March, 2008 â€” 1
Spectator The Brown University
A Monthly Journal of Conservative and Libertarian Thought Volume VI, Number V / March 2008 / TheBrownSpectator.com
Hugo ChĂĄvez Mega-Megalomaniac Also Featured H UNfit? A review of Richard Holbrooke '62 and John Bolton's UN debate H Physicians' Plight: Why a national healthcare plan will hurt doctors H How much does ignorance cost? A look at Brown's enrichment plan H The Clemens Effect: Why the Mitchell Report lacks muscle
2 — Brown Spectator
The Brown Spectator
From the Editor
Table of Contents
3 – Letters 4 – The Month
s an opinion journal, we shall make it our concern to devote our attention to issues of both national and campus concern, addressing issues others have ignored, while generating rational discussion where others have been silent. Should some of the expressed viewpoints prove hateful to the Brown community's majority opinion, we are reminded of the majority's fallibility and the academic virtue of ideas held in contention. If some arguments, under intense scrutiny and debate, prove truthful, we are all the more fortunate. We welcome letters to the editor concerning the contents of our issues.
. . . William F. Buckley, Jr. and Warren Buffet . . . McCain's Veep . . . Women's History Month
5 – Hugo Raphael Chávez Frias Residing in Hitler's shadow
7 – A Failure to Communicate How ignorance costs more than our tuition by Andrew J. Migneault 8 – The United Nations
Andrew E. Kurtzman
Editor-in-Chief The Brown Spectator Andrew_Kurtzman@brown.edu
Kristina Kelleher – Managing Editor Christina Cozzetto – Asst. Managing Editor Joshua Unseth – IT Manager
Anish K. Mitra – Managing Editor
Race Warrior-In-Chief by Kristina Kelleher
by Brian Bishop
Cheating the game, and cheating the youth by Bryan Smith
by Andrew E. Kurtzman
16 – Shooting Back: Gun rights and student responsibility
Roxanne Palmer – Senior Artist Christina DeOrchis, Miguel Llorente, Kearsley Lloyd – Contributing Artists
Stephen Beale, Brian Bishop, Pratik Chougule, Joanna Joly, Joseph Lisska, Christopher McAuliffe, Eric Neuman, Travis Rowley, Boris Ryvkin
15 – The Clemens Effect
by Christina Cozzetto
14 – Ordered Liberty Incompatible or inseparable with the right to arms?
Sean B. Quigley – Managing Editor Andrew Migneault – Asst. Managing Editor
Nathaniel Brown, Keith DellaGrotta, Susannah Kroeber, Bryan Smith, Phileda Tennant
11 – Healthcare that Hurts The downside of a national plan for a physician by Keith DellaGrotta 12 – Our Potential First-Lady?
Contributing Editors and Writers
. . . is a club. by Phileda Tennant
Andrew E. Kurtzman
Peter Catsimpiris, Lorenna Ellis, Marc Frank
9 – The Gender-Neutral Bathroom Debate A waste of time and money
by Anish K. Mitra
18 – Solutions, not Platitudes
A review of Newt Gingrich's "Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works" by Sean B. Quigley
22 – William F. Buckley, Jr. November 24, 1925 - February 27, 2008
by Nathaniel Brown
Winners and Losers
24 – Gov. Willard Mitt Romney, and Code Pink "Women for Peace"
March, 2008 — 3
Letters to the Editor March, 2008
Not nice, but not torture – Sir: eading “Against Waterboarding: A Question of Values” in February’s Spectator, I was dismayed that Mr. Halenda does not explain exactly which “values” urge the prohibition of this infamous interrogation tactic, a failure leading to his muddled nonsolution to this ethical dilemma that ultimately decries what is doubtless a reasonable means of foiling terrorist plots. In the face of such quandaries, casuistry ever offers itself to the conscientious thinker. In this pursuit, a few principles seem clear: 1. Under certain circumstances, we are justified in executing an individual responsible for another’s murder. 2. We can kill an individual while he is in the process of trying to kill another if we exhaust all other avenues of stopping his crime. 3. An individual would rather be waterboarded than executed, given that the former practice does not cause long-term physical or psychological damage. Punitive execution following a murder conviction is far from universally approved as an ethical policy. If one does deem the practice moral, however, it’s hard to see, in conjunction with principle 3) above, how one would object to waterboarding a terrorist certain to know information the authorities might use to avert a national disaster. Furthermore, I would argue that if one accepts principle 2) above, which I doubt will turn out to be even remotely controversial, one is also committed to support the use of torture under the right circumstances, including waterboarding. Consider a situation in which a maniac chases after an individual brandishing some manner of bludgeon, announcing his intention to kill his quarry. It is certain that we would use any means in our power to halt the attack, staring with the least extreme and only graduating to more serious measures in the event that our earlier efforts were to meet with failure. We might start by begging the lunatic to stop; we might continue by helping the would-be victim hide or by seeking aid from the authorities or neighbors; but if the means were available to us, and push came to shove, to a man each of us would shoot the madman and lose no sleep over it.
This hypothetical is indubitably analogous to the situation in which CIA agents find themselves when interrogating a terrorist who knows the “when” and “how” of an imminent attack on defenseless citizens. As such, I would submit that the agents may pursue any method that proves effective in preventing mass murder. As in the previous case, one must not stop trying until lives are saved; and, if, when there is no other option, we are within our rights even in killing a potential murderer to prevent the achievement of his crime, principle 3) above seems concomitantly conclusive in authorizing waterboarding as a moral means of saving lives. Even so, contrary to what Halenda suggests, waterboarding is not identical to “a murderer cocking a loaded gun to your head,” as evidenced by the fact that this latter tactic is hardly effective in coercing information out of a detainee. If it were, it would clearly be far easier a method of doing so than the waterboarding which the CIA opts for instead. There are two reasons the threat of death would fail to inspire one to spill the beans: first, one is prepared to die for his cause, or second, one sees through the ploy and realizes he’s more valuable to his enemy alive than dead. As such, it is obvious that a waterboarded prisoner who wouldn’t flinch at the prospect of a suicide mission is in no way divulging information because “he fears for his life.” Rather, he is doing so because his captors are causing him “distress . . . that he can no longer bear.” The same subhuman, vile, inexpressibly heinous, and unmentionable “distress” caused by playful older brothers in swimming pools the world over, as Halenda sternly points out. Ultimately, this line of reasoning leaves no room for doubt that in a situation posing imminent danger even to one innocent human life, waterboarding a would-be terrorist to extract timesensitive information is entirely justified. Furthermore, given that this form of “torture” is indistinguishable from a summertime ritual perpetrated at one time or another against every boy in America and which rarely warrants even notifying an adult, it is hard to take concerns over the practice seriously, especially when professionals are administering the technique and lives are in the balance. Sincerely, Peter Catsimpiris '08
"I cannot sign into law a bill that would prevent me, and future presidents, from authorizing the CIA to conduct a separate, lawful intelligence program, and from taking all lawful actions necessary to protect Americans from attack." – President George W. Bush (03/08/2008)
4 — Brown Spectator
Staff Editorial — March, 2008 Sean B. Quigley illiam F. Buckley, Jr., as I trust you know, passed away on February 27. He was a man who injected class into conservatism, teeth into traditionalism, and vocabulary into even the most verbose. He was a man truly grounded by conservative first principles - so much so that his life story, which evidenced a truly conservative willingness to apply ancient truths to modern realities, was an inspiration to the present writer. Having been raised in a state, Rhode Island, which nowadays deifies big government (though my hometown, East Greenwich, was a traditional Yankee Republican oasis), and having attended a parochial high school where equality trumped liberty, reading WFB provided a refreshing escape from the statist influences in my life. For some reason, however, I still find myself more grateful for his inculcation in me of refined tastes - in particular, a fat cigar and a strong brandy. Slainte, my fellow (part) Irishman.
Anish K. Mitra arren Buffet has recently been crowned as the world's richest man, with an estimated net worth of $62 billion dollars. As an aspiring investment banker and billionaire myself, I can't help but admire the man. As a matter of fact, I've sent him a few e-mails asking for some startup capital for a venture that I'm currently pursuing. He hasn't responded yet, but I've remained hopeful. At the very least, he might give me a few bucks. Does he even know what a dollar looks like?
Christina Cozzetto he list of events for Women's History Month (according to the calendar that we received in our campus boxes) include both a Planned Parenthood rally at the State House, and a speaking engagement by Reverend John Shelby Spong, who will be speaking about choice and religion. Can you not be pro-life and also pro-woman? Looking at history from a woman's point of view, celebrating our accomplishments and helping to ensure our safety are not bad ideas. I like those ideas so much that I want to make sure pre-born women are safe in the womb, and to give them a chance to actually have accomplishments. Think about it: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were pro-life, too.
Andrew J. Migneault uper Tuesday, round two: and Hillary comes out on top. Instead of celebrating in true Republican form (expensive cigars and stuffy leather chairs), I found more amusement in the reactions of Obama supporters to the news. I have to admit that I was expecting, “Oh don’t worry, He’ll come back,” but instead, to the delight of my skewed sense of humor, I was bombarded with sarcasm and cynicism. “I don’t even care about Obama anymore;
I just don’t want her to win.” Sour grapes at its finest. It just goes to show that no matter how many tears are shed while listening to his speeches, how many hours are spent at the State House campaigning, how many stickers are canvassed across campus, Obama just may not be the heaven-sent candidate that everyone says he is. The people have spoken. Kristina Kelleher ast fall Sen. Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, called for universities to spend down more of their endowments instead of raising tuition. Universities should spend a substantial portion of their endowments down on capital improvements and improving educational quality because these investments will reap even greater donator rewards. But instead, universities from MIT to Standard to our very own Brown have responded by promising to engage more price discrimination than they already do by reducing tutition for some students not all students, or in our case, reducing the loan burden on students based on their parents income. The same education, the exact same services and opportunities, has 2, 3, or 4 different price tags. Does that seem equitable? Two students come out of Brown and become investment bankers and one was born to more well off parents so he has to pay back student loans but the other was born to less fortunate parents so even though he got the same education and now gets the same pay check he doesn't have to. Instead institutions like Brown should make student loans about students income and not their parents and instead of capping loan burdens they should forgive student loans for students with lower-incomes after graduation. This is what Harvard law does to promote public service law practice of its graduates and heavens knows we love to copy Harvard. Why should we punish the student for his or her parents' good fortune? That seems like discrimination to me.
Andrew E. Kurtzman ll speculation is now on McCain's choice for Vice President, and, frankly, the selection needs almost entirely to be about compensating for McCain's many weaknesses. (I promise, there is no animosity here.) McCain is old, not particularly attractive, admittedly not knowledgeable about economics and business, and willing to embrace awkward big government solutions to problems. Cap-and-trade for "global warming" anyone? (Yep. Slowing down the economy will help technology advance in energy efficiency.) And McCain-Feingold is nothing if not an affront to the First Amendment. So, the ideal VP would be younger, damn good-looking, a business genius, and a strong economic conservative with a good record for intelligent policy-crafting. We've placed a hint on the back cover. •
March, 2008 — 5
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frias Residing in Hitler's Shadow ANISH K. MITRA '10
hen I heard a rumor that Hugo Chávez, the infamous though the military had officially conducted the 2002 coup, the President of Venezuela, would grace our university with his intense rioting (and, ultimately, the coup) was caused by the same presence, I had mixed feelings. Although I am quite fond of dis- poor and middle class individuals who had elected Chávez in the course and dialogue, my other half yearned to plan for actions that first place. were less intellectual, and far less peaceful. Luckily for everyone, In 2004, the Venezuelan people conducted a "Presidential the Chávez rumor was false, and I could only imagine how his recall" which would have formally deposed Chávez had it passed. speech would have turned out. Would anyone have cheered him? Although the recall unfortunately failed 59% to 41%, the actual Who would have protested? To be brutally honest, I have no idea process was marred with controversy and potential corruption. how the majority of Brown students would have received Chávez. The Carter Foundation claims the results were accurate, but many As Vice President of the Brown Model United Nations (MUN), others disagree. A Penn, Schoen, Berland Associates (PSB) exit I remember leading a discussion where some students were highly poll had initially predicted that Chávez would lose by 20%; this critical of Mr. Chávez, some were sympathetic, and the rest were prediction was supported by US News & World Report, further afapathetic. Although the opinions of Brown’s MUN members do firming that there was "very good reason to believe that the [PSB] not perfectly reflect those of the Brown community, I’ve realized exit poll had the result right, and that Chávez's election officials many important concerns regarding this campus’ perception of – and Carter and the American media – got it wrong." AdditionChavez. I fear foremost that many individuals see Chávez as a ally, European Union officials were unable to observe the election Latin American freedom fighter. I also worry that these individu- due to stringent restrictions placed upon them by Chavez. Ultials may be sympathetic to Chavez’s extremely socialist policies, and mately, the Center for Security Policy concluded, “the [Chávez] may subsequently view him as a champion of the poor. Ladies and regime delayed and obstructed the recall referendum process at gentlemen, these claims are every turn. Once the regime absolutely fallacious. There is was forced to submit to such a only one acceptable “opinion” referendum, moreover, it used of Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias: "Maybe he’s too busy calling President Bush "un a fraud-filled voting process he is a scheming, Hitler-esque, pendejo," calling Iranian President Mahmoud Ah- to ensure victory. The governpower-hungry statist who will ment did everything – includdo anything and everything in madinejad his “brother,” or chatting up Zimbabwean ing granting citizenship to his power to sully the image of President Robert Mugabe, to become the democratic half a million illegal aliens in the United States of America a crude vote-buying scheme at the cost of his own nation’s leader he claims to be. Regardless, if nothing is done and 'migrating' existing voters well-being. to depose Chávez, the world will see the rise of yet away from their local election “We're not perfect, but we office – to fix the results in its another megalomaniacal despot." do have democracy,” Chavez favor.” Controversy, corruponce said. While the first half tion, and fraud all run contrary rings true, the latter is highly to the principles of democracy. questionable. Chávez uses the word "democracy" liberally in order Chávez’s regime has displayed these elements since its inception, to dupe his onlookers. When one looks past his rhetoric (an act and he continues to sabotage the democratic process in order to that isn’t hard to do nowadays), it is clear that Chávez’s Venezuela bolster his own power. is anything but democratic. The history of Chávez’s rule is marred More recently, in December 2007, Chávez pushed for a refwith controversy, from his initial attempted ascension to power erendum that would propose more than 60 changes to the current in 1992 (as a military coup leader) to this day. Much like Adolf Venezuelan constitution. Although Chávez claims his intent was Hitler, Chávez was democratically elected to power in 1998 on an democratic, this referendum would have curtailed democracy in agenda based upon helping the poor, improving the economy, and every possible way. The passage of this referendum would have restoring some national glory. Instead of focusing on his campaign established state control of central banks and many other Venpromises, however, Chávez spearheaded a constitutional reforma- ezuelan industries, and, most importantly, eliminated term limits. tion, which expanded his term to six years, but limited him to two This referendum was to Chávez what the Enabling Act was to terms. Chávez won re-election in 2000, but ruined his term by fir- Hitler: with its passage, Chavez would have expanded the powers ing seven executive board members of the Petróleos de Venezuela, of the executive and the state exponentially. The referendum failed S.A. (the state-owned oil company). This act crippled the nation’s by a slim 51% to 49% margin; Chávez has maintained that he will most prominent industry, and caused rioting and striking, which continue to push for this referendum, and with only 2% separatultimately deposed Chávez from power for a brief 47-hour period. ing either side, he just might succeed. Chávez’s undying fervor Despite his restoration, one fact was clear: Chávez had failed. Al- (with regards to this referendum) is the primary indication that
6 — Brown Spectator
his “democratic” promises are completely unreliable. Like Hitler, Chavez is simply exploiting already existing legal measures in order to ascend to a position of insurmountable power. This is why Chávez employs referendums instead of brute force. By legally obtaining his powers, Chávez can continually deceive the world with his “democratic” promises while fulfilling his own megalomaniacal desires. As we have seen, Chávez’s domestic policies are atrocious, and he has yet to fulfill his promises of restoring the nation’s economy and establishing democratic reforms. His foreign policy actions further argue against his being a good-willed, democratic leader. Instead of using his power to further Venezuelan interests, Chávez uses the world as a stage for his antics. He thrives upon confrontations with the United States, often risking his nation’s welfare. Chávez’s overt threats to refuse exporting oil to the United States are primary examples of this odd behavior. The United States only imports 12% of its oil (1.23 million barrels per day) from Venezuela, while oil exports comprise 90% of Venezuela’s national revenue. Though oil prices would certainly jump if such an embargo were enacted (therefore hurting Americans), it is very clear that this policy would halt Venezuelan exports and jeopardize almost all of her national earnings. Further, the United States can opt to drill for more oil or purchase it from other sources; thus, this hubristic policy ruins Venezuela in the long run. Is it surprising that Chávez would support such foolish measures? Absolutely not. Chávez has also promised “Latin American integration” to the people of Venezuela, and more importantly, to the South American region; approximately one decade later, Chávez has yet to fulfill his promise. Namely, his relations with Peru, Colombia, and even Mexico remain severely strained. For instance, back in 2001, Peruvian officials suspected that Chávez was protecting Vladimiro Montesinos on Venezuelan soil. Montesinos, the former head of Peru’s intelligence, was sought by Peruvian officials for various offenses, including bribery and fraud. After Venezuelan officials (acting on a tip provided by the FBI) captured and returned him to Peru, Chávez discredited Peruvian officials and the FBI while claiming full credit for Montesinos’ capture. This further deteriorated ties between the two nations, especially after Chávez recalled his Peruvian envoy. More recently, during Peru’s 2006 national elections, Chávez overtly endorsed Ollanta Humala and obnoxiously berated the other candidates. After accusing Chávez of meddling in Peru’s political affairs, Peru’s government recalled its ambassador to Venezuela, resulting in Chávez's doing the same. Similarly immature Chávez outbursts have also led to strained relations with Mexico. In late 2005, Chávez called Mexican President Vicente Fox the “puppy dog of the empire,” in reference to Mexico’s participation in certain U.S. trade deals. Further, on his weekly talk show, Chavez belligerently harassed Fox by claiming the Mexican president was “bleeding from his wounds”; he even warned Fox not to “mess with him.” Such public, inflammatory remarks were not taken lightly, and ultimately resulted in both Chávez's and Fox's recalling their respective ambassadors, severing diplomatic ties indefinitely. Although Chávez’s track record in Peru and Mexico proves that he is incapable of working with other regional leaders, an examination of his “relationship” with Colombia further reveals his lack of commitment to Latin American integration. If Chávez has truly been “committed” to integrating his region for so long,
