Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Walmart Worker Dead

A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.

The 34-year-old employee, a temporary maintenance worker, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

"They were working on him, but you could see he was dead, said Halcyon Alexander, 29. "People were still coming through."

Only a few stopped.

"They're savages," said shopper Kimberly Cribbs, 27. "It's sad. It's terrible." - Daily News
This is more defense for why I am anti-materialism.

Glen Dances (Or Boxes?)

I tried my best and I think I invented some damn good dance moves.

Funny Video

I was told that this guy had taken acid, then was left in a closet and his friends recorded what he said.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lil O'Reilly

Cow Tax Proposed By EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment on whether it is appropriate to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from automobiles under the Clean Air Act. In order to regulate automobile emissions, the EPA would first have to make a finding that all greenhouse gases endanger public health and safety and should be classified as a "pollutant."

Essentially, the EPA is ruling on whether or not GHG emissions should be classified as endangering public safety. If that finding is made, all GHGs including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide would have to be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

The problem with this approach is that once an endangerment finding is made, other provisions of the Clean Air Act are automatically triggered, creating much broader, costly regulation of other sectors of the economy, including agriculture. - Cattle News

Sounds like a pretty stupid idea.

Do They Look Alike?

Admittedly, I don't see it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wakefield Tops Melrose, 34-27

With thanks to Martin Hyppolite, more thanks to Martin Hyppolite, and even more thanks to Martin Hyppolite, the Wakefield Warriors were able to defeat the Melrose Red Raiders on Thanksgiving, 34-27. Hyppolite scored four TDs and easily rushed for 216 yards. He started off a little slow, but scored the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter. One of the reasons why the Warriors were also able to win was because Melrose QB Jack Pizzotti suffered a second half injury. In the first half, the Warriors had an incredibly difficult time containing the unbelievably quick Pizzotti, who had three TDs on the day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Who Really Cares?"

Pittsburgh City Council gave its first approval today to legislation requiring that anyone report a lost or stolen firearm report that within 24 hours or potentially face a $500 fine.

The 6-1 vote, with two abstentions, sets up a final vote likely next week, which would send the legislation to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl for his signature or veto, and then potentially to the courts, where similar measures have been challenged.

"Who really cares about it being unconstitutional?" said Councilwoman Tonya Payne, a supporter. "This is what's right to do, and if this means that we have to go out and have a court battle, then that's fine ... We have plenty of dead bodies coming up in our streets every single day, and that is unacceptable." - Post Gazette

Ron Paul is mad.

Women Tricked Into Foot Fetish Ploy

A Vancouver woman said she discovered Tuesday that a man with a foot fetish had tricked her into posing as a foot model.Shannon Caicedo, who owns a futon and bed store in the Vancouver Mall, said a man named Tracy came into her store last month and told her he needed video and pictures of feet for a school project."He said, 'I’m with the reflexology school and we're trying to get some pictures of people's feet,'" Caicedo said. - KPTV
He posted pictures of the woman's feet on She has an attorney and wants to warn other women about this.

Mumbai Under Attack

11:00 PM

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Thai authorities shut down Bangkok's second airport Thursday after it was overrun by anti-government protesters, completely cutting off the capital from air traffic as the prime minister rejected their demands to resign, deepening the country's crisis.

Thailand's powerful army commander, who has remained neutral in the conflict, stepped into the fray Wednesday, urging Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat to step down.

He also asked thousands of protesters to end their siege of the main international Suwarnabhumi airport since Tuesday night, which has forced authorities to shut down the facility and cancel hundreds of flights, drawing world attention to a turmoil that has reduced Thailand to a dysfunctional nation.

10:00 PM

(AP) – Teams of gunmen stormed luxury hotels, a popular restaurant, hospitals and a crowded train station in coordinated attacks across India’s financial capital Wednesday night, killing at least 82 people and taking Westerners hostage, police said. A group of suspected Muslim militants claimed responsibility.

Parts of the city remained under siege as dawn approached Thursday, with police and gunmen exchanging occasional gunfire at two hotels and an unknown number of people still held hostage, said A.N. Roy, a top police official. Soldiers also took up positions across the city.

A raging fire and explosions struck the landmark Taj Mahal hotel shortly after midnight. Screams could be heard and black smoke billowed from the century-old edifice on Mumbai’s waterfront. Firefighters sprayed water at the blaze and plucked people from windows and balconies with extension ladders.

The Étudiant will keep you updated.

Concert Review: No Age (Middle East)

It's always fun searching online for bands that play local all ages shows. Especially difficult is finding one at a small club-like venue. Not to worry for Chris, Ben, and I as we noticed No Age, an LA based noise rock band we saw back in July, scheduled to play at the Middle East Downstairs. Recalling No Age as one of the more preeminent live acts we've seen, we didn't hesitate to make the journey to Cambridge on Monday night.

Act One: Silk Flowers - I didn't really know what to expect from this trio. Judging from looks alone, I saw diversity. The guy on the left with the long hair seemed more apt as a 90s garage rock guitarist than a synthesizist (no such word, is there?). The center-man was just kind of there. That's not a bad thing. He was doing some heavy duty rocking out and I greatly admire that. The dude on the left handling the drum machine (and singing...if we can call it that), who I figured out is Aviram Cohen, reminded me of Mr. O'Brien in his youth (not that I know what O'Brien looked like back then). The group showed flashes of potential with catchy dub beats and a tribute (or seemingly so) to the post-punk/industrial scene of the '80s. I recall Ben comparing their music to '70s horror music, a fairly accurate comparison. I admittedly heard more Palm (the electronic one-man band from the first No Age show) than Kraftwerk. Overall, it was quite a respectable performance for a three song set.

Act Two: Soft Circle - Guitar. Drums. Electronic Percussion. Vocals. Hiram Akira Bharoocha can literally do it one song at that. He picks up the guitar and plays a one or two minute riff. He then goes over to the electronic percussion kit and mixes a string of noise. All the while he records a spacey chant. With the guitar riff, percussion noise, and vocals all on loop, he picks up his drum sticks and starts going nuts. Being able to do all of this effectively proves he is a masterful musician, but what impressed me even more were the songs themselves. They were more dub than anything else, but the heavy drum was really the kicker. Watch out for Soft Circle. That's all I have to say.

Act Three: No Age - Words really can't describe how good No Age is live. You kind of have to be there. Further, you kind of have to be in the front row. Starting things off with "Keechie" -- an experimental and instrumental track off their 2008 highly acclaimed CD release Nouns -- was a bit unexpected, but proved to be a great segue into more heavier, noise driven tunes. The crowd, rather shiftless during Silk Flowers and Soft Circle, went into an uproar as soon as Dean Allen Spunt, the drummer/vocalist, began pounding the bass drum. Randy Randall's near flawless guitar play was an excellent complement as usual. Lesser known songs like "Brain Burner", "Cappo", and "Sleeper Hold" drew great crowd involvement in the form of head banging and dancing while more popular songs like "Here Should Be My Home", "Eraser", and "Ripped Knees" put everyone into a comfortable position to rock out and bang into each other. Two particularly awesome moments I recall were: Randy Randall playing "Eraser" right in front of me (I could've and should've memorized the chords) and an attractive female, approximately my age, dancing and throwing herself around with ease (whilst not giving any shit at all). I was a little disappointed when No Age left the stage having not played the classic "Everybody's Down." Of course, they came back for an encore. The first encore included Aviram Cohen on vocals singing a cover of G.G Allin's "Don't Talk To Me." That was pretty much out of the blue, but awesome, and went along well with the pace of the previous set of songs. The second encore was in fact "Everybody's Down." This is definitely one of No Age's better songs (Chris would argue its their best) and ended in a spectacularly awesome way -- Randall crowd surfing while finishing the final minute of the song on guitar. He was thrown back on the stage and the concert ended. Amazing. Oh yeah, Aviram gave Ben and I high-fives. That was cool.

Final Comment: 3rd Best Concert Of All Time (Following Radiohead and Dinosaur. Jr/Meat Puppets/Built to Spill)

Atlantic Food Mart Closes

Atlantic Food Mart, a Reading 'landmark' according to the Boston Globe, closed down on Wednesday mainly because it faced fierce competition from two area corporate giants: Market Basket and Stop N' Shop. Only a few die-hard, loyal shoppers kept Atlantic from closing shop sooner. Oaktree Development recently purchased the property. The company will demolish Food Mart and erect a four story residential building in its place.

I think this whole scenario falls under the umbrella of "Shock Doctrine." Oaktree Development waited for a major disaster -- the opening of Market Basket and Stop N' Shop in Reading -- and then it capitalized on Food Mart's collapse. In particular, Market Basket's prices are just too low for any small-scale food market to compete. Loyal patrons will no longer be able to purchase their food at a place they came to love; instead they will "sell out" to the corporate behemoths by buying their products. Employees, like WHS's own Spencer Connell, are now on the unemployment line, forced to find new jobs (most likely at Market Basket or Stop N' Shop unless they switch careers). This kind of disaster capitalism isn't uncommon; supermarket giant Walmart is known for its forcing out of smaller businesses.

Stay tuned. I might just write about this in the next issue of the exPress.

You Can Vote Whoever You Like

Obama on the Left; McCain on the Right

C'mon kids, how could you forget Nader et al?

WHS Faculty Top Students, 49-46

In a fun-filled game -- albeit hardly as 'epic' and 'magical' as DJ James DiNanno called for it to be -- the WHS Faculty got the win over their student counterparts last night at the Charbonneau Fieldhouse, 49-46. Early on the game was quite close; the lead changed hands several times. In the final minutes, however, the faculty was able to take a commanding lead thanks to the inside skills of Mr. Cummings, who ended up suffering an ankle injury. The Warriors did rally behind from as many as twelve points, making the score about even. They couldn't seal the deal, despite a strong effort from a plethora of the players.

- Mr. Robertson: Who says that you can't be awesome at both tennis and basketball? Robertson scored a few baskets, ran well, and was pretty much everywhere on the court.
- Mr. Cummings: A force on the inside -- especially at the end when the faculty needed him most.
- James Beaton - Athletically manhandled basically everyone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

49-51 No/Yes Vote On Closing Gitmo

Nearly half of U.S. voters (49%) say the United States should not close the terrorist prison camp at Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba, but the identical number (49%) also say Barack Obama is Very likely to close it in the first year of his presidency.

Only 32% of voters say the Guantanamo prison camp should be closed, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. One-out-of-five (19%) are undecided. - Rasmussen Reports

Yet another case of people being widely misinformed.

Case Closed On Spyware

The case against Julie Amero is finally closed.

On Friday, prosecutors reached a plea agreement with the former Connecticut schoolteacher who at one time faced up to 40 years in prison after being convicted of endangering minors. The charges stemmed from a 2004 incident in which a computer loaded with spyware displayed pornography to her students.

State prosecutors dropped four felony charges of "risk of injury to a minor" against her, with Amero pleading guilty to a disorderly conduct misdemeanor, according to the Hartford Courant.

A jury convicted Amero of the felony charges in January 2007, but the presiding judge in the case, Hillary Strackbein, set aside that verdict five months later, essentially granting Amero a new trial. - New York Times
"Risk of injury to a minor" -- seriously?

FGCU Bans Holiday Displays

Christmas is just 30 days away, but Santa Claus won't be stopping by Florida Gulf Coast University this holiday.

He's not allowed on campus.

FGCU administration has banned all holiday decorations from common spaces on campus and canceled a popular greeting card design contest, which is being replaced by an ugly sweater competition. In Griffin Hall, the university's giving tree for needy preschoolers has been transformed into a "giving garden."

The moves boil down to political correctness. -

I think we can all agree that PC is stupid.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This Week Will Be Good

Concert Vs. Show Vs. Gig

I've often pondered...what's the difference between a concert, a show, and a gig?

Concert: A concert is a rather large musical event in an open air stadium, arena, or theatre. The acts are relatively well known (in most cases), but can just as commonly be indie. Examples: Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello at the Ryan Center; Morrissey at the Orpheum; Radiohead at the Comcast Center.

Show: A show is a smaller sized performance, marked by indie performers. These indie acts can be high profile or low -- it really doesn't make a difference; the benchmark characteristic of a show is its low capacity. Examples: No Age at the Middle East Downstairs; Psychedelic Furs at the former Avalon.

Gig: A gig is the smallest of performances. Consisting of typically only one act, a gig can take place at a bar, a restaurant, or even at a home. Examples: Ben Tan's backyard performances

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sites Worth A Visit:

Personal note: I'm not sure if this will be a recurring thing: I just heart anagrams.

If you expect to see youtube on here anytime soon, don't hold your breath. There's no need to focus on sites everyone already visits. No, this will be for sites that aren't quite as well known, though definitely should be. This is SWAV-Sites Worth A Visit.

Let's start off the first addition of SWAV with a personal favorite: To give you a picture, think of Wikipedia... Now, instead of being about random shit no one cares about, imagine it is about every single solitary interesting facet of television, film, literature, internet culture, and all mediums in between. And now, most importantly, imagine it's actually interesting. That's TVTropes in a nutshell. Every page is a concise, tongue-in-cheek explanation of anything you need or want to know about common writer themes, ideas, plot twists, and more- or tropes, as they are lovingly (or not so much) called. Trust me, it may not seem like much, but it's Better Than it Sounds (a page title, by the way). If you visit, I can assure you you'll get at least moderately addicted to the "Random Page" button. Plus, the site is so large and the user base so friendly that you can never get tired of it. I'd have to give the site a 9.5/10, only because I've never seen the perfect website before.

To visit the site just go to The front page will give you more than enough of an explanation (probably far better than the one I gave you here)
This is open to all Étudiants, by the way. It'll be interesting to see everybody's interests.

Rumsfield on Iraq Troop Surge

THE surge in Iraq has been one of the most impressive military accomplishments in recent years. It has been so successful that the emerging consensus is that what may now be needed in Afghanistan is a similar surge of American forces. President-elect Barack Obama campaigned on his intention to do so, as did his former opponent, John McCain.

As one who is occasionally — and incorrectly — portrayed as an opponent of the surge in Iraq, I believe that while the surge has been effective in Iraq, we must also recognize the conditions that made it successful. President Bush’s bold decision to deploy additional troops to support a broader counterinsurgency strategy of securing and protecting the Iraqi people was clearly the right decision. More important, though, it was the right decision at the right time. - New York Times
There's a such thing as an effective troop surge?

A New New Deal?

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday that he thinks the economic stimulus package should be between $500 billion and $700 billion.

