Archive | February, 2010

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Analysis: the need for political savviness post-Marquette

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Wade Balkonis

Today one turns on the news whether it be on CNN, Fox or MSNBC and find themselves bombarded with loud-mouthed people talking about potential bridges to nowhere, healthcare reforms, taxes, education, political scandals, employment, spending freezes and spending increases. All equally deserving of the American public’s attention, right? But has one ever stopped to consider why?

The fact of the matter is most people do not really care to look into things waiting to be moved along in that mess known as the “journey of a bill.” They just let it sit on Capitol Hill, making School House Rock videos, until it is suddenly and sporadically shot to the floor of the House where it is voted on by a congress comprised of 535 elected people. And we the constituents do not bat an eyelash. That is until we suddenly realize we are all wearing pink suits because our politicians passed the hypothetical equal appearance act with the intent to help eliminate racial profiling. And what do you and I do at that point? We complain and ask, “how could we have let this happened?”

In all reality it is partially us the constituents’ fault. Perhaps you were one of the few people in the United States that was not energized by the 2008 election, and now sit in your political science classes counting the number of kids around you sleeping and then twittering about it. That does not change the fact that every decision made up on Capitol Hill will affect you, either directly with things like tuition subsides, or indirectly through things such as new taxes. You might be saying to yourself,
“I’m just a simple college student at this very moment, so why worry about all that political crap?”

Well there is a simple answer to that. Unless you are Van Wilder and plan on attending Marquette for the rest of your life, you are training for the real world. A world that will tax you more, a world you will have a greater influence on, and one that you must safeguard for future generations. The point being, whether Democrat or Republican, Independent or Moderate (a.k.a too scared to have an opinion) the world will soon be in your hands. And in the United States we are blessed with the opportunity to have a direct impact on those who we elect to make decisions for us.

So next time you turn on the news do not be so quick to flip the channel because Bill O’Reilly or Anderson Cooper is talking politics. Take two minutes, even make it a study break, and just listen. Hear what’s going on in our country. Or rather your country. If you do not like what is happening, call up your representative and tell them, it’s their job to vote for the America you want to inherit. So that way, when we walk across that stage and Father Wild hands off that piece of paper that unlocks our future, and grants us safer passage through our countries ups and downs, we will personally know we did our best to make this country something we can be proud of.

by Wade Balkonis
[email protected]

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The politics of practicing – Marquette student groups struggle for space on campus

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Molly Petitjean

This year student organizations have been feeling the cost of Marquette’s expansion efforts. Ironically, many student groups say the expansion has left with less room and them out in the cold and without a place to gather. Pure Dance Marquette, a student dance organization, is one of several student groups that has had difficulty finding adequate practice space on campus.

Olivia Corradin, Pure Dance president and co-founder and a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said her group continues to experience a shortage of practice space. “Student groups cannot get space when they need it,” she said. “There is more demand for space than there is space available.”

Corradin attributes some of these problems to the tearing down of Carmel, a former university owned apartment building. Carmel was torn down earlier this year to make way for the new engineering complex being constructed on the corner of 16th Street and Wisconsin Avenue.

Vice President of Administration Arthur Scheuber said that although student organization meeting space has decreased, placing groups in available spaces on campus has always been a struggle.

“Student groups were using one large meeting space in that area [Carmel] prior to the construction…(but) historically there has always been a shortage of student practice space.”

Martial arts student orgnization Kuk Sool Won has also experienced the shortage of adequate practice ground. Kuk Sool Won President and College of Arts & Sciences senior Kristen Ruka said when it comes time to practice the group is often moved by Event Management.

“We were put in assorted practice spaces throughout the AMU, including Weasler Auditorium,” she said. “It was a challenge making sure all of the members knew where we were located for each practice, and, as we are a martial arts club, it hindered our ability to practice because it is not safe to practice some techniques while falling on a hard wood floor.”

Ruka said that in addition to inconsistent meeting places, Event Management has been unable to find any space for all of the group’s practices. “Event Management originally only gave us alternative spaces for about two-thirds of our practice times,” she said. “So we had to cancel around a third of our practices simply for lack of space.”

Ruka said that although Event Management does try to find alternative space for the group in the event their room becomes unavailble, the alternative locations are often inappropriate for the organization’s needs.
“One practice they placed us in Henke, next to the Lunda room. Again, we are a martial arts club, and we were put into a room lined with nice couches and lamps.”

