Binghamton Review May 2007
The Student Journal at Binghamton University
The Student Journal at Binghamton University
Itâ€™s all here in BRâ€™s May Issue! Inside:
-Conservative Girl of the Year Winner -The Right to Bear Arms -New York State Politics
-Femme Fatales -Psychedelic Epiphanies -Liberal Abominations Truth and two staples
Binghamton Review The Student Journal at Binghamton University Founded 1987 o Volume XX Number 8 o May 2007
Editor-in-Chief Nathaniel Sugarman Managing Editor Thomas Shannon Editor Emeritus Christopher Powell Business Manager Michael Rose Treasurer Michael Calabrese Layout Editor Josh Geller Publicity Director Adam Zabary Staff Writers Gil Auslander, Evan Engel, Denis Fitzgerald, Jonathan Lustig, Christopher Powell, Michael Rose, Alex Rosenthal, Thomas Shannon, Adam Zabary Contributors John Kurimsky, Paul Liggieri, Ashley Spierer, Bud Valley Friends of the Review Dr. Aldo S. Bernardo Mr. Benjamin Birnbaum Mr. Michael J. Hayes The Kaufman Family Mr. Robert Larnerd The Leonini Family Mr. Michael O’Connell Mr. Tony Potochniak The Powell Family Mr. Conrad Ross The Shannon Family Mr. Bob Soltis WA2CVS The Sugarman Family Binghamton Review is printed by Our Press, in Chenango Bridge. We provide the truth; they provide the staples. Binghamton Review Binghamton University PO Box 6000 Binghamton, NY 13902-6000
Editorial: Nate Sugarman takes the reins.
Centerfold: Conservative Girl of the Year winner!
Tom Shannon surveys Albany; finds change lacking.
Evan Engel shoots skeet with Hillary Clinton.
Alex Rosenthal takes his parting shots.
John Kurimski wages war on pedestrians, guidos, etc.
Ashley Spierer makes Mean Girls look tame.
Paul Liggieri wraps his baseball bat in barbed wire.
Chris Powell saws the barrel off his shotgun.
Bud Valley follows the white rabbit.
Gil Auslander is fed up with human rights imperialism.
Graphics by Josh Geller Binghamton Review is a monthly, independent journal of news, analysis, commentary, and controversy. Students at Binghamton University receive two copies of the Review free of charge (non-transferrable). Additional copies cost $1 each. Letters to the Editor are welcome; they must be accompanied by the author’s current address and phone number. All submissions become the property of the Review. The Review reserves the right to edit and print any submission. Copyright © 2007 Binghamton Review. All rights reserved. Binghamton Review is distributed on campus under the authority of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Binghamton Review is a member of the Collegiate Network and is a Student Association-chartered organization. Binghamton University is not responsible for the content of the Review; the Review is not responsible for the content of Binghamton University. Binghamton Review thanks the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
“Before all else, be armed.” -Niccolo Machiavelli
Past Editors of Binghamton Review : John Guardiano, Yan Rusanovsky, Kathryn Doherty, Ephriam Bernstein, Michael Malloy, Paul Schnier, Adam Bromberg, Bernadette Malone, Michael Darcy, Nathan Wurtzel, Amy Gardner, John Carney, Paul Torres, Jason Kovacs, Robert Zoch, Matthew Pecorino, Michael O’Connell, Louis W. Leonini, Joseph Carlone, Christopher Powell
Binghamton Review, May 2007
t is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I write to you my first editorial for Binghamton Review. For years, this student journal has provoked debate, discussion and controversy at BU. I find, partly because I lean libertarian in my views, that I tend to invite controversy myself—a criticism which has been leveled against me since childhood. I cannot dispel the veracity of this allegation, but I can say that I am a firm believer in logic, truth and reason; often times people have trouble with these things. Notions such as these are not to be taken for granted; often we are confronted with illogic and irrationality. It is only through a series of games; extreme games—that we can isolate truth and logic. This is the mission of Binghamton Review. Modern liberalism, a matter of concern here at the Review, is something which is anathema to the spirit of reason, logic and societal advancement. We hold the Constitution of the United States in high esteem, and seek to preserve its legacy. For example, citizens should not have to pay more that half of their earnings in taxes to the government. Someone is not automatically a racist if they disapprove of Affirmative Action. The government does not have the authority to tell us where we can and cannot smoke, or what fats we can and cannot eat. In high school I experienced first hand the fallacy that is modern liberalism. My fledgling school in Boston prided itself on pluralism and tolerance. Pluralism and tolerance. These are notions which are abstract, and cannot possibly function practically in the way they are intended to. What ends up occurring, in the actual application of this notion, is pluralism and tolerance for everyone—with the clear exception of those who disagree with the administrations warped sense of reality. For example—establishing the Conservative Club was a little controversial, but refusing school charter to a Gay Lesbian Transgender Alliance—well, that would be discriminatory. This school was educational only in the sense that it presented me with an accurate microcosm of a world controlled by liberals. If you perused our previous issue, you know that a theme which we consistently encounter is that of race. Racism is a sensitive subject, but we at the Review refuse to be intimidated by it. And if God forbid I ever make an Imus-esque slip up, I will not apologize to racist charlatans like “The Reverends” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Recently, comedian Jackie Mason and celebrity
attorney Raoul Felder wrote a book called “Schmucks!: Our Favorite Fakes, Frauds, Lowlifes, Liars, the Armed and Dangerous, and Good Guys Gone Bad.” The State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which Attorney Felder chairs, stripped him of his right to speak and sign letters for the commission due to the contents of the book he co-wrote. As a result of criticizing Affirmative Action as “insidious,” and classifying it as one of the most significant problems facing the United States today, he was vilified as a reactionary and a racist. Funny—as in fact the very concept of Affirmative Action is inherently racist itself. A separate, but analogous issue exists in the Middle East. The State of Israel is constantly pilloried for her “racism” and “oppression” of Palestinians, whereas the reality is, again, precisely the opposite. The Arab countries surrounding the beleaguered Jewish State either refuse to recognize her existence, or reluctantly maintain a cold peace because of the inferiority of their military power. This is not because of “occupied territories” or anti-Palestinian governmental policies; Jew hatred and anti-Semitic terrorist attacks existed in Israel long before they had administrative control of the West Bank. In addition, many still insist on applying a moral equivalency between a democratic country’s war on terror and a savage, violent people seeking to destroy it. Despite these facts, most of the world is inclined to believe the opposite of the truth. On the local scale, there is also no shortage of malfeasance. From student groups like NYPIRG to the bureaucracy that is parking services, Binghamton University and the city of Binghamton are replete with frustrations. I have even been known to drive all the way to Queens for a decent sandwich. Fortunately, we here at the Review do not solely focus on the negatives surrounding us. We often cover such vital topics as music, strip clubs, good food, and where to find the cutest girls on campus. Someday, I hope we will only focus on these things. I look forward to running this journal, and working with Binghamton University’s finest students who make up our staff and our regular readers. For twenty years, the Review has existed as the sole bastion of logic and reason on campus, and I aim to continue this tradition and then some. If some of you decide to join us for some extreme games, then I will not be wasting my time.
