MU Cerebellum

"Writers, especially when they act in a body and with one direction, have great influence on the public mind." -Edmund Burke

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tribune defending itself against The Warrior?

::drumroll, please::

Today's award for stating in print something the entire campus already knew goes to Marquette Tribune Managing Editor Jackie Palank:
The Tribune is not independent.

...from today's Marquette Tribune "Newsroom Insider"

Friday, February 24, 2006

IL's Gov. Blagojevich didn't do his research

....before making an appearance on The Daily Show.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Gov. Rod Blagojevich wasn't in on the joke. Blagojevich says he didn't realize "The Daily Show" was a comedy spoof of the news when he sat down for an interview that ended up poking fun at the sometimes-puzzled Democratic governor.


Read the story here...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Is the Marquette Tribune Pro-Calandriello?

I'm not sure if the Marquette Tribune plans on making an official endorsement in the upcoming MUSG election, but it seems there is a pro-Calandriello sentiment on the Editorial page this morning.

College of Business junior Dan Calandriello is running for MUSG President, and his pet project since he arrived on campus his freshman year has been "Norris Park." Norris Park is the area betweek Kilbourn and State, and 18th and 19th Streets. He has been working to convert this land from city-owned to a public park- through a project headed by MUSG. And he is planning on "at least one fundraiser on campus by the end of the year" to raise money for this project.... so basically, YOUR money... to create PUBLIC park space....

Interesting to see the Tribune endorsing the proposals of a candidate during election time....

Check out the editorial here.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Warrior

A new issue of The Warrior is out!

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy....the pdf and web site look great. I'll post comments on it later.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

St. Valentine's Day: MU men we love and why

In the spirit of St. Valentine's Day (which really is a saint's day that the card and candy industries play up a little too much), I have borrowed National Review Online's idea and compiled my own list of men I hold in the highest regard and the reasons they have gained my admiration.

Professors:
  • John McAdams--He is the embodiment of conservativism and the university is scared of him. He wields so much sway over the conservatives on campus that were the university to cross him, there would be some major backlash. Possessing this sort of power and influence could be daunting; however, Prof. McAdams shows a wonderful fortitude in his leadership.
  • Christopher Wolfe--A family man, Dr. Wolfe holds seminars on love and relationships with his wife roughly six Fridays a semester. The sessions, which are free and open to any student, focus on the Church's teachings pertaining to Christ-like relationships in a modern context.

    Students:
  • Daniel Suhr--He is by far the most intelligent writer on gop3.com and very well versed in Wisconsin politics. For many out-of-state students at Marquette, Mr. Suhr serves a wonderful purpose of informing and editorializing on Wisconsin state politics. And, though I enjoy all contributors to gop3, Mr. Suhr is my personal favorite.
  • Charles Rickert, Scott Genz, and Daniel Maciejewski--All of these boys provide a great sports read on the Warrior sports blog. Seeing that the Warrior beat out the Tribune in making a sports blog, these boys deserve a sound pat on the back for their ingenuity.
  • Jeffrey (from MULS Federalistas)--Just because of this quote: "The Democrats are utterly irrelevant. Never vote for them."

    For all their various reasons and more, I love and admire all these unfailing men of Marquette. Keep up the good work, men.
  • From the AP: Donations To Doyle From Workers Of Firms That Won No-Bid Deals

    The AP did a great investigation (even sent a reporter out for a few months to follow this!) and the story landed on the front pages of many WI newspapers.... that is, most of the WI dailies with the exception of the Journal Sentinel.

    GREAT JOB, AP...

    and kudos to the Post Crescent for putting it on the front page

    To track previous stories on the matter, check this out.

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    good economy? bad economy?

    This post is sort of coming out of nowhere, but with the media constant and relentless harping on the Bush administration causing this so-called "bad" economy, I could not resist posting about it. First, the economy is not "bad." It has had constant growth every quarter since September 2003. The biggest growth in the economy (the GDP) came during the third quarter of 2003, which was a remarkable 8.2 percent. Even though growth has (thankfully) slowed to avoid disasterous economic problems such as inflation, our growth numbers seem dismal compared to that amazing jump just over two years ago. Right now, the United States has the best economy it has seen in over two decades - which just so happens to be when Ronald Reagan was president...

