Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Hobby Lobby Attack on Reproductive Rights.

CNN: The justices agreed on Tuesday to review provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring employers of a certain size to offer insurance coverage for birth control and other reproductive health services without a co-pay. At issue is whether private companies can refuse to do so on the claim it violates their religious beliefs. (link)
Companies cannot get the same protections as religious organizations because they are businesses, not houses of worship. Obviously. When you incorporate your business, you're shielding yourself from certain kinds of liability--and you have responsibilities based on that agreement. You don't get to have it both ways and say my corporation exercises religious liberties.

According to The Center for Disease Control (CDC), 58% of women who take the pill need it for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. Including: migraines, acne, prevention of ovarian cysts, and prevention of menstrual cramps. As well as helping to prevent ovarian and colorectal cancers. Thus, for most women, birth control isn't a religious issue. It's a medical issue.

Allowing companies to have religious rights is like opening Pandora's box. Do you really want to open the door allowing your boss to tell you what medicines you can and can not take? If companies can refuse to cover reproductive health than what's to stop them from refusing other things?

What if your employer doesn't believe women should work? Can they do so on religious grounds? What if your for-profit employer believes that AIDS is God's punishment for being gay? Can they opt out of paying for HIV care? What if your employer doesn't believe in modern medicine at all, like the Christian Scientists & thinks we heal with prayer? Can they refuse employees health care altogether? What if your employer is a Scientologist and believes psychiatric care is evil. Can they refuse to cover mental health care?

Bill Gates is atheistic, can he therefore refuse to hire Christians, or anyone who is religious? Can Microsoft refuse time-off for Christmas due to its religious overtones? And, why doesn't Hobby Lobby also refuse to cover Viagra for men? I'd venture to guess that a lot of guys taking the "little blue pill" aren't using it just for sex within the confines of a marriage. I'm a husband in a childless marriage, so, if I start a company couldn't I refuse to pay for health care covering my employees kids?

This is what I mean. Giving religious rights to companies would have some pretty bad unintended consequences. It could really backfire on the religious fundamentalists.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Government Shutdown Aftermath.

Some of the dust is settling over the GOP manufactured crisis of the government shutdown. If you can recall, the original goal of the "suicide caucus" led by Ted Cruz, was the destruction of the affordable health care act (Obamacare). Obama and the Democrats refused to negotiate over it because it's settled law. The 2012 election was fought, in large part, over "Obamacare" (affordable health care act) and President Obama won re-election handily. When a president is re-elected, that is traditionally seen as a mandate from the people for that president to continue his policies. Therefore, continue implementing the affordable health care act. In addition, though, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the affordable health care act was constitutional and thus, legal. This was by a conservative supreme court! This wasn't a liberal leaning court. Additionally, the Republicans in Congress have tried--and failed, nearly FIFTY TIMES to defund "Obamacare." At some point, when will they respect the will of the voters?

But, Republicans argue that they won an election, too--control of the House of Representatives. True. However, that's only one-half of the legislative branch of government; the U.S. Senate being the other half. The U.S. Senate is controlled by Democrats. Therefore, the two kind of cancel each other out. However, don't forget the presidency. Technically, the U.S. president makes up the executive branch, and not, the legislative branch. However, he does have the legislative power to veto congressional bills. Therefore, technically, the Democrats have over-all control of the U.S. government. The Republicans have the House; and the Democrats have the Senate and the White House. That's 2-to-1. That's why Obama wasn't going to negotiate on defunding the affordable health care act or "Obamacare."

The GOP was holding the U.S. economy hostage unless President Obama defunded his signature achievement, in exchange for simply raising the debt ceiling; which is a perfunctory function of good governance. Raising the debt ceiling isn't creating additional debt, despite it's misleading name. It's simply paying for the debts that we've already accrued. If we would have gone with the Republicans plan to NOT raise the debt ceiling, it would have been like not making payments on a truck that you already bought through a car-loan. That's irresponsible economic policy and bad governance.

To say we wouldn't pay for our debts was terrifying the world because they are the bank. They are the ones from whom we borrowed the money in the first place. In our comparison, they are the bank that gives you the loan to purchase that new truck. A default would have destroyed our good credit rating, which would have sent the economy into another slump, just now that we are barely starting to improve from the Great Recession. I'm not saying Democrats are saints, or that they don't sometimes deserve to be voted-out. I am saying, however, that not all issues have two-sides that are equally to blame. Sometimes, just one side is to blame. This time, it's the Republicans. Other times, the Democrats. Democrats haven't acted perfectly in this government shutdown debate but the polls clearly show that most voters blame the GOP. We can debate issues of debt further but you don't threaten the U.S. economy to get what you want. That's hostage taking and should never be rewarded.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Republicans Dishonest About the Popularity of "Obamacare."

