Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bin Laden and the Return of Polio


By
Sean Ewart


In the wake of the May 2, 2011 takedown of public enemy number one, Osama Bin Laden, a doctor was taken into custody in Pakistan. Dr. Shakeel Afridi had been working on behalf of the CIA in Abbottabad when he set up a fake vaccination center with the explicit intent of taking blood samples from children believed to be relatives of Bin Laden. The Pakistani born and trained physician now faces a sentence of 33 years in prison and a hefty fine for his work attempting to triangulate the location of the world's most wanted man and, possibly, for militant links himself. As the Afridi case unfolds we are observing the delicate international relation bonds that allow medical work to continue as they are strained by political and religious pressure.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Anti Popular Vote Movement: Just because you pull the lever doesn’t mean it will actually count.


By
Joe Alicata




A few weeks ago a gentlemen strolled into my office at the New York State Legislature, carrying what I thought was typical lobbying information; “we would like money for this…” or, “your member should support that….” This gentleman, however, was different. This gentleman had in his possession information opposing the movement to elect the President by a national popular vote.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 Episode 11: The Other Woman



 Joe Chiarenzelli is an editor at The Gadfly Press and wishes he was Don Draper.

             Mandy Lafond is a graduate of St. Lawrence University with a degree in Philosophy and a minor in Asian studies.  She’s currently working as a Naturalist at the Seacoast Science Center. In her spare time she likes philosophizing, playing with her pet rabbit and reading Wikipedia for fun.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Americans have short memories: the maps that reveal the world


  By
Sean Ewart



There exists a revealing map of what we today know as the United States. The map details the same landmass whereupon the modern 50 states sit, but shows a remarkably different geopolitical reality: the territories of native tribes. We are all (mostly) aware that even as recently as 200 years ago most of the continent was in the possession of native tribes and chiefdoms. Rewind the tape a few hundred years and they ruled the entire “New World.” The easy to miss reality of politics, which this map helps drive home, is that a lifetime’s observation is hardly enough to come to grips with the entirety of any given situation. We need historical context. In order to digest, for instance, the modern interplay between tribal governments and state and federal governments, we need to look at the historical forces driving the current conflict. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 Episode 10: Christmas Waltz




 Joe Chiarenzelli is an editor at The Gadfly Press and wishes he was Don Draper.

             Taylor Smith has degrees in Mathematics and Psychology from Clarkson University. He works as a data analyst in Louisiana.




            (You will notice that for the past few weeks things have been hectic for these reviews with people coming in and out, that mostly has to do with college graduations and other things that are (arguably) more important than SCDP. So this week, I brought in my good friend Taylor to hone our skills for tackling Breaking Bad this summer, let us know what you think!)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 Episode 9: Dark Shadows




 Joe Chiarenzelli is an editor at The Gadfly Press and wishes he was Don Draper.

             Mandy Lafond is a soon-to-be graduate of St. Lawrence University, studying philosophy with a minor in Asian studies.  She’s currently writing a thesis on postmodernist film theory and Jean Baudrillard. In her spare time she likes philosophizing, playing with her pet rabbit and reading Wikipedia for fun.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why We Fight: North Carolina, Gay Marriage, and the Theocratic Agenda


By
Sean Ewart

Huffington Post
When North Carolina became the 30th state to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage not much changed. Already illegal in North Carolina, the amendment that passed with 61% of the vote is merely a step to further solidify the state against any encroaching liberalism. What is remarkable, however, is not that the amendment passed – that was a given almost from the day it was introduced – but the rational behind its passage. North Carolina banned gay marriage because enough of the voting population believed it to be a sin against god. Religion was the driving force behind the vote and proves, again, the destructive force of faith once unleashed in the public sector.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Occupy Tyranny


 By
Sean Ewart

Photo from The Legislative Gazette
 Every Occupy event leaves me with the same feeling. I am at once thrilled with the overall message and disgusted with the method. “This is what democracy looks like,” is the refrain repeated by Occupiers at nearly every single one of their events, and they are right; Occupy is a very good example of true direct democracy. But that’s exactly the problem.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mad Men Season 5 Episode 8: Lady Lazarus




 Joe Chiarenzelli is an editor at The Gadfly Press and wishes he was Don Draper.

             Mandy Lafond is a soon-to-be graduate of St. Lawrence University, studying philosophy with a minor in Asian studies.  She’s currently writing a thesis on postmodernist film theory and Jean Baudrillard. In her spare time she likes philosophizing, playing with her pet rabbit and reading Wikipedia for fun.

The Atheist Offensive

By
Sean Ewart

President Jesus
Religion is a thing of the past. Living now in the minds of the untutored, the unthinking, and the afraid, dogmatic traditions and their grip on the minds of men are in the process of philosophical and scientific eclipse. More than 200 years since Thomas Paine declared The Age of Reason it is becoming apparent that history is moving us ever closer towards his vision. We are the heirs to thousands of years of biological and cultural evolution which has placed us, finally, in a position to overthrow the burden of the untestable – and for so long unquestionable – religious explanations of how and why we are.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Systemic Constructs of Thought: Reality, Religion, and Language







By
Dan Greene


            I may be just one of a growing number of people who choose to claim a secular stance when it comes to religion. However, it appears that, despite a rejection of religious doctrines, religious oppression has already shaped many of the guidelines for how we see and relate to the world. Christian hegemony may have created a “business as usual” feel that makes it difficult to decipher all the ways that our cultural biases could have stemmed from the influence of thousands of years of religious indoctrination. While people may be waking up to the realization that, as far as the economy is concerned, we are operating on a playing field with rules that were established in an exploitative fashion; it's much more difficult to quantify the impact that religious oppression has had on shaping our preconceived biases in thought and action. By accepting certain constructs of reality, our worldview may be limited by the beliefs and dogmas that support the dominant culture and leave us with a reactionary strategy that stifles our attempts to dismantle the intersecting forms of oppression that plague our world. Perhaps this is what the philosopher William James meant when he said, "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Five Things That Worry Me About Fifty Shades of Grey



 By
Allie Lane



There’s a new book causing a craze across the nation, but this time it doesn’t involve teenagers. As you’ve probably heard if you’ve watched any daytime program involving women sitting in chairs, an erotica trilogy by British author E. L. James called Fifty Shades of Grey is circulating in the circles of young mothers and working women. What is the premise you ask? A sweet, virginal college student named Ana Steele is taken in by the enigmatic, twenty-something billionaire Christian Grey. She proceeds to enter into a sexual relationship with him in which she agrees to be the Submissive to his Dominant in a BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism) relationship. There are a lot of explicit sex scenes involving bondage and spanking that have apparently been titillating women of all ages. All the morning shows and the news magazines are talking about why, why there’s been an uptick in these themes in romance literature, why it’s so popular despite the less than stellar writing. This is not the question I want to address. Our society still seems to be somewhat surprised that women are interested in sex, but there are some elements of this series which deeply concern me and which I think others should be aware of.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

And A Shot of Purell


 By
Joe Alicata

I’ll have two beers and a shot of Purell?

Kids are taking shots of hand sanitizer to get drunk. I am not sure if I could possibly make up a more catching first line for an article if I spent three weeks and multiple bottles of real alcohol trying. This past week, multiple news outlets ran stories on teenagers in Southern California getting drunk off hand sanitizer, some straight, and some after isolating the ethyl alcohol out of the solution.