Archives for May 2014

If You’re Buying, We’re Selling

A gay rights movement has the potential of taking off from a somewhat unlikely area:  a group of small businesses in Mississippi. The movement comes in light of Mississippi state legislation that could allow businesses to openly discriminate against homosexuals based on religious grounds. In late April, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a short provision into law which said the state could not significantly burden people’s religious freedom unless there was a compelling reason.… [Read more]

Harsh Justice: Comparing Prisons Around the World

At least 11 million people are sitting in prisons and detention centers around the world. And with the global population continuing to rise, prison population numbers are only going to swell in the coming decades. [Read more]

Nut Neutrality

How many of you are aware of an issue that’s been called “Net Neutrality”?  If you aren’t already, it will be coming to your town soon—WHOA!- It’s already there!

Quickly explained, “neutrality” is what has governed the Internet and that means basically–nothing. Internet content, and accessibility to it, has been on a neutral plane with no guardian at the gate determining what goes through and what doesn’t.… [Read more]

Labeling GMO Food is Now Required in Vermont

On May 8, Vermont became the first state to require labeling on foods containing genetically modified organisms. The bill signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin in Montpelier will go into effect in July 2016, giving time for rules and guidelines to be produced. However, while many people are hopeful about this new bill, it is already being met with much opposition and will undoubtedly prove to be a piece of controversial legislation.… [Read more]

Pinocchio’s Nose

This morning I heard 3 commercials for 3 different Republican candidates and they all said a variation of the same thing:  “I will protect your freedoms from the encroachment of growing government.”

Great line. Who wouldn’t want that? It resonates and there is a lot of evidence of that “growing government” by which to give the statement credibility.… [Read more]

America’s “favorite” drugs by state

There are many ways to examine and quantify America’s illicit drug use. Geography is one such method, but even then there are a number of ways to look at the same data. Each of the nation’s 50 states have a “drug of choice” – that is, the narcotic most frequently cited by law enforcement officials as the greatest threat to the health and safety of the public.… [Read more]

Ain’t No Love

Is there really more racism? Or has it always been here but just on the DL? Are more racists emboldened because of their anger at our first African-American president? Or was it there and nobody said anything?

I don’t know the reason but suddenly you can hardly read the news without somebody getting caught on tape, an open mic or writing something racist and hateful.… [Read more]

Simple Ways to Go Green at Your Work Place

The “going green” movement has been hyped up for so long for an important reason. Just recently, the White House released the Third US National Climate Assessment (NCA) that emphasizes the impact of climate change to regions in the United States. For instance, the new findings confirm that the summer season is longer and rains are heavier.  [Read more]

Eastern Carolina University Ban on God Isn’t What You Think

A professor at Eastern Carolina University (ECU) recently made national news by asking his students not to thank God in personal statements to be read at graduation. Eli Hvastkovs, an assistant professor of chemistry at ECU, instructed his students to prepare a 35-word personal statement to be read at the departmental graduation ceremony. He said the statement should detail future plans or thank someone who was influential in the student’s education.… [Read more]

Horsepower Over Horses. Are ATVs Shaping Rural America?

For centuries, cowboys on horses have worked on ranches and farms, helping to move cattle along and checking on fence lines. This image has been solidified in our collective consciousness by television shows and movies that show handsome cowboys on their trusty steeds, working hard from sun up ’til sundown.

But these days, instead of relying on horses to do the work, many have made the switch to all-terrain vehicles (ATV).… [Read more]

Supreme Court Deals a Major Blow to Separation of Church and State

Freedom of religion is one of the major principles on which this country was founded. Unlike in other parts of the world, citizens of the United States are free to practice any religion they choose. There is no official doctrine in this country and you cannot discriminate against others on the basis of their beliefs. From time to time, though, the principle of religious freedom comes under fire.… [Read more]

Privatization of the U.S. Prison System

The prison industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the United States. The prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, under the governments of presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr., but reached a peak in 1990 under President William Clinton.

The private prison industry is the business in which inmates are handed over to for-profit prisons under a convict lease system.… [Read more]

Fear of a Replacement

When we start our career, we become so focused on performance, that soon all other things in our lives come second. Social pressure forces us to strive for success in the workplace. It appears that as we evolve, one person’s level of status, or their defining character, is correlated with how well they have climbed the corporate ladder.… [Read more]