Monday, June 30, 2014
The Supreme Court this morning issued its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. At issue was whether closely held companies like Hobby Lobby could be forced by the government to provide abortifacient coverage to its employees, in defiance of its owners’ deeply held religious beliefs.
I find this emphasis on "deeply held" religious beliefs a little, I don't know, condescending or something. I have thought for some time that religious belief for many people just consists in taking seriously a set of propositions that are empirical, among other things. If it turned out that Jesus did not rise from the dead, turn loaves and fishes into a big party, and turn water not only into wine, but really good wine, then my beliefs, at least part of the time, would have to be revised. Do I deeply hold these beliefs? I'm not sure what that means. Would I die for them. Uh, no, or at least not unless I did so out of cussedness. Deeply held beliefs make it sound like it is some kind of psychological disability. Oh, be careful, he holds those beliefs *deeply*. Like this partner at the law firm I used to work at who was said to be libertarian when as far as I could tell he was just disolute. Religious beliefs are just beliefs. They are not deeply held in proportion to how irrational they are.
After two weeks of verbal gaffes and unflattering headlines, Democratic operatives, political historians and counselors to the nation’s wealthy agree that Clinton’s current strategy — acting like she’s not incredibly rich and made her money the old-fashioned way — is not working and needs to change. Fast.
Maybe people are wising up.
A team of researchers, led by Adam Kramer at Facebook in Menlo Park, California, was curious to see if this phenomenon would occur online. To find out, they manipulated which posts showed up on the news feeds of more than 600,000 Facebook users. For one week, some users saw fewer posts with negative emotional words than usual, while others saw fewer posts with positive ones.
I use facebook rarely and now I'm glad.
The piece’s author, Alecia Phonesavanh, described what it felt like to be on the business end of an attack that was launched in error by police who believed a drug dealer to be living and operating in her house. They “threw a flashbang grenade inside,” she reported. It “landed in my son’s crib.” Now, her son is “covered in burns” and has “a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs.” So badly injured was he by the raid that he was “placed into a medically induced coma.” “They searched for drugs,” Phonesavanh confirmed, but they “never found any.” Nor, for that matter, did they find the person they were looking for. He doesn’t live there. “All of this,” she asks, “to find a small amount of drugs?”Advertisement
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover the union's costs of collective bargaining.
In a 5-4 split along ideological lines, the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights of nonmembers who disagree with the positions that unions take.
Why has the labor market contracted so much and why does it remain depressed? Major subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor and unemployed were changed in more than a dozen ways—and although these policies were advertised as employment-expanding, the fact is that they reduced incentives for people to work and for businesses to hire.
Told you so.
The federal government can't force owners of closely held for-profit companies to provide birth control coverage to female employees if they object to the administration's requirement on religious grounds, the Supreme Court ruled Monday
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Saturday, June 28, 2014
For $4.99 a month, Outbox would collect your mail and scan it. The company could unsubscribe you from unwanted catalogs and shred junk mail. A smartphone app allowed you to categorize and file bills with the swipe of a finger. Outbox could also forward wedding invitations and Christmas cards back to your home. Call it snail mail for the 21st century.
Too bad the postmaster general shut it down.