The Cornell Review The Conservative Voice on Campus
An Independent Publication vol. xxxi, no. ix
“We Do Not Apologize.”
Dearth of Diversity Exposing the Hypocrisy of Cornell’s Liberal Departments
Raj Kannapan Staff Writer
n one way or another, the concept of diversity pervades every piece of marketing that America’s colleges and universities distribute to unsuspecting students and parents. Diversity today assumes primacy in every conversation about the state of American higher education. The attainment of diversity—whose definition remains as uncertain today as it did when the idea was first introduced as indispensable in education—seems to have become a virtuous goal unto itself. Certainly at Cornell University, diversity is viewed as part and parcel of education itself, an undoubted blessing if absorbed properly, and a transgression if ignored. Yet, one is hard-pressed to find among Cornell’s marketing and public statements mentions of intellectual or ideological diversity.
Fine. This is not unexpected. For the better part of the past five decades, academia in America has served as a bastion of liberal oneness. Cornell, much like most American institutions of higher education, cares far less—at least in public, operational terms—about intellectual or ideological diversity than it does about racial or gender diversity. But what about Cornell’s own conception of diversity? Does the university implement its own idea of diversity consistently and thoroughly? The following appears as one of Cornell’s many statements on diversity: “Cornell is committed to extending its legacy of recruiting a heterogeneous faculty, student body and staff; fostering a climate that doesn't just accommodate differences, but engages with them; and providing rich opportunities for learning from those differences.”
However, the most untrained eye can observe that, even according to its own conception of the matter, the university continues to endorse an abhorrent lack of diversity. Take, for instance, the Department of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The department, founded presumably in response to what some students and faculty perceived to be a bias against, and underrepresentation of, women, ironically is engaging in the very same practice of homogeneity that it likely sees throughout academia in the hiring of men. Of the department’s 28 core faculty members, a grand total of 1 is male. But not a word emerges from either the students or faculty in the department about its lack of gender diversity. Might not a man have different and, indeed, probably
March 28th, 2013 Being Sold the American Dream A CPAC 2013 story
Editorial: Skorton for Senate
CU Conservatism in the ‘80s
A Libertarian Revival?
...or the death of the family?
Run, David, run!
Part II in our series on Cornell History
Republicans and Gay Marriage
Post-familial phenomena A REVIEW ORIGINAL
The Feminine Ego and the Masculine Libido
Continued on page 5
Ann Coulter '84
Byline Funding: The 6.5 There is No Moral Case for Divestment Million Dollar Baby Bill Snyder Staff Writer
he Cornell Student Assembly is often viewed as a hollow instrument designed to give students the illusion of student governance on Cornell’s campus. However, the Assembly, in a few areas, has significant influence and power. One of its major powers resides in the members' ability to distribute the $6.5 million in byline-funded organizations at Cornell. Every year, each student pays a student activity fee. For 2012-2014,
the fee was $229. The Student Assembly’s Appropriations Committee then divides this fee and allocates it to various “byline-funded” organizations. Every two years, these organizations reapply, making for an exciting but stressful process that will begin next fall. “This semester, as it is a non byline funding year, we review the allocation from the 2012 cycle," remarked Don Muir, '15, a member of the Appropriations Committee since his freshman year. "Each byline-funded Continued on page 4
Byline-Funded Organizations 2012-2014 Remaining BylineFunded Orgs., $58.49 SAFC Organizations, $84.16
Orientation Committee, $7.60 ALANA, $8.75 CU Tonight, $9.50 Athletics & Physical Ed., $10.00 Cornell Cinema, $10.00
Jessica Reif & Kyle Ezzedine Guest Column
he Student Assembly recently passed a resolution demanding that Cornell University divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry by 2020. Cornell is now one of over 250 campuses on which students have called upon their administration to take a stance against the use of fossil fuels. This “divestment movement” was inspired by Bill McKibben, America’s leading environmental activist (sorry, Al Gore). Most known for his efforts to block the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, McKibben began a new project last July—divestment. In a Rolling Stone article titled, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math,” McKibben calls for Universities to divest their endowments from the fossil fuel industry. This is not the first divestment movement to find its way to Cornell. In the 1980s, a campaign to divest from companies affiliated with the apartheid regime in South Africa swept college campuses across the United States. As a result, Cornell and 154 other campuses divested and 80 cities, 25 U.S. states, and 19 countries agreed to take economic action against these businesses. The strength of this movement
rested in the powerful moral case against apartheid. McKibben now seeks to create a similar nationwide movement to divest in the fossil fuel industry, similar to the campaign of the 1980s. Likening the two as sister causes, McKibben is pushing for Universities to send a message to the oil industry that its practices are unacceptable. But there is a problem with his logic: the fossil fuel industry is not inherently immoral. The need to divest in companies associated with the apartheid regime was an easy case to make; the human rights violations were, without a doubt, a shock to the conscience. The fossil-fuel industry does not produce this reaction. The companies that make up this industry are not only pillars of our economy, but of our society. So before we write off all oil companies as enemies and sell off our stock, let’s consider the impact of the oil industry on our Univeristy, our country, and the world. The current discourse has operated on the unchallenged assumption that investment in oil is inherently wrong. The debate does not consider whether fossil fuels are "good" or bad", but rather, solely is about whether or not the sheer Continued on page 9
March 28, 2013
Joy Division: A Story of CPAC 2013
Internal Crisis at the Nation’s Biggest Conservative Convention Mike Navarro Staff Writer
o, what are you selling?” The man with me in the elevator was dressed like a cowboy, assuming he was from somewhere in Europe and had never seen a real cowboy. He looked at me, smiling through his rhinestone sunglasses while his friends chuckled at his question. “I don’t suppose I’m selling anything, sir” I answered. “Well hell son, why are you here then?” he replied. “I suppose I’m here to be sold something.” “And what are you being sold?” The man took off his sunglasses. “I suppose I’m being sold the American Dream.” The group laughed, and stepped out of the elevator. As they walked away, the cowboy said over his shoulder, “I hope that works out for you, kid.” This past weekend, while most Cornellians were finishing prelims and packing for various ports-of-call around the country in celebration of that magical time of year known as “Spring Break,” I—and thousands of other conservatives—headed to Washington, D.C. to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference, more commonly known as CPAC. "What is CPAC," you ask? To quote Kobe Bryant (and, coincidentally, Newt Gingrich), “I wish we knew.” I am not ashamed to admit that I was a CPAC virgin. As such, I decided that prior to walking through the doors of the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, I needed to do my research about what might await. First, the basics: CPAC was conceived in 1973 by a group of individuals who would become the American Conservative Union (ACU). They determined that it was necessary to create an event that could rally like-minded conservatives together around one cause. In order to inspire their fellows, they would invite the biggest names in the Republican Party to speak at their event, the first being then-governor Ronald Reagan (in 1974). From that point on, CPAC grew to become the behemoth that it is today, with thousands of attendees enjoying a schedule brimming with lectures from the most well-known conservative figures in the country. Furthermore, CPAC serves as a rallying point—a place where conservatives can come together and strengthen their bonds. Upon leaving, individuals theoretically go back to their respective corners of the nation reinvigorated, ready to champion the conservative cause while knowing that thousands of others are doing the same. In this way, we can each make a difference.
This is the message put forth by the ACU on the CPAC website, and who is to tell them that they are wrong? Certainly not me, the CPAC virgin. After reading all of this, I could not help but be excited for the event. I thought, I may reflect upon this weekend years from now, and realize that I bore witness to the reigniting of an entire political party— that I was there when the GOP rose from the ashes of November 2012 and emerged to become a beacon for an increasingly fragile base of conservatives. I sincerely hoped this to be true. I suppose this is where a modicum of irony is to be found in relation to the current state of my weathered relationship with the Republican Party: I was going to CPAC 2013 hoping for change. I wish I would have ended my CPAC 2013 research on the webpage of the event itself. As is the case with any large gathering of Republicans, it did not take long for the media to gather like optimistic vultures soaring high above the fray on
Ben Carson, shown here receving the Medal of Freedom from President Bush, was a shining star of CPAC.
