December 2, 2008

Weekly Summary: Week Two

In this second edition of the Student Newspaper, we put out a new feature: News Clips! Enjoy news shorts covering things not covered on the mainstream media! This week we published four articles, as well as a Letter From the Editor.

Why Barack Obama Will Lose in 2012: A Non-Partisan Prediction.
By Benjamin Kantack

Don't despair, the reign of the avatar will end soon enough. From democratic stalemates, to broken promises and buyers remorse, people won't vote Barack back in. We hope.

Consumerism Kills 1 on Black Friday.
By Francis Mader

In a tragic and strange event, a temporary Wal-Mart employee was trampled by greedy shoppers. Some might say this is the inevitable end of capitalism, but consider how many people are killed because of "evil" capitalism, vs. the millions killed by Chavez.

Pastor Who Spearheaded "God" in Pledge Dies.
By David Dykstra

The phrase "under God" was not always in the pledge of allegiance, and is under attack now. Here are some sermon notes from the pastor who pushed for adding the phrase. "Once 'under God', then we can define what we mean by 'justice and liberty for all."

The University Does Not Care About You.
By Andrew Lacy

The cost of college has risen more than 400 percent, but why? Because they can, and quality of education is often measured by the cost. Less than half your tuition goes to pay for tuition.

News Clips: Full List.
Compiled by Tobias Davis

December 1, 2008

Consumerism Kills 1 on Black Friday

Wal-Mart temporary employee Jdimytai Damour was trampled Friday by hundreds of impatient Long-Island customers, according to a New York news source. * Four others were injured, including a woman eight months pregnant, when over 200 customers chanted “push the doors in” and proceeded to trample the suppressing human chain of Wal-Mart associates.

For a visual reference, just imagine gate 24 as one big lane with the ticket takers holding hands and yelling “red rover, red rover…” ninety minutes before kickoff.

Consumerism seem to be the watchword as a restless evil especially present around Black Friday, the day when the average American company breaks even and then shows profit for the annual reports. It is this profit that allows the entrepreneur to dream of the best products and services possible, which employs a massive amount of Americans, which fills the shelves of the department stores with colorful and high-quality products, and then evokes a massive desire for citizens to buy these wonderful things and then give them to their loved ones. The Friday the demand is greatest unfortunately resulted in the consumer’s freedom to obtain whatever they want (or to be happy) impeding on one man’s freedom to live in New York.

The dangerous human hype usually found at punk-rock concerts and global warming conferences but found Friday at the doors of Wal-Mart, is a situation where society usually pays. Often these are referred to as negative externalities, which are costs from production or consumption that accrue without compensation to someone other than the buyer or the seller. ** One cannot blame Wal-Mart for fairly providing goods at the best prices available in this situation, since the store was operating in complete compliance with the law, and even took extra safety precautions for that particular morning. *** On the other side, it is doubtful that any group of shoppers will face prosecution for stepping on Mr. Damour, since it would be much easier to blame Wal-Mart for the selfishness of human nature. Besides, Wal-Mart has more money.

The fact that America has goods that drive consumers to such lengths is truly a mark of this nation’s economic prosperity. This evil consumerism that has brought about one of the highest standards of living makes this rare commerce-related death a little ironic. While other countries are struggling to feed their people and to find clean water, it’s no wonder that there’s an absence of homicides from civilians rushing to toy sales. For example, when socialist Hugo Chavez gained political control of Venezuela, homicides in the country tripled annually.

Perhaps when a country has a superior economic system, less of her gainfully employed citizens are likely to kill each other because of their depressingly lower standards of living.

It is uncertain if businesses and OSHA will have to address instances such as the Long Island Wal-Mart in required training, since another stampede-like incident probably won’t happen for another 12 months. Although consumerism will continue to be thought of as a greedy dark entity that plagues the country, the country may want to reflect on the positive and overlooked effects of a strong economy.

And then go buy something.

