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Mr. & Mrs. Monday Episode 10: Friends with Benefits

Pete Camarillo and Steph Stanziano are back this week to talk about the problematic relationship of “Friends with Benefits,” as well as other issues that Mr. and Mrs. Monday have yet to touch on yet.

Death by drone. Obama: oops

A Predator drone in Kandahar, Afghanistan. A growing fleet of U.S. spy planes and drones in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere alllows Air Force analysts to gather intelligence without ground combat troops. (Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

So, President Barack Obama was on TV Thursday to explain that we had inadvertently killed two hostages back in January and he felt the obligation to bring this information to the public.

The news reports raise some troubling questions. As of now I have no faith whatsoever in either the drone program or the resulting stories presented to us.

Some background on the drones used, they’re called The Predator, and have been said to have laser-guided, pinpoint accuracy. They deploy The Hellfire missiles which literally incinerate the victims, hence the name.

Case in point:

“And based on the intelligence that we had obtained at the time, including hundreds of hours of surveillance, we believed that this was an al Qaeda compound; that no civilians were present; and that capturing these terrorists was not possible,’ Obama said.” Italics added.

Just what is an “al Qaeda compound?” and how do we determine that is not addressed. That “no civilians were present” is another good question!

Bear in mind that as published by Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept: “…Obama officially re-defined the term “combatant” to mean “all military-age males in a strike zone.” In other words, as The New York Times reported in 2011, all males between 18 and (roughly) 54 killed by U.S. drones are presumed to be combatants — terrorists — “unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”

Sounds fair enough doesn’t it?

One can surmise that the “no civilian” claim to mean no women, children or elderly were known to be present.

And “capturing these terrorists was not possible” did I miss something? Just which terrorists is he referring to?

So hundreds of hours of surveillance and we still couldn’t even get even some basic facts firmed up?

The New York Times on April 25 reported that:

“Two other Americans who belonged to Al Qaeda, Ahmed Farouq and Adam Gadahn, were also killed in American operations in the same region, the statement said. Neither had been specifically targeted and their presence at the sites of the operations was not known at the time,’ officials said.”

And that…

“One senior American official said that the deaths occurred during two separate strikes in Pakistan in January. One strike killed the two hostages and Mr. Farouq. A second C.I.A. drone strike killed Mr. Gadahn. It is unclear who else was killed in the two operations.”

So the additional news that there were two other Americans killed is a new twist! Is this somehow meant to lessen the impact by implying that, well sure we killed the two hostages, but we did manage to get two American bad guys at the same time Even though we had no idea until after the fact, and we still have no clue whatsoever who else may have been killed.

Now this leaves me confused, didn’t they say only one bad guy died with the two hostages and the other was a different strike?

It sure sounds like they’re saying we don’t have any idea just who it is we’re firing on… so the only criteria being used to justify the kills is that it’s a voting aged male in a strike zone.

Bear in mind that our fellow American (s) didn’t just get “killed,” they were executed in a horrible manner.

If not, firstlook.org has published portions of this report: “Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan”, NYU School of Law and Stanford University Law School, 2012:

The most immediate consequence of drone strikes is, of course, death and injury to those targeted or near a strike. The missiles fired from drones kill or injure in several ways, including through incineration[3], shrapnel and the release of powerful blast waves capable of crushing internal organs. Those who do survive drone strikes often suffer disfiguring burns and shrapnel wounds, limb amputations as well as vision and hearing loss.

Well all of this leaves me pretty disillusioned with the drone program – geez I wonder why Obama didn’t mention the word drone during his press conference? Or the details of death by drone?

Well, don’t worry the victim’s families did get an apology and will be financially compensated and the US counterterrorism operations will keep going on their merry killing way!

To summarize— we did kill three Americans and one Italian. Two of the Americans were alleged to be al Qaeda “low value targets”, although they were in different locations and killed by different strikes.

We had no knowledge that any of the four killed were at said locations when we pulled the trigger.

They all died from Hellfire missile strikes, which means they were incinerated.

“This operation was fully consistent with the guidelines under which we conduct counterterrorism efforts in the region,” Obama said.

