Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Call for Perspective

By Michael Lynch

We are in the midst of fighting two wars as a financial meltdown threatens to escalate into a global crisis. We have a president with a historically low approval rating and a congressional GOP that has lost its way amid the complacency of Washington. We have a dependency on foreign oil from countries who do not have our best interests in mind and a national consensus that proclaims we are headed in the wrong direction.

America has certainly seen better days and there is no question that a valiant effort will be required to put us back on the right track. A fundamental question remains however. If the perspective of this country is so bleak and the people of this country so dissatisfied, why has the “agent of change” not closed the deal yet?

This is the question that the left has been grappling with over the past few months. Times are tough, so change seems like the practical remedy to assuage our national woes. It would seem that the candidate who proposes a new direction would be the candidate of choice. In times of peace and economic growth the residing political brand is the hero, in times like these, the natural villain. So I ask again, if a new direction is so desperately needed, why has Obama not closed the deal? I believe the answer can be found deep within the soul of this country.

For the past several months, America has been watching Senator Obama. We have learned a great deal about his associations, his voting records, his accomplishments, his beliefs, and most importantly, his idea of what direction this country should go in. The soul of America has absorbed the prevailing knowledge and has found pause with the senator. The reason? His direction contradicts certain truths in life. Some of which include: capitalism not socialism is the best way to achieve economic prosperity; smaller government not larger, is the best structure to assure individual liberty and the preservation of private enterprise; evil exists in this world and the best way to protect self interests and prevent the prospect of war is to remain strong from within.

Peace remains the highest aspiration of the American people. Ronald Regan showed us that without firing a shot, wars can be won with a robust dollar and military, as Barry Goldwater so famously coined the term “peace through strength.”

Our founding fathers mapped the trajectory of this country on the premise that we the people could govern ourselves better than an intellectual elite in Europe could. Americans defined patriotism as telling England to shove it when they imposed confiscatory taxation on us. The revolutionists did not consider paying higher taxes “patriotic,” they considered higher taxation an infringement upon liberty. Contrary to what Senator Biden believes, the Boston Tea Party was not over the dislike of a certain brand of tea.

I think now is the time when Americans should call this presidential race into perspective. We should ask ourselves, what is it that has made us so great and in such a short duration of time considering the youth of our country? What are the ideas and convictions that have kept us strong from within and an inspiration to those who seek a better life? Why is it that immigrants who seek opportunity flock to our shores and countries who rule with the sword of oppression plot our demise? The majority of Americans understand who the real Barack Obama is and what he stands for. This is why it is still a race. As for the polls, they have been more volatile than our current stock market and only one poll truly matters, November 4th.

As a final thought, John McCain found the spirit of America inside a rat infested prison in North Vietnam. It is what gave him the resolve to forgo a ticket home and put his countrymen before him. America now needs to find McCain. We are in tough times, and tough times call for a leader who truly understands what it is that has made us great. This must be understood in order to continue that direction. John McCain knows this because it is what kept him alive in Vietnam and kept his campaign alive after the pundits and intelligencia wrote him off. If there are two things in life that I will never underestimate, they are the will of the American people and the power of a comeback. This could be the comeback of a lifetime.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sarah Failin'

By Phil Fraietta

Following the exposure of Governor Sarah Palin after she was selected as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party, the Party has seen a great schism. On one side of the fence stand the populist conservatives, on the other stand the small-government/intellectual conservatives (this is not to suggest populist conservatives are not intellectual it is just a political term). Governor Palin clearly represents the ideals of populist conservatism and to myself, and other small-government conservatives, this is not the direction the Republican Party should be heading.

First, it is necessary to explain what is meant by “populist conservatism,” and why Governor Palin’s adherence to it divides the Republican Party. The term “populist” refers to a political philosophy that puts the ordinary people above the elites of society. When the word “conservatism” is attached, it simply means a political philosophy that places the ordinary people over the elites of society while supporting conservative positions. By this definition, Governor Palin clearly is a “populist conservative.” The Governor constantly stresses the point that she is just an ordinary “hockey mom;” this is great and all, but as a small-government conservative the fact that the Governor hosts a bake sale for her son’s hockey team doesn’t really mean much to me.

Personally, I want to hear why we must support a privatization of Social Security, why we must install a school voucher system, and why we must drastically cut, if not eliminate, the capital gains tax. Maybe I just haven’t had the television on at the right time, but I do not recall ever hearing the Governor address matters such as these. Rather, she spends her time ranting about “the liberal media elite,” abortion, hunting moose, her family and “real” America.

