March 2011
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Month March 2011

KD Interviewed

A few months ago, we were fortunate enough to sit down with Kevin Devine.

Listen in to to hear some wise words from an honest, thoughtful, and well-read artist.

State Dept. Diplomat Silenced by Crowley’s Firing

On Wednesday, March 30, Thomas Armbruster, State Department Diplomat-in-Residence for the Greater New York Area, joined Secret Service Special Agent James Haines and federal government intern Michael Stallone on a panel at The College of New Jersey entitled “Jobs in Federal Government.”

Following the discussion, Armbruster was asked for his take on WikiLeaks’ cablegate document trove, which included one of his own cables, and alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning’s treatment. He discussed both advantages and problems with the leaked State Dept. logs, but was starkly silent regarding the imprisoned Army Private.

LIBYAN VIOLENCE

 

Key Libyan Cities

 

Muammar al-Gaddafi – the world’s current longest serving non-monarchical leader in the world, having ruled Libya since seizing power in a 1969 coup – vowed on Feb. 15 to fight anti-government demonstrations with his “last drop” of blood, intending to “die a martyr.”

With the dictator ordering both the military and police to quash protests within Libya, the full-scale war against reformists began.

EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION

Illustration by Jess Baker

On Friday, February 12, Egyptians took their country back. After 18 days of revolt, it was the first in 30 years without Hosni Mubarak, one of the most powerful dictators in the region, and a man who just hours before resigning had defiantly declared he would see out the rest of his term. With his resignation, Mubarak met protesters’ demands to dissolve Parliament on February 13th, promising to return authority to civilian, democratically elected rule. As of this writing, The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces holds authority.

WikiLeaks, Part 1 – Background & Legitimacy

WikiLeaks is publishing documents, opening governments, changing the world.

In early 2007, Australia native Julian Assange launched the polarizing website along with other activists, dissidents, mathematicians, and computer experts from six different continents.

WikiLeaks vows to accept “restricted or censored material of political, ethical, diplomatic or historical significance,” but reject “rumor, opinion, other kinds of first hand accounts, or material that is publicly available elsewhere.” Assange and his colleagues then review and edit submissions, attained via secure online uploading applications and a discreet postal network, to publish documents that generate “maximum political impact.”Assange has pithily summarized WikiLeaks’ philosophy: “The method is transparency; the goal is justice.”

WikiLeaks, Part 2 – Media Analysis

How Free is our Press?

WikiLeaks promises their anonymous, whistle-blowing sources that they will work for “maximum political impact.” Like them or not, they keep their word. The transnational transparency-advocating journalists stormed American and international discourse by publishing secret diplomatic cables. America responded. Some consider WikiLeaks heroic, daring to speak truth to power, and some consider the organization terroristic, threatening to undermine American diplomacy worldwide.

Constitutional lawyer and civil liberties writer Glenn Greenwald, for Salon.com, finds public reactions quite disturbing.

WikiLeaks, Part 3 – Interview with FAIR

Interview with Steve Rendall, Senior Analyst for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) on WikiLeaks and American reactions to the U.S. diplomatic cable release.

Is WikiLeaks a journalistic entity?
Well of course it is, because it receives information, it collects information, it publishes information, it edits it. If you look at its website, information is edited, it’s commented upon. Of course it’s a journalistic outfit.

INSIDERS CRITIQUE GREEK LIFE

Written by a TCNJ fraternity member and a TCNJ sorority member, who asked to remain anonymous.

The Greek philosopher Epicurus, whose legacy has survived since 270 BCE, believed that he had the secret to attaining and maintaining happiness. While volumes of Epicurus’ works have been lost over the years, his philosophies continue to influence the collective consciousness today, guiding people like ourselves who want nothing more from life than to be happy. Current TCNJ students who find themselves unhappy here often join one of the College’s Greek organizations. Although it is not acknowledged overtly, many people believe joining will bring them a few steps closer to the happiness we all seek. We may shed light on the pros and cons of fraternalism by comparing and contrasting it with Epicureanism, a school of thought in which Greek life may find its roots.

IN DEFENSE OF TENURE, FOR NOW

I understand why tenure is such a sore point when it comes to discussing educational reform. In what sensible system would a dysfunctional cog be not only preserved but guaranteed repeated raises and benefits? How does anyone, no matter the system, advocate for the oiling and reoiling of outdated, ill-fitted pieces? How could one possibly argue for tenure, especially with so many “bad teachers” ruining our kids and the future of America as we know it?

EDUCATION & RELIGIOSITY

A Michigan Institute for Social Research study found that education majors are the likeliest of any college demographic group to become more religious within six years of graduating high school. The institution determined religiosity based on rates of participation in religious services, as well as how important a role respondents said religion played in their lives.

Poems by Samantha Rose Zimbler

Bones

Scatter my bones into the sea,
across the table —
into the cracks of the dinner table —
between your fingers.

JACKSONADER

 

Ralph Nader and Jesse Jackson Photo by David Chapman

 

On a campus that has long had a reputation for students who cared little about the world around them, calls for collective action against the powerful were met with excitement, respect, and admiration.

“The people who are not organized become serfs of those who are organized,” said Ralph Nader, author, activist, and former Green Party Presidential candidate, to great applause during a talk in Kendall Hall.

ON PROTEST & POWER

Very recent memory has born witness to the eruption of fervent protests, in both our country and the Middle East. While the protests in the Middle East have been met with violence, suppression, and yet, revolutionary progress for some, those in the United States, which have incurred hardly any governmental reaction, have amounted to little consequence for the status quo. It is my belief that this dichotomy is rooted in a millennia-old mechanic of social order and control: the tolerance of free speech as a means to mitigate social change.

New Alternative Rappers

Wiz Khalifa, Photo by theurbandaily.com

 

 

Wiz Khalifa’s debut hit, “Black and Yellow,” does not sound much like other hip-hop singles on the radio right now. There is no Auto-Tune, no Pitbull guestspot, no club that can’t handle the Pittsburgh-based MC. Khalifa’s aesthetic is one that was pervasive in mainstream hip-hop at the start of the 2000s, when up-and-comers like The Game and Ludacris were scoring with gritty singles more representative of their abilities as rappers than pandering to any crossover audience. Back then, the Internet was just beginning to play a major role in the development of new artists. Today, a whole new group of alternative rappers led by Khalifa are just beginning to break into the game using online mixtapes and hip-hop blogs as their weapons of choice.

SPURLOCK CANCELS EVENT, PROTESTS SIGNAL

Reading the the Signal’s February 23 SFB column, I was excited to learn that Morgan Spurlock would be coming to campus this spring.  According to the article, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker was coming to campus to screen an exclusive sneak preview of his latest work before a lecture and Q & A session. As per the paper’s typical standards and content, the SFB column discussed the the event’s total cost, $17,400, and published its tentative date, with the only pending constraint being “…approval from building operators.”

EDITORIAL – 3.22.11

 

Image by Banksy

Revolution is spreading like wildfire through the Middle East, protests are roiling the American Mid-West, and even here at TCNJ, we begin to sense potential for bottom-up progress. Perhaps now more than ever, the times they are a-changin’.

GREEN & YELLOW, BLACK & BLUE

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

You might ask yourself, as one does from time to time, “What’s going on in the world right now?” I recommend you check out what’s going on in Bahrain and Libya especially because there are a lot of pictures of people burned to death or with their brains lying next to them and it’s super fucked up. There are, however, some pretty important things going on right here on the home-front, also; for instance, the shit going down right now in Wisconsin, where government employees are protesting the governor’s plan to fuck them over.

On face, this is a question of balancing the state budget in Wisconsin. The question is, “Should Wisconsin balance its budget by making state workers take a hit to their pensions and health care plans?”

Poems by Helen Carey

BARKALOW

The window with the light left on
inside gets mistaken for the moon
when driving by quickly, peripheral
vision on the way
back home. Clever trick, shining,
hiding dust storm forms surrounding
it, swallowing whole hallowed fields
into the dried-up ground. Living rooms
and restlessly
burning lamps, bright things
left on in spite of night, spilling over half-
shuffled decks and soaking up half-
opened eyes fooled by well-played bluffs
on the drive home,
ending finally
with the winning hand: a stranded
jingle shell island, harbored in
by frayed edges, burned blue-
stained paper, urging me
to turn the page.

 

CUL-DE-SAC

The pull from the stars, the eternal elemental
woven tension left
unsnapped and unbroken
found us by the end of night, outside, covered
and draped over with the winding weaving
paths of a million empires and negative suns
piled upon one another like streamers stretched across
an empty room,        tense and taut
in the space between, that familiar magnetic hold.

On the other side of the porch all the empty
chairs laid out in a patchwork constellation, phantom
whims of the day’s blinding conversations, consolations
and cocktails, still
sitting in all the shapes of summer’s socialization
blueprints etched in cement.

Swooping black bats overhead and at the end
of the street in front of a parking lot, someone
put out the garbage, old red elementary school chair,
no blueprint,
just left there facing the flat blank house across from it.

We took it and set it down the middle of the cul-de-sac,
dead end circle mirroring swirls
of torn clouds overhead, explosive Van Gogh halos
tightening in the watery sky moving
steadily
away from us
as we sat down in the old red chair and waited.