[Written by Francis Mader, a UNL student publishing anonymously]

**Macroeconomics, McConnel Brue, 17th edition
****"Deadly Massage-How not to Tackle a Soaring Murder Rate",, 17 Jul 2008

[The analog/paper version contains an error on the continuation page, where it is titled "Capitalism Kills 1", which should be "Consumerism Kills 1" since the killer was not capitalism, but consumerism. -----Editor]

The University Doesn't Care About You

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,‭ ‬energy prices have more than doubled in real terms since‭ ‬1985‭; ‬medical costs have more than tripled in that same time frame.‭ ‬The pressure these rising costs put on America’s wallets has garnered a lot of attention and outrage.‭ ‬That’s nothing compared to the cost of college,‭ ‬which has risen by more than‭ ‬400‭ ‬percent in that time.

It’s well known that college costs have become ridiculous,‭ ‬but have you ever considered just why the University is charging you so much‭? ‬The short answer:‭ ‬because they can.‭ ‬The longer answer is that for many people,‭ ‬the quality of a college is measured by how much it costs.‭ ‬The better quality education a college is perceived to provide,‭ ‬the more it can charge.‭ ‬This leads to a cycle of rising prices not unlike what we saw with the housing boom.‭ ‬As nonprofit entities,‭ ‬the colleges will then spend most if not all the money they have.‭ ‬Increased spending means the need for more money‭ – ‬I think you can see where this is going.

Many professors and administrators will defend these rising costs by saying it’s needed to provide a high quality education for students.‭ ‬I’m sorry to burst your bubble,‭ ‬but colleges don’t care about the students,‭ ‬they care about their own prestige.‭ ‬In a study of spending at nearly‭ ‬2,000‭ ‬public and private schools over‭ ‬18‭ ‬years,‭ ‬researchers for the Delta Cost Project found that the percentage of operating expenses going to classroom instruction‭ (‬mainly professor salaries and benefits‭) ‬accounted for‭ ‬34%‭ ‬to‭ ‬44%‭ ‬of spending‭ ‬-‭ ‬and those percentages actually fell over the period reviewed.‭ ‬For you Obama voters,‭ ‬that’s less than half.

Where is the rest of that money going‭? ‬Well,‭ ‬if you walk around campus,‭ ‬you’re sure to see plenty of enormous wastes of money‭ – ‬an arch in front of the union that serves no real purpose,‭ ‬a new multicultural center that won’t provide anything of any real value‭ (‬unless you count a new office for Tim Alvarez‭)‬,‭ ‬the rec center looking to leave the ROTC program homeless by taking over the Military and Naval Science building to put in a few more treadmills,‭ ‬and the purchase of the state fair grounds to allow for more research facilities that will do little or nothing to provide students with a better education.‭ ‬Somebody has to pay for these things,‭ ‬and while the alumni may help pay for some,‭ ‬the burden to pay for the rest falls on you,‭ ‬whether you like it or not.‭ ‬Meanwhile the University has over‭ ‬$1.5‭ ‬billion in its endowment,‭ ‬tax-free.‭ ‬That’s enough to give every student roughly‭ ‬$60,000.‭ ‬In other words,‭ ‬there is enough money in the University’s endowment to put every single currently enrolled student through school absolutely free and still have plenty left over.

The University often pays lip service to concerns over rising college costs,‭ ‬but when is the last time they actually did anything about it‭? ‬If it is such a concern,‭ ‬why don’t they use their endowment money instead of raping the students‭? ‬Why don’t they cut unnecessary spending‭? ‬Why don’t the administrators and regents take pay cuts so more students can afford to come to Nebraska‭? ‬Because your education is far from their top priority.‭ ‬Much like the government,‭ ‬universities expect everyone to find a way get by with less‭ – ‬everyone except them.

Students and parents alike need to hold these bureaucrats accountable.‭ ‬We’re paying their salaries‭; ‬they work for us.

[Written by Andrew Lacy, a Broadcasting major at UNL]

[The paper version has Andrew Lacy listed as Sports Journalism, a major not even offered at UNL. Pardon the error. ---Editor]

News Clips: December 1, 2008

eHarmonys Loss Is Not Good For Either Side
Online based dating service eHarmony officially started matching homosexuals. Although founder Neil Warren originally said there was not enough research on how to properly match homosexuals*, the company will begin partnering homosexuals in March of 2009 following a lawsuit by Eric McKinley which claims eHarmony discriminated against him**.

