Archive | September, 2008

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Warriors in the classroom: Alumni return to learn Marquette students of the past come back to continue Jesuit ideal

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Katelyn Ferral

Adele, Lois and Eileen remember when Marquette students were Warriors. They remember when the GIs from World War II returned to campus. They even remember when the student Union consisted of a broken-down couch, some books and a Nesco roaster.

Much has changed since these ladies attended Marquette a few years back, but the Jesuit ideal of lifelong learning remains, and is the inspiration behind the College of Arts and Sciences’ Alumni in the Classroom program.

Currently in its tenth year, Alumni in the Classroom allows alumni who have graduated before 1964 to return to Marquette and audit classes for free. This semester there are 27 alumni taking a total of 32 classes, Tim Simmons, Chief Alumni Relations Director for Marquette’s Alumni Association said.

Participants are expected to regularly attend class and complete readings, but are not required to take tests or turn in homework. According to the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association, alumni earn no credit through the program and participants must be Arts and Sciences graduates, be comfortable with the use of computers, have a desire to learn and have an open mind.

Simmons said the program was originally a suggestion of some Arts and Sciences alumni and is unique in allowing alumni to connect with current Marquette students.
“Alumni have fond memories of their days as students,” Simmons said. “They want programs that help recreate those experiences. More importantly, they wanted a program that promotes lifelong learning, a very Jesuit concept.”

The office of Alumni Relations works directly with the College of Arts and Sciences to promote the program, register alumni for classes and conduct orientation. Participants can choose from a list of English, Foreign Language and Literature, Political Science, History and Theology courses which have extra space.
Simmons says the program has no plans for expansion.


Although Simmons says that while adjustments need to occasionally be made for participants, overall feedback from the program has been positive.

“We have received comments from faculty and students that it is good to have their perspective in classroom discussions… the experience of having older alumni in the classroom has been rewarding.,” said Simmons.  “Alumni do realize that their student counterparts are in pursuit of their degrees, and are respectful to add to, and not detract from this experience.”

 Although there have not been any major program set backs, Simmons said many alumni do find the technological adjustment challenging.
“Technology is definitely the biggest change,” Eileen Johannsen said. “Everything is so much more interactive.”

Johannsen is a 1960 graduate who studied Latin and German. Johanssen earned her Masters in 1962 and then taught high school for 23 years before starting her own software business at 50.

Johannsen said she notices how the opportunities for women have expanded on campus, and is impressed with level of awareness of students in her class.
“Students today are much more with it than I ever felt with my peers,” Johannsen said. “They’re exposed to so much more in their young lives.”
Adele Hanson agrees and is continually impressed by students’ multi-tasking abilities.

“I could never begin to be able to do what students do now. When I hear and see what they learn and produce, I’m astonished,” Hanson said.
During a time when women mostly majored in nursing or education, Hanson stood out as a female engineering student in the 1940s.
“I felt very out of place taking classes in engineering,” Hanson said. “There were only three other girls taking classes with me.”

A history course on World War II might be interesting to Hanson, as she lived through the conflict and attended Marquette when the GIs returned to classes.
Hanson said she remembers taking classes in temporary government buildings that were put up to provide room for returning GIs, who were gladly welcomed back to campus by female students.

“After going through the war years with no boys, it was fun to have them back,” Hanson said.
To help returning students complete their education quicker, Hanson said a tedious trimester system was put in place so former GIs could get their degrees in three years.
“Men coming back were serious about getting their education, and were impatient to finish,” Hanson said.

The Jesuits played an important role as spiritual and academic mentors to students after the war—and went out of their way to help the GIs new to Marquette.
“Jesuits were extremely helpful to these guys. They bent over backward to help them get through,” said Johannsen. “GIs returning often had little high school preparation, and the Jesuits really worked with them to help them finish in three years.”


Both students and professors say alumni offer unparalleled perspectives and bring a unique dynamic to class discussion.
Dr. Barrett McCormick currently hosts alumni in his Chinese Politics class and said their presence makes class discussions richer and more interesting.
“Getting students involved in a conversation about the material is an important part of my teaching strategy,” McCormick said. “Alums have had experiences that the rest of us have not yet had and might not ever have. I think we all feel fortunate to have the chance to learn a little of their wisdom.”

