Last updateWed, 12 Feb 2020 1pm


Peace Be With You: Vatican and U.S. Diplomacy

The news of the first Papal resigna­tion in 598 years has focused the at­tentions of nearly the entire Western world upon a tiny, yet world-famous, enclave within the city of Rome, Italy.

Many states around the world maintain diplomatic ties with the Holy See, and the United States is no different. From the earliest years of American independence, the United States maintained consular ties with, what were at that time, the Papal States, which were territories in cen­tral and northern Italy over which the Pope exercised control. After Italian unification in 1861, the Papal States were incorporated into the State of Italy and the Pope was sent retreating into within the Vatican walls.

The Vatican, or Holy See, is the world’s smallest sovereign state. With its territorial claims consisting of a mere 109 acres, a population of less than 850, and the distinction of being the only state on Earth where the Latin Language is still spoken in a day-to-day context, the Vatican is dwarfed by the sizes of most Ameri­can municipalities. Its leader and sov­ereign, the Pope, is also the shepherd of the world’s estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics and is one of the most recognized and influential indi­viduals on the planet.

In 1929, the Lateran Treaty, an agreement between the Holy See and the State of Italy, established the Vatican as a sovereign and indepen­dent state, and secured the Pope’s independence from national obliga­tions in his leadership of the Catholic Church.

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New Jersey Taking on Gun Control; 22 New Laws Passed

New Jersey lawmakers passed 22 new gun laws on February 28 that focus on gun and am­munition sales, improving men­tal health services, gun safety, stopping illegal gun trafficking, school security, and stopping gang violence.

Gun control has always been a “hot button” topic, with some saying the Second Amendment allows them the right to own fire­arms, and some saying that the Second Amendment has been misinterpreted all these years and that it simply allows us the right to form a militia, which we already have in the form of the United States Armed Forces.

In the past two years alone, there have been multiple shoot­ings: the shooting in Arizona at a grocery store where former Rep­resentative Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head. Eleven oth­ers were wounded and six people died that January day in 2011 be­cause the shooter was able to get his hands on a high powered rifle.

When The Dark Night Rises came out in July of last year, James Holmes entered the movie theater and killed 12 people, in­juring 70 others.

The most recent mass shoot­ing was Newtown, Connecti­cut, where Adam Lanza shot his mother, killed 20 first grade stu­dents and six teachers at an el­ementary school, before killing himself. These are just the shoot­ings that were awful enough to make the evening news.

It is precisely these shootings that have people asking for some­thing to be done. It is precisely these shootings; especially the Newtown shooting that has some lawmakers in New Jersey paying attention.

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Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer Visits University

kurtzerFormer United States Ambas­sador David Kurtzer paid a visit to the University on March 5 in Wilson Auditorium to discuss political situations in the Middle East and his experiences as a United States Ambassador. The event was attended by approxi­mately 50 people including com­munity members and students.

Kurtzer served as United States Ambassdor to Egypt from 1997 to 2001 then served as the ambassador to Israel from 2001 to 2005 before becoming a pro­fessor at Princeton University and co-authoring the book, “Ne­gotiating Arab Peace.”

Before Kurtzer spoke, Presi­dent Paul Gaffney II was given the Jewish Heritage Award for his significant contributions to Jewish culture and life. Gaffney said, “I was honored. We started the program and received outside funding for it because there are several Jewish communities in our neighborhood. We took the initiative to be good neighbors.”

The event started with open­ing comments from Professor Amy Handlin, associate profes­sor of marketing and interna­tional business who also works with the Jewish Cultural Studies program.

A theme throughout the event was how Arabs and Jewish peo­ple could co-exist in the Middle East. Kurtzer believes it is up to the United States to help in di­plomacy but that everyone needs to be willing to work together.

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A World-Wide View of Politics: MU International Relations Concentration

un_headquarters_2The University Political Science Department offers a number of pro­grams to create unique opportunities such as the International Relations concentration which focuses on inter­national problems, in hopes to com­pete in a globally connected world.