things may not end up the way I pictured them. “Man, the NRA is pretty well represented,” Noah commented. They weren’t the only ones. “Have you ever heard of ‘The Tea Party Network’ before?” I asked. Lining radio row, the biggest and gaudiest sets were being set up for
It bothered me that these great speakers were forced to share the stage with the likes of Donald Trump, Michelle Bachman, and Sarah Palin. self-righteous thermals, waiting to swoop down and attack at any sign of weakness. And weaknesses they had found. The ACU decided not to invite New Jersey governor Chris Christie to speak at the event this year. They also declined two groups of LGBT conservatives known as GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans a seat at the table, a decision which has caused several individuals to withdraw support for CPAC. In fact, it seemed easier to find more opinions on people that were NOT invited to the event than on those that were. However, the media has quite often proved themselves to be less than trustworthy when it comes to unbiased reporting of right-leaning political events. I decided I would do my best to maintain my unabashed enthusiasm for what would surely be a wonderful weekend spent forging new friendships and reigniting my conservative fire. I arrived at the Gaylord National Resort on Wednesday night, the eve of the convention. After checking into our room, my fellow travellers and I (Cornell Review Editor Noah Kantro and retired editor Lucas Policastro) decided to do a little pre-game exploring. As we walked around the site, I couldn’t help but marvel at the sheer size of it all. It was during our walk down CPAC’s radio row that I saw the first of many potential warning signs that
no less than six different outlets affiliating themselves with either the NRA or the Tea Party. They were also being placed in the most prime real estate positions: right next to the entrances of the main ballroom, where all of the biggest speeches and panels would be conducted, and where every attendee would be sure to see them. The only question was whether they were in those prime real estate positions because CPAC was trying to push them on people, or because CPAC was catering to its audience. The rest of the weekend was a typical convention blur, with numerous highs and lows. It was incredible to see a huge turnout of conservatives under the age of 25, yet it was embarrassing to see how they acted in the hotel lobby around 1 am. It was great to see how many members of the new media were represented, yet it was unsettling to see how many were fostering and spreading extremist views. There were some truly amazing speakers, such as Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mia Love, Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Newt and Callista Gingrich, and the reemergence of Willard Mitt Romney. It bothered me that these great speakers were forced to share the stage with the likes of Donald Trump, Michelle Bachman, and Sarah Palin. I very much enjoyed seeing panel discussions on intellectual property law
and an all-female panel that played out like a conservative version of ‘The View.’ On the other hand, there were panels that were so awful that they bordered on offensive, such as the panel on immigration reform, and the now-infamous panel “How to Trump the Race Card: Are You Sick and Tired of Being Called a Racist and You Know You’re Not One?” which espoused the virtues of proving your commitment to diversity by simply telling people that you are a ‘Fredrick Douglass Republican.’ For the record, this discussion was not sponsored by CPAC; rather, it was sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. In essence, this is what the overriding theme of CPAC became. We were bearing witness to the split in the Republican Party between the GOP and the Tea Party, with one side stubbornly sticking to its old ways and the other seeking a more aggressive and confrontational approach. For me, it was extremely awkward and more than a bit sad, because in all honesty I don’t care for either of them. I was left with an existential dilemma. CPAC 2013 was breaking my heart, and it forced me to question whether there was anyone out there that I could believe in. At 10:00 am on the last day of the convention, I got my wish. When I first heard about him, I was sure that Dr. Ben Carson was just a new flavor-of-the-month for the conservative media. I had heard that he spoke during President Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast, and that he used his time to take subtle shots at some of the President’s initiatives. I just assumed it would be a matter of time before either the GOP or the Tea Party would get their hands on him and parade him around as their new symbol. I also assumed that CPAC 2013 would be his grand unveiling, and that within the first five minutes of his speech I would be able to tell who got to him first. Then Dr. Carson spoke. It didn’t take five minutes. Within the first two I was convinced that this man was not looking for media attention, he was not selling anything, and he was definitely not dishing Continued on page 9
The Cornell Review
Founded 1984 r Incorporated 1986 Jim Keller Jerome D. Pinn Anthony Santelli, Jr. Ann Coulter Founders
Noah Kantro Alfonse Muglia Editors-in-Chief
Karim Lakhani President
Lucia Rafanelli Executive Editor Vice President
Christopher Slijk Managing Editor
Katie Johnson Treasurer
Campus News Editor
National News Editor
Contributors Caitlin Deming Michael Loffredo Caroline Emberton Roberto Matos Andre Gardiner Mike Navarro Alex Gimenez Kirk Sigmon Raj Kannappan Bill Snyder
Emeritus Members Anthony Longo Lucas Policastro
Board of Directors
Christopher DeCenzo Joseph E. Gehring Jr. Anthony Santelli Jr.
Faculty Advisor William A. Jacobson The Cornell Review is an independent biweekly journal published by students of Cornell University for the benefit of students, faculty, administrators, and alumni of the Cornell community. The Cornell Review is a thoughtful review of campus and national politics from a broad conservative perspective. The Cornell Review, an independent student organization located at Cornell University, produced and is responsible for the content of this publication. This publication was not reviewed or approved by, nor does it necessarily express or reflect the policies or opinions of, Cornell University or its designated representatives. The Cornell Review is published by The Ithaca Review, Inc., a non-profit corporation. The opinions stated in The Cornell Review are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the staff of The Cornell Review. Editorial opinions are those of the responsible editor. The opinions herein are not necessarily those of the board of directors, officers, or staff of The Ithaca Review, Inc. The Cornell Review is distributed free, limited to one issue per person, on campus as well as to local businesses in Ithaca. Additional copies beyond the first free issue are available for $1.00 each. The Cornell Review is a member of the Collegiate Network. The Cornell Review prides itself on letting its writers speak for themselves, and on open discourse. We publish a spectrum of beliefs, and readers should be aware that pieces represent the views of their authors, and not necessarily those of the entire staff. If you have a wellreasoned conservative opinion piece, we hope you will send it to cornellreview@ cornell.edu for consideration. The Cornell Review meets regularly on Mondays at 5:00 pm in GS 156. E-mail messages should be sent to
Copyright © 2013 The Ithaca Review Inc. All Rights Reserved.
March 28, 2013
A Golden Thread for Iowa? Let us tell you a tale of two cities. It is the worst of times in Washington, DC. The capitol is a mess. It’s a blindingly partisan dystopia where Republicans rant about Democrats and Democrats slam Republicans, where crises are manufactured and precious little is accomplished. It’s a schoolyard fist fight on the deck of the Titanic, as the American people look on in dismay. It is the best of times in Ithaca, NY. The city, or more specifically East Hill, is actually in relatively good shape. President David J. Skorton has led Cornell University to increasing national prominence. His Reimagining Cornell initiative, with Provost Kent Fuchs, is a strategic vision for worldwide leadership in education. The Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute in New York is a foundational pillar of this vision. He has generally championed freedom and rights for both students and immigrants. He has “Pledged to End Hazing” and has worked to promote mental health on this campus and across the nation. He has pioneered stringent research ethics across all disciplines. During six recessionary years, he has raised over four billion dollars for the endowment. Yes, this is a tale of two cities that would drive Charles Dickens to despair. Let us propose an innovative, compelling solution to the depressing dichotomy. Senator Tom Harkin (D) of Iowa has announced his retirement, leaving an open Senate seat in the 2014-midterm elections. Coincidentally, President
Skorton called Iowa his home for the 26 years preceding his arrival in Ithaca. Do you see how the tale unfolds here? A unique opportunity to share the “Cornell Way” with the nation has been presented! Skorton returns to Iowa, runs for Harkin’s seat and measurably improves the tired gene pool in the Senate. Washington, D.C. becomes incrementally less partisan and incrementally more functional. There could be a happy ending to this Dickensian tale, and without resorting to those pesky guillotines! This vision is not impractical, we assure you. Many Iowa politicans have been unimpressed by the possible contenders thus far. Meanwhile, President Skorton’s appeal and name recognition stretch far beyond Cayuga’s Waters, due to those numerous public campaigns that we have
Now, having established that this proposal would steer us clear from Dickins' revolutionary narrative, the real questions have only begun. Could President Skorton be that nonpartisan statesman? Could he be the golden thread for Iowa during an important moment in our nation's history. After all, as the son of a Belorussian immigrant raised in the heart of the midwest, Skorton surely is a poster child for the American dream, right? Let us not forget that he is a musician, a strong family man, a doctor who both teaches and practices, and a genuinely interesting person, who—oh, by the way—has taken very strong stances against issues that the common observer would think have little effect on operating a public institution. Let us be honest. The Cornell Review has hardly been a steadfast supporter of the administration throughout our history. There are a few (quite a few, actually) areas where we disagree with public stances and decisions that the University has made, and our writers and editors have been determined to highlight these imperfections. A new reader would not need to look very heard to see what we are talking about. But we’re talking about our University’s President here! The man's name will be on each of our diplomas. That man now has an opportunity to shepherd a larger herd, a herd with more pressing needs. Let him be a shining example of the statesman America needs, not the politician we want.
It would be illogical and selfish not to want this Cornell model applied to the nation, if the people of Iowa so desire. as passionately been criticizing for the past seven years. Some on campus have even reached the conclusion that these endeavors are actually a sign of our President's desire to solve our nation's imperfections on a much larger scale. Well, Mr. President, the opportunity has now presenting itself. The bottom line is this: the country needs a statesman more than Cornell needs its president.
