"These boots were made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do. One day soon, these boots are gonna walk all over..." Syria.
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In a dramatic, escalated repetition of last month’s minor controversy, Turkey fired upon and destroyed a Russian jet over the skies of Syria earlier this morning. The Turkish government has suggested that the jet in question, along with one other, violated Turkish airspace while Moscow has maintained that the Russian jets did not fly over Turkish territory.
"Is it ever wise to ignore enemies of freedom and justice?", Diane Foley, mother of slain American journalist James Foley, said.
The recent ascension of so-called “safe spaces” on college campuses in the U.S. has consequently led to a major decline in the intellectual vigor and reputation of college students. This is the natural zenith of the new “PC culture” and has had disturbing legal, ideological and social costs even in the brief window of the past month. The University of Missouri is ground zero for the largest, most visible flare-up in the recent culture war.
Last week, I made the case for the increasingly-pointed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) presidential candidacy, based on the qualities of his character and his integrity as (or in spite of being) a politician. This week, I will be covering the other Democratic candidate worth mentioning, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Despite a genuinely excellent week, Clinton is overall a dangerous prospective nominee for the Democratic Party if they hope to maintain control of the White House in 2016.
Forget about policy for a minute; there is something more important than tuition-free college or single-payer healthcare that Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is offering the American public: himself. He has rightfully become the channel for the middle class (and, increasingly) lower class American rage at the socio-political-economic establishment that has crushed the American Dream for anybody paying a wink of attention. Like the great George Carlin said, you have to be asleep to believe it. That has never been truer than today.
It’s hard to be a culture snob when you like a piece of "prolefeed" culture. I mean, I genuinely love a little show in CBS’s 8:30 p.m. slot (incidentally, this is the slot immediately after the enormously successful "Big Bang Theory") called "Life in Pieces." It has a fair 64 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.6/10 from IMDB.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in his first interview with Western media since the establishment of a framework for the Iranian nuclear deal, suggested that the notorious chant of “Death to America!” that some Iranians in Tehran perform on a weekly basis, which has little foundation in animosity towards the American people. Rather, this choice phraseology supposedly expresses the people’s disdain towards American foreign policy.
On Wednesday, the nation will receive the gift that keeps on giving: another episode of the Republican Debate. "Round 2," as the news media has dubbed it. As we rev up for the second Republican debate, keep these vital changes in mind.
Today marks the first occasion former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has apologized for her private email server fiasco, calling it "a mistake." This is just the continuance of a downward trend in the Clinton campaign domination. She’s not quite a “Don’t Buy,” but Clinton is in danger of becoming a “Risky” investment for the Democrats in 2016.
The prognosis on America’s obsession with guns has never looked bleaker. This year has produced an astounding statistic regarding gun violence: we have had more than one mass shooting per day, on average, over the course of the year. This applies when a “mass shooting” means that four or more people were shot during the incident. Of course, this glosses over the multitudinous singular homicides, crimes and suicides committed with guns this and every other year.
The Donald's presidential bid has been a non-stop tempest of excitement, controversy and notoriety — and I want to keep watching it unfold, popcorn and ballot in hand. To see the Republican establishment squirm because they can't control a genuine “Maverick" candidate is hilarious; to watch the other milquetoast candidates try to catch up to Trump by playing his game of unabashed, unfiltered rhetoric is equally entertaining.
The Indonesian government has some seriously gargantuan cojones. Earlier this week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo held steadfast in the capital sentencing of the Bali 9, a small group of drug smugglers who tried to export 8 kilograms of heroin (U.S. street value: $264,000-$800,000) from Indonesia in 2005. The execution comes after 10 years of prison served for the smugglers, as a larger part of the expansive campaign being waged against Indonesia’s excessive “drug emergency”.
The Marine Corps is considering lowering their combat standards for women in response to research that came out of the U.S. Marines Corps earlier this week. The study found that none of the 29 women who attempted the Infantry Officer Course offered by the Marines graduated the course while just four passed the first day’s combat endurance test. Among the course's more challenging physical tasks was climbing a 25-foot rope while carrying a backpack full of gear.
Tuesday morning brought a not-altogether-welcome, not-altogether-surprising surprise in the form of Activision’s announcement that it's releasing a new Guitar Hero game parallel to Harmonix’s "Rock Band 4" release later this year. This is a bittersweet announcement for me, because I feel like "Guitar Hero" is The Rolling Stones of video games: Its legacy may be better if it had stopped years ago.
Editor's note: This is in response to columnist Derrik Rochwalik's column "Confederate flag causing quite the conundrum."
The sunk cost fallacy, an unfortunate cornerstone of many people’s decision-making process, seems as though it may take up the responsibility for sinking Indiana entirely. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is sticking to his guns in the apocalyptic aftermath of his passage of Indiana’s new RFRA Act. Let’s review the damage he has caused his state in the mere week since he signed the restrictive law into being.
April 19 will mark the 240th Anniversary of “the shot heard around the world” that kicked off the American Revolutionary War in Lexington, Massachusetts. But on the anniversary eve of this all-important American milestone, some have perhaps forgotten the significance and history of our country’s most endearing symbol —our flag.
