As I said before, an apology needs to count for something. Will Smith apologized, Chris Rock refused to press charges, even to throw him out of the room. As horrendous as Smith's behavior was, he has recognized that. Can we move on please? Is not everybody allowed a lapse of judgement? Cancel culture is a… Continue reading µ08: Will Smith Apologized; Let It Go
You may say that the United States has enough problems of its own. In recent decades, we have intervened in a variety of conflicts around the world, not all of them successfully resolved, not all of them widely deemed legitimate causes. We are facing plenty of challenges at home and on the global scale. Why… Continue reading #147: Why Should We Care About Ukraine? A Pragmatic Answer
I must admit, I have never understood the rather uncritical position in vast swaths of the political left towards Justin Trudeau and Canada. Certainly, the United States is by no means perfect, but the almost self-hating adoration of Canada by some Americans is strange. It has been Trudeau’s government who has maintained the Keystone XL… Continue reading #142: Oh, Canada…
If persons who are have chosen to not be vaccinated are wearing a Star of David with the designation "unvaccinated", the following considerations should be made: 1. Is the category "unvaccinated" an identity comparable to the category "Jew" defined by the Nuremberg Racial Laws? No. Everyone is free to be vaccinated or not. This would… Continue reading #141: Is Wearing a Star of David Labeled “Unvaccinated” Anti-Semitic?
Whoopi Goldberg said something incredibly and shockingly ignorant about the Holocaust. She revealed, in fact, how a very peculiar and narrow understanding of race in America prevents a more thorough and global discussion of difference, discrimination, ethnicity, racism and genocide in the world. It is a wide-spread problem, and it was unfortunate to see it… Continue reading #134: If People Apologize for Their Mistake, They Should Not Be Cancelled
Recently, I conducted a little teaching experiment in several of my classes. I simply pulled up a map of the world and asked my students which countries were part of the West. In almost all cases, we found out that many more countries are actually culturally “Western” – whatever that means – than typically thought.… Continue reading #128: Russia is Part of the West
Everyone is outraged these days and lets everyone know. Something is always offending somebody. I understand that. There are a lot of things I find difficult to tolerate, sometimes impossibly so. Yet how do we communicate such difficulties? How should we feel about that? Outrage is an uncontrolled emotion. You feel so frustrated by something… Continue reading #121: Outrage Is Not a Successful Communication Strategy
When you lose an election, the impulse to insult the voters appears highly appealing. They just didn’t understand your great plans. They don’t know enough. They are easily misled by misinformation. Maybe they are wicked, immoral, and deplorable. The enemies are strong and devious. We are righteous warriors for truth and justice, and those who… Continue reading #118: The Voter is Always Right: The Meaning of Democracy
We are conditioned to think in political categories of “right” versus “left”, with an underappreciated center in between. This model has become deeply entrenched in political thinking, no matter how simplistic it actually is. Politically, “left” and “right” derive from seating arrangements of pro- versus anti-monarchist forces in the National Assembly during the French Revolution,… Continue reading #94: What Is Political Extremism Today?
Of course, we all want to believe that what we are thinking and doing is the right thing. Nobody wants to be wrong, nobody wants to be the bad guy. Nobody is truly at peace with themselves if they are at war with the world. But we cannot all be right on everything. We all… Continue reading #80: There is No Alternative to Dialog and Debate