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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Observer

Viewpoint


The Observer

Disappointment

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Dear Notre Dame Fans, I am very disappointed in you. I am not talking about those who are alumni or students of the University but those who call themselves fans and do not get into the game and really cheer the Irish on. During the SC and BC games too many "fans" were not getting into the game like a true fan should but rather chose to kill the atmosphere and not defend out home field advantage. Its a Notre Dame Football game and being loud, cheering and yes occasionally shouting obscenities (I am sorry I try not to but its football) will happen. If you are not willing to attend a game with the same enthusiasm as I am then do not attend. Notre Dame Football is not an experience but rather a way of life. If you are looking for an experience then take junior to Disneyland or the Grand Canyon definitely no loud or obnoxious behavior will be heard there. Also if anyone, fan or especially stadium usher, can explain to me how chanting Backup College is considered swearing please do? Thank you for your time in reading my letter. Stephen Springfield alumnus Class of '08 Oct. 24


The Observer

Girl Gamers

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I've spent the past two and a half years looking for other girls who play video games, and after much searching, I've decided to do as all Notre Dame students do and turn to The Observer to voice my frustration. I'm a junior, and in my time here I've only met three girls with video game consoles in their rooms, and two of those systems were used exclusively for party games like Rock Band and Wii Sports. By comparison, most of the ND boys I know have at least one gaming system in their room, and many of them have two. They also play them a lot more than the girls I know do. The apparent lack of widespread feminine interest in video games frustrates me, not only as an empowered woman and a more-than-casual gamer, but as a penny-pinching college student whose younger brother back in Virginia refuses to relinquish the Xbox 360. I'll be brutally honest- it's getting cold outside and I don't want to walk across campus to guy friends' dorms whenever I want to play Halo ODST or Left 4 Dead. I'm a girl gamer, or a girl who plays video games for fun. Girl gamers can be casual players who break out Mario Kart and Guitar Hero when company comes over, hardcore competitive players who log hours daily and anywhere in between. Given the overwhelmingly male fanbase of all video games, female players often encounter hostility, ranging from insults about appearance, sexuality and gaming ability to criticisms about the games they choose to play. Even casual games of Mario Kart among friends can turn ugly when girls beat guys. We've all seen it. I played World of Warcraft freshman and part of sophomore year, much to my roommate's chagrin, and observed not only the interesting and addictive world of massively multiplayer online games, but the ways in which openly female players can be harassed. Many of the girls I talked to online chose to play as male characters in order to avoid negative attention. This may be in large part due to the somewhat inhospitable conditions for females in the gamer world, and it's no wonder! One of the most popular themes of video games across platforms involves macho men rescuing pathetic/stupid females. Not exactly encouraging. Thirty-eight percent of video game players are girls, according to the Entertainment Software Association in a report released last year. That means that there must be more girls at Notre Dame and Saint Mary's who game and just aren't out in the open about it. Why not? Video games are an excellent way to escape from papers and tests, as well as a great means of releasing pent-up aggression. Lots of colleges have campus-wide gaming clubs for this very reason, as well as to encouragethe fun of multiplayer gaming. Girl gamers of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's, teach other girls to play. Invite the freshman on your hall to play Super Smash Brothers or Mario Kart. Not only will you make new friends, you'll be helping other young women relax through cartoonish violence. It's not Aperture Science, ladies.  


The Observer

Pro-life vs. Pro-birth

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In response to Christopher Damian's letter ("Who we are," Oct. 14), if you and all others who call themselves "pro-lifers" can honestly look at yourselves and stand before God and say that you are for the abolishment of capital punishment; that you are anti-war; that you are for a person's right to a dignified death; that you care deep in your heart about the welfare of children born into houses of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, substance, etc.), neglect, abandonment and poverty and are willing to fight for those children; if you consider adopting a child from a mother who doesn't want it or is too young, or too stoned, or too inexperienced, or too lazy to raise the child; if you're willing to pay for a child born with numerous physical disabilities that will require a lifetime of medical care; if you care about equal educational opportunities, access to medical care and other means and programs to help the child succeed and become a valued, productive member of society, and to prevent the same child from becoming a ward of the state either through foster care or the prison system, then you can stand on top of the dome, wave your flag and proudly proclaim yourselves pro-life If you meet these qualifications and standards, I too will admit to you being pro-life. Otherwise, you are just "anti-abortion," or better still "pro-birth," because that's what most so-called pro-lifers really are. This is not sanctimonious validation on my part, just a definition. By your comments, you indicate to me that you are and will continue to be pro-birth. If you are, man up and accept that you are: there's nothing wrong with that, and fight for that. I applaud your efforts in arranging the cemetery. But fight also for ways to reduce the number of abortions as President Obama told our graduating seniors back in May. The responsibility of being a pro-lifer is so much more than just setting up a couple of crosses. You can't consider yourself one until you reconcile your beliefs with your actions on what happens to the life of the child after he or she comes into this world, and how you and society at large will take care of that child. If you claim to be a follower of Christ, that is his charge to you and to me. "Christian" is not a title, it's a responsibility. You get to justify your "pro-life" beliefs before God, not only through words but actions as well. I personally believe abortion is abhorrent and evil. But I also believe in the sanctity of all human life - from the womb to the tomb. Eduardo Magallanez alumnus class of 1983 Oct. 14  


