Occupy Athenaeum

By: Adam Griffith | Nov 28, 2011 | 365 Views Opinion |

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be coming to the Claremont McKenna College Athenaeum this November 30th, but not everyone is happy about it. On the same day, a group of students plan to come together to protest Rice’s presence on the campus as a part of a demonstration organized in part by the club Occupy Claremont, a name that was the punch line to a joke long before it was an actual club.

Occupy Claremont held an event to publicize their protest on Monday, November 21st, including a screening of the British comedy In the Loop, a dark parody of the political atmosphere surrounding the start of the Iraq War. It didn’t directly mention Iraq, President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, or any actual members of the American government, but it makes politicians look bad, so why not? For the record, I actually loved the movie and encourage readers to check it out.

I'd rather talk to Occupy Claremont

Following the screening, Pitzer professors Dan Segal and Geoffrey Herrera hosted a discussion about the film and its relation to the coming visit of Condoleezza Rice. During the course of their discussion, organizers of the Rice protest, with the help of Segal and Herrera, clarified their motivations for putting together the demonstration.

Namely: Condoleezza Rice, philanthropic pianist and advocate of increasing aid to Africa, is evil and CMC has nothing to learn from her. And that evil part? That’s no exaggeration, that’s straight out of the mouth of Professor Segal.

To begin, they pointed out repeatedly, we can’t actually learn anything from a decorated Stanford Professor and key figure in the American political scene, and if we can, we certainly can’t do it in person! As Herrera explained “We should all continue to learn from Condoleezza Rice, but you don’t have to listen to her in order to do that.” Segal added, “She’s much more polished and practiced at this than the people in the audience, so she’s ready for everything so it’s not actually going to be an open exchange.”

Our mistake, I guess we should be learning from Condoleezza Rice by ignoring her. What were we thinking? How could we ever hope to glean any insight from an individual with polish and an aptitude for public speaking. Perhaps we could invite Joe Biden instead?

Rather than listening to Rice, organizers of the protest hope that you will instead elect to learn from them at their “teach-ins” where they will provide lectures on her “crimes against humanity.”  That sure sounds like a non-biased, quality educational opportunity to me, especially when anyone is allowed to lead one.

But why protest the event? The professors and organizers attending the film screening provided a large variety of reasons for protesting the event, some of which make less sense than others and some of which make no sense at all. Here’s what the event organizers (who did not give their names) had to say. One hoped to “bring up the fact that [the Iraq War] is not over yet.” Maybe she hasn’t heard that it will be in less than two months. Another boldly and incoherently charged, “I feel that she should not be educating college students on policy because she did not follow policy while she was National Security Advisor,” while a third proclaimed, “It’s not just about her as an individual, it’s the fact that people use Condoleezza Rice to say that we live in a post-racialized, post-sexualized society because a women of color got into such a high position of power, which is not the case … and that’s also part of the reason why we’re bringing awareness to what’s going on.”

So there you have it. The student masterminds behind this particular endeavor want to remind everyone that a war that is just weeks away from ending is not, in fact, over yet, that policy is apparently synonymous with protocol, and that the success of one talented African American woman proves the horrible racism and sexism that is crippling this nation.

The professors justifications for the demonstration were a little easier to follow, but no less questionable. When asked directly about the purpose of the protest, for example, Professor Herrera explained, “The thing that’s most astonishing to me perhaps about those that were involved in foreign policy decision-making during the Bush administration is that none have really suffered for it.” He may be right. Perhaps Condoleezza Rice, a well respected public figure and successful professor, will experience such profound suffering at the sight of a few dozen college students calling her names while she talks about her very lucrative book, that she will change her direction in life entirely and sign up to work for Ralph Nader.

Professor Segal, on the other hand, criticized those who “put their careers first, as Condoleezza Rice I think has quite consistently for decades.” First, over what? Justice, he seems to think. He does make the ironclad point that “She was without question on duty when the United States went to the UN and lied to justify to going to the war. She was without question on duty when the United States made decisions to use torture against its prisoners.” Sounds fair. Rice is evil because she did not resign when the general political goings on were unsatisfactory for two Pitzer professors and Occupy Claremont, who, by the way, have actually set up a small Occupy encampment over on 2nd street. Feel free to visit and show your support for their efforts to block sidewalks and demonstrate that you can, in fact, Occupy Wall Street while still on main street.

It is the right of Claremont McKenna College as an independent institution to invite who we choose to our school, with or without the expressed written consent of Occupy Claremont and a select group of Pitzer students. They have a right to their opinions, but not the right to push them on us. In response, I hope that CMC’ers will pack the Athenaeum this Wednesday. Let’s show the demonstrators that we don’t need their approval to exercise our right to learn from whomever we choose to.

About the Author

Adam Griffith is a PPE major and a member of CMC's class of 2014 whose hobbies outnumber the minutes in a day. Find him relaxing in Marks or hiking on Mt. Baldy!

  1. Coady November 28, 2011 at 7:46 pm -

    Well done.  It’s articles like this that make me love CMC.