Despite the space struggles student organizations experience, the administration said they are looking for solutions. One of the solution is the integration of classrooms into the practice schedules. “Within the last three years, University Administrators worked together to help integrate classroom space into the scheduling system that is available to all student groups.”

While Scheuber indicates that this integration will help all student groups, university policy still hinders performance groups like Pure Dance. The availability of academic classrooms creates a new and unique set of restrictions for Pure and other performing groups on campus because their use of music.

“I was told the music was a problem for classes that were going on… but even if there were no classes we still can’t reserve a classroom because of this policy,” Corradin said.

Despite these difficulties, other student organizations have been able to adjust to the space they do or do not have. The co-ed acappella group the Gold’ N Blues was limited to Marquette Hall room 100 and Henke Lounge as these were the only rooms allowed to be reserved that had a piano.

“Event Management has been pretty helpful with trying to accommodate us, but it would be helpful if there were more universal spaces for non-music program-affiliated students to have access to with pianos, and that would be available to reserve,” Gold ‘N Blues President Hilary Braseth said. “We have not made any complaints to the university or anything because we’ve learned to work around inconveniences, like for example we have our own portable electronic keyboards so if we hit a worst-case-scenario and can’t reserve space, we’ll hold practice with a keyboard at an apartment.”

Scheuber said the availability of space is a consideration in university expansion plans, and notes that “student space is factored into many decisions, as was the case when the university made the conscious decision to use Open Pantry’s relocation as a perfect opportunity to create additional space.”

Scheuber said there are currently efforts underway to make up practice space lost from Carmel Hall.
“There is a group of administrators that have been assembled to look for additional options that would address the space that was lost,” Scheuber said. “This new group is just another way the university is looking to explore all available options for additional space.”

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Drawing in students: Haggerty seeks to increase involvement with free art classes

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Warrior Staff

The Haggerty Museum of Art hosted a drawing workshop in the galleries Friday, the first of three free classes for Student Fridays taught by MIAD drawing major and alum Jeff Sama. Twenty to 30 Marquette students ranging in art experience sketched Thomas Woodruff’s “Freak Parade,” a travelling collection painted with vibrant pastels and translucent acrylics, lasting from Jan. 27- April 18.

Curator of Education Lynne Shumow, who has worked at the Haggerty for ten years, described Woodruff’s gallery as “celebrating the beauty in aberrance.” She explained its focus on the beauty in the difference of people. Woodruff, who took five years to complete the collection, used inspiration from his experiences and historical knowledge in painting his movie and circus posters. This is the Student Fridays’ second year at the Haggerty, Shumow said.

Drawing instructor Jeff Sama said he tries to create a relaxing environment during the classes. “My philosophy is keep everything low key and no stress. I joke around a lot,” drawing instructor Jeff Sama said. “My goal is to create an environment where their (students) brains are working a little differently then they usually
are throughout their day. Kids come in from all majors with little or no experience or with some experience, but I’m just showing them little things here and there… Then they can do it on the page, and it just activates that creative side that may not be working throughout their normal, everyday lives.”

The next two drawing classes in the Student Fridays series scheduled for Fridays Feb. 12 and 19 from 1 to 3 p.m., feature permanent collections “The Northern Masters,” prints by Bol, Durer, Goltzius, Saenredam and van Heemskerck, and “Old Master Paintings.” All students are welcome to come and go at their leisure with free admission and supplies. To register, contact Lynne Shumow at 414-288-5915 or [email protected].

Students also have the opportunity to submit a maximum of two art pieces in any medium to be displayed on Student Fine Arts Night Wed March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. The open art gallery will include free food, refreshments and live music. Students must submit their art by Feb. 24. Further art requirements are posted on the Haggerty’s Web site.

If you are interested in submitting work and do not know how to present your artwork for hanging and display, Haggerty preparator artist Dan Herro is going over different presentation methods at a workshop Feb. 12 from 3 to 4 p.m.

by Melanie Pawlyszyn
[email protected]

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“Pizza Man” may be dead, but we’ve got your replacement: the top 5 pizzas in Milwaukee

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Thomas Klind

Little did I know thee, Pizza Man. Actually, none did I know thee; I never went. I’m not really all that upset over it. I suppose that on some level I’m still trying to get over the loss, but it’s kind of like when someone really close to someone you kind of know passes away. You feel like you’re not really allowed to be upset, but you just kind of feel bad anyways? I’ve narrowed down the reason: I love pizza. It just hurts me so much that I never had an opportunity to sample the delights of Pizza Man.

