Posted tagged ‘College Republicans’

Religion or Civilization: Why Democrats should support the war in the Middle East.

October 6, 2009

islam1In 2003, when US marines first invaded Iraq,   I looked on with familiar sadness as death and destruction were brought to me live via CNN, Fox Noise, MSNBC and others. At the time I thought the old PBS line  “This program is made possible with support from viewers like you,” should be shown as  fitting reminder to the American people that each  of us were morally responsible for suffering caused by the actions of our military, and that by being apathetic or voting for a hawkish pro-war Republican we were saying that the cause of wrenching Iraq from the hands of a brutal , rogue dictator was worth the price it would be paid in human tragedy; that above  the scars of war ten, fifteen, or thirty years from now a beautiful civilization would spring forth once again between the Tigris and Euphrates and that this would be worth the fatherless children, amputated lives, and bitter hatred toward the sources of that  anguish. Feeling that such a radical social transformation was not possible I opposed the war with a deep indignance, considering it to be the Vietnam of my generation.

Five and 1/2 years later with extremist violence in Iraq still on-going and U.S. withdrawal sure to leave an explosive power vacuum we must ask ourselves that same moral question that we did in Vietnam. Now that we have come to set the stage for Iraqi westernization, how are we to act if our leaving will eventually mean that over 700,000 people, and a handful of American soldiers in comparison  have died as a direct result of our invasion. As Sen. John Kerry so wisely put in his youth ” how do we ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam.”  Are we to let so many Iraqis die by our hands in vain? How will history judge us if we do not continue fight this fight, more importantly, what will be our history?

Let us make no mistake, the gauntlet is off and there is no going back. It is not unreasonable to say that the scourge of Islamic extremism is now an ever present danger in every nation on Earth. At the heart of this campaign is dark form of cultural and religious extremism equivalent to the Catholics during the crusades and the National Socialism of the early 20th century. Radical Islam yearns for world domination and the imposition of wacky religious laws that are based on twisted distortions of the Quran. They feed of of the economic stagnation of many Middle Eastern countries to breed hatred toward Israel and the West. We must push forward with all we have or not push at all. The Islamic extremists are right about one thing, there is a conspiracy to secularize the Middle East and to subvert Islamic theocracies, and I think it’s about time all Democrats got on board. Barack Obama and his army of lets-all-just-respect-each other-and-talkocrats need to buck up and defend the fort.  If sending in 40000 more US troops into Pakistan and Afghanistan means that we make headway against the rising tide of Islamic Extremism, then I say that this is a moral cause not unlike fighting Hitler during WWII, or with  much irony, Catholics during the crusades. While we are there, perhaps we can pass out copies of  The Origin of Species.

A friend and fellow Democrat told me something promising today over lunch, he said that when he goes home to visit his cousins in Pakistan, he finds that more and more of the people around him are Atheists.  Rejection of religion is the only rational insight to have when you see hoards  of barbarians blowing themselves up in the name of some socially reproduced  delusion called “god,”  or in Arabic “Allah.”

The question one must ask him or herself  when considering  whether the U.S. involvement is warranted must go beyond pretensions of pacifism, or blind faith in the milk of human kindness. The question is one of a combination of ethical judgment in the spirit of Jeremy Bentham, and practical wisdom of Winston Churchill. Bentham argued that “that which is ethical  minimizes pain and maximizes pleasure for the largest number of people.”  Churchill continuously warned British prime minister Neville Chamberlain of the danger the rise of National Socialism posed to Europe and the world many years before  the ruthless Hitler violated the Warsaw pact by annexing Czechoslovakia. If Chamberlain and the isolationist United States had heeded his call for action the world could very well have avoided a long and brutal war which caused human suffering on a truly unimaginable level. Alas, this is the argument for the neoconservative doctrine of  pre-emption, a dangerous ideology which must measure the need for intervention with the imagined need for intervention, or the call for war in the name of military-industrial, or other economic reasons.

