Category: Social Justice

Is This the End for Gay-Bashing Westboro Baptist Church?

  The tables were turned on the Westboro Baptists — or what’s left of them — as gay-marriage advocates in Rhode Island yesterday picketed the religious-zealot activists right back. Only instead of spouting hateful vitriol, the counter-strikers preached a message of love. The Baptists were protesting the state’s recent move to allow same-sex weddings. But while gay nuptials were once an anomaly, they are slowly becoming the norm. Rhode Island is the thirteenth state to allow homosexuals to legally wed, and while this hardly creates a majority, the Supreme Court’s recent rulings could impel more states to follow suit. Legal...

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A “No” to McDonald’s is a “Yes” to Fair Wages

I admit it — I don’t eat at McDonald’s. But I’d be a whole lot more inclined to do so if (among other things) the “restaurant” paid their employees an hourly wage that covered more than the price of a couple of happy meals. So I’m thrilled that Micky-D’s workers are turning to the picket lines to demand their fare share from a company that wants to screw them over with every turn — and, frankly, I was surprised to check out the Opposing Views homepage and learn that if employee wages were doubled to $15 an hour, a...

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Warning: More Money Makes you Evil, Not Happy

If you dream of new BMWs, private jets and five-star resorts, stop now. The research is in, and it shows that rather than making you happier, getting rich just makes you more likely to hurt other people, become greedier and generally turn into a more evil human being. Not all rich people are monsters, of course, but there are more wealthy sociopaths out there than poor ones. UC Berkley conducted a study on the behaviors of the upper class, and found that they were more likely to plow through crosswalks with pedestrians present, took twice as much candy from a...

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Democracy or Capitalism: Take Your Pick

The Greeks knew what they were doing—democracy is a magnificent concept. But in the United States, we don’t really have a democracy, and we never will unless we keep “pure” capitalism in check. Yep, that includes some strategic measures of (gasp) socialism. The richer class, often driven by the desire to sweep up our resources for themselves, can all too easily control the rest of us. They sway our votes with a few well-placed television ads, à la food giant Monsanto convincing Californians to vote against transparent food labels. Research shows that the wealthiest stratum houses more than its share...

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How to Save the World with Selfishness

The word “selfish” may conjure images of fat cats (i.e., Koch Brothers) just drooling to gobble up the whole world in one giant chomp, or of toddlers unwilling to share their toys with the rest of the bunch in pre-K circles. But there are different angles to selfishness, and the right kind of self-servitude (along with the self-awareness than necessarily comes with it) may be just what we need to feed the hungry, save the environment and stop wars. First, let’s get the nasty breed of selfishness out of the way. People who step on one another to “make...

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Controlling Evolution: The Power of Conscious Social Change

Are today’s humans morally superior to animals? Probably not. We habitually slaughter each other in battles over resources and cultural differences, or sometimes just for sport. Every year in the United States, about 15,000 people are murdered and 6 million children are abused. One in every five women report being victims of sexual assault. Psychological abuse goes untallied each day as people are taunted for being gay, ethnic, religious or non-religious, short, tall, skinny or fat. Cruel words perpetuate suicides, as with the 12-year-old girl who hanged herself in New York after being cyberbullied, yet ruthless mocking runs rampant...

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What is a Human, Anyway? Are We Really Any More than Animals?

  For thousands of years, us members of the homo genus have struggled to figure out exactly what a human is, and whether our body and soul (if the soul is indeed separable from the body) are truly unique. And while we may never reach a full understanding, we can see how similar we are to our fellow creatures—no matter how much our egos long to be “more” or “better” than the rest. Like it or not, you are an animal—and that’s OK. Like all animals, you move about the Earth with the help of your sensory organs; for humans, that includes eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. If you were a cat, the world would be a far louder place; if you were a falcon, you could spot a mouse from 1.5 kilometers away. And if you were a bee, you’d even have the power to sense magnetism. But despite these differences, all of us animals sense in similar ways, guided by specialized organs and nervous systems (with the exception of the sponge, seemingly the only nerve-less animal.) And we also have plenty of other defining characteristics in common. All animals are composed of the same types of cells with a nucleus, mitochondria and the works. We all need to eat foods filled with energy, or calories, and drink a steady stream of water to survive. Most of us...

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