In an interview with ABC's "This Week," Schumer said, "I believe we need a pretty big package here." He added that Congress is working on getting the economic package to President-elect Barack Obama by Inauguration Day. "I think it has to be deep. In my view, it has to be between $500 and $700 billion, and that's because our economy is in serious, serious trouble."

"It's a little like having a new New Deal, but you have to do it before the Depression. Not after," Schumer added. - Politico

Sounds like a bit much, but what do I know?

Vatican Forgives Lennon's Remark

"The remark by John Lennon, which triggered deep indignation mainly in the United States, after many years sounds only like a 'boast' by a young working-class Englishman faced with unexpected success, after growing up in the legend of Elvis and rock and roll," Vatican daily Osservatore Romano said.

The article, marking the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' The White Album, went on to praise the pop band.

"The fact remains that 38 years after breaking up, the songs of the Lennon-McCartney brand have shown an extraordinary resistance to the passage of time, becoming a source of inspiration for more than one generation of pop musicians," it said.

Lennon was murdered in New York in 1980. - Yahoo!
Thanks to Chris, who explained to me a few years ago what Lennon meant. Rock music isn't the devil.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King

It should be noted that this was before Malcolm's visit to Mecca, so his views evolved and he no longer hated whites.

Editors - Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors

One of the greatest modern era live bands

Teen Commits Suicide On Cam

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- With his webcam trained on him, a Florida teenager died in his bed of a drug overdose while others watched over the Internet, officials said Friday.

Some of those watching urged him to take more drugs while others debated whether he had taken enough to kill himself. Hours passed before someone finally notified authorities that he appeared lifeless, officials said.

The teenager was pronounced dead Wednesday afternoon in Pembroke Pines, Florida, said Wendy Crane, investigator for the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office.

The cause of death was found to be an overdose of benzodiazepine, an antidepressant, as well as other opiate drugs used to treat depression, Crane said. CNN is not reporting the teenager's name.

That's just crazy.

Quick Reminder For Christmas Music Stations

Advent begins on Sunday, November 30. Kthxbye.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Five Released At Gitmo

A federal judge ordered the release of five Algerian terror suspects held without charges at Guantanamo Bay prison for almost seven years.

In the first civilian court ruling for terror suspects challenging their detention, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said Thursday that the five men could not be held indefinitely as enemy combatants.

One of the men to be released is Lakhdar Boumediene, whose landmark Supreme Court case last summer gave the Guantanamo detainees the right to challenge their imprisonment. - Fox News

A win for civil liberties.

Cheney Indicted On Prisoner Abuse Charge

McALLEN, Texas — A South Texas grand jury has indicted Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on state charges related to the alleged abuse of prisoners in Willacy County's federal detention centers.

The indictment, which had not yet been signed by the presiding judge, was one of seven released Tuesday in a county that has been a source of bizarre legal and political battles in recent years. Another of the indictments named a state senator on charges of profiting from his position. -

Next up: Bush indicted for war crimes.

Resurrection of the Dead: Latin Style

The resurgence of a language once rejected as outdated and irrelevant is reflected across the country as Latin is embraced by a new generation of students like Xavier who seek to increase SAT scores or stand out from their friends, or simply harbor a fascination for the ancient language after reading Harry Potter’s Latin-based chanting spells.

The number of students in the United States taking the National Latin Exam has risen steadily to more than 134,000 students in each of the past two years, from 124,000 in 2003 and 101,000 in 1998, with large increases in remote parts of the country like New Mexico, Alaska and Vermont. The number of students taking the Advanced Placement test in Latin, meanwhile, has nearly doubled over the past 10 years, to 8,654 in 2007. While Spanish and French still dominate student schedules — and Chinese and Arabic are trendier choices — Latin has quietly flourished in many high-performing suburbs, like New Rochelle, where Latin’s virtues are sung by superintendents and principals who took it in their day. In neighboring Pelham, the 2,750-student district just hired a second full-time Latin teacher after a four-year search, learning that scarce Latin teachers have become more sought-after than ever. - New York Times
I bought a Latin learning book freshman year in hopes that I would know the language by the time I was a junior or senior. Did that happen? Of course not. If I have time next summer, I'll read it over. It looks good.

BC In Flap Over Lingerie

Boston College’s merchandising deal with racy lingerie peddler Victoria’s Secret is raising ire on campus and among the conservative, Catholic school’s alumni.

“It’s disgraceful and appalling,” said Boston College graduate C.J. Doyle, who runs the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts. “This is just one more example of the university’s callous contempt for Catholic sensibilities and its complete indifference to what remains of its Catholic identity.”

Yesterday on Newbury Street, outside a Victoria’s Secret store that is selling hot-pink Boston College tank tops for $19.50 and Eagles “short shorts,” others agreed.

“It’s just not appropriate,” said Maura Orrell of Quincy, as she surveyed the rhinestone- and glitter-covered Boston College sweatshirts, hanging just past the candy-colored Miracle bras.

“It’s really tacky,” added Marcia, a “50-ish” auditor from Boston. - Boston Herald

I wouldn't go as far to say "disgraceful and appalling," but it is surprising.

Attending Religious Services Dec. Risk of Death

ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2008) — A study published by researchers at Yeshiva University and its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, strongly suggests that regular attendance at religious services reduces the risk of death by approximately 20 percent.

The findings were based on data drawn from participants who spanned numerous religious denominations. The research was conducted by Eliezer Schnall, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of psychology at Yeshiva College of Yeshiva University, and co-authored by Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and population health at Einstein, as an ancillary study of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI).

The WHI is a national, long-term study aimed at addressing women’s health issues and funded by the National Institutes of Health.

It reduces stress and other things too.

Funny/Crazy Black Flag Interview

This is from way back in the 80s, when Henry Rollins was scary, well he's still scary, but he was more frightening back then. I love how this kid asks him if they sold out, what a dick.

Man Charged With Sandwich Assault

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — A Fort Pierce man faces a domestic battery charge after allegedly hitting his girlfriend with a sandwich.

Police say 19-year-old Emmanuelle Rodriguez was riding with his girlfriend Friday when he became angry as she drove and hit her in the arm and face with a sandwich, knocking her glasses off.

The victim nearly lost control of the car because she couldn't see the road and Rodriguez then allegedly ripped off the rear-view mirror and used it to shatter the windshield.

Rodriguez is free on $7,500 bail. Police haven't said what type of sandwich was involved.

Was it a PB&J or a foot long sub?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coco Crisp Traded To KC

BOSTON -- For more than a year, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said that he did not feel any urgency to deal center fielder Coco Crisp and that he would only do so if it improved the team.

Epstein finally found that opportunity on Wednesday, dealing the speedy center fielder to the Royals for reliever Ramon Ramirez.

Ramirez, a 27-year-old righty, went 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA in 71 games in 2008. He registered 70 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. -

Good move.

Bonfire Sparks Fire In Cali

Reporting from Los Angeles and Montecito — A smoldering bonfire built by students on a ridge-top overlooking Montecito apparently sparked last week's disastrous Tea fire, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Tuesday.

Ten men and women, ranging in age from 18 to 22, had gathered at an abandoned property called the Teahouse late Wednesday night and built a bonfire to warm themselves, Brown said.

They told fire investigators that they thought the bonfire was out when they left early Thursday morning. But embers continued to smolder for more than 12 hours and were reignited by Santa Ana-type winds that evening, authorities said.

