Monday, March 5, 2007

Money Issues Update

As you can clearly see, we were not able to fix our funding "snafu" as of yet, despite our best efforts. This has forced us to keep the same formatting as our last issue. Just as with that one, if you prefer to read this publication in its standard format (11x17 tabloid) it is available (in color) on our website ( What you are reading now is exactly the same as you will find on our website, it has just been scaled down in size.

We are doing everything in our power to ensure this publication will return to its normal size before the end of the semester.

On the brighter side, this issue has seen us expand once again. It has been our goal to add people to our staff each time we print. In this issue (as you can see to the right of this article), we reached 40 people. In part, this influx of people has forced us to expand the size of our publication. If you look at the upper left-hand corner of this page you will see the number 14. Although it may not seem like much, this represents a 1/6th growth in the size of our publication.

As always, we would like to hear what you think. E-mail us at and let us know.

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Triple Take

Triple Take

Instead of our traditional Double Take, in this issue we chose to do a Triple Take. The topic is whether any branch of our government is the most dangerous or has the greatest potential to destroy our democracy.


The Constitution entrusts the Supreme Court with an awesome responsibility to judge the constitutionality of laws. It is the highest court in the land and, consequently, the most powerful. This power, if abused, represents the greatest threat to our democracy, as the Supreme Court is the government's least democratic branch.

The executive branch (or the president) is chosen by the people in a general election. Every citizen (barring certain specific restrictions such as felons) takes part in a vote through the Electoral College, determining who will be the next president of the United States. The legislative branch (comprised of both Congress and the Senate) is composed of members also chosen by election. These elections are restricted one of 435 Congressional districts, or states, respectively. One important similarity in both these branches is specified terms. Both of these branches are beholden to the people. If they fail voters' expectations, it is likely they will not be re-elected.

The Judiciary branch is led by the Supreme Court. The judges that comprise the court are not elected by the people. This is the only branch with members who are not votedinto office. Instead, the President nominates someone who then has to be confirmed by the Senate. As you can see, at no point in this process are the people or citizens asked for their opinion.

The members on the Supreme Court have life tenure. With no re-election, renomination or reconfirmation to worry about, these judges can go essentially unchecked. All it would take is five so called "activist" judges to threaten are very system of government. It would also be almost impossible to dislodge these judges, given their life tenure. Once in place, this block of judges would be able to overturn democratically created laws by finding "inferences" in the constitution or citing some sort of Natural Law.

This is not to say that the current Supreme Court is a threat to our democracy, rather the Supreme Court poses a greater hypothetical threat to our democracy than any of the other branches can. If corruption occurs in the other branches, the officials in question will not stay in power; their term will end or they will be impeached. In contrast, Supreme Court judges have no term limit and it is almost impossible to dislodge them without their consent.

I say all this as an aspiring lawyer who may one day have to argue in front of the Supreme Court. Hopefully, they won't hold this article against me.

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The Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues

Right World View

Generally speaking, Conservative organizations tend to despise The Vagina Monologues. Some groups send out literature against it and others make parodies of the play. Additionally, there are those who just ignore it altogether. To see what all the fuss was about, I decided to go see the play myself.

Before delving any further, I will draw a clear line between the acting and the play. The acting was marvelous. Despite being a fairly long show, there were only two apparent mishaps. A dividing wall fell down on one of the performers, and one of the ‘mood lights’ failed to turn on when it was supposed to. Even these looked like they could have been intentional. The packed room laughed when the play was funny and became somber on cue. To make sure this is clear, The Vagina Monologues was performed very well and I congratulate all involved on a job well done.

As to the content of the play itself, it was not nearly as bad as I was expecting, given what I had heard from others. The play showed many examples of ‘bad’ men. It was not trying to show that all men are bad, but some are, and it is important to make the distinction between messages of a few "bad seeds" as opposed to "a bad gender"

The play was about women's empowerment. Conservatives in general see nothing wrong with this. As long as it is not in the context of ‘radical feminism’, there is nothing wrong with women's empowerment. This empowerment should not be "over" men any more than men should be ‘over’ women, and should be towards true equality.

The play had some commentary on traditional Arab/Muslim female clothing. It made a point to not insult the culture; it did seem to condemn any woman being forced to wear clothes against her will. Again, Conservatives would generally agree with this.

Perhaps the scene with which Conservatives would disagree the most was a monologue about a 16 year old woman's sexual encounter with an older, ‘more experienced’ female. In the monologue, the older woman advises her that all men are bad, and that she should never rely on them. As mentioned before, there are bad men, but not all men are bad. In a healthy relationship you must be able to rely on your spouse and your spouse must be able to rely on you.

The money raised in the show will all go to charity. I would say that if you are curious about the play, go see it for yourself. Just don't bring children.

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Letter From the Editor (Right World View Vol. I, No. 7)

For the better part of this academic year, I have been trying to keep what I perceived as a personal vendetta against me out of the limelight for its sheer absurdity. But given the article in the last issue of the Touchstone (Volume 61, Issue 4) entitled, "December Issue Delayed," this is no longer possible.

Before we delve any further, a bit of background is important.

Last summer, I advised Joseph Fulginiti (Editor-in-Chief of the Touchstone) that I was interested in starting a Conservative publication as well as remaining on the Touchstone staff. Had he expressed any opposition I would not have created "Right World View." Not only did he not object, he offered me some advice as to where I might find some writers. Nonetheless, when the first issue of the Right World View came out, Joe fired me. After reminding him of our understanding, he "rehired" me and named me "Assistant Editor" of the Touchstone. I remained in that capacity and produced the "Point/Counterpoint Debate" feature in its first issue of this school year (Volume 61, Issue 1). However, when the second issue of the Right World View came out, Joe once again fired me. It is noteworthy that, at about that same time, stacks of our second issue disappeared from its distribution points in an apparent attempt to silence us.

