The Chicago 7: A Review… on American Culture

We’ve come a long way since then… for the worst.

I want to make out with Aaron Sorkin’s words. I love pretty much everything he’s done from the West Wing to Charlie Wilson’s War. When I heard about the “Trial of the Chicago 7” I wanted to watch it immediately, but I have a 2 year old, so I’m on a strict diet of Pixar movies. 

I finally saw it last night and found an extraordinary film encapsulating the polarized nature of American society and its disdain for protest and civil disobedience… but I’m not here today to review a movie. 

Watch this Movie 

It’s a near perfect cast, with Sacha baron cohen delivering a career defining performance and michael Keaton somehow managing to steal the show despite the pedigree of the ensemble. Nearly all of the dialogue is true. The quick, balanced, and perfect dialogue is what you come to expect in a Sorkin release. 

The physical and metaphorical divide 

And yes, the most shocking event to happen to the founder of the Black Panthers actually happened. But this review is not about any of that. 

Continue reading “The Chicago 7: A Review… on American Culture”

Abortion and Christianity: a Definitive, Biblical Discussion

Pause and imagine for a second if he encountered a woman leaving an abortion clinic facing the vitriol of pro-lifers hurling judgments and insults at her… would he be punitive or merciful?

I am anti-abortion. Please, as you’re reading this don’t forget this first statement. The author is against abortion. No one wins as a result of this procedure, the best solution is to avoid it at all costs. 

Let’s have a deep dive into scripture and what Jesus would want his followers to do about abortion in 2020. I want to begin with this verse: “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:1-2). In other words, I’m really going to focus on the words of Jesus and dabble a bit in what Paul wrote in making my arguments. 

1. A Metaphor for Abortion: Adultery 

I hope it’s clear that Jesus never spoke about abortion. In the absence of any commands on the subject, let’s reference something he did talk about, adultery: He didn’t like it (Matt 19:5-6, Matt 5:27-28). 

A bunch of religious folks were holding stones trying to kill a woman caught in the act: stoning her would have been lawful (Deut 22:22.). Remember what he did? Brush up here: John 8:1-11

Continue reading “Abortion and Christianity: a Definitive, Biblical Discussion”

The Simplest Argument Against Trump

Nearly everything Trump touches is chaotic and confusing, but one simple argument against him only gets better with time.

Trump’s own failures and scandals distract from each other. There is so much evidence for his incompetence and corruption that it’s really hard to focus on one thing, and that’s where his supporters can focus on a single accolade and put it above all the static. 

What do we do with all the static? From caged children, to approaching 200,000 coronavirus deaths, to his ties to Russia, to his failed border wall… I’m out of breath naming each of these MONUMENTAL scandals, any single one of which would have ended any normal political career. 

There is one specific argument that has all the elements of a sound, focused, repeatable, irrefutable argument against this president: “the universe of criminality” surrounding trump. 

Continue reading “The Simplest Argument Against Trump”

Dear Asian-Americans: It’s Up to Us to Save the World

Asians have been given the keys to white privilege, but we also know the struggle of the immigrant. What will we do with this dual identity?

Asians are not usually cast as heroes. 

We’re usually the ones in cubicles, silently animating the CGI to make the white heroes look even more convincing. 

But our unique identity as both privileged and immigrant Americans puts us in the sniper’s seat to defeat the monster wreaking havoc on our land. I am calling on all fellow Asians to shake off your stereotypical soft-spoken and submissive identities and rise to the significance of our time; the beast before us needs new heroes to rise. 

The Bridge Between Privileged and Immigrant

Born in the US to Taiwanese parents, I grew up in the 80s in a white world surging with asian immigration. As a child, white on asian bullying was commonplace. I heard “Go back to your own country” shouted at me as a preteen when I rebuffed a panhandler. 

Continue reading “Dear Asian-Americans: It’s Up to Us to Save the World”

Don’t Waste Your Anger Fighting the Symptom Rather Than the Disease

The only thing that can keep white privilege in check is people of privilege

Applause for the unified anger from the American public. I see folks from all political and religious backgrounds unanimously condemning violence against black men. 

