Category Archives: Social Issues

Our Young Must Save the World from US and Enact Social Change

The needs of our young voters are not being adequately served by our government at all levels. The problem is that elected officials are mostly middle aged or older individuals who have little on common with our youth. So their needs and issues are underrepresented. Continue reading

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CARS, Cars, and more cars?

Cars have enabled most of what we enjoy today. They have given us far greater mobility than ever before and to do it in great comfort and convenience. But cars have created their on problems of traffic congestion, air pollution, and greenhouse gases. The drawbacks are starting to outweigh its benefits. Continue reading

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Jobs, Housing, and Carless Urban Villages

Traffic is becoming a more prominent topic in many areas as a result of growth… Prior to the car towns were compact and centralized with a business and retail core surrounded by streets of houses. That core also had some amount of housing above the stores, what we now call mixed-use… City planners have returned to the fundamentals of how we did it before the advent of the affordable car and putting a modern spin on it… So planners came up with the idea of smaller walkable communities called Urban Villages. They are small very high density, compact, completely walkable, thus urbanized, villages designed as mixed-use communities… Continue reading

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The Anguish of Drug Addiction

Everybody has their own opinions on drug and alcohol addiction, but until you’ve been there, your opinion remains insignificant. Yes, they chose to abuse a drug or alcohol… Continue reading

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Our Fears Rob Us from Living

Fear is the feeling of being completely out of control in desperation when facing a perceived or real threat completely outside one’s comfort zones. Some look at fear as an eminent life threatening situation but there are far more subtle fears that we face every day. We sometimes fear failure or fear the loss of a job or fear things happening that appear to pose a threat to our familiar way of life. Some fear heights or the fear of robbery or murder in their homes… Continue reading

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Texas Woman’s Right to Choose Upheld by Supreme Court

In a 5 to 3 decision on Monday the US Supreme Court ruled against the constitutionally of a Texas law that required abortion clinics to be located in the immediate vicinity of emergency medical facilities in an attempt to stop the majority of abortion clinics from continuing to operate… Texas legislators consider abortions the murder of fetuses but cannot ban it for that reason due to the separation of church and state and the fact that a fetus has previously been ruled not a person so was not protected by the Constitution. So they cleverly figured a way to work around the constitution… Continue reading

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Living so Close yet Be so Apart

I moved here more than five decades ago first to go to college before it became famous for technology then to work in the birthplace of semiconductors and home to such greats as Robert Noyce, Andy Grove, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs who shaped our area to what it is famous today, Silicon Valley… Much of this region grew quickly starting around the early 1970’s with people moving here from all over the nation and world and from here to there within the Valley as job opportunities rapidly expanded. Continue reading

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Are Science and Religion Really in Opposition?

I recently came across an excerpt from a quote by Sir William Bragg, 1915 Nobel Prize laureate for Physics, in a Facebook post which I am stating in its entirety: From religion comes a man’s purpose; from science, his power to achieve it. Sometimes people ask if religion and science are not opposed to one another. They are: in the sense that the thumb and fingers of my hands are opposed to one another. It is an opposition by means of which anything can be grasped. Continue reading

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Holding Grudges

Americans have never been big on Forgiving. We simply hold on to grudges indefinitely even after the problem has been resolved with the offending party or by them changing their ways. I have been guilty of this myself and I know many people who never can let go of some grudges against someone or something like a company. I find this to get in the way of letting both offenders and offended get on with their lives and perhaps later form meaningful relationships. Continue reading

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We Are Products of our Environment

It is my experience that from a very young age we are all in some way products of our environment. As we grow up our values becomes imprinted into the neurons of our minds. They say that children fluently speaking a foreign language up the age of 10 continue to speak it fluently for life. That seems the age at which our neurons become more fixed and difficult to later change. As we mature it becomes very difficult to change the responses we have towards people, things, and events. Continue reading

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America’s Most Shameful Boasts

Freedom, Justice, and Equality for all. These are values we boast to ourselves and foreigners about what is so great about our democracy. They have the presumption of equal opportunities for all. However these value are far truer for some than other. Obviously opportunities are not equal for all economically, socially, religiously, and politically. Regardless of what we claim we are clearly a nation full of paradoxes. The pursuit of happiness are only words for many who have little hope for a better life. Continue reading

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Rearing Children in a Changing World

Raising children has never been easy but it was much simpler 300 years ago. Moral values and cultural norms did not noticeably change from one generation to the next. Children often grew up to inherit their parent’s social standing and professions. Families were far more nuclear and things more established when not threatened by war. Everyday life was generally far simpler and routine. That doesn’t mean it was better, just less encumbered with decisions and uncertainties. Parenting was very much along the same lines as how parents were raised as children. Continue reading

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Another Shooting at a University within One Week

Another shooting, this time at Northern Arizona University’s Flagstaff campus, took place yesterday when a gunman intent on killing many more than the one student he killed and the three he injured was maced and tackled by other students while trying to reload his gun. This could have very well turned into another mass killing in less than one week after the mass killing at Umpqua Community College. Continue reading

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Compassion in such Short Supply

