Letter from the Editors

Brianna Suchyta '22 and Sophie Shanae Gould Dulabaum '22

Dear EA Community,

Welcome to our last issue of The Cupola for the 2021-2022 school year!

As we are both seniors, this is (for us) our last ever issue. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time working on The Cupola and would like to share a few parting remarks:

Sophie Shanae -

Writing here for four years and serving as Co-Editor in Chief for two has been a great privilege. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to explore my love of writing and to share my voice with the school community. Thank you to Caelinn Leahy ‘20 for helping me transition into my role as an editor, and thank you to Hareem Rauf ‘21 and Brianna for being such awesome Co-Editors-in-Chief to work with these past two years. 

Brianna -

I vividly remember reading my first issue of Elgin Academy The Cupola during my freshman year. As I scanned the articles, I knew that I wanted to become part of this amazing club of unique students and perspectives. I am honored to have been a member of The Cupola. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work as Co-Editor-in-Chief alongside Sophie Shanae and am excited to pass on the title to Anika Jaitley and Eesha Peddhapati. 

 

We would also like to take a moment to recognize the incredible adults who allow The Cupola to be possible: our amazing faculty advisor Mr. Raffety and Mrs. Moore and Ms. Goist, who complete the publication process for all of our issues. Thank you so much for all your help!

Lastly, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Uvalde community as they grieve the loss of nineteen children and two teachers. Especially as members of a school community ourselves, we are incredibly saddened and outraged. Furthermore, not only is Uvalde the 27th school shooting this year alone, but America has already seen over 200 mass shootings this year, so far (27 school shootings have taken place so far this year). Gun violence is preventable. As a nation, we must work together to implement better gun control policies. 

To learn more about gun violence prevention, we encourage you to look at this link:

Gun Violence Must Stop. Here's What We Can Do to Prevent More Deaths

 

Thank you for reading and have a great summer! 

Sincerely,

Sophie Shanae Gould Dulabaum and Brianna Suchyta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On The Hilltop

Sophie Shanae Gould Dulabaum '22

This past April, Environmental Club organized the Upper School’s fifth annual Week of Sustainability. The Week of Sustainability has taken on a new form each year - from advisory competitions to even a week-long sustainability-themed scavenger hunt. 

This year, the event was comprised of five activities spread out over the course of a week and a half, starting with playing an environmental Kahoot in assembly. 

For our next activity, we celebrated Earth Day by making seed pods out of paper, water, and seeds. Those who participated were able to take their pods home and can now simply throw them anywhere they think could use more plant growth in their backyard or neighborhood! 

Our third activity featured an Elgin Academy Environmental Club alum: my sister Sharene! She talked to us about her environmentalist experiences throughout college and gave us insight into pursuing environmental opportunities after high school. 

Then came an important day we entitled the Day of Intersectionality, in which the Raising Awareness for Cultural Equality (RACE) Club joined Environmental Club in presenting on environmental intersectionality. Marginalized groups are more strongly affected by environmental issues. Our clubs joined together to help spread information regarding this dynamic and the factors that fuel it. 

As April came to an end, so did the Week of Sustainability, with our last activity being a fun craft: upcycling old t-shirts into bags. At this activity, junior Anika Jaitley also shared an interactive information flyer about sustainability. Upper School students who attended any of our Week of Sustainability activities earned points for doing so, and we awarded prizes to the individuals with the most points! Congratulations to our first place winners Audri Ajinth and Natalie Jayne and our second place winners Fiona Boborci and Alex Sept! Additionally, individuals’ points contributed to their advisory's total, and the advisory with the most points also received a prize! Congratulations to the Howe Advisory!

I would like to say a special thank you to our amazing Environmental Club moderator Mr. Mathieu, RACE Club's leader Fiona Boborci, and next year's Environmental Club leaders Annie Matusiak and Anika Jaitley, who stepped up to help lead the Week of Sustainability.

Eesha Peddhapati '24

If you missed the 2022 Winter Olympics, here is a quick recap!

