Hammer Time Thoughts

Technologist, Architect, Video Gamer, These are my musings.

Whitewashed America

2022-02-02 3 min read Politics Sterling Hammer

The latest Republican culture war, and disturbing new trend - is the banning and censoring of books. In this latest NBC News special report they uncovered some of the books parents have asked school libraries to remove.

Records requests to nearly 100 school districts in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin regions — a small sampling of the state’s 1,250 public school systems — revealed 75 formal requests by parents or community members to ban books from libraries during the first four months of this school year. In comparison, only one library book challenge was filed at those districts during the same time period a year earlier, records show. A handful of the districts reported more challenges this year than in the past two decades combined.

These parents feel empowered now to come out of the woodwork, fueled by white grievance stoked by Republicans and the former president. They wish to have their kids grow up in a whitewashed version of reality, devoid of thought or critical thinking.

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Lets Talk Voting Rights Act

2022-01-11 3 min read Politics Sterling Hammer

We are at a critical moment in our democracy, where our fundamental right to vote is at risk. With President Biden’s speech today, I wanted to put together a list of what is in the Freedom to Vote Act that is before the Senate. Every single Republican Senator is in opposition to this bill, as well as the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. They don’t even want to debate it, let alone vote on the bill itself.

And before I go too far, the Constitution more than allows for the Federal Government to create or alter election laws, despite Republican talking points:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

What does this bill do? Let’s go over the key points:

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Capitol Insurrection

2022-01-06 3 min read Politics Sterling Hammer

Today marks the one year anniversary an attack on the very seat of the United States Democracy. I sat here, in this very spot one year ago — and watched in horror on TV as a mob of angry supporters of Donald Trump, stormed the capitol, and called for the hanging of the Vice President of the United States because he chose the constitution and his oath over a single man. They erected a gallows out front ready for the task.

All while Donald Trump sat comfortably in the White House watching it unfold on TV doing nothing to stop it. As his supporters, fueled by his lie that the election was stolen beat law enforcement officers while carrying thin blue line flags. These people were not patriots. They wished to install Donald Trump as leader despite losing a free and fair election. I’ll also note that many Republicans won in 2020. Did they challenge their own elections?

For a very short time Republicans said enough is enough — we cannot proceed like this. There was a glimmer of hope that maybe, they’d realize their error in supporting a man like Trump.

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Democracy Requires Compromise*

2021-01-26 4 min read Politics Sterling Hammer

As we enter a new era in US politics there’s a tendency for an all out battle of us vs them. And rightfully so, the last four years have felt like four decades for many of us. In a democracy, compromise is needed to accomplish almost anything. But on the flip side, there are some things that there should be absolutely ZERO compromise on.

Until we as a country can get to the point when we agree on a set of shared values and most importantly truth compromise will not be possible. The last decade or so the Republican party has adopted a platform of division and obstruction. Their entire goal is to block anything Democrats do and as a result block any social or democratic progress forward. Their goal, is to further the hierarchy where the rich are at the top and the bottom should just deal with it and pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The Republican party isn’t really even conservative, they are reactionary - their entire platform doesn’t even consist of any real ideas or policies anymore. Everything they do is us vs them, giving immigrants citizenship? They’re taking “our” jobs! They don’t want opportunity to be equal.

In order to proceed forward in pursuit of the more perfect union our founders envisioned our citizenry must have equal rights and without this, we exclude our fellow citizens. This most certainly isn’t an all inclusive list but some of the ones I feel are most important.

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Casting a Vote for Exclusion

2020-11-08 5 min read Politics Sterling Hammer

I have been thinking quite a bit this past 24 hours about the last four years, and the end of the campaign for president. For many of us it has been a truly exhausting four years for many reasons, all of which have been covered ad nauseum around the world and here at home. As of this writing over 146 million people voted in this year’s election. Of particular concern to me and the reason I am writing this is the 71 million people who voted for Donald Trump. Like it or not, this is in fact a record — he now holds second place in terms of number of votes cast for a presidential candidate.

But… why?

I have been having a hard time wrapping my head around this and I am still grappling with it. And spoiler alert, I will not be answering it here — and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to answer it. I also keep seeing people say “Have some understanding, you know how they felt from 2016” regarding his loss. But… do they really?

Casting a vote for Donald Trump is casting a vote for exclusion. You may have liked one or two of his policies that benefit you but in the grand scheme of things you casted a vote for exclusion. There is more than enough evidence of this, and I will list just a few of them.

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