Justice? Honesty?

Nah, Not From The University Police
By James Laudano ___________ As previously reported in The Pre s s, several intoxicated young men (who had been attending a party down the hall) trespassed into a female suite in the West Apartments. These intruders severely vandalized the common room, vomited on the floor, destroyed furniture, and threw food all over the walls. When the residents came out of their bedrooms to investigate, the young men argued with them for a short time and then left. The girls called the police and the officers were soon on the scene. The girls took the officer to the party a few doors down and positively identified the vandals. However, the officers were unresponsive and didn’t go so far as to even ask the suspects for their names or IDs. They told the girls that since their door had been unlocked when the vandals entered their suite, what occurred couldn’t technically be considered “breaking in.” The vandals then left the party, entered a car outside, and drove off. The girls pointed this out to the officers, but still they did nothing. After knowingly allowing men who were clearly intoxicated drive away from the crime scene, the officers left, leaving the residents with the horrible mess to clean up, and no potential for justice or serious compensation. The next day, a police report was filed. It stated that the suite residents “called for assistance and the unidentified males were gone on police arrival.” As shown above, this is incorrect. The males were not unidentified, nor were they gone on police arrival. What compelled the officer to file such a false report cannot truly be known by anyone other than himself. Assistant Police Chief and Community Affairs Commander, Douglas Little was unable to be reached by phone, but emails were exchanged about the incident. In the email, the incident was outlined and questions were raised about the false police report, if anything had been done to address it, if any disciplinary actions had been taken towards the officer, and how an o fficer can knowingly allow men to drive away while intoxicated, among other questions. His response was very prompt; “We will look at the report and conduct our investigation and will speak to the complainants as part of the investigation.” He assured that the matter will be followed up and, if necessary, proper action will be taken. He went on to state that, “Obviously, these are allegations of misconduct and I will not address disposition regarding any discipline until all facts of the case are brought to light.” He concluded by that that answering these questions any further “would not be prudent at this time.” This reply brings up a number of questions. Not least among them is if, as he told me, these are in fact allegations of misconduct, yet he wont address any discipline until “all facts of the case are brought to light”, how exactly are these new facts going to be brought to light? Who will be asked for information regarding all these facts? The officer who reported to the scene? As we can see, he didn’t have his facts straight the first time he reported to his superiors. Will they ask the residents of the vandalized suite? They didn’t take heed to what those unfortunate victims had to say the night of the incident. We have not found any follow up information as to who the vandals were, and it is quite possible that they aren’t even students here at Stony Brook, so we can’t find and ask them. In the end, there will be no new “facts of the case” that the police office has not already seen or heard. And since the one chance that they had to actually catch these young men has now since gone by the wayside, what chance is there that any action at all will be taken? Attempts to reach the apartment building’s RA and the quad’s RHD for comment or any additional info yielded no results.

By Leeza Menon __________ To commemorate Black History Month, the Haitian Students O rganization (HSO) held Creole Fest, an evening devoted to learning about the history of Haitian culture, music, and the origins of the word “Creole” on February 26, 2007. Muldy Flecher, a senior at Stony Brook and public relations officer for the HSO, said that an event like Creole Fest would be beneficial for everyone on campus. Now that Haiti has become an independent nation, groups like the HSO, which has been at Stony Brook for over 20 years, have a “right to show how revolutions came about,” Flecher said. HSO Secretary, Fayonne Hyppolite, said that young Haitian Americans do not know enough about Haitian history. Now a sophomore, Hyppolite joined the HSO during her freshman year because she thought the group served the important purpose of “educating the masses.” Hyppolite’s pride in her culture, she said, is evident in her nickname, Haiti. “ You can’t be around [her] without speaking some type of Creole”, she said. The event, which was held in SAC Ballroom B, began with poetry readings by students. Vanessa Cheris, a sophomore, read a poem featured in Open Gate: An Anthology of Haitian Cre o l e Poetry, the first bilingual volume of Haitian poems with English translations. The poem, Ayiti Demen, translates to Haiti To m o rro w in English. Both the Creole and English versions were read aloud at Creole Fest and received applause from the almost 40 people in attendance. Cheris, who joined the HSO last year, said that her reasons for joining included wanting to educate the Haitian comm u n i t y, increasing pride, and “being part of things that relate to her.” “The meetings,” said Cheris, which convene on Thursdays at 9 pm at the University Cultural Center in Roth Cafe, according to the HSO website, “usually provide an opportunity to share stories about what it is like to grow up as a Haitian A m e r i c a n . ”

Both the Creole and English versions were read aloud at Creole Fest and received applause from the almost 40 people in attendance
Following the poems, there were still a number of events up ahead, including power-point presentations about the history of Haiti, and the beginning of the Haitian music called kompa, also referred to as Compas Dire c t. There was also an interactive game where audience members could guess “Who is the Haitian?” Celebrity faces popped up on screen and spectators ventured guesses as to which one of them was actually Haitian. Celebrities who were subject to judgment ranged from Wyclef Jean, who is of Haitian ancestry, to Paris Hilton, who is…not. There was also a discussion about the origins of the term “Creole” which arose from the French and Spanish ancestry of Haiti. Gabrielle Negri is a commuter who said she tries to make it to meetings and events whenever she can. She was happy about the diverse number of people she met as a member of the org a n ization. “The best thing about Haiti,” Negri said, “is that we come in so many different shades.” Billie Hector, the president of HSO, felt it was important to have this event to celebrate Black History Month because it fulfilled the key objective of the group. “Our purpose,” Hector said, “is to teach people of other ethnicities about Haiti and further enlighten Haitians who are eager to learn even more about their own culture.”

“We will look at the report and [...] speak to the com plaintants as part of the investigation.”
Douglas Little Assistant Police Chief
There are many problems that need to be addressed with the way university police o fficers handle issues here on campus. For example, as stated by the officer at the scene, apparently it is not considered breaking and entering if a door is left unlocked. If this is true, could one barge into President Shirley Kenny’s office and trash the place if she leaves the door unlocked? However, the simple fact of the matter is this: These vandals broke the law when they destroyed much of the victim’s suite. They broke the law when they drove away under the influence. The police off icer, on the other hand, failed to do his job. He failed to make arrests and uphold justice during one of the few times he truly should have on this campus.



Suicide Attack at Scooter Libby Guilty, Bagram Airbase Kinda Congress Questions Startles Dick Cheney Attorney Firings
The attack did not seem to faze the ironwilled Cheney, who went on with is itinerary after the chaos in the base had subsided. Hours after the attack, the Vice President flew to the Afghani capitol, Kabul, to meet with the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. They no doubt talked about the security situation in A f g h a n i s t a n . C h e n e y ’s A f g h a n i s t a n visit was only one leg of his multi-nation centralAsian tour, which was shrouded in unusual s e c r e c y. This added security may be due to concerns about the apparent strengthening of Al Queda, the Ta l i b a n , and other terrorist organizations in the region. Indeed, It is believed that one of Cheney’s main goals in his meetings with Karzai and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was to underscore the need to secure outlying territories of the region, which have long been strongholds of various terrorist groups and their tribal supporters. An attack so close to such a major state official has incited further questions about the security situation in Afghanistan and about the A f g h a n i s t a t e ’s ability to maintain order and crack down on terrorists within its borders. The U.S. has characterized the significance of the bombing as mainly symbolic, having no real impact on the situation on the ground (the families of those who were murdered notwithstanding). Nonetheless, the attack underscores the presence of a Taliban, which is still apparently alive and well and that is able to carry out devastating attacks deep within areas controlled not simply by the Afghani state, but by the U.S. military. Yahoo! News quoted Seth Jones, an expert on Afghanistan at the RAND Corporation, as saying, "to execute such an attack on such short notice requires a well-developed network of suicide bombers and handlers that can react quickly.” Though U.S. off i c i a l s , notably White House Spokesman To n y Snow have characterized the attack as an isolated incident, with spring just around the corner, a more general terrorist offensive will no doubt soon ensue. By Steve McLinden ___________ It may be a little premature to call the White House a sinking ship, but with Scooter Libby’s conviction and new information about politically-motivated firings of U.S. Attorneys, to say that the Bush administration has hit rough waters would be an understatement. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney’s former Chief of Staff, was found guilty on March 6th for his role in the Plame affair. Bush administration officials leaked to the media the identity of Valerie Plame, a high-level spy for the CIA, in retaliation for her husband Joseph Wilson’s editorial criticizing Bush’s plan for war in Iraq in 2003. Robert Novak wrote that Plame was holding non-official cover in Niger. ment or further concern of their roles in the Plame affair. However, The Washington Times has made mention of the slim possibility of Cheney’s resignation as the fall guy for everything from Plame to Iraq, and to “save” the Bush administration’s remaining tenure. Meanwhile, the tossing overboard of some political deadweight has become rather embarrassing flotsam for the Bush administration, and now Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may be forced out of his position. In December/January, eight U.S. attorneys were dismissed by the Justice Department for what is called “performance-related issues.” Many observers balked at this, saying that it was likely that the attorneys were not politically in line with the Bush administration’s plans and had been purged like disagreeable members of a Soviet Politburo. On March 6th, Congress began hearings on the controversy. Carol Lam, who worked in the Southern District of California, was asked to step down supposedly for not pursuing enough cases on illegal immigration. However, she secured a high-profile indictment against Republican Representative Duke Cunningham (R-Ca.) who resigned after it was uncovered that he had accepted $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Former New Mexico US Attorney David Iglesias has become the most prominent name in the firings, reportedly for his unwillingness to participate in a pre-mid-term election indictment of a congressional Democrat. Iglesias testified that Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Representative Heather Wilson (R-NM) had called his office in mid-2006, pressuring him to indict this congressperson before the November 2006 Congressional elections. Iglesias was fired reportedly for absenteeism, but he is a naval reservist who must spend about 40 days a year with the Navy. He testified to Senator Schumer (D-NY) that “it's very ironic, since the Department of Justice enforces the Uniform Services Employment Rights and Reemployment Act, which ensures that Guard members and Reserve members have full employment rights and are not discriminated against on the basis of their military affiliation.” When the Patriot Act was renewed by the Republican-controlled Congress in 2006, a provision in it now allows the Attorney General to appoint U.S. attorneys “indefinitely,” effectively circumventing the U.S. code requiring Senate approval. Senator Arlen Spector (R-PA), who is ironically responsible for this provision, has now suggested in light of the firings that “one day there will be a new attorney general, maybe sooner rather than later.”

By Scott E. Silsbe ___________ On Tu e s d a y, February 27th, a suicide bomber hit Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan while Vice President Dick Cheney visited the base. Though the bomber only got as far as the air base’s front gate, which was a mile away from the Vice President, the explosion was close enough to the Vice President that he later reported hearing a “loud boom.” Immediately after the blast, Vi c e President Cheney was escorted to a bomb shelter where he stayed for a short time, and the base went on “Red Alert” signaling that the facility was under direct attack. Though the Vice President was not injured, the explosion is reported to have killed 23 people. Notable fatalities included one U.S. soldier and a twelve y e a r-old Afghani boy. The name of the suicide bomber, who also perished, was Mullah Abdul Rahim. Soon after the attack, the Taliban claimed responsibility and reported that their target was indeed Vice President Cheney. However, U.S. officials believe such a claim to be fallacious. The Guardian has quoted U.S. Major William Mitchell as saying, “The vice- president wasn't even supposed to be here overnight, so this would have been a surprise to everybody.” T h e Major doubts very much that the Taliban could have truly known the whereabouts of the Vice President. This view is bolstered by the fact that the suicide bomber did not even try to get past U.S. security checkpoints, but rather detonated near a group of Afghani civilians.

A reporter brazenly called out, “Are you willing to go to prison to protect Vice President Cheney?”
Found guilty on four of five charges (two of them counts of perjury, one obstruction of justice, and two for making false statements), Libby faces up to 25 years in prison. Several jurors told the press after deliberation had ended that they saw Libby as the scapegoat for Cheney and his advisor Karl Rove, but still saw Libby as a guilty man nonetheless. Libby maintains that he is not guilty in the leak and only learned of it from NBC’s Tim Russert, but Russert testified that it was the other way around. Libby’s defense had been pushing to the jury that Libby was set up as the fall guy for not being loyal enough to Cheney, saying that Rove and Cheney were the first to leak that information. New York Times reporter Judith Miller had been sent to jail in contempt of court for protecting her source, but eventually revealed notes that she discussed the Plame affair with Libby shortly before the public release of her name as a CIA operative. Libby’s sentencing is planned for June, and legal analysts are putting it in the ballpark of two years. After Libby’s conviction, while his lawyers read a statement on their disappointment in the conviction, a reporter brazenly called out, "Are you willing to go to prison to protect Vice President Cheney?" Many cynics expect Libby to be one of Bush’s pardons during his last days in office. Liberal commentators have suggested that the White House will front that “justice has been served” and that the case would be closed, leaving Karl Rove and Dick Cheney free from indict-



The City Of Chicago Can’t Stop Electing Richard M. Delay
By Madeline Scheckter ___________ On February 28th, Richard M. Daley was re-elected as mayor of Chicago for the sixth time. Daley received about 70% of the vote, defeating Dorothy Brown, the Cook County Clerk, and attorney William Walls. The 64-yearold mayor is now poised to break his f a t h e r’s record as Chicago’s longest Mayor. His father, Richard J. Daley served for 21 years, his sixth term cut short when he died in office at the age of 74. Richard M. Daley was first elected in 1989. Since then, he has received many awards for his service as mayor for doing things such as opening Millennium Park, which features a band shell designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. He also participated in the renovation of Navy Pier, one of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions. The Pier features, among many other things, a 150-foot Ferris Wheel, other amusement park attractions, an IMAX theatre, and two stages. Soldier Field (the home of the Chicago Bears) has been renovated, preserving what The city has also created capacity for over 42,000 students since his initial election. Daley is also known for promoting greenery in Chicago, most famously green or eco-roofs, which are roofs covered in vegetation. The City Hall now possesses a green roof. The off i c i a l biography of Daley, which can be found on the city’s websites states that since he

The Odd Couple

Under Delay, Chicago is cam paigning to be the United States’ bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The United States Olympic Commitee will decide between Chicago and Los Angeles
was elected, says the city has planted over 400,000 trees and created 120 acres of parkland. Daley’s tenure as mayor has not been all renovation and rejuvenation of Chicago. In 2003, he made the decision, without the approval from the City Council, to demolish Meigs Field, a small airport near Soldier Field. Because the demolition was conducted in a clandestine manner, there was public outcry. The city was fined $33,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration. A park is planned to replace the airfield. Daley argues that the lakefront needs to be open to all residents of Chicago, a position which echoes that of Chicago urban planner Daniel Burnham. Burnham planned Chicago’s lakefront to be completely public. Daley drew harsh criticism when he vetoed the Big Box Ordinance last year. The ordinance had been passed by Chicago’s aldermen, and proposed to raise the minimum wage at so-called big box stores (such as Walmart and Target) to $10 an hour, as well as an additional $3 per hour in benefits by 2010. The ordinance passed City Council in a 3514 vote. This was the first time Daley ever used his power of veto in the 17 years he held off i c e . Under Daley, Chicago is campaigning to be the United States’ bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The United States Olympic Committee will decide between Chicago and Los Angeles on April 14th. As part of their bid, the mayor wishes to guarantee $500 million in funding.

