BINGHAMTON REVIEW Editor-in-Chief Contents
P.O. BOX 6000 BINGHAMTON, NY 13902-6000 EDITOR@BINGHAMTONREVIEW.COM
Founded 1987 • Volume XXXI, Issue IX Patrick McAuliffe Jr. Managing Editor Matt Rosen Copy Desk Chief Yvonne Tyler
Business Manager Mac Chasman
Social Media Shitposter
DO PRO-LIFE MESSAGES BOTHER YOU?
3 4 6 9
Associate Editors Adrienne Vertucci
by Jordan Jardine
Editorial Press Watch The Shadow of Eugenics An Amazong Opportunity
by Patrick McAuliffe by Our Staff by Brian Murray by Patrick McAuliffe
Jordan Jardine Sarah Waters John Restuccia
10 Why the Bing Butt is Conservative and Therefore Epic by Josephi Krakowski
11 You’ve Been Lied to About Campus Sexual Assault by Sarah Waters
Brian Murray Josephi Krakowski
Special Thanks To:
Intercollegiate Studies Institute Collegiate Network Binghamton Review was printed by Gary Marsden We Provide the Truth. He Provides the Staples
12 Top Democrats of 2020 (So Far) by Matt Rosen 13 A Killing Joke
by John Restuccia
14 Young Motherhood
by Mason Carteri
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK! Direct feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org 2
Vol. XXXI, Issue IX
EDITORIAL Dear Readers,
From the Editor
he cold is biting, the wind is howling, and March is here! The storm of midterms is whirling around our heads, and the Binghamton Review is storming campus with another hard-hitting issue. I consider this our most relevant issue of the year to date, so take a peek inside and see how we weigh in on pressing campus and local problems. It could even be the overall best issue of the year. I want to say how proud I am of our staff, old faces and new alike. From our issue production to our radio show to our social media (subscribe on YouTube and like on Facebook!), you guys make the Review run. Now let’s find out what we’ve got in store this time! The OCCT Birthright ads caused quite a stir a few weeks back, and Jordan finally sides with the right in his cover piece on his defense of the right to advertise pro-life organizations (not “anti-choice”; see Press Watch). I analyze the pros and cons of the pipe dream (wink) that is Amazon coming to Broome County. The benefits to the students and the community would be outstanding. Josephi Krakowski takes a deep and satirical look into the psyche of our figurative publication-next-door, the Bing Butt, and finds the hidden right-wing messages in a plethora of their articles. Sarah’s piece is crucial for educating yourself on the myth of the prevalence of campus “rape culture”, showing support for survivors and dispelling the intimidating yet false “1 in 5” statistic. In another look at the hidden meaning in comic books, John brings the problem of the Batman story “The Killing Joke” to an assistant psychology professor on BU’s own campus to see whether “one bad day” can really drive a person to become The Joker. In Brian’s debut article, he discusses the advent of new gene therapy technology and its possible sinister implications as the technology develops. Matt analyzes the top three Democratic frontrunners for the 2020 presidential election and some stragglers that may try to pick up the pieces. To cap off my summary with another abortion-related article, Mason advocates for a culture that supports teenage mothers in keeping their children, citing the bravery of a hometown teen mom that changed his mind on the subject. Take a copy, dear reader, and peruse carefully. If, however, you grab one of our issues with the intent to somehow destroy it or dispose of it, be warned. We do not suffer the destruction of our property and the silencing of our speech lightly. Our bulletin board has suffered some vandalism for some time, but the culprit was finally caught and sent to Student Conduct. I have no intention to doxx him here, but to enemies of free speech and alternative opinions, know that we will not be silenced and you will face consequences if you try.
Patrick McAuliffe Jr. Binghamton Review is a non-partisan, student-run news magazine of conservative thought founded in 1987 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. The mark of true maturity is being able to engage with these perspectives rationally while maintaining one’s own convictions. In that spirit, we seek to promote the free and open exchange of ideas and offer alternative viewpoints not normally found or accepted on our predominately liberal campus. 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. It is our duty to expose the warped ideology of political correctness and cultural authoritarianism that dominates this university. Finally, we understand that a moral order is a necessary component of any civilized society. We strive to inform, engage with, 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. email@example.com
CPampus resswatch Written by our Staff “Editorial: Blue bag blues” Editorial Board, Pipe Dream 2/28/19 “On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a hefty expense. However, taking into account that most Binghamton University students who live off campus have several roommates, garbage piles up quickly and often requires the use of multiple bags per week.” With multiple roommates, there are multiple hands and bodies to retrieve the necessary amount of bags if one’s stores run low. Regardless of whether it’s a matter of human decency or an arrangement you work out with your roommates, retrieving more shouldn’t be a problem, especially if you’re the one that uses the last one every time. “It is the city’s responsibility to ensure that stores are sufficiently stocked up with the mandated bags, and the city should make sure they are accessible to all residents.” While we understand this rationale, the city is still trying to cut costs in whatever way it can. It uses the blue bag system for a reason. What sorts of solutions will ensure that all residents can get them? Is it more transit routes, or more stores carrying them, or something else?If it’s too much to make sure each Binghamton resident is nearly handed a pack of blue bags, the city might as well go back to the old system. “We are not proposing the policy be abolished, but there are surely improvements that can be made. For instance, the bags could be made available for purchase in bulk, eliminating the need for residents to restock weekly and making the blue bags more cost effective.” This is the most concrete and most helpful solution to the blue bag problem in this whole editorial. Well done.
