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Volume VII, Issue I • December, 2010

Radicalism and the Left Interview with Weather Underground Co-founder Mark Rudd Dr. Charles Wade on the Radical Professor

. . . ALSO The Arizona Immigration Law 51 Park Place Student Athlete of Highlight

A Journal of Conservative & Libertarian Thought


THE BROWN SPECTATOR Editorial Board Editor in Chief Ryan Fleming

Senior Managing Editor Manas Gautam

Managing Editor Kelly Fennessy

Design Editor Jingtao Huang

Business Managers Gabriella Suarez Valery Scholem

Contributors:

Olivia Connetta Oliver Hudson MacLain Christie (UR ‘13) Philip Primeau (URI ‘11) Kyle McNamara William Phillip

Copy Editor Sam Choi

For all questions, comments, letters, and responses please email inquires@thebrownspectator.com or Ryan_Fleming@brown.edu The Spectator is in need of writers, editors and layout designers. Please contact Ryan_Fleming@brown.edu if interested. Thank you to Jenny Bowen, www.jennybowen.com, Emily Smith, Tasha Nagamine, Beatrice Sims and Mark Rudd for their photo contributions.

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Letter From The Editor Dear Readers,

It is with great pride that I say, “I attend Brown University.” Pride not in its rich history or prestige, but pride in the community that Brown represents. The student body is committed to not only seeking knowledge and the truth, but also in striving for the betterment of their community, and mankind as a whole. One would be hard pressed to walk across campus, or even just the main green, without being asked to help some cause, whether it is the politically repressed people of Burma, or economically disadvantaged high school students. Wherever there is injustice and oppression, there is a Brown student who is willing to take up the fight of the suppressed. There is one group of students that, however, that too often has no voice. That group is the conservative students of Brown University. We find ourselves in a sea of liberalism; our views are openly ridiculed, we become the subject of jokes in classes, and people look in disbelief at how we could possibly believe in the conservative ideology. I can think of no other group that is so often rebuked for their beliefs, especially on a campus that preaches from the bible of “tolerance.” This is why the Spectator exists, to give a voice to the conservative movement on campus. The Spectator is not a soapbox for conservative politics, nor is it here to unnecessarily agitate the community. We are not here to pick fights. Our goal is to create an open political forum for all views to be shared, to start two sided, rational, political discussions, and to let everyone’s voice on campus be heard, even if their peers wish to silence it. Kind Regards, Ryan Fleming Editor in Chief


NATIONAL SB:1070

Does the Arizona Immigration law violate our civil rights? pg. 5

51 Park Place

Is freedom limit less? Why the Ground Zero mosque should be relocated. pg. 17

On The Border

Why creating border security is not just beneficial to the United States, but also to potential immigrants. pg. 19

CAMPUS

Photo By Tasha Nagamine

Learning to Survive

Manas Guatam gives his advice on how to thrive at liberal university. pg. 3

Athlete Spotlight

Meet Beatrice Sims, a winner both on and off the water. pg. 4

Kudos and Gripes

Two freshmen break down their top 10 and bottom 10 things about Brown. pg. 16

LOCAL The Next Mayor

The Specator talks one on one with Angel Taveras and examines what he will bring to the city of Povidence pg. 9

FEATURED The New Left

Mark Rudd, co-founder of the weather underground, talks about his past and his views on present state of protest in America. pg. 11

The Radical Professor

Guest contributor Charles Wade explains why the radical professor really isn’t all that radical at all. pg. 7

ARTS Why Can’t We Have Fun

MacLain Christie breaks down the debut album from the up and coming band, the Debutaunts.

Victorian Studies

pg. 15

Guest contributor Timothy Larsen shares his latest poem.

EDITORIAL

pg. 10

In Trust We Trust

Senior Managing editor Manas Guatam explains why the most important aspect of government is trust. pg. 20

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My newly inducted colleagues

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t is with great honor that I welcome you to our prestigious institution. The grueling application process is finally over and you came out on top. Is it finally your time to relax? Not yet. If you think Berkeley is a left-wing breeding ground, welcome to the East Coast’s liberal Mecca. If you associate with conservative principles be it fiscal or social, your journey has just begun and I hope you remain consistent to your principles. Brown is very liberal from the professors to the students, but does that mean they do not care about your voice? I believe they need you in the classrooms and up at 4 AM at Louie’s telling your peers why taxation stifles growth. You, my dear reader, will be the one putting a stop to the one-party, arrogant classroom. Even if your audience is set in their ways, your viewpoint matters since with only a true debate can you strengthen your arguments and they theirs. Put the word “liberal” to the test – are they really free in their intellectual pursuits?

We, as conservatives and proponents of liberty, must truly understand why we believe in such principles and have background research and reasons to back our beliefs. This is the only way we shall be able to communicate the message of less government intervention and the importance of personal liberties. Since you are the minority, you will naturally be disadvantaged. You cannot simply appeal to the emotions like our liberal friends. Therefore, being well read, keeping up to date with political and economical policies/debates, attending talks on campus and understanding the basic conservative philosophy is vital. I have seen in many cases in which the counter party’s arguments fall apart through simple examples and logical deduction of how exactly their system of beliefs is unsustainable.

seen in many cases “ Ithehave counter party’s argu-

my dear reader, will “You, be the one putting a stop

ments falling apart by simple examples and following their logic to show how exactly their system is unsustainable.

to the one-party, arrogant classroom.

Do not be surprised though, if you find aggression, or if everyone agrees with a weaker argument than yours. Some may ask, “Why did you even come here?” No matter what those “open-minded” classmates say, we are an important part of the student body.

