EDITORIAL Dear Readers,
From the Editor
Welcome (back) to Binghamton!
My name is Jordan Raitses and I am the new Editor-in-Chief of this lovely magazine. “What is the Binghamton Review?” you ask. We are your new favorite thing to read, of course; we are a biweekly magazine that aims to make Binghamton University great (again?). Specifically, we report on the liberal biases on campus, giving a fair voice to our fellow conservative/ libertarian/centrist students. In fact, if you want to write, edit, make art, or learn how to do those things, join the Binghamton Review! Wow, what a great plug for my magazine, just what you wanted to hear, right? Binghamton University is a great place to get your degree, but you’ll get your real education from Binghamton Review. This is our inaugural issue for the semester so we kept it classy. In addition to the regular editorial pages (this one, and the two following) we have our annual ABC’s of Binghamton. Then, our regular staff prepared some great articles: pieces from a 100% real Hilary staffer and supporter, pop science commentary, Harambe the gorilla, mental health, cronyism/the lack of Uber up here, and a special piece with our reaction to an F-ed up school policy. With introductions squared away, I’ll share a bit of my own personal opinion on the most pressing issue in current events: The proliferation of memes. Don’t get me wrong, I shitpost with the best of them, and I was totally into vaporwave before it was cool. But on a larger scale, memes are the voice of our
generation; if you want to communicate with a millennial, you need a funny image macro to do it. For example, I knew very little about #Brexit, but the pro-leave memes were just too good to resist. Even presidential candidates are trying to speak in memes (fortunately, even they have realized that the “I can haz” days are over). Clickbait also falls into this category. When you share an article with a compelling title that suggests an opinion you know you will agree with, you’re participating in the propagation of memes (in the classic sense of the word). In 1976, the word meme was invented to describe an idea that acted like a virus: spreading its “memetic” material to as many hosts (people) as possible. It was first applied to the internet in the ‘90s, however, those were, until recently, only accessible to the computer “nerds” and “geeks” and has now become popular with the rest of us thanks to social media. Print, radio, and television understood the potential for memes long before the word was invented. Articles with “punchy” titles and ledes were used to influence people before they even committed. Are these memes too? Basically, I can’t say whether or not memes themselves are a revolutionary form of communication or if they are simply the application of memetics to social media. Sincerely,
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 of 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.
Views expressed by writers do not necessarily represent the views of the publication as a whole. firstname.lastname@example.org
CPampus resswatch Press Watch is the section of our magazine where we take articles from other publications and generally rip them apart (or just make fun of them). This summer, only Pipe Dream published, so we will be using them as the source for our critique. Article excerpts are in bold. Our comments are in italics.
guys on that side of the aisle aren’t perfect, but they’re people, and you know what? They’re not that bad.
“US politics at roadblock” Aaron Bondar, Pipe Dream
“BU should take responsibility for problems caused by student housing” Caleb D Schwartz, Pipe Dream
A few weeks ago, my friends and I were sitting in a pizza place at 3 a.m. When our order was ready, two of my friends immediately sat down; at the same time, my other friend and I got up to go. You see, the other two wanted to stay there and eat, while we wanted to eat at home. We were at an impasse. The tension was thick. Who would win? Then one of us said, “How about we eat half here and half at home?” Genius! All four of us agreed. Suddenly, what had been a deadlock was now a unanimous agreement. No, this isn’t magic. This is compromise. Don’t worry, I didn’t think it was magic. It’s just a shitty compromise. Compromise is when both parties get something they want and therefore both win. What you described is the opposite; both parties lost. Your two friends who wanted to stay were hungry and wanted to eat their pizza while it was fresh and hot. You and your friend who wanted to leave didn’t want to stay at the pizzeria at 3 a.m. In your compromise, you stayed at the pizzeria and ate cold pizza. A lose lose situation. We trust each other. So we compromised and all walked out of there alive. Had one of us been unwilling to do so, we might have never agreed. We might have burned that place to the ground. Do I even need to say anything? We must learn how to work together again. We need to teach our kids to be rational, that we have more to gain by working together; that yes, those other
Written by our Staff
While I’ve been making fun of your example—and I do think you have no idea what a compromise is—this might just have a drop of common sense… (almost) good job Pipe Dream!
Students are generally willing to pay higher rates than other residents, so landlords are given more incentive to exclusively rent and promote to students . . . Families are discouraged by high rents and advertising aimed at students, and are sometimes illegally denied the opportunity to live in certain places by landlords . . . High student demand puts economic pressure on residents and encourages landlords to deny other demographics rent, sometimes illegally. Great, so if it’s already illegal, why don’t you propose actually enforcing those laws? You claim that the University is responsible for the housing crisis, but isn’t it really these shady landlords? The shortage of affordable housing is a complex issue; responsibility certainly does not lie solely on the shoulders of the University, nor are students the only cause. This is a problem that the city government, developers, landlords, nonprofit organizations and community members must all take a part in solving.
