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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Nostalgia Chronicles, Part 1: Berserk

Nostalgia… For me, nostalgia is always an interesting phenomenon, like the sudden influx of déjà vu and yet clear and tangible. My memories, when I slip into them rather than merely draw upon them for some piece of information, are akin to a waking dream. I can see myself where I was, smell the smells around me, and even feel part of the emotions that I felt when the memory was made. When I am overcome with the images and words of the past, I call it nostalgia. It’s an intense experience, and can create feelings undulating between extreme pain…

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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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Deep Time, an Introduction

From Deep Time, created by Matthew J. Wellman and David V. Stewart. Written by David V. Stewart. You can find Matt’s blog here: http://thespiritualvoluntaryist.blogspot.com/ Malcom Macbeth stood on the iron walkway extending into what he called the “nose” of the ship, likening it in his mind to one of the mechanically propelled airships that humans used before they had made the leap to space. A glass nose, complete with fire turret, and a glass belly and tail, used to defend the mighty airship as it delivered it’s precious cargo of living fire. That time in history seemed so brief to him…

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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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