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AdLib On June - 30 - 2014

SCOTUS - Hobby Lobby

Today the SCOTUS essentially ruled that for profit companies can have religious beliefs. And that those religious beliefs can overrule whichever federal laws the Supreme Court Justices decide they can on a given day.

This is as close to a declaration of a Zombie Apocalypse as we have gotten from this Supreme Court to date. It is The Night of the Living Religious Corporation…they’re alive! And they have more rights than the actual people who work for them! Get the canned food and the shotgun, they’re coming to your neighborhood next!

This latest extremist, Constitution-tearing decision from the five fanatics running the SCOTUS is of course ideologically driven. It is an affront to the very principle on which this nation was founded, separation of church and state and the rights of citizens to be free from the religious and wealthy “ruling class”. Our independence as a nation was about the right of the people NOT to be controlled and forced to abide by the religious dictates of those who seek to dominate the rights of citizens…and through this decision, the SCOTUS Five have essentially responded to The Declaration of Independence as, “Unfair to those who work so hard and spend so much to dominate the masses.”

In the 1700’s, it was the colonists vs. King George. In 2014, it is Americans vs. The Living Dead Carrying Billions and Bibles.

Many foresaw that the crushing of citizens under the heel of corporations would become more frequent once this activist court made its Citizens United ruling, declaring corporations to be people and money to be speech (few are also aware that the SCOTUS declared ventriloquist dummies to also be people and the loud expulsion of unpleasant gasses to be speech…as they’ve personally demonstrated in their rulings).

This latest ruling was not unexpected and though it may be narrowed by the SCOTUS Five, it nonetheless sanctions a corporation’s right to deprive citizens of their rights under their ruling that “the person” that a corporation is, has superior rights to the many citizens that work for it. It is part of an overall agenda to position corporations and the wealthy as the (continuing) dominant force over the American People and leaving citizens no recourse against it. It is both cowardly and overreaching for the SCOTUS Five to declare that there is an easy fix for this. Just as they did in Citizens United, they build phony justifications to assuage whatever remains of their consciences, to convince themselves that they aren’t being radicals and they aren’t betraying the citizens of the nation as they truly are when making unsound decisions. They seek to rationalize away how they are undermining our democracy in pursuit of advancing the interests of their “class”.

“We undermined democracy and the power of citizens with our Citizens United ruling? Hey, just let Congress work together on a bipartisan basis to fix the problems…heh-heh-heh! Not our fault!”

This won’t stop here, there will be more hacking away of the rights of real people and the empowering of the wealthy and corporations over them as long as this balance remains on the Supreme Court.

The big picture is very important so when something like this happens, it should energize folks to commit themselves to electing a Democratic President in 2016 and onward. Only when one of the SCOTUS Five are replaced with a minimally decent human being of some conscience can this ongoing decimation of the rights of Americans be stopped and reversed.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

195 Responses so far.

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  1. monicaangela says:

    @sillylittleme

    Yes they are afraid, and yes future generations that are coming along today do not think as they do, there defense is to try to change the laws, turn the country into a police state and hope that if they have the money, the weapons, and the “law” on their side they will be able to stem the tide…it is obvious they are not students of world history. If they were they would have studied the Middle Ages and the system called Feudalism. The prevailing system of government in the Middle Ages was feudalism. Though the actual term “feudalism” was not used during the Middle Ages, what we now recognize as a feudalistic system of government was in control in Medieval Europe. Feudalism was a way for the Kings and upper nobility to keep control over the serfs and peasants.

    The reasons for the decline of Feudalism during the Medieval period of the Middle Ages included:

    The Crusades and travel during the Middle Ages opened new trade options to England

    England started to move from land based economy to a money based economy

    The Black Death -- this reduced the population of England by one third. Labour became a valuable commodity

    The Peasants Revolt -- Peasants realized their worth and demanded changes. Charters were granted but ignored by nobles

    More trade saw the growth of more towns

    Peasants moved away from the country into towns they were eventually allowed to buy their freedom

    Land was rented and the rights of lords over labour decreased

    The Feudal Levy was unpopular and as time went by Nobles preferred to pay the King rather than to fight and raise troops

    Armed men were paid a wage and Medieval warfare was financed by taxes and loans

    Nobles became weaker -- the Kings took back their lands and power

    A centralized government was established

    The decline of feudalism came when rich nobles were allowed to pay for soldiers rather than to fight themselves. Life changed and Mercenaries were hired from all over Europe. The Mercenaries had few allegiances, except to money, and these paid fighting men were feared throughout Europe. The threat of the Mercenaries led on to the employment of professional, trained soldiers -- the Standing Armies and ultimately the end of Middle Ages feudalism in England.

    Under feudalism the King was answerable to the Pope. At the end of the Middle Ages King Henry VIII clashed with the Pope and England subsequently broke with the Catholic church of Rome and the power of the Pope. This led to the establishment of the Church of England and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was the final ‘nail in the coffin’ of the Medieval Feudal System, feudalism, in England.

    If the Republicans and those that would try to control the world would just take a look back in time they would see that conquering humanity is impossible…sooner or later those nations and the few people controlling them and the rest of the world will fall, and fall hard.

