www.brownspectator.com Volume V Issue I
Spectator 2 Spectator Letter From Table of Contents the Editor 4 Back to the Old Rules September 2006
Daniel Berman and Boris Ryvkin
he Brown Spectator is a journal of conservative thought and opinion committed to the dissemination and discussion of the ideas and values of Western Culture. In light of President Simmon’s renewed commitment to intellectual diversity, we recognized that while intellectual diversity requires tolerance of the majority, it is equally contingent on the presence of an active minority. A conservative presence is needed now more than ever to counter political correctness, moral relativism, defeatism and other consequences of the leftist domination. With a committed staff and supporting alumni base, the Spectator is in a position to publish frequently and significantly impact the political discourse. We strongly encourage a broad coalition of open-minded liberals, conservativesboth paleo and neoconservatives, libertarians and legal authoritarians, and “enlightened” Democrats to write for the Spectator. We also welcome letters to the editor concerning the contents of our issues.
Editor-in-Chief The Brown Spectator Pratik_Chougule@brown.edu
5 Review of Helen Thomas’ Watchdogs of Democracy? Sheila Dugan 6 A New Look at Brown v. Board and thePratik Constitution Chougule 7 A Stranger in a Strange Land Jason Carr 8 MessageSean to the GOP: Chuck Chafee Quigley 9 When Democrats Control Government Marc Frank 10 Che Okay?Andrew Kurtzman 11 Illegal Immigration: Pulling heartstrings and purse strings Kristina Kelleher 12 The Lecture Circuit: The Superstitious Skeptic Brian Bishop 13 SlubiceMark Fuller 14 The Status Quo Boris Ryvkin 15 In DefenseSeanof Quigley Poverty 23 Democracy Matters: Coercion Without Jason a Cause Carr 31 Looking Back on Michaud Taylor Stearns 32 Winners and Losers
SPECTATOR The Brown Spectator is a journal of conservative thought and opinion published by The Foundation for Intellectual Diversity and funded in part through the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and the Collegiate Network. The Brown Spectator is constituted through the Undergraduate Council of Students of Brown University. The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of Brown University or the editorial board of The Brown Spectator.
Pratik Chougule ©
Production Editor Joanna M. Joly
Andrew Kurtzman, Sheila Dugan, Jason Carr, Lindsey Brett Meyers, Boris Ryvkin
Taylor Stearns, Sean Quigley, Kristina Kelleher, Marc Frank, Mark Fuller, Lorenna Ellis
Travis Rowley, Stephen Beale, Eric Neuman, Joseph Lisska, Christopher McAuliffe
Letters to the Editor BDH: Viewpoint Discrimination?
I’m writing with some concerns that I and other members of the editorial board have regarding two articles that appear in the May 2006 issue of the Spectator. One, written by Mark Fuller, is titled “Political Correctness at the BDH: ‘Herald’ Guilty of Viewpoint Discrimination.” The other, written by Jason Carr and tagged as a “Spectator Exclusive,” is titled “Why I’m Not Recycling.” As you know, Jason’s article is very similar to a column that appeared in The Herald earlier this semester. The column sparked a fair amount of controversy in our office after several of our readers notified us that it shared striking similarities with a 1996 New York Times Magazine article, titled “Recycling is Garbage,” written by John Tierney. I was not familiar with Tierney’s article at the time and didn’t notice the similarities as I was proofing the column the night before it ran. However, as several of our readers pointed out, Jason lifted Tierney’s argument almost directly, and several sections featured wording that exactly or almost exactly matched that of Tierney. It’s important to note one important difference between the version that ran in the May issue of the Spectator and the one that appeared in The Herald. While your version includes a direct reference to Tierney’s article, no such reference appeared in The Herald’s version. Also, statistics pulled from Tierney’s article were presented as current information, despite the fact that Tierney’s article ran ten years ago (meaning that facts regarding New York City’s recycling expenditures were not only stolen, but also blatantly incorrect). When we called Jason in to discuss the issue, he seemed apologetic and acknowledged that his column restated the argument and key statistics included in Tierney’s article. Regarding the actual wording and specific examples, he acknowledged that, if he had done something similar for a course assignment,
a professor could have easily accused him of plagiarism. Only when it became clear that Jason would face repercussions for his dishonesty did he start to subtly claim that we might be discriminating against him because he believes his viewpoint is conservative. I just want to take this opportunity to point out that The Herald does not engage in what Fuller refers to as “viewpoint discrimination.” We run many conservative columns and have done so in
As a regular reader of the Spectator, I’m a little bit surprised that the publication would engage in such over-the-top, unfounded attacks on another publication. It’s certainly not your job to consult us every time you use our name in your paper, but it seems unnecessary and immature to promote antagonism between The Herald and the Spectator, especially
“I actually didn’t know Mark had submitted multiple op-eds (like I said, we try to stay out of the Opinions Editors’ way as much as we can). Still, I can imagine why they didn’t see fit to publish them.” the past (Stephen Beale, an editor-at-large for the Spectator, was a regular columnist during his time at Brown). Moreover, the editorial board does not influence the content of the opinions page, except in extreme cases. We have Opinions Editors for a reason. Fuller goes on to write, “I challenge the Herald to concretely show any shared phrases or sentences” that implicate Jason as a plagiarist. We did that already when we met with Jason a few months ago. In fact, we highlighted key portions we thought were questionable. Though Jason may have left this out when he retold the story to his friend, we’ll gladly point out the passages in question again. In addition to these fundamental flaws in Fuller’s piece, what’s more concerning is the unethical reprinting of private correspondence between Jason and Patrick Harrison, one of our Opinions Editors. Fuller includes an entire e-mail that was sent as private feedback from editor to writer. He did not contact Patrick to request that the e-mail could be printed in a campus-wide publication. This is, more than anything, completely disrespectful. I don’t know if the Spectator has any policy regarding how its writers go about getting information from sources, but perhaps this is something you’d like to bring up with him.
when one considers that some students actively contribute to both publications. Obviously, writing a letter to the editor that won’t appear until next semester might not be the best course of action for us to take. I just wanted to bring our concerns to your attention. There’s no reason for us to not have a cooperative relationship, though in the future I hope you hold your writers to higher standards when they want to engage in such attacks. Sincerely, Robbie Corey-Boulet Editor-in-Chief The Brown Daily Herald
Spectator Editor Responds...
Robert, Thank you for the email. In all honesty I do not know the exact details of the whole Jason Carr/BDH plagiarism squabble. I have definitely had a positive experience with the BDH and I’ve never observed a great deal of viewpoint discrimination. I also know Jason well and wanted to give him an opportunity to present his case in the Spectator. As you know, the BDH did not publish Mark’s follow up op-eds in which they tried to defend themselves. Jason and Mark’s opinion does not reflect the opinion of the Spectator. As the editor “Letters” continued on page
Back to the Old Rules Daniel Berman and Boris Ryvkin
he conflict in Lebanon may have diverted international attention away from Iran’s nuclear program, but in the process, it has created a new focus on that nation’s growing regional influence. By opposing the United States now, Iran has become what it could not as an ally thirty years ago: the preeminent Middle Eastern Islamic power. Ironically, Iran’s ascent to this high-status position is exactly why our efforts to end its nuclear ambitions are doomed to failure. The entire international proliferation regime is flawed in that, by denying countries the right to develop nuclear weapons, it effectively freezes into place the world balance of power circa 1961. To rising powers such as Iran and India, this is fundamentally
unacceptable. In the status quo, Iran’s nuclear development is restricted not because it is a rogue nation or for its support of terrorist activity, but rather because it failed to develop nuclear technology before the treaty was signed. This patronizing attitude is insulting, even to those within Iran opposed to the Islamist regime, and especially to the nation’s leaders. All that our current policy accomplishes, therefore, is to create further antagonism with the only major non-Sunni power in the Middle East. This is doubly unfortunate because Iran’s anti-Americanism is hardly inevitable. It is a natural ally against Wahhabism (also Salafism) in the region, and the United States found itself on the same side as Iran in many conflicts against this terrible scourge. Salafism is a Sunni fundamentalist strain of Islam
that subscribes to a strict interpretation of the Qu’ran and Hadith, and rejects many Muslim practices adopted after the First Millennium CE. It views all non-believers as infidels, who must be converted or eliminated, and considers Shia and most moderate Sunni practices heretical. While our “allies” in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan helped to establish the Taliban in Afghanistan during the 1990s, the Iranians were the major financial and military backers of the Northern Alliance, nearly going to war with the Taliban in 1998. Furthermore, Iran has a huge amount invested in defeating the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, perhaps more than we do. Iran’s current public belligerence and jingoistic rhetoric is fundamentally opportunistic, as it seeks regional dominance. A desire “Old Rules” continued on page
Watchdogs of Democracy? Book Review Sheila Dugan
s I r e a d Wa t c h d o g s o f Democracy? written by Helen Thomas, at times I felt the greatest crime of President Bush was his failure to charm her. The way she writes of state dinners as if it were her senior prom, describing her “long, black velvet skirt, with a matching jacket, and a fancy satin or silk blouse.” Bush did not hold enough of these events because he “liked to go to bed early and also because he was a total teetotaler.” The lack of state dinners aside, Thomas believes President Bush was committed to going to war, willing to lie to bring it about. She saves some of her harshest criticism for the journalist who covered the events leading up to the conflict—from Colin Powell’s speech at the U.N. and George Bush familiarizing the American public with yellowcake. Knowing the power the media has by deciding what constitutes news and thereby defining the debate, Watchdogs of Democracy? was about the media conceding that power to play the offense to the White House. As the title of her book suggests, Thomas considers journalists to be the
“watchdogs of democracy.” Thomas
As I read Watchdogs of Democracy? written by Helen Thomas, at times I felt the greatest crime of President Bush was his failure to charm her. writes, “Without an informed people, there can be no democracy. It is the job of reporters and editors to ask the tough questions of those in power and to act on the answers with trust, integrity, and honest guiding their judgment.” The romantic portrait of the journalist Thomas paints in the opening of her book does not mirror reality as we know too few journalists are actually up to the task. To her credit, Thomas admits the industry is not above reproach. The scandals plaguing the news industry in the past couple of years are highlighted. From the lies of Jayson Blair, the Bush National Guard Memo, and the “yellow” journalists of the past, these episodes of plagiarism have not done much to restore the public’s trust in the media in the midst of accusations of bias. Thomas misses the opportunity to explore why journalists decide to lie. She only briefly blames it on “money, ego, and laziness.” (She couldn’t even explain why Jayson Blair spells his name like a porn star.) The biggest failure of the American media lately has been their treatment of the Iraq War. She felt the media “...lapped up everything the Pentagon and the White House could dish out—no questions asked.” Reporters refrained from asking the serious, tough questions because they feared being labeled unpatriotic. Reminding the public she was always skeptical of the connection
between Iraq and terrorism by publishing excerpts of press conferences, Thomas cannot be relegated to being characterized a Monday-morning quarterback. The only problem is that the same individual appear almost hypocritical being so condemnatory of the New York Times and Washington Post when she admits she wish she were more “vigilant and skeptical” of the Nixon administration. Reporters make mistakes and are human also. It seems silly now the media trusted President Bush, a man whose biggest sin was mispronouncing nuclear, over Sadaam Hussein, who gassed the Kurds. Thomas does emphasize the lack of “reporters who has some historical perspective on government deception and folly.” If Bush deliberately lied about the intelligence justifying the Iraq War (and being wrong is not the same as deliberate deception), the danger is apparent if we live in a world where the press and the public does not subject their leaders to more scrutiny. By allowing ourselves to trust the government when it promises to get rid of a myriad bogeymen, it is not surprising we have become so comfortable with the insatiable behemoth in D.C., we no longer question why it exists. If Thomas admonishes the media for not being critical of that creature, whether its controlled by Bush or anyone else, I applaud her. In addition to discussing the “flagrant episodes of plagiarism, fabrication of stories, and relying on dubious documents without checking facts” and the journalistic response to the Iraq War, Thomas touches upon other changes in the industry at the beginning of the 21st century. She predictably attacks the corporations who own daily newspapers and news stations and their concern for making a profit as if could have survived without a paycheck. “Review” continued on page
Spectator 6 Spectator Brown v. Board and Constitution September 2006
A New Look Pratik Chougule
n May 17, 1954, the cultural landscape of America was changed forever. The United States Supreme Court unanimously and explicitly outlawed racial segregation of public education facilities. The landmark decision placed the force of the law behind civil rights, inspiring the subsequent Civil Rights movement, which dramatically strengthened minority rights within one generation. Nevertheless, the case did not assuage resentment of the Constitution and federal law in a large segment of the African American community. Such skepticism is, to a degree, grounded in history. Slavery, the three-fifths clause, failure of Reconstruction, “separate but equal,” and segregation in the armed forces pointed to the Constitution’s complicity in an often tragic AfricanAmerican experience. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, even after successfully arguing Brown as a lawyer, warned against undue reverence for the Framers, claiming that the “government they devised was defective from the start [in]… its respect for the individual
promoted the theory. Today, Justices Scalia and Thomas are the strongest proponents of originalism. Critics of originalism argue that strict adherence to a “racist” document is bound to produce flawed legal decisions. They instead advocate a concept of the Constitution as an evolving document, which judges should interpret in line with contemporary notions of justice. The Warren Court’s majority opinion in Brown, which clearly reflected an evolutionist interpretation, put originalism on the defensive. With the handing down of Brown, critics of originalism were armed with a potentially powerful
segregation, a system of racial separation which, while in theoretically providing for separate but equal treatment of both white and black Americans, in practice perpetuated inferior treatment of the latter group. The separate but equal standard was legally enshrined into the law with the 1896 Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson. In one of the most famous legal holdings in American history, the Warren Court overturned this injustice by ruling that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Perhaps due to the compelling moral case for the result in Brown, contemporary discussion of the serious defects in its methodology has been muffled. Beyond Brown’s instrumental role in barring segregation, the case pioneered the admission of social science research as hard evidence. Using education psychologist Kenneth Clark’s study on black children’s reaction to black and white dolls, Marshall and his colleagues concluded from the more favorable reaction to white dolls that black children regarded themselves as inferior. In introducing social science to the case, the
Inquiry into the original meaning of the Constitution reveals that the powerful weight of the nation’s legal foundation is consistent with the cause of racial justice. It is not originalism, but rather deviation from the strict meaning of the Constitution, which has produced many of the grossest violations of equality. freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today.” It is not surprising then that the philosophy of originalism has not historically resonated among AfricanAmericans. Broadly, originalism is a legal theory which accepts that the Constitution has a fixed meaning to which judges should adhere. Implicit in originalism is a faith in the wisdom of the Founding. Traditionally, politically conservative judicial scholars have most actively
weapon. On the assumption that strict adherence to the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment would not have yielded the just result, the end to the evils of segregated public schools, the validity of originalism as a theory of constitutional interpretation became questionable. But is this criticism of originalism, and more broadly, the Constitution valid? For nearly a century preceding 1954, race relations in the United States were dominated by institutionalized
Warren Court radically jeopardized the fundamental integrity of legal reasoning. To oppose institutionalized segregation on the basis of disputable social science research weakens the sound legal case against such a practice. If research indicated that integrated schools increased black children’s feelings of inferiority would the Court be justified in reversing “Brown” continued on page
A Stranger in a Strange Land Jason Carr
wo weeks before the spring break of my freshman year at Brown, I had a difficult choice to make. My father had offered to me the opportunity to spend the break in Cancun with my stepmother and their three children. While the prospect of finally exposing my skin to sunlight after a long
innocence of the BYU student body, Mike said that it would be to my advantage not to speak about almost any aspect of Brown social life. After my plane landed at the Salt Lake City airport, I had to take a shuttle to Provo. Along the way I struck up a conversation with the driver about the LDS Church and life in general. The driver’s name was John, and he and his
sex is allowed to go no further than the bottom floor of the opposite sex’s dorms, except during established visiting hours, throughout which all doors have to remain open. But perhaps more remarkable than the regulations themselves is the fact that they are strictly adhered to, even in the absence of supervision. Not once in my entire visit did I observe a rules violation; BYU students view the many constraints on their actions as directives from God that cannot be disobeyed, rather than arbitrary guidelines set down by the administration. As I took the elevator up to Mike’s room, I asked him what kept the students from behaving as normal unsupervised teenagers would. Mike responded that, upon matriculation, every student has to sign an Honor Code and adhere to it throughout enrollment at BYU, under penalty of severe disciplinary action or expulsion. The Honor Code covers academic integrity issues (such as plagiarism) as well as interactions with the opposite sex, grooming standards, and religious involvement. Mike’s roommate Spencer, though only a sophomore, was twenty three years old and a returned missionary. His extraordinary religious zeal was clear from the start: he read the Scriptures frequently, observed and often conducted religious activities, and absolutely believed that the LDS Church was the chosen church of God. To a Brown student, his level of religious absorption might be viewed as radical, even dangerous. But at BYU it was absolutely ubiquitous. As an atheist, I relished the prospect of a theological argument with Spencer, though decided early on that first night that I would wait, and get some much needed sleep instead. There, I was greeted by several of Mike’s friends, including a young couple by the names of Jacob and Allyson. It was here that I first observed with my own
His extraordinary religious zeal was clear from the start: he read the Scriptures frequently, observed and often conducted religious activities, and absolutely believed that the LDS Church was the chosen church of God. To a Brown student, his level of religious absorption might be viewed as radical, even dangerous. But at BYU it was absolutely ubiquitous. tenure in the Northeast was inviting, the idea of doing the things that I would want to do in Cancun under full parental supervision certainly wasn’t. That prospect aside, I had one other option. My high school buddy Mike had invited me to spend the break at his school, Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. Mike was especially eager to see me because, due to his upcoming two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (hereafter LDS), we would not be able to meet again until I turned twenty. And so, I accepted my friend’s invitation, not knowing what I was getting into. As it turned out, I thoroughly enjoyed my break, gaining appreciation for the wholesome parts of this otherworldly place yet also acknowledging where its purism went too far. Before flying out, I did have some idea of the restrictions on my behavior that would be required at a Mormon university. Mike had already warned me that he would give me a good punch in the jaw every time I mentioned anything sexual. Also, I was told that I would have a “0% chance” of “getting any” while within a fifty mile radius of BYU’s campus; half-jokingly citing the almost crippling
family had emigrated from England to Utah in order to be closer to the center of the LDS Church. He revealed to me that in fact, while the Temple is still in Salt Lake City, Provo has become an equally important nerve center of the faith: the population in Provo is 95% Mormon, and BYU puts out thousands of young LDS graduates every year. Although it might be hard to believe, given the already huge proportion of Mormons in the city, Provo actually has the highest conversion rate of any place in the world. As we were continuing to discuss the many differences that Mormonism has with contemporary Christianity, the driver pulled in to the BYU campus. I had to cut off our conversation as I took my suitcases out of the van. He departed, and I waved goodbye to a man whom I had the distinct impression was one of the happiest I have ever met. I was glad to see Mike. Though tired, I was eager to take a tour of his part of the campus. When I arrived at his dorm room, I already had my first question: why were there no girls in this building except on the bottom floor? Mike explained that men and women are strictly segregated while in BYU residential buildings. Each
“Stranger” continued on page
Spectator 8 Spectator Message to the GOP: Chuck Chafee September 2006
Sean B. Quigley Senator Lincoln Chafee, in the bluntest of terms, is a man whom we cannot trust. Though I am largely addressing Rhode Island Republicans with that statement, all political affiliations should realize that Senator Chafee is nothing more than an imposter, a liberal wolf wearing a conservative sheep suit. He must be voted out of office. This nation was founded on the bedrock principles of limited government, free enterprise, individual liberty, and personal responsibility. Senator Chafee, as a logical being must reasonably conclude from his horrid voting record, has little regard for any of those principles. He has unremittingly supported the modern-day Dred Scott decision, none other than Roe v. Wade (I make the comparison because both Supreme Court decisions treat a human as chattel). While I would expect such ephemeral regard for human life from a Democrat, it is quite distressing that a fellow Republican would hold such hostility toward the most basic right. His attack on the intrinsic value of
human life does not end at abortion. Senator Chafee has shown that the littlest guy of all, a recently conceived human, is an unprotected being. Moreover, in the tradition of Dr. Josef Mengele, he views experimentation on said human beings as not only permissible, but something that taxpayer dollars should support. As many have aptly stated, Senator Chafee is the quintessential RINO—Republican In Name Only. Sorry, Senator, but I only vote for Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) who realize that all are equal and protected under the law. Though it pales in comparison to the value our civilization should place on human life, gun control is another example of why Senator Chafee must be chucked. Apparently, the Second Amendment means nothing to the Senator. (Perhaps because the Framers of the Constitution instituted it in order to restrain Big Government?) To the Senator, governments bestow rights on their citizens and, therefore, can rescind them at their whim. In the view of the Framers, citizens bestow rights to governments, while retaining sufficient personal autonomy (i.e. gun rights) so as to guarantee that Big Government—let alone other trespassers—will never unjustly intrude into their lives. Senator Chafee’s defense of affirmative action is yet another example of his unreliability as a defender of freedom, and therefore of his misrepresentation of the first state to declare freedom from Great Britain. For the Senator, Rudyard Kipling’s “white man’s burden” is a viable ideology. For freedom-loving Americans, the ideal for which we strive is that we “not be judged by the color of [our] skin but by the content of [our] character,” as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., dreamed. In the “progressive” mind of Senator Chafee, merit is an insufficient measure of a person’s qualifications. Apparently, government mandates are. His anti-growth stance on taxes, his opposition to the War in Iraq, his illogical resistance to drilling in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), and his support of same-sex marriage are just four more reasons why the people should vote him out of office in the primaries on 12 September and, if necessary, in the general election on 7 November. He does not represent the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. He (fortunately) represents the fading wing of the GOP that better identifies with the elitists in the Democratic Party. Though I personally will vote for Mayor Stephen Laffey, Bozo the Clown would be a better Senator than Lincoln Chafee. Do what must be done. Chuck Chafee.
When Democrats Control Government Marc Frank
or the first time since 1994, Democrats appear poised to take control of at least one House of Congress in the upcoming fall election. While many regard this as a cause for elation, my experience as a summer staff intern in the largely Democratic New Jersey Assembly fills me with trepidation about this prospect. One of the major advantages of the American system of dual Federalism is that political experience at the state level often predicts what will happen at the federal level. So, if the ineptness of the Democratic Party in the recent budget fiasco of New Jersey is our guide, the possibility of increasing Democratic control in Congress is a troubling prospect for the nation. In New Jersey, Democrats currently control both Houses of the Legislature and the governorship. The New Jersey Constitution requires the Legislature to pass and the governor to sign a budget each year by midnight June 30 for the fiscal year beginning July 1. If the Legislature fails to pass a budget, the government is prohibited from spending any public money, (unless the governor arguably violates the state Constitution by authorizing “essential” expenditure). On March 21, more than three months before the Constitutional deadline to pass the budget, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine spoke to a joint session of the Legislature laying out his budget of $30.9 billion, an enormous $2.6 billion increase over the previous fiscal year. His proposed budget contained several tax increases, including an increase in the sales tax from 6% to 7%, a new hospital bed tax, a tax on fitness club memberships, and a water tax. Between March 21 and early June, the Senate and General Assembly of New Jersey held numerous Budget Committee hearings, where
testimony was taken but no substantive budget negotiations were held. Fearful of a voter backlash, Democratic members of the Legislature by mid-June convinced the governor to rescind his hospital bed and water tax proposals. The powerless Republican minority put forth a budget
cost the state nearly two million dollars a day in lost tax revenue. After forcing the Legislature into session every day, including July 4, Governor Corzine and Speaker Roberts of the Assembly finally reached an agreement in principle on July 6. The agreement
New Jersey became the laughing stock of the nation, and the ineptness of the Democratic legislative leadership was completely responsible for this fiasco. If this performance foreshadows what liberal Democratic control at the national level would bring, we must hope that Democrats fail to take control of Congress this November. proposal containing $2.2 billion in cuts to the governor’s proposed budget, which would have eliminated the need for tax increases and provided a small budget surplus to give the state flexibility for future budgets. With less than two weeks before the budget deadline, an impasse arose between the Democrats in the Assembly and Senate, as the former rejected the governor’s proposed sales tax increase, while the latter supported it. By midnight on June 30, the Legislature was not even close to a budget agreement. On July 1, Governor Corzine signed an executive order calling for the “orderly” shut-down of state government. By July 5, all non-essential staff had been laid off and most government services were shut down. This caused over 120,000 state employees to lose their jobs temporarily. Of all the disruption the closure of state government caused, the media focused most of its attention on the Atlantic City casinos. Because New Jersey law requires that state regulators be at the casinos at all times when they are operating, the casinos were forbidden to allow gambling while the regulators were laid off. Not only was this devastating to casino profits, but it
designated half of the one percent increase in the sales tax to be applied to property tax relief and the other half to go towards funding the state government. Yet, the Legislature did not pass this budget until 5:45 AM on July 8, because Democratic legislators fought over which districts would receive what share of the $500 million of pork barrel spending in this budget (Republicans represent 41% of the legislature, but their districts received only five percent of this money)! The Democratic legislature allowed 120,000 employees to go without paychecks and cost the New Jersey government and businesses many millions of dollars over an intra-party fight about which taxes to raise and which districts should get wholly unjustified (i.e., without any cost-benefit analysis) funding for local pet projects. What I witnessed this summer in Trenton was government at its worst. New Jersey became the laughing stock of the nation, and the ineptness of the Democratic legislative leadership was completely responsible for this fiasco. If this performance foreshadows what liberal Democratic control at the national level would bring, we must hope that Democrats fail to take control of Congress this November.
