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A Journal of Conservative & Libertarian Thought

Volume VIII, Issue II • May, 2011

The Case For Bringing Back ROTC

. . . ALSO

An Interview with No Labels

End the Library Union Student Athlete of the Month

Taking Another Look at Energy

What does Conservatism 101 Mean to Brown


THE BROWN SPECTATOR Editorial Board Editor in Chief Ryan Fleming

In Response to 51 Park Place:

Senior Managing Editor

Two claims of Mr. Primeau’s December article run up against each other:

Managing Editor

(1) Most people harbor no animosity toward Muslims. (2) The mosque at 51 Park Place should be relocated because building it near ground zero would create turmoil.

Manas Gautam

Kelly Fennessy Oliver Hudson

Design Editors Kyle McNamara Tasha Nagamine

Business Managers Gabriela Suarez

Contributors:

MacLain Christie (UR ‘13) Tom March Lynn Della Grotta

Copy Editors Sam Choi Oliva Conetta

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. Cover courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Letter to the Editor

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Should we ask the mosque builders to yield to the threat of turmoil posed by the bigoted few? The mosque breeds turmoil in the same way that racial integration in southern schools bred turmoil. There were those who opposed it based on prejudice, and there were those who opposed it because they feared the backlash from the prejudiced. But it was the right thing to do, and the bold statement made by the Little Rock Nine had a lasting, positive influence on race relations in America. The author fails to acknowledge that supporters of the mosque have practical ends in mind beyond the illogical “freedom as an absolute good” creed he brands them with. The successful construction and maintenance of Park51 would be an inspiring symbol of Americans’ tolerance of Islam, and of their acknowledgment of the fact that Muslim Americans essentially have nothing to do with terrorism. There is nothing inherently impious about building a mosque near ground zero. The only things that turns it into “an unnecessary nuisance” are the prejudice of the few, and the public fear that this prejudice will cause conflict. But if Americans are as tolerant of Islam as Mr. Primeau suggests they are, then the prejudice is negligible, the fear is unjustified, and bringing all this to light will allow “the generous character of the American people” to overcome whatever turmoil accompanies the mosque at 51 Park.

Sincerely, James Brew


NATIONAL No Labels ACE provides an interview with the unique political group No Labels. pg. 7

Is Welfare the Answer?

Tom March ‘14 states the case for charity to usurp welfare. pg. 9

Health Care Olivia Conetta ‘14 asks Democrats to please obey the constitution. pg. 20

CAMPUS Conservatism 101

How can Terrence George’s new GISP posistively effect Brown?

Students enjoy a spring day on Lincoln Field

End the Union

FEATURED

ARTS

Lynn Della Grotta makes the case for ROTC pg. 5

Bring Back ROTC

Sharks

Athlete of the Month

Lynn Della Grotta makes the case for ROTC to be allowed back on campus.

pg. 3

Joy Joung ‘11 shares her remarkable story.

pg. 5

pg. 12

Alternative Energy

Africana studies Oliver Hudson ‘14 looks into the mertis of race based classes.

Guest writer Phil Sheperd makes the gas for natural gas vs. nuclear power.

MacLain Christie gives his take on the latest album by punk rockers “Sharks”. pg. 11

Laugh Now Cry Later The only Brown publication to provide funny political comics. pg. 21

pg. 17 pg. 13

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Conservatism 101 What Does It Mean for Brown? Ryan Fleming

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ne of the national stories coming out of Brown University this year, ironically, is about conservatism. Newspapers from the Boston Globe to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser are covering a new GISP called “Modern Conservatism in America.” Touted by many conservatives as a small breakthrough in liberal academia and dismissed by leftists as simply the fruits of a liberal institution that allows for such independent study, this GISP seems to represent a dichotomy reminiscent of William Buckley Jr.’s God and Man at Yale – the conservative student at the liberal institution. It’s no secret that Brown is one of the most liberal colleges in America, which many students embrace. There is, however, a group of students that oppose the overwhelmingly liberal atmosphere – the Brown Republicans. Terrence George ‘13, the outspoken president of this club, was the driving force behind the creation of this new GISP. George became interested in creating a GISP on the subject when he noticed that while most of his fellow Brown students were very hostile to conservatism, they generally lacked knowledge on what the ideas of conservatism truly mean. Furthermore, he feels that there is a gap in the readings that are offered in his classes, as many syllabi include more works from liberal writers than from traditionally conservative writers. George drew his idea from a similar class at the University of Virginia, and after much hard work, he created what is now known as GISP 0018: Modern Conservatism in America. George said, “My intentions for the course are to educate, not indoctrinate. I also wanted students from all across to political spectrum to partake in the class, not just conservatives.” By the time the class had its first meeting, the newspapers were already talking about a class on conservatism at Brown University. George himself spoke at this year’s Con-

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Courtesy ofTerrence George

Terrence George, the driving force behind Conservatism 101

“Conservatives must realize

that they cannot view institutions of higher education as the enemy[...] ”

servative Political Action Conference and even appeared on National Public Radio to talk about the new GISP. The national media painted the GISP as a plight by conservative students to fight against an overwhelming majority at a liberal institution. But this is the wrong way to look at the issue. This GISP is not a mutiny against the leftist leaders of Brown, nor should it be perceived as such. Conservatives must realize that they cannot view institutions of higher education as the enemy, simply because this only perpetuates the problem of imbalance. Although there is no definite answer as to why most college professors are liberal, one of the many theories is because universities are perceived as places for liberals, many conservatives shy away from joining the


ranks of academia and instead enter the private workforce– similar to why very few males become nurses, a profession that many view as a woman’s job. For this reason, conservatives need to think of college not as a place where professors indoctrinate students, but simply as a place to educate. It would be very encouraging to see more conservatives join the faculty of more elite institutions instead of just writing them off of as liberal breeding grounds. If the college campus were intellectually balanced, GISPs like “Modern Conservatism in America” would become unnecessary, since students could learn about conservatism in their regular classes.

Liberals, especially here at Brown, need to understand the struggles that conservative students face. A recent editorial in the Brown Daily Herald criticized Terrence George for pigeonholing Brown simply as a liberal institution that isn’t open to other ideas. The editors of the BDH overlook some facts. For a student to even create a GISP, a professor must sponsor the class, and finding a conservative professor on campus is no small feat. George ultimately chose Stephen Calabresi, who is a visiting professor from Northwestern University. If Calabresi decided not to teach at Brown this semester, there would not have been many alternatives. At a university that is overwhelmingly liberal, it

the sake of its students, univer“For sities like Brown must actively try to

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

employ a more diverse faculty

is very difficult to generate support for any cause that is right of center. Hopefully, this new GISP will have the lasting effect of making students more open to the idea of learning about the history and ideology of conservatism because this class offers the chance for real intellectual diversity on campus. All students benefit when they are exposed to both side of the argument, regardless of their personal ideology. Therefore, for the sake of its students, universities like Brown must actively try to employ a more diverse faculty, and conservatives must also not be afraid to take up the challenge of entering academia.

