Category: Liberty

Those Ridiculous Clerics!

The nerve of these people! We are outraged. We are livid. This kind of barbarity cannot be permitted in civilized society. Mahmoud Shaaban is an “ultraconservative” Islamic cleric in Egypt. “Hard-line,” “orthodox” – whatever. In the name of his great religion, he and his fellow cleric Wagdi Ghoneim have issued fatwas (edicts) calling for the...

A Modest Proposal For Solving Our Gun Violence Problem

Guns are not the problem. People are not the problem. Young people are the problem. They don’t listen. They play awful video game simulations of mass murder. They shoot six-year-olds. And no amount of background checks or ammo-clip restrictions will change that. There’s only one way to solve the gun situation, one way to bring...

America and Human Rights Abuse

Allow us to describe a country for you: Prisoners detained without charges. Prisons operating outside the legal system. Limits on free speech. Limits on the Internet. Legitimately entitled voters prevented from casting ballots. Government sanctioned kidnappings. Witch hunts against political enemies. Torture. China, right? Or is it Russia? Actually, this description, reported in the Los...

Legitimate Rape, Legitimate Abortion

The phrase “legitimate rape” is now a part of the American lexicon thanks to William Todd Akin, a U.S. Representative from Missouri. Todd, as he prefers to be called, has served in Congress since 2001, and this year he won the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat in a crowded field of similarly qualified...

Looking Back on 2012: An Oral History of American Values

I was young like you once. Don’t laugh. It seems impossible, I know. An old codger like me of 77! You probably can’t picture when I was only 47 and healthy, with all my own teeth and a libido that didn’t yet require boner pills. Sure, that was three decades ago, and I look a...

Speak the Truth?

Apologies in advance if this gets all Orwellian right quickly. We try hard not to sound like a nut-job or Coast-to-Coast Radio conspiracy fetishist — is that redundant? — especially when examining the lengths some folks will go to control the lives of others, but this stuff is real, man. Old George – or, Mr....

Free to Be Disconnected

If you’re reading this essay on MichaelKonik.com, you know that this is a reliable place to find “me,” the me who shares his ideas with the world, whether or not any part of the world is interested. This is where I unilaterally invade my privacy, allowing strangers to read my mind, exposing my beliefs and...

Suspension of Disbelievers

North Korea is launching rockets, Syria is slaughtering its citizens, and the Filipino community is organizing a massive get-out-the-vote campaign for a crucial election (not for something boring and unimportant like a public office but a cause that’s got folks passionately engaged: the American Idol finals). So the astonishingly weird five-game suspension of Miami Marlins...

Cages

After reading Adam Gopnik’s masterful examination of the American prison system in a recent issue of the New Yorker, in which he examines our fetishistic compulsion to warehouse millions of errant citizens in prisons, it’s easy to conclude that our conception of “cruel and unusual punishment” needs reconsideration. Gopnik burrows through the rotten veneer of...

Our Endless War(s)

COMING SOON…THE 2014 MK.com SUMMER POETRY FESTIVAL, JUNE 21-30! First there was “shock and awe.” Then the counterinsurgency, or “surge.” Now it’s “targeted assassinations.” Evocative labels all, making state sanctioned murder easy to accept, if not easy to understand. But does anyone remember why we commit these acts of violence and commit unfathomable amounts of...