Sunday, October 26, 2008

Man With DS Gets KO'd For Kicking Kid

Question 1: Who Votes Yes/ Who Votes No

Question: Should we repeal the Massachusetts State Income Tax?

Who Votes Yes
- Rich people
- Old people (60+)
- Young people (18-34)
- Libertarians/Conservatives

Who Votes NO
- Middle age/class
- Teachers and local officials
- Liberals

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Foreign Language/Writing

I will allege, right here, right now, that learning a foreign language is a powerful tool for global communication. I'm probably the thousandth person (but only the ninth kid) to put forth such a claim, but you know, I have my reasons. I'm not suggesting you should travel to France, to Spain, to Italy, to China, or wherever your learned foreign language is predominately spoken. I am, inversely, proposing that you involve your chosen language and its parameters more often in daily communication. What do I mean? Speak to your friends in a foreign language. This will initiate curiousity and it might work out for the best...especially if you mispronounce or incorrectly state something. Secondly, listen to foreign music. We've all memorized, at one point or another, an English language song. Be it rap, rock, jazz, or even the eccentricity we call outsider music, give it a try. You might like it. I never heard "french music" until sophomore year and I don't regret downloading (legal concern or otherwise) french music. A few bands like La Rue Ketanou and Les Cowboys Fringants really struck a chord with me (ha the pun!). By the way, I think that I am a pretty advanced writer; however, I am always interested in finding ways to improve via adding little quirks that increase reader interest. Puns, sayings, and anything that engages the reader is fun. That's all I have for now. Thanks.

Monday, October 20, 2008

No More McDonald's Boycott

A corporate executive for McDonald's restaurants who had been on board of directors of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has stepped down following a boycott of the chain organized by the pro-family American Family Association.

McDonald's officials confirmed today to WND that Richard Ellis, who had been named to the "gay" chamber board after McDonald's contributed $20,000 to the organization, "made a personal decision to step down … after he accepted a new position … with McDonald's Restaurants of Canada."

McDonald's officials also told AFA that the company has no plans to renew its membership in the special interest group when it expires in December. - World Net Daily
Even I didn't boycott Mickey D's over this.

Arctic Air Temps At Record High

Less summer ice - which deflects solar radiation - has resulted in a rise in both the ocean and atmospheric temperature.
A boat skims through melting ice on the west coast of Greenland
A boat skims through melting ice on the west coast of Greenland
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says autumn air temperatures in the region are at a record 5ºC (9ºF) above average.

The annual NOAA report, which monitors climate change, said there has been a near-record loss of summer sea ice, though not as much as last year which was the warmest on record for the Arctic, continuing a trend that began in the mid-1960s.
They also report a loss of surface ice in Greenland. -
Mars is too close!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Band Spotlight: The Airborne Toxic Event

History: TATE began as a project of Mikel Jolett in 2006. Jolett met drummer Daren Taylor in the summer of 2006 and quickly other positions in the band began filling up. The band played its first show in the fall of 2006. TATE's first EP Does This Mean You're Moving On? was released in 2007.

Years Active: 2006 to Present

Label: Majordomo

Mikel Jollett - Vocals/Guitar
Steven Chen - Keyboards/Guitar
Noah Harmon - Bass
Anna Bulbrook - Viola
Daren Taylor - Drums

Genre: Alternative Rock

Musical Style: Pop music, but distinctively indie at the same time

Friday, October 17, 2008

Liberals Need to Stop

What's this? A person that admittedly leans left more often than not speaking against the actions of liberals? The only thing more unusual than this is the fact that I'm posting here again. I have to remember to thank Glen for keeping my name on, as I admit I haven't been the most regular visitor.

But I need to get back to the point here. Even though I'm leaning Obama...hell, if I leaned much more my knee-caps might break... I am starting to see some really disturbing stuff all around me. Whether it's in public, online, in television broadcasts, or whatever, there is an absolute lack of any objectivity or, well, thought process.

To give you an example: Say a Democratic senator who had been working with the government for twenty-five years after serving his country abroad for seven years ran for president. He has passed a respectable amount of respected laws and bills, and has a record of working along with the other party to meet compromises. And now picture the Republican candidate: A constitutional lawyer turned senator who, a good year and a half into his first term, begins planning his campaign for president. He has passed almost no laws, let alone voted on many, has had little to no impact on the political scene, and has one of the most conservative voting records in history on both social and economic policy. Not to mention he has a host of ill-conceived and downright stupid connections to people that he just happened to forget to mention to the public. And the people are fawning over him. No matter how much anyone attempts to expose his faults, it is either denied, ignored, or, ironically, attacked as irrelevant or racist. Oh, he's black by the way. Not that that should matter.

You might be saying to yourself...well, actually, you're probably already thinking to yourself if this applies to you, those are lies! Those don't apply to Obama! OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!! Wait, nevermind, that was the McCain rally crowd.

Well, the fact is, a lot of the things the McCain campaign says are falsehoods, and there are a strong number of redeeming qualities about Obama. However, that's not the way everyone seems to think about him. He is infallible.He cannot be attacked, because anything negative said about him is clearly wrong. There's no way McCain can be better than him, ever, so there's no reason to listen to criticism.

Come on people. You need to occasionally think about things. You need to use that thing in your skull that you keep relatively active during the school day (well, unless you're Maio, but he's not rabid either way so I'll let him have his nap). There's nothing wrong with supporting Obama as long as you BACK IT UP!!! Don't shut down anything and everything that could possibly take him off his pedestal. Because if you do, you're just following a mindset that could allow far more dangerous people to be put into positions of leadership with no experience and far more sinister plan's than the Illinois Senator has for this nation.

I mean Christ, people, that kind of thinking could get Palin elected!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mass. Ballot Questions 1-3

Views on Question 1 varied by political party and education. Democrats opposed the idea 74 percent to 14 percent, as did independent voters by a margin of 70 percent to 22 percent.

Republicans favored eliminating the state income tax 42 percent to 36 percent.

Of voters with a high school education or less, 41 percent favored Question 1 and 45 percent opposed it.

Respondents with at least some college opposed Question 1, 59 percent to 25 percent. College graduates opposed it 70 percent to 19 percent.

On Question 2, which would decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, 62 percent said yes, 32 percent said no and 5 percent said they were undecided or declined to give an opinion.

On Question 3, to ban dog racing, 53 percent of voters said yes and 30 percent said no with 17 percent saying they were undecided or didn't want to give an opinion. - Massachusetts Live
My thoughts? "Yes" for all three.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Rant On Public Schooling

School sucks. Don't think that I say that because I don't like it or anything. It really does suck. Where is the structure? They say we should take math, science, English, social studies, and a foreign language. We ought to be allowed to choose what books we want to read and what courses we want to take. We should be able to pick our major as a freshman and take courses relevant to that major so that when we arrive at college we aren't scatterfucked with information that is unfamiliar to us. Math is cool, but it depends on the subject matter. Take  geometry and algebra, for example. Most of the bologna learned in these classes does not come back in any way, shape or form save an SAT or similar standardized test. Once you get to pre-calculus, you are trained to believe that what you are doing has some kind of real world value. It doesn't. I can't really speak for calculus, because I am not taking Advanced Placement, but what we've done in honors is just algebra with a few caveats. Statistics is an excellent class that is the most reasonable "math" that I've scene. You systematically go about sorting information. That's fun, but you must have it in you. If you don't then you shouldn't be required to ever take the class. The same rule applies with lower level high school maths (especially if you anticipate being a humanities major). Science is something that should cease being a requirement as well. If you naturally are interested in biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, or any of the countless science electives, then by all means take these classes! If you aren't curious about said subjects, you shouldn't have to take them. I have to admit that I hated biology, chemistry, and physics at first, but I grew to appreciate them. I had an epiphany of sorts though: when I'm majoring in accounting, science won't matter. I like English, but it is too screwed up as a class. We read books that most of us have no interest in and have to do assignments related to them. For instance, I like to read, but only about topics that amaze me (politics, business, sports statistics). If we could only choose what books we read and do reports on them everything would work so much better. Instead, we are left to discuss the assigned text. I don't care about what other people have to say concerning a literary work because what they say is subjective. I would participate more...if, perchance, my opinion actually mattered. I've been asked before why I don't participate all that often and that honestly is my reason. Grammar, though, is a particularly effective element that needs to be studied by every writer. Social studies is a very broad term for a lengthy list of courses. You have your histories, politics, sociology, justice + crim, and psychology classes under the "social studies" umbrella. In order to take one of these classes, one should have a particular appetite. I think everyone should take a politics class to become familiar with governing institutions that have the potential to dissolve rights. Other than that requirement, one should be able to pick and choose. I've always been a history and politics guy, so taking these classes was naturally appealing. Joe Schmo, a to-be physics major, shouldn't have to. Finally, we have foreign language. Does anyone logically need to learn a language besides English? Nope. If you want to though, you should have that right. What am I trying to say? I am trying to say that public schooling is terrible. A college like system should be instituted that allows for greater concentration on certain subjects. Abolish the MCAS. Abolish requirements. Abolish the income tax, too, while you are at it. Now, I must go back to being the slave to the master I've served for the past twelve years.

Imagine Working Here!

Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics: 

*29 have been accused of spousal abuse 
*7 have been arrested for fraud 
*19 have been accused of writing bad checks 
*117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
*3 have done time for assault 
*71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit 
*14 have been arrested on drug-related charges 
*8 have been arrested for shoplifting 
*21 are currently defendants in lawsuits 
*84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year Can you guess which organization this is?

IT IS THE 535 MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS. The same group of Idiots that crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.
This used to be a popular e-mail chain letter in the late 1990s. It hasn't been completely verified or denied.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sharing My Taste in Music

I've told Glen about this guy so much that I thought it was time to share him with the rest of the Ètudiant. Ladies and Gentleman (who am I kidding, Lady and Gentlemen), Citizen Cope-Salvation:

The non-acoustic is on youtube, too, if you wanna look it up. He has a pretty decently sized collection of songs.

Who won the first debate?


This is a bit late I know. Vote Nader/Gonzalez!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ben Tan's First Radio Report On China

The following is a ten minute newscast done by Étudiant co-founder Ben Tan for WERS 88.9, Emerson College's radio station. It aired on Sunday, October 5 at 7:00 AM.

Click here to listen.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nader/Gonzalez 08'

Ralph Nader on the passage of the bailout.

The Legendary Performance

I love the covers. Good choices.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Comments From An Anonymous WHS Soccer Player

"We are not that bad; we just can't win. The coach [Sam Hochberg] is putting people in the wrong positions and is playing people who shouldn't be on the field, let alone on the team. He refuses to play the best players at the same time. He doesn't start those who should start and he subs in those who shouldn't be subbed in. Half of the kids couldn't care less if we don't win. Four or five kids trained over the summer. There is a severe lack of balls and heart on the team. We lack focus and discipline to do what the coach tells us to do. The coach is doing a good job, though. We've also gotten screwed by the refs and lost a few heart breakers like our first game against Reading. The star players are disappointments. There is a severe lack of leadership. Too many players are mentally unprepared. These kids are killing us every game. We are not able to mentally recover."
The WHS Boys Soccer team is win-less through its first nine games