Togane, Japan
December 31
I'm teaching English in foreign countries as a way to see the world. I lived in Germany for three years and have been in Japan since August of 2011.


Kemstone's Links

FEBRUARY 14, 2013 1:15AM

Destroying America with Drones

This will probably be the last piece I post on Open Salon, so I want to make it count by writing about something I consider far more important than most Americans realize: our disastrous drone policy.  Most Americans support this policy because--I believe--they don't fully understand what's goin… Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2012 11:49PM

Dear NRA Members,

87% of you agree that support for 2nd Amendment rights goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.

79% of you say that gun-shop employees should undergo criminal background checks.

75% of you believe in denying concealed carry permits to applicants who have committed violent… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 3, 2012 2:22AM

So you’re voting for Romney? (Part 3)


This is the third and final part of my series on why there’s no good reason whatsoever to vote for Mitt Romney, even as a protest of Obama.  The first part dealt with Romney’s laughable economic plans, and the second part touched on his shifting stances regarding/… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 2, 2012 3:32AM

So you’re voting for Romney? (Part 2)


This is the second in a three-part series of blog entries directed at swing-voters and rational conservatives who intend to vote for Mitt Romney as a protest vote against Barack Obama.  I’m arguing that as bad as you might think Obama is, Romney is far worse in/… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 1, 2012 4:08AM

So you’re voting for Romney? (Part 1)


If you thought I’d given up on political blogging, you’re mostly right.  I no longer think it’s worth the effort—everything I want to say is already being said by a million other voices and I just don’t have the patience to do the kind of online net/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 5, 2012 7:03PM

On the Brink of War with Iran


While the day-to-day sideshow of the presidential primary and other sensational stories keep us distracted, the most important thing happening in the world today is scarcely getting any attention at all.  The U.S. headlines remain dominated by stories of clownish candidates and theRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 10, 2012 9:02PM

The Fictional Obama

Listening to these Republican candidates talk about Obama, I often wish we actually had the kind of president they’re attacking.  The paint him as some kind of progressive lion, zealously going after the super-rich on behalf of the working class, steadfastly holding to an ideology of civil… Read full post »

JANUARY 4, 2012 9:56PM

The 2012 Election is Over


The Iowa caucuses were last night, and after months and months of exciting horse-race politics in which nearly every single Republican candidate surged to front-runner status and then fell back again, the winner was the guy everybody originally thought would win.

Mitt Romney came in fiRead full post »

DECEMBER 20, 2011 9:32PM

Destroying America to Defend It


I’ve had no desire to write about politics in recent months, but the National Defense Authorization Act that passed both houses of congress last week with overwhelming bipartisan support is something so egregious and abominable that I feel obligated to express my outrageRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 6, 2011 1:04AM

The Occupiers Can Win

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” --Gandhi


It feels like a lifetime since I’ve posted a political blog entry, but I just can’t resist adding my voice to the chants going out from Wall Street and all acrossRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 1, 2011 12:56PM

Plutocrats Win. Flawless Victory.

When I was a kid I used to play a video game called Mortal Kombat which involved two players engaged in a violent fighting match.  Every time you hit your opponent it would drain them of hit-points, and the first player to run out of hit-points would lose the match.  If… Read full post »

JULY 31, 2011 11:47AM

Down With the Debt Deal


I’ve been holding off on ranting about these debt negotiations for weeks, mostly because I’ve already blasted President Obama for his political incompetence and/or malfeasance so many times that there’s nothing new to say.  But as the clock ticks down to the arbit/… Read full post »

JULY 27, 2011 2:02PM

My Gay Wedding Experience


You never know when life will suddenly land you right in the middle of a semi-historic event, but when it does it helps to be equipped with a camera and your own blog.

I haven’t had much time to write lately as I just recently returned from Germany after… Read full post »

On the surface, the problems affecting America appear so varied and complex that it seems absurd to suggest there’s one quick fix. But when you get down to the core it’s actually very simple, and can be explained in very few words and in such a way that almost all people… Read full post »

Right up until this past week, I’d been looking at Michele Bachmann’s candidacy for president as nothing more than an entertaining joke.  The woman who famously suggested that the media look into members of Congress to determine if they’re pro- or anti-American, who says that c… Read full post »

I know.  This whole “the media ignores important substantive issues and focuses only on trivial nonsense”-theme is old and tired, but sometimes the contrast between what ought to be getting attention and what’s getting all the attention is so overwhelmingly stark that it begs t… Read full post »

JUNE 1, 2011 9:21AM

A World-Destroying Precedent?

When you turn on the news and all you see is trivia about which Republican politician is ahead in the race to be the person who loses to Barack Obama in the next presidential election, it’s easy to get the impression that nothing really important is going on in the world… Read full post »

As someone who believes that the democratic process in America is pretty much dead and buried, election results that go against the establishment always surprise me.  Even with all the talk leading up to the special election in New York’s 26th district about how the seat might go to a Demo… Read full post »

MAY 20, 2011 7:46AM

Bring on the Rapture!

According to televangelist and radio-host Harold Camping, the rapture will take place tomorrow, the 21st of May 2011 at 6 p.m. Eastern time.  I may be a stubbornly skeptical secular humanist, but I really hope he’s right.


If all of the fundamentalist Christians are suddenly whisk… Read full post »

I know I’m rather late posting this, but I went to Rome a couple of weeks ago and my head remained there long after my body returned.  Even now I’m still not in much of a political mood but this story is too big not to comment on.

obama_935572734Read full post »

APRIL 18, 2011 12:56PM

Obama’s Re-Election Campaign Begins

Snapshot 2011-03-05 04-32-47

Like most progressives, I liked what President Obama had to say in his budget speech last Wednesday.  For the last two years I’ve been criticizing him for never standing up and making his case to the American people, so when he finally does that I have to give him some/… Read full post »

APRIL 6, 2011 1:06PM

Small-Government Progressivism

Let me offer an idea.  The next time you’re arguing with a conservative (if you never argue with conservatives, you should try it sometime) call yourself a “small-government progressive” or “small-government liberal” and see how they react.

If you call yourself a l… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 29, 2011 6:01AM

The Murky Moral Questions of Libya

I’ve remained silent on the Libya issue until now for a number of reasons, the first and foremost being that it’s taken me a long time to settle on a position.  Even now my opinion is highly nuanced and subject to change as the situation develops and more information comes to… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 20, 2011 8:43AM

Skeptic at the German Anti-Nuke Protest


For the past two and a half years I’ve made my money by working for a private language school that stays in business mostly through one major client, E.ON, one of Germany’s largest energy companies. E.ON has power plants of every kind from coal and oil to wind and solar,Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 10, 2011 9:20AM

Boiling the Middle Class


We’ve all heard the anecdote about cooking frogs.  If you toss a live frog into a pot of boiling water, the shock of the heat will be so great that the frog will immediately leap out to save itself.  But if you place the frog in a pot of lukewarm/… Read full post »