All I can say is sleep well folks – we’re safe.

 

 

Nearby places to study for finals week

Inside Bon Bon Tea House. Photo credit: Aiyi Kang

CSUN library is now open until midnight for students studying, but it will still be crowded during finals. Here are some ideas for other study spots near campus.

1. Barclays Coffee & Tea

8976 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324

Hours:
Mon – Thu 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Fri 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sun 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Barclays Coffee & Tea has established their reputation to serve good quality fresh-roasted coffee for more than 40 years. It’s a quiet place, and they offer free WIFI for students using their laptops and tablets. Their friendly baristas give you free coffee refills, and they also give out free things sometimes if you are studying hard.

2. Bon Bon Tea House

9663 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

Hours:
Sun – Thu 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Fri – Sat 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Bon Bon Tea House gives you a lot of choices for drinking, such as different flavored milk tea with Boba, smoothies, slushes, fresh tea, tea latte and many other options. The best part of their tea house is they have lots of seating, wooden tables and chairs, lounge style sofas and extra chairs stacked if needed. It’s a comfortable place for you and your friends to study.

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Boba My Tea's patio. Photo credit: Aiyi Kang

3. Boba My Tea

18429 Nordhoff St. Ste C, Northridge, CA 91325

Hours:
Sun – Wed 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Thu – Sat 11:30 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Many CSUN students consider Boba My Tea to be the best Boba tea in Northridge. If you like to sit outside, they have a big balcony with seats to let you enjoy the weather while studying. They do have sofas, tables and chairs inside the tea house too, since the place is popular. You may use the inside tables for a group meeting, and use the patio for self-studying.

On the Clock: NFL Draft Day Predictions

Image Credit/Google

Read Pete D. Camarillo and Kenneth Berry’s mock draft HERE

With so controversy in this year’s draft, it’s hard to sift through what’s fact or fiction. Here’s what we do know:

1. These rookies have some serious baggage.

If it’s not former LSU Tiger offensive tackle La’el Collins being questioned by police for the murder of his ex-girlfriend who gave birth to a child that might be his it’s players like former LSU corner Jalen Collins, and defensive ends such as former Nebraska Cornhusker Randy Gregory, and former Missouri Tiger Shane Ray all admitting to failing multiple drug tests in college, at the combine and in Ray’s case, when he received a marijuana citation on Monday. All these transgressions will make these players slip because despite their talent, you can’t play football from a courtroom or a jail cell. Just ask former 2006 sixth overall pick and Nebraska running back and Lawrence Phillips, who recently is believed to have murdered his cellmate. These guys are highly sought after prospects who are proving to be incredibly suspect at the moment.Collins might be the only one who can redeem his draft stock because the police said that he is not a suspect in the murder of his ex-girlfriend, even though Louisiana authorities said Collins nor his lawyers have talked to the police yet. All three of these players reputations are dropping faster than P.F Chang’s TV dinner sales and Iggy Azalea’s rap career (if you can call it that).

 

Miami's Phillip Dorsett scores with this pass reception in the second quarter against Duke at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Saturday, November 5, 2011. The Miami Hurricanes defeated the Duke Blue Devils, 49-14. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/MCT)
Miami’s Phillip Dorsett scores with this pass reception in the second quarter against Duke at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Saturday, November 5, 2011. The Miami Hurricanes defeated the Duke Blue Devils, 49-14. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/MCT)

2. Life is great if you’re a fringe pick

Players with no red flags like former Baylor Bear quarterback Bryce Petty, former University of Southern California Trojan wide receiver Nelson Agholor, University of Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith, Mississippi St. Bulldog defensive lineman Preston Smith, Virginia Cavalier Eli Harold, Clemson Tiger linebacker Stephone Anthony, UCLA defensive end Owamaghe Odighizzuma and former teammate and bruin linebacker Eric Kendricks who is the brother of current Philadelphia linebacker Mychal Kendricks are squeaky clean, high character players with low risk and high reward who will be rise in the draft due to the transgressions of more highly touted players. It just goes to show you that it pays to do things the right way, especially in today’s NFL.

