Presidential Debate Roundup

By Nick Temple

The 2012 Presidential debates—three in all—have now come and gone. Here’s a quick round-up of the high- (and low-) lights:

 

Debate 1 (Oct. 3): Domestic Policy           Moderator: PBS’ Jim Lehrer

A disastrous night for Team Obama. Coming off a series of unforced errors on the campaign trail and his lackluster performance in the Republican primary debates, Mr. Romney wasn’t expected to be much of a challenge for the president. Instead, he looked sharp, focus and prepared against an incumbent who seemed listless and badly out of his element.

Moderator Lehrer caught significant criticism for failing to keep the debate at an even keel, but home audiences didn’t seem to mind. Americans gave the debate to Mr. Romney by a 2-to-1 margin, and the former governor saw a 6-point national polling deficit shape into a statistical dead heat.

 

Debate 2 (Oct. 16): Town Hall Debate—Domestic & Foreign Policy      Moderator: CNN’s Candy Crowley

If performances in the first debate exceeded expectations, those in the 2012 town hall debate—a typically tame and uneventful format—ignored them entirely. A reinvigorated President Obama and hot-streaking Mr. Romney arrived atHofstraUniversityready for war, and it showed in their demeanor.

Both candidates were combative from the first, with plenty of back-and-forth throughout the night. President Obama’s open anger during discussion of theBenghaziconsulate attack—which Gov. Romney accused him of downplaying both out on the campaign trail and during the debate—was a strong moment for the incumbent, and gave him the edge for the night. Coupled with VP Joe Biden’s performance in his debate with Republican veep pick Paul Ryan, Debate 2 seemed to stop Obama’s bleeding in the national polls.

 

Debate 3 (Oct. 22): Foreign Policy         Moderator: CBS’ Bob Schieffer

The final debate between the two candidates was, arguably, both the most important and least-watched of the three. While the American president holds more direct sway over national foreign policy than any other area, the American electorate typically doesn’t pay much attention to the nation’s overseas actions. To worsen matters, Debate 3 aired during Monday Night Football and Game 1 of the 2012 World Series; nearly 8 million fewer viewers tuned in for the last go-round than had for the first.

The night held little opportunity for either men: Gov. Romney has struggled to differentiate himself from President Obama on foreign policy issues, and Obama was unlikely to convert many yet-undecideds on foreign policy alone. In the end, the viewing public gave Obama a nothing mark in the win column—albeit by a much narrower margin than he’d enjoyed a week prior.

 

Debate performances make for great political theater, but that’s all they are. November 6 will the real test of both candidates’ mettle, when America will choose its next president.

Students Help Local Families Celebrate Halloween

By Samantha Helmhold

Each year, Hood College Chapter of Mortar Board sponsors an event known as, “Safe Harvest.” This is sponsored in order for the kids ofFrederickto have a safe and fun evening full of trick-or-treating along with many other fun filled events.

This year, Safe Harvest was held on Oct. 25 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. The Hood students provide games inWhitakerCommonsand trick-or-treating throughout each dorm hall. Each hall decorates a certain floor in their hall for the kids to go around and get candy and enjoy a scare or two. Last year, Memorial Hall showed their Halloween spirit by having the best decorated hall on campus. Parents, also have the opportunity to walk around with their kids and enjoy a night of fun as well.

Ethan Weidman, RA of Meyran, said, “Safe Harvest is a great idea and a great chance for Hood to reach out to theFrederickcommunity and give back.” He said, “My residents absolutely love it. In fact, usually all the residents in the building come to the floor the children walk through to give them treats.” Tara Biser of Coblentz Hall said: “Our first years are really enthusiastic this year! They’ve decorated their entire floor, and House Council has done an awesome job decorating the lounge.” And Anna Nahil, President of Coblentz, said, “I think they love the kids and enjoy decorating and can’t wait to be a part of a great tradition involving the community.” Amanda Shaffrey of Shriner Hall said: “The ladies of Shriner I think it’s something they get excited about, it’s fine to decorate the dorm and dress up in costumes for the event. It’s also really nice to see just how happy the kids really are to be trick or treating.” AndChadLove, RA of Smith said: “I like how Safe Harvest includes the Frederick Community first of all and brings children as well as adults to theHoodCollegecampus. I think that the kids get as much excitement out of safe harvest as we do.”

A parent from the first tour given by Hood Students said that even if the kids didn’t have fun, she did.

Safe Harvest is an enjoyable evening that both the Hood and Frederick community can come together and have a lot of fun.

Backdoor Deal is Bad for Marylanders

By Spencer Knoll

If you vote in Maryland, Question 7 will appear on your ballot this November. The question concerns the proposed gambling expansion in the state, which will allow for table games and the construction of new ca­sinos.

Proponents of Question 7 will tell you that this expansion will provide a massive new fund­ing source for public education. Indeed, the proceeds from the casino scheme will go into the state’s education accounts. But there are no safeguards on these inflows, no restrictions, and no guarantees that our leaders in Annapolis will not, as they have in the past, tap into these reve­nues for other purposes.