I'm tired of hearing Republicans say a majority of Americans oppose the Obama health care reforms. It is true that a new CNN/ORC poll found that 57% opposed it while 38% supported it. But, you need to dissect those numbers a bit to get the full and accurate picture.

When you breakdown the reasoning behind opposition to "Obamacare" you come to a different conclusion:

38% favor the health care law, while 39% oppose it believing it's too liberal. BUT...and this is the critical piece of information, 11 % oppose it because the health care law isn't liberal ENOUGH. They feel it doesn't go far enough. So, if you add the support number with those who feel the reforms don't go far enough, you get 49% support on some level and 39% oppose it altogether. That's a ten point advantage for supporting some form of universal health care. There isn't as much opposition as Republicans want you to believe.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

IDIOT OF THE WEEK: Conservative Republican Sandy Rios Thinks Gays Make U.S. Military Weaker.

Conservative Republican radio host, Sandy Rios, thinks gays in the military might render the U.S. Navy ineffective against Syria should President Obama command a strike:
When I looked at those battleships going into the Mediterranean, supposedly getting ready for battle in Syria, I couldn’t help think about all the stories I’ve read about how women now are in the ranks of the Navy, getting pregnant at exponential numbers; when I think about the folding in and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the homosexual takeover of so much of our military I’m not sure how effective those naval ships will be. -Sandy Rios 
JAMES: She thinks our military will be ineffective against Syria because of gay soldiers? REALLY??? One of the bravest, toughest, best conquerors of human history was bisexual. His name? Alexander the Great. Don't insult us with your lies. Besides, do you really think homosexuals haven't been in the military for generations, anyway????? Do you really think there weren't any gay soldiers during WWII? Soldiers who earned medals for bravery, valor and courage under fire? If so, then you need a doctor, lady, because you're delusional.

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Friday, September 06, 2013

Virgin Galactic's Second Rocket Powered Test Flight

Want to know what it's like to fly along the edge of space? Check out this thrilling video of a rocket ship designed by billionaire Richard Branson reach the dizzying height of 69,000 ft!!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The Fukushima Disaster is Far From Over. So, Why Isn't Anyone Talking About It?

 Please watch this two-minute video on the full-extent of the clean-up operation needed at Fukushima.
Devastating--and why isn't this headline line news every day? Thank goodness for CNN because otherwise you wouldn't know about the ongoing disaster at Fukushima power-plant. It's far from over but you wouldn't know that watching most news on TV. Cable news has tanked the past decade. You have to go online to find the kind of informative, insightful news that use to be on television. Generally, cable TV news has devolved into nothing but flashy, bloated, tabloid outlets.

That doesn't pardon us from not paying attention because it has never been easier to have access to news outlets. The internet makes looking for good news much easier. Yet, I am still amazed at the level of willful ignorance shown by Americans. People can't seem to be bothered with protecting the environment that gives us oxygen to breath and everything vital for life itself. Everyone seems fine with fracking every inch of America and poisoning the air but scream blood-murder when someone tries to legalize marijuana. Our priorities are so fucked-up!! It seems so many would rather pretend nothing is wrong and focus on more important Miley Cyrus and football. I'm not saying we always have to dwell on this stuff but ignoring it will only make things worse. I'm so frustrated with all the denial people love to wallow in. Let's just let the world crash and let "God" figure it out. Yeah, that's smart...let's put the health and viability of planet Earth in the hands of a being that has yet to be proven real!!!
And don't give me this non-sense that you're too busy with kids and a job for the news. Seriously? You don't have 15 minutes out of the day to browse a credible news site online? Staying in-touch with what's going on in the world isn't that hard. It doesn't require a degree in political science and international policy. There is no excuse. If you aren't apart of the solution, you're apart of the problem. contamination 
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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Dr. Sanjay Gupta Apologizes for Misleading Public About Marijuana.

I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse." 
They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.
JAMES: The American government hasn't just misled the people about marijuana. It has shamelessly lied about the "dangers" of marijuana. We trust our doctors to give us the truth about drugs, and medical care, but if even our doctors are being lied to by our government, how can we respect, and/or trust, the Drug Enforcement Agency, at all?

The American public is waking up to the lies--to quote, "The Who," we won't be fooled again!! Nearly half of all American states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use--and now, two states have legalized it completely. We have reached the tipping-point and we aren't going back now. The DEA and others in law enforcement should work with us to make the transition from prohibition to legalization and regulation rather than fight it kicking-and-screaming the whole-way.

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