The Review welcomes and encourages letters to the editor. Long, gaseous letters that seem to go on forever are best suited for publication in the Cornell Daily Sun. The Review requests that all letters to the editor be limited to 350 words. Please send all questions, comments, and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cornell Review
March 28, 2013
The Cunning Strategy
A Coordinated Siege Against the Conservative Movement Roberto Matos Columnist
The Clarion Call
here can be little doubt that increasingly powerful social forces are arrayed against the Conservative movement. Their accelerating march is aided by recent societal trends. Tracing the trajectory of these cultural and political trends may prove somewhat difficult, but identifying the political strategies which seek to exploit these trends is more simple. Here, we primarily explore two spheres of analysis: First, generational change. And second, demographic change. The younger generations have been prodded by Hollywood idols, press icons and prestigious academics to instinctively reject the cornerstones of conservative thought as unsuitable to meet 21st century challenges. Limited government, free enterprise, strict constructionism, and family values seem stale
the conservative “fringe” is becoming a trope among American entertainers. It now functions as social currency at cocktail parties. It has become fashionable in popular culture to caricature conservatism as inherently resistant to glamorous social trends like multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, gay rights, and the third wave of feminism. Most tellingly, the habitual sneers against “old white men” reflect the growing potency of a new formula to recruit followers to the ranks of socially trendy progressivism: ethnic identity rhetoric coupled with the rhetoric of generational resentment. As cultural progressives continue to gain momentum, they will advance their strategy to win the hearts and minds of the young. This is the generational strategy against the conservative movement. These are the driving forces of cultural progressivism and proud identity politics, which appeal to a growing number of politicized
These rapidly proceeding developments have flummoxed social conservatives, who are now backed into a corner. and listless to the bubbling and teeming masses of young, starryeyed "global citizens" who are oriented toward promoting social justice. Making a mockery of people on
youth who are eager to locate new historically victimized groups to heroically emancipate. Take one example: some 80 percent of Americans under 30 are in support of same-sex
marriage, and any resistance to total and immutable gay rights is becoming civilly and socially unfashionable. The Washington Post reports that an unprecedented 58% of the public now supports same-sex marriage. This is indicative of the transformation of popular cultural opinion which has shocked observers over the past decade. This has understandably alarmed those who insist upon writing pietistic GOP platforms year after year. These rapidly proceeding developments have flummoxed social conservatives, who are now backed into a corner. This is precisely what anti-conservative strategists have been counting on. We can safely consider this to be the cultural strategy against the conservative movement.
What is more, skepticism toward these culturally liberal trends is automatically characterized as bigotry or worse, serving to discredit dissent before it even has a chance to be expressed. Social conservatism has thereby been stigmatized; it has been branded as “reactionary” and "prejudiced" by social scientists and comedians alike. Framing conservatism as antiquated, outmoded, and the province of “wing-nuts” is part of a broader strategy to gradually pathologize an entire ideology. Surely, cultural elitists have powerful tools at their disposal, and conservatives, in many spheres of civil society, lack the clout and resources to effectively compete. This is the institutional strategy against the conservative movement. Continued on page 8
Byline Funds Continued from the front page organization provides us with an update on their spending and their plans for future expenditures.” During the off-year, the Appropriations Committee meets with each organization in order to give these groups a chance to present information and arguments for their funding needs. These reports are then compiled by the Vice President of Finance and reviewed for a vote. Thus, the off-year is an extremely important time for different organizations to make a case for funding needs. After the Appropriations Committee reviews each organization, the members vote on whether or not to increase, decrease, or maintain the group’s funding. “The off-year decides which organizations will get funded," said Cameron Pritchett member and liaison for the Appropriations Committee. “Funding is given first to the organizations that fulfill service to for the students.
Because the activities fee is functionally a tax, the organization must access all the students." In addition, the Student Assembly passed a Resolution this year creating a “follow up task force” that is designed to create a continued dialogue between the Committee and the organizations after funding decisions have been made, according to Pritchett. This task force is important for the organizations because it allows for increased information to be communicated to the Committee, hopefully allowing for better decision making by the Student Assembly in the future. However, not every group is guaranteed to be funded. “The byline funding process is sometimes pretty contentious. In the past, there have been groups that have been denied funding by the Appropriations Committee. One reason this may occur is that a group may be better fit to receive [Student Assembly Finance Committee] funding or some other alternate form of funding, such as through an umbrella
organization,” said Muir. Another reason for disqualification is an organizations inability to involve the majority of students on campus, The Committee must decide which groups get cut, which is often difficult. Because the Student Assembly, vis-à-vis the Appropriations Committee, has substantial control over byline-funding, there is this potential for politics and bias to influence the decision-making. The candidates for Student Assembly President this year all talked about the need to continue increasing objectivity in the process. Both Muir and Pritchett spoke of the strides that the Committee continues to make in order to best represent the needs of all students. “Overall, we do our absolute best to make objective and unbiased decisions during the allocation process,” said Muir. The newly established task force is an example of these efforts. Understanding the byline funding process is important for every
student because it is a micro-example of a government type institution using students’ functional tax dollars towards expansive programs. Which organizations are funded either through the Appropriations Committee or the Student Assembly Finance Committee (which is funded through the appropriations Committee to fund less comprehensive organizations and their durable goods) determines how the student government leads Cornell. As such, every student should be aware of the Committee’s actions and take into consideration Student Assembly member’s beliefs when voting during elections. “It’s important for students to pay attention to who they elect because the people want [elected members of Student Assembly] to be competent and objective when making these decisions,” concluded Pritchett. Bill Synder is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at email@example.com.
March 28, 2013
Can Obama Really Do That? Yes, He Can Kirk Sigmon Columnist
Right on the Law
elieve it or not, despite our many years as a nation and the many presidents that we have had, no-one is quite sure what the President can and cannot do. Specifically, lawyers for the Executive and some legal scholars believe that the Executive has virtually unlimited power when Congress doesn’t explicitly stop it from acting. Needless to say, thanks to ideas like this, today the President has more power than ever before – and that’s a very dangerous thing. In a concurring opinion in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, Justice Jackson outlined what is now commonly cited by those defending Executive power as the framework for power relations between Congress and the Executive. Justice Jackson viewed Executive power as falling into three categories: (1) where the President acts with express or implied authority from Congress, (2) where the President acts in the absence of Congressional authorization or prohibition, and (3) where the President acts in defiance of Congress. Within this framework, at least theoretically, the President has the most power when acting with express authorization from Congress, the President has the least power when he acts in defiance of Congress, and the President is in a sort of “gray zone” when acting without any statement from Congress. Predictably, many lawyers in support of Executive power vehemently argue that the President can pretty much do whatever he wants when in that gray zone. Thus, when Congress is silent, President Obama can theoretically
Diversity Continued from the front page unique knowledge worth the time of students and faculty of FGSS? Similarly, the Department of Africana Studies is riddled with conspicuous contradiction. Presumably, this department, too, concerns itself with promoting diversity. It was, after all, founded in response to protests by a group of black students who demanded an academic discipline, among many other things, such as independent housing on campus for the black community. Or does the department care merely about promoting diversity through the continued employment only of individuals from the African diaspora? It certainly appears that way. Of the department’s 12 core faculty members—including tenured and
do quite a bit. This includes, but of course is not limited to, utilizing drone strikes, wiretapping American citizens, and declaring informal military actions against foreign countries. As long as Congress hasn’t said something about it via a law or otherwise (and as long as Congress is too conflicted to say anything about it ex post facto), President Obama can pretty much do anything he wants. Even if President Obama acts in a way that could potentially violate the Constitution itself—say, through wiretapping American citizens—it would take lengthy judicial procedures to stop him, and those lengthy procedures would give him plenty of time to act as he pleased before he would be stopped by the courts. This is precisely why, when asked if the President could use drone strikes domestically, Attorney General Eric Holder said yes— after all, his answer was consistent with an interpretation of Executive power that allows the President to do anything he wants. Needless to say, it’s time for Americans to fight back against this trend—it’s time for Congress to seriously limit the Executive. Some politicians in Congress have done just that, including Senator Rand Paul. The reason why it is important for politicians like Sen. Paul to stand up and complain about even the contemplated use of drones on American soil is not only because it brings American attention to the issue of domestic drone strikes, but also because it can facilitate the Congressional prohibition of Executive action contemplated by Justice Jackson in Youngstown. Admittedly, Sen. Paul isn’t going to single-handedly stop President Obama from leveraging Congressional ambivalence—but by bringing the issue
to the table, he is starting the mechanisms that could explicitly prohibit President Obama from acting outside of the public’s interest by using drone strikes. In other words, as silly as it sounds, merely getting Congress to talk about something is a way in which Congress can begin to limit what President Obama can do. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that we will ever see a Congress with the guts to directly challenge the authority of the Executive, as there will always be a party with an interest in giving the Executive as much power as possible. Take, for example, the hypocrisy of the Democrats in recent years. Democrats incessantly complained (and, in many cases, rightly so) about President Bush’s abuses of Executive power, but they have since gone silent as President Obama acts in a similar fashion. Even though Democrats would have gone positively apoplectic had President Bush contemplated using drones on American soil, they were (initially) mysteriously silent regarding Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement that President Obama could do just that. Of course, this sort of hypocrisy is far from limited to Democrats —Republicans unfortunately did the exact same thing when George W. Bush was in power. There are some valid arguments as to why a strong Executive is useful. Where the President can swing the sword of the American military without having to beg permission from a notoriously slow and self-interested Congress, he can act more quickly during times of crisis.
