The Oberlin Review

Death Penalty Discriminatory, Costly, Ineffective

Aaron Pressman, Contributing Writer

November 8, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

There once was a man named Troy Davis. Davis was convicted of murdering a police officer and was sentenced to death in 1991. After 20 years of imprisonment and awaiting death, Davis was finally executed in 2011. Prior to his execution, seven of the nine eyewitnesses used to convict him recanted their testimonies, jeopardizing their credibility and admitting that they lied under oath. They did this in hopes that it would save the life of an innocent man. This, coupled with numerous new pieces of evidence pointing to Davis’s innocence, prompted former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI and over one million American citizens to ask the state of Georgia not to execute Davis without further hearings. Neither Georgia...

U.S. Drone Strikes Fight Terror with Terror

Sam White, Contributing Writer

November 8, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Peace does not come from the barrel of a gun, however much those in power try to tell us otherwise. Missiles fired from U.S. drones, a constant and fear-inspiring threat for people living otherwise peaceful lives in northwest Pakistan, will never root out terrorism. The death of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud on Nov. 1 was one of very few instances when a drone strike has made headlines. Mehsud, in his 30s, was a known enemy of both the United States and Pakistan. He claimed responsibility for an attempted terrorist bombing in New York City’s Times Square in 2010, and under his leadership the Pakistani Taliban, also called the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, posed a real threat to the Pakistani state. On...

Use of Drones Highlights the Need for Better Journalism

Sam White, Contributing Writer

November 1, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

On Tuesday, members of Congress had a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear firsthand from victims of U.S. drone strikes in northwest Pakistan. In a briefing organized by Representative Alan Grayson, D-Fl., schoolteacher Rafiq ur Rehman and his two children recounted their well-rehearsed tale of the day when, a year ago, a pilotless plane attacked their village in the country’s North Waziristan region. Nabila, nine, spoke of working in the fields with her grandmother, Momina Bibi, when the missile exploded, hurling Momina to her death and blocking out the sun with smoke. She ran, scared, an injury on her hand bleeding uncontrollably. Her 13-year-old brother Zubair, nearby, tried to do the same, but shrapnel had badly...

Conference Creates Middle Ground in Israel-Palestine Debate

Ruby Saha, Contributing Writer

October 11, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

I’ve identified as pro-Palestine for most of my life. Despite my passion for Middle Eastern art, history and politics, I’ve been reluctant to join any of the various Israel-Palestine advocacy groups on campus, feeling unqualified to enter such a contentious and complex debate. Sometime in my sophomore year, I heard someone mention Oberlin’s J Street chapter. J Street’s slogan indicates itself as “The Political Home for Pro-Israel, Pro-peace Americans.” The words “pro-Israel” instilled no desire in me to find out about the organization or to attend meetings throughout the last three years I’ve been at Oberlin, and that probably would have been the end of that. And yet, to my surprise, I found myself...

Attention to Food’s Origins is Critical in Light of Outbreak

Sam White, Contributing Writer

October 11, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

We shouldn’t have to care about what’s in our food: Simply “eating a balanced diet,” complete with proteins, fats, greens and carbohydrates, should suffice. Today, however, it’s becoming increasingly difficult — and dangerous — not to care. Recent events bring this to light. The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a health alert this week regarding an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella, responsible for at least 270 cases of the severe foodborne illness. According to the USDA, the source of the illness has been traced to poultry products produced by Foster Farms in California at three of the company’s four facilities. While the majority of reported cases have been in California, the contaminated...

Absolute and Reported Truth: Recognizing the Difference

Elizabeth Kuhr, Staff Writer

October 4, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

In an eager endeavor to digest all that the news has to offer about the Arab Spring, particularly with regard to the current Egyptian and Syrian revolutionary movements working to reform the countries’ political spheres, I’ve come across many well-seasoned critics pointing out the blatant and buried flaws in the Western world’s attempt to report on this watershed moment. I recently heard it argued, for example, that, because of the U.S.’s vested interest in a political partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood, The New York Times has become a major sympathizer for pro-Morsi Egyptians who were ostracized when the public and army ousted the president this summer. The paper, frequently featuring bloodied Brotherh...

