What It Do: I’m A Hustler, Baby Alex Benson June 27, 2012 Columns 1 Joe Walsh, congressman from Illinois and Tea Party hero, recently made headlines for describing President Obama as a “tyrant.” This was in response to the recent decision by the administration to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Regardless of whether one agrees with the policy, the refusal to uproot a person’s life hardly compares to the crimes of true tyrants—men with names that still send chills down the spine of history. Pinochet. Gaddafi. Hitler. Walsh holds a master’s degree from the University Of Chicago. One would assume this exposed him to some level of history education, and that he is not altogether unfamiliar with the evil that real tyrants have wrought in this world. The Nation of Gods and Earths, a more philosophically-minded descendent of the Nation of Islam, teaches their followers that the people of the world can be divided into three categories. There are the 85 percent of people who have no knowledge of the truth regarding the way of the world. There are the five percent who do know the truth, and attempt to use that knowledge to educate the 85 percent—known as the ‘poor, righteous teachers.’ And then there are the 10 percent who know the truth, and use that knowledge for their own personal ambition and enrichment. Better statistical minds than mine can examine the specific percentages, but the principle behind this teaching certainly appears to be valid. A recent Forbes article examined the tendency of cheaters to rise to the top of a meritocracy, and came to the conclusion that, because cheating gives one an advantage, people will continue to choose to take the risk and cheat. Some will get caught, but some will not, and over time, the upper echelon will become mostly populated by cheaters. Thomas Edison, the revered inventor of the lightbulb and supposed godfather of the electric age, was no exception to this. The form of electricity he pioneered is known as direct current, or DC, and involves a steady flow of electrons in one direction. This is the means by which the little filament in an incandescent lightbulb starts glowing. The first power grids in this country were operated on direct current, and plenty of today’s technology still makes use of it. However, in the late 19th century, people such as Nikola Tesla were making amazing strides in a new form of electricity known as alternating current, or AC. Edison originally dismissed alternating current as an unworkable theory. However, once Tesla and his associates began to develop practical applications, it did not cause Edison to revisit this claim. Rather, he doubled down, and fought the implementation of AC technology tooth and nail. The fact that Edison lived off the royalties from his many direct current patents is unlikely to be coincidental. Today, nearly every power grid on the planet operates on the principle of alternating current, as it has been proven a more reliable, effective technology from over a century of trial by flood, war, heatwave, and earthquake. And someone intelligent enough to invent the lightbulb was certainly intelligent enough to see the effectiveness of alternating current before he decided to try to strangle it in the cradle. Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau Of Narcotics—the precursor to the DEA—and the man most responsible for marijuana prohibition, often told a childhood anecdote to explain his anti-drug zeal. At the age of 12—as the story goes—he encountered a morphine addict deep in the throes of withdrawal laying in the street and crying out in agony, until finally another boy brought the man his needed fix. That moment crystallized his opposition to drug use, and set him on his path to eradicate the affliction of addiction. However, years later, when Joseph McCarthy was crusading against the Red Menace—and carrying the monkey of morphine addiction every step of the way—Anslinger authorized a local pharmacist to supply McCarthy with his junk. Fox News, that trusted bastion of fair and balanced journalism, showed their cards perhaps more than they intended in December of last year. Displaying a graphic that supposedly tracked the unemployment rate, the network attempted to make an implication about the Obama administration’s responsibility for persistent joblessness. However, upon closer examination, viewers discovered that the graphic—a standard line graph tracking the percentage of unemployed—operated according to some very odd mathematical principles. The unemployment rate fell from 9.0 percent to 8.6 percent from October to November of last year, yet the points on the graph representing those months were at exactly the same level. And the point representing March, when the unemployment rate was 8.8 percent, was actually lower than the point representing November. In the maelstrom of 21st century media and society, it can be particularly challenging to separate the wheat from the chaff. But if it looks like a hustle, smells like a hustle, and sounds like a hustle… the reader may draw their own conclusions. One Response randy carlisle June 27, 2012 Welcome to the pool hall baby. 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