Monthly Archives: September 2016

Information About Dan Carlin’s Podcasts

Dan Carlin is unique among political commentators these days, because his political position is not easy to pin down. He’s neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but he also can’t be labeled as towing the line of any third party.

Why Dan Carlin?
Because he’s a deep thinker, who adores history, and who will challenge your view of the world.
In the United States, people who pay attention to political commentators have probably noticed that there are basically two types of commentators to choose from: Democrats and Republicans. In general, journalists, pundits, and others who publicly talk about politics, are openly aligned with one or the other of the two major political parties in this country. Of course, there are a few fringe bloggers who call themselves Libertarians, Communists (or, more fashionably, Leftists), and so on, but these are the exception to the rule. And even in the case of these exceptional commentators, it is easy to locate a political label that fits.

Dan Carlin

The rule to which there are almost no exceptions on the political commentary scene is the rule that every commentator has a particular political party or ideology with which he/she is aligned. One of the few media personalities who does not claim any particular political ideology is Dan Carlin. He hosts two podcasts. The first, Common Sense, consists of his political commentary, and the second, Hardcore History, is a history podcast with political resonances. Although Carlin’s ideas are often controversial, his political position is impossible to label, and he gives listeners the impression that he wants it that way.

“Sometimes things turn out better than a pessimist like I believe they will. But someone has to take the reins. I despise the idea of doing it myself. But I also don’t want that wagon to go over the cliff without at least being able to say I made a dive for the reins before it did. It’s something that we all need to ask ourselves some hard questions about. If not now, when? Every year we wait, it’s only going to be harder and more daunting and more laughable that puny efforts of citizens will work. I feel as though I have waited long enough.”
—Dan Carlin

Considering the Issues

Dan Carlin is certainly an outlier when it comes to political commentary, but his lack of a label makes him both interesting and important. He does not consistently agree with either Democrats or Republicans—most often he disagrees with both parties—but he arrives at all his disagreements through a consideration of the actual issues, rather than the labels that are typically associated with them. This idea may seem insignificant in writing, but in fact, it represents a type of political commentary and political thought that the American public, or at least the minority of the American public that follows politics, has all but forgotten about.

Common Sense and Reason

By commenting on political issues, using, as the title of his podcast suggests (in addition to referencing Thomas Paine’s famous pamphlet), common sense and reason, Carlin is reminding people that it is possible to form an independent opinion about complicated political and economic issues, and that one needn’t have a law degree from Harvard to do so. This basic idea is crucial to American democracy, and Dan Carlin is the only voice in the media today who promotes it. Instead of attacking ‘the Left’ or ‘the Right’, Carlin looks at current events, at historical events, and at future possibilities, in order to arrive at conclusions about how our government is operating. In doing this, he is teaching his listeners how to do the same thing, empowering them to make decisions about issues that too many people feel are beyond their comprehension.

“As I’ve said many times, these people saw sights, and lived lives, and experienced things that the vast majority of people in the modern world, not only will never experience, but can’t even envision.”
—Dan Carlin

Listener Empowerment

The impossibility of easily labeling Dan Carlin’s political position is not the only good thing about his podcasts. He is also a skilled storyteller, with a talent for bringing historical events to life, and an ability to understand and explain the forces and motivations at work in events and actions at all levels of human existence. At the end of a Dan Carlin podcast, the listener rarely lacks a sense that she has gained a clearer understanding of the issue. Even if listeners don’t always agree with Carlin’s conclusions, he presents his topics in a way that empowers listeners to disagree with confidence—with the sense that they understand why they disagree.

How To Getting Discounted Broadway Tickets

With premium tickets for Broadway musicals being sold between USD 100-200 and more, getting hold of discounted tickets is always a welcome change. There are some very reliable online ticket resources that offer substantial discounts and an opportunity to make the Broadway experience more worthwhile for buyers. However, booking online is not the only way you can buy comparatively cheaper Broadway tickets. This Buzzle guide discusses how to get cheap Broadway tickets.

