An odd thing about 9/11 is that it really brought Americans together. All you gotta do is look at a graph of George W. Bush’s net approval rating to see what happened:

George W. Bush’s approval rating spiked in September, 2001.

Somehow I don’t think that’s what the terrorists were hoping for. People immediately started making sacrifices. Air travel shut down for 2 days and we had to adjust to dramatically tighter security at the airport ever since. Young people eagerly volunteered to join the military and everyone pulled out flags normally used just one or two days a year. …


The other day I saw an article on the LA Times app and shared it on Twitter:

My snarky comment was mostly in response the “alarming increase” quote in the headline. I, uh, probably spend more time thinking of snarky things to write on Twitter than I should. (And yet, I don’t post half the things I think of!) Most of the time I don’t get any feedback at all, which I interpret as my followers indulging in my bad jokes and pointless punditry.

But this time something new happened. The LA Times added my post to a moment


My parents wedding photo with my grandparents.

Today my mom and dad celebrate their 50ᵗʰ wedding anniversary. Looking at the photo taken on their wedding day, I can’t imagine they could have guessed what would happen in their future. That, in fact, is the point of the traditional wedding vows: a lot of stuff is going to happen, but each party commits to sticking it out with each other.

One of the things that happened to them was my dad joined the Air Force. Military life has a profound effect on a family: it keeps them on the move. Many of my earliest memories are of leaving…


You’ve probably seen how the Buffalo Police Department behaved last week. If not, well, here’s the story:

Now race doesn’t seem to be a factor in this incident since the victim is white and the police are white. Of course race often is a factor when police choose to use force:

Black people in Minneapolis as a share of … Population 19%, Police officers 9%, Subjects of police use of force 58%.

It’s important to talk about systematic racism and this incident helps us focus on the systematic problems with modern policing without the extra complication of racism.

Brutality

Here’s a huge group of strong men with protective equipment walking down the street confronted by a 75-year-old man. Other than a…


Along with many residents of Burbank, I’ve watched in horror as police officers around the nation have used excessive deadly force in recent years. The needless death of fellow Americans is heartbreaking and doubly so since race is so often a factor. We grieve with families who have lost loved ones for actions as minor as mishearing instructions. We don’t want the next tragedy to be in Burbank, which is why I’m writing today.

My experience with the Burbank Police Department has been positive. Our crime rates are notably low and my family feels safe. That said, we are just…


And also onside kicks and two-point conversions

Air Force quarterback Connor Dietz runs for the end zone.

When I occasionally watch a football game (either professional or at an amateur level), I’m reminded why I can no longer watch this sport with the appreciation I once had. It’s not the inane catch/no catch rules or the uncountable replay reviews or the penalties that are inconsistently called. Yes the officiating is beyond arcane, but that’s not what’s so off-putting.

Nor is it the fact the sport relishes violence that results in shorter lives for it’s players. While it makes me ill to think of former players (including non-professionals) suffering from a variety of ailments, including permanent brain damage…


But let them not turn back to folly.—Psalm 85:9b

A rich man with many friends would host parties at his mansion. Every week people would show up and he’d have food and wine and live music. The man delighted in hosting and his friends stayed late into the night. Taxi drivers, knowing the drill, would line up at dawn to wisk merrymakers to wherever they lived. The host could hardly wait the week and began planning the very next day.

It came to pass the man met new friends. These were very serious people who had the best taste in…


Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey. That would be like a newly-sworn-in president riding down Pennsylvania Avenue in a rented Honda Civic.

Jesus may have been the originator of the table flip: (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻. Fun fact, that emoji looks like a field goal celebration to me.

It’s interesting Jesus spent so much time in his final week talking about the resurrection of the dead. I wonder if his followers thought that was strange.

I had a dinner with friends on Thursday for a friend who is moving out of town. As we ate, I thought of the Last…


Lately, I’ve been seeing my friends and colleagues delete their Facebook accounts. Their reasons usually have something to do with the way that company handles data and the negative influence the site has had on public discourse. And it certainly doesn’t help that Facebook seems unwilling or unable to create a trustworthy moderation team. Along with Twitter, it’s become a case study in how the needs of a company (drive engagement to make money) can be in conflict with the needs of the users.

But these are not the reasons I’m taking a break from those platforms. A few years…


Salmon don’t retire; they expire. In the fall during the annual run, I wander the network of natal Chinook streams observing the primordial fish spawn. While the female of the species builds her redd, males fight for her affections. When all the milt and all the eggs have been released, there is nothing for salmon to do but decay into the swimming dead and finally settle to the stream bed to provide nutrition for their yet-to-be-hatched offspring. Nowhere can the cycle of death and new life be seen so clearly.

Last year, I noticed something different. At the start of…

Jon Ericson

Freelance Community Manager, perpetrator of dad humor and marital weak link. https://jlericson.com/

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