Spectator 10 Spectator Che Okay? September 2006
recently had the pleasure of walking by a large protest against the prison at Guantanamo Bay. As I happened past, a youngish and obviously passionate man with long hair was screaming about inequity and human rights. He was wearing a Che Guevara shirt. It is unfortunate and perhaps ironic that today’s Left continue to idolize Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. From history books and popular culture (Motorcycle
In the following paragraphs, looking beyond Che’s idealized perception as hero, liberator, and revolutionary, I will present three of the man’s true personas. Che the Executioner Despite what you might hear from Holleywood, Ernesto Guevara never graduated from the University of Buenos Aires medical school, and was never a doctor – just ask the University of Buenos Aires. He did, however, chronicle his thoughts in a journal, though Motorcycle
execution without reserve. In his diaries, ‘Che’ describes the peasant’s death: “He went into convulsions for a while and was finally still. Now his belongings were mine.” Shortly afterward, Guevara’s father received the following message: “I’d like to confess, papa, at that moment I discovered that I really like killing.” It was this attitude that led to his appointment, the following summer, to the position of commander of La Cabana prison. There, as many of the prison’s inmates and officers now describe, Guevara insisted
To this day, ‘Che’ shirts continue to adorn the bodies of young college students and revolutionary-types across the country and around the world. None of these individuals, apparently, ever bothered to question their hero’s motives. Diaries comes readily to mind), we hear about ‘Che the hero,’ ‘Che the liberator,’ and ‘Che the revolutionary.’ Much of this can be attributed to the masterful propaganda of the (thankfully) nowailing Fidel Castro, who had the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times virtually running his revolution for him, forty odd years ago. In 1995, with the thirtieth anniversary of Guevara’s death, his famous 1961 portrait – now the most commonly reproduced print in the world - became something of a fashion piece in popular culture. To this day, ‘Che’ shirts continue to adorn the bodies of young college students and revolutionary-types across the country and around the world. None of these individuals, apparently, ever bothered to question their hero’s motives. Unless you are the type of person who blindly declares “fuck the system!” – the kind, for example, that idolizes Timothy McVeigh (all of those children were guilty by association, after all) – I should hope that you concern yourself with more than revolution for revolution’s sake. For this reason, after I introduce you to the real story of Ernesto Guevara’s life, I believe that many of you will never adorn yourselves with Che’s likeness again.
Diaries conveniently skipped over choice entries such as this: “Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any enemy that falls in my hands! My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. With the deaths of my enemies I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl!” The above passage, in which Guevara discusses his planned revolution, is perhaps too telling. Throughout his career as Fidel Castro’s underling in post-Batista Cuba, Guevara personally ordered the executions of between 1500 and 2000 people. (In an interview with a CIA agent shortly before his execution, he put the number at “several thousand,” though they were “all CIA agents and spies,” of course.) But while most revolutions have their executions, ‘Che’ especially enjoyed the job. In 1957 - before he had any command authority – Guevara volunteered to accompany Eutimio Guerra (Castro’s personal bodyguard), who had been ordered to execute a rebellious peasant. When alone with Guevara and the peasant, Guerra hesitated. Seeing this, Guevara drew his own pistol and performed the
on performing many of the executions himself – from five feet away, and with a forty-five caliber pistol, no less. Che McVeigh But let us pretend that none of these executions happened, or that they were somehow justified; even with this substantial gift to Guevara, the man’s revolutionary ideals continue to betray a monstrous character. In his will, Guevara praises the “extremely useful hatred that turns men into effective, violent, merciless, and cold killing machines.” To those who knew Guevara, this was not a surprise. For example, in pamphlets that were handed to every Cuban soldier before the battles in Angola, he wrote: “Blind hate against the enemy creates a forceful impulse that cracks the boundaries of natural human limitations, transforming the soldier in an effective, selective and cold killing machine. A people without hate cannot triumph against the adversary.” Clearly, Guevara was not exactly a “peaceful” revolutionary. Indeed, Guevara’s “ideology” went much further. Like a true Marxist, he “Che” continued on page
Pulling at our Heartstrings and our Purse Strings Kristina Kelleher
n December, the House passed, by 239182 vote, House Resolution 4437 sponsored by Representative F. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) a bill making it a federal felony, with criminal penalties, to live in the United States illegally or to help illegal immigrants enter or stay in the country. It also requires the construction of 700 miles of fence along the US-Mexico border and the hiring of additional Border Patrol agents and Port of Entry Inspectors. It includes no provisions for the legalization of undocumented immigrants or a temporary worker program. In May the Senate has passed, by 62-36 vote, its own bill, Senate Bill 2611 sponsored by Senator Arlen Specter (RPA), which unlike the House gives some illegal immigrants a path to eventual citizenship and creates a guest worker program. The proposed guest worker program, something akin to what President Bush has been advocating for over the last two years, allows 200,000 foreign guest workers to be admitted annually and provides a path to legal permanent residence for these guest workers. The Senate bill imposes penalties for smuggling aliens, like the house bill, but offers exceptions for those who provide humanitarian assistance to illegal immigrants including medical care and housing. It also provides for the construction of 350 miles of fence along the US-Mexico border and the hiring of 2,400 new Border Patrol agents each year through 2011. The Senate bill also would declare English as the country’s national language. The path to citizenship the Senate bill sets up is a complicated three-tier system for determining which illegal immigrants can stay and which must leave. It also allots more federal jail cells for those waiting deportation. The first tier is those immigrants who have been here for five or more years; these illegal immigrants
will be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship provided they have no serious criminal record, pay their back taxes, and learn English, our new national language. The second tier consists of those immigrants who have been here two to five years, who would have to return to their home country and apply for a green card that they would be given priority in obtaining. This could allow for their immediate return. The roughly 2 million immigrants who have been in this country for less than two years would be ordered home and subject to deportation. The Senate bill does require that illegal immigrants convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors to be deported regardless of years in residence. Most reasonable people in and outside of the beltway understand that it would be nearly impossible to round up and deport two million illegal immigrants, as the Senate bill proposes. Though that task is much less formidable than empting the country entirely of illegal immigrants, a job six times as big, as the House bill proposes. The bill will spend the next month in a House-Senate conference committee, where Senators and Representatives will try to rewrite the bill in a manner both chambers will approve. However, the chances of reaching an agreement seem slim; many Republican house members refuse to consider legalizing immigrants until illegal border crossings are dramatically reduced, while many senate Democrats refuse to crack down on illegal immigration without a mechanism for some illegal immigrants who have been living here for years to achieve legal status.
A further complicating issue is House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert’s policy of only allowing votes on major issues if most of the house’s 231 Republicans support it, eliminating the possibility of a compromise immigration bill passing with support of most of the house’s Democrats and nearly half house Republicans. Such a support group is a distinct possibility as the Senate bill passed with the support of 23 Republicans, 38 Democrats and One independent. Should we as a country admit we were wrong, weak on border control and unappreciative of the importance mostly Hispanic illegal immigrants play in our economy, and therefore allow illegal immigrants a pathway to legal citizenship? We all are decedents of immigrants ourselves after all. On the other hand, should we recognize that doing so would be rewarding breaking the law, the foundation of our social contract between the people and our government? And while we can work to make our laws more accommodating we must not sanction illegal behavior. And how is any of this really going to be accomplished? Is it possible to round up the millions of illegal immigrants in this country and completely close our Mexican border? Is it something we should really be spending all this federal time, money and energy on even if we could? “Illegal” continued on page
Spectator 12 Spectator The Lecture Circuit September 2006
The Superstitious Skeptic, Prof. Daniel Dennett Brian Bishop
oted atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett was spreading his ‘gospel’ at Harvard recently, i.e., his new book Breaking the Spell: Religion as a natural phenomenon. Dennett opened ironically by embracing naturalism, a religion rooted in natural phenomenon. He even encouraged donations to the lecture’s sponsor, the Center for Naturalism. This immediately brought to mind what might have been the reaction if, say, Exxon Mobil, had sponsored a lecture by Pat Michaels, a noted skeptic of global warming. It is striking the extent to which secularists, the driving force behind the modern skeptical movement, are themselves insular to skepticism. If you are willing to stand up and be counted as a vocal critic of superstition, then anything you believe is presumptively rational. This little backslapping between Dennett and a former student who runs this center is just the tip of the iceberg of the inextricable links between skepticism and the push for a humanist ethic. There is a yin and yang quality to this fact. It implicitly concedes that banishing religious arguments from political discourse leaves
a vacuum of values. Ironically, this makes a paragon of philosophy like Dennett an empirical rather than philosophical skeptic. Meanwhile, empiricists like myself find themselves philosophical skeptics, doubting that there is an absolute truth. This isn’t to say that a reasonable, if fallible, understanding of right and wrong cannot be derived in the human sphere. But I think it decidedly suspicious that atheists always set themselves up as the new moralists – as Pink Floyd aptly observed: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. Paul Kurtz, chairman of the skeptical humanist confab Center for Inquiry (CFI), attempted to slay this rhetorical dragon thusly. “Pope Benedict XVI … declar[ed] that “secularization” and “relativism” were leading to a breakdown of “the moral order.” … [CFI] pointed out in response that secular morality has wellestablished principles and values and that its ethical judgments are amenable to rational criticism and modification— unlike absolute theological codes…” I decided to test this distinction by questioning the derivation of Dennett’s ethics. He had slipped seamlessly
from ‘breaking the spell’ of religion to casting his own, citing an analysis by Paul MacCready (noted for the design of successful human powered flight) that found the pre-agricultural human biomass footprint was 1/10th of 1 per cent of the vertebrate population whereas the current ratio is 98 per cent human related, i.e. humanity itself plus domestic vertebrates. This postulate seemed to perfectly crystalize the false dichotomy offered by naturalism, humanism, secularism, you-name-itism, that purports to replace religion with scientifically derived values. Secularists argue that MacCready’s maxim is testable, while the resurrection, creation and other articles of faith fail such testing, or defy it altogether. That is vaguely true, so far as it goes. But when you look at the scientific propositions advanced by secularists as useful in daily life, they have a decidedly qualitative rather than quantitative precision. Vertebrate biomass is a natural phenomenon, but establishing a preagricultural zoological census is informed speculation at best. Even positing a current ratio is modeling more than counting. But “Circuit” continued on page
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Slubice Mark Fuller
lubice, Poland - Having spent my summer in Germany and having made excursions into both the Czech Republic and Poland while staying in East Germany, I gained an interesting perspective on the economic and cultural development of Eastern Europe. Economic expansion of the European Union (EU) into Eastern Europe is sure to be a mixed-bag. On the one hand, it may give many Eastern European countries the credibility to strengthen their respective economies and increase the international value of their currencies through the adoption of the Euro, the common currency of the EU. On the other hand, it may result in a potential devaluation of the Euro, as the entry of less economically developed countries such as the Czech Republic and Poland may dilute the average value of the Euro. Though Eastern Europe is still developing economically, one finds a distinctly modern entrepreneurial spirit driving some of its local economies. A case in point is Slubice, a small village in Poland, not much more than three square blocks plus some houses, located directly across the Oder from Frankfurt, Germany. Because prices are cheaper in Poland than Germany, Slubice has created a niche market to sell discounted alcohol and tobacco to Germans. However, EU expansion will probably d e p r i v e Poland of this competitive economic benefit and thereby cause this niche market to fail. It is also interesting to observe the popularity of English in Dresden, Chemnitz and other Eastern European cities (not so much Berlin). While many Western Europeans have been learning English as a second language for decades,
Russian was the second language of choice in these former Soviet block cities. However, for the past 15 years both the study of English and its cultural influence have become more important. As a result, it is almost the norm to see a mix of English and German in the advertising one sees in the public venues of these cities. My personal favorite was the East German billboard that announced “Die Stadion -Hits in your Wohnzimmer.” While Europe is becoming more culturally and economically integrated, there are also nationalistic tendencies that raise concerns. For the first time since reunification, Germany seemed to be united by patriotism, as the World Cup this summer led to an unprecedented number of German flags, jerseys and cries of “Deutschland!” However, there also seems to be a deep-seated mistrust of nationalism among many Germans who connect
Though Eastern Europe is still developing economically, one finds a distinctly modern entrepreneurial spirit driving some of its local economies.
