Republican leaders can, and should, do better

Surprise — the party that hates government can’t effectively govern. Last month, the federal government shut down over the weekend of Jan. 20, due to Congress’s failure to pass a budget resolution. At the end of this week, we will have an encore presentation of the American government’s ability to perform its simplest task: governing. There is a clear delineation in this country between the two major political parties, that’s been brewing since the Reagan years and was only exacerbated following the infamous Citizens United decision and 2016 Presidential election. If you are in favor of the federal government governing, you’re a Democrat. If you are in favor of them hobbling and dismantling the government down to a skeletal structure, with the exception of the Department of Defense, you’re a Republican. Almost every month since Trump took office, the Republicans have looked to cut the Achilles tendons of major federal government functions. This includes everything from the most serious recent event, the Nunes Memo, looking to discredit the Department of Justice, to the very beginning of government website censorship, to refute the validity of climate change. The Republicans don’t just want less government, they want a weakened and incompetent shell of the current government. There is no vision, no plan, no magical conservative elixir to the nation’s problems and, currently, we are seeing how hard Republicans are willing to...

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Legality of travel ban less important than its morality

Charles Kennick, guest columnist A majority of President Trump’s most recent attempt at a travel ban was held back in the district courts once again earlier this month – why does this sound familiar? Because it is. The saga began during the president’s march to the White House. The idea of a, “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering our country” was lauded by candidate Trump way back in December of 2015 as a crucial policy that would allow the government, “to figure out what’s going on.” Thus, seven days into the Trump presidency, the administration enacted Executive Order 13769, the highlights of which barred travel from seven majority Muslim countries and banned entry for Syrian refugees for three months. Meeting stiff opposition in the courts and protesters in the nation’s airports, the order was a legal and administrative nightmare being suspended only two days later. This, with a few caveats, was the general template for a variety of travel bans with another version notably being allowed to continue, in part, by the Supreme Court in the summer, and then being held up again in a Hawaiian Federal District Court just a few weeks ago. Arguments of constitutionality have been presented on both sides of the argument over the various Muslim, or travel, bans. Some say the Trump administration’s implementation of the bans violates the First Amendment of the...

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A literal Second Amendment does not represent a reality

Charles Kennick, The Miami Student  The interlude of the song “XXX” by Kendrick Lamar featuring U2 is as follows: “Alright, kids, we’re gonna talk about gun control. (Pray for me) Damn!” The interlude of the song is the break of a song that has two messages: a violent description of what gun culture means when growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, California to a critique of political and cultural factors that he credits intense and tragic that the relationship the residents of Compton and other low-income predominantly African American communities across the country.   What does...

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‘Digital divide’ hurts rural America

Buffering… At one point during my freshman year the fiber optic wire that provided Oxford with high ­speed Internet service was accidentally damaged during a construction project causing an outage that lasted a few hours. Internet speeds crashed to abysmally low speeds, and some professors even canceled classes. This incident reminded me how critical having a reliable connection to the Internet and a computer is to function as a society today. However, for close to 10 percent of all Americans and 40 percent of rural Americans, living with incredibly slow or no Internet service at all is a daily reality that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. This, “digital divide” between rural and urban correlates with the lack of economic investment, high rates of unemployment and brain drain of promising youth in America’s poorest regions like Appalachia, the rural South and Native American reservations. When talking about access to the Internet, the term “broadband” is used as the Federal Communications Commission standard for connectivity. The most recently updated definition of the term came in 2015 and is defined as 25 megabits per second (mbps) of download speed  and 3 mbps of upload speed. With this rate, users can comfortably stream videos, download large files, send messages, etc. For reference, my apartment in Oxford sees average speeds of 115 mbps; median speeds in one of the poorest counties in Ohio,...

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