This Is Us

Fear won, and I can no longer afford to hold onto my anti-gun ideals

Handgun on wooden table with 7 bullets.
Handgun on wooden table with 7 bullets.
Photo: Brett Hondow/Pixabay

“There is no such thing as paranoia. Your worst fears can come true at any moment.” — Hunter S. Thompson

There’s nothing fancy about it, but it’ll kill if I ask it to, which I suppose is the defining characteristic of a gun. …

The ultra-rich keep fooling us with the same trick.

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Photo by WikiCommons

Last year I, along with roughly 104,000 other people all seemingly simultaneously discovered a new Twitter account that asked a very simple question: Has Jeff Bezos Decided to End World Hunger Today?

The premise of the account centers around 2 connected concepts: 1. according to the IFPRI (Internation Food Policy Research Institute), it would cost $11 Billion to end world hunger per year and 2. Jeff Bezos is currently worth $184 Billion (give or take a couple million on any given day based on how Amazon stock is doing).

In short: Jeff Bezos could end world hunger for the next 15 years and still be worth roughly $14 Billion, or if you prefer, still be the 76th richest person alive.

Fight information overload with stories.

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Image by Comfreak from Pixabay

The world today is a relentless, never-ending, all-consuming onslaught of news and opinion. Tiny red bubbles alert us to all of the information awaiting us as soon as we’re done consuming whatever kafkaesque malaise-inducing collection of paragraphs our eyes are currently glued to; each more dire and serious than the last. Each laden with heavy and severe implications commanding cerebral thought and consideration, and leaving in their wake our shell-shocked psyche’s clutching for coping mechanisms.

Frankly, it’s a bit much.

The insidious nature of this new constant-information dynamic we’ve created is that most of the time, these things truly are important. We’re right to want to be informed, and our participation in the ongoing discourse around issues of severe consequence is a vital part of a functioning and growing society. …

Let’s spend that money better

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(Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay)

Among the litany of terrible, awful choices made during Donald Trump’s tenure as President of the United States, Space Force is undoubtedly one of the most ridiculous. An entire military branch dedicated to the protection and armament of a place we can barely get to, to the tune of nearly $16 billion a year, is an outlandishly expensive bit of vanity and bravado exceeded in its absurdity only by its redundancy.

The United States already has an extremely competent (and well-funded) Air Force, which for years has already housed the Air Force Space Command, a department being reassigned to the absolutely unnecessary Space Force. …

Stories from a frontline Senior Obama ‘08 State Staffer

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(Image by Eric Stokley from Pixabay)

When the phone rang in early May 2008, I was 26 years old and had never been to Georgia. I was about eight years deep into a middling political career where I’d worked every conceivable job from lackey to Web Developer on both local and statewide races. I had a lot of experience, no college degree, and quite frankly, was looking for a job.

I was not expecting what happened when I answered the phone. Coming off a losing effort in the 2006 Michigan Attorney General’s race, I wasn’t surprised to see the former Campaign Manager’s (and close friend) number on the caller ID, but when he informed me he’d been tapped to be State Director of Georgia for the Obama campaign, and he wanted me to be his State IT Director, I nearly dropped my phone. …

A developer's perspective.

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Image by Benjamin Hartwich from Pixabay

I don’t think I’m making too many assumptions when I say that we all, as Medium writers, would like to better understand how our pieces are read and how they earn. To that end, we have the Medium “Stats” dashboard; a simple, clean, often misleading, and woefully underpowered source of analytics data.

As a piece of design work, I’d call it a success. It fits the Medium aesthetic and seems to echo Ev’s general vision of minimalism. The problem, however, is that analytics shouldn’t be minimal. They should be accessible, easy to understand at a glance, but as dense as you’re willing to explore. …

Do you really need to upgrade?

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Image by Jean van der Meulen from Pixabay

It’s 4 years old, the screen is scratched and the battery life is dismal, but my little iPhone 7 is still pretty amazing. In the interests of full transparency, my “choice” to still use an iPhone 7 isn’t really a choice at all; I’ve actually upgraded twice, which makes the fact I still find it so good particularly surprising.

I first upgraded to an iPhone XS two years ago. It was an amazing (and amazingly expensive) phone which I promptly lost two months after purchasing in a snowbank during a blizzard when my car slid off the road. …

The dangers of hard-line idealism in a time of fascism

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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

This is a difficult piece for me to write. I’ve got a lifetime of campaign experience, at every level from small city commission races all the way up to being state-level senior staff on Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign in 2008. …

Where does the anger go?

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(“Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Like so many Americans, I’ve spent the last four years in an ever-increasing state of disbelief about the occupant of our highest office. A man who once mocked a reporter's disability, bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy,” and lies like it’s the only way he can draw breath has continued to redefine the social contract we all at least previously pretended to live by.

With just over a week to the election and polls showing an overwhelming likelihood of a Biden victory, the question of what happens after Trump leaves office is more pertinent than ever. Assuming he loses (and I acknowledge, this by no means a foregone conclusion), this will not be as simple as wiping a slate clean. …

And I’m not even 40…

Two old men playing chess at a park
Two old men playing chess at a park
Photo by Vlad Sargu on Unsplash.

Let’s be clear: I’m not old. At 38, I feel as young and capable as I ever have in my life — physically, mentally, or otherwise. Despite the fact that my kids call me old a dozen times before lunch each day, I still very much feel like the 23-year-old developer I once was. I still absolutely get excited about new tech and the growth of the web as a whole, but in my field, I am now viewed as an old man.

I’m lucky that I have a good job as a senior developer for a company that values me, and I know our code base inside and out. I’m able to quickly add features, diagnose problems, and respond to new requests with fast responses. Our code base, however, is based in the dated world of PHP/MySQL/JavaScript. …


Ryan Nehring

I’m a Developer, Activist, Husband & Father. Romani descendant. Find me on Twitter @Ryan_Nehring or email at Top writer in Politics.

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