Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 14, 2024


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Leveraging the fiscal cliff: Obama should hold firm

After last Tuesday’s election, we saw President Obama earn his re-election, the Democrats keep the Senate and the Republicans keep the House. The focus in Washington has now shifted towards the rapidly approaching fiscal cliff on Jan. 1. The fiscal cliff refers to the automatic expiration of the Bush tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts that will be implemented on New Year’s Day if Congress does not pass a new budget for the next fiscal year.

Why you should stay away from the retail stores on Black Friday

Towards the end of next week, most students will return home or at least gather with friends and family to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. But the last thing anyone should do is get up early the next day and venture to the biggest mess in American consumer culture, Black Friday.

It’s high time to end the War on Drugs and legalize marijuana

Last week Colorado and Washington made international headlines by becoming the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. These measures contradict existing drug policy at the federal level, and many pundits anticipate a legal showdown that goes all the way to the Supreme Court. But the short-term outcome of these battles will do little to change the long-term necessity of ending the War on Drugs. Legalizing marijuana across all 50 states is long overdue, and whenever it inevitably comes to pass it will make our nation richer, safer and freer.

What President Obama’s victory means to me

Two days have passed since Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States. Eight years have passed since a young soldier named Matt Lynch was killed by a roadside bomb in Ramadi, Iraq. And over these past 48 hours, I’ve been attempting to reconcile the two. What do the past two days tell me about the past eight years?

Voters missed opportunity for change

On Tuesday, the country missed the opportunity to vote for real change – actual, real and tangible transformations to our country. Change will come when we stop passing and renewing laws such as the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which egregiously violate the very basic principles this country was founded upon. It will come when we stop calling the dead children from the drone strikes in Pakistan “collateral damage” and actually put a face to these people who are no different from the rest of us.

Four more years: Where we are and where we’re going

Three weeks’ worth of misguided campaign strategies and unbecoming soundbites in the lead-up to this Tuesday’s election forecasted Romney’s downfall even before the race was called. In fact, the phrase “bleak prospects” would have seemed a gross understatement; by the morning of the election, the New York Times’ number-crunching guru Nate Silver had boldly pegged Obama’s chances of re-election at over 90 percent, and by 11:30 PM – before Florida and Ohio’s tallies had been finalized – none other than Fox News had declared a landslide victory for Barack Obama.

Romney win would have been disastrous

Now that I can safely say that Mitt Romney will not be elected our next president, I feel it’s necessary to reflect on what his presidency would have meant for the all-important and salient issue of disaster relief.

Daniels makes a necessary first step

Last week President Ronald J. Daniels wrote an op-ed piece in The Baltimore Sun in support of marriage equality in Maryland. Daniels briefly mentioned that he saw the issue as “a matter of justice and core civil rights,” but the remainder of his piece gave a less common interpretation as to why marriage equality is important: it is beneficial for business, especially for an organization like Hopkins. Proposition 6, which reaffirmed the right to marriage among all citizens in Maryland, passed on Tuesday night.

Hotel at Olmstead isn’t practical

On Tuesday, Alan Fish, the Vice President of Real Estate and Campus Services, introduced some of his suggestions for development at Homewood to the Student Government Association (SGA). One of the most ambitious projects Fish spoke about and the first one he would like to implement is the construction of a hotel on the vacant Olmstead lot on 33rd St. between St. Paul and N. Charles St. Fish told the SGA that the hotel would increase the quality of student life by bringing “really great restaurants” to Charles Village and would provide students with another place to “hang out.”

Opioids are not the answer for chronic pain

Opioids are among the world’s oldest drugs and are still used today to manage pain. Classified as narcotic analgesics, they are legally available by prescription. They work by binding to specific receptors in the nervous system and altering the way that the brain identifies and interprets pain sensations.

Sandy sheds light on candidates’ silence

Hurricane Sandy has finally come and gone, but she has left a trail of devastation in her wake. And environmental catastrophes like her are becoming more common and are a direct result of climate change. Unfortunately, in our modern society, climate change is one of the least publicized yet one of the most important issues that faces the next generation.

Uncovered grades? Why school administrators should think twice

A year ago, an article ran in The News-Letter which discussed the topic of covered grades. The article indicated that the Academic Affairs subcommittee of the Academic Council had recently approved a motion to eliminate the first semester grading policy, which indicates only a satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance in the course and does not calculate grades received in first semester classes into cumulative grade point average (GPA). This recommendation, if approved by President Ron Daniels, would take effect in the fall of 2014.

University poised despite weather

With Hurricane Sandy now gone, the recovery process has begun. The University and its surroundings, however, have emerged relatively unscathed. This is largely due to the people who worked through the storm to insure Hopkins was prepared

Morsi matters: Elected Egyptian leader deserves a chance

In the midst of a heated race for the U.S. presidency, many in the foreign policy arena are concerned about the implications of a new Egyptian government. How will Egyptian-American relations fare under recently elected President Mohammed Morsi? Will the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel remain intact? Although these are important questions, they are self-interested. The most fundamental question must be: is Morsi good for the Egyptian people?

Partisans need to embrace compromise to fix economy

With the U.S. elections approaching and the world market still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis, the economy has rarely been such an important factor in the political arena. In their second debate, Governer Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama mainly focused on their two different approaches to solve this situation. Obama is mainly proposing to increase government spending, while Romney wants to cut taxes in order to improve the prospects of small businesses. Both these solutions reflects their parties historical beliefs: big government and aid to the low-income sectors of society for the Democrats and small government and greater liberty to entrepreneurs for the Republicans.

Popular view of sexual assault is misguided

Last week, I was very excited to see an article about sexual violence in The News-Letter. I believe sexual violence is an issue that is too often ignored or unrecognizably distorted at Hopkins. Someone was finally acknowledging the fact that, yes, sexual assault does occur at this school. However, I was dismayed after reading the article “70 Sex Offenders Registered in Area,” which was published on Oct. 11. This article only served to perpetuate the false and dangerous sentiment that sexual violence only comes from perpetrators outside of our school.

Why the Golden Globes will shine

It’s probably a bit premature to be getting excited about next year’s awards season, but the recent announcement that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are going to be hosting the upcoming Golden Globe Awards in January merits discussion. These are two of Hollywood’s best comediennes who happen to have undeniable chemistry.  If this does not boost ratings for the Awards, then I don’t know what will.

Faculty-student interaction is the way to go

Yesterday, the Sustainable Hopkins Infrastructure Program (SHIP) held the first annual Future of Hopkins Symposium. The event allows students and faculty to present ideas to create a better and more sustainable Hopkins. Some of the ideas presented included the creation of a University-wide donation bank which would accept used items from students, an art gallery at MSE focused on science and the planting of gardens on buildings to increase the amount of local produce on campus.

Protests create healthy discourse

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 their right to choose.

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