chauvinism with the tragic history of Germany during the Second World War. In my conversations with Germans, especially the more elderly, it was clear that the outburst of nationalism this summer was somewhat spontaneous and difficult to justify. In fact, many Germans asked why they should be proud of their country. As a result, it is unlikely in my opinion that German nationalism will pose a threat to the expansion of the EU. By contrast the much written about nationalistic mentality that fueled the French student riots this summer seems to be more alarming. The greatest cause of concern for a united European economy, assuming it remains strong and strengthens Eastern Europe, is that it will adopt the protectionist tactics of Korea and Japan. Nationalism, either for a single European nation or for all of Europe, can easily morph into protectionism, especially for an EU comprised of socialist France and socalled moderate governments that are to the left of America. The possibility of a protectionist EU is troubling. Europe united under the EU might have the economic power to hinder free trade by adopting harmful tariffs and subsidies. If that were to happen, first-world competitors of the EU, most notably America, might retaliate with protectionist policies of their own. Hopefully such a trade war will not occur for two reasons. First, tariff battles are ultimately bad for markets and bad for consumers. Second, such a battle might seriously damage the emergence of major third-world competitors who have the potential to drive down costs and to provide competition to many major firstworld corporations. All in all this is an exciting time in Eastern Europe, one filled with potential promise and possible dangers for both the EU and the increasingly interdependent world economy of which it is an integral part.
Spectator 14 Spectator The Status Quo September 2006
rown University does not have its shortage of controversies. To the Brown student, the controversial is the every day. The issue may be the imminent collapse of the global environment, another devilish creation emerging from the detested Bush administration, or the desire to place a knife into the heart of the nation’s economy to solve those never ending socio-economic inequalities. Whatever the dilemma, the Brown student is quick to mobilize to action. However, action can be undertaken quite apart from any logical reasoning for it. Any fool can scream out epithets on Thayer Street or strip naked on the Main Green, but this, in itself, does not add pragmatism to a vacuous argument. In nearly every campus standoff one can spot the indefatigable majority, certain of its righteousness and moral superiority, perched atop a hill of its own hypocrisy. A wall of emotionally charged demonstrators blocks any attempts at individual criticism. Some would call this a new form of idealism, but it is nothing more than disguised collectivism. My first year on campus saw a tidal
wave of activity about a whole host of issues. Brown was divided over energy, sweatshop labor, pluses/minuses, the bookstore, and a “not-Left-enough” Hillary Clinton. Activist efforts took place on these and many other subjects: starting with letters and editorials in the campus press, idealist groups around campus made efforts to “take action” and protest. In all of this wonderful idealism, however, something went terribly wrong. While the reasons for these protests were widely and clearly advertised, their consequences were horribly misrepresented. One of these was the wholesale destruction of a fundamentally important right at our University: the ability to think differently. As a result, those most vocal about the promotion of freedom and tolerance are the ones most responsible for the elimination of both on campus. Returning from a trip I took to Russia in May- a country from which, seventeen years ago, my family and I had the good fortune to escape, I was awestruck at how the past has ingrained itself in the present. Russia had a tortured past, shaped by the massive failure of its previous regime to engineer a Communist Utopia. The people had seen their share of idealists and advocates of universal happiness, often from behind barbed wire, a silenced microphone, or the doors of an interrogation chamber. Russia’s transition to “democracy” is seen as a passing headache at best and a fairy tale at worst. So robbed was the Russian public by the idealists and egalitarians, that hope for change has largely faded away. Brown must not allow itself to be robbed and strangled, but should encourage new ideas founded on rational judgment instead of misguided dreams. To illustrate the magnitude of the battle before us, I point to one encounter I had with a few fighters for “national collapse” on May 1st, when International ANSWER (a
publicly proclaimed front group for the Communist World Workers Party), La Raza (a supposedly non-partisan group whose name translates into The Race), and a number of other so-called human rights organizations, decided to strangle the American economy in a nationwide protest for the rights of illegal aliens. The Main Green looked like it was covered in snow, as white shirted activists held an all-day rally in conjunction with their national colleagues. I decided to survey the situation more closely, especially the long row of statistics being displayed in front of Sayles Hall. I was given a lovely rundown of all the reasons why I was anything but human for even believing in the existence of the United States as a sovereign entity with defined immigration statutes. Who needs patriots in a world where “no one is illegal”? Looking at the diagram and graph laden poster boards, I could not contain my laughter. Every single statistic began with “Immigrants are….”. Immigrants? I was being hijacked, as a legal immigrant from the former Soviet Union, to promote the rights of those who willingly broke our laws, compromised our national security, and took advantage of our social services. Looking at the organizations heading these protests nationally, one can easily see the bigger picture. Yet my laughter at these unfortunate calculations (which, prophetically, the wind would soon carry into the branches of a nearby tree) was overcome by rage after my friend decided to test the limits of accepted dissent. After setting up a sign that called for tighter border security and the deportations of illegal immigrants, he and I quietly faced the activists. Suddenly, one of the lead protestors, came up to us. We might reasonably have expected him to question our beliefs about national sovereignty or our view of the law – both of which would have led to a lively debate - but he did neither of these. Rather, without a word, he sat on our sign. Four additional protestors, following their friend’s example, then approached and Status Quo” continued on page
In Defense of Poverty Sean B. Quigley
hen you hear the word poverty, what are your first reactions? Be honest. Most likely, and most unfortunately, you have bought into the Left’s fiery accusations that it is the result of failed government, failed economic systems, and failed societies. But is that the truth? How can one possibly contend that poverty is the result of a societal failure when, in all seriousness, the freedom that allows for both wealth and poverty alike is a precious ideal to which we should all aspire? Quite honestly, poverty is the one approach to life that we should all embrace, at the very least, for a portion of our lives. Poverty educates us in the value of thrift, discipline, self-reliance, and humility. And, rather than the existence of poverty being the mark of a failed society, it is the society that attempts to eradicate poverty collectively that has truly failed. But, I beg of you to let go of your inhibitions about what I am asserting, for I do not contend that death by starvation due to a lack of the most basic means of sustenance or death by disease due to inability to attain appropriate medical treatment are glorious outcomes of a person living in [an extreme form] of poverty. However, it goes without saying that only a free market where each individual approaches every other individual with some sort of service or good (which can quite easily come in the form of poverty relief), free from government coercion, can remedy this world’s social ills. Poverty, except for only the most narrow of circumstances, does not necessarily imply the lack of basic necessities. For instance, the poverty line in America in 2005 for a family of four was defined as being an annual income of $19,350, by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Indeed, it appears
to be a paltry sum of money, and for the sake of common ground, I will not contest that claim. Yet, that is more than enough money on which to survive; further, were the cultural degradation begun by the New Deal and exacerbated by 1960s nihilistic materialism not commonplace in the present, more people could recognize that reality. And even if it were not enough for attaining the most basic necessities, how is it justified for a government agency to meddle in the financial affairs of its people? Why should the government be given the ability to expropriate my or anyone else’s money for the unearned benefit of another? As President Ronald W. Reagan declared in his First Inaugural Address on 20 January 1981, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is
were to adhere to the time-proven reality that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” thereby eliminating social spending that guarantees no returns, Big Government would not be able to interfere with the lives of its citizens as heavily as it does now. (Note: as loans and other similar government allocations do guarantee returns, they are not grouped under “pink,” if not downright “red,” social spending.) Why have we let the forces on the Left dictate to the population the proper destination of our hard-earned money? In a nation founded on the bedrock principles of limited government, free enterprise, individual liberty, and personal responsibility, why have we become a consortium of government leeches that subscribe to the preposterous proposition that the bigger, the better? Government paternalism is anything but moral and American, yet our nation has succumbed to the idea that interference in the lives of its people and that legally-legitimized theft are valid functions of government. To quote V for Vendetta, a favorite movie of yours truly, “How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.” All who consent to the status quo deserve blame. As young people are so often told, “death and taxes” are the two things we must always view as inevitable. Fair enough. But most would never remain silent or refuse to fight if they were to be murdered, so why should they be fatalistic about taxes? Sure, taxes are necessary to, according to the Preamble of the United States Constitution, “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general
In a nation founded on the bedrock principles of limited government, free enterprise, individual liberty, and personal responsibility, why have we become a consortium of government leeches that subscribe to the preposterous proposition that the bigger, the better? the problem.” As it applies to the poorest among us and, perhaps more fitting, to the current immigration conundrum, all of us are guilty of “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” in the words of President George W. Bush. From the days of FDR’s New Deal, socialism’s greatest triumph in America, to those of LBJ’s Great Society, and to Clinton’s “I feel your pain” drivel (not to mention Gore’s anti-growth “lockbox”), our government has sold us the fallacious idea that people are incapable of caring for themselves. Why else would America’s welfare state consume more than 58% of the national budget, which amounts to a staggering sum of $1.392 trillion when operating under the national budget of $2.4 trillion for Fiscal Year 2005 (FY05)? If America
“Poverty” continued on page
Kn no ow wY Yo ou u rr R R K The Student Bill of Rights
I. The Mission of the University.
From its very first statement on academic freedom, the university community has recognized the vulnerability of students in particular to political and ideological abuses of the university as an institution. The 1915 General Report admonished faculty to avoid “taking unfair advantage of the student’s immaturity by indoctrinating him with the teacher’s own opinions before the student has had an opportunity fairly to examine other opinions upon the matters in question, and before he has sufficient knowledge and ripeness of judgment to be entitled to form any definitive opinion of his own.” In The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, the American Association of University Professors declared: “Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject.” In a 1970 clarification and re-endorsement of this principle, the AAUP said: “The intent of this statement is not to discourage what is ‘controversial.’ Controversy is at the heart of the free academic inquiry, which the entire statement is designed to foster. The passage serves to underscore the need for teachers to avoid persistently intruding material which has no relation to their subject.” (“1970 Interpretative Comments,” endorsed by the 56th annual association meeting as association policy.) In 1967, the AAUP’s Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students affirmed the inseparability of “the freedom to teach and freedom to learn.” In the words of the report, “Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or
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2. The Practice. Academic freedom consists in protecting the intellectual independence of professors, researchers and students in the pursuit of knowledge and the expression of ideas from interference by legislators or authorities within the institution itself. This means that no political, ideological or religious orthodoxy will be imposed on professors, researchers and students through the hiring or tenure or termination process, or through the grading system or through the control of the classroom or any other administrative means. Nor shall legislatures impose any such orthodoxy through their control of the university budget.
Because free inquiry and its fruits are crucial to the democratic enterprise itself, academic freedom is a national value as well. In a historic 1967 decision (Keyishian v. Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York ) the Supreme Court of the United States overturned a New York State loyalty provision for teachers with these words: “Our Nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom, [a] transcendent value to all of us and not merely to the teachers concerned.” In Sweezy v. New Hampshire, (1957) the Court observed that the “essentiality of freedom in the community of American universities [was] almost self-evident.”
1. The Concept. Academic freedom and intellectual diversity are values indispensable to the American university. From its first formulation in the General Report of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors, the concept of academic freedom has been premised on the idea that human knowledge is a neverending pursuit of the truth, that there is no humanly accessible truth that is not in principle open to challenge, and that no party or intellectual faction has a monopoly on wisdom. Therefore, academic freedom is most likely to thrive in an environment of intellectual diversity that protects and fosters independence of thought and speech. In the words of the General Report, it is vital to protect “as the first condition of progress, [a] complete and unlimited freedom to pursue inquiry and publish its results.”
II. Academic Freedom
r e f e r e n c e.