We know you don’t read the other campus publications, so we did it for you. Original pieces are in quotes, our responses are in bold.
“OCCT should remove its misleading advertisements” Guest Author, Pipe Dream 2/20/19 “This is why I was initially pleased to see Birthright International’s advertisement on OCCT. The ad shows a soft image of a pretty pastel-tinged woman. She is presumably pregnant and visibly worried. The ad promises her a safe space of help and confidentiality, without judgment. This initially seemed promising: I hate judgment! Confidentiality is great! I believe all people have the right to control their own bodies without interference or discrimination!” Where this is going, I imagine you don’t believe in the fetus’ right to its own body without interference or discrimination (the latter of which, by the way, was the mission of Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger). “So I put Cardi on pause (“I got a baby, I need some money, yeah”) and searched for Birthright on my phone. My instincts were right. Birthright International is a Canadian anti-choice organization with chapters worldwide, including in the city of Binghamton.” “Anti-choice” is hilarious. Gone are the days that the two sides of the abortion debate didn’t seek to misinform people about their mission. “Pro-choice” is positive; “pro-life” is positive. “Anti-choice”? You seem “anti-life.” “Now, we are all entitled to our own opinions. If you believe that human life is dignified at the moment of its birth but disposable once it is breathing, gendered, raced and social, that’s your prerogative. If you believe the propaganda spread by anti-choice organizations — whether it concerns lies about the medical risks of abortion or the false metrics of personhood in utero — no one is stopping you. And if you believe there is “no judgment” when you come to an organization seeking balanced information and leave with a pile of baby
clothes, well, then that’s totally on you.” “You’re entitled to be a piece of shit that dares try to save unborn babies, and that’s your prerogative.” No sane pro-life person holds such an inconsistent ethic of life. Pro-life advocates are not mindless sheep at the mercy of evil organizations. Finally, to jump across the time between entering and leaving an organization like Birthright while refusing to acknowledge what goes on inside - women looking for support in an uncertain time in their lives - is disingenuous to such an important decision. “The word “Birthright” didn’t sit well with me (and not only because of the possible copyright infringement of Birthright Israel). In my classes, I teach close reading, and as I close read those words, I started to ask questions: Namely, whose “birth” — and by extension, life — is valued here?” It doesn’t take close reading to see your obvious ignorance of pro-life views and your misplaced hostility toward them. You can disagree with Birthright’s ads, and everyone, including you, has the right to speak their agenda, but step outside your anti-life bubble and look from the position of those you seek to silence. (Jordan has a great perspective on this on page 8.)
Vol. XXXI, Issue IX
G? N I R E TE N U TY? L I O N V U M N I M D O E C E EST H R T E O T T IN K C A E? B M G U N S I RE GIV R U YO O T NG I D D A The Center for Civic Engagement has volunteer opportunities in local schools!
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THE SHADOW OF EUGENICS
The Shadow of Eugenics
By Brian Murray
“Consider God’s handiwork, who can straighten what He hath made crooked” Ecclesiastes 7:13
he most promising breakthroughs in modern medicine and disease prevention occurring right now are made in the realm of genetic editing, and the newest and most promising method of altering DNA strands is known as CRISPR. CRISPR is a method of altering genetic code that uses a protein known as CAS9 that is able to locate a certain pattern of genetic code along a strand of DNA, completely remove it from the strand, and replace it with another pattern. Many scientists are claiming that CRISPR could hold the secret to completely eradicating diseases like HIV, Cancer, Huntington’s disease, etc. The United States Government recognized the potential of this new method and approved a clinical trial for use on cancer patients in 2015, and soon after scientists in China announced their plans to implement CRISPR into their lung cancer treatments. This all sounds like an excellent step towards improving the quality of life for all of humanity, but there
are a few hang-ups. The biggest one is that our current understanding of the human genome is still in its infancy. There is very little room for error when it comes to altering an organism’s DNA and one unforeseen mistake could, in theory, irreversibly harm whole descendant populations. New diseases could occur, man-made mutations could become widespread, and the social implications could be devastating. The most controversial sector in genetic editing is the reworking of human germ cells like the sperm cell, the egg cell, or a human embryo. Modifying these genes would lead to man-made mutations in human DNA that would be transferable by normal reproductive means, and thus could spread throughout a community. Knowing this, the scientific journal, Nature, published an article titled “Don’t edit the human germ line” in which their writers state: “In our view, genome editing in human embryos using current technologies could have unpredictable effects on future generations. This makes it dangerous and ethically unacceptable.” Other prominent scientific journals and media sources echoed these concerns and international biology institutions set up