Even if you do not share the concerns about where the pro­ceeds from the proposed gam­bling expansion will ultimately go, you should oppose Question 7 for the simple reason that any reasonable individual ought to take issue with the notion of the state advancing the interests of the gambling industry.

State-sponsored gambling exists mostly to fleece the poor and working class and line the pockets of the wealthy and well-connected. Complicit are the local networks and sports teams who profit from lottery advertising and sponsorship deals. It is so with the lottery, it is so with slots in Maryland, and it will be so with table games if the gambling expansion set forth in Question 7 is approved next month.

Some of us gamble for fun. There is nothing wrong with it. Your author certainly does not speak for the vice squad. No one cares, nor should they, if a casu­al gambler or a wealthy individ­ual with cash to burn choose to lose some money at the tables. But anyone who enters a casino knows that they are making a foolish decision. Many still can not help themselves. For many of our friends and neighbors, gambling addiction is a destruc­tive reality.

It ought not be the place of our government to play the role of the morality police. But we would be morally remiss to al­low it to take such an active role in an industry which wreaks havoc on so many lives.

Our government has no higher moral standing to sanc­tion gambling than it does to sanction alcohol, tobacco, or drug use. Each is a reality with which we must deal. None, in this writer’s eyes, ought to be a crime. But to allow such de­structive practices to receive our expressed support would be a moral failing of the highest or­der, and we cannot allow it to pass into law. We must defeat Question 7.

Table Games a Boon

By Nick Temple

We’ve forgotten something elemental in the realm of American politics: compromise. You aren’t going to win every fight you get in, but at the same time, you aren’t going to lose them all either. The proposed gambling expansion outlined in Question 7 isn’t a perfect deal—but it’s one in which we all win a lot more than we lose.

As it stands, there are just 5 casinos operating inMaryland, all limited to mechanical slot machines. These facilities, limited as they are, have been wildly popular with Marylanders. The debut of Maryland Live! at Arundel Mills Mall this past June saw the property filled beyond capacity—no mean feat in a building designed for 12,000.

The market is there, and it is hungry for more. And if voters approve Question 7 on Nov. 6, we’ll pave the way to opening a new, world-class gaming facility inMaryland’sNationalHarbor, allow all casinos in the state to offer table games such as blackjack and roulette to their customers, and add more than 12,000 jobs to the state’s economy.

Can we afford to let these jobs—and the gaming tax revenues—flow into states likeDelawareandWest Virginia?

Opponents of this proposal have assailed it time and again as a “shady backroom deal,” engineered to bolster Gov. Martin O’Malley’s supposed presidential aspirations and line the pockets of casino interests. I cannot tell you these claims are false, much as the opposition cannot prove them true. But even if those accusations are just, what does it matter? Are we willing to send back a gift horse because we don’t like the trailer it arrived in?

By 2017, we’re looking at nearly $850 million pouring into state and local coffers if Marylanders approve Question 7—$200 million more dollars than we could expect if we maintain the current status quo. In a state expecting a $712 million budget deficit next fiscal year, that’s huge.Marylandschools are some of the best in the country. Question 7 helps guarantee that quality into the future.

Is 7 the perfect proposal? Is it that policy panacea we’ve been holding out hope for? No. It isn’t.

But it is a start. Invest in Maryland’s future. Vote Yes on Question 7.

 

Author of ‘Factory Girls’ Leslie Chang Visits Campus

By Kimberlyn Bennett and Stacey Axler

Leslie Chang, the author of the novel “Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China,” held a keynote address in Hodson Auditorium on Oct. 24 to discuss her novel.

Chang’s nonfiction novel investigates the lives of Chinese women who move from their rural towns to cities as a way to find work. In a two-year study, the book follows two women’s stories of Chinese migrant female workers who make Western material goods.

Previous to writing her book, Chang worked as a correspond toChinafor the Wall Street Journal, which inspired her to write “Factory Girls.”

“I wrote factory girls because around that time, I was a journalist for the Wall Street Journal inChina. At that time, there were several other books and articles written about the horrible factory conditions, and I wanted to research more about it,” Chang said.

Chang began to explore the factory towns in China, which is where she found the motivation to write her book.

“I went to a factory town one weekend and met some factory workers and the story came from there. Most of the women did not fit the stereotypical role of a factory worker. They were eager to get ahead based on their backgrounds,” she said.

The book was selected for the Class of 2016 First-Year Read Program. Some students found Chang’s book eye-opening.

“Reading the book definitely opened my eyes as a consumer to the world behind the products that we buy on a regular basis inAmerica. I had no idea thatChinahad so many migrant workers or that many of the people making the products we buy are very young women,” Gabby Troutman, freshman, said.

The author spoke with students, faculty, staff and community members at a 6:00 pm address in Hodson Auditorium about her experiencing writing the novel and her challenge adopting to a new style of writing.

“Writing is my passion. I was a journalist for several years, but writing a book is very different than journalism,” Chang said.

She also met with select students from the Living Learning Communities, LLC, and Freshman Seminars in a more intimate environment in the Beneficial-Hodson library earlier that day.

