The new Republican movement: America needs a stronger Republican Party

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Opinion

By Justin Lalputan, Staff Writer

To start with, politics are not something that I usually get involved in. Sure, I’ll have a friendly debate with someone about abortion or stem-cell research, but I generally don’t involve myself with either the Republican or the Democratic political parties. However, I must say that I don’t like what I see on the news these days.

Since the Republicans lost the 2008 presidential election, they’ve seemed like a political party that didn’t have their feet on solid ground.

I’ve watched numerous rallies, the most notable being the “Tea Party” rallies, and I can sense somewhat of a change stirring within the party.
The thing is, when people see these rallies, they scoff at the people in them, and in many cases, call them ignorant.

While it is true that sometimes some foolish things are said at these rallies, in other instances, the things mentioned are not foolish at all; rather, they simply reflect the ideology of the Republican Party and its constituents. While I understand that sometimes these views can be somewhat intense, the Republican Party needs to find some way to gain more popular support, and they need to do it now.

I’ve noticed a growing trend since high school, but now that I’m in college, I simply can’t stand to hear some of the talk that I listen to almost every day.

Whether it’s my friends, random people I hear while walking around campus or even people in my classes, a large portion of them tend to bash people who support the Republican Party. I’m not a Republican, but this does anger me.

Why would you go out of your way to dislike someone, simply because they have different political beliefs than you do? I’m not saying all liberals are like that; in reality, there are a lot of people who have liberal tendencies who are respectful of other ways of thinking. But there are a lot of people out there who don’t think that way.

I went to the Obama rally that was held here not too long ago and what I saw amazed me. It was almost scary the way that Obama could control the crowd. People were cheering so loudly that I doubt half of them were even paying attention to anything that he said.

If anybody had something negative to say, they were immediately booed and removed from the arena. Granted, actually going into the Patriot Center and protesting the president may not have been the smartest move, but even when the protesters made valid points, they were never met with any intelligent rebuke.

Rather, I heard people say things like, “Republicans suck” or “Obama forever.”

I’m going to say right now, this is not what we need. I remember the day that the Democrats lost their supermajority — I was actually happy, but others were sad. I think that’s ridiculous. There is a reason why we have two parties and not one; we need a balance of ideals.

A government and a society that are solely controlled and influenced by the Democratic Party is not a place that I want to be in. Once again, I’m an independent, but I realize the value of having strong Republicans alongside strong Democrats.

When I talk to people while walking around places — not just our liberal college campus — I see that people are starting to think of the Republican Party as a joke. They disregard everything that the Republican Party says, even if it makes sense.

I start to worry that I’m going to wake up to an America that has almost no dissenting opinion to the will of the Democrats who are in power.

Then I watch TV and I feel more hopeful. I see people coming out to support things like the “tea parties” that the Republicans host. I’m not for either political party, but when one starts getting too powerful, I get worried.

As much as I hate to admit it, what America needs right now is not for Democrats to gain more power or for everything to go their way. We need for the Republican Party to regain its strength and stability.

This way, instead of having one strong party and one struggling one, we have two parties that are both strong and that can help guide our nation to a brighter future.

LETTER FROM THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT: Congratulations to our newly elected officials

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Opinion

By Senators Jennifer Mancini and James Nance

Well, student body, the results are in. Your new president and vice president have been decided. On behalf of Student Government, we would like to congratulate D’Leon Barnett and Jacky Yoo on their win. We are sure to see great things from them in the upcoming year. Student Government would also like to congratulate the 2010-2011 student senators.

Also, congratulations to our new supreme dictators of George Mason University: Mhehvish Khan and Jeremy Miller.

Good luck to all of you!

Along with Kappa Sigma, Senator Nathan Dorfman has spearheaded the effort to raise over $1,400 for Fisher House. Fisher House is a charitable organization that funds the construction of family lodging facilities near military hospitals. Student Government would like to commend the efforts of Senator Dorfman on behalf of Fisher House, which will be opening its doors for eight students from Student Government to tour.

Mason Day is right around the corner — April 22. The main event will be in Lot L from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. Be sure to come for free food, rides, games
and Cobra Starship. Student Government will be grilling hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers. Word on the street is Gunston will be the master of ceremonies for the event. Don’t tell Mr. Patriot. Follow GMU Program Board on Twitter for more updates. Also, please friend Proud Patriot on Facebook to get information regarding George Mason programming.

