Articles by Sean Webster

Word for Word: 5-6-2010

“But as friends, as Jews, we want to tell you that you are going down a wrong path.” – A petition signed by a group of over 3,000 European Jews addressed to Israel. The group, known as JCall, considers the Israeli occupation and settlements in the Palestinian territories morally and politically wrong. (Al Jazeera) “Just…

World Wide Web: The economics of war

Civil war. It’s a funny term, if you think about it. Almost an oxymoron of sorts. But those who have been through a civil war know it’s anything but a laughing matter. The violence caused by intrastate conflict – or conflict that takes place within a state between politically oriented groups – can pit brother…

Word for Word: 4-29-2010

“People hate the international forces.” – Bakhtialy, an Afghan tribal elder, on the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. A number of Afghan civilians have been killed recently by military convoys at NATO and American checkpoints or in bungled Special Operations raids. (The New York Times) “We spoke: ‘Ah! You! We made an agreement yesterday. Why do…

World Wide Web: Tea Party – serious or circus act?

What a buzzkill. Maybe I was naive to expect anything more than the usual conservative talking points and propaganda at last week’s Tea Party. But Tea Party supporters are naive if they think they’ll ever be able to make any sort of meaningful contribution to society simply by bashing the government and predicting the downfall…

Word for Word: 4-22-2010

“How can anyone call them human beings? They are beasts who are killing people. The government should finish them off once and for all.” – Jabbar Ali, a Pakistani man whose leg was wounded in a suicide bombing at a center for refugees displaced by a Pakistani military offensive against militants. The attack killed 38…

JCU freshman Matthew Hoyt offers a first-hand account of the War in Afghanistan

Pfc. Mathew Hoyt in his gunner position atop a Hummer in Afghanistan. Hoyt, a Chicago native, is now a freshman at John Carroll University and plays offensive line for the Blue Streaks' football team. It seemed like just another ordinary day for Police Mentor Team Viper. Enduring the scorching heat of summer in southern Afghanistan,…

World Wide Web: Don’t let yourself be defined

So the JCU Tea Party is today. Hopefully you’re planning on going. If not, you have until 3 p.m. to change your mind. And I have about 500 words that may change your mind for you. The goal of today’s Tea Party is to promote a grassroots effort that gives a voice to the common…

Word for Word: With JCU’s Matthew Hoyt

Police Mentor Team Viper, made up of U.S. Army soldiers and members of the Afghan National Police force. Pfc. Matthew Hoyt is in the top row, third from the left. PMT Viper was stationed in Shar-E-Shafa, where it trained Afghan recruits for the Afghan National Police force. CN: What is your perception of the Afghan…

Word for Word: 3-25-2010

“Health care is not only a civil right, it’s a moral issue.” – Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) “Baby killer!” – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), who was speaking during the intense health care debate on the House floor. “It’s time to chill out, Republicans.” – Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) “There is…

World Wide Web: It’s party time

There’s nothing more American than apple pie and democracy. But right now, our democracy is like an apple pie cut up into 435 slices, with each representative looking out for his own slice of the pie. The result is a political system that’s dominated by special interests, which chip away at the general welfare of…

World Wide Web: Lil Wayne is innocent

Law is mind without reason. I’ll return. For the next eight to 12 months, that will be the last tweet on Lil Wayne’s Twitter account. The rapper was sent to the slammer a couple weeks ago after he “got stopped by a lady cop” who found a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol in his tour bus.…

World Wide Web: We are all jelly doughnuts

To show solidarity with West Germany against the Soviet threat during the Cold War, the United States declared that “We are all Berliners” (or jelly doughnuts, depending on your translation of President Kennedy’s German). To show solidarity with the United States after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the French declared that “We are all Americans.” …

World Wide Web: Cold War II?

After two decades of global supremacy, the United States’ role as the world’s only superpower is about to be challenged. China – with a nuclear arsenal, the world’s largest standing army and the second largest economy – has the potential to create the same type of bipolar power structure that existed between the Soviet Union…

World Wide Web: Some modest proposals

What do you get when you combine homosexuality and Catholicism? A good halftime show. So the LGBTQ community and its supporters at John Carroll University want the administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Policy to include sexual orientation. This addition would ensure that the University doesn’t base its employment practices – including hiring, firing, promotion and treatment…

World Wide Web: Haiti: drowning in kindness

Haiti is drowning in a flood of foreign aid. Despite receiving almost $1.5 billion since 1990 from the United States alone, 80 percent of Haitians still live below the poverty line, less than a third have formal jobs, and its government is one of the most corrupt in the world. Clearly, foreign aid has failed…

World Wide Web: Better days for democracy

Democracy has seen better days. According to Freedom House, an organization that publishes an annual report on the state of global political rights and civil liberties, global declines outweighed gains in freedom in 2009 for the fourth year in a row. Its report listed declines in freedom for 40 countries, representing the longest continuous period…

World Wide Web: I want letters

So my past couple columns have been pretty critical of the Catholic Church. I accused it of sexual discrimination, homophobia, strong-arming society, and blackmailing Congress. I also called it misogynic, elitist, bigoted, ignorant, stubborn, unsympathetic, disconnected and bullheaded. And since we received no letters to the editor from anyone trying to counter my arguments, I’m…

World Wide Web: I’m not the Pope

Has the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops gone completely insane? Only a few weeks ago, it single-handedly almost derailed the entire health care reform movement. Using the House’s health care reform legislation as leverage, the bishops said that they would withdraw their support of it unless Congress tightened its restrictions on taxpayer-funded abortions. And…

World Wide Web: Death to the death penalty?

Recent events in the news have been chilling enough to send a shiver down the spine of Stephen King. The police found 11 bodies in Anthony Sowell’s house on the east side of Cleveland. The majority of the bodies were found buried in the ground with ties around their necks. Two of them were found…

World Wide Web: The pope’s latest policy

The Vatican has once again turned its infallible back on women and homosexuals. This time, the Catholic Church is making it easier for Anglicans to convert to Catholicism while still retaining many of their Anglican traditions. The aim of this move is to attract those who are uncomfortable with the Anglican Communion’s support of gay…

World Wide Web: The Middle East arms race

In Obama’s speech to the Muslim World in Egypt this past summer, he spoke about how a nuclear Iran could trigger “a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.” But here’s the unfortunate truth: the Middle East nuclear arms race has already…

World Wide Web: The military option

The discovery of Iran’s secret nuclear facility, with its small size and hidden location, suggests that Iran is, indeed, pursuing nuclear weapons. This makes the “military option” of bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities a much more viable alternative. But an attack on Iran could potentially ignite a regional war in the Middle East. The key factor…

World Wide Web: Counter-intervention policy

There is a power vacuum in the Arab Middle East. The region effectively has no leader that the people are proud of and can look up to. With the exception of the newly democratic yet unstable Iraq, the rulers of Arab countries are either authoritarian dictators – like Mubarak of Egypt or Assad of Syria…

World Wide Web: Exporting the E.U.

The Arab world faces a future catastrophe. Oil is literally the only thing keeping the region’s economies afloat. But this dependence leads to rampant government corruption and economic instability. And what’s worse, one day the oil wells will run dry.

World Wide Web: Is the public option dead?

The public option was supposed to be the Democrats’ crown jewel of health care reform. But while President Barack Obama talked about all the advantages of the public option during his health care speech last Wednesday, in the end, he admitted that he could live without it. And with Republicans condemning the public option as…