Andrew Taylor

Well written editorials from a UH student

Archive for April 2009

The Protected Pin

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Remember going to the bank as a child with your parents, the days when they would write checks or endorse documents with their signatures? I will always remember those pens that were tethered to the counter with a little chain, those chains that resemble the ones that hang from most ceiling fans in which we pull to change settings. Those safely secured pens that were reliable and secure signified the theme and mentality of banking. Banks used to be that safe when it came to banking and their assets.

Despite my recollections as a child, finance and banking as an industry was evolving into something flashy and daring. The roller coaster that finance and banking became as a product of deregulation, had enormous rises. As we all know roller coasters come down though, and even though that drop is usually exhilarating during a theme park ride, the same is not true for our economy and finance industry.

The downfall of finance which began in the 80’s was the product of a new era of banking and finance. An era in which soaring profits, derivative markets, loan happy lenders, and daring wall street investors were enjoying the ride. A handful of astute economists were feeling a sour twisting in their stomachs. These economists warned against these soaring finance profits, and increasing debt.

As the roller coaster that was our finance industry went up debt did equally. The phrase we use now is that we were NOT saving for a rainy day. And as we are currently learning, this would leave us crushed as an economy and dazed as “roller coaster riders” feeling queasy and not good.

Fast forwarding to where we are now, still in debt, still faced with rising unemployment, and ready to leave the “theme park” we need to realize that the era of banking which has left us so dazed but oddly not confused in the realm of economics, it is crucial to lead into a new era.

Those economists, insightful and brilliantly minded are the leaders I would choose to pioneer a new era, one in which we grow and prosper but yet avoid catastrophe. Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winning Economist realizes what went wrong, what we need to do, and like all of us the importance of it all.

Raghuram Rajan, former Chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, also warned about this era of exploding growth and wealth in finance. The wealth and growth that we now refer to as most being an “illusion of prosperity”. Rajan who voiced his concern before the roller coaster that is our economy plunged, was ridiculed by others, his views seen inaccurate and worrisome. The string of events in which our economy sharply melted, only proves his accuracy, and notes the knowledge he holds.

Long time brilliant banking guru and problem solver Felix Rohatyn has seen first hand the evolution of banking. He too predicted our current crisis, luckily he has a sound solution. Like Krugman, Rohatyn notes the need for a change in policy. A new draft for a new era, and era in which we keep our money as secure and protected as those pens once were.

If leaders like Krugman and Rohatyn can convince our political leaders that a continuation of our current irresponsible finance industry will only lead to future meltdowns of similar size, we will be able to learn from our lessons, and write out a plan for a new era in which banking will be what banking should be, boring.

Written by aktaylor

April 30, 2009 at 7:38 pm

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The Innocent Pay the Price

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The Houston Police Department released information Friday confirming it had taken custody of the alleged gunman who was responsible for the death of Joe Tall.

The 32-year-old student, who according to the Houston Police Department admitted to the killing of a homeless man on campus, considered himself a “vigilante intent on cleaning up crime on campus,” police said.

Despite these sick and tragic incidents, some refuse to learn that guns are dangerous and, more importantly, kill people.

People who intend to fire a gun at somebody or something intend to kill.

This Texas Legislative session SB 1164 and its companion bill, HB 1893, are making positive progress and gaining momentum.

Both bills are tagged as relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on campuses of institutions of higher education, according to legislative watch Web site Statesurge.com

In Thursday’s edition of Houston Chronicle, the largest headline was “Fear triggers sales of guns and ammo.”

It is depressing in our society that fear and guns are so complementary.

In the article, Purva Patel noted the dramatic rise in gun sales and fearful sentiment.

“In Texas, the number of applications for concealed handguns swelled to 12,587 in February, up from 7,626 in the same month last year, according to the state’s Department of Public Safety,” Patel wrote.

The surge started when President Obama was elected in November. According to a Nov. 11 CNN article, FBI figures for background check requests for potential gun purchasers in 2008 surged almost 49 percent during the same time period in 2007.

People are now going out in droves to buy guns, and this is not what you want. The idea of a gun purchase serving as a security investment is sensible; carrying that gun around with you like your cellular phone is not.

“Nationally, the number of FBI background checks, which are required whenever someone buys a firearm from a federally licensed retailer, jumped 29.2 percent in March 2009, compared to the same month last year,” Patel wrote.

It’s shocking to note that people do not just buy guns from retailers, which means that those who buy elsewhere are exempt from background checks.

Local gun shows and private gun sales can be document-free. Anybody of age who can walk through a door at a gun show, or drive to meet a private seller, can enter the gun market.

Money talks, regardless of one’s criminal past, citizenship, psychological disorders, mental disorders or other health issues.

The alleged killer of Tall was convicted of burglary charges in 2005 and also admitted to police he was bipolar. There is a great chance he never submitted or was even asked for a background check when he acquired the weapon used to kill Tall, if he purchased it at all.

The more weapons in circulation, the higher the chances one will fall into the hands of someone who will use it irresponsibly.

When the founders of the Constitution wrote the second amendment, they specifically stated, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

This is often used as a main argument in debates as to why guns should be allowed in public places and, in this case, on our campus.

Many engage in discussion to apply law to it or to interpret the original intent and meaning one way or another. What we should think about are the effects of turning gun-free zones into places where guns are allowed.

The argument is often made that if students are armed, they can protect themselves and other innocent students through their own action. Gov. Rick Perry supports this argument.

“It makes sense for Texans to be able to protect themselves from deranged individuals, whether they’re in church, or whether on a college campus or wherever they are,” Perry said in a May 2007 statement.

Republican Rep. Joe Driver, the author of HB 1893, wants people to carry guns everywhere. When talking about the bill he authored, he referred to the Virginia Tech massacre.

“To me, that situation could have been changed if that rule wasn’t in effect,” Driver said to the Austin American Statesman in May 2007. “Anybody who has a concealed handgun license should be allowed to carry their gun to as many places as possible.”

Driver and others argue that criminals and deranged people do not abide by laws, so the people who follow laws are the disadvantaged.

This idea is not only flawed, but it is narrow-minded.

If we all police each other, we damage the identity of police.

The scenario of fellow citizens stopping deranged gunmen marks everybody a potential predator and victim and everybody a target and suspect.

When you come upon a situation where guns are blazing, you cannot identify the original gunman from the people trying to help by using their firearms.

Despite how well police may protect, their image is a strong deterrent. They are also trained and chosen by the public to police their fellows.

Persons who troll the streets without backing and training from a law-enforcement group, looking to enforce their own brand of justice, are defined as vigilantes.

There are strict rules police officers must adhere to off-duty, which is a direct counter to the idea of vigilantism.

Vigilantism is not supported by law enforcement, which does tend to support concealed carry laws.

State sen. John Carona, who usually votes for gun rights, and is a member of the National Rifle Association is not in favor of either of these bills.

“There is certainly the possibility that someone could bring that legislation up, but I think if they did, it would be opportunistic and ill-advised,” Carona said in a 2007 interview with the Austin American Statesman.

There’s an old saying about man being the most dangerous animal. Adding firearms to the mix doesn’t seem to reduce the danger.

If these bills pass, people such as Tall’s alleged killer would not be committing a crime when walking around campus with a firearm; They would be “protecting others.”

Andrew Taylor is an economics junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com.

Written by aktaylor

April 28, 2009 at 7:32 pm

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Cheaters only hurt themselves

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With the last day of classes only seven days away for most students, finals and wrapping things up are on everybody’s mind.

The last exams are approaching with finals following soon after. Now more than ever, people tend to fall victim to laziness and shortcuts.

“Laziness is one of the main causes of academic dishonesty,” education sophomore Kendra Berglund said. “(Students) choose to do other less important things than study.”

Plagiarism, a form of academic dishonesty, has been thwarted by technologies which have made it easier to find cheaters. Tools like Turnitin.com and Google can assist most professors and educators in recognizing cases of academic dishonesty.

Despite the advancement of technology, cases of plagiarism along with more traditional methods of cheating still exist. Students who neglect to plan for tests and fail to keep up with curriculum either demonstrate their lack of knowledge in poor grades or resort to dishonest methods during exams.

The University’s policy handbook lays out what is considered academic dishonesty and the policies and provisions regarding the methodology of enforcement.

According to the handbook, “the university can best function and accomplish its objectives in an atmosphere of high ethical standards.

The University “expects and encourages all students, faculty and staff to contribute to such an atmosphere in every way possible, and especially by observing all accepted principles of academic honesty.”

