Archive | December, 2009

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Favre vs. Rodgers revisited

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Bradley Wilson

A couple issues ago there was an article that compared the physical youth of Aaron Rodgers against the seasoned veteran of Brett Favre. Well after twelve games for both quarterbacks, it is time to revisit the debate and see which one is winning out.

Green Bay Packer’s Head Coach Mike McCarthy has been under intense scrutiny this whole season. He has been mocked by NFL fans at sports bars and ESPN Pundits alike. No, it is not because of a losing record or awful play calling. In fact many people forget that the Packers were 7-4 going into Monday night’s game against the Ravens and in the thick of the wildcard race. No, Mike McCarthy has been blasted this season because of Brett Favre’s performance with the Vikings. Football fans across the country this season have wondered how the Packers let this quarterback get away from them after being deemed as “too old to play”.
Well in reality, Coach McCarthy never said that about Brett Favre and really never made the decision to not have Favre on his team. Brett made that decision when he retired…the first time. With Brett Favre’s performance in Minnesota, NFL fans have almost forgotten that Green Bay already has a younger Pro Bowl bound quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. McCarthy may not have expected Brett Favre to have an incredible and drama-filled career after his departure from Green Bay, but its time people get off of his case because he made the right decision.

Okay. Right now everyone has to be wondering how I can say the Packers would not be playing better without Brett Favre on their team. In all honesty, if you look at the stats, it might look like the old gunslinger might have thrived in Mike McCarthy’s offense. Through week 13, he has thrown for 3149 yards with 26 touchdowns, only five interceptions and a passer rating of 108.5.

One stat that people forget to look at though is the number of times he has been taken to the ground by opposing defenders. Over the past 13 weeks, Favre has only been hit 57 times, while Aaron Rodgers has been hit 72 times through 11 games. Even though Rodgers has played behind a far inferior offensive line in comparison to Minnesota’s line lead by All Pro Steve Hutchinson, he still is on pace to out pass Favre’s 2007 stats. That is the same year they went to the NFC Championship Game.

More importantly, you cannot believe that a 40 year old man coming off of arthroscopic surgery to complete a tear in his throwing arm would survive an entire season with the Packer’s line. Favre would reinjure himself one way and the Packers would be in the same situation they are in today except Aaron Rodgers would have a lot less experience and confidence.

Speaking of injuries, it was exactly two years ago this week that Brett Favre hobbled off of the field in Dallas after two first half interceptions with shoulder and elbow injuries. Aaron Rodgers stepped in and threw for over 200 yards and a touchdown with 69% completion rate. It’s easy to see McCarthy’s logic when Brett Favre unretired himself. One choice is the legendary quarterback who has played well, but is very injury prone and has a tendency to throw interceptions in critical games and the other is a first-round draft choice with only upsides who has had his team build around him for two years now. McCarthy chose Rodgers and as they say, the rest is history.

So here we are today. Both quarterbacks are playing well, but if you watched this past Sunday night game, you may have noticed a change in Favre. In the Vikings loss to Arizonia, Favre threw two picks even though he had only thrown three in all of his previous games. Both interceptions were not overthrown passes or ones caused by a deflection from a defensive player. Both were thrown while Favre was under pressure and he forced a pass to one receiver who was well covered by multiple defenders. Classic Brett Favre picks. No doubt the ones Packers fans would see plenty of if Favre was under the pressure Rodgers has been under this season, and who has only thrown five interceptions himself.

You can pass it off as just an off game for an otherwise great player. Even Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have bad days, but then you remember this time last year. The Jets looked like great super bowl contenders with an 8-3 record going into a final five game stretch. In those final five games, Brett Favre blew the team’s playoff hopes with an abominable 1-4 record, throwing for only two touchdowns versus nine interceptions with a dismal passer rating of 55.4.

Could this be history repeating itself for Brett Favre? Only time will tell, but if you were a playoff contending team fighting for a wildcard spot like the Packers, would you really want this 40 year old gunslinger leading your team? Fortunately for Mike McCarthy, that is one decision he will not have to make.

by Bradley Wilson
[email protected]

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Marquette, we may have a problem

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Joe Beres

Okay, so Marquette is not going to be able to run the table for the rest of the non-conference schedule nor does it look like our lack of size is a non-factor. If the past two games against North Carolina State and Florida State showed the Golden Eagles anything, it was that this season is going to have plenty of ups and downs. After defeating what appeared to be a high-caliber Michigan team in the semifinals of the Old Spice Classic, Marquette looked poised to walk away with a rather unexpected early season tournament crown.

Enter Florida State’s 7’1” center Solomon Alabi and all of a sudden there comes a crashing reality check. Marquette’s lack of size has finally caught up with the Golden Eagles and as long as other teams can find a rhythm with their big man we could be in a world of hurt. Additionally, when looking back to Marquette’s win against then fifteenth ranked Michigan, the win seems to be far less impressive considering the Wolverines dropped the next two games against Alabama and Boston College. Two teams that are not expected to make the NCAA tournament this year. Then considering the fact that we lost to a North Carolina State team that is supposed to be among the bottom-feeders of the ACC, Marquette’s fast start all of sudden seems to not look quite so fast. The fact that Marquette had double digit leads to start the second half for both losses is even more disturbing because it shows that while the Golden Eagles are struggling late in games; teams are learning that all they need to do is feed the ball to their centers while our guys hopelessly flail their arms in a pointless attempt to disrupt their shot.

This is not all to say that the Golden Eagles are doomed for the rest of the season and that if we come out with ten wins it will be a successful year. It does mean that our expectations are not the same as last year. This is not even to say that our expectations are lower than last year because it is not inconceivable that Hayward and the gang could pull off some impressive upsets against teams that are not sure how to approach a team with the first radically new look since at least 2005 (the year the big three started at MU). All this is saying is to be cautious when listening to the four letter network as they tend to buy into and dismiss teams way too early. Considering the hype Marquette got after they “upset” Michigan it is easy to see the way that a certain network likes to praise and dismiss teams. We ourselves do not know exactly what kind of team this new squad is, let alone anybody outside the program. The rest of the NCAA community has been all too willing to display their ambivalence towards Marquette’s talents.

Consider that in the first three polls that were released Marquette despite being undefeated (albeit to less than quality teams) did not even get a single vote in either poll (heck even Cornell got a single stinkin’ vote, Cornell!). After they beat Michigan and then lost to Florida State they received the third highest amount of votes of any team not ranked in the Coaches Poll (fifth highest in the USA Today Poll). Finally after losing to an admittedly sub-par power conference team they went back to receiving zero votes much like Cornell. Now I realize the polls mean very little but still it goes to show everyone that no one is quite sure what to make of this hodge-podge team that has been racked by injuries early in the season. Therefore my request would be this: do not jump on either band wagon quite yet as there are still a couple games coming up that will really show our place among the upper echelon in NCAA hoops this year.

The next big test is obviously going to be the big game against those Madisonians directly west down I-94. No, I did not forget about Milwaukee but honestly that game did not matter in the scheme of things even though I realize that they are a cross-town rival and it is always a fun game. Well here is the thing, that team has not shown nearly the threat that Wisconsin has and that game while fun is honestly forgettable in the scheme of things. The Devil dashing Badgers are the real concern because it is a team that has shown that their utterly boring and completely systematic attempt to bore other teams to death actually still works even without some of their usual all-stars. Through Bo Ryan’s same annually effective offense, Wisconsin has once again sneaked their way back into the rankings while simultaneously showing teams how boring a game can be made with the right kind of approach. Yes, their close game against Duke came down to the wire, but I swear only UW-Madison could make such a close game against such a high-profile team like the Blue Devils lose its intensity. However, Badger bashing aside, this team did still beat one of the top ten teams in the country and this upcoming game is going to show Marquette what kind of team they really are. If the Golden Eagles can pull off a win in the Kohl Center utilizing their fast-paced guard orientated offense, it will go a long way in giving this team some sort of identity.

Marquette is more or less about to begin a grueling schedule starting at the end of the month so they are going to need to rack up as many non-conference games they can get their hands on by the time they open their schedule against their Big East schedule against a high powered West Virginia team. From that game on we have two games against Villanova and a game at home against Georgetown before any sort of relief is provided in the form of Providence. If Marquette’s confidence is not sky high by the time we head to West Virginia it is not impossible that this team could look at four or even five losses before their first Big East win. Do not get me wrong I do not think this is a team that will start off that poorly and I think if we can come away with a split in those four games (which is entirely possible), that it would be considered a success for any team in basketball.

