Around 2 a.m. on Monday, my roommate and I were going through a slideshow of quotes from Joe Biden and then Donald Trump, in desperate need of entertainment. Our aimless procrastination had us following her mouse to online galleries that burned into our eyes with the unsavory clumsiness of the two men who were competing for the prestigious misnomer of leader of the free world. It was supposed to be funny, and for a bit, it was. Until their words stopped painting an image of their indiscretion, instead telling ugly truths of their aptitude to cause suffering. My laughter was interrupted by a lump in my throat.
Sarah Hurwitz, speechwriter to the Obamas, will give a talk to the Cornell and Ithaca community on March 23 about what it was like to work in the White House, as well as how she rediscovered her Jewish identity. Free tickets will be available in Willard Straight Hall starting on March 9, through the show date.
In the inaugural lecture at the newly founded Cornell India Law Center, former U.S. ambassador to India Richard Verma spoke about India’s increasing relevance in international affairs, the evolution of U.S.-India ties and the importance of learning from the history between the two nations. The lecture, which took place on Thursday, was the first in a series hosted by the Cornell India Law Center in the law school, which seeks to provide Cornell law students with the opportunity to study Indian law as well as obtain a more in-depth understanding and connection with India through a variety of programs, including speaker series, summer internships in New Delhi and a dual-degree program with Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, India. According to Verma, by 2030 “India will lead the world in almost every category.” But while India’s strategic location and its position as a democracy “in a tough part of the world” make it an important ally, the country still faces many “risk factors” such as significant climate risks, governance issues across the country, and for many of its citizens, a lack of access to clean water and electricity. “When you go to India, you can feel the excitement, you can feel the energy. People know that this is an exciting time.” Verma said.
Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a new dueling columns feature. In this feature, Michael Johns ’20 and Giancarlo Valdetaro ’21 debate, “Forty years after the Iranian Revolution, what posture should the U.S. take on the Islamic Republic?” Read the counterpart column here. An unidentified man was publicly hanged in the Iranian city of Kazeroon last month, one of thousands of Iranians executed on charges of homosexuality in the country since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran’s despotic legal system and practice of secret executions make it easy to underestimate the magnitude of Iran’s human rights abuses, which also have targeted political opponents and religious minorities. Yet, while numbers are hard to come by, human rights experts are nearly unanimous in placing Iran among the world’s worst human rights violators.
With the recent death of Supreme Justice Antonin Scalia, the United States has lost one of its greatest legal minds. Scalia’s nearly 30-year tenure on the Supreme Court was marked by his textualist philosophy, pointed questions and his carefully crafted and passionate opinions. Further, his presence also shifted the Court in a notably conservative direction, including on Second Amendment jurisprudence. Although Scalia’s legacy will be indisputably controversial, none can question that it is significant. Nonetheless, we now have a vacancy on the Court.
Drake is back and “looking for revenge.” “Summer Sixteen,” the leading single off of his upcoming album Views from the 6, premiered on Jan. 30th on his OVO Sound radio show on Apple’s Beats 1Radio. If Drake was looking to ruffle some feathers before the drop of his new album, he certainly did. From insulting President Obama in retaliation for calling Kendrick Lamar the better rapper to his multiple shots at rival rapper Meek Mill, with whom he has a highly publicized feud about ghost writing — Drake is back. As a Drake fan, I wasn’t disappointed.
Last night, in a rare address to a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama issued yet another appeal to Congress and the American public regarding his highly controversial healthcare reform. Despite his “excellent” delivery, several Cornell professors expressed reservations on the actual impact of the speech.
In his remarks, the president emphasized the importance and timeliness of healthcare reform since “health care represents one-sixth of our economy.”
He began by outlining some of the current problems facing our healthcare system, including the concern that “if you move, lose your job, or change your job, you’ll lose your health insurance.”
In a sign of the times, there is uproar over President Obama’s decision to speak to schoolchildren and convey a message of studying hard and staying in school. Parents have appeared on the cable news stations crying out in anger at the idea that President Obama would dare speak to the nation’s children. First and foremost, Barack Obama is the President of the United States, a fact that eludes many U.S. children. He is the leader of the free world and is held to a higher standard and in higher regard than other politicians. Second, that the President wishes to dedicate time towards reaching out to schoolchildren is mutually beneficial and exposes students to the idea of nation and community.
With smoke dominating the sky, lifeless bodies scattered about, and terrified people fleeing a massive heap of rumble, America will never forget one of the most destructive attacks on our country. The Oklahoma City bombing of a fully occupied federal building took the lives of 168 Americans, making it the deadliest case of domestic terrorism. This was indicative of the ever-growing power of the militia movement – groups of militants set out to end what they saw as an unjust government. After several years of growth in the 1990s, the militias began losing power and for the past decade they have nearly disappeared. However, they are returning and with greater strength than ever.