Sacre Red, White and Bleu

…the initial instigators of the French Revolution were not the poor, huddled urban masses. They were wealthy owners of property and capital that wanted to expand free trade for their own gain, which would in turn benefit France. But the proles in the urban masses did not care about free trade - they cared about not starving. They wanted a paternalistic guarantee of bread and safety, not free trade. The initial phase of the French revolution did not reverse the calcification of wealth, all it did was redistribute where the wealth flowed.

Divine Divorce

Jerusalem is at the heart of the three major religions in the area. It was the capital of the ancient Jewish kingdom of Israel; it was the location of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and subsequently became a magnet for Christian pilgrims; and as Muslims consider Christ a prophet – not as important as Muhammad, but still vital to the Islamic faith – Jerusalem became the second most sacred location for Muslims after Mecca. In addition to being the bastion of faith for two major religions and the religion that served as their theological progenitor, it is also at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

A Better Choice

Giving each voter one vote is a very simple concept. After all, in a theoretical republic composed of equals, one man’s choice should not be given greater weight than another man’s choice. This concept was in glaring conflict with the institution of slavery, the squelching of women and the initial requirement of land ownership to vote; but as time paced along these restrictions were lifted. First past the post is another simple concept – the candidate with the most voters supporting wins the election. But this system has a side effect – voters become more concerned about stopping the candidate they like the least from entering office rather than voting for the candidate they truly support.

The Meaning of Life

What is purpose? One way that it can be defined is through the Japanese concept of Ikigai - simplified, it is when you conflate what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. This will be something that changes for each individual person - it could be that you spend hours in the workshop crafting your knowledge of machinery to fix what needs to be fixed...

Greenlight the Red Light

Many ill effects stem from prostitution. Sexually transmitted disease can spread without oversight, pimps maintain their control over their stable with emotional and physical violence, and customers can be robbed or have their family lives ruined by a vindictive drug-addict. But a recent Dutch study asserted that cities that legalize prostitution experience a steep decline in sexual abuse and rape, which begs the question - what purpose does keeping prostitution illegal serve?

Tackling the NCAA

The crux of all of this is the refusal of universities to pay students to be athletes, and what enables this is the myth of the student athlete - when professional leagues exist for the sports being played in college, collegiate athletics essentially becomes the development league for the professional leagues. Instead of going to the bodies on the field, the income generated by viewers and attendees for these kids...

Weed Whacked

The rollback of cannabis legalization exacerbates all of this. By making cannabis profits a monopoly for the black market, we are not only getting less funding for schools, roads, medicaid and other social services - we are ensuring that the funding is instead going to the vicious tattooed bogeyman that serve as the raison d'etre for the War on Drugs. It's senseless, it's self-destructive, and it does not serve America's best interest...

To The Other Side

The culmination of all this scientific research and physical sacrifice is a more understood world; a world where we have less unknowns to fear and more tools available to craft our dreams. Getting to where we are right now required the discipline and courage of the aforementioned heroes; countless others did their part to push us forward toward a brighter dawn in a softer world.

Work Out The Knots

The Democrat and Republican parties have drawn their lines in the sand on these subjects and have their own base support, while Independents tend to consistently vote for either Democrats or Republicans, despite not being a member of either party. Which way a person votes is going to be tied to what they consider the biggest threats to America are - so what is really the biggest threat to America?

Shot In The Foot

Such a contradiction in policy is egregious not only in its hypocrisy, but in its cruelty. Assuming that gun violence in America is at its core a mental health issue (and considering the proportion of suicides included in gun deaths, it certainly is), withdrawing the ability for a citizen to be fiscally able to visit a psychologist is endangering not only citizens at risk for suicide...

Birthright Wrongs

...this is not a proposal that applies only to recipients of DACA or other recent immigrants - this is a proposal that will also apply to people whose descendants arrived on the Mayflower. Regardless of who your parents were or whether you live in Arizona or Appalachia, you should contribute in some fashion to the growth, maintenance and excellence of the United States...

Qing in the North

...North Korea recently claimed to have developed a thermonuclear weapon, and the claimed test may have been accompanied by a cave-in at the test site. The analysis by the Hefei team serves as a non-official warning to the North Korean government - their nuclear testing is already putting Chinese interests in danger. Now it may be putting Chinese lives in danger. If there is another underground nuclear test - at least, at the Punggye-ri test site - this can be interpreted as reason enough to turn their back on their fellow nominal communists.

Imperial Echoes

A stronger nation is more able to protect its people, and if this strength comes at the expense of people not part of its nation - too bad. This is not a system ideal for human rights or fairness. This is a system ideal for survival in a cruel, antagonistic world filled with enemies whose motivations are impossible to discern. It was in this world that the empires of old rose, conquered, prospered, and fell...

Ain't No Test for the Wicked

Legal codes such as Talmudic Law, Shariah, and the Code of Hammurabi served as social anchors to maintain stability and ensure the safety of traveling merchants. The punishments for crimes committed underneath these codes, which would be considered barbaric in Western society, had to occur because the capacity for the state to prevent these crimes did not exist...This is no longer the case.

Pepeganda

The history of propaganda is a fascinating example of how the human psyche stays the same, even as society changes - fears and desires are shaped by the image shown to its audience, and beliefs can be changed or reinforced with enough exposure. Be it through statues, newspaper stereotypes, posters, films, music, sports or speeches, propaganda has been used by all sides, for all causes. The modern day we live in brings a new vector for disseminating propaganda - the internet.

Lingua Frankly

Translation services are improving, but there are evident drawbacks to having a large portion of the population not know the common tongue. Police commands cannot be understood, traffic signs can be unintelligible, pressing healthcare questions can remain unanswered, and lives are lost as urgent communication becomes noisy babble...

Sins of our Fathers

Some of the most prominent members of the Founding Fathers hailed from the South, and carried with them the stain of being a slaveowner - most notably George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. As the Western world began to eliminate the slave trade, the United States lagged behind. The eventual reckoning of the issue of slavery occurred during the American Civil War...

Lines in the Sand

...from the Volkerwanderung to the Norsemen to the Mongolians, migrants had regularly tried to better the members of their tribe at the expense of people that had been there previously and in a time of human history where concepts like human and property rights did not exist, this is to be expected. So as we live in the more civilized Modern age and the internet desensitizes us to cultural differences, the purpose of borders is being questioned. How bold of a line should borders have?

Crucifixation

We have straightforward answers for individual states such as Puritan Massachusetts and Mormon Utah, but for the United States of America, there is no single strain of Christianity to bind it together. Instead, the principles that the United States of America was founded on was the Enlightenment values of personal liberty and self-determination of faith - a lesson learned...

In Glory, Dressed

The desire to serve in the armed forces of your nation is one that has been promoted as a selfless and necessary sacrifice a good citizen makes for the preservation of the liberties and rights of themselves, their loved ones and their countrymen. This sacrifice, a necessary component of maintaining state security..