why were Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela on the brink of war in early March 2008? Does this much tension normally exist in an integrated region? Absolutely not. The aforementioned March incident entailed Colombian military troops and policemen crossing Ecuadorian borders in pursuit of Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) rebels. FARC, a notorious terrorist organization of guerrillas committed to overthrowing the currently established Colombian government, is known to run in and out of Colombia, seeking refuge within either Ecuador or Venezuela whenever convenience dictates. Ultimately, 22 people died after the incident Colombian army attacked, including FARC’s second-in-command. However, since the incident involved Colombian troops penetrating Ecuadorian borders without consent, both Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and Chávez were outraged. This incident has since been resolved, and both Correa and Chávez certainly had reason to be concerned about their territorial security. However, were Chávez truly committed to his initial promise of enriching his region, it is likely that the incident would not have happened in the first place. Colombia’s FARC problem is really a regional problem; if Colombia falls in the hands of extreme leftist terrorists, the instability of such a regime change will negatively affect all members of the region. In essence, it is in Chávez’s best interests to assist his brother nation and to cooperate with attempts to mitigate, if not eliminate, FARC. However, this has rarely been the case. Earlier this year, Chávez was asked by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to act as a third party in a hostage negotiation involving FARC, the Colombian government, and hundreds of hostages. Instead of cooperating with President Uribe and fostering an environment of integration, Chávez superseded Uribe’s authority and the details of their agreement by directly contacting Colombian generals, subsequently halting the negotiation and further deteriorating relations between the two leaders. In an arrogant, entirely selfinterested attempt to become a hero, Chávez disrespected his neighbor, crushed the hopes of families awaiting the release of their loved ones, and allowed FARC terrorists to win. Like Hitler, Chávez is overly-conscious about his image, and uses dramatic, animated, and even flagrant rhetoric in order to ascend to positions of higher political power. Chávez has empowered the Venezuelan state in every respect, and there exist miniscule checks upon his power. Like Hitler, Chávez exploits the masses and already existing legal measures to legitimately (and almost underhandedly) obtain authoritarian powers. Keep in mind, the referendum which would’ve eliminated presidential term limits and tightened the grasp of the Venezuelan state only failed by a narrow 51 to 49 percent margin. Chávez continues to fight for this referendum, and only 2% of Venezuelan citizens need to be bribed, forced, or convinced to vote otherwise in order for Chávez to win. Internationally, Chávez has defaulted on his promise to bring unity and integration in Latin America; he is simply a pugnacious, unreasonably self-interested ego-maniac that has a proven track record for failure and controversy. Maybe he’s too busy calling President Bush "un pendejo," calling Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad his “brother,” or chatting up Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, to become the democratic leader he claims to be. Regardless, if nothing is done to depose Chávez, the world will see the rise of yet another megalomaniacal despot. However, don’t complain to me when it happens; if you’re looking for me, I’ll be that unforgiving conservative muttering, “I told you so.” •
March, 2008 — 7
A Failure To Communicate
How ignorance costs more than our tuition Andrew J. Migneault '11
oo many times have I heard the gripe, “I wish our University tion and improvement highlighted by the PAE publication. Adwould stop acting like it is so poor.” I had to laugh when I ditionally, our course catalog has expanded by 9% to over 1,722 saw the heaping pile of booklets stacked up next to the newspa- classes offered, and “need blind” financial aid has become integral pers in the Mail Room. Despite the best efforts put forth by the in admissions. University to get all of us to read the Plan for Academic Enrichment Despite these improvements, however, there are many areas (PAE), the apathy of the student body prevailed. We continued to in which our University is still lacking. It is no secret that despite make snide comments about the Unithe near doubling of international fiversity's stinginess, or wrote editorials Despite the best efforts put forth by the nancial aid, it is still not need blind. extolling the naiveté of the adminisFor a University so focused on imtration's assumption that we would University to get all of us to read the Plan proving diversity and so proud of its actually read enough to justify the cost international enrollment for the for Academic Enrichment (PAE), the 9% of the print run. Curiosity got the best Class of 2011, the lack of need-blind of me as I brought my booklet back to apathy of the student body prevailed. aid is counterproductive and almost my room, half expecting it to convince insulting. The recent announcements me that such endeavors were going to that MIT, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, enrich my academic experience; to my surprise, it did. Dartmouth (to name a few) are offering need-blind financial asHow widely known is the fact that over the past six years, since sistance for international students makes me question why we are Boldly Brown (The Campaign for Academic Enrichment, which not on that list. Perhaps I was correct in my questioning of the $4 released the PAE) began in 2002, it has added an additional $1.14 million Peter Green house relocation, a $1 million walkway, or the billion to the endowment construction of a $3.8 million temporary pool (could this money of our University? That have been better spent?). The additional announcement of the firepresents almost half nancial aid policies for domestics students by these competitive of the $2.3 billion total institutions has also left me questioning the budgeting priorities endowment reported by of our University, despite the fact that great steps have already Brown, coming from a been taken. “40% increase over the In addition to issues with aid, faculty advising is crude at number of gifts received best. As a matter of fact, my own adviser refused to respond to in the four years prior to requests for recommendations from two advisees, myself included. the Campaign." Here Some of the most useful advice and assistance has come from my are a few more figures to Meiklejohn adviser or the Woman’s Peer Counselor in my hallway. mull over: over 79 new I applaud their effectiveness, but urge the University to consider professors were hired, some sort of reform for faculty advising. Perhaps there should be and the student-to- more monetary incentives for current faculty, besides the hiring faculty ratio decreased of those more befitting of the role and those who do not put stuto a 9:1 ratio (more be- dents second to their research. Having more interaction beyond fitting an Ivy League the once-a-week, hour-long faculty study break can make all the u n i v e r s i t y ) . difference for both those currently enrolled here and those conAlso, there was sidering enrollment. a 50% increase Lastly, even our residential experience is sub-par compared to in international that of our peer institutions. In addition to our poorly maintained financial aid, and $15 facilities, many other schools have faculty that live in the dormitomillion has been put forward ries, dine with the students, and make themselves more available. towards the renovation of the Plans for new residential halls and renovations are being tossed in J. Walter Wilson laboratory, the air, but maybe a reform of the entire residential system should so as to create a new student be considered. I am a strong proponent of the residential college center. Lastly, over $20 mil- system, like those at Oxford or Yale. I envy the cohesion of house lion has been donated to members and the entrenchment of faculty in their lives. Perhaps fund the modernized Nel- the new policies of sophomore squatting may help give some son Fitness Center. All this Brown dormitories more of that 'personal' feel (as one may say), just scratches the surface of but we still have much to learn in terms of dormitory self-worth. the extensive list of innovaDespite the best efforts of the University to improve both
8 — Brown Spectator
undergraduate and graduate education, the Plan has made many oversights. Serious consideration of priorities should be put into financial assistance and life outside of the classroom. On the other hand, the student body is equally responsible for ignoring the Plan for Academic Enrichment altogether. One of the main requests made by President Simmons was that we, as members and users of these resources, give our input. In the "Letter from the President" at the front of the booklet, she writes, “I look forward to your guidance on how the Plan can be further improved to position Brown as an outstanding institution of higher education in the decades to come.” Too many Brown Daily Herald articles reveal
the poor adherence to this request, citing the few and dwindling numbers of students in attendance at discussion meetings. That being said, we still have much to be thankful for in our academic environment, and should stop referring to our University as poor. Much has been accomplished in the classroom to maintain our reputation as an excellent undergraduate institution. There should be no piles of discarded booklets, as the matters addressed by the Campaign are ones that drastically shape our education and our livelihoods. In some cases, ignorance is bliss, but in the case of the Plan for Academic Enrichment, ignorance costs us so much more than the tuition we are paying. •
The United Nations . . . is a club.
PhilEda Tennant '11
n February 21, 2008, the seats in Salomon 101 quickly filled, both members of the Security Council, refuse to act in accordance as the attendees anticipated seeing former United Nations with the resolution. ambassadors John Bolton and Richard Holbrooke '62 duke it out Last, Bolton addressed a laundry list of scandals that make it over the importance of an organization “criticized as an irrelevant clear that the U.N. is in sore need of some managerial restructur. . . debating society.” Or, at least, Janus Forum leader Jess Mad- ing. He implied that these changes will be difficult to implement dox '08 told the audience this was the case. I expected one of the from within, referencing the Oil for Food scandal, in which the ambassadors to take up Jess’s challenge and defend the U.N., but Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein illegally extracted some the audience was unfortunately treated to a non-debate. $67 billion from the Oil for Food program between 1997 and Bolton, a 2005 Bush appointee, and Holbrooke, a Clinton ap- 2002. Recommendations of an “independent outside auditing pointee, spoke for twenty minutes [service]” were presented to the on what were supposed to be opAssembly, but this effort "Only one former ambassador presented a General posing positions. They essentially at transparency was defeated 120 arrived at one conclusion - that solution: a mandatory payment program to 50, with the 50 nations that United States foreign policy cannot voted for transparency contributbe controlled by the U.N. - and two that would enable our nation to strengthen ing 90% of the U.N. budget. Boloptions for reform: A) a new volfinally proposed a solution to legitimate programs, and leave illegitimate ton untary funding scheme, promoting the problems he presented: “We transparency and making the U.N. ones in the dust, while the other just asked should eliminate the system of more financially worthwhile for the assessed [mandatory] contribuU.S., or B) the United States should us to 'try harder' and continue to support an tions [and] . . . make it voluntary.” just support its votes more and this This, said Bolton, will make ageninstitution with little hope of change." will make everything better Which cies “more effective, transparent, sounds more appealing? responsive,” and give the United Bolton’s presentation outlined three ways in which U.N. States the power to “pay for what we want and get what we pay policy is incongruous with American domestic and foreign goals, for.” In other words, the U.S. could choose which agencies and the first being that U.N. resolutions frequently attempt to “norm” programs to support. our society, in essence superceding sovereignty within our counHolbrooke, currently Professor-at-Large at the Watson Intry. He stated that he would not allow U.N. policy to influence stitute, began his speech with a play to his home crowd, saying constitutional issues such as the death penalty, arms control, and “When I was at Brown, the student body looked at the U.N. as abortion. the last great hope for mankind . . . we’re more realistic now.” Second, Bolton criticized the unreasonable expectations Holbrooke defended the theory that the overall strength and efplaced upon the United States as a permanent member of the fectiveness of the U.N. rests in the hands of the member nations, Security Council, best illustrated by “the 2004 election, [in which who need only enforce the policies they vote for. Democratic candidate] John Kerry said that [U.S.] foreign policy “If people are upset with Darfur, the administration in Washmust pass a global test” of approval by the U.N. Security Council. ington, D.C., blames the U.N. - as they have - and ten Security Bolton pointed out the unrealistic nature of this goal, consider- Council countries vote to take action in Darfur, and [then] nothing the natural tendency of nations to act in their own interests. ing happens." Holbrooke did agree that U.S. foreign policy could Bolton pointed to the issue of sanctions on Iran, emphasizing the not be controlled by the United Nations, but countered that “the difficulty in effectively sanctioning Iran when Russia and China, weaker it [the U.N.] gets, the more anti-American it will get.”