“Now there are two girls, who never consented to having their DNA altered, living in the world with man-made genetic mutations that may have massive impacts on their cognitive functions...” reasonable regulations to prevent this type of research from occurring until the technology available was adequate to perform such experiments safely. This was the gate that humanity had seemingly agreed not to cross. About three months ago, Dr. He Jiankui of Shenzhen China announced (in a YouTube video of all things) that he has edited the DNA in the embryos of two twin girls. Some background information is necessary to understand why this happened and what it means for humanity moving forward. The biological father of the twin girls is HIV positive and the parents of the twin girls wanted to have children without the risk of giving them the immunodeficiency virus. In order to do this, they fertilized the embryos in a process known as IVF, in which a human zygote is formed outside of the womb. This is where Dr. He comes into it. It is unknown whether the parents understood what they were signing up for when they agreed to work with Dr. He on his experiment, (some sources even claim that he implied that the process was some sort of anti-HIV vaccine and intentionally used overly technical language on the consent forms that were presented to the couple) and he did not make his experiments known to the institution he is associated with (The Southern University of Science and Technology) despite using their labs and resources to perform them. Dr. He’s goal was to use CRISPR to remove a set of DNA that the HIV virus is known to latch onto from the embryos in order to make the twin girls more resilient to the virus. So, what are the results? The first result is the Dr. He unintentional-
Vol. XXXI, Issue IX
BINGHAMTONREVIEW.COM ly deleted the wrong set of nucleotides in both girls. The nucleotides that were removed should in theory produce the same result as the ones he was trying to delete, but because the technology is so new (and crude) and this form of human genetic modification is entirely untested, it is completely unclear what result this will have on the health and development of these girls. The section of DNA that Dr. He did remove is part of another set of DNA known as CCR5, which research suggests being linked to cognitive function and the formation of memories, but the exact way that the removal of this gene from the twin’s DNA will affect the twins brain is still uncertain. It is also unknown if every cell in the girls’ bodies has the edited gene so both girls are at risk of a medical condition known as Mosaicism. As of right now the twins are a couple months old; they are referred to as Nana and Lulu by researchers in order to preserve the family’s anonymity. The twins are healthy, HIV free, and as of three months ago, the only thing that makes them different from every other human child is the fact that we know their cells have been genetically modified. What makes this whole situation so disheartening is that the procedure was completely unnecessary. The process of IVF alone would have ensured that the girls would not contract HIV from their parents so there was no medical need or benefit to this procedure. Dr. He’s motive doesn’t appear to be altruistic in the least; instead, it appears he crossed this boundary for the purpose of gaining fame for being the first guy to mutate human germ cells. Despite announcing plans to do so, Dr. He has not published his work in a way that would allow the scientific community to view his findings and, considering that he is currently being prosecuted by the Chinese government for fabricating ethics reviews, the likelihood of him doing it now is doubtful. Also, current regulations in China regarding this situation forbid the media or researchers from observing future developments for the twins so we won’t be able to carry out future experiments to see how genetic editing could affect people.
THE SHADOW OF EUGENICS
Mankind (willing or not) has now entered an age in which the act of reworking human DNA is possible and will only become more accessible to the general public in the coming decades. For now, we can only speculate on the effects that this meddling can have on future generations.” So, what did researchers learn from all of this? Not much they didn’t already know. The fact that they can’t observe the twins into their adulthoods means that they’ll probably never learn anything about human genetics from this. Now there are two girls, who never consented to having their DNA altered, living in the world with man-made genetic mutations that may have massive impacts on their cognitive functions, all because some charlatan tricked their parents into agreeing to an experiment that most individuals involved in the field of bioethics would consider extraordinarily unethical. Make no mistake, this wasn’t so much a purposeful experiment as it was a vanity project perpetrated by a conceited egomaniac. Mankind (willing or not) has now entered an age in which the act of reworking human DNA is possible and will only become more accessible to the general public in the coming decades. For now, we can only speculate on the effects that this meddling can have on future generations. With all the research that has gone into genetic research in recent decades, scientists are noticing that genes can be linked to far more human traits than the ones we’d normally think about. Everyone knows that most physical traits are directly controlled by certain patterns in our DNA, but in recent years scientists have found evidence that intrinsic ideas can be influenced by one’s genetics. According to a
2014 study in the Behavior Genetics international journal, genetics can even play a major role in the formation of an individual’s political ideologies. Other studies suggest similar genetic predispositions towards things like a proclivity to feel guilty, inclinations to holding grudges, and even a fondness of gambling. So far there is no link between genetic makeup and specific religious beliefs, but there is evidence of a genetic factor of how steadfast an individual will hold to their beliefs (religious or otherwise). Currently, world governments seem apprehensive about the risks associated with genetic engineering, but it’s likely that as developments become more concrete and less abstract, people’s ideas of the alteration of hereditary traits will become more normalized. It’s not unthinkable that after the technology develops to an advanced state and the procedures to alter genes become cheaply available, an unscrupulous dictator figure of any nation could make certain genetic traits mandatory. Despite being the most promising development in modern medicine, this could quickly turn into a tool for eugenics. The moral ramifications surrounding “improving humans” by means of adjusting inheritable traits are divisive at best, but luckily most of humanity agrees that we should be proceeding with caution and that we shouldn’t rush into this the way Dr. He did.
DO PRO-LIFE MESSAGES BOTHER YOU?
Do Pro-Life Messages Bother You? By Jordan Jardine
t may surprise some Review readers to hear this from me, but there is one political issue on which I have a moderately conservative stance: abortion. I am an anarchist, so I tend to err on the side of less state intervention in the lives of the people, but I also believe in the sanctity of all life and that the state, while it exists, should protect innocent lives by any means necessary. Also, people with views like mine on abortion should not be expected to pay for it with our tax dollars because it conflicts with our view that human beings are infinitely precious and that unborn children should not have to die because their parents were irresponsible and did not take the necessary precautions to prevent a pregnancy. Abortion, ideally, should only be permitted in cases of rape and when the mother’s life is in danger from the pregnancy. But I digress. It has come to my attention that certain campus liberals such as those in the Women’s Student Union have been thoroughly triggered by pro-life advertisements on some of the OCCT buses. As Pipe Dream has previously reported, the advertisement in question simply features a young woman calling the pregnancy planning and assistance organization, Birthright (and also lists the phone number for the Binghamton chapter). To most sane people, this is a fairly milquetoast and innocuous ad. However, the Women’s Student Union seems to object to the ad because Birthright does not offer pregnant women referrals for abortion. Pipe Dream reported that the or-
“If pro-choice organizations want to advertise on OCCT buses, there is little doubt that the OCCT would object to displaying it. If the WSU wants to see pro-choice ads on these buses, they should approach the heads of the OCCT and petition to have their views represented through advertisements.” 8
ganization is anti-abortion, but upon further investigation of Birthright’s website, I cannot confirm or deny this notion because the website makes no obvious mention of abortion. Regardless, some of these ads and flyers have been torn down. We reached out to the Women’s Student Union to give them a chance to offer their perspective on this matter and they emphatically declined to comment. No matter what your opinion on abortion is, the actions by these prochoice activists are egregious. This is a blatant violation of the free speech clause of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. If you tear down ads you disagree with, it only demonstrates that you have no good or coherent arguments to counter said ads. If prochoice organizations want to advertise on OCCT buses, I doubt that the OCCT would object to displaying it. If the WSU wants to see pro-choice ads on these buses, they should approach the heads of the OCCT and petition to have their views represented through advertisements. No one should have a problem with that. However, vandalizing buses is not a rational or even moral solution to this issue. If you are inclined to be pro-choice, that is your prerogative, but attacking the speech of others who may have a pro-life stance is indeed a serious problem. Why waste time caring about what someone else thinks about abortion? You do not have to like their opinion, but you can also choose to mind your own business and move on with your life. There should be more pro-life advertisements, not fewer, so women can be reminded to take sufficient measures in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Abortions should only be performed in the event of serious medical catastrophes like the ones mentioned at the beginning of this article. All human life is sacred and beautiful and should be treated as such. Who could possibly be so heartless as to voluntarily inflict excruciating pain on an innocent and vulnerable fetus?
“The organization is called Planned Parenthood, not Avoidance of Unplanned Parenthood.” This is nothing short of pure insanity. Protection of innocent lives should not be a partisan issue. Yet, this is the one area of politics where I personally feel the Republicans are largely correct. To be fair, there have been numerous strawmen of the Democrats’ position on abortion. The Democrats are not pro-infanticide. However, they set up an incredibly perverse incentive structure when they fund organizations like Planned Parenthood which offer people a means of shirking responsibility for reckless behavior. Of course, the Hyde Amendment of 1976 prohibits federal funding of organizations that perform abortions. However, even according to the site IStandWithPP, Medicaid funds effectively DO fund some of Planned Parenthood’s abortion services. While the vast majority of Planned Parenthood’s services are not geared toward abortion, NONE of its services should concern abortion. The organization is called Planned Parenthood, not Avoidance of Unplanned Parenthood. Abortion is among the few issues on which I give President Trump a great degree of credit. For instance, the New York Times reported on February 22 that the Trump administration will block funding for organizations which perform abortions and reallocate that money to faith and pro-life groups. This is a great move on President Trump’s part. Too many people have gotten away with avoiding sexual responsibility for too long and it is encouraging that an administration is finally taking steps to ensure that subsidizing abortions will truly no longer be accepted at a federal level. Once again, do not expect me or my fellow pro-lifers to pay for you to weasel your way out of the consequences of poor decision-making.
Vol. XXXI, Issue IX
AN AMAZONG OPPORTUNITY
An Amazong Opportunity By Patrick McAuliffe
ith Amazon’s divorce from New York City as the sight of its next headquarters, Broome County’s government representatives were eager to jump on the company’s recently single status. February 14th can be considered the day that Broome County Executive Jason Gardner proposed to Amazon to consider this area as its new home, and although the offer was politely declined, the door remains open for the two to remain friends. Professional wingman Rep. Anthony Brindisi offered his support and encouraged Amazon to take the plunge. What would happen if Amazon took him up on it? Broome County’s heart has been broken before. IBM’s departure in the 1990s was the most recent setback, and a trip in any direction from Binghamton’s downtown shows clear evidence of the ache it left behind. Another staple manufacturer of the region, Sanmina-SCI, closed its location at the end of last year. Unemployment in manufacturing has dropped 64% from 1990 to 2013, according to the Press and Sun Bulletin. The only reason Broome County has not gone completely under is through healthcare jobs and service industries generated by the demand from BU students. However, as Greece has found out (with a 19% unemployment rate as of July 2018 and tourism set to be almost a quarter of its industry by 2028), any area cannot survive on services alone. Concrete production or distribution industries are the most reliable way to jump-start an economy. What if Broome County’s heart is broken? Many people, especially more liberal students or those who witness it in their own hometowns, are concerned about the gentrification that comes with Amazon’s arrival. Local people and their enterprises will pale in comparison and eventually fall through the cracks when confronted with the giant that is Amazon, and the more expensive chains and big businesses that follow it. Property is
