Venezuelan President is Suspicious USA Poisoned Him
Carolyn Conte ‘14 | Opinion Editor
The cat’s out of the bag. Hugo Chavez knows that the United States gave him cancer. Or, at least that’s what he thinks.
This has to be a joke. The Venezuelan president seriously wondered aloud in a televised speech to his soldiers, “It would not be strange if they [United States] had developed the technology to induce cancer and nobody knew about it until now,” and continues to warn the Bolivian president Evo Morales, “Evo, take care of yourself,” according to The Guardian.
Hugo should spend less time worrying about Evo Morales and more trying to fix his own evil morals. I dare an American to disagree with me that the United States really cares about attempting to poison Hugo Chavez, when we have a financial crisis on our hands as well as a billion other more important issues like the election.
Daniel Wallis of Reuters reports that Chavez told his listeners how Cuban politician Fidel Castro had advised, “Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat … a little needle and they inject you with I don’t know what,” he said. Yeah, because we definitely sent our troops to Venezuela to pretend to be his chefs and poison his food. (Warning: Sarcasm active). I suppose for now, I’ll keep secret my dreams of being a Venezuelan chef.
Letter from Justin McClain ’01 | Spanish and Religion Teacher
As I type this, using a word processing system (which would have been inconceivable just a few decades ago), I remain impressed by the numerous technological innovations that have taken place over the last few decades. This technology has made wondrous improvements within modern society, including medicine, communication, and transportation, among others. Nevertheless, more impressive is the extent of good that humanity is capable of, either with or without the presence of technology. Mozart didn’t have an iPhone application to help refine his exceptionally complex music. Shakespeare didn’t have a PC to write Romeo and Juliet. Harriet Tubman didn’t use Facebook to organize the Underground Railroad during the strife of slavery. In order for a society to truly prosper, critical thought, along with the more important embrace of wholesome ethical principles, must always be in place. Humanity should remain in charge of technology, not technology in charge of humanity.
As a Religion and Spanish teacher, I teach within the realm of the humanities (academic fields encompassing such classical studies as theology, literature, language arts, philosophy, history, art, music, and other areas). The humanities study the full breadth of the human experience. As you high school students prepare to enter the ‘world’ upon graduation, think about how you can use the wealth of knowledge that you’ve acquired within the humanities, as well as within the likewise crucial fields of mathematics and science (including technology), to improve the world. With the Catholic principles that you’ve received here at McNamara, you can contribute to humanity positively, always in the hope of bringing greater glory to the Lord. As we reflect on the technological advancements that will continue to come in the 21st century, we would do well to remember the words of musician Stevie Wonder: “We can’t lose with God on our side.”
Occupy Movement has had a great impact on the country and many people are wondering what it is and how it might affect them
Amanda Wilson ‘13 | Editor
Signs, rallying, chants, and people protesting is not a new thing hat you see in Washington DC. But the tents and the hundreds of people camped outside of the capital is not something that you see on a typical day in Washington D.C.
The Occupy Movement has spread from Wall Street in New York to Washington, D.C. as well as many other places, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Atlanta are just a few. “The cool thing about OWS [Occupy Wall Street] is that no one person speaks for the group – everyone has diverse political viewpoints and different opinions but is happy to work together to try to bring about a more fair society,” said Stephanie from OWS, who I interviewed online. Stephanie is 27 and lives in Brooklyn. She works full time as a writer and editor. She is Italian and German-Jewish, she is agnostic, but was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school.
If you travel down to the nation’s capital, you will see many things. Among those things, you will see hundreds of tents and hundreds of people. Everyone down there has a license to be there and has permission to be there and protest. The only thing there that does not have a license is the food tent.
There are a handful of people that know what this protest is about and are interested in it. “When it first started, I was interested in it and wanted to know what it was about. I was interested in what they were trying to do. Whether you agree or not, their spirit seemed very alive,” said Social Studies teacher, Ms. Laura Keller.
