Father knows best:  that time I told my 12 year old he couldn’t do his paper thing on Karl Marx

Which was yesterday.

The 12 year old is a tres advanced reader.  We live in the Stillwater school district, which has excellent public schools, but the right sense was it wasn’t working for him.  He was bored, and he was in tension a little bit with the affluent jock culture at the school.  Little bit of a cretin vs geek thing there, and he was the geek getting picked on.  Now, he’s a pretty strong kid when he wants rather than geek wispy and I’m proud to say his response at least once was to smack one of these kids in the mouth, very, very convincingly.  But rather than lots of mouth smacking be the long term answer we decided we’d explore other schools, and we (my wife) picked out a charter school in St. Paul for his 7th grade year.

I was hesitant, wasn’t assured of the quality / legitimacy of the charter school system.  The generalization about the charter schools that I understand is it’s this bi-polar thing where you got quite a few sketchy urban charter schools serving the disadvantaged such that they need options outside the urban public school system.  Then you got another system quite proximate within the same city(s) that’s being nurtured by white educational professionals in alignment with a charter movement led by the Gates foundation and other think tanks.  This parallel charter school system has a bit of a different class of kids…  Well, I was mindful of this, and apprehensive for a variety of reasons even though it was obvious we would be sending the 12 year old to the second type there.

We successfully enrolled him in one of those schools, and it’s gone well.  The educational experience seems pretty rich.

This school is a bit urban enclave professional Democrat-y in its ambience.  How could one say that about a primary school?  One gets a feeling…  I picked him up a day in the afternoon, and he was toting around Michael Moore’s “Stupid White Men” book that he got from the library.  It’s stereotypical crank white guy for me to say…. I don’t approve of that… but I am educated enough to articulate academically meaningful critiques on a lot of things, and my point to him was it wasn’t a serious book and that it was half crap.  But of course I let him read it.

He takes Spanish and he takes history, and I’ve gotten some sense both are lectured a bit through the prism of the indigenous experience vs colonialism.  Which is fine.  We talk history a lot and I acknowledge all there is to lament about indigenous suffering, but also make the point that it was iron clad that plains America couldn’t be farmed with all those bison on it, and it was going to be farmed no matter what.  The wisdom of guilting ourselves over that because we live here…. its not often productive.

Anyway, last evening he’s doing his homework earnestly and he says he’s going to do this little paper, described as a ‘remembrance’ project, on Karl Marx.  And ya know, it fits to a point.  Like I’ve said before, the boy is a budding Kremlinologist…

I say… I don’t think that’s a good idea.  Marx is a very mixed bag, and it’s an adult poly sci job trying to assert flattering observations about Marx in light of things like ya know, the Holodomor.

Wife says, “it’s his thing, he can do anything he wants”…   And this is a proper impulse that comes from the goal of seeing that the kid thinks up how to fulfill his own homework and execute it, sure.

But we’re talking, and kid says the project is a ‘day of remembrance”.  It has a Spanish holiday tie in.   They are supposed to recall the things someone is remembered for, and kid wants to argue Marx should be remembered for his observations on equality, and its impact.

Rote, I started going into my thing where I say, no, Marx is not “theoretically” desirable cuz equality.  Also, Holodomor citation again.  The intuitive impulse is not the right answer here, blah, blah, blah.

But then I sink my teeth into the crux of the biscuit, this day of remembrance thing is an item in the Spanish language / indigenous history curriculum.  Thus it’s pretty intensely Catholic.  We’re talking about metaphorically lighting an honor candle for a dead person.  That’s what they’d do in church though they wont literally do it in school.

Karl Marx, you write papers on and discuss in class.  You don’t light candles for Karl Marx.

I was persuasive there, to my wife as well.  Kid went back to his room, came out, and said he would do the thing on Linus Pauling, who was not at top of mind for me.  Looked him up, good answer.  Pauling was a peace activist / scientist, which is its own archetype, and understood broadly in favorable terms.  Those guys are lefties, but don’t have blood on their hands.

The taxonomy of Kluber’s morphology


I hadn’t seen much of CLE SP Corey Kluber until last night.  Was aware of him of course as a top line #1 starter the last 3 years.

He struck out 8 of the first 9 guys he faced last nice.  Good stuff….

He’s a 6’ 4” righty that throws pretty hard, and he throws from a high ¾ release, and he throws a 2 seamer.  2 seamer as opposed to 4 seamer…. With 4 seam fastball you hold that with one of the horsehoe seams nestled into the creases of your index and middle finger, and seams are perpendicular to fingers.  That way, you let go and all 4 seams are spinning with back spin in the direction of the pitch.  Ballistically it’s a stable pitch in the air and it gets to the plate fastest of any other way by a difference of say 3-4 mph.

So 2 seamer, you hold with fingers on / parallel to the seams in a spot where they narrow together.  You give up, as noted, 3-4 mph usually, but the ball doesn’t ride on such a straight line, and for some guys it ‘sinks’ more assertively.  IE, sinker.

Kluber’s 2 seamer doesn’t sink all that much, it’s just got a lot of life… he’s not inducing ground balls, he’s striking guys out.  Also has a great breaking ball that’s too fast to be called a curveball and too slow to be a slider but is not one of those sloppy slurve hybrids.