– Senator Jennifer Mancini and Senator James Nance

Actions speak louder: Countries snubbed by Obama Administration

by   Posted on April 19th, 2010 in Opinion

By Stephanie Tran, Staff Writer

It’s been clear for years now that the United States is on the outs with Iran, North Korea and Syria because of disagreements over each of the countries’ respective nuclear programs. However, last week the problems between the U.S. and each of these countries hit a whole new low.

From Monday, April 12 through Tuesday, April 13, Washington D.C. played host to 47 different countries attending the nuclear summit. The goals, according to BBC News, were to “safeguard nuclear stocks and keep material out of terrorists’ hands.” In short, to reduce the numbers of nuclear weapons or amounts of enriched uranium that terrorists could use to make nuclear weapons.

While countries are still able to research nuclear power and the agreements made by several countries such as Ukraine, Russia and Mexico are hardly binding, it’s certainly an admirable movement and could be seen as a win for the “War on Terror.”

However, it’s not enough. President Obama applauded the summit’s attendees for “[coming] together in a spirit of partnership to embrace our shared responsibility and confront a shared challenge,” yet there’s no doubt that the summit ruffled more than a few feathers.

A brief Google search yields several optimistic and victorious articles about the summit. Some more digging on and Al Jazeera English reveals important information: Iran, Syria and North Korea were among several countries that were not invited to the nuclear summit. Already, Iran has expressed its anger over the move and held its own nuclear summit just this past weekend from April 17 – 18, which would include “foreign ministers from 15 countries,” according to BBC News.

It doesn’t take enormous skill to read between the lines and see that Iran, at least, is mightily offended at the lack of invitation. Iran-U.S. relations are already tense enough without this insult. Even China, the notoriously inflexible country that only recently caused Google to redirect users to a Hong Kong-hosted site, urged the United States for more negotiations with Iran.

By not inviting Iran, North Korea or Syria, President Obama passed right by his opportunity to give gestures of goodwill to these three countries. Is the United States so secure in its role as the ‘Great Negotiator’ at this summit that it’s fine with ignoring three countries that are now offended at best and downright antagonistic at worst?

While discussing Iran’s disregard for international regulations of the development of nuclear programs, President Obama declared, “Words have to mean something.”

Yes, Mr. President, they do, but actions also speak louder than words. And right now, the United States is clearly communicating an unwillingness to head to the negotiation table with just three more countries.

Obama’s war on terror: A review of the president’s terrorism policies

by   Posted on April 12th, 2010 in Opinion

By Brandon Minister, Staff Writer

A paramount question of the last presidential election concerned the War on Terror. Neither candidate appeared to support the status quo. John McCain argued for a firmer commitment to our position in Iraq, upwards of 100 years if necessary.

Opposing the effort was Barack Obama, who argued for a time frame for withdrawal from Iraq and for opening a dialogue with Iran. To offset what might appear a hasty wrapping up of the American offensive in the War on Terror, Obama supported an increase in activity in Afghanistan. Far from cutting and running, candidate Obama appeared to be shrewdly allocating resources for a more successful outcome.

Now that his presidency is in its second year, any guiding principle directing Obama’s prosecution of the War on Terror appears incredibly well disguised.

Firstly, the nation is no longer in a “War on Terror,” the phrase having been neatly removed from the administration’s vocabulary. Divorcing military action from the terrorism it is designed to stymie threatens to undermine public support on all fronts, not just those that displease the genteel class.

Secondly, the public gesture has replaced the private victory. On Sept. 20, 2001, then-President George W. Bush said, “Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.”

President Obama has turned this on its head, specializing in meaningless public gestures, such as his Jan. 22, 2009 “closing” of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which is still open.

Throughout last August and September, in debates over troop strength in Afghanistan, Obama attempted to appear as a cutter of the Gordian knot. In actuality, he only managed to lowball his generals’ troop level requests for what he had previously proclaimed his most important anti-terror operation.

And this month, Obama unilaterally scaled back the role of nuclear weapons in American military plans, hardly the type of statement that deters continued nuclear armament by North Korea and Iran.

Thirdly, the administration seems to not even know who the enemy is. A foreign national captured on foreign soil is slated to have a domestic civilian trial. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be afforded all the Constitutional protections of an American citizen in a New York courtroom.

