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The Rambler VERITAS ENSIS NOSTER

Fall into a Shenandoah Autumn Soul Food and the Vibrancy of Downtown Front Royal Travel the Wine Trails of Northern Virginia Hope for the Hungarian Catholic Church Obama’s Flawed Political Campaign for Power September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

The Rambler

An Independent Student Journal Christendom College

Veritas Ensis Noster Editor-in-Chief Peter J. Smith Managing Editor Emma Boyle Layout Editor Adele C. Smith Senior Editors Heather Calio; Rebecca Harris; James Tillman Editor-at-Large Matt Hadro Web Editor James Tillman Business & Advertising: Cyrus Artz Faculty Advisor Dr. Patrick Keats Contributors Vincent D’Agostino; Becca Harris; Heather Calio; James Tillman; Dominick J. Donahue; David M. Frank; Gergely Mohay; Peter J. Smith; Matt Hadro; Anthony Klosterman; Christopher Dayton; Jackson Kulick; Brendan Sheridan Illustrator: Olivia Bushey Photo Cover: Adele C. Smith To contact THE RAMBLER: 134 Christendom Drive Front Royal, VA 22630 E-mail: rambler.editor@gmail.com

Subscribe: A twelve issue year long subscription to THE RAMBLER may be obtained through a donation of $30 or more. All contributions go to THE RAMBLER. Our Mission Statement THE RAMBLER and its staff is dedicated to training the next generation of Catholic journalists and intellectuals. We prize the liberal arts education received from Christendom College and write about the news, arts, culture, faith and reason from this gained perspective. We believe we will play an essential part in a renaissance of new leaders and communications.

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Welcome

Editor’s Corner by Peter J. Smith Editor-in-Chief

This issue of The Rambler is geared towards visiting parents and relatives, with articles on various events and recreational activities in the area (see pages 8-11). Also, be sure to check out the newest Chester-Belloc Debate Society article on Stewardship and genetic engineering, which can be found on page 6, and discover Sen. McCain’s embyronic agenda on page 7.

In our previous two issues, we began a series on the state of the Church in Europe, discussing the Czech Republic and Great Britain. Now we take a look into Hungary, with an article written by foreign exchange student Gergely Mohay (see page 13). Results on the second Sunday Mass are also in, and can be viewed on page 14. The Rambler, as always, strives to bring to Christendom professional student journalism, in accordance with our commitment to creating a new generation of Catholic journalists in the media. We would like to once again thank the library and Mr. Pilon for the utilization of their facilities. St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

CORRECTIONS from the Sept. 15, 2008, Vol. VI, No. II Issue: The photo credit of Mr. Thomas Vander Woude on the back cover of The Rambler is courtesy of Thomas McFadden. The Rambler would also like to apologize for any misconceptions of Mr. Riggio’s opinion concerning the liturgies available on campus in the article “Freshman Class President Seth Riggio Presents Ambitious Program for Academic Year.”

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor, We students owe a tremendous “THANK YOU!” to Mr. Dorman and his associates for instituting the weapons policy that has made our campus a safer living environment. Bad things can and do happen even in the most controlled environments. Harbor no delusion: COLLEGE KIDS DO STUPID THINGS. If this maxim is true elsewhere, it’s also true at Christendom. Human nature – college student nature – simply doesn’t change. One scandal is too damaging. One mistake is too deadly. One person hurt is inexcusable. It’s just not worth the risk. Proof is in the very fact that “self-proclaimed weapons experts” defend the possession of weapons. Just because I proclaim myself a guitar expert doesn’t mean I know the difference between a pick and picking my nose. There’s nothing more worrisome than a dilettante who dabbles in a dangerous art. Josh T. Zeringue 2

Election 2008 Heads Up

Presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain square off in the two remaining presidential debates in October. Watch on October 7th and October 15th as a controversial election comes to a conclusion. Vice-Presidential candidates, Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin, participate in their only debate this Thursday, October 2nd. THE RAMBLER encourages letters to the editor. Letters can be submitted by e-mail to rambler.editor@ gmail.com. Please include your full name in your submission. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

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News & Opinion

La Bella Cena: Behind the Scenes at Italian Night A Traditional Evening of Food and Fellowship in the Kitchen

Steam billows into the air in a steamy cloud and the mushrooms sizzle as Christendom Senior Josepha Bertolini, keeping a keen watch over her carefully prepared ingredients, pours them into her risotto con funghi e panna. This is just one of the many Italian specialties being meticulously prepared for Christendom College’s annual Italian Night, a celebration of the peninsula’s culture and fine cuisine. As Josepha prepares the risotto, the kitchen staff, along with numerous volunteers who came out for the sole purpose of contributing to the effort, scurry back and forth, listening intently to her orders. Josepha works deliberately and methodically, despite the chaotic nature of working in the kitchen and the added pressure of being pressed for time—the feast will begin in but a few hours. As she labors over the risotto, the other head chef, Andrew Tatum, works on the roasted pork seasoned with herbs, a dish known as porchetta. He calls Josepha to the oven and opens it to show her how the dish looks. A smile comes over her face and she exclaims in excitement. All their efforts are paying off. These efforts extended over a period of a few weeks and continue a relatively recent, yet increasingly important and evolving tradition on campus. Begun only a few years ago, Italian Night grew out of a desire to expand the cultural celebrations on campus beyond the strong and vibrant Irish influences. The tradition began with alumnus Mike Schmidt, the so-called “father of Italian Night,” who also helped bring the St. Joseph’s Day feast to campus. In those early days, the event revolved around the baking of bread contributed by many students. “Everyone in the community used to bring bread and share it,” says Josepha. The tradition has evolved since then. Individuals no longer bake their own bread and that duty lies almost entirely under the auspices of the head chefs, but the goal of promoting Italian culture and fine food has

remained the same. Since Schmidt, the event has been passed on from one student to another, on whom the responsibilities of continuing the tradition primarily rely. Three generations of students have adopted the event since its inception, and Josepha, the primary force behind this year’s rendition, was the fourth student to take over the tradition. Josepha ambitiously sought to expand the tradition in many ways this year. She began preparing weeks ahead of time, meeting with her co-chef Andrew, as the two began figuring out the portions, the budget, and the recipes. She was driven by a desire to share the cuisine of her ancestors with the rest of the College community, to get people excited about the event, and to set a precedent for the future. Foods were decided upon, recipes were researched, and volunteers were called. Finally, the day before the event, everything began to come together. Josepha entered the kitchen at ten in the morning on Friday to prepare the numerous dishes, and

Andrew followed her around three, to begin to bake the bread. That night the volunteers amassed in the kitchen to contribute to the effort. They had much to do, but the group managed to maintain a joyful attitude. The next day the Student Activities Council joined in and set up the tables and prepared the decorations in the dining area as Josepha and Andrew led the final leg of the race in the kitchen. On a break from his labor, Andrew remarked that the event was “all about the passion and the love you put into it.” The passion showed. That night, standing before the entire College community, Josepha announced that Catherine Carducci will lead the event next year. Catherine will be the fifth person to do so since the tradition began. And it is in this small yet important act, in this passing on of a mantle of responsibility, that a tradition continues.

