The Real Alternative

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Meet the Former Pentagon Scientist Who Says Psychics Can Help American Spies

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A Conflict of the Conservative Vision

Originally posted on Marmalade:

There is one popular framework of politics that I often think about. It is the basis of a book by Thomas Sowell, A Conflict of Visions. I was introduced to it by my conservative father.

Sowell theorizes that the political right and left are defined by two distinct visions. Conservatives and right-wingers are supposedly adherents of a constrained vision. Whereas liberals and left-wingers are supposedly adherents of an unconstrained vision.

For some reason, this popped back into my mind on my walk this morning. Two thoughts occurred to me.

First, I’m not sure how accurate it is. I always feel the need to clarify that conservatism and liberalism are not necessarily the same thing as conservative-mindedness and liberal-mindedness. This is one of those cases where that is an important distinction to keep in mind.

Sowell is most directly talking about psychological predispositions here. But he seems to be assuming…

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The YouTube Interview with President Obama

Originally posted on OK, Fine.:

Yesterday, YouTube personalities Bethany Mota, GloZell Green and Hank Green interviewed President Obama about the top issues facing them and their audiences.

Fox News expressed outrage, claiming that President Obama’s interviews with three YouTube stars were “beneath the dignity of the office.”

(Video 46 minutes long)

The White House

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Is the Age of Oil coming to a close?

Image via Tumblr (Flickr)

Two very different stories about oil production in Canada…

Story 1 –

Story 2 –

Original image credit: kris krüg

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Hindus term Quebec restriction on religious symbols as cynical

Le château Frontenac –Vieux-Québec / Old Quebe...

Le château Frontenac –Vieux-Québec / Old Quebec, ville de Québec / Quebec city(Québec, Canada) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Hindus have strongly criticized proposed Charter of Quebec Values restricting display of religious symbols in the public sector, calling it a cynical, incoherent and shocking proposal, one incompatible with the 21st century.

Rajan Zed, based in Nevada, said that governments should not be in the business of telling people how to dress. Quebecers should come out openly against this Charter, thus displaying that it did not represent their true values.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that religious freedom was inherent right of all Canadians, which included Quebecers also. This proposed Charter clearly violated religious freedoms and might be an effort to distract Quebecers from the sluggish economy.

Masquerading as secularism, it appeared to be actually government sponsored discrimination targeting religious minorities; and was divisive, full of contradictions and risked fundamental freedoms, Rajan Zed noted.

Zed further said that political advantage based on electoral politics, and not the reasoned pursuit of the public good, seemed to be the goal of this proposed policy. It appeared to be an attack on the minority to attract the majority and would result in creation of two classes of people in Quebec, one more cherished than the other.

La chasse galerie, Illustration from Henri Jul...

La chasse galerie, Illustration from Henri Julien Quebec museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zed stated that arguments for this Quebec government’s drive towards a secular society and state neutrality on religion did not seem to hold water. Neutrality of an employee should be measured by his/her actions and not by his/her dress. It seemed to be trampling fundamental rights and infringing on civil liberties of minorities.

Quebec government did not seem to be “neutral” in the proposed implementation of this Charter, although it claimed neutrality. This Charter did not level the playing field, contained inconsistencies and double standards and was hypocritical. Quebec should treat all religions and citizens equally, Zed added.

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Three types of conflict

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Digital maps, politics, and reimaging reality


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