RamTalk

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Oct 302008
 
Authors: Compiled Nina Bietz

I read a headline on AOL that said, “Long Wait is Finally Over, Phillies End 28 Year Drought.” Long wait is finally over? If that wait is long then what adjective can I use to describe the Cubs?

I find it interesting that the Republicans make a point that they are not turning out in record numbers for McCain because they have jobs, yet, somehow, they have found time to submit something to RamTalk every day! Clearly it’s not that demanding of a job. And I have to wonder … what job requires that you dress up in squirrel costumes?

Props to the guy toking up in the Plaza between classes Wednesday morning. I hope your day got better from there.

To the person who wrote racist remarks about Obama on the free speech board: Doesn’t life get boring in black and white?

To the CSU parking cops … Does the giant dent in my door and the bungee cord holding my bumper on make it look like I can afford three tickets in a week?

For whoever orders toilet paper for CSU, say it with me. Two. Ply.

Being a PIKE and therefore a Greek as well, I feel the need to rebut the two RamTalks bashing me. To the first PIKE comment, boo. To the second comment, it’s THAN not THEN. Maybe you should look into spring rush…

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Letter to the editor

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Oct 302008
 
Authors: Anna McMillan

I am writing here because “Phoenix’s European Adventure” has left me nonplussed, and it is not the first time.

Phoenix seems to be incapable of truly experiencing his travels, or, at the very least, conveying this to readers of the Collegian. It is exciting to know we have a columnist corresponding from London, but the excitement stops here.

Travel is not simply a pristine view of Edinburgh; travel is not lamentations over a lost picture of Stonehenge, and travel is not the rambling thoughts of a writer, pieced together during the Philharmonic.

Travel is messy; it’s scary; it’s exciting. Travel makes you laugh out loud; travel makes you cry; travel pushes you to the edge of who you used to be.

When first arriving in a new place, you may find the culture there charming. If you stay long enough, it may begin to wear on your nerves. And if you stay a little longer, that culture will seep into yours, and you will begin to love it as your own.

Travel creeps into your soul and changes you — bits and pieces at a time. No one comes home the same way they left and some never quite come home at all.

Travel is about a passion for life, sought out through the experiences we find in other countries, other people and far outside our comfort zones. Travel is about taking everything we think we know and throwing it out the window, to leave room in our minds for those experiences and memories, which make life interesting.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Amendment 46 – Deferring the American Dream

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Oct 302008
 
Authors: Gregory Cendana

Diversity matters in an increasingly changing world that depends on people from many backgrounds and life experiences to make America’s global economy sound.

Next Tuesday, the people of Colorado will have an opportunity to affirm this principle, and show California, Washington and Michigan that the citizens of this great state are looking toward the future. The financial meltdown has proven that our nation needs every person from all races, ethnicities and backgrounds to contribute to the revitalization of our economy.

In 1996, 55 percent of California voters approved Proposition 209, the ballot initiative that bars the use of equal opportunity programs by state-funded educational and government institutions. Two years later, a similar initiative in Washington garnered 59 percent of the vote. Both states have suffered a rapid decline in minority enrollment and are feeling the impact in other areas of their economy as well.

The Colorado ballot initiative against equal opportunity programs in higher education, public contracting and hiring — Amendment 46 — threatens the prosperity of everyone, not just people of color. Students will be hit hard, but the state will be the greatest loser.

Back in 1961, 134,000 black students attended predominantly white colleges and universities around the country. Now millions do. This increased diversity has had a positive effect on our nation — socially, politically and economically.

But initiatives like Amendment 46 are not only a vote against fairness and opening doors to all, they undermine the possibilities yet within our reach.

Voters need to ask a simple question: If all equal opportunity programs ended today, would we have a level playing field for women, blacks, Hispanics and the chronically poor? Would programs that focus on college admissions, government contracts and employment fare better?

Equal opportunity programs under assault have made modest gains. Women and people of color are still underrepresented in contracting, college admission and employment.

