Articles by: benjamin

  • Schadenfreude: Whose Misfortune Do You Feed Upon?

    Editorials February 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm Comments are Disabled

    Stephanie Tran, Broadside Correspondent While I wouldn’t say I prescribe to any belief system in particular, I would say I like to stay away from the Seven Deadly Sins. You know the ones: pride, lust, sloth, anger, gluttony, greed and, of course, envy. Over winter break, sloth and gluttony reared their ugly heads again, but envy began to creep in too. And where envy leads, “schadenfreude,” German for, “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others” is sure to follow. It’s a little surprising that this term hasn’t popped up more in American popular culture, especially considering its insidious and already prevalent presence. No matter if another person did or did not deserve their pain, you can’t deny that sometimes you derive a little bit of smug satisfaction from his or her troubles. Feel slightly guilty about that? Too bad you probably started feeling schadenfreude way back in elementary school. The boy with the coolest sneakers just got them soaked and you feel happy? Schadenfreude. The most popular girl just tripped down the stairs and you’re feeling smug? Schadenfreude. Your despised teacher got sick for three whole weeks and you’re celebrating? Schadenfreude. But school isn’t the only place where schadenfreude shows […]

  • Secretary Clinton Vs. China: Is the United States Government Going Too Far with Foreign Google Affair?

    Editorials February 2, 2010 at 7:10 pm Comments are Disabled

    Justin Lalputan, Broadside Correspondent About two weeks ago, I heard a story about how China attempted to hack Google in order to gain access to the e-mail accounts of human rights activists, and frankly it didn’t surprise me. I have gotten used to China’s attempts to control what its people can or cannot do on the Internet, from the time the Chinese government blacked out YouTube and then moved on to block Twitter and Facebook. What did surprise me, however, was that this time around, the United States was actually berating China for its attempted hack in. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has openly attacked China for its alleged censorship, which has evoked a response from China: “Any accusation that the Chinese government participated in cyberattacks, either in an explicit or indirect way, is groundless and aims to discredit China,” said an unnamed ministry spokesman. My question is, why are we even getting involved in this? With all the crises that are currently going on in the world, the hacking of Google doesn’t seem very important, and yet the United States government seems to think it is. They’ve even gone as far as to further stress relations with a country […]

  • Are You ‘Credit Wise’? Information Every College Student Should Know

    Editorials February 2, 2010 at 7:08 pm Comments are Disabled

    Michael Foley, Broadside Correspondent As you read this, college students nationwide are irresponsibly managing their finances. Last year, the average college undergraduate carried $3,173 in credit card debt, the highest level since the data was collected in 1998. In 2004, college students had on average $2,169 in credit card debt. With college costs surging and the cost of living in the D.C. area increasing, the need for more education in personal finances needs to increase as well. As a peer educator for the Are You Credit Wise? financial literacy program, I would like to lend a few tips on how college students can better manage their money. I’ll start with the basics: credit cards. It can be your savior in an emergency or the devil in disguise. With today’s job market becoming more competitive year after year, employers are beginning to pay special attention to an applicant’s credit score to see how responsible they are at handling their finances and, in some cases, their life. Let me give you the most commonly disregarded trait about a credit card: interest rate. If you were to charge $1,000 to your credit card and only make the minimum payment each month, it will […]

  • California’s Deficit Costs the Public: Government Sanctioning Theivery

    Editorials December 1, 2009 at 7:00 pm Comments are Disabled

    Brandon Minster, Staff Writer We’ve all been there before – short on cash and short on options, but what to do? If you’re law-abiding, your options are limited to selling your plasma or getting a payday loan. Those with a freer sense of decorum have a wide variety of time-tested vices for which the public will pay handsomely. But if you really want carte-blanche, there’s no surer way to get it than being the government. As the state of California is proving, only the government gets to steal to cover its needs. According to Los Angeles Times, at the beginning of November the state increased its income tax withholding from workers’ paychecks. Most citizens would think any increase in taxes could be called a tax increase. It’s that sort of short-sightedness that keeps most citizens from a productive career in swindling, racketeering or government. Shane Goldmacher and W.J. Hennigan of Los Angeles Times write, “Technically, it’s not a tax increase, even though it may feel like one when your next paycheck arrives . . . Think of it as a forced, interest-free loan: You’ll be repaid any extra withholding in April.” Goldmacher and Hennigan are correct: That’s not a tax […]

  • New, Greener Energy Sources: A Simpleton’s Point of View on Renewables

    Editorials December 1, 2009 at 6:20 pm Comments are Disabled

    Anandraj Singh, Broadside Correspondent There are few things hazier in life right now than trying to figure out how we’re going to power the future. Faced with such a daunting task with all the issues, problems, bribes, blackmails, threats and politics that revolve around it, I really wonder how the ministers in charge of energy policies (not just in the U.S., but abroad) get time to sleep at night. Maybe they get huge piles of money? Either that or they know some very good doctors. Despite currently being a poor, unemployed student and very much in the midst of papers, it’s still difficult to sleep at night when one truly thinks about the energy situation as it currently stands. It’s not really the direness of the situation vis-à-vis climate change at all. In fact, while climate change is happening, it’s simply too large and unpredictable to really get too much in a hitch over. At the very least, you know that as long as we continue flopping around without a clue, it’ll happen. On the other hand, what is far more concerning – and at the same time, amusing – is that very act of flopping around like a fish […]