Brown’s unofficial mascot.

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Bring Back ROTC Lynn Della Grotta

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hen you think of Brown and ROTC, you may conjure up images of students with picket signs, guys in bell-bottoms, and women in flowery skirts sitting on the floor singing while others chant “Peace not war.” This picture is not wholly accurate regarding what happened at Brown in the late 1960s. Let’s look at the beginning. In the fall of 1940, the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps was established at Brown University. That year there were 110 members. On July 1,1951, the Air Force ROTC unit was founded at Brown, and 70 upperclassmen immediately enrolled. In 1967, 35 Brown Committee members rallied against ROTC at the annual ROTC spring review held in Meehan Auditorium. A protest was held again at this same review in 1968, the year that the ROTC ceremony for commissioning of officers was separated from commencement activities. In 1969, Brown faculty suggested that ROTC units not have departmental status, academic credit not be awarded for ROTC classes, and officers not be given faculty status. How-

If Brown had an ROTC program, Brown students in the position of officers of the military would be in a great place to eliminate any discrimination.

ever, the faculty did not vote against ending military education. Nevertheless, Air Force ROTC was disbanded in 1971, and Naval ROTC followed in 1972. In the eyes of the faculty, the major arguments against ROTC returning to campus are the issues of faculty status and academic credit. It is not clear whether faculty and administration are uninformed or misinformed about academic credit. Provost David Kertzer said in a Brown Daily Herald article that Brown was required to offer academic credit for ROTC classes in order for the program to be on campus. This is not true – Princeton University does not offer credit for ROTC classes, yet has an active Army ROTC. Whether or not Princeton received special permission for such an arrangement is

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Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

not entirely clear, although it would be reasonable that Brown could request the same arrangement as Princeton. While faculty take exception to giving credit and faculty status, many students object to ROTC because of injustice towards transgendered people and the military’s predation of the lower class by offering scholarships. To address the first matter, there is no active law against transgendered men and women serving in the military. The only other concern is discrimination, which occurs in all walks of life to all people to some degree. This is very unfortunate and wrong, but discrimination can only be beaten by informing and learning. If Brown had an ROTC program, Brown students in the position of officers of the military would be in a great place to eliminate any discrimination. The concern about scholarships should not be an issue. Those applying for the ROTC program are fully aware of the commitment for which they are signing up; the military is not tricking anyone into participation. Therefore, ROTC scholarships, which often cover full tuition plus a stipend, are an amazing opportunity for students to attend colleges that they could not otherwise afford and get a head start on the military career they desire. A committee was formed at Brown in the beginning of February with the endorsement of President Ruth Simmons. The committee is comprised of Dean Katherine


ROTC looks to once again enter than Van Wickle Gates after the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. Bergeron, seven faculty members, and three students. The committee’s main goals are to address whether the University’s ruling is still appropriate, if there is enough interest among students for the return of an ROTC unit, if ROTC presents a bias, and how bringing about the return of ROTC would be achieved. Let’s tackle the issue of student interest. There is currently only one student participating in the Providence College ROTC battalion. However, there are students who decided to not participate because of the inconvenience and hassle of arriving at Providence College by 6:00 am without any transportation besides Providence’s public bus system or walking. Furthermore, there are students who have decided to just join Officer Candidates School after graduating and a multitude more who did not even apply to Brown because they knew that they could not be a part of an ROTC unit here. If Brown reinstated ROTC on its campus, there would be no problem getting the numbers to fill the program. To achieve the return of ROTC with minimal disruptions, Brown needs to recognize and support those in the Providence College ROTC battalion. Brown’s administration also should inform prospective students that the opportunity to participate in Army ROTC at Providence College exists. In conjunction, Brown must provide easy and quick transportation for cadets to Providence College. Next, faculty and administration need to address the issues of faculty status and course credit. Course credit should not be a problem since many institutions comparable to Brown grant credit for these courses, and compromise on faculty status is plausible since it has been done at peer institutions. Finally, ROTC needs to be reinstated in full. The formation of the committee could mean that Brown is truly and seriously considering the return of

ROTC, and if this is true, then there will be no plausible reason that the committee can come up with that would keep ROTC off Brown’s campus anymore. In President Obama’s State of the Union address, he called for all non-participating colleges to reinstate ROTC on campus. However, only time will tell whether the formation of this committee is sincere or simply a public relations move.

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No Labels Interview

Sponsored By: The Alliance of Collegiate Editors ACE (Columbia Political Review): The headline of the No Labels website reads: “We are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, united in the belief that we don’t have to give up our labels, merely put them aside to do what’s best for America”—can you explain what this means in practice and specifically how do you define what’s best for America? Doesn’t the answer to the question itself depend on ideological affiliation? McKinnon: What’s best for America is progress; paralysis is not good for the country. We represent Republicans, Democrats, Independents and we represent people who believe that hyper-partisanship has reached a point in our politics where it’s paralyzing the system. We represent people who believe that we need a voice that rewards good behavior rather than punishes good behavior which is very much the way the system works now. We support civil dialogue because we believe that when you actually talk to the other side and sit down with the other side, it’s a lot harder to demonize the other side. When this happens, you actually get together and find solutions. ACE: But again, this has a lot to do with the last question asked. What do you do with those who prefer inaction to the kind of action that they view as dangerous and harmful to the country? NO LABELS: Well that’s fine. There are plenty of people representing those people, but the people who want progress haven’t had a representative, and that’s what we are doing. ACE: What does No Labels identify as the root cause of the dogmatic partisanship that it seeks to combat? NO LABELS: I think it’s a variety of factors, but there’s no question that anyone who is a representative in Congress will tell you that things are much worse today than they were 20 or 30 years ago. There are a lot of different opinions about what the root causes are but I would suggest that most people would say that it includes gerrymandered redistricting. We just had a poll that suggests districts

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No Labels co-founder Nancy Jacobson themselves have been drawn in such a way to create more partisan districts than in the past. Additionally, the evolution of cable television, talk radio, and Internet media is contributing. ACE: What are the concrete gains that No Labels has made since its inception and what concrete gains do No Labels hope to achieve? No Labels: We are excited about the progress we’ve made. We’ve only been in existence for a couple of months, and we’ve already had a launch where we had 1000 people from 50 different states who are now representing all congressional districts, and monitoring the behavior of their elected representatives. One of our co-founders generated the idea for the bipartisan seating at the [2011] State of the Union, which No Labels strongly endorsed and supported. Today in Washington, we had a press conference at the Capitol calling for everything to be on the table with everybody at the table as we address the budget issues. Additionally, MSNBC has agreed to sponsor a discussion dialogue between the Tea Party and MoveOn. We have 1000 “generation” students across the country and we want to expand [this program] to at least 150 college campuses. One of the things we look to do next year is find six states with different primary races—three on the Democratic side and three on the Republican side—where we go in and bring 1000 people from outside the state into these states to support the No Labels approach. We’re an approach and an attitude. We’re not ideology. We just feel we are going to get better government if our leaders are working together and doing things in a bipartisan fashion.