Do you favor policies that reflect decades of discrimination? Or do you want to continue trying to right the system? Turning a blind eye to reality is not the answer. Pretending that there aren’t systemic problems with admissions and hiring practices won’t make those problems go away.

The California story is fundamental to understanding what could happen in Colorado if Amendment 46 passes. A year after Proposition 209 took effect, admissions of African Americans to University of California schools plummeted 12 percent from 1997 to 1998, while overall admissions rose 5 percent.

Enrollment nosedived nearly 20 percent. In 1995, blacks made up 4.41 percent of the freshman class throughout the UC system, compared to 3.47 percent in 2005.

The effects were more widely felt at UC’s top-tier schools.

At UC-Berkeley, admissions of black students fell 56 percent from 1997 to 1998 and enrollment took a similar dive. In 2006, there were only 96 incoming black students in an incoming class of more than 5,000 at UC-Los Angeles, the lowest numbers since the 1970s.

A sound rejection of the Colorado initiative will not only answer opponents of equal opportunity in the state. It will also send a message across the country for today and years to come.

Gregory Cendana is vice president of the United States Student Association and a graduate of UCLA. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Our View

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Oct 302008
 
Authors:

Sometimes, in a political campaign, it pays off to run an ad or two about your stance on the issues.

And from all appearances, Republican Senatorial candidate Bob Schaffer is learning this the hard way.

In the latest poll released by the Rocky Mountain News-CBS 4, Schaffer trails Democratic opponent Mark Udall by a 13-point margin, and the Collegian can’t help but think that a lot of it has to do with his tactics.

While Udall, too, has contributed to the mud slinging, he also provided potential voters with something else: his stance on the issues. What’s more, he has also taken time more than once to visit campus in promotion of his vision of the future — something Schaffer chose not to do, even though he resides in Fort Collins.

In addition, Udall has shown a strong commitment to values that every Ram can agree with. Udall has expressed support for ballot initiatives such as Amendments 58 and 59, both of which will result in additional funds for higher education in Colorado.

Also, when it comes to environmental issues, his record can’t be beat. Udall has received a near perfect rating from the League of Conservation Voters for his entire tenure as U.S. Representative for Colorado District Two and has introduced several laws on the federal level in support of sustainable alternative energy exploration.

When it comes to green candidates, the “green” university couldn’t ask for better. So when you hit the polls Tuesday, make the right choice.

Vote Mark Udall for U.S. Senate.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Hoffman the best choice for county commissioner

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Oct 302008
 
Authors: Alex Stephens

One of the most important and, ironically, least understood offices being vied for this election is that of county commissioner.

While Obama preaches “change” at a national level, the ugly truth is that the further up the chain you go, from local to national, the harder it becomes to alter the way government works.

The president will still have to negotiate with Congress and do the bidding of Pelosi and Reed lest they become the dreaded lame duck.

Real, discernable change happens at the local levels of politics. You’ll literally be able to taste this kind of change in the quality of water you drink.

County commissioners are responsible for land use planning and prioritizing the budget for public heath services, such as water quality services and road repair.

Any institution that receives taxpayer funds — such as hospitals, fire departments, waste and recycling centers, roads, bridges, parks and even the DMV — is subject to the scrutiny of the county commissioner.

Worried that the stagnant water in the nearby park might contain West Nile-infected mosquitoes?

Like the idea of child protection services, of senior aid services?

Do you enjoy floating down the Poudre River?

How about restaurants — glad they are held to a level of food safety inspection?

The county commissioner is responsible for all these things in addition to some others you would never think of.

They effectively control the quality of your life. Some past county commissioners catered to corporate interests instead of yours. For example, a few years ago, the county budget was changed to pull millions of dollars from road and bridge repair to instead pay for a new road that was highly sought after by developers.

One of Fort Collins’ most remarkable features is currently being threatened by such interests. Corporate developers are pressing for the passage of the Glade Reservoir project, which would dam up the Poudre River and enable more land to be developed.

