Heads Up, Mars: A Giant Leap For Mankind


By Staff Writer Hinton Carter

Last week, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced plans to send humans to Mars using technology developed by SpaceX. Musk has released significant plans toward this goal, and he is confident in its potential. Many obstacles remain, including time of travel, fuel for rockets, and least of all, funding. Musk has stated that overall the cost per person would need to come down from 10 billion USD to around 200,000 USD for the project to be possible on a large scale, and 100 passengers per 80 day trip would be the optimal number. This seemingly impossible feat will first be tackled by engineering a reusable rocket system that can be refueled. SpaceX has made great strides towards this accomplishment already with their reusable Falcon 9 first-stage rocket, which saves the company 18.4 million USD per launch. In any case, Musk and SpaceX have stated that the first manned missions could occur as early as 2024, an aggressive timeline for any estimate thus far.

Concurrently, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told an audience at a conference in Chicago, “I’m convinced the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding a Boeing rocket.” Boeing helped to develop the Saturn V rockets for NASA in the 1960s and 70s that helped the US accomplish space travel to the moon. His statements, depending on Boeing’s technological abilities in current space travel, could bring an unprecedented private firm space race to the like that we haven’t seen since the space race between the United States and Russia in the 1950s and 60s. Musk has spoken about Muilenburg’s comments, and he welcomes the competition. “I think it’s actually much better for the world if there are multiple companies or organizations building these interplanetary spacecraft. You know, the more the better,” said Musk.

NASA is also developing plans for human travel to Mars. They hope to have manned travel to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars by 2030. However, NASA, unlike SpaceX and Boeing, is only planning on Mars exploration. SpaceX has plans for the colonization of Mars. The race for Mars in on, and only time will tell whether a government agency or a private firm will be the first to succeed. CR

The “Locker Room” Report


By Staff Writer Will Rierson

Republican leaders pulled away from Donald Trump in droves after leaked audio suggests that the GOP presidential nominee can have his way with attractive women because of his celebrity status. His “grab them by the p**** comment” and rumors of worse caused a conservatives crisis weeks before Election Day. After a strong comeback in a town hall debate with Hillary Clinton, many wonder if Trump can survive the recent turmoil.

In 2005, NBC’s Access Hollywood host Billy Bush had a very adult conversation with Donald Trump before entering a soap opera set to film an episode. Unbeknown to Trump, he was videoed making vulgar comments about his success with accosting attractive women. It is believed that he referred specifically to a Days of Our Lives actress. In October of 2016, the 11-year-old never before seen video was leaked by the Washington Post before NBC could report it.

Republican politicians ranging from House Speaker Paul Ryan to Trump’s running mate Mike Pence strongly repudiated the recorded remarks. Calling them vile, sexist, and unacceptable, many members of Congress unendorsed Trump and some called for him to drop out of the race. Every female Republican senator except Joni Ernst of Iowa withdrew support for the nominee. Utah Mormons Senator Mike Lee and Represenative Mia Love called for Trump to get off the ticket. Westerners, Southerners, Northerners, the Libertarian-leaning, moderates, movement conservatives, and the religious right all joined in denouncing him. Even the Republican National Committee silently set plans to withdraw television advertising support for Trump. In the first 24 hours after the video leak, it appeared that the party had disavowed its presidential nominee. Trump responded with a half hearted apology and explanation that it was “locker room talk,” then went on to criticize the party establishment for not standing by him.

Some Republicans, like Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, denounced Trump’s language but stopped short of unendorsing him in anticipation of the second presidential debate the following Monday. Trump and Hillary Clinton were at each other’s throats during the entire town hall debate, showing a level of animosity more reminiscent of a reality TV show than a presidential debate. The audience barely got any questions in the entire time, as Trump and Clinton kept lashing out at each other and ignoring the moderators. The candidates mostly fulfilled their reputations. Trump viciously prosecuted Hillary’s record and vaguely promised positive change. Clinton seemed polished and well versed in her talking points but had more difficulty overcoming Trump’s barrage than she did in the first debate. Both survived to campaign another day.

House Republicans held a conference call Tuesday morning to discuss their plans as Trump became increasingly divisive. Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly said he has no intention of helping Trump win anymore and is focused on maintaining the Republican majorities in Congress. Representatives who were unsure of pulling their support of Trump felt that his debate performance shored up support among the party’s working-class voter base, prolonging their shaky committal to the nominee.

