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The Way It Was

(07/28/09 2:00am)

Of the recent celebrity death parade that has streamed across newspaper headlines and the bottom of CNN, none of the late American icons has had such a profound effect on the course of American history and thought as broadcasting legend Walter Cronkite. After his passing on July 17, notable reporters from a bygone generation poured out to pay respects to their distinguished colleague, and younger news anchors have done the same for him as their esteemed mentor.

Best Man for the Job

(02/11/09 6:19am)

To quote Jon Stewart's impersonation of President Barack Obama, "Who's got two thumbs and can't vet for sh*t? (Points to himself) This guy!" Top-level Obama nominees Tom Daschle, Tim Geithner '83, Nancy Killefer and Hilda Solis each would have smoothly sailed to confirmation had it not been for their (or their spouse's) unfortunate habit of not paying sufficient taxes. Of that group, only Geithner was confirmed, while Solis' confirmation vote has been delayed and Daschle and Killefer have withdrawn their nominations.

Atheist Shout-out

(01/26/09 10:35am)

I was sort of stunned when he said it. No, I'm not talking about Dr. Joseph Lowery's humorous end to his profound benediction, or Chief Justice John Roberts's flubbing of the oath of office, or Obama's miscounting when he said, "44 Americans have now taken the presidential oath" (43 have). Nor am I talking about Obama's bluntness when speaking about our nation's dire situation or our role in its fixing. The inauguration moment that stunned me, instead, was an innocent after-thought, tacked onto a sentence easily passed by.

Lessons From The Lamppost

(01/13/09 8:47am)

Leaning against a lamppost in the middle of a busy Barcelona street last term, I watched a lady get mugged. She was walking down this row of shops when a male dressed in black snatched her bag and ran away down one of the many dark and narrow side streets. I remember her exact, shocked facial expression, and I can still hear her voice yelling after him in a furious English accent. What bothered me the most at the time, what kept me up thinking that night -- and what still troubles me today -- is that I did nothing to help.

Cause For Caution

(11/24/08 9:03am)

We waited with the rest of the world, glued to a muted television in one of Barcelona's English pubs, growing hoarse from yelling at Wolf Blitzer. The place was packed with students, as well as Spaniards, Britons and Belgians -- all concerned citizens. I'd like to report that we stayed up on election night until the tipping point, but the results were slow in coming and our first class on Wednesday was early. I had spent the preceding weeks incessantly checking polling data and was able to sleep confident in my calculations, having found eight ways Obama could win and only one in which he could lose.

The Demise of a True Believer

(08/19/08 7:01am)

I was one of those "true believer" freshmen: excited, idealistic and eager as ever to do whatever work was thrown at me. I didn't just drink the Kool-Aid, I guzzled it. I got involved through the "freshmen cohort" during the Andreadis impeachment affair and in its aftermath wound up the Assembly's secretary. It was an exciting, if time-consuming, job: lots of gossip and exclusive meetings. It was like Gawker for Dartmouth administrative politics. At my term's end, I thought I'd give it another go-round and was elected treasurer, the Assembly CFO and second in line to the presidency. This past spring I was reelected, but quietly resigned instead. Let me explain why.

Good Faith, Bad Faith

(07/29/08 5:39am)

The laughably absurd incident during the July 7 Dallas City Hall meeting of commissioners illustrates a lot of what is wrong with discourse today. The meeting received national media coverage because multiple black officials objected on the grounds of "racial insensitivity" to the comparison made by a white commissioner of a dysfunctional office (which routinely lost paperwork) to a "black hole" (a celestial object with gravitational pull so great that neither light nor matter can escape).

Summer School

(06/27/08 6:27am)

Well, here we are. From the time that we first ventured on campus as wide-eyed prospective students, eager to swap SAT scores and meet every professor we could find, sophomore summer has dangled in front of us like keys in front of an infant. Now that time has come. Everyone in our classes looks at least vaguely familiar, dining options have been reduced to a precious few, lines to play pong are more manageable, and we are slightly more inclined to go hiking than we otherwise would be.

