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Women in Media: Hillary Clinton

in Election Issue/Front Page/News/Political/Opinion by
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By Dilesha Tanna, Staff Writer

With the elections only weeks away, the media has been flooded with articles, blogs, and photos of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And with the incessant flurry of news and digital appearances comes the adversary representations of the candidates. In particular, the coverage of Hillary Clinton as a female politician has received extra attention.

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Photo licensed for reuse

Many have claimed that Clinton’s portrayal in some of the nation’s most established publications, including The New York Times, has been biased—a bias that targets Clinton just for being a woman. But is not only the publications that may have gone astray in their representation of the elections; the journalists themselves seem to have fallen to bias. Recently on September 4th, Kenneth P. Vogel, a well-known journalist and chief investigator reporter at Politico, wrote on Twitter, “Clinton backers’ shaming of the press for reporting anything the Clinton campaign dislikes is rapidly approaching self-parody territory.” With comments like this displayed all over social media, it is difficult for society to obtain an accurate depiction of the presidential election. Furthermore, Clinton’s media appearance reflects on her competition with Trump. As Paul Krugman, a Times columnist, puts it, it seems Trump is “being graded on a curve.”

Unfortunately, the sexism Clinton faces does not stop here. Many claim the questions posed to her at political events and interviews are at best loosely related to her standing as a presidential candidate. On September 8, at her press conference, Clinton was asked a series of six questions, none of which directed their attention on serious national concerns. One of them even outright stated her gender difference, asking, “Do you think you’re treated differently because you’re a woman?” At an interview with the press corps on her campaign airplane, she was given simple and easy-to-answer questions like, “What do you think of your plane?”, “How was your Labor Day weekend”, or “Have you missed us?” The real question is, are these truly the things to ask during a political interview?

But there’s a bigger problem here than the 2016 election or even sexism. Let’s put Clinton’s media presence in perspective by looking at previous political candidates’ appearances. Think about when John McCain ran for president in 2008. Did he not face discrimination for being too old? What about the years Barack Obama ran for president? Did he not face discrimination for being black? There seems to be a trend: regardless of the election year and candidate’s identity, there is almost always is some fundamental characteristic that the media targets as a weakness.

Millennials Matter: Don’t Get Confused

in BiCo News/Columns/Periodicals/Humor/Opinion by

By Abby Hoyt, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Baby boomers decided to give the Internet a shot this week when their sixteen-year-old grandkids were able to finally explain to them that “tweets” were not just sounds that came out of a bird and that Facebook was not just the online version of Yellow Pages. Blinded by the power of posting online, retirees with too much time on their hands started the #HowToConfuseAMillennial.

Despite mass advances in education and technology, it is widely assumed that Millennials know nothing about the way the world works—an assumption that came through clearly in all the tweets by “real adults” highlighting the shortcomings of Millennials, such as our inability to read a map, use a VHS (whatever the hell that is), spell without autocorrect and navigate an encyclopedia in the library. But the truth is that these once-vital life skills have now become obsolete, replaced by new skills.

Of course, trying new things can be a little scary sometimes, but the perplexing thing about non-Millennials is that not every new thing is scary. They are very picky about the things they are and are not afraid of.  For an example, they wholeheartedly embrace caller ID so they can pick when they want to answer the phone, but they have a hard time sending a text without signing it “love grandma” because they are worried you won’t know who it is. Skyping with the grandkids seems to be no big deal, but Facetime is just “too hard.” Having all those buttons on the iPhone is just plain unnecessary, but pressing the same button three times in order to type one letter on their flip phone is totally legitimate.

Despite these quirks, we love our dear sweet grandparents and their friends. Well, at least we did until they started using the Twitter sphere to make fun of us. Maybe they thought we wouldn’t see their tweets if they tweeted before noon. Unfortunately, we did see them. And when Millennials woke up around 11:00am they made that poor anonymous granny behind her laptop screen regret the moment she hovered her mouse over the post button and thought, “Hmm, I wonder what this button does.”