Fort Collins is growing three times faster than the national average for cities, but growth comes with the price of, essentially, land destruction.

The Poudre River not only provides recreation to everybody, but is an essential part of our environment.

Without the river, Northern Colorado river basins would be devastated, dramatically changing natural habitats as well as threatening the livelihood of farmers, just so more people can migrate to the Fort Collins area.

If you think that’s a pretty bad trade off, you can help stop it by deciding who becomes county commissioner.

Roger Hoffmann is running for county commissioner to protect our quality of life and environment.

He adamantly opposes the development and damming of the Poudre River, but importantly, has also proven himself to be a true advocate for the people.

Over the past 24 years he has been a leader, activist, and organizer for the community.

He has stood up against greedy corporations that do not have the people’s best interests in mind, only their own, such as when over 700 million public dollars were to be spent on destroying farm land in Loveland in order for developers to get what they wanted — Hoffmann opposed it.

Hoffmann’s most important feature lies in his sense of sustainability — the ability to maintain the environment and way of life for future generations.

Through the use of green energy technology we can not only preserve the environment but also create jobs that our struggling economy desperately needs.

Change happens most at the local level, and the decision of who becomes county commissioner is entirely in our hands.

If you have ever enjoyed what the Poudre River has to offer, felt that the communities’ interests should be put above profiteering corporations, or believe in a sustainable future that should be preserved for the next generation, vote Roger Hoffmann.

Alex Stephens is a junior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Communities celebrate culture at 26th annual CSU POW WOW [VIDEO]

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Oct 302008
 
Authors: Madeline Novey

Ever since CSU junior Sky Medicine Bear could walk, he has celebrated his Native American heritage with music and dance, food and folk lore, and most importantly, at traditional POW WOWs — a true culmination of Native American cultural arts and traditions.

On Saturday, Nov. 1, Bear shared hundreds of years of Native American culture and tradition with his family, members of Native American tribes across the mid-west, and members of the Fort Collins and CSU communities, during the 26th annual CSU POW WOW. The event was held in the Main Ballroom in the Lory Student Center, and officials said it signaled the start of Native American Month celebrated in November.

Throughout the daylong event, which ended at 12:30 p.m., attendants were treated to Native American music and art, a selection of jewelry and goods sold by visiting vendors and food, from Native American fry bread to Indian tacos.

Bear, a member of both the Native American Student Services and the American Indian Science & Engineering Society, two of many CSU organizations that sponsored the culture-rich exhibition, learned the modern style of dance known as the Mens’ Fancy Dance as young child.

As a child, Bear grew up in Aztec New Mexico celebrating the traditions of the Navajo and Sioux tribes, to which he claims kinship, and learned to the art of dance from watching other performers at POW wows.

Two years ago, Bear was asked to share his talents and dance traditions, which he said, “will always be a part of (his) life,” with American soldiers stationed in Iraq.

Traveling from base to base for 10 days, and eventually performing in Saddam Hussein’s palace in Baghdad, Iraq, Bear said that the experience was “freaky” at times, and while it was “awesome,” he could not fully express his feelings about the sharing his culture with the American soldiers.

At the present, studying electrical engineering at CSU, Bear performs across the country at Native American POW wows as a traditional dancer, and member of the Grammy award-winning, northern host drum group Young Bird.

The drum group, originating in Pawnee, Oklahoma, performed at the all-day event and sang the Grand Entry song in the afternoon, the dance which combined the talents of performers from across the country to honor the start of the POW WOW.

Attendants of the event were encouraged by the master of ceremonies, Bruce LeClaire of the Lakota tribe in Durango, Colo., to put reservation aside, “meet someone new,” and shake their hand in honor of the celebration of friendship the Native American culture emphasizes.

“The pow wow is basically for singing and dancing,” LeClaire said and explained that the pow wow serves as a way to honor Native American people, “build a sense of community,” and share the time-honored Native American history with people of all diversities.