The 2022 Winter Olympics was an international multi-sport event held in Beijing, China, between February 4 and February 20. There was a total of 2,871 athletes: 69 from 82 different nations. Some of the various events included alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, luge, short track speed skating, ski jumping, snowboarding, and speed skating. The first place winner was Norway, with a total of thirty-seven medals. Norway is also the country with the most Winter Olympics medals in history. The entertaining international event included many heartbreaks, such as Shaun White’s retirement, Kamila Valieva’s doping scandal, Katie Uhlaender’s final run, and more. Some performances were record-breaking, like Nathan Chen’s 22.55-point victory, making him the seventh American to win a gold medal in men’s singles skating. Eileen Gu became the first 18-year-old to land a double cork 1620 in freestyle. Overall, awards were won, records were set, and spectators enjoyed the events!

Anika Jaitley '23

Earth Day was first celebrated in the U.S. on April 22, 1970, originating as part of an environmental movement. Over the years, the holiday has become a global celebration and a day of education about worldwide environmental problems and potential solutions. One of the easiest ways to celebrate Earth Day and help the environment is to recycle.

Although almost everyone knows what recycling is, many are unaware of the various ways it helps protect the environment. Recycling allows us to reuse materials, and thus reduce the rate at which we consume our planet’s finite natural resources. For example, recycling materials like paper and wood leads to the preservation of trees and forests, while the recycling of metals reduces the need for extraction. Furthermore, this reduced need to harvest new resources leaves natural habitats undisturbed, allowing for the preservation and flourishing of wildlife and their ecosystems, thus helping to reduce the number of endangered species.

Also, recycling requires less energy than creating products from raw materials; this helps reduce the amount of carbon emissions and subsequent pollution of the environment. In addition, recycling plastic and other materials harmful to nature helps reduce the amount of trash in landfills, oceans, etc. Plastics are not biodegradable, meaning that it takes centuries for plastics to decompose. As a consequence, our oceans are filled with trillions of pieces of plastic that are extremely hazardous to marine life. In fact, over one million animals die every year as a result of plastic waste. Recycling is one way that can help combat this issue.

Ultimately, recycling is something in which everyone can and should participate, as it has many environmental benefits, from protecting species to reducing pollution.

Avery Neff '23

In December of 2020, a Chinese lunar lander discovered water on the moon. Scientists think there could be more water there than they originally expected. Without being there, NASA previously confirmed there was water on the moon when it was sunny. They found this out by picking up signals of water molecules. Now, scientists think water could be spread throughout the moon, not just on the cold spots. 

https://mashable.com/article/moon-water-chinese-lander

Anika Jaitley '23

Inflation in the US has continued to increase over the course of the year, with the consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation through the calculation of the average change in prices paid by consumers, reaching the highest it has been since 1981-1982. The CPI peaked in March 2022 with a rise of 8.5 percent from March 2021 to March 2022. However, the rate of inflation has decreased just slightly with the CPI dropping to an 8.3 percent increase for the year ended April 2022.

The economy had already been suffering due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting disruption of supply chains causing short supply and shipping delays; the situation worsened due to a labor shortage at a time with growing consumer demand. In March 2022, the United States’ imposition of various economic sanctions on Russia in protest of the country’s military invasion of Ukraine caused prices to rise even higher.

The United States’ embargo on Russian oil as well as slow economic recovery following Covid shutdowns has led to a low supply and high demand for oil. As a result, oil prices have dramatically risen to exceed $100 per barrel. For comparison, the average price of Brent crude oil in March 2020 was $32.01 USD per barrel; in March 2022, the average price was $117.25 USD per barrel. People all across the nation have felt the effects, as gasoline and diesel prices have sharply increased as well. As of May 19, 2022, the average price of gasoline in every state had passed $4, and the national average price of gasoline is $4.59, a record high. Similarly, the national average price of diesel is $5.57, another all-time high. According to experts, these prices are expected to continue to rise.

However, it is not just consumers who have been affected by these rising prices. Companies, including large retail stores such as Target and Walmart, airline companies, and many others, have faced low share prices and struggled with significantly reduced earnings as a result of high fuel prices which have made the manufacturing and/or transportation processes much more expensive.