This brings me to my next point, what is the ‘real America’? Am I not a real American because I do not hunt? Am I not a real American because I take interest in our financial markets? Am I not a real American because I happen to live in New York? When Governor Palin speaks of this real America she has effectively isolated the Republican Party to just include those who live according to her lifestyle. This is why her adherence to populist conservatism serves as a divider to the Republican Party. She effectively excludes all those who advocate small-government conservatism, moderate conservatism, libertarian-conservatism, etc.

If Senator Obama is elected on Tuesday, November 4th, I will personally point the finger of blame at Governor Palin. She has turned the Republican Party into an exclusive party of populism: a party that does not include intellectuals, corporate businessmen, social moderates and non-religious people. I urge conservatives of all types to think about why our movement was so successful in the past before anointing Governor Palin as the Party’s new-coming star, and nominee for 2012. Let us not give the image that Republicans are ordinary people with ordinary ideas, but let us give the image that Republicans are intellectual people with small government ideas based on free-market economic theory.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Larry Kudlow Analyzes the Election Disaster

By Michelle Hardy and Sean Radomski

“What a mess. What an awful mess,” began the renowned economist and broadcaster Larry Kudlow in his address to Fordham University on October 21st. With a shake of his head, he confessed to the crowded Keating Auditorium his fear that America will most likely “elect a socialist” on November fourth, largely due to Senator John McCain’s ineffective campaigning.

“I’ve known John McCain for 25 years,” he continued. “He’s a good man, a wonderful man. But he’s not a good presidential candidate.”

The host of CNBC’s Kudlow and Company claimed the GOP candidate slipped in the polls after his poorly judged response to the credit crisis. McCain held roughly a five-point lead coming out of the convention in St. Paul. The worsening stock market in following weeks, however, made McCain suspend his campaign to assist with the bailout initiative, which “might have made sense,” said Kudlow, “if he himself had a plan. But he did not.” This failure to offer a personal proposal for the crisis, according to Kudlow, greatly weakened his support.

In the midst of citizens’ heightened panic over this issue, the senator also announced that America’s economy was still fundamentally sound. While Kudlow agrees with this view, he feels it was an ill-timed remark.

Kudlow, although a free-market capitalist and supply-side enthusiast, does approve of the bailout bill. He feels this strategy is a necessary part of capitalism, and explained, “It’s not nationalization, and it’s not socialism. It’s a rescue.”

The bailout plan, which passed Congress on a second try after being defeated in the first attempt, allocates $700 billion to the Secretary of the Treasury to buy up mortgage-backed securities from firms. Kudlow believes that once these “toxic” assets are removed from banks’ portfolios, they will begin lending to each other again, the frozen credit markets will thaw, and foreign investment will flow in.

The speech further validated the rescue bill when Kudlow dated the first bailout initiative back to Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the US Treasury. In 1790, Hamilton convinced Congress to buy $25 million in state debts in order to establish good US credit and draw in foreign capital, and the American economy has required similar methods several times since.

While Kudlow feels McCain responded ineffectively to the credit crisis, he commended two main positive actions made by the senator in recent months. The first was his advocacy for offshore drilling, which will form a bridge to the future when the US can use alternative energy sources like nuclear power. 75% of Americans agreed with this plan, and McCain’s enthusiasm was very beneficial. The second positive was choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate, which energized the conservative social issue base.

Still, the speech showed that McCain has yet to gain the majority vote in several vital groups, the most important being the investor class. “A Republican can’t win without support of the investor class,” said Kudlow. There are 100 million in this group, including citizens who own direct brokerage accounts and 401 K and pension holders. Right now, 46% of them are for Obama, while 43% support McCain. Kudlow advocated McCain’s recent call to cut the capital gains tax from 15% to 7.5%, but then citied McCain’s failure to hammer home the issue as evidence of his poor campaigning skills.

Kudlow also pointed to three main tenants that he believes if strongly emphasized by a Republican candidate, ensure election victory: low tax rates, strong national defense, and pro-life legislation. Kudlow claimed he has never seen someone with these three tickets lose an election. It is McCain’s failure to push for tax cuts and a pro-life agenda, Kudlow believes, that will ultimately cost him this election.

The concluding remarks offered a bit of hope to panicking citizens amidst the nation’s financial nightmare. “We have the most long-running, prosperous economic system, we have the most political freedom, and we have the most economic freedom out of any country in the world,” said Kudlow. “In America you can fall several times and still pick yourself up and succeed.”

Tuesday’s speech suggested American capitalists will manage to do just that. As for November 4th’s turnout, however, Kudlow isn’t so optimistic. For America’s sake, he simply prays Obama is ready.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Don't Know Much about History

By Sean Radomski

As a sophomore at Fordham University, I am required to take a semester of philosophical ethics. Among other things, the class teaches the two major worldviews of Kantian Ethics (deontology) and Utilitarian Ethics. Kant would have us believe that results are not important in determining whether an action was just or not; for him, only the motive matters. In other words, if we try to start a fire in order to keep a homeless person warm but in doing so we accidentally burn down the adjacent building, thus killing all the inhabitants, our action is still moral.

On the other hand Utilitarians, such as John Stuart Mill, believe that actions should be judged by results, not intentions or motives. Today, as our economy is burning, Democratic Senators Schumer, Reed, and Menendez would have us believe that this is ok because their intentions and those of Congress have been just.

The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, pushed through Congress by a Democratic super majority and signed by a Democratic President, had a “noble” intention. The act sought to increase homeownership among minorities and low-income families by setting lending requirements for banks. However, as anyone who takes the time to look at the causes of the current financial crisis will admit, this act has had disastrous consequences despite its intentions. Although history clearly shows that government involvement in bank lending is a bad idea, the trio of Democrats is about to repeat this mistake.

Because all three currently serve on the Senate Banking Committee, they surely understand typical banking operations, right? Wrong. On Wednesday, they called on the Treasury to set “lending goals” for banks receiving capital injections under Paulson’s rescue plan. They fear that the banks will hoard the cash as opposed to increasing lending and unfreezing the credit markets. Perhaps these career attorneys should be enrolled in Finance 101, in which they would surely learn that it is unnecessary to force banks to lend since this is the principle way that they make money.

Banks, run by finance and economics professionals, know how to loan money to ensure that borrowers will be able to pay it back. The recent call from the Senate for “lending goals” is particularly frightening because I believe it mirrors the same uncalled for policies of the Community Reinvestment Act. With (as I fear will be the case in 3 months) Democrats in control of both Congress and the White House, who knows what these “lending goals” will require. If they require loans to low-income families with no chance of paying the loan back, it will be “all just a little bit of history repeating”. As the economy burns, I fear the American people are about to send arsonists to fight the fire.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On the polls

By Douglas Kohn

Though the margin seems to be narrowing even by standard polls, Obama has maintained a slight lead over John McCain for most of the election season (though the season has spanned two years). There is a problem however. Many Conservatives such as myself either used to be slightly more left wing or rejected George Bush as being a Neoconservative and not a real Conservative. I will admit it on this blog, in spite of being pro life and fiscally conservative, I voted for John Kerry.

At the time I was in high school and somewhat more left wing, usually splitting my vote between both Republicans and Democrats. I believed George Bush had been very destructive. I still do. But what these polls do not take into account are people like me. Not all, but some are ignored because pollsters assume everyone votes the way they did in the last election, which is not always so. This must be kept in mind when looking at the numbers. Needless to say, though I will still throw a vote to Conservative Democrats when one comes to the ballot, I am going to be voting 100% Republican without asking questions in this election because the Democratic Congress has shown itself to be every bit as irresponsible as the Bush Administration.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Graceful Decline

By Douglas Kohn

Otto von Bismarck once said that the most potent factor in 20th Century geopolitics will be that Britain and America speak the same language. So was predicted the greatest and most effective alliance in world history, between the United States of America and the British Empire, that brought Nazi Germany to its knees and faced down the Soviet Union and global communism.

America is now faced with the prospect that, while she is the preeminent power in the world, it is no longer quite as preeminent as it once was. America will continue its relative decline for the foreseeable future, though there will not be a major power that is able to take over as the world’s sole superpower in the same way America is. However, a cold hard look at America’s position in the world must be taken into account so that she can leave the world a safer place, especially when she must preserve her interests overseas.

In the spirit of Bismarck, it seems to this writer that there is a corollary. This writer believes that the most potent factor in 21st Century geopolitics will be that America and India were once colonies of Great Britain. Some scoff at this suggestion and say that India is too culturally different and bogged down by the age old caste system.

I make the argument that India has retained many customs that Great Britain tried to spread there. The first is the rule of law and democracy. India is the only country in the world that has been able to maintain a completely democratic government in the face of soul crushing poverty. It is now rapidly industrializing and in many ways is becoming more Americanized and Anglicized than it was even under the British Raj.

