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More Bushisms By ÜberMike <1-7-01>
For your reading pleasure, more quotes from our great new leader. Yes, I know I've been taking cheap shots at Bush lately, but I just decided to get this last one out in the open to get it out of my system. Anyways, I found a partial list of "Bushisms" (i.e. Thought-provoking words to say the least) in some of the archives of The Portside, an e-mailing list on Egroups. I recently signed up to be a member of it, and if you want to, go to their webpage. Also, Roe V. Wade can recommend you some other Egroups that he's on as well. For the complete list, go to The Complete List of Bushisms. It is updated frequently and compiled by a wonderful person named Jacob Weisberg. Be sure to read them all before it ceases to be a novelty. Here are some Bushisms that I like:

"They misunderestimated me."—Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

"It's your money. You paid for it."—LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

"I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun."

"It's going to require numerous IRA agents."—On Gore's tax plan, Greensboro, N.C., Oct. 10, 2000

"I think if you know what you believe, it makes it a lot easier to answer questions. I can't answer your question."—In response to a question about whether he wished he could take back any of his answers in the first debate. Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Oct. 4, 2000

"They have miscalculated me as a leader."—Ibid

"As governor of Texas, I have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those standards."--CNN online chat, Aug. 30, 2000

"I don't know whether I'm going to win or not. I think I am. I do know I'm ready for the job. And, if not, that's just the way it goes."—Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 21, 2000

Bush: "First of all, Cinco de Mayo is not the independence day. That's dieciséis de Septiembre, and ..."
Matthews: "What's that in English?"
Bush: "Fifteenth of September." (Dieciséis de Septiembre = Sept. 16)
—Hardball, MSNBC, May 31, 2000

"I think we agree, the past is over."—On his meeting with John McCain, Dallas Morning News, May 10, 2000

"You subscribe politics to it. I subscribe freedom to it."—Responding to a question about whether he and Al Gore were making the Elián González case a political issue. In Palm Beach, Fla., as quoted by the Associated Press, April 6, 2000

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?"—Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 2000

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"—Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

"The only thing I know about Slovakia is what I learned first-hand from your foreign minister, who came to Texas."—To a Slovak journalist as quoted by Knight Ridder News Service, June 22, 1999. Bush's meeting was with Janez Drnovsek, the prime minister of Slovenia.

"Keep good relations with the Grecians."—Quoted in the Economist, June 12, 1999

"Kosovians can move back in."—CNN Inside Politics, April 9, 1999


Winter Wonderland By Roe V. Wade <1-6-01>
According to a recent news report, the 2000 November-December was the coldest on US record. The brutal Eastern wind has kept many inside and others who dared to face it shivering meekly in the frosty chill. Its disregard for life has left vehicles immobile under sheets of snow and slashed the colour right out of every human face. I'm constantly telling myself "It's the sunspot cycle" but I'm becoming increasingly skeptical. I'm sure there is a perfectly logical reason that I just haven't been able to choke out of the television, paper and Internet media yet. How, while all of Britain is under assault by the forces of nature, the Saturday match at Manchester is played under direct sunlight brought to my mind the possibility of an Eastern conspiracy(cause everyone knows all of United's supporters are from Hong Kong and Singapore) to control the weather. I quickly wrote this theory off though because the US and Hong Kong are such great friends and because i had just awakened after 2 hours of "sleep". I then began to write this article as an ongoing study trying to provide a scientific explanation for the winter which is enveloping us. After stepping outside to "study", i quickly turned back inside after about a minute with theory in mind, pencil in hand and ice on my nose. Global Warming is a hoax. I have no scientific evidence(therefore i'm illiterate apparently). The only evidence i have is that if global warming were indeed happening the temperature would be getting WARMER not colder. Therefore my logical conclusion is that we are actually approaching an ice age. So remember to stock up on that firewood and those woolens and the down blankets...(i'll probably be eating my words come the hottest ever summer 2001 :)


The Magic Formula By Daphne Blake <1-4-01>
As I sat down to pen my inaugural article for the CN, I said to myself, "Daphne, you should write something informative and simple, but personal too." (Ed. note: I call myself "ÜberMike" in my mind as well) So I did. Here it is:

    How to Solve Any Mystery: A Twelve Step Program*
  1. Make friends. I suggest teaming up with three pals and a dog, preferably a great dane. Don't forget to bring along some treats, just in case your canine is cowardly and needs some encouragement. It doesn't hurt to occasionally enlist the help of famous acquaintances, such as Mama Cass Eliot, Phyllis Diller, or the Harlem Globetrotters.
  2. One of your new buds should hail from a wealthy family, thus providing a generous relative who will be happy to sponsor your crime-solving escapades and maybe even throw in a hip van. You could call it a Mystery Machine or something.
  3. Get in the van and go somewhere. It doesn't matter where you go; there will be a mystery that needs asolvin' anywhere you end up.
  4. When you arrive at your destination, possibly a spooky old mansion or dusty museum, go in and check it out.
  5. You'll only meet one or two people when you go in, but you won't suspect them at first because they seem like normal people who just want to help you out or either mind their own business.
  6. Explore the scene of the mystery, keeping in mind that the perpetrator is always one or both of the people you just met. Most likely, they've discovered a hidden treasure or some other valuable property, and they're simply trying to scare everyone away from their find.
  7. The bad guys will inevitably create ghosts with their mastery of mirrors, spy on you through portaits hanging conveniently on nearby walls, or concoct eery noises on their tape recorders. These inventions won't impress you, but you can play along to amuse the thugs.
  8. If you come across a fabricated apparition, say something clever, like "Zoinks!" or "Jeepers!"
  9. One member of your group should fall through every trap door, get smuggled away by every monster, and slip through every revolving wall. I have much experience in this department. Never fear though - the pal that volunteers for this task will be recovered before you wrap up the mystery.
  10. When you tire of the criminals' antics, the brainy female and
  11. ascot-sporting male should concoct a plan to outwit them. Nevertheless, when you actually put this plan into action, something will go wrong. Fortunately, the dog and the goofy guy that hangs out with him will accidentally foil the plans of the suspects.
  12. Confront the villains and give them the opportunity to mutter, "If it weren't for those meddling kids!" Every one of them will unfailingly make this remark before being led away in handcuffs by the local authorities.
  13. Hop in your van and head to the nearest malt shop to celebrate your latest victory.
*A trademark theme song for your group is optional but highly recommended.


Signs of an oncoming apocalypse By David Friedman <1-1-01>
Whenever I'm roaming the halls at my high school, people always stop me and say, "David, with the new year approaching, how can I, a mindless simpleton, forecast an oncoming apocalypse?" Because I'm tired of repeating myself (and we are all aware of my conservation of energy beliefs) I have decided to jot down my system. Here it is.


Review: Midtown Madness II By David Friedman <1-1-01>
This is one of the few games that I truely love to play. It is the most realistic car driving game ever. The lights change, maps, such as London, are exact, the multiplayer games are amazing, every aspect is perfect. You can even download almost 50 cars from the internet. Here is a screenshot, it is rather large. It is of me and about 5 other people playing cops and robbers.



