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photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I Guess It's My Fault For Breathing

And in the latest of a never-ending series of a game I call 'Lets Blame the Victim!' something happened a week or so ago that struck very close to home.

One of my long-time employees was riding her bike and got hit by a car.

She's in her 40's, so not a kid out weaving in the middle of the road.

She rides seriously and competitively, so there was a blinky light on the back of her bike (with brand new batteries, so nice and bright) and she was wearing a helmet and high-visibility clothing.

SHE WAS IN A GROUP OF BIKERS, so it's not like someone was just driving along and..."WHOA, HEY! THERE'S A BIKE THERE!"

Nope. The guy who hit her was driving along CHECKING HIS PHONE, looked up and 'didn't have time to swerve'.

She is in the hospital and just had her 4th surgery to try to repair her broken pelvis and spinal damage.

Here's where it gets really awful.

The news station ran a story on it, which portrayed the facts as stated above. There were many reader comments. I should not have read the reader comments.

"When are these idiots going to realize that cars and bicycles don't mix, our roads are for cars, trucks and motorcycles only, not bicycles, 4 wheelers, horses, golf carts, etc. Use some common sense people."

"Ride bicycles on the road at your own risk then if you want to be that dumb. Drivers have enough things to look out for as it is without adding bicycles to the list, and yes people using phones are a big problem to. All the more reason not to ride on the road."

And on and on it goes. That road is too busy. That road is too narrow (it's a FOUR lane road with a paved shoulder and center turn lane). They shouldn't have been there.

What the ever-lovin' fuck?

Back a few years ago my daughter got bumped and rolled while riding her bike- he never even looked for her...and no one stopped to see if she was OK. Her husband got hit by a car while riding and ended up in the hospital. Both adult competitive riders.

Are we that selfish and heartless? What about, "Hey Asshole- get off your damn phone while DRIVING A CAR!"?

Yanno what he was charged with? Failure to control speed. A damn speeding ticket. Not reckless use of a vehicle, not assault with a vehicle, not anything that says, "Oh, by the way- I hope that chain email you just HAD to check was really important because you've totally and completely fucked up someone's life for it".

Add this to the daily assault of rape victim-blaming, poor people-blaming,sick people-blaming, sneering at those in abusive situations and saying, "Well? Why don't they just leave?" and holy shit are we a messed up society.

Are we that selfish and heartless? Or are we that afraid that if we stand up and say, "NO- IT'S NOT THE VICTIMS' FAULT- IT'S THE FAULT OF THE BULLIES AND CHEATERS AND TAKERS IN THIS WORLD AND WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH" that we'll be the next victims?

So we give the bullies our lunch money and turn our heads when they beat up those who have no lunch money to give them.

We turn our heads so we don't have to think about the fact that in a heartbeat, the victim could be our mother, daughter, brother, father...us.

Putting a stop to the slut-shaming, bully-worshiping, gay-bashing, poor-hating mindset in our society is the first step to healing and actually 'taking back America'.

I'm not sure we can do it.




Friday, August 22, 2014

I Know Just How You Feel

How many times have I heard that?

A hundred? A thousand? No matter- it's always untrue.

Because here's the thing. Although we're all human and may share a bunch of similar experiences, no one on earth has the exact same chemistry, personality and history as you do. No one.

I see many discussions (that devolve into name-calling arguments) that involve both black and white people and invariably some white dude says, "Hey- MY people were also oppressed- I know just how you feel." Because...really?

There was a thread on Facebook recently that started out innocently. Someone (female) posted a photo of herself and some friends out to dinner and captioned it "Good dinner with good company" or something along those lines. Several of us other gals agreed that we need to all go out soon.

Then some guy chimed in that he was down for that.

One of the women said that sometimes women just need to be around other women...no offense.

Well...

At first he was just insistently annoying, arguing that of COURSE he knows just how women feel in our society and that we were being unjustly bitchy to think otherwise.

So we tried to explain.

That no matter how much of a champion you are for women's rights and no matter how 'in touch with your feminine side' you are, if you are a dude...you don't know how women feel.

After a while we gave up because he just kept on about how we couldn't tell him why he can't know how we feel when we used up a million pixels typing it all out for him and we just decided he's really just an asshole, but that thread has stayed with me.

Because there's no way in hell someone of one race knows how someone of another race feels.