As this doctrine is dangerous to our democracy, and yet still the threat that militant Islam poses to the world is very real and very frightening, we must point to  the larger philosophical driver for the reproduction of militant Islam in the first place- religion. It is without hesitation that all of us, in good conscience and clear thought , cannot deny that at the heart of this conflict is human religiosity and that it should be fitting that  the place where the three major world religions were born is also the place that they should die.  Now this sounds harsh to the cultural and moral relativist ear of the average Democrat,  but we must remain objective and realistic about what drives , and has been the driving factor behind the scourge of war throughout human history.  Behind nearly every dark story of the suffering of war is a leader or movement which claims to be divinely ordained. Hitler claimed to have been acting under the authority of an Aryan Jesus, and even visited the head of the Palestinian army before embarking on a brutal campaign of ethnic genocide.  Mahmood Amadinejad and his theocratic overlords have repeatedly claimed divine authority in their campaign to engage in a proxy war using the Palestinian  PLO and Hamas as fronts. In WW II we had emperor Hirohito of Japan, who claimed divinity by inheritance. In Ireland we have Protestants and Catholics, in the Middle east we have Shia and Sunni. When confronted with proof of evil in tangible human suffering throughout modern history, religion answers back with nothing but dangerous superstition. It is time to wrestle our world from the hands of myths wrought in human fear. Religion is the poison which allows otherwise moral and decent people to be manipulated into purveyors of the inhumane.  And if we oppose the war in the Middle East because we are disgusted by the  endless parade of human suffering we must also oppose the core ideology which  begot  its existence.  Thus as a Democrats , We should support  the war because occupying the middle east, and installing leaders who support our interests will help facilitate the spread of  western secularism to the Middle East, which will serve as an antidote to the emergence of dangerous Islamic Theocrats, and Caliphate ideology in the future. In short, the less religion is accepted in the  Middle East, the more stable, prosperous, and peaceful it will be.

Democrats have too long  straddled the fence on this all-too-important issue, we have walked softly and now it is time to show those lunatics just how big our stick really is. Barack Obama should follow the advice of his Pentagon advisors and send in more ground support. And you, as a Democrat, and especially as an Athiest or Agnostic Democrat should stand in full support, sad that while we are temporarily increasing human misery,  in the end it will serve as a great first step toward a New World Order in which religion will be considered as quaint as burning witches. Over and Out.

College Republicans: Democrats lack infomormation

October 25, 2008

It seems as if the College Republicans here at St. John’s just don’t know when to quit. The last we heard of them at the Constitution day debate they said guns were insurance, yet when asked if that insurance was worth the lives of students lost at Virginia tech, they didn’t answer.

Recently at a Habitat for Humanity forum their president said owning a house is “the American dream.” Sounds good right? Well immediately he said that not all people can live that dream and some people “have to suffer.” Wow.

This time we have their President James Pickel talking to the Torch, our campus newspaper. Here’s a quote for you.

“There is a stigma against being a young Republican,” he said. “Much of the broad shift in college students [towards liberal beliefs] is due to a lack of information on what conservative ideals really are.”

Now he’s making it seem as if college students, and all Americans don’t know what conservative ideals are. Now after 8 long years of a conservative President I’m pretty sure most Americans understand what those ideals are. Barack Obama himself addressed these ideals at the 2008 convention:

For over two decades, John McCain has subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy – give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is – you’re on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps – even if you don’t have boots. You’re on your own.

Democrats however have that fundamental belief: I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.
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St. John’s University Candidate Forum

September 23, 2008
Congressman Weiner

Congressman Weiner

Last night, I along with a room full of students and community members were treated to a forum of local candidates. St. John’s University hosted candidates ranging from Republican candidate for State Senate Peter Koo to United States Representative Anthony D. Weiner who made a brief appearance to an adoring crowd before leaving for a flight down to D.C.