As an homage to the pizza that never was (in my stomach that is), I’d like to rank the top five pizza places in Milwaukee and the area immediately surrounding. These rankings are designed on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being awful and 10 being fantastic, or in other words, with 1 being Angelo’s and 10 being Heaven.

#5 – Brick 3 Pizza: Score – 7.5

Okay, so maybe this could be viewed as a shameless plug for someone who advertises with us, but really. I first had Brick 3 over the summer when I was working at ESPN radio downtown. It is actually really good. Located on Old World Third, Brick 3 Pizza is a great place to stop in before or after a Marquette game.

#4 – Pizzeria Piccola: Score – 8.5
A Wauwatosa classic. I think the rest of Tosa would disown me if I didn’t mention that perhaps the widest selection of good pizza in the city comes from this western suburb. Located on what would be about the equivalent on 76th and State, Pizzeria Piccola offers personal-sized pizzas that are fantastic. Don’t skip on the flatbread, it’s fantastic! If you’re still not convinced on finding your way into Tosa for this pizza, then perhaps a quote from Fr. Naus might suffice. “If I could eat one thing for the rest of my life, I think I would eat this pizza.”

#3 – Ricardo’s Riverfront Pizzeria – 8.7

The top three were tough to score. I’d have to say that Ricardo’s barely loses out to the top two by the slightest of margins. The pizzas are marketed as specialty pizza, meaning that you shouldn’t come in if you aren’t at least willing to entertain bacon, spinach, pine nuts, Thai curry, or any other interesting flavors on your pizza. That’s not to say that the regular pizzas aren’t unbelievable, but there is something to be said about a place that thinks outside the box. Located on East Erie Street in the Third Ward, Ricardo’s Riverfront is a new location for a pizza that has been in town for over 40 years.

#2 – Balistreri’s 68th Street -
Come on, you have to go. If you’re a fan of just good food in general, Balistreri’s on 812 N. 68th street is THE quintessential pizza place in Milwaukee. Although Balistreri’s didn’t win in my rankings, they do win almost every award in the city for best pizza. I recommend the Balistreri’s special, as well as the fried eggplant and calamari. For your own good, just go (They also offer take out).

#1 – Zaffiro’s – Score: 9.9
I recently debated a Chicagoan on the best type of pizza: thin crust vs. thick crust/deep dish. Of course, being from south of the border, this person thought they knew everything about everything. I’m sure it probably doesn’t need to be said then that this person was completely wrong (as all Chicagoans tend to be on most issues: See “Chicago Cubs are totally gonna win the World Series after adding Milton Bradley this offseason” conversation that took place in every sports bar known to man this past year). Being a Milwaukee man, my conclusion is straightforward. Thin crust!

Zaffiro’s is the best pizza in Milwaukee. The cracker thin crust is unreal good. I mean it, it’s unreal. The ingredients are basic, and the atmosphere is as close to “hole in ht wall” as you can get, but take my word for it, Zaffiro’s pizza will blow your mind. Zaffiro’s is located just north of Brady on Farwell.

Runners-Up:
Mama Mia’s on Burleigh
Barbiere’s on Bluemound – Best Garlic Bread in town
Lisa’s – I’ve never been there, but its because every time I go, there is an hour and a half wait.
Lali’s – North Ave. and 89th street in Wauwatosa. Really good.

by Tom Klind
[email protected]

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Jobs Bill is a weak attempt to create employment opportunities

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Warrior Staff

The new bipartisan Jobs Bill backed by Senators Baucus (D- Mont) and Grassley (R-IOWA) is a weak attempt at creating an incentive for firms to start hiring again. The fact of the matter is that the majority of jobs that have been lost in the past two years is due to the United States no longer being competitive in some industries. The majority of lost jobs are in manufacturing and in low to unskilled labor. We have been undercut in labor costs by many countries in Latin America and China, the most infamous of supplier of cheap labor. The bulk of the jobs bill instills incentives for businesses to start hiring by offering tax breaks when one hires an unemployed worker and to buy new equipment.