    Now really, is the economy all that bad? Well, of course it could be better and here is why. Though we have had extraordinary growth over the past couple years, there are several factors, mostly contributed by the federal government, that has prohibited the economy from further healthier growth. Every year, The Heritage Foundation, a public policy think tank in Washington D.C., releases a yearly "Index of Economic Freedom" that judges the productivity and freedom of each country's economy based on several factors such as fiscal burden, trade policy, government intervention, monetary policy, regulation, and others. Each country receives a ranking based on the average of those factors. Last year, the U.S. stood at #12, the first time ever it has slipped out of the top 10. Luckily, the U.S. has slid back in the top 10 at #9, but a few of its scores are a bit alarming.

    According to the report the United States has a high fiscal burden of 3.9 on a 5.0 scale (1.0 being the low, 5.0 being high), because that the top federal tax rate is 35 percent. Sadly that is just .2 points lower than our pseudo-socialist French amis, who came in the #44 spot. The U.S. also scored a 2.0 on regulation, which may seem low, but even a bit over-regulation can have siginificant economic implications, which usually result in bad outcomes. From the report:

    The U.S. labor market is one of the world's most flexible. Regulations are applied evenly and consistently. However, many regulations—for example, the Americans with Disabilities Act, various civil rights regulations, environmental laws, health and product safety standards, food and drug labeling requirements, and Sarbanes–Oxley—although well-intentioned, can be onerous. In February 2005, the government approved the Class Action Fairness Act, a bill aimed at reducing the costs that businesses face from class-action lawsuits.


    Overall, the Heritage Foundation found the U.S. to be

    The U.S. has continued a leadership role in free trade with eight ratified free trade agreements, another signed agreement, and ongoing negotiations with other countries. However, continued use of the "anti-dumping" Byrd Amendment, combined with anti-China rhetoric, indicates an ongoing protectionist mindset.


    Despite a high fiscal burden and some over regulation, the economy is strong. It is not fault of the Bush administration that the country has high taxes and is at times overly regulated. It is the fault of past administrations (won't name any names). In fact, Bush has made great efforts to simplify the tax code and lower the tax burden, as well as de-regulate the economy and let the private sector, especially consumers, drive the economy toward success.

    Result? More jobs, a stronger Dow, business optimism, economic prosperity.

    Side bar links

    Links should be working now. If anyone has problems, let me know mu-cerebellum@gmail.com

    And many, many condolances to the Warrior staffer who's house has been egged (again).

    Sunday, February 12, 2006

    More intolerance on campus

    Note on some links...

    Some of our links on the right side are not working, but we will fix them shortly :) Sorry to any of you who wanted to look at these sites...all three of us are new to blogging and we are doing our best to learn quickly!

    Saturday, February 11, 2006

    MU Cerebellum: Recognized by McAdams

    MU Cerebellum is very honored to be recognized by the MU Warrior blog. Professor John McAdams, the blog's creator, exalts MU Cerebellum by saying, "...this one bears watching."

    So, on behalf of Ego, Super Ego, and myself; thank you, Prof. McAdams. Your acclamation is very flattering.

    Friday, February 10, 2006

    Catholic? Exclusive? Au contraire...

    I have received some comments about my last post about the GSA. Maybe this will clarify.

    I think the Catholic Church gets a lot of flack for being "behind the times" or "out of touch with reality," therefore it is hard to relate to and it is exclusive. The Church is hard to relate to and really only exclusive to those who do not agree with the Church's stance on a matter. Anyone can join the Church formally through baptism, but that only makes him or her Catholic-in-Name-Only. To be a good, true Catholic, one must follow what the Church holds as its stances. Like I said before, this is a matter of choice. You can choose to desert viewpoints conflicting with the Church's teachings so you can call yourself a Catholic or keep them and not call yourself a Catholic.