[MoveOn and the Tea Party] go into these offices and tell these legislators that “we will punish you if you cooperate with each other.” We want to be that counter weight that says “listen, there’s space to work with each other.” ACE (Fordham Political Review): In that vein, can you talk about concrete steps that you are pursuing or hoping to see in terms of affecting elected officials? At the end of the day, they legislate and it’s up to them to be civil and work in a manner that is conducive to progress in your eyes. What do you want to see from our Congressmen, Senators, President and people in government?

representatives as they legislate in Washington, DC? No Labels: We’ve been meeting regularly with chiefs of staff from the Senate and House to try to determine ways in which we can restore bipartisan lunches, retreats, and forums in which we can get more of the members together. ACE (Penn Political Review): I’m going to read you a snippet from a comment that Rush Limbaugh made in December of 2010. “What was No Labels’ label before they changed their names? Progressives, exactly right. When liberalism was rejected, liberals called themselves progressives, and now that progressives are being rejected, former liberals, former progressives, are now calling themselves the No Label group.”

No Labels: We want to see them demonstrate a willingness to work together, meet together, sponsor bills together. Among the concrete measures, we are monitoring the behavior of all the members, and we are throwing either what we call a “yellow flag” How would you respond to people who to punish bad behavior, or offering “high claim that No Labels is a proxy for liberal fives” to reward good behavior. For exideology and movement? ample, when Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) a week ago called members No Labels: Well, I’m delighted that we got of the Republican Party “Nazis”, we threw Rush Limbaugh’s attention. I [Mark McKina yellow flag, got our community behind it non] am a Republican and a proud Republican, and notified the press. Later that afas are many of our members. But we are ternoon, he apologized. I’m not sug- No Labels co-founder Mark McKinnon not about ideology, we are about working gesting that there is a direct cause and together. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t have effect, but these are things that we feel are good and proper any interest in people working together so I’m not surprised roles for No Labels. We monitor behavior and shout out that he would attack us. examples of good and bad behavior when they happen. ACE (Berkeley Political Review): Has the Tucson Shoot One of the things we called for today was the Saxby ing affected your movement? Do you think that it takes Chambliss-Mark Warner gang of six that is working across unfortunate tragedies like this to make Americans realize the aisle in negotiations with all of our debt issues. We are the importance of bipartisanship, even if the Tucson shootsupporting that and the members that work across the aisle. ing wasn’t a partisan attack? I was with the chief of staff of one of these Senators, and he showed me the emails that said, “Whatever you do, don’t No Labels: It raised the [bipartisanship] issue like a ripple be bipartisan.” So we’ll be opportunistic and, as these iseffect and the president talked about this. The shooting sues come up, we’ll be calling on No Labels members from wasn’t sparked by our problems with civil discourse, but around the country to support members in their specific created an outcome to initiate more dialogue about it. districts on issues like this one. We have No Labels chapters all around the country that will be dealing with elected ACE: Where do you see No Labels in 10 years? representatives on these issues. No Labels: In 10 years we hope to be an effective voice for ACE: Besides simply supporting good behavior, can you millions of Americans who think that civil discourse leads talk about some of the ways No Labels could affect elected to greater problem solving in our country.

Thank you to ACE and No Labels for the interview and pictures.

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Is Welfare the Answer? Tom March

A

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

bsolute poverty defines the lack of basic necessities to survive such as clean water, nutrition, health care, clothing, and shelter. Relative poverty defines those making less than the average individual. In the United States, poverty is measured at the relative level. What does relative poverty really mean then? If the average household income in the United States were $60,000, a household making $30,000 would be in relative poverty. Does this measurement overstate poverty? In short, yes. According to American Sociological Review, “the United States has some of the highest relative poverty rates among industrialized countries.” So how can poverty be so prevalent if we are such a rich country? It’s because we are so rich. In the United States we don’t have income equality therefore an increase in income, for someone living above the household median income, would increase the relative poverty rate, and therefore increase the amount living in poverty. Despite some families’ abilities to afford basic necessities, “the rich got richer” therefore “the poor get poorer.” Clinton passed the Welfare Reform Act of 1994, but was it enough? Although they could be earning the same income as last year, they are essentially poorer in terms of relative poverty. Unless you’re anti-capitalist, relative poverty shouldn’t be an issue. Now even though there is clearly an overstatement their well-being without the government getting involved. As in the measurement of those in “poverty,” there are some for the low wage earners in America, so many are becoming individuals living in absolute poverty. These are the people dependent on government entitlement programs. They have who really need our help. There are two ways to assist those lost their incentive to leave that state because the incentive to stay is greater than the incentive to be independent. Since the “War on Poverty” started the We have one of the highest standards of living in the United States has spent $15.9 trillion world yet we have one of the highest relative poverty rates on welfare; the cost of all the wars in in the world. Essentially, we have a large income gap and the people living at the bottom have a high standard of livUnited States history totals $6.4 trillion. ing compared to other countries. Swedish think tank Timbro in need: publicly and privately. Privately includes different points out that, “lower-income households in the U.S. tend to churches or organizations that sponsor food or clothing drives own more appliances and larger houses than many middleor the people, by their free will, deciding to give to less for- income Western Europeans.” So should the government retunate people whether through volunteering time or donat- ally be funding such expensive programs, especially when it ing personal goods. There is also publicly which involves the has a large budget deficit? According to the Heritage Foundagovernment taxing more to pay for the less fortunate through tion, since the “War on Poverty” started the United States entitlement programs. No political group opposes private has spent $15.9 trillion on welfare; the cost of all the wars in charity. The argument is about whether or not the govern- United States history totals $6.4 trillion. (Both of these figures were adjusted for inflation in 2008 dollars.) All this funding ment should be involved and to what degree. The United States, according to The Economist, “has and there is no significant results. When Lyndon Johnson came to office in 1964 he one of the top 20 standards of living in the world.” Is there really that many people living in absolute poverty? If so, then declared a “War on Poverty.” This implemented such prothe will of the American people can more than account for grams as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and work study.