  2. Wintaye November 28, 2011 at 9:06 pm -

    I liked this article because it turned a critical eye on the Rice protesters. I enjoyed reading the quotes from professors and organizers and the author’s responses to their claims. However, I find it strange and off-putting that almost the entire article is sarcastic. Yes, it is an Opinions article but the tone of the article detracts from its content. It leaves the author sounding snarky and petulant. It’s a shame because it really is an interesting article.

  3. stagswag November 28, 2011 at 9:14 pm -

    Great article. Sad I can’t attend her talk :(

  4. war by any other name November 28, 2011 at 9:50 pm -

    Adam, it’s frankly just not true that the Iraq war will be over in “less than two months.” As your NYT article states, “There will also be 4,000 to 5,000 private State Department security contractors, as well as a significant C.I.A. presence” remaining in Iraq even after the US has supposedly withdrawn.It doesn’t particularly matter under what name is attached to these soldiers — whether they’re mercenaries or members of the US military, they’re still armed representatives of the United States in Iraq who will be fighting on a regular basis. When you have thousands of armed Americans in another country fighting, that’s what’s called a “war,” notwithstanding political PR bullshit. After all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

  5. war by any other name November 28, 2011 at 9:50 pm -

    Adam, it’s frankly just not true that the Iraq war will be over in “less than two months.” As your NYT article states, “There will also be 4,000 to 5,000 private State Department security contractors, as well as a significant C.I.A. presence” remaining in Iraq even after the US has supposedly withdrawn.It doesn’t particularly matter under what name is attached to these soldiers — whether they’re mercenaries or members of the US military, they’re still armed representatives of the United States in Iraq who will be fighting on a regular basis. When you have thousands of armed Americans in another country fighting, that’s what’s called a “war,” notwithstanding political PR bullshit. After all, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

    • Connor Barclay November 29, 2011 at 8:42 pm -

      We have over 9,000 actual U.S. soldiers in the United Kingdom. The British seem to be doing quite fine and you could even argue they generally like us.

      • war by any other name November 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm -

        Yeah, but they’re not actively shooting people in the UK… They are doing so now in Iraq and will almost certainly continue to do so.

        • ben November 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm -

          You are wrong about there being shooting in Iraq. There is essentially no combat right now involving American forces, and the Iraqi forces we’ve trained are actually succeeding on a high level. Given that we are not shooting right now, we probably won’t be shooting in the future, either…..

        • war by any other name November 30, 2011 at 7:21 am -

          Check out this list of US casualties. Two US soldiers killed this month. Four in October. Is that “essentially no combat?”
          http://antiwar.com/casualties/list.php

        • Aseem Chipalkatti November 30, 2011 at 7:36 am -

          So I actually took the time to scan over some of the fatalities listed on this highly biased looking site. Of the two that occurred in November, both were instigated by enemy forces. One in October was in Saudi Arabia, and the one in Texas was from a non-combat illness.

          So I think Ben has a point with the fact that there is very little combat in Iraq. Read before you post.

          Aseem Chipalkatti
          CMC ’15

        • Aseem Chipalkatti November 30, 2011 at 7:36 am -

          So I actually took the time to scan over some of the fatalities listed on this highly biased looking site. Of the two that occurred in November, both were instigated by enemy forces. One in October was in Saudi Arabia, and the one in Texas was from a non-combat illness.

          So I think Ben has a point with the fact that there is very little combat in Iraq. Read before you post.

          Aseem Chipalkatti
          CMC ’15

        • war by any other name November 30, 2011 at 8:00 am -

          Yes, you’re right… the November fatalities were “instigated by enemy forces.” What’s your point?

          They’re still US forces, engaged in combat! That’s what happens in a war. I don’t think that two combat deaths this month constitutes “very little combat”…

          (Yes, you’re right, about the Oct. deaths. My bad.)

        • Aseem Chipalkatti November 30, 2011 at 8:13 am -

          Valid point. Combat is still combat, no matter who instigated it. Fair enough.

          However, as of October 2011, only 39,000 troops remain in Iraq. Of whom two died. That’s minuscule - hardly even a rounding error to be honest. 0.005% does not equal to the United States dragging on a war, as you’re equating it to. Considering that President Obama has stated, and that the Iraqi government has mandated that all US troops be out of Iraq by the end of the year, I’d say your point is fairly weak.

          Aseem Chipalkatti
          CMC’15

        • war by any other name November 30, 2011 at 8:37 am -

          I don’t think any human being — each of whom has friends, family, lovers — is “hardly even a rounding error.” Are you really that callous?

        • Aseem Chipalkatti November 30, 2011 at 9:00 am -

          Stop your ad-hominem. 0.005% is a rounding error. When you look at numbers and logistics from an analytical perspective, as you should be, you have to remove sentimentality from the equation. The number of US troops dying in Iraq is now nearly zero, and the fact remains that very soon the number of US troops there will also be zero. Of course I value a human life – I’m a normal person. I don’t like anyone dying in Iraq for a war that I was against in the first place. But the analytical truth is that there are a minuscule number of Americans dying in Iraq right now, and that minuscule number will continue to decrease over the 30 or so days between now and New Years.