Bear and other officials said that the POW WOW has been apart of the Native American culture “forever” — before Christopher Columbus set foot upon American shores more than 700 years ago.

Bear said that he felt “honored” to be in the company of the diverse collection of people visiting from the Navajo, Cheyenne and Sioux tribes, among many others, and that the POW WOW was “for everyone,” not just the natives, to come together to “celebrate life” and “keep the tradition alive.”

Young Bird and several dancers dressed donned in richly colored sashes and with salt and peppershaker rattles in hand, performed a series of Gourd Dances at the start of the POW WOW, which originated from several southern plains tribes.

Eagle Boy Whiteshield, a sophomore farm ecology major at the University of Colorado Denver, and member of the Kiowa, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, was honored as the head gourd dancer of the ceremonial dance that Whiteshield said has “been around for centuries.”

At the time of its origin, when the Kiowa tribe created the song to mimic the beautiful song of the red wolf, the performers used rawhide and gourd shakers, which were later modernized and replaced with the plastic shakers.

“I’m here to share this song with the people,” Whiteshield said, reflecting on the historical meaning and origin of the song that he learned from his uncles and grandfathers. “It’s about preserving the culture to let it carry on.”

At 1:15 p.m., hundreds of attendants sat witness to the Grand Entry ceremony, in which dozens of dancers from numerous tribes and dance styles — from the Men’s Fancy Dance, to the Women’s Fancy Shawl Dance — circled around the center of the ballroom, each in a way that spectators said illustrated the colorful presence of all the tribes.

Bear said that the men performing the Fancy Dance wore the costumes that people recognized most often for their ornate, feathered headdresses referred to as head roaches and most commonly made out of porcupine quills. Both the men and women wore brightly colored regalia adorned with elaborately beaded head pieces and bells, which created a rhythmic cacophony that synchronized with the seven host drum groups that played.

Shelly Reush, a senior geology major said that she “absolutely loved it” and thought it was “neat to see how much (the performers) enjoyed what they’re doing.”

Other spectators agreed that they thought the Native American culture was beautiful and hoped that they continue to keep the traditions alive.

Kelly Hancock, a teacher in the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, said that she will talk to her students about what she learned at the POW WOW, and that she and her husband admire the culture and work to expose their son “to as much as they can.”

“(The Native American culture) is a very powerful tradition,” said Chuck Hancock, Kelly Hancock’s husband. “It’s important to keep it going and carrying it on.”

Senior Reporter Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

The happenings of Halloween in Fort Collins

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Oct 302008
 
Authors: Brian Anthony

Several businesses and organizations on campus and the surrounding community will be holding Halloween events tonight for children and adults of all ages.

Here is a preview of the upcoming festivities for tonight. Children to trick-or-treat at the Lory Student Center. From 3:30-5:30 the Lory Student Center will be holding a trick-or-treat event, inviting children and adults from the community to take part in festivities. Several offices in the LSC will hand out treats to children and students, centering on a main theme of Dr. Seuss books.

Throughout the Student Center, offices will decorate according to the popular series of children’s books, including:

Greek Life: The Cat in the Hat

Student Leadership involvement and Community Engagement: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Campus Activities: The Lorax

Copy Rite: Horton Hears a Who

Associated Students of CSU: Go Dog Go

Student Media: Bartholomew and the 500 Hats.

Students can enjoy some adult fun in Old Town. Zydecos Bar in Fort Collins will hold Halloween contests over the next two nights, judging Sexiest Costume and Best Costume tonight and the Best Group or Duo Contest and the Most Original Saturday night.

The first and second place winners for each category receive cash or compensation for their bar tabs.

Autumn Kehl, bartender at Zydecos said, “As many people as can stand on the bar usually participate. That’s how it usually goes.”

She added, “Zydecos will figure out some other way to do it.”

The bar has been holding the contest since it opened over nine years ago, judging the uniqueness of the costumes.

