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Politics

What’s Next for France After Friday’s Deadly Attacks?

Paris 2According to BBC, over 129 lay dead and many more injured in Paris after the latest and most devastating attacks to be attributed to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to date.

Compounding this shocking attack were the string of bombings in Baghdad, Iraq and Beirut, Lebanon, once known as the “Paris of the Middle East,” which killed and injured hundreds last week just prior to the Paris attacks.

 According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the downing of the Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt last month could be easily forgotten in this maelstrom, but was also an unequivocal act of terrorism,

Twin explosions that killed nearly 100 in the Turkish capital Ankara on October 10 during a rally for peace were never claimed by IS, however it is speculated their complicity resulted in this massacre as well.

“They’re becoming bold in their outward attacks against any civilization they perceive as un-Islamic,” said Monmouth University graduate student, Bryan Larco. “It’s time to strike back lest they believe they can attack again with impunity.”

   In a similar retaliatory act to that of the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11, France, already an active participant in the war on terror, unleashed air strikes on the ISIS capital of Raqqa, Syria.

Although the efficacy of the airstrikes has yet to be determined, it has been postulated that this unilateral action taken by France may be used later to invoke a multilateral European response through Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), according to The Washington Post.

This deterrent allows any attack on a NATO member to be perceived by all as an attack on the whole, which may prompt certain member states that have not yet been overt in the global fight against terrorism (like Germany) to step up their involvement. Our own strategy for dealing with IS will admittedly undergo “intensification,” said President Obama during a conference in Turkey on Monday. 

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GOP Candidates Spar Over Issues That Surface After Paris Attacks

GOP Rand PaulGOP candidates sparred over numerous issues last week in the Milwaukee debate hosted by the Fox Business Channel and hosted by the Wall Street Journal. Do to new debate rules, two candidates– Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, and Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie– did not make the cut for the main stage debate.

Governor Christie seems to be frustrated with his lack of progress in the polls. A week before the debate, he referred to the Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray, as a “political weatherman” in an interview with NJ 101.5. According to an editorial in the Asbury Park Press, this is the second time the Governor has taken shots at the pollster since July when he said of Murray and his poll, “there couldn’t be a less objective pollster about Chris Christie in America” and that the poll was created just to “aggravate me.”

Chair the Political Science Department, Dr. Joseph Patten, said about Christie, “He is being upstaged by Trump and he doesn’t have a lane.” Patten referring to Trump because Christie is known for his straight forward and brutally honest ways discussing issues is hidden beneath the flash of the billionaire celebrity real estate mogul and television personality, Donald Trump.

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Monmouth University, Stephen Chapman said, “Context is everything. In 2012 ,people were begging him to get into the race but after Bridgegate, he really sunk his chances.”

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Quentin Tarantino Under Fire About Police Brutality

Quentin TarantinoControversy is still in the air over the famous film maker, Quentin Tarantino’s, statements last month at an anti-police brutality protest.

The original controversy was reported after Tarantino allegedy referred to cops as “murderers” during the event on Oct. 24 of last month— just four days after the fourth New York City police officer this year, Randolph Holder, was shot and killed while on duty. 

Tarantino’s exact words according to The Washington Times were, “When I see murders, I do not stand by. I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers.”

Tarantino has faced backlash over those comments being accused of instigation and worsening an already tense situation between police officers and the general public.

In particular, police officers have been the most outraged by his statements. In an interview with the WNYM- 970 AM radio station, New York City Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton said of Tarantino, “Shame on him, particularly at this time when we are grieving the murder of a New York City police officer.” Bratton also said in the interview, “There are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments.”

According to The New York Post, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), Patrick Lynch said, “It’s no surprise that someone who makes a living glorifying crime and violence is a cop-hater, too”

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Free Education: A Popular Topic of Presidential Race

With the release of Bernie Sanders’ free education plan the topic of free higher education has become one of the most discussed topics of the race for the White House in 2016.

According to Sanders’ website, berniesanders.com, the plan starts by making tuition free at public colleges and universities. One thing regarding this is if Sanders were to be elected president and his plan were to pass through congress, Monmouth University would not be free.

Right now, according to Sanders’ website graduates are forced to pay five to seven percent on their loans, when an average car loan is 2.5 percent. According to the Monmouth University website a current student is paying $33,028 for tuition.  If they are taking loans, with interest it might cost them an extra $2,312 annually. This could be an extra $9,249 over four years.  If a rate like Sanders purposes was in effect,  that number might drop to, roughly $3,302, saving a typical Monmouth student $6,000 in interest.

