Moonmaster: Ace Journalist!

Bass

Nexus of the World
I want to see Mooney as a journalist who makes up his stories, like "MONGUL ZEPPELIN FROM SPACE ATTACKS NORWAY. REASONS UNKNOWN."
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
They've had a lot of trouble at the paper with the length of my articles, so they're asking me to go with a shorter, more concise style. I don't think it packs as much punch, but it's more readable I think:

SHUT UP & LEARN:
Freedom of Speech In America Comes Under Attack Once Again
By Moonmaster


As you may or may not have heard, earlier this month, a group of students from Morton West High School in Berwyn staged an anti-war protest in their school's cafeteria. The students expected detentions or at worst, short suspensions. School administrators had a different idea. Suddenly, the 18 students were up for expulsion. The school reasoned that the protest represented a severe disruption of school activity.

One must wonder what they were actually "disrupting"? It was lunch. It's doubtful that you'd even be able to hear twenty or so protesters over the din of Bremen or any other high school's cafeteria. Needless to say, the protesters and their parents were dismayed by the school's suggested punishment and after a concerted effort by the parents and others and a storm of negative media attention for the school, Morton West allowed the students back to class.

The whole incident seems quite counter-intuitive to most schools' encouragement of political and social awareness. Apparently, it's fine for young people to know what's going on in the world, but once they start trying to do something about, it's time for serious discipline. This isn't the "BONG HITS 4 JESUS" sign that one high school student tried to defend as freedom of expression in 2002, it's real political discourse from students. They should be proud that teenagers are taking an active interest in politics and social activism. I must admit that I've felt slightly disappointed at the amount of general apathy that I've seen among my generation in recent years, (You'll be hearing more about that from me later this year.) but the Morton incident has kindled a new hope in me that America's youth still has some fire left.

Indeed, November has been a banner month for haters of free speech. On Veteran's Day, members of a group called "Veterans for Peace" were arrested when they protested Boston's decision to bar them from marching in that city's parade. The anti-Iraq War organization was reportedly told that their views were "inappropriate" for the parade and misrepresented the viewpoints of other veterans. Despite these comments, avowedly pro-war groups have always been allowed to march in the parade. Ironically enough, Veteran's Day was originally created after World War I in order to remind Americans of the need for world peace.

Why are men who fought and sacrificed for our country not allowed to voice their opinion, men who've earned the right to do so more than any other citizen. With homelessness among veterans on the rise, a health care system that has failed them, and a government that would rather arbitrarily send soldiers home because of so-called "personality disorders" than correctly diagnose them as having serious Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, do veterans really deserve to be treated like this?

I can't understand why voicing an opinion shared by 68% of Americans, or any opinion for that matter, has suddenly become out-and-out treason. The blind acceptance of authority can never be allowed to overtake this country. Civil disobedience is one of America's most important traditions and it should always be preserved. If you're mad, if you're dissatisfied, if your government has failed you, tell people, shout it out, stage a protest. You have every right to.

And after all, what are they going to do, expel you?
 
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Ice

Teh Sexy Monkey Queen
Excellent, excellent job.


That's better than anything written at my college newspaper.
 

Planet-man

Well-Known Member
Good stuff, Moons. If only my high school had had an actual paper I could've written for(we had one or two hastily-throw-together issues a year, the total word count of each being slightly more than your one article there).

How often do you guys release issues, and how long are they?

Edit:
Nice. I think you should write about the Jokela school shooting. I would like to see your thoughts.

For someone so obsessed with natural selection he seems to have a pretty poor grasp of how it actually works.
 
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moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Nice. I think you should write about the Jokela school shooting. I would like to see your thoughts.
I hate to say it, but I'm not sure what makes this any different than most school shootings? I do have a pretty well-formed opinion about Columbine though...
Good stuff, Moons. If only my high school had had an actual paper I could've written for(we had one or two hastily-throw-together issues a year, the total word count of each being slightly more than your one article there).

How often do you guys release issues, and how long are they?
Once a month, 8-12 pages.

Yeah, we're pretty proud of the fact that - though we have some problems - we still produce like 20 times as much yearly content as any other school paper in the district.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
I hate to say it, but I'm not sure what makes this any different than most school shootings? I do have a pretty well-formed opinion about Columbine though...

Oh, I just picked it because it was something recent.
 

Random

Didn't **** any of those *****es
Once a month, 8-12 pages.

Yeah, we're pretty proud of the fact that - though we have some problems - we still produce like 20 times as much yearly content as any other school paper in the district.