The central purposes of a University are the pursuit of truth, the discovery of new knowledge through scholarship and research, the study and reasoned criticism of intellectual and cultural traditions, the teaching and general development of students to help them become creative individuals and productive citizens of a pluralistic democracy, and the transmission of knowledge and learning to a society at large. Free inquiry and free speech within the academic community are indispensable to the achievement of these goals. The freedom to teach and to learn depend upon the creation of appropriate conditions and opportunities on the campus as a whole as well as in the classrooms and lecture halls. These purposes reflect the values — pluralism, diversity, opportunity, critical intelligence, openness and fairness — that are the cornerstones of American society.
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views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion.â€? Professors are hired to teach all students, not just students who share their political, religious and philosophical beliefs. It is essential therefore, that professors and lecturers not force their opinions about philosophy, politics and other contestable issues on students in the classroom and in all academic environments. This is a cardinal principle of academic freedom laid down by the American Association of University Professors.
In an academic environment professors are in a unique position of authority vis-Ă -vis their students. The use of academic incentives and disincentives to advance a partisan or sectarian view creates an environment of indoctrination which is unprofessional and contrary to the educational mission. It is a violation of studentsâ€™ academic freedom. The creation of closed, political fiefdoms in colleges, programs or departments, is the opposite of academic freedom, and does not deserve public subsidy or private educational support.
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Therefore, to ensure the integrity of the educational process and to protect the principle of intellectual diversity, the following principles and procedures shall be observed. These principles fully apply only to public universities and to private universities that present themselves as bound by the canons of academic freedom. Private institutions choosing to restrict academic freedom on the basis of creed have an obligation to be as explicit as is possible about the scope and nature of these restrictions. 1. Students will be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study, not on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.
2. Curricula and reading lists in the humanities and social sciences should reflect the uncertainty and unsettled character of all human knowledge in these areas by providing students with dissenting sources and viewpoints where appropriate. While teachers are and should be free to pursue their own findings and perspectives in presenting their views, they should consider and make their students aware of other viewpoints. Academic disciplines should welcome a diversity of approaches to unsettled questions.
3. Exposing students to the spectrum of significant scholarly viewpoints on the subjects examined in their courses is a major responsibility of faculty. Faculty will not use their courses for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or antireligious indoctrination. 4. Selection of speakers, allocation of funds for speakers programs and other student activities will observe the principles of academic freedom and promote intellectual pluralism.
r e f e r e n c e.
5. An environment conducive to the civil exchange of ideas being an essential component of a free university, the obstruction of invited campus speakers, destruction of campus literature or other effort to obstruct this exchange will not be tolerated. 6. Knowledge advances when individual scholars are left free to reach their own conclusions about which methods, facts, and theories have been validated by research. Academic institutions and professional societies formed to advance knowledge within an area of research, maintain the integrity of the research process, and organize the professional lives of related researchers serve as indispensable venues within which scholars circulate research findings and debate their interpretation. To perform these functions adequately, academic institutions and professional societies should maintain a posture of organizational neutrality with respect to the substantive disagreements that divide researchers on questions within, or outside, their fields of inquiry.
previous e-mail in the Spectator. Might be worth dating it so it makes sense (I’m assuming you won’t have another issue until the fall). Best, Robbie
one article, so many biased made up viewpoints! from page 3... - The article on recycling was great. of the Spectator, I simply wanted to give It brought up an issue that should be him a chance to present his side. I had and discussed and is so often taken for granted. continue to have no intention of creating Congrats to who wrote that. any antagonism between the BDH and - Unfortunately, the rest of the articles No Confidence Vote from Texan had little to no content. Yes, we all know Spectator. Can I publish your email as a letter in Conservative about the “slanted diversity” Brown has, the next issue of the Spectator? Hi, I’m a proud conservative Texan or how some kid would get a negative Pratik on campus, and I want nothing more than reaction to putting up feminist quotes to open up Brown to more conservative come on, that’s common sense with an BDH Editor Responds... thought. I don’t want to downplay the work unnecessary action to prove it, whether it’s Hi Pratik, put into it, but I was very disappointed in right or not. No action is necessary as the Thanks for the quick response. I the quality of the magazine when I read it. point is already understood - instead, an appreciate your commitment to letting A magazine with content like that will only informed article could be written talking them express their point of view. I actually serve to further push away any moderate about if one were to do such an action didn’t know Mark had submitted multiple liberals interested in the conservative it wouldn’t be write and why this isn’t op-eds (like I said, we try to stay out of agenda at Brown. I am very aware that my correct or fair in today’s society. the Opinions Editors’ way as much as we solution should be to contribute, which I - Also, someone doesn’t like StarFuck; can). Still, I can imagine why they didn’t haven’t, so take my comments as you will ok, sure, why does this have to be in the see fit to publish them. - but a magazine like that only damages Spectator? A much more appropriate Anyway, you can certainly publish the the conservative presence at Brown. medium for his article would be the A f e w q u i c k BDH. In the Spectator, it just looks like things off the top of another example of lack of tolerance by my head: the conservatives, a great image to give off - The article on and fits the stereotype we certainly don’t Clinton was just want to fulfill if we’re looking to gain a awful. I was at wider base of support. that speech, and the Yes, I know I don’t contribute or add scenario of events to the content, so you could just write off laid out and actions my objections easily. But seriously, I am i m p l i e d w i t h i n and will always be a conservative - and if The 2006-2007 ISI the article were a magazine like this drives me away from Join ISI Today and Receive almost completely the conservatives at Brown, I can only These Membership Benefits: fabricated. Clinton imagine what it will do to the liberals or gave an excellent those “on the fence” at Brown. I felt like • Receive a FREE subscription to the speech (which is I learned little from reading it (save the Intercollegiate Review the response I got recycling piece), and was simply exposed • Compete for graduate fellowships from everyone I to a radical, biased conservatism almost • Host campus lectures and debates talked to), although as bad as the extreme and incoherent • Obtain financial support for I did have issue liberalists peppered throughout Brown! alternative student newspapers with some of her I would like to say, despite my • Network with leading conservatives points, despite the objections, a magazine like the Spectator is • Develop leadership and career skills interruptions from extremely important to helping disseminate four COMMUNITY the ideas of conservatives throughout • Attend conferences and seminars members that were Brown - unfortunately, perhaps it was just • Membership discounts Membership all over age 30! this issue, it completely misses its goal. on ISI Books is Free! After reading an I’ll be graduating in May, so I won’t be • Affiliate or found an ISI group article like that, if I able to see its evolution, but I hope for the Join Today! were a liberal I’d just sake of the conservatives at Brown that a Intercollegiate Studies Institute P.O. Box 4431 assume everything greater understanding can be had. Wilmington, DE 19807-0431 in the magazine -Michael Graves (800) 526-7022 was fabricated - so www.isi.org firstname.lastname@example.org many untruths in
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for regional supremacy can be more easily handled than the transnational threat from Wahhabi strongholds, particularly Saudi Arabia. Iran’s drive toward nuclear weapons is directly linked with regime survival: in order to quell domestic division and threaten a Sunni dominated region, the Iranians want the ace card. The nuclear fuel that the program uses in its Istafan and Bushehr facilities has been rated as so crude that its entering into centrifuges would break the equipment. Conservative estimates place Iran’s program within three years of having the capacity to independently manufacture nuclear arms, although if China and India (increasingly using Soviet-era parts for their programs) provide any comparison, these would be technologically unsophisticated and difficult to deploy. Whether or not the threat from Iran is as apocalyptic as the press makes it out to be, the hysteria has shackled Western diplomacy. Iran is exploiting this to increase its influence in Iraq, draw closer to Syria, and strengthen its hold on southern Lebanon. Instead of playing the game smartly and thinking long-term, we have fixed ourselves into an unshakable ban on any Iranian nuclear pursuits and ignored the lethal Saudi threat. An end to this status quo and a complete shift in our approach toward Iran is the only way to maximize our strategic gains. The US must immediately re-open its embassy in Tehran, move toward trade normalization and a long-term investment package, and possibly involve itself in limited military cooperation. How can we translate a shift with Iran into gains with the Saudis? The Saudi strategic mindset, notwithstanding the
Bush administration’s boasting of Iraqi voting records and democratic revolutions, sees a divided and wabbling Coalition presence in Iraq squeezed between the Sunni Triangle and the Iranian-backed United Iraqi Alliace (the Sistani endorsed Shiite bloc that controls 48% of the seats
is slowly reverting back to its old rules. Lebanon is a critical flash point, as Syria is being replaced by Iran as the area’s main power broker. The Saudis are terrified of this expansion, which explains their harsh condemnation of Hezbollah’s aggression against Israel on July 14th. The impetus for a strategy to effectively balance Iran and the Saudis has never been greater. In this contest, Iraq is key. The Saudis have yet to adopt an official policy on aiding the country’s Sunni minorities, for fear of a reaction against the royal family and angering their own Shiites along the oil-rich eastern coast. Hardliners support funding Sunni militias to combat Iranian influence, while reformers back aggressive diplomacy or even a rapprochement with Tehran. The silence in Washington over this deep internal division among the Saudis is shocking. The one thing the Saudis are terrified of more than increased Iranian influence is it being translated into the defeat of the Sunni insurgency. The greater the chance of the border threat, the stronger the hardliners get, and the more US troops get caught in the cross-fire. This strategic reality mandates a revisiting of our Iraq policy. Troop deployment should be cut by at least half, with the majority concentrated in the Kurdish north. Bilateral negotiations should begin with Turkey on a package of financial and military incentives to allow for either limited Kurdish autonomy or tolerance for the increased force presence. Iraq will fall apart, with Iran and Saudi Arabia solidifying spheres of influence in most of the country and US forces a safe distance from a hoped for regional Cold War. By this point, Iran should start moving into the US camp, with Syria
An end to this status quo and a complete shift in our approach toward Iran is the only way to maximize our strategic gains. The US must immediately re-open its embassy in Tehran, move toward trade normalization and a long-term investment package, and possibly involve itself in limited military cooperation. in the National Assembly). They have little reason to bow to US demands for increased human rights and democratization. The royal family spends close to 25% of state GDP on “patronage projects,” which include paying off tribal leaders and clerics at home and radicalizing Islamic opinion abroad. Without a threat to their political and financial existence, change is unlikely. The Bush Administration rejected containment as ineffective when dealing with Hussein’s Iraq. Libya’s abandonment of its nuclear ambitions, Syria’s withdrawal from Lebanon, and whatever can be seen as a “democratic” resurgence in Egypt, are cited as proof. Whether or not Iraq was a wise strategic decision, the Middle East
“Old Rules” continued on page
from page 11... The party of the state’s rights and Barry Goldwater seems to think the answers to those questions are yes and yes. Awkward, do you think not? It is not the only thing that has been going that way recently though. Terrorism has become the new Soviet threat, which the Republicans think we should spend, spend, spend to defeat. But what does No Child Left Behind, banning gay marriage, ending stem cell research, and now cracking down on hard working illegal Hispanic immigrants have to do with terrorism? I think even less than Saddam Hussein had to do with Al Qaeda. Regardless, the federal government is tied up in partisan politics and clearly is not about to do anything to help solve the problem of illegal immigration anytime soon. Judging on their ability to get American refugees out of Lebanon or to help New Orleans recover from Katrina, even if they could decide on what they wanted to do they would never be able to do it. But the issue of illegal immigration isn’t just a federal issue anymore. The states are taking action. In my home state of Massachusetts, the senate unanimously added three Republican led amendments to our state budget to address the issue. One amendment stops illegal immigrants from being allowed to live in state subsidized housing, requiring housing authorities to verify applicants’ immigration status, aiming to stop draining state money onto those who illegally reside here and do not pay taxes. Another amendment requires judges in trial courts to ask defendants of their immigration status during a hearing. And the third amendment cracks down on employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, increasing the penalty for doing so from $200-$500 to $5,000-$10,000 and requiring the attorney general to produce an annual report detailing action against such employers. I think it is quite clear
Is it possible to round up the millions of illegal immigrants in this country and completely close our Mexican border? Is it something we should really be spending all this federal time, money and energy on even if we could? The party of the state’s rights and Barry Goldwater seems to think the answers to those questions are yes and yes. employers currently do not face enough of a penalty to stop hiring illegal aliens and therefore continue to provide them with employment and reason to come to the commonwealth. All three did not pass the budget conference committee with the house and died before even reaching the governor’s desk. In response to the overwhelming support the amendments received from constituents in Massachusetts the same Republican Senators, one of whom I admittedly work for, filed “An Act to Promote Fair Employment and Security in the Commonwealth,” legislation which outlines a more comprehensive set of state measures to address illegal immigration. Funny that at the state level it’s the Republicans actually working on the issue instead of using partisan politics to stall action on it. To address illegal alien employment, the bill requires that companies who conduct business with the State verify the immigration status of their employees through available federal databases and authorizes penalties of up to $5,000 and imprisonment of up to 5 years for the use of false identification in obtaining employment with such companies. It, like the amendments it stemmed from, also requires public housing authorities to verify an applicants immigration status, making sure illegal immigrants don’t take up housing desperately needed by the legal citizens of the commonwealth. The bill also requires immigration status reports for any person incarcerated for a felony or driving under the influence, and for any defendant appearing before a trial court. Additionally, the bill creates penalties for falsifying state identification
documents including drivers’ licenses with the intent to sell and assesses penalties based on the number of documents falsified. A toll free telephone number would be established to create a system to report, confidentially, the employment of illegal aliens. Other states around the country are enacting similar laws; the legislation here in Massachusetts, for example, is based on similar legislation in Georgia. Immigration is an issue that should be discussed further, at the federal and state level, maybe the campus level too.
