Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Oregon

The Oregon Rebels are Guilty of Sedition, Not Terrorism

In Oregon, members of Cliven Bundy’s paramilitary organization have seized and occupied the headquarters building of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which belongs to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, a federal agency. Many people are calling Bundy’s rebels “terrorists” and accusing the media of treating them differently because they are white. Their point is well-intentioned–it is true that violent criminals from Middle Eastern backgrounds are more readily presumed to be terrorists by the press. But the argument is ill-applied to this particular case. The law is very clear–the Oregon rebels are guilty of sedition, not terrorism.

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4 Charts that Prove the Mental Illness Argument Against Gun Control is Bunk

Another week, another mass shooting in the United States. Barack Obama is furious at congress for its continual unwillingness to pass comprehensive gun control. Jeb Bush says “stuff happens”:

Once again the right is coming out with the same tired arguments, claiming that guns have nothing to do with gun violence, that mental illness is the culprit. This argument is facile and demonstrably wrong. I can show you why in four charts.

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The Case for “Death with Dignity”

Brittany Maynard, a 29-year old newlywed, recently learned that she has terminal brain cancer. Brain cancer is an awful way to die–sufferers often experience morphine-resistant pain, personality changes, and loss cognitive and motor skills. So she decided to relocate to Oregon, one of 5 US states that has a “death with dignity” law, allowing people with terminal disease to commit assisted suicide. On November 1, she intends to kill herself. Should euthanasia be permitted? Under what circumstances might it be ethical? These are the questions I pursue today.

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Oregon’s College Funding Scheme

In the state of Oregon a new mechanism for funding university studies has been proposed. The scheme is called “Pay It Forward“. The idea is that instead of charging students tuition to go to universities, the state will fund their education and then extract payment after the degree is finished as a percentage of their income. For a student with a bachelor’s degree, the expected repayment would be 3% of income for the following 20 years. This presents a very different alternative to the university funding system presently in force throughout the United States, so let’s dissect it. Would Pay It Forward make Oregon’s university system better than it presently is? Is it the ideal alternative, and if not, in what respects does it differ from that ideal?

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