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Politics

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

Students Participate and Observe United Nations Briefing with Speaker Jody Williams

Participation Through E-mails and Tweets Allowed Involvement During Internet Broadcast


Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams gave a speech at the United Nations that was broadcasted over the internet where students could engage with her during an informal briefing.

Jody Williams is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, grass roots activist, and has fought to ban landmines, for human rights, and against militarism. Williams said during the briefing, “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me. I don’t care if they agree with me or not. I believe what I believe for good reasons. I believe in sustainable peace, I believe in equality, I believe in justice, and if I make you uncomfortable that is your problem not mine.”

University students were able to watch the live briefing that was happening in the United Nations. The briefing began by the moderator, Ramu Damodaran declaring, “At one time the stage of history was always filled with kings and princes. And now one woman has come to change that, and her name is Jody Williams.” He continued by stating, "She has brought to the platform an individual without a platform."

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“War on Crime” Increases Security at University

MUPD has Successfully Implemented Programs to Prevent Crime on Campus


In various parts of the country, crime is an epidemic. Different types of crimes are more prevalent in different parts of the country whether it is assault, robbery, drugs and alcohol, etc.

The “War on Crime” was coined by President Richard Nixon who wanted to help law enforcement combat crime.

The bottom line is crime is everywhere. Just ask Professor John Comiskey, assistant professor of criminal justice. Comiskey is a retired lieutenant of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

During his time with the NYPD, his assignments included patrol, narcotics, investigations, and counter terrorism operations.

Comiskey stated that robbery and crimes against property where the most common crimes that he saw during his time with the NYPD.  He also included that alcohol is a “nexus”, or connection to many of the crimes.

Comiskey said the use of a system called Comp Stat that is used to prevent crime. Comp Stat is a program that is still used today in many different areas of the country.

The Comp Stat system was used as a way of mapping crime and find crime patterns in certain areas so that the NYPD can be aware and deal with the crimes effectively.

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Congressman Frank Pallone Speaks to University about Sandy Recovery

United States Congressman Frank Pallone was the guest speaker in the class, “Sandy and the Political and Social Impact”, to discuss his personal experiences regarding Sandy recovery and the aftermath on Thursday, Feb. 20.

Patrick Murray, Director of the Polling Institute and the professor of the class said that when he designed the course, he wanted to have guest speakers from multiple angles to share their Sandy related experience with the students.

“We have been talking about the role of officials at all levels of government and the students have already heard from the New Jersey Senate President, the Monmouth County Sheriff, local mayors, and leaders from the non-profit world.  Rep. Pallone gave us the perspective of the federal official who acts a conduit between his constituents and the federal bureaucracy,” said Murray.

Timothy Tracey, research associate at the Polling Institute, worked with Pallone prior to coming to the University. In the direct aftermath, Tracey traveled with the Congressman surveying the damage and disaster response.

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Battle of the Roosevelts: FDR

Why Franklin D. Roosevelt is the better Roosevelt President


Franklin D. Roosevelt took office during the greatest crisis in American history since the Civil War. When he was inaugurated in March of 1933 at least one quarter of the United States was unemployed, factories and banks were closing, and America was losing hope. Roosevelt came in like a white knight with the confidence to slay the dragon that was the Great Depression.

His first 100 days were perhaps the most important of any in history, and set an unremarkably high standard for future presidents to come. FDR changed the political landscape through his New Deal action, bringing America and it’s people back from an economic despair that deeply crippled the country.

In FDR’s inaugural address he told the American people, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Restoring hope and faith into a nation that had lost to so much.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s confidence led him to act quickly with restoration of the economy. His first action, as part of the New Deal was to declare a four-day bank holiday, in order to prevent people from withdrawing money.

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Feature: Sochi Olympics Fuels Many Debates in International Relations

The Olympic Games are a unique event in the operation of human society. In the alternating winter and summer renditions of this biennial spectacle, the youth of the world, hailing from diverse locales far and wide, are called to congregate and to compete on a single stage in the spirit of unity and fairness in celebration of the ability and potential of humanity.

In this year’s contest, held in Sochi, Russia, however, the spirit of the Olympic Games has come under threat from internal political factors. The threats are from Russian domestic policy as well as the strong-armed show of image politics on the part of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the weeks and months preceding the games, the most salient story accompanying the typical pre-Olympic will-they-be-ready banter was Russia’s new anti-gay law, as it has been dubbed by much of the media.

The legislation, which is extremely vague in its wording and intent, was signed into law by Putin in June of last year. The bill prohibits the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors, and builds upon pre-existing regional laws in several Russian Oblasts (provinces), which also sought to promote so-called traditional values among Russian youth.

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Battle of the Roosevelts: Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt was a Trust Busting Environmental Conservationist Who Helped Establish the Panama Canal


Theodore Roosevelt’s reputation as a trust buster, a major conservation figure with regards to the environment puts him in the argument as one of the best presidents. His trust busting led to monopolies being destroyed and made the American presidency a centerpiece of the morning newspapers with photos and easy interview access.

T. Roosevelt’s role as a trust buster is very famous. During his presidency, he dissolved 44 monopolies to avoid corruption in corporations and capitalism. He believed in fighting for the consumers to not pay astronomical prices that could be associated with monopolistic economy. He sought to protect the consumer and bring to the forefront labor and management issues, through the establishment of the Department of Commerce and Labor. He helped disrupt the J.P. Morgan trust with railroads and regulate rail prices for the consumer. Roosevelt’s idea of progressivism led to a working relationship between businesses and labor groups. Progressivism is based in use of expertise to identify and solve a nation’s problem while eliminating waste and corruption.

