BINGHAMTON REVIEW Founded 1987 â€˘ OCTOBER 2015
P.O. BOX 6000 BINGHAMTON, NY 13902-6000
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sean M. Glendon
Managing Editor Jordan Raitses
Copydesk Chief Thomas Casey
New Media Manager Haim Engleman
Assistant Editors Antonia Mallozzi William Schneider
Contributors Howard Hecht David Keptsi
Patriarchs of the Review Louis Leonini Adam Shamah
Special Thanks To:
Intercollegiate Studies Institute Collegiate Network Binghamton Review was printed by Gary Marsden We Provide the Truth, he Provides the Staples
OUR DIRTY STREAM
P. 8 Shit Buzzfeed Says: Act I by Howard Hecht P. 10 Debate and Switch
by Sean Glendon
P. 11 Unstumpable Trump by Yuval Hananya P. 12 Professor Madison
by Haim Engleman
P. 13 No-Libous-Vember
by Sean Glendon
P. 15 The Right to Being Offended by David Keptsi
WHAT YOU MISSED
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK! Direct letter to firstname.lastname@example.org 2
From the Editor
What a month it’s been. The Republicans had their second debate, and the Democrats first debate is coming up. The polls have been shifting, and we should see things begin to pick up in the next couple of months. There have already been some dropouts on the Republican side, and at the time of writing this, there’s still talk of Vice President Joe Biden entering on the Democratic side. If he doesn’t do this by the time the first Democratic debate takes place, it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to launch a successful campaign. The pope visited America, and John Boehner announced he will be resigning. On Election Day, there will be a Special Election resulting from Binghamton’s State Senator being forced to resign after criminal activity. Sadly, another school shooting took place, this time at Umpqua Community College. 9 were injured and another 9 were killed, with Army veteran Chris Mintz being shot during his heroic actions. Luckily, Mintz survived. It was great seeing some media refuse to name the shooter, which I suggested in my article “Stop Sensationalizing Shooters” from our September 2013 issue. While this is a great first step, it won’t make a difference unless it is done across the board. So media, I plea to you - stop naming shooters in mass shootings, and there may be a decrease in such shootings. Yes. this may hurt your ratings, but it should save your conscious. On campus, the Student Association an-
nounced a legitimate fall concert act in Big Sean, and Binghamton Review took its first environmental stance that I can remember. That would explain the deer on the cover of this issue - on page 6, contributor Alex Grabstein lays out a proposal to cull the deer population of Binghamton University in an attempt to preserve the nature preserve. He has also been going around campus and collecting signatures for a petition to present to President Harvey Stenger. If you’re interested in the cause, and are interested in signing the petition or collecting signatures, you can contact Alex at agrabst1@ binghamton.edu. Unfortunately, it’s approaching the time of the school year that actually emphasizes school, which also means you should expect the freezing weather to even further ruin your mood. With that being said, don’t forget why you’re here. Good luck on midterms! Sincerely,
Sean M. Glendon P.S. Our May 2015 cover would make a great President Stenger Halloween mask! Stop by our office in UUW B05 for a copy (or to join the Review!)
Binghamton Review is a non-partisan, student-run periodical of conservative thought at Binghamton University. A true liberal arts education expands a student’s horizons and opens one’s mind to a vast array of divergent perspectives. In that spirit, we seek to promote the free exchange of ideas and offer an alternative viewpoint not normally found on our predominately liberal campus. It is our duty to expose the warped ideology of political correctness that dominates this university. We stand against tyranny in all its forms, both on campus and beyond. We believe in the principles set forth in this country’s Declaration of Independence and seek to preserve the fundamental tenets of Western civilization. Finally, we understand that a moral order is a necessary component of any civilized society. We strive to inform, engage, and perhaps even amuse our readers in carrying out this mission. email@example.com
CPampus resswatch “You’re not above Binghamton University; learn to enjoy your time here” Pipe Dream 9/25/2015 “It seems as though every year, the Binghamton Review makes its September cover something like, “Welcome to Binghamton University: Not the BU You Wanted,” or some other word play highlighting BU’s distinction from Boston University and the ongoing belief that a lot of moneyed students just kind of end up here without fully choosing it. Two years ago, I thought it was funny, and I laughed in bitter camaraderie. But now, at the start of my third year here, I’ve realized it cuts this place pretty short.” Our first issue of the new year has been a Welcome to Binghamton themed issue for longer than any of us have been at this school. This is the same issue with the ABCs of Binghamton, and is aimed towards freshmen. This year’s cover made reference to Boston Universty and included an article discussing the use of a BU as an abbreviation and as part of the branding image of both schools. It was a marketing-oriented article and made legitimate points comparing the two Universities and pointing out that the size and history of the schools heavily favor the one in Boston. It was an appeal for students to take pride in branding themselves and avoiding creating a branding battle that we are destined to lose, and wasn’t saying Binghamton University was a worse option than Boston University - it was saying that Binghamton University should not call itself BU, which falls in line with University policy. While handing out our September issue at University Fest, the cover resonated with a few students in particular. One girl would have preferred to attend 4