 

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota passes against FSU during second quarter during the Rose Bowl College Football Semifinal game on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 in Pasadena, Calif. Oregon led 18-13 at the half. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota passes against FSU during second quarter during the Rose Bowl College Football Semifinal game on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 in Pasadena, Calif. Oregon led 18-13 at the half. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS)

3. Trades are a definite reality every draft, and it’s usually because of a quarterback.

With talk of the Cleveland Browns trying to trade their first round picks to get either Florida State Seminole Jameis Winston or Heisman-winning Oregon Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota, the first round of the 2015 NFL draft will be beautiful chaos, just as long as you’re favorite team doesn’t pull a boneheaded move and reach for a player. Other teams like the Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins, and New York Jets are willing to trade down for more value than cashing their stock in just one player. It’s anyone’s ball game in this draft and you can always count on a controversial pick to be drafted really early or a great player to fall, both for a litany of reasons so sit back, relax, and beg the football gods for clarity for the sake of your team because football is life. Football is forever.

 

 

 

Why Anthony Davis is worth every single penny

The New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis, right, battles for a rebound with the Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. The Grizzlies won, 110-74. (Nikki Boertman/The Commercial Appeal/TNS)

Despite the New Orleans Pelicans four game elimination in the first round of the 2015 playoffs, power forward Anthony Davis is on the brink of being offered the league maximum salary of about $140 million over five years.

With that contract, Davis will make roughly $28 million per season, which would make him the highest paid player in the NBA assuming that another team will not go to the same lengths to save an expiring contract next season.

New Orleans has openly discussed the idea of increasing Davis’ salary if the 2016- 17 salary cap increases.

The 2012 no. 1 overall pick, inked a three year $16 million deal after leading the Kentucky Wildcats to a NCAA championship. His in-game performance has cemented him as one of the best players in the NBA, according to NBA analysts like TNT’s Kenny Smith.

New Orleans’ front office are willing to go the full distance in order to keep their two time all-star and blocks leader. Each year the Pelicans’ leading scorer (24.4) and rebounder (10.2) has set career highs in rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and points per game.

Davis averaged 31 points 11 rebounds and three blocks per game during the post-season battle with the top-seeded Golden State Warriors.

His playoff numbers landed him in the same company as Karl Malone, Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to average 30 points and 10 rebounds in the last 20 years. Davis also joins Bob McAdoo, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlin as the only players to average 30 points and 10 rebounds in their first playoff series.

Since Davis’ debut on the hardwood floor, he has been showered with accolades making it almost a no-brainer that the Pelicans make sure Davis doesn’t run loose during his first free agency campaign.

The Pelicans haven’t financially pursued a player as hard as Davis. The last superstar they had was Chris Paul, who now suits up for the Los Angeles Clippers and the last time the franchise has made a playoff appearance was the 2010- 11 season.

As an expansion team, the Pelicans haven’t had much success since their establishment into the league in 2002.

With a more experienced playoff team led by all-star Davis, the franchise looks to make a larger imprint on the 2016 playoffs.

Specific details of the possible contract will not be discussed until this summer.

Major League Baseball’s ban on Orioles’ fans leaves CSUN divided

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at Camden Yards in Baltimore. The game was closed to the public due to unrest in the city this week. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/TNS)

In an unusual turn of events, the Baltimore Orioles made Wednesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox closed to the public, in lieu of the unrest in Baltimore.

The decision to basically have the Orioles play in an empty stadium has been met with a pensive and an uncertain reaction among the CSUN community.

“I guess it’s not fair,” Coulson Lantz, a 29-year-old staff member at CSUN’s biology department, said. “But nothing really is.”

Despite the likely loss of revenue, the MLB deemed having fans at the game unsafe. However, many baseball fans and spectators are torn about whether or not shutting fans out was the correct thing to do.

“I think there’s good things about it and bad things about it,” Mauricio Cortes, a junior construction management major, said. “It’s not fair because there are [some fans] effected by someone who’s not involved in the riots.”

Concurrently, other people feel that it was fair and necessary for the Orioles and the MLB to take the precautions they did.

“You’ve got this thing where right now you probably wouldn’t want to let the majority of Baltimore into your house or stadium or whatever it is,” said Lantz. “But that’s a stereotype to say that everyone is rioting and looting, and everyone is liable to be arrested for what they’re doing right now. Who knows, maybe it’s a small part of the population that’s doing it.”

But like several members of the CSUN community, Lantz struggles with the idea of punishing segments of people for things they didn’t do.

“I understand the Orioles actions because you can’t stereotype one group, so you can’t let anybody in,” Lantz said.

On the other hand, some people feel that it’s unfair to fans that just want to watch a baseball game.

“Some people just truly want to watch the game,” Suramni Sanford, a freshman film major said.

In addition to just watching a baseball game, Sanford felt that letting the people of Baltimore watch the game can help ease the tension within the city.

“I think with any sport, show, or entertainment, you kind of get jumped into another world,” Sanford said. “You don’t have to worry about the outside cause you’re just stuck in that one [time] zone.”

On the contrary, others feel that there is too much vitriol and restlessness in the city for a baseball game to make any difference.

“I think things are way too heated for that,” Lantz said. “I think they’re well beyond a sports venue providing some type of relief.”

Cortes echoed Lantz’s sentiments, voicing his belief that a single game cannot shift the complexion of a city.

“I don’t think three or four hours would do it,” Cortes said. “This has been going on for quite awhile, it’s not just Baltimore, this has been going around, people are getting fed up.”

In spite of the impact, or lack thereof, that baseball can have on Baltimore during this time of turmoil, Lantz feels that the team can still contribute without even playing the game.

“A team like the Orioles, which has a lot resources and stuff, could probably spend the time and effort not playing a baseball game, but standing up for their city and doing whatever they can do to maybe help out the incident,” Lantz said. “I think playing the game is a little bit naïve to what’s going on.”

Another popular opinion among students is that the game should just be cancelled and rescheduled, considering the magnitude of the violent protests.

“If it was a big problem, they probably should’ve reschedule the game,” Cortes said. “That way people wouldn’t be upset about losing their money or whatever.”

With the ambivalence and passion surrounding the city of Baltimore moving forward, it is unclear what the immediate future holds for the Orioles and their fans. Regardless, the team and it’s city have a strong bond that will be intriguing to monitor, especially in terms of attendance and support.

“Sports are so tied into everyone’s life, and they do become some sort of a religion,” Lantz said. “They represent much more than just a business.”

Matador News: April 29th, 215

The death tolls rises in Nepal, and in Nigeria, hundreds of young women and girls are rescued from Boko Haram. Matador News reporter Victor Park has the latest from Baltimore, and Harry Abelson talks to CSUN Special Education Professor Beth Lasky about Friday’s screening of “Cinemability”. Matador News reporter Ashton Smith talks to CSUN students about the summer movies — starting with ‘Avenger’ this weekend.

Anchors: Jessica Atkins, Janayle Ruiz, Jennifer Guzman and Teresa Barrientos
Producers: Jordan Saucedo and Brenda Cruz

Softball: Savannah Horvath named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week

File Photo/The Sundial

Freshman CSUN softball player Savannah Horvath was named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week after her performances lifted the Matadors over Long Beach State over the weekend. With the nomination, Horvath is the first player in CSUN program history to receive USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors.

The Las Vegas, Nev. native batted .750 with three extra-base hits, earning her 13th double of the season, and three RBIs as CSUN posted its first series victory against the 49ers since 2002.

In the second game, she hit her ninth home run of the season and scored two runs. She chipped in her second double of the weekend in the series finale

She hit a sacrifice bunt and played error-free defense in 13 chances at second base in the three games. In the series, she carried a .778 on-base and 1.375 slugging percentage.

For the season, Horvath is batting .358 with 30 runs, 14 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 38 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. She ranks among the league leaders in batting average, doubles, home runs, RBIs and stolen bases.

Horvath’s 14 doubles tied her for fifth in school history in a season. In 15 conference games, she bats .396 with four doubles, two home runs and 11 RBIs.

At 39-11 overall and 14-1 in the Big West Conference, the Matadors holds a five-game lead in the standings with six games left to play.

CSUN returns to action on Senior day on Friday, May 1 at 3 p.m. against the Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine.

Supreme Court hears opening arguments from opponents, supports of gay marriage

The Supreme Court heard opening arguments today from opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage in what will be their most decisive ruling on gay marriage since striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

The case being argued before the court is whether individual states have the power to ban same sex marriage. The debate focuses on the states’ right to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, and whether marriage is a constitutional right.

If the Supreme Court finds that states do not have the right to define marriage, the 13 states currently enforcing gay marriage bans will be forced to reverse course and recognize same-sex unions.

The ruling is expected to be a close decision. The four conservative judges on the bench have made it clear early on that they will uphold the states’ right to define marriage. The courts liberal members, meanwhile, have reaffirmed their position that any ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is expected to cast the deciding vote, as he did in the reversal of DOMA. He has not explicitly stated whether he is prepared to defend marriage as a constitutional right as fervently as he did in 2013.

John J. Bursch, an attorney arguing for the state of Michigan, framed the issue as one that should be decided by the democratic process, not a Supreme Court decision.

“This case is not about the best marriage definition,” Bursch said. “It is about the fundamental question regarding how our democracy resolves such debates about social policy.”

The Supreme court is expected to vote on the issue in June.

An eye for the ‘Universal Dream’

TRENDS student organization held its 36th annual student fashion show titled, “A Universal Dream: Through the Eyes of the Designer” on April 26, 2015.


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TRENDS student organization held its 36th annual student fashion show on Sunday. “A Universal Dream: Through the Eyes of the Designer” was the theme for the runway walk. The hosts were music artists and fashion designers, Mark Tango and Estel Day.

Jairo Claustro was the first place winner of the show. His theme was “Signature Cloud,” which combines beautiful silhouettes of lace and shine. His planning began years leading up to his senior debut at the show. His theme was inspired by the word “goddess” and a pop icon.

“I was inspired by a segment of Britney Spears’ concert with the angel wings, and I wanted sparkle on stage,” Claustro said.

A special award was given to the show’s producer, professor Shirley Warren. The winners were announced shortly after with Maritza Pinedo in third place, Olushola Fagbamila in second and Claustro in first.

The show began with a high energy performance by CSUN Hip Hop. Twelve designers showcased their work through four to five pieces, with specific themes and music. A special presentation of the ADM pattern making class gave the audience a glimpse of what’s in store for next year’s fashion show.

The clothes varied from Pinedo’s designs, inspired by India, to Elisa Rosales’ 1940s and 1950s rockabilly influenced garments to Dialla Ismail’s Oscar-worthy gowns. The five-panel judge included Susan McCready, vice president of marketing for Milani Cosmetics and Evelin Skorkoff, designer of sportswear and sweaters for the clothing brand, bebe.

To see video of the show, click here. 

Pacquiao or Mayweather: students pick winner of big fight

With the most anticipated boxing match inching closer and closer, students choose the winner of perhaps the biggest fight ever.

 

Deadline approaches for students to get free tickets for Yo-Yo Ma VPAC concert

Photo credit: Valley Perfomring Arts Center Website

CSUN alumni Earl Enzer and his wife Karen have given students the opportunity to see world renown cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform at the Valley Performing Art Center next week on May 6.

The Enzers have underwritten 200 tickets to the event specifically for students to attend. The deadline to enter to win a ticket to the gala performance is April 29, said Marivi Valcourt, Director of Marketing and Strategic Communications for the VPAC.

Mr. Enzer, who works at Goldman Sachs, is the chairman of the CSUN Foundation Board, and has been since 2010. He has been a longtime supporter of education and philanthropy.

Valcourt said there have been live drawings for tickets to the Yo-Yo Ma performance including at AS Productions’ Big Lecture featuring James Franco back in March, and the AS Big Comedy event.

Students can enter to win a ticket to the Yo-Yo Ma Gala here – http://www.valleyperformingartscenter.org/yoyomastudent/#CSUN Student Tickets