Idrees M. Kahloon
Vonnegut lampooned the world’s absurdity for me, Fuentes laid the sometimes-sordid foundations of power bare to me, but Gabriel García Márquez taught me how to dream.
Money is speech, obviously—but is my long-standing practice of cramming cash into the mouths of congressmen currently protected by the First Amendment? If my pet politicians misbehave, may I sue for damages?
A free press is the necessary precursor to transparent governance—the ideal of democracy.
Had Bloomberg been asked to the Institute of Politics, we would have urged our classmates to engage in a respectful dialogue with the former mayor, and to challenge him on his record. But Commencement is not a night at the JFK Jr. Forum—every graduate should feel celebrated and included.
We admire villains and anti-heroes because of and not in spite of their evil.
Whenever army chiefs don gaudy epaulettes and oversized shades, democracy’s death is sure to follow.
President Obama’s much-anticipated speech on reforms to the runaway National Security Agency began with a bad history lesson and only got worse.
That the world has eagerly turned to papal admiration amidst a seemingly inexorable secularization also showcases the bare desire for genuine morality in the institutions that purport to purvey it.
When Tony Soprano sent his daughter to Columbia University in the famous TV show "The Sopranos", he recoiled from an additional $50,000 "donation" that the dean requested. Even the great mob boss of New Jersey considered Ivy League costs a shakedown—and that episode aired in 2001.
Figure 1: Tuition at America's most prestigious colleges have nearly doubled in since 2000, growing at roughly 4% a year.
Hypocrisy in international relations is a field as fertile as any Afghan pomegranate orchard.
A post-racial America was not inaugurated alongside Barack Obama in 2008—no matter how much you wish it so. Perhaps after viewing the unflinchingly brutal vérité of “12 Years a Slave,” it would be comforting to think of this country’s long legacy of racial oppression as a long-dead evil of centuries past.
If I may offer a modest proposal to calm the partisan clamor: It appears that the great problem of our times is that some parts of the government are too technically advanced and others are decidedly less so.
The life-as-morality-play narrative remains the dividing line between conservative and liberal economists, but has more concrete impact than an inconsequential academic debate.
Congressional Republicans are spinning—with remarkably straight faces—an alternate narrative where the shutdown is the consequence of Democratic intransigence and unwillingness to compromise.