Hodgeblot

Politics

A 10 post collection


Fascinating podcast on immigration from NY Times

 •  Filed under Podcast, Politics

I've already mentioned how much I love Overcast while writing about the Overcast 3.0 redesign. I turned ads back on even though I'm a subscriber because I wanted to check out the new podcast ad system Marco Arment created. In the process I discovered The Daily from The New York Times. This morning I listened to one of the most compelling podcasts on immigration I've ever heard.

The podcast begins with a gripping story about a man in Southern Illinois who gets taken by ICE agents, much to the dismay of locals who love and respect him. There is also an account of recent changes in immigration policy from the perspective of ICE agents. Really, fascinating stuff that accounts for both sides of this issue.

If you only listen to one podcast today, take 20 minutes and check out:

The Daily: Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

For the Debaters: What Shall We Do About the Tech Careening Our Way? - The New York Times

 •  Filed under Politics, Economics, Technology

For the Debaters: What Shall We Do About the Tech Careening Our Way? - The New York Times

This is so spot on. Someone please ask a question like this during the debates. Everyone claims they’re going to repair our economy, and yet, none of them ever talk seriously about the role of tech in both advancing and displacing economies around the world.

This. Please. Yes, this.

The Bad Faith of the White Working Class - The New York Times

 •  Filed under Politics, Christianity, Faith, Church

The Bad Faith of the White Working Class - The New York Times

Another great piece of writing from J.D. Vance. He’s really on the pulse of what frustrated white working-class people are feeling and thinking. This rings so true for me both as a believer and a guy with lots of frustrated church folk friends:

A Christianity constantly looking for political answers to moral and spiritual problems gives believers an excuse to blame other people when they should be looking in the mirror.

We really do need honest self-reflection and criticism in the church today. I appreciate Vance’s bravery to call it out. Hopefully, more of us can find that courage and strength.

Donald Trump Is an Opioid for the Masses, But He Can't Solve America's Growing Social-Cultural Crisis - The Atlantic

 •  Filed under Politics, Future, Trump, Culture

Donald Trump Is an Opioid for the Masses, But He Can't Solve America's Growing Social-Cultural Crisis - The Atlantic


Trump is cultural heroin. He makes some feel better for a bit. But he cannot fix what ails them, and one day they'll realize it.

This not a liberal versus conservative piece. It’s honest, heartfelt writing from J.D. Vance about the emptiness of Trump’s promises and the day of reckoning that is coming if we don’t find real answers for the hurt and fear that is present.

The American SAFE Act and Paul Ryan's Broken Promise to Fix the House - The Atlantic

 •  Filed under Politics, Internet, Information

The American SAFE Act and Paul Ryan's Broken Promise to Fix the House - The Atlantic

Interesting thesis that the insta-age we find ourselves in is to blame for politicians wanting to centralize power. Somehow the Internet and modern media has led to fear being in great supply these days. We need to fix that, and then people are more likely to come to their senses and stop ceding control to political leaders.

Republican debate: What Marco Rubio got wrong about what makes America special - The Washington Post

 •  Filed under Politics, Marco Rubio, Washington Post, Wealth, News

Republican debate: What Marco Rubio got wrong about what makes America special - The Washington Post

Look, I don’t yet know Rubio’s politics or what kind of person he is, but this article is taking him to task unfairly, IMHO. The article wants to double down on the inequality between rich and poor, which is of course very real in America, but Rubio was not disputing that point. In fact, Rubio was describing how success doesn’t necessarily equate to being rich, which I think is a good point.

It’s fair to take Republicans to task for not wanting to share wealth and even actively working against fair economic policy. I think it’s equally worth criticizing how much the Democrats want to hold up “rich” as the standard to which all Americans should aspire. There’s a lot of space between poverty and millionaire. I wish we’d start focusing on the middle more than the extremes, and I think that’s what Rubio was trying to do.

The Banality of Systemic Evil - NYTimes.com

 •  Filed under Politics, Whistle-Blower, Nytimes, Oped

The Banality of Systemic Evil - NYTimes.com

In broad terms, commentators in the mainstream and corporate media have tended to assume that all of these actors needed to be brought to justice, while independent players on the Internet and elsewhere have been much more supportive. Tellingly, a recent Time magazine cover story has pointed out a marked generational difference in how people view these matters […]

This is a pretty good piece on whistle blowers and how they have been treated in mainstream media. I particularly like the distinction here for the “trust” that a government or company wants you to play in them versus the moral truth or rightness that whistle blowers feel they uphold.

The one thing I take issue with, though, is this notion that young people see Snowden et al in a favorable light, simply because of generational bias. The related implication is that old age makes you complacent. That’s just too simple an argument.

I dislike all these style of generational examinations, anyway, as if people are somehow universally alike because they were born at the same time. I’d guess it has more to do with one’s connection to the Internet – the closer you are to the Internet, the more likely you are to side with these whistle blowers. Sure, it’s more common that younger people are more connected, and therefore more sympathetic, but it’s not their generation that gives them this bent, anymore than someone being older makes then necessarily complacent.

What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria

 •  Filed under Politics, American Exceptionalism, Syria, Putin, America

What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria

Interesting statement from Putin. If I’m being honest, it offended me when I read it, but after thinking a bit about it, I find myself agreeing.

The American dream used to be that you could work hard and make a better life for yourself and your family. That has now morphed into, at it’s best, “you should be the best in the world,” and at it’s worst, boarders on “America should rule the world” (whether financially, politically, or what have you.)

Being exceptional shouldn’t be the goal. It should be the side effect of hard work and determination.