    • sillylittleme says:

      Thanks for the history lesson. Although in truth these people don’t need to go back that far. They just want to turn back the clock to the robber baron days. And the Hobby Lobby decision is closer to the company store model than middle ages feudalism. We pay you, we take your money and then we take your rights to that which you’ve earned. At least that’s how I see it. They “give” employees insurance, even though those same employees pay a portion of that insurance and now they have the ability to dictate what aspects of health insurance they will cover. Like the company store where they have no choice but to buy what their employer is selling. It is paying for people;s wages out of one pocket, while returning same money back into the other pocket.

      • monicaangela says:

        Exactly, but believe me, they still aren’t satisfied with that, they want to own us, they want us to have absolutely no option except the option they allow us to have. They want us to become serfs, and even more they want us to thank them for the privilege.

        • sillylittleme says:

          The robber barons de facto owned their employees and not just the dads, but the moms and children too.

          • monicaangela says:

            The sharecropping system in this nation after the Civil War added up to about the same thing. Although the plantation owners lost their slave labor, they replaced it with not only the slaves they had but anyone else who needed to work the fields in order to feed themselves and their children.

  2. funksands says:

    I think a lot of people are looking at this case the wrong way. In my very humble and often wrong opinion, this is less about a case of codifying religious preference like the tax code, and more about how this court has overwhelming found for a corporate plaintiff/defendent in nearly every single case it has heard.

    The ruling itself is breathtaking for four reasons:

    1) The people that run the company sincerely believe what they believe
    2) That their belief isn’t based in any science or reality doesn’t matter

    and

    3) This doesn’t apply to ANY OTHER HEALTH ISSUE OF ANY KIND
    4) And can never be used as a precedent in future cases

    Basically the Supreme Court has reduced itself to doing this 1 corporation a favor by rendering a judgement in its favor “just because”.

    That the most powerful governmental body on earth is willing to lower itself to doing a solid for 1 company is the scariest thing about this judgement. It means they are willing to do anything, anytime and no longer give a shit what anyone thinks about it.

    • kesmarn says:

      Yes, funk. And of course this one solid for one company is now (no matter what the the fraudulent five say) going to result in some more solids for all the other cases in the pipeline as well.

      My question is: when I slip and fall in Hobby Lobby this winter (which is looking more and more likely by the day), why can’t I sue Mr. Green personally as well as Hobby Lobby? Since that wall of protection of the owner’s assets — the one that is supposedly guaranteed by the act of corporation — is so very fuzzy and blurry, why not just erase it altogether? After all — there’s no line between Mr. Green’s “beliefs” and the corporation’s… Let’s just take that to its logical conclusion.

      • NoManIsAnIsland says:

        Well said, kesmarn. And it certainly won’t
        be your fault when you slip and fall on a
        banana peel in Hobby Lobby this winter —
        and sue David Green personally as well as
        Hobby Lobby! ;)

        • kesmarn says:

          It’s only July, NoMan, but I can feel my balance starting to go already… ;-)

          • NoManIsAnIsland says:

            I hear you Kes, but don’t try to
            fight it. You just have a few
            months to go now, and your
            balance will get worse and
            worse until you stagger into
            a Hobby Lobby lobby and
            then….Ooooooops! — down
            you’ll go, and the banana peel,
            I mean ball, will be in David
            Green’s court; and he’ll know
            the joy of being sued personally
            for your “accidental” fall.

            And after you win your suit,
            he’ll experience the ecstasy of
            having to pay the damages
            from his own pocket as well
            as from Hobby Lobby’s
            corporate coffers!

            As a very caring, charitable,
            and hypocritical religious
            extremist, he’ll get more
            pleasure from paying
            twice than he could ever
            have imagined! ;)

      • funksands says:

        Kes, I have no problem with corporations being separate “entities” for tax and legal purposes. There are advantages and disadvantages for doing so and the two generally balance each other out.

        The problem began when they stopped being considered tax and liability “entities” and started being called “people”.

        The problem has accelerated to the point where corporations are now considered “superior people” with more rights and less liability than a human. That’s scary.

        Would a Constitutional Amendment to repeal corporate personhood remove the legitimate reasons to have a corporation? Would we have to throw out the baby with the bathwater?

        The more the Amendment has to parse its language to carve out exceptions, the less likely it seems to me that it would be able to pass with 2/3 of statehouse votes

        • kesmarn says:

          I’m with you, funk. I don’t have a problem with incorporation either.

          Until they try to play it both ways. “My company and I are two separate “people” if you’re planning to sue.”

          But: “When it comes to religion, we’re the same person.”

          Can’t have it both ways. (Well, not until yesterday, anyway.) :-(

  3. Pete Geller says:

    Interesting how Hobby Lobby doesn’t object to the profits of the pharmaceutical corporations who make these ‘objectionable’ drugs for their 401k investments. Pity hypocrisy isn’t a sin….

    • NoManIsAnIsland says:

      Hypocrisy is a sin, Pete Geller, but unfortunately not one
      that can be prosecuted in a court of law.

    • sillylittleme says:

      How about the fact that many of their products are made in China. You know the country that has a one-girl per family governmental policy? And the same country that demands abortions from those who attempt to have a second female child? Hypocrisy should be tattooed on the Green families’ foreheads for all the world to see.