But it’s a mistake to think that convicting the police officers who killed George Floyd will solve the problem. The questions we ought to be asking: What is behind the violence? What led us to this point? 

It’s not just plain old racism, there is a monster that feeds it from behind the scenes, a monster we let grow like a cancer; the true enemy is when the privileged don’t stand up to white privilege. 

It is this passive allowance that attempted to lynch Christian Cooper in Central Park. When we leave privilege unchecked it emboldens white people to become the vigilantes who lynched Ahmaud Arbery in broad daylight. When we are too afraid to speak against white privilege we press our knee down on George Floyd’s neck, staring into the camera without remorse. 

It’s stunning that the police officer looks so calm as he tortures and murders
Continue reading “Don’t Waste Your Anger Fighting the Symptom Rather Than the Disease”

The True Plague in the United States is the Cult of Stupidity

The true threat to the US is not Covid19, it’s the fact that members of the Cult of Stupidity are in charge of solving it.

It’s a bold statement: stupidity is worse than the Coronavirus Pandemic. Yup, Covid19 is bad, and I don’t mean to diminish how deadly it is, but there is a more nefarious character: the Cult of Stupidity, fueling the virus’ growth and killing far more Americans than poorer less educated countries… and it’s all of us, even non-members, who are paying tribute. 

The Worship of the Dumb

Trump’s briefing where he suggested that injecting disinfectants may cure Covid19 reveals much more than a single man’s stupidity. There is a greater epidemic that permeates our society, a celebration of stupidity that ascends such a man to such power. 

Anti-vaxxers, climate deniers, Trump defenders, Flat Earthers, these are all movements of people who harden their own stupidity when faced with hard evidence… Trump is merely a symptom of the Cult of Stupidity phenomenon. 

Continue reading “The True Plague in the United States is the Cult of Stupidity”

I Support Elizabeth Warren

This phrase gets thrown around a lot: “This is the most important election of our generation.” Well this time, I can tell you with steeled surety, it’s true.

The last three years, 22 days, 12 hours, 34 minutes have been a dumpster fire with sprinkles on top. Sprinkles of C4. Amazingly, 49% of the US population is wearing goggles that make the US look like a utopian economy where you get to hold a red Starbucks cup and say “Merry Christmas” 365 days a year. 

On this election We The People will make the decision as to whether we accept corruption, whether we honour truth and facts, whether we are a country that looks after the poor and needy, whether we cage up children or not….

For any of my friends/readers out there who are struggling to make sense of the maelstrom of media and ads, I’m here to give you one piece of clarity. From my perspective, Elizabeth Warren is the best candidate. And your vote in this primary: Matters. 

The Factory Speech

Warren got her start in politics by standing up to banks and protecting consumers. It’s the sort of non-glorious, in-the-trenches work that takes up the lion share of government. 

She “was instrumental in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” an organization designed to help regular consumers like us not get ripped off by big banks again. 

Warren inspired my loyalty because of the following speech she made early on in her career. 

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

Elizabeth Warren

She boldly confronted the 1% in this speech with a simple and compelling reason why we should support taxing the ultra rich. Yes I am a socialist, but I am a pragmatic one; Warren is the best connection between democratic socialism and the stubborn, fickle, and superstitious voting public.

She is more palatable than Bernie Sanders, and far more progressive than the rest of the candidates. She deserves and receives my enthusiastic endorsement. 

Pictured here: Warren punching the 1%. In the nuts.

I am a Follower of Jesus

Scripture compels me to support Warren because I am a person who understands and knows the power of Jesus’ teachings, 

Acts 4:34-35 says the following: 

“…There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”

It is no mystery that Warren’s dedication to advocating for the common man over the billionaire hedge fund manager is driven by such verses in the bible. 

The vast majority of Christians support a billionaire president cutting taxes for the ultra rich, and just a teeny remnant of believers support candidates like Warren; this is one of the main reasons I identify as postchristian. 

