Monthly Archives: March 2011

MPSL VLog: National Security and Hearings on Radical Islam

Is it appropriate to investigate specific religious groups as potentially prone to being influenced by terrorists?  Professor Gaffaney discusses recent hearings about American Muslims.  


Geraldine Ferraro and the Glass Ceiling That Will Not Shatter

Geraldine Ferraro made history in 1984 when she became the first female Vice Presidential candidate for a major political party. Her historic accomplishment opened the door for other women to achieve their political aspirations. Unfortunately, Geraldine Ferraro passed away on March the 26th and the glass ceiling she cracked 27 years ago remains in place. Glass ceiling is a term referring to a disingenuous barrier impeding the upward advancement of a qualified person because of some form of discrimination, most commonly sexism or racism. The ceiling is made of glass to denote the double standard particular groups face in the United States despite claims of equal opportunity and equal access.

The existence of a political glass ceiling for female candidates became self-evident when the American news media rapidly started to focus on Geraldine Ferraro’s gender instead of her qualifications or experience. Regrettably, the double standard in treatment towards Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin was also apparent during the 2008 presidential campaign. Ironically, women in the United States outnumber men and are more likely to vote compared to their male counterpart. Nevertheless, female politicians still find it extremely difficult to overcome the glass ceiling excluding them from the Whitehouse.

Below is a list of nations that have had a female head of government.

  1. Argentina
  2. Bangladesh
  3. Bosnia-Hercegovina
  4. Chile
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Ecuador
  7. Finland
  8. Germany
  9. India
  10. Indonesia
  11. Jamaica
  12. Liberia
  13. Mozambique
  14. New Zealand
  15. Nicaragua
  16. Panama
  17. Philippines
  18. Sri Lanka
  19. Switzerland
  20. Ukraine
  21. United Kingdom

The list is striking considering the United States of America prides itself on being the premier land of opportunity and equality. Slate published a blog regarding the double standard Geraldine Ferraro faced in her political and professional career. However, why is it difficult for qualified women to advance politically in the United States? Do you believe the United States will have a female president within your lifetime?


Weekly Poll: Your Opinion on The No-fly Zone in Libya

Some critics believe the US and the allies’ enforcement of no-fly zone in Libya came too late. What do you think?

Weekly Quiz: Test Yourself on This Week’s Events

The weekly quiz is now live in Mypoliscilab. Good luck!

Congressional Oversight a Nuclear Necessity

The earthquake and tsunami damaged Fukushima nuclear power facilities in Japan may pose a more serious long-term threat than previously reported.  More importantly, there is talk that the Japanese government and the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog agency—the IAEA—may have allowed the operators of the facility to cut regulatory corners.  A recent Guardian article, citing intercepted government cables, makes the case that national and international regulatory agencies have been “covering up” accidents at nuclear facilities and the real costs associated with their operations.  The likelihood of such failings should resonate loudly with all those in the United States calling for less government regulation in basically all sectors of the U.S. economy.

In the U.S., Congress has the authority to regulate commerce and to conduct congressional oversight of federal agencies, programs, and officials, as a basic component of the American system of checks and balances.  Regulation of nuclear facilities in the U.S. by the Department of Energy and others in the executive branch can provide an important foundation for such protections.  However, if recent history teaches us anything, the need for more effective regulation by overlapping and even competing interests can provide additional protections that may help to avert future catastrophes.

Though less dramatic in many senses, recent abuses in the banking, real estate, and financial markets, and the role they played in the U.S. financial crisis should generate calls for more regulation—not less.  Congressional oversight is an essential element provided for by the Constitution, enabling government to perform perhaps its most basic function—protect the people of the United States from those dangers that are within our power to control; acts of God and Nature, notwithstanding.


The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – When Reporters Attack

Nancy Grace refuses to take science for an answer, and Steve Harrigan sends Joey Expendable to the Gaddafi compound.

Question: What does this video say about the newsworthiness of cable  news?

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Video Glossary: Public Policy