Theoretically, this sounds absolutely fantastic. However, those workers that have lost their jobs have no industry to return to because it is not viable anymore. Simply put, manufacturing in low-technology industries is dead in the United States. This means that this bill will not help people back into jobs because those businesses that could have hired them are either bought out by other larger companies or those businesses are not there anymore. It’s wonderful to create an incentive for an industry that is no longer viable, right? The real kicker is that House Democrats are essentially pushing Republicans to vote for this “bipartisan jobs bill” based on the fact that it is loaded with tax cuts advocated for by Republicans. This bill doesn’t make sense when the real problem is that the United States is losing the industries that it seeks to help in this bill. For example, giving GM a tax cut for hiring unemployed workers is not going to help GM become a viable company in the future if it does not address the problems that prohibit GM from becoming competitive today. GM must be able to compete against a company like Toyota that produces the same quality cars at a lower price. Those problems need to be addressed before any hiring can occur. This bill ultimately creates a broader victory plan for a war in the global economy without setting the initial, smaller and more intricate battles that can win this war.

Therefore, the Democrats win in the public arena by publicizing that they came up with a bipartisan jobs bill that the Republicans will most likely shoot down because of the sheer ineffectiveness of the bill when logically argued. A jobs bill that is almost useless (some moderate to high tech industry will benefit from this bill,) should not be used by Democrats to make the Republicans a scapegoat for the United States jobs situation. The bill is simply not responsive to present day economic realities in the US.Party politics aside, what can be done to renew hiring in the labor market? The United States needs to have an upper hand in the industries that in which it succeeds and the ability to export while the dollar is weak. While the influx of money comes back into American hands from these exports, smart investments into our education and economy need to be made. More efficient means of production are necessary and that cannot happen without a higher education standard. While our competition, China for example, continues to exploit their low skill labor force that can only stay viable for so long, the United States can be moving onto the next step and furthering the machinery that both effectively creates the goods bought from the low cost labor and also creating new industry.

There has been no bill passed by Congress that helps to stimulate new industry. Obviously,renewable resources are the newest industry that looks to be promising, but it requires a higher education standard. While advocating environmental technology simply for the sake of being green makes little economic sense, when such industries promise to stimulate the economy, investments in them make good sense. The renewable resources industry is in its infancy, just as the computer industry was in the late 1970s and early 1980s when many said it would not work. The most competitive arena of industry are those that seek to lower costs and maintain efficiency. It seems completely ridiculous that no Congressperson can step up and actually create an intelligent and stimulating jobs bill. Instead Congress has created a bill that just uses party politics to pit opposing sides against each other like small children on a kindergarten playground.

by Natalia Antas
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DPS: A positive service to Marquette

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Austin Wozniak

There are many issues that do not have a clear cut answer or a solution that would better off everyone if implemented. One such issue is the fuzzy legal line between an armed security force and a police force, in relation to the Marquette University Department of Public Safety (DPS). Recently an article appeared arguing
that as non-sworn law enforcement officers, DPS routinely oversteps their legal authority and has adopted a mentality above and beyond their legal status as security officers. There is a fine line to walk between protecting campus residents and property and overstepping their authority. However, in the big picture, DPS does a fantastic job of securing campus and keeping students safe.

First, there is an argument that DPS should become actual sworn law-enforcement officers or simply defer to the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) in all matters in which life and property are not immediately
threatened. If DPS were a police department, their citations and actions would carry with it the full force of law. Marquette students who choose to drink underage, instead of being told to pour it out in the alley or having a referral to meet with a Hall Director would instead face monetary fines and attain a criminal record in the State of Wisconsin. Such records are public information and do not go away with graduation. If students would prefer police action in response to general underage partying and typical, if not quite acceptable,
collegiate behavior, then making DPS a police department makes sense. In addition, DPS has every right to enforce University policies against underage drinking. This means they are doing students a favor telling them to go home or pour out alcohol rather than referring them to a disciplinary board or the police.

