Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Illusion of Choice

By Douglas Kohn
Kohn@Fordham .edu

Contrary to popular belief, there is no real Right Wing in America. Every single government, Democrat, or Republican, has vastly expanded the government. There is only one real difference; ways and means. The Democrats like to tax and spend, the Republicans to borrow and spend. Either way, there is more government encroachment on the economic livelihoods of Americans, especially if you are in the top 60% of earners. This is not to mention slowly conditioning Americans and others round the world to being watched 24/7.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Check out the latest issue!

Make sure to check out the latest issue of The Liberty Forum! Our newest issue comes out today so make sure to check in the dorms after 2:00 PM.

If you live off campus, are a graduate or other reader and unable to obtain a copy but would like one, please e-mail us at and we will be sure to get one to you.

Thank you to everyone who made this issue possible!

Why Can't Conservatives be on TV too?

By Phil Fraietta

For those of us who watch Fox News it is no secret that the channel is far from “fair and balanced.” With commentators such as Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Mike Huckabee and now Glenn Beck, I am comfortable saying that Fox News is a conservative political commentary network.

My question to those on the left however is, so what? The left makes it no secret that they are offended by the existence of Fox News. For some reason, conservative political commentary has no place on television in the eyes of the left. My own roommate (a liberal) often times laughs at what is said on Fox News programs and has on more than one occasion stated he believes they’re simply making things up.

It is not as if the left does not have its own political commentary on television. To see leftist political commentary all you need to do is turn to MSNBC. The channel runs liberal political commentators such as Keith Olbermann and Rachael Maddow (who just the other day stated she believes President Bush has been the worst President in the history of the Republic).

Unlike those on the left, however, fellow conservatives and I do not have a problem with MSNBC; we just don’t watch it! America is a nation that emphasizes the idea of free speech. Therefore I see nothing wrong with one television network running conservative commentary and another running liberal commentary. The American public will decide which network they most agree with and most enjoy watching.

That decision has already been made—Fox News. Nielsen TV Ratings consistently show Fox News doubling MSNBC in Prime Time ratings, which is when the political commentary programs air. For example, for the eight o’clock hour on Thursday December 4, The O’Reilly Factor drew 3,149,000 viewers, compared to the 1,553,000 viewers drawn by Countdown with Keith Olbermann. For the nine o’clock hour, Hannity & Colmes drew 2,131,000 viewers, compared to the 1,242,000 viewers drawn by The Rachael Maddow Show.

So, my overall message to liberals here is simple—stop whining! Conservatives have just as much of a right to have political commentary on television than liberals do. The fact that the American public prefers Fox News is not a sin; it proves that America is still a center-right nation. If liberals want to change this fact they should try and compete with Fox News by creating better programs on networks such as MSNBC, rather than attacking the existence of Fox News all together.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Forum on Conservatism

What must you believe to be a conservative? Do all conservatives believe the same thing? If you are interested in these questions and more, then be sure to come to the Forum on Conservatism on Monday night (the 8th) at 7:00 PM in McGinley 234.

Panelists will be representing paleo-conservatism, neo-conservatism and libertarianism. They will be explaining and discussing the differences and the audience will have much opportunity to become engaged.

Make sure to come!

The Nobles of the United States Congress

By Phil Fraietta

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (or Prince Reid and Princess Pelosi, like Sean Hannity likes to refer to them as) have been able to dodge deserving criticism, mostly due to the fact the media is overrun by liberals. However, those of us who are not blinded by the left-wing light are able to see just how narcissistic these two really are.

Despite the fact that I am opposed to a bailout of the auto industry, like I wrote on this blog before, I do not believe Princess Pelosi has any right to so harshly criticize the CEOs of the Big Three for flying into Washington DC on private jets. As just about everybody knows, the Big Three CEOs were heavily criticized the first time they went to Washington because they flew private corporate jets and still had the nerve to ask for taxpayer money.

