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Denebola » Justin Kieran http://www.denebolaonline.net The Award-Winning, Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School, Newton, MA Fri, 17 Jun 2011 02:00:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 Japanese Club http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/japanese-club/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/japanese-club/#comments Tue, 02 Nov 2010 05:35:42 +0000 Justin Kieran http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5020 Over the years, the South community has certainly shown that multiculturalism is a growing and important facet of the school.
From the flags in the Student Center, to the foreign exchange students from all corners of the globe, South has made a tremendous effort to diversify.
Yet with all of this focus on learning about other cultures, many students have taken the time to connect to their own roots.
The South community strongly encourages students to pursue their interests, and the many clubs at the school represent the wide range of student pursuits.
The Japanese Language Club, a perfect example of this phenomenon, is a club directed particularly at Japanese students.
The club allows these students, as well as anyone who is interested, to experience Japanese culture, both spoken and written.
Despite having been created just months ago, the club has experienced an enormous amount of growth in the past year.
Ethel Downey, a school librarian and the club’s advisor, noticed this change.
“Last year, the club had only a few students on a regular basis– maybe four or five.  Now we have ten on average, she said. The enthusiasm for the organization is expanding, and fast.
The club has sparked some confused curiosity, however, as some wonder why a Japanese Language Club would form when the ASO (Asian Student Organization) already has such an apparent fan base.
Senior Jae Rhee, one of the club’s organizers, feels that Japanese Language Club offers a different experience, however.
“ASO tries to spread knowledge about all Asian cultures. Some people may want to focus on one, which is why this new club was created, Rhee said.
Indeed, ASO has always emphasized the variety and diversity of Asian cultures. They have raised money with everything from Boba Tea to Raman sales, all of which go towards funding the club’s annual Asian Night. 
“Asian Night is a perfect example of how the ASO works, Rhee said, “We try to give the South community a feel for all Asian traditions.
The Japanese Language Club, on the other hand, has not had much time to connect very much with the rest of the community in its early stages, even with members’ efforts to decorate the school’s hallways.
Both communities have been able to flourish in their own ways, however.
ASO continues to teach us about different cultures, and the Japanese Language Club targets Japanese students specifically.But despite their differences, both clubs plan to work in harmony; the Japanese Language Club is always welcome to be a part of Asian Night.
“I welcome the new club, and I look forward to its advancement, Rhee said.

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Tea Party gains influence after midterm elections http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/tea-party-gains-influence-after-midterm-elections/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/11/02/tea-party-gains-influence-after-midterm-elections/#comments Tue, 02 Nov 2010 05:10:14 +0000 Justin Kieran http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=5031 These past midterm elections have had an enormous impact on our nation as well as on Massachusetts.
Lessons were learned and promises were made as democrats from all over the nation– aside from Massachusetts that is– were attacked by a tidal wave of Republicans and Tea Partiers. 
Notable Tea Party and Repbulican victories included Representative Mark Rubio in Florida, Senator Rand Paul in Kentucky, Senator Jim DeMint in South Carolina, and Dan Coats in Indiana.
By contrast, some Democratic incumbents were able to keep their seats, including Representative Barney Frank in Massachusetts, Senator Harry Reid–Senate majority leader–in Nevada, and Senator Chris Coons in Delaware.
Regardless of the seeming severity of the situation, the future still looks bright for Democrats in congress.
These elections established the fact that the Republicans are no longer united; the Tea Party will pose as an obstacle and detriment to their political power.
In Alaska, Tea Partier Joe Miller lost to Republican imcumbent Lisa Murkowski, who won with the first successful write-in campaign since 1960.
Miller, however, has halted the certificaition of election results, arguing that some ballots cannot be legally counted.
Although Republicans may have taken over the House of Representatives, between the Senate and the Presidency, the Democrats have a lot of time to make “change we can believe in.
The first problem for Republicans is their unwillingness to work with their partners on the left.
As we saw last year, conservatives seem focused on making liberals look bad. 
The issue is after their enormous win, the Republican Party will be synonymous with any mistakes caused by the government.
In fact, Jon Stewart, political comedian and host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, noted that in victory speeches on November 2, Republicans made sure to mention that this is still Obama’s government.
By making Obama look powerful, the right can draw attention away from themselves in 2012.
Unfortunately for them, Obama is going to have to prove that he still has power. 
Essentially, the Republicans will either have to deal with criticisms from the public, or let Obama pass one piece of legislation to show any type of action and progress in the White House.
Their problems, however, don’t end there.
As of late, not all conservatives in Congress see eye to eye; the Tea Party is messing with the right- wing identity.
Because many Republicans had to battle Tea Partiers for seats in the Senate and the House, there is now a struggle for power. 
In fact, the Economist argues that Obama will be able to keep his place as President in 2012 simply because the Tea Party will undermine their closest allies. 
In the end, the Tea Party wants to make a name for itself, and sabotaging their friends may be the way to do just that.
We’ve even seen this before in England. 
During its last elections, Britain found itself with a coalition government because the Liberal Democrats sold themselves out to the Tories.
They wanted attention, even if that meant compromising their ideals.
There is no doubt that the elections went badly for democrats. 
However, as liberals begin to pick up the pieces of their party, they need to remember that they do have a chance of redemption.
If nothing else, Obama’s position seems to be safe for the meantime. 
Some have said that the world will end in the year 2012, and based on what happened in November, many voters in Massachusetts (who voted unanimously for Democrats) probably thought so. 
But if the Republicans don’t pull themselves together, those voters might have hope yet.

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News analysis: voter participation to determine governor race http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/news-analysis-voter-participation-to-determine-governor-race/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/news-analysis-voter-participation-to-determine-governor-race/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 07:03:20 +0000 Justin Kieran http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=4896 As the November midterm elections draw near, residents not just of Massachusetts, but all over the United States await with bated breath to see whether or not President Obama and the Democrats will be able to hold onto their majority in the House of Representatives as well as in the Senate.
But after the surprising turn of events in last year’s race for a senate seat formally held by Ted Kennedy, Massachusetts residents in particular seem to be more focused on state elections. After 8000 voters turned out for a speech last month to hear our president praise Deval Patrick, the current democratic governor, it’s no wonder that voters prefer him to Charles Baker (R), Jill Stein (G), or Tim Cahill (I).
As of now, Patrick has 46 percent of the vote, with Baker at 39 percent.
Patrick’s issue with only two weeks until election day is not getting support, but rather getting that support to show up on election day.
In 2009, as America watched Scott Brown win one of the most important senate seats at the time, a deep truth was made clear: “Obama-mania was over. Part of the reason that Obama won by such a landslide in 2008 was because voters from all over our country got excited for his movement of change.
After two years, many voters in Massachusetts have seen little change at all; the healthcare bill that passed through Congress is something that we’re used to in a state in which 98 percent of residents have insurance, and Massachusetts still has numerous economic issues.
Suddenly, many democratic and liberal voters are deciding not to vote on November second.
The good news is that Patrick still has room to fix his issues. Although the Democrats, including Patrick himself, cannot boast about results, they can rally together to get votes on election day.
A Gallup poll from September 2010 reminds us that 54 percent of Americans believe that conservatives in this country have become more conservative, and that about the same number of liberal voters are voting for their candidate just to spite Republicans.
Patrick also has a chance to remind voters that with Republicans becoming the party of “ no, Charlie Baker may not be the best choice.
Most importantly, the other candidates have shown their own faults, which may end up saving Patrick in the long run.
Charlie Baker is being attacked for firing thousands during hard times. Tim Cahill is unable to separate himself from the competition, with 40 percent of voters saying that they are unable to tell the difference between him and the republican candidate.
All the while, Jill Stein hasn’t even fully explained her stance on issues such as balancing the budget, abortion rights, or gay marriage.
In the end, Deval Patrick needs to do one thing: get people excited. At this point, he is both the favorite to win, as well as the candidate with the fewest threats to his campaign.
John McCain nearly lost his own state in the presidential election (winning only 53 percent of the vote) because he assumed that his constituency would show up on election day.
As long as Patrick stays focused, the election should be a predictable one.

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