To spread this message, write articles in our school’s newspapers and magazines, blog about it, put it up on Facebook or upload videos which shed light on the world around us. Promoting, reading and answering comments will further your own understanding of the other sides’ opin-

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ions and refute the illogical ones. Above all else, keep it simple! At all times we must listen to the other side, be precise, coherent and make sure we have not lost our listener. It is the mom test; if your mother cannot understand it, you are doing it wrong. When students protest against layoffs, explain to them that the crisis is one formed by the Federal Reserve, poor tax and trade policies, and that the government has been completely inefficient in tackling them. Private institutions and the Westin are doing so simply to survive just like how you would do cost cutting when you realize you have overdrawn from your account and that BUDS check is a few days away.

not get frustrated and “ Do do feel repressed. ” Do not get frustrated and do feel repressed. Being confident, rational and patient is the most important aspect of communicating. By losing your temper you will be written off as an angry, right wing fanatic. That is not the point. A lovely lady I know once advised me that being angry towards somebody is just like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. So be happy, enjoy your next few years in college and make sure to drop in at a Chomsky-esque talk to start a debate. Yours sincerely,

Manas Gautam


Beatrice Sims: A student athlete with the right attitude  Kelly Fennessy

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ime must pass differently for Beatrice Sims, 2012, than it does for the rest of us.  Any other explanation would make the rest of us mere mortals look inadequate.  After walking on to the crew team her freshman year, she accomplished much more in her days than would seem possible, and she does all of it with a positive attitude.  You might see her at the Gate, making pizza with a smile on her face, giving no indication that her time that her time that day at the boathouse or the Sunlab (she’s an applied mathcomputer science concentrator) has taken a toll on her.  Maybe you have seen her walking backwards giving a tour, or maybe you’ve seen her wearing a borderline ridiculous outfit  and singing with AWKapella. Her days of wearing many hats and overachieving began long before she set foot on College Hill. Beatrice was valedictorian of her high school with a staggering 5.08 GPA.  She played varsity softball her senior year of high school and junior varsity/recreational softball for seven years before that.  She was also National Honors Society president and a member of an Academic Decathlon team. When she came to Brown University she decided to tackle one of the hardest aspects of college – being a student athlete. She quickly joined crew, and by the end of her freshman year, she won gold at Eastern Sprints with the C-four. In the beginning of her sophomore spring, she was in the second

Beatrice Sims and the Brown crew team race against Yale

varsity eight.  After much hard work, by a third of the way through her sophomore Spring, Beatrice was in the first varsity eight.  Non-athletes at Brown may not be fully aware of what a commitment to a team entails.  For this and other reasons, many people observe a disconnect between athletes and nonathletes at Brown.  Some see student athletes as athletes first and students second. They may even come off as arrogant if their friends are only their teammates. However, this stereotype is not true for all athletes, and people like Beatrice help bridge this gap.  A true student athlete is accomplished as both a student and as an athlete.  Her coach John Murphy remarked, “I have always felt that this team is extremely fortunate to have Beatrice as a member. I think that without a doubt

she is the quintessential student athlete.” She encourages anyone who wants more first hand knowledge of what it’s like to be a student athlete to give the crew team a try.  It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable, especially with the right attitude.  When asked whether she would change anything if she were to go back to her freshman year, she replied “I’m really happy with the way things have turned out. If you’d told me my senior year of high school that this was where I’d be now, I probably would’ve laughed, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.” The crew team shapes its members as people into student athletes like Beatrice who could conquer the world if she wanted to.  And no, they do not really have to wake up at 5 AM all the time.

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SB:1070

Debating the Merits of the Arizona Immigration Law Ryan Fleming

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acism, by its nature, stems from ignorance. For that reason there is a touch of bitter irony when opponents of Arizona’s law SB 1070 call it, out of ignorance, racist. I plan on shedding light on the merits of Arizona’s law and show why it is not the law many percieve. It retains the fundamental basis of our American freedom. Before I continue, I urge anyone that has not already, to go and read the law. Please, it is very short, and will help you truly understand the situation. Secondly, I want to be clear that we are only talking about SB 1070 as part of the current immigration laws. This isn’t a debate on immigration policies, whether you believe we should build fences or have open borders, or how much you think illegal immigrants help or hurt this country. Those are issues for another day. This is simply about the law as it relates to current federal policies and its outspoken critics. Most critics argue that the law will unfairly target innocent Hispanics. Contrary to popular belief, however, police officers cannot simply walk up to “brown-colored” people, ask for identification and then whisk them off to prison in the Arizona dragnet. An officer must first stop a suspect for an unrelated offense before they can ask for identification. The original bill used the words lawful contact, an ambiguous term, but the Arizona Legislation put an end to the confusion. They edited the sentence to read “lawful stop, detention or arrest.”  No longer can the bill’s opponents claim that innocent bystanders will be deported for no reason at all. For SB 1070 to have any “victims” one must first break an unrelated American law, which could range from traffic violation to drug possession to assault, and then fail to produce proper identification. What qualifies as proper identification? We have all heard of the tremendous humiliation, pain and difficulty that legal immigrants will face as they now have to carry all sorts of identification with them: their passport, visa, birth certificate, social security card. I find these concerns to be over-inflated.

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Photo courtesy of Jenny Bowen

“Contrary to popular belief, police offi-

cers cannot simply walk up to “browncolored” people, ask for identification and then whisk them off to prison in the Arizona dragnet.

A suspect only needs to produce one state issued document. Among the numerous qualifying documents are: Driving license, Green card, Social Security Card, Visa, Passport, Birth Certificate, etc. All these items, with the exception of a birth certificate or passport, can easily fit in a standard wallet. Suddenly the laborious effort of having your papers is as simple as putting a card in your wallet. Regardless of the law, many people carry these with them at all times anyways, and it’s not uncommon for countries to require you to have identification. The Netherlands insists on foreign visitors always having their passports on hand. Does this mean that the Dutch are oppressive and racist? Brown requires us to have our ID’s on us to enter buildings, should organize a protest?


The next common complaint is that this law over steps its bounds and walks into federal territory. A quick reading of the Arizona law will dispel this notion. It mentions numerous times that the officer shall only go as far as federal law allows and that police should turn over any detained to federal authorities. Regardless of this law, the Supreme Court has upheld numerous times that even with just reasonable suspicion the officer has the right to ask for the suspect to identify himself or herself, and in cases of probable cause of a crime the officer may arrest. No matter how you paint it, illegal immigrants have all committed a crime against the United States. Furthermore, visiting constitutional law proffesor at Brown University, Stephen Calabresi, says that the ability to control borders is not just a fedral power. Much like the power to impose an income tax, the power to control borders has traditionally been shared

between the state and federal government. Calabresi stated that he believes that, if brought to federal court, SB1070 will be upheld. SB1070 also tries its best to protect the innocent by saying, “a law enforcement official… may not solely consider race, color, or national origin.” It goes on to say that the state will punish officers for making arrests based on race, regardless of whether or not the suspect was actually illegal. Officers must rely on things such as poor English, fear of police, among other indicators before they can even ask for identification. The simple truth is that Arizona went to great length to make sure racism did not play a role in its fight against illegal immigration.

