Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Return of the 15th Century

By Douglas Kohn

One of the great events of the last quarter of the 20th Century was the opening up of the economies of China and India, as well as smaller economies in Asia. What the world is witnessing now is not so much something new as much as the return of normality to world economic (and consequently no doubt) political power.

For the vast portion of human history, the two largest economies in the world were those of China and India. This rule of thumb was only interrupted twice in the history of the world, both times by Western Civilization.

In the 15th Century China was by far the greatest power on earth, though technological limitations prevented much of its influence being felt in Europe. China’s navy ruled the waves in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and is considered by many historians to have been on the cusp of industrialization, 200 years before the same happened in Europe.

The two interruptions of Chinese and Indian dominance were the Roman Empire and the industrialization of the West. Individual Western powers became wealthier than China, and collectively the West eclipsed Chinese civilization.

There is really nothing new under the sun. The world has had Chinese and Indian dominance for most of its history, and when it comes to economic power, the creation of America was truly an unusual event in the history of the world. But now it seems that economic power will be distributed in a manner more closely aligned with population.

We are now seeing the buildup and modernization of the Chinese navy in a manner not seen since the voyages of Zheng He in the 1400s. The financial crisis and irresponsible use of American power has catalyzed the rise of China and India, in relative terms, to new heights of power and prestige.

America invented the wheel, and China’s leadership has studied its use, looked at America’s mistakes, and has perfected America’s path to development. They are using a combination of modernized mercantilist policies and economic nationalism.

The world is righting itself, and it could be very destabilizing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Watching out for Sharia

By Chadwick Ciocci

This past week proved a potentially dangerous and scary one for Americans. Three would-be terrorists were apprehended by authorities in apparently unrelated incidents- one who wanted to blow up subways in New York City, another who was hoping to destroy a sky-scraper in Dallas and the last who tried to blow up a federal building in Illinois.

But while all three individuals appeared to act separately- and authorities have drawn ample coverage to this point- there is one glaring tie between all three that also ties disparate groups like al Qaida and Hamas together: Sharia.

Sharia is Islamic religious law which, if the Quran is to be followed literally, is supposed to be applied to all people in all nations, whether or not they are Muslim. It is the driving force behind jihad (holy war) yet not nearly as understood in America as its militaristic counter-part.

Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy has raised a red flag with his most recent piece, but unfortunately political correctness has the best of Americans’ tongues right now.

Before Americans can confront jihad, they must understand two things: 1. just what jihad actually is and 2. why it isn’t commiserate with Western principles and in particular American values. While many people think of jihad as the violent, public war waged by groups like al Qaida, it is incredibly important that jihad needn’t be waged violently, as Gaffney aptly points out. Jihad can be waged covertly, by influencing culture, laws and individuals (and eventually moving these individuals towards more violent acts).

Back in 2007, Newt Gingrich compared the current War on Terror to the Cold War during which he pointed out, “There were moral underlying purposes. In the entire Cold War…we created a clear dichotomy and we reached out across the planet.” (Read the exchange here.) While the Cold War occasionally heated up, it was at its foundation a battle of ideas.

The same holds true today as exemplified in France where, mostly surrounding the very same capital which for many centuries personified Western Enlightenment, 751 “no-go zones” have been set up where French and Parisian authorities are not allowed to enter Muslim-only areas. The affects? Essentially Sharia-dominated enclaves where women’s rights, Western rule of law and other foundations of our civilization have become null and void.

One might think that al Qaida had violently taken these areas over. Instead French authorities and society have become so “accommodating” that they have literally lost control of some areas of their country.

As Gingrich said in the same speech, “We have now had a warning. The question is how serious we are going to take this warning.”

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Progressives" and Abortion Amongst Minorities

By Chadwick Ciocci

(Originally published on Monday, September 28, 2009 on Read the article in its entirety at

Abortion is a touchy subject, but it is particularly touchy amongst minority populations which are disproportionally affected by the practice. According to the Gutmacher Institute, which is the research arm of Planned Parenthood (the largest abortion provider in the United States), nearly 60% of abortions are performed on minorities, even though minorities only make up about 25% of the US population.

