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February 22March 5, 2010

Bloomington-Normal’s free independent newspaper

Vol. 9, No. 7

Tax Advice

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Women in Metal

PG 4

Peace Strategy

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Unofficial

PG 7

In the Indy

THE THOUGHTS YOU NEED, EVERY TWO WEEKS

Are the US Education System and Universities a Cause of Obesity in America?

Joe W. Freelance Contributer

Go to the mall or look down the street. You can see it, we all see it. Obesity is on the

rise in America, often labeled an epidemic, and it’s not just prevalent in adults, children are ever increasingly becoming obese. Obesity is not a stand-alone disease; it can often lead to heart disease and type II diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC), of children born in 2000, 1/3 of Caucasians and ½ of African Americans and Hispanics will have diabetes in their lifetime. Furthermore, the CDC continues in saying, “… most before they graduate high school.” Take that in for a minute; that means that anywhere from 40-45% of school-aged children today will be insulin-dependant within a decade. This isn’t

“childhood” or type I diabetes, this is type II or “adult-onset” diabetes, which historically afflicted middle-aged adults and older. So, the CDC give us these figures, but what could the cause be? Why is it that diabetes is affecting people sooner than ever? Heart disease, and more and more, diabetes are now accepted by the American medical community as a fact of getting older; why is it then that heart disease, diabetes and obesity are essentially unknown in most other countries? Likewise, what is causing what should be active, healthy children to contract type II diabetes? Surely, Wilford Brimley hasn’t been advertising to them for diabetes testing sup-

plies. No other generation in history has ever had to worry about diabetes at such a young age, and children in few other countries have to worry about diabetes… often at all during their lifetime. What makes this population different? What is making Americans more and more obese in general? There has got to be a reason. In 1946, President Harry Truman initiated the National School Lunch Program and since it achieved full realization in the 1970s, it has been the responsibility of the United States Department of Agriculture USDA), an organization established in the See Obesity on Page 3:

Running Out of Rooms

status never fazed me. I felt like being a second year was just like being a freshmen or junior. Then, a sudden realization: having my own apartment, with my own kitchen, my own bathroom and my own space, was a tangible reality for next year. Leaving the dorm life behind sounded so sweet- no more sharing cold shower water, eating Watterson food or sleeping on bunk beds. Picking up the Vidette one very boring afternoon, I was stupefied- out of their 10 page paper, there were literally 4 pages full of apartment advertisements, including the classifieds. The amount of promotions stunned me- I was clueless to the renting craze that was thrust upon me. Still, excited with the prospect

The Incurable Mess Bridget Baggot Indy Alum The hope that beamed from President Obama and the newly elected Democratic majority on his inauguration day has faded every day since. A year after his inauguration the optimism has been replaced by anger and disappointment. After a year of economic crisis and domestic decline, and despite the strongest president and largest democratic majority in decades, little has been done to improve our nation. Despite the $700 billion stimulus package, our economy remains in shambles. Despite a year of legislative effort, a serious health care reform bill remains impassable. Despite a Nobel Peace Prize, we have yet to see victory or a clear exit strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq. When we elected Obama we expected his first year in office to a repeat of JFK or FDR’s. We wanted sweeping social reforms and a new age of international cooperation. We wanted New Deal style economic programs that empowered the working class and created jobs for the unemployed. Neither has happened. Democrats have been unable to address even the smallest issues such as ending the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy in the armed forces and expanding the carbon credit program that began under Bush. We needed a year of rapid action, instead we got nothing. But this is not President Obama’s fault. It’s the fault of the Republicans in Congress, the pundits on Fox News and the phony populism of Sarah Palin and her tea baggers. This is the fault of the Democrats in Congress, who are far too fragmented and insecure. This is the

fault of us, the American people, who are unwilling to allow the strong government that is needed to usher in the change Obama promised. At least until these ills are addressed, Obama’s message of hope and change will be remembered as a false promise that resulted in only disappointment. The Republicans were shocked by the Obama election and the strong Democratic majority that we voted in last year. We sent a clear message that after eight years of fear mongering, wasteful spending and the neglect of domestic issues that we wanted change. The Republicans could have gone back to the drawing board and found new, conservative solutions to the nation’s problems. They could have worked with the Democratic majority to get things done. Instead they are sitting on their hands and doing everything possible to ensure that Obama fails. They have fought every proposed piece of legislation, even some policies such as Medicare expansion and cap and trade which they supported under Bush. The Republican strategy is simply to sit and wait until Obama fails. They are hopping that they can soon return to the good old days of Republican domination under Bush. Although they are silent in Congress, Republicans are screaming outside of it. Because they have not made the effort to develop their own alternative to Democratic polices, they are fo-

cusing all their energy on making every Democratic proposal seem radical and ridiculous. The Public Option to expand Medicaid was dubbed Stalinized medicine, complete with death panels and lies about how much the program would cost. Expanding civil rights to gay men and women was called an attempt to legalize bestiality and pedophilia. The Justice Department’s willingness to follow the Constitution and give accused terrorist a fair trial is being twisted into the paranoid message that Obama is inviting another 911. Any attempt to address global warming has been attached as being a left wing conspiracy. Fox News has gone from being a media network that leaned to the right, to being the full out bull horn of the Republican Party. Republicans have the right to challenge Democratic polices based on ideology and facts, but they are doing a disservice to the nation by using a corporate media outlet to tell the American people gross exaggerations and flat out lies. The only issue which the Republicans are currently addressing that isn’t tied to backlash over a Democratic bill is the issue of the nation debt. Our nation debt is nearing crisis levels, but Republicans are the wrong party to be addressing it. Republicans are now demanding that Obama See Mess on Page 3:

Jenna Brandon Indy Staff September, 2009. School started and I, like many of my other fellow students, was busy moving into our room, meeting new people on our floors and dishing 700 dollars for books. The first two weeks of classes came faster than I’d anticipated, and I was inundated with homework and quizzes. Another challenge came quicker and more complicated than my assigned projects and tests- an apartment for next semester. Sophomore

See No Rooms on Page 8:

Free Tax Advice Not from the IRS Casey Reynolds Indy Staff So here is a unique little thought for Tax Season, do your own! As April 15th looms ahead of us, some are already fearing deciding between the 1040 and the 1040ez. What do we do with all these little slips of paper (W-2s? 1098T? WTF!) and how do we make sure that we don’t have the IRS breathing down our necks? The good news is that with the IRS’s E-File options, most of us can do our own on-

line filing by clicking a few buttons and filling in the boxes. (The author’s taxes only took him 20 minutes!) The best part… IT IS FREE!! (http://www.irs. gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00. html?portlet=7 )Now this isn’t your stale pizza and grocery store cookies free, this is don’t-paythe-accountant-$75-fee free. And See Taxes Page 2:


2 Chatterbox

CHATTERBOX

You Want To Know Why February is Black History Month? It is NOT because it’s the shortest month of the year. Or the coldest. So let me tell you the real reasons why February was dubbed black history month: Frederick Douglass’ birthday: Feb. 1. The 15th amendment, which allowed blacks to vote, was passed on Feb. 3, 1870. That same year, the first black senator, Hiram Revels, took his oath in office. The NAACP was founded on the first in 1909. 51 years later, a North Carolina college student sit in began in the midst of the civil rights movement. Being African-American is part of my heritage. Hanging out with a primarily Caucasian crowd, I get poked and teased about being a half breed- which is fine with me. But to those who have a problem with having a month to recognize some of the predominant African Americans in United States’ history and want to vocalize your concerns to those around you, I strongly suggest the next time you think about saying another dumb joke about black history month, think of those who may be offended by it.