“[Prof.] Calabresi stated that he believes that, if brought to federal court, SB1070 will be upheld.” Even more laughable is Mexico calling the law racist. Mexico has its own troubles with its southern border, and has some of the stringiest immigration laws. Mexico requires – along with other standards – that every immigrant shows that will be an economic asset to Mexico and they will not burden the country. Often they require immigrants to be debt-free and possess cash reserves. Every country has the right to control its immigration and Arizona is simply acting within the boundaries set by the federal government. Only if one assumes – based on stereotypes and unfounded beliefs – that officers are bigots who unfairly target Hispanics, can they call SB1070 racist. In the end, SB1070 will have very little affect on controlling immigration. Instead it will be used as a tactic for Democrats to attempt to isolate Hispanic voters and secure the Hispanic vote for years to come.

An estimated 560,000 illegal immigrants reside in Arizona Data from State Criminal Alien Assistance Program shows that illegal immigrants were 11 percent of the state’s prison population. Illegal immigrants were estimated to be 8 percent of state’s adult population at the time of the analysis. In 2007, the Center for Immigration Studies estimated that one-third of households headed by illegal immigrants in Arizona used at least one major welfare program, primarily food-assistance programs or Medicaid. Approximately 17 percent of those detained by border patrol agents in Tucson already had a criminal history in the US.

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Fear Not the Radical Professors Dr. Charles H. Wade

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hough it may not have been the intended reaction, I was greatly amused that William F. Buckley, Jr. actually seemed to take his professors so seriously in his classic God and Man at Yale. Of course, this book was published before the countercultural movements of the 1960s. That era and the subsequent generation of academics it produced profoundly changed the dynamics of the University, and I believe it did so for the worse. I have always been intrigued by professors who claim to embody and perpetuate the spirit of the 1960s counterculture. But after I actually got to know many professors over the years, I found that their academic personalities and their actual personalities do not comport. My observations from academia are not based on hasty encounters with professors at some cocktail party. No, I experienced the many faces of academia not only as an undergraduate, but through eight years of graduate school, interacting with professors in and out of the classroom, in hallways and offices, at conferences, and in their homes. And after all that time, I became increasingly convinced that the public’s perception of the wacko liberal – even dangerous – college professor is way off. You see, these “radical” professors are not radicals at all. I realized this after I began graduate school in August 2001. A few weeks into the semester, just as I was growing accustomed to much more reading, writing, and T.A. duties, a seemingly normal Tuesday morning became what we now know as September 11. Just days after the terrorist attacks, as I was recovering from the shock and grief that so many of us naturally felt, I remember standing in my advisor’s office. He was at his desk, the attacks came up in conversation, and he asked for my opinion about them. I said I was shocked by the whole thing and was having trouble processing it all and that, for some reason, I had this nagging feeling of guilt. I said that, as an American, I felt partially responsible for what had happened. His response? “Good.” Unsurprisingly, that professor and others in that department sprung on the opportunity to spew hateful rhetoric about the United States and its imperialistic pursuits (among many other atrocities) over the next two years of my master’s program. I heard numerous undergrads complain about some of the appalling (and ridiculous) things some of their professors said in class, but there was nothing we could do about it. (I went elsewhere for my doctorate.) Still, I deduced something contradictory about “radical” professors’ personas on campus or in the company of their peers and their private lifestyles. Somehow it is harder

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to take one seriously when he rants about the plight of the underclass and the Third World if he drives to campus everyday in a Mercedes, makes nearly (or over) $100,000 a year, wears designer clothes, and takes expensive, exotic vacations. Seriously: How does such behavior reflect a socialist or “progressive” philosophy? “Subvert the dominant paradigm!” exclaims one popular academic slogan. It appears that all they’re subverting is their credibility. If these “radicals” truly believe in a socialistic society, why don’t they agree to committing 10% of their salaries into a pool to “spread the wealth” and give their graduate students more than a subsistence living? Do these professors truly want equality and social justice? Why don’t they drop their academic rank and endowed professorships to counter academic stratification and give everyone an equal standing? Why don’t they forego taking the summer off and devote it to maintaining their campuses and give the university custodial and grounds keeping staff a break to ease the difficult, tiring, and backbreaking manual labor of their own campus proletariat? Somehow I don’t see any of that happening. One of the saddest realities of academia is that academic freedom, free thought, and free speech on campus are all myths. I’ve known several professors who find ways to punish students for saying or writing something that does not follow their dogma. But this just points to more hypocrisy. Professors may vociferously tout their views in the classroom, but they also hide behind tenure to claim immunity if anyone dares to question them. And, curiously, many will cravenly use pseudonyms when they submit editorials critical of academia to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Of course, not all professors are radical and there are some great professors. But they are often overshadowed by the “radical” ones who unfortunately draw negative publicity to universities. I suppose their “radicalism” is the most effective way to get any attention at all. Advocating socialism or extreme leftist ideologies attracts attention; it shows a disruption of the status quo. So why do it? As far as teaching, it keeps students awake who would otherwise fall asleep and indoctrinates some of the more impressionable pupils along the way. The prospect of attracting naïve disciples is too much to resist for some of these people. If a professor cannot show that he is hip, rebellious, and anti-establishment, how will he appeal to otherwise indifferent students? Professors can be as vocal as they want on campus or in print because they know it will get them attention they would otherwise never receive. This is key because, oftentimes, there is no other place in society


for many academicians, particularly the “radical” ones. Consequently, I am suspicious of anyone who avows to be socialist or communist, especially after hanging out with so many professors. They continue to insist that nationalizing the American economy would work, even though such claims have been discredited by every sane, reputable economist out there. I think the socialistic tendencies also stem from an entrenched sense of inferiority that American professors feel toward their European counterparts. Somehow they think that proclaiming socialism as the answer to everything is a way to ingratiate themselves to Europeans to gain intellectual acceptance. Much of their love for socialism comes from their claims of empathizing with those less fortunate after going slumming that one summer or through their fetishism of the Third World. But don’t confuse their “compassion” for the way many of them treat their own students or sometimes their own colleagues. No, professors pretty much only care about themselves. It’s all about prestige and self-advancement. If you think high-minded professors are above intimidation, extortion, exploitation, or outright abuse, you are sorely mistaken. Many follow a “postmodern” creed, excoriating racism, sexism, classism, and act as apologists for terrorists and criminals, but they support the illogicalities of affirmative action and cultural relativism. Political correctness is more about atoning for their own white guilt and the fact that the University has been one of the most exclusionary institutions in history. Professors claim to be “non-judgmental,” but academics are actually some of the most judgmental people around, especially toward those they deem as unenlightened or somehow less-than.

