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Indians in American Politics

By Natasha Christian With a population of more than 2.8 million Indians living in the U.S., the rise of Indian politicians in American government is long overdue. Joining the club with high profile politicians like Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Texas’ own Rick Perry, are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and several other South Asians who have taken their place in American politics. Currently 15 Indians are involved in different areas of government. While the majority represents the Republican Party, a few have chosen to be part of the Democratic Party. Mayors, senators, representatives and governors are slowly but surely allowing themselves to be voices for Indian-American everywhere. The very first Indian to make it to Washington, D.C., was Dalip Singh Saund in Jan. 1957. The Indian-born American emigrate, served in the U.S. House of Representatives for California District 29. Nearly 50 years later, Piyush “Bobby” Jindal came onto the political scene. Jindal is the first Indian-American governor. He was born in Louisiana a few months after his parents flew over from India. A major conflict of interest for some Indians is his conversion from his parent’s Hinduism faith to the U.S.’s dominant religion, Christianity. Older Indians who have emigrated from southern Asia disapprove of Jindal’s transition and believe he cannot truly represent the entire Indian population. However, they do not realize that Hinduism is not the only religion. Muslims, Christians and even Jewish Indians live in the land of the free. Barely five weeks ago, Jindal kept his reign as current governor. He won the re-election with an impressive 60 percent of votes. Strongly due to his efforts after the disastrous BP oil spill of April 2010, Jindal proved to natives of Louisiana that he knew what it took to be governor of their state. Jindal is not the only one to stray from India’s basic roots. American born Namrita “Nikki” Haley is an Indian politician who abandoned the traditional religion. She is currently the youngest serving governor and the first female non-white governor of South Carolina. With an Indian culture aimed at male bravado, Haley has proved in both American and Indian cultures that she can compete with the men in a male-dominated field. During her first campaign, Haley was endorsed by current presidential nominee Mitt Romney and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. In addition, she is gradually becoming part of the Tea Party movement. She can quickly lose interest of the younger Indian crowd because of her partnership with Sarah Palin and growing involvement with the right-wing Tea Party. Other notable Indian-Americans include, Iowa State Senator Swati Dandekar. Kumar Barve,...

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99 Percent lacks focus, leader

Signs and T-shirts that read “We are the 99%” and “Eat the rich” flood the streets along with thousands of disgruntled Americans, some of whom have been camped out for days without so much as a shower. So, what do these 99 percent want? The fact is, many of them don’t even know. If you’ve turned on the news at any point in the last several weeks, then it’s unlikely you’ve missed out on what’s happening on Wall Street in New York City, and in other major cities across the country. While the Occupy Fill-in-the-Blank Movement is an unavoidable media attraction, what the protestors are yet to make clear is what exactly they stand for. On top of the lack of focus, their message seems a little muddled by inconsistencies. They claim that corporations are “evil,” that our government should stop supporting them, all while updating their Facebook statuses and posting photos from their iPhones. Seems a bit hypocritical. If they think that these businesses are destroying the country, then wouldn’t it make sense that the best remedy would be not to support them financially? Another outcry heard from the streets  concerns the unemployment crisis, which is certainly understandable. However, nobody has yet to acknowledge that the very corporations they are protesting are huge suppliers of jobs in the country. If they go, jobs go. Then where would the job market be? Many have screamed from the sidewalks that capitalism is to blame for all the problems, some even going as far as claiming socialism as the answer. They have said that competition is evil, and that we should all work together. While that may seem like a good idea in theory, without competition, the economy would collapse on itself. Like it or not, it’s what fuels our economy, and it’s here to stay. With all the different issues being raised, it is impossible to tell what direction the Occupy Wall Street movement is going to take, but one thing is for sure. It is spreading. More and more people from all over the United States are jumping on the bandwagon every day. In the wake of the Arab Spring, it almost seems that America is simply following the trend. Of course, freedom of speech and the freedom to peacefully assemble are rights that should not be taken for granted or left idle. But they should be practiced with a purpose. From the start, the Occupy Wall Street group has been without a leader and without clearly defined goals. Though countless numbers of reporters have asked what their motivation is, the responses seem vague. Without organization, it is unclear...