In an apparent personal pique at our success, Joe and his staff have seen fit to attack me, personally. These attacks have taken many forms - including (but not limited to) emails, deleting my name from "The Touchstone Staff" listing in the online version of its Volume 61, Issue 1, to the point now where that they have printed an article in their Issue No. 4 attacking my integrity by innuendo.

The online version of the article is introduced by the cartoon of a villain with a large nose wringing his hands, reminiscent of cartoons published by German propagandists during the late 1930's. It is noteworthy - given this cartoon - that the article makes pointed reference to my role as President of the Jewish Student Association - something that is totally irrelevant to the "publication delay" issue in question. The offensive cartoon is at the very least politically incorrect and totally unnecessary.

When I along with another member of the "Right World View" recently attempted to attend a Touchstone meeting we saw the same cartoon hanging on their office wall next to a picture of me, with a sign above them that read, "Take that Berman!" Why the personal vendetta?

The article impugns my integrity by suggesting that in my role as Chair of the Student Government Finance Board I was responsible for holding up the Touchstone's funds resulting in the delay of their publication. It omits the plain fact that the Finance Board is composed of several members, including one of Touchstone's own editors. Good reporting would have revealed that nothing like their baseless innuendo occurred and isn't even possible. Would the Touchstone's Finance Board member have allowed any sort of foul play to occur assuming it was possible? You know the answer.

Competition between different publications and free expression of thought are precious freedoms. Personal attacks and smear campaigns in the guise of investigative reporting aimed at destroying the "Right World View" ought not be countenanced. They should stop immediately.

Andrew Berman

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Harley Newman - The Professional Lunatic!

Harley Newman, The Professional Lunatic, came to perform right here at Manhattanville on February 20th. A significant number of students made their way to the Pub to watch him perform. The show started with a burst of flames. This part of his performance was prevalent on the posters hung around campus.

There was a slight hitch with Harley making a fireball, namely a low ceiling and a desire not to light the building on fire. To perform the stunt, he had to step outside as the audience watched by looking out the window. After blowing a fireball, Harley continued to warm up the crowed by stopping a fan using only his tongue.

Changing things up a bit, he got ready to juggle using a bowling ball, a sword, and a bottle of water. Just as he was getting set, he hurled the bowling ball at someone sitting in the front row. Not to worry, the bowling ball was a fake and no harm came to any member of the audience. After having a bit more fun with them, Harley took off his shoes and socks and climbed a staircase of swords (blades face up).

After grabbing another volunteer from the crowd, Harley played a sort of follow- the-leader using a wooden board and a screw-like implement. When they were done, Harley took a woman's high-heeled shoe (which he brought with him) and shoved the spike from the heel up his nose. After taking it out, he licked it. In an apparent attempt to outdo himself, Harley then took a power drill and shoved it up his nose while it was on. After removing the drill, he licked it just as he had the high heel spike. When he finished with that stunt, he took a wooden board and placed his tongue on it. Using a stapler, he apparently stapled it to the board. This, just like the bowling ball trick, was a ruse. Getting back to some real stunts, Harley asked for a couple to help him out on stage. The couple secured him in a straightjacket and then with a rope of significant length. Once they were done, he had to free himself. To do this, Harley slipped off his shoes and then shimmied part of the rope off. He then slipped his arms to the front to take off the rest of the rope before unhooking a strap. Harley was then able to slide, with some understandable difficulty, the straightjacket over his head.

For his next stunt yet another audience member was selected from the crowd. Harley set three fur traps (which work by setting off a pressure sensor in the center, designed to snap closed holding what ever triggered it) on a table. The audience member took a rather large carrot and used it to set off two of the traps to show their power as they broke the carrots. To set off the third trap, Harley used his fingers.

Moving on, Harley took a plunger and stuck it down his throat, then proceeded to lick a sword and stick that down his throat. In the next part of the show, despite the fact that I did not volunteer, (though I really didn't mind) I became involved.

To perform his next trick, he pulled out a paper bag and two handkerchiefs, one green and one red. Ensuring that there was nothing "funny" with the handkerchiefs were two audience members (myself being one of them). I can personally attest that there was nothing unusual about the handkerchiefs I was given to check over. Both handkerchiefs were then put into the bag. He then blew up the bag and popped it causing the red handkerchief to ‘magically’ turn green and the green handkerchief to ‘magically’ turned red. This performance was obviously a joke, but it had its desired effect on the crowed.

Another audience member was brought up on stage for his next set of stunts. After blindfolding the participant and scaring her half to death with a sword, the real stunt began. Harley set the audience member on his shoulders before getting on a unicycle. Since he was blindfolded, Harley had to rely on the screams of his passenger to know when to stop before he hit the staircase of swords. The stunt, of course, went as planned. It was especially impressive given the low ceiling, which appeared to add some difficulty to the stunt.

Performing his next stunt required a bed of nails on the floor. Harley moved through the crowd, pulling seven people up on stage with him. After lying down on the bed of nails, he instructed five of the new audience members to stand on him on one at a time (meaning that at one point five people were standing on him).

Outdoing himself yet again, Harley pulled out a bed of only four nails. After taking off his shirt and belt, he proceeded to lie down on it. Next, he took out two fish hooks which were attached with string to a cup. Harley attached the hooks to his eyelids, filled the cup with water, then swung it around with his head.

For his final stunt, Harley took out yet another bed, this one being a board with a singular nail through it, and lay on top. This stunt ended the show, which lasted slightly over an hour. Afterwards, Harley remained in the pub and allowed people to lay down on the original bed of nails. Overall, it was a good show that seemed to be well received by all who came to watch. If he comes back to Manhattanville in the future, you should make it a point to attend.

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