Nick Autiello, Contributor
The notion that homosexuality is a sin and un-Christian is one that is less than a hundred years old. It is wrong, and has no basis in scriptural or historical reality.
James Sasso, Associate Editor
As the tumultuous 2011 comes down to its final day, this column could contain an obnoxious summary of the year’s extraordinary events. Rather than once again discussing the protests around the world, the death of Osama Bin Laden, Fukushima, America’s political ineptitude, Europe’s demise or the increasingly frightful weather patterns, here I attempt to predict what 2012 holds in store.
James Sasso, Associate Editor
For one of the first times in his tenure as Speaker, John Boehner has made a statement with which every American, Republican or Democrat, should fully agree; the two-month Senate bipartisan extension of the payroll tax cut fails to fix the nation’s problems sufficiently. Providing a short-term band-aid to a long-term dilemma contradicts what a responsible government should accomplish, but fits the pattern of contemporary American politicking.
Mitt Romney is guilty of serial hypocrisy, Newt Gingrich is guilty of being a public intellectual constantly scrutinized by the media and others, and Ron Paul never ceases to remind me about one of my favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”
Josh Akman, Columnist
Jon Huntsman did not participate in the CNN Debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night. Short of his family and small (and getting smaller) campaign staff, no one really noticed. In a bizarre and counterproductive effort to impress New Hampshire voters Huntsman skipped the debate to protest Nevada moving its caucus ahead of New Hampshire’s, which has always been the nation’s first primary. It’s bizarre because no one else skipped the debate. It’s counterproductive because right now, Jon Huntsman is polling 6% in New Hampshire.
For the past month a movement has grown out of Zuccoti Park in New York with the potential to grab at the very heart of America’s problems. “We are the 99%” is not simply a catchy phrase used by frustrated jobless Americans , but a commentary on the disgraceful economic inequality that has arisen in the United States since the 1970s.
Midtown East has been jam-packed this week with dignitaries who are in town for the UN General Assembly, and if nothing else, this week proves that amidst the faltering economy and political uncertainty, the United States is still the greatest country in the world.
In my attempts to procrastinate during midterm week, I recently caught a Gilmore Girls rerun on ABC Family. And while the trials and tribulations of a unique mother-daughter relationship wouldn’t typically serve as fruitful political blogging material, inspiration found me where I least expected it.
The devolution of American values and culture has been underway for some time, but the devolution of America, the mighty and illustrious one that exists in our history textbooks—the America that triumphed over the muscular and mighty British military; the America that managed to emerge from our own internal war stronger than before; the America that fought through a depression that tried every aspect of our being; the America that was instrumental in not one, but two world wars; and the America that came together in the wake of the most horrific act of terror we had ever faced—is harder to pin point.
It’s been a little more than a week now since the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Stealers took the field in Jerry Jones’ football palace for Super Bowl XLV. While ratings history was made when 111 million Americans tuned in to watch the squeaky clean Aaron Rodgers face off against the anything but clean “Big Ben” Roethlisberger (there are too many puns to choose just one), this year’s game was plagued with more than its fair share of problems—from furious fans left out in the cold, to an ill-received half-time show. But perhaps most costly was not Roethlisberger’s two interceptions or Rashard Mendenhall’s fumble, but rather the senseless casting choice that awarded the curvaceous has-been Christina Aguilera with the honor of singing this year’s National Anthem.
Flashback to 2007: Al Gore and Davis Guggenheim’s “ground breaking” documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Needless to say, this explicitly liberal film, about a predominantly liberal topic, created/produced by openly liberal lads, received a relatively prestigious honor that is awarded by, you guessed it, the chiefly liberal Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
We have grown accustomed to the typical rhetoric that floods our political climate today. With empty promises to lower spending, halt rising taxes, and change the status quo, its no wonder people have become so disenfranchised with their government. Due to the inauguration of the 112th Congress this past week, cable news networks, political pundits, and politicians alike have inundated the airways with reminders that it is time for “change.”
Meg Storm, Columnist
This particular First Family seems extraordinarily interested in all things health related, and yet Mr. President himself has not stopped smoking until recently—and that’s assuming Robert Gibbs actually knows what he is talking about. In a press conference last Thursday Gibbs was faced with a question about whether or not the President had kicked his pesky habit.
EXTRA, EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT! Prince William and his long-time girlfriend, Kate Middleton, announced their engagement this past week to a slew of media frenzy. Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you are already well aware of the just about every speculative detail that has-yet-to-be-confirmed. William wants a spring wedding, but the palace would prefer summer; who will be crowned the chance of designing Ms. Middleton’s dress; is it bad karma that William gave Kate his late mother’s right? Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good ol’ fashioned royal wedding every now and again but, in these somewhat chaotic times, there are much bigger fish to fry.
A lot has changed in the last two years since the illustrious election of President Barack Obama. It was an historic election for a myriad of reasons, but perhaps most notable was the success of the get out to vote campaign among America’s youth. Then Senator Obama made great efforts to get the younger generation excited about the elections. Between Facebook campaigns and celebrity support, Obama made great use of this new age weapon, and as a result, 18-24 year olds turned out at record rates.
This past week I attended a panel discussion comprised of journalists from several news organs (The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! News, and Al Jazeera). The purpose of the panel: allow 5 relatively successful journalists to preach to a room full of potential journalism majors about the state of political reporting this election cycle. As it turns out, apparently it is no longer possible to have an intellectual conversation about the state of American journalism, for of the 75 minutes that was allotted for the discussion, a solid 25-30 minutes was spent attacking “cable news,” which, as I have quickly learned, simply means FOX News.
Meg Storm, Columnist
Nearly forty two million Americans now find themselves dependent on food stamps. This number is over a million higher than the then record breaking numbers from January 2010, and are expected to continue to rise. While it would be easy to look at these staggering figures and pass them off as the product of a struggling economy, history has already shown that when it comes to socialized programs like Food Stamps, the economy is never the sole culprit.
Over 2,000 years ago, Sophocles created the story of two men, Oedipus and Creon, who both begin as political masterminds and end as tragic failures. All these years later, it looks like we are in the same predicament as those of ancient Thebes. While our current president may have began his quest for greatness as a suave and savvy politician, 18 months later it appears as though he is no more than an imprudent ruler. The rise and fall of both King Oedipus and King Creon bears an eerie resemblance to the rise and impending fall of President Obama.
NYU has opened up a world of opportunities for me including writing for this blog and interning with Glenn Beck over the summer. All things considered, I am incredibly fortunate, and after suffering through my liberal arts requirements last year, I finally get to begin more concentrated classes, which include a core journalism class, as well as an introductory American politics course.
Meg Storm, Columnist
Having just come home from a whirlwind couple of days in Washington D.C., which concluded with my attending the Restoring Honor Rally, I believe that this country has finally reached the zenith at which we must choose whether or not we are willing to work for the peaceful coexistence of this honor and pride, for if are not willing to work towards this unity I honestly believe that our demise is imminent.
Meg Storm, Columnist
Reactionary politics are not enough to fuel victory beyond 2010. While the Republicans shouldn’t have a problem getting elected on the simple platform of anti-Obama, they will definitely have their hands full if they don’t go into office with some semblance of a plan.