Yet BU is a major player, as its policies determine student behavior and have a direct impact on the area. If its practices displace and disadvantage people, it has a moral responsibility to fix the way it operates. Wait, but why is this the University’s fault at all? Is it because this moral obligation can’t fall on an economically disadvantaged landlord who wants to make a better living? You’re right that the University’s policies have a strong impact on student actions and therefore on housing. But when does that translate into a “moral responsibility?” If my morals are different from yours, can that responsibility be changed? While I don’t have the resources to offer a comprehensive solution, I urge the University to step up to the plate and work harder to collaborate with others to find one. If it does not do so soon, these problems will only get worse. Well, thanks again for giving me more assertions of the University’s guilt without support. I have been convinced that this very real problem is totally the University’s fault. Yep. No way this could be anyone else’s responsibility (like the city’s).
Volume XXIX, Issue I
WHAT YOU MISSED Delta airlines’ servers were shut down following a system failure. Tens of thousands of people had their flights cancelled or delayed. A newborn girl in Texas died of complications due to Zika virus which her mother picked up by travelling to Latin America during her pregnancy. This is the first US death related to Zika, but local mosquitos were uninvolved. The 2016 Olympics in Rio have propelled US Swimmer Michael Phelps to the honor of receiving the highest number of Olympic Gold Medals in history. As of writing, he has acquired a total of 27 medals.
Scotland both voted Remain. The actual implementation of Brexit remains to be seen. A Thailand referendum approved a new constitution which legitimizes the military Junta that has controlled the country since the 2014 coup. Turkish military forces attempted a coup of the elected government; it failed and the Turkish president, Recep Erdogan, remains in power. Violence in Pakistan has intensified as terror groups— including a local branch of ISIS—have begun organized attacks against the population.
Wikileaks released Democratic Party emails that show the party had a hand in keeping candidate Bernie Sanders from winning the primary. The DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down as a result. Carly Fiorina is reportedly considering running for the the Republican National Convention chairmanship. Pokemon Go, a new game for Android and iOS was released. Breaking records for both app stores, the game has reached over 21 million daily users with 43 minutes average use time.
The Sports Reports host John Saunders passed away at age 61. Over his lifetime he has covered the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, the World Series, and multiple studio shows for a variety of sports.
Scientists in Zurich, Switzerland report that they successfully created an artificial neuron out of germanium antimony telluride. This could be the first step toward making an artificial brain.
Eli Wiesel, the author and holocaust survivor died at the age of 87. His most famous book, Night, is about his experiences during the holocaust. Wiesel is also the recipient of the Nobel Peace prize as well as many other accolades.
The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The EU Referendum had a 72% turnout with 7,410,742 people voting to leave and 16,141,241 people voting to remain. Interestingly, Northern Ireland and
The United States federal government gave the private company Moon Express permission to land on the moon in 2017. If successful, this will be the first non-government organization to land on the moon.
A truck attack in Nice, France killed 84 people and injuring over 200 more. The driver was a Frenchman of Tunisian origin, Mohamed Bouhlel, who was killed by police officers responding to the attack.
ABC’sf Binghamton o
Archeology: Starbucks is hiring!
y of the Northeast The premier publicgetivint o Cornell) (Sorry you didn’t
CIW: We were too high
to write a joke for CIW.
Dickinson: Is Digman still sin
An average of three freshman get lost and never return each year Finals Week: When the price of Adderall quadruples
Gen Eds: Sure they may be a waste
of money, but they do promote white guilt so that’s a plus.
Hinman: Built shortly after
Newing: A diverse place where you can
find frat douches, Jews, and that’s about it. Off Campus: Not only cheaper and better than living on campus but full of heroin addicts! Pokemon Go: We hear there is a gym in the greenhouses. We are totally not lying to you… 100% not lying.