        • war by any other name November 30, 2011 at 9:28 am -

          Even one death is too many. When you trivialize the deaths as rounding errors and “minuscule,” you’re trivializing the value of human life. That kind of analytical attitude debases what makes humanity special and that attitude’s prominence at CMC saddens me.

        • Random Person November 30, 2011 at 9:42 pm -

          But I assume that you agree with abortion? I think that trivializes human life more than your one death is too many speech

        • war by any other name November 30, 2011 at 8:00 am -

          Yes, you’re right… the November fatalities were “instigated by enemy forces.” What’s your point?

          They’re still US forces, engaged in combat! That’s what happens in a war. I don’t think that two combat deaths this month constitutes “very little combat”…

          (Yes, you’re right, about the Oct. deaths. My bad.)

        • Aseem Chipalkatti November 30, 2011 at 7:36 am -

          So I actually took the time to scan over some of the fatalities listed on this highly biased looking site. Of the two that occurred in November, both were instigated by enemy forces. One in October was in Saudi Arabia, and the one in Texas was from a non-combat illness.

          So I think Ben has a point with the fact that there is very little combat in Iraq. Read before you post.

          Aseem Chipalkatti
          CMC ’15

      • war by any other name November 29, 2011 at 11:09 pm -

        Yeah, but they’re not actively shooting people in the UK… They are doing so now in Iraq and will almost certainly continue to do so.

  6. Jake Petzold November 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm -

    I appreciate this thoughtful article and agree with the general criticism that the demonstration organizers lack an articulable purpose and interest – and are reaching for too much.  I’m happy to see students, professors, and others expressing their convictions in a long-standing practice of American political activity, but I would like to see it done differently.  That said, I do have some problems with your argument here:

    1) The American invasion of Iraq may be coming to an end of some sort in the coming weeks, but the repercussions continue to be felt and will continue to be felt for decades – both in the U.S. and abroad.  The consequences for our global standing, our military preparedness, and in the lives of our soldiers will endure and are worth noting as they fade from the spotlight.
    2) Yes, Secretary Rice is a professor at Stanford and served as provost there for several years.  But let’s remember that she teaches one class and has been removed from the realm of academia as most professors know it for about 20 years.
    3) Secretary Rice is on a book tour.  I can say with near certainty that she will give the same talk here she’s given at every other stop; she will say basically the same thing she’s been saying throughout the promotion of the book.  She will get basically the same questions and give basically the same answers.  Of course there’s value to going to see it in person, and I’ve encouraged many to do so.  But I doubt that we’ll LEARN much more from her talk than we can learn by reading the news.
    4) What’s wrong with opening up the teach-in to anyone who wishes to teach?  You have meaningful insights on the situation and have chosen to express them by writing a piece on the Forum; others may choose to express theirs by participating in the teach-in.  We should also welcome a demonstration that focuses on an exchange of ideas rather than, for instance, the brutal and largely meaningless symbolism that marked the Rove protest three years ago.
    5) Your comment “Rice is evil because she did not resign when the general political
    goings on were unsatisfactory for two Pitzer professors and Occupy
    Claremont” is unfairly dismissive and shallow.  Many other Claremont Colleges students (and, to be sure, faculty) opposed and still oppose the actions of the Bush administration in foreign affairs – to say nothing of millions of Americans as well.  Furthermore, you disregard Secretary Rice’s participation in these events.  We know she signed off on “enhanced interrogation techniques” (which include waterboarding) as National Security Advisor and that she lied under oath to Congress and perhaps to the Kean Commission.

    I look forward to Secretary Rice’s visit and talk; I hope we can have a meaningful and informative dialogue.  Yes, I do have problems with the protest plans, but let’s remember that the demonstrators are using the means available to them to express (hopefully respectfully) their political convictions.  Let’s not write off their perspective before the event has even occurred.

  7. Anonymous November 28, 2011 at 11:19 pm -

    I really appreciate your article. It was well written and thoughtful. In response to some of the comments blow, often, I think that people choose to address “the tone” of a particular article or opinion piece because they specifically do not want to address the content itself. That being said, I do appreciate that the “Occupy Claremont” (lol) movement is attempting to protest and make its opinions known. I really do. However, I do think that the leaders of that movement should really read this article and attempt to find some clear- cut goals instead of “protesting” every conservative figure who comes to speak at our campuses. Well done, Mr. Griffith. 

    • Anonymous November 28, 2011 at 11:22 pm -

      *below. And ignore the run- on sentence after that. 

  8. Sam November 29, 2011 at 12:27 am -

    The teach-ins are not affiliated with the Occupy Movement, despite the fact that similar students are involved in both. Your bashing of Occupy Claremont’s small encampment is unnecessary and irrelevant. If you went down there you would see that they are not blocking anyone’s way. What about them is so threatening to you?  

