As a die-hard Yankees fan, I feel the need to object to the sentiments espoused in the recent article about the firing of Joe Torre (“Torre’s Tenure in NY Should Not Hinge on One Division Series,” Oct. 12, 2007). Yankee fans demand a level of performance that other fans may not be accustomed to. For some teams, fans just want a winning season, or to beat their division rivals, or to find some way of not letting a perfectly good season fall apart (like the Yankees’ cross-town friends, the Mets). Yankee fans want a World Series title, though some years we’ll settle for a pennant. We don’t expect one every year, but with such a dominant lineup, getting kicked out of the playoffs in the first round again and again, and losing the way we have, merits the dismissal of the manager. We’re not fickle fans; I love Joe, but he’s lost his touch with the team. They just aren’t working the way they did back in the late ’90s; he is not even managing the way he did then. Joe’s been on the decline for a while, and this was just the straw that broke Steinbrenner’s back.
None of the presidential candidates have answered a fundamental question: how can the United States rehabilitate its reputation in the world? It is not, admittedly, a new question. It gains added urgency, however, because the barrier between resentment of American power and resentment of American people is breaking down for the first time in our nation’s history.
I definitely dislike Ahmadinejad, and, as an Iranian-American, I think I know enough about Iran to take such a position with little to no prejudice. He represents an oppressive regime with an unfalsifiable mandate (we represent God, therefore everything we do or say is perfect) whose only contribution to the Iranian people has been the nationalization of oil. Even so, any figurehead of a sovereign nation ought to be afforded respect if he is invited to speak at an academic institution. Granted, Columbia president Lee Bollinger probably introduced Mahmoud Ahmadinejad critically in order to evade criticism for inviting the Iranian president in the first place, but that doesn’t justify such an undignified welcome. College students aren’t dumb. We can form our own opinions without administrative higher-ups telling us what to think, so we don’t need people like Bollinger to frame speeches for us. Perhaps our American political culture has been desensitized to the significance of the position of head of state. It’s no surprise, either, when one considers that our recent political history involves the deconstruction of the Afghan government (legitimate) and the Iraqi government (why are we there again?), as well as President Bush’s intermittent buffoonery.
The issue of intent is at the core of the Boston Police Department’s latest encounter with LED devices. Initial news reports depicted a student deliberately provoking airport security, and newspaper stories throughout the day continued to blare “fake bomb” and “hoax device” in three-inch headlines, even after this narrative was clearly contradicted by the facts. The fact that these organizations value marketability over truth is regrettable but not easily changed.
For a university that claims to be at the intellectual forefront of the world, for a powerhouse that claims to churn out global leaders, MIT has been pathetically represented and outright lambasted by the national media over the last couple of weeks. We have been portrayed as deceptively ignorant (or ignorantly deceptive) in a study uncovering our ridiculous SAT accounting measures (check<i> The Wall Street Journal</i>, Sept. 22), as stereotypically foolish by airport security (check any media outlet near you, Sept. 21), and miserably irresponsible by a mother grieving for her lost son (<i>The Wall Street Journal</i>, Sept. 10).
I am a senior studying physics living at Senior House. I am writing you out of concern about the incident involving MIT sophomore Star A. Simpson ’10 at Logan airport on Friday. While I do not know Star personally, I do share the concerns of her friends and acquaintances here at Senior House — namely, that MIT has chosen not to be explicitly supportive of her at this time.
Star A. Simpson ’10 made an honest mistake when she wore a glowing circuit board to Logan International Airport. State police responded reasonably to a perceived threat, and they quickly determined that Simpson’s attire posed no threat at all. She was cooperative, and they were professional.
I applaud MIT’s decision to label Ms. Simpson’s actions as “reckless.” Any statement in her defense by MIT would have been viewed as arrogant and irresponsible. The circuit board worn on her shirt with LEDs in the shape of a star may be viewed as a cute, quirky means of self expression on MIT’s campus. However, the same item worn to Logan International Airport is a much more serious matter. Sadly, in this post-9/11 world, she is fortunate that she was not seriously injured or killed by law enforcement officers misinterpreting her “art.” To assume that the general public and law enforcement can accurately determine whether such electronic devices have any intent to harm is unrealistic and dangerous. I am certain many other MIT alumni share my appreciation for Ms. Simpson’s zeal for creative self-expression, while at the same time shake our heads in pity for her lack of common sense.
As a freshman, I had the audacity to make friends outside of my living group. Only blatant disregard for geographical constraints could have led me to bond with people who lived on the other side of campus. But this distance would not make much of a difference because I could simply switch dormitories during Residence Exploration, right? Not for a freshman temped in Next House. Unfortunately, being “temped” in Next House is equivalent to being “permanently-placed-for-the-first-year” in Next House. This is because Next House comes with the baggage of Residence-Based Advising.
Who should be accountable for the apparent accident that led to five people being burned by sodium on Thursday, Sept. 6? If MIT community members left sodium metal next to the Charles River, they should claim responsibility for their actions. If no responsible party can be found, the Institute should still help the people who have been hurt.
As an alumna of MIT I am embarrassed and outraged at MIT’s “not me” behavior regarding the sodium drop and the injury of workers and damage to the river clean up boat. What kind of example is this administration setting for students by failing to compensate a struggling non-profit reeling from expenses incurred due to negligence with hazardous materials? I don’t accept this “you can’t prove it and you can’t make me” attitude from my nine-year-old — why should I think it appropriate from an institution supposedly run by adults?
The Sept. 7, 2007 news article, “Free Wireless Access Points Placed Across Cambridge,” misspelled the name of one of the pilot programs. It is in Newtowne Court, not NewTown Court. The article also gave the wrong location of the pilot program. It is located on Main St. between Windsor St. and Portland St., not on Massachusetts Ave. Additionally, the article misspelled a company name. It is Meraki, not Maraki.
Because of inaccurate information provided by the Interfraternity Council, the Aug. 31, 2007 Daily Confusion section of <i>The Tech</i> misprinted the name of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. All “Alpha Epsilon Phi” activities listed are actually “Alpha Epsilon Pi” activities; Alpha Epsilon Phi is a sorority.
In response to your article, “Demeaning Human Suffering” (Aug. 30, 2007), it was surprising to see Mr. Ali Wyne criticize the outrage the public has expressed over the Michael Vick dog fighting situation. While it’s clear that he is frustrated by the lack of action in areas of human crisis, such as Darfur, it seems as though to place the blame on either PETA or other animal protection groups is misdirected. As an animal rights organization, PETA works to protect animals. Similarly, Amnesty International is a human rights organization, which focuses on helping people. We each work on our respective issues, but many of our supporters care about both. Human rights and animal rights are not mutually exclusive, and in fact they are fundamentally intertwined.