Isaac Stone



The perils of free market authority

In a classic episode of “The Simpsons,” the fictional town of Springfield finds itself with a surprising surplus of cash. When Springfield’s citizens gather to discuss how to spend the new bundle, a sensible verdict is reached. But a smooth-talking salesman bounds out of nowhere and announces that a “genuine, bona fide, electrified, six-car monorail” would really solve the town’s problems. So, the town inexplicably builds a monorail, with few people questioning why a small town needs a mass-transportation system.


Comparing Israel and North Korea

When I was in Israel two years ago, I came across a rather bizarre sign. As anyone who has walked through Jerusalem knows, the city is a haven for tourist traps. These stores are usually little enclaves, selling things preferred by the American tourist, such as low-grade clothing and bumper stickers with the name of your favorite sports team written in Hebrew.


The state of Texas versus hip-hop

By now, surely everyone has heard how the Texas Board of Education voted in favor of making school textbooks more “conservative-friendly.” Apparently, this means substituting Christian right champion John Calvin for non-religious founder Thomas Jefferson, inserting chapters on the rise of the Moral Majority and NRA, while describing our country as a “capitalist republic” as opposed to “democratic.”


The apartheid of sound and fury

In case you haven’t seen the colorful posters hanging in Bender Library and Ward, the first week of March has apparently been designated as Israel Apartheid Week. According to the Web site listed on the posters, this means a time for “[educating] people about the nature of Israel as an apartheid system and to build Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns as part of a global BDS movement.” Look, there’s nothing wrong with raising awareness for the Palestinians. The problem here is that doing so in the loudest, most controversial way possible does more harm than good.


Think blue, act red

During his trip to Copenhagen last month, President Barack Obama was not able to achieve all he had hoped. Instead of a legally binding contract, the outcome was a non-binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050. Yet the president was optimistic. “This is a classic example of a situation where if we just waited ... then we would not make any progress,” he said.

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