Tag Archives: President Obama

Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 2: Boycotting Boycotts of Russia

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

This is the second part of a four part series entitled “Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression.” The first part is entitled “Russian Sexual Politics and the East/West Divide.

“You stupid idiots kill people all over the world, Iraq, libya, afganistan, syria etc. You interfere internal politics of many countries. And now you stupid idiots try to teach us how to live? Go fuck yourself and your president and leave us to decide OURSELVES on how to live and rule OUR country. Just understand that you opinion mean nothing here.”

The following is an exact quote from a Buzzfeed post mentioned earlier in Part 1, which reveals an important hypocrisy to understand about modern American and historical Western politics.

America and the West currently and historically tend to view themselves as the world’s watchdog, the big brother, if you will, the more socially advanced sibling who can help their more primitive brothers and sisters advance. In earlier centuries, this phenomenon was mainly exacted through Christian conversion.

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THE MORAL FABRIC IS INSIDE OUT! : What CIA Chief Petraeusʼ Resignation Reveals about our National Moral Fabric

by ABCrane, former Stanford employee

church and state 2In November, CIA chief David Petraeus allegedly resigned due to his guilt over engaging in an extra marital affair. “After being married for over 37 years”, Petraeus said in a letter to colleagues, “ I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”

Speaking in his defense, Obama stated, “By any measure, he was one of the outstanding general officers of his generation, helping our military adapt to new challenges and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end.”

While Petraeus’ affair did not faze me, Obama’s praise of his involvement in our foreign wars chimed loud the great bells of historical irony! What occurred to me on such a deep level was just how archaic the moral fabric of modern society and politics truly are. Why is our country outraged over an extra marital affair while either indifferent or supportive of our illegal, cruel, and corrupt military involvement throughout the Middle East? How does one man stepping out on his wife even begin to compare to that same man leading a war effort that destroys countless lives, the environment, and the economy?

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Progressive students must push Obama now: a post-election interview with Clayborne Carson

by Kristian Davis Bailey, ’14

This week the United States made history by re-electing Barack Obama as its first African-American president. While the political climate of our country may have had a sobering effect on the national mood, the overall tone of campus seemed to be one of celebration. Cheers of excitement rang from the lounge of my dorm in Ujamaa House, Stanford’s African and African American themed dorm. The larger campus as a whole seemed to echo this enthusiasm–88% of students voted for Obama in the 2012 elections, according to The Stanford Daily.

In the midst of this environment, I had the chance to speak with Dr. Clayborne Carson for fifteen minutes on his responses and reactions to President Obama’s reelection. Carson has been tasked with editing and publishing the complete papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. and directs the Martin Luther King Research Institute at Stanford.

I am currently a student in Carson’s introduction to African American history course “The Modern African American Freedom Struggle,” where we are trying to figure out what gains blacks have made in our modern freedom struggle since 1968. Our comparative discussions framed my conversation with Carson.

‘Act on your own, force Obama to follow your will’
It is necessary for students to create their own progressive pressure on the political system, Carson told me Tuesday night.

“If [people] believe that Obama was the best choice, they shouldn’t just leave it to Obama to carry out any kind of progressive agenda,” Carson said, adding that grassroots support is a necessary factor in creating effective policy.

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The Strength of Obama’s Foreign Policy

by Nick Ahamed, ’14


I am not here to make excuses. I recognize that my beloved President Obama has arguably struggled in addressing many difficult, complex issues facing the United States throughout the past 4 years. However, on at least one issue, foreign policy, he has done the best we can expect of a president. As I outline the last 12 years of foreign policy, I would like you to keep two things in mind. First, Obama was not given a mandate to govern. Though he won overwhelmingly in the Electoral College, only 53% of the country voted for him. Presidents represent the whole nation to the world, not just their own party. Second, context is everything. As a student of economics, I view everything as a series of trade-offs. And so while the outcome that occurred may not be our optimal policy preference, we have to ask if it was better than the practical alternative. With these two premises acknowledged, I argue that it is vitally important to reelect President Barack Obama in the context of foreign policy.

The Bush years were a period of militant American unilateralism. In those 8 years, we were not afraid to use our Armed Forces, regardless of international opinion. The most notable cases are obviously Afghanistan and Iraq. Continue reading

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Why You Should Care About Obamacare (Part I of a series)

by Rachel Kelley, ’12

President Obama spent much of the first year of his presidency working to pass health care reform. Remember 2009 – before all the bank bailouts and ending wars and budget battles? Remember the confusing, drawn-out process that was passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?

You don’t?

That’s OK. Most of the United States probably doesn’t either.

Despite that unfortunate gap in (many – not all) Americans’ civic attentiveness, everyone seems to have an opinion about “Obamacare” anyway. You’ve likely heard a whole spectrum of politicized responses to the following: Is Obamacare socialized medicine? What IS socialized medicine? Is it going to break the budget or is it going to save money? Is it going to make sure everyone has health insurance? Should Americans have a right TO health insurance or a right to NOT have health insurance? Continue reading

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Waiting For Change

by Sarah Quartey, ’14

“Yes we can.”

My sister’s car was suspiciously cheap and laughably small, but it did have a redeeming quality: a phenomenal sound system. We cranked the volume up to thirty.  As we passed by dozens of cars with red-, white-, and blue bumper stickers, we chanted to Will.I.Am’s take on an Obama speech, “Yes We Can.”  The exuberant campaign season had come to an end, but we would see its departure in style – with silver tickets to the Inauguration of Barack Obama.   Driving to Washington, D.C. that day was like taking part in a geese migration south: everyone headed in the same direction, everyone with the same purpose.  Much honking and much shouting filled the air, and within my sister’s little car, much poor singing.  Barack Obama’s path to the presidency had been studied by cars’ occupants.  Could they know what he and I shared? Continue reading

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Dear President Obama…

This letter was originally posted at the Stanford Undergraduate Sustainability Scholars blog.

Introduction

Students for a Sustainable Stanford (SSS) is a project-based student group concerned with addressing sustainability in all its forms on Stanford’s campus, with sub-groups dedicated to water, waste, climate, and environmental justice issues. With President Obama set to approve or reject the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline by the end of the year, the SSS Outreach team is campaigning on campus to involve the Stanford community in this national issue. Below is a letter written by outreach leaders Judee Burr, Noemi Wazlebuck, and Akwasi Abrefah and signed by concerned Stanford community members.  We challenge our President to support the well-being of the American people over large corporate interests and reject the measure to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. Join us this Friday, 3pm at Columbae to discuss these issues! Contact sssoutreachaction@gmail.com with questions or to join our anti-pipeline campaign.

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Dear President Obama,

We are writing to you as members of Students for a Sustainable Stanford and as concerned citizens of the United States. We are asking you to take a stand for the well-being of the American people – block the measure to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. Continue reading

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