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From The Editor


The Horace Mann

A Journal of Opinion on Current Events,

Politics, Social Issues, and Relevant Affairs

Deependra Mookim


Andrew Demas

Danielle Ellison

Executive Editor

Aaron Goldman

Daniel Grafstein

Justin Katiraei

Victor Ladd

Philip Lin

Editorial Director

An Unlevel Playing Field

Exploring inequality and its consequences

within America and abroad

We often hear about

America as the

land of opportunity,

where merit is

rewarded and hard

work duly compensated. But such rhetoric

loses meaning at least in part when we

look at the harsh realities of the present.

Our schools are funded primarily

through property taxes, which generally

means that relatively poor neighborhoods

have subpar schools. Our nation

is currently in its longest stretch of unemployment

over 9% since the Great Depression.

42.9 million of Americans are

on food stamps. Poverty persists around

the world, but we are decidedly inactive

and have settled for mediocrity and ineffectiveness.

In addition, our leaders have conveniently

chosen not to discuss the justness

and results of affirmative action. The

Cover designed by Aramael Pena-Alcantara


Deependra Mookim


Volume XX


federal government also refuses to accept

gay marriage, and gender discrimination

in the workforce remains an issue.

Far too often, we overlook the inequity

existing within America and beyond

our borders. Most of the time we choose

between disregarding inequality passively

or perpetuating it and its various

manifestations actively. We as a nation

let subgroups of the American populaceeither

unknowingly or intentionally- slip

through our hands and fall through the


Aramael Pena-Alcantara

Seth Arar Andrew Stier

Production Director

Production Manager

Dorin Azerad

Jordan Berman

Alexander Daniel

Emily Feldstein

Harrison Manin

Songge Chen

Justin Gilston

Production Assistant

Associate Editor

Gregory Barancik

Photo Editor

Alexander Familant

Ben Marks

Business Manager

Jasmine Mariano

Senior Columnist

Andre Manuel

Mathieu Rolfo

Zoe Rubin

Rebecca Segall

Katherine Wyatt

Richard Lee

Maximilien Moran

Editorial Assistant

Gregory Donadio

Faculty Advisor

The Horace Mann Review is a member of the Columbia

Scholastic Press Association, the American Scholastic

Press Association, and the National Scholastic Press Association.

Opinions expressed in articles or illustrations

are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board or of the

Horace Mann School. Please contact The Review for information


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX

table of contents


Stomping on the 14th Amendment

TSA Gone Wild!

Consumerism: Corrupting the Holidays

Alexander Posner

Spencer Reiss

Emily Feldstein





A Media Miracle

A Korean Conflict

How Iran Won the Iraq War

Ben Greene

Spencer Cohen

Daniel Elkind





The Egalitarian Imperative

Justin Katiraei


The (Financial) Case for Marriage Equality Mayanka Dutta


Crossing the Income Gap

Vivianna Lin


Affirmative Action

Nick McCombe


Education Inequality: America’s Dirty Truth David Hackel 24


The Indian Plague of Corruption

If 8 or 190 Don’t Work, Should 20?

Mohit Mookim

Kiwon Lee



Science and Tech.

Facebook + Email = ?

A Macro Problem with Microchips

Harold Chen

Treshauxn Dennis-Brown



The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 3




“All persons born or naturalized in the United States

and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of

the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Stomping on the 14th Amendment

by alexander posner

This past August, Senator Lindsey

Graham did what every

good Republican does best: stir

up misleading controversy. In

this case, the matter of contention

was whether the 14 th amendment

of the United States Constitution

should provide citizenship

to everyone who is born in the

United States. As Mr. Graham

stated on Fox News, “We can’t

just have people swimming across

the river having children here —

that’s chaos.”

While his comments were

misguided, at best, the discussion

about the 14 th amendment is an

important one. In fact, Congress

has debated the merits of the 14 th

amendment every year since the early

1990s. As the citizenship clause reads, “All

persons born or naturalized in the United

States, and subject to the jurisdiction

thereof, are citizens of the United States

and of the state wherein they reside.”

Opponents of this clause claim it is

outdated and anachronistic. Rooted in

3.1 million

Children born in the U.S. with at least one

illegal immigrant parent


American children have had one or both

parents deported from 2005 to 2007

information provided by newsgroup

the Civil War era, this 1868 amendment

was initially intended to ensure American

citizenship for the children of slaves.

As critics like Senator Graham will argue,

the problem of illegal immigration was

virtually non-existent in the 1860s. They

claim that the guarantee of birthright citizenship

instead leads to increased illegal

immigration. In the words of

Mr. Graham, “People come here

to have babies. They come here

to drop a child — it’s called drop

and leave.”

As convincing of an argument

as this seems to be, this

point of view is very misguided.

When a female illegal immigrant

walks into a hospital

anywhere in the United States

about to give birth, by law she

must be provided with care. As

a result of patient-doctor confidentiality

laws, the medical authorities

in the hospital will not reveal her situation

to U.S. law enforcement authorities


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


Senator Lindsey Graham: one of the leading Republicans calling for a

change to the 14th Amendment.

even though the mother is in the United

States illegally. For this child, there are

two potential paths. Path number 1: He

can become a U.S. citizen and aspire to

become a member of American society.

Path number 2: He is denied citizenship

and will live in the “underground” as an

illegal immigrant in our country. The

truth of the matter is that the birth will

happen regardless of whether or not the

child becomes a full-fledged U.S. citizen.

It is far more beneficial for society, and for

the newborn’s well-being, to allow him or

her to assume U.S. citizenship.

This newborn is essentiality an investment.

While even illegal immigrants

can have access to schools, being a U.S.

citizen opens up a door to more opportunities

for education as the ability to go to

state universities. In a time of continued

economic uncertainty, the education of

our citizens is fundamental to the longterm

prosperity of our nation.

At the same time a U.S. citizen means

a future taxpayer. Illegal immigrants are

often criticized because most fail to pay

taxes. Opponents of immigration often

point out that American taxpayers end

up picking up the tab for the hospital bills

of illegal immigrants. From an economic

standpoint, repealing the 14th amendment

would be the wrong thing to do. The

alternative would be keeping children in

the shadows and living underground in

our society. In that scenario, American

taxpayers would surely have to pick up

the tab if those immigrants were ever admitted

to a hospital.

The final argument opponents of

the 14 th amendment will make is that the

children of illegal immigrants are anchor

babies. That is, their American citizenship

will enable their parents to achieve

legal status as well. However, under

United States law, this does not happen.

One must be 21 years of age before he or

she can help a family member apply for

citizenship status. Waiting 21 years is not

much of an enticement and the statistics

reflect this fact. According to a research

report from PEW, a Washington D.C.

based think-tank, almost 90% of female

illegal immigrants who gave birth in

American hospitals had already been living

in the United States for over a year. As

Kate Pickert from Time Magazine commented,

“That blows a giant hole in the

notion that mothers are crossing the U.S.-

Mexican border just in time to give birth

in American hospitals.”

While the merits of the 14th amendment

are clear, the fact that possibility of

altering this amendment remains such a

central part of the American political dialogue

raises interesting questions about

the attitudes of many people living in our

society. Throughout history, some politicians

have sought to place the blame for

domestic problems on the shoulders of

others. During World War II, Adolf Hitler

used the Jews as scapegoats for the

economic problems plaguing Germany

at the time. In the 1880’s Congress passed

the Chinese Exclusion Act; essentially

preventing any Chinese people from entering

the United States. This specific

measure was a product of high unemployment

and the influx of foreign workers

who were deemed to be the cause of

this problem.

In many ways, today’s scenario is

very similar. With the world still crawling

its way out the recession and the United

States unemployment rate hovering at

around 9%, political leaders are looking

for people to take responsibility. Unfortunately,

as we have seen in the past, immigrants

too often take the blame. As bad

as the economy is, amending the constitution

to prevent those born here from

attaining citizenship is not the way to go

around fighting this economic crisis. The

14 th amendment must not be altered. HMR


The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 5

Spencer Reiss

New security measures at U.S. airports have

been implemented to combat heightened

terrorist concerns. In the last month, the

full body scanners and the all too personal

body searches have caused a media

firestorm and vociferous public outcry.

The full body scanners, which have been implemented

at airport security checkpoints around

the country are essentially x-ray machines that

generate nude images facilitating the detection of

weapons and other harmful devices. The machines

have been besieged with concerns of privacy and

issues over the perils of radiation emissions. As

if wire tapping was not enough of an encroachment

of civil liberties, the body screenings also

blur the conceptions of privacy. It is unconstitutional

to present all air travelers with the ultimate

ultimatum: pass through the revealing and potentially

hazardous x-rays machines or be subjected

to a rigorous body search. Anyone traveling via

airplane is essentially assaulted by TSA agents or

by x-rays. So American public, pick your poison.

There is widespread controversy surrounding

the inception of the scanners. After the foiled attempts

of the Christmas Day bomber, Department

of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff

pushed fervently for the body scanners as the

solution to evade terrorist attempts. The manufacturer

of the scanners happens to be Rapiscan

Systems, a former client of his security consulting

firm. Rapiscan has profited gravely, taking in over

250 million in purchases, and certainly uncovering

a profound conflict of interest for Chertoff.