Second, creating excessively cumbersome regulations for DPS places the campus in greater jeopardy than it already is in given its location and surroundings. Last issue’s article argued that camera usage in order to respond to crimes ongoing violates DPS authority as private citizens since citizens cannot ‘respond’ to a crime. This is an argument that makes sense only when considering the protective cocoon of theoretical
ideas discussed behind locked doors, but irrational in practice. Marquette is surrounded on three sides by dangerous neighborhoods. The South Side of Milwaukee across the 16th Street Bridge is home to violent
and organized street gangs.. The west and north sides are full of violent, homegrown street gangs involved in violent crimes such as armed robberies and shootings on a daily basis. Ask anyone who has ever been robbed on campus if they want an armed Public Safety Department to see and respond or to wait for MPD to leave the scene of a shooting up the road to come down and take their statement in twenty minutes. DPS provides rapid assistance to a small area and is completely and solely focused on campus and student safety where as MPD has many responsibilities and Marquette is in a busy area for the police. DPS has student’s best interests at heart. Their focus is to make sure students don’t get out of hand or put themselves in a potentially situation. They ensure that students aren’t hassled or threatened by people not affiliated with Marquette and do a good job providing a deterrent for the numerous criminally inclined people that live in close proximity
to Marquette. Read the crime reports in the Journal Sentinel. Take note of how many crimes are reported
within two miles of campus, then look and see what the DPS reports involve. It is news when there is an armed robbery here; it is routine if it occurs just a few blocks from campus. This is entirely attributable
to the fine job they do. If DPS breaks up a party, it is because the party was probably out of hand. Students who have to pour out their alcohol in an alley know they are unable to possess it in the first place.. Whether or not someone likes a law does not mean violations of that law will or should be ignored.

The bottom line is that, with very few exceptions, the only time students have negative experiences with DPS is when they were out of line or violating the law and/or University’s policies. It is entirely up to the students what sort of interaction they have with DPS.. In the big picture, they keep Marquette safe and deserve a ‘thank you’ rather than a hard time from the students they serve and protect.

by Austin Wozniak
[email protected]

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Students Cross Blades at Marquette

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Joe Defelice

The Dobbs', Osterman, and Blassman pause to Take a photo with the Competition

The Dobbs', Osterman, and Blassman pause to Take a photo with the Competition

For centuries the art of fencing has captured the minds of soldiers, artists, and historians alike. For generations, Hollywood has bedazzled us with choreographed sword battles in classics like The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Pirates of the Carribean, and The Princess Bride. In today’s age many people wonder where they can go to learn this electrifying form of art and competition. Well, for Erika Ruhl, and many other students here at Marquette, that place is just a short stroll away. So…What is fencing some of you may ask. Very simply put, fencing, originally derived from the word defense, is the art of fighting with a light, one-handed sword. And while the days of defending one’s honor at noon on the courtyard are long gone, the art of Fencing has survived in various forms including an Olympic sport. The term generally refers to the European schools of swordsmanship, mostly those of the French and Italians. “Other systems of fencing, like the Spanish and Portuguese have pretty much been lost,” says Charley Dobbs, a Sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, eight year fencer, and coach of the Marquette Club. Generally beginners learn with the foil which has a more limited target area and strike surface, you may only strike with the point. They later move to the epee and finally the sabre, which is both a thrusting and slashing weapon. Each sword adds more target areas, and a wider use of the blade surfaces. “The progression is really important,” says Ruhl, “you start small and you slowly add more danger, and more options.” While fencing has traditionally centered around a progression of these three weapons, Marquette’s club is the first group to pioneer a new format for bouting. This format includes other weapons such as the short sword and the rapier. Each bout is scored in the form of touches. The goal is to land as many touches on your opponent as you can while sustaining as few as possible to yourself. Usually the limit is three or five touches, but some tournaments play up to ten or fifteen. A fencer has achieved a true zero when they win a tournament without ever being touched. To really motivate people towards that true zero the club has purchased a prize for their next tournament. “The first person to get a true zero in a tournament will be the proud owner of this fine transitional rapier,” Dobbs says, hefting the sword proudly. Marquette usually competes in at least two tournaments a year, both co-hosted with their sister school in St. Louis. “It’s great to train with our friends, a lot of times it helps to have a fresh set of eyes to critique us and help us improve,” says Dobbs. Recently the Marquette club has been holding or attending seminars and importing some masters from around the nation to broaden its horizons as well.

A typical practice, like many other sports, consists of drills that help provide a solid foundation in the fundamentals of fencing.  A night’s training begins and ends with the traditional eight-count salute, led by the instructor and mimicked by all of the learners. It’s a sign of mutual respect that shares lineage with other forms of salute and ceremony, such as a military hand salute, or the bows exchanged before a Karate match. After the salute, Charley or another senior member of the club takes the group through footwork drills that teach fencers to quickly react to their opponent’s movements and maintain a proper distance between them. They also learn the proper way to lunge and recover afterward. Another basic principle that they must master is to maintain a “line,” in fencing the action takes place in a straight line, if the line is broken you are probably opening yourself up to an attack.