Binghamton Review, May 2007
-Nathaniel Sugarman, Editor-in-Chief
The Mohawk still flows into the Hudson
Gov. Spitzer’s First Four Months by Tom Shannon
e’ve lived through the first four months of the Spitzer administration and Albany’s atmosphere is still downright Patakian. Men named Bruno and Silver are still politically savvier than the occupant of the Governor’s mansion. State spending still increases by about triple the rate of inflation annually. The Mohawk still flows into the Hudson. All this from a Governor who, in his odd fusion of action verb machismo and cotton candy rhetoric, declared in his State of the State speech that “New Yorkers have demanded change. They have challenged us to stop standing still and start confronting the status quo.” This “change” fetish has most notably failed to pan out in an area where it could be used to great effect, the state budget. Gov. Spitzer’s supposed goal, as stated in his State of the State, was to “significantly reduce our rate of spending growth, which has increased at three times the rate of inflation” in recent years. The budget proposal Spitzer sent to the Legislature this January called for a 7.8% increase in state-funded spending. As it was ultimately adopted, this year’s budget increased state-funded spending by 8.4%, a statistic that can be found on the state’s Division of the Budget website. For what it’s worth, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the Consumer Price Index for 2006 was 3.2%. State-funded spending in
New York has thus increased by more than two and a half times
the rate of inflation in Spitzer’s first budget. If things have changed, they haven’t changed much.
The chants of “more money for education” never cease, regardless of how much money is spent.
True, Spitzer pushed through some long overdue cuts in Medicaid spending. These savings, however, were more than used up to fund massive increases in operating aid to local school districts, charter school expansion, and the SUNY sysBinghamton Review, May 2007
tem. Other than prolonging the inevitable tuition hike and supplying incumbent legislators with press release material, what will come of these outlays? The chants of “more money for education” never cease, regardless of how much money is spent. It is a physical impossibility to silence an educrat by forking money down his throat. In spite of the talk about him being dramatically weakened, Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno still knows how to outmaneuver the other two “Men in the Room.” Bruno carried the water for hospital workers’ union 1199-SEIU in their mostly successful quest to reduce Spitzer’s Medicaid cuts. He also steered a nicely portioned slice of the new education funding to Long Island school districts in an attempt to shore up the area’s Republican senators. Bruno probably did get the better of Spitzer in this budget go ‘round. Eventually though, people who normally vote for Senate Republicans, whose governing philosophy is now indistinguishable from Hubert Humphrey’s, will instead vote for the real McCoy. This is why Republicans stand an excellent shot of losing the State Senate in 2008. New York’s most pressing problem continues to be the crushing tax burden from both state and property taxes. This year’s budget, by continuing in the hallowed Rockefeller/Cuomo/ Pataki tradition of unsustainable
spending increases, only ensures that this situation will get worse in years to come. The property tax rebate check program, created by Bruno and expanded by Spitzer, merely enlarges a craven shell game. State income, gasoline, and other tax revenues are used to write checks to property owners compensating for the large property tax increases seen in many parts of the state in recent years. There’s nothing to compel local governments or school boards into keeping their tax burdens in check. Property taxes inevitably continue to spiral upward. For all the lack of “change” in state budget matters, Gov. Spitzer has unveiled an ambitious agenda of social “change” (read: cultural leftism).
Just last week Spitzer issued a bill that would legalize homosexual marriage. This would make New York the second state in the Union to have a law that creates “equal legal protection and responsibilities” for all civil marriages, homosexual or actual. This should go over pretty well outside TriBeCa and upstate’s college towns. On this issue, Spitzer is gambling as much as New York’s quickie mart patrons do on a regular basis, which is to say, a lot. Sure, New York is a blue state but is it prepared to embrace the radical innovation of full blown gay marriage? As one of Senator Libous’ toadies recently put it, “people love free stuff.” That is the true wellspring of most New Yorkers’ liberalism, not a burning desire to jump
into the culture war on the side of Mayors Gavin Newsom and Jason West. Or so we can hope. My boss’s greatest malapropism came when she wrote “submit to change” on the weekly schedule instead of “subject to change.” Her slip, coincidence or not, happens to be the entirety of Gov. Spitzer’s rhetorical scheme. If only this magical elixir of “change” included something that would legitimately make New York more affordable to live in and excluded pagan marriage. Any hope for that has long since been Steamrolled. -Tom Shannon is a Junior at Binghamton University and is Managing Editor of Binghamton Review. He’s thinking seriously about moving to Texas.
Words of Wisdom:
A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -G. Gordon Liddy
Binghamton Review, May 2007
The Front Lines
War, Guns and Freedom by Evan Engel
he elections are coming closer, and the time has come for those who have not yet done their research, to do it. Well I am here to tell you, do not worry—I am going to figure it all out for you while you sit back and relax. Democrats and Republicans on a pullout timetable:
people who now need our help. Think of the millions of Iraqi civilians who are in the depths
of despair while we fatten our stomachs and spend our money on petty materialisms. Auschwitz, Darfur, Iraq, the list goes
Since the Democrats took control of Congress, they have been widening the gap on certain issues. When Joe Lieberman was forced to go independent for supporting the war, the Democrats became outwardly more anti-war. While almost all agree that the war was not handled correctly, we forget that no war is; that is its very essence. WW1, WW2, Korea, and Vietnam are all clear examples of how war really is. I am a soldier, and spent time in Iraq and Kuwait; even though I faced possible death in this war, I support it. Mistakes were made, and it takes time to heal these wounds. This is not even mentioning the strategic power imbalance caused by Iran’s imminent nuclear threat. I am a realist; while it would be nice to have America as the new Holland, I would rather make sure no one can kill me, and that on and on, but the need for help no one is need of my help. here is real and there are people suffering and dying right now Operation Iraqi Freedom: who we have a chance to help. Should we choose to stand idly We all sit back and talk, but by as millions of people are when we talk we ignore the raped, beaten and murdered?
