Monday, June 30, 2014

Help Me Find New Topics and/or Disagree With Me, Please

I want you, the reader of this blog, to suggest topics for me.  I want you to comment when you disagree or think that there is a facet of an issue that I have not considered.  You might change my mind, and you might be right about my failure to consider something.

I started this blog because I want to do what I can to change the partisan way that issues are discussed.  I think that in order to do that people need to openly disagree, and then try to find ways to accommodate their disagreement.  Really, honestly, agree to disagree when possible.

This idea was originally inspired by Obama when he came into office.  He stated that he wanted to try to find middle ground on issues.  Unfortunately there are a lot of issues that do not have a real middle ground.  Pretty much all wedge issues, as far as I can tell, are built around the lack of a middle ground.

But sometimes that lack of a middle ground is artificial.  Sometimes people can be brought around to tolerating a differing opinion if the terms of the argument are changed.  And sometimes my mind gets changed by someone else's argument.

"If you can't change your mind, are you sure you still have one."

It's a bit of bumper sticker wisdom that I actually like.

But some wedge issues just don't have a middle ground or obvious compromise.  Like abortion.  I absolutely support reproductive rights.  I think it is totally unethical for people to have their reproductive choices made for them.  But I also understand the worldview that sees abortion as murder.

To me, being able to recognize the validity of two totally opposing arguments makes for an interesting and difficult problem.

I received my first topic request today from Meagan Lockard.  She wants me to blog about the Hobby Lobby Ruling.  I think this is a great topic to try to tackle because it is centered on one of these points of conflict and incompatibility.  It's a court decision on reproductive rights and religious rights.  And it's a topic where I really don't feel like I have all the answers.

So I'm going to work on it.  And if you have a topic you would like me to work on please leave a comment.

I can't guarantee that I will come up with anything worth reading, but I will try.


  1. As a reader of your blog, I disagree with having to help supply topics for me to comment on. ;)

    I look forward to your commentary on the Hobby Lobby Ruling. While I am willing to acknowledge that someone who individually takes on the full liability of a business by having a sole proprietorship (or a partnership) and linking all potential profit and loss directly to themselves should be able to use their religious beliefs in what they do, I do not think that any sort of corporation should be able to hold such rights.

    1. Oh don't worry, I can come up with topics, but if you want to add...

      As it turns out, my take on the Hobby Lobby Ruling coincides with yours.

  2. What should the US (or hell, the entire western world) do in Iraq?

    1. Litch, I'll try to come up with a serious response, but I really don't have any realistic ideas. I will give you the exasperated idea I told a friend in a discussion about this:

      I don't see this ending well. Can we give half of Syria and Iraq to the Turks and Half to Israel? Just to distract people for a while

  3. I have some ideas, but I don't know if you will like them. How about:
    1. How to really educate yourself about the world of politics :)
    2. Should we be fracking?
    3. Is Social Security the new welfare?
    4. The war on drugs - is it working?
    5. Vaccines! LOL
    6. Why the US will go to "war" with Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, but it won't do anything about the atrocities happening all over the African continent
    7. Dirty politicians (like there's a clean kind!)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Decent choice of topics. Each of these topics have merits for some discussion and I look forward to seeing Jon's outlook. I can't help but give brief replies to each of the topics myself.

      1. Read! From lots of sources. A couple good primers are "The Prince" by Machiavelli and "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu.
      2. In the Battle Star Galactica way, yes. For resource extraction, no.
      3. No, Social Security is/was directly paid into by those who will be/are receiving it services and it's funds are technically not supposed to be touched by the government except to disperse those funds to those who are eligible to collect it (Long term investment). Welfare is funded through general taxation of everyone to help provide assistance for those in need (Redistribution of a portion of yearly taxes).
      4. No, but that wasn't really the point of it anyways.
      5. They work, get them.
      6. Money.
      7. If we quit linking being elected to private funding, ideally we may see the philosopher kings elevate society as a whole and an end to the dirty politician.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I want to see your posts on Archaeology. How about this debate? Archaeopteryx: Bird or Dinosaur?

    Or just anything archaeology related. I like science.

    1. well that would actually be paleontology, but my knee jerk reaction is that birds are dinosaurs ;) But I will definitely try to write something about archaeology this week.

  6. What are your thoughts on Kendall Jones? Ive read a lot of what she has to say and what others have to say about her but Im having a hard time forming an opinion.

    1. That is a good topic. I'll write a post tomorrow. I'll have to do some reading myself.