Even earlier that day, February 21, he said, Serbians responded to a long battle within the U.N. over Kosovo's independence from Russia by attacking the American embassy in Belgrade. There’s “obviously nothing united about the United Nations, [the] U.N. can [still] make a difference [with programs such as] UNICEF, UNAIDS, and policies in Iraq and Kosovo," said Holbrooke, who emphasized that “it’s much cheaper to support the United Nations than to try to do everything ourselves,” and that of course the U.N. is flawed, but that we shouldn’t be so demanding . . . “there’s no corruption in Washington, right?” All rhetorical questions aside, former ambassador Holbrooke simply could not convince this writer that more enforcement from the U.S. would make the U.N. more effective and worth American dollars and time. First, both ambassadors agree that the U.N. is made up of nations with their own agendas. For this reason alone, even if the United States were to throw its weight behind every resolution it supported, the resolution could still hold little weight for other major world powers, and even less weight with nations already opposed to U.S. foreign policy. The only way that increased American support of a resolution could make a difference is if our federal government took independent (unilateral?) action against other countries who refuse to support a U.N. decision. Talk about an added burden to a country with an already stressed foreign policy! Holbrooke's concern was that removing mandatory funding requirements (the U.S. currently provides 22% of U.N. funding) would permanently cripple necessary programs. Holbrooke later noted that it is more expensive for the United States to do certain
March, 2008 — 9
things, like supporting a national peacekeeping force, on our own than it is for us to split the cost through the U.N. If peacekeeping, which apparently gets "highly leveraged returns," is important to the United States, then is this not one of the programs the United States would continue to voluntarily fund under Bolton’s proposal? With a voluntary funding system, if those PKO Blue-Helmets (the peacekeepers) do decide to engage in a little questionable action (anyone remember accusations of child abuse, rape, or weapons under the table?), the United States would then be free to choke funding, potentially influencing the transparency of all U.N. groups in this fashion, instead of (as we have been known to do) just withholding U.N. dues and crippling many programs at once. Said Holbrooke, “The United Nations . . . is a club,” not an organization. Everyone agrees with him, yet many Brunonians may have come away from the debate feeling that, yet again, the United States has shirked its responsibility to humanity by not enforcing every vote it makes within the Security Council. I believe that a second look at what was said during this debate is warranted. In essence, both candidates came to the conclusion that a change was warranted. Only one former ambassador presented a solution: a mandatory payment program that would enable our nation to strengthen legitimate programs, and leave illegitimate ones in the dust, while the other just asked us to “try harder” and continue to support an institution with little hope of change. Based on what this writer heard that afternoon, I say that a mandatory payment program sounds one heck of a lot better than supporting a disintegrating, corrupt institution and potentially endangering the sovereignty, Constitution, and foreign policy of our nation. •
"Gender-Neutral" Bathrooms A waste of time and money Christina Cozzetto '10
n article that ran in The Brown Daily Herald (“Brown looks as well, allowing young men and women who have never met to other universities in its discussion of co-ed doubles,” Jan. each other to live in the same room. This fact is mentioned in the 30) discussed the possibility that the University would imple- Herald article, but is remarkably impossible to find on Wesleyan’s ment “gender-neutral” dorms for upperclassmen. This would be Residential Life site; nowhere does it explicitly say that male and a relatively drastic step for Brown to take, and the administra- female freshmen may live in co-ed doubles. tion is looking to comparable schools If this kind of housing is so deto see how well their programs have sired and “normal,” why can’t the "I realize that Brown is not Penn, but phrase “freshman co-ed double” (or functioned. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, and Columbia have no since less than one half of one percent of anything of its kind) be found on Wesleyan’s Residential Life site (trust gender-neutral housing. Dartmouth’s students choose to live in gender neutral me, I tried)? If gender-neutral doubles policy (currently in its first year) is one are so popular, then why does such a “program floor” with co-ed doubles, housing there, it seems as if this issue small contingency of Penn students combined with other co-ed suites and apartments that are required to could be dealt with on a case-by-case choose to live in them? Of course, neither of these schools is Brown, but have private lockable bathrooms and basis here." since Wesleyan is known to be even bedrooms. The University of Pennmore socially liberal than Brown, and sylvania allows students to request Penn is a fellow member of the Ivy League, we need to look to gender-neutral housing and live with whomever they would like, these schools as examples if we want to try to implement our own but only one half of one percent of students do so. Brown has policy. It would seem that if this type of housing were desirable, it also been looking at Wesleyan, arguably the most “liberal” in their would be used and advertised more often. So why is Brown spendpolicy, which allows freshmen to choose gender-neutral housing
10 — Brown Spectator
ing so much time and effort on it? Additionally, there are already many opportunities for men and women (or any one who identifies as neither man nor woman) to live together that investigating this possible change is not worthwhile. Twenty percent of Brown’s housing is currently classified as “gender neutral” (such as suites and apartments with singles). Again, I realize that Brown is not Penn, but since less than one half of one percent of students choose to live in gender neutral housing there, it seems as if this issue could be dealt with on a case-by-case basis here. Another possible concern was addressed by the Herald article: it cited the fact that under policies currently in place at other schools, there is no demonstrable increase in room-change requests when men and women are allowed to live together. This is all fine and good, but it should not be a consideration. The fact that it will not inconvenience the administration of residential issues is not a justification to implement a policy. For example, I’m sure if Residential Life suddenly announced that it would no longer do room inspections, it would save itself a lot of paperwork and
tension, and students would be significantly happier. That does not make it a good idea. The article mentioned very little about the effect on the students. Brown has said the goal of this change would be to “house students in whatever configuration they can think of that best serves their comfort, safety, and well-being.” I don’t understand how this change would improve students’ safety, and it doesn’t seem abundantly clear that this “configuration” would add greatly to students’ comfort or well-being. The strongest argument against co-ed doubles is probably the idea that it “enables” students to have active sex lives, and since sex and everything that comes with it (both biologically and emotionally) must be a university concern, the argument needs to be examined. It is almost certain that in most cases, allowing men and women to live together would increase sexual activity: there is no way around it, even accounting for the fact that men and women are not exclusively attracted to the opposite sex. In that vein, a possible counter-argument that is made in supporting coed-doubles for allowing men and women to live in the same room is that some friends cannot possibly be romantically involved with each other, such as a homosexual male and a heterosexual female, or the fact that two women or two men could just as easily be romantically involved. Both of these statements are true, and one could take the position that since the two potential roommates cannot be involved with each other, it should not be a problem, or that single-gender doubles do not ensure chastity. However, these are not reasonable ways to approach the situation. Ensuring that roommates will not hook up is impossible for several reasons. It would, first of all, require students to disclose their sexual orientation to the University. Second, based solely on numbers, there are more straight men and women than there are people of any other sexual orientation, so grouping by gender makes sense. Third, it would be laughably easy for a student to lie on a form in order to live with whomever he or she would like to live. Finally, it would be, in fact, a form of discrimination, of which Brown clearly would not be a part. Based on the policies of similar universities, as well as Brown’s history and common logic, there is no reason to justify the expense of investigating or creating gender-neutral dorms, particularly coed doubles. The University has better ways to spend its time and money. •
"Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time."
