Tom Friedman and Climate Change at GW

January 26, 2010

This past Thursday, January 21 2009, George Washington University hosted New York Times columnist, author, and climate change evangel, Thomas Friedman to discuss his book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded at GW’s Lisner Auditorium.

As GW Young America’s Foundation has documented earlier this academic year, our university has a scary history of attempting to indoctrinate its students with “climate change crisis.” From strongly recommending freshmen to read Friedman’s book, to hosting the environmentalist speakers, to ‘going green initiatives,” it is quite clear that there is no room for debate on this issue.

We at GW Young America’s Foundation believe that it is not the university’s role to mold students into climate change evangels, but rather to educate the student on both sides of the issues, so that the student may develop critical thinking skills and thus draw their own conclusions. Therefore, our group held a “global warming beach party in front of auditorium, to protest GW’s indoctrination attempts, and the economic impacts of cap and trade.

Man-made climate change is not a scientific fact, it may be true, it may not. Friedman admitted this during his lecture, and even said there might only be a ‘” one percent chance that man made climate change is occurring and going have catastrophic consequences.” This argument is quite frightening when considering the economic impacts of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, a.k.a. the Waxman- Markey Bill, a.k.a. Cap and Trade, which passed the House this past June but still needs to reach the Senate floor. The Heritage Foundation estimates that if the bill gets signed into law, over 400,000 manufacturing jobs will be lost, in time of nearly 10% unemployment, this is would catastrophic for our economy. We must ask ourselves is worth crippling our economy for something that there is quite possibly only a “one percent” chance of reversing? I would certainly argue no, and I assume the 1.1 million Americans who will lose their jobs by 2035 due to the implications of the bill would agree.

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is the Editor-at-Large of the GW YAF Blog.


A Problematic Resolution

January 22, 2010

The following was originally published by The GW Hatchet on 1/21/2009

Our campus, as evidenced by recent actions by the Student Association and editorials in our newspaper, has become engrossed by the latest trend in higher education: the imagined right of students to room with students of the opposite sex. If the University decides to adopt the provisions of Michael Komo’s Student Association bill and offer gender-neutral housing, the student government at GW will have decided to engage in social engineering by advocating a “test” program allowing students of the same gender to share one residence hall room.

This is problematic on both pragmatic and moral levels. Social progressives argue that gender-neutral housing is necessary for gay students who feel uncomfortable living with the same sex, just as it would be awkward for a male student to share a room with a female student. However, anyone who understands the nature of college students surely recognizes the program encourages abuse. The Nov. 16 Hatchet staff editorial recognized the potential for couples to live together, and therefore greatly abuse the program. This will result in chaos for the University’s housing program and will lead to awkward room situations for individuals not involved with the couple, the obvious consequence of which will be a flood of students begging for room changes. The solution the editorial proposed is more than na’ve, “GW Housing Programs would need to explicitly state that romantically involved individuals should not choose to live together in campus housing,” and also admitted there is no way to curb the abuses that would occur: “there may be no way to enforce such a policy.” What is the point in the University implementing a policy that is predetermined to be largely unsuccessful and filled with egregious abuse?

In terms of morality, gender-neutral housing is nothing more than another attempt by social progressives to hijack an institution of society so that it may be destroyed and resurrected around a notion of enforced equality. Such housing situations will also destroy the safe-learning environment of our residence halls and rather actively encourage a culture of promiscuity, and reject traditional moral ideas of pre-marriage living arrangements. Allied In Pride and other campus progressives are saying to students that the traditional role of sex in society is reactionary, and our new morality should reject tradition completely to achieve absolute freedom. In our post-modern age, where the decline of the family is a serious problem, there is no reason for the University to supplant our gender and moral norms with the cultural relativism that permeates our society today.

This debate, while voracious as it is, will most likely be all for naught. The same Nov. 16 issue of The Hatchet reported that Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak said the University had no current plans to introduce gender-neutral housing to the residence halls. Chernak stated that, as of now, “The concept of gender-neutral rooms for unmarried undergraduates is not under active consideration.” With a surely more conservative Board of Trustees who have to take into account donors’ and parents’ reactions to this radical policy, I wouldn’t hold my breath for the implementation of gender-neutral housing anytime soon.

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is a junior majoring in political science and the editor-at-large of the GW Young America’s Foundation Blog.


Brown’s victory another blow to an ever-encroaching state

January 20, 2010

The Following was originally published and is the sole property of The Daily Caller.

Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race last night greatly complicates the House-Senate discussions on the health care bill. However, if the House passes the bill and President Obama signs the $871 billion Senate health care overhaul into law it will be the largest expansion of federal health entitlements since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid more than four decades ago. It is expected to extend coverage to more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans.

