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Views on the News: FEMA Trouble

 Amid the relief efforts during Hurricane Florence, FEMA chief Brock Long is under criminal investigation for misuse of Homeland Security funds and equipment, as reported in a Sept. 18 Washington Post story. Despite spending most of his time fighting off investigation, Long continues to remain head of the relief operation, and the Trump administration shows no signs of replacing him. Should an official currently under investigation for misuse of funds be allowed to run an agency during a humanitarian crisis, and does Long’s conduct hamstring his agency's relief efforts in the Carolinas?  


70th Emmys descend further into white mediocrity

If you watched the Emmy Awards last weekend, congratulations! You probably don’t exist. The award show — perennially denied the coveted “least relevant” spot by the god-awful Grammys — limped into its 70th showing in typical fashion and was rewarded with the lowest Nielsen ratings in its history. Questionable choices abounded in hosting, nominations and award selection. 


Carefully analyze how Kavanaugh situation unravels

 With this in mind, there should be little debate over the necessity of an investigation into the allegations. To delay the nomination is not ideal, but it would be infinitely worse to ignore them altogether and rush to confirm him, only to find out they were true later. Given that Supreme Court Justices serve for life, the last thing the Court needs is an undisputed sex criminal deciding the legal fate of this country for some 30-odd years. The Senate realizes this, and as of this writing, Dr. Ford has agreed to testify before the Judiciary Committee about the matter. An FBI investigation, which she also insisted upon, is likely to follow shortly 


Editorial: Yom Kippur Break Fast

 Community members gathered on the Great Lawn on Wednesday night for the annual Break Fast — known as “Break the Fast” in the pastprevious years — where the University provided free food and drinks. As in previous years, people who had not fasted for Yom Kippur were invited as well, but this year, the event started earlier, around the time that the fast ended. This led to long lines and limited seating, as fasting students arrived around the same time as non-fasting students. This board urges the University to assess this year’s event and take steps to ensure that, in the future, the entire Brandeis community can participate in Break Fast without inconveniencing students who have been fasting for 25 hours. 


Vaping could put teens on a path to lifelong addiction

 Smoking isn’t supposed to be attractive or glamorous. It is a life-threatening vice that turns into an addiction with continued use. Rebranding it to make it more cool or socially acceptable only gives teens the idea that it isn’t as detrimental — or obnoxious — as it actually is. Before we know it, the smoking rooms of the 1950s may soon be revived as vaping rooms.  


Enviromental film prompts tough questions on divestment

 Mr. Koplow seems to relegate the burden of initiative to the individual, but it’s our country’s institutions that point the way. We live in a society that is unfortunately heavily influenced by funding provided by these institutions, so any divestment would be a push in the right direction. There were some in the theater who argued that we are too far gone to prompt significant change. This sentiment is why we are in this mess in the first place. Though our climate trajectory for the coming decades is not optimistic, we can still take strides toward minimizing the inevitable damage. Mr. Koplow insists that the Board has “taken a look at the rosters of universities out there” and  that “there are really not a lot of U.S. universities that have gone ahead and divested.” Just because other institutions have not does not mean Brandeis should not.  


The stakes of Brett Kavanaugh's SCOTUS nomination

 Not many college students are avid C-SPAN viewers. This makes a lot of sense; even the quietest campus offers more exciting Friday night options than watching the nuts and bolts of our nation’s political process. But anyone who was watching C-SPAN from Sept. 4 to Sept. 7 would have seen the initial screening of the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. 


Editorial: Consider the University's attempts to curb abuse

 On Sept. 4, University President Ron Liebowitz sent an email to the Brandeis community with an update on the independent investigation into the abusive environment created within the University’s basketball program. While the initiatives the University has set out on to curtail the behavior that allowed for such gross misconduct are a good start, more should be done to make sure that this kind of abuse is not repeated.  


EU's draconian directive puts memes on the chopping block

 On Sept. 12, the European Parliament, the elected legislature that represents all 28 member states of the European Union, passed a suite of laws under the name “Copyright Directive.” This new set of regulations and statutes pertains to the use of unique content in internet-related publications such as videos, news articles and, much to the discontent of young people, memes. Though this piece of legislation is quite wordy, as all laws tend to be, two sub-articles within this directive have attracted quite a bit of controversy.  


What in the world is going on with Elon Musk?

 At one point in time, no name generated quite as much enthusiasm and reverence in business or engineering as Elon Musk’s. The sharp-witted and eccentric founder and CEO of Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX and the Boring Company was the rock star of Silicon Valley, a spark of excitement amid a wave of Harvard dropouts in matching gray hoodies. Musk’s promised innovations were straight out of the Isaac Asimov novels that he once quoted regularly. 


Views on the News: Stop BEZOS

 On Sept. 5, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Stop BEZOS Act, a bill that would enact a tax on large corporations such as Amazon and Walmart equivalent to the federal benefits their low-income workers receive. Sanders and co-author Rep. Mo Khanna (D-CA) argue that the current system forces taxpayers to subsidize corporations that could easily pay their workers a living wage, while opponents argue that the bill would have little impact on large corporations but present grave consequences for small businesses. Is corporate overreliance on welfare an issue, and would legislation like the Stop BEZOS Act be a reasonable method of curbing it?   


Study Abroad Mishandled Brandeis in The Hague

 Because of the email’s timing, students intending to study in The Hague must now scramble to complete new applications while transitioning into the school year; on top of keeping up with their regular coursework, they must obtain new letters of recommendation and compose essays for their chosen replacement programs.  


Descent into Donaldmania: A look at /r/The_Donald

 So why have I been torturing myself for the past 100 days by delving into The_Donald? I wish I could say it was in preparation to write this article, but that’s not why. I wish I could say it was an anthropological mission to learn about Trump supporters as an insider in order to bridge the gap, but that isn’t why either. Nor can I say it was an attempt to break out of my personal echo chamber and see how the other half gets the news. The truth is, it’s like watching a car crash: I shouldn’t, but I just can’t turn away.  


Commend BCC's expansion of mental health services

 Responding to persistent student requests for an expansion to hours and resources, the Brandeis Counseling Center announced a number of changes and additions to their services for this upcoming semester. While this board has concerns about how the expanded program might affect future tuition and the cost of the Brandeis health care plan, we appreciate the necessary additions made to the BCC. 


Recognize importance of Massachusetts environmental regulations

History may remember Boston for its democratic fight against taxation without representation and its contribution to the American Revolution. Hopefully, it may also accredit Massachusetts to be the pioneering force behind the legalization of same-sex marriage. Therefore, it would be the greatest travesty if history records Massachusetts for its inaction against the greatest threat to humankind.  


Views on the News: Class of 2018

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2018! Looking back at your college experience, and your senior year specifically, what experiences and people stand out to you the most? In the course of your Brandeis experience, what moments will you look back on most fondly?  


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