Book Review: On Writing Well by William Zinsser | #SmartReads

OnWritingWell
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 22, 2017

“Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.”
– E.B. White

“Writing is the geometry of the soul.”
– Plato

In On Writing WellThe Classic Guide To Nonfiction, William Zinsser writes an easy-to-follow no-nonsense approach into the core essentials of writing.

Providing a smattering of meticulous examples, On Writing Well does a lucid job of clearing up some of the confusion writers might have about style, methods, leads, endings, et al., while setting the foundation for a stronger individual repertoire.

In fact, regarding this, Zinsser speaks about the importance of everyone to have good writing skills given today’s newfound environment where a lot of communication takes place through the emails, the internet and so on.  This is crucial since most of us employ the tool of writing in a daily fashion.  Zinsser urges individuals to seek to sharpen their skill set in order to become better communicators simply by employing tenets  in this book.

As hinted to before, Zinsser also make incisive use of many salient examples throughout the book by breaking them down and suggesting some writing tips in cogent fashion.  Within these examples the author covers people, places, science and technology, writing within a job, writing about sports, and more.

Broken down into four parts, the book covers [1] Principles, where notions such as clutter and style are covered, [2] Methods, where leads and endings are covered, [3] Forms, where various forms of nonfiction are explored at length and [4] Attitudes within writing, which is self explanatory.  All parts offer ample insights, many of which would be useful to nigh all individuals nowadays, especially if you have to write anything on a daily basis, whether it is emails, memos, etc. and are new to writing.

To accomplish sound things in life, one needs an ironclad scaffolding upon which to set oneself in.  Writing well is no different.  The insights provided by this book will help those that employ them. Couple the tenets in this book with those of those within The Elements of Style, and one has the recipe for success.  Both have helped me quite a bit, as I hope they help you.

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This article is free and open source.  All individuals are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Now That The French Elections Are Over, Who Gets To Play Karl Der…


Source: GizaDeathStar.com
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.
May 19, 2017

I almost have to laugh at the comic relief the European Union provides us.

It was the utopian fantasy of the post-war era, of the Adenauers and Mendez-Frances and Averill Harrimans and other nomenklaturachniks of the globaloney crowd: bigger and bigger federalism good, national economies, bad. Oh, and let’s not forget, that the whole idea also found major support in the circles around Kaiser Wilhelm II, were articulated in a very inchoate form as a war aim by his Chancellor, Bettmann-Hollweg, in September 1914, and became the subject of detailed planning in the early 1940s by Reichbank president and finance minister Walter Funk, in a Nazi-I.G. Farben fantasia that looks all too much like the current bureaucratic monstrosity and tyranny in Brussels.  The fantasy was born, of course, because Europe had just been through two World Wars, the basic point of which was “the rest of the world has to gang up on Germany, fight it (and themselves) to exhaustion, to prevent it from becoming a world power, which it very much wants to be, and which we very much don’t want it to be.” Even that 1942 Walter Funk Reichsbank-I.G. Farben study on how to make a European Union under the dominance of Germany was a kind of back-handed admission that even the Nazis (or at least, that rare breed of them that were somewhat sane) recognized that the “we’re-having-a-war-and-everyone’s-invited-please-RSVP” approach wasn’t working out quite according to the Meisterplan.  Throw in some Halford MacKinderisms about world islands, heartlands, and the absolute necessity for “the West” (France, Britain, and the USA) to prevent a Russo-German(and Chinese!) alliance – which would dominate the “world island” (Eurasia) and thence the world – stir and simmer over medium heat, and you have all the makings of a NATO stew.

It’s that simmering NATO stew that brings me to today’s thought-provoking op-ed piece at Zero Hedge, which Mr. H.B. discovered and shared:

“Zumutungen!” Buyer’s Remorse In France, Impossible Situation For Germany

The problem, if one reads the quotations of Ambrose Evans-Pritchard cited in the article carefully, is the German economy:

Emmanuel Macron’s lightning conquest of France has put Germany in an awkward spot. French voters have picked an apostle of Europe and an arch-defender of the Franco-German axis. While this is welcomed with jubilation by some in Berlin, it raises thorny questions that others would prefer left unanswered.

He plans Nordic labor reforms, easier collective bargaining rules, and the sort of tax shake-up that German leaders have long demanded. The quid pro quo is that Berlin must agree to eurozone fiscal union, and cut its corrosive current account surplus – now 8.6 percent of GDP and in breach of EU rules.

“If France is not reformed, we will not be able to regain the confidence of the Germans,” Mr. Macron told Ouest-France. “After that, Germany must ask whether its own situation is tenable. It is accumulating surpluses which are neither good for its own economy nor for the eurozone.”

