How are people from myriad cultures supposed to live peacefully and productively with one another in a multi-cultural context? US culture, for hundreds of years, saw free speech as a pillar of democratic values that could overcome immutable differences. However, it todays world of social media echo chambers and mass media sensationalism, what has become of free speech? Let’s examine…
On July 4th, 2012, attendees of the first Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia were invited to participate in a collective visioning process which sought to answer the following questions: “What is your vision for a democratic future? What does it look like? What does it include?”
What does it mean to be free? How can one be free in a society makes demands of its participants? Is our lack of clarity affecting 21st political movements? In this short piece I explore what freedom is and isn't in the interest of providing clarity so social movements can meet their goals.
Who should I vote for and why? In this piece I explore what a democracy is and is not and how that relates to the body politic in the USA, especially as indecision 2016 looms. Voting is a sacred right. How best should you leverage yours? Click here and let's think it through.
Who is Pope Franics? What is his role in society? How does he differ from previous pontiffs? What are we expecting of him that he cannot or should not dip his toes into? In this short piece, I explore the intricacies and expectations of being the "Vicar of Christ" and how Francis is not only reshaping, but possibly even redeeming, the Papacy.
No one likes to ask for money. It is a very humbling thing to come to your friends and family—let alone people you don’t know—and admit, “I cannot do this by myself.” However, life very rarely moves at the speed of our pride. Unfortunately, shit happens. Shit will always happen and it usually happens right when you least expect it. No matter how hard you plan, life will inevitably throw you that parabolic curve ball that will break the glass walls of your expectations, leaving you pick up the pieces. Some will be left to clean up the mess up alone (I have the utmost sympathy for these folks), but the fortunate among us will have loved ones who will help us bag the glass, dispose of it, get a new window, and install it. It is a humbling position for the window owner and a call to action for the community.
The Philadelphia Mayor’s race is all but over. The candidates have carved out their positions, chosen the weak spots in their opponents that they want to zero in on, and have given enough debates to create enough white noise for a horror movie. Which is why I was quasi-excited, yet steadfastly resolved, to watch Monday nights debate. I lieu of writing a treatise on my opinions I thought I would write my top five observations from the #NextMayorPHL debate.
Only when everyday citizens have an equal shot at replacing the economic and political elite can any election be deemed democratic. Otherwise, the election season is nothing more than a game of Risk for the rich and powerful. Why do you think they call it a “war chest?”
I'm often asked about my political leanings. I have never really had a satisfactory answer because I don't feel that my ideas fall on the typically outlined spectrum. I needed to get my brain working today so I thought I would try. Here is my politic:
What is the power of a person? Can an individual really change the world? Does my vote count in a democracy controlled by political puppeteers and corporate bought elections? What can I accomplish? Read here for a short examination of personal power and collective action.
What is the context of Christmas? If you pour over the histories of the Ancient Near East you will find a socio-political drama that makes the West Wing look like Sesame Street. It was a time filled with politics, mad kings, and revolution.
The problem with "black bloc tactics" is that the marches and destruction usually come at the cost of people going about their day-to-days. Why not use that rage, community focused ideology, and desire to hit the streets to PROTECT people instead of DESTROYING things?
President Obama is a very deft politician and knows how to sell a red plan and make it look blue. He was not so foolish as to attempt to tell the American people that he was putting "boots on the ground" in Iraq again on September 10th, 2014, but he did very slyly change the way that Presidents sell war policy in the public eye. No longer do we live in the era of "speak softly and carry a big stick"; from now on wars will be fought by those who have the smartest technology. We are now living in the Age of Obama's Doctrine: Modern Warfare.
There is a patch of ground inside that brick and mortar stadium that I ride by everyday that testifies that heart can overcome skill. And that's what the southern in me, the artist in me, the writer in me, the social justice fighter in me and all that is in me longs for: a world where heart checkmates the best laid plans of mice and men.
It was hot in Philadelphia on this Thursday afternoon (9/3/2014), the day of the second major nationwide fast food workers strike. The air was moist and the effort taxing, but the tough conditions did not stop workers, allied organizations, and supporters from shutting down a broad swath of center city traffic to draw attention their their demands: a citywide $15/hr. minimum wage and the right to form a union.
It seems to me that the terrorists are those who use their overwhelming force to intimidate populations into submission and using fear as the balancing factor of dissent. This is consistent in Israel, Syria, Egypt, and the good ol' United States of America. That's right folks we have a whole branch of order bringers right here at home that are state sponsored and funded—the police.
Let me start by establishing my angle. I am not an Israeli, I am not Jewish, and I am not Palestinian. Though I am not directly linked to any of the groups involved in this current war I am a hardworking American citizen whose tax dollars in part funded the Goliath known as the IDF. With that said I will say here at the outset that I intend to shame Israel for its current slaughter of Palestinian civilians while at the same time calling my own government to account for its unilateral support of this evil. I do not intend on justifying Hamas or their actions, but I would ask you to consider one question no matter who and/or where you are: if your families' livelihood, home, drinkable water, power, and access to food were being systematically demolished by a foreign invader would you too not put up a fight, even if they outmatched your military might a thousand to one?