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  • Showing only topics with the tag "terrorism". Back to normal view
    1. Are the police domestic terrorists?

      At my school we were discussing the War on Terror and how to define terrorism. Per dictionary.com, terrorism is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political...

      At my school we were discussing the War on Terror and how to define terrorism. Per dictionary.com, terrorism is "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." Which brings me to my question, which is, wouldn't this make the police force a terrorist organization? Police use violence and threats (via their authorization to use force), to intimidate would-be lawbreakers, and coerce actual lawbreakers, in order to maintain the status quo (which basically means keeping the current regime/administration in power, so certainly politically motivated). Some more questions I thought of:

      • Can terrorism be ethical/justified?
      • Are governments inherently terrorist organizations? Is the use and threat of violence a necessary evil?
      13 votes
    2. Is is possible to mourn someone you didn't even know?

      When I was in high school, I toured Boneyard Studios, a tiny house collective in the DC metro region. I met a man named Jay Austin, who built a tiny house by himself. He showed me his home, and I...

      When I was in high school, I toured Boneyard Studios, a tiny house collective in the DC metro region. I met a man named Jay Austin, who built a tiny house by himself. He showed me his home, and I thought it was damn near one of the coolest things. Jay, despite being a bit older than I, had some of the same sensibilities as I did, I think. He and his girlfriend Lauren started an awesome round the world cycling trip and documented it in their blog Simply Cycling. Reading his words, I really do see myself in Jay, although I only ever met him once and he likely didn't even remember me afterwards.

      One of the things Jay wrote was as follows:

      You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place. People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil.

      I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own … By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.

      This amazing perspective is something I wish I was able to write myself. Because I truly believe it. Jay Austin is a man who I would look forward to seeing where his life takes him. I wish I could buy him a coffee and discuss the adventures he has had. The adventures that inspire me to think about where I want my life to take me.

      Lauren, Jay, and several other cyclists were killed last Summer by several Tajikistani men who pledged allegiance to ISIS. I cried when I heard. And I didn't even know why. I felt as if Jay was a man not unlike myself. I find myself crying because, even though Jay comes from a totally different background than I, our shared values make me feel like we come from the same place. I feel like I lost someone closer to me than I really did. And even now, months later, I find myself, a grown adult man who really doesn't cry for any reason, crying again, as I write this post.

      I really wish I believed in an afterlife. I wish I could shake Jay Austin's hand and tell him he is one of my role models. But I never will be able to. And in all honesty, I don't even know if I should be allowed to mourn someone I have hardly met, let alone how to go about it. So I guess I wrote this post.

      I just wanted the world to know how much of a light, at least in my life, Jay Austin, a man I met only once, really was.

      30 votes