Perhaps the most surprising fact about abortion today is that none of this should be surprising at all! The fact is that contemporary support for abortion found its start in the writings of people such as Margaret Sanger, whose work and influence cannot be overstated.

Sanger was an ardent feminist, progressive and racist who did much of her work between the 1920’s and 1940’s. She supported eugenicist policies which are said to have inspired Nazi German policies and policy makers (including Hitler). Sanger, like many Progressives of her time, believed that a better, stronger, more intelligent and all around superior race could be produced in America if only the birthrates and habits of minority populations and “lesser” peoples could be controlled. In The Pivot of Civilization, Sanger wrote, “There is but one practical and feasible program in handling the great problem of the feeble-minded. That is, as the best authorities are agreed, to prevent the birth of those who would transmit imbecility to their descendants.”

And what form should prevention take? Abortion, sterilization and other forms of “birth control”.

Sanger went on to found a number of organizations, the most prominent being today’s Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood performs over 300,000 abortions per year and about 80% of their “clinics” are located in predominantly minority areas. In 2008, the organization found itself embroiled in serious controversy, just like ACORN today- another organization formed out of the progressive movement.

In a similar fashion to how ACORN landed in hot water, an undercover caller posed as a wealthy donor and offered a number of Planned Parenthood clinics large donations but with this caveat: they had to be used to perform abortions on black women only. “No problem!” responded each clinic.

And while abortion disproportionately affects minorities in general, it is particularly harmful to black and Hispanic populations. In fact, blacks make up for about 36% of yearly abortions and Hispanics about 20%, meaning that non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics alone make for the majority of abortions. Even more disturbing, 25% of Hispanic pregnancies end in abortion, meaning that 1 out of every 4 Hispanic babies are aborted before they are ever able to see the light of day.

How does this affect these populations? According to John Lott, “If those aborted children had been born, the number of blacks born would have been slightly over 50 percent greater than it was.” This is the lawful decimation of a race, and yet it is hailed as “progressive”.

One can make the argument that blacks and Hispanics have a disproportionately high number of abortions because they are disproportionately impoverished, but the facts prove this assertion wrong. According to the very same Guttmacher report, “…at all income levels, abortion rates for black and Hispanic women were higher than those for white women.” This is particularly interesting considering the disproportionate high rates of church attendance of Hispanic and black communities.

And as one should expect, Americans respond generously to the problem of poverty. Each year Americans donate hundreds of millions of dollars to private charities to help the poor, disadvantaged and needy. But according to progressives like Margaret Sanger, such charity should be ceased! “Such ‘benevolence’ is not merely ineffectual,” wrote Sanger in Pivot of Civilization, “it is positively injurious to the [larger American] community and the future of the [presumably] white] race.”

So not only did Sanger and the early abortion lobbyists support abortion and sterilization as a means to controlling minority and “unwanted” populations but they went even further and deemed charity to these people as counterproductive to their ideal version of society!

The evidence against the progressives is startling, but it is all the more jarring when we realize that many politicians trace their ideological heritage back to people such as Sanger. Hillary Clinton, when asked if she would consider herself a liberal said during the campaign, “I prefer the word progressive, which has a real American meaning going back to the progressive era at the beginning of the twentieth century. I consider myself a modern progressive.”

The Left has given up on calling itself “liberal” and now considers itself “progressive”. I am by no means a liberal, but I would choose a liberal any day to the disastrous and terrible results the progressive movement has wrought on our country.

Chadwick Ciocci is an editor for, a student of philosophy and theology at Fordham University and running for his fourth-term in public office in Connecticut.

Respect for Life meeting today

There will be a Respect for Life meeting today (September 28) at 1:00 PM in Keating 319.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Race in America

By Patrick Coughlin

In the aftermath of the now infamous remark “you lie!” by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) during President Obama’s most recent Address to Congress, former President Jimmy Carter had some decidedly interesting thoughts on the issue: “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American.”

Personal opinions aside, Mr. Carter’s remark does shed some light on the discussion of race in this country. After Barack Obama was elected to the presidency, many political pundits opined that racism in the United States was dissipating, as evidenced by the large white turnout that Mr. Obama received. More white Americans voted for Barack Obama than the two previous Democratic presidential candidates, John Kerry and Al Gore. Additionally, three states that belonged to the Confederate States of AmericaVirginia, North Carolina and Florida—went to Mr. Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election. These facts, though encouraging, are not the center of this discussion. Rather, its focus is the role race has and will play in any criticism of President Obama.