In most cases, such professors are “surpassed in their phoniness only by politicians, entertainers, and elite media figures.

Though I am critical, I actually see a lot of humor in professorial hypocrisy. I hope my remarks offer some reassurance to people concerned about the current political and economic climate and the perceived shift to the Left or, some might even say, toward socialism. I am skeptical that there are more than a handful of any true radicals on either side of the American political spectrum and I doubt you will find many genuinely dangerous individuals in universities. In most cases, such professors are surpassed in their phoniness only by politicians, entertainers, and elite media figures. I do want to be clear that I am in no way offering an indictment of higher education. I wholly believe that the University serves a necessary, worthwhile, and noble pur-

pose. Furthermore, I fully believe in the principles of academic freedom and liberal education. But when there is a highly questionable demeanor coming from certain factions of the professoriate, it undermines the credibility of the University and only deepens the suspicions that many feel toward our colleges. With that in mind, whatever happened to scholarship that had the goal of educating and illuminating its readers? The works of Gordon Wood, Joseph Ellis, David McCullough, and Samuel Huntington are prime examples of respectable, valuable, worthwhile, and readable scholarship.

I say with little doubt that “radical” “professors shouldn’t be feared simply because most of them are just pretend radicals.

This is probably why they sell books and win awards unlike other smug, masturbatory, highly esoteric research that often doesn’t go beyond the Ivory Tower and only perpetuates the cycle of problems we see in academia. These problems have been around for years, but I hope I offer some insight from someone who has endured many years among these people. And I say with little doubt that “radical” professors shouldn’t be feared simply because most of them are just pretend radicals. And I would even go as far to say that many of them are only nominally liberals. So while we need not fear the actual professors, we should be concerned about the young people they “teach” and interact with, as too many are easily taken in by their charisma and brainwashed accordingly. They may offer lots of theatrics and haughty rhetoric, but many of these individuals conduct lucrative consulting work on the side, send their kids to private school, live in posh homes in tony neighborhoods, list questionable and creative “business” and “educational” expenses as tax deductions, and never miss an opportunity to plug their most recent book. Other academics might dismiss me as some jaded, pseudo-intellectual wannabe. But my thoughts on the hypocrisy of “radical” academia only intensified with each year I spent in it. And I think that the “radicals” know the truth. So don’t let their Marxist-chic, America-hating, sanctimonious rhetoric fool you. After all, I’m not convinced that they’re even fooling themselves. Charles H. Wade, Ph.D., is a geographer currently based in the Cincinnati area.

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The Next Mayor of Providence Kelly Fennessy

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s many know, Angel Taveras, the Harvard and Georgetown educated lawyer and former city housing court judge won he democratic primary with forty nine percent of the vote. He defeated John Lombardi (twenty nine percent of the vote), who has been a fixture for the last twenty-six years on the Providence City Council and has even served briefly as mayor after Cianci was sentenced to federal prison, Steven Costantino who received 20 percent of the vote and who since 2004 has been the Chair of the House of Finance Committee,, and Chris Young, a returning candidate known for statements that make people cringe. Angel Taveras faced off against Jonathan Scott in the general election in November. While Jonathan Scott officially ran as an independent in this election, he was the republican nominee who ran against Patrick Kennedy in 2006 and 2008. This article can barely scratch the surface of the strengths and weaknesses of each Taveras, but as self-centered as it is, we should at least be aware of how Brown students feel about the man. Without question, Taveras was the overwhelming favorite on the Brown Campus. Many Brown students can attest to getting facebook messages and event invitations from Brown students active in Taveras’ campaign. These messages asked students to phonebank and knock on doors on the East side of Providence. Since local politics are not often in the minds of Brown students, many of whom generally care more about the politics in their home state or country, recruiting Brown students to be part of campaign for a local election is a step in the right direction. While the commitment is admirable, we all have to decide for ourselves whether we agree with these students. From the Brown perspective, was Angel Taveras the best candidate for mayor of Providence? Angel Taveras is an inspiring person. He cited his life experiences throughout his campaign. As the son of Dominican immigrants, he has shown how far up the ladder someone with a work ethic and a vision can climb. Angel Taveras told the Spectator that as mayor, he “will engage directly with college students in the critical work that makes Providence a great city.” Taveras stated that he is “committed

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Angel Taveras smiling after a debate at Brown Univeristy


Artwork “Providence, RI” Provided by Emily Smith RISD ‘13 to keeping our college students in Providence after graduation,” which he intends to achieve through “entrepreneurship and economic opportunity for all.” Taveras also stated that he vehemently opposed a tax on college students, and that he was in favor of allowing Brown to expand its building projects, especially in the Jewelry district. From the perspective of Brown students it is very fortunate that Taveras holds these posistions. The unnecessary and unfair tax would have put a burden on many students, and allowing Brown to expand will not only will make Brown a stronger and more competitive university, but it will also help attract more people to the city. Taveras has also promised to improve RITPA by making it both more efficient, and more enviromentally friendly. Any Brown student can attest to the poor quality of the public transportation, and improvements in the bus system are sorely needed, and would greatly improve the lilfe of the average Brunonian. The Spectator admires the loftly goals that Taveras is aspiring towards, and we also respect him for looking out for college students who bring so much to this city. We also respect Taveras for his promises to reduce spending, play hardballl with overpriced unions, and attempt to de centralize much of the city government. However, we still fear that this will not be enough to cover the expenses that he will incur as he tries to improve the city. Unfortunately Democrats rarely slash spending programs by much, and they all too often look to raising taxes (he already is asking non-profits such as Brown to consider paying more money in taxes.) We hope that Taveras will be different, and we hope that he can improve this city.

