A Sunday Night Review

I was in church this morning with a friend and fellow tour guide when he asked if I had seen the cover story in a Cornell newspaper called the Cornell American (the paper focuses on political issues, has more libertarian views, and their slogan is “Limited Government, Traditional Values, America First”). I responded that I hadn’t and he replied that it was about how our head priest of the Cornell Catholic Community (CCC), Fr. Dan, was criticized (harsher words were used) for disagreeing with the Pope’s comments about the prophet Mohammed. I became extremely interested because I strongly agreed with what Fr. Dan had wrote that in-turn brought the criticism of the Cornell American. Therefore, it was ironic when I walked into the lounge of my dorm building and there just happened to be a Cornell American where the USA Today usually is. I picked it up, started reading the article, and progressed halfway through before I tossed the paper down in disgust. I’ve pondered responding to the article, but realized it would be a waste of time since reading it was just like listening to Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson or some other radical, ridiculous, uninformed preacher. Also, you’re probably tired of reading my rants as that’s all I have written for the past three posts. (Maybe the next one will be about how the Giants are Super Bowl contenders.)

As a result, I would just like to mention that there are more papers that you can choose to write for than you could count on two hands. This total also includes all the journals, whether serious or comedic, you could also join. From the Daily Sun (Cornell’s New York Times) to the Cornell Review (like the political magazine National Review) to Sketch, which is basically a light-hearted journal with collections of students’ writings, they span the gamut. If you love to write or love to report or want to be a journalist, there is certainly a spot waiting for you in one of Cornell’s media organizations that distribute their product to the entire student body. If you like Jerry Falwell, or disagree with affirmative action then the Cornell American or the Cornell Republic would love to have you. Of course I couldn’t be further from their official spokesman.

Do Your Job- Pt. 2

Last night Kate Duch ‘09 (Student Assembly member) posted a passionate comment on my blog giving her opinion of what I had said were ridiculous questions to President Skorton. According to her, the article from the Cornell Daily Sun (our school newspaper) on which I based my post was biased and did not accurately represent the SA meeting with President Skorton. As a result, my post has done the same. If that is the case this is an issue that should be taken up with the paper since its function should be as an impartial messenger of information (with the exception of the editorial columns since after all they are editorials). Nonetheless, I still stick by what I wrote and the feelings I wrote it with. My opinions merely reflect much of the Cornell student body’s views about the SA, which has an approval rating similar to that of George Bush’s presidency. You don’t have to take my word for it, Jan Cook Moore, whom I call Cornell’s Google, (you may have spoken to her if you’ve ever called Cornell Information with a question) said that in the 26 years she has been working at the University she “has not heard one positive comment about the SA”.

The comment, however, does bring up two great points about President Skorton: his great leadership skills and vast expanse of knowledge. He is one of the very few administrators who have an office at Day Hall and talk to the student employees (like myself) who work at Day Hall. He took the swim test (and passed it) that all freshmen are required to take. He lived in a freshmen residence hall for a week. He visited my residence hall and had dessert with all the students who chose to meet him. He practiced with the Big Red Band (Cornell’s pep band). He performed in a concert with the Cornell Orchestra. Using all these examples and others, Skorton is truly showing that he wants to be a president who cares about the students. He is doing his job.

Just do Your Job

Do you expect George Bush, after he is elected to the Presidential office, to ask let’s say the Speaker of the House what his role should be?…Well I guess that’s not a good example. For George Bush substitute any president’s name except for Gerald Ford. Of course you wouldn’t expect the question to be asked, you probably wouldn’t even want it to be asked unless you like the scary realization that you just elected a leader who has no clue in which direction he/she wants to go.

Well a similar scenario happened last night. The Student Assembly (the equivalent of your high school student government just at the college level) set up a panel consisting of Assembly members to question Cornell President David Skorton. Well the questions ranged from “What kind of role the SA should take on campus,” to “what kind of non-related Cornell issues the SA should discuss?”. Are you kidding me?! I didn’t vote for you so you could go to the President and ask what you should do. I could do that myself. Your whole campaign that you presented last year was to tell me what you would do if you were elected and now you’re asking the President of Cornell what you should do. You go to Cornell, you have at least half a brain, use it! At least Skorton has the leadership qualities to lead a university (good ones at that). He responded to their questions, “It’s not appropriate to tell people how to run an elected body.” Thank you President for telling them to do their job.

Habeas Corpus Ceases to Exist

Just yesterday the President signed into authority a bill which suspends a constitutional right of every American citizen, habeas corpus. What is it? Well nothing major just your right as a person to know why you were arrested and to go before a judge to plead your case. The President has received a blank check from Congress that contains the power to imprison anyone at his discretion. Some say it’s legal because the Constitution allows it, but suspending habeas corpus is only legal “in cases of rebellion or invasion”. I’m only 19 so I have a pretty good memory, but just in case, please remind me when exactly we were invaded or were faced with a rebellion during Bush’s presidency.