relatively cheap in Broome County, and the price would only rise as these companies buy it up and improve it. As Amazon grows rich from the profits of the low production costs of the area, local workers or businesses will receive comparatively lower compensation for their efforts and will be unable to rise to the new cost of living in their own home county. Cheap labor and land are not bad things. Companies and their shareholders are rational actors, and want to maximize their profits and gain rewarding returns on their investments. Nike produces world-famous sportswear through sweatshops, and gets rich from it. The sweatshop workers are better off as well. If they were not, they would be busy working in their own shops or farming their own land, because they, too, are rational actors. To them, churning out clothing for first-world countries brings more money and a better life for them and their families than backbreaking agriculture or meager salesmanship. I’m willing to bet that a good portion of local Broomians would love to work in their warehouses and offices instead of their current positions, because working for THE Amazon will push them to be their best and genuinely enjoy what they do. Business Insider reported in October 2018 that Amazon’s 3.8/5 average star review on Glassdoor is over the site’s aggregate average of 3.4/5 stars. Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15/hour last year, and three-quarters of employee testimonies are equal parts satisfaction with their work culture and disbelief at the extremely competitive nature of their colleagues. Binghamton students would benefit greatly from Amazon’s Broome
County headquarters as well. New York City, which is close to where many students are from, serves as the source of a good portion of internships for us. It may be close to home for many, but an internship with Amazon right next door to our school integrates students more with the community with an equally weighted name as JP Morgan or PWC. The experiences that students could gain from working at Amazon’s headquarters would undoubtedly be rewarding. Finally, my final argument for Amazon’s marriage to Broome County is one that some Trump supporters may dislike. Manufacturing jobs have been leaving Rust Belt states in the US for years, simply because it’s getting too expensive to retain lowskilled jobs in a country with mandatory higher labor costs. Binghamton is New York’s mini-Rust Belt. Like Nike and other corporations, the same quality goods can be produced for much cheaper overseas or south of the border; why stay? Higher skilled jobs such as those that Amazon will bring will raise the standard of living in Broome County, it’s true. Those that can rise to the challenge will gain leaps and bounds over their previous life. I know it isn’t as simple as to say, “Learn to code.” If Amazon is smart, it would make more investments in Broome County than land. Partnerships with our university or the establishment of effective, affordable training programs for the local workforce would give rewarding returns to all involved parties. Amazon will gain a competent, driven workforce and our local communities, especially those of women and people of color (felt the need to point these two out for identity politics leftists), will gain the skills they need to participate in their new economy and reduce the amount of inevitable losers for such an increase in the standard of living. The future is now, old man, and Amazon could have a long and happy relationship with Broome County and its people.
WHY THE BIG BUTT IS CONSERVATIVE AND THEREFORE EPIC
Why the Bing Butt is Conservative and Therefore Epic By Josephi Krakowski
s I pulled open Facebook to view the most recent Breitbart post about why Trump is my dad, I came across a post by the Bing Butt. As I was unaware of the Bing Butt and assuming that this was another attempt by Binghamton University to convince people to quit smoking, I decided to look into it. After all, my Juuling and chewing have been adding up to be a costly habit. My Mountain Dew Juul pods have to imported from Hong Kong, the only true Capitalist society that I can support. What I found out about the Bing Butt, however, was a startling discovery. It turns out that the Binghamton Review is not the only conservative publication that Binghamton University has to offer. It turns out this Bing Butt was promoting fantastic amounts of conservative talking points, ranging from pro-Populist posts going all the way back to Paleoconservative points. Now you maybe thinking “This is impossible!” but the greatest propaganda pieces are the ones you do not observe overtly. Take, for example, their article on platonic gifts for Valentines Day. Many may see this as simply a gift and concept that has the intention to maintain a friendzone; however, the underlying themes of this are simple: to promote chastity and celibate relationships. This encourages everyone who is in that relationship to abstain from sex and instead seek the close friendship that leads into marriage before getting into any Valentines gift that the corrupted liberals want you to give out. Clearly, the Bing Butt is playing Steve Bannon levels of 5D chess with Binghamton University students. Not to mention that in that same article they advertise Adam Sandler’s hit comedies Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2 for a gift. As many know, Adam Sandler is the best example of a Republican who is down with the kids! His past history has shown his donations to Rudy Giuliani’s former presidential campaign, indicating that he is conservative and therefore epic.
Very clever move Bing Butt! Only a truly great conservative propaganda publication could hide such a covert conservative undertone. Never have I seen this done in such grace since Fox News promoted Dinesh D’souza’s movies as “documentaries”. Even as recent as the 26th of February, the Bing Butt has published a article criticizing the liberal Punk Band, Green Day, and Antifa in the same article! Not even us at the Binghamton Review could produce such a ridiculously right wing article unless it was about joining the Tea Party movement while listening to God Bless America on repeat, and praying to the photo of Ronald Reagan hanging in our beautiful Binghamton Review office. Now many might argue: “But Josephi Krakowski! The Bing Butt slanders the Binghamton Review all the time, which is why I read their publication!” That is very true, with the Bing Butt full of articles mocking Larry Sharpe for government and articles mocking the Review’s occasional use of pseudonyms. However, any right winger with their eyes open can see the subtle diversion that is truly going on. By mocking our publication every
couple of articles, it allows a diversion from their right wing writings and slowly allows for more indoctrination of the unsuspecting public towards right wing organizations. Furthermore, just looking at who helps to host the site, WordPress, shows the conservative backing behind the site! Matt Mullenweg was co-founder of WordPress, and guess which state he was born in... That’s right, Texas! The state that proudly boasts exactly 0 Democrats and a whole lotta guns! The Bing Butt might as well have a proud sticker that says Funded By Our Lords and Saviors the Koch Brothers, two great men who are Patriots and of whom I personally have dedicated a shrine to in my house. So next time you read the Bing Butt, look for these conservative overtones and rejoice. We would love to let those at the Butt know that we at the Review see what you are doing and happily applaud you. You are probably getting more students registered Republican then we are! I personally will be sure to make a large contribution to Steve Bannon and the RNC in your name so the great conservative work you do can be everlasting.
