Friday, October 05, 2007

This is an article I wrote for the Bloomsburg campus newspaper. Enjoy.

Are There Constitutional Rights at the University of Florida?
By Chris Fetterman

This past week, a grave injustice occurred at the University of Florida. For those of you who have not seen the videos on CNN or, I will briefly recap the events that took place. After asking a series of questions during a question and answer session with Senator John Kerry, University of Florida Student Andrew Meyer was hauled away from the microphone by University Police, restrained in the back of the auditorium, and tasered into submission.
The lack of anger at this event is appalling. What is more appalling is that this is a grievous trampling of free thought and expression at what is supposed to be a university of higher learning. Now in defense of the police, as the tall skinny Mayer was being picked up off the ground by a police officer twice his size, screaming “What did I do, why are you arresting me,” he was holding what seems to have become a very threatening weapon in our society. This weapon, which he was basing his questions to Senator Kerry on, happened to be a book.
As Andrew Mayer was physically dragged to the back of the auditorium, continuously asking what he did and why he was being arrested, Senator Kerry remained calm, encouraged everyone else to remain calm, and at one point asked the police to let Mayer back to the microphone so he could answer his questions. Then, as every video of the event shows, while Mayer was being physically restrained by at least 5, possibly 6 police officers, the taser being held to his chest was fired.
Now regardless of your political leanings, be you conservative or liberal, one cannot argue that this is quite possibly the most alarming example of silencing of opinion we have seen in decades. While Mayer’s line of questioning may not have been appropriate for the situation, there was absolutely no reason to drag him away from a microphone and taser him while he was being held down by numerous police officers. This act would not be surprising were it coming out of communist China or North Korea. However coming out of the United States of America, supposedly the land of free expression, one cannot help but be alarmed at the silencing of opinion displayed by the University of Florida Police Department.
John Stuart Mill, the 19th century British philosopher, made possibly the best argument against silencing of opinion. If the opinion is right, we lose a chance to exchange error for truth and better understand the truth. If the opinion being silenced is wrong, we lose a chance to remove the erroneous opinion from public discourse and strengthen the truth by refuting the error. While silencing of opinion in the United States may have become the status quo in the past several years, the alarming trend needs to be stopped, before we find ourselves in an Orwellian society with no means to reverse the trend.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I've decided I'm going to support Mike Gravel for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination. I'm sure you're thinking Mike who? Yeah I know, I'm banking on a long shot, but you never know. I think if people knew what this guy did (and didn't do) they'd support him much more than Clinton or Obama.

Mike Gravel is more or less the reason we know about the "Pentagon Papers." If you don't know what the Pentagon Papers are, I suggest looking it up. It involves a lot of dishonesty by the US Government involving Vietnam and becoming more involved than we needed to be. Furthermore, every college aged student should want to vote for Gravel because in 1971, he acted out a 5 month Filibuster (which is a favored political maneuver of mine), forcing the Nixon administration to withdraw a bill that would have renewed the draft. Thanks to Gravel, the draft expired in 1973 and was never renewed.

I think he stands well on all the right issues. I could go in to them, but if you're really interested, just visit There’s no need for me to retype all that.

As I said, I'm going for a long shot. But you know, maybe just for once, it would be nice to have a President who didn't get all of their campaign money from drug companies, oil companies, the NRA, or any other interest group. I believe Clinton and Obama have in the area of 30 million dollars for their campaign. Gravel has in the area of 30,000 for his campaign. That’s his money, and money people have donated to him. (Again, my figures for Clinton and Obama may be wrong, don't quote me.)

I think it's a bit easier to trust in somebody who isn't getting their pockets lined by corporations, interest groups, and lobbyists.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

So just incase anyone is actually looking at this, which I doubt, I think I'm going to start posting again very shortly, continuing with similiar topics. More to come....