Despite the ridiculousness of this argument (CEOs do not own companies they work for them) it brings up an interesting question: Why is it that nobody criticizes Princess Pelosi for being the first Speaker of the House to have her own government-issued private jet? In case her Highness forgot, the taxpayer pays for her private jet! If Princess Pelosi is so concerned with protecting the taxpayer why not get rid of her private jet? The answer is simple of course—Pelosi could care less about the taxpayer, all she cares about is criticizing American business to advance her socialist agenda.

Now what about Prince Reid? Recently, a new visitors area for tourists of the Capitol was completed. When Congress issued the original plans, the people were told it would cost some $350 million less than it did. In reference to this brand-new visitors area, and why it was necessary, Prince Reid said, “In the summertime, because (of) the high humidity and how hot it gets here, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol.” Apparently, the Prince cannot be bothered by the foul smell of the masses. While he claims to care about protecting the taxpayer dollars from being abused by the Big Three CEOs, he seems to believe taxpayer dollars should be put to use to prevent him from having to smell us common people.

Over 230 years ago the Declaration of Independence was drafted in order to declare our independence from the nobility that was England. Perhaps the most famous words of that document read, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It appears that today, however, Princess Pelosi and Prince Reid do not view themselves as equals, but rather as superiors.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

An Outsider Observes the Church

By Douglas Kohn

I am not a Catholic. I was raised in a Jewish family in an Italian American neighborhood outside New York City. I attended public schools other than a three year stint in a secular private institution. In college I decided on Fordham for several reasons. I liked the Catholic and Renaissance background of the school, I knew many people who went there and it had the perfect location for me. When I desperately needed to move on with my life, Fordham was there for me and took me in as a member of the family, as many a Catholic family did for me when I was growing up. Fordham, The Jesuits and most of all, the Catholic Church granted me my ticket to freedom.

My background, I believe, having been involved in many Catholic traditions out of support for friends, gives me some insight as to the condition of Catholics and the Catholic Church today. This also comes from reading endless volumes of mostly periodical material on the subject.

In spite of how many Jews view the Catholic Church, I have always seen it as a pillar of Western Cultural life. The thought of empty pews in Europe depresses me. The Catholic Church is easily the oldest surviving Western Institution. Its various projects greatly lessened the damage done by the collapse of the Roman Empire. Its monks and scholars wrote down everything they possibly could to preserve the knowledge of millennia that had been built up. The Church was later instrumental (but had less power than many would like to think) in building the national project in Europe. They made kings and empires and allowed people to form into political organizations that last to this day.

Now, if you were to speak to any Catholic on the streets of New York, they are either dissatisfied with the Church’s teachings or disgusted by the crimes of a select few members of the Church. Except in Hispanic communities, the pews are not empty, but they are lacking. Most priests are older, and most New Yorkers cynical. Everyone seems to think the Church is passé and out of touch with the times.

In many ways there is not so much reason to be gloomy. The priests are older, yes, but the number of new priests does not seem to be declining too rapidly, as many men become priests from an older age. This may help them in their struggle to bring God to people’s lives, as they themselves have had many more of life’s experiences which brings wisdom

Roman Catholicism is also growing, albeit not as quickly as Evangelical Christianity and Islam, but it is nonetheless growing. The number of Catholics from 1900 to 2001 increased by 394%. This is not just because of a baby boom, but because of conversion. Therefore, right now as growth slows somewhat, it is probably just because of an era of expansion unmatched by any other in the history of the Church. But these numbers mask overall demographic picture. In 1900, 25% of Catholic lived outside the Western World. In 2001, 70% lived outside the West. Asia, Africa and Latin America are where new Catholic life is to be found.

Those who think the Catholic Church does not reform should realize that in actuality it constantly does so. The problem for these people is that the Catholic Church reforms without telling anybody. It has to save face during reform.

Catholics should keep their faith in the Church. It has done much great goodness in the societies it has touched. The sudden turns to extremism are few and far between considering the whole picture. Regardless of what positions it takes in the future it will always put forward its core beliefs, salvation in Christ and the belief that life beings at conception. The Catholic Church is and will most likely always be powerful and righteous institution.