The history and effect of downloadable content on video games

Features Editor

So you’ve just finished that fancy new game that came out this month. As the credits roll you find yourself wishing there was more. Well, good news. The developers are releasing a miniature expansion to the game that can extend its length. Yet is everything really as good as it sounds?

Downloadable content, or DLC as it has become known as, is one of the relatively more recent changes to games. Yet, like many things, there is quite a bit of history leading up to this. The ideas of DLC came to fruition in the early 1980’s with a product called GameLine. GameLine was an oversized cartridge that went into an Atari 2600 and had a place to plug in a phone jack. After this one could download games onto an Atari 2600 and play them without having an actual cartridge. While the idea was ahead of its time, the North American video game crash of 1983 (also known as Atari shock) forced the service to shut its doors before it could take off. Similar services, like Sega Channel (1994), also showed up, but for the most part none of these other services really took off.

Thanks to their constant connection to the internet, DLC started mostly on the computer. Games like Starcraft and Half-Life had users create different game modes and modifications that would be distributed across the internet. For example, 1997’s Total Annihilation would offer up new units every month for free to be downloaded into the game.

In 1999 Sega released the Sega Dreamcast, a console that could connect to the internet without additional accessories necessary for connection. Console games were able to have an online component to them, and some games began to add content after launching. While the Dreamcast was not a huge success, the idea continued on with Microsoft’s Xbox and the online Xbox Live component. When Microsoft released the Xbox 360 in 2005 they set up a marketplace for exactly that, and in 2006 Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii followed with marketplaces of their own. Since then, DLC has become a mainstay in the video game industry.

DLC is used for many things in games now. The types of DLC can range from simple additions, like new songs for Guitar Hero and costumes for your Street Fighter characters, to more complicated things like new Call of Duty maps or entire new campaigns for a single-player focused game. Sometimes it costs money, sometimes it’s free, but overall it does seem like the majority of games are now featuring DLC.

Some people have not taken well to this idea though. There are feelings in the gaming community that content is either being cut from games or held back on purpose so DLC can later be sold to the player for extra money. New games like Star Wars Battlefront and Fallout 4 have announced content they will be adding in later before the game even comes out.

There may be some truth in this statement, but not in the way most people expect. Content is cut from games all the time, whether it’s getting DLC or not. There just simply is not enough time or money to make sure everything wanted gets into the game. Instead of having to save something to show up in a sequel, DLC can be used as a testing ground for content that may or may not have been good enough for a sequel anyway.

Worst case scenarios do happen though. Capcom had disappointed fans when several of their games, including Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter X Tekken, actually released with extra content on the disc yet locked away so it couldn’t be accessed without spending money first. Recently Nintendo also got some backlash for doing similar with Splatoon.

Yet in a way, the need to add DLC and charge extra makes some sense. The cost of creating new video games is constantly going up, yet the price of new games hasn’t changed since it became $60 in 2005. Now developers are hoping gamers will buy both the game and a good chunk of the extra content they add to it. Usually they are combined into a package called a “season pass”, where one can buy most of, if not all of, the DLC for a single game. Yet season passes tend to be pricy and can range anywhere between $20 to $60, sometimes doubling the price of the game.

That is not to say all DLC is bad though, in fact some of it can be quite excellent. Naughty Dog’s 2013 surprise hit The Last of Us released a second campaign called “Left Behind” that many fans said was just as good as the main game. Other games like Bioshock 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Outlast, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin and Dishonored all had DLC campaigns that people said were superior to the original game.

There is real entertainment in a game that manages to hit both the worst and best though, and that game would be 2006’s The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. After the game  was released; the developers said they would be adding small pieces of content for relatively cheap prices. The first one they released was the rather infamous “horse armor”. Priced at 200 MS Points (Microsoft Points), the equivalent to about $2.50, all this extra pack did was add the ability to buy armor for your horse. So yes, first you had to spend real money to buy the pack, then you had to earn money in-game to buy the armor. The backlash over what was seen as an overpriced and minimalistic offering was rather large, and to this day you cannot mention DLC without someone making fun of horse armor.

But the developers did learn from this; the very next offering was “Orrey”, a single new quest that was cheaper and had more content than the horse armor. New small mission packs were offered at cheap rates, and the game did eventually get a much larger expansion called “Shivering Isles” that most people went on to praise, saying it was one of the best things to come out of the game. Developer Bethesda has gone on to make fun of their early failure, at one point offering every piece of DLC for their game at half off… except for horse armor which they doubled the price of.