Arts and Sciences junior Carlos Angeles said having perspectives from older classmates set an interesting dynamic for the political science course he took last year.
“I feel that his perspective was very valuable and gave the class discussion more depth,” Angeles said. “Their opinions matter because their experience and wisdom doesn’t come by very often, which gives students more conviction to participate in class… it’s exciting to see our own Marquette alumni still engaged in the Marquette community and still interested in academia.”


Alumni in the Classroom gets a 10 all around for Lois Wakeman, a 1948 English graduate, who was a member of the first class to graduate with an elementary education focus. Wakeman has been involved with the program every semester since its inception, making this her tenth semester.

“It gets a 10 exponentially,” Wakeman said. “It’s wonderful not only to keep learning but to be back on campus. We feel very welcome here.”
Wakeman said she enjoys the variety of courses for alumni, and has taken a broad range of classes while in the program.

“Sometimes I want to learn more about a topic and other times I want to take a class on something I’ve never studied before,” Wakeman said.
The ladies said they have enjoyed every aspect of the program so far, and were surprised that the Alumni in the Classroom is relatively unknown to the Marquette community.
“I absolutely love it and plan my social calendar around class,” said Johannsen. “It’s amazing how well we’re received.”

Lois Wakeman agrees, but would like to see the program expanded to other colleges at Marquette.
“People who thought of the program deserve a pat on the back,” said Wakeman. “We wish other colleges would open up to expand so other alumni can enjoy what we’re enjoying.”
Hanson said she knows other alumni from other colleges who would participate if the program were expanded.
“It would be good for people to be able to come back and see what’s new in their fields,” Hanson said.

Tim Simmons said the relationship current students build with former ones in the classroom is a key component to the program, and encourages students to be open to interactions with their alumni counterparts.

“They [alumni] are appreciative of the opportunity and truly view our current-day students as a key element in the experience,” Simmons said.  “They like to hear the contemporary points of view, and share in the learning experience.”

Angeles said the program is something he would be interested in as an alumnus as well.
“Hopefully when I’m older, I’ll have some free time to return and take classes as well. Marquette really shows us that you’re never too old to learn.”

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Letter from the editor

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Remington Tonar

Thanks for logging on to the website of Marquette’s independent news source. Our cover story for this issue is about an awesome program that the University has, which allows older alumni to return to their Alma Mater and audit classes, helping them be the difference at every stage in their life. This program is a perfect example of how Marquette strives to offer the best for students and the community, and as such we should attempt to return the favor by always behaving in a manner that reflects the great school that we attend. On campus, or off, students need to be more conscious of their behavior, especially when intoxicated.

Also in this issue is a great point-counterpoint editorial on the recent government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a debate that anyone concerned about the unstable economy should find relevant. If you don’t know much about the nuances of this crisis, you may also want to take a look at the Finance column in the News section, where Jacob Jasperson provides some tips on how you can help keep the economy stable.

Regular readers will notice a significant change in the News section this week. Joseph Schuster, formerly The Warrior’s MUSG reporter, will no longer be writing for us in that capacity. Mr. Schuster was recently appointed to MUSG, and as such Molly Petitjean will be replacing him on the MUSG beat. On that same note, I would like to thank everyone who submitted letters to the editor in response to Joseph’s article in the previous edition of The Warrior. It is heartening to see the level of dialogue that Joseph’s articles have created, as it is this type of discourse that ultimately makes us more informed and aware students.

In addition, I would like to draw your attention to Cathleen Bury’s article on John Tefft, the United States’ ambassador to Georgia, who is a Marquette University alumnus. Cathleen was in contact with the ambassador’s office, and had scheduled an interview, which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to an emergency meeting between the ambassador and NATO representatives. The article is still very informative and definitely worth reading.

Tom Klind joins us in this issue as our Religious beat reporter and Catholic columnist. In this edition, Mr. Klind reviews and responds to the latest book by controversial professor, Dr. Daniel Maguire, who was reprimanded last year by Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan for publishing teachings contrary to established Catholic doctrine.