In what became one of Santa Barbara County's most destructive wildfires, fast-moving flames destroyed 210 homes and damaged nine others. At least 25 people were injured, three of them with burns.

Brown told a news conference that investigators believe that the group did not intend to start a wildfire.

"It appears this was the result of carelessness," he said. - Los Angeles Times
Oh fudge...

Pioneering Stem Cell Surgery

Physicians at four European universities have completed what they say is the first successful transplant of a human windpipe, using a patient's own stem cells to fashion an organ and prevent its rejection by her immune system, according to an article in the British medical journal The Lancet. One of the physicians said the surgery could herald a "new age in surgical care."

The transplant operation was performed on the patient, Claudia Castillo, in June in Barcelona, Spain, to alleviate an acute shortage of breath caused by a failing airway following severe tuberculosis. It followed weeks of preparation carried out at the universities of Barcelona, Spain, Bristol, England, and Padua and Milan in Italy.

News of the procedure coincided with speculation that President-elect Barack Obama may reverse the Bush Administration's restrictions on stem cell research, which has been contentious in some European countries, too. - International Herald Tribune

Adult stem cell research FTW.

eHarmony Goes Gay

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Online dating service eHarmony is adding another personality trait to its 29 dimensions of computability.

The California-based company will begin providing same-sex matches under as part of a settlement with New Jersey's Civil Rights Division.

Garden State resident Eric McKinley filed a complaint against the online matchmaker in 2005.

Under terms of the settlement, the company can create a new or differently named Web site for same-sex singles. The company can also post a disclaimer saying its compatibility-based matching system was developed from research of married heterosexual couples.

From what I understand, eHarmony started off as a Christian dating service. Oh the irony.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mike Dances Better Than You Do

Little Chance To Investigate War Crimes

WASHINGTON—Barack Obama's incoming administration is unlikely to bring criminal charges against government officials who authorized or engaged in harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists during the George W. Bush presidency. Obama, who has criticized the use of torture, is being urged by some constitutional scholars and human rights groups to investigate possible war crimes by the Bush administration.

Two Obama advisers said there's little—if any—chance that the incoming president's Justice Department will go after anyone involved in authorizing or carrying out interrogations that provoked worldwide outrage. - Mercury News

Is this surprising? Not at all.

Classic Dialogue

When I was independently reading this passage from All The Pretty Horses, I didn't realize how awesome it really was. Once Mr. Brennan read it, I did. Here it is (Page 26-27)

- Rawlins propped the heel of one boot atop the toe of the other. As if to pace off the heavens. My daddy run off from home when he was fifteen. Otherwise I'd of been born in Alabama.
- You wouldn't be born at all.
- What makes you say that?
- Cause your mama's from San Angelo and he never would of met her.
- He'd of met somebody.
- So would she.
- So?
- So you wouldnt of been born.
- I don't see why you say that. I'd of been born somewheres.
- How?
- Well why not?
- If your mama had a baby with her other husband and your daddy had one with his other wife which one would you be?
- I wouldnt be neither of em.
- That's right.
- Rawlins lay watching the stars. After a while he said: I could still be born. I might look different or somethin. If God wanted me to be born I'd be born.
- And if He didnt you wouldnt
- You're making my goddamn head hurt.

Monday, November 17, 2008

No More Shitty Music

Early in the final episode of MTV’s video countdown show “TRL” on Sunday night, Carson Daly, one of the hosts, shared a moment of bewilderment and nostalgia with Justin Timberlake and J. C. Chasez of ’N Sync, the megaplatinum boy band that rose along with “TRL” a decade ago...

After 10 years, 2,247 episodes, regular appearances by stars like Madonna and Mariah Carey, and countless Times Square traffic interruptions, “TRL” ended on Sunday with MTV’s version of a New Orleans funeral. For three hours a parade of celebrities and a crowd that never ran out of squeal celebrated the show as both a mirror of pop culture and one of its most powerful engines, an “American Bandstand” for the millennial generation that was just a little too 20th-century to survive the YouTube age. - New York Times

Probably one of the wisest moves MTV has ever made -- except it came 10 years too late.

Yang To Step Down As Yahoo! CEO

Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang will step down as CEO as soon as a successor is found, the embattled Internet company just announced. The release (quoted in full after the jump) came shortly after the blog Boomtown broke the news.

The move may well prompt Microsoft, whose repeated attempts to buy all or a portion of Yahoo failed to produce a deal earlier this year, to come back with another offer. That’s what investors, who have bid up the stock about 4% in extended trading after the market close Nov. 17, may be hoping. “This clears the path for a likely Microsoft deal,” probably a bid for Yahoo’s Internet search operation, says Sandeep Aggarwal, an analyst with financial services firm Collins Stewart. “By not having Yang as CEO, Yahoo can free up its strategic alternatives.” - Business Week

This is easier to type.

Unreleased Beatles Track

So it really does exist. The 14-minute "Carnival of Light" track, long the stuff of Beatles legend, will finally see the light of day, according to Paul McCartney, who says he's always been fond of the experimental noodling "because it's the Beatles free, going off piste." The track is said to feature distorted electric guitars, discordant sound effects, a church organ, and gargling sounds, as well as McCartney and John Lennon screaming phrases like "Barcelona" and "Are you all right?" McCartney says the Beatles didn't release the track when they recorded it in 1967 because its avant-garde experimentation, described as inspired by musique concrète composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, was too adventurous for mainstream audiences at the time. -
Did I just say unreleased Beatles track?

Astronauts Hitch Giant Crate To Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronauts hitched a giant shipping crate full of home improvement "goodies" to the international space station on Monday, a critical step for boosting the population in orbit.

It was the first major job for the crews of the linked space station and space shuttle Endeavour, and highlighted their first full day together.

"We're here to work," the space station's skipper, Mike Fincke, called down. "This is the can-do crew."

Thank you, Ben Tan, thank you.

Clinton To Become Obama's SOS

Hillary Clinton plans to accept the job of secretary of state offered by Barack Obama, who is reaching out to former rivals to build a broad coalition administration, the Guardian has learned.

Obama's advisers have begun looking into Bill Clinton's foundation, which distributes millions of dollars to Africa to help with development, to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. But Democrats do not believe that the vetting is likely to be a problem.

Clinton would be well placed to become the country's dominant voice in foreign affairs, replacing Condoleezza Rice. Since being elected senator for New York, she has specialised in foreign affairs and defence. Although she supported the war in Iraq, she and Obama basically agree on a withdrawal of American troops. - Guardian

She's going to have to leave the Senate (for those who didn't know)

Recommended Reading

1) 1984 by George Orwell

2) Black Boy by Richard Wright

3) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

4) Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky

5) A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

6) Black Panthers Speak

7) Steal This Book by Abbie Hoffman

8) Yippie Manifesto by Jerry Rubin

9) Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It by Judge Jim Gray

10) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

There will be more subversive book in the future!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Payment In Form of Spider Drawing

How Have Oil Prices Affected People?