Another thing Sanders would execute in his plan is increasing federal work study. He would increase it almost three times of what it is now. Federal Work Study is a plan that services lower income students based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) that allows students to work on campus jobs and has universities only pay a portion of the wage, and the federal government covers the rest.

Hilary Clinton, currently is the democratic front-runner, also has a plan in order to make higher education more affordable, the New College Compact. Her plan does not take the full cost out of college education.

According to Clinton’s website, hilaryclinton.com, she is proposing that no student should have to borrow money for books, tuition, and any other fee associated with higher education.

In the New College Compact, Clinton also proposes the students will work ten hours a week in order to help finance their college education. Also the federal government will help to fund more universities.

John Henning, Dean of the School of Education at Monmouth University, feels education should be a national priority. Henning said, “In a global economy that is highly competitive, where knowledge is king your human resources are the best thing this country has, so if we have a significant amount of our population not having the opportunity (education) it actually hurts everyone.”

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What’s In A Name? A Look at the Washington Redskins

Native American mascots have been a wildly debated topic for years; the most prominent mascot being the Washington Redskins.

The term ‘red skin’ can be considered a racial slur toward Native Americans. Yet, it is being chanted at football games and being sold as a logo. The use of Native American mascots is a form of cultural appropriation.

According to The Washington Post, cultural appropriation is the practice of one culture taking control over aspects of another culture and using them in an inappropriate manner.

In the case of mascots, the dominant culture in question is making a monetary gain because of the Native American race. 

However, Heidi Bludau, lecturer of Anthropology at the University, said, “Not all Native American tribes agree on everything, including the issue of mascots.  Some are against it and some are able to capitalize on it.”

Some sports fans believe that the Native American mascots are not mocking the Native American race and culture, but are exemplifying their fighting spirit.     

Journalist Naomi Riley wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal and said that they are an, “exciting addition to football games.”

When asked if there are currently any laws against Native American mascots, Professor Gregory Bordelon, professor of Political Science at the  University said,“To my knowledge, there are none. But any time that you pass any law that restricts a mascot, to the extent a mascot is an expressive statement (pride, team spirit, etc.) you possibly are treading on first amendment grounds.”

However, some Native Americans believe that teams parading around their mascot is demeaning to them and their culture.

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The Reality of Drone Warfare by the U.S. Military

Drone“I’m going to repeat one more time,” said President Barack Obama in a lengthy 2013 speech at the National Defense University in Washington D.C.

“As a matter of policy, the preference of the United States is to capture terrorist suspects. When we do detain a suspect, we interrogate them. And if the suspect can be prosecuted, we decide whether to try him in a civilian court or a military commission,” said the President.

According to the Monmouth University Polling Institute, 76 percent of American say law enforcement agencies should be required to obtain a warrant from a judge before using drones.

New documents leaked to The Intercept reveal that the President’s claims were at best intentionally misleading and at worst patently false.

The Intercept is an online start-up news site launched in Feb. 2014 by First Look Media— the news organization created and funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The magazine serves as a platform for the documents leaked by former NSA cyber security contractor, Edward Snowden, and employs journalist Glenn Greenwald, filmmaker Laura Poitras, and author Jeremy Scahill as editors.

The response to the latest leak of classified military documents has been largely restrained but has provoked some outspoken critics, such as the Qataristate-funded media network, Al Jazeera, which said, “the U.S. drone program is imprecise and arbitrary and a grave risk to civilians everywhere. It is also a program over which the president exercises little control.”

The American-based Foreign Policy Magazine published that The Intercept’s reporting “is less one big ‘bombshell’ and more of a synthesis of over a decade’s worth of reporting and analysis, bolstered by troubling new revelations about what has become routine.”

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Presidential Candidates Take On College Affordability

As the national student debt plan continues to rise above $1.2 trillion, according to The Washington Post, many young voters have turned to the Presidential Candidates for the best solution when coming into office in 2016.

A couple of the candidates, such as Jeb Bush and Ben Carson, have said that tuition prices have doubled under President Obama’s two terms. Tuition prices have gone up 86 percent since he took office.

However, after the 2008 recession and the high amount of job loss, more and more students enrolled into college to ensure work. And with the rise of enrollment, comes the rise in tuition prices, according to Donald Heller, the Dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University.

Former Governor Jeb Bush wants to see students use for-profit and online schools be used more. He also wants more responsibility from the schools to ensure that students graduate in four years, and not see them as money suppliers.

