Dear President Obama, Please Visit Baton Rouge

Dear President Obama,

I applaud your decision to speak at the July memorial service for the five officers tragically slain in Dallas. Your thoughtful words offered comfort to a city left reeling from a terrible tragedy. Those words also made me recall the rousing eulogy you gave at the Emmanuel A.M.E Church following another tragic mass shooting last year in Charleston. The way you described the concept of grace that day was thoughtful, insightful, and inspiring. To me, that was one of the finest moments of your Presidency, and a proud moment for our country.

Accordingly, I respect you a great deal as a man of character and conviction, even though I have not always agreed with your decisions. I campaigned and voted for you twice, and I am proud to have defended you countless times against myriad slights, often baseless and ignorant. To me, you seem like someone who sincerely appreciates the value of human life, and empathizes with the suffering of fellow human beings.

Therefore, it is with the utmost respect that I implore you to visit the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana before your presidency ends. To me, it seems like a community still very much in need of healing. All video evidence of Alton Sterling’s shooting seems to indicate that his killing by local police amounted to summary execution. Witnesses have been intimidated and harassed. An entire community appears to be under siege by a militarized police force, armed with combat vehicles and assault weapons.

To some, your decision to pass over the grieving communities of Baton Rouge, and Falcon Heights, Minnesota where Philando Castile was also tragically killed by local police, may seem to imply that our government values blue lives more than black lives.

Clearly, that is not what you believe in your heart. I am merely suggesting how the situation may seem to our fellow Americans living in marginalized communities across the country who feel under siege by an aggressive, militarized police force that often seems to kill with impunity. You have the opportunity to do for those communities  what you did when you stood before that congregation in Charleston last year, and joined them in song.

To me, taking a stand for the inherent rights and dignity of all human beings by offering some quantum of solace to communities who suffered tragic losses at the hands of law enforcement will have a tremendously positive impact on your legacy. Doing so would also constitute a step forward for our country, as we come together to move forward as one nation and one people.



The Moral & Spiritual Case for Dr. Jill Stein

After enduring two major party conventions and weeks of campaigning, the choice seems clear: do we want a President who will persecute undocumented immigrants and people of color here at home, or a President who will drop bombs on civilians in the Middle East, and escalate tensions with a nuclear armed Russia abroad? In other words, do we want a disastrous domestic policy that destroys lives, or a disastrous foreign policy that destroys lives? This false choice presents quite a quandary for those of us seeking a candidate who represents our moral and spiritual values.

Armchair Firebrand draws a stark distinction between deeply held religious beliefs and deeply held spiritual beliefs. The former often implies an almost cult-like devotion to a dogmatic set of rules, while the latter generally applies to much broader principles regarding the nature of existence, the human condition, and the universal brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity. Additionally, religion is often associated with an opposition to science, while spirituality generally embraces science, and explores its boundaries.

Armchair Firebrand values human life as precious above all else. Therefore, Armchair Firebrand makes no distinction between American lives, Palestinian lives, or Russian lives. To this publication, killing civilians abroad in the name of an endless “war on terror” that serves only the interests of the military-industrial complex, is worse than promoting an insanely restrictive immigration policy, which would seem to have very little chance of being implemented for a host of constitutionalsocioeconomic, and political reasons.

That’s no kind of choice. Armchair Firebrand fundamentally rejects a system that attempts to box the American People into such an absurd choice. Thus, Armchair Firebrand proudly endorses Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein as the only candidate who represents this publication’s moral, political and spiritual values.

For instance, Dr. Stein is the only candidate in the Presidential race who stands for an aggressive response to climate change by getting us off fossil fuel by 2030. Dr. Stein also advocates strongly for a Green New Deal jobs program providing 20 million good jobs to replace and repair our crumbling infrastructure. Moreover, Dr. Stein believes in universal healthcare as a right, not a privilege, and in making public colleges and universities tuition free. These bold stances reflect the moral and spiritual values for which Armchair Firebrand stands.

Armchair Firebrand strongly believes that voting for a candidate who represents one’s values and interests is the very essence of democracy. Dr. Stein represents Armchair Firebrand’s values and interests. Therefore, she has earned this publication’s strong endorsement.