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News sources defile footage of dead tyrant

In this era, people love to see. They loved to see freedom springing up from some of the harshest governing countries in the world. They also loved to see the death of one of the harshest dictators of this century. But how much should be shown of the death of someone? Is it not satisfying enough for us to hear that a person who has done so much wrong has been killed? Is a picture of his corpse still not enough? Apparently we needed to see clips of the final moments of Muammar Gaddafi’s life in order to be satisfied with his death being a just one. We needed to see him bloodied and bruised, tormented and crying out for mercy. Just because the video clips of his last minutes alive were available doesn’t necessitate broadcasting them to the world through American news sources. True, Gaddafi was a terrible ruler, and many innocent people lost their lives under his regime. But he also had a family. He had people who cared about him and to show his death in such a widely celebrated, graphically detailed way seems to disrespect their right to grieve more than it does to highlight the justice done. This is not only the fault of the news organizations that  broadcast the videos, but also the people watching them. They push the view count up on the videos and the site traffic up on the websites. But is it OK to continue showing the videos simply because they are increasing viewership and essentially making money? Or perhaps the better question is why are people so interested in watching the final moments of Gaddafi’s life? Technology has forever changed the way Americans get information. They have access to almost anything with a few simple clicks. They demand instant access to whatever is trending at the time. Whether it’s a song, a game, a joke, a country or even a person’s death, people want to know and see it all immediately. For Gaddafi’s death though, it doesn’t seem that people want to know and see his last minutes for the purpose of claiming justice for those he killed while he was in power. We didn’t have to see videos of those  innocent people’s last minutes to label them as unjust. So why must we plaster Gaddafi’s final steps on every news website and in every time slot of the evening news? If news stations reported on Gaddafi’s death, telling us how he was killed, who killed him, when and where he died, that should be enough. If they showed a picture of him after he was dead, that...

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GOP ready for 2012

“Obama will be a one-term president,” asserts Republican candidate Michele Bachmann. While currently in sixth place in recent polls, she may not be the candidate to top Obama; however, her peers seem to be in good standing to knock him out of the Oval Office. Even two months before primaries, the GOP ticket is starting to push forth candidates to defeat Democrats in the 2012 elections. Though part of the same political party, these Republicans could not be more different. White and black, male and female, governors and businessmen­­—there is such diversity on this ballot and just as many ideas to tackle big issues like the economy and unemployment. Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney is proving to be a crowd favorite, winning or tying for first in early voting states with votes of 25 percent to the 40 percent he found in New Hampshire, according to a CNN/Time/ORC Poll. Romney accomplished an array of feats as governor, such as a 4.6 percent unemployment rate and creation of a $2 billion rainy day fund at the end of his term even though he entered office with a $3 billion  deficit. This conservative Republican, only knocked off his first-place pedestal by  Perry’s late entrance to the race in August, may very well be the one  to come out on top with the Republican nomination. Herman Cain catapulted in the polls with his innovative 9-9-9 tax plan and remains at or near the top. While some stand behind him in this idea, others are strongly opposed. Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum mentioned in a GOP debate that under Cain’s plan up to 84 percent of Americans would pay more taxes. With no prior political experience, Cain is hard to exploit, but he is also more easily stumped. When a debate moderator asked about his foreign policy, he replied, “I don’t need to know the details of every issue we face.” Along with his shocking plan for border security and his several interview blunders, it’s hard to see Cain topping the well-prepared Romney. Governor of Texas Rick Perry, with a late entrance to the race, has been slipping as of late but remains a threat with a seat in third. His new flat tax plan is causing a stir among crowds. Recently, Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes business magazine, publicly endorsed the fiscal conservative and his “Cut, Balance, Grow” plan. Forbes proposed the same plan in 1996 when he ran for president and had short-lived success with the plan. With some tweaks, Perry hopes to perfect this idea. U.S. Congressman from Texas, Ron Paul, has proposed to cut $1 trillion of government...