The Observer

True Fighting Irish

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Dear Notre Dame, Saint Mary's, and Holy Cross students: You are the most incredible, hardest-working fans on the face of the planet. And, how about that band of yours? Dead sexy, and they sound great too. Watching Saturday's game on my laptop in Scotland, I could feel the electricity in South Bend from here. I hope you indulged yourselves at The Backer. You rule. Lauren Mangiaforte senior off campus Oct. 17  

The Observer

Turn it up

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As Ron Burgundy once said: "I wanna say something. I'm gonna put it out there; if you like you can take it, and if you don't, send it right back." As you know, recent opponents have called our stadium "quiet." While this is no doubt attributable to the many wine-and-cheese alumni who enjoy nothing more than to tell other patrons to sit down during the game, our student section could improve. I propose two enhancements: 1. When the band plays the Celtic Chant, make noise. Waiving your arms in silence is not intimidating, nor does it contribute to home field advantage. During the game against UW in the fourth quarter, as soon as the band began to play the Celtic Chant the whole section around me became silent and pumped their arms skyward in unison. If we are to continue this "cheer" let us add some crowd noise. Yell along in unison with the band. 2. Make loud continuous noise from the end of the play to the subsequent snap of the ball. Many times our student section does not begin to cheer until the other team has broken the huddle and has come to the line. If we were to be loud from the end each play it could hamper the other teams ability to call the correct play in the huddle and lessen their time to make audibles and calls at the line of scrimmage. There is no shame in being unable to speak on Sundays. Aaron Solem law student off campus Oct. 14  