Along with desperation and other exogenous motives, the ease of cheating can effect a student’s decision to do so. Factors like class size and the amount of monitoring directly correlate to the likelihood for someone to cheat.

“Generally, class sizes is one of the biggest factors in making cheating easier,” St. Thomas University student Clyde Kuykendall said.

One solution that might hinder students’ ability to cheat would be an increase in monitoring during exams. For the most part, monitoring is done solely by the professor standing at the front of the class.

Even if cheaters are not caught immediately, however, whether you cheated or not will eventually show.

“Academic dishonesty, or cheating, has become a widely accepted practice in America because of our apathetic outlook on education. Americans are not in college for the education, but for the potential paycheck they think it entitles them to,” Kuykendall said.

Students who do not pay for their own school, who have had things handed to them their entire lives and who intend to have jobs handed to them definitely exist.

On the other hand, students who intend to better themselves actually soak up their academic lessons and remember them — not because they have to, but because they enjoy doing so.

The cohorts of cheaters and students who have never worked for a dime to pay for their education are ignorant of what hard work, tenacity and dedication can do. The dividends paid by studious habits, dedication to grasping academic concepts and pursuing an education passionately are things they will never experience.

Eventually, the decisions of those who led dishonest academic careers will catch up to them. Those who cut corners will not reach the highest levels of some careers. People who aspire to be professors and professional academics cannot reach their goals in dishonest ways.

In the end, the people who work hardest get the most returns for their efforts.

Andrew Taylor is an economics junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com.

Written by aktaylor

April 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm

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“Soon those winds will be blowing each other”

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Recent triumphs for human rights have been on the rise. These triumphs belong to our gay and lesbian friends and loved ones, and have been long in the making.

New York Gov. David A. Paterson introduced a bill into the New York Legislature to legalize gay marriage Thursday in the New York legislature.

In an April 16 New York Times article, Jeremy Peters reported that Gov. Paterson boldly devoted his time and efforts to ensuring equality.

“We have a duty to make sure equality exists for everyone,” Paterson said in a press conference.

Paterson discussed 1800’s abolition, Harriet Beecher Stowe and the mid-1800’s reviled Dred Scott v. Stanton Supreme Court case in his claim that New York had egregiously neglected gay rights.

“I’m putting a stop to it,” Paterson said in the conference.

The uprising of lawmakers and politicians comes amid the recent progress in our country.

This past month Iowa and Vermont passed laws legalizing gay marriage, other states such as New York and New Hampshire are debating the issue.

Despite all of this hard earned, patiently awaited progress, some anti-gay groups are also dialing up their fight against the well-deserved freedom and liberties of our friends and loved ones.

Groups such as the National Organization for Marriage have demonstrated insular ideals and homophobic hindering. NOM recently released a video titled Gathering Storm.

In a brilliantly hilarious video aired on the Colbert Report, Colbert mimicked the video with his own version.

Colbert’s version exemplifies how closed-minded and weak the anti-gay movement has become.

In Colbert’s video, an actor asks a question, that perfectly sums up the feeling of the diminishing group of people who still oppose gay marriage.

“Did you know that if all 50 states approve gay marriage, straight marriage becomes illegal?” said an actor in Colbert’s film.

This question, which is delivered with Colbert’s unmatched skill for wit and sarcasm, accurately identifies the ignorant and dismissible premise of anti-gay marriage activists.

One fundamental idea many people against gay marriage refuse to accept and realize is all that is desired by gays and lesbians is the equal right that is rightfully theirs.

After Colbert’s spoof commercial ends, he sarcastically warns the viewers.
“Remember when the gay community is granted personal freedoms, ours get taken away,” Colbert said.

This is another jab at the futile fears and senseless reasoning of anti-gay marriage activists. Again, Colbert’s question perfectly highlights the weak and meaningless arguments presented in the original video and of the movement of people against gay marriage.

Allowing other human beings the basic legal right to marry their loved one does not hurt anyone. It also does not subtract from what any group might have. If anything, it only strengthens the presence of love in our society.

As Frank Rich accurately pointed out in his article titled, “The Bigots’ Last Hurrah,” the strength of the opposition toward gay marriage and the movement for gay rights is weakening.

