October 19, 2000
| October 19, 2000
Ja Rule’s new album, Rule 3:36, is not nearly as good as his first, Venni Vetti Vecci. It is as simple as that. In fact, on a first run through of the album, it seems that no tracks are worth listening to in their entirety. But after a second listening, I decided that a quarter of the CD (four songs) is actually very good. I especially like ‘6 Feet Underground.’ Ja Rule definitely recruited those talking mice from the movie Babe for this one … listen to it, you’ll know what I am talking about.
The female backgrounds with Ja Rule’s voiceover (“Love Me, Hate Me”) are much better than his former attempts. Tracks like “I’ll Fuck You Girl” has some bad, but nevertheless funny humor. But overall, the beats and lyrics are very familiar. After reliving Venni, I realized that his phrasing is similar throughout both albums. This isn’t always a bad thing, but in rap, new lyrics and concepts are key.
Overall, the album is decent. Some good tracks, some good beats. If four songs are all it takes for you to buy a CD, pick this one up. If not, download it off Napster (but by all means, avoid those remixes with Dr. Dre that are already popping up.)
Archived article by Josh Plotnik
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October 20, 2000
As Election Day looms large on the horizon, voters’ attention in New York State has mostly been focused on the high-profile Senate race between Democratic First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.). Falling slightly lower on the radar screen is the race for the House of Representatives in New York’s 26th District, which includes Ithaca and much of Tompkins County’s westernmost end. The race, between incumbent Democrat Maurice Hinchey and Republican state development official Bob Moppert, is round three in their hard-fought political bout. In 1992, Hinchey captured his first term in Congress by defeating Moppert with only 50 percent of the vote. Just two years later, Hinchey nearly fell victim to the Republican tidal wave that swept the GOP to majorities in Congress. He beat Moppert by just 1,200 votes, and the outcome was uncertain for nearly two weeks after the election. Hinchey has improved his electoral performance considerably in the more favorable political climate of the last two elections. In 1998, he garnered his highest vote share when he took more than 60 percent of the vote against Republican apple farmer William “Bud” Walker and prominent Right-to-Life candidate Randall Terry. But despite Hinchey’s apparent solidification of support in the district, members of both camps say they are taking another Hinchey-Moppert contest very seriously. Bryan Erwin grad, a spokesperson for Hinchey, said that at this point, “every vote counts.” Moppert supporters expressed the same sentiment. Amy Gershkoff ’02, head of Leaders for Lazio, a group of Cornell students, said that “the election is going to be sufficiently close.” Hinchey, a career public servant, “remains firmly entrenched in the Democratic Party’s liberal wing,” according to Congressional Quarterly’s Politics in America publication on the 106th Congress. He has recorded a solid Democratic voting record during his eight years in the House. The Hinchey campaign is hoping this record will bolster his re-election chances. Dan Ahouse, campaign manager for the Democrat, said, “[Hinchey] has been very in tune to local communities over the last eight years.” Moppert supporters, on the other hand, rest much of their hopes on what they see as the deficiencies in Hinchey’s record. Members of the Moppert camp denounced Hinchey’s stand on key issues, including taxes, health care, and job creation. “Hinchey has a record,” Gershkoff said, “and it’s terrible.” Mike Mara, a spokesperson for Moppert’s campaign, pointed out Hinchey’s “refusal to fix the marriage penalty tax, while voting himself a pay raise.” Ahouse countered that in the Republican proposal to repeal the marriage penalty tax, “50 percent of the tax cuts would have gone to the wealthiest three percent of the district’s population.” He further argued that “the vast majority” of the 26th District would receive little from the cuts, that they were “geared towards the wealthy.” The dispute over the marriage penalty indicates the importance of taxes in this race. Hinchey supports “more even-handed” tax breaks that will treat the current surplus with “responsibility,” according to Ahouse. But Moppert supporters disagree with Hinchey’s proposals for spending the large federal surplus. “Bob Moppert epitomizes the mentality that this money belongs to the American people,” Gershkoff said. She added that Hinchey doesn’t understand the struggles of small businesses, contrasting him sharply with Moppert and his lifetime business experience as a moving company owner. “Bob Moppert understands that we are a county of small businesses, and has worked with businesses all his life,” Gershkoff said. Yet Ahouse touted Hinchey’s role in bringing federal funds to his district. According to Ahouse, more than $1.2 billion in federal aid has been sent to the 26th District during the past five years of Hinchey’s service. But Mara said the challenger also has a record of helping out residents of the district. He lauded Moppert’s experience as Gov. George E. Pataki’s regional economic director for New York’s Southern Tier, saying “Bob has created thousands of jobs in this region.” The Southern Tier does form the heart of the 26th District, which spans from as far east as the Hudson River to the cities of Ithaca and Binghamton in the central part of the state. Two population centers divide the district, with roughly half of the votes in the western Binghamton-Ithaca region, and one-third of the votes in the Hudson Valley. According to Congressional Quarterly, the 26th District’s heritage is Republican, but areas such as Binghamton and Ithaca’s sizeable academic community provide a solid Democratic base. Both candidates recognize Cornell as an important community within the district. According to Ahouse, Hinchey’s efforts to bring federal funds for research and development to places like Cornell have improved the district as a whole. “As Cornell benefits, so does Ithaca and the rest of the district,” he said. Since Cornell is the largest employer in the district, it not only is a major factor in the local economy, but the University also plays a major role in local elections. Erwin, who is working for Hinchey, classified the Cornell community as a “well-informed” population.” But he acknowledged that during a Presidential election year, the national election “takes precedence” over local politics. In addition, New York is home to the nation’s most closely-watched, and one of its most expensive, Senate races, which might further limit the amount of attention that students pay to down-ballot races such as this one. In numerous conversations with The Sun, students not directly affiliated with a campus political organization expressed little knowledge of the two Congressional candidates. “I registered to vote in Ithaca so that I could vote for Hillary,” said Beth Knackmuhs ’01. “I don’t know enough about the Congressional race at this point to make a decision.” Both Hinchey and Moppert are scheduled to face-off in a forum Monday night at 5 p.m. in the Boynton Middle School Theater, which is located at 1601 N. Cayuga St. Prof. Margaret Washington, history, will moderate the debate. Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., newspaper that covers Capitol Hill, currently ranks the 26th District race as “Likely Democrat,” meaning Hinchey is favored to win a fifth term.Archived article by Maison Rippeteau