Photo © Richie Lancaster

by Vincent D’Agostino Rambler Contributor

Katie Lademan, one of many volunteers in the kitchen on Italian Night, takes homemade bread out of the ovens to be sliced and served.

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September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

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News & Opinion

Google Permits ‘Factual Advertising’ on Abortion Congressman Wolf by Dominick J. Donahue Rambler Contributor

LONDON, United Kingdom- Thanks to a British pro-life group’s lawsuit against Google, organizations throughout the world are now allowed to purchase Google advertisements to advertise against abortion.         Before September 17th, Google would not sell pro-life advertisements on search results for “abortion.”  Google only allowed abortion providers and secular pro-abortion groups to buy advertisements for abortionrelated search results.  The Christian Institute, a British pro-life group, attempted to purchase such an advertisement in March, which linked to news and articles that argued against abortion.  At the same time, the House of Commons was debating new laws about abortion, making Google’s refusal to run the advertisement seem like indirect support of the pro-abortion position. Mike Judge, spokesman for The Christian Institute, stated that, “Google was taking adverts from pro-abortion groups, and our view is that was a free speech issue.

What we want to do is set out the acts in a pretty factual and pretty sensible way.”        The Christian Institute brought a lawsuit in the British courts, asserting that Google broke the U.K.’s Equality Act of 2006, prohibiting corporations from religious discrimination.  Google at first intended to fight the lawsuit, but instead made an out-of-court settlement with the group, and on the 17th allowed pro-life advertisements against abortions worldwide, asserting that Google has no company position on abortion.  This change was applauded by the Christian Institute, and even by Marie Stopes International, a British abortion provider, which approved of the “equal opportunity to set out [both sides’] arguments” that Google allowed.       However, Google’s concession came with the condition that the advertisements present their case “in a factual way.”  In addition, Google has the right to censor advertisements that use violent images, which leaves the possibility that Google will still reject pro-life advertisements, especially if they use pictures of aborted children.

Fireside Fun and Philosophy Begins Again by David M. Frank Jr. Rambler Contributor

On Wednesday evening, September 24, students gathered in the glen behind St. Catherine Hall for the first of Professor Michael Brown’s Fireside Chats. Prof. Brown began the Fireside Chats some years ago, and they are always well attended by students throughout the grades. The evening began as Prof. Brown always starts them-with song and smores for all. Freshman Joseph Long brought his bouzouki, an Irish instrument, to lead everyone in favorite songs such as “Wagon Wheel” and “Whiskey in the Jar” The highlight of the evening was Dr. John Cuddeback, who has been a Fireside Chat speaker several times in the past. He presented a brief but insightful talk on “The Silence of St. Thomas Aquinas” which captivated many students. “Silence has no purpose other than to enable you and me to hear the word of God,” explained Dr. Cuddeback. “To cultivate silence is literally to cultivate the ability to hear the word of God.” He also discussed the practical application of silence in daily life. “If we see our day as

ordered around the one thing that’s necessary—hearing the word of God—and if the main way that we do that is in prayer, then we simply put prayer first in our day. Period. Exclamation point. End of sentence.” Dr. Cuddeback also challenged the students to consider replacing entertainment with recreation. “I think you’ll find it’s not a rigorism to say, ‘You don’t need entertainment,’ because often what we’re looking for when we go to entertainment is to fulfill a craving that really is only filled in recreation,” he explained. “Something like what we’re doing here this evening, other than this talk— meaning singing together, and so forth—is a good example of recreation. This isn’t entertainment. It’s rich time together.” After his talk, Dr. Cuddeback fielded questions from the students, and concluded by singing “Eileen Aroon,” the English translation of the beautiful Irish song, “Eibhlín a Riún.” When asked about the talk, freshman Karina Johnasen, declared, “It’s something I’ve really been needing to hear.” “It was so good. I want to be holy now,” said sophmore Angela Sus. The Fireside Chats will continue to be held once a month throughout the semester. 4

to Present Talk at Christendom College by Peter J. Smith Editor-in-Chief Congressman Frank Wolf will be speaking at Christendom College on Thursday, October 15 at 6pm. Students, faculty and visitors will meet in the Chapel Crypt. Wolf will discuss the importance of voting and of youth in the political arena, with a question and answer session to follow. Dr. Bernard Way, head of the Political Science Department at Christendom, expects a very large audience. “We are very excited for the Congressman’s appearance and are preparing for a record turnout. Christendom College is an ideal setting for this great event,” Way said. Food and refreshments will be provided.


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

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Immediate Effects of D.C. v. Heller

Bill Raises Questions about Residences’ Right to Bear Arms

by Anthony Klosterman Rambler Contributor In June 2008, the Supreme Court overturned a thirty-two year old ban on handguns in the crime-ridden District of Columbia. The Court’s decision was split five against four, and the majority sided on the opinion that this ban was unconstitutional and a violation of individuals’ second amendment right to keep and bear arms. This Supreme Court decision allows for the purchase and ownership of handguns in D.C., but leaves these weapons with the same regulations constricting the current use and ownership of shotguns and rifles in D.C. These restrictions include disassembling the gun or placing a lock on the trigger, as well as locking the guns in a safe while storing the ammunition separately. These guns are not allowed to be taken out of the home. On top of all this, semi-automatic weapons are still illegal in D.C. So, with the handgun ban being revoked, one might now purchase revolvers, but not your favorite Springfield XD or Gloch. Thus, the overturning of the handgun ban was a big step hypothetically, but lacks any practical effect for the safety of individuals within the District. For what man, when waking up to the sound of an intruder, has the time to unlock the safe, put the gun together, remove the trigger lock, find the ammunition and load the gun in time for effective home defense? This leads to the current bill in Congress which has generated a lot of controversy. Congress is D.C.’s primary legislative body. As such, they are currently considering a bill, which would remove the ban of semi-automatic rifles and handguns in the District. This bill would also remove the aforementioned obstacles to using a weapon for self-defense in the home. There is still no move to allow for the open carrying of handguns in D.C., but one should not expect too much this early in the game. Many liberals are afraid of the pro-gun consequences of this bill. As Washington

