AZ Gordon
Aaron Zelinger Gordon likes to argue with anybody who can bear it—friends, strangers, other Daily columnists, and himself. As such, a friend once berated him for refusing to believe that it's not butter. He appreciates few things more than astutely cited Will Ferrell quotes, dance floor shenanigans, oreo milkshakes, and foreign policy debates. When not studying Symbolic Systems and Economics, he can be found procrastinating in the pool, writing poetry, and learning languages other than his native Spanish and English. Contact him for coffee at zelinger 'at' stanford dot edu.

Failing to succeed

For all the failures we face, we are notoriously unwilling to discuss them. And when we do discuss failure, we frame it as though failing is something that must be accepted, but is itself not desirable.

Grabbing health by the horns, one phone at a time

Increasing access to healthcare information will improve healthcare outcomes. For a student at Stanford who will soon need to get vaccinated, an app encouraging me to do so moves me one-step closer to the waiting room. It helps cut through the cluttered busyness of Stanford life and remind me that, hey, my health actually matters.

The legacy of Daniel Pearl

Students are less willing to listen to the opinions that irk us, and when we do, we respond by drowning them out in self-righteous indignation. What might Pearl have written, I wonder, in the wake of such momentous changes and ingrained polarization? What can we do to honor his legacy?

Bibi and the scarlet letter

While Netanyahu’s tenuous political standing and upcoming elections are likely the catalysts for his divisive address to Congress in defiance of Obama, blaming the pain away will not resolve our allies’ qualms. In fact, it is not unlikely that Netanyahu will win the Israeli elections and retain his leadership position in the Israeli government.

Are we Charlie? A brief history of free speech at Stanford

But if we are to honor the legacy of Charlie Hebdo on campus, let us do so by discussing the state of free speech at Stanford, and by welcoming those with whom we disagree to campus with open arms and discerning minds. The value of this approach was made clear when the Westboro Baptist Church came to Stanford to preach its message of intolerance and Stanford responded by coming together to peacefully oppose the group. Only if we resolve to continue and improve Stanford’s commitment to free speech can we rightfully tweet, “je suis Charlie.”

In favor of the other Clinton, the other Bush

In his column “Not another Clinton, not another Bush,” Daily columnist Joel Gottsegen rightly points out the potential corrupting influence of nepotism in American politics. But, missing from Gottsegen’s impassioned advocacy is an analysis of why Clinton remains the frontrunner of the Democratic Party and why Bush tops the list of potential Republicans. Is it that Americans are so bedazzled by the personalities of political aristocrats that we become blind to the merit of its candidates? Are we unwilling to look beyond the party platform for political inspiration?

The spies who kill innovation

As students in the Silicon Valley it is difficult for us to conceive of a world in which innovation is not rewarded. However, without sufficient action to deter economic espionage, this will increasingly be the reality we face.

What we mean by ‘never again’

This is the quandary we face in preventing the cycle of mass killing. It is not always easy to justify humanitarian missions when it seems not to follow our strategic interests. Yet time and time again, from Nazi Germany to Rwanda, we will retrospectively realize the mistake of inaction and the grave human cost of standing by.

A battle older than Islam

“It’s the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f***ing kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book.” The man that comes to mind when we read these words is not your outspoken liberal, left-leaning pundit best known for his dismissal of the War on Drugs. But it was just that man, Real Time host Bill Maher, who uttered these words on television last week while debating Ben Affleck and others on religion and Islam.

How to fight an epidemic: U.S. soldiers

Three thousand American troops on the ground in Liberia will provide limited assistance in the fight against Ebola. It may not be enough to eliminate the disease from the region, but will undoubtedly help strained healthcare authorities regain momentum. But American forces in Liberia do more than just fight Ebola, they also help us to comprehend the grave threat that disease poses to our way of life. We must ensure that their sacrifice is not in vain. Now is the time to prepare.

Beyond Ceasefire: A long-shot endgame in Gaza

History repeats itself. This trite refrain rings true for followers of the Gaza-Israel conflict, which has seen three full-scale Israeli operations against Hamas since 2007. The first two operations followed a basic structure defined by Hamas rocket fire, Israeli airstrikes, a ground invasion and an internationally brokered ceasefire. Each took a serious human toll on…
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