Justice halts birth control mandate

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor has issued an order blocking the implementation of Obamacare’s requirement that employers–even those with religious objections–must provide their employees insurance that covers birth control and morning after pills.  The stay is temporary, but it’s an important development.

Some will be surprised that Justice Sotomayor made this move.  “Isn’t she one of the liberals?”  But liberal judges too can follow the Constitution.  Besides, I have never understood the connection between liberalism and supporting abortion.  Liberal rhetoric is all about helping the poor, the weak, and the marginalized, while ignoring the poorest, the weakest, and the most marginalized of all, namely, the infant in the womb.

I would think there would be many more pro-life liberals than there are.  It’s hard for me to take pro-abortion liberals seriously, given that massive inconsistency. [Read more...]

Marijuana shops to open in Colorado

Colorado legalized the possession of recreational marijuana last year, but as of today, you can buy it openly in retail shops.  Regulations that go into effect today will, in effect, create a legal marijuana industry in the state.  How do you think that will go? [Read more...]

Outlawing light bulbs

The manufacture of traditional incandescent light bulbs will be illegal, as of January 1.   Compact flourescent bulbs (those with the corkscrew shape) and Light Emitting Diodes, which look something like the old bulbs invented by Thomas Edison, will have to replace them.  You can still buy the old bulbs and stores can still sell them until they run out of stock, but it will be against the law to manufacture or import them.  The new bulbs use less energy and last longer, but they are more expensive.

If the new lighting technology saves so much money in the long run, shouldn’t the free market take care of this?  As opposed to a legal prohibition?  Or is this a case in which the free market doesn’t meet a social good, in this case, saving energy? [Read more...]

Corporate assaults on freedom

When we think of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other civil liberties, we usually think of the way the government has violated or could potentially violate them.  The Bill of Rights limits what the government can do and thus is an important safe guard of its citizens’ freedom.  And yet, the government is not the only institution that can quench civil liberties, as we see in the Duck Dynasty controversy.  Phil Robertson’s freedom of speech and his freedom of religion were punished not by the government but by the Arts & Entertainment Network, along with the corporations that sponsor his show.

Corporations are not restricted by the Bill of Rights.   Nor is the more generalized “social pressure” that comes from cultural disapproval. But individuals who are silenced by corporations–which in some ways have more power than the government–are not free.  Individuals whose religion is persecuted by the society–whether from mobs or cultural sanctions–are not free. [Read more...]

And now polygamy

A federal judge has ruled that Utah laws against polygamy are unconstitutional. [Read more...]

Pro-life victory in Europe

The European Parliament shot down a sweeping pro-abortion law, which would make abortion on demand a human right and require all public health entities to provide abortions with no conscience exemptions.  The measure failed for the second time.  Grass roots pro-life groups reportedly mobilized public opinion against it.  (Have you noticed that supposedly secularist Europeans are often more pro-life than supposedly religious Americans?) [Read more...]


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