Tuesday, June 18, 2019

God or Government?

Curiously, many of the strongest proponents of a particular monotheistic worldview have no problem rejecting someone's humanity on the basis of their government-issued paperwork.

Why?  It turns out that, according to most Christian Evangelicals (who overwhelming support Donald Trump's immigrant policies), we are all the children of God... but casting out the foreigner (because they didn't meet the altogether arbitrary standard of government approval) is totally legit.

So much for Leviticus 19:33!  "When a foreigner resides with you in your land, you must not oppress him. You must treat the foreigner living among you as native-born and love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God."

Friday, May 31, 2019

Impeaching Donald Trump is Right

"Many constituents want to impeach the President, but we want to do what is right and what gets results."  - Nancy Pelosi, May 29th, 2019

Nancy, I am sorry to say, that is frequently not how the world works.  There are a great number of actions which get results but which are not right... and sometimes doing what is right may not get results - at least not right away.  For my part, doing what is right has always been the better course in the long run; expecting "results" in some value exchange for "doing what is right" is really just bargaining one's principles with the expectation of a favorable outcome.  Such an outcome may or may not arise, but we can still choose to do what is right because doing what is right is an intrinsic good.

It is entirely possible that a televised impeachment process would deeply damage Donald Trump and negatively affect his 2020 re-election prospects.  It is also possible, though perhaps less so, that Democrats launching a formal impeachment inquiry would benefit Trump electorally.  I don't agree with the latter assessment, but I'm willing to entertain it.

But regardless of whether impeachment "gets results" in the Pelosian calculation, it is almost certainly the legally-founded and Congressionally-mandated course of action... if indeed the Constitutional mechanism of impeachment has any place in the American political process whatsoever.

Nancy, if not a formal impeachment inquiry into the high crimes and misdemeanors of Donald Trump, than who?  If not after the damning revelations of the Mueller Report, than when?  And if not to hold the office of the president to the rule of law as any other citizen, than why?

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Leaving Libertarianism: A Debate on Freer Talk Live

I joined Ian Freeman and Mark Edge on Free Talk Live's Internet-only extended show to discuss my time in the libertarian movement and debate the virtues of libertarian philosophies. DOWNLOAD MP3

Monday, April 29, 2019

The Facebook Jail Feedback Loop

Blimey!  I've been Zucked again!

I'm now banned from Facebook for 7 days for posting about why I was banned for 3 days for posting about a friend being banned for 1 day!

Just how meta will this Facebook jail saga get?

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Stockholm Syndrome of College Affordability

I took out and paid off my student loans from Emerson College with some degree of financial sacrifice during the mid 2000's (while making a videogame on nights and weekends, whatever that was about).

Referencing this graph, I graduated at basically the last time college was affordable for a middle class family.  I could almost hear the door of college affordability shutting behind me, even if I didn't understand why or its long-term macroeconomic implications.

And now that candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are proposing tuition free college and even some student loan forgiveness programs, my reflexive response is not to feel cheated for paying my loans off, not recoiling from "a slap in the face" for paying off my student loans ahead of schedule, and not some misplaced desire to inflict upon others a perhaps unnecessary educational expense I incurred... but rather with the hopes that access and affordability for higher education improves with the next generation rather than receding from it.

We should resist this Stockholm Syndrome mentality about broken systems from which we convince ourselves subsequent generations must endure merely because we ourselves persevered through them... or worse: cede the argument to older generations (like Boomers) who often struggle to relate at all with just how strenuous college affordability is for Gen Z today.  We can fight for a better future together, because it is the best shared outcome for our society, irrespective of what dues we each had to pay to get this far.