Randall Stevens

They’s homies

By Alex H. Nagler __________ One is a conservative Son of the South who rose to his true calling filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The other is a Brooklynite who became a Pentecostal Minister and a Presidential candidate. When a craaaaaaazy genealogist finds out they’re related, watch them take the ride of their lives as they learn the most important lesson of all: how to get along. This summer, Al Sharpton and the Corpse of Strom Thurmond star in: O Brother, Where Aren’t Thou? Brought to you by MTV and New Line Cinema! In case you haven’t heard, a team of genealogists working with Ancestry.com discovered that Al Sharpton, famed civil rights activist and one time presidential candidate had a great-grandfather, Coleman Sharpton. While the discovery that someone has a great-grandfather is uneventful, the discovery that said great-grandfather was a slave of Julia Thurmond, whose grandfather was the great-great-grandfather of Strom Thurmond is. Yes, you read that right. At one point in history, the Thurmonds owned the Sharptons. The family of the man who rallied for 24 hours against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 owned the family of the man who lead the protests against the NYPD’s killing of Amadou “41 Shots” Diallo. God exists and He has a wicked sense of humor.

was originally built in 1921. Daley is an advocate for gun control, and supports LGBT rights. In July 2006, Mayor Daley officially opened the Gay Games. When he was first elected, Daley attached himself to an ambitious school reform campaign, and in 1995 he created a management team which improved safety, expanded summer school and after school programs and ended social promotion in Chicago public schools.

Sharpton was obviously stunned by this situation and used it to remind people of the difficulties the African American community had endured only a generation ago. Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the illegitimate black daughter of Strom Thurmond, has claimed that Sharpton “overreacted” upon hearing the news, but would welcome Sharpton into the family if the DNA tests he is calling for reveals that he is a blood relative of the Thurmonds. In an editorial for The Los Angeles Times, Sharpton called for racial healing, claiming that “rage will do no good for Coleman Sharpton's descendants or the Thurmond descendants. My family and the Thurmond family must rise above the ugly, shameful past that binds us, just as America must come out of denial and seek to repair the damage that slavery has done and to eliminate the bigotry that still lingers.” Sharpton ended his editorial with another plea for racial unity and the hopes for a better tomorrow, stating, “The news of my own past was brought to me unsolicited. But I hope all African Americans will seek their family history so we can dignify the memories of our forefathers and change the America of the future. And, if we can take that step, certainly all Americans, black and white, can join us.” Alex H. Nagler thinks that this is bloody hys terical.



US Ambassador Attacked by Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka
By Jonathan Singer ___________ On February 27, US ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake was attacked by members of The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a militant/terrorist group based in the disputed Tamil region of Sri Lanka. The attack is part of an ongoing struggle between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government. Blake escaped with only minor injuries. He was traveling with Italian ambassador Pio Mariani, who was admitted to a local hospital. occurred when the Sri Lankan government officially recognized Tamil as a national language. Today, it is spoken by eighteen percent of the population. The United States, India, and the countries of Western Europe officially recognize LTTE as a terrorist organization. Bhasin says that this distinction was created because LTTE uses arms to fight for their homeland. “These people don’t know of any other place as their home besides the North and East region of Sri Lanka,” he says. A list of their “greatest hits” would include the assination of Indian Prime

Bush vs Chavez: The Reckoning
By Alex H. Nagler ___________ So, what do you do when you’re the President of the United States and you have an extremely vocal critic who lives just to the south of you? This critic happens to be the head of state of his oil rich country and takes time out of his busy schedule to routinely insult you. This critic also sends low-cost oil to your needier neighborhoods at prices so cheap that the towns would be foolish to reject them and talks of how you cannot even supply your own people. When you’re President Bush and you have a critic like Hugo Chavez, there’s only one thing you really can do: go next door to him and wait for him to assault you from his living room. Chanting “Gringo, Go Home!” Hugo Chavez kicked off his week of “anti-imperialist” rallies to coincide with President Bush’s week-long visit to Latin America. The visit surrounds a recent deal between President Bush and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula di Silvia involving ethanol and a measure to decrease both Brazilian and American dependence on foreign oil. Under the new agreement, the US and Brazil will share technology to increase ethanol production and help develop the infrastructure in Latin American and Caribbean countries. President Bush also touted the increase in foreign aid money to the entire Latin American region to approximately $1.6 billion annually as “social justice money,” claiming it will be used for, “the distribution of wealth, the distribution of opportunity to farmers, particularly the smaller farmers in our respective countries, will enable the economy to be more on a firm foundation.” Meanwhile, as President Bush was touting the benefits of his new plans for Latin America, Hugo Chavez was declaring victory as the President refused to mention him by name. Mr. Chavez contended “he is afraid to say my name” due to Chavez’s vision of “21st century socialism.” He added that President Bush’s speeches boiled down to “Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, terrorism, security, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq,” and that “He seems incapable of developing even a single idea.” The Bush Administration is playing down Chavez’s popularity in the region and is writing him off as a lone loon intent on rattling cages wherever he can. Bush and Chavez share similar approval ratings in the region as a whole, so with the modern-day Rainbow High tour in full swing, it should be interesting to see if the President can pull an Eva Peron and bring Latin America to his side.

The LTTE has been fighting against the Sri Lankan military since the 1970s. Their aim is to establish a Tamil homeland in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Tamil culture is based in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Economic migration took place when Britain controlled the region. They took Tamil Labor across the Palk Bay to work British Plantations in Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon). This migration occurred while Sinhalese people were living on the island. They had been there for thousands of years. SBU Visiting Professor of International Relations (and former diplomat) Harsh Bhasin says that what happened can be compared to the current US-Mexico problem. “Any immigrant community is always more hard working,” he said. The movement of workers from Tamil Nadu to Ceylon occurred over a period of 200 years, or approximately five generations. Today, the Tamils who live among the Sinhalese feel as if they are a discriminated minority. The conflict is based on religion, as Sinhalese are Buddhist while Tamils are Hindu. There is also a linguistic issue; Sinhala and Tamil are two distinct languages. A major win for the Tamils

Minister Ragiv Gandhi. A female suicide bomber carried out that fatal attack in 1991. The LTTE, who is lead by Velupillai Pirapaharan (called “The Hon. Velupillai Pirapaharan” on their website), claims that they were not attacking the Ambassadors. The attack occurred as the Sri Lankan Air Force Helecopter carrying the ambaddasors landed at an airfield in the Batticola district of Eastern Sri Lanka/Tamil. LTTE representatives fully admitted to the attacks, saying that they fired mortars because they thought the helicopter was carrying soldiers. The Sri Lankan government had just captured an LTTE stronghold in Batticola, and invited diplomats from the US, Italy, and five other nations to a development meeting. The Sri Lankan military tried to secure the airfield, but according to Bhasin, most of Batticola is still controlled the LTTE. The day before the attacks, ambassador Blake told the Indo-Asian news service that a political solution, not a military one, would be the path to solving the conflict. Successfully killing the American ambassador, intentionally or inadvertently, could have resulted in a full-scale civil war in Sri Lanka, probably with the US aiding the ruling government.

Tensions Mount in Iraq After Clash
By Andrew Pernick ___________ Sadr City is set to reignite in the wake of an incident in which US soldiers are alleged to have opened fire on a car carrying civilians, killing a man and his two daughters. Home to the Mahdi Army, which has temporarily agreed to disarm, Sadr City is a hotbed of sectarian violence. The allegations were made by the wife of the man who was slain in the shooting, who proclaimed, “They killed the father of my children! The Americans killed my daughters!” The military has promised the people of Sadr City a full investigation, but that may not be enough to quell the ever-increasing tensions between the American troops, who have been conducting house-by-house sweeps in a new push to put an end to the Iraqi insurgency, and the residents of the impoverished neighborhoods there. Also this week, American forces captured the leader of an insurgent group, the Islamic State of Iraq, in a raid in the Abu Ghraib district on the outskirts of Baghdad. This after a prior announcement that the Iraqi Security Force had captured the group’s leader, a Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, when, in fact, they had captured a different individual. The United States has yet to confirm or deny whether or not it has Mr. Baghdadi in custody. American forces are going door-to-door throughout the Iraqi region of Diyala in search of insurgents, and American forces killed three Iraqi Army soldiers in an Iraqi Army vehicle after they refused an order commanding them to stop. Diyala a current hotbed of the American battle against the Iraqi insurgency. The Islamic State of Iraq has claimed responsibility for the assault on an Iraqi police station there, which left one dead, the building on fire, and the station’s arms and armaments looted. In Baghdad, four have died as a result of sniper fire but it is unclear as to whether the four were all killed by the same gunman as all four shootings occurred in different neighborhoods. Also, ten bodies were found dumped in the capitol city. Finally, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, the Iraqi judge who ordered Saddam Hussein’s execution, has asked the British for political asylum, fearing retaliation by those loyal to the country’s former leader, according to the satellite news agency Al Jazeera. There has been no comment from the British Government on this matter.



E d i to r i a l B o a r d
Executive Editor Jowy Romano Managing Editor A n d rew Pernick Associate Editor Alex W l s h a Business Manager Adina Silverbush P roduction Manager Jesse Schoepfer News Editors Rebecca Kleinhaut Madeline Scheckter F e a t u res Editor Steve McLinden A rts Editor B e rta Rezik Photo Editors Vincent Michael Festa Joey Safdia Copy Editors Elizabeth Kaplan Alex Nagler B ryan Hasho We b m a s t e r Chris Wi l l i a m s Audiomaster Ombudsman

Editorials Voting is the New Pink
As the next round of Undergraduate Student Government elections approaches, The Stony Brook Press would like to encourage students to take an active role in deciding who they want to be their student leaders next year. Students on this campus are constantly complaining about changes they want to see and, at least in theory, student leaders act as your method of change. USG officers are your voice to the administration, so choose who you want to represent you wisely. This election seems to have become a Facebook popularity contest and this shouldn’t be the case. The Press wants you to go to the debates, read our elections guide, (which will come out later this week) and make an informed decision. Don’t vote based on who you know or what party a candidate is affiliated with. The existence of political parties on campus shifts the focus away from the issues, depreciates the democratic structure and is an altogether pointless idea. Show you care about the candidate’s potential reforms, not their worthless associations by voting without regard for them. Being indifferent and not voting at all, however, shows the university how little USG represents the students and therefore weakens their role in improving our university. And while the perception that the USG lacks purpose certainly discourages some students from voting, a strong turnout would certainly render the elects more accountable. By voting you are showing the USG that we are watching, and that we do expect them to mirror our concerns as well as bring us results. So show the administration that we do want change; that we will fight for fair policy and that we no longer want to be treated like second-class citizens. Lousy housing conditions and waiting outside for long stretches in the cold for a bus is not acceptable. We don’t want to be ripped off by food and laundry prices anymore. We do want our professor to be compensated for their work and to be happy to be in our classrooms. The students who will be elected next year should know that what they are doing matters to their fellow students. This year the PASS program was implemented, giving students a chance to get free tutoring and giving many other students a chance to be paid for their services. ALIRRT was also implemented, giving students the opportunity to buy half price LIRR tickets. There have been trips arranged to various sporting events and a large concert by Ne-Yo. These outcomes are positive but it is unquestionably not enough. USG can have a real effect on the university if the right people are in office and the right pressure is applied. Let’s do our best to ensure that we choose the right students to represent us. Not voting is silencing yourself, and is as lethargic as the candidate’s pathetic Facebook campaigns. College activism has recently become a mostly online endeavor, and if you think that doesn’t parallel our generation’s famed apathy you’re kidding yourself. Elections start March 19th on SOLAR.

M i n i s t e r of A rc h i v e s Joe Rios IT Manager Joe Rios Distribution Manager Chesty LaRue

Kotei Aoki Travis Aria Nicole L. Barry Shaun Bennett Melissa Bernardez James Blonde James Blonde’s Bike Lucasz Chelminski Jessica Cordero Caroline D’Agati Joe Donato Melanie Donovan Michael Felder Amelia Fischer Jamie Freiermuth Ilyssa Fuchs Rob Gilheany David K. Ginn Sam Goldman Joanna Goodman Stephanie Hayes Dave Grohl Marta Gyvel Mo Ibrahim Alexander Kahn Olga Kaplun Michael Kelly Yve Koon Larry Lamb James Laudano Antony Lin Mariana Martins Leeza Menon James ‘Stkluv’Messina Thomas Mets Jamie Mignone Claire Mize Dana Murray Irv Novoa Frank Nobiletti John ‘Caboose’ O’Dell Karina Offurum Nirmala Ramsaran Berta Rezik Miguel Sanchez Natalie Schultz Alison Schwartz Karen Shidlo Scott Silsbe Rose Slupski Christine Tanaka Amberly Timperio Claudia Toloza Lena Tumasyan Marcel Votlucka Jake Wallace Brian Wasser Ricky Whitcomb Matt Willemain Ed Zadorozny

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(hint: It Rhymes With “Tony took less”)