We’ve seen this before… he’s same as Max Scherzer, basically.  The morphology is tall-ish righties who throw hard, throw a burrowing 2 seamer, but strike guys out rather than induce ground balls.  It includes Kluber, Scherzer, Roy Halladay, Kevin Brown… you go back, Bob Gibson, probably Don Drysdale.

So, not rare by any means… but given this style’s potential for effectiveness it’s not obvious to me, from reading, that it’s got a name, and that anyone ‘teaches it’ to suitable candidates like they usually try to teach righthanders to be classic overhand with 12-6 curveball.

Cubs v Indians

Analysis: true


I tell ya, whatever one wants to say about baseball as an anachronism and, ya know…. a white peoples’ anachronism in these diverse times….  Baseball is popular, and for baseball a lot of thing go right these days.

Let’s face it, baseball is superior to football amirite.

The Ricketts… cuz I was wondering, who was it that hired Theo and the other stat heads that made the Cubs awesome


Boy, in 2009 $ the Cubs were $875M.  Seems very cheap now.

I see a big key to these teams’ success in their relief monsters.


It’s my contention Chapman is probably the hardest thrower we’ve seen, ever, by a little.  It’s probably right to guess that Nolan Ryan had seasons, pre—radar, where he sat at 102. Chapman is probably a tick faster.  Chapman also superficially appears to have the longest leg to torso ratio of any human ever.  He’s tall anyway, but much of it is stork legs.  As a thrower I compare him to a freak of nature like Randy Johnson.

Andrew Miller throws what, a mere 97.  I was looking up his bbref, guy doesn’t give up any hits.  I haven’t seen him cuz we don’t have ESPN.  He’s left handed, I’m guessing he’s got a Steve Carlton type slider that does a fractal edge change of directions.

Advantage: Cubs

There’s a lot of poseur-ism in Cubs fandom but they do deserve to win.  It’s not like they are the Yankees.  Good team, they’d seem to have the edge on talent.

Jots w/ dots 10/24/16

Curt Schilling:  not yet giving pitching lessons down at the local batting cage for $50/ half hour.


Zingy note IV on the coming of Trump TV:  When Trump gets landslided, that’s a signal contrary to this notion there’s a big, prosperous audience out there to be captured.

Widely Praised: SNL’s Doug the Trump Supporter on Black Jeopardy.  I too thought it was a poignant piece of work.




Why won’t anyone admit America is in 5 wars?  I’m sure things would be different if there were a Republican president.


Un-integrated refugees


I think the young fellas there have a problem of not knowing what they don’t know…. which is a problem a lot people have.  But specifically, it’s that there’s a path to prosperity through the trades.  I’d tell these guys to go to machining school.

What is the deal exactly with the Clintons and Haiti

If true, this ought to be disqualifying for a POTUS candidate.


But… it’s Dinesh D’Souza, and the GOP nominated Trump…. so, no biggie.

Is it true though? Or an overstatement of mundane things….

I expect we’ll find out in the near future.  People talk about Trump not going quietly after the election and there being all this ruckus…  A thing is, though they do it now with Trump as GOP nominee, I don’t think the press naturally feels an inclination to be a defender of Hillary Clinton.  In a non-campaign setting, yes, the press defends Barack Obama…. They don’t actually have that same love for Hillary though, loving Hillary doesn’t provide an affirmation of a mainstream journalist’s basic goodness like it does with Obama.  So once she’s POTUS, we might see a din of these seemingly credible charges that didn’t get explored when they came out of conservative media during the campaign.  Ya know, there’s going to be prestige and awards to be won…

That’s your discord for 2017.


Trump as narrowcaster

This is the direction I had in mind for “Trump Media”…


It is contingent on him have a surrogate / proxy to run the ball, as he is a 70 year old man with no insight into what such a network might entail.  I’m sure one of his kids, Eric or Ivanka or Donald, could figure it out.

I was saying almost a year ago, the guy maintains something of a shabby REIT to fund his $30M lifestyle…  he doesn’t actually have capital to invest in a start-up enterprise.  Thus I think this media company gets built with OPM, probably as an appendage to Breitbart.

So it gets built.  I really think the country is moving on in 3 weeks, and this bullshit kinda stops losing its ability to soil the Republican party.

Bob Dylan is worthy of some type of immortal recognition

A Nobel prize in literature fits the bill, whether Bob is literature or not.

I like Bob.  Maybe the idea of Bob more so than the music, but I find his music pleasant no doubt.  Bob doesn’t always grab me like some of my favorite hair metal, but thats a problem of my own taste…

My folks were not hippies… cuz they didn’t wander the country jobless in a VW van… but they were genuinely hip 60’s kids, and properly participated in much of the 60’s zeitgeisty things one might.  So, they had Dylan records, and they played them well into the middle 1970’s.  Subterranean Homesick Blues was a staple of my early youth.

I did a scholastic quarter in England in 1992, and it was a big deal for me to have bought the double CD “Bob Dylan and the Band: Before the Flood” at Virgin records in London.  Even though I could have bought it at Musicland at Maplewood Mall no doubt

I spun up a Pandora station for Bob Dylan the other day.  Sometimes the way this works is, one of these stations doesn’t actually play a lot of the artist you pick, its more of a genre focus.  And this was the case here.  Did hear Girl from the North Country with Dylan and Cash.  That grabbed me.

Dylan doesn’t entertain conversations about himself right….  I doubt he’s shy, really.  I bet it’s that thinking about himself pollutes the quest for truth and beauty, and he knows that.

I like this out of Hibbing