At the forum were Congressman Weiner, a representative from Congressman Meeks’ office (who is a St. John’s Alum) State Senator Frank Padavan, his opponent Councilman James Gennaro, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, her opponent Peter Koo, Assemblyman Rory Lancman and Assemblyman Weprin.

The crowd at the forum

The crowd at the forum

The night began with an exchange between the representatives from the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign. The questions centered around how their respective candidates would change the way the country was run. From the crisis on Wall Street to the role of women and even as esoteric as the capital gains tax.

The panel brought up a question asking about jobs for graduating college students. Eventually Peter Koo was asked and he had a piece of advice to students, “if you are offered a job, take it.” He then started talking about small business and that became the quote of the night. Everyone started talking about their support for small business.

The focus then shifted to keeping kids in school and furthering their education. Senator Stavisky replied with something which I didn’t expect. “With all due respect, not everyone needs to go to college.” She cited her experience teaching at Thomas Edison Vocational High School. It seems she was saying that while she obviously wants students to go to college and further their studies, we do need the laborers of the future. Some may not see college as for them and we should not be critical of them, rather help them in their studies, either in training schools or programs of some nature.

A college republican on the panel posed a question to Peter Koo which drew an outburst from Assemblyman (more…)

Sarah Palin’s Teenage Daughter is Pregnant

September 1, 2008

Yes, that’s right the woman who was chosen by John McCain out of nowhere to help him win back conservative voters. Her 17 year old daughter Bristol Palin is pregnant.

According to reports she is 5 months along in her pregnancy. She is planning to keep the child and marry the father of the child. I don’t think this is the kind of republican convention McCain expected.

I wonder how this is going to play to the conservative base.

Politics aside, all of us here wish her a safe, happy and most importantly, a healthy baby.

Better Know a Member

June 3, 2008

Yes, it’s time once again for another installment of Better Know a Members, today we have Nick Roloson the Vice President of the College Democrats

CP: Thanks for sitting down with me
NR: I’m starting to regret this decision

CP: You’re the vice president; John Adams said the position of Vice President is the most meaningless position ever created by man, would you agree?
NR: I will not
CP: Why?
NR: Well by definition the Vice President is supposed to take the position of the president incase he can not fulfill them, so the VP is ready.
CP: Isn’t that a fancy way of saying, you’re just waiting until he dies?
NR: I don’t think so
CP: Are you waiting for Edgar to die?
NR: No but if he does I’m ready to take office

CP: Now as vice president do you want to be more like Al Gore or Dick Cheney?
NR: I’ll say Al Gore
CP: So you want to gain 50 pounds?
NR: IF being more like Al Gore than Cheney entails 50 pounds then I’ll take the sacrifice

CP: Why do you care about politics?
NR: Oh my god, you’re asking me a serious question
CP: They’re all serious questions
NR: Politics is important because it governs every aspect of your life from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed, from every person you know to every person you don’t know
CP: Is that why you joined the College Democrats?
NR: I joined College Dems because I wanted to make a difference, in my community, in this community and in the world community

CP: The world community, do the College dems have that much influence?
NR: Directly no, but the connections in the experience you get helps you 15,20,30 years down the road

CP: what’s the number one issue facing the college democrats?
NR: Support

CP: What do the college democrats do besides take road trips to Ithaca, throw drunken parties, and run amok on campus annoying your angry dean?
NR: Well, we service a community
CP: Isn’t that illegal?
NR: We do community service events, lets say it like that. We help get local officials elected, we open up networking and job opportunities for our members, and we keep the respectful and intellectual political discourse on campus alive

CP: you’re a white male from an affluent suburb on Long Island, why aren’t you a republican?
NR: Because I reason

CP: Finish this sentence, I hate republicans because…
NR: Well I don’t HATE republicans, I simply disagree with them. I don’t believe in their core values

