What an interesting perspective. Pray tell, once the baby is born, but still attached via the umbilical cord, is it still a parasite you can destroy at will? I don't actually care one way or another about abortion, but I do care about consistency. From a medical standpoint, there are some specific events such as fertilization, implantation, birth, etc which could be used as a basis for drawing the line between a non-human thing (which one might describe - as you did - as a "parasite") and a human being. Thus far, the only group that seems to define that line at a medically objective point are the religious crowd (who use fertilization as their starting point). Again, consistency.
Why are certain beliefs privileged?
Because the people who founded this country came here seeking relief from religious oppression. Thus, when they created their own government (the one we have today), they ensured that the highest law of the land specifically restrained the government from doing to future generations what the Crown had done to them. If you don't think religious beliefs deserve special consideration, feel free to propose an amendment to the US Constitution stating so.
Could a non-religious person decide they "believed" in not providing certain healthcare to their employees and just let the government pick up the bill instead?
That would be a more challenging case to prove. The benefit of belonging to a popular religious group is that the tenants are widely known. As such, one must only then demonstrate that one actually belongs to that group (and even so, only minimally; stating as much without evidence to the contrary would typically be enough) to gain protection from government policy, law, or action which would violate that group's religious beliefs. In the Hobby Lobby case, there were 4 specific methods of birth control out of 20 which the owners maintained violated their core beliefs. In essence, they viewed those 4 specific methods as murder, but raised no objection to the other 16. The SCOTUS found those beliefs to be sincere and reasonable, and found that there was no interest at stake compelling enough to override the protections afforded to the owners of Hobby Lobby by the US Constitution. This was found in no small part due to the multitude of other options available for those seeking to attain the goals of the underlying legislation.
It's actually a pretty mundane case and shouldn't get people this riled up, but it does because the ACA and the President are attached to it. If this case involved any other law but the President's signature legislation, nobody but SCOTUS buffs would have heard a word about it.
This is getting a bit muddled, so I'd like to list a couple points of fact:
- HL is required to provide healthcare to their employees. The legislation has been enacted, it's a done deal.
- This birth control is part of that healthcare.
Nobody is telling the owners of HL not to use birth control. They have the right to make that choice for themselves.
We are talking about weather HL has the right to selectively refuse to provide this federally mandated medical care coverage to their employees because they (HL) don't like/agree/approve of it.
I tend to wonder if you'd feel the same way if you owned a business and the Federal government passed a law stating you had to pay for female genital mutilation procedures for young girls and "straight camps" for gays.
Not advocating a side, just seeking consistency. Out of 20 different birth control methods, the SCOTUS ruling continues to require HL and others like them to provide coverage for 16. There were 4 specific methods which the owners found to be abhorrent to their religious convictions. In essence, they consider those 4 specific methods to be murder. The other 16 are covered without objection and if the employees just have to use those four specific methods, there's nothing in the SCOTUS ruling stating that they can't; they'll just have to bankroll them on their own.
This doesn't strike me as a case where the concept of birth control or 'reproductive health' as a whole are under attack. Rather, this seems to be a legitimate situation wherein reasonable religious conviction clashed with law passed by Congress. The impact is quite limited and thus, the SCOTUS correctly provided reasonable latitude to the religious beliefs over the law.
People on the right are blowing this case way out of proportion because they see it as a victory against the ACA. People on the left are blowing this case way out of proportion because they either don't understand what actually happened or they're convinced it's a victory against the ACA. The reality is that it isn't any such thing; rather it's a fairly mundane case which wouldn't make it to page 4 below the fold if it weren't tied to the ACA and the President. In other words, relax, it's really no big deal.
I think it depends a lot on your management. If you can get them to recognize your value to the company (assuming you're providing that value) and make yourself especially difficult to replace (due to skillset and work ethic, not sabotage and self-niching), you have some more leverage where you are. I've found it fairly effective to engage on the subject in a more cooperative - rather than adversarial - manner. For instance, making it about what your fair market value is versus what your pay is, rather than an issue about raises not being high enough, or that your lifestyle is exceeding your means. When you can show that your paycheck isn't reflecting your fair market value, it removes a lot of the emotion from the conversation. At that point, you have a couple of ways to deal with it: adversarial (which largely consists of holding your management hostage by threatening to leave or by getting and showing written offers for more money) and cooperative (convincing your management to find a way to get you what you're worth as quickly as possible without an overt or heavily implied threat of leaving).