Meanwhile, an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, has been green-lit for targeted assassination.

Anwar al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico, something that used to mean a higher level of Constitutional protection than that afforded the Kuwaiti-born Mohammed.

The 2008 election was not a referendum on the War on Terror. Americans have seen that when we do not define the battlefield, our foes do it for us, usually in our airports and office buildings. When we do not fight with our soldiers, we are forced to fight with our passengers and cubicle workers.

The electorate supported a candidate who promised a more intelligent furthering of the war, not its wholesale abnegation.

Between the president’s public statements, troop provisions and prosecution aims, any semblance of driving policy has been replaced, seemingly with pulling slips of paper out of a hat.

The birds and the lights: Mason’s battle against nature

by   Posted on April 12th, 2010 in Opinion

By Justin Lalputan, Staff Writer

One of the things that I love about George Mason University is that we’re constantly upgrading and improving our campus. One thing that we can say about our campus is that we always have a lot of construction going on.

Recently, Mason has decided to upgrade the streetlights and replace them with brighter ones. At first look, this seems like a good move, however, the installation of these new lights may have some unforeseen consequences.

At first, when I saw the new lights, I rather liked them. I liked the fact that I no longer tripped over random objects walking back from Ike’s at 4 a.m., and I could also see the faces of people who were also walking around at night.

As I was walking one night, I noticed a sound that seemed out of place — the sound of a bird chirping. I checked my watch, which read 2:30 a.m., and thought that it was crazy for birds to be chirping at so early an hour in the morning. After talking to some people, I figured out that the birds could not sleep because of the lights.

The new lights are bright, and for the birds, they are too bright. The poor creatures barely get any sleep, and when they see the lights, they think that it’s morning and they start to chirp. When I first thought about this scenario, I had the image of Mason being completely disrespectful of the environment and terrorizing innocent animals, but then I had a second thought.

Despite the negative effects that the lights have on the birds here at Mason, there are also a number of positive effects as well. First, as I mentioned before, the lights make it so that the paths are well-lit. While not all of the old lights have been replaced with the new brighter ones, in the places where the lights have been replaced, there is no chance of you tripping over stones or walking off a path into the mud — as I have done on many occasions.

Also, the lights help to address safety issues on campus. Before the new lights were installed, it was very easy to sneak up on people. There have been many occasions when I have been able to “ambush” my friends because the previous lighting system simply wasn’t very bright. With the new lights, you are able to see people coming from quite a distance, so there is less of a chance of being taken off guard.

After weighing the positives and negatives, it seems that Mason’s new lighting system is something that benefits the campus as a whole. I know that people who have to walk home alone after a 7:20 to 10 p.m. class are much more at ease with the installation of the new lights. However, I wish that there was a way for the safety improvements to still stand, and for the birds to be able to get some rest.

All in all, nothing will change. Mason has already invested the money and manpower into changing the lights, and to be honest, they’re not that bad. Granted, I feel like everyone can see every move I make now. Yet, I feel that people on campus are now safer with the addition of the lights.

I just wish that there can be some way for us to make progress without harming nature in the process.

Is that too much to ask?

Letters to the editor: ‘Lalputan only used Google to find terms.’

by   Posted on April 12th, 2010 in Opinion

By Amy Jenne

I understand that everyone has his or her own opinions, but I was very unnerved when I read “New Age Cyberbullying.” I have researched cyberbullying on multiple occasions, and it was apparent to me that Justin Lalputan only used Google to find key terms. He did not really investigate what cyberbullying was or how it has been used.

Cyberbullying, also known as electronic bullying or online social cruelty, is defined as “willful and repeated harm inflicted” on others. Technology is being embraced and becoming a dominant medium at a younger age than ever before. In 2007 alone, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry polled students and 42 percent admitted to being bullied through the use of the Internet.

Cyberbullying is a huge issue because those who are bullied online are highly likely to skip school, to have detentions or suspensions, to carry a weapon to school or to have severe depression, substance use and delinquency in their lives. Although you, Mr. Lalputan, do not believe that cyberbullying is an issue because you find it laughable, it is an issue.

These students who are bullied experience real suffering that can affect not only their emotional development, but their academic performance as well. Bullying has become a distraction for students that, when done repeatedly, causes unfavorable attitudes towards the school environment and can lead students to miss numerous school days.