Dr. Al Bowman’s Rockstar Challange at ISU

Al Bowman’s Rockstar Challenge kicked off on Monday, February 15 and the clock is ticking to raise $250,000. Al Bowman’s Rockstar Challenge is a student-driven initiative to raise funds for the climbing wall in the new rec building in only one month! Why a rock wall you might ask, well President Bowman loves to rock climb and soon you will love it too! You can text “ROCK” to 71857 to join the action!

An Open Letter to Scott Lee Cohen February 10, 2010 Dear Mr. Cohen, Thank you for requesting a meeting with the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women to discuss the future of your political career. Chicago NOW has been a stalwart defender of the rights of women and girls since 1967. We appreciate that you recognize that fact enough to reach out to us, however belatedly. Your spokesman’s email said that the requested meeting is critical to further your “understanding of women’s issues.” We know that the world of women’s issues can be vast and complex, but there are some basics that you will need to cover before moving forward. First and foremost, violence is never the answer. The facts on domestic violence are devastating. In 2006 the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control published a fact sheet stating that “women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes” every year. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner in 2005. That’s an average of three women every day. (Citations at NOW.org) Mr. Cohen, we will consider meeting with you, but before any plans are made, we need you to make some changes to show the people of Illinois that you are really sincere. 1. File the paperwork necessary to formally step down. 2. Publicly acknowledge theallegations made against you by the women in your life. If you have harmed these women, do not make excuses; simply state what you have done. 3. Apologize 4. Pay back any child support that is due. 5. Commit to ending violence against women and girls in Illinois. We hope you can understand why the allegations against you have caused such an upheaval. We need leaders who can lead by example. Perhaps we will meet face to face once this checklist is complete. Until then, good luck with your endeavors. We urge you to take this time to make yourself into a new person. Best Regards, Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women

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Email: indynews@hotmail.com Executive Editors: Amanda Clayton Lisa Shelton Layout: Casey Reynolds Tesia Schiltz THE INDY IS SEEKING TO HIRE MORE WRITERS. CONTACT US VIA EMAIL IF INTERESTED

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February 22nd - March 5th, 2010

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Indynews@hotmail.com At The CoffeeHouse: Katelynn Dewitt Patterns, Textures & Images Feb 4-Feb 28th The Coffeehouse 114 E. Beaufort Normal

Harvard Law: Limbaugh’s Lying about Obama Jon K. Wilson Indy Founder In an interview taped on Jan. 29, 2010 with Gretchen Carlson for Fox and Friends, Rush Limbaugh made up another smear about Barack Obama: “I think this is the first time in his life that there’s not a professor around to turn his C into an A, or to write the law review article for him he can’t write. He is totally exposed. There is nobody to make it better. I think he’s been covered for, all his life.” I asked some Harvard law professors about this charge. Laurence Tribe responded to me, “The allegation is absurd. Obama earned every one of his enormously high grades. ‘Affirmative action’ had nothing to do with his success there. He was the most impressive student and research assistant I have taught in my 40 years at Harvard.” Charles Fried, a Harvard Law Professor who served as Solicitor General during the Reagan Administration, wrote to me, “It’s paranoid nonsense. Grading is anonymous by a randomly generated exam number and it takes a vote of the faculty to change a grade.” This isn’t the first time Limbaugh has made the false allegation that Obama gained from favorable grading. In 2008, Limbaugh declared that Obama “probably didn’t get out of Harvard without affirmative action.” In reality, Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law, which meant that there would have needed to be a vast conspiracy to raise the grades of this unknown student. Limbaugh’s attack on Obama is particularly ironic coming from a man who flunked out of college and had his two books (and an earlier newspaper column) ghostwritten for him. Limbaugh did not respond to my request for any evidence to support his accusation. Unfortunately, there’s no sign that the mainstream media will follow up. The Politico quoted Limbaugh’s claims without bothering to point out that they’re completely false, or asking him for any basis to support his allegation. Nor did Fox News Channel bother to ask Limbaugh about how he knows such things. It’s time for the media to follow up on Limbaugh’s lies, and also ask Republican officials if they embrace these ridiculous claims.

Taxes from Page 1: what’s more, you can have it back through direct deposit within a couple of weeks. Now I am $634 dollars richer, not $550! Log onto the State of Illinois’ revenue page and you can file your state return for free as well, and with the same easy-to-use format. Look for the IL-1040 WebFile button in red at the bottom of the page. (http://tax.illinois.gov/) Here are a few tips: 1) As students, make sure that you are getting the most out of your refund. Your tuition and fees come in handy and qualify you for a tax credit with either the Hope or Lifetime Learning Credits and that can possibly equal getting back everything you paid! 2) Another important tax break is the Earned Income Credit. With EIC, Uncle Sam actually gives you money! That’s right, money for not making enough money to keep up with the Bush’s. To qualify you need only make under ~13,000 and fill out the appropriate form. If you are using E-File, make sure you watch for the option and select it. 3) Whatever you do please don’t go to World Finance or any other money vultures and have your taxes done there. There is no need to pay them $75 or more to do something you can complete in less than 30 minutes. Besides, they are not going to do things right, just cheap for them and expensive for you. My best friend had their taxes done at World Finance last year and had to pay back the State of Illinois due to World Finance’s error. If you are going to pay, you might as well buy TurboTax for $30 and save yourself the headache. Good luck taxpayer, and remember to pass this information on! 2010 is the doit-yourself year for taxes.


Indy News Obesity from Page 1: mid-19th century by President Lincoln to encourage communication among farmers. The School Lunch Program further continues this tradition of helping farmers and animal enterprises by providing low-cost food to schools with low-income families buying whatever the farmers/corporations could not sell). What it provides is fairly questionable at best. The food that is allowed to be served to these under-privileged children is often, if not always, highly processed, low in vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Pizza puffs, chicken nuggets, shaped like anything but chicken), Xtremo burritos, corndogs, danishes, fries, cupcakes, chips, et cetera are all given to low-income families’ children. No fresh fruit or vegetables are provided and they even consider ketchup a fruit. All foods, again, are highly processed, high in sodium, processed sugars, saturated fats and cholesterol. Coupled with the shortening or often total elimination of recess and gym class, this is a recipe for obesity, all in the name of finances. Obviously no one is looking out for even the poorest of children. Nutritious, wholesome food is beyond reach for them; don’t forget that many of these children often go home and eat the same things because it’s cheap and all these families can afford. Mess from Page 1: must pay as he goes, and when your county is 12 trillion in the hole that means that he can do very little. Where were these demands for fiscal responsibility when Bush was borrowing trillions to fund two wars, corporate subsides and tax cuts aimed at the rich? Republican policies are the main reason we have a deficit, and their plan to fix the deficit by cutting taxes and by eliminating finical regulations, while allowing run away military spending are what caused the deficit. Unless they go back to the drawing board, Republicans will never be able to solve the debt crisis, they will only add to it. Republicans are hoping that Americans have no memory. They are hoping that we will forget about the eight years of decay our nation suffer under Bush and that we will blame the current president for the ills they created. The tea party movement is connecting the conservative ideals that empower corporations and the rich with working class populism. The leader of the tea party movement have been vastly successful at selling a polices which empowers big banks and big corporations, and attacks the liberal polices to empower the working class as being a revolutionary movement of people against those in power. The tea party is a giant façade. It is simply traditional conservatism, disguised in faded jeans and a cowboy hat. As part of the Republican plan to ensure that Obama fails is the using this phony populist movement to demonize even moderate legislation to the point that it is impossible to pass. All the while the Republican Party is empowered by the false concern for the working class. Unfortunately, their strategy is