tenure-track professors and language lecturers—all appear to be of Africana heritage. According to the prevalent metric system of diversity used by Cornell, it seems that an addition of a professor of another race might only increase the diversity of the department. Then, why has the department not hired such an individual? Surely, numerous departments at Cornell behave this way, manipulating a term as innocuous as diversity into an unruly beast that encroaches daily upon classical liberal education. But the two departments mentioned here possess a particularly strong penchant for resorting to vague and apocryphal language found only in diversity’s dictionary. If given the opportunity, they would likely claim that they provide a special place at Cornell for promoting this now-meaningless thing called
diversity, specifically for groups historically underrepresented in academia. Maybe the explanation for homogeneity in these departments is grounded in reality: there simply aren’t many males who want to teach feminist, gender, and sexuality studies or individuals from outside the Africana diaspora who want to teach Africana studies. But that simply should not be, at least according to the reasoning that racial and gender diversity advocates use when discussing affirmative action or discrimination in higher education. The real reason for this imbalance is that the departments are discriminating against particular groups of people. There is no way to explain away the transparent contradictions between the university’s diversity policy and its supposed commitment to
Moreover, given how reluctant Congress is to act in a way that would anger their constituents, the President can leverage his power and be the “bad guy” in a way that Congress would never contemplate. The problem with these arguments is that they simply aren’t the way that our government is structured. The people (via Congress) get a voice, even when that voice may be conflicted and slow. After all, one of the best reasons to give Congress (instead of the Executive) the warmaking power is to ensure that a hot-headed President doesn’t launch the U.S. into expensive wars that the people do not support. To be blunt, I’m not sure if we will ever see Congress regain the power it lost to the Executive. It would take effort, time, and a party willing to act (at least in the short term) outside of its self-interest to do so. It might even take outright revolution. But one thing is clear: the balance of powers between Congress and the Executive is skewed, and the consequences arising from this imbalance are getting worse and worse. Kirk Sigmon is a graduate student in the Law School He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. a competition of ideas. If gender and race are the crux of diversity, then there is little to no diversity in FGSS and Africana Studies, departments created partly to provide an infusion of diversity to the university. On the other hand, if the university finds it acceptable to leave untouched the lack of racial and gender diversity in these departments, then it is quite unfair for it to advocate for diversity (generally through altered recruitment policies) in a number of other departments and disciplines in order to manufacture heterogeneity. Is it not? It appears that the university wants diversity. But only when desirable. Raj Kannappan is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at rk398@ cornell.edu.
March 28, 2013
A History of Cornell Conservatism Part II: A Move to Abolish the Student Government Kushagra Aniket — National News Editor
f the recently concluded Student Assembly elections, marked by intrigue, libel, and indecency, have made you skeptical of the worth of student politics, then you are not alone. These problems have a historical precedence at Cornell. And in the past, right-minded students on campus have been involved in several attempts to make the Student Assembly more responsive, efficient and representative of student interests. In 1967, James Maher ’66 ran for the President of the Student Assembly on a popular platform to abolish the Student Government at Cornell. He described himself as a sensible abolitionist candidate and criticized the Student Government for squandering its funds without representing the students. Just like today, the membership of the Student Assembly was essentially seen as a resume booster and Maher blamed it for helping 4 students get into Law School each year. It even had a committee to discuss US foreign policy in Vietnam.
“I, James P. Maher, appeal to the vast majority of students who are in college to live, love, study and graduate. I appeal to
the Cornellian who is not in every activist hootenanny, who declines to wail in protest every time the Sun blows its bugle.” Maher pointed out that the candidates for the Student Government made “inspired, grand and visionary pledges” but within a few weeks of their election, they slipped into ambiguity, hypocrisy, factionalism and self-righteousness. Since people had lost interest in this useless and ineffective body, he offered a real alternative:
“I plead with you to stumble out to the polls just once more for, if elected, you will never hear of elections again. If elected, I will abolish the Student Government at Cornell.” “I pledge to consider my election a referendum to end the Student Government in which only a fraction of the student body participates, only 25% vote, and from which only vested interests benefit.” “No one, on grounds of change or progress, has yet devised a JOB for the Student Government. Why, then, do we perpetuate this annoyance? We are neither aware of being governed, nor do we feel that we should be.”
“We must let spontaneous groups represent student interests, as they arise, rather than perpetuate useless committees which preside over interests which have long vanished. Let us reevaluate. Let need dictate structure, not vice versa.” “Vote for me and clear the air of unhappiness, frustration, accusation, resignation, boredom and outright idiocy. Elect Maher President. He gets things done (away with).”
Maher accused his opponent Richard G. Birchall ’68 for perpetuating a “frail of referendums, sit-ins, sit-ons, burn-ups, pawn-offs”. One of his more radical opponents was Howard A. Rodman ’71, the Editor-in-Chief of The Cornell Daily Sun who subsequently, became influential in the Writers’ Guild of America. Rodman tried to turn the Student Government election into a contest over mobilization against the Vietnam War. “It is the conduct of the war,” he wrote in the Sun, “and only the conduct of the war that concerns us today”. Maher responded to Rodman in a letter to the Sun as follows:
“For too long our unimaginative and presumptuous Student Government has nauseated us with its spasmodic radical frothings; the prolonged death throes of cynical high school bureaucratic dropouts. Only the creation of the two party system at Cornell, as embodied in the Maher Proposal, can restore a sanity-balance to the increasingly intolerable student political scene.” This aspect of the “Maher Proposal” is more than relevant today when each candidate for the SA President ritually repeats the sacred list of “diversity, inclusion, outreach and engagement” at every single forum. Maher also staged a wake to signify the death of the Student Government, highlighted by his emergence from the coffin on the steps of the Willard Straight Hall. In opposition, an obituary was published in the press in which the death of the Student Government due to “senility and mistreatment” was mourned. Paul A. Rahe ’70, who denounced Maher as “a rebel without a cause”, read the eulogies:
“Friends, Cornellians, Students. I come to bury the Student Government, not to praise it. The evil that an organization does lives after it. The good is oft interred with its constitution. So let it be with Student Government. The noble Maher hath told you Student Government was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault. And grievously hath Student Government answered it.”
But despite his strong abolitionist platform, Maher lost the race to Birchall, who was endorsed by the Cornell Union of Students (CUS). In those days, the Constitution of the Student Government required the President to win by an absolute majority. Maher polled 400 votes more than Birchall but due to the presence of 4 candidates, he had to face his opponent in the run-off. But the first first runoff was cancelled when incidents of ballot-stuffing and electoral malpractices were discovered. In the wake of the scandal, Maher proclaimed a personal reward of $50 “for the information instrumental to the discovery of the dastardly malfeasant who deliberately and surreptitiously stoked well over 350 bogus ballots into the maw of the polls”. In the second run-off, Birchall won the presidency of the Executive Board by 117 votes and the CUS-endorsed representatives gained a majority in the Student Government. But Maher did not capitulate. He launched a campaign against Birchall again in 1968. This time the 9 member Executive Board of the Student Government was replaced with a 50 member Cornell Students Association (CSA). The abolitionists won a majority in the Association. By one account, their number was 30. Birchall, who was now the head of a defunct Executive Board, sulked but could not do much besides casting aspersions on the abolitionist plan. The abolitionists wanted to abolish their own positions in the CSA. But once elected, the CSA refused to abolish itself or hold a referendum on Student Government by an 18-10 vote. Instead, it elected two of its members to represent students on the Faculty Committee of Student Affairs (FCSA). But Maher still made a strong appeal to the CSA to dissolve itself as soon as possible as most students were disillusioned with its proceedings and their participation was dwindling. Some other abolitionists pledged to vote again on dissolution and the CSA was duly abolished two months after its commencement. Continued student apathy and poor turnouts prompted the FCSA to reexamine “the entire role of students in the decision-making process at Cornell”. Some of this restructuring is reflected in our current Student Assembly. James Maher, aged 59, passed away in a plane crash in Honduras in 2004. But his imaginative and provocative campaign to end the Student Government should remind us that permanence is the illusion of every elected body that fails to live up to its mandate and descends into low skullduggery. The Student Assembly is no exception to this rule.
From the Archives:
March 28, 2013
In case it’s not already obvious, the Cornell Review is very proud to honor those dedicated conservatives who came before us on Cornell’s campus. During our recent investigations, we came across this article from, perhaps, our most infamous alumnus. It was Coulter’s first and only article (aside from editorials). It essentially marks the beginning of her career as an outspoken pundit. Even 29 years ago, Coulter was a commanding voice, unafraid to speak her mind and excite her readers.