Such a massive expansion of government’s role in our everyday lives and the adding to our already unsustainable federal entitlement programs, begs the question, do we Americans have a right to health care? It is certainly not in our political and philosophical tradition to argue yes.

Progressives and modern liberals have long argued that in the words of Barack Obama, health care “should be a right for every American.” In FDR’s 1944 State of the Union he declared that health care was on the list of economic provisions that should form a second bill of rights that would serve as a supplement to the first 10 amendments of the Constitution. Many liberals such as Roosevelt, Johnson, and now President Obama have attempted to link the right to health care, like other positive economic “rights,” to the American political tradition: a natural right of some sort, or a civil right necessary to put into effect the natural right to life or the pursuit of happiness.

Health care is certainly not a natural right in the Lockean, and thus, American political tradition. In the view of our founders who followed the philosophical thought of John Locke and his ideas of natural right and the social contract, natural rights exist prior to the formation of government. Therefore, since there is no government in the original state of nature, there cannot be a right to government supplied health care in the state of nature. Then maybe perhaps, guaranteed government health care could be regarded as necessary because of its relation to the natural right to life or the pursuit of happiness. This is problematic as well. Even if the right to life led to a government obligation to provide health care, that right would “logically be restricted to medical actions essential to preserve life, especially emergency measures.” However, doctors and other medical professionals already provide emergency treatment without any “grand declaration of rights.” In terms of the pursuit of happiness, there is no evidence that government guaranteed health care is positively correlated with happiness. For instance, 85% of Americans say they are personally happy, which ranks in at about 15th in the world in a survey of 90 countries. Countries with universal health care such as England, France, and Germany lag considerably behind the U.S. in happiness. The founders named in the Bill of Rights among other documents, the civil rights they thought necessary for the execution of natural rights. There is no way possible to establish a right to health care based on the American political tradition.

The late historian and political scientist Samuel P. Huntington once asked, “Who are We?” as he thought America is in the midst of a national identity crisis. His solution was a return to our first principles. In other words, America needs to be reminded that we still hold our founding principles to be self-evident truths. To insist upon universal government health care for every living person in America, is an attempt to change our Lockean philosophical tradition into a Rousseauian utopia. It is an attempt to supplant our republic’s key political principles. If America accepts a positive government obligation to fund health care it would lead indefinitely to a Leviathan without limits. Last night’s victory in Massachusetts will certainly help the conservative effort in the fight against an ever-encroaching state.

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is the Editor-at-Large of the GW YAF Blog.


Reid’s Bill Could Be the End of Private Insurance

January 14, 2010

The Following was originally published and is the sole property of FrumForum.com

The left blogosphere is denouncing Obamacare as a triumph for private insurers. But Robert Book of the Heritage Foundation argues that it is much more plausible the operations of the plan will extinguish the private insurance industry.

The Senate bill would force private plans to spend a minimum amount on paying medical claims and tax excessive premiums. The tax on those premiums however would not count towards the limits.

As Robert Book explains:

It would be very easy for regulators to become to develop a plan “with a minimum benefit package that is high enough (say, above $8972 in average claims) that makes it literally impossible for health plans to break even, let alone make a profit.

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is the Editor-at-Large of the GW YAF Blog.


“LGBT Studies” Goes to Far

January 14, 2010

This past Tuesday evening, January 12th, the Student Life Committee of the SA Senate voted to send two bills (SR-10-01 and SR-10-02) to the floor of the Senate for consideration, respectively advocating a gender-neutral housing program and a minor in LGBT studies.

This is more than ridiculous; it is nothing more than the progressive left attempting to use our University as a platform for forcing its agenda on the student body and in our classrooms. There is absolutely no need for a LGBT or “queer studies” minor or even discipline in the academy. Moreover, the proposal ignores other academic interests (such as naval or military science minors) that would benefit larger communities on campus whose academic needs remain unmet.

My friend and GW YAF Director of Press, Joe Naron, hit the nail on the head; “The new initiative for an “LGBT Studies minor” is nothing more than a means of political indoctrination to the homosexual agenda masquerading as an attempt at intellectual diversity.” GW and other universities around the country have been more than accommodating to gay and lesbian students, however this accommodation does not include a new academic discipline. “All of this is aimed at using colleges across the nation to reject any ideas of tradition and morality in gender and conduct and replace them with a queer narrative of society. Advocates of these bills openly admit that the reason behind these initiatives is not academic exploration of diverse topics, but an attempt at reducing discrimination.” Our university and higher education has no room for this kind of anti-intellectual, agenda driven “academic discipline.” What’s next? In keeping up with equality, should heterosexual students propose a “Straight Studies minor?” No, because it is beyond ridiculous, just as “LGBT Studies,” has no place in higher education.

Sam K. Theodosopoulos is the Editor-at-Large of the GW YAF Blog.