  • Oil for Blood: Energy Independence, a Major Concern for American National Security

    Editorials November 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm Comments are Disabled

    Brandon Minster Instead of watching television, which I can’t afford, I watch online clip shows that recap the socially important parts of the television programs that matter. That’s how I can have believable conversations where I say things like, “I can’t believe Kim sang ‘Don’t Be Tardy for the Party’ on The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” even though I don’t know anything about the show, Kim or the song. I’m also aware of the current status of Dancing With the Stars, thus satisfying Thomas Jefferson’s desire for a well-informed citizenry to manage the republic. Recently, as I was catching up on missed television shows, I saw Al Gore on The Daily Show, where he said, “Let’s take solar energy, just for starters. More sunlight falls on the surface of the earth in one hour than is necessary to provide the energy for the entire world for a full year.” A talking point like that is formulated to get the “that’s a crying shame” reaction. The idea is to make it seem like such a negligible suggestion that only heartless Satanists and Republicans (but wait, I already covered them with the Satanists, right?) can oppose it. I paused my browser and […]

  • Social Networking: Gone Too Far? Or Is This Just the Beginning?

    Editorials November 17, 2009 at 4:22 pm Comments are Disabled

    Justin Lalputan, Broadside Correspondent A British firm is ready to release a camera that will revolutionize social networking as we know it. Known as the SenseCam, it is worn around a person’s neck and is able to capture images every 30 seconds without manual operation, effectively allowing a person to effortlessly put every minute of their life on the Internet. Is this an example of people taking social networking too far? This leads into the general debate about social networking sites: some say that social networking can be dangerous, others argue that it is beneficial and healthy to interact with others, even saying that there are positive aspects to social networking. Now, with an item like the SenseCam, I beg the question: when is social networking taken too far? The first problem that many people have with social networking is the issue of stalking. In this day and age, many sexual deviants find their prey not by prowling the streets, but rather by prowling social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. In the Internet world, these deviants can silently search for and look at the multitude of pictures of young children and teens that are available on social networking […]

  • Practical Socialism Explained: Theoretical vs. Practical Uses In the Real World

    Editorials November 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm Comments are Disabled

    Brandon Minster, Staff Writer In P.G. Wodehouse’s Leave It to Psmith, Ronald Psmith and Even Halliday have the following exchange: “Do you mean to say you gave me somebody else’s umbrella?” “I had unfortunately omitted to bring my own out with me this morning.” “I never heard of such a thing!” “Merely practical Socialism. Other people are content to talk about the Redistribution of Property. I go out and do it.” I think of this quote often, as I move through the cocktail parties of the well-heeled set, when I am asked, “How can I tell a theoretical socialist from a practical one?” The question is a valid one. The battle between theory and practice has been around as long as man. The serpent had a theoretical take on God’s injunctions against fruit consumption. God’s take was more practical. Years later, Henry VIII renewed the conflict when he bypassed the theoretical argument of divorce with the practical solution of execution. These instances highlight the difference between theory and practice of socialism. A person can tolerate much more theory than he can practice. If I have to choose an airplane seatmate, give me the one who makes theoretical claim to the […]

  • Republican Youth Swing the Vote: McDonnell’s Win Attributed to Unrelenting Collegiates

    Editorials November 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm Comments are Disabled

    Frederick Keown, Broadside Correspondent In 1775 at St. John’s church in Richmond, Va., Patrick Henry gave his famous speech in which he proclaimed, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Now more than three centuries later, Republican Party members gathered in the Marriott hotel down the street for the November gubernatorial election. For a few tense hours, people sat in the banquet halls and stared at the televisions as districts continued to count their votes. Finally, as the clock neared nine, the residents of Virginia declared their choices. We now welcome Bob McDonnell (Governor-elect), Bill Bolling (Lt. Governor-elect) and Ken Cuccinelli (Attorney General-elect) as the Republican trio that swept this race. With this miraculous victory in a state that voted democratic for the presidential race in 2008, the Republicans announced that this election was a revolution, as was the speech by Patrick Henry. What was the action that started this revolution in Virginia? It was the active youth that refused to have their voices silenced. A great example of the determination that lead to this victory is the actions of the College Republicans of George Mason University. When watching the victory speeches of Bob McDonnell, Kristie Colorado, a freshman government […]

  • South Africa Welcomes the FIFA World Cup: The Value of Soccer on an International Stage

    Editorials November 5, 2009 at 8:35 pm Comments are Disabled

    Justin Lalputan, Broadside Correspondent There are only two sporting events in the world that cause nearly every single country to stop what they are doing to watch, and both occur every four years. One is the Olympics, which occurs during the winter and summer. The other is the FIFA World Cup. Many people, especially Americans, dismiss it as a simple soccer game, but it is far from that. The World Cup is a large-scale soccer tournament that can have effects that many world leaders wish they could conjure. When the World Cup was held in France in 1998, a French family noted the incredible change that they witnessed by saying, “The team is so different, but they are all fighting for France, and that reminds us to look at what bonds us together.” This sentiment is exactly what I am talking about. When soccer teams play for their countries, they are not playing for just one city or one area, they are playing for everyone, and that unites the entire country. The country that is hosting the World Cup this year is South Africa. It is safe to say that even though the finals have not started, the citizens are […]