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

AUGUST 6, 2010 6:23AM

The Party That Cried “Deficits!”

If some smart-aleck shepherd kid screams that his flock is being attacked by a wolf and the townspeople rush to his aid only to find no wolf in sight, they’re much less likely to come running the next day should he try to dupe them again.

But if a political party… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 4, 2010 6:06AM

There Is No Immigration Crisis

If you’re one of those consumers of conservative news who is convinced that the problem of illegal immigration is spinning wildly out of control, that crime rates in border states are soaring, that ranches on American soil are being taken over by violent drug cartels, and that this problem must… Read full post »

“But you don’t understand,” they say. “This is a conservative country. You liberals want all these reforms but you ignore the fact that most Americans disagree with you.”

As one of those liberals who is constantly haranguing Obama for not delivering on the progressive ch… Read full post »

I’ve had some trouble figuring out how to approach this story. With over 90,000 previously classified documents from the war in Afghanistan having been posted on WikiLeaks, an online state-independent organization dedicated to fighting power through truth, most of the media coverage thus far ha… Read full post »

JULY 25, 2010 7:18AM

Why Elizabeth Warren is Important

I’m on fire today, as you’ll know if you read the post below. I’m temporarily without internet access so until I take this computer to somewhere with a WiFi signal I can’t waste any time doing research and finding relevant links and videos—which is the most time-consumin… Read full post »

JULY 25, 2010 7:08AM

The Fox News Administration

I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember voting for Glenn Beck for president. I don’t think many Obama supporters, upon casting their vote in 2008, were hoping that once president he would bend over backwards to do everything he possibly could to appease Fox News. I could be wro… Read full post »

The argument for American troops remaining in Afghanistan is essentially that Afghanistan needs our help. Without a strong U.S. military presence there, the Taliban will retake control, impose brutal Sharia law on all the citizens, and life for the Afghan people will be much worse than if we stay.

If… Read full post »

The other night I was watching an episode of a TV show (Breaking Bad—outstanding show) and there was a scene in which the president of a small company had a birthday party and one of his employees sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” in the voice of Marilyn Monroe. I thought about… Read full post »

JULY 18, 2010 6:11AM

Politico's Conventional "Wisdom"

Among the many pundits and news organizations that peddle vague and shallow observations as ‘conventional wisdom’, Politico is near the top of the heap. This week they published a piece called “Why Obama loses by winning” which is the epitome of the kind of garbage that Washin… Read full post »

There was a bit of an uproar this week over a parody letter written by Mark Williams, a right-wing talk show-host and Tea Party Express organizer. It’s a mock-letter from the head of the NAACP to Abraham Lincoln, and it was so offensive that Williams has since removed it from his… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 8, 2010 10:49AM

Germany In Defeat

I had no intention of writing about watching Germany’s last World Cup match against Spain last night—there was really nothing worth writing about—but the aftermath today in terms of the city’s mood is somewhat interesting.

I went to the Lindener Marktplatz to watch the game at… Read full post »

Of all the wrong decisions voters will make in this November’s elections, California’s decision not to pass Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana will probably make me angriest.

How do I know it won’t pass? First, because I really really want it to. As soon as one state makes it lega… Read full post »

JULY 2, 2010 7:02AM


Use this argument on anyone who still insists on “staying the course” in Afghanistan:

Hypothetical situation: It’s the year 2101 and the United States government has long since crumbled under the weight of its own corruption. Most authority is local, with most cities and towns contr… Read full post »

JULY 2, 2010 6:59AM

Obama: Not a Sell-Out but a Fool?

Ever since becoming politically aware I haven’t been able to firmly decide if the government is made up of people who are knowingly and deliberately trying to screw us or if it’s actually just a bunch of clueless idiots who don’t know what they’re doing. To put it simply, is t… Read full post »

JUNE 27, 2010 9:15AM

Internet Freedom in Dire Peril

The latest developments in the battle over net neutrality do not look good at all. Tim Karr wrote a piece this week for the Huffington Post drawing attention to the fact that the FCC is now holding closed-door meetings with industry to make a deal.

The meetings include a small group

Read full post »
JUNE 26, 2010 8:35AM

Tea Party Targets Lizard Brains

A piece in Playboy this past week called Rogues of K Street got some attention. It’s written by an anonymous Tea Party consultant who provides some behind-the-scenes glimpses of Tea Party strategizing. It’s a bit of an odd read because while the author is clearly very proud of his work (y… Read full post »

What is it about Afghanistan that destroys every empire that tries to hold it? The Soviets, the British…all the way back to the time of Alexander the Great—empires have been destroyed by attempting to invade and occupy this desert.

The only reason the United States is in Afghanistan is b… Read full post »

JUNE 25, 2010 5:30AM

Confirmation Bias

I’m still on the fence about Twitter, but one of the decidedly positive things about it is the exposure to certain articles I would never have read had I not clicked on a link in somebody’s tweet. Yesterday I came across this article which I think is a must-read for anyone… Read full post »

JUNE 22, 2010 10:45AM

Afghanistan in the Headlines

Well, not Afghanistan per se, but at least something to do with Afghanistan:

(CNN) — Gen. Stanley McChrystal, America’s top military commander in Afghanistan, has been recalled to Washington amid his controversial remarks about colleagues in a Rolling Stone article, officials said.

Appare… Read full post »

JUNE 19, 2010 8:18AM

Barack and Tony: The Musical

No tickets necessary—admission is free!  Just turn on your TV or fire up that high-speed modem and get your front-row seats to the most entertaining political show in years!


The setting is the Gulf of Mexico.  The year: 2010.  The curtain opens on the Deepwater Horizon oil/… Read full post »

JUNE 16, 2010 7:41AM

Destroy the Revolving Door

I write a lot about America’s problems in my blog, but this time I’ll actually offer a solution.  It’s not an original idea—I’m sure we’ve all thought of it at one time or another—but it’s such a simple and obvious measure we can take to get govern/… Read full post »

JUNE 12, 2010 7:06AM

Tweeting Ourselves to Death

If I could make a list of five books that would be required reading for everyone on earth, Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death is the first book I would put on that list.  Postman explains how the medium of television has by its very nature caused rational discourse to be/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 11, 2010 7:22AM

You shouldn't have voted for Blanche Lincoln

It’s time to kick-off another weekend of political blogging.  I want to start by getting this Blanche Lincoln business out of the way, as while it’s a relatively small story in itself I think it speaks to the larger issue of the divide among democrats so to who the real enemy/… Read full post »

JUNE 6, 2010 7:20AM

Invisible Racism

A recent change in my schedule giving me Fridays off has led to what I think will be a good blogging routine of Friday and Saturday devoted to specific news-of-the-week topics and Sunday to a more broad, universal issue.  As such I’ll close out this blogging weekend with a look at… Read full post »

JUNE 5, 2010 5:55AM

How about a "Told you so"?

There is a lot to get discouraged about when it comes to the oil spill, but America’s pathetic response is probably the most discouraging thing of all.  Peter Daou wrote an excellent piece last week on the Huffington Post about how the oil spill is the biggest opportunity we’ve had i/… Read full post »