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Articles in "Opinion"

Mississippi’s public education is failing. The system is greatly underserving a large portion of Mississippi kids, despite the few bright spots where public education is working well, like Desoto and Madison counties. 

The first of January 2013 looks nearer and nearer every day. On that day, automatic budget cuts and tax increases in the range of $8 trillion over the next decade will be enacted. According to Barclays Capital, if these are allowed to go into effect as is, growth in early 2013 could slow to as little as one tenth of 1 percent, putting us on the verge of another recession. 

Last month, Sgt. Robert Bales left his military base in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan and marched into a small town where he proceeded to open fire, killing nine children and eight adults. Today, he’s being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and is currently undergoing mental fitness evaluations while awaiting trial at Fort Leavenworth. If convicted, Bales would face the death penalty.


For years now, the whistle has been blown on the food industry in America. Thanks to people like Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, Jamie Oliver and a number of other people, the importance of knowing what’s in our food has been brought to the nation’s attention, though we sometimes ignore their advice. Most recently, there has been new debate on the food we eat, specifically on the subject of “pink slime,” or as the beef industry calls it, “lean, finely textured beef,” or “LFTB.”

American graduates owe nearly $1 trillion for higher education. It’s no secret we’re a nation of debt — housing debt, credit card debt, automobile debt, corporate debt, government debt and so on. However, Student loan debt is a monster in and of itself. To top things off, nearly 50 percent of that debt is already in default.


It is something that most freshmen enter Ole Miss without knowing and most seniors leave without learning. For many students, the University Creed is distant and formal, a doctrine saved for special events and official campus functions. It might not have the same ring to it as “Hotty Toddy,” but it certainly has its place.


It is a great day to be a Rebel. Personally, I think every day is a great day to be a Rebel; but, lately, things just keep getting better and better.

During the recent controversy surrounding insurance coverage for contraceptives, many proponents of the mandate maintained that the government should not cave to pressure from religious groups requesting an exemption.

How does balancing on an inch-wide length of nylon rope, suspended some 200 feet above a bunch of granite boulders in a rugged patch of desert known as the “Hall of Horrors,” with the ultimate goal of walking to the other side, grab you? Well, luckily, the tether attached to your waist will do it should you happen to lose your concentration, your balance or possibly your lunch, and fall over the side.

When tragedies like the killing of Trayvon Martin happen, they always seem to bring up a very unsettling sentiment I’ve noticed, which I can only describe as a sort of indifference to injustice.

I tried answering a question this week via the cliche journalistic route of seeking out as many viewpoints as possible. This only humored my muse. I’ve known for a while that the following question has no final answer: “What does being an Ole Miss Rebel mean to you?”

I live about 150 miles from Oxford. Residents from Shelby County in Tennessee live around half of that. However, they pay three times the tuition that I pay because they are from Tennessee, not Mississippi.

Today, a movie called “Bully” is making headlines. Not for the amount of money it made at the box office or the eye-popping visual effects, but for the rating it received. The movie, a documentary, follows the lives of teenagers who both bully and are bullied and is intended to educate the audience about the realities of teenage social life today. However, the MPAA slapped the documentary with an R rating, thus prohibiting it from being played in schools and anyone under the age of 17 from seeing it without a parent. This is just the latest in the long line of scandals with the bureaucracy and dubious rating standards of the MPAA.

Anxiety and depression are easily the two most common mental disorders in college students today. 

Something is in the air, and it’s not pollen. It’s not localized to one campus, county or state — it’s not even localized to one country. People around the world with Internet access have realized something they never have before: individuals have a voice, and it is a loud one. We are in the midst of the beginning of a new era; not the previous, dated Social Media Era, but the Social Individual Era. The Social Individual Era has the ability to be more powerful than the Civil Rights Era.

My first-ever DM appearance took place in spring 2010 in the form of a letter to the editor, a full year before I would be hired on as an opinion columnist.

Do you remember that thing called Initiative 26 from this past November? You know, the one that wanted to take away women’s rights, outlaw abortion and essentially outlaw contraceptives? This is also the initiative that was rejected by more than 55 percent of Mississippians. 

The Mississippi Delta is a region of dichotomies. A visit to the area reveals wealth and extreme poverty, college campuses and illiteracy, historical and cultural importance and modern development. One could go on and on. 

This past weekend was a very busy one for the Ole Miss campus. Everything was happening in a three-day time frame. Philanthropic events, junior preview day, spring parties and everything in between.

Geraldo Rivera’s comments on the Fox show “The O’Reilly Factor” have caused a firestorm of controversy and backlash. 

The week after Spring Break 2011, I wrote a column regarding the talk therapy offered on campus at the University Counseling Center, located across the street from Bishop Hall. 

Earlier this month, a non-profit organization called Invisible Children released a viral 27-minute video seen around the world, detailing the crimes of the leader of Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony. The LRA is a guerilla, anti-government organization that had been terrorizing the Ugandan countryside by abducting children from their homes to use as child soldiers in plots to overthrow the government of Uganda. While it can’t be said that the producers of the video and their charity lack passion or enthusiasm for the cause, what they do seem to lack is a fundamental understanding of the current situation on the ground in Uganda.

Mississippi has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation at $0.68 a pack, regardless of the sale price of the pack. The highest is New York at $4.35 a pack.