Marquette’s main concern is Wisconsin on December 12 so that needs to be their only thought right now. However, I do not think that the two early losses to Florida St. and NC St. are big deals as long as the Golden Eagles just take advantage of the rest of their non-conference schedule. Who knows maybe Marquette will even see themselves back into the rankings just in time to face WVU in Morgantown.

by Joe Beres
[email protected]

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Feelin’ the Warmth

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Victoria Caswell

Cut. Snip. Tie.

One day a year, students gather to make blankets to keep the less fortunate warm during the cold winter months. They have realized many children huddle for warmth to try to escape the harsh winters at shelters across Milwaukee. In a city where wind chills make the temperature seem well below zero, and babies and children shiver in the cold, blankets are accepted into welcome arms.

Feel the Warmth is an independent event sponsored by Midnight Run and Campus Ministry. One day a year, students gather together to make fleece tie blankets to donate to charity. Last year the event raised nearly
$3,000 and 80 students participated, tying more than 150 blankets.

Rachel Longawa, a junior in the College of Health Sciences, started Feel the Warmth at her high school. When she came to Marquette, she told her friends Cindy Park and Andrew Sinclair about it. After some brainstorming, the trio decided to create the event on campus.

“I think this event is great because these blankets are truly needed,” Longawa said. “ Everyone likes to have a warm blanket around during the winter in Milwaukee, especially for his or her child. It’s also a great event that brings a lot of people together to work towards something special.”

Cindy Park, a junior in the College of Business, said she became involved with Feel the Warmth when she lived with Longawa. She said she was blown away by the idea, and she would like it to be a program that continues
long after they graduate. She said it has helped her to realize all that she has. “We all take for granted the amenities we are able to have as Marquette students,” she said. “We don’t think about something as simple as a blanket.” Longawa said the event was successful last year, but had humble beginnings.

“Right now we have an E-board with three people: Andy Sinclair, Cindy Park and myself,” she said.
This year, there are plans to make the event bigger.

The blankets made this year are for babies and children, she said. The blankets are going to be donated to expecting mothers through Milwaukee Pregnancy Help Center and to infants and children who are in the Pediatric Special Care Unit at Milwaukee’s Center for Independence.

The Milwaukee Pregnancy Help Center uses the blankets in a care package they give to women near their due date. The Milwaukee Center for Independence uses the blankets in the medical unit where low-income families bring their children who are in need of constant care. Since the center is run off of government funds, they need as many supplies as possible donated. “Many of the families who use both centers have a very low income,” Longawa said.

The group hopes to make more than 200 blankets at Feel the Warmth in January, 50 blankets more than last year. Since the last event was held on the Friday before finals in an attempt to capture the Christmas spirit, the group is expecting more people at its new date in January. The groups hopes to attract at least 200 students to this year’s event, spreading the word on Facebook and by word-of-mouth. It doesn’t take much to make a blanket, but Longawa said Feel the Warmth needs all the manpower they can get. They also take donations, which the group uses to buy fleece and scissors.

“In order to make baby blankets, you need two pieces of one yard fleece,” Longawa said.

“You place the pieces on top of each other, cut strips along the entire perimeter, and tie the two pieces together. It doesn’t take very long when you have four people working on one blanket.”
According to Park, it only takes five minutes to make a blanket with four people working on it.
Longawa says they’re planning more fundraising events for next semester.

“We have a chili night planned for Thursday, January 21 that will help raise more funds. There will also be a t-shirt sale and an event at Qdoba.

The big event, blanket-making day, will be next semester on January 30 at 1:00 p.m. in the AMU.”
Park adds that if students donate just five minutes of their time, they can make one blanket to contribute. She said it’s fun to get together with other students to help make a difference. Audrey Wayne, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said she went to Feel the Warmth last year because she heard it was a good program.

“It was a great opportunity and you can take as much time as you want to keep people warm during the holiday season,” she said. “I had a lot of fun, it was a nice, relaxed atmosphere and it was nice to meet other people who like to help out.”

by Victoria Caswell
[email protected]

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Energy efficiency just makes cents

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Warrior Staff

Imagine walking down the street and seeing a shiny penny on the sidewalk in front of you. There is a brief moment where you stop and think, “Is it really worth the effort to bend over and pick this penny up?” If you are like me, you walk by Mr. Lincoln’s welcoming visage. Some would label this action as “laziness”, however, in walking by this penny, I feel that I am being more efficient.

If you are one of those who deem me lazy, keep this in mind: In terms of energy efficiency, we are collectively walking by millions of pennies everyday. Energy efficiency is using less energy to provide the same amount of energy service. Energy efficient solutions can be as simple as flipping off a light switch or as holistic as a LEED certified building which uses energy conservation techniques in every facet of the building’s design.