But on the other hand, many people that live in or around the areas of this giant protest do not have any idea what this movement is and how or if might it affect them and their families. Well, this movement is huge and it most likely would affect these people in more ways than one if they knew what it was. On the Occupy Wall Street website, it states that, “Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one things that we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic, [which is a series of protests and other demonstrations], to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.”
So what exactly does this mean? The 1% that they are talking about is the 1% of Americans that are upper class and have it very easy. They have more benefits than the other 99% of Americans. That 1% has the money and pretty much everything that the middle and lower classes need to survive. According to Professor G. William Domhoff’s book, “Who Rules America,” “As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth (total net worth minus the values of one’s home), the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 42.7%.” In other words, most of the wealth in this country goes to the richer 1% of the population, rather than the people who really need it. This is the reason behind the whole Occupy Movement.
The Occupy Movement is committed to being a non-violent protesting. They are using the Arab Spring tactic which is a series of protests that involves demonstrations. “We’re committed to nonviolent protesting. We want to call attention to economic injustice in this country, and we feel that a commitment to nonviolence is constructive. While the camp in Zuccotti Park was raided by the police and no longer exists, we strove to create a model of the kind of society that we’d like to live in. We set up infrastructure to provide shelter, food, and medical help to anyone in need. We want to show a positive example of how we envision a more just society,” said Stephanie.
Occupy has spread very rapidly and is in many cities and states in the U.S. including New York; Orlando; Philadelphia; Lakeland, Florida; Milwaukee; Miami; Atlanta; Fayetville, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Seattle; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Kansas City, Missouri; Ashville, North Carolina; and Frankfort, West Virginia, as well as in the states of Alaska and Arkansas. This movement is not only in the United States, but in other countries around the world, including Canada, Spain, England, Italy, Taiwan, and South Korea.
This protest was meant as a peaceful protest, but others are seeing it as a riot and the people that are involved are being a public nuisance. Police forces have been brought in and as of now, many people have been injured or even killed from those police forces opening fire on them. One of the major occurrences that happened just a little while ago was the shooting in Oakland, which occurred on Thursday, November 10th, shortly before 5:00 p.m. The man that was shot was named Kayode Ola Foster, who was 25 years old. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Police have issued three eviction orders to campers since Friday, asserting that they are violating law banning open fires, overnight camping in public parks, and the use of propane, among other activities. Another incident, shown in a YouTube video, went up showing a former marine, Sergeant Shamar Thomas, criticizing the NYPD for how they were acting around the protesters and the way that they were handling them.
There have been other incidents where police force has had to be used. Recently, police had to clear Occupy protesters from a park in New York, because the park was dirty. Also, the owner of the park, which is privately owned, did not want sleeping bags and tents in the park. The park was cleared at 1 a.m., making protesters very angry and unhappy.
No one knows where this movement will end and what impact it will have in the near or distant future. It has already made a big impact and who know whether or not anything will come from this, but people do hope that it will. U.S. History teacher, Ms. Laura Keller, said, “I hope it would somehow bring about questions, bring back discussion. I’m hoping there’s more dialogue because we’re in a serious financial crisis. We’re in a rut.” Only time will tell what this movement will change.
Were you wondering why some of your favorite NBA players had been sitting at home these past few months? No, it’s not because they’re lazy; it’s because their league had been shut down due to a lockout that began on July 1, after the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expired. This was the third Lockout in NBA history (‘95; ‘98-’99) and it lasted 149 days. It seemed that things would only get worse, as games had been cancelled through December 15th. However, on November 26th, after a 15 hour meeting between the NBA and player reps in New York, a tentative agreement was reached between the sides on a new CBA. These issues didn’t start overnight like some people may think; they were actually six years in the making.
