Towards a Secure and Effective Emergency Powers Doctrine: A Reflection on the Dark Knight Trilogy

If we could unleash a Batman-like force to solve an emergency of either domestic or international politics, should we? This was a question that occurred to me while recently watching Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Batman’s job is to save the city of Gotham, which is too corrupt to be saved by conventional means. The mob has such a stranglehold on the city that the typical crime fighting institutions cannot bring about justice. Batman decides that in the fight for justice, extrajudicial means are necessary. Acting as a vigilante, he…

The Shroud of Objectivity

Racialized immigration has reentered the contemporary national discourse following Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and his “Muslim Ban.” Trump’s immigration policies, like “family separation” and the Muslim Ban, call for the exclusion of “undesirable” immigrant groups with appeals to order and national security; this exclusion, he argues, is a logical and impersonal precaution which serves the nation’s best interest. However, these appeals to order prove insincere when he and others effectively describe the citizens of the targeted nations as “lesser,” “untrustworthy” racial groups. Trump’s immigration policies and corresponding justifications echo the…

The Dire State of Our Environment

On November 23rd, the U.S Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released the Fourth National Climate Assessment, a Congressionally-mandated report about global warming and related issues.  The document detailed the findings of more than 300 scientists, with input from 13 federal agencies, concluding that the planet is getting warmer, humans are greatly contributing to that warming, and without mitigation efforts, the effects will be devastating.  With warnings concerning an overall decrease in the American quality of life and substantial damage to the U.S. economy and human health, it is a severe…

The Hypocrisy Surrounding the Death of Jamal Khashoggi

“Democracy Dies in Darkness.” The Washington Post debuted its grim new slogan in early 2017, not a month after the inauguration of President Trump. T​he same constructive cynicism that generated the Washington Post’s mission statement is what motivated Jamal Khashoggi to flee his homeland of Saudi Arabia and begin writing for the Post in 2017​. Khashoggi was a staunch supporter of democratic values and transparency in his journalistic career, which he exemplified when he condemned human rights violations committed by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the crown prince himself,…

The Problem with the Phrase “The Movie We Need Right Now”

If you’ve been paying attention to the film industry in the past few years, odds are that you’ve noticed the increasing political nature of the types of films released, as well as the critical reactions released alongside them. I take no issue with films having political messages, as I believe any form of art should be a form of expression for its creator. If a director feels passionate about telling a particular story or delivering a certain message, then not only is it well within his or her right to…

A Culture of Ignorance: How Humans Are Bringing About Their Own Demise

We hear the word “climate change” thrown around a lot today, but when asked to define it, few can speak beyond “global warming, right?” In reality, climate change is far more complex. The phrase refers to the alteration of aggregated patterns of weather, meaning averages, extremes, timing, and spatial distributions of what we consider the different aspects of weather. The reason global warming is most people’s immediate go-to on the subject is that global average temperature is one way to check the state of the holistic climate. Climate change accelerated…

The Legacy of Robert Moses

Robert Moses’ legacy has survived long past his death. It is seen in every corner of New York City, from his highways, to his private and public housing projects, to his contributions to major New York landmarks. Moses is accountable for the extravagant building projects of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the United Nations headquarters building, Shea Stadium, campus buildings for the Pratt Institute and Fordham University, and the since demolished New York Coliseum. Along with these projects, Moses ensured the construction of parks and playgrounds around the city…