“What gives the ad its symbolic significance is not just that it’s idiotic, but that its release was the only loud protest anywhere in America to the news that same-sex marriage had been legalized in Iowa and Vermont.”

If it advances any message, it’s mainly that homophobic activism is ever more depopulated and isolated as well as brain-dead” Rich said.

He’s right, but unfortunately, the only people left fighting are some of the most powerful and highly funded.

“The only enthusiastic contenders seem to be republicans contemplating presidential runs in 2012,” Rich said.

Some republicans who may consider running in 2012, or who are at the forefront of the GOP, have trumped, such as anti-gay activist, Rick Warren.

“In 2008, 60 percent of Iowa’s republican caucus voters were Evangelical Christians. Mike Huckabee won,” Rich said. “That’s the hurdle facing the party’s contenders in 2012, which is why Romney, Palin and Gingrich are now all more vehement anti-same-sex-marriage activists than Rick Warren.”

This intensity of objection does not promise an easy battle, but if we, as citizens, continue to convince lawmakers and keep progress going forward, eventually political candidates will follow.

Some have realized fighting this movement of equality and equal civil rights can be damaging to their political careers.

“One GOP politician who understands this is the McCain-Palin 2008 campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, who on Friday urged his party to join him in endorsing same-sex marriage,” Rich said.

“It is justice, not a storm, that is gathering. Only those who have spread the poisons of bigotry and fear have any reason to be afraid,” he said.

One day we will celebrate and commend ourselves for reaching a historic moment and period in civil rights history. That day and defining moment will be in our lifetime, possibly within the next two to three years.

The progress made possible by Paterson and other lawmakers is already commendable, and will not perish.

If this movement for equality and civil rights is metaphorically a storm, those people clinging to umbrellas and refusing to venture outdoors will eventually realize they cannot stop the surge.

Andrew Taylor is an economics junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com.

Written by aktaylor

April 23, 2009 at 8:17 pm

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Perry needs lesson in Texas history

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On Wednesday Gov. Rick Perry addressed an angry crowd with an equally angry tone.

Unfortunately, he verbally stumbled and fell in front of a tea party crowd in Austin. In a manner visually reminiscent of John McCain’s speaking style, Perry chopped air and pumped his fists.

Although Perry may not have been aware of the inaccuracies he was preaching, many Texans were.

In an article in The Houston Chronicle on Thursday, columnist Rick Casey corrected Perry’s verbal errors in Thursday’s article in The Houston Chronicle.

“Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that,” Perry said.

As Casey outlined in his article, this was not quite right.

“The federal act that admitted Texas to the Union did not give the state permission to secede,” Casey wrote.

Casey was right. Nowhere in Milton Brown’s bill did Texas receive the permission to leave the union if it desired when joining the union in 1845.

“In fact, Texas received no special terms in its admission to the Union. Once Texas had agreed to join the Union, she never had the legal option of leaving, either before or after the Civil War,” Texas State Library and Archives Commission states on its annexation facts Web site.

Perry’s second stumble came when he summoned the crowd’s enthusiasm by quoting Sam Houston.

“Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may,” Perry said.

However, as Casey Casey pointed out, it was not congruent with what Sam Houston desired when he was our seventh governor.

“But Perry, with secession apparently on his mind, neglected to note that as Gov. Houston bitterly opposed Texas’s secession from the Union, and was booted from office when he refused to sign a loyalty oath to the confederacy” Casey wrote.

Perry’s inability to remember Texas history did not cease; he had room for one more stumble.

“I’m talking about states’ rights, states’ rights, states’ rights. Those states rights that are enshrined in the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution; unfortunately, those protections have melted away over time,” Perry said.

Casey knew the states’ rights Perry cited were not what most people would know them to be.

“The crowd loved it, but there is a large segment of Texas citizens who know bitterly that the term “states’ rights” was long militantly employed to fight the melting away of such “rights” as state sanctioning of slavery, enforcement of school segregation and, in Texas, the definition of political parties as private associations were permitted to exclude non-whites primaries,” Casey wrote.

This proved to be a significant error in speech, which Perry probably wishes he could change.

In an article by Bud Kennedy, published Sunday in the Dallas/Forth Worth’s Star-Telegram, Kennedy spoke with some of Perry’s former college professors.

“A&M professor Walter L. Buenger is a fifth-generation Texan and author of a textbook on Texas’ last secession attempt,” Kennedy said.