Post Staffer Mary Beth Sheridan wrote, “Opponents said they feared that if the bill became law, people could carry loaded semiautomatic weapons or .50 caliber sniper rifles into the city.” The absurdity of this objection to the bill barely needs to be commented on, but the NRA pointed out that this legislation will not allow for the carrying of firearms outside of the home. Though the Democrats in Congress have a thirty-seven person majority, this pro-gun move is not a surprise. There are forty-eight Democrats in Congress who support the bill and many are up for reelection in heavily pro-gun states. This has caused enough pressure to bend them in favor of this new legislation. It was the ruling in D.C. v. Heller which caused the wave of support for such a bill. House Speaker

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Nancy Pelosi and her cronies wished to leave such legislative matters to the city, but upon hearing of the strong support and the gathered signatures, she too was forced to bend and make this a congressional matter. The discussion of why it is important to reduce gun-control in a place like D.C. must be saved for another day. If one wishes to ask the author, he would be glad to comment and hopefully give some insight. Right now we just pray for the best. The right to protect one’s home and person is a beautiful thing in line with man’s unique dignity and this right “shall not be infringed.”


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

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All Aboard for (Human) Genetic Engineering? CBDS Spars over Stewardship, Genes, and Removing Human “Defects”

by David M. Frank Rambler Contributor

Photo © Patrick Hermans | Dreamstime.com

Inspired by the success of its first debate of the year, the Chester-Belloc Debate Society of Christendom College boldly proposed another controversial resolution for its second debate: “Genetic engineering is an expression of man’s stewardship over nature.” During the debate, which took place on Sunday, September 14, some in favor of the resolution argued that using genetic engineering on humans to “remove a defect,” such as Down’s syndrome, would indeed be an expression of man’s stewardship over nature. They further argued that, regardless of the morality of human genetic engineering, by logic only a few examples were necessary in order to pass the resolution. They then reasoned that, because the genetic engineering of foods such as corn and broccoli is clearly an expression of man’s stewardship

over nature, it was only logical that the resolution should pass. Those who argued against the resolution pointed out that genetic engineering of the unborn to remove the “defect” of Downs’ syndrome is entirely too risky. According to sophmore Thomas O’Connor: “The risk [of human genetic engineering] does outweigh the intent” even though “the intent may be good.” Senior Peter J. Smith, argued that genetic engineering should not be performed on humans, because it changes something fundamental about the person, and is an attack on the integrity of that person. Those against the resolution also raised a question that was never adequately answered: once man can justify replacing one human chromosome, what is to stop him from taking another step, and another, and possibly going too far? They asked if not all human genetic engineering is prohibited, where then does one draw the line? However, those opposed to the resolution failed to explain why genetic engineering of plants and animals would not be expressions of stewardship. The majority of those present were skeptical that human genetic engineering could rightly be considered stewardship. Nevertheless, the majority also felt that genetic engineering of plants and animals is an expression of man’s stewardship over nature, reasoning that after all, is it not good for man to find ways to raise better corn, tomatoes, broccoli, or beef ? Thus the resolution passed with 22 in favor, 16 opposed,

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and 4 abstaining. Although the resolution had passed, several of those who voted “yes” still felt somewhat dissatisfied with the debate. “Logically, the resolution is an individual affirmation, which can only be contradicted by a universal negative,” explained senior Kieran DuFrain, seeming a bit annoyed that more voters had not recognized this. “To reject the proposition, you would have to show that there are no examples of genetic engineering as stewardship.” Those who voted “no” likewise had much to say after the debate. Many felt that the speeches had not been very pertinent to the resolution itself. With a small group of debaters gathered around her, senior Josepha Bertolini, voiced her concern that no one had clearly defined the term “stewardship” during the debate. The idea emerged that genetic engineering is not an example of stewardship at all, but rather—well, “engineering.” It was suggested that an engineer is one who designs, while a steward merely cares for what has already been designed. Thus, it is the role of the steward to take care of his master’s property, not to change it fundamentally. Therefore, if no engineering is stewardship, the opposition contended, the resolution should not have passed, regardless of whether or not man is morally allowed to engineer God’s creation. Overall, however, the debate sparked uncommon interest in the subject of genetic engineering. Several students bemoaned what they called a deficiency of scientific education on campus, while others perceived a need for further emphasis on logic in the core curriculum. The next debate of the Chester-Belloc Debate Society will undoubtedly generate campus-wide commotion for weeks to come. What topic could be expected to create such tumult on an otherwise quiet campus? The Civil War, War Between the States, War of Northern Aggression, etc. returns to Virginia with “Resolved: That South Carolina was justified in seceding from the Union.” The debate will take place on Sunday evening, September 28, in Regina Coeli. Check CBDS flyers around campus for the time of this event.


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News & Opinion

McCain’s Embryonic Stem Cell Agenda by Matt Hadro CNSNews.com Correspondent CNSNews.com- John McCain’s latest radio ad which promises more funding of “stem-cell research” does, in fact, include embryonic stem-cell research along with the other forms of stem-cell research to be funded. Brian Rogers, spokesman for Sen. John McCain (R-Az.), was quoted last Friday in the publication The Hill, stating “Clearly John McCain supports it,” referring to embryonic stem-cell research. Jeffrey Young, the author of the article which was titled “McCain Launches Pro StemCells Ad,” writes of Rogers’ emphasis that “the ad is intended to refer to all forms of stem cell research, including experiments using human embryos and those using cells from adults.” These claims come amidst an official statement from the website of the Republican National Committee opposing the use of human embryos for scientific research. The article in The Hill followed an official September 12th press release by McCain-Palin 2008, which announced the new radio ad titled “Stem Cell.” The release explained that the ad “highlights a McCain administration’s support for stem cell research to advance medical discovery and treatment. The ad will air in key states.” The lauch of the ad commenced just a few days after Democratic VP candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) openly criticized the McCain-Palin campaign for their stance against embryonic stem-cell research. At a rally in St. Louis, Biden remarked, “I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy… and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were both born with a birth defect.” He continued, “Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?” For the third consecutive day, neither the McCain-Palin campaign nor the Republican National Committee would comment to CNSNews.com on issues concerning the radio ad. Kellie Ferguson, Executive Director

of the Republican Majority for Choice, reported to CNSNews.com that, “it’s our understanding that the Sen. McCain spokespeople came out strongly reiterating that he does support embryonic stem-cell research as soon as the ad came out and the ad was targeted at all stem-cell research.” Though McCain’s campaign website specifically states that as President, he will not support the use of embryos for scientific research, Ferguson countered that his past voting record shows otherwise. “He’s been pretty clear that he wasn’t really involved in the platform process and has stated that as the platform of the party and not as his platform… because the majority of Republicans support embryonic stem-cell research.” Ferguson continued that, though many “values voters” and “religious voters” may oppose embryonic stem-cell research, the majority of Republicans and religious voters wish to find common ground with their opponents on the issue. These voters are drawn to McCain because “he may be the candidate that can bridge some of those gaps.” Colleen Parro, Executive Director of the Republican National Coalition for Life,