You should be my school once produce a paper 8 months late. No one ever read it
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Forgot to post the new ****:

The Shadow of Fear:
New Reports About Iran Cast Harsh Light On White House Rhetoric
By Moonmaster


In the past year or two, Iran has become a center of controversy once again. The nation's enrichment of uranium for (as they say) energy purposes, has led to calls for sanctioning of the nation. The inflammatory comments of it's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been constant fodder for the media. And the Bush administration has poured a considerable amount of effort into proving that Iran's intentions are devious and that swift action must be taken. President Bush has gone as far as using the phrase "World War III" in reference to the situation, in October.

The only problem with all this ballyhooing? Iran isn't making a bomb.

The national intelligence estimate released earlier this month states that, based off of current information, Iran ended it's nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003. This information directly contradicts Bush's apocalyptic rhetoric concerning the country's nuclear aspirations. While Ahmadinejad's words and actions certainly suggest hostility, the NIE report states that Iran won't even have the basic capability to begin making a nuclear weapon until well into the next decade.

According to National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, President Bush was informed in August that Iran may have suspended it's nuclear weapons program. That same month Bush used the phrase "nuclear holocaust" in reference to Iran and he made the infamous "World War III" comment two months later. While he did tone down his words in the following months, he continued to make provocative comments towards Iran and did not share the information with the public or even American allies. At the very least, Bush has been hyperbolically exaggerating and severely bending the truth - if not out and out lying - for months, about a subject of the gravest importance.

One cannot help but taste sour memories of the lies that were told about Iraq. Indeed, one of the primary arguments for the invasion of Iraq was the false notion that they were pursuing the purchase of uranium, something they hadn't even attempted since the 1980s. We can only be grateful that Iraq has given us a new sense of foresight and that a major component of the case for military action against Iran that the White House has obviously been building has been thwarted before it could ever be served to us as truth.

The disparity between Bush's words and the truth underlines the tactics that this administration has relied on since September 11th. It's about instilling the public with as much fear as possible, no matter how far from reality that fear may be. Whether it's a terrorist blowing up your house or a rogue nation shooting a nuke at your head, there's always some threat to push on the nation. We live in a culture of fear, where the media follows the government's lead and devotes hours of programming and millions of words to explaining to you why you and everyone you know could be killed at any moment.

And it's what's making us weak. Fear is what convinces us that the most arbitrary wars are worth fighting, that our civil liberties are worth throwing away, that other people's lives need to be sacrificed to supposedly preserve our safety. In this way, people like President Bush and Vice President Cheney demonstrate their real genius. Instead of forcing totalitarianism on the public, they've discovered that they can induce in the public a state of fearful resignation and make them accept control and injustice with a reassured smile.

The enemy is not Iran. It's not Al Quaeda. It's not Bush, or Hillary or anyone else in Washington. It's not that religion that you think is evil or that opposing political party who you think is killing America.

The enemy is the same enemy it's always been. Fear.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
The first of the last three articles of my high school newspaper career. I'm trying to cover a broad range of subjects that I've wanted to talk about for a while.


CAPITALISM DOESN'T WORK
And here's why

In America, we consider certain notions to be inherent and inalienable. Say something contrary and the nimble hands of society quickly label you and quarantine you from the good, sane citizens. War is a big one. Only useless hippie scum would suggest that war is often pointless and unnecessary. But I'd hazard a guess that nothing will earn you your status as a looney, America-hating, left-wing, Commie nutjob quite effectively as making the simple point that capitalism doesn't work.

And that's exactly what I'm doing. Because capitalism doesn't work. Say what you will, but the system is just plain flawed.

Everyday in America, someone is being layed off or screwed over or kept down by a privileged few who hold all the cards and have all the power. 40% of the world's wealth is held by 1% of the population. And that 1% routinely gets away with whatever they want in America with little more than a slap on the wrist. They ruin lives and treat people like cattle. They buy their way into every level of our government and send our soldiers to die in order to keep themselves in business.

In this way, capitalism is in opposition to America's basic values. When instituted, the first thing capitalism does is divide society into three parts: the low, the middle, and the high. And so there is always an inherently unequal society. But some will argue that the people at the bottom deserve to be there, that capitalism's greatest strength is that it rewards those with initiative, those who know how to compete. The problem is that in capitalism, there's always three classes, even if - hypothetically speaking - everyone was filled with all kinds of good old fashioned ambition. There'd still be a lower class and they'd still be dirt poor. Ask yourself: Have you and your family just been a bunch of slothful idiots for your entire lives? If you're middle class or lower, capitalism says yes, you must have. Being successful in this system isn't about being more ambitious or a better person or a harder worker. Initiative wasn't what got that 1% where they are. Capitalism rewards dishonesty and viciousness.

