Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
November 10, 2017
But I don’t blame China.
Category: Current Events … Serious

After all, who could blame one party for knowingly and eagerly taking advantage of another party in agreements that were supposed to work to the mutual benefit of both parties? Any lopsidedness in these agreements was clearly the fault of the United States -- and its stupid leaders, and its stupid people for electing those leaders -- for being so incredibly stupid and inferior. China was both right and in fact morally obligated to exploit that stupidity for the benefit of its citizens.

This is the kind of "leadership" we get from a "businessman" president. Silver lining: Trump can't actually file for moral bankruptcy.

-posted by Wes | 8:30 pm | Comments (0)
November 8, 2017
Too Soon
Category: Current Events … Serious

Over the last couple of days, I've been thinking a lot about the Right's aversion to gun control efforts and the insistence that it's "too soon" to discuss those efforts in the wake of tragedies. Intuitively, that latter response seems especially baffling to me. In the days following a hideous car accident -- one that likely resulted from some problem with an automobile's construction or design -- we wouldn't insist that it was too soon for the manufacturer to begin looking into the problem and consider issuing a recall. So why, when guns are involved in tragedies that take the lives of too many Americans, are we so hesitant to discuss policies that might prevent those tragedies from happening in the future? Why is it too soon to talk about saving lives?

And as I think about it, I think it partly comes down to an issue of trust. The Right might sincerely disbelieve the premise that gun control measures will actually help, but more significantly they believe that liberals also don't believe gun control measures will have any positive impact. Instead, the Right maintains that this is a Right/Left culture-war issue. Liberals simply want to take their guns because liberals hate guns in principle, and fuck those liberals and everything they stand for. This isn't actually about saving lives or preventing tragedies; it's about trying to screw over one's political enemies. Those libtards are just taking advantage of bad press and dead kids (for shame!) to push their anti-gun and anti-conservative and big-government agenda. And that's all well and good, libs, but we should at least call a temporary truce to mourn the dead. The Right's not saying it's too soon to advance potentially helpful policies (note how quickly Trump tweets about restricting immigration and railroading/executing suspects following incidents where he believes "radical Islamic terror" is to blame); they're saying that it's too soon for that antagonistic back-and-forth that now characterizes our politics. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 7:35 pm | Comments (0)
November 2, 2017
DEATH PENALTY!
Category: Current Events … Serious

Admittedly, I oppose the death penalty in the vast majority of scenarios we're likely to encounter. I'd support it for the Joker -- dude breaks out of Arkham every other week and murders at least thirty people every time he hits the streets, so killing him would be in the interest of public safety. But insofar as our criminals are contained and aren't continuing to menace the public at large (by, say, running a criminal empire and ordering hits and the like), I don't support killing them. I maintain that killing people who are no longer a threat diminishes us. (And, of course, there's the possibility of condemning innocent people and the reality of disproportionate application of the death penalty along racial lines and all of that jazz.)

In any case, whether one supports the death penalty or not, I hope that most of us could agree that there should be some discussion whenever we seek to apply it -- that we should consider what we hope to achieve by it and whether it upholds or runs counter to our values and aims in particular instances. Might it actually be a deterrent in this case? Will it instead make a martyr of a perpetrator and inspire others of his ilk? Could it deprive us of the opportunity to learn more about the perpetrator? Insofar as we could convince him of the error of his ways, could it deprive us of a potential ally? And so on. In short, whatever one's feelings about the death penalty, it should not be taken lightly.

It should definitely not be the kind of thing a US president demands, in all caps, without qualification or apparent thought.

-posted by Wes | 7:15 pm | Comments (0)
January 20, 2017
Re: Trump’s inaugural address
Category: Current Events … Serious

I actually thought it was okay -- certainly among the least egotistical examples of public speaking ever offered up by the Donald. I bristled a few times (referencing "all talk, no action" politicians seemed ill advised considering he just applied those words to a man who nearly died fighting for civil rights), and I laughed when he promised to "never, ever let [us] down" (dude lets me down every time he spews inanity via Twitter). But my expectations were very low and he did exceed them -- and I was able to sit through the entire speech while sober -- so I give him props for that.

-posted by Wes | 8:51 pm | Comments (0)
June 23, 2016
Friendship is Magic
Category: Miscellany … Serious

Today, as a student and I perused a list of writing prompts in search of an engaging topic, we happened upon one that tasked students with describing how to make a new friend.

"How about that one?" I said. "That looks like a fun prompt."

"I don't have much to write about that," replied the student. "My best friend -- he just came up to me and said, 'Will you be my best friend?' I said, 'Okay!' And we've been best friends for three years."

And I was fascinated by this revelation, because it just seemed so simple -- and because, I guess, that really is how friendship works for children. I think that's even how one of my most enduring childhood friendships started; we met in the 2nd grade and remained close until our sophomore year of high school, when he matter-of-factly informed me that we could no longer be friends because he needed to be with "his own kind." (He was Korean American. I am not.)

I smiled at my student and said, "Huh! Maybe I should try that."

But then it dawned on me that I *had* actually tried that -- and in the past few days, no less. When I asked if that person wanted to be friends, the answer was an unequivocal "no." (The explanation -- which I didn't ask for -- was this: "You and I are just so different.")

My student smiled back and said, "It couldn't hurt."

-posted by Wes | 1:00 am | Comments (0)
Pages (24): [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 » ... Last »