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1748 - 1832)
March, 2008 — 11
Healthcare that Hurts The downside of nationalization Keith DellaGrotta '10
s the general election draws ever closer, it is time for Brown two organizations, but on a broader scale, and therefore a physistudents and the United States public in general to get down cian’s income will be set by the federal government, and at a lower to the nitty-gritty. It is time for you as a voter to examine each po- rate than now received . An important consequence could be that, litical issue in detail so that when you vote for a presidential can- during times of recession, the government could choose to reduce didate and his or her platform, you know precisely the future you doctors' pay to alleviate the deficit. are choosing. No more support of the nebulous word “change” and A medical occupation also currently offers the lure of ingethe hollow phrase “yes, we can.” It is time to know exactly which nuity and pleasure in helping patients. Doctor flexibility would agendas you are championing. For all the physicians, medical stu- be severely curtailed under a national healthcare system. Already dents, pre-meds, and young aspiring doctors reading this article, I limited by the bureaucratic legislation of Medicaid, Medicare, and would like to call your attention to the HMOs, doctors find that they have to "It is clear that a vote for the follow mandated guidelines for certain issue of universal health care. I assume that most of you are aware Democratic candidate this November procedures across the board. They are that both Senator Hillary Clinton unable to treat patients on a case-by(D-NY) and Senator Barack Obama would be a fatal blow to healthcare." case basis due to financial limitations set (D-IL) are in favor of making healthby the government and some insurance care in the United States a government-sponsored program. No companies. In other words, politicians, in the form of universal matter which Democratic candidate wins the nomination, Sena- healthcare, would force extensively-educated physicians to treat tor McCain (R-AZ) will be the only presidential candidate in their own patients similarly in every circumstance, even though favor of the existing free market healthcare system. This fact alone these physicians might deem an alternate set of actions more benshould elevate McCain to the position of being the unquestion- eficial to remedy special cases. able choice for the next president among physicians and upcoming So with universal healthcare, doctors will not be able to exerphysicians - that is, if they desire an occupation that will continue cise their best judgment concerning patient care, and will also most to be rewarding both financially and intellectually. likely have to turn patients away from their hospitals and clinics. The educational track to become a physician is one of the With “free” healthcare - though I have already mentioned that it most demanding and expensive among all higher-education op- is not free due to increased taxes and lower medical salaries - pations. In order to practice medicine, an individual must attend tient inflow will increase. With no dissuasion of a fee, individuals undergraduate school for four years, graduate school for another will visit the doctor for minor problems that do not require medifour years, and then residency for three to six years. After medical cal attention whereas before they might have thought twice before school, the average Medical Doctor has about $140,000 in debt. going to a doctor. The result would be the turning away of patients Still, with all these negatives, the choice of medicine as an oc- and longer waiting lists for care. In 2007, patients in Canada had cupation is attractive to many because of the appealing salary that to wait an average of 18.3 weeks for surgical treatment whereas will compensate for all the previous sacrifices. This perk would the United States’ wait is a couple of weeks. Physicians will not get disappear, however, after the enactment of national healthcare. the reward of aiding every sick and injured client, but rather will First, the tax burden of every American would increase. The state be forced to reject many due to full schedules. of Wisconsin proposed a universal health care plan in 2007 that It is clear that a vote for the Democratic candidate this Nowould have raised the state income tax by ten percentage points. vember would be a fatal blow to healthcare. However, I want to U.S. citizens would see similar results in the federal income tax make clear to readers not pursuing medicine that national healthwith a national healthcare plan. care is not only harmful to the practitioners. I can easily point Second, as many doctors today are frustrated with Medicaid out that quality medical care would decrease due to more govand Medicare (two government-run healthcare organizations), as ernmental regulations and fewer incentives to pursue a medical well as with Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), aggra- profession, and due to the fact that lengthened waiting times and vation among health providers would only increase after adoption higher taxes would impact the layman significantly. In addition, a of universal healthcare. The HMO formula for payment of doc- large portion of U.S. jobs and national GDP would be eliminated tors is based on capitation; doctors receive a constant, upfront pay by the removal of the current insurance companies. To prevent for a certain period of time for an individual, regardless of the this disaster we must uphold our trust in Adam Smith’s “invisnumber of times the patient gets medical attention in that time ible hand.” The only way to provide high-standard healthcare is period. Medicaid and Medicare offer physicians a fraction of what to prevent government intervention and allow the free market to it costs to treat their individuals. Thus, if an HMO patient visits determine productive allocation of resources. If physicians, today the doctor frequently, and with most procedures paid by Medic- and tomorrow, want their careers to remain lucrative and mentally aid and Medicare, costs often exceed the doctor’s revenue for the invigorating, they should realize the intelligent choice is to supsurgery, examination, etc. National healthcare is similar to these port John McCain. •
12 — Brown Spectator
Our Potential First Lady? Race Warrior-In-Chief Kristina Kelleher '09
he Vast-Right Wing Conspiracy and Republican Attack Machine may have thought that they “beat the bitch,” but it appears likely that their sights were pointed in the wrong direction. While Hillary Rodham Clinton has endured the bulk of criticisms from stalwarts of the Right from Pat Buchanan to Robert Bork for nearly two decades, it is now clear that everything that the Republicans said and thought that Hillary Clinton was, Michelle Obama is. In fact, in recent weeks, Michelle Obama has unveiled her true identity as everything that her husband is not: a smug, unpatriotic, spoiled, limousine liberal. Typically, candidates spouses are rightly considered off limits to media scrutiny. However, like Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Edwards, and Theresa Heinz Kerry in the past, Michelle Obama is not a typical wife of a candidate. Although she has claimed on a number of occasions that she has not interest, and in fact dislikes politics, her actions and words expose her true liberal bona fides. Don’t let yourself be convinced otherwise. Of course, most of the criticism directed at Michelle Obama came as a result of her comments that “for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback” while speaking on behalf of her husband in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Of course, Obama supporters were quick to point out that she was taken out of context and according to Senator Obama, “What she meant was, this is the first time that she’s been proud of the politics of America . . . Because she’s pretty cynical about the political process, and with good reason, and she’s not alone. But she has seen large numbers of people get involved in the process, and she’s encouraged.” Typically that response would be sufficient, but this case it does not wash because her comments in Milwaukee were not an isolated event. In fact, on the same day, speaking in Madison, Wisconsin, Michelle Obama said, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.” To believe Senator Obama’s explanation would require more than an audacious quantity of hope, it would truly require a “willful suspension of disbelief.” As the saying goes, lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. That was not an isolated incident. In fact, while acting as a surrogate for her husband on the campaign trail, Michelle Obama has made a number of statements that, at the very least, cast doubts on her supposed lack of interest in politics. For instance, while stumping for Senator Obama on April 16, 2007, Mrs. Obama discussed the struggles of being a Princeton grad, Harvard trained lawyer, and wife of a Senator. Speaking to a large group of women,
Michelle Obama said: “But seriously, with the exception of the campaign trail and life in the public eye, I have to say that my life now is not really that much different from many of yours. I wake up every morning wondering how on earth I am going to pull off that next minor miracle to get through the day. I know that everybody in this room is going through this. That is the dilemma women face today. Every woman that I know, regardless of race, education, income, background, political affiliation, is struggling to keep her head above water.” Would you believe that a woman whose combined household income was, according to the L.A. times, in excess of $430,000 in 2006 and whose husband earned an additional $551,000 in book royalties, living in a $1.6-million home in Chicago can really connect with “Every woman . . . struggling to keep her head above water.”? Beyond the unbelievability of that statement, can I point out that such rhetoric sounds more like John Edwards class-warfare rhetoric than a candidate’s wife who is disinterested in politics. However, perhaps more important than the obvious political fire that burns deep inside that daughter of a Democratic precinct captain, is the contrast that Senator Hillary Clinton provided over what she and Michelle Obama viewed as “struggling.” During the February 21 Democratic Debate at the University of Texas, Senator Clinton said: "... with all of the challenges that I’ve had, they are nothing compared to what I see happening in the lives of Americans every single day. [I was proud to be] along with Senator McCain, as the only two elected officials, to speak at the opening at the Intrepid Center at Brooke Medical Center in San Antonio, a center designed to take care of and provide rehabilitation for our brave young men and women who have been injured in war." And I remember sitting up there and watching them come in. Those who could walk were walking. Those who had lost limbs were trying with great courage to get themselves in without the help of others. Some were in wheelchairs and some were on gurneys. And the speaker representing these wounded warriors had had most of his face disfigured by the results of fire from a roadside bomb. You know, the hits I’ve taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country. And I resolved at a very young age that I’d been blessed
March, 2008 — 13
