With The Regular Season Over, A-Rod Swinging For the Fences

by A.K. Alex Rodriguez and his super team of lawyers are set to start arbitration Monday over the 211-game suspension imposed upon Rodriguez for his alleged violation of Major League Baseball’s drug policy.  Rodriguez has been allowed to play since the initial announcement of his suspension, and the results of this appeal will determine his fate for next season. Currently, little evidence that the MLB based its suspension on has been released to the public, but the MLB is expected to open the proceedings Monday with its star witness, Anthony Bosch, founder of the anti-aging clinic Biogenesis that supposedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to players.  Bosch will reportedly authenticate and explain a lot of documentary evidence that links Rodriguez and Biogenesis. Rodriguez’s team will show evidence it says will prove that number 13 never took illegal drugs.  It has also spent time this summer digging up information to expose Bosch as


Cyberbullying Suicides on the Rise: A Call for Meaningful Legislation

by D.K. The spate of bullying-related teen suicides in recent years has shocked the American public.  More and more frequently, there are reports of young people taking their own lives because they were bullied online or in person.  Sometimes there is no discernible reason for the cruel treatment.  Sometimes the bullying was motivated by animus towards the victim’s perceived sexual orientation. The Internet has aggravated the harm bullying exacts upon its teenage victims, facilitating the dissemination of harmful messages or humiliating pictures of the victim to a large audience.  Perhaps just as importantly, new technologies have made bullying easier.  In the past, a bully would have to confront her victim in person, and/or bear witness to the effects of his conduct on the victim.  Now, bullies can operate anonymously, bombarding their victims with vicious messages on sites like ask.fm or Twitter.  The bully never has to deal with seeing the victim break down.


The Environmentally Displaced: Sinking In International Gaps And Falling Through Legal Cracks

by N.H. Islands are sinking.  Landmasses are sinking.  People are sinking.  The beginning of this post already sounds like setting the scene for a summer blockbuster, titled: “The Day After Yesterday.” The sinking island is already a stark reality.  Perhaps this film would take place in Tuvalu, a 16 square-mile island off the coast of New Zealand that is several feet and a few storms away from being entirely submerged.  Or, the scene could be set in Kiribati, or maybe the Marshall Islands would be appropriate, standing just 2 meters above sea level. Yet while these islands gradually submerge and scientists and politicians grapple over the intricacies of global warming and climate change, a question that may shift the world’s demographic make-up remains: where do these islanders go?  Experts predict that there will be 50 million people displaced in the year 2020 as a result of this sinking phenomenon – a climate


Atrocities Are Different

by C.D. Experiences can be so intimate that humans are incapable of sharing the intimacy with others. Just after arriving in Afghanistan, I learned that my brother had been killed by an IED, or so I thought.  It turns out that another Marine who shared my brother’s name was the victim.  Unfortunately, I matured ten years in the span of half a heartbeat when I heard his name called on the casualty roll.  And for the time that I knew it was him until the time when it wasn’t I was in agony.  Though relieved, the anxiety of that moment never left.  It had happened to someone not me.  But I was bought in.  At that moment, I was married to the task at hand.I then became intimately involved with my work as intel related operations officer.  Daily, I read hundreds of intelligence reports and investigations to understand the conflict. 


“Hostages” Debuts Sep. 23, Starring Forum Guest Dylan McDermott

The Forum is proud to announce that former guest Dylan McDermott will be starring in the new network drama Hostages, which will premiere on CBS next Monday, Sep. 23. McDermott visited the Forum in April 2011 to discuss his role as criminal defense attorney Bobby Donnell in The Practice, the eight-season series that explored the moral tension between career success and legal professional ethics. In Hostages, McDermott will play a crooked FBI agent who kidnaps a surgeon (Toni Collette) about to operate on the President, demanding that she kill him while threatening to harm her family. The show combines elements of the critically acclaimed Homeland with huge-ratings procedurals like NCIS, and will air Mondays at 10p.m. Since last visiting the Forum, McDermott has also starred in Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story and the recent summer blockbuster Olympus Has Fallen. Here’s a clip of his visit to the Forum:


Recap: A Conversation with Eric Cantor

Perhaps the best place to begin with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is where we left off–when he last visited the 92nd Street Y three years ago. In 2010, Rep. Cantor was the GOP’s party whip as they tilted the balance of power in their favor at the midterm elections. He has rapidly ascended the ranks of Republican leadership since first taking office in 2001, remaining a steady figurehead of the party despite its growing Tea Party and libertarian influences. But the erudition and eloquence Rep. Cantor displayed while discussing a range of topics Sunday night make his rise hardly surprising. Sunday’s Conversation began with the front-page question of Syria. While eschewing much of the broad-stroke grandstanding of conservative television and radio pundits, Rep. Cantor argued that he felt President Obama failed to make a strong enough case to the American people that both America’s standing abroad and national security


With 2016 On Horizon, GOP Must Address Demographic Problem

by A.C. Perhaps the leading critique against the GOP’s 2012 presidential election strategy was that it did little to shake its reputation as the political party of wealthier, white Americans.  As the minority population of the US grows and the country becomes decreasingly white, the GOP faces a demographics challenge that could have long-term effects on the party.  Simultaneous with the population change is a shift in culture where, for example, fewer people attend church, people marry later in life, and more people accept gay marriage, all of which are elements that tend to characterize more liberal voters.  The Republican Party will have to maneuver the challenge of increasing its popularity in the changing demographics while maintaining its base. According to some, the GOP may be forced to shift on minority issues, particularly immigration reform as the Hispanic American population grows, if they want to increase their percentage of minority


Examining Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s “Un-African” Theory on Homosexuality Under a Postcolonial Critique of Human Rights

by J.C. On August 22, incumbent Robert Mugabe successfully secured a seventh term as Zimbabwe’s head of state, thereby continuing his near twenty-six-year presidency.  For many of the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (“LGBTI”) individuals, Mugabe’s victory indicated an additional five years of institutionalized discrimination.  Mugabe launched in the mid-1990s a campaign to penalize LGBTI persons.  At the outset, he criminalized sexual relations by two males.  By 2006, he outlawed all presumed homosexual activity by any two persons of the same sex.  This includes hugging or handholding.  Throughout his rule, Mugabe has publicly proclaimed to lead the nation away from Western imposition and linked LGBTI rights to Western ideals unfit for an African nation; i.e., homosexuality is “un-African.” Ostensibly inconsistent with his staunch anti-West views, Mugabe is a devout Catholic and often uses his spiritual beliefs to buttress systemized homophobic sentiments.  Notably, he has claimed that the two


Confronting the Moral Question of Intervention in Syria

by F.A. “The question, though, that all of us face, not just me, our citizens face, not just political leaders, is, at what point do we say, we need to confront actions that are violating our common humanity?” President Barack Obama – press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm Strange as it might sound, Americans should support missile strikes against Syria because to do so would be in the interest of preserving human rights. Failing to intervene would give the Assad regime legitimacy, demonstrate tolerance for chemical attacks on the helpless, and enable Assad to continue using, in the words of John Kerry, “the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.” One of the terrible lessons of the Holocaust was that Hitler’s Final Solution was designed to “kill the spirit” before disposing of the bodies at the death camps. Assad, however, takes a different


Courts Set To Examine Societal Impact of Stop-and-Frisk

by J. A. With the City set to appeal a judicial ruling reining in “stop-and-frisk” searches, the question remains: does stop-and-frisk really benefit policing in New York? Centering on weapons-oriented crime, the goals of stop-and-frisk seem laudable; proponents maintain that diligent search tactics are necessary to curtail armed violence and to preserve New York’s praised “low-crime city” status. However, stop-and-frisk has generated enormous controversy. Critics of the policy argue that stop-and-frisk negatively impacts the citizens it was designed to protect, and that its application is biased and discriminatory. Centering on “high-crime areas”, stop-and-frisk disproportionately impacts young men in communities of color; these young men are subject (often repeatedly) to invasive and embarrassing searches. The NYCLU has compiled comprehensive data on the subject, concluding that nearly 9 out of 10 New Yorkers who have been stopped and frisked are completely innocent. Whether stop-and-frisk effectively abates weapons crime remains a subject of