Posts Tagged ‘january 2013’

Point-Counterpoint: Is the Petraeus Scandal Relevant to Politics?

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Americans Need to Be Able to Trust Our Leaders Completely: Madeleine Colbert

If you had told people in late October that the director of the C.I.A., David Petraeus, would soon be resigning because of a sex scandal that featured spies, the F.B.I., attractive socialites, emotionally unstable twin sisters, texting shirtless photos, and anonymous threats, they would have told you to stop watching so much TV. However, that is exactly the story that has aired in news stations all across America.

This story has rocked mainstream media, who can hardly believe their luck in being hand-delivered a fascinating story, directly after the election. However, due to the constant bombardment of this nearly fantastical news story, many people have begun to ask if the news should even be reporting it. The answer to that question is a strong yes. Soap-opera likeness aside, this story is very important in understanding our nation, and the people we have selected to run it.

David Petraeus held one of the most important jobs in America, as director of the C.I.A. He held an immense amount of power and possessed a great deal of responsibility. In order for the C.I.A. to properly run, the American people need to have complete trust in it. The Petraeus scandal greatly mars this trust, and hurts the C.I.A.’s ability to operate smoothly below the radar. The Petraeus scandal is important because it has created a large rift between the American people and their most powerful leaders.

The nature in which the Petraeus scandal was discovered is also alarming and should be shared with the American people. It makes you think to yourself, “If the director of the C.I.A. can’t maintain privacy from the F.B.I., neither can I.” The Internet has thrown American privacy into free fall. The F.B.I. does not even need a warrant to look at your email, due to the archaic Electronic Communications Privacy Act that was drafted back in 1986, before the Internet had developed into the superpower it is today.

Petraeus and the woman with whom he was having an affair, Paula Broadwell, were leaving messages to each other in the draft box of a shared email account. The government does not regard these drafts as at all private.

To put things in perspective, if you had a box of old letters that you kept under your bed, the F.B.I. would need a warrant to come get them. However, if they were online in a password-protected email account and were older than 6 months old, the F.B.I. could just sift through all of them. The same is true for private Facebook photos or Google Docs. This is an eye-opening revelation about the government’s control of supposedly private information.

Do not be fooled by the tabloid nature of the Petraeus scandal. This news story is an important event in the history of the C.I.A. and in the history of American privacy rights, so we all should pay attention to it.

 

Successful Politicians’ Personal Lives Shouldn’t Affect Their Reputations: Kelsey O’Connor

 

You know what I am worried about during a crucial election when the country is on the brink of economic ruin? General Petraeus’s personal life? Not so much.

The main point to consider is that there are far more important issues for the media to focus on: for example, the economy, the election, the Middle East crises, and Hurricane Sandy. All were pushed off the front page so that we could read about General Petraeus’s affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell (which the media conveniently did not pick up until three days after the election). His name was a worldwide trend on Twitter.

Petraeus clearly did not make a good choice, but people with his level of experience and proclivity for civil servitude are few and far between—and Petraeus is certainly not the only person to have had this lapse in judgment. If every politician who had an affair were to resign or be removed from office, there would probably not be many people left to fill these important roles. Just to name a few notable people to have made similar mistakes: Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Bill Clinton. Some of these men are considered among the ranks of the most brilliant political minds in our country’s history. Likewise, Petraeus has proved himself to be a valuable asset to the United States government.

Before you read this article, you probably didn’t know that Petraeus has been one of the most active individuals against terrorism. He commanded forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming Director of the C.I.A. in 2011. The Senate elected him to the directorship in a unanimous vote. His involvement in the Iraq War was significant. He led soldiers into combat in 2003 at the start of the war and commanded the 101st Airborne Division. Furthermore, he helped to launch thousands of reconstruction projects. He pushed to reopen the University of Mosul, which sparked a campaign to allocate funds for public works. Additionally, Petraeus was made the first commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq, which worked to rebuild and organize the military and police forces in Iraq. From 2008 to 2010, Petraeus was head of the U.S. Central Command. In this position, he successfully oversaw U.S. military operations in dozens of countries. Upon his retirement from the Army in 2011, he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal. Did the media cover any of this?

The media hardly ever focuses on the beneficial accomplishments of individuals, but it harps on their faults. Personally, I think Petraeus’s accomplishments far outweigh his mistakes. The reality is that people like him, who help our country and others so effectively, are rare and it is irresponsible for the media and the public to condemn them forever based on one mistake.

