In politics, there are good ways to handle the media and there are bad ways to handle the media. Lets see how Toronto's Mayor, Rob Ford handles the media. You may want to look away, but you can't.
It’s Friday November 8th! Do you know where your podcast is? On this day in history back in 1895, German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen became the first person to observe X-rays. X-rays are electromagnetic energy waves that act like light rays, but at wavelengths almost 1,000 times shorter. Upon their discovery, X-rays allowed doctors to see inside the human body for the first time without surgery. We here at Upside Downtrodden feel a special kinship with X-rays. We, too, possess the ability to see through humans. Read more
Two weeks into my sophomore year in university I decided to meet up with an old friend from freshman year. She was a Muslim from Kuwait and a very interesting person to talk to considering her background. We were discussing various topics and came across the theory of evolution since she was now taking the same biology class as the one I had taken during my freshman year. She is very much into science so I decided to ask her opinion on the theory of evolution. Her response wasn’t very positive. I first I was surprised, but then I remembered I had learned the previous year that the Muslim world frowns upon the idea of evolution. I also learned that teaching evolution in the Middle East varies by state and is usually combined with creationist beliefs for the explanation of the origin of the universe. I am fan of evolution, but the conversation reminded me just how the Arab world is similar to the USA since there is a problem here with teaching evolution and God in public schools. Questions arise asking whether God should be taught alongside evolution, should we even teach evolution to our children, or does God even belong inside the classroom? Read more
Is our media that naive to think that Germany, England, Israel and other "friendly nations" aren't spying on there great ally the United States? Of course they are and they should be. Spying isn't always about hurting your enemy. It's also about understanding what other governments know so your government can make better policy decisions. And by the way Republicans, this program was started in 2002. So if you want to have a congressional investigation. Go ahead!!
But like I was saying. When governments talk to each-other about a specific issue it's vital to have an understanding of where that other government stands on that issue. And i'm not just talking about there public stance. You need to understand there private stance. The only way you will find out the difference between a governments public and private stance is by, you guessed it. Spying! Read more
Free markets and college football. Deeply embedded into the sociocultural fabric of American life, these two time-honored traditions are incompatible. Why is scandalous headline after scandalous headline born from the act of receiving compensation for working hard, an act that is laudable in every other profession? The answer lies in one dogmatic, pious, hypocritical, bloated bureaucracy of a governing body: the National Collegiate Athletic Association. However, with targeted new policies, the NCAA and member schools can enjoy the best of both worlds.
An Environment of Inequity
The collegiate athletic system desperately demands reform. Young men and women are putting in 50-hour workweeks, on top of classes, and all they have to show for it is NCAA President Mark Emmert’s $1.7 million dollar salary. To put it bluntly, the NCAA’s revenues and operating budget thrive off the exploitation and suppression of “student-athletes” with nowhere else to turn for a playing field. Read more
Now that the government shutdown is a reality, I want to take this opportunity to register my disgust at how this played out. I try and take a reasonable approach to the issue of who is responsible for government problems, and have a rather evenhanded focus, but in this, I am rather upset at the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Read more
The right-wing shuts down the government slamming our social services as superfluous at the same time that millions of Americans are seeking new government healthcare service.
Conservatives complain about public employees but their shut down has shut out these workers preventing them from doing jobs for the public good.
The GOP shut-down has turned into a shut-storm as they struggle to remember why they did it, yet the more they they bluster and fluster, the less sense -- and less progress- they make.
Meanwhile, the ACA is driving costs down, we're talking to Iran & inspecting Syria. Maybe the Tea Party should shut down a little less and simply shut up a little bit more.
And as long as our government is powered down, couldn't the NSA stop spying for a few days?
Whether you want to toast the health of our people or offer a prayer for the health of our nation, raise a glass with like-minded lefties at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
The Far Right Republican Tea Party has overplayed its hand. The House of Representatives, its stronghold on the federal level, is consistently unpopular, having a 10-19% approval rating this year according to the Gallop poll. And now the Tea Party is threatening to shut down the government, and put thousands of employees on furlough, to try to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. How do they think this latest ploy will shake out for them?
Regarding the 2014 mid-term elections, can anyone say “landslide.” Any Democrat with a pulse will be able to make a serious bid on an incumbent Republican-held office this next cycle. Embarrassingly out-of-touch the GOP has become, and American voters are likely to show them the door at the next opportunity.
Here is the problem with the Far Right: they think their positions are popular because they listen to the people in their districts that show up to town hall meetings and send emails. The constituents who are taking the time to complain are the radicalized Far Right who listen to Fox News and other Right Wing media. Read more
Dear Gov. McCrory,
Though I’m fortunate enough to hail from Ohio, the greatest state in our union, I still keep abreast of what’s going on in North Carolina—my second, wonderful home state. As a Republican, Duke student and political science major, I was disappointed to listen to the radio interview you gave a couple of weeks ago, during which you expressed an interest in defunding certain areas of study at North Carolina public universities. The sound bite the media grappled on to was your declaration, “If you want to take gender studies that’s fine. Go to a private school, and take it.”
