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Claremont Port Side October

VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 16

									the claremont                                            rockin’ the boat on the 5-Cs




  Port Side
national         international                 campus   October 2007 | Volume V | Issue I




   A U.N. rapid reaction Force
   The reasons why we need it now, more than ever.
                          By Charles Sprague




   By Andrew Bluebond   Primary Politics                By Michael Sciortino   Pakistan’s Prez
   People are confusing the real horse                  Musharraf’s control is being tested.
   race with the calendar.                              Let’s hope he gets democracy right.


   the Credit Crunch                  By Adam Coleman   CMC Grad School?                By the Campus
                                                                                             Coxswain
   Learn how subprime loans are                         $200 million donation with some
   crushing the economy                                 questionable earmarks...
                                                                                                                                    (editor’s note)
    progressive with a little “p”
    T
             hey say not to punish sons for sins of their fathers.                          campus was dominated by a conservative Government fac-
             Well what about the words of mothers? I inherited                              ulty and devoid of an alternative voice. The Port Side began
             this publication and its tag line from a woman be-                             as an affront to that intellectual stagnancy. As Jong put it,
    fore my years, and initially, I feared I was damned to suffer                           it was “progressive with a little p.”
    her diction: “a progressive publication.” See, like many, I
                                                                                            The term comes from Latinate roots meaning, “to walk
    viewed the term “progressive” as a not-so-clever replace-
                                                                                            forward.” Thus, progress is not fighting for racial purity or
    ment for the “l-word.” Peter Beinart, editor-at-large of the
                                                                                            championing social engineering; it is something more basic
    New Republic, agreed: “Liberals have switched to progressive
                                                                                            than that. It’s movement with direction and, for us, the in-
    for marketing purposes... which speaks of a larger poverty
                                                                                            tellectual compass of reason and fierce debate.
    of liberals understanding their historical intellectual tradi-
    tions.” It’s not that I feared the political association, but                           Of course, the Port Side still holds its obvious association
    I loathed the superficiality. Progressivism just seemed hol-                            with the left. But again, let’s return to history. The political
    low.                                                                                    understanding of the “Left” came about during the French
                                                                                            Revolution where nobles sat to the President’s right and the
    Concerned, I decided to dive into the history of progres-
                                                                                            commoner’s held the left. Thus it began as a symbol of the
    sivism. I didn’t like what I found. In the American tradi-
                                                                                            people. It is that populist understanding that we proudly
    tion, progressivism began philosophically with John Dewey,
                                                                                            uphold, tying the common interest to fierce pragmatism
    championing empiricism, then later become overrun, po-
                                                                                            and trust in potential.
    litically, in the early 1920s with radicals and disparate social
    reformers. In fact, the once reasoned core of the move-                                 So the goal was not to sidestep the liberal stigma, but to
    ment was replaced with an insistence on belief: As scholar                              undermine it. Neither the statism of modern liberalism,
    Siva Vaidhyanathan put it, “If you want a quick phrase                                  nor the individualism of classical liberalism would hold the
    that captures the spirit of progressivism, it’s ‘cleanliness is                         publication back. In that, this philosophy embodied Bein-
    next to Godliness.’” This opened the door, yes, to necessary                            hart’s lament: It threw away its American history.
    reforms (suffrage and the like), but to segregation and na-
                                                                                            How will we know if we are moving forward? We won’t
    tivism as well. I suppose superficiality is better than that.
                                                                                            always know for sure, but you can’t guarantee we won’t be.
    Disheartened, I changed my focus. I called Anneke Jong,                                 At the Port Side, we believe change can be good and the only
    CMC-alum and founding mother of the Claremont Port Side,                                way to find out is to rock the boat and see what happens.
    and she gave me a history lesson. Luckily, I took notes.
    The Port Side began in the fall of 2003. A conservative
       October 2007 |Volume V | Issue I




                                                                       editor-in-Chief
                                                                        Abhi Nemani
           Port Side



                                                                        Senior editor
                                                                       Mike Sciortino
                                                                     Managing editors
                                            campus Max Mautner international Charles Sprague national Kyle ragins

                                                                        Copy editors
                                                       emily Meinhardt Brad Walters Amy Berg
                                                               Layout editor | Web editor
                                                          Madison Shimoda | Sean McGregor
                                                                         illustrators
                                                          Matthew Benzinger, Stephanie Bulger
 the claremont




                                                The Claremont Port Side is dedicated to providing the
                                            Claremont Colleges with contextualized, intelligent reports to
                                                     advance debate among students and citizens.
                                               This is a progressive newsmagazine that offers pertinent
                                          information and thoughtful analysis on the issues confronting and
                                               challenging our world, our country, and our community.
                                           Each article in the Claremont Port Side reflects the opinion of its
                                              author(s) and does not represent the Claremont Port Side,
                                                    its editors, its staff, or the Claremont Colleges.

                                          Letters, Questions, Comments? curious@claremontportside.com


Page 2 | October ‘07 | claremontportside.com
                                                                                                                 (campus)
No More Madrigal
How a CMC Tradition Could Disappear                                                                      By Kyle Ragins




                           F
                        or 27 years, the Madrigal Feast has been    treated at the affair, complaining that the choir’s
                        one of Claremont McKenna’s most cher-       performance at Madrigal was treated as “enter-
                        ished traditions, but it will come to an    tainment rather than an artistic event.” How-
                end this year unless students step up. Charles      ever, according to Snortum, the blame should
                Kamm, the Choral Director of the Joint Music        not fall entirely on Kamm’s shoulders, because
                Program, has decided that he no longer wants        the Athenaeum had plenty of reasons to end
                the Chamber Choir to perform at Madrigal. As        Madrigal on its own. Madrigal was a “party
                a result, Bonnie Snortum, Director of the Ath-      atmosphere” that emphasized “eating, drinking,
                enaeum, has opted to                                                              and being merry.”
                discontinue Madrigal                     This Christmas                           Snortum wonders,
                Feast, bringing an end
                to the 27-year tradi-
                                            concert will not have costumes, “is thatdowhat the    should        in
                                                                                                                     we

                tion.                          it will not have wassail, and                      Athenaeum?” Snor-
                For those students who         it will not have kissing fruit.                    tum’s main concern
                don’t know, Madrigal                                                              was “lack of respect
                Feast is a medieval-       These concerts are not Madrigal. for the building.” By
                themed holiday dinner                                                             Snortum’s own ad-
                that occurs in the Athenaeum each year, com-        mission, Madrigal has always been a big party
                plete with costumes and decorations, choral hol-    event ever since it began 27 years ago. So why
                iday music, and a multi-course medieval meal.       now, after 27 years, has the Athenaeum admin-
                Over the years, Madrigal Feast has become one       istration finally decided that it is unacceptable to
                of CMC’s favorite traditions, with its kissing      have a “party atmosphere” in the Athenaeum?
                fruit, wassail, and scripted comedic performance    Snortum explains that “If the choir hadn’t pulled
                by the choir between songs.                         out, we still would have continued Madrigal and
                                                                    managed with the problems.” Snortum and the
                “Madrigal is pretty much the best thing ever,”      administration claim that Madrigal is not go-
                according Brian Fuerst ‘09, a sentiment agreed      ing away. It is just “evolving” into a Christmas
                upon by almost any student you ask. Last year,      choral concert. This Christmas concert will not
                532 CMC students (and even more students            have costumes, it will not have wassail, and it will
                                      from the other four colleges) not have kissing fruit. These concerts are not
    “To allow [Madrigal] attended the three nights of               Madrigal.
                                      Madrigal that were open to
    to disappear [would] students. Trustees, alumni,                This problem is just asking for the entrepreneur-
      hurt the life of the            and friends of the College    ial ability of CMC students to step in and save
                                      had their own nights to at-   the day. There is no reason that a different type
     college more than a tend, as they do every year.               of entertainment could not be substituted for
    lot of those involved             The event was filled to ca-   the choir, consequently saving Madrigal. CMC
                                      pacity every night. Mad-      students could form a club to put on the perfor-
         recognize.”                  rigal is not just popular     mance each year. The club could write its own
                                      because it is fun (which it   script and recruit actors to perform in a comedic
                is), but also because it is a CMC tradition. As     Christmas play that would serve as entertain-
                ASCMC President Brad Walters ‘08 points out,        ment at the event. This play could incorporate
                “CMC has very few long-standing traditions.         Madrigal musical classics and original songs
                To allow [Madrigal] to disappear [would] hurt       written by students.
                the life of the college more than a lot of those    Snortum has said that reinstituting Madrigal
                involved recognize.”                                under a new set of terms is certainly something
                           Despite all this, the Athenaeum administration    she would consider, but immediate student ac-
             Kyle ragins
                           has decided to put an end to Madrigal. Snortum    tion and negotiation are required. This is your
is a junior at CMC and                                                       chance, as students, to act and save a tradition.
                           said that the original impetus for the decision
    a managing editor      was the choice of Professor Kamm to pull the      Our college is rapidly changing, and, as students,
                  of the   Chamber Choir out of the event. Kamm was          we can act to preserve the CMC that we know
  Claremont Port Side.     fed up with the way that the Chamber Choir was    and love.