October 20, 2000
At last night’s meeting the Student Assembly (S.A.) considered ways to strengthen student/professor relationships and passed a resolution to give students a stronger voice in decisions concerning the University’s endowment funds. In a resolution specifically aimed to foster “student/professor nutriment,” the S.A. discussed enabling professors and students to eat together for free in any campus dining facility, with the University footing the bill. “Our goal is to help students in larger classes to get to know their professors,” said Human Ecology Representative Frankie Lind ’01, who drafted the proposal before the S.A. The educational benefits that this program, if enacted, would bring to the University greatly outweigh the increased expenditure, according to Lind. By breaking down the “large University mentality,” this resolution aims to bring students and faculty together both in and out of the classroom, Lind added. At a large university like Cornell, it is easy for students to get lost and to feel neglected by professors, especially professors of large classes, he said. Freshmen, often victims of this neglect-mentality, are typically on meal plan and thus would incur no extra costs in this program, thereby placing much of the emphasis on encouraging professors to get to know their students better, Lind added. A similar professor/student dining program is already in effect at many small colleges, such as Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Dean of Students John Ford attended the meeting and voiced his concerns about how this new resolution would impact the existing faculty fellow programs. “For the administration to act effectively, the issue of how this fits in with faculty-in-residence must be addressed,” he said. The current faculty-in-residence program, which has a similar goal of fostering student/professor relationships, consists of a series of discussion lunches and dinners that take place over the course of the semester. Faculty fellows present dining cards which allow students to enter campus dining halls for free. The S.A. responded to Dean Ford with the argument that the current program is subject to limited outreach efforts and accommodates only those students who can make it to fixed-time meals. Furthermore, participation is limited to on-campus students. While many S.A. members acknowledged the “professor student nutriment” program’s great potential, the source of the University funding remains under question. Debates on this issue will continue in upcoming meetings. “The funding issue cannot be glossed over. This program has the potential to be very costly. There must be some way to regulate spending,” said Amy Gershkoff ’02, minority representative. Dan Orcutt ’03, arts and sciences representative, summed up the general consensus among S.A. members that the potential long-term gains from the program would be well worth the time spent now in further investigations. “One of the reasons why Cornell is so great is because we have such fantastic faculty at our disposal. The possible benefits of this program go well beyond just students,” Orcutt said. “Faculty accessibility, which is a key factor in U.S. News & World Report rankings, will likely increase with the program. These news rankings are significant to Cornell in attracting students,” he added. In the second half of the meeting, the S.A. passed a resolution creating a student-based standing proxy committee to oversee University endowment investments. Currently, an ad hoc organization to the S.A. researches stockholder resolutions of companies in which Cornell holds stock and provides recommendations to the Investments Committee of the Board of Trustees. Beginning next fall with the implementation of the standing committee, the organization will be expanded and elected committee members will consist of two S.A. representatives, six undergraduate students, one graduate or professional student, one staff member and one faculty member. The administration and the S.A. will work directly with committee members to prepare presentations to the trustees. If the trustees are convinced that the students should act on behalf of the University, then they will have the avenue to do so. “Passing this resolution is a significant step in giving students the power to tell the administration when they want something done,” said Michael Bronstein ’02, undesignated at-large representative and vice president of public relations. Some S.A. members, however, were reluctant to support the resolution. “The S.A. has no business meddling with administrative funding issues. For example, it is ridiculous for students to decide who has faculty tenure and who does not,” said Gershkoff. Michael Wacht ’02, architecture, art and planning representative, agreed with Gershkoff. “This is not a matter of political perspective. What we are talking about is hundreds of millions of dollars. Managing the endowment is the responsibility of the administrators who are paid to do the job,” he said. Kira Moriah ’03, arts and sciences representative and vice president of finance, reminded S.A. members that the resolution was not designed to give students direct control of financial matters. She argued for the importance of allowing students to bring their complaints before the University. “What we are confusing here is the difference between decision and recommendation,” Moriah said. “A student proxy group provides an extra check. If the University can make decisions on its own, then this defeats the purpose of student government.” Bronstein added, “The administrators should be held accountable for what they do. This resolution represents a strong step into a new territory for the S.A.”Archived article by Jennifer Roberts