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The Bear Flag Republic

Bear News" "We "We Bear News" Volume Edition2, 3Edition 3

January 2010 May22, 15, 2009

Tinsley Transfer Question Tabled

Sunshine -Pancho Villa, Georges Danton When walking into the Menlo Park branch of InnVision, a program that provides the homeless with housing and other services, your first impression would probably be similar to ours. To us, the building seemed disheveled, bleak, even dreary. The sparsely decorated walls, the threadbare furniture – everything about the place reeked of a type of suffering we weren’t accustomed to. But to one of the residents, known as Sunshine, InnVision is the best thing that has ever happened to her– a glimpse of hope in a life otherwise tormented by abuse. By looking at her, it would be impossible to tell that Sunshine is the mother of eight children, and a survivor of child

Pancho Villa

molestation, rape, physical and mental abuse from her mother and husbands, a severe head injury, homelessness, and several murder attempts. In fact, in no way does her appearance reflect the level of devastation in her life. Sunshine seems bright and amiable, appearing much younger than her actual forty years. If she told you she

-Georges Danton In 2006 the Menlo Park City School District placed a $91.1 million bet on a projection that fell through, and now the Board of Education is scrambling to find a way to salvage its master plan. In light of the ensuing crisis in the district, superintendent Kenneth Ranella proposed four options last month to the board, one of which includes cutting all new students from transfer programs- like the Tinsley Transfer Program that allows East Palo Alto residents “of color” to attend school in Menlo Park, and the inter-district transfer program that allows teacher’s children to

Dear Reader, It is, as you can most likely tell, that wonderful time of year again- there is yet another edition of the Bear Flag Republic! We hope your winter break has rendered you rested and ready for the horrors still yet to come (disregarding our senior class, who has already survived most horrors and are now in a state of enviable relaxation). The first semester is over, our new year’s resolutions haven’t yet dissolved into a weight-gaining, poor grade-receiving, organization-failing mess, and optimism still has a feeble hold on student morale (cheer up, at least we had MLK day, right?). Though we face a rather daunting climate of fading vigor and sleep deprivation, the staff of the Bear Flag Republic asks you to fight this energy vacuum and speak up! I will keep our request brief, as it is one we repeat with irritating enthusiasm, but please consider what we ask. It can probably be safely assumed that you have ideas- why not give us a try and get them out there? Or, if you are one of the many who prefer not to create but to criticize, why not get your angry smackdowns on paper (if they are not libelous, which we will be legally accountable for)? We can’t call ourselves a student-representative publication until we hear from the students. So help us out, and speak! But for now, enjoy the Bear Flag Republic edition sitting before you, contemplate following in the footsteps of our few but valued contributors, and meditate on the many things you will inevitably want to tell us or submit as a published piece. And for those of you who will soon be scoffing and declaiming about how much we suck? Keep in mind that you can change it at any time. It’s your paper too, moron.

As always, The Bear Flag Republic Editorial Staff Contact us: -Facebook Profile under John Charles Fremont


Worst Christmas Gifts Ever -Pancho Villa -Illustrations by Amy

Christmas for a Jew

Earrings for unpierced ears - it's like buying rings for people without hands

-Sam Hausman 10:00 am- Wake up and realize IT’S CHRISTMAS!!! Run to the living room to see what Santa left under the tree.

Duct tape wallet - wow… homemade… how…… ..thoughtful…

10:01 am- Arrive in living room. See no tree, remember you’re Jewish. 10:02 am- Finish crying. Eat dry cereal (can’t get milk because all the stores are closed). Rinse down with piles of leftover gelt (chocolate) from Chanukah. Hand-knit sweaters - just STOP

11:00 am- See Sherlock Holmes. Get your pick of seats. It’s too cold in the theater; kvetch (complain) to the manager for a few minutes. 1:00 pm- Leave the theater before the Christians come. Get home faster than usual.