The Observer

Love in truth

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Our first three columns this term discussed the Obama administration's takeover of the American private sector, including the automotive industry, banking, health care, student loans, etc. To avoid getting lost in details, let's note some controlling principles offered by Pope Benedict XVI in his third encyclical, "Love in Truth" (Caritas in Veritate) (CIV), issued June 29. CIV builds upon his first two encyclicals, "God is Love" (Deus Caritas Est, 2006) and "In Hope We Were Saved" (Spe Salvi, 2007). It carries forward Benedict's assertion in his first World Day of Peace message, on Jan. 1, 2006, that "Any authentic search for peace must begin with the realization that the problem of truth and untruth is the concern of every man and woman; it is decisive for the peaceful future of our planet." His first three encyclicals emphasize that love and acceptance of the truth about man and God offer the only hope for peace. "Jesus," said Benedict in that message, "defined himself as the Truth in person, and … states his complete aversion to 'everyone who loves and practices falsehood.'" CIV focuses on "integral human development," as urged by Paul VI in "Populorum Progressio" in 1967. CIV's opening words note the spiritual as well as material character of such development: "Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness … is the … driving force behind the … development of every person and of all humanity." CIV deserves attention, especially within the Beltway and in the media. Don't hold your breath waiting for that. Let us, rather, note some unfashionable truths offered in CIV: 1. Solidarity. We are relational by nature. John Paul II described "the full meaning of freedom" as "the gift of self in service of God and one's brethren." Veritatis Splendor, No. 87. "The human being," said CIV, "is made for gift." No. 34. "Economy and finance … can be used badly where those at the helm are motivated by purely selfish ends … [I]n commercial relationships … gratuitousness and the logic of gift as an expression of fraternity … must find their place within normal economic activity." No. 36. 2. Subsidiarity. "[I]t is an injustice for a larger and higher organization to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower bodies." Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno (1931), No. 79. This principle insists on "the autonomy of intermediate bodies … and is the most effective antidote against [an] all-encompassing welfare state." No. 56. Obamacare and other takeovers are at war with this principle. 3. The moral law applies to all human activity. "The conviction that man is self-sufficient and can … eliminate … evil … by his own action alone has led him to confuse happiness and salvation with material prosperity and social action. [T]he conviction that the economy must be autonomous [and] shielded from 'influences' of a moral character [has] led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom." (No. 34). Integral human development requires more than self-interest. It requires "upright … financiers and politicians whose consciences are … attuned to … the common good." No 71. 4. Consistent ecology. "The Church … must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation … She must above all protect mankind from self-destruction … [T]he decisive issue is the … moral tenor of society. If there is a lack of respect for the right to life and to a natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society [loses] the concept of human ecology and, along with it, that of environmental ecology. It is contradictory to insist that future generations respect the natural environment when our educational systems and laws do not help them to respect themselves. The book of nature … takes in not only the environment but also life, sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations: in a word, integral human development. Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person … It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. Herein lies a grave contradiction in our mentality and practice." No. 36. Exhibit A for that contradiction is the pro-abortion politician who told Notre Dame's graduates last May that they "must decide how to save God's creation from a changing climate that threatens to destroy it." 5. Population growth is good. "[O]penness to life," CIV states, is "a rich social and economic resource. Populous nations have [emerged] from poverty thanks not least to the size of their population and [their] talents … [F]ormerly prosperous nations are [in] decline … because of their falling birth rates; this [is] a crucial problem for highly affluent societies. The decline in births … puts a strain on social welfare systems, increases their cost, eats into … financial resources needed for investment, reduces the availability of … labourers, and narrows the 'brain pool.' … [S]maller … families run the risk of impoverishing social relations, and failing to ensure … solidarity. These situations are symptomatic of a scant confidence in the future and moral weariness. It is … a social and even economic necessity … to hold up to future generations the beauty of marriage and the family, and the fact that these institutions correspond to the deepest needs and dignity of the person … States are called to enact policies promoting the centrality and the integrity of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman … and to assume responsibility for its … needs, while respecting its … relational character." No. 44. 6. Respect for life is essential to development. "In … developed countries, legislation contrary to life [contributes] to the spread of an anti-birth mentality … [A]ttempts are made to export this mentality to other States as if it were a form of cultural progress. "Some … [o]rganizations work … to spread abortion [and promote] sterilization in poor countries, in some cases not even informing the women concerned. [D]evelopment aid is sometimes linked to the … imposition of strong birth control measures. Further grounds for concern are laws permitting euthanasia as well as pressure … in favor of its juridical recognition." No. 28. "Openness to life," CIV concludes, "is at the center of true development. When a society moves towards the denial or suppression of life, it ends up no longer finding the… motivation and energy to strive for man's true good." No. 28. The Pope is the one universal voice showing the way to a Culture of Life built on love, Truth and hope. It is time even for politicians to give him a listen. Professor Emeritus Rice is on the law school faculty. He may be reached at rice.1@nd.edu or 574-633-4415. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.


The Observer

Who we are

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Joseph McMahon has accused Notre Dame Right to Life's Cemetery of the Innocents of having little value because it is not intellectual ("Crossed out," Oct. 12). However, he fails to understand the purpose of the demonstration. Our main goal is not just "to convert pro-choicers on campus or … to encourage them to consider a different point of view." Our goal is not just to prove people wrong. Our goal is not just to provide intellectual stimulation. Our goal is to stand up for Truth. During the civil rights movement, sit-ins, marches and protests were not staged in the name of intellectual stimulation. They were staged in the name of justice. We did not set up the cemetery because it is intellectually stimulating. We set it up in the name of justice. We are not Sophists. We are Catholics. It is who we are. We are a voice for the voiceless. We are the voice of hope. We are the voice of truth. We speak out against abortion because of who we are. We are Catholic. We are pro-life. Mary does not stand on the Dome to make an intellectual point. She is there because of who we are. We are Notre Dame. We know what we stand for. Clearly, the demonstration did provide some intellectual stimulation. If it did not, McMahon would not have had anything to write about. Christopher Damian freshman Dillon Hall Oct. 12


The Observer

What if?

