The Weather Machine exists

Local alt-folk artist whispers a little truth

All together now: progressive coffee shop alt-Americana. If the phrase intrigues you (it’s not a drink), if it sounds like one or two notable albums in your collection, or a good description of your musical tastes altogether, then The Weather Machine’s Mr. Pelton’s Weather Machine (2012) may be worth your attention.

Red Fang, the PBR of modern metal

At last, a metal band that says ‘screw you’ to high concepts and lofty meanings

An offshoot of Godwin’s Law (it might have been his brother who said it) has it that any metal band, if analyzed thoroughly, will eventually be likened to early-’70s Black Sabbath. You know: that bombastic faux-evil that sounded legitimately terrifying 40 years ago.

ASPSU candidates’ promises largely unrealistic

Caught up in the buzzwords

A single look at the ASPSU election shows that it’s got all the hallmarks of a real-world political campaign. We have scandals, mudslinging, distractions, lobbying and unrealistic promises. And, following a trend we’ve seen nationally, voter turnout is depressingly low.

Staff Sergeant Bales and the reality of war

What the Kandahar massacre says about 21st century warfare

The American military, as an institution, is as strong and professional now as it has ever been in its history.

This trend runs concurrent with another development. Information technology—specifically, as it relates to photo/video capture, and the instant access of a global audience—is more advanced than ever before.

The Israeli-Palestinian debate

A perspective to please no one

Israel. Palestine. I am reticent, honestly, to engage in such a controversial issue.

Not because I believe my fiery rhetoric for the case of one side over the other will earn me unfriendly attention, or because I am too divided between excellent arguments to pick one.

American conservatism at its least productive

How ‘Republican’ became a punch-line

“President Obama once said he wants everyone in America to go to college,” presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said at a Tea Party rally in Troy, Mich. “What a snob!” The former Pennsylvania senator was enthusiastically applauded.

The populist rhetoric of conservative America has reached a stunning level of vitriol in recent years. Glenn Beck has mercifully drifted into irrelevancy. But others—Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter—continue to comment on the hideous state of modern America.

The ‘why’ of tuition increases

A look at the PSU budget

There is a clear and obvious malaise in American higher education.

Tuition and fees are climbing nationwide at an unprecedented pace as state funding dwindles. Fewer employers are impressed by college credentials, leading to record unemployment for college graduates, burying even more of the American public under inescapable quantities of debt. There is talk of a higher education bubble soon coming to burst. For the first time, there exists a very real possibility that the next generation may choose to be less educated than their parents.

A game with no rules

What is Iran playing at

It is said that in North Korea, the popular belief is that American aid packages are tribute from the vanquished American empire, eager to appease the Communist Paradise, lest they incur the wrath of the invincible Kim dynasty.

Saddam Hussein expressed disdain at the coalition forces assembled against him in the early ’90s Gulf War. To the Iraqi despot, the combined military might of 30 nations aimed at his own demise was the sincerest compliment; a testament to the greatness his nation had achieved.

2012 presidential race promises to be an interesting show

2012 presidential race promises to be an interesting show

Is it 2012 already? I thought it felt a little vitriolic in here.

It is indeed 2012, and the election for the presidency of the United States looms on the horizon. The stage is set. Little-hope and little change versus fed-up and cantankerous. Let the games begin.

Military budget cuts

Apocalypse now or apocalypse averted?

Earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced a strategy within the Pentagon to tackle the looming debt crisis by slashing billions from the American defense budget.

This has been met with the requisite cries of doom by policymakers, pundits and casual onlookers who balk at the idea of reducing our Armed Forces while one war continues, one just ended and the possibility of another looms on the horizon.