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Profile In Corruption

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Commentary on Rhode Island Politics by State Representative Candidate Daryl Finizio *

Inside: Statewide Property Tax • Is Bush the Right President?


None of the Above /

f %ere is no doubt that there are great issues at stake in the 2004 elections. This JL will be the first presidential election after the attacks of September 11. Three years later, a largely Christian army is trapped in a melting pot of ethnic hatred and Muslim rage. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden has yet to be found Truly the end of history has succumbed to the clash of civilizations in which military might cannot be the sole determinant of survival. Our leaders seem inadequate to the challenges of our times. William Butler Yeats wrote that the "best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full ofpassionate intensity."fobn Kerry certainly "lacks conviction," while President Bush, following through on bis campaign promise to govern as a "compassionate conservative," has succeeded in uniting his base—against him. President Bush has also presided over the greatest expansion of the welfare state in nearly half a century with the passage of the prescription drug bill. Indeed non-defense discretionary spending has grown by 18 percent. Under Reagan it fell by 14 percent. For good measure, Bush has even added $18 million to the budget of the National Endowment of the Arts. And when the Supreme Court rescued affirmation action last summer, Bush praised their decision as a "victory for diversity." The Federal Marriage Amendment, intended as a nod toward Bush's conservative base, has alienated both libertarians and constitutional conservatives. Initially, President Bush acted with great conviction in foreign policy—only to produce a state of affairs that must be disquieting to conservatives, regardless of their initial support for the war. The failure to find weapons of mass destruction has rendered the invasion and occupation of Iraq nothing more than an exercise in nation-building. Even the adamantly pro-war National Review recently published an editorial entitled, "An End to Illusion" in which it noted that the Bush administration displayed "a dismaying capacity to believe its own public relations." The great temptation is to vote for a third party candidate. There are two tactical reasons for this. First, a third party revolt may pressure the major party to appeal to its discontents. The advantage of this option is that if the major party does not react, the third party may eventually replace it as one of the major parties or reform the other major party. Indeed, this is how the South switched its allegiance from the Democratic to the Republican Party. Of course, this all presupposes the existence of a viable third party candidate, which is not the case in 2004. Clearly, the most important issue in this election is foreign policy. Unfortunately, ourfate in Iraq will not be determined by who wins in November. If Americans re­ elect George Bush be will stick with the status quo. Otherwise, to retreat in Iraq would undermine the very basis of his presidency after September 11. It will take another president to amend the Bush Doctrine. That man will certainly not be the ambiguously antiwar Kerry, who simply does not possess the courage to effectively withdraw our troops from Iraq. Therefore conservative voters should not base their votes for president on the implications for the presidency alone. Rather they should look to the implications for the judiciary. Herein lies the only authentic conservative justification for voting for Bush: bis judges will be demonstrably less activist than Kerry's. After all, it is the judges who have kept affirmative action intact for another quarter century, taken God out of the Pledge of Allegiance in California, and who now are the blackrobed revolutionaries in the front lines over the fight for gay marriage.


TABLE OF CONTENTS Academic Freedom News "You Can't Get a Good Education if You're Only Getting Half the Story"

The Perils of the Statewide Property Tax By Brian Bishop

The Proof is not in the Progressive Pudding

A Profile in Corruption By Daryl J. Finizio

Why Rhode Island Needs A Republican Party

\2*Is Bush the Right President? By C h r i s t o p h e r McAuliffe

The Dilemma of a Conservative

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Subsidizing Shakespeare By Sheila Dugan

Does the National Endowment for the Arts Deserve a Second Chance?

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J g Declaration of Dependence By Alan J. Silverman

The Globalization of American Law

The Brown Spectator / May 10, 2004

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Academic ?

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Freedom

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'YouCan'tGetaGood*Education if You'reOnlyGettingHalf~tbe Story" Edited by Sheila Dugan

Brown University

views, they should consider and make their Menaker denied the charges. At the Gerson students aware of other viewpoints. event, Menaker claims she simply voiced her In light of the Undergraduate Council of 3. Faculty should not use their courses opinion by saying, 'Ifyou believe when they Students' commitment to protect student for the purpose ofpolitical, ideological, reli­ start killing fews, you will be spared, you will rights, indicated by the passage of a same- gious or anti-religious indoctrination. be killed two hours later." sex marriage resolution, a coalition ofrigbt4. All faculty should be hired,fired,pro­ Menaker's case reeked ofpolitical bias. of center groups has submitted a Resolu­ moted and granted tenure on the basis of In the past, she has been forced to serve forty tion on Academic Freedom to the UCS. The their competence and appropriate knowledgehours of community service for getting into resolution reads as follows: in the field of their expertise. No faculty a verbal disagreement with pro-Palestinian should be hired orfired or denied promo­ and Marxist activists. Also known for her The Brown University Undergraduate tion or tenure on the basis of bis or her articles for Front Page Magazine, Menaker Council recognizes that the central purposes political or religious beliefs. could be seen as an embarrassmentfor an ofBrown University are the pursuit of truth 5. Selection of speakers, allocation of administration upset with her unsavory de­ the discovery, communication and preserva­funds for speakers programs and other stu­ scriptions ofacademic life at San Francisco tion of knowledge and understanding, the dent activities should not discriminate on State University. In an article entitled, "My teaching and general development of stu­ the basis ofpolitical or ideological affiliation.Second Marxist Indoctrination," Menaker dents to help them become creative individu­ 6. The obstruction of invited campus writes of'sinkfing] in a puddle ofsocialist als and productive citizens of a pluralistic speakers, destruction of campus literature orpropaganda" and highlights similarities be­ democracy, and the transmission of knowl­ any other efforts to inhibit the civil exchange tween her American education and the one edge and learning to a society at large of ideas should not be tolerated she received at Leningrad University, where Whereas free inquiry and free speech professorsforced Marxist ideology upon their within the academic community are indis­ This resolution has been endorsed by students. pensable to the achievement of these goals, Students for Academic Freedom, The Spec­ With helpfrom Studentsfor Academic and tator, Students for Liberty, College Republi­ Freedom and organizations like The fewish Whereas academic freedom is most cans, and Young Americans for Freedom Community Relations Council, Menaker is likely to thrive in an environment ofintellec­ able to continue her education at San Fran­ tual diversity that protects andfosters inde­ Editor's note: a version of this resolution cisco State University. Menaker's case is an pendence of thought and speech, was passed try the UCS on April21. example of the university's failure to protect Be it hereby resolved that the Under­ their students' freedom of speech. graduate Council ofStudents affirms thefol­ Set* Francisco State University lowing principles ofacademicfreedomand University of Massachusetts - Amherst intellectual diversity: Tatiana Menaker, afiftyfive year old Russian 1. Students should be graded solely on student at San Francisco State University, re­The Everywoman's Center, affiliated with U. the basis oftheir reasoned answers and ap­ cently escaped afive-yearexpulsion for a se­ Mass-Amberst, is a "multicultural campuspropriate knowledge of the subjects and dis­ ries ofpolitical confrontations on campus. based women V center established in 1972." ciplines they study, not on the basis oftheir The impetus for the attempted expulsion Charged with the impossible task of work­ stemmedfrom a lecture given by Deborah ing to eradicate allforms of oppression, the political or religious beliefs. 2 Curricula and reading lists in the hu­ Gerson ofJewish Voice for Peace. Menaker Center posts their Peace Resolution from manities and social sciences should provide was accused of threatening Gerson. In a April 2003 on their Web site. Motivated by students with dissenting sources and view­ meeting with ajudicial affairs officer after thetheir desire to stop violence against women points where appropriate. While teachers arelecture, the administration accused her of and children, the resolution voices the and should befreeto pursue their own find­ going into a rage and throwing objects aroundCenter's displeasure with the Iraq War. Disings and perspectives in presenting their the office upon hearing of her expulsion. re2ardins the Hussein's resime atrocities— m