“(The uniqueness of costumes) just depends on the year. There’s a couple people that really get into it and try to win as much as they can,” Kehl said. The Drunken Monkey will also hold a Halloween contest, its third annual. Anyone in the bar will be eligible, and a staffer will comb the crowd asking for participants.

Manager Chase Northen said, “Maybe 20 will participate. Whoever is here; whoever is in the bar. We’ll have a sign-up sheet.”

First place will receive $300 cash, second will receive $100 cash and third place will receive a $50 bar tab.

Staff writer Brian Anthony can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Kefalas, McCluskey battle special interests, negative advertisements

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Oct 302008
 
Authors: Trevor Simonton

As Colorado attracts national attention for its swing-state status, the more local House District 52 election exemplifies the highly competitive nature of statewide elections, which at this point have no clear-cut winners.

Incumbent Rep. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, has served the district for two years and is now campaigning against former Republican Rep. Bob McCluskey for re-election to an office that has changed hands from Republican to Democrat repeatedly in the last 25 years.

And like many campaigns this year, the race for House District 52 is not without attack ads.

Although Kefalas has not endorsed or been the source of any negative advertisement against his opponent, Accountability for Colorado, an independent organization, has sent out a series of mailers to Fort Collins voters questioning McCluskey’s voting history and asking voters to call and tell him to “stop putting women’s lives at risk.”

The mailers referred to a 2003 bill that would allow insurers to refuse coverage for mammograms.

Accountability for Colorado is a 527 organization and gets its name from its federal tax code and is a common entity in a political campaign. These groups are not authorized to directly advocate on behalf of a specific candidate, so they spend money assailing the opposing candidate’s reputation to impact local elections.

Unlike personal campaign spending, there is no limit on the amount of money these 527s can spend on furthering their political agenda, so long as they don’t expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a specific candidate.

Kefalas has the support of at least eight of these 527s, McCluskey said.

“These ads are way over the top,” he said. “It’s just an example of Denver money coming to Fort Collins to try to sway voter opinion instead of letting Fort Collins people decide for themselves.”

Not even Kefalas supports the negative tone of these messages.

“They have really crossed of the line of civility,” he said. “I don’t approve of them, but we can’t stop them.”

CSU political science professor John Straayer said that the effects of these 527s could be dangerous to both candidates.

“It’s really a two-edged sword,” he said. “If there are limited resources, the candidates can benefit from the blasting of their opponent, but since they have to be independent, there is no control over what gets put out.”

Straayer said Kefalas has garnered more 527 support simply because the groups that back him have more money.

However, McCluskey has not taken the abuse lying down, and according to the Colorado Secretary of State Elections Center, he has given $65,000 to his own campaign, which is now blaming Kefalas and other Democrats in office for increased oil and gas prices.

It is perfectly legal for a candidate to finance their own campaign, and it is common practice for candidates that can afford to do so. Later, campaign donations can be used to reimburse the personal contribution.

But Kefalas said that his opponent is “trying to buy this election” and the accusation that the Democrats have influenced gas prices is ridiculous.

“How can I, a single representative, influence the cost of gasoline?” he said. “It is my opinion that in an act of desperation he is paying for these negative ads, and I think that it’s going to backfire.”

But McCluskey defends the claim, arguing the supply of gas in Colorado can affect local prices, and that democratic policy is too restrictive on in-state oil and gas production.

Though he said he agrees renewable energies are the future, he argued the supply of gas could be increased without damaging the environment.

Both candidates have been strong supporters of higher education while in office, and both promise to work on creating more jobs, strengthening the economy and improving access and affordability of health insurance.

Kefalas said that if elected, depending on the outcome of the federal elections, he would like to work on developing public health insurance.

McCluskey said he wants to develop portable health insurance, which would follow employees as they change jobs.

Kefalas pointed to the more than 50 public meetings, forums and discussions he has held while in office, priding himself on his accessibility and transparency as a representative and his efforts to prevent uranium mining in Colorado.

McCluskey, who has held public appearances from supporters’ homes, said that his experience in the private sector over the past two years will give him an advantage over Kefalas.