It is not just fuel prices that are rising. The cost of food, housing, and more has risen sharply as well. In March 2022, the CPI for restaurant prices was 6.9% higher than in March 2021, while the CPI for grocery store purchases was 10% higher. Meanwhile, there is currently an overwhelming shortage of baby formula in the US, affecting families across the nation. Since the pandemic, the US housing market has been marked by low interest rates, a demand that exceeds supply, and consequently higher prices that broke records. However, in recent months, the interest rates have increased, causing the housing market to slow down and start to move back towards pre-pandemic activity. The prices of utilities as well as vehicles have also increased.

According to experts, inflation in the US is reaching a peak, as the rate of increase in prices is slowing. It remains to be seen whether this pattern will continue.

Arts & Entertainment

Book Review: Bird Box
Brianna Suchyta

In the present, a young woman living in an abandoned house with blankets covering the windows prepares to embark on a journey down the river with her two four-year-old children named Boy and Girl. For four years, the family has lived in constant fear of looking outside because of the “creatures” that terrorize the world. Just one glimpse of these monsters will send a person into violent insanity and suicide. Malorie and her children must wear blindfolds when going outside, relying on only their sense of hearing to guide them. The journey causes Malorie to flashback to the events that led up to the present. Four years ago, after discovering she was pregnant, the global panic began, following reports of murder-suicides when people saw something. No one knew what caused people to lose their minds because the only people who knew were dead. After the deaths hit close to home, pregnant Malorie sought refuge in a house with a group of strangers who vowed never to look outside to protect themselves and each other. However, the group may not have been as safe as they once supposed they were. As the past and present stories begin to progress and the tension builds, the reader must question how the timeline of the past leads to the present story. How does a tranquil house full of several strangers eventually become a house with only Malorie and her children? 

Bird Box is told in the third person, following Malorie’s present journey down the river with flashbacks that lead to it. These flashbacks to Malorie’s past keeps the reader on edge, trying to figure out how she ended up with only her two children. Each flashback gives the reader a piece of information that is nearer to the present, allowing the reader to piece together the full timeline of events by the end of the novel. There is a lot of dialogue between characters during the present and past, which gives the reader insight into the other characters’ mysterious personalities and feelings. In the present, Malorie is blindfolded and relies on only her sense of sound as she gropes around her. The author uses very descriptive auditory imagery to paint a picture of the environment near the stream without using the sense of sight. These auditory descriptions also help build tension because the characters never know what the “creatures” look like but can only describe them by how they sound or feel when they creep close by. 

Malorie is an extremely complex character who dramatically changes throughout the novel and carries mysterious secrets that she keeps hidden from her children. She clearly expresses thoughts, feelings, and worries. In the present, while she is blindfolded, Malorie mentally talks to herself, which provides the reader with an uncensored description of the fears that she does not want to tell her children. Bird Box is a terrifying and suspenseful book with a unique plot. Many unsettling scenes give the reader chills, leaving them unable to sleep at night. I would highly recommend this novel to any young adult interested in reading a horrifying story about an apocalyptic world. This novel is unforgettable and will keep you up at night, driving you crazy.

CREATION APPLICATION!
Amity Wittmeyer '23

Creation application 

Calling all pencils to the plate

Let’s start a theme 

And rehearse a dream 

To read as a Maître d’

 

Serve the bone and watch the bite

Talk upon a day’s delight

Season it to a royal feast 

And dress it up: Tartuffe, the priest 

 

I sit in waiting for that course

And hungrily tap my fork

That’s served under a silver cape 

To fool the flashing fabric date 

 

And once that cover has come undone

The meal is eaten and the group all full

Can you dethrone the raw bits made as one 

And show you started with but a mouthful

Violent Dreams
Amity Wittmeyer '23

What is that violent sleep in which our minds partake the day at rest?

‘Tis a mystery of foul and conscious thought, woven with strain like a spider’s silken bed

For in that bed of turmoil, one’s appearance doth waver upon the mind and flickers from the light of a deep sunset o’er a thickened hill 

In that dream, that violent plunder, one doth not wake with such native hue within thy cheeks the new day is known

Those captives of guilt and worry hold no welcome on their brow or pleasure upon their lips

Nay, ‘tis that blackened heart that yearns to sing that seems to break all natural course and give it question

For a stagecoach of a violent dream such as this, holds not the reigns to their glory, their love

It is the night, the grave silence which their journey met finds cause

Within their travel, the glow of that faded sunset is not but a beacon for the true homecoming 

These violent dreams have not a prize to be won yet, in their way, find the victory others have fallen in grave madness to endure 

‘Tis these dreams that make a man ponder the life he has been given and search for that small light upon their visage that once the sun had kissed 

Opinion

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the student author. Content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Elgin Academy nor The Cupola staff.

 

Why I'm Pro-Choice
Sophie Shanae Gould Dulabaum '22

Earlier this May, we learned that the U.S. Supreme Court plans to overturn the landmark case Roe v. Wade. If it is overturned, states would have the power to implement heavy restrictions or bans on abortion [1]. I believe that denying anyone in any state access to safe, legal abortion is incredibly harmful. Not only does denying abortion access ignore the pressures that cause people to seek abortions in the first place, but it grants fetuses rights that even people do not have, forces people to seek dangerous means of terminating pregnancies, and is proven to hurt the well-being of people who are denied abortions. 

There are many reasons why people may decide to get an abortion. These decisions tend to be very personal and complex and typically involve several reasons, with some common ones being financial instability, unreadiness, a need to focus on other children, and interference with educational or career plans [2]. Furthermore, our nation exacerbates the problems that give rise to these reasons through many shortcomings. On a federal level, the U.S. does not require employers to grant parents paid maternity or paternity leave, which is especially abysmal in comparison to other countries such as Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Japan, and more, which give parents over a year of paid leave [3]. Quality child care and health care are also costly and inaccessible to many American families [4,5], not to mention that we are nearing a cost-of-living crisis [6] and are in the midst of a baby formula shortage. Banning abortions does not address these pressing issues that make pregnancy and parenthood undesirable for many individuals.  

Abortion access is vital for bodily autonomy. In her video titled “Doctor Explains Roe vs Wade - What Overturning Means for Health & Autonomy in Pregnancy,” board-certified OB/GYN and mom to four Dr. Danielle Jones states, “You cannot give a right to a fetus that no other human has, which is the right to use someone else’s body without express and ongoing consent.” She uses this hypothetical example: if her kid was dying and she could save them by giving a blood donation, she could not be forced to donate blood - even if her kid died as a result of her refusal. Furthermore, Dr. Jones explains how pregnancy is not “health-neutral,” as pregnancy presents an array of health risks, which she details in her video. Simply put, any person who is able to get pregnant is more safe when they are not pregnant. She also points out that people who get desired abortions generally lead better lives than they would have if they did not get an abortion. People who are denied a desired abortion are proven to be more likely to experience socio-economic hardships and bankruptcy, have food insecurity, be evicted, face domestic violence, and raise a child alone. A large portion of those who seek abortions are already parents, as well, and termination results in better outcomes for their existing children. (To learn more about these findings, I recommend looking at The Turnaway Study.) Lastly, Dr. Jones points out that the question of when life begins is not a political issue or a medical issue, but rather a personal philosophical matter, and we cannot force our own philosophical beliefs upon others [7]. 

Abortion access that is safe and legal is an important aspect of health care. Due to the various reasons people may have for seeking abortions, abortions will occur regardless of whether they are legal and safe. Illegal abortions can be very dangerous - even life-threatening. From 1972 to 1974, the years neighboring the Supreme Court’s nationwide legalization of abortion in 1973, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that illegal abortion procedures in the U.S. drastically decreased from about 130,000 to 17,000 and deaths associated with them decreased from 39 to five. By banning abortions, we put the lives of those who can get pregnant at risk. Abortion access is also a social justice issue. The same study found that “women who died as a result of illegal abortions typically were black, were more than 12 weeks pregnant and had self-induced in their own community” [8]. Moreover, Americans, compared to Scandinavians, are six times more likely to die during the maternal period. Not only does the U.S. have the worst maternal mortality rate of any developed country, but African-Americans, low-income individuals, and those living in rural areas have even higher maternal mortality rates [9]. And, African-Americans as well as other marginalized groups face more barriers to reproductive health care. So, minorities will be more severely impacted by bans on abortion access. (To learn more about this dynamic, I encourage you to look at this link.) By allowing states to ban abortion, existing health care disparities will deepen, as the rich and privileged will have more resources to seek out and travel for safe abortions.