    • Sam November 29, 2011 at 12:30 am -

      If you want to see what Occupy Claremont is doing, check out with video from the General Assembly on Sunday http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywIlbCDPN5g&feature=related

      • Guest November 29, 2011 at 12:39 am -

        Anyone else find the talking feather hilarious? hahahaha

      • Guest November 29, 2011 at 12:39 am -

        Anyone else find the talking feather hilarious? hahahaha

  9. Occupy November 29, 2011 at 12:37 am -

    Video of the post screening discussion will be posted soon on occupy claremont’s YouTube page. It is also important to point out that the protest is not organized by “occupy Claremont,” they are separate groups, while they do share some members. The views of the protestors are not the views of the occupation

    • Sceptical November 29, 2011 at 1:25 am -

      Really? I went to that movie and you guys had “occupyTV” playing on the screen before it started.  Not to mention you plugged the occupation over in the village during the event…

      • Reikelly November 29, 2011 at 6:26 am -

        If you have ever been to an event at Benson Auditorium this year, those who control the projection (independent of any Pitzer club) always have live stream of Occupy playing. So please, educate yourself before making comments of the sort. And reaching out to groups with members with likely similar activist interests should not be condoned as if it detracts from the movement in any manner. 

        • Concerned Citizen November 29, 2011 at 6:39 pm -

          Wait, how is showing a constant stream of an event (even when no one’s in the building) at all energy-efficient? 

  10. Luke Davis November 29, 2011 at 1:22 am -

    This article makes the mistake of marrying the validity of a movement to the validity of its ideological dialectic. The institutional ridiculousness found within the Occupy Wall Street movement, for example, in no way reflects of the validity of liberalism, yet this dichotomy is consistently packaged and marginalized as a whole. The amorphous criticisms leveled by those involved in the situation with Rice, then, signify nothing about her actual moral political compass, be it good or evil. And at an institution of higher learning where frequent guest William Kristol is considered a welcome “intellect,” I would hesitate to criticize the opening of a dialogue that questions the speakers CMC brings to campus.

    • Sam November 29, 2011 at 2:12 am -

      On the contrary, the criticism that she was a part of the administration when Powell lied to the UN about the existence of WMDs and the criticism that she went along with policy that supported waterboarding, both speak directly to her moral political compass. She knew that the WMDs were an excuse and she still supported the use of inhumane torture techniques to extract information on what? 

      • Luke Davis November 29, 2011 at 6:02 am -

        Not sure you understood the gist of my post, as I agree with your opinions of Ms. Rice.

      • Daniel Segal November 29, 2011 at 6:09 am -

        Indeed, well put.  But Rice did even more than “go along” with the policy of waterboadring: she specifically conveyed the administration’s approval of waterboarding to the Director of the CIA, in July of 2002.  Very simply: her authority as NSA authorized torture by the CIA.    This was stated at the forum, but the article did not include the specifics we gave regarding Rice’s crimes against humanity and crimes against democracy. 

  11. Inside Source November 29, 2011 at 3:34 am -

    It’s no longer Occupy the Athenaeum. Thanks to security concerns, the talk has now been moved to the smelly Ducey Gym. OH, and the talk will be only be about 45 minutes, with about 10 minutes in that for questions. 

     “She’s much more polished and practiced at this than the people in the audience, so she’s ready for everything so it’s not actually going to be an open exchange.”  <— that is probably true with the short amount of time she is talking. I can't believe CMC is paying out the wazoo for her to drop-in for 45 minutes and leave. 

    Thank you protestors, you won. To avoid another bomb threat in Collins, the administration has relocated the talk to the lame gym. Tens of thousands of dollars just for a political figure to talk in a gym. That's anti-climatic. Pitzer, I really wish you guys would leave our speaker events alone. 

    OccupyPickford now, where the talk will be streamed. Word on the street tells me that they're capping attendance in the gym to the original 200 signed up. 

    All that hype, for NOTHING. 

    • Guest November 29, 2011 at 3:55 am -

      #OccupyPitzer?

  12. US November 29, 2011 at 3:34 am -

    I liked this article because it was sarcastic and gave zero fucks and a lot of fucks simultaneously. Too often, people do one or the other with zero regard for the half that they’re missing, and take things too seriously or not seriously enough.
    Case in point- the Pitzer “activists” who protest for protest’s sake, whose very life purposes are so inane that I can feel my hair graying just thinking about them.

    Lastly, anyone down for a counter-protest which involves exessive (verging on ignorant), yet self-aware, patriotism and facts-checking for all of the twisted, spun information being spat by the Pitz-ters (Pitzer-cum-hipster scum) whose dream in life is to be ungainfully employed for the sake of some biased cause, all the while living off of their trust funds.

    • Murrrca November 29, 2011 at 4:48 am -

      Hahaha, I’m with you. Also, “it was sarcastic and gave zero fucks and a lot of fucks simultaneously” might be the most beautiful sentence I’ve ever read.