When asked about this in an interview on C-SPAN, he said, “If kids can’t graduate with a four year degree in four years, there ought to be some pay back to them or their family. Or have some support for the loans they have taken out. We have to make sure a four year degree can be done in four years.”

Former Hewlitt- Packard CEO Carly Fiorina also believes that if the technology is available, online classes would help the debt situation. She wants the idea of government involvement to be non-existent to help college affordability.

When asked she said in a speech, “I would return the free market to the student loan industry. Secondly, I would enable as much choice and competition in higher education as possible. For-profit university do a very good job of educating a lot of people at a lower cost.”

Many have turned to see what Former U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has in plan for college affordability, since she has years of political experience. Her plan would not make college completely free for student, like her opponent Bernie Sanders plan, but would highly rely on federal state partnership. And for students who choice to stay in-state, they will not have to borrow loan money for in state college.

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Monmouth Debate Team Wins Team and Individual Awards at West Point Military Academy this Weekend

MU DebateThe Monmouth University Debate Team won a team and two individual speaking awards at the West Point Military Academy tournament this weekend (October 23-25).  Christopher D’Elia and Kevin Ospina made it into the playoff round before losing to a team from West Virginia University.  Victoria Esler also received the first place individual speaking award and Allison Ferraro received the second place speaking award in their division of 70 debaters.  They all received their awards in front of approximately 250 debaters and coaches from across the nation.  The awards banquet was held in West Point’s historic Officer’s Club that cradles and sits above the picturesque Hudson River. (see photo below).

Team Captain Michelle Grushko and Saliha Younas scored victories in the experienced division that includes debaters on debate scholarships.  Monmouth first year student James Hawke and Sabrina Saenger went 3-3 in the six round tournament, and narrowly missed making it into the playoff rounds.  The two person teams of Kaitlin Allsopp and Prachi Patel and Abdullah Rashid and Omar Moustafa also scored impressive victories in their debating debut.

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Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush Offers Alternative to Affordable Care Act

Jeb BushWith the upcoming Presidential election in 2016, candidates from both the Republican and Democratic side are taking a stance on current issues affecting the American people. In particular, Republican candidate Jeb Bush has taken a stance on an alternative to President Obama’s healthcare plan.

Recently, Bush has released a plan to replace Affordable Care Act if he is elected President in 2016. According to CNN, the plan entails having the individuals choose coverage with high deductible with less coverage, which will then lead to increasing the contribution to health savings account.

A big aspect of Bush’s plan involves reduction of government involvement. He believes healthcare can be improved if private sectors were the source of health IT systems.

Another component of the plan includes, full disclosure for the patient. The patient at any time has the right to take ownership of his or her own records.

This would then go on to force Medicare and Medicaid centers to publicly release claims data.  Bush claims he would like to go beyond the idea of just expanding health coverage. He would like to increase medical technology usage in order to provide more efficiency within the health care process.

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Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act Among Topics Discussed in Budget Deal

Obama and BoehnerA two-year budget deal in the nation’s capital foreshadows the uncertain future for retirees as lawmakers face choosing between benefits promised to the elderly and a shortfall in funding.

If approved by Congress, the deal hammered out between the White House and departing House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would raise federal government spending by $80 billion over the next two years. It would offset some of that spending with tweaks to Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act.

While the deal would avert a showdown over the federal debt ceiling by raising it enough to last past the 2016 elections, it punts on long-term fixes for the biggest drivers of government spending, the entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Consequently, tens of millions of current workers face an uncertain retirement.

A key part of the deal involved Medicare and the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which provides income to workers who have suffered injury or illness before the official retirement age of 65.

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Debate: Is the Benghazi Controversy Still Relevant?

HillaryAfter getting through a tough eleven hours in front of the Benghazi panel without any disastrous gaff’s, Clinton supporters everywhere are claiming that Hillary has emerged victorious.  After months of uncertainty about the former Secretary of State, Democrats everywhere are eager to chalk up Mrs. Clinton’s performance in front of the Benghazi Panel as one in the win column. However, they should not get ahead of themselves and declare that Mrs. Clinton is out of the woods just yet.

One little detail that most media outlets are failing to report on is that it was that Hillary admitted to telling an outright lie. The biggest controversy over the Benghazi attacks in 2012 was not the lack of security or the tragic deaths of four Americans. Although the attacks were a horrific tragedy, this is not the first time an American embassy was attacked. What made this attack a scandal was the fact that the White House and the State Department– led by Hillary Clinton at the time– spread the lie that these attacks were a result of spontaneous protest over an anti-Mohammed video that surfaced on the internet.

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