IT Code named: Ginger By ÜberMike <1-21-00>
Outside of movies or music, this could very well be the most hyped news story of the year. Many of you probably haven't heard of IT, but IT has created a huge splash in the technology field. What is it? IT is Dean Kamen's new invention. Kamen, president of DEKA research in New Hampshire and recipient of the National Medal of Technology, has been the focus of the media in tech for the past couple of weeks. Why? Kamen, who is now famous for inventing the IBOT offroad/stair-climbing wheel chair, portable insulin pump, and the heart stent used by Vice President-elect Dick Cheney is back in the limelight for his new invention IT code named: Ginger. And IT has everyone worked up and agonizing over what it is. With backing and investment from such tech giants as Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, and Apple innovator Steve Jobs, it seems that everyone thinks it's a good idea if such big-name execs like those are praising it. Even president George W. Bush went to Kamen's hexagonal mansion to take a look. Amidst all this talk, Harvard Business School Press has offered $250,000 for a book about IT, although they know nothing about the details! The book propsal (and talk in general) has said that IT "will sweep over the world and change lives, cities, and ways of thinking... [IT will be an alternative to products that are] dirty, expensive, sometimes dangerous and often frustrating, especially for people in the cities.” The proposal also says that IT is the size of a briefcase, and one model of IT may cost less than $2,000. Hype has grown enormously, and everywhere - on the web, in the papers, people are claiming that this invention will be greater than the internet. So have you figured out what it is from the clues? Most scientists and organizations believe it is a revolutionary personal scooter, one that works on the ever elusive Sterling engine that produces no pollution at all and can run on anything. Or, as Silicon Valley consultant Paul Saffo bets, IT is "gyroscopically stabilized, one-wheeled scooter with an unknown but powerful fuel source." Sort of like a hover-craft skateboard a la the Jetsons or Back to the Future. However, other speculations have suggested that it may be a material transporter from Star Trek, lie decectors for politicians, a supersmart robot, a cure for the common cold, or nothing at all; just a great ploy at marketing and staged publicity. I doubt it is just pure hype over nothing, but I'm sure it's not as "world-breaking" as many make it out to be. Unless someone buckles under the pressure of public anticipation and reveals some secrets as to what IT is, the world will have to wait until 2002 for Kamen to unveil the cover...

(If you want to learn more about IT and read tons of news stories about what IT may be, go to Yahoo!'s full coverage of the IT Phenom )


Review: CTHD By ÜberMike <1-20-00>
I've been waiting over two months, since the end of November, to see this movie. I don't remember exactly how I heard about it, but I think it was through my uncle in California. Ever since then, I have been obsessed with seeing it. It came out in Canada, LA, & NYC near New Years, but wouldn't come to Georgia until January 12th! Most people are just starting to hear about it now through mainstream press like the New York Daily News, Entertainment Weekly, People Magazine, the New York Times, the AJC, Time Magazine (the list goes on) giving it high praises as one of the best movies of the year. It also won awards at the LA Movie Critics Association, the Toronto, and Cannes Film Festivals. And from what I've read online and heard through the newspaper, audiences are mesmerized by the movie. CTHD could be the breakthrough foreign film that opens the market to the American mainstream. Devoid of all the hype back when nobody knew about it (in Georgia at least) in late December, I couldn't wait til January 12, and I found a bootleg copy of the movie. When I watched it though, the guy kept moving the camera, and it wasn't focused enough to read the subtitles (yes, I suck at Chinese), so I was dissapointed and had to wait til the 12th. Yet again, fate stepped into my path by calling me on a Duke Academic Bowl trip, thereby ruining my plans on Friday, January 12th, 2001, to see the movie at the Garden Hills Le Fonte Theater in Buckhead at 8:00 (I was later informed by my sister who planned to see it that day also with her friends that it was sold out). Well, finally, the time came and I was able to see it today in a packed house at the Tara theater in Gwinnett. There aren't many theaters showing the movie as it has subtitles, but it will probably be one of the most amazing films you will see all this year. Many say it is worthy of "Movie of the Year", but from what I've heard, the Oscar folks will be hard-pressed to give a foreign film that distinction, although it certainly deserves it. In the beginning, the story is rather simple and not very impressive, but it soon escalates and the plot gets very deep, with great back-up from the actors' performances. The cinematics and landscapes in this movie are amazing to look at (as is Zhang Ziyi, who is very hot). The film is totally engrossing the whole way through - unless, of course, the solemn and dramatic mood is ruined for you by the rude audience laughing at the "flying" scenes and the bamboo-tree fighting scene. Sure, it might have been funny the first time seeing some Chinese people "flying", but have some goddamn respect for other cultures and their methods of storytelling! Instead, the audience at the theater I was at guffawed every time they saw someone gracefully float in the air. Do people laugh when they see Superman flying next to a blue screen of Metropolis, or Peter Pan flying around in tights? No, disrespect for other cultures just demonstrates ignorance and close-mindedness towards others. Many people probably haven't been exposed to Eastern methods of movie-making, but this movie isn't historical, but rather an epic fantasy, and many Chinese martial arts movies employ the use of wires to show supernatural abilities and grace. Anyways...back to the movie; the fighting scenes are billions of billions of billions times better than the kung-fu you saw in the Matrix. It's the same choreographer, but this time he's working with (some) actors already familiar with martial arts. Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi fight some of the most amazing sequences I've ever seen in my life ("Fists of Legend" remake w/ Jet Li has nice fight scenes too), although Chow Yun Fat isn't used much in the movie. Basically, it's all women kicking ass in this flick. The film focuses on the Wudan method of fighting, which incorporates the use of weaponry instead of using bare appendages, so be prepared to see a dizzying array of swords flashing all over the screen. In summary, Crouching Tiger Hidded Dragon has something that everyone will enjoy: whether it's action, adventure, romance, drama, rich storytelling, or even a little comedy thrown in. This is definetly the best movie I have seen this year and I'll probably go back to see it again next week (not at the same theater though...)

(Btw: If you want to see another great, recent foreign movie, check out "The Emperor and the Assassin", another Chinese film released in 1999. It's almost as good as CTHD with its very involved plot, but it's not big on action and is a bit long.)


Music with a message By David Friedman <1-19-01>
There are 1001 people who will tell you that the music of today is bad. Few will try to give any explanation. I'm going to go out on a limb and tell one controversial (meaning most will disagree) reason for today's music being horrible. It's quite simple.... Every modern musician wants his/her song to have some deep, life altering "message". I think that is the problem. The best bands in the world play great music, but don't send a message. Do you think Beethoven ever said, "How can I make my symphonies relate to foreign child labor laws?". Listen to Dave Matthew's, not a single message. I'm sure many of you disagree, but think about it. Is the best way to send a message through rhymed couplets to a beat sung by an artist who you can hardly understand? No. I listen to music to relax, not to here about things I see every day at school (ok, not every day, but sometimes). Put simply, music should be created by musicians, not politicians. Perhaps the problems that America's youths are having receiving messages are that the wrong people are sending them. Bill Clinton, not George Clinton.
(Ed. note: However, there were/are many talented and influental bands who were able to successfully incorporate political/social messages in their music: Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, The Clash, The Dead Kennedys, Gang of Four, Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, and N.W.A to name a few)

(Response by Arch Bishop: The Dave Matthews Band blows.)


What do women want? By Greg Leo and Daphne Blake <1-17-01>
After searching many sources Daphne and I have finally come to an answer.
Heres what some people said...

Karen Ronan (Profesional Relationship Experet Kinda Person)

Greg- "What do women ask themselves about a man?"
Karen- "Are you interesting to talk to? Are you clean, well-groomed? Do you have a sense of humor? Do you listen to people? Do you project some self-confidence? Do you have ideas for places to go with a woman? Do you have any flair for conversation? Do you have decent social skills? Are you fairly intelligent, well read, passionate about something? Do you show any emotions?"
Greg- "Karen, thats a just a lot of junk right there. All that women really care about is that a man is that he reads the Commoner's? Isn't that right?"
Karen- "Well yes this is true."

Now another expert. Fawn Fitter (another PREKP)

Greg- "What do women want to know about a potential man?"
Fawn- "-is he politically progressive?  (Ed. note: Hell, I'd go for a women who's progressive)
-is he attractive -- not handsome, necessarily, but not butt-ugly (a technical term, mind you!) either?
-does he treat women with the same respect he gives to men?
-how's his sense of humor?
-can he fight fair, or does he have a temper?
-is he responsible?
-how good is he at expressing his feelings?
-is he smart?
-is he creatve?
-do his friends like me?"
Greg- "Fawn, would you say that Commoner members and readers all fit into those guidelines"
Fawn- "Well yes."
Greg- "Fawn would you say that you would rather be Daphne Blake the Commoner?"
Fawn- "Yes, actually all women want to be her."
Greg- "I see."

Well it turns out all that women want is a reader or member of the Commoner's and to be Daphne Blake.
*Note: These people are real and Greg & Daphne really did talk to them. If you would like to know their email addresses, email Greg.


School? No thanks By ÜberMike <1-14-01>
School started recently, and I don't know about you, but my schedule sucks, except for a few moments of joy scattered throughout. I figure, there has to be a better way to live; and that's when I started thinking of all the things I could be in life without school. The first one that popped in to my mind is the most realistic. Of course! How could anyone not want to make a living by playing video games? Believe it or not, this "industry" does exist. People get paid to beat video games. It's like the sport of the lazy. Years ago, they had game competitions for Street Fighter II, Donkey Kong, and Mortal Kombat, trying to showcase the people who were the best at those video games. Now these types of competitions have largely turned to computers, where online competitions and skill ladders determine who is the best at Starcraft, Unreal, and Diablo. People take games very seriously - just go to Ebay or something & type in the word "Everquest"; You'll probably come across a list of people selling their game accounts for thousands of dollars. It's crazy. The only problem with that career is that I'm sure all of my friends and foes alike will shun and poke fun at me for not having a life. Then I realized that I could turn any contest into a job: eating hotdogs, entering quiz shows, yo-yo spinning and whatnot. But that doesn't help either because those kinds of jobs don't pay enough to sustain a regular life. I've always wanted to be an astronomer even though I know nothing about it. I figure that if Jodie Foster could play a convincing radio astronomer, I can too. But from what I've heard, astronomy and astrophyics requires stuff like advanced math, physics - the stuff that I'm trying to get away from. I could be in a rock band. Roe has talked about starting one, but I can't play any instrument or sing. Besides that, there would be the problem of when I become a superstar that everyone would call me a sellout. Oh well...I'm sure being a rock star is overrated anyways. The one sure thing that I have so far is taking over the world. A kid I know named Ryan Morrison thinks that I'm going to take over the world (not having to do anything with me being smart, but rather because he says I sound like the Brain on "Pinky and the Brain"). I'm not sure what I would do if I take over the world, but I promised Ryan Africa and something for Greg, but he hasn't decided yet. I don't really like the idea of being a dictator though so I could be somebody who has one of those "gray area" jobs where you don't actually do any "real work". You just think and talk and stuff. Like being a philosopher, tv-evangelist, or consultant for a company. There are probably so many jobs out there to choose from that school is pretty much unnecessary to get by in life. I'll keep looking, but for now I have to get back to my angular velocity worksheet for math.


Here's the deal By the Commoners <2-3-01>
We, the Commoner's crew, are faced with an enticing proposition. A friend of mine who runs the Walton webpage proposed that we could make the Commoner's an "independent student-run portion" of the Walton website. We would still have autonomy over it, but through advertising and partnership with the Walton website, we would receive massive amounts of new readers and we could broaden our fan base (Whatever happened to the Renaissance Magazine and the Centurion?) Anyways, we have discussed this topic among the Commoner's some, and we thought, why not ask the people who read the newsletter? To understand why this is such a big deal, remember that we would be linked to the Walton website - that means not only students would be visiting the Commoner's, but teachers and parents. Of course that would mean no cursing (no big deal), no controversial topics (say certain political, social, or cultural topics that may arise), nothing "contradictory" towards our school or the state of American education, no "antagonistic" articles, and basically nothing that is provocative or arguementative - because the moment that happens, they'll be all over us, and over the Walton Internet Committee, who will be very mad with me, and most likely some higher official will find out about it. Case in point: on the Walton Academic Bowl page that we run, one day we got a complaint from a person because of a picture in our archives of an academic bowl kid with his foot over a dead squirrel. The picture was captioned "Thomas vs. the Squirrel part II" or something, and this person thought that it demonstrated cruelty to animals, so he/she made me take it down. Some people noticed it and asked me why it was taken down, and they (like me) thought it was a rather silly reason. Anyways, like the Archbishop pointed out to me earlier, if we did become affiliated with the Walton site, no doubt teachers and administrators would swoop down and turn us into a club or some other school sponsored program like the Centurion or the Renaissance Magazine. Therefore, the big question is, "Is the trade-off of some artistic integrity and freedom worth the chance to become big?" Some may ask, "Isn't that selling out?", and yes, that's the first thing that pops into my head when I hear that kind of question. Still, we as a group haven't decided yet, so your input, the reader's input, may sway us one way or the other. Please email us and give us your comments on this situation at thecommoners@lycos.com.


Biotech Rant By Roe V. Wade <1-24-01>
Everyone has now seen the television advertisement for Biotech, you know the one, with the "golden rice", in which the corporation claims to have the desire to feed the world. But Biotech's goals are far from feeding the world, and their genetic engineering of crops will hardly help the starving. Like any corporation, Biotech survives on profit. Because there isn't much money in the third world, there isn't much of a market there. Biotech has enough money to give handouts to some of these cities daily. They don't because their profit would decrease and their investors would lose money, and the company would be destroyed. Because of the nature of the company, the only way to feed the world is to sell food to them. But Biotech doesn't try to discount its prices for the third world. It has markets in the United States and Europe and can just sell here if China doesn't want to buy. You'll probably see more of this golden rice on the shelves in America than in China where it's made. And the food just sits on the shelves, for years or more before it's moved to another market. So Biotech doesn't really care much for starving people(except for its work force) What's so good about this golden rice? It's more nutritional, and disease-resistance. This means there will be more of it and it will be more expensive, putting it out of the price range of most of the impoverished. Furthermore, because of the complete engulfment of the rice market, which we're beginning to see already, local farmers are being bought out by the corporations who pay the farms less and less causing the workers to receive even less wages. This genetically engineered food might be beneficial to those who eat it, but who will that be? It won't be the starving populace of the world, but the urban and suburban population Sure it's a good idea. But if we want to help the starving we could be trying to use the tremendous surplus of food we already have. The truth is the only people Biotech are looking to help are its investors. And the only thing good about genetically modifed food is it's more profitable.

Update: by Mr. E. 
It only takes one modified plant to start growing a whole crop, and them being disease resistant makes less crops die. This, in turn makes it cheaper in the long run, not more expensive.

Counter-Update by Roe V. Wade 
When I say more expensive I mean for the consumer not the producer. Are you saying that the "better" rice would be cheaper to buy than the regular rice? And wouldn't the rice company or Biotech have a patent on the rice they have genetically engineered causing a sort of monopoly?


Re: PSAT By ~Kain~ <1-23-01>
Why the hell does it matter? We wasted a day of our already pointless classes to fill in bubbles to the best of our abilities and get back a representative number of ourselves. Now, this is such a perfect example of Walton: A number to compare each other by! WHEEEEEE!!! I can't wait to go out and brag as hard as I can to my friends about how many points I got on a standardized test. Now, all I have to do is take 5 freaking AP classes as a Junior, get all A's, and still not be in the top 1% of my already over-crowded class. I think that it is a load of crap that everyone at our school put such weight on this. It has absolutely no redeemable value as a Sophomore, unless you happen to be applying for Governors Honors Program, and even then it's just a way to make compare kids from different areas of the state. They wouldn't give them to us when they got them for god-knows-why, they were probably trying to shield us from some evil that comes with the PSATs, since that's the point of Walton, to spend four years trying to shield us from the real world. They're doing a damn good job at what they're trying to do too, because I can't wait for another day of converting moles to grams to percent yield, because that'll come up in my job field. A typical interview for my ideal job(Management) would obviously go like this:

Interviewer: Now, Mr. Kain, you seem to be completely qualified. I especially like you attitude and education credentials, I see you went to Walton and got sheltered, then made it into Stanford and got your ass kicked by the real world. But, you graduated with good grades, so I'll overlook it. So I guess you get the job! Wait, no, hold on, could you please tell me the limiting reactant in this reaction and the percent yield of Sodium Nitrate? And while you're at it what year was the Magna Carta signed, and where?

Me: Oh! umm... ::Works out Stoiciometry problem:: I believe the limiting reactant is Oxygen and the percent yield is 76%. The Magna Carta was signed in 1215 at Runny Mead.

Interviewer: That is correct, wait, no, you forgot your significant digits, I'm sorry, its 76.0%, you don't get the job! Now, please leave this office forever. SECURITY! ::Kain is dragged out in disgrace:: Don't ever try to get a management job again, we are personally calling everyone to make sure they know of your horrible chemistry abilities.

In conclusion: PSATs suck and don't matter; Walton sucks; and most of all: About 95% of what we have to learn is sucks and is crap! Have a nice, pointful, educational day!

Update: Mr. E
Why is this in the articles section, if the original article was purposely put under the humor page, and I think you're just jealous, 'cause I got a higher score than you did.

My Complaint about George W. Bush By The Archbishop <1-23-00>
There are some comments I need to make regarding Pres. George W. Bush, Jr. To organize my discussion, I suggest that we take one step back in the causal chain and show principle, gumption, verve, and nerve. Moreover, he will probably respond to this letter just like he responds to all criticism. He will put me down as "clueless" or "malodorous-to-the-core". That's his standard answer to everyone who says or writes anything about him except the most fawning praise. In effect, when you tell Pres. Bush's legates that Pres. Bush's opinions are uniformly riddled by an unbelievable degree of ignorance, they begin to get fidgety, and their eyes begin to wander. They really don't care. They have no interest in hearing that he recently stated that violence and prejudice are funny. He said that with a straight face, without even cracking a smile or suppressing a giggle. He said it as if he meant it. That's scary, because he would sell his soul in return for the possibility of wealth and status. Am I aware of how Pres. Bush will react when he reads that last sentence? Yes. Do I care? No, because I appreciate feedback and other people's views on subjects. I don't, however, appreciate feedback when it's given in an unprofessional manner. Pres. Bush's impertinent resentful notions replace law and order with anarchy and despotism. News of this deviousness must spread like wildfire if we are ever to direct your attention in some detail to the vast and irreparable calamity brought upon us by Pres. Bush.

It seems to me that he is both foul-mouthed and vulgar. Now there's a dangerous combination if I've ever seen one. He is too unpatriotic to read the writing on the wall. This writing warns that every time he tries, Pres. Bush gets increasingly successful in his attempts to combine, in a rare mixture, bestial cruelty and an inconceivable gift for lying. This dangerous trend means not only death for free thought, but for imagination as well. With this in mind, I must raise issues, as opposed to guns or knives. I don't have time to go into this in as much detail as I should, but obscurantism is not merely an attack on our moral fiber. It is also a politically motivated attack on knowledge. Pres. Bush is obviously hiding something, but what makes matters thoroughly intolerable is knowing that the antithesis of odious disorganized denominationalism is moral, religious, and cultural solidarity among the people of a nation. It's that simple.

I think that it can be distinguished only with difficulty which of his lieutenants act out of inner stupidity or incompetence and which only pretend to for whatever sophomoric, unenlightened reason, even though that presupposes a dialectical intertwinement to which a narrow-minded turn of mind is impervious. Pres. Bush, get a life! While we do nothing, those who encourage pathological slobs to see themselves as victims and, therefore, live by alibis rather than by honest effort are gloating and smirking. And they will keep on gloating and smirking until we break the neck of his policy of vandalism once and for all. In public, he vehemently inveighs against corruption and sin. But when nobody's looking, he never fails to up the ante considerably. What Pres. Bush is doing is not an innocent, recreational sort of thing. It is a criminal activity, it is an immoral activity, it is a socially destructive activity, and it is a profoundly incoherent activity. Unfortunately, I can already see the response to this letter. Someone, possibly Pres. George W. Bush, Jr. himself or one of his compeers, will write an insane piece about how stubborn I am. If that's the case, then so be it. What I just wrote sorely needed to be written.

The Al Gore Conspiracy By Roe V. Wade <2-14-01>
note: I need to get this whole election thing out of my head
Lots of people have been commenting on the complete extreme stupidity of the new president of the United States, George W. Bush. He has a bad vocabulary. This might lead him into poor word choice which might offend some foreign leader which might cause a war or something(the translators will fix that up anyway). He has been given millions of dollars and wasted it all. He was a drunk driver. He has no real experience in world affairs, and he's dumb as a rock(but he is quick-mouthed, although it doesn't seem he quite understands what he's saying the majority of the time). Even if Mr. Bush is so extremely stupid, his stupidity really won't even have an effect on the presidency because he'll have a bunch of hardcore Reaganite intellectuals behind the scenes(including his father), guiding his every move. Bush may be stupid, but the Republican party rode him into the presidency, using name-recognition, "charisma", and so on. This was certainly not a stupid tactic. Maybe deceptive or deceitful, but it wasn't stupid. The Democratic party on the other hand had a clear advantage. They're candidate is up against an unsuccesful governor who led his state into social and economic decline. The democrats in the last 8 years have improved the economy of the country. A few months before the election, you would have thought it would be a landslide. Yet in these crucial months, Gore seemed to tone down his ideas and his speeches turned into utter drivel. After election night and watching on TV early into the tense hours of the morning still waiting for a final decision, I couldn't help but think that Gore was the stupid oaf for handing the election to Bush. The debates were pathetic. Gore was agreeing with Bush on almost every issue, but changing it around maybe ever-so-slightly if at all. It is easy to see in the months leading up to the election how Gore just gave it away. I thought to myself "how with all these leading American politicians and intellectuals do the Democrats lose to George W. Bush". Surely Gore must have lost the election on purpose. Why would he lose the election on purpose? Many economists predicted the coming slump in the economy. It had nothing to do with the election. Rather than take hold of the presidency and be blamed for the economic slump and get replaced in 4 years by a Republican force who would rule for at least 20, the Democrats tried to let the Republicans win it and get blamed themselves. They would then take the majority or try to hold on to whatever small minority they had in congress to make sure they still held much of the power behind the government. Why do you think Lieberman ran for senator from his state as well as VP, eh? But what about all of the aftermath, wasn't Gore was still trying to win? This was after the Republicans had become aware of the Democrats' plan and tried to lose the election themselves. This resulted in the closeness of the election. Now, I can't say I know a lot about politics and right now I'm not too sure of the accuracy of the above theory. But I am quite sure that the Democratic and Republican parties share more common interests than they do differing ones. Minorites tend to stick together. And the rich minority that makes up the government of the USA is no different. They will not pass bills that do them harm, and likewise will not vote against one that benefits them. Thus, capitalism and democracy are incompatible.


Review: OBWAT By ÜberMike <2-13-01>
The night I saw O Brother, Where Art Thou had to be one of the most confusing days of my life. We had just gotten back from an academic bowl tourney at like 9:30 at night. Me, Will, Roe, Aaron, Ryan, John, and the Archbishop were all able to go see a movie that night. Originally we planned on seeing "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon", but by the time Aaron got back in his car, we realized we wouldn't be able to catch it. We decided on picking between "Traffic", "Snatch", "O Brother, Where Art Thou", and maybe CTHD (missing some of the first part). We finally decided on OBWAT because the other 2 were rated R and they would have carded us. We rode with John, who I must say is the most talented driver I've ever seen. He's driven me around before, but this time we were pressed on time to get over to a movie theater on Barret Pkwy. The only way to obtain his driving skills is by playing lots of Crazy Taxi and watching many reruns of Speed Racer. We went to the AMC 24, which is huge, although my sister has some theaters over at Rice which have many more than 24 screens in 1 theater. Anyways, onto the movie: It is really great movie created by the Coen Brothers. The only other film I've seen by them is "Fargo", although I was planning on seeing the "Big Lebowski" when it was out a while ago. The film is loosely based on the "Oddysey", although I've heard that the Coens never actually read the poem; but so much more is in the movie, and is an exploration into Americana. The movie's plots revolves around escaped convicts in Depression-ridden America and their search for a hidden treasure. But it's really an excuse for Clooney to get back to his wife and stop her from marrying another man. The movie takes you on a very fun(ny) ride through the Deep South in their adventures and disasters. The scenery and landscapes in the movie are amazing and are really essential to the whole feel of the movie. It's a musical at heart, but a very good one, with great blue-grass music that informs you of what is happening in the movie. The movie is filled with hilarious moments, of which my favorite is the Wizard of Oz type KKK rally. There are many more cultural and American history references of which I probably don't even understand; but the ones that are easily captured by the audience are great indeed, especially the Americanized versions of Ulysses, Penelope, the Sirens, and the Cyclops. The acting in the movie is suberb, especially Cloony, the verbose and quick-quipping con-artist/ringleader, as well as every other actor's character in the movie. It's amazing that this movie hasn't gotten more media exposure and fanfare. It is a great movie though, and everyone out there should go see it (if only for the running gag of Clooney's hair and the vignette of the horny toad.)

Oscars I just got online today and saw the list for oscar nominations. The biggest news is "Gladiator"s 12 nominations, and coming in a close 2nd is "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon". CTHD is making some big news as only the 7th foreign film in 73 years of Oscar history to be nominated for Best Picture, and 3rd in history to be joint-nominated for Best Picture and Best Foreign Film. It broke "Life Is Beautiful"s record of 9 Oscar nominations and has also surpassed "Life Is Beatiful" as the most successful foreign film in the U.S. and the U.K. I'm still hesitant to think they'll give CTHD Best Picture of the Year, but "Gladiator" is just as deserving as well. It was an excellent and entertaining epic in the style of "Braveheart" that made everyone who watched it just as guilty as the Romans for pleasuring themselves with watching gratuitous and unrelenting arena violence. I haven't seen "Chocolat" or "Erin Brockovich" (the other 2 nominees), nor do I plan to. The top movies that I want to see right now are "Snatch" (heard it was just like LS&2SB, which is great fast-paced action), "Traffic", "Billy Elliot", "Reqiuem For a Dream" (yea right...filled with tons of drug use and sex), "The Filth and the Fury", "Bamboozled", and "Hannibal". Overall, a good year for cool movies and many more I hope.

Go to Yahoo! Coverage of the Oscars for some news stories about the Oscar nominations.


Faith-Based Funding By Roe V. Wade <2-8-01>
I'd like to start off by saying that this is in no way biased. I will admit however that i do support a democratic government over a dictatorship. A large government for the people by the people is surely better than a small governemt for the rich by the rich. The type of government in the conservative ideology usually involves the latter kind of government. A conservative is conservative because he is content. And a radical is radical because he is discontent and wants to become content. But conservatives are afraid of any change because they're afraid they might lose some small bit of their property and lose status among their class. And by conservatives I don't only mean the Republicans. Democrats take millions of dollars from big businesses to fund their election campaigns. "Sure I like foreign workers(cause they're cheaper and work harder) (just dont put any of those mexicans or japanese near me)". Now I know all democrats don't express this kind of two-faced attitude. But John McCain is probably more liberal than some democrats. Nowadays, these political parties' ideas are so close together that it does seem like a dictatorship. I mean the third party can't even get into the debates and even get their ideas across. The two parties are forcing mostly everyone to adopt one or the other candidates ideas and when the candidates are so closely related this really hurts neither candidate or party. It hurts democracy. The candidates weren't so close together in the 2000 election because of democracy at work, but democracy not at work. The 2-party system is a farce of democracy. The two parties just work to support each other. Bush's faith-based initiative is not only in contrast with the idea of democracy that this country was founded upon, but is also dangerous to freedom of religion. There are many charity organizations which are not at all affiliated with any organized religion that don't currently receive any funding from the government. Maybe because they actually let the hungry know the circumstances reguarding their hunger and try to educate the poor to try to improve their own conditions. But you come to expect this sort of thing from our conservative government. Wouldn't it be more logical to increase welfare or create secular programs to help with some of the other problems? Who do you think the government will give these grants to anyway? It's not like they're gonna give equally to all religions; for the obvious reason that Christians make up a majority in the country. And because "Those Moslems dont really care about life, didnt they bomb that pan am flight and kill like 500 people and arent they nazis and kill jews in israel?". Government funding for food wrapped in Christian propaganda is also against the idea of freedom of speech and freedom of religion; two things which Americans have held up high to show the falsehoods of communism and naziism for so many years. Freedom of speech has already been nullifed. I mean, sure Americans have freedom of speech, unless someone richer, more righteous or more important than you wants to speak. Now, freedom of religion is already becoming a farce in America. Our forefathers told us that the government will not decide what is and is not a religion. Yet today the government tells us that to be a religion, a cult must have more than 2,000,000 members. When Jesus first preached Christianity, he didnt have 2,000,000 followers. And he was crucified for it. When the next "messiah" comes he'll probably rot away in a prison cell. Even as president, Bush has no right to undermine more than two centuries of American heritage just to pay back some people who helped him along in his election. I don't see how any American can justify Bush's initiative. It sounds like something out of Nazi Germany.


Review: A Brief History of the 20th Century by Go4 By ÜberMike <2-7-00>
Today on the radio you can hear slews of rap/rock or rock/funk bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Crazy Town, Limp Bizkit, Incubus, Rage Against the Machine, and the Deftones. But while these guys were still little kids in grade school 24 years ago, another band was perfecting the mix of funk and with punk rock to create a refreshing new sound during the late 70's and early 80's. Besides the fusion of funk and rock & roll, they also added heavy polemicals on Marxist theory into their music - not a common practice during the post-Disco era. They attacked current conditions of life in the modern world and also turned love and romance into political subjects; and while these seem to be some of the oddest combinations, it created a very danceable type of funk-punk. Formed in 1977 by Leeds University students Jon King, Andy Gill, Dave Allen, and Hugo Burnham, Gang of Four was a band that little knew of, but immensly influenced one of the most important Alternative bands of the early 90's, R.E.M. As hard as it is to find a G04 cd (a good place to find their cd's is Amazon.com, although the prices are expensive due to the fact that many Go4 cd's are out of print in America and have to imported), "A Brief History of the 20th Century" sums up their 5 year run with highlights from their 3 EPs very well. The first half of the album is pretty much the first half of their "Entertainment!" EP. It's filled with minimalist scratch & kill guitars with a heavy funk rhythm section, backed up with the dry sing-speak of Andy Gill. It's almost impossible not to move to the music, and is better (in my opinion) then the second half, in which they migrate into more R&B and New Wave - although the second half is also good. At the time, many considered Go4's overtly political lyrics as a novelty act as can be seen in song titles such as "Return the Gift", "It's Her Factory", "Capital (It Fails Us Now)", "To Hell with Poverty!", and "Damaged Goods", although strains of Go4 can be seen in bands today like Rage Against the Machine. It's still not known whether the name of the band was a genuine tribute to Lady Mao and her "Gang of Four" or as a sarcastic joke. Overall, this album is an excellent collection for a person who wants to find some amazing music that has been overlooked, although the band probably thinks of themselves as "Not Great Men".

Featured song
"Return the Gift" -
Download a sample (You need a Windows Media Player for this clip).

Worth a few good laughs Presented by ÜberMike <1-26-01>
Roe V. Wade sent this to me in an email. Apparantly, the Red Youth Org that Wade is a part of discovered this. Click on this link, http://www.google.com/search?q=dumb+motherfucker, and look at the first result that shows up. If you don't believe this is how the search process works for google, go for yourself to google.com and type in the phrase "dumb motherfucker" - worth a few good laughs.

Update from ÜberMike - If you click on the link for the George W. Bush Store, on the front page you will see a disclaimer about the company not having any part in this activity. They say that it is a "malicious act of a third party" & they intend to get to the bottom of it with their staff & attorneys. I'm guessing that this search will not work in the near future when they "fix" it, and someone at google is going to be in a world of trouble, and that's really unfortunate. It's only a practical joke - no need to get worked up over it; so what if some "weekend-warrior" gave a pie in the face to the prez. on one of the most popular search engines on the web. I just hope the person responsible for this over at google doesn't get fired...


Freestyle Rapping By ÜberMike <1-20-01>
"What little culture there is in the suburbs, these east cobb lyricists bring it. Their underground gritty sound is not for the faint of heart." No, I can't say I'm fan of rap or hip-hop, but people I know are, and they frequently include me in their "freestyle rap" activities. Unlike the music, you just take turns rhyming off of what the last person said, seeing how long you can go with one word (or changing it if it fits). The whole point of it, is to be lightning quick, whatever pops off the top of your head is what you say. If you take a look at this chat/rap, you'll see that I indeed suck when compared to "the DJ Pugilist" as he would like to be called, although I have rhymed with him before & "Hajmahah" & I've been able to keep up with them. We did have about 5 or 6 people in the room, but when we tried this, it failed, with the end result being "the DJ Pugilist" and "Hajmahah" threatening to make a certain Friedman "catch bullets". It got out of hand, and when everyone left, me & the DJP tried doing it between just us two (with Roe V. Wade as a spectator) and while most of the stuff you read is either incomprehensible, it was actually pretty fun and is good way to be creative with words. "Freestyle rapping" excercises my mind. As the DJP put it: "Rap is poetry. Misunderstood by many, but it's the jazz of this age."
Freestyle rap with the DJ Pugilist

PSATs By Mr. E <1-19-01>
Hah! I got a 1400 on my PSATs, so now who's retarded?! I guess it's fun to brag about how well you do on standardized tests. It's fun to prove to people who make fun of you, and you tell them, "Muhahhah! I'm better than you! So if you call me stupid, you must be stupider! Hmm.. I wonder if I could make it into Mensa..." Of course that would on work on the people who had a lower grade than you. The only thing that amazes me is that someone made a 1600 on it. How is it possible? Well, maybe if you take my score and chop it up into little bits of paper, then you could spell 1600 with it, then you'd say, "I have a 1600 too! Woohoo!," or you could take the 1400 and mutilate it and multiply that buy the density of crunchy Jif peanut butter!


Vote By Kain <1-11-01>
What exactly is "a vote"? As is now, in my opinion, the perfect time to remind America. Webster's defines a vote as a result of voting(An editorial laugh by the author). When taken from Latin, it defined as a sworn solemn vow, mostly in religious context. The amazingly talented Archbishop supplied an alternate definition to vote: "[The smallest amount of support for a candidate that still retains the properties of support for this candidate]." This comment made me believe that I had actually asked him while he was reviewing for a quiz on atoms, but this definition can be related closely to that of an atom, so am I running with it. Thus a vote must be an equivalent unit to an atom. Now, as we can logically deduce from this new information there must be the same number of atoms in America, above ground, as the number of votes cast. Now, I'm going to give the population the benefit of the ! doubt and say that every single person voted (I am fully aware that nowhere near to this amount of people vote since people under 18 can't, people over 60 are too senile to, and those eligible don't because they would rather not put in their input and then bitch about the retarded steer that "they" elected). Back to the point- this means that there are 275 million votes/atoms in this country. Using more wishful thinking I am going to say that I use one molecule (O2) of Oxygen a minute to sustain life, and this is the only atom type that I am counting(More wishful thinking). Using this math (The ever-so-brilliant Mr. E can check me on this one) there is enough Oxygen in the United States to sustain life for one person for roughly 261 years. Now, I'm not gonna be greedy, so I'll only take 84 of those years, living to the ripe age of 100, leaving 177 years up for grabs. Now, being a greatly devout! philanthropist, I shall "bring along"(I get to decide because I was the first to realize the grave danger the nation is in) two other people, thus generously giving them the chance to roam the ravaged lands and play with toys we stole from people forced to go live on the moon. Now, this would give them 89 more years each. One has been reserved for the new Pope of Kainville, The Archbishop. I am accepting applications for the other spot, and an attractive woman would best fill it. For everybody else, get the hell out of Kainville before I injure you!


Mmmm...Anarchy By The Archbishop <1-11-01>
Hola, all you Commoners aficionados! It's the Archbishop checking from the front lines of the battle against ignorance, pestilence, famine, and baby juggling. Now, I know it's been awhile since I've had anything useful to say (3 years, 2 months, 27 days, 2 hours, 3 minutes and 27 seconds to be exact) and I'm not planning to break my streak of useless and random sayings and writings, so don't expect anything profound. Anyways, I'm sure many of you have wondered "Where is the Archbishop?" and "What would the Archbishop have to say about this?" or perhaps "I wonder if the Archbishop is as sexy and attractive as everyone says.." At any rate I have returned to address the concerns of our faithful readers and to fulfill my egos need to proclaim my greatness. And I have also decided to make the Commoners a more efficient and pleasurable reading experience by combining what could easily be several articles into one, long, brain numbing experience. Let the mayhem begin.
Now, I'd like to address questions 1 and 3 from the above paragraph. From Dec. 26- Dec. 31 I was in Washington DC, immersing myself in culture, friends, family, and I also abused some cats. I hate cats. Anyways, that's where I was, and before that I didn't contribute anything because I'm just really damn lazy. And as to the 3rd question, the one pertaining to my physical appearance. The Archbishop is quite possibly the sexiest man alive, with an Adonis-like body and the rough chiseled looks of James Dean.
And now, for the few of you who survived the random ramblings, the meat of the article. I'd now like to address the article submitted by "Misa-Misa." Now, the article in question, proved to be very thought provoking and I spent a great many hours thinking about, and researching the lack of revolution and revolutionary patterns in history. Not really, this is all coming of the top of my head, although I have wasted many an hour thinking about the pitiable state of our generation.
I have a few issues I would like to take with Misa's article before I expand upon my own thoughts on the subject. Firstly, I don't think the baby boom was a revolution in and of itself, but the period from the rise of dictators in the 30s and the era of Roosevelt until V-J Day and the beginning of the Cold War was the actual revolution. The other major issue is that the idea is based on one small pattern as opposed to a clearly repeating pattern throughout the ages. Only one set of a thirty year period is looked at, when in actuality, social revolutions occur constantly. Perhaps not on the scale of the Cold War Era, Prohibition, the Jazz Age, the Post-Modern period, and the pop culture nightmare we now inhabit. Now to examine the American Situation.

Now, I'll be limiting this discussion to revolutions taking place in the 20th century that took place in the United States, so as to disinclude a great many world revolutions. (Bolsheviks, Viet Cong, IRA, etc...) Now the first major revolution of the century begins in the early 1900s, which is the movement of socialism and workers rights, which although the foundations were laid in the... Ya know what, screw it, I bore even myself with this crap. Suffice it to say that you can't define a revolutionary pattern, because the US is in an ever evolving state of revolution in so many areas. Right now, the entire country is experiencing a revolution of morality. We are experiencing a shift, due to the fact that most people live in a comfortable state, and those that would revolt are squelched by a majority that is so content that it would be tough to move. Republicans are regaining power, protests and political activism is on the decline, apathy reigns. All that is unpleasant about our government, our economical structure (poor working conditions, corruption, etc., the stuff that fueled Socialism in Chicago in the early 1900s) has been removed as far from the sight of the American people, so they ignore it. We live in a greedy time. And it will remain so, for a great many generations, due to the apathy and comfort our generation has been raised in, which we will raise our children in. This will continue until life becomes unbearable, or the cries of revolutionaries are heard, and the eyes of the people are opened up. Revolutionaries are being squashed by those with money and power, and America ignores the well being of other countries for its own good. Now that I have formally disowned my generation in general (See "Bad Music Sucks"), I would also like to make a new decree:

New Utopia
On this date, January 10, 2001, I, Michael Martin, hereby declare the independence of my bedroom from the United States of America. My bedroom, from hereon will be referred to as "Grovers Corner" will exist in a state of philosophical anarchy. All residents (1) are now completely free of American Laws and taxes in Grovers Corner. This is a rather short decree and that is all. Good night. As the sun sets tomorrow, it will set upon the new state of Grovers Corner for the first time, and it will set upon it for all eternity.

Anyways, after my string of senile ramblings, I am now returning to my chambers to relax and enjoy the leisure of a small country. Mmmmmmm... anarchy...


Re: Stealing the Lit Magazine's Readers By ÜberMike <2-21-01>
It has recently come to my attention through a couple of people that I know that some of our readers have been perturbed by one of the earliest articles I wrote for the Commoner's (which strikes me as odd that no one decided to tell me about this in November) about the Literary (Renaissance) Magazine at school. In it, I basically tried stirring up interest and talk about the Commoner's Newsletter by poking fun at the Lit Magazine (worked a little too well) But now I've written this article to officially correct myself. Actually, it was quite interesting to me that people took my article seriously, considering the facts that I have no idea as to what kind of content the Renaissance Magazine has, and that it would be rather short-sighted of me to make stereotypical statements about a magazine, just because it is school-run. Anyways, the first problem would be taking anything I say as a fact, or even as an valid opinion. I'm sure if you ask any of my friends or people I know, they probably don't give a crap as to what I have to say; I'm just that kid who likes OpIvy and has a 75 in math. I was in the wrong, and I would like to apologize to anyone I offended in my Lit Magazine peice because I was in no position to make fun of it it due to the fact that I don't know anything about it except that some guy did some pretty nice animations for it on the morning announcements. Contrary to what I (kiddingly) said before, I'm positive it has very talented writers on it, like the Centurion (no, I don't get it for coupons....) I enjoy reading the articles in the Centurion and I'm sure I'll be one of many people to enjoy reading the Lit Magazine, or checking it out online. So while I hope those of you out there who are either on the Lit Magazine, know someone who is on the it, or have anything to do with the Lit Magazine can forgive me, now would be an excellent time for me to talk about the Commoner's next venture into the wide world of media. Starting now, the Commoner's will be feeding live online webcasts to you guys around the clock. Watch as we take over WHS-TV.

(For those of you on the WHS-TV crew, I'm just kidding again...)


Important News By Greg Leo <2-18-01>

Im am plesed to see that the commoners is moving along quite well. We are up to around 80--100 readers a day. I could only have dreamed of this just a few years ago when the Commoner's was young. You havent seen my articles around here recently because I have been very busy. I have been told not to tell yet what I have been busy with, but I can tell you this. I will come out on top. Unfortunatly, untill I do, I will have to stop writing for the Commoner's. I have however found a replacement. He will be joining soon, and I can tell he will be a great addition to the staff. I will be back. Mark my words. Thanks for the great times. Your friend. Greg Leo C.M.


The Utopian By Roe V. Wade <2-18-01>
I received an email yesterday containing the first publication of a new internet magazine called The Utopian. The first few articles are excellent. I encourage you to visit www.utopianmag.com and read the 3 articles: "Karl Marx's Theory of Capital", "Anarchism as Extreme Democracy"--discussing the inseparability and inter-relatetion between anarchism and democracy; and "Anarchism and William Blake's Idea of Jesus"--about William Blake's views of Jesus and religion emphasizing the idea that religion(although perhaps not the variety of it that we know today) and socialism/anarchism are not in fact ideologically incompatible. Also be sure to check out the About Us section of the website.


X-Files: Part I By ÜberMike <2-17-01>
This idea occured to me while I was talking to Greg recently about his attempts into the field of "astral projection". I was going to write an article about time-travel a while ago, but I figure that it can wait. Greg's "astral projection" is often associated with paranormal activity and I figured I'd write about my views on the paranormal. I know some stuff about it, considering I used to love the "X-Files" (before they just substituted mainline strange phenomena with horror, shock, and humor), and I have about 3 or 4 books lying around the house about UFO's, the Bermuda Triangle, ghosts, Atlantis, Ancient Civilizations and their ties with "Ancient Astronauts", and the such. There is also an excellent book at the Merchant's Walk Library by Reader's Digest about a huge range of paranormal activity like UFO's, cryptozoology, vampires, feral humans, natural phenomena, reincarnation/deja vu, human electricity, clairvoyance, parapsychology, astral projection, out of body experiences, dream interpretation (the list goes on) with excellent pictures. There is so much that I've read and want to talk about that I've decided to break it up into small essays so that they are managable. However, I have decided to eschew the well-known stuff like UFO's, ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster, the Bermuda Triangle, etc. and bring you some of the more obscure and interesting (and sometimes crackpot) ideas about paranormal activity.

Ancient Astronauts: Erich von Daniken created and popularized the theory of "Ancient Astronauts" in his book "Chariots of the Gods". For years, the pyramids in Egypt and the Americas built by Mayans, Aztecs, Olmecs, Incas, and the Nazca Lines have intrigued scientists. How could "primitive Indians" create such enormous and magnificent structures? Well, to explain it, von Daniken proposes the theory of "Ancient Astronauts". He believes that beings from another world brought secrets to these Indians (and the Egyptians). If you have ever seen the Nazca Lines, they make no seem incomprehensible, but viewed from above, they form enormous pictures of birds, snakes, spiders, etc. in the huge desert. Von Daniken believes that these served as run-ways for the Astronauts and that even in American Indian hieroglyphics, you can see that their gods resemble the Astronauts in that they wear helmets, travel in vehicles, and are bestowing gifts and discoveries upon the "primitives". He believes that they could not have done this or had such advanced mathematics, astronomy, or arts for themselves and that they must have had help from the "Ancient Astronauts". My views on von Daniken's theory are that he is just plain wrong. His theory is filled with holes (ex. Why would such an advanced race of beings need landing pads, & if they did, the must have certainly disrupted the giant pictures, which were probably just done for religious purposes. Also, he doesn't give these indigenous people the benefit of the doubt. I mean, come on, they were a lot smarter than he thinks) Granted, von Daniken's theory does provide for great science fiction and is a very creative explanation.

The Face on Mars: In 1976, the Viking Orbiter took some images of the face of Mars in the Cydonia region. 1 startling set of pictures was of one that resembles a face. Gary Posner first attributed this face to other aliens, as well as other mounds near by that have been claimed to be top-secret alien buildings nearby. NASA says the photos are just play on light, which many people take a sign as a cover-up. Some people have even go so far as to compare the face on it to the Shroud of Turin, claiming they are one and the same. Some believe that it was created by the same that produced the Nazca Lines in Peru and crop circles in England. I, like Carl Sagan, think that it is just caused by erosion and other natural forces, although it does make for endless supplies of Tabloid material in which people claim "the end of the world is coming" or "Jesus' (or the Devil's) Face is on Mars".

Conspiracy Theorists: The Illuminati were a secret organization in Bavaria in the 18th Century who wanted to abolish monarchies and establish republicanism through "subterfuge, secrecy, and conspiracy". Conspiracy Theorists believe they still exist (You know. The small clique of Jewish Bankers who control the world; the Black Helicopters waiting off American shores) They believe everything in the world right now is one big conspiracy and that the anti-christ is coming soon. Every corporation in the world is in the same league as the politicians who are in the same league as the liberals in the world who pretend to antagonize the conservatives, but it is really a huge conspiracy to dupe the public. Some conspiracists believe that we never landed on the moon (evidence: Why would the American flag wave in space, where there is no air? In pictures, different angles are produced in shadows when they should only have 1 angle, since it all comes from the sun, and other such technical problems pointed out in pictures taken on the moon). Frankly, I think they are a bit paranoid....

Backwards Messages: Most people who espouse this belief often think the messages are satanic. Allegedly, some people say that rock musicians (and evil people) implant subliminal messages, that when played backwards, have satanic or evil messages such as "Worship the Devil" and such and so forth. 2 famous examples involve the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. The Beatles often use backwards playing of tapes in their songs, and were said to have announced Paul McCartney's death (which he was not). Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin is said to have put the message "Here's to my sweet Satan" in the song "Stairway to Heaven". The most logical explanation for the belief of backwards messages comes from the ancient practice of mocking Christianity by saying mass backwards at the witch's Sabbath. Personally, I think it would be cool to see if my music had any backwards messages, although I haven't figured out how to do it with cd's.

The Bible Code: If you ever saw the Omega Code, then you have a pretty good idea what this is about. Basically, a group of Israeli mathematicians systematically analyzed the Bible (Torah) and found hidden messages that predict many things, including: The birth of famous people in history and events. Such as Hitler's rise to power and the Auschwitz Camp, as well as the deaths of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Princess Di. Many believe this to be scientific evidence of the existence of God, and many say that the Bible carries many secrets with it like the day of Doomsday. Eh, no comment on this one.

Spontaneous Human Combustion: Self-explanatory. There aren't many cases of this, but there are a few: "a case of apparent spontaneous human combustion has occured in Co. Kerry in the Irish Republic. On 24 March, 76-year-old John O'Connor was found dead in his living room at Gortaleen, near Tralee, by the community nurse who regularly visited him. She notified the Gardai, who discovered Mr O'Connor's charred remains in a chair positioned some distance from the hearth. The body had been severely damaged by an intense and localised fire; only his head and upper torso and his feet remained unburnt. There was little smoke damage to the room or furniture." The article continues on about how this is a case of supposed spontaneous combustion, but my Chem teacher says that this isn't possible; although....if I had the chance, I would want to spontaneously combust, just to prove that this phenomena does exist and to be famous thereafter.


Marx and Imperialism By Will <2-14-01>
Ever since the 15th century Europeans have sought to lay claims to the non-European world. In the beginning, and even up until the mid-nineteenth century, such empire building was a secondary concern for most European powers. However, with the emergence of fiercely nationalistic states and the explosion of mass industrial capitalism onto the world stage, Europeans began to place greater emphasis on the creation of imperialistic overseas empires. By 1914 the world was a political extension of Europe, and its people slaves to the new imperial powers. In fifty years the world was ruthlessly conquered by European capitalists seeking to exploit the surplus value of labour to a greater extent than was possible at home.

Karl Marx, a 19th century German political philosopher, believed that all history could be explained through the “class struggle. The bourgeoisie, he stated, had been on the rise ever since their vanquishing of their previous lords--the aristocracy. The bourgeoisie however, had not triumphed completely, and were now engaged in a bitter economic struggle with the newly formed proletariat or industrial working class. Marx predicted that eventually, the oppressed would rise up and overthrow their oppressors and create a classless society ruled by a dictatorship of the proletariat; bringing about the end of the national state, the political manifestation of the bourgeoisie, and all class struggles resultant thereof. More specifically, Marx believed that capitalism, the economic manifestation of bourgeoisie control, was on the decline in the “New Imperialism” of the late 19th century.

This argument has been explicitly refuted by many an objector to Marxian theories. The argument is that Marx’s prediction was simply an ideological romantic rant that never fulfilled its lofty prediction; that Capitalism has outlived Imperialism. This however, is a rather premature and ultimately arrogant analysis of the information. Economic Imperialism, the type that Marx advocated as the final stage of capitalism, is still rampant today in the exploitative policies of western corporations in under-developed countries. Western corporations today scour the third-world for oppressed populations that, in their zeal for subsistence, will unknowingly submit themselves to the type of wage slavery that allows the proverbial milking of the surplus value by the owners--this modern practice draws striking comparisons to the industrial society which Marx predicted would end capitalism. Thus, capitalism has not outlived imperialism; it has simply outlived the level of respect and longevity originally given to Marx’s damning prediction of capitalist society by that society.

If the ideas of Capital are sound, and they invariably are, then Capitalism is indeed doomed to exhaust its means of perpetuation and profitability: markets, resources and labour. Capitalism concentrates more wealth in ever-fewer hands, the possibility for investment at home is extinguished, and capitalists are forced to invest abroad, establish colonies, and exploit weaker peoples and nations to perpetuate their existence as capitalists. The only cure for Imperialism, and one is necessary to ameliorate the social injustices of this world, is in the destruction of global capitalism--a reality that is subsequently imminent.