Elections Beat Reporter Trevor Simonton can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

ASCSU, Facilities Management purchase more than 100 bike racks

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Oct 302008
 
Authors: Madeline Novey

Early last month, CSU sophomore Elizabeth Abajian noticed a trend among her peers — the lack of parking for bikes on campus had become a problem they’d been complaining about since the start of the semester.

Instead of just listening to their feedback, the senator for the College of Applied Human Sciences for the Associated Students of CSU took it upon herself to determine where the greatest need for bike racks was.

After a three-day comprehensive evaluation of the CSU community, Abajian and ASCSU Vice-President Quinn Girrens collaborated with Jennifer Johnson, a groundskeeper and bike rack coordinator for Facilities Management, to add a minimum of 100 bike racks to high-traffic and high-congested areas on campus this year.

Abajian narrowed her search down to eight high-traffic “problem areas” on campus that she believed needed the immediate addition of bike racks. These included areas on both sides of the Morgan Library and the Plant Science building, among others.

Officials said the initiative to bring more bike racks to campus began in response to an “evident need” -for more parking for bikes — students had started to lock their bikes to trees, railings and even to other bikes as the number of parking spaces became limited.

“I think the number of riders to campus has increased exponentially from last year to this year,” Johnson said. “It’s due to the cost of gas going up, the cost of CSU parking stickers increasing, and then the whole green movement for the university wanting to be carbon neutral.”

Johnson said that she believes it is the responsibility of the university and not the students to pay for the new racks.

The student government president and vice president allocated $4,000 from the student government budget to purchase five bike racks to fulfill one of their 2008 CSU presidential campaign promises.

Due to the fact that between 9,000 to 10,000 students and faculty members ride their bikes to campus every day, Johnson said, a significantly greater number of bike racks are necessary on campus.

Johnson said she added 20 bike racks to campus two years ago, and that she added an average of only 10 racks per year in previous years before.

Johnson said that she has talked with a number of departments and organizations on campus to see if they are willing to pay for part of the overall expense. And while funding for the racks is not yet secured, she also said that the department members agree that there is a need.

The racks, which will ideally be purchased by Facilities Management and other university departments, are to be strategically placed at the high-traffic areas and around buildings on campus, including the Clark Building, the south side of Rockwell Hall and the old music building, among 20 others.

While students were excited that bike racks are both organizations’ financial agendas, some were skeptical about whether 100 bike racks will be sufficient to stem the parking overflow.

“I think it will help,” said Hannah Drinkwater, a freshman open-option major, who added that her friends said that the parking is “especially difficult” between the Morgan Library and the Lory Student Center.

“Considering the size of the freshman class coming in, 100 may not be enough; we may need 200 or 300.”

Girrens said the racks will help to alleviate the bike parking congestion on campus and will be installed on the north side of the Microbiology building before the end of the semester. ?

Senior Reporter Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

‘Far-fetched’ candidates vie for presidency

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Oct 302008
 
Authors: Trevor Simonton

As presidential candidates Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Democrat Sen. Barack Obama race for the vote this week, 14 other candidates are also vying for what many call the most powerful position in the world — and many voters will not hear about them until they enter the voting booth.

Media focus remains almost solely on the back-and-forth bickering between the Democratic and Republican parties, and many across the country largely ignore candidates like Pacifist Party founder Bradford Lyttle, who said he believes that the only way to avoid world war is to simply disband the American military.

Obama has taken flack from McCain’s camp for his plans to “spread the wealth,” and has been called a socialist, but the Socialist presidential candidate Brian Moore disagrees with the accusation, arguing that neither McCain nor Obama will be able to propose the radical systemic change he said the country needs to prevent an economic collapse.

And issues of the heart — greed, pride, fear and apathy — are important ones that independent candidate Jonathan Allen said Obama and McCain are intentionally avoiding as they campaign for president.

In an effort to determine what the fringes think about the issues surrounding the presidency, the Collegian had an opportunity to interview three of the candidates.

