Tag Archives: security

Save Refugees, Save America

I believe in America.

I believe that the defining characteristic of this nation was its unerring sense of moral conviction- that all we did was in the advancement of some great work set into motion by ages past. That every undertaking stemmed from the deepest confidence in the simple rightness of our cause.

This faith led us, countless times, to commit terrible acts that damn the conscious of the nation. Slavery and Wounded Knee. Manzanar and Kandahar. McDonald’s and McCarthy. It’s led to the popular image abroad of Americans as fundamentally arrogant; loudly voicing their opinions without being asked, demanding where they have no right, interfering where they have no business.

And it was this same faith that has pulled this nation back every time. Yosemite and Normandy. Harlem and Harper’s Ferry. John Muir and Eugene Debs. The faith that sent millions to these shores from every corner of the world and the same unabashed confidence that sent American music, art, film, and literature back.

In spite of our divisions and our failings- and they are neither minor nor few- we are united by the common belief that our cause is not merely just but justice itself, and that its triumph needs only ingenuity, passion, and will to be secured.

For good or ill, it is this value that made America. Continue reading

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Pro-Israel vs Pro-Palestine: Can There Be a Third Option?

About a year ago I wrote a paper on media bias in coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. In her feedback, my professor accused me of being a Palestinian sympathizer and in the same breath called me pro-Israel. This conversation, in my mind, highlights the fact that no matter how careful I am, neutrality on this issue has become nearly impossible.

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Bethlehem, The West Bank: Every morning hundreds of Palestinians line up at the barrier to make it through the checkpoint in time for work in Jerusalem. It often takes 3+ hours to make it through.

Let’s face it, no one wants to talk about the Israel-Palestine conflict. No matter what stance you take, you’re going to offend someone. Since violence and tensions have somewhat lessened since last year, or at least have become overrun by other more flashy news stories, there hasn’t been a whole lot of coverage on the conflict. Though governments may be in a constant process of peace talks and negotiation the situation for most Israeli and Palestinian citizens remains unchanged.

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The Western Wall, Jerusalem

About three years ago I spent some time living in both Israel and the West Bank. As a writer and photographer I naturally blogged about my experience, and the response I got was both shocking and highly predictable. This conflict touches on so many aspects of history and culture that it has become absolutely polarizing on the fronts of ethnicity and religion. Like the situation with my professor I managed to piss off people on both sides as I desperately clung to what I liked to think was middle ground, searching for a “pro-peace” option.

propeace Continue reading

Shame Day: The NSA (And Its Defenders)

Readers, I could spend a post and then some spewing acidic bile about the NSA, and as much as I am tempted to, I’m not going to. It’s not that the NSA doesn’t deserve to be lambasted, it’s just that this is a culture blog, not a political one, and it’s mentality we’re gonna be talking about here today- the attitudes (and people) which are giving this psychotic system fertile ground to grow in.

“It Protects You, So It’s Good For You…”

This isn’t the first time that stupid slogan’s been trotted out by whatever ******s are in power, but since it’s rearing its ugly head in public again, it’d be remiss of us not to take some shots at it.

Supposing the program is knocked out and, God forbid, a year down the pike something happens? I’d never forgive myself.

That’s a quote from Californian representative Dianne Feinstein, defending, last Saturday, the NSA’s continued invasion of the privacy of both citizens and non-Americans alike.

I actually agree with the Congresswoman on this one. It’s why I’ve got my family encased in bubble wrap and locked in my basement. Supposing I let them out and they got hit by a car? I’d never forgive myself.

No, because I am a sane person.

Continue reading