Save The Polar Bears

A typical Staples absence note says, “He was at the doctor’s.”

Brian Hershey’s says, “He was at the Arctic Circle.”

If anything merits an excused absence, his does.

Brian Hershey, proudly wearing his Polar Bears International/Gault fleece.

Brian is a go-getter.  He’s president of the Geography Club for good reason:  Still a high school junior, he’s already visited 50 countries.

He plays alto sax in the jazz band and pit orchestra.

He spent last summer in Japan, as an exchange student.

He loves science.  So it was no surprise that last spring he entered an international contest run by Polar Bears International aimed at educating teenagers about climate change.

Nor was it surprise that — after writing an essay, and undergoing interviews — Brian was one of 18 winners.

Which is how, earlier this month, he traveled to Churchill, Manitoba — a small town on Hudson Bay — to meet with scientists, study polar bears, and figure out how to stop the world from falling apart.

Brian met incredible people.  Meeting other teenagers was as intriguing as interacting with climate change experts and park rangers.  Most of the teenagers won contests co-sponsored by zoos (Brian’s was the only one sponsored by an energy company — Gault).  Their perspectives broadened his own.

He spent time with Inuit trappers.  One woman had been hired at age 7 to guide white hunters.  At 9 she traveled 50 kilometers, spending 20 days trapping, then hauling furs back to Churchill.

By herself.

“I figured these trappers would just kill animals,” Brian says.  “But their lives depend on animals.  They really understand the importance of conservation.”

But his encounters with a few dozen polar bears — some as close as 2 feet away — were truly amazing.

Brian Hershey took this photo. The polar bears are having fun -- but there should be snow and ice on the ground.

A buggy brought the group to a research station in the middle of the tundra.

“We were at the mouth of the  Churchill River, where fresh and saltwater mix,” Brian explains.

“The bears hadn’t eaten in 4 months.  They were starving, waiting for the ice to form, so they could hunt and eat seals.

“The water wasn’t frozen — but it should have been.  Looking in the eyes of those awesome predators was an incredible experience.”

Brian returned to Westport — via prop plane to Winnipeg — motivated to find solutions to climate change.  He and his new friends had agreed to try to get major businesses or organizations wherever they lived — Australia, the UK, wherever — to reduce their carbon footprint by 5% in 1 year.

Brian immediately approached Staples principal John Dodig to discuss “realistic, applicable ideas.”

One was to start using thin, recyclable paper — like the type Brian saw in Japan — for the many handouts teachers distribute.

Another suggestion:  designate some junior parking spots (a coveted commodity) for students who recycle the most.

Brian Hershey, at the Arctic Circle.

Brian is determined to educate as many people as possible — of all ages — about the importance of environmental awareness.

“Climate change,” he notes, is a “misnomer.  Climate is dynamic — it’s always changing.  The question is whether people believe human beings are now contributing to the change.

“I think we are.  And I want to talk about it.”

His message — to his friends, teachers, and hopefully the nation — is both personal and universal.

“Why should people in the slums of India, or Brazilian favelas, care about polar bears?

“You have to look at the global picture — at weather, ocean salinity, fishing, trade, everything.

“I have friends all around the world.  And I’m going to use all my contacts, everyone I know and everything I learned, to try to spread awareness as much and as far as I can.”

99 responses to “Save The Polar Bears

  1. It must be nice to have wealthy parents.

    Just Sayin’……………

  2. The disappearing polar bear myth has been debunked almost as often as the Piltdown Man. He would have been better off studying mural painting at Staples.

    • It only took me 1/2 the article to think “oh no, Jeffxs is going to have a field day with climate change.” But, you surprise me again — somehow mural painting is also related.

      Good work Brian. And keep it up. Guys like Jeffxs need to be reached and this world needs people like you, with the right experience, to do it. Westport is proud of you.

    • Westporter since 1970

      Both the environment of the arctic (including disappearing polar bears) and mural painting are included in the curriculum of Amherst College. (At least two generations of Michael Petrinos have graduated.)

  3. At least you can’t complain that he’s never seen the rest of the world.

    Quote: “Climate change,” he notes, is a “misnomer. Climate is dynamic — it’s always changing. The question is whether people believe human beings are now contributing to the change.”

    Doesn’t sound like he’s blinded by the hype.

    • “At least you can’t complain that he’s never seen the rest of the world.”

      Yeah……on his parents dime.

      Must be nice.

      • Staples 09 Alum

        You’re clearly jealous. Get a life. You have no idea how or why he’s traveled to as many countries as he has.

        • Get over yourself ’09.

          Clearly you are too imature to realize that this kid has been blessed with the golden spoon.

          Tell me how many teens from Bridgeport you have heard about travelling to 50 countries.

          Yeah…..as I thought…..the silence is deafening.

          He could have spent his parents money on a more tangible quest such as enriching the lives of inner city youths.

          • Brian Hershey

            On mondays I go to Bridgeport to one of the elementary schools and teach groups of kids about music. I could “spend” my parent’s money as you suggested on enriching their lives, but I think giving the kids respect, a friend to talk to, and someone to look up to, is a little bit more appropriate and respectful than throwing money at them.

      • that definitely makes sense considering he wont the trip on a scholarship

  4. Then again, when you read the whole quote you see that he very likely is.

    “Climate change,” he notes, is a “misnomer. Climate is dynamic — it’s always changing. The question is whether people believe human beings are now contributing to the change.

    “I think we are. And I want to talk about it.”

    • Ah, so he’s not allowed to form an opinion different than yours. Interesting.

      You really shouldn’t take the bait so easily – I left his comment off intentionally so you’d jump on it.

  5. WOW. And that he is just a high school junior; again, WOW. I am totally impressed. I’m impressed by what he’s done and again, thanks to this blog, adults are reading it (i wouldn’t even know what this kid and by sponsoring him gault too had accomplished in this regard without this blog). Kind of raises the bar for all of out to-do lists today. I hope NPR picks it up.

  6. Better off studying mural painting? Really? Must have rich parents? Who says? Come on, guys. Why so sour? (Were you joking? Did I misconstrue your tone?) This boy is amazing. He’s incredibly curious (a mark of high intelligence), wants to help the world, and is not afraid of hard work. We should be celebrating young people like this, not putting them down. Plus, what makes you guys–or any of us non-scientists–experts on global warming?

    • The MMGW hypothesis is not a issue for scientific inquiry; it has become a matter of faith. And as someone who has spent the last 40 years building and evaluating mathematical models of complex processes, I know twaddle when I see it.

    • Prill, Some of the people that comment on this blog are fools. I prefer to believe the only reason they make such dishonorable comments is because of the anonymity the Internet affords them.

      Take solace in the fact that many people read Dan’s blog; few read the comments; even less pay any mind to Jeffxs.

  7. @Jeffxs:

    Have you found those WMDs yet? How’s your oh-so-brilliant scientific and mathematical mind dealing with that crazy Darwin guy? And what about those ridiculous “Holocaust” rumors? Can you believe the garbage that those lefties spew? You’re lucky to have folk like Sarah Palin, Joe Miller and Christine O’Donnell to pal around with instead of those eco-terrorist libs like the subject of this piece.

    It’s so fabulous that we have Jeffxs to throw a bucket of ice water all over an inquisitive, teenage mind. Far better that we have the anti-intellectual, ignorance is even better that greed crowd with its devotion to the lowest common denominator and fealty to those whose interests are only to themselves. I call them the meme crowd. You know, Me, Me, Me.

    • I never mentioned any of the issues that brought about your mindless screed, but one. I did mention that the MMGW hypothesis is a hoax. There is no empirical evidence that passes traditional tests of statistical significance to support the hypothesis; none. Now if you want to offer some; have at it. Thus far no scientists have done as much. The rest of your post is totally inchorent, but clearly you have issues. Drugs might help.