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Look in the mirror next chance you get. Then, look around the room and take note of everything you can. Think about how it got there. Have you ever stopped and wondered how your life got to this exact point? We have all heard about the butterfly effect. The premise is that a butterfly that flaps its wings in China can cause a tornado in America (or something similar to that). It has been studied by philosophy professors and mathematicians around the world. It was even the premise of a bad Ashton Kutcher movie. And regardless of its accuracy (or lack thereof), it raises an interesting discussion. Life really is all about the little things. Sure, we have all had our life changing moments: big, momentous occasions packed with a lot of pressure and emotion and the knowledge that our lives will never be the same, regardless of the outcome. For a lot of us, they came in the form of big sporting events, concerts or tough decisions about the future. However, for these, we knew full well going into those decisions what their effect was going to be. Sometimes, though, life throws us a curveball when we aren't looking for it. Things that would seem to be inconsequential actually have had a bigger impact on our lives then we could have ever imagined at the time. So I looked in the mirror and thought long and hard this weekend (25 hours on a bus to and from New York will do that to you) about how exactly I got to this point. Here is some of what I came up with: What if I had been placed in afternoon kindergarten instead of the morning class? I met my first friends in that morning class - the ones that I would spend my entire elementary school life with. Those friends you make will have a huge impact on how you turn out, as elementary schoolers are very impressionable. Who knows how I would have turned out if I was placed in a completely different set of kids? I probably would have had radically different interests. What if my parents decided not to take me to college football games almost every fall Saturday growing up? It sounds shallow, maybe even lame, but there is no way that I can deny the effect that those games have had on me. By traveling across the country following around Purdue (I know, I know), I developed a very deep - at times obsessive - passion for college football. I don't think it is a coincidence that I ended up at a college that shares my obsessive passion for the game.


The Observer

Not a good policy for military, why here?

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If people can stand one more response to "Don't ask, don't tell" (Oct. 7) I would interject the following comment from life experience: Mr. Mullen suggested that Notre Dame adopt the "don't ask, don't tell" policy from the military. He does not go on to explain if that policy is of a benefit to the military. I would offer that it is not a good policy at all. After almost a decade in uniform, I consider the policy to be one of the most shameful ever enacted. Having served in ground, sea and aviation units, I can attest that the homosexuals I served with were the bravest, most patriotic and competent service members I ever met. Asking them to conceal their sexual orientation in a way that heterosexuals do not have to is a knife in the back to the gay men and women who volunteer to protect America and who may ultimately die in that effort. If Notre Dame is to look to the policies of other organizations as Mr. Mullen suggests that they should, I recommend not looking to a policy that denies dignity to so many of our fighting men and women and inhibits recruitment of so many other talented individuals. The "don't ask, don't tell" policy denigrates every gay American service member that his given his or her life in battle and should not be exported to any other organization. Joe Sullivan first year law student off campus Oct. 13


The Observer

All hail the hodag

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Dear people who make the mythical creatures bracket: Seriously? You had the werewolf beating the hodag? There wasn't even a full moon. The last full moon was Oct. 4, prior to that matchup. Get your facts straight. Which means that the hodag, the incredibly cunning little beast that does in fact roam the woods of Northern Wisconsin, would've just been fighting some guy. And I'm pretty sure that some random dude would lose to a stealthy creature with claws and a spiky dinosaur tail, not to mention tusks. You guys obviously do not understand the majesty that is the hodag. Tell me, is there a radio station named after the werewolf? A festival? Do werewolves have commercials talking about how awesome they are? Let me think ... no. They don't. And what does? Oh, that's right, a hodag. And saying it shames the entire state of Wisconsin? Really? At least we Wisconsinites don't play Duck, Duck, Grey Duck.