    • kesmarn says:

      Welcome to the Planet, Pete! And yes, funny too how those laws that protect the owners of corporations from being sued personally — thus placing a virtual “wall” between the owner and the corporate “person” — no longer seem to matter when the owner wants to mind-merge with the corporation and hold a “sincerely held belief,” which he then wants to inflict on everybody else!

      • NoManIsAnIsland says:

        Oh, Kes, the benefits of hypocrisy and greed
        can go on without end — especially if one’s
        a greedy, blood-sucking plutocrat!

        Just saying…and with no particular plutocrats
        in mind — certainly not the Green family of
        Hobby Lobby infamy!

  4. funksands says:

    What’s also interesting (and likely already discussed here) is that Hobo Lobby had contraceptive coverage in their health plan up until the point they dropped it and filed federal suit.

  5. funksands says:

    Its interesting that a corporation, which is solely and only a creature created by the state in which it is domiciled can be created by the state to avoid its laws.

    • AdLib says:

      Funk, well, I’d argue that it’s not the state that is permitting it to avoid laws, it is one radical ideologue (out of the Felonious Five) who has decided that. Replace one human being on the Supreme Court and everything changes. That shouldn’t be the case, conservative or liberal, the founding principles of this nation shouldn’t be so easy to flip.

      It’s all about one man, something is seriously wrong with that.

  6. AdLib says:

    If you’re looking to share a list of companies to boycott along with Hobby Lobby, The Daily Beast has compiled an initial list of 82 other corporations, organizations and schools that will likely be joining them in treating women as 2nd Class Citizens:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/30/after-hobby-lobby-these-77-corporations-will-drop-birth-control-coverage.html

  7. NoManIsAnIsland says:

    AdLib, you’re right on the money — if the facist majority of the SCOTUS will allow a plebian like me to use that word.

    You speak the cold, hard and unvarnished truth not only to power, but
    to irrationality, idiocy and blatant injustice as well.

  8. RSGmusic says:

    OK, Hobby lobby does not get a penny of my money or my wife’s for the rest of our life. you can boycott them. Many will. Then they will see this law takes money away from their business.

    Many Good employees will not work for this religious business!

    • AdLib says:

      RSGmusic, I hope those employees of theirs who would hopefully lose their jobs in the future due to the backlash against Hobby Lobby and the endless boycott, do go out now to find better jobs and employers before they have no job.

      Those of conscience and anyone who really values the principles of our country and it’s founding should hopefully be ready to boycott them and the other companies that follow in their footsteps. Let them set up their businesses in other countries where religious beliefs rule, such principles are not compatible with the bedrock principles of this nation.

      • Mopshell says:

        I’ve read of a couple who have already taken to protesting outside their local Hobby Lobby. They spoke with one woman who knew nothing about the case. When they explained it to her, she told them she was never shopping at Hobby Lobby again and, true to her word, turned around and left!

        Another lady, who owns two online craft sites, put up notices on each one to say that she did not support or buy from Hobby Lobby. She also pasted the same sign on her FB account. She said that within seconds of posting it, she was receiving messages of support from all over and people were re-posting her sign to their accounts.

        Another woman said she went to Hobby Lobby’s FB page where she found hundreds of people leaving messages protesting their case. Apparently Hobby Lobby was trying to answer them all but couldn’t keep up with the volume.

        Another protest is being organized for a new Hobby Lobby store due to open in Florida in early August. That grand opening will be like none they’ve ever had before!

        People online are talking about alternative businesses and checking their backgrounds before deciding. Michael’s was an early contender but lost out when it was discovered that it was owned by Bain. Jo-Anne’s now seems to be the favored online venue with many recommending smaller, local craft supply stores.

        It’s an extraordinary response and shows the real energy and force of people power in action. I doubt Hobby Lobby will have been expecting this and it will be interesting to see how they try to deal with it. They’re hardly likely to back down and may well go out of business at this rate. It will certainly put the brakes on any other company trying the same ploy!

      • RSGmusic says:

        Yes Adlib your post is so correct.
        Count me in on the boycott!

        live long and prosper!!

  9. monicaangela says:

    @sillylittleme….that makes two of us. :)

  10. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    For the Framers….Freedom OF Religion meant Freedom FOR AND FROM Religion…they knew the tyranny of imposed faith by churches like the Anglican, the Established Church of England, and less formal, but still very real influence of the various Protestant Churches, and the Catholic Church in particular colonies.

    They also feared the power of corporate bodies like the Money Besotted Parliament, the Monopolistic Trading Companies and the Churches.

    As a result the Framers made it clear in a variety of ways that corporate power had to be checked.

    Well today we have another example of how the so-called originalists and strict constructionists on the court are in fact radically opposed to the very Founders and Framers they enshrine.

    • NoManIsAnIsland says:

      You’re absolutely correct, Murph, and what happened
      in the renegade so-called “Supreme” Court yesterday
      must have left our founding fathers — or their dust
      — spinning in their graves.

    • AdLib says:

      Murph, it is kind of a flip of the middle finger by the SCOTUS Five to The Framers, to hold up religious beliefs that deny rights to citizens as superior to our laws.

      If this doesn’t wholly disqualify this SCOTUS of having the moral authority to rule over Constitutional issue in this nation, I don’t know what would.

    • sillylittleme says:

      As you know they carry around little pocket versions of the Constitution. Of course, they misinterpret the first two and have no use for any of the rest…

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Thanks for keeping an eye out for that list from the women’s groups.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Like many fundamentalist Christians with their Bibles, they only read the parts they like and reinterpret/rewrite the parts they do not.

