Facebook follies

Last week, with all of the decorum of the Ziegfeld Follies, Mark Zuckerberg appeared in front of a congressional panel to answer questions about privacy issues. This originated with complaints that Facebook has allowed marketing companies to data mine from their site, which they consider a violation of privacy issue. Just shows that no one ever reads the whole user agreement. Throughout this political theater, only a few members of Congress actually touched on the real issue…censorship. In the last several months we are experiencing a wave of censorship on…

The Art (Bell) of conspiracy theories

“It’s a mystery! It’s a mystery wrapped in the riddle inside of an enigma!” — Joe Pesci, from the Oliver Stone film, “JFK”. Art Bell is dead. I did not kill him. But, if I had, it would be stupid to admit it. When the official story is released, Art Bell will be declared the mortal victim of lung cancer—and that is just what the Kardashians want us to think! Yes, the Kardashians were in cahoots with the CIA, Vladimir Putin and professional wrestler John Cena to eliminate Art Bell.…

Trusting the press: Do you believe in Trump or the Founders?

Consider why the man over an administration being investigated for collusion uses the term ‘fake news’ Think about how safe you would feel if the overwhelming majority of your neighbors support a man who would be willing to assault you. That may explain why the first thing I did after reading that nearly two-thirds of citizens believe that mainstream media reports “a lot of fake news” was purchase a newspaper that I get for free. Why even try? Why get a heat stroke, as EMTs told me? Why spend three…

Meaning and discourse go hand in hand

If you want elevated dialogue, you need an elevated mind. Most Americans, across the political spectrum, seem to mourn the loss of civil dialogue. Indeed, civil dialogue has been kicked to the curb in the age of Trump. But Trump is only a symptom, even if a modern icon, of discord. The true villain here is the mundane minutia that fills our minds through round-the-clock information on social media. It has lowered our civic IQ, then lowering the substance of civil dialogue. Social media creates the delusion that all opinions…

Killing O’Reilly

“It is now clear that fake news can have real world consequences. This isn’t about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk. Lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days and do their jobs. Congress and…Silicon Valley is starting to grapple with the challenge and threat of fake news.” – Hillary Clinton at Harry Reid’s Retirement Ceremony, 12-8-16. Hillary Clinton fired the first salvos on the remaining conservative media last December. Using her mantra, “fake news” is now being categorized as any news that does not coincide…

Trump resistance in Utah gets girl-powered

It popped up during lunch. The slide featured a quote from film actor Jeffrey Wright: “May the election of Trump bring forth the fiercest, smartest, toughest generation of ass-kicking women this country could possibly imagine.” Utah Indivisible and Utahns Speak Out, the latter of which challenged its federal representatives Feb. 24 at its Town Hall for All, are organizations that are part of the larger resistance across America to President Donald Trump. Now, the Beehive State’s movement is getting a female flavor. Rise Up & March On was a function…

This message is for you, not that obnoxious, over-posting friend of yours.

You. Yes YOU. Open up your echo chamber. Shortly after I graduated from law school, I had the opportunity to serve as a clerk on the Utah Supreme Court. I loved my time there, and I learned many things. One thing struck me immediately — when our judge received a case on appeal, he would provide us with the briefs prepared by the attorneys on either side, in order for us to discuss the case with him and offer recommendations on how he should rule. I remember distinctly reading the…

Here’s the deal with Meryl Streep…

Here’s the deal with the Meryl Streep comments – she’s right. 99% of good people would agree with most of what she said if they weren’t bent on supporting Trump regardless of what he does or says. It is this growing hypocrisy that concerns me most. If Trump had not won the nomination, almost everyone would have turned on him over his style and comments, because they defy common decency. But because we are so divided, many feel the need to support and even embrace that which, under normal circumstances,…

Victimhood culture metastasizes

One of the most important papers for understanding the political climate we live in is “Microaggression and Moral Cultures” by Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning (The article made a splash–it was covered in The Atlantic, among other places–and we covered Jonathan Haidt’s reaction to it here at Difficult Run back in September of last year. You can download the full paper for free, however, and you should do that). In the article, Campbell and Manning explore three stages in the evolution of moral culture: Honor culture Dignity culture Victimhood culture The…

Star-Spangled Clamor

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion, A home and a country, should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.” —from “The Star-Spangled Banner”, by Francis Scott Key. On many occasions I have proclaimed my visceral disdain for the national anthem of my country. There are few songs that suck worse than “The Star-Spangled Banner”. When I attend events where I know the song will be sung, I do my best to skulk…