 

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Your Winter Playlist

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

by Emily Greenberg and Madeleine Colbert

1) “Winter Song” – The Head and the Heart

2) “Winter Winds” – Mumford & Sons

3) “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” – Neutral Milk Hotel

4) “Creature Fear” – Bon Iver

5) “Little Black Submarines” – The Black Keys

6) “The High Road” – Broken Bells

7) “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” – Death Cab for Cutie

8) “Feel Good Inc.” – Gorillaz

9) “Let’s Go” – Matt & Kim

10) “Madness” – Muse

MKA Theater Goes Retro: Student Productions Tackle the 1950s, 60s, and 70s

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

by Zoe Ferguson

It seems that the present just isn’t enough for MKA actors. Instead, we have taken on a trend of pieces that look back in time to what many think was a better age.

In the Deetjen production All the King’s Women, actors played scenes from the 1950s well into the 1970s, all recollecting, in some manner, the impact of Elvis’ all-around fabulosity on America’s female population. The play didn’t even include Elvis as a character: instead, it indirectly told the story through brief glimpses at women’s experiences of the rock icon. Stars of the MKA production included Sarah Finn, Madeleine Colbert, and Krissy Bylancik, along with many others. Among the short scenes displayed in the production was a representation of The King’s famous visit to the White House in 1970, wherein he met President Nixon. The actresses in MKA’s production of All the King’s Women played secretaries at the Capitol who couldn’t handle their excitement at the idea of Elvis in their building. The girls did an excellent job – I know I was cracking up. (Unfortunately, the Deetjen Theatre is so small that you can hear – quite clearly, that is – all my loud, obnoxious reactions to funny lines and good comedic timing.)

In early March, the MKA community will be treated to an Upper School theater production of the musical Grease. Starring Kendall Barrett ‘14 as Sandy, Scott Hermo ‘13 as Danny, Dana Placentra ‘13 as Rizzo, and John Higgins ‘14 as Kenickie (“A hickey from Kenickie is like a Hallmark card”), the cast is sure to blow this one out of the water. They have been diligently rehearsing, with the exception of Winter Break, focusing on their staging, lines, and choreography. The musical portion of rehearsals is set to begin soon.

Matt & Kim Draw Huge MKA Turnout at the Wellmont Theater

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

by Amy Parker

Matt and Kim are an indie dance music duo from Brooklyn, New York. Their music is fast, fun, and full of energy, and their live performances fully reflect this enthusiasm.

Recently, they performed at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair on November 17th. After the opening act of Oberhofer, another Brooklyn band, the performance began around 8:00 p.m. It was energetic and exciting, drawing a surprisingly large crowd of MKA students. Few students who attended the concert did not run into at least one of their classmates, even in the chaotic sea of teenagers from the Montclair area.

Adding to Matt and Kim’s performance, lyric videos for many songs were projected behind the stage, encouraging fans across the theater to sing along. Both Matt and Kim lived up to their reputations as vehement performers: their constant dancing, as well as their personal interactions with the audience members, had the crowd going the whole night. At one point, Kim stood atop the hands of cheering fans as she danced over the crowd.

Matt and Kim’s show at the Wellmont Theater was the final performance of their Lightning tour. The duo began the tour more than a month prior, starting the day after the release of their latest album Lightning. Their set list included fan favorites such as “Daylight,” “Let’s Go,” and “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare.”

Overall, the concert was a memorable event, full of great performers, great music, and even greater company. Let’s hope they perform at the Wellmont again sometime in the near future!

Movies According to MKA: Students Turn Film Critics to Review the Latest Blockbusters

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Skyfall is the latest installment of Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 movies, celebrating fifty years of the Bond franchise. Up to his usual exploits, James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) defeats the villain and saves the world, all while looking fresh in a blue suit. As with all great 007 movies, it is full of plot twists, killer fights, and extended chases. In Skyfall, the British intelligence agency MI6 is under attack. Someone has found the list of all the MI6 secret agents, and is slowly revealing their identities, putting everyone, including M, Bond’s boss, in danger. Break out the popcorn, because Skyfall is a must-see movie. –Madison Rivlin ‘15, Staff Writer

 

