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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Diversity - But Not Diversity of Opinion

In High School we get taught a lot about 'diversity' and 'tolerance'.  The proponents of this doctrine come from the left leaning folks in academia and Mainstream Media.  It is impossible to pick up a copy of the NY Times or take a class on a college campus today and not get force fed empty slogans about 'tolerance' and 'diversity'.  To some degree, these institutions have a point, but as usual, the credo is for you, not for them.  Case in point is today's cover story on Rand Paul on the front page of the NY Times.

Rand Paul is Ron Paul's son, and he seems to be getting popular.  A "Republican", with a libertarian leaning must be a threat to the Order of things because they put a story on the cover titled "Rand Paul's Mixed Inheritance."  The entire article can be summed up by one of the comments: "Do the authors of this article not realize that their entire screed is a guilt-by-association smear? One wonders whether the journalists learned the art of sophistry and fallacies in their training at University, or whether they picked it up in the field."

The main point of the article is basically that Rand Paul's intellectual inheritance includes a bunch of fringe racists and republicans.  Probably the most logically fallacious and silly attempt at smear is the one that tries to connect Gary North and Michele Bachman. "Gary North, a Paul aide, was a proponent of “Christian Reconstructionism,” the Bible-based political ideology that propelled Michele Bachmann into politics."

There is no explanation for this sentence.  It is simply placing Gary North (whose material you can read here) and Michele Bachman in the same box.  The two people have nothing in common.

The authors use ad hominem and from the very beginning. The following is the lead sentence on the front page of a once proud bastion of the Fourth Estate: "The libertarian faithful — antitax activists and war protesters, John Birch Society members and a smattering of “truthers” who suspect the government’s hand in the 2001 terrorist attacks — gathered last September, eager to see the rising star of their movement."

Do you see what they did?  There's the dose of Ad Hominem in "John Birch Society members.  There's  the odd pairing of 'anti tax activists and war protesters.  Then there's the key part that you're supposed to, without thought, look at and say 'conspiracy kook' and that is the term "truthers".  The sick irony is that during the W Bush years, the 9/11 Truth movement was one to be taken seriously, as was the anti war movement.  As we've seen, those movements were just anti - Bush reactions.  Now that a good Democrat is in office, there is no anti war movement and it is trendy to malign the people who want the truth about 9/11.  The truth movement doesn't think that 9/11 was an inside job, they simply realize that the official story is a joke, implausible if not impossible, and they want the truth.  Only the mainstream, which thankfully is dying, has chosen to malign and denigrate people who seek the truth.  In my opinion, an arm of the media that turns the word 'truth' into a pejorative should be shunned.

The NY Times is shown to you as a leader in journalism, something to be taken seriously.  Take a look at the whole article and sad sacks who make up about 85% of the commenters.  It is filled with historical inaccuracies, empty statements and ignorance.  10 minutes of research on Gary North, Walter Block, Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises will show you from where Rand Paul's intellectual underpinnings arise.  The comment board is basically a collection of "without government, who will build the roads and schools?" type wailing.  I found the lockstep opinions in the comments frighteningly limited on an intellectual scale.  The fact that the current administration is everything that the Bush administration was, but worse, seems to be beyond the scope of the commenters.

To the Guardians of the Status Quo, doing a little research is too much to ask.  The fact that Rand Paul thinks somewhat differently is sin enough.  You're supposed to kneel before the 537 people in Washington DC who know better than you.  If you dare question the rapacious killing machine that the Federal Government has become it's obviously time to smear you on the front page.

Diversity, but not diversity of thought - not from the Thought Controllers.  By the way, note the lack of diversity on the Editorial Board of the Times, with regard to race and the $40,000 per year universities they attended.  Why anyone takes this institution seriously is a mystery.

Edit - January 27th: Lew Rockwell answers the NY Times in devastating fashion.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cask of Amontillado in under 5 minutes

Here is a much more concise, clear and short study 'guide' to Edgar Allan Poe's masterpiece "The Cask of Amontillado".

