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Nothing and everything

If you stand for nothing and everything, eventually you’ll end up with nothing. Allied Air Power leads in Libya.

The time has come, in short, for the Arab regimes to demonstrate regionally and internationally the will and courage to act demonstrated by many of their own citizens domestically. Otherwise, they run the risk, in what is supposed to be a transforming Middle East, that when the last Libyan rebel lies bleeding in the desert, the boot of a pro-Gaddafi thug upon his neck, his last gasp will be: “Where are the Arabs?”


Harvard leads, Welcomes back ROTC

Harvard gazette story

“Our renewed relationship affirms the vital role that the members of our Armed Forces play in serving the nation and securing our freedoms, while also affirming inclusion and opportunity as powerful American ideals,” Faust said. “It broadens the pathways for students to participate in an honorable and admirable calling and in so doing advances our commitment to both learning and service.” Harvard President Drew Faust

“NROTC’s return to Harvard is good for the University, good for the military, and good for the country,” said Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. “Together, we have made a decision to enrich the experience open to Harvard’s undergraduates, make the military better, and our nation stronger. Because with exposure comes understanding, and through understanding comes strength.”

Congratulations to Harvard. The link provides a good video of images with President Faust speaking in the background. Harvard leads the way!


Pop songs (modern music corner) #1

Tired of debating the merits of flogged out classic songs and middle age alternative music? Sick of arguments about the reasons for a pole being on top of an ice cream cart? The modern music corner strives to take a look at some of what youth is listening to that is produced today. How about we blog about some tunes in the top ten for a change?

Today’s song is Bottoms Up currently #27 on the charts, peaking at #6.

The fast transitions and flash images in this video are not to me liking. However, the style, the music, and the way in which Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj put together an interesting “male v female” exchange to state the obvious reality in the form of critique and criticism is really amazing. Talent.

Like or dislike?


College and Town to weigh in in Pownal

MA Town Will Weigh In On Vermont Biomass Plant

Friday, 01/21/11 5:50pm

Susan Keese – Manchester, Vt.

(Host) Massachusetts will be allowed to play a role in the Vermont Public Service Board’s review of a proposed 30 megawatt biomass power plant in Pownal.

The plant, which also includes a wood pellet factory, would be built on the former Green Mountain Race Track. The site is four miles from Williams College and the business district of Williamstown Massachusetts.

Jim Kolesar is a Williams College spokesman. (Kolesar) “There were several possible adverse affects on college property including affects on air quality and traffic through campus, and also the effects on woodlands wich we own quite a lot of very close to the project.”

(Host) Both the town and the College filed motions to intervene in the Vermont proceedings that will determine whether or not Beaver Wood Energy gets to build the plant. The Massachusetts-based Berkshire Regional Planning Commission also asked to be included. Beaver Wood Energy claimed Vermont’s Public Service Board has no jurisdiction outside the state. But in a recent order, Hearing officer Edward McNamara accepted all three out-of-state-motions to participate. He wrote that, given the close proximity of the proposed project to Massachusetts, residents of that state may face greater impact from the project than Vermont residents.

This may be the beginning of the end for viable alternative fuel in Pownal. Williams appears to be more openly hostile towards the plant now.

Confusion, multiple arguments, lawyers from multiple parties. Cost, cost, cost. This is how the area loses any chance at viable industrial productivity. Even with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives on the table.  Even with a starving economy. Even with a global war that has ever increasing costs, now tallying trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives.


How much of a drunk are you too? Two

Where is this? Current Drunk score: EphLaw:1 Jeffz:1


Mika V. Miley- Real or staged?

Is this an actual dispute between a 40 plus year old anchor and a teen idol, or a staged conflict invented by marketing to promote both stars in their targeted demographic? Please vote below.


Pownal to Williams/town- Stay out of my kitchen!

From the Bennington Banner:

In a split vote, the Select Board decided Thursday to send a letter to the Public Service Board, asking it to deny party status to out-of-state entities such as Williamstown, Mass., regarding permitting of a proposed 29.5 megawatt biomass facility at the former Green Mountain Race Track.

Those pesky Vermonters!

(Ed note: The Green Mountain Boys Flag)

“The gods of the valley are not the gods of the hills, and you shall understand it.”
Ethan Allen Reply to the King’s attorney-general (June 1770), in a New York court case decided against him, prior to his armed resistance to claims of New York authority over Vermont.

Many arguments suggesting that Williamstown should have a voice because of impact, but I do not see anyone suggesting Pownal should be able to regulate Williamstowns plant- funny how that works!


Is this statement true?

Link to topix debate- Great stuff! Town and gown!

The Williams College heating plant particulate emissions ranking in the Commonwealth of Mass,with 0 being cleanest,and 100 being dirtiest in the state, is 90.

What exactly is the emissions data from the college power plant, how much growth in use has there been in the last decade?

Why be for biomass and other local fuel sources? It’s the war, stupid!

(Ed Note: Picture of the 1934 Cramm and Ferguson gem added Sun 16Jan’11 at 11:11 PST)


How much of a drunk are you, too?

Test your skill. Where is this location?


How much of a drunk are you?

In the vain of (rip off of) the Diana Davis series of pics around Williams Campus I am going to begin posting a series of pics that relate to alcohol. Williams is a heavy drinking school… so this should be easy. Don’t be bashful!

Where was this picture taken? Please add why you think you remember this item or location.

(Ed note: Dick Cavett recalls his first drunk and the legendary bed-spins DS)


Mounties Football goes unbeaten 12-0. Wins Title.

Latest victim in title game is Athol. Greylock 34- Athol 14. Something in the local water this year! Mount Greylock Regional High School Football Team steamrolled the Division, compiling a 12-0 record.
Even more impressive is the dominance they displayed, winning by large numbers the entire season. Coach Shawn Flaherty, Asst. Coaches Paul Barrett and Brian Gill developed this team into one of the finest in county history. Congratulations to all!


Jobs meet the Global War

Biomass moves forward in Pownal.


Ephs enlist in our armed forces, Williams should return the honor

In an effort to move the conversation away from the presumption that Military Veterans would need special considerations, I would like to point out that our armed forces currently has well over 1000% more Ephs than Williams has veterans (0). If the Military is smart enough to recruit and enlist Ephs, as well as put some Ephs into Officer Programs- why can’t Williams find some valid candidates?

No special consideration is needed. Although I do believe, ten years into a global war, Williams and other schools like it should house officer programs for qualified enlisted members.


For those that missed it

Williams Record review of the New Purple Pub here. What once made the original Pub a great venue is that the bar was an unapologetic dive, complete with dirty floors, burn stains and dusty license plates on the walls. The prices were cheap.
Not sure about the new formula. Place looks great, and has a killer location. The review is less than raving.


Townie Wingnuttery: PTC on MA-19-JAN-2010 election

UPDATE::PTC had emailed me these comments first and I had drafted a post. I’m going to stand as proxy here for PTC, a bit. — Ken

PTC e-mailed me these further comments on Coakley’s loss. I hope that we can focus more on the substance and less on the personalities. — DK UPDATE 2: As proxy, this is my thread for now, and I’m going to set some groundrules. The first groundrule is: no namecalling. Got it?

The thread has turned into a silly debate about a blogger, rather than the issues at hand. Although I do appreciate the fact that the exchanges with HWC have made it one of the most posted threads in ephgblog history… I do wish someone would speak more to the issues that lost Coakley the election.

Yes I know… how many threads has PTC hijacked with some townie wingnuttery? I am no one to talk… I know, I know!

