Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Business Ethics - Money or Customers and Netflix / Redbox

This month millions of Netflix subscribers are voting with their feet and walking away from the mail order dvd rental company.  And they should. (I did too!)

Netflix decided to raise their rates by 60% and give customers multiple options as to whether they wanted to receive dvds in the mail, use only live streaming or both.  Each one has different prices, where as before they were all under the same -one price fits all- deal.

So far over 600,000 people have cancelled their subscriptions.  Stocks have fallen by $40 a share.  They expect to lose over $1,000,000 this quarter, yet feel that it is the 'right way to go' for future growth.

Personally I was offended by the price changes, and the harrassing emails about dvd's that I had at home, and how they would make me purchase them if they did not receive them by a certain date - all because I cancelled the dvd portion and elected to go with streaming.  Of course, even though I made the change on my account weeks before their deadline, they sent a dvd that was on my list from before I made the change.

At a time when American unemployment is at an all time high and people are strapped financially, a cheap movie can be an excellent way to relax and unwind from the stress of the day.  And as Redbox raises their prices on DVD rentals nationwide in over 33,000 kiosks, it makes me wonder what their priorities are.

The purpose of a business is to make money.  Period.  If it is anything else you don't have a business, you have a charity.  Colleges and Banks are businesses, under the guise of being helpful and improving our lives, but remember, they have to pay for all of those pretty buildings one way and it is your money that does it!

So, everyone is willing to pay a price for an education, entertainment, and to have a secure place to keep our money.  But if your bank, college or bookstore raised all of their prices by 60% would you still shop there? I doubt it.

Imagine what would happen if Walmart raised it's prices overnight by 60%...  and Target stayed the same.  Walmart would keep a few loyal people, a few ignorant people who don't know how to track their own spending and would lose everyone else to Target.

In today's information society - people will go to where the information is, and where it is cheap.  That is why Youtube is such a big hit!  So, what does this all mean for Netflix? 

It will continue to lose customers to Redbox, Amazon, Hulu and other streaming companies.  And people will tell their friends.  And they will flock to where the information and entertainment is cheap.

What do you think?  Do you still have a Netflix account?  Sound off below!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Polyamory is a relationship where at least one partner has sexual love (eros for our Greek enthusiasts) for more than one person. There are many forms polyamory can take. There can be 3 lovers where all 3 are involved with each other, such as 1 man and 2 bisexual women. Or where 1 is involved with 2 only, such as the man involved with both women but the women don't have a sexual relationship with each other. These two examples can be expanded out to include any number of lovers, genders and sexual preferences; three is just an easy number to use as an example.

What are some of the first sources that record polyamorous relationships? Ironically in the scriptures of the Abrahamic religions which often condemn it today. The Jews have laws for polygamy in the Torah; the Christians have the same laws in the first 5 books of the Bible; the Muslims are instructed in the Quran to read and follow the Torah. Islam wouldn't even exist if Abraham hadn't been a polygamist because Mohammed is descended from Ishmael, Abraham's son through his second wife. (Abraham had 3 wives - see Genesis 16 and Genesis 25.) In Deuteronomy there are laws permitting polygamy, which is a marriage of a group of polyamorists. Some argue that those laws only exist in the Old Testament and are no longer valid because of Jesus in the New Testament. Hmmm. Matthew 5:17 "And Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.""

Different polyamorous groups also define their relationships in different ways. Some believe having more than one lover without the knowledge of all the lovers is ok, while others believe everyone should know and be consenting.  Integrity is unfortunately in short supply in our world today as is true love. We believe polyamory is perfectly acceptable as is monogamy. Some people wish to share their life with more than one lover, some do not. Either is perfectly acceptable. As consenting adults, the lovers are free to choose. There is no universal wrong done by loving more than one person; if there was no one could love their friends, family and lover(s) all at the same time.

