Red Couch, Blue Couch

Politics, baby.

10 Commandments of Facebook Arguments

Fifteen Commandments

This is a follow up to my piece, “Pretty Hate Machine: News, Facebook, and the Culture of Mass Hysteria.” I called for readers (and myself) to hold themselves to higher standards when commenting on political affairs online. Here, I’m listing…

Pretty Hate Machine: News, Facebook, and the Culture of Mass Hysteria

Political-Polarization

For two weeks, the noise droned on in the background. I tried to tune it out. I tried to escape. But it was always there. The words didn’t matter. The flashy graphics didn’t matter. The tone told you everything you…

Open Letter to Liberals: Wake Up!

I'm with her (because we must stop him).

Dear Liberals, I’ve seen a lot of posts out there in social media by well-meaning liberals who proclaim that they will not be bullied into voting for Hillary Clinton. Here is my rebuttal. We have to face facts: Hillary Clinton…

Fewer Prayers, More Action

Source: vox.com

When it comes to terrorism, liberals are often accused of “seeing the world as you want it to be, not as it is.” It’s now time for liberals to accuse conservatives of the same when it comes to guns. So…

On Free Education

uef

There’s a reason I ended up in Eastern Finland, and it’s not for the weather or abundance of mid-winter sunlight. No, it’s to study. While the program–Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy and Law–was appealing, the price tag was even more…

Climate Change and Becoming a One Issue Voter

IMG_0420 (2)

This is a picture of the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in Iceland. At 1.5 kilometers (~1 mile) long, and 200 meters deep it is Iceland’s largest lake, made up predominantly of glacial melt water. It didn’t exist 80 years ago.  Some travel…

It’s Time To Rethink American Elections

elections-ahead-sign-600x400

The U.S. 2016 presidential election might still be a year away, but it has basically been happening since the day after the 2012 race. For some, running for office has become a viable career choice, not merely a means to…

80 Couches: 200 and Counting…

To the next adventure: Finland!

This is my 200th published post on 80couches.com! When I started this blog five years ago prior to my move to Korea, I had no idea where my random brain-droppings would take me, or where I would take myself. Since…

The Norden

Nordic Flags. Source: Wikipedia

Recently, through my various wanderings about YouTube, I came across a most excellent Finnish TV program, The Norden. The show explores various aspects of Nordic societies (prisons, police, religion, gender, work, and family values) through the eyes of a foreigner. The episode…

Liberty and Justice for All?

Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, the former Stasi secret prison.

Author’s Note: When I first started writing this piece, I wanted to talk about my experience of touring the Stasi Secret Prison (Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen), and how as Americans, we must be vigilant against committing similar human rights violations (such as…

Destroyed by Belief

guns of august

In reading the classic social science book, “The Guns of August,” I can’t help but think how relevant this book still is to today’s society. The book–often considered the definitive World War I narrative–spends the first third just discussing the…

In Support of Religious Moderates

Oatmeal extremism

On Wednesday, twelve French citizens lost their lives at the hands Muslim extremists. It was clearly an act of terror, intended to stop future satire or criticism of Muslims or the Islamic faith. These are the facts, but as a society,…