        • Nirek says:

          Murph, you have struck a nerve with me.
          The Bible is a good guideline.
          But it was written by man (fallible) and interpreted and rewritten and reinterpreted and so on and so on also by man (still fallible). So nobody with any sanity can take what is written in the Bible literally. It’s just a guideline. That’s all.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            I see the Bible as a library of books- history, literature, philosophy, poetry, law code, science….all written in the context of a timeline spanning 4000 years. It reflects the understanding of many, many people in communion with an experience of the “other” which they call divine and name “God”.

            I happen to regard the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament and most of the New Testament as among the finest expression of the human reach for the transcendent but so are the teachings of the Buddha.

            • Ok, I was going along until you mentioned “science.” Really? Science?

              All of the previous modes of study, in the Bible, are directed toward one end. One very predetermined end.

              Yes, the bible IS a tremendous literary accomplishment. No doubt. Yes, you could say there are philosophical elements, but they are all A Priori.

              Where are the dialectics? Where is the reason? Where is there any empirical evidence?

          • monicaangela says:

            Hear, hear !!!

        • sillylittleme says:

          Not to mention they take a lot from the OT, which as any Jew (I being one myself) will tell you, they got it so wrong I wouldn’t know how to explain to them that they missed the lesson one is supposed to get from any particular passage.

    • RSGmusic says:

      HI murph,
      Yes i like your post. Seems the 1993 decision weighed in too much.

      It is almost impossible to violate ones religion. IN this case all a religious person has to say if it is provided, is say NO!!

      Hobby lobbies owners do not employ the h/care employees. Nor can they say well you can not offer any service or products at any price. This is a violation of free enterprise. The health care buys the contraceptives not the owner.

      As for religious h/care providers. mandate does not mean forced. A Mandate is a tax and they can pay that instead. They did bring up they must offer more money to draw employees! Well they do not have to raise their pay and employing people is not a religious aspect.

      Back to having them available for the mandate. OK they buy a few, maybe ten of each type they object about. OK my price for selling them to you is 200 BILLION dollars. Money now puts these things out of anyone’s ability to pay. There is their religious objection by the free enterprise system.

      last the law only effects women on the types they do not like. Men will not a can not use them. SO the law only applies to women making it unconstitutional. All constitutional laws must effect men and women the same.

      live long and prosper!!

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        RSG…the more one looks at this ruling the more problematic it gets…you point out four of the pot holes that mar the smooth highway that the conservative justices claim to be laying out.

        HL is picking and choosing what it will and will not cover (as you note) without reference to the science. The SCOTUS in validating this has opened up pandora’s box and despite their assurance that their ruling is narrow, future plantiffs will be pushing out the walls that the five conservatives say they have put into place.

        • NoManIsAnIsland says:

          Right again, Murph, although the five
          IN-justices in the immoral majority in
          this abomination of a decision have no
          claim to being called “conservatives.”

          That funeral train of the last real
          conservatives left the station for the
          cemetery of dead ideologies a long time
          ago.

          The four horsemen of the right-wing
          reactionary judicial apocalypse — and
          their oft-time fellow traveler Anthony
          Kennedy — are corporatist reactionaries
          of the most dangerous kind, and their
          alleged “reasoning” and unconstitutional
          decisions are more in keeping with those
          of “judges” of totalitarian regimes like
          Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Communist
          Russia than any efforts of traditional conservatives.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            I was with you all the way until the end of your last sentence.

            Yes the 4 most conservative judges really are reactionary- that is they are reacting against rather than acting for- the very definition of being anti-progressive.

            But this does not mean they are operating within a totalitarian superstructure. They are not. The operate within the same context as the liberal courts of the past have done.

            • NoManIsAnIsland says:

              Murph, I take your point; and
              as I think I can see how I failed to make my meaning clear to you and possibly others, I welcome the second chance to state it better.

              When I compared the “‘reasoning’ and unconstitutional decisions” of the reactionary justices of the SCOTUS to the deliberations, such as they were, in the totalitarian regimes I noted,
              in no way did I intend to imply
              the SCOTUS operates “within a
              totalitarian superstructure.” I would be the last to claim any faction of justices reaches majority decisions except by winning a majority of justices’ votes.

              All I wanted to say was that as apparent partisans and all-but-
              open allies of the reactionary American ruling elites, our “4 most conservative judges” (in your words) — in their enthusiasm to rule in favor of corporations over individuals, to equate money with speech, and to keep women in what they think is “their place” — remind me of judges in countries ruled by dictators, where every decision is made automatically for the state.

              Every decision in a totalitarian court, of course, is unanimous by definition. And if the most extreme right-wing Republican reactionaries had their way, it would be that way here also. But the SCOTUS is still a democratic institution, and over the span of our history has so far managed to reach reasonable equilibrium — even as it’s sometimes veered in lamentable directions.

              I can’t know if this explanation will bring you “all the way” with me, but I hope at least
              you understand what I was trying to get across.

              In any case, I’d like to know what you think now.

        • RSGmusic says:

          yea MurphTHeSurf3 you are so correct. We the people should impeach the conservatives on the supreme court for voting the GOP party line.

      • Mopshell says:

        I’ve really missed you RSG -- it’s so very good to see you here! (◕‿◕)

        • RSGmusic says:

          HI Mopshell. Yes i am here now. I joined a long time ago but did post much here.

          Yes i miss you also.
          OH i follow you on Daily Kos also. i am learning that system also.

          DeL my wife says HI.

          live long and prosper!!

          • Mopshell says:

            There are now three different Australiana 101 diaries -- parts 1,2 & 3. (◕‿◕)

          • Mopshell says:

            Give Del a hug for me! Oh it’s so lovely to be in contact with you both again!

            I’ve seen you at Daily Kos too. Did you catch my Australiana 101 posts? I think you’d enjoy them.

            Hugs to you both. xo

            • RSGmusic says:

              OH yes Mopshell< Australiana 101 was very good. i did read it 3 times, I have a friend there who handle is wellreadAUSSIE2 in Hp. We trade e mails on another system. SO what i know of Australia is from him. HE is on the Indian ocean side and says the season are wet and dry.

              Yep yep yep DeL agrees hugs back.

              long life!!

  11. PollyTics says:

    @sillylittleme:
    Again, it is never about one person but that the legislation is driven by a majority. Yes, Weiner may have had the mouth to challenge what Pelosie said and was attempting to do, but that does not equate to ONE person one outcome.

    • sillylittleme says:

      Many of us wanted to at least see it come to a vote. She made that promise to him and then reneged. Most of us would prefer legislation be brought forth so that we have a record of how they vote. That helps us to determine if they are worthy of being reelected.

      • Mopshell says:

        The single payer option does exist within the ACA and at least a couple of blue states are talking about taking it up in the near future. It seems to me that the long-range plan was to slot it into the ACA with the expectation that it would be the states who drive it into being just as they are doing with equal marriage rights and marijuana legalization. Actually, I can see how marijuana legalization might well be the ideal companion to single-payer in that the first would generate enough tax revenue to fund the second!

        While I prefer universal health cover co-existing with private insurers rather than single-payer only, American health insurance companies have been so utterly immoral that I can sympathize with anyone who wants to rid the country of these parasites!

        • sillylittleme says:

          We will end up with something closer to what the Swiss have. Basic coverage as a provision of the government. Additional insurance that can be purchased at a much lower group rate. I think that was the idea behind the provision in the ACA. Although if we didn’t have the irrational Rs we could have had that and be done with the fight over who got what.
          What really fries my socks is that it was the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies that suggested that we have no co-pay for birth control. Made sense since the patents have long since expired (pharma) and the cost of prenatal, birth and postnatal care is expensive (ins co).

  12. monicaangela says:

    I believe this would be a very good time to begin boycotting The Hobby Lobby. Employees who work for Hobby Lobby should protest by seeking employment elsewhere. This I believe was a test case brought forth by Hobby Lobby yes, but as Ruth Bader Ginsberg says: SCOTUS Has ‘Ventured Into A Minefield’ In this Birth Control Ruling.

    George Carlin may he rest in peace explains it best:


    • NoManIsAnIsland says:

      Monicaangela, by the magic of YouTube you’ve brought the slashing wit and wisdom of George Carlin into our discussion and proven even death can’t still the clarion call of his eternally strong voice!

      And what Carlin said in this video is just as
      pertinent as I remember it being when I heard him
      say it years ago.

      It’s said “The more things change, the more they
      remain the same.” But some things remain the same
      precisely because they HAVEN’T changed.

      A case in point: Even before the American Revolution, slaveholders, and not only in the South, forbade their slaves on pain of death to learn to read and write.

      They knew learning is key to education, education is key to knowledge, and knowledge is key to the truth that ultimately sets slaves — and all others who grasp it — free.

      As all of us denizens of PlanetPOV — and a much
      smaller percentage of Americans in general —
      know, next year marks the 150th anniversary of the end
      of the American Civil War and the legal, but only technically so, emancipation of African Americans.

      Though the war was over, the efforts by former
      slaveholders of the antebellum South to keep their now “freed” slaves in their political, social and economic chains continued as if the war had never happened.

      And this effort wasn’t and still isn’t limited to the South, as minorities and poor whites throughout
      the U.S. struggle to learn anything of value in the
      myriad of substandard public schools in racial
      ghettoes and poor white neighborhoods.

      And in the eyes of the kleptocrats and plutocrats
      who really run this country, they feel if such
      education, or rather the lack of it, is good enough for minorities and poor whites, it’s also
      good enough for the low information and low
      intellect citizens who --though they make more money, live in better neighborhoods, and look down on their supposed social and economic
      “inferiors” — are really in the same sinking boat but refuse to realize it !

      This is what I mean by saying “But some things
      remain the same precisely because they HAVEN’T changed.” As long as human beings live on the earth, those who have the most power will try to keep it at any price, knowing the major cost will keep most of their countrymen in thrall as their modern-day serfs and slaves — even if it leads to their, and their country’s, eventual destruction.

      And until those who vote for the political puppets
      of the plutocrats who privately mock and scorn them begin to break the bonds of their ignorance and indifference through education and just saying “No!” to Faux News and other organs of right-wing propaganda, we will continue to fight an uphill battle to revitalize and reclaim our endangered democracy.

      • monicaangela says:

        Well said NoManIsAnIsland. You write like Xzibitx used to write when we were all over at HP. Excellent post IMHO. As for those who would keep their fellow citizens in bondage through ignorance I couldn’t agree more. I believe they, those who have the wealth and power believe they will be able to enslave the entire earth with their sinister deeds. As you know, I believe we are all connected, and that those who for the sake of greed or for whatever reason choose to harm others, in the end are only hurting themselves. Followers of Albert Einstein, Einstein himself and many others were also believers in the fact that everything in this world, the universe even, is connected.

        So, with that said, I would just say that those Kleptocrats and Plutocrats you speak of remind me of Drug addicts, they are in fact sick, their actions appear to me as the actions of someone addicted to drugs. Many people do not understand why individuals become addicted to drugs or in this case power. They mistakenly view drug abuse or the abuse of power as strictly a social problem and may characterize those who take drugs or become Kleptocrats or Plutocrats as morally weak. One very common belief is that those who abuse power or drugs, in keeping with the analogy, should be able to just stop if they are only willing to change their behavior.

        What people often underestimate is the complexity an addiction to power or drug addiction—both are a disease that impacts the brain and because of that, stopping the abuse is not simply a matter of willpower. Through scientific advances we now know much more about how exactly addictions work in the brain, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and resume their productive lives; now, if only science would take on the task of trying to find a cure for those who are addicted to power.

        • NoManIsAnIsland says:

          Thank you very much, monicaangela.
          I don’t remember seeing the name
          “Xzibitx” on HP, but it’s possible I may
          have read some of her/his posts.

          And even had you not recently established
          our own MAS (Mutual Admiration Society), I
          would say your response to my post above
          is right on the mark.

          Almost as far back in my life as I can
          remember, I’ve had a consuming interest
          in why human beings and the so-called
          “lower” (hah!!!) animals think and act as
          they do and, starting in high school, did
          close to 3 years of independent hands-on research on the subject.

          And even though I’m no longer active in
          professional neuroscience research, the
          field fascinates me as much as it did
          when I was a small child.

          While I can’t say how far I take the literal
          meaning of universal connectedness, I
          do believe we may never be able to fully
          understand — let alone quantify — its
          extent.

          And I like and endorse your hypothesis
          that kleptocrats , plutocrats and drug
          addicts suffer from the same disorder!

          As you know, Archimedes said “Give me
          a lever long enough and a fulcrum on
          which to place it, and I shall move the
          world.” And if a cure could be found
          for the addiction to power, we could
          move the world not physically, but
          in a way equally important.

          But until that great day comes, all we
          can do is to plug away to educate the
          masses to act in their enlightened self
          interest and not effectively cut their
          noses off to spite their faces by
          slavishly following the dictates the
          kleptocrats and plutocrats and their
          Congressional puppets.

          • monicaangela says:

            Xzibitx had many different monikers, and used many different Avatars over at HP, I believe at one time he had three different personalities there, all at the same time. He was very intelligent. I truly enjoyed reading his intellectual offerings, as well as the way in which he used comedy to make a point, also, the way he would continually push the envelope to make you prove your point or concede to his way of thinking. He was an excellent writer IMHO.

            Now, back to the subject. You wrote: “But until that great day comes, all we can do is to plug away to educate the masses to act for their enlightened self interest and not effectively cut their noses off to spite their faces by slavishly following the dictates of the kleptocrats and plutocrats and their Congressional puppets.”

            That my friend is the answer “EDUCATION” that is the key to all of this. If only we could find a way to get everyone to slow down and pay attention long enough to receive that education, that I believe is the task. Maybe we need to find a way to teach people while they are on the go…maybe we need to be fighting harder as citizens to at least bring back the “fairness doctrine,” that I believe would allow us to dispel much of the lies and misleading truths that are being put forth by the kleptocrats and plutocrats. At any rate, the job is to literally save people from themselves. People don’t suffer because of what happens to them, they suffer because of their reaction to the things that happen to them. People are the source of their own suffering IMHO, but having said that, the question still remains: How do you save people from themselves? Maybe it is impossible, but I will continue to work on the project. :)

            • NoManIsAnIsland says:

              Thank you for telling me more
              about Xzibitx — now I feel
              even more flattered that I
              reminded you of him!

              There’s really no magic bullet
              to cure the ills we’re talking about, no single approach that
              will do the trick. And that’s
              not necessarily a bad thing.

              A multi-pronged approach
              involving everything we’ve
              discussed has a better
              chance of bringing needed
              change than a narrowly
              focused effort might.

              Bringing back the “fairness
              doctrine” is a must,
              regardless of anything else.
              That’s for sure.

              It always has and always
              will be a sisyphean task to
              try to save people from
              themselves, but that’s why
              greater emphasis on
              meaningful education is so
              important. For when people
              learn enough to realize their
              false prophets and leaders are
              shafting them, they’re likelier
              to understand they need help
              to better themselves and look
              for it.

              We’ve always been there for
              our less aware brothers and
              sisters, and as long as we stay
              true to our principles and
              remain alert, we’ll still be there
              to guide them toward the
              light, so to speak.

    • Mopshell says:

      Brilliant! And the perfect video for this conversation, Monicangela!