                                                                claremontportside.com | October ‘07 | Page 3
                                                                                                                         (campus)
   CMC, A Graduate School?
   Yes—there are 200 Million Reasons Why                                                         By The Campus Coxswain




   C
             hristmas is coming early for        cation, and Williams’s Center for De-        well. Will students at the other Clare-
             CMC this year. Alum Robert          velopment Economics offers a Master          mont Colleges be able to take advan-
             A. Day (Class of ’62) is set to     of Arts in Policy Economics degree.          tage of the MA in Finance? If they are
   gift CMC one of the largest donations         Thus, CMC’s new envisioned program           restricted, it will be a further blow to
   in the history of higher education, ru-       may seem radical in the context of the       already strained relations between the
   mored to exceed $200 million. Surely,         Claremont Colleges, it actually makes        colleges in areas of academic collabo-
   this gift will keep on giving, but will we    the college more akin to non-Clare-          ration; if non-CMCers will be able to
   like what we get? This sum does not           mont peer institutions. Of the South-        take advantage of this new opportunity,
   come earmark free. According to in-           ern California Intercollegiate Athletic      CMC may need to prepare for an in-
   dependent sources, CMC must use the           Conference (SCIAC) colleges, only the        flux of off-campus majors.
   money to build a Master of Arts (MA)          5-Cs lack the Western Schools and Col-
                                                                                              Most importantly, the CMC’s indepen-
   in Finance certification program. Yes,        leges Association accreditation to offer
                                                                                              dent offering of an MA program chal-
   Claremont McKenna College will offer          Masters Degrees. This will probably
                                                                                              lenges the very nature of the College’s
   a graduate degree.                            change soon.
                                                                                              liberal arts character. CMC already
   Though exact details on the amount                                                         considers itself as a school that “edu-
   will be announced soon, even low es-              Instead of the                           cates leaders for business, government
   timates would rank this donation as            University providing                        and the professions,” but it also consid-
   the largest to an American liberal arts                                                    ers itself a liberal arts college. Tradi-
   college, according to Chronicle of                the certificate,                         tionally, liberal arts colleges pursue the
   Higher Education. Moreover, it would             the liberal arts                          development of the complete individ-
   swell CMC’s endowment by at least                                                          ual, emphasizing intellectual inquiry,
   20 percent. Of course, the availabil-
                                                      college will.                           curiosity, and freedom. Scholar Verne
   ity of the funds to other non-Finance                                                      Stadtman of the Carnegie Foundation
   related items (i.e. other departments or      Though the other colleges’ programs          lamented, “the conversion of liberal
   programs) remains unclear. Day’s past         set a precedent, it is important to re-      arts institutions to comprehensive insti-
   donations have been fairly pointed. On        member that each college constructs its      tutions engaged in vocational and oc-
   campus, Day’s name is most commonly           program uniquely, tailoring it to their      cupational programs is saddening.” By
   associated with the Robert A. Day 4+1         needs and their identity. Thus, the          offering a MA in Finance CMC is tak-
   BA/MBA program between CMC                    CMC student body should be asking            ing a step away from being a practical
   and Claremont Graduate University             the administration a few questions.          liberal arts college, toward being a pro-
   (CGU). The program allows CMC                                                              fessional school with general education
                                                 How will the new program interact
   graduates to pursue a Master in Busi-                                                      requirements. How much further can
                                                 with the existing departments? CMC
   ness Administration (MBA) at CGU’s                                                         CMC move in this direction without
                                                 is already viewed as finance and ac-
   Drucker School of Management in                                                            damaging its liberal arts character?
                                                 counting school, though both fields are
   only one year. A CMC Master in Fi-
                                                 housed under the economics depart-           These questions are new for the 5-Cs,
   nance program would mirror this, but
                                                 ment. With a new demand for finance          but in fact, they are common, histori-
   cut out CGU. Instead of the Univer-
                                                 courses, is the study of economics des-      cal ones for American liberal arts col-
   sity providing the certificate, the liberal
                                                 tined to become no more than a sup-          leges. In the past, many have noted
   arts college will.
                                                 port for finance and accounting? If so,      the slide towards the university system,
   Interestingly, this idea is not uncom-        CMC may find it increasingly difficult       and some have tried to combat it. In
   mon. Though none of the other con-            to attract quality economics profes-         his 1962 The Smaller Liberal Arts College,
   sortium undergraduate school offers           sors—already a tough task.                   scholar Lewis Mayhew noted, “For half
   graduate degrees, many other colleges                                                      a century it has been predicted that the
                                                 Historically, CMC has proudly billed
   across the country do. Boston College                                                      privately supported liberal arts college
                                                 itself as a government and economics
   has a law school, Massachusetts Col-                                                       will soon disappear from the American
                                                 school, with a solid faculty in both to
   lege has a Master in Education certifi-                                                    educational scene. Yet the four-year
                                                 back that up. That balance has made
                                                                                              liberal arts college, rooted in American
                                                 CMC unique in the liberal arts com-
                                                                                              civilization, continues to exist…” With
   the sources used for this piece preferred     munity. Will this initiative tip that bal-
                                                                                              another $200 million in the bank, sure-
                                                 ance?
   to speak under anonymity. Story current                                                    ly our institution will continue to exist,
   as of time of printing, Sept. 24, 2007.       This move may test 5-C relations as          but will it be our college?

Page 4 | October ‘07 | claremontportside.com
                                                                                                                      (national)
the Primaries Pushing Ahead
The Effect of States’ Racing Up the Calendar                                                         By Andrew Bluebond




P
       olitical junkies cherish the ver-      Dean (D-Vt.) was easily supposed to           the one you think can win.”
       biage that comes with presiden-        wing the nomination in 2004, but alas,
                                                                                            Sounds good. We tried “anything but
       tial elections. The Iowa Caucus,       Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) got to lose
                                                                                            Bush” in 2004. It didn’t work. Demo-
the New Hampshire Primary, and Su-            for the Democrats instead.
                                                                                            crats and Republicans who say, “I want
per Tuesday are all signs of a heated
                                              On the Republican side, Pitney is less        anyone who can win” are no better
political contest to come. But when
                                              sure of how the nomination will fall.         than the Democrats from last presi-
Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan
                                              Whoever it is, he thinks they are unlike-     dential election. Winning is nice, but
affixed her signature to a white sheet
                                              ly to win in the generally election.          it isn’t everything. If you like Rep. Ron
of paper Sept. 4 that vocabulary took
                                                                                            Paul’s voting record, get out there, and
on new meaning. Passage of the bill           “Rudy Giuliani appears to be the only
                                                                                            hold your sign high. If you want to
moved Michigan’s presidential primary         Republican who can win,” he said. But
                                                                                            Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to be your
to Jan. 15, three weeks before the Dem-       what does that mean for political sup-
                                                                                            next president, then join Claremont
ocratic National Committee’s caucus           porters in the long run? If the prima-
                                                                                            Students for Barack Obama and lend
Feb. 9.                                       ries are going to be over in five months,
                                                                                            a hand to the campaign.
                                              Clinton has this thing nearly in the bag
Moving one primary up is unlikely to
                                              and Giuliani is the only Republican           So maybe we won’t get the divided con-
change the entire political landscape,
                                              who can win, what is a political junkie       vention á la “The West Wing.” Perhaps
but it led a primary-date-setting arms
                                              like me to do?                                Michigan moving up the entire prima-
race. The Iowa caucus is now on to Jan.
                                                                                            ry schedule is going to run out the clock
14. New Hampshire state law requires          This is where Pitney may have offered
                                                                                            on the Obama campaign. Get over it.
that the primary be at least seven days       his best advice. When I asked him if
                                                                                            Use it as motivation to stop waiting to
before Michigan’s current date, but           supporters should look to rally behind
                                                                                            see how things will turn out. Setting
any change in New Hampshire’s date            a single candidate this early, he shared
                                                                                            election dates has always been up to
would require Iowa to move its caucus         a useful quip.
                                                                                            the states, anyway. If elections were
up. The chain reaction has begun and
                                              “Life is too short to support people you      the same every time around, that would
could possibly force the primaries into
                                              don’t like,” he said. “It is better to sup-   take the politics out of it, and, let’s be
Dec. 2007.
                                              port the candidate you like rather than       honest, where is the fun in that?
CMC Professor John Pitney thinks that
the change in dates will give us nomi-
nees earlier than usual, especially in an
election for an open seat.
“We will probably have nominees in
February,” he said. February? Where
is my divided convention? Where is the
dogfight to the finish? Michigan took
the fun out of this election. At least it
isn’t over now, right?
Pitney isn’t willing to call the Democrat-
ic nomination for Sen. Hillary Clinton
(D-N.Y.), but he likes her chances.
“Unless something weird happens,
Clinton is in a strong position to win
the nomination,” he said. “But weird
things happen.”
Pitney is certainly right about this one.
Weird things do happen. Howard