many committed against women—it is de­ dressed in the resolution are legitimate, suchentitled "The Rise of Religious Right,"fea­ of plorable that a resource, meantfor "every as the surveillance of library use under the turing foan Bokaer, director woman" at the university and surrounding Patriot Act, but what is ludicrous is HAWs Theocracy Watch. The president of the orga­ attack of No Indoctrination and Students nization is on record as saying areas, would adopt such a partisan tone. for Academic Freedom. According to the Theocracy Watch's goal is to, "get the word resolution, these groups are guilty of, "sys­ out to as many people as possible because Historians Against the War tematic denunciation ofhistorians who have the agenda ofthe Christian right is to replace the Constitution with biblical law." The ar­ During the 2004 annual meeting of the Or­ criticized government policy." It is rather sad that HAW fie Is threat­ ticle in The Cornell Daily Sun describes the ganization of American Historians, Histori­ ans Against the War petitioned the organi­ ened by student groups dedicated to main­ audience at the event being "enthusiastic" zation to support a resolution that dealt with taining a certain amount ofprofessionalism In an op-ed written after the event, foe Sabia, freedom of speech and access to records. in the classroom, only desiring to leave their a graduate student at Cornell University, high­ rants on the Bush lighted the absence of a dissenting opinion Established in to oppose the Iraq War, His­ professor's torians Against the War held teach-ins and administration's foreign policy to letters to at the event Although Pat Robertson and ferry Falwell are not always available to pa­ created a petition condemning preemptive the editor. rade around campus so students can look at war. a real member of the Religious Right, an At the meeting in March, the Organiza­ Cornell University opposing viewpoint could have been tion of American Historians executive board brought to the event for the sake of serious The Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social passed the resolution and agreed to create a academic inquiry on Christianity's impact on Policy at Cornell University exhibited a cer­ committee that would look into HAW's TBS claims: To be fair, some of the topics ad- tain amount ofbias in sponsoring an event, the American political process. 9


The Perils of the Statewide Property Tax The Proof is notin the Progressive Pudding ;

By Brian Bishop

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espite Rhode Island's uncooperative meteorological legacy, RIPEC is simply not reading its own reports if it throws its lot we have never officially opted out of the adage that March in with mayors complaining about under-funding of education. comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. If Rhode Island's Urban and so-called "urban ring" communities spend 10 percent weather will not always conform perfectly to this euphemistic ode more per student than their out city brethren in suburban and rural to the vernal equinox, its political climate is virtually the opposite towns. This largess is supported by a state aidformula which already this year. March began like a lamb with a sleepy session of the significantly favors the urban core providing 60 percent of urban general assembly that suddenly became a lion s den of issues. education budgets while offsetting just over 30 percentfor rural Next week's weather is, however, much harder to predict than and "urban ring" communities and even less, 22 percent, for the likely electoral effect ofpassions recently stirred by the typical suburban communities. cabal of lazy self-interested politicians, labor bigwigs, and go along Apparently this imbalance is not enough for the political cry to get along business interests. That's right, current angst over our babies pushing for a virtual state takeover of educationalfunding. chicken in every pot health care conundrum will have no effect whatsoever on the make up of the general assembly. Discontent As teachers unions maneuver for a over our uncompetitive health insurance markets has, however, been handy as an absurdist bully pulpitfor sitting legislators. They constitutional I. V. into their bank accounts, posture with impossible promises that Rhode Islanders can go to those whose pockets are about to get picked any doctor or any pharmacy as often as they want and health care will cost them less. As per usual, they propose to fix a market that has seem blithely unaware that making education been ruined by regulation with more regulation to the point where an entitlement has fractured the polity of a state-run entity wholly controlled by the same interests that have numerous neighboring states. driven health insurance companiesfromthe state is portrayed as the only answer. Ironically, the Blue Cross sideshow has all but eclipsed the You have to give them creditfor a long term vision. Of course their main political event of March, the event that should be driving long term vision is not one of educational reform but ofparochial voters to the polls with change on their minds. A coalition with pocket lining. Progressives like Providence Mayor David Cicilline such parochial interests that they make the Blue Cross board look may have been burdened with the new math in school, but be can like a good government group has proposed a statewide property add and subtract when it comes to the census numbers. What these tax and no-one with exception ofthe outspoken mayor of Cranston show is that electoral demographics are slowly shifting in favor of has said a thing about it. As teachers unions maneuver for a the suburban and rural communities currently being shortchanged constitutional I. V. into their bank accounts, those whose pockets - even with the continued influx of immigrants into the urban are about to get picked seem blithely unaware that making educationcore. an entitlement has fractured the polity of numerous neighboring In this context, it is easy to see that this disproportionate shifting states. Most notably, the institution of a statewide property tax in of the state's educational burden to suburban and rural taxpayers, Vermont has lead to the most substantive secession movement which has been facilitated by the bruteforce ofthe urban legislative since the civil war as the Town of Killington seeks to renounce its delegations, is at risk Thus, while the proposal to take yet more affiliation with Vermont andjoin neighboring New Hampshire, or moneyfromsuburban and rural taxpayers might seem like business perhaps become a territory. as usual, it may be viewed optimistically as a last ditch effort to lock That anyone could propose a statewide property tax as a cost this poor policy into the constitutionalframeworkbefore a suburban cutting measure with a straightface is ridiculous. That the supposedand rural majority can defeat it statutorily. We have been spoon fed the notion that having multiple school fiscal watchdog Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC) could do so, reveals the extent to which its executive staff has been districts and teacher contracts is inefficient as well as leading to the seduced by the notion that the state's suburban and rural taxpayers labor negotiating phenomenon of leapfrogging in which each must subsidize the progressive folderol known as "new urbanism " district's teachers are trying to outdo the other in gaining salary and