Victorian Studies Have you ever noticed how obsessed the Victorians were with Queer Theory? How unstable their identities were! smeared with coal, satiated with tea Perhaps it was due to their inordinate fondness for cross-dressing shifting back and forth from bloomers to breeches until one forgets what lies beneath and simply despairs of having a gender at all there was nothing for it but to strip them off sweat soaked, vermin rich and sail across some metaphorical and yet strangely salty sea not to find terra firma at all but only a shape-shifting muddle Cornish mud huts, Tasmanian Irish devils where despite the reassurance of having mastered Latin at the supple end of an oaken cane at an English public school one learns too late that English is only an ill-constructed construct soon to be stormed by Indian mutineers and the public-private distinction cannot hold out against the grassy waves of skirt-clad Zulu warriors and even the Queen herself ivory breasts peeking out from her royal blue uniform turns out to be a terribly queer, tertium quid sort of thing —Timothy Larsen, PhD, FRHistS McManis Professor of Christian Thought Wheaton College

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Mark Rudd: The Face of the Radical Left The man who helped start the infamous Weather Underground speaks on radicalism, his past and the future protest.

This interview is courtesy of the Alliance of Collegiate Editors, and participating publications. The Brown Spectator: Why did you decide to pursue a violent disobedience despite the remarkable success of the non-violence protest that had taken place in the 60's, such as the civil rights movement? Mark Rudd: My friends and I were entranced by the heroism of Che Guevara and the Vietnamese and the Black Panthers and various people around the world who had taken up the gun to fight for freedom. We wanted to be like them. It was a losing strategy, in retrospect, but when you're twenty years old you often choose wrong strategies, especially attractive heroic ones. As for nonviolent strategy, you're right, it is one of the great contributions of the twentieth century to world history, and yet we underrated its achievements. "Black Power," for example, as espoused by Malcolm X and others, seemed more radical in its tactics as well as its analysis than nonviolent integration. To us, nonviolence was "wimpy," while "picking up the gun" had a virile, macho cache'. Twenty year old boys need to prove themselves. (so did a few young women needed). Vanguardism was also a way to avoid the long hard work of mass political organizing. I used to say in my public speeches, "organizing is another word for going slow." What I forgot is that there's no other way, you've got to "do the work."

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The Brown Spectator: How much did collateral damage and the safety of innocents concern you when you decided to pursue a militant form of protest? Mark Rudd: I think there's a distinction between militancy and violence, but I'll let that slide for a second.We saw ourselves as soldiers, and all soldiers consider the costs of war to be necessary. The justification for revolutionary wars is to stop a larger violence, the violence of the system. In Vietnam, our government was murdering millions of people (3-5 million, according to the American Friends Service Committee). When you're in despair, as I was, it's not easy to know what the exact right thing to do is to stop such a slaughter. Of course I've come to believe that nonviolence as a political strategy is much more powerful than violent governmental repression. However, it takes a militant nonviolent. I would suggest that you ask this same question about collateral damage and the safety of innocents to the war planners and generals in Washington DC who are murdering thousands of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as we talk. The French writer Jean Genet once said, when asked about the Weathermen, "The Weathermen have little bombs, the U.S. has big bombs." The Brown Spectator: How would you recommend students in today's universities go about protesting government actions?


Mark Rudd: First, study and figure out a power analysis. Who's in charge, whose interests are being served, what should be the main lines of protest and targets? Then do mass educational work, build a base. Figure out what people's moral and material self-interest are. From that study, strategy and tactics will flow. I should add that it's quite worthwhile to also study successful social and political movements of the twentieth century in this country (and abroad). At some point, as I've indicated above, there has to be a political movement that puts forward a program for the future. It will of necessity challenge the entrenched interests such as corporations, banks, military. Wouldn't it be wonderful if students abandoned en masse the business schools to prepare for careers as community organizers? Studying the history and methods of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi, 1961-1965, might be a lot more interesting and socially valuable than one more course in financial instruments. Columbia Political Review: Do you believe that there is any one issue in society today around which such a visceral feeling could coalesce, around which a radical reaction could foment? If no, why not? If so, what is it and why?

system so all kids have a chance, or treating immigrants as human beings, but people are going to snap sooner or later. There's still a survival instinct. All of these current crises represent the triumph of small elite interests over popular interests. The problem then is how to organize for mass progressive political power. The right-wing elites are currently doing better, since they're co-opting people's discontent (and racism) to build a mass movement. Have you read Jane Mayer's recent article in the New Yorker exposing the Koch brothers, who finance the Tea-party and other pseudo-populist right wing institutions? They are oil billionaires whose hidden agenda is, among other things, attacking government environmental regulation. Penn Political Review: Do you think that comparisons between the Iraq War and the Vietnam War are justified? What are the biggest parallels and what are the biggest misconceived similarities?

Mark Rudd: Having participated in several historical mass movements, and lived through others, I believe as an act of faith that such popular movements will arise again. They may take different forms, but they'll be back. People haven't changed all that much, they still have moral and altruistic feelings no matter how much we're subjected to forces that try to beat them out of us. People are still rational.

Mark Rudd: The fact that both were wars of choice, actually occupations of third world countries, makes them quite similar. The U.S. is not good at fighting and winning wars of occupation of ancient civilizations that don't want us. We'd need to murder many more people than we already do to completely defeat Iraq. Actually we murdered millions in Vietnam, but we still weren't successful. They weren't going anywhere and the Afghans today aren't going anywhere. In both cases our hubris over our great weapons brought us to tragedy. In both cases, almost no US soldiers knew anything at all about the language and the culture of the people they're murdering.