Ferret day-planner - I am now treated daily to a new flawlessly dressed and cavorting ferret….makes my day

1:13 pm- Use the extra time to stare into space. 2:13 pm- After texting Joel and Rachael, give up on the idea that people will be free. Watch the Notebook. 2:59 pm- Cry. AP study books - Christmas is over A puppy - really shouldn’t be in a box

3:42 pm- Stare into space for another hour. 4:43 pm- Drive to Su Hong. On the way over, get pretty excited about using the Su Hong gift card Sheila got you for Chanukah. 4:44 pm- Excitement dies. 4:58 pm- Arrive at Su Hong. Eat fried rice.

The complete works of Carrot-Top - worst family heirloom ever A dreidle - thanks Grandma, but I’m not going to convert A box from Justin Timberlake - WOAH NOT OKAY (well……it’s kind of okay) 0


7:00 pm- Return home. Watch the Notebook again. 7:03 pm- Cry as much as the first time. 7:04 pm- The Notebook’s opening credits end. 8:58 pm- Go to bed early. Have no visions of sugarplums. [Editor’s Note: Sugarplum fairies occur on Christmas Eve. My Jewish writer doesn’t know better] 0

Sunshine (continued from pg 1) had just graduated from high school, you’d probably believe her. In many ways the world had been unkind to her, yet somehow not a single abuse clouds her youthful face; she believes it is because “the Lord carried [her] through it all.” We met Sunshine by accident. We took it as a coincidence, while she, on the other hand, is certain that it was a matter of fate – that we were destined to cross paths and share her story. Putting out her cigarette, and sitting down with us on a disheveled wooden bench, Sunshine made it clear to us that, even from the very beginning, her life was never idyllic. Born the youngest of four girls, her mother rejected her at the delivery table, wishing her newly born daughter had been a son. However, she marks the beginning of her thirtythree years of abuse not with her mother’s rejection, but with the death of her father, one of the few family members ever to support her. At seven years old, Sunshine watched as her father shot himself in the head, and died in her arms. Tragedy beyond this is inconceivable, but for Sunshine, his suicide was only the beginning. A full-blooded Fijian, Sunshine explained to us that she was expected to consent to an arranged marriage at the age of

fifteen. When she refused, her mother attacked her out of rage and chased her with a meat cleaver. At this point in the story, we couldn’t help but stare. Almost more disturbing than the content of her story was the way none of it seemed to faze her anymore – how nonchalantly she had mentioned her mother running at her with a knife. But she ignored our shocked expressions and continued, describing how the added pressures of high school eventually overwhelmed her to the point of dropping out. “It’s important to finish school,” she urges, “If God was to come and change back the hands of time, [I would] finish high school and join the military. It’s what I could’ve done, wanted to do, but I didn’t.” So instead, at the age of eighteen, Sunshine was emancipated from her mother and living on her own. Over the course of several years, Sunshine met and married her two ex-husbands, as well as an ex-fiancée, having a total of eight children with the three men. She watched as her first husband turned to drugs and alcohol and came at her with a shotgun– tolerated her second husband trying to kill her as well– and stayed even when each one at some point had beaten down and raped her. What choice did she have? As a high school dropout with no family

to turn to, Sunshine needed the financial support of a husband. So she endured. “Last year, around this time, my third ex beat me down,” continues Sunshine, “I was in so much pain…He threw me down to the street, and I fell flat on my back and busted my head open.” When she reaches this point of her story, for the first and only time her voice breaks, and for a fleeting moment it seems as if she might cry. “I’m blessed to say I’m alive,” she concludes, and as quickly as it came the moment is gone. Due to the severity of the injuries to her head, Sunshine spent an extensive amount of time in the hospital and in recovery, consequently losing her job. Homeless and jobless, she returned to her mother’s house, where her mother proceeded to lock her in the basement because of her disapproval of Sunshine’s religious beliefs. For two weeks she was down there with no food and no sunlight, until at long last the police showed up and released her from her mother’s captivity. No one knows how the police learned of Sunshine’s imprisonment; she believes they were sent by the Lord. After a brief stay at Safe Harbor, an emergency housing facility in South San Francisco, Sunshine finally ended up at the Menlo Park InnVision, where she has experienced the first ten abuse-free months of her life in thirty-three years.

