Opinion

The opinions presented below are solely the views of the author and do not represent the views of The News-Letter. If you are a member of the Hopkins community looking to submit a piece or a letter to the editor, please email opinions@jhunewsletter.com.


Protests create healthy discourse

October 25, 2012

Tuesday morning, the pro-life demonstrations conducted by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform  were  met with demonstrations by pro-choice groups and other students on campus. These students stood up to the demonstrators and held up signs  pronouncing ...


Time for leaders to steer two-state solution

October 18, 2012

Next week, President Obama and Mitt Romney will debate our nation’s foreign policy and clarify their visions for America’s role in the world over the next four years. One of the foremost issues is the evolving Middle East. Amidst change and turmoil, it is often easy to kick the can down the road when it comes to that region. However, one issue the candidates cannot lose sight of is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Solving the conflict is necessary for a secure future — without fixed borders for Israelis and full political and human rights for Palestinians, there will be no peace and the regional situation will continue to deteriorate.


Should scientists be given more of a say in national policymaking?

October 18, 2012

The position of the natural sciences in Western society today is something of a paradox. By many standards, science in the U.S. and Europe has been enjoying a renaissance since World War II that has only accelerated in recent years. Governments have been devoting millions of dollars annually to basic research. Additionally, many firms in science or sectors of the economy related to science have maintained robust Research and Development divisions. These organizations have helped to set and pursue national priorities. As a result of this funding and direction, researchers have achieved major advances in a great diversity of fields and continue to publish new results at an astonishing pace.


Drone on: Unmanned aerial vehicles are our best military option

October 18, 2012

In countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, the sight of a sudden explosion that seems to come from nowhere has become an increasingly common sight. The use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone technology has been in the headlines more frequently in the last few years as the Obama administration has increased its dependence on UAVs to attack and kill suspected terrorists. This has raised some complex questions about the morality of this technology and the effects it has on the way we both wage and view warfare.


Continuing to embrace diversity is integral

October 18, 2012

On Oct. 10, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the future of affirmative action in the admissions process of the nation’s public universities. If the court rules in favor of the petitioner, it will no longer be legal for public and private universities to use the various personal characteristics of applicants — including race, religion, gender and sexual orientation — as factors in the admissions process.


Initiative addresses student concerns

October 18, 2012

About a year ago, the University introduced the Hopkins Community Partners Initiative (HCPI), which involves a plan to significantly improve 10 surrounding Hopkins neighborhoods between Penn Station and Wyman Park. The establishment of this initiative is praiseworthy and a necessary progression towards improving the area and the student body’s well-being.


Cast your vote for a third-party candidate

October 11, 2012

This past Wednesday evening, Americans were ceremoniously presented with the preferred platitudes of this election season. In the first presidential debate, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama predictably talked past one another, evaded the moderator’s questions and stuck to tired campaign catchphrases in search of the ever-elusive “zinger.” The debate capped off a long summer of productive discussion on the issues that matter most to America’s future – issues like Romney’s tax returns, the pleasure of firing people, why airplane windows don’t open, whether you really “built that” and the morality of various canine transportation methods.


Let’s declare war on drones before it’s too late

October 11, 2012

One can always count on humans to be fascinated by technology. Always curious, and sometimes cautious, the public is reliably eager to see how great developments will invariably alter the context of the world in which it lives. However, this evolution is not always so benevolent and often comes at a tremendous price. The military has been at the forefront of technological innovation and revolution since the beginnings of civilization, striving to make the defense of the state as formidable as possible. The problem arises when the reciprocation of production makes the international system far less stable. Many times when this occurs, the gruesome aftermath vehemently persuades the global community to prohibit the use and dissemination of these weapons out of a mutual understanding that the world is safer without them. This begs the question, should we only consider the implications of these technologies after they have been used? I think any rational person would say no.


Time for forward guidance: Fed should embrace the unconventional

October 11, 2012

During this election season, one of the issues weighing most heavily in the minds of voters will be the state of the economy. For all that has been said of the economic plans of the two candidates, it is easy to forget that the most important actor in the financial recovery will not be on the ballot this November, and is already in the midst of executing a large-scale and unconventional policy known as quantitative easing.