Enough is Enough: the TSA Must Be Privatized

Aaron Pressman, Contributing Writer

October 4, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

There is only one governmental body in the United States that handles nearly as many packages on a daily basis as the United States Postal Service. Every air traveler has heard of it: the Transportation Security Administration. If you’ve flown in the United States before, you may know TSA officers as the people who always make you late for your flight, or the routine grop- ers before you board an aircraft. These officers may have taken some of your carry-ons, or they may have ransacked your bags in an attempt to find prohibited items. The ineffective TSA has been ruining air travel for far too long and needs to be stopped. There was once a time in the United States, just a few years ago, when taking X-ray style...

Curfew Laws Ignore U.S. Constitution

Aaron Pressman

September 27, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

With rates of violence involving teenagers on the rise, more and more U.S. cities have been proposing and implementing curfews, prohibiting minors from being on the streets during nighttime hours. I don’t know if local politicians have simultaneously lost their sense of logic and their trust in the United States Constitution, but these laws are some of the most ridiculous ones in the books. The most recent curfew proposition occurred Monday, when a city council member in Oakland, CA, one of the most crime-ridden cities in America, suggested that Oakland jump on the bandwagon and join hundreds of other U.S. cities by implementing its own teenage curfew. The proposed curfew would bar minors from being in any public...

Consent: Our Role in the Interruption of Rape Culture

Sophie Hess, Contributing Writer

September 20, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Trigger Warning: This article contains references to sexual violence. This week marked my weird public debut as a feminist hacker. I’ve been working with a group called FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture since August, helping to facilitate a viral internet event in which a fake Playboy website released a list of party commandments emphasizing consent and sex positivity. Since news of the hoax hit on Wednesday, I have been given the most amazing platform to actually talk about sexualized violence. Most of the time I have trouble convincing people that this issue is impor- tant. So let me just take advantage of my 15 minutes of internet fame and preach to you now. It is really, really important. Here is the statisti...

Washington Navy Yard Massacre Was Avoidable

Aaron Pressman

September 20, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Murdered: Kenneth Proctor, Frank Kohler, Vishnu Pandit, Mary Knight, Gerald Read, Kathy Gaarde, Martin Bodrog, Richard Ridgell, Arthur Daniels, Michael Arnold, Sylvia Frasier and John Johnson. Twelve innocent mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles. Their lives have been taken. I only have one question in response to the tragic Navy Yard shooting that shook the nation Monday morning. Congress, why do you keep al- lowing this to happen? Democrats and Republicans — quit yelling at each other and start doing your jobs. According to the FBI, there have been at least 17 mass shootings in the United States since the Sandy Hook massacre. Meanwhile, members of Congress have been too focused on their own...

Debate Over U.S. Involvement in Syria Bears Consequences for Thousands of Refugees

Sam White

September 13, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

When the United States speaks, the world listens. Despite the heated global rhetoric, this is undeniable: President Obama’s threat of military action in Syria — and his subsequent request that the congressional authorization vote be postponed — has exacerbated existing crises and thrown the region into a frenzy. In his address to the nation on Tuesday, Obama spoke of noble intentions, among them, to “stop children from being gassed to death” and to “make our own children safer over the long run.” Amidst the waves of criticism Obama has received for his handling of the Syrian crisis, these intentions must not be ignored. But if these are truly the president’s motives for military intervention, the...

Evidence of Assad’s Involvement Lacking

Yagiz Harun, Contributing Writer

September 13, 2013

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

On Aug. 21, President Assad’s forces supposedly used sarin gas on civilians. British Prime Minister David Cameron jumped at the chance to propose an attack on Syria. Using the G-20 Summit as a platform to discuss military involvement, he convinced President Obama to pledge U.S. military support. Prime Minister Cameron took the proposition to the House of Commons, but it got rejected. French President François Hollande initially backed the attack but recently decided to pull his support. This has left President Obama in a sticky situation. Without international support, a military engagement of Syria will involve U.S. forces only. Still hurting from the years, resources and lives spent in the Middle East, President...

Established 1874.