The Feminine Ego and the Masculine Libido Ann Coulter — April 1984
onservatives have a difficult time with women. For that matter, all men do. Perhaps more is expected of conservatives. Then again, perhaps conservatives have a unique tropism toward moral befuddlement in their attitudes regarding women. Having rejected a lion’s share of the multifarious issues which are seemingly inseparably fused with “feminism,” conservatives apparently do not believe that any genuine affront to women is, in fact, possible, because such affronts are rarely if ever given a hearing in conservative publications. Once the term “sexism” is extricated from the puerile outrages over men opening doors for women, the titles Miss and Mrs., and the societal expectation that women wear bras, the term finds its legitimate target: an implicit belief that women are either mothers or walking vaginas. The second of these perceptions assumes many forms, the most escalated of which is pornography. Need the offense perpetrated by pornography against women be detailed? It seems so, for unfortunately, the obvious is not grasped by all. What distinguishes men from beasts, if not the fact that they do not indifferently fornicate in the barnyards, but engage in sexual activity as the culmination of loving relationships? There are secondary distinguishing characteristics such as man’s possession of language, ability to reason, and capacity for shame, but none is as fundamental as man’s ability to love. Man’s sex act is the highest celebration of his humanity. A female spread-eagle on a centerfold is a desecration of precisely that humanity. She is displayed as a device to appeal to man’s latent animalism, and to do so, she must be completely reduced to an animal herself. Her only important components are her sexual organs. That some such publications include clues to the female’s human qualities when she is not spreading her legs in front of a camera (Tammy reads romances, and lifts weights in her free time; her favorite movie is “Gone With the Wind.” She aspires to be an actress…) cannot lend those shreds of humanity to a female while she performs as a centerfold. In this capacity, she can only be a brute. In fact, such information is a snicker—you see, even girls who read romances, even Ivy-Leaguers, even a Rhodes Scholar (the centerfold of Playboy’s Ivy League edition was one)—can be scaled down to a she-beast. The argument that pornography can be appreciated as an art is ludicrous, and it is offensive. The difference between a Rubens and a Playboy centerfold is the difference between music and sound, lightning and the lightning bug, and, well, a Rubens and a Playboy centerfold. The former elevates the spirit; the latter elevates only the phallus. To be sure, the man nourishing his visceral instincts with prurient material is diminished, as well. Still, there are three important differences between the centerfold model and the pornography purchaser. First the man reduces himself to his genitals at his own whim, in the privacy of his own room, and significantly, he can immediately recall his humanity. In contradistinction, once the woman is captured by the camera, her naked animalism is on display before the world. She is forever frozen in a dehumanized state. For that particular photo, her usefulness is over. The record of her posture as a brute is now merely a prop to be bought and sold. Second, the man debases only himself. The woman, or rather the hundreds of thousands of women whose bodies, without souls as animals, are exhibited in perpetuity; they are representative of women as a class. No discrimination here—Oriental women, Occidental women, Black women, women who read romances, women who attend Ivy League institutions. Their only shared characteristics are that they are women, and that they are willing to humiliate themselves. Third, the relationship between the purchaser and the object purchased is not an equal one. The former derives his pleasure directly from the degradation of the women. Whatever rewards Miss September receives for sprawling before a camera—be that the titillation of the concept of an abstract man lusting after her, or simply her monetary enrichment—she is, at best, an oblique beneficiary of the man’s degeneration. Just as the racist is contaminated by his racism, the pornography purchaser is contaminated by his enjoyment of the dehumanization of a woman. But there can be no doubt; it is the woman who is degraded. A cursory comparison of pornography with antisemitism and racism is interesting, for while there are real differences, the public consciousness has grossly distorted the differing reactions to the three. While pornography incites lust, antisemitism and racism incite hatred. (The argument can be made that pornography incites a nuanced form of hatred—a Screw magazine photo of a female being put into a meat grinder with meat coming out the other end being one of its less nuanced forms.) Both the American Nazi Party’s poster of three Rabbis, whom they called “loose-lipped Hebes,” sacrificing a child in a religious ceremony, and Playboy magazine’s photo of a female masturbating, aim to dehumanize the objects of their perversions. George Will writes that freedom to compete in the “marketplace of ideas” is concomitant with freedom to win. What is at stake should any of these ideas triumph? One might postulate that had Hitler preferred his animalism in the form of degrading women to the form of degrading Jews he might have instituted forced whorehouses instead of forced labor camps. Nevertheless, the greatest escalation of the pornographic mindset has resulted only (only?) in photos of women being put into meat grinders and underground “snuff films” which portray women being raped and killed. Though these degradations are not easily dismissed as demonstrations of our potential for evil, they are not on a par with state-supervised holocausts. Simply because legal persecution of Jews and Blacks does not exist in this country does not alter the fact that there does exist a legacy of evil committed against both. But are antisemitism and racism not heinous in their own right? Extremism in the abstract is not a wrong, but because ethnic-misanthropism is vile in and of itself, its extremes assume grotesque proportions. Similarly, pornography, even disassociated from any specifics, is evil. The observation that individual women have a hand in the degradation of their own gender suggests that humiliation by hate is more virulent than humiliation by lust. Jews and Blacks do not consent to be hated, so how is it that women can consent to be animalized? Not all members of ethnic groups refuse submission. In fact, there is a label for a Black subservient—“Uncle Tom.” But what has a contemporary “Uncle Tom” to gain? There is not a market willing to pay four billion dollars annually to exploit Blacks as there is to exploit women. This amount of money serves to glamorize the profession of degrading oneself, if one happens to be a woman. It is somehow lucrative and “glamorous” for a woman to degrade herself; the pleasure of losing her humanity is but a fringe “benefit.” The Black or Jew who dehumanizes himself can expect only the fringe “benefit.” If the quiescence of those women who do not actively degrade themselves is an indication, women appear not to have noticed that they are being offended. No woman who has ever thought about pornography for five minutes does not intuitively understand that her gender is being exploited. This impulse collides with societal pressures to accept, and is squelched. It is extremely difficult to maintain a state of moral outrage in solitude. At some point, numbness takes over. Moreover, even if one were to concede that this apparent tolerance and individual consent indicates that it is a greater offense to be hated than to be animalized, one is not committed to denying that animalization is a heinous wrong. Given that antisemitism, racism, and pornography all debase their objects, though possibly to different degrees, how does the society react to these three debasements? It despises the first two and accepts the third. The differing degrees of publically sanctioned “punishment” for these debasements tremendously overstate their differing degrees of criminality. This results from lust’s wider appeal than hatred’s, in part due to the memory of recent triumphs over ethnic chauvinism, and in part due to the slick public relations of Hugh Hefner and his ilk compared to that of the Ku Klux Klan. William F. Buckley, Jr., President Carter, Mayor Koch, and Norman Mailer have never consented to appear in magazines that appeal to bigots and racists. All have given interviews in a magazine that appeals to a lust for women—Playboy. In so doing, they, and the hundreds of other esteemed national figures who have appeared in Playboy, Penthouse, et. al., legitimize and confer respect on publications that dehumanize women. The communal Continued on page 10
March 28, 2013
A Libertarian Revival?