Marquette Fencer Michael Osterman bouts at an Invitational at SUNY Purchase
Marquette Fencer Michael Osterman bouts at an Invitational at SUNY Purchase

But Practice isn’t merely about the fighting, it’s also about history, the culture of fencing. “I’m an anthropology major, so I love it when we learn about the history behind the skills we are practicing,” says Ruhl. “I don’t really like bouting as much as I like learning the techniques and strategy behind it. I love being able to watch someone and help them identify ways that they can improve.”

Why fencing? “I joined when I saw the booth at O-Fest. I saw swords. Swords are cool,” says Mike Osterman, a junior in the college of Arts and Sciences. Two and a half years later he’s still coming back for more, “it’s a good group, a society, we all share a great bond.” For others like Colleen Herman, fencing is a welcome break from the stress of school, “I expressed interest on one of those freshman surveys and I got an email a few weeks later, it’s my break from work, and it’s also good physical activity.” Colleen is a Freshman here at Marquette and plans to continue fencing as long as she can.

“It’s not always fencing either,” said one fencer, “Sometimes we get together and get pizza, watch a movie, or just hang out.” Speaking of movies, I’m sure some of you are wondering how your favorite sword master on television stacks up to the real deal. “It’s important to remember that Hollywood creates an illusion to pump up the entertainment factor in their movies. Some movies are fairly good at choreographing a realistic fight, others are completely the opposite. Most usually fall somewhere in between, they do some things right and others wrong. It’s fun for us as fencers to watch it and be able to critique it ourselves.”

The Marquette Fencing club meets every Tuesday and Thursday night at 6:00PM in the practice space by bookmarq under Campus Town East. New Members are always welcome. Also, check in at www.thewarrior .org to see some fencers in action.

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Bring on the gridlock, Sen. Brown

Posted on 03 February 2010 by Andrew Marshall

When Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown takes office later this month, he will give his party back the crucial forty-first senator needed to block any unwanted votes on legislation. His victory in the Massachusetts special election finally hands the Republican congressional minority a real voice in the legislative process for the first time since Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania defected to the Democrats last April. Even President Obama acknowledged the Republicans’ new power in his State of the Union address last week, telling the opposition that if they “insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well.”

Yet the president’s challenge to Republican leadership meant next to nothing in terms of actually generating bipartisan support for his partisan policies. Instead, he sought to launch a preemptive strike in the blame game already playing out to decide whom voters ultimately will hold responsible for Congress’s record in the November elections. With the near-universal healthcare plan, the cap-and-trade legislation aimed at fighting global warming, and other key initiatives now facing likely failure or at least significant reduction in scope, Democrats hope to blame Republicans for the lack of major legislation this year.

With all due respect, however, I believe President Obama has it all wrong. Rather than blaming Scott Brown and the Republicans for gridlock, we ought to thank them for at least temporarily slowing the political sausage-making machine. Regardless of Obamacare’s propriety, its legislative history has been embarrassing. From the Democratic negotiations with healthcare corporations hoping to making even more profit by getting in on the deal to the special treatment included for Louisiana and Nebraska to secure the votes of Senators Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson, respectively, the appearance of corruption and insider deals marked every step in Obamacare’s progression from lofty campaign promise to the House and Senate bills. As for the president’s audacious campaign pledge to open healthcare negotiations up to the public, or at least the political junkies, by broadcasting the sessions on C-SPAN, the Democratic leaders now seem to believe that industry and union lobbyists and Democratic politicians represent our interests, so the people apparently don’t need to actually see the great ones at work.

Besides angering conservatives and many independents, the Democrats also disgusted and disappointed some genuine progressives, who watched their priorities, such as a separate floor vote on universal healthcare and a meaningful public option to compete with the corporate health plans, die in the negotiations. The corporations and Democratic political insiders, along with the Democratic leadership itself, have thus far succeeded in manipulating and defeating the people power movement of hope which gave the Democrats the presidency and the largest congressional majorities in decades. Likewise, the “Tea Party” movement, itself an angrier version of people power, may well sweep the Republicans into Congress this fall only to discover just how quickly the Republican power players manage to crush their anti-government dreams.

