Trumpets have heralded rises of glory and downfalls of greatness. Today, the trumpets are at full blast. Each is a deafening blow declaring the end of Pax Americana. It is not the first time these warnings have been sounded, but it is indeed the last.Our Rome is ablaze and our Nero sits upon the hill laughing. His antics are either laughable or pitiable, but without doubt those of a madman.Rome was a city, but our Rome is an ideal. Just as Rome was a great and powerful city, so too is our Rome a great and powerful ideal. It is the ideal of freedom and right.And Rome burns.We say terrorists have destroyed our way of life, but with such a definition we are all terrorists. We are terrorists because we have allowed our Rome to burn. We are terrorists because we terrorize ourselves.Our great Nero, in his ever bountiful wisdom, in collusion with the protector of justice, Ashcroft, has not only fanned the flames with the Patriot Act, but seared our Rome into a crisp. This is a disgusting Rome.The Bible has a passage, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye,” – Matthew 7:3. Our Nero has such a plank. This plank is intolerance, ignorance and ignominy. But, with Rome burning and a plank in his eye, he has noticed the speck in Iraq. This speck he has become obsessed with removing is immovable because the plank prevents true sight.Instead we should give our president a new name, Xerxes, and rename Iraq Thermopylae. Our Nero, our Xerxes, in the same blind mentality, enraged by the taunts of “come and take them,” has sent our troops to slaughter. History has taught us well in this. We will win, but at immense cost.And Rome burns.War is the substance of our new opiate, television, and through it we have made “Wag the Dog” a documentary. We have forgotten the Camp X-Ray detainees, who have been held without legal aid or cause for a year. We have forgotten Muslims who are persecuted for their religions and for their last names. We take pride in calling ourselves “patriots” when nothing we do espouses the laurels of our Rome.Is it any wonder that at the lowest point of America, we have such a poor selection of presidential candidates?The choices are a proven madman, a jaded political insider and a man willing to waste our time for his own ends. Where are our Washingtons, Lincolns and Kennedys?In this time of need, this nation is leaderless. And Rome burns.The trumpets are sounding and Rome burns.He can be contacted at

Student response to off-campus protests

At the vigil on Jan. 7 honoring Tyre Nichols, only a handful of UR students were in attendance. In an…


Perhaps it is love that equips us with an unknown strength and resilience, guiding the path to fighting away our greatest fears.

URMSD Spectrum hosts drag benefit show

Performers interacted with the students running off the flimsy stage avoiding near-death with heels catching on the stairs of the stage.