andrew BlueBond is a freshman at CMC and
a staff writer for the Claremont Port Side.                           Next Year’s Horse Race

                                                                  claremontportside.com | October ‘07 | Page 5
                                                                                                                        (national)
   the Credit Crunch
   Subprime Loans are Crushing the Economy                                                                By Adam Coleman




                         F
                               or the umpteenth time this summer, Coun-       These loan types attracted two major borrower
                               trywide Financial Corporation has made         classes: the low credit borrower and the home
                               the front page with news of its financial      “flipper.” A “flipper” plans to hold on to a home
                         woes. Recently, Countrywide announced that it        until it appreciates only to resell it for profit later
                         would be laying off 20 percent of its workforce.     on. These two types of borrowers affected the
                         This comes as no surprise with the recent col-       market in different ways, but both contributed to
                         lapse of the housing market and the demise of        its eventual crash.
                         many large mortgage companies.
                                                                              Bad credit and Bad times - effects of low credit Buyers
                   Every few years the home market goes through
                   a small market boom and a subsequent decline.              During the housing boom, mortgage companies
                   However, this recent decline in the housing mar-           developed ARM loans with no down payment
                                          ket is one of, if not the           and low introductory rates that would skyrocket
                                          worst, this nation has ever         after a fixed period of time. Subprime borrow-
        Every few years the               seen. Our current cycle             ers, with low income and bad credit histories were
                                          began with an explosion             able to obtain these loans (often, by lying about
        home market goes                  in the housing market               their income). Lax underwriting guidelines de-
     through a small market in 2002 that continued                            veloped during this time period, only worsening
     boom and a subsequent through 2006. During                               this problem by failing to catch those that lied
                                          this period, the nation             about their incomes. Eventually, though, real-
      decline. However, this saw a sharp rise in new                          ity caught up. When the rate hike came, many
       recent decline in the              homes as well as a steady           were unable to pay their monthly payments. At
                                                                              first, these borrowers would take out home equi-
      housing market is one appreciationthe summer
                                          prices. By
                                                          in housing
                                                                              ty lines of credit (HELOC)—borrowing money
     of, if not the worst, this of 2006, the median                           against the rising value of their house—to cover
       nation has ever seen. house price had reached                          their increasing payments. However, as the hous-
                                                                              ing market declined, the equity in homes dried
                                          $211,000, a record value
                                          and a staggering 10 per-            up. At this point many subprime borrowers were
                   cent increase from the previous year. The high             left unable to make their monthly payments and
                   housing prices allowed home owners and home                unable to sell their home at a profit (or at all),
                   construction companies to flood the market with            forcing foreclosures at a loss to the mortgage
                   homes for sale and thus, help pop the bubble.              companies.
                         During the housing boom, big changes occurred        profiteers without profits - effects of flippers
                         in the processes behind underwriting home loans
                         (especially in regard to subprime mortgages) that    “Flippers” hurt the market in a slightly differ-
                         led the housing market to fall so hard.              ent way. A “flipper” would take out an ARM or
                                                                              an interest-only loan without a down payment,
                           Now some quick terminology: a subprime mort-       often by lying and acting as if they planned on
                           gage is a loan given to a borrower who has a       living in the homes. When the interest rates re-
                           poor credit rating and thus would not normally     set and the market dropped, these profiteers just
                           be able to get loans at good rates. Subprime       walked away from their homes, allowing the
              adam coleman loans are typically adjustable rate mortgages      bank to foreclose and taking a small loss. Their
       is a senior at CMC (ARMs) or interest-only loans. Alt-A is a rating    money grab failed, but the cost was insubstan-
                           between prime and subprime. The loan fails to
      who interned with qualify for prime due various reasons, such as        tial. On the flip side, these small losses added up
                                                                              to a very big loss for mortgage companies, as the
   Countrywide Financial having a good credit score but little to no income
                                                                              practice was widespread and foreclosures result
             this summer. documentation—not an uncommon issue.                in red numbers.
                         During the housing boom, subprime loans be-
                         came popular, and are, along with the Alt-A          it gets worse
                         product, one of the reasons for the current credit   These borrowing practices played a key role in
                         crunch.                                              the decline in the mortgage market industry since
                                                                              2005; however, they were not the only culprits.

Page 6 | October ‘07 | claremontportside.com
                                                                                                         Dow Jones Industrial Average moving
                                                                                                         up. This move is less of a solution and
                                                                                                         more of a band-aid. The subprime cri-
                                                                                                         sis will not end for at least a few years:
                                                                                                         2006’s ARM loans will reset sometime
                                                                                                         between 2008 and 2009.
                                                                                                         The worst may be over, but it has be-
                                                                                                         come rather obvious that reform is
                                                                                                         needed. There is hope. The current
                                                                                                         crisis has drawn attention to the sub-
                                                                                                         par practices at mortgage companies.
                                                                                                         Now, they have had to change the types
                                                                                                         of loans they provide. Furthermore,
                                                                                                         fearful of the potential risk involved in
                                                                                                         issuing a subprime loan, investors are
                                                                                                         seeking stability in MBS, driving a push
                                                                                                         for conservative home loans. This is a
                                                                                                         start.
                                                                                                         Lenders must focus on distributing fair
The current credit crunch has to do          people began to pull their money out                        loans to sincere borrowers. For this,
with the fall out of the foreclosures and    of Countrywide’s FDIC insured bank.                         there must be a open exchange of in-
delinquencies. In the secondary mar-         Investors became worried their bonds                        formation and an understanding of the
ket, the loan debt is bought and sold for    would fall prey to the subprime woes                        nature of the loan and the ramifications
the purpose of structuring it into secu-     and began to withdraw funds, provok-                        of failure. Both lenders and borrowers
rities. These practices tend to help miti-   ing the subsequent liquidity crunch.                        must take more responsibility.
gate the effects of failed loans. During     This crunch slows investing, lending,                       Before the housing boom there was a
the housing market boom, many mort-          and the overall economy.                                    push to put every American in a home.
gage-backed securities (MBS) depend-                                                                     This movement, along with lax and
ed on cash flows from subprime loans.        what now?                                                   unregulated underwriting guidelines,
Many hedge funds, based primarily on         Mostly, the Federal Reserve Bank has                        put too many unqualified borrowers in
MBS and other investment entities,           stood by a hands off approach to the                        homes. Instead of building new, expen-
came into existence during this time;        housing market and the markets at                           sive homes and writing subprime loans,
however, as the home market declined         large with regards to the subprime cri-                     there should be a call for affordable
and ARM resets forced record high            ses. Recently, however, Chairman Ben                        housing. The theory of putting more
foreclosures, the cash flow into MBS         Bernanke cut the federal funds inter-                       people in homes is a worthy cause, but
began to dry up. Since 2006, over 150        est rate in an attempt to stimulate the                     it should not be pursued at the cost of
mortgage companies have gone out             economy and evade a possible reces-                         people’s financial well-being and the
of business ruining many large hedge         sion. The market responded positively                       market at large.
funds with large portfolios in MBS.          to the half point reduction with the