At Marquette University, the opportunities for savings through energy efficiency are endless. Currently, Cobeen, McCormick, and Schroeder Residence Halls are involved in the MU Unplugged Competition to see which building can conserve the most energy through efficiency measures. One way to lower energy usage is to lower phantom electricity usage. Phantom electricity, or electricity drawn by appliances when they are not in operation, account for 6-10% of energy spent per household. By simply turning off lights, powering down computers, unplugging phone chargers, and lowering the thermostat 2 to 3 degrees(all easier than bending over to pick up a penny), we could not only save money on energy bills but also conserve energy for future usage. By lowering or eliminating phantom electricity, these residence halls can reduce their energy usage by 6-10% for a combined real cost savings of nearly $3,000 a month.

These behavioral changes represent a small portion of the tremendous potential of energy efficiency. According to a McKinsey Report entitled, “Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy”, with an upfront investment in energy efficient technologies and infrastructure of $520 billion, the United States could yield $1.2 trillion in energy savings by 2020 and reduce demand by about 23% annually. That is a lot of pennies. For the green conscious among us, these reforms would abate 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gas annually, equivalent to the annual output of nearly 11 million Americans.

To capitalize on this savings potential, Marquette needs to take several steps. First, students need to lead by example. If, as a student body, we make energy efficiency a top priority, and demonstrate its importance by lowering our energy costs, the administration will respond. Second, the Office of Sustainability needs to take an energy efficiency inventory and determine where the greatest gains can be made. Typically, this includes building infrastructure like HVAC systems, heating and cooling systems, lighting systems and other mechanisms that are not working at their full potential. An in depth study could identify several pilot projects to show the cost savings potential of energy efficiency.

Finally, the administration needs to make energy efficiency a headline issue for the University. The longer we wait to act, the more our energy infrastructure will degrade and the more money and energy we will be wasting. One way for the University to show they are serious about energy efficiency is to pledge $1 million dollars to act on the recommendations of the Sustainability Office. Any savings generated by these pilot programs must be reinvested into other efficiency projects. These actions will show a strong commitment by the University and make Marquette a leader in the field of energy efficiency.

Critics contend that although energy efficiency may save money in the long-term, the upfront costs are too high. However, with the rising cost of energy, even the most expensive efficiency technologies still result in savings. Energy Efficiency is truly a win-win where the University can make money while saving the environment. In the case of energy efficiency, a penny saved is truly a penny earned.

by Ryan Michaels
[email protected]

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Students have personal responsibility to acknowledge homeless neighbors

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Andrew Marshall

Although bailouts, derivatives, and mortgage defaults dominate the headlines about the economic recession, the downturn has left more people homeless right here in Milwaukee. Last January 28, the Milwaukee Continuum of Care, a broad-based alliance of area organizations committed to ending homelessness, counted 1,660 homeless people in shelters, transitional housing, and on the street. The MCC volunteers surveyed 919 homeless adults, of which 34 percent were chronically homeless. Obviously, these numbers do not even take into account those who had found temporary shelter with family or friends. Joe Volk, executive director of Community Advocates, a local group serving low-income individuals and families, said in October that he expected even more Milwaukeeans had become homeless since January due to increased unemployment.

The winter brings added hardship for the homeless as the search for shelter becomes crucial. Some municipal governments, including New York City, have put in place “Code Blue” systems, where the government takes specific and public actions to protect the homeless when the temperature falls below certain thresholds. Milwaukee does not have an official “Code Blue” alert system in place, but not because the city doesn’t care about homelessness.

In fact, the city and county governments and the Milwaukee Shelter Task Force, a group of shelters and other organizations serving the homeless, collaborate during cold weather to suspend rules so shelters can take in more people, identify additional facilities that could be used to keep the homeless warm, protect those serving the homeless, and educate the public. According to Ken Schmidt, chair of the Milwaukee Shelter Task Force, “on the surface, the ‘as needed’ cold weather response in Milwaukee may not appear to be as organized as other urban centers,” but “this may be because the preventative activities are not publicized in the same way.” Schmidt commended the city and county officials, calling them “sensitive to the issue, quick to action and more than willing to be cooperative with the shelter system’s efforts.”