On a personal note, I would like to recognize Dr. Chris Miller, the new Vice President for Student Affairs, for his outstanding work at Marquette thus far. His predecessor, Father Andy Thon, was well respected and left big shoes to fill, and I am glad to see that the University hired a man capable of filling them.

Once again, thanks for visiting!

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Marquette heretic writes new book: a review of Dr. Maguire’s Whose Church?

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Thomas Klind

Professor Dr. Daniel Maguire of Marquette’s Theology Department has come out with another book on Catholic moral ethics, entitled Whose Church? A Concise Guide To Progressive Catholicism.

Dr. Maguire received his degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, has written over 150 articles for major publications and has been published twelve times.

He has also been censored by the Catholic Church via the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. In a letter responding to two pamphlets published by Dr. Maguire in July of 2006, Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan, speaking for the USCCB wrote:

“The opinions expressed in the two pamphlets enclosed…are totally at odds with clear Church teaching. Sacred Scripture, the Magisterium, and Natural Law are consistent in opposition to abortion and so-called same-sex “marriage”. You speak of your duty to dissent. Well, at least call it such. To claim that support for abortion and same-sex “marriage” is consonant with Catholic moral teaching is preposterous and disingenuous. I, too, have a duty: to teach what the Church clearly believes. Your opinion on these two matters is contrary to the faith and morals of the Church.”

In Whose Church, Dan Maguire writes Chapters called Good Sex (Even Catholics can have it), Male and Female We Were Made, War is For Dummies, and a few others. He makes some very valid points regarding Catholic social teaching, as well as on the state of social justice work in the Church nationwide. This is about as far as he goes in line with Catholic teaching. Here’s where he deviates…

According to the prologue of Whose Church?, Dr. Maguire “does not think reliance on Divine assistance [is] an adequate substitution for intellectual training and years of study.” This is probably why he is able to so quickly write off the letter from Archbishop Timothy Dolan. In fact, this direct quote from his book contradicts Canon 6 of the Council of Orange which states: “If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when we, apart from his grace…study, seek, ask, or knock, but do not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have…the strength to do all these things as we ought; he contradicts the Apostle who says, ‘What have you that you did not receive?’ (1 Cor. 4:7), and, ‘But by the grace of God I am what I am’” (1 Cor. 15:10).

Dr. Maguire is also quick to write off the works of St. Augustine in the chapter Good Sex. Maguire cites and attacks him as a, if not the, main reason for the Catholic Church’s preoccupation on “pelvic issues” (My guess is that Dr. Maguire has never heard of the books of Galatians, Romans, Corinthians or any of the other hundreds of places where circumcision is mentioned and debated). He states that Augustine’s personal views on sexuality “dug a root deep and sprouted up like a kudzu vine,” implying that Augustine’s theology is the reason for the Catholic Church’s preoccupation on the destructive attributes of sexuality.

Another tenured Professor in Marquette’s Theology Department says this of Dr. Maguire’s statements on Augustine: “scholars who claim [this] are simply wrong; Augustine is simply not anti-sex or anti-woman. In fact, Augustine is ahead of his time stating that the female body is a gift from God, a good gift.” Yet another of Marquette’s tenured Theology professors states of Augustine, “he holds a special place in the history of Christianity, and for good reason, he was a genius.” According to this professor, the Eastern Church develops entirely without the influence of St. Augustine into the 13th century, when his works are translated into the Greek for the first time. It is Dr. Maguire’s contention that Augustine is the reason for the Catholic Church’s preoccupation with pelvic issues. This, however, does not explain the even more rigid sexual teachings of the many Eastern Orthodox churches prior to the 13th century. Perhaps this does lend credence to divine intervention?

One of Dr. Maguire’s main points in a radio interview on NPR regarding his new book is “there are saints who have supported abortion, there are saints who have been homosexual.” This, to Dr. Maguire, justifies a Catholic stance for pro-abortion and pro-homosexual marriage. Dr. Maguire fails to mention that those saints who supported early term abortions had an entirely different concept of when life begins, based on their limited knowledge of biology. He also fails to admit that the Catholic Church has saints who have killed, been sexual deviants, thieves and poor husbands. Because there were saints who committed such acts at one point in their life, according to Maguire’s standard there must also be a Catholic stance that is pro-murder, pro-sexual deviancy, and pro-carjacking. Interestingly enough, Maguire does assert that there is a viable Catholic pro-choice stance, which combines two of the three previously mentioned unthinkable acts, you decide which two.

