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I wasn’t at all surprised by the recent college admissions scandal. The news struck close to home since I’m from Hillsborough, CA, a town in which multiple parents implicated in the scandal reside. The scandal shouldn’t be that surprising to anyone. Look at college admissions from a business standpoint: If a desired good — in this case, a degree from an elite university — is hard to obtain, black markets arise for consumers to gain access.
A new HBO documentary “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley” chronicles the rise and demise of Theranos, a health-tech company that claimed to have designed blood tests requiring a very small amount of blood. Its inexpensive tests could, it claimed, be administered and analyzed without a physician or a lab, thereby bringing healthcare closer to the consumer. Theranos received endorsements from a series of influential figures, including former U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The company’s peak valuation reached $9 billion. But in 2015, its technological claims were revealed as false. By 2016, Forbes estimated the net worth of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at virtually nothing. Her company was a scam.
The sun was setting in the Mataderos neighborhood of Buenos Aires, and I had just attached myself to the longest bus line I had ever seen: It wrapped around the corner and ended right next to an overflowing public trash can. Ten minutes passed, and the line and general discontent only grew. Another 15 agonizing minutes passed. Finally, a half-filled bus rolled up to the stop. I took one look at the line and knew that I’d probably have to wait for the next bus.
During the college application period, some parents support their children by reassuring them that hard work and good grades can get them into a good college. Other parents decide to support their children in a more unconventional way. Thirty-three wealthy parents, including Felicity Huffman from “Desperate Housewives” and Lori Loughlin from “Full House,” were recently involved in what the case’s prosecutors referred to as the “largest college admission scam” ever. These parents spent anywhere from $200 thousand to $6.5 million to get their kids into elite colleges such as Georgetown, Yale, Stanford and the University of Southern California.
The word “nationalism” calls to mind some of the darkest chapters in history. When I hear the term, I immediately think both of the divisive posturing that precipitated World War I and the fascist regimes of World War II. Nationalism seems pernicious. It appeals to tribal instincts, making people forget their opponents’ humanity and inviting catastrophic human-rights abuses. What’s more, nationalism seems irrational. In an interconnected world of increasingly fluid borders, one might think it foolish to promote the arbitrary identities that underlie the nation state. Following this logic, some are quick to condemn nationalism as a plague of the 20th century and an anachronism that society must eradicate whenever it reemerges in the modern world.
We all know the feeling — you’re scrolling through Facebook and you find that New York Times article you just have to read. Perhaps it’s about how unlovable Theresa May is, or breaking news that Donald Trump does have terrible cardiovascular health. You eagerly click on the article and BAM! You’ve been hit with the dreaded pop-up: “You have reached your limit of free articles.” Great.
According to Western news media, China presently faces a large number of problems. News stories are constantly awash with reports concerning the pollution in Chinese cities, political and religious repression and government corruption, among more. But there is one issue in particular that will seriously threaten China’s success within the next thirty years: Demographics. Even as a nation of 1.3 billion people, China will soon lack a sufficient number of citizens to support its economy. The country is aging quickly, and the repercussions of this should be a grave concern for Beijing.
I began the year writing a manuscript about desire but quickly realized that words fall short of experience. One weekend away from the opening of the installation, “Dora’s Room: Digital Dreams,” at the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts, I started to think about the practical implications of desire. People want to experience sex — not talk about it. Most adults remember having “the talk” with their parents when they were teenagers or having to sit through a sexual education course; these conversations were probably more uncomfortable than they were helpful. Given the national institutions that seem to oppose embracing sexuality and a collective desire to do just that, talking about it is more important than ever. This means that taking control of our own sexual health (both physical and mental) requires not just paying attention in health class, but also looking to media that acknowledges the aesthetic element to our bodies. While there are biological and scientific explanations for what happens to our bodies, there are emotional reasons for why these scientific occurrences are allowed to happen.
People often don’t fully process deaths when they occur in wholesale numbers. Fifty Muslims killed. Men and women, young and old. Mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. Someone will have to tell a mother that her son was killed. She will probably have spent a few hours frantically calling his cellphone after seeing the news coverage.
At the end of the winter term, 2019 Trips Director Madeleine Waters wrote an excellent piece detailing the upsides and shortcomings of this potentially magical yet simultaneously alienating orientation program. The crucial question she asks is this: “What can an orientation program accomplish if its job is to welcome people into spaces where they do not see lasting evidence that they are welcome?” While I have never been a Trip leader and periodically regret that decision, a number of friends who have joined found themselves frustrated and disillusioned — a stark contrast with the optimism expressed by many in charge of the program. For these students, the presentation of a convivial, homogenous community at the beginning of their Dartmouth experiences was not representative of their time spent navigating campus.
On Oct. 23, 2018, the Dartmouth College Republicans hosted controversial speaker David Horowitz in an event titled “Identity Politics and the Totalitarian Threat from the Left.” Horowitz, founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, has a history of comparing Muslims to Nazis and believes that universities brainwash students with leftist propaganda. The talk received numerous protestors. Some highlights of the event included Horowitz stating that “the only serious race war in America is against white males” and telling a student “I wouldn’t help you if you were drowning” in response to being told that black Americans do not need his help.