“You can’t win if you don’t play!” says our Arizona lottery commercials, but the opposite is also true; sometimes, you can only win if you never buy in. Torture is no lottery, and it looks like some major players are about to lose out big. A human rights watchdog from Germany called the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has filed a war crimes case against many of the Bush Administration’s top officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, CIA Director George Tenet and of course the titular Bush. The first concrete charges against the Bush Administration are a welcome departure from the weak former attempts of addressing the U.S.’s torture policies in the immediate wake of 9/11, among them “symbolic” non-government sanctioned trials and mobs of rather rude riotous Canadians. They are not from a national government, or the U.N., but these charges may hold some serious weight under the right circumstances. In 1998 during a visit to London, notorious Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested by U.K. police. This marked the first time a former head of state had been arrested on the basis of universal jurisdiction, the idea that any state may investigate or prosecute individuals for crimes committed in other countries, e.g., Pinochet’s human rights atrocities executed in Chile. Although after extradition he avoided trial for health reasons and eventually died without a conviction to his name, Pinochet serves as a precedent for ways the international community can handle those who denigrate human rights in the future, as well as today. So for what crimes should the Bush Administration be held accountable? Obviously, instigating the war that killed a half million Iraqis, minimum, based off the completely unsupported falsehood about Iraq possessing WMD’s is a show of confounding incompetence — but no war crime. The manner in which we treated the prisoners we took over the course of that war, however, is a definite war crime. Here’s the thing, though: Bush, Cheney and Co. have repeatedly admitted to using enhanced interrogation over the last decade, and our collective citizenry continues to barely bat an eye. The Bush Administration, may it be noted, does not confess; it only admits. Confession implies some sort of penance or guilt that one feels for the actions they’ve committed, while admission is a forced concession, if anything. It’s no secret that Dick Cheney loves his waterboarding. One can only imagine how wet Cheney would get if he were undergoing the torture himself (courtesy of former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura) and how his views on the matter might change after experiencing the closest proximity to death possible. The era of clandestine torture by the U.S. is coming to a close. No more can the Golden Shield protect the New Gang of Four from legal prosecution than the use of enhanced interrogation can extract viable information out of captives. Holding the former administration accountable for their crimes is not just a punishment for them, it is a preservation of the morals and standards that are supposedly meant to guide our country. We need to start living up to those big words: Liberty, Equality and Justice for all.Reach the columnist at email@example.com or follow @OnlyH_Man on Twitter.Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.Want to join the conversation? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep letters under 300 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.
Inexplicably, the nation was greeted Tuesday morning to the news that Alaska has become the third state to legalize recreational marijuana.Continuing the great State Press Spring 2015 Opinion tradition, here are four other states that are hot on the heels of those baked Alaskans, no doubt enjoying themselves some baked Alaska and other munchies right this minute. California: The first state to legalize medical marijuana back in 1996 is long overdue on completing the Western Seaboard’s transmutation from the Wild West to the Mild West. California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently took an about face to recreational marijuana — from calling it laughable just a year ago to now admitting that recreational pot is “inevitable.” There’s no reason for her to strain herself, though, since her state’s crop is a classic, serving as long-time inspiration for countless movies and songs. Massachusetts: The Liberal bastion will likely be one of the first states east of the Mississippi to be a real good bud to cannabis users. The state’s progressive history with health care reform and marriage equality make it a likely trailblazer for the next wave of marijuana reform. Massachusetts voters decriminalized weed in 2014. If this poll by the Boston Herald is any indication, voters will legalize it in 2016. Expect Bostonians by the thousands to soon adopt to the seafood diet. It’s not fixated around the daily catch from the Massachusetts Bay, but instead centered on the philosophy of a very wise sage (or very inebriated hippie): “Whenever I seafood, I eat it.” Nevada: It’s genuinely surprising that marijuana isn’t already legal here—what makes people more likely to throw away Junior’s college fund on a dice roll than some chemical psychoactive suppression? Here’s an idea: Give a free joint to every person as they walk onto the gambling floor and watch the risky bets and repetitive pulls of the slot machines occur with triple frequency. In a state whose tourism brings in 40 million visitors a year and billions in revenue, Nevada could become the American Amsterdam and the center of high-price, high-quality cannabis and products for its unique clientele. Don’t worry about Junior and his college fund though, he can survive with a job in the burgeoning marijuana industry — whether that behavior is regulated and safe or high-risk and criminal is a matter of choice for the voters. Arizona: What, here? https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRZGplsUbRvGQnc2xTnRrnGMrIji-TLEP0CDq0fn-XkcXKrSogHM_JwLWY Yes, here. Bizarre as it may sound, we’re actually a frontrunner for recreational marijuana legalization in 2016. Like other many states in the midterms last year, Conservative politicians won the elections, but liberal policies won the ballots. If one thing can move a large mass of young people, albeit in very short bursts between Netflix binges and one’s second and third Totino’s pizza in a single sitting, it would be marijuana legalization. On the lovely Ballotpedia, (yes, there is a –pedia for laws being proposed in every state legislature, school board and municipal government in the country and it is mind-bogglingly informative) the proposed initiative for 2016 already has a page, even though it isn’t an official proposal yet. The PAC Safer Arizona is focused on legalization and regulation of marijuana in a similar way to alcohol and is among the many groups working for marijuana reform in Arizona. Although it’ll be another 18 months until Arizonians vote again, keeping up-to-date with the evolution of marijuana laws and their effects throughout the country will better inform our own decisions in the future. Or, at the least, prevent you from being smoked in a debate. It's time for the 50 states of green to hash it out and get on the legalization train. Reach the columnist at email@example.com or follow @OnlyH_Man on Twitter.Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.Want to join the conversation? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep letters under 300 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.