“Old Rules” from page 19...
close behind. The Saudis will now face the prospect of a no longer passive Washington siding with its top regional opponents. The strategy we propose lies between a dangerous all-out military option and the unfavorable status quo, and has the strong potential of imposing serious pressure on the Saudis. It would shift the balance of regional power in the United States’ favor, allow it to place Iraq into a broader strategy for Middle East stability, and make it a key regional power broker. With the Saudis and Iran fixated on each other, Israel could bring greater force to bear on crushing any hope for a Hezbollah resurgence and crippling the Hamas terrorist government. Failure to act is both irresponsible and existentially dangerous, and time is running out.
“Status Quo” from page 14...
demanded we leave due to our “rude” behavior. But we did not take their advice: the battle for intellectual diversity on campus begins only when we publicly challenge those who are most eager to stifle it. Another important campus battle is being fought, through the medium of the printed word. Last year, the Student Labor Alliance pushed for the adoption of a Designated Supplier Program (DSP) to strictly regulate the sources of Brown-labeled apparel. In order to become a member of the DSP, a company must allow its employees to freely organize into unions, provide an unrealistically high “living wage,” fund a massive array of safety measures, and basically do everything that the quick-fix, regulatory idealists of yesterday so mistakenly espoused.
their desire for profit maximization and low cost production into account, our emotionally scarred counterparts demand that they grovel before a loosely worded list of demands. Needless to say, the biggest victims of such a scenario would be the Third World workers needing a stable paycheck, but at least our campus activists could give their souls some relief. Such was the clash in philosophy facing our campus, and the fear that pragmatism would yield to the emotional brigades was all too real. I am reminded here of a quote from a recently published book, Getting America Right by Edwin Feulner and Doug Wilson, in which Conservatism was defined as a philosophy of the “evolutionary” over the “revolutionary.” Problems are best solved, history has taught us, through the gradual changing of norms, laws, and individual perceptions of overall state structure. These changes are slow because they seek to adjust new realities to a set of fundamentally accepted values. The idealists do not stand for this, as they seek to do everything in their power to
Any fool can scream out epithets on Thayer Street or strip naked on the Main Green, but this, in itself, does not add pragmatism to a vacuous argument. In nearly every campus standoff, one can spot the indefatigable majority, certain of its righteousness and moral superiority, perched atop a hill of its own hypocrisy. While clearly stemming from a genuine desire to help impoverished Third-World workers, the efforts of the SLA and its allies provide another example of idealistic emotion being allowed to trump practical problem solving. In his landmark “The Social Responsibility of Business to Increase its Profits” (New York Times Magazine, 1970) Milton Friedman eloquently illustrates how activists such as these break from reality. It would be wonderful if a corporate CEO, operating thousands of factories in Bangalor or Taiwan, could transform them into Detroit overnight out of the kindness of his heart; this is simply impossible. Besides the fact that such an action would cost more in the long-term than the company would recoup by simply closing the factories down, the CEO would be violating his principal duty: maximizing the profits of the company’s majority shareholders. By illegally transforming himself from corporate head to social reformer, he loses legitimacy in both occupations. Instead of working cooperatively with these companies, taking
achieve moral sainthood. One committee meeting followed another, until the SLA opted for the tried road of heroic campus protest. The issue remains undecided, but our fingers remain crossed for the right course to win the day. The skies above Brown are slowly changing their hue. I am certainly not predicting a clear and sunny forecast, as lightning will continue to strike with each new challenge to the range of “tolerated” campus opinions. We all believe in the philosophy of our beloved University, and want to make it stronger than it has ever been. Our hope lies with the continued reforms of our campus administration and a crop of new students, willing to combat the unfortunate status quo.
“Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have.”
~ Ronald Reagan
When Travis Rowley entered the Ivy League he was “politically disinterested.” To the dismay of campus liberals, Brown University changed that. While naively simmering within one of the nation’s most activist universities, Rowley’s personal character ultimately compelled him to engage Brown’s most radical progressives, and he suddenly found himself immersed in campus controversies that were forcing him to develop his own political mind. Now he offers up Out of Ivy, a damaging tell-all of his alma mater, and an unapologetic condemnation of leftist ideology. Out of Ivy is Rowley’s personal story, and it demands special attention. He was the captain of Brown’s football team, a Catholic raised on traditional values, and a politically oblivious youngster, who somehow became a controversial columnist for the university newspaper. Through his narrative readers are offered an up-close look at a fierce cultural clash of two worldviews—a chance to better understand the sharp contrast between liberalism and conservatism. Out of Ivy is not for the sensitive reader. The author is stunningly forthright with his opinions, and pulls no punches from those whom he feels deserve the harshest reprimand. With uncompromising certainty and a mocking tone, he tells of his negative reactions to almost everything sermonized by Brown’s campus left. From university speech codes to the open curriculum; from the Brown Democrats to the Queer Alliance; and from abortion to multiculturalism Rowley lays his mind bare, deriding everything he found distasteful with Ivy League liberals—right down to their “incessant, pandering concern for people’s feelings.” Of course, Ivy League doctrine considered Rowley primitive and bigoted—a racist, a sexist, and a homophobe. Indeed, he was labeled as such by his classmates. But he “had come from a family that taught [him] to be kind and charitable…from a beautiful religion that taught [him] to never judge, and to always forgive.” So he set out to identify his own principles, or otherwise succumb to the pressures of intellectual conformity. In the end we discover that this controversial campus character wasn’t adopting traditional ideals in protest to the liberalism that pervaded Brown’s campus. Rather, he was attempting to quickly define the conservatism that was already inside of him, the values he had arrived with.
“Review” from page 5... She fears “the consolidation of media ownership has meant less diversification of viewpoints.” Thomas apparently has not fully absorbed the fact that through the Internet an individual has access to a variety of foreign and domestic news sources that rival the thoroughness and number of viewpoints offered by The New York Times and Washington Post. What Thomas and I both find troubling is what is being passed as news. In an era where Anderson Cooper interviews Angelina Jolie with the same reverence as one would Tony Blair, I fear entertainment is being mistaken for news. Americans would rather hear about what celebrity couple adopted a baby from Africa than the continent itself. Katie Couric’s appointment as anchor of the CBS Evening News, is not a coup for the women’s movement as it is proof that the American public finds Couric’s cheerleader-like enthusiasm more entertaining than the dour dispositions of the old white men who normally inhabit these positions. Watchdogs of Democracy? solidified Helen Thomas’s place as the grandmother of the White House press corps. Armed with experience of covering President Kennedy through George Bush, she had the ability to regale the reader with details of being so close to the perceived source of power in our government. Like most stories and complaints heard from an disgruntled, aging relative the complaints Thomas has are no different than what we hear daily—technology changing the media, the fear of big corporations, and the lament of the passing of the golden age of media in the 20th century. Reading this book was similar to chatting with a crotchety old relative, masking our boredom at their ranting while picking apart their comments for a piece of wisdom.
are supposedly free to continue with their own campaigns, however they are often subject to additional restrictions such as contribution limits, etc. The regulations become complex, so to simplify I will only analyze the solution provided by the group
in their voting patterns. Whether elected “clean” or not, a liberal legislator voted for legislation backed by Planned Parenthood, and a conservative legislator voted with the NRA. Assuming that the Democracy Matters crowd believes special favors run
Coercion Without a Cause Jason Carr
he wealthy have dominated American political life since the nation’s founding. It is ironic that the directors of the greatest revolution “for the People” in world history were not “of the People” themselves. The Founding Fathers were on the most part radical, courageous, daring, and comfortably wealthy. At first political rights were granted only to landed white men, but thankfully spread to all citizens over time through many trials and tribulations. However, the main leaders in government remained and still remain the upper class. Populist discontent over this disparity between the governing and the governed has always existed, and has even gained political ground in recent years. The Democracy Matters campaign at Brown is part of this movement. At first sight this campaign’s objective is to restore political rights to “the people.” Upon closer inspection the campaign is a thinly veiled charade to restore political rights to “the people we like.” Democracy Matters highlights a perceived societal ill to form a base for their movement, and then from there suggests a solution to the problem. Their perceived ill is the notion that private money from wealthy donors and special interests in industry, etc. unduly robs the less fortunate of their due political influence and has put the brakes on real change in this country. According to cleanelectionsri. org, “For years, the role of money in politics has systematically disenfranchised women and minorities while serving as a roadblock to environmental and social change.” To remedy this, members advocate a voluntary public financing program that would allow less wealthy candidates for election to use public campaign funds if they wish, but they must stick with the system throughout the campaign. Privately funded candidates
Public financing of elections is an ineffective and nonsensical method for removing the “corrupting” influence of money on politics. A look at the results of such “clean elections” legislation shows that clean elections laws have failed to change legislator behavior. in its base form, which is an opt-in public financing system that purportedly does not tread on First Amendment rights unlike other campaign financing schemes. Public financing of elections is an ineffective and nonsensical method for removing the “corrupting” influence of money on politics. A look at the results of such “clean elections” legislation shows that clean elections laws have failed to change legislator behavior. Ideology matters more than quid-proquo arrangements when special interest contributions are made and while clean elections supporters claim to have the people’s interests in mind, they are in reality a special interest themselves. Arizona, which passed a clean elections bill in 1998, is trumpeted by Democracy Matters as a success story in electing candidates untainted by special interests. Supporters laud the fact that, according to a study done by the Goldwater Institute (a think tank which concentrates on Arizona issues), after being in effect for one election cycle, the bill had already allowed for twenty three percent of all candidates to run “clean”. But have these newly elected Arizona legislators voted differently than their privately funded counterparts? The answer is no. According to the same Goldwater Institute study, once you control for ideology, clean elections candidates show virtually no difference
rampant within both parties (looking at who backs them, a tenuous assumption at best), these findings crush the idea that public financing will somehow change how legislators act. But how could this be so? Don’t special interests give money to legislators in expectation of a reward? And doesn’t money matter a great deal in the overall success of a campaign? The answers to these questions are radically different than the conventional wisdom. There are two reasons why a special interest might give money to a candidate: the interested party wants to influence how a legislator will vote in a quid-pro-quo arrangement, or the interested party already knows how the legislator will vote (due to ideology) and gives money to him because he wants him to win the election. In any campaign, both of these types of donations will occur, the question is how much? The Arizona example above shows that ideology is far more important than money with strings attached when determining how legislators vote. Absent of such restraints, legislators still followed their convictions. Moving to the question of whether money matters, an oft-quoted study by Stephen Levitt that can be found in his best-selling book Freakonomics reveals that money has a negligible effect on the outcome of “Coercion” continued on page ...
