Tag Archive: Politics


On Tuesday, November 8, millions of American will go to the polling stations to vote. Others have already voted. But all of them will vote in secret, either through a mailed-in ballot or else at a polling booth behind a curtain. But this is a relatively modern way of voting. Before the late 19th century, Americans, and pretty much everybody who lived in a country with a republican-style government, voted publicly, their vote known to those around them. What changed between then and today? You can thank the Australians.

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Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Romans 13:1-2

Sorry, I am late in publishing this post. I planned this but then forgot to write it. But anyway, here it is:

Paul had a right to vote. As a Roman citizen, he could have voted in assemblies. During his lifetime, mostly before he would have been a Christian, he would have seen this right to vote gradually usurped by the increasing centralized power of the Roman Empire. This empire, which operated on brutal slavery, conquest, and punishment, was clearly evil. Yet, after Paul’s conversion, did he call on Christians to politically oppose this evil? Not in Scripture. He may have protested politically, we don’t know. But, in his writings, he only called for Christians to submit to the authorities, as they only operate with the permission of God.

So, here is the question. Whether Hillary or Trump wins (or, against the odds, McMullin), will you, even if you despise them, submit to and respect them as someone appointed by God?

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Tempers always seem fly during an election year, but this year even more-so than normal.  A large number of Americans are horrified at the vehement and hateful rhetoric coming from Donald Trump, and others horrified at the prospect of a Hillary Clinton becoming president, due to her past and stance on issues. But one of the two is going to win and become president of the United States, and so, no matter which candidate does win, a lot of people will have their fears realized. Many will probably be Christians. So, as a Christian, how do you live in a country with a President that you find appalling?
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Check out a blog post I wrote for one of my classes:

http://blogs.umass.edu/satalay/2014/03/18/anthropology-that-anyone-can-edit-wikipedia-and-public-anthropology/

What is a Feminist?

So one of the courses I’m taking this semester is Public/Engaged Anthropology, which is exploring how to involve communities at all levels of anthropology, from helping design research questions to producing the final publications to distributing the information. Thursday this past week I heard a guest lecture from Whitney Battle-Baptiste, a black feminist archaeologist (meaning she’s a black feminist archaeologist, and she does black feminist focused archaeology). She explained that for years she resisted the label feminist, because most of the African-American community views feminism as anti-family, anti-men, and fairly self-centered. And she eventually came to the realization that it’s not. Sure, there are feminists who might fall under those labels, but most do not. Battle-Baptiste stressed that “feminism” really is “feminisms” – it’s the idea of listening to multiple voices and allowing multiple viewpoints to be expressed. Her admission of this struggle helped me, because this is something I’ve struggled with. Since working at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum last summer, I’ve struggled with whether I should call myself a feminist. As a man coming from a white, conservative, Christian perspective, “feminism” came to me with a lot of negative connotations, just like it did for Battle-Baptiste. But I certainly support equal political and social rights for women. I support equal political and social rights for everyone, actually. And I love studying issues of gender, class, and social interactions. Therefore, I’m proud to say: I’m a feminist.

I made this declaration a few days ago on Facebook, with the hashtag #letthefiringsquadcommence. A lot of interesting conversations sprang up, and I think (as I expected) I sparked some controversy from some of my other conservative-minded friends. So my question is: What does feminism mean to you?

America has an Obesity Epidemic

Fat cats

Fat rats

Groβe

Big banks

Sleazy

Wall Street

Groβe

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I posted this on Facebook two years ago, shortly after the still hotly debated Arizona Immigration Bill. I can say that most of the criticisms presented are either misrepresentations or downright lies. But don’t take my word for it, read it for your self, and make your own conclusions:

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Oh, the marvelous wonder of Man,

See the plane fly over Japan

how inexorable his glorious Ways.

the object dropping from its bays,

The Image of the Being Supreme

a product of the American Dream.

thrusts him forward to Perfection.

Grandiose claims of Natural Selection

Wisdom! Wisdom! What grand Pursuit

cannot hide the inner brute,

is the mighty quest for Knowledge

that no one wishes to acknowledge.

that leaves Man from Ignorance emancipated.

Shattered frames will lay emaciated,

No thing shall stay his sure Progress,

and in the flash fluoresce

with infinite Potential, and his Mind so keen,

in a hue of such a ghastly sheen,

all the World surely is within his grasp.

as clouds mushroom from the blast.

©Kenneth Mick III October 2011

[Note: This was published in the 2012 issue of the BCC Zine.]

Children root through the burning piles of plastic and wire, smoke searing their lungs as they scrounge for any little piece of valuable metal amidst the melted plastic and poisonous fumes. The scene just described occurs daily in third world and developing countries, and even in more industrialized nations such as China. Cargoes of old, outdated, or just plain unwanted technological devices arrive from wealthy Western countries like the United States and are deposited at often illegal sites where they are pulled apart by hand or burned in open pits, the impoverished workers collecting any re-usable material that can be sold and put back into the system where it will cycle through and again arrive at some foreign port where it will again be sifted through by hand. Clearly, discarded technology is a serious world problem, but it can be solved through simple, relatively easy steps that every citizen can take.

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