However, what difference is there between cheating and polyamory if a person is in a monogamous relationship with someone and has a lover on the side? There isn't. Technically that's polyamory, but it's also cheating. The entire purpose of being a Professional Pagan is to dissolve the stereotypes of immorality, laziness and lawlessness that cling to the word "pagan". How can we conduct ourselves as professionals, be leaders and be role models if we aren't worthy of the trust of those we choose to share our lives with?
So how can people be polyamorous while maintaining morality and integrity? Simple: if everyone in the relationship agrees upon the boundaries which define the relationship, then it's not cheating. When there are no betrayals, lies or immorality, how could it be considered cheating? Whether a person chooses to  be polyamorous or not is their choice to make, they can do it morally, and whether they are or are not doesn't determine if they're a "good" pagan.

Monday, April 25, 2011

DADT - Newest Info!!! May 1st is the DAY!!!

Well, it looks like I was right - As Dept of Defense gets ready to have May 1, 2011 as the day DADT officially goes away and the doors open to GLB people for enlistment into the military, they are training their troops en-mass.

For hours troops will sit in a classroom to find out the following:

  • Gays can openly serve in all branches of service effective 01 May 2011.
  • People who have been discharged for "Homosexuality" can re-enter service.  Any other discharge narratives are on a case by case basis.
  • Gays/Lesbians  & Bisexuals will be able to wear what they want - OUT of uniform.  In uniform the standards always apply.
  • There will be no tolerance of public display's of affection in uniform.
  • Hazing / Harassment will not be tolerated.
  • Gay Marriages / Civil Ordinances will not be recognized by the DOD.
  • GLB can claim children, but not lovers as dependents.  Life insurance policies can be left to lovers.
  • The Uniform Code of Military Justice WILL NOT be changing.  Article 125: Sodomy will still be an active and enforceable law.  Sodomy is considered to include Oral or Anal Sex. (Even among consenting Spouses.)  There are times when straight military members are given disciplinary action because they have violated this Law with their spouse.  How does someone get prosecuted for this?  There are pictures/video, and one spouse gets mad at the other and presents them as evidence.  Without photographic evidence, military commanders and investigators will NOT pursue disciplinary action.  (Unless they witness it themselves.)

So - how does this affect you?  Sound off below!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Test Tube Meat?

A few weeks ago I did a blog on how scientists in China were working on mixing human DNA into cows, in an effort to have dairy cows make "Human Breast Milk".

Looking deeper into the future of our food - I have re-discovered an article on 'Test Tube Meat'.

The future of ground meat looks as though it could be created in a lab.  Take a little DNA from a chicken or turkey, mix it up with some vegetable cells, shock it a few times to give it a muscle-like structure and ~POOF!~ you have Phoney Baloney!

On a serious note- the intention is to have a cost effective meat source for the masses, especially while farm and ranch land is sold to become the suburbs of tomorrow.  The article also cites "Green house gas emissions" from livestock as another reason.  At first my thought was "Well that is easy - I just won't buy it!"  but then as I thought about it more, there is nothing to say that the tubular meat won't wind up as my meal anyway!

In a day and age where Taco-bell uses corn starch to supplement it's meat source in it's "Beef" tacos, and all restaurants are looking for ways to cut costs, while keeping their menu affordable, I can easily see how the man-made meat would be used.  Chicken Patties/Nuggets, Hamburgers, and all of the $1 menu items of tomorrow could easily be made in a lab and mixed with other things to keep down costs.  Where else could we see it?  At our children's schools.  As school districts look for ways to cut costs, they would rapidly buy a vitamin enriched burger to serve the kids.  Especially if it is cheaper, and slightly 'healthier' than the natural alternative.  And if the food has a longer shelf life - even better!

It is not a matter of if... it is a matter of when.  And that when is looking like the next 5-10 years. 

Just think, our cows will make our breast milk, and our labs will make our meat.  What would the ancient Celts think!

MMMMMMmmmmmm!  Who's up for a lab grown burger, with a frosty breast milk shake!  Order up!!!

Anyone know of an organic Pagan run Farm / Ranch?  Let us know!