Entries in writing (4)



Another week. Another senseless loss of teenagers and teachers ⏤ this time 17 at a high school in Parkland, FL. Another community upended. Another set of families forced to pick a casket, to find a church to hold a remembrance service, and to choose a spot in the ground to lay their child, friend, teacher, or coach to rest.

3 weeks ago, it was two 15-years olds, killed in a Kentucky school, and an additional 12 students struck by flying bullets.

3 months ago, it was 26 people, killed at a church service in southern Texas, and an additional 27 injured.

5 months ago, it was 59 people killed at a country music concert in Las Vegas, and an additional 527 injured.

Our news cycles move so quickly, and the frequency of these shootings seem to be accelerating, such that it is hard to keep each tragedy straight. And yet, after each of these horrifying events, we’re told not to talk policy. ‘Out of respect for the victims’ and ‘there must be a time for mourning’ are just a few of the canned phrases we’ve heard. We’ll “be talking about gun laws as time goes by”, the President says. “There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country…”, his Press Secretary says.

It’s striking though, that for tragedies of much less magnitude and frequency, we don’t seem to have much of a problem talking about and debating policy only moments after the breaking news banner scrolls across the screen.

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My Favorites From 2013

Below is a list of my favorite books, articles, and tweets from 2013. Not all of them were actually written in 2013, but I read them in 2013 and since this is my site, I get to make that kind of illogical decision. Enjoy!


A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide

Winner of a 2003 Pulitzer Prize, Samantha Power’s A Problem From Hell weaves through several cases of genocide in the 20th century and contends that America’s response to such mass killing was shockingly indifferent. Well-researched, insightful and painfully poignant, I found her arguments to be overwhelmingly convincing. Power was recently appointed as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, which was what prompted me to read the book, and this is a great way to introduce yourself to her and the point-of-view she brings to that position.

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Getting Started With Credit Card Reward Points

Credit cards. They’re usually associated with bad spending habits that lead to unnecessary debt saddled with exorbitant interest rates − and this is certainly a warranted reputation. But for my wife and I, credit cards have actually proved to be a reliable source of disposable income. Since 2011, we’ve received $2,600 in cash and services simply by making purchases with our credit cards and then taking advantage of their respective reward point programs. We haven’t paid a single penny in interest or hidden charges and we don’t pay annual fees. Below, I’d like to share our experience and give a road map for how you can start making use of the best reward programs out there.

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It Keeps Happening

The unthinkable has happened. Again. Thus far, 2012 has left 27 dead in Connecticut, 7 dead in Wisconsin, 12 dead in Colorado, 7 dead in California, 6 dead in Washington, and 7 dead in Minnesota - and these are only the mass shootings.[1] One has to wonder when we’ll stop categorizing such events as ‘unthinkable’, because right now, they are anything but. Of the 12 deadliest shootings in U.S. history, 6 have happened since 2007. These events are, tragically, more than just thinkable, they are regular and we need to do something about it. Now is not the time for platitudes and rhetoric, it is the time for meaningful action. Yes, I’m suggesting legislation that restricts the ownership of guns, but first I want to make a few things clear.

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