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How efficient have they been? These programs have helped people, but have they ended poverty? In 1964, the U.S. Census Bureau said the amount of people in poverty (relative) was around 35 million. In 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau said the amount of people in poverty (relative) was around 43.6 million. So today after these “anti-poverty” programs were imple-

In 1964, the U.S. Census Bureau said the amount of people in poverty (relative) was around 35 million. In 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau said the amount of people in poverty (relative) was around 43.6 million.

mented for more than 40 years there is more poverty. This isn’t just because of population increase. The poverty rate has remained constant since 1964. If $15.9 trillion can’t bring one of the highest standards of living country’s poor out of poverty then our government is inefficient. Private charities are proven to be more effective in directing the money they receive to people in need. The government is wildly inefficient simply because it has such a massive bureaucracy, which drains much of the money that

is supposed to go to the people in need. Private charities also have the advantage of catering directly to an individuals needs. Many welfare programs give money with no regard to what it’s being spent on. Welfare money can easily be spent on luxury items, alcohol, and even illegal substances. Private charities mostly deal in donating goods or services instead of money, so Americans can be assured that their money is being used the right way. If welfare were scaled back it would require citizens living in comfort to spend more time volunteering or make more donations. It would mean that each and every one of us would need to sacrifice more for the less fortunate. The results, however, would be extraordinary. The government would be able to slash its budget shortfall, and citizens will directly help other citizens. I find it hard to believe that we wouldn’t be able to step up and care for impoverished people. I don’t think we are that selfish. When Hurricane Katrina hit we as a nation did what we could to help the victims. Even outside events like the earthquake in Haiti produced many private donations. Many of us participate in Relay for Life which helps to fund cancer research. As a nation we take care of those in need. Many of us are passionate about it. If people needed more of our help, we would be rise to the challenge.

Relative poverty rates since 1959.

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Sharks Title: The Joys of Living 2008-2010

Label:

Velvet Scene/Rise Records Genre:

Rock, Punk Rock

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hat Sharks lack in musical originality, they make up for with musical cleverness, if that makes sense. Although I’m not much of modern rock/punk rock listener, I’ll point out that I was surprised to hear influences from reggae, the shimmer of the occasional harmonica part, and rare but present prog-like instrumentals. This album reminds me of the head banging, beer drinking music of the late nineties. Yet, I feel like this would have its place blasting from loud speakers at college house parties on campuses across the nation. The vocals are rough and gritty, perfect for the bed of grungy guitars, and are supported by frequent crowd belted choruses. Although the album has spirit, I wish I could suggest a few new melodic ideas to the band. In many cases it’s as if listening through the album is listening to one song on repeat. In other words, the tracks are in general, musically boring and just taxing on the ears. I want to hear more songs with creativity heard in the intro to Track 2 “The Joys of Living,” and a little more variety of performance style. Maybe it’s just because I’m not used to hearing harmonically choked guitar chords banging incessantly throughout each song in predictable progressions, so don’t take my word for it. Take a listen and if this is your thing, then respect granted. Rating: 3/10 Recommended Tracks: 2,13

Photos Courtesy of Big Hassle

MacLain Christie

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Athlete of the Month: Joy Joung Ryan Fleming

Photo Courtesy of Joy Joung

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hen Joy Joung ’11 took the ice for the final game of her collegiate hockey career, it was only supposed to be for a few minutes. She was only starting, for the very first time this season, because she was a senior and it was senior night. After the first whistle, the plan was for her to give up the net to a younger goalie looking to gain experience. Even getting to that first whistle would have been an extraordinary feat considering what Joy has endured during her time at Brown. Joy had always dreamed of joining the military and serving our country. When she first came to Brown she thought that she would have to put that dream on hold, because there was no ROTC on campus and she had no means of transportation to get to the Providence College campus. By her junior year, however, things changed. Her roommate had a car that Joy could use and suddenly ROTC at Providence College didn’t seem so impossible. In her third year at Brown, she decided to take on a double major of International Relations and Slavic Studies, a Division 1 varsity sport, and ROTC all at once. Despite the intense workload, Joy continued to play hockey and participate in ROTC for almost the entire year. That spring – during finals period – Joy went to the doctors after experiencing headaches and few seizures. After the visit, Joy was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball. Immediately after she finished her semester, she returned home to California and went into surgery. The doctors succeeded in removing the tumor, which was deemed benign. When I asked Joy about the surgery, she didn’t talk about how afraid she was, or how hard it was on her. The first thing she mentioned was that four of her hockey teammate flew out to California to be

Joy Joung keeps her eye on the puck during a game.

with her during the surgery. “It was amazing that four of my teammates flew in from all over the States and Canada, on such short notice, to be with me.” After a successful surgery, Joy began her journey towards making it back on the ice. However, due to the challenges of getting cleared to play a very physical sport, and the outstanding play of sophomore goalie Katie Jamison ’13, Joy had yet to play a single minute leading up to the last game of the season. Joy would get the start the final game because it was senior night; a night where seniors are honored by having the entire starting line consist of players in their final year of college, playing their final game. Despite the chance to start, Joy was only going to play for a few minutes, and then she would be replaced by a freshman. Despite knowing this fact, Joy still took the ice excited to play against heavily favored Quinnipiac, and she would stay on the ice until the final whistle of overtime. Joy’s overwhelming play in the net forced the coach to keep her in the game. She made save after save,

and by the third period the Bears had jumped to a 3-2 lead. After Quinnipiac scored on a power play towards the end of the third period, the game went into overtime and ended in a scoreless draw. Managing to tie an extremely talented Quinnipiac team was a victory in itself for the Bears. Joy played one of the best games of her career, making 38 saves, but the first thing she said was “My defense did an amazing job, I could see the puck the whole game; they made my job much easier.” As Joy’s college career comes to a close, she hopes to rejoin the military. To Joy, her ROTC battalion is extended family, and she credited them with giving her the strength to make it through her surgery. Joy’s next goal is to get a medical waiver to permit her to join Officer Candidacy School – allowing her to fulfill a lifelong dream. Even if she doesn’t ever get cleared to join the military, a very real possibility, Joy will not be swayed. She does not define herself by individual victories, much less minor setbacks.