Ultimately, it doesn't have to get personal and it won't if both parties can avoid making it personal. You're an asset that's worth $x in the market. If the company is paying you
Needless to say, it won't always work this way. Some people (on both sides of the table) are just children and will make it all very personal. If you find yourself working for children who can't have adult conversations in an adult manner, you should be seeking additional compensation to account for that and you should leave if it doesn't come. You're only a supplicant if you allow yourself to be one. That doesn't mean be a controlling jerk; it means ensuring you're a valuable asset and only working at places which recognize you as such.
You can fill your car in 5 minutes and go another 600KM. You can battery swap a Model S in 90 seconds and go another 500KM. Or you can wait 20 minutes and get a supercharge that will get you 250KM for zero cost.
Seems like the electric car not only meets your expectations, but rather exceeds them.
What it can do is provide an interface between NGOs and common people. NGOs typically receive much of their funding from governments and rich or wealthy benefactors. Fundraising means getting those folks into a room and convincing them to cough up some cash. Crowdfunding allows a wider audience (literally everyone on the Internet) to see the intended actions of the NGO and then choose to contribute. Rather than getting $45,000 from 100 rich people, they can get $45 from 100,000 without the immense overhead of doing so without using the Internet. That's the real difference. It isn't easier so much as it's a different way of fundraising from a different audience.
The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign isn't going to send men with automatic weapons to break down my door and haul me to prison if I decline to provide it funding. The entity you describe will.
It won't happen for precisely the reason you stated. If one got through, it would open the floodgates and overwhelm the judiciary. I'm not saying it's right, but that's the reality.
BART police shooting of Oscar Grant is another one. Cop grabs his gun and shoots a guy who's laying on the ground and the guy dies the next morning. 2 years. Minus time served. If the roles were reversed and Grant had shot the officer, he'd have spent the rest of his natural born life in prison.
If the general public wakes up, most of them will beg the government for Ambien so they can get back to sleep. This isn't an issue of education; it's a problem of apathy.
FedGov were fine with Bundy and crew while they were hanging out in the middle of nowhere running around with guns being all anti-government. If they got within 50 miles of the DC line, they'd be face-to-face with Apache gunships and worse and every one of them would wind up in a prison cell or a bodybag very quickly. No one will comprehend the full militarization of law enforcement in this country until an incident like that happens. Quite honestly, we're approaching the point where a major metro police force, combined with local Federal law enforcement assets, could hold their own in a fight with the US Army.
That should frighten people. It doesn't, partially because they'd never believe it, but it should. Sadly, I don't know how to turn back that tide. No politician will be seen taking resources away from law enforcement because that's political suicide. Violence would be deadly, destructive, and would only reinforce the need for even more militarization. And if violence is your only resort, you're truly in Hell already. Not really sure what else there is besides finding somewhere else to try again. The Founding Fathers of this country knew having a standing military was a huge risk to the freedom of the people. Restrictions were put in place later to ensure the military couldn't be used against civilians except in cases of total rebellion where the government has fallen. With domestic law enforcement's militarization, we have exactly what the Founding Fathers feared most: a force under the control of the government, operating domestically, which has far more firepower than the citizenry. They feared that because they understood that it removes the fear governments have of the reactions of the citizenry when they start working toward oppression and they understood a simple truth: power begets power, and that inevitably leads to oppression. The balance they sought was to keep a government responsive to the needs and wishes of an informed and at least somewhat wise citizenry. A government of regular citizens who cycle in and out of government service would continuously bring fresh ideas and fresh perspectives to maintain the power balance. Of course, the reality is that it's now just millionaires sponsored by millionaires and billionaires doing whatever they need to do to consolidate power even as they're re-elected decade after decade using political party identification.
Much of this is the fault of the people. We've become so soft and delicate that we can't imagine doing many of the things government now does for us. Police our own streets? That's dangerous! Protect ourselves and our families? That's dangerous! Hell, a good chunk of our population can't even feed itself without the government. We've stepped further and further back away from running our own lives and allowed the government to fill the vacuum. Why? Because it's easier and more comfortable. It's always easier when someone else is taking care of things for you. Everything has to be safe now. Everything has to be clean now. Everything has to be easy. And if it isn't, we expect the government to step in and take it over. Until all that's left is a bunch of sissies in padded outfits in padded rooms staring at a TV and drooling on the floor while an IV keeps them fed. We've allowed ourselves to become so weak and so uninformed that we're almost begging to be taken advantage of at this point.
