Several weeks ago in The Student , Erik Christianson ’14 wrote an article extolling the virtues of libertarianism. I have no critiques of his position as far as civil liberties and gay marriage go, but the core of libertarianism lies in its view of personal property and its economic ideals. In this, it constitutes nothing more than a justification of shortsightedness and lack of social vision and a defense of the ability of the powerful to oppress the powerless.

Healthcare was a bad idea. Does this sound ludicrous and insane? Well … it is. After all, this country did need some form of health legislation. I’ll be specific: the bad idea was to present universal healthcare legislation to Congress in the midst of the worst recession in the U.S. in decades. It is often said that presidents are able to get the most done immediately after they’ve been elected. Universal healthcare is something Democrats have repeatedly championed. The president was looking to pass a bill Democrats hadn’t had the opportunity to pass for some time.

The full 2011-2012 Senate has finally been seated.

Indeed, the fourth meeting of the AAS on Monday night began with a classic Senate tradition — the swearing-in ceremony. Those elected to the Senate by the student body last Thursday were not officially senators until they recited an “oath of office.” These 10 senators-elect — eight from the class of 2015 and two from the class of 2013 — had to assure the rest of the Senate that, among other things, they had no “mental reservations” or “purpose of evasion” before being sworn in.

No longer must I worry for my eternal soul. Thank God! I finally found a church service.

Vita Nova, as it is called, is the only church service I know of held inside a bar. There were two or three dozen other cool young people there, all enthusiastic about Christ without pretension. And they have a real rockin’ band for the contemporary hymns we sang. What could be better?

Aquick google search for “Amherst College traditions” uncovers a 1913 New York Times article about the College’s lively and numerous student traditions. Fast forward 98 years, however, and those self-same traditions have largely faded into obscurity.

I had some time this week to reflect on my last column, where I talked about how the AAS was playing hardball with the administration over funding for senior bar night. Maybe all it took was talking to my friend at the College of Charleston, who is trying to convince his college administration to stop a policy of aggressively patting down dorm visitors, but it dawned on me that things generally function pretty well at Amherst. When the AAS almost barricades the doors of Converse over about $1,000 of social funding, it’s a testament to how well this school actually operates.

Michelle Bachman wants constitutional bans on abortion and gay marriage to “fix” states like New York and Massachusetts, but elsewhere she hypocritically preaches for freedom of the states; Rick Perry wants to eliminate one’s individual choice to smoke marijuana yet he paradoxically opposes the health insurance mandate because it restricts individual choice. Conservatives ban civil liberties for “terrorists,” ban prostitution, pornography, free alcohol distribution and many other things they don’t like. Freedom for this, no freedom for that.

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