Free Markets and Unicorns
Q. What do you call it when you lie about the mileage when selling a car?
A. Fraud. The NHTSA calls this a “serious crime and consumer fraud issue.” Additionally, between 2002 and 2005 the NHTSA Office of Odometer Fraud says there was a “definite escalation in [odometer] fraud.”
Q. What do you call it when a woman falsely claims to have a tubal ligation?
A. Tom B. Taker, Jr. Or, as I like to call it, a 21-year donation to The Human Fund.
Today’s axiom is a simple one.
Tom’s Law #42
There’s no such thing as a free market.
You think I’ve gone too far this time? You say, “Open your eyes, Tom. Look around. You’ll see free markets everywhere you look.”
Bollocks! (If only those had been tied instead.)
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On Monday the Supreme Court Of The United Status (SCOTUS) rendered a decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
What’s a “Burwell,” you ask? As the Secretary of Health and Human Services at the time the decision was rendered*, Sylvia Burwell automatically became a footnote to history. Based on her position, as far as this case is concerned, she’s a proxy for the United States.
melt down (fat) – process (the carcass of an animal) in order to extract proteins, fats, and other usable parts.
At issue (per the Hobby Lobby website): The federal government mandating that “family businesses provide four specific potentially life-terminating drugs and devices through their employee health plan in conflict with their deeply held religious convictions.” Widely the issue is described as contraception. So what are these four drugs? “[T]wo kinds of emergency contraceptive or ‘morning after’ pills, and two types of intrauterine devices, or IUDs.”
Which way did SCOTUS break? Let’s put it this way. I went to the official Hobby Lobby online store and clicked a menu option labeled “News Center.” I was whisked away from shopping to HobbyLobbyCase.com, a lavishly and gorgeously designed website which proudly proclaimed, “A VICTORY FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.”
I guess that answers the question, “Will they keep it low key?” Obviously, hell no. Shout it from the mountain top Moses-style. Some can just naturally sense the appropriate amount of decorum. Is gloating one of the seven deadly sins?
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Independence, Church and State
Today is Independence Day. This holiday commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence is an amazing document. Luckily, it is of sufficient strength to be impervious to being waved about for crass short-term political nefariousness from the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others.
In honor of the occasion, I’d like to share a few thoughts, opinions and facts regarding the document that announced the thirteen American colonies had become independent states and how it came to be used (by some) as an instrument to denounce the concept of the separation between church and state.
The Declaration of Independence was primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, who was one member of a “Committee of Five” appointed by Congress to draft the declaration. That committee determine that Jefferson should write the first draft. That draft was written within 17 days between June 11 and June 28, 1776. After consulting with others, Jefferson produced another copy which was then presented to Congress on June 28, 1776.
The vote for independence took place on July 2, 1776. The resolution of independence was adopted with twelve affirmative votes and one abstention. (The delegates from New York were not authorized to vote for independence.) In a letter to his wife, John Adams predicted the date would become a great American holiday. Continue reading →