While Rep. Joe Wilson’s comment was certainly inappropriate for the venue and disrespectful to the Office of the Presidency, it is of the utmost importance not to immediately pull out the “race card.” This concept is comparable to the predicament that a white police officer faces when confronted by an aggressor that is not of the same race, such as in the cases of Sean Bell and Omar J. Edwards. In both situations, the prominent civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton accused the police officers of essentially acting on racial prejudices that would not have come into play had Messrs. Bell and Edwards been white. The danger of such an accusation lies in the affect it has on a law enforcement officials’ ability to do his or her job. Second-guessing out of fear of being branded a racist will make an already hazardous job worse.

Just as police officers need to be able to do their job (albeit with restraint) without race in the back of their minds, politicians and the American people need to be able to ask tough questions and critically analyze policy initiatives without fear of the asinine “racist” label. Inappropriate charges of racism only block rational debate.

I believe that policy, not race, is the number one cause of apprehension among President Obama’s critics. Popular concern is over the record deficit spending and government overreach amongst the administrations initiatives. The same concerns would still exist with a white male in office.

With the frenzied state that Washington is in over the major pieces of legislation confronting Congress, sound judgment and rational discussion is needed now more than ever but is seemingly absent. Race is an issue that ignites emotions which close the mind to sensible deliberation.

Justice is blind. Why is politics not?

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Truth Behind Glenn Beck

By Phil Fraietta

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has recently taken a lot of heat regarding comments he made to Katie Couric in which he was heavily critical of failed Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain. Beck even went so far as to say he would’ve voted for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over McCain and that he believes President Barack Obama will be better for the country that McCain would have.

While I do not agree with Beck that McCain would have been a worse choice than Clinton or Obama, I was particularly fond of his explanation. Beck argued that McCain has a strange sense of progressivism in him. For instance, McCain supports Cap and Trade and was a pioneer for Campaign Finance Reform. But, perhaps what was most telling was Beck indicating that McCain’s personal political hero is President Theodore Roosevelt.

As President, Roosevelt authored some of the most progressive legislation this nation has ever seen, including strong environmentalist legislation, and often spoke of high taxation in order to improve income equality. Despite this progressivism, contemporary conservatives often times look to Theodore Roosevelt as a great President and a hero. Why? Because of Roosevelt’s military heroics.

This brings me to the real point of this post: it’s about time conservatives stop tolerating progressive policies in the name of military heroics. Over the past 100 years we have seen this happen with progressive Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and most recently with progressive Senator John McCain.

Now, it is certainly true that military heroics should be honored but they most certainly do not excuse progressive behavior while in office. In other words, respect these individuals for their military heroics, but criticize them for their politics.

Fellow conservatives should be praising Glenn Beck’s comments, not criticizing them. I believe it is time we, as conservatives, toughen up and refuse to tolerate progressivism, regardless of military credentials. Let’s put true conservatives into office, people who will keep government small, who will lower our taxes, and most importantly, who will preserve liberty. Not people whose only conservative appeal is past military heroics.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Obama's surprising idol

By Douglas Kohn

Trying to sort through all the screaming about Obama’s healthcare plans and charges of racism from the left, it seems his overall mannerisms and style are very close to a certain President that few people know Obama has a soft spot and great respect for.

Obama’s presentation and style are more like Ronald Reagan than any Conservative would like to admit. In watching old Presidential speeches from FDR to Bush, there is no other closer parallel that I can find. I am not alone in this analysis.

Obama has a deep respect for Ronald Reagan, thus far his political opposite (if you need proof and find this preposterous, take a look at this). There have been several occasions where Obama has recognized Reagan as a transformative president. Obama has now arranged a celebration of Reagan’s 100th birthday, something he was under no formal obligation to do (incidentally, Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday passed with the President giving no more than a speech in Illinois).