“The campus seems very welcoming and friendly. I was pleasantly surprised at how engaged all the students are in their academics,” Chang said. “I got the great opportunity to meet with the LLC’s on campus to discuss their reflections on my work. The campus is exceptionally pretty, and I am glad to be here,” she continued.

Students found both of these opportunities to be insightful.

“I thought it was really interesting. It made the novel feel more realistic because I was hearing straight from the author,” Clare McNally, freshman, said. “I think the book made me more aware of what was going on outside of theU.S.because it is so easy to only pay attention to the issues in the U.S,” she continued.

Troutman agrees, “I found her discussion very interesting because I feel that it would be difficult to find strangers in another country that would allow you to hang out with them and write about them.”

 

 

Professor Spotlight: Dr. MacDougall

By Isabel Duarte

Dr Macdougall is the program director for the gerontology and thanatology graduate programs at Hood. She has worked at Hood for two years. She is a clinical psychologist who specializes in geriatric neuropsychology. Growing up, Dr. Macdougall wanted to be an actress on Broadway, and then she wanted to be a missionary. When she got to college, she decided on psychology because she wanted to help people in an applied way. For the first couple years of school, all she knew was that she liked cognitive testing, and that she didn’t want to work with kids. “They scared me, I never knew what to say to them”, she told me. The field of geriatric psychology really clicked for her when she took a class on it (with only one other person enrolled). She found she had a “unique passion for the problems that older adults faced” and she really appreciated their wisdom. Dr. Macdougall explained to me that the older population is one that especially needs well-trained psychologists, but is not paid as much attention as other age demographics.

One of the things Dr. Macdougall loves about psychology as a career is the variety it presents. She is a professor and a program director, she collaborates with other psychologists on research; She can use her knowledge how she wants to, because there are so many different ways to apply it. What she doesn’t like is the way people react to her at social events once they find out she’s a psychologist. “One of two things happens… they run away from me because they think I can read their mind… or they start telling me about their friend or kid and want advice”. She handles the second situation very gracefully, joking that she “can only help if they’re over the age of 65”.

Dr, Macdougall’s advice for students was to get real world experience in what you think your career may be: especially if you’re not sure. “Try and find something to pursue that you will feel good about getting up and doing every day. Your work life will last a very long time.” As for school right now? Dr. Macdougall’s advice is “Don’t worry about getting straight A’s. Life is more than your grades.”

Fashion: Halloween Costumes

By Daniela Kuhr

Ladies and Gentlemen: it is time to dress up and be someone else for a little while. Halloween is finally here! Being creative today is more important than any other time of the year.

But as most of us grew up watching the movie “Mean Girls” at least once (and I am not just talking about girls here), I should explain something to you. Just because Lindsay Lohan, in her role as Cady, said “In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it,” does not mean that she is right. Let me break the news to you, ladies, girls always judge, no matter what day of the year it is… So, please do not trust Lindsay on this one. You can see what became of her because of that… just kidding.

So instead of dressing up in that way, you should go for something creative. I understand most girls still want to look cute or hot (and trust me, I want that too), but as I mentioned before, being almost naked does not do the trick.

In case you do not have a costume for the parties this weekend, here are my suggestions: how about you dress up as your favorite comic figure or movie character. Using the same old standard costumes over and over again is really boring and we want to see something new and imaginative. It does not mean that it has to be expensive or that you have to buy anything. Sometimes you have everything you need in your closet. Looking up pictures online may also help you find last minute ideas.

Good luck with your costumes and have a great time at the awesome Halloween parties! Enjoy it!

Movie Review: ‘Atlas Shrugged Part II’

By Harris Smoak

Atlas Shrugged Part 2 premiered in theaters October 12th. Although there are many noticeable changes from the movies predecessor including a new cast, Atlas Shrugged part II embodies many of the principals one would expect.

The movie is based on the book Atlas Shrugged written by philosopher Ayn Rand. She is the founder of a set of philosophical principals known as objectivism which is a proponent of selfishness and a critic of altruism. Ayn Rand’s extreme support for individualism and distain for collectivist opposition is reflected in the movie as well as the book. In addition Atlas Shrugged is as much a political icon as it is a philosophical icon.

The movie takes place in future American where unemployment is 24% and gas is priced at $42 a gallon. Trains are the only affordable transportation, and Dagny Taggart is running her father’s railroad legacy. She is no longer worried about another company competing with the Taggart Transcontinental, but an extremely invasive system of government that is choking out businesses across the country.

Henry Rearden CEO of Rearden Metal, is providing the metal for Taraget Transcontinental. He stubbornly fights the government over control of his companies output. In this scenario Keynesian Economics seems to be either overlooked or represented as the platform for a government takeover of the private sector.

To make matters worse society starts to collapse as the best and the brightest continue to disappear. As the people who The Taggart Transcontinental depend most on go missing Dagny and Henry struggle to provide transportation to a market that desperately needs it. Businessmen, scientists and anyone who could help vanish, depriving the public of everything they could contribute.

And more information about John Galt is revealed!