1. People
• Middle East middle class: In February, because of high oil prices in Jordan, the price of basic food items (eggs, potatoes, cucumbers) more than doubled.
• Americans: Partially due to higher oil prices within the past few years, 24% of the income of young adults has gone to pay off credit card debt. Overall, credit card debt in the United States was at $790 billion as of February of this year. Gasoline and home heating prices have risen 29.4%, transportation costs 8.3%, food and beverage prices 4.8%, and medical care 5.2%. American people haven’t been given comparable increases in income to match these historically high increases. The cost of products that use oil as a raw material, like lotions, toothpaste, plastics, etc. have also risen.
• American politicians
o Donald Rumsfeld: Normally, politicians have to divest themselves of any holdings that stand to gain or lose from political decisions. However, Rumsfeld was belligerent and never sold his stocks in Gilead Sciences. If he had sold when initially requested, he would have received $7.45 for each share. However, due to his consistent refusal to sell, he ended up making $67.60 when he left the Bush administration, a profit increase of 807 percent.
o Dick Cheney: Like Rumsfeld, Cheney was very hesitant to detach himself from his business interests as he held public office. He was pressured into selling most, but not all of his Halliburton stock for $18.5 million. However, he still kept 189,000 shares in Halliburton and 500,000 unvested options. Halliburton’s stock rose from under $10 before the War in Iraq to $41 three years later.
• Oil Companies: Removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq opened up many opportunities for oil companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP. Halliburton is also included. The War in Iraq has been the single most profitable event in Halliburton’s history. Exxon Mobil recorded a record $11.68 billion profit for the second quarter of the fiscal year.
• Automotive Industry: GM, Ford, and Chrysler are all requesting a bailout. Last month, the automotive industry sold less than a million cars, the slowest the sales rate has been in 15 years. This is due to the fact that Americans, on average, spend 4.5% of their income on gasoline as opposed to 2% when oil was cheap in the early part of this decade.

Source: Bill Baer of
Some of that is just plain scary.

An Intellectual's Guide To Alternative Diction

An Intellectual’s Guide To Alternative Diction

By Glen Maganzini

Harangue in place of Scolding
Harbinger in place of Forerunner
Haute Couture
in place of Highest Style
in place of Influence
in place of Evil
in place of Powerful
in place of Impulsive Person
in place of Disgraceful
in place of Drink
in place of Entanglement
in place of Saturate
in place of Kill
in place of Inequality
in place of Stalemate
in place of Essential
in place of Rude
in place of Unchanging
in place of Impulsive
in place of Plead
in place of Continuous
in place of Incomplete
in place of Unknown
in place of Lazy
in place of Harmful
in place of Uncompromising
in place of Immature
in place of Cheery
in place of Reprimand
in place of Sluggish
in place of Seducer
in place of

Friday, November 14, 2008

Huge Pollution Clouds

Atmospheric brown clouds -- clusters of soot, particles and chemicals nearly 2 miles thick and stretching from the Persian Gulf to Asia -- threaten health and food supplies in the world, the U.N. Environment Program reported Thursday.

The huge plumes have darkened 13 megacities in Asia -- including Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Cairo, Mumbai and New Delhi -- sharply "dimming" the amount of light by as much as 25 percent in some places. The brown clouds also play a significant role in exacerbating the effects of greenhouse gases in warming up Earth's atmosphere, the report said. - Orlando Sentinel

A Day In The Life (Of A WHS Student)

I've always wanted to tell people what goes through my mind before school and during school at Wakefield Memorial High School.

4:30-5:30 AM: I wake up and think to myself "shit. Why didn't I do my homework last night?" I get sudden urges to go back to sleep (and I do about 1/3 of the time), but I wake up anyway and proceed to go to the computer. I check my e-mail in addition to three forums. I open up LimeWire and play "key" songs --- ones that will help me finish the homework I was supposed to do the night before. If it is a paper or some huge ass assignment, I will usually take enough time to complete it sufficiently (that is about B/C range grade-wise). If it is a normal homework assignment, I bullshit it. Keep in mind there are three different level of bullshitting. Level 1 bullshitting is the kind of BS that actually makes it appear as if I did a thorough job on the homework. Level 2 bullshitting is the kind of BS that has some problems (not all) look like they are completed and done correctly. Level 3 bullshitting is complete BS. A good Level 3 bullshitter will get full credit on the homework, but for the average man this usually isn't the case. Most of the problems done via Level 3 have no resemblance to what they really should look like. Poor Level 3 bullshitters typically do poorly on graded work like quizzes and tests. The Level 1 or 2 bullshitter still might have a chance to do well on these examinations. Sometimes I have to study for a test or quiz at this time. I usually only re-read my notes or handouts. This can be hazardous especially for math classes because doing out practice problems is the best way to study.

6:30-7:00 AM: With all my homework/studying done, I go downstairs and have breakfast. Also, I sometimes read the Boston Globe but usually not. After I eat, I run back upstairs, brush my teeth, then put my normal clothes on. At the moment, I currently blast Pink Floozy's Darkside of the Moon but I'm usually more prone to listening to Sam Sparro's song "Black and Gold." When I'm done doing all of those things, I turn off the boom box and pack up my briefcase. It takes me three minutes to drive to school on a good day. I listen to my choice of a mixtape at a volume level between 15-20. I park on the hill.

7:00-7:25 AM: Once I park on the hill, I get out of the car then I lock it. I usually go straight to the cafeteria. There are always two kids --- Matt Hurton and Spencer Connell --- sitting at our classic pre-school lunch table adjacent to the Snapple machine. It is very hard to understand me. At times, he quotes YouTube videos readily or talks about something funny/interesting, but at other times he is in a seemingly bad mood. To me this is hilarious. Spencer is just kind of there. That's not a bad thing, but he's just there. A little after me, Prateek comes. He usually isn't in that jovial of a mood in the morning.

7:26-7:30 AM: I make my way to homeroom. On my way there I usually pass two particular individuals sitting in the math hallway. I greet them in some way then I move on.

7:30-7:35 AM: I am in homeroom. I look at my watch and wait for it to say 7:35:28 (the bell). When I'm not doing that I am talking to Justin or J.J about something particularly funny.

The Hallways: The hallways always strike me as awesome. If I was talking to somebody in the class I was just in, the conversation usually carries into the hall. It's awesome when that doesn't happen. Honestly, I usually say hi to kids that aren't in any of my classes. These are usually underclassmen that I've been in classes with. If I see somebody I know I might just give a look of "yo" or a "what's up" but this usually isn't the case. When I don't feel like saying hi to anyone, I usually just look forward or zone out. It's not that hard for me.

Statistics: My leg usually hurts like hell. I am so damn squirmy in my uncomfortable chair. Besides that, the class is hilarious. It cracks me up when people get so into statistics that they endeavor to argue about certain concepts. I usually just sit there and laugh at things that aren't funny. I have a serious problem with that.

English: Mr. Brennan is the man which is why this class is great. The chair I sit in is also very uncomfortable and makes my leg kill. I hate listening to other people talk about literary works. No offense to anyone; I'm sure you all have good things to say. I typically don't participate, but I might eventually. I just find it annoying to discuss books. I might be the only one. I'd rather do grammar.

Government: Mr. Lang also tends to be the man. He gets off topic so often. Since I am naturally interested in politics, I really value everything that goes on in the class. His sayings are awesome.

(To be continued)

Classic Yippie Moment

Jerry doesn't let Phil get away here. It's too bad he sold out later on.

A New Point of View

When I started to write in my English and History classes, I recognized that I was writing a mediocre and very confusing paper. Mr. Metropolis encouraged me to write very straight forward and simple essay. I will try to do that from now on.
The reason why I am writing this post is to make everyone alert about the fact that even if your essays and papers look very sophisticated, it does not mean it is "A" quality. The main "theme" of a "A" quality paper is wealth of knowledge and the understanding of the materials learned in class. That does not mean you have to include words that require a dictionary to understand.
What I have learned from my high school learning is that the more straight forward and cleaner it is, the better the essay. This is not always the case, but generally, it is the best way to write one.
Although I do have a handicap of some sort (because English is not my first language), I still try to get rid of that handicap to be treated like everyone else in the school, grade-wise.
You can probably consider this a informative rant. I am trying to let everyone in the Etudiant as well as the people who read the Etudiant to understand the true meaning of a well thought out essay.
A paper may contain 40 pages worth of information, but if they are out of order and very hard to read. Such as Walden... (no offense to anyone who enjoyed and understood the book) No one will understand, fully, of the meanings.
Now, if a paper had 20 pages worth of information, and it was well thought out and planned accordingly. The paper will probably be easier to read and much more straight forward. This does not mean it has to so straight forward that it punches you in the face. It means that it has to be clear enough for the reader to get a glimpse of what you are saying without thinking twice.

By the way, if I make any grammatical errors, punctuation errors, or any kind of a English error in any of my writing. Please notify me in the Comments. I will be glad to know what errors I have made and will take no offense to any helpful comments. It is because I am still learning about the English writing style and want to improve. If anyone reading my posts sees any error, please feel free to comment. Thank you :).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Funny Pic of the Day

Very fail.

A Lang List

Here are great words and sayings used by the legendary AP Government fill-in, Mr. Lang:

"One hand feeds the other"
"Bureaucratic hacks"
"Bureaucratic ennui"
"They don't hang you for what you don't do"
"There's graft and there's corruption"
"It's like shifting sand"
"Greased by patronage"
" Scotty beemer down"
"Bureaucrats run on red tape and inertia"
"Just got off the boat"
"A conservative is a liberal whose been mugged"
"Built by the lowest bidder"

*Keep in mind that nearly all of these quotations are referencing some aspect of the political arena, be it machine politics or otherwise.

Great Abbie Hoffman Interview

I love the accent!

Did I Really Just Post About Egg Nog?

Yes, yes I did. You see, the fun thing about having a blog (with no real focus) is that I am in no way limited to posting about certain things. I can (and will) endeavor to post about random things such as Egg Nog. That's kind of what we do here at the Étudiant.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Drink Review: Hood Golden Egg Nog

It doesn't get better than this. It really doesn't. You haven't experienced heaven in drink form unless you have tasted Hood Golden Egg Nog. I can't describe in words how delectable this yellow sensation is. It reminds me of a thicker version of a French Vanilla frappe, but that doesn't even do justice. It has a little touch of nutmeg or something like that -- it's all good regardless.

Grade: 10 out of 10

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Battle Hymns

This is for all soldiers and their families.

Rep. Broun: Gestapo-Like Force

WASHINGTON - A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

"It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may — may not, I hope not — but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."

Broun cited a July speech by Obama that has circulated on the Internet in which the then-Democratic presidential candidate called for a civilian force to take some of the national security burden off the military. - MSNBC

It does sound a bit crazy and off base, indeed.

WHS exPRESS Comes Out Tommorow

The November issue of the WHS exPRESS will hit "newsstands" (read, the cafeteria at the high school) tommorow, November 12. For starters, the paper's former name Spin got dropped after eight years of usage. Also, newsprint will be utilized instead of regular white paper thanks to the folks at the Wakefield Item. The paper is still free (thanks to advertisements) so make sure to take a copy on Wednesday.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Should I or should I not?

Yes, I have decided to come back and type some rants on the Etudiant. If you do not like my style of writing and/or it offends you, please speak under the comments. From the feedback I get, which is probably going to be Glen and a few anonymous people, I will decide either to return to the Etudiant as a weekly writer, daily writer, monthly writer, or even decide not to write at all.

If you do not know of my writings, I have written the "What is this world turning into?" sections. I think they're still on this site, but who knows.

I welcome all feedback, positive or negative.

Unless it's really racist, then I must say something :).

Funny Pic of the Day (11/10/08)

Song of the Day (11/10/08)

Tupac - Ambitionz Az A Rydah

Paddy Power Bets On God

Odds on the existence of God have shortened from 33-1 to a mere 4-1 since news emerged of atheist Richard Dawkins' forthcoming bendy bus advertising campaign with the slogan: "There probably is no God."

Irish bookmakers Paddy Power have already taken £5,000 on scientific proof emerging for the existence of God after the book opened at 20-1 earlier this year to coincide with the switching on of the world's biggest hadron collider in Geneva. When scientists were forced to delay the £14 billion project for six months, odds on the existence of God lengthened to 33-1.

But the bendy bus campaign, to be launched on buses in the Westminster district of London in January, has led to a spate of betting that proof will emerge for God's existence after all, forcing Paddy Power to shorten the odds to a mere 4-1. - Times Online

It's annoying when people tempt God.

Circuit City Files For Bankruptcy

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Circuit City Stores Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday heading into the busy holiday season as analysts question whether the nation's second-biggest electronics retailer will be able to survive.

The company said it decided to file for bankruptcy protection because it was facing pressure from vendors who threatened to withhold products during the holiday period. The company also said it cut 700 more jobs at its headquarters, after announcing a week ago that it would close 20 percent of its stores and lay off thousands of workers.

Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 protection, which will allow it to hold off creditors and continue operations while it develops a reorganization plan. Its Canadian operations also filed for similar protection.

I remember the good old days when Circuit City pretty much dominated the electronics retail industry. Then Best Buy and Target emerged.

Schwarzenegger: Don't Give Up

Reporting from Sacramento and Lake Forest -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday expressed hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage. He also predicted that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who have already wed would not see their marriages nullified by the initiative.

"It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," Schwarzenegger said in an interview Sunday on CNN. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."

With his favorable comments toward gay marriage, the governor's thinking appears to have evolved on the issue. - Los Angeles Times
Maria Shriver has sure done a number on Arnold.

Obama Planning Trial For G.B Prisoners

WASHINGTON – President-elect Obama's advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice.

Under plans being put together in Obama's camp, some detainees would be released and many others would be prosecuted in U.S. criminal courts.

Prosecuting all detainees in federal courts raises a host of problems. Evidence gathered through military interrogation or from intelligence sources might be thrown out. Defendants would have the right to confront witnesses, meaning undercover CIA officers or terrorist turncoats might have to take the stand, jeopardizing their cover and revealing classified intelligence tactics.
Closing down Guantanamo Bay sounds real good.

Example of Terrible Spam

Our question is, isn't Barrack HUSEIN Ovama an ethnic Arab or
Iranian by origin? One of his names is Husein, and it looks like it
was not given to him "just for the sake of naming the child". It may
WELL be that Mr. Ovama is either an ethnic Arab or Iranian who
secretly confesses Muslim faith (and the rumors that he is a Muslim
didn't emerge from nothing, yet his father was a Kenyan of mixed
Arab-Kenyan origin and was also called Barrack Husein Ovama),
and this may well mean that Iranians and Arabs now
succeeded in bringing their man to rule the US.
Yup, that was an actual e-mail I just got this morning.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Government Funded Abortions

"According to a recent Guttmacher Institute report 1, state and federal tax dollars paid for 177,404 abortions in 2006, at a cost of $89 million. Also at taxpayer expense, a whopping $1.85 billion was spent on family planning client services in the same year. Even more alarming is the rate at which these expenses are rising, primarily because of Medicaid expansions that have substantially increased the number of people eligible for Medicaid family planning services. And although taxpayer-funded abortions are limited by law in many cases, pro-abortion forces are working surreptitiously to render those laws useless." -
This is sad. Stop FOCA.