or website-it-up big time at



To the editor, My name is Trevor Hirst, and I am the current Vice President for Student Life, Programming and Activities here on campus through USG. I have been reluctant to write to The Statesman for a number of reasons, least of all being on staff at The Press. That non-issue aside, there has not been much for me to really write about. We all know what’s going on through USG and the campus. While there could be better communication of the elected leaders in the Student Government, we have made great strides in coverage and transparency of our many agencies, some of which are the Student Activities Board (meets Mondays in SAC 302 at 7:00PM) and the USG Senate. While I am writing to you, and my fellow students, there are so many things wrong that I honestly do not know where to begin. Esam Al-Shareffi has done an excellent job reporting the weekly happenings in the Senate. Like he has stated in past issues, a lot more goes on in the Senate than the actual 2-hour Senate meetings on Tuesday nights at 8:15 in SAC B. Although the year started off with a lot of in-fighting and partisanship, this semester has show a lot of maturity, notably with the defection of several key Reform Party members. This has shown that we have come a long way in regards to making this school better because there is no more bickering, for the most part, between Senators on two sides of an issue, just for the sake of bickering. Rather there is debate and communication along with independent thinking and more than a modicum of respect. That is certainly not the case with a few people, but I will not name names. What I will do, however, is report my opinions to the article submitted last week on the real dealing of “Campus Cash” by my brother, USG Senator Jonathan Hirst, along with the rebuttal from USG President Romual Jean-Baptiste. Senator Hirst describes, in some detail, exactly what has been going on with FSA and Romual, the collusion between the two in order to further his agenda and legacy. It is my sincere belief that he has not done what he campaigned for last year, namely to lower food prices (it’s on video of him promising that, although he thoroughly denies running under that campaign when asked why the food prices are so high). Instead, he brings about the off campus meal plan titled “Campus Cash”. I’m not going to go into the fact that it will be used off-campus, defeating the “Campus” portion of that name. But I digress. I am neither going to defend nor attack what the actual program does for students or, more aptly, doesn’t do for students. I will, however, like to discuss about how his response to my brother’s article made me feel. It made me feel shame and anger towards him along with laughter. Let me get into the laughter part first. I laughed because he signed it at the end with “Your Chief Servant”. How should I have reacted? I laughed. You would too. Ok, now the anger part. The response did not really talk about the merits of it or how it will really save students money that live on campus that can’t drive to go to Dominoes or Subway (walking takes way too long). Plus, if Dominoes is delivered, can they swipe our card like SBU delivery? Also, what would be the activation fee for this, because we all know the FSAdoes nothing for free… I won’t get into some of the very colorful anagrams we use for FSA in the USG suite. These are some serious questions that should have been brought to the students to decide if we actually wanted, nay, needed this thing. For President Jean-Baptiste to keep on refuting the “wasted time and energy” writings of Jonathan, he did not really back it up. He kept on saying how long it took him and how great it will be to have this! Streamers will come from the sky! It will rain milk and honey! Anything but what it will really do for us. This is not a dig at him or what he has accomplished, merely a rebuttal to his rebuttal, kind of a dual-buttal if there is such a thing… there should be. On to shame. Shame for the fact that Romual chose such a great forum to respond to Jonathan’s article. Rather than detailing what he has done to lower food costs, get rid of the $270 activation fee for most resident’s mandatory meal plan, or any one of a number of different things, he chose to attack the “wasted time and effort” thing. Bravo. One cannot help wonder why the response made no sense. I can only think that, since Romual has stated so, he has problems with the Senate. They overturned two bills that Romual vetoed for no reason. They questioned their President (something the Constitution of the United States loves, by the way). The Senate went so far as to bring to the senate floor an amendment to a bill that would take away the President’s ability to withhold stipends from Senators and USG Officials that collect stipends. He then told USG Treasurer Stephen Hui that he did not want to sign their timesheets anymore because of those aforementioned reasons and Stephen would therefore have to sign them until the end of the semester. The President’s job, as outlined in the USG Constitution, is Chief Signatore, (or chief signer of documents, for those of us that don’t speak pseudo Italian). He won’t sign timesheets… Rom get angry! Rom smash! (Incredible Hulk reference for those not in the know). That’s just a smidgen childish. I work with Romual. I see him almost every day. We can be considered friends. This cannot stand. I am writing to The Statesman and to my fellow students to show just what we are dealing with and the depths some of these people will go for what seems like no reason whatsoever. Those that know me know that I am the antithesis of a diplomat… I say and write things that I feel, rather than consider the consequences. I’m kind of impetuous and don’t really think about ramifications and the people that I hurt. I am a Libra. Believe it or not, I believe in balance and cannot let this pass. People must know, and know they shall. I am not your servant, neither is anyone in USG. While we are here for the students, we are also here to help the students. That is different. We make policies and plan events and try to help our fellow students and make life better on campus where it is so desperately needed. Servants… I think not. If I have enlightened you, great. If I have encouraged you, great. If I have made you smile, I’ll take it. If I made you angry, tough. Deal with it. The whole point is to show that there are two sides to every argument, but we have to debate the sides and show, with detail, how they are effective or ineffective. Romual has shown neither. His view is, “it’s good because it took me the summer to do it and people from FSA helped”. I thank you for taking the time to read this and I would hope that President Jean-Baptiste engage the Senators as well as the students in debate over this program. The newspapers are not the proper place to have a back and forth tête-à-tête. I encourage everyone to come down to Sentate meetings regardless, or irregardless if you actually think that’s a word. It’s truly a fun place where unicorns run free and Eskimos blow kisses to fairies and, well, people talk about by-laws and resolutions while discussing how much money to allocate clubs next semester… wholesome fun for all. Respectfully yours, Trevor Hirst (not your servant, but your friend)



Democrats Set Pull Out Plans for Iraq
By Alex H. Nagler ___________ So, what’s the biggest thing the Democrats campaigned on in 2006 to get where they are right now in the House and in the Senate? It wasn’t healthcare or tax reform or even education. It was Iraq. The Democratic majority owes its new success to Iraq and to their pledges to get American troops out of Iraq. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the Democrats have announced their plans to withdraw all American troops from the region by August of 2008. This move is being called a political one in nature due to its estimated date of completion. Should a successful withdrawal occur prior to the 2008 elections, a Democrat candidate would be seen in a very favorable light. It should come as no surprise then that two of the most prominent supports for the issue on the Democratic side of the aisle are Senators Barack Obama (D-Il) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY), both of whom are seen as very good prospects for the party nomination. House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) plans on introducing the legislation and calls a measure to get the troops home “safe, responsibly, and soon.” Republicans, on the other hand, are calling this a move to deliberately tie the hands of generals on the ground in Iraq. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has compared even the mention of a pullout to, “establishing and telegraphing to our enemy a timetable.” He added that, “[US commander in Iraq] General Petraeus should be the one making the decisions on what happens on the ground in Iraq." Presidential Advisor Dan Bartlett commented that, “What we're seeing here is an artificial, precipitous withdrawal from Iraq based on, unfortunately, politics in Washington, not conditions on the ground in Baghdad, Iraq.” This move to eliminate troops comes on the heels of President Bush’s recent request of 21,500 more troops for the region to serve as a booster to the American military. The recent months have been bloody ones on the streets of Baghdad, as the daily fatality count record seems to revise itself weekly. Sadly, not a day goes by when the American public does not hear about a car bomb going off or a suicide bomber detonating himself in a crowded place, killing tens and maiming hundreds. It’s not a pleasant time for Americans in Iraq or even the Iraqis themselves. The only possible downside to a withdrawal of American troops in Iraqi is the possible use of them in Iran. Iraq’s next-door neighbor has become a sticking point for the Bush Administration’s recent rhetoric as talk of weapons flowing across the border increases. What will happen next cannot be foreseen; after all, this is global politics.

Daylight Savings Time
By Jonathan Singer ___________ Everyone should have noticed that Daylight Savings time started on Sunday Morning. Clocks moved ahead one hour, and some didn’t make the switch automatically. The later sunrises will lead to later sunsets which politicians hope will save energ y. It’s ok to feel confused; DST usually begins in April and ends in October. This year, it’s going to end the first Sunday in November. This earlier start date was determined in 2005 as part of the Energy Policy Act. The idea behind the act is that energy consumption peaks at night, when people light up their homes. With sundown pushed back one hour, that’s theoretically one less hour of energy consumption. US Representatives Edward Markey and Fred Upton sponsored the act. They say that it will save 279 billion cubic feet of natural gas, and avoid 10.8 million metric tons of carbon emissions. Longer days have been credited to lower crime rates and fewer cases of depression (no more “winter blues”). Outdoor recreational facilities such as golf courses like DST because it gives people more time to play outside in the late afternoon and early evening. Religious Jews and Muslims are also happy that their Morning Prayer services are starting as late as 8 a.m. But this also means that mornings will be darker. Morning joggers will have to wear reflectors until sunrise creeps back to 6 a.m. later in the spring (sunrise on Monday the 12th was at 7:10 a.m.). Some experts also attribute DST to school bus accidents, as sunrise moves up but school start times stay the same. I t ’s interesting to note just how arbitrary something like the time can be. Daylight savings time, according to the grand narrative, began as a concept in the head of Benjamin Franklin. It was first implemented as a national standard by the US government during World War I. The energy saving trend lasted until peacetime began. When the Second World War came around, FDR implemented a year-round DST. That was also dropped once the war ended. It was then decided in the 1960s that Americans would observe six months of DST a year, from April to October. The last DST crisis occurred during the Arab Oil Embargo, when Nixon mandated that DST be observed in the winters of 1974 and 1975. And clocks in Arizona didn’t change. After the national standard was passed in 1966 Arizona successfully lobbied to always stay on standard time. The idea here is that people in Phoenix want the sun to set as soon as possible on summer days when the temperature is over 100 degrees. Throughout the entire debate, the sun has always maintained it’s familiar course in the sky, regardless to what time it was. Opponents to the DST switch say the theory of less nighttime energy usage is offset by demands for light in the dark mornings and the heavy use of air conditioners during the summer months (The last major blackout occurred during the month of A u g u s t ) . Canada also moved their clocks ahead on Sunday, putting the US and Canada in Daylight Savings Ti m e while the European Union waits to adopt “summer time” later this month. Saskatchewan, however, didn’t change because the Canadian Province doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Ti m e .



Compiled by Rebecca Klienhaut, Alex H. Nagler, Steve McLinden & Scott E. Silsbe
United States and Brazil: More Ethanol, Please March 9 – The United States and Brazil signed a joint agreement to place more effort into the production of the fuel source ethanol. The agreement was signed during President Bush’s seven-day tour of Latin America. President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil signed the agreement with President Bush in an effort to try to lessen foreign dependence on oil. “Dependency upon energy from somewhere else means that you’re dependent upon the decisions from somewhere else,” said President Bush. According to BBC News, America and Brazil are the world’s top ethanol producers, with Brazil topping off at around seventy percent. The agreement between the United States and Brazil came shortly after Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice began to promote the use of ethanol throughout Central America. Massive protests against Bush’s arrival rocked the city of Sao Paulo on Friday. Protesters claimed that the increased dependence on ethanol would lead to a greater need for sugar cane and more destruction in South America’s rainforests. Also in attendance were dissenters of the war in Iraq. As one of the United States’ oil suppliers, what did Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have to add? Said Chavez: “If I had him face to face, I’d tell him, ‘Gringo, go home.’” Darfur Criminals Face Prosecution Officials in Sudan claim that they will try three war criminals for actions committed during the civil war in Darfur. Ali Mohammed Ali Abd-al-Rahman, more widely known as Ali Kushayb, is one of the three suspects who are being accused of leading the janjaweed militia into Darfur. He was also on the run from the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is seeking to prosecute for crimes against humanity. Another suspect, Captain Hamdi Sharaful Din, was a member of Sudan’s security forces, as was Kushayb. According to The Washington Post, the ICC would like to charge Kushayb with fifty-one counts of war crimes, including “murder, rape, torture, and persecution.” In the newspaper Al Intibaho, Kushayb denied ever leading the troops into Darfur to kill civilians. Although the International Criminal Court is looking to prosecute, Sudan is steadfast in its determination to keep its trials within its country’s borders. President Omar al-Bashier has publicly stated that he does not want a trial through the ICC and that its own court system is legitimate enough to deal with the claims. Popular and Creepy Corporate Mascots Hit It Big At least two major corporate marketing campaigns have been so successful that they have spawned either a) a TV series or b) a feature length film. Further blurring the line between advertisement and entertainment, ABC is planning to go ahead with a half-hour pilot program featuring none other than the GEICO cavemen. The would-be sitcom, which will center on the struggles of a trio of cavemen living in modern-day Atlanta, is still in its earliest stages, with neither a cast nor a script. As for the aforementioned feature film, it is slated to star none other than the king - the B u rger King. MSN Money reported that B u rger King's President of Global Marketing Strategy Russ Klein has announced a full-length feature film starring the voiceless and decidedly creepy mascot. He went on to note that this film could be unleashed upon the world before the end of the year. Scooter Libby They convicted the bastard! Hoorah! Hooray! Yippie! Four outta Five Counts a i n ’t bad! Now watch him never spend a day in jail and get a presidential pardon from Bush as he’s halfway out the door. Russian Report e r Dies In Suspicious Fall A military affairs writer for a Russian business newspaper suffered a fatal fall from a fifth-floor window in his Moscow apartment building, and foul play by the Russian government is suspected by citizens, newspapers, and independent agencies. Ivan Safronov was reportedly investigating covert Russian missile sales with Syria and Iran. His colleagues at Kommersant had warned him that he could face criminal charges for publishing state secrets, and he had been questioned several times by the FSB, the agency which is the modern equivalent of the KGB. “It's quite probable that such deals have been signed, and it's also probable that he was killed because of that,” independent investigator Pavel Felgenhauer, an acquaintance of Safronov’s, told The Associated Press. The United States and Israel have been strongly critical of recent Russian military contracts with Iran, and it’s likely that these weapons are more sophisticated surface-to-surface missiles compared to those which have been disclosed, and would have also included fighter jets and air defense systems. Reporter Anna Politkovskaya, who had been highly critical of the Kremlin, was shot dead outside of her Moscow residence in October. According to The Committee To Protect Journalists, at least thirteen reporters have been the targets of contract killings by Vladimir Putin’s administration. Ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko was killed in November by radiation poisoning in London, and the chemical was traced back to a Russian manufacturer. Observers fear that with no serious reaction on the world scene, Russia under Putin will be allowed to fall back to its hard-line authoritarian ways of the Soviet era. Ann Coulter: John Edwards = Fag In a rather major controversy even for the sharp-tongued conservative commentator, Ann Coulter called Senator John Edwards a “total fag” on national television. At the Conservative Political Action Conference, Coulter said in a speech, “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so… can't really talk about Edwards,” in a tongue-in-cheek reference to a controversy over actor Isaiah Washington’s use of the term against his gay co-star on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. The comments met widespread condemnation from the left and right; from Edwards’ campaign, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to Republican Presidential candidates John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney. Coulter responded, “C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean.” On March 5th, she told FOX News’ Hannity and Colmes that “faggot isn't offensive to gays; it has nothing to do with gays” and backpedaled that it was a schoolyard insult meaning wuss. She also suggested that the Republican candidates “aren’t that smart” and should be prepared to apologize for more of her statements in the future. As a further backlash, several advertisers on Coulter’s website including Verizon have pulled their response after complaints from consumers, and several newspapers across the country have dropped Coulter’s syndicated column. Godfather of Soul Finally Laid to Rest Get up. Get on up. Get up. Get on up. Stay on the scene. Get on up. Like a guy that’s been dead since Christmas and has only finally been buried. Get on up. James Brown’s body was finally placed in a crypt Saturday at the Beech Island home of his daughter. As the body was entombed, white balloons were released and Mr. Brown’s adult children and other family members and friends sang and prayed over the singer’s body. The Rev. Al Sharpton, a close friend of the late artist, presided over the noon ceremony. Also in attendance at the service were Mr. Brown’s partner, Tomi Rae Hynie, and the couple’s son, who led the procession. Ms. Hynie told The Associated Press, “This is what James wanted, for the family to come together. Everyone really felt like James was there with us.” Mr. Brown died in an Atlanta hospital on Dec. 25 at age 73. The private service at the home of daughter Deanna Brown Thomas, is three miles from Mr. Brown’s own home in Beech Island, a community near Augusta, Ga., was in stark contrast to elaborate funerals in New York City and A u g u s t a . The crypt likely will not be Mr. Brown’s final resting place as his children decided to place his body in the crypt instead of waiting for disputes over his estate to be settled in court. Hopefully, the hardest working man in show business will finally gain the eternal slumber he so deserves when all is said and done. F i refighters Criticize Giuliani On 9/11 The International Association of Fire Fighters has critiqued former New York City Mayor and current Presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani for committing “egregious acts” against the firefighters who died in the September 11th terrorist attacks. In a letter to its members, the union excoriated Mr. Giuliani for his November 2001 decision to cut back the number of working firefighters searching the rubble remains of the World Trade Center for the remains of some 300 fallen comrades. The 280,000member union has accused him of carelessly speeding the cleanup after the recovery of millions of dollars in assets from the Bank of Nova Scotia that had been buried. Mr. Giuliani’s campaign insisted that he respected and supported the first responders.



