the dollar vigilante blog
TDV Week in Review: March 16th, 2014
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The year 2014 feels more American than many recent years: threat of war with Russia, a classic foe and enemy to our way of life, graces the headlines daily and, in this anthropoids' opinion, the end is by no means nigh. The economy has recently been taken down a notch (or ten) as it has been like clockwork over the centuries. That's why I am so excited that it's baseball season again! Come April 1, this ageless sport, which has taught us so much about American society (it's the US's old past-time, after all), will be shown on big screen televisions from sea-to-shining-sea, in bars.
Baseball is an ageless sport in which, as writer Roger Angell observed, "time is seamless and invisible, a bubble within which players move at exactly the same pace and rhythms as their predecessors." Just like America, baseball moved into the post-World War II era with confidence. In 1946, more than 18 million people attended baseball games, a record. But, at the same time - just like in America - the seeds had been sowed for a more boring and sterile reality where 'human capital' was devalued. In the post-war period, dress codes were given to players, stripping away individuality, and the sport tried to cut down on swearing, again stripping away originality. And then on August 16, 1948, Babe Ruth, a staunch individualist who defied rules, passed away. Both America, and baseball, were becoming less 'American.'
Staunch anti-communist senator, John W. Bricker (Republicrat - Ohio), addressed minor league executives, making it clear the importance baseball held in his mind to indoctrinating America's youth and undermining communist influence in the US. In 1947, baseball cemented America's democratic appeal by introducing Jackie Robinson to the world. But the slick facade merely hid a more dire picture beneath. When Jackie Robinson was asked to testify in front of the House of Un-American Activities Committee on blacks and Communism, he didn't make-believe:
"I don't pretend to be any expert on communism or any other kind of a political 'ism.'...The American public ought to understand....the fact that it is a Communist who denounces injustice in the courts, police brutality, and lynching when it happens doesn't change the truth of his charges. Just because Communists kick up a big fuss over racial discrimination when it suits their purposes, a lot of people try to pretend that the whole issue is a creation of Communist imagination...but they are not fooling anyone with this kind of pretense...Negroes were stirred up long before there was a Communist Party."
His words remain relevant for America today. And baseball, also, just as relevant. This strife and the constant threat of new wars means baseball, and all sports, can expect a profitable 21st century. As I write this, Crimea has just voted to join Russia, and will apply to that end tomorrow. The US, UN and EU have already said they do not recognize the results. Putin says the vote was done within international norms. So, put on your cleats and throw some chewing tobacco in your mouth...it's time for hardball.
Or actually - relax, sit back and pop open a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Supercomputers are in control of your sport...and your world.
Be sure to check out our newsletter, where we keep you up-to-date on myriads of topics, such as business, finance, technology and politcs.
Justin O'Connell, Head Researcher
Before we get to the review, let’s have look at what we featured in this month’s TDV Homegrown. First, Justin O’Connell looked at the industry of sharing. Next, as he does in all of our subscriber publications, Jeff Berwick rounded up absurdities of statism from around the globe.
Then, we told you about a new podcast... from me!
And finally, Dear Slavey, TDV’s resident advice columnist, answered your questions about how to manage life in the USSA.
If you’re interested in receiving articles beyond what you read here, consider our weekly subscriber-only publications, like our Issue, Dispatches, and Homegrown. You may subscribe here.
On to the review…
Monday March 10
Jeff Berwick on debt.
“Don't let those daily US stock market highs confuse you - it is just a sign of a century old counterfeiting scheme getting out of control. As Bloomberg writes, the post-crisis years have seen "governments binge" on debt. But where is this money coming from?
Since the onset of the global financial crisis, the amount of debt globally has soared nearly 50 percent to $100 trillion. Governments have chosen to borrow in order to prop up failed financial institutions and "pull their economies out of recession," according to Bloomberg. The debt total was helped along by companies taking advantage of record low interest rates, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and giving the world products like the unprofitable Chevy Volt and Coke Zero all on the taxpayers dime.”
Tuesday March 11
The government turned Jeff Schmidt’s power off.
“Smart meter articles have graced my computer screen and a sense of “phew, at least we don’t have to worry about those things” always came to mind after reading them.
Then one morning, gazing out into our backyard, a smart meter attached to our house caught my eye, bringing immediate shock to my brain. How could this happen? I did not receive any notice in the monthly energy bill; no letter, nothing. The smart meter just appeared.”
Wednesday March 12
Wendy McElroy on the untold story of Senkaku.
“The narrative reads like a political soap opera. But, arguably, it is more likely to create the next global crisis than any other flash point. And American fingerprints are all over the crime scene.
In Japan, the five small and uninhabited islands in the East China Sea are called Senkaku. In China, or the People's Republic of China, they are called the Diaoyu Islands. In Taiwan, or the Republic of China, they are the Tiaoyutai Islands. All three governments lay claim to the bitterly disputed patches of rock. Why? One reason is because they are key to controlling important shipping lanes, lucrative fishing areas and potential oil deposits. But historical and political motives join with economic ones to make the tiny islands explosive.”
Thursday March 13
Jeff Berwick argues FOR World War III.
“The Ukraine is a cesspool of geo-political posturing, and it poses a great danger to our society. What is going on in the Ukraine is openly admitted by mainstream media to be largely helped along by US taxpayer money via government. This involvement by the US, on Russia's border, is really an act of war.”
Friday March 14
In this week’s feedback: Smart meters, Senkaku, the 2nd Amendment, and more…
Have a look at our wide array of informative videos featuring interviews, opinions, and analysis on TDV’s media page.
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