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Impoverished Politics: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Perspectives | 0 comments

I was struggling this week to figure out what to write about, and then Assad dropped chemical weapons on Syrian civilians. And then Trump bombed a Syrian air-base in response. I found myself reacting the way I always do: skeptically, angrily and helplessly. A few years of history, culture and politics classes have taught me that United States’ aggression and involvement in other regions often does a better job of further destabilizing situations than helping them. The current state of the Middle East is part of our legacy as a modern empire. When the news of dozens of US tomahawk missiles being rained down on Syria made its way to me, the anti-war, anti-military ideologue within me was shocked and livid. In the past Trump has condemned further aggression in Syria, and now here we are. The problem is,...

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Impoverished Politics: You gotta fight for your right (to be a human being)

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Perspectives | 0 comments

There is one thing I know for sure: Our country does not care about poor people. In fact, it goes out of its way to make things harder for poor people to survive. Due to factors like the price of health care, food deserts and gentrification, the war on poverty has only one casualty: the lower classes. The capitalist values that drive our nation beg a single question: Why does anyone have to earn the right to live? We supposedly work for what we have, yet most of the wealth in our country is inherited and hoarded. Somehow that means if you don’t work hard enough, you don’t deserve things like food, shelter or clean water. We have enough resources to feed the entire nation, so why don’t we? There is this amazing cognitive dissonance in which we don’t...

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Senior Virginia Johnson reflects on work with refugees in Bangkok, Thailand

Posted by on Mar 29, 2017 in Features | 1 comment

Before you go abroad, part of the anticipation is knowing that you’re about to embark on a journey that will completely alter your life, but you have no way to conceive how exactly it will be altered. When I left for my semester abroad in Bangkok, Thailand, I was incredibly anxious for all the transformative experiences that were ahead of me, but I never expected to find so many professional outlets abroad that would shape my career goals. Some of my closest American friends at my Thai university were from the University of California school system, and, through their program, they could do internships for course credit during their time abroad. A few girls I knew interned together at a humanitarian and immigration law firm teaching English to refugees, and they invited me to go. Not having a very...

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Impoverished Politics: Fascist Europe wasn’t built in a day, either

Posted by on Feb 22, 2017 in Perspectives | 0 comments

We’re only a few weeks into the Trump presidency and everything is pretty much as bad as we thought it would be. Not only is it apparent that Trump plans to carry out much of the heinous policy he promised during his campaign, that Steve Bannon is our white-supremacist-in-chief, but also that this administration can deny facts and blatantly violate ethics without any real repercussions. When Donald Trump declares that any news source publishing the low ratings of his presidency is ‘fake news,’ and he attempts to shut down federal employees for posting facts regarding climate change on social media, it is clear he is living in a very different reality. It is also alarming because there is a set precedent for this: the myriad of fascist and dictatorial regimes modern history has seen. Along the campaign trail, the...

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Impoverished Politics: How neoliberalism ruined America

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Perspectives | 1 comment

America has been and probably always will be a plutocracy. But in the last few decades, that truth, and the divide between the elite and the actual will of the people has only grown stronger. These years have been marked with the continued rise of neoliberalism and inconceivable corruption on both sides of the political aisle. Our nation’s embrace of neoliberal ideology post-Reagan is largely to blame for major crises across the board: the 2008 recession, the continued destruction of the planet, and the rise of now President-Elect Donald Trump. Yet we unwaveringly believe that our governmental and economic systems are not only the most prosperous but also the most ethical. This past election cycle proved specifically that the Democratic Party is more loyal to its corporate interests and neoliberal agenda than it is to its constituents. This was...

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