    • Murrrca November 29, 2011 at 4:48 am -

      Hahaha, I’m with you. Also, “it was sarcastic and gave zero fucks and a lot of fucks simultaneously” might be the most beautiful sentence I’ve ever read.

    • Murrrca November 29, 2011 at 4:48 am -

      Hahaha, I’m with you. Also, “it was sarcastic and gave zero fucks and a lot of fucks simultaneously” might be the most beautiful sentence I’ve ever read.

      • US November 29, 2011 at 5:35 am -

        Cheers buddy. My name was supposed to be “Captain America” but I messed it up somehow. Stay tuned for details on the Patriot March (not to be confused with support for the AFC football team, which I utterly despise).

    • Luke Davis November 29, 2011 at 6:20 am -

      I think you’re the one verging on ignorance when you simultaneously marginalize and generalize a college’s population. Your argument lacks in nuance what this protest lacks in organisation.

      • US November 29, 2011 at 6:29 am -

        *organization

    • john bedecarré November 29, 2011 at 6:58 am -

      you’re a moron. stop posting all over the place. you’re not smart.

      • Sam's Hat November 29, 2011 at 7:02 am -

        Eloquently put.

      • US November 29, 2011 at 7:03 am -

        U mad bro?

      • US November 29, 2011 at 7:08 am -

        I shouldn’t dignify you with a response, but I would be doing trolls everywhere a dis-service if I didn’t.
        You don’t capitalize your words or post sentences longer than five words. You listen to 90s emo music and combine prep, bro-douche, and hobo chique like nobody I’ve ever seen before. Who’s the moron?

        I may or may not be serious in what I’m saying, but at least I’m spurring multiple posts that receive serious academic responses and respectful intellectual debate, all the while getting many tongue-in-cheek laughs for myself and others. And I got a response out of you!
        The internet is not so serious. America is, and isn’t. Love it, complain about it (our wonderful country allows us to do so), fix it yourself, or leave. Am I referring to the Internet or America?

        • clearly i'm dumber November 29, 2011 at 10:17 am -

          i think what’s sad is that you think your bait-switch technique of provoking an argument and then taking a fabricated high road out of it is both clever and original. a smug affinity for “trolling,” “the internet isn’t serious,” “u mad bro?”–you’re pulling out the cultural equivalent of Top 40 and wielding it as your weapon of condescension… pretty weak. oh no, i responded to your comment; i fell into your diabolical internet trap–you’re pretty witty!

        • Troll Cat November 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm -

          Heyyy, I wouldn’t call Redditors “the cultural equivalent of Top 40.” 

          :’(

        • US November 30, 2011 at 12:16 am -

          You were on the internet at 2:17 AM getting legitimately offended. HA! It’s funny because you can be anyone on the internet, we’re probably friends in real life.
          I don’t fancy anything I’ve done here as clever or original, but there are plenty of “lulz” and some truly enlightening discourse, so why not, ya know?
          Also, did you just try to call hipster on internet lingo?

        • US November 30, 2011 at 12:16 am -

          You were on the internet at 2:17 AM getting legitimately offended. HA! It’s funny because you can be anyone on the internet, we’re probably friends in real life.
          I don’t fancy anything I’ve done here as clever or original, but there are plenty of “lulz” and some truly enlightening discourse, so why not, ya know?
          Also, did you just try to call hipster on internet lingo?

        • US November 30, 2011 at 12:24 am -

          Your fake sarcasm is also tremendously amusing! This forum article has proven to be better procrastination material than beer pong or facebook.
          I am just wondering where you saw me “take the high road” (other than the kickass song by Broken Bells) or do anything “fabricated”? That is giving me an awful lot of credit. I am just a Natty-swigging, tank wearing guy trying to learn something about the so-called “real world”.
          Don’t taze me, bro!

  13. Mbennett November 29, 2011 at 3:58 am -

    Bring Nader back instead.

    c. 2001
    Pitzer Hosts
    Ralph Nader Visit
    Pitzer’s Center for California Cultural and
    Social Issues (CCCSI) hosted noted
    consumer advocate and politician Ralph
    Nader last fall at an event that drew more
    than 2,500 staff, faculty and students from
    The Claremont Colleges, as well as guests
    from the surrounding communities. The
    event was held in Bridges Auditorium just
    weeks before the November elections.
    The Green Party presidential nominee
    was nearly two hours late for his speech. He
    explained he had been stuck in traffic en
    route from another campaign stop. But the
    audience never budged during the wait,
    and many seemed thrilled when Nader
    blamed his tardiness on General Motors,
    Firestone and Standard Oil, which, he said
    conspired years ago to buy the electric
    trolley systems in major metropolitan areas.
    “They tore up the tracks, got rid of
    their competitors and rights of way and
    pushed for a total highway transportation
    system. And they were indicted and
    convicted in federal district court after
    World War II, all three of them, for
    conspiring to criminally violate the
    antitrust laws,” Nader said. “Every day we
    are paying the price of that demolition.”
    Nader gained national recognition in
    1965 when he targeted General Motors and
    the American auto industry in his bestselling
    book “Unsafe at Any Speed: The
    Designed-In Dangers of the American
    Automobile.” When GM attempted to
    discredit him, Nader sued the company for
    invasion of privacy. The landmark case
    forced GM to admit wrongdoing, and
    resulted in the passage of a series of safety
    laws requiring the auto industry to make
    drastic design changes for safer motor
    vehicles.
    Once called the “U.S.’s toughest
    customer” by Time magazine, Nader’s
    consumer advocacy has kept him in the
    public eye. His organizations were responsible
    for federal consumer protection laws
    such as the Safe Drinking Water Act, and
    they launched federal regulatory agencies,
    including the Occupational Safety and
    Health Administration (OSHA), Environment
    Protection Agency (EPA) and
    Consumer Product Safety Administration.
    His organizations also gave consumers
    access to the government through the
    Freedom of Information Act of 1974.
    Nader told the Bridges audience that
    the goal of his campaign was to gain five
    percent of the national vote so the Green
    Party would garner a share of public
    campaign funding.
    “We’re on our way to becoming a major
    party in eight to 10 years,” he said.