the dominos
Two hedge funds run by Bear Stearns                    The Numbers Behind the Crunch
went down in the summer of 2007, and
their demise helped spark a broad scale
reevaluation of the criteria involved in
                                                $1,280,000,000 currently in suBprime mortgages
the rating of MBS. Reevaluation by              $164,000,000 estimated to be lost in ‘07 foreclosures for owners
the two major subprime financial rat-
ing agencies, Standard & Poor’s and
                                                $110,000,000 estimated to be lost in ‘07 foreclosures for lenders
Moodys, led to a series of downgrades           2,200,000 estimated foreclosures in ‘07
on MBS, leaving hedge funds and mort-
gage companies to hold huge stores of
                                                1,200,000 foreclosers in ’06 (42% increase from ‘05)
non-performing collateral. The down-            $159,000 per foreclosure reduction in property neighborhood values
grades and the failing housing market
weighed down the stock market, and
                                                150+ mortgage companies out of business
people began to lose trust in the banks
tied to mortgage companies. Compa-              for a full list, and deep looK into the recent fall of major mortgage companies, go to http://ml-implode.com/
nies such as Countrywide experienced            data from the center for american progress
small runs on their banks in July as

                                                                     claremontportside.com | October ‘07 | Page 7
                                                                                                                  (national)
   Under 30 and Making a Difference
   Syed Karim and SearchKindly.org                                                                By Madison Shimoda




                        A
                               s an entrepreneurship major at Lake For-       when I know that what we are doing is having
                               est College, Syed Karim was required to        an impact.”
                               create a senior project involving busi-
                                                                              Search Kindly’s current goal is to receive feder-
                        ness. After chewing on his predicament for a
                                                                              ally recognized 501(c)3 status within the next six
                        few weeks, Karim arrived at a conclusion:
                                                                              months. Just recently, Search Kindly was able to
                        “I wanted something that would make an impact         acquire pro bono legal assistance to help it with
                        and continue to do so long after I was done with      this goal.
                        school. However, the problem with that idea was
                                                                              “I am confident that once we receive that desig-
                        that I had limited resources and time. I’d been
                                                                              nation, we will experience tremendous growth,”
                        working in and learning about online advertising
                                                                              Karim said enthusiastically. “Official tax-exempt
                        for a little while, so one day I just came up with
                                                                              status will qualify us for so many different grant
                        the idea for Search Kindly.”
                                                                              programs and it’s going to be those programs
               The point of Search Kindly is extremely simple:                that are going to allow us to establish our own
               to generate money for grants to give to charity                charity work. I can’t wait for that to happen.”
               through advertisements on the Search Kindly
                                                                              One might think this endeavor might be some-
               homepage. This is not a unique idea (several
                                                                              thing Karim will outgrow once he graduates
                                     other sites do it), but
                                                                              from school and gets a “real” job.
                                     Search Kindly is differ-
                                     ent from other charity                   “One of our volunteer programmers, Kris Os-
     “My advice to college           search engines—Search                    tergard, asked me if I would continue to work
                                     Kindly gives all of its                  with Search Kindly not too long ago. My answer
       students is this:             advertising      revenue                 was very simple: SK…those are my initials; I am
     Make sure that you are away.                                             inextricably linked to the future and success of
    getting involved with an                          “I don’t think any-
                                                                              Search Kindly.”

     idea or cause that you                       one else is doing that,”    How Karim was able to take on such a huge
                                                  Karim points out. “Yes,     project during his time at college, let alone dur-
    really, really believe in...                  there are some other        ing his senior year, is a mystery.
     here’s the bonus, if you                     charity search engines,
                                                                              “My advice to college students is this: Make sure
                                                  but in my opinion, they
     love what you do, you                        are simply using char-
                                                                              that you are getting involved with an idea or
     aren’t really working.”                                                  cause that you really, really believe in. Because
                                                  ity as a marketing ploy.
                                                                              this kind of work can take a lot out of you. But
                                                  GoodSearch, for exam-
                                                                              here’s the bonus, if you love what you do, you
                                                  ple, gives less than half
                                                                              aren’t really working. That’s why I do this; it’s
                                                  of its revenue away—
                                                                              not really work to me.”
                        and a lot of its search results are peppered with
                        ads that aren’t clearly labeled as such.”             When asked about how he found the time, Ka-
                                                                              rim laughs.
                         Democratic selection for the charity of the
                         month is another characteristic that sets Search     “I actually didn’t have the time, which is why I
                         Kindly apart from the others. This has two ben-      had such lousy grades,” he jokes. “I was always
                         efits. One is that Search Kindly makes more of       turning things in late. But it’s a labor of love. I
                         an impact with one large donation, versus just a     enjoy this tremendously, so the consequences are
                         few dollars to many individual charities. Also,      well worth it. Besides, I ended up graduating,
                         Search Kindly offers a lot of exposure to orga-      didn’t I?”
                         nizations that would not otherwise receive it.
         madison shimoda Karim says receiving messages from people stat-
        is a sophomore ing that they decided to donate their own money        This piece is the first in a recurring column
             at CMC and to a particular organization featured on Search       highlighting progressive people under 25.
    layout editor of the Kindly is an incredibly rewarding experience.        each issue will feature a young leader setting the
   Claremont Port Side. “When I read about things like that, well, that’s     pace for our generation.

Page 8 | October ‘07 | claremontportside.com
                                                                                                                    (national)
Stealing the State
Defeated, Republicans Try to Change the Game                                                             By Nick Warshaw

          “the California republican Party is oppressed and discriminated against every presidential election
          year the states 55 electoral votes go to the Democratic candidate just because more people voted
          for him. Meanwhile the wealthy white republicans of place like orange County are treated like a
          minority simply because they are not a majority.”
                                                                                                            - Stephen Colbert