The recently developed security regulations

transgress the Fourth Amendment rights, underscoring

a usurpation of our freedom. The amendment

safeguards against unfair searches and



seizures. John Wesley Hall, a prominent criminal

defense lawyer focusing on the search and seizure

laws said, “for Fourth Amendment purposes, you

can’t touch somebody like this unless you’re checking

them into a jail or you’ve got reasonable suspicion

that they’ve got a gun.” The issue raises a component

of interpretation of the Fourth Amendment

that is guaranteed to be deliberated throughout the

judicial system.

However, the United States must uphold the ultimate

responsibility of maintaining an equilibrium,

defined by the balance between security and preserving

liberties. The groin checks and nude images

generated by the body scanners tip the balance unevenly

towards security. There is a fine line between

keeping Americans safe from danger and invading

their privacy. A full body search, a touch that anywhere

else would be considered sexual assault could

certainly constitute for crossing that line. (If only

the TSA dimmed the lights and played soft music

at the checkpoints, it would be the perfect date.)

Whether the new regulations are to be deemed unconstitutional

remains unsettled and probably will

for years. But when the government entrusts TSA

agents to fondle an elderly woman or a young boy

it raises the question whether the government has

violated American’s rights, and unjustly permitted

security to overshadow freedom.

The U.S. is handing Osama Bin Laden a victory

to his nefarious intentions with the intrusive patdowns

and body scanners. He has succeeded in diminishing

American’s rights, perverting the American

system of liberty.

The government must do everything in their

power to defend America against a repeat of September

11th as terrorism is certainly a very realistic

threat. However, our civil liberties should not just



be compromised simply because there are looming threats.

Irrefutably, there are other solutions. Other countries utilize

more security measures centered on intelligence rather

than physical prevention; racial profiling and checking

passengers against criminal databases are more prevalent.

This course of actions has proved to be successful, so why

America has not implemented these measures or at least

investigated alternate options in a more assiduous and public

manner is baffling, and a concern that the public must

raise in order to counteract the unjust nature of national

security. There are already reports of the transfer of illicit

items sewn inside bodies, which go undetectable in the full

body scans and groin checks, but a danger that could be

more effectively tackled with profiling, especially when the

contour(profile) of a terrorist is confined, explicitly recognized,

and determinable.

Israel is one of these nations with an effective security

force, and often branded as the safest in the world. Global

Traveler has heralded El Al as the aviation industry’s most

secure airline, despite that they remain a sought after target

for terrorism. They have held terrorism in abeyance

through a system of intelligence security that consists of

interviews and extensive profiling. The probabilities of terrorist

crumbling under such procedures is very high, as

microexpression has been scientifically proven to be successful.

This is not a recommendation for America to adopt

Israeli’s system in its entirety, but rather assess and adapt

some of its more beneficial techniques.

Sidestepping the security inconveniences at U.S. airports

is relatively easy, that is as long as you have the money.

Rent a private jet. Flying private permits you to bypass

almost all security measures. TSA does not require security

action for private aviation operators, including large business

jets. I do not want to give any ideas to all the Taliban

that are reading this article, but with the current statute in

place, terrorism could not be any more facile. If new security

regulations are not amended, it is only inevitable that

with time, America will be victimized by another devastating

attack. Terrorists will view aviation as an effective

means of attack, capitalizing on the lack of security measures

on private airplanes.

Amid the adoption of the threatening security procedures

and the Thanksgiving holidays I am more cognizant

than ever of my country’s indispensable virtues. I give

thanks for our founding fathers, for rescuing our country

from the wrath of the British. And I give thanks for the the

fundamental cornerstone of our democracy, my freedom.


Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These

are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my

presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful

and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come

back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing

these comments. If something doesn’t change in the next two

weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I

go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go

“home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country.

I served a tour in Afghanistan followed by a tour in Iraq. I have been

hardened by war and in the past week I am slowly being broken by

the constant diatribe of hateful comments being lobbed at me. While

many just see a uniform with gloves feeling them for concealed

items I am a person, I am a person who has feelings. I am a person

who has served this country. I am a person who wants to continue

serving his country. The constant run of hateful comments while I

perform my job will break me down faster and harder than anything

“I encountered while in combat in the Army.


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


I’ll be doing

my shopping




Corrupting the Holidays

by emily feldstein

Welcome to the holiday season.

Unfortunately, this

welcome is belated. Recently,

the holiday season,

typically confined to December,

has extended to include November

and even October. Its encroachment

on the rest of the year may seem undeniably

fantastic– who does not want to start

celebrating a little earlier? However, the

holidays’ ever expanding domain attests

to a growing trend plaguing our society:

an emphasis on consumerism, society’s

overwhelming desire to acquire goods.

Commercialism, a focus on maximizing

profits, spurs consumerism. Companies

want more customers to increase

their revenues. If more people buy more

“stuff,” companies make larger profits. By

starting the holiday season, and therefore

holiday shopping, early, companies

can increase financial gains. Modern day

cupidity has distorted the true meaning

of the holiday season. Companies’ only

reference to the sentimental importance

of the holidays comes in their advertisements.

The values of the seasons take on

an entirely different meaning when hijacked

by advertising agencies in the service

of large companies. The cheer of the

early holiday season, then, disguises businesses’

much more sinister and greedy


Consider Black Friday and its technological

twin, Cyber Monday. Companies

have taken the idea of giving during

the holidays and morphed it into a competitive

sport. Holiday shopping is less

about a thoughtful manifestation of caring

and more about getting the best deals.

Of course, businesses use sales to incentivize

consumption and increase profits.

Now, the holidays are used in the service

of consumerism. Every time we turn on

the television, starting in November, we

are bombarded with Christmas carols or

other holiday songs used in advertisements.

Target, for example, has a commercial

in which a woman, dressed suspiciously

like Santa Claus, records herself

singing a Christmas song. This commercial

aired before Thanksgiving, advertising

Target’s Black Friday event. Of

course, Target is not the only perpetrator;

its advertisements merely exemplify the

hijacking of holiday sentiments.

Every year we lament consumerism’s

corruption of the holiday season’s true

meaning, and every year we are right.

We rarely, though, consider another serious

implication. Aside from the ethical

and societal ramifications, there is also

a serious environmental and ecological

consequence. So, when buying holiday

gifts, we may be contributing not only to

a distortion of the holidays’ true meaning

but also to global warming. Consumerism’s

holiday dominance underscores a

broader trend; with the encouragement

of businesses, we now constantly feel the

need to buy and to consume.

Our consumption has drastically

expanded, causing significant economic

growth. In fact, in the past century, the

global gross domestic product (GDP) has

increased 40-fold while the population

has only quadrupled. Seemingly, growth

is just what the foundering worldwide

economies need. However, there are a

finite number of resources available on

earth. The more we consume, the fewer

resources remain. Thanks to increased

consumerism at the encouragement of

businesses, in one year we now use 1.4

times the earth’s ability to regenerate

what we use. Unfortunately, the United

States is the greatest offender in this

overextension of earth’s resources. If

the entire world consumed at the rate at

which the U.S. is consuming, we would

need, according to the Capital Institute,

five earths. As consumption grows, our

natural resources will shrink. Soon, perhaps,

we will face food, energy, and water

shortages, soil degradation, and even climate


Considering these scary ramifications

of consumerism, we should now

take a step back. We don’t need to consume

to have a special holiday season.


The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 9



A Media Miracle

most likely looked upon the situation

not only as a great story of heroic men,

and to praise the surviving miners,

but also a chance to promote a product

indirectly. Everyone who watched

the heartwarming rescue noticed these

sunglasses and probably questioned

the true motive of Oakley to help the

Chilean Miners.

Since the miners were rescued,

their lives have had no shortage of publicity

and tempting offers from many

industries around the world. Even recently,

Edison Pena, one of the miners

known for his love of Elvis Presley, took

up much of the news with his completion

of the New York Marathon. Each

miner seems to be receiving many offers

to take vacations to high-end reby

ben greene

Just a couple of months after the

inspiring rescue of the Chilean

Miners who were trapped under

ground for 69 days, these miners

have found themselves showered

with luxurious offers from expensive

vacations resorts to the latest technology.

The rescue of these 33 men was

a world-wide televised event and was

a great day for the Chilean people as

many schools were cancelled and work

was halted. This event was celebrated

not only by Chile, but captured the attention

of the world with many people

glued to their televisions. Among the

great joy and happiness when each

and every single miner rose from the

ground, there was one thing in common

between all 33 men. Each man,

as they emerged from the tiny capsule,

wore $450 Oakley Sunglasses that

protected then men from ultraviolet

light and retina damage. Clearly Oakley

Sunglasses was doing a little more

than protecting these brave men from

ultraviolet rays; is it possible that Oakley

and other companies that provided

the miners with gifts in the public eye

weren’t only caring about the rescue of

the miners, but also advertising a product?

Many people would be appalled to

this idea and dismiss it pretty quickly,

but these successful companies are

smart and clearly know the most effective

way of marketing products. In a

situation where much of the world was

watching the rescue, Oakley Sunglasses

Mine Safety in Chile

President Sebastian Piñera has

vowed to close the mine in question

forever. Furthermore, the

Chilean president has promised

to tighten mining regulations

and improve working conditions

in the industry.

