Category Archives: Media + Politics

Ethical Technologies? A Pipedream? My Love/Hate Affair with Social Media

I believe that in far too many cases, social networks pander to the worst impulses of our society’s juvenile, obsessive need for instantaneous, narcissistic gratification. That said, in the case of the horrific Boston bombings, I also recognize they played an invaluable role in apprehending the perpetrators. Continue reading

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The Banality of Evil Arguments, Part II

Immediately after the parents of the children who were killed in Newtown met with President Obama and Senators in Washington DC in an attempt to win support for new gun control legislation, the Right-wing began its scurrilous attacks. Listening to the sickening “arguments” — if they can be called that — the following question immediately crossed my mind, “How should the Newtown parents have responded such that they would have satisfied the Right?” The “answers” I came up with constitutes in effect an evil argument. Continue reading

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The Banality of Evil Arguments

In April 17, 1775, Boswell recorded one of Samuel Johnson’s most famous lines, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” If he were alive today, I believe that Johnson might well say, “Evil arguments are the first and last refuge of scoundrels.” Continue reading

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Want to End Gun Violence? Write A Good Bumper Sticker!

One of the reasons why the NRA and rabid gun “enthusiasts” are so effective in getting their ideas across is that they’ve perfected the art of writing bumper stickers. Continue reading

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Treating Gun Violence as an Addiction and a Cult

If as I believe that an obsessive need for guns is akin to an addiction and therefore cannot be dealt with by means of conventional arguments (after all, many alcoholics know “rationally” that alcohol is killing them but they are still unable to resist its near total control over their lives), then I believe that we need to stop beating around the bush and treat the obsessive need for guns as a major form of addiction. Continue reading

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Deadly Assumptions: When the World Is Shattered

From the standpoint of assumptions, no matter how unalike they are on their surface, crises are eerily alike. Continue reading

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Enough Is Enough: It’s Time to Get Tough on Organizations That Involve Children in Any Form or Manner

Whether we are experiencing an “actual, real epidemic” of child abuse or because of the overwhelming presence of the media we are just more aware of it is beside the point. What is not beside the point is that some of the most important and highly esteemed organizations have not only engaged in serious cases of child abuse, but engaged in concerted and repeated actions to protect and/or shelter those guilty of committing abuse. Continue reading

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Big Bird And Mister Rogers Are Not Just For Kids: We Need Their Wisdom More Than Ever

Even though the news has obviously moved on, it’s still important to correct a common, and dangerous, misperception that lies at the root of Mitt Romney’s expressed desire to terminate funding for Big Bird and PBS — that they are solely for kids and liberals. Continue reading

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On Mixed Minds: Liberal-Conservatives and Conservative-Liberals

Conservatives are generally fearful of and highly resistant to change, have an obsessive need for order and predictability, prize individual differences (money, status, etc.), and believe in hierarchy over community and egalitarianism. In sharp contrast, liberals generally believe strongly in reasoned argument, logic, and science.
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Standing Up To Political Bullies

One of most powerful ways of helping people learn about themselves and others is to put people into different groups based on their personalities. Thus, all the people with the same personality type are put into a common group. In this way, there are as many different groups as there are different types. Continue reading

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