It appears that Republican opinion leaders will continue to remain divided in the coming weeks, with half refusing to vote for Trump and half sticking by his side. A divided conservative voting bloc means that Trump’s chances of winning the election are slim to none, giving a Clinton the Oval Office once again. Down-ballot candidates on the Republican ticket will suffer greatly if anti-Trump voters stay home or select Democrats in protest. Rumors have spread that RNC lawyers are exploring options to kick Trump off the ticket and even Pence is looking for a way out. Replacing Trump would be difficult because many absentee votes have already been sent in and party rules state that the candidate must leave on his own accord. Pence can drop if he wants to, but a new vice presidential pick won’t help Trump at all. He has to help himself by sincerely apologizing to the American people and improving his rhetoric, or he can cut his losses and let someone else steer the GOP to victory. We all know that isn’t likely to happen.

The Double Standard Against Israel

**Editor’s Note: This article was written in the spring semester of last year, and is being republished here following the recent terror attack in Israel.

Today, I’m writing on an issue that has weighed heavily on me for quite some time. A few months ago, the international community mourned the loss of 129 lives after the ISIS attack in Paris. Radical jihadism, more specifically the Islamic State, has grown its threat throughout Europe. The threat of unpredictable terror attacks leaves society paralyzed in fear, but what is even more troubling is the growing hypocrisy of reactive methods for terrorism shared among most Western democracies. After these attacks, with an overwhelming majority, the international community praised French President Hollande for his militant plans against ISIS. “We will intensify our strikes and we will chose targets that will yield maximum destruction to that terrorist army…” said Hollande. However, the same amount of international praise would never be bestowed upon Israel, who faces terrorist threat on a daily basis.

The Middle East certainly does have its share of unfriendly neighbors, where ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations thrive and multiply. Israel, the only liberal and legitimate democracy in this region of the world, has seen incredible amounts of terrorist activity, nearly since its existence. Although a full-fledged war against Hamas in Gaza ceased last summer, escalations of random stabbings have regularized the past few months. In what just world is it normal to just allow random acts of terror to ensue? It isn’t normal, and it shouldn’t go unvoiced.

As of November 21, 86 Palestinians, 15 Israelis, 1 American, and 1 Eritrean have been killed from these attacks. In the time since, there have been several accounts of innocent civilians been murdered in similar reckless acts of terror. It’s saddening that the vast majority of the causalities from these escalations are Palestinians and that the vicious acts of a few in the Palestinian territories have consequential results for so many Palestinian citizens. However, what reaction should Israel have? Many internationalists time after time tell the Israelis to pursue diplomatic means with the Palestinian Authority to end this conflict.

An 18-year old American from Boston spending a few months to volunteer in Israel, spent his day passing out food to soldiers, killed. An elderly woman waiting for her bus to come, murdered. Throughout the Palestinian territories, these killings have been celebrated and more are promised to ensue. How can Israel negotiate an end to this when there is no condemnation or at this rate, minimal international coverage of these attacks? Foreign leaders have called on the democratic state to loosen its security restrictions and open up negotiations to appease the terrorists. But when has this worked?

As France mourns their loss, they are praised for their continual raids against ISIS in Syria. While ISIS has its differences from Hamas and Hezbollah, they all three share the commonality of destruction to the West and Western ideals. So what is Israel, America’s reliant ally and only beacon of democracy in a volatile region of the world, to do? They can’t allow these attacks to continue on urban street corners on a daily basis but the moment they strike back, they’re scrutinized.

While I do not have a foreseeable end to Israel’s internal struggle, I want to provoke some thought on this hypocrisy of security measures for democracies abroad. Terror is terror and a nation that is subjected to it, has the right to defend itself. Israel should not have to ask for forgiveness for its unwavering liberty to defend itself after continual random acts of terror on its citizens. France didn’t have to apologize, why should Israel?

The Argument for Voting Your Conscience


By Associate Editor Ana Delgado

If you’ve considered voting for a third party candidate during this divisive election cycle, you’re not alone. Those who voice their desire to vote third party are usually met with an eyeroll and a “then you’re just wasting your vote” or a “well then you’re really giving your vote to XYZ candidate.” Wrong. Don’t listen to these people. The whole point of voting is so that each and every voice is heard, so when people vote for the lesser of two evils, they’re doing themselves and democracy a disservice. Voting for the Democrat who you don’t like or the Republican you don’t like instead of the third party candidate that you do like is voting defensively. Since when is striving for the less crappy option the American way of doing things? I’m not sure when this happened, but it needs to be reversed. The American people need to return to voting offensively-really standing behind a candidate who they’re proud of. Instead of selling out or compromising your beliefs, it’s crucial for people to vote their conscience. Imagine if a third party candidate got the votes and coverage: Even if they didn’t actually win the presidency, their electoral success could not be ignored. It would give the next President and Congress an idea of what the people actually want.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent extreme beliefs that don’t really represent the majority of America. Yet, most Americans feel forced to pick between the two out of fear that the “worse of two evils” will win. Do we really want the polls showing a 51/49 divide either way? Do we really want statistics proving that Americans stand on these two opposite spectrums? I’d like to think that we want to strive for a little more integrity than that. Voting third party isn’t a waste. Voting third party isn’t handing Clinton or Trump the presidency. Voting third party is standing up to the horrific divide that fear has created within American politics and saying, “THESE are my actual, personal beliefs. I didn’t want either of you. Now, you can hear my voice. Now, you need to pay attention to me and make America the country I deserve.”