The healthcare reform process reveals the structural weaknesses of representative democracy, which remains what British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill called “the worst form of government except for all those other forms.” The voters arguably hold their representatives accountable in elections, but congresspersons rarely face serious reelection competition and can use their connections to raise significant amounts of money to fight off any legitimate challengers who emerge. Whether “conservative” George W. Bush or “liberal” Barack H. Obama sits in the Oval Office, and whether a Republican or Democrat holds the House Speaker’s gavel, the political realities remain the same. Most voters don’t have the time or interest to effectively organize, while the bureaucrats of Big Government and the lobbyists of Big Business and Big Labor have a much easier time making their voices heard. This fundamental collective action problem undermines democracy’s ability to represent the people and maintain limits on government power.

With the State’s machinery gridlocked through the 2012 elections, perhaps we can actually voluntarily work together to address our problems. President Obama and many of his Republican opponents operate on the simple premise, usually left unstated, that only the government can address major problems such as healthcare and so, despite the problems with special interests, we should rely on the government to fix healthcare, banking, the BCS, and anything other industries or activities important to us. By channeling our aspirations through the State’s system of control, we lose hope in our ability to meaningfully and concretely act on the status quo through our own consumption choices, boycotts, and voluntary organizations. The combination of political gridlock and voluntary action will not magically solve our problems, but it has to be better than waiting on our political would-be messiahs.

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DPS: Marquette’s own Rent-a-Cops

Posted on 03 February 2010 by Jonathan Stepp

Marquette University’s Department of Public Safety ostensibly exists in order to ensure the security of students at Marquette. With ninety four officers and staff members, DPS works to uphold the law in the campus area. They use both cameras and street patrols in order to monitor anyone who walks into that area. The blue and yellow cars and armed officers create the perception of authority. This then begs the question, what power exactly does DPS actually have?

According to Wisconsin State Statute 967.02 (5) a law enforcement officer is anyone who “…by virtue of the person’s office or public employment is vested by the law with the duty to maintain public order or to make arrests for crimes while acting within the scope of the person’s authority.” Given that DPS officers and staffers are employed by Marquette University they fail to meet the most basic requirement of this position. As such, they cannot be termed law enforcement officers. As a result DPS officers do not have the authority to arrest people. They can, however, act upon citizen’s arrests, as can any other person. Through a series of Wisconsin Supreme Court Rulings, including Radloff v. National Food Stores and Waukesha v. Gorz, a series of crimes have been determined which allow for citizen’s arrest. According to both the “Spring 2005 City of Madison Legal Update” and a 2008 Memorandum from Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, felonies and a handful of misdemeanors are cause for citizen’s arrest. The misdemeanors which are severe enough for one to be subject to citizen’s arrest are battery, fourth degree or greater sexual assault, endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, and disorderly conduct. From this analysis one can see that DPS has absolutely no authority whatsoever to enforce the law, outside of that of citizen’s arrest power.

One need only to read the weekly DPS reports in order to discover reports of DPS officers exceeding their authority in order to “protect” Marquette students and “uphold” the law. While their intentions might be good, they still are beyond their legal authority. An example of this is the any one of dozens of instances of DPS officers detaining students on public property for underage possession of alcohol. While I am not advocating underage alcohol possession nor consumption, the fact still remains that DPS officers cannot detain these students. Stopping students in alleyways, searching them, and seizing the alcohol is well beyond the legal authority of DPS.

Another example of DPS exceeding its authority occurred on the night of Friday, September 11, 2009. A group of area residents were standing on a sidewalk between 17th and 18th streets along Kilbourn. The residents were approached by a DPS officer in a patrol car, who angrily ordered them to leave the sidewalk area near the alleyway. The residents then informed the officer that he did not have the legal authority to demand that they leave public areas. The officer then left his vehicle approached the residents, and again ordered them to leave the area. He then threatened to run over the residents with his patrol car. He then contacted his superiors, and informed them that he had encountered “uncooperative individuals.” The fact that he assumed that he had authority over people standing on a sidewalk shows the mentality of DPS. After contacting his superiors, two commanding officers and five other officers arrived in four separate patrol cars. The officers proceeded to surround the residents and interrogate them. The commanding officers eventually admitted that no in fact they did not have the authority to order residents to leave sidewalks, and that in addition they did not have the authority to threaten to run over residents.