Cafeteria Review -Private Joker There is a room that few use. There is a room larger than two classrooms towering into the sky. There is a room that, before construction, was boasted to be useful. This room, of course, is our new-fangled “cafeteria.” Let’s talk for a second what we can do with this cafeteria. We can sit in the highly limited space (when it’s open). We can have medium sized events no larger than 200 or so people. We can also collect dust, lots and lots of dust. We cannot, however, buy food. It’s a pointless room, an abyss that could have added class space in an already space-deprived school. Had the architect gone for usefulness in his design of the performing arts center, he might have designed four stacked classrooms, he might have designed an actual cafeteria, he might have designed anything other than the empty floor that has been loosely filled with chairs. Oh well, there is always the next massive building to try to make useful. Grade: F 0


Sunshine (continued from pg 3) For a woman with literally nothing to her name, Sunshine doesn’t ask for much – only for her advice to be heard and her story to be shared. “If you’re blessed to go to school, take advantage of it,” she says. “Go to college,” she advises, “At least graduate high school. Get your career going. Don’t worry about the relationships –it’ll come.” Her advice is so simple- we’ve heard it a million times- yet somehow hearing her say it, given her circumstances, has much more bearing. When she speaks with her children, who all still live with their fathers, she uses herself as an example. “I may not be there to tuck you in at night, to make your breakfast, or see you off to school,” she tells them, “But when you’re at school and you’re struggling and you just

Wasted Space


think ‘wow I just can’t do this no more,’ God’s going to put my picture before you on your desk, so you can remember the struggles and abuse I’ve been through, and how important it is to finish school and make something of your life.” All of her children are honor roll students. Sunshine looks down at the remains of her half-smoked cigarette; the glowing embers have long since gone out. We’ve been sitting on that bench for almost an hour, listening to her talk. InnVision is only a few short blocks away from M-A, but we couldn’t imagine a life so drastically different from ours. “Enjoy being a kid- enjoy it,” says Sunshine, “I never had that chance to be a kid…I became an adult so quick, I never had that life.”

-Private Joker

As Sunshine continues talking, the real sun shines overhead for a brief moment, illuminating the dew on the grass below our feet, and the scratches on the bench, and the quiet beauty of the tree above our heads. It was a very pretty day. When we asked her, she admits that she does not yet have a clear idea of the next steps she will take after finishing at InnVision. Most would falter at the thought of such an uncertain future, but Sunshine smiles; she looks so young. “I have so much trust in the Lord,” she says, “I mean – I don’t got nothing except my clothes – that’s it. But I got so much trust in God that he will provide everything, and he has because I’m finally in a safe place.” 0

Poems "Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary." -Kahlil Gibran Parent's Gift


Open Your mind For mine Is shut

… Smile whenever you need to. Smile whenever you want to. When it rains,

Save Your world For mine Is dying

smiles, big ones small ones, white ones, silver ones, mines, yours, hers, his. We

Cure Your sickness For mine Is rampant

smile for the sun. When she’s sick, smile for her health. Life should be full of

should all smile. Smiling sometimes sets us apart from other people. My heart beats north as my mind trails south. Grasses are blue and skies are green, rivers are white, clouds look obscene. To be normal is to be ______ (you fill in the blank.)To me, no one is normal. But who am I, I’m just a teen, just like

Protect Your people For mine Don’t care Build A nation For mine Is shattered Solve All problems For mine Are yours

you. Being unique, special or even weird gives humans the opportunity to act unlike one another. Individualism separates him from “that group” and her from “those people”. So in the end just keep smiling… And if you’re one of the few people who have nothing to smile for, keep thinking… But just know that

I’ll be smiling for you.

-Eddie Lowe

-Private Joker

My Life In a Nutshell My life in a nutshell is this and that It’s up and down, It’s tit for tat. My life in a nutshell is up in the air, It’s here, It’s there, it’s everywhere. My life in a nutshell is just plain crazy, It’s stupid, brilliant, and totally me. My life in a nutshell is as big as the sky, As an ocean, a planet, and I don’t know why You would ever try to fit

my life in a nutshell. -Georges Danton


Twinkle Twinkle Little Star A star can not, Does not, Will not describe you A star is small, And twinkling, And distant You are solid, tangible, here.