Buenger, a tenured professor of Texas history at Texas A& M University, had interesting things to say about Perry’s comments on Texas’ secession.

“It was a mistake then, and it’s an even bigger mistake now,” Buenger said in his interview with Kennedy.

Buenger’s opinion, similar to Sam Houston’s, clarified that secession is not what Texas needs, and, in fact, it could be a terrible mistake.

“And you can put this in the paper: To even bring (secession) up shows a profound lack of patriotism,” Buenger told Kennedy.

Whether Perry seriously considers Texas’ potential secession, or not, he was still representing a group of angry Texans who are “fed up” with government spending.

Perry shares the same views of most Republicans: that the government is spending too much and endangering future generations with higher taxes and incredibly large deficits.

Most Republicans are already thinking about their next move, whether it is re-election in 2010 or a possible shot at the presidency in 2012. The work they have cut out for them is a long uphill battle, but many variables exist, too. Depending on the success of the overwhelmingly Democratic government, failure or little to no progress could lead to success for Republicans.

“The Republican Party needs a fresh start to the new decade,” economics junior Steven Ray Christopher said.

Christopher notes the party needs some rejuvenation in order to get back on track and to work toward the once strong Republican Party.

“What has been lost in the past eight years is what is needed most now: electability and articulation of conservative values that went by the wayside — values that can appeal to all Americans,” Christopher said.

Casey rightfully gave Perry a failing grade in his column in The Houston Chronicle.

The accurate knowledge of your state’s history is not only important when you’re governor, but especially important when your addressing a crowd.

Whether he gets re-elected in 2010 for a third full term or decides to run for a higher office later, a review of his Texas history would serve as a great starting point to a better grade and more credibility.

Andrew Taylor is an economics junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com.

Written by aktaylor

April 23, 2009 at 8:07 pm

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Tea Bag with your neighbor! It’s Grassroots!

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In these depressing economic times, we still have great difficulties in coming together to solve problems facing our great nation.

Our banks are broke. People are homeless, jobless and even without some forms of health care. Across the congressional aisle there has been little cooperation to pass helpful legislation.

President Obama has made clear attempts to practice bipartisan politics. At a press conference held on Feb. 9, Obama discussed some of his goals for working together in politics.

“You know, putting three Republicans in my Cabinet, something that is unprecedented, making sure that they were invited here to the White House to talk about the economic recovery plan, all those were not designed simply to get some short-term votes,” Obama said.

Despite his success so far, time is not on our side and Obama cannot do all of the work by himself.

“I can’t afford to see Congress play the usual political games,” Obama said. “What we have to do right now is deliver for the American people.”

The action of putting your opponents and opposing political colleagues in your own cabinet, a move Abraham Lincoln made, is a bold step and should generate results.

The act of appointing three opposition members to the Cabinet was unprecedented. No other American president has done so, presidential historian Richard Shenkman pointed out to the St. Petersburg Times. To Shenkman, the move is unlikely to be pandering to the right.

“I wouldn’t call it tokenism, I think it’s real. (Obama) is making some kind of an effort there and it comes at very little cost. It’s a shrewd political move,” Shenkman said.

Obama explained his choices as being designed to foster goodwill as well as reach real solutions.

“They were designed to try to build up some trust over time and I think that as I continue to make these overtures, over time, hopefully, that will be reciprocated,” Obama said.

Obama has done well in remaining patient and civil, and his efforts are commendable.

Much of congress is still waiting on efforts from the Republican side. In a CBS interview, the President seemed hopeful that eventually his efforts would pay off.

“Hopefully, the tone that I’ve taken, which has been consistently civil and respectful, will pay some dividends over the long-term,” Obama said.

Republican representation has been on the decline in politics and they seem to be fighting their losses in desperate measures.

Minnesota state courts ruled that Al Franken was the winner of the senate race, an election that took place back in 2008. Immediately after the election, his Republican opponent Norm Coleman announced the he would file an appeal after clearly losing. In an article by Aaron Blake, published in The Hill, Senator John Cornyn, (R, TX) threatened to filibuster Franken’s seating.

“This is a very, very serious matter,” Cornyn said. “I can assure you that there will be no way that people on our side of the aisle will agree to seat any senator without a valid certificate.”

The problem and root of all this Republican opposition is not in defense of fairness or for the prevention of injustice. It comes from the inability to make or shape policy. Republican political power has lost most of its might.

In a column by Paul Krugman of The New York Times, the need for change and bipartisanship is made abundantly clear.

“One way to get a good sense of the current state of the GOP, and also to see how little has really changed, is to look at the “tea parties” that have been held in a number of places already, and will be held across the country on Wednesday,” Krugman said.

“These parties — anti-taxation demonstrations that are supposed to evoke the memory of the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution — have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so.”

This type of display or protest is known as “astro turf,” a phrase coined by U.S. senator Lloyd Bentsen in the 1980s. The term has become an ironic play on words, defining fake grassroots movements.

Krugman astutely observed these astro turf gatherings and described the phenomenon well.

“Last, but not least, it turns out that the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re astro turf events, manufactured by the usual suspects,” Krugman said.

“In particular, a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News.”

Perhaps the reason we have yet to see astonishing or even truly encouraging economic progress is due to the lack of bipartisan cooperation. The “mavericks” and bright-minded Republicans cannot all be next to the nearest lake throwing tea bags into bodies of water. Wherever they may be, we can only benefit from a greater supply of intelligent ideas and stronger bipartisanship amongst our leaders and government.

Andrew Taylor is an economics junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com.

Written by aktaylor

April 23, 2009 at 7:57 pm

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Greatness does not bow, it’s fair in respect to all

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When world leaders met at the G-20 summit in London on April 2, President Barack Obama got himself into quite a predicament. As the president was greeting the king of Saudi Arabia, he engaged in what appears to be a bow to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

When a CNN reporter questioned White House press secretary Robert Gibbs about the “bow” to the Saudi King, Gibbs tried to explain.

“No, I think he bent over with both, to shake… with both hands to shake his hand, so I don’t…” Gibbs said.

CNN reporter Dan Lothian then asked again, “Did he bow or didn’t he?”

Gibbs was quick with a response accompanied by a dismissal and shot to end the question.

“No. But I think this meeting was like a week ago, right?” Gibbs said.

“That’s right, but this is something a lot of people are talking about today,” Lothian said.

Gibbs ended the conversation of Lothian’s question when he said, “I can only imagine it is of great cause and concern for many people struggling with the economy.”

Gibbs might have unintentionally nailed it.  In a time that our country needs to assert itself as the foremost superpower and world leader, a “bow” or gesture that looks like a bow is damaging when coming from our president.

In a 1994 article by New York Times by columnist Douglas Jehl, the topic of a U.S. president bowing was discussed when former President Clinton was accused by some of bowing to Emperor Akihito of Japan.

“But the ‘thou need not bow’ commandment from the State Department’s protocol office maintained a constancy of more than 200 years. Administration officials scurried to insist that the eager-to-please president had not really done the unthinkable,” Jehl said.

The upholding of protocol and conduct commandments should be something the president maintains consistently, but especially during times of global crisis. As the leader of a powerful nation, President Obama must remember his image represents the image of all Americans.

“The bow was improper; what he should have done is reformulate U.S. Foreign Policy around protecting the Saudi oil fields and access to world markets like his predecessors,” political science professor Tim Howard said.

Students around campus have various feelings about Obama’s actions.

“Obama seems to be downplaying the greatness of the U.S., and the presidency thereof. His bow to another leader and his statements to the European community seem to imply that Obama views the approval of other foreign countries more so than his own,” economics senior Nick Perez said.

Other students see the bow as a gesture of mutual respect and not a violation of protocol.

“I think it was a respectful gesture rather than the president lowering himself. It shows that we are not an egotistical nation,” economics senior Aftab Bana said.

In the numerous video footage of the bow it appears to be one sided, with only Obama bowing while also shaking the kings hand. Despite the poor explanation by White House officials, there is still a pressing issue of protocol violation and poor judgment on Obama’s behalf.

The issue should not be that we have become an egotistical nation, but the fact that we do play the largest role in the world as a country.

We are a nation of freedom and democracy, great power and leadership, in which we strive to work with other nations to better our world. The traits are displayed and in effect give our allies confidence when working with the U.S.

Obama started off with great popularity abroad, but most importantly, he needs to maintain it at home.

Andrew Taylor is an economics junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com.

Written by aktaylor

April 23, 2009 at 7:54 pm

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