Pacifist Party:

Bradford Lyttle

At almost 81 years of age and beginning his political science studies in the 1980s, Lyttle has what he calls “irrefutable evidence” that a nuclear war is inevitable and that the only way to avoid it is to completely disarm the military.

Having spent most of his life studying political science, Lyttle was jailed for 9 months in 1955 for dodging the draft during the Korean War and was jailed again for 6 months when he attended a protest of the Atlas missile silos in Nebraska.

He has taken the miniscule probability of a nuclear missile launch and plugged that number into what he calls the “apocalypse equation.”

This equation, which he created, shows that over extended lengths of time, the probability continues to increase until the threat of nuclear holocaust becomes certain.

“This isn’t speculation, it’s scientific fact,” he said. He argued that human history is marked by cycles of war and the system is inherently flawed in that there is always a chance of failure, which, measured over time, is unavoidable.

“When the human species invented nuclear bombs, it signed its death warrant,” he said.

Lyttle said that America’s spending on its military could be redirected to saving the economy and training citizens how to react to invasion, so that they can protect themselves if needed.

He admits that his chances of winning the presidency are not reasonable but said that he continues to run with the goal of spreading his ideas.

Independent Candidate: Jonathan Allen

Not every candidate is certain that an electoral victory is out of reach.

Jonathan Allen said that if he can win just “one or two or three or four” states, the elections would go into “overtime.”

Then, he said, Obama will be found out to not be a natural citizen, leaving McCain as his only opponent, per the 12th amendment.

He said that he would then earn the support of the Obama crowd, and people would realize that he should be president.

“It’s a long shot, but it’s very possible,” he said.

Allen has never held a political office, but argued that his third party position and separation from the political system sets him free to stand for what he says is truly important: issues of morality.

He said before any effective change can be made to better the country, Americans must first address its widespread greed, fear and pride — issues that he said are the stem of all of the country’s problems.

“We are trying to build a house, and we keep arguing if the paint should be red or white, if the roof should be tiled — but the foundation is flawed,” he said.

Allen, a Montrose business owner, said that “matters of the heart” are the focus of his campaign and that his international business experience makes him fit for the job.

“We don’t need a president who understands the game, we need someone who will change the game,” he said.

Socialist Party:

Brian Moore

Though McCain criticizes Obama for being too socialist, Moore criticizes him for not being socialist enough.

“He’s in bed with the capitalists,” he said, calling the Democrat’s plans to redistribute the wealth nothing more than “false hopes.”

“Barack Obama is misleading the American people, and John McCain is misrepresenting socialism,” he said.

Moore said that many prominent Americans were socialists in the early 1900s, and socialism used to have a credible image before ” the liberal Democrat” President Woodrow Wilson and McCarthiesm sent the party downhill for 90 years.

Now, he said, transferring private ownership of corporations to the workers is the only solution to the nation’s economic problems.

Formerly a member of the Peace Corps, Moore said he got about 20,000 votes when he ran for the U.S. Senate in Florida as an unaffiliated independent, admitting that at the time he was a “closet socialist.”

Now, he is running for president.

“Technically, I can be elected, but the probability is miniscule,” he said. “I don’t expect to be, unless some cataclysmic failure hits the economy, and the people are suddenly in need of a radical change.”

An ‘unbelievable’

possibility of a win

CSU political science professor John Straayer said that voting for any of these candidates is “the closest thing you can do to throwing your vote away.”

He said any third party candidate who believes they will be elected must be “smoking their own stuff,” and that Allen’s theory of how he might be elected is almost completely unbelievable and far-fetched.

“It’s a waste of a vote if you think you’re going to impact the outcome of the election,” he said, adding that there was, however, a chance that votes for Nader eight years ago might have cost Al Gore the election.

“But,” Straayer said, “it’s not a waste if it makes you feel good somewhere deep in your soul.”

Elections Beat Reporter Trevor Simonton can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm