Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best of the Étudiant in 2008

News Stories

1. É2.0 launches on September 1st, 2008.

2. Co-founder Ben Tan leaves the Étudiant only to come back a few months later and post an amazing poem.

3. The Étudiant celebrates 2000 posts.

Most Commented on Post

1.Why You Shouldn't Vote for Obama- 20 Comments

Most Hits in 1 Day

1. August 1 - 676 Page Loads

Most Hits in 1 Month

1. August - 10,275 Page Loads

Best Quote of 2008

I saw this in Sports Illustrated a couple weeks ago and I thought to myself: "Damn, this is the best quote of 2008."

"Nader recounted a recent meeting with editors at The Washington Post, who he said told him the paper wasn’t covering his campaign because he had no chance of winning. According to Nader, he replied: 'Then why are you covering the Nationals?' a reference to Washington’s long-suffering baseball team."

Best of 2008: Music

End of the year reviews are always fun:

Top 10 Favorite Songs of 2008:

1. Eraser" by No Age
2. Drops in a River" by Fleet Foxes
3. Street Flash" by Animal Collective
4. Noise Epic" by The Verve
5. Walcott" by Vampire Weekend
6. On the Water" by The Walkmen
7. Them Kids" by Sam Spence
8. Kids" by MGMT
9. Golden" by High Places
10. Sweet Love for Planet Earth" by Fuck Buttons

Top 3 Albums of 2008

1. Nouns - No Age
2. You and Me - The Walkmen
3. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

Top 3 Concerts of 2008

1. Radiohead - Comcast Center - August 13
2. No Age - Middle East Downstairs - November 23
3. Editors - Orpheum Theatre - January 19

Best Thing To Happen To Music In 2008 That Should Have Happened In 2009:
1. Merriweather Post Pavillion by Animal Collective is leaked.

Is Fukudome Offensive?

Last week it was revealed that one Oklahoma woman was asked to remove her Kosuke Fukudome jersey during work hours because the F-U-K-U letters may be offensive to some. The Fuk-u problem is still rampant — even in Chicago, apparently — as a 15-year-old sophomore at Elgin High School named Jill Howe was asked to remove her jersey after being repeatedly questioned by school officials "what it meant."

Thankfully, some members of the faculty don't spend their off-hours knitting or reading and let the others know that, yes, "Fukudome" is in fact the surname of a n extremely popular Cubs player who happens to be Japanese.

Sadly, the girl's mother reveals that this whole incident could have been avoided had family been able to afford the real jersey their Cubs-crazy daughter wanted:

"She's a big Cubs fan, and we got the jersey at Dick's. We were going to get a [Kerry]Wood one, but it cost more." - Deadspin
This is awesome:
Given the hypersensitivity of this school's administration, a "Wood" jersey probably would have resulted in a three-day suspension.

Mass. Prepares For Decriminalization

BOSTON - December 30, 2008 - The state is asking cities and towns to consider passing ordinances criminalizing the use of marijuana in public.

The request comes as a new Massachusetts law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of the drug is poised to go into effect Friday.

Under a November referendum, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is punishable by only a $100 fine.

The new law also decriminalizes hashish and hash oil. - WBUR
Every town in the Commonwealth will enact this except for Wakefield. Just kidding.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Big 3 In ICU

The domestic automakers are in ‘Intensive Care’. The bailout medicine being injected as an IV drop by the outgoing Bush Administration is a $17 billion dollar placebo. As prescribed, it will neither cure the patients nor help the workers whose union is not cooperating.

While the excessively high labor, benefit and pension costs contracted over the years by the three automakers can be described as a virulent out of control virus, a more apt description is several bad cells that, over the years, mutated, multiplied, grew into bulbous tumors, and metastasized onto the bone of the businesses.

Neither President Bush nor President-elect Obama are willing to face all the facts. -

Read the rest here

CD Review: Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished

Animal Collective
Grade: 9.7 out of 10
Comments: This, Animal Collective's debut album released in 2000, is far less than experimental their later work. The first song, "Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished," is mellow and ambient. "April and the Phantom" might be one of Animal Collective's least freaky songs considering there isn't too much noise other than a buzzing guitar, some drum, and a drippy dub beat. You can tell that the band isn't that polished. That said, it's pretty damn hard to tell if an experimental band is polished given the fickle nature of the genre. "Untitled" is where the fun begins. It sounds like somebody is being sucked into a black hole of noise. They are unrelenting, screaming none stop for help. Nobody helps them, though, and their cries grow louder and more rickety. At the end, it sounds like they are being zapped by some electric current. "Penny Dreadfuls" starts out laggard with a few sparse piano notes segueing into a Dark Side of the Moon esque verse about kids on a bus. I'd hate to call this a piano rock ballad, but it's tough not to. The best damn piano rock ballad ever, might I please add. "Chocolate Girl" is really awesome. It's hella long (8+ minutes) so make sure you have time to spear to listen. It's got this indescribable feel to it. Chill, I guess, works. Talk about a volte-face! "Everyone Whistling" is not really everyone whistling. It's an exactly one minute sampling of a noise you'd expect to hear in the woods behind your house on a midsummer night. "La Rapet" is about some girl named Isabelle. It's another real long one, but very much worth a listen. "Bat You'll Fly" is awesome in that it is more of a combo of jazzy/funk/tropicalismo than any other track on the album. Different fo' sho. A constant repetition of "I'll" and "someday" is the gist of "Someday I'll Grow Up To Be As Tall As The Giant." The instrumentation in this song is present on Merriweather Post Pavillion leading me to think that this song would fit just as well on MPP. "Alvin Row" is a fantastic finish.

New Winter Look

What do you guys think?

Song of the Day (12/30/08)

Redemption Song (Ben Tan Cover)

Old pirates, yes, they rob i;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took i
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the and of the almighty.
We forward in this generation
Wont you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? ooh!
Some say its just a part of it:
Weve got to fulfil de book.

Wont you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.
/guitar break/
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! have no fear for atomic energy,
cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say its just a part of it:
Weve got to fulfil de book.
Wont you help to sing
Dese songs of freedom? -
cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs -
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

Quote of the Day (12/30/08)

Alex Denney from The Quietus on the song "Brothersport," which is the last track on Animal Collective's amazing album Merriweather Post Pavillion.

The one that got Grizzly Bear into lumber when they linked to the track on their blog as their favourite AC song since ‘Leaf House’. They’re not far wrong either, stuttering tribal chants giving way to a techno interlude before the band busts out one of its most instantly memorable vocal melodies to date. Expansive and utterly euphoric, it sounds like Ministry Of Sound doing Graceland. But with more of a tropicalia vibe. And sirens. Fuck me, this is brilliant.
And by instantly memorable vocal melodies, he is talking about:
Dear fully grown
you got a real good shot
do well to all the time
keep it real keep it real shut it out

Religious Discrimination in Arizona?

The State Bar of Arizona is considering whether to require new attorneys to swear they will not let their views on sexual orientation get in the way of providing legal services. Mat Staver, founder of "Liberty Counsel" and dean of Liberty University's Law School, is concerned.

"I believe that this is a major threat to the practice of law," he contends. "This is an attempt to literally license those out of business and to revoke the license of those who, in fact, have traditional moral values."

Staver believes the campaign is going nationwide and will be a tool used by homosexuals to hold back Christian lawyers. "If they then can hold over your head the license and the ability to practice law, that will be a devastating blow to those of us who believe in traditional family values," he points out. - Secular Heretic

I doubt that this is really religious discrimination.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Inspiring Malcolm X Quotes

"A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything."

"Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery."

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

"I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Any time I have to accept a religion that won't let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion."

"I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color."

"I don't even call it violence when it's in self defense; I call it intelligence."

"I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against."

"If you're not ready to die for it, put the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary."

"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it."

"Nonviolence is fine as long as it works."

"Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression."

"Stumbling is not falling."

"The Negro revolution is controlled by foxy white liberals, by the Government itself. But the Black Revolution is controlled only by God."

"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time."

"Without education, you are not going anywhere in this world."

"You can't legislate good will - that comes through education."

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."

"You don't have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being."

"You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it."

"Barack, The Magic Negro"

If one of the Republican Party's challenges is how to effectively oppose the first black president without coming off as racist, one of the candidates for RNC chair is hardly off to a good start -- he is now distributing a CD that includes a racially-charged song called "Barack, The Magic Negro."

Chip Saltsman, the former campaign manager for Mike Huckabee, has distributed a goodie bag to committee members that includes a CD by Paul Shanklin, a writer of right-wing parody tunes who is often featured on Rush Limbaugh. The "Magic Negro" track, which first gathered controversy in the Spring of 2007, featured Shanklin portraying Al Sharpton as an Amos & Andy stereotype, ridiculing white liberals who support Obama. - TPM

That's terrible.

Stalin Voted Third Greatest Russian

Former Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was beaten by medieval prince Alexander Nevsky in a poll held by a TV station to find the greatest Russian.

Stalin came third, despite being responsible for the deaths of millions of Soviets in labour camps and purges.

Alexander Nevsky fought off European invaders in the 13th century to preserve a united Russia. - BBC

The third greatest Russian killed 20 million people.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Galileo Upgraded to Hero Status

The Vatican is recasting the most famous victim of its Inquisition as a man of faith, just in time for the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s telescope and the U.N.-designated International Year of Astronomy next year.

Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to the Italian astronomer and physicist recently, saying he and other scientists had helped the faithful better understand and “contemplate with gratitude the Lord’s works.”

In May, several Vatican officials will participate in an international conference to re-examine the Galileo affair, and top Vatican officials are now saying Galileo should be named the “patron” of the dialogue between faith and reason.

It’s quite a reversal of fortune for Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who made the first complete astronomical telescope and used it to gather evidence that the Earth revolved around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe. -

Poor Galileo.

Did You Know? (A Section of WITWTI)

Ok first of all, this is a historically CORRECT map of Korea and Japan. In the history books of Old Corea (no I did not spell this incorrectly), the Dokdo Island was a part of the Corean Islands. Before Japan invaded Korea, Korea was known as Corea. Due to the letter "C" coming before the letter "J", Japan decided to change it to a "K". They forced Japanese customs and their language to our people. And after the invaded, they wanted to make the Dokdo Island their own. Do you know why? It is because once it's their island, their sea barrier can be expanded. Our reason? A person from our country has lived and died there, and our history texts dating back even furthur than the Japanese history texts has labled the sea in between Japan and Korea as "The East Sea of Korea". Due to Japan's infultration, Japan decided to change it and name it the "Sea of Japan".

Because Japan had been introduced to America ealier than the Koreans, the Japanese decided to change history and mark every non-Japanese land and sea as their own.
Now you know why I despise the Japanese this much. (Not all Japanese are like this and I don't hate them all). Most of the people in Japan are fighting over the control of Dokdo, and if you want to read more about this, follow the link to this site.

There are many facts to prove that Dokdo is infact a Korean territory.

If you want to learn more about the Korean-Japanese struggle, look around the web. There are more facinating, radical, acclaims that Japan has made and the American government agrees on (this is why some Koreans hate the Americans as well, doesn't mean I do, but some... If I hated America, I wouldn't be here using English and talking to you people).

:) Have a good day.

P.S. If you want to know more about these topics, leave a comment or two, I will try to answer as much as I can.

Ben Tan = Best DJ In Boston

Étudiant co-founder is the very best radio DJ in all of Boston. He's filling in on 88.9. Tonight, he was DJing the Secret Spot, a slowjamz/r&b program which features shout-outs. Yeah, he gave a few out to Wakefield people. Awesomeness. This proves the already established theory that Ben Tan is, in fact, everywhere.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

State Lotteries Reporting Declines

Across the U.S., many state lotteries are reporting hefty declines, with ticket sales down nearly 10% in California and more than 4% in Texas over the past few months. In good years, these lotteries have turned over more than $1 billion apiece to education programs, the most common lottery beneficiaries.

Lottery officials have long praised their games as low-cost entertainment that grow even more appealing to players when the economy turns down. But lottery sales nationwide fell about $215 million, or nearly 2%, from July through September compared with the same stretch in 2007, according to La Fleur's magazine, which tracks the lottery business. - Wall Street Journal

I doubt this is happening in Massachusetts.

Andrew Lahde Is The Man

Ladhe is a former hedge fudge manager who profited off of the subprime mortgage crisis. He then wrote a good-bye letter (which would make Chris DeCarlo smile):

I was in this game for the money,” Lahde wrote in the two-page missive, saying he would now focus on his personal portfolio of unspecified millions. “The low-hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros. and all levels of our government.

"On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal. First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have reigned in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government. Capitalism worked for two hundred years, but times change, and systems become corrupt.

"At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country? Ah, the female. The evil female plant -- marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other additive drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers."

Top Ten Most Preposterous Rap Songs

RICK ROSS, FEATURING T-PAIN "The Boss" (Def Jam) Though Rick Ross claimed on his debut album, Port of Miami, to know Manuel Noriega, The Smoking Gun website found that Ross was a prison guard rather than an international drug kingpin before he was famous. Perhaps they met in the can? In any case, his assertion on "The Boss" that he "made a couple million dollars last year dealing weight" is absurd. Still, we're tempted to give him a pass on his claim that "I don't make love/Baby we make magic," because, well, we wouldn't know.

"When the Lights Go Out"

(Black Rose/Koch)
When Brooklyn's Don Diva Foxy Brown drops her thug persona and attempts to get sexy, you know things are going to get weird. Still, "When the Lights Go Out" actually creates a mood with its bouncy beat and twinkling chorus. That is, until Brown suddenly announces, "My na na na tastes like Jamaican kiki." We have no idea what that means, but we just lost our woody.

"Take You There"

(Beluga Heights/Sony)
"Take You There," which got mucho airplay in '08 despite being released late last year, has a particularly curious premise. Kingston offers his shorty the options of an island paradise visit or a trip to a dangerous hood: "We can go to the tropics/Sip piña coladas...or we can go to the slums/Where killers get hung." Sean, you're only eighteen, so we'll tell you something about women: Take them to the beach at your own peril; the quickest way to their hearts is a guided tour of crushing poverty and lawlessness.
Click here to read the rest

Funny Pic of the Day (12/27)

Friday, December 26, 2008

NIJ Developing Non-Lethal Devices

The research arm of the US Department of Justice is working on two portable non-lethal weapons that inflict pain from a distance using beams of laser light or microwaves, with the intention of putting them into the hands of police to subdue suspects.

The two devices under development by the civilian National Institute of Justice both build on knowledge gained from the Pentagon's controversial Active Denial System (ADS) - first demonstrated in public last year, which uses a 2-metre beam of short microwaves to heat up the outer layer of a person's skin and cause pain. - National Institute of Justice
They sound like a worthy alternative to guns, but I highly doubt guns will be taken out of the hands of the police.

Troops To Stay National/Local

A new report from the U.S. Army War College discusses the use of
American troops to quell civil unrest brought about by a worsening
economic crisis.

The report from the War College’s Strategic Studies Institute warns
that the U.S. military must prepare for a “violent, strategic
dislocation inside the United States” that could be provoked by
“unforeseen economic collapse” or “loss of functioning political and
legal order.”

Entitled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in
Defense Strategy Development,” the report was produced by
Nathan Freier, a recently retired Army lieutenant colonel who is a
professor at the college — the Army’s main training institute for
prospective senior officers. - Global Research
It's better to have them home than overseas.

CD Review: Merriweather Post Pavillion

Artist: Animal Collective
Grade: 10 out of 10
Track Listing:
1. In the Flowers
2. My Girls
3. Also Frightened
4. Summertime Clothes
5. Daily Routine
6. Bluish
7. Guys Eyes
8. Taste
9. Lion in a Coma
10. No More Runnin'
11. Brothersport
Comments: This is the best CD that I've ever heard. I'm usually really hesitant to give out a perfect 10 out of 10 score to an album. But with Merriweather I have come to decide that every single track is amazing. If you aren't into experimental, spacey, and naturey sounding music, you might not dig. If you take into account everything the Animal Collective's puts into one song, you will realize how complex yet simplistic each song is. The great thing about Merriweather is that not all of the songs are upbeat or slow. There is a nice mix of rhythm. Merriweather takes elements of prior Animal Collective albums in producing a most complete and experimental record. Listen up hopeful experimental bands and take note of Merriweather. I'd go as far as to say Merriweather has set the standard for future psychedelic music. A few of my favorites are: "My Girls"; "Also Frightened"; and "Brothersport".

Thursday, December 25, 2008

CD Review: Veni Vidi Vicious

Artist: The Hives

1. The Hives - Declare Guerre Nucleaire - Grade: 9.6
2. Die, All Right! - Grade: 9.7
3. A Get Together to Tear It Apart - Grade: 9.6
4. Main Offender - Grade: 9.8
5. Outsmarted - Grade: 9.7
6. Hate to Say I Told You Say - Grade: 9.8
7. The Hives - Introduce The Metric System In Time - Grade: 9.7
8. Find Another Girl - Grade: 9.8
9. State Control - Grade: 9.8
10. Inspection Wise 1999- Grade: 9.7
11. Knock Knock - Grade: 9.8
12. Supply and Demand - Grade: 9.9

Final Grade: 9.7
Comments: I have not heard a better garage punk album. One could argue that all of the songs sound pretty much alike. That's true for the most part. I don't care though, this album is awesome.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Visit from the Co-Founder

Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the site
Étudiants' laziness
Had reached its height.
Two news posts, then YouTube?
A mention of me?
Nothing on President
Bob Mugabe?

It's called newsmap, buddy.
I sent you the link.
Refer to it
So your website won't stink.
But slow days on this blog
Aren't anything new.
Tonight everybody
Has something to do.

But since I'm a nice guy
I came back tonight
To bring back some quality
To my old site.
No one in my basement
But me and some mouses
So I'll kill some time
By going to some houses.

Already had dinner,
Can't unwrap 'til twelve
So into your psyches
This poem will delve.
Acting like Santa,
Put in Chris's sock
The mic that Bill Hicks used
To suck Satan's cock.

As for my friend Fallon,
I went to his place
And dropped off a fancy new
Electric bass.
To reach Hurton's place
I traveled through fog
To drop off some leashes
That fit on a dog.

He's a dog sitter
So give him your cash.
I can't do it.
Dogs give me a rash.
I gave Ryan Suh
A new tennis racket
That surely would get him
Into the top bracket.

Did you know Liz
Has a dog named Bichon?
I gave her a scooper
For poop on the lawn,
The living room, bed,
Kitchen, yard, and basement...
Liz just wonders
Where her bass guitar went.

And as we all know,
Glen cannot get laid
So I gave my friend
An inflatable maid.
I went down his chimney
And sneezed from the dust.
Too bad for me
That this trip was a bust!

Glen had been sleeping,
But woke up, said, "Hey!
Completely forgot
A new song of the day!"

So he went to the hallway,
Noticed something queer.
Saw me, asked
"What the hell you doing here?"

"Just dropping a gift off,"
I said with a smile.
Then he says,
"You haven't posted for a while.
You need to come back, Ben!
The site has sucked wind
Ever since you went
And left it behind!"

"I can't come back, Glen.
That would be so lame.
I'm in college, 'Wakefield'
Is in the site's name!
I live there no longer.
The city's my home.
I can't keep on writing
For a high school tome."

Glen replied to me,
"Yet you have the gall
To come to my house
With a big blow-up doll."
And I said, "Come on man,
You guys don't need me."
"That's not what you said
Back in stanza three!"

"Okay, so I lie,
But it's friendly advice!
All so you won't make the
Same mistake twice.
I know you have ideas to
Make this site great!"
Then remembered 2.0
And said "Oh, wait."

Then I told Glen,
"Look on the bright side for once.
Your numbers are decent,
God knows you're no dunce.
You and the others
Can get what you want
And make '09 the year
Of the Étudiant!

There's plenty of talent.
It hasn't been harnessed.
Guns haven't been slung yet.
Swords haven't been varnished."
Maganzini told me
"You suck at rhyming!"
"Hey, give me credit for
Rhythmic timing!"

As I headed home, heard,
"Will you post again?"
And then replied, "Only
Every now and then.
Étudiant's yours now.
Update it with care."
And then I left his house
And messed up my hair.

So let us look forward
To 2009
And end this poem,
Which has been so asinine.
Hope you all have
A fun-filled Christmas night.
Happy holidays, y'all,
And visit my new site!

Christmas Classic

Sorry, I couldn't get the actual video, but it's better than nothing. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas Eve

In honor of my favorite movie of all time...

Tech. Improves Spinal Surgery

ScienceDaily (Dec. 23, 2008) — Using a three-dimensional (3D) image-guided system to help place screws in the spines of patients results in safe and accurate surgery with a decrease in the number of misplaced screws, and subsequent injuries, seen in more traditional operations, say neurosurgeons at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

In the Dec. 9 online edition of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Mayo physicians published the largest study yet using 3D image-guided technology to place screws in the spine for spinal fusion procedures. The screws are used to stabilize the spine in patients who suffer from collapsed discs or compressed nerves.

Less than 1 percent of the screws were misplaced in the study.

Russia to Increase Nuclear Missile Production

Russia has thrown down a new gauntlet to Barack Obama with an announcement that it will sharply increase production of strategic nuclear missiles.

In the latest of a series of combative moves by the Kremlin, a senior government official in Moscow said the Russian military would commission 70 strategic missiles over the next three years, as part of a massive rearmament programme which will also include short-range missiles, 300 tanks, 14 warships and 50 planes.

Military experts said the planned new arsenal was presumed to consist of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) rather than submarine-launched missiles. If this is the case, the plans represent a fourfold increase in the rate of ICBM deployment. The arsenal will include a new-generation, multiple-warhead ICBM called the RS-24. It was first test-fired in 2007, with first deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov boasting it was "capable of overcoming any existing or future missile defence systems". - Guardian


Ben Tan on Juicy Campus

First, he was on the Étudiant. Then he was on NECN. Now he's on Juicy Campus. Ben Tan is everywhere. I have my suspicions that he created a topic about himself, but hey that's just me.

Click here:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Support, Critcism and Fr. Roy Bourgeois

The news that peace activist Fr. Roy Bourgeois was threatened with excommunication for his support of women’s ordination unleashed a storm of commentary and reaction from various Catholic interest groups and around the blogosphere.

If the issue is settled for Rome, it is still wide open in some Catholic circles. In addition to the expected sharp division between those who applaud Bourgeois’ action and those who find it scandalous, people have posed thoughtful questions about conscience, and how and whether the church can force someone to violate his conscience. Others, in what amounts to a fairly robust discussion of the question of women’s ordination, raise issues of history and women’s place in the early church based on an understanding of scripture and archaeological evidence. - National Catholic Reporter

I really appreciate what he has done in championing human rights (creating the SOA watch), but I do disagree with his women ordination point of view.

Back to the USSR Days

MOSCOW (AP) - New legislation backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would allow Russian authorities to label any government critic a traitor—a move that rights activists said Wednesday was a chilling throwback to times of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

The bill, which is expected to become law, would expanded the definition of treason to include damaging Russia’s constitutional order, sovereignty or territorial integrity. That, rights activists said, would essentially let authorities interpret any act against state as treason—a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Activists said that would catapult Russia’s justice system back to the times of Stalin’s purges, calling it “legislation in the spirit of Stalin and Hitler.”

“It returns the Russian justice to the times of 1920-1950s,” the activists, which included Moscow Helsinki Group head Lyudmila Alexeyeva and Civic Assistance director Svetlana Gannushkina, said in a joint statement. - Alex Jones Infowars

I don't think rights activists should be the only ones upset. All people should realize how incredibly wrong this is.

Song of the Day (12/23/08)

Johnny Cash - Orange Blossom Special*

Look a-yonder comin'
Comin' down that railroad track
Hey, look a-yonder comin'
Comin' down that railroad track
It's the Orange Blossom Special
Bringin' my baby back

Well, I'm going down to Florida
And get some sand in my shoes
Or maybe Californy
And get some sand in my shoes
I'll ride that Orange Blossom Special
And lose these New York blues

"Say man, when you going back to Florida?"
"When am I goin' back to Florida? I don't know, don't reckon I ever will."
"Ain't you worried about getting your nourishment in New York?"
"Well, I don't care if I do-die-do-die-do-die-do-die."

Hey talk about a-ramblin'
She's the fastest train on the line
Talk about a-travellin'
She's the fastest train on the line
It's that Orange Blossom Special
Rollin' down the seaboard line

*Brings back good memories of NHD

The Worst School In America?

Faux news as Chris would say.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Influences

How could I forget these guys and this gal?

101) Timothy Leary
102) Terrence Mckenna
103) Ken Kesey/Merry Pranksters
104) Atticus Finch
105) Holden Caulfield
106) Aldous Huxley
107) Albert Hoffman
108)Jim Morrison
109) Lester Bangs
110) Chuck Klostermen
111) Socrates
112) Plato
113) Aristotle
114) Kevin Smith
115) Tucker Max
116) Simpsons
117) Judy Blume
118) Dr. Seuss
ehh, if I think of others, I'll mention them later.

John Donne Quotes

I think John Donne is a wise man:

Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so. For, those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow. Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.

Wicked is not much worse than indiscreet.

The Bill You Don't Know About

So in April 2008, George Bushed signed S.1858:

Amends the Public Health Service Act to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to award grants to eligible entities to: (1) provide screening, counseling, or health care services to newborns and children having or at risk for heritable disorders; (2) provide education and training in newborn screening and congenital, genetic, and metabolic disorders to health care professionals and newborn screening laboratory personnel; (3) develop and deliver educational programs about newborn screening, counseling, testing, follow-up, treatment, and specialty services to parents, families, and patient advocacy and support groups; and (4) establish, maintain, and operate a system to assess and coordinate treatment relating to congenital, genetic, and metabolic disorders.
And Ron Paul, arguing against the bill, had this to say:
"I cannot support legislation...that exceeds the Constitutional limitations on federal power or in any way threatens the liberty of the American people. I must oppose it."
I agree with Congressman Paul.

Obesity Tax?

Gov. Paterson, as part of a $121 billion budget to be unveiled Tuesday, will propose an "obesity tax" of about 15% on nondiet drinks.

This means a Diet Coke might sell for a $1 - even as the same size bottle of its calorie-rich alter ego would go for $1.15.

Paterson's budget also calls for a 3% cut in education spending, a $620-a-year tuition hike at SUNY and a $600 increase at CUNY - and about $3.5 billion in health care cuts, a source said.

The Democratic governor will not call for a broad-based income tax boost, but he will push to restore the sales tax on clothing and footwear. - NY Daily News
Gotta love those damn liberals. Nawt

CD Review: Repeater

1. Turnover - Grade: 9.7
2. Repeater - Grade: 9.4
3. Brendan # One - Grade: 9.0
4. Merchandise - Grade: 9.6
5. Blueprint - Grade: 9.3
6. Sieve-Fisted Find - Grade: 8.4
7. Greed - Grade: 8.5
8. Two Beats Off - Grade: 9.0
9. Styrofoam - Grade: 9.1
10. Reprovisional - Grade: 9.0
11. Shut the Door - Grade: 9.5
12. Song Number One - Grade: 9.2
13. Joe Number One - Grade: 8.8
14. Break-In - Grade: 8.9

Total Grade: 9.1 - Excellent

Comments: This definitely goes down as one of the greatest albums of all time. I hear so many different influences and sounds within this album. I hear heart-pounding punk, noise and dissonance. Even though I'm not too fond of some of the heavier punk tunes (just preference), I still owe a lot of respect to the simplistic songwriting embodied within these tracks. Take "Greed" for example. "YOU WANTED EVERYTHING. YOU NEEDED EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING IS...GREED. That doesn't seem like a lot, but it gets the point across. By the way, we are all bigots so filled with hatred. We release our poisons like Styrofoam. Just sayin'. This album makes me want to sit down, learn how to play the guitar correctly, blast my shitty amp to the highest possible volume, and just jam. Many of the songs suffer from weird phenomena that I like to call "Repeater Syndromes." It's not a bad syndrome or anything, it's just that a lot of the songs have hooks similar to ones in the song "Repeater." Chris was on the money when he said "Merchandise" was a great song. I do prefer "Turnover" just a tad bit more. It reminds me of Sonic Youth. Overall, I highly recommend this album to any fan of heavy music. Thanks to Chris for giving me an amazing disc!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Influences

Here's a wide, diverse, list of folks and organizations that have influenced me in one way or another over the years. Many of these individuals or institutions only foster certain ideas that have shaped my philosophy, and not everything they said or did I agree with, and in fact many instances I condemn some of their views and actions. Ok, here we go, in no particular order:

1) Family, Friends, Teachers, and others in my life
2) Bill Hicks
3) John Lennon
4) Noam Chomsky
5) Howard Zinn
6) Abbie Hoffman/ Yippies
7) David Dellinger
8) Jerry Rubin
9) Emma Goldman
10) Jello Biafra
11)Quentin Tarantino
12) John Waters
13) Andy Warhol
14) RATM
15) Tom Hayden
16) Ralph Nader
17) Ron Paul/ YAL
18) Alex Jones/Info War/ Prison Planet
19) Allen Ginsburg
20) J.D. Salinger
21) Hunter S. Thompson
22) Ayn Rand
23) Jack Kerouac
24) Kurt Cobain
25) Z Magazine
26) Democracy Now
27) Republic Magazine
28)Friedrich Nietzsche
29) Ralph Waldo Emerson
30) Mahatma Gandhi
31) Martin Luther King
32) Malcolm X
33) Woody Allen
34) Leonard Peltier
35) Mumia Abu Jammal
36) Bob Marley
37) Che Guevara
39) Adam Smith
40) Karl Marx
41) Cynthia McKinney
42) Mike Gravel
43) George Orwell
44) Anton Lavey/Satanic Mass
45) Shamanism
46) Budda
47) Axis of Justice
48) Michael Moore
49) Stephen King
50) Black Panthers
51) White Panthers
52) AK Press
53) Alexander Berkman
54) Judge James P. Gray
55) Gary Webb
56) Kevin Booth
57) Libertarian Alternative
58) Bitch
59) Stanley Kubrick
60) George Carlin
61) Johnny Cash
62) Gore Vidal
63) Gary Johnson
64) Naomi Klein
65) Napoleon Hill
66) Cameron Crowe
67) Jesse Ventura
68) PJ O'Rourke
69) Thomas Jefferson
70) All Enlightenment thinkers, especially Voltaire
71) Jesus/Bible
72) Steve Albini
73) Henry Rollins
74) Ian Mackaye
75) Calvin Johnson
76) Daniel Johnston
77) Daniel and Phillip Berrigan
78) Richard Wright
79) Anti-Flag
80) Against Me!
81) Patrick Henry
82) Daniel Shays
83) Eugene V. Debbs
84) Woody Guthrie
85) Bob Dylan
86) Phil Ochs
87) John Sinclair
89) Cindy Sheehan
90) Lou Reed
91) Iggy Pop
92) Ramones
93) ADL
94) Rachel Scott/ Rachel's Challenge
95) Frank Zappa
96) Maynard James Keenan/Tool
97) Sigmund Freud
98) Carl Jung
99) Lenny Bruce
100) Richard Pryor
..... and too many others to mention. Maybe I'll do a part 2 sometime.

2 Hour Delay (Maybe More?)

Wakefield Public Schools has a two hour delay scheduled for Monday, December 22nd due to icy road conditions.

In the event the weather conditions worsen, school may need to be canceled. If this occurs, the local news stations will be contacted to disseminate this information to the community.

Please check the list of school closings in the A.M. - Wakefield Public Schools
How could conditions possibly worsen?

Carol Chomsky, dead at 78

"Carol Chomsky, a linguist and education specialist whose work helped illuminate the ways in which language comes to children, died on Friday at her home in Lexington, Mass. She was 78.

The cause was cancer, her sister-in-law Judith Brown Chomsky said.

A nationally recognized authority on the acquisition of spoken and written language, Professor Chomsky was on the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education from 1972 until her retirement in 1997. In retirement, she was a frequent traveling companion of her husband, the linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky, as he delivered his public lectures." - New York Times
Our thoughts are with Noam and his family.

Glen Davis Injured In Car Accident

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Celtic forward Glen Davis was injured in an automobile accident on the Massachusetts Turnpike Sunday as he drove to the TD Banknorth Garden for the game against the New York Knicks.

Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said the accident happened at about 2:30 p.m. and Davis suffered a concussion and whiplash. The cause of the accident was not known, though it was snowing in the Boston area much of the day.

There isn't a lot more information known about this.

Song of the Day (12/21/08)

Immortal Technique - Freedom of Speech

Lyrics are provided in the video.

U.S Troops To Increase In Afghan.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The top U.S. military officer said Saturday that the Pentagon could double the number of American forces in Afghanistan by next summer to 60,000 - the largest estimate of potential reinforcements ever publicly suggested.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that between 20,000 and 30,000 additional U.S. troops could be sent to Afghanistan to bolster the 31,000 already there.

This year has been the deadliest for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban for hosting al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Suicide attacks and roadside bombs have become more dangerous, and Taliban fighters have infiltrated wide swaths of countryside and now roam in provinces on Kabul's doorstep.

Shouldn't be double, but rather cut in half.

A Good Deed Goes Punished

No good deed goes unpunished, or so goes the saying.

Such was the case with Lisa Torti, who is being sued for pulling a now-paralyzed friend from the wreckage of a Los Angeles car accident in 2004.

The victim's lawyers claim the Good Samaritan bumbled the rescue and caused injury by yanking her friend "like a rag doll" to safety.
But Torti -- now a 30-year-old interior designer from Las Vegas -- said she thought she had seen smoke and feared the car would explode. She claims she was only trying to help her friend, Alexandra Van Horn, and her own life has been adversely affected by the incident. - ABCNews
"But I was just trying to help!"

Seasons Greetings

I felt this was perfect for Christmas time! I strongly disagree with many of her points, but at the same time I can see her point and I find it extremely fascinating and, as history as demonstrated, very influential. I particularly detest how she only refers to humans as men, what about the other 50 %? haha. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Tour of UMASS Amherst

Congress Gets A Raise

A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.

Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it. “As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan group. “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.”

“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan group. “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.” -
Not surprising.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Global Warming Dissenters Speak Up

POZNAN, Poland, December 18, 2008 - The UN global warming conference which concluded Friday in Poland faced a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe who criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. A newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report was released last week featuring the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN.

The report has added about 250 scientists (and growing) in 2008 to the over 400 scientists who spoke out in 2007. The over 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. - LifeSiteNews
The Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever, went as far to say "global warming has become a new religion."

Drink Review: IBC Root Beer

Comments: The best. That's all.
Grade: 10 out of 10

Thursday, December 18, 2008

EU Resists Push To Limit Free Speech

GENEVA – Islamic proposals to ban criticism of religion, which have gathered strength since the publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad two years ago, threaten to derail an already troubled U.N. anti-racism conference planned for next year.

The European Union rejects suggestions by Algeria — backed by other Muslim and African countries — that limits on free speech are needed to stop the publication of offensive articles and images.

Supporters of the proposal, who have been pushing for such a ban to be included in international anti-discrimination charters, want it discussed in April at a high-level United Nations anti-racism meeting in Geneva. - Yahoo!

Good job, EU.

Value of Bailouts > All Wars

( – The total value of the bailouts undertaken by the federal government in 2008 now exceeds the combined cost of every major war the United States has ever engaged in, according to a comparison of war costs calculated by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the value of the bailouts as calculated by Bloomberg News or Bianco Research.

According to CRS, all major U.S. wars (including such events as the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, but not the invasion of Panama or the Kosovo War), cost a total of $7.2 trillion in inflation-adjusted 2008 dollars.
The bailouts total is around $8.5 trillion.

Song of the Day (12/18/08)

No Age - Neck Escaper

All these keys don't work
None are coming through
All the shit piled up
Smells like someone's died

Don't forget to put the right side down
If you don't they won't be back for years
Don't forget to put the right side down
If you don't they won't be back for years
And that's why, i don't think
You should go out alone anymore
Take the keys out the merica still trip up
and you spilled it all over us

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Breast Cancer Inversely Proportionate To...

(AP) -- Women who perform the act of fellatio and swallow semen on a regular basis, one to two times a week, may reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 40 percent, a North Carolina State University study found.

Doctors had never suspected a link between the act of fellatio and breast cancer, but new research being performed at North Carolina State University is starting to suggest that there could be an important link between the two.
The most awkward Étudiant post in quite a while.

Mass. Residents Least Likely To Die Young

The darker the blue, the less likely you are to die young. Courtesy: Fox News

Hole Found In Earth's Magnetic Field

LOS ANGELES -- Recent satellite observations have revealed the largest breach yet seen in the magnetic field that protects Earth from most of the sun's violent blasts, researchers reported Tuesday. The discovery was made last summer by Themis, a fleet of five small NASA satellites.

Scientists have long known that the Earth's magnetic field, which guards against severe space weather, is similar to a drafty old house that sometimes lets in violent eruptions of charged particles from the sun. Such a breach can cause brilliant auroras or disrupt satellite and ground communications.

Observations from Themis show the Earth's magnetic field occasionally develops two cracks, allowing solar wind a stream of charged particles spewing from the sun at 1 million mph to penetrate the Earth's upper atmosphere. - Washington Post

Brian Li would have posted this...except he hasn't written in months.

Chomsky on Adam Smith

"I didn't do any research at all on Smith. I just read him. There's no research. Just read it. He's pre-capitalist, a figure of the Enlightenment. What we would call capitalism he despised. People read snippets of Adam Smith, the few phrases they teach in school. Everybody reads the first paragraph of The Wealth of Nations where he talks about how wonderful the division of labor is. But not many people get to the point hundreds of pages later, where he says that division of labor will destroy human beings and turn people into creatures as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human being to be. And therefore in any civilized society the government is going to have to take some measures to prevent division of labor from proceeding to its limits.

He did give an argument for markets, but the argument was that under conditions of perfect liberty, markets will lead to perfect equality. That's the argument for them, because he thought that equality of condition (not just opportunity) is what you should be aiming at. It goes on and on. He gave a devastating critique of what we would call North-South policies. He was talking about England and India. He bitterly condemned the British experiments they were carrying out which were devastating India.

He also made remarks which ought to be truisms about the way states work. He pointed out that its totally senseless to talk about a nation and what we would nowadays call "national interests." He simply observed in passing, because it's so obvious, that in England, which is what he's discussing -- and it was the most democratic society of the day -- the principal architects of policy are the "merchants and manufacturers," and they make certain that their own interests are, in his words, "most peculiarly attended to," no matter what the effect on others, including the people of England who, he argued, suffered from their policies. He didn't have the data to prove it at the time, but he was probably right.

This truism was, a century later, called class analysis, but you don't have to go to Marx to find it. It's very explicit in Adam Smith. It's so obvious that any ten-year-old can see it. So he didn't make a big point of it. He just mentioned it. But that's correct. If you read through his work, he's intelligent. He's a person who was from the Enlightenment. His driving motives were the assumption that people were guided by sympathy and feelings of solidarity and the need for control of their own work, much like other Enlightenment and early Romantic thinkers. He's part of that period, the Scottish Enlightenment.

The version of him that's given today is just ridiculous. But I didn't have to any research to find this out. All you have to do is read. If you're literate, you'll find it out. I did do a little research in the way it's treated, and that's interesting. For example, the University of Chicago, the great bastion of free market economics, etc., etc., published a bicentennial edition of the hero, a scholarly edition with all the footnotes and the introduction by a Nobel Prize winner, George Stigler, a huge index, a real scholarly edition. That's the one I used. It's the best edition. The scholarly framework was very interesting, including Stigler's introduction. It's likely he never opened The Wealth of Nations. Just about everything he said about the book was completely false. I went through a bunch of examples in writing about it, in Year 501 and elsewhere.

But even more interesting in some ways was the index. Adam Smith is very well known for his advocacy of division of labor. Take a look at "division of labor" in the index and there are lots and lots of things listed. But there's one missing, namely his denunciation of division of labor, the one I just cited. That's somehow missing from the index. It goes on like this. I wouldn't call this research because it's ten minutes' work, but if you look at the scholarship, then it's interesting.

I want to be clear about this. There is good Smith scholarship. If you look at the serious Smith scholarship, nothing I'm saying is any surprise to anyone. How could it be? You open the book and you read it and it's staring you right in the face. On the other hand if you look at the myth of Adam Smith, which is the only one we get, the discrepancy between that and the reality is enormous," Noam Chomsky, Class Warfare.

I'll have to read some Smith to find out on my own, but this is definitely intriguing.


Last year on December 17, we got a 90 minute delay for a very low amount of snowfall. Not the case this year even though we did get about 1-2 inches. Not very surprising, eh?

Funny Pic of the Day (12/17)

Song of the Day (12/17/08)

The Walkmen - On The Water

All the windows are glowing
The branches bending low
The skyline is swinging
Rocking back and forth
Walking down this dirt road
Watching at the sky
It’s all I can do
It’s all I can do

All the years keep rolling
The decades flying by
The days are long
So here’s one to the pigeons
And the tugboats on the river
Here’s one to you
For walking in my shoes

Oh you know I’d never leave you
No matter how hard I try
You know I’d never leave you
And that’s just how it is

But Molly
She’s like you
Oh the static
That is in everyone but you
Oh it’s funny
To think it through
That is deep
Everyone but you

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CD Review: An End Has a Start

I knew An End Has a Start was going to be amazing from the very start. The album opener, "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" is a unique song that resembles Joy Division and, I'll admit, Interpol. In "Smokers..." there is one particular point in the song that strikes me: a short interlude of singer Tom Smith's deep vocals segueing into heavy drums and a singing choir. With the choir singing, Smith's voice cuts back into the song. Great stuff. "An End Has A Start" is a catchy song, especially with the cool guitar effects and distortion. "Bones" isn't all that different in that department, either. It's upbeat, yet dark -- the benchmark of '80s post-punk. Danceable? Yes, very. "When Anger Shows" features Smith's slow and powerful voice accompanied by a forceful variety of instruments. But right when you thought the song was going to stay slow, it picks up only to slow down again in the second verse. "The Racing Rats," perhaps made famous on the Étudiant from Ben Tan's eclectic cover, is hard to describe. All I can think of is the light show during the live performance of this song I saw at the Orpheum last January. It was truly something special. "Escape the Nest" deserves a lot of respect. I often overlook it when listening to this album, but it's got this certain characteristic. It's definitely the guitar. It's glooooomy. Overall, An End Has a Start is quality. It's too bad though: not all the songs were as epic as the ones I described.

: 8.5 out of 10

Cheney Says Waterboarding Was Appropriate

Vice President Cheney said the waterboarding of terrorist suspects was appropriate and that none of the methods used to get information from top al Qaeda members went too far.

In a sweeping interview with ABC News, Cheney argued that the Bush administration’s policies in the war on terror have been “crucial” to keeping the country safe.

“We’ve been able to defeat or disrupt all further attempts to strike the homeland,” Cheney stated. “It’s enormously important.”-
He went on to say the U.S "[doesn't] do torture." Liar.

582,000 Canadian Jobs At Stake

A whopping 582,000 direct and indirect jobs would be lost in Canada over the next five years if the ailing Big Three US auto makers shut down their Ontario operations, said a study Tuesday.

If output is reduced by 50 percent, 296,000 jobs would be lost nationally, said the 11-page report prepared for the Ontario Manufacturing Council.

"The economic consequences of either a partial or total shutdown of the Detroit Three are stark," said the report.

"Either scenario is sufficient to push Ontario into a deep recession while the nation may barely escape one in the 50-percent reduction scenario." -

In Canada, there is a $2.8 billion dollar bailout plan on the table for the Big Three.

5 DECA Gold Medalists At Districts

The District IV DECA Conference turned out to be very successful as five WHS students placed first in their respective categories on Tuesday, December 16 at the Radisson Hotel in Chelmsford. The team of Nick Blauvelt and Kaela Petralia competed as a group in the Financial Analysis category and won gold. The team of Kristen D'Alelio and Charlie Doyle competed as a group in the Buying and Merchandising category and won gold. In the individual Accounting Applications category, Glen Maganzini won gold. The five will travel to the Copley Hotel in Boston for the three day State Career Development Conference held annually in March. The three other students who did not place will also compete in the State Conference, but as Quiz Bowl entrants.

Song of the Day (12/16/2008)

Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnals

I was following the pack
all swallowed in their coats
with scarves of red tied ’round their throats
to keep their little heads
from fallin’ in the snow
And I turned ’round and there you go
And, Michael, you would fall
and turn the white snow red as strawberries
in the summertime..

Boy Kills Mom Over Halo 3

ELYRIA — Daniel Petric shot his parents -- killing his mother -- because they wouldn't allow him to play the violent video game Halo 3, prosecutors told a judge at the boy's murder trial Monday.

The trial, on charges of murder and attempted murder, opened Monday for Petric, 17, of Brighton Township. He is being tried without a jury before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge. -

A classic example of going way too far. And by the way, that kid is nuts and deserves to serve a life sentence.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Song of the Day (12/15/08)

Black Lips - Dirty Hands

we'll be together
'cause all i really want is you
we'll be forever
and i'm gonna stick with you
i'm wearin' leather
and i really think it's cool
to do whatever
'cause you're goooonna do
what'you wanna doooooooo

do you really wanna hold my dirty haaaaands
do you really wanna hold my dirty haaaaands
do you really wanna hold my dirty haaaaands

me and bobby went to tijuana this summer
we rode donkeys in the sand
and smoke chiba by the water
there i got a tattoo of a chupacabra on my belly button
and bobby got a tattoo that said mexico city 3003!

we'll be together
'cause all i really want is you
we'll be forever
and i'm gonna stick with you
i'm wearin' leather
and i really think it's cool
to do whatever
'cause you're goooonna do
what'you wanna doooooooo

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bush Nearly Hit By Shoes

Church/History Words Removed

Oxford University Press has removed words like "aisle", "bishop", "chapel", "empire" and "monarch" from its Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like "blog", "broadband" and "celebrity". Dozens of words related to the countryside have also been culled.

The publisher claims the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society.

But academics and head teachers said that the changes to the 10,000 word Junior Dictionary could mean that children lose touch with Britain's heritage. - Telegraph

Relativism is pathetic.

Man Builds Robot Girlfriend

A Canadian man, apparently unable to find the perfect woman, has done the next best thing — he's built himself one.

Le Trung, a 33-year-old software engineer who lives with his parents in Brampton, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, says he's spent about $20,000 so far on Aiko, a 5-foot-tall female android with clear skin, a slim if shapely figure and a wonderful disposition.

"She can recognize faces, she can identify medication, she can even butter your toast," Le Trung tells the Toronto Globe and Mail. - FoxNews

This guy is pathetic.

Song of the Day (12/14/08)

Vampire Weekend - Exit Music (For A Film) Cover

Wake... from your sleep
The drying of your tears
Today.. we escape
We escape.

Pack and get dressed
Before your father hears us
Before.. all hell.. breaks loose.

Breathe... keep breathing
Don't lose.. your nerve.
Breathe... keep breathing
I can't do this.. alone.

Sing us a song
A song to keep us warm
There's such a chill
Such a CHILL.

You can laugh
A spineless laugh
We hope your rules and wisdom choke you
Now we are one
In everlasting peace

We hope that you choke.. that you choke
We hope that you choke.. that you choke
We hope that you choke.. that you choke

Friday, December 12, 2008

Song of the Day (12/12/08)

The Rifles - Repeated Offender

Not one of my kind of people though that’s part of our lives
Not one of the type of things that I like to do with my time
And I don’t see and don’t believe he’ll ever get it right ‘really’
Not one of my kind of people

Dont want group aggravation he’s always there on the case
Love is not your vocation but like to get in the face

Of everybody here who looks you up a funny way ‘really’
Not one of my kind of people

Now don’t you pretend that when you wake in the morning
Your lying to yourself it will happen again
Repeated offender you should come with a warning
Its embarrassing for all of your friends

A New Con Con Coming?

A public policy organization has issued an urgent alert stating affirmative votes are needed from only two more states before a Constitutional Convention could be assembled in which "today's corrupt politicians and judges" could formally change the U.S. Constitution's "'problematic' provisions to reflect the philosophical and social mores of our contemporary society."

"Don't for one second doubt that delegates to a Con Con wouldn't revise the First Amendment into a government-controlled privilege, replace the 2nd Amendment with a 'collective' right to self-defense, and abolish the 4th, 5th, and 10th Amendments, and the rest of the Bill of Rights," said the warning from the American Policy Institute.

"Additions could include the non-existent separation of church and state, the 'right' to abortion and euthanasia, and much, much more," the group said. - WorldNetDaily

This has angered Ron Paul.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Random Song Blurt Out Of The Day


Courtesy of Minutemen's "Little Man With A Gun In His Hand"

New Red Sox Road Jerseys

As a certain someone said: "We're the Redsox. We should have red not blue. The person that thought of this should be fired."

A Rant On "All The Pretty Horses"

Since I'm a major procrastinator, I didn't feel like starting my All the Pretty Horses essay early. Instead, I penned a rant on the novel. Here it is:

In one of the most poorly written novels of all time, Cormac McCarthy describes characters in great detail, but fails to depict their adventures in a tone rousing to readers. McCarthy overuses motifs to the point where the reader is besieged beyond belief. Corm Corm, we know you are adept and stylistic in incorporating blood, skulls, landscapes, and wait for it – horses. Born in Tennessee, the best you could do was presume what life in the south was like. Your stereotypical portrayal of the culture is derisory at best. You thought you were too good for college so you didn’t even finish. Your whole trying to one-up the world needs to end. We all know Albert Erskine is the brain child behind all of your work. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if Erskine, an old time Faulkner editor, penned All the Pretty Horses, but you wanted to take credit for it to boost your unbounded self-worth. Why don’t you give interviews, Corm? Because you don’t write your books, maybe? Loner. You don’t even know traditional punctuation rules. An English 101 class would have helped, Einstein, wouldn’t it have? Don’t give me your “well, I did it on purpose” crap. No, you didn’t. Punctuation rules aren’t included in a thesaurus, bud. Your extensive use of vocabulary is done to make the reader feel brainless. Couple that with your long sentences and you have succeeded in that regard. Don’t you feel special now Cormac? Don’t cha? Oh yeah and Spanish? An Irishman trying to speak Spanish. Wow. English-to-Spanish dictionary much? There’s minimal dialogue because you thought rambling was preferable in order to make you sound better. In sum, you need to retire. You already amassed a fortune writing books about the Old South. You are profiting off of reader stupidity. So called intellectuals who read your book should be ashamed if they can’t realize your wretched attempt at good writing.

Palm Pilots May Bridge Gap

ScienceDaily (Dec. 11, 2008) — Palm Pilots already perform a variety of functions, and in the future, they may be used as a therapeutic tool that benefits people with personality disorders. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher used Palm Pilots as electronic diaries to record and analyze mood variability in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and found that the devices helped bridge an important communication gap between therapists and patients.
BPD is said to affect only about 2% of the population.

Greg Cassel Found Dead At 57

SAN JOSE, Calif. - At 8:20 a.m. Tuesday, police and paramedics entered a mobile home in San Bernardino and discovered the body of Matt Cassel's father, Greg, a devastating trauma for Cassel's family and yet another shock to the Patriots.

Greg Cassel's death, at 57, threw into question whether his son will play Sunday against the Raiders in Oakland, a must-win game for the Patriots in their late-season push for a playoff berth. Cassel did not participate in practice yesterday at San Jose State University, leaving the team to be with his family in Southern California.

Coach Bill Belichick did not have a timetable for Cassel's return and did not say whether he expected Cassel would play Sunday.

"Right now, we are just taking it day to day," Belichick said. "He's going to take care of what he has to do." - Boston Globe

I thought this was insensitive on the Globe's part. It seems like the writers only care about Cassel's status while making light of his father's death.

Song of the Day (12/11/08)

Iggy Pop and the Stooges - I Need Somebody

But I am your crazy driver
Honey I'm sure to steer you 'round
I am dying in any story
I'm only living and (when I) sing this song
(just the same, baby...)

I need somebody, baby
I need somebody, too
I need somebody, baby
Just like you

But I'm losing a lot of my feelings
And I'm running out of friends
You know you lied to me in the beginning
Tried to bring me to the end

I need somebody, baby
I need somebody, too
I need somebody, baby
Just like you

Well I was trying to leave this signal
In a fury an (it) is too strong
Yea I got my reputation
Write me anyway, not too long

I need somebody, baby
I need somebody, too
I need somebody, baby
Just like you

Funny Pic of the Day (12/11)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Man's Suicide Broadcasted

SKY TV will broadcast a British television first tonight -- an American man committing suicide.

Craig Ewert, who had been living for many years in Yorkshire, North England, ended his life in 2006 in an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, rather than live with motor neurone disease that had left him paralyzed. He also invited Canadian filmmakers to capture his final moments, which will be broadcast this evening.

The documentary will show Ewert, 59, swallowing a lethal mixture of sedatives and switching off his life-support machine with his wife by his side.

The final exchange between husband and wife, who spent 37 years together, is captured on camera. His wife Mary Ewert says: "Can I give you a kiss?" He replies: "Of course." - ABC

Sad that assisted suicide is legal.

College Essays are Pointless

Section E: Essay
Please show us your soul. Limit 250 words.

Might as well be the case. seriously, what the hell is the point of these "show us who you are" essays? Isn't that what the interviews are for? Do people even read these fucking things?You want to know about my personality, huh? Want to know as much about me as you can? Bullshit. How many people are gonna write, "well, I do tend to be a dick sometimes...oh, and I hate gay people!"? Not to mention 90% of the important details of your life that can't be copy and pasted into a two inch long text box as part of an 18 page form that nobody's gonna fucking care about...unless you don't do it though, then you're screwed!

I'm getting a serious urge to send a steaming pile of shit with every form. You may think this is antagonistic- I disagree. Because I believe the remnants of my diet are going to tell a shitload more about me than any half-assed trite I can write on these stupid forms. Have a great day.

Oh, and sorry for the language. I'm a bit annoyed.

Pinochet Died Two Years Ago Today

Pinochet ruled for 17 years and during that time he basically resorted to just about every human rights violation in the lexicon of human rights abuse, if you want to put it like that.

Not only that, but he pioneered in South America the technique which is known as "forced disappearance" - which is when the security forces kidnap somebody and then deny their detention, secretly execute them and then conceal their fate - which has continued to this day. - Sebastian Brett, a Human Rights Campaigner


This is the death of a dictator who showed extreme cruelty to a section of his population. In this case death has robbed us of justice.

Formal justice may remain incomplete but history judged him and condemned him. - Mario Benedetti

Hopefully, Pinochet realized before his death what he did was incredibly wrong.