In 2005, the NBA and the players’ union agreed to a new CBA after the 1999 agreement expired. A CBA is a legal contract between the league and the Players Association that determines the way business operates. In February of 2009, NBA commissioner David Stern and executive director of the players’ union Billy Hunter appeared at a news conference to announce that both parties were set to reopen talks on the CBA, two years before it expired. On August 5th, after a 3 ½-hour meeting between a group of 10 owners and player representatives, the NBA decided that a new deal needed to be created for the 2011-2012 season. On January 29th, 2010, the union received a proposal from the NBA that called for a significant financial change that revolved around players’ salaries and in February, following a two-day meeting, the union declined the proposal. On July 2nd, the union issued a counter proposal but it also failed. Following a series of failed proposals, the NBA officially locked its players out on June 1st, putting doubt in the minds of fans everywhere that there wouldn’t be a season.
During the near five month long dispute, 69 players had gone to play overseas in places like Turkey, China, and Israel, leaving many fans disgruntled. During the lockout, I was able to ask a couple students what their opinions were. When asked “How do you feel about the Lockout?”, Henry Small ‘13 said, “I feel that the players, as far as the revenue split [goes], are being greedy because they are so used to being handed a bigger piece of the revenue that once they are handed something slightly smaller than what they previously had, they are upset. Personally, if my boss wanted to give me and my co-workers 50% of a multi-[billion] dollar industry, I would take it.” Brandon Nelson ’12 said he felt that “the players are making enough money as it is, so they should just go out there and play.” Julian Hammett ‘12 thought that the owners were being “very stingy,” and that the players do deserve more money because “they are the ones playing [and] putting their bodies on the line while the owners sit in the press box, eating and drinking like modern-day Romans at a Gladiator match.”
After months of teams and cities losing money, a 50/50 revenue split, proposed and denied frequently during the stoppage, was finally agreed upon. A new 10-year CBA was created and the sides have an option to opt out after Year 6. It’s been confirmed that free agency will begin on December 9th and there will be a 66-game season, beginning on December 25th. The three marquee games are NY Knicks vs. Boston Celtics, L.A. Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls, and Miami Heat vs. the defending champion, Dallas Mavericks. So dust off your jerseys, open your gifts early, and tune in on Christmas Day because the NBA is finally back!
Tim Tebow is saving the hearts of millions of sports fans
Commentary by Matt Nunez ‘12 | Editor-In-Chief
Last Sunday evening, I sat in a place high above Maryland and watched a spectacle put on by a man who many regard as divinely-touched. Yep, I was in Denver, Colorado at a Denver Broncos football game watching Tim Tebow put on another praise-worthy performance that included, as usual, a unique mix of passing and running skills, late-game heroics, and praise to his “Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Call it the Mile High Miracle, but the simple fact is that Tebow has come, and he has saved the hearts of sports fans around the world.
It was Good vs. Bad in more ways than one during the AFC Wild Card game, in which Tebow and his Broncos faced “Big Ben” Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. The two quarterbacks didn’t resemble each other at all on paper. Tebow was the poster child of Christian athletes everywhere. But while Tebow’s faith-based humility captured the hearts of millions, he wasn’t a very good quarterback.
Roethlisberger, on the other hand, was a seasoned veteran who had been to three Super Bowls in his eight NFL seasons, won two, and brought Pittsburgh memories of the golden days of Bradshaw and Lambert. However, Roethlisberger wasn’t exactly a fan-favorite, having been accused of sexual assault twice. In Vegas, though, it’s the stats that matter, and Roethlisberger was a clear favorite. The Steelers were 8½ point favorites, but it was Tebow who shone, and ultimately won, under an immaculate Denver sunset in a 29-23 overtime victory for the Broncos.
The sophomore quarterback, who had gone from college superstar at Florida to NFL wannabe in Denver, rejoiced after tossing the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass by jumping into the crowd, and then only seconds later “Tebowing” into a focused prayer of thanks to God. The pose – “Tebowing” – has swept the nation as a new fad, and has put a subtle hint of God into a now-everyday gesture.