No way someone of one gender knows how someone of another gender feels.

No way anyone but your own head and heart know exactly how you feel.

Ward and I are as close as two people can be without actually sharing organs.

A little over a decade ago we became a cancer family.

We have walked that jagged path and clawed our way back up that slippery slope more times than can be imagined a human can do so. Together. Always together.

And yet...when he's being wheeled back for yet another surgery, waking up, recovering and experiencing the pain and the fear and the whole, "Jesus I'm so fucking tired of this crap"-edness there's no way I know how he's feeling. None.

And when I watch him being wheeled away from me and spend the four, six, eight, ten hours in the waiting room hoping for good news and dreading bad news, and then at his side as he's waking up and the days, weeks, months while he's healing there's no way he knows how *I* feel. None.

In addition, neither one of us can know how our son feels; never knowing anything BUT his dad going into surgery and recovering, over and over again for his entire lifetime. We can't know how he feels.

So when you talk about Ferguson and say, "I know just how you must feel" to someone of color when you're white, just stop it. You don't.

When you see that Robin Williams committed suicide after years of depression and alcohol and health issues and you say, "Well, I've been through tough times but that's a coward's way out- I know just how he feels and I got over it", just stop it. You don't.

If women want to go out to dinner to be just among other women because being female IS different than being male- not in a Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus sort of way, but like this-
A man sees a woman walking past a construction site and the guys are all catcalling and wolf whistling and making less-than-polite requests of her and the man thinks, "Geez, what a buncha assholes" and walks on.
That woman thinks, "Geez, what a buncha assholes" and walks on with a tiny but never-vanishing pit of fear in her gut. So no- you don't know 'just how we feel'. You don't.

We can sympathize. We can empathize, commiserate, project, speculate, role-play and make assumptions based on our own reality. But it's not anyone else's reality.

So what do you say?

In the case of Ferguson you say, "I'm so sorry- what can we do to help?" It's not an admission of guilt- it's acknowledging that a young man is dead and we SHOULD be sorry.

Robin Williams? "How awful for him to have been in such torment."

If that dude in the women's thread had REALLY been a true advocate? "OK- ya'll have fun!"

See? Short, sincere, and doesn't turn the conversation around to make it all about you.

Because that's what 'I know just how you feel' really does. So just...don't.







Monday, August 18, 2014

Looking Back Over the Decades

When I was five
I had my first crush.
His name was Mike Tatum
And he was in his fifties.
I made him promise me
That he'd wait till I was twenty five
And then he'd marry me.
Of course he didn't.
But I forgave him...
Eventually.

When I was fifteen
I was assaulted
And shamed
By a church deacon.
Took me thirty five years
Before I had the courage
To tell anyone.
My mother chalked up my
Rebellious teenage years
To rock and roll music.

When I was twenty five
And married for the first time
I had just had my second baby
And thought my life was perfect
Ignoring the gaping holes
In my heart and soul.
If I could just be a
Better wife
Better lover
Better mother
Better housekeeper
Everything would be
Better.

When I was thirty five
I met my Knight in Shining Armor
After shedding my second
Alcoholic abusive husband
Like a virus
Or a diseased cocoon.
A flaming, carnivorous, strangulating
Panic attack inducing
Cocoon.

When I was forty five
I held tight to my husband
(the Good One)
And my small son
As we bobbed and spun
And were dunked and dragged
Under the waters of cancer
Over and over again
Feathers without anchors
Fireflies without lights
But refusing to let go
Of each other.

And now I'm fifty five
And all I can say is
"Gimme my senior discount, dammit.
I'm old and by god,
I've earned it."
IHOP, here I come.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

No Promises

Sometimes people keep going on out of sheer cussedness. No matter what seems to be the limits a body and mind can take, they just keep going...because they have to.

My friend Edna was like that.

When she was 13 her mother died and she was left to pretty much raise her younger siblings (and herself) alone. This was in 1932. She got through it out of sheer cussedness.

When she was a reasonably new bride with a reasonably new baby, her husband was killed in WWII and she bucked all tradition and did NOT find another man to marry who could support herself and her baby- she'd seen too many stepkids being treated as literal 'red-headed stepchildren' and wasn't about to have that happen to her son. This was in 1943. She got through it out of sheer cussedness.