Although homosexuals will probably see this as a victory, it should be pointed out that a company has essentially bowed to the dictates of a government, a government only recently outlawing homosexual marriages. What will happen when the public opinion passes a law dictating that companies cannot hire homosexuals? Alternately, how will eHarmony respond when someone takes them to court because they do not offer a partnering service between man and boy, woman and horse, or man and dead body?

Any time a company is told who they can and cannot provide services for, people everywhere -- homosexual and normal -- should voice strong opposition.


Merry Christmas: Have an Abortion
Planned Parenthood is offering Christmas gift certificates for birth control services, one of those services being abortions*. In the article, the CEO of Planned Parenthood said "Why not buy a loved one a gift this holiday season that they really need" and, "please join Planned Parenthood of Indiana and give the gift of health this holiday season." Apparently, as says, you can also give the gift of death as well: "Merry Christmas, Honey! Have a free abortion, on me!" It is a strange, twisted place we live when you cannot mistreat an animal, but you can give a gift certificate to kill a human.


Zimbabwe Displacing White Farmers Was Racism
Apparently it's not only white people who are racist: A southern African court ruled that the 78 displaced white farmers could keep their farms, and that the land grab was racially motivated. Zimbabwe President Mugabe is unlikely to enforce the ruling, however, considering his violent racist history.


Mexico City Hands Out Viagra to Old Men
Mexico City claims that sexuality has enough importance on the "quality of life and ... happiness" that they are giving out Viagra to all men 70 and over. Society places such high importance on sexual health that anyone not having sex is deemed as unhappy automatically, even though many people have pleasant lives without it.


Obama's Released Birth Certificate was a Forgery, and No One Cares
Online blogger "Lame Cherry" discusses why Obama's released digital birth certificate is undoubtedly a fake*. A hint: It has to do with his father being labeled on the certificate as "African", while, until 1968, all black people were called "Negro", from the supposed three races Caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negroid. Although another lawsuit was filed to release Obama's official birth certificate, Judge Bert Ayabe ruled there was "insufficient evidence to indicate that the public interest supports"** releasing the document.

Apparently no one cares about the Constitution, and if Obama takes the Presidential oath, claiming to defend the Constitution, he will be a liar, which shouldn't be a surprise.


Woman Gets Transplant: Personalized Organ Growth
In another strike against fetal stem cell research (presently funded by your tax dollars), a woman is now using a transplanted windpipe grown from her own (adult) stem cells.* The operation was done at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona. A collaborator, professor Martin Birchall, is hopeful that this procedure will transform surgery, making the option of regrowing all kinds of organs a reality. Strange that, with around $4 Billion of your taxes being spent on stem cell research**, the most productive method, adult stem cell research, would not be pushed more.


Steve Padgett For President!
North Carolina mailman Steven Padgett became a local hero when it was found out that he had stopped delivering unwanted spam-mail for at least seven years. Apparently he had been taking out the unwanted junk mailings and setting them at his house. No complaints were ever filed against Mr. Padgett, rather, local neighbors thanked him and praised his efforts, with one person even writing "Steve Padgett for President!" Obviously, his efforts were not appreciated by the company paying for the mailing. Right now postal letter service is federally restricted to the U.S.P.S. only, making competition impossible and driving delivery costs up.


Egypt is a Dangerous Place For Women
Ladies: Marriage got you down? Be thankful you aren't in Egypt, where almost half of all married women are physically abused by their husbands. Nahed Abu el-Qumsan, head of the Egyptian Center for Womens Rights, said that "if a woman complains, it would be considered a crime. But if she doesn't, the husband won't be punished."


UK University Students are Overly Passive
The UK Telegraph has an interesting article about University students dropping out because of "pointless" courses. Apparently the UK's government run and funded Universities are filled with not-surprising low performance and high dropout from students called "spoon-fed .. wanting to receive education passively and without effort." It is not surprising that someone who is continuously given something would stop working to get it: Communism has shown that to be the case for years.