Issues like cyberbullying become school problems when they are brought into school. Did your school have computers and Internet? Many students use these to continue bullying students throughout the day. Do you have a cell phone? More and more young students are bringing cell phones to school. Are you that naïve to think they are just for emergencies or for students to talk to their friends? They are being used to bully during, in-between and after classes. Many states have anti-cyberbullying laws put in place such as Arkansas, New Jersey and Delaware. These states are trying to protect the victims of cyberbullying because it is a problem.

Better yet, remember Megan Meier? A friend’s mother bullied her online via social networking sites and what happened to her? She committed suicide. Do you think she was the only person to do this? Let’s discuss some more recent children. How about Alexis Skye Pilkington from New York? She was an intelligent, young female with a soccer scholarship to college. Only a few days ago on March 21, 2010, she took her own life. “Mounting evidence suggests that harassing Internet messages she received may have been a factor” in her death. There is also Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old in Massachusetts, who also committed suicide. This is just a small list of media-covered child suicides due to cyberbullying.

To believe that kids need to toughen up is a joke. They are children and they are innately vulnerable. To say that parents need to get involved is easier said than done. To furthermore say that a school giving a lecture on cyberbullying is ridiculous borders on cruel as well as entirely ignorant of such a potentially dangerous situation. As I believe is true for children, sticks and stones may break my bones, but cruel words will always scar me.

Amy Jenne is a senior history major.

Mason student strives to prevent sexual assaults: What students should know during this awareness month

by   Posted on April 12th, 2010 in Opinion

By Alan Moore, Staff Writer

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and it is time that the student body steps up its efforts to end these atrocious acts. This is a difficult topic to stomach because many people know someone who has been a victim, and the subject matter is unpleasant.

College students are unique because they hear about sexual assault more often than most people as a result of the sexualized and social environment in which they live. While extremely difficult to talk about, the George Mason University community needs to face these problems and commit to finding workable solutions.

Sadly, sexual assault in college is not normally perpetrated by some creep hiding in the shadows. Among college women, nine out of 10 victims knew their assailant. The problem lies in our community and in people we associate with every day.

Most have heard the alarming statistics that one in five college women will be a sexual assault victim before they graduate and 95 percent of attacks in college are not reported to law enforcement.

Why are these crimes not reported? Many times victims are afraid of the assailant or lack faith in the justice system. So what can we do about it as students?

First and foremost, men need to be a central part of the solution. We must decide to take a stand against these heinous acts. If we witness or think we are witnessing something that will eventually lead to sexual assault, we must not be afraid to step in.

We should encourage victims who confide in us to report what happened to the police and to the university.
God gave men the ability to lead and protect. We must always embrace those gifts.

As an undergraduate, I was very active in Greek Life. The environment was filled with alcohol and risky situations where sexual assault could happen. As president of my fraternity, if I saw something getting out of hand, I spoke up. I often talked to my fellow brothers about chivalry and respect for women because that was a part of our creed and it is the right way to live.

I’m not trying to condemn the Greek system at Mason by any means. In fact, just the opposite: I think Greeks are campus leaders who have the opportunity to make a real difference because when they talk, people listen.

There are also some faith-based groups on campus and in the community who recognize this problem and are committed to helping wherever they can.

Campus organizations and individuals should get educated on the facts about sexual assault. Sexual Assault Services (SAS) is an organization on campus dedicated to combating this epidemic. I highly encourage you to visit or call 703-993-9999 and find out how you can be a part of the solution.

Women can attend Rape Aggression Defense training as offered by the University Police Department. This free service discusses victim awareness, risk reduction and teaches practical self-defense techniques. The next program will be held on April 24 and 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 703-993-2800 to learn more.

If you have been a victim of sexual assault, you can reach an SAS staff member 24 hours a day at 703-380-1434.

As students become more focused on this issue during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I urge you to keep up your efforts year-round.

The legality of guns on campus: ‘How is our campus safer by taking away our constitutionally protected right to defend ourselves?’

by   Posted on April 5th, 2010 in Opinion

By Alan Moore, Staff Writer

Currently, the Supreme Court is considering McDonald v. Chicago which could determine once and for all if state and local governments have the right to restrict and control gun ownership.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees that an individual has the fundamental right to bear arms in the District of Columbia v. Heller case.

If this current gun rights case is overruled, then it is likely that all laws and ordinances prohibiting handguns in states and localities will be nullified.

