"News is the first rough draft of history."

The Voice of the College at Florham

"News is the first rough draft of history." - The Voice of the College at Florham

Wall Street Journal reporter gives perspective on N.J. politics

MEGAN HEINTZ
Editor-in-Chief

On Sept. 24, the New Jersey reporter for the Wall Street Journal gave a lecture on the upcoming Senate and gubernatorial elections in New Jersey.

Heather Haddon has covered everything from “slice of life” stories to Hurricane Sandy and the governor’s race. After an introduction by Krista Jenkins, associate professor of political science and executive director of PublicMind, Haddon began discussing the gubernatorial race between incumbent Chris Christie and Democratic candidate Barbara Buono.
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Panel discusses America’s ‘red line’ policy toward Syria

CHRISTI PEACE
News Editor

Between the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people by their own government and the U.S. government debating a potential strike on Syria, it is hard to fully understand the complex situation. With the first Hot Topics event of the semester, three professors explained the history of the region, including recent events that led to the current conflict, and the U.S. foreign policy toward Syria.

The moderator of the event was Geoffrey Weinman, dean of Becton College. He began the event by explaining that the conflict surrounding Syria has many factors and factions connected with it, including groups such as Al Qaeda and countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, France and the U.S. Recently, the international community has debated what should be done about the possible use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
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Opinion: The danger in forgetting about Chelsea Manning

DEVON DOUGLAS-BOWERS
Contributor

I am worried that we will forget Chelsea Manning. Currently the verdict has been rendered and the spotlight is on her but after a while the spotlight will dim, the flood of letters and support will become but a trickle, and she will be left alone in the darkness.

Manning was sentenced to prison for a total of 35 years; however, she could be out within as little as eight years, according to The Week. While this may not seem like a long time, we often forget about people rather quickly when they are not being mentioned in the news.

Just look at environmental activist Tim DeChristopher, who was released from prison just a mere four months ago for disrupting an oil bid. During his time in prison, there was little to no coverage of DeChristopher’s high profile actions or interviews with him and thus people forgot about him.

By allowing ourselves to forget Manning, we will allow her actions and bravery to fade into the memory-hole.

Americans have a habit of forgetting the actions of heroes that defy the state or letting these people end up being distorted, dumbed down, and watered down for the purposes of serving the status quo.

For evidence of this, one need look no further than Martin Luther King. Many are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and use this time to show King’s “I Have A Dream Speech,” which makes King out to be a dreamer and ignores the fact that he became more and more radical in the later years of his life, according to The American Prospect. By ignoring the more radical King, it makes him seem as nothing but a dreamer and in this same vain, by forgetting Chelsea Manning, we risk allowing the narrative that she was a traitor and put people’s lives in danger (which are completely false according to the Constitution) and the Pentagon to overtake the reality of the situation, thus allowing Manning’s sacrifice to be in vain.

While it is important to state that those who committed the war crimes will not be receiving time in prison, it is more important to note that the revelations that Manning helped to reveal show 1) the ever-increasing immorality of the U.S. government, 2) the double standard in terms of the justice system, and 3) how many Americans are willing to ignore these immoral and illegal acts in order to side with the national security state.

This siding with the national security state and participating in the demonization of Chelsea Manning is quite dangerous as people side with the very entity that is harming them by destroying their freedoms and disrespecting everything that so many Americans claim to hold dear. It is a dangerous nationalism that has many in such a frenzy to attack Manning.

They call themselves patriots, yet ignore the fact that they are supporting a government which has acted in ways that are contradictory to what America claims to stand for.

If we forget Manning, we are, in a way, worse than the government. At least the government let it be known that they wanted to devour Manning, destroy her. They went and treated her “cruel[ly] and inhumane[ly]” for doing her legal duty, Ed Pilkington wrote in The Guardian newspaper. The U.S. made no attempts to hide that it wanted Manning to suffer and suffer greatly for the information that had been released and had embarrassed them. If we have supported Manning and then suddenly disappear, we will be worse than the state because we will be abandoning her at the time when she most needs our help, betraying her and revealing that our messages of support were nothing but talk.

We have a habit of forgetting heroes that serve the people rather than the government. We can start to correct this by remembering Chelsea Manning.

