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Shaolin student, Zen practitioner, Agile enthusiast, an atheist who’s nostalgic for his Christian days, losing sleep over the state of democracy

So tell the Alt-Right to stop stating their feelings as facts.

Facts don’t care about Ayn Rand’s feelings
Adapted by the author. Question Mark by Anemone123 from Pixabay. Photo portrait of Ayn Rand used for the first-edition back cover of The Fountainhead (1943), public domain.

In an interview with PBS, Donald Trump’s former Justice Department spokesperson Ian Prior said the following about critical race theory:

“We’re not about not teaching history. We’re about teaching history in an objective way that is not represented as America is systematically racist.” — PBS NewsHour. (2021, June 24).

I can’t help but notice Mr. Prior included the word “objective” in his declaration that America is not a systematically racist country. …


Is Good Friday mass with Jesus awkward?

Adapted by the author. Sources by Thomas B. from Pixabay and Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Even though I’m an atheist, I often prescribe to the mantra, WWJD — what would Jesus do. The Nazarene, at least the version of Him taught to me by my Catholic school teachers, remains one of the most inspiring figures in my life.

He’s just like Keanu Reeves, but He speaks truth to the rich and the powerful, and He doesn’t take crap from any fig tree.

Anyways, while continuing the meditations on the Bible that I’ve written about in my last piece, my mind drifted beyond WWJD and into the realm of WWJT — what would Jesus think? …


Politics

Sun Tzu would’ve been ashamed.

Adapted by the author. Source photos by Andre Klimke on Unsplash and Christel SAGNIEZ from Pixabay

20 years. $2 trillion spent. 2300 allied military deaths. 241,000 Afghans and Pakistanis dead.

So how did America’s campaign against the Taliban end in such a disaster? A few sayings from Sun Tzu’s Art of War can glean some insight.

America Had No Endgame

“Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all!” — Sun Tzu

To this day, no one has been able to…


Politics

How a dose of eastern philosophy can reduce the tribalism in western politics.

Adapted by the author. Source images by Library of Congress on Unsplash and Panachai Pichatsiriporn from Pixabay

I started writing on this platform out of fear.

For nearly a decade, I worried that we’re living through the death of the Pax Americana. The eight years of the Obama presidency reminded me of the Roman Republic’s slow demise. The Trump years made me think of Caesar’s uprising — Trump had crossed the American Rubicon more times than I care to count.

So I’ve spent much of my time disseminating information about Trump’s rise to power. Why do Evangelicals support him? Why is the Republican Party so quick to renounce its principles?


Why did Moses write about his own death but Jesus wouldn’t write about His resurrection?

Adapted by the author. Original images by Sammy Williams on Unsplash and Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

I haven’t always been a smart-ass.

I’ve become that way when I care about something too deeply and think about it too often. My relationship with God has failed for more or less the same reasons as my past romantic relationships — I’ve spent too much time in my head instead of living in the moment.

Still, I think I have benefited from all my time pondering about my faith. I’ve become a better critical thinker; I’m less likely to believe something just because my peer group believes it.

That said, I’ve also collected a bunch of thoughts that are…


“Scaredy-cat” and other sayings that are microaggressions

Photo by 傅甬 华 on Unsplash

Dear human,

Given that you habitually babble at me with the same intonations you reserve for your two-year-old larva, I must inform you that I’m perfectly capable of processing your English tongue.

I choose to limit my oral expressions to meows, purrs, and hisses because I hold myself to a higher standard. Unlike you, I refuse to verbally express myself with a language that routinely debases my fellow felines.

I am not a specist. I believe all members of the animal kingdom should be treated with dignity and respect. (Except for mice. Those little bastards are food. …


Why do the rich value grandiosity over helping people?

Adapted by the author. Images by Shutterbug75 and SpaceX-Imagery from Pixabay.

I hardly need to tell anyone the inspiration for this article. The rocket Jeff Bezos boarded on his trip to space is a comedic goldmine. Now we can replace Sigmund Freud’s entire body of work with a single photograph. Jeff must’ve been proud he lasted up there for 11 minutes. Was Mackenzie relieved when it was all over?

Yes, to us working schmoes, Mr. Bezos’ phallic rocketship was poetic. In the midst of a global pandemic, Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos chose to spend their fortunes penetrating the Ozone Layer (just the tip) when that money could’ve been spent…


How political tribalism is leading America down the paths of Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

The last time the Republicans won the popular vote was in 2004.

I have a confession to make. Despite my political leanings, I would’ve voted for George W. Bush that year if I were an American.

The reason lies in the feature image of this article. America was at war, and, by extension, so was the free world. Despite Bush’s numerous (lest we forget numerous) deficiencies, I trusted my fate with the guy leading the counter-assault against the terrorists. We can debate fiscal policies later. Right now, I want to feel safe, and I want Osama bin Laden’s head.

Fast…


Politics

It’s in the Republican Brain.

Republicans reject COVID vaccines
Adapted by the author. Sources by MasterTux and Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Compare the following two maps:

  • Here is a map depicting the percentage of Americans who’ve received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of May of 2021:


Journey to the center of the earth and don’t come back

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Dear Mr. Rich White Man,

As you are well aware, Sir Richard Branson has completed his 90-minute trek into space.

Do you know what that means? Yeah, he beat you to it. He’s the first. The best you can hope for now is second place. And we all know second place doesn’t cut it. No one gives a damn about second. Isn’t that what you always tell your minions?

That’s ok, Mr. Rich White Man. There are still some lucrative expeditions for you on the horizon. You can’t be the first to outer space, but you can still be the…

Andrew Cheng

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