Of course, every person in the Marquette community realizes homelessness’s persistence just by walking around campus. Like everyone else, I have been asked for money countless times, and I have also witnessed public safety officers removing the homeless from campus. On many occasions, I have been just as guilty as most students of refusing to make simple eye contact with the homeless, of passing by faster than I need to, of failing to acknowledge their humanity. I find it easy sometimes to emotionally distance myself from “them” instead of reflecting on why I am walking to class while others walk the same streets just trying to survive. Even referring to these children of God as “the homeless” allows us to mentally separate ourselves from their lived reality. Although we seldom refer to ourselves as “the housed” because we are so much more than where we sleep, we write off a diverse group of people by labeling them for what they lack.

At an urban Jesuit university like Marquette, discussing homelessness almost seems cliché, a rite of passage on the journey toward becoming men and women for others, or something along those lines. Although often failing to acknowledge the homeless people we pass by, we at least acknowledge homelessness as a problem in Milwaukee. Yet the problem seems too immense and intractable for overstressed college students to deal with. Homelessness does not lend itself to easy long-term solutions, and even participating in community service activities can feel pointless and frustrating.

If they decide to “be the difference” on this issue, many students end up advocating for yet another government program, such as Milwaukee’s housing trust fund. Regardless of the merits of any individual government, non-profit, or business program, we set ourselves up for disappointment by relieving ourselves of a certain level of personal responsibility and projecting our hopes and expectations unto a given program. With a complex social problem such as homelessness, a successful program certainly relieves suffering and saves lives, but no social engineering scheme or technocratic magic can “solve” the problems of social marginalization and deprivation and the spiritual decay which permits this to continue.

When Jesus said, “What you do unto the least of these, you do unto me,” he challenged the social hierarchy that pushed “the least of these” to the margins of society and called upon his followers to acknowledge that everyone has intrinsic worth in God’s eyes, regardless of the artificially constructed norms of ostracism and division. Until we, as individuals, can meaningfully reach out to the homeless fellow travelers of our streets, “we” collectively, whether viewed as society or the church or the government, can never truly come alongside them and address the problem.

Direct action and advocacy remain important tools but fail to address the way we emotionally distance ourselves from those in need and the resulting dehumanization of us all. As Lilla Watson and other Australian aboriginal activists told sympathizers in the 1970s, “If you have come to help me because you feel called to help me, please go away … but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, please stay and let’s work together.” Only when we realize our own individual responsibility to our homeless neighbors will we ever be able to work together with them to end homelessness.

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Overstepping? I say not.

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Joanna Parkes

Separation of Church and State. We all learned about it in a history or government class. Though taken from the thoughts of John Locke, the phrase was coined by Thomas Jefferson, and referred to the First Amendment of the US Constitution. By this principle, church affairs and governmental affairs could remain independent of one another. As the founding fathers intended, our country has maintained freedom of religion, allowing the separation of church and state to function.

A few hundred years later, one might beg the question: Why are bishops meddling in the governmental affairs, telling politicians the do’s and don’ts of their profession? Another look tells us why.

In certain situations, the roles of the church leaders and governmental officials overlap. Such an example is the recent controversy of Bishop Thomas Tobin, of the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, who made a public statement maintaining that Senator Patrick Kennedy, D-RI, cannot receive communion because of his open support of pro-abortion policies. While most Catholics will acknowledge the truth of the statement, they still wonder why such a public statement is necessary. Statements like this are necessary because Patrick Kennedy is a public representative who is leading others away from following a moral right, and that is gravely wrong. That abortion is wrong has been stated numerous times in Catholic doctrine. Just last February, Pope Benedict XVI privately met with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, during which he stated the need for Catholics, and more importantly, politicians, to uphold the dignity of the human person.

A great many people were surprised by the seemingly outspoken statement of Bishop Thomas Tobin- Catholics and non-Catholics, pro-life and pro-abortion advocates alike. However, this should come as no surprise; since the Second Vatican council, and through earlier church teachings, support of abortion, like that of Kennedy, is a grave matter. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it states the following: “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life” (CCC, 2272). It seems reasonable that most people would agree that actively promoting pro-choice/abortion policies is cooperation in the act of abortion. This form of indirect ‘cooperation’ is more grave then direct cooperation. Think of it as legalizing theft without stealing anything. The act of helping others to steal is a graver act still.