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had not spoken directly with any McCain spokesperson on the issue as of Thursday, but said the ad holds no specific mention of embryonic stem-cell research. She noted that McCain has, up to the present, continually endorsed funding for embryonic stemcell research. “RNC for Life understands the scientific fact that every embryo- especially as a former embryo, we’re all former embryos- is a human being.” Parro continued that they, meaning the RNC for Life, “absolutely oppose” the killing of human embryos, as does Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. This past week, McCain responded to a question on the website www.sciencedebate2008.com that concerned government funding and regulation of stem-cell research. He endorses federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, but adamantly wishes to maintain a “refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress.” According to the site, McCain also hopes that one day, science will render the debate “academic.” Reprinted with permission from CNSNews.com


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

Arts & Culture

Wine and Song in Northern Virginian Vineyards

by Rebecca Harris and Heather Ca Senior Editors

Photo Š Dominic de Souza

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TheRamblerOnline.com The green and red of Mayo are said to be a sight to be had, but the vibrancy of the Virginian hills on this one particular weekend could easily give Mayo a run for its money. What a beautiful place Northern Virginia is, with the warm wind blowing through my fingers, and what more could possibly enhance this long Sunday drive? Well, wine of course. Originally Thomas Jefferson cultivated Italian vinifera vines and hired two Italian vintners to oversee the process. Possibly the most important wine development was the planting of the root hardy Norton grape. The wine industry boomed in the 1980s, making the Virginian wine industry relatively young. The lush, fertile soil makes some varietals easy to grow, such as the sweeter whites and hardy reds, while the harsh, unpredictable climate makes more delicate grapes, such as the pinot noir, almost impossible to grow. With 300 vineyards and just under 100 wineries, Virginia is one of the leading producers of vinifera grape vines. Virginia is making a name for itself by concentrating on those vines that thrive in the region. For example, the Virginian Viognier is becoming internationally acclaimed, and many wineries, including Rappahannock Cellars, have won medals at international competitions. As young, cultural beacons, we must take advantage of such beautiful, and tasty winecountry. The Northern Virginia area boasts about fifteen wineries. Mostly concentrated east of Front Royal, these wineries are all fairly easy to get to and relatively close to one another. It is reasonable, therefore, to map out your journey beforehand by creating a “winetrail.” This article will give a brief outline of a suggested “wine-trail” while reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the featured wineries. Beginning with the westernmost winery, North Mountain, we will then travel southeast to visit the local favorite, Rappahannock Cellars, and then north to our final destination, Naked Mountain Winery. The charm of the North Mountain vineyards lies in the bucolic setting, traditional Bavarian influences, and cozy, rustic tasting room. Amid all the sensible delight it is effortless to forget the reason you have come. Once your senses are restored, however, be prepared for some of the best sweet varietals Virginia has to offer. And at affordable prices, they offer six tastings of the normal production wines – free of charge. They also offer six limited production wines for the

price of three for five dollars. The first white was the most notable: the Vidal Blanc. Hints of crisp lemon and mango make this refreshing wine perfect with seafood or spicy Asian dishes. Another notable wine from their full-production list is the Mountain Sunset Apple Blush, albeit it was very sweet and drank like the perfect blush. The best of their wines, however, are on the limited production list. They offer a Reserve Vidal Blanc 2006, and if you’re lucky enough (or charming enough) the winemaker may allow a taste of the phenomenal unreleased 2007 Vidal Blanc, which is presented as being warmer and smoother than the 2006. A Riesling and a “Mountain Midnight” port-style wine are also among the limited production wines. Amidst all the sweet and dessert style wines, North Mountain’s Chambourcin was a surprisingly delightful dry wine. If your palate smiles upon spicy notes and a fullbodied finish, then you will love this rich Chambourcin. Overall, North Mountain’s desirable location, superior Vidal Blanc, Rosé, and Chambourcin, and friendly informative service, create a relaxing and appetizing atmosphere. Rappahannock Cellars, owned and operated by California natives, the Delmare Family, has been open now for seven years. Originally, the Delmares opened a vineyard in Santa Cruz, California, but ended up eventually settling their family in the Northern Virginia area. As the thoughtful landscaping subtlety leads your eye towards the stylish tasting room, and as you are greeted by the exposed stainless-steel fermenting barrels, you immediately know this will be a pleasurable experience. The wine does not fail to live up to its aesthetic surroundings. The 2007 Viognier, a double gold-medal winner at the San Francisco International Wine Festival, presented flavors of orange blossom, lemon peel and peach. On the darker side, the 2006 Cabernet Franc presented as a strong fruit-forward wine. These fruity aromas are overwhelmed, however, by the old-world flavors of tobacco and wood. Another one of the favorites is the Claret. Strawberries, dark chocolate, and a touch of “smokiness” were detected in this wine. As a Bordeaux style it is full-bodied, but just light enough to be served with barbecue chicken. Rappahannock Cellars offers refined, stylish 9

