The Middlebury Campus

Obama’s Confusing NSA Speech

By Ben Kinney

January 22, 2014

Last June, The Guardian published leaked data via National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden that revealed the boundless surveillance of private electronic communications, both domestic and foreign, by the US government. Always skeptical of unchecked political power, the American public largely ...

The Obamacare Catastrophe

By Ben Kinney

October 30, 2013

On Oct. 1, the Obama Administration launched, a government-run website aiming to provide Americans with easily adopted and inexpensive healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). From its conception, ‘Obamacare’ prompted intense partisan divisions, impassioned political...

Plenty of Blame to Go Around

By Ben Kinney

October 9, 2013

“Government shutdowns [are] an unpleasant but integral part of the legislative-executive power struggle ... built into the American Constitution,” former Republican Speaker-of-the-House Newt Gingrich wrote in a recent blog post. Gingrich knows this firsthand, having negotiated with President Clinton...

The Case for Cannabis

By Ben Kinney

October 2, 2013

The other day, a classmate asked me, “so is Washington State, like, crazy now that weed is legal?” Although I joked that Seattle seemed more overcast than normal, truthfully, little has changed since Washington voters passed Initiative 502 last November. That’s not to say that marijuana consumption...

In Defense of Intervention

By Ben Kinney

September 11, 2013

“I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad ... [that] the use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable ... if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons ... you will be held accountable,” President Obama stated last December. However, while Secretary Kerry has now confirmed...

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

By Ben Kinney

May 1, 2013

Just after midnight, exactly two years ago today, U.S. Navy SEALs stormed a small private compound outside of Abbottabad, Pakistan and ended the world’s most expensive manhunt with a couple of well-aimed bullets. After nearly 10 years of relentless intelligence work, many Americans felt that they could...

The Real Victims of American Immigration

By Ben Kinney

April 17, 2013

“We cannot be the anti-illegal immigration party. We have to be the pro-legal immigration party,” Marco Rubio emphasized to fellow Republicans at a 2011 rally. “We have to be a party that advocates for a legal immigration system that’s ... good for America and honors our tradition both as a nation...

Our Generation’s Rwanda?

By Ben Kinney

March 20, 2013

Last year, President of the United States Barack Obama asserted in a White House press release that one of “America’s greatest goals must always be to foresee, prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities.” But last Friday marked the two-year anniversary of the Syrian civil war, a conflict...

Sequestration 101

By Ben Kinney

March 6, 2013

Last Friday, President Obama began the gradual enactment of the long-dreaded “sequester,” a series of budget cuts that will cut funding from nearly every American government agency. Nearly everyone seems certain that in failing to avoid this “last resort,” bipartisanship has yet again proved...

Gunning For Change

By Ben Kinney

January 23, 2013

From the Aurora Theater shooting to the horrifying Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, the widely publicized mass shootings of 2012 provoke an important social question on whether or not the Second Amendment right to bear arms should be readdressed. In the wake of these tragedies, politicians and newscasters...

Looking Towards 2016

By Ben Kinney

November 14, 2012

After last Tuesday’s election, the media immediately began its post-presidential election process of savaging the losing campaign for reasons explaining their defeat. While it is true that Romney’s campaign could have made many small, yet beneficial changes to improve its positioning against President...

Why I’m Not “Throwing Away” My Vote

By Ben Kinney

October 31, 2012

I am a proud Republican. But last week, I filled out my absentee ballot and voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate. When I first announced that I planned to vote for a third-party candidate, many of my friends were a little angry. “This may be the most important election of...

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