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Oppose Your Enemies, or Look for Common Ground? »

On a few occasions I’ve used my privilege as a blogger on The Beacon to write in support of viewpoints held by people that some readers of The Beacon view as the opposition. For examples, I supported the Black Lives Matter movement for protesting police brutality, and more recently, the Resist! movement for opposing...
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Resist! »

I’m somewhat amused by the anti-Trump protests the nation has seen since Trump’s election. He’s been a big talker, but as far as actually doing things, so far the only substantial thing he’s done was to try to implement his immigration ban. While I understand why people oppose his immigration policies, for the most...
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Aspirations and Policies »

Political rhetoric tends to obscure the difference between aspirations and policies. Aspirations are goals people would like to achieve, whereas policies are the means for achieving them. For example, the Obama administration has mandated automobile fuel efficiency standards that require a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. This is an aspiration,...
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Hackers Stole Data from Whom? An Example of Media Bias »

This story’s headline reports, “Hackers Stole Data From More Than 100,000 Taxpayers, IRS Says.” The headline is wrong. Hackers stole data from the IRS, not from taxpayers. This is an example of the subtle kind of media bias that minimizes government shortcomings, in this case by pointing the finger at taxpayers. This particular headline...
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Another Urban Legend? The Middle Ages Were the “Dark Ages” »

As the culture wars intensify in America, let’s consider some of the roots of these contentious conflicts. With the “Age of Enlightenment” of the 17th and 18th centuries, a “modern” narrative was invented to explain the history of the West, the wider world, and humankind’s place in the universe. This narrative claimed that liberty,...
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United States of Fear »

[F]irst of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of...
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50 Shades of Predatory Abuse: The Role of Civil Society »

The movie adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey by author E.L. James swept its opening weekend competition and has generated blockbuster revenues of over $133 million, making it the top grossing movie of 2015. Controversy has come with it, as would be expected from any movie breaking through traditional cultural taboos. Combine that with...
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Politics Is Not Just Spy versus Spy; It’s also Slogan versus Slogan »

For as long as political and ideological movements have sought to engage large followings, they have embraced slogans and catch phrases that give pithy expression to their views, aversions, and objectives. Slogans are dangerous in that they substitute rote declarations for serious thought, yet they may sometimes serve a purpose even for thoughtful people...
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I Pledge Allegiance to Blind Nationalism »

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Many of us will recognize these words as the “Pledge of Allegiance.” As a child in elementary and middle school, I remember saying...
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The Fall of Liberty and Human Dignity in American Sniper »

Given the buzz from conservatives touting the film American Sniper‘s homage to Christopher Kyle as a war hero, libertarians may be tempted to sit this movie out. I think they should resist that temptation. This is not a typical “war movie.” In fact, I would argue it’s not a war movie at all: it’s...
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