This is particularly important given the strategic position of India being between,-let’s face facts- Jihadistan (pretty much everything from Morocco to Pakistan) and “Communist” China. This is America’s opportunity to decline in secure manner as Great Britain did at the loss of its empire. Britain, realizing its position in the world was in decline, aligned itself with the rising power of the age, the United States of America. Let it be clear, neither India nor China will overtake the United States in overall geopolitical strength for most, if not all, of this century.

Even if China’s overall economy becomes larger than America’s, which all indicators say it will, The People’s Republic will still not be able to project its power in the same manner as America has because it will be consumed with internal problems that it must resolve first. However, having America forge a formal alliance with India, one of the few countries with which we have excellent relations right now, is pivotal for her to be able to protect its interests in a future where she does not completely dominate the global system.

America should not reserve her alliances and affections to only those countries which are democratic. But India makes sense because it has become a nation much friendlier to America than during the Cold War and in poll after poll, its population regards America as a great and respectable power in spite of her fraught reputation in much of the world. In this new world America is also forging stronger relations with Vietnam, a former foe whose interests are now much aligned with America’s. An alliance between India and America has the potential to do much good in the world and preserve some of America’s standing overseas.

Yes, Obama is clever and articulate but...

By Barbara F. Delo

Yes, Obama is clever and articulate. So clever that he picked Senator Biden to block for him and obscure the fact that NO, HE IS NOT FOR MIDDLE AMERICA.

Obama’s Senate record, his record in Illinois and his life’s work show his very liberal outlook and his focus on programs for the poor and urban populations. He even voted in S. Con. Res. 70 against death tax relief for small farms, small businesses, and middle class ‘estates.’ In the words of William W. Beech of the Heritage Foundation, “Senator Obama’s focus is on the redistribution of income.” .

John McCain is the candidate with a real history of balance, the candidate for all Americans.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

America's real responsibilities

By Caroline Valvardi

In Father McShane’s homily at the opening Mass of the Holy Spirit for this 2008-2009 academic year, he spoke about the responsibility we have to ourselves and to others. His insights complement my own feelings about our values and mission both as individuals and as Americans, but I would like to clarify what those actual responsibilities are. As the world becomes more interconnected through globalization and economic trade, the U.S. continues to display an imperialist nature, which we justify with rhetoric that emphasizes magnanimous intentions for spreading democracy and peace.

We think it is our obligation to enforce our supposedly supreme way of life on the rest of the world. I do think we do have an obligation as a world superpower to support struggling countries that make honest efforts to build stable political, economic, and social infrastructures. However, unnecessarily involving ourselves in every foreign political affair is not only unwise in my opinion, but also against the very founding principles of this country as promoted by our very first president, George Washington.

I do not think that the isolationism Washington advocated is realistic today, and as an International Political Economy major, I see the importance of providing guidance and political and economic assistance to nations that need and deserve it. Nevertheless, trying to institute our specific form of democracy on every country lacking a democratic structure is not only impossible, it is foolish.

The tradition, history, and culture of many nations are not even compatible with our democracy. Also, by trying to build an image of ourselves as a righteous and benevolent world power, we have instead developed a paternalistic attitude, and we believe we have the right to invade countries at will. Ironically, we have created more enemies in our obstinate quest to spread democracy, and many people— even citizens of our own country— question what our true intentions really are. Furthermore, we need to reassess our responsibilities and fix the ongoing problems here in the U.S. before we can effectively serve as a virtuous leader and guardian of nations abroad.

We must focus our responsibility to ourselves back on ourselves. Many of the most serious problems in the U.S. are unrealized by a majority of people, and these issues are never represented in the political arena. The degradation of the stable family structure, the sexual carelessness and immorality encouraged by pop culture, the lack of educational opportunity for the impoverished, and the chemicalization of the foods we eat are just a few of these fundamental, underlying issues.

However, we tend to only want to recognize and fix the consequences. Our method of improving situations in the U.S. is to find solutions to problems rather than to prevent the problems in the first place. We never seem to want to look to the root of problems, and if we would just take more responsibility for our actions and reflect on how we are living our personal lives, we could make a world of change. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our future generations to make this country a better place in which to live. Our responsibility lies here in the U.S. first and foremost, so it is about time that we start paying attention to our personal selves as well as our collective American selves.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

America, You’ve Been Fooled.

By Rachel Ring

As much as I hope, desperately hope, that Barack Obama will not get elected in November, I’m beginning to get very nervous about the outcome of the election. I must hand it to Barack’s media and public relations staff- they’ve successfully made it seem like he is this new found messiah, this savior and “international” leader of America.