Questions: Contact us at
Republicans: Soon to be banned
from campus. But hey, that’s what the Review is for (#ShamelessPlug)
Sodexo: Proudly serving
laxatives for 50 years. the Panama Canal. Therapy dogs: se ha rc Intoxication: It’s illegal to pu 21, but not OMG OMG OMG, WHERE??? alcohol under the age of UPD: Yes, they’re real cops and yes ink. illegal to drink it — we th they can arrest you, moron. o to l al lt su in an as V d es tal: The actual location Jew: Use of this school, t. ar m al W l sta Ve e th at ly common You’ve been lied to. Karl Marx: Wrong about everything, Weather: Don’t worry, it’s going to but he did have a cool-looking beard. get real cold real fast. Xanax: If you’re a science major, Lake Lieberman: If you’ve never you’ll probably need this. seen a dead deer floating in a sewage reservoir before, this place is a must! Yik Yak: Somehow promotes social justice and racism at the same time. Mountainview: That view is Zombie Student Association: not worth the walk. Cooler than you. 6
Volume XXIX, Issue I
Irrationalia: Nice Try, NDG
By Patrick McAuliffe
n June 29th 2016, the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted:
DeGrasse Tyson’s proposal seems like a jab against creationists and climate change deniers (with whom the scientist has had beef in the past), but when more closely examined, does not make public policy so cut-and-dry as evidence and statistics. How does one interpret this evidence? How do facts translate into laws? Could such a country exist? Should “pop science,” as some would call deGrasse Tyson’s work, be seriously considered in making policy? One must begin by examining what goes into making a piece of public policy. Take the example of gun control legislation, a myriad of solutions proposed throughout America’s recent mass shooting-rife history. There is plenty of evidence of mentally ill or dangerous people acquiring firearms and going on shooting sprees, whether the fault lies with a sane relative or friend aiding the acquisition of the weapon, such as at Columbine High School, or a failed government screening, such as in the case of the Orlando shooter. So, in Rationalia, background checks and perhaps even bans on certain weapons or ammunition capacity would be expanded – the vernacular is “common-sense gun control.” However, when other pieces of evidence are considered, the solution is not so clear going forward. Most of the recent mass shootings have occurred in “gun-free zones,” which, while established with good intentions, effectively disarm the victims and take away the option to protect themselves with similar force to their attacker or attackers. Considering this alternate evidence, should
the reduction of gun-free zones and the expansion of access to concealed carry permits be implemented to combat mass shootings? How would deGrasse Tyson and other policymakers of Rationalia reconcile these seemingly divergent pieces of evidence? What about a more scientifically based area of policy such as that regarding climate change, deGrasse Tyson’s favorite area of “pop science”? One would think that such a hot-button (pun intended) issue would be a bastion for Rationalia’s validity. The measurements taken by NASA and other agencies suggest that, for one reason or another, global temperatures and CO2 levels have been rising, especially since the late 1800s. If the goal of Rationalia’s government is to reduce the warming of the Earth, Rationalia’s policymakers would most likely pass many of today’s regulations on coal and oil companies in attempt to reduce emissions. They may also give out massive subsidies to companies developing alternative sources of energy, despite any inefficiency or lack of market value. However, evidence from history and the classical and neo-classical models of macroeconomics show that extensive government interference through spending in a given market will only increase interest rates and prices, which may lead to a recession more prolonged than one caused by the cyclical change of a laissez-faire market. Does attempting to combat climate change offset the cost of an economic recession, perhaps for an extended period of time? The common thread among these and other issues of public policy is that policy cannot simply be determined by evidence alone. One must make value-judgments for oneself and must also balance that with the value-judg-
ments of other people in one’s society. As shown by a growing acceptance of abortion, same-sex marriage, and some drugs, the values of the majority of Americans have shifted despite these things always being evident. Moral claims of right and wrong, good and bad cannot be solely based on evidence; they must also have values and principles justifying why they are good and bad. This choice of principles must also be made by those interpreting the laws of the “one-line Constitution” of Rationalia. Like the policy examples given, values must be applied to the evidence to give it moral worth. For example, a judge is given a case where some food or money was stolen to feed the thief ’s starving family. One cannot make a judgment on this case without determining one’s values. Is the thief in the wrong since the robbed person worked hard for that food and money, or is the thief justified since his family was in need? Which side has more value, and why? The judge, the lawmakers, and even you have to make the decision, and be able to support it. Rationalia could never serve as a functioning country in the way that deGrasse Tyson proposes. Evidence needs philosophy to turn it into ethical and political judgments. Politics is, after all, the ethical arm of philosophy applied to societies as a whole. I respect deGrasse Tyson’s quest to establish a truly objective law for a country, but it cannot be done through statistics. To be honest, perhaps such an idea could never happen, merely because of the thousands upon thousands of different philosophies people hold, often in complete contrast to each other. Perhaps the best we can hope for right now is finding some sort of common ground among the different moralities and value-judgments, founded on nothing but the fact that a majority of the people believe it. Cultural relativism is deplorable, but in a pluralistic world, perhaps it is like democracy and “the best of the worst” forms of political policy justification.