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The end of an Era: Apple after Steve Jobs

By Slade Stevenson “Apple has lost a visionary and a creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.” Apple posted this somber statement on its website Oct. 5 following the death of Steve Jobs. He was 56 years of age. Jobs had been dealing with various health issues resulting from his battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976. Just ten years later, he resigned from Apple after being relieved of his executive duties. In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple and transformed it into the company the world knows today. Under Jobs’ leadership, Apple produced gadgets that revolutionized the tech world. Millions of people can now carry the Internet with them on their iPhones wherever they go. Those on opposite sides of the world can feel as though they are in the same room with Facetime on iPads. Jobs forever changed the way people use smartphones, tablets and computers. Without its chief “creative genius,” it is doubtful that Apple will be able to continue making such revolutionary products. As CEO of Apple, Jobs did much more than operate the business side of things; he played a huge role in creating the Apple products customers love so much. ABC News reports that Jobs’ name is listed on  more than 300 Apple patents. They range from everything from designs for iPhones and iPads to the glass staircases found in some Apple stores. Jobs wanted to be involved in every aspect of his company. He helped to create the products and even helped to create the stores at which they would be sold. Jobs was much more than a leader; he was a creator. Apple will   more than likely remain successful; the company must have realized that there would come a time when it would have to function without Jobs, and Apple has probably planned and prepared for this day. However, there is a big difference between simply remaining successful and making things that amaze. New Apple products will inevitably come out, but the excitement and “wow” factor that Jobs gave products is lost forever. With the loss of Jobs, Apple starts a new chapter by putting a solemn period on the previous. The chapter that began in 1976 and that would change the face of technology as it is known today. Revolutionary and innovative, that’s what Jobs made Apple. In the future, Apple’s new products will probably be viewed in the same way new Dell or Nokia products are: people will think they are cool and nice, but nothing to go crazy about. For instance, look at the new iPhone 4S. It was the first iPhone...

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Danger at 9th and College

By Terryn Kelly If you are one of the many students who fear getting your legs knocked off while walking across campus streets, you are not alone. Although there is a speed limit while driving around on campus, it seems some drivers are going well above 30 mph. A dangerous intersection is at 9th and College streets. Where only stop signs and fading white stripes mark the crosswalks. Many universities have actual stop lights at such intersections to regulate traffic and provide a safer crossing. Yes, we were all taught in grade school to look both ways before crossing the street, but they never said what happens when you look both ways and a car still comes out of nowhere and nearly runs you over. Junior interdisciplinary studies major Charles Hitchens feels unsafe when using crosswalks. “At times I do not feel safe when I am walking because half of the time people do not look where they are going while driving. I would prefer the school look into getting stop lights,” he said. “I would have a security guard out directing traffic at all times. That way it will be safer for students to get across without interrupting traffic and for drivers to drive safely,” Hitchens said. Sophomore nursing major Shelby Ashley thinks that both pedestrians and drivers should be aware. “When driving through the intersections, I stop at the stop signs and look for pedestrians. If I see them, I’ll wave… them to go. I try not to be distracted when driving on campus because some people just don’t pay attention,” she said. “I almost hit a guy the other day because he just darted out on his bicycle from in between two cars in line at the stop sign. He put himself in a dangerous predicament by crossing somewhere other than a crosswalk,” Ashley said. She thinks the   problems at the crosswalk can be alleviated if people are educated on how to cross the street safely. Senior performance studies major Lauryn McCoy agrees that a stoplight should be put into place soon because there is great chance that an unfortunate accident will happen sooner or later. “All too often people wait too long to do something about traffic problems until someone is seriously hurt or injured. Why not take the steps now to prevent such a horrible thing from happening?” she asked. Stop lights or crossing guards would be a nice addition to the school crosswalks and would have an added element of...

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