While one can argue that this case is an extreme and does not represent the actions of the majority of DPS officers, the fact still remains that DPS officers do patrol the area and do in fact step beyond their legal authority, given that they have no legal jurisdiction and cannot act to enforce the law to any degree more than any MU student can. The extralegal actions of DPS are further shown through their use of cameras to monitor the campus area, which they claim are to enable them to respond to crimes. The problem with this is, however, that cameras, in all likelihood, do not meet the definition of presence in regards to the law. As such, DPS officers are not present during the commission of the crime, and cannot act to respond to it, given that one has to be present when a crime is committed in order for a citizen’s arrest to occur. I cannot, for example, watch a crime on live television and then go and arrest the person, much the same DPS cannot watch a crime being committed on its security cameras and then go and detain the person, for doing so would, in all likelihood, be the equivalent of illegal imprisonment, which is a Class H felony under Wisconsin State Statute 940.30.

Marquette’s DPS officers are just ordinary citizens with no special authority or privileges. They cannot do anything that you and I cannot do. I therefore urge all people who read this to openly resist the assault upon the rule of law which is represented by DPS officers acting as law enforcement officers. If they can do whatever they please in the name of the law, then we might as well hire Xe (formerly known as Blackwater) and DynCorp to protect us, because at least they have helicopters and assault rifles and could really protect us. We must remember the quote from Benjamin Franklin, “those who would sacrifice liberty for temporal security deserve neither liberty nor temporal security”, and fight against this assault on freedom and the law.

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MU Navy dominates in South Bend

Posted on 03 February 2010 by James Hedman

While everyone else at Marquette was sitting by their-lonely-selves this past weekend, the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program sent 18 of its finest basketball players to the Notre Dame Flyin’ Irish Tournament. As the country’s largest basketball tournament for ROTC teams, the Navy Men and Women’s teams competed against 53 other Navy and Marine Corps, Army and Air Force teams and both brought some hardware back to Milwaukee.

The tournament is set up in a bracket formation in which brackets of four teams play against each other for the chance to move on. For the men there were eleven brackets which automatically sent the best team into the single elimination tournament, while sending the five next best teams. The women had only eight brackets, and only the bracket winners were deemed worthy to move on.

The men’s team began the trip with a dominating 39 point victory over University of Indiana’s Air Force, and then beat the “Instant Thunder” of Virginia Polytechnic Institute (or, more commonly known as Virginia Tech) with a convincing 11 point victory. Finally, Marquette Navy men towered over Western Michigan with an impressive 75-25 victory which the sent the men’s team riding high into the playoffs. In the first round of the playoffs, the men lost 43-27 to rival Wisconsin-Madison’s Air Force ROTC team in one of the most physical games of the entire tournament. Senior Joe Beres’ expectation of the game did not match up with the result, “We sought retribution for our varsity team’s pre-season 73-62 loss over Wisconsin, but that didn’t quite pan out. Still, it was a fun and fulfilling experience.” What are you going to do now, Joe? “I’m going to Disneyworld.”

The Navy women on the other hand swiftly defeated opponents Michigan, Iowa State, and Illinois Institute of Technology. Then in the first round of the playoffs, the Navy women beat South Dakota State (a team that prevented their chances from going to the playoffs in 2009) by 18. In the championship round for the women, Marquette Navy lost a heartbreaker to previous tournament winner IUPUI. Despite the loss, captain DonnaJo Meyer said of her team, “We did a really good job improving from our first game to our last. We played a very athletic team [in the championship], but stayed calm and collected, and our three freshmen players [Courtney Martin, Aracely Macias, Nikkol Rajkovacz] really stepped up.” The number one seeded Navy women lost by 3 points, with a final score of 28-25.

Marquette Navy won seven of nine overall and outscored their opponents by over 120 points. Notable players included monster-rebounder Theodore Linn and finesse sharpshooter Michael Tomsic on the men’s side, and offensive powerhouse Courtney Martin and defense-penetrating DJ Meyer on the Women’s. This year’s teams brought home three trophies, two for division wins (men and women) and one for the women’s runner-up. To add to the success of this year’s Notre Dame tournament showing was the varsity team’s exciting 70-68 finish over UConn, Marquette’s third win against ranked opponents. Oh, and it was AT UConn.

Next year look for Marquette’s Navy teams to do even better, with only a total of three seniors graduating this May. At this rate, they might be able to get themselves a champion’s trophy.

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