The Observer

Spice up Viewpoint

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Lately I've been hearing a lot of talk about the lack of effort put forth in the Viewpoint section by the student body. For all the haters out there, allow me to say that you are completely right. I mean c'mon people, are we really expected to read viewpoints about the same topics week in and week out? As much as I care about hookups and issues of homosexuality and what not, no one's going to get Buddie-status by reinventing the wheel. Actually no one will ever get Buddie status again, but we can at least strive for greatness. But let's get back to the matter at hand. People submitting views out there need to step their game up. I know you have to let the whole world know that premarital sex is against Catholic teaching, but you're not going to change people's opinions in a paragraph. So do us all a favor and save the theological debates for the classroom. Second, what's with all the alumni all of a sudden having a Dr. Phil moment? Did you just wake up one morning, eat your breakfast, and suddenly have a desire to get something off your chest. Guess what, you had your shot when you were here, but you missed out, so quit taking up space you old windbags. Third, enough talk about issues of integrity, or lack thereof. I'm in college, not in grammar school. If I wanted someone to tell me how to live my life, I'd pack my bags and transfer to BYU. The next time someone steals a piece of your pizza at Reckers, do something about. Just don't start crying in our viewpoint. Finally, the ever-popular hookup topic. Probably the most-talked about issue in our sacred forum, hookups really don't catch my attention like they used to. First of all, it's not a real hookup. Second, people don't really care. Third, we all hate parietals to some extent. Unless of course you are one of those people concerned with shoving integrity down our throats, in which case you should probably be living with the Amish. So what should be gracing the cover of the only section of the Observer students might read? I can't speak for everybody, but this what I would like to see on a typical Tuesday morning: 1) A solid argument of why Golden Grahams is the most underrated cereal of all time. 2) A complaint regarding the undeniable east coast bias on ESPN. 3) An absolute roast of Chipotle as the most overrated thing of all time (if you've ever been to Mo's, you will understand). 4) The complicated decision process in making a taco in the Dining Hall. So before you write your next viewpoint about the ethics of one-sided printing, just think about those of us with bigger things on our minds. Because if you don't that's at least five seconds of my life I'm not getting back.


The Observer

Go ahead and rush

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This letter is a response to Kevin Sullivan's "Don't rush the field" (Oct. 12). I hope this does not come across as a vent; however, I don't know what annoys me more: alumni writing into The Observer (I realize Mr. Sullivan only graduated last year, but still) or fans being ignorant to the fact that we just haven't been a good football team lately. If you have to make it an obvious point that we are a better team than another, it probably means that we are not or at least most people think we are not. The last time we beat USC was eight years ago under Bob Davie. Since then our dominating Irish are a whopping 0-7, we have been supreme on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, getting outscored 284-95 (or 76-3 in the last two years of our Heisman hopeful's tenure). So I say that if we do beat the number six-ranked USC Trojans, who have already allowed a disappointing three touchdowns this year (one came in the final 30 seconds against Washington State) and have only rushed for a measly 1,040 yards as a team (don't worry, we will get them on the goal line this time around), we should definitely bull rush the field. Heaven forbid we show our support for the guys who have looked more fired up to play every down for the gold helmets then ever since I have been here. Why not go down after the game and give Pete Carroll one of his patented high fives for not completely annihilating us this year, or put your arm around a sweaty Jimmy or someone else on the team that just worked their butt off for your entertainment and belt out the Alma Mater like some ecstatic kid in the candy store? I know, it sounds way more fun and pompous to stay in the stands and golf clap after every touchdown and victory with our better team's performances, but I just think some of us could get off of our high horses and try and have a good time for once. Go Irish! Destroy USC! Hugh McDermott junior Carroll Hall Oct. 12