Many believe this disaster occurred

because the operators of

the mine violated safety codes

and overworked the mine. Out of

the 33 miners, the families of 27

miners have sued the mine owners

for negligence and compensatory



The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


Exploitative Advertising: Products such as Chill Iced Coffee use the Chilean miners to sell products.

sorts, and now after the accident, it is

said that many have received $10,000

in their bank accounts, and also trips

to places such as Greece and Israel.

However, when survivors emerged

from mining accidents such as ones in

West Virginia and Kentucky in recent

years, their rescues were not followed

by gifts of free I-Pods from Apple or 5

million pesos from businessman Leonardo

Fracas. The rescue of the miners

was a true miracle, but no survivors

have received any of the treatment that

the Chilean miners have received. Not

to say that the courage and leadership

of the Chilean miners wasn’t heroic or

admirable; it is merely that the excessive

gifts and numerous rewards aren’t

really necessary. The true miracle

and bravery displayed by the miners

shouldn’t be overshadowed by Oakley

sunglasses or other high-end products,

but should be portrayed through the

reunification with their families and

friends. The miners do deserve some

rewards and gains due to their audacious

behavior and resilient attitudes,

yet at the end of the day what matters

“The media has once again found a way to blur

all the facts and has drawn no attention to ways

where mining technology can become better.”

is that these miners are back safe with

their loved ones, and at home for the

time being.

The complete ordeal of the rescue

of the Chilean miners has clearly been

a great attraction in the eyes of the media.

However, the media has once again

found a way to blur all the facts and

has drawn no attention to ways where

mining technology can become better.

Instead, the media focuses on the individual

lives of each miner and also the

rewards that the miners have been offered.

The media should be leading the

public to focus on ways that the neartragic

accident can be prevented in the

future. Also, people need to be held

responsible for putting these 33 men

in harm’s way, and the media should

be relating the information that could

help advance the technology used in

mining, which can be such a crucial

part to the economy of some governments.

Therefore, the heartwarming

story of the Chilean miners’ rescue

should be looked at as a great miracle,

and the media should encourage people

to help and find ways from preventing

future mining accidents. HMR

The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 11


A Korean Conflict

The North Korean military attack on the South Korean island of

Yeonpyeong ignites tension throughout the region and the world

“Earlier today North Korea conducted an artillery attack against the South Korean

island of Yeonpyeong. We are in close and continuing contact with our Korean allies.

The United States strongly condemns this attack and calls on North Korea to halt its

belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement. The

United States is firmly committed to the defense of our ally, the Republic of Korea,

and to the maintenance of regional peace and stability.”

-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

by spencer cohen

White House Press Secretary

Robert Gibbs released this

ultimatum as a direct response

to North Korea’s

attack on the South’s island

of Yeonpyeong. The statement insinuates

that the US will retaliate in response

to any further hostile act by the North

towards the South. Our government,

as ascertained through the insights of

many high-ranking officials, believes that

North Korea will take no further aggressive


P. J. Crawly, a spokesperson for the

U.S. State Department, stated that, “without

getting into intelligence matters, we

don’t see that North Korea is preparing

for an extended military confrontation.”

This assertion reflects the aforementioned


This US’ stance is due in part to the

popular conviction that this unprovoked

attack was perpetrated by North Korea

as a plea for international aid. Another

belief is that this attack, along with the

March sinking of the South’s ship, were

both executed by rogue North Korean

officers disloyal to the ailing Kim Jong-il.

The belief that this was a plea for aid

stems from the North Korean economy’s

nosedive over the past two years. Its obscure

dictator, who chooses to focus his

attention on the military, recently failed

to reform the currency, crippling the

nation’s economy. In conjunction with

flooding and food shortages, North Korea

is in desperate need of international


Such a phenomenon is not unprecedented.

In 2008 the U.S. sent large quantities

of food to North Korea, in the same

period as a release of a Declaration by the

North’s leader, Kim Jong-il, documented

Plutonium production. At the time, The

Boston Globe argued ,“the United States

says its food aid is determined by humanitarian

need and that food is not used as

a diplomatic lever. But its food is arriving

during a season of much-improved,

if still chilly and suspicious, relations between

the North and the United States.”

In turn for food and aid from the US and

other western nations, the North will

comply with certain demands.

The other claim, that North Korean

officers committed the unjustified attack

on their own accord, has many adherents

as well. Several days after the attack, the

North “test” fired weapons right off the

coast of the Yeonpyeong Island (the same

island where the attacks occurred).

North Korea is in the midst of a

power-shift. Kim Jong-il is deferring to

his son, Kim Jong-un. The artillery strike,

along with the earlier torpedoing of a

South Korean ship, may be in part due

to the heightened instability during this

transitional time.

North Korean leader Kim Jong

Il has expressed willingness to

retaliate against any South Korean


sss dictionary


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


“A full-scale military confrontation between the two nations would have

dire consequences. North Korea has an estimated 8-12 nuclear weapons,

while South Korea, with the support of the US, would have 5,113”

The US response, no matter the reason

for the bombardment, was incorrect

and inappropriate. It has left America in

a precarious position. If the North refuses

to abstain from attacking its neighbor, the

US will be forced to retaliate. It is unlikely

that North Korea will prolong its belligerent

policies of late – a rational viewpoint

– but it has a history of ignoring threats

from the international community. If the

US does not listen to the North’s plea for

aid, the onslaught against the South will


Neither the US, nor any other country,

has taken any measures to prevent

future attacks. Gibbs’ statement will not

succeed in preventing further skirmishes.

A full-scale military confrontation

between the two nations would have dire

consequences. North Korea has an estimated

8-12 nuclear weapons, while South

Korea, with the support of the US, would

have 5,113 nuclear warheads. Therefore,

the US was irresponsible in releasing the

ultimatum. Simply condemning North

Korea would have been a more suitable

course of action.

North Korea, as a retort to Gibbs’

statement, warned that it will “wage second

and even third rounds of attacks

without any hesitation if warmongers in

South Korea make reckless military provocations

again.” Military exercises, however,

are still scheduled to occur off the

Korean coast between a joint American

and South Korean force even after China

warned “against military activity in the

area.” A Chinese official, Hong Lei, stated,

“We hold a consistent and clear-cut

stance on the issue. We oppose any party

taking any military actions in our exclusive

economic zone without permission.”

Inevitably, North Korea will take

China’s sentiment as permission to retaliate

against South Korea. Though conflict

has persisted for decades in this area, the

warring will soon climax. The next twelve

months will solidify the state of the region.

Either a major confrontation of

unprecedented heights pitting the United

States and South Korea against North

Korea will befall, or a progressive treaty

between the three nations – one spurred

in part by China – will be signed. HMR

North Korea has

been developing

its nuclear weapons

program since

the 1980’s. It is

estimated that the

country currently

possesses 8 to 12

nuclear weapons.

radio netherlands worldwide


The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 13


How Iran Won

by daniel elkind

The problem with sanctions,

power, and the international

By removing Saddam Hussein

as the sole counterbalance to

the power of Iran in the Middle

East, President Bush did

more to elevate Iran as a threat

to world peace than this member of the

“axis of evil” could ever have done on its


Today Iran poses a global threat. It

has amassed a military numbering 2.8

million soldiers (eighth on the world

stage), is likely developing nuclear weapons,

possesses ballistic missile capabilities,

and is committed to terrorist organizations

like Hamas and Hezbollah.

Iran’s leaders are bent on radical Islamist

ideals. Its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

has called for the destruction of

Israel, has branded the Holocaust a hoax,

and has asserted that 9/11 was an inside

job. There can be no doubt that Iran has

emerged as the leading power in the Middle

East and is likely to spread its radical

ideals to neighboring countries like Iraq

and Afghanistan; nor that Iran will intimidate

moderate nations like Saudi Arabia,

Kuwait, and Egypt.

How did Iran achieve dominance?

Just a decade ago, the Shiite-controlled

Iran remained locked in a stalemate with

Iraq, a country led by a Sunni minority,

which had endured since the bitter eight

year war that concluded in 1988. The

United States placed Iran in the catbird

seat. The removal of Saddam Hussein,

whose Sunni government had stymied

Iran for decades, precipitated Iran’s assertion

of unchecked power throughout the

Middle East. How did the Bush Administration

disregard that the removal of one

dictator would allow for another to gain

broad influence?

There can be no doubt that Iran’s influence

is mounting. In Iraq, Iran threatens

to fill the power vacuum left by Hussein,

for the Iraqi Shiite majority identifies

closely with its religious counterparts in

Iran: a nation that is 95% Shiite and led

by radical Shiite clerics. Even the United

States recognized Iran’s influence when,

at the height of the Iraqi insurgency in

2006, American representatives met with

Iranian representatives, requesting that

Iran use its influence over Iraqi Shiites to

help quell the ongoing insurrection. The

specter of America looking to Iran for aid

A History of Violence

1979 Iranian Revolution;

Iran transitions from a

monarchy under Shah Reza

Pahlavi to an Islamic Republic

under Supreme Leader

Ayatolla Khomeini


2003 Iraqi dictator

Saddam Hussein

removed from power

in Iraq was alone a shocking condemnation

of the wisdom of President Bush’s

Iraq policies.