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Taking Another Look at Enviromentally Friendly Phil Shepherd

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or the past few weeks, we have all seen the news coverage of the astounding level of devastation caused by the earthquake, tsunami and the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. As a person in his fifties, I truly do not remember a time in my life where a series of both natural and a man-made series of events have combined to produce this level of destruction and the potential for long-term environmental and health consequences for any nation or people on the planet. We have all also been following a “meltdown” of another type, the civil wars in Egypt and Libya, and the anti-American sentiment that has been the norm in the middle east for decades. So it strikes me as strangely naive when the happenings of the past month are apparently not seen by the Obama administration as a serious “wake up call” where it concerns America’s energy policy, and the ramifications of the choices that the president advocates. The bad logistical choices the Tokyo Electric Power Company made in building a six reactor nuclear plant on an earthquake fault line seem obvious in retrospect: relying on the idea that a “dormant” fault would not cause an earthquake, building the power plant to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 and having a magnitude 9, building it near a seacoast betting they would never have a tsunami that would damage the plant and destroy the surrounding communities, making even repairs to the plant and relief efforts extremely difficult to implement. But besides that, the company that built it and government that approved it also bet that the engineering that went into the plant would be foolproof, when no technology built by man, no matter how well designed, is without the possibility of malfunction. In the case of a nuclear plant, a simple miscalculation, mistake or mechanical failure can theoretically mean profound environmental damage, long term health consequences from radiation poisoning, and large areas of land that can no longer be used - possibly “forever” in terms of human history. The disaster in Japan certainly makes two things crystal clear - the hubris that ignores any possibility of the unpredictability of nature, and the possible and even predictable malfunction of even the best of man’s technology. While the long term environmental damage is yet to be fully determined, it is my guess that there will be areas in Japan that will have high ambient radioactive levels for a very long time, even after the damaged nuclear plants are brought fully under control. While not trying to be an alarmist, it is conceivable that areas of northeastern Japan could be virtually uninhabitable for some time to come. I say this because plutonium has been used as the power source of one of the four critically damaged reactors, and while uranium is the fuel source of the other three, plutonium is being produced as a byproduct of the meltdown of the unprotected uranium fuel rods in those damaged reactors as

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well. Most know that plutonium is very damaging to living tissue, and very damaging to the organs in the human body. And Plutonium has a half-life of 24,000 years. Let’s absorb that for a minute. Twenty-four thousand years. Consider this: the period of time back to the beginning of the New Testament and the Roman Empire is only about 10% of the half-life of Plutonium. Once you consider that period of time, imagine 2500 hundred years further back. Then do it again... and again... and again. Go back before Athens, the Egyptian culture, the Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Asian cultures that existed 5000 years ago, and Stonehenge at 3000 BC. When you’ve gotten that far, you still aren’t even close. Twenty four thousand years is back to cave drawings and Cro-Magnon man, and is a period of time that is considered to encompass more than all of recorded human history. Now consider that amount of time going into the future. That is the amount of time released Plutonium would be with us going forward. It could conceivably still be here after human beings were long gone. In the United States, there are 104 nuclear reactors currently generating electricity, and these plants provide 20% of

be finally time to consider that “ Itthemayleast environmentally damaging

prospect for safely generating energy is to make use of the natural resources that are already in the ground.

the electrical power in the country. Some of these are built close to or on top of geological fault lines, with one of these plants in California also being next to the Pacific Ocean. So this country is making bad bets similar to those made by Japan, because even in the best engineered technology and redundant safety systems can fail, as they did in Japan, and with nuclear energy there is simply no room for failure. When considering what just the failure of one nuclear plant can cause, the stakes of this gamble are too high and very unnecessary when other sources of energy can be much more safely and readily obtained in this country. Just for comparison, let’s examine the United State’s last environmental emergency. A year ago in April 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill occurred. At the time of the spill, environmental spokespeople and news organizations en-masse were saying how it was the most profound environmental disaster in generations, and how it would be decades before the areas damaged by the spill would be restored. Has anybody heard any reports lately on the long term environmental damage of the BP oil spill? Not many. After the blown out well was capped in July, it took about a month before it was largely forgot-


In his speech, the president doesn’t even mention oil. In his view, it’s apparently not in the equation where it concerns our energy future. But ignoring the abundant energy sources that are readily available in this country is not “forward thinking” at all, it is simply foolish, given our current economic circumstances, and especially, our reliance on middle eastern oil. The president also talks about nuclear power plants as “having undergone exhaustive study” (when?) and been “declared safe”, but even in a best-case circumstances of a well-running plant, the storage of spent nuclear waste is a very present environmental problem. Spent nuclear ten. Of course I realize that many are still impacted by the spill, but it hasn’t seemed to be quite the environmental catastrophe previously thought. So, for perspective, remember that even the worst-ever oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is showing increasingly less major environmental problems a year after it happened. So I ask this question. If you compare the environmental circumstances created by BP oil spill last year to the current problems and circumstances caused by the earthquake and tsunami at the Fukushima nuclear plant, which do you think, in terms of loss or damage to human life and the environment, including irradiated land, the high level of radioactivity being measured in the ocean, and the potential contamination to food and water sources for years into the future, is truly the more damaging type of event? It may be finally time to consider that the least environmentally damaging prospect for safely generating energy is to make use of the natural resources that are already in the ground. The United States ranks at least in the top five of the most environmentally conscious countries on the planet, and probably has more laws governing the protection of the environment than any other country in the world. The combination of the appropriate oversight that these laws provide, and the affect of the increasingly environmentally conscious technology caused by the application of these laws can help keep the environmental impact of increased oil and natural gas production to a minimum, while providing the needed energy for this country well into the future, and will have far less potential for long term environmental damage that a single nuclear power plant incident has already caused. From President Obama’s speech concerning the disaster in Japan on March 17th: “Here at home, nuclear power is also an important part of our own energy future, along with renewable sources like wind [and] solar, natural gas and clean coal. Our nuclear power plants have undergone exhaustive study, and have been declared safe for any number of extreme contingencies.”

Also, consider that increasing “drilling for oil on land eliminates the chance of an oil spill in the ocean or the gulf.”

rods actually have a potential for nuclear reaction and explosion themselves. Once again, how safe does nuclear power really seem when you are looking at a Three-Mile Island, a Chernobyl, or a Fukushima situation? Here’s one big difference between fossil fuels and nuclear power; oil and natural gas are naturally occurring substances - the byproducts of nuclear fission are not. Oil and natural gas that has accumulated under the surface of the earth are a naturally occurring part of the earth’s ecology. Even without oil from a wrecked tanker or damaged oil well, the ocean floor releases oil naturally, where it floats up to the ocean surface and washes ashore. This is known as Carbon Seep. Even the oil that remains after a clean up is eventually absorbed back into the environment, as is happening over time in the Gulf of Mexico.

