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Should humans be able to marry robots?

concept image for robotic morality, a white robot holding open panels in its chest displaying its heart inside (Credit: Denned via Fotolia)Slate magazine is making headlines today with a headline of its own: "Humans should be able to marry robots."  The writer takes "marriage equality" to what he considers to be its logical conclusion.  Politico recently published an essay titled, "It's Time to Legalize Polygamy."  New York Magazine carried a long, sympathetic essay on "zoophilia," in this case a man who has sexual relations with horses.

Welcome to the brave new world of non-moral, non-religious, secular correctness.

If you look over the school calendar for Montgomery County, Maryland, you'll quickly discover that there's no Christmas.  Or Easter.  Or Yom Kippur, or Rosh Hashanah. Schools are closed for the days coinciding with these religious holidays, but not because the district observes them.  Rather, classes are closed because the district expects a high level of student and staff absenteeism on those days.  That way, Montgomery County Public Schools can remain decidedly non-religious, despite the decidedly religious convictions of many of their constituents (For more, read Nick Pitts's Should Schools be closed for Christian Holidays?).

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A fact that can change your life

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett lifts his arms to greet table tennis prodigy Ariel Hsing, unseen, before briefly playing some table tennis outside the Borsheims jewelry store, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, in Omaha, Nebraska, May 3, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/Nati Harnik) Warren Buffett's first job was selling chewing gum and Coke bottles.  On his first income tax return, he took a $35 deduction for the use of his bicycle and watch on his paper route.  He first bought stock at the age of 11.  At the age of 14, he bought a 40-acre farm worked by a tenant farmer.

That was then, this is now.  Buffett has made headlines this week with his $32 billion acquisition of Precision Castparts Corp., a company that makes parts for the aerospace industry, power stations, and the oil-and-gas industry.  Let's put this in perspective.

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Putin claims the North Pole

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks as he attends a Navy parade in Baltiisk, western Russia, during celebrations for Russian Navy Day, July 26, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/Mikhail Klimentyev)Does Vladimir Putin think he's Santa Claus?  He's just petitioned the United Nations for exclusive economic control over 463,000 square miles of the Arctic, an area nearly twice as large as the state of Texas. The area includes the North Pole, and may hold valuable deposits of oil and gas.  It is becoming more accessible as Arctic ice melts at unprecedented rates.

The U.N. rejected a similar claim in 2002.  This time, Putin is doing all he can, including sending a submarine to collect scientific evidence.  The sub has planted a Russian flag on the sea floor beneath the North Pole.

The home of Santa Claus is not the only victim of Russian expansionism.  Putin forcibly annexed Crimea last year.  His armies threaten Ukraine and other eastern European nations.  And his regime is persecuting Christians.

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Who won the presidential debates?

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz listen duringthe first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015 (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Yesterday was an unprecedented day in American politics.  Two presidential debates were held, encompassing 17 candidates, the most in our history.  Ten more debates are scheduled for Republican candidates.  The Democrats have announced that they will hold six debates.

Carly Fiorina overtook Donald Trump on Google searches after the debates, which is good news for her campaign.  I watched both debates, and thought there were no clear winners or losers.

So, who really won last night's debate?  We did.

America has been through 57 presidential elections.  Each has produced a peaceful result.  (One can argue that the 1860 election led to the Civil War, but many historians believe that secession was likely regardless of the outcome.)  Why does the process work?

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Robots are bad for men

Robotic arms concept (Credit: ra2 studio via Fotolia)If you are a man, beware the robot revolution.  A study published by two Oxford researchers estimates that 47 percent of U.S. jobs could be taken over by robots or computers by 2033.  The study discovered that jobs performed primarily by men are at much greater risk than those performed by women.

For instance, more than 95 percent of the three million truck drivers in the U.S. are men; they could be replaced by autonomous vehicles.  Men hold 97 percent of the 2.5 million U.S. carpentry and construction jobs; their tasks could be replaced by robots.  However, women hold 93 percent of the registered nurse positions.  According to the study, their risk of obsolescence is only .009 percent.  Tasks involving a breadth of decisions and skills in a relational environment are least likely to be automated.  Statistically, such jobs are more the purview of women than men.

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