Dr. Maguire also concludes (without the help of the Holy Spirit, as he has already stated that it is an unnecessary hindrance to Theology) that the Roman Catholic position on an all male clergy is only explained by “indentured hatred of women, sexism in full bloom” (31).

He again fails to overlook the overwhelming Biblical reasons, as well as Church Tradition (with a capital T), that lend themselves to this teaching. After reading this book, I have decided that Dr. Maguire has neither intellectual ground, nor the “Divine intervention” that he so readily writes off, to stand on. On what then does he stand?

Dr. Maguire iterates his stance in Whose Church?, as he did on National Public Radio when he said that “one has to distinguish between Vatican Theology and Catholic Theology. Vatican Theology is very narrow, based on very few experts”. And who are these experts?

To Dr. Maguire, Vatican Theology “ignores such views as those of Catholic philosophers Daniel Dombrowski and Robert Deltete of Jesuit Seattle University” (18). These “experts” that Maguire says we should be consulting are those who see the “literal Virgin birth of Jesus as metaphoric.” So, the experts that we should be listening to are those who deny basic doctrines of Christianity; some experts.

Just to recap this for you, in case you’re as confused as I. Dr. Maguire writes off the intervention of the Divine, dislikes the viewpoints of St. Augustine, disagrees completely with 257 Catholic Bishops and Archbishops, and follows the advice of scholars who don’t believe in the Virgin birth. Excuse me for deferring to the teachings of St. Augustine while Mr. Dombrowski and Mr. Deltete in Seattle wait to see if they are canonized.

After weighing the positives and negatives of keeping Whose Church? on my shelf next to copies of Aquinas’ Concise Summa and Augustine’s Confessions, I’ve decided that it might make for better kindling than reading. Maybe a better name for the book could be Whose Fire? A Concise Guide to Progressive Atheism. Whose Church? Definitely not mine.

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YES – Should the government bailout mortgage companies?

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Jason Ardanowski

Marquette students should celebrate the government-funded bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and lately AIG. The bold and forceful action of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, acting as economic czar for the Bush administration, allows our parents to keep giving us money for a little while longer.

I will not deny that the ham-fisted policies of the Bush administration got the United States into this mess. But, as the Berenstein Bears said, “It’s never too late to correct a mistake.” The consequences of doing nothing – millions of students unable to repay their loans, scores of banks unable to redeem depositors’ withdrawals – can never be underestimated.

The more interesting question before financial markets is not “Why?” but “What next?” Economics students understand the concept of moral hazard. Fannie and Freddie last week and AIG this week got so big that the government had to bail them out or risk chaos. But the expectation of being bailed out if the water got too hot encouraged firms’ executives to place risky bets that failed shareholders and the public interest writ large. How the incoming Obama or McCain administration deals with the moral hazard topic will be one of their sternest economic policy tests. Stabilizing the plummeting value of the dollar in international currency markets is not far behind.

It runs counter to the Warrior’s core principles to have the federal government owning major lending and insurance companies, except in desperate moments when a ripple effect of failure could infect the global financial infrastructure, wiping out hard-working Americans’ life savings. Now that Uncle Sam has taken a heavy burden onto his shoulders, we need to demand transparent federal procedures for the rehabilitation of wounded and bankrupted firms. Paul Volcker, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, has suggested a second Resolution Trust Corporation (the agency that un-raveled the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s). Volcker’s plan is wise even though it raises the question, “Who will regulate the regulators?”
Philosophical speculations on these questions are necessary and important in the long term. Now, though, is time to act quickly.

The intricacies of financial markets may not touch the day-to-day lives of most Marquette students, but a financial panic leading into a systemic depression would certainly hurt all of us in the MU community. Prompt action by the federal government has averted this horror. As Halloween draws near, we hope that the horrors before us are limited to the make-believe world.

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NO – Should the government bailout mortgage companies?