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gas made from oil produced in this country if you knew that the price per gallon included all the costs necessary to implement the best environmental methods to get it out of the ground, that it would further our capabilities of how to do so in an environmentally safer fashion, and it was supporting jobs and the economy in the United States? I would, and I would also feel much better knowing that the gasoline I purchased was not going to support countries and cultures who wish to do us harm. Let’s consider a few other points made by the president. Mr. Obama strongly promotes wind power as a “green” replacement for fossil fuel at almost every opportuAlso, consider that increasing drilling for oil on land eliminates the chance of an oil spill in the ocean or the gulf. This concept of the US mining more of it’s own oil and natural gas as a safer environmental choice does not even take into account the effect that this country’s increasing of its own oil and natural gas production would have on lowering the cost of gasoline and all transportation costs with it, the paying down our own ever-escalating federal government deficit and relieving high unemployment, as well as the potential to seriously change the world’s economic balance of power. As the US shifts back toward developing its own resources again, we would rely less and less on middle eastern oil, and in doing so relieve our dependence on the OPEC nations. Our approaches to the problems in this area of the world would likely become much more “objective” once we are not dependent on oil imports from these countries, we would be far less directly affected by the continual problems in this area of the world, and by having to buy less (if any) oil from OPEC, we also would substantially decrease funding to terrorist elements in the middle east that seek to do the United States harm. Let’s go a step further, With increased capacity, we gain the ability to sell oil and natural gas - at an affordable price - to countries who are our allies, such as Japan, a country that does not have oil and natural gas under their own ground and so must rely on more dangerous nuclear power for their electrical power generation. A win-win again: Japan would be only one of many countries who would likely be happy to pay a lower price to the United States for their oil or natural gas supplies than they currently pay to OPEC, and in the process create more jobs and income for the US. As of April 2011, the cost of a gallon of gasoline has now reached $4.00 per gallon, and is predicted to rise further. Wouldn’t you gladly pay $2.49 or even $2.99 for a gallon of

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It is said that the United States has “more natural gas deposits than any other country on earth. ” nity, but some estimates (see the internet articles cited) say that you would have to build 2 billion - that’s billion with a ‘B’ - wind turbines to replace the amount of power now generated by fossil fuels and coal. Of course, wind power was never intended to replace all fossil fuel power generation, but even replacing just 10% of our total energy needs using wind power would (figured mathematically) require the building of 200 million wind turbine generators. Even attempting to get a reasonably sized wind turbine project through the federal and state bureaucracy (and the court system when a project is opposed) is a long, time consuming and expensive process, as is typical for most large scale federal projects. The promotors of the Cape Wind project planned for construction off of the coast of Cape Cod applied for their original permits in 2001. It is a full decade later, and the project has just this year received the go-ahead after opposition to the project by everyone from Ted Kennedy and Robert Kennedy Jr. to John Kerry and Mitt Romney was finally defeated in the courts. It took a decade to get through the “red tape” on a project totaling “only” 130 wind turbines. You can start to see how ridiculous it gets when you talk about having wind energy being capable of replacing even a small percentage of this country’s current power requirements for at least several decades, probably longer. Clean coal - so far, it’s mainly just an idea. It’s a good one, but still very expensive to implement, and the first plant is not scheduled to come on line until 2013, so the jury’s still out. The Sierra Club has it’s doubts though, and has said we should be developing more natural gas. And what about natural gas, now that the Sierra Club has mentioned it? It burns far cleaner than gasoline - virtually


pollution free, in fact - and it would not require a significant change in automobile engine design, only a different fuel injection system on the engine. But you also need a nationwide distribution system - in other words, a natural gas “pump” at gasoline stations. You could even fill up the tank right from your own home natural gas line, with the proper dispensing equipment. Natural gas is used extensively in Brazil to power cars and trucks, and their major cities have disbursement systems for natural gas so people can get the fuel at gas stations. And get this - the cost as compared to a gallon of gasoline? One dollar and twenty five cents per equivalent gallon. And that’s in Brazil. It is said that the United States has more natural gas deposits than any other country on earth. What do you suppose the equivalent cost per gallon might be here? So why not give a tax credit to gas station owners to encourage the installation of natural gas pumps in their stations? Once the distribution network is available, the federal government could then promote the idea that a percentage of new vehicles be natural gas powered, instead of the absurdity of electric cars that have a battery capacity that limit them to a 40 mile range. You could drive your Mustang, Toyota, Camaro, Cadillac, pickup truck - anything you wanted - and pay less in fuel costs than an equivalent gallon of gasoline, keep jobs in this country, fuel production in this country, cut emissions and “greenhouse gasses”, and probably end up lowering the cost of a gallon of gasoline due to the competition of a second viable fuel source for vehicles.

The federal government currently gives a 30% tax incentive to individuals who install a solar energy system on their house - a good idea. As these systems are installed directly on a person’s house or property, it bypasses many of the regulations that slow down a publicly built project, is much simpler (in comparison to a wind project) to implement, and so could produce a greater percentage of clean energy in the shorter term. Why not also give a corporate tax incentive for home builders who install solar panels in new housing construction projects? People will immediately use clean energy when a system is already installed on the home and the cost is included in the price of the house. The housing industry could also use the boost in sales they are likely to get if a buyer knew that a solar energy system would already be installed on the home, and you would have the added benefit of an immediate contribution to clean power generation. While I am a “no nukes” guy, I am on board with the idea of natural and clean sources of energy, Wind turbines, solar panels, and even clean coal are all great technologies and are indeed worth developing further, but the idea that any of these options can come up to speed and replace oil and natural gas even in the next several decades is simply ludicrous. With the added imperative of ending our dependence on one of the most politically unstable and hostile areas of the world for a large percentage of our oil imports, it’s really time for a bit of perspective as to what constitutes “environmentally friendly.” Phil Shepherd is a freelance writer from the Seattle area.

Note: 283.9 trillion cubic feet = 67420 Billion Barrels

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The Department of Africana Studies: A Case of Unintended Consequences Oliver Hudson

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very Brown student is familiar with Dr. King’s words: “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” And yet unfortunately, Dr. King’s vision falls short of reality at Brown’s academic department entrusted with the education of his work: Africana Studies. The department has a noble and worthwhile goal - “the critical examination of the theoretical, historical, literary, and artistic developments of the various cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora.” The approach, however, produces the opposite of the intent. The department is organized around a race. This places the focus of study on the concept of race itself instead of on the “historical, literary, and artistic” content of people of that race. The racedriven approach to content ingrains the practice of reasoning by racial classifications. Even today we face this mindset repudiated almost half a century ago by Dr. King.