and that I was called by my faith and by my upbringing to do what and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try I could to give others the same opportunities and blessings that I to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I took for granted. really don't belong. Regardless of the circumstances underwhich Senator Clinton demonstrated that, despite years of criticism, I interact with whites at Princeton, it often seems as if, to them, the kind of criticism that Michelle I will always be black first and a Obama has not yet even begun to student second." But perhaps the imagine, she appreciates the mean- "In recently weeks, Michelle Obama has most startling piece of the thesis ing of sacrifice and patriotism in was Michelle Obama’s reporting of a way that Michelle “For the first unveiled her true identity as everything that the results of an 18-question surtime in my adult lifetime, I’m really vey that she had sent to 400 black proud of my country” Obama does her husband is not: a smug, unpatriotic, graduates of Princeton. The then not. young Michelle Robinson wrote: spoiled, limousine liberal." Whether all women are strug"I hoped that these findings would gling or not, Michelle Obama did help me conclude that despite the make it clear that one woman would have to significantly struggle high degree of identification with whites as a result of the educato gain her vote. During an interview in February 2008, Michelle tional and occupational path that black Princeton alumni follow, Obama was unclear whether or not she would support Hillary the alumni would still maintain a certain level of identification Clinton if she was the Democratic nominee, Mrs. Obama said with the black community. However, these findings do not sup"I'd have to think about that. I'd have to think about policies, port this possibility." her approach, her tone." That type of political cannibalism That thesis may finally reveal how Barack is rare even among Washington insiders and should make Obama, a man raised by a white mother and white people wonder about what type of fiery rhetoric the American grandparents, was led to attend a Church whose people can expect if Michelle Obama was mission statement reads like an Afro-centrist to spend more time in Washington. tome. According to its website, the Obama’s home This also points out the media’s church, led by Pastor Jeremiah Wright, the misbias in covering the democratic sion of the Trinity United Church of Christ presidential candidates. Mrs. reads: “We are a congregation which is Obama’s comments got Unashamedly Black and Unapologetialmost no media covercally Christian... Our roots in the Black age. Could you imagine if religious experience and tradition are Former President Clinton deep, lasting and permanent. We are had said he wasn’t sure an African people, and remain if he would vote for the "true to our native land," the democratic nominee if it mother continent, wasn’t his wife and the cradle of civilihow much coverage zation. God has that would have gotten? superintended If recent weeks have been our pilgrimage any indication, we are just beginthrough the days ning to get a picture of who Michelle of slavery, the days Obama really is. This picture was made more visible by the of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who Obama campaign's decision to release Michelle Obama’s senior gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice thesis, “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,” as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust despite the previous decision, as reported by Jonah Goldberg of the in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and National Review, by officials at Princeton to restrict access to her ministries which address the Black Community.” thesis at Princeton’s Mudd Library until November 5, 2008. The If the Senator has aimed to unite the country, a country he is document is a startling exposé by a woman who strongly believed proud of, by transcending race, then his wife’s history and recent in a separate racial identity. In the thesis, the future Mrs. Obama comments can only call into the question how authentically he stated that "I have found that at Princeton, no matter how liberal could deliver on that aim once in the White House. •
"Predominately [sic] White universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of White students comprising the bulk of their enrollments." – Michelle Obama (Senior Thesis, 1985)
14 â€” Brown Spectator
Incompatible or inseparable with the right to arms? Brian bishop (guest Columnist)
rawing its seminal inspiration from the William F. Buckley, Union and China that give stellar contemporary example to the Jr., of the 18th century, Edmund Burke, the conservative Founders' belief that an armed populace, rather than threatening movement might be thought to have all but foresworn revolu- liberty, was the last best defense of the republic. Far more consotionary intent. Although known for his stinging critique of the nant with the founding vision than Mao's truism would have been French Revolution's abandonment of civil protections for life and Lenin's strategic understanding: "One man with a gun can control property, Burke was, nonetheless, a philosophical supporter of the 100 without one." American Revolution. The colonists' demand for representation Misusing Mao, as a conservative literary crime, pales by comepitomized the Whig tradition of opposing tyrannical governance parison to misusing Madison. Bogus cites Madison's opposition and favoring a constitutional monarchy restrained by republican to Shays' Rebellion as evidence that the Founders foreswore the institutions. "insurrectionist" premise, but apparently he imagines that AmeriBut can one gerrymander Burke's observations on the ex- can History stopped in 1786, before the Constitution had even cesses of the French Revolution into a conservative case for gun been adopted. control? That is just the case that Roger Williams University law Madison is a complex figure whose desire for a more strongly professor Carl Bogus makes in his recent commentary ("Do we organized federal government during the post-revolutionary place our faith in law or guns," The Providence Journal, Dec. 4) confederacy outweighed any sympathies he might have had for on the impending U.S. Supreme Court Shays' grievances. But this provides case, DC v. Heller. He argues that conno evidence that Madison thought servative justices should see gun control "Bogus' claims represent an opportu- widespread firearms ownership posed as a tool for the preservation of ordered nistic reading of Burke teamed with a a threat of constant petty insurrection liberty and recognize the preamble of in early America; the facts are to the the 2nd amendment as limiting the cribbed recitation of the history of the contrary. right to bear arms to those serving in Thus, resort to arms as a defense American founding." a militia. against any future tyrannical habit in It is a uniquely positive developthe new national government was an ment when academics mine the wealth of conservative thought in explicit part of the case Madison made in defense of the proposed search of foundational principles for contemporary society. There Constitution, writing only a year after Shays' Rebellion in Federis a plausible, if widely debated, thesis that ubiquitous firearms alist 46: ownership is a destabilizing factor in society. Thus conservatives "Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans might favor a narrow reading of the 2nd amendment, allowing the possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence police power to be more readily exerted over this perceived threat of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and to public order. But this is an exceedingly simplistic view of the by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against panoply of conservative prerogatives at stake. the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which Bogus' claims represent an opportunistic reading of Burke a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding teamed with a cribbed recitation of the history of the American the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, founding and intervening world history. French peasants did not which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the govown firearms, which is why they stormed the Bastille - largely an ernments are afraid to trust the people with arms." armory and barely a prison in 1789. Burke's quintessential chronIf anything, with the memory of anti-tax insurgencies fresh icle of the descent into anarchy and tyranny of the First Republic in his mind, Madison must have believed the insurrectionist check clearly lays the blame upon the morally untethered abstractions of on governmental ambition valid or, at very least, a necessary comits philosophers, not on the armed precondition of its followers. promise. That is not to say that every legitimate gripe inspiring a Bogus does distinguish between the American Revolution, call to arms represents a propitious occasion for anarchy. Nor, as which did not "seek to radically alter . . . society," and destructive Burke's inheritors well know, is the defense of civil order to be revolutions, such as the French Revolution as catalogued by Burke simply laid aside at the invocation of liberty. (and its Russian and Chinese "stepchildren"). But here we leave But respect for tradition is not a hidebound resistance to intellectual terra firma with Bogus' attempt to tar the 2nd amend- change, even revolutionary change. Burke saw the status quo soment with Mao's observation that "political power grows out of cial architecture as evolving over time from the nature of civil man the barrel of a gun." The absurdity of aligning liberty interests in - a literal inheritance not to be lightly discarded or frivolously firearms with communist revolutions that helped secure tyranny spent but subject to gradual revision. He describes this process in their wake by banning guns, turns Bogus' serious argument in his Reflections on the Revolution in France: "[B]y preserving about paramount conservative values into a farce. the method of nature in the conduct of the state, in what we imIn fact, it is the trajectory of gun ownership in the Soviet prove we are never wholly new; in what we retain are never wholly
obsolete." While the stable social environment of "ordered liberty" is certainly a conservative value, reform can be a necessary incident to this desired state. At root, it is the likelihood that civil institutions protecting liberty and property may weather the change that informs conservative revolution. These are cornerstone principles of the conservative understanding of liberty, which place conservatives and libertarians in close coalition. Those on the Left have long sought to find common ground on social issues with libertarians, but more fundamental libertarian beliefs in economic liberty and limited government have largely frustrated this effort - even if imperfect
March, 2008 — 15
political accomplishment on the Right has left the Goldwater coalition discouraged. It is a creative twist for Professor Bogus instead to appeal to conservatives to defect leftward while leaving libertarians on the right flank. I am all ears to those who would join the conservative revolution, but, I have heard nothing from Professor Bogus to suggest that is what he really desires. • Brian Bishop is on the Board of Advisors of the Foundation for Intellectual Diversity and directs the Foundings Project for the Ocean State Policy Research Institute. The Foundings Project uses the organic lens of the United States and Rhode Island Constitutions, their text, structure, and history, to inform debate over contemporary public policy.
