With smoke dominating the sky, lifeless bodies scattered about, and terrified people fleeing a massive heap of rumble, America will never forget one of the most destructive attacks on our country. The Oklahoma City bombing of a fully occupied federal building took the lives of 168 Americans, making it the deadliest case of domestic terrorism. This was indicative of the ever-growing power of the militia movement – groups of militants set out to end what they saw as an unjust government. After several years of growth in the 1990s, the militias began losing power and for the past decade they have nearly disappeared. However, they are returning and with greater strength than ever.
I returned this May from a semester studying abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland, and immersing myself back into American culture has been unexpectedly seamless. Despite having an unbelievable time jigging to bagpipes, slinging whiskey, and pretending to like mayonnaise on everything, I’ve had no trouble adjusting to the good old U S of A.
“What is the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist takes only your skin,” wrote Mark Twain. Those making over $250,000 may soon prefer the taxidermist. President Obama is desperately trying to adhere to his campaign promise of not raising taxes on those earning below $250,000. This is ill-conceived policy that is unsurprisingly supported by congressional Democrats, namely those on the far left of the party. The claim that Americans must pay their fair share is valid, yet our politicians have it backwards. Soaking high earners is both an economic and a political mistake.
ANNNDDD… we’re back! Another school year, another Sun redesign. The project du jour? Red Letter Daze. Just last semester I ran a series on the new look for Daze . We completely revamped the section’s style for its premiere in a new magazine format.
Well, the recession’s hit America hard folks, and even well endowed institutions like the Daily Sun need to make cuts. Opinion was shaved down to two pages, and Daze will now appear back in tabloid form.
Our task in the design department was to preserve the “look and feel” of the magazine while adopting it to the new format — a longer, more traditional page size. Other changes include fewer color pages.
Welcome to the 2009/2010 edition of Muckraking for Pennies. I had this long piece of dramatic rhetoric (it’d put Marc Anthony in Julius Caesar to shame, believe me) planned for this occasion but I figured that that would be a bit pretentious and boring right now. Instead, let’s focus on Afghanistan.
The days of simply traveling to another country are gone. With ever-growing surveillance, suspicion of wrongdoing is no longer a requirement for invasive searching. When traveling to other countries, including Canada, be prepared to have your laptop searched. This is now common practice for border security officials. Pending litigation, the government’s ability to search your files may be suspended. However, the legality procedure has prevailed for several years and is showing signs of increasing domination.
Dilemma. Its 3 am. It’s the Monday of orientation week. And I’m writing a blog, hoping the clicks of my keyboard don’t wake up the passed out man-candy in my bed (finally have a queen for the first time in my life!). Unfortunately, that’s not the problem; the dilemma is the awkward morning to come when he sleeps through me vacuuming my room, in hopes he’ll wake up and leave immediately. I mean, I don’t usually kick out guests (I normally just sneak out).
“Now if everyone would please, put their Nalgene as high as they can …
Man, I love hiking, ay!
I love camping, ay!
I love hiking, ay!
I love Odyssey, ay!”
More or less parodying Asher Roth’s “I Love College,” Kerran and Oliver’s skit at Camp O Rama was sort of well sung, not very well heard, but extremely entertaining nonetheless. Followed by men (and women!) in tights, climbing Olympics, a surprise head shaving, and ice cream galore, the Adirondack Backpacking trip set the tone for a ridiculous evening that celebrated the conclusion of Outdoor Odyssey 2009.
WHAM! I touch back down to the rocky trail front tire first, correcting my balance just in time to avoid going over my handlebars head-over-heals. After the jump, I take the next sharp right turn as the surrounding trees rush by, coalescing in to a kaleidoscope of green and brown as I hurtle down the trail. As I come up to the next obstacle, I grip my handlebars tighter and remind myself that I should be watching the trail, not admiring the scenery.
Just as this thought occurs, a huge splash of mud hits me full in the face. Great. Now I can’t see anything.
Keith returns the cap to the Dry Erase marker, looking up from the large notepad for the first time in minutes. His ever-present maniacal grin is noticeably absent from his face, his whole body seemingly reflecting the seriousness of what he had just laid before me. I stare at the elaborate series of drawings Keith has just produced: each page depicts multiple formulas, schematics and ratios, circled and crossed out in a dizzying array of red and blue marker. Each drawing has enormous red arrows that point to the title of his presentation: “Highlining Will Kill You”. After 45 minutes straight of lecturing, I get the point loud and clear. I shake my head in defeat.
“OK, maybe this is a bad idea”.