The race-driven approach to content ingrains the practice of reasoning by racial classifications.

The department fosters racebased reasoning in students and faculty by treating history, literature, and art as racial issues rather than broad disciplines that only occasionally warrant discussion of race. For instance, consider the recent course offerings of the department. “Afro Latin Americans and Blackness

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in the Americas” instructs students in a “critical discussion of national images and realities about blackness…” Courses such as this teach students that the study of as broad a topic as a nation’s history should be understood by artificial race labels such as “blackness.” Students emerge with a view of Latin America distorted by an overemphasis on race, which, unlike other topics such as economics or law, has hardly a controlling influence on nations or their people. The regularly offered course on Brazil exclusively focuses on the “theorization of race, racial identity and race relations in contemporary Brazil,” giving the same impression that an understanding of a culture is not much more than a matter of pigmentation. “Race, Gender, and Urban Politics” too can’t escape characterizing the Africana urban experience as anything but an amalgamation of “race, gender, class, and sexuality.” These courses and practically all the others make it is nearly impossible to read through the department’s course descriptions and find a course that studies the history, literature, and art of people of African descent as history, literature, and art. Instead each course fixates on superficial notions of race to the detriment of the actual substance of Africana history, literature, and art. Under race-driven reasoning, Students learn that determining the relevance of race is the ultimate goal. Additionally, the department’s emphasis on race functions as a platform for the advocacy of political views. For instance, the department offers courses such as “Black Radical Tradition” and “20th Century Black

Feminist Thought And Practice in the US.” These courses cover the topics of “Africana feminism/womanism, black nationalism, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Pan-Africanism, and radical democracy.” Required readings include:

“The department’s em-

phasis on race functions as a platform for the advocacy of political views.” “Black Marxism: The Making of Black Radical Tradition”, “How Europe Undeveloped Africa”, and “Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones.” The education of leftist political philosophy wouldn’t be objectionable if the department undertook a commitment to a comprehensive study of political philosophy in the black community. However, in no place will you find courses or required reading on say the ideas of Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell, two prominent African American economists, on the African American family. You will not encounter the views of Shelby Steele, a distinguished African American scholar at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, on affirmative action. Why? Because these views are considered right winged. The department’s refusal to address these voices in the black community, or any Conservative views in general, indicates a clear bias toward the left wing ideology emphasized ad nauseam. Advocacy and bias enter the academic world enough already. Race should not be used as a vehicle to further undermine academic


integrity. The department’s ideological stance produces stubborn and dogmatic students. Without opposing views, students readily absorb the viewpoints of courses such as “Race, Rights, and Rebellion” and “The Ethics of Black Power” as fact. They convince themselves that racial injustice of the past is a permanent state of society requiring a continual racial “blame game.” The production of students of a particular opinion should not be the aim of any university or academic department, not least one whose code of student conduct purports to protect “the free exchange of ideas.” The shortcomings of the department of Africana Studies stem from its existence as a separate department. Imagine extending the African Studies model of dividing the study of other

set taken to its logical conclusion would submerge all important ideas of history, literature, and art behind the veneer of race. Students would learn that figuring out how race applies, for surely it must apply they say, is the standard of study. This is unadvisable in the extreme across all departments, and no less so in the individual case of Africana Studies. Africana Studies undoubtedly holds rich material worthy of academic analysis. Therefore, courses on the history, literature, and art of Africana Studies should be housed in the history, literature, and art departments respectively. The focus would change. There, content would be studied as literature,

history, and art with deservedly little attention to race except when essential to the material at hand. It is a sad situation when those most concerned with discarding the vestiges of backward “race-oriented” thinking have become its staunch defenders. I firmly believe that departments dedicated to particular groups of persons, racial or otherwise, only hinder an objective study of important content and inculcate discriminatory attitudes. Parading such practices under platitudes of “diversity” and “multiculturalism” might be in accordance with in vogue political correctness, but the consequences remain the same.

“ Africana

Studies undoubtedly holds rich material worthy of academic analysis.

subjects by race. Why not create a department for Latino Studies, or Caucasian Studies, or Pacific Islander Studies. We would be told that this would give us a greater perspective and remove social norms and stereotypes attached to these cultures. Though no need to stop there. Clearly Caucasian Studies obscures crucial cultural subdivisions and should therefore be divided into a limitless number of new departments such as Anglo-Saxon Studies, Mediterranean Studies, etc. One can see how this mind-

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End The Union Manas Gautam

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he University should no longer be strong-armed by the Brown library union or any other union for that matter. I find it preposterous that the libraries union got away with not only increasing workers’ base wages by two percent, but also getting a lower employee contribution toward health insurance premiums. I question the whole concept of the existence of this union since in the long run it only poses affordability problems for Brown students. With the help of some loud students, it seems that the libraries union can bring the administration to its knees and shove any contract it pleases down its throat. I feel the members of these unions should face the real world of competition that we all face. The union disregards foreign and domestic competition altogether. What motivates the library workers to make an effort if the union coddles them and a protest-loving student body gives them an excessive safety net? If the University can hire one equally competent and hard working non-unionized worker for half the price of one unionized worker, it should let the merits of the free market prevail. In the name of education, they shouldn’t be allowed a free hand at our bank balances

the help of some “ With loud students, it seems

that the libraries union can bring the administration to its knees... ”

since eventually the students, not the administration, will have to pay for it. In the real world, an organization’s decisions are dependent upon its ability to earn after-tax income. Is the cost of the unionized librarians more than the service they deliver? By giving into these demands, Brown will certainly have made a terrible decision since

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the U.S. economy is on its decline. Due to Federal Reserves’ continuous printing of money, the U.S. will unquestionably deal with inflation, in addition to high unemployment and a trade war with China. At a time like this, promising more of scarce monetary resources will be something the University will regret, since it will have no option but to fire the workers, charge students more or dig into the endowment thus interrupting the investment’s compounding cycle. Firing the workers will never happen (thanks to the aforementioned protest-loving student body), and reducing the endowment’s principal only transfers the cost burden from the students of today to those of tomorrow. Either way, the students pay for it. Unions reduce the efficiency of the job market and the efficient free flow of capital since they distort the optimal compensation and labor required. The University already has to deal with market inefficiencies already in place such as social security, minimum wage and taxes. For every dollar spent on workers, there’s less money for maintaining resources like LexisNexis and increasing library collections, no thanks to this wedge. Brown University is not a charity or a poorhouse, regardless of what some students expect of it. What students should expect is to have the best educational platform to improve their skills and actually compete in the global environment. I sincerely question the intentions of Brown students who want private health care for Refectory workers and librarians after fighting so passionately for the passing of healthcare reform. Why does the University need to pay extra for these employees’ private insurance when the reforms offer every American to be covered by health care insurance – either through out-of-pocket or government subsidy? The University should simply pay the fine

and opt out of healthcare for its workers. From an article in Politico- “AT&T, for instance, calculated that it spends $2.4 billion a year providing health insurance, but would only spend $600 million if it chose to pay the penalty of $2,000 per employee”. On the other hand, if Brown students really want more capital to be available for these workers, they should protest against capital gains taxes — but I don’t see that happening any time soon.