Fall Fest should expand its scope

October 11, 2012

Fall Fest ended Sunday, leaving some  students relaxed amidst an impending cascade of midterm exams. It also served as a taster of what is to come in the spring with the activity-saturated Spring Fair. Over the past few years, Spring Fair has consistently attracted larger crowds and offered a greater diversity of sights and events to Hopkins students than most other campus programs, including Fall Fest.


Students need to participate more

October 11, 2012

Hopkins students have been noticeably absent from recent events on campus. Last week, only about 50 students attended the MSE Symposium to listen to Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America. Only six students attended the second annual $2/Day Challenge, which seeks to raise awareness about the plight of the homeless by encouraging its participants to sleep outside with limited resources. The event coordinators attributed the low turnout to students’ aversion to living without luxuries such as electronics and showers.


Enforcement needed on both sides

October 4, 2012

The Baltimore City Police Department (BCPD) has, over the past few weeks, begun to issue citations to jaywalkers in an effort to improve traffic safety and maintain an active presence in key intersections around the Homewood campus.


Manipulating the mind? DID is a social construction

October 4, 2012

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a mental health condition that causes much controversy in the medical world. The disorder, more commonly known as multiple personality disorder, is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personalities that alternately control a person’s behavior.


Israeli strike on Iran would be justified

October 4, 2012

The flare-up between Israel and Iran has progressively gotten worse over the past six months and, with the events that took place at the UN General Assembly, it is clear that an Israeli preemptive strike is becoming more imminent. While addressing the UN, Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister, appealed to the General Assembly to stop Iran before their nuclear capabilities are complete. In Israel, many believe that if Iran becomes armed with nuclear weapons, the Iranians will not hesitate to use those weapons against Israel. To Israel’s credit, they may be right. There has been constant vitriolic and dangerous language coming out of Tehran in which leaders have vowed for the destruction of Israel.


I love you Honey Boo Boo: The merits of bad TV

October 4, 2012

It is Wednesday at 10 p.m. Like clockwork, in the common room on the ninth floor of a building at the corner of N. Charles Street and 33rd, I close my Shakespeare anthology and position myself in front of an anachronistic wood-paneled spectacle of a television. Tonight is no night to burn the midnight oil and scour the seventeenth century sonnets of some guy who is long dead. No — tonight, I will set my work aside in favor of some well-deserved relaxation, because tonight brings this week’s episode of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”


Chicago public school strike is the result of complacency

September 27, 2012

Complacency is something that as Hopkins students we are mostly unaware of. Each of us was admitted into this university because of our desire to be better, to work harder. Hopkins has a reputation as a sweatshop of academics, where the classes are punishing and the hours, long. But these complaints are mostly from outsiders. To the insiders — the students — those long hours and extra classes are in pursuit of something bigger. That drive, the ambitious pursuit of our own future, is what makes Hopkins such a powerful university. But as insiders it is easy to get lost within the pull of Hopkins, surrounded by peers of similar charisma and discipline. What happens if you go outside of the university? To other schools? Does the same disciplined drive that we cherish at Hopkins also thrive in our nation as a whole? Or has complacency sunk its generous weight onto the back of our national ambitions?


U.S. attempts to liberalize Burmese economy threaten democracy

September 27, 2012

Early in July, the Obama administration lifted longstanding sanctions on U.S. investment in Myanmar, also known as Burma. Such a change in the economic constraints on what was and could still reasonably be considered one of the poorest and least democratic countries in Asia would appear to be a primarily positive development. While it certainly is an important stepping stone in both improving the quality of life of Burma’s suffering people and integrating Burma into the international community as one of its more open and productive members, the hasty pace at which the U.S. is moving in on the Burmese economy runs the risk of undermining the worthier goals of ingraining a progressive, permanent democracy in Burma.


Italians poised to provide unlikely answer

September 27, 2012

After more than 150 years as a united country and more than 67 years as a republic, Italy is about to undergo general elections in the upcoming spring of 2013. Parliamentary legislation and the presence of so many different small parties make the length of the prime minister’s term highly subjected to political transactions. Since 1994, when the so-called “Mani Pulite” corruption scandal put an end to the dominance of the moderate Christian Democracy, the prime minister has been changed nine times. However the upcoming elections are something completely unprecedented due to the precarious economic situation of Italy and the EU and to the contestants for the prime minister’s seat.