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Howard S Billings High School Has A Lack Of Student Support

Photo (Howard S Billings - Faith Bandy)

Howard S Billings is a high school in Chateauguay, a small town not very far from Montreal. Since the start of the school year, there have been several issues with students, and staff. Some students have waited almost half a year to get an appointment with their guidance counselor. Individuals feel that they have political correctness being shoved down their throat. In fact, some Howard S Billings attendees feel that they have no voice. It must be dearly noted that everything in this article is anonymous to protect the identity of the students and staff members.

You can read our follow up article on this info here:

One student had a teacher make him an appointment in the guidance department of the school. In this case, it was in September when a student had asked his teacher to make him an appointment with the guidance counselor to talk about post-secondary schools. He waited patiently for around five months, yes that's right, five. This was after asking his teacher at least once to remind the guidance counselor of the appointment that was organized. Despite his efforts, he got his appointment honored in February when he and another teacher walked into the department room and asked the guidance counselor for the appointment. She actually even said that she saw his name on the list but "never got to him." This is hard to believe considering so many students find themselves in similar situations. Another reason it's hard to believe is that the student knows for a fact that several kids had been put ahead of them for the exact same appointment request of talking about future schools they could go to. Some students got their appointments honored in a week to around two weeks. There is no real reason as to why a student waited on his appointment for five months and only got it honored because a teacher walked in and spoke to her while she was on her lunch break. In the end, the student got their appointment honored,  it was actually around twenty-minutes after the teacher walked in the room with the student. In another incident a different student put her name in the box, this is done to easily make an appointment sometimes, she waited over a month and only got her appointment honored when she reminded the guidance department that she needed to apply to college soon. She was called down two days after that.

Other students simply feel they don't have a voice. This is because they find themselves being called racists for questioning sources and presentations. They feel this way because both students and teachers silence them on the issues that they bring up. In other instances, some students who read up on politics feel that conservatives in the school don't have a voice. This is the thought of conservative students since they often see Liberal students not being criticised to the same extent, this includes being called racist and in one case being told that "you would be so much better on the other side." However, that discussion was about politics and religion so it's unclear what the teacher specifically meant, it's still inappropriate to tell a student who disagrees with your opinions on which side religiously or politically they should be on, there's no reason why that should come up.

One student feels there are a lot of biases with the teachers because of the left wing views (Liberal). He feels very censored for his opinions in the way of talking about them and the overall feeling of shame that can come with talking about his opinions. This individual even feels as if the school as a whole is trying to mold him into a "little Liberal." This particular student even claimed that a teacher told him he was immoral and unethical, although he did not provide any proof of the teacher saying that.

When we interviewed a student at the school and asked her if she felt that she had a voice at the school she said: "When issues are brought up to admin, they say yea we’ll look into it but never say oh we have a solution"

"I think they look into it (issues brought up to them) if it’s brought up 2 or more times but the first time is just a thought in their head."

"Unless it’s concerning them then it’s a greater deal but if it’s something let’s say “not as important yet” they’ll push it to the side, Which is understandable because they have a lot to do but sometimes certain issues are more important than it seems."

When she was asked about giving us an example of how this happens she said: "Perfect example I went to guidance a few weeks ago to ask about one of my courses and they said and I quote “we’ll get back to you soon”, but I never heard back since. And yesterday they called me to the office to tell me I missed English class the day before, when in fact I missed the whole day because I was getting blood tests."

A student who partook in a program known as Prefects, an organization where they would help younger students in their educational career. He said that he doesn't feel that he has a voice "Because they act like they listen and care but I bet you money the minute you turn around they ignore what you just said."

In even another case a student mentioned how she waited for weeks to have her appointment with the nurse honored. She needed to have a check-up and to get some condoms as she's sexually active.

This seems to be just a couple of many examples of how students might be feeling while attending school. This might also be why so few of them actually feel that they're worth the time of the school.