While I’m sure the tweets were intended in a joking manner, the authors should have known that generation infamously known for being “too sensitive” probably wouldn’t find them too funny. Millennials lashed out with tweets criticizing the baby boomers for leaving them with a crippling economy, destroying the housing market, perhaps worst of all using social media (a concept specifically designed for millennial rants) to criticize them. Unable to cope with the pressures of social media, the hashtag has since died off and grandparents everywhere have sworn off the Internet—this time for good.

“Making it” in a Place not Designed for Me

in Front Page/Haverford/Opinion by

By Leslie Luqueno, Staff Writer

Just three weeks ago, first-year students were moving into their dorms, excited and nervous about what was to come. I was one of those students, and though excitement rushed through my body, so did the fear that I no longer belonged. The truth is, while I was honored to be accepted to such an amazing school like Haverford, I knew that I’d be attending a predominantly white institution. Move-in day was stressful in the sense that even as I sought faces that looked like they shared a similar background and ethnicity, I found very few.

Transitioning from a high school where 99% of the student population was Latinx to a college where only nine percent of students identify as Latinx was one of my main concerns when I chose Haverford. I had heard horror stories of people of color at other institutions being verbally and sometimes even physically attacked due to their background. Fear has caused many Latinx people I know to stay in areas where they are the majority, and some hesitate to ever leave. Venturing off into the unknown is a difficult and frightening journey that not everyone is willing to take. But strength comes from doing the things we were once afraid of doing and overcoming the things we never thought we could.

My biggest fear coming into college was that people would think I don’t deserve to be here, and that maybe I’d start believing them. I had people tell me I didn’t need to study for the SAT because “affirmative action” gives a lot of leeway for a low-income Latina like me. And there are always going to be people that believe that. What they don’t understand is that to get where I am, I had to work so many times harder than they did because the system was created with them, not me, in mind. Higher education was not designed for people with marginalized identities like mine, and neither is the society we’re living in.

But just because it wasn’t created for me doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to be here. I know that the challenges I’ve had to face show that I deserve my spot at this elite liberal arts college. The background I grew up in has made it harder for me to get here, but my culture has also taught me about hard-work, dedication and perseverance. I wouldn’t change my background even if I could because it has shaped the individual I have become; the challenges I faced have and will always be worth it.

Being a person of color at this institution can be frightening at times. But what’s worse is living a life in which fear controls my actions. Ultimately, I know that Haverford will value what my background has to offer to the community as much as I value the contribution the community will make on my character.

 

Millennials Matter: Welcome to the Bi-Co

in BiCo News/Humor/Opinion by

By Editor- in- Chief Abby Hoyt

On my first day of school at Bryn Mawr three years ago, I was absolutely certain that I would be a political science and economics double major with a minor in psychology. This combination was what I believed to be the ultimate equation to my success in life. I had carefully planned every course I was going to take up until my senior year, including my potential class schedule for a year long study abroad program at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science, where I hoped to spend my junior year.

I wanted nothing more than for this beautifully planned future to start as soon as possible and in order to achieve this daunting course of study I needed to be enrolled in Introduction to Political Science during the first semester of my freshman year. I strutted past my ill-prepared peers who were endlessly stressing about the courses they were going to take, thinking I had college all figured out. I went back to my dorm room after a productive first day to check my email and that’s when all hell broke loose. My introduction to political science course had been over-enrolled, there was a lottery, and I was dropped.

Devastated by this roadblock in my life plan, I marched myself next-door to the Dean’s office (which because of the small size of Bryn Mawr’s campus was quite literally next door) and swiftly demanded to talk to my Dean. I just sat there in the waiting room, fuming. When I was finally alone with my Dean I let it all out. I yelled, I cried and I begged her to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in her power to get me into that political science class.