The Rudder and The Rock

(05/16/08 7:43am)

David Shipler's letter to the editor demonstrates a lot of what is wrong with the expansion plan for the Board of Trustees ("The Conservative Campaign," May 5). He postulates that the motive behind the AoA lawsuit -- designed to maintain parity between elected and appointed members on the Board -- is "to allow inroads by a highly publicized and pervasively ideological brand of conservatism." This encapsulates the perverse logic of those in opposition to the lawsuit -- the assumption that we only support democracy insomuch as we agree with those who get elected.

An Appropriate Anthem

(04/29/08 3:49am)

The Hood's "Black Womanhood" exhibit is largely my fault. Well, not mine personally. More so than it does for black women, the exhibit tells the story of white men. The collection is an interpretation -- a historical record, really -- of the way white men like myself have defined women's sexuality and reduced "black womanhood" to a series of sexual icons.

What SA Can Do For You

(04/11/08 7:11am)

Services or activism? Which of these things would you like to get out of your student government? In his most recent column ("Relegitimizing Student Assembly," Apr. 7), Evan Meyerson '08 argued for the latter, stating, "The [SA] president must take positions on every important issue currently affecting Dartmouth students, understand the multifaceted social and political climate a student leader must navigate and become the ultimate student advocate." This answer is indeed a popular one on campus. When asked during the last Elections Planning and Advisory Committee debate, a majority of the candidates agreed with it. Even a cursory look at SA's structure and history, however, would reveal that of the few things the Assembly does well, student services -- not activism -- is paramount.

Four Thousand And One

(03/28/08 7:32am)

Richard Hall was 21 when he died in France on Christmas Day, 1915. This fact is cast in raised bronze lettering on his marble monument in the basement of Baker Library. Richard has the interesting distinction of being the first Dartmouth man to die in World War I. Although Richard was singled out for recognition among the war's many dead, he died just like every other: alone. However much we talk about death as a journey or a passage, it is a personal experience that yields no mercy and knows no discrimination.

The Limits of Justice

(03/03/08 8:50am)

Dartmouth students fear their justice system -- and with good reason. Compared to the Federal justice system, our Committee on Standards operates with severely restricted rights. Defendants lack the ability to directly question their accusers and only the letter of the law is considered in rendering a verdict. Under the "preponderance" or "51 percent" proof burden that COS currently employs -- when the charge of the accuser is balanced on the scales of justice by the denial of the accused -- a single grain of sand separates a verdict of guilt from innocence.

Executive Recruiting

(02/20/08 7:51am)

The common explanation for George W. Bush's election and re-election was that he was the candidate "voters would rather have a beer with" (even though Bush is a recovering alcoholic and does not drink). Today, comparison between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has been greatly sidetracked by voters' subjective, personal and arbitrary emotional reactions. Perceptions of "likeability" and "inspiration" dominate political discussions at the expense of comparisons between policy positions.

RIGs, The Greek Replacement

(01/29/08 7:16am)

Last week a number of students delivered a signed petition to Parkhurst decrying the "lack of alternatives to a traditionally and historically male-dominated social scene." They cited the absence of prominent student-controlled social spaces where men and women can interact on equal footing in physical plants, although spaces like this do already exist in Collis and in the various residential communities.

Speak Free or Die Hard

(11/19/07 6:24am)

Last Saturday, Spain's King Juan Carlos made headlines at the Ibero-American summit for asking Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, "Why don't you shut up?" The heated and slightly comical exchange occurred after Chavez called former Spanish Prime Minister Azner a "fascist," an especially sensitive accusation considering that Juan Carlos's immediate predecessor was the fascist dictator Francisco Franco. The irony of the situation is that, by insulting Chavez, the Spanish monarch exercised his right to free speech, a right that he does not fully extend to his own citizens.

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