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Author Archive

The Bottom Line: Facing Down Budget Cuts

What would you do without The Torch?

by Published: Nov 7, 2012

We’re the only col­lege news­pa­per in a 60 mile radius and rep­re­sent a stu­dent voice for the thou­sands of stu­dents at Ferris.

Without us, you’d never know about all the fun things going on at Ferris or the less than savory actions of fel­low stu­dents in the “On the Record” section.

Without The Torch, you might not have known about Representative Phil Potvin’s ille­gal dump­ing, the hike in tuitions, a non-biased vot­ing guide that fea­tured both major and third par­ties or my many opin­ions on var­i­ous sub­jects from FSUS to slav­ery. (more…)

 
 

Coming Out of the Broom Closet

A real-life witch tells all

by Published: Oct 31, 2012

I’m a Pagan.

There, I said it. But that’s not the end of the story. I’m also a witch and I have been prac­tic­ing witch­craft for over a decade. I don’t wear a pointy hat. I do have a broom, but its chief uses are sweep­ing the kitchen floor and some­times the front porch–unfortunately, I can­not use it to fly.

For me, this is easy to say now because I’ve lived as a Pagan and a witch for a long time, and I’ve come to terms with the uneasi­ness it can some­times cause peo­ple. I’m pre­pared to defend my beliefs and my faith with an open mind and the knowl­edge that what­ever the reac­tion, I can still go home to a lov­ing envi­ron­ment and spir­i­tual com­mu­nity. (more…)

 
 

Bottom of the Barrel

No taxation without representation

by Published: Oct 24, 2012

It may sur­prise you to know I am one of those “swing vot­ers.” I don’t swear alle­giance to any one cer­tain party, but it’s no sur­prise if you’ve read my pre­vi­ous edi­to­ri­als which way I tend to fall.

When it comes to vot­ing, pol­i­tics and the whole elected gov­ern­men­tal estab­lish­ment, part of me would rather just throw the lot of the can­di­dates into a ring and have them go fisticuffs to see who would win. One big, pri­mal, hell in a cell cage match would be much sim­pler and surely the rev­enue would com­pen­sate for a big chunk of the deficit—or would it?

In the 2008 elec­tion, Americans had the high­est per­cent­age of voter turnout since 1972, yet that still rep­re­sents only 57 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion. Compared to the 1860 election’s turnout of 80 per­cent (when Lincoln was elected), it’s a fair state­ment to say we’ve become com­pla­cent in our demo­c­ra­tic process. (more…)

 
 

Chivalrous Chauvinist

Living in a world of prejudice

by Published: Oct 17, 2012

One of the hard­est things I’ve con­stantly dealt with on a nearly daily basis is sexism.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not one of those bra-burning femi-nazis—when some­one opens a door for me I thank them. What I’m talk­ing about is the con­stant belit­tle­ment of my intel­li­gence by peo­ple who lob me into the same cat­e­gory as every other 20-something ding­bat who knows how to tie their shoes but thinks tying a slip­knot is some­thing to do with a heavy metal band.

The brunt of this hap­pened to me when I worked at a retail store as an elec­tri­cal depart­ment man­ager. Daily, peo­ple would come in and ask me if I could find some­one to help them with their elec­tri­cal ques­tions. They were sadly dis­ap­pointed when I stood there in front of them and proudly declared “right here.”

On sev­eral occa­sions, and it was mostly men who did this, the per­son would say, “I don’t think you’ll know what I’m doing,” and walk away, find another asso­ciate, who in turn would call me. Then the asso­ciate would bring the per­son back to me so I could answer his ques­tion. This usu­ally led to a lot of ten­sion. I’ve found men don’t like it when a woman knows more about a “man’s work” than they do.

One of the big­ger insults I hear (still) is “Wow, you’re really smart for a woman!” It makes me want to say back “Astute obser­va­tion; you must be an excel­lent judge of character.”

Still more, once when I was chang­ing a 600-pound roll of 00 gauge cop­per wire, I had a man try to help me because I was “doing it wrong.” Mind you, I’d done this sev­eral times with­out fail. It’s a very lucky thing I’m never long sep­a­rated from a pair of good boots because this man’s “help” lead to me nearly hav­ing a bro­ken foot.

As the fork truck dri­ver maneu­vered the roll of wire into place on the rack­ing, I began to feed the rung from which it hung into the slots, and as the wire roll was being dropped, the man decided I hadn’t prop­erly posi­tioned the rung, removed it and the entire roll scraped down my right shin and landed on my foot. The man promptly turned and blamed me for the whole acci­dent. After the fork truck dri­ver lifted the roll of wire off my foot, I went inside, pulled the splin­ters out of my shin and found some­one else to cut his damned wire.

This is an exam­ple of some­thing I like to call “chival­rous chau­vin­ism,” which is basi­cally a polite way of say­ing “I’m a sex­ist prick, but it’s okay because I’m just try­ing to be nice to you or help you.” I’m not a fem­i­nist, I’m an equalist.

Just the other day I had a gen­tle­man tell me that “per­sons of the female species pre­fer expen­sive things, that’s why it’s a good thing men are stronger so they can tell them ‘no’ with­out fear of retal­i­a­tion.” This man gave me and my other coworker a nearly 10-minute dis­ser­ta­tion on why women weren’t equal because they weren’t strong enough to take down a man. At the end of this speech, I politely asked him, “Have you ever been hit by girl rugby player?” He was thank­fully silenced. My next sug­ges­tion was to give him a swift kick in the balls. That’s science’s way of equal­iz­ing the world—girls don’t have that disability.

Here we come to the axiom of this piece: If I need your help, I will ask. Furthermore, for the rest of the women out there: Stop think­ing you can’t do some­thing because you have the wrong set of gen­i­talia for the com­mon social norm. If I find one more of you ladies out in the world who insists she needs a hus­band to do cer­tain things, I’m going to give you a very spe­cial les­son in Jax Anger’s Women Studies Course 101.

Also, boys, don’t think you can’t do some­thing just because it’s women’s work. Want to take a good guess where my fiance is right now? In the kitchen, doing the dishes and mak­ing me a sam­mich. n

 
 

Thumper

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all

by Published: Oct 10, 2012

If you‘ve watched Bambi, then you know about the fuzzy lit­tle rab­bit named Thumper whose infa­mous line is above. He’s unfor­tu­nately not the type of thumper I’m talk­ing about, but his mes­sage still rings true. This past week I’ve per­son­ally ran into more Bible thumpers than I can remember.

As I walked to class one morn­ing last week, I saw an elderly gen­tle­man stand­ing on the street cor­ner by the Science Building. I don’t typ­i­cally con­no­tate peo­ple stand­ing on cor­ners with Godliness. He handed me a small abridged ver­sion of the King James Bible. (more…)

 
 

Potvin’s Illegal Dump

by Published: Oct 3, 2012

In 1996, under sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) received an anony­mous phone call tip­ping them off about an ille­gal dump­ing action.

The inves­ti­ga­tions led to Western Concrete Products Company being charged and heav­ily fined. The clean-up effort ranged from 1998 until its ter­mi­na­tion in 2002 and cost the com­pany $162,500 in fines. (more…)

 
 

Willy Wonka’s Slave Use

No, not Oompa Loompas

by Published: Sep 26, 2012

Last week I brought you into the world of child slav­ery by show­ing the cof­fee indus­try in a light not usu­ally seen by the pub­lic. This week, the saga will con­tinue with an exposé of the choco­late indus­try. Sadly, it doesn’t get better.

CNN’s Project Freedom explores the world of slav­ery, and exposes the choco­late indus­try through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy who already has three years of expe­ri­ence work­ing on the plan­ta­tion. (more…)

 
 

Words @ War– Masticating Meltdown

Which side will you chews?

by Published: Sep 26, 2012

There’s noth­ing I enjoy more in this world than a thick, medium rare ham­burger topped with oodles of bacon and ched­dar cheese.

The fact is, meat gets a bad rap from health “pro­fes­sion­als” who tell us in all sorts of vary­ing degrees that meat is bad. No, it is not. Your per­cep­tion of meat is what is to blame.

Back before humans kept track of such things, we didn’t have to think about what was good or bad for us. All food was good because we had to go out every day and pick it up off the ground or hit it with a rock to pro­cure it. Beggars can’t be choosers. Humans are pure­bred preda­tors. We’re also great scav­engers. Our genetic and skele­tal make­ups tell us such things. (more…)

 
 

I Support Slavery Daily

I use small children to make my life happier, part one of two

by Published: Sep 19, 2012

Every day, I wake up around 6:30 a.m. and pour myself a cup of cof­fee. The warm and caf­feinated good­ness rever­ber­ates in my blood­stream and moti­vates me to face another day.

I’ve had this habit for the past 10 years. I love my cof­fee, much like a mass major­ity of Americans who have the same habit in the morn­ing. Some peo­ple can’t go a day with­out drink­ing cof­fee; I am one of those peo­ple. There is, of course, one lit­tle prob­lem that most man­u­fac­tur­ers, stores and cof­fee­houses won’t tell you: it comes from slaves. (more…)

 
 

Words at War: In Vitro Fertilization

Circumventing biology is wrong

by Published: Sep 12, 2012

“John and Kate Plus Eight,” “Conception Story” and a whole slurry of TLC docu-drama real­ity TV glo­ri­fies the use of in vitro fer­til­iza­tion. I’ve watched sev­eral of these types of shows, unable to pull my face away from the tele­vi­sion train wreck, and have come to a few con­clu­sions. (more…)