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Another Week, Another Mass Shooting

It just never ends. A Planned Parenthood was shot up last friday. Today, it’s a center for developmental disabilities in California. As of this writing: 14 dead, 14 injured. Soon, we will know the victims’ names, and forget them just as quickly. The name of the shooter (or possibly multiple shooters, in this case) will remain with us longer. Those responsible may be apprehended, or may die before being taken–either killed by police, or through self-inflicted wounds.

Stochastic Terrorism

I recently became aware of the concept of “stochastic terrorism,” described as follows: Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf. It came to light due to some reporting on the attack against a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado. In an incident of stochastic terrorism, the person who pulls the trigger gets the blame.

The Best Black Friday Deals

What’s this? A deceptive headline? I blame Vice. In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations. The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms.

Belligerence Toward Russia Won't Help Anything

Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet. Per the link above, the US is publicly defending Turkey. I can understand that, since they are a NATO ally. I have seen others (mostly online commentators, to be fair) applaud Turkey for giving Putin a bloody nose. Of course, this is childish and does nothing to ease the situation in the Middle East. On top of that, antagonizing Russia in general is a bad idea if there is any desire to curb ISIS’ growth and influence.

Donald Trump Fine with His Supporters Assaulting BLM Activists

Around the time Black Lives Matter protesters disrupted a Bernie Sanders appearance, commentary came from some circles as to why BLM wasn’t protesting at right-wing events, such as Donald Trump’s speeches. Never mind that liberal politicians don’t always serve the interests of black people in this country, at least they are ostensibly sympathetic to issues faced by black Americans, which makes them a good audience to address, unlike Republicans who are actively hostile.

Paris Response: American vs. European Media

After the shooting and bomb attacks that occurred in Paris last Friday, the American media landscape tackled themes that have been familiar since right after our 9⁄11 attacks. “Terrorists have struck! Where are they coming from? How do we stop them? Aren’t you terrified?” But the responses provided by European news outlets are of a different character entirely. TIME’s website published a brief piece laughably titled “Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Paris Attackers.

How the GOP Created Donald Trump

Donald Trump has, off and on, considered running for President since 1987. The last time he ran for real, in 2000, he ran as a Reform Party candidate and got 15,000 votes in the California primary. Back then, it would have been hard to imagine him being the Republican frontrunner, but the GOP of 2015 is nothing like the GOP of 2000–the same GOP that gave us George W. Bush.

The Necessity of Work

Why do I have a job? Why do you? Why does anyone? If you’re lucky, what you do for a living is something you enjoy, or at least don’t have any strong negative feelings about. Otherwise, you might feel indifferent about your source of income, or even hate it but feel stuck with it because it’s the only way you can survive. Maybe you need multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Mizzou and the Making of Heroes

Over the past few days, the University of Missouri (nicknamed “Mizzou”) made national headlines, first as its football team threatened not to play unless the university President stepped down, and then as, on Monday, both the President and Chancellor resigned. The seeming climax of the story is what made it national news. But how did all this happen? A thorough timeline and description of events can be found here, though it’s easy enough to find numerous other sources.

Things That Shape History... That Aren't White Men

This is a guest post by Emilia. Enjoy! James has visited one of America’s founding myths – the just war – already so why not take down another while we are at it? There is one that is rarely questioned because it gives us a convenient and simple narrative for… basically everything that has ever happened. There is one thing that (we think) explains who and what we are today: the actions of great men.