In Afghanistan, President Karzai

has issued repeated public overtures of

friendship to Iran, even as America targets

the extremist Taliban and Al Qaida

operatives in his own country whose

actions Iran condones. It was recently

disclosed that Iranian officials regularly

present Afghan officials with cash in an

effort to secure influence over Afghan

leadership. Turkey, an Islamic NATO

member, is transitioning from being a

secular state to a more orthodox one.

Turkey’s leaders recently joined Brazil

in proposing a plan to outsource Iranian

nuclear fuel in order to circumvent further

economic sanctions against Iran. In

Lebanon and Palestine, Iran has used its

huge oil revenues to finance Hezbollah

and Hamas.

There is no doubt that nuclear weapons

in the hands of Iranian leaders would

disrupt the global balance of power and

threaten world peace. If the current situation

in the Middle East is precarious,

then such a frightening scenario would


1980-1988 Iraq invades

Iran, resulting

in the eight-year Iran-

Iraq War, with a death

toll estimated between

500,000 and 1 million


2005 Mahmoud Ahamdinejad

elected President

of Iran


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


the Iraq War

the threat of Iranian nuclear

community’s fatal blunder

be devastating to any chance of reversing

the tide of mounting Iranian influence

that is leading much of the Middle East

in a radical direction. Iran would become

an imposing superpower with nuclear

weapons in its hands.

The current policy towards Iran is to

attempt to isolate the country with severe

economic sanctions. The United States

and Europe have led economic sanctions

which forbid countries and companies

from selling nearly all goods and services

to Iran and from dealing with Iranian

businesses, banks, or other financial institutions.

Russia, China, and a handful

of left-leaning nations have refused to

honor these sanctions, with Russia being

responsible for selling Iran nuclear power

technology used to operate its enrichment


Will sanctions work? Iran has indicated

some willingness to reopen discussions

about its nuclear program, but has

done so before, primarily to delay further

action by the West, and there is little indication

that sanctions will compel Iran

to abandon its nuclear ambitions. The

general record of sanctions, as it happens,

is not promising. Sanctions have proven

ineffective when they are not enforced by

all countries.

Opposing the iron-fisted control of

the radical clerics, President Ahmadinejad,

and the Revolutionary Guard forces

that keep them in power is a moderate

and widely popular democratic movement

spearheaded by leaders like Akbar

Hashemi Rafsanjani. The 2009 Iranian

presidential elections, which were most

certainly fixed, ignited widespread, violent

demonstrations throughout the

main urban centers fueled by a hatred of

the radical government and longing for

true democracy. It was widely believed

that Iran was on the verge of a second

civil war, one that would remove the

radical clerics and Ahmadinejad from

power. The Revolutionary Guard, however,

crushed the rebellion and swiftly

imprisoned, tortured, and, in many cases,

executed its moderate leaders.

Notwithstanding the military repression

of democratic movements in Iran,

there is reason to believe that Iran will

follow a historically common pattern.

The democratic forces might someday

change the direction of the country. Russia,

China, and Eastern European countries

are all states which have transitioned

towards market-based economies and

more democratic political systems, albeit

ones that do not match the democratic

principles of Western nations. Yet, given

the force of Iran’s army and the repression

of liberties and democratic ideas by the

Revolutionary Guard and the clerics, any

such ideological evolution might take decades

or even centuries to unfold. Unfortunately,

when it comes to Iran, we have

immediate problems to resolve.

Iran has already tested advanced

missiles, is capable of delivering weapons

across borders, and appears to be

developing nuclear armaments. With the

prospect of nuclear weapons in the hands

of a radical Iran looming in the foreseeable

future, it is incontestable that the

world must consider the employment of

military force to halt such a development.

Allowing the radical Iranian regime to

stockpile nuclear weapons is not a viable

option. HMR

Iran has refused to cooperate

with the International Atomic

Energy Agency, an international

body monitoring

nuclear power, since 2008


2010 United Nations

Resolution 1929 harshens

economic and diplomatic

sanctions on Iran


2009 Presidential elections

in Iran, which were

likely manipulated, cause



The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 15



The Egalitarian Imperative

by justin katiraei

school age were not in school last year.

One billion people cannot read their

own names. But what is perhaps most

disgusting is this; if we could cut spending

on guns and bombs by one percent,

we would have more than enough money

to put every child in school, worldwide.

How can the United States possibly advance democracy and human rights

when destitution continually undermines the structures needed for the job?

The solitude of the unemployed

Vietnamese teenage

girl watching over her

child. The desperation of

the African man making

less than a dollar a day, struggling to afford

even the most basic of human necessities.

For centuries, religious and social

figures have cited poverty as the world’s

chief moral injustice. But today, it seems

as if no one could give a damn about the

plight of our poorest citizens as long as

the top two percent richest Americans

get their trillion dollar tax cut. Such significant

and widespread economic inequality,

the likes of which we have in the

United States today, is an evil. All those

who have the ability to stop this injustice

have the responsibility to do so, and that

means the government must take immediate


Eighty percent of the world must

live on less than $10 a day. That’s over

five billion people, or five thousand

thousand thousand people. That means

for every one person like you and I who

is not impoverished, four of our fellow

men are. More than eighty percent

of the world’s population lives in countries

where income inequality is increasing.

Not only is the United States in that

eighty percent, moreover, it is one of

the nations in which income inequality

is increasing the most. The poorest fifth

of the world’s population only has 1.5%

of its resources. The top fifth owns 75%.

Twenty-two thousand children die each

day due to poverty. 142 million children

have died due to poverty since my

birth. 72 million children of primary

These numbers go on and on and on, yet

no action is ever taken. Why? Because no

one in the world seems to care anymore

about doing the right thing. That, however,

doesn’t change the truth. And the

truth is as I stated before; it is nothing

less than evil of us to allow this world to

more forward in such a heartless and unreasonable


The Wall Street bankers, the factory

owners, the monopolists and the aristocrats

cry that it would violate our founding

Western philosophy to allow the government

to reduce income inequality. In

that case, let us look at the founders of

Western philosophy. It was Plato who

first said that the richest person in society

should not have an income more than

five times that of the poorest person. Jesus

Christ thought Plato was being too


of the world’s population

lives on less than $10 a day


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


bourgeois. Jesus is widely known to have

said that the rich should give all of their

money to the poor, until income inequality

disappears. In fact, he went so far as to

say that it would be easier for a camel to

man’s worth to society is directly related

to his “marginal revenue product,” which

is directly related to his income. It’s a fancy

way for right-wing economists to get

away with saying, “You’re only as useful

as your income.” Could it really be possible

then that a Mexican monopolist is

worth more than the lives of his 27 million

subjects? I don’t think so.

Aiding the poorest of the poor

maintains the dignity of human rights,

upholds the principle of democracy, and

even encourages sustainable free market

economic development. Most importantly,

fighting poverty will provide the

citizens of the world with the greatest

gift the United States has to offer – liberty

and justice for all. This is a battle we

can certainly afford to fight, and can never

afford to ignore. A chapter has been

missing from world history books for too

long; it is the global story of what good

can come to the world when American

values, intelligence, and dollars are used

to help those in need.

The United States seeks a safer

world for itself and its neighbors, a world

where human rights are protected and

economic development paves the road to

prosperity. It seeks equality, it seeks democracy,

and it seeks justice. Yet if we are

to ever attain such noble principles,

we must first be willing to provide

the principal. When one out of

three human beings earns less than

two dollars a day and when normal

conditions for most of the world’s

inhabitants offer little to no opportunity,

the United States

will be forever unable to

achieve its goals.

Last year I wrote a

report to the State Department

where I was

to examine the most

significant challenge

the US Foreign Service

would face in the long term.

My answer to them was simple

- Poverty. That’s right, not

Afghanistan, not Iraq, but

poverty. It is a message that

is not out of touch with the

people – 78% of Americans

favor helping poor countries

develop as a favorable way to

fight terrorism. As Secretary

of State Hillary Clinton said,

“We cannot stop terrorism

or defeat the ideologies of violent

extremism when hundreds

of millions of young people see a

future with no jobs, no hope, and no way

ever to catch up to the developed world.”

When Clinton testified at her nomination

hearings for Secretary of State,

If we do not act now, hardship will cripple any chance of

defending American ideals around the world.

go through the eye of a needle than for a

rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

I bet your economics professor and local

pastor “forgot” to mention those facts to

you though. Last year, monopolist Carlos

Slim made 27 million dollars a day off

the backs of working Mexicans. At the

same time, one billion people made less

than a dollar a day, and millions made

far less than a dollar. So long, adieu to

the foundations of Western philosophy.

Modern economic theory states that a

When a third of all

human beings

earn less than


a day

the United states will be forever

unable to achieve its goals

she asserted that she would start fighting

terrorism not only with bombs, but

rather with books. Statesman George

Marshall once noted that our enemies

are not men, even those who wish to kill

the innocent. Our enemies are the problems

that create such men, “hunger, poverty,

desperation, and chaos.” The plan he

concocted, later known as the Marshall

Plan, would lift Europe from World War

II rubble, saving both European citizens

and American interests. Both then and

now, by investing in development, “we

advance our common security because

we pave the way for a more peaceful

world,” Clinton said.