The Observer

Love, fear and the Nobel Peace Prize

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Barely twelve days into his presidency, the wise Norwegians on the Nobel Committee nominated Barack Obama to be the next winner of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize. The absurdity of this decision is self-evident; how could a fledgling president, one who faced criticism during the campaign for his lack of accomplishments, possibly qualify as a candidate for such an honor? But the committee did not stop there. This past Friday, the world awoke to discover that the Prize had been awarded to Mr. Hope-and-Change himself. "Thanks to Obama's initiative," the committee declared upon its announcement, "the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened." Translation: We hate George W. Bush and his "my way or the highway" approach to foreign policy. We hope that this award will encourage Obama in fulfilling his promise to bend America to the collective will of the international community. Since those twelve fateful days that marked the beginning of President Obama's quest for world peace, we have witnessed just how far he is willing to go to distance himself from his predecessor on the world stage. In the Spring, he embarked upon a whirlwind Apology Tour, begging the world to forgive America for its past arrogance and dismissive attitude toward Europe, for its decision to use the atomic bomb to end World War II, for setting off the recent financial crisis, for failing to properly pursue "engagement" with our Latin American neighbors, for torturing terrorist detainees, for denying African Americans the right to vote, for its ill-treatment of Native Americans, and on ad infinitum. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insisted that Obama had managed to change our nation's image and thus pave the way toward a safer, stronger America. Yet instead of echoing Obama's pathetic attempts to win concessions through admission of weakness, other nations gleefully declared the beginning of the end of American primacy and offered neither concrete concessions nor admissions of sins. September saw the second phase of the Obama Plan for Peace come to fruition. During this phase, the president threw a number of dedicated American allies under the bus in hopes of gaining favor among the international community for sanctions against Iran. He used his platform at the United Nations General Assembly to declare that "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements" in an effort to appease Middle Eastern dictators by trying to draw some sort of moral equivalency between states that promote terrorism and one whose security is threatened daily by its staunchly anti-Semitic neighbors. As if that was not enough, he then sold out the Czech Republic and Poland by scrapping a missile-defense security arrangement in accordance with Russian demands. Funny, I seem to recall a similar selling-out taking place in the 1930s involving Czechoslovakia, a naive British Prime Minister, and a tiny-mustached dictator… except this time, Obama did not even get a signature on a piece of paper: he got nothing. He even snubbed the Dalai Lama by refusing to meet with him in Washington after the Chinese stepped up their campaign to urge nations to spurn the Nobel Peace Prize winner and spiritual leader of Tibet, all to avoid creating controversy ahead of Obama's meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao. It looks like Obama has come up with a new twist on the saying, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer," replacing it with something like, "keep your enemies close and abandon your allies." The problem with this approach to foreign affairs is that its obsessive fixation on rejecting the Bush doctrine also dismisses its strengths. Now I am not saying that Bush's foreign strategy was perfect, but it does not warrant the complete 180 degree turnaround that characterizes the current administration's strategy. The reason for this observation is best understood in light of Niccolo Machiavelli's famous statement that if a leader cannot be both loved and feared it is safer for him to be feared, as long as he avoids inciting hatred. "Men," he states, "are less worried about harming somebody who makes himself loved than someone who makes himself feared, for love is held by a chain of obligation which, since men are bad, is broken at every opportunity for personal gain. Fear, on the other hand, is maintained by a dread of punishment which will never desert you." While Bush and his foreign policy advisors understood the utility of fear, their actions stirred the already-simmering cauldron of anti-Americanism until it bubbled over into hatred. Obama, on the other hand, naively presumes that international relations are built upon the universal hope to achieve world peace and cooperation. Sadly this is not the case. Nations, like men in the state of nature, are focused on furthering their own interests in the fight to survive, and the most effective means of survival is to achieve global hegemony. Otherwise, the threat of being subject to the will of another, more powerful nation is omnipresent. In its failure to understand this fundamental fact, the current administration has set us upon a course of action that will do more to harm the prospect of peace than to enable it, as demonstrated by its aggressive pursuit of international adoration that portrays America as weak and promotes the belligerence of our enemies. Need proof? Just look to two rogue nations that, along with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, combined to form what President Bush called the "Axis of Evil." Both North Korea and Iran continue unabashed in developing their nuclear weapons programs. Most recently, Iran launched another round of offensive missile tests amidst new revelations about an illegal uranium enrichment facility near Qom. And despite Obama's unconditional concessions on missile defense and refusal to meet with the Dalai Lama, neither Russia nor China have budged on their refusal to sign onto any U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran. If Obama hopes to someday achieve a nuclear-free world, he sure has a strange way of putting words into action. Ironically, the Nobel Prize Committee justified its decision to award Obama the Peace Prize based on its attachment of "special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons." Perhaps if the President sought to take Machiavelli's advice into account, built on the more favorable stance the world has toward his goals and intentions, he would prove himself worthy of this honor. But as long as he continues down the aggressively anti-Bush path, he will sacrifice efficacy for mere ideology and posturing. Christie Pesavento is a senior who is majoring in political science and sociology. She can be reached at cpesaven@nd.edu The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.


The Observer

Rush it

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While I hate to openly suggest that the students should rush the field for safety and violations sake, I completely disagree with the sentiment that we should act like "we've been there before" or that we are "better than that" ("Don't rush the field," Oct. 12). This isn't Syracuse or Pitt or even BC or Michigan where we expect to win, this is USC, our rival and one of the premier football schools this decade. The team needs the students even more this week than ever before, and that means whipping yourselves into a frenzy and being louder than you ever have been. Being in the stands and almost rushing the field in '05 remains one of my best experiences at Notre Dame. The students who weren't on campus for the "Brady years" deserve the opportunity to go nuts, scream your lungs out and help to lift the team to something that they haven't achieved in quite some time. Go ahead and get caught up in the excitement; it's OK. It's time that we as ND stop always worrying about how to protect the image of the University (especially during a USC game) and actually take pride in being a family and celebrating a win together. If you have been near insane all game and can't stop yourself from rushing the field to join the team, your classmates and friends, when the clock hits zeroes, then more power to you. Do yourselves a favor and don't hesitate to get into this game - you only get so many during your time on campus. It's midterm week this week anyway; don't you owe it to yourselves to let off some steam and take out all that frustration on the Trojans? Enjoy yourselves and don't let the opportunity pass you by. Drew Spada alumnus class of 2009 Oct. 11



The Observer

If you criticize me you're intolerant

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In his Oct. 9 Letter ("Shouldn't ask, shouldn't matter"), Andy Hills claims "If someone says he or she has nothing against homosexuals but agrees with the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality, it is a lie." His argument begins with the assumption that as Catholics we "have something against" anyone who sins. In reality, as any priest who hears confessions would tell you, disapproving of a sin has nothing to do with demonizing an individual. Hills continues by saying that asking gay people not to act on their feelings is "a slap in the face". However, homosexuals certainly do not have a monopoly on sinful inclinations. Premarital sex, divorce, birth control, and abuse of alcohol are all sins that I'm sure many would like to see disregarded. According to Hills the refusal of the church to base its teachings on our feelings is "tyrannical" and "nearly evil". Should the Catholics then try to play "catch up" with superior secular morality as Hills suggests? If we are to be truly genuine about this endeavor I suggest that in addition to supporting homosexual lifestyles, the church endorse extramarital sex because let's face it, none of us like controlling our sex drive. For that matter, I move that cursing and getting drunk should be approved of as well, since the majority of the population seems to do both frequently and quite enthusiastically. Basically, the church needs to drop this whole "morality" complex altogether and just forget about the sins that are difficult for us to avoid. And as for the University, why stop at a group that supports homosexual lifestyles? I'd like to start the PAU (Pornography Aficionados United) and the CSA (Catholic Swingers Association). Speaking for the male population on campus, I have to say these would enjoy a widespread popularity. The University needs to drop their "ancient prejudices" against these widely accepted activities. As individuals we all have the freedom to live as we deem fit. We do not have the freedom to demand that everyone around us change to endorse our choices or risk being labeled intolerant. Bigotry is a two way street Mr. Hills. Christopher Harrington alumnus class of 2008 Oct. 12


The Observer

What's really important

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I have been totally surprised and utterly disgusted at the gross misinterpretation of Catholic social teaching in viewpoints last week. Therefore, I believe a little refresher in Catholic teaching taken straight from the Catechism is in order. Several people have argued that the Church teaches there is nothing wrong with the fact that someone has homosexual inclinations.This is false, and the Catechism says so: "The [homosexual] inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial." Homosexuality is wrong in that it is objectively disordered, based upon the natural law and human nature. However we must be clear, homosexual inclinations are disordered, not sinful in themselves. The sin only occurs when an individual takes action on these inclinations. For heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, engaging in impure sexual thoughts or engaging in sex acts outside marriage are mortal sins. Since homosexual inclinations are not sinful if they are not acted upon, we should not condemn a homosexual person simply because they are homosexual. We need to support our homosexual brothers and sisters, not condemn them. "They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every unjust discrimination should be avoided." We must not be homophobic or encourage hateful attitudes towards homosexuals. At the same time, we should not promote or encourage homosexuality or homosexual behavior. In permitting homosexual groups, or recognition in the non-discrimination policy, we must not simply create a culture of "toleration" and leave it at that. That would be a failure of our Catholic Mission. We should help our homosexual brothers and sisters to live chastely (like we all should), and encourage them that "by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection." This is what groups like Core Council should seek to accomplish. Notre Dame is still a Catholic university, and as such, it has a solemn duty to teach and impart the teachings of the Catholic Church, particularly with regards to the natural law, on its students. And until Notre Dame comes toppling down from the golden dome, it should remain that way.




The Observer

USC pep rally

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Dear whoever is in charge of pep rallies, Why is the pep rally for the biggest game I will ever witness as a student being held at Irish Green? Those things are pathetic excuses for pep rallies. Any pep rally that does not include the whole team, the whole band and the largest portion of the student body is not worthy of any game, much less this game. What happened to holding it in the stadium? Or better yet, if the powers that be want some nice little carnival to cater to kids and old alums, go ahead and have that for them. Have a coach go speak down there. Let the students and team have another one in Stepan. Beat SC! Sincerely, Tara Pillai senior Pasquerilla East Hall Oct. 8