Universal moral values

One of the arguments that religious people give for their religion is that it provides a basis for morality. Without religion, they say, people will feel that there is nothing wrong in committing even the most vile acts. This has never been a good argument. For one thing, it implies that the only reason religious people behave well is because of the fear of divine retribution, which is hardly a sign of morality. The second is that there is no evidence that people who do not have any religious beliefs act worse than those who do. And finally, most religions came along fairly late in human civilization, long after moral codes had been established. Religions can be seen as codifying and policing the moral standards that were already there rather than creating new ones.
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The importance of promptly speaking out against bigotry

In international Test cricket matches, there are microphones embedded in the wickets at each end. The primary purpose is to detect any contact between bat and ball when it is too slight to be heard by the umpires who need to know to make judgments as to whether a batter touched the ball or not. But the microphones also pick up conversations between players and that resulted in an incident that took place yesterday in the Test match between West Indies and England.
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“The system is fundamentally broken”

In this video below from a congressional hearing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in just a few minutes, demonstrates how the political system in the US has been structured in such a way as to enable, even encourage, corruption. It shows clearly why the oligarchy is freaking out over her because she seems to have an instinctive knack for succinctly and clearly demonstrating in a very short time with few words how fundamentally flawed the current system is.

Strange airline ticket pricing

Airline ticket pricing nowadays depends on so any factors that it would be quite a coincidence if you met someone on the same flight who had paid the same amount for the ticket as you did. But the most surprising thing is when it costs less to go further along the same route.

For instance, someone flying from New York to San Francisco could book a cheaper trip from New York to Lake Tahoe with a layover in San Francisco and get off there, without bothering to take the last leg of the flight.

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Tennessee – a state where hopeless causes never die

You would think that following the US Supreme Court decision in 2015 outlawing bans on same-sex marriage, opponents would admit defeat and wait for their god to deliver the retribution to these sinners that these religious zealots long for. Not the Tennessee legislature. They are considering a law that would ban such marriages in their state.
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How medical care drives people into bankruptcy

You should not become bankrupt just because you get sick. That seems to me to be an obvious requirement for any civilized society. But that is not the case in the US. As a new study of bankruptcy court filings reveal, medical expenses are the most common cause of bankruptcies in the US. This has been true for some time and it is significant that the Affordable Care Act (known popularly as Obamacare) has not changed the numbers.
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How to make a public apology

We are having an epidemic of politicians, corporations, and celebrities from all spheres of activity having information revealed about their bad behavior. When the evidence is incontrovertible, there arises the question of what kind of apology is required and what amends should be made. Lisa Leopold suggests some guidelines and says that in order to be effective, the apology should consist of three elements.
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The Bezos case should not overshadow the invasions of privacy by Amazon

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has garnered many kudos for his decision to not knuckle under to the blackmail attempts by the sleazy tabloid National Enquirer. But Glenn Greenwald writes that while ths action was commendable, it should not blind us to the fact that Amazon’s business practices are truly horrendous and that that company is one of the biggest violators of other people’ privacy and works hand in glove with the NSA, FBI, CIA, and other government spy agencies to develop ever more comprehensive surveillance tools.
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