How can the United States possibly

advance democracy and human rights

when destitution continually under-

Hillary Clinton, one of the

political advocates for equality

in our nation

us embassy

The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 17


mines the structures needed for the job?

As Secretary of State Clinton said in the

Senate Foreign Relations Committee,

“Calls for expanding civil and political

rights in countries plagued by mass hunger

and disease will fall on deaf ears unless

democracy actually delivers material

benefits that improve people’s lives.” The



situation is now so desperate that many

believe America’s economic system depends

on inequality. We must fight to ensure

these people are not correct. When

billions of people find themselves cut off

from markets and trapped by economic

underdevelopment, we cannot create

the global economy we envision. Even


placing moral arguments aside, the

monetary cost we would incur to

engage in global poverty reduction

is far offset by the unleashing of the

potential contribution from poorer

nations to this robust, inclusive


Moreover, fighting poverty is

now a practical possibility. According

to studies, the total costs of

eradicating poverty completely are

still less than 1% of global income.

If the United States ended the Bush

tax cuts and used the money to fight

poverty, global poverty would decrease

by 90%. If the United States

ended the Bush tax cuts for just

those making over 250,000 dollars

a year, and ended further tax breaks

to the rich like the mortgage deduction

tax credit, we could decrease income

inequality on our shores and

have enough money to save the lives

of 20 million children abroad. And if

the United States spends even half as

much money on poverty-reduction

as it does on war, if we could only

bite our bottom lip and spend half as

much money saving lives as we do destroying

them, we would have enough

money to eradicate poverty from the

globe. It’s your choice.

If we do not act now, hardship will

cripple any chance of defending American

ideals around the world. We are now

at the point in our global story to write

the missing chapter. I want to be able to

tell my children, and my children’s children,

what it once was like, in the world,

when poverty reigned. I want them to

be amazed by how much the world has

improved. But I need your help. We have

created an economic system that feeds

on and proliferates human selfishness.

It is time enough that we put selflessness

to work. We need to view ourselves

as members of a larger society, and that

society is in peril. As long as there is any

man on the planet who starves, humanity

starves. We all starve. As long as there

is any man on the planet who suffers in

war, we all suffer. As long as there is a

lower class, we are all in it. And as long as

there is any man, woman, or child shackled

by poverty, anywhere on Earth, we

are all enslaved. It’s time for action. HMR

The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


the (Financial) case

for marriage equality

by mayanka dutta

The current government

standpoint on the recognition

of same-sex marriage

is a clear example of

inequality in our society.

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender)

spouses are deprived of many benefits,

particularly financial ones, that are

given unquestionably to heterosexual

married couples. Legalization of samesex

marriage is seen by most as an issue

of ethics and ideas. The campaign on

the public front in support of same-sex

marriage is about achieving equal rights

for both homo and heterosexual couples

alike. If the majority of the public were

aware of the practical implications of the

current federal standpoint on same-sex

unions, more people would be sympathetic

to the cause for equal rights. Gay

rights should be sought not because it’s

the trendy stance to take, but because it

is necessary for a state of greater social

and economic equality and is a cause well

worth fighting for.

Our legislation displays severe bias


lifetime cost to a same-sex couple due to current

legislation as calculated by the New York Times, with an

household income of $140,000

against LGBT marriages. Currently only

Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New

Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington

D.C. have legalized same-sex marriage.

In Maryland, Rhode Island, and New

York, the government recognizes samesex

marriages performed in other states,

but does not actually grant the right itself.

Even if same-sex couples are allowed

the right to marry in these six

states, however, they are still subjected

to financial discrimination

by the federal government. The

federal administration withholds

crucial benefits from legally married

LGBT couples. Currently,

same-sex spouses are denied the

ability to file taxes jointly, which

can in cases double the amount

in taxes that couples are forced

to pay. The ability to take unpaid

leave from work to care for a sick

or injured spouse, the claim to

certain social security benefits, and the

right to exchange assets without estate

taxes are also rights that are denied by

our government to same-sex spouses.

This deprivation of rights from the government,

though, is compounded by

the fact that companies are not required

to extend pension benefits to same-sex

spouses. We cannot stand by and watch

the suffering created by our

unfair stance on gay marriage.

The government needs

to have the same level of

respect and acknowledgement

for all the marriages

in our country. The administration

should allow and

recognize unions of samesex

couples and grant the

participants the same rights and benefits

as heterosexuals. As it stands today, legislation

shows clear bias against LGBT

marriages. It is an egregious injustice

that our government is treating couples

differently because of their sexual orientation,

offering certain benefits to some

but not others. This is inequality in the

clearest of forms, and it must be righted.

“As it stands today,

legislation shows a

clear bias against

LGBT marriages.”

Awarding the same benefits to all marriages

is only the first step; the act of

marriage should be available to LGBT

couples across America, for marriage in

itself is a right as important as any. Our

legal system needs to be scrubbed clean

of all biases against same-sex marriages

and give those partnerships the respect

they deserve.

Citizens should all be given equal

rights, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Although it’s true that no society is

perfect, we can establish legislation that

brings us closer to one that is fair. In the

Constitution, each person is awarded the

right to the pursuit of happiness, as long

as it does not result in harm to others.

Clearly this fundamental right is only being

given to heterosexuals while we continue

to deny others the entitlement of

marriage. We must uphold the core value

of justice in our nation. We must bring

equality to all our citizens engaged in all

unions. We must do what is right and

what is constitutional. We must legalize

and recognize gay marriage. HMR

The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 19




by vivianna lin

The income disparity between

men and women in

the US has long been debated

and analyzed; however,

not much has been done to

solve this issue. The gender income gap

exists in most countries throughout the

world, and women’s wages are shown to

be lower than those of men in the same

occupations. Though gender income inequality

is a multi-faceted concern, the

gap primarily arises due to gender-related

discrimination and differing lifestyles,

especially in terms of child-rearing.

Although the United States has

progressed a great deal from the oncepatriarchal

society that existed up until

the 1950s, the bias against women still

lingers and can be readily found in the

workplace. Statistics show that women in

the US earn about 77% of men’s wages,

clearly demonstrating the inequality of

salaries. The gap between women and

men certainly does not arise from differences

in education; studies show that

53% of women working in their 20s in

New York were college graduates, while

only 38% of their male counterparts were

college graduates. A study conducted in

2000 by Harvard and Princeton Univer-

Of course, most countries

portray themselves

as working towards the

goal of equality between

men and women, yet not

much has been done to

address the issue directly

and effectively.

sity professors revealed that evaluators

were much more inclined to select men

when looking at applicants’ genders.

Men tend to receive more favorable

evaluations with regard to their competency

than women. Studies show that

when men and women have the same

exact applications and same educational

degrees, men are more likely to be picked.

Though these stereotypes and outlooks

on women certainly have no basis whatsoever,

many people still retain the inherent

belief that women are inferior to men.

These gender stereotypes also affect

women’s educational and career decisions.

Women may feel certain occupations

are just not available to them due to

the gender stereotypes that are prevalent

within society. Although our society is

becoming more liberal and accepting of

all types of people, there certainly still are

many people who retain anti-feminist beliefs

Women’s lifestyles also greatly affect

their salaries. The economic risks posed

by a woman on maternity leave are the

main reason why relatively fewer women

occupy higher-paying positions. Studies

show that women with children are much

less likely to be hired, and if hired, they

will have lower salaries than their male

counterparts. As a result, occupational

segregation also factors into the gender

income gap because women, on average,

dominate lower-paying jobs compared to


Women should be able to negotiate

and speak their feelings respectfully to

their superiors, and they should not have

to hold back for fear of getting a lower

salary. Nevertheless, women are penalized

for negotiating salaries. A study of

job negotiations showed that males were

eight times more likely to negotiate a

salary than women. The female sense of

wage entitlement is depressed, and wom-


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


en in general are less inclined to negotiate

salaries with a male superior. Male

evaluators are also more likely to penalize

women than men, while there is no

difference between genders with female

evaluators. Such evidence illustrates our

society’s prefixed gender stereotypes.

American society as a whole is unfair

and biased towards women on maternity

leave. In many cases, corporate executives

who hire women do not empathize

with them about the amount of time and

effort child-rearing takes, simply due to

their own lack of experience. In a maledominated

society, women are penalized

for taking what seems to be more than

enough time off work to take care of their

children. Thus, those who are ignorant of

the circumstances of maternity leave may

feel inclined to fire the women in question

or lower their salaries, especially in

low-pay jobs where employees seem replaceable.

Everything that has been previously

discussed all pertains to the United

States. Our country is somewhere in the

top half of nations where in some countries,

such as Switzerland, women tend

to earn more than men and the gap is

reversed. On the other hand, most countries

have worse cases of gender pay gap

than the US, like in Japan or Botswana.