CP: If you could pass one law right now what would it be?
NR: We’ve passed so many laws giving power to the national government, any law I’d pass would simply be to repeal most of the laws and executive orders passed over the last seven years. Although, I’d like to pass through the Kyoto protocol.
CP: so you believe in global warming?
NR: I do
CP: Have you seen any glaciers disappear?
NR: no but maybe they’re already gone
CP: but maybe they’re all still there
NR: I guess you got me

CP: So why are you so adamant in your support of Ron Paul if you’re not a republican?
NR: To spare the details, there is a difference between neo conservative, and conservative. He is at heart a good person, he wants to eliminate poverty, he wants to help the middle class, he wants to make the US image in the world better, it’s like the democrats with the exception of domestic issues

CP: So you’re a conservative democrat?
NR: Depends on what your definition of conservative is
CP: I mean like Lieberman, are you Joe Lieberman?
NR: I would not consider myself to be Lieberman
CP: Is it because he’s Jewish?
NR: That is one reason why I’m not like him

CP: What do you think about the current situation between Barack and Hillary?
NR: I think it gets overplayed a lot, I think she’ll drop out by tomorrow, this has just built up a political machine for the democrats but this machine isn’t going to hurt us, it’s going to help us in November, but as I’ve said before if anyone can lose in November it’s the democrats.
CP: But don’t democrats rage against the machine?
NR: We don’t rage against it, we just like to change it
CP: So you’re like Neo from the Matrix?
NR: In what way?
CP: You can change the machine

CP: So what do you say to Hillary supporters?
NR: Don’t be discouraged, you fought the good fight, but at the end of the day we did win fair and square, Obama won fair and square. We have to come together as a party and we have to realize that McCain is just another 4 more years of Bush and whether you support Hillary or Obama we both have to realize that is not a good idea.

CP: Let’s get local, recently our governors have admitted to various crimes, please just say yes when I name a crime you have committed, prostitution …. smoking marijuana … cocaine use … smuggling illegal immigrants across the border … shot someone … nothing? Ok so what’s the most illegal thing you’ve done?
NR: I think I jay walked 20 minutes ago but that’s about it.

CP: College Republicans…douche bags?
NR: they are a long awaited asset to the school
CP: but why?
NR: because it allows for political discourse to arise instead of having one dominant party, I’m glad the College Dems pushed hard to allow the College Republicans to form
CP: So like Darth Vader, are you their father?
NR: we’re the motivational uncle
CP: Like Uncle Jesse
NR: except better looking
CP: You’re better looking than John Stamos?
NR: Collectively yes

CP: So what events are you looking forward to most next year?
NR: Everything is still on paper, but if we get everything done that we’re working on, either the get out the vote concert or the blue ball
CP: why not more than one? Why not have two blue balls?
NR: If the people want two blue balls, we’ll give them two blue balls
CP: Are you saying right now that you’ll personally see to it that everyone gets two blue balls?
NR: Yes!…wait a minute

CP: Do you plan on doing any events with the College Republicans?
NR: Voter registration drives, the concert, but nothing is in stone, we’ll also try for joint meetings
CP: if you think the College Dems and College Republicans will meet together, then the only joint you’ll have is one in your hand

CP: Brian Lestz was the president your freshman year, bad president or the worst president?
NR: Neither, he was a good president. Wait, wasn’t Shamil the president? Granted I never saw any of the president but he was still a good president
CP: So who is the worst?
NR: I’ve only seen one
CP: So he’s the best and the worst?
NR: Fair compromise
CP: Worst president ever, got it… thanks for sitting down with me

College Democrats Beat College Republicans

May 11, 2008

Yesterday, Saturday May 10th, the College Democrats and College Republicans engaged in the first ever bipartisan group event. The game was action-packed (albeit interupted by a soccer game) with the score staying dead even. The College Democrats pulled ahead in the 8th inning after being up in the beginning in the game, and down for the rest. The event showed that maybe there is hope yet for some collaberation between the two organizations to actually made a difference of campus.