Even Colin Powell has been overcome by the mirage of Obama. Recently, Howard Stern’s radio show antics prove my point- people don’t know the issues, and even go so far as to side with McCain’s idealogy when they are told that the ideas are Obama’s policies!

However, that is deeply upsetting to the parts of the American population who are actually paying attention. Obama’s socialist policies, international policy naivete, elitism and down right hypocrisy are going completely unreported, unnoticed, or just plain ignored in the face of the giant Obama image that has been constructed.

It’s completely unbelievable to me that more Americans are not upset and in uproar over the William Ayers relationship and connections to Obama, and that the public has apparently forgiven Obama for his relationship with Jeremiah Wright. I know, I hear the groans and eye rolls of liberals every time I utter those names too, but this is a fundamental problem I have with Obama, and I would have with any person who dared to associate with those types of individuals.

One is a home grown terrorist that Obama allotted millions of dollars to from money he requested from the senate, and we all already know and remember the infamous YouTube documentaries and Wright’s hate filled speeches about our country.

How are these unforgivable associations forgotten? Where is the hope and change here? I fail to see the hope in a candidate who has not achieved much as a senator from Illinois, who at best is an orator and word manipulator, and a good salesman (he’s somehow campaign financing millions in loopholes to the point that the World Series has been delayed a half hour to showcase an Obama ad).

He refuses to answer questions about his past and family (while the press and media have a field day with the Republican candidates). Another thing that bothers me is that Obama has been quoted as saying that when he is confused or doesn’t know something, he seeks information from his wife Michelle. GREAT, go to the most liberal, biased woman who was quoted as saying that the first time she was proud of her country is when Barack was nominated.

(Speaking of Michelle, why hasn’t the New York Times done on expose on her life? Why haven’t people written scathing reviews on her life and practices? Oh wait, it’s because if they did that, Michelle and Obama would cry foul to protect their privacy and family, and then play the race card, as they did with the New Yorker magazine cover scandal). And who could forget Barack refusing to put his hand over his heart and not saying the National Anthem!

Has hell frozen over? Are Americans just that desperate for a change (which, has yet to be defined, has yet to be explained how it would be paid for, because to explain that would mean to be honest about the fact that taxes will skyrocket) that they are fooled by a smooth talking Democrat? Regrettably, I almost wish now that Kerry had won in 2004, so that the Democrats would’ve been blamed for the economic mess and McCain could’ve trounced in the election. That’s just how bad Obama is for America–that I’m wishing that Kerry had been elected-- to avoid the catastrophes that Obama’s socialist, unAmerican and unrealistic policies will inflict on America.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Howard Stern interviews Obama supporters

Interesting Youtube video. Howard Stern interviews Obama supporters who, get this...have no idea what they're talking about!

Check it out:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fordham should rescind its Ethics award to Justice Breyer

By Brendan O'Morchoe

Every year, Fordham University Law, through their Stein Center for Law and Ethics, presents the prestigious Fordham-Stein Ethics prize. According to its charter, the prize recognizes an individual who "exemplifies outstanding standards of professional conduct, promotes the advancement of justice, and brings credit to the profession by emphasizing in the public mind the contributions of lawyers to our society and to our democratic system of government." This year, the prize will be given to Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

However, Justice Breyer is a long-time supporter of abortion rights. In 2000, he wrote the majority opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart. In stating “this Court…has determined and then redetermined that the Constitution offers basic protection to the woman’s right to choose,” he struck down a Nebraska state law banning late-term, or partial-birth, abortions, where a physician partially delivers the baby, kills it, then completes the delivery.

There are many legal and ethical objections to this case, especially on the basis of federalism and the morality of abortion. These are compounded by the fact that a Catholic, Jesuit school is awarding Justice Breyer an ethics award. In my opinion, no person who supports abortion should be awarded an ethics prize of any kind, much less from an institution that is “guided by its Catholic and Jesuit traditions,” as Fordham University’s mission statement proclaims.

The Catholic Church has long since spoken out against abortion. The Catechism, or teaching, of the Catholic Church states that “since the first century, the Church has affirmed that” any abortion or cooperation therein, constitutes a “grave offense” against “moral law.” In 2004, the United States Catholic Bishops stated that “the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

New York Archbishop Edward Cardinal Egan has said, of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, a pro-choice proponent: “Anyone who dares to defend that [children in the womb] may be legitimately killed because another human being ‘chooses’ to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.”