Great Jello Speech

It's a little late, but the points he makes are still relevant.

Songs of the Week (11/8/08)

Babyshambles -
Loyalty Song

Black Lips -
Bad Kids

Dresden Dolls - Girl Anachronism

Grinderman - Go Tell The Woman

The Smiths - Panic on the Streets of London

Vampire Weekend - A Punk

Friday, November 7, 2008

NBA 2k9 Soundtrack Review

The Cool Kids - 2k Pennies
Grade: 7.8

DJ Unk - In Yo Face
Grade: 8.3

Beastie Boys - Root Down
Grade: 6.7

Santogold - Creator
Grade: 9.2

DangerDoom - Sofa King
Grade: 8.3

Brand New Heavies - Jump N Move
Acid Jazz
Grade: 8.6

The Pharcyde - Passing Me By
Grade: 8.9

Dawn Penn - You Don't Love Me
Grade: 8.4

Money Mark - Silly Putty
Acid Jazz
Grade: 8.7

N.E.R.D - Spaz
Grade: 8.2

Ursula 1000 - Step Back
Grade: 8.3

Mommy and Daddy - Pretty Loser
Grade: 8.8

Jamalski - Tha Underground
Grade: 8.3

Mochipet - Sharp Drest
Grade: 8.7

The Bloody Beetrots - Mac Mac
Grade: 9.1

DJ Rasta Root - Rootzilla Beez
Grade: 8.9

Nickodemus - Funky In The Middle
Grade: 8.4

Limp Twins - Moving Closer to the Sofa
Grade: 8.7

Skeewif - Light The Fuse
Grade: 8.1

The Meters - Cissy Strut
Grade: 8.3

The Heavy - Coleen
Neo Soul
Grade: 8.6

Blockhead - Duke of Hazzard
Grade: 8.5

A & P

His accent gets me every time.

Excellent Short Story

Popular Mechanics by Raymond Carver

Early that day the weather turned and the snow was melting into dirty water. Streaks of it ran down from the little shoulder-high window that faced the backyard. Cars slushed by on the street outside, where it was getting dark. But it was getting dark on the inside too.

He was in the bedroom pushing clothes into a suitcase when she came to the door.

I’m glad you’re leaving! I’m glad you’re leaving! she said. Do you hear?

He kept on putting his things into the suitcase.

Son of a bitch! I’m so glad you’re leaving! She began to cry. You can’t even look me in the face, can you?

Then she noticed the baby’s picture on the bed and picked it up.

He looked at her and she wiped her eyes and stared at him before turning and going back to the living room.

Bring that back, he said.

Just get your things and get out, she said.

He did not answer. He fastened the suitcase, put on his coat, looked around the bedroom before turning off the light. Then he went out to the living room.

She stood in the doorway of the little kitchen, holding the baby.

I want the baby, he said.

Are you crazy?

No, but I want the baby. I’ll get someone to come by for his things.

You’re not touching this baby, she said.

The baby had begun to cry and she uncovered the blanket from around his head.

Oh, oh, she said, looking at the baby.

He moved toward her.

For God’s sake! she said. She took a step back into the kitchen.

I want the baby.

Get out of here!

She turned and tried to hold the baby over in a corner behind the stove.

But he came up. He reached across the stove and tightened his hands on the baby.

Let go of him, he said.

Get away, get away! she cried.

The baby was red-faced and screaming. In the scuffle they knocked down a flowerpot that hung behind the stove.

He crowded her into the wall then, trying to break her grip. He held on to the baby and pushed with all his weight.

Let go of him, he said.

Don’t, she said. You’re hurting the baby, she said.

I’m not hurting the baby, he said.

The kitchen window gave no light. In the near-dark he worked on her fisted fingers with one hand and with the other hand he gripped the screaming baby up under an arm near the shoulder.

She felt her fingers being forced open. She felt the baby going from her.

No! she screamed just as her hands came loose.

She would have it, this baby. She grabbed for the baby’s other arm. She caught the baby around the wrist and leaned back.

But he would not let go. He felt the baby slipping out of his hands and he pulled back very hard.

In this manner, the issue was decided.

Band Spotlight: Cold War Kids

History: *Matt Maust, Jonnie Russell & Nathan Willet attended BIOLA University. Nathan and Jonnie were room mates in Hart Hall. The band released their debut EP Mulberry Street in the spring of 2005.

Years Active: 2004-Present

Matt Aveiro - Drums
Matt Maust - Bass
Jonnie Bo Russell - Guitar
Nathan Willett - Vocals/Piano/Guitar

Genre: Independent Soul Influenced Rocked

Top Album: Robbers and Cowards (2006)

Top Songs:
"We Used To Vacation"
"Hang Me Up To Dry"
"Heavy Boots"
"Hospital Beds"
"Passing the Hat"

Label: Downtown Records

Influences: Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground

Influenced: Ike Robinson and the Consenting Adults

Grade: A-

* = Credit Wikipedia

Migranes Lower Breast Cancer?

THURSDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who experience migraines may actually have a 30 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer, say researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Levels of estrogen may be the key to this association: High levels of estrogen are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, but women who suffer migraines appear to have low levels of the hormone, which may account for the reduction in breast cancer risk, the researchers explained.

"Women who suffer migraines suffer them either when they have fluctuations in their hormone levels or particularly low levels of hormones," said lead research epidemiologist Dr. Christopher I. Li. - Washington Post

Who would have ever thought?

Moderates To Blame For GOP Loss

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told CNN that conservatives need to take back control of the GOP if the party is to return to its winning ways.

"Moderates never beat conservatives. We've seen that in past elections," he said.

Rejecting suggestions that the conservative movement was viewed as being out of touch with the electorate, Perkins says the Republican Party needs to go back to basics.

"It's a return to fundamental conservative principles that Ronald Reagan showed work and that people can be attracted to," Perkins said. - CNN

Perkins is right, but more people are identifying as moderates than ever before, meaning that the GOP must undergo some drastic realignment to take back the Executive.

Unemployment Rate At 6.5% In U.S

The national job market is in worse shape than previously thought.

The federal government says the economy lost 240,000 jobs in October and has revised the September loss higher to 284,000.

The U.S. Labor Department says the combined loss of more than half a million jobs in the past two months pushed the unemployment rate for October to 6.5 percent, the highest in 14 years.

Average analyst estimates had forecast U.S. nonfarm payrolls would decline 200,000 in October and had said the unemployment rate would increase to 6.3 percent from September’s 6.1 percent. - Portland Business Journal

This might sound really wrong, but doesn't having a certain level of unemployment keep wages up for workers? Don't worry, though, I do think we should always strive to lower the rate.

China: "Change Your Lifestyle, Rich Countries"

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said developed countries should change their "unsustainable lifestyles" to tackle global warming.

Mr Wen said richer nations should help poorer ones solve the global problem.

United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer said rich countries had to transfer cleaner energy technologies to developing nations.

The two were speaking at a two-day conference in Beijing discussing climate change. - BBC News
Like China has any level of credibility...

Pope Condemns Religious Perseuction

Vatican City (AHN) - At the end of the three-day historic dialogue between 48 Catholic and Muslim leaders and scholars, Pope Benedict XVI said Friday that to safeguard the freedom of individuals to follow his faith, religious persecution is not an acceptable practice.