Boston University, but she ended up here. And she will grow to love a lot about Binghamton University with time. In recent years we have compared Binghamton to Cornell, poked fun at the everlasting construction, and made references to the school being a destination as a financial choice for many - but it has never referred to Boston University before. But thanks for laughing your freshman year! And moneyed students? The affluent class would probably be willing to pay for a private education. Lower and middle class students are the ones who end up here without really choosing it if anybody does. “Like I’ve said, I didn’t particularly want to come here. I got some financial aid from Tulane University in New Orleans, but I was fooling myself in thinking it was enough to cover the astronomical cost of private school. I was bummed when I realized I wasn’t going.” You’re telling incoming students to love and enjoy Binghamton University, but it sounds like your freshman self wouldn’t have read your article and responded too positively to it. The tone here comes off as “Do as I say, not as I do.” Students will learn to appreciate Binghamton University over time, but there is no need to force it down their throat immediately, especially when the reality is that this school isn’t a first choice for a decent chunk of its student body. One of the beautiful things about Binghamton University is that its price point attracts students that are intelligent enough to be accepted into prestigious private universities like Duke, NYU and Tulane. “BU isn’t in the Ivy League, it’s not a private school and it doesn’t have the money or the ethos to pull in Spring Fling bands that people actually want to go see. But those
Written by our Staff things don’t make a great school, or a worthwhile college experience. If you wanted to come here for that, you probably really needed to come here.” Let’s not undercut the Ivy League universities. Neither Binghamton University nor BU are in the Ivy League either, but BU is a private school. If Binghamton University was a private school, it would cost well more than double of its current cost - most Binghamton students are probably glad that this school is public as they won’t be indebted to student loans for the rest of their lives. But Spring Fling and Ethos? Does Binghamton University have the Logos to pull Spring Fling acts? What about the Pathos? Concerts and sports definitely play a part in creating a worthwhile experience and school pride, and Binghamton’s concerts are a great selling point. Binghamton has the ambitious goal of holding a concert that is free for students while attempting to have a festival feel to it - during festival season, where the majority of artists have a packed show schedule. While Spring Fling may fall flat sometimes, the fall concerts have consistently been great because students have to pay so larger acts can be pulled. Big Sean is a big concert pull, and Drake, Kid Cudi, the Foo Fighters and Green Day have performed here in the past. In just the past few years, the Student Association has managed to bring J. Cole, Childish Gambino, Afrojack and Trey Songz in during the fall semester. Binghamton University is a great public school that is rapidly becoming better, but if you keep referring to it as BU like your article does, you’re promoting a branding battle that we aren’t capable of winning. October 2015
WHAT YOU MISSED
fter a music company demanded that YouTube take down a video of two children dancing to Prince music, a unanimous court ruling required consideration of fair use before a takedown notification. Those that do not take fair use into consideration may be liable for damages.
uring Pharmaceuticals and CEO Martin Shkreli caused controversy after raising the price of Daraprim, and extremely valuable drug for those with cancer, AIDS, and malaria, by 5,455%.
he song Happy Birthday entered the public domain after its copyright was ruled invalid by a Federal judge.
n underage North Carolina girl was arrested after sending a nude selfie to her boyfriend last fall. The girl was listed as both the adult perpetrator and the minor victim of two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
fter the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, a county clerk from Kentucky named Kim Davis made national headlines for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Davis ended up in jail briefly after refusing a Federal judge’s orders to issue such licenses.
hmed Mohamed, a 14 year old Muslim-Sudanese student in Texas, was detained by police and suspended from school for possessing what was believed to be a bomb. The object in question was a homemade clock, and the news firstname.lastname@example.org
went viral and Islamophobia was believed to be part of the reason for the event occurring. Mohamed received support from President Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter and Google for his love of engineering.
ASA confirmed that liquid water was found on Mars, revitalizing hopes for life on the planet. However, due to fear of contamination and a treaty from 1967, NASA’s Curiosity rover cannot get much closer for examination. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty forbids “anyone from sending a mission, robot or human, close to a water source in the fear of contaminating it with life from Earth.”
olkswagen was found to have been installing devices in their vehicles to limit output during emissions testing that allowed the company to label their vehicles as Clean Deisel and receive green car subsidies. CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned, and many upper level executives were suspended. This news led to legal action across the world and vehicle recalls.
peaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner announced his resignation from his position and his retiring from Congress, effective October 30. See our back cover for a farewell!
ope Francis visited America for the first time in his life. He made his way through Washington D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia giving speeches and giving some of his views regarding American politics.
hile Bernie Sanders continues to gain ground on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump’s lead is beginning to slip on the Republican side. After Governors Rick Perry and Scott Walker withdrew from the race, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio have gained quite a bit of traction on frontrunner Trump.
lon Musk’s Tesla has begun to deliver its Model X vehicle. The luxury full-size crossover utility vehicle is fully automatic and has received great initial reviews. And, just in time for Back to The Future 2, it has wing doors.