Even those with planned and wanted pregnancies need abortions in some cases. Medical conditions can arise in which a pregnancy becomes dangerous for the mother, for example: the development of a twin pregnancy with one normal fetus and one hydatidiform mole. Parents may also resort to abortion if their fetus is diagnosed with a serious condition with a poor or fatal prognosis such as anencephaly, in which babies die either during childbirth or soon after birth if carried to term. These situations are usually extremely difficult and emotional and full of grieving [10]. People may also turn to abortions in other traumatic situations, such as those involving rape, incest, abuse, and/or minors.  

According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), which describes itself as an independent and nonpartisan policy institute, making abortion less necessary rather than less accessible is the only “humane, effective, and just” approach. Bans on abortion only ban safe and legal abortions - tens of thousands of people around the world die or face serious injuries due to unsafe abortions each year. A significant portion of abortions occur in unintended pregnancies. By reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, we can reduce the number of abortions. To do so, CAP suggests that we commit to these: “1) comprehensive sexuality education that includes medically accurate information about abstinence and contraception; 2) insurance coverage of and public funding for family planning services; 3) greater access to emergency contraception (which prevents pregnancy and does not cause abortion); and 4) programs that curb domestic violence and sexual abuse.” On the reduction of abortions resorted to by those without the resources to raise a child, CAP states this: “By providing low-income and young women with genuine education and career opportunities, health care, child care, housing, services for disabled children, and other basic supports, many would have the resources they need to fulfill the serious obligations that parenting brings.” 

I also resonate with this powerful statement made by CAP: 

“Moderation for its own sake and political compromise that sacrifices women’s well-being will not achieve the common goal of reducing abortion in this country. What is needed is leadership and commitment to a vision of society in which all women have the information and means necessary to prevent unintended pregnancies, to carry healthy pregnancies to term, to raise their children with safety, stability, and dignity, and, yes, to have safe abortions when necessary to lead healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives.” [11]

 

On another note, I find it very concerning that many politicians who are advocating for bans on abortion under the guise of being “pro-life” are simultaneously supporting initiatives that harm countless lives. I believe my concerns are better articulated by “Kids Only Matter When They’re Not Born Yet” - a short song by Emerson Brophy.

We must take better care of the people here, already born. We must strive to understand the plights of those different from us. Abortion is a complex matter, and abortion bans are not among the methods available to ethically reduce the number of abortions while preserving the health and well-being of people who can carry children. Ultimately, individuals deserve the right to make the choice that is best for them. 

 

Note: In this article, I did not cover the idea of adoption serving as an alternative to parenting. This is also a very complex matter, and, for an overview of various perspectives, I recommend looking at the article “Why So Many Women Choose Abortion Over Adoption” by the Atlantic


 

Works Cited

  1. Hernandez, Joe. “Here's What Could Happen If Roe v. Wade Is Overturned.” NPR, 3 May 2022, www.npr.org/2022/05/03/1096094942/roe-wade-overturned-what-happens-next. 

  2. Stacey, Dawn. “Why Do People Have Abortions?” Verywell Health, Dotdash Media, 20 Dec. 2021, www.verywellhealth.com/reasons-for-abortion-906589. 

  3. Livingston, Gretchen, and Deja Thomas. “Among 41 Countries, Only U.S. Lacks Paid Parental Leave.” Pew Research Center, 7 Aug. 2020, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/12/16/u-s-lacks-mandated-paid-parental-leave/. 

  4. Kamenetz, Anya, and Mansee Khurana. “1 In 3 Working Families Is Struggling to Find the Child Care They Desperately Need.” NPR, 19 Oct. 2021, www.npr.org/2021/10/19/1047019536/families-are-struggling-to-find-the-child-care-they-desperately-need. 