      • Staples 09 Alum

        Jeffxs,

        1) It is a fact that temperatures on Earth have consistently increased since about 1850.
        If it’s not human-made temperature change, then what do you suggest is the cause of this increase in temperature? Is it simply a natural spike?

        2) The point of Dan’s article was most likely not whether global climate change is man-made or not. The point was that this student is taking action on an issue HE believes in. So please don’t knock a 16 year old (I’m assuming you’re at least 30 years older than him)

        3) Why do you continue to bring up mural painting as a bad thing? Even if Staples has a mural painting course, what is wrong with that? The arts provide jobs for so many people and are important for other reasons (encouraging students’ creativity for example)
        It’s offensive to the course’s teacher and students (even though I don’t think it’s even offered at Staples currently)

        • Mural painting is part of the Staples curriculum; courses in science and math were eliminated and mural painting was added. I guess this substitution was part of Landon’s effort to make Westport students more competitive in the global marketplace for labor.
          The argument must be made that there is empirical evidence supporting a cause and effect relationship between manmade gasses and global warming. None has been offered. Temperatures were much warmer in the 10th and 11th centuries. Why? SUV’s? I was not knocking the young man, I was crticizing his ideas. Two very different activities. It does seem that many are not bright enough to grasp the difference.

          • from Inside Staples

            Your statement regarding SHS’s course offerings makes it obvious that you have little or no knowledge of why those courses were eliminated or added.

          • On the contrary; I quoted from the minutes of the relevant BOE meeting in an earlier thread. So if anyone is not informed, I guess that would be you.

          • Jeff,
            There are about 1,800 students at Staples. There are 37 math courses that, because of multiple sections, over 1900 students enroll in each year. There are 27 math courses that also have over 1900 students enrolled – again, because of multiple sections. There is one mural painting course with about 20 students enrolled.
            What you selectively read in a cryptic sentence is totally outweighed by actual facts in the school.

          • The facts are in the minutes of the BOE meeting during which math and science course were eliminated due to a lack of student interest according to Landon and mural painting was among the courses added. All sorts of rationalizations have been offered ex post. I can understand why.

          • Westporter since 1970

            Both the environment of the arctic (including disappearing polar bears) and mural painting are included in the curriculum of Amherst College. Amherst has far fewer math courses than art courses. (At least two generations of Michael Petrinos aka Jeffxses have graduated from this over-rated, elitist, ivory tower that has given our society more than its share of parasites.)

  8. Get over yourself “justfine”.

    MMGW is a myth and has been debunked by the scientific community.

  9. Richard Lawrence Stein

    “just Say’in” you are 100% correct it is nice to be able to have parents that can foot the bill. It is unbelievable this kid who is only a junior has been to 50 different countries if I read it correctly on his parents undeniable generosity. I only can hope that I too can do this for my child and have a child that cares about their world and has earned some very handsome rewards… Your moronic statement is an insult to what this young man has done. Maybe his father or mother work internationally or maybe he is lucky. Either way who are you to judge… Are you envious, jealous, or feeling inadequate in your ability to enrich your children. Sad you need to piss on this kid to feel better.

  10. Those who wrote the negative comments should feel ashamed. As a Staples student, I personally know Brian, he’s actually a good friend. Biases aside, Brian is a smart kid who has chosen to do something unique. Yes, it is nice to have wealthy parents. But the fact that he chooses do something that has somewhat of an impact on society speaks a lot. He doesn’t take it for granted, and he uses what he is fortunate to have to LEARN about the world, and the people in it. Brian likes to explore, he likes to learn about other cultures around the world, something that most people can’t appreciate. But the fact that Brian has learned to look beyond the enclosed area we call Westport, shows a lot about who he really is. This isn’t about global climate change and the polar bears, its about a curious student looking to understand the world. Rich Stein is right, you have no right to piss on this kid because of your own possible insecurities. Are you that insecure that you have to take away from a teenagers once in a lifetime opportunity?

    • Westport is a town in which everyone gets a trophy because everyone is “special.” If you want to hold forth the pubic domain, you should expect your ideas to be challenged.