OOTBALL IS BACK!!! The NFL moved back the extra point attempt from the two yard line to the 15 yard line to make the point less of an automatic. So far, there has been a definite decrease in extra points made and an increase in the amount of two-point conversion attempts (two-point conversion attempts still take place at the two yard line).
ussian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed Russian involvement in the Syrian civil war. Russia has been providing serious training and logistical support to the Syrian army as well as airstrikes.
tewart Parnell, former Peanut Corporation of America owner, was sentenced to 28 years in prison in response to his role in shipping tainted peanuts during a 2008-2009 salmonella outbreak that killed 9 people. Binghamtonreview.com
OUR DIRTY STREAM
Our Dirty Stream: Protecting Our Preserve
Written By Alex Grabstein
ne of my idols is a man by the name of Pete Seeger. He was a folk singer and community activist that prided himself in being a voice for the voiceless. In one of my favorite songs, Seeger sings “Well it’s sailing up my dirty stream / Still I love it and I’ll keep the dream / that one day though maybe not this year / My Hudson River and my country will run clear.” Seeger’s sings the story of pollution in the Hudson River. His lines form a plea for help from a river without a voice. Binghamton University’s Nature Preserve is another voiceless entity. Our preserve is slowly dying. The preserve has a severe overpopulation of deer that indiscriminately nip at all plant life. This nipping prevents any new growth of plant life. The current foliage in the preserve will not live forever. In a handful of decades most will of the foliage be dead and the rest will be swiftly dying. Forestry experts cannot guess what the preserve will look like in fifty years. They can say for certain that the majority of native trees, shrubs, and other foliage will not survive. All the organisms that rely on the native plants for their ecological needs will either have to successfully adapt or die. We have the ability to prevent this catastrophe. The preserve needs a reduction of the deer population to begin reversing the damage the deer have caused. The only realistic method to ensure a successful population reduction would be to begin a cull, the baiting and eliminating of a set number of deer. If there were another solution to this issue, I would be the first one to advocate for it. The university has scientifically test-
ed any and all alternatives and the conclusion remains that culling is the most effective solution. I abhor violence, especially the deaths of voiceless creatures. However, we are at a Machiavellian ecological crossroads, and we must choose between the lives of some deer or the future of an entire forest. Morality is a wonderful part of being human. However, morality blinds us to any beneficial long-term future that a morally questionable short-term decision would eventually provide. This is not the first time campus has discussed the deer overpopulation issue. In 2011, the university put a plan in place to begin an organized deer cull starting in that school year’s winter break. Animal activists, some local, but most from out of Broome County, sued the university to halt the plan. A judge ordered the university to conduct additional studies to estimate the ecological effects of a deer cull. The university complied and conducted the studies. Shortly after, the university finished the necessary studies. The researchers handed the notes to President Stenger shortly after his acceding to the presidency. He had the right to submit the findings of the studies to the court to begin the culling
program. It is now 2015 and President Stenger has taken no action in his years in office. Meanwhile, the deer are still slowly killing the preserve’s plants. Before picking a side on the deer culling, I think people need to gain an understanding for the methodology of culling. Professional hunters generally use culling to reduce the population of a particular nuisance species. In government sponsored culls, the hunters do not kill a species for being a pest; the species must present a tangible danger to its ecosystem for the government to support violent action. The next step in the culling process
“I urge all of you to take a walk around the preserve. The preserve is a stunning sight filled with beautiful natural scenes. Stop on any of the trails and take a look into the woods.” is to decide on who will be doing the culling. In the case of SUNY Binghamton, campus authorities would choose a professional culling organization to reduce the deer population. The professional hunters would use a system of longterm baiting to bring the largest possible amount of individuals to a particular area. Baiting is usually the most efficient way of shooting deer. It can be violent and considered an inhumane process, but ecologically it is extraordinarily necessary, especially in our preserve. If approved, the culling would occur during winter break, when most of us are home. As a safety precaution the preserve would be closed for a certain amount of time with weeks October 2015
of due warning to protect any accidental person left in the preserve. I urge all of you to take a walk around the preserve. The preserve is a stunning sight filled with beautiful natural scenes. Stop on any of the trails and take a look into the woods. Everything may seem fine at first glance. To an avid outdoorsman, the signs are extremely difficult to notice. However, to a forestry expert, the signs of damage are frighteningly apparent. I only learned of them recently. The undergrowth, plants that grow beneath the first leaves, contains only a handful of plant species that the deer do not eat. Random patches of
OUR DIRTY STREAM
ferns and invasive Asian stilt grasses are the only life left. The patches of ferns are the most telling. In a healthy forest, the ferns would never have a chance to grow because new saplings would be consistently growing to replace any dead trees. In our preserve, the ferns are able to move into the gaps that are formed when a tree dies. Stilt grasses outcompete most undergrowth plants and expand everywhere. In the next fifty years, the preserve will be an endless field of stilt grass and ferns with a handful of trees mixed in. I cannot say why President Stenger has refused to take action
on this matter. I have heard many assumptions from people involved in the movement, but the President has not explained his decision. As students of SUNY Binghamton, we must take a stand. If President Stenger will not take action, we need to compel him to! There are approximately twenty thousand students receiving their educations at this university. Together, with our voices united, we can force action on this issue. We need to protect our nature preserve! We need to give our preserve a voice! My fellow students, stand up, raise your voices, and together letâ€™s change the world.