Certainly, we should be aiming for all societies

to have equal gender incomes, although

this goal seems near unattainable

in the current state of the world. Countries

like Afghanistan where women are

denied rights that seem unalienable in

the US have huge economic inequalities

simply because of the lack of women in

the workforce. Of course, most countries

portray themselves as working towards

the goal of equality between men and

women, yet not much has been done to

address the issue directly and effectively.

The bias against women clearly is a

barrier to their ability to find higher-paying

jobs and make their way in our society.

Time is the only way our society can

progress into an even more liberal country

where such discriminatory views are

no longer accepted. We must continue to

encourage the progression and audacity

of females in the workplace so one day

they will be accepted as true equals of

men. HMR












Total, 16

and over







Women’s median usual weekly earnings as a percent of men’s,

(full time wage and salary workers) from 1979-2008.



1979 2008

Percent of all college degrees, female versus male from 1970-2007.




Source: Dept. of


1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005









The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 21


Affirmative Action

As Outdated as Dinosaurs,

As Detrimental as Taxes

by nicholas mccombe

Affirmative action’s original

intention was to

level the so-called playing

field, a concept that

has plagued human existence

since its start. A fact that is hard

to come to terms with is that the playing

field will never be level no matter how

hard we try. Men are predisposed to prejudge

others based on class and race;

this phenomenon has existed since the

dawn of time. The idealistic philosophy

that people can exist without prejudice,

being the great survival mechanism that

it is, is a deeply flawed theory given the

facts of human nature. A common misconception

is that affirmative action was

somehow passed by Congress but really

the only legislation that it is rooted in

is the Civil Rights act, which had just

passed before the implementation of the

idea. The policy has been formed by a

series of executive orders and Supreme

Court rulings. The concept was first outlined

by Lyndon B. Johnson, and he said

the following about it in his landmark

speech. “You do not wipe away the scars

of centuries by saying: ‘now, you are

free to go where you want, do as

you desire, and choose the leaders

you please.’ You do not take a man

who for years has been hobbled by

chains, liberate him, bring him to

the starting line of a race, saying,

‘you are free to compete with all the

others,’ and still justly believe you

have been completely fair . . . This

is the next and more profound stage

of the battle for civil rights. We seek

not just freedom but opportunity—not

just legal equity but human ability—not

just equality as a right

and a theory, but equality as a fact

and as a result.” From its outset it

was already an extremely controversial

policy as it was painted as

reverse racism. I have never understood

where the term “reverse

racism” comes from. Affirmative

action is just racism, period. Favoritism

of one race over another

is what sparked the Civil Rights

Act. Racism does not have to be

directed against minorities to deserve

that title. Up until today the

tension has been characterized

through, most notably, Supreme

Court cases and most recently, the New

Haven Fire Fighters case in 2009. That

case sought to curb affirmative action

and succeeded. Preceding that there

was the perennially front running California,

which voted in a referendum to

outlaw it. The policy as it stands only

When the court ultimately decided

to uphold the University’s policy it

legitimized the idea that being of

a different race and being a good

athlete were equivalent, and that

in the interest of having a diverse

student body it was okay to racially


applies to government entities, schools

and universities, and public contractors

who receive more than $35,000 in

contracts from the government yearly.

Through this policy, the United States

government is supporting discrimination

that affects 105 million people in

America today. The greatest portion of

that number comes from education at 80

million according to the Census Bureau.

After that more than 10 million comes

from the number of people directly employed

by the government and 15 million

comes from the number of people

employed by government contractors.

Affirmative action alienates those who

we seek to include by setting them in a

class of their own. Its original intention


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


I have



where the







action is

just racism,


has not been achieved as evident from

the growing income inequality between

races. In seeking to protect the rights of

the racial minority, it has violated the

rights of the majority.

Supreme Court cases have both expanded

and curtailed the effect of this

policy depending on the partisan balance

of the court at the time. Affirmative

action is not a law but a government policy

that was never passed by Congress. It

is only an extension of the Civil Rights

Act vis-a-vis executive order and court

cases. It is through these methods that

the complexities of how far this preferential

treatment can go have been determined.

One of the first cases against

affirmative action was brought to the Supreme

Court in June of 1978. University

of California Medical School vs. Bakke

was a case where a certain white student,

Allan Bakke was refused entrance to the

school multiple time because of his test

scores while minority candidates with

lower scores got in. It was a landmark

case citing that these sorts of inflexible

quotas that admitted weaker students

on the basis of race were a violation of

the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth


The most recent high profile case has

undoubtedly been Ricci vs. DeStefano. A

suit was brought against the City of New

Haven by eighteen firefighters who had

taken an officer’s exam and passed; however,

the test had later been thrown out

because not enough minorities passed.

Under Title Seven of the Civil Rights

Act the court ruled that the firefighters

where victims of reverse discrimination.

In another landmark court decision the

University of Michigan’s admissions policy

was upheld. Due to the shear number

of applicants they receive, the admissions

staff uses a more formulaic approach

to evaluate students. The way it

works is based on a points system. If you

are a competitive athlete you are awarded

a certain number of points, similarly

for children of alums, students with high

GPA’s, or high SAT scores. Correspondingly,

the University would give the applicant

a certain number of points if the

applicant were a minority. When the

court ultimately decided to uphold the

University’s policy it legitimized the idea

that being of a different race and being a

good athlete were equivalent, and that in

the interest of having a diverse student

body it was okay to racially discriminate.

This is no different from rejecting

overweight people who are equally

as productive in the interest of having

a good-looking workforce. Affirmative

action is a policy with the best interest

of the people at heart, not the majority

of the people, but the people. It was

aimed at lifting people out from below

the poverty line, even though there are

now almost three times as many nonminorities

living under the poverty line

as there are minorities. What makes the

poor minorities more deserving then

the poor non-minorities? Does the color

of their skin make them more deserving

of a job? This same question drove

Blacks in particular to protest during the

civil rights movement. It was intended

to bring together a nation yet all it did

was alienate those people who it sought

to protect by putting them in a class of

their own, competitive only against their

own race and isolated from the mainstream


In 10 years today’s racial minorities

will become the straight out majority.

At some point we will have to confront

the question of what really is a minority.

Economic classes will always exist but

do we have to define that class structure

by how we look. Is that how we define it

now? Speaking in terms of science, there

is more diversity between blacks and

other blacks, than whites and blacks.

The current racial majority tries really

hard to look beyond race in society but

it seems to me that the minority always

tries to alienate itself and distinguish itself.

Through legislative blockades and

cultural customs, this country is often

described, as the great melting pot,

it now seems as if this pot has not yet

melted together. When will we be able

to move on from these trivial judgments

of character? Only when we look beyond

race will we be able to right the wrongs

and solve the inequalities of modern

capitalist society. HMR

The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 23


Education Inequality:

America’s Dirty Truth

substance news

by david hackel

In the minds of us HMers, public

education in America is

often thought to be an effective

system. The reality is that,

depending on where you live,

your education can be either excellent

or horrendous. Certain public schools

have qualified teachers and students

who enjoy learning, but the number

lousy schools weigh down the ones

properly educating, which ultimately results

in education with a bad education.

Among thirty developed countries, we

rank twenty-fifth in math and twentyfirst

in science. Is that where our country

should be?

If you are able to attend a public

school such as Stuyvesant, you are very

privileged, but many public schools have

teachers not teaching, but relaxing and

watching their classes go wild. In some

cases, teachers sleep while the students

jump out of their seats. There is a law stating

that a public school teacher who has

worked for more than two years cannot

be let go or fired without just cause. So

if a teacher shows up late for classes and

goes on Facebook instead of teaching,

the school would have to take this case

to court. However, it takes several years

for such a case to go to court and punish

the incompetent teacher. There are

designated rooms in public high schools

filled with teachers who are under investigation

but not yet fired. These teachers

are not teaching, but sitting around

days, weeks, and months on the government’s

tab. The schools, as a result of

this law, give out more in salary, because

teachers under investigation continue to

receive pay. This money could have gone

to more school supplies, computers, or

other productive uses. The only chance

many children have of going to a good

school, often charters, is by lottery. Students

who apply are assigned a number,

and if your number is chosen you gain

the privilege of an excellent education.

Many students can, quite literally, only

hope to get education – is that what our

nation is forced to resort to?

Children shouldn’t have a higher

chance of being successful because of

their parents or because they have the

fortune of living in a nicer town with

wealthier people. If a person grows up

in a nice neighborhood, he or she receives

a better education because the

districts in which they are located fund

their schools. This unfortunate system

perpetuates a vicious cycle; the kids

from affluent backgrounds receive a better

education, while the kids who need

the education to escape poverty and advance

themselves are stuck with lackluster



The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX


“ Among thirty developed countries, we rank twentyfifth

in math and twenty-first in science. Is that where

our country should be?”

However, we as a people along with

our government could fix these problems.