Students, faculty debate possibilities of going to war with North Korea

MONIQUE VITCHE
News Editor

Members of the Department of Social Sciences and History gathered in the seminar room in the Mansion on April 15 to have a discussion about what is happening with North Korea. It was hosted by John Schiemann, department chair and associate professor of political science.

Schiemann said that the North Korean regime is one that is extortionist in nature and that the current leader, Kim Jong-un, is “not necessarily pushing it farther” than Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung did.

He explained that there is not much known about Kim and he is most likely trying to “shore up constitutency” as one of the things a leader in a closed regime is likely to be worried about someone coming after him and take his seat of power.
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Opinion: America’s presidents should not be imperial presidents

TOM STROWE
Contributor

With debates over the budget deficit, gun control and immigration policy dominating political discussion in Washington, D.C. and across the nation, another important political issue, the Imperial Presidency, has not been receiving the attention it deserves.

The Imperial Presidency refers to the idea that the Presidency of the United States has grown too powerful and has exceeded its constitutional limits.
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Newark Councilman Ras Baraka speaks to students in Lenfell Hall; Plans to run for mayor of Newark

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JOE CASTILLO
Photo Editor

On Feb. 14, following a speech on civil equality, Newark Councilman Ras Baraka said he will run for mayor.

Before a group of more than 40 College at Florham students and numerous faculty and staff members, in the lavishly decorated Lenfell Hall, Baraka was welcomed by the FDU gospel choir, Melodies of Heaven, which sang a medley of uplifting classics.
Freshman psychology major Evelyn Bailey gave an eloquent and heartfelt introduction to Baraka, who is also a poet. Bailey spoke of his parents, Amina and Amiri Baraka, and their involvement in Civil Rights activism during the 1960s. She went on to explain that his parents’ experiences during the Civil Rights Movement shaped Baraka’s views and inspired his political career.

Baraka took the stage to roaring applause from the audience. He opened with a quote from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and followed it with a few words of his own concerning the issue of civil rights.
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Opinion: Fierce inequality supported by the Republicans

CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

With the impending issue of our nation’s deficit, there are a couple of important aspects related to the budget that people need to be reminded of.

Unfortunately, conservatives just don’t get it.

Getting rid of loopholes and lowering tax rates for corporations and the wealthiest of Americans just isn’t fair.

The Warren Buffett analogy, which has been discussed by the media, holds true. Until Buffett pays a higher tax rate than his secretary, the tax system will never be fair.

Obviously, loopholes for wealthy Americans and corporations might be an issue worth examining, but that doesn’t mean that the tax rates should automatically be lowered once you eliminate most loopholes.

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Opinion: Why are we still talking about Benghazi issue?

CHRIS BEDELL
Columnist

Over the last few months the Benghazi issue has been blown way out of proportion. The sad thing is that the liberal leaning parts of the media (such as MSNBC, for example) are the only ones to realize that.

What about the Iraq War?

That was a war that didn’t need to happen but it happened anyway. A lot of people just seemed to turn a blind eye to the fact that George W. Bush’s administration lied about weapons of mass destruction.

Super-conservative Republicans such as Rush Limbaugh love to accuse Obama of being a fascist or a communist but the fact is that Bush was the one who had a cult of followers with personality mentality – the reason it took so long for people to speak up against the war.

That’s sad that a fair amount of people just blindly accepted what George W. Bush’s administration did and also the fact that if you were against the war you were un-American, which is totally untrue.
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Opinion: The time has come to throw out current tax code

THOMAS STROWE
Contributor

The 2012 Presidential Election has ended, but the road to rebuilding America is far from over.

Many Americans remain unemployed and underemployed, and economic growth remains slow. Politicians in both parties have begun to discuss tax reform as a means to addressing some of America’s problems and the fiscal cliff.

But unfortunately, the plans coming out of the Washington establishment only tinker with the problem, not fix it.

The tax code is so broken that you can’t fix it by making little changes here and there.

Instead, we need to throw out the current tax code and replace it with something simple, fair and transparent.

Thankfully, the plan America needs has already been written. It is known as HR 23/S13, or, by its common name, the FairTax.
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