This is a school where students clearly don't feel heard, don't feel they have an option to get anything done with the issues that concern them. If nothing is done with these issues, the students will often feel that they can't go to the guidance department with their questions or serious concerns about their lives and futures. This can affect their education. If a student doesn't feel like they're going to be listened to, they won't seek that help out and will abandon that option because they know that it will take months to get an answer. In the case of not having a voice, students who sufficiently bring their issues up are told to join student council. While it may seem like a good option it's still extremely limited because of the way the system works. Students are given a bunch of choices and it revolves around what's going on in that period of time, if it doesn't fall under that holiday or general period of theme focus, it won't be changed. That's why students won't join student council, they don't want to be part of something where they feel nothing's going to happen, they want to solve the problems that matter most to them.

Overall, the students of Howard .S. Billings don't feel that they have a voice because of the way administration deals with issues and how some teachers don't listen to their concerns on important issues. The guidance department of the school also seems to be extremely slow at dealing with the appointments made with the students, despite having two counselors. The department takes to long to honor appointments and it irritates students who are under a lot of stress. Specifically, with Conservative students, they feel as though they might be called names because of their ideas and ways of getting something done. Students are told they're individuals and have a voice, but can't seem to get that voice heard in the school sufficiently by the administration and occasionally by the staff.

By Michael Normandin

Ontario Is Trying Out The Universal Basic Income It Can Be Good And Bad

Ontario (Pixabay)

The Universal Basic Income is the idea of providing everyone who qualifies with a basic income to survive on sufficiently. It's being tested in Ontario for people who are living in poverty. ran a poll on the idea and spoke to some people who are receiving the basic income.

According to the poll on, around  61.77%  (1,231  of total votes) are in favor of the universal basic income. What this shows is that of the people asked, most of them seem to care about it. The measure is being tested to see if it should be put in place to help bring people out of poverty. In the described cases it's giving people the tools to do exactly that. Whether it be by allowing a homeless woman loo for an apartment or helping a man not run out of groceries halfway through the month, it looks as if it's helping these test subjects out.

However, not everyone is in favor of the idea. A small percentage of 10.68%  (213 of total votes) are against the idea because they feel their tax dollars should be spent differently.

The percentage of people who actually like the idea of the universal basic income but want to know how it can be paid for sufficiently is  27.55%  (549 of total votes).

you can read their entire article and see the stats (all of our provided stats are numbers as of writing this)  for yourself here

What these results show us is that the Basic Income does in fact, have support from the people.

Canada is not the only place in the world testing out this new idea that could solve a lot of problems financially for citizens. Finland randomly selected 2000 citizens who were unemployed to receive free money, it's tax-free and can be spent any way that they like.

The idea itself is obviously good because it can help students by giving them money for school. This can be done for students who have nothing saved up or are from a poor area where they want to go to school but can't afford it. This can also help people who just keep coming up short for cash, this would allow them to pay their bills on time and prevent them from getting bad credit.

The bad side of a Universal Basic Income would be how it can so easily be abused. If the money can be spent any way they like, they could use it to fuel an addiction to drugs or alcohol. A reasonable concern could be that this can turn into another burden for the tax-payers. If someone is abusing the system, which can happen with any system in existence because of human nature, the tax-payer pays in the end.

Overall, the people seem to support the idea of a Universal Basic Income, it has its pros and cons and has been able to help some people in the testing part before it even gets implemented at all. It can be good if it's done right. It's also being tested in another country such as Finland.

By Michael Normandin

Kurds Allegedly Strike Deal With Syrian Army

Photo: Turkish-backed forces from the Free Syrian Army have been moved into the area in preparation for a ground attack. (AP: DHA-Depo Photos)

While the Syrian government has not confirmed anything just yet, Kurdish fighters are saying they've managed to get a deal with the Syrian Army. The deal is supposedly about Syria sending troops to the Kurdish controlled one to aid in repelling a Turkish assault. Turkey supposedly considers the Kurdish fighters as terrorists. This is all happening in Afrin, which is a city in Syria.

Kurdish fighters have said that a deal was struck between them and the Syrian government that's based in Damascus. According to the BBC, the deal was reported by Iraqi Kurdish media group, known as Rudaw.

Now, if a deal like this was to go down the Turkish military would find it much harder to take the city and get rid of the Kurdish fighters that they seem to despise of so much. However, assuming that the deal is real, this could spread the Syrian militaries forces thinner. This would be bad since the war in Syria doesn't seem to be over just yet or anytime soon for that matter. The support, on the other hand, could be a show of support for Kurdish fighters who did in fact help get rid of a lot of ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) fighters. It could be a show of appreciation for their efforts in that particular struggle.

According to the BBC, they currently aren't any Syrian fighters in Afrin.

Some of the reasons as to why Turkey might want to go through with this is because they see the Kurds as a terrorist organization. Turkey is trying to get rid of the YPG (People's Protection Units). The reason it wants to do this is that the group is viewed as a part of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish independence in Turkey for a few decades. Although, it's said that the YPG denies any political or military connections to the PKK.

By Michael Normandin

AdBlock The Good And The Bad Of Something That Has Been Heavily Debated

Code on a laptop screen (unsplash) 

AdBlock has been useful for some but in some cases can be damaging to websites.  It's more than just Adblock though, other tools such as uBlock Origin do the same thing but for different web browsers. There are also many other types of ad-blocking tools available but these are some of the most well known. These tools limit websites from generating revenue by serving ads and can ultimately damage a small business that relies on ads to generate income. A small portion of the community can have a large effect on a website's revenue. However, there is a good reason as to why people started to use ad-blocking tools. This is a dangerous situation that can truly cause a lot of trouble if it's not resolved quickly by taking certain preventative measures.

Ad-blocking can cause websites to lose revenue from a lack of ad impressions actually going through. It seems rather logical to make the connection that not everyone sees ads. The reason that is the case is that of ad-blocking tools. Now, when not every visitor is viewing an ad it can and does have an impact on the overall revenue from a publisher. It's fairly simple if you have ten visitors a day on a website but 8 of them use ad-blocking software, you will be losing out on 80% of the market for those ads. This means that you only got an impressive increase on 20% of those 10 people. Ad-blocking software and use can have a bad impact on a website owners ability t generate revenue. If someone needs those ads to pay a writer's salary and can no longer do that the entire website could be in jeopardy because some people don't want to see a few ads.

According to this article by Money Inc. Ad-blockers have cost websites a lot of money. You can read the full article here, The author wrote, "In fact, the practice of ad blocking is believed to have cost them close to $22 billion in 2015, which should be particularly concerning to them because the practice of ad blocking is also believed to have increased its number of users by 41 percent in the same year."

The quote makes a lot of sense considering you can hear a lot of conversations regarding people not wanting to see ads because of websites jamming it down their throats. This has been called by some as "In your face ads" or just outright annoying. The issue of ads becoming became annoying when website owners essentially tried to abuse their visitors by putting around ten ads on a page. Some website owners also put popunder ads on their website. These ads can annoy people simply because they open up a tab.

Once you were to take all of the above into consideration as a consumer. Ad-blocking technology is looking pretty good. There needs to be a balance between the user and viewable ads. This would show the user that yes, the owner is trying to generate revenue but in a respectful manner that is not irritating anyone. In the consumer's perspective, they're not trying to make money, they're trying to read, watch, or listen to something and in some cases develop an opinion on that content. Two things are going to happen if someone feels that too many ads are being shown to them, (1) they will stop using the website, this situation is bad for both parties since the visitor needs to find another website to get that content from and the website owner now loses a visitor which means no revenue at all. (2) The visitor starts using ad-blocking tech on that website or all websites. The second option would be bad for everyone, this means that no one will make money because of one website that decided to put many ads on their website instead of a few here and there.

Overall, ad-blocking tools have both a positive and negative effect. It really does depend on who's looking at the topic and what category do they fall under. If they're a website owner, they will likely be against ad-blocking technologies but if they're a consumer who has had some bad experiences, they can, unfortunately, use the technologies because they don't want to have another experience that is not a good one. These experiences can be known as times when someone loads up a website and finds it littered with ads. Despite these different points of view, ad-blocking software, and overall technologies have supposedly cost websites a lot of money over the years because of a lack of impressions on ads.

By Michael Normandin

People Injured After SUV Goes Through NSA Gate

In this image made from video and provided by WUSA TV-9, authorities investigate the scene of a shooting at Fort Meade, Md., on Feb. 14, 2018.(Photo: WUSA-TV via AP)

It seems that an SUV has been driven through one of the main gates to the NSA (National Security Agency). This happened at Fort Meade. Three or more people have been hospitalized. Officers are said to have opened fire on the vehicle. It's not yet known as to why the car crashed through the gate. This incident is said to have happened at around 6:55 A.M.

Situations like this are uncommon to most people's knowledge. It's not often that you hear that someone tried to ram through a government gate.

An officer was injured in the events that unfolded, a civilian is also said to have been injured.

The individuals in the SUV had been detained once the situation was over. The driver was hospitalized for injuries and the two other passengers were arrested.

It's not known why the car was even on an NSA compound or why the driver and the passengers did what they did. However, the passengers are being questioned so that authorities can figure out what's going on.

This situation is so intense because of it's not known why the civilians even did this in the first place. The National Security Agency works with electronic information. This allows them to collect, monitor, and help out with national issues in the United States. The NSA can also process data for foreign intelligence as well as counterintelligence.

Johnson, who  said: “We are trying to talk to them to understand why they were here,”

“This vehicle did come onto the NSA’s compound unauthorized,”

 “NSA police responded accordingly.”

By Michael Normandin

Sources: USA Today and Fairfield Citizen

Cape Town Is Running Out Of Water

Cape Town (Pixabay)

The South African city of Cape Town is running out of the water. This isn't something that's going to happen in the far future but rather is going down now. Day Zero is being called the day when the taps get turned off. The important thing to wonder is what's going to happen when the water does run out because the city is on the very close to having none.

It's estimated that the city is going to run out of water around March of 2018. If the predictions are correct, there will be little to no water left for the millions of people left in the city. This situation is truly something that is usually seen in movies and also something that so few people ever actually think about.

According to most of the precipitation for South Africa is received during the South African monsoon. Cape Town gets most of its precipitation in June,  July, and August. This is due to its coastal positioning.

Cape Town, however, did get some much-needed moisture in November of 2017. This didn't seem to help a whole lot since the situation is extremely bad at the current time.

Cape Town officials are trying to prevent the dreaded Day Zero from happening. Water limitations are already in place. Citizens are allowed to use twenty-three gallons of water or less. That's not a lot of water, even with that amount you'll need to ration out your consumption heavily. You want it to last long enough until you can get more water. It's going to be difficult for residents to find that sweet spot of consumption and rationing.

It's said that if Day Zero does arrive residents will need to line up for even less water. It's said that they'll get seven gallons per person, per day.

Some concerns that might an increase in crime. Will people that have already used their daily limit try to take more than they're given? It might happen but it's all about the sweet spot between consumption and rationing. Illness will spread if Day Zero does happen. Since there's less water, people can't clean themselves as often. You might not be able to take that daily shower and wash your hands every few hours.

By Michael Normandin

Top Ten Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency (Pixabay)

Cryptocurrencies have been in the news a lot recently and the market is as always wild with ups and downs in prices constantly. There are just so many cryptocurrencies out there that no one knows for sure which ones to choose. It must be noted that this list will include forks of Bitcoin. Some of these coins are Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Cash. These are also in no particular order as to which one is best, that's for you to decide, please invest responsibly. We're not responsible for any loses or any mistakes made by you, only invest what you're willing to lose.

1) Bitcoin

Bitcoin was created at the perfect time, that's probably why it became popular. The coin appeared in our world just around 2009 right after the financial crash of 2008. The creator is a mystery with only his name known to the world. Satoshi Nakamoto is someone or a group of people. Bitcoin is said to have been created by him. The coin was once mined using CPUs (processors of a computer) then miners moved onto GPU (graphics cards) and now ASICS (Application-specific integrated circuit.) It's one of the most well-known coins out there.

2) Bitcoin Gold

Bitcoin Gold came about in October 2017. It's supposed to be trying to make Bitcoin decentralized again. The creators don't want the messy situation with ASICS to happen again. ASICS seem to have made mining harder for people who don't have a lot of money to spend on the machines. Bitcoin Gold fixes this by having an algorithm that can only be solved by using CPUs or GPUs. It uses Equihash and it's good to mine if you own a GPU and want to try mining for a little while.

3) Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin Cash like Bitcoin Gold is a fork of Bitcoin. It was created earlier than Bitcoin Gold and came in around August of 2017. It allows for the use of ASIC machines. The reason it was created is said to be because of the scalability debate of the original Bitcoin that had some issues involving high transaction fees due to a lot of people needing to transfer Bitcoin.

4) Monero
Monero is popular among people who keep up with the crypto news of the world. It's been used to mine on websites and is easy to get into if you have a PC. Minergate allows for the mining and it was created in April of 2014. It also focuses on privacy which draws a lot of attention from people who just don't like other people having info on them and their finances.

5) Dash
Dash is unique because it's also known under two different names such as Darkcoin and Xcoin. It even offers private transactions. It's said that Dash was released on January 18, 2014. As with most cryptocurrencies, it's decentralized and people like that. A fun fact is that it's said that within the first two days of it being launched, 1.9 million coins were mined. That's supposed to be around ten percent of the total amount that can even be mined.

6) Litecoin

While Litecoin is a very well known coin it's not extremely expensive like Bitcoin. It's at the point where ASICs can mine it and there's even cloud mining option available for people to buy. It was released October 7, 2011. It's said to have been released on GitHub by Charlie Lee, who is a former Google employee. One of the reasons Litecoin is popular is because of its stability.  Recently the price went up to around 200$ CAD  but is currently around 140$ CAD.

7) Dogecoin
This coin is very unique. It's got the name of an internet meme in it and people actually care about the coin. It came out as a joke currency on December 6, 2013. It has since not been a very big joke. It's actually pretty popular but isn't worth too much. That can change at any moment with cryptocurrencies. It's said that it was created by  Billy Markus who is a programmer. This cryptocurrency certainly has had one interesting ride and its ride isn't over just yet. This coin is fairly popular.

8) Ethereum
This crypto was released on July 30, 2015. It's said that around 11.9 Million coins were mined during the presale, this is known as "premined." This is said to account for thirteen percent of the total supply of the coins. Confidence in this coin has been strong since it's seen support from several parts of the world, especially North America. The Ethereum coin was proposed in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin.

9) Ripple
Ripple is a coin that's been in the news a lot. It's been the coin that a lot of people seem to have hope for. Its initial release is said to be in 2012, however, the stable release happened in 2017. The original authors of the coin are Arthur Britto, David Schwartz, and Ryan Fugger. What's interesting about Ripple is that it's had a whack ton of support. In late January 2018, it had one of the largest market capitalizations.

10) Zcash

Zcash, it has the tech behind it to provide security for its users. It uses cryptography to provide this security. This coin has had an interesting history.  It was once known as the Zerocash system, and before that, the Zerocoin protocol, it has since been developed into the Zcash coin that we hold so dear to our hearts. It was introduced on October 28, 2016.  Roger Ver who was one of the investors into the coin and an individual from Johns Hopkins University, Matthew D. Green. These people were some of the founding team members. The founder and CEO of the company is Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn.

Overall cryptocurrencies are here to stay for at least as far as we can see. There's support for them, they have a history and could benefit the world in a good way by decentralizing our money. There are a lot of coins to choose from but you should always do your own research and make sure that only invest capital that you're willing to lose.

By Michael Normandin

Guest Post: Why I Hated Rose From Star Wars

Image via Lucasfilm taken from

It must be dearly noted that the writer's opinions may not be what we believe. This is a guest post and we're not responsible for it, we read it and think that it's okay to have on the site. We hope you enjoy her opinion piece on this topic. She also did not want to be named when it came to her last name. Her opinions are hers and we just thought it would be nice to mix up the articles with a guest post. There might also be spoilers, so keep that in mind.

Okay, so I'm a little surprised. I went into the star was the movie not expecting much of anything, I was pretty neutral about it overall. I had watched the previous star was movies and thought they were okay. Nothing I ever was a huge fan. However, when the 7th Star Wars movie came out I was excited to give it a go. And I was generally okay with it, again nothing amazed me but it still kept my interest enough to me to agree to go to the second one. The movie started out sort of like the last one, it was pretty okay and I actually started to get into it. Or at least that was until she came.
Rose, I really hated her.

 Hate is a strong word. And I might be being a little dramatic, but I just did. She was so boring and bland and I either practically fell asleep during her scenes or rolled my eyes. Everything she said, every word that came out of her mouth just irked me. Now there were a couple other characters I also thought were stupid or unnecessary, but none pissed me off as much as Rose. From the very beginning, It seemed like writers thought all they needed to do in order to make her interesting and likable was give her some shitty 'sad' backstory as if that would fix her character as a whole! Surprise, It didn't. In fact, she distracted from others in the process, namely fin. Fin was one of the most enjoyable characters in the Force Awakens, even so, I was really disappointed when they added Rose into the mix and she started to detract from his character. She always seemed to be the one going on about something while Fin sorta just stood there. It was rather annoying.

On top of it, they had no chemistry. In Fact when they kissed I was really caught off guard. Because of how odd and inappropriate the kiss was. There was no build up to anything romantic between them. It was completely out of left field! Plus what would Fin even gain through this relationship? Because everyone could see him getting out of this was some shitty pipe cleaner girl who had zero experience in this line of work yet felt the need to lecture him on everything. What the hell?

Not only that, but she wasn't even attractive, dare I say she was actually ugly. Nothing against the actor, who cleans up pretty nice and I'm sure is a pleasant lady. But considering the bland character she was given, I don't see how Fin could have wanted her. unless she was smoking hot. But she wasn't. She was ugly! So I ask myself, why the would Fin want her when he could clearly do better? Especially when they literally met only hours ago? It's not like she had an amazing personality or was particularly attractive. To me, it seemed they just wanted to shove her in there just to say they did as well as give Fin a love interest. Because God forbid Fin to be single! Although to be fair it seemed like the affection was coming primarily from Rose's side, and we never really see it reciprocated.

Her most atrocious act of all, however, was near the end of the movie. Now, they all went out on these old clunky ships and began racing towards the enemy fleet who had stationed themselves on the planet where the rebels had taken shelter behind a massive wall.  They were in danger as the first order not only had an army waiting for them but were also preparing to fire out of a canon like an object that was going to break down the barrier between them. Fin, Poe, Rose and some others had gone out on said clunky ships to try and stop them.

Now, this is what really pissed me off and what I ultimately mean when I say she detracted from Fin's character. Fin, who as of yet has done little to nothing for the plot and seemed to be shifting into the background, finally decides to grow some balls and sacrifice himself to save his team. Sure, his death was going to be sad but it would no doubt be one of the best scenes in the movie. Now Rose knowing exactly what to do decided to take one last action before he killed himself. Now, what do you think Rose did?
Did she:
a.) shed a tear
b.) tell him to stop
c.) say nothing and let Poe confess his love to fin
or d.) crash into him
If you guessed d, you win the gold prize of:
crippling disappointment

let me remind you that if he didn't do this as far as everyone else knew, they were all SCREWED AND WOULD ALL DIE, INCLUDING FIN. So what's Rose to do when she sees Fin soaring into the canon in order to blow it up, saving everyone!

Why the only logical thing of course! CRASH INTO HIM.
She risked BOTH of their lives and  DOOMED THE REST OF THE RESISTANCE TO FUCKING DEATH. They all would have died and she did this why? Oh, that's right, so she could MUMBLE SOME BULLSHIT ABOUT NOT SACRIFICING HIMSELF TO FIN, THEN HAVE THE AUDACITY TO KISS HIM? Was that worth it? Of course, Skywalker comes into save the day, but Rose didn't know that. She was essentially giving everyone a death sentence for her own selfish purposes.

What frustrates me, even more, is that there were so many options they could have taken! They could have paired Fin up with literally anyone else and they probably would have had better chemistry than him and Rose. Anyone who had a 5-second interaction with Fin had better chemistry than Rose did with Fin throughout the entire film. Poe and fin would have been a better pairing by FAR! Not to mention it would have been much cuter, meaning Fins death would have hit that much harder. Although Fin didn't even need a love interest. Why couldn't he have stayed single, this is the middle of a war after all. Not exactly the time to be worrying about getting laid.

To recap Rose, or should I say whoever wrote Rose, single-handedly made what could have been a really sad and nobel scene a fucking stupid one. I hope they kill off Rose sooner rather than later because her character is so bland and infuriating. She brought nothing good to this movie and I doubt will in the future.

By Sabrina