FBI Admits Abusing PATRIOT Act
By Andrew Pernick ___________ Robert S. Mueller III, director of the FBI, recently admitted to Congress that the FBI had utilized the Patriot A c t improperly to spy on businesses and civilians. Under the Patriot Act, the FBI was required to use “national security letters” to obtain information such as phone records or Internet browsing history from, respectively, telephone companies and ISPs. But a recent report from the inspector general of the Justice Department shows that the FBI severely underreported the number of national security letters it used. National security letters serve as a virtual “open sesame” when it comes to corporate documents, bank records, I S P information, phone records, all without the approval of a judge. The Democratic Party, now in control of both houses of Congress, has promised a wave of hearings to investigate this matter to the fullest. “It is time to place meaningful checks on the Bush administration’s ability to misuse the Patriot Act by overusing national security letters,” said Senator Harry Reid. Director Mueller maintained that the misuses of the national security letters were a result of error, as opposed to attempts to bypass the judicial oversight of the subpoena system and warrants. In some, rare instances, clerical errors led the FBI to obtain data on innocent individuals and businesses. The FBI has increased its use of national security letters by over 550% since 911, from 8500 in 2000 to over 45000 in 2005, when the inspector general started compiling data for his report. Although national security letters as a means for obtaining information in the interest of national security predate the Patriot Act, the Act’s provisions drastically widened the scope of data a letter entitles an investigatory agency, such as the FBI, can obtain with one. Also highlighted in the inspector general’s report was the FBI’s misuse of “exigent letters,” a special class of national security letter which allow an investigatory agency to seek information that they had already subpoenaed for, bypassing the ability of the subpoenaed party to quash the subpoena. Exigent letters are, under the law, only to be used in cases of dire emergency, but the report found that the FBI had, in numerous cases, uses exigent letters to bypass the subpoena process when a normal national security letter would not allow them access to the information or when no emergency existed. Said Director Mueller at a briefing at the J. Edgar Hoover Building, the national headquarters of the FBI in Washington, DC, “How could this happen? Who is to be held accountable? And the answer is that I am to be held accountable.” Mueller added, “We have already taken steps to correct these deficiencies.”

Should the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq?
Prof. Swartz vs. Prof. Withers

Wednesday, March 28th 12:40PM SAC Auditorium
Sponsored by the Stony Brook Debate Club.
10 www.thestonybrookpress.com

We’re sorry, the Asian American E-Zine is temporarily unavailable...

...For now enjoy these rice crackers courtesy of Joe Rios
www.thestonybrookpress.com 11

School is in Session I think it was the bestest-slap-in-the-face case for many of us, committed by Stony Brook University. That Icy Wednesday Valentine didn't stop Stony Brook from having a regular schedule. Wednesday is my day to rest in the middle of week. So I happened to not need getting out of my room early in the morning. As matter of fact, that day, I was staring at my roommate's TV since I woke up before I had to leave for The Stony Brook Press meeting. You guessed right, it was the news channel. At the bottom of the screen, it streamed all the schools on Long Island (or NYC, I cannot remember) whose classes were cancelled for the day. While being impressed with the number of religiously affiliated schools listed, I impatiently waited for the letter 'S' to start listing. Since Stony Brook University tends not to classify as 'SUNY' I paid extra attention as soon as 'S' list started. No 'Stony' after all the 'St.'s. So perhaps 'SUNY' - nope. There were "SUNY Old Westbury" and another. So Stony Brook was NOT listed as cancelled. Since I had some time left before I would head out, I stuck around for another loop. Just to make sure. Ummm, nope. So I left for the meeting. I cannot exaggerate more that the ice covered the campus completely. The usual ten minute walk would take twenty minutes. The stairs were the worst among anywhere on campus. Zebra path was quite a challenge. After all, people had to choose between the slopes and the stairs around that area. What a dilemma. There are a few tricks to use in those icy conditions though. For example, you should land on your soles when you walk and not just with your heels as you walk regularly. Otherwise, you should walk on rugged ice rather than smooth ice. When the surface is slippery, you can add friction by walking on a rugged surface. Why not? The wrath escalated when people started to find the little note on Stony Brook's homepage saying that the school was cancelled as of 2PM. So many people, especially commuters, paid extra effort to get to classes or club meetings. It was as if the administration just announced the cancellation when students arrived at campus. One of the commuters missed the meeting because people drove extra slow on the street. When she arrived at campus, she found that the classes were cancelled for the rest of the day. Her time, patience, gas, and perhaps nerves were wasted because of the school's sluggish action. Another of my friends uses the campus bus. She had a class after 2PM in which she had a paper due. It took her all night to finalize the paper and she had problems with the printer. Finally printing the paper out,

heading to the class, she found the class was cancelled. If the school acted swifter, she did not have to get stuck on campus at all. She ripped the paper in fury. An instructor of my class actually cut her head with ice. If she got hurt on that day, I don't see why the others would not get hurt. So the school's taking late action not only cost everyone in many aspects but also caused injuries. What would you take from that? I understand SUNY Old Westbury is a University College and different from SUNY Stony Brook. The truth is, though I don't know how many people noticed it, that the precipitation had accumulated since Tuesday afternoon. It was snowing and was sleeting, then it was raining. By 9 o'clock of Tuesday, I saw sherbet on the ground everywhere I looked around from the window of my room. The forecast predicted the temperature to lower below freezing point. It is a common knowledge that the long-term forecasters do not predict very accurately. But it was overnight forecast. With the current level of meteorology technology, how far off a forecast could scientists make? If the temperature lowers to 29 F, it may sound doubtful. However, the sense that the temperature would probably go low enough to freeze the liquid water on the ground into ice should be very much expected. Lynn defended the University that "only Governor Spitzer can order State offices and facilities to be closed." But my point is that Stony Brook officials could have reported the concerns of hazardous condition on campus by Tuesday night. Moreover, some of the University officials do arrive at campus early. They could have seen the scene in sight and reported to the administration who could have reported to Elliot. The most outrageous part, I think, is that the school decided to call off classes after 2PM, after all the club meetings finished. Remember, the school set up this troublesome Campus Lifetime that eventually resulted in all the clubs having meetings at the same time. For that, I am actually missing out of a meeting every week to be at another. I no longer complain about it. But on Icy Wednesday the Valentine, while the school had not decided to cancel the classes, students started their regular Wednesday schedule. All of sudden, before the classes that they intended to attend ever started, the school called off the classes. The University goes "Yes, we are very much in session today. Full Wednesday schedule, as usual. So you'd better get your asses on campus. And make sure to attend classes! ... Um, well, never mind that, we just decided to call off all the classes after you arrive. So get your asses home unless you are paid to work." Ours were on campus all right! Count those that sat on campus because of the ice!!

Let's have this one this on the Korner. Last time I saw the Stony Brook Men's Basketball team playing at Madison Square Garden, I was impressed. After seeing the commercials taken over by Stony Brook University's own advertisements, I started wondering if they were playing at MSG for the reason to market the school. I mean, many people know that Stony Brook's Basketball team is not a strong one as clear as they know that Stony Brook's research is superb. See, the Hofstra team, they are showing up in the national tournament every now and then while the Stony Brook team cannot even get in the tournament tree. I heard Stony Brook in fact belongs to the NCAA Division I. I asked myself why Stony Brook would stick around in the Division when it could win probably twice in twenty games. Teams in Division I play at MSG more often than those in one division lower, is that it? Marketing at MSG seems far better than marketing somewhere else with teams in another division and makes the team stand out among other teams. While the thoughts were circulating, I figured out that the TV channel labelled "MSG" probably stands for Madison Square Garden. The thoughts of Stony Brook Men's Basketball team then became insignificant in my mind. So why did they want to play with Villanova last semester? I understand, since I was a manager of a basketball team briefly, that it is the learning experience to have a game with the team that stunned the NCAA. Villanova University is in Pennsylvania. Unless a college-level institution is magically located somewhere in Long Island and it wants to beat the heck out of the Seawolves, it is a costly trip for both. I'd imagine Stony Brook financed the trip to Long Island. I

think the game’s result was that the Seawolves fell 20 points behind the Wildcats. I remember one of the commentaries asking how consistent the Villanova defense was. C'mon, dude, you could have concluded the same if you played with the Pride, or St. Johns, for that matter. They have damn good teams. February 24th is the lacrosse game with "one of the best teams," University of Virginia, UVA. Basically I consider lacrosse as the trendy sport after the frustratingly long-clinging Duke case. When Italy won the World Cup, the TV stations started playing local soccer games, and I witnessed New York’s professional soccer team for the first time. Before the Duke case, I did not even expect the existence of the sport called lacrosse. For me, lacrosse is a sport in which the athletes fling insect nets and aim to shoot in the goal. The only difference is that the insects are the shuttlecock kind of rubber ball. Besides, the team gained recognition just recently. Stony Brook's team is already playing against one of the best teams in the nation! Radical! I cannot imagine at this point that lacrosse will ever replace the national passion towards football and basketball. Why in the world would Stony Brook want to form another intercollegiate team for a new sport, if other sports still have spaces to improve? In addition, I want them to create Men's Volleyball. Women's exists. Where's Men's? Perhaps it was gender bias, though I’ve heard of Women's Rugby. Probably, it was for the student-athletes recruitment purposes. Among SUNY schools, Stony Brook is falling behind Binghamton, according to Wikipedia. I sense it’s the desperation of the administration using every bit of effort to recruit well-rounded students to campus. Time to time, it just surfaces to the obvious.



With Chef Heath
I am, on most days, completely unaware of my surroundings. Since I received an iPod for Christmas, I am rarely without a bug in my ear. Since I no longer hear the snippets of conversation in the air, I miss out on a lot of things. A prime example of this occurred on Wednesday when I nearly missed the food show on campus. L u c k i l y, my editor reminded me of it and I was able to attend. Free eats are something that I never pass up. First in this issue, I am going to review the Union Deli, that handy little slice of Heaven on the south side of the Union. So, let’s eat! around lunch time, although I have noticed that the quality of service slacks at the end of the day. The only other warning I can give is that the Deli often runs short on kaiser rolls by mid-afternoon; even so, the food is always fresh and I will even eat tuna salad from the Deli, something that I am very particular about. Congratulations, Union Deli: you get 5 out of 5 stars, for you exceptional service and your consistently good food; while it may not be fine dining, it never fails to please. Now then, the food show is something that I am on the fence about. I am reminded of my old Latin classes, and reading Catullus’s proclamation in his poem “Odi et Amo” that he both loves and hates his lover, that he acknowledges this fact and it burns him up inside (that’s right, I am trying to work a dead Roman poet into food. Deal with it). I now know exactly how he feels, I love going to the food show and trying all the new foods, but I hate the crowds and the close quarters, and in the end it all burns me up inside in the form of heartburn. I try to work in a systematic way, alternating between food and drink vendors so that I can cleanse my palate and often times put out the burning sensation in my mouth. I also enjoy talking to the vendors and finding out the details of the product. After all, I might be able to use it at my own restaurant. This year, however, I was not able to do so because of the sheer mass of people in the room. I am mildly claustrophobic, and being brushed up against that crowd as everyone rushed to the tables. It was as if they had never seen food before. Don’t fret; there will be some left if you wait 30 seconds in a line instead of bullying everyone over. Bloody savages. But I overcame my own fears and plunged headlong into the crowd, fighting for my free food. Another thing that you may not know In Riverhead, there is a restaurant called The Lobster Roll, and it has the best seafood I have ever eaten, especially its signature dish (guess what that would be…). This was certainly inferior to the dish in Riverhead, but it was certainly a tasty treat (I had better get a free meal for plugging that place). One of the more unique dishes I had was the

The Union Deli holds a spe cial place in my heart because it was where I ate my first meal at Stony Brook
The Union Deli holds a special place in my heart because it was where I ate my first meal as a Stony Brook student, back when the world was my oyster, before SB closed its demoralizing claws around my youthful exuberance’s windpipe. I will get further into my own shortcomings later. The Deli is quite handy to have around. It offers a wide variety of dry goods and sundries that are essential to student life (ramen noodles, candy, and other indulgences). But as a commuter, I find myself in the Deli only when I want something to eat and I am absolutely sick of SAC food. They o ffer everything from knishes to meats and cold salads by the pound, all fresh and made to order, at a price which even a tight-ass like myself can live with. I have yet to have a bad meal here, which is not something that I can say for any other eatery on campus. The only catch to the Deli is knowing your poison. Too often I am stuck behind someone who i s n ’t familiar with “Deli-speak” (usually they are from the mid-West or South) and is inefficient in ordering their food. It is considered faux pas to ask the Deli Rats (a technical term that we chefs use for counter help in delis) “What is good?” before ordering. If you cannot decide what you want by the time you get to the counter, I would recommend that you GET THE HELL OUT OF T H E LINE, JACKHOLE! On a good day, the Deli runs like a well oiled machine; the line usually moves pretty quickly

Four bucks and fifty-five cents for breaded chicken on a roll with BBQ sauce... I’ll let you decide.

Jesse Schoefper

about me is my ability to eat is impressive. I can, and have, eaten a 96oz. steak, along with the vegetables and the potatoes at steakhouses, three times. Count ‘em, three. I am not, by any means a small guy, I can put it away; I tear up all-you-can-eat buffets left and right, and so eating at the food show is a walk in the park for me. Going around the room, very few things left a lasting impression on my

Jesse Schoefper

Little known fact—there used to be a railroad station under the union.

much leaves me feeling as uneasy as a fifteen year-old girl at a frat party. Another thing that bothers me is the lack of courtesy displayed by the majority of people in attendance. Several times I was shoved, pushed, unjustly struck, and unwillingly moved by the

palate. First among these was the curried chicken and potatoes dish that was served next to the stage. Normally I do not care for curry, but this was mildly seasoned and quite tasty. My only regret is that I didn’t get the recipe. A n o t h e r dish that stood out was the lobster roll.

fried plantain banana. I have had these before, but they are always the right mix of savory and sweet, and I recommend that the next time you see one on a menu (you know, get off campus and take your girlfriend to a real restaurant, because if you don’t, I will), order it and enjoy it. One of the better beverages that I had was the “Fuse” mango flavored drink. I think I liked it so much because I used it to wash the taste of Jamaican beef patty out of my mouth. Nonetheless, it is quite good. Finally, I have to say that my favorite dish was the kielbasa served at the Boar’s Head stand. Being a good person of Ukrainian decent, I simply swoon at the very smell of kielbasa, it may not have been Grandma’s, but it was still good. As I left the food show, the buildup of spices, sugars and dairy products finally caught up to me. I was up the rest of the night with heartburn, curse you, free eats, curse you… All in all, it has been a good two weeks of food. The Deli failed to disappoint me and food show rounded out the week nicely. I think I might start to frequent the Deli as opposed to the SAC since they stopped making garlic knots…Gaaaaarlic knooooots… mmm. Excuse me, I have to um…eh…go do something…important…Until next time, Good Eats, everyone!