Get Involved. Vote. 

Your voice WILL BE HEARD if you vote in the primary to choose Trump’s opponent. 

Just as important as your vote in the primary is your opportunity to vote for school board members, state legislators, or other small local offices. Thse lawmakers have MUCH more influence on your day to day lives than any national office. 

I joke about the dumpster fire that we are currently immersed in, but seriously, the US is taking steps toward authoritarianism. If you stay unengaged you are complicit in this fact. I know it’s exhausting to care but the weight of it all makes it that much more important!! Vote in this primary, and vote with me for Warren. 

The Disclaimer

My primary mission, for the sake of my daughter, is to prevent this man from being elected again. A vote for Donald Trump is simply immoral. A non-vote or a third party vote is just as immoral. Let’s say that voting for Trump or not voting earns you 0 morality points. And Warren, my politician of choice, earns you 100 morality points, this is what I think about the remaining candidates.

*Warren 100/100
*Bernie 99/100
*Yang 92/100 (pipe dream)
*Buttigieg 89/100
*Biden/Klobuchar 87/100
*Steyers/Bloomberg mid 70s (because fuck rich people)
*Trump 0/100

Fuck factionalism in the democratic party, there is no time for that. My full support is behind Warren but no matter who my party chooses in the primary, I will support that person; because she/he will be the only thing standing between Trump and the Whitehouse.

Image result for democratic debate

 

An Open Letter to my Christian Friends. Your Silence is Getting Louder

“Your silence as a believer is tacit support.”

Friend,

I have a question for you. I hope our years together in the faith would bring you to honour me with considering this plain question… although it may make you uncomfortable. I am deeply troubled by the diseased state of Christianity right now, I’m hoping that you can illuminate how it got here.

Tell me if there is any validity to this perspective that I hold: radical religiosity is dangerous. It leads to all sorts of harmful events from the Crusades to 9/11. But extremism is only half-fueled by radical/violent belief… the other half comes from moderates standing by and feeding the flames with their silence.

The rise of Donald Trump is particularly on the shoulders of the Christians, and despite scandal after inept scandal, the unshakable support of the church allows him to cling to power. As the impeachment process grinds on via a mountain of evidence, I ask you: Why have you remained silent? 

Are you one of those in the room, quietly bowing your head? Or would you speak up against this heresy?
Continue reading “An Open Letter to my Christian Friends. Your Silence is Getting Louder”

30 Years Ago We Celebrated the Berlin Wall Coming Down. Today We Tolerate a Culture that Wants to Put One Up

I keep my piece of the Berlin Wall on my nightstand. 

My partner was born on a British military base near Berlin and was there when the wall came down; she was just over 2 years old. She remembers being on her dad’s shoulders, striking the wall with a hammer. Her family honoured me by giving me the humble piece I have today.

I keep it close as a reminder that division, in the name of ideology, is overcome by enlightened minds and their conviction that united, we’re better off. 

30 years ago we celebrated the wall coming down, today it is stunning that we tolerate a culture that thinks building new walls is the solution. 

Image result for ronald reagan berlin wall
The irony here that Ronny, a republican, is lauded for breaking down the wall is just so brutal…
Continue reading “30 Years Ago We Celebrated the Berlin Wall Coming Down. Today We Tolerate a Culture that Wants to Put One Up”

I stand with the Kurds. I stand for Peace.

When arriving in a new country whilst traveling alone, the most vulnerable moment is always between the airport and the hostel: you have all your gear, you don’t know the transportation system, and you don’t know the language. On the bus ride to Istanbul, Turkey from the airport, I was comforted to find another English speaker, a local, sitting next to me. 

I struck up a conversation on the state of Turkey and Islam. He had some colourful things to say about the Salafis, among other topics pertinent to the Middle East… it wasn’t long before I found out my new friend is Kurdish. 

Continue reading “I stand with the Kurds. I stand for Peace.”