As always, reading the story is a better move, but if you didn't prepare correctly, using these 3.5 minutes you can sound intelligent in class, perpetrate like you read the story, and not be in the dark or embarrassed by the teacher.


Friday, January 24, 2014

How To Watch the MSM and Have Fun at Their Expense

As high school students, you get teachers who are (usually) either unable to think for themselves or are repeating what they've been told to repeat by their favorite political party, the Democrats.

One movement that is gaining steam is the Nullification movement.  Your imagination free teacher hears 'nullification' and thinks "slavery" and "confederacy".  Your instructor thinks this because he has been trained, as one would train a pet, that Nullification - the idea that a state (say New York) nullifies or negates a Federal law that it feels is illegal or unjust - is something that relates to 'states rights', ergo, slavery.

Of course, everything your teacher learned is wrong, and you're being taught the wrong thing as well.  The MSM uses the same code words to attack doctrines that they don't like.  They are well paid and have a vested interest in a monolithic all powerful Federal Government, and they'll get you away from historical truth with buzzwords and loaded illogical sentences.

Ironically, one of the Southern complaints was about Nullification - they hated the North for nullifying the fugitive slave laws, particularly the abomination that was the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

But facts don't matter to the MSM or their paid shills.  Here is Rachel Maddow embarrassing herself using loaded words and scary terms to try to get you to never, and I mean never, consider any other way of life other than a titanic all powerful federal government that controls every aspect of your life.  Remember, the elders in your life have been conditioned to be afraid of freedom, of anything that de-centralizes power.  The huge Corporate Media and the Feds love the current system, and here is a perfect example of propaganda that is designed to get you to embrace your servitude and never think about anything other than the status quo:


Monday, January 13, 2014

A Fraud

New York City area talk radio is all abuzz with the A-Rod story.  He just received a 162 game suspension, coincidentally the length of an MLB season, for what seems to have amounted to a ton of circumstantial evidence that he used steroids, or PED's, or HGH or some other performance enhancer.

What is left unsaid and yet is obvious about this story is the utter uselessness of it all.  The average American Imbecile will call up Mike Francesa's show, or the cloddish front runners on the Michael Kay show, and complain to whoever will listen about how horrible A-Rod is, and how he's a cheater and a lowlife and a Benedict Arnold to the Yankees and Baseball in general.  They decry the use of PED's (the trendy term for steroids, 'Performance Enhancing Drugs), and explain how they have ruined baseball.

This seems odd.  The ratings for Francesa's show are God-like.  He is paid a ton of money to talk sports (he does it quite well) for five hours a day.  Easily 90% of the call are anti-ARod.  Today Francesa was battling callers who were up in arms about how wretched A-Rod is, and how he should be banned for life, drawn and quartered, and then the pieces blasted into space.  Francesa was simply and correctly pointing out that there is little to no hard evidence against A-Rod, and although he is a distasteful person, the evidence is not ironclad and MLB, particularly the commissioner, seems to have a vendetta against him.  Francesa is right, and by the fans' reactions, you'd think he'd just nominated A-Rod for Yankee captain and demoted Derek Jeter to latrine duty.

I realize that this is all part of some sort of show, some kind of Kabuki theater.  Do the fans really care about PED use?  Does A-Rod and his $27 million salary offend the most rabid, mouth breathing fan?

Not at all.  Attendance at Yankee Stadium last year was 3,279,589.  3.5 million dedicated moneyspenders showed up the previous year.  Alex Rodriguez could show up at the park, inject himself with HGH and Fetal Horse Cells while at home plate and the Herd will still show up and blow gobs of cash on watching these people.  At least the Seattle fans, A-Rod's original team, showered him with fake dollar bills upon his first return to their city after he signed monstrous contract with the Texas Rangers.  Yankee fans bark on call in shows, but that seems to be the extent of it.

I've been following the Yankees for the past 30 years, closely for the past 25.  I go to no games, watch about 3 games a year from the comfort of my living room, and read great books about the game.

Follow my lead - get with the program NY fans.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Cask of Amontillado in 10 minutes

You didn't read or study? You should read the story because it is fantastic, but if you DIDN'T, I am here to help. Look over and listen to this screencast, pausing when necessary and get the info you need to do well in class, on the quiz, or on the test.



More test prep and resources can be found at marolla.wordpress.com

The Glory of Their Times - book review

In the section of Bill James' Historical Baseball Abstract (one of the best baseball books ever written), that discusses the 1960's, he mentions the best baseball books of that decade.  Of Lawrence Ritter's The Glory of Their Times it says "often imitated, never excelled."  I know why he wrote this about the book - it is glorious in many ways.

The book is really a history book.  The author's poignant introduction states that his motivation was to write about the stars of the early era of Major League Baseball before they were forgotten, or dead.  Ritter traveled the country with what we would consider today archaic recording equipment and interviewed people like: Rube Marquard, Sam Crawford, Joe Wood, Chief Meyers, Rube Bressler, Specs Toporcer and Lefty O'Doul.  The most recent interviewee (Hank Greenberg) retired from playing baseball in 1947 and died in 1986.

Most of the players were not stars (Bill Wambsganss?).  This regular guy flavor makes the book seem like walking into a time warp.  The men were farm boys and country boys mostly.  Greenberg's youth in the Bronx stands out as most of the chapters start with the humble beginnings of boys in rural America or small town America.  The men came from families where the father worked, usually self employed and the mothers mostly stayed at home.  We hear of dad being a lawyer or a farmer or anything in between.  Most of the men had little growing up in terms of money but lots of life experience.

This was a time that according to today's Intellectual Elite, today's Guardians of Established Opinion, could not have existed.  Why?  The way my mind works, I thought about all of the things that were going on in the early 1900's when these people were growing up.  There was no FED.  The world (until 1914 and the USA until 1933) was on a gold coin standard. There were no unions to speak of, the federal government was minimal, the EPA, OSHA, minimum wage, welfare, and Department of Education didn't exist.  Were a person to suggest abolishing all of those things today he'd be considered dangerous.  Hand wringing and wailing would ensue: "what would happen to the poor - who would care for the downtrodden?  Yet there is not a spec of evidence that life was miserable.  On the contrary, they all talked about how they had immense freedom and exciting amounts of opportunity.

While reading about the young lives of these men, I kept waiting for some social commentary about how awful things were before the New Deal, or before American Empire post WWII.  It never came.  The interviews take you back to an era of communities and people that took care of themselves.  Parents who allowed their children to read and work and think for themselves.  Multiple times in the book dad tells the young baseball player that he'd rather he follow in his footsteps as a lawyer, or a shopkeeper (advice I have to admit I would probably give my child) but eventually tells him to go after his passion.  A few of them got seed money, but most hopped trains, hitched rides and slept in barns to get to the minor league town that sought them.  Re read that last sentence and think about the reaction from one of today's Caring Adults who Manage America's Youth.

The historical, first person accounts are rich in detail and will give you a snapshot of early 1900's America.  The baseball information is first rate, from the style of uniforms to the style of play.  Interestingly the former players are realistic about the amazing increase in skill and speed of the current (at the time 1966) players.  One might expect a biased lamenting about great the past player were and how overrated the new guys are.  But no, these seem like honest honorable men and they all realize that Willie Mays is a talent that exceeds just about all of the turn of the century players.

There is a look back to earlier times by Chief Meyers, a grizzled, tough American Indian catcher who didn't mind being called 'Chief'.  He talks about how things have gotten worse with regard to the money and the business of baseball and what happened to Jim Thorpe, but this snippet from page 184 caught my eye.  Remember, this is from 1966: "The world seems to be turned all upside down today.  Progress, they call it.  The radio and the television and all, brainwashing the children and teaching them to cheat and steal and kill.  Always violence and killing.  I think it's an awful bad example for the youngsters.  Why can't they teach people about the good things in life instead?"

The Glory of Their Times is a wonderful book of great depth and character.  I highly recommend it.


Chief Meyers in 1910