There are not subjects that can split the gamer community quite like DLC can, and it seems whoever you ask will either say it’s one of the biggest problems with games currently, or a nice bonus that adds more value to a game for less money. Yet either way it is here to stay and DLC is another change gamers will have to get used to.

‘Active shooter’ concerns alive and well at CCM

Officials say school is ‘prepared as it can be’

Editor-in- Chief

The recent resurgence of school related shootings have sent shockwaves through campus communities around the world.

On Oct 1, 2015, Christopher Harper-Mercer walked into a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and killed nine people. Eight victims were students, one was an assistant professor. Mercer committed suicide after being wounded by police. The 26-year-old was enrolled at the college.

Here at the County College of Morris, the “active shooter” scenario has faculty, staff and students concerned.

“We have a very small idea of what to do if a shooter happens to come on campus,” said Kristen Wright, a respiratory therapy major at CCM. “Shootings are becoming extremely common, and we are at a huge loss because as a college we are not informed for our security. What does that say about the college’s concern for its students?”

Lindsay Slaff, a communication major, said she’s never truly felt safe on a college campus, especially after a mass shooting.

“In 2014 when I first came to CCM, I took an active shooter pocket guide from the Public Safety Office,” Slaff said. “The first piece of advice: Have an escape route and plan in mind. As an incoming freshman, essentially I’m being told to fend for myself. I’m almost a junior now, and only recently did I find out that students and faculty don’t have mandatory drills regarding these situations. Are we going to have to wait until it happens before we see change?”

CCM students are not the only ones worried about their safety on campus, in fact some faculty members have been vocal on the topic.

“I think my biggest concern is I don’t feel like I know what preparations the college has made to keep us safe,” said Michelle Altieri, assistant professor of communication. “I have a lot of unanswered questions on what to do in the event of a shooting, how best to keep myself, students and my coworkers safe. Since I don’t have that information, I feel myself and many other people here on campus are in a bit of a panic and feeling like there are no preparations made, when I would like to hope that that’s not true.”

According to Director of Public Safety Harvey Jackson, procedures are in place to evacuate each building in the event of an active shooter. Each building has three to four faculty members trained to assist public safety in an evacuation, called fire marshals. When a building is evacuated, fire marshals check each room to make sure no one is left behind. Students and faculty are ushered to staging areas, usually in front of the library or to lot eight.

Depending on the situation, the staging area may change. Students and staff would be notified by maintenance staff, who carry radios on them at all times and would be in contact with public safety.

Titan Alert would also be used in the event of an evacuation to communicate quickly with students and faculty.  

“Titan Alert is the method for which a student will be notified about school closures and other campus related emergencies,” said John R. Hurd, assistant professor of criminal justice. “Presently, just under 75 percent of all students on campus are signed up to the Titan Alert system. Since it seems most students have cell phones, even when on campus, that may be a preferred method to receive emergency messages.”

For an evacuation, the paging system would also be in use. In the event of an active shooter, depending on where the individual is, the paging system would not be activated in the area the shooter would be in. Maintenance is also on call in that situation if power needs to be cut to a building occupied by an active shooter.

“Personally, I feel no one can be prepared for this,” Jackson said. “We’re prepared as well as we can be, but we can do better. A community college is one of the hardest places to defend. Everything is public.”

Since CCM is a county college, most of the campus is legally public space. Anyone can walk onto campus, which makes it difficult to keep the campus secure.

“We have undertaken a number of initiatives to improve and secure the campus, and we continue to look for ways to improve the campus’ security,” said Edward J. Yaw, President of CCM.

Two safety surveys have been made of CCM’s campus, one by a private organization and one by the Morris County Office of Emergency Management.

“They came through the campus and looked through everything,” Yaw said. “They made a number of recommendations, most of which we have already implemented and we will continue to implement.”

One of the recommendations implemented was an upgraded camera system, able to follow anyone on campus in real time. Another upgrade coming soon is an electronic panic button.

Computers in classrooms will be equipped with a clickable button that, when activated, displays a graphic of a red button with a ten second countdown and an option to cancel the call or continue.

Jackson had a working version of the electronic panic button in his office, and demonstrated what would happen if it was activated. Once pressed, the button disappeared from his computer and an alarm sounded in the public safety main office.