SHIT BUZZFEED SAYS
Shit Buzzfeed Says Act 1: Suffering
Written By Howard Hecht
s someone who tries to avoid most social media, I often find that I’m quick to judge when others indulge in it. That’s not to say people who enjoy soul-sucking personality quizzes are degenerates, I just don’t condone supporting the kinds of “publications” that thrive on what I perceive to be mind-numbing drivel. It’s wonderful that a quiz told you the sorting hat would’ve made you a Hufflepuff, Amanda, but between you and me, I think that quiz might’ve just been an elaborate form of clickbait. The website that said you were a Hufflepuff was using you, Amanda, to gain revenue from advertisers. They don’t know what criteria the real sorting hat would’ve used, and as soon as you share a link to your results with your friends, you’re doing their advertising for them. You’re nothing but a click to them, Amanda, and even if you identify on a personal level with their “Top Five Reasons Blondes Have More Fun,” that doesn’t mean
they made the list for you. If anything, it reflects how poorly you’ve developed your own personality due to your explicitly dull, herd mentality, Amanda. But I digress. In my experience, the most prevalent website of this kind is Buzzfeed. According to Buzzfeed’s “About” page, they are a “social news and entertainment company” which “provides the most shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment, and video” to a global audience of “more than 200M.” It’s a good thing they didn’t specify what the 200M were – wouldn’t want to misrepresent anyone that doesn’t identify as a human being, after all. Maybe I’m being too harsh. Buzzfeed is incredibly popular and extremely profitable! “200M” polysexual koalas must have at least some self-respect in regards to the media they consume. How bad
could Buzzfeed really be? And so, I began my descent into what I soon realized was more than likely the ninth circle of hell. Under Buzzfeed’s “Trending” sidebar on their front page, I was confronted with news articles such as “23 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re 23,” and “The Dress Michelle Obama Just Wore For A State Dinner Will Give You Life.” Of course, those weren’t the most
Keating starts off by writing these movies were once “Hallmarks of my childhood,” and then ends the segment with the word “Womp.” October 2015
It’s wonderful that a quiz told you the sorting hat would’ve made you a Hufflepuff, Amanda, but between you and me, I think that quiz might’ve just been an elaborate form of clickbait. popular, and so instead of judging the site on my first impression, I decided to delve deeper. To my dismay, the most popular trending article was titled “Movies I Loved Before My Feminism Made Me Love Them Less.” Before I examined the article itself, I decided to do a little bit of a background check on the author, Shannon Keating. By clicking her name in the article, I was brought to a list of the 29 articles she’s published on Buzzfeed.com, which had titles such as “What Do People Actually Do When They Have Sex?”, “Mix And Match Androgynous Swimwear For People Of Any Gender,” and “What Ridiculous Euphemism Best Describes Your Queer Lady Relationship?”. On further inspection, I saw that Keating was the “LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News.” And what a wonderful array of news articles she’s produced. The tagline for “Movies I Loved Before My Feminism Made Me Love Them Less,” was, as if anything else could have sufficed, “If I saw any of these today I’d be like ‘lol nope.’” The article then goes on to list ten different movies that Keating no longer enjoys watching as an enlightened feminist. And what wonderful, in-depth examinations she presents! My personal favorite on the list, Fight Club, was listed at number 2. The section shows a picture of Brad Pitt standing shirtless, and then Keating writes: email@example.com
SHIT BUZZFEED SAYS
“When I saw it then: Were you allowed to be a teenager in the 2000s and not be completely in love with this movie? It’s soooo angsty,” That statement was followed by: “If I saw it for the first time now: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton & Co. are a bunch of whiney white boys upset that the world hasn’t given them every single thing they deserve. Men being Men doing Man Things (fighting!). Is there a woman in this movie? Oh yeah, Helena Bonham
If you, my kindly reader, endeavor to follow me down the rabbit hole into the dark recesses of internet mediocrity, you might find that Keating’s article isn’t unlike any other piece of “writing” these sorts of social media sites publish. Carter, who’s basically a dark muse/sex object. Nice.” The last movie on the list, though I do feel Keating cheated a bit with this one, was “Basically every 90s Disney princess movie.” Keating starts off by writing these movies were once “Hallmarks of my childhood,” and then ends the segment with the word “Womp,” which was hyperlinked to an article called “If Disney Movies Were Way More Accurate And Badass.” If you, my kindly reader, endeavor to follow me down the rabbit hole into the dark recesses of internet mediocrity, you might find that Keating’s article isn’t unlike any other piece of “writing” these
I encourage as many people as possible to contact Shannon Keating at firstname.lastname@example.org, the email address listed on buzzfeed. com/shannonkeating, and give her the feedback you think she deserves. sorts of social media sites publish. They tend to follow a singular pattern: conceptualize an article that fits into a mainstream and potentially controversial agenda, include many, many gifs and images to fluff your article with, and always find a way to make your reader click on more links. I can, in all seriousness, find no way to justify spending time on Buzzfeed and websites like it. They have effectively monetized playground gossip and are quickly changing the definition of what it means to be a news outlet on the internet to meet their extremely poor, perhaps nonexistent, standards. I encourage as many people as possible to contact Shannon Keating at shannon.keating@buzzfeed. com, the email address listed on buzzfeed.com/shannonkeating, and give her the feedback you think she deserves. With news articles like hers, I know that I can rest easy knowing the “200M” transracial iguanas that actively support Buzzfeed are being enriched both mentally and spiritually. God bless Michelle Obama’s dress, and god bless Buzzfeed. This is part one of a series Binghamton Review will run where our contributor, Howard Hecht, criticizes Buzzfeed and social media. Enjoy!