As this landmark case is being considered, it seems prudent to examine the policy on guns at George Mason University. According to University Policy Number 1120, Section 3-A, “The possession of any weapon on campus by any member of the faculty, staff or student body, with the exception of law enforcement officials as cited in the policy portion of this procedure, is prohibited.” The policy first defines weapons as “pistols and revolvers.”

The hypocrisy of this policy must be recognized and the regulation repealed.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, you must be 21 to purchase a handgun and/or handgun ammunition. You are not permitted to purchase a firearm if you have ever been indicted or convicted of a felony, convicted of jailable misdemeanors, have a restraining order or outstanding arrest warrant against you, are addicted to any controlled substances, are legally incompetent, have ever been an outpatient for mental health treatment, are an illegal alien, have ever been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces or for any number of similar reasons.

To obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) you must be able to legally purchase a handgun as outlined in the previously described requirements and you must complete a state-approved firearms safety or training course.

Next, you must apply for a CHP through your local circuit court by providing a copy of your training course completion certificate, pay a fee, show proof of residency and submit an application that assesses your eligibility.

If you make a false statement in the application, that “constitutes perjury and is punishable in accordance with §18.2-434 of the Code of Virginia.”

In other words, you go to jail if you lie.

The applicant is then submitted to a lengthy background investigation conducted by the Virginia State Police Department. Then a circuit court judge must sign an order granting you the license.

On top of that, if you are not a Virginia resident (which many George Mason University students are not), it’s even more difficult.

You must meet additional requirements, like providing impressions of your fingerprints and a current photo.

With such stringent requirements to both buy a gun and obtain a CHP, why does Mason refuse to allow students who have jumped through the necessary bureaucratic hoops to carry handguns on campus?

Strangely enough, this only applies to Mason students, faculty and staff. I could have lunch on campus with 50 of my closest CHP holders, all carrying a concealed handgun, and there is nothing illegal about it.

However, if I personally partook in that Second Amendment extravagance, I could be expelled. This policy is all done in the name of safety. But how is our campus safer by taking away our constitutionally protected right to defend ourselves?

Students, faculty and staff should also be permitted to carry concealed weapons. And quite frankly, I’d feel safer knowing there are armed and sensible people on campus who know how to handle a firearm.

While gun rights opponents would have you believe that guns sneak around at night committing crimes, such claims are simply false.

Criminals and the mentally deranged (if they are separate groups of people) commit crimes, guns do not.

Criminals would like nothing more than a ban on guns because they will still find ways to get them and it makes their victims powerless to defend themselves.

If the ban on guns is lifted, here is what will happen: crime will go down, women will feel safer walking around at night, criminals will think twice about victimizing students and Mason will gain a reputation for being a friend to the U.S. Constitution.

The smooth operator: Obama employs the art of persuasion

by   Posted on April 5th, 2010 in Opinion

By Johnetta Saygbe, Broadside Correspondent

Everyone in this country uses the art of persuasion; politicians, however, have perfected this art.

Politicians innately possess, or have been taught, the ability to present themselves and their platform in a way that is the most pleasing to their audience.

While the mode of presentation varies, all persuasive arguments begin at a single point: the speaker must identify an audience and its needs, and then create an environment where the audience feels comfortable with the speaker, which dismisses any skepticism of the argument being presented.

On Friday, March 19, 2010, the speaker was the president of the United States, Barack Obama. The audience was the George Mason University community.

The topic discussed was change in current health care policies. In order to establish the aforementioned comfort level, President Obama refused to acknowledge the obvious hierarchy that existed between him and his audience.

Upon ascending the stage, he immediately removed his suit jacket. His desire to be more comfortable, relinquishing his arms from the restricting threads of a jacket, also brought the audience to an ease. President Obama had the same confidence that most Americans only encounter in reporting.

As he stood on that elevated stage, waving at the Mason Nation, the audience knew that he was the man in those pictures — though he was not so two-dimensional now.

In fact, there was nothing two-dimensional about the president. He was, and is, just as real as the people for whom the health care reform was designed. He was relatable.

I am certain that every audience member looked at President Obama and saw a familiar face — a brother, a neighbor, a family friend, an employer, an employee. Mason Nation knew President Obama on Friday.

And, rest assured, President Obama knew the Mason Nation.