I am a soldier, and spent time in Iraq and Kuwait; even though I faced possible death in this war, I support it.
Binghamton Review, May 2007
We complain about the soldiers dying while they go and die because they know it is right. It is time to leave our romantic fantasy land; WWII was only 62 years ago, our economy is not that strong, and none of us will retire out of Binghamton. We as Americans have a chance to help real people with real families gain freedom from enslavement. I still remember the smiles on their faces when we drove around the embattled country; these people were being helped, and they finally were being given a chance to be free. The Iranian Threat: Iran is a very real threat which could disrupt the Middle East by facilitating a Sunni/Shia nuclear arms race, or a nuclear response by Israel who is already on a hair pin trigger to Tehran. Since at this point America will not attack, and Israel can’t go it alone for political reasons, Iran is given an easy means for gaining power. Iran still has time until completion of functional nuclear weapons, with estimates generally ranging from 2-5 years, occurring in our next president’s reign. Doing nothing about this is not an option. Guns and Freedom: This brings me to my next issue: Gun Control. I am a proud owner of many guns, if you didn’t know that by now you probably
would have figured it out by the end of this article. We live in the real world—a place where I should have the ability to protect my life. The police are not always available as promptly as needed, nor would we want them to be. However, the government is here to help the people, not to take away the right to protect my child’s life; I should be allowed to have the best means possible to defend myself. The tragedy of the Virginia Tech shootings will bring increased uproar over the freedom to own guns. Democrats are hijacking the tragedy’s momentum to pass legislation permanently prohibiting three times as many guns as the Clinton ban. Ladys and gentlemen, this one hits me hard, right where it hurts. If this legislation is passed, all of my guns will become illegal. I have four, and shoot for a hobby—and I have the best toys around…don’t believe me? Join me at the shooting range and see my kick-ass guns for yourself: the Ruger 10/22, AR15, Mossberg 500, and SKS. Gun owners did receive a major victory in Washington D.C., where the district court of appeals ruled that the constitution did guarantee an Individual right to keep and bear arms. Bear in mind the thoughts of George Washington: “A free people ought not only to be
armed and disciplined but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” Government, and how to fix it: There is a general problem with government today which requires immediate attention. That
problem is not issue, but rather structure based. Our politicians above all else seek power. In order for them to retain and grow in power they must make people happy, but the politicians are not going to give out sexual favors, so they give out tax payer dollars (after all it’s not their money). To get even more powerful they wheel and deal; for example, they will sign for spinach growers in MassachuBinghamton Review, May 2007
setts, and pass a bill for Rwandan AIDS condoms from South Dakota, which in turn will get all these people to sign the bill for a totally unnecessary display of power in their home state. This is known as “pork”—with modest spending, efficiency, and honesty being some of the casualties. We have a clear example of this, with President Bush (A Republican?), spending like it is the cool thing to do, and even the Democrats won’t say they will do a better job. So unless you want to be paying 60% of your taxes when you are forty to cover all our carryover losses, lets make this government work. Pretend it is a business; encourage accountability, lower costs, improve efficiency and standards, and increase communication. If this country was actually making money we would be attracting top people, but who wants to work for a bankrupt unethical staggering giant? You: But Evan, changing the government is too much work. Evan: I agree… You: But in your article you said “let’s make this government work.” Evan: That is one choice but it seems that everyone tried that already and the system simply
swallows them up and nothing ever changes. You: So what do you think we should do about the government? Evan: Well it’s obvious that nothing is going to change by itself so let’s limit the government in its breadth and function and let the local areas handle all other issues. The federal government
freedom back to the people.
Because of the reward system and structure, our political system encourages politicians to control more things, and gives them more control. Hot button issues such as gay marriage and
I can choose Texas or Pennsylvania, and if over that I prefer being told how to live my life and give all my money to an inefficient redistribution center, I can stay in New York. As a poker enthusiast one example of the governments overreaching moralistic control comes easily to mind. Senator Frist in a sly maneuver to impose
spent $406 billion on Interest and $61 billion on education in 2006; oops…looks like the silly politicians are wasting my money. So that’s why this election I am voting Libertarian. I support them because they stand for a small and efficient federal government with a strong local government. This would bring responsibility back to the government and and
marijuana legalization move to the national highlight, while all these types of issues should be dealt with at a lower level such as the state. The concept of the state plays an integral role in our freedom; I can choose which of the states best represents my moral and political beliefs. If I want to smoke pot I move to California or Alaska; if I prefer guns
his moral and religious beliefs on the American public, managed to slip anti online poker legislation in a port security bill. If this trend continues, the future of American politics looks grim indeed. -Evan Engel in a Junior ar Binghamton University. He enjoys target shooting on a range in Chappaqua, NY.
