At this point, the dust has mostly settled. A few thoughts:

1: Joe Biden is the President-Elect. Phew. At least that means less politicization of non-political branches of government and assaults on the validity of US democracy from the highest office. It means less race-baiting, racist dog whistles (or fog horns), and public validation of white nationalism. It means a break from Donald Trump’s transparently corrupt manipulation of our voting infrastructure for personal gain and appeals to foreign adversaries or pawns for election aid. It means our allies will be reassured and foreign dictators no longer lavished with praise by…

I was standing alone at the Korean War Veterans Memorial at the National Mall in mid-November. It was cold and after dark, so I wasn’t especially surprised that visitors were sparse as a I read the message inlaid on a wall of granite: “Freedom Is Not Free.” My Grandpa had served in the Korean War, so I made a special effort to see it. He was a funny, warm person, and it was hard to immediately imagine him in a war. He only ever told me about one experience from Korea— a particularly tense moment behind enemy lines.

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That story…

When I was in elementary school I learned that George Washington never told a lie. In the pinnacle of character-defining moments, I learned 6 year-old George admitted to his father that it was he who had chopped down the family’s cherry tree. “I cannot tell a lie,” he said, bravely. “I did cut it with my hatchet.” The fact that this oft repeated story is a myth, a lie, is ironic and significant.

I learned that Washington was six feet tall, which made him an imposing giant of a man in the late 1700s. I was taught that he was…

We’re more than an eternally fresh and low-risk punch line

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Salt Lake City Temple. Photo by Manish Prabhune via flickr/CC BY 2.0

When I was young, I felt a certain friendliness toward Baptists. The only problem was that I didn’t actually know any. As a young Mormon boy in the Salt Lake Valley I didn’t really know much of anyone who wasn’t, like me, Mormon. Or, to be more particular, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sure, I had friends who belonged to other faiths, or no faiths, but I didn’t realize that until I was a little older.

I remember learning about baptism in Sunday school. My young mind, grasping for common ground with the rest…

It has been bewildering to watch as adults, professionals and amateurs from the safety of computer screens alike, brutally attack teenagers who survived a school shooting. On February 14, 2018, 17 people, some as young as 14 years-old, were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. …

The average American spent 12 hours and one minute each day consuming some form of media in 2017 according to a report by eMarketer. Slightly more than half our days are now spent on smart phones, television, social media, and so on. The same report determined that the average American spent 3.17 hours on mobile devices and another 2.03 hours on desktop or laptop computers every day.

In early 2017, Nielson Company published a report that found that middle-aged Americans spend more time viewing social media than millennials, bucking the popular assumption that young people are uniquely addicted to digital…

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It is hard to know how to react in the age of President Donald Trump. But if social media is any indication, and its stranglehold on American life is not insignificant, the answer appears to be rage. Rage on all sides. Rage because of “alternative facts” and “fake news,” whether accurate or spurious. Rage over immigration, education, and public lands. Rage over insurance premiums and healthcare. Rage over the denigration of religious groups, refugees, allies, neighbors, and friends.

Maybe Trump said it best in an interview with ABC News’ David Muir, “The world is a mess. The world is as…

Craig Blake

Craig is an attorney and writer with roots in criminal defense and currently employed advocating for people with disabilities.

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