Those few self-starters who do think this is an ill-conceived policy are probably already aware that the measure has been heldfor further study by the Senate Finance Committee, legislative lingo for Dead on Arrival But an electorate diverted by sports-car envy over Ron Battista's ride would do well to understand that it is the taxpayer who had better study the pitfalls ofthe statewide property tax. This coalition will be back pushing their new entitlement as long as necessary. Wbafs a decade long battle to secure the spoils ofa centuryf It takes astonishing brass to propose both having the historically profligate general assembly mandate local schoolfunding and instituting the Utopian absurdity of appointing the Supreme Court as the state school board and making every student into a potential litigant - an idea already proven ruinous to the polity of the state's which have tried it This political coalition poses a far greater hazard to the solvency of our lively experiment than the currently burning question of whether a complacent Blue Cross Board should have preserved the status quo by funding Ron Basttista's divorce settlement Yet where are the voices in opposition? To date only Mayor Laffey of Cranston has seen through this ruse even while practicing financial hrinksmanship with the Cranston School Committee in order to provide actual property tax relief This is not to suggest that urban districts don'tface challenges of which the entire state should take cognizance, but the current system has written a virtual blank check on the state's generalfund benefits. While this is true, what makes anyone of the least for urban education. Mayors in concert with school committees use intelligence imagine that a legislature heavy with public school teachers this as an endowment to buy labor peace at a price their communities and union sympathies would strike a harder bargain. Again, the truly cannot afford. This is manifest not only in educational RIPECfigures suggest things would be worse if the state legislatureexpenditures which outpace inflation by 200percent The state's ran the schools. molly coddling leaves more money on the table in these urban From 1998 to 2002per pupil educational expenses in the urban municipalities for expansive treatment for fire and police forces. corps went up more than 9 percent per year, ie^ more than three Thus, even with enormous state subsidies, urban property owners times inflation. Those "inefficient," "parochial" and "unnecessary" are still looking for property-tax relief, which is comical to rural and outlying districts in the suburbs and rural climes averaged 7 percentsuburban property owners contemplating the imbalance in state peryear or a litbe"two and a half times inflation—slightly better aid. but not a particularly stellar record Amongst those, however, some It is time for a radical restructuring of the notion of who is municipalities perceived to have been pacing the packfor educationresponsible for a child's education. This coalition resting on the envy stand out with significantly lower than average annual featherbed ofthe public-education tradition wishes to answer that educational increases for the same period' Cumberland ^percent, question by enshrining in the constitution the ill-begotten notion Portsmouth Apercent, Barrington 5 percent that the state is responsible. Rather, reform should make it clear If the schools want to team up to buy paper clips at a discount,that the parent has to be a responsible participant. Property-tax that is an obvious voluntary arrangement that could be implementedreliefcan indeed be provided by instituting what is long overdo, a tomorrow through cooperation amongst administrators. But, if co-payment requirementfor parents sending their children to public decision-making about levels of school spending are lumped schools. As the ProvidenceJournal recently and wisely opined such together, would you imagine that the trends set in Providence or in that it could not be said better: Portsmouth will be controlling^ Still you might believe that great Co-payments play an important role in medical economics. efficiencies are achievable by teaming up on a statewide basis suchThey force patients to dig into their pockets every time they go to a that the potential savings would offset the inevitable tendency of doctor. This reminds them that their care is notfree.A well-designed larger less fiscally disciplined jurisdictions to set the bottom line. co-payment is big enough to pinch the patient a bit but not so big But all of this would take place under the watchful' eye of the that it would deter a reasonable personfromseeking needed medical legislature which during the same periodfrom1998 to 2002 inflatedcare. state spending by more than 10 percent peryear That is higher than The same is true ofpublic education. Parents don't pay for it the excesses of any school district (except of course the one the directly. They want as much as they can getfor nothing, indeed are state already runs in Central Falls and the tiny island systems of prone to move from community to community in order to get famestown and New Shorebam). more for nothing. They don't receive the cost signals that might ss


motivate their more active participation in terms offiscaldiscipline,which have traditionally been provided by government is a good educational results and even exerting discipline over unruly offspring modelfor asking the same kind of investmentfrom parents. Indeed in order to ensure that the money they are spending on their child's while it may seem surreal that Providence can't clean or police the education is not being wasted streets despite its vast overspending, a case can be well made that A co-paymentfor education should be structured like medical collections of business foster litter and bring the crowds which co-pays. It should be a percentage, so that when the school budget require security and that it is not altogether a bad idea for business goes up the co-pay goes up. It shouldfall in an affordable range fordistricts to contract for these services. But these are the same middle class parents - somewhere in the 15 or 20 percent range of businesses that are being taxed to send your kids to school When today's public expenditures per pupil of around $10,000. It should are parents going to recognize the same responsibility to come to of course be means tested which could easily be done by employingthe table and directly support a portion of the cost of their own children's education f It may be that the idea of spreading the bulk of the cost of The recent commitment of Providence education across society so that the entire burden does not fall businesses to form a Business Investment directly on parents at the time they are least able to afford it is a useful model. Indeed, the assumption that those who do not have District and tax themselves to purchase children are well served by the educational betterment oftheirfellow services which have traditionally been citizens is not necessarily entirely false. But taken to the extreme, provided by government is a good model for this notion has disconnected parents, students and citizens from the necessary dialogue about the extent of educationalfunding the asking the same kind of investment from public will provide and where parents' responsibility will kick in. parents. There is no threat to the American tradition ofpublic education in trying to return it to its roots and remind parents oftheir necessary role in supporting and furthering the education their children the same metric as the Earned Income Tax Credit which rebates receive—and we imply not solely a monetary duty. Morals, selfSocial Security Taxes on a sliding scalefor lower middle class workers. discipline, respectfor oneself and others are taught at home, not in The state's role beyond passing such a plan for tax reliefcould school—despite the explosion of in pro parentis efforts of the schools be to cover the shortfall in property-tax relief due to the means to supplant these critical family functions with smarmy seculartesting abatements. This would of coursefavor urban districts with humanist self-esteem curriculums. That there are dysfunctional challenged demographics and, perhaps, rightfully so. In the long families, that there are impoverishedfamilies is regrettable reality, run such a plan might even favor the goals of new urbanism in a but our funding mechanisms and pedagogy should not be geared non-coercive way. Those currently fleeing the urban core for better, to the worst case scenarios. Rather they should set a model of or at least safer, schooling in suburban and rural climes could make responsibility with a safety net The fact that the net is not always the decision to stay in the urban area and send their children to perfectly invisible is only a stigma to the extent that parents and private or religious schools. They would now have a financial other adults, ie. teachers and administrators, teach and model for incentive to do so as fleeing to the suburbs and paying more for a children the idea that it is or fail to perceive and counter peer home would not completely insulate them from a direct fee for interactions which ostracize or punish out-group children—a some ofthe educational costs for their children. And a co-pay would phenomenon in any event as often related to appearance, demeanor, not cost the state or municipalities any money, or give rise to the habits and cultural cliques as economic circumstance. Of course this arguments that vouchers and charter schools are diverting resources paradigm is not perfect, it's just life. from the traditional public schools. If enough potential urban ex-

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patriots made the decision to stay they might even eventually Brian Bishop dmfastof Rule Free Radio onAM 132a is leading CARPE constitute a critical mass ofinvolved parents who decide to participate Diem—Co-pay Admcates/or Responsible Participation in Education—a in the public school experience. coalition to oppose the statewideproperty tax The recent commitment of Providence businesses to form a Business Investment District and tax themselves to purchase services TBS


