We are lucky to be alive

If ever I feel the temptation to feel sorry for myself, I like to remind myself of the idea demonstrated in the cartoon below that shows how in order for us to be alive at all, every single one of the millions of our ancestors, all the way back to the first living organism, had to be survive long enough to reproduce. If, at an early stage of that sequence, one were to put odds on that happening, the chances against it are enormous. And yet here we are.
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“Would you attend a gay wedding?”

The growing split between what the American public and the right wing crazies think about same-sex marriage is making the above question, which should be a no-brainer for any sentient being, now considered to be a tricky, ‘gotcha’ question. Naturally The Daily Show took the chance to have fun over it, especially with Rick Santorum who is looking even crazier this time around than in 2012, something I would not have thought possible.
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Religious (and general) support for same-sex marriage grows rapidly

While opposition to same-sex marriage is based entirely on religious reasons (although some opponents might try to disguise that fact by finding seemingly secular reasons), it is interesting that a new survey released yesterday by the Public Religion Research Institute finds that the majority of many mainline religious groups support it.
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What is the true ISIS origin story?

The sudden appearance of the group ISIS and the rapid growth in the territory that it holds, coupled with the extraordinary brutality of its methods, has spurred a great deal of interest in its origins and ultimate goals. Is it primarily a political organization with secular territorial goals that uses religion as a unifying and motivating element and brutality as a tactic, or is it a fanatical religious organization that uses the appeal of territorial gains and a new state as the motivating factor?
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The greatest or most selfish generation?

Politicians pander to those over 65 because they tend to vote in greater proportions and are also concentrated in key presidential states like Florida. Media also tends to pander to them because they tend to be the largest demographic that watches cable and other news shows. Tom Brokaw gave them the complimentary title of ‘The Greatest Generation’ because of the fact that they lived through World War II and that has somehow come to symbolize that they are somehow more meritorious than subsequent generations, a totally unfounded view.
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Why is it so hard to learn that no means no?

The comedy program Inside Amy Schumer used a parody of the popular TV show Friday Night Lights to highlight the problem of small towns where football is king, high school football players are treated like gods, women who are raped become the target of abuse when they report it, and that the very culture of football inculcates attitudes that justify the use of force to get what you want.
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The national scandal of using police as revenue generators

The town of Parma, MO that I wrote about yesterday that had a population of just 740 and yet six police officers is not the only small Missouri with such a weird ratio. Beverly Hills, MO (not to be confused with its better known California counterpart) has easily bettered that, having 13 police officers for its population of just 600, or one officer for every city block.
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