from page 23... races. To find this, Levitt looked across 1,000 U.S. House of Representatives races in which the same two candidates were matched up in two consecutive races. In the first race, the first candidate spent more than the second, and this situation was reversed for the second race. Levitt found that in these cases the amount of money spent by an incumbent or a challenger didn’t matter. The inherent attractiveness of a candidate determined the election outcome. This is vividly illustrated by the Arizona example. No matter how much special interest money is given to candidates, the candidates themselves tend to keep to their ideologies and the people cast their votes for the candidate/ideology package that they find most attractive. The evidence is in: money doesn’t matter and the people and legislators alike vote with their hearts. Knowing this, you may ask, who are the Democracy Matters people really working for? A cursory glance at democracymatters.org uncovers multiple calls for action against the dearth of “progressive” change brought about by the current system. Cleanelectionsri. org (quoted above) decries the lack of social and environmental progress, as well as the under-representation of minorities. Only one side of the political aisle speaks in these terms, and it is not the conservative side. Frustrated with
“Poverty” from page 15... welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” but they are entirely dispensable when attempting to restrict runaway spending that usurps our God-given sovereignty. The most basic ideology that we must overcome to assure that freedom and liberty eternally prevail is that which places government over God and individual. Have we all turned a blind eye to the fact that the Founding Fathers established a national government to guarantee that our God-given, self-evident rights were never abridged by an earthly power? “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit
consistent failure to stop “big business” at the ballot box, advocates of a heterodox state are attempting to force their ideas down voter’s throats by disenfranchising evil corporations, and as such constitute a special interest themselves. This does not appear to be working in the same way they intended, but don’t count on them to back off from a coercive initiative once they have latched on to it. On cleanelectionsri. org, evidence of increased percentages of minority and women candidates running “clean” is provided as proof of the success of the policy. I personally thought that the goal of any campaign finance legislation was to have better government, but apparently such considerations are less important than having an aesthetically pleasing yearly photo of the legislature. The idea that having the right genitalia and melatonin ratios in the room will automatically improve policy is racist, sexist, and logically beyond the pale. Through all of this, one might legitimately ask just how bad are the special interests that Democracy Matters rails against? Logging companies, auto manufactures, and oil companies are not just great monsters that siphon money to overpaid CEOs. These sectors of the economy represent legitimate businesses that create jobs, drive down prices, and improve everyone’s quality of life, accept it or not. A business, in looking out for itself by lobbying the government, is at least in some way going to benefit a
great many people quite often. This is in stark contrast to environmental and social advocacy groups, which represent special interests of their own and employ mainly lawyers. These lawyers destroy productivity, raise costs for businesses, and demolish jobs – all the while thinking they are a force for good in the world. One can not blame businesses for perhaps making friends in the state house in order to defend themselves against organizations that are bent on putting them out of business. It is obvious what kind of change Democracy Matters would like to see in this country. Their only error is that they employ coercion rather than persuasion to enact this change. M. Stanton Evan’s words ring true, “A modern liberal is someone who doesn’t care what you do so long as it’s compulsory.” Progressives should forget public financing and actually attempt to field socially-conscious candidates that are attractive to voters. If they believe that is a losing proposition, then that doesn’t say much for their ideas.
of Happiness” preceded government and the latter was only created to canonize the former. Government does not provide us with our rights; it only acts to secure them. Thus, I would contend that defense spending is the most essential portion of our national budget. Yet, defense spending for FY05 was at a meager 20% of the national budget (approximately $480 billion), while expropriating American citizens’ money for paternalism was at an astronomical 58% of the budget (Ibid.). How is this at all in accordance with the intentions of the Founding Fathers and, more sharply, the moral principles that have sustained us as a beacon of freedom for 230 years? Said President Grover Cleveland—a Democrat!—in February
1887, upon vetoing a bill that would have aided drought-stricken farmers in Texas, “The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.” The trail of presidents that opposed “Poverty” continued on page
If you are a part of the other 70%, consider Brown Students for Life. To get on the mailing list, email Joanna_Joly@brown.edu
from page 6... Brown? Rather than relying on social-science research, the Court could have arrived at the just decision with the principled thrust of the Constitution behind it by pointing to the original construction of the Fourteenth Amendment. At the time of its ratification, large majorities of Congress understood the Fourteenth Amendment to mandate equal protection of the law in all public facilities, including public education, as seen by the legislative debates between 1870 and 1875. In Plessy v. Ferguson, however, the Court unequivocally strayed from the original meaning of the Constitution and instead embraced a doctrine that was overwhelmingly rejected by Congress at the time of the framing. Between 1870 and 1875, Congress explicitly refused to vote in favor of bills allowing for a “separate but equal” standard. By looking to the
original meaning of the Constitution, the Court would have positioned itself to fully overturn Plessy while tempering opposition to its ruling. The Constitution recognizes the immutability of certain rights regardless of social science research. Laws which deliberately subordinate the inherent worth of individuals based on accidental racial characteristics are
indubitably inconsistent with the original meaning and text of the Fourteenth Amendment, which insists on the equality
of rights regardless of race. At its core, the holding in Brown is ultimately a vindication of the theory of originalism. The issue of originalism in Brown points to a more fundamental lesson. In rejecting the theory of originalism, much of the modern Civil Rights movement has placed itself in opposition to the Constitution. This disillusionment with the legal traditions of the nation is unfortunate. Inquiry into the original meaning of the Constitution reveals that the powerful weight of the nation’s legal foundation is consistent with the cause of racial justice. It is not originalism, but rather deviation from the strict meaning of the Constitution, which has produced many of the grossest violations of equality. By invoking the Constitution, the Civil Rights movement has the ability to promote its agenda in the context of the nation’s historical traditions. Perhaps such a change in legal paradigms can ultimately instill in a generation of African-Americans, a deeper sense of pride and patriotism in a new generation of African Americans.
The College Republicans
Challenging Brown’s leftist orthodoxy. GOP@brown.edu
“Poverty” from page 24... government charity does not end there. Declared James Madison, considered by many to be the Father of the Constitution, “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators” (Ibid.). Along the same lines, Thomas Jefferson, the liberal’s liberal when liberalism still stood for freedom and autonomy, stated, “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated” (Ibid.). Hey Al, can you point out for me the enumerated Constitutional provision for a “lockbox?” Government interference in the affairs of its people, when it has no reasonable interest or cannot solve the ailments as well as privatization, has no justification. This country is slowly becoming “pink” and in time may darken the dye to “red.” What incentive have people to work if government will be their paternalistic safety net, always eager to usurp their sovereignty? What virtuosity is gained by forcing people to hand over their money for “humanitarian” reasons? What wisdom is there in transferring the charitable judgment of private citizens armed with their own money to bureaucrats who dispense other people’s money and are only held accountable every election season? Alas, Friedrich A. Hayek, in The Road to Serfdom, was indeed prophetic when he cited Friedrich Hölderlin, “What has always made the state a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven.” Our Founding Fathers created this nation so that American citizens would have access to that far too elusive dream— freedom. Armed with muskets and bayonets, my Scots-Irish ancestors made it clear that they would rather die on their feet than live on their knees. Perhaps you, too, have ancestors that realized life is only worth living if it is accompanied by
liberty. And if you do not have ancestors that actively engaged in the Revolutionary War, you must certainly have ancestors who saw the beacon of freedom in America as so radical and so inspiring that they risked it all just to have a chance at what we have come to regard as the American Dream. I know that I do. In April 1912, Helen Zematis Weishner, among the first of her family to be born in America, had prospects that the bleedingheart liberals of today would claim are shameful. But, for this daughter of Lithuanian immigrants well below the poverty line, life was full of hope. As for her parents, impoverished Lithuanian farmers, American independence was a welcomed alternative to staring down the barrels of Russian imperial weapons. In America, they carved out a piece of liberty for themselves, and though they were by no means affluent, each member
of that family stood on his/her own two feet. Their requests for the government were simple—leave us alone and we will be patriotic, self-sufficient American citizens. And they were. Among the eleven Weishner children, four served their country to eradicate the world of German Nazism, Italian fascism, and Japanese imperialism. My grandmother, who married an honorable, though hardly aristocratic man by the name of George Dickson Burnside, spent much of her working years on a small plot of farmland in western Pennsylvania. They were the poster children for the Protestant work ethic. The freedom that America safeguarded
Spectator27 Spectator for her was and still is something that she dearly cherishes. In fact, the only instance of disapproval of American policy that I can remember my grandmother ever uttering was that of the limitations the New Deal imposed on her farm’s ability to grow what and how much it desired. For her, those “progressive” restrictions amounted to little more than the same forces that compelled her parents to flee Czarist Lithuania. Needless to say, she is a Republican who voted for President George W. Bush—twice. What my family’s story elucidates is that no one and no thing but the government itself is dependent on the power of the government. The citizens of this great nation will fare just fine, even if the do-gooders in Congress and occasionally in the Oval Office (most recently while Slick Willy was in office) restrain from expropriating wealth. To the government, I say: guarantee that we are a people guarded by a powerful military that is constantly exposed to civilian influence (thus, the need for a draft that allows each citizen to do their fair share in the defense of liberty); allow us to defend ourselves with personal arms; allow us to engage in our own activities without unjustified intervention; and, then, everything will fall into place. If our government continues to be bent on national hegemony, it may just be time to fulfill the call so forthrightly asserted in the Declaration of Independence: “… whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government….” With determination and clarity of principle, this nation will once again demonstrate to the world (and ourselves) that, regardless of what the cynics may say, there do exist rational, good people who are capable of establishing peace and justice free from coercion.
from page 12... the larger point is, even if you gain some consensus on historic or contemporary ratios, this says nothing whatsoever about the correct ratio. The unifying thesis behind this kind of science, chosen as important by secularists, is essentially a retelling of the fallibility of man – what, after all, is so different between their outlook and the idea of the forbidden fruit. Advancing these sensational natural phenomenon is designed to create gnawing doubt that man’s pursuit of technology and industry in the furtherance of economic society can be considered objectively good. How does enlightenment thinking, that fueled western civilization’s progress along these now ‘suspect’ lines, figure in secularist attacks on the status quo. It might seem counterintuitive for scientists to decry the society resulting in no small part from the enlightenment. But humanist gurus like E.O. Wilson demur, arguing that the enlightenment simply is not complete because modern man has not submitted to the authority of science in the social realm. What a coincidence, that the value system striving to replace religion on the cultural side, has a plan to take over government as well – holism takes on a new meaning. But, back at the lecture, suppose that one simply concedes the obvious: that the human component, as a percentage of the vertebrate total has changed significantly since the inception of agriculture. Does this lead to any moral rules? Taken at its purely empirical level, it would seem that humans are the fittest. Indeed, even if The Origin of Species is your bible, a reasonable choice at that, the Genesis idea of dominion doesn’t seem to have been a myth at all. Taken as a metaphor or a parable foreshadowing man’s place in the world,
you could certainly call its authors visionary forerunners to Darwin. Some folks take Genesis literally, which is probably no sillier than believing what Lester Brown and Paul Ehrlich have to say. I have the perspective of believing in no sense what the Bible says. It is a historical novel. It has both a literary and superstitious staying quality that I suspect won’t be supplanted by similar less sweeping efforts, e.g. the Da Vinci code, the Population Bomb or Earth in the Balance. Certainly tomes of the latter genre gerrymander anecdotes of natural phenomenon into secularist books of Revelations. But is this how Dennett views MacCready’s credo on vertebrate ratio? His first response regarding the lessons of this MacCready maxim was that kind of disdainful dismissal intended to convey the message that the teachings are obvious. Noticing that I was perhaps too dense to see even the obvious, he grabbed a copy of his book, Breaking the Spell, to quote the statistic in the context he sees it — with a description of earth as thinly veneered with green and blue and man now holding the paintbrush. It may seem that Dennett is simply
It provides cover for various gurus touting their own versions of ecological armageddon the opening to advance emotionally supported ideas of substantive stewardship disguised as science. This goes back to the question of whether one can scientifically derive a correct MacCready ratio, or can really answer any such ‘balance’ questions scientifically — given that value judgments are currently the only way to establish real world targets and that politically contrived economic dislocation is certainly the only way to compel society to observe it. Simply because he is blind to the religious quality of his own ethics, doesn’t prevent Dennett from usefully inquiring into religions grip. In fact his own beliefs essentially demonstrate the merits a premise he advances, that religion evolves in a kind of institutional darwinism. He presented one of the possible evolutionary plateaus as the “Creedless Moral Team”. This would encompass everything from Amway to the growth of megachurches where Dennett sees membership as a matter of belonging to something larger than oneself, rather than a clear commitment to underlying dogma. But, if the humanist ethical alternative is about
It is striking the extent to which secularists, the driving force behind the modern skeptical movement, are themselves insular to skepticism. If you are willing to stand up and be counted as a vocal critic of superstition, then anything you believe is presumptively rational. referring to the obvious caution that man’s enormous ecological success coupled with unique consciousness militates for an ethic of stewardship. There is no small coincidence that this very idea is being used to crosspollinate liberal churches. But this mission to humanity, epitomized by the approach in both the sacred and secular contexts, attempts to draw much more than mild derivative truisms from postulates such as MacCready’s.
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submitting to contrived venn diagrams of natural phenomenon — and not some methodical and logically defensible resort to analytical science — then its moral foundation crumbles, even while its creed of earth worship remains. What Dennett offers is a Moral-less Creed Team. I won’t be joining.