It wasn't easy. It was never easy. The worry of being sure there was a roof overhead and food on the table was deeply ingrained in her and in the last year of her life, when there was so much information and memories stuffed into her brain that it all started getting muddled she'd fret and become vexed and outright agitated. She was filled with a roiling core of sheer cussedness.

"We need to be looking for another house."

"Why, Edna? This IS your house."

"Oh, it is not!"

"Yes, it is- they built it to your specifications and we wrote a check for it and decided where on the farm it would set. I was there. This is your house."

"Well...if you say so it must be true."

"I promise you. It's true."


At 94, she was very slow getting around, but she got up every day these last few months getting ready to go to work.

"Where are you going, Edna?"

"I'm going to work, of course."

"You don't have to do that- you're retired."

"I am??? Thank goodness. I'm too tired to go to work."


Edna kept her own house, cleaned, cooked, did laundry, tended her garden and her dog, till about six months ago. It became too much for her physically and she was starting to forget the order things were done in...cooking, coffee making, laundry.

I said, "As long as she doesn't wander away and set shit on fire, she's OK."

One day, she did both in the matter of four hours.

A daily living service started coming for six hours a day. Then eight. Then twelve. In between and around, Joe and I took turns checking on her, sitting with her, tucking her in at night.

I had a baby monitor set up with one end on her refrigerator and the other on my headboard.

I slept with 'mom ears' for almost three years.

Twelve days ago at 2am, she got up for a drink of water and fell...hard.

In a matter of minutes, we were at her side and in another thirty minutes she was in the emergency room.

Fractured hip- three breaks. Cracked elbow. The X-Ray showed not only the fractures on her right hip, but a crack in her left hip. ICU. Surgery. More surgery when the elbow became infected. Home.

This was her third stay in our local hospital. The other two were for bladder infections. Every time she's rallied and come home, but just a bit weaker than before; starting out a bit lower on the strong scale. But rally she did...including checking herself out AMA, then sitting at her kitchen table eating pizza and drinking beer three days later. Cussedness, thy name is Edna.

They transported her home via ambulance, because of the two broken hips and all. We had a hospital bed installed in her living room to be her command station.

Something about the transport scared and disoriented her and she fought the EMT's, wearing herself out and hurting...something. Somewhere.

The assigned nurse came out, assessed her pain level and noted her failing circulation and accumulating fluid in her limbs and tummy and said, "You don't need me. You need hospice."

The hospice nurse came out, assessed her falling blood pressure and oxygen saturation even with constant oxygen and said, "It won't be long. She's just plumb wore out. Our goal now is to keep her comfortable."

When Edna and I took our epic road trips back and forth to Oklahoma, and even our run of the mill weekly trips to have her hair done and out to lunch, the boys would say, "Ya'll don't get into trouble now- no bar hopping and dancing on tables." We'd grin and say

"No promises."

Some days when I'd visit her on my way to work she'd say, "Don't work too hard and don't hurt anyone." I'd grin and say

"No promises."

Some days I'd be leaving her house and say, "So and so will be here in a minute to stay with you for a while- don't give her any trouble or try to run away." and she'd grin and say

"No promises."

By yesterday morning she was very weak and sleeping most of the time. When she'd wake up she was in pain so sharp it brought tears to all of our eyes. Before her next dose of morphine set in I kissed her and said, "I'll see you later." She looked up at me, smiled and said

"No promises."

Those were the last words she spoke to me.

The boys tell me that bringing her here after she got pneumonia and decided she couldn't live alone in Oklahoma anymore gave her the best three years of her life.

Having Edna for my friend was an honor, and an inspiration, and a joy, and a daily lesson in tenacity and cussedness, and I'll miss her every single day of my life.

Edna Hoskins, born at home in Oklahoma 9/15/1919

Died at home in Texas 8/8/2014





Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Just...What?

Sometimes when I drive, I like to listen to talk radio to stay awake. And since we don't have any new-fangled gizmo like 'Sirius satellite radio', that means Right Wing Yell Radio.

Because that's the whole show on the public airwaves. You know...the Liberal Media.

It sort of drifted in and out, but I finally found one that lasted for a good ten minutes before statticking away...The Michael Savage Show.

In ten minutes, I learned a few things.

At least I'm pretty sure I was learning, because every other sentence he said one of two things-

"You don't know this."

"This is something you don't understand."