Binghamton Review, May 2007
Good Riddance, BU
One Final Stand
Some Bomb Throwing and Bridge Burning before Graduation by Alex Rosenthal
prepared myself to do the ill-advised. That’s right folks, I’m going to channel my inner Lou Leonini and speak the dark, fiery truth. To be honest, I’ve wanted to let loose for quite sometime, but given that my time here at Binghamton University is ending, this seems to be the perfect time to burn my bridges and praise those who have earned my respect. Administrators: Harpur College Associate Dean: Donald Blake Having served on many committees with Blake and engaged in numerous conversations regarding academic policies, (add/drop deadline) I can safely state that we agree on nothing. However, this does not stop me from admiring a consummate professional who always treats students with respect, listens to opposing views, and runs a democratic meeting. In addition, Blake always backs his opinions with hard statistical evidence—a feat accomplished by very few students, professors, or administrators. Good luck on retirement; Harpur will miss your guidance. Off Campus College Director: David Husch A fundamental aspect of being an administrator is allowing student groups to function independently, offering opinions only when asked, and not creating unnecessary divisiveness. Husch has failed miserably at all these tasks, consistently disrupting OC3 (Off-Campus Government) meet-
ings with unsolicited negativity. He has openly mocked student leaders and he has spoken behind the backs of students (to their
peers), undermining those leaders. Furthermore, he has impeded the progress of OC3 by rejecting nu-
...this seems to be the perfect time to burn my bridges and praise those who have earned my respect. merous requests to provide or allow access to a list of off-campus student email addresses. In short, Husch has been a completely unprofessional employee who has abused his privilege as an advisor to OC3. CIW Faculty Master: David Garcow Binghamton Review, May 2007
Making Husch look competent in comparison, Garcow has really been an impediment for students. I’ve consistently heard students being negatively affected by Garcow, mostly by his lack of flexibility and helpfulness on housing situations. In addition, when I ran for SA President in 2006, Garcow spoke for a full five minutes against me at an SA community council meeting. He embodies many of the problems of Residential Life, and is certainly not the only Reslife staffer to act unprofessionally or lose sight of their purpose and function. Students: Kate Sabato, Pete Eraca, Mike Schordine, Diane Napolitano, and Brian Miller These Student Assembly members truly cared about affecting change on campus and doing the right thing concerning their fellow students. They may have disagreed on procedure, policy, or practice, but they all led valuing the needs of the many over their own personal interests. I learned a great deal from them all: how to run a meeting from Sabato, how to act ethically from Eraca, how to properly carry yourself from Schordine, how to develop policy from Miller, and how to act with moderation (and have fun) from Napolitano. These guys are legends, and are the measuring stick by which I measured my own performance in the SA. David Belsky: In stark opposition to the leaders above, Belsky consistently used his position of power to fight (ar-
rogantly) for his own self interest. His very first act after being elected Executive Vice-President was to lead three students in breaking quorum at a meeting where he disagreed with the resolution being considered. Belsky has led a fractionalization of the assembly with super sensitivity to criticism and a lack of consensus building. Belsky isn’t incompetent; he has many good ideas for the Student Association, but his leadership skills have proven to be abysmal time and time again. Of course this is ironic, as Belsky highly touts leadership training and has spent student money extravagantly in pursuing it. Eric Katz: Kobe to my Shaq, this guy started as my protégé and developed into the finest leader I’ve seen at Binghamton. He combined the skills and history I taught him with political guile, determination, and outstanding work ethic. Katz is involved in more activities than any other student leader on campus, yet performs brilliantly in all his positions, blending strong ethics, political proficiency, oratory skills, and policy mastery. He co-founded the Free Press with me and accomplished over and above what many said couldn’t be done. He has been a great colleague and an even better friend. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have met him and to have had the oppportunity to develop along side him. Chris Powell: He asked me not to mention him in this article, but let me see if I can sneak this by the editor. Wait, Chris Powell is the editor! Well, hopefully Sugarman edits this last issue and I can get this in. I’ve appreciated Powell’s friendship and support while writing for the Review. He’s developed into a great student leader, revolutionizing the Review and representing students fairly and honestly in the
SA. Good luck to him next year; I have every confidence he’ll be the greatest FVP in SA history. (No pressure…) Professors: Jane Connor: The worst professor I endured at Binghamton, she literally taught me less than nothing in Multicultural Psychology. The tests had horrendous errors, and the laziness apparent in the class format was insulting to university students. She made us buy her worthless book and then gra-
Don’t worry BU, when I gain my vast riches with my Harpur Degree, you’ll be the first donation on my list.
ciously offered to buy them back at pennies on the dollar at the end of the class! The classes’ content centered on uber-liberal white guilt, focusing on the premise that all white people are inherently racist. Please, take you’re “non-violent communication” and peddle it to some dopes at another university. Martin Dillon: Tragically, Dillon died during Spring 2005 but his impact was felt by literally thousands of students. He shaped my entire world view and taught me to search for truth and to value it in the highest regard. I might disagree with him Binghamton Review, May 2007
over Kant’s categorical imperative, but the way he taught, and explained and joked about philosophy, will never be duplicated or replaced. He was a value to this university, and although he is not with us anymore, the lessons he taught us and the good he did will forever live on with us. Organizations: Pipe Dream: If it wasn’t for its mediocrity, its arrogance, and its factual inaccuracies, I wouldn’t have been motivated to start Binghamton Media Group and the Free Press. Pipe Dream gave me a crash course in good and bad journalism, and was instrumental in my switching paths from politics to media. Although reading the actual contents of the newspaper is frustrating at times, I thank the organization for indirectly making me realize how much I appreciate a good newspaper. Binghamton Review: Three years ago I couldn’t imagine writing for the Review, but this year I realized how powerful (and cool) the review is. It’s the premier opinion journal on campus, and I can’t thank the editors enough for the opportunity. The Review is the perfect sounding board for my alter (regular) ego. I can shoot from the hip, take an extreme stance, or blast an opponent—and as long as my opinion offers something to the campus community, my article is published. I encourage all university students to pick up a pen and write for the Review (or the Prospect, PD, Free Press, or whatever the hippies are publishing these days). Publishing your opinion is awesome. Student Association: I could write a 2000 page novel based on the unbelievable experiences I’ve had in the SA. I hap-
pened into it in my sophomore year and learned almost everything imaginable about politics. I saw the very best things such as public service, sacrifice, and selflessness, and at the very worst arrogance, self interest, and narcissism. Through it all, I always tried to fight for what was right, and although my success rate wasn’t nearly as high as I would have liked, I felt that overall I did a good job representing student interests, accomplishing some goals, and doing some good for the future of the Student Association. Of course, I’m sure they’ll re-revise the constitution as soon as I’m gone and add some leadership training bullshit, but I learned to give it my best effort, and not beat myself up for it even when it
goes to hell. Binghamton Media Group: I could give the whole blood, sweat and tears speech, but that’s a given. I could say, “I told you so” to the people who laughed at us or rejected our first charter attempt or called us names, but I’d prefer to say this: What really made this group happen was the phenomenal people who answered the call for a better, ethical news source on campus. We proved that a small dedicated group of individuals could produce over 45,000 quality newspapers without an office, budget, or computer. We broke stories, called out bias, praised worthy students, and held the administration accountable. It is one of my most fervent wishes that the Free Press prosper on this
campus in the future, and I can’t think of a better group of students to lead the charge then the new editors of the Free Press. In closing, I enjoyed and valued my experience at Binghamton. It made me the person I am today and I’ll carry the lessons I learned here to wherever I end up. Don’t worry BU, when I gain my vast riches with my Harpur Degree, you’ll be the first donation on my list. -Alex Rosenthal is a graduating senior at BU and is founder of the Binghamton University Free Press. His relentless crusade for justice in the SA will be sorely missed.
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Centerfold: Conservative Girl of the Year This yearâ€™s winner:
Naomi Winkler (No relation to the Fonz)
Binghamton Review, May 2007
Why we chose her:
•She proves that you can be artsy without being a bleeding-heart liberal. •She’s tough on crime. •Honestly, she’s a babe. What she had to say...
On Politics: “Usually the perception of a Conservative is someone who thinks about every issue in the same way, but many, like me, approach each issue separately. I believe in personal responsibility, and that everyone should hold themselves accountable for their actions and accept the consequences, most specifically with crime issues. Also, the government is there to help, but it needs to give us the freedom to achieve our own goals and solve our own problems.” On Academics: “Although I have had only four professors at Binghamton so far, I would like to say that Professor Brandon Gibb is my favorite. He has a great sense of humor, is always ready to help, is very informative, and answers all questions well. He is a great professor to have at 8:30 in the morning.” On Historical Figures: “In terms of historical figures, I’m gonna have to stick with Thomas Jefferson, since he is known for many important accomplishments in the early history of the USA. His purchase of Louisiana from Napoleon layed the foundation for civilizing America’s frontier despite what some liberal professors might say.” On BR: “I have always been impressed with you guys at the Review, largely because of your unabashed affinity for telling it the way it is. In addition, you guys not only invite controversy, but seem to love it to, which I find very attractive.”
Much appreciated Naomi, it’s been a pleasure. -BR Binghamton Review, May 2007
American History MMVII
I Have Issues
A Non-Exhaustive List of Things that Piss me Off by John Kurimski
veryone has something that makes them mad, and some people are more prone to frustration than others. What is to follow is somewhat of a list, basically explaining some things that get under my skin. Most of these issues involve race, but don’t worry, I also touch on the ladies. For purposes that you will understand once you start reading, I think it’s important for me to state that I am no racial elitist; my ethnic background is as varied as a bag of skittles. That said, most may not agree or might even be offended by what I have to say. If so…I do not apologize. First and foremost let us begin with this seemingly never ending issue of arrogant students, usually freshman, who think they can cross a street without looking first. Every time I drive my car on campus, I have to have my head on a swivel because I never know when one is going to be sauntering across the brain with his head in the air. They honestly walk around like they own the place. If they’re not listening to their iPod, they’re smoking or talking on their cell phone and certainly not paying any attention to the people driving. The worst are these tools who travel in packs of no less than five—as if they feel the need to compensate
for their lacking in other areas. What really gets to me are the pledges of these minority frats. For starters, they often are required to hold doors open for people during pledging, but discriminate when it comes to who to hold it for. Under normal circumstances these pledges would never hold the
The worst are these tools who travel in packs of no less than five—as if they feel the need to compensate for their lacking in other areas.
door for me and certainly not say thank you if I did for them. They are the rudest and most disrespectful people on this campus. These frats should require their pledges to hold the door for everyone, and not just people of their own race. It’s stuff like this that is responsible for real racism these days. There seems to have been a very large uproar concerning Binghamton Review, May 2007
Affirmative Action ever since the movie American History X came out. In this movie, the father of the protagonist is portrayed as a racist, and speaks against Affirmative Action. Because he is portrayed as a racist throughout the film, and his comments against Affirmative Action are lumped into his racist tirades, Affirmative Action is portrayed in the film as racist. In fact, what he had to say was not racist at all—he said that he would rather have an accomplished fire-fighter watching his back than someone who did not perform as well in training but got the job because of his race. If he’s a racist for opposing Affirmative Action, then so am I. There seems to be nothing but complaints coming from all different races whether they are Asians, Hispanics, Blacks, etc. The issue seems to be within them. They ask for equality, but they don’t treat one another equally. They form their own fraternities and societies that only allow people of their race to join. If you are not going to stop self-segregating, don’t accuse other people of being responsible for the segregation in the first place. The use of racial slurs is also a big issue. If you don’t like when others call you that
name…then don’t refer to yourselves as that, because you are simply disrespecting yourself. Everyone in this country was part of a particular ethnic group at some point. We all came over on a boat or have ancestors who did. This place, in essence, belongs to no one group in particular, and nobody owes anything to anyone else. Everyone went through struggles: Blacks were enslaved, Asians were shunned, the Irish were unemployable, Jews were distrusted, and countless others were discriminated against in this country. It’s time to put that in the past. Until our current society can get past stupid issues like skin color and victimization we’ll never get anywhere. If we insist on hiring people simply because of their race, this country will eventually destroy itself. Let’s move on to these little Guido assholes that you see running around campus all the time. First off, you are guaranteed that they are from either “de Island” or “da City”. Unfortunately for these un-educated and ignorant herbs they have no idea what it means to be Italian. They think that since they have watched “Growing up Gotti” they know what it is like to come from an Italian background. They think that in order to be Italian you have to wear a blow out, put a whole bunch of gold shit around your neck, wrists, and fingers, and speak the little amounts of bastardized Italian that they know. If they weren’t so sheltered
they would know that their ancestors would more than likely cut off their pricks for this behavior. If their views weren’t so warped they would understand that Italians were some of the hardest working immigrants to come over on the boat, and would most likely disapprove of their pseudo-Italian lifestyle. Even more interestingly, many of these Guidos are completely racist, despite the fact that being Italian means that you have a
There is a very fine line between the girls who you can bring home to your mom, and the ones that you know all your friends just toss around. good portion of African genes! Let’s talk about the female population on this campus. There is a very fine line between the girls who you can bring home to your mom, and the ones that you know all your friends just toss around. It’s funny when you run into the girl that you and five of your buddies have hooked up with and she Binghamton Review, May 2007
tries to act all innocent when really she should feel like Jodi Foster in “The Accused.” These are the girls that you see downtown at Sports Bar falling all over themselves because they thought they were going to be a “big girl” that night and hold their alcohol. I’d like to know what runs through their head when they wake up the next morning in some random dude’s bed. Moral of the story kids—don’t try to have any kind of relationship while you’re in college. Girls can talk all they want but when it’s all broken down, they simply don’t know how to keep their legs closed. This leads me to my final contention—the use of alcohol as an excuse for everything. This isn’t just a problem in Binghamton; it is a problem at every university across the country. Using the excuse “I was drunk” is never a legitimate excuse. You should be old enough by now to know your limits and also to know how to handle your alcohol; this isn’t high school anymore. The only reason anyone would use this as an excuse is because they are disgusted with themselves and they can’t come to terms with what a disgrace they have become. -John Kurimski is a Junior at Binghamton University. He can often be found running down minorities outside the Lecture Hall in his riced-out black ‘00 Cougar.
BFFs and Bitches
An Insiders Look into the Devious Ways of the Female by Ashley Spierer
ehind their painted eyes, stomach revealing tees, handbag clutching fingers and smooth legs, there is venom running through every woman’s veins. So when the cliché line of “it’s in their blood” is used to describe the wicked feminine ways, it is no lie. Not only do us females all innately hate one another, we also constantly pretend we don’t, yet gossip our mouths off as each one exits the room. It seems like I am exaggerating, but unfortunately no, I’m not. No matter how close the friendship is, there is or once was an underlying competition that brought these females together. This is what one can call “best friends.” This theory of best friends can be explained as two or more females sufficiently close in status that they declare a truce, become a team, and form a “friendship” so that when they want a guy, they know their “best friend” can’t claim him for herself. Other than the demonic intentions behind our friendships, we girls are put on this earth to be spectacles of sexual desire stripped of personality and creativity. To further
prove this point, consider what happens when a female is discovered, in the male dominant world, as somewhat intellectually interesting: She is transformed from a female
No matter how close the friendship is, there is or once was an underlying competition that brought these females together.
directly into “one of the guys”, or better yet a girlfriend, where she is immediately removed from her feminine role. We base our existence on trying to put others down, and yearn for a sweet, sexy, yet domineering appearance. In Binghamton Review, May 2007
reality, the minimal remnants of good left in our bodies are demolished upon traveling this gold plated path to social success. It is on this path that we females will spend our lives, and on which our ways were crafted long ago. An important aspect of female competition is name calling; this early stage of rivalry gradually turns into the mature dirty look, and later develops into the “shit-talk” we are all so familiar with. Our last utterances eventually come to a halt upon the last beats of our icebox hearts. This may be shocking coming from yes, a female herself, but this is all undeniably true. It is not our fault that the ratio of females to “one-of-theguys females” is so incredibly small that we are all represented by females. So I dedicate this article to you, one-of-theguys females; I know there are plenty of you out there. -Ashley Spierer is a freshman at Binghamton University. If you’re lucky, you might catch her catfighting outside the Wom”y”n’s Center.
Binghamton Review, May 2007
The Liberal Mistake:
BU’s Anthropology Department and other Leftist Abominations by Paul Liggieri
t was a regular afternoon in Binghamton University, and I proceeded on my way to an Anthropology discussion in the Student Wing. As I sat down, I was expecting to learn about fossils and the history of the Neanderthal. What I got instead was a lecture from my TA about how the movie “300” portrays Iranians in a negative light. She followed up her lecture by telling us that the word “man-made” was politically incorrect. As I returned to my room and checked my email, I was appalled to see that I had a message from the TA’s official anthropology department address, reminding me that there was an “Anti-War” walkout rally. Unfortunately, this is the manifestation of a growing plague of liberalism on this campus, and it is a plague that riddles many professors and students with a radical leftist ideology that has left them so “open-minded” that their brains have fallen out. This infection continues to fester as the ideology is instilled into incoming freshman and their young eager minds. “Liberal” values and ideas are instilled in them with the hope that like sheep, they will follow the big green liberal machine. I cannot walk into any political science course without at least hearing once from the professor that President Bush is “retarded” or “stupid.” I personally may not agree with our president’s policies, but for an educated professor to make this type of remark about
a man whose policies he simply disagrees with is disheartening. Rather than call him stupid, these professors should facilitate intellectual discussion—and maybe think about the candidate BEFORE they elect him into office. I am sick and tired of hearing professors say that it is appropriate to burn an American flag, when it is this very flag they sleep under that allows them the
Liberals preach tolerance, but when confronted with opposing views, they don’t want to hear them.
freedom to perform such horrendous acts. It grinds my gears when people call me prejudice for not agreeing with the concept of homosexual marriage, because as far as I know, we are entitled to freedom of speech, and more specifically, freedom to express our political opinions in this nation. It insults my intelligence to hear people say that illegal immigrants contribute to our economy, because the truth is we’ve spent over a billion dollars alone just on Binghamton Review, May 2007
educating them—not to mention paying for their medical expenses over American citizens who are not criminals and actually deserve these services. I believe it is morally sickening that a student group invited Professor Ward Churchill to speak to our students about how America was responsible for the tragedy of September 11th. Winston Churchill once stated that “Any man under 30 who is not a liberal has no heart, and any man who is over 30 and is not a conservative has no brains.” Often it is conservatives who are accused of being closed minded, but to be frank I have only seen radical liberals looking at everything through tunnel vision. Liberals preach tolerance, but when confronted with opposing views, they don’t want to hear them. I cannot ask that every radical liberal relinquish their views and join the good guys, but I can at least ask them to look at both sides objectively and come to a reasonable conclusion based on the facts, and not on their own preconceived notions. President Reagan once said, “I was once a Democrat, but then again, we all make mistakes.” It would be nice if for a change liberals realized their own. -Paul Liggieri is a Sophomore at Binghamton University. Grinding his gears is probably not a very wise idea. BR congragulates ΘΔΧ for their victory at Relay for Life.
From my Cold Dead Hands
The Problem with Gun Control:
Why Gun-Free Zones Do Not Work by Chris Powell
n the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting many college students were left afraid, confused and struggling to understand. Who was the shooter? Why did this happen? How can we prevent such a shooting? Luckily, learned people from such esteemed organizations as the Brady Campaign quickly came to our rescue. While the NRA sat quietly by out of respect for the victims, antigun nuts like Carolyn McCarthy began reserving their seats at the court of opportunity. The most ironic problem with their anti-gun elimination arguments is that, far from being the problem, guns could have been the solution. Before everyone gets up in arms I must address the gun control side of this argument. Yes, I do believe that there should be a limit on what sort of guns are available for purchase; Soviet surplus is not sporting and over-equipped for self preservation. Yes, background checks should be stringent and necessary; a better background check might have prevented the shooter from acquiring his weapons, if not slowed him down. No, I do not believe that eliminating guns from American society will improve our personal safety. As an example of this I turn your attention to Great Britain. In Great Britain guns are essentially non-existent; few police officers even carry pistols on their person. While their murder and rape rates (per capita) are still slightly higher in America than England, that gap is closing quickly. Meanwhile, in every other violent crime category (including home invasion) England experiences a higher incidence rate than here in America. Even Dan Rather, the liberal’s champ who attacked Dubya, referred to England as: “one of the most violent urban societies in the Western World.” One of the most important statistics I’ve come across in my research on the
American-English crime divide is this: American burglars spend twice as long as their British counterparts researching a home before attacking; the reason? The stakes are much higher here in America. If a burglar were to enter a home in America and find the family home there is a greater than 1-in-3 chance that the family would have access to a gun. These criminals view guns as the largest threat to them when entering a home, because they can be used suddenly and by anyone, regard-
Once an individual enters a gun-free zone with a firearm he or she can be almost completely assured that there is no one else with such an advantage.
less of physical strength. So what is the lesson to be learned from this anecdote? Simple, criminals see guns as a strong deterrent to crime, and that is the biggest flaw in our current gun laws. Our current gun laws stipulate that all schools, from elementary through college, are recognized as “gun-free zones”. Liberals champion this idea, viewing it as a preventative measure. However, the penalty for murder is significantly higher than the penalty for violating a gun-free zone, and the likelihood of being caught carrying illegally is marginal. If a Binghamton Review, May 2007
sociopath decides that he or she wants to terrorize a school there is no amount of gun control that is likely to stop them. If he or she cannot get past a background screening they will turn to the black market, a constant problem in the guns trade and one that cannot be solved until after we manage to eliminate the black markets in larger goods, like humans (see: Mexican border). The only barrier remaining will be violating a gun free zone, and to any rational individual that is more of an incentive than a threat. Once an individual enters a gun-free zone with a firearm he or she can be almost completely assured that there is no one else with such an advantage. The reason for this is simple. While it is of no consideration to a person intent on murder to be charged with violating a gun-free zone, a person with no such motives would not want to blemish a clean record with so pointless a violation, regardless how small the likelihood of being discovered. The first act of the Virginia Tech shooter upon entering the engineering building was to chain doors shut, because he had no reason to be afraid of anyone inside the building. Sure, he recognized that SWAT members would respond in force, but they were outside the building. Meanwhile, those inside were led defenselessly to the slaughter by those legislators who sought to protect them from guns. Footnote: for more information on similar public policy problems read about the consequences of Israel legalizing concealed carry (they’re good!). -Chris Powell is Editor Emeritus of Binghamton Review. It’s probably not a very wise decision to try robbing his home.
A Shroom Grows in Binghamton
One Students Journey down the Rabbit Hole by Bud Valley
he following report is an account of my fifth psychedelic mushroom experience. I was tripping in my friend’s house with three other people, all experienced with psychedelic ethneogens. At 8:00, we ate the mushrooms with nothing but cups of water to help wash down the woody, splintering pulp. It had only been about twenty minutes before D and I began feeling the familiar tell-tale signs of a full-on psychedelic assault. We’ve tripped together before, and we’re always the first to feel it. The entire body grows suddenly weak; the hands become clammy and hot. Something is different. In another 20 minutes and the trip had arrived. I felt peaceful and tranquil, very anxious about what the rest of the night had in store. I sat down on D’s bed as he put in The Talking Heads live concert DVD: Stop Making Sense. While I lay on the bed, I became acutely aware of the high volume of thoughts that were entering my mind. My natural filters had been disabled and thoughts from my subconscious spilled into the forefront of my mind. I began thinking about my reality, my surroundings, and my place on the planet earth. I thought about the government of my country and its relations to other governments. While I was on this subject, I realized that I had no idea about the true nature of the term “government”. When I said “government”, what did that mean? For me, I could only recite a simpli-
fied definition that had been delivered to me in an academic environment. I started to think about other things that I’ve never centrally apprehended, but instead understood only in terms of simplified definitions. To my surprise, this constituted basically everything in my world. I realized that my reality was very fragile. In a moment of clarity, I saw myself in the center of the web, and
Everything seemed so intense and real during each second, I figured that this was reality and I was never going back to the old one.
everything that was not part of the Self, as completely separate. Because we cannot personally experience every aspect of the universe, we have to rely heavily on symbols and concepts to build meaning for us. These definitions are created by people other than ourselves, and therefore are already contaminated by their perceptive tendencies. I saw myself as the only thing Binghamton Review, May 2007
that really existed, and everything that was not me, as an illusion that was constructed by the system of symbols and definitions I had come to accept as “reality.” Next, the destruction of the illusion of identity began. One of the first things I realized is that someday I would die. I’ve obviously known this all of my life, but now I was realizing the absolute and final nature of this truth. This was a logical starting point for the complete elimination of my ego as I knew it. Then I made a succession of sudden realizations about how the Self is constructed. I saw myself, and the people around me, as nothing more than a conglomeration of ideologies and principles that had been gathered together and pieced into a whole since infancy. Like a snowball rolling down a mountain, more and more substance is picked up as a person develops. The substance sticks and becomes the foundation for new values and ideas that constitute new layers of the Self. People are only individuals in the sense that there is a potentially unlimited combination of different principles and values one can choose from to form themselves. I began to see the building blocks of the Self as specific, concrete ideas. Then I grasped interchangeability of these units. Once I made this realization, I understood that it was possible for human beings to pick and choose which units they would like to be comprised of. I’m not talking about things like “favorite color” here. I’m talking about the
most basic elements of Self, those subtle characteristics that define who a person truly is. The problem was that most people did not understand that self-construction could be a conscious process. For a majority of people, it is unconscious. A quote from the Psychedelic Information Theory summarizes my realizations well: “The reality is that we are not purely individuals, we are encoded protein structures that begin growing when seed fertilizes egg, and everything else we invent about ourselves is more or less an illusion formed by perception, language, and memory: the illusion of self, the illusion of identity, the illusion of ego. Shattering these illusions is the first step in path towards the psychedelic epiphany.” Next, I began to contemplate time. This has been another area that has been deeply influenced by my current position in the world. That is, I see time in concrete blocks. 42 minute blocks throughout high school, hour or hour and a half blocks in college. Half hours, hours, minutes, seconds, time is constantly compartmentalized. Now, as I sat in the midst of my trip, this view of time seemed absurd and
meaningless. I looked at the clock and was bewildered. Time existed in a different world, one I was no longer a part of. I immediately had another moment of clarity. The past, present, and future fused together and formed the Now. Since time didn’t really exist — it was only a human construct — the only thing that can possibly matter is this exact instant: right now. Once I became aware of the Now, I completely forgot what it was like to be sober. For the life of me, I could not recall the feeling. Everything seemed so intense and real during each second, I figured that this was reality and I was never going back to the old one. I looked around the room in stupefied awe. I had never seen anything like what I was experiencing. It was as if my mind was restored to the same state it held as a child, or the way a caveman must’ve felt without a mind polluted with more advanced concepts. For the first time since my childhood, perception came before conception, and I realized what it meant for something to “exist.” As my trip began to wean, I felt like I could do anything I wanted.
I felt more empowered and euphoric than I’ve ever felt in my life. A lot of this had to do with the fact that I was so grateful to have emerged from such a profound experience in one piece. More of it had to do with the fact that armed with the knowledge that I could author my entire life by picking and choosing what I wanted to believe, I was more powerful than I’ve ever been. Within a half hour of this I was completely done tripping. However, I could not stand the fact that a reality I had constructed for 20 years could be destroyed and rebuilt in four hours. The absolute intensity, and I mean intensity in every respect of the word, of that truth was mindblowing to me. Mushrooms truly are one of the most important chemical tools this world has to offer. I believe everyone should be exposed to the harsh reality that they have been passive in their self-construction to date, but with some effort, they can grab the reigns of their life and take control. -Bud Valley is a Junior at Binghamton University. He can usually be found wandering aimlessly in the nature preserve.
We already control campus. Soon it will be the world. Join us before it’s too late.
Weekly Meetings: Thursdays, 9 P.M. in our office, WB05 (basement of the New Union below the food court).
e-mail: email@example.com Binghamton Review, May 2007
John Micklethwait, Jr.
No—Cowardly and Reactionary Europe is more like it by Gil Auslander
t is high time that the European Community, particularly Western European countries quit lecturing other nations with regard to the principle of human rights. (The United States requires a completely separate debate and article for this matter.) While it is not disputed that the advancement of human rights is a noble and worthy goal to pursue, in the present global political climate it is unattainable. More specifically, it is abhorrent and disgusting to be presented with a list of criticisms with regard to human rights from countries who less then a century ago committed some of the worst human rights violations on record. Western Europe in its zealous quest for human rights is not a liberal bastion of new ideals, but rather a bereft and foul corpus seeking repentance for its past misdeeds. Rather than liberal, Western Europe is reactionary; its current policies are manipulated by the horrors of its historical narrative. Western European countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands among others were responsible for some of the worst atrocities in Africa, South-East Asia, and the Middle East at the start of the 20th century. Such examples include
(though by no means a complete list) France’s policies in Algeria and Indo-China; Belgium’s policies
in Congo; Germany’s policies in modern day Nambia culminating in what has come to be known as the
Rather than liberal, Western Europe is reactionary; its current policies are manipulated by the horrors of its historical narrative.
Herero and Namaqua Genocide; and Britain’s policies in what is modern day Iraq. Case in point, it is rather offensive and revolting for such counties to lecture the world Binghamton Review, May 2007
on the concept of human rights; as they have long ago forfeited any position to lecture the international community on this subject. Many of the current world conflicts stem from the scars left from European colonialism. Most of Africa’s conflicts stem from the artificial borders drawn by European diplomats during the height of colonialism (Berlin Conference). Another example is found when examining the ethnic conflict in Iraq. Keep in mind that ‘Iraq’ itself is an invention of the British, following Ottoman rule. Modern day Iraq was once split into three different independent ethnic regions. Henceforth it is inappropriate for European countries to take the so called “higher moral ground” and lecture countries who at present struggle with the effects left by these very European countries part in colonial intervention. Faced with such a record, it is truly out of place and insulting. While it is perhaps appreciated that Western Europe finally seeks to repent and apologize for the horrible scars its policies of colonialism has caused the world, it should not seek to absolve itself of responsibly by pointing the finger at an ongoing human rights violation and offer meaningless and misplaced condemnation. In fact
such behavior treads on the very arrogance that helped originally cloak Europe’s colonialist practices. When Europe initiated its colonial policy, it was the dominant force in the world and the ‘territories’ and ‘regions’ which were impacted by this policy were ‘weaker’ then Europe. Today the same holds true. While European countries may no longer be the dominant superpowers of the world, they still are strong nations commanding a great deal of power and authority. The countries that Europe actively targets in regard to its lectures on human rights are ‘weaker countries’ or countries that do not necessarily serve ‘European interests’. It is very rare if ever that Europe actively ‘scolds’ to any effect China, Russia, or any Arab state (Europe is dependent on their oil) which indeed have numerous Human Rights abuses. A case in point paradigm is Europe’s repeated condemnation and criticism of Israel. This primarily stems for two reasons. First, Arab states provide Europe with much need oil and therefore it is convenient for Europe to appear pro-Arab, no different then an alcoholic trying to make friends and get on the good side of a bartender. Second, it is Europe’s colonial guilt. Europe seeks to see the Arab-Israeli conflict through the lens of colonialism, which is inappropriate; simply, Europe is attempting to square a circle. For those familiar, with the historical narrative (most European are not or blinded by their guilt) the Israeli-Arab conflict is by far more complex and intricate and has very
little to nothing to do with principles and policies of European colonialism. (The source of the conflict I will leave entirely to a separate article.) Nevertheless Europe, selfish, blind, arrogant, and perhaps even stupid, seeks to view the conflict in this manner, which is principally why it repeatedly chides Israel with human right abuses while ignoring the plethora of human rights abuses perpetuated by the Arab states. It is precisely because it views the conflict through a lens
It is very rare if ever that Europe actively ‘scolds’ to any effect China, Russia, or any Arab state which indeed have numerous Human Rights abuses.
of colonialism and because of the guilt felt by Europeans due to its colonialist past and the many human rights abuses it perpetuated, that it seeks to absolve itself, by attacking Israel for crimes that they themselves committed decades ago. Just recently on April 17, 2007, Belgium’s Defense Minister Andre Flahaut, asserted that Israel should Binghamton Review, May 2007
pay for the clean-up and rebuilding of Lebanon, owing to Israel’s ‘grave violations of International Law.’ One only need ask how much money Belgium has provided to the Congo considering the fact that at present Congo lies in a state of poverty and near civil war, a direct result of Belgium’s colonial escapades and blatant violation of international law. Undeniably, Europe with the arrogance it had during the start of the 20th century continually seeks to mold the world as it sees fit, targeting countries that it knows have been ‘broken’ and are dependent on their help. It is time that Europe learns from the past and stops meddling in the affairs of other countries particularly under the cloak of human rights objections. The best way for Europe to atone for its past misdeeds is to stop lecturing every non-European counrry about the stillborn concept of human rights. The choice of Europe to adopt a “high human rights” standard is their choice, but they have no right to interfere in the affairs of other countries—particularly when the reason such human rights problems exist in such countries are often a direct result of Europe’s previous colonial intervention. -Gil Auslander is a Sophomore at Binghamton University. He is a double-major in Political Science and Economics. He fancies hanging out in snooty cafés and drinking cabernet with Nicholas Sarkozy.
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Published on Apr 30, 2007