I listened to the interview in its entirety, rather than just picking and choosing the choicest bits. I am guessing (hoping) this comment doesn’t express a malevolent view of the academic field of gender studies. Rather, I think it is a poor phrasing of your larger belief that public tax dollars should only fund areas of study that produce jobs for students. I’d like to respond to this larger sentiment and the potentiality of defunding certain academic disciplines, rather than the specific gender studies statement itself. Read more
Oftentimes I feel as though the views of the Republican Party are not properly characterized in campus discourse. Today I’d like to briefly summarize four oft-ignored perspectives on the Republican economic agenda, which isn’t as scary as it is usually portrayed in campus debate.
First and foremost, the Republican Party is not a party that only cares about rich people. Republicans want everyone to have a good-paying job that provides for his or her family. Many Republicans come from humble beginnings and humble backgrounds. Many were immigrants who came to this country with nothing but a dream. They know what it is to face hard times, and are not callous to the difficult circumstances in which many impoverished people find themselves.
In short, Republicans do not differ with Democrats at all in terms of empathy. Rather, they differ in their beliefs regarding the means by which to help the poorest among us. I think it’s safe to say Republicans have more faith in the power of free markets than the Democratic Party. Republicans would argue that free markets, unencumbered by unnecessary government regulation, allow for the greatest growth in prosperity for all. Read more
“Why should I respect a Republican or Democrat’s political views on campus when he or she draws conclusions completely contrary to my own?” Some of us at Duke answer this question with, “I shouldn’t have to. If my opponent is wrong, then there is simply no reason to respect what I deem to be conclusively wrong.”
These individuals operate in a world of black-and-white policy answers. But it surprises me, at a school that arguably teaches one of the best liberal arts curricula in our country, with hundreds of professors teaching and debating conflicting ideas with one another every day, that any Duke University student can come away from his or her studies passionately believing that he or she has found definitively right answers to America’s policy problems at the humble age of 22. These students are paying $60,000 a year to ignore the prying hands of a Duke education that is desperately trying to open their minds. Read more
My AP English teacher once told me that I would get beaten up at least once in college for telling people I was a Republican. She made the comment in the middle of class, laughing as she said it. I don’t think it was necessarily meant as an insult, but the memory has stuck with me ever since.
It’s a bit funny to think about now. Not only have I never gotten into a brawl surrounding politics (that would be a low point in anyone’s life I think), but a majority of my good friends at Duke University are of the opposite political persuasion.
In fact, I haven’t just peacefully coexisted and debated the other side—I’ve actually experienced it. This past summer I worked for two organizations simultaneously. The first organization was the Romney campaign, where I acted as the student overseeing all of the Young Americans for Romney campus groups in North Carolina. The second organization, Friends of the Earth, I interned with for a short period of time in London. It’s as liberal as the name might lead you to believe. It was quite a dichotomous pairing. Read more
Last year, I wrote a column extolling the virtues of being a member of a minority political viewpoint on campus. Today, I write a companion column delineating the detriments that arise when campus discussion is dominated by the liberal viewpoint. And it is my claim that, paradoxically, those harmed above all by this status quo are liberal students.
The negative effects are bountiful. Often discussed is the fact that disenfranchised perspectives on specific issues go unheard. This is true. Duke University's Chronicle published a story last semester reporting on how students opposing same-sex marriage remain, almost without exception, silent. The same in my experience could be said for pro-life, anti-affirmative action and pro-Second Amendment arguments. This political climate robs students of vital preparation for rebutting arguments with which they disagree. From a sheer standpoint of teaching argumentation, you cannot learn to effectively debate what you almost never hear. As evidence, look no further than the proclivity of many anonymous commenters to resort to ad hominem attacks when confronted with a conservative Chronicle column. Read more
Did you know 100 years ago The National Press Club hosted a Spelling Bee challenge pitting lawmakers against journalists? I'm not sure who won 100 years ago, but yesterday Tim Kaine came out on top.
Skip to 20 minutes in if you don't want to hear the introductions. Yes, it take 20 minutes.
In the last few weeks there has been a great deal of debate and controversy over the possibility of retaliatory strikes by the US in Syria. Both sides of the debate have some excellent points, and both sides have some points that are far from realistic appraisals of the situation. But this comment is not about the weaknesses or strengths of either side of the debate. Instead, I would like to offer a short statement as to why I am somewhat puzzled as to the rancor on the entire political debacle. Read more