It was quite clear that President Obama was not afraid to voice the message that had instigated the four-hour wait outside of the Patriot Center.

He was aware that his committed supporters had arrived on grounds at 5 a.m., suffering through weather conditions uncommon for the spring season, ignoring their biorhythms, saying no to sleep and classes, simply to sit among the numbers and shout, “Yes, we can!”

Oh, but the sacrifice was worth it. I am pretty sure President Obama heard all the “Yes, we can[s]” I called from my third row seat for his speech. And President Obama delivered.

He documented the pains and frustrations of uninsured America, referencing the names and short anecdotes of people he had encountered. He did not ignore the differences that existed between Democrats and Republicans, but I think President Obama did something that only a handful of Presidents have been brave enough to do.

He acknowledged that it was a Republican who had initially suggested the idea of health care reform, giving credit where credit was due.

But then he continued on to highlight key aspects of the bill. The reform was welcomed with cheers, screaming and clapping — exaggerated expressions of human contentment.

He paused to absorb these accolades, once again acknowledging the audience and the space shared between him and them. Yes, President Obama had persuaded the American people.

His persuasive speech, a well-blended concoction of confidence and accuracy, compassion and humility, was meticulously wrapped in a new layer exotic to past presidents of the United States of America: truth.

Perhaps this was the real way of removing audience skepticism when painting a persuasive picture — speaking the truth.

Finding someone to blame: Identifying the ‘nth level cause’ of climate change

by   Posted on April 5th, 2010 in Opinion

By Bradon T. Minister, Staff Writer

Who was the first human to discover cause-and-effect relationships, and how quickly did his peers kill him for his heresy?

Until this mysterious human — let’s call him Roger Cavemanson — came along, every action in the world was clearly the work of a capricious god, or possibly a group of such gods. Cavemanson was the first to propose otherwise. For his troubles, he was rewarded with an early grave in a bog.

Since then, cause-and-effect has become more fashionable. Five hundred years ago, a bunch of northern Italians laid the foundation for our modern decadent society by basing all learning on the principle.

Now, instead of looking for the primary cause of an event, we now look for the nth-level cause — as long as that nth-level cause is something we hate. Thus, someone is not overweight because he happened to consume more calories than he burned, he’s overweight because of Wal-Mart pricing or McDonald’s management politics.

The further away we can push the cause, the more peace of mind we have. If I don’t earn enough money and it’s all my fault, I could feel bad about that. If I can instead blame it on Congress, I’m not as responsible. But don’t I help elect Congress? Better to push the responsibility offshore, blaming Chinese investors. I mean, what am I supposed to do about Chinese investors, right?

In a study entitled “Vehicle Emissions During Children’s School Commuting: Impacts of Education Policy,” scientists from the University of Minnesota, along with a colleague from the University of North Carolina, find a new cause for climate change: elementary school choice.

“We find that eliminating district-wide school choice (i.e., returning to a system with neighborhood schools only) would have significant impacts on transport modes and emissions,” they write. If only those jerk children would be satisfied with their sub-standard neighborhood schools, I wouldn’t have to spend five dollars on a light bulb.

Of course, the authors point out that school choice is a component of the No Child Left Behind Act, which was the work of George W. Bush. Finally, the nth level has been found.

Bush gave families school choice, but did he give them failing neighborhood schools? I don’t understand why the authors don’t pin the blame on mandatory education. After all, if we didn’t make these children go to school at all, how much less of a commuting impact would there be?

And what about the children themselves? I have three children, and (as far as I know) George W. Bush isn’t the father of any of them. It seems the real culprit in climate change has been here all along, right under our noses: testicles.

If climate change has a man-made component, that component is called China and India. Allowing half the world to opt out of climate change agreements and then policing American elementary school choice is not serious policy. It’s merely an attempt to kill something the authors don’t like, such as school choice, by pinning it to something most Americans have been driven to hysterics by, like climate change.

Once you look past the primary cause, it’s just a matter of choice where you declare the nth level to be. This study’s authors want to say it’s the No Child Left Behind Act. I prefer to say it’s the entrenched teachers’ unions who destroyed the neighborhood schools in the first place. If I can’t say they’re wrong, they have no business saying I’m wrong.

It turns out we’ve come full circle from Roger Cavemanson: instead of blaming the precipitous cause, we follow the path until we stop at the capricious god, or group of such gods, of our choice.