Volume XXIX, Issue I
Written By David Keptsi
Image Credit: www.jill2016.com
ake a look at any paper, news broadcast, radio program, or Chilean telenovela, and you will know this truth to be self evident: the end of times are upon us. As the government gradually grows more authoritarian and our basic freedoms erode under the iron fist of a looming totalitarian police state, our democracy has given us the appearance of a choice in voting for two statists. Struggling with a choice between Trumplethinskin and The Hildebeast (two of many endearing nicknames I’ve come across while perusing online political forums), many people have begun to look at third party options. The two major third-party tickets this coming election are the Libertarians under the banner of former Governor Gary Johnson and the Green Party headed by Dr. Jill Stein. Now personally, I’ve been riding the Johnson (feeling the Johnson?) since Rand Paul dropped out and John Kasich had his spartan-like last stand. Now riding the Johnson was fun at first but I got sore after a while. Despite Johnson’s impressive track record and actual substantial policy positions I always felt there was something missing from his campaign. Well, during one typical afternoon of browsing the internet and questioning the existence of humanity, I saw that Green Party nominee, Jill Stein, had made a major campaign announcement. In an official statement, Dr. Stein had denounced the brutal unjustified shooting death of America’s national hero and former member of the Monkees: Harambe. It has been mind blowing to me that Jill Stein is the first (and only) presidential candidate to bring attention to this major issue as it highlights everything wrong with our country. Harambe, a Silverback gorilla was put to death without due process on the assumption that he posed a danger to a child that had fallen in his cage. This assumption was based on the species that Harambe was born into (rather than identified with) and was built solely on stereotypical depictions of how a Silverback might act. Without even getting into the atrocities of the Animal Slavery Subculture (A.S.S. for short) this event can not be allowed to be forgotten. As stated by Jill Stein’s webpage: in the wake of this “catastrophic outcome, the Green Party believes that captivity . . . is ethically wrong and fundamentally exploitive and should be illegal.” Obviously this is an incredibly captivating reason to support Stein, but as I don’t want to be a one issue voter I may have to stick with Gary Johnson. Had the U.S.’s overly strict laws permitted law abiding Silverback Gorilla’s such as Harambe to purchase a handgun, this violence may have been avoided.
I’M WITH HERD
I’m With Herd
By Kayla “Not a Reptilian” Jimenez Editor’s note: While I cannot say whether or not this contributor is non-human, she does have a tail, green scales, and eyelids that close vertically and horizontally. She may or may not actually be a lizard person.... But you didn’t hear that from me.
ittle did I know that my major in advertising and public relations was actually an agricultural degree, studying herding and shepherding the human cattle. I worked on a few campaigns as a volunteer before landing my current position as a Clinton campaign staffer. I originally took the job because I figured campaigning for her wouldn’t be too challenging; from the start of this campaign season, and even prior to that, there has been this vibe that it’s her turn, that she is next in line to be the president, so I knew campaigning would be about reassuring people that a Clinton presidency is inevitable and fated.
Which it has been for over three thousand years. There have, however, been a few, urm, minor obstacles. These minor obstacles would be detrimental for most candidates, but not for Hillary. Our strategy of complete confidence in Hillary’s future as president, as well as our adherence to telling people what they want to hear rather than telling them the truth, is what got Clinton through the email scandal, the meeting of Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton, and the Wikileaks release of DNC emails that revealed that party members essentially rigged the election in Clinton’s favor. You see, people these days hate the unknown—they fear it—and they would rather reality be static in order to reassure them, provide them with stability, and dispel all thoughts of anxiety and helplessness. It is easy to play to these fears, especially in regards to this election, because Hillary is a name everyone knows, is familiar with, and associates with a stable political reality where
nothing drastically changes or falls apart (in front of their faces). Her biggest competitor, Trump, represents the exact opposite. Was the public unsettled by the email scandal? Sure! Were they going to do anything about it? Not if Hillary and the FBI and the Justice Department didn’t. Why would anyone want to believe any slander about Hillary when it would be easier to disregard her faults and engage in a false reality? They wouldn’t! Simply reassuring people that the false reality they’ve already accepted and are living in is unfaltering suffices. Hillary, myself, and the rest of her campaign staff knows this. Our job is simply to herd people, prod them to follow the path we’ve mapped out for our convenience and theirs. Why try to fight it? Have you ever seen that movie, The Matrix? then you know exactly what I’m talking about! Dismissing the suspicion surrounding Bill and Loretta’s meeting was even easier. We assured people that they’re old mates, buddies, pals!!and that covered it. People do not want to accept the sketchiness of the meeting—it would scare them! Frighten them! Add unnecessary stress to their lives! It’s easier to move on and brush these incidents off than to actually think about them and question things and look deeper into the mirage. Encouraging people to do this makes my life and my job easier in turn. It’s a win-win! Even easier than the email slip up and the meeting of Bill and Loretta was dispelling the Wikileaks DNC email release! Clinton’s email server was not even directly involved! She was instantly guilt-free! Putting blame on other people, such as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, completely protected Hillary from ridicule and suspicion. People could blame Debbie, who already had a mediocre reputation (especially within our staff. Did I mention that none of us liked her very much?). Plus, Clinton already was set to receive the nomination the same week—were
people really going to reject it? What good would it do since her nomination was inevitable? Consistently urging people to accept Clinton as the likely future president made it easier to get her to this point. If it seems like she undoubtedly is destined to become the leader of this nation, it is much harder to accept negative ideas about her and much easier to reject her scandals and deny her involvement in sketchy, dirty politics. One last key to Hillary’s success is the positioning of her as the morally superior, logical, and just candidate compared to her competitors, such as Trump. If you convince people to accept her ideals as the ideals of morality and goodness, they’ll feel safer in her clutch. They’ll think, “how could a moral candidate, an altruist, a democrat, be corrupt, untrustworthy, or against the interests of the people?” Ha, if only they knew. Defeating Trump now, at this point, shouldn’t pose an issue. Clinton has already been in the political sphere, so people trust her… well, at least they trust that nothing drastic will happen to them personally that would uproot their daily lives, and that’s good enough for most people. They are unsure about Trump, they fear the unknown, and they are stunned by the anxiety that comes with a future of possibilities! Why not settle with Hillary, who seems safe, who has held office before and hasn’t caused any obvious damage, who can maintain a stable reality? Why take the risk of electing Trump? Who wants to take risks, to face uncertainty? Certainly not the sheeple of this nation! This past year and a half campaigning for Hillary has been a true success in my career. All I had to do was lie to people, feeding them the pacifying stretched or broken truths they so desperately wanted to hear, for their own protection and comfort. And that’s how you win an American election! #I’mWithHerd
Volume XXIX, Issue I
I’m With Her
I’M WITH HER
By Kayla Jimenez
Editor’s note: I’m just gonna be straight with you guys. It’s sheep puns. The joke in this one is about sheeple. So it’s sheep puns.
he name Hillary Clinton is one I’ve grown accustomed to hearing over the last twenty years. It’s familiar and constant; hearing about her gives me a sense of reassurance. Hillary remains a prominent public figure, and that alone convinces me to ignore her faults and her lizard eyes and support her continuous political pursuit. Keeping things status quo and maintaining established order provides me with the sense of security I need to face all of the unknowns I am too lazy and/or brainless to conquer individually. I am unsettled by the nonstop media frenzy over Clinton’s “scandals.” If she were so scandalous, would she really be the Democratic nominee for president? No! Of course not! The Democratic party assures me that it wants to and will protect me, an average Joe, in exchange for my vote. That’s easy enough! All that is required of me is to go on existing with minimal effort and faith in the Democratic Party in exchange for protection and benefits. Would this party elect someone with baaaaaad intentions, someone whose track record indicates she may be unfit to withhold its own standards? Why, no! That would not make sense to me. This is reality we’re talking about. I do not live in a world where a conniving, corrupt politician could become the leader of this nation! I am baaaaaaffled and confused by the contradiction of Hillary’s public image and her potential public role - I refuse to believe such slander! It makes no sense! If what was suspected of her was to be true, then she would absolutely not be in line to be the president. The “scandals” people are so inquisitive about are not scandals at all, but simple mistakes and slip ups. Everybody makes mistakes. The email scandal was just a misunderstanding. Hillary used her private email server carelessly, but
not with intentions of hiding illegal or questionable exchanges. If she had committed and crime or treason, then would the Justice Department have dismissed the case and failed to press any charges? I think not! If the Justice Department dropped all suspicion, why shouldn’t I? Oh, and the meeting between Bill and Attorney General Loretta Lynch? That was just two friends having a casual chat. They’re old mates, old pals! What’s wrong with that? Can’t people just have a conversation these days without being accused of scheming? These are prominent public figures we’re talking about, not drug dealers! This whole email thing was blown out of proportion by the news and the media! Clearly nothing fishy is or was going on. And if it was, I’d be scared shitless and so lost in this world that I wouldn’t know what to do. Which is why none of this slander is true! I simply can’t accept any of Hillary’s wrongdoings because if I did, I would not be able to understand it! I would have nothing to reassure me that everything is fine, that I am safe, and that nothing can take advantage of or hurt me! The recently leaked emails between Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other Democratic Party officials do not imply any wrongdoing of Hillary’s either. If anything, they show what lengths people will go to to support her! Why would these people risk their jobs if they did not believe Clinton is the right choice for this country? These emails do not indicate that Hillary is corrupt, nor that the party is corrupt - this was all simply a part of the party’s commitment to its ideals. What sacrifice! What effort! All for Hillary - and without her asking for it! Now that’s democracy! These are hardly scandals. They are minor incidents that do not prove Hillary, the Democratic party, or the government in general to be corrupt. Why would the controllers of a nation as great as ours have malintentions? Obviously the government exists to