Vol. XXXI, Issue IX
YOU’VE BEEN LIED TO ABOUT CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT
You’ve Been Lied To About Campus Sexual Assault By Sarah Waters
e’ve all heard the statistics: 1 in 5 women are raped in college. Or 1 in 4. Or was it 1 in 3? These scary, ever-changing statistics are fed to women before they even get to college. The problem? They’re complete bull. Before you start screaming that I’m a rape apologist, you should know that I myself am a survivor of campus rape. It is unbearably difficult to heal from repeated rape by a fellow classmate. But I’m trying. And I know these false rape statistics can hinder or reverse healing. It is critical to me as a survivor to call out and expose the lies that harm our wellbeing and sense of safety. How did we get to this point? These numbers can be traced back to the 1970s, to a study by Mary Koss. Her study was very flawed in methodology and received a very low response rate. The biggest flaw of this study is that Koss defined sexual violence much more broadly than the general public, and did not make this clear to participants. Koss’ 1976 study made broad generalizations about responses, including defining sexual encounters involving alcohol as rape, even in direct contradiction to women’s own negative responses to the question “have you been raped?” Koss did not allow women to define their own experiences, instead lumping together a woman who drank a glass of wine and made a poor decision to a woman who was passed out drunk and gang raped at a frat party. Koss eventually admitted the faulty and ambiguous wording of her questions, yet many other researchers still continue to follow her methods today, producing artificially-inflated statistics in exchange for grant money. Other studies that asked directly about rape and sexual assault found a much lower rate of rape on college campuses. In 1981, Professor Margaret Gordon conducted a study that found 1 in 50 (2 percent) women had been raped. This is also the finding in a 1993 phone survey by Louis Harris,
“Perhaps worst of all, every state and federal dollar funneled to addressing a false campus rape crisis is taking away financial resources from other populations that face a much greater risk of sexual assault.” in which 98 percent of women responded negatively to the question of whether or not they had been raped or sexually assaulted within the past five years. Sexual violence researchers and experts Dr. Linda George, Dr. Naomi Breslau, and Dr. Eugene Kanin expressed concern at Koss’ study and others that followed similar methodology, stating the headline-catching findings were wildly inaccurate. Despite better studies’ findings and criticism from experts, Koss’ misleading and manipulated statistics opened the floodgates to mass hysteria and rape paranoia. Rape, apparently, is around every corner. No man can be trusted. The bowl of M&Ms is poisoned. Men and women are terrified of dating, the latter for fear of rape, the former for being accused of rape.
These men’s fears are not unfounded. In 1993, Oberlin College picked a random male freshman’s name out of a hat and publicly branded him “rapist of the month,” despite the fact that he was never accused of rape. Campus feminists firmly stood by the disgusting stunt, claiming that since the campus rape epidemic harms so many women, one innocent man getting his life ruined can help “balance it out.” This happened. This is real. These statistics can and do hurt people. Perhaps most ironically, it can hurt survivors. False rape statistics fuel hysteria on college campuses, making students, especially survivors, feel unsafe and fearful. April, a University of Michigan student who expressed extreme fear of campus rape, stated that there is “a big difference if it’s 1 in 3 or 1 in 50. I’d have to say, honestly, I’d think about rape a lot less if I knew the number was 1 in 50.” Rape survivor and activist Monica Trumble described the ridiculously inflated statistics leading to her retraumatization through overwhelming fear. Perhaps worst of all, every state and federal dollar funneled to addressing a false campus rape crisis is taking away financial resources from other populations that face a much greater risk of sexual assault. Women without a college education, especially women of color and those living in poverty, are sexually assaulted much more than women privileged enough to be getting a higher education. Congratulations, feminists. You’ve stolen from vulnerable communities to fuel your sham of a movement. Well done. It’s high time we stood up for truth in anti-rape advocacy. There is no good reason to perpetuate lies. It harms people from every walk of life. 2 percent may not be as flashy as 33 percent, but it is certainly more accurate. Standing up for survivors is a noble cause. On behalf of survivors, I ask you, please, do not advocate for us with discredited falsities. Only the truth will set us free.