In a 2004 interview, Avery Cardinal Dulles SJ, the Laurence J. McGinley professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University, stated that abortion is not just a “Church” issue but is “governed by the natural law of God, which is binding upon all human beings. The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights, since a person deprived of life has no other rights.”

The awarding of the Fordham-Stein Ethics prize to Justice Breyer is a clear violation of Fordham University’s mission statement and guiding principles. It is immoral and in direct conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The decision to give this award to Justice Breyer is inconsistent with the award’s purpose of recognizing the “positive contributions of the legal profession to American society.” Fr. Joseph McShane and Fordham University must rescind this award to maintain the ethical and moral standards that they preach.

*Note: To sign a petition urging Fordham to rescind this award, please visit

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Real Paper Tiger

By Douglas Kohn

Russia is an enigma wrapped in a riddle and shrouded in mystery. Much of the world is up in arms with angst about the resurgence of the legendary Bear. But what is Russia today? Is it making a serious and competent attempt to restore its former place in the world? Is it truly an emerging market as envisioned by Goldman Sachs? The answer to most of these questions is an emphatic no.

Russia is a country in static, constant decline, lashing out as its neo Nazi fringe distorts its politics, rampant abortion distorts its demographics and oligarchs swallow up the vast majority of its wealth.

First we must look at demographics. When the Soviet Union collapsed, so did the future of the Russians as a people. In 1992, Russia had 148 million people. Today, in 2008, it has under 142 million. The Russian birthrate is paltry and its abortion is at a level unprecedented in human history. 64% of all pregnancies in Russia are aborted. Russia has by far the highest abortion rate in the world.

What does this say about the former superpower? Not only is a moral outrage and wanton disregard for human life, it says much about the Russian psyche. It is a litmus test. The ultimate statement of belief in a bright future is to have a child. Russia, clearly does not believe in its future. Even the most Liberal pro choicer would see this is a horrible reflection on a society. Combined with high rates of alcoholism and drug use (half of all of Russia’s premature deaths are alcohol related) clearly shows this is not a functioning society.

That being said, Russia could still cause many problems in the world. Their economy, as with the economy of the Soviet Union, has been given steroids due to the high price of oil. But what is this really but fleeting wealth? Vladimir Putin himself once stated ‘if you can start a business in Russia you deserve a medal.’ I guess he would be the one to know. This is not a real economy. Russia has very little long term strength in every aspect of its existence.

We also have to be aware of Russia’s history. There is no question that the United States completely mistreated this historically great and powerful nation. We made grave errors in moving our NATO based empire up to Russia’s borders. Russia must have its sphere of influence and there is nothing the United States can do about it. For 45 years we spent all our energy avoiding a shooting war with the old Soviet Union. Why should we now risk one with Russia when we can really just wait out the price of oil and let their demographic crisis remove them as a serious threat?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Case for Attrition

By Douglas Kohn

As anyone well knows, America is being very nearly overwhelmed by illegal migration and uncontrolled borders. While certain numbers of immigrants greatly enrich our country, being overwhelmed by monolithic and culturally confident blocks of immigrants is not only a drain on resources and a potential security threat, but also puts our very culture at risk.

The most obvious historical comparison that one can draw is that today’s illegal migrants were yesterday’s Visigoths entering Rome. The Visigoths originally came into the Roman Empire, not as conquerors, but wanting to share in the fruits of being part of the greatest civilization of the age. Ultimately, the Visigoths were too culturally alien to be properly assimilated into Rome, went into open rebellion and eventually helped engineer the collapse of the Empire.

Overall, this is a wholly depressing picture. But there is great hope that the situation is improving.

Today’s illegal migrants are in much the same position, having flouted American law they now live underground and it is impossible to even count them properly. Estimates range from 12-20 million with practical solution in sight.

What can be done?

The answer is to muddle through. The answer is attrition. There are many new technologies available that are starting to have an impact on the situation. Using the internet, employers now find it possible to screen nearly everyone who comes to work for them to make sure they are citizens. In poll after poll of the illegal migrants that we can locate, the word of the day is fear. They are now living in constant fear of having the authorities find them, are finding fewer job opportunities (not just because of a poor economy) and a general atmosphere of hostility. 2008 is the first year since 2002 that the ‘official’ number of illegal migrants has started to decrease.

This is attrition. It is impractical to have one massive roundup of illegal migrants and deport them all at once. It would also lead to an unnecessary humanitarian crisis. Gradually tightening the grip, with small busts of smuggling rings and punishing employers will do the trick. It will take time but there are signs it is happening. Patience is of the utmost importance in dealing with this situation.

