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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Narcissus

Recently I wrote a short creative piece called “Echobox” that is part poetry, part realistic fiction and part fantasy, which explored through eyes of a young boy people’s interactions with video media, specifically television. It reminded me of a poem I wrote nigh on ten years ago, called “Narcissus.” The poem was intended to be read while listening to a selection of music played on a solo instrument. It was part of a cycle of similar pieces I performed called, “Solipsist.” This particular part of the cycle was intended for string bass, an instrument I played in my younger days…

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Teachers make a DIFFERENCE! What about YOU? Huh?

A Reflection on the Ego of the Teaching Profession I had a different article in mind for today, but a conversation I had during work yesterday with my screenwriting partner Matt (find his website here) inspired me to create a different piece. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share! Credit/Source: Zen Pencils, zenpencils.com              I am a teacher.             I have been a teacher for more than ten years, in various faculties. I’ve taught at private and public school. I’ve taught individuals and I’ve taught classrooms full of kids. I’ve taught at the college level and the elementary school level. Given…

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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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A Visual Guide to Identifying Genetically Modified Dogs

The above is a takeoff of a Facebook page’s “A Visual Guide to Genetically Modified Corn,” found here:IFLS People are often very misled about what “genetically modified” means. Man has been altering life-forms to suit his needs for thousands and thousands of years through the mechanisms of selective breeding, hybrids, and only lately through direct modification of code.Corn is a great example of this. It’s nature-made predecessor looks nothing like it. The ears are tiny and unusable; the casings of the kernels are thick and chewy. This makes sense for a natural plant, which seeks to spread its seeds, not provide…

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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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Prometheus Weeps

     Prometheus charged Olympus and stole the fire. He brought it to his creation, man, to help him in a cold, dark, and deadly world. When man was handed the flame, he looked upon it, beautiful and bright. It lit the world around him, and at last he could see his surroundings. There were frightening sights, of sharp rocks and strange beasts, and trees that loomed over him like monsters.      Man threw the fire into the mud. He crushed the torch with his heel.      “Why did you do that?” Prometheus asked, trying to gather the…

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Inequality in America

I’ve seen the above video linked quite a bit on social networks during the recent past, and while I don’t usually stop to pick up every pebble in the road, I felt a little compulsion to do so with this bit of misinformation today. I don’t have time to debunk the many, many problems in this video, so I’ll just hit the big points. The first and most important is the sources, which are not sources of actual data, and he mixes them inappropriately, producing a graphic that is factually inaccurate. He also mixes the terms “money,” “wealth,” and “income”…

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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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