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A Profile In

Corruption

Why Rhode Island NeedsA Republican Party By Daryl J. Finizio 1

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T^hode Island government today is a perfect example of the period when England was a republic, during andfollowing th JL\waste, rot, and corruption that is inherent in one party English Civil War. Cromwell, afellow puritan, granted to William government. Rhode Islanders now hear the fourth highest tax a parliamentary government without a separate executive and n burden in the nation. Rhode Islanders also have endured scandal colonial governor appointed by the mother country. Due to the siz after scandal in their State government andface the prospect of of the colony and the loose affiliation of its townships, tbi bankruptcies in their cities and towns. A nd Rhode Island public parliamentary system worked very well schools, and other state services, perform below the national average Following the restoration ofthe Monarchy in 1660, the validit and Rhode Island's unemployment rate is consistently higher than of the patent was called into question. A new group of Rbod the national average Island lobbyists set off for London, this time led by fobn Clark Many citizens of Rhode Island have come to realize that in of Newport, to secure the rights of the colony. Whether in th order to reverse these saddening trends, Rhode Island needs an interests of ease or pragmaticism, King Charles II decided to issu opposition party in government Even many prominent Democrats have joined in calling for the election of more Republicans to our current, one party controlled, Democratic legislature. Many others, however, wonder how Rhode Island came to be in the situation it is in, and how a two party system ofgovernment will help the State get out of it. Part of the situation is a result of state constitutional history and part of it is the result of a one party partisan alignment Both pose significant problems for the state and its citizens, including students at Brown University. Many Brown students may not be aware of the background of Rhode Island's political processes, and mayfail to understand bow it will have any effect on them It is the purpose of this article to explain the historical development of Rhode Island's constitutional structure, the problems posed by its current one party dominated legislature, and the effect of all of a charter to the colony in 1663 that retained its legislative system of government, established a weak executive, and left the colony without these concerns on students at Brown. a Royal Governor. In this respect, Rhode Island was unique amongst all the original thirteen colonies. So bold were the rights guaranteed The Constitutional History by this charter that the King declared it "A Lively Experiment One of the key provisions of the charter, however, was that it Rhode Island has a unique constitutional history not only among the other forty nine states, but also amongst the could not be changed without the consent of the legislature. As the constitutional governments of other nations around the world legislature had all the power, it was unlikely that they would Many school children learn that Rhode Island wasfounded by Rogervoluntarily surrender their power. Indeed, after the drafting ofthe Williams in 1636 on the principals of religious liberty, following Federal Constitution in 1787, with its stronger executive and Williams' expulsion from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This is separation of powers principals, Rhode Island continued to operate usually where the average person's knowledge of Rhode Island's under its charter of1663 and refused to adopt a state constitution. The legislature grew increasing unrepresentative and corrupt, founding ends. The full story of Rhode Island's constitutional and public policy in the state suffered The legislature became beginnings is far more complex In 1644 Roger Williams secured the first constitutional dominated by a one party faction and acted only in the interests of documentfor the new Colony of Rhode Island and Providence a privileged connectedfew. Finally in 1842, the people had bad Plantations. This 'Parliamentary Patent" was granted to Williams enough. Lead by a reform minded State Representative, Thomas by Oliver Cromwell and the British Parliament durinz the brief Wilson Dorr, an opposition party challenged the State Government m

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To avoid an outright rebellion and to appease the masses, the full health coverage with a zero percent pay-in. Tew other public legislature adopted a State Constitution in 1842. The new employees around the nation get so generous a deal, and such a Constitution did not, however, adopt all of the Dorrite proposals. benefit is unheard of in the private sector. This mandate for health Most notorious amongst its provisions was Article 6, Section 10, care provision is also dramatically expensive; indeed it is well beyond which allows the legislature to exercise "All the powers it has Rhode Island's financial means. In Providence alone, the pension heretofore exercised" This provision held over all of the powers of fund for public employees in the State system is in debt over $500 that the General Assembly bad under the Charter of1663. The million dollars, and the health system is in debt over $300 million Legislature retained the powers to exercise executive authority, control dollars. Both debts are growing by tens of millions of dollars each the courts by firing its judges, and dominate all public policy in the year, and despite unparalleled tax rate bikes, continue to grow. In state. several years, regardless of increases in tax rates which will soon It may surprise Brown students to learn that to this day in 2004 Rhode Island's legislature operates under Authority granted The current Democratic majority is so large to it by a British Royal Charter of1663. Rhode Island government is totally lacking in the concepts of separation ofpowers and checks that it can demand rigid loyalty from its and balances that have so well served ourfederal government (and membership. Examples abound on how this all other state governments) for over 200years. can skew public policy. One example that can Luckily, as in 1842, the people of the state have bad enough. After years of fighting, the people of the state will finally have the help crystallize this point is public-sector chance to vote on a separation of powers amendment to our state health-care provision. constitution which will eliminate Article 6, Section 10 and give Rhode Island a long overdue entry into the modern constitutional world make Rhode Islanders the most taxed people in America, the city All Brown students who vote here in Rhode Island should vote in will be in debt over $1 billion dollars. With an operating budget oj favor of this amendment. only under $400 million, this spells bankruptcy for Providence, and This amendment is an important step towards reforming our many other cities and towns in Rhode Island state government, but absent a balanced partisan system, real Fortunately, Mayor Cicilline (a reform Democrat) and Governor separation ofpowers will not be realized Carcieri (a reform Republican) both recognize this problem and art trying to do something about it. Last year Governor Carcieri submitted a very modest proposal to the legislature. The Governor The Partisan Imbalance suggested a 2 percent health care pay in for public employees. This Since 1935 the Democratic Party has controlled the Rhodewould still represent one of the best possible health care deals for Island Legislature. In the last 30 or so years their majority has any employees, public or private, in the entire nation. Still, even consistently extended to over 75 percent of all the legislative seats. though citizens are literally being taxed out of their homes, and with our cities and towns facing financial disaster, the unions The current Rhode Island legislature is controlled by the Democrats opposed this proposal, and the legislature shot it down. Tht who bold an astounding 85 percent of all the legislative seats. As a result, no governor, Republican or Democrat, can even Governor tried to make a stand, warning of future dire financial threaten, or much less sustain, a veto over any legislation. Even if aconsequences, and vetoed the budget. The Legislature, with its 85 separation ofpowers amendment passes, if the legislature can out percent voting power, overrode the veto in less than 48 hours. Tht vote the other two branches of government at their whim, then real representative for Brown, Edith Ajello, voted with the unions and the party bosses to override the veto. This came as no surprise, sinct separation ofpowers will not be realized Rep. Ajello has received most of her campaign funding, ana This needfor constitutional balance is also not only a theoretical argument Imbalancedparty representation and imbalance amongst volunteer support, from public sector unions. the branches ofgovernment leads to bad public policy. Public policy It is clear that the people have had enough. Democrat, benefitsfrom a healthy and balanced debate with all interests havingRepublican, Green, and Independent alike, Rhode Islanders art representation. demanding political change before the state plunges into financial The current Democratic majority is so large that it can demandruin. Years of poor budgeting, unethical conduct, and non足 rigid loyalty from its membership. Examples abound on how this competitive elections have frustrated voters to the breaking point can skew public policy. One example that can help crystallize this More and more Rhode Islanders are coming to understand thai only with a viable Republican opposition in the Legislature can point is public-sector health-care provision. The Democratic majority in Rhode Island gets most of its change be instituted, and these trends reversed Since most Rbodi support and funding from public-sector employee unions. Island Republicans are also social progressives and liberals, it is alst Regardless of what might make good public policy orfinancing, easy for Rhode Islanders to support local Republicans whilt these unions have been able to demand, unchallenged, every benefitcontinuing to oppose the views of national Republican leaders. they have wanted in these lastfew decades. Due to this intense The remaining question is: How does this affect students a\ political pressure, Public employees in Rhode Island now getfree Brown f


residents are taxed to the limit, taxing Brown will become a viable The Impact of the Imbalance on Brown Students option. Should Brown be taxed, the impact on Brown's finances will be massive, and where do you think the Brown Corporation Brown students have as much at stake in the effort to reform will look to close the gapf If you guessed student tuition, you Rhode Island's political processes as long term residents do. guessed right. If the current trends continue: rising taxes, potential While this remains a preventable hypothetical scenario, its bankruptcies, higher unemployment caused by slow business likelihood increases the longer Rhode Island continues down the . growth (due to a bad tax climate for opening businesses in State), path of one-party, free-spending, special-interest government. the costs will ultimately be born by all, including students at Brown. If you live off campus, your rents will skyrocket in the next Conclusion few years as massive tax hikes on owners get passed off against tenants. If you ever seek to work in this state after graduation— When Brown students go to the polls this November in Rhode whether there are jobs, or good paying jobs—will depend on the Island, they should understand that much more is at stake in their state ability to reduce taxation to encourage businesses to relocate local racefor State Representative then they might have thought In here. If you do vote in Rhode Island elections while you are at this race Democrat and Republican labels do not mean what they Brown, whether you have any real choice at the ballot box will mean on the federal level, and the impact of your votes could be depend on whether Rhode Island can establish a viable opposition crucial, not only for long term Rhode Islanders, but for Brown party. All of these points are but afew examples of the impact that students as well This November, regardless of who you vote for in continuing a one party machine in government can have on Brown the national elections, or what your personal political affiliation is, students, but the worst case scenario makes these problems pale inall Brown students should vote for the Separation of Powers comparison. Amendment to the Rhode Island State Constitution, and should If the Providence dives further into debt, or worse, drops into vote Republican for state representative, bankruptcy, political pressure will mount to put Brown (and other non-profits) back on the tax rolls. Over 40 percent ofall the land in DarylJ. Finizia, Republican CandidateforStale Representative, Providence is non taxable. Much ofthe premium land in ProvidenceDistrict 3, Providence. TBS is owned by Brown. If the city financially hits rock bottom, and t

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Is Bush the Right

President*

9

The Dilemma of a Conservative m

By Christoper McAuIiffe •

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A true believer in coUecthist socialism will probably have a difficult of either party has succeeded in reducing the size of the federal ÂŤ X time deciding for whom to vote for president this November. government since the Great Depression. Adjusted for inflation, John Kerry, a populist third-way liberal, certainly would not represent Ronald Reagan presided over a miniscule reduction in non-defense the idealfor such a voter. Of course, there's always Ralph Nader, ordiscretionary spending, but that is only a fraction of the overall a Green or Socialist candidate, but wouldn't a vote for a hopeless federal pie. It is simply beyond argument that, without a significant third party equal a vote for the despised George W. Bush? change in the budget process (such as a balanced budget Conservatives and libertarians, to be sure,face a similar dilemma amendment), America will never see a net reduction in the size of The American Right, represented by a President many see as insipidthe federal government and hopelessly centrist, is in the midst of a season of restlessness. President Bush's critics on the Right are correct in pointing out As a leader elected under a conservative banner, President Bush has that he cannot explain away his spending spree by pinning the plunged the nation into record deficits whilst seemingly embracing the Great Society welfare state that has united conservatives and libertarians in opposition for two generations. Furthermore, Bush My heart is still with Gary Nolan> but my will face increasingly tough questions in the coming months head is with George Bush. concerning bis handling of the War on Terror and the situation in Iraq, the latterfor which the progressive British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been afar more convincing spokesman. Meanwhile, the President's presumptive opponent will offer no incentive for blame solely on the process. After all, federal largess under bis disaffected conservatives to sit out the coming election. administration has truly been earth-shaking, larger than any postwar Massachusetts Senator fohn Kerry is, to put it nicely, simply awful binge save the Great Society. Ofcourse, Bush has been dealt a bad Still, there are compelling reasons to vote for President Bush band He inherited a situation in which the billsforyears ofeconomic this November. He is infinitely better than the only other competitiveirresponsibility at home and strategic indifference abroad came suddenly due. Still, more than half of the President's overall candidate, and, probably, a better choice than third party candidates who have no intention ofrunning a competitive campaign. I cannot, spending increases have gone not toward defense and homeland of course, speak for all right-leaning preferences, but I can offer a security, but toward vote-buying domestic programs. Since Bush considered, libertarian-leaning conservative opinion: a vote for has yet to veto a single bill, now would be a good time to wonder President Bush is probably the best move on Election Day, both where he might conceivably draw the line between good and bad spending increases. because it is imperative to defeat fohn Kerry, and because there are no particularly compelling reasons to votefor a third party this year. When faced with such an apparently bleak situation, advocates It is not a vote I shall relish, but it is the best possible choice. of small government would do well to consider two things. First, Bush ran for president under the somewhat murky banner of 'compassionate conservatism" True conservatives and libertarians Bust vs. Kerry: Fiscal Policy President Bush'sfree-wheelingspending is inexcusable. There are justifiably disgusted by this bastardization, but a presidential is simply no sensible explanation as to why a self labeled candidate must appeal to the center, and compassionate conservative would allow himself to be responsible for the most conservatism is what the center demanded In 1980, the center wanted massive increase in the size ofgovernment since the days of Lyndonan economic turnaround and a harder line on the Soviets. In 2000, Johnson. Also worrisome is Bush's inability to acknowledge this two decades of good economic performance and relatively low plain fact. Conservatives and libertarians face, once again, the government growth, along with a looming surplus, engendered a unpalatable choice of big government or bigger government, of hungerfor new spending programs. Promises were made because reckless liberal or regulatory liberal, of tax-and-spend or borrow- they bad to be made, and those promises were kept and-spend Second, it would behoove fiscal conservatives to compare It is worth pointing out that, despite the professed small- Bush's spending programs not with their absence, but with the government preference ofthe Republican Party, not a single president likely alternatives. The prescription drug bill is one example Though I


