T’Was the Night Before Christmas 2013….

…and all through the House,
Representatives were long gone; they were so mickey mouse.
They knew that the budget that they passed before leaving
Would drive the Tea Party into a frenzy of raged seething.
For the ultra-right wacko wing of the GOP
Only cares for their own weird philosophy,
Which excludes the more moderate majority
Of our extremely diverse and proud country.
Their view is that theirs is the only right view,
And if your’s is different, then they just won’t count you.
Meanwhile, the Senate was poised to ensure
That the budget deal passed in the House would endure.
And with yet one more government shutdown averted,
The mainstream republicans happily asserted
That they could go back to just happily pounding Obamacare
Even though the worst problems with that law and its fare
Were now in the past, since the website was fixed
And more people were enrolling.  They were not nixed.
But the GOP still wants it repealed.
They hated the website, because of the deal
Where after signing up, a question of note
Is asked of enrollees:  “Would you like to register to vote?”
Republicans HATE that question, you know that for sure,
because the enrollee, whom no one before would insure,
Now has health coverage for the very first time.
So he knows when he votes when to send in his dime.
And while all of this stuff was filling our plate
The NSA was listening to all that we say
On cell phones, and landlines, and faxes galore
Via texts, social media, and wired-up whores.
Every way one can think of, they already thought.
The data they harvest is more than they sought;
They needed new buildings to store all of it.
Some day it might even be stored in a pit.
But they really went too far, as everyone could see,
When they claimed NSA stood for “No Such Agency”.
And if you’re celebrating Peace On Earth this season,
The “War on Christmas” finally seems to be won;
Fewer folks are claiming assaults on their views.
But it seems that a lot of them still shoot their guns:
Almost weekly, sometimes more, there’s a shooting somewhere;
Some deranged unhappy guy starts a horrible scare.
Often children are involved, but nothing is done
To prevent a recurrence.  There is just no one
That can lead this great nation to pass proper laws
That protect all the young ones from people with flaws,
Such as known mental illness, or desire to kill.
The senate did try, but republicans had no will
to oppose the NRA and its political wrath
So they chose to go march down the filibuster path
And stopped background checks for the purchase of guns,
Although 90% of Americans would have cheered had it won.
So this Christmas think carefully of gifts you might give
That are useful and timely and will help children live,
Made of Kevlar and strong stuff for young lives with much zest.
Be thoughtful and loving:  GIVE A BULLET-PROOF VEST!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, and May the New Year 2014
Be Joyous, Healthy and Safe for YOU and yours!  🙂
Howie

Corporations, Religion, The First Amendment and Obamacare

Once in a great while an event unfolds in which the opposing forcing forces are so strong that a huge explosion is inevitable, regardless of which one ultimately prevails.  That event is the ultimate outcome of a a case the US Supreme Court recently agreed to hear: Sebelius, Sec. of H&HS, et al v. Hobby Lobby, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, Sec. of H&HS, et al.

It’s difficult to believe that in a 21st century technologically advanced industrial nation like the USA, such a case would be worthy of the Supreme Court.  But then again, this selfsame court ruled only three short years ago that corporations have the same rights as people when it comes to freedom of speech as guaranteed in the first amendment of the bill of rights to the US constitution.  To wit, in the infamous Citizens United case, the Supreme court ruled that corporations were free to donate unlimited amounts of money to political action committees and had ALSO a right to privacy while doing so!

At issue in the Hobby Lobby case are the religious beliefs of the Green family, which owns and operates this corporation of 578 stores nationwide, employing many thousands of men and women. David Green, billionaire, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby is an evangelist who believes his religion is omnipresent, including in his work life.

To that end, he opposes Obamacare on numerous levels, including its requirement that the health insurance companies provide contraceptive coverage for women.  But he’s most virulent opposed to its contraceptive coverage of the “morning after” pill, which Green and others like him consider to really be an abortion pill, even though the scientific community has stated that it is not.

These folks are also against Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) because they believe human life begins at conception and IUDs prevent a fertilized egg (conceived human) from implanting in a woman’s womb.

The Green family’s religious beliefs are at odds with scientific data.  But they have a constitution right to believe in them as part of their religious freedom and to practice these beliefs within their own lives.

Hobby Lobby, which the Greens own and operate, is a corporation governed by law, and thousands of women work for this corporation who do not share the Greens’ religious beliefs.  However, they still have the same 1st amendment right to freedom of religion that the Greens are claiming for themselves.

Nonetheless, the Greens filed a lawsuit against Obamacare’s contraception mandate, claiming the new health care law violates their right to religious freedom by forcing them, as Hobby Lobby’s owner/operators, to provide and/or allow health insurance companies to provide abortion-inducing devices and medications (free of charge no less) to their employees when in fact they believe abortion (and even contraception) is heinously against the laws of God.

What’s wrong with this picture?  Or actually, the more valid question might be to ask, “What’s RIGHT with this picture?”……EXTREME right?

The answer is clear.

Everything about this lawsuit screams extreme right.  Everything about it screams that the powerful and the wealthy have the right to dictate religious dogma and rules to the powerless and those with less means.

That the Greens don’t want believe in contraceptive devices is their right, misguided though it might be.  But to IMPOSE that belief on the lives of others is NOT their right, and using their corporation as a front does not change that fact.

The same principal applies to their belief that the “morning after pill” is an abortion pill.  They can believe that if they wish, but they cannot IMPOSE that misguided belief upon others,nor can they impose a forced practice upon others.  The first amendment does not allow that.

Nothing, but NOTHING, screams for the separation of church and state more that this very issue.

But if the Supreme Court rules in June of 2014 that the Hobby Lobby corporation does in fact have the right to deny employer-based Affordable Care Act access to its employees on the basis of its own religious beliefs, then imprinting of church into onto government is exactly what we’ll get.  How, you may well ask….?

The religious right will claim that the Supreme Court has established that the religious rights of corporations exceed those of the individual citizen.

Coupled with Citizens United, these corporations with their new-found religious powers can dominate the political environment of the USA to the detriment of the individual citizen with massive amounts of money infused into the political system.

Companies run by those who don’t believe in transfusions will be able to deny that coverage to their employees based upon the “corporation’s” religious beliefs.  The religious right will own the government and the laws will favor the religious right.  Soon, all employer-based health insurance could be a distant memory.

Exactly what the evangelical witch doctor ordered, isn’t it?