TOP DEMOCRATS OF 2020 (SO FAR)
Top Democrats of 2020 (So Far) By Matt Rosen
s 2020 draws ever closer, the pool of potential democratic candidates is filling to the brim. In this piece I will analyze current contenders for the democratic nomination most likely to succeed. As a disclaimer, my rationale for this list of “Top Democrats” is simply my early guesses, and certainly may change as the campaigns progress. The main qualities of a Democratic candidate who will be successful, in my opinion, are the following: they don’t alienate the moderates/establishment, they do well with the minority voting block (which is an official category of voters), and they can keep up with the party which has shifted very far left in a short amount of time. This is an analysis on who I believe has the best chance in the primaries. 1) Bernie Sanders - So as of today, I think Bernie Sanders should be considered the front runner. While I could have just as easily put him as number two, he just seems like a much more solid candidate so far. Even if you ignore the money he raised, it’s hard to argue that Kamala Harris stands a better chance. A couple of weeks ago I would have had it the other way around, but recently I’ve changed my mind. Bernie is a much more charismatic and exciting for Democrats than any of the other candidates. Bernie is going to run away with the extreme left voters, the millennials, and there is a good chance he even wins the establishment vote. While every other Democrat is trying to walk a thin line between Be As Extremely Left as Possible and Don’t Be Too Crazy, Bernie doesn’t care. Bernie is going to offer every possible new program that gives away “free” stuff. Bernie’s flaw when it comes to the Democratic Primary is that he loses with the minority wing of the party, and with the moderates. I can almost guarantee that someone at some point during the campaign will complain that he is old, a man, and white. But Bernie seems less bothered by all of this, which is exactly how you have to be if you want to win. Verdict: Bernie is the top candidate for the radical far-left wing of the party. 2) Kamala Harris - And that brings me to why Kamala Harris is number two: she is almost the exact opposite of Bernie Sanders in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Her biggest strength is the minority card. I’ve heard people argue that she is trying to run a less successful version of Barack Obama’s campaign strategy, and perhaps she is. Now of course none of us mind a minority or a woman to be President, but that shouldn’t be the reason why someone wins, which is how Kamala is running her campaign. Her weaknesses are that she is less exciting and less extreme for a party that he shifted far left very quickly, and it is entirely possible that she loses the support of establishment Democrats because of those two facts. Additionally, her history as a prosecutor may also upset anti-incarceration leftist. That being said, moderates and minorities will definitely (in general) take her over Bernie. Verdict: Kamala is the top candidate for the intersectional/
minority wing of the party. 3) Joe Biden - At this point I haven’t even considered whether Biden should go above Bernie or Kamala, simply because he hasn’t declared that he is even running yet. However, if Biden throws his hat in the ring, he is sure to be matched with both of them because of his history, name recognition, and popularity with Democrats. Biden would be a game changer because the voters who loved Obama, who are establishment, and are traditional or moderate Democrats could all jump ship for Biden. Of course he has weaknesses too, including the fact that he won’t do as well with minority voters and isn’t as extreme as the Democratic base has shifted. Verdict: Biden is the top candidate for the traditional/establishment wing of the party. I personally believe that the top three Democrats represent the three important wings of the Democratic party. Bernie will do well because he is the most far left candidate who is the face of the far left, Kamala will do well because she is the face of the minority/intersectional sect of the party who feel victimized, and Biden would do well because he is the best establishment/ traditional candidate, even though he hasn’t officially declared yet. But who are their understudies? Who are the dark horses behind these three? Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke - Warren and Beto are the backups to Bernie. Warren tried to run a mix between the Hillary and Bernie campaigns, but that idea crashed and burned once Bernie declared. The same goes for Beto, but with the young, excited voters, specifically millennials. While both of these two are attempting to use some of the tactics of the other wings of the party, my opinion is that Bernie declaring was the nail in their 2020 coffin. In order for them to have a chance, they would both have to be more exciting than they currently are. Cory Booker and Eric Holder? - Booker and Holder are the two other minorities in the Democratic Party who have their eyes on the Presidency. It is very unclear as to whether Holder will jump in the race, but Booker already has. I’m going to keep this short, neither have any chance of winning, but are the next in line to claim the minority/intersectional wing of the party. Hillary Clinton and Kirsten Gillibrand - No, I do not think Hillary will run, and no, I don’t think Gillibrand will get more than 1% of the vote. But it’s worth noting that they are the most establishment candidates left. So since my 6th-9th place Democrats (Booker, Holder, Clinton, Gillibrand) in my opinion have no chance in the primaries, it is essentially a five person race, with three clear front runners (if Biden does run). The winner of the primaries will probably be determined by who hates Trump the most, who can have the most overlap with the other candidates’ wing and who can get their own wing of the party to come out and vote in large numbers.
Vol. XXXI, Issue IX
A Killing Joke
A KILLING JOKE
By John Restuccia
hen analyzing comic book characters with stories that changed the medium, one character has had more groundbreaking stories than any other - Batman. Throughout the history of the character, Batman’s stories have pushed the boundaries of what comic books could be. What was once seen as just stories for kids became dark, mature stories that questioned morals and what really was good or evil. Two issues ago I wrote about Frank Miller and discussed his groundbreaking, as well as my favorite, Batman story: The Dark Knight Returns. However, now I wanted to explore my second favorite Batman story, one that holds a special place in my heart: The Killing Joke. I didn’t want to just look at what everyone has explored with the story already; I wanted to look at if there was any psychological merit to the argument the Joker makes in the story when he says that one bad day could make anyone, no matter how sane, as crazy as him. For those who don’t know, the Killing Joke is one of the DC Universe’s most influential stories, which to this day has affected the DC continuities. The basics of the story goes as follows. The Joker wants to prove to Batman that one bad day can make any person go insane after revealing that one bad day turned him into the villian that everyone knows today. To do this the Joker kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, one of the most grounded moral characters in the Batman Universe. In kidnapping the Commissioner, the Joker does something that is unthinkable to many comic book readers. He shoots the Commissioner’s daughter, Barbara Gordon, who is secretly Batgirl, in the spine. This cripples Barbara Gordon and he proceeds to strip her, beat her, and even take photos of her. This was one of the truly darkest moments in comic book history that to this day remains one of the hardest things to read for any fan of Batgirl. Afterwards, the Joker constructs an amusement park from hell, forcing Gordon