Lucia Rafanelli Executive Editor
A Fortnight of Follies
eg Whitman, John Huntsman, and Richard Hanna, along with dozens of other Republicans, recently signed an amicus brief defending same-sex couples’ right to marry. No, that’s not a typo. The brief was to be filed in the Supreme Court case on Proposition 8, a California law banning samesex marriage, which will appear before the court at the same time as the now-infamous Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a heterosexual union for the purposes of federal law. Whether it was a result of cries for “limited government” coming from within and without the Republican Party, an attempt to expand the party’s appeal
A Cunning Strategy Continued from page 4
This concerted, deliberate (and successful) effort to induce cultural shift toward the ideological left helps explain other phenomena in national political life. For instance, it should now come as no surprise that, as the nation continues to secularize, and with 17% of the nation identifying itself as non-believing (Gallop), the unabashed pietism of figures like Rick Santorum only contributes to party establishment fears that allegiance to the evangelical movement compromises GOP outreach efforts. This party establishment’s recent “autopsy”, or inquiry into the GOP’s ability to appeal to emerging demographic groups, sought to grapple with the prospect of impotency in future presidential elections. One particularly crucial verdict is in: if the conservative movement fails to reach out to Latino voters, it may never win another presidential election. This fear is well founded. Latinos are growing in significant numbers in pivotal swing states throughout the southwest, Florida and to a lesser extent, Virginia. Their birth rate is higher than that of other demographic groups. Their share of the voting electorate has grown, they are eager to mobilize their growing political networks, and they are primed to assert their interests through activism and the ballot box. By all accounts, they are poised to punish conservatives at the ballot box who don’t support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Moreover, there are rumors that demographic changes in Texas will shift it steadily to the left, making it a state in play. In a world in which Texas is a blue state, Democratic candidates might
among youth, or an effort by some Republicans to defy House Speaker John Boehner, the amicus brief is welcome respite from the party’s history of anti-gay rights activism. As a proud Republican and a supporter of same-sex marriage, I have often lamented the lack of vocal gayrights activists in the party. This lack has obvious political advantages, given the party’s alliance with the religious right. However, it is dismaying to those of us who believe the government should have little to nothing to say about what constitutes a “proper” romantic relationship or a “proper” family. The fact that the Republicans’ recent call for the legalization of same-sex marriage comes in the form of an amicus brief advocating for recognition of the institution as a constitutional right may be worrying to some, even among its supporters. And, indeed, whether same-sex
marriage is guaranteed by the “equal rights and privileges” clause—or any other clause—of the Constitution is an entirely separate question from whether or not it ought to be legal in all 50 states. For the time being, though, I suggest that we— as Republicans and as citizens—accept the amicus brief for what it is—a sign of political and social progress that I personally thought was decades away at best. The brief was put together by former RNC chairman (and openly gay man) Ken Mehlman, and now reportedly includes over 100 Republican signatures. Notable signatories include former World Bank President and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, former National Security Advisor Stephen
secure a lock on the Presidency for a generation. “Humbug!”, you say. Latinos will surely be courted by Latino-friendly Republicans like Christie and Jeb Bush. This will preserve the conservative movement’s national viability, right? Nope. Those who believe that the Latino community is latent with potential Republicans are glaringly misguided. While it has been asserted by the likes of Marco Rubio and Rand Paul that this demographic is naturally conservative, it is doubtful that they will flock to the GOP, even if conservatives do capitulate on immigration reform. Latinos have long been historically oriented toward promoting causes identified with labor rights, the pursuit of labor benefits and various flavors of labor agitation. What is more, exit polling from 2012 suggests that more that 51% of Latino voters support abortion rights (while only 34% oppose). Furthermore, 66% of Latino voters support marriage equality for samesex couples. Hence, a family values sales pitch may have limited appeal. Arguably, launching a new offensive to persuade Latinos that the GOP is the “inclusive party” will prove difficult, because the GOP has yet to master the rhetoric of ethnic-appeasement politics. Anti-conservative strategists are counting on the GOP making a fool of itself during its outreach efforts. Besides, many Latinos already identify conservatives with xenophobia and racial chauvinism. Given this, they will likely regard a sudden change in tone, or a sort of lets-gettogether salsa, as suspiciously fickle and insincere. In addition, the unsympathetic positions of controversial spokespersons (like Donald Trump and Ann Coulter) and movement leaders (like Limbaugh) who denounce a pathway to citizenship as surrender, will continue to horrify
Latino community leaders. These vocal elements of the conservative base will resist GOP establishment efforts to bridle them. Intra-party conflict will ensue. A gleeful press will beat the drums of outrage, proclaim the death of the party, and will relish the opportunity to portray bold and vocal conservative speakers as nativist clowns. Latinos will continue to be disgusted. This is a centerpiece of the public relations strategy against conservatives. But conservatives need not despair just yet. The waning national influence of Conservatism ought not to be exaggerated. Self-identified Conservatives still outnumber liberals 2 to 1. The GOP still controls a clear majority of state houses and governorships throughout the country. Large swaths of the country remain steadfastly socially conservative and may actually redouble their efforts in reaction against immigration reform efforts. But the proponents of the path to citizenship are eagerly counting on this backlash. Abrasive reactions against immigration reform will help galvanize Latino loyalty to the Democratic Party. Media portrayals of prominent spokespeople like Ann Coulter, who (at CPAC) claimed that opposing amnesty is the critical “single-issue” on which she’ll vote, will seem menacing in their own right to this expanding and politically engaged demographic. It is doubtful that Coulter knows that, through her intransigence on this issue, she is playing directly into the hands of her enemies. Even if the GOP and conservatives *do* fully embrace immigration reform, it is likely that newly documented and naturalized Latinos will still hold deeply unfavorable attitudes towards the right. Latino community activists and press outlets will ensure that new Latino voters are reminded of who it was that seemed xenophobic in their
Hadley, and former governor of New Jersey Christine Whitman. Perhaps this sudden outpouring of support for same-sex marriage on the American right is indicative of a libertarian revival within the Republican Party. And if this is true, the party and the country alike are in for an interesting, tumultuous, and promising generation to come. Lucia Rafanelli is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at email@example.com. eyes. Even if this prediction is ridiculous, you can be sure that new citizens in the Latino community will perceive the GOP outreach efforts as contrived, and will perceive conservative policies as antagonistic to their pro-labor agenda. Therefore, conservatives are probably trapped on immigration reform. This is the political game of chicken surrounding the demographic strategy against conservatives. On this issue, anti-conservatives smell blood, and are eagerly perusing checkmate. But a deeper concern should linger. Really, the entire premise of this article should alarm the conservative activist. The mere fact that this fatalistic narrative of conservative decline has grown so widely accepted among media elites and party officials - as if it were something immutable and inevitable—should arouse your suspicion about this entire enterprise to “rebrand” the movement. After all, it has been asserted that the prophecy of conservatism’s demise, and the proclamation that it is doomed to suffer electoral armageddon, is meant to slowly coerce the party into abandoning its core values. Perhaps the *real* strategy is to persuade the movement to shed its distinctive identity and, in effect, to press-gang it into surrendering the ideological war outright by embracing positions and voters whose core beliefs are anathema to the movement. In short, apocalyptic prophecies about “party collapse” and the decline of the movement may in fact be the weapons of psychological warfare, designed to demoralize the core of the conservative movement itself. If this psychological strategy against conservatism succeeds, the spirit of defeatism will eventually morph into self-fulfilling prophecy. Roberto Matos is a sohomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Divestment Continued from the front page
evil of the oil companies warrants divestment from them. For example, in his resounding call to divest, Bill McKibben stated, "The planet does indeed have an enemy—one far more committed to action than governments or individuals…It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilisation." While oil may be a finite energy source, can we truly construe Cornell’s relatively meager investment as supporting Earth's public enemy number one? Is it fair to say that we, and future Cornellians, will shamefully look back on our Cornell experiences because a portion of its endowment
Campus our society incredible opportunities. Conversely, apartheid brought suffering to millions of South Africans. The moralities of these two situations are clearly distinct. Divestment was an appropriate tool to put pressure on the South African government, but now it has become a reawakened instrument to hastily push politically partisan agendas under the guise of absolute moral urgency. Certainly, the development of alternative sources of energy is crucial for the survival of the human race. Fossil fuels are a finite energy source and will eventually be depleted from the Earth. However, a lack of sustainability is not a position on the wrong side of history. The traditional energy industry provides our country with efficient, reliable
Resolution 32 - Toward a Responsible Endowment portfolio consisted of oil securities? The zeal of the Student Assembly, KyotoNOW!, and other pro-divestment groups has halted any of these questions before they could be asked. Now, we face an idealistic coalition unwilling to contemplate the long-term effects of demonizing oil companies and pressuring Cornell into heedless divestment. Simply removing our endowment funds from the oil industry will not spontaneously generate affordable, realistic sources of renewable energy. It will only serve to satisfy the naive ideologies of a few interest groups, while oil companies will react unscathed and find eager, new investors to replace their meager losses. Divestment is a form of economic boycott, and while all consumers have the right to choose what they financially support, it has been traditionally employed, and most successful with, cases of near-absolute or absolute morality, such as South African apartheid. Fossil fuels may be unsustainable and environmentally suboptimal, but they are not “immoral.” Despite its flaws, petroleum technologically evolved our society beyond the wildest dreams of our ancestors. From global transportation to guaranteed warmth, oil historically and presently has given
power and transportation while creating hundreds of thousands of stable middle class jobs. This is not a feat that alternate energy companies can simply or presently replicate, regardless of how much money the public sector subsidizes or the pri-
Furthermore, petroleum companies are actively researching and developing renewable energy sources, simply by the nature of their business: if they are bound to a finite resource facing depletion, they must adapt by innovation or dissolve. Leading firms such as Exxon Mobil, Raizen, BP, Total, and Chevron have spent billions of dollars in the last decade investing in renewable energy projects that are developed by industry experts and reliant upon the successes of their respective companies. As one small example, Exxon Mobil has recently partnered with Synthetic Genomics Inc. to develop algae-derived biofuels, a project that is possible due to Exxon Mobil’s early operating budget of over $30 billion. These top firms have the financial capabilities, expertise, and influence to shape the future of the
Divestment was an appropriate tool to put pressure on the South African government, but now it has become a reawakened instrument to hastily push policially partisan agendas under the guise of absolute moral urgency. vate sector invests. Ideology does not drive innovation and creating a literal “power" vacuum will not hasten the development of alternative energy sources. Investment in oil companies is also critical for our international energy independence. By continuing domestic oil development, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, the traditional energy industry is reducing our reliance on OPEC and other foreign oil cartels, which reduces both the undue influence of unfriendly nations and the need for American military intervention.
industry, and we simply cannot divest in oil without divesting in the critical foundations of renewable energy. Thus, the totality of what oil companies produce, both the good and bad, are undeniably linked to future energy sustainability. By divesting now, we are hindering many of our best hopes of developing longterm, renewable energy. Fossil fuel companies are not static organizations and by perpetuating these misconceptions, the divestment coalition will only succeed in stifling
March 28, 2013
progress and opportunity for Cornellians and our nation as a whole. On that note, there are few investors more deserving of profits from the oil industry than Cornell University. Stock in oil keeps Cornell endowment in good health, which makes it possible for Cornell invest in sustainability projects here on campus and offer alternative energy programs for students. Projects such as the $1 million Green Revolving Fund would not be possible without a strong endowment. Cornell can afford to train future leaders of the energy industry because of its investments. Furthermore, by owning stock in the industry, colleges maintain voting rights in company elections. If we divest from these companies, we needlessly discard the direct voices we have in exchange for virtually nothing. Who should be voting for the next Chairman of Exxon, Cornell or some Wall Street investor? So before we risk the financial health of our University to support this political cause, let’s consider the long-term harm divestment would cause for our school, country, and world. Before we sign on the dotted line for every initiative waving a green banner, we must consider the consequences of our actions. Jessica Reif is a junior in the Industrial and Labor Relations School and can be reached at jar453@cornell. edu. Kyle Ezzedine is a junior in the College of Agriculture and Life Science and can be reached at kje35@ cornell.edu.