  14. Daniel Segal November 29, 2011 at 5:21 am -

    I realize your intent was to ridicule my comments, but I credit you with leaving my comments sufficiently (if imperfectly) intact that key points about Rice come through.   As National Security Advisor, Rice played a central role in the authorization of torture–in violation of international law and in violation of basic human rights.  That is a crime against humanity.  As National Security Advisor, she played a central role, with Colin Powell, in conveying and accrediting false “intelligence” to the US and global publics, to gain support for the war in Iraq.   That is a crime against both democracy and humanity.   Why do I intend to speack critically about Rice on Wednesday?  Becuase I love both democracy and humanity.  – Daniel A. Segal

    • US November 29, 2011 at 5:33 am -

      I appreciate that you came in here and respectfully responded, Profesor Segal. Don’t you think that democracy led to the election of those who appointed Rice to her job?
      “Right” or “wrong”, the people chose. If her and her superiors’ crimes agains humanity were sufficiently atrocious, impeachment is always an option. No system is perfect, but democracy consistently prevails, as it is the result of the majority consensus of humanity. Funny how that works.

      • Daniel Segal November 29, 2011 at 5:40 am -

        Thanks for your question.   Even a “good” election in the U.S. is an instance of mass politics, but not necessarily democratic-ness.  The forces that thwart and pervert robust democracy in the U.S. include (i) the much greater barriers to voting for poor persons than for affluent persons, (ii) the obscene role of money in U.S. elections, and (iii) the strange creature known as the Electoral College–just to start.  But 2000 was not a “good” election.   It was decided by an embarassingly partisan Supreme Court. 

        But even if Rice holding office did have a democratic basis that does not make her actions consistent with democracy.   This seems to me a logical fallacy in your argument, rather than an empirical one.

        To a significant degree, for instance, Ronald Reagan had genuine democratic backing (in contrast with George W. Bush in 2000), but that does not mean that all of his policies and actions were consistent with democratic-ness. 

        • US November 29, 2011 at 6:17 am -

          So let me guess, Bush also knew about 9/11, Lincoln and Kennedy’s assassinations were inside jobs, and Area 51 contains alien corpses?
          Do the freemasons control the election or do the people? If anything, the most manipulation I have witnessed in an election in recent years actually occurred in 2008, when no amount of money or power could overcome the effect that empty rhetoric and a minority appearance had on those who care not about policies and effectiveness and much about “rights” that aren’t rights at all.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIOePg4K0vI

          I don’t want ot turn this into something it isn’t, but to claim that the 2000 election was decided by the Supreme Court, is to say that you have “facts of information while you are speaking”.
          I think everyone is elected democratically, and at any given time, some factors will have much greater influence than others. But to continue to attack Rice and commit these petty acts of defamation DURING her visit is downright immature. Open discourse is good (one of the benefits of freedom and democracy!) and I love that we’re having it, but I also implore that you display more respect and class with regards to the visit of an esteemed visitor who nowadays has no influence on our wars overseas or any other of the accusations that you seem to be making.

          Host these “teach-ins” now, if you must, and after her speech, but let the speech go off without a hitch. You know they won’t have any impact on the event the night of, and they leave visitors to the relatively unknown town of “Claremont” and its consortium with a bad taste in their mouth. In the future, they might prevent people you would like to hear from coming.

  15. History November 29, 2011 at 6:18 am -

    You all know you’re not attending Condi’s Ath talk because you want to “learn from whomever we choose to.” Let’s be real. A “stump speech” from Condi, already amid a huge book tour, will do nothing to advance your skill set or education. You’re going because of her celebrity, her big name, and the opportunity to brag to everyone you know that you saw her in person — just as with Karl Rove’s, Mitt Romney’s, or multiple other’s Ath talks. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t justify going by saying you’re “being educated.”