One thing people could do to

help is donate to America’s substandard

schools. Another is to help set up more

charities for schools in need. The U.S.

has enough wealthy individuals who

could donate to these charities, following

the pattern of Mark Zuckerberg’s

$100 million donation to the Newark

public school system. People should donate

less money to the schools that have

marble flooring and turf fields and more

to the schools who need blackboards,

hard because if they didn’t properly do

their job they would be fired in a split

second. Our current job market is weak,

and consequently, it would be difficult

for the teacher to find another job. If

teachers knew it would be nearly impossible

for them so find a job with as

good pay or another teaching job, they

would work harder. Teachers no longer

would be able to say to themselves,

“I don’t have to work because I can’t be

fired,” and would bring a different mentality

to teaching. Teachers would care

more about their class’ behavior as well,

because if their class is out of control,

then if reflects poorly on the teacher. If

the students are running around and the

teacher is just watching them, then the

teacher will most likely be let go. If all

of these ideas come to life, the average

student’s education in America would

most definitely improve. Students might

not appreciate a larger workload while

they are young, but they will later in life.

Students would at first be upset they actually

have to study and do homework,

but when they find a topic they are interested

it, they will realize changes to our

education system were for the better.

With teachers that teach and don’t

sleep around while a class is jumping out

of their seats, students would be more

focused on their schoolwork. States

don’t have money to support enough

scholarship students, but there would be

no need for the lottery in the first place if

we fixed up our public schools. America

would be at the top of charts and not

numbers twenty-five and twenty-one

out of thirty. Education equality would

create a smarter country, which is what

andrew demas


rich gibson

chalk and desks. With the money from

endowments, schools would be able

to buy supplies needed to teach certain

subjects. Hopefully, the school will

achieve the final goal of students learning

more. Also, the law where a teacher

cannot be fired without cause after two

years needs to change. If a teacher is doing

an awful job and slacking around,

they should be. Not after one year, but

right away. Getting rid of tenure would

no longer provide teachers an excuse to

slack off. Teachers would have to work

America needs to maintain its competitive

advantage. Every area in our country

would have schools providing students

a world-class education. People

wouldn’t turn out worse due to the fact

that they live in a relatively poor area,

because public schools would essentially

be equal in quality across the nation. Regardless

of their economic circumstances

growing up, our youth would have an

equal opportunity to succeed. HMR

The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 25



The Indian Plague of Corruption

by mohit mookim

Despite India’s current success

and tremendous

potential for economic

growth, India has yet

to become a global economic

superpower. Such a reality seems

odd when coupled with the rich history

and culture of this 4,000-year-old civilization.

Let’s start from the beginning:

geographically speaking, India is the

seventh largest nation in the world, with

a population of over 1.18 billion people.

The Indian economy benefits from this

large workforce, which has access to

a wide variety of opportunities under

capitalistic and free market policies.

Although the nation has begun tapping

into this economic capacity in recent

decades, one issue continues to hinder

its success. Corruption. The corruption

embedded into India’s society has damaged

its overall economic performance

in the past and will continue to do so in

the future.

Political corruption in India is no

secret. Everybody knows about it, everybody

does it, and nobody cares

enough to stop it. Whether it’s bribing

the police to avoid paying a fine

or paying off a government official to

follow through with a corporate decision,

Indian citizens resort to bribery

and other practices of corruption far

too regularly. Even when ignoring the

moral implications of bribery, extortion,

money laundering, and human trafficking,

the economic consequences of corruption

are mind-numbing. The Times

of India recently concluded that “India

has been drained of $462 billion between

1948 and 2008.” Corruption lowers

economic growth in a few significant

ways. Corruption necessitates bribery in

the process of expanding, investing, or

conducting business operations. Bribes

are costs to businesses, and corruption

lowers the incentive for businesses to

invest and expand. Like most forms of

corruption, this one relationship has a

staggering effect on the economy. The issue

of government-created inefficiencies

poses another major problem. Peddling,

extortion, and money laundering–all

examples of political corruption–create

distortions and inefficiencies in the

economy. A common example of political

corruption is when government officials

redirect taxpayer money into their

own personal accounts. Instead of using

funds to maintain bridges or otherwise

aid people, this money is often spent on

the officials’ own capital investments.

A recent story regarding a corruption

scandal of immense magnitude

sheds light on the consequences of India’s

current corruption-driven economic

state. Two years ago, Andimuthu

Raja, the Indian telecommunications

minister, auctioned off the 2G telecommunications

spectrum. Both the Comptroller

and the Auditor General declared

that these auctions were done in “arbitrary,

unfair and inequitable manner.”

Analysts say that because of this rigged

auction, India lost a potential $45 billion.

Even the most conservative estimates

reported that the government

lost around $25 billion in possible gains.

The size of this sum of money, especially

when considered in proportion to the

total size of the India government, is

mind-boggling. Clearly, Indian corruption

is a serious problem. Only if India

rids itself of this enormous impediment

will it succeed in becoming one of the

world’s leading economic superpowers.

However, I think that it is unlikely that

India will be able to remove the impediment

of corruption anytime soon, and

its economic situation is dire in the face

of global economic competition. India

will fail. HMR


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX

If 8 or 190 Don’t Work, Should 20?


by kiwon lee

Countries belonging to the G20 are in blue.

Countries in the G8 are green.

The G-20, also known as

the Group of Twenty Finance

Ministers and Central

Bank Governors, held

a summit in Seoul, South

Korea on November 11th and 12th,

2010. Leaders, such as presidents and

prime ministers, from 19 countries and

the European Union represent their

heads of state and government. Canadian

Prime Minister, Paul Martin,

proposed that the group cooperate in

discussing affairs concerning the International

Financial System. Usually, one

or more organizations or countries are

involved and accountable for these topics

that are brought up to be studied and

reviewed among the world’s leaders.

Leaders addressed certain issues

such as developing a long-term infrastructure

to balance financial growth

and ensuring global financial safety nets

that protected emerging market economies.

Other issues that were also raised

in previous summits include maintaining

the ongoing global recovery and focusing

on the poorest nations to close

international income and development

gaps. However, the core topic among

these leaders was the risk and prevention

of a currency war between major

countries like the U.S. and China.

The G-20 had agreed to endorse the

Seoul Development Consensus that basically

sets a group of principles in cooperation

with less-developed nations

to help them reduce poverty and grow

economically. The leaders have also consented

to set limits for current accounts

excesses and deficits, which is conducive

to the stability of the global economy.

Despite the discussion of these issues,

leaders were not able to come up

with definite solutions, as they were debating

rather than compromising with

each other. They failed to agree on key

issues and lacked unity, leading to very

little progress during this summit. Now,

did the leaders have an insufficient

amount of time to do so? Maybe, but was

that the case with the previous summits

held? In the past, four summits have

been held in places such as our very own

soil, Washington D.C. and Pittsburg, but

the outcomes did not come out as well


The questions, “Is the G-20 effective?”

and “Should it be continued?” can

be raised. In the bigger picture, it can be

concluded that the main goal of the G-20

cannot be justified from the Seoul Summit.

The basis of the G-8 has also failed

to provide radical changes to world economics,

even though the group consists

of some of the world’s most powerful nations.

The original purpose of the G-20

was for 20 powerful nations of the world

to gather in order to discuss major issues

and agree on progressive solutions, as

leaders thought eight countries weren’t

enough. However, substantial progress

cannot be made, as evident from the

past summits.

The United Nations was able to

agree on many solutions to global problems,

including economic ones, but

those agreements were insufficient when

attempting to stabilize markets in light

of the global financial crisis. Whether 20

countries come together to discuss issues,

or 190 countries do the same, the

outcome is not different, since both fail

to rectify global economic conditions.

The number of parties involved in such

cooperation does not matter.

To answer the previous raised questions,

the G-20 should not be held again,

as its inefficiency nullifies the need to. It

is a possibility that the leaders may come

up with solutions. But judging from the

past, these claims of future progress are

dubious at best. HMR

The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 27

Science & Tech.

Science & Tech.

+ Email =


by harold chen

February 4, 2004, shall be cemented

in the history of social

networking. Mark Zuckerberg,

one of the co-founders of Facebook

launched Facebook from

his Harvard dormitory room. This momentous

occasion did not come easy.

In fact, Zuckerberg designed Facemash,

the predecessor of Facebook, on October

28, 2003, while attending Harvard

as a sophomore, and it got shut down a

few days later by the Harvard administration,

and Zuckerberg was charged

with breach of security, violating copyrights,

and violating individual privacy,

and he faced expulsion. The charges were

dropped ultimately, and this experience

didn’t deter Zuckerberg. As a matter of

fact he re-launched Facebook on February

4, 2004, and by March 2004 expanded

the program to the campuses of Stanford,

Columbia, and Yale. From there, Facebook

gained an overwhelming amount

of active users. Almost seven years later,

Facebook now is valued at $41 billion,

surpassing eBay’s worth.

Facebook has done a great job in

the past and it seems like there’s more to

come—on November 15, 2010, it officially

announced the creation of its unique

E-Mail system, Facebook Messages. According

to Mark Zuckerberg, email is too

slow, too formal and too cumbersome,

especially for young people who have

grown up using text messages and online

chats. Facebook Messages will change

this out-dated process with a unified inbox,

containing text, chat, and email altogether.

