There is No Such Thing as a Bleeding Heart Liberal

Love of the poor. Care for the infirm. An infinite metric of the empathy of one human to another. And yet, not.   The term “bleeding heart liberal” gets thrown around from time to time, as often as not from the “bleeding hearts” themselves, but it represents nothing of the position of the American left. The belief in government assistance programs, and their targeting of the “underprivileged” in America seems to imply an excess of empathy. That excess of empathy is derided by the right and worn as a badge of honor by the left. The reality, however, is that…

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The Slave Morality of Socialism

Socialism is that idea that if you steal and murder enough, equality will emerge. It is an utter sacrifice of the means to the end. On the surface, this seems like consequentialism at its worst, but even a cursory glance of history reveals that this is not the case. This is because 100 years of socialism have yielded tangible consequences, and they are horrific. Not only are the process costs immense, some 100 million dead due to socialism and communism in the last century as a conservative estimate, but the ends of equality and social justice that would justify the…

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Everyday Skeptic: Our Mission Orders Have Been Flawed

Convincing our fellows using reason and evidence is a bridge too far.   A few recent encounters out on the wide world of the internet, as well as social media, have enlightened me to a great failing in my personal perspective and my assumptions when dealing with others. That failing, that misjudgment, is in believing that other people value reason, demand evidence of claims, and have a desire to discover the truth. That failing was revealed through hateful and emotional reactions that people had to simple claims that went counter to their own stated position. The immediate reaction to reasonable…

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Judgment!

Judgment. It’s a pretty naughty word these days. Everywhere I look, I see a message that I should “stop judging people.” Usually the act of judging is made synonymous with puritanical motivations, fundamentalist religion, or bigotry. Here are just a few articles on the matter, all of which point the finger back at the judger for his or her own failings: http://www.positivelypresent.com/2009/05/stop-judging.html http://tinybuddha.com/blog/3-causes-for-judging-people-how-to-accept-yourself/ http://dalepartridge.com/please-stop-judging-people-heres/ We’re told not to judge people for a host of things they wear, do or proclaim: http://hellogiggles.com/lets-stop-judging-women-tattoos There are also acceptance movements, to help you get over judging particular books by their relative colors. Fat Acceptance…

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Violence: The Kind of Work You Don’t Want to Bring Home

Fighting, Porn, Abuse, and Assault in Las Vegas Note: this article is opinion, reflection, and analysis, not authoritative accounts of factual events. Source material should be used for citation, not this article, except as it pertains to the opinions of the author. Rarely do I step outside of my usual fiction-philosophy mode of content for this site and do current event topics, but an interesting story popped up on my radar from my former home of Las Vegas. It seems that a professional MMA fighter promoted through Bellator MMA who calls himself “War Machine” (allegedly) severely beat his girlfriend, porn…

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Discrimination: Rights and Consequences

There has been a great deal of jabs thrown about a bill recently passed by the Arizona state legislature that is intended to protect freedom of religion or enshrine discrimination against gays, depending on your position. The bill, called “SB1062” (or AB 1062, the assembly version) in the typical fashion of laws, is short by most legislative statutes and attempts to expand the state’s definition of free exercise of religion to include economic activities, or more specifically, the denial thereof. Though no specific mention of LGBT categories of persons are made, both proponents and opponents of the law have made…

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Minimum Wage: Moral, Amoral, and Practical Arguments; Ad Hominem Non-Arguments.

The minimum wage as a political issue has long been a dangerous one to oppose. Recent trends have included phrases such as “living wage” in addition to a minimum, though the sentiments are much the same as they were when the minimum wage was first enacted back in 1933 (a law the Supreme Court later found unconstitutional). Proponents of wage controls generally make moral arguments, primarily that wages should reflect some correlation to the cost of living at some level of affluence, and that failing to pay such a wage was an immoral act. Opponents, however, tend to focus on…

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Future Crime: The Moral Difficulties of Indeterminate Consequentialism

http://youtu.be/wEkIJb12GVA Above is a video I made as a companion to this piece for those who prefer speaking and video to reading. The content covers the same rough areas but is spoken in different words. The essay begins below.             “Future crime” is not a term of my own making; it’s one I lifted from the Spielberg movie “Minority Report,” which was based on a Phillip Dick story of the same name. In it, there are three mutants who are able to see the future, specifically murders, which are most disturbing to them. The police react to these visions by…

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A Little Bit on Anecdotes

I came across a plea today on Facebook, asking for people to send to a particular individual stories about the negative impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), colloquially called “Obamacare,” for the president who signed it into law.  I pointed out that anecdotes are not good evidence, and I had objections to their use as such, since I feel it is emotionally manipulative and therefore not totally truthful.  I was met by a lot of opinions counter to my own. The arguments were fairly varied, there were some ad hominem attacks, but most seemed to take my use of…

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The Heartbeat of the Emperor

Twelve years and thousands of lives later, the war drums of the empire beat no more softly than they did when shifting face of the oligarchy was turned upon its own wounds.  It is the heartbeat of the emperor: vain, ceaseless, changeless, and unwilling to go gently into the night and allow men to be free.  The noble, gods unto themselves, play games with the lives of lesser men, with pride their only prize.  Honor and glory call the freemen to bind themselves and give their sword to those who would be kings.  The thrall tend the fields, fighting for…

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