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

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

Research Notes: Some Liberal Propaganda

source: XKCD.com

Several days ago, a friend posted on Facebook in support of Hillary Clinton joining the presidential race. One of her family members then posted the following response:

[Clinton’s] agenda is what scares the shit out those of us who would like to retire. Work 45 years and now we get to pay for the deadbeat lazyass folks who prefer to sucktit rather than pay their own way.

Other than general right-wing fear that liberals are trying to establish a socialist welfare state, I had no idea what they were talking about. So, I asked for clarification. I asked the responder to be more specific and to provide some evidence that people, in general, aren’t working as hard as people once were or, at least, aren’t working as hard as the responder is.

Then it occured to me, I have evidence to the contrary, actually. I’ve read a number of articles recently, which cite studies, that completely invalidate the responders expressed objections to what they saw as Hillary Clinton’s agenda. So, I wrote the following response:
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Not Monsters

Trigger warning: pedophiles. I’m sharing this, because I think it is part of a larger, very important conversation. And that’s what I’m after: conversation. Please comment if you have something to say. Keep it constructive, though. I will be deleting ALL comments that do not build and further the discussion.

Slate posted this article a few weeks ago about treating pedophilia as a mental health issue. Moreover, the article suggests we should try to decrease the stigma associated with attraction to children and adolescents for the sake of those who suffer from such attractions but do not want to act on them. The article discusses some promising research regarding treatment, but also findings that pedophilia probably cannot be “cured.” It also addresses some objections to taking this approach.

Now, I agree with the premise of the article. Pedophiles are not inherently monsters. In fact, the stigma is something that has always bothered me, but defending pedophiles is a quick way to become ostracized. Unfortunately.
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