… a wizard with black hair and a thick mustache put a curse of Moscow … so that no one would be able to tell the truth without lying.  If a novelist wrote a true story about how things really happen, no one would believe him, and he might even be punished for spreading propaganda.

Catherynne M. Valente, in Deathless

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Ms. Valente writes about Joseph Stalin; and, I think about the University of Missouri and Yale today.

The events at each institution brings to mind a story from my past.

Seems that a son of a prominent local Irish undertaker got interested in, and lucky at, the ponies at Suffolk Downs, a Boston race track.  The young man, it seems, wagered with the bookmakers in the local neighborhood, a betting operation run by the area’s Irish mob.

Well, said son began to win, and doubled down – and began to lose.

Into the local guys for real money, the head of the mob knocked on his family’s door and when it was opened by the unfortunate, on-the-hook debtor, the mob guy had his shooting hand extended with his index finger pointed in the lad’s direction and his thumb cocked (hammer style).

Face to face, the local guy looked and said: “Bang.  It ain’t that hard, Jimmy.”

What is my point?  The complaining students and college administrators (indeed, all involved) had best realize conduct can “curse Moscow.”  There is no profit in a culture where “truth” is lying.

Ideology is built on lies and dishonest actions.  It breeds intolerance, and hatred.  It divides and sucks people into conflict and pretense.  With ideology small people become smaller while thinking that they are growing into giants and smarter than others. Wrong.

We have seen this movie before – in the 1960’s.  There is no glory in it, only intolerance and a loss of freedom.

Jimmy thought he was having fun, until the world caught up with him.

Shalom.

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