You can’t have your pie and eat it too. Faith influences every aspect of life: work, school, social. While in governmental policies there may be a separation between church and state, there should be no such thing in any Catholic, or Catholic politician. If Catholic by name, Catholic in the game. It’s time to step up to the plate and play with authenticity. Just look to Bishop Tobin.

by Joanna Parkes
[email protected]

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Single payer healthcare: Socialism for the whole family

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Jonathan Stepp

Throughout the current debate regarding the ways in which the healthcare system should be fixed, one option is almost always left out: single payer health care. In this system, the government would pay for the healthcare of its citizens, and thereby grant all citizens equal access to healthcare. Taxes would be used to pay for this system, and while many balk at the thought of giving the government more money, it would be done in the best interest of all citizens.

The first argument that many level against this is that it is a socialist plot to ruin America, much like how fluoridating the water system has destroyed our precious bodily fluids. While it is true that single payer health are does socialize the healthcare industry, decrying it as a socialist plot is both unfounded and illogical. If one applies the logic of those who oppose government run healthcare to other service industries in the U.S., one would have to oppose fire departments, the police, public schools, public libraries, and the department of public works. Only the most extreme capitalist libertarians call for the privatization of these public services, and as such, the common argument leveled against public healthcare, i.e. that it is evil, applies to the services which we consider essential to any functioning society. Healthcare is no less essential to a properly running society than public schools are. People in the U.S. have no less of a right to have their crimes solved, than do they to be taken care of in case of ill health.

Another argument which many, particularly politically conservative Christians, level against the idea of single payer healthcare is that it is somehow antithetical to Christianity. This argument is in and of itself an absurdity. As Pope John XXIII stated in section 11 of his encyclical Pacem in Terris:

“He [man] has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of illhealth; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood.”

A third argument which is leveled against the single payer system is that government inefficiency will lead to massive lines and people being unable to received treatment for non-life threatening issues. The problem with this argument is that it is based upon the false assumption that one is able to quickly receive treatment under the current system. This is of course an absurdity. Few if any people go to an emergency room or a doctor’s office without waiting in line. Only those with the ability to afford treatment have the luxury to complain about waiting in line. The millions without insurance, or who lack sufficient coverage, are not able to wait for treatment, since they are rarely, if ever, treated. Under a single payer system they would be treated, and would have life threatening conditions taken care of. To those who still complain about waiting in lines I ask this question: Is your comfort and convenience more important than the life of another person?

As one can see, the most common arguments against government run healthcare fail due to lack of a solid logical grounding. The merits of the system, however, have yet to be fully analyzed, and as such I will proceed to do that to show it is preferable to the current system in the U.S. One of the most obvious advantages of this system is that profit will not be a motivating factor for the actions of the insurer. In the current, for profit, system, private insurance corporations provide a service to consumers, in which in exchange for monthly payments, they will pay for the medical costs of certain covered procedures, and at doctors who accept the insurance offered by these corporations. As a result the corporations earn their profits when they receive more money from their customers than they pay for the medical needs of those who they insure. In order to maximize their potential profits these companies find ways to deny coverage to those who pay for their insurance. In some cases they will simply claim that the individual had a pre-existing condition which the individual had not previously mentioned, and as such the company does not have to cover that person. Some companies, however, arbitrarily terminate coverage in order to avoid paying for costly procedures, thereby harming the consumer who relies upon this insurance to pay for care. The lack of this profit motive would eliminate the reason for the denial of coverage for many Americans.

Many people claim that the coverage which would be provided under a single payer system would be below that of the current U.S. healthcare system. When one looks to a number of statistics, it is clear this is not the case. For example, according to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the infant mortality rate in the U.S. is 6.7, whereas it is 2.5 in Sweden, 3.8 in Germany, and 5.0 in the UK. In addition, according to the OECD, the life expectancy is 78.1 in the U.S., 80.8 in Sweden, 79.8 in Germany, and 79.5 in the UK. One can see the discrepancy between the U.S. and the other countries, all of whom have some form of guaranteed healthcare for all citizens. By granting healthcare to all people living in the U.S. we will no longer lag behind the rest of the first world in terms of quality of life. Another gap between the rich and the poor will be closed, allowing for everyone in the U.S. to truly be able to live their lives to the fullest. We in America need to remember our duty to our fellow man and embrace the concept of single payer healthcare.

by Jonathan Stepp
[email protected]

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Christmas Means a Little Bit More

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Andrew Sinclair

Being in college now we have done this Christmas season many times before. We know its December: the weather is getting colder and the grass whiter. Our lips get chapped quicker and the numbness in our hands stays longer–but the smiles on our faces remain as well. The hot chocolate from the local coffee shop fills the air with that sweet Christmas aroma and caroling fills our streets with glee. Christmas is everywhere–between the Holiday spirit, the ribbons, the snow, even the store displays selling those sleek looking North Face jackets. Every year this season seems to linger in our minds and hearts, and rightfully so. Between decorating our apartment or dorm’s Christmas tree and preparing for finals week is our excitement for Christmas. We certainly have done this Christmas season many times before and we know how it should feel to us. But have you have considered maybe this Christmas to make it mean something a little bit more?

