Unrealistic expectations

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s election time here at Portland State. This year’s student government election could be a monumental one, because there’s a proposal on the ballot to adopt a new constitution or amend the current one. The new constitution proposes changes that could greatly affect how the Associated Students of Portland State University operates.

Canary in the coal mine

Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D., R-Okla., doesn’t believe that political science is worthy. He made that pretty clear when he offered an amendment to H.R. 933, the spending bill that allows the federal government to continue to operate for the rest of the fiscal year.

Piracy or privacy?

Once again, the federal government is considering legislation that could have a huge impact on our daily lives. Shrouded in the cloak of national security and brandishing the sword of fighting cyber-attacks, legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would give government agencies the authority to share Internet traffic information with private entities and utilities, i.e., your Internet service provider and other “concerned” private businesses.

The forgotten election

Some of the ballot measures that have the most impact on voters’ lives are those conducted during the so-called electoral off-season, by which I mean the special election coming up on May 21.

No more corporate influence

On Feb. 11, House Reps. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., and Mark Pocan, D-Wis., announced their sponsorship of a proposed constitutional amendment to redefine who or what a person is and to limit political campaign contributions. Section one of the proposed amendment defines a person as a natural person only and explicitly states that other legal entities are not persons. This means that corporations would no longer be entitled to constitutional protections.

Day of love

Today is Valentine’s Day, a holiday when we gather together with our special someone and celebrate our love and affection for each other. But there’s more to the holiday than roses, candy and a special meal.

A game of Chicken

Despite being referred to as a “fiscal cliff,” the current debt crisis in Washington, D.C. is more akin to a game of Chicken: House Republicans stay strong with a solution based on hard cuts to spending, mainly to widely used entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, while Democrats flatly reject cuts in favor of a more balanced approach, without saying what such an approach might look like.

Our moral imperative

Can a person be moral without being a member of a religion? I would say that yes, a person can be moral without being religious; the two are not mutually inclusive, but neither are they mutually exclusive.

Local water, up for sale

Despite the abundance of water we are currently experiencing here in Portland, the sad truth is that the planet’s water is quickly disappearing. And, as we all know, water is essential to life on our planet.

Ah, finals!

As finals week approaches, I imagine many of you feel the stresses placed upon us as students. In a Herculean effort to pull together all of our projects, papers and notes, many of us are studying into the wee morning hours.