The panic button can also be programmed to alert other staff in the area once it has been activated, letting others know an incident may be in progress.

The phones in every classroom can function as a panic button as well. Any phone picked up automatically dials public safety, so if a phone is picked up and left dangling that immediately raises a red flag and elicits a response from public safety.

Another change being made is the location of public safety’s main office, which will be put next to a new exit being built on campus.

“Public Safety will be moved to a new building at 675 route 10,” said Yaw. “It’s being renovated right now. That new facility will house a command center which will have multiple TV monitors and enough room to allow any outside help, like Randolph Police, to all be in one room.”

Besides asking for a change in procedure, some faculty want to go a step further.

“I’ve been told for several years that training is coming,” Altieri said. “I’ve been told for several years that things are being planned. We’re ready for actual dates, we’re ready for things to happen. We’re past the point of just being told things are being planned, it needs to be planned now.”

According to Vice President of Business and Finance at CCM Karen VanDerhoof, training for the possibility of an active shooter will begin in March of 2016. FEMA will do a two day training session with staff on campus.

“It will basically run us through how to assess our emergency operations plan, communication strategies and how to identify and deal with situations,” VanDerhoof said. “How to deal with the aftermath of a situation, grief counseling, all of those types of things.”

VanDerhoof said a camera drill is being planned involving Public Safety, the Randolph Township Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management.

“They’ll bring their command bus here and they’ll have connectivity to our cameras on campus,” VanDerhoof said. “It will be like a pursuit drill, where we might have an individual on campus who might not belong here and we’ll be able to track, pursue and hopefully apprehend that person. That’s the first drill that will be happening later this fall.”

The next drill, planned for the fall of 2016, will be a full on active shooter drill. The drill will involve students, faculty and emergency responders, testing the college’s response to the possibility of a mass shooting.

Yaw said there is no universal response to an incident, and that procedures change depending on the situation. The main focus of these preparations is communication and rapid response.

“God forbid it ever happens,” VanDerhoof said. “The odds are not great, but you never know. Very fortunately, we have very little issues on this campus, with any type of crime. But you can’t assume that it would never happen here, because nobody thought that it would happen in Oregon. Unfortunately, it happens everywhere. You can’t have the mindset that it can never happen here, you have to assume it could and just be as prepared as possible for it. And that’s what we’re moving towards.”



Film club brings love of cinema into focus


County College of Morris is home to a number of clubs that enrich the capabilities of developing minds. The Student Film Association welcomes students, regardless of background or previous knowledge, to come and learn more about a field that influences the lives of so many. Since SFA was established two and a half years ago, it has grown a considerable amount – both in size, and direction.

Matthew McClosky, digital media technology major and co-president of SFA, has a lot to say to encourage potential new members. “You really don’t need to know anything. We teach you everything we know,” McClosky said. “We give students the ability to learn more about a field that is filled with other people’s ideas and opinions, and the opportunity to grow and have the tools to work towards their goal.”

McClosky draws his inspiration from directors like Stanley Kubrick, and hopes to own and operate his own production company in the foreseeable future. Most of the club’s projects are produced and budgeted entirely by its very own members; including the short film they just finished working on, “The Killer(s).”

“Each semester the school and other clubs reach out to us to help them produce whatever they want to make. We’re working with Phi Theta Kappa right now on a video-tour of CCM, as well as a music video for music business/practicum classes,” McClosky said. “Everything we do for the school aside, when it comes down to it – we just make what we want to make.”

According to McClosky, each semester in SFA has a new flavor and is nothing like the last. Members are always learning new techniques and building their own portfolios in the process. In the last two months alone, they’ve completed a short film and a comedy sketch.

Andreas Loizou, an interior design major and dedicated member of SFA, didn’t know anything about what it took to make a film until recently. “I had no knowledge about anything about this kinda stuff going in,” Loizou said. “They welcomed me in and taught me a whole bunch of things”.

Loizou specifically means lighting techniques, something he worked on comprehensively for “The Killer(s).” Loizou was initially influenced by the comedic works of Monty Python and Steve Coogan to become a part of SFA, and he hopes to produce his own comedy sketches soon.

“It’s all about gaining experience and meeting others you can learn from,” Loizou said. “After that, you use that experience and what you learned to go forward and to write your own path.”

Loizou is enthusiastic about the future and sees SFA as an important part of that. Loizou pointed out that clubs like these are made to help students grow but also to create an alternative communal atmosphere where students can go and plant the seeds of their future.

Alexa Spear, a liberal arts major, is considering joining SFA herself. “I’m thinking about it. My boyfriend was a film major at William Paterson, so I think I’d have a little bit to offer,” Spear said. “I’d like to help make a production that invokes thought, something with a different kind of narrative than we’re used to seeing.”

Spear and her boyfriend are both avid movie-goers, and they share the same taste: dramatic, psychological thrillers. Spear went on to mention some ideas she would pitch to the SFA.

“CCM is a hard school to get to know others, mostly because it’s a commuter school,” Spear said. “If the SFA had a movie night or even a film festival, I think a lot more students would be inclined to get involved, or even just get together to enjoy a movie.”

Many of the renowned film festivals like Tribeca and Sundance are difficult for any aspiring filmmaker to get their work into, regardless of content. Spear said that a film festival here at CCM could provide good exposure for local filmmakers, as well as create an excellent opportunity for students to get involved with something on campus.

SFA has been filming and producing a lot of works since they were established, and are showing no signs of letting up. Meetings are 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, and 4:45 p.m. on Thursdays in Studio C of the media center. Some of their work can be seen on the CCM YouTube page.

Letter to the Editor: Dining details discussed

The last two editions of The Youngtown Edition published articles regarding Dining Services at CCM that were very disconcerting to me.  These articles are showing me that the campus community is not fully understanding what our 3 locations are offering.  I would like to shed some light on the variety we offer and that our prices are comparable to surrounding locations.

SCC Cafe offers a salad bar, a fruit bar with 3 to 4 types of assorted fruits, granola, yogurt and cottage cheese and a build your own sandwich or wrap.  These items are weighed by the cashier.  Twisted Mac is also a new addition that we phased in over spring break of 2015.  Twisted Mac is an assortment of Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Parmesan, Eggplant Parmesan, Pasta Carbonara, Sautéed Vegetables, etc. SCC Cafe also features Au bon Pain Soup, bread bowls, On the Go Sandwiches, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Tea and an Assortment of Breakfast Baked Goods, Hand Fruit, Coke Branded Beverages, Naked Juice, Chips, Granola Bars, Cereal, Oatmeal, Cookies, Hummus Cups, Yogurt Smoothie Drinks, Greek Yogurt Cups, Pints of Milk, and Pizza by the slice.  SCC Cafe also features a rotating specials menu.

Cohen Cafe features Au bon Pain Soup, bread bowls, On the Go Sandwiches, Salads, Fruit Cups, Parfaits, Celery and Carrot Stick Cups, Grape and Cheese Cups, Cottage Cheese with Fruit, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Tea and an Assortment of Breakfast Baked Goods, Hand Fruit, Coke Branded Beverages, Naked Juice, Chips, Pita Chips, Granola Bars, Ice Cream Bars, Cereal, Oatmeal, Cookies, Brownies, Hummus Cups, Yogurt Smoothie Drinks, Greek Yogurt Cups. Chickendipity Grill offers a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options.  You can choose from grilled or crispy chicken all the way to a Texas Toast Grilled Cheese. Cohen Cafe is also home to Quiznos.  Quiznos features a variety of different sized sandwiches, salads and flat breads.  Each of these items are made fresh and to your liking. Cohen Cafe also features a rotating specials menu.

LRC Cafe is Proudly Brewing Starbucks Coffee. Not only are there variety of hot and cold beverages, but On the Go Sandwiches, Panini’s, Fruit Cups, Baked Goods, Coke Branded Beverages, Naked Juice, and other grab and go snacks.  LRC Cafe also features a rotating specials menu.

As the CCM Dining Services provider we also do a price analysis of the current food market surrounding CCM.  Dare2Compare shows us that we are in line and most of the time cheaper than other comparable food service providers.  Our Quiznos prices are also the same as other area Quiznos. Quiznos can also be compared to Jimmy Johns in which our prices are also cheaper than. Copies of the analysis are posted around our locations.

Did You Know…..

Chartwells Dining Services Uses 100% Recycled Fiber Napkins & Coffee Sleeves

Our Coffee Cups are 10% Post Consumer Recycled Fiber

Cold Cups/Lids are Made from Plants, BPI Certified to be 100% Compostable

Our Fryers Use 0% Trans Fat Soybean Oil

All Waste Oil Goes to Make Biodiesel, Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Used to Cook Instead of Butter

Cage Free Eggs in Our Breakfast Sandwiches and Omelets

Milk Free of rBGH


Holly Tighe

Director of Dining Services

Chartwells at CCM


New trends in online shopping

Copy Editor

Going to a store and picking out items for hours on end is becoming a past time experience in todays society. Now, the epicenter for shopping is an at home computer or a technological device in hand. With a few clicks, the order placed could arrive within hours or the same day making it easier for the user.  County College of Morris students are accustomed to this way of shopping, but big companies and local stores are trying to innovate new ideas to reach the Millennial demographic.

The main website that Jennie Abat, a liberal arts major, visits for her one-stop shopping  is Amazon.

“They have everything, and I have Prime, so I get my stuff within two days,said Abat. According to, Amazon Prime is an annual membership program for $99 per year, which offers customers unlimited free two-day shipping on more than 20 million items across all categories with access to Prime Instant Video and Prime Music. Abat pointed out that  being a student at CCM, made her eligible for Amazon Student, a program created exclusively for college students, where they pay $49 and have access to all the same amenities as a regular Prime member.

I love the bundles,” Abat said. “The last thing I bought was a Polaroid camera, and the bundle was you get two packs of film with the camera, in comparison to getting the camera alone. You save more by just getting the bundle instead, even though you have to pay an extra five dollars.”  

At Sams Club,  a customer can acquire the same bundle because the store is known for selling mass quantities.

But, sometimes in stores, they dont have [the camera] in the color I want, so I like how on Amazon everythings there,Abat said.

The reviews have also been valuable in guiding her to a better quality product.

I can look at the lower right hand side and see the consumer said something about this product. Whereas in the store you have to know the product, kind of  assume that its a good product.’’

Walking into the supermarket with a list in hand and selecting name brand food items is also altering with the times. On Nov 6, 2013, the Shoprite of Greater Morristown launched Shoprite from Home, where customers can order their groceries online and have the option of them being picked up or delivered.

I have about 36,000 customers that shop here a week and about 3 to 4 percent of people use the service,said Guido Ferrara Jr., manager of the Shoprite of Greater Morristown. Its very labor intensive because the employees actually have to put each individual order together.

This service has increased staff production  in order to meet the demand for this stores pickup and delivery service.

About 60 percent of people request to have their order delivered, and 40 percent have it picked up,Ferrara said.

Alicia Grajales,  a nursing major, said her mother utilizes the service.

Shell go and place the order online and pick it up, Grajales said.Its more convenient for her instead of going there, going through each aisle, trying to pick out everything.  She can just see everything online. She doesnt have to go out and waste gas. She can just go there on the way home.

Shoprite from Home is competing with companies such as eBay and Amazon. According to a press release in May 2015, Amazon rolled out a Prime Now hub in Manhattan. This app will offer free two-hour delivery from local stores, while one hour delivery is $7.99 in select zip codes. Customers can purchase prepared foods, groceries and baked goods. Prime Now is only available in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Dallas, Manhattan and Miami.

This is why we need Shoprite at Home because it offers promotion for our business,’’ Ferrara said.  

With the abundance of sites to surf and apps to peruse, online shopping is not diminishing anytime soon. Instead, it will be the way of the future for most.

Another view on Donald Trump

Acting Opinion Editor

This election cycle we are witnessing something quite remarkable. The apparent dissatisfaction with the direction of the country has resulted in the rise of candidates in either party whose views to varying degrees depart from their respective party’s political establishment. In the past there have always been candidates with views that could easily be defined as independent or even counter to those of the political establishment, yet these candidates have typically been discounted as on the political fringe or were not able to generate the momentum necessary to seem viable to those worried about wasting their vote.  It would appear that a large segment of voters have finally decided to take matters into their own hands instead of waiting to have their predilections for a particular candidate affirmed by pundits. What we are witnessing this election cycle is the rise of populist candidates.


On the political left, self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has gained quite a bit of popularity. On the political right, billionaire Donald Trump has also been very popular. Both candidates, although they have wildly different platforms, agree on one thing: the media has not been giving them a fair shake. Sanders purports, most notably, that there is a media “blackout” surrounding his campaign. This seems to be the case, especially when considering the time devoted to coverage of the various candidates on either end of the political spectrum. According to a Huffington Post article written in late September, broadcast news monitor Andrew Tyndall has noticed this unsettling disparity. When it comes to the coverage of Sanders’ campaign by the networks ABC, NBC, and CBS, Tyndall has observed that despite Sanders doing well in polls, placing 2nd only to Hillary Clinton, he received only eight minutes of coverage collectively at the time he published his report. To put this in perspective, Tyndall reports that this is one-fifth of the time devoted to Jeb Bush, who was coming in at fifth place amongst Republican candidates at the time. Donald Trump, however, has been in the spotlight of the media since he announced his candidacy. His common ground with Sanders in terms of the media not giving him a fair shake is not the amount of coverage he receives, yet the nature of the coverage.


Donald Trump, for the most part, is running on common Republican platforms; he is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, wishes to lower taxes, and desires a strong military and due consideration for our veterans. With respect to the Second Amendment, Trump has taken issue with “gun-free zones” which he calls a “catastrophe” and argues that instead of demonizing law-abiding gun-owners, that the focus should instead be on reforming our “broken mental health system.” This resonates with the American voter base according to a Rasmussen poll published on Nov 3. The poll states that 75 percent of likely U.S. voters said that they “consider the right to bear arms important.” This seemingly is an upward trend as an equivalent poll taken three years ago stated that 68 percent considered the same right to be important. When it comes to lowering taxes Trump said that his tax reform plan will help regrow the shrinking American middle-class. He would encourage this growth by eliminating the income tax for single taxpayers who make under $25,000 a year or those who are married and filing taxes jointly who make under $50,000 collectively. This would enable those who earn the least to keep more of their tax returns by simplifying the tax code. Trump also intends to regrow the shrinking middle-class by taxing all businesses no more than 15 percent, from small business to Fortune 500 companies.This lowered business tax would make America’s business tax rate one of the most appealing to business owners in the world. He argues that with the influx of business, steep tariffs placed on foreign imports, and by reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes in the tax code that we will be able to make up for the loss in tax revenue quite easily.  Donald Trump also recently released his proposal to reform the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, an institution responsible for caring for our nation’s disabled veterans. His plan would encourage the VA to improve by forcing them to compete for a veteran’s business with any healthcare provider where Medicare is accepted. This is accomplished by enabling veterans to seek their healthcare elsewhere, essentially voting with their feet. Trump also wants to increase VA funding for treatment of invisible wounds such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Donald Trump is also addressing the “utter lack of respect” that the lack of permanently staffed OBGYN professionals in many of our VA hospitals demonstrates to “the growing number of female veterans.” This concern for women who have served their nation by putting their lives on the line in the armed forces heavily conflicts with the narrative many would have us believe; that Donald Trump supposedly dehumanizes and does not respect women.


Yet it is Trump’s stance on illegal immigration that has caught the attention of the American public and news media the most. It is his stance that our nation’s borders should be treated as such, that our immigration laws should be enforced, and that our tax-dollars should not be used to support non-citizens whose first act in this country is to disregard the law that has drawn the ire of not only the political establishment and news media, but those who confuse a position of desiring to maintain a sense of law and order with racism and bigotry. Interestingly enough, we probably would not even be discussing immigration reform had Donald Trump not brought it up.

Perhaps this is due in part to the prevailing culture of political-correctness, where feelings and emotions champion facts and realities. It is this very notion that in large part keeps the “silent majority” silent. One finds it interesting that “progressives” who preach tolerance and open-mindedness tend to have the least tolerance for opposing views and resort to name-calling and character attacks when somebody goes against the grain. For example, back in June when Trump announced his candidacy, Sally Kohn wrote an article titled “Trump’s Outrageous Mexico Remarks.”

“There were about three seconds Tuesday when I was excited about the idea of Donald Trump running for president, if only for the entertainment value,” Kohn said.  “Then he opened his mouth.”

This type of response towards Trump’s stance on illegal immigration is not limited to those who claim to be progressive or liberal. Jeb Bush, a self-described “committed conservative reformer,” has gone after Trump on numerous occasions. Perhaps most notable of his personal attacks directed towards Trump was during CNN’s Republican Debate. Following an inquiry into whether or not Donald Trump went too far by implying that Bush’s views on immigration were in large part influenced by his wife being a Mexican immigrant, Bush proceeded to characterize discussion of enforcing our nation’s immigration laws as a “raucous political conversation” and went on to demand Trump’s  apology for bringing his wife into it. When it became clear to Bush that Trump was attempting to communicate that his words were being mischaracterized, Bush started to talk over him and stated that his wife was in the audience. He then demanded that Trump apologize to her at that very moment; as if somehow his mischaracterized statement was aimed at Bush’s wife to begin with. When Bush realized that Trump has no intention of apologizing, he then went on the talk about how immigrants come to this country as “an act of love” and again mischaracterized Trump’s position on illegal immigration as a position of fear. He did all of this while making no clear distinction between illegal immigrants and legal immigrants; a distinction that Trump stresses repeatedly.

Even when the news is being reported in the most empirical of fashions, it is still rather evident that there is selective reporting taking place. Many major news outlets such as CNN, The Washington Times, and The Wall Street Journal took advantage of Republican candidate Ben Carson’s newly won lead in the polls in the state of Iowa. Interestingly enough, Donald Trump placing 2nd in a single state’s polls was headline material, while Trump topping polls elsewhere nationwide was not. Even more confounding, or perhaps telling, was that on that very day it came to light during the Benghazi Hearing that Hillary Clinton had sent an email to her daughter Chelsea Clinton in which she stated, “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like group…I fear more of the same tomorrow.” This flies in the face of the story we were all told back in 2012. Clinton and even our president told us that the attacks on the American Embassy at Benghazi were the result of a crudely made film that Barack Obama said “sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.” Many leading Democrats and members of the mainstream media have accused Republicans of leading “a witchhunt” against Hillary Clinton in regards to her emails yet based off the way the news is reported nowadays, it makes one wonder who is really experiencing the wrath of the political establishment and the media. Who is the one that is truly being “burned at the stake” nowadays?

Christmas calamity transcends coffee cups

Opinion Editor

Passively aggressively forcing a Starbucks barista to write down “Merry Christmas” as your name on your coffee cup impacts the fictional “War on Christmas” about as much as the “Keep Christ in Christmas” bumper stickers.

The #merrychristmasstarbucks tag was trending soon after a vlogger posted a video about the coffee chain being too politically correct and unveiling their minimalist solid red holiday cup design. While Starbucks is a regularly liberal company they have been accused of being too politically correct this holiday season despite the fact that their cups have always been generic holiday themed, not Christmas themed. Polifact has given this viral video a “Pants on Fire” truth rating meaning it is completely false and yet the movement continues to gain support and media attention.

Members of the Christian right are upset because despite early November Christmas trees and decorations overwhelming the mall there is one location not catering to their beliefs and they are beyond offended. Being open minded and tolerant of all religions is apparently against the beliefs of these extremists and they have found the most trivial possible way to express their disdain. What needs to be understood this holiday season is that stores are businesses, not churches. They are open for one reason and one reason only, to make money and that means appeasing everyone regardless of religion. With Christmas still over a month away and stores announcing extended holiday hours what these Christians need to be focusing on is boycotting stores that are opposing family values and opening on Thanksgiving. Some Christians are criticising the extremists within their religion and pointing out the multitudes of more important issues that time and money could be put towards besides spending five dollars on a latte just to prove a point. Almost 22 percent of children live in poverty in this country but these devout people believe it’s more important that children sit on Santa’s lap in front of a Christmas tree and pose for overpriced pictures.    

In an apparent response to the Starbucks cup controversy, Dunkin Donuts has unveiled their cups that say “Joy” with a wreath on them. These cups are gaining praise from Starbuck’s protesters despite the obvious fact that designing and mass producing these cups had to have been done and approved far before the beginning of this controversy. In an opportunistic corporate move Dunkin Donuts apparently held off revealing their holiday cups until the controversy reached a peak in order to appeal to those boycotting Starbucks.

The holiday season will never be about any religion again if we continue to support malls and shops that extend hours from 7 a.m to midnight for the two weeks before Christmas. How could the holidays be based on anything but consumerism if retail workers are pulled from Thanksgiving dinner to ensure companies aren’t missing out on possible sales? Boycotting one corporation and moving business over to another one won’t restore the “true meaning of christmas.” All of this discussion of cups and Jesus distracts from the real and historical reason behind celebrating around the end of December, the winter solstice.