opinions » oped

Unsafe zone?

By Alexis Egan | Oct. 25, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Thirty-one percent of students nationwide ages 12 to 17 know someone their age who carries a gun. In just one year, 20 percent of all public schools experienced at least one violent crime. In the 1997-1998 school year, 20,286 physical attacks involving weapons occurred at schools.

A supreme mistake

By Alex Hyder | Oct. 24, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

George W. Bush has always billed himself as a "uniter, not a divider." Now, at long last, the President has lived up to his promise: the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has united secularist liberals and hard-line conservatives — against his decision.

Give us a break!

By Eve Gleichman, Devon Madison | Oct. 12, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Remember that awful Diflucan commercial with the middle-aged women running up and down escalators in distress, all to the beat of the nauseating "Gotta Go"? theme music? Maybe you don't; after all, its infamy did put an abrupt halt to the annoying advertisement, and we haven't really seen much more of that campaign from the bladder fixer-upper. But now, whether wanted or not, we Blazers can't help but wonder why we constantly find ourselves singing the catchy jingle during the school day.

The answer to our energy crisis is not in Alaska

By Mary Donahue | Sept. 30, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

While it is painful to look at the gas pump these days, we may indirectly benefit from $3 to $4 gas prices. In response, people may start to walk more and consider alternative energy sources, such as hybrid vehicles, over gas-guzzling SUVs. But these environmentally beneficial changes are futile if we just use the rise in gas prices as an excuse to drill for oil in Alaska.

Editorial: We urge you not to march

By | Sept. 21, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Blazers frustrated by America's course in Iraq have probably been itching for an event like Saturday's anti-war march on and near the National Mall. It is a chance for Blazers to voice their displeasure with what most consider to be a tragic and misguided policy, and a chance for the American anti-war movement to show its strength and organization. But anybody considering taking part in this event must take heed: they won't be marching for what they think they are marching for.

Government falters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina

By Merlyn Deng | Sept. 16, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana two weeks ago, leaving roughly 80 percent of the city underwater and thousands of helpless residents stranded on their rooftops waiting for government rescue. Where was the government? Instead of responding immediately with all available resources, the government was hog-tied as congressmen and lawyers in Washington D.C. argued for days over the legitimacy of relief efforts. Although rescue workers were eventually able to evacuate and transport the majority of the residents to safety, the government response took its toll, resulting in unnecessary sickness and death. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency in charge of handling disaster relief efforts, should look back on Hurricane Katrina as a reminder to never hesitate or ignore the threats of a natural disaster in the future.

Dividends at the pump

By Alex Hyder | Sept. 12, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Leave Blair, cross Route 29 and you will encounter a surprising number: $3.19. No, this isn't the price of a small steak-and-cheese sub at Jerry's; it is the price of a gallon of regular gasoline at the Four Corners Shell.

9/11 four years later

By Armin Rosen | Sept. 11, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In a 1989 essay State Department planner Francis Fukuyama made an ambitious claim; a sweeping and overarching declaration of not just the end of fifty years of ideological warfare, but millennia of human intellectual development; a claim simple in concept, but infinitely complicated in its implications. In an essay entitled "The End of History," Fukuyama postulated that the democratic revolutions of 1989 were "not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

Your thoughts: September 11th

By | Sept. 10, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

To honor the four-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Silver Chips Online invites its readers to post comments regarding the tragic event. What has the terrorist attack changed? How does it still affect your life? Has the meaning of the event changed in the eyes of the American public in the four years? We invite anyone visiting our site to answer these questions and leave your thoughts in this public reflection of 9/11.

Your thoughts: Hurricane Katrina

By | Sept. 8, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Silver Chips Online has assembled a collection of student and faculty reflections on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. We invite readers to share their thoughts.

The summer of orange and blue

By Armin Rosen | Aug. 21, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

I don't know if this rumor made it to America or not, but sometime during the middle of July, during the third week of my six-week trip to Israel with the Nesiya Institute, word spread that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had suffered a heart attack. When one of the Israelis traveling with my program told me that this had been a falsehood, most likely spread by anti-disengagement proponents, I wondered how it was that so juvenile and unsubstantiated a rumor could take hold in a country as westernized as Israel. That would never happen in America, I said aloud. But then again, replied the Israeli, America has never had anything like the Gaza disengagement.

A balance needed between old and new

By Meaghan Mallari | July 31, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Bright lights, sidewalk music and the coming and going of hundreds of people everyday are the new Downtown Silver Spring. Over the past few years, in an effort fueled by the hard work of Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, Silver Spring's old buildings, crime and trash have been systematically replaced with bright colors, music, a multiplex movie theater and chain food stores.

