Oppression, Rights and the Protesters

I think the protest movement lost something when it went from fighting for rights to fighting against oppression.

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch Nov 1, 2017. Continue reading HERE

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What’s Wrong with Our Country

The Compromise That Made Our Country Great

To understand what’s gone wrong with our country, we have to start with what we got right.  What we got right was a compromise in the 1930s, the created the democratic capitalist system that we have today.

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Organized Religion and the Marxist Critique

I worry that my hyper-rational friends are misunderstanding belief and the role of organized religion, and in doing so are hurting their lives. I can’t help but thinking that a lot of this ties back to the Marxist critique of religion. Continue reading

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The Stockley Verdict, Change and the Protesters

For African-Americans, the Stockley verdict is going to hurt for a long time.

Our society assumes that absent proof of malicious intent, a shooting by an officer was a good-faith judgment call made in the heat of the moment. We don’t put officers in jail for doing their job, even if their judgment call was tragically wrong.

The Stockley case was different. In the car chase before the shooting, the dashcam captures Stockley saying “we’re going to kill” the driver of the car. A minute later, that’s exactly what happened — Stockley shot and killed the driver, Anthony Lamar Smith. If ever there was proof of malicious intent, this would seem to have been it.

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch October 2, 2017.  Continue Reading

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Something Worth Protesting For

In a Facebook exchange I was asked what reform or change I thought an appropriate goal for the Stockley verdict protests.  Something that would be a real difference, and eventually lead to real change, is radical transparency into daily police/public interactions.

Most people are never involved in a violent situation with the police. Almost everyone comes in contact with the police through traffic and public safety enforcement, and it was these interactions that caused problems in Ferguson. Continue reading

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The Anthem Protests

My preference would be to not have the Anthem protests. As a resident of Ferguson, I can assure you that we do think about justice and injustice a LOT. The protests are in some ways arrogant, someone else deciding that I needed to think about injustice when they want me to think about it, even in the time I have set aside for my brain to unwind.  Continue reading

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A Hard Outcome for Our Community

Last Friday a judge in St. Louis ruled that Officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of 1st degree murder in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, a young African American. The pain of the decision will be felt for a long time to come. Continue reading

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Replace Employer Social Security with a Sales Tax

If the Trump Administration really wants to transform our tax code, and the conversation, it should propose ending the employer’s portion of Social Security and replacing the revenue with a national sales tax.  Doing so would:

  • Decrease the cost of employing the average American worker by almost $4,000 a year
  • Make domestic manufacturing more competitive
  • Reduce the pressure to shift from employees to contractors

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My belief in God

Sometimes people seem to expect that I don’t believe in God, as if atheism was the natural state for an analytical mind.  My analytical friends seem surprised that I have stepped outside the bounds of the provable to make a leap of faith.  Continue reading

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A New Day in Ferguson

It feels like a new day here in Ferguson.

We used to chuckle when we read that Ferguson was a typical American city.  The typical American City is mostly White; Ferguson is about 2/3rds African American.  It used to be all White, many years ago. But Ferguson, like the rest of the country, started changing. Ferguson became a destination suburb for successful middle class African Americans.  And the new African American residents fit right in – they were just as obsessive about their children and their yards and homes.

As Blacks moved in, White flight also happened. But many White residents stayed, because they loved the town and the people of all colors.  It’s not a popular term anymore, but they really did believe in the ideal of a color-blind society.  When protesters mentioned the “racist White Ferguson residents”, you wanted to tell them “No no, those people left years ago”.

Unfortunately Ferguson as a diverse, integrated community didn’t fit needs of the press or the Department of Justice.  Continue reading

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