Where to Get Discounted Broadway Tickets

TKTS Booth
The TDF (Theater Development Fund) operates three TKTS centers in New York City, which are located in Times Square, South Street Seaport, and Downtown Brooklyn. Although the best, waiting in line at the TKTS booth in Times Square is also the lengthiest way to get cheap Broadway tickets. This is the one place where you’re likely to find both travelers and New Yorkers waiting in line with equal anticipation. The downside of waiting at the TKTS boot is that, there is no guarantee that you will find the tickets to the show you wish to attend, which is why being more flexible about shows would work more in your favor. The center at Times Square Booth sells discounted tickets on day-of-performance basis. Avoid Window #1, as they sell tickets on full-price for all same-day shows that have no discounts to offer. For discounted tickets for matinée and same-day evening performances, head to the South Street Seaport Booth or the Downtown Brooklyn Booth.

Broadway Concierge & Ticket Center
The Broadway League Concierge and Ticket Center offers discounted tickets for same-day, premium, and advance shows. Those looking for a safe alternative to get tickets can call CTC’s customer service to make inquiries, or visit their Broadway Concierge & Ticket center outlet in Times Square Visitor Center and Mini-Museum on 7th Avenue. Their staff is trained to provide general Broadway information to customers in six languages, and help them buy regular and premium Broadway and off-Broadway show tickets along with concierge service.

Audience Rewards
The Audience Reward program is America’s first such program for arts and Broadway. Its main objective is to provide theatergoers with bonus points which can be availed to save money while buying tickets. This program also lets theatergoers earn free tickets, win Broadway merchandise, and upgrade seats.

Contact Theater Box Offices

Those looking to catch a specific show, should consider calling theater box offices a day in advance. The reason being, individual theater box offices sometimes keep rush tickets and lotteries, and have Standing Room Only (SRO) for students and theatergoers on a tight budget. Rush tickets are meant for hard-to-sell seats and often offer deep discounts, wherein the tickets are sold at as low as USD 20.

Authorized Broadway Ticket Vendor Websites

Playbill asks for a free membership with the Playbill Club, wherein theatergoers can order online for tickets, call their ticketing agents, or present a printout of their Club page at the theater box office to avail discounts on their ticket. These discounts can vary from 10-50 % on several Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

In their ‘Offers’ category on their website, Broadway has options for ‘Last Minute Ticket’ wherein, customers can buy tickets for same-day or night shows. However, these deals are posted only in the morning at 10:00 a.m – 4:30 p.m everyday and may run out quickly. The next best alternative is to call their customer service providers for information on up-to-date deals.

BroadwayBox has been offering the best discounts for Broadway shows, plays, and musicals in New York City since 2001. This venture began in the aftermath of September 11 attacks, as a way to ease the hearts of the people of NYC. This website does not require users to sign in, and thus, makes the ticket buying experience extremely easy and hassle free.

TheaterMania was founded in 1999, and has since become one of the go-to online resources for Broadway tickets. They provide special offers and ticketing services to their subscribers. This website also offers great discounts that range from 20-71%! It is indeed very rare to find such deep discounts on Broadway tickets anywhere else on the web.

Know More About The Pros and Cons of Censorship

Censorship is the control of the influx of information and ideas in a society. Both democratic and non-democratic countries use it. With the explosion of communication technology, it has become all-pervasive. There is a dispute as to whether censorship is good or bad. It is applicable to programs on television, plays, movies, printed books, print magazines, video games and everything on the Internet.

Examples of Censorship
One of the very first incidents of censorship in movies took place in Hollywood in the year 1934, when a nude scene was snipped off from the film ‘Tarzan and His Mate’, as it violated the moral code back then. Even today films follow the modern MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) code for censorship. During the 1950s, Elvis Presley appeared in one of the famous TV programs only to be shot by the camera till his torso; as his world-famous pelvic movements were deemed vulgar.
Again during the 1950s, the Scientific American magazine published an article on thermonuclear fusion which was censored by the United States Atomic Energy Commission.
The printed copies of the magazine were found and burnt as it contained classified information. During both World War I and World War II strict military censorship was laid on the freedom of press. A similar kind of censorship was also laid in India during the State of Emergency period in the 1980s. With the introduction of television and Internet, many important developments have taken place in the field of censorship around the world. A number of countries like Syria, Australia, Cuba, UAE, Yemen, Pakistan and Burma have censored the Internet. China has imposed stringent censorship regulations. A military censor was also laid on the freedom of press and Internet in Egypt lately.
To protest against Internet censorship through PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), Wikipedia went on a 24 hour blackout. WikiLeaks, the sensational international whistle blowing website was closed down several times under the pretext of censorship. Satellite phones, Internet and freedom of press were also censored in Libya during Gaddafi’s rule. International press was not allowed in Libya. Exception to this rule was made only when the government invited them for the PR propaganda. Though some people claim that censorship curbs freedom of expression and right to information, others are of the opinion that it is a necessary evil. Censorship is not only used to control the flow of information but also to benefit the people.
Censorship does not mean restraining the expression of people, in fact it is imposed to protect them.

▰ Censorship of pornographic material prevents the minds of children from becoming corrupt.
▰ Religious conflicts are avoided by the censorship of material deemed insulting or offensive to a particular religious community.
▰ It is useful in hiding sensitive military information, which could be used by an enemy state.

▰ Censorship protects the privacy of people.
▰ Scenes of people consuming alcohol or smoking influence people to copy them. Hence, censoring such scenes serves a useful purpose.
▰ People may copy dangerous stunts shown on TV or movies. Censorship proves necessary here.
▰ Books may be used to portray wrong information about individuals or groups that could incite violence against them.

▰ Plagiarism is prevented due to censorship.
▰ Abusive scenes in movies may offend some people. Censorship prevents that.
▰ It protects indigenous cultures from the bad influence of foreign cultures.
▰ It prevents the public display of disrespect to any particular individual or community.

▰ It prevents companies from spreading inaccurate or grossly exaggerated claims about their products.
▰ It promotes political correctness.
▰ Terrorists are prevented from learning about dangerous technology like the atom bomb.

▰ Children are prevented from learning things that could harm them and others.
▰ It prevents the ill effects of globalization affecting societies.
▰ It shields the morals of society.
▰ It restrains vulgarity and obscenity.
▰ It prevents violence by stopping the broadcast of events, which might trigger it.
▰ During an emergency like a terrorist attack, it helps in controlling panic and rumors throughout the nation. This was observed in India in 2008 when terrorists attacked The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai.
Censorship denies access to vital information.

▰ If sex-related topics are completely censored it becomes difficult to teach children and teenagers about the dangers of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV/AIDS.
▰ Dictators use censorship to promote a flattering image of themselves and for removing any information that goes against them.

▰ Religious fundamentalists like the Taliban use them to coerce the population.
▰ It encroaches upon the freedom of the press.
▰ Freedom of speech is compromised.
▰ It may intrude on the privacy of a person.

▰ It is generally associated with dictatorship.
▰ Censoring of information may lead to a wrong image perceived by the public.
▰ Censorship has been misused in the past.
▰ It is a force against globalization.
▰ It works against creativity.

▰ If you hide something from people they will become extra curious about it.
▰ It has no place in a truly democratic society.
▰ It is used to control people.
▰ There can be different standards of morals among different societies quite different from the imposed ones by the censorship.

▰ Governments should not control people. It should be the other way round.
▰ Political parties around the world use media censorship for their own benefit. It stifles the opposition, broadcasting only a particular point of view.
▰ People have a right to know.
▰ Media giants push their own agenda under the pretext of censorship.
Censorship is just like a double-edge sword. If used properly, it serves as a valuable weapon. However, it can also be misused. Censorship may have many technical and legal repercussions. Governments and other regulatory institutions must learn to use it judiciously. An absence of censorship might not be a perfect notion, however, it also doesn’t mean that the government uses it for its own personal gain by suppressing dissent. Hence, censorship should not be treated as a taboo.