Ever since the NFL season started, there’s been constant discussion about the decision of certain players not to stand during the national anthem and presentation of the flag before games. This talk reached a fever pitch last week after President Trump, during an Alabama rally, referred to the players who refuse to stand as “son[s] of bitch[es].” Detractors of the president and supporters of the players protesting the anthem are attempting to frame national discourse over the issue as a matter of the First Amendment. They, of course, are correct, but perhaps not in the way they might expect.
After the events in Charlottesville this past month, I had to clear my thoughts. Discourse had, once again, reached a level of absurdity. Media of all stripes used the act of one misguided person to vilify the entirety of a group. It used this act as cover to endorse silencing speakers of unpopular points of view. It portrayed violent agitators as saints while stripping away the humanity of those who opposed. The President faced heavy criticism, even from members of his own party, for not fully embracing the media’s moral absolutist narrative. Lynch mobs were out for blood. Many inflicted their fury on relics of the past. Personally, I had much to say, but I needed the inspiration to put it all together. I visited the resting place for some of those who had become so controversial in recent months; those whose legacy lay at the foundation of the ideological battle of Charlottesville. Continue Reading
Earlier this month, civil liberties advocate and journalist Glenn Greenwald (along with Ryan Grimm of The Intercept) wrote an article warning about a bill before Congress with potentially dire consequences for free speech. If passed, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, S.720, would make it illegal for Americans to engage in organized boycotts against the state of Israel. Participation in such activity could lead to a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Unfortunately, the bill is very likely to pass. Continue Reading
In America, free speech is a sacred right. That is, until it threatens corporate interests. We’ve seen the scenario repeated. Someone says something offensive. Interest groups become aware and threaten sponsors of the speaker’s platform with boycott. Sponsors relent to protect their corporate image, and, ultimately, the speaker loses the platform. Continue Reading
In recent months, as tensions between the United States and North Korea escalate toward violence, conventional methods for maintaining peace seem limited. Bellicosity and irrationality dominate each side, rendering traditional diplomatic outreach fruitless. In the current climate, unconventional approaches, with a focus on interpersonal relationships, could be most conducive to peace. One such option involves a certain defensive expert. He holds the distinction as (perhaps) the sole mutual friend of President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Of course, I am referring to the Worm, Dennis Rodman, the one man standing between war and peace. Continue Reading
Back in 2010 I witnessed the future of politics. A little known councilman went before his local party and delivered the most passionate speech of this century thus far. Though the speech concerned, of all things, the Stark County Treasurer’s office, it harkened back to the exciting and entertaining aspect of politics. As the speech went on, I felt something special happen. Politics became fun again. Continue Reading
Since I published “Fake News” three months ago, the meaning of that particular phrase has changed. It has morphed from a tool of the corporate media to silence citizen journalists into a weapon of the Trump administration to attack the corporate media. Whereas the former had the effect of chilling the free speech of everyday citizens, the latter takes the corporate elites down a peg and empowers everyday citizens. Continue Reading
Donald Trump’s election as President was, in part, a reaction to PC culture; a culture which regards the utterance of certain speech as worse than the offense of violent crimes. Unfortunately, the election of Trump has not eliminated this culture. Instead, it has evolved. Some of those who spoke out against PC culture before Trump’s election now enforce their own version of it. Take a look at a couple recent examples: Continue Reading