Well, The Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act as constitutional, so we can all now proceed to the elections in November with a sigh of relief. Opinion here.
The Opinion was surprisingly written, for the most part, by Chief Justice Roberts, joined in various parts by Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer and Ginsburg (the latter of who wrote the concurring opinion. Roberts opinion said:
The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.
Atheists are often accused of being too outspoken, too militant, to strident. Our mere presence in society offends many people, all of them religious in one way or the other. Our existence is a reminder that the religious worldview is not the only one, that there is some possibility that they might be wrong about their beliefs in the supernatural, which beliefs forms a major component of how they deal with the day to day exigencies of life. We’re simply telling them that their beliefs, their vision of reality, could be wrong. Since there is an underlying current of insecurity in those beliefs, we make them nervous.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars (4.5, actually, but the Goodreads rating system only works with whole numbers)
… It’s nice to find a well researched and articulate book that gives voice to the confusion and bewilderment I have experienced watching political discourse and activity over the past couple of years in this country, especially since Obama was elected. I have had so many WTF moments, incredulous that what was happening in the regular course of government was actually happening. The faux debt crisis, for me, was the straw that broke the camel’s back, the one where I seriously thought Republicans were committing treason. Their actions and positions last summer were so obviously motivated by party-wide self advancement, rather than the good of the country they were elected and paid to serve, that I felt they should have been taken out back and summarily shot.
I was lying in bed this morning, listening to the Morning Joe Show on MSNBC on the tellie, trying to go back to sleep after my wife woke me up with…well, the TV. I had a pillow over my head trying to muffle the sound, when I heard him say that there was a new, surprising statistic that came out recently about abortion. I cracked a little space between my ears and the pillow.
Some of you may remember the TV prime time soap drama, Dallas. JR Ewing and his family were Texas oil millionaires with dysfunctional relations rarely seen in real life. One of the plot lines for a whole season occurred after one of the actors (Patrick Duffy, who played Bobby Ewing) left the show, and was not part of the TV family. At the end of the season, he must have missed his paycheck, and asked to be brought back, so the next season began with Bobby’s wife waking from a dream (and he in the shower) with this dream being the entire past season without him. All the viewers smacked their foreheads and thought “WTF?”, but then the show continued with him for a number of seasons, so it apparently didn’t affect the false reality created by the show.
In my last post, I hinted that Obama should do the right thing, and come out for marriage equality, but I allowed that since he was trying to get elected, I’d understand if he waited until the election is over.
Remember the book? Written by John F. Kennedy before he became President, the one for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1957? Yes, I know there was some talk about the possibility that he didn’t write it himself, or that he had at least a lot of help. Doesn’t matter. It set a tone in the country for the emulation of Americans who rise above their duties, against overwhelming pressure, to do what’s right. Maybe it is blown way out of proportion, but the ideal is still one we should admire.
Now, don’t respond to this by pointing out leftist hypocrisy. I know that a little human hypocrisy is inevitable. I’m even sure that you could run through 480 or so posts I have here on my blog, and find some minor instance where I exhibit hypocritical tendencies (though I feel confident there is nothing major).
This recent book by one of my favorite news commentators is subtitled The Unmooring of American Military Power. With the title and subtitle, you can get a good idea of what the thesis of the book is. Think of the Constitution as the dock, with the US Ship of State tied up securely to it. The lines tying the ship to the dock are the laws of the United States, the executive, legislative and judicial branches that create, administer and enforce those laws, and the people that work in those branches of government. Now, consider that two, sometimes all three, branches, or lines, have become frayed and worn, even purposely cut, to the point that they stretch and occasionally snap, leaving the ship to drift away from the dock, completely unmoored to land, subject to the vagaries of currents. And we have forgotten why we tied the ship to the dock in the first place.