Joanna Joly Production Editor Joanna_Joly@brown.edu
“Che” from page 10... believed that Bourgeois society was corrupt beyond repair. Thus, the “new society” would likely need to be constructed upon the ashes of the old. For this reason, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Guevara was a strong advocate of nuclear war. He envisioned the ashes, I suppose, quite literally; if a few hundred million had to die in the process of the revolution, so be it. While nuclear war did not happen, Guevara was able to implement social reforms to “purify” his own society. In practice, this meant that “delinquents” defined as those who drank, disrespected authority, were lazy, or listened to loud music - were placed in special concentration camps. Additionally, in 1965, Guevara’s concentration camps expanded to include homosexuals, AIDS victims, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Afro-Cuban priests. Meanwhile, Guevara took up residence in a mansion in Havana, seized from one of the “Bourgeois.” Che the Gorilla Guevara’s career as a guerilla soldier was also rather less than stellar. In fact, before his capture and execution in Bolivia by the CIA, Guevara had never actually led soldiers in a real battle. While an entire account of Guevara’s military “career” is beyond the scope of this article, the following examples should be illuminating. During the “war” against Batista’s forces, very few actual military clashes took place. The New York Times, duped by a reporter who was actually an agent of Fidel Castro, reported huge battles with thousands of casualties in each. Officials from Cuba’s US embassy, curious about these claims of bloodshed, decided to perform their own investigation. They
found that, in all of Cuba and during the entire two year period of “revolution” against the Batistas, the total number of casualties on both sides was 182. Later investigations into some of the revolution’s more famous “battles,” such as Guevara’s famous capture of a train carrying Batista munitions, revealed that the Batista “enemies” had simply been paid off to surrender (between $250,000 and $1,000,000, depending on who you ask); Guevara’s own diary reports exactly one casualty in the train “conflict.” This, of course, did not stop Guevara from executing twenty-seven of the captured soldiers. More impressive, perhaps, was Guevara’s performance during the Bay of Pigs battle. Having been duped by the CIA into believing that the Bay of Pigs was a diversion, Castro took his army to the “real” landing site, at Pino del Rio. There, through the fog, the CIA had sent a small boat containing a tape recording of battle, as well as a number of time-release roman candles. While maneuvering to engage the boat, Guevara suffered one casualty – himself: inexplicably (though some have proposed a botched suicide attempt), he managed to fire a bullet through his own chin, just missing his brain (the scar is visible in most post-1961 pictures). These examples are fairly illustrative of Guevara’s military career. A full account can be located on the Internet with little effort, and I recommend his campaign in Congo, as an especially good highlight. Guevara also attempted to create revolutions throughout South America, all of which failed dramatically. And, as mentioned earlier, his first actual battle – in Bolivia – was his last. I can also highly recommend Guevara’s book on guerilla warfare, as well as his personal diary; if you are having a bad day, find a copy, open to a random page, and have a few good laughs.
Spectator29 Spectator An example: “It is still necessary to deepen his conscious participation, individual and collective, in all the mechanisms of management and production, and to link this to the idea of the need for technical and ideological education, so that we see how closely interdependent these processes are and how their advancement is parallel. In this way he will reach total consciousness of his social being, which is equivalent to his full realization as a human creature, once the chains of alienation are broken.” If you would like to read more about Guevara, the following are excellent sources, which provided the information contained in this article: Humberto Fontova’s “Fidel’s Executioner,” located at http://www. frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable. asp?ID=19823, Alvaro Vargas Llosa’s “The Killing Machine,” located at http:// www.latinamericanstudies.org/che/brand. htm, and Ryan Clancy’s “Che Guevara should be scorned – not worn,” located at http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/ editorials/2005-10-30-guevara-edit_x. htm.
Inspired? Inspired? Inspired? Inspired? Inspired? Inspired? Inspired? Inspired? Inspired?
write for The Brown Spectator contact: Pratik_Chougule@brown.edu
from page 7... eyes the incredible relationship naiveté of BYU students; their relationship was so reminiscent of the third grade that it made me sick just to look at them together. In his typical manner, Mike jokingly acknowledged the stultifying lack of opposite gender knowledge in most BYU relationship, aside from marriage. When they kissed privately, James was often so afraid of being seen that he kept his eyes wide open for intruders, which looks as ridiculous as it sounds. Mormon teenagers like Jacob and Allyson know nothing of sexuality outside the context of marriage. In a dating environment where holding hands is first base and marriage is a home run, there is no opportunity for such knowledge to be gained. If a couple is not married, the absolute farthest they can go is making out. The Honor Code forbids, under penalty of expulsion, any sexual interaction outside of marriage while enrolled at BYU (including all interactions while home for the summer, etc.). In relationships, exciting physical options are quickly exhausted due to this rule, leaving the couple with no choice but, well, to talk. According to Mike, twelve months of dating in the outside world is equal to one month of dating at BYU, simply because couples are forced to find out if they actually like one another. And I can say without reservation that BYU couples, while perhaps cartoonish in their lack of experience, did indeed have the most meaningful college dating experiences that I have ever encountered. I hung out with Mike for a couple days while he went about his studies. Displaying his casual laziness (thankfully made up for by his brilliance), he put off homework for a day and offered me the chance to go swimming in the BYU pool. This was my first chance to contrast my Ethiopian famine-victim physique with the toned bodies of BYU. They are a truly beautiful group of people, as Mormonism places a heavy emphasis on personal appearance and health. One would imagine that with so many six-packs and DD’s roaming about, sexual tension would run high, and indeed it does: couples are known
to become so frustrated that they decide to marry after only a month of dating, leading to an explosion of “quickie” marriages not unlike the Hollywood marriage scene. The key difference is that the couples remain married forever and are generally quite happy. The rabbitlike Mormon fertility rates reveal that it’s game-on when the wedding bells ring, but, as stated earlier, unmarried couples are honor-bound to being strictly asexual (including activities such as masturbation and oral sex). A practice known as “gazing” has developed as a response to this. “Gazing” involves a couple taking off their clothes while behind closed doors and simply staring at one another. While in the strictest technical sense this flouts church regulations, church leaders are not amused. A few glances at the attractive women all around me at the pool convinced me that holding myself back as a student here would drive me absolutely crazy. Later that night I witnessed a pivotal moment in a young Mormon man’s life – the opening of his mission letter. The letter tells the young man exactly where the church has decided he will be for the next two years. Though financial aid is available, it is mostly up to the boy’s family to furnish the funds for him to go. It is considered an honor to be able to go on a mission, and in this case the joy was not dampened in the least bit by the fact that he was being sent to south-central Brazil. The predetermined disappearance of several thousand young men at BYU all at once creates a strange situation for BYU women. The chosen time for missions is when the young man turns nineteen, so this usually means that missionaries return to BYU as twenty one year old sophomores. Women are allowed but not encouraged to go on missions, and entering freshman are acutely aware of the fact that they will be gone for two years very soon. The result of this is that freshman males at BYU forgo dating in such terrifying numbers that the administration hands out “Datestrong” rubber bracelets to encourage them to at least attempt. Young
women typically date the older and wiser returned missionaries. As the rest of my Spring Break went by, Mike continued to put off work, and my astonishment at this otherworldly place never diminished. I chose my last night there to stage my theological showdown with Spencer. The argument ran along the usual lines. The difference lay in Spencer’s wide knowledge of all scripture related to the Mormon faith. He provided an exceptional amount of backup for all the claims he made (though naturally I dismissed the claims due to the biased source). The argument became circular over time, and we resolved in the end to agree to disagree. The experience was one of the most psychologically intense that I have ever had. Mentally exhausted after this exchange, I went over the experience with Mike. Not angered in the slightest by my challenging his faith, Mike in fact felt that the experience was good and perhaps necessary for me. I told Mike that my experiences at the university had been so overwhelming that I was prepared to make a sacrifice in order to feel at least a part of what young Mormon men feel every day: I promised never to drink again, and I have kept that promise to this day. The following morning, I left for the airport to fly to Providence. My visit to BYU had yielded me a hat, a “Datestrong” bracelet, and a prohibition – not your typical spring break. In early July, Mike called to tell me that he had received his mission call for Sydney, Australia. I won’t see him for two years, but at least he wasn’t called to serve in a dangerous Third World country. So long as I retain full control of my mental faculties, I will not convert to Mormonism. I would not, however, fault others for joining this fascinating and growing faith. While I believe that the LDS church goes too far with some of its restrictions, these faults appear to be correcting themselves over time. We should all be able to admire the Mormons for their strong families, happy lives, and steadfast dedication to their faith.
Looking Back on Michaud Taylor Stearns
n July 21st, The Providence Journal reported that Brown Economics Professor Dennis Michaud was disqualified from running for governor this term. Who was this professor of ours who almost appeared on the November ballot? Let’s take a look… D e n n i s W. M i c h a u d teaches a business economics courses at Brown as an adjunct professor. He received his PhD rather recently—Brown bestowed the degree upon him in 2002—and has been teaching only since receiving his degree. He also holds a BA from Washington and Lee, an MBA from Emory University, and an MA from Brown. Although Michaud’s family is from Rhode Island, he only settled in the Ocean State in 1994 after spending most of his life along the East Coast. Recently Michaud began campaigning heavily for depoliticizing the board of Beacon Mutual, Rhode Island’s stateo w n e d w o r k e r ’s compensation provider. His views conflicted with the current administration’s, which doesn’t want to give up the power it now holds over appointing directors to Beacon’s board. Rumor had it that some powerful backers, particularly in Beacon, were pushing Michaud to run against incumbent Governor Don Carcieri. When The Providence Journal asked him in April if he would run, Michaud replied, “I’m inclined not to do it. It’s not worth it.” Then in May, Michaud announced his intention to enter the Republican primary. According to The Brown Daily Herald, he “could not stomach the thought of [Carcieri] being in there another four years.” Michaud went on to stress that, despite the criticism he directed towards the Governor, his real opponent would be
Lieutenant Governor Charles Fogarty, the Democratic candidate. Michaud never faced Fogarty. His petition needed one thousand signatures on it by July 21st. Michaud’s petition supposedly contained 1500 names, but the Secretary of State declared the official count of valid signatures was
Spectator31 Spectator in Rhode Island and presented a poor budget. These complaints are so generic and ubiquitous that any Rhode Islander could have articulated them. They sound not at all like the grand plans and visions a more serious gubernatorial candidate would have put forth. Michaud did oppose the governor’s
So why did Michaud run? He claims that in the end it was his wife’s idea. That’s right: his wife told him to run, so he ran. only 933. This meant Michaud could not run. Instead of challenging the count, the professor declared that Republican victory was more important than his agenda, and supported Carcieri. Why did Michaud’s campaign end so abruptly? His opponents have a few answers to that question. Some of Michaud’s critics attacked his mysterious shortage of academic papers or accolades in relation to his status as a professor. Judging him as an academic, however, is unfair because most of his accomplishments are businessrelated. Granted, Michaud’s website describes him as “an academic and teacher”, but his other positions he held are more impressive: a commercial lending officer at Bank of America, an investment banker at JP Morgan Chase, a “licensed mortgage broker, general contractor, and realtor” in Florida, as well as the founder of several successful startups. Other critics, such as Anchor Rising’s Justin Katz, called Michaud a “candidate of convenience.” Indeed, few people could figure out why the professor was running in the first place. His focus seemed t o b e , p r e d i c t a b l y, economics: Carcieri has not created enough jobs
position on gambling. Michaud welcomes the new jobs casinos would create. But the casino decision will be voted on by citizens this November, making it an irrelevant part of his platform. So why did Michaud run? He claims that in the end it was his wife’s idea. That’s right: his wife told him to run, so he ran. It is no wonder his campaign fell short of even the primary. Carcieri and his supporters have developed some conspiracy theories to explain Michaud’s lack of enthusiasm. He was just a puppet of the labor unions, the casinos, or Guy Dufault, a Democratic labor and gambling lobbyist. Or, more credibly, a puppet of Beacon Mutual, which paid Michaud’s consulting company $102,000 over the past year. These conspiracy theories held perhaps some water until the fateful July 21st deadline for submitting signatures passed, leaving Michaud off the ballot. If Michaud was a marionette, his puppeteers were completely incompetent. With Michaud out of the way, Governor Carcieri and Lt. Governor Fogarty are free to face one another this November without spending time, money, and energy on a primary. May the best man win.
Spectator 32 Spectator
For temporarily Removing Castro from Power and giving Cuba a chance for democracy
s r e s o L & Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~Edmund Burke
What are YOU doing?