  5. Robin Osborn et al., "In New Survey of 11 Countries, U.S. Adults Still Struggle with Access to and Affordability of Health Care," Health Affairs, Nov. 16, 2016, www.doi.org/10.26099/g7s0-3h12

  6. Whiting, Kate. “Cost of Living: This Chart Shows How the Price of Products Has Risen in the US.” World Economic Forum, 25 May 2022, www.weforum.org/agenda/ 2022/05/cost-of-living-price-rises/. 

  7. Jones, Danielle. “Doctor Explains Roe vs Wade - What Overturning Means for Health & Autonomy in Pregnancy.” YouTube, Mama Doctor Jones, 16 May 2022, www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHrxSUgLvvA

  8. “Abortion before and after Legalization.” Guttmacher Institute, 27 Nov. 2018, www.guttmacher.org/perspectives50/abortion-and-after-legalization. 

  9. Martin, Nina, and Renee Montagne. “The Last Person You'd Expect to Die in Childbirth.” NPR, 12 May 2017, www.npr.org/2017/05/12/527806002/focus-on-infants-during-childbirth-leaves-u-s-moms-in-danger. 

  10. Danielsson, Krissi. “Termination of a Desired Pregnancy for Medical Reasons.” Verywell Family, Dotdash Media, 17 Jan. 2020, www.verywellfamily.com/termination-of -a-desired-pregnancy-for-medical-reasons-2371777. 

  11. Arons, Jessica, and Shira Saperstein. “The Right Way to Reduce Abortion.” Center for American Progress, 20 Jan. 2006, www.americanprogress.org/article/the-right-way-to-reduce-abortion/#:~:text=Unintended%20pregnancy%20could%20be%20reduced,3)%20greater%20access%20to%20emergency.

The Effects of Preschool
Avery Neff '23

A study was conducted in Tennessee regarding the effects of kids going into Pre-K at a young age. It was found that kids who attended Pre-K had worse test scores than those who didn’t by sixth grade. There were 3,000 kids involved in the study. The point was to recognize how the teaching affected the children. A learning environment for young children should consist of activities that encourage enrichment and play. Feeding them information that their brains aren’t even supposed to understand yet causes the children stress with the overabundance of information. It was found that students who attended Pre-K were more likely to miss class than those who didn’t. The ratio was a 97.1% attendance for those who attended Pre-K to 97.5% attendance for those who didn’t.

The study also followed the students into their high school years. They noticed that kids who attended Pre-K were more likely to develop mental health problems while those who didn’t attend Pre-K were slightly more stable. In 2016, Tennessee passed a Pre-K Quality Act to improve the classroom experience and strengthen young minds in a healthy way. Joe Biden is trying to push a law where you must send your kids to Pre-K. There is debate about whether making an investment for something like that would be worth it. There are several articles about this issue listed below if you care to know more!


https://www.vox.com/22992259/pre-k-tennessee-study 

https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/press-release/what-does-research-really-say-about-preschool-effectiveness 

https://www.npr.org/2022/02/10/1079406041/researcher-says-rethink-prek-preschool-prekindergarten 

https://medicine.yale.edu/news-article/preschool-dosage-and-instructional-alignment/

Replacement Theory and Its Detrimental Effects on Society
Hisham Shirazi '23

“The idea that people who are racially defined as white are entitled to displace other people, to enslave other people, to colonize other people and literally replace them has been a bedrock of modern racism,” Crystal Fleming, a sociologist at Stony Brook University, told ABC News. Fleming also said that replacement theory has its roots in the French nationalist movement of the 1900s. Regardless of its origin, the idea of replacement theory systematically targets different races and regresses society.

The principles of replacement theory have, without a doubt, been used to target minorities in the past. Many white supremacist groups have believed for a long time that whites would become extinct due to the massive influx of immigrants to the United States. This massive influx of immigrants has led to increased fears. Some politicians have even used these fears to garner support. In addition, these same fears have led to attacks, such as the catastrophic Buffalo shooting. Replacement theory has also been used as a justification for racism throughout recorded history. 