So the first thing I learned was that Michael Savage is psychic and knows what I know and understand. Awesome.

And it must be true. He sounded very sure of himself.

I don't want to withhold this valuable information from you, so here it is, pretty much in the order presented, as I remembered to dictate it into my phone after manually closing my mouth that was hanging open in amazement.

-Atheists only believe in power. Atheists don't believe in tomorrow or an afterlife, so they feel they are free to do anything they want to without repercussion. Which is so weird, because *I'M* an Atheist and I do believe in tomorrow. Also, myself and all the other Atheists I know tend to treat this one life we have with MORE care and concern for others and tend to be MORE moral than someone who believes that they can do pretty much anything (no, wait- absolutely anything) and as long as they say, "I'm sorry" and give puppydog eyes to the Man in the Sky, they're totally cool. We have no 'spiritual loophole'- we're either good people or assholes and most of us choose to be good people...because it's the right thing to do- not to avoid burning in imaginary hell.

-This current administration is Atheist. That's why it's overstepped its power over and over again. Ahhh...cleverly disguised as a Christian family and cleverly using Executive Orders less than any other president in the history of Executive Orders. Nefarious.

-Israel is fighting for its life against Gaza, who keeps viciously attacking unprovoked. It's more than a regional war, tho- Israel as God's Chosen People are literally fighting for the future of the ENTIRE WORLD in a Judeo-Christian(?) vs. ISLAM battle and the ATHEISTS in the US who are pushing the LIBERAL One-World Order are sending poor little Israel to the Slaughter. I just...I can't. It's too insane. Gaza has NOTHING. They are trapped there and being decimated by an Israel that is armed to the teeth. I just...too much propaganda horror.

-The LIBERAL ATHEIST US government and its bastard media is 'DEMONIZING Vladimir Putin, who is our NATURAL ALLY in the war for a moral world'. Read that again. It's actually verbatim what he said. Again, slowly.

Ten minutes.

What if this sort of stuff was all I was exposed to? What if this, and Hannity, and Rush, and WorldNet Daily were my only sources of news? I'm surrounded by people like this and I can't get over it. They aren't bad people. But they swallow this shit hook, line, sinker, pole, fisherman AND BOAT. And if you try to put anything else in front of them that doesn't square with what they 'know', it just doesn't compute. Best case scenario is they look at you like you're an imbecile. Worst case is they'll tell you you're unAmerican and maybe need to move somewhere else.

Like where? America, land of the Free where everyone's voice and opinion counts? I'm already a citizen of that nation, thank you very much. Although more and more, 'living Blue in a Red State' is an exercise in courage/stupidity/futility.

This morning while drinking coffee, I had a brief online discussion regarding Robert Reich's latest column- should the US break up into different countries? Are we too far gone off either side to ever come back together?

All the vile bullshit Michael Savage vomited out onto the airwaves and I just typed out? That's 'truth' to a great many people. They hear it from their trusted sources and it's parroted from their pulpits and gets cemented in their heads that way and to question it gets tangled up in questioning God and lord knows we can't do THAT.

Lets talk for a moment about the refugees down on the border.

Here's what I read about that from the Right Wing just in the last hour and from just one thread-

"My sister said it takes $15,000 just to feed one of those kids till they get deported."

"I read that only 2% of the illegals are children, the others are gang members and adults who are just being released into our country."

Please note that this was in a conversation where the participants were actually grappling with the Christian humanitarian aspect of the refugees (although they can't bring themselves to refer to them as anything but 'illegals'), not your usual run of the mill Hate Crowd.

And they STILL couldn't do it- they still couldn't make the insurmountable leap from what they're being fed and what the real needs and issues are. They still spew out, "We need to take care of our own people first!" when...NO SHIT. Why are the two things mutually exclusive? They all need attending- the refugees, our homeless, our veterans, our children. All of it. None of it is right and we COULD afford it all if only we stopped being so damn afraid because we are being told to be afraid.

The very size and depth of their fear makes me afraid for our future as a nation indivisible.

I'm afraid.

I'm afraid that the internet made things worse instead of better. That instead of broadening people's horizons with learning different viewpoints and cultures, it gave the perfect platform to circle the wagons of isolationism- to burrow down in pockets of familiarity and stay there...vindicated by being surrounded only by those who think the same, look the same, hate the same.

I'm afraid that there is a huge population in the middle who have no clue. They don't want to think about things that are far away because it doesn't affect them, don't vote for anything other than president (if then) because they don't think it'll change anything anyway and it's SO HARRRRRRD to like, read up on issues and shit. So they coast, and ride the tide, and don't look up unless something finally directly affects them and it'll be too late. It'll be too fucking late.

I'm afraid that it's already too late.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Seriously Jacked Up

There are people on the borders crossing into America- the dream that is America.

Who are they? Central Americans, mostly, meaning that according to a law signed by GW Bush (one of his good ones) they cannot just be summarily re-deposited on the other side since their home country doesn't share a border with the US. Note the spelling of the word 'border'. It's not 'boarder' like 80% of the right-wing blogosphere is stating. Spellcheck won't catch that one, Bubba- some you gotta know on your own.

Why are they coming all at once? Must be
-Obama importing them to turn 'Merika brown
-Muslims sending 'em over (with MUSLIM PRAYER BLANKETS DISGUISED AS SOCCER JERSEYS) to bring 'Merika to her knees DEATH TO AMERICA
-George Soros bringing 'em in so they vote Democrat
-Vladimir Putin sprinkling them all with lethal germs and sending them here...an amorphous Trojan Horse of disease that will destroy the Devil America once and for alllllllll....!!!!

Actually, the truth (as it ususally is) is probably a lot more tame and boring. Oh, the circumstances aren't. Those are vile and horrifying. The countries these people (and they are 'people', they're not 'illegal aliens' like Mork or that thing who terrorized Sigourney Weaver)are coming from are, in fact, crumbling under the weight of crime and drugs and all sorts of things that just happened to be set in motion or abated by our self-same government here in the US of A. Weird, huh? Weird that when it becomes so onerous and dangerous to be there, those people should choose HERE to come. Huh.

No, the most likely scenario that I've heard is the one about the lawyer. Or group of lawyers. Somewhere in one of these dangerous places some lawyer(s) looked around and thought, "Damn. This sucks. If only there were a way to send people where it's safe(r) than here. Some way for them to not be considered illegal aliens, but asylum-seeking refugees because this place has become a shit-hole and these people WILL die if they stay here and that's sorta kinda the very definition of 'asylum-seeking refugee'."

And that would explain the border patrol agents being inundated with peaceful people presenting them with papers asking for help- asylum, if you will, instead of running like hell and going to ground to be part of America's Undocumented Alien population.

But it doesn't matter, really. Not to me, anyway because I'm a squishy goddamn liberal hippiechick socialist and I think crazy thoughts like
-Hey, look. People who need help. Lets help them.
-Lets help them now with their immediate needs and THEN proceed from there because
-Hey, look. PEOPLE who need help.

BUT THEY'RE BREAKING THE LAW WE CAN'T TAKE EVERYONE HOW WILL WE PAY FOR IT WE CAN'T TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN PEOPLE!

Not if they're applying for asylum, they're not. Just like that ridiculous German family who's been here for almost a decade saying, "We're being persecuted in Germany because we home school and they want to MAKE OUR CHILDREN ATTEND SCHOOL." Wow. Heinous. So, if they're homeschooling, why hasn't one of the subjects been PASSING THE US CITIZENSHIP TEST? And yet, people are fighting tooth and nail to keep this poor, oppressed family in the US.

We can't take everyone? Then we damn-well better sand blast that shit off of the Statue of Liberty.

We can pay for this AND take care of our own people by doing what we need to do anyway to remain solvent and civil-
-repeal Corporate Personhood and require them to pay their fair share instead of giving them loopholes and bailouts and tax advantages for screwing us over and taking their banking and jobs overseas.
-TAX THE CHURCHES
-Bring our troops home, stop our AGGRESSIVE invasion of the entire rest of the world that has shit we might want someday and dismantle the standing army. That's what the whole first part of the 2nd Amendment is really about- having a core of citizens who are TRAINED and can be called up to protect our borders. Period. Not letting anyone own and carry anything they want to. Not roving bands of assholes gathering on the border threatening to shoot children or abetting crusty old ranchers who want to graze public land for free because they've always done it (they've always broken the law, therefore...?) Trained to work together citizens...like Switzerland.

To the people screaming at these human beings who have risked everything to come here- shame on you. That is seriously jacked up.

