Statesmen Call for Nuclear Disarmament
On October 24-25, the Hoover Institution hosted a summit focused on the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. Initially the brain-child of former Secretaries of State George Shultz, William Perry, and Henry Kissinger, as well as former Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), the project calls for “A World Free of Nuclear Weapons.” The conference, meeting for the second time, drew numerous experts on nuclear policy and national security. Portions of last year’s meeting, held on the 20th anniversary of the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986, can be viewed on FORA.tv.
SIEPR Tackles International Security
On November 2, economists and security experts, including a Treasury undersecretary, went to the Bechtel Conference Center for a high-level talk, discussing a wide range of issues ranging from computer hacking to biological warfare. John Shoven, director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research—the university think-tank celebrating its 25th anniversary that sponsored the event—opened the conference, entitled “The Economics of War, Peace, and Security.” He soon passed the baton to Ward Hanson, director of the SIEPR Policy Forum, who said the goal was to achieve a “consensus for progress.”
The State of the Nation: “Lions for Lambs”
On Tuesday, October 30th Stanford Film Society held an advanced screening of the Rodert Redford movie, “Lions for Lambs” in Cubberly Auditorium. The movie is a star-studded and nakedly political attempt to assess the “War on Terror,” and the apathy of American youth. The movie examines the historical moment in America, declaring it irrational, jaded, and even sinister. (“Rome is burning,” one of the main character declares in typical earnestness, “And we’re all fiddling.”) The movie has ample shortcomings- it can be a naïve and silly piece of Hollywood commentary- but it also touches upon some surprisingly thoughtful truths.
A Straightforward Film is None the Worse For It
The Kingdom, released on September 28, stars Jamie Foxx as an FBI agent investigating an act of terrorism in Saudi Arabia. Specifically, a residence facility for American oil workers is targeted by a terrorist attack that comes in multiple explosive waves and kills hundreds in the final tally. The Saudis, who prefer to give the attack as low a profile as possible, initially attempt to prevent American personnel from conducting an investigation of the bombings. The kingdom would rather follow up itself on an apparently homegrown attack. Eventually, however, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Foxx) finagles his way into Saudi Arabia.
How Are We Doing in Iraq?
I have a fairly simple question, though few people seem to want to ask it the way I do. I do not want to know how “George W. Bush’s war is failing” or “how poor the President’s mismanagement” was. I do not want to know, in the words of the Democrat Majority Leader last spring, that the “war is lost” without realizing by whom. I do not even want to know how “the Americans” are doing or how “the British” or “the Japanese” or “the Australians” or any of the other coalition powers are doing. I just want to know how we are doing.
Fukuyama Visits Stanford
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama graced the halls of Encina on Thursday, November 1, 2007. Speaking to a crowd of roughly 100 students and faculty, Fukuyama shared his views on governance and international development.
Keep Stanford Small
On October 17, 2007, the Stanford Report revealed that President Hennessy was appointing a task force to “explore the idea of increasing the size of the freshman class—and, as a consequence, the overall undergraduate population of the university.” Hennessy’s proposal was supported by Dean of Admissions Richard Shaw, who told the Stanford Daily: “If you have the capacity and the will to provide the education to extremely qualified students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, then why wouldn’t you try to give more people access to a world class education?”
Editor’s Note: Accept Complexity
Two interesting articles ran in the Daily the final week of October. The first drew a picture of a “typical” college conservative, and the article was respectful of many of the complexities in modern American conservatism. The second article was a typical illustration of the simplistic stereotyping every conservative encounters all too regularly.
Why China Hates the Dalai Lama
Despite Chinese protests, President Bush presented the Dalai Lama with a Congressional Gold Medal on October 17. During the award ceremony, Bush praised the Dalai Lama as a “shepherd of the faithful and a keeper of the flame for his people.” Later, speaking to reporters at the White House, Bush declared: “I want to honor this man […] I have consistently told the Chinese that religious freedom is in their nation’s interest.”
World News in Brief
The United States re-declared the Kurdish Workers’ Party to be a “terrorist organization” on November 2 and affirmed to Turkey that we “have a common enemy” in the group. Ankara has been rattling its saber and threatening to invade Iraq, where the group has found shelter, and Washington’s assurances have not been bolstered by talk of the Armenian genocide. US generals are undoubtedly grateful for Congress’ help on this and so many other matters.
Undecided Is Undesired
While beginning a new school year and meeting new people, I am confronted by the same question: What’s your major? Usually when I tell people that I plan to major in American Studies, they ask, what is American Studies, and what do you plan to do with it?
China and India
In late September, Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel spoke at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). He said: “I believe that growth in the developing world will offset slowing in aging economies and support future equity prices.” In other words, the West’s aging populations must finance their retirements by selling their assets to Third World countries like China and India.