On Feb. 16, 2019, professor emeritus of English Jeffrey Hart passed away at the age of 88. We are not writing to rehash professor Hart’s achievements or contributions to the conservative movement, but rather to decry the treatment that Hart has received after his death. The late professor was a man who valued consistency of thought, and took the issues of his time seriously, but never himself. The former brought him to support then Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election (and later again in 2012), as Hart believed the Republican party had lost the intellectual seriousness that he himself undoubtedly contributed; after all, “successful government by either Democrats or Republicans has always been, above all, realistic.” The latter was exemplified by his carrying of a “motorized wooden hand [he] used to drum on the table when faculty meetings went on too long.”
What is Trips? That’s a big question. Trips is, among other things, an entirely student-run program, a chance to welcome first-years to Dartmouth, a challenge, a community, an unrealized dream, the reason I personally chose Dartmouth and a logistical endeavor requiring over 3,214 eggs.
At the 91st Academy Awards on Feb. 24, stage performer and singer Billy Porter waltzed onto the red carpet donning a resplendent, head-turning black velvet gown skirt with a tuxedo-like top half and a black bowtie to match. News headlines raved about the celebrity, praising him as an “icon” and his outfit as “remarkable.” Oscar viewers fired up Twitter in energetic support. Vogue called the dress a “play on masculinity and femininity” that “challenged the rigid Hollywood dress code and was boundary-pushing in all the right ways.”
In Jan. 2017, just days after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Hannah Arendt’s “The Origins of Totalitarianism” sold out on Amazon. Written when Trump was just five years old, “Origins” details the emergence of 20th century totalitarian movements in the context of the histories of antisemitism, imperialism and the complex notion of the nation-state. Deemed by some as a partisan overreaction, Arendt’s posthumous popularity signals a growing anxiety among the American public, a population that has historically believed its constitutional principles too strong for totalitarianism to ever get a foothold. These concerns are neither an overreaction nor unfounded. American politics today are in a desperate state of disarray — established norms are disappearing and the most dangerous voices are the loudest.
It’s been two weeks since U.S. President Trump felt the need to declare that his signature border wall’s construction qualified as a national emergency. Anger still consumes me. He lives under a veil of ignorance, which he is never forced to take off. His ignorance is a privilege that goes unchecked, and it’s one that many don’t have. I know I don’t.
While growing up in Hawai’i, Tulsi Gabbard has been a household name in my family since I was old enough to start caring about politics. The seasoned congresswoman’s intent to join the congested Democratic heat may have come as a surprise to some. Dubbed by Vox as the “Long-Shot Democratic 2020 Candidate,” Gabbard might just actually have the tricks up her sleeve to reunite a polarized democratic populace, and possibly even challenge President Donald Trump to the Oval Office in 2020. A veteran, a woman of color, a hard-liner on terrorism and foreign policy, and a social progressive rolled into one, Tulsi Gabbard is the American Democratic candidate of the future. Whether you agree with her policies or not, Gabbard has a shot at meaningful bipartisan appeal and might not be such a long shot.
Deviance is defined by sociologists as the violation of expected rules and behavior by a member of a group, resulting in discord between the individual displaying the deviant behavior and the social context in which they reside. Though what is considered “deviant” varies greatly based upon a group’s conventional behaviors, deviance itself generally serves as a way for communities to define and clarify the socially normative behaviors and identities expected from its members. However, an individual’s motivation for engaging in deviant behavior has been subject to a wide range of sociological theories that have attempted to explain why people choose to renounce the establishment of their communities.
In their Feb. 12 Opinion Asks series, writers for The Dartmouth opinion staff unanimously condemned Dinesh D’Souza ’83 and the Dartmouth College Republicans for inviting him to deliver a lecture sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation, a seminal organization for young conservatives. Moreover, in its Feb. 22 Verbum Ultimum on minority identities, The Dartmouth editorial board proclaimed that Dartmouth is an institution “where conservatives invite individuals such as Dinesh D’Souza ’83 who spread hateful and intolerant ideas.” Notice that these writers fail to adhere to a journalistic maxim: support all claims with evidence. These two articles are part of a trend that I have observed among many students belonging to the Dartmouth left, some of whom are writers for and editors of the ostensibly conservative publication The Dartmouth Review. These individuals lambast Mr. D’Souza as a poor representative of American conservatism, to which I would quote National Review’s Jonah Goldberg and say, “If D’Souza is a ‘phony conservative,’ it’s hard to know who the real deal is.” Further, it is conceited to believe the College Republicans invite speakers solely to evoke a reaction from the Dartmouth left.
If there’s one thing that comes to mind when reflecting on the Trump presidency, it’s the astounding number of hate crimes and race-related incidents that have occurred before and after his inauguration. There are attention-grabbing shockers like vilifying Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists while on the campaign trail, retweeting white nationalists without remorse, his failure to attribute blame to Charlottesville white supremacist perpetrators and calling some of them “very fine people,” denigrating Native Americans, the Muslim ban, attacking kneeling NFL players — needless to say, the list goes on and on.