      • I’m not saying he deserves a trophy for being special…I’m saying that he’s done something most Westporters NEVER do; that is, look beyond the spectrum of Westport into another world. Most students don’t even realize that theres a greater world outside of the walls of Westport. Theres nothing to challenge here…Brian was not pitching his ideas. Mr. Woog was simply highlighting a unique experience that this student had. There was no need to bash him, or challenge the idea of climate change. I know him; he is not a green freak set on ridding the world of greenhouse gases. He simply likes to travel and experience the world.

  11. even if npr doesn’t run this student’s findings he should know that he may be contributing to a future story that they do run. he may be a push factor that gets story with similar findings published at a later date. the editors just need to see some more of the same research come in before they are willing to run story that debunks ‘the debunking of the myth of climate change’.

    i don’t think anyone of us reading or commenting on this blog can challenge his findings because we have not been there as recently to view the situation as first hand as he has.

  12. The Dude Abides

    Master Hershey certainly won the sperm lottery but so what? What he has achieved in his short life is remarkable. Continued good adventures!! My only suggestion is to “pitch it” to the Discovery Channel. NPR might be frightened of the polar bears although they are not wearing Muslim garb. Brian also does not appear to be Black with a Latino name. Let freedom of speech ring loud!

  13. Staples 09 < Average See how easy that was?

    • Richard Lawrence Stein

      Honestly Jeffxs your are nothing more than a bully… Your views and are opinion are valid but not gospel… You are arguing with young people… You are making yourself out to be nothing more than a royal ass… Give it a break…. Everyone is special in their own way

      • Especially those that ride the short bus.

        • Richard Lawrence Stein

          Wow and now … Guest the first to piss on this kids accomplishments are making fun of the special needs kids you are a person with issues

      • I did not criticize the student in question, so don’t get your shorts in a knot. I did not address my remarks to any of the “younger” folks, they addressed me. They stood up to the plate, no one invited them to play. “Every one is special …..” how jejune.

    • Staples 09 Alum

      Jeffxs: There are several academics that say the global climate change is due to human activity. There are also several who say it’s just a natural, cyclical occurrence.

      http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;290/5499/2133
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6736/abs/399569a0.html
      http://www.springerlink.com/content/4f9yut8ydfn3h1g8/

      Those three all support the idea that global warming is happening by anthropogenic causes.

      I’m not saying they’re correct. I’m saying there are plenty of academic studies done that show that MMGW isn’t necessarily a myth.

      • I have read many academic studies of MMGW and not one has shown empirical evidence to suport a cause and effect relationship between manmade gases and global warming. If every bit of ice at both poles melted, that fact in and of istelf would not be evidence of a cause and effect relationship between manmade gases and global warming. Correlation is not causation.

  14. He probably should have just asked for a Lamborghini. Then no one in Westport would say boo.

  15. Methinks he might get away with a Tesla. He sounds like a great kid. I envy his parents. And somehow I don’t think they’ll plaster his college logo on their cars.

    ‘Tis a shame that one who would appropriate The Dude’s moniker can’t seem to understand (or recall) his persona. Such venomous rantings from all of his (I assume a male hides behind these names) various guises makes one wonder just how angry at and disappointed with his life he really can be. Sad. So very sad.

    • 06880

      As long as you are on the topic of “venomous rantings” you might want to relect on this post; yours.

      justfine | October 25, 2010 at 11:01 am | Reply @Jeffxs:

      Have you found those WMDs yet? How’s your oh-so-brilliant scientific and mathematical mind dealing with that crazy Darwin guy? And what about those ridiculous “Holocaust” rumors? Can you believe the garbage that those lefties spew? You’re lucky to have folk like Sarah Palin, Joe Miller and Christine O’Donnell to pal around with instead of those eco-terrorist libs like the subject of this piece.

      It’s so fabulous that we have Jeffxs to throw a bucket of ice water all over an inquisitive, teenage mind. Far better that we have the anti-intellectual, ignorance is even better that greed crowd with its devotion to the lowest common denominator and fealty to those whose interests are only to themselves. I call them the meme crowd. You know, Me, Me, Me.

    • The Dude Abides

      Huh? I congratulated Master Hershey. I think his travel is wonderful and wish him luck with his story (ies). But I love Jeffxs. He brings a distinction to this dialogue that is unique, opinionated and “slap in the face” different. And he normally keeps it on point unless he is attacked personally. On the other hand, all you bring is a reactionary judgemental tone of superiority without any originality whatsover. Stepford SAD.

  16. MaryKate Strahle

    I do not know Brian personally, but because I am literate, I understand that he WON THE ESSAY CONTEST AND THE MONEY FOR THE TRIP WAS PROVIDED FOR HIM. Do not bring wealth or his parents into this. Be proud of your classmate. Do not be jealous. Congratulate him!

    • LOL……….

      He went to 1 country from winning the essay contest…..not the 49 others that he has been.

      “Nor was it surprise that — after writing an essay, and undergoing interviews — Brian was one of 18 winners.

      Which is how, earlier this month, he traveled to Churchill, Manitoba — a small town on Hudson Bay — to meet with scientists, study polar bears, and figure out how to stop the world from falling apart.”

      Nice try at deflectio there MaryKate.

  17. I agree. He is a fantastic boy who worked hard for this.

  18. Jeffxs,

    I used to get mad reading your posts. Not having been lived in Westport in 20 years, I read to catch up on the place of my youth and appreciate Dan’s amazing writing, not to hear your negative attitude and naysaying.

    Your posts come from a very sad angry place. Even if you had good points to make, they get missed because the delivery is just so negative. I am sorry for you. I hope you see the light and find an outlet for all that negativity.

    I think most people have caught – the trick is to ignore you. This is also sad because you obviously put effort into your posts – it is just misguided.

    Guest – you too. You’re a loser. Dude you’re on the fence – but you seem to be on the right side of the fence at least some of the time.

    Rock on Stapelites, Brian Hershey. Staples Soccer, Dan Woog, Westport and those who do over those who hate.

  19. Brian Hershey

    Ok I guess I should say something. . .

    I assume all of you who posted about me assumed I would see it. . so allow me to clarify a few things.

    ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Am I 100% ready to attribute global warming to human causes? Absolutely not. I think anyone who is doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Environmental science is something I understand and was fortunate enough to study with some of the top researchers in the field when I went to Arctic canada last week. So don’t look up some facts on wikipedia and tell me I’m wrong. I was in the Arctic, I spoke with the locals, I saw the bears with my own eyes, I saw the Hudson Bay thawed when it should have been frozen, you saw it from a computer screen. Disagree with me all you want but at least I have credibility for my opinions.

    I THINK I’M SPECIAL: If you actually knew me, you would know that if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s kids who stick a tree in the ground and think they’re special. Believe it or not I understand a lot about the world and if you think I’m just labeling myself as “special” and I’m not actually going to make a difference, WATCH ME.

    HOW I’VE BEEN TO 50 COUNTRIES: My father works internationally so I have been fortunate enough to travel with him and live in a few of the countries he worked in. When I was an exchange student in Japan I won a full scholarship to go ( one of only two kids in the country ), and just like my trip to the arctic, i worked for it. In my travels my father has exposed me to things other parents would hide their children from. I have seen people who have nothing and yet I live in a place where people have everything. Not for a second do I forget how lucky I am and how fortunate I am to a have a father who exposed me to the world. For the people who think I’m just a spoiled kid with a fat passport, get to know me and you’ll see. . . I’m not that kid.

    Thanks for everyones comments!.. (and criticisms) keep them coming!

    Thank you Dan for listening to my story and writing this incredible post for me.

    —Brian Hershey

    • Richard Lawrence Stein

      Well done Brian… Bravo…. To all of your naysayers… This kid out classes you all… You could only wish you could equal him…. My hat is off to you

  20. Staples 09 Alum

    Thank you Brian for a great response.

    I think that sums it up…I’m done wasting my time arguing with some old angry man

  21. The Dude Abides

    Well said, young man Hershey. The blog dialogue here is part of your education. Not everyone in your life is going to approve, applaud and/or attest to your attributes. You find yourself, do your best and the hell with the rest of them.

  22. I wonder what Jeffsx has to say about Brian’s last post. He’s probably going to bash it like everything else.

  23. The Dude Abides

    AH: You are baiting him. As I indicated above, Jeffxs usually does not do “personal” unless he is attacked personally for his views. I find it fascinting that we tune in to Rush, Glenn, Bill and Keith/Rachel by the millions to hear generalized bashing but when one says what he thinks on this blog, he is chastised like a Russian whore in the Sudan.

    • When those who post here are incapable of dealing with the merits of an argument, or mustering coherent arguments of their own, they resort to sophomoric ad hominem arguments, you see that behavior in almost every thread.

  24. Teacher at that awful h.s.

    As a teacher of rhetoric, I am fascinated by the exchanges Jeffxs gets entangled in and appreciate his argument that many opposed to him resort to ad hominem attacks. But I do wonder what Jeffxs’s purpose in posting IS. This is a real question; how does he see his posts?

    • You claim to understand the ad hominem gambit, but then you try one yourself; fascinating

    • What is your purpose in teaching rhetoric? I hope it is to express your thoughts through writing. I would say that is what the gentleman is doing.

  25. Jeff,
    Two half year science courses were combined to make one more relevant year long course. Since the title(s) were changed, the “retired” titles were cancelled and the new one added. The math course that was cancelled was a a 20 year-old, very basic math course no longer in use at the high school level.
    Jeff, if you want to complain about cryptic meeting notes, do so, but do not inacurately attack what is actually happening in the classroom.

    • Jim: Take the time to read Landon’s statement to the BOE. That statement is all that is relevant. Subsequent explanations are merely justifications for actions that were not acceptable on their face; “…lack of student interest…” After you become familiar with what was actually said at the time the math and science courses were eliminated and the mural painting course among, others, was substituted, then perhaps you could deal with the larger question; Why are scarce tax dollars funding a couse in mural painting?

      • Jeff,
        I actually watch most BOE meetings and attend several each year. The amount of discussion on most subjects greatly exceeds the meeting notes that are mostly records of votes taken. I have read and am familier with the notes you refer to but am more interested in what is actually happening in the schools.

        As I understand it, your focus on mural painting is because you question it’s value, unlike your positive feelings toward the value of science and math. Today at Staples there are enough science and math courses available that it would take a student about seven years to complete all of them if they took nothing else. There may actually not be another appropriate science or math course to put in place whether or not you dropped a painting course to do so.

        With about 1,800 students in Staples who are required to have a minimum of 25 courses to graduate (and who take, I think, about 30 courses on average ) means the school needs a fairly robust curriculum just to meet minimum state and federal regulations. Since the largest expense line is salary one might speculate that dropping courses would reduce salary but that is doubtful. The school day lasts a certain number of hours and if students are not in class they should be in some organized place such as a study hall. A study hall requires adult supervision so no savings there. To oversimplify, it’s better to have students in classes learning things they find meaningful that keep their interest alive and them engaged.

        A 2003 Staples graduate with a strong interest in physics, art and computers combined those interests first at Staples then at Rhode Island School of Design. He found internships in the movie industry using his skills and did all the motion capture and much of the special effects work on last year’s Academy Award winning film, Avatar. His career as well as that of the students who have gone into architecture, photograpy, medical illustsration and plenty of other fields would not have been the same without the arts – and the taxpayers would probably not have saved a dime.

  26. Jeffxs sure seems to have a lot of spare time.
    As to complaints by others that Brian is able to do things because he has wealthy parents…I thought that was the whole POINT of Westport.

  27. Most of the posts on today’s 06880 make me sorry I opened up the email in the first place. Grow up, you guys. You’re like a pack of 5th grade bullies. Brian, the world needs you.

  28. Brian, congratulations on visiting your 51st country! This is truly an experience (trial by fire) that can be added to the free of charge side of your travels. The lesson here however is a valuable one, so aptly put by the Dude. Fortunately or unfortunately this is reality, but as inquisitive and bright as you are you will figure it out quickly. Just keep having fun.

  29. teacher at that awful hs

    Jeffxs — no — it wasn’t an attack at all; you’ve read more into my comments than what I believe I wrote. I was thinking of asking my students to look at the blog and consider how language is used in it for a variety of purposes. I don’t want to guess your intended purpose; I actually want to be able to say that this, whatever it is, is what you intend to accomplish. I find use of language in general fascinating and yours, in particular, currently interesting. This blog is such a marketplace of ideas and language.

    • I did not claim it was an “attack.” It most certainly is ad hominem. BTW the high school is not awful, it is merely adequate.

  30. Staples 09 Alum

    News Flash: Jeffxs is NEVER wrong. If you would kindly bring up the notes from the BOE meeting and list specific math courses that were dropped I’d believe you may be right on this topic

    • I did that on an earlier thread. It must have been past your bed time.

      • Westporter since 1970

        So I guess this Jeffxs is one of the banking villains who has screwed investors in 401(k)’s and 403(b)’s with his decades worth of fraudulent, self-serving financial mathematical models.

        And now the fraud sits in his luxurious mansion on Bluewater Hill or else where in Westport and like the perverse lowlife he presents himself as he pees on the rest of us (including teenagers.)

        It seems to me that argumentum ad hominem is perfectly appropriate in this bottom-feeding scum’s case. His obsessive self-justification points to his repressed need to be punished, and given his role at Morgan Stanley he is probably a good candidate for prosecution and jail.

  31. Boy, just as one can tell a cubic zirconia quickly by looking at diamonds and knowing what is the “real McCoy”, reading Brian Hershey’s comments reveals very clearly who is the mature person in these comments. And someone said that writers should be proud of their classmate … but it is the old guys who are the negative ones here. Congratulations, Brian!

  32. I see that a number of people here have spent a fair amount of time trying to respond to and/or getting annoyed with Jeffxs. Why bother? Why waste your time? I found a while back that I disagreed for the most part with Jeffxs’ posts and that, no matter what anyone posted in response, you were not going to change his (or her) point of view– I mention the possibility of “her” since Jeffxs has chosen to remain anonymous and could be female; in fact, Jeffxs could be a 15-year-old 10th-grade girl simply trying to put one over on everyone for all we know. The bottom line is: why take up your valuable time even reading Jeffxs’ posts? Whenever I see his/her name, I simply skip down to the next post.

  33. The Dude Abides

    Ah, Fred, you are missing the point. He has a voice. I happen to think it is an intelligent one. We disagree most times but I listen. Once you start filtering the input, you diminish your own output. One of the problems in the polarization of this country is that we don’t listen slowly enough. Our mindset narrows and eventually closes. Inhale brother, it feels so good when you breath out.

    • To the Dude Abides– I am happy to listen to opposing points of view. What I found in Jeffxs opinions, when I did look at them, were some rigid ideological views (which hold no interest for me). I am not interested in taking up my time reading such viewpoints, whether they are on the far right or far left because, quite frankly, I don’t find them constructive . To the contrary, I think they help fuel polarization. I understand the arguments for anonymity on the Internet, but, from my perspective, it is anonymity that has, in certain respects, also fueled polarization in this country. I think you are more likely to have rational, constructive dialogue if, as in the old days, people voiced their opinion with their name attached in letters to the editor. I’m not a Luddite. There are so many ways in which the Internet has facilitated communication. But anonymous postings by people with strict ideological views has not been beneficial to the true exchange of ideas.

      • The Dude Abides

        Interesting point. I have my reasons for anonymity which include the fact that when I have used my real name, it has appeared on Google. There is a certain freedom when you use a pseudonym but unless it abused, intelligent entries can be made. Such practice dates back to our Founding Fathers who often fabricated names submitted to the newspapers. Perhaps I overstated the impact of the blog on polarization. In fact, we are just not very nice to each other in this country for whatever reasons?
        Witness the aforesaid dialogue on an adventuresome high school junior.

  34. Brian – Congratulations on your achievement. All kids – wherever they are born – have an opportunity to rise and do great things. It’s one of the things I love about this country. Where there’s a will there’s a way. I’m constantly happily surprised by young people who dream big and do great things. Best of luck with your future adventures.

  35. new kid staples

    OK. YOU GUYS HAVE NO LIFE.

    • Wrecker ’14 (?): No, then we would be dead. As Gandhi said: Everything we do in this life is meaningless but it is important that we do it. Stop being a hotshot and listen. Then perhaps you can contribute something meaningful instead of junior high locker room jive.

  36. After watching Jeffxs attack Brian Hershey I believe it is important the Westport community understand that Jeffxs is Michael Petrino of Westport, CT. It takes little more than a Google search to determine this. Young scholars like Brian should not be subject to such anonymous attacks, regardless of their professionalism and grace. This should at least curb the anonymity.

    • Westporter: I never attacked Brian Hersey. Your post is at base false. If you can find any such attack please point it out; put up or shut time in Westport.

      • Westporter since 1970

        So I guess this Jeffxs is one of the banking villains who has screwed investors in 401(k)’s and 403(b)’s with his decades worth of fraudulent, self-serving financial mathematical models.

        And now the fraud sits in his luxurious mansion on Bluewater Hill and like the lowlife he appears to be pees on the rest of us (including teenagers.)

        It seems to me that argumentum ad hominem is perfectly appropriate in this bottom-feeding scum’s case.

    • Jeffxs is in his 60’s. Michael Petrino is not that old.
      Wrong guy moron.

      • Westporter since 1970

        Michael Petrino ’68 and Michael Petrino ’03, Amherst

        • The Dude Abides

          Westporter since 1970: Why is so important to you to reveal Jeffxs’ identity? Are you intending to scare him off or make him pay for your perceived interpretation of his comments on this blog entry?? Because, to me, there is not much honor in hiding behind your own anonymity while destroying another’s. As noted above in my case, you have no idea of the ramifications of your actions.

          • Westporter since 1970

            Oh, right. I totally forgot about your boring case. “I have received death threats due to my role at Exxon.” And these alleged death threats are the biggest thing in your inconsequential, day-trader life as it now enters its downward cycle of alcohol abuse and immanent Alzheimer’s?

            And Texas schools are the best.

            So is that what you talk about at Westport dinner parties? And how does that go?

      • Westporter since 1970

        No Way–
        Thanks for the confirmation.
        Since you appear to have a subnormal IQ, I won’t suggest that you think about it.
        Neither Stew Leonard nor Bernie Madoff–both swindlers anyone at Morgan Stanley might hope to emulate–threw his kid under the bus.

  37. Just for clarification, the Westporter in this thread is not the same one in the Paving thread. It seems I need to change my name now!

  38. Westporter since 1970

    It’s not important to me. I didn’t out him. But those who swindle people and get away with it should be aware that it is simple to find out the identity of anyone who posts on the Internet. Living in the anxiety and fear brought on by a guilty conscience is all I wish to fraudulent financiers… oh, and, uh, rigorous prosecution, public opprobrium, ruinous fines, and long jail sentences.

  39. The Dude Abides

    Westporter Since 1970: You didn’t “out” Jeffxs but you did the follow up assassination on his line of work and where he/his son went to college. That sure sounds like it was important to you. And for your information, I worked for the Treasury during the first banking crisis and received a Presidential citation from Clinton for my work putting bank defrauders behind bars. Such point is not self-serving but instead, an indicator that your blanket accusations are ignorant and without merit. You assume, judge and condemn without even asking a single question or attempt to have an intelligent dialogue. I am sorry but I am embarrassed to even share the same town with you. You are nothing more than a stupid bully.

  40. Pingback: Thanks, Jeffxs! | Aaron Meyer