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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, June 16, 2024

Opinion | Viewpoint

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Viewpoint

The Atlanta Police are attacking democracy. It’s time to fight back.

On Jan. 18, 2023, just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, an environmental activist named Manuel Terán, known to most as Tortuguita, was shot 57 times by police officers. Police claimed that Tortuguita, who died on the scene, had shot and injured an officer immediately before his death. However, a subsequent autopsy showed that Tortuiguita had likely died sitting cross-legged, with his hands (which contained no gunpowder residue) in the air. Additionally, police body cam footage contained audio of an officer saying that the injured police officer was wounded by friendly fire, not Tortuguita.


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Viewpoint

Why do a comedian’s lies feel like a betrayal?

Last week, reporter Clare Malone published a New Yorker article that exposed the lies that litter comedian Hasan Minhaj’s popular Netflix specials. At first glance, this appears to be a nonissue. Why should we expect truth from comedians? In fact, comedy idol Jerry Seinfeld has said that all his jokes are made up. Comedians are not journalists, activists or educators. And yet, Minhaj has fashioned himself as all three.


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Viewpoint

Is nuclear proliferation back on the negotiating table?

It’s not that hard to build a nuclear bomb. Get your hands on some uranium and materials for enrichment, and you’re golden. While that’s a gross oversimplification, I was able to learn the steps to build a nuclear warhead by spending two hours with a YouTube lecture; and in 1999, two University of Chicago students built a working nuclear reactor in their dorm room. For a weapon with unimaginable consequences, that’s a frightening statement to be able to make. In fact, the U.S. has spent the last 78 years tailoring its international security policy to ensure that other countries can’t take advantage of widely available information on how to construct a nuclear bomb. Specifically, the U.S. has focused on keeping nuclear weapons out of high-tension areas, including the Middle East.


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Viewpoint

Pushing the borders: What Jordan’s retrenchment of free speech means for them and us

In Jordan, the satire page “Al-Hudood,” which literally translates to “borders” or “limits” in Arabic, did what almost every political comedy group has done at one point — they released cartoons poking fun at the grossly rich. Al-Hudood’s cartoons and articles centered on the recent Jordanian royal wedding, a display of opulence in a country pervaded by wealth inequality. One comic replayed the dynamics of the wedding but in the context of Jordanian social division whereby the wedding guests, clad in rags, threw their last pieces of bread to the new couple. But it seems the only people who found it funny were the Jordanian public. Unsurprisingly, the rich and powerful friends of the newlyweds looked askance at this humor. Within days, “Al-Hudood” was shut down and journalists were arrested.


The Setonian
Viewpoint

Drifting between China and the U.S. to find a middle ground

In media reports on China’s political and economic matters, we can observe a growing fear and animosity toward the nation as its power expands to create an increasingly bipolar world. In my experience, this has created an emotional atmosphere for discussions surrounding U.S.-China relations, where deviations from this mainstream view on China are often taken as an existential threat to American liberalism, democracy, national security and prosperity.


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Viewpoint

Tufts should revert its meal swipe policy — again

Dining halls are one of the most quintessential parts of a college experience. Many first-years especially will be getting their meals through campus dining halls rather than cooking or eating out — a phenomenon more pronounced at Tufts, where first-years are required to purchase the premium meal plan. As a result, the quality and accessibility of student dining is often a significant factor in college decisions, and something that Tufts and other universities appear to actively advertise and pride themselves on.



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Viewpoint

Antisemitism in the Ivy League

The University of Pennsylvania will host internationally condemned antisemite Roger Waters during the Jewish High Holidays. Waters, a former member of the rock group Pink Floyd, is scheduled to speak at Penn’s “Palestine Writes Literature Festival.” Celebrations of literature and culture, especially those of marginalized groups, are an important initiative on college campuses across the country. But let’s be clear — supporting one community cannot take place while employing violent language against another.


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Viewpoint

Living off campus? Check your energy bills ASAP

Massachusetts is one of only around a dozen states that has a market for electricity. Even though there are three electric utilities that control the power grid — Eversource, National Grid and Unitil — state residents can choose who supplies their energy: the electric utility, a municipality or a private company (so-called “competitive suppliers”). This well-intentioned policy was meant to protect consumers by giving them more choices, instead, it has let companies trample consumers’ rights.


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Viewpoint

While the DNC may want Biden in 2024, the American people don’t

Joe Biden has not exactly excelled in his role as President of the United States over the past couple of months. Most recently came Biden’s “no comment” from Delaware, where he appeared to brush off questions about the death toll of the tragic wildfires in Maui. Once he finally made it to Hawaii, he compared the devastation to a bizarre and self-centered story about an insignificant kitchen fire, later departing after spending a mere six hours assessing the damage.


