There is a particular conspiracy theory that has been circulating the internet for the better part of six months. The theory essentially boils down to this: Donald Trump is a plant of the Hillary Clinton campaign. He is running in the presidential race so as to insure a Clinton victory. While it may sound insane, plenty of people are taking this idea seriously. It has even been discussed in such mainstream media as Slate, the Washington Post, and the BBC. Jeb Bush recently suggested the same idea in a tweet, although that may be written off as the desperate flailings of a drowning political career more than anything. (more…)Continue Reading
Posts in Politics
Everyone is familiar with Black Lives Matter and most people are aware that Bernie is a supporter of the movement. Bernie’s history with Black Lives Matter has been rocky at times, beginning with the campaign rally disrupted by Black Lives Matter demonstrators. In the blowback following that event, Bernie met with leaders of the movement to discuss the issues of greatest concern to black Americans. Since that meeting, Bernie has repeatedly given unapologetic support to their concerns. This has not been without criticism. During the first Democratic party debate, candidates were asked, “Do black lives matter, or do all lives matter?” Sanders responded unequivocally, “black lives matter.” He continued with a strongly worded position that institutional racism needs to be addressed at all levels. His support received expected opposition from the usual suspects, with Donald Trump taking the all-too-common white position that those saying Black lives matter are ignoring all others.
Sanders said only black lives matter – wow! Hillary did not answer question!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2015
*Note: this is Part One of a multi-part discussion.
“I really like Bernie Sanders, but I’m voting for Hillary. We’ve got to be pragmatic; we can’t afford to lose the White House.”
This is the sentiment that I’ve heard innumerable times from party-line Democrats in the few months since the Presidential campaign has gotten underway. Every time that I encounter this silly notion, I want to rip my hair out. Although I understand the general logic of it, the idea that Hillary Clinton is the pragmatic choice is as ridiculous as it is unfounded.
The idea behind this sentiment is that Sanders cannot win a majority of support from the country at large, while Clinton can. In order to consider the accuracy of this premise, we have to look at what it takes to win a general election. We then have to decide which candidate better demonstrates those abilities. (more…)Continue Reading
(Image by Gage Skidmore)
On War and Peace
American history has too many examples of unjust war. Our conflicts in Vietnam, Korea, and Iraq (as well as various surreptitious engagements) wrought great damage and loss of life without justification. In the case of Iraq, our action caused a great deal of the current instability in the Middle East. One might say it was impossible to foresee the consequences, but one Congressman gave a strong warning on the cost of war in Iraq: (more…)Continue Reading
I believe Bernie Sanders should be president. But what about the other candidates? I reject most of them outright, could live with a few of them, but think Bernie is the best of the bunch. The Republican party is a mess this election cycle. There are a couple of candidates I think I could live with, but none that excite me. Most would be disastrous as president. To touch on a few:Continue Reading
Bernie for President! This sentiment likely comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen my tweets and shares the last several weeks, but while I have been impressed with Bernie as a person, I had not settled on him as president. Good people do not necessarily make good presidents, but I believe Bernie is that combination so rare in Washington: a good person who would be a good president. Over the next few posts, I will outline some reasons why. In these posts I will mostly be noting why I like Bernie so much, though I will also point out a few cautions and disagreements. The posts will be:
- Other options (why I reject outright most of the other candidates)
- Bernie’s Global Positions (on war, peace, and climate change)
- Bernie’s National Positions (on race and gun control)
- Bernie’s Economic Positions (on income inequality and social services)
- Bernie’s Social Positions (on marriage and abortion)
Justice is blind, or it isn’t justice. The discussion about Kim Davis has many components, but strip away the outer layers and we find justice at the heart of the matter.
Kim Davis was elected to serve as clerk in her Kentucky county. A county clerk manages the legal paperwork of an area’s population, many of the documents carrying the name certificate: birth, death, marriage, divorce, among others. Local government and state legislatures establish policies and procedures for these events, and a county clerk facilitates the necessary paperwork among the citizens.
With the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, if a state law or ruling ever conflicts with a federal law or ruling, the federal statute takes precedent. When the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to prevent same-sex couples from obtaining marriage certificates, all state marriage laws with specific gender requirements were immediately invalid. Per the Supreme Court decision, the state law of Kentucky now mandates that couples cannot be denied a marriage license on the basis of gender, regardless of what may be found in the older legal code. Whether or not unconstitutional state marriage statutes are ever removed from the code is irrelevant – the Supreme Court ruling is the law of the land.Continue Reading
When God commands his people to kill and they obey, Christians call that an act of faith. The faith of Abraham in being willing to murder his (not really only) son Isaac. The faith of Joshua in bringing genocide against men, women, and children in the “promised land”. The faith of Elijah in murdering the leaders of a competing religion. Complaints only begin when Christians perceive other people doing things Christians consider wrong.
I am reluctant to speak too directly on abortion since my position is more reserved than many in my religio-political circles. For a variety of reasons, I am not a fan of abortion. In the phrase, “Safe, legal, and rare,” I believe strong emphasis should lie on the word “rare”. It is no small thing to take the life of the unborn, but I do not think it should be simply banned.Continue Reading
Over the past couple of months I have been having a number of conversations surrounding the moral question of when discrimination should be allowed vs. when the government should use the force of law to keep it from happening. In this post, I am going to try to tackle this issue from as many angles as possible, providing examples, common counter-examples, and trying to provide a framework that anyone can use to help determine whether a specific discriminatory behavior is moral or not.
Let’s start with everybody’s favorite topic: bakers and wedding cakes.Continue Reading
A man approaches you claiming to have magical powers. Seeing you are skeptical, he reaches behind his own ear and pulls out a quarter. He stands before you, smug in the assertion that he has now proven, beyond a doubt, that his powers are real. Do you accept or reject this evidence as proof of his claim?
Most of us have seen a magic show and are familiar with the concepts of illusion, sleight-of-hand, and misdirection when it comes to stage magicians. Because of this experience and knowledge, we would tend to reject this man’s “evidence” and demand that he place himself in a more controlled environment – for example, in a room with high-speed cameras at all angles with 100% visibility – and not simply accept the one event or his stories of even greater deeds in the past. If he could not repeat his magic trick under such scrutiny, you would be inclined to dismiss his claims.
Or would you?Continue Reading