R
         epublicans have perfected the       ture of Presidential politics.              state to do something in the general
         art of stealing elections. In the                                               election that only two other states do.”
                                             This scheme is largely funded by an ul-
         2000 and 2004 presidential                                                      Even Governor Schwarzenegger has
                                             tra-partisan Republican, Thomas Hilt-
elections Republicans adeptly prac-                                                      distanced himself from the initiative: “I
                                             achk. He represents the California Re-
ticed the art of disenfranchising voters                                                 feel like, if you’re all of a sudden in the
                                             publican Party in several legal disputes.
by purging African Americans off voter                                                   middle of the game start changing the
                                             According to the Associated Press,
rolls and forcing individuals in Demo-                                                   rules, it’s kind of odd… It almost feels
                                             Hiltack has deep ties with Bob Perry,
cratic leaning areas to wait in absurdly                                                 like a loser’s mentality, saying, ‘I cannot
                                             one of the infamous financiers of the
long lines. Now they are at it again.                                                    win with those rules. So let me change
                                             deceitful Swift Boats for Truth adver-
                                                                                         the rules.’”
In California, Republicans are at-           tisements—a group which disparaged
tempting to place an initiative on the       Senator Kerry’s war accomplishments.       True conservatives should also oppose
June primary ballot that would steal         To qualify for the June ballot these men   this measure on the grounds that the
California’s electoral votes from the        simply have to fund the acquisition of     measure is clearly unconstitutional.
majority of Californians. Currently,         433,971 signatures. Surely, they know      As Doug Kendall, of Slate magazine,
California appor-                                                                                                 points out Ar-
tions its electors,                                                                                               ticle II, Section
those who vote in          Article II , Section 1 of the Constitution states:                                     1 of the Con-
the electoral col-                                                                                                stitution states:
lege, in a “win-         “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the                                         “Each       state
ner take all” for-        Legislature thereof may direct.” The operative                                          shall appoint, in
mat.      Meaning                                                                                                 such manner as
the Presidential
                                   word in this section is “Legislature.”                                         the Legislature
candidate who                                                                                                     thereof      may
receives the ma-                                                                                                  direct.”     The
jority of votes in the State of California  that Americans are tired of President operative word in this section is “Leg-
will receive all of its 55 electoral votes. Bush’s disastrous presidency and are islature.” This initiative would not be
The “winner take all” format is em-         ready for a change. Thus, they know passed by the legislature but rather by
ployed in all but two states (Maine and     the only way a Republican can win the a direct vote of the people. Conserva-
Nebraska are the exceptions). Under         White House is to steal the state.          tives should get off their partisan horse
the Republican-proposed new system                                                      and defend the strict constructionist
                                            Numerous         newspapers’      editorial
California would unilaterally alter its                                                 view of constitutional interpretation
                                            boards throughout the state oppose
apportionment of electors. It would                                                     they purportedly believe in.
                                            this initiative on the grounds it destroys
award electors based on the winner of
                                            California’s electoral clout in the presi- We all should welcome a true national
the popular vote in each Congressional
                                            dential election. As the biggest state debate about reforming the Electoral
district. In 2004 President Bush won
                                            in the nation, California is the crown College. However, this ballot proposi-
22 congressional districts. Therefore,
                                            jewel of the Electoral College. Under tion is not about changing the nature
if this system were in place during the
                                            the proposed changes, if in 2008 Cali- of democracy for the better as its pro-
last Presidential election Senator John
                                            fornia voters cast their ballots similar ponents suggest; rather it is nothing but
Kerry would have been robbed of 22
                                            to how they did in 2004 California’s a bald faced power grab.
electoral votes. Twenty-two electoral
                                            electoral clout would be tantamount to
votes constitute more votes than the
                                            New York or Texas—states two-fifths
entire state of Ohio, the linchpin in
                                            of California’s size. The Los Angeles
                                                                                        nicK warshaw is a junior at CMC and
                                            Times opines: “It would be foolish to President of the California College
the 2004 election. Thus, this measure
would fundamentally change the na-
                                            undermine that power by forcing the democrats.

                                                                claremontportside.com | October ‘07 | Page 9
                                                                                                                  (national)
    Chicano... Power???
    The Hispanic Demographic Shows Progress                                                              By Chad Jimenez




                          A
                                  n indication of the growing influence        port a law making Spanish the United States
                                  and importance Hispanics play in soci-       Second official language next to English?” Even
                                  ety, the first Spanish language presiden-    Richardson with his stack of credentials and
                          tial debate was hosted on Univisión recently.        Spanish speaking skills was not eager to talk his
                          Topping the average of 4.3 million viewers for       way out of this question. Only Representative
                          the previous debates hosted this year, 4.6 mil-      Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)—with less than 3
                          lion tuned in to Univisión, despite the NFL’s        percent in most polls—supported the measure,
                          opening weekend. This event demonstrated the         while everyone else wiggled out of it.
                          increased acceptance and relevancy of the His-
                                                                               Despite disagreements Democrats have over the
                          panic demographic, but it is only the first step
                                                                               terms of the debate or issues, Hispanics should
                          in the realization of the community’s political
                                                                               at least give them a gold star for effort. Republi-
                          potential.
                                                                               cans on the other hand declined to attend a simi-
                   Democrats attended the debate with a willing-               lar Republican debate, with Sen. John McCain
                   ness to address Hispanic issues and the Hispanic            (R-Arizona) being the notable exception. This
                   community at large, but—oddly—they did not                  was perhaps the most interesting thing about the
                   allow their only Hispanic candidate, Governor               whole debate. Back in 2004, President George
                                      Bill Richardson (D-N.M.),                W. Bush and the Republican Party made a huge
                                      the opportunity to speak up,             push to bring Hispanics towards their party and
                                                Spanish. Although
        Hispanics are in a at least in come with many
                                      debates
                                                                               were rewarded with more than 40 percent of the
                                                                               Hispanic vote. Today, however, they are running
        position of power, concessions from each can-                          away from Hispanics like the plague. One can
         but, historically,           didate, this seemed like an              only assume it is because of their mostly anti-im-
                                      unnecessary restriction. As              migration stances, but Republicans should take
      they have failed their Richardson put it, “I’m dis-                      note that 75 percent of Hispanic voters were ac-
            potential.                appointed today that 43 mil-             tually born in the United States with 48 percent
                                      lion Latinos in this country,            of these voters being third generation or more.
                                      for them not to hear one of
                                                                               In fact, Hispanic voters command considerable
                                      their own speak Spanish, is
                                                                               weight in electoral politics. In 2006 Hispanic
                   unfortunate. In other words, Univisión has pro-
                                                                               voters made up 8.6 percent of eligible voters.
                   moted English only in this debate,”
                                                                               With razor thin majors, this percentage is actu-
                          Sure, the non-Spanish speaking candidates were       ally fairly significant. Furthermore, the demo-
                          not eager to be upstaged by the second tier can-     graphic is concentrated in key swing states—
                          didates, but does it really hurt them that much      Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona.
                          with the Hispanic community to let Richardson        Surely, this population could play a major role in
                          use his one advantage? If anything, it shows His-    upcoming election.
                          panics that the Democrats are, in fact, a party of
                                                                               Hispanics are in a position of power, but, his-
                          diversity and acceptance. And if losing numbers
                                                                               torically, they have failed their potential. Vot-
                          in the polls were an issue it would hurt the ma-
                                                                               ing statistics tell this story of inaction. Though
                          jor contenders—Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.),
                                                                               Hispanics are 15 percent of the population, they
                          former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), and Sen.
                                                                               only make up 8.5 percent of the electorate, con-
                          Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)—equally, if it hurts
                                                                               trasted with whites who make up 67 percent of
                          them at all. Instead, they created a rule limiting
                                                                               the population and 75 percent of the electorate.
                          the use of Spanish in a debate aim at Spanish
                                                                               The lesson for Hispanics, then, is not that they
                          speaking people. The candidates, themselves,
                                                                               do not have a voice or that political leaders are
                          flagrantly broke the rule, with Senator Christo-
             chad jimenez pher Dodd (D-Conn.) setting the precedent and        insensitive to their issues. No, what Hispanics
                                                                               need to do as a whole is show up at the polls and
              is a senior deftly reminding viewers his fluency.
                                                                               start electing the people they want. The immi-
             at CMC and On the plus side, the questions for the debate         gration fight was a start, and the Univisión de-
      staff writer for the squeezed several unwilling answers from all the     bate helps, but something must wake this sleep-
    Claremont Port Side. candidates, many as simple as, “Would you sup-        ing giant.


Page 10 | October ‘07 | claremontpor tside.com
                                                                                                                  (international)
Water, Water Nowhere
This Crucial Resource is Nearing Crisis Levels                                                                By Karthik Reddy