Life of Pi is the 3-D movie version of Yann Martel’s book Life of Pi. It is about a boy named Piscine, “Pi” for short, from Pondicherry, India. Sailing from Canada to India with his family and the animals from their zoo, the ship sinks and Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a tiger. Personally, I preferred the book because the plot line and themes were more meaningful and heartfelt, but the cinematography and the musical arrangements in the movie are breathtaking. –Madison Rivlin ‘15, Staff Writer

Silver Linings Playbook is a movie for everyone. There’s a love story, a dysfunctional family, and a dance scene, not to mention Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, oh, and Robert DeNiro. While Cooper and Lawrence are both well-known for their principal roles in past films, The Hangover and The Hunger Games, respectively, both show their depth and range as actors in their portrayals of the slightly insane, but endearing characters of Pat and Tiffany. Tragedy and humor come together, leaving audience members in that familiarly uncomfortable area between laughs and tears, and this movie certainly delivers the best of both worlds. Put this paper down and buy yourself a ticket! –Sarah Finn ‘13, Editor in Chief

 

In Argo, the year is 1979 and the U.S. is in the midst of the Iranian hostage crisis.  As militants storm the American Embassy in retaliation for sheltering Iran’s former Shah, several workers from the Embassy escape. The C.I.A. must figure out how to save the trapped citizens (led by actress and MKA alumna Kerry Bishé) from the grips of an unstable revolution. Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) is compelling throughout as a C.I.A. specialist who takes a team (notable members played by John Goodman and Alan Arkin) to Iran as they use a movie shoot as a front to rescue the Americans before they are captured. Argo will have you on the edge of your seat throughout and is definitely a must-see. –Aaron Stagoff-Belfort ‘14, Sports Editor

 

“Four score and seven years ago,” are the famous beginning words to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that ended slavery and brought our country into a new modern era. The movie Lincoln attempts to demonstrate the many struggles our great president encountered while trying to the pass the 13th Amendment. Though the movie is slow and a bit lifeless, it has its perks. The film is filled with interesting facts, remarkable history, and even a few surprises. Daniel Day Lewis’ performance as Lincoln is spectacular, along with those of Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Lincoln is perfect for all teachers and history buffs. –Gen Hughes ‘14, Staff Writer

Titus Andronicus Get Down to Business

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

by Anna Sheinaus

Oh, how to summarize the new Titus Andronicus album in 500 words or less? The Jersey rockers themselves do it best. Kicking off their new tour in support of their third album, Local Business, Titus bluntly and proudly announced through their Twitter, “PUNK IS BACK.” And oh yes, let it ring through the hills, it is.

After listening to Titus’s second album The Monitor, a Civil War concept album full of grandiose rock epics with layered bagpipe solos, this may seem hard to believe. After all, the band tends to avoid the standard punk formula of two-minute songs with straightforward lyrics.

Instead, they favor sprawling compositions that often approach 10 minutes and are embedded with literary references – without any hint of pretension whatsoever – which can be pretty hard to do when you’re named after an obscure Shakespearean tragedy.

But what they lack in punk credentials in terms of song structure, they make up for with their raw, unfiltered energy, especially on this new record. It keeps all the grit and grime of earlier albums, but is arguably the band’s tightest and most cohesive release.

Local Business bears some resemblance to the band’s earlier attempts, complete with exultant guitars, rhythms you can feel pounding throughout your body, and frontman Patrick Stickle’s trademark atonal and abrasive vocals. A self-professed nihilist, Stickles wails on the album’s opening song “Ecce Homo,” “I think by now we’ve established that everything is inherently worthless and there is nothing in the universe with any kind of objective purpose.”

So Titus isn’t exactly taking a break from the bleak outlook of The Monitor or 2008’s The Airing of Grievances, but nevertheless the band doesn’t want its listeners to whine and lay at home all day, mourning the futility of life.

No, Stickles has mused that the band chose to title the album Local Business to encourage listeners to celebrate punk, DIY, and local scenes. And it’s worth mentioning that the local businesses, the ones to which Titus is playing tribute, exist all around us—the band hails from Glen Rock.

So get out, put on your headphones and blast Titus Andronicus’ new album, explore your local scene, and maybe you’ll find that everything isn’t inherently worthless.

Where Are Our Naps?

