• 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 […]

  • Letter to the Editor: All Students Should Pitch in with Haiti Relief Efforts

    Editorials February 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm Comments are Disabled

    The George Mason University Student Government is preparing for a major Haiti Disaster Relief effort starting Feb. 8. Students, faculty and staff will be able to help through donations throughout the Fairfax campus and online. There will be three ways to make a contribution. First, collection containers will be set up at certain locations on the Fairfax campus to collect donations. Second, those with meal plans will also be able to donate their meal plans directly to those in need. Lastly, Mason will collaborate with a soon to be announced partner and host an online drive. On Tuesday, Jan. 12, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti and caused massive damage to one of the world’s poorest nations. Estimates claim up to 200,000 people might have died in the disaster. There have been at least 50 aftershocks with magnitudes 4.5 or greater, which have further caused destruction in the country. Over 1 billion in international aid has been pledged to help rebuild the struggling country, but more is needed. The capital, Port-au-Prince, must be rebuilt and hundreds of thousands transplanted to other parts of the island to enable successful recovery. Reports state that up to 1.5 million Haitians are homeless, their […]

  • Letter to the Editor: Board of Visitors Attempts to Deal with State Budget Cuts

    Editorials February 2, 2010 at 7:12 pm Comments are Disabled

    This Wednesday at the most recent Board of Visitors meeting, one issue stood out above the rest that were discussed: the budget. It is no secret that the proposed plan by former Gov. Tim Kaine may not be pleasing to many Virginia residents. Education was among the top areas that has taken a significant hit. George Mason University’s budget has been cut several times over the last few years. This has left the Board and the administration with the difficult task of working to decrease the potential financial shortcomings. As the entire Board assembled for the afternoon portion of the meeting, Dr. Alan Merten gave his customary President’s Report on the university to the Board. He began by saying that the leadership at Mason is what has brought the young institution to the heights it has quickly reached, and I cannot help but agree. While President Merten was not referring to himself, few students probably realize the amazing job he has done with regard to fundraising during his tenure at the university. President Merten regularly meets with political leaders from all over the state to continue to keep Mason and its strong programs fresh in their minds. With help from […]

  • 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 […]

  • College: Worth the Risk? Debt with a College Degree

    Editorials January 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm Comments are Disabled

    Justin Lalputan, Staff Writer I sat down on Saturday night with my father the week before spring semester and we weighed our options for sending me back to college. My total bill came up to $8,012, not including books. We looked at our bank accounts and decided that the best option would be to take out a loan, and my father jokingly told me, “You better get a good job and pay this back.” I laughed, but his words echoed in my head, and they haven’t left yet, because, honestly, there is no guarantee that I will be able to pay off this loan anytime soon. Let’s say that each semester I borrow $8,000. I’m a freshman, so by the time I’m finished with my senior year, I will be $56,000 in debt, not including interest. Then I have to get a job and start paying off the mountain of debt in front of me, while handling bills and other everyday necessities. This is a pretty extreme example – obviously I can work off some of my debt while I’m in college, but unless I win the lottery, I’m going to be faced with a large amount of debt in […]

  • 'Climategate' Shows Hypocrisy: Is Global Warming Evidence Mostly Fabricated?

    Editorials January 22, 2010 at 12:07 pm 6 comments

    Alan Moore, Broadside Correspondent In November 2009, the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climate Research Unit (CRU) was caught red-handed fabricating data on climate change. Phil Jones, the head of the CRU, which purportedly consists of some of the pre-eminent climatologists in the world, has resigned in shame. Michael Mann, a Penn State University climatologist who is also at the heart of this collusion, is under investigation. This false data was used by climatologists all over the world to justify anthropogenic, or caused by man, global warming. The ramifications of this scandal, unimaginatively dubbed, “climategate” by the press, have sent shockwaves through the debate on climate change. On the same front, NASA is being sued for allegedly manufacturing data on anthropogenic global warming after officially changing their opinion of 1934 being the hottest year on record to 1998 without providing a shred of evidence. The effects of this travesty are reaching all corners of the globe. India is refusing to go forward with spending their time and treasure to combat this falsehood. Australia has stood against the eco-radical agenda by shooting down a climate change bill similar to the cap-and-trade monstrosity currently being considered in Congress. And absolutely nothing binding […]

  • It's Never about the Weather- Anandraj Singh

    Editorials January 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm 1 comment

    It’s Never about the Weather WORD COUNT 1127 BY: ANANDRAJ SINGH Discussing anything even remotely related to climate change these days is a frustrating endeavor. If it’s not someone shouting “the weather’s getting colder, so what the scientists say must be wrong!” or “It’s all just a conspiracy!” or some other epitaph of hatred, it’s always a question about what one can do and how things are either being done out of proportion or not being done enough. The lack of consensus on the issue alone is a sore selling point – as is the frustrating branding and marketing of it by both those against and for it. Those against it rail that it’s a conspiracy, those that are for it either focus too much on condemning the former group or not enough time to properly explain it to the common man. What both groups fail to realize though, is that this entire affair with climate change is not about the weather. It’s not about how cold, hot, wet, dry and such it is where you are – which is kind of ironic given the name. It isn’t even about the economy or such. The entire affair boils down to […]

  • Let’s Not Forget the Frontiers, Gentlemen: The Drive for Outer Space Exploration Has Diminished

    Editorials January 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm Comments are Disabled

    Anandraj Singh, Broadside Correspondent Of the activities I took part in during the first two weeks of 2010, none were quite as depressing as watching some of the old, classic science-fiction movies, ranging from 2001: A Space Odyssey to even the Back to the Future trilogy. It’s 2010 already – why have we had so few footprints on the moon? Why is there not a single one on Mars yet? What happened to the dreams that people like Arthur C. Clarke had – dreams of being in outer space in more than just an incomplete station that will function only another five years at best, unless it gets a shot in the arm? It seems that people – not just here, but all over Earth – appear to have grown a bit sedentary when it comes to exploring beyond our tiny little ball of dirt. Sure, we have many interesting missions coming up later this decade – from the James Webb Space Telescope, to the many unmanned Mars exploration missions that are in the planning stages. However, at the end of the day one has to realize that these missions, while incredibly vital and important, are really only lip service […]

  • The 'Curse' of Haiti: Could a Deal with the Devil be the Cause of Haiti’s Catastrophes?

    Editorials January 22, 2010 at 11:56 am Comments are Disabled

    Stephanie Tran, Broadside Correspondent In the aftermath of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, many countries, including the United States, have responded with military troops, doctors and other personnel to aid the small country. However, there have also been inappropriate responses to the tragedy. According to the BBC News website, Pat Robertson, an evangelist broadcaster, said that Haiti is “cursed” due to the country’s deal with the devil to free themselves from French rule in 1803. While there is little to no truth that the country made this supernatural pact, there is, however, some truth in the idea that the country of Haiti is suffering from more than just an earthquake. A quick search on Encyclopedia Britannica reveals that even after achieving independence from France, Haiti was plagued by several misfortunes, including civil war, poverty, class issues, numerous military regimes and a widespread AIDS epidemic that still remains. Little has improved for Haiti in the 21st century: high costs of living, a weak government, rising tensions between Haitian civilians and the United Nations Stabilization Mission troops and a slow rebuilding period after the hurricanes in 2008 have all taken their toll on the small country even before the earthquake struck on Jan. 12,2010. […]