T
          he welfare of one billion peo-        the world; rising grain prices.
          ple is in crisis, and it is because   Falling agricultural output due
          of something so simple: water.        to water shortages is solved
Explosive population growth and mis-            by the import of grain from
management of current water supplies            abroad. It is true that smaller
threaten to disrupt economic and po-            nations such as Israel, Jordan,
litical stability around the world.             and Saudi Arabia, have resort-
                                                ed to importing grain without
It is important to understand that the
                                                causing notable repercussions
urgency of this issue is not dictated by
                                                in the global grain market.
environmental concern, but rather by
                                                However, if nations as large
humanitarian necessity: We need water
                                                as India and China should fail
for life. The population explosion (up
                                                to remain largely self-sufficient
to six billion in 2000) strains our sup-
                                                in grain production, global
ply. This jump, coupled with a rise in
                                                demand and prices for grain
the worldwide standard of living, has
                                                imports will rise dramatically,
resulted in a six-fold increase in water
                                                resulting in catastrophic con-
use. With another 50 percent increase
                                                sequences for the 1.3 billion
in population expected by 2050, the
                                                people who live on less than
nine billion humans may face serious
                                                one dollar per day. The strain
challenges filling their glasses.
                                                on agriculture is a trend ap-
Households and industries, though,              parent not only in China and
only account for a fraction of water            India, but also in Algeria,
use. Agriculture uses the vast majority,        Egypt, Iran, and Mexico, all of which        of Water Resources warns that if more
70 percent, and that means the water            are currently experiencing large water       water supplies are not acquired, Cali-
crisis threatens our ability to put food                                                     fornia will suffer from a water shortage
                                                deficits.
on the table as well.                                                                         in 2020: this crisis will effect you in less
                                                For some time, experts have theo-               than fifteen years.
Though food supplies have increased             rized that water scarcity could
over the past half-century, overuse of                                                            Luckily, some progress is being
                                                lead to civil unrest and warfare
groundwater supplies for agricultural                                                             made. The availability of potable
                                                over water rights. As the wa-
purposes has become a serious problem,                                                            water can be increased through
                                                ter crisis worsens, tensions may
notably in large nations such as China.                                                          innovative ideas such as the Play
                                                rise between water-rich and
According to Worldwatch, an environ-                                                            Pumps Water System. The system
                                                poor nations who need the water
mental research group, the water table                                                       uses the energy that children gener-
                                                for the basic survival of their citizens.
in the North China Plain has fallen 25                                                       ate while running around playground
                                                More than 260 river basins are shared
feet throughout the past 5 years; that                                                       merry-go-round to pump water from
                                                by two or more nations; more pressure
puts the farms that produce 40 percent                                                       an underground well into an above-
                                                on water supplies combined with a lack
of China’s grain in jeopardy.                                                                ground storage tank. The pumps dis-
                                                of real international power to enforce
                                                                                             play advertisements, which, in turn,
The problems that rural farmers face in         water treaties threaten to destabilize
                                                                                             pay for the upkeep costs of the pump.
developing nations are exacerbated by           water-starved areas. It is easy to write
                                                                                             Such low cost innovations are revenue
rapidly growing cities requiring more           this issue off and consider it only a dis-
                                                                                             neutral and dramatically help increase
and more water, diverting the scarce re-        tant problem for people halfway across
                                                                                             water availability.
source away from farmlands. In 1994,            the globe, but we are in this one too.
for example, the Chinese government             One only needs to look outside to un-        More generally, improved education
denied access to reservoirs to farmers          derstand the gravity of the current situ-    about water conservation, technologi-
around Beijing. The problem in China            ation. Los Angeles—with a metropoli-         cal improvements, increased protection
underscores a larger issue throughout           tan population of 24 million—is located      of wetlands, and less dependence on
                                                in a desert designed only to naturally       water-intensive crops, such as cotton
                                                support one million people, and the          and rice, can help. Maybe this is look-
KarthiK reddy is a sophomore at CMC and         population is growing, while the sup-        ing at the cup as half full, but if we do
guest writer for the Claremont Port Side.       ply is not. The California Department        not act soon, it will just be empty.

                                                                  c l a r e m o n t p o r t s i d e . c o m | O c t o b e r ‘ 0 7 | P a g e 11
                                                                                                                  (international)
      Pakistan Under Pressure
      Crisis Threatens Musharraf’s Control                                                                By Michael Sciortino




                             P
                                     ressure is mounting in Pakistan. A drastic      istani cities and the lawless regions in the north.
                                     increase in sectarian violence across the
                                                                                     All of this comes at a peculiar time for Paki-
                                     country, along with upcoming parliamen-
                                                                                     stan—election season. Musharraf ’s term ends in
                             tary and provincial elections, has isolated Gener-
                                                                                     October and he will have to run for re-election
                             al Musharraf, who took power in a coup in 1999.
                                                                                     against a host of obstacles. The omnipresence of
                             The catalyst for the recent tensions in the coun-
                                                                                     extremist militias like the Taliban and the gain-
                             try occurred in early July in Pakistan’s capital, Is-
                                                                                     ing influence of terrorist organizations in the
                             lamabad. It was here where the Pakistani Army
                                                                                     country have led many to believe that Mushar-
                             killed over 100 people and sustained 11 casual-
                                                                                     raf may not deserve all the stars on that uniform
                             ties after a standoff with radicalized students at
                                                                                     of his. Recent opinion polls show that around
                             the infamous Lal Masjid (Red Mosque).
                                                                                     two-thirds of Pakistanis oppose giving him an-
                              Islamabad itself lacks a large faction of people       other term. The Pakistani election also arrives as
                              practicing fundamentalist Islam, but the Lal           Musharraf faces growing political opposition—
                                                         Masjid has always been      from two civilian politicians-in-exile and from
                                                         the glaring exception.      the current chief justice of the Supreme Court.
                                                         The sprawling mosque
                                                                                     A brief history of the opposition: Musharraf
                                                         openly teaches violent
                                                                                     unseated and exiled Prime Minister Nawaz
                                                         forms of fundamen-
                                                                                     Sharif in 1999 and on Aug. 23, 2007 the Su-
                                                         talist Islam and read-
                                                                                     preme Court, headed by chief justice Iftikhar
                                                         ily admits to having
                                                                                     Chaudry, decided the act to be unconstitutional.
                                                         links to key members
                                                                                     Musharraf attempted to sack the chief justice,
                                                         of al-Qaeda, includ-
                                                                                     but this decision caused mass protests, isolating
                                                         ing Osama Bin-Laden.
                                                                                     him further. Sharif flew back to Pakistan intent
                                                         Now Musharraf faces
                                                                                     on opposing Musharraf in the upcoming elec-
                                                         ferocious opposition
                                                                                     tions. General Musharraf, as any right-minded
                                                         from a growing ex-
                                                                                     authoritarian ruler would do, sent Sharif ’s plane
                                                         tremist segment of his
                                                                                     back to where it came from.
                                                         country. Taliban forces
                                                         have completely desta-      There’s more to come with Sharif and more
                                                         bilized the northern        former prime ministers waiting in the wings.
                                                         portion of the country      Benazir Bhutto, who served as prime minister
                                                         along the Pakistan-         from 1988-1990 and 1993-1996, fled to Dubai in
                                                         Afghanistan      border.    1999 to evade corruption charges. According to
                                                         The region is mostly        many, she is trying to negotiate a power-sharing
                              composed of rural, tribal settlements that are         deal with Musharraf. Whether Bhutto returns or
                              sparsely populated and rarely overseen by the          not is up to the general, but he recently decided
                              government. The armed Pakistani tribesmen              to relinquish command of the military if he is
                              have spread throughout the remote countryside,         “re”-elected, an act that Bhutto has called for in
                              imposing strict Islamic law and brutally punish-       exchange for her support for the general.
                              ing those who refuse. Musharraf also faces in-
                                                                                     Whatever the general decides in the next few
                              creasing hostility from Pakistan’s militant Islamic
                                                                                     months will deeply affect the future of democ-
                              groups, which divide along Sunni-Shia Muslim
                                                                                     racy in Pakistan. It is important to remember
                              lines. Most recently angered by the Lal Masjid
                                                                                     that Pakistan is not an extremist country; Isla-
                              bombing, the sectarian groups have been re-
                                                                                     mist parties won only 11 percent of the popular
                              sponsible for a major surge in suicide bombings
                                                                                     vote in the 2002. A democratic government with
            michael sciortino over the past four years. Musharraf, however, is a     civilian leadership would be well-suited to tackle
                 is a senior strong supporter of the “War on Terrorism” and          the multitude of problems the country faces.
            at CMC and the fervently speaks out against extremist terrorism.         Remember that military rule tends to strengthen
                              Musharraf even declared terrorist groups illegal.
        senior editor of the But without strong military action to match his         extremists, as Pakistan’s history suggests. Let’s
                                                                                     cross our fingers Musharraf gets this one right.
       Claremont Port Side. distaste, violence grows in typically peaceful Pak-

Pa g e 12 | O c t o b e r ‘ 07 | c l a r e m o n t p o r t s i d e . c o m
                                                                                                            (international)
A United Nations’ Army?
The Case for a U.N. Rapid Reaction Force                                                              By Charles Sprague



                                                                                         the U.N. regularly exceed that amount.
                                                                                         Furthermore, two billion dollars is a
                                                                                         drop in the bucket compared to the
                                                                                         damage inflicted by wars that could be
                                                                                         prevented with U.N. intervention.
                                                                                         Additionally, creating a rapid reaction
                                                                                         force could yield a deterrence effect. As
                                                                                         Paul Diehl wrote in an May 15, 2005
                                                                                         article for “The Washington Post,”
                                                                                         “Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin once
                                                                                         asked how many divisions the pope
                                                                                         had; today’s dictators in places such
                                                                                         as Sudan must be asking themselves:


A
          fter the global devastation of     Before Darfur there was Haiti, the          How many divisions does Kofi Annan
          World War II, the Allies creat-    Congo, and many other conflicts that        have?” With a permanent U.N. force
          ed the United Nations with the     required more and faster international      deployable within forty-eight hours,
purpose of collective security in mind.      intervention. Given this history, Uni-      human rights abusers would seriously
Although the historical record reflects      versity of Notre Dame political scien-      have to contemplate the possibility of
poorly on such idealism, the U.N. re-        tist Robert Johansen argues for a U.N.      international intervention if they con-
mains the only fully inclusive interna-      standing force because “the interna-        tinue with their crimes against human-
tional institution with any prospect of      tional community could prevent many         ity. The U.N.’s recent creation of the
maintaining peace and regulating con-        of these crimes if it would act quickly     International Criminal Court, which
flict. In fact, the U.N.’s shortcomings      and send a professional security force      prosecutes individuals for such crimes,
with respect to peace enforcement dem-       to enforce the law.” Former Secretary       will complement the deterrence effect
onstrate precisely the need for a U.N.       General Kofi Annan notes, “The pres-        of the rapid reaction force.
rapid reaction force. It’s not surprising,   ent system relies almost entirely on
                                                                                         People around the world recognize the
then, that the idea received consider-       last-minute, ad hoc arrangements that
                                                                                         benefits of a permanent U.N. security
able attention after the atrocities of the   guarantee delay.” Establishing stand-
                                                                                         force. A survey conducted by The Chi-
Rwandan genocide. A June 15, 2006            ing units would allow the U.N. to de-
                                                                                         cago Council on Global Affairs found
article in “The Toronto Star” describes      ploy forces within forty-eight hours of
                                                                                         that 64 percent of those asked favor
what a rapid reaction force would look       a green light from the Security Coun-
                                                                                         “having a standing U.N. peacekeeping
like: “Composed of up to 15,000 mili-        cil. Currently, organizing peace en-
                                                                                         force selected, trained, and commanded
tary, police and civilian staff, including   forcement or peacekeeping units takes
                                                                                         by the United Nations.” Only 23 per-
medics and conflict transformation ex-       months because of the time required to
                                                                                         cent opposed the idea. All governments
perts, it would be recruited from pro-       recruit and train temporary units. This
                                                                                         maintain standing military, police, and
fessionals hired by the U.N. from many       division would strengthen the promise
                                                                                         emergency service units because of the
countries, and based at designated U.N.      of the U.N.’s “responsibility to protect”
                                                                                         enormous advantages associated with
sites. Its actions would be authorized by    doctrine, which makes member states
                                                                                         permanent personnel as opposed to
the U.N. Security Council.”                  of the U.N. responsible for interven-
                                                                                         reactive arrangements. The United
                                             ing when conflict greatly endangers the
A rapid reaction force would improve                                                     States should lead the effort to help the
                                             lives of civilians.
the U.N.’s chances of preventing or                                                      international community reap the ben-
mitigating civil wars and genocides, A UN rapid reaction force would nei-                efits of permanent peacekeeping and
such as the ongoing human rights di- ther infringe on national sovereignty               peace enforcement units. Time and
saster in the Darfur region of Sudan. nor demand excessive cost. Member                  again, the international community
                                      states would have no obligation to                 has witnessed genocide and responded
                                      send in their own troops for any mis-              with a chorus of “never again.” A U.N.
charles sprague is a sophomore at CMC sion. The price tag of establishing this           rapid reaction force would make that
and managing editor of the            peace enforcement system is two billion            promise less hollow.
Claremont Port Side.                  dollars. Annual peacekeeping costs for


                                                              c l a r e m o n t p o r t s i d e . c o m | O c t o b e r ‘ 07 | Pa g e 13
                                                                                                               (international)
    Chavez’s Consolidation of Power
    Undermining Freedoms in Venezuela                                                                    By Alexandra Aznar



                             “I      doubt there is any country on this planet
                                     with a democracy more alive than the
                             one we enjoy in Venezuela today.’’ On Aug.
                             16, 2007, Chavez uttered this laughable state-
                             ment. Though the media have flooded us with
                             stories about Chavez’s friendly meetings with
                             Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, internal events in
                             Venezuela are far more concerning, both for the
                             country itself, and for the region in general.
                  This year alone, Chavez made a mockery of de-
                  mocracy. On May 28, Chavez refused to renew
                  Radio Caracas Television’s (RCTV) expired li-
                  cense, therefore silencing the oldest private TV
                                           station in Venezuela,
                                           one that often criticized
         This year alone,                  his regime. Chavez’s
                                                                                   democracy. Can the problem correct itself ?
                                           supporters celebrated
          Chavez made a                    this decision, decrying                 Venezuela is seeing another bellicose and venal
       mockery of democracy. RCTV’s biased reports,                                politician, democratically elected but descend-
                                           criticism of Chavez, and                ing into authoritarianism. In the terminology
                                           its alleged contribution                of noted political analyst Fareed Zakaria, Ven-
                                           to a 2002 attempt to oust               ezuela is an illiberal democracy: a democrati-
                  Chavez. The United States has led the outside                    cally elected government that undermines con-
                  world in decrying Chavez’s decision as a threat                  stitutionalism, civil freedoms, and other tenets
                  to freedom of speech and democracy.                              of classical liberalism. Despite these troubling
                                                                                   developments, the best option for the United
                             Fifty-four percent of Venezuelans disapproved
                                                                                   States with Chavez is to wait.
                             of Chavez’s decision, according to a Venezuelan
                             poll taken right after the event. This statistic is   Rash U.S. interventions are unwise given the
                             important, given Chavez’s popularity in Venezu-       resentment that still brews in Latin Amer-
                             ela and his propensity to survive attacks on his      ica. The United States has a long history of
                             power. Chavez survived a military coup in 2002        replacing democratically elected leaders with
                             and, in December 2006, he won his third term          pro-American puppets who leave Latin Ameri-
                             in office with 63 percent of the vote. But even       can countries worse off in the end. In Venezu-
                             if the majority of Venezuelans dislike Chavez’s       ela, the widespread perception that the United
                             methodical suppression of dissent, it will prove      States supported the 2002 coup against Chavez
                             difficult to act on the discontent. In 2005,          has provided Chavez with his best propaganda
                             Chavez supporters swept parliamentary elec-           piece. Therefore, the United States must avoid
                             tions and opposition legislators boycotted this       interfering in Venezuelan politics, as such efforts
                             change by leaving office entirely. Furthermore,       will strengthen Chavez’s position.
                             in January 2007, the National Assembly granted
                                                                                   Besides, denying RCTV’s license diminishes
                             Chavez the right to rule by decree for the next
                                                                                   Chavez’s credibility far more than denunciations
                             18 months.
                                                                                   from the United States. Socialist-based policies
                             With the National Assembly in his pocket,             and the welfare state are alive and well in South
                             Chavez can make sweeping changes in Venezu-           America, but so are democracies and emerging
          alexandra aznar    elan law, while claiming a clean, legal journey       markets and subtle, though peaceful change via
               is a senior   to power. This past August, Chavez announced          the polls, rather than through revolution. The
                             plans to reform the constitution; he wants to ex-     picture is far from rosy from Venezuela, but it’s
             at CMC and      tend presidential terms from six to seven years       also not ideal for Chavez. He has not yet real-
      staff writer for the   and allow for indefinite re-election. These           ized that he and his socialist Bolivarian revolu-
    Claremont Port Side.     events are systematically degrading Venezuela’s       tion are anachronisms.