You are probably thinking, how can I make Christmas mean that much more? This lesson, I know, we cannot learn in our classroom or fill a bubble on our exam this coming week; rather we can stop, rewind and remember our childhood, remember we have done this Christmas season many times before. When we were children how we designed Christmas in our hearts was so important. We played all day in the snow and then came inside to watch Christmas cartoons. Remember Dr. Seuss and how his cartoon of the Grinch fascinated us? Or perhaps do you remember the line, from the Grinch, “[the Grinch] puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more.” And shouldn’t Christmas in our hearts, at our homes, at Marquette, and throughout our world maybe mean a little bit more?

Christmas, especially in our economic downturn, does not have to come from a store. Instead, Christmas can come from within and it especially can come from each other. We can make Christmas mean that much more to all of us. That is one of Christmas miracles, it is the lessons we can take away in our hearts forever. I could fill pages with lessons, but rather I will leave you with just this one.
For those of you who have met Father Naus here at Marquette, he often reminds people “to see the words across everyone’s forehead ‘Make Me Feel Important.'” And what better time to remember this phrase than Christmas? When we were children it was so easy to remember this, before our lives became so fast-paced; we showed others why they were important in all the little things we did and especially at Christmas. Within us we have the power to still do this, just like we did as children, and what better time than now?
At Christmas we can make others feel important in a variety of ways. Remember your friends, maybe your way of showing them they matter is a gift. Or maybe it is sharing a drink together and showing each other your Christmas cheer. Maybe it is a Christmas hug and saying thank you for making me feel special.

At Christmas we can make those we do not know feel important. Maybe you are not as bold to ring a bell or give out free hugs in public, but maybe you can show others in different ways. We can help with Giving Trees and food pantries and sharing our time with those who really just needed someone to make time and listen to them. We can bake cookies for others and just play in the snow with those we do not know. No matter if we see them or not, we can always smile and show them that they matter right then and they are important, especially at Christmas.

Most importantly at Christmas we can show those who are important they matter to us. We can tell our family & those near to us we love them. We can cling them tightly. We can set up a tree. We can share a meal together. For whether it be Christmas or any other time they are important to us. So this Christmas let’s make it mean something a little bit more. Let’s remember the lessons we learned and have learned before, because if we do our world can love each other a little bit more.

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Heaven on earth: Night of Chocolate: something to look forward to in years to come

Posted on 09 December 2009 by Warrior Staff

Heading up the stairs to the third floor ballrooms of the Alumni Memorial Union last Wednesday, the smell of pure chocolate intoxicated my nose. Upon entering the room, I found my naïve, freshman dreams come true: festive table decorations, a snazzy jazz band and table upon table of desserts.

Marquette University Student Government organized “Night of Chocolate,” providing Nick Contoorno’s Quartet, which played various classic jazz and holiday tunes which by the end of the evening had couples on their feet, swinging to the beat. The white table cloths complete with candle light, the beautifully catered food, the attentive plate-clearing table staff and even the scented pinecone centerpieces contributed to a very classy atmosphere perfect for a mid-week stress reliever.

The university catered a heaven on earth: mousse in martini glasses, chocolate covered pretzels and espresso beans, chocolate chip cheesecake, marshmallows, brownies, assorted bars, cakes and fruits, milk chocolate fondue and white chocolate fondue fountains, finished with chocolate milk or hot chocolate. This large variety tempted an impressive, sweet-toothed, dress casual crowd to fill the ballroom with diverse conversation. And who could resist an evening dedicated solely to the dessert course? MUSG could not have chosen a more suitable time for an evening with friends, music and food: just two weeks before finals. Despite the $8 ticket price, I admit that “Night of Chocolate” is one of the many Marquette events I find myself looking forward to for the next three years.

by Jennie Jorgensen
[email protected]

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