Yes, Tebow’s faith drives a lot of people away, but it has sent more writers than not into an endless debate on what role God actually plays in Tebow’s success – out of twelve games, Tebow has achieved six fourth-quarter or overtime comeback victories – and furthermore, in sports itself.
The one thing that I know, though, is that we’ll never know. There are so many instances where one may be convinced that God is working around them. Some may be true, and some are the results of over-analysation. For example, on Sunday, Tebow threw for 316 yards with an average of 31.6 yards per pass. One of Tebow’s favorite Bible verses also happens to be John 3:16. Coincidence? Or is this just God’s sense of humor? Who knows, but the point is, Tebow’s success has opened the hearts of sports fans everywhere to actually consider that this God figure might actually have an influence on our everyday lives.
So what makes Tebow so special? Faith has always been present in football culture – amongst the players, not always the fans – but Tebow has taken it to a new level. Each game, players will, if they desire, say individual prayers beforehand in the endzone, then as a group at midfield following the final whistle.
Well, besides surviving the call for his abortion while in his mother’s womb, doing mission work in the Philippines, and pledging himself to purity, Tebow brings his faith to the public eye, if not shoving it down their throats. That is a common misconception that many people have: that Tebow is on a constant mission of evangelization. I think Tebow is merely expressing his faith in the most familiar, polite way possible. It is the fans who blow it up into something bigger, because, for another Tebow effect, he brings (mostly) desirable, good-hearted news to a media (and sports) world that focuses so much on negatives, like accusations of criminal behavior leveled against Roethlisberger and Michael Vick.
The positivity that Tebow brings is endless. A rubber bracelet I received at the game reads, “WWTTD? (What Would Tim Tebow Do?).” Of course, many don’t give him credibility because of his shaky play, but Tebow also portrays a quiet, confident determination that shuts down all criticism. The one they said would never make it big in the NFL just picked up a quarter-million dollar contract bonus, despite claiming that it was only the outstanding play of his teammates that “makes [him] look better.”
Now Tebow has the opportunity to advance to the AFC Championship and pick up another quarter-million if he is able to win on Saturday at New England (8pm). For now, though, Tebow is just happy to be in the position he’s in.
Every fan in Denver is happy to be there, too. Following the final whistle, Sports Authority Field at Mile High erupted into a celebration that seemed as if it would collapse the stadium. While Tebow took a victory lap around the field, the cartoon character Cartman from “South Park” came on the stadium screens, directing a “Let’s go, Tebow” chant. Half an hour later, it was the same story, with fans chanting his name all the way back to the parking lots. My cell phone exploded with text messages and Facebook notifications from friends who couldn’t believe what they had seen, or that I had just witnessed it.
One Facebook comment read, “you breathed his air,” while another said, “You saw Jesus.” Well, I don’t know what I saw out there, but it did seem magical. Many will say that there was “something else” present, and frankly, I can’t argue against that. Whatever it is, though, it’s got everyone watching one young athlete, and many taking his word that it is, in fact, God’s will. How about that for a football story?
Egypt takes democratic steps to a promising new government
Emily Magruder ‘13 | Staff Writer
Democratic elections in Egypt took place November 28, 2011, signaling an end to a dramatic uprising that began 11 months earlier.
In recent history, Egypt has had a violent track record in regards to their government. Protests derived from various qualms with the socio-economic and religious conditions in Egypt escalated from non-violent strikes and demonstrations to rowdy, chaotic riots. This uprising started January 25, 2011.
Since the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned February 11, 2011, the Egyptian military has directed the country. However, these elections may designate a new political power to run the Egyptian government.
After much apprehension about these elections, it appears to have gone peacefully, excluding a reported 25 minor injuries from jostling in the crowds. Long lines, some approximately 3 miles long, and few security issues were reported by BBC News. The military even accommodated voters who had to travel long distances to reach the polls in Cairo by extending the voting time by two hours.
Preliminary voting results were publicized on Wednesday, November 30th. The results showed that 60% of Egyptians voted in support of the Islamic party. The Muslim Brotherhood, one of the primary supporters of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, accumulated 36.6% of the votes. These Islamic institutions plan to continue non-violent democratic efforts.
Although some people remain concerned for the future of the Egyptian government, U.S. History teacher Shawn Dougherty said, “If we are truly about exporting democracy, which is all about the will of the majority, we must let them decide what is right for them.”
“Save the planet, the planet needs us!” Calm down. The Earth is fine. It isn’t going anywhere. If, after using A-bombs and the presence of nuclear power plants, the Earth is in pretty decent condition, chances are it won’t be “destroyed” any time soon.
Not all types of pollution that you think are “destroying” the planet are as bad or extreme as environmentalists say. People are concerned about the hole in the ozone layer, but that has actually shrunk by about 30 percent in 2006 alone, according to measurements made by the European Space Agency’s Envisat satellite. There has not been a dramatic change in how much air pollution there is, either. If a gaping hole in the ozone layer can just naturally shrink, perhaps litter and other forms of pollution are not as damaging as we may think.
The Earth has been around for over four billion years and has endured countless natural disasters in that time, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, solar flares, meteors, and much more. If it can survive four billion years of that, trash and air pollution probably won’t do too much damage any time soon. A candy wrapper probably won’t cause much damage to the planet, or the animals that live on it.
Also, what’s with saving animals that are going extinct? Who do we think we are to decide that? Sure, some animals have died out because of us, but we’re animals too — that’s nature. Animals kill other animals all the time, helping with extinctions of some species, so why does it matter if we do it? Even then, countless animals have died out without any interference by us, before we even existed. Dinosaurs died naturally, and so did many of the animals that lived during the Ice Age. We can’t prevent all species from going extinct; all the animals will die out eventually, why try so hard to stop it?
How are we even going to save the planet anyway? Plant some trees? Nature has that covered already. Oak trees, for instance, drop acorns that fall off the branches and are eventually planted, all by nature. Should we stop hunting animals? Of course not. Like I said earlier, we’re animals, that’s what animals do, they kill other animals. It should make no difference if we kill animals ourselves.
If people insist that we save animals, we might as well only do that for unique and useful creatures. Deer? They do nothing but look pretty. We don’t need them. Spiders, on the other hand, eat pests. Keep them. If an animal does not help in any way, or is a pest, we should not worry if they go extinct. It would make the world a better place.
So, we should not lose sleep and panic that we will destroy the planet. Even if we do destroy the planet, it would probably be a result of a single powerful action, such as nuclear war. Sure, we shouldn’t totally stop caring, maybe just calm down about it instead.
I used to think Stephen Hawking was a pretty cool genius. Now I know he is an extremely self-absorbed, grumpy, unhappy man who is talented in science, but can’t see past the tip of his own nose.
His atheistic views came out a bit harsh in his metaphor, “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,” he explained to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”
But “the afterlife” has never been about the brain continuing to function. I thought heaven was based on the belief in souls, or in a spirit. If heaven is real, then based on what I’ve been taught, it is supposed to be where our souls go. Souls are not a physical thing. Our brains are a part of our body, which everyone knows dies. Religions are not denying that we die. It’s about something more that no science can prove. He is totally not thinking about religion in a, well, religious view.
Celebrities, politicians and famous people who have religions- well most, hopefully- don’t go around telling people how stupid atheists are. It’s one thing to say this to a friend, but to the public when you are a huge role model and figure, it’s just mean.
And another thing! Just because he is a genius at science doesn’t mean he knows everything else there is to know. Even if he somehow saw the end of the world and everything and did know whether God existed or not, who is he to stomp on everyone’s faith? There have to be scientists who look up to him, but are also of a religious denomination. He can keep his beliefs to himself with out making fun of something that he in no way can prove wrong. Condescending the religious is not a way to prove a theory.
Stores ask for donations while you have your cash in-hand
Carolyn Conte ‘14 | Staff Writer
I think that when at a check out, anything more blunt than a visible container labelled for donations to [name here] foundation or a subtle hint to this container, is hypocrisy. Depending on the situation, it may depend- anywhere else seems perfectly acceptable, but while someone has the cash in-hand… it just seems a tad sly to me.
For example, I was at the Walmart and my dad was buying a gift for my grandmother on mother’s day. The cashier seemed to have had a long day, judging by her slouching stance, dulled eyes and impatient eyebrows. She asked in a monotone voice as if she’d been repeating it for hours, “Would you like to donate to ___”? My dad simply replied, “Not today, sorry.”
In the last steps of filling out a check, he asked the cashier to repeat the price, and she changed it to be rounded up a few dollars. Obviously confused, he asked if she was sure. The bored worker told him the true price and added, “but you can just round it up and we’ll give the rest to the foundation.” Starting to get annoyed, he said no. Now, in fair honesty, if I were him I would have just let her have the few extra bucks, seeing as it is for a good cause, but yes — she was using guilt and being rude while attempting to collect donations.
If someone is not going to give their extra cash while waiting in line, then there is no need to pester them while they have their cash already in their hand. It does make a person feel bad, like “Oh, I already have it out, and I’m saying no…” and even if it did result in a contribution, it’s for the wrong reasons.
I wonder how the recipients of a donation would feel if they found out they had this money because a cashier had guilt-pressed their customer.
Besides, the staff can’t possibly assume that just because you are paying x amount of green for a product, means that they can spare more. Especially in this economy, financial situations are more likely to rely on every dollar. Many families have all their income planned out, so the twenty dollars they’re handing over may be the last they have until pay day. Also, the way they dress also doesn’t necessarily reflect their budget. There is no way to tell if a customer is being cheap or not, so please don’t pressure them. What if it really was their last pay check they were spending up, and they had to say ‘no’ to a cancer charity?
Ignoring the possibilities of the victim’s budget state, or how the charity profit-ees may react, is it not a bit ironic that they are asking these questions when it’s most convenient, knowing how it must feel to deny charity, all for a purpose that centers around kindness?
I am not trying to discourage efforts to persuade others to offer their own money for the sake of others, but I wish they would let it be more of a personal choice. There are plenty of other ways to entice donations: posters, staff asking while they don’t already have their wallet out, maybe an announcement on the intercom, etc.
If a person sees, hears and notices all these things like the bell-ringers on the streets, and refuses to get their bucks out at that time, then there’s no need to rub it in their face how they are saying “no” to an innocent, (Hopefully) good-intentioned charity.
It’s the number one killer of 15 to 20 year-olds in the US. An average of more than 5,000 teens here in USA will die this year because of it. In 2009, at least 8 teens would die a day from this.
And almost all of these deaths could have been easily prevented- without any money donated, without any labor put in except for a thought: the decision to not distract themselves while they drive.
It could happen to anyone. We hear that a lot, but often we waive it away. It really could happen to anyone. Try and perceive yourself in one of those “some-one’s” situation, cruising along a smooth, empty road on their way home. Picture this anonymous person waiting all day for another special, certain peer to text or call them about, say, going to the dance. They’re so impatient!
Suddenly, “Buh-drung!” They know that sound; it means their phone just received a text. A potentially very important text. The road is empty and straight, and they need to see who it was! If they don’t reply immediately, that friend might assume something. So this “some-one”, this anyone, hexed by mere chance, chooses to answer just this one text. One hand holds the cellphone while they’re reading the message, and the other hand keeps the wheel steady. Their eyes abandon the road for a moment. In those humble few seconds their vehicle passes by a stoplight. A red light silently screams to the diverted some-one to halt, yet only a loud but low “bonnnggg! bongk, bongk!” succeeds in getting the random, anybody-but-you-someone to look up only to catch a final glimpse of life.
Harsh. But it’s reality. Waiting until the car is in park isn’t as painful as one might think.