I don't know, this all just seems so obvious to me. But I'm in the minority. That's because capitalism does an excellent job of hiding just how bad of a system it is. The message is hammered in over and over again that, thanks to capitalism, anyone can be successful in America. I hate to be the pessimist here, but the life of any average America would tell you that this isn't true. But capitalism is good for America in general though, right? This where "Reaganomics" or trickle-down economics comes in. It's a theory that if you let the rich prosper, their wealth will be reinvested into society and everyone will benefit. It was designed to take full advantage of one of the biggest hidden mechanisms of capitalism: the visibility and influence of the rich. The poor are always invisible to general society. You will always be far more concerned with Paris Hilton than that homeless man you pass on the street. You may think that that's wrong, but you can't deny that it's true. The general atmosphere of the nation will always be most highly influenced by the well being of the upper class. In short, if the rich are doing well, then all of America must be doing great. America becomes confident in how rich and powerful it is and the middle class can forget that they're living under a system that leaves so very many out in the cold to die.

The rich control the country through media and information. Essentially, the media is entirely owned by about six massive corporations. They tow the line, and make sure that any alternative to capitalism is equatable to Satanism. They're telling us what to think. And we can't even represent ourselves because you can't run for public office unless you have the money. They've had us beat from the start.

If this sounds like "class warfare" then yeah, it is. I don't like the rich and I don't trust them. I can't stand to see so much concentrated into the hands of so few, while so many live with nothing. It's not right.

I see no benefit in capitalism other than to that upper class. I'm not saying other economic systems aren't flawed, but there's got to be something better than this. But I doubt that the American people will ever make a stand against it. That's capitalism's greatest weapon: the dangling dream of success, no matter how far out of reach it is.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
The new ****.

HAIL TO THE THIEF
An Early Retrospective of 8 Years in Bush's America


Recently, the wonderful gift of the cell phone camera gave us a glimpse of a priceless scene that would have went otherwise unposted on YouTube if it hadn't occurred the glorious year of 2008. At the Gridiron dinner in March - a rather unsettling annual event where Washington journalists gladly hobknob with the people they're supposed to be reporting on - President Bush sang, yes sang, a country-themed ballad that delivered an early farewell to those invited to the dinner. The song was filled with references to the "highlights" of his presidency. Here's a sampling: "I spent my days clearing brush/I clear my head of all the fuss/But the fuss you made over harriet and brownie/Down the lane I look and here comes Scooter/Finally free of the prosecutor...Down the lane I look, Dick Cheney is strolling/With documents he'd been withholding." See, he's talking about that time he made a guy the head of FEMA and then that guy completely bungled the rescue efforts when Hurricane Katrina happened and thousands of people died. That was pretty funny. And the Scooter line is a reference to the time the Bush administration blackmailed a CIA agent and tried to destroy her life and career because her husband spoke out against them. Really hilarious. And Dick Cheney hiding documents and being dishonest to the American people, wow, the laughs just keep coming. I'm so glad someone finds this all so funny.

I'm afraid most of the country isn't in on the joke, though. In fact, most of the country is pretty dissatisfied with President Bush, as I'm sure I don't have to tell you. Since Mr. Bush is already taking a fond look back at his presidential career, let's take a look back ourselves and decide if things have really been as rosy and fun as Bush seems to think they are.

After a career in the oil industry, George W. Bush served as the governor of Texas. He decided to run for president in 1999, and was matched primarily against current Republican nominee John McCain. His campaign against McCain was vicious, particularly in his targeting of McCain's family. The general election ended in a notorious dispute between Bush and Al Gore over who actually won. Bush was elected on the basis of having won the electoral college, but failed to actually win the majority of the votes. Though this is technically protected by the Constitution, many claimed that Bush had stolen the presidency and became disenfranchised with the political process.

As president, Bush started a taxcut program that mainly benefited the wealthy, and the divide between the rich and the poor has only increased under his watch. Corporate favoritism has become a staple of the Bush presidency, with attempts at privatization of Social Security and further privatization of healthcare. Despite the basic economic policies of his party, Bush managed to increase federal spending 26% in just the first four years of his presidency and drove the national debt to $8.3 trillion.

He passed the No Child Left Behind Act, which put an emphasis in education on testing rather than actual teaching. Essentially, schools teach to the standardized test in order to maintain their funding and the children suffer the consequences. Bush has questioned global warming and fought environmental efforts, which no doubt has something to do with his ties to the oil industry. Bush made a habit of putting inexperienced friends in important positions, with (literally) disastrous results: the government's mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts were mainly due to FEMA head Michael Brown, whose previous job was head of the Arabian Horse Association.