That your lips move between existence And not, when you speak. And your hands miss keys on the key board Because just at the point of impact Your fingers are not there

That when i dance with you, You leave my arms Grasping at nothing But the vacuum of your body. A star blinks in and out of space. Just for a moment. A poet would have me know That you disappear ten times a second And that you will be here, And gone, And return at the same rate A thousand more times before we are done, Like the star i wish on for you to stay.

h Phone


I await a call Of grave importance In four years I’ll forget this call In four years I’ll forget the drama But my nerves are shot The music plays I await a call -Private Joker

-Georges Danton

Poems Sea

"Poetry is what gets lost in translation." -Robert Frost h The Greatest Beast h A Leap

The song of sea foam’s symphony A balm to wounded ear A breath that stirs the very stars Is steady, without fear The sea, in all its shyness, shines so white and soft and clear The best of what is yours was always here A tiny house of maiden’s blue Observes the gulls in flight The cliffs below its gentle walls Resist the ocean’s might And as the slowly draping day folds neatly into night The words you thought would kill you save your light And in this place where pebbles cry As loudly as the sea And soul alone will seek a home Amongst the lost debris When all the people’s lonely sighs are burdens by decree In darkness there is peace to which you flee -Anonymous


In the Start At the bright light of creation There were no questions As the universe came together As things began to exist There was no speculation When all manner of beast and faerie Burst from the passage of time Things merely were as they were But at the birth of man Man, the darkest some, Then these sounds came forth Before, all creatures understood They are what they are And nothing more or less Man however Invented a great many labels And defined all of existence When man looks back To the stellar start of time And demands answers Laugh, just laugh For man created the question -Private Joker

In my dreams I leap High into the air Caught by gentle breeze I keep floating through the air The world bends It twists And turns Trees move to either side But it will ever be a jump I cannot claim to fly And in my dreams I fall Hurtling To The ground -Private Joker

Tinsley Transfer Question Tabled (continued from pg 1) attend the school where they teach. Another possibility includes opening up a whole new school, and yet another calls for increasing class sizes. While eliminating Tinsley students would alleviate the enrollment problem with little cost and without increased class sizes, there has been a strong show of support for keeping the program which represents not only an opportunity for better education for students living in the notoriously underperforming Ravenswood School District, but the only meaningful diversity in Menlo Park schools. It turns out that nobody can predict the future. But unfortunately for Tom Williams, the Menlo Park City School District hired him to do just that. As the consultant who advised the district on the number of enrolling students in years to come, he was essentially asked to predict how many babies would be born. As early as 2005 he made projections for the 2013 school year. The kindergarteners, who usually enter school at the age of five, for the 2010 through 2013 school years would not be born for up to three years. As it turns out, he undershot by almost ten percent how many students would be attending local schools this year, and new projections predict still more increases in students until they peak in 2013. The ninety-one million dollars Measure U secured in facility bonds were intended to manage attendance at

the three elementary schools in the district- Laurel, Encinal, and Oak Knoll. If students continue to pour in, however, all of the new facilities and classrooms built in the district with Measure U money will be inadequate before they are finished because they were not intended to serve so many children. This year there were 1,851 elementary students across all eight grades, already more than the buildings are designed to handle, and in the next three years the number may grow by another 145 total. This may not seem like a lot, but consider that the target class size is 20 to 24 kids depending on the grade level. That means more than a full seven new classes to handle within three years. That means seven new teachers and seven new classrooms, not to mention the facilities for lunch, recreation, and other classes like art and music. In many districts schools receive a certain amount of money per student enrolled. Here however, schools are funded by a property tax that has no correlation to enrollment. They receive the same amount of money to educate 500 students as they would for 100. That means the more students, the less money is spent on each one. This, combined with expansion costs and recession economics, could have a poor effect on performance. Ravenswood school district, on the other hand,

