Representatives reconcile after fist fight

Rep. Curtis and Rep. Butler of the Missouri House of Representatives had an altercation late last month, which resulted in the former taking out a restraining order on the latter.

However, there’s good news: The two have come to terms, dropping the restraining order, and are now working on a bill together to help establish a new urban education program.

Read KOMU’s coverage here.

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Fantasy sports = gambling?

In many states, such as New York, Hawaii and Texas, the answer is yes, but not according to a new bill proposed by Rep. Fitzpatrick in Missouri.

HB 1941 would clarify the legal language of Missouri’s gaming laws to provide an exemption for daily fantasy sports sites. Currently, there is nothing codified that would conclusively indicate these sites as gambling or non-gambling operations.

Fans of FanDuel have reason to rejoice – if the bill becomes law, that is.

Weekly roundup 1.31.16

Here’s all the news of the week that captured widespread attention (and my own self-interest) here, there and everywhere. Did I miss anything?

Local (Columbia)

No jail time for Click, and now tires have national attention

Wolfe’s email takes shots at local senator, fire is promptly returned

Missouri QB Maty Mauk forcibly dismissed, UM Curator Sparks voluntarily resigns

State of the University? This time, a scandal in student government

State (Missouri)

Claire McCaskill gets picked for jury duty, but actually enjoys it

One bill to require free speech class, another additional abortion bans

Capital punishment and concealed carry see debate, legislators see a fist fight

National

Donald Trump won’t debate, the iPhone won’t sell

Anti-Bernie editorials grace Washington Post, pro-Hilary hit New York Times

The NYT presidential endorsement

The New York Times Editorial Board announced its official endorsement for the 2016 presidential race Saturday and it’s, well, not really all that surprising.

Another recent piece from the board looks at the election from the perspective of the opposing party, featuring an excellent opening line with a modified version of Thomas Hobbes’ famous Leviathan quote.

We’ve seen similar opinions shared at other national papers, but this is certainly an important endorsement when one considers the sheer enormity of the New York Times’ circulation and influence.

 

 

Melissa Click gets community service

Columbia City Prosecutor Stephen Richey announced Friday morning that Melissa Click won’t be serving any jail time, so long as she holds up her end of a new bargain involving mandatory community service.

In exchange for taking a pledge to refrain from any legal violations for one year, waiving any possible statute of limitations defense and undergoing 20 hours of community service work, the city will forgo its prosecution of Click.

However, if Click at any time violates the proposed agreement, her prosecution will resume.

I expect this deal to be quite controversial in the community. As of this writing, the Facebook comments are already lighting up with those viewing the punishment as too soft. Others see the outcome as just and appropriate, however, an attitude of opposition that is wholly expected in a community of free individuals.

Will the conversation at least remain civil? We can only hope.

 

Kierkegaard was an interesting fellow

I needed a quick break from thesis readings, so tonight I decided to (briefly) explore the philosophy of Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, “father of existentialism.”

Either it’s not actually procrastination, or I’m just adept at fooling myself into believing it isn’t.

Give yourself a pat on the back if you caught the terrible Kierkegaard joke.

Focusing my limited time on his philosophy of religion—the area which I found to be most interesting—I decided to note my thoughts on what seems to be his main existential argument, or at least how I understood it.

Be warned: I knew very little about Kierkegaard before tonight, and still feel that I know relatively little about his overarching views. Therefore, you might disagree with my interpretation.

Kierkegaard on Religion

Kierkegaard believes that you, as an individual, are enslaved unless you are free to do what you please. By this logic, he believes you should try to do exactly that which you wish to do most above all, which is the key to true happiness.

What each individual wants to do most above all, psychologically speaking, is to believe in universal moral truth, and so you should seek to further this interest.

(But what if I want to commit immoral acts? Plato and others have argued that you would never truly want to do this if you were in a fully rational position, and that all immoral desires are merely a result of insufficient knowledge.)

Believing in universal moral truth requires some form of religion or anti-naturalism, although, admittedly, there still exists a broad variety of distinct ideologies within this grouping.

So, what you should do to be truly free is to become religious, even though there is no possible rational justification for religious truth being correct.

This, Kierkegaard explains, is called the “leap of faith,” and without it, not only can you not be free in the most meaningful sense, but you can never truly vanquish psychological existential anxiety from your daily life.

TL;DR

Kierkegaard: Deep down, you truly want to be a religious and moral individual. You’ve also been given the gift of free will. So go be religious—but avoid as much unjustifiable dogma as possible.

Is he right?