I don't know if it will be working against global warming or constant war and the preparation for war, or worrying about our neighbors' poverty, or reforming the educational

Historical analogies are always imperfect. In this case, the culture of Iraq is much different than the culture of Vietnam, and the nature of the fight is different. Vietnam was

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basically united against first French and then American colonialism, and for socialism. Iraq is riven with factions, one of which is very proUS (the Kurds), while we can play others against each other. On the American side, the military has learned many lessons from Vietnam, not so much in how to win, but how to keep the US public from knowing about the war of occupation. Images are highly censored, reporters are "embedded." Soldiers are not drafted, so they don't bring anti-war sentiment with them. The lack of a draft also means that people in the society at large don't need to pay attention to the war. Whole units go over together and come home together, which did not happen in Vietnam, they used individual replacements. It was like a factory. Only that undermined unit loyalty. In effect, there's now a permanent military caste, which sees war-fighting as its job. If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Vanderbilt Political Review: How was radicalism helpful and harmful to your cause as an organization? What strategies have you noticed emerging in this latest election cycle that could easily backfire, and why? Mark Rudd: I assume that what you mean by radicalism is a thorough-going critique of society, down to the roots of our problems. "Radical" equals roots. How could such a thing be

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bad? Our big discovery, speaking of those white kids in the New Left, was that the war in Vietnam was not just a mistake made by wellmeaning governmental officials. That was the liberal view. The radical view was that war and racism are central to US aims in the world. That explained continual intervention in the Third World as well as the Cold War itself. The same radical critique was made of the presence of racism as a structural component of our society. Ultimately the radical critique goes to the nature of class society, the dominance of money. Since the radical critique happens to be true, it doesn't seem like a very good idea to throw it out. However, your question on strategy does point to a real problem: those of us who went out into the streets demanding the complete overthrow of this system became isolated from our base, other students, and from the society at large, and were easily smashed. Part of Weatherman's problems was that we thought the country was ready for revolution. It wasn't, far from it. (Incidentally, I want to make clear that Weatherman was only a tiny portion of the much larger anti-war movement. At our height, Weatherman as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), were at best 500 people.) Weatherman did represent a widespread tendency in the New Left movement to be "up front" with our politics, to not hide our radical critique. We had analyzed that as part of the problem with the Old Left. In my own history, I moved from a base-building model of organizing (e.g., Columbia University SDS to the big rebellion of the spring of 1968), to a self-expression model, which was Weatherman and the Weather Underground. Self-expression alone cannot possibly build a movement, only strategic organizing can. I could say a lot more about this difference, but let me emphasize one point: organizing is figuring out how to grow a movement, and that usually means hard work of relationship building and


education and leadership development (ie., democracy) over a long period of time. The process is not short-circuited by people proclaiming they have the truth and expecting others to follow, i.e., self-expression. It doesn't work that way. Berkeley Political Review: Many California students that participated in last year's walkouts in support of access to public education will not do so again this fall because they feel their actions had no impact–"nothing has changed," you hear them say. Do you find that today's youth are more impatient than were their counterparts in the '60s and '70s? Mark Rudd: It's very easy to become demoralized because entrenched interests rarely yield when they're hit once. Most people lack the models of long-term movement building that the civil rights and labor movements gave us. Of course the powers in charge of the UC system will just ignore protest until it goes away. Same thing happened in 2003, when the largest demonstrations in world history op-

posed the run-up to the Iraq war: no response from the Bush administration, which merely ignored the protests. So people got demoralized and went home. Again, they didn't realize that the problem was how to build a movement. Again, the model had been lost. Both the antiwar demos in 2003 and the UC demos of last year were spontaneous outpourings, but they weren't tied to a long term movement building conception in most students' heads. Berkeley Political Review: Looking back at your time with Weather Underground, what are you most proud of? What, if anything, do you most regret? Mark Rudd: I'm proud of very little having to do with the Weather Underground. It was completely misguided. On the other hand, I feel privileged and proud to have been a part of the larger anti-war movement, one of millions who helped stop our country's military aggression. When you think about it, that was a phenomenal historical achievement, a testament to this country's democratic possibilities.

The Brown Spectator would like to thank Mark Rudd for his time, and for all of the photos that he provided.

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Debutaunts Title: Why Can’t We Have Fun Label:

Architek One Genre:

Alternative-Rock

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his debut album “Why Can’t We Have Fun” by Debutaunts cannot be summed up with one description. Listen from start to finish and you’ll frequently ask yourself, “is this the same band?” Tracks on this album span from electronic rock reminiscent of Passion Pit or MGMT, to 60’s pop-rock that reveals influences from The Beatles and even The Beach Boys. All in all, this album is far from consistent, and sounds as if Debutaunts threw together a collection of songs they wrote over the course of a few years. It is subject to opinion whether this takes away to the finished product, but nevertheless, each track on the album is catchy and well written. The album tells us that this band is still discovering what it is capable of. It has yet to narrow in on its niche if it wants to gain a strong following. However, the Debutaunts should choose their direction wisely, because it can be very easy to become another ‘been there done that’ band that fizzles out beneath the already established artists within their genre. - MacLain Christie

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Brown University: A Freshman Perspective By: Olivia Connetta and Oliver Hudson

Kudos

Gripes

1. Campus Center: it was air conditioned dur-

1. Crumbling Dorm Conditions: an Ivy League

ing the first week of school. Enough said.

endowment at work.

2. Waterfire: innovative entertainment not

2. The Blue Room: good food, but let’s get some

just for pyromaniacs.

3. The Sci Li: the office-cubicle feel induces productivity and drowsiness at the appropriate times.

4. College Green: relax, for even New England has some scenic serenity.

5. The Open Curriculum: because requirements are lame, besides crushing the creative spirit.

6. Chicken Finger Friday: the best incentive to walk to New Pembroke, worth the following realization you now need to exercise more.

7. The Brown Band’s halftime antics: when band geeks get naughty.

8. Antonio’s and Nice Slice: where free-market competition brings you high quality, cheap eats.

9. The Abundance of Humor and A Cappella Groups: could we be the happiest col-

engineering concentrators to make sense of trashtop diameters smaller than those of the plates.

3. Outrage at Conservative Protests on Thayer: what happened to our Code of Student Conduct’s standard of respect for “free exchange of ideas and orderly protest?

4. Ratty Food: truer words have never been spoken.

5. Trash Overflowing: Brown = green? 6. The Ratty gives away the New York Times, Providence Journal, and the Brown Daily Herald, but not the Wall Street Journal: how’s that for intellectual diversity?