gets money for each student, which means that, for every child it loses to the Tinsley Transfer program, funding is removed from the system. Taking away the program would not hurt either school district, but for the students left with no outlet for safe and high quality education it could make all the difference. In 1976 Margaret Tinsley joined a group of 34 parents in suing eight mid-peninsula school districts. The case claimed that the districts were geographically segregated, with mostly minorities in the Ravenswood City School District. This segregation denied equal education rights to those minority students attending Ravenswood schools. The parents who came from East Palo Alto to join the trial wanted equal opportunity for their children, and the parents from Palo Alto wanted to make their schools more racially diverse. In 1986, after ten years of arbitration, the case was settled, thereby creating the Voluntary Transfer Program, now know as the Tinsley Transfer Program. Each year 166 students from East Palo Alto entering kindergarten get to enroll in participating school districts. Aside from Menlo Park, parents may apply to enroll their students in Palo Alto, BelmontRedwood Shores, Las Lomitas, Portola Valley, San Carlos or Woodside. Redwood City was also part of the original law suit, but has now reached a level of diversity that exempts the district from continued transfers. Because Menlo Park is so close to East Palo Alto, and thus easy to get to for students, it is a popular choice. The number of students each district takes was set as a part of the settlement. Menlo Park, having a relatively (continued on pg 10)


Cornell Notes Private Joker Bear Flag Republic 1/20/10 4°

-What are Cornell Notes?

-Does anybody make you use them?

-How do I take Notes?

At the start of this year, it was strongly suggested to teachers to use Cornell notes (please see companion article). Before anything else, I should explain Cornell notes. The system is relatively simple, the page is divided into three sections. The right (which makes up the majority of the page) is for raw note taking, where you transcribe what the teacher is saying and note things that will be on the test. The left is for writing questions for yourself and marking key points. The bottom is for summarizing the notes at home when you go back over the notes. The system allows for students to better organize their studying, and to thus achieve higher grades in school. It’s a wonderful strategy, and it works very well for some people. For students who do not have good note taking strategies, it provides an excellent base from which to build their own note-taking strategies. I think it’s an excellent idea for incoming freshmen to be required to try the note-taking strategy, and maybe even some sophomore classes that are struggling more than others. But imagine my surprise as I walked into a second semester senior class and found myself required to take notes in a way that does not suit my learning style, and to even have class time taken up as the teacher uses swaths of instruction to make us write questions on six lines of notes. I was disgusted. Instead of spending five minutes actually learning the few vocab words that were brought up, we were truly achieving nothing. 10% of my class was wasted. Some people simply don’t do notes well when they are restricted and forced to conform, as many students need space to expand notes in their own style. Stopping and drawing lines on a piece of paper doesn’t help, and by now they have figured out what is good for them. If a student doesn’t know how to take notes by second semester senior year, they can simply do what every teacher always offers: come back after class and get help. If a student approaches a teacher, then it is a good time to bring up Cornell notes. Not in class, not wasting instruction time. As I mentioned before, every teacher is asked to try Cornell notes and have all their students use them too. Some teachers just ignore this, some teachers require just enough Cornell instruction to escape the gaze of our administrators, and some teachers require the entire class to conform. As for me, I choose not to use the note taking style of a Cornell professor from the 50’s. I use my own shorthand and style of pointing out vocab and key points. When I review my notes, I don’t summarize; I learn because I know that any of the information I have written down may be on the test. But do what’s good for you, Cornell or no Cornell, because in this case, the end justifies the means- if you learn, it doesn’t matter how.

Cornell Confusion:: The exact nature of our schools involvement with Cornell notes is unclear. Many teachers feel that they need to be consistently using Cornell notes, or at the very least trying to (often times these teachers are not yet tenured). Other teachers deign the note taking style too unnecessary to spend class time on. The confusion comes from a staff meeting in which Principle Zito expressed his desire to implement the note taking practice; some teachers took this as an instruction, some teachers took this a suggestion, and still other teachers most likely were not even paying attention and thinking about their lesson plans. The result is a mixed policy on campus (along with the board structure and assignment logs, enforced by some teachers, ignored by others). We, as students, can view the administrationsuggested teaching resources in two ways: either as routines that we may have to endure, or as teaching tools that we might learn from. 0


HELP WANTED (we may or may not be losing a senior staff member)

¨ ¨ ¨ ¨ ¨

Are you… A reasonably talented writer? Unstoppably opinionated? Intelligent? A good runner? Able to keep secrets?