protect us and our rights, not to take advantage of its citizens. If it were reality and not some silly conspiracy that Hillary was a liar and that her entire career is completely suspicious and untrustworthy, I would be absolutely shocked. That would go against my perception of reality. It would not and could not belong in the world I’ve convinced myself I’m living in. I would be scared, helpless, confused, and ridden with stress and anxiety! I can’t handle that kind of blunt tru- I mean, I won’t accept these crazy conspiracies and lies. Hillary is going to be the president, why don’t we treat her like so? I’d rather accept Hillary and her flaws than see Trump win the election. Hillary is safe - we’ve known her for years, seen her on the news, in the papers, in office, and has the world crash and burned? No! My house is still standing, I’m employed, my kids are in college… what more can I ask for except to keep things the way they are? Hillary will keep things status quo. She will maintain stability. Trump? Who knows! It is the uncertainty of what Trump could accomplish that turns me away from him. With Hillary, I expect nothing besides the same thing, and that is good enough for me. I don’t want change, I want consistency! I want to feel safe and protected and confident in a future of continuous monotony! I cannot face uncertainty, I cannot accept reality for what it is, so I am (lying to myself) pushing away all doubts and voting for Hillary. She probably will be the president anyways, so why be a dissenter when it is much more comfortable and reassuring to accept her with open arms? I do not want to take chances, I do not want to experience changes to the life I am already comfortable with, so I refuse to believe any slander. I will put my faith and trust into Hillary rather than into my own personal thoughts and beliefs. I can’t wait until this is all over and I don’t have to think about politics again for another four years! #I’mWithHer
Goofy G(Uber)s By Thomas Casey
hat if I told you there was an action the New York government could take that in a single, simple moment, would create thousands of jobs, save lives and make a ton a people happy. You’d think the government would do it, right? Well, they failed, miserably. Bill S04108D would have allowed ridesharing organizations to operate in upstate New York. The shorthand bill takes a very liberal definition of upstate (think of what someone from East Islip would think upstate is). The bill would’ve granted the graces of the sharing economy upon the wilderness-ridden “upstate” expanse of New York State that lies north of the city. Ridesharing is only legal in New York City right now. Uber and Lyft are the big dogs down in the metropolis with some other scrappy competitors. The ride sharers, despite hiccups, have worked wonders. They’ve shattered the taxi cartel and induced fierce, consumer friendly competition across the city. They’re a refreshing alternative to the yellow cabs that patrol the streets. After beating back a futile attempt by Mayor Bill de Blasio to shut them out, Uber and Lyft have provided the good
people of New York City with jobs and solid service. Maybe the rest of New York (about 95% of the landmass) could get in on it too?
I find it harshly hypocritical that our legislature touts job creation as its primary objective while rendering thousands of jobs pointlessly illegal. Its “New York is open for business” campaign paints a rosy picture of start-ups galore. Yet, when Uber and Lyft slap down a meaty proposition where all sides win, they balk. Our first problem is that governments don’t actually create jobs. In actuality, governments that created jobs have just removed artificial barriers so that entrepreneurial risk takers can do the dirty work for them. For example, a town zoning board goes through a months-long laborious rezoning process. All they did was sign a sheet of paper after sucking away enough in fees. With a zoning district change a business comes in, invests capital, hires employees, takes a risk and prays for profit. The town will brag about all the jobs it created, but all it did was stop preventing the entrepreneur
from making the jobs in the first place. Imagine if I repeatedly gave you wet willies and then I stopped doing it one day. Would it be right for me to brag that I’ve brought greater peace to your life? Not really. Such is the way with governments and creating jobs. Anyway, the legislature had this great bill. Uber loved it. Lyft loved it. The SUNY system, our noble organization, formally endorsed the bill. In a statement, SUNY cited the excellent transportation alternative the companies give to its almost 500,000 stu-
“Doesn’t matter if I convinced you already, I have to wait for my horse and carriage to pick me up, since they’re the only people legally allowed to...” dents. In its most poignant section, the SUNY endorsement states that “issues pertaining to drinking and driving on college campuses can be curtailed by car-sharing services which provide easy and cheaper alternatives to get home.”