The concentration, which is an additional area of study within the standard political science curricu­lum, aims to provide students with an understanding of more than just the Western-centric perspective on international concerns. Political sci­ence majors who add the nine-credit concentration to their academic rep­ertoire are required to take one class on comparative politics as well as two courses devoted to the study of both international relations theory as well as studies of ethics of international relations or American foreign policy.

Dr. Saliba Sarsar, professor of po­litical science and Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, be­lieves that it is of utmost importance that students of political science have strong foundations in international relations given the increasingly glo­balized and interdependent nature of the modern world.

Sarsar states, “Students of interna­tional relations become more aware and better immersed in the historical background and basic information of a variety of issues and by whom any how they can be addressed.”

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Public Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage May Sway Supreme Court Decision

ObamaQuoteCalifornia’s ban on gay marriage is likely to fall soon, due to a pair of developments in the past week. What remains uncertain is whether same-sex marriage will become lawful in just a score of “blue states,” or the norm throughout the nation.

Public opinion on marriage for gay and lesbian couples has shifted with almost unprecedented speed for a major issue. Even without a court ruling, that shift could doom restrictive marriage laws in liberal states such as California. It is also likely to have an effect on the court itself, in particular with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and possibly Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Throughout his long career, Kennedy has been willing to make major changes in the law on issues including the death penalty, gun rights and gay rights. Kennedy has been a strong, steady proponent of constitutional principles such as free speech, individual liberty and limits on government power. But before signing on to major changes such as abolishing the death pen­alty for young murderers, for ex­ample he has wanted to feel com­fortable that the change was in line with public opinion and the trend in the law.

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Online Gambling Now Legal in New Jersey

internet-pokerGovernor Chris Christie signed a bill that will allow casinos in Atlantic City to set up online gaming and gambling websites on Tuesday February 26. The state legislature has been dis­cussing the possibilities of online gambling for at least two years. Christie vetoed the bill back in 2011 when it was newer and more risky. He signed the bill last week after sending a revised version back with some suggestions and requirements that he felt would make the bill more successful.

So what does this new bill mean for New Jersey? Or more importantly, what does it mean for Atlantic City?

New Jersey, according to an article by CBC News, is the third state to legalize online gambling. Only Nevada and Delaware have passed a similar bill.

“I believe that [the gambling law] is an opportunity to bring additional revenue to New Jer­sey,” said Professor Amy Hand­lin, who teaches Marketing and International Business and also serves as an Assemblywoman for District 13. “Many people enjoy the Atlantic City gaming experi­ence, the excitement of playing at the tables and the slot machines. Other people prefer not to drive the 90 miles or so, and may pre­fer to play from the confines of their home,” Handlin said.

As of right now, the online gaming sites pertain only to resi­dents in New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Meaning that in order to place a bet online and partake in the game, you have to be in New Jersey.

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Students Visit U.N. and Meet Secretary General

Better-6-students-Dr.-DSeven University students were invited to attend an event at the Unit­ed Nations in New York City to meet Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on February 20. The event was held at the Economic and Social Council Conference Room at the United Na­tion’s Headquarters in New York.

In attendance were seven Univer­sity students of varying degrees and majors as well as Dr. Rekha Datta from the Political Science and So­ciology Department. The event was sponsored by the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) program which serves to get students more involved and educated in the work­ings of the U.N. Since his appoint­ment in 2007, Ki-Moon has been very concerned with the education of the younger generation and the UNAI has sponsored many events such as the one this past Wednesday.

Students arrived at the U.N. and were able to spend a few hours ex­ploring the various exhibits. There were five other universities in atten­dance including some individuals from Kenya and Japan.

The purpose of the event was to allow students to ask Ki-Moon ques­tions about his work at the United Nations and the publication of the U.N.’s book: “Building a Better Fu­ture for All: Selected Speeches of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.”