To the people insisting that children be sent back into horrific places because "It's not our problem"- shame on you. That is seriously jacked up.

To anyone anywhere in America who's not 100% Native American and who is screaming for these people to be deported (and I'm looking straight at you, Ted Cruz- 'born in Canada to a Cuban' Ted Cruz) your ancestors came here...as immigrants, as refugees, as non-Americans. You think you just sprouted here from God's Own Seeds planted in this Fertile Soil of the Land He Made for You Because AMERICA? Shame on you. You are ignorant, and forgetful, and seriously jacked up.

To the people who say it's A-OK to keep a thumb on what American women do as far as personal health choices because 'abortion stops a beating heart', I say there are 55,000 beating hearts down on the border right now- and I'd reckon most of them are CHRISTIAN; you'd damn well better take a moment to think about what your Jesus would REALLY do. That guy who said, "Suffer the little children to come to me" and "Whenever you did for the least of these, you also did for me" and "Judge not lest you be judged" and all that stuff. If you can do that and STILL scream at these people, shame on you. Oh, and fuck you.

To everyone else, who wants to be human, and civil, and compassionate, I recommend Operation Matthew 25- started by the Dallas Catholic Diocese and being helped by other groups including one I'm in called What Happens In Texas- dedicated to turning Texas Blue and not especially faith-based but we all...every one of us see the absolute human NEED here and aim to fill it.

Because, my friends, THAT is what America used to be about.

My family and some of our friends will be helping organize the literal truckloads of donated items this Saturday in Dallas, but the San Antonio group needs some help so here's the link for that one-

http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2MI5EIJ3IQKE2/ref=topnav_lists_2

See? You can be human and not even leave your chair. The Perfect American Charity.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I Do Not Think This Means What You Think It Means

It's a fact that not all gun nuts are also religious nuts, but it is also a fact that a lot of religious nuts are also gun nuts. You see 'em posing with their guns in one hand and a bible in the other all the damn time with big, shit-eating patriotic grins on their faces.

So here's why I'm laying this out here in words and everything. It's because the 'only-gun' crowd aren't paying attention to a damn thing except their 'news' sources and forums and all the places that keep them focused ONLY on guns and have a (gasp) tendency to blow everything up to way bigger than life-size for the benefit of the gun manufacturers so their readers/viewers will run right out and buy up MORE gun shit. Because they're coming to take it all. Any minute now.

Those who are busy squirreling away literal tons of ammo have no clue about anything else. Because nothing else matters. True answer when I asked my personal gun nut what he thought of the Hobby Lobby ruling. "Ummm...I don't know much about it. They said it was women bitching about not being able to get free condoms or some shit, right?"

Right.

Took a gander over at the Hobby Lobby fan page on Facebook. Surreal. For every question regarding the declarations by the owners of Hobby Lobby of this being 'totally about religious freedom' there is the same cut/paste stock answer from Hobby Lobby.


"Why does Hobby Lobby include stocks for the manufacturers of the Evil Four 'abortifactant' types of contraception in their 401K and other retirement plans?"

The Greens have no desire to deny access to contraceptives or interfere with the personal reproductive choices of Hobby Lobby employees. They object to being forced to violate their moral conscience by paying for a small subset of contraceptives that the FDA states may terminate life. They still offer 16 of 20 FDA-approved contraceptives covered under ACA as part of Hobby Lobby's comprehensive employee health plan. The remaining four, which the Green family objects to, are still readily available and employees are free to obtain and use them at their discretion.

"Why does 95% of the crap sold at Hobby Lobby come from China, a country well-known for its VIGOROUS, government-enforced family planning policies?"

The Greens have no desire to deny access to contraceptives or interfere with the personal reproductive choices of Hobby Lobby employees. They object to being forced to violate their moral conscience by paying for a small subset of contraceptives that the FDA states may terminate life. They still offer 16 of 20 FDA-approved contraceptives covered under ACA as part of Hobby Lobby's comprehensive employee health plan. The remaining four, which the Green family objects to, are still readily available and employees are free to obtain and use them at their discretion.

"Why did Hobby Lobby not have a problem with providing contraceptive care until the ACA was enacted?"

The Greens have no desire to deny access to contraceptives or interfere with the personal reproductive choices of Hobby Lobby employees. They object to being forced to violate their moral conscience by paying for a small subset of contraceptives that the FDA states may terminate life. They still offer 16 of 20 FDA-approved contraceptives covered under ACA as part of Hobby Lobby's comprehensive employee health plan. The remaining four, which the Green family objects to, are still readily available and employees are free to obtain and use them at their discretion.

Here's where the gun nuts smile and say, "See? Silly wimmen- they don't want to take ALL your contraceptives, only a few of the ones they think are really bad."

Does that not sound familiar to ANY GUN NUT AT ALL??? ANY OF THEM??? Here. Lemme simple it up for ya-

"See? Silly gun nuts- they don't want to take ALL your guns, only a few of the ones they think are really bad."

Now how does it sit?

Wait. Where did they all go? They all hollered, "SLIPPERY SLOPE!!!" grabbed their precious armaments and went to ground like gophers when a big bird-shaped shadow cruises across the meadow.

Because that's the thing, here (as I patiently explained to my own gun nut).

Yes, this is about the fact that your employer has no right to tell you what you do on your off-time or how to make your personal decisions, unless your personal decisions include taking drugs while working or being an embezzler. If it doesn't affect your WORK, it doesn't affect THEIR BUSINESS. Period.

Because especially in a company the size of Hobby Lobby, the personal philosophy of the owners is completely separate from the business entity. The owner isn't traded on the stock exchange; the business is. The owner isn't handing out contraceptives; that is included in the health insurance the company provides to its employees as a benefit PAID FOR AT LEAST PARTIALLY BY THE EMPLOYEES THEMSELVES. "Here- I will allow you to have this tray of cookies, I will allow you to PAY for this tray of cookies, but you may not eat any of the chocolate chip ones, because I think the Devil invented chocolate chips therefore you, my employee, may not eat any of the chocolate chip cookies that you have paid for."

But lets not even consider the FACT that Hobby Lobby did in fact cover ALL the forms of contraceptives until the ACA came along, or the FACT that their retirement funds do include stock in the very companies that manufacture said evil devices and drugs, and that they for SURE get most of the shit sold in their stores from the very large country that says a family may only have one child...no matter how that's accomplished- in effect Hobby Lobby and their customers are funding the largest number of abortions on the planet.

Lets look at the bigger picture- one that was only hypothetical for about 27 minutes after the ruling.

The MEN who voted in Hobby Lobby's favor in this piece of shit decision said, "It's OK- don't worry- it's very limited. We made sure of that."

Unfortunately, that hasn't stopped at LEAST half a dozen companies from immediately before the ink was dry jumping on the "I think this is icky, so I'm not paying for it" bandwagon.

Surprise. Surprise. Surprise.

The power of the corporation has been increased exponentially. All those previous 'may not discriminate on the grounds of...' laws and whatnot? Now moot. All someone has to say is, "I think this is icky and my religion doesn't believe it" and it's HANDS OFF for trying to enforce anything.

Gay people? Icky.

Women? Icky. (because we bleed every month and are unclean and shit)

Minorities? Icky.

And just in health care- vaccinations? Blood transfusions? All VERY icky according to some religion or other.

I do not think it was a coincidence that just prior to the Hobby Lobby ruling, the SCOTUS decided that making protesters stay 35 feet away from the entrance to women's clinics was unconstitutional on the grounds that the sidewalks are public property. So now ANY woman going to say Planned Parenthood for say AN ANNUAL CHECKUP AND PAP SMEAR can be screamed at, bullied, and have photographs of dead babies shoved in their faces because...freedom.

***Just a little aside to mention that the Occupy movement also used public spaces, and were met with pepper spray, beatings and jail time. Just sayin'...

I think it was an ice-breaker. It emboldened the Religious Right *(far Right) so that they'd be good and jubilant for the Hobby Lobby decision- a little snack before the main course if you will. With such stars in their eyes they had no holding back to think this through...all they can see is "GOD wins AGAIN! America is being TAKEN BACK- PRAISE JESUS!!!"

But it's a precedent now.

Religious belief now trumps the Constitution (where it says there is to be NO state religion) and the God of the Christian bible can override anything anywhere for any reason.

But several states have enacted laws (?) saying that Sharia Law can never be the Law of our Land.

Doesn't matter now. The SCOTUS has just ensured that a holy book is not only above the Law, it IS the Law.

And the Law is to be applied equally in every case and every situation.

Chocolate chip cookie, anyone?







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