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Unemployment Cuts Affect 1.3 Million Americans

Long-Term Unemployment Helped 24 Million People During Recession


Approximately 1.3 million Americans received their last unemployment check once a federal program supplying extra weeks of benefits expired on Dec. 28, 2013. Beginning on Jan. 1, the maximum period allow for a citizen on unemployment was dropped from 73 weeks to 26 weeks.

The extended benefits program began during the Bush administration in 2008. It was in response to the long-term unemployment during the recession. It was able to help pay unemployment benefits to about 24 million Americans.

Since the expiration of the benefits, Congress has been back and forth on creating a proposal on whether to extend the benefits again.  According to The Washington Post, Democrats proposed to pay for $6 billion extension with “pension smoothing,” meaning temporarily raising taxes from employers by allowing them to pay less now into employee pension funds.

In an interview, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said that major components of the plan that the Obama administration has for expanding the economy includes proposals for unemployment benefits, as well as to raise the minimum wage and overhaul federal immigration laws.

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Students Participate in the United Nations Remembrance of Holocaust

The Briefing Focused on Hungarian Jews affected by the Holocaust


Monmouth University’s Institute of Global Understanding (IGU) sent Youth Representatives, Meaghan Hess and Jacquelyn Corsentino, as well as Dr. Christopher Hirschler as a Faculty Representative. The Department of Public Information (DPI) hosted its first briefing of 2014 for the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO).

The briefing focused on the 70th Anniversary of the Deportation of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. The panel included a scholar on the Holocaust, a survivor, and the current Hungarian Ambassador.

The first distinguished guest was Dr. Carol Ritter. Ritter is a professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She is also the author of 17 novels regarding genocides in the 20th and 21st centuries. She provided the historical background for the audience with a short PowerPoint highlighting Hungary’s passive position during the Holocaust.

Prior to World War II, 825,000 Jews resided in Hungary. After the Holocaust, only 200,000 Jews remained in the country.

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“Today in America:” President Obama Will No Longer Wait For Congress

In the President’s Sixth State of the Union, He promises more Executive Orders

President Barack Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union Address in Washington D.C. on Tuesday January 28. During his speech the President spoke of the growth that the nation is experiencing and how he plans to continue it into his second term.

The President began his speech with an “It’s Morning in America” type tone, describing the lives of various everyday Americans and the good work that they do. Using the line “Today in America” he went on to talk about a teacher who spent a little extra time with students, an entrepreneur who created jobs through her business, an autoworker whose work helped America to become self-sufficient in oil production, a farmer who is ready to start the spring session of exports, a doctor who gave a child an affordable prescription, a man who worked a night shift so his son could have a better life, and finally a community who is thankful for its fellow citizens who have been lost to war.

Obama said, “It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong. And here are the results of your efforts: the lowest unemployment rate in over five years; a rebounding housing market, a manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s, more oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world, the first time that’s happened in twenty years.”

Obama continued, “Our deficits cut by more than half, and for the first time in over a dedicated, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.”

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Editorial: What Three Things Should be Changed about American Politics?

This article addresses three things we would like to see changed in American politics. While no system is perfect and politics is a difficult profession, these topics are our observations of things that may help lead to a more productive political system.


Presidential War Powers

The Presidential War Powers have increased too much: Can anyone tell us when the last official war the United States declared was? Most probably said the Iraq War but that is incorrect.

The last declared war was World War II. All the other conflicts that have taken place have been military actions that the president ordered. While Congress does control the funds for these conflicts, the president ordered them. According to the Constitution, the power to declare war rests with the Congress to offer checks and balances.

Presidential abuse of War Powers could be torn apart with a theory by Noam Chomsky, referred to as “Imperial Grand Strategy,” he explains that America acts under the idea that they can and will take action against any nation or organization that threatens their power, prestige, or security. The strategy depicts how the foreign policy of America often goes against the grain of international law in order to keep their country safe from any threat that they see fit.

This theory is seen, and practiced, by President George W. Bush in the declaration against Iraq in 2003. With the impending threat of weapons of mass destruction, something that will always be taken as a threat, President Bush decided to invade Iraq before the United Nations could investigate if the weapons truly existed, which they did not. 

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Gov. Christie Caught in Middle of Three Scandals; Two Involving Superstorm Sandy Related Aid

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been involved with three scandals that may ruin his chances for a political future on the national stage and change opinions of him around the state of New Jersey.

The scandal that involves the George Washington Bridge or “Bridgegate” as it has been coined was the first scandal in which a traffic study was deemed as political retribution for Fort Lee Mayor, Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, not endorsing Gov. Christie’s re-election bid against Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Barbara Buono.

While Christie has not been directly linked to the scandal, members of his administration have been. His Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Kelly, sent an email to the Christie appointed Port Authority executive, David Wildstein, saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Wildstein responded, “Got it.” The Governor has denied having any knowledge of the political retribution.

Dr. Christopher DeRosa, an associate professor of history, said, “The fact that his underlings created a massive traffic jam for their own or their boss’s amusement is a difficult one to shake.  It is the rare sort of the scandal that unpacks itself and tells you everything you need to know.  It doesn’t involve any complex maneuvers or gray areas.  From the outline of the story, anyone can grasp the perpetrators’ utter contempt for the ordinary citizen, and see the completely indefensible abuse of power.”

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu