Category: "Freedom"

The Unwritten Compact

We tend to think that others think like we do. And though we often deny it, we are shaped by and mold to the societies we find ourselves in. The result is that we live in a box, and we spend most of our political capital arguing about the shape of its edges.

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Thought for February, 2019

I suppose it's one of the scariest things for a writer, a blank screen and an empty head. I seem to have all sorts of ideas when I am in other places, but when I sit down in front of a computer, I let it take me to all sorts of places that I may not have originally intended, today it was back over my campaign page (simple, but I still like it, and the supporting blog).

What I'm left with is that I am a damned good writer. And I'm feeling guilty that I'm writing at all when I “should” be organizing myself to teach the forty or so children with whose lives I am at the moment entrusted.

I'm teaching middle school English, and a good chunk of my classes are “at risk” students. It's hard to get where these kids come from. I always had two parents who were always available to me. I don't know violence. I don't know neglect. I don't know what it's like to not have a place that feels like home.

I suppose if you don't have a home, or feel like you don't, you create one, and if all that is around you is dysfunction, there's a good chance that the foundations of that home will have some flaws.

Now when you stack on that a system built for a different time, on a different background, assuming a different base experience, it's unlikely you're going to be in a spot to create the best results.

Now, the problem here is that we try to cure dysfunction, but don't actually define functional. With these kids, “what should be” is often a function of “what shouldn't,” as opposed to some ideal we can define, measure, and work toward.

And when I look bigger, I think it's America's founding fathers' understanding of this that gave us the framework that made us great. We recognize that everyone has the right to define his own great and work toward that. Further, we got that for each person to have the space to do this for himself, we must limit the abilities of others to shape our vision, and this is the genius of governments of limited powers.

It's Easier to Grow a Pair Yourself Than to Try to Castrate Everyone Else

I've been inspired to write again by this video. To save you the trouble, it's a rant by a vape store clerk against a patron who happens to be wearing Trump paraphernalia.

Maybe this millenial was just having a bad day, but I'm thinking a part of this was growing up in a bubble wrapped world where he was never actually challenged to challenge his ideas. Instead, someone told him the way it's supposed to be, and he believed it, and when his world view got challenged, he cracked.

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Fascism: The Myth of a Kinder, Fairer America

Fascism: The Myth of a Kinder, Fairer America

unsplash-logoToa Heftiba

Donald Trump raised some eyebrows recently. He pissed off the rest of the G7 and then went and met with tyrant Kim Jong Un. CNN says we should worry, a lot.

Why exactly? Because he is an autocrat. He “conjure[s] a feeling of victimhood around himself, his followers and the nation.” According to Dr. “Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history and Italian studies at New York University, . . . the idea of victimhood is an essential component of the methodology of many autocrats.” Now it might be fair if CNN disclosed its quite cozy relationship with this NYU professor, but why muddy up a good meme with admissions of bias.

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Memorial Day, 2018

Memorial Day, 2018

unsplash-logoKapil Dubey

I think it's worth honoring this day not only those who gave their lives, but also that which would compel a person to serve in the first place.

And this is an idea, enshrined in our constitution, that each and every person matters, that each voice be allowed to speak, and that we, all of us, are adult enough to be able to bear the thoughts and ideas of others, that the worst that will happen is that we will learn something.

They died that we may be free, that we may have the opportunity to take responsibility for our own lives, that we may invent, and grow, and pray, and play, and be ourselves.

And we may remember too that we made mistakes along the way, that people died and suffered who didn't need to, that people still do. But this doesn't dim the vision.

We are human. We are not perfect. But we do hold to a vision, to an ideal, to the notion that striving for it is worth our while and our lives.

And it is the men and women who have served that made this life and the near limitless opportunity before us possible.

Thank You. May we live our lives so as to honor what you have bequeathed us.