Read more


Martha Lost the Townie Vote

PTC e-mail these comments yesterday but we never got around to posting them. Sorry! — DK

Well folks, I think today is going to be a banner day for MA Republicans. In the end, I think Coakley is going to lose on the issues. People are not happy with what the health care bill has become without the public option, and her fundraiser with big health care operatives played right into that.
Read more


“The real Mayor of Spring Street”

Project webpage is up and running. It will be interesting to see what angle the Williams students take for this research? Judging from the pictures on the webpage… I think they are getting a feel for the larger metaphor.

Update: Sign up to follow the blog for the Real Mayor here. If you have “stories or anecdotes” to tell about the gas station or Art, the researchers are looking for input.


The politics of Afghanistan/ Vietnam cont.

Previous discussion here and here.

One thing that might beat us in Afghanistan is the disconnect. The public is relatively disconnected from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unlike Vietnam where we had a draft, most Americans are not forced to deeply analyze, sacrifice and soul search for these current conflicts. That is left to the military, family members and other supporting elements. In some odd way- the fact that this war is dissimilar to Vietnam because of a lack of connection may be our undoing.

Most Americans can ignore it, and that makes them feel uneasy about it… along with the way we are paying for it- there is a sense of guilt that I get from leaders like Martha Coakley and James McAllister… hard to put my finger on it, exactly. Almost as if people are searching for reasons not to have to support this effort, to avoid the effort itself. If the wars can be put it in a box and called Vietnam, something that one can recognize and feel (as bad), one can justify a lack of commitment.

Iraq and Afghanistan are being paid for by debt and some severe sacrifices of the very few in our society. Perhaps that is a good thing? Perhaps not. It could be our undoing in these conflicts… if the soul searching never occurs, comes up empty, or is severely damaged through false comparisons.

Obama asks us in his speech to do more… to unite behind this cause. I do hope that does not fall on empty ears searching for reasons to stay detached. Will more Ephs and Americans join this effort because of Obamas plea for commitment and unity… or will we continue the partisan divide and false analogies of the past?

Coakley may very well be voting on these wars in the near future. Let us hope, her memories of Vietnam do not distort her position. Let us hope, that our leaders take an honest look at these conflicts and that the end result is a product of baggage free analysis rather than guilt over present and past demons. May the public and our leaders show more passion for or against these conflicts, rather than this strange sense of guilt and detachment.

Afghanistan is not Vietnam. Afghanistan is not Iraq, either.


Williamstown , MA Post 152

Legion symbol

The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, war-time veterans organization, devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is a not-for-profit community-service organization which now numbers nearly 3 million members, men and women, in nearly 15,000 American Legion posts worldwide.

The legionnaire pledge:

‘I, (here give your name), ‘Do solemnly pledge ‘To uphold and defend ‘The Constitution of the United States of America;
‘To maintain law and order; ‘To foster and perpetuate
‘A one hundred percent Americanism;  ‘To preserve the memories and incidents ‘Of our associations in the Great Wars; ‘To inculcate a sense of individual obligation‘To the community, state and nation;  ‘To combat the autocracy‘Of both the classes and the masses;  ‘To make right the master of might;  ‘To promote peace and good will on Earth; ‘To safeguard and transmit to posterity ‘The principles of Justice, Freedom and Democracy; ‘To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship ‘By our devotion to mutual helpfulness;  ‘To all of which I pledge myself  ‘For God and Country.  ‘I am not a member and do not subscribe  ‘To the principles of any group  ‘Opposed to our form of government.

Have a great homecoming everyone.


Rent a place in the woods

All this continuous blogging about noise complaints, restricted parties, lousy housing options and the pressures of the purple bubble has really got this townie wondering…

How come students don’t rent a place in the woods? Finding a rural property within 10 min of Williams is easy. Students could keep their campus housing and pitch in to rent a place in the middle of nowhere dirt cheap.

Have students ever thought about a co op in the mountains of Pownal as a crash pad on the weekends and for events when they want to make some noise? I knew one student who lived up White Oaks road… he was an artist, and had a fantastic rural pad that he lived in for two years. Another student built a log cabin on our property when I was a kid. You all could have a heated pool… a pond, and a huge deck for dancing the night away.

How come you guys don’t rent a place to do as you wish?


About the purple noise

It cuts a lot deeper than a loud college party on Friday or Saturday night.

Beyond the ‘purple’ noise

…Though the relationship between the College and residents is a close one, the distinction between the two sharpens after dark. During the daytime, things seem peaceful and pleasant. Some Williamstown residents choose to audit classes, do some research and reading at the libraries or check out the newest exhibit at the College’s art museum. Residents speckle themselves in the crowds at home games, cheering on their Ephs. Throughout the year, students, faculty and staff spend their dime around town, sending a welcomed jolt to the local economy. The relationship appears positive, even harmonious, and definitely not abrasive or disruptive. Last Saturday, however, the noise complaint that placed a premature end to First Chance, a senior event that also doubles as a fundraising opportunity for other senior social events, exposed a split between what College students and the town’s residents deem as suitable and tolerable noise levels for certain social functions.


The confusion revolves around why residents would be consistently bothered to this point, given the supposedly open relationship between the town and the College. It would seem that an issue such as this should have already been addressed and an agreeable solution found. For students to offer advanced and proper notice about these events is only one step to solving this recurring problem altogether. When the Office of Campus Life authorizes events as these, it must give organizers sufficient and realistic information as to what exactly will fly in Williamstown, what will bring the police and what will not bring them. For Campus Life to do this at all, students and the town’s residents must first establish a lucid threshold for noise that balances students’ social wants with the town’s tolerance. Otherwise, this problem will continue to arise in the future, therein digging an unnecessary gap of distrust between the two parties…

A noise complaint is a limited venue to pick for this town v gown assessment… and the opinion shows a pretty deep lack of understanding in regards to the serious problems town residents face in Williamstown that are related to the college. I am not blaming this person, because he has been subjected to a rigorous propaganda campaign from the school that paints a rosy picture. No doubt he will be or is smart enough to recognize that propaganda as soon as he scratches the surface… so, the question: Has he scratched the surface, or is he too, taking part in the propaganda machine?

I suggest that students talk to some locals at places like cozy corners and the legion, look at college construction projects and purchases of land since the foundation of the college in order to get a sense of the real town gown problems in Williamstown- if there is a true interest in this topic as this political science major suggests?

Look at the make up of the town selectmen, and arguments that have been made at meetings and in the press about the lackluster and predatory nature college engagement with the town in the past.

I think if students like this one, who seems to have an interest,  made it outside of the campus, spoke with others, looked at the amount of business holdings Williams has in Williamstown (essentially a monopoly or trust) and then looked at taxes v land value (or lack of taxes in Williams’ case)… the problems of college encroachment on middle class business properties and homes in town center, the construction, the drastic increase in “temporary” hires for blue collar Williams jobs to save money on benefits, the faltering/ failing state of the local high school… combined with the void of “townie” 20-30 year olds in the population pyramid… political scince majors might be shocked to find it goes a lot deeper than a noise complaint at a college party, and that they have a serious venue for study right in front of them.

It’s the students choice. What kind of a political science major do students desire to be? Social scientist who support and defends the elite status quo or that enable the struggling classes within his society? I encourage any political science or sociology major to dig into this for a project. They might find, they have a vast previously untapped resource for study right in front of them.

[Edits by Ronit: paragraph breaks added, link to original Record article added]
[Edits by Will: Article exerpted]


Rick Moon 92′, falls short on bid for Mayor

> Daniel Bianchi 3,540 45%
> James Ruberto 2,998 38%
Pam Malumphy 775 10%
Nicholas Caccamo 386 5%
Rick Moon 54 1%
Jeffrey Ferrin 50 1%
Stephen Fillio 50 1%
Lisa Boyd 43 1%
Paul Kwasniowski 27 0%
Mark Marciano 22 0%

Previous discussion here.


Protest Darfur, buy American!

save darfur

In this article about Darfur, Ephblog regular and expert on African affairs dcat writes about the never ending diplomatic posturing of western powers that are not willing to take action to stop the bloodletting. The truth is that the French own Darfur. It is their baby. Lawn signs are not going to stop the fact that the United States does not have a legitimate course of action to stop the genocide in the Darfur. If you are mad about Darfur, protest against France.

This year is supposed to be a banner year for French Wine, but if you love America, you’ll buy from Napa.

JANUARY 2005– The crisis in the Darfur province of Sudan, which has already claimed over 70,000 lives and forced 1.5-2 million people from their homes, has placed France in the familiar position of resisting American activism in the United Nations. The United States has repeatedly tried to rally the Security Council into action, urging sanctions against the Khartoum government and deliberately using the term “genocide,” which requires action under international law. France, on the other hand, appears to be protecting Sudan or, at the very least, stalling. In July 2004, Paris opposed U.S. efforts to impose sanctions on Sudan, forcing the passage of a much weaker Security Council resolution that threatened Khartoum only with eventual “measures” to be taken if it did not crack down on the militias blamed for the violence in Darfur. In September, France brushed aside the genocide charge made by Colin Powell before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Grave” human rights abuses had certainly taken place, French officials acknowledged, but whether or not they constituted a genocide, they argued, was a question that had to be determined after careful consideration by an international committee. France has consistently cautioned the international community against acting rashly and insisted on slow and careful mediation as the correct response to the crisis in Darfur. American critics of France and human rights activists alike are infuriated.


Afghanistan/ Vietnam part 3

support the troops

In the previous thread “Afghanistan/ Vietnam” Ephlbog author Ronit highlighted Political Science professor James McAllister’s sweeping comparisons of Afghanistan and Vietnam. Articlesopinion pieces in this vain have been popping up quite often recently.

In his recent report General Stanley A. McChrystal continually calls for increased troop levels and states emphatically:

“Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.”

“This is a struggle for the support of the Afghan people. Our willingness to operate in ways that minimize casualties or damage — even when doing so makes our task more difficult — is essential to our credibility,” McChrystal said. “I cannot overstate my commitment to the importance of this concept.”

To Which the WH responded:

White House officials say the president stands by the comments he made at the weekend when he told talk shows that he is hesitant to escalate the numbers of troops in Afghanistan but agrees that a new strategy is required to combat the Taliban and al-Qaida. “Until I’m satisfied that we’ve got the right strategy, I’m not going to be sending some young man or woman over there beyond what we already have,” Obama said on Meet the Press.

Such is politics. President Obamas lukewarm response has to give pause to those of us who believe we need to win in Afghanistan.  Obama continually promised the electorate that he believed in the war, and that he would not let us falter in the conflict. General McChrystal is a very capable expert who was given the time and resources to do a full analysis of the situation on the ground, and come up with a plan to win.  McChrystal continually warns throughout his report that increased numbers and a tactical shift is needed now if we are going to succeed.

What we may find is that liberal baby boomer fear of conflict and the demons of their generation push the polity to ignore the military experts and follow a course that leads to a self fulfilling prophesy. We may indeed come to a point historically where comparison of these two wars is viable. We defeat ourselves, because we cannot summon the will to win.


Is it better to be safe?

Frank and I had an exchange about safety at a school like Yale in New Haven, v a place like Williams. Is safety a consideration for parents and students when choosing a college? Williams is in a sleepy little New England town, it has its own internal housing and dinning, essentially sheltered from the world. No doubt, it is very safe. The students do not mix much with the outside populace. Is that better for education? Do young people learn something more from living on the economy and interacting with the larger culture around them? Is a “safer place” really better for a young adults development?

Are the bonds that are formed by Williams graduates and the high degree of loyalty and % of alumni giving partially related to the fact that the Williams experience is a unique experience that everyone shares? Is it harder for the individual to have a unique experience in a setting like that? Does Williams impact its students more culturally than other places because it is so self contained?


MA resident awarded Medal of Honor today


Story here and here.

Update 09/21: Williams medal of honor recipient, William Bradford Turner ‘14, is also a member of this society, are their other Eph recipients?


We are the news!


The iberkshires reporter actually references Ephblog in the comments section
as the place to go to get factual information about “All things Eph”… he even quotes
one of Wills comments. and supplies a link…

Ha! News, what news? We don’t need no stinkin’ news. We are the news!
Ephblog- more “fair and balanced” than Fox, more global than CNN, harsher
than Hannity, more liberal than Olberman, with content that rivals “the View!”

John Raynolds 1951/ UDT Korea

John Raynolds was in UDT Class 6 which graduated in November of 1952. He was a part of the officer corps added to the Teams because of the build up of men to serve in the Korean War. The training for this unit included Hell Week, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 . They were the predecessors of the US Navy SEAL Teams.

The UDT men in Korea began to find themselves more and more operating on land in a series of commando raids. Their assignments included destroying a railway bridge and blowing up railroad tunnels to disrupt North Korean operations and supply lines. It was during the Korean War that UDT men pioneered in sneak inland penetration missions to gather intelligence data and to destroy specific strategic targets such as roads and bridges in the near-coastal area.  Night insertion and reconnaissance became important in Korea.

Kudos to John Raynolds and his honorable record of service to our nation!


How, exactly?

Paths Well Traveled

John F. Raynolds ‘51 This innovator devised strategies that led to development of the U.S. Navy Seals…

From his high school (Blake School) Outstanding Alumni award:

Mr Raynolds was a “co-founder of the U.S. Navy Seals…”

Both these claims are being challenged by members of the UDT/ SEAL Museum and Naval Special Warfare Archives.  Clarification, please?

UPDATE 9/11/09: The college webpage has been updated to reflect that Mr Raynolds was UDT during Korea, and that that unit, evolved into the SEAL Teams. UDT during Korea is no small matter. It was a highly effective combat unit involved in many high risk operations. John Raynolds was in Class 6 which graduated in November of 1952. He was one of those officers added to the Teams because of the build up of men to serve in the Korean War. There is very little on file for him, but he is in a couple of well known books about the Teams. He didn’t stay in the Teams after the Korean War ended.

It is very important that people maintain factual discipline and do not inflate military credentials.  Great to find he was a frogman.


Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the scary cartoon


Link here, synopsis below

It began in December 2006, when Turner Broadcasting, the producers of Adult Swim, a popular late night block of animated shows geared towards teens and college students, authorized two artists to create and disperse magnetic, LED light grids featuring the shows’ characters.  Icons of the Mooninites from Aqua Teen Hunger Force were displayed throughout eleven cities on buildings, overpasses and discreet sites in an urban marketing campaign to promote the upcoming movie. Weeks after the signs were put up, a morning commuter decided that it was his patriotic duty to bring public attention to what he perceived as a potential terrorist plot to bring down the city of Boston. When the city received this call they sprung into action, spending upwards of a million dollars by shutting down bridges and highways and using counter-charges to blow up the small plastic signs that resembled Lite-Bright toys. Attorney General Martha Coakley defended the city’s actions in a public statement saying that “The devices appeared to be sinister and the characters displayed were very suspicious. The placement, the appearance with the batteries and wires indicated that this did not have an innocent purpose”.

Peter Berdovsky, 27, a freelance video artist from Arlington, Massachusetts, and Sean Stevens, 28, were facing charges of placing a hoax device in a way that results in panic, as well as one count of disorderly conduct, said Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. The hoax charge is a felony, she said. Both men were arrested Wednesday evening.

According to his Web site, Berdovsky is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and a founding member of a video artists group called Glitch who goes by the nickname “Zebbler” and sings in a band called “Superfiction.”

The following press conference was held after the arrested were released on bond. Interesting that Turner, the parent of Fox, was involved.

The following reaction from generation Y here.


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