Here's a simple example: Of the eligible voters who actually vote (see? I've eliminated something like 60% right there), how many can name everyone in the Federal legislature representing them and can describe the voting record of those representatives on the issues most important to that voter? Let's be incredibly generous and assume it's 20% (yeah, right). So that's 8% of the original. Now how many of those can name everyone at the state level representing them and can describe the record of those individuals on the voter's most important issues? Again, let's be incredibly generous and say 10%. Of those, how many follow all available candidates for those offices and vote according to their beliefs rather than their party? Let's be super generous and say 50% of those who are left. Now let's ask the simple question: can you expect a representative republic to function properly if just 0.4% of voters are making informed decisions about who's being elected? Of course not. We're screwed because we're too lazy, ignorant, and apathetic for our government to function correctly. My advice is to start looking at other places to live and to make sure you have skills they actually want there. At least then you have options.
Did those six computers that crashed just happen to be the systems that belonged to the six people under congressional investigation for politically motivated abuses of authority? Did those six computers happen to include the email server(s) and associated storage devices and include any and all backups? And did all of that stuff just happen to crash in such a way that virtually nothing of any consequence was recoverable in a clean room? All happening at the same time as a congressional investigation began?
I don't believe their IT department is enormously competent. In fact, I believe quite the opposite. However, anyone who thinks this is anything other than a deliberate, coordinated campaign to destroy evidence linking higher-ups (not necessarily including the President, but not necessarily excluding him) is a complete idiot. I can believe their admins are incompetent enough to fail to maintain proper server-side retention policies. What I can't believe is that their regular maintenance plans include tearing out desktop and laptop hard drives and smashing them with hammers. And if you want to believe that, go right ahead, but you know and I know that it's bullshit.
This was the earliest, but by far not the only example of "kids today and their rock-and-roll music", as you put it.
Yeah, probably not the "earliest."
Indeed; I had intended to put "the earliest I've seen". The point being made was that this is a complaint as old as humanity, so I would certainly not attempt to pick out any specific genesis for it. I just didn't finish typing the whole thought, which was a simple mistake.
This sounds like round 36 of "kids today and their rock-and-roll music." Teachers indulging in future-shock is just plain trite.
I'd like to direct you to the following quote:
"That a century of the younger men wished to confer with their elders on the question to which persons they should, by their vote, entrust a high command, should seem to us scarcely credible. This is due to the cheapened and diminished authority even of parents over their children in our day." - Titus Livius (Livy), The History of Rome, Book 26
This was the earliest, but by far not the only example of "kids today and their rock-and-roll music", as you put it. Examples exist throughout the last century, especially around the turn of 1900, where long and boring essays were published on the subject. However, the above excert is from Livy's History of Rome, written around 25BC. So when you say it's trite, that's a bit of an understatement. 2000+ years we've been listening to this shit.
Pressing the brakes in a car saves the operator's life. Firing a gun does not save the operator's life. It damages or kills something else. There's no correlation.
Obviously you've never had your life threatened by someone who means to see you dead. Firearms are used defensively millions of times a year. No doubt you'll try to dispute that, but I'm simply getting info from the CDC:
“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,” the CDC study, entitled “Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,”
The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council released the results of their research through the CDC last month. Researchers compiled data from previous studies in order to guide future research on gun violence, noting that “almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.”
When someone breaks into your home at 3am and comes after you with a knife/gun/hammer, and your gun doesn't work, I assure you the analogy is spot-on. If the biometric/RFID/whatever works properly, an innocent life is saved. If it doesn't, an innocent life (or lives if you have a wife and kids) is/are lost. It's really quite simple. You're just choosing to pretend to not get it because you don't like the point being made. That's asinine.
Most people who shoot other people are not in any danger.
I don't know who "most" people are, but I can tell you that of the few people I've met who've had to use a gun defensively (most of the police officers), they were most certainly in danger before they ever reached for their gun.