At the same time, the pontiff apologized to Muslims for a remark he made in 2006 which outraged Islam followers after he linked Muslims to violence in the past. Pope Benedict clarified he quoted a medieval scholar, but he never intended to directly link present day Muslims with the wave of violence taking place in various parts of the world.

The head of the one-billion strong Catholic Church said, quoted by BBC, "The discrimination and violence which even today religious people experience throughout the world and the often violent persecutions to which they are subject, represent unacceptable and unjustifiable acts."

A very assuring step has been taken.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ben Tan Appears On NECN

My favorite quote: "We have a black don't even know how this makes me feel."

By the way, Ben Tan is everywhere. When he's not on YouTube videos, he is on NECN. What's next for the kid?

Kenya Gov't Bans Egg Imports

The Government has banned importation of eggs and related products from China.

This follows an earlier ban on milk and other related products from the country by the Kenya Bureau of Standards after the detection of traces of melamine.

Managing director Kioko Mang'eli said the ban also affects products from territories near China and takes effect immediately.

"The related eggs products will include noodles, mayonnaise, animal feeds and animal feed inputs." -

Kenya knows what's up.

Gay Marriage Backers File Lawsuits

REPORTING FROM SAN FRANCISCO AND LOS ANGELES -- After losing at the polls, gay rights supporters filed three lawsuits today asking the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8, an effort the measure's supporters called an attempt to subvert the will of voters.

"If they want to legalize gay marriage, what they should do is bring an initiative themselves and ask the people to approve it," said Frank Schubert, co-chairman of the Proposition 8 campaign. "But they don't. They go behind the people's back to the courts and try and force an agenda on the rest of society." - Los Angeles Times
Thank you, Frank. You are right.

Michelle Obama's Dress

While Obama's eloquent victory speech moved me to tears, unfortunately so did Michelle's dress. Barack looked sharp as can be in a dark navy suit, which was custom made by Hart Schaffner Marx, but I just wasn't feeling Michelle's splotchy red and black Narciso Rodriguez frock.

It might seem a little shallow to be discussing fashion the day after such a big moment in America's history, but I'm not the only one buzzing about Mrs. Obama's election night attire. Yahoo! users are searching like crazy for info on her dress, while critics are weighing in on whether it was a hit or miss. - Omg Yahoo!
Why is this the top story on I have lost almost all of the faith (which is next to none) I once had in the media. What kind of sick creatures blog about this irrelevant topic? A "little shallow"; that's like saying Bill Gates is only a little rich. Oh yeah and this is the reason why the Étudiant is a celebrity blog on April 1.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Étudiant Election Special

Chomsky on War Crimes

If you're a Noam Chomsky fan, then you've probably heard this provocative statement plenty of times: "if the standards of the Nuremberg Trials were applied, then every post World War II American president would have been hanged as a war criminal." Here are some of each president's war crimes, according to Chomsky, from Truman to Clinton (this is taken from a 1996 interview with Tom Morello) :

Well, with Truman you could start with, shortly after he entered office there was the bombing of Hiroshima, which maybe one could give an argument for -- well, I don't think so -- but it is almost impossible to give an argument for the bombing of Nagasaki. That was mostly just trying out a new weapon to see if it would work. Then there was an utterly gratuitous bombing, a one thousand plane raid at the end of the war -- right in fact after Japan surrendered -- called the "finale," the grand finale. Then comes, for example, the support for the brutal counter-insurgency campaign in Greece, which killed about 150,000 people to basically restore Nazi collaborators and demolish the resistance. And then we could go on from there.

Eisenhower. The Eisenhower administration, the Truman and Eisenhower administration, the bombings -- whatever you think about the Korean War, and there is a pretty complicated story when you really look at it, but nevertheless the bombings in North Korea in 1951 and 1952 was just an outright war crime. You can read in the Air Force history about how in the Eisenhower years they had nothing left to bomb, everything was flat, so they just bomb dams, which they exalt how wonderful it was to see the water flooding down and killing people and wiping out the crops and so on. Well people were hanged for that, for less than that. They were hanged for opening dikes in Nuremberg. And then again we can proceed with what happened in Guatemala and elsewhere where it was a terrible crime in the Eisenhower years.

Kennedy is not even worth discussing. The invasion in South Vietnam -- Kennedy attacked South Vietnam, outright. In 1961-1962 he sent Air Force to start bombing villages, authorized napalm. Also laid the basis for the huge wave of repression that spread over Latin America with the installation of Neo-Nazi gangsters that were always supported directly by the United States. That went on and in fact picked up under Johnson.

In the Nixon years, for example, the bombing of inner Cambodia in 1973 was a monstrous crime. It was just massacring peasants in inner Cambodia. It isn't much reported here because nobody paid attention, but it was quite a part in helping create the basis for the Khmer Rouge. Well, the CIA estimate is that 600,000 people were killed in the course of those US actions, either directed or actually carried out by the United States.

In the Carter years there were major crimes, for example the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, which happened to start under Ford and led to the nearest thing to genocide since the holocaust, maybe 1/3 or 1/4 of the population has been slaughtered. That was using 90% US arms. In the Carter years, when the Indonesians were actually running out of arms in their attack on this country, Carter actually increased the flow of arms in 1978, which was the worst peak of the slaughter. Carter was backing Somoza and his national guard, openly and with direct military and diplomatic support at a time when they had killed about 40,000 people in the terror of the last days of their regime. Again, that's a sample.

Going on to the Reagan years, its not even a question. In fact the US was condemned by the World Court during the Reagan years for its "unlawful use of force," meaning aggression in Nicaragua. In Central America alone, maybe 200,000 people or so were slaughtered in a very brutal fashion by US run programs. In southern Africa about 1.5 million people were killed and over $60 billion of damage were done according to the UN commission which reviewed it later from 1980 to 1988. That's from South African atrocities that the US was directly supporting. Then, again we could go on. Well Bush, we've already talked about him, but the invasion of Panama for example was simply outright aggression. It was condemned internationally -- the US was able to veto the security counsel condemnations, that doesn't change the fact that they were there.

When we move on to the Clinton years, one of his first acts within a few months was to send missiles to bomb Baghdad. Well, he didn't kill a huge amount of people, only I think 8 or so. But there was absolutely no pretext, there wasn't even a pretext. I mean it was to show what a tough guy he is. In fact the pretext was so ludicrous, it's embarrassing to repeat it. The pretext was that this was self defense against armed attack, because two months earlier there had been a failed attempt by someone who might or might not have been Iraqi, no one knew at the time, to kill Bush or something like that. I mean, it's just ridiculous. About half of military aid and training to Latin America under Clinton was going to Columbia, which has absolutely the worst human rights record in the hemisphere, killing thousands of people in a horrifying fashion. These are all crimes. I don't think it's hard to set up a bill of indictment if somebody wants to.

Now, for post-1996 foreign policy, here are just some war crimes:

Clinton armed and funded vicious dictators in Israel and Turkey. Turkish citizens, particularly suffered through some of the worst tortures known to man.

Well, Bush pretty much goes without saying. I'll just make this simple: the entire War on Terrorism.

So, do I think these rich, white guys should be hanged? No, I don't believe in the death penalty. But, I do believe in social justice, so they should be brought to trial for their crimes, as any other citizen would.