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

by Carrigan Miller

I don’t think I ever got a minute of sleep in Kindergarten. During naptime, I would always look at my classmates’ faces. I can still remember what my teacher looked like, simply because I spent my naptime memorizing her face. Or I’d look at the computers. They had these funny fish screen-savers. You know what I’m talking about, the nice coral in pastel pink and blue with the yellow fish that go about on their little patterns. I memorized those. I could tell you where the fish was going and what he was up to. Instead of sleeping, I got inside this fish’s head.

Later that year, I asked a girl named Kerrigan (pure coincidence) in first grade if they had naptime. When she said no, it really blew my mind. They worked harder than we did, so weren’t they more deserving of a nap?

Ten years have passed, and I stand by that theory 100%. Who among us hasn’t taken a nap in high school? Some more often than others, sure, but we’ve all at least longed for a pillow during a particularly rough English class, or during a never-ending Study Hall (there’s nothing wrong with a sophomore that still has study halls).

So now I get to my point. MKA has always found pride in our reputation as a liberal school, on the cutting edge. We adjusted the schedule in order to maximize work. When the cyber bell tolled, we invested in the 1:1 program. So now it’s time for our next big step: The re-introduction of nap time.

I’ll be honest, it’s risky. But so was buying all those TVs. If there’s anything that MKA knows about, it’s risks.

Think about it, Dr. Flocco. The Carrigan Miller Nap Room would be awful cool.

We’d be relevant again! When’s the last time we’ve been on the front page of anything besides the PAMKA Newsletter? Can you imagine the publicity such a bold move would bring in? The Star Ledger would praise us over a four-page spread. Newark Academy would look downright passé compared to our new and innovative sleep policies.

We don’t have to call it nap time either. We could give it some sort of a fun buzzword-title, like Independent Rest Period. And it’d be easy—the money wouldn’t even be a blip on our financial radar!

Let’s Make a Deal: Shop Til You Drop Online

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

by Alexa Bieler

Shopping can be difficult, especially when you want to get just the right thing for a loved one. Luckily, we have the Internet. Here are some tips to help you get the best deals:

 

1. Sign up for emails from prospective stores (Amazon counts as a store). I don’t love a cluttered inbox, but during the winter season there are new deals everyday: free shipping, x% off, two-fers. And these emails are brilliant reminders if you’re forgetful.

 

2. Become a member of special sites. Websites including Rue La La and Groupon have daily opportunities to purchase good stuff cheaply. Even a site like Living Social, which advertises activities such as salsa dancing, also has items like $5 subscriptions to popular magazines.

 

3. Go to a price comparison site. Think Kayak.com for gifts. Websites like Bizrate.com allow you to type in a gift and compare different vendors for said item. This way you can be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

 

4. Coupons! Find something that you/your mother/your father/your sibling/your bestie/that person you stalk needs to have?  With the magic of Google, you can find sites that give coupon codes for the store of your choice (I’ve done this before; it actually works). You can combine free shipping and x% off in one order, and some sites will allow you to “stack” (use multiple discount coupons) for one order.

 

5. Wait (a little bit). This is not an encouragement for procrastinators, but the prices on Black Friday are pumped up so people will buy. Unless you’re looking for electronics, sit back and relax.

 

6. “Like” your favorite stores on Facebook. Many retailers post their sales and discounts on Facebook first, and since we’re always on Facebook, there is no way you could miss an opportunity.

Fine Dining Club: Do You Know the Muffin Man?

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

by Payson Ruhl

Ever tried the seasonal pumpkin muffins at Dunkin’ Donuts? Take it from us, they are delicious! They are only sold for part of the year, but with this recipe you can enjoy these yummy treats all year long!

 

Ingredients:

1 (18 1/4 ounce) box spice cake mix (we recommend the Betty Crocker brand)

1 (30 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 (3 1/2 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding (make sure it is instant and does not require cooking)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon sour cream

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup brown sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Mix together spice cake mix, pumpkin puree, pudding, and vanilla extract.

Add eggs, oil, and spice.

Blend well.

Scoop batter into lined muffin tins and fill to the top

Optional: sprinkle brown sugar on the tops of the muffins

Bake for 30 minutes

Enjoy!


AP Latin Waxes Quotable

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The gods are all shimmery with the soft Barbra Streisand light around them.

Feel it to the ho to the hey to the yo.

The Romans have recurring psychotic episodes.

I’m a big wall guy.

Noreaster is my second favorite Easter.

The world is yours, you just have to take it.

Woman, you done good.

Don’t look at me like that, woman.

But wait, it gets a little bit sicker, a little bit iller.