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Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 6 comments

Who Will Stand Up for Animals?




On the scale of issues most important to voters, animal rights probably ranks somewhere near the bottom.

Animals don’t vote.  So why would our furry friends be a topic of political discussion?  Why would any candidate have a stated position on animals?  Answer:  Because it’s the right thing to do.

For me, one of the benchmarks of a person’s character is how they view and treat animals.  This viewpoint is non-negotiable.  I believe our treatment of animals represents the ultimate manifestation of human empathy.  There’s nothing tangible to gain from being kind to an animal, so kindness is truly an act of sincere compassion.  In fact, one could argue in a very primordial sense that animals fuel humankind’s most selfish needs and desires.  It’s even counter-intuitive to have affection for most animals.  After all, from our earliest times, animals have been used for transportation, strength, security, entertainment, and of course, food.  Many are a nuisance.  Some are even dangerous.  Advancing their rights generally requires severing that traditional relationship between man and beast and demands an adjustment of how we view other creatures.

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Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 2 comments

What Moral Responsibilities to We Have to Take In Refugees?




Most of the time, what’s posted here are (what I believe to be) answers.

Today however, I have mostly questions.

Let’s begin as follows:  What moral responsibilities, if any, do those of us in wealthy countries have to accept new immigrants from less-developed nations? 

More specifically, should we make distinctions for political refugees versus those who immigrate entirely because of greater economic opportunities on the opposite side of the border?  And to be even more specific, what about stateless refugees from war-torn areas, or those facing severe persecution back at home?  What if an undocumented immigrant is fleeing a life-or-death crisis?  What about religions and ethnic conflicts such as Sunnis fleeing Shias, or Shias fleeing Sunnis?  Under any circumstances should illegals be forcibly returned to their homeland, and if so, when and where?

These are critically important questions facing many, mostly Western nations right now, with no easy answers.

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