We also must put some of the problem of immigration into perspective. We will always have to cope with some level of illegal migration, though none of it should be openly tolerated. The wall and better border enforcement will help but it would not be a cure all. The wall is not going to cover the entire Mexican border. For the wall to be effective it would need two layers and several large towns would have to be destroyed for the wall to run through it. This would be prohibitively expensive and logistically impossible.

For more perspective on the situation, we need only look at immigration in Great Britain. Britain is an island nation that finds in its midst thousands of illegal migrants from as far away as China and Southeast Asia. It is impossible to stop all of it, though with proper awareness and better enforcement, it can be reduced from today’s overwhelming problem to a minor inconvenience.
As of right now, this immigration problem could prove to be a fatal illness; however, through patience and proper policy, it may be reduced to the equivalent of a chronic ailment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Never Fear, The Bottom is Here!

By Devin Velnoskey

After yesterday’s explosion of 936 points on the Dow it seems as though the worries of last week’s bloodbath throughout the world markets is all but a distant memory. The Dow posted its largest percentage point gain since March of ‘33, giving investors hope that a 10,000 point Dow Jones Industrial Average was still attainable by the conclusion of the fiscal year. To close within striking distance of 10,000 points after touching below 8,700 points and being down 21% last week is something truly unprecedented.

But what’s new considering Friday’s market had a 1000 point swing before it closed down 128 points Friday afternoon? Anything can happen these days when the opening bell rings, the previous two weeks prove it. Volatility is the buzz word on the Street these days but after the Bulls stampeded the Bears on Monday many people think the bottom is in and the worst may soon be behind us if it is not already.

The problems of the credit crisis have mostly dissipated in the minds of many traders and investors. The government’s $700 billion bailout, their backing of inter-bank loans and increasing FDIC insurance, and buying stock in the US banks has, in coordination with similar policy actions throughout Europe, contributed to soaring world markets yesterday.

But not so fast my friend, while all this government action was needed and has eased frozen credit markets, and seems to have solved the crisis, there is still reason to be concerned.

Last week’s triumph of bears was due to more than just uncertainty in the market or the bailout. Deleveraging, coupled with hedge fund redemptions and margin calls, all created the blood red boards seen around the world. And Monday’s stampede of bulls was a result of traders and investors not being able to pass on valuations and bargains throughout the market.

The lack of volume in yesterday’s session means that just as last week there were no buyers, yesterday there were no sellers, so everyone was trying to catch the rising tide for it lifts all boats. Both instances come down to one word: fear. Fear has been driving the markets for the past two weeks, if not longer. When markets were down big last week the fear was centered on what more the government would or could do to ease the crisis.

Monday’s fear was if you didn’t buy you would miss out on the rally and a chance at big money. Markets run by fear are concerning. Whether or not the stock market rises or falls right now is not as important as knowing what fear is driving investors and traders at any given moment. Find the fear, trade it and make the fast money. Miscalculate and you could be taken out in a body bag. The credit crunch may very well be behind us, but there is still the impending recession for monetary and fiscal policy makers to worry about, that is the fear driving markets for the next few weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Election 2008 Poll: Expect the Unexpected

By Eric Goncalves

Fordham University’s College Republicans recently ran a political poll on the Rose Hill campus to survey the political inclinations and electoral views of the University’s students. The simple four question poll asked students to list their political views, the issue they believed was most influential in the upcoming election, the candidates that they were considering voting for, and if they were familiar with Larry Kudlow.

Upon analyzing the results, there were many unexpected numbers. Ruling out the outliers who were voting for Al Sharpton or Chad Ciocci, the numbers were actually quite surprising. Out of the fifty-two students surveyed, a majority of which viewed themselves as Moderately liberal (about 30%), more than half were voting for McCain/Palin while Obama/Biden fell short with just over 40% of the votes. On a considerably liberal campus in a blue state, it is surprising to see such a result. With Obama leading the national polls, it gets people to think: How much do these polls really reflect the people taking them?

If they do show something, the poll taken by the Fordham College Republicans depicts that not all is lost for John McCain, and despite the deficit he is facing in the national polls, there are some liberals who know that although Barack Obama can make great speeches he may not be the best candidate to lead our great country.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just don't call us neo-cons!

