Togane, Japan
December 31
I'm teaching English in foreign countries as a way to see the world. I lived in Germany for three years and have been in Japan since August of 2011.


Kemstone's Links

NOVEMBER 3, 2010 10:31AM

2010 Election: American Masochism

Well, America, you’ve managed to inflict massive pain upon yourself yet again.  After 2006 and 2008 I thought that we might actually be getting on the right track, but clearly this is still the same country that gave George W. Bush two terms as president.  I still think the majority k… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 26, 2010 6:14AM

Aisha and Humanity

I wish I’d never heard her name.  From the moment I read about her story two years ago, all I’ve wanted to do is forget it.  I initially hated the blogger from whom I first heard about it, wishing he’d made the point he wanted to make without using such a… Read full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2010 5:03AM

Most Important Mid-Terms: Reformulation

I usually don’t do this, but I want to revisit the point I made in yesterday’s post by laying it out as clearly and succinctly as I can.  I think some of my message got lost in the verbosity, and I want this to be an argument that people can use on their… Read full post »

I never thought I’d say this about a mid-term election, but I think this might be the most important one we’ve ever had.

It could just as easily not have been—it could have been just another boring mid-term where a few seats change hands and no real clear message is… Read full post »

One of the main reasons the system in Washington is so broken is that candidates from both parties are bought by major financial interests, so even when democrats push for reform they don’t push too hard because they don’t want to lose that campaign funding.  Giant corporations usual… Read full post »

OCTOBER 16, 2010 7:02AM

Fix Wall Street with a Single New Rule

Despite the proclamations from Obama and the democrats that they passed “the most sweeping financial reform since the Great Depression”, very little has actually changed in the way Wall Street does business.  The incentive structure that rewards employees for creating financial bubbl… Read full post »

OCTOBER 9, 2010 8:57AM

If I Hate You, You Must Hate Me

We all project our feelings and motivations on other people—it’s the most natural thing in the world. Ascribing to others the same kinds of thoughts and emotions we experience ourselves is not only unavoidable, but psychologically necessary. You couldn’t go through life if you assumRead full post »

OCTOBER 7, 2010 9:10AM

Terrorism, Torture, and the Tea Party

This morning I received an e-mail from the Tea Party Nation (I get several e-mails a day from them, actually, but this one caught my eye) with a link to a short column about the trial of Guantanamo detainee Ahmed Ghailani, written by someone named Judson Phillips.

For years, the Bush admin

Read full post »
OCTOBER 6, 2010 6:26AM

Busting the Tax-Cuts Myth

A blog post about tax policy? Snooze.

I know—I’ve been sitting on this one for a long time because this kind of stuff always bores me to death unless I hear it from someone who can actually make it entertaining. I’ll do my best to make this an informative and enjoyable rea/Read full post »

OCTOBER 2, 2010 7:07AM

Tom Coburn Won't Let Us Help Haitians

Prepare to experience a fierce bout of righteous indignation. Keith Olbermann brought this to my attention on Thursday’s show, and I knew I had to pass it along to anyone who might not have heard about it.

Remember the earthquake in Haiti last year that killed hundreds of thousands ofRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 8:01AM

How Liberals Can Send the Right Message this Election

It seems that we’re stuck in a lose-lose situation. For most of us, voting for our Democratic Party representative in the upcoming mid-term elections will send the wrong message to Washington—that we approve of the pathetic, wishy-washy, cowardly way in which the Democrats of the 111th CoRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 10:54AM

Want to Get Published? Read This!!!

Whenever I dare to call myself a writer, there is always one question that inevitably follows: “What have you published?”

And there’s only one answer: “Nothing yet.” Which I may then follow up with a “but I do have my own blog, and a decent following on Open Salon.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 31, 2010 9:12AM

On Missing My Generation’s War

“Turn on the TV!” James shouted as he entered my college dorm room. “The war is starting!”

Are you serious? I’d just turned the damned thing off about a half hour earlier, getting sick of waiting for the fireworks that for all I knew wouldn’t be coming at all. I&rs… Read full post »

Have you ever criticized someone for being a certain way, only to reflect on it later and realize that you’re often guilty of the same thing?

I’ve recently engaged in some political introspection that I think might be worth sharing. I’ve found that what bothers me most about Barack… Read full post »

I lost my faith a long time ago, but I’ll bet that most of the people making loud noises about the Park 51 Community Center (a.k.a. the “Ground Zero Mosque”) consider themselves good Christians.

Every day, or at least once a week, these people say the following to their God:

Read full post »
AUGUST 26, 2010 9:38AM

Know Your Enemy: The Koch Brothers

I often rail against the “power-elite”—wealthy individuals and corporations who use their massive amounts of power to influence politics, usually to the effect of funneling money from the lower and middle-classes to the wealthiest of the wealthy. I usually think of them as some kind… Read full post »

AUGUST 22, 2010 6:28AM

Fox News Reports, Fox News Decides

You’ve probably heard the news already:

WASHINGTON — With Republicans hoping to recapture a number of statehouses in November, the media conglomerate headed by Rupert Murdoch is inserting itself into the races in bold fashion with a $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Associat

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AUGUST 21, 2010 6:32AM

The Case for Scrapping the Senate

My political blog entries generally fall into three broad categories. I mostly argue against other opinions and points of view with varying degrees of snark, but I also like to highlight what I see as the most important underlying problems facing America and the rest of the world today. Finally, I… Read full post »

As Stephen Colbert often says, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias” which of course means that when you look objectively at facts and evidence it often leads to conclusions accepted by most secular-progressives, e.g. citizens in countries with government-run health care have longer ave… Read full post »

AUGUST 16, 2010 8:57AM

Can Obama Be Reached?

I can’t tell you how many columns and blog entries I’ve read about the problems of the Obama administration and why we’re not getting the Change he said he would deliver, but the one I read on the Huffington Post yesterday by Steven G. Brant really stood out as one of… Read full post »

The opposition to building a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero was bad enough, but now we’ve got a right-wing fearmonger calling for a ban on the construction of all mosques in the United States:

Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of

Read full post »
AUGUST 11, 2010 6:39AM

The Blanche Lincoln Message

Back in June, when conservative democrat Blanche Lincoln defeated her more progressive rival Bill Halter in the Arkansas primary, I wrote a piece explaining why Arkansas democrats who voted for Lincoln had made a mistake.

They knew that Blanche Lincoln had helped kill the public option and that she w… Read full post »

AUGUST 10, 2010 9:38AM


There’s only one thing worth writing about today, and that’s the impending deal between Google and Verizon that would lead to the end of the internet as we know it.

I can’t repeat this often enough: The biggest threat currently facing humanity is the consolidation of power by multi-… Read full post »

I have to confess that I’m not a very good activist. Oh, I’ll sign any petition you send my way and I’ll always include a personalized message. I’ve even been known to donate money from time to time, as I donated this past week to Firedoglake’s campaign to end marijuanaRead full post »

In my “There Is No Immigration Crisis” article from last Wednesday, I wrote the following:

Republican politicians still think it’s the mid-1980s and that getting people all riled up about illegal immigrants is a great way to win elections. If stories that support their portrait of M

Read full post »