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Lautenberg Not Seeking Re-Election in 2014

Frank_Lautenberg,_official_portrait,_112th_portraitNew Jersey Senator Frank Laut­enberg has officially announced he will not be running for re-election in the 2014 Senatorial election. Lautenberg has served in his New Jersey Senator seat for nearly thir­ty years, and at 89 years old, is the oldest member of Congress.

Lautenberg was born in Pat­erson, New Jersey in 1924. His parents were Polish and Russian immigrants who came to America through Ellis Island. His father took many jobs throughout Laut­enberg’s life, causing the family to move around frequently. He lost his father when he was 19 years old to cancer, and took the responsibil­ity of helping support his family by working nights and weekends until he graduated high school.

After graduating high school, he enlisted in the military, and served in the Army Signal Corps in Eu­rope. When he returned home he was able to attend Columbia Uni­versity on the G.I. Bill, graduating with a degree in economics.

Following Columbia, Lauten­berg and two childhood friends started the nation’s first payroll service, Automatic Data Process­ing. He acted as chairman and CEO of the company helping it to become one of the largest comput­ing services company in the world.

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Demander in Chief: Obama Changes Tone in Second Term

obamaAs America treks out of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and moves beyond the 2012 election cycle, the country finds itself with a reelected and empowered ex­ecutive in his last term. Barack Obama has matured into his post and has now changed his politi­cal tone from one of a negotiator-in-chief to a demander-in-chief.

The power struggle in Wash­ington D.C. was not made any more clear after the 2012 elec­tions. The Republican Party re­mained in control of the House of Representatives and the Dem­ocratic Party controlled both the Senate and the White House. With the country dealing with significant issues like taxes, im­migration, Medicare, Social Se­curity, gun control, and energy reforms unresolved, Obama has struck a more forceful tone in his rhetoric and in his dealings to­wards Congress that has proved incapable of bipartisanship.

Since Obama’s re-election, he has been endowed with an en­hanced approval rating that may provide him with the ability to push some of his second term agenda through Congress.

According to RealClearPoli­tics’ RCP Poll Average (2013), 51 percent approve of Obama’s work while only 42.6 percent disapprove. This compares to the RCP Poll Average approval rating of Congress of just 15.6 percent and a disapproval rate of 78.7 percent.

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Legal Studies Concentration May Come to Campus in Fall 2013

gavelPending the Board of Trustee’s approval and recognition from the state of New Jersey, there could be a legal studies concen­tration added to the political sci­ence department. This course of study will be offered in a similar fashion to the international rela­tions concentration offered.

Dr. Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science Department, said, “Our department had an external evaluator a few years back and she, at the time, recom­mended giving more attention to the area of legal studies.”

According to Dr. Gregory Bor­delon, lecturer for the Political Science Department, there are approximately 15 to 20 students minoring in legal studies. He also said that each year since he became the legal advisor, 10 to 15 students from the University apply to law schools around the country.

Next year, however, there will be between 35 and 40 students applying to law schools, which is why the concentration was added.

Bordelon said, “We found a siz­able amount of students gravitat­ing towards the minor and wanted to service them best as possible.”

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Drunk Driving Crackdown

drunk-driving-Bipartisan support approved legislation that would ultimately increase the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol in New Jersey last week. Monmouth County Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande from District  11 and John F. Amodeo, a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from District 2, each co-sponsored the bill, A-3057, which would increase the penalties of serial DUI offenders. The bill was introduced last summer due to a Vineland man getting charged for the offense six times in the span of three months.

The bill’s conditions stipulate an imposition of additional penalties for multiple drunken driving offenses within 60 days and a maximum of $10,000 fine and/or 18 months in prison with an imposed bail of up to $10,000 for repeat offenses. It requires courts to immediately suspend the driver’s license on a second offense without the possibility of applying for a new license at a later date, and it sends subsequent offenses to Superior Court, which mainly deal with serious criminal offenses, rather than municipal courts.

This new bill contrasts the existing legislation for repeat offenses in that the current laws do not address the possibility of a repeat DUI offense within such a small window of time, but due to the recent circumstances, a supplement to the current legislation is needed.

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Contact Information

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

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

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151