Despite all this, Bush's worst offenses as president may be those centering on the so-called war on terror. Preying on public attitudes after the September 11th attacks, Bush blundered us into Iraq on mostly false evidence. By the time it was realized that there were in fact no weapons of mass destruction in the country, it was already too late. The war was already in full gear. The war itself has been perpetrated with little skill: the country is, to this day, in an absolute tumult, and despite the recent surge, the country is still far from a functioning government of its own. Well past 4,000 U.S. and Coalition soldiers have died and a study last year estimated that over 1 million Iraqis have been killed since 2003.

At home, he's used the war to strip Americans of their rights. The infamous Patriot Act is essentially the early stages of totalitarianism in the name of security, an attempt at taking away every last shred of privacy and dissent that the public has. Bush's extensive wiretapping program has come under fire and the administration has protected all such efforts and tried to hide them from the people. The CIA has detained hundreds of people from America and elsewhere at the military base in Guantanamo Bay, never allowing the prisoners due legal process and often subjecting them to what are clearly acts of torture, despite how the government has tried to bill them as "enhanced interrogation techniques." And if that's not enough, the CIA has built secret prisons overseas where surely far more awful things happen to whoever the government decides they don't like.

I'd keep going, but I'm afraid that there isn't enough room in one article to detail all of the offenses of Bush's administration.

Time and time again, Bush and his administration have run to one defense, that they will be "judged by history". The absurd notion that, somehow, years from now, the events of this presidency will not seem so utterly disastrous, that the war will be viewed as a noble endeavor and that Bush will be hailed as a great leader. While it's certain that he will be noted extensively in the historical record - he's not even out of office and director Oliver Stone is already working on a film about him, titled with comic simplicity "W" - it will be for all the reasons that he deserves to be noted for.

He will be viewed not as a heroic leader in tragic times but someone who exploited post-9/11 unity and sensitivity and parlayed it towards his own aspirations. He will be viewed not as a liberator of nations but a warmonger who lied his way into a conflict that benefited no one but himself and his associates. He will be viewed not as a man who upheld the rights and values of the American people, but a man who violated and perverted them at every turn, pushing the poor to the fringes of society while serving the rich, spying on and suppressing the American people and desecrating the Constitution in the name of fear, sending young men and women to die in the Middle East, and overseeing some of the most disgusting human rights abuses ever seen in American history. History has been written, Mr. Bush, judgment has already been passed: you had your opportunity to serve your country or even to be a decent human being and to put it very, very lightly, you blew it.

Some would say that blaming George Bush as a lone perpetrator is unfair, and they'd probably be correct. It is possible, in fact quite likely, that Bush is more or likely a figurehead. It's obvious that his presidency was planned years in advance by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, and the rest of the big neo-conservative thinkers, but the fact of the matter is that even if, during the meetings, Bush sits in the corner playing with LEGOs while the grown-ups talk, his passivity is it's own crime. He's the president. Allowing others to run the country into the ground when you have all the power in the world to stop them is simply inexcusable.

As terrible of a president as he's been, and as negatively as I view him, I must confess: I may miss Bush. In January, when he's out of office and a new and likely better president is in office, I'll feel a twinge of sadness in his absence. I'm used to his presence, having a faithful target, a constant agitator, my generation's very own Richard Nixon. Much of my political outlook has been formed merely in reaction to his policies. And I won't be alone. The left-wing pundits will become happier and more complacent. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and all the other political humorists will be left with an empty void where Bush jokes used to be. I fear that, without Bush's administration, I might become less interested in politics. Bush's incompetency, the shared experience of living in his America gave the country something to talk about, to argue about, to get angry about, to laugh about, to care about. Maybe he was a "uniter, not a divider". So yeah, I think I'll probably miss George W. Bush.

But not very much.

See ya around Dubya. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
After a career in the oil industry, George W. Bush served as the governor of Texas. He decided to run for president in 1999, and was matched primarily against current Republican nominee John McCain. His campaign against McCain was vicious, particularly in his targeting of McCain's family. The general election ended in a notorious dispute between Bush and Al Gore over who actually won. Bush was elected on the basis of having won the electoral college, but failed to actually win the majority of the votes. Though this is technically protected by the Constitution, many claimed that Bush had stolen the presidency and became disenfranchised with the political process.

"Technically protected"?

You make it sound like he was elected due to a loophole. It's not a "technical" protection - that's the way it works. Case closed.
 

moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
The point is that it's ****ed up and most people didn't know how ****ed up the process was and that their vote might not count until the election happened. That's when they figured out that America is far less of a Democracy than they realized. It happened again a few months back when everyone had to learn what a superdelegate is.
 
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moonmaster

Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Yeah, that's what people don't know.

Because we're told over and over again that we live in a Democracy and no one bothers to ask if that's actually, you know, true.
 

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