DEBATE AND SWITCH
Debate and Switch Written By Sean Glendon
ebates shape presidential elections. While not constitutionally mandated, debates have become an essential part of the election process. Debates have an enormous effect on public opinion of candidates. Political scholars have argued that the debates that occurred between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon shaped the outcome of the 1960 election. The effect of debates begins well before the general election, as they play a huge role in deciding the eventual nominees of the major parties. Debates are where candidates have the opportunity to gain new fans and donors, as moderators grill vying candidates with a variety of policy questions in front of a national audience. Debates also allow for a candidate to lose supporters and make blunders that could potentially haunt him/her heading into the general election. A subpar, or even par, debate performance could lead to decreased donations, or even the ending of a candidacy. After being considered an early GOP frontrunner, Scott Walker suspended his presidential campaign as he polled at under 1% after two mediocre debate performances and a lack of funding. On the other hand, Carly Fiorina went from polling at nearly 1% with low voter identification numbers, to polling in second place after two strong debate performances. Fiorina wasn’t even the main stage for the first debate, but she managed to get her message across as she outperformed her low-polling opposition. She gained the traction needed to make the main stage at the second debate. The Republicans still have 10 sanctioned debates to go, while the Democrats have not held a debate yet. With there being between 9 and 12 GOP debates, and 6 Democratic debates, it’s clear that both parties are placing different values on debates. That is understandable to some extent as there is a fine line between too many debates, and too few debates. Having too many debates and primary candidates tarnish the reputations of other candidates for the general election, while too few debates can lead to uninformed primary voters. One could make an argument that Mitt Romney was hurt in the 2012 general election due to the 20 debates that were held during the GOP primary cycle. One could also argue that Democratic voters will be uninformed in the upcoming primary votes, due to their lack of debates, with only 6 sanctioned debates scheduled. Both parties have a long and complicated history of choosing a set number of debates. When a party has an incumbent presidential candidate, there is no reason for the party to host debates. This occurred for the Democrats in 1980, 1996, and 2012 and for the Republicans in 1974, 1992, and 2004. Excluding the upcoming 2016 primary cy10
cle, and going back to 1980, an average primary cycle consisted of 14 debates per party. During this time period, the Democratic primary cycle consisted of an average of nearly 16 debates and the Republican primary cycle debate average was closer to 12 debates. Now these numbers do tend to get a bit tricky, as they include both sanctioned and unsanctioned debates. The Democratic National Committee has sanctioned 6 debates, which is the same amount that they sanctioned for the 2004 and 2008 cycles. The total amount of debates participated in were 15 and 25 respectively for these two cycles, despite only having 6 sanctioned debates. Logically, one would assume that the number of debates participated in would hover somewhere around the recent historical trend for the Democrats, but this actually does not seem like it will be the case. Hillary Clinton started off the cycle as the modern era’s largest non-incumbent frontrunner, meaning that debates are much more likely to hurt her cause than to help it. With that being the case, limiting her exposure to the vulnerability that debates can offer is ideal for her candidacy. Also, in the upcoming cycle, the Democratic National Committee has threatened to ban candidates that participate in unsanctioned debates from participating in sanctioned debates. This exclusivity requirement sounds eerily similar to the GOP’s pledge not to run as a third-party candidate that was an attempt to stop a potential third-party run by Donald Trump. To be fair, the GOP is trying to limit unsanctioned debates with an exclusivity pledge too, but they will be hosting between 3 and 6 more debates to begin with. With a decrease in Hillary Clinton’s approval ratings and polling numbers, and an increase in national support for Bernie Sanders, there has been quite a bit of backlash for the Democratic National Committee which calls for an increase in debates. A “we want debates” chant in New Hampshire Party repeatedly interrupted Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Candidates including Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are in support for more debates. Hillary Clinton and her camp won’t go on the record about an increase in debates, likely meaning they realize that there is more potential to harm her than to help her. Things may change if Joe Biden does decide to enter the race. Even if he doesn’t, there is still a large chunk of voters whose support will be up for grabs. While Democratic voters may want an increase in debates, Republicans may not want such an increase - in the last two elections in which there was no incumbent, the party which featured more primary elections went on to win the Presidency. October 2015
THE UNSTUMPABLE TRUMP
The Unstumpable Trump Written By Yuval Hananya
e may have run our Donald Trump back cover last issue, but that does not make Binghamton Review a pro-Donald publication. Actually, most of us are against him, but that is a discussion for another time. In short, Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee for President in 2016. Or 2020 for that matter, but we all know that’s going to be Kanye’s year anyway. No, Donald Trump will not be the nominee, but that doesn’t make his candidacy any less remarkable or important. It really doesn’t even matter. For the time being, the 10 billion dollar man is invincible, and that is key to understanding why he is successful and even more important for predicting what’s to come. The idea of a Trump Presidency is not new. Oprah once took the time way back in the 80s to ask the Donald whether a run for President was in the works for the infamous billionaire. The Simpsons, as they often do, predicted the catastrophe that would be a Trump White House. The joke of a Trump run has been floated and discussed for over 30 years. I’ll admit, as I watched his announcement I was excited. My excitement turned to laughter, and that turned to concern. His announcement speech, in which he released his unknown net worth, now infamous campaign slogan, and plans to have Mexico build a wall helped set the tone for the months to come. I don’t need to tell you how bad the past few months have been, but what I will tell you is that they have not been bad for Donald Trump. How Donald Trump has survived this many gaffes is remarkable. Time and time again, the other 16 candidates have fought