How do we fix this problem within our society? Well, the answer isn’t simple. First of all, we as Americans need to gain a better understanding of culture. We also need to understand that racism can affect all races, not just minorities. Ideas, such as Affirmative action, make the racial problems within our society worse. We need to come together as Americans and deal with our issues. In addition, the borders need to be secured in order to quell fears surrounding illegal immigration. Legal immigration and seeking asylum are perfectly acceptable, but a nation isn’t a national without sustainable borders. All in all, the ideas of replacement theory and racism in general are controllable if we come together as Americans to have the hard conversations.

Corruption, Coverups, and Conspiracy: How ‘Fringe Theories’ Have Proven to be True
Kyle Saurer '23

Over the past few months, I have come to notice an alarming and, quite frankly, dangerous development within American media and culture. Although the media has long held its biases and selectively mangled the truth to fit its own selected narrative, they recently have embarked on a campaign to blast opposition as “conspiracy theorists” with dangerous ideas that shouldn’t be engaged with. What’s particularly dangerous is that much of what they blast as a conspiracy very soon after is proven to be entirely true. I came to ask myself, what is the difference between a conspiracy theory and the truth? Simply put, about six months.

After the election of 2020, Donald Trump began a campaign to ensure that every legal vote was counted, and the illegal ones were not. CNN, among many other news sources, dismissed him. They wrote, “President Donald Trump staged a corrosive and potentially dangerous attempt at undermining the US election on Thursday, baselessly claiming the presidency was being stolen from underneath him as vote counts showed his path to victory disappearing.” What President Trump was asking for, a true and accurate tally of the votes, was entirely reasonable, yet he and anyone who supported him became known as “unAmerican” and later “conspiracy theorists”. We now know that those “conspiracy theorists” may have been right all along. The best example comes from a peer-reviewed analysis provided to RealClear Politics that found at least 255,000 and upwards of 368,000 excess votes for Joe Biden over the six swing states that ultimately determined the election. Biden’s margin of victory in these states was 313,253 well within the possibility of fraud (New Peer-Reviewed Research Finds Evidence of 2020 Voter Fraud | RealClearPolitics).

For much of Donald Trump's presidency, he claimed that his campaign had been spied on by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton. For a long time, even right-wing media blasted that accusation as a wild conspiracy. If what he was saying was true, Hillary Clinton certainly should have been looking at serious jail time for a scandal perhaps bigger than Watergate itself. Like most “conspiracy theories” these accusations proved true. CNN reported the story claiming that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) had fined both Hillary Clinton and the DNC for not properly disclosing the use of their money to fund a spying campaign aimed to create a dossier on their opposing political candidate (Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC fined by FEC over Trump-Russia dossier research - CNNPolitics). Unfortunately, this major story has not captivated audiences and dominated the news cycle on many mainstream platforms as it should. It is a sad day in America that a major political candidate will be given only a slap on the wrist for heinous political crimes against their opponent.

We now all know that the infamous “laptop from Hell” belongs to the president’s son, Hunter Biden. On that laptop is incriminating evidence of sex crimes, illegal business practices, rampant drug abuse, and many other felonies laid out in Miranda Devine’s book, Laptop From Hell. Maybe the worst piece of evidence on the laptop is a now-infamous email between Hunter Biden and Tony Bobulinski promising ten percent of the money to be set aside for the “big guy” - presumably then vice president Joe Biden. All of this has now been confirmed and entered into the United States House of Representatives record by FL Rep. Matt Gaetz (R). Major media sources spent a grand total of 25 minutes on this story for a period of 18 months, and by ignoring it removed it from public discourse during a consequential election. The Hill reports that the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN could now all face grand jury indictments for their role in covering up this story. (Biden’s ‘absolute’ defense of Hunter leaves media and Justice Department in a muddle | The Hill) Unfortunately, until recently, suggesting this story was considered “unsubstantiated” by the New York Times and “Russian Disinformation” by both CNN and Politico (New York Times quietly deletes claim Hunter Biden laptop story was 'unsubstantiated' (yahoo.com), Hunter Biden laptop: FBI says it has 'nothing to add' to Ratcliffe's claim on Russian disinformation - CNNPolitics, Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say - POLITICO). Major media sources spent a grand total of 25 minutes on this story for a period of 18 months. Russian Disinformation seems to have become a term that more accurately means facts that Democrats and the media are unwilling to accept as the truth.

