Notes on ‘Downfall’

When traveling by plane, friends and family often demand phone calls and texts from loved ones when they are boarding and when they have landed. There is an observable seriousness and concern that is applied to air travel that is not seen for other modes of travel, even though traveling by car is statistically less safe than air travel. This universal concern, one could argue, is an unnecessary remnant of a bygone era where plane travel used to be considerably more precarious. However, a new Netflix documentary, Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, directed by Rory Kennedy, expertly shows that, in reality, the concerns that loved ones show when people are traveling are not unfounded. Rather, the documentary reveals that traveling on a Boeing plane is almost akin to being in the Squid Game.

Read the rest on Substack!

Good News and Bad News

Over the years, people have often asked me about my favorite news outlets. I generally respond by pointing out that I do not have any favorite news outlet. The most important principle to remember in order to avoid being force-fed propaganda is that it is impossible to find a news network that is free of bias. When you understand this, you will never consume the news without being vigilant. Vigilance when consuming the news simply means that one cannot have a favorite outlet. With that said, there are some news outlets that are better than others. For this reason, there are some news outlets that I gravitate to more than others, as they simply do a good job delivering factual information.

Before discussing useful news outlets, it is critical to note that American cable news has turned into a colossal waste of time. Across the popular channels, all that is covered is Donald Trump and Russia. There is little to no coverage of serious issues occurring in the United States or across the world. It is lamentable that the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, for example, receives very little coverage on cable news, but every Trump scandal does. The explanation for this is simple: cable news is all about ratings. When ratings are a network’s primary objective, covering serious news understandably gets put on the back burner. Unless it is a person’s job to be completely invested in every single scandal that occurs in the White House, one’s time is better spent consuming news that will actually keep one informed about other issues facing the country and the world.

As a teenager and an immigrant to the United States, I felt that consuming cable news was the best way to acclimate myself to American culture. I also felt it was important to read opinion writers. However, knowing what I know now, a lot of that time would have been better spent reading philosophy, history, and theology. The news is important, but it is just one element needed to be an informed person. To be an interesting person with a developed mind, one has to read actual books. Consuming the news, reading opinion pieces, and listening to podcasts will never be able to replace the intellectual benefit that one gains from reading serious books.

Continue reading Good News and Bad News

Model Minorities and Colorblind Cowardice

Yesterday, I did an interview on Connections with Evan Lawson on NPR. The discussion focused on my recent Intercollegiate Review interview; however, other topics were addressed. Other than forgetting Sebastian Gorka’s name and a moment of inarticulateness, it was a decent performance for an extemporaneous interview, especially since I do not do them often. For the past few years, I have turned down several interview requests because I have been extremely busy.

During the interview, I defended Dr. Ben Carson against the unfair criticism he received for pointing out that poverty is partly a mindset. (See my Twitter thread on the topic.) Had Carson said that poverty is solely a state of the mind, I would have joined anti-poverty activists in their vigorous denunciations of his comment. However, what Carson said is patently accurate. In order to escape poverty, there is a wealth-building mindset that one ought to have, especially in a free-market economy. Carson, a man who grew up poor and became one of the most prominent pediatric neurosurgeons in the world, should be listened to on the topic of poverty. This does not mean that everything he says on the topic is beyond critique, but the idea of dismissing his comments with a wave of hand and heinously distorting his point is wrong.

Continue reading Model Minorities and Colorblind Cowardice

The Best of @VOICEOFCHID on Curious Cat: Vol. 1.

Image result for curious cat

Someone recently suggested that I compile some of the best questions and answers from my Curious Cat account and create a website post. I think this is a good idea. This post is Volume 1 (December 2016—May 2017). I may create additional posts in the future. I write my Curious Cat responses pretty quickly from my smartphone, so the writing is less polished and structured than my essay writing. Where possible, I have fixed typos and predictive text errors. I have also edited some of the questions for clarity. There are many more answers that are worth reading on relationships, culture, music, and other interesting topics. You can read all of those on my actual Curious Cat page. Also, make sure you follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading The Best of @VOICEOFCHID on Curious Cat: Vol. 1.

The Black Case Against Voting



Quadrennially, blacks are subjected to the tedious and ethnically manipulative fib that voting is obligatory in order to respect black ancestors. The right reason for voting is to elect someone who one believes has the policies and the character worthy of holding higher office. Voting should not be done just to unthinkingly “fulfill a civic duty.” If, after careful deliberation, one finds that there are no candidates that represent one’s politics and morality, then abstaining from voting is a perfectly principled option. It is an utterly puerile conception of civic responsibility to maintain that voting in every election is necessary — especially for black Americans.