This section is here because, well, there is more than just one opinion on the planet.

How Low Can Congress’ Approval Rating Get? We’ll Know After the Elections

Vote!

With the midterm elections just a few days away, politicos across the country are on the edge of their seats waiting to see whether the Republicans will take back control of the Senate. It seems as though the GOP has a stranglehold on retaining a majority presence in the House of Representatives, and now the polls indicate that they might in fact edge out the Democrats in the other chamber of Congress as well.… [Read more]

4 Crazy Motorist Laws You Don’t Know About

Motorcycle Ride - Stupid Motorist Laws

The city of Phoenix only gets about eight inches of rainfall per year, so storm sewers were never included in city plans when pavement was laid for streets years ago. Low annual rainfall also means drivers don’t get much practice navigating wet roads.

This combination of factors did not convince the Arizona legislature to build a sewer system.… [Read more]

Chock Full O’ Health Benefits: Drink Your Coffee, Dear, It’s Good for You

Cup of coffee with brown sugar.

People of a certain age will recall a 1980s advertising campaign that featured the “coffee achievers of American society—the movers and the shakers.” It showed clips of actress Cicely Tyson fake-slapping some guy during a rehearsal, glam-rocker David Bowie (who, incidentally, is English) and Annie and Nancy Wilson of Heart. “Hold on tight to your dreams,” someone sang in the background, and then a woman’s voice explained, “Coffee gives you the time to dream it.”

The ad was a clumsy appeal to younger people (those at the tail end of the Baby Boom), because coffee was viewed as something only old people drank.… [Read more]

Net Neutrality: What You Need to Know

Highway...of Information?

With all of the controversy swirling around the topic of Net Neutrality, it can be hard to know what to trust and what to take with a boulder-sized grain of salt. For an issue that threatens to impact almost every aspect of our increasingly electronic daily lives, Net Neutrality remains relatively obscure, and thus ripe for manipulation and disinformation.… [Read more]

A Zero Emissions Manifesto for the Climate Justice Movement

Zero Emissions Manifesto - Environmental Issues

“Zero emissions is an ambitious but achievable goal.” —UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Zero has become the most important number for humanity. Why?

Any chance of stabilizing the climate hinges on transitioning to zero greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as humanly possible. Simply slowing the rise of emissions will not work. For the first time, the world’s leading climate authority, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has embraced a goal of near zero greenhouse gas emissions or below.… [Read more]

Mitt Romney: Zombie Candidate for 2016?

Mitt Romney's Mental Health?

Chances are, the last time you saw Mitt Romney it was when he was on TV giving his concession speech or, days later, when a photo of the disheveled looking former presidential candidate was snapped as he pumped his own gas. This, it seemed, is what it looks like when someone’s political career is over. When they don’t care anymore if their hair is perfect, if their face is stuck in a perma-grin, or if they’re stuck doing menial chores that they wouldn’t have had to do as leader of the free world.… [Read more]

Are Young Black Men Broken?

Young Black Men

Have we been brainwashed into believing there is a “black male problem” that needs to be fixed? What kind of message is this sending to young black men? Are they broken and in need of repair?

I’ve been asking myself these questions lately. For years we have been exposed to “plight of the black man” messaging.… [Read more]

Texas’ School Marshals Program the First of Its Kind

School classroom

In a move that will almost certainly be divisive, the state of Texas has just finished training its first class of armed school marshals. The goal is to do for the nation’s public schools what air marshals did for airlines in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

Like air marshals, school marshals are meant to remain anonymous, with only school personnel aware of their identities.… [Read more]

On the Horizon: The United States is Facing Political Dynasties

Government

There’s a crisis at our nation’s borders. The official unemployment rate might seem manageable, but a deeper analysis of those numbers reveals that more people are leaving the workforce, causing some to peg the “real” rate at 18 percent. There is social unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Sure, America has a lot on her plate in terms of problems and crises.… [Read more]

How Education Affects the USA

Anonymous_Country_schoolIt has been said that education is the bedrock of society. In this graphic, we take a look at education levels in each state to see just how education effects the states in areas of social and economic importance.