Boy Thrown Under Train for Writing Love Letter
Although the news is flooded with reports of the shootings in India, what went without notice was a teenage boys brutal death from a mob: Manish Kumar, one of India's "untouchables", was beaten and thrown under a train to be killed while police officers looked on. His crime? He wrote a letter to his sweetheart, a member of a higher caste system. Not even really a higher caste, since both of them were from the same Dalit caste system. In the Times Online article, Prakash Louis, a sociologist based in Bihar, said: “The intense cruelty of this attack has captured interest, but similar incidents are occurring daily.” Dalit caste members are often sexually exploited by higher caste members, and police officers routinely ignore the Dalit pleas for help.


[Compiled by Tobias Davis, a Mechanical Engineer major at UNL and the Editor of the Student Newspaper]

Pastor who Spearheaded ‘God’ in Pledge dies

Fifty-six years ago, the Pledge of Allegiance was different. At that time it had no reference to God. The man whose work is credited for changing this is the Rev. George M. Docherty, who died this past Thanksgiving. To us the Pledge would hardly seem normal without ‘God’ in it, but when Rev. Docherty evaluated the original “normal” pledge he realized something was missing. This feeling was so strong he went on to preach a sermon on the subject to President Eisenhower:

Docherty preached:

“I came to a strange conclusion, there was something missing in this Pledge. And that which was missing was the characteristic and definitive factor in the ‘American Way of Life.’ Indeed, apart from the mention of the phrase, ‘the United States of America’, this could be the pledge of any Republic. In fact I could hear little Muscovites repeat a similar pledge to their hammer and sickle flag in Moscow with equal solemnity, for Russia is also a Republic that claims to have overthrown the tyranny of kingship… Russia also claims to be indivisible… Russia claims to have liberty… Again, the Communists claim, there is Justice in Russia. It is one fundamental concept that completely and ultimately separates Communist Russia from the democratic institutions of this Country… “Under God” are the definitive words… Two world convulsions shattered the illusion that you can build a nation on human ideas without a fundamental belief in God’s Providence. Crowns in Europe toppled not because of autocracy but because the peoples had lost the vision of God… The only point I make in raising the issue of the Pledge of Allegiance is that it seems to me to omit this theological implication that is inherent within the “American Way of Life.” It should be “One Nation, indivisible, Under God.” Once “Under God,” then we can define what we mean by “liberty and justice for all.” Some might assert this to be a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. It is quite the opposite… “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.” Now “establishment of religion” is a technical term. It means Congress will permit no state church in this land… This is separation of Church and State; it is not and never was meant to be a separation of religion and life…Philosophically speaking, an atheistic American is a contradiction in terms…This age has thrown up a new type of man we call him a “secular”… But they are “spiritual parasites”…Seculars are living upon the accumulated Spiritual Capital of Judaic-Christian civilization, and at the same time deny the God who revealed the divine principle upon which the ethics of this Country grow. The dilemma of the secular is quite simple. He cannot deny the Christian revelation and logically live by the Christian ethic. And if he denies the Christian ethic, he falls short of the American ideal of life. This is the issue we face today… A way of life that sees man, not as the ultimate outcome of a mysterious concatenation of evolutionary process, but a sentient being created by God and seeking to know His will and “Whose soul is restless till he rest in God.”

Wow! If only pastors today would be willing to speak up to our current officials, like Docherty did 56 years ago, they could and would make a lasting impact like his.

[Written by David Dykstra, a high school student from Omaha]


Why Barack Obama Will Lose in 2012: A Non-Partisan Prediction

You heard me right.

I know this is a right-wing‭ ‬publication,‭ ‬and I know that I am a right-wing person‭ – ‬and probably most of the people who are reading this are too.‭ ‬You might doubt that someone of my innate conservative bias could ever pull off a non-partisan article,‭ ‬but hear me out.

I know a lot of you are hurting after Election Day,‭ ‬when Barack Obama swept America’s hearts and minds into a stunning political victory,‭ ‬and Democratic Congressional candidates rode the‭ “‬change‭” ‬wave into Washington.‭ ‬Yet while the media was celebrating the results and offering the nation collectible commemorative plates with Obama’s likeness,‭ ‬I was playing pundit for the future of this country.‭ ‬This is the result of my musings.

