Response to Michael Goodwin’s “Why it’s time for a Trump Revolution” in the New York Post

I read Michael Goodwin’s article “Why it’s time for a Trump Revolution”, was dismayed and disappointed, and then tried to move on. It stuck with me, though. There are so many half-baked justifications for supporting Trump, and this article captures a few of them. The problem with these justifications is a lot of the logic doesn’t actually follow through. Continue reading

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Reflections on Discussion About the Charleston, SC Shooting

I’ve been reflecting on the tragedy that struck Emanual African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina the evening of June 17th. I’ve been silent in my reflection. What is there to say, now? Nothing can be done to lessen the heartache of the friends, family, neighbors of those nine people. We must support them as the mourn.

What can be done, what I can do, is learn from this event, to call it what it is. We can hold people accountable for the language they use to discuss it. We can insist that this atrocity be illuminated clearly so we can see all the ugly facets. We can hold the perpetrator fully responsible, and yet examine our own role as a society in which the perpetrator could go this far. Continue reading

False Equivalence: the Fool’s Empty Quiver

This is no revelation: people on social media are incredibly polarized when debating social and political issues. Many debates on my feed begin when someone posts a meme. I often wonder how much thought people put into re-sharing these vaguely evocative images overlayed with simple rhetoric in block text. Once it hits their feed, though, comments follow in one of two modes: vehement disagreement or unwavering support.

In my own feed, I’ve been noticing a particular–and awful–type of rhetoric in these memes: the false equivalence. These are typically expressed as support for some social construct or idea, with the unstated implication being that any criticism of that construct is tantamount to a denouncement. Thus the false equivalence: Continue reading

The Westboro Baptist Church, Soldiers, and Heroes

At the suggestion of a close friend, I spent the afternoon in Corvallis standing as a barrier around a funeral. This barrier was deemed necessary because The Westboro Baptist Church had planned to “peacefully preach” outside this funeral, in their infamous fashion. Continue reading

Listen, the First Amendment guarantees you freedom of speech, certainly.

That freedom it’s protecting is freedom from *government* censorship. You are free to say whatever you want without *government* persecution. You are not protected from the criticisms of others though. And yes a person or company can refuse you based on what you say because they are not the government.

The First Amendment gives you a broad right of expression, but that means it also bestows a great *responsibility* to self-regulate the ideas and thoughts you express.

So, please stop claiming that this is America and you can say whatever you want and expect that to protect you from being held responsible for the words that tumble from your slack jaw.

How am I supposed to be proud to be an American…

So, the US military now has the ability to detain any of us, so long as they can paint us with a wide brush as a “terrorist”, in an undisclosed place for an indefinite amount of time.

Next, our government wants to create the first restrictions on our most powerful free and open communication technologies. And they want to give the power to squelch those communications not only to our elected officials, but to CORPORATE entities.

This is how dystopian stories start. Seriously. We are living through the moments where the US becomes a corporately sponsored police state. Continue reading

American Healthcare and Capitalism

I have long been doubtful of capitalism. Keep in mind that I did not just say that I have long been anti-America. Based on my research, capitalism is not a core American value, it is merely an American tradition. I think innovation and an ability to disregard harmful anachronisms are key values. And I don’t feel less American for it.

I love this country. I think up until the last decade or two, it was easy for people to say America is the best country on Earth. I think America can get it back. We just need to shrug off the burdens of recent history and look to the future with hope.

Here are my sources for this video:
The Constitution
Frontline “Sick Around the World”