February 22nd - March 5th, 2010

Indy

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In high schools, if students don’t bring a lunch, the common lunches served are al-

university level, people are older, wiser, away from their parents; they can make better decisions

and, above all, sponsored by fast food chains. Forget the “freshman fifteen,” students; who along with

most always pizza, hot dogs, nachos, corndogs, french fries, hamburgers, and cheeseburgers. Here again, all foods are highly processed, high in saturated fats and cholesterol. While the students have grown up some, the available food options have not changed much; again, all in the interest of finances and cutting corners. So what about colleges and universities? Surely, at the

about what they eat, right? Kind of. While these budding scholars may want to eat healthier, they are often influenced by what is available and the quality/type of information they get. A couple of years ago, a local university switched to a more buffet-like dining system to “save money” and buy in bulk. Three years ago, dining halls at this university had all things fried, grilled, slathered in butter

poor diet choices due to nutrientdeficient, fried, high sodium, high saturated fat diets), the more sedentary academic lifestyle, metabolic processes naturally slowing down around 21 years of age and the introduction or continuing of alcohol consumption, it wasn’t uncommon to see people put on the freshman 20 or 30. Sure there are posters and table tents telling students to eat healthily, but it is quite contradictory to what the

dining halls provide for students. Moreover, this buffet style-dining hall encourages over-consumption of food, waste and more importantly, consumption of the wrong types of foods. Let’s also not forget that this is a critical period for these budding adults, around the age of 25, people are forming lifestyle habits that will more than likely continue on into the rest of their lives. In other words, habits started at this time will often not change. Two or three generations have passed since the post-WWII prosperity; two or three generations with fairly similar eating habits: fast food, TV dinners, high-saturated fat and cheesy, meaty dinners every night of the week. Like a serial killer; it all starts to add up and patterns of behavior lead to his demise. These eating habits and lifestyle choices are now, more than ever, catching up and people; students need to change their eating habits to prevent disease, something modern medicine still cannot effectively do. So I say, yes. Maybe instead of suing McDonald’s, the obese should take out a new class action lawsuit against university services, the USDA and the National School Lunch Program because they play a just as important factor in America’s obesity “epidemic.” Write a Letter to the Indy indynews@hotmail.com

working remarkable well. Support for Obama and Democrats has diminished, and the Republicans are posed to make big gains in the upcoming mid term elections. The Republicans are being remarkable smart and incredibly dishonest and self serving. Democrats have been unable to find the strength to fight them.

eral polices that often enrage their own party. The Democratic Party fails to function as a party. Instead of supporting each other, they bicker amongst each other. The real reason why the Democratic Party is so fragmented is because our nation has a two party system when we should have a three or four party system. If you are not a right wing conservative, you have

Democrats hold huge majority in Congress, have a strong president in office and as of a year ago, where widely support among the American people. They had the political power to do just about anything, instead they did little. The first problem is that the Democratic Party is ripped with internal conflicts. It consist of both right leaning Democrats who views are so conservative that they really should just be independents or Republicans, and bleeding heart liberals who will fight tooth and nail to enact lib-

to go Democrat, and that lumps moderates with die hard liberals to create a party that is too ideology diverse to agree on anything. But this is not a new problem for Democrats. Their party has been too fragmented for decades. The reason they are suffering so much now is because there is a wave of insecurity spreading among Democrats that makes them hide under their desk when they should be strutting through the halls of Congress. Once health care reform started to fail, and a handful of special elections re-

sulted in Republican victories, Democrats started believing that their party was doomed. Instead of the failures inspiring them to work harder they are retreating to moderate positions and avoiding addressing any major legislation. Prior to Obama’s inauguration; the strength of the Democratic Party came from its opposition to Bush. It was a lot easier to blame to Bush and the Republicans for all of America ills then it is to go about fixing them yourself. This new level of responsibility and accountability is a shock to them,but they need to grow up fast. The Congressional mid term elections are in November and Obama is up for re-election in 2012. If Democrats don’t get down to work soon, we could be looking at a Republican majority in Senate this November and a difficult re-election for Obama in 2012. It’s easy to bash political parties and Congress but we live in a democracy and the fault eventually flaws on the American people. We wanted the changes promised by Obama. We wanted him to end the recession, fix health care, reduce the deficit, enact strong environmental policies

and improve education. But we have not given him the power do to so. The change Obama promised requires a big government. If we want real health care reform that means the government will need to a larger role in everyone’s health care. If we want an end to the recession, the government will have to take a strong role in finical regulation and job creation programs. We want to reduce the nation debt but Americans have been unwilling to pay the taxes need to reduce the deficit, even when the taxes only apply to the wealthiest Americans. If we want the change Obama’s promised we need to allow a big government and a responsible level of taxes. Right now, we want it all. We want a small government that can somehow do everything for us. We want more program and fiscal responsibility but we are unwilling to give it the county another dime. On Obama’s Election Day, our generation voted in record numbers, and Grant Park overfilled with millions of Obama’s Illinois supports. Now his supports have grown cynical and silent. We need the change Obama promised. We are living in a decaying super power, burden by inequality, debt and a lack of public access to health care, education and other human needs. It’s not too late to change our nation. We need to pressure the Democrats we elected into Congress to fight for the people they have sworn to represent. We need to condemn Republicans when they try to sell us paranoia and lies. Most importantly, we need to end the irresponsibility and political apathy that brought our nation into such decline. Never forget that we live in the strongest Democracy in history. All the political power ultimately rest with us.


4 Campus News Women in Metal Part 3: Deadman’s Wake Connie Bach Indy Staff Many sounds and styles have been reflected in this series. Adding one more to the shelf, Deadman’s Wake is a combination of many styles. I interviewed DMW last fall to understand what comprises their intense, passionate vibes. JP, a guitarist and backing vocalist, brings in blues guitar skills. Kryssie Ridolfi, the band’s frontwoman, says that her vocal style is influenced by bands such as Motley Crew and Guns and Roses. Other influences on the band are Iron Maiden, Killswitch Enage, and In Flames. Their sound is epic, bluesy, and solid, and contains vestiges of the romance of Chicago. Crowds, skyscrapers, street vendors, traffic, vast roads, and storefronts, all softened by an

atmosphere of old-world romance that seems to come down from the days of the outlaws. The music, especially the softer songs, seem to hold that vibe: fast paced with a strong spirit for giving. T h e i r song meanings and lyrics evoke that same bluesy feel. For example, “Far Be It From Me” is a metal version of a ballad. The song discusses being with someone you love, then having to leave them for the last time. The song is melancholy but moving. Kryssie’s favorite, I discovered, is titled “Selfish” and the song discusses loving someone you cannot, and the feelings that come from the relationship. Most

February 22nd - March 5th, 2010 of their songs were written first as instrumental pieces, which Kryssie fitted lyrics to. By contrast, their more

intense songs have darker, though just as subtle, meanings. “Back to Blood”, on the EP titled thus, is subtley from the point of someone becoming a zombie. “Our drummer didn’t like horror,” Kryssie told me over the phone that night, so they made it a little less

distinctive. When discussing the song “Murder”, Kryssie said “I am not a drug addict”, but the song is based on this topic, which Motley Crew discussed heavily. They market to whomever enjoys their sound. When I asked how they described their sound, Kryssie said “We are a balls-out, heavy metal rock band.” The band intends to stick around. “Screaming will fade out as a trend” says JP. “I want to be a band that lives longer than that.” Kryssie says “I don’t want to overstep the boys, I want to pull on their heart strings.” They are getting ready to become one of the long-lived powerhouse bands that you’ll find dads listening to in their trucks in another twenty years. So saying, their album “It Comes to This” will be released on March 13, in

Indy

Hot Topic stores all over Northern Illinois. The album was a long time in the making, according to the band members. All of their EP songs have been remastered and put on the new album, along with many adrenaline-tripping new releases. Pieces of the puzzle have taken years to fall into place, ever since the band formed in 2005. With line-up changes, sound changes, identity changes, and other interferences, this band has grown into a family all its own with a deep connection to the music they play. In two weeks time, on February 20th, the band will play Dame-Nation, an all-femalefronted, all-Chicago-based selection of rock bands, all playing at the Portage Theater in Chicago. The show just might have some new surprises from their album, which, as I said, comes out March 13.