      As for Ruth Bader Ginsberg saying SCOTUS has “ventured into a minefield” with this ruling, the five are about to find out that she’s not only right but that this particular minefield is not confined to the legal domain -- it is being seeded by people power nationwide! Boycotts, protests, sidewalk counselling of their customers and an online campaign that is already in the process of going viral will have a huge impact within a matter of days! It may even spill over into getting liberals out to vote.

      • NoManIsAnIsland says:

        Very astute and well-written post, Mopshell, and I’d like to welcome you to PlanetPOV, too.

        We may only realize this in retrospect, but I feel the latest Supreme(ly Ignorant) Court miscarriage of justice may be the tipping point in our long battle to extinguish the fires of ignorance and hatred set by the wild-eyed, far right-wing Republican reactionaries in the U.S. and their morally bankrupt fascist allies in the supposedly highest court in the land.

        I hope all of the outcomes you project in the burgeoning campaign of outrage over the attempt
        to further diminish the status of women come true, and especially “…may even spill over into getting liberals out to vote.” If it happens, I won’t be the least bit disappointed!

      • monicaangela says:

        If that doesn’t, I hope the decision they slipped by in the Oregon Unions dues case will. :)

    • AdLib says:

      Wow, what a great speech by Carlin, the kind of smart, brutally honest talk you rarely ever hear. Stewart and Colbert indict the system comedic ally but Carlin zooms out to expose the whole system as corrupt and a sham.

      Always was a big fan of his but never saw this clip before, thanks for this Monicaangela!

      • monicaangela says:

        You’re welcome. George Carlin was and is one of my heroes. I had the pleasure of seeing him in person several times. My late husband was wise enough to buy every piece of material he could find that George Carlin produced. We, believed from the first time we were introduced to his work that he was like a man crying in the wilderness. Comedy is powerful, comedy that expresses the truth about politics and government is priceless.

        For you and others who may not be familiar with much of Carlin’s work, I suggest you take a little time and familiarize yourself with it. Stewart and Colbert are good, but they come after Carlin in my book, he was GREAT. :)

    • Beatlex says:

      Carlin was the BEST at pointing out hypocrisy Monica.We need his voice now more than ever.Although what he left Us with was considerable

      • monicaangela says:

        You can say that again, I often watch footage of his shows, and you would be surprised at how much of his material is still relevant, as a matter of fact, even more relevant than during the times he used it in his act. I watch clips of him, and all I can say is George Carlin was a visionary to say the least. :)

        • I’ve been a huge fan of Mr. Carlin’s since the early 70s. He was not only an excellent wordsmith, but he was a genuine truth teller. Fearless in his approach to speak truth to power.

          Fortunately for us, he lives on through his work that has been so well documented on video, audio and in books.

          He’s absolutely correct, “You and I are not in the Big Club.” And I have to say, I would never want to be either.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            Remember that the New Testament is written in the first 150 years of the Christian Era placing it 1200 years before even the most basic of the empirical, math and precise observation sciences emerges.

            The closest comparison would be the work of Aristotle and the Greek Physical Philosophers whose work is interesting but almost entirely wrong in terms of the science of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance.

            • So Murph, once again, we are in basic agreement. I suppose you could call, loosely, philosophy as the science of the mind, and dialectics falls squarely in that category.

              But there is no science, as we know it, to ever be found in either the New Testament or the Old.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            It is not science as we understand it but it was their effort to explain the workings of the natural order. Sometimes we dismiss the description of the universe in Genesis 1 as symbolic mythic poetry but there is ample evidence that the ancient Hebrews regarded the description as an accurate image of the universe as they knew it. If science does not work for you then perhaps natural philosophy is better.

            • Natural philosophy does sound marginally better, but with our intractable knowledge of real science, it’s very difficult to ascribe the mere notion of science to anything in the Bible.

              Because of the strict beliefs garnered from those who professed the Bible to be the epitome of knowledge, real scientists were tried as heretics and blasphemers.

          • monicaangela says:

            I agree with you on not being a part of the Big Club. I am honored to not be a member of that club, and spend much of my time trying to make sure others know what that club is all about and cease trying to become a part of it.

            Those in the club have many in a situation that is the equivalent to the mouse and the treadmill IMHO, many people in the world are on that treadmill trying to reach a goal that might allow them to become a part of that club or at least get close to those who are a part of that club without realizing what a horrible person they would have to become in order to be accepted….still, somehow those in that club have convinced the world that consumerism and having more, more, more is the way to become somebody…a member of the “CLUB” if you will…sad, truly sad.

            I truly hope I am still alive when the world begins to realize how controlled the majority of us are, stands up, wakes up, or whatever it takes and begins the task of breaking the chains that bind us.

          • sillylittleme says:

            You and me both.

    • sillylittleme says:

      Thanks I needed a little Carlin to put things in perspective.

      • monicaangela says:

        I truly miss George Carlin, he knew then where we were headed, and though he did not live to see it come into existence, I believe his warnings through comedy were on the money. When will the people of this nation wake up? I wonder…

        • sillylittleme says:

          The problem is that many of us are awake, but the ones who think that they are need to be on anti-psychotic meds. Because they are causing the nightmare we all have to live through.

          • NoManIsAnIsland says:

            Truer words were never spoken,
            sillylittleme.