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Austin Wozniak

Congratulations. You have gotten a job, earned some money, paid some taxes and are now supporting hundreds of people who are living beyond their means. Recent events in the past few weeks have brought the long discussed ‘credit crises’ to a boiling point. The events of the past week clearly indicate a major reform and overhaul of Wall Street and the Investment Banking Industry;, it is not the taxpayers’ responsibility to bail out banks that took too large a risk in lending, or borrowers who took loans they cannot afford.

The sub-prime mortgages – loans made to people who can’t quite afford to repay them – have been bundled together and sold as asset backed securities in the form of CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligations) and SIVs (Structured Investment Vehicles). Large investment banks have been turning a profit on these CDOs and SIVs for years because mortgages are a comparatively safe bet. Sure, a mortgage will fail here and there, but the equity in the loan and the value of the foreclosed asset ensures that losses are small and most people manage to avoid defaulting on their mortgages. The problem began when banks made poor lending decisions, offering loans to people who could not pay them back, banking on the fact that if they defaulted, the foreclosed home’s value would recoup the bank’s losses. The problems were compounded when, because of lacking regulation, they were able to bundle these sub-prime mortgages with prime mortgages and sell the whole lot of them in SIV’s and CDO’s rated as ‘AAA’ (The highest rating). No one can now tell how many bad loans are in the SIV’s in which they have invested. Imagine buying barrels of oil that you are told may contain a little bit of water – the catch is you won’t know how much water is in the barrel until you buy it and open it up. It could be 20% water, or it could be 80%, and there is no way to tell in advance, you just may end up with a worthless barrel of oil.

The problem continued when people began to default on the mortgages, driving up interest rates and abruptly halting the housing boom, lowering the value of homes as the supply of buyers evaporated. Now, the house the bank forecloses on and the equity in the loan is insufficient to cover the amount of the loan the bank initially made, and losses begin to pile up. The large investment banks around the world are now stuck with trillions of dollars in SIV’s that may not be worth the paper they are printed on. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae owned approximately half the mortgages (approximately $5,000,000,000,000) in the US and faced collapse if the government did not bail it out. If Freddie and Fannie did not get a bailout then the banks that made the initial loans would almost certainly fail, causing runs on banks and most likely a depression. The investment banks insured their investments with companies like AIG, who easily possessed the capital to shield the bank from the expected number of defaults but did not anticipate the immense number of claims they received, bringing it to the brink of collapse as well. Because the underwriting behind their investments is worthless, the bank is fully exposed to all of the losses and faces collapse.

What it all boils down to is that companies like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (public companies operating for profit) were allowed to take too much risk and hold the Federal Government hostage for a bailout because the alternative would be to risk a depression and catastrophic failure of the banking industry. The government has now used your money to cover the backsides of people who royally messed up and have escaped the normal market consequences of such a failure. It is illogical that the government should be responsible for the health of private financial institutions outside of its control. The government should get out of the loan guarantee business as soon as is now feasible and establish regulations that control the following: A.) create concrete lending guidelines to prevent sub-prime mortgages in the future. B.) Stop public funding for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. It is a conflict of interest for a publically backed company to operate for profit and the government doesn’t belong in the industry. C.) Regulate the bundling of CDO’s and SIV’s so that the risk associated with each SIV is uniform and easily discernable. D.) Create guidelines for companies that established a ceiling for the risk institutions take if their survival is crucial to the well being of the United States. E.) After the situation is stabilized, stop making bailouts to non-essential businesses immediately and allow the market to right itself. F.) Hold accountable executives who make greedy decisions that undermine the US economy and screw their shareholders and fellow taxpayers.

You and I have many needs the government must help to provide: defense, education and affordable health care to name a few. Underwriting Joe Smith’s mortgage in Fargo, North Dakota and giving $85 Billion to an insurance company that underwrote more risk than it can afford is not something the government is obliged to do. No matter what happens in the next few weeks, you can be assured there will be inflation, higher taxes and a burden on you and your fellow Americans for years to come because of the events of the past couple years. It is time that companies faced the music for their decisions, and part of getting this second chance means making right what they did wrong in the first place. They should pay back the American people and the American people should not be saddled with their mistakes in the future.