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wines with defined, poignant aromas, and paired with the welcoming and intelligent staff members, this winery should be a highlight of Virginia wineries. The beautiful drive takes you north through wine country; notable wineries in the area are Chateau O’Brien, Philip Carter Winery, and Linden Vineyards. At the northern edge of this region is the Naked Mountain Winery. They are acclaimed for their Chardonnay, which has been served at White House dinners on two separate occasions. The first time was a State Dinner hosted by President George H.W. Bush. A few years later President Clinton met with the State Governors, and Naked Mountain Chardonnay was, once again, the wine served. At first glimpse, it is obvious that Naked Mountain has the King of all locations. Nestled on a hill, and overlooking verdant Virginia hills, the winery offers a varied setting. The best of the Chardonnays was the 2004: it is smooth, dry, and buttery, and in the winemaker’s words, was styled after the classic “French Mersault.” Hints of smoke, vanilla, and butterscotch round out this warm “big” chardonnay. Of the reds, the only wine that left a lasting impression was the 2005 Cabernet Franc. The smoothness of its tannins set it apart from the majority of Cab Francs, and its berry undertones added an alluring complexity. Those who are fans of the classic “hit you in the face” Cabernet Franc, will not enjoy this, as it presents more or less as a California Cabernet Sauvignon. But for those who prefer a smoother, more delicate wine, this sly Cab Franc should do the trick. Overall, although the wines were for the most part very good, the horrendous service threw a light of distaste on the entire winery. Hopefully, when you visit they will have improved their hospitality, so that you can truly appreciate the wine, as well as the people that put so much effort into making it. So get out there college students. This Parents’ Weekend is a great opportunity to give your parents a tour of where you live. And where you live happens to be vibrant and thriving wine-country. So take this guide along, taste if you can, and impress them with your perfect foreknowledge of how the wines will present. And never underestimate the power of wine to elevate both body and mind to the greater beauty and creation of God.


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Arts & Culture

Soul Food for the Starving College Student And Then the 11th Commandment Was: Thou Shalt Not Be Bored…

by Becca Harris Senior Editor

Music:

Kennedy Center Extravaganza- All these events run for an affordable student price of $10, with valid student ID. All tickets available at the Kennedy Center of the Arts Tuesday October 7, 2008 @ 8pm Kennedy Canter Concert Hall Grammy and Emmy award winner Nancy Wilson, a unique vocalist and song stylist, performs jazz, pop, R&B favorites, and blues. Friday October 10, 2008 @ 8pm The Music Center at Strathmore András Schiff on Piano, performing several of Beethoven’s sonatas. Friday October 24, 2008 @ 8pm Warner Theatre Renowned a-cappella ensemble, “Sweet Honey on the Rock”, celebrates their 35th anniversary. Free Jazz performances in the National Art Gallery’s Sculpture Garden every Friday. On October 4, the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival presents Frédéric Yonnet.

Art:

Before relaxing in the park to the sweet sounds of Jazz, take a free of cost stroll into the National Gallery. Check out their newest exhibition, “Medieval to Modern: Recent Acquisitions of Drawings, Paintings, and Illustrated Books.” This exhibit features the progression of art from the medieval to the modern times. Highlights include Albrecht Dürer’s “A Pastoral Landscape with Sheperds Playing a Viola and Panpipes,” c.1496/1497. One of the earliest French drawings on paper by Jean Poyet is also on display. And perhaps most interesting are the several Renaissance drawings by Fra Bartolommeo and one of the earliest European books, the block book “Biblia Pauperum,” c.1460s. Another upcoming exhibit at the National Gallery is “Oceans, Rivers, and Skies,”

featuring a series of twenty-one black and white photographs by masters’ Ansel Adams, Robert Adams, and Alfred Stieglitz. This exhibits runs from October 12 – March 15 in the West Building.

Theatre:

Shakespeare Theatre Company located in downtown DC offers two plays this fall: “The Way of the World” and “Romeo and Juliet.” “The Way of the World,” written by William Concreve and directed by Michael Kahn, is heralded as one of the finest English comedies of the Restoration Period. Coyly interweaving courtship, love, and manners within the context of English society, the play follows two witty lovers yearning for “a marriage of true minds.” This clever bit of British fun will have you laughing as it deftly maneuvers the slippery slope of human relationships. This play runs from September 30 – November 16 at the Lansburgh Theatre. Prices range from $38.50 – $67.50 Their second play, “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare, only runs through October 12, so hurry up and enjoy this traditional all-male cast production of the classic love story. Directed by David Muse, this drama plays at the Sidney Harman Theatre, prices range from $20-$67.50 with a valid student ID. For a regionally renowned theatre a little closer to home, try The Wayside Theatre, in Middletown, only 20 minutes from Front Royal. Their troupe is performing Agatha Christie’s mystery thriller “The Mouse Trap,” from October 11 – November 8. Prices are $21 for the student priced matinee, and $26-$28 for the student priced Fri./Sat. performances, with valid student ID.

Festivals and Events:

It’s harvest season for many of the local wineries and vineyards! And guess what? 10

Sometimes they like to celebrate their bountiful yield. Many wineries in the area are hosting Harvest Parties, which include light fare, music, events, and of course good old-fashioned vino. Some of these wineries include: Barrel Oak Winery located in Delaplane, VA, approximately 21 minutes east of Front Royal is having their annual “Stomp and Chomp” on Saturday, September 27, from 11am – 10pm, where you can literally give a helping hand (or foot) in harvesting the grapes. They will also be giving tours of their underground cellars and wine tasting sessions. After the sun goes down a local roots rock group will play high-energy blues, swing, and rockabilly for you to get your boogie on. Fox Meadow Winery, located in Linden, VA, just nineteen minutes northeast of Front Royal is offering a “Harvest Picnic” on October 4, where the day’s activities include grape stomping, door prizes, a luncheon, and of course great wine. This one costs $10 per person, but with the food and wine included it is well worth it. Call ahead to make reservations, as this event is very popular. Philip Carter Winery is also running “Harvest Weekends” which boast music, wine and light fare on Saturdays from 1-5pm. Philip Carter is located in Hume, VA, 25 minutes southeast of Front Royal. A Medieval Fest! For all those who will miss the fun of last year’s Christendom medieval festival, fear not. There will be a medieval festival in McLean, VA on October 4 from 11am – 7pm at St. John the Beloved Church. Among the many events, there will be a Shakespeare play, wine tasting, a food fair, traditional music and dancing, and an ancient Christian Art Exhibit. Come in costume, or come as you are! Go to www.sjcc. com, the site for the Saint John Institute of Catholic Culture for more information.