“Drugs or Insanity”

Welcome to the relatively finer things, a new column here at The Press. I say “relatively” because all of the “finer things” I’ll be reviewing can be obtained for, at most, $150. Why write this column? Why read this column? Simple: college, believe it or not, ends (although, if you’re a Press editor, getting to that endgame typically takes a couple hundred years… ahem… a few extra semesters), and eventually you’ll be living out in the so-called “Real World(TM).” This means (gasp!) a job, but (double gasp!) this also means that you’ll have at least a small amount of pocket money. So why not spend it on the top shelf liquor instead of Natty Ice? And speaking of liquor, we’re starting off this column with one of the easiest ways to kill two things at the same time – your liver and your wallet – single malt scotch. Since there are so many brands that I could (like others before me) devote an entire book to this topic, I’m limiting this to the so-called “Six Signature Malts of Scotland.” Scotch is a multi-sensory experience, and it is costly, so the first and most important piece of advice for someone drinking a glass of scotch is to do so slowly. I use a five-step system. First, get a scotch glass – it should be cylindrical, about two or so inches high, two and a half in diameter, with a good, solid, heavy base, made of glass – no plastic cups here. Second, add

each other. Finally, again this should be obvious, swallow. Throughout the tasting process, you should be paying attention to many factors, including the “peatiness” of the scotch: how smoky does it taste? Also ask, is it sweet? Does it have a cupric aftertaste? The sills used in the roasting process

bottle, it isn’t a bad bet. Talisker, the only single malt from the island of Skye, comes in three different ages. I’ve been fortunate enough to try the ten and eighteen-year-old versions. The former goes for about $65 a bottle, and the latter is a real wallet-breaker at $130. Both are excellent. I’m basing my review here

Single Malt Scotches come from six different areas in Scotland, and each area contributes characteristics unique to where the scotch was malted.
five to ten drops of water – this will calm the scotch down a bit, making the next steps easier and heightening the experience – and pour about a shot of scotch. Scotch is measured in “fingers,” as in how many fingers you have wrapped around the base of the glass. For our purposes, I recommend five drops of water and two and a half fingers of scotch. Now, smell the scotch. Take a long, gentle whiff and let the aroma of the scotch sink in. This will usually give you a good sense of the kind of scotch you will be dealing with. Next, take a sip. Obvious, no? But! Hold it in your mouth and wash it over and under your tongue. You will notice many layers and levels of flavor playing with

should be made of copper, and generally, a peaty scotch will reflect this, although some malt makers cheat. Is it syrupy? Light? Does it burn? Does it have hints of chocolate or berries or the sea air or vanilla or spices? (Some malts have a blend of many of the above.) Single Malt Scotches come from six different areas in Scotland, and each area contributes characteristics unique to where the scotch was malted. The “Six Signature Malts” come, conveniently enough, from the six regions. First up is the Western Highlands-region Oban, which is ten years old at time of bottling and retails for around $65. There really isn’t much to note about Oban – out of the six classic malts, Oban is the second weakest. It lacks body and isn’t very cohesive. It has a butterscotch taste to it, making it a bit sweet, but it is a very thin liquid that has practically no lasting taste to it. The nose is distinctive, however, as it has a slight vanilla aroma to it. Next, and my least favorite, is the Lowland-region Glenkinchie, a ten-yearold that goes for around $50 a bottle. Glenkinchie burns on the way down and it has a sharp, biting nose. It has significant body, but it tastes more like an Irish whiskey than a single malt scotch. Dalwhinnie is the Signature Malt of the Highlands, and it is very sweet. It has traces of vanilla and spice in it, and it almost tastes as if somewhere, along the line, honey had been added to it. It is light, with a spice and vanilla nose. At $55 a

on the eighteen-year-old. Talisker is a treat – this is a scotch to be savored slowly. It has a bit of a cupric bite to it, with traces of sea air. This is a very strong scotch, with a floral nose. Believe it or not, though, it’s not my favorite – second place. There is a 25-year-old Talisker, but at $460, it’s not only outside this column’s scope, it’s outside the ballpark in terms of availability – this is a special-order scotch, and I’ve not had the good fortune of having a bottle yet. Lagavulin. I’ve saved the best for last. It’s a Speyside, and it’s only available as an eighteen year old. This is the real wallet breaker – $135. Lagavulin has a strong nose. It’s a scotch that smells like a scotch. Like with most Speyside’s, you can taste the sea air. Lagavulin has a very strong cupric taste to it, almost to the level of being a bite. It slides down your throat like silk. Honorable Mention: Okay, so it’s not a single malt – it’s a blend. And it’s not even made any more. But! If you ever get the chance to try a glass of Chivas Regal’s Royal Salute (and I say a glass because a bottle probably goes for around $300, and that’s if you can find it…), do so. While Lagavulin is my drug of choice, Royal Salute is a close second. Oh, and the good news: the liquor store right by Waldbaum’s has an excellent selection of single malts. Mandatory disclaimer: if you’re not 21 or over, don’t even think of trying this at home. Next issue: we all need the occasional pick-me-up. Coffee!



Welcome to the first installment of T h e Stony Brook Pre s s’ informative new column “Ask a Lesbian.” This column will provide factual and humorous (when necessary) information about the gay and lesbian lifestyle and community. Readers are urged to submit questions in order for the column to be a continued feature in The Press. All questions can be e-mailed to AskALesbian.SBPress@gmail.com. Dear Ilyssa, I recently hooked up with one of my female friends and now I think I might be a lesbian but I’m not sure. Can you tell me a little about your experience? How did you know you were gay? What can I do if I’m not sure? Who can I talk to? Help Please! Sincerely, Confused and helpless Dear Confused and helpless, First off, there is no one way to figure out whether or not you are gay; figuring it all out is a process that has no set time limit. It may take you weeks, months, or even years to come to a conclusion about your sexuality, but don’t worry it doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Coming to terms with yourself can be one of the most liberating experiences you will ever have. As for my experience (briefly) the first time I ever thought I could be gay was probably as early as 2nd grade because I always felt much closer to my male classmates. I was your typical tomboy and would always find myself hanging out with the boys. Sometimes I would catch myself looking at the girls and thinking how pretty they were, but I wasn’t sure

why. When I was 16, I had the biggest crush on my best friend. We hooked up and I fell in love with her, but it didn’t work out because she was straight. I was devastated. In the summer before senior year of high school I had my first real lesbian experience when I slept with this girl Melissa for the first time. It was incredible; I had slept with guys before but it was no where near the same. For the first time in my life I finally felt comfortable with myself and from there it all started to come together, and I realized that I was gay. I finally came out of the closet and it was one of the best things I ever did. The best advice I can give to you is to give it time, date men, date women, and figure out what it is that you like. It isn’t the sorta thing that is just going to jump up and smack you in the face, you gotta just let yourself go, and from there it will all start to come together and be clearer to you. Who knows, you might not be gay after all, and if you are, it’s no big deal, it is something you will learn to accept and enjoy. If you need to talk to someone you can feel free to contact the Stony Brook LGBTA at SBLGBTA@gmail.com or you can visit their website at h t t p : / / w w w. i c . s u n y s b . e d u / C l u b s / l g b t a / for more information about when and where the group meets. I hope this helps. -Ilyssa Please Note: The views and opinions expressed in this column are solely the views and opinion of one member of the LGBT community and are not necessarily the views and opinions of the Stony Brook LGBTA group and/or the LGBT community.

Pandora’s Box - Why I Didn’t Go To My High School Reuinion
By Vincent Michael Festa ___________ It's been more than ten years since I graduated from Brentwood High School- the summer of 1996. I remember the previous three years all too well. For everyone, there was the equal share of racial diversity, the fights at the Five Corners, walks to the corner bodega and McDonald's, and the formation of police cars that safeguarded the students at the end of the day because rival gangs would try to come over and represent. For me, there were many stories to be told. Half good, half bad. The good: Bike rides to school. W h o likes who? Meeting girls from other towns and volleyball teams. W e s t l i n g r trips to tournaments. The grunge crowd. The blonde craze. An Irish girl or two. Passing notes. Comedy routines. Valentine's. Taking to the most popular girl in the school (a kicker for the football team) to the prom. Being well known. Much I can't think of right n o w. The bad: Those evil blonde identical twins. My own "friends" who turned me in to win acceptance points. The heartbreak. Suspension. The games. He said, she said. Incessant complaining. Trouble with security. Locker room showdowns. Blown chances. Falling flat. Nicknames. Jewish jokes. T h a t biased prick assistant principal. Being fucked with and well-hated. Much I can't think of right now. I started hanging out with the hip-hop crowd, then the Latino crowd, then the wrestling team, then the girls volleyball team, picked up some former geeks who introduced me to some Jewish girls at P l a i n v i e w, then came the grunge period, then my cousin and her friends from Staten Island like it was KIDS culture, and finished off with some graduation parties and a shitty summer job in Syosset. Through the course of those three years, I met so many types of people that the good and bad were inevitable. Personalities, jokes, slurs, and situations either matched or conflicted. I had my fair share of the good and the bad like everyone else who went. I pretty much ran the gamut of having done and experienced almost everything people were supposed to in high school minus the drugs. I graduated and my days at Brentwood were written. It's now ten years later, and I received a message on MySpace about the (then) upcoming high-school reunion. It was inevitable and I had to see it coming, that one day the reunion committee would call out the entire Brentwood Class of 1996 to reunite for one night only. I got the message, and it felt like a judgment day, like I was at a crossroads that would make a difference. I thought about it and at a time it did bother me because this would have become a big "what if?" moment of my life. I thought about it for a while and I finally decided- I'm not going. And to be honest with you, I don't know if I made the right decision. There could have been a lot of reasons as to why I decided to exclude myself from the reunion. Recently I had been feeling a little jaded when I think back as to how I thought I was received in high-school. The giveaways? I wasn't voted the funniest senior in my class despite making a lot of people laugh. (I guess they were laughing at me, instead of with me.) At my graduation, hardly anyone cheered or clapped for me when I came up to clinch my diploma. Th e n again, only a couple of my classmates did worse and were met with heavy boos from the graduating crowd. I had a lot of conflicts and rivalries with others. Some didn't care and picked on me regardless. Other times I didn't care and picked on people as well. I gave and received names, insults, in-house jokes. It was stupid and senseless back then, but it worked both ways. Plus it was a fact of life: you can only get your fill of the same crowd of people for so long and in the end you just feel indifferent because maybe you did all you could with other people. I didn't feel like being reduced to a defining embarrassing moment that made my reputation in those days. I also didn't want someone to suck me into some fist-fight so people could see that I didn’t grow up. And I certainly didn't want to run into those I have permanently cut my ties with. There are those who I have been very close "friends" with only to royally screw me out in the end, which was why I decided to forg e t and not forg i v e . But there was another side to this as to why I might have gone. I know that
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“This just in: The Stony Brook Press is online at www.thestonybrookpress.com and... wait a second, I’m getting something else here... It would seem to be the case that I have no personality... Humph. ‘Magine that.”



Pandora’s Box
Continued from previous page

for every person who was my enemy, I had an extra one or two for a friend. Not the ones who considered themselves "friends", but true friends, those I gotten along with, who were willing to help me out, joke around, have a good time, and know that they were indeed fucking around with me, in a good sense, of course. There were people I knew I gave a hard time to. I stressed them with the same problems over and over again, and there were those that I felt it was senseless to have any strife or games with. Some might even be nice to me nowadays, and vice versa. It's been ten years since, I'm sure that life has changed for some people so drastically that the past doesn't seem to make a difference anymore. Maybe it would have been great to not only catch up with those I haven't seen in a decade, to be impressed and even be amazed at how my classmates outcomes had been changed. Those we f o rgot about, or were outcasts or mere footnotes in our senior year could have become something. Others, maybe the most popular and talked-about would have just given up, gave in, gone for broke, became losers. The changes could be a shock because no one would expect it and we lost track of these people, so there would be no telling how they would end up. We wonder. Who made it big? Who traveled that downward spiral? W h o radically changed for the better or for the worse? Who is serving time right now? Who is severely debilitated from all the drugs they took? Who has the wife or husband and kids? Who coasted and made no change in their lives? Who never left the house and has not seen daylight since? Who do we see on the

TV screen now? Who's a success story? Who isn't with us anymore? Who…died? Like a time capsule or Pandora's Box, you won't know what's inside or what's going on until you take a look. The contents may surprise you, good or bad. The time capsule contains the items left behind and are there when you need to be amazed by its contents. T h e Pandora's Box is the chance you take when you want to open it and see what would happen. These days on the Internet you can type in a name and take a secret peek in the lives of people instead of seeing them in the news, looking up their phone number, or by accident. The new Internet voyeurism is a crystal ball that crosses the line of privacy or the nature of things, events, and people crossing each other meaning to happen now. T h i s defeats the purpose of the reunion and cuts corners, I admit. But maybe it’s safer that way? My friends who contacted me after the reunion that I missed out on made me doubt my decision not to go. T h e y said that no matter who walked through, they were well-received. To me, I didn't take that chance because ultimately I didn't want to be bothered, I moved on. Maybe down the road I hope I made the right decision because more likely I'm better off not knowing, and I don't want to know. It's not to say that I didn't like everyone I went to school with. There are many that I’d love to meet somewhere down the road. As a consolation, I still have my memories, my videos, my music cassettes, and other memorabilia I'd rather look to, because those objects won't hurt my feelings or make me doubt myself. Those who are really genuinely interested can look me up.

Treason & Deviance: Just Another Day On The Job In Iraq
By James Laudano ___________ Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or, for that matter, working for the Bush administration) for the past four years, you undoubtedly have heard and learned something about the divisions in the Muslim world between the Sunnis and Shiites. The divisions between the two sects of Islam have always been a contentious point for many in the Middle East. With the toppling of Saddam’s government in Iraq, the United States has been given a front seat view of the violence that stems from this divide. However, in the administration’s eyes, the greatest consequence from this conflict in Iraq is the emboldening and strengthening of Iraq’s neighbor to the East: Iran. Iran, being a predominately Shiite nation, views the burgeoning civil war in Iraq as a chance to expand their influence in the region and empower Shiite’s throughout the world. This, justifiably or not, has greatly alarmed and frightened the Bush administration. It’s from this fear of expanded Iranian influence that the administration has authorized one of the most underhanded and regrettable policies the United States has ever embarked upon in the Middle East. Seymour Hersh, writer for the The New Yorker, has uncovered a new shift in the administration’s strategy in the Middle East. In the March 5th issue of The New Yorker, he describes, in detail, how the Bush administration has now begun to fund and support many of the Sunni militant groups that oppose the Iranian-backed Shiite groups in Iraq and Lebanon. So, instead of trying to use the United States military to mediate between the two warring sects and establish some sense of security in Iraq, the administration has now begun to fan the flames of hatred and violence in the hopes of curbing the growing Iranian Shiite power. However, ironically enough, the militant groups in Iraq that most frequently attack American soldiers and conduct suicide missions against civilians are Sunni. It is very likely that these groups have ties to the largest and most influential Sunni militant group, Al Qaeda. The ramifications of this new shift in strategy are both numerous and dire. As stated above, the violence and sectarian divide in Iraq only increases because of this covert funding. However, we must also figure that we are pumping money into the sort of organizations that perpetuated the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Aren’t we supposed to be fighting and arresting these people? That sure seems to be the tune that has been coming out of the White House these past five years. However, apparently we are allowed to publicly denounce them while secretly supporting them. Also, might I point out the inherent hypocrisy of constantly admonishing Iran for supporting the Shiite militant groups while we do the same for the Sunnis? This, as anyone paying attention can realize, is bringing us closer and closer to a direct conflict with Iran. And if you think the war in Iraq is going poorly, just imagine what would happen if fighting broke out next door as well.