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Thank you General Petraeus

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Robert Christensen

“Darkness had descended on this land,” said Defense Secretary Dr. Robert Gates. “Merchants of chaos were gaining strength. Death was commonplace,” and people around the world were wondering whether any Iraq strategy would work. 30,000 more troops and nineteen months later, this question has been answered. “Slowly, but inexorably, the tide began to turn,” said Gates. “Our enemies took a fearsome beating they will not soon forget.”

On Tuesday September 17th General Petraeus, commander of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq, handed control over to his former deputy, General Ray Ordierno. Ordierno will take control of a region vastly different than it was nineteen months ago. While much work remains to be done, much has been accomplished. In February 2007 the country was engulfed in sectarian violence with little promise to improve. Currently violence in Iraq has fallen to a four-year low, something analysts have attributed to Petraeus’s innovative counterinsurgency strategies. Iraqi security forces have grown in number allowing the United States to begin modest troop withdrawals. Local governance and infrastructure has flourished giving small businesses the opportunity to open and expand. All of these positive details are rarely mentioned due to election coverage which focuses more on lipstick than actual issues and constant complaints about a poor economy. Neither the candidates nor the newspapers are discussing Iraq at length because everything has been going so well, making it virtually a non-issue in this election.

Regardless of whether or not you agreed with the decision to go to war or with the decision to initiate the surge both General Petraeus and our troops have done a tremendous job and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their service. They have given the Iraqis and their government the opportunity to build their nation which will hopefully continue improving in the years to come. General Petraeus’s next assignment will be commander of U.S. Central Command where he will oversee operations throughout the Middle East including Afghanistan where violence is on the rise.

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National deficit: it’s not fat, it’s husky

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Carl Mueller

According to polls, the economy has become the single most important issue in the upcoming Presidential election. Calling economics a single issue is as insightful as saying the most important factor in the War on Terror is “strategery,” but due to media coverage of today’s horse race politics, oversimplification has become the norm. The War on Terror has increased the budget deficit to record levels, the price of oil and other commodities have greatly risen, the housing market continues to be stagnant at best, and to add to an already floundering financial market Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, AIG received an enormous federal bail-out, and Merrill Lynch has been bought out. All of these things are part of an ever-growing economic crisis within America that has finally overtaken the American voter’s concern over which candidate would be the better companion for a pint of pale ale. The part of the economy that should concern the students of Marquette over all others is one that did not make it into the speeches of Presidential hopefuls at the DNC or the RNC. The largest problem facing American college students is one that might encourage them to take more than the required amount of foreign language: the growing national deficit.

As a reflection of the overall concern with the single issue of American economics, the University recently hosted an economics conference as part of a series called “The Way Forward.” Two speakers, Dr. Kevin G. Quinn and Dr. Abdur Chowdhury, spoke about various economic problems of today focusing largely on the current economic crisis, labor market, economic incentives, and need for environmentally friendly energy reform. They spoke in favor of more funding for post-secondary education and incentives for innovation, but overall stressed the need to look to the future and consider the growing problem of the American deficit when making policies meant to fix the American economy.

Many economists have deemed the recent takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae as necessary but also as setting a bad precedent for other corporations in the American economy. As exemplified by the loan given to AIG as a bail out at taxpayers’ expense, our government has had to bail out major corporations to prevent near economic disaster. These interventions allow corporations to engage in risky business practices while assuming that the government and thus the taxpayers have their backs. While both Presidential candidates have indicated that they have solutions to these problems, what really applies to students is whether or not their economic policies will keep the deficit small enough to ensure that America has the actual financial ability to bail out our mortgage markets in the future if necessary. As our nation sinks further into debt every day and as we lose more and more of our financial institutions, America becomes a less attractive place to invest. Without investors, America will lose the funding needed to continue bailing out domestic financial interests, as well as the consumer confidence keeping the economy afloat.

Instead of focusing on the economic merits or drawbacks of economic bailout policies, what truly must be focused on is the nation’s ability to maintain itself fiscally in the future. John McCain said in his GOP Presidential nomination acceptance speech that he will not be “leaving our problems for some unluckier generation to fix,” but he failed to specify exactly what that meant. Did he mean he will slow down entitlement spending so that future Americans will be able to receive educational loans to keep America’s post-secondary education system running and accessible to a large portion of the population, for example? Hopefully he meant that he will be willing to run this country responsibly in terms of keeping tax rates low enough so that the American economy can continue to function. The current levels of debt accumulation in this nation are not sustainable, as the Marquette community heard from the visiting panelists from “The Way Forward.” The current students of Marquette and all students nationwide will be paying the costs America is currently incurring. Issues of national security and the varying aspects of the economic crisis may seem poignant in the presidential race leading up to November, but students today should be most concerned with the issue of the national deficit.