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

TheRamblerOnline.com

Christendom College

Arts & Culture

Save Me From My Modern Guilt “When in Front A Review of the Musical Talents of Beck and a Royal...” Dialogue with Skeptics

by Jackson Kulick and Brendan Sheridan Rambler Contributors Beck takes his musical edge to a new height with his latest album Modern Guilt. Teaming up with influential and acclaimed hip-hop producer, Danger Mouse, Beck continues to depart from his previous, largely acoustic albums, Mutations and Sea Change, into the genre of digitally composed instrumentals. Though this change is a far cry from Beck’s most popular album, Odelay, his solid vocals remain similar and the strikingly significant lyrics comment on today’s modern soulless society. Chan Marshall, otherwise known as Cat Power, joins Beck on the first track, “Orphans,” which combines their distinct voices over a funky electric drum track. The first single off the album Chemtrails, is an eerie composition, reminiscent of Radiohead’s song “House of Cards” from their own most recent release, In Rainbows. A sample of the lyrics show the mood of this track: “Down by the sea/so many people/falling in ... down by the sea/swallowed by evil ... You and me/watching the sea/full of people/already drowned/so many people/so/many/people.” Though this may strike you as slightly disturbing – in the manner of, say, Slipknot—Beck’s approach to this difficult subject shows a mastery over the strange and paranormal, and comments on the lifelessness of the modern man and his aimless pursuits. The second single from the album is an exhilarating song, and by now, already a hit in international dance halls. Though it has a more universal appeal, “Gamma Ray” does not shy away from the difficult topics of today such as global warming, a symbiotic dependence on technology, and, most importantly, dancing gamma rays in hurricanes (particularly during the fall season). Walls, the sixth track, is a melting pot

of old horn and drum samples, with possibly the best vocal chorus on the entire project. Overall this track summarizes the positive influence that critically acclaimed producer Danger Mouse has had on the time-tested artist’s abilities. Beck is obviously displeased with the direction of the modern world, as is clear from the title and themes of the tracks on the album. In the humble opinion of the writers of this article, Beck has recorded a cry for help from the bowels of Scientology (of which he has been a long standing member). It is Christendom’s duty to answer his desperate plea with an apologetic letter-writing campaign. For all you budding and skeptical apologists, please move your eyes forward to our short, convincing “Dialogue with a Skeptic.” Beginning of Dialogue Skeptic: “This is a very stupid idea to write to Beck! What could possibly be accomplished by such an undertaking?” Beck Reviewers: “Do not be so silly. The benefits are a hundred-fold, but for the sake of brevity, we shall name two. The first is the conversion of Beck’s soul, which is a very good soul. The second is that Beck would most definitely offer us free weekly concerts in the Café in return for his eternal salvation.” End of Dialogue Now if this dialogue was unconvincing, please consider the happiness of Kaylie, who would benefit greatly from the increased sale of fancy lattes that musicians often request. In conclusion, we highly recommend Modern Guilt to any who dare to be overwhelmed by Beck’s musical genius and creativity. This album is a tribute to an already prolific musician and a fantastic addition to any musical library.

11

A Guide to the Discovery of Lively Main Street by Heather Calio Senior Editor

To those of you who might be looking for classy, yet fun activities for yourself or for your parents this Parents’ Weekend, but have despaired of Front Royal’s venues, I would advise a closer look. Main Street Front Royal has undergone quite the transformation in the past few months, resulting in new shops that are definitely worth a visit. If live music and classy dining is your style, check out the Lucky Star Lounge, with its seasonal menu featuring exclusively local organic foods that are healthy as well as delicious and well within budget. The music lineup for this weekend is a mixture of rock and blues, with some live jazz thrown in on Saturday. Looking for good wines beyond the grocery store selection? Want to try before you buy? You are in luck with the newly opened Vino E Formaggio Gourmet Wine and Cheese Store, also located along Main Street Front Royal. Down-to-earth owner Tory Failmezger has a commitment to providing quality wines from around the world at affordable prices. For Tory, it’s “about enjoying good wine in your everyday life.” His statement is reflected in the store’s stock, which carries some 150 different wines from all over the world, with most priced around $20 a bottle. Also in store are artisan cheeses to pair with your wine selection. Free wine tastings are offered from 2-5 pm on Saturdays as well as from 1-4 pm on Sundays, with this weekend’s tasting featuring four wines of Australia and New Zealand. When you go (because you will!), be sure to tell them The Rambler sent you! However, don’t let this little article limit your exploration of Main Street; go and check it out! You might just be pleasantly surprised by what’s beyond the Daily Grind.


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

TheRamblerOnline.com

Christendom College

Faith & Reason

A Review of Beyond Capitalism and Socialism: A New Statement of an Old Ideal

Edited by Dr. Tobias J. Lanz, With an Introduction by John Sharpe and a Foreword by Kirkpatrick Sale by James Tillman Senior Editor

Beyond Capitalism and Socialism is a book of essays centered around a single subject, a subject that is not mentioned in its title. This subject is distributism. This immediately compounds the problem that one has in reviewing any book of essays; for, as any book of essays can look at one thing from such a wide variety of angles that to review it coherently might seem impossible, so also distributism often seems so variously or so nebulously characterized that a coherent description of it would seem, to many, impossible. Indeed, the first words of the first essay of the book, “A Distributist Remembers,” by Aidan Mackey, proclaim that there “can be no precise definition of distributism, for it is organic and cannot be reduced to a formula.” Other authors, such as Thomas Storck or Dr. Edward McPhail, describe a distributist economy as an economy marked by the widespread distribution of property. Nevertheless, in all, Beyond Capitalism and Socialism does not attempt to give a scientific definition and explanation of its subject matter; such would be more properly the work of a treatise. Instead, it does what any book of essays ought do: looks at its subject from many perspectives, and thereby illuminates various facets of its subject. An attempt to summarize each of the twelve essays would do justice to none of them, and so I shall not attempt to do so. A number of points are immediately evident, however. One is that the book is not primarily meant to argue systematically against the position of those Catholics who have concluded that capitalism is the best economic system for men. The authors of the essays generally assume that their readers are already members of or sympathize with their position. Some essays paint very appealing pictures of distributism:

Dale Alquist’s essay, for instance, entitled “G.K. Chesterton’s Distributism,” portrays distributism with all of the rhetorical verve and flair of his essay’s title character. He also portrays it with Chesterton’s usual unconcern for the statistics and mathematical arguments that are usually so appealing to those of an economic bent. Similarly, Dr. Rupert Ederer’s essay, “Heinrich Pesch and the idea of a Catholic Economics,” is an outline of his subject’s work and not a complete exposition of it; Dr. Edward McPhail’s essay, “Distributism and ‘Modern Economics’” is of similar detail. This is not a flaw in any of the essays; it merely means that those who desire an in-depth and rigorous defense of distributism ought look elsewhere. The book succeeds better in giving a broad historical overview and philosophical background for the entire distributist project. Gary Potter’s essay, “R.I.P Triumph Magazine,” would be interesting reading for any Christendom student, even if it were only for finding the names of authors that he or she ought to have read. Mackey’s and Anthony Cooney’s essays outline the history of distributism from its roots in England to today. Similarly, one gains a very good feel for the general ideals of distributism: that property ought to be widespread and not be concentrated; that the areas of production and consumption ought to be coterminous as far as possible; that an economy ought to be shaped around the good of the family and not the family about the good of the economy; and that distributism must primarily begin in each home. Two essays are worth special mention. Dr. Christopher Blum’s essay outlines the life and thought of Rene de La Tour du Pin, a French, aristocratic, monarchist conservative, who, like certain other writers, is perhaps too often ignored in American circles because he was French, aristocratic, and monarchist. Dr. William Fahey’s essay 12

covers the most humble subject of any essay in the book, but draws from it deep and worthwhile reflections in slow and unhurried prose reminiscent of Belloc; if one could read but one essay of this book, this would be the one to read. The skeptical reader of the this book will not have found, by the end of it, a complete defense of the tenets it contains; its contents and the advice that it offers certainly form no geometrically rigorous science, with its theorems already conceptually contained in its axioms. On the other hand, so also does ethics offer a series of tenets that, at first glance, appear random and unrelated: do not steal; tell the truth; be chaste. Yet, when viewed with man’s end in mind, such moral laws reveal themselves to be closely related. Similarly, advice given in this book may appear random and unrelated at first glance. But, when viewed from the perspective of the science of ethics in its broadest sense—which enfolds both personal ethics, domestic ethics, and political science—such theories and advice are, if not agreeable, at least understandable.


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

TheRamblerOnline.com

Christendom College

Faith & Reason

So What About the Church in Hungary? Because – as you know – there are many differences between the two sides of the Ocean on that question! The first, and biggest difference between the Church in Europe and America, is the origins of the Church in Europe. In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church had political power, and some part of that power still existed in the beginning of the 20th century! The Churches in Europe possess large territories, buildings, and schools which were given by the state. Long story short, the Church in Europe enjoyed a privileged position. This is not the same case with the Church in America, where the tradition of Puritan Protestantism dominated from the beginning, ensuring the Catholic Church could not become as strong as it is in Europe. The second difference, which is related to the first, has to do with Europeans’ opinions about the Church and about the Catholic Faith in general. Early in the 20th century, it was still customary for Catholics in Europe to go to Mass every Sunday and so on. But in many cases, there was not really true faith and practice behind this tradition. For this reason, many people left the Church in the 1960s and they have not returned since. But the Hungarian Church deserves special attention. First of all, our first king, Saint Stephen, offered the Hungarian crown to the Holy Mother in 1038 after his first son, Saint Emeric, died. That is why the Hungarians call their country the “Land of the Holy Mary.” The situation of the Church in Hungary and Central Europe has been more complicated than in Western Europe. During the Communist regime, the official ideology of the Soviet Union was atheism and its main purpose was to stop the Church’s work. They attacked not only Catholic thought and doctrine, but also the administrative work of the Church. Those in the religious life were discriminated against and the Church’s activity was limited. Church institutions were closed, monastic orders prohibited from performing their functions, the Catholic schools were nationalized, the catechism was forced back, and the largest part of the Church’s real estate was seized by the government. Our cardinal in that time was Jozsef Mindszenty, who was imprisoned by the Communists between 1949-1956. He escaped to the US

Embassy in Hungary, and later came to the United States after the revolution of 1956. His picture can be found in the St. Lawrence Commons, near Classroom One in the basement. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Hungary’s communist regime ended in 1989, the Church was released from its earlier restrictions. This happened after the first free general election. John Paul II’s visit to Hungary in 1991 was a major help. His visit was received with great zeal. The papal visit happened just as the reformation of the religious and social life was going on with great enthusiasm. The pope’s teaching and his directions helped in all of the Hungarian public life and he returned again in 1996. Catechism instruction was once again allowed in schools after 1989, if the parents asked for it. Many schools still do not have catechism groups, because the majority of parents do not ask for teaching of the catechism for their children. However, a lack of young priests means big trouble too. Half of Hungary’s priests are over sixty years old. But while Hungary has many problems, there are good signs, too. An example is the City Mission, which was organized in Budapest, Hungary’s capital, last year. This was a good idea meant to make the Church more popular and known. Priests and Catholic movements rented different clubs, 13

bars, and entertainment centers, so that they could speak about the teaching of the Evangelists, sing gospel songs, and say Masses. Our Cardinal, Peter Erdo, went to one of the biggest shopping areas in Budapest and gave an interview that turned out to be a great idea. The City Mission Movement used to go every year to the big metropolises. Last September showed that there are many people who sympathize with the Faith, and a lot of people have a faith in God some way, although they are not participants of the Church. Another positive thing about the Church in Hungary is our Cardinal, Peter Erdo, who has been elected the President of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe. He is currently the youngest member of the College of Cardinals and represents very well the interests of the Catholic Church in Hungary. On the whole, although the circumstances were not so easy for the Catholics in Hungary, thanks to many inspired people, the faith of the Catholic Church there is still alive.

Photo © Hermann Danzmayr | Dreamstime.com

by Gergely Mohay Rambler Contributor


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

TheRamblerOnline.com

Christendom College

The Campus Beat

Students Heavily Favor Two Sunday Masses by Peter J. Smith Editor-in-Chief Students and the Administration have a lot of ground to cover before they reconcile their differences over how just one Sunday liturgy is achieving the common good for the Christendom community according to a new Rambler survey. This survey was conducted during lunch on Friday, September 12. When asked by The Rambler: “Does Christendom need a second Sunday morning Mass” an overwhelming 83 per cent of 135 students, faculty, and staff who were polled voted “yes.” Only twenty three (17 per cent) of those surveyed disagreed. Supporters for another Sunday Mass cited the overcrowding of the Christ the King chapel thanks to the one Sunday liturgy policy among their chief concerns. With a student body now numbered at 421, The Rambler’s survey indicates most students believe the number of Sunday Masses available on campus should be expanded, rather than contracted on the basis that the one community Mass has the intimacy of a sardine can—especially in the first few weeks of the school year. 52 per cent of students listed both “overcrowding” and “convenience” as the top two reasons for having more than one Sunday liturgy on campus. Then followed 31 per cent saying they favored “beginning the Dies Domini earlier.” 35 students voiced concern for the workstudy students, while 28 said they wanted a Tridentine liturgy, followed by 18 in favor of a vernacular liturgy. Four students listed health reasons – i.e. fainting or sickness due to incense and/or the close quarters that makes the air too heavy for them. A number in favor of two Masses wrote on their surveys that they do not believe the current Mass policy is benefiting community, but in reality is driving them away. “The Mass unifies the church even if all of the students are not there at once, and not everyone comes to the single Mass as it is,” wrote one Sophomore.