Zuckerberg mentions how “We

don’t think a modern messaging system

is going to be e-mail.” The new service

represents a bold move by Facebook to

expand from a social network into a fullfledged

communications system. Though

Facebook has always been the pioneer

in social networking, this decision is not

merely an extension of the incredibly creative

culture within the company but also

an ambitious attack: it aims at helping the

company chip away even more at Internet

portals like Google, Yahoo, MSN and

AOL, which have used e-mail as one of

their main draws with consumers. Americans

already spend more time on Facebook

than on any other website, and analysts

say that if Facebook Messages proves

successful, it could greatly increase the

time users spend on the site, making

Facebook even more dominant. That is

interesting and all, but the real concern

is, is it going to be successful? It certainly

takes more than it looks to be successful

in the email business: not only does the

company have to be viewed as credible—

somewhere safe to store personal information,

it also has to show superiority

to other companies in the business with

the unique features it delivers. Facebook

Messages’ unifying feature may indeed

This is the future of social networking- who doesn’t want a faster and

more convenient life online in order to spend more time in real life?”


The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX

Science & Tech.

“ As Mr. Zuckerburg said, ‘This is not an e-mail killer. We

don’t expect anyone to wake up tomorrow and say they

are going to shut down their current e-mail accounts.”

look cool and all, but how and why can it

come up on top against all the other companies

that have been dealing with emails

for decades like Microsoft and AOL? In

other words, how is it managing to make

people abandon their old email accounts

and trust Facebook, which has been infamous

for its control of privacy? Well, the

answer to that is: it is not. As Mr. Zuckerburg

said, “This is not an e-mail killer. We

don’t expect anyone to wake up tomorrow

and say they are going to shut down

their current e-mail accounts.” So it is fair

to say that Facebook Message is going to

attract some users at first, but very limited,

until it gives others a good reason to

switch and demonstrates its capability of

managing spam and securing personal

information. Until then, a drastic change

in the current e-mail market share is very

unlikely. A good example of this would

be Microsoft’s pathetic attempt at gaining

a share in the music player market with

its Zune series. Zune 30, the first portable

music player developed by Microsoft was

released on November 14, 2006, aiming

at competing with the iPods, failed miserably

as it holds only 1% share of the market

while iPod holds an astounding 76%.

By no means is Microsoft an uncompetitive

company—it is just really hard to take

something away from other companies,

especially when they’ve been doing it for

decades. Not to mention that Facebook

faces not one, but a number of competitors.

And how is it going to affect us as users?

Competition is always beneficial to

users, as it promotes innovation. The case

of Apple’s iPhone demonstrates this perfectly:

iPhone dominated the market and

thereby progressed very slowly before the

emergence of Android devices. As a matter

of fact, as more and more competitors

came into play, Apple made the biggest

leap ever since the original release with

the iPhone 4. Consequently, the emergence

of Facebook in the e-mail market

will push other companies to their maximum

potentials. However, this is not in

the slightest saying that Facebook Message

is doomed to fail. It is going to take a

while before it’s widely accepted and used,

but Facebook will likely be an innovator

in this field as well. It will lead the trend

of future social networking with its, albeit

not groundbreaking, but indeed pioneering

“social in-box”, as Mr. Zuckerberg

refers to the system. This is the future of

social networking—who doesn’t want a

faster and more convenient life online in

order to spend more time in real life?

All the above were only speculations

on what things might turn out to be.

However, to see what Facebook Message

is really going to bring us and what Mark

Zuckerberg had yet to show up his sleeve,

we might just need a little more patience

and believe it or not, things will sort

themselves out. Meanwhile, lower the

expectations, enjoy as it is, and see where

Facebook leads us. HMR

The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 29

Science & Tech.

A Macro Problem



by treshauxn dennis-brown

Imagine a world where a simple sweep

of the hand literally opens the door

to endless possibilities. Car doors,

house doors, any doors. Now expand

your thought to a world where the

sweeping of your hand not only opens

doors, but logs onto your computer, and

switches it on. This world may not be too

distant, as the invention of the radio frequency

identification (RFID) chip, once

implanted in your hand, already has the

potential to achieve these possibilities.

Radio frequency identification is a technology

that uses communication via

electromagnetic waves to exchange data

between a terminal and an electronic tag

attached to an object, for the purpose

of identification and tracking. There are

three types of RFID tags: passive RFID

tags, which have no power source and

require an external electromagnetic field

for signal transmissions, active RFID

tags, which contain a battery and can

transmit signals once an external source

has been successfully identified, and battery

assisted passive (BAP) RFID tags,

which require an external source to work

but have greater range. Although these

technologies have the potential to make

your life much easier, they should not be


utilized until they are perfected.

The first reported RFID experiment

occurred in 1998 when British scientist

Kevin Warwick used microchips in his

hand to open doors and turn on lights

within a building. Since then, the usage

of microchips in general has expanded

beyond the realm of household appliances

and everyday convenience. By a

growing margin, microchips are being

used in the business sector to track pallets

and goods. The biggest user of this

technology is Wal-Mart, which introduced

this very technology on December

7, 2004. Using microchips to track allows

increased prevention of counterfeit

and burglary. The RFID tags contain a

chip that consists of the information detailing

what is in a case or on a pallet of

goods. Rather than having a worker with

a handheld scanner logging in barcodes,

the system lets a computer system use a

radio signal to log the goods as they arrive

at the loading dock. While RFID

tags are not expected to overtake regular

barcodes for quite a while, their potential

for more efficiency will lead to the lowering

of potential theft and counterfeiting

which costs companies $500 billion

worldwide. Any technology that through

its efficiency, can save companies billions

of dollars, is sure to cement its place in industry

in the future. Wal-Mart is only one

“In a world where we constantly strive for

convenience and efficiency, is the microchip

the answer to our prayers right now?”

example of the many companies that are

beginning to use this technology since

its inception just under a decade ago. Of

course, the microchip’s capabilities are

not just limited to labeling the out side of

the package from which your MacBook

Pro came from.

Besides the aforementioned reasons

for the implanting of microchips in humans

for natural convenient reasons (i.e.

opening your car door), microchips also

have a future in the medical, security, and

public service industries. It is important

to take into account that a microchip can

be like a flash drive that stores one’s school

The Horace Mann Review | Vol. XX

work, or a computer hardrive—it has the

ability to store no small figure of information.

With these capabilities, a microchip

can be implemented in a human containing

that person’s entire medical history,

including but not limited to past illnesses,

symptoms, and possible medications. The

Positive ID Corporation, once a leader in

microchips for medical purposes, distributed

the implantable chip known as

VeriMed until it was discontinued in the

second quarter of 2010. The company

had suggested that the implant could be

used to retrieve medical information in

the event of an emergency. This is based

on the notion that each VeriChip implant

contains a 16-digit ID number which

can be transmitted when a hand-held

VeriChip scanner is passed within a few

inches of the implant. Participating hospitals

and emergency workers can enter

this number into a secure page on the

VeriChip Corporation’s website to access

medical information that the patient had

previously stored on file with the company.

Alternative uses for the microchip

include that of security and law enforcement

purposes. Along the same train of

thought that one could use a microchip

to open his or her house door, you could

also be given access to your workplace

such as a private facility like a power

plant. All one would need is a simple

swipe of the hand and she or he would

be checked in and ready for work. Lastly,

in a thought for the future, if a microchip

were implanted in a human being with

GPS technology, it would be easier to

locate a missing person should they become

lost. In a world where we constantly

Preliminary tests for implanting microchips in humans have begun.

strive for convenience and efficiency, is

the microchip the answer to our prayers

right now?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Despite

the many advantageous capabilities

the microchips present to society, they

pose significant health risks to the human

once implanted under our delicate

skin. In preparation for FDA-approved

microchips to be implanted on a massive

scale, thousands of laboratory rats have

been implanted with these tiny hardrives

in order to see the effects that these tiny

circuit devices might have on humans. As

one might expect, the future isn’t looking

to good for our prayers of convenience to

Science & Tech.

be fulfilled, at least by microchips anyway.

Veterinary and toxicology studies

carried out from 1996 to 2006 found that

between 1% and 10% of the implanted lab

mice and rats injected with microchips

sometimes developed malignant cancers

“ With all the shortcomings and bad

publicity generated towards these tiny

little chips, it will be an uphill battle

for “micro” chips to take their place as

pillars of convenience in the future.”

originating in the tissue surrounding the

microchips. Another significant health

risk is that when exposed to a significant

source of EMF radiation, such as a strong

electrical field or a MRI, the patient can

be burned. The strong magnets used in

an MRI scanner could destroy the implant

and cause serious burns, both internally

and externally. Not to mention,

once implanted, the chip can migrate and

can cause adverse tissue reactions. One

last problem with most microchips is that

since they are unencrypted, all information

stored on one is at risk of being read

by a third party, therefore jeopardizing

privacy and safety. If a person has a serious

condition such as Alzheimer’s, but

yet has that information unencrypted on

their implanted microchip, it is certain to

imagine that person not wanting others

to know.

Forced implementation of microchips

in human beings has been outlawed

in some states due to that fact that businesses

would mandate that all its employees

would be chipped in order to keep

tabs on the business workforce. Workers’

basic rights would be at risk if by no

action or will of their own, they allowed

their employers to know where they were

and what they were doing at all times.

With all the shortcomings and bad publicity

generated towards these tiny little

chips, it will be an uphill battle for “micro”

chips to take their place as pillars of

convenience in the future. HMR

The Horace Mann Review | Issue 4 31

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