The Clemens Effect
Cheating the game and cheating the truth bryan smith '10
n December 13th, 2007, Senator George Mitchell (D-ME) given annually to the best pitcher in each division of the MLB), published the much anticipated Mitchell Report. This report two more than any other pitcher in baseball history; he is also one was the conclusion of a twenty-month investigation regarding the of four pitchers to have more then 4,000 strikeouts in his illustriuse of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs in Major ous career. Yet with the publication of the Mitchell Report, the League Baseball (MLB). For approximately the last fifteen years, question has been asked, Did Clemens cheat his way to the top? there have been rumors and whispers around baseball about the Brian McNamee is the former trainer of both Roger Clemuse of steroids. Some of these rumors ens and Andy Pettitte, who are long-time came to light with the publication of friends and teammates. Andy Pettitte has Game of Shadows by Lance Williams and "The fact that the words of two already admitted to using HGH in order Mark Fainaru-Wada, a supposed “tell-all” men have been taken as Gospel to overcome an elbow injury; further, he book about steroid use in baseball. One claims to have been part of a discussion thing this book did was to expand the should be raising more eyebrows with Roger Clemens about the star pitchscope of alleged steroid use in baseball er's own HGH use. As a result, Andy around the country." from just small time players to the suPettitte has provided the most damning perstars of the era, such as Barry Bonds. testimony against Roger Clemens. The Mitchell Report was supposed to be a The most recent turn of events has comprehensive report of steroid use, with the goal of stopping the come in the form of a congressional hearing. In this hearing, use of steroids in baseball once and for all. This report named 89 Clemens and McNamee sat at a table in front of a congressional current and former MLB players who allegedly used steroids or committee and, for lack of a better phrase, the two had a “lie off.” human growth hormone (HGH). After reading the report, I was Clemens claims that Pettitte does not remember the conversaimmediately shocked, not by the fact that there were 89 players tion correctly and he was in fact talking about his wife's use of in the MLB who apparently cheated (in fact there are probably HGH. He also maintains that he has never taken HGH or any hundreds, if not thousands, more players who escaped this report), at the complete lack of evidence in Senator Mitchell's report. The bulk of the report's case was based on the testimony of two men, Kirk Radomski, a former batboy and employee for the New York Mets, and Brian McNamee, a personal trainer to several high profile athletes. Sadly, none of the report's evidence came in the way of any physical evidence (like positive test for performance enhancing drugs or anything along those lines), but less concrete circumstantial evidence. The fact that the words of two men have been taken as Gospel should be raising more eyebrows around the country. Of these 89 players, the biggest name by far is Roger Clemens. Clemens is arguably the best baseball pitcher of all time. He has won seven Cy Young awards (the award
16 — Brown Spectator
other type of performance enhancing drug. On the other hand, McNamee has already changed his story multiple times. Both Clemens and MacNamee have made murky claims, and have proved that this situation is more ambiguous than concrete. Did Clemens take HGH or some other form of performance enhancing drugs? Chances are good that he probably cheated the system in one way or another. Did McNamee exaggerate the scope of players and number of times he directly saw these players take performance enhancing drugs? Chances are good that this is also true. So whom do we believe? For the time being, the investigation has gone as far as possible. It is possible that Clemens, and potentially McNamee, will face charges of perjury, but unless new evidence comes to light, the
chances of that happening are slim. The repercussions of the scandal may go beyond the players. In previous cases where professional athletes have been caught, or have admitted to, using certain performance enhancing drugs, there is evidence that the use of those drugs has increased by up to 1000% among youth. One troubling thing to keep in mind is that this spike came only after a few players admitted to cheating. If the entire scope of baseball's steroid use comes to light, and hundreds or thousands of players are shown to be using various drugs, the effects on today's youth could be catastrophic. I sincerely hope that the truth behind steroids and cheating will sink in, because if this happens, it could have devastating effects for the athletes of tomorrow. •
Gun rights and student responsibility
ANDREW E. KURTZMAN '08
n "Gun-Free Zones: The Latest in Suicide Pacts" (Spectator VI:3), Kristina Kelleher ’09 noted that the Virginia Tech, Columbine, Beach, Jonesboro, Paducah, Connetquot High, Killeen, Orange Park, SuccessTech, and West Nickel Mines school shootings all took place in so-called “gun-free zones.” This argument would, most unfortunately, presage another horrendous act of campus violence: the February 14 shootings at Northern Illinois University. Steven Kazmierczak, a former student, entered a crowded lecture hall armed with a shotgun and three handguns, all of which had been purchased legally. He opened fire, killing five students, and then took his own life. NIU security officers, to their credit, arrived on the scene within approximately 90 seconds. But even this prompt response was, unfortunately, far too late. Sparsely mentioned in the press, NIU’s campus is also a “gunfree zone.” As logic would predict, “gun free zones” do little more than ensure that law-abiding citizens within are unable to protect themselves, making life easy for individuals intent upon wrecking havoc. The fact is that no responding force, short of a police officer stationed in every classroom, will have a legitimate chance to stop a determined shooter. And there are not nearly enough police officers to go around. (Would we even want this?) Additionally, proposals to arm professors are also somewhat presumptuous. If the only armed individual in a classroom is known to be the professor, the obvious implication is that any armed criminal will immediately target the professor. And our venerable PhD-holding friends are unlikely to feel comfortable with such a responsibility; indeed, many would object to gun-ownership on principle. Thus, it is my contention that the best means to prevent future attacks at Universities is to rearm students. Those who object to allowing students to carry firearms seem
to assume that schools would degenerate into “guns-r-us” zones, full of irresponsible, inebriated, and hormonal young adults firing every-which-way, without discretion. However, a number of states regularly allow students to carry concealed weapons, and their universities have not suffered for it; California and New York are prime examples. Individuals attending university are subject to the same concealedcarry laws that apply to any other citizen. Usually, this means being over 21 years of age, and having gone through appropriate education and training – a process requiring significant time, energy, and commitment. Exceptions to these restrictions simply argue, at worst, for their broader application, and not against the principle; it should not come as a surprise that licensed gun owners are orders of magnitude less likely to commit gun crimes than the average citizen. Additionally, the simple act of allowing a right does not mean that the right will be utilized. Even something as basic and fundamental as the right to vote is observed by only a fraction of eligible voters. In practice, only 3-4% of Americans have concealed-carry permits, and this number is smaller for younger adults. In a large lecture class, however, with hundreds of students, there is a substantial probability that one or several would be capable of fighting back against a shooter, were firearms allowed to them. It is true that, had Kazmierczak been subjected to a mental health screening when he attempted to purchase his firearms, he would not have been able to do so; he reportedly spent over a year in a mental health facility, and had been receiving various forms of treatment since high school. And it is also true that Congress passed a law last year to tighten mental-health screenings for gunpurchasers. However, such screenings will certainly not resolve the problem of campus attacks – many attackers did not have re-
March, 2008 — 17
corded mental health problems, and guns can be illegally acquired they are alert to this or not, students who are treated like children with relative ease. This is, again, the reason that gun-control laws will continue to act like children; they will not learn to accept are inherently doomed. As the events of recent years have made ultimate responsibility for events that may transpire in their lives. clear, there is no training that will allow a security force to stop (It is no coincidence that support for capitalism and support for a determined school shooter, nor any gun law that will prevent gun rights frequently runs parallel.) This last point is a crucial, and, seemingly, cultural problem. his acquiring weapons. The only real means of preventing another The notion that an individual should be able to see to his own NIU or Virginia Tech is to entrust to students the right to defend defense has become shocking, and weapons deemed inherently themselves. evil. But self-reliance is an ideal near and dear to the American Looking to our own community, as Gregory Halenda '08 Dream. One should never need noted in "The Second Amendment at Brown" (Spectator V:4), "The notion that an individual should be able to be entirely self-reliant; indeed, it is incumbent upon the governBrown University’s weapons policy is vague to a fault. It implies to see to his own defense has become shocking, ment to see to the defense of its people. However, at the point that even students living off camand weapons deemed inherently evil. But where an individual is denied the pus are forbidden to own anything resembling a weapon (knives, self-reliance is an ideal near and dear to the right to see to his own defense – made necessarily dependent upon guns, mace, etc.). Brown places an external entity – he loses touch absolutely no trust in its commuAmerican Dream." with the sense of individual renity-members to see to their own sponsibility so crucial to the spirit of enterprise and individualism. defense, instead employing a number of security guards around campus, whose only weapons are a walkie-talkie and a bright yel- Universities, especially those that wish to instill a sense of empowlow jacket. Such dependency upon the establishment is an obvious erment in their students, would do far better to advance, rather contradiction to the faith that Brown claims to have in its students than hinder, the right to self defense. And all the more so, given to determine the course of their own education. And, whether universities' marked inability to provide it on their own. •
18 — Brown Spectator
Solutions, not Platitudes A Review of Newt Gingrich's Real Change
Regnery Publishing, Inc, 310 pp., Twenty Seven Dollars and Ninety Five Cents SEAN B. QUIGLEY '10
ormer Speaker Newt Gingrich’s latest book, Real Change: crats, more red tape, more litigation, and higher taxes. (p. 193) From the World That Fails to the World That Works, is a quick read Gingrich feels genuine concern for the environment and our with an enlightened approach to the countless problems which posterity, but does not resort to fearmongering tactics (ahem . . . Al our nation faces in the present, and in the rapidly approaching Gore) or defer to rigid ideological stances. He wants change, but future. More moderate Republicans have often admired his emi- change that is in accordance with solid conservative, and Amerinent practicality; in other words, he is not obsessively consumed can, principles of limited government, free enterprise, individual by pursuing an ideological agenda. But, Gingrich still maintains liberty, and voluntary exchange. He amalgamates the optimism of a solid appeal to conservative Republicans, as his positions align a naïve liberal with the sound approach of a realistic conservative. comfortably with mainstream conservatism, and because he govUnlike the platitudinous, artificial, patently vague type of erned – as opposed to merely campaigned - as a conservative. change offered by the modern-day liberal Messiah, Senator Barack Real Change demonstrates both of these Gingrich assets – he Obama (D-IL), Gingrich’s change is real and has the potential to takes mainstream conservative viewpoints, and brilliantly out- be endless. The reason is that Gingrich, in regard to the issues lines how the Republican Party can addressed (at the very least), "Indeed, Gingrich’s chief virtue is previously reify these viewpoints into definable seeks to unleash the entrepreneurial action. Indeed, Gingrich’s chief virtue precisely that he defies the image of spirit so as to solve the problems of is precisely that he defies the image of the day – he does not seek to decree stiffness and rigidity that has long been stiffness and rigidity that has long change from Washington, funded by associated with the American incarnataxpayers and implemented by been associated with the American the tion of those who would be called con9am-5pm bureaucrats. He seeks to use servatives, while concurrently pushing incarnation of those who would be self-interest to effect the change that for unmistakably conservative prinour society, and especially our governcalled conservatives." ciples of governance. ment, necessitates – he does not seek to A perfect illustration of this lauddemand unreasonable “virtue” from the able tendency is contained within his discussion of how the United populace in order to facilitate another failed experiment in statStates can move forward in the realm of space-based technology. ism. He knows, like Adam Smith before him, “It is not from the He writes: benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we ex[I]ncentives, combined with a federal regulatory regime for pect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.” private space travel as permissive as the aviation development rules Gingrich understands not only that conservatism’s greatest of the 1920s, would create an explosion of new ideas and new insight is that the family is superior to the State, and the indiachievements over the next few years. Space could become excit- vidual more productive than the bureaucrat, but also that coning once again, and as more young people explored science and servatism must be explained carefully and compassionately to a engineering, breakthroughs in other field would occur. (p. 190) people who have the choice between a party offering them money That is vintage Gingrich. Instead of being doctrinaire about and presents (the Democratic Party), and a party seeking to offer government’s deficiencies, he comprehends and acknowledges them the opportunity to have no limits if hard work and discipline that it will inevitably have to play a role. However, he argues that are maintained (the Republican Party). it should merely lay the proper infrastructure for human flourishMy one criticism of the book is that Gingrich relies far too ing, so that the human spirit can be unleashed to achieve monu- heavily on the nebulous will of the people. That specific language mental things. Further, he is quick to identify the crucial role that he does not use, but he does repeatedly argue for the existence the young must play in our collective future – why are not more of a red-white-and-blue America (supposedly 85 percent of the conservatives willing to accept and glorify, as does Gingrich, the country), as opposed to an evenly-divided red America and blue incredible innovation that the bold and intrepid youth can bring America. Perhaps my natural suspicion, as a conservative, of a to our nation? For, who is better prepared to forget that certain popular vote is getting the better of me, but I am usually not conthings are impossible, and therefore to do them anyway? vinced by arguments that start with the claim that most people Gingrich, with regard to sources of renewable energy, like- agree with [insert argument here]. Like James Madison from wise has perspectives that are quite progressive (in the best sense Federalist 10, I am generally inclined to think, “Democracy is the of that word). Again, he writes: most vile form of government.” [Green Conservatism] holds that biodiversity and the enYet I understand from where Gingrich is coming, and genervironment can be better protected by a system that encourages ally think that his strategy would be more successful than mine. science, technology, entrepreneurship, creativity, and free markets With that said, I will end by simply acknowledging that he is a than the Left’s system focused on big government, more bureau- treasure for our cause and for our way of life. •
March, 2008 — 19
f you’re afraid of the future, then get out of the way, stand aside. The people of this University are ready to move again. – Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004)
We’re looking for you. To write for The Brown Spectator, or to submit letters, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Between issues, our staff members are busily posting away on The Brown Spectator’s official Blog, which can be found at thebrownspectator.com. Visit us online to see what we are discussing, respond with comments, and vote for your favorite articles. We’ll see you there.