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MU Graduate John Teffts promotes justice as the current UN Ambassador to Georgia

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Cathleen Bury

Across the globe, Marquette graduates are making important contributions to the world around us. Far away in the Asian nation of Georgia, Marquette alumnus John Tefft is currently serving as the United States Ambassador. As the ambassador to a foreign nation, Tefft acts as the personal representative of the President of the United States. Promoting United States foreign policy in Georgia, ensuring all United States Embassy work follows that policy, and educating the government in Washington on Georgian issues are all part of Ambassador Tefft’s position.

Tefft’s career began when he graduated from Marquette with a bachelors degree, and went on to earn a master’s degree in history from Georgetown University. His career in Foreign Services began in 1972, and he has since served in numerous posts around the world. Tefft was not new to his role as ambassador when he was appointed to Georgia. Prior to his July 2004 appointment, he had served the United States for three years as Ambassador to Lithuania. Before his service as Lithuanian Ambassador, he spent extensive time serving the United States in Europe and Asia. Tefft witnessed the breakdown of the Soviet Union while employed as the United States’ Deputy Director of the Office of Soviet Union Affairs. Afterwards, he continued to work in Russia as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Tefft’s extensive knowledge of Russia became increasingly important this past August, when fighting broke out between Georgian and Russian troops in the disputed Georgian territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The majority of international governing bodies, including NATO and the European Union, consider both South Ossetia and Abkhazia to be within Georgian territory. However, the territories have been defiant to Georgian rule since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and both regions are recognized as independent states by Russia and Nicaragua. Though Russia has recently signed a ceasefire and removed its troops from Georgian soil, its actions were perceived by many around the world as attempt to regain both territories. Press releases from Tefft’s embassy reiterate the United States’ strong support of Georgian territorial integrity.

Despite the ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian troops, Tefft’s recent days have been far from calm. Last week, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and other NATO permanent representatives traveled to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi to speak with Georgian elected officials about the country’s bid to become a NATO member. Georgia, with the support of the United States, has been seeking NATO membership throughout Tefft’s tenure as Ambassador, and has set this year, 2008, as it’s target year for membership.

This visit highlights a culmination of over two years of US Foreign Mission work to ensure Georgia presents itself as a suitable candidate for NATO membership. Of greatest concern has been fulfilling NATO’s requirement that Georgian military and government be under democratic control. Tefft called evidence of a fully democratic nation a “critical part of Georgia’s establishing that it is in fact a good candidate to be a member of NATO and to contribute to NATO.” Consequently, the United State’s embassy has become involved voter-education campaigns and agreed to participate in a parallel vote tally to ensure fair results for Georgia’s recent parliamentary and presidential elections.

Although he expresses his full support for peaceful and democratic rule in Georgia, Tefft recently reiterated that the majority of the responsibility lies with Georgians.
“Fundamentally the future of Georgian democracy depends on both sides, the opposition and the party in power, being able to find out and resolve these problems themselves,” he said.
Thus the challenges continue for Tefft and the nation of Georgia. Yet despite the difficult challenges and high stakes of his position as an Ambassador, Tefft declares, “I have high hopes for myself and my team at the Embassy in helping Georgia build a democratic nation.”

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Stop keeping money under the mattress

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Jacob Jasperson

Financial instability, turmoil in the market, rising prices, falling stocks, mergers, foreclosures, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; all signs of a market on the brink of the R-word. We won’t say the R-word here at “The Warrior”—it’s never a good idea to mention it out loud. But if you watch the news at all or listen to the radio or really are alive in any way you’ve heard analysts mention their likely dooms day scenarios.