reduce the efficien“ Unions cy of the job market ” A few months ago, I saw posters around campus featuring the face and the quote of Brown Library Associate Specialist at the Library Annex, “Diane,” who said “An increase in our co-pay would take food out of my kids’ mouths and force me to work more hours on my second job to offset the loss.” Even though I was deeply pained by seeing her wounded face and the troubling statement, I realized that her statement is blown completely out of proportion in order to exploit human sympathy. Did the increased employee contribution not accompany a wage increase? How much money does the increased employee contribution actually take away? Even if we take her statement on face value, I believe Diane should have been responsible enough to understand the worst-case scenario and her financial capability. Everybody is facing hard times — from our parents to the lines of unemployed. If Diane is lucky enough to have two jobs, she should work harder to make sure her kids grow up to become assets to this struggling economy, take care of her and make up for her sacrifices when they are older. They’ll certainly be prouder of a mother who set an example of the highest work ethics and didn’t belong to a thug-like union.


Healthcare vs. the Constitution Olivia Conetta

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he healthcare debate is far from over, but now the future of the United States’ healthcare system is not the only issue at stake. More important is Congress’s dwindling adherence to the Constitution. On January 31st, Judge Roger Vinson, a federal district court judge in Florida, ruled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. He was the first federal judge to do so, though another federal judge has invalidated the insurance mandate and two others have upheld the law, which was largely a Democratic initiative. Vinson’s much-debated decision hinged on the constitutionality of the law’s mandate that every individual in the United States buy health insurance or face punishment. According to Vinson, the Commerce Clause of the Constitution is not an appropriate justification for the individual mandate. The clause regulates activity, not inactivity (in this case, the failure to buy health insurance). Furthermore, Vinson argued, the individual mandate was the linchpin without which the whole healthcare law could not function. Since that part of the

The Commerce Clause of the Constitution is not an appropriate justification for the individual mandate.

law is not within the scope of Congress’s powers, the entire law is unconstitutional. Vinson further argued that the law is an issue of federalism and the reach of the federal government into people’s personal decisions, not of the United States’ healthcare system. “Never before has Congress required that everyone buy a product from a private

company (essentially for life) just for being alive and residing in the United States,” he wrote in the decision. Democrats, of course, do not think the law oversteps Congress’s boundaries as enumerated by the Constitution. Some Democrats, such as former Representative Phil Hare of Illinois, find the Constitution irrelevant when it conflicts with their legislative goals. Last year, a member of the Tea Party asked Hare what part of the Constitution justified the individual mandate of the healthcare law. Hare answered, “I don’t worry about the Constitution on this.” He went on to say that he merely believes “[the Constitution] says we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – which is simply false, for the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, mentions life, lib-

[Former Democratic “ Representative] Hare answered, ‘I don’t worry about the Constitution on this.’

erty, and the pursuit of happiness. Hare shrugged off his gaffe and said, “But at the end of the day, I want to bring insurance to every person that lives in this country.” Hare is not the only Democratic member of Congress who shows a clear disregard for the Constitution. When asked in 2009 what part of the Constitution gave Congress the power to mandate that Americans buy health insurance, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California answered, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” When members of Congress are sworn in, they have to take an oath of office: “I do solemnly swear that I will

support the Constitution of the United States.” But in backing a constitutionally unsound law, it seems as though the Democrats in Congress like Hare and Pelosi choose not to cede to the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, when their legislative goals conflict with

Never before has Congress required that everyone buy a product from a private company (essentially for life) just for being alive and residing in the United States,

the principles set forth by the framers. Note to Democrats: The Constitution is more important than any legislative agenda. It is the backbone of the American system of government protects people’s liberties. To say the least, it is an important document that every member of congress must obey. The United States is the world’s longestfunctioning democracy because of the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution intended to create a government that did not reach too far into people’s personal lives. Vinson struck down a law that represented an overstepping of federal power into people’s decisions. In refusing to follow the Constitution by passing a law that uses too much federal power, Democrats have set a dangerous precedent that it’s fine to disregard the Constitution for the sake of passing laws that are favorable with the electorate. Yes, Congress needs to address the millions of people who do not have healthcare or have inadequate healthcare. But we’re serious when we say everyone in Congress must follow the Constitution to find a solution to the ailing healthcare system.

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WINNERs and Losers May 2011 Winner: The Brown Daily Herald

The BDH is this month’s winner for the same reason that so many Brown students hate it – the David Horowitz ads. We want to be clear that we don’t support the rhetoric of the ad (and certainly not the image of a man holding a Quran and an assault rifle), so there’s no need to spray paint “The Spectator is Racist” all over College Hill. The reason the BDH gets the winner’s nod is because once again they’re willing to stand up to hostile backlash in order to exercise free speech. Although the Herald was probably just doing it for the money, the controversy that the ads sparked was refreshing. On a campus where everything is so far to the left, political debate is often stagnant – so it’s always nice when someone stirs the pot a little bit. Also, the ad is somewhat of an anniversary for the Spectator, which began 10 years ago as a response to the stolen copies of the Herald when the last Horowitz ad ran. The Spectator would like to thank the Herald for the 10th year anniversary gift and we hope they’ll remember us again ten years from now, and possibly have decent comics by then.

Possible suspects of the graffiti include one of Spring Weekend’s opening acts.

Loser: Students

We all remember the day that a certain group of men playing Scottish wind instruments caused every student on the main green to take up the rainbow colored battle flag. The Spectator doesn’t want to condemn the counter-protest that resulted, unlike some of are more “open-minded” friends we don’t object to people voicing their opinions. The reason why the student body receives the loser award is because of the immediate reaction of many of the onlookers. Some of the things that I personally heard were: “Why are we letting them stay here?”, “We need to run them off” and the ever eloquent “Can we shoot them or something?” Honestly, who are those guys to come to our campus – a haven of progressive thought where cultural pluralism and minority opinions are welcomed with open arms – and start spewing their hatred of religious thought! Those bigots should learn to accept and listen to other people’s viewpoints like us Brown students.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


May 2011