the president's Medicare drug benefit is a case in point of badfiscal renew his commitment to continued tax cuts, tort reform, and policy, it could have been much worse. The Democratic alternativeprivate accounts in social security. This last item could leave a lasting would been at least twice as expensive, and without any of the imprint on the political fabric of our nation, given its potential to create a nearly universal investor class which will, as a result, pull the market reforms introduced in the Republican bill Senator Kerry's economic programs promise to be as bad as entire electorate in a fiscally conservative direction. None of these can be expected On energy, rather than drilling for oil in Alaska, policies will ever come out ofa Democratic White House, and Bush Kerry wants massive subsidies for etbanol and research into sci-fi has placed all three on bis economic platform alternative technologies. The rest of bis domestic agenda is almost humorous in its vacuous populism. Education: 'John Kerry Bush vs. Kerry: The War on Terror and Foreign Policy believes that we need to invest in our schools instead ofgiving tax With all due respect to anti-war conservatives, there is no contest cuts to the wealthiest Americans." Homeland security: "fohn Kerry here. After some initial complacency, President Bush took 9/11 as has the courage to roll back George Bush's tax cutsfor the wealthiest an opportunity to shape bis presidency around a fundamental Americans so we can invest in homeland security."Health care: paradigm shift in foreign policy. No longer is terrorism seen as a fohn Kerry "will stand up to big insurance and drug companies purely domestic matter in the realm of intelligence and law that impede progress* George Bush has chosen to lavish tax cuts enforcement More important still, Bush has made clear that it is no upon the wealthiest among us while working Americans struggle longer an option to waitfor the next attack before reacting. Under to afford health care for their families." fob growth: "George W the president's leadership, America has taken the initiative in Bush has chosen tax cutsfor the wealthy and specialfavors for the preventing attacks before they happen. The most likely response to special interests over our economic future." Rising college costs: 9/11 from a Democratic administration would have been to bomb "While George Bush gives tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, Afghanistan for afew days, get out, and declare victory, ifeven that students are struggling to find the support they need to succeed " much. The enemy, in Kerry's view, is not excessive spending but tax Conservatives and libertarians must, of course, draw their cuts. In fohn Kerry's America, failing public schools could be fixedobjections to the Iraq War on grounds of national interest. It is with just one morefiscalinjection, the government could improve impossible to make the case that the people of Iraq are worse off health care but for those troublesome drug companies, and tax for having lost the services ofSaddam Hussein. The war was moral increases could create jobs. For those who think that Bush's policiesThe only remaining question is whether or not it was necessary. are wacky, this must sound like something out of the lower-left President Bush could and should do a much better job in requadrant of the progressive galaxy. explaining the rationale behind the war. The United States attacked This is not to say that Bush needn't work harder to earn the Iraq on the basis of uncertain evidence, and in the midst of a votes of fiscal conservatives. The president must, at the very least, national security crisis. The knowledge on hand at the time was,


however, nearly universally accessible. John Kerry himselfvotedforobey the ruling of a higher court that the statue be removed For the war resolution, and has spent the majority of his campaign this, the former Attorney General has earned the wrath of the distancing himselffromthat vote. Most recently, when asked about Constitution Party. Apparently, some conservatives are only in favor bis constructive alternative to Bush's policy, Kerry replied, "Right ofthe rule oflaw when it works to their advantage. My libertarian now, what I would do differently is, I mean, look, I'm not the angels will not allow me to support this Religious Right racket president, and I didn't create this mess so I don't want to The situation in the Libertarian Party is somewhat better, but acknowledge a mistake that I haven't made."Does the United States,still uncertain. As ofthis time, the two possible nominees are Aaron in times ofsuch a dire threat, really need a leader who is so indecisive Russo and Gary Nolan. Russo is something of a kook, a doctrinaire and manipulablef Given what we knew in March of2003 about libertarian who somehow believes that the United States' purpose Saddam's deep hostility toward the United States, connections within Iraq is to steal "their oil wells and their gold" Fringe candidates terrorist groups, and determined efforts to acquire weapons of like Russo and Moore are generally a waste ofa vote. Since they offer mass destruction, war was truly a lesser gamble than doing nothing.no realistic vision, a vote for them is likely not to be noticed or, if it If fohn Kerry felt otherwise, be did not say so. is, send only the message that a conservative President should not Kerry has directed most of bis criticism of the war toward be allowed to appeal to the center, an electoral necessity. George Bush's "unilateralism" and "arrogance," one of the most Gary Nolan cannot be dismissed so easily. He is a principled, absurd grounds on which to criticize the President's foreign policy. and somewhat more moderate candidate. His vision is stillfar from Would that other nations bad joined us. Would that the United the minds of most Americans, but entirely worthy of support on Nations were not a rabidly anti-democratic body full oftyrants and a normative level He takes national security seriously, but issues a murderers. However, reality does not change according to fohn qualified stance against the Iraq War. He isfor lower taxes and lower Kerry's desires. Appeals for a greater role for the United Nations spending, but stops short of calling for the abolition of all social amount to little more than ceding moral authority from the United programs, instead drawing attention to the necessity for private States to an international body with absolutely no moral legitimacy.Social Security accounts. The Bush administration has stumbled occasionally in its Still, there may be yet another reason to vote for Bush over terror response. Bowing to Democratic demands to federalize the Nolan. Despite what many disaffected voters on both the left and airport securityforces was clearly not the right move, but was agreed the right believe, there is still a very major difference between the to at a time when the nation had little patiencefor partisan bickering.two major parties, and this could prove to be Bush's trump card I The Patriot Act was, of course, a case study in bad legislation, but am referring, of course, to the appointment of federal judges. It is enjoyed almost universal support and is beyond the scope of becoming ever more apparent that the courts are the primary front partisan blame. Most importantly, George Bush has adopted a clearin the most important ideological battles. The Democrats certainly policy in response to a daunting threat Those who would criticize realize this, and hence their unprecedented obstruction of the him have yet to offer anything approaching a convincing alternativepresident's judicial nominees. If conservatives and libertarians are method of taking the war to the terrorists. to stop the trend of unaccountable judges imposing their progressive visions, they must do everything possible to load thefederaljudiciary Why not a third party f with as many Antonin Scalias and Clarence Thomases as possible. While most conservatives and libertarians will concede that Bush's appointments thus far have been stellar, and quite George Bush is preferable to John Kerry, many still recoil at the conservative. This means, of course, that they generally pay heed to thought of voting for the lesser of two evils. After all, why should the Constitution and rule of law, in sharp contrast to the endsanything change if Bush learns that be can abandon bis fiscally based approach preferred by Democratic appointees. Should Bush conservative base and still get re-electedf Why not sit this election win a second term in office, he will certainly be appointing at least out or vote for a third party candidatefromthe Constitution Party two Supreme Court fustices. The stakes in this battle are too high or Libertarian Party f to ignore. There are several reasons why that may not be the best move. As of now, I must still withhold a final judgment. Still, First ofall, it is as of yet unclear whether any ofthe candidates fromprincipled conservatives and libertarians must realize that there is a those parties will actually be better than Bush. The Constitution compelling conservative case for President Bush. A Kerry Party's most accentuated characteristic is its militant Christianity and administration would be a disaster on all fronts, and an apparent desire to undo decades of jurisprudence on the improvement on none. Furthermore, a vote for a third party establishment clause, fudge Roy Moore, their likely candidate, has candidate, with its message that a major party candidate should not built a career on demagoguery, most recently criticizing Presidentappeal to the electoral center, is a serious decision which must be Bush for appointing Bill Pryor to the federal bench. Pryor is the made under careful consideration, and not as an ideological tantrum former Alabama Attorney General, a principled conservative who With this in mind, my heart is still with Gary Nolan, but my head agreed with Moore's view that a statue ofthe Ten Commandments is with George Bush. should have been allowed to stay in the Alabama Supreme Court building. However, Pryor upheld the law by insisting that Moore TBS •

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Subsidizing

Shakespeare

Does the National Endowment for the Arts Deserve a Second Chance? 1

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By Sheila Dugan

J"Ytf«rf Gioia has an impressive resume. A graduate of Stanford Bloom, A ngela Lansbury, andfames Earl fones, Shakespeare in U and Harvard University, be translates poetryfrom Latin, Italian, American Communities serves as perfect materialfor a president German, and Romanian. Gioia worked as an executive for General seeking reelection, proclaiming a commitment ofthe country's artistic Foodforfifteen years to support his writing career. And his first community to voters who care about such things. Gioia's year as chairman for the National Endowmentfor the Arts has not Shakespeare project also fulfills what conservatives mightfeel is the been marked by controversy. Instead, the Bush White House has proper role of the NEA, exposing children to great works of embraced him and the National Endowment of the Arts. literature without the discomfort of controversial avant-garde pieces. In a speech on fanuary 29, 2004, Laura Bush said, President Are Gioia and his initiatives, such as Shakespeare in American Bush and I appreciate your leadership at the National Endowment Communities, to be embraced^ for the Arts, and your vision." In that same speech Laura Bush Objections to the NEA should not be basedjust on the activities announced President Bush's request to add $18 million dollars to ofthe agency, but on the very idea ofsubsidizing the arts. One such the NEA's budget Slated as the largest increase for the agency since 1984, the president's proposal highlights the government's role in The romantic notion of artists as part of the arts funding and whether or not the agency is really necessary. . . •

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renegade element of our culture still exists. From Piss Christ to Shakespeare: Is it time to embrace the Their informal job description is to make the NEAt population pause and reflect on life. President Bush'sfriendly relationship with the NEA stands in Government subsidies undermine their contrast to what bisfellowsocial conservatives have long felt about artistic credibility, as recipients know that the agency. In the nineties when someone mentioned the National they are on the government's bankroll just Endowment for the Arts, one immediately thought of Andres Serrano's crucifix submerged in his own urine or Robert like employees at the DMV.

Mapplethrope's homoerotic photographs. When one thought of Republicans and the NEA, Senatorfesse Helmsfrom North Carolina and bis desire to curtail or restrict the NEA came to mind The side effect of the disbursement of NEA fellowships and grants is Bush administration's proposal to inflate the NEA's budget could the creation of arbitrary categories of "good * and Ifad art The not have been predicted when Congress slashed the budget from tastes of a small elite or a cautious eye cast on conservative around $162 million to $99 million in 1995. constituents adverse to anything modern could result in government Goia, however, represents a departure from the sort of NEA supportfor a select politically popular artists or programs. It is best that patronized the likes of Serrano and Mappletbrope. As a to leave these choices to the free market and the American public traditionalist, Gioia's pet project is Shakespeare in American rather than glorified bureaucrats or overly sensitive citizens that can Communities. The NEA advertises the project as the biggest tour organize well and lobby to their congressmen to stop funding for of Shakespeare in the country's history and plans on bringing projects that offend their sensibilities. The problem is not just limited to who has access to funds. productions to smaller communities like Wallingford, Connecticut and Whitefish, Montana. Workshops and resource packets The romantic notion of artists as part of the renegade element of accompany performances of Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Aour culture still exists. Their informal job description is to make the Midsummer Nighfs Dream, and RichardIII, making arts education apopulation pause and reflect on life. Government subsidies undermine their artistic credibility, as recipients know that they are trademark of the initiative Shakespeare in American Communities is the type ofproject on the government's bankrolljust like employees at the DMV They that is hard to object to, unless one is scanning the verses of become tools, with the possibility of being exploited to fulfill the Shakespeare's plays looking for evidence of sexism or racism. With interests of a president or Congress. such heavyweights from the literary and artistic community as Harold 9

39


Can Shakespeare Pay For Itself*

Smaller institutions, like nonprofit publishers, may face some challenges, but with advancements in software and the Internet, It should be noted that the administration's announcement they may be able to survive, Rice says. Furthermore, it does not to increase the NEA's budget came in the midst ofthe Iraq War and seem too much to ask these smaller organizations to compete in the reality that the country would be spending billions in the regionthefreemarket, like many small businesses across the country. Maybe in the future. Eighteen million dollars is chump change compared what the arts community needs is an environment where groups to other government programs, but the priorities of the Bush actively compete for consumers, leading to an enlarged readership administration must be questioned. The American government or audience. can entertain the idea of funding the endowment only when the Moreover, History contains many examples ofsuccessful artists country does not have to worry about a ridiculously huge deficit, that relied on private patrons rather than tax dollars. Count Ferdinand fighting a war against terrorism, and rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan.Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein will always be associated with the help That aside, it is an undisputed fact that the National be provided to Beethoven, now forever immortalized in one of Endowment for the Arts is the single largest patron of the arts in Beethoven's sonatas. Patrons like Waldstein are notjust part ofthe the United States, providing earlyfinancialsupportfor The Sundancepast An article in The New York Times, speaks ofEli Broad,founder Film Festival and Spoleto Festival U.SJt. This is no surprise oftwo Fortune 500 companies, and bis $50 million dollar donation considering our current cultural climate seems to favor Britany overto the Los Angles County Museum of Artfor a new building. The Beethoven. Still, governmentfunding should stem from necessity. piece in the Times estimates he spend over $25 million a year collecting Is it crucialfor an entity like the NEA to existf The value of our contemporary art. The existence of patrons like Broad illustrates artistic communities cannot be brought into question—it is certainlythat people's fears that the eradication of the NEA would leave preferable that a child's first exposure to Shakespeare should be aprograms without funds may be unfounded professional performance rather than have him or her stumble over Desdemona's lines in a classroom. "A Great Nation Deserves Great Art" In an articlefor Policy Review, William Craig Rice, affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, argues that America will not see the collapse The slogan of the National Endowment of the Arts, peppered of its artistic community if the National Endowmentfor the Arts throughout the organization's Web site, is "A great nation deserves would disappear. Rice points out a raise in ticket prices could replace great art." No one disputes the importance of art in American the money given by the NEA. Such prestigious companies, like the Society. As Laura Bush said in her speech in January, Tbe study and Metropolitan Opera and Alvin Alley American Dance Theater, canenjoyment of the arts helps build greater appreciation of our rich surely find alternative sources of funding, especially when one history and artistic legacy."It is also true that a great nation does not considers that the grants range in thousands rather than millions. need help from a federal government to produce great art TBS (t


in Section 8. Tbe Supremacy Clause in Article VI provides, Tbis Constitution, and tbe Laws of tbe United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under tbe Authority of tbe United States, shall be tbe supreme Law of tbe Land-" No legislative choices made by foreign nations are binding on the United States, unless representatives By Alan J. Silverman of the latter have also ratified those choices. When two or more countries sign a ft is myfatingsentiment, andby the blessing of openly endorsed tbe use of international treaty, this does require that each country's Godit shallbe my dying sentiment— law by American courts. 'Vur island or lone behavior change somewhat to suit the Independencenowand'Independent*'forever. ranger mentality is beginning to change," others' goals, and the United States has —Daniel Webster she said 'Justices are becoming more open signed not a few treaties over the past five to comparative and international law decades. However, this change of behavior must be limited to the terms stipulated in For myself it would'bemostirksomefobended perspectives." byabeity Platonic Guardians, even if I knew These statements, coming as they do the treaty. When a country joins the United bow to choose them, which I assuredly do not from three Supreme Court Justices, is Nations, this does not mean that it has —Learned Hand positively bone-chilling. It is both illogical agreed to tailor its social legislation or and unconstitutionalfor our courts to use criminal justice policies to the wills of tbe ustice Sandra Day GConnor recently said international law in their decisions. As the French and German constituencies. And even that American courts must pay attention expression goes, if your friends jumped off if tbe United States did sign a treaty tbe entrusting its domestic policy even partially to international law to improve this a cliff (as they have—witness country's standing in tbe eyes of foreigners. Europeans' attachment to socialism), would to other countries, that treaty would be null "The impressions we create in this world you jump toof Besides, the fact that other and void. Federal legislative power is are important, and they can leave their countries have different laws and practices nondelegable; it must reside exclusively in mark, the fustice said in a speech before than the United States gives no more reason Congress. As to state legislative power, tbe tbe Southern Center for International to cast aside oursfor theirs than vice versa. Tenth Amendment provides that the states Studies in Atlanta, Georgia She mentioned Nobody ever suggests that other countries may enact whatever policies they wish, so two cases wherein tbe United States should adopt our laws to create a better long as they do not usurp the federal Supreme Court used international law to impression for us. And no one can pretend government's delegated powers or violate justify its rulings: Atkins v. Virginia, holding that Americans' opinion of other nations any provision of the Constitution. Thus, it unconstitutional tbe execution of mentally does not leave [a] mark," as the invasion is unlawful to set any authority, foreign or retarded prisoners, and Lawrence v. Texas, of Iraq demonstrates. Other countries domestic, above the states in regard to these invalidating laws against sodomy. "I should not bend to our will on matters of matters. Obviously, the central government suspect," fustice O'Connor added, "that domestic policy; on this, tbe elites are correctcannot sign over a power that the over time we will rely increasingly, or take But neither should the United States bend Constitution withholds from it. notice at least increasingly, on international to foreign countries' will in these areas. To There are many who wish that our andforeign courts in examining domestic argue that this country should adopt certain lawmakers copied the practices of their laws and practices, simply because other foreign counterparts more often than they issues." It would be wonderful to dismiss these countries have done so, is to apply tbe ad do. Much of the reason why American hominem fallacy to nation-states. courts do not ordinarily behave like remarks as expressing only tbe idiosyncratic wishes of tbe Court's dumbest fustice, but On the issue of constitutionality, only European courts is that tbe former interpret on this issue, fustice OConnor is not alone. laws enacted by American legislators have American rather than European law, and Back in fuly, fustice Stephen G. Breyer said, any legal authority in American courts. American law presently is more conservative. on ABC's This Week, that tbe U.S. Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution vests Tbe undoubtedly numerous judges who Constitution will have to 'fttfj into the allfederal legislative power in the Congress dislike this state of affairs nonetheless have governing documents of other nations," of tbe United States, and Section 7 sets out no right to change it. Chief fustice John citing globalization and immigration as the process by which Congress enacts laws. Marshall wrote, in bis historic opinion for reasons for giving up our sovereignty. And Section 8 specifies Congress's powers, and tbe Court in Marbury v. Madison, "It is in August, fustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg tbe rarely-enforced Tenth Amendment emphatically tbe province and duty of tbe delivered a speech to the American reservesfor tbe states all legislative authorityjudicial department to say what tbe law is." Constitution Society in which she, too, in relation to those subiects not mentioned Judges who see a greater rolefor themselves ft

Declaration of Dependence Tbe 'Globalization "of American Law

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than this, who believe that tbey have a policy is made by elected representatives the aforementioned fustices: humility, mandate to impose tbeir political preferences speaking for Americans, these fustices are defined for present purposes as the on the rest of us, have no respect for the advocating a system where policy is made by recognition that one is not God constitutional design of government and our courts, speakingfor the citizens of other Most disturbing, the fustices' remarks should immediately resign. For unelected countries. did not excite the public condemnation that officials to write policy does violence to the The problem, then, goes deeper than tbey so richly deserve. Bearing in mind the separation ofpowers at the core of American the enactment of our neighbors' bad old legal maxim that silence gives consent, law. policies. A t bottom, it is this: in being forced tbey, and likemindedjudges throughout our Alas, in a very real sense, the to adopt the laws and practices of other legal system, will almost certainly feelfree to constitutional objection misses the point. nations, America will become less and less continue importing foreign laws into For the past two generations, the American—without her consent. It is ironic American courts. And so, self-government Constitution has held very little significance that these pompous mandarins, who will be sacrificed to placateforeign politicians in constitutional law. Legal reasoning is pretend to be enthusiastic about protecting and judges, who neither pay taxes to the outmoded; only the fustices opinions of rights, have no concern at allfor Americans' IRS nor vote in our elections. Americans desirable policy matter now. Applying this most important right: the right to rule their used to brag, "Here, sir, the people rule!" mindset to the global age will wreak havoc own affairs. Though tbey pretend otherwise, No longer. Members of our highest court on the law and on our republic's greatest tbeir goal has never been to maximize have declared us dependent on the rest of traditions. Alexander Hamilton observed, freedom but to impose tbeir opinions as the world The open acknowledgment that in Federalist No. 78, that laws require the law on the country. That is indefensible. the Constitution must change tofit the laws consent of the governed in order to be valid What makes tbeir wishes better than anyone and customs of other nations will leave no But fustices O'Connor, Ginsburg, and else'sf The author wishes that he could date meaningful check on the power of our Breyer think that they know better. The more Michelle Branch, but obviously that does judges to write policy from the bench—a far they use global law to defend their not justify bringing about that situation greater role than was envisionedfor them indefensible rulings, the less public policy regardless of what Ms. Branch thinks. To by the Framers. Those who have taken an will reflect public opinion. Instead of the make such an admission is to reveal a oath to uphold the Constitution have now system envisioned by our Founders, in which character trait that no one ever inculcated in officially discarded it I dissent TBS y


The Brown Spectator: May 2004  
The Brown Spectator: May 2004  

Feature: A Profile in Corruption, RI Property Tax, and Is Bush the Right President?

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