    The anti-Condi teach-ins ARE, by contrast, a useful asset to your political education, especially as a CMCer. Too often we CMC students so value inside working from the political inside that we forget the historical utility of extra-governmental popular movements in compelling substantial change. While these protests will do little to remedy the Bush administration’s egregious human and civil rights violations, mocking them is utterly short-sighted and denies the contributions of activists in American history. This is especially true with OccupyClaremont. Twenty or thirty years from now, the OccupyMovement could be considered among the great shapers of American political culture, along with Female Suffrage, Civil Rights, and Women’s Liberation, all of which were heavily mocked at the time.

    In short, this article is a myopic and overly critical take on what promises to be a non-violent, non-invasive protest. Its mockery of both students and professors is reprehensible, especially coming from an underclassman whose world view and political experience hardly justifies his audacity in being so blatantly rude to others within his intellectual community — even if Pitzer’s and CMC’s views rarely align.

    I am embarrassed that this inflammatory piece is receiving such commendation from my fellow CMCers, who clearly view governance solely in terms of rigid structures and rules and not in terms of the movements and populism that has for centuries shaped it.

    • US November 29, 2011 at 6:35 am -

      To all of your inspirational rhetoric, I have simply this to offer:
      What about the Tea Party?
      The “OccupyMovement” will be delegated to little more than an interesting footnote in history books, if it’s lucky. Sorry, but generic complaints about overly-generalized problems are not terribly compelling. Being “fed up” does not count.
      At least the Egyption Twitter-lution had a specific problem and a specific solution.

    • Gfan11 November 30, 2011 at 12:00 am -

      So, to clarify, your suggestion is to boycott one one-sided talk with a speaker you disagree with so we can attend different one-sided “teach-ins” with speakers you agree with?

  16. Sam Stone November 29, 2011 at 6:28 am -

    Interesting article Adam. I would agree with most of Jake’s critique though. I have to say however, that if the talk is actually being moved to the gym, I will be VERY disappointed. Ath talks like this are the embodiment of CMC–small, intimate, and civil. Out opportunity as students to interact with notable people and speakers is a privilege, not a right. If CMCers end up losing that privilege because of the actions of others, it would be a mighty shame.

    • Not Sam November 29, 2011 at 6:31 am -

      God dammit Sam

      • Sam Stone November 29, 2011 at 6:33 am -

        lol wait, were you supposed to be posing as me?

        • Sam's Hat November 29, 2011 at 6:44 am -

          nice picture. :3

    • Another Patriot November 29, 2011 at 7:30 am -

      CMC will need to realize that there will be a civil backlash if they host criminals of war. 

      We have no problem with Niall Ferguson. 

      I have a problem with Richard Haass, however. 

      Pick your criminals wisely. The world is issuing arrest warrants for the Bush administration, Rumsfeld in particular. Take them to the Hague. 

      • US November 29, 2011 at 8:11 am -

        HYPE, HYPE

      • Sam's Hat November 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm -

        Y’know, for a group of people that claim to be in favor of tolerance and understanding, y’all are doing a terrible job of being willing to listen and calmly discuss these matters from all viewpoints. CMC hosting Secretary Rice isn’t an endorsement, any more than Pitzer’s hosting of Gene Simmons was an endorsement of KISS. It’s an opportunity to learn from a brilliant mind, someone who has done high-level work in important offices, and someone with a lot of life experiences to share. But you’re right, we should definitely only listen to people that agree with us.

    • Dave Meyer November 29, 2011 at 8:18 am -

      GODDAMMIT SAM

  17. A Patriot, unlike the author November 29, 2011 at 7:24 am -

    The Iraq War is ending soon… how often have we been fed that one? We’re going to slowly retract troops, but HALIBURTON will remain, as will the damage we’ve caused. And are we to simply forget the atrocities? “It’s ancient history,” is it? 

    -Over 100,000 dead Iraqis
    -Billions in wasted money
    -THE EROSION AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS — THE PATRIOT ACT

    What’s next? Syria? Wake up to the smell of imperialism. 

    This is worse than the vitriolic hate spew I read on Bill O’Reilley’s blog. You are not a journalist, sir. 

    • Sam's Hat November 29, 2011 at 7:27 am -

      No one said it’s ancient history. Also, your comment is about on the same intellectual level as the comment crowd from DailyKos. Please up your game and start discussing the article directly, rather than throwing around various catchphrases and other meaningless garbage.

      Thanks, though! :)

      -Sam’s Hat

      • Sam Stone November 29, 2011 at 7:39 am -

        Hat, it’s past your bedtime. Go to sleep. The Cubs’s season is over. Epstein has some trades to do.

    • US November 29, 2011 at 8:11 am -

      AND MORE HYPE!!!!1!1!1!!11!!!11!!!!

  18. ERW November 29, 2011 at 7:45 am -

    The discussion that
    took place following the screening of In the Loop is
    recorded on video, in which you can observe that everyone speaking
    did provide her/his name. At no point did you ask for their names,
    however, nor did you make your presence known as a journalist. The
    guidelines for journalistic ethical conduct dictate that, unless
    having prodigious reason to act undercover, journalists should make
    their presence known. To quote the Society of Professional
    Journalists, “Avoid undercover
    or other surreptitious methods of gathering information, except when
    traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the
    public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the
    story.”

