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Risk Santorum would have us believe that he’s talking about religious freedom. He would have us believe that the government is intruding on his freedom to practice his religious beliefs and imposing some alternate moral code on him and his family. Well, I have a couple of questions I’d like him to answer.

Did the government force him and his wife to practice contraception, when he is opposed to it on religious grounds?

Did the government insist that he send his kids to a public school rather than homeschooling them?

Has the government interfered with his choice to run for President?

Did Pennsylvania prevent him from running for Congress?

If the answer to those questions is “no,” then just how does he figure that the government is infringing on his right to practice his religion?

On the other hand, is he willing to grant the same right to others to practice their religion if that belief doesn’t square with his particular version of Catholicism? From what I see, I wonder. He finds it troubling that Catholic non-church institutions be required to include contraception coverage for their employees. However, he overlooks the obvious fact that not all employees of those institutions are Catholic. So, when competing religious views are at stake, he seems to think it ok to favor the religious liberty of those he agrees with and to disregard the religious liberty of those he doesn’t.

The tension inherent in the issue of contraception coverage is precisely the reason for the First Amendment’s wording. It is precisely why we cannot legislate according to a particular, specific set of religious beliefs.

It’s curious that the people who seek to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us are the same ones who feel the need to legislate against Sharia Law and who would deny Muslims the right to erect buildings in which to worship.

There is a simple solution for Catholic hospitals, universities, and social service organizations when it comes to the religious liberty claim as it applies to including contraceptive coverage in their employee health plans: hire only Catholics, with Catholic spouses. Then nobody’s religious liberty is being affected.

Oh wait! Most Catholic women use contraceptives. If these institutions hire non-Catholics, what about the religious liberty of those employees?

We hear a lot out of Washington these days about the “job creators.” We can’t raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, or on small business, because they are the job creators. Income tax rates are the lowest they’ve been in decades, but that hasn’t resulted in many jobs being created. So, who are the REAL job creators?

The US economy is driven, ultimately, by consumer spending. And more importantly, by middle class spending. When middle class incomes have remained stagnant over the past generation, consumers were faced with the choice of going without or purchasing on credit. But credit purchasing cannot continue permanently. Eventually, the bills must be paid. And when the bill collector comes calling at the same time that housing prices tank, spending on consumer goods grinds to a near halt. It’s not surprising that when credit tightened in the fall of 2008, consumer spending ran off a cliff. And when consumers quit spending, employment fell precipitously as the entire economy contracted.

Businesses won’t resume hiring until they have a market for the goods and services they produce. And consumers can’t resume purchasing until they have money to spend. So, if we truly want to help create jobs, the best and the only solution is to get more money into the pockets of the middle class. We cannot expect the 1% to carry the economy. Sure, they have a lot of money to spend. In fact, they have more money than they can possibly spend. Putting even more money into their pockets won’t have the needed stimulative effect on the economy. Putting more money I to middle class pockets, on the other hand, will create demand for consumer goods. And increased demand will mean more hiring. So, in reality, it’s the middle class who are the real job creators. It’s time that Congress got the message.

So, Herman Cain’s wife can’t believe that he could have acted inappropriately with women in the workplace.  Wonder if Jerry Sandusky’s wife had any idea that he might actually have done what he’s accused of.  Somehow, expecting a spouse to think the worst doesn’t seem likely.

Really?!

Apparently now it’s President Obama’s fault that there wasn’t an “orderly transition” in Iraq??? Or, so says the GOP.  Never mind that the first few orders given by Paul Bremer after the fall of Baghdad in 2003 virtually guaranteed the instability that resulted.  Let us not forget that Bremer totally disbanded the existing political and security institutions.  He fired the entire bureaucracy, making certain that all knowledge of how things worked disappeared.  And he disbanded the entire military and police forces, putting thousands of trained people out of work.  And we were surprised that an insurgency developed???

You can spin history all you want, but you can’t change the facts.  Epic FAIL!

I just learned that Wall Street was the location of one of America’s busiest slave markets. Hmmm, not much has changed. Now the 99% are effectively slaves.

iSad

What better way to communicate the ways in which Apple products have entered not only our lives but our lexicon.  The main question now, with the passing of Steve Jobs and his visionary approach to design and technology, is whether Apple’s future will be as bright without Jobs somewhere in the picture.

My first computer, some 30 years ago, was an Apple IIe.  By today’s standards it was incredibly kludgy.  A black & white monitor, a single drive for those 5 1/4″ floppy disks, no hard disc, no mouse, and less RAM than in the simplest of today’s calculators. And operating it meant that the user had to type in precise commands to accomplish anything. No GUI interface in those days, and only one way to do any given operation. But it was cutting edge at the time. My kids got their first taste of programming with Logo, sort of an electronic version of an Etch-a-Sketch, where the user commanded a cursor shaped like a turtle using simple typed commands to create pictures.

I’ve been largely a PC user since then, price-driven, and also because of the greater availability of programs for the casual user.  But once the iPad hit the market, I began to lust after my dream computer — one as fully functional as my PC but more intuitive and not dependent upon a mouse, track ball or touch pad.  Apple is nearly there, what with the latest version of their touch pad.  I’ve been saying that when it’s released, I’ll be standing outside the Apple store along with the twenty-somethings.

PCs have made computers financially accessible to a wide range of people.  But the features, the sheer elegance of Apple’s designs, are drawing me ever closer.  I gave up the desktop model with my current PC, and now that we have an Apple store closer than an hour and a half away, well, the siren is singing her song.  I’m only wondering how long I’ll have to wait…and how soon iPads will incorporate flash.

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