to strip naked and making him view photos of his abused daughter. Eventually Batman comes in and saves Gordon, who remains sane. It is also revealed that Barbara Gordon is thankfully ok, and continues to be Oracle, an advisor to Batman even in her crippled state. The story is short but one of the darkest comics and deepest stories to ever be put onto pages. At the end of the story however, there is a dark realization that, in a way, at the end of the day Batman and Joker are two sides of the same coin. After all, Batman had one bad day of his parents getting mugged and killed that turned him into the vigilante he is today. However, as stated before, I wanted to get to the psychology of the story to see if there is any weight to the argument on a scientific level. To do this I needed to ask for some help. I reached out to Cody Polack. Mr. Polack is a assistant professor in the Psychology department here at our very own Binghamton University. He specializes specifically in learning and memory. The first question I asked was if one day could really set some people off in such a drastic way. The answer was yes, to a certain extent. When using the example of Batman’s one bad day, a person has to look at the individual case basis. In a
psychological explanation it would depend on the person’s life experiences and coping methods to anxiety they developed. In Jim Gordon’s case, being a police officer, he had dealt with intense stress throughout his job as well as life threatening situations, giving him a great support network in place to deal with the Joker’s torture. Meanwhile, the Joker on the other hand had lost his wife, who would have been his support system, causing him to be at his lowest point ever without any real prior coping techniques developed earlier in life. Bruce Wayne is in a very similar book to the Joker. Mr. Polack brought up the fact that Bruce Wayne’s tragic story happened to him while he was only a child. He had no one around him except a butler to help him cope with his pain and sadness. A point that was brought up is that Batman is almost as insane as the Joker is as well. No person in their right mind would just use their money to fight crime one by one. Instead Bruce Wayne could be using his money to fight crime with much more efficiency, targeting the systemic issues that create crime instead of what he is doing currently. It is almost as though Batman needs to fight and uses it to work through his deep seated emotional issues. The Joker is shown to never kill Batman no matter what. To the Joker, the challenge in fighting Batman is almost to get him to cross a line to kill and break his moral code. Batman almost needs the Joker as much as the Joker needs Batman to help cope with his own deep seated issues. This goes along with the story of Batman telling Joker that if they keep their fighting up one of them will end up dead. Batman doesn’t want to kill the Joker, he needs the Joker as much as the Joker needs Batman. So can one bad day really make someone go insane? Kind of. The psychology behind the story proved to open up a wormhole of psychological issues in Batman’s psyche as well as the importance of having a coping system to help oneself as well as friends who can help you out when you have those really bad days. I would like to thank Cody Polack for his help when researching this topic. Without him, I would still be reading old Psychology Today articles trying to wrap my head around the science behind Batman.
By Mason Carteri
ecently, I was in contact with some friends from my hometown, milling over the latest gossip from our old high school. From them I learned that a local girl had gotten pregnant at 16, and because it’s the 21st century, she had of course made a YouTube channel as well. Somewhat instinctively, I rolled my eyes and groan-laughed before looking up her channel. At that moment, I was more morbidly curious, like a child trying to peek into a crime scene and see a dead body. After watching the entirety of her first video however, I came away with a great deal of respect for her as a person who had made a mistake, owned up to it, and is now doing her best to prepare for the awesome and terrifying responsibility of being a parent. She spent time talking about her choice to go through with her pregnancy and raise her children - she was carrying twins - as well as the many challenges she had faced as a 16-year-old girl going about her daily life in school while pregnant. She made various references to the way people in our town treated her, by and large looking down on her snobbishly, as I had before hearing her story. She had, of course, caused her own trouble, but she was also quick to acknowledge her responsibility. Even in the face of an overwhelmingly negative social view of teen pregnancy and the massive cost in both time and money of raising children, she elected to keep her children. Her story is, so
“...for those teens on the middle or complete other side of the abortion issue, even a little social encouragement and positivity for having the courage to keep their baby may be enough to help them along towards choosing life.” far, a triumphant one, but her struggles reveal an important issue for the prolife movement to consider: how we as a culture treat teen mothers. As it stands now, teen moms in many communities (including my own hometown) are looked down on and ostracized from ‘polite society.’ Of course, this is at least in part because our society understands the undesirable nature of teen motherhood, which brings with it a whole host of financial and personal challenges as well as a severely increased rate of future single motherhood. We want to discourage our children from coming anywhere near such hardships, and rightfully so. However, the negative way we actually treat teenagers who stumble their way into pregnancies and have the courage to carry their pregnancies to term and raise their children is a real problem. It places just another pressure to abort on pregnant teens, all while depriving them of the support they may need as
they struggle with the choice to carry and raise a child at their young age. Of course, pregnant teens in strong religious and/or conservative families may not be significantly affected by this stigmatization as they are already likely to keep their babies, but for those teens on the middle or complete other side of the abortion issue, even a little social encouragement and positivity for having the courage to keep their baby may be enough to help them along towards choosing life. Furthermore, we should keep in mind that bringing new life into the world is in itself a good and amazing thing. Here is where the crowd of prochoice advocates raise their voices. Why would conservatives and pro-lifers push for pumping babies out, then turn around and deny them social services and welfare? Do they really care for life at all? Are they only “probirth”? It’s not a contradiction to provide unconditional, caring support for pregnant teens to have their children and simultaneously want to rein in government spending for programs many people take advantage of for years. The key to this support comes from the teenage mother’s community and loved ones, and this support, in turn, comes from a cultural shift in how we view teenage pregnancy. Remember, these mothers are scared and uncertain about the future, and dismissing their choice with “Just have an abortion” both destroys their respect for unborn life and teaches them that choices with massive consequences beyond them can be easily avoided. After reflecting on this issue and hearing this girl’s story, I fully stand behind her and her decision. She only has two videos on her YouTube channel, but her story has gone viral with a huge outpouring of support. This kind of attitude belongs at the forefront of our culture as human life is respected once again and we choose to help guide these vulnerable mothers through the most important moment in their lives.
Vol. XXXI, Issue IX