Republicans dream of, though? After all, with so many government programs defunded and so much spending slashed, the government has definitely reduced its influence in citizens’ daily lives. Now, of course, some of the spending cuts have defunded programs that Republicans support, but they seem to have gained much more from this shutdown than they’ve lost. There doesn’t seem to be anything they would gain through negotiation that would be better than what they have now. With the setup as it stands, why would they ever want to negotiate at all?