All posts by Branden Kummer

Wandering Mind 2

Government, taxes, tribalism and the circle of absurdity

Tribalism is a fun thing to watch, but I can’t imagine it’s a fun thing to be a part of. With the pro-abortion people ranting about constitutional rights, there are better than 2 to 1 odds that those same people are pro-gun control, and will engage in mental gymnastics to justify the dissonance. But I’m seeing a particularly fun strain of thought surface that goes a bit like this:

Democrats: Banning abortion is unconstitutional, besides, banning abortions won’t work. Also Democrats: We need to ban guns to protect innocent lives.

Meanwhile, we have the other side of the coin, but switch where you see abortion and guns. Republicans say banning guns won’t work but banning abortions Continue reading Wandering Mind 2

1K: The Bubble

Last time, I had mentioned a fear about what’s coming because of the lack of depth in the national discourse. I’d like to explore the reckoning that is facing one of the main culprits in that shallowness a bit more, before leaving with a distant hope.

The primarily culprit of this shallowness is a public school system that once taught about Western Civilization, Greek and Latin, and now proudly offers algebra, an overview at history shallow enough to learn nothing from it and an exhaustive overview of the life cycle of a tree. Indeed, it seems the generation was almost set up for failure. We spent 60-70% of our formative years in a system that taught everything that didn’t matter, and were not encouraged to go pursue other opinions and ideas because they were old, boring, irrelevant or inferior. Every child comes out of 14 years of school knowing that they are all special, nobody’s perfect, Pythagoras had way too much time on his hands and the mitochondria is the power station of a cell. How will we do taxes, raise a family, consider the impact of voting for the leaders of the largest, richest, most powerful nation in the history of the planet based on policy and not charisma? Don’t worry about that because everything is going to be just fine in the end and people are basically good. Continue reading 1K: The Bubble

Climate Change

At a community group with my church, and a small group with the CCO, there were conversations about relativism and the resurgent tribalism in America. Members of both who participated in the conversation were dreading the impending 2020 season, which starts before even Christmas decorations are up in stores.

The reason for this dread is simple: the vitriolic, destructive 2016 season which saw people break off years-long friendships because of who they voted for and in some cases, they stopped talking to family members as well. Oddly, exit polls demonstrate that neither candidate was actually well-liked. As Ben Shapiro elaborates in the introduction to his book The Right Side of History. “The exit polls show that on the day of the 2016 election, just 43 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Hillary Clinton; 38 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Donald Trump. Only 36 percent of voters thought Hillary was honest and trustworthy; 33 percent of voters thought Trump was. 53 percent of Americans said they would feel concerned or scared if Clinton won; 57 percent of Americans felt that way if Trump won.” Continue reading Climate Change

1K: Fundraising

It is, from one perspective exciting and another lamentable that the one universal truth we’re taking into the 2020 election is that truth and morality are relative, but “those other people” are indefensible bastards. 

It is easy to blame the political climate on Penny Arcade’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, but at some point, it is incumbent on the people who are embracing it to cease being fuckwads.  For those who don’t know, the G.I.F.T. “is a postulate which asserts that normal, well-adjusted people may display psychopathic or antisocial behaviors when given both anonymity and a captive audience on the Internet.” 

Continue reading 1K: Fundraising

Unplanned

In the last few months of my time in the Atheist camp, I caught wind of a Christian movie called “God’s Not Dead” that posited the idea of a Christian student going head to head with an Atheist professor. Not knowing the reputation of Christian movies, which is even a sore spot in Christian circles, I was uncharacteristically optimistic that while I could probably see some intense mic-drop moment coming, at least Atheism would be given something of a fair shake. What I saw instead was one of the most cynical, bitter and intellectually insulting things I’ve seen before or since. While the Atheist professor was reminiscent of the smug, interrupting, sarcastic windbags of the New Atheist movement, the “mic-drop” was a question about how one can be angry at God if he doesn’t exist. While it revealed more of what Dinesh D’Souza calls “wounded theism” in his book God Forsaken, the answer more immediately would be “Because I need to be angry at something and don’t care if its real” or something that could be explored further, but that was just the end of the road.

The movie was, frankly, terrible. Standout moments include when an atheist blogger is diagnosed with apparently terminal cancer days after her workaholic boyfriend dumps her for apparently no reason. Elsewhere, a Muslim woman gets the shit kicked out of her and is subsequently kicked out of the house by an abusive Muslim father for listening to Franklin Graham sermons (and no, I’m not going “out of my way” to point out that she’s Muslim, that’s lit-er-al-lee her character. Just “the Muslim girl”) and the Atheist professor is hit by a car on the way to a Newsboys concert and accepts Jesus before dying on the street. Continue reading Unplanned

Wandering Mind 1

Incorrect comparisons

Have you ever noticed how, in recent years, enjoying the work of someone known or accused of being a criminal has become synonymous with endorsing what the criminal was accused/convicted of? People going on long social media diatribes about how they don’t listen to Louis CK or Kevin Spacey or, most recently, Michael Jackson since yet another documentary came out saying he was a child molester. In a twist that could only happen since the tide is coming in on the MeToo movement, the documentary itself has garnered some controversy as many have felt compelled to question those making oddly-timed, unproveable, and/or poorly evidenced claims of sexual assault. Is this good? Perhaps not in the long run, as American culture tends to either overdo everything or not do anything at all, and it will soon be impossible to prosecute hate crimes and sexual assault because of the sheer number of high-profile cases that are proven false or disappear after the desired result has been achieved. For now, let us enjoy a bit of balance with the questioning of the claims made in Leaving Neverland and the claims themselves. Continue reading Wandering Mind 1