20 — Brown Spectator
he Brown Spectator would like to acknowledge the Political Theory Project for the work it has done over the past year to promote invigorating political discourse on campus. Directed by Political Science Professor John Tomasi, the Political Theory Project strives to "encourage discussions that are more than merely ‘academic,’ or intellectually ‘fashionable," by driving "beneath the familiar and easy ideological labels." The Political Theory Project represents a model for how the concept of intellectual diversity can enrich the dialogue at Brown. Over the past year, the group has invited prominent speakers from a multiplicity of perspectives to discuss and debate issues which strike at the heart of American society. These include ideology in the academy, gender relations, and morality in constitutional interpretation. Moreover, it has pursued changes in the curriculum through its postdoctoral research program and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics concentration to help expose students to a wider array of courses. Starting this past Fall, the Political Theory Project has been supporting the launch of the Brown Political Union as a means of further facilitating student led debate on pressing political issues. The Political Theory Project demonstrates that "intellectual diversity" is not simply a guise for conservative affirmative action; rather it represents an ideal for rigorous campus discussion.
About the Spectator
he 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 a publication distributed by concerned members of the Brown University community, and is managed independently of the University and the Undergraduate Council of Students. The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of Brown University or the editorial board of The Brown Spectator.
f you are interested in writing for the Spectator, or in purchasing space for advertisement, please contact us via email: email@example.com.
The Foundation for Intellectual Diversity ideas without labels
The Foundation is currently in the process of launching a fundraising campaign. Proceeds will be used for: • Support of The Brown Spectator • Speakers who challenge accepted ways of thinking • Conferences on differing political and social theories • Speaker series featuring fellows from leading think tanks Here’s how you can help us: Donate to the Foundation by visiting our Web site, www.idiversity.org Volunteer by contacting us at 401-243-3713 or e-mailing us at info@ idiversity.org The Foundation for Intellectual Diversity is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. www.idiversity.org • 401-243-3713 • firstname.lastname@example.org
March, 2008 — 21
22 — Brown Spectator
William F. Buckley, Jr.
November 24, 1925 - February 27, 2008 Nathaniel brown '10 (Guest Columnist)
illiam Buckley passed away on Wednesday, February 27th, marking the passing of one of the most influential men of the post-Word War II American conservative Right. In recent years, the term “conservative” has lost an absolute definition, and competing factions have intensely debated its “true” meaning. At the close of the Second World War, however, the term had almost no ideological definition whatsoever when applied to then-contemporary politics. After over a decade of the Roosevelt administration, New Deal Liberalism was the dominant political trend, and the Democrats reigned supreme as the party of ideas. This would all begin to change, however, when a young Buckley published his famous God and Man at Yale (1951), a fierce attack on his alma mater for what he saw as its embracement of atheist and collectivist trends. In reaction to the big government liberalism of F.D.R, coupled with a seemingly ever more dangerous Soviet Union, Buckley put forth a cohesive set of ideas which would come to define the conservative movement for decades to come. Taking the traditionalism of Russell Kirk, the anti-statist ideals of Albert Jay Nock, and the anticommunism of Whittaker Chambers, Buckley’s conservatism was founded on the pillars of limited government, individual liberty, and respect for the Western tradition. He would soon launch the magazine National Review, a principle text of conservative journalism and opinion, in 1955, and the rest, as they say, is history. George Will famously noted that “ . . . before there was Ronald Reagan, there was Barry Goldwater, and before there was Barry Goldwater there was National Review, and before there was National Review there was Bill Buckley with a spark in his mind.” It is almost impossible to overestimate Buckley’s impact on modern day conservatism, but his sphere of influence hardly ended with National Review and his writing. As host of the program Firing Line (1966-1999), Buckley debated and conversed with seemingly every figure of note in the latter half of the 20th century, with the guests being as varied as the topics of discussion. From the Beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, to the free-market economist F.A Hayek, or the M.I.T Professor Noam Chomsky, nothing was out of bounds to be debated and discussed, illustrating an intellectual honesty so rarely seen on television today.
In addition to sporting a set of often bizarre facial expressions and a uniquely patrician way of speaking, Buckley was well known for his wit and the amusement with which he lived life. After famously losing the New York City mayoral election in 1965, to John Lindsay, Buckley was asked what he would have done had he won, to which he replied “I’d demand a recount!” Once, an interviewer jokingly asked him if, since he was always sitting down during his television appearances, he was unable to “think on his feet”. Buckley calmly replied that “It’s very hard to stand up, carrying the weight of what I know . . . . ” Buckley’s charming sense of humor and fun stemmed from his thankfulness for all the joys that life and God (he was a dedicated Catholic) had given to him, and he thus saw it as his duty to ensure that those freedoms and joys would be preserved for the generations to come. There would be no room for cowardice and passivity when facing down destructive totalitarian ideals. When giving a speech to an audience that included Ronald Reagan in 1985, Buckley specifically addressed the President, saying “I pray that my son, when he is sixty, and your son, when he is sixty, and the sons and daughters of our guests tonight will live in a world from which the great ugliness that has scarred our century has passed. Enjoying their freedoms, they will be grateful that, at the threatened nightfall, the blood of their fathers ran strong.” So it did. Most importantly, Buckley was a man of immeasurable personal generosity, which was a product of his own spirit of thankfulness. Since his death, there have been countless recollections by friends and foe alike of the joy he took in living. When he announced his retirement as editor of the magazine he created in 1990, he reflected on looking over the final publication to go through his desk. “The editorials are now in order, and the line count is confirmed. Another issue of National Review has gone to bed; and you acknowledge—the thought has ever so slowly distilled in your mind—that the time comes for us all to go to bed, and I judge that mine has come, and I leave owing to my staff, my colleagues—my successors—my friends, my muses, my God, an unrequitable debt for having given me so much, for so long. Good night, and thanks.” Gone from us at 82, rest in peace. •
"I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth."
–William F. Buckley, Jr. (11/24/1925 - 02/27/2008)
March, 2008 â€” 23
24 â€” Brown Spectator
Winners and Losers, March 2008 Winner: Fmr. Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA)
ess than a month ago, it was the Republican Party that appeared on the brink of a schism: if Giuliani or McCain were the nominee, many on the far-right threatened to run a 3rdparty candidate. The house that Reagan built appeared to be rotting at the foundation. Despite retaining a real shot at the nomination, Romney stepped aside to allow his party sufficient time to rally about McCain, and, despite personal animosities, gave McCain a strong endorsement. Now, following Clinton's victories on March 4th, it appears that the Democrats are going to decide their nomination on the basis of a lawsuit to enfranchise or disenfranchise the people of Florida and Michigan (or else re-do the primaries, at a cost of $20 million each). If "post partisanship" is going to happen, it looks as though it will be from the Right.
Loser: Code Pink "Women for Peace"
everal years ago, Code Pink channeled nearly $600,000 to the families of Iraqi insurgents. Code Pink leaders, including Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, have publicly endorsed the insurgents, even as they kill American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. Amazingly, Code Pink has now stooped to a new low: even given the group's ostensibly peaceful mission, their protest against the Marine Recruiter's Office in Berkeley, CA was pathetically misdirected. Does Code Pink honestly believe that the recruiter's station has anything to do with the war in Iraq, or that parading around obnoxiously and vandalizing the property will accomplish any constructive end? The city council of Berkeley, in its explicit support, is equally culpable. Insulting the men and women who put their lives on hold to fight for peace in Iraq is low beyond words. â€˘
Published on Oct 1, 2008
Published on Oct 1, 2008
Featuring: Hugo Chavez Mega-Megalomaniac, UNfit? A review of Richard Holbrooke '62 and John Bolton's UN debate, Physicians' Plight: Why a na...