7. SafeRide: long waits and scant routes make people risk being unsafe, while frustrating the lazy.

8. Providence Drivers: acceleration upon seeing

crossing pedestrians makes you wonder what discourteous behavior is.

9. College Hill: they weren’t kidding; it’s a hill all right.

lege students in America without them?

10. The Brunonians: you say you did what!?!

10. Overpriced Food Everywhere: Brown

turns a profit; you empty your pockets just to sustain your vital functions.

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51 Park Place:

Is Freedom Unlimited?

Phil Primeau

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he question of the Ground Zero mosque is not a matter of “can” but “should.” Imam Rauf and his Muslim brethren can build their house of culture and worship at 51 Park Place, several blocks from the tomblike footprints of the Twin Towers -- but should they? Contrary to liberal insinuations, nobody doubts Rauf’s rights, but many thoughtful Americans wonder if the project constitutes a wise and judicious exercise thereof. In this light, the debate over 51 Park Place becomes a debate over the very nature of freedom. I find this is where America is bitterly divided since there exists two significant and distinct schools of freedom. One school stems from the conviction that selfexpression and self-determination are sacred acts. This school views freedom as an absolute good, an end rather than a means. Americans of this mindset prioritize freedom above all else -- above cohesion, common sense, fairness, and good will. To “be free,” they proclaim, is an existential obligation. Limitations, even self-imposed limitations, are an anathema. The other school calls freedom conditional and qualified; understands it particularly rather than abstractly. This notion of freedom is practical, concerned with the orderly flourishing of society. It maintains that freedom is good inasmuch as it produces good. Americans in this spirit value dialogue. They value the deferential process of give-and-take, which has the power to harmonize conflicting interests. Neither school is exclusive to a political agenda. Individualistic and communalistic interpretations of freedom appear on both left and right. The two schools are locked in a broad and ambiguous struggle beneath the surface of American events. Occasionally, the contest bursts into plain sight, as with the case at hand. Allow me then to venture that the vast majority who criticize the proposed Islamic center do so for sincere, all-American reasons that draw on the communalist ethos, an ancient inheritance of our nation.

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The design of 51 Park Place according to the architect and design firm SOMA, which has been contracted to build the “Ground Zero Mosque.” Yes, there are of course bigots, but anyone vaguely familiar with the generous character of the American people – 61% of whom object to construction (According to a Time magazine poll) – knows that such rancid prejudice is far from uniform. I believe most citizens have no animosity towards Islam, they simply regard this certain manifestation of the faith as an unnecessary nuisance. They notice that the 51 Park Place project breeds division while promising unity, yields conflict while promising reconciliation. If an Islamic center at 51 Park Place means turmoil at 51 Park Place, then to prudential and discerning minds the solution is obvious: Relocate the project. (They speak not to the government, remember, but to the builders themselves, for freedom must be self-regulating.)


zealous is their reverence for the mass grave that even the shadow of impropriety is met with righteous fury. Imam Rauf must grasp the severity of the wounds inflicted on the national soul that tragic day some Septembers ago. Surely it is no heavy demand to ask that he sympathize with this trauma. He says he wants healing. I believe that he does. But healing begins with humility, with the letting go of the self and its prerogatives. He says he wants freedom to be respected. I do too. But freedom that embitters is not freedom worth celebrating. Rauf can give this country a gift most needed: the gift of good example. Let him lead by exercising the finer freedoms -- the freedom to act charitably, the freedom to act responsibly, the freedom to act selflessly -- outmoded though they are.

A view of the interior, courtesy of SOMA To this brusque and clear-eyed pragmatism, it is irrelevant whether or not the divisions and conflicts are legitimate or ludicrous, real or imagined. What is important is that a little adjustment on the part of the planners would save a lot of grief on the part of the public, leaving everyone feel more secure, and more independent in their pursuit of happiness. Some protest that for the Muslims to concede – to move a few streets – is to diminish their freedom and ours. This anxiety rings hollow to the communalist ear.

“ If an Islamic center at 51 Park Place

means turmoil at 51 Park Place, then to prudential and discerning minds the solution is obvious: Relocate the project.

For freedom is secured by sacrifice, by the tailoring of lofty prerogatives to fit the frustrating realities of the common square. Indeed, a truly free society depends upon small concessions: the friendly intercourse of civilization is impossible if people insist upon doing whatever they want with whomever they want whenever and wherever they want. This is mere recklessness, and recklessness is vice, and thus corrosive to freedom. Perhaps the protesters should defer. After all, the few must be guarded against the prejudicial whimsy of the many. I am not sure about this Yet are we to deny the majority simply because it is the majority -- and with it all things true and decent that happen also to be popular? And are those huge crowds in opposition asking so much? It is simple piety that animates them. The World Trade Center is hallowed ground, and so

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on the case of the border Maria G. Suarez

O

n August 24, the bodies of 72 Central and South American citizens were found brutally killed in a warehouse in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Reports say that after these immigrants refused to pay and become part of the Drug Cartel that owned the warehouse, they were killed and then left abandoned in this warehouse, just 100 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. Many of such organizations have essentially been running the northern Mexican states, one of which is Tamaulipas. The ground cartel war in Mexico has dragged on for several months and has accounted for the death of nearly 28,000 people since President Felipe Calderon took power in 2006. It is not only the members of the Mexican enforcement agencies who are getting caught in the cross fire, but also the lives of hundreds of immigrants who have traveled thousands of miles to reach the United States.

Make it to the United States and become mules of their operations, or death.

There was one survivor in this massacre, Luis Fredy Lala Pomavilla a citizen of Ecuador. An indigenous man for a small town in Ecuador; he sold most of his few belongings (including one of his mother’s cows) to try to make it to

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the United States. What he found, however, was a deadly encounter with Zeta, believed to be the culprits of this massacre. In one of his interviews, he recounts the fact that the members of the Zeta would find many of these immigrants on their way to the United States and then give them two choices: make it to the United States and become mules of their operations, or death. As a Hispanic woman, I am very well aware of the argument pro and against the building of a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.

“These 72 people killed in

this warehouse wanted to cross to the United States, for that dream. Let us remind ourselves that they were less than 100 miles from the border.