The Creative Writing Program & The Department of English Studies Present: “Cinépoetry”

Monday, February 22, 2010, 7 p.m.

WHERE: CONTACT:

FRANCESCO LEVATO: Francesco Levato is the executive director of the Poetry Center of Chicago. He is the author of three books of poetry: Elegy for Dead Languages; War Rug; and Marginal State and his translations of the works of Italian poets, Tiziano Fratus, Creaturing, and Fabiano Alborghetti, The Opposite Shore, are forthcoming from Marick Press in 2010. His work has been published internationally in journals and anthologies, including The Los Angeles Review, Drunken Boat, The Progressive, XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, and Versal. His poetry-based video artwork has been exhibited in galleries and featured at film festivals in Berlin, Chicago, Italy, New York, and elsewhere. ABOUT THE SCREENING: Poet and new media artist and executive director of the Poetry Center of Chicago, Francesco Levato will present a series of

The Normal Theater 209 North Street Normal, IL Duriel E. Harris dharri2@ilstu.edu 309.438.1401 short poetry films in an examination of the convergence of cinema and poetry in the emergent genre of cinépoetry. The 50-minute program, which will include Levato’s award winning documentary short film War Rug, will be followed by a Q&A. ABOUT WAR RUG: Named an Official Selection at the Potenza International Film Festival, War Rug, the film, is based on the documentary poetics of the book length poem of the same name. Interwoven narratives—from first hand accounts and news reports to counterintelligence manuals and autopsy reports—explore life within conflict zones through the lens of current warfare. The film collages and juxtaposes archival source material with U.S. Military footage in an exploration of alternative narrative interpretations of the source text.

Letter to the Editors: Dear Indy, I’m writing this email in response to the article in the February 2010 issue, titled “Stop Polluting My World.” The author raised some good points, however I feel that as a whole it was somewhat disre-

spectful. I am a female who found the article somewhat offensive. I do occasionally smoke, and, as the author said, I do hold my cigarette at hips length but I do find it a bit unfair that there seemed to be an attitude that smokers have fewer rights than those who do not. I feel like this is a disrespectful attitude that is not given to those who are belligerent drunks, or just regularly rude people. While the person described was rude, there is no harm in saying ‘excuse me’ or something in comparison to that. There are simpler ways than assuming that all smokers are this way. In addition the section in the article on how to dress was very judgmental. While it is true that it isn’t fun to see people who are in clothes that are sprawling out all that they have. If you wear clothes they should at least cover what you have in a way that shows you have a respect for yourself and others. However, not everyone has time, or cares, about their appearance. For example, I sometimes choose not to take too much time on my appear-

War Rug FRANCESCO LEVATO

ance. A pair of sweatpants, tennis shoes, and t-shirt is a comfortable thing. I think that this portion of the article says that women, and in fact everyone (while men weren’t mentioned though they too are wearing things that may not be pleasing to the eye) should care a lot about how they look. It seems the author was trying to say that people should be less vain, however, by saying people should spend a lot of time on how they look does the opposite and promotes vanity to an extreme degree. Finally, the section on music, while true, can be somewhat seen as rude as well. The author doesn’t take into account that some people can’t hear as well as others, sometimes don’t want to hear anything but that, and there are those who are just rude as well. All in all, I agreed with many points in the article, and even those that I don’t agree with are okay because the author has the right to say and think what she wants. However, people have the same right to do, dress, and listen to what they want to. There isn’t reason to tell people

how to live. I think that, as a freshman and thus younger person, there must be time to accept and be okay with the fact that people do what they want, are who they are, and, in the end, the only thing that matters is the decisions that you make for yourself. I understand where the author is coming from, but I think that it must be taken into mind where other people are coming from as well. When things are distracting to you, there are polite ways to tell them to stop or to at least do it away from you. What I want you to remember as you go through college is, eventually there will come a time when those people you find ‘polluting’ will be professionals but right now they are enjoying their youth, being comfortable with who they are, and trying things. College is as much about discovery of thyself as learning new thoughts and ideas. Some people do ‘pollute’ but in it’s own right, this article was polluting people’s freedom to do, dress, and listen to things how and when they want to.

- Casey Peek


Indy News

Signs, Symbols, & Identity: The Red, Black, and Green as Self-Esteem Ras Yuri Indy Staff At the end of the month of January, I had to lose a facebook friend in a principled reaction to a post displaying his humor. I knew Ben Salles as a peripheral friend to several core relationships that sustained me on an emotional level in high school. During those years my quest for self-esteem was linked to urban culture of the Afro-American. Rap music was emerging from “The Underground” of American Popular Culture. The music appealed to me due to its accurate lyrical depiction of the dire circumstances in Afro-American ghettos coping with the epidemic of crack cocaine. Simultaneously, the musical samples offered as supporting arrangements to M.C.’s harkened to a cultural legacy of music preceding my generation’s existence. Hip-hop was a teacher letting me know that I was beautiful and betrayed. Rap music/Hip-hop culture inspired me to develop a critical consciousness regarding issues of social justice. Groups like Public Enemy informed me about the U.S.A social contract. In particular, they made me aware that if you are of Afro descent (an Afro-Kin), then you “Can’t Trust It” to provide life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. Oh, those were the days prior to sample laws being changed. Nowadays, Rap music has proliferated and integrated into the mainstream of American popular culture. As Rap has become appropriated by Euro-Americans, a tendency to identify with the messages and meanings is inspired by a desire to be non-conformist to the mores of suburban middle class values. The fierce individualism expressed in pursuit of “Bling”, misogynistic attitudes toward sexuality, and violent conflict resolution combine to be a presentation of being cool, a maverick, an untamable outlaw that is justified in their acts as a right of survival. This ideology is summed up as being what it takes to be “A Nigga.”

February 22nd - March 5th, 2010 “A Nigga” does what pleases himself, is powerful, and allows nothing to stand in his way toward the domination of desire. If you ask this member of the Rastafari, “A Nigga” is a thoughtless entity parasitically meeting his needs. The psychological attributes of “A Nigga” harkens to narcissistic imperial attitudes that found biblical justifications to enslave millions of Africans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries of world history. In short, celebrating being “A Nigga” is taking ownership of the mentalities of oppressors from yore. I disagree with Afro-Americans taking ownership of the N-word to define themselves, for it reflects an unwillingness to create a mentality versed in the ethic of love. My acquaintance with Ben Salles had to end as he found great humor in posting a YouTube video from Japanese television programming. The skit depicted an affluent Japanese family behaving like stereotypical members of the AfroAmerican underclass. The skit presented three generations relating to each other with disrespect, only to jocundly placate the slights by labeling each other as “Nigga.” The intent of the humor being that having low character and embracing disrespectful behavior is “all good” and confirms the pleasure principle of life as the most valid approach toward living. A few hours prior to viewing this skit via facebook, I had conversed with an acquaintance in Redbird Nation that just returned from a semester abroad in Japan. He informed me that a strict adherence to cultural norms is what defined being Japanese. Thus, in their popular culture an escapist theme of extremely violating cultural norms is commonplace. This information made the skit I watched understandable from a culturally relevant perspective. Yet as a member of the Rastafari and an Afro-Kin I was far from amused. As I witnessed the globalization of the mores of “A Nigga,” my thinking reflected upon the ideas of my intellectual hero Orlando Patterson. Patterson examines the depth of impact

the institution of slavery has left upon American culture. His Essay American Dionysus: Images of Afro-American Men at the Down of the Twenty-first Century informs readers about the complexity involved in the marriage of Euro-American and AfroAmerican cultural traditions. He thematically applies the imagery of the Greek gods Dionysus and Apollo to explain how a society needs to break its rules and regu-

lations to relieve the tension of work. Patterson exposes how the dominant Euro-American culture appropriates Afro-American culture and indicates the purpose behind the behavior. In doing so he clearly reveals that modern hiphop serves as a minstrel act. The purpose of the act is to placate primal instincts that repudiate the discipline of suburban childhood and the discipline awaiting them as future corporate employees. Being the counterweight of Euro-American discipline has had detrimental consequences for Afro-Americans. Patterson finds the most egregious consequences to be a degrading of authentic cultural creations and the crafting of athletes and entertainers as the penultimate role models of Afro-American achievement. As a result of this trend a rejection of intellectual achievement is becoming a normative value in the Afro-American community. This trend betrays the legacy of AfroAmerican uplift. From Fredrick Douglas on through to Malcolm