If you checked off at least three of the above items, you are eligible to join the BFR team! If you are interested in joining our staff, please send us an email or Facebook message (without telling your friends about it, genius). Facebook profile: John Charles Fremont Email:


Tinsley Transfer Question Tabled (continued from pg 7) high population accepts 24 transfer students each year. That is a whole extra kindergarten class. Not all students remain in the program, for whatever reason some drop. And for each student that drops, an extra one is added the following year to the kindergarten class in a process called ‘backfilling.’ This year an abnormally high twelve kids left the program, so next years incoming Tinsley students will total 36. This number is exasperating the school’s population problem and led the controversial option of suspending new students from entering the program for five to eight years until the population reduces again. It does not mention siblings of current transfer students, who are usually accepted so as not to create the hardship of sending a family to two different schools. In his original proposal Mr. Ranella coupled this option with suspending the transfers of teacher’s children. Young teachers who expect to start families do not make enough money to live within the Menlo Park school district. Usually their plan is to live in a more affordable neighborhood, knowing that their child will still receive an excellent education because of their teaching position. Even though an email sent out earlier this week by Mr. Ranella to parents (summarizing modified options for the enrollment problem) made it clear that the inter-district


transfers would only be suspended for staff members who began teaching after 2010, the idea still drives away young teachers. Young teachers are paid less than more experienced ones, so this proposal could have the side effect of increasing teacher payroll. Along with his adjustments to the teacher’s children program, Mr. Ranella re-thought his Tinsley recommendation. Instead of suspending new transfers completely he now recommends that they allow in the designated number of students, but not the backfill and that they reassess this decision each year. Despite the acknowledgement that “suspending the Tinsley Program may not be supported by the Community,” the idea does have some distinct advantages over the other proposals. First of all it is cheap. What better way to manage the population than by having less kids? The other options all deal with expansion- an expensive proposition to a school board that just recently spent so much money in the last wave of expansion. One calls for each school to expand with its enrollment boundaries remaining the same- renting portables and hiring new teachers as needed. Another suggests opening up a whole new school at the O’Conner Campus, formerly the German School located in the Willow neighborhood. The German School leases the O’Conner Campus from the Menlo Park City School District, so the combined loss of income and additional cost

of running the school would total an estimated $600,000 without modernizing the grounds. It is important to note that the Tinsley program does not produce an improvement in the test scores of Tinsley students as compared to other children in Ravenswood schools. According to the 2000 to 2001 Tinsley Compliance Report, the average Tinsley Student’s Academic Performance index was 645, 155 points below the state target. The program does not require improvement, only diversity. Only students “of color” are eligible to apply for the transfer. A comparable number of “white” students could, if they so chose, transfer into the Ravenswood School district. Since 1986 two white students have opted in, while over one thousand students of color have taken the opportunity. Aside from opportunity, the main reason that parents apply for their children to go to another school district is safety. Students waiting for the Tinsley bus to come have been threatened with knives by Ravenswood Students. While the schools are unable to do anything about events occurring off campus, it appears to be the hope of parents that they can protect their children from being involved with activities that they see in their neighborhood, like gangs and drugs, by sending them to Menlo Park or one of the other school districts away from home. Some parents and staff members think this alone is reason enough to continue with the program. Others site the need for racial diversity in otherwise homogenous schools. In any case, popular opposition to the proposal has tabled the discussion until further notice. 0

Activities Flow Chart for the Menlo-Atherton Spring Semester -Citizen Kane Note: The following flow chart may cause mild to severe annoyance, self-righteousness, or indignation. Please refrain from reading if you suffer from any of the following conditions: high blood pressure, enthusiasm for the activity of your choice, heart disease, pregnancy, self-respect, or motion sickness. The intent is to amuse rather than offend B.F.R. readers, so please take into account the fact that we dearly love M-A and hold all of its various opportunities in the highest respect. 0

Boom Boom Sellout?