I learned about compassion as a young kid going to Sunday school a lifetime ago. I still remember such lessons as the The Good Samaritan and The Golden Rule. Though I am now an agnostic my Christian values have changed little. In fact I feel that liberating myself from all the religious dogma of organized religion has allowed me to develop a greater sense of consistent personal responsibility by focusing upon basic moral concepts without consideration to God’s judgement or confusing Christian doctrine. It is the sense of Compassion through empathy, understanding, and forgiveness that is the overriding theme of this blog. Even this blog’s name ‘Our Social Conscience’ reflects this sentiment. I have been highly critical of government, organized religion, and society for not practicing more Compassion in our lives and in our government’s actions. Continue reading

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What PEACE Means to Me

PEACE is an attitude, not a conviction. It is the will to avoid conflicts and war, not to totally eliminate it which is passivism. It is the equalizer of social and political behavior. Its fig leaf sends a signal that I am open to dialog and am interested in hearing and understanding what you have to say about yourself and about me. It is about the absence of ego, that threats real or perceived will not hinder my pursuit of a peaceful resolution and harmonious relationship. It is the fundamental basis of most mainstream religions. Continue reading

Posted in Foriegn Policy and War, Government, Morality Values, Social Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Complicated Nation in Search for Simple Solutions

Recent poles show Donald Trump by far the most popular Republican frontrunner for President. Trump presents very straight forward and simple solutions to many of America’s domestic and foreign policy issues. He is well-known for his reality shows as being quick and decisive, the sign of a good leader, at least that is the perception of many of his supporters. He reminds me a little of Ross Perot who ran as an independent some years ago. We like civil war heroes like Grant and Lee who quickly assessed a situation and decisively rallied their troops to victory even though those decisions cost tens of thousands of lives in America’s bloodiest conflict. Continue reading

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Old Testament Attitudes

Our moral values of “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, retribution, and vengeance are prevalent throughout America’s history, films, justice systems, wars, foreign policies, and behavior. It is so ingrained in our culture that we are often blind to its presence within us. We call it by other names such as justice, punishment, retaliation, payback, getting even, settling a score, what they deserve, they started it, etc. Many refuse to hear the other side of the story or what effects we have on other human beings and in a sense dehumanize others as being something other than like ourselves. We are in denial of our inherent animosity towards others treating them somehow separate from ourselves. Continue reading

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Global Warming No Longer a Science Issue

In the last decade the consensus of scientific peer-reviewed papers on anthropogenic (man caused) Global Warming has rapidly gained favor. A recent report indicates 97.2% of recent scientific peer-reviewed papers favor anthropogenic Global Warming. Major behavioral and economic changes to correct for Global Warming must happen. Greenhouse gases directly or indirectly produced engage every aspect of life. This change will have huge economic, political, and moral ripple effects that will change our lives more than any other issue facing us today. The reason it is so controversial is its urgency and potential threat to our existence. It requires immediate and disruptive changes to our ways of life. Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Economy, Environment, Global Warming, Government, Morality Values, Religion, Science & Technology, Social Issues, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Root of All Things Evil

“For the love of money is the root of all evil.” – 1 Timothy 6:10. This is a familiar quote from the King James version of the Christian Bible. But it seems to embody a universal truth. When one looks at all the crime in the world, most of it is motivated by greed and money. So if one were to remove money from society would that cause a dramatic reduction in crime? Continue reading

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Idleness is the Seed of Unrest as Work is the Root of Stability

If one looks at all the social conditions that lead to crime, rebellion, and large-scale discontent, the common denominator is high unemployment where people have nothing to do but think how bad off they are and blaming it on others. In contrast employed people, even if impoverished, are far less likely to be discontent because they are simple too busy or tired to think about their predicament as well as receiving compensation to help with living conditions. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: The Complete Series

In the past year I have given some thought to what the future would look like a hundred years from now given the state of science today and the effects of global warming, diminishing natural resources, and a populations of over twice what it is today (population control will be in effect). One thing is clear, the word Sustainable will be far more than a buzzword. It will be a way of life. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 15 – Crime and Security

What can be said about crime and security 100 years from now? Keep in mind that in 100 years two significant and remarkable things will have occurred. Technology would become our willing slave meeting most of our needs making jobs obsolete and making us happy and content at the cost of privacy. But in 100 years privacy may not be nearly as important to us as it is today. Technology will also make committing and getting away with crime extremely difficult. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 14 – Education

One of the primary purposes of education is to provide one with the tools to live a productive life. A large part of our traditional definition of productive is to become employable. The other is to give us other values of enjoyment and appreciation for things not focused upon work or earning a living. As describes in ‘100 Years from Now: Part 8 – Jobs and Economics’ both jobs and money 100 years from now may not even exist. Technology will literally become our willing slave making the need to make a living obsolete. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 13 – Government

Social norms and values will be very different 100 years into the future as today’s values are very different that those 100 years ago. So will the function of government 100 years from now. The purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of its citizens. In a society 100 years from now where everyone’s needs are taken care of are everyone’s rights also taken care of? It largely depends upon what are everyone rights. Continue reading

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100 Years from Now: Part 12 – Population Control

Controlling the population will be a key element of Sustainable survival. Over population is a drain on precious resources. Fortunately since people 100 years from now no longer need to work a working population is no longer important. The birth and mortality rates can be carefully controlled to a sustainable level so as not to be a drain on resources. Continue reading

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