X, it has been the written word that has served as the most radical vehicle to improve the social condition of the Afro-American male. With literacy an individual can craft potent images reflecting values and ideals that humanize and inspire critical consciousness and positive actions within a community. I’ve proven this to myself in authoring Redbird Nation while developing my thinking on what it means to be an American Rastafari. Marcus is my middle name, given to me to honor Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Marcus Garvey was a prophet of African Redemption and the creator of the back to Africa movement in America. In his book The Rastafarians Leonard E. Barrett, Sr. summarizes the importance of Marcus Garvey: “…Garvey was no ordinary man, but one of those rare creatures of history whose fate it is to be seized with the social and economic oppression of a people and who see this oppression as his or her own spiritual mission. His middle name, Mosiah or Moses, was a portentous appellation- to deliver his people from the yoke of colonialism was to be his life long struggle. No other Black man in history was able to understand so clearly the worldwide oppressions of Black people, and no other was in turn perceived by so many Blacks as the one person with the solution to their problems.” He organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A) in 1914 while still in Jamaica, but opposition to his work prompted him to move to America in 1916. The emblem of the U.N.I.A. is a flag bearing the colors of red (for the blood), black (for the skin), and green (for the earth we inhabit); the idea being that a common bond exists for Africans across the globe. Instead of seeing themselves as a regional minority, Garvey was prompting the AfroKin to see themselves as a global majority. His ideas of African uplift were designed to nurture the spiritual understanding of Afro descendants to see themselves as equal to Euro descendents. Though he personally understood God to see no color in humanity, he taught Afro-Americans to see

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God as the image of them with the bible as justification. Marcus Garvey found this necessary because it was what the colonial oppressive system of Christianity had been doing for generations to Africans. His ideas on this subject matter prompted Black God movements such as the Church of the Black Madonna in Detroit, The Black Muslims of America, and the Rastafarians of Jamaica. The times were harder for Marcus Garvey than they ever will be for Ras Yuri Marcus, yet the condition of the Afro-Kin still demands a quest for uplift. Africa is war torn and ravaged with the epidemic of aids, AfroCaribbean’s are living in states of scarcity, and Afro-Americans are crippled with a low self-esteem that still seeks validation from the Euro-American majority. I have a co-worker who exemplifies the issues I have addressed in this essay. Though he is in his late 30’s he tries to dress like a teenager sporting the latest urban gear, and espouses the wisdom of rappers and r&b singers as if they were the calls for justice espoused by Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. He uses the workplace community to present himself as a victim of racial discrimination to court attention and foster guilt among Euro-American kids not aware of the issues he raises. The last time he utilized his bully pulpit it was to critique the treatment received at a local food establishment. He relayed how he continually gets seated in the back of the restaurant for “being ghetto,” yet observes blacks with a more professional image receiving better seating and service. The reason he accepts such treatment is due to a fifty percent discount he receives when dining at the establishment. In essence he is a slave to his tastes. He is willing to receive second-class treatment if the price is right. To fiercely take on the images being sold as the definition of cool poise in being Black is a celebration of ignorance. There were many great men and women that struggled and died to present the indomitable humanity that the Afro-Kin is capable of in the face of colonial oppression. This understanding is what many brothers lack today, and inevitably why I strive to live the ethics of the Rastafari as inspired by Marcus Garvey.

A Little Less Fall Out Boy, A Little More Broken Up

Tesia Schiltz Indy Staff I am in love with music. There’s just something about the way a song can fit my mood no matter how random it is. I can still remember when I fell hard into

love, ironically enough, with the band Fall Out Boy. I was visiting my grandparents in Arizona where I spent many a summer bored out of my mind. They had this massive TV with a million channels and I was flipping through them. At this moment I saw a boy with antlers and heard a song I’d never

heard before. From there I was stuck. I had never really been into music, but after that song I found a whole world. Fall Out Boy remained my favorite, but I explored and found other bands like The Flaming Lips, My Chemical Romance, and No Doubt. In the back of my mind the fire starters were always there with their guitars and Chicago familiarity. On Wednesday my roommate told me that Fall Out Boy had split up. I thought it was just a joke, but low and behold, right there on a million sites was the proclamation that my favorite band in the entire world existed no more. I couldn’t help but cry. Maybe it was a combination of the memories of singing along to their songs in my first car, go-

ing to their concert with my older cousin (who I always thought was so much cooler than me), meeting Patrick Stump and actually having him talk to me (!!!), or finally having their albums be the soundtrack to my horrible high school years, but this band was so much more than just a band. They saved me from terrible silences and made me find the humor in being anything, but cool. Some lyrics like, “My words are my faith…We’re a bull and your ears are just a china shop”, made me realize that I can be who I want, even if it’s not what’s expected of me. And when it came to love or boys one song, “Honorable Mention”, reminded me of the classic 80’s movies and my dreams of meeting a boy like John Cusack’s

character in Say Anything. They were my inspiration, the fire that sent me into a world of flying guitars and voices saying everything I always wished I could. Even while I’m sitting and writing this, in my ears are the sounds of this band that helped me to become who I am today. They told me that sometimes you go “down, down in an earlier round”, but that you’ve got to go “down swinging”. I started this article sad that something so important to me was over, but I’m realizing that this is just another beginning. It’s the beginning of days after Fall Out Boy for these guys and for me. No matter how much it sucks right now, I think I’ll survive.


6 Indy News

February 22nd - March 5th, 2010

Indy

A PEACE STRATEGY, 2010-2011 Tom Hayden Indy Friend Dear Friends, Over one thousand of you volunteered at this site [http://tomhayden.com/] to “take a leadership role” in ending the Long War currently inflaming Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. That’s really inspiring, especially at a time when so many believe the peace movement is declining or dead. Here at the [Peace and Justice Resource Center] PJRC we are exploring ways to implement communications with you at local or regional levels, including a series of conference calls. In the meantime, let me share some specific thoughts about building the peace and justice movement from the bottom up. Social movements always depend on leadership, a commitment by a single individual or small group to continue their work in the face of all odds. Then there’s the question of a strategy for being effective. We always have to measure our capacity against the goals we set. PEOPLE POWER AGAINST THE PILLARS OF POLICY The bottom-up strategy which I propose is building the pressure of people power against the pillars of policy that prop up the Long War. The key pillars for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan include, first, the pillar of public opinion; second, the pillar of budgetary support; and third, the pillar of our military resources. Other pillars include the mainstream media, religious institutions and, of course, the required stability of America’s ally Kabul. In the end, it’s about public opinion. We have to argue that the American people are not any safer for having fought these wars, and we cannot afford the cost in casualties and tax dollars. After the death of 5,000 American soldiers and the expenditure of one trillion dollars in tax money, on November 5, thirteen US soldiers were killed inside Fort Hood by an American-born Muslim military psychiatrist of Palestinian descent; and on Christmas Day, 300 Americans were nearly killed in Detroit’s airport by a Nigerian man whose own father warned us against. The “war on terrorism” only spreads the terror and inflames future terrorists. Our policies do not make us safer, but play into the “plan to bleed America to the point of bankruptcy” as described by Osama Bin Laden. [Bruce Lawrence, ed., Messages to the World, Verso, 2005, p. 243.] PUBLIC OPINION REMAINS DIVIDED. The fear of terrorism and partisan loyalties keep American public opinion divided. In a January CNN poll, 55 percent ranked terrorism as “extremely important”, just behind the 61 percent who named the economy and 58 percent unemployment. Our messaging should be guided towards persuading the undecided and, in particular, solidifying the Demo-

cratic base against the growing escalation. Obama is having a hard time winning his own Democratic Party’s support for Afghanistan, which is why he linked the escalation with a pledge to begin withdrawing in 2011. He is in danger of relying mainly on the Republicans as his pillar of support. According to the NBC/WSJ poll last month, 55 percent favored Obama’s troop escalation while 49 percent were opposed. The margin between those who think the President is right or wrong was a tight 44-41. Meanwhile support for any further involvement in Iraq is waning, with a CNN poll recently showed 60 percent in favor withdrawal while 39 percent were opposed. As US troops leave, it will be more difficult to re-escalate in

“enhanced security.” The Obama budget leaves “virtually no room for new domestic initiatives for Mr. Obama or his successors” and could see the “country’s influence around the world eroded.” [NYT, Feb. 2, 2010] More data on budget trade-offs is available at http://www.nationalpriorities.org. This suggests that an imperative for the peace movement is coalition-building with groups like seniors and labor affected by these budget priorities. An example has been the year-long “Healthcare Not Warfare” campaign by the Progressive Democrats of America with the California Nurses Association. There currently are no similar links with environmental or inner-city organizations. DYING FOR KARZAI? The foundational pillar

portant issues that have been kept from public attention. The most notable are the rapid escalations of night-raids by US Special Ops teams and the CIA’s drone attacks which arouse massive hatred among the Muslim population. [“CIA Expanding Presence in Afghanistan”, LA Times, Sept. 20, 2009; Jane Mayer, “The Predator War”, The New Yorker] ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITYBUILDING It takes leadership to break out of our zones of comfort and engage people who may be undecided or even hostile. But that is how a base of power is built. There are no shortcuts. It takes practice until outreach is an everyday habit. Online organizing is a vital part of the process. I salute groups who succeed online

the future. [U.S.] FORCES ARE UNDER GROWING STRAIN, SUICIDE RATES HIGHER THAN BATTLE DEATHS. It should be startling that at least 334 members of the American military services committed suicide in 2009, compared to 297 in Afghanistan and 144 in Iraq during the same period, according to a Congressional Quarterly research project of Nov. 24, 2009. In addition, reported cases of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder doubled among American troops in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2009. [Sacramento Bee, Nov. 13, 2009] This suggests that counter-recruitment campaigns among parents and school board members should continue to be a high priority, especially in communities with high rates of military enlistment. Films like “The Hurt Locker” should be widely screened. WAR BUDGET THREATENS OBAMA’S DOMESTIC PRIORITIES. The White House is requesting $159 billion for IraqAfghanistan plus $33 billion for the recent troop escalation. The Congressional Budget Office says that the overall cost now reaches $1.08 trillion, including $748 billion for Iraq, $340 billion for Afghanistan and $29 billion for

of the whole Afghanistan occupation is the discredited regime of Hamid Karzai, officially accused of having stolen the recent presidential election and presently unable to stage parliamentary elections. Neither Western public opinion nor the 140,000 American, Canadian and European soldiers can justify - or seriously reform - the Karzai regime. The paradox is that Karzai, for his own reasons, has been pushing against US pressure to initiate talks with the Taliban, a proposal for which he recently received $500 million at the London conference on Afghanistan. In this case, the pillar [read: client] may actually be shifting its own center of gravity in response to Afghan opinion, and American dismay. There are other pillars that require our pressure, too. For example, many religious, human rights and lawyers’ organizations have taken a strong stand against torture, but have focused on Guantanamo rather than Bagram, and generally avoided opposing the wars themselves. For another example, the movement should rely on the blogosphere but also engage editors and reporters from the mainstream media in critical discussion of their coverage. There are few, if any, op-ed pieces against the wars by peace movement advocates. It will be up to the peace movement to “ripen” other im-

by savvy mass marketing techniques, but I have found the most effective way to gather email addresses is one-by-one, on yellow tablets. It’s best to build an online grass-roots network through the canvassing and recruitment of a local organization. A small committed group can use mass messaging as an effective tactic, not a substitute for a core group. A list of likeminded teachers from the same public school and PTA is the best way to build a counter-recruitment movement. Anyone who can build a committed online network of political activists and voters in a Congressional district will gain leverage with politicians. Anyone who can stir up anti-war petitions among rank-and-file activists at Democratic state conventions will have an effect on the party power elites. Anyone able to make the difference with targeted mail in a close legislative race can be a game-changer. ENDING THE LONG WAR Thanks to peace advocates and the sheer cost of the undertaking, the fifty-year Long War is being successfully challenged already. This is the doctrine which arose among many defense intellectuals around 2004, notably David Kilcullen and especially the neo-conservatives. They project at least a fifty-year continuous war against Islamic revolutionaries across the

globe. The concept was implicitly rejected by President Obama at his December 1, 2009 West Point speech when he said, “That’s why our troop commitment cannot be open-ended, because the nation that I’m most interested in building is our own.” The neo-cons and many Republicans will fiercely oppose ending the Long War before achieving the mirage they call “victory.” They may try to block Obama’s plan to withdraw all troops from Iraq by 2012, and his current plan to “begin” withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011. The peace movement can be an important factor in shaping a climate pushing Obama to exit two wars - Iraq and Afghan-Pakistan - by 2012. If the peace movement is splintered and weak, there will be no pressure on Congress or the president to withdraw, only pressure to continue with endless wars. Even Obama’s own appointees, Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton, immediately began qualifying the president’s pledge the week after he announced it. With Afghanistan, activists in local Congressional Districts, should be building widespread support now for Rep. Barbara Lee’s HR 3699, cutting $33 billion in funding for the troop escalation. There also may be a Congressional action on Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s “privileged resolution” forcing a vote on Afghanistan and Pakistan, as required under the War Powers Act. The Congressional vote on funding the escalation presumably will fail, turning it into an exercise in learning how many Democrats will stand up. It will be revealing, for example, whether the escalation funding will depend primarily on Republicans. More important is whether and when the Democrats will offer significant peace amendments to the funding authorization, or back down and surrender the initiative to the White House and Pentagon. Congressional progressives have to play a role in helping the peace movement grow at district levels. For starters, the progressives in Congress could initiate hearings on Rep. Jim McGovern’s HR 2404, a non-binding resolution requiring that the Pentagon report on its exit strategy. It’s time for clear debate and discussion about a negotiated settlement. Just as the President has decided to televise discussions on health care, he should be made to encourage open discussion on getting out of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, with voices of the peace movement present. CONDITIONS ON FUNDING Amendments to the apSee Peace on Page 8:


Indy News

February 22nd - March 5th, 2010

Indy

5th annual Affordable Fashion Challenge The Ecology Action Center is pleased to announce its 5th Annual Affordable Fashion Challenge. The event will be held in conjunction with the Illinois Sustainable and Living Wellness Expo on April 10, 2010 at 2 pm in the Illinois Wesleyan University Shirk Center. The purpose of the event is to encourage the reuse of textiles and other materials as a way to reduce waste and preserve natural resources, while saving money and encouraging creativity. Waste effects the environment drastically so by reusing items instead of throwing them out, it can significantly help our environment while being cost efficient at the same

time. The Affordable Fashion Challenge has shown a steady increase in interest and participation since it first began in 2006. The event has expanded to include all members of the community including elementary, middle, and high school students along with other members of the McLean County. All participants are welcome to submit entries in the apparel, accessories, or interior design category. All entries must be constructed from reusable or recyclable materials and take minimal cost to create. Cash and other various prizes will be awarded to the winner of each category.

To register for this event, please download an application from www.ecologyactioncenter. org or call 309-454-3169 for more information. The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit walk-in information and environmental education center with a mission to inspire and assist residents of McLean County in creating, strengthening, and preserving a healthy environment. Contact: Olga Deykun Phone: (309) 454-3169 odeykun@ ilstu.edu

Unofficial is Officially On March 5th Amanda Clayton Indy Staff Did you know that the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, wasn’t even Irish?! He was British! So why are we celebrating an Irish holiday of a man who was born someplace else? Well, long ago when the Irish were raiding Britain, one of the many they kidnapped was a young boy who later changed his name to Patrick. Patrick was enslaved ten years in Ireland, escaped, became a priest, and later went back to Ireland and converted the Irish to Christianity. St. Patrick died on March 17th and the Irish Catholics marked that date as a holy day, for all St. Patrick had done for them. The Irish would close shops that day to attend church and the feast of St. Patrick. This one day feast allowed Irish men an excuse to drink a pint of ale or two, and ever since then the drinking has continued. Here at Illinois State University our spring break tends to starts on the first weekend in March and we’re back at school in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, we’re just in time for a day filled with parties, green beer, and other drinking activities to celebrate the Saint who helped Ireland find God and Christianity. (“God is good, beer is great, and people are crazy...” should be the new St. Patrick’s Day motto.) At the University of Illinois however, St. Patrick’s Day falls on the same week as their spring break so the campus is empty. While the students don’t seem to care where they spend the Irish holiday so long as they spend it drinking, the Cham-

paign bar and restaurant owners feel otherwise. These business owners could be making so much money if U of I students were back at campus to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It wasn’t until 1996 that someone in the business industry decided to do something about this lack of profit, and that person was Scott Cochrane. Cochrane, owner of The Clybourne, Firehaus, and C.O. Daniels bars in Champaign, wanted to make an “unofficial” celebration in Champaign to replace the official St. Patrick’s Day holiday which students no longer spend in town. Cochrane hoped that giving the students a new excuse to drink would increase sales at his and other local bars around town. This “unofficial” celebration was planned for the first weekend in March and my, oh my, how this day gained popularity. Students from U of I celebrate this unofficial holiday by drinking, drinking, socializing, and oh… did I mention drinking!? People head to Champaign even if they don’t attend the University of Illinois for this day or weekend celebration of excessive drinking. Drinking begins as early as you’re willing to wake up, with 8 a.m. apartment parties and drinking games outside if the weather allows. You will find the bars packed and the streets swamped with people wearing green shirts, wearing green accessories, and drinking green beer. Students now think of unofficial as a U of I tradition, though it is in no way sponsored by the University of Illinois. Because the university isn’t responsible for this huge event that takes place around campus each year, there really isn’t much

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they can do to stop students. The town of Champaign tries its hardest to enforce more police and more rules and regulations, but the crowds continue to gather larger each year on unofficial. Mayor Jerry Schweighart tried restricting alcohol sales and shutting down bars one year, but people always find a way to continue a drinking tradition so he made a few rules instead. On the date of unofficial…restaurants and bars can’t serve alcohol until 11 a.m., pitchers of beer and shots of hard liquor are prohibited, all drinks must be served in paper or plastic cups, residences are limited to one keg, those purchasing a keg, seven cases of beer or 24 or more one-liter bottles of hard liquor must complete and “adult responsibility form,” which includes the address of where the alcohol is to be served. It’s a good start to keeping the town a little bit safer amongst all the drinking chaos. In 2007, Urbana and Champaign police officers ticketed 176 people during unofficial. 119 of those tickets were for underage drinking, 22 for carrying open alcohol, seven for fighting, six for battery, and five for resisting arrest. It was estimated that the total amount in fines from all the violators that year was $44,000! In 2009 police gave out 267 tickets and this year I can only image the number doubling with the economy, because Champaign will want to gain all the money they can from these excessive drinkers. So to you the underage drinker who decides to attend the unofficial festivities this year… I bid you good luck! But if I were you, I would simply wait a year or two until you are legally of age to participate in this mardi-gras type celebration. Would you really want to risk the $290+ drinking ticket when the party is only going to get better as years progress. Trust the old saying… “Good things come to those who wait,” and just wait! But if you are one of the 16,000 confirmed guests to this event on facebook than just be careful. The Assistant Chief of Police at the University of Illinois asks parents and students to be smart when it comes to unofficial, “We realize that the college years can be very rewarding both academically and socially. Individual responsibility, watching out for one’s peers and recognizing the potential consequences of risky behaviors can assist in gaining these rewards with the absence of legal consequences or personal injury.” So enjoy your college experience and the rewarding taste of green beer and remember… it’s all for the luck of the Irish.

The Press Corner... Normal, Illinois – Every season has its great events, and the Redbird Challenge Adventure Race is one of the most exciting events of the spring! The Outdoor Adventure Program, within Illinois State University’s Department of Recreation Services, and the McLean County Department of Parks and Recreation invite you to participate in The 2010 Redbird Challenge Adventure Race on April 25. The Redbird Challenge is a team based adventure race, and a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and beautiful Lake Evergreen in Comlara Park. The event consists of three sections: 2 miles of canoeing, 6 miles of mountain biking, and 3 miles of trail running. Teams are made up of two (male, female or coed) or four (coed) participants. Teams must complete all three sections as a group combined with several mystery events along the way to keep each team on their toes! Listen to what previous participants have to say. “The Redbird Challenge was great. Competitors ranged from hardcore athletes to a bunch of friends just there goofing off and having fun,” said Steve Barcus from Team Home Skillet. “There’s nothing better than running three miles dressed up as a fried egg with a piece of bacon as a partner,” added his teammate, Carol Jalowiec, in reference to the costume contest that teams can choose to participate in. “This is an exceptional race that allows the participants to challenge themselves while trying something new and meeting people with outdoor interests,” states Matt Stewart, Supervisor of the Outdoor Adventure Program. “We only have room for 80 participants in this year’s race, and we plan to fill every spot.” This is the 8th Redbird Challenge event put on by the Illinois State University Department of Recreation Services in cooperation with McLean County Department of Parks and Recreation since 2003. Registration packets are available at the Illinois State Student Recreation Building, the Outdoor Adventure Rental Center, and on the department website. The cost is $35 per person by March 28 and $40 per person by April 11, regardless of team size. For more details, visit www.rec.ilstu.edu/ redbirdchallenge or call the Outdoor Adventure Rental Center at 438-8415.

Are you a communication major? Then write for the Indy!


8 Indy Backpage News

February 22nd - March 5th, 2010

really worked out. Granted, I’m still friends with most, but I’ve of a place of my very own, I be- accumulated more roommates gan talking to my friends about than credit hours. I wanted a where they were living, who they roommate, and I wanted it to were living with and how they work. My friends and I looked planned to pay the rent. I must over the Vidette’s vast collechave been a little delayed- most of tion of apartment classifieds on my friends already knew exactly a blustery, gloomy day; we dewhere they wanted to live (among cided to look for an apartment the most popular answers were the together. Having not latched onto Oaks, Willow Trails, Junction and a lease yet, we ventured together Kensington Suites). Others were to the prominent realty offices: pretty sure of their roommate se- Young America, First Site, Redlection, and most had no idea how bird Apartments and Class Act. to pay for their dream apartment. We began to grow nervous. With I was stunned- how could people over 900 apartments available for really sign for apartments and rest rent in September, November’s easy until move-in day? Many options were half that. In a way, things could go wrong in a year’s I was surprised- with many of my period, including not coming up first picks gone, there were still with enough money in time or many routes we could take. The dropping out of school. I thought most extreme of our options were there would be other people like the high life and the pits. me, and I decided to defer my My stomach sank afsearch for roommates and places ter our first tour with Redbird to live. Apartments. Their friendly real My amazement contin- tor showed us the ‘humble’ opued to grow in the coming weeks. tions they had left. Stepping into I saw many of my friends camped a leaky basement apartment with outside of SAMI’s office- for two a weak four windows was our last nights at least- to have a chance stop and gave us the chills. He to sign for the Oaks. Early Sep- explained the benefits- utilities tember weeks were littered with are included, you could paint, etctents, beer and anxious students, while we cautiously peeked into hoping to obtain a select few glo- the rotting bathroom, tiny bedrious apartments. Before I knew rooms and broken-down kitchen. it, midterms- and what seemed “So what do ya think?” He asked like every good apartment on hesitantly. A nervous laugh and a campus- had been taken. doubted “We’ll call you later”, we November, 2009. briskly walked away from their In my particular experi- office. Our hopes were dwindled ences, having roommates never as we went to our next locationNo Rooms from page 1

Young America. Before we were inundated in their selection of basement apartments, we optimistically asked to show us the best and worst they had. We saw the slim pickings of modestly priced apartments before showing up at the Mecca of university living, the colossus of off-campus, most awe-inspiring apartments to hit redbird country- Willow Trails. Finished in fall 2009, Willow Trails is the baby of notorious luxury suites. With different floor plans, including state-of-the-art kitchens, leather-andplasma studded living rooms, private bathrooms and an optional bi-level with a theatre room, the Trails come at a hefty price- up to $775 a month. For the pair of us who barely foot the tuition bill, this was one of the saddest places we graciously witnessed. The one place we could tolerate had the largest price tag on campus. My possible roomie and I came to a crossroad. Pay the enormous rent, live in style and have a solid place to call home, settle for a bedroom underground, or resort to dorm life once more? We figured we didn’t have many options left, and our time was running out. January, 2010. Upon returning to

of terrorism. If “Al Qaeda” has spread propriations bill that would make from Afghanistan to a real difference, if introduced Pakistan, to Yemen soon enough to draw public supand Somalia, to the citport, should include, in order of ies of Europe, and if priority: suicide bombers arise [1] a requirement of a not from psychosis but diplomatic surge in negotiations from US occupation of leading to an Afghanistan powerMuslim lands [as Robsharing plan, including the Talert Pape shows], isn’t iban; the military “solution” [2] inclusion of a definite making the problem timeline for withdrawal of US and worse? And if the terNATO forces from Afghanistan rorist agenda is a poas part of the settlement package; litical one, as argued [3] enforceable guaranby the CIA’s top Bin tees that Afghan detainees will Laden tracker, Michael have lawyers and human rights Scheuer, shouldn’t protection in both the new Kabul America explore alfacility and local detention faternatives to dogmatic cilities funded or operated by the support of the Israeli US. HEARINGS ON DRONE AToccupation and the TACKS police states in Saudia Arabia Separate hearings and and Egypt? And Even Kilcullen legislation should be organized to writes that “our too-willing and draw attention to the counter-proheavy-handed interventions in ductive effects of drone strikes the so-called War on Terrorism [antagonizing civilian populato date have largely played into tions, destabilizing Pakistan, the hands of the AQ [Al Qaeda] blowback on CIA personnel]. It exhaustion strategy.” But who will do the heavy lifting to cause the paradigm shift? Since the political will doesn’t exist, the change will come either from future avoidable catastrophes or from generating alternative approaches on the outVolunteer to help with the side. MARK YOUR CALIndy: We need writers, editors, ENDERS photographers, artists, and more. The Obama plan - escalate for 18 months, then begin to de-escalate - gives the peace movement a virtual calendar for the battles ahead. The AfghaniPeace from page 6:

Join the Indy. We meet every Wednesday, 6pm-7pm, at the Coffeehouse in downtown Normal.

is a disaster that both parties in Washington are fostering the illusion that the strikes are costfree. Additionally, members of Congress can be of great service to their peace constituencies by sending out informational mailings to voters and making floor speeches on such issues as detention policies, demanding independent statistics about Afghanistan civilian casualties, opposing the secret pre-emptive war now underway in Pakistan, and revealing the occasional eye-popping story [the CIA has provided Viagra to warlords, for example - LA Times, Sept. 20, 2009, 31st paragraph, one line]. FORUMS TO RETHINK THE AL QAEDA THREAT Obama has tried to narrow the US military objective to “destroying” and “derailing” al Qaeda, a goal that has strong popular support, but may be heading into a cul-de-sac of his own making. Serious think tanks, joined perhaps with members of the armed services committees, need to generate a strategic rethinking

Independent Thinkers

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school, I found out from a mutual friend that my future roommate had transferred back home. I blankly unpacked my belongings; roommate-less and startled, I grew anxious. I had visions of myself being trapped in the very room I stood in for the rest of my college days. Shaking the night-

Indy

mare off, I decided to really see what was still out there. Turns out, my options weren’t so grave. In actuality, waiting really isn’t that bad. You have time to make a rational decision, find a secure roommate, and more importantly a way to pay for it. Of course, I still am in search of a roommate, thus selecting an apartment has been delayed. Realtors in the area hype the idea of signing a lease as soon as possible, but for what? Four months later, there are still options for people like me; granted, I didn’t get as many choices as the people who slept on concrete for three days and missed class to

preserve their spot in line back in September. However, new construction like the Cherry St. Townhomes and the JSM site behind Hewett are readily available for unfortunate procrastinators like me. Another thing I don’t understand about the companies in the area is the need to overtly showcase their homes practically a year in advance. The Daily Vidette is littered with ads for apartments that are available to rent for the NEXT SCHOOL YEAR. Kinda early, don’t you think? It creates pressure for people to find a place (sometimes despite the rent) before they’re all gone. There is the business aspect to consider as they attempt to rent out as many rooms as possible, but in order to do so, shouldn’t is be an easy, hassle-free process? Or are ISU students accolade into a frenzy that begins well before they are ready, much less know what they are getting into? How do we fight the small-scale real estate system? The answer: by taking out apartment selection one rational step at a time. Now I’m not saying we should all wait until the month before move-in to find a place. Yet to ease the decision making, we should have a better system that lets us choose fairly, systematically, and rationally. During the process, we should have fun, not be flustered for friends, mooching out parents for money or swiftly sign our year away.

stan funding debate will continue for the next few months, with members of Congress looking over their shoulders at constituents while the November election nears. The US military surge will peak this summer, leading to an unpredictable outcome for the generals and politicians. The neocon and Republican lobbies will oppose virulently any Obama beginning of withdrawal in 2011, perhaps with counter-pressure in the wings from a Senator like Russ Feingold who supports a withdrawal timetable if Obama delays. The outcome of these events will be central to the next presidential election, which realistically begins in 2011. The politics could be 2008 all over again, with a brutal military escalation [“surge”] followed by an election debate over whether to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2006 and 2008, the peace movement and public opinion were huge

factors in dumping the Republican Congress and electing Barack Obama. History rarely repeats. By now the President and the Democratic majority have disenchanted much of the peace and justice constituency, while the conservative counter-movement is riding high. If Obama and the Democrats cannot bring back the peace vote in great numbers, the presidency and Congress are in serious jeopardy. Mere verbal promises of peace will ring hollow unless coupled with action. I was speaking on a Chicago panel with a former US general recently, an intelligent man who predicted gloomily [from his viewpoint] that the US has only three years to “fix” Afghanistan “before Obama surrenders to the peace movement.” I told the general that was the best prediction I’d heard all evening, but it remained to be seen if it was accurate.

indy Feb 22  

Unofficial PG7 Bloomington-Normal’s free independent newspaper February 22- March 5, 2010 Vol. 9, No. 7 Joe W. Freelance Contributer Go to...

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