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Most economists would agree that we are currently not in a recession. The generally agreed upon definition of a recession is an overall slowing of the economy. We run into a few problems here because there are many measures of the economy and hardly anyone can agree what a slowing is. So we turn to the National Bureau of Economic Research, a non-profit, non-partisan organization which assigns dates and lengths of recessions in U.S. history. They define a recession as, “a period of declining output and employment.” Whether we are currently in a recession, sliding into a recession, or coming out of a recession is really all semantics at this point; if you polled Americans they would all agree the economy is somewhere they don’t want it right now.

Therein lies the problem: consumer confidence. One of the key indicators of economic well-being, it has been far from stellar the past few years. Blame it on whomever you like, but it needs to change. We at “The Warrior” want it to start right here at Marquette. It’s no secret that the key to success is buy low and sell high, and what better time to buy than right now. Stock and home prices can’t get much lower, and every indication is pointing towards the economy rebounding in a few years or so. That makes this the perfect time to invest. But what to look for in an investment?

Real estate, despite what the market experts are telling you, is a good investment opportunity. There is a limited supply, and even though demand is down now it has to pick up eventually. Real estate is a great long term investment; that is if you have a couple hundred thousand dollars lying around. On second thought, don’t invest in real estate unless you have a lot of capital.

When looking for stocks, you want a stock with a high yield and low price. You also want a stock that gives out dividends. Why? The same reason money now is worth more than money in the future – you can reinvest. Diversify, diversify, diversify. You don’t want to put all your money in tech stocks and then find out that Silicon Valley burned down last night.

Finally, look down the road. It’s not a bad idea to start a Roth IRA account now, even if you can only afford to put a little in at a time. That’s the beauty of compound interest.

Don’t listen to CNN or CNBC all the time. Remember, they get paid to tell people what they want to hear, and for some reason people want the end of the world scenario right now. You can get a leg up on everyone else if you start now.

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New MUSG Beatwriter: Senate say what?

Posted on 24 September 2008 by Molly Petitjean

Today, sadly, we end an era. Joseph Schuster is no longer writing the MUSG Beat column for “The Warrior.” To fill this void and ensure MUSG is held accountable to the Marquette student body, I will gladly pick up where he left off.

After Schuster was offered a position within the Senate as representative for the College of Arts and Sciences, he knew it was his civic duty to represent the student body for which he had previously written. However, accepting this position required him to relinquish his column at “The Warrior” due to conflict of interest. Since reporting on our student government is an important facet of our newspaper, we at “The Warrior” will continue Schuster’s cause.

I understand how some of you might be skeptical about the effectiveness of the membership of Schuster in the Senate, but let me share with you some information about him that you might not know. As his position in the Senate attests, Schuster is a community oriented individual who is willing to work within the system to make this university great. Previously, his attempts to create change came through his role in the media, taking his role to inform and react to the governmental structure seriously. Now he is taking a first-hand role and will not quit his quest for change and information.

To become informed about this new subject that I will diligently cover for you, I went to the Senate meeting on September 11, 2008. Before the meeting began, the Senate slighted Senator Schuster by printing his name incorrectly on his name card. Reading his column and finding time to criticize his words apparently left them with no time to read his name under the byline to get correct spelling.

While at the meeting, there was a discussion of the upcoming mandatory Senate retreat. If anyone was unable to attend this outing, their punishment was to talk with 25 students about MUSG. What kind of student government organization suggests talking to the people they represent as a punishment? Shouldn’t this be mandatory, instead of the retreat? What the heck? As a bystander, I was shocked that anyone would actually say that. This represents a problem with MUSG that runs deeper than retreat attendance.

Since the participants in the Senate are students, they have lives outside of their extracurricular activities and while they expend a lot of energy at various meetings and planning committees, there is not much time spent within the student body directly communicating with those they represent. Without this face-time, it is hard to say that the Senate answers to the student body. Instead it could be said that they really have to answer to their peers directly within the organization itself. They take their positions for self-gratification, prestige, and to take an active role in their extracurricular activity of choice. What do the students they represent actually want from their student government? Does the Senate know?

With Schuster now part of the Senate, it will be interesting to see if he can get them to figure out the answers to those very questions. So here’s to your new Arts and Sciences Senator, Joseph Schuster. Rest assured there is someone in your corner within the Senate. I hope to do justice to the student body and continue his cause and legacy as contributor to the MUSG Beat.

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