Once I was finished my embarrassing diatribe, my Dean looked at me with a smile in her eyes and asked if I had an alternative course in mind to fill the void in my schedule. Rolling my eyes, I laid out my life plan for her once again and explained to her the vital importance of being in that particular course at that particular time. She still remained unconvinced. Instead she looked at my schedule and noticed a film class I had signed up for in order to fulfill a requirement. “This class looks like fun,” she said cheerfully. “Maybe you’ll enjoy it and want to study film instead.”

That’s when I really lost it. A FILM MAJOR?! WAS SHE SERIOUS?! She obviously wasn’t taking my life plan or me seriously so, I did what any reasonable college student does in crisis…I called my mom. I ranted and raved about the nerve of that damn Dean to even suggest that I would change my entire life plan! After a half an hour of non-stop talking my mother promptly told me to relax and hung up the phone. The next day I found an email from her in my inbox with the subject line UNSOLICITED ADVICE. Uh oh.

“Embrace what life offers, not what you had planned it to be,” she began and continued on to stress that I stop trying to plan out every little detail. “Life is meant to be lived. You can’t always live in one time, just waiting for the next one to come along.”

Of course, I read the email and then promptly decided that she and my Dean were wrong and that I was right. I went back to the Introduction to Political Science professor’s office hours twice, the actual class three times, and the Dean’s office once more until I finally gave up and realized I just wasn’t getting in to that course. Instead, I took Introduction to Economics, where I learned that studying economics requires Calculus; something I was not willing to subject myself to…EVER. Second semester, I took an introductory psychology course and learned the hard way that my stomach just was not strong enough to delve inside the human brain. My junior year I went abroad to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and loved every second of my time there. When I got back in the spring, I declared a minor in film and media studies. Throughout my time at Bryn Mawr I have joined the crew team, adopted a Grandparent, ran for student government, tried out for an Acapella group, performed in the “Vagina Monologues”, got certified to teach Zumba, took a class tracing the history of Pornography, traveled to Cyprus, was an extra in “How to Get Away with Murder”, volunteered my time doing income taxes for residents in Norristown, and so much more that was never a part of the life plan that I made for myself on my first day of freshman year.

So, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all the new students to Bryn Mawr and Haverford College and pass on my own piece of unsolicited advice: I once saw millennials described as “pragmatic idealists,” meaning that we not only have a strong desire to make a difference, but a plan with calculated steps on how exactly to go about making this “difference.” We have a plan for our lives and we firmly believe that if we follow this plan then we will succeed. I am here to tell you, and remind myself, that there is no algorithm for success. Success is not something you wait for, it is something that comes in the small victories that you achieve daily. So before you run to your Dean or call your mother in a blind rage, I beg to you to remind yourself of this valuable principle and be open to the new and exciting things headed your way. Good Luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Gorges Dam: The Dirty Side of Clean Energy

in Archives/Bryn Mawr/City Studies/Front Page/Haverford/News/Political/Opinion by
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Photo licensed for reuse
Photo licensed for reuse

BY GRACE GARRETT, Staff Writer

Although China is the world’s leading clean energy producer, some of its most ambitious and, arguably, successful projects have generated large amounts of criticism both locally and abroad. The Three Gorges Dam, which spans the Yangtze River in Hubei Province, is one such project. Despite having reduced China’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 100 million tons per year, the dam has sparked negative international attention and local resistance from protesters, who point out the indirect costs of pollution, displacement, and risk of disaster.

Photo licensed for reuse. Aerial view of the Three Gorges Dam.
Photo licensed for reuse. Aerial view of the Three Gorges Dam.

The Three Gorges Dam has been many decades in the making. The location is so strategic that leaders as early as Sun Yat-sen proposed such a project in 1919. Construction for the dam began in 1994, and it was completed in 2003. Because of the bargaining system in the Chinese government, a large number of organizations had to agree to support the dam before it was able to move beyond the planning stages. As China scholar David Lampton points out, “To weld a coalition big enough to win support for the dam, [promoters of the project] must provide benefits to a vast constellation of groups”. These groups include international and domestic agencies and banks that invested heavily in its construction, the Central Government and companies that benefit from its energy production, and of course, local companies and residents, whose operations and lives are directly impacted. Each of these parties have a different estimation of the costs and benefits of the dam’s operations.