-Private Joker

2009 marked many historic events. The first black President. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. A couple people died. But it also marked the fastest selling song ever, “Boom Boom Pow”, an electro-hop song by the Black Eyed Peas describing how they got that future beat. Essentially they are cooler than us, and we gotta listen to their “rock and roll, that future flow” (I would like to note there is no rock and roll anywhere in the song). It’s a decent song, I’ll give it that, it’s good at dances and can pump you up every now and again, if you get past the self-serving lyrics. But what pisses me off is where the song came from. The Black Eyed Peas, in their previous album Monkey Business, released a song called “They Don’t Want Music”, lampooning the audiences that don’t want true music, but rather “boom boom boom”. Four years later they released Boom Boom Pow. They criticized a form of music due to its simplicity and lack of artistic value, and then shortly adopted the music. It doesn’t often bother me to have bands change direction, try new genres, branch out a little, but when they contradict themselves and adopt a style of music that matches none of the previous values of the band, it just looks like selling out. 0


Fight Club Reference Corner

I am Jack’s appendix.

I do nothing at all until I inflame and he dies.

Health Bulletin Corner: Resolutions You may not even realize it, but thousands of people every year are afflicted by a most grievous sense of determination and drive to achieve the things they want. These goals for the new year, or “resolutions,” as they’re often called, work their way through the victim’s brain and warp all the things that were previously grounded in reality, causing a sense of dangerous overconfidence and a strange, euphoric sensation that experts call “hope.” The result? Terrifying behavior from the people we thought we knew. “My friend caught resolutions and it was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen,” recalls one student. “She had all these weird reactions… trying hard in school, eating well, working out… It was like my best friend was gone. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.” Luckily, this condition is not fatal or permanent- by March, most people who come into contact with the resolutions virus have returned to their lazy, piglike, ignorant, unmotivated, slobbish, normal state. But if you see a friend or loved one acting in a hopeful manner, you may be able to delay or even stop the virus from spreading by giving them a dose of reality and a smack in the face. So dash their hopes, Bears, or you could be next.


Cult Corner: Osho and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's Communities “Life is now and here.” “Do not swim – float.” “To become a nothingness is the door to truth.” Such are the teachings of the mighty Osho and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's Communities, a group of new age enlightened men and women living life by praying through love. Their leader, Osho, in 1981 took a vow of silence and only communicated heart to heart with his subjects. Three years later he resumed speaking due to the inconvenience of teaching without a form of expression. This wonderful cult may seem like the ideal place for you to get in touch with your inner ego, but before you do, here are some fun facts about the history of the cult led by a man who considers himself to be a god. In 1984 the cult became United States bioterrorists when they poisoned hundreds with salmonella in order to rig a local election. When the leader, Osho, was deported in 1985 for immigration fraud, the cult was found to own 93 custom-made Rolls Royces. All the cults’ lieutenants were charged with crimes ranging from wire tapping to attempted murder. So next time you try to pick up one of Osho’s hundreds of books (based of recordings of his teachings) think about how selfless and humble he was in his life. “Never obey anyone's command unless it is coming from within you also” still sounds pretty awesome to me.

Youtube Corner “Strange Noises and Faces I Can Make” When reviewing the fine art and achievement of YouTube, “Strange Noises and Faces I Can Make” does not score very high. However, in terms of pure hilarity and uncontrollable laughter, the video gets the highest ratings. Don’t expect much, for the title says it all; the video is nothing but a long introduction and then several different faces and sounds that the actor can make. Every single one will have you falling off your chair. I’m not joking, I fell off my chair the first time I saw it. The introduction is especially funny, as the actor’s lackadaisical attitude and disdain for his own video cause you to believe that it will simply be another lame video diary. Then your mind is blown. I can’t even describe how impossible it is to describe the faces and noises; all I can do is suggest that you watch it. You won’t regret it, and it’s only two minutes of your life.

Bear Flag Republic: Volume 2, Edition 3  
Bear Flag Republic: Volume 2, Edition 3  

The third edition of the second year of the Bear Flag Republic.