By Chadwick Ciocci

Let’s be clear: LF is NOT neo-conservative! Please, please, please- we are anything but. Neo-conservatism is the philosophical inheritance of Woodrow Wilson and FDR and inherently liberal with its lofty ideals and militarism. True conservatives are non-interventionists and believe in an American foreign policy that protects our vital interests first and doesn’t pursue an idealist goal like spreading democracy worldwide.

Please, just don’t call us neo-conservatives!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Free Market can save the U.S.

By Sean Radomski

It is impossible today to pick up a newspaper without reading about the apocalyptic financial crisis and the bailout bill that will supposedly prevent a second Great Depression. Not surprisingly, the media has been quick to assign blame to President George W. Bush’s economic policies. While attacking Bush’s policies may be a good way to score votes this November, it does not address the fundamental cause of this financial crisis. The current economic slowdown has been fundamentally caused by excessive government intervention into the economy, dating back to the Carter Administration.

That fact that the origin of the problem is the Carter Administration, which is notoriously known for long gas station lines, high inflation, and even higher interest rates, should not come as a surprise to free-market advocates. In an effort to further so called “economic justice,” Carter signed into law the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in an attempt to promote “affordable housing.” The CRA forced banks to make loans to minorities and consumers with poor credit and allowed regulators to impose fines on the banks if they did not meet these standards.

Fast-forward 26 years to 2003, the year when mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were found to have committed accounting fraud. In an attempt to sidestep Congressional criticism, Fannie and Freddie offered to increase loans to low income, poor credit consumers in accordance with the CRA. This move was political music to Rep. Barney Frank’s ears who believed that Fannie and Freddie were “not facing any kind of financial crisis,” and that “the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

His Senate counterpart, Sen. Christopher Dodd also praised the mortgage giants for “riding to the rescue” and believed that they “need[ed] to do more” in terms of “affordable housing.” Conversely, while Democrats in Congress were praising the call for more “affordable housing,” Treasury Secretary John Snow was urging for the creation of a new agency to monitor the mortgage giants. In fact President Bush publicly called for reform of Fannie and Freddie 17 times before this year, but his call fell on the deaf ear of the Democrats in Congress. It should be noted that Sen. Dodd, Rep. Frank, and current Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama have received $133,900; $40,100, and $105,849 in campaign contributions, respectively, from Fannie and Freddie since 1989.

To add fuel to the fire, from 2003-2005 the Federal Reserve kept the federal funds rate at 1%. The Fed kept the rate low in an attempt to stimulate economic growth after the “dot com” bubble had burst. Low income consumers with bad credit (yes, the same ones targeted by the CRA, Fannie, and Freddie) saw this as an opportunity to take out a subprime mortgage and buy a house. The rapid increase in home ownership fostered by the 1% interest rate drove up home prices and created a housing bubble. However, once the Fed raised interest rates and those with subprime mortgages could not keep up, the bubble burst.

The bursting of the housing bubble has led to the failure of many financial firms, such as Bear-Stearns and Lehman Brother, that had mortgage-backed securities on their balance sheets. Their failure has led to the call for a massive $700 billion bailout bill that will enable the Secretary of the Treasury to buy these securities, thus removing them from the firms’ balance sheets. The theory is that with now clean balance sheets, the firms will draw capital, thus unfreezing the credit market which will allow Main Street consumers to receive much needed loans.

This bailout bill is flawed and is bad for the American economy because it fails to remember the key principle of capitalism: reward those who perform well. Instead, the bill does the complete opposite and rewards the companies that made poor investments.

If passed this bill will set a frightening precedent that encourages bad investing with the knowledge that if you fail, the government will save you at the expense of the American tax payer. The bill’s logic is also flawed in assuming that once these toxic assets are off balance sheets, capital will flow to the firms. Why would anyone risk investing his hard earned money in a company that has so recently shown poor judgment?

Excessive government intervention into our countries financial system in the triple threat of the CSA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Reserve has led to this crisis. The last thing we need is $700 billion of more government. The fastest way to fix this mess is eliminate the mark-to-market accounting rule that has artificially lowered firms’ asset values.

Mark-to market accounting requires firms to value their assets at the price they could fetch on the open mark right now. If this rule is eliminated, firms will be able to value the assets at an estimated future market price; thus increasing the value of the balance sheets. If mark-to-market were eliminated earlier this year, Washington Mutual and Wachovia would not have been sold and Lehman Brothers would not have failed. As for the firms that still cannot make it: let them fail. This will weed out the poorly managed companies, making sure they are not around in the future to make the same mistakes. This will allow stronger, well run firms to gain market share and protect the future of the American economy.