Among states with the highest levels of median household income (those on the map in shades of green), college graduation ranking ranged from 1st in the country (District of Columbia) to 24th in the country (Alaska), with the seven remaining states in those income ranges appearing in the top ten for college graduation rate.… [Read more]

Is Your College Degree Really Worth the Cost?

College tuition costs

Is the cost of college too high? Are the majority of degrees truly worth any more than the paper they’re printed on? Is a college education necessary for success — and by what standards do we measure success?

The debate over the cost, necessity, and benefits of college continues to rage on, and many individuals come down firmly on one side or another.… [Read more]

Should Your Doctor Be Allowed to Ask If You Have a Gun?

Guns and mental health

Anyone who receives regular medical care knows doctors will typically ask patients a number of questions about their habits and lifestyle. In addition to taking your height and weight and asking questions about your diet and physical activity, doctors also ask about your sexual history, drug and alcohol consumption, and other areas they feel may be pertinent to your health and wellness.… [Read more]

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

2014-07-31-ShaneRedHawkatCapitol-thumb

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL‘s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights on ending all tar sands exploitation.

The Obama administration’s latest election year delay on Keystone North is not a victory, but the dominoes continue to fall.… [Read more]

God’s Vengeance

evangelicals

I’ve been thinking about evangelicals. They are a strong political force within the conservative movement and while I have no problem with the expression of deep faith, I am always a little confused by the contradiction between their pageantry and Matthew 6:1: “Take heed that ye give not your alms before men, to be seen of them.”

Where religion is concerned I seek humility and my world view is non-exclusionary, allowing for all religious and non-religious people, to “follow their bliss.”

That phrase was coined by the late mythologist, Joseph Campbell, who believed that all world religions contain the same fundamental, transcendent truths.… [Read more]

Love Him or Leave Him

Love it or Leave it

I saw a poll among voters who consider President Obama to be the worst president in post-FDR history. They ranked President Reagan as the greatest.  It isn’t hard to dismiss this sort of faux-information as shallow, given the fact that Duck Dynasty and the Bachelorette continue to get high ratings, but I must admit that a wave of dark energy coursed through my veins.… [Read more]

Gambling as a Backup to States’ Budget

gambling

It seems in the aftermath of the recent economic crash a lot of states having begun reversing their policies on gambling in order to combat their budget constraints and expand the amount of money they pull in from taxation.

Online gambling and slot machines in lottery halls are common sight across the UK and other European countries, in fact you can visit a website like paypal-casinos.co and within minutes you’ll be playing a slot game.… [Read more]

School for Political Scandals

reagan

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the scandals under the Obama administration and I’ve been hearing right wing columnists and pundits saying that “things have never been this bad before.”

Really?

Let me see what I can remember, just off the top of my head, from previous administrations.

With George W. Bush we had the Valerie Plame spy scandal, a Medicare scam,  Abu Ghraib prison torture, manufactured evidence and false intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq, Enron, Ashcroft’s violations of campaign finance laws, Halliburton no-bid contracts and Cheney’s secretive Energy Task Force.… [Read more]

Congress Calls for Lung Cancer Screening Test Expansion Under Medicare

Cancer Screening

Preventative care is all the buzz these days in the medical field.  

Think about it: every so often, you take your car in for a tune up so as to hopefully prevent serious problems from occurring down the road. Maybe the mechanic will notice something’s slightly loose in your engine and tighten it. Had he or she not done that, a few more miles of wear and tear and your engine might have overheated—with you bearing the brunt of the bill.… [Read more]

The Preamble Scramble

bill of rights

The other day someone said to me, “I’m becoming a Libertarian. I’m tired of big government in my paycheck!” I understood where he was coming from. I wrote a check to Uncle Sam and, ouch! I don’t enjoy taxes, either. I have to admit, though, that I also don’t enjoy paying the cable bill; but it’s something I accept for getting the service.… [Read more]

Urban vs. Rural Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse

One of the fundamental questions about human behavior is whether or not our surroundings can influence our development and our habits. Do our personalities and heredity override everything else, or can we be a product of our environment? More specifically, what factors help create the habits of a drug addict? Does a person’s likelihood of encountering drug abuse – or specific drugs – change depending on where they live?[Read more]