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Viewpoint

Maui's wildfires: Playing the climate blame game is fueling global ‘natural’ disasters

For Hawaii, minor earthquakes — a 3.0-3.9 magnitude range — are considered typical, with locals habitually holding onto their free-standing lamps and chairs until the shaking concludes. Yet, on Sept. 8th, Morocco was struck with a magnitude 6.8 earthquake which killed over 2,900 people. Just a month prior to these earthquakes, Maui was engulfed in wildfire flames. Moreover, about a month ago, wildfires spread through swathes of North America, floods collapsed Libya’s dams and flash flooding exacerbated China’s monsoon season.


Jordan Peterson speaking with attendees at the 2018 Young Women's Leadership Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Hyatt Regency DFW Hotel in Dallas, Texas.
Viewpoint

Clean Your Room

As the new year of college begins, especially for those beginning their first year at Tufts, it may be helpful to remember Peterson’s principle of the importance of cleaning your room. He doesn’t exactly mean it literally; it’s meant to be a metaphor for taking control of your life. Before you solve any larger issues plaguing you, you can start by simply cleaning up your room.



The Setonian
Viewpoint

Is there a future for Tufts?

The world has changed a lot in the last four years. Over the course of the Class of 2023’s tenure at Tufts, the state of the undergraduate experience changed tremendously. Tufts is in a unique position due to the issues that have arisen from its character and quality as a university.


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Viewpoint

Why politics and policy are important

For many Americans, politics aren’t that interesting. A 2021 poll found that only 36% of Americans aged 18–29 consider themselves politically engaged, while only around 45% of eligible voters voted in the 2022 midterm elections. It’s understandable that this is the case: With politics as divided as they are today, many might see politics as an unproductive screaming match. Others might be disillusioned at the amount of lying that occurs in politics. In many cases, politics are simply sidelined in comparison to other responsibilities. All of these are sensible reasons, so much so that even I myself didn’t follow politics until a few years ago. Now, however, I would like to make the case that unfashionable as it may be, we should care about politics, at least a little bit.


The Setonian
Viewpoint

US college rankings: Do they measure what matters?

If you’ve been through a college application cycle, then you’ve surely heard of the U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings report, which prides itself on having “expert advice, rankings and data to help you navigate your education journey and find the best college for you.” But how accurate is this ranking? How heavily should we rely on its advice? The U.S. News ranking uses 17 “measures of academic quality” such as class size, faculty salary and graduation rate, which are then weighted on a 100-point scale. These factors do impact a student’s college experience. However, the report's focus misses critical aspects of what makes a school a good fit for its students, such as successful job placement in a field relevant to a student’s major, student happiness and a feeling of belonging on campus.



The Setonian
Viewpoint

How to make the most of campus life at Tufts

For most Tufts students, the Medford/Somerville campus is a central part of life. I have compiled a list of some great places, buildings and businesses around campus which you may not know about, and which hopefully can help you get the most out of your time on campus. 


The Setonian
Viewpoint

The sinister side of Spring Fling

“Low” (2007), “Right Round” (2009), “Good Feeling” (2011). Most people can recognize the melody or lyrics of these songs even if they may not attribute them to Flo Rida. At first glance, Flo Rida being selected for Spring Fling seems like an ideal choice: easily recognizable songs that match the energy and spectacle that Tufts tries to achieve at Spring Fling — a day filled with live music and energetic Tufts students celebrating in order to forget the looming threat of finals season. However, underneath the seemingly harmless surface of Flo Rida lies a more ominous truth.


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Viewpoint

Ron DeSantis is no better than Donald Trump

As Ron DeSantis has risen to fame as the governor of Florida, many moderates and centrists have urged “Never Trumpers” and Democrats to support him in his bid to win the Republican nomination. Some Never Trumpers are indeed backing Ron DeSantis, including prominent ones like David French. Conor Friedersdorf, another moderate conservative, summed up the reasoning behind this well in an Atlanticarticle:he believes Ron DeSantis is not immoral or authoritarian, unlike Trump. The reasoning goes that while DeSantis might do objectionable things or he might support bad policies, he isn’t a bad person or anti-democracy like Donald Trump is. However, the Lincoln Project, a prominent group of anti-Trumpers, doesn’t support DeSantis. They’re right to do so and other Never Trumpers should follow their lead. While DeSantis has a more respectable veneer, a close examination of his record shows he is just as authoritarian and immoral as Donald Trump is.


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Viewpoint

Why hosting the G-20 is so important to India

There has been plenty of buzz surrounding the G-20 ceremony in India this year. With huge billboards on the sides of roads in New Delhi and Mumbai, Indian President Narendra Modi’s government has increased domestic awareness of foreign policy. For India, the summit has turned into a public relations blitz where it can put forth the image of itself as a country that is ready to take on a larger power position on the world stage and one that is equipped to tackle the political and economical challenges that plague the 21st century.