(LHN) Concluding a week that had already seen growing international attention around a petition by Saudi women for full-fledged citizenship, the activists behind the #IAmMyOwnGuardian campaign added a surprising and powerful ally to their ranks: First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. In an emotional speech during a Clinton campaign rally, Mrs. Obama condemned the appalling treatment […]
On self-driving cars and the “Trolley Problem,” buttons that kill random Chinese people, Sam Harris, and The Twilight Zone.
Political speech, as George Orwell has noted, is often not speech in the fullest sense of the word. “Duckspeak” is tribal signaling, half-consciously discharging from the speaker’s oral cavity, meant to be received in the same unthinking stimulus-reflex manner.
The Ruskies are coming! And you thought the Cold War was over? Well, the “cold” bit might soon be. We better leave it to the pundits in their infinite wisdom to decide whether we’ve already progressed into a Lukewarm or even a Kind of Balmy War already.
Public discourse is exploding with expressions of panic and a kind of solidarity in resentment. But underneath all the scorn and anger, few substantive arguments figure into the discussion, while many of the endlessly repeated conventional points are misguided and offensive.
We’re all reactionary. This is the political equivalent of Dostoyevsky’s Christian maxim, “we’re all guilty”. No one can be in total solidarity with all of humanity, and those who pretend to are usually either irritating hippie-types, or real creeps, like cult leaders, fanatical militant egalitarians, or abusive parents. Much of the appeal of right-wing ideology […]
In the US, it’s irrelevant whether jokes about politicians are made by comics or politicians. In Europe, the wrong joke can land you in jail.