He wants a eurozone finance minister and budget, with joint debt, and a banking union with shared deposit insurance, all legitimized by a new parliament for the currency bloc. It implies a unitary eurozone superstate.

This calls Berlin’s bluff. The German elites often argue that they cannot accept such radical proposals as long as other eurozone states scoff at budget rules and fail to put their house in order.

The Handelsblatt accused Mr. Macron of “Teuton-bashing” over the trade surplus. The German Council of Economic Experts holds defiantly to the national view that trade surpluses are proof of virtue. It sees EMU debt-pooling as a slippery slope towards a “Transferunion”.

And this, of course, is the simmering NATO stew dilemma: NATO, according to the vowel-impaired Mr. Zbigniew Brzezinski in his Grand Chessboard, was as much about containing German power as it was about containing Soviet power. For the German governments from Adenauer to Schmidt, it was as much about allowing Germany to rearm, without having to assume the mantle of pan-European defense, and growing their economy. NATO, on this view, was a cynical “gentleman’s” agreement: everyone knew what the other side was up to, and everyone agreed not to talk about it (think Molotov-Ribbentrop pact here) and pretend like everyone was friends now(think Molotov-Ribbentrop pact again). The same, I suspect, is really what the early Common Market, and now the EU, is all about: for the rest of Europe, as revealed by M. Macron’s remarks, the EU is about contriving a mechanism to contain German economic and manufacturing power and ultimately German sovereignty (You have too much surplus!), while for the Germans, it has always been about the German economic domination of Europe (think Bettmann-Hollweg and Walter Funk) until everyone else (mainly France) gets their spendthrift houses in order; the hidden caveat being that Germany is perfectly happy not to have everyone else get their manufacturing and fiscal houses in order, because Germany can retain its sovereignty and dominate the situation.

And in the background, there lingers that suspicion that there has been a quiet and covert economic war going on between the USA and Germany: heavy fines on German companies, and American troop transfers to Clemenceau’s old cordon sanitaire in Poland and Romania, which we’re told are in response to Russia, but which I suspect are equally targeted at Germany.

It’s about who gets to play Karl der Grosse… er… Charlemagne.

After all the fine verbiage, treaties, globaloney sentiment, and after all the centuries, it is still ultimately about Realpolitik.

There will be now an immense tug-of-war between Paris and Berlin, with Washington and Moscow as the interested parties. Where it goes is anyone’s guess, but there are essentially three broad options: (1) A European super-state, which will still be dominated by Germany both economically and militarily; (2) a “rump” EU, resulting in Germany abandoning the European project should France (and the hidden player, America) press too hard; this will result in massive German rearmament and a vigorous eastward foreign policy with Russia and China (which we’ve seen signs of already); (3) A “rump” EU resulting in France’s abandonment of the European project, leaving the rest to be dominated by Germany.  Of course, there will be several shades and “micropositions” between all of these as well. Add to this the growing discontent in Eastern Europe over the immigration crisis, and one has all the potential makings for a potential massive geopolitical realignment in Europe.

This is one to watch. And one can expect Washington – true to its heritage – to back the weaker continental power (France) against the stronger (Germany) in classic British style. But it must do so delicately, lest it provoke Germany to solve its problems in “the traditional way”, to paraphrase Chancellor Kohl’s comments prior to the crack-up of Czechoslovakia. (Is it just me, or does anyone else have a sinking feeling of deja vu here?)

Read More At: GizaDeathStar.com
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About Dr. Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and “strange stuff”. His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into “alternative history and science”.

Book Review: The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse | #SmartReads

TheVanishingAmericanAdult
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 19, 2017

Wide in scope, and methodical in its examination, The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse is not only a dire warning, but a call to action for those who are seeing the decline of modern adults and the transmutation and erosion of adulthood in modern times, and the erosions of Freedoms as well.

Examining a veritable panoply of issues, the author centers upon myriad issues in modern schooling such as age segregation, over-consumption, lack of knowledge or literary skills, and also the incomplete view on what Freedom really is and all that it entails, and more.

Speaking about the glaring disrespect for Freedom and all that it took the gain, the author incisively notes:

“Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, has created the tragically apt phrase “unlearning liberty” for the troubling turn from freedom of expression and academic freedom toward political correctness and speech codes on our elite campuses.

“Let’s state it clearly: This is nearly the opposite of hat American Revolution as fought for.  America declared independence from Great Britain in pursuit of liberty, not “safe spaces.”  Freedom, and particularly freedom of discourse and debate about the big ideas of life, death, and meaning, is the foundation of the American idea.  Fleeting notions of psychological safety from having to considering competing ideas are quite nearly the opposite.”[1]

Such is what takes place when people are raised wrapped in bubble wrap, and are only allowed to experience a fraction of the totality that the world holds.  Worse, these actions are antithetical to Freedom since they aim to castrate others of the very views Freedom aims to protect, even if they are unpopular.

At one point, the author centers upon the work of award-winning teacher, John Taylor Gatto, who has done yeomen’s work in sounding the alarm regarding the insidious nature of public schooling.  In his landmark book, Dumbing Us Down, the author notes that:

“…seven lessons are universally taught from Harlem to Hollywood,” in our cookie-cutter schools.  The main consequences for students are: emotional confusion, social class disparity indifference, passivity, intellectual dependency on experts, conditional self-esteem, and surveillance by those in charge.”[2]

In such a system that seeks to conform, Is it a wonder that many are merely shadows of what they are fully capable of?

That said, there are two contentions to note with the book.  The first contention centers upon footnotes.  Although the author has a bibliography, and does in fact does address why the footnotes are missing, it still leaves a lot to be desired.  Given that this book aimed to cover a large scope of information, for those wanting to not only verify the information given, but wanting to research it further, footnotes are black pearls, they are essentially priceless.  One can only construct the present out of the roadmap of the past, and without a roadmap, one is unable to know where to go.  One would have to spend hours trying to stitch together the book’s sourced material in an attempt to ascertain which statement correlates with what book in the Bibliography, and there in you STILL don’t know what page that statement came from.  Had he given the page in the bibliography this would have been alright, but such was not the case.

The second contention with the book is that although the author does note some of the incisive issues that are taking place within society, and rightly so, the author doesn’t go far enough and only does a cursory examination.  One could make a sound argument that a large portion of issues stems from the social engineering in education, which is wholly verifiable if one takes the time to look.  It’s certainly not the only reason, but a leading one.

In fact, the very work that the author cited of John Taylor Gatto, throughout his books shows at length many references for the system having been engineered this way.  It wasn’t random that America’s education is failing, and that critical thinking skills have been lost – It was meant to BE that way.  Gatto’s work is a crucial start to glean this.  Moreover, the work of whistleblower Charlotte Iserbyt, who was a former Senior Policy Adviser for the Office Of Education Research & Improvement in the Reagan Administration adds more fuel to the fire, and sheds more light onto the darkness.  Her intriguing book, The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America, is a phenomenal foray into the insidious roots of this broken system.

Also noteworthy is a gentleman who came out pulling no punches on this very topic named Professor Patrick Deneen.  In fact, in a lucid article entitled “How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture,” he states the following:

“We have fallen into the bad and unquestioned habit of thinking that our educational system is broken, but it is working on all cylinders.  What our education system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, history-less free agents, and educational goals composed of content-free process and unexamined buzz-words like “critical thinking,” “diversity,” “ways of knowing,” “social justice,” and “cultural competence.”  Our education system produces solipsistic, self-contained selves whose only public commitment is an absence of commitment to public, a common culture, a shared history.  They are perfectly hollowed vessels, receptive and obedient without any real obligations or devotions.”[3]

Such is the true nature of the beast.   Not only is society being dumbed down, but culture as a whole is being eviscerated, one child at a time.

In any case, Sasse does provide some solutions to these problems and they are worthy of consideration.  The solutions that the author offers are not only practical, but much-needed.

It would be prudent for those seeking to understand more thoroughly how all these issues came to be to not only read The vanishing American Adult but also to read up on the work of Gatto, Iserbyt, and Deneen.  Complement this piece not only with the prior authors’ work, but also with Dr. Joseph P. Farrell’s and Gary Lawrence’s Rotten To The Common Core, and Gatto’s books called Weapons Of Mass Instruction, A Different Kind Of Teacher, The Underground History Of America, and John Holt’s How Children Learn, and one will begin to have a firm foundation upon which to grasp the totality an depth of this disturbing issue and even some possible solutions.

The myriad ramifications of this book abound, and should be ruminated upon at length.  If the America of the future is to have a firm foundation, at present, action needs to take place, with an ironclad education at the vanguard.  All individuals that value Freedom need to realize their fullest potential in mind, body and soul.  The future that awaits seems rather bleak, and it will remain bleak as long as ignorance remains.

That is why being proactive should be a daily priority.  Change starts with the individual – every single one of us.  Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.  For if we don’t take time to teach our children, kit and kin about the lessons of life, a great majority will arrive at life’s end having learned nothing.

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Footnotes:

[1] Ben Sasse, The Vanishing American Adult, p. 250.
[2] Ibid., p. 71.
[3] Professor Patrick Deneen, How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture

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This article is free and open source.  All individuals are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.