Page 14 | October ‘07 | claremontpor tside.com
                                                                                                              (international)
death of a Fisherman
The Coming Collapse of World Fish Stocks                                                                By Karen de Wolski




Y
         ears of over-fishing have pre-       limits to maximize profit. The overex-       Several steps could help solve the crisis.
         cipitated an international crisis.   ploitation of international fish stocks      One plan would be the institution and
         According to a 2006 Cato Insti-      represents a classic example of what         enforcement of lower intake quotas for
tute report by Johan Norberg, over the        Garret Hardin describes as a “tragedy        fisheries. Another proposed solution is
last 100 years, human fishing in New          of the commons” where individuals            the privatization of marine resources.
England and Atlantic Canada has re-           have an incentive to overuse public re-      This could be done through individual
duced the stock of cod, tuna, flounder        sources because they keep the profits        transferable quotas (ITQs) which would
and haddock by 80 percent. This same          of such activities, but the cost is shared   give each fisherman a certain percent-
sad pattern repeats itself in places as       among the public.                            age of the total intake. This step has
diverse as France, Japan, and Senegal.                                                     proven effective in certain areas. Fish-
                                              In the not-so-distant future, fish will no
In the Nov. 3, 2006 edition of Science,                                                    ing intake decreased to a sustainable
                                              longer be a staple of the human diet.
an international team of scientists con-                                                   level in Iceland after ITQs were estab-
                                              Furthermore, the deterioration of fish
cluded that there would be no more                                                         lished there in 1980. The same step
                                              populations has severe environmental
viable fish or invertebrate species avail-                                                 has been successful in Australia and the
                                              implications. When a species is dras-
able to fisheries by 2050.                                                                 United States. Privatization causes the
                                              tically decreased in an ecosystem, it
                                                                                           value of the fish to rise, which provides
The demand for fish is higher than the        causes a cascade effect across that eco-
                                                                                           higher incomes for fishermen. Addi-
natural ecosystem can support. Un-            system. For example, over-fishing of
                                                                                           tionally, the expansion of fish farming
like other meat products, the primary         the snapper and spiny rock lobsters in
                                                                                           would reduce pressure on natural fish
source of fish is not human grown farm        the Goat Island Bay area of New Zea-
                                                                                           stocks. For example, Australis Aqua-
animals. As new technology has been           land caused its sea urchin prey to ex-
                                                                                           culture has successfully developed sus-
developed, fishing companies have in-         plode in numbers. In turn, the urchin
                                                                                           tainable indoor facilities in Massachu-
creased their yields to meet the increas-     devastated the seaweed population on
                                                                                           setts to raise barramundi fish. Its stock
ing market for fish. In the 1960s, the        nearby reefs, essentially wiping out the
                                                                                           has performed very well in Australia
U.S. government enacted subsidies             reef community. Fortunately, Goat
                                                                                           and the company has rapidly expanded
which provided tax breaks for compa-          Island restricted fishing and the reefs
                                                                                           its facilities.
nies that researched and bought newer         were able to recover, but this type of
equipment. However, the new technol-          emergency restriction is not common.         The decline of fisheries is a pressing
ogy itself is not the problem, but the        The loss of so many fish species across      environmental and economic concern.
way the companies use it. Many of the         the oceans and seas is causing similar       Luckily, there are viable options to alle-
major fisheries worldwide far surpass         devastation to many ecosystems by rap-       viate the problem. These policies must
the legal intake put in place by inter-       idly decreasing biodiversity.                be implemented before a man-made
national regulations. For example, the                                                     disaster strikes our ocean ecosystems.
International Commission for the Con-
servation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT)
has a 32,000 metric ton intake limit.
True intake quantities are estimated
at least 50,000 metric tons. Scientists
warn that this rate of fishing will re-
sult in the collapse of the Atlantic tuna
population. However, no motion has
been made by the ICCAT to reduce in-
take quotas or more strictly enforce the
current one.
Loose regulation is a problem across
the fishing industry. Like most corpo-
rations, the competition between fish-
eries drives them to constantly push the

Karen de wolsKi is a freshman at CMC and
a staff writer for the Claremont Port Side.                               We Found Nemo...

                                                               c l a r e m o n t p o r t s i d e . c o m | O c t o b e r ‘ 07 | Pa g e 15
                                           vitter and craig
(the plank)
                                                 Shoved off by their own, the homophobic GOP
                                                                                                                     By Simon Shogry


T
          hink back with me, if you can, my fellow progressives, to     officer in an airport restroom. They argued that Craig’s conduct
          the dark days of the 109th Congress. Speaker Hastert and      demanded an investigation from the Senate Ethics Committee –
          his GOP allies were conducting the business of the peo-       an embarrassing plight for the Idaho Senator, who would face a
ple—“people,” of course, referring to the “majority of the major-       series of public hearings on the incident. The political pressure
ity,” that friendly doctrine conceived by Tom Delay that produced       intensified soon after, when John McCain, still reeling from a bruis-
legislative gems like the Terry Schiavo law, the “nuclear option,”      ing battle with the Republican base over immigration, and Norm
and Constitutional amendments banning gay marriage and flag             Coleman, the Minnesota incumbent gearing up for a tough re-
burning. Those were the days when the Republican party was do-          election bid, called for Craig’s outright resignation from the Sen-
ing “God’s work,” upholding family values and saving the souls of       ate. It seemed that the GOP establishment couldn’t distance itself
our country’s citizens one law at a time.                               from Craig quickly enough.
In light of the GOP rhetoric of those days, it has been a bit dif-      Republicans reacted much differently, however, when news broke
ficult for liberals to hear about the recent Republican sex scan-       of another GOP Senator engaging in what most would term
dals – most notably Larry Craig’s                                                                    “lewd” behavior. Last July, David
bathroom misadventures and David                                                                     Vitter admitted to a “very seri-
Vitter’s penchant for, um, “ladies of                                                                ous sin in his past” after his phone
the night” – without feeling at least                                                                number appeared in the log of the
a twinge of satisfaction. After all,                                                                 “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Pal-
the Republican Party gained – and                                                                    frey – a woman whom the federal
sustained – its power by decrying a                                                                  government accused of running a
society drifting away from its Judeo-                                                                prostitution ring. For his infraction,
Christian moorings. Now, Craig                                                                       Vitter offered his “deep and sincere
and Vitter – both sitting Senators                                                                   apologies” to the nation, explain-
– stand out as two prominent coun-                                                                   ing that he had already “asked for
terexamples to GOP rhetoric.                                                                         and received forgiveness from God
                                                                                                     and [his] wife.”
Clearly, the dissonance between
Craig and Vitter’s political stances                                                                   Well that settles it, then! Or at least
and their private lives constitutes                                                                    it did for the Republican Senate
hypocrisy. Let’s not forget that these                                                                 leadership, who declined to com-
were the same men who, during the                                                                      ment on the incident. No calls
Clinton years, felt it their obliga-                                                                   for Ethics Committee investiga-
tion to rid the federal government                                                                     tions followed, nor were there de-
of sin and moral depravity. After                                                                      mands for Vitter’s resignation. In
the Monica Lewinski scandal broke,                                                                     fact, McConnell and Lott made no
Larry Craig went on Meet the Press                                                                     mention of the subject to the press
to chide President Clinton as “a                                                                       – except if you count the “loud
nasty, bad, naughty boy,” while Senator Vitter – then a mere state      standing ovation” Vitter received from his GOP colleagues upon
senator – complained that, if allowed to continue serving in office,    returning to the Senate floor.
the forty-second President would “further drain any sense of val-
                                                                        So what constitutes such a vastly different reaction from the Re-
ues left to our political culture.”
                                                                        publican establishment to two flagrant cases of “un-family” val-
Worse than these comments, however, are the actions of the Re-          ues? It is irresistible to observe that, while Craig’s solicitation of
publican Senate leadership, who set the bar for hypocrisy even          a male officer was quickly condemned, Vitter’s encounter with a
higher with its selective outrage at the moral infractions within its   female prostitute did not receive any public disapproval from the
caucus.                                                                 party establishment. “Family values,” then – at least as the Re-
                                                                        publican Party understands it – is nothing more than thinly-veiled
It took only two days for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and
                                                                        homophobia, and a cheap attempt to pander to the darkest pas-
his whip, Trent Lott, to issue a harsh and public condemnation of
                                                                        sions of the American people and garner votes by exploiting an
their colleague Larry Craig, who, it was revealed, plead guilty to
                                                                        irrational disgust in homosexuality.
“lewd conduct” after soliciting sex from an undercover male police

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