If I were an American soldier in Iraq, I would see this as a disrespectful slap in the face
But these depressing facts aren’t the only consequences of this new strategy. Personally, I find it to be a bit, oh I don’t know… TREASONOUS to give money and secret support to the groups that every day are killing American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. If I were an American soldier in Iraq, I would see this as a disrespectful slap in the face. While the armed forces lay their lives on the line to try to stabilize Iraq in a botched and mishandled war, our government pays for the I.E.D.’s and car bombs that threaten them everyday. And where did that money come from? Well, most of it came from the actual war in Iraq itself, but regardless of that, it is still unauthorized spending and outside the limits of power that the executive branch has. That alone is a matter that should (but won’t) be investigated by Congress. It is unfortunate that this story probably won’t get much coverage in the mainstream media. There was an interview with Seymour Hersh on Wolf Blitzer’s program on CNN, and of course there is the article from The New Yorker, but most people won’t make a fuss about this here in the United States. I imagine that we still have a few more weeks left of the Anna Nicole Smith coverage, and by the time that ends, this story will be ancient history to most. However, through this course of action, the administration has done irreparable harm and damage to our reputation in the Muslim world, the safety of countless civilians (both Iraqi and American), the stability of the region as a whole, and the future of Islam-Western relations for decades to come. And you thought the war in Iraq couldn’t get any worse……



Thomas Jefferson Joins The Jewbilee?
By Alex H. Nagler ___________ One of the major selling points of Senator Joseph Lieberman when he ran for President in 2000 and served as Vice Presidential nominee was that if elected, he would be the first Jewish president. It would have been, to steal a term from South Park, a major victory for the “Jewbilee.” However, someone may have beat him to the punch by a little over 200 years. Thomas Jefferson was a statesman, a patriot, a man who fought for the independence of the free press. one of the founding fathers of our country. Was he also a Red Sea pedestrian? Recent research has shown that President Jefferson’s Ychromosome exhibits a specific trait (K2) that is common to one of Middle Eastern descent. These traits were all but unheard of in Europe at the time, so the question has been raised as to whether or not Jefferson may have had some ancestors of Jewish descent. Researchers arrived at this conclusion by testing the genes of living Hemings family members, who in 1998 were proven to be related to Jefferson, thanks to the a ffair between Jefferson and Sally Hemings after the death of Martha Jefferson. This makes the Y-chromosome on all of the males of this family equal to that of the surviving Jeffersons and a direct relation to Thomas himself. Further research proved that only twq out of 85 modern day British Jeffersons had the K2 trait, stating that Jefferson’s direct ancestry was not Jewish, but that perhaps sometimes in the 1500s, the Jeffersons may have been Sephardic JewsSephardic, John Locke “Rights of Man,” plagiarizing Jews. If this is true, it doesn’t really have any impact on American history. This is in the same vein as gay Abe Lincoln or the fact that no one outside of history students care about the scandals of Warren G. Harding and the Teapot Dome or Ulysses S. Grant and the Whiskey Ring. Some historian itching to craft his PhD or sell a book will always come out of the woodwork with his “shocking” new claim about something that will “revise” history. We don’t really care. I mean, if we discovered today that Jefferson was a really a closeted Jew, would anyone care? Would the entire Louisiana Purchase be suddenly considered part of a vast Zionist conspiracy?

The Prince of Wales Is a Fascist
By Scott E. Silsbe ___________ On Tuesday, February 27th, the United Kingdom’s Prince Charles made a consummate ass of himself. The beloved Prince of Wales has been quoted as saying the following to nutritionalists at the Imperial College London Diabetes Center in the United Arab Emirates: "Have you got anywhere with McDonald's? Have you tried getting it banned? That's the key.” The key to what? Apparently, it’s the key to a happy and healthy populace. In reality, all such a key will open is a Pandora’s box of tyranny and oppression. Now I could give His Highness the benefit of the doubt and just call him an imbecile, someone apparently unaware of the basic tenets of human civilization and prosperity (freedom, for example). Or I could muse that he is fully aware of the implications of his appalling stance and call him what he apparently is: a fascist. Now, I know that he isn’t, in the most precise meaning of the term, a total fascist, but if he’s going to play fast and loose with his rhetoric, then so will I. do know who C.S. Lewis was, right?), "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." Indeed. Prince Charles thinks he’s smarter than us. He thinks that he, as a member of the social and political “elite” (and I use that term very loosely), knows what’s best for us. We should simply thank him for taking such important decisions out of our hands. Or perhaps we should instead assert that we are not apes and that we have the right to choose for ourselves how we live our lives. In this case, that means the right to choose what we put into our own bodies. The Prince’s buffoonery is, of course, only one example of a growing movement within the ranks of self-righteous sociopolitical “elite.” They seek to impose their culinary preferences on others through the coercive arm of the state. This is, of course, why I’m angry. I don’t give a damn about McDonalds; I prefer Wendy’s. I’m well aware, as we all are, that these restaurant chains are unhealthy. Yet it is my choice whether or not to eat these foods. I am responsible for the consequences. Prince Charles apparently doesn’t want me to have that choice. Prince Charles thinks he’s smarter than me. He’s not. There are those who think that, just because they don’t like some voluntary, victimless act, it should be forcibly banned. Like these people, he is either an appalling nitwit or a fascist, probably both.

Thomas Jefferson was a genius. It does not and should not matter whether or not he was Jewish. In closing, I leave you all with a quote by John F. Kennedy (who, last I heard, was secretly an alien from the planet Zorbak). When he invited 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962, he remarked, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House—with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Alex H. Nagler almost forgot to add these.

The Prince’s buffoonery is, of course, only once example of a growing movment within the ranks of self-right eous sociopolitical “elite”[...] This is, of course, why I’m angry.
But hey, at least the Prince’s tyranny would be a “tyranny of good-intentions.” Then again, as C.S. Lewis has written (you



Stony Brook Loves Vaginas
By Ilyssa Fuchs ___________ On Thursday March 1st and Friday March 2nd, the Wo/Men’s and Gender Resource Center hosted a benefit performance of Eve Ensler’s award winning play “The Vagina Monologues.” The performance went hand in hand with V-Day 2007. V-Day is a world wide movement that works towards ending violence against women by raising funds and awareness through charity performances of Ensler’s show. Proceeds from the performance were donated to the Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk, The WGRC, and V-Day.org. could speak. “Reclaiming Cunt” (performed by JoAnna Verlezza) is a monologue which puts a positive spin on the word cunt; a word with a formally negative connotation. “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy”, (performed by Jennifer Dixon) a tale of a previously straight woman who

LCD Soundsystem North American Scum
“Scum” is composed simply of vocals, guitar, bass, and percussion. A small dash of synth is thrown in to complete the signature LCD sound. It could be more complex if it wanted to be, perhaps by adding a new wave synth solo, but what’s the point? This song is catchy enough. Mu rp h y ’s lyrics, sung in the style of a drunken rant, raise a good point: the

The show, which ran just over two hours, was a collection of monologues based on stories compiled by Ensler
found her calling was pleasing other women. The performances ranged from humorous to serious and had the audience laughing, gasping, and then laughing again; but the piece which was the most moving of the night by far was, “Say It” (performed by Katie Giacovelli). This monologue was based on the true narratives of the “comfort women.” These women were forcefully taken from their homes during WWII by Japanese soldiers and were required to live in less than hospitable conditions while being used as sex slaves. The monologue tells their horror story and ends with a powerful demand that the Japanese government apologize for all of the atrocities that were imposed upon them. This played an important role for the show in general because this years V-Day spotlight campaign is focusing on women in conflict zones, whose lives have been affected by war or in the aftermath of it. Overall, the show was excellent and the money raised will all be going to help women who are less fortunate than ourselves. From laughs to tears, it’s true, Stony Brook loves vaginas.

“Scum” is composed simply of vocals, guitar, bass, and percussion. A small dash of synth is thrown in to com plete the signature LCD sound
Check out his disco ball(s)!
H. M. Yea

By Jonathan Singer ___________ In “North American Scum,” LCD Soundsystem, the one man project composed of James Murphy, continues its tradition of quirky lyrics (“Daft Punk is playing at my house”) mixed with catchy new wave techno beats: imagine Talking Heads walking into an all-night rave. T h a t ’s essentially what one gets while listening to this song, which was released as a single in the beginning of March. This song is the advance single for Soundsystem’s new album, Sound of Silver.

The show, which ran just over two hours, was a collection of monologues based on stories compiled by Ensler about her accounts with many different women. Some of the monologues featured were, “My Angry Vagina” (performed by Angela Pravata), a story about what your vagina could say if it

North American club scene sucks. It certainly isn’t like Spain, where parties go all night (according to the Tra v e l Channel, they go until 8AM). That means that Murphy and the rest of his stunt band (Pat Mahoney, Phil Mossman, Tyler Pope, and Nancy Whang) have to party it up as much as they can; their tour of Europe ends on March 27th. The show after that will be on the 30th at the Bowery Ballroom. H o p e fu l l y, the party won’t get “shut down in North A m e r i c a . ”

18 www.thestonybrookpress.com

A Tribute to the Dead Who Perished in a Century-Old Fire

All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
By Bryan Hasho ___________ A strained, female voice commences Mogwai’s mid-nineties epochal Young Team, vowing, “Because music is bigger than words and wider than pictures. If someone said that Mogwai are the stars I would not object. If the stars had a sound it would sound like this.” These twenty seconds have become an anthem for postrock instrumental fans since Mogwai’s indie classic, but until lately, the genre has proved stagnant. All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone is the latest in the emergence of Explosions In The Sky, and the defining strike in the at-last resurfacing of a genre. The Mogwai influence, even if an unrealized one, is evident. Explosions, however, is irrefutably progressive. The Austin, Texas quartet came together in 1999 to produce How Strange, Innocence, and have evolved their sound to their current rock- symphonist status. Constructed of a drum set and three guitars (occasional a bass), Explosions is purely instrumental. They are Sigur Rós-esque ambient, as intrinsically crafted as Japan’s Mono, and perfectly infused with resounding, unmatched, grand crescendos. To call Explosions musical revolutionaries is indeed a stretch, but in an era when bands are creating albums for the sake of replication, Explosions is refreshing at the very least, if not game changing. And for those that follow the idea of the literal visualization of music, Explosions is exemplary. All of a Sudden is an instrumental light show, one that could serve as the music backdrop of both a world war and art exhibit. Explosions puts you not in a trance, but within your own narrative that is both adaptable and theatrical. It’s not so much mesmerizing as dramatic; it’s entrapping, yet thoroughly conscious. Many declare it inspirational, but only when the tone suggests. The story is vivid, but without the pollution of vocals; it’s always for ones own elucidation. Explosions’ work on the Friday Night Lights soundtrack, their only real known cultural relevance as of yet, endlessly dictates the story without overshadowing it. They seem to have evolved since the album, especially in terms of creating inner-track peaks, as supposed to previous albums that highlighted a more albuminclusive climax. This is still very much achieved on their latest work, though the songs more effectively act as stand alone chapters in their epic account. All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone begins with “The Birth and Death of The Day,” a song that opens with a bang and grows into an album both awe-inspiring and understatedly epic. The song’s strong beginning and regression is a perfect introduction to the album, as well as an intriguing contrast to their illustrious use of mundane openings and relentlessly intense conclusions. Following is “Welcome Ghosts,” as recently heard on last Tu e s d a y ’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Here it is apparent that critics who suggest that All of a Sudden is creatively dormant have yet to commit a dedicated listen. The complexities of the album’s overlapping instrumental storyline are both extensive and inventive, and the mid-album introduction of a piano proves a well-instilled maturation, a welcome change from punk’s recent affliction with uninspired, seemingly pointless additions of pseudo-pioneering violins, trumpets, or tambourines for that matter. In “So Long, Lonesome,” the piano’s success creates a new character of the story. It’s often times spiraling, yet always dramatic, and transcends to the spine of the album’s slow conflict. The latter half of the song serves as the turning point for our protagonist; the soft taps of the snare drum actually seem to create muffled gunshots. The piano fades, and at least within this particular application, death is an occurring motif. Regardless, the song presents a sort of celebratory deep breath; a victory, however unsure. The percussions seem to more-so serve the primary effect of the piece (such is the case for the bulk of the album), a change from a role in support of Explosion’s renowned thematic guitar explorations. The meticulous combination of the two, however beautiful, gives off a reserved feeling somehow, an effect that tends to make you believe that the story is yet to reveal so much more. With Explosions, that never really goes away.

By Marta Gyvel ___________ If it weren’t for their deaths and a highly publicized trial with a controversial ending, perhaps there would still be sweatshops and horrible working conditions in cities today. Almost everyone has learned about the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire at some point, which happened in Manhattan, New York on March 25th, 1911. This was a garment factory that employed 500 young women, some as young as twelve. The tragedy claimed 146 lives of the 450 women had been working that day. On March 5th the Wang Center welcomed LuLu LoLo, an Italian-American actress who wrote and starred in a play about the events of the fire. The play centered on the Saracino family, two oh whom died in the fire. The show was sponsored by the Women’s Studies, History, and Italian Studies Departments. It consisted of three scenes, each of which had LuLu playing different people. The entire play, in fact, was a onewoman show; LuLu changed costumes for every scene and proceeded with a long monologue for each of them. The first scene shows LuLu as the Saracino matriarch making lunch for her two daughters who are just about to leave for work at the factory. She also talks to the neighbors through the window, using an extremely convincing Italian accent and accurate gestures, worrying about every little detail, like the stereotypical mother. The next scene shows her as the older Seracino daughter; she is sewing at the factory and sarcastically complaining about not being able to breathe. Her reference to getting paid at the end of the day adds on to the tragedy of the fire, as these over-worked people slaved away for fourteen hour shifts for $1.50 a day. She promises her younger sister a treat at the end of the day, only to be fined by the manager for talking. The blame for the

fire is clearly being shifted to people in charge right from the start. She also reminisces about not having the guts to join the union like her friend did; the union she’s referring to is most likely the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, which had staged a walkout three years earlier. When the fire starts, the sisters have nowhere to escape because the elevator stops working and the fire escape breaks down. Another reference to the sins of authority comes with the knowledge that one of the exits had been locked from the outside to keep the girls from taking breaks. It is also mentioned there are pieces of flammable fabric lying around everywhere; obviously a lot of lives could have been saved that day if only someone cared. The Saracino sisters are forced to jump down to their deaths from the 9th floor. The final scene shows LuLu as a bystander, calling the police from across the street of the building and reporting on the events that follow afterward. This one was a little hard to sit through, as the narration sounded like it came out of some textbook. The trial’s outcome was a happy one for the owners: they were acquitted of the charges, much to the dismay of the 300 mothers who staged a protest for revenge. Many laws were enacted, however, to improve working conditions. The Asch Building was later bought by Frederick Brown and donated to New York University in 1929, where it is now known as the Brown Building of Science. There will be a reception held at the site on March 26th, to honor the victims of the tragedy. LuLu picked the Seracino family to write about because she shares an Italian heritage with them. She has worked on many historical projects, including one on the brutal murder of Kitty Genovese. Her performance was overall very convincing. Talking to oneself must get tiresome after about five minutes, but she kept it up for one hour. The Press wishes LuLu good luck in further endeavors.

