Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hobby Lobby is not telling women what to do with their bodies

Today the US Supreme Court begins hearing arguments in the HHS mandate case. At issue is whether private company owners should be forced to pay for contraception and abortifacients, as required by the mandate, even though doing so violates their deeply held religious beliefs.

I'm currently listening to the radio while I work, and every time a news break comes on, the news report goes to comments being made outside the Supreme Court today by interested citizens. They keep playing a track of this woman hysterically screaming that plaintiff "Hobby Lobby does not have the right to make my health decisions for me!"

Another man they let speak said the case is about "a few boardroom zealots who want to stand in the way of equality for everyone." And of course, the day wouldn't be complete without the standard cliche argument that I just now heard one woman scream about: "We are tired of politicians and bigots and now employers telling us what we can do with our bodies!!" I want to scream every time I hear these people's misinformed tantrums.

The truth is, neither Hobby Lobby nor the other plaintiff in the case, Conestoga Wood Specialties, are telling women they cannot take birth control or have an abortion. They are simply saying they don't want to be forced to pay for it because it violates their religious beliefs. If women want people to stay out of the decisions they make about their bodies, then they certainly have no right to tell people to pay for what they do with their bodies when it comes to personal choices that have nothing to do with healthcare.

The argument being heard today is whether corporations have religious rights, since they are ultimately run by individual American citizens who have guaranteed freedom of religion (not freedom of worship - there is a big difference between the two). The case is not about whether women who work for certain corporations are allowed to use contraception or have abortions. Nobody is saying they cannot do these things in the privacy of their own lives.

I wish these hysterical people being interviewed and all others not seeing the forest for the rage would realize what the actual issue is here.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Boycott Guinness, Heineken and Sam Adams for their intolerance?

Guinness, Heineken and Sam Adams brewers have all pulled their sponsorship from St. Patrick's Day parades being held in New York and Boston today. The reason? Because the St. Patrick's Day parades honor St. Patrick, and not homosexuals. New York's and Boston's mayors have also opted out of the parades for the same reason.

Apparently they're miffed because the parades are "banning" homosexuals from marching in the parades. Too bad they are completely wrong about that. The parades welcome everyone to participate. What's banned are pro-LGBT banners or posters to be part of the parade. But pro-life posters/banners are also banned. In fact, no banners or posters deemed political are allowed in the parades at all.

Of course everyone has the right to their opinion (unless you're a conservative, straight, Christian), but maybe the beer companies should get their facts straight before risking everything to show how intolerant they are. After all, even if open, practicing homosexuals were banned from a parade honoring a Catholic saint, isn't that the private parade organizers' right?

But it's not even about that. The issue is about political banners at a non-political parade. But if these guys are so offended, do they believe "straight is great" banners should be forced at LGBT parades? Should the Ku Klux Klan be allowed to have a presence at a parade honoring the contributions of black Americans? Would Guinness and Sam Adams express umbrage at that type of discrimination? Give me a break.

Apparently some pubs in Boston have already contacted their Guinness sales reps to come and remove their kegs/taps from their establishment. Good for them. Maybe this will open some eyes that the more people try to force everyone to accept and even celebrate the homosexual lifestyle, the more damage they're going to do as a whole because eventually Americans will grow tired of having their freedoms usurped by an agenda-driven group -- and they will push back.

Too bad the supposed champions of tolerance are too blinded by intolerance to see this fact.

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Her lewd behavior is fine, but don't you dare call her "bossy"

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (and author of "Lean In") has launched a campaign to ban the word "bossy" to describe women because she feels it victimizes them. Not surprisingly, other liberal women - from Beyonce to First Lady Michelle Obama - have jumped on the victim-bandwagon and are echoing the calls to stop using that awful, unbearable word. It's interesting how they think a silly, stupid word like "bossy" hurts women, yet they seem to embrace policies and cultural practices that harm and degrade women.

For instance, I haven't heard any of them publicly denounce Obamacare. Do they not care that Obamacare's promise of "free" birth control actually results in higher premiums and overall costs to women since their insurance policies are forced to pay for it? Is it okay that Obamacare is cancelling millions of health insurance policies, leaving women with no insurance or forcing them into policies that carry extraordinarily high out-of-pocket deductibles?

What about the fact that Obamacare forces women to pay for maternity coverage, even if they choose not to have children? What happened to the liberal mantra of women's choice? Don't these women getting hysterical over a meaningless word like "bossy" think that women should be allowed to choose a cheaper health plan that fits their individual needs? Funny how they don't seem to mind that the Obama administration is being completely bossy over them regarding their healthcare.

On top of it, women (and men) are having their work hours reduced or jobs eliminated altogether because of Obamacare, so how does that help them? Oh, that's right: Medicaid is being expanded to help women pay for healthcare, so now they can be dependent on government, rather than being in charge of their own lives. But hey, as long as nobody is calling them names, it's all good.

Meanwhile, people like Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, and the other likewise unsavory, gyrate in near nudity for any camera that's pointed at them. They slither up and down poles, stick their privates into any object they can find, and leave nothing to the imagination. Dignity be damned. In fact, they're praised by other women for being creatively expressive in their sexuality. These "entertainers" make verbal reference to everything gauche, from using the word "whore" to things I won't even write here. But don't you dare use the "b" word to describe them (and I don't mean the one that rhymes with "witch."). Imagine the deafening uproar, scandal and offense that would cause.