This bill is something Stalin would order, something Hugo Chavez or his buddy Fidel Castro would write, not something the leader of the free world would instate. Bush has brought the country back to the dark days of John Adams and the Alien and Sedition Acts (designed to protect America from aliens alleged to be dangerous and from internal dissent amongst its own citizens), Woodrow Wilson ordering his attorney general to go after “hyphenated Americans who have poured the poison of disloyalty into the very arteries of our national life” (I guess I would count twice since I’m half-Korean-American), and Franklin Roosevelt who ordered all Japanese to detention camps (some of those who were ordered were actually Chinese). Now this President, who will never occupy the same hallowed pages as FDR, Wilson, and Adams in our history books, has done the same: taken away a staple right of Americans for the sake of protecting us from terror. Aren’t you supposed to learn from history, not repeat it? Today, fear has conquered freedom in our government. Now we have to trust a president who says with a straight face that we do not torture our prisoners. That’s something to be fearful of. What did George say to Seinfeld about lies? “It’s not a lie if you make yourself think it’s right.”

Oh, and where are the Democrats you ask? Where’s the protest from them, or did Bush get to them too? Where is Howard Dean when you need him? Your guess is as good as mine.

So if for some unlucky reason you’re the 3rd cousin of John Walker Lynn or have the same name as Timothy McVeigh (actually one of my classmates in high school had that name), then the government comes to your house and arrests you, and you don’t know why and can’t go before a judge to plead your case and defend yourself against a charge that was never told to you, realize that you live in a country where the political party in control shoots fear through its citizens bodies using the chilling, evil stare and rhetoric of Dick Cheney and a minority party that depsite receiving golden chances to regain its majority power fails to even have a voice.

Seasons are a Changing

It never fails, the week you come back to Cornell from fall break is the week when the summer temperatures turn into the chill of fall and the leaves change colors. Everyone who stays in Ithaca over the summer says that the summers are amazingly beautiful. I would have to challenge them and say that the fall easily rivals the summer with its fire red trees visible from across Cayuga Lake, the Dogwood trees blooming, and what looks like a painting of orange, yellow, and red on the mountainsides. It is one nice scene to look at and admire. What the fall also brings is homecoming including a football game against Colgate, which I won’t be seeing since I am giving tours instead, and the (in)famous hockey line. The hockey line is an overnight experience from 10pm Saturday to 6pm Sunday of students sleeping in the Ramin Room of Bartels Hall waiting for season hockey tickets. As decided by my friends and myself I’ll be taking the 10pm-3am shift on Saturday night. This way I can watch the Giants game at 1pm. Now you know my priorities.

It’s Becoming a Habit

As my fall break vacation (4 days) winds down I treasure the Giants win today over the Redskins but also am shocked at the Yankees early bow out of the playoffs. It’s their third year in a row that they’ve been booted out, twice in the first round, and the other being the infamous occurrence with the team up in the New England state that always votes Democrat. This was supposed to be the year as the Yankees line up was dubbed murderer’s row and Cano. It didn’t pan out that way and I can tell you why. It’s simple: baseball is the most underrated team sport. Everyone thinks baseball is nine individuals playing their own position and hitting in their own spot, not the case. You can’t put nine sluggers together and expect them to hit home runs. And you can’t keep signing 40 year olds to be your pitcher while you let 20 some year olds go (Andy Pettite). You need a team that complements each other. What I saw when Sheffield and Matsui were injured was a team that mirrored the image and excitement of the legendary 1998 Yankees. That team and this one were fun to watch. Young players that weren’t paid exorbitant amounts of money that actually felt like the Yankees system was part of them (Cano, Cabrera, Phillips, Proctor). These players meshed with the Yankees of my young childhood, Jeter, Williams, Posada, Rivera. And then came the trade that brought Abreu to right field. A fine trade if Matsui and Sheffield weren’t on the bench recovering. As soon as they came back the Yankee lineup was robbed of their youth and spirit and substituted with high priced free agents who in the end have no loyalty to the Yankees. Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams would never play for a different team, the Yankees are their life. But Matsui, Abreu, Sheffield, A-Rod, Giambi they could care less who they play for as long as they got paid. The solution to not winning the world series in six years, BUILD A TEAM!

The week behind and the vacation ahead

My econ pre-lim is over (wednesday afternoon), my 15-page paper is out of the way (due today at 2:55pm), my speech topic has been chosen, after my three classes today I am done! On my way home for fall break (4-day vacation) where I’ll be at my highschool’s homecoming on Saturday and watch free movies at the movie theater where I work over the summer and see the Giants win (hopefully) on Sunday coming off their bye week. Monday is my day of rest and buying things I need for college like new shoes (I put a hole in my current ones walking up the slope). Tuesday I’m on my way back to the 14853. Nice smooth vacation right there. Credit myself. Good night Payne Train Nation.

West Campus: A Cross Between 18th Century Gothic England and the 21st Century Industrialized West

West Campus at Cornell is where all sophomores, juniors, and seniors live who choose to reside on campus. For those of you who decide to come to Cornell and if you live on west after your freshmen year, you will have the chance to live in one of four new dorms, and use a brand new fitness and recreational center. The only problem is, West Campus looks like a hodgepodge of buildings plopped down and squished together. Before West Capus started renovation, it included mostly beautiful gothic style buildings, which are still there. The two new dorms that have been built thus far literally look like factories from the outside (they’re extremely nice and even luxurious on the inside) with their gray roofs, dark red bricks, and charcoal slate sidings…ugggh. This variation and clashes in style would have I. M. Pei throw up if he ever looked across west campus from his famed Herbet F. Johnson Museum of Art. And while I enjoy living inside one of the new dorms on west, it’s one of my pet peeves on how out of touch the new buildings are compared to the existing ones.