current affairs

A collection of 10 posts

02.24.2022

journal 1 min read

Today, Russia invaded Ukraine. This quote, from Anne Applebaum's Twilight of Democracy surfaced in my notes. As we watch another Authoritarian regime attempt to destroy and occupy an independent, democratic nation, as we remain hopeful the western world can work together to undermine the effort, the quote seems fitting.

To some, the precariousness of the current moment seems frightening, and yet this uncertainty has always been there. The liberalism of John Stuart Mill, Thomas Jefferson, or Václav Havel never promised anything permanent. The checks and balances of Western constitutional democracies never guaranteed stability. Liberal democracies always demanded things from citizens: participation, argument, effort, struggle. They always required some tolerance for cacophony and chaos, as well as some willingness to push back at the people who create cacophony and chaos. They always acknowledged the possibility of failure—a failure that would change plans, alter lives, break up families. We always knew, or should have known, that history could once again reach into our private lives and rearrange them. We always knew, or should have known, that alternative visions of our nations would try to draw us in. But maybe, picking our way through the darkness, we will find that together we can resist them.

A Vote for Progress, Inclusion, Equality, and the Betterment of Humanity

politics 7 min read A Vote for Progress, Inclusion, Equality, and the Betterment of Humanity

The morning after the 2016 presidential election, I wrote an article detailing my disappointment with the American public. How could we, collectively, elevate to the presidency of the United States the hateful, misogynistic, racist Nationalism of Donald Trump? The man is, and has always been, a con artist, preying on people's darkest thoughts, their most desperate needs, and their innate optimism, ignoring his own privilege while dismissing the suffering and oppression of others.

In that post, I wrote, "I hope I'm wrong about what the future holds. I hope I'm wrong about fear. I hope I'm wrong about the hatred

Three Environmentally Friendly Companies I've Discovered During Quarantine

environment 4 min read Three Environmentally Friendly Companies I've Discovered During Quarantine

So I wanted to give a quick update about a few environmentally focused companies I've recently discovered.

As we all know, important movements are happening in America and the world, and I understand my voice isn't always the most representative or the most helpful.

I'm doing my best to listen and learn. Reading books on systemic oppression, fascism, inequality. Reading articles on the true scope of racial bias and police brutality. Replaying in my head every conversation I've ever had about Feminism, Racism, opportunity, and equity.

I've had relationships with strong, progressive women over the years. They've helped me better

Comparing Privilege to a Video Game

politics 4 min read Comparing Privilege to a Video Game

For a long time, I struggled to understand white privilege. I'm not proud to admit it. I made the usual arguments: My life has been difficult; I've worked my ass off for everything I've achieved; I've given up time with family and ignored my friends to be successful; I've suffered significant pain and loss in life but focused and pushed forward and earned all the rewards I've attained. How can you tell me I've had it easy?

Obviously, I didn't get it.

I suspect most people who disregard the idea of privilege (or white male privilege to be more specific)

Windfarms

environment 2 min read windfarm against a blue sky

A windfarm is a beautiful thing. Seriously.

Over the past few years, I've dipped my toes into the renewable energy shallows. I've invested in solar companies, backed eco-friendly Kickstarter campaigns, replaced my home energy usage with wind credits, and bought an electric vehicle I'd love to charge with green energy. One person's efforts cannot change the world, but we can all start somewhere. This is my beginning.

Climate change and global warming are pressing issues. Capitalism does not protect the environment without regulation, but regulation is being ignored, deconstructed, or altogether avoided. Climate justice has always been a necessity, but

Hillary Lost Social Media

politics 6 min read Hillary Lost Social Media

For this post, let’s all remember the word of the day (which I chose a few minutes ago): anecdotal. Why? Because after a bit of ruminating, I’m about to speculate with anecdotal evidence. I don’t have stats. I don’t have data. I have only my personal experience and perceptions. This is me thinking out loud (in writing), which, I hope, is a perfectly acceptable thing to do on my own blog.

The topic, as mentioned in the title, relates to the recent US election. More specifically, it deals with my election experience on social media. My

You're Being Manipulated. That's okay. Just remember to think!

politics 2 min read You're Being Manipulated. That's okay. Just remember to think!

I came across an article on Facebook today with a headline that stated Russian officials admit they were in contact with the Trump campaign before the election. It’s a headline that immediately creates an emotional response.

That’s exactly what it’s supposed to do. Media companies spend enormous sums of money testing headlines and content to determine how to get maximum value and viewers. It’s business.

Remember, anyone can make a claim. It’s not illegal to lie. It’s not illegal to mislead. Just because a Russian official makes a claim, that DOES NOT MAKE IT

A New Battle for Hope

politics 3 min read A New Battle for Hope

I'm furious this morning. Not because my candidate lost, but because I find it incomprehensible that so many Americans voted in support of hate, indecency, and inequality.

I'm a middle class white male and small business owner, a prototypical privileged American. Arguably, I probably have less to fear from a Trump presidency than just about any other constituency. And yet I'm trembling.

I'm disgusted that so many good human beings, in America and across the globe, will suffer legitimately warranted fear at the hands of a regressive political party and its new leader. These people are my friends. They are

Little Tree Men

politics 4 min read Little Tree Men

What if I told you little men lived inside trees? In springtime they crawl through the branches, pushing out leaves one by one as though unfurling tiny flags. Without these little men, springtime would never come. Trees would be forever leafless.

“That’s ridiculous,” you would say.

To which I respond, “But I have faith.”

You laugh dismissively. “Trees are living things. They feed on water and sunlight and carbon dioxide. Leaves grow as a mechanism by which the trees can better take in that sunlight and water. We’ve studied this. We know how it works. It’s not