Trump and lost. When former front-runner Scott Walker had to suspend his campaign, I knew how catastrophic the summer of Trump had really been. Yes, there was a brief two-week period where ties were cut with the candidate in an effort to save face, and his candidacy and business ventures almost seemed doomed there for a while. But as I watched the polls come in, it became pretty obvious that 2015 would be Donald Trump’s year, no matter what he said or did. The average politician cannot handle more than one scandal without it being the total downfall of his career. There are now only two exceptions to this rule: the Clintons and Donald Trump. The thing is, Donald Trump is scandal. That is why he is totally immune to it. We’re not used to politicians making mistakes, but that’s the point. He is not a politician. So he can say John McCain isn’t a war hero and get away with it. He is a reality TV star, and a really successful one at that. It’s not that he wakes up every morning and puts on a new persona; what we are seeing is the real Donald. Written on the boards of his campaign office, the words “Let Donald Be Donald” serve as a motto to live and run by, reminding his staffers that this election is just Donald, no focus groups. So what now? Trump’s candidacy will come and go. He’s invincible, but not electable. Most of campaign promises involve the word “Great” which is great, I guess? Sure, he wants to send back all illegal immigrants and plans to make Mexico pay for the wall, but is any of that even remotely possible? It’s not. This is why his candidacy is a sideshow. An extremely dangerous sideshow, but a sideshow none-
theless. The media and the nation have to watch and continue to run the stories because they sell. What makes his campaign so remarkable and unheard of is that it is solely fueled by the media for the entertainment of the people. CNN and Fox experience massive ratings because of the Donald and the “What could he possibly say next” mentality that drives every man, woman, and child in this nation to tune in and never look away. It has turned the election for the most important job in the world the most thrilling reality TV performance of all time. He deserves an Emmy, but not the job. As more candidates drop out of the race, others will rise. New polls are showing Ben Carson within only 1 point of Trump. And while Bush may have the biggest war chest, I think a moderate like John Kasich or a fresh face like Marco Rubio could save the party from men like Trump or Cruz. I don’t mean to bash either of them for running. I’m happy the Republican Party has the enthusiasm it does. Couple that with the diverse and experienced group of candidates, we might just have ourselves a Republican in the White House. And while Trump’s Presidential ambitions will come to an end eventually, we won’t see the effects of his ruthless campaign that flipped the very nature of politics on its head. Binghamtonreview.com
What I learned From the Ashley Madison Scandal
Written By Haim Engleman
he media splash made late this summer by the hacking of the popular adultery website known as Ashley Madison and the subsequent user information dump was hard to miss. As expected, conventional and social media focused heavily on the sensational aspects of the story: alleged suicides of exposed unfaithful spouses, military and government emails galore strewn throughout the data dump, and of course, all of the media focus on the idea that “these cheaters got what was coming to them.” From my perspective, however, this data breach highlighted numerous other issues, none of which the media seemed to pay any attention at all to. While many of the takeaways from the Ashley Madison scandal are obvious and glaring, others remain more subtle and sometimes more subjective as well. As a precursor, I would like to note that adultery is a heinous act. When a
married person cheats, he or she commits a vile, detestable act of dishonesty. One cheats not only on his or her spouse, but also on his or her children, on the integrity of the family structure he or she has worked to create, and on the uprightness of his or her life itself. But it should also come as no surprise that a scandal embodied by the vulgarity and, dare I say, mystique, of cheating (or the mere plotting to do so) lends itself to such widespread intrigue and fascination. Herein lies why the Ashley Madison scandal lends itself to be such a clear illustrator of many reflections and life lessons. As a young man and a university student, it is seldom my place to criticize or cast judgment upon individuals. However, it is precisely that life circumstance that provides me with a unique outlook into the all too prevalent social woes brought to the forefront by this scandal. I, like many others, believe
in learning from our mistakes; the opportunity an error provides in order to fine-tune ourselves is a tremendous gift only a foolish society would dare forfeit. Mistakes are crucial in personal human growth. They teach us lessons and provide insights that would otherwise be unattainable. When kept to ourselves and to the ones we trust, a mistake provides a private lesson in the workings of the world. They assist us as individuals to find our place and what suits us best. It is an intensely personal journey. We act, we err, we rectify, we learn. The greatest problem that I perceive of this hack is that our faults and blunders no longer belong to us. The media broadcasts mistakes to the world. Instead of learning from our errors, we now accept mistakes as a part of who we are forever. A Jewish sage once said, “To say something foolish, exposes your nakedness in a single place, at one specific time, but to write October 2015
something foolish shows your nakedness to everyone, forever”. This is rapidly becoming the new norm as the Internet further infiltrates our personal lives. Opportunity for growth quickly fades as every single error is recorded online for all to see. That foolish comment you wrote on your friend’s Facebook wall when you were 14 is alive and well. The silly post is a testament of who you are as a person, even if you have long moved beyond it. That immortalized remark on the web has not grown as you have and it will never change the way you do. The only way to combat this social malady is to exercise restraint when it comes to what we put on the Internet and what we share in general. Prudence is key and perhaps the seemingly harmless status or very witty comment that I am about to post may not be something I want published in my