Volume XXIX, Issue I
BINGHAMTONREVIEW.COM We’re talking about saving lives here. Does this bill seem like a no brainer yet? Doesn’t matter if I convinced you already, I have to wait for my horse and carriage to pick me up, since they’re the only people legally allowed to do business here in “upstate” Westchester. I’ve got some more time to hammer home the point. So who else loved this bill? The city of Binghamton! Uber held an information session in the city last November. A hundred potential drivers turned out to Terra Cotta (lovely place) on State Street. That’s a fair number of newly employed in the city, don’t you think? The mayor, Rich David, spoke highly in favor of the movement. To be honest, if these officials brought ridesharing to Binghamton, I wouldn’t even mind if they went off about how they created the jobs. You can say whatever you want, I just want my car on demand. So who’s against this? The obvious adversary is the taxi and limousine lobby. They’ve had their medallions and well trodden turf for quite a while. They are not backing down easily. These guys want Uber and Lyft squashed, now. That’s our cue to start supporting ridesharing. When a long time player rallies against an upstart, it is usually an attempt to crowd out competition. Since the taxi dinosaurs can’t compete on service or pricing, they turned to a long time friend of crony business: the government. We’re seeing mighty high political expenditures coming from an industry best known for splashing protagonists of rom-coms with water from a big sidewalk puddle. The taxi industry has more lobbies than the Waldorf Astoria and they pay high sums to make them effective. The money is easy to follow. Mayor Bill de Blasio took in about 10% of his early funding from the yellow cab crew. He picked (and lost) a fight with our tech innovators on that dime. I’m sure Albany is drowning in Crazy Taxi cash as we speak. Who else sides with the Luddites in this affair? That would be the Assembly. The Senate can check out a little bit on the blame. The Senate was all for Uber. It had a good bill that Uber, Lyft and upstate New York
GOOFY G(UBER)S helped create. The Assembly, for some wackjob reason, posted an incorrigible offer. The sticking point resided with insurance policies. The Senate said rideshare apps would need $1 million in insurance for a rider. The Assembly pumped it up to $1.5 million. They couldn’t reconcile by session end. I don’t need to have an A in Calc II to know there’s a midpoint they could have agreed on. $1.25 million is your magic number. But maybe $1 million was a staunch line or $1.5 million was immovable. I’m really not sure. I couldn’t get a ride to the negoti-
“An economy with low barriers to entry will keep all the players fighting for customers and becoming the best they can be.” ations. Obviously, Lyft and Uber didn’t get behind the Assembly’s bill. The extra amount was so prohibitive that they would not have any incentive to operate at all. No one would make any money. As much as politicians love talking about creating jobs, they never really think about how many jobs they destroy. The Assembly had a horrifically pointless push that would make it legal but would add way too much regulatory baggage. Imagine if your RA made crazy dorm parties legal, but she added a provision that all attendees must constantly perform the macarena. Ehh, we’ll take it. That was kinda like the Senate’s bill: a decent compromise. The RA downstairs says he’s legalizing parties too, but those revelers must first soak themselves with copious portions of old chicken gravy, and then explode. Nobody’s going to hit up that scene. Such is the Assembly’s bill. The repercussions of this failure could be huge. One hundred people in job starved Binghamton took the time to explore a possible career option last November as Uber drivers. The legislature failed them. The risk of drunk driving goes unabated in the SUNY system because the legislature couldn’t compromise. There are a lot of letdowns in a future with significantly fewer pick-ups.
Time to come clean. I’ve never used ridesharing. I worked right by Grand Central in the city and walked to my office. I don’t mind hoofing it when I want to explore Central Park or the Highline. I’ve never had the experience of proposing a “5 for 5” as I leave a pink-mustachioed car. Yet, I am intensely loyal to the idea of ridesharing. I consent to pay you to drive. You consent to drive me in your car. We exchange money and services and carry on our ways. I hate that the government has to roll in and threaten to arrest us when everyone is comfortable with the situation. Ridesharing represents a lot about the greatness of a free economy. Entrepreneurs took major risks to unite a ready and active populace with a long scorned client base. A revolutionary platform made the connection between servicers and customers easy and cheap. Even hard core left wingers (ironically a giant portion of Uber’s/Lyft’s base) have to admit that the free market really got it right here. Just keep that in mind the next time you’re going to a “Smash Capitalism” rally in the backseat of New York City, ultra cheap UberX. Of course, Uber, Lyft and all the others aren’t perfect. The old taxi companies aren’t perfect either. Any company, no matter what, will start to fester and decay if it gets monopolistic protection for far too long. An economy with low barriers to entry will keep all the players fighting for customers and becoming the best they can be. That’s why it is up to the legislature to create more opportunities for business and jobs, instead of constantly squashing them. What can we do about it? Uber’s app has a tantalizing look at the future if you open it in the Binghamton area. It shows phantom cars driving, estimated price levels and predicted wait times. The top of the screen has links to sign a petition that goes to our legislatures. You can ride Uber in New York and other cities. Leave good reviews if it worked well. Leave criticism if it was poor. Help these fledgling companies get better and better. When the session reconvenes in January, we’ll be counting on our officials to free up the marketplace.