            While the ignorant masses of low-
            information and even lower
            intellect voters sleepwalk through
            their lives, they hold undeserved
            influence in the U.S. as their votes
            have put in office enough
            Republican presidents who have
            visited havoc on the Supreme
            Court and the nation with their
            appointment of almost brain
            dead but ultra-reactionary
            IN-justices.

            Citizens United and today’s
            outrage against women’s
            reproductive rights are the
            inevitable consequences.

            Since we may never be able
            to awaken and educate those
            who are causing our national
            nightmare, our only chance to
            end it is to outvote them, and
            I think we’re really coming
            close to a critical tipping point
            in reclaiming the spirit of our
            dying democracy.

            There are still far more
            moderates, liberals and
            progressives in the U.S. than
            there are right-wing radicals
            and ultra-reactionaries. If
            our superior numbers can’t
            overwhelm them now when
            we outnumber them, what
            chance will we have when
            they become more numerous
            and drive the country even
            further to the right?

            • monicaangela says:

              Spot on NoManIsAnIslan…imagine, We, this nation had the audacity to try to semi-justify the war in Afghanistan by pointing to how the Taliban was treating the women of that nation. Men deciding if women can be educated, beating them in the streets if their ankle showed from beneath their Burka etc.

              We were bombarded with these images daily in the MSM to help the Bush administration gain sympathy for the unjust war they were raging. LOL !!

              Where is the media today? Why are they not equating this move by the Supreme Court to the tactics of the Taliban? I don’t see a difference, 5 men deciding that women in the U.S. should not be insured by their employer when it comes to contraceptives because of religious beliefs held by the employer…..amazing, simply amazing.

              The religious fanatics in this nation are no different than those we claim to be railing against for their backward inhumane treatment of women. Wake Up America !!! :)

            • sillylittleme says:

              I think the opposite is what is happening. They see their demise as the writing on the wall it is. Future generations aren’t encumbered by the same prejudices and lack of ability to see reality. Their numbers are shrinking. But they are doing as much damage as they can on the way out.

          • monicaangela says:

            Fear cripples, people are afraid to face the truth, I imagine this is the way it was in Germany right before Hitler’s rise to power.

  13. monicaangela says:

    Excellent article AdLib….the citizens of this country can put a stop to all of this if they would only vote the republican party out. If we could return the House to democratic rule and keep the Senate in democratic control, we could insist that congress fix the affordable care act. We could demand Single Payer and hold the democrats accountable if they refuse to act to write legislation that would in effect grant single payer to the citizens of this nation. This would take Health Care out of the hands of employers. That is what is needed IMHO.

    As for the Supreme Court these days, it is the best money can buy, controlled by a few at the expense of many.

    • AdLib says:

      Monicaangela, so true but the ignorance of so many voters is a big obstacle (most don’t even know which parties control each house of Congress, a Pew poll showed that this week).

      And with gerrymandering, it’s a slim but not impossible chance to take back the House.

      However, if one of the SCOTUS Five would be beamed up to a UFO, changing the majority to a moderate/liberal one could reverse so much of this damage.

      I do hope often that I will wake up to the news one day of Scalia being taken away for endless alien “probes” forever and Obama nominating a new justice to turn around that majority.

      • monicaangela says:

        The stage is set, the fix is in, and the poor and less fortunate are kept very busy just trying to keep up with the Jones.’ We have Airwaves that are dominated by corporations, Airwaves that could be utilized to educate the hard working disengaged public, but politicians have cut off that avenue to the everyday man, they have filled the Airwaves with propaganda, mostly right wing.

        Many voters go along to get along, vote the way their family does, parents did, straight ticket, for their team, R or D, without even knowing what the issues are or if their even are any issues…one issue voters, voters who believe they will gain something from the man or woman they are sending to Washington, one thing or two, not realizing that these people are actually getting their signature so to speak on a legally binding paper that says, this person has the right to decide for me in all issues that might concern me and my family.

        I often wonder if voters realize what they are doing when they vote for candidates without knowing their ideology, who their backers are, what their positions on the issues are etc., I truly can’t understand how people can go to the polls and vote for a person because they belong to the “right” team…Republican or Democrat, without knowing if that person is really a part of the Club that is going to eventually take more from them than they help them to get. Democracy is wonderful in concept, but when the game is fixed as it is in this nation, it leaves a lot to be desired.

        In regards to the media…wouldn’t you like to see the “Fairness Doctrine” reinstated?

    • NoManIsAnIsland says:

      Exactly right, monicaangela — and are you reading my
      mind, or what! ;)

      • monicaangela says:

        Reading your mind, now there’s an interesting prospect…I’m not sure if that would be a good or bad thing, but I do know from reading your post, it would be a very interesting undertaking, would that I could. :)

        • NoManIsAnIsland says:

          Although full disclosure demands I
          acknowledge it is in fact my mind I
          speak of and therefore can’t be
          deemed an entirely objective observer,
          I think it would be a generally good
          thing were you able to read my mind.

          That said, I don’t know how interesting
          it would be to you. From having read
          oodles and oodles of your posts going
          back to HP days, I’d have to say you
          might find it an exercise in
          redundancy — been there, thought
          that — as your posted opinions
          seem to be in close to perfect
          congruence with mine, differing
          infrequently and then only in
          minor degrees.

          — And I write this with no little
          trepidation, as I’ve dared to
          compare my mind to yours!

          Oh, hubris, see what you’ve done
          to me! ;)


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