Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lefty's Caption Contest #6

Each Saturday on Lefty's Last Cry, we have the tradition of a political Caption Contest. They have gone well in the past, with a variety of funny interpretations. If you have an idea for a funny caption respond in the comments section for the photo above. At the end of the weekend we'll pick the best one and post it on our Comedy page! While you're at it, check out our old Caption Contest winners here.


The winner of this week's caption contest is Bill. Check it out here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Virginia Governor (and fellow Domer) Bob McDonnell: Jackass

In a pathetic move to pander to the racially motivated base of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan Republican Party, Governor Bob McDonnell, class of '76, yesterday declared April to be "Confederate History Month."  What a douche.

April was the month in which Virginia joined the Confederate States of America, and as such, Governor McDonnell thought it would be nice to set aside this month for:
all Virginians to reflect upon our Commonwealth’s shared history, to understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War, and to recognize how our history has led to our present...

this defining chapter in Virginia’s history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all Virginians, both in the context of the time in which it took place, but also in the context of the time in which we live...
Of course, nowhere in the Governor's proclamation does he actually name any specifics of "this defining chapter in Virginia's history."  Nor does he provide any historical reference to, or commentary on, "the context of the time in which it took place."  ...You know, like slavery.  But to understand this "in the context of the time in which we live," is quite simple.  We live in the age of the first African American president of the United States of America.  A tremendous symbol of progress from the dark underbelly of our nation's history; yet one which causes a certain segment of the population (namely, the base of the right wing of the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement) a deep sense of discomfort because of their racist and bigoted inclinations.  Rather than help lead the nation along the path of progress and reject the extremist tendencies of their party, Republican Party leaders have been stoking the fears of their mentally unstable base.  Congratulations, Bubba.  You've made the University of Notre Dame proud.

* In addition to glossing over the small role that slavery played in the Civil War, Bob McDonnell demonstrated his progressive and far reaching intellect in his master's thesis where he decries feminists and working women as "detrimental to the family," harps on the evil that is contraception, and dabbles in gay bashing.  This wasn't merely the blabbering of a young conservative trying to find himself in college... he wrote this as an already married man while 34 years old.  Stay classy, Bob.

UPDATE: 6:11 PM EDT (via The Washington Post)
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) apologized late Wednesday for failing to include slavery in his proclamation declaring April as Confederate History Month. In his statement, McDonnell said slavery "has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation."

Writer of the Month: March 2010

Apologies ahead of time for the belated Writer of the Month post. I know you've all been tearing your hair out for the past week waiting to see who will win. Sadly, instead of setting my clock forward an hour during daylight savings, I set it back 168 hours and only just now realized my mistake...

March 2010 has been one of our best months on record, and I want to thank everyone involved for making it possible. Despite midterms and spring break, our writers put together a lot of good content, especially March 2010's Writer of the Month:

Chris Rhodenbaugh!

This past month will go down in history as the month when we finally passed Health Care Reform, something that couldn't have happened without young activists (that's you, readers) writing letters, making phone calls, and getting the message out there that America needs reform. The landmark reform will also go down as one of the most contentious pieces of legislation ever passed, and instrumental to its passage was making sure that Americans are able to discern the truth about the bill from the plethora of falsehoods being put out by the angry and confused or the downright maliciously manipulative.

Chris Rhodenbaugh stepped into the fray this month to fight for health care, appearing with Lefty's Last Cry editor Brendan on local channel Fox 28, and being interviewed in the Observer, making the case for health care reform and explaining that the bill that passed does not fund abortion. He also wrote two quality posts to supplement his media appearances. (See "College Democrats in the Media Discussing Health Care" and "Healthcare Reform DOES NOT Fund Abortion"

Chris also wrapped up his final term as Co-President of the Notre Dame College Democrats in March, and made multiple appearances on our live podcast, Lefty's Last Laugh (Airing Thursdays at 9PM Eastern, with old episodes on our YouTube Channel).

Chris has been writing for us for over a year now, so be sure to check out his past work on Lefty's Last Cry. We hope to see more from him in the future.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

War Rears Its Ugly Head

The job of an American soldier is horrible and forces individuals into precarious situations where right and wrong are as clear as the dust cloud from an artillery blast. Our military operates within a strict formal protocol that intends to minimize random violence and civilian death while keeping our soldiers safe. Most of the time, our soldiers are very professional and obey orders appropriately.

Occasionally, individuals deviate from protocol or take liberties in combat that produce disastrous results. Some incidences are reported and investigated. Others go unnoticed. The following is a video from 2007 of American soldiers engaging a group of Iraqis they (presumably) believed to be insurgents. What is most disturbing in this video is not an egregious dismissal of protocol, but the communication between soldiers who seem to be operating within standard protocol. If I did not know differently, I could have easily mistaken the footage as cinematics or gameplay from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

As an outsider, I do not intend to cast a generalization upon all American soldiers. I know and respect many individuals who have served in combat situations. Let the following example serve less as anti-military propaganda and more as a sad, telling example of how disgusting and unfortunate war can be.

The debate about our military presence in Afghanistan often seems predicated on our ability to "win." In an elective war without a clear end, what do we define as "victory?" I understand that our presence is a reaction to a direct attack on American soil. I recognize that war is occasionally necessary. But we must always be aware of the costs. As trillions of American dollars are blown and casualties on both sides pile up, I challenge those who engage in the debate to consider the following:

There are no winners in war, as death is the mother of retaliation. When man kills his enemy, he becomes his own. And as he stands alone atop his fallen foe, he is without life. For war yields no victor, but only great loss and greater loss.

WARNING: Contains graphic footage of combat violence and death.

PS: I'm glad that the record companies don't control military footage.

Help Notre Dame College Democrats Become the 2009-2010 Club of the Year

  • The time of year has come for the annual Club Coordination Council to crown the Notre Dame Club of the Year. Our very own Notre Dame College Democrats have done great work and have proven to be one of the most vibrant, active clubs on campus. If you are a Notre Dame student, we would love for you to help us win the award.

Here's how you can help!

1) Get the nomination form here.

2) Type "College Democrats" under club and "Special Interest" under division.

3) Add your reasons for nomination in the spaces allowed. To save you time, we've listed some potential reasons below. Feel free to add your own and/or re-word the options below.

  • Maintained a solid membership with 40 attendees at every weekly meeting.
  • Held weekly dining hall dinners to build a social network for students.
  • Operated over 20 phone banks, making over 6000 calls for health care reform.
  • Hosted meetings that regularly included guests such as local politicians and candidates.
  • Built strong relationships with other student organizations such as PSA, MeCha.
  • Had a consistent media presence in The Observer.
  • Held regular service events with Hope Ministries, Catholic Worker, Center for the Homeless.
  • Worked regularly with other Indiana College Democrats chapters and attended statewide events such as a fundraiser dinner and CDIN state convention.
  • Hosted prominent speakers such as liberal talk show host Cenk Uygur.
  • Worked broadly on issues outside of campaigning such as clean energy, GLBT rights, genocide, and labor.
  • Exerted a strong progressive voice in the South Bend community.
  • Operated successfully without a Fall CCC budget allocation.
  • Maintained consistent and varied programming with an average of 2 events or opportunities each week.
  • Built a reputation statewide and nationwide as one of the strongest College Democrats chapters in the country.
4) Finally, send the document to as soon as possible.

Thanks for all of your help,

Henry Vasquez
College Democrats of Notre Dame

PS: Here's a great little infographic about health care reform that we'll be posting around campus.
Click to expand: