BOOK REVIEW: The Game Must Go On

The Game Must Go On: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII
John Klima
St Martin’s Press
(c) 2015 by the author

Pretty much every baseball fan is at least passingly aware of the effects of World War II on the game, if only that it kept some players from achieving milestone goals. Bob Feller didn’t get 300 wins, Ted Williams didn’t get 600 home runs, etc. And that since players were not exempt from the draft, teams reached so far down the barrel for talent that Pete Gray, a guy with one arm, actually played in the Major Leagues.

But there’s a heck of a lot more to it than just names and numbers in the reference books.

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Arguing Gun Control

I’ve made the mistake of getting involved in more than one “debate” on Gun Control in the “Comments” sections of various news articles on the topic.

It’s interesting in that these sections, even at the most liberal of websites, one finds a great number of people advocating the conservative point of view. One sees the same names over and over again, to the point that you really have to wonder if these people are sitting at the computer all day, doing nothing but posting comments.

One also sees the same rhetorical fallacies coming up again and again. To help you spot them, counter them, and avoid them yourself, here’s a modest guide to some of the more common.
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Here We Go Again

It happened again. Some nutcase arms himself to the eyebrows, goes to a place filled with people he doesn’t like, and shoots the place up.

There’s the usual shock and outrage that we (alas) have all heard before, followed by an assortment of finger-pointing that is intended to avoid having to deal with the difficult questions in the case.

Various pundits are in a tizzy because President Obama hasn’t yet used their specific favorite terminology – as if that would make a difference. Others trot out their usual pet causes, conveniently overlooking key facts. “Block Muslim immigration!” Er, the guy was born here. “Tighter background checks!” The guy was a security guard, and passed the standard checks as a condition of his employment.

Let’s face it. There’s nothing that we could have done that would have stopped this particular tragedy.

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Well, it’s all over but the “anointings”. The GOP has thrown in the towel, and acknowledged Donald Trump as their presumptive candidate. No matter how much they are having to hold their noses, there’s no chance they’ll come up with a Plan B before the convention.

Over on the Democratic side, Clinton has earned enough delegates to clinch their nomination – though Sanders and some of his supporters are vowing to continue the fight all the way to the convention. It’s kind of cute how dedicated they are, but Clinton not only leads in overall delegates, she leads in pledged delegates, states won, and the popular vote. There’s no basis whatsoever for the “Bernie Bros” to challenge her. If the delegate count was much closer, or if the margin in the popular vote was a few thousand instead of a few million, they might have a chance at making the convention interesting for the first time in decades. But now, they are basically having a hissy fit.

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Movie Review: When the Wind Blows (1986, UK)

Nuclear war movies had their heyday in the 1950s and early 1960s, with irradiated animals turning into mutant monsters and Communists lurking in every shadow. The “Silver Age” came during the Reagan administration, when his saber-rattling led to fears of a global nuclear holocaust destroying civilization if not all life on Earth.

In the US, the TV movie The Day After (1983) showed the effects of such a war on Lawrence, KS. Not to be left out, the next year the UK came out with Threads, which showed the breakdown of civilization in Sheffield in the aftermath.

Coming late to the party, and taking an entirely different approach, was the UK’s animated film When the Wind Blows.

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