On the one hand, electricity produced by the Three Gorges Dam currently supplies over ten percent of China’s total demand. Hydropower is a natural, renewable, and clean energy resource. The greenhouse gas that hydroelectricity displaces from the atmosphere reduces air pollution, improving health conditions. The dam prevents the regular flooding of several major Chinese cities, saving lives and cutting the loss of flood damage at the same time. The economic benefits are also considerable: rising water levels improve access and safety for cargo ships on major trade routes, which has led to a measurable boost in the economy of Central China.

Photo licensed for reuse
Photo licensed for reuse. Pollution in the Three Gorges Dam, China.

Yet these successes do not give us license to ignore the many negative ways in which the dam has affected millions of people living in the Yangtze watershed, and the poor in particular. The basin created upstream has corrupted farmland and led to widespread displacement of people within the region. Some have been relocated to cities, where they struggle to transition to urban life. Widespread corruption means that money intended for those people who lost their homes often never reaches them. Additionally, while air pollution may be down because of the drop in coal use, there has been a rebound effect in the form of a rise in water pollution. According to a World Wide Fund for Nature report, “[the] Three Gorges Dam exacerbates water pollution by impounding waters, trapping sediment and increasing eutrophication”. Eutrophication is the process by which bodies of water lose oxygen because of excessive growth of algae. While raw sewage and other waste was once flushed out by the river, it is now left stagnant. World Bank reports show that 115 million rural inhabitants rely on surface water as their primary source of water, despite the fact that 70% of China’s water is now unfit for consumption.

The Three Gorges Dam is an example of the way in which the transition to clean energy does not produce exclusively positive results. The loss of people’s homes and danger to public health must be factored into an honest cost-benefit analysis of the dam. While it has produced certain environmental and economic benefits in its early days of operation, the dam is still relatively new, and the full price of its construction may not be understood for years to come.

 

 

On Emory: Rethinking Free Speech

in News/Political/Opinion by
emoryprotest_JuliaMunslow

By KIRSTEN MULLIN, Staff Writer

In late March, messages like “TRUMP 2016” and “VOTE TRUMP” were written in chalk across Emory University’s campus. Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner, is widely despised on liberal college campuses and often seen as a symbol of hatred and xenophobia. In response to the chalkings, several Emory students organized protests and expressed concerns that the chalkings made them feel unsafe in a place that is supposed to act as their home.

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Photo licensed for reuse – youtube.com

Students criticized the administration for the varying response rates after an incident when swastikas were spray painted on a Jewish fraternity house, and now the pro-Trump chalkings. The administration responded by sending out a campus-wide email, stating that they are working towards “immediate refinements to certain policy and procedural deficiencies, regular and structured opportunities for difficult dialogues, a formal process to institutionalize identification, [the] review and addressing of social justice opportunities and issues, and a commitment to an annual retreat to renew our efforts.”

emoryprotest_JuliaMunslow
Photo courtesy of Julia Munslow

This incident at Emory is a microcosm of a larger trend happening across college campuses. The debate of free speech versus inclusion has become so heated that somewhere along the way we have forgotten the definition of free speech. The students who wrote “TRUMP 2016” have every right to do so, and in no way can be—or should be—legally prosecuted for their actions. Free speech does not mean you can say whatever you want and no one can respond negatively towards it, it means you have the right to speak freely without the fear of governmental retaliations or suppression. Free speech means you can freely criticize the protesters or those who wrote the messages, but it doesn’t mean you can expect to do so without backlash or disagreement. In fact, the Supreme Court has a history of siding with school districts in instances of contentious free speech. In the case of Bethel School District v. Fraser, the court ruled that the school had the right to discipline a high school student for lewd speech. Although not many cases have been brought to the court regarding college campuses, the precedent has been set.