“All of a Sudden I Miss Every o n e ”
Explosions in the Sky



Pocket Symphony
By David Becerra ___________ Though it lacks the zing and zest of the ever-popular album Talkie Walkie, Air's latest album Pocket Symphony is still a treat. Pocket Symphony is more of a chill out album. Through slow melodic progressions, Air shows the ability to alter its sound without losing a hook. What draws you to Pocket Symphony certainly won't captivate you as quickly, but as with many great albums, it is a pleasure that you warm up to over time. The all-too-familiar pitch shifter lightens up some tracks, leading the listener to suspect a female vocalist, but no, that is, in fact, a male. A pleasantly received guest vocalist, Jarvis Cocker from Pulp also is featured on the album. The wonderful percussion instrument sometimes referred to as the piano is also a pleasant addition to the entourage of synthesizers. Air's ability to reinforce the stereotype of the French man holding a woman in one hand and playing a synthesizer with the other is uncanny and should not be overlooked. A thorough track analysis will do this album some justice: 1. “Space Maker” – Yeah, let's get this album started. Haunting almost, but it has a sincere tone. Instrumental and effective. 2. “Once Upon a Time” - My personal favorite. The rest of the album seems to be leaning on this song for support. Pitch shifted vocals with regular backing vocals, golden. 3. “One Hell of a Party” - This song is redundant. This song is redundant. This song is redundant. This song is redundant. 4. “Napalm Love” - What's that bittersweet taste in my mouth? Oh it's napalm love! 5. “Mayfair Song” - The pulse of the song slowly flows throughout. Captivating. They don't make em' like this anymore. 6. “Left Bank” - While the acoustic guitar strums to our hearts’ content, we are hit with the voice of Jarvis Cocker from Pulp to make us sway to and fro in our seats. 7. “Photograph” - Where's the hook? Where is it? 8. “Mer Du Japon” - Oh yeah, that's right, we're cranking up the tempo to an entire 100 bpm! Hold onto your seats! Hearing this after the rather slow paced songs may make you forget that this song still is quite timid. I'll rate it as decent, though it is lacking. 9. “Lost Message” - It works for background music. 10. “Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping” - The vocal tracks are doubled over to allow for a contrast that invokes auditory ecstasy. A strong point of the album 11. “Redhead Girl” - Does this song sound any different when compared to the rest of the album? 12. “Night Sight”- If you aren't relaxed enough, this song will wind everything down for you. Given the album it's on, I can understand using it as a closer. Unfortunately, the album has its flaws. Redundancy is a problem that can be found in a few of the tracks. “One Hell of a Party” perhaps can entertain a listener for the first 30 seconds, but, honestly, how little can one song progress? Sure, they sing without the pitchshifter, a valiant step, but that does not make it a good change. From the droning relaxing mood set from “Once Upon A Time,” to the not so upbeat “Mer Du Japon,” one can clearly see that the album takes a common theme and allows for little deviation from that. Verdict: Definitely worth the listen, not worth spending the funds.

Neon Bible
Chassagne and Owen Powell. A l s o explored is the use of sampled sound, put to good use with the thunder crashing throughout in the album’s highlight, the dreary and haunting, “Ocean Of Noise.” These new musical explorations prove that The Arcade Fire’s best songs are certainly not behind them. Perhaps a nod to their devoted fanbase, Neon Bible contains a new recording of “No Cars Go”, the standout track on their otherwise mediocre debut EP. While the new recording varies little from the original, the song fits perfectly alongside the rest of the album and is sure to turn a live fan favorite into one of their most requested. However, the same fans may be greatly disappointed at Neon Bible’s lack of vocal contributions from Chassagne; while she sings the first verse of “Black Wa v e / B a d Vibrations” and backing vocals on numerous others, nothing on the album contains the soft and sweet moods she created on Funeral’s “Haiti” and “In The Backseat.” It may seem like I’m spending more time talking about The Arcade Fire’s last album, than the one I’m actually reviewing, but it’s impossible to review Neon Bible without taking into consideration the impact Funeral had on myself and just about anyone else who’s heard it. If anyone actually thought Neon Bible was going to top F u n e r a l, they’re a fool. T h e Arcade Fire is destined to be one of those artists whose first album is their best, but unlike almost every other artist in that category, it is highly unlikely that they will ever release an album that is anything short of fantastic. Neon Bible may not have anything quite as memorable as “Rebellion (Lies)” or “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)”, but it’s still a damn good album worth many listens. As a quick note to anyone planning to purchase a hard copy of the album, I highly recommend the Deluxe Edition. It retails for only $2 more than the regular and is a much nicer package. The Deluxe Edition comes in a hinged box with a lenticular cover, the album’s liner notes and two flip books designed by the band, featuring artwork from the cover and liner notes.

By Jake Wallace ___________ Following 2004’s F u n e r a l, T h e Arcade Fire had some big shoes to fill. Not only was Funeral one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2004, it was also hailed as one of the best indie rock albums of all time. The Arcade Fire could’ve screwed their sophomore album up a thousand different ways; instead, they’ve released a beautifully simple record that is destined to be, once again, one of the best albums of the year. While Funeral looked inward, focusing on personal feelings of loss and longing, Neon Bible looks outward, exploring the wayward state of the world today. While the nostalgic air throughout F u n e r a l was one of the band’s most celebrated aspects, they’ve now proven that they do subtle world commentary quite well too. When Wi n Butler exclaims, “No matter what you say, I know there’s some debts you’ll never pay” on “Intervention” you can’t help but see him raise his middle finger to the entire Bush administration. Butler also experiments with combining the themes of Funeral with his newfound worldview on “Windowsill”, a commentary likening his dissatisfaction with life in the new millennium to his father’s death. Neon Bible’s true selling point is the new repertoire of instruments the band has incorporated. Openers “Black Mirror” and “Keep The Car Running” feature the hurdy gurdy, one of the most unique looking and sounding instruments in rock music today. While, “My Body Is A Cage” features a haunting horn section, brought to life by the abandoned church the album was recorded in. Neon Bible also takes the band’s string arrangements to the next level, all of which were done in-house by Régine

“Pocket Symphony”

“Neon Bible”
The Arcade Fire



The A rcade Fire – Neon Bible (Merge, 03/06/2007) Is March too early to declare an album of the year? Or is 2007 too early to grant the title of best album of the decade? Their first full-length album, Funeral, was heralded for its candid urgency and personal reflection in 2004. Neon Bible is something much larg e r, musically and expressively; it’s ready to take on the whole world. With their second album, The Arcade Fire proves what a lot of listeners have been saying about this band all along: they’re fucking amazing. I know everyone else has been saying it since this leaked earlier this year, but Neon Bible really is THE album of our time. At a time when nobody seems to be able to tell everyone what the global situation really is, Neon Bible speaks to the alienation of Western youth. The Montreal-based symphonic indie rock band took a decidedly more chamber-pop this time around, including a full Hungarian orchestra, giving it a much more robust sound than their earlier works. After their appearance on Saturday Night Live, a friend commented, “by the next album, they’ll be considered the greatest thing in music -- better than Radiohead.” And if they follow up Neon Bible with anything nearly as brilliant as this, he’s probably right. When the first single “Intervention” was released months ago, many critics compared it to the early works Bruce Springsteen, at which I scoffed. Talented songwriting does not alone merit comparisons to The Boss, I thought. Surprisingly though, I found the comparisons quite apt. Opening with a lively pipe organ, Win Butler emotively cries, “working for the church while your family dies/you take what they give you and you keep it inside.” Much of the album sounds like a modern take on Springsteen intertwined with a huge dreamy wall-ofsound like that of perhaps Cocteau Twins. (Antichrist Television Blues), with its hard-strumming acoustic guitar and Butler’s straightforward delivery of one American’s life definitely has the most Bruce-y sound on the album. From the point of view of a father living in uncertain times, he tries to explain to himself, “Dear God, I'm a good Christian man/I'm your boy, I know you understand/That you got to work hard and you got to get paid/The girl's thirteen, but she don't act her age/She can sing like a bird in cage/Oh Lord, if you could see her when she's up on that stage,” clearly calling out the likes of Jessica Simpson’s father or the parents of JonBenet Ramsey. And

while it was initially my least favorite song, I came to appreciate the folky “Keep The Car Running” and its similarities to Born In the U.S.A.’s deeper tracks. While putting so much emphasis on lyricist Win Butler, every other instrument is equally stunning. The band’s members include a few multi-instrumentalists who also play in Bell Orchestre, and Neon Bible also features violinist Owen Pallett, a friend of the band known for his own solo project, Final Fantasy. The choral backing vocals that saturate Neon Bible come from Régine Chassagne, co-founder of the band and Wi n ’s wife, who plays the accordion and numerous other instruments. The first track on the album is solid and doesn’t come across too strong, and if I had to compare it to any other artist, it would be Bowie, after he quit the heroin. As the third track, the brief piece which shares its title with the album gives a cue to the mood of the album: “it’s the Neon Bible, not much chance for survival. On “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations”, the Haitian-born Chassagne sings in English and French over what sounds like Joy Division with a heavy string section. This leads into Butler’s much heavier, paranoid-sounding section of the song, and one of the greatest lines on Neon Bible, “stop now before it’s late; eating in the ghetto on a hundred-dollar plate.” And that’s not to mention, the showstopping, mind-blowing “W n d o w s i l l ” , i which I could write a term paper about. I know that many Americans are weary of Bush-bashing songs, but “Windowsill” is so much more, and something worth listening to at least a few times before judging it. “I don't want to fight in the holy war/I don't want the salesmen knocking at my door/I don't want to live in America no more//Because the tide is high/And it's rising still/And I don't want to see it at my windowsill” Butler begs. “MTV what have you done to me?/Save my soul, set me free,” may sound cliché, but I think that’s only because Butler is putting into lyrics what an entire generation has been wondering since they grew up and saw what was going on around them. When I saw “No Cars Go” on the track list, I was admittedly disappointed. It was on their first ever release, the 2003 E P simply labeled The A rcade Fire, though I don’t immediately blame a band for recycling songs from EPs. However, this is not the same minimalist “No Cars Go”, and the decision to re-record it shows tremendous confidence With a bit less emphasis on traditional percussion and a heavier dose of cautious optimism,

the remake is how a Baroque pop song of Peter Pan syndrome is meant to sound. Closing out with “My Body Is A Cage,” I was kind of confused at first. The album had been so holistically perfect, and this song just felt like tacked on. For the first minute-and-a-half, Butler bleats with little backing, “my body is a cage/that keeps me from the one I love/but my mind holds the key.” As the o rgan and backing vocals kick in and a mighty synthesizer and drums rose from my speakers, I felt like I was listening to a lost track from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, and I say that with the utmost admiration for Roger Waters and Win Butler. The band’s self-titled EP was given the de jure title of the Us Kids Know EP by fans back then from a line in “No Cars Go”, but I think that Us Kids Know is a much more appropriate summary of the theme for this album. Now go listen to it, several dozen times.

Snowgoons – German Lugers (Babygrande, 02/27/2007) As much as I follow all types of rap, I’m willing to admit that I don’t know much about German hip-hop producers. But with all the pre-release hype that German Lugers has been getting all year and the all-star list of underground rappers making appearances, I was quite curious about Snowgoons. The quartet of Det, DJ Illegal, Torben, DJ Waxwork have become well-known in the European hip-hop community, but now they’re bringing it Stateside. Looking to make it here in the major leagues of hiphop, they signed to Babygrande Records, which has proven itself serious as an independent hip-hop label, having signed artists from GZA to Canibus to Immortal Technique to Purple City. With the likes of Wordsworth, Sean Price, Living Legends, Craig G (the journeyman who’s been around since Marly Marl’s Juice Crew), and a couple of Jedi Mind Tricks, Lugers reads like a Who’s Who of the American underground scene. U n f o r t u n a t e l y, like many producers’

ambitious compilations, the saturation are too many artists trying to do their own thing for any one idea to stick With more than two-dozen rappers spitting to the eighteen beats, everyone’s showcasing their finest lyrical efforts. On “Who What When Where”, Majik Most says “you think you’re the rayman, I’m r a i n i n ’ like Raiden/raisin’ my hands puttin’ lightning bolts in your band.” Not all the lyrics are especially deep or refreshing, though. After Sean Price’s impressive solo release earlier this year, he’s so weak on Lugers’ “Gunz”, which is a pretty boring track about shooting people. Philly rapper Last Emperor shines on “Man Of The Year” with self-assuredly styles, “enemies, beware! my raps are fiery/Sort of like Shakespeare's dramatic irony/Pros go from skid row to high society/But I must say, I just play a wide variety/I'm really that fresh, to the top entirety/All access, you should stop denyin’ me/I warn any thug who thinks of tryin’ me/Say no to drugs, you should try sobriety” and so on. On the tails of that is “It’s Yours”, with a commendably-placed sample of the Nas classic and the rhymes of Afu-Ra is one of the album’s strongest tracks. There’s a little too much of that I ’ m - b e t t e r-than-you-are ego-stroking, but that’s what rap is about when you’ve got the fire to back it up. Maybe it’s just a pet peeve of mine, but I hate shout-overs that DJs love to do on mixtapes. And Lugers is worse – it’s quite apparent that the ‘Goons are trying to make a name for themselves. Every track starts with repetition of phrases like “Snowgoons, sprockets!” and the greatest sin of all, screaming out “G e r m a n Lugers!” over verses. We know what the name of the fucking album is. The beats are definitely European, with a tight, emphasis on a variety of instruments from horns to bells, and a predominantly mid-tempo bassline, and it’s obviously a little more complex than what the mostly East Coast rappers are used to feeling. On a couple of tracks, I wonder if there was any communication between rapper and producer or if they just sent an a capella across the Atlantic and put it on some beat the ‘Goons already made. So excuse the firearm puns, but the hired guns’ may be spittin’ hot lead, but they just don’t match up well with the beats on German Lugers. Keep an ear out for more Snowgoons-produced tracks on the underground; these guys definitely have production talent and just need to tone down their ambitions and keep it down-to-earth.



Could Jesus Have Been Married to Mary Magdalene, Real Founder of Christianity? By Laura Positano Jesus could have had a big family. This was the premise for a Discovery Channel special presentation entitled “The Lost Tomb of Jesus.” To m b s found in the Talpiot section of Jerusalem were alleged to belong to Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene (who was claimed by the special to be his wife), and other family members, specifically his brothers Matthew, James, Simon, and Judah. This special aimed to figure out whether these are indeed the ossuaries (limestone bone boxes) of Jesus Christ’s family. Linguistics, archeology, history, statistics, genetics, and theology all coalesced in this special. Analyses of the Aramaic (the language spoken during the first century) writings on the ossuaries revealed the names on the boxes. Most of them were common names for the first century Jerusalem population (for instance, Joseph.) So those ossuaries could belong to any Jerusalem family, not necessarily that of Jesus Christ. H o w e v e r, the ossuary inscribed Mariamene e Mara, which translates to “Mary, the leader,” possibly belongs to Mary Magdalene, who was a disciple of Jesus, according to the Gospels of Philip and Mary. Her ossuary was the only one inscribed in Greek, which is significant because Magdala was a place where Greek was spoken. To prove that she was not a blood relative of Jesus, DNA tests were done on bone fragments found within the ossuaries of Jesus and Mariamene, and the results proved that the two were unrelated, and therefore almost certainly husband and wife. T h i s special raises many critical questions for a Catholic like myself who that has been taught, according to the Bible, that Jesus was a single preacher who rose from the dead. William Donohue of the Catholic League was on CNN a few weeks back, on Paula Zahn Now, in a panel discussion about this special (which had not yet aired at the time.) He noted that discoveries which lead one to question tenets of the Catholic Church’s dogmatic teachings always seem to appear around Lent. This is the time when Catholics remember Christ’s suff e r i n g , crucifixion, and eventual resurrection from the dead on Easter. The claimed discovery of a tomb belonging to Jesus questions this fundamental teaching of the Bible that Jesus, [only after his fol-

lowers had rolled away the rock that had hidden his tomb only to find it empty] appeared before Mary Magdalene and his disciples a resurrected man. According to the documentary’s producer James Cameron, who was interviewed by the New York Post, this “film doesn’t deal with theological issues.” Yet it is so clear that it does, beyond the one with the resurrection story being undermined. Did Jesus have a wife? Did his parents, the Virgin Mary and his adopted father Joseph, have other children (that would undermine the notion of the virginal Mary), since ten ossuaries were found in the family burial area? Was this the family burial plot of Jesus, or just one of his neighbors? Specifically, the special recounted the possible and enlightened speculation that Mary Magdalene was a Greekspeaking, Israeli apostle to the Greek Jews along the coast. Even more intriguing, the special speculates that Mary was not merely a loose woman, or prostitute, but the de facto founder of the Christian faith. This is a revolutionary statement because women were shut out of the Catholic Church leadership by the early Christian heads of the Church. Mary Magdalene’s role as a missionary of Christianity is noted by this film, and this is important for the purpose of enlightening those who still believe Mary Magdalene was an adulterous woman or a fallen sinner. The most venial reason for literally writing Mary out of the Church was also touched upon by the special: a maledominated structure would have fatal problems with the prospect that the faith was founded by a woman. The special also noted that woman missionaries were hardly unknown in the period of the early Church. Many feminine concepts - peace, cooperation, non-violence, gentleness, lack of baseless conflic - can realistically be derived from traditionally female values. If we derive our values accordingly, the reason why Mary seemingly popped up at such critical times as the actual crucifixion of Jesus (when she was allowed past the Roman guard posts as a relative) and as she was the first person to see the risen Christ on Easter morning, is hardly difficult to understand. She was his wife. The Romans allowed her past for obvious reasons, and the tomb visit also makes more sense for a widow. Finally, who else would Jesus want to appear before than his wife? Many questions were raised, but few really answered, by this eye opening documentary film.

The Northern Stars By Miguel A. Sanchez There are many who have come to ask me about my original article, “Into the Eastern Shore.” Some have asked me, “What is it all about?” I have come to speculate that there is some level of confusion and wonder. For one, how can an atheist, a Naturalistic Humanist, come to believe in faith, yet at the same time espouse a Biblical view of a higher intelligence that is moving and shaping history towards its own design, and, in doing so, continually putting the burden of choices on humanity? Tribulations, obstacles, challenges, and the ultimate conviction to follow the test to its final conclusion can alienate some in the Critical Theory and Enlightenment movement. For there is a strategy; that much can be given. But the strategy is not in terms of what one would regularly find it to be, it is a process of growth and humility. There is a rule among Orthodox Jews that one cannot describe the personal characteristics of the Messiah, even though there are two Messiahs: a political Messiah and a suffering Messiah. Some have come to allege the latter to be Christ How these events will transpire is anybody’s guess. But what one can be sure of is that history always unfolds during a period of upheaval and calamity. When the human race is gripped with all-out war, when the species is confronted with the question of life or death, when one is pushed into a corner and asked to choose, then there is the impending uncertainty that grips humanity. I do believe in a higher intelligence; whether it is logos, nature, or Desein. Fundamentally, there is a rule that must be followed: it is not “the highest” intelligence. What one is realizing is that this higher intelligence is emerging, becoming more and more conscious, reflecting back and pondering the same questions that humanity is gripped with. Man is inherently a reflection of this higher intelligence. I must adhere to social ecology; yes, I mystify it. But I give it an edge and a human quality, a contradiction that can only be settled as the human race begins to relate itself honestly to nature. Not taking into account human actions towards its own environment and how it affects the social and ecological state of the species, as well as the continual persistence to put weight into population and not human growth and its connection to its own surroundings greatly displaces the convention that humans are innately natural organisms. Hence my dislike for deep

ecology, but only a slight dislike, for I do share the mystification, the wonder of all tales and stories being told. My criticisms towards the Enlightenment is not a criticism against its principles, but in the persistence of “those who claim Enlightenment” to be the vanguards of historical development. Intellectuals should not be the leaders of the new anarchist movement; rather, their existence is passive, or they must create and give their access to their tools. I do not share much conviction with Critical Theory for the same reasons. The historical development is something like dynamic equilibrium, which requires the efforts of both a sincere commitment to ecological concerns and political stability. But the current movement towards democracy, which flourishes in the avenue of neo-conservatism and the New Right, leads only to catastrophic consequences. It does not lead to the kind of dynamic equilibrium its intended promotional surfaces tend to claim. For a truly stable system to emerge, it is required that the system settle down on its own. Taking matters into one’s own hands to reconstruct the planet in one’s own image leads only to the chaotic symptoms one sees throughout the world. Yet this does not exclude the idea that actions do make a difference. Germany and Japan achieved democracies only because, from the very beginning, liberal democracy would not be subsumed and controlled by a foreign state. The population in France in the 1950’s student movement actualized their own existential right for self-determination. So did the communist leaders in Japan; current declassified memos in the CIA’s archives describe quite accurately the ruling Communist party’s resistance to American influence in the region. They incidentally reflected that right onto history, onto the greater whole of dynamic equilibrium, and brought to the scene its own historical development. It had no intention of expansion or its own neo-nationalism, but De Gaul and Japanese leaders would lead with the intention of taking personal responsibility for the effects of the modern Japanese and French democratic movement. What’s important is that these movements had a reciprocal effect on the emergence of a stable democratic community that sought its personality and growth without the threat of foreign intervention. When all levels of social structure participate, when the most radical of these groups can coincide and give voice to the moderates and idealists, then this has a
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reciprocal effect on the capacity for a stable system to emerge. De Gaul and the student movement in the French territories brought that sense to bear, and within a few short months decolonization would become the next phase. But how does one come to reconcile this with the original manuscript? I believe strongly that the Messianic calling is not a calling for a grand leader or a staunch political activist. Rather, it is not inherent within the voice of one man alone. No one man can come close to touching the wonders of the universe, but the calling is a human prerequisite for personal and ethical responsibilities. As all stories have told, the human odyssey is continually perfecting itself, continually moving towards a point of reflection and growth that is persistent in its belief. The decision made is not only the call of one person, but the multitude of the species, which has come to inhabit and live on this small planet. The faith that I take is in the “democracy to come”: not democracy as defined, but a democracy as yet to be defined. Continual studies in mathematics, ecology, philosophy, and systems science will in the process yield better and more precise understandings of our roles and what difference human beings can make in the advancement of knowledge and truth. I strongly feel that better understanding in the area of dynamical systems, philosophy of the mind, language, and ecology, will yield results adequate enough to overcome the autoimmune effects of democratic socialism. I do not think that Marxism in its present form, even its most radical and late principles (but maybe its much earlier Humanist affirmations) will yield the results one is looking for, even if democracy is to be affirmed. I cannot judge all political theorists and what their preferences are, but I fear that too much adherence to the status quo, without risking the chance to travel to uncharted territory in the area of libertarian socialism, can interfere with the prospects of a proper model for democratic socialism. My most basic reason to suppose this is that the general technology used by political theorist to explore and determine ethical and political issues is incompatible and outmoded by current trends in humanity’s historical development. There is too much reliance on what economists and the people at Wall Street have to say on the economy and too little understanding of the basic mathematical technique used to ascertain their claims. For one, most economists who became Nobel laureates have managed to obscure

the global economy to greater deficits. The prospect of too much industrial consumption plagues the cultural sectors with negative consequences. There are too many complexities and too many hidden variables. For there is to be a viable and significant economic theory, even by Marx’s terminologies. Even after writing several significant manuscripts on the topics of economic research before his death, before Engel’s would go on and fill in for him there is still too much that is not considered. In my support for dynamical systems and systems theory, I am not projecting a hypocritical point of view. What I’m trying to point out is that to make any assertions as of now about how economic theory will turn out, how one could use it to lower deficits and strengthen the market economy, still does not consider the uncertainties of wartime expenditures and the trade gaps that have engulfed the world. It also has little to say about autoimmunity and its effect on regional economic stability, not in terms of capitalist expectations, since to do so would only undermine the freedom for democratic ownership of production and labor; the past hasn ’t been subservient to general control by private flows. Its general flows and activities are consumed with centralized control as sought in the current globalization project. There is tension between the former and current Federal Reserve Chairman on the prospects of another global recession, sparking controversy upon the Shanghai’s market crash, leading to a ripple effect all over the global economy and consequently causing the market to have its worst week since it’s opening after September 11th. To award and give these economists who have contributed to the NAFTA agreements and the overall globalization agenda, unleashes a wave of atrocities and malpractice on the part of the foreign state institutions on their own population. It has become a calamity waiting to engulf the world. The curiosity about intelligence is to me a metaphor of what our own species could be (as is Jean-Paul Sartre’s manuscript The Desire to be God). In its continual odyssey, there are going to be tests and there are going to have to be choices. Choices come without knowing exactly what the risk or consequences of those choices are going to be, but one can live with a sense of courage and meaning to deal with that fear (see also: Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning). With that comes a sense of what true faith is, but without recognizing that

throughout the consumerist culture (especially state-capitalism), those choices are being differed and are being substituted for products and labor. The consequence is that it may take years to repair the damage caused by our continual need to consume. Technology has made many wonders, but I fail to see how it has not turned the species into paranoid schizophrenics. The final and most important release from the contradiction requires that the members of the species be capable enough to make up their own minds, and not be conflicted by personnel biases or fears. The repetition comes to an end in logos once that meaning is actualized and there is recognition of having faith in reason. Then can one finally let go and let the system takes its own course, trying not to manipulate it for one’s own end. I believe dynamic equilibrium and its models hold vital information on how that may be achieved, but notice that it is an ecological consequence stimulated by human action. I reject any notion that might to be consumed by fascist or neoconservative aspirations, fueled by a strong inclination towards totalitarian methodologies mostly found in deep ecology and state-socialism. I do not think that recognizing human myths and spiritual questions inherently violates the rule, but I do adhere to the principle that it must not entirely be egocentric. Messianic connotations help to stimulate questions about what man’s role in the universe is while at the same taking vigilance that man is not entirely the arbiter of history. That should not and will not shape history on one’s own terms. This fundamental accolade helps to reinforce the value in which Pantheism itself may be recognized in the idea of a higher test or higher role towards an immerging and delicate intelligence. What is fundamentally at play here is the understanding that the structuralist adherence to mythological truth found in Brazilian cultures can be affirmed, but its inability for a dynamical approach is rejected cultures are not fixed in time, languages and arts are not predetermined or are gradually changing. Rather, there are sporadic and almost cataclysmic upheavals in the way cultural environments affect the way social and ecological systems change and manifest themselves. One can say that all Biblical stories from the wrath of God in Sodom and Gomorrah, to the Matthews proclamation of the coming of the Anti-Christ, can be seen in their period as a metaphor of cultural, social, and ecological upheavals that can adequately change the scope and func-

tion of language and art. From the rise of the Emperor Nero to the coronation of King Henry VIII and the fall of the old English monarchy in Oliver Cromwell’s rise to dictatorial power. For our time there is Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton. For World War II, there stands Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce and Animal Farm by George Orwell. These were by far the most historically challenging episodes in human history; they changed the way language and its use would be undertaken. Incorporating the power of myth, not as gradual changes, but rather sporadic ones, was revolutionary for its time. In doing so, it restructured the way language and art would be used. The way it was originally conceptualized overturned the bourgeois mentality and helped to give credence to socialist idealism or even anarchist conceptualizations. In all, repetition and all forms of calculability must come to an end. As chaos theory predicts, there is some level of dependence on initial conditions and there is still some level of regularity in the orbit of the function. To essentially reach dynamic equilibrium, that repetitive dependence on initial conditions must eventually ease down. What comes after that is anybody’s guess. It could be the beginning of a whole new kind of architecture in economics and social ecology, yielding in itself the kind of solutions that could contain a better and more practical formulation of the theoretical underpinnings of language and thought. There is freedom in the things we long to have, and there is freedom in the things we sacrifice. To fully capitulate requires that one not have one of both sides. There must be a choice to accept a middle ground, and within that middle ground lies the key to unlocking man’s potential in the stakes of the future. Within those stakes lies the ultimate choice in a test requiring the sudden release of the contradiction that once held the species at bay. But the gift the One will impart to the human race, the gift of choice for which this higher intelligence in the trends of history will impart upon the One’s inevitable sacrifice will be the choice that reflects its own existential right to exist and at the same time recognizes its role on this planet as “No Gods, No Masters”: Hi. It's me. I know you're out there. I know you're working as fast as you can to catch me. I thought I should call and let you know how things stand. I know you're real proud of this world you've built, the way it works, all the nice little rules and such, but I've got some bad news. I've decided to make a few changes (The Matrix, Larry and Andy Wachowski).



Nights Like These By Jeffrey C. Carey

Cruel Devices By David Becerra The sting, the bite

Untitled By David Becerra Part 1

On nights like these I cannot love Maelstroms beckon violence outside The winds hiss that I am stone And how could I argue? I have been human but a day now Upon death I have not the saline With travesty I never shock much No drug anesthesizes me such Yet so lone in my jagged tumble I drag my pulp into rain, humbled With wishes on eyelashes To be one of you Whose puzzles purport completion And who know of sun sanctuaries Away from storms on nights like these.

Felt night after night How simple it is to turn to another An inner demand For what you can’t have Is what will cause your suffering It’s seen as abysmal You can’t handle it, no It couldn’t get much worse But in the depths of the mind Somewhere you can’t find Exists a tingling giddy pleasure Each day spent wallowing in your filth Gnashing your teeth, contemplating your worth Results in some of the greatest entertainment your frail self could imagine The pleasure bleeds out of your ears like the faucet of your bathtub Which you fill in hopes of drowning your sorrows If this pleasure climaxed further you may die of exasperation Insidiously we all form our darkest deepest pain Encasing ourselves in a sphere of negative cognition and a false sense of hopelessness Meanwhile we have unlimited ability The steam of the burning of our insides fills the room The black destructive mist The longing for an overrated kiss Let’s face it we’re all masochists

Societal constructs inherent in thee Shame shame to all who cannot see The suffering hatred from one so close Each basement case ser ves as the others host The pain from those who matter mos t The mirror image is what's to loath Part 2 Ivory sands flow through the hands Cognition tearing remaining caring Amour before destroyed the core Of essence from the eminence The post traumatic, hyperbolic scene was sweetly set Until the arrogant one called with insidious intent The slice was great, enveloped in hate Declaring beaut y makeup deep Part 3 Attentional deficit To adhere to the best You cannot attend To what you cannot admire Systematic heirarchy With self towards the bottom Rage amiss from self p ollution Your beauty is corrupted to only see frailty Part 4 Compile statistics of life dating misfits not one rejection seen Define good overhead and the horrendous others as joyous company









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