Amongst other dangerous examples, the media has shown their clear disdain for the truth and obligation to promote their accepted narrative. We do not have an honest press in the United States anymore. An honest media critiques opposition, it doesn’t silence its opponents and brand them as fringe conspiracy theorists. I have learned that it is true, the difference between a conspiracy theory and the truth really is only a few months.

Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. You Can't Have Two Without the Other
Kyle Saurer '23

About two and a half centuries ago, our nation was founded with the guarantee of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. In recent times it has become increasingly clear that you can not secure liberty and pursue happiness without the promise of life. At the moment of conception, an unborn baby has already formed a unique set of DNA that will never again be recreated. This DNA contains the roadmaps for life, including the baby's appearance and aspects of their personality. After about 6 weeks of development, the baby has developed a heartbeat. Soon after, it has formed toes and fingers and then begins to feel pain. 

Over the past few decades, states and politicians have debated when it is acceptable to slaughter this unique human being under the guise of woman’s rights. A draft of a Supreme Court decision was recently leaked to the public. If ultimately agreed to (as seems likely), this decision would upend the disastrous precedent established in Roe vs. Wade and reaffirmed in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. In this article, I wish to outline two arguments to protect the sacred sanctity of human life.

Firstly, the news surrounding the leaked supreme court decision has revealed just how uneducated many on the left really are. Protestors and rioters have taken to the streets advocating for the legalized infanticide of our most vulnerable citizens, the unborn. Many of these protestors fail to understand that even if the supreme court ultimately supports this decision, the abortion decision would simply be rightfully given back to the states. This decision would not federally criminalize abortions, and they would still likely be widely available. The 10th amendment of the United States Constitution provides that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government are the state's jurisdictions. Applied simply to the issue of abortion, pro-abortion advocates would need to prove that the text of the Constitution explicitly grants jurisdiction on the issue of abortion to the federal government. This is simply not the case. It, therefore, makes sense that jurisdiction is returned to the states.

Secondly, I wish to make an appeal to your consciousness. The United States has historically denied the rights guaranteed in the Constitution and espoused by the Declaration to different groups of people, at times denying their existence as human beings. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, black Americans were denied the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness under the obviously evil pretense that they were less human or not human at all. In Nazi Germany, Jews and other minority groups were persecuted under many of the same false pretenses. Although the subject of oppression has changed over the years, the argument has remained the same. We have argued at times that people ought to be denied rights for the convenience of others, and much in the same way, Americans now make that argument on the issue of abortion. Let me be clear when a being has an entirely separate set of DNA, it is no longer an extension of your body. The “my body, my choice” argument is perhaps the most dangerous argument made in the United States since slave owners claimed they had choices regarding the well being of their slaves and has enabled the murder of millions of children.

I write this article as a member of a generation that has unfortunately been widely lost to abortion. More black babies are aborted than born in New York today, and I have to wonder what those babies would have brought to the world (Let’s Talk About the Black Abortion Rate - WSJ). Perhaps they would have been leading doctors finding cures to rare diseases, perhaps powerful leaders who fought for the rights of others, or perhaps they would have been family men and women who passed down their legacy to generations to come. Unfortunately, we will never know how they would have changed the world because of the legalized slaughter of my generation. Please, pray for women in these tough situations, and help them understand God’s plan for themselves and their children and the incredible potential of their unborn children. Together we can pray for and fight for the end of what I hope will be remembered as the darkest period in American history.

April/May/June 2022 - Vol 5, Issue 5

Cupola Staff

 

Sophie Shanae Gould Dulabaum '22  - Editor

Brianna Suchyta '22 - Editor

Anika Jaitley '23 - Writer

Avery Neff '23 - Writer

Eesha Peddhapati '24 - Writer

Kyle Saurer '23 - Writer

Hisham Shirazi '23 - Writer

Amity Wittmeyer '23 - Writer

 

Dan Raffety - Faculty Advisor

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