The fourth wall : a Penn State Mont Alto student periodical. (Mont Alto, PA) 2004-????, January 01, 2008, Image 1

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-Spring 2008-
-Vol. 4 Issue 5-
By Tony Arnold
Sports Editor
Everyday we are offered
conflicting opinions on the Iraq
War. Should we or should we not
pull out? Is the troop surge
working? Are 4,000 U.S. combat
deaths too many or is this a paltry
comparison to the almost fivefold
figure accrued in the same time
span during the Vietnam War?
These are the questions that
plague us as citizens of (once) one
of the greatest superpowers of our
globe. However, I think there is
another (metaphorically) giant
question we ought to be asking
ourselves— the ones already listed
will inevitably follow.
Is America in its decadence?
Yeses across the board. The U.S.
is certainly no longer the global
economic power. A pending U.S.
By Ed Brown
Staff Writer
“If [Barack] Obama was a white
man, he would not be in this
position." And if he was a woman
of any color, he would not be in
this position. He happens to be
very lucky to be who he is. And
the country is caught up in the
concept.”. The moment 1984 Vice
Presidential candidate Geraldine
Ferraro said those words, jaws
around America dropped. Did she
just really say that? While people
will not openly admit it, I believe
that Ms. Ferraro verbalized the
thoughts of a good portion of the
American people. Whether we
want to admit it or not, she is right.
When the Obama
campaign lashed back on Hillary
only ask themselves,
recession and transpiring credit
crisis has the entire nation in an
uproar, to the point where the
economy has performed a political
coup d’état of the Iraq War,
Clinton’s campaign, Ms. Ferraro’s
retort was just as brutally
straightforward as her original
comment. “Every time that
campaign is upset about
something, they call it racist,” she
said. “I will not be discriminated
against because I’m white. If they
think they’re going to shut up
Geraldine Ferraro with that kind of
stuff, they don’t know me.” Ouch.
To be honest, I’m quite surprised
that Rev. Al Sharpton isn’t
drooling over this subject.
However, Senator
Obama himself must realize his
celebrity has nothing to do with
his accomplishments as a
legislator. He said so himself in an
address in 2006. “I’ve been very
blessed. Keynote speaker at the
Democratic convention. The cover
of Newsweek. My book made the
vaulting to the top of the average
American’s list of concerns. The
European Union has surpassed us
in GDP figures, and we certainly
of a balanced budget. On top of
this, as a nation, we spend over 50
percent of the world’s nominal
military budget. Put it this way: I
had trouble deciding which words
to italicize in that sentence. “Over
50 percent” is always an impressive
figure when dealing with a large
group, and “the world” certainly
qualifies under that category.
Considering that most of us are
already about to ditch hunting
guns and ammunition to absolve
ourselves from any possible
contribution, but here’s the real
deal-breaker: that’s only our
nominal defense spending. That
percentage, which is obscurely
conservative, does not include the
spending packages for Iraq and
Afghanistan, spending on nuclear
weapons, military technology
spending (thanks to our military-
industrial complex), and veterans
benefits (which, to be even more
sobering, are pitifully low). Wow.
All told, our government spends
over one trillion dollars a year on
Military power is generally
slipping. An overburdened army
is now stretched across the Middle
East in two open wounds that
won’t stop bleeding: Iraq and
Afghanistan. The majority of our
other troops are taking up the task
of a perpetual war on terror (an
interminable war if ever there was
one) in countries across the globe,
from Pakistan to Somalia to our own
homeland, where still more are
recruited to prevent another
catastrophic attack on our very
soil. If anything, our soil is where
the money should be spent.
Indeed, more money should be
spent on homeland security than
on cowboy-like crusades for
see Reflection page 2
best-seller list. I just won a Grammy
for reading it on tape. Really, what
else is there to do? Well, I guess I
could pass a law or something.”
He delivered the punch line with a
broad smile on his face. This
freshman senator has had
celebrity, unfortunately none of
which is an attribute to his work in
the Senate. Senator Obama was
received with a cold shoulder in
the Senate, viewed as naive. In
fact, after finished his first year in
the Senate, Senator Obama was
quoted as saying “I think it’s very
possible to have a Senate career
here that is not particularly
Senator Obama, along the
campaign trail, has made promises
of a bipartisan government under
his leadership. However, his voting
record proves otherwise, showing
he has stuck to his side of the aisle
most of the time.
The reality of the matter
is, Senator Obama has zero
experience in Washington, doesn’t
know the politics game firsthand,
and has a naive view of how things
should be. Why should this man
be elected president? Furthermore,
why is he as popular as he is? One
might assume that it is because his
main demographic is the black
community. This is incorrect.
According to the latest polls,
Senator Clinton at 53% has a
drastic lead in support from the
black community compared to
Senator Obama’s 27%. Perhaps
there is no set formula to see why
Senator Obama has gained such
momentum and support.
When talking to friends
who support Senator Obama, they
all say it’s because he is a fresh
face, and won’t play the
Washington “game”.
Unfortunately, it’s my personal
opinion that we need someone who
plays the Washington “game” well
in order to settle this whole mess
in the Middle East, and not
someone learning the ropes as
they go. Look at a history of
Presidents with inexperience in
Washington politics.
Going back as far as
Ulysses S. Grant, who had no
political experience, and won the
presidency. He wasn’t very
experienced and had a relatively
uneventful presidency. The
notable president with relatively
little experience would be JFK.
Unfortunately, JFK was
see Obama page 2