To begin with,‭ ‬let’s make some concessions to the Democrats for the duration of this article.‭ ‬Let’s assume that‭ ‬the‭ ‬Democratic Party holds all the ideological keys to solving the economy.‭ ‬I make my first postulate:


If we are in the worst economic situation since the Great Depression,‭ ‬it will take longer than two years for the Democratic Congress to fully implement and see success from their plans.‭ ‬Franklin Roosevelt knew this all too well:‭ ‬even though the U.S.‭’‬s economy was growing during the New Deal,‭ ‬median unemployment was still at‭ ‬17.2%‭ ‬throughout that time period.‭ ‬The economy will still be broken in two years.


Even if the Democrats‭ ‬can fix the economy,‭ ‬they‭ ‬can't do‭ ‬it by the time midterm elections roll around.‭ ‬When voters go to the polls,‭ ‬they will see an Obama-Pelosi-Reed trifecta in power and will associate the Democrats with their continued economic misery‭ (‬regardless of whether such association is deserved‭)‬.‭
‬ Since‭ ‬1942,‭ ‬only‭ ‬three midterm elections have‭ ‬increased the president's party in‭ ‬either the House or the Senate,‭ ‬and only‭ ‬one‭ ‬increased it in‭ ‬both:‭ ‬2002.‭ ‬Overwhelmingly throughout history the out-of-power party gains‭; ‬this will be even more pronounced with a lackluster economy.‭ ‬Voters will correct the imbalance of power in Congress.


‬ As‭ ‬Republicans‭ ‬come‭ ‬back‭ ‬to Congress with a vengeance,‭ ‬Democrats will not be able to‭ ‬complete their economic plans.‭ ‬The purely coincidental fact that it takes longer than two years to fix the United States‭' ‬economy will come back to bite the Democratic Party.‭ ‬And with a deadlock in Congress,‭ ‬the Democrats will lose the‭ ‬carte-blanche‭ ‬they had from‭ ‬2008‭ ‬to‭ ‬2010.‭ ‬As a result‭…

4.‭ ‬OBAMA WILL LOSE IN‭ ‬2012.

‬ And that's not even counting the issues of the‭ ‬Iraq War,‭ ‬health care,‭ ‬social policies,‭ ‬or foreign policies,‭ ‬all of which could become voting issues in‭ ‬2012.‭ ‬Even if Obama wins one or more of these issues,‭ ‬he will still be weighed down by a crippling failure to fix the economy.‭ ‬Voters will be‭ ‬fed up with Barack Obama,‭ ‬his congressional‭ ‬cronies,‭ ‬and his broken promise of change,‭ ‬and there will be a stampede of elephants back to Capitol Hill.‭

This prediction,‭ ‬of course,‭ ‬is very short-sighted.‭ ‬I cannot predict the next four years of world events or what‭ “‬international crisis‭” ‬Joe Biden predicts will test Obama.‭ ‬But I can assure you that Obama’s prospects for the‭ ‬2012‭ ‬election are by no means a slam dunk.‭ ‬So have faith,‭ ‬and do not despair on Inauguration Day:‭ ‬there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel that awaits us.

Respectfully submitted,

‬ Benjamin Ronald Kantack

‭[‬Benjamin Kantack is a political science and Spanish major at UNL.‭]

Letter From the Editor

Greetings again, fellow students!

Well, your friendly Student Newspaper is at it again. This week we have a few articles about the latest goings on, and a dozen or so new clips you won't hear from the usual news sources.

What with the Wal-Mart employee getting trampled to death, the boy in India getting thrown under a train for writing a love letter, the twelve year old getting arrested for farting, or Planned Parenthood giving out free abortions as Christmas presents, the last two weeks sure have been interesting.

Thankfully, there was some good news: A teenage girl was sustained a remarkable 100 days without a heart, another lady had a transplant done with an organ grown from her own adult stem cells, and South Carolina celebrated two days of tax free gun sales.

What with the rising power of The Messiah* Obama, we encourage all conservative voices to speak out now while they have a chance. You can start speaking out by writing news reviews for the Student Newspaper: It's easy, it's fun, and people will always disagree with you!

Thanks for reading,
Tobias Davis
Editor for the Student Newspaper

*Not really the Messiah, all you Obama fans out there need to wake up.

[Tobias Davis is a Mechanical Engineer majjor at UNL and the Editor for the Student Newspaper]