Universal basic income

The idea of providing everyone with a guaranteed universal basic income (UBI) is something that is being increasingly discussed. One reason is that as automation increases, the need for human beings may decrease or their jobs may shift to ones that are low-skilled and thus pay less. Finland is one country that is trying out the idea of a universal basic income, with a pilot program that gives $587 a month tax-free to 2,000 residents, regardless of their job status or wealth with “the only caveat is that recipients had to have been receiving an income subsidy from the state.”
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What to say if the police should stop you for suspected drug possession

Lauren Vazquez advises people about four magic phrases that one must memorize and tell police in that particular order if ever you are stopped by them on suspicion of having marijuana.

If you use pot you are a criminal.

This is true [according to federal authorities] even in Colorado and Washington, where the feds continue to outlaw cannabis. This is also true in California and other states that provide medical protection. This means the police not only have the right, but the obligation to try and stop you (though state police cannot legally enforce federal law). Fortunately, you do not have to help them. The United States Constitution gives you rights that protect you during police encounters. It is the job of the police to find evidence of a crime. It is not your job to confess or help them. They get paid quite well, so please do not do their job for them. Your job is to do and say the right things to protect yourself and defend your rights.
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Great moments in racism

It happens all the time. You agree to meet with someone at a coffee shop but for some reason you arrive early or the other person is late. You think it would be rude to order before the other person arrives because that might look like a rebuke for lateness so you wait, perhaps for some time. While waiting, you may use the bathroom. Then the person arrives and life goes on. One thing that you probably don’t worry about is that the police are going to be called by the store manager and have you arrested for not ordering something.
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People are willing to pay higher prices for restaurant food

The wait staff at restaurants have much lower mandated minimum wages than other workers, based on the argument that tips supplement their income. Whenever the issue of raising their wages comes up, the argument frequently given by the restaurant industry is that doing so would increase prices and drive customers away and thus actually harm the workers, though it is clear that the real reason is that it might affect profits.
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The domino effect for evangelicals

As a lapsed religious believer, I find interesting the stories of how other people lost their faith. I was a very devout Christian, an ordained lay preacher in the Methodist Church back in Sri Lanka, but it was a progressive liberal church and by no means fundamentalist. It went a long way to accommodating scientific beliefs, which is perhaps why it took me so long to give up belief in the idea of gods.
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You can’t repair churches with public funds in New Jersey

We have become used to religious institutions finding ways to get public funding for their purposes, the main one being tax exemptions for their income and property but also in other ways such as setting up charter schools that can get taxpayer money. Politicians know that there is little to lose in pandering to religion and one of the ways is to siphon money in their direction. But some churches in New Jersey went as far as to use public funds to repair their churches. What was astonishing was that a lower court had allowed the practice. But today the New Jersey supreme court ruled unanimously that such spending was unconstitutional.
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