To be clear, on no account am I advocating that students undergo any type of disciplinary punishment for supporting a political candidate, This would be an extreme overstep of civil liberty boundaries and could spiral into extremely dangerous results. I even think that likening the message “TRUMP 2016” to spray painted swastikas on Jewish fraternities is extremely ignorant in its own right. But as much as I dislike it, those protestors had every right to say it.

 

 

America’s Struggle with Populism: Reviewing Trump and Sanders’ Presidential Campaigns

in News/News/Political/Uncategorized by
Bernie_Sanders_at_ISU_-_1-25-2016_(24243536709)

By ETHAN LYNE, Sports Editor

With traditional establishment candidates facing immense challenges, the 2016 presidential election has ripped up any how-to-guide for becoming President of the United States. Large swaths of people support Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders as they take on the status quo of politics. Although Trump and Sanders represent very different groups of voters and stand for different policies, it is hard to ignore that Trump and Sanders have risen from a similar anger with the current political situation and a desire for change in Washington D.C.

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Trump’s rise to hold of the majority of the Republican voting population has taken many by surprise, but not all. Torie Berke BMC’19 said “I am not surprised by his run for President since he really began the birther movement in 2008 [against Barack Obama]… I thought that there are enough economically underrepresented people in this country that his campaign would gain enough traction to become powerful.” LA Times reporter Lisa Mascaro says Trump’s ascent has piggy-backed on the growth in the Tea Party in recent years in terms of discontent with the government, but there are several other parts of his platform that arose independent from this conservative movement. Trump’s campaign greatly focuses on the two themes: hypernationalism and a shift towards isolationism in the U.S.’s foreign policy.

Although many of Trumps methods have been criticized for being racist and extremely expensive, these tactics have been the main draw for the nearly eight million people who have voted for Trump. Countless interviews with Trump’s supporters reveal many people are not supporting his derogatory comments towards women and minorities. They choose to back Trump because of his outsider status and desire to create action in Washington D.C after because voters have grown tired of endless political bickering and no solutions to pressing national security and economic issues. Trump’s ideas threaten the very base the Republican Party has stood upon for years. Now leaders must make a choice of what to do with the party. However, there are millions of conservatives in this country who want to see the Washington way changed greatly.

A similar frustration with the political establishment and the Democratic Party’s support of corporate America has led to Senator Bernie Sanders’ significant movement this election ear. His campaign focuses on massive economic reform to create more opportunities for the middle and lower classes, take power away from the top wage earners and support a variety of progressive social reforms.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Sanders’ main supporters are liberals who think President Obama’s work in the White House has not been progressive enough and want their ideological movement to counter the Tea Party on the Republican side. Sanders’ plainspoken attitude and working-class background also attracts  independents who believe his honesty and dedication to ideas are a breath of fresh air from standard politicians. His past roles as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, as a self-noted socialist and an independent in the House and Senate have drawn criticism. Many argue Sanders’s pipe-dream policies are not what the country needs and that he doesn’t have the experience that Hillary Clinton brings to the table. Key critics of Sanders include former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, among other representatives.  

Nevertheless, Sanders’ campaign has bucked traditional fundraising methods. The majority of his multi-million dollar campaign money comes from small donations by people around the country. Philadelphia Daily News reporter Will Bunch says Sanders’ success also depends on a more effective social media strategy, which has been able to connect with more younger voters than Clinton’s efforts. Sanders’ fundraising strategy and more progressive policy stances forces the Democratic Party to address a large demographic of discontented Americans who are frustrated by the current political and economic structure.

Although Trump and Sanders appeal to distinct groups of voters that favor opposing policies, both candidates reach their constituents through a similar anger about the political system and desire for radical change in America. Sanders and Trump have shaken the fundamental methods of running a political campaign in different ways that will influence politics for many years to come. Both men have shown that today’s voters may be looking for a different type of politician and campaign than those who have been successful in the past. Trump and Sanders’ untraditional platforms and campaign strategies have sent party elites scrambling to deal with millions of people who are proclaiming that their underrepresented perspective for this country’s future and threatening our traditional two-party system.