    In another attempt to illustrate what I mean, here is an example. Let's say you affiliate with a political party. If you am going to claim you are pro-life, pro-Iraq War, pro-tax cuts, anti-tariff, etc. you probably would not call yourself a Democrat; you would call yourself a Republican. Let's say the political parties make ideological shifts in which the Democrats all of a sudden take on the more conservative/classic liberal views you hold and the Republicans take on the more American liberal/leftist views. It would be ridiculous for you to still call yourself a Republican if the party’s ideological views of the party do not match. You would probably switch parties, or just disassociate yourself.

    Maybe you would lament that the Republican Party has deserted the views you hold so dear; heck, you might even write to the National Party complaining about it. But if you do not believe in the party's platform, you wouldn't call yourself a Republican.

    And you probably wouldn’t call it exclusive either because there is another major party and several independent parties. This may be a round-about way of making my main point, but I hope it demonstrates it adequately. There is no sense in calling yourself one thing, whether it comes to politics, religion, etc., when you really do not believe in what it stands for. And the Catholic Church is not the only religious establishment out there. If you don’t agree with it, why stay?

    I am glad a commenter made a point of saying of how one joins the Church and stressed the importance of the community because that is a major point I missed. But there is no point in Catechism if it is not a necessity for Catholics to follow it.

    If someone calls him or herself a Catholic even if he or she is pro-gay marriage (or anything else that conflicts with the Church's stance) why would he or she still want “be” Catholic? A choice has to be made – judging whether one’s allegiance to the Church and its teaching as more important than one’s personal views about certain issues. The Church never tells people what to think unless they decide to be members of the Church. If they want to call themselves Catholic, then they must follow and defend Church teaching. If they do not want to do either, then they do not have to stay Catholic.

    If those people would rather stay true to their personal views than to the Church, that does not make them a bad person. That just doesn’t make them a Catholic. And that does not give the real Catholics right to reject those people as people, but as calling themselves Catholics. Loving and accepting people for who they are, whether or not they agree with them, is not just a Catholic ideal, but also a general Christian one. And it also should be one that all people hold no matter which religion they subscribe to, or even if they affiliate with one at all.

    This is really just basic common sense. Or so I thought.

    Wednesday, February 08, 2006

    Can I be in the Catholic Club too?

    I hope MU-Cerebellum doesn't get lost in hustle and bustle of the Marquette blogosphere. I am sure many other organizations feel that at one point or another. So to give other blogs some exposure, the Gay-Straight Alliance blog has a few interesting things to say. I don't know how I found it because I am not involved with that organization, but I was on Facebook and stumbled across the GSA facebook group and discovered its blog. I took a peek and found something that is pretty relevant to the spirit of Mission Week. Is Catholicism really an exclusive club?

    Jason Brent, Secretary of GSA, surely thinks it is. In his February 7th post on the GSA Blog he commented about how two people wrote viewpoints responding against Robert Graf's anti-ROTC article because he said they meant, "if Marquette were truly sticking to Catholic teachings, GSA would not be allowed on campus."

    Here is where Jason makes the kicker:

    The fact is we [GSA] do belong at Marquette University. Real Catholic teaching is not that Catholicism is some exclusive club where only those who strictly follow the Catechism and what the bishops say are allowed to join. It is everybody. Don't let anyone tell you something different.

    Hmmm...

    So, Jason, if strictly following the Catechism is not real Catholic teaching or being a true Catholic, then what is ? Is it following the Koran? Adding ERA statements to the appendix of the Bible?

    Since Jason's "it is everybody" statement is poorly grammatically structured, I will try to interpret and clarify what he means. I think Jason is trying to say that Catholics who strictly follow the Catechism are exclusive (gasp!), and instead encourage others to disregard it and so the Church can just let everyone - even if those people's lifestyles and political activism goes directly against what the Church teaches. Well, Catholicism DOES let "everybody" in so as long as those people follow the Catechism and do what the bishops say (and actually really comes down to what the Pope says). If you don't follow the Cathechism and Church teaching, you aren't Catholic. That doesn't make you a bad person necessarily, you just aren't Catholic.