Personally, I am so tired of women trying to convince other women that they are victims, when the truth is they thrive on making women think they're victims of some imaginary patriarchal society because it helps them sell more books, or music, or whatever other nonsense it is they're peddling. Yes, there are some people who are sexist (and racist, and any other "ist" you can conjure up). Find a way to deal. There are bigger problems in the world - serious ones, in fact. Besides, if you cannot withstand a label or two, you'll never make it in this world anyway.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How the Affordable Care Act hurts lower income people

According to a new report by Unite Here, a union that represents employees in the hotel, food service and gaming industries, Obamacare is going to cost low-wage workers more than higher income people.

“If employers follow the incentives in the law, they will push families onto the exchanges to buy coverage,” the report, which was posted on Ralston Reports, states. “This will force low-wage service industry employees to spend $2.00, $3.00 or even $5.00 an hour of their pay to buy similar coverage.”

The report also pointed out that workers could face reduced workloads as a result of Obamacare, stating that “388 employers [have] announced hours cuts since early 2012.”

The organization cited a Brookings Institution study to make the point that Obamacare would increase income inequality: "People in the bottom two-tenths of the income distribution would see average gains of 5.3 percent and 7.2 percent from the ACA," the Brookings Institution states. "Families in the next lowest 20 percent (family income $20,000 to $38,000) would suffer significant income declines to achieve these gains. Meanwhile, the top ten percent would give up the smallest percentage of income. Only in Washington could asking the bottom of the middle class to finance health care for the poorest families be seen as reducing inequality."

To supporters of Obamacare who say the law will help the poor, how does people's hours getting cut help anyone?

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Friday, March 7, 2014

American flag banned on T-shirts, but Mexican flag okay

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled unanimously that students in Morgan Hill, CA, cannot wear emblems of the U.S. flag on their clothing. The court ruling backed up school officials in the San Jose suburb who prevented students from wearing T-shirts with U.S. flags on Cinco de Mayo. Students were, however, allowed to wear shirts depicting the Mexican flag.
According to the panel of judges, despite free-speech rights, the controversial ban on American flags was supposedly needed because the kids wearing the U.S. flag T-shirts were being threatened and harassed by those wearing the Mexican flag on their clothes. So rather than punish the bullies, the other students had their First Amendment rights stripped from them. 
If schools officials really were concerned about potential violence, wouldn't it have been better to ban celebration of Cinco de Mayo - which commemorates the May 5, 1862 victory over French forces by the Mexican Army in the Battle of Puebla -- than to deny American students their constitutional rights?
The federal court disagrees. Citing a 1969 Supreme Court decision purporting to allow government schools to limit free speech if they expect disruptions or interference, the three-judge panel ruled that authorities at Live Oak were justified in banning U.S. flags due to previous threats of violence against students who wore them. “On Cinco de Mayo in 2009, a year before the events relevant to this appeal, there was an altercation on campus between a group of predominantly Caucasian students and a group of Mexican students,” reads the decision upholding the lower-court ruling.
Robert Muiseco-founder of the American Freedom Law Center, one of the organizations supporting the targeted students, said, “It is truly a sad day when government officials are permitted to ban the American flag on a public high school campus for any reason.” 
Outraged parents of the five students were appalled. “This is the United States of America,” the mother of one of the students, Kendall Jones, was quoted as saying by the San Jose Mercury News. “The idea that it's offensive to wear patriotic clothing ... regardless of what day it is, is unconscionable to me.” 
What's of particular concern about this ruling is how similar thinking (e.g., Heckler's veto) is being used in other counties to prevent Christians from displaying Christian clothing, adornments, or having a Bible, because it offends others. What are we supposed to do - add a clause to the First amendment that says something like, "Freedom of expression shall never be abridged because of threats of violence or disorder against it. Instead, only those who commit violence will be prosecuted"?
Does anyone wonder why our country is going to hell in a handbag? 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Grammar lesson: 'Me' is not a four-letter word

When we were growing up, it was  a regular occurrence for our parents or a teacher or other adult to correct us as we learned - and often botched - the English language.

I don't claim to be an expert on proper grammar, but I know that as a little kid, to say, "Me and Suzy are going for a bike ride," was always quickly corrected. "It's not 'me and Suzy, it's Suzy and I," I'd be told. That was drilled into our heads. But now it seems people have come to view the use of "me" as always improper, to the point that they shun it as if it were a vulgar four-letter word never to be uttered in public.

How often do you hear phrases like, "I'm so glad you will be sitting with Joe and I at the concert," or "the waiter finally brought the drinks to my friends and I," or "thanks for joining my team and I at the meeting," - and so on? It drives me crazy.

Plenty of people do get it, but for those who fear the word "me", fear not. It is okay to use at the right times. When used as a subject (basically before the verb/beginning of the sentence or phrase in question), use "I". When used as a direct object (basically after the verb/at the end of the sentence or phrase), use "me".

A simple rule: use whatever you would use if used on its own. In other words, you wouldn't say, "I'm so glad you'll be sitting with I at the concert," or "thank you for joining I at the meeting." You'd say "me". So when you add someone else, just stick with what you would use if there were nobody else in the sentence. "I'm so glad you'll be sitting with Joe and me at the concert," - and on the flip side, "Joe and I are so glad you'll be sitting with us at the concert." (You wouldn't say, "Me so glad you'll be sitting with us....")

Maybe I'm being petty, but it tries my nerves (much like the other often-botched phrase: "could care less". It's "couldn't care less". If you could care less, you must care a little. To denote bliss, you wouldn't say, "I could be happier." You'd say, "I couldn't be happier." Same goes for the extent to which you absolutely do not care about something - but I digress).

I know this topic is hardly important in light of what is going on in our world and our country right now. Maybe because of the serious reality of things, I just needed to take a break and focus on something trivial - well, sort of trivial. :-)

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