CPAC Review Continued from page 2. out the same tired lines of the GOP or the Tea Party. Dr. Carson is something all-together new, and provided a voice for the people who feel just like me. CPAC 2013 was the official debut of the Carson Conservative. Judging by the response of the people in the audience, Dr. Carson’s message resonated in a way unlike that of the Tea Party. I struggle with
a way to put this delicately, so let’s just say that I believe Dr. Carson will be embraced more by people who read than by those who watch TV. I do not know if Dr. Ben Carson will run for President in 2016. What I do know is that he has provided a blueprint for how educated conservatives can speak their minds and put forth new, common-sense ideas without having to resort to the aggressive tactics of the Tea Party or the worn-down methods of the GOP. CPAC 2013 did its best to deliver upon its promises. For those that
identify most with the Tea Party, there was plenty to be excited about. GOP supporters were likely to have enjoyed the convention as well. Even people with political identity crises like myself were provided with something to rally around. On Saturday afternoon, I tried to find the cowboy from the elevator to let him know that I had found what I was looking for, and had been sold on Dr. Ben Carson. Eventually I found him walking around alone, looking slightly disheveled and not at all pleased. Perhaps there was no
one at the convention willing to buy what he was selling. Maybe he was unable to find someone to sell him what he was looking for. Either way, I decided not to share my news with him. As I learned with Dr. Carson, the best discoveries are those that are made on your own. Mike Navarro is a junior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He can be reached at email@example.com.
March 28, 2013
CORNELLINSIDER.com Cornell Alum and Parent Hooshang Amirahmadi Announces Candidacy For Iranian Presidency
Posted by Kushagra Aniket
Hooshang Amirahmadi, a Ph.D. in planning and international development from Cornell University has announced his candidacy for the upcoming Presidential elections in Iran. He is the father of Roxana Amirahmadi, a former Editor-In-Chief of the Cornell Progressive. He will run as an independent candidate on a reformist platform in the elections scheduled for June. Amirahmadi is a professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He is the founder and president of the American-Iranian Council, a bipartisan think tank that works to promote better relations between the United States and Iran. He has held several positions in academia at Rutgers and Oxford that have allowed him to work closely with prominent Western and Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His platform includes improving ties with the U.S. and Israel, paying a diplomatic visit to the US, creating 6 million jobs, supporting a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question, opening Iran to foreign investment and ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program. However, he believes that under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has a right to pursue nuclear energy for “peaceful purposes”. He has also made it clear that if elected, his administration will not support Assad’s regime in Syria. He also intends to dissuade Hezbollah and Hamas from taking any terrorist actions against Israeli civilians. Elections in Iran will be held on June 14 to elect the seventh President, successor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is constitutionally barred from running for a third term. More information about Dr. Amirahmadi’s platform can be found on his official website http://www.amirahmadi.com
Ego and Libido
man to a mere object of lust. Though stripped of everything else, he cannot be stripped of his humanity. Continued from page 7 The nude male model does lose some dignity, the loss of which is a uniquely human quality. consciousness becomes jaded; to view women If man possesses shame, he must also possess as vaginas is acceptable. The opening line in an article by the editor of the Cornell Review in this dignity. The dignity lost, however, is minor, publication exemplifies this attitude. Admittedly, surely no more than if he were dressed in a silly costume, for the effect is probably the same. He this is no big deal, but even as a small deal, it is not enjoyed for the carnal desire his sexual merits notice. He writes: “Statistics are like organs may activate, but, rather, he is enjoyed bikinis: what they show is important, but what as a human doing something a little bizarre they conceal is vital.” The message is clear: the and unconventional. His is an appeal to human vital parts are the breasts and the vagina, so go interest in the outrageous, an appeal not very get her. To have written “Statistics are like jockdifferent from that of outlandish punk-rockers straps…” would have sounded skewed; society or overly enthusiastic television game show is not used to thinking of men in terms of their contestants. Certainly, the dignity of all these penises. Outside the context of a pornographic dwindles somewhat, but in none do we witness magazine, it is still difficult for a woman to the complete destruction of dignity as in the transcend her vagina. unclothed female whose appeal is like that of a What of the woman who purchases male bitch in heat to the cur. pornography? It is telling that pornography of So is it the man’s fault that the woman males constitutes an infinitesimal fraction of all remains unexcited? No, one cannot argue with pornography. Even these limited sources suffer that, but this concession does little to mitigate a meager audience. Playgirl does not satisfy a the woman’s humiliation that results from his woman’s desire for voyeurism; she has none. (That the overwhelming majority of pornography excitement. That the atrocity of pornography results from the use to which it is put should is consumed by men, is the evidence. Women not come as a startling proposition. We easily have become “liberated” from societal pressure to be ladylike. They drink, smoke, and wear army differentiate between the use of medicinal boots; why don’t they buy pornography?) Rather, morphine and street heroin, between killing in self-defense and criminal homicide, between pornography appeals to her desire to feign worshipping a cross in celebration of the Savior sexual liberation, her desire to be shocked, and and worshipping a burning cross with hatred her desire for revenge. It represents a perverted toward Blacks. We should also differentiate attempt to subjugate the male, to reduce him to his genitals, in effect, to exploit her exploiters. It between photos of nude women used to sexually excite and photos of nude men used to amuse. is a perverted attempt, and, more importantly, a Presumably, there are some women who are vain attempt. The male form is impotent, if you capable of using the male centerfold as the will, to arouse the female. The photo of a nude heifer uses the smell of a bull. In these cases, man satisfies a young girl’s incipient curiosity, it may pique an adolescent’s relish for the shocking, Mr. October is as debased as is Miss October, but to the mature woman it is considered slightly and one might happily conclude that, therefore, pornography indiscriminately robs both the sexes absurd, even ridiculous. Without additional of their humanity. The analogy does not work. stimulus, the woman is more or less indifferent These women constitute the proverbial exception to the male centerfold. Granted, the stimuli that proves the rule. Depraved individuals in any sufficient to cross the threshold between group deserve to be pitied, and their perversity indifference and desire is not coincident with to be condemned. But when perversity infects the threshold that separates a beast’s copulation a class, it should be condemned and harassed, from man’s lovemaking—that is, genuine love is for society is in danger. In other words, the not a woman’s sole aphrodisiac—but it is enough aberrant who considers blondes contemptible to say that the centerfold is not an aphrodisiac. is a harmless idiot. Should he prove harmful we Presented with the photo of an unclothed man, have laws to protect his potential victims’ life a woman cannot induce subhuman lust in liberty, and property. Standing alone, perversity is herself, and, therefore, cannot reduce the relatively innocuous. The same is not true for the
individual who is unrecognizable as an aberrant because his mindset represents a significant cohort in his sex. Freud wrote of the difficulty in diagnosing and treating the “communal neurosis” which, unlike the “individual neurosis,” lacks the “contrast that distinguishes the patient from his environment.” Antisemitism and racism are “communal neuroses” of the past which have been relegated to “individual neuroses” in civilized societies. Conversely, pornography is making a comeback as a “communal neurosis.” The communal monomania fixated on the woman’s vagina threatens nothing less than society itself. That one group of members mocks another is distressing. That it mocks with unabashed impunity is frightening. Pornography is fey to exist, but it must not be brazenly displayed in neighborhood supermarkets, blithely purchased by respectable men, and used as a forum for intelligent and moral discussion. The society should not feel compelled to tolerate filth within its borders, but ought to morally harass those who traffic pornography. There deserves to be a sense of shame in mysophilia, for unless the distinction between virtue and corruption is an idle fiction, pornography corrupts the populace. Conservative thinkers throughout the ages have believed that a Republic cannot survive without a virtuous citizenry. This is why we expect more from conservatives. Edmund Burke wrote: Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites…It is ordained in the external constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. Is the passive acceptance of the animalization of women anything less than a gamble with our “qualifications for civil liberty?” Contemporary conservatism’s high priest, William F. Buckley, Jr., argues that a society has the right to prevent one group of members from mocking another group in a tasteless and degrading manner because You can hurt a people’s feelings. A people whose feelings are hurt withdraw from a sense of kinship, which is what makes societies cohere. Moreover, a society so calloused as not to care about the feelings of its members becomes practiced in the kind of indifference that makes people, and the society they live in, unlovely. This appeared in a Playboy interview between photos of women reduced to beasts.
March 28, 2013
Is the Family Being Destroyed? Michael Loffredo Staff Writer
estroy the family and you destroy society." These chilling words describe Vladimir Lenin’s devious plan to carry out such a sinister plot. For most of human history, the family — defined as one male and one female parent and their children— has stood as the central unit of society. In Europe, Asia, Africa and, later, the Americas, people lived, and frequently worked, as family units. Today, in the highincome world and even in some developing countries, there has been a shift to a “new and improved” social model. Increasingly, family no longer serves as the central organizing feature of society. An unprecedented number of individuals, approaching upwards of 30% in some Asian countries, are choosing to steer clear of child bearing altogether, and often marriage as well. The post-familial phenomena has been most evident in the high income world, most profoundly in Europe, North America and particularly, wealthier parts of East Asia. Yet it has bloomed also in many key emerging countries including Iran and other Islamic nations. The reasons for this shift are complex, and vary greatly in different countries and cultures. In some countries, such as those in East Asia, the nature of modern competitive capitalism often forces individuals to choose between career advancement and family formation. As a result, these economies are unintentionally setting into motion a wave of destructive forces to their future workforces, consumer bases, and long-term prosperity. The widespread movement away from traditional values found in Hindu, Muslim, Judeo-Christian, Buddhist, and Confucian worldviews, has also undermined familialism. The new emerging social philosophy encourages more secular values that prioritize individual personal socioeconomic success as well as the personal quest for greater fulfillment. Conservatives, including the Weekly Standard’s Jonathan Last, regularly cite declining birth and marriage rates as a result of expanding government. This is a direct threat to the right’s political survival. Meanwhile, progressives have labeled attempts to commend a committed couple with children as inherently damaging and needlessly condemnatory to the new social order. Societal norms, which once virtually mandated family formation, have begun to morph. The new norms are reinforced by cultural influences that tend to be concentrated in the very areas with the lowest percentages of married people and children—dense urban centers. A majority of residences in Manhattan are designed exclusively for singles, while Washington D.C. has one
of the highest percentages of women who do not live with children, at 70%. Similar trends can be seen in London, Paris, Tokyo and other cultural capitals of the world. A society that is increasingly single and childless is likely to be more concerned with serving their current needs than addressing the future-oriented necessities of children. Since older people vote more than younger people, and children have no say at all, political power could shift towards non-childbearing people. We are tilting more into a ‘now’ society, geared towards consuming or recreating today, as opposed to nurturing and sacrificing for tomorrow. The most noticeable impact of post-familialism lies with demographic decline. It is already having a profound impact on fiscal stability in Japan and through southern Europe. With fewer workers contributing to cover pension costs, even prosperous places like Singapore will face the same crisis in the decades to come. A diminished labor force and consumer base also suggests slow economic growth and limited opportunities for business expansion. For one thing, young people tend to drive technological change, and their absence from the workforce will slow innovation. For many people, the basic motivation for hard work is reinforced by the desire to support and nurture a family. Without a family to support, the very basis for such a work ethic will be changed, perhaps irreversibly. Seeking to secure a place for families requires us to move beyond reminiscence for the long-departed 1950s era and focus on what is possible given globalization, urbanization, the ascension of women in a competitive capitalized society. In Europe, Asia and America, more and more young people do not express the same desire to have families as previous generations did. Amidst all the social change discussed above, a basic desire for family needs to be fostered and encouraged by our wider society. My purpose here is not to judge people about their personal decision to forego marriage and children. Instead, I seek to initiate a discussion about how to create or maintain a place for families in the modern world. In the process we must ask some tough questions about our basic values and the nature of the cities and societies we are now creating. It is impossible to deny that gay marriage causes the decay of families. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage contribute to the breakdown of the family unit and violate the natural structure of marriage established over thousands of years. One doesn’t have to be a person of faith to recognize that gay marriage should not be legally sanctioned in
this country. An article in the Weekly Standard described how the introduction of authorized gay unions in Scandinavian countries is destroying the institution of marriage, where half of today’s children are born out of wedlock. Social scientists have been warning that if this fractured family problem continues, there will be many kids with several “moms” and “dads,” six or eight “grandparents” and even dozens of “half-siblings.” Is there a problem with the decay of families and a fractured family unit? Yes; psychologists contend that a union between a man and woman in which both spouses serve as good gender role models is the ideal environment in which to raise welladjusted children. Sadly, the breakdown of the family unit is not the sole problem here. Civil rights activists who are in favor of same-sex marriage maintain that no one has the right to vote on someone else’s marriage or interfere with someone else’s happiness. If legal marriage between homosexuals continues to expand to other states, the family will comprise of little more than someone’s interpretation of “rights”. Allowing homosexuals to marry will open the door for those who think they have the “civil right” to get married to more than one person because it makes them “happy” and “doesn’t hurt anybody”. I must make it completely clear that to be against same-sex marriage is not hatred or discrimination towards homosexuals. It is the refusal to accept their immoral attitudes and actions. If the major faiths, history, psychology and nature all argue in favor of marriage being between a man and a woman, why is there even such a controversy today? On the same twisted side, many Democrats praise the rise of “singleism” demonstrated by the increasing number of women in their 40s who never had children. This demographic has more than doubled since 1976. Pollsters like Stan Greenberg applaud single women as “the largest progressive voting bloc in the country” and essential to the continued growth of the left. Perhaps the largest threat from collapsing fertility is the aging of society. Consider “the dependency ratio,” which measures the number of people in the workforce compared
to retirees. In other words, how many working people are needed to support those over age 65? In 1960, before the decline in birthrates, that ratio was 9 percent in the 23 most developed countries. Today, it is 16 percent across these advanced countries. By 2030 it could reach as high as 25 percent. Countries with the longest history of declining fertility face the biggest fiscal crises. By 2050, Germany and Singapore are predicted to have roughly 57 people above age 65 for every 100 workers. In the United States, this ratio is expected to rise by 50 percent to roughly 35 per 100 workers, even if the current decline eventually reverses. If birthrates continue to decline, Western nations may devolve into impoverished and lethargic nursing homes. Without the foundational support of strong families, children are likely to be more troubled and less productive as adults. These changes are not theoretical or insignificant. Europe and East Asia, pioneers in population decline, have spent decades trying to push up their birthrates and regenerate aging populations while confronting the resulting political, economic, and social consequences. It’s time for us to consider what an aging, increasingly child-free population, growing at a slower rate, would mean for the United States. As younger Americans individually avoid families of their own, they are contributing to the growing imbalance between older retirees and working-age Americans, potentially propelling both into a spiral of mounting entitlement costs and diminished economic robustness, while creating a culture marked by hyper-individualism and dependency on the state. Crudely put, “the lack of productive screwing could further be screwing the screwed generation.” In the coming decades, success will ensue to those cultures that preserve the family’s place as a social unit essential to a fruitful society. It’s a vital case we need to make as a society, rather than counting on nature to take a disgraceful course. Michael Loffredo is a sophomore in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 28, 2013
Wisemen & Fools All left-wing parties in the highly industrialized countries are at bottom a sham, because they make it their business to fight against something which they do not really wish to destroy. They have internationalist aims, and at the same time they struggle to keep up a standard of life with which those aims are incompatible. George Orwell, Rudyard Kipling, 1942 I am of the opinion that the boldest measures are the safest. Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson There is such a thing as society. It's just not the same thing as the state. David Cameron, Prime Minister of Britain, 2005 If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. Barack Hussein Obama The people must fight for its law as for its walls. Heraclitus
The more corrupt the state, the more numerous its laws. Tacitus Whatever nature has in store for mankind, unpleasant as it may be, men must accept, for ignorance is never better than knowledge. Enrico Fermi Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and welcome aboard the maiden flight of Hill-Force One. My name is Hillary and I am so pleased to have most of you on board. FAA regulations prohibit the use of any cell phones, Blackberries, or wireless devices that may be used to transmit a negative story about me. Hillary Clinton I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Bill Clinton Given that only 15 percent of you turn to government assistance in tough times, we want to make sure you know
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about benefits that could help personality you. comes as an USA.gov answer to Israel’s claim Democracy’s finest bloom that Palestine is is seen only in its natural Jewish. habitat, the culturally King Hussein of Jordan, homogenous community. 1988, Arab League Summit; There, democracy induces Amman, Jordan harmony. Harmony (not freedom) is democracy’s Bad men cannot make good finest flower. Even a citizens. A vitiated state of politically unstable society morals, a corrupted public of limited personal freedom conscience are incompatible can be harmonious if with freedom. governed democratically, if Patrick Henry only because the majority understand themselves to be I refuse to accept pessimism. Mitt Romney, CPAC 2013 living in the house that they themselves built. No one comes to American Bill Buckley, Up From shores looking for a Liberalism, 1959 government handout. To put meaning in one's life may end in madness, But life without meaning is the torture Of restlessness and vague desire— It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid. Edgar Lee Masters, George Gray, Spoon River Anthology The appearance of a distinct Palestinian national
Rick Perry, CPAC 2013
There is no tax increase in the world that will solve our debt problem. Marco Rubio, CPAC 2013 Does it really take $3 million to figure out that monkeys, like humans, are crazy when on meth? Rand Paul, CPAC 2013
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