Controversy erupted earlier this week when Dr. Seuss Enterprises (Seuss), which holds the copyrights to the works of Theodore Geisel, announced that it had decided last year to cease publication of six of his books. Those books were And To Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street, McElligot’s Pool, If I Ran the Zoo, On Beyond Zebra, Scrambled Eggs Super, and The Cat’s Quizzer. Seuss made this decision on the grounds that the books in question contain negative and hurtful stereotypes, but no sooner had the announcement been made than politicians, pundits, and everyday readers chimed in to denounce…


Shortly after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, I created a Facebook group called Recovering From QAnon. Though I had never been a devotee of the QAnon conspiracy theory, I had been a volunteer organizer for Recovering from Religion, a support group for people who have left their churches, for several years (Recovering from Religion is not affiliated with Recovering from QAnon). I hoped that my experience in the one context would translate over to the other, allowing me to help people who might be trying to get themselves or loved ones away from what had become a dangerous cult, as the…


Is it acceptable to influence another person in order to change their thoughts or behavior? Is it acceptable to another person to change their thoughts or behavior? Is it always easy to tell the difference between influence and coercion?

If someone is engaged in civil dialogue with another, almost all of us would say they’re merely trying to influence the other’s thinking, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If, on the other hand, someone is harassing and threatening another, we would probably say that’s unacceptable. In fact the law already prohibits threats and harassment, and the Supreme Court has…


On Monday night you delivered a twenty-three minute long monologue in which you sought to reassure your viewers that they were not crazy for worrying about widespread fraud in the recent election. Your viewers were right to be concerned, you said, and you made a number of claims both about the election itself and the surrounding context that gave the impression that our system of voting is fundamentally unfair. In fact, you suggested that it is unfair by design, with the specific intent to harm certain voters.

“It’s the milk bottles at the fair. They knew you were coming. They…


In 1994 Utah became the first state to pass what has come to be known as “stand your ground” (SYG). Florida followed in 2005, and since then a total of 34 states have passed similar laws. SYG alters the traditional rule of self-defense, which for centuries has required the defendant to avoid a violent confrontation if at all possible. The only exception to the duty to retreat that the common law recognized was called the Castle Doctrine. Based on the idea that “a man’s home is his castle,” the Castle Doctrine allows one to use force in self-defense without trying…


Anyone following politics in the United States knows that Donald Trump — and most Republicans — loathe “sanctuary cities,” places where local governments have directed law enforcement to limit their cooperation with federal agents enforcing immigration laws. When California passed a law making it a “sanctuary state” and barring state and local officials from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Trump called the law “dangerous” and “unconstitutional,” and most conservatives appear to agree with him.

But why? I know some liberals will simply dismiss Trump and his party as racists, and while racism may indeed have something to do…


If you followed much of the impeachment debate on the House floor yesterday, you will have heard many members invoke the judgment of history. On both sides of the aisle, our elected representatives appear to believe history will vindicate them. Who is right?

The parties don’t really dispute the facts surrounding Donald Trump’s impeachment. Rather, they differ in their interpretation of those facts. And since interpretation is a matter of filtering events through a particular worldview, the question of who will be vindicated by history can be restated as a question about who has a more reliable worldview, a worldview…


Listening to the testimony of David Holmes, Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman, Gordon Sundland, and other members of our diplomatic corps, it has become abundantly clear that Donald Trump attempted to solicit a personal, political favor from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — an investigation into his potential political opponent Joe Biden and Biden’s son — in exchange for the performance of an official function, in this case a meeting in the Oval Office between the two leaders and the lifting of a freeze on much needed military assistance. Listening to the Republicans and their counsel question these witnesses, their strategy for…


Like many children of the Eighties, I consumed plenty of pop culture takes on time travel. But one thing that always frustrated me was the storytellers’ apparent indifference to the question how time travel was possible at all. Examples ranged from Terminator’s complete silence to Back to the Future’s “flux capacitor,” an admission that something physics-y was happening, even if no one knew what it was. Perhaps the 2004 film Primer came closest to tackling the underlying mechanics, but its relative obscurity and reputation for difficulty testify to the fact that, when it comes to time travel, audiences have always…


Whenever a theist and an atheist get together to debate the existence of God, you can be pretty certain of hearing a catalog of “traditional” arguments for and against; the argument from design, the argument from evil, and so on. Most of these arguments I am not interested in rehashing here. If people are still debating them after centuries if not millennia, that is not because they are conclusive but because they are comforting. In Neal Stephenson’s novel Anathem the skeptical narrator responds to a believer by saying “That’s funny because if anyone actually did prove the existence of God…

Dustin Arand

Author of Truth Evolves

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store