P.S. Suggested Reading - The Assualt on Reason by Al Gore

Monday, December 04, 2006

Just a quick little update. Since our wonderful President Bush and so many gay marriage opponents have said that the bible forbides gay marriage, I thought I'd let them all know exactly what the bible's views on marriage were. So from this point forward, these are the rules concerning marriage in America.

1. Marriage shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Genesis 29:17-28, 2 Samuel 3:2-5)

2. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (2 Samuel 5:13, 1 Kings 11:3, 2 Chronicles 11:21)

3. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed by stoning. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)

4. Marriage between a believer and a nonbeliever shall be forbidden. (genesis 24:3, Ezra 9:12, Nehemiah 10:30)

5. Divorce shall not be permitted. (Deuteronomy 22:19, Mark 10:9)

6. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. (Genesis 38:6-10, Deuteronomy 25:5-10)

7. Adultery is punishable by death. (Leviticus 20:10)

I am sure the president's prayer team knows this, of course, and is busy praying for a constitutional amendment that incorporates these biblical teachings.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

So after about the two busiest weeks ever, I finally have a chance to post again. I work a disgusting 46 hours the week of thanksgiving, one day pulling a double shift, morning in Bloomsburg and evening in Lehighton. But so is the way of the dollar I suppose. Anyway, back on topic. I found this very interesting and good at getting to the point and really making you think.

12 reasons why gay people should not be allowed to get married.

1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.

2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can't legally get married because the world needs more children.

3. Obviously, gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if Gay marriage is allowed, since Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.

5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are property, blacks can't marry whites, and divorce is illegal.

6. Gay marriage should be decided by people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of the minorities.

7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

10. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children.

11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven't adapted to things like cars or a longer lifespan.

12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a "separate but equal" institution is always constitutional. Separate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages for gays and lesbians will.

Granted, some of them are pretty rediculous, but others raise valid points. Especially the seperate but equal comment. I'm pretty sure Brown v. BOE struck that down quite a few years ago, yet it is still brought up today. Interesting material. More to come soon.

Monday, November 13, 2006

So over the weekend, I went to my cousins wedding with my girlfriend. My cousin, like myself, is of the christian religion. Her new husband, is jewish. Now to me, that doesn't create a problem aside except for a few issues of ceramony and that sort of thing. And they actually addressed that, having a surprisingly nice jewish/christian wedding. There was a priest and a rabbi, who both did part of the service. They combined traditions and it turned out very well. My cousins parents looked very happy about the entire thing, and were in an excellent mood, the stress of their first and only daughter getting married aside. However, the grooms parents looked absolutly miserable the entire time. From what I understood, they were very upset that their son was not marrying a jewish girl. I didn't see the grooms mother smile once, and her sister had a scowl on her face throughout the whole ceremony.

Silly me, I know. My idealisitic ways would think that parents would be happy for their son the day he makes the most important decision of his life. But what do I know. Apparently they have the right to be miserable because their son is marrying outside of the religion. God forbid. Seriously, I'm sure they would've liked God to forbid that. It's just sickening really. The two of them were so happy together, and my aunt and uncle were so happy for the whole thing, and they were miserable. There was even a fight at the reception within their family. I didn't see it, so I don't know about what, but somebody was shouting "shut up shut up" and stormed out and left. What a wonderful way to celebrate a wedding, by being selfish and putting the wishes of yourself before those of your child.

Now I understand that sometimes a parent should put their wishes before their child, such as the wish they do well in school, not do drugs, etc. But from my view, of your child is so in love that they want to marry someone, that isn't something you try and change. It shouldn't matter if they're man, woman, black, white, jewish, christian, catholic, or muslim.

Overall the ceramony was very nice, and I had a great time, but that little thing just bugged me all day. How selfish and ignorant of the parents to act that way on their sons wedding day.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud12
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen
8 October 1917 - March, 1918

This poem stood out in my mind since the first time I read it in AP english in high school. It really paints a vivid anti-war picture. Even if it is from a different time peroid, the idea still rings true today.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - "It is sweet and right to die for your country."

A novel idea, until you see the horrors of war.