    Being a Catholic or qualifying yourself to call yourself one, in principle, is like being in any other "club" or qualifying for a specific program. For example, to qualify to be on Marquette Student Government, I'm sure you have to have a certain GPA, good standing with the University, etc. Or to qualify to receive Social Security you would have to be a certain age, among other factors.

    The difference with Catholicism is that qualification depends a lot more on choice. To be Catholic, there is no qualification as far as your age, social standing, academic standing, race, etc. However, a choice to follow Church teaching to the highest of one's ability is the only requirement to be Catholic. The Catholic "club" is exclusive only in the perspective of those who do not agree with the Church's stance.

    If you don't agree with the Catholic Church on such a hot button issue such as homosexuality, then don't be Catholic? People who are not a part of MUSG don't list it under their "clubs and jobs" section of their Facebook profiles. People don't tell others they collect Social Security if they don't receive a Social Security check in the mail. Not only is it just not cool, it's just common sense.

    But those who do not follow Catholic teaching still claim to be an call themselves Catholic. Worse yet, they call the entire Church to change just because it goes against what they stand for. If the members of GSA and their sympathizers don't agree with the Church's stance on homosexuality, then why be Catholic? Is it the name "Catholic" so appealing or is it the fact that they cannot come to terms with the fact they are out of mainstream Catholic thought? Could someone please tell me?

    Stations of the Cross = a "more Catholic" Mission Week

    The guys and gal over at Gop3.com and MU-Cerebellum's Id seem confused about the Stations of the Cross in their recent posts… perhaps I can continue the conversation and clarify things for them.

    For those who haven't seen the display yet, the Marquette Tribune ran a large photo of one of the 15 crosses on yesterday's front page. These crosses went up this past weekend, just in time for Mission Week.

    Mission Week is intended to celebrate Marquette's Catholic identity. If one will recall, last year's Mission Week was hardly “Catholic.” The keynote speaker led rallies against the Catholic Church and fought Catholic teachings regarding homosexuality and women in the priesthood. His anti-Catholic activism was so apparent that his invitation to campus even persuaded four students to publish a Viewpoint condemning his appearance in the Marquette Tribune.

    If we fast forward to this year's Mission Week, the Viewpoints page and blogs are singing a different tune... it seems as though the stations of the cross, which I believe are representative of a “more Catholic” Mission Week for this year, are almost “too Catholic” for some people. Yesterday, Assistant Professor of Theology Rev. Thomas Hughson wrote in the Marquette Tribune's Viewpoints page that “ the mall crosses, whatever significant secondary purpose they are meant to serve, are intrusive.” Earlier today, MU-Cerebellum's very own Id said she thinks the crosses infringe upon one's “freedom of thought.” She supported Gop3.com's Justin Phillips in his ill feelings towards the display and then she wished there was a forum for discussion would be held for students about the symbolic meaning of stations!

    Is it just me, or are these folks complaining about a Catholic school acting... Catholic!?

    Considering how non-Catholic last year's Mission Week was, I for one was grateful to see these Stations of the Cross up in time for the seven days in which Marquette should revel in its Catholicism. Granted, they are progressive in nature, it's quite the improvement from last year's hardly Catholic activities.

    Because Marquette is a private school, it should not be afraid to create expressions of faith- especially during one of its more prominent weeks of the year. Our school doesn't have to hide under the guise of “freedom of religion” that others have warped into “freedom FROM religion.”

    Rather than dismiss the stations, I am embracing them as an indicator that Marquette has not lost its Catholic identity and is taking strides to continue to differentiate itself from non-Catholic schools… (and for that matter, even other “Catholic” schools that sometimes forget to act that way.)

    Nobody is forcing you to go to the Stations of the Cross meditation, Id. No one is even forcing you to like them. But don't suppress someone else's expression of faith because you are uncomfortable… that's what public schools are for.