    If
    you felt the need to act as an undercover journalist during the
    discussion to reveal some crucial truth, you should have also
    conceded in your article
    that you never disclosed your own identity or agenda during the
    event.

    Despite
    whether or not I agree with your opinion, as a fellow journalist I
    don’t approve of your unethical approach, which will never be
    considered professional.

    • Sam's Hat November 29, 2011 at 10:01 am -

      I guess I just don’t understand why using this information is unethical if anyone could have attended. Why is disclosing what was said at an entirely public meeting at all of questionable ethics?

  19. ANB November 29, 2011 at 8:33 am -

    Jesus what an obnoxious piece

    • US November 29, 2011 at 9:17 am -

      I am sincerely offended that you are taking the Lord’s name in vain. If you had done this with some other religion that is considered a minority, people would be skewering you right now.
      But I agree, all this ruckus and rabble-rousing is mightily obnoxious indeed.Damn kids.

    • US November 29, 2011 at 9:17 am -

      I am sincerely offended that you are taking the Lord’s name in vain. If you had done this with some other religion that is considered a minority, people would be skewering you right now.
      But I agree, all this ruckus and rabble-rousing is mightily obnoxious indeed.Damn kids.

  20. ANB November 29, 2011 at 8:33 am -

    Jesus what an obnoxious piece

  21. Evan Lind November 29, 2011 at 11:02 pm -

    Scumbag #OccupyClaremont: Doesn’t like unauthorized undercover journalism / grants sainthood to Julian Assange.

    • Evan Lind November 29, 2011 at 11:08 pm -

      Or, for you internet folk: http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35dm9v/

    • Evan Lind November 29, 2011 at 11:08 pm -

      Or, for you internet folk: http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35dm9v/

  22. Aseem Chipalkatti November 30, 2011 at 2:39 am -

    As someone who leans towards the left myself, I understand some of the criticism towards Condoleezza Rice’s policies and actions during her time as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State in the Bush Administration. However, that’s no reason to be as overwhelmingly against her visit as some people are. The fact remains that Rice is not only one of the smarter diplomatic minds of our generation, but someone who made political strides in a way that few, if any women or black people had done before her. Her status as one of the first minorities to have made a significant stride into the Executive Branch alone merits her place at the Atheneum tomorrow. 

    More importantly, however, it is important to realize that even though you may disagree with a person’s politics or policies, there’s no reason to try and keep them from visiting CMC. She’s an incredibly intelligent woman, who just happens to have some different views on politics than other people. The fact is that her presence on campus tomorrow brings us a chance to learn more about another perspective on the world, albeit one from someone who’s had more political experience that all of CMC combined. When Columbia invited Ahmadinejad to come speak on their campus, it provided their students a chance to interact and hear from an influential world figure. Granted, most people, myself included, don’t agree with most, if any, of the things that he believes in, but nonetheless it was a new perspective, a chance to interact with someone whose name means something to millions of people.

    Disagree with Rice’s policies as much as you want – I know I don’t like a lot of them myself, but that’s no reason to protest her visit.

    • A Redditor November 30, 2011 at 3:42 am -

      X-POST FROM r/CLAREMONTPORTSIDE: http://www.claremontportside.com/?p=6531&cpage=1

      karma whore

      • Aseem Chipalkatti November 30, 2011 at 7:11 am -

        You caught me – though I feel the thought still stands.

  23. V November 30, 2011 at 6:52 am -
  24. Hey... November 30, 2011 at 9:17 am -

    relax.

  25. Liz Scherffius November 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm -

    The real intentions of some of those student “masterminds” in the Port Side:

    http://www.claremontportside.com/?p=6583

    All can agree that this is a controversial article. Adam- in your sneaking around and attempt to belittle the event and the organizer’s intentions, you ironically became a very important contributor to the demonstration. Thank you for taking the time to write this inflammatory (and at times highly inaccurate) piece, as you helped stimulate the dialogue and debate that the teach-ins are seeking to achieve. The 74 comments with varying viewpoints is a success for the demonstration and I thank you for contributing to her “Unwelcoming.”

    • Senior November 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm -

      Your sarcastic gratitude is not a whole lot better, sweetheart. And it’s not like the idea of having discussion surrounding Dr. Rice’s visit was that of the protestors: in fact, that’s why we brought her to campus in the first place. And now, thanks to the venue change (for which your group is not solely at fault, but also not entirely blameless), we’re going to have a lot less of it at the event.

      • Will Dudding December 2, 2011 at 12:55 am -

        Dude, are you a senior? That must mean you’re smart.

    • CMC Student November 30, 2011 at 11:09 pm -

      Question: Why do you have the right to unwelcome our guest to our school? Would I have the right to camp outside your house and unwelcome your house guests?