name forever. Maybe forgoing the instant gratification of that clever one-liner is worth saving yourself from being held accountable for it sometime in your future. We must realize that we gain exponentially more character when we learn from our mistakes instead of becoming them. While many of the approximately 34 million email addresses released by the hack are obvious fakes, a surprising number are real individual or work email addresses. This means two things: Firstly, that many people are too stupid to realize that absolutely every action online is recorded and can easily be revealed, and secondly, that others are simply too lazy or brazen to care. The inconvenience of making a fake email address is too much trouble, let the chips fall where they may when the fallout occurs. It seems Ashley Madison was a meet-
ing ground not just for liars, but for the lazy and narcissistic as well. Mistakes are an integral part of the human journey. Many of our earliest life lessons are borne from mistakes we have made. That first time we drank hot chocolate that was scalding hot we burned our tongues, but we learned to be more cautious forever after that. Indeed, some mistakes may be unforgivable and a strong case could be made as to why the unfaithful lot of Ashley Madison patrons should not be forgiven. But I believe this whole ordeal proves a larger point. An error is a potent tool that we have and, in many cases, errors are the only way we learn and grow. In today’s battle to uphold our right to privacy, we cannot afford to lose the ability to make mistakes. Without mistakes, we become more elementary and crude, as individuals and as a society.
Since New York State elections occur on even numbered years, there will be a special election on November 3rd to fill seat vacancies throughout the state. Along with the NYS Senate 52nd District election to fill the seat of Republican Thomas Libous, there will be four other special elections in New York State on November 3rd to fill Democratic vacancies in NYS Senate District 19, and in NYS Assembly Districts 29, 46 and 128. Senator John L. Sampson of NYS Senate District 19 vacated office after being convicted of obstruction of justice and making false statements. William Scarborough of Assembly District 29 resigned as part of plea deal on federal corruption charges. Alec Brook-Krasny of
Assembly District 46 resigned to take a job in the private sector. Sam Roberts of Assembly District 128 resigned to become Commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The 29th and 46th district fall in Nassau County, Long Island so they may be of relevance to quite a few students. In the 29th district, Democrat Alicia Hyndman and Republican Scherie Murray will face off, while Pamela Harris, a Democrat, is the only candidate nominated in the 46th district. There are some serious implications for the state that could stem from the Senate elections - right now there is a one member Republican majority, which could be lost if both District 19 and District
No-Libous-Vember: 52nd District Special Election Written By Sean Glendon
fter 26 years of serving in the New York State Senate, Thomas W. Libous looks to be serving a sentence instead. On July 22, 2015 Libous was found guilty of lying to the FBI and resigned in the middle of his fourteenth term. Essentially, in 2005, Libous used influence to have his son hired by Westchester County law firm Santangelo, Randazzo & Mangone. Mr. Mangone testified that in return for hiring Senator Libous’ son, the Senator would direct “enough work to build a new wing on [their] property.” Prosecutors also claimed that Libous had an Albany lobbying firm, Ostroff, Hiffa & Associates, pay Santangelo, Randazzo & Mangone to square the cost of his son’s $150,000 salary.
52 are filled by Democrats. The Assembly has more than a two to one Democratic majority, so those elections will have minimal impact. However, the most relevant of the special elections remains the vacancy of the 52nd District seat, as the winner of the seat will represent Binghamton University and its students. As the end of July approached, the Democratic Party nominated Barbara J. Fiala merely a week after Thomas Libous was forced out of office. Fiala, who attended Broome Community College and Binghamton University, has previously served as the Broome County Clerk (1999-2004), the Broome County Executive (2005-2010) and the Commissioner of New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (2011-2014). Fiala’s platform includes Jobs, Education and Women’s Equality. She also has a plan called GROW (Grow Investment through the Binghamton Billion, Reduce Taxes for Families and Small Businesses, Own Unfunded Mandates and Government Spending, Workforce Development) which she likens to Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Barbara Fiala
are very close - he named her chair of the Women’s Equality Party that he created last year and suggested her as a candidate only 20 hours after Tom Libous vacated his seat. Cuomo rarely endorses candidates, and tends to do so much closer to the election than he did with Fiala. His endorsements are calculated investments, meaning he believed that the election would be a landslide in favor of Barbara Fiala. A few days after the Democratic Party made its choice clear, the Republican Party responded with a candidate of their own - Fred Akshar. Fred Akshar was holding the position of Broome County Undersheriff at the time of the announcement, and is taking a leave of absence until the special election takes place. Akshar has spent much of his career in the Broome County Sheriff ’s department - he was hired as a deputy in 2002, and made his way up to detective by 2005. Akshar graduated from the FBI Academy and in January of 2012 was named Captain of Law Enforcement. He was sworn in as the Undersheriff mere months before he announced his candidacy. Fred Akshar is hopes to appear as an outsider, since he has
never held an elected position. He wants to draw a contrast between him and Fiala, a life-time local politician. If he can get this idea to resonate with voters, his appeal could end up being much like Carly Fiorina’s and Ben Carson’s appeal as Washington outsiders. Fred Akshar intends to focus on reallocating funds from Albany to the Southern Tier, combat the heroin epidemic through harsher charges to upper level dealers and reform Common Core if he is elected. Either candidate is likely a step in the right direction for the district, but somebody new to politics may be what the area needs after Senator Libous. Somebody that knows crime and knows how to handle it could go a long way, assuming that stance on crime doesn’t equate to an attack on students and minor offences. If that is true, Fred Akshar would be the logical choice. Go voice your opinions on Election Day, Binghamton University! Binghamton Review reached out to Fred Akshar’s camp with questions for the candidate but had received no official comment at the time of this writing.
HYPOCRISY OF THE EASILY OFFENDED
The Hypocrisy of the Easily Offended:
Yes, Being Offended is a Right
Written By David Keptsi
n uneasy calm has settled over the university now that “Students for Change” is (hopefully) defunct and its plan to turn Binghamton University into an oppressive (yet diverse, woo!) police state is gone. The peace is clearly a calm before the storm, “eye of the hurricane” sort of effect though. Any day now, another idealistic yet somehow still accidently fascist in nature student group will come running in with yet another list of completely unreasonable demands hoping to shake up the white-cis-male power structure. And when this poorly organized group shows up once again to plague the classrooms and haunt the dreams of the level-headed and open-minded, where will I be? Laughing at this group of assholes and lamenting the culture that brought about its existence. This culture is one of oversensitivity and overt political correctness that numbs the senses and dulls the mind. It prevents exposure to new experiences and different views. People now fear the risk of being offended and experiencing some sort of “mental anguish” which is frankly be insulting to those actually suffering from PTSD. The attitude of protesting anything that might offend somebody is a major reason comedians such as Chris Rock and Bill Maher (popular mainstays for the liberal audience) no longer perform at college campuses. Entertainment aside, appearance embargoes have also happened to speakers that colleges have invited to speak at commencements and other university events. Many times, students deem speakers “too conservative.” The students protest against the speaker and force him or her to back out of his or her planned dialogue. The issue here should be apparent. Barack Obama himself said, “The purpose of college is not just … to transmit skills. It’s also to widen your horizons, to make you a better citizen, to help you to evaluate information, to help you make your way through the world, to help you be more creative.” So what happens when you skip out on a speech because you were too sensitive to listen to the speaker? Quite simply, you miss out. You narrow the scope of your knowledge, and you miss a chance to really put your own moral theory to the test. Everyone has opinions on how the world should work. Each student has moral frameworks that she adheres to. The way in which these frameworks develop is by butting heads against others. By debating the issues you hold dear to you, rather than avoiding conflict of opinion altogether, you can grow your own beliefs. The worst case scenario in this situation would actually be winning the debate at hand, as losing would hopefully shatter your worldview and make you grow as a person. email@example.com
The students who protest the reading of “Huckleberry Finn” due to its use of racial expletives are essentially the same as those students at Duke University who protested reading “Fun Home” due to its homosexual themes. This problem clearly isn’t restricted to any certain part of the political spectrum. An aura of entitlement seems to pervade both sides, dousing any hopes of fair political discourse. If your opinions weren’t challenged in a college environment, then the university you attend likely isn’t the finest source of education. Either that or you attend the University of Pyongyang, North Korea, in which case I commend you on escaping the work camps long enough to somehow get your hands on a copy of this article. On a personal note, I recently experienced a tragedy of overt political correctness myself. I was in a basic intro-level philosophy class as the professor was repeating the same bullshit argument against eating meat and how animals are equal in moral worth to humans that you see in every philosophy class. (Don’t fight me on this vegans, you’ll probably outlive me anyway). The professor was arguing against the point that rationality makes humans superior, claiming that by extension the severely retarded would have to have less rights if that theory was true. The issue at hand happened when a girl in class raised her hand and told the professor to stop using the “R-word” as it might trigger somebody in class. The professor responded very well to her qualm, renewing my hope in the system of higher education. “Retarded is a clinical term, created to describe people of such levels of mental impairment. The negative connotation associated with the word was created by society when they used it in derogatory way. If the current term used to describe such people is “mentally handicapped” then even if the word retarded is banned or goes away, a new negative connotation will be attached to the phrase “mentally handicapped.” This succinct explanation largely describes the issues of campaigns to end offensive words or phrases in the first place. The campaigns focus on the speech itself instead of the attitude behind the speech. In other words, I fully support educating the public and spreading a message against the discrimination of those with mental handicaps, but limiting one’s first amendment rights to do so is both ineffective and outright oppressive. And to the girl who stopped class and cut-off my learning to make your ridiculous point, I’d simply like to quote Voltaire (who I’m pretty sure we don’t cover in class, but maybe we should) and say “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Binghamtonreview.com
Wishes a Heartfelt Farewell
To John Boehner