When Free Trade isn't fair

By Ethan Kuhnhenn | July 27, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Lindon Tobias Maldonado and his family scratch out a living by farming beans and corn in the high altitudes of El Salvador's Cuscatalan Department. Maldonado is a self-sustenance farmer — the crops he grows turn into the food that he and his family eat every night. The crops that are left over are sold in larger towns for a small, yet significant amount of money — money that will be used to pay for medical treatment, new tools and maybe even a plane ticket that could send his nephew to study in America.

A panda prescription for an ailing zoo

By Mary Donahue | July 24, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Between the continuous death of animals and a deteriorating physical appearance, the national treasure status of the Washington National Zoo seems to have been lost. But that glorious status can be restored by none other than a baby panda, roughly the size of a stick of butter. The baby panda cub's birth will not only help restore the positive image of the zoo, but the cub will also provide a much needed moral boost in light of recent animal deaths.

Are we really safe?

By Alexis Egan | July 11, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Even though these words were spoken nearly 250 years ago by Benjamin Franklin, they hold just as true today. In light of the recent terrorist attacks in London, it is reasonable to assume that more changes will be made to American security.

Separation of reason and state

By Simon Kanter | July 6, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Less than a week before graduation, the Montgomery County Public School system informed Montgomery Blair High School that it might not be permitted to hold the ceremony at the Jericho City of Praise, the 10,000-seat church that has hosted Blair's ceremony for the last three years. This was the result of a complaint filed by concerned parents to the advocacy group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), which immediately notified MCPS.

Slots are a gamble no matter how you play 'em

By Natasha Prados | June 30, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

As candidates gear up for the 2006 Maryland gubernatorial election, the introduction of slot machines appears to be the most controversial issue of the campaign. The issue divides the candidates for the Democratic nomination: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, both of whom have taken a position different from that of incumbent Republican Governor Robert L. Ehrlich.

Securing Social Security

By Armin Rosen | June 27, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

If the liberal historian Howard Zinn is correct in saying that history is nothing but an endless sequence of present-days (I believe that he is), then a past date, namely 1935, is just as relevant to the ongoing debate over Social Security as the future date of the program's insolvency. And just as constructionists look to the intent of the Founding Fathers to decipher the often nebulous subtext of our Constitution, we should frame any debate on Social Security in the context of the expectations and intentions of its Founding Father: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Motion for cloture

By Armin Rosen | May 23, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

I think our Senators need to be reminded of just how little the debate over the "nuclear option" matters. The filibustering of judicial nominees is not the gross abuse of power that the Republicans cast it as, nor is its banning a threat to the very pillars of democracy as Democrats have maintained. Aside from extreme partisanship there are few conflicting or overarching principles in play, since this is, fundamentally, a disagreement on procedure.

Letter to the editor: MCPS responds to food editorial

By | March 9, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

MCPS Food Service Supervisor Marla R. Caplon wrote this letter to the editor in response to the Silver Chips article The inside scoop on school meals.

The inside scoop on school meals

By | Feb. 13, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

After the lunch bell rings, the cafeteria is bombarded with a mob of hungry students. One by one, they emerge from the lunch line, carrying with them a variety of foods: fries, nachos dripping with processed cheese, fries, baked potatoes with more processed cheese, fries...

Liberals shouldn't fear four more years

By Kiran Bhat | Feb. 10, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

These visionary words bring to mind the one politician from the past 20 years that Democrats can be proud of, President Bill Clinton. They are grandiose and confident, and hopeful in every sense. However Clintonesque they may sound though, they came from the mouth of one man liberals in America despise most, President George W. Bush.

A chance for peace in the Middle East

By | Feb. 8, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The election of Mahmoud Abbas as President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has given both sides of the conflict an incentive to renew peace negotiations. To gain a better sense of the concerns Palestinians have for Abbas, I interviewed two Palestinians, Mike and Alex. (With current violence on the Israel-Palestine front, printing the full names of these sources may endanger their lives.) Mike is an administrator in Bethany, West Bank, and Alex is an accountant in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem.

Agencies must be held accountable for payoffs

By | Feb. 5, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The current administration prides itself on its moral clarity, even as some of its members shroud unethical policies in secrecy. On Jan. 7, light was shed on this hypocrisy, as USA Today reported that a government agency, the Department of Education (DOE), had spent $241,000 to bribe conservative talk show host Armstrong Williams into promoting the president's No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) on his radio show and in his columns.

Gonzales the wrong choice for attorney general

By Kiran Bhat | Jan. 14, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In this age of political battles and constant squabbling, it is simple to declare that one side or the other has lost a sense of moral direction. However, the one event that most indicates our government's lack of a moral compass as a whole is the appointment of Alberto R. Gonzales to the position of attorney general, head of the Department of Justice.

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