Failing to look approachable in Paris, 2015.

If you stumble upon this blog, I suppose you should ask yourself a question; "Why should I read anything that this fellow has to say?" There is, of course, a massive amount of information on the web. Some of it is enlightening. Most of it is nonsense. Not so humbly, I propose that my site will fall into the enlightening category. 

This is a blog about my own interests. There will therefore be a heavy focus on politics, history, society and certain forms of culture. This will also be a blog with an international focus, where my gaze will extend far beyond the borders of the United States. I admit that there will be a heavy focus on Europe and the Middle East, the two areas outside of the US that interest me the most and that I am most knowledgable about. However, I do not limit myself to any region. 

How do I analyze these issues? First of all, I do not issue assertions based on "my gut." I approach an issue looking at the facts and then draw my conclusions. This seems rather basic but I find that it is too often forgotten in current commentary. I might have an instinctual feeling or opinion on an issue before conducting the proper research. If my instincts are proven correct, than good for me. If I am proven wrong, then that is also fine. If the facts change over time, then my opinion has to change. Someone clinging on to a belief despite all evidence to the contrary is always a sad sight. An argument that is not supported by any facts can be dismissed accordingly.

This quest for the truth is what drives me. I suppose it is the first part of my ideology, belief system, mindset or whatever term you might prefer. The second part of my ideology is a belief free speech can never be restricted. You would be correct in calling my a free speech absolutist. I passionately believe that George Orwell was correct in arguing that "if liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." Speech must never be censored because someone might feel "uncomfortable" or "offended." Otherwise our society becomes lazy and people become too afraid to stand up for themselves. But I also am quite optimistic that the truth will always break through and overcome the nonsense in its way. Emil Zola said it best: "if you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way." 

Therefore, I sincerely hope that you will return to this blog and read what I have to say. My first posting will come soon, on the uses and abuses of the Holocaust in current politics. Until then, keep questioning and exploring.