Repudiating Trump’s Views on the Environment

in Front Page/News/Political/Opinion/Uncategorized by
Photo courtesy of YouTube. Licensed for reuse.
Photo licensed for reuse - Flickr. com
Photo licensed for reuse – Flickr. com

By MATTHEW LIU, Contributing Writer

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2015, President Obama pledged the full support of the United States to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. While many lauded the landmark conviction, others such as Bill Mickibbem, the co-founder of 350.org, viewed it as incomplete. “This didn’t save the planet,” Mickibbem said, “but it may have saved the chance of saving the planet.”

Unfortunately, the chance of saving the planet would be virtually erased under a Trump presidency.

In a number of tweets, Trump has repeatedly slammed climate change as a Hoax manufactured by the Chinese, despite the fact that the greenhouse effect was first described in the 19th and 20th century by French and Swedish Scientists. Barring the existence of a Sino-European centuries-old illuminati-like-conspiracy, Trump’s climate change views are baffling even to the most adamant climate change deniers.

What is perhaps more substantiated in Trump’s arguments is his assertion that climate change initiatives will result in “U.S. manufacturing becoming non-competitive.” This type of job killer rhetoric, used by many republicans, at face value holds some merit.

After all: wouldn’t environmental policies be bad for businesses, leading to fewer jobs?

Photo courtesy of YouTube. Licensed for reuse.
Photo courtesy of YouTube. Licensed for reuse.

It’s true that some jobs would be impacted, with coal jobs usually hardest hit. However, according to a Duke University Study, cleaner alternatives — natural gas, solar and wind industries— will more than offset (by four fold) the loss of jobs in the coal industry. Indeed, 50 new, recently rolled out, clean energy utility-scale projects on public lands have the capacity to support over 20,000 jobs; clearly a better environment wouldn’t be so bad for jobs.

It’s also true that having some factory and company emission compliances will inevitably lead to some loss of productivity. Nevertheless, “blindly” maximizing production is not always beneficial to society.

Individuals such as Trump forget to account for externalities, which economists define as costs and benefits affecting an external party. We can take factory pollution as an example of an externality. Pollution not only causes adverse health issues (lessening social benefit to society), but also causes us, as a country, to lose valuable work hours. Indeed, according to the EPA, Obama’s (albeit currently blocked) Clean Power Plan would by 2030 prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths from the direct effects of pollution, in addition to some unquantifiable, but equally drastic calamities.

Finding the optimal amount of environmental regulations is tricky and requires a serious debate, and I personally assert that certain methods — namely cap and trade — have shown promise as effective forms of regulation; however, the main thrust of my point is this: we need some form of environmental regulations.

So when I hear Trump talk in primary debates about completely dismantling the EPA and other environmental regulatory agencies, I can’t help but feel dismayed. Trump, in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” defended his proposed slashing of environmental agencies by stating that even if climate change were real, “China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you can burn. They couldn’t care less.”

Trump is unfortunately distorting the truth. Though China is the largest polluter of coal, there has been a steady decline in coal burning, as it makes the transition to a service economy rooted in sustainable energy.

There’s one last point Trump is missing: How can China possibly be incentivized to combat climate change if the United States, the world’s only superpower, isn’t leading the fight?

Photo licensed for reuse - Flickr. com
Photo licensed for reuse – Flickr. com

The answer is: China obviously can’t, and the United States needs to take the lead in the fight against climate change. But we’re at a crossroads. The Supreme Court’s contentious 5-4 decision in February 2016 to issue a stay on the Clean Power Plan along with Scalia’s recent passing and more Supreme Court justices poised to retire mean that if Trump becomes President, he would be in an unprecedented position to set back the environmental movement in the United States.

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