Many people believe that this is an extreme step taken against honest people who try to make it past the border on the search for a better life. However, this is no longer about that dream; this is about national security (for the United States and Mexico). Mexican officials often comment on the fact that the drug cartels are better armed than they are. Cartels often travel cross the border to obtain illegal weapons that they later use against the

Mexican police. As a result thousands of officials, and innocent bystanders, have been killed. Most importantly, however, the case for the border is also about the lives of people who try to cross

“The dreams of many

immigrants will also be destroyed in this mirage for a better life.

the border every day, who instead of encountering a better life find themselves face to face with some of the most dangerous organizations in the world. These 72 people killed in this warehouse wanted to cross to the United States, for that dream. Let us remind ourselves that they were less than 100 miles from the border. In the long term, it is important for us to think of better ways for legal immigration into the United States, but for now we must protect our borders, not just to protect ourselves, but also to protect the lives of those wishing to enter the United States. If we do not protect our border, the drug cartels will become stronger. The war in Mexico will wage on, and thousands more people will die, and sadly, the dreams of many immigrants will also be destroyed in this mirage for a better life.


in trust we trust Manas Gautam

T

he people in America are losing trust in the government they elected (something which they did in an inebriated state of mind). The messiah, the champion teleprompter orator, and his party that promised his people change has failed; in fact, he did the opposite of every campaign promise. He created unnecessary, expensive healthcare bills; he didn’t renew the tax-cuts and hence killed investments, wealth and job creation, and printed more money that will eventually lead to inflation. People are no longer in the loop, let alone involved in the decision making process. This is the main reason why on November 2nd, the Republicans came very close to complete takeover, because mistrust always dooms a nation. Greece has been a nation that announced it was bankrupt and needed a bailout. This led to a widespread panic, a weakened Euro and nations such as Germany denying any sort of bailout because Greece had played a lot with its books and has clearly brought this upon itself. In fact, there is a lot of data suggesting that Greece hoodwinked EU authorities by engaging in derivative trades with US investment banks that helped it mask the size of its debt and deficit via currency swaps. This breach of trust will lead to other PIIGS nations (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) – who are the financially weaker nations – to imagine that they can either get away by running up high debts or by taking every nation in the Eurozone down with them. There will be an automatic mistrust amongst other nations who will now raise lending rates or create trade imbalances to act as “insurance” for any deeds the rest of the PIIGS might never commit. This

will ensure bitterness, resentment and humanity in times of need. This may even lead to a war between Cyprus and Turkey if there is not the EU membership or intervention to worry about. If Greece, a country that has only 2.9% of the EU’s economy/GDP causes such panic, what will we do about California when it goes under and it has a 19% stake in America’s economy? Things are interconnected and I can go as far as to say there’s a domino effect when it comes to something failing. For example, if banks stop lending money or derecognize a country’s currency there will be retaliation and an equal and opposite reaction. This way all the banks will close up and stop trust-

messiah, the champi“onThe teleprompter orator, and his party that promised his people change has failed.

ing each other to pay up and default on their loans. This effect will directly spill over and can be seen in trade. If trade dies, the economic pies will shrink and there will be massive shortages that will teleport humans back to feudal ages, war, destruction, plagues- you get the picture. In the case of AIG, the Fed and the government told us that were it not taken over, the US economy would fail. They mentioned that without the takeover, unemployment would have increased to 25% and insurance policies written by AIG would have no value. All of these “predictions” fell through the window. The Fed claimed that the assets they took over of AIG were never going to reach its initial

worth and the shareholders of AIG paid for this wrong analysis by losing 80% of ownership. In turned out that AIG did have the money but the Fed wanted all of it for itself and we the public trusted our smart and educated to take our money and destroy an entity that our brothers and sisters built, cause panic and mistrust throughout the world. Suddenly, the blade hidden in the apple during Halloween is longer an urban legend. Since the Scott Brown victory, the Republican Party still has to get its agenda right. They have to regain the people’s trust, reduce government spending and promote more economystimulating laws like reducing tax. If they do not do so, then there will be no difference between them and the highly inefficient, unhealthy administration which is currently in power. Popular conservative Glenn Beck recently said (at CPAC), “Hello, my name is the Republican Party, and I have a problem! I’m addicted to spending and big government,” and he certainly hit the crux of the matter. The broken promises by Obama, Reid, Summers and Pelosi have led to obvious distrust in the party in power, something which they will have to account for. After all, one wants the government to do what is predictable, what they had promised to deliver when we voted them to power. Thankfuly, the American people’s passion for what is right has been reignited and refreshed. They will no longer be tread upon. It is now the responsibility, nay the duty of the Brown man to drop idol-worship and smug attitude and fight for his fellow America. It is the time to question “authority” and by Jove, it is on.

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LAUGHCRY NOWLATER


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WINNERs and Losers November 2010 Winner: The Brown Corporation Despite what many students think their beloved “universitycollege�Brown University is at its core a business. Like any business, Brown must compete in the free market and continue to produce the best possible product that it can. To the chagrin of many students who would like to see the expansion of Brown halted in order to reduce the co-pay of library workers, the Corporation has committed itself to improving Brown in almost every way possible ensuring that Brown will improve its product in one of the most competitive markets, higher education. By building residence halls, improving existing buildings and re-investing the endowment Brown has become more attractive to incoming students, or more importantly, potential customers.

Loser: Consensual Sex Day The event has noble goals (make sure people know their boundaries, ensure all sexual intercourse is consensual), but the message is blurred by the condom dart throw and the dildo ring toss. Instead of talking about anything related to consensual sex, the event mostly just involved games using sexual objects while people mentioned facts about STDs or sexual assault. Unfortunately this event fell victim to the all too common problem at Brown, sensationalism. Too often groups advertise their events by pushing the line simply for the sake of being edgy, e.g. pornographic images, dildos, and erotica. But in the end, consensual sex day’s message was so watered down and lost in the pandemonium of condoms and dildos that the event essentially devolved into an attempt to get a t-shirt (which they ran out of anyways).


December 2010  

The first issue of the 2010-2011 academic year, the spectator looks into radicalism in the new left and discusses current event issues aroun...

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