ANOTHER ANNOYING COLLEGE GUIDE
Here’s Another Annoying (But Useful) College Guide By Dan Kersten
h, why hello there! I am assuming that if you are reading this, you are a student here at Binghamton University (which is not our formal name by the way, it’s The State University of New York at Binghamton but hey, whatever). Additionally, it is quite possible that you are a freshman. Let me be definitely not the first nor last to welcome you to Binghamton. Congrats on getting into a public ivy. Sure, it’s not Cornell but fuck those guys it’s cheaper here and they’re all douches anyways. I am Dan Kersten, a senior history/pre-medical student and the Review’s medical correspondent because no one else in this publication annoyingly obsesses about medicine as much as I do. If you are a freshman, you have likely read or been lectured numerous “guides” to surviving college. These guides likely cover stress management, tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, methods to effectively study in college, et cetera, et cetera, blah blah blah. You have heard them all before. You likely do not want to hear them again. I completely understand. However, I do want to write a guide that is a little different than the ones you have laxly heard or read. I am going to talk about your mind. Specifically, how to keep your sanity in college. These are some tips that I never really heard before entering college. Firstly, it is interesting that America, as a whole, strongly dislikes discussing issues of mental health. In America, you’re not supposed to tell people around you that you’re having mental issues. Asking for help with mental health issues is essentially taboo. There is a stigma about mental illness that, unfortunately, leads many to not seek help. A 2010 U.S. Centers for Disease Control study found that only 22.3% of respondents strongly agreed that Americans treat those with mental illness caringly or sympathetically; 35.0% slightly agreed with that senti-
ment. This stigma regarding mental illness may be why you may hear very little about handling mental duress in college. Yet it is more than likely that you, yes you, will at some point will either personally have mental illness or someone very close to you will. As of 2014, approximately 18% of all Americans have some type of mental illness and 4.2% of Americans have a serious mental illness—these statistics are provided by the National Institute of Mental Health. Among college students, the data are more shocking. A survey by the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMH), released in 2012, found that 27% of respondents suffered from depression, 24% were diagnoses with bipolar disorder, and 11% had an anxiety disorder. You can see the entire breakdown of these statistics in the provided figure. Additionally, 64% of the NAMH survey respondents who were no longer attending college stated mental health as the reason they left school. Half of these respondents also declared that they never sought help. Even more concerning is that suicide is the third highest cause of death for Americans 15 to 24 years of age. What I am trying to say is that you really need this advice. And guess what, it is only a very small piece of advice. Frankly, it should not cover an entire page of the Review. But, like Charles Dickens, I stretch things out too much—case in point: this paragraph. Anyways, here is my advice: seek help. Do not let the depression or the anxiety or whatever the issue may be to boil up because trust me they will not go away on their own and they can be debilitating. As one survey respondent wrote in the aforementioned NAMH study, “A depressive episode made it impossible for me to go to classes and I did not get help until it was too late.” I know how hard it is to live with depression; I was diagnosed officially last year. I, much like half of
those students mentioned above, was trying to not seek any help at all. I thought that if I kept the bad thoughts inside that they would go away. Instead the thoughts got worse. Furthermore, I am sadly not the exception; I am the norm. Coming to terms with my illness and seeking help worked wonders for me. I felt as if a thousand pound weigh had finally been lifted from my shoulders. I understand that it is incredibly difficult to talk about depression or anxiety. About 60% of adult and nearly half of all children in the United States will not receive mental health services. Again, there is that damned stigma and it is tough and frightening to dare and overcome it. Yet I encourage you to do it. Go out and seek help. Talk to your parents or a friend or go to the University Counseling Center (UCC). Please, it can only help. And it more than likely will help. The success rates for treating various mental illnesses range between 60 to 80%. Unfortunately, there is a problem. Starting this year, the UCC will stop providing long term counseling for students. What does this mean for on-campus students, the freshmen of this university who may struggle with mental illness? It is quite simple. You are being forced off campus. This is just one of many decisions made by the university’s administration that will flabbergast you, freshman. Most freshman do not have cars and bus service is limited. Essentially, getting the help one may need will be much harder than it has to be and that is ridiculous considering how prevalent mental illness is among college students that the administration thought this would be a good idea. Yet, even though getting help may be hard, I encourage you to do it.
Your life is worth the effort. BINGHAMTON REVIEW
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