Never Forget:”We Will Not Waver, We Will Not Falter, and We Will Not Fail”


By: Staff Writer Will Rierson

“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our tallest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundations of America. We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and Freedom will prevail,” – President George W. Bush

Members of the UNC College Republicans rose early Sunday morning to plant 2,977 American flags in the Bell Tower lawn, honoring the victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

The students put out the miniature flags on the fifteenth anniversary of the attacks, during the exact time that two hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers in New York City that fateful day.

Hayden Vick, chairman of the College Republicans chapter, reflected on the morning.
“This is one the most important things we do every year,” Vick said. “It means a lot more than rallying behind a politician or bringing in a speaker. As we get further along in generations who don’t remember where they were or what happened that day, it becomes more and more important that we do it.”

The flag display was one of many across the country made possible by the 9/11 Never Forget Project, a program of the Young America’s Foundation that sends flags and promotional materials to Young Americans for Freedom and College Republicans chapters.
Chancellor Carol Folt, who had attended a ceremony at the school’s 9/11 UNC alumni memorial garden nearby, stopped at the Bell Tower to speak with the students and thank them for their work.

Six UNC alumni died on 9/11: Karleton Douglas Beye Fyfe ‘92, Mary Lou Hague ‘96, Andrew Marshall King ‘83, Ryan Ashley Kohart ‘98, Dora Menchaca ‘78, and Christopher Quackenbush ‘79.

The flags will be displayed on the Bell Tower lawn until Monday evening. They are visible to students walking to class along sidewalks near the corner of South Road and Stadium Drive, representative of the tragedies this country has faced, but also a reminder that peace and freedom prevails in the USA.

The Presidential Race According to Elementary School Students

By: Online Editor Hayden Vick

Alright kids: Who’s it going to be?

A few days ago, I was babysitting when the kids struck up a conversation about the 2016 race for the White House. After experiencing a mixture of laughter, confusion, and surprise at some of their comments, I decided to take note of some of their more profound quotes. Thus, the list began, extending to comments by some of the students from the third grade class in which I volunteer. I’ve saved my commentary on their presidential declarations for the end.

“I wish Obama could have another term.”
“Because he’s like, awesome.”

“I’ve noticed that she (Hillary) has been getting a lot – A LOT – of votes, which will help her become President.”

“If I could I might vote for Hillary, since she wouldn’t really change anything.”

“Donald Trump would change everything.”

“Everyone says they like him because he speaks his mind, but some of the thoughts in his mind are just wrong.”

“John Kasich is the only good Republican candidate.”

“Ted Cruz’s daughter won’t even kiss him because she hates him.”

Probably the most substantial claim of all:

“Donald Trump has a big rump and he took a dump in a pump.”

And my personal favorite:

“Bernie needs a better hairline.”

What if eight, nine, or ten year-olds could vote? According to the list, which I attempted to keep fairly bipartisan but to no avail, Donald Trump ranks right between a freshly planted plot of soil and a dung beetle, while Hillary probably takes the cake for Little Miss Popular.

“Kids say the darnedest things,” is a line used perhaps in old movies or maybe by older adults who still employ that “old southern” way of speaking (which I love). The saying may be somewhat unused or even obsolete today, but it holds true nonetheless. All of the above quotes, with the exception of the one about Trump’s rump, were said with complete and utter sincerity; the kids were serious about their opinions, just as college students are during our own political conversations and debates. Odd, isn’t it? An overlap between the actions of third graders and “fourteenth” graders.

The world is a much brighter place when children’s comments and opinions are listened to and considered wholeheartedly by adults who kneel down to their levels to really, truly hear what they have to say. Too often I think we pretend as though we’re listening to the little ones while we’re really thinking about the items on our own agendas. Keep in mind that the little guys’ and gals’ thoughts deserve just as much consideration and respect as our own.