One Senior opined, “Many choose to go earlier off campus, and this breaks community. If it was on campus we could remain united.” A Junior suggested that an 8:30am and a 10:30am liturgies “would be ideal.” However those in favor of one Sunday liturgy expressed concern for retaining the symbolic action of worshiping together as one community. “We need to get students beyond the notion that Sunday worship is a mere legal requirement – like going to the DMV – something to be gotten out of the way as quickly and painlessly as possible,” wrote one professor. One student suggested that the chapel renovations should be expedited so the college community could fit in the chapel. Others, however, brought up criticisms regarding Christendom’s liturgy. One professor lamented the Christendom liturgy lacks a healthy vitality in singing or even makes room for sacred silence – a long liturgical tradition in the Latin rite, which Pope Benedict has sought to reintroduce with the recent Motu Proprio. The poll revealed also

more thoughtful responses from students. One student

14

wrote, “Buddha lives,” while another indicated the breadth of his command of the English language with the profound conclusion: “The Rambler is gay.”

Analysis

Two reasons present themselves for the divide between students and the Administration on the issue. Faculty sources to The Rambler said that when Dr. O’Donnell decided the College should embrace one Sunday community liturgy as a way to take back the culture – an idea he derived from reading John Paul II’s Dies Domini – he explained to them the reasons for the change, they all read the document together, and by-andlarge agreed. The same process, however, was not implemented with students, who consequently found the change more sudden – many conceived the decision as not taken their best interests into account. If the first scenario is true, then a public consultation period before implementing major policy decisions could go a long way toward preparing students to understand the changes in college policies. A consultation period would allow the Administration to adapt the policy to student concerns, which it could not yet have foreseen, for the sake of the common good. One example would be scheduling van runs to St. John’s Masses for work-study students in order to meet their needs. However students may also see, unlike the faculty who attend Sunday Mass less often on campus, that the policy fails practically in achieving its object and that community is in fact diminished when more students are no longer worshipping together on the same campus, let alone the same chapel of their alma mater. If this is the case, they may judge that the policy is failing to bring about its intended effect and is actually defeating the purpose of building up the Christendom community. Rambler survey results compiled by Peter J. Smith, Heather Calio, Rebecca Harris, and others. Photo © Benjamin Earwicker | stock.xchng.com


September 27, 2008 - Vol. VI, No. III

TheRamblerOnline.com

Christendom College

Pepper & Salt

The Flawed Campaign of Barack Obama Why He Will Ultimately Fail in His Quest for Political Power

by Christopher Dayton Rambler Contributor With the historic 2008 election rapidly approaching and the time of decision immanent, the voter must be well aware of the issues at stake and the candidates’ positions. Senator Barack Obama’s campaign is a historic one; not only has he shattered racial barriers in the quest for the most powerful position in the free world, and not only did he beat the presumed contender Hilary Rodham Clinton, he has managed to go this far without laying out a specific set of ideas to the voters of what kind of ‘change’ he will be introducing to Washington. There is so much at stake this election, such as: the dangerous state of the economy, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the threat of a nuclear Iran, and the crippling state of health care and social security. This is not the time for the media’s choice, who is a candidate of hope and change and onthe-spot training. Rather, it is the time for a leader of experience. The Senator from Illinois constantly speaks of a change that we can believe in, but it is not good enough to campaign on the idea change. There needs to be a fundamental plan with real strategies and real solutions. There are real problems to be addressed and solved, not fairytale stories read from teleprompters that have happy endings and healthcare for all. The American people deserve much more than a false claim of change. Obama and his campaign preach nothing but change and a defining moment. What does this mean? What kind of change will Obama present to the American people from the White House? How will the people benefit from electing this young popular senator from Illinois? Let us first consider the impact of a President who has had no real job or experience outside of Chicago politics and how he proposes to lead the strongest nation in the world. With the resume of just a community organizer and a state legislator, Senator Obama would have a lot of work to do since his election to the Senate and his voting record has been nothing to brag about. During his campaign for the Senate

Seat, his Republican opponent dropped out three months before the election. The Republican Party brought in an out of state candidate to run against Obama, but with only three months to prepare, it seemed helpless. When Obama won the election with 73 percent of the vote, no one should have been surprised. The mere fact that this Presidential race is the first major election that Obama is in, and that he really only has 143 days of experience of legislative work on a national level, should send out a warning signal to voters. The media has done a fantastic job of hiding this fact. Instead of focusing on the facts and trying to get a more formulated idea of who Obama really is, they instead continually report on how many people show up at his rallies and how passionately he speaks rather than how cogent his rhetoric is or, for that matter, what he is really proposing (or not proposing) to do for this country. Early in his term as a United States Senator, The National Journal labeled Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate. For this coveted position, he beat out arch-liberals Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Madame Clinton herself. The few votes he has cast always follow the dictates of public opinion. He originally was against wiretapping but then voted for it. He has continued this pattern throughout his short tenure in office. A President Obama would mean a nationalized health care program that would guarantee benefits for all, including the millions of illegals in this country. Senator Obama has been quoted saying, “The time has come for universal health care in America,” and we can be sure that the person that Obama would nominate to head up that project would be the one and only Hillary Rodham Clinton, author of the 1993 “Hillarycare” fiasco. By introducing such a policy, it will start the total government takeover that the Democrats see as the solution to the problem. An Obama Presidency would mean more big government, citing people’s need for help. People do not want help from the government, they want affordable insurance and health care, NOT govern15

ment controlled insurance and healthcare. An Obama White House would continue fueling our addiction to foreign oil, because even though Sen. Obama says he is for alternative fuel, he has offered no realistic solution. He signed a letter to the President asking him to consider using ethanol as a fuel source. Obama also promotes electrical cars. He also has consistently bashed McCain’s proposal for off-shore drilling and refuses to talk about nuclear power plants. Sarah Palin put it best in her address before the Republican National Convention, “This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word “victory” except when he’s talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent’s plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger ... take more of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy ... our opponent is against producing it.”


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