The aforementioned brings the issue of Presidential styles. The Gipper’s two favorite Presidents past were none other than FDR and Lincoln. This may come as a surprise to us right-wingers, but even after he switched from being a Democrat to Republican, Reagan maintained a great respect for FDR, despite presenting himself as undoing, or at least adjusting, much of Roosevelt’s legacy.

People have compared Obama many times to JFK but I find this a difficult comparison to sustain. Kennedy’s style was of a class by itself. No American president in the 20th Century has matched his eloquence and charisma. Reagan may have been the Great Communicator, but did not possess Kennedy’s ability with the English language.

Obama wants to see himself as a transformative president akin to the three he routinely cites in his speeches. Roosevelt, Kennedy and most of all Reagan. This is not to say he is going to follow Reagan or Kennedy’s policies. By today’s standards, Kennedy would probably be considered a far Right Republican.

So who does Obama compare to, when bringing together his style and his policies? Obama has spent untold sums of money on ‘stimulating’ the economy, escalated a war with grossly unrealistic aims in Afghanistan, and been an excellent communicator of albeit lacking policies.

Thus far, in my opinion, Obama is Roosevelt on economy, Reagan in style, and Kennedy/Johnson on foreign policy.

College Republicans meeting today!

Make sure to check out the College Republicans meeting today at 1:00 PM in Dealy 115.

* Learn how to get on Fordham TV
* Here about campaigns in NYC
* Talk about Obama's latest lunacies


Where: Dealy 115
When: Thursday, September 24
Time: 1:00 PM

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Young Americans for Liberty meeting today!

Make sure not to miss the Young Americans for Liberty meeting today!

Dealy 115
2:30 PM

YAL is Fordham's newest and only libertarian club on campus. For more information, contact Phil Fraietta at

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some thoughts on tariffs

By Douglas Kohn

Anyone who has spoken with me at length on the subject knows that I am highly skeptical of unfettered free trade. There is no question that if you take the world as one economy, free trade increases productivity, creates jobs and new wealth.

But for all the talk of the world economy, it does not exist in the manner many academic economists believe it does. Nations have competing interests and sometimes the growth of one nation comes at the expense of another. In a manner of speaking I am a cautious economic nationalist, as I am for America, first, last and always.

President Obama’s latest imposition of tariffs on Chinese tires worries me greatly, however. I believe that a proper tariff regime can only be imposed on world trade during times of economic growth. Smoot Hawley has taught us that to protect industries during recession is disastrous, but history has also taught us that some of America’s greatest periods of economic growth took place under a tariff system.

America’s capitalist economic formula was engineered by our founding father Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury. He knew that manufacturing was necessary for economic advancement, and that only with a large domestic market protected from foreign goods would America be able to thrive. Tariffs would enable us to keep taxes low on the people that produce our food, goods and services.

That being said, tariffs and national banks (another Hamiltonian policy) were not enshrined in the Constitution and therefore are guidelines for the future, not unbreakable law.

In my own observations I have come to conclude that free trade with nations that do not have labor or environmental standards is folly (though I would make some exceptions), but that free trade with some nations would be mutually beneficial and create unprecedented wealth and opportunity. For example, if the United States was to sign a Trans Atlantic Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, we would see the creation of vast amounts of new wealth and opportunity, coupled with greater competition to keep down prices between nations that cannot undercut each other’s economic advantage through abuse of the labor force.

However, the trading regime with China cannot be allowed to continue. The problem is, when it comes to policy regarding China, timing is everything. Right now the world looks to China to help resuscitate trade and economic growth. The United States especially needs China to keep buying our debt until such time as we are able to cut expenses and pay it down.

After such time, America should take a more nationalist approach toward China as we did in 2005 when CNOOC, the Chinese government’s main oil producer, tried to acquire American oil producer Unocal. This was particularly troubling because it was not independent investors that were trying to acquire American oil resources, but an arm of the Chinese government. Between that and nationalist currency manipulations, China has behaved in a manner that suggests it is trying to steal American industry.

A tougher line must be towed but when the timing is right.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Respect for Life meeting

Fordham's award-winning Respect for Life club will be having a meeting on Tuesday, September 8 at 7:30 PM in Keating 116.

For more information, please contact R4L President Brendan O'Morchoe at