    Justin Phillips is right

    I've been reading through gop3.com for awhile now and I find that I have a lot of the same ideals and positions as one of the newest members, Justin Phillips. Recently, the other new addition, Allison Herre, posted about the Stations of the Cross that suddenly emerged on campus. In a comment, Justin said that,
    But in this case, these stations, being as progressive as they are, don't even look like the Classic depiction of stations, considering they don't even have a picture of Jesus.

    Case in point: in Lalumiere Language Hall, the eighth Station is a mirror hung on one of the bulky wooden crosses. For a Station about Jesus meeting the women of Jerusalem, what purpose does a mirror hold?

    These Stations, though not completely offensive, do infringe upon students' rights to freedom of thought. They are so apparent as you walk through campus that even the most absent-minded student can't help but think on them. If the university were to open a forum where symbolic meaning of the Stations could be discussed, then that would allow students to choose whether or not they want to reflect on the Stations of the Cross, which, in my semi-libertarian mind, would be a better option.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Status of The Warrior

    Last issue people speculated that The Warrior was loosing readership. I think, nay, I know they are wrong. The Warrior has inceased in output and, despite some minor inconsistencies, it is stronger than ever. Nice work with the color, guys. Major props for that.

    Content this issue seems to have increased as well. Although the Valentine's Day ad is rather tacky, The Warrior definitely has fewer ads than that other campus paper. Why this may be I am not sure; I guess you need to be on staff for one of the papers to know.

    I am rather confused by the beer articles they've been running. Alcohol seems a tad off-color for a conservative paper, but this is a college campus, so I shouldn't be so surprised, should I?

    One last note (and I'm sure my compatriots, Ego and Super Ego, will have some notes as well), I thoroughly enjoy the fact that The Warrior has a techie column. Not only does that other campus paper lack anything substantial in the area of technology, but The Warrior's tech columnist really explains the ins and outs of computers in a way that computer illiterates (such as myself) can understand.

    So, thank you Warriors for another great issue, and keep up the good work.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Warrior

    The newest edition of The Warrior news publication is being distributed today! Commentary on this issue will be coming soon, but in the meantime we encourage you to check it out at: http://www.thewarrior.org/

    Don't forget to check the ad we took out on the Arts and Entertainment page!

    Bush knocked it out of the ballpark

    In reaction to President George W. Bush's State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening, newly elected Governor of Virginia Tim Kaine said, "There is a better way" to govern and lead the United States.

    Now, I cannot keep track of all the Democrats' "rebuttals" whenever the President speaks, but to me, Kaine's statements gets me thinking. Democrats are defeatists, and Kaine's statement certainly reflects that. Saying that "there is a better way" to govern insinuates that Kaine is giving some credit to the Bush administration's agenda for our country. He may not realize that, but it certainly comes off that way. This shows how the Democrats really cannot win. "There's a better way." Kind of a cop out answer if you ask me. Using convoluted, ambigious statements about the power of government to do good and national collectivism, he really just restated the liberal ideology that so many Americans resent, but just don't always realize it.

    Kaine makes further (misguided) statements about the condition of our economy, the situation in Iraq, etc. in the Fox News report on the Democrats' rebuttal to the President, but his generic and hollow response shows that Bush's address did its job: it left Democrats dumbfounded. So what is this "better way"? Rep. Murtha already suggested that the U.S. pulls out its troops immediately, and that wasn't too popular. We could try to find alternative sources of energy to power our homes and businesses, but, oh wait, Bush already suggested that. The Democrats, since Bush took office, has said in a zillion different ways that there is a "better way," but never gives a better solution, or even a solution at that. Their self-defeating approach to counter the Republicans and the President by asserting an opinion with nothing to back it up is another good reason to call them "Defeatocrats."

    President Bush was firm and resolute in his speech, employing factual information and invoking his principles. He made proposals difficult for Democrats to resist especially on his energy policy. He was very bi-partisan, appropriate, and succinct. Though he has had other speeches more stimulating and motivating, the steady structure, tone, and delivery of his speech resonates with his steadfast and principled leadership.

    On a lighter note, who else thought it was awesome he made a jab at Hillary? Her expression: priceless.