Events on Campus

Event Breakdown: Ruby Bridges and John Lewis Gaddis

from Bwog

An emotional night with Ruby Bridges

Last week The Political Union sponsored two exciting speakers who share their expertise with the Columbia community: civil rights activist Ruby Bridges and Cold War historian John Lewis Gaddis. In case you missed these events here are some highlights.

The most emotional moment of Veritas Forum’s interview with Ruby Bridges happened near the end of the evening. Bridges discussed the moment when she realized that she was being treated differently because of her race. As the first black student to attend an all white school, Bridges experienced a great deal of adversity, but she didn’t know what had caused it until one moment.  She approached a white boy to play ball but the boy refused, saying “My parents say I can’t play with you because you are a n*****.” Bridges describes the experience as actually comforting because it meant the children avoided her not because she was mean or unlikable, but because of their parent’s prejudices. Kids don’t understand racism, Bridges explained, and naturally see all people as equal. When she works with children Bridges often role plays as a racist, saying white dogs are better than black dogs, to which one student replied “but they’re all just dogs.”

The evening ended with Bridges encouraging everyone in the Diana Center Oval to “save our own world.” Tearing up as she spoke, Bridges said “I believe in you so much, I believe you can change your world.”

Read about John Lewis Gaddis’s talk on his latest book on Geogre F. Kennen, after the jump.
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US Politics

Calling it 2: Premature Electoral Prediction

Even he's surprised that he's the frontrunner

Last time we did “Calling it” we claimed that Newt was done for and Romney had clinched the nomination. Well it seems while we were covering our local debate between the Republicans and Democrats, Santorum has surged across the States. Jokes about Santorum’s name aside, the race for the GOP nomination has been pretty disappointing for everyone involved. The turn outs at these primaries have been considerably lower than previous years, and no candiate has the Republicans really fired up. Santorum himself is no viable candidate for office: while he may appeal to the GOP’s Christian base as an alternative to Romney, his social politics is just too restrictive and outdated for him to lead the entire nation.

This Republican pessimism has been dominating the nation’s media and liberals in particular have pounced on it. Economist Paul Krugman wrote a scathing New York Times Column about the GOP’s dismal prospects. In the column he argues that Republican base demands a level of conservatism from the candidates that the general public is not interested in, saying that “the party suffers from “severe” conservatism in the worst way. And the malady may take many years to cure.”

It would seem the Republican party has lost direction. It’s unable to find an inspiring candidate or resinate with the American people en large, beyond their core base. But looking forward to November their are other factors in play. The economy is growing again up to 2.3% from 1.6% last year and Obama has held approve rating steady around 50%.

These factors have been analyzed by economists Patrick Hummel and David Rothschild working for Yahoo! Labs. They have developed an algorithm from analyzing the past 10 presidential elections which can predict the outcome of a state election with 88% accuracy. When given the economic and political factors for the upcoming election, Hummel and Rothschild’s model predicted that Obama would prevail over a Republic challenger with 303 electoral votes to 235.

That’s quite the prediction, but don’t place your bets yet. There is plenty of time until November and things could change. But for now it seems like Obama has the upper hand and the Republican candidates don’t know how to proceed. Perhaps their own algorithms have told them to save their energy for later.

CPU Updates

A Note on the Cub Pub’s update frequency

oh boy blogs aren't the way they used to be

Back under the Czar we had no blogs to update

Last week we posted an editorial about The Columbia Libertarians Blog where we encouraged political blogs on campus to update more frequently. And then immediately afterwards we didn’t update for a week. While we have big dreams, we’re not run by an army of writers like Spec or Bwog.  We still have few people working for us and sometimes that means we have long dry spells. Our goal is to create a small team of blog-o-philes to keep the site updated and relevant but that’s not going to happen until our formal launch. So stay tuned for updates, because our launch is coming soon!

Pub Coverage

Long Overdue Coverage: The Columbia Libertarian Blog

why are you looking at this?

If only political ideologies could be graphed and modeled on a 2D plot

For the past week The Cub Pub has been covering the CPU  debate between the Columbia Democrats and Republicans. However, we’ve been forgoing one political group on campus: CUL, Columbia Libertarians. Last week they had an event as well:  The Young Americans for Liberty’s Civil Liberties College Tour. Several speakers attended such as Bruce Fein, Glenn Greenwald, Jacob Hornberger and Jack Hunter. The event had a huge turn out: around 180 people came to listen to the panel and it’s a shame that The Cub Pub did not have reporters to cover it. This absolutely wil be rectified for future political events on campus, CUL sponsored or otherwise. You can read up about the speakers and the event itself on the Columbia Libertarians blog here.

Speaking of the CUL blog, it has to be the most regularly updated and supported political blogs on campus, besides The Cub Pub of course. This is somewhat unexpected because CU Libertarians are a smaller group on campus than the College Dems and Repubs. The Libertarians’ have published four articles since the start of the semester. That may not seem like much but in comparison the post recent articles on both the Democrats’ and Republicans’ sites are still on SOPA/PIPA.

But there is a larger issue. If you read though all these blogs you’ll find that there’s hardly a single comment on any post. This is a problem. There’s no way to incite meaningful political conversation on campus if so few people are writing it and discussing it. Journals, reviews, and publications are nice but they they lack an online presence where real discussion can take shape. That’s the domain of blogs and that’s why the political blogs on campus are so important. The Cub Pub encourages all political groups to keep their blogs updated, keep the content fresh and timely, keep the conversation going. We have our own work cut out for us when it comes to creating discussion but in this case we are fortunate that it’s a tide that raises all ships.

Debate Coverage

CTV Debate Coverage!

Last Tuesday the Columbia Political Union held a debate on affirmative action between the College Republicans and Democrats. It was an impressive display from both sides, but if you missed out, don’t fret! We have minute by minute live blog coverage right here. Also, thanks to our friends at CTV we were able to film the debate for your viewing/reviewing pleasure. Want to get a better feel of what went down. or want to relive some juicy moments? Well, we have the closing statements right here, and embedded below we have CTV’s own news piece on the event. Enjoy!

Debate Coverage

Debate Closing Statements!

We know you Cub Pubbers have been waiting patiently for the footage from last Tuesday’s CPU debate between the college democrats and republicans on affirmative action. We’ll the videos are coming in! You’ll be able to watch the edited news story for CTV later this week, but to tide you over we’re sending you the un- edited closing statements! The camera work is a little bit amateurish because someone (read: Cub Pub Editor in Chief Zach Kagan) forgot to bring an extension cord and clear the memory beforehand. But C’est la vie! You can get a pretty good feel for what went down by just watching these closing statements:

Also, The Cub Pub is playing with backgrounds. At time of this posting we have a blue background with white crowns. Do you like it or should be go back to blue and darker blue stripes? Let us know in the comments.

[EDIT] Due to the crowns not formatting well on some browsers we have switched back to the stripes.

CPU Updates

CPUbeta no more!

The Cub Pub is now, instead of Hopefully this will reduce confusion. We originally chose the name “CPUbeta” while we playing around with wordpress, but now that the blog is live it’s time to get professional. That doesn’t mean the blog won’t evolve from this point- we have a lot of work to do- but at least the URL makes more sense.


Zach Kagan, Editor of The Cub Pub