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confederacy
There's a basic, historical misunderstanding at the root of modern Republican philosophy. A little fact that seems to get overlooked. It's not their insistence that the road to fascism begins with good health care. It's not even the pretense that President Obama somehow masterminded an economic collapse, bank bailout, and massive deficit weeks, months or years before he came into office. No, the incident that the GOP has let slip is a little more basic.

The South lost.

See, Republicans seem to have mistaken "wage slavery" for ... that other kind of slavery. They must have, because anyone who understood that workers are employees, and not property, would recognize that workers have rights.  Not just some rights, not a neatly restricted little subset of rights, but the same rights as the people who employ them. They would recognize that the rights of an employer do not include the ability to abridge the rights of an employee.

Only they don't. When you see Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum or John Boehner railing against government overstep on religion, conscience, what-have-you, you can be 100 percent certain that their concern is that somewhere, somehow an employer might have to allow his employees to do something that, you know, miffs them. That millions of employees might be forced to do without needed health care ... doesn't enter into the equation. 

It's easy to see how employers might be confused, considering all the love being lavished on them by both parties, and with the paeans being sung to them as magical "job creators." And hey, we already pretty much handed over that fourth amendment to them, what with peeing in a cup or being able to fire people because of an old photo on Facebook. Republicans have been busy reinforcing that lesson by insisting that anyone who collects so much as an unemployment check should be subject to any rules they want to set. It's no wonder that the line between handing someone a paycheck, and holding someone's title, should have gotten blurred.

So consider this a primer to the confused American business owners and executives who might have listened just a little to long to all that sweet praise. 

As an employer, you have the absolute right to religious freedom. Attend any church, temple, synagogue or reading room you like. Give as you feel obligated. Worship as you please. Place on yourself any restriction in diet, activity or anything else that you feel is in keeping with your beliefs ... but only on yourself. You don't get to impose these restrictions on your employees. 

Your employees are separate from you. Not only that, they are equal to you in rights, no matter how unequal you may be in income. You do not get to tell them who to vote for. You do not get to tell them who they can love. You do not get to use your religious beliefs as an excuse to limit their health care.

No matter how strong your personal faith, your employees are not obligated to live according to those beliefs, expressly because they are personal. You may find it frustrating, but your employees have just as much right to their own beliefs as you do to yours, and whether you pay them pittance on an assembly line or six figures as a manager, you have zero right to carve off a slice of their freedom. The direction of the pay arrow has no effect on who gets to dictate to who.

If the government was telling you, as an individual, that you had to use birth control, that would be a violation of your rights. That's not happening. They're just saying that you don't get to make that decision for the people who work for your company. Because, really, you don't own them.

If you're still mad; if you're upset that healthcare has to be funneled through employers at all ... there's a cure for that. It's called "single payer."

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos Classics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Beautifully stated n/t (17+ / 0-)

    explain how letting gays marry will directly affect your own heterosexual relationship?

    by bluestatesam on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:09:11 AM PST

  •  But but but... (23+ / 0-)

    that's socialized medicine, which is just Commie-Pinko talk! Its taking us on a slippery slope to becoming like Germany...or even worse, France!!

    /snark off

    Courtesy of the Weekly Standard: "Early on, we received this missive from a bright young conservative: 'I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!'"

    by Steve In DC on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:09:32 AM PST

  •  Beautiful! Single Payer does solve all those (31+ / 0-)

    knotty problems the right has been wailing about.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:12:55 AM PST

  •  A fine manifesto. (33+ / 0-)

    The only problem is that in point of fact, with unions weaker then they've been since the 1930s labor laws virtually toothless, and most employment at-will...

    ... you want a job, there is NO aspect of your life that isn't under the direct control of your employer.  Particularly in this always-on-call, electronic leash era.  Talk to Lightbulb about that.

    If we had a better safety net and a better economy, losing a job wouldn't be such a life-threatening event, and the balance of power would shift some back toward employees even WITHOUT unions.  But the safety net here is the poorest in the Western world, and it was just CUT in that famous payroll tax compromise.  The '99ers' were taken care of by ADDING to their numbers, cutting more then 20 weeks out of unemployment.

    I work for a benevolent employer.  A boss that, for the first time in two decades, actually is a human being first and a supervisor second.  Before that, the only reason I survived was that I was a trainee (grad student/postdoc in science) and had the limited power to fire my boss.  That came with great risk, but it was within my rights to do.

    Most are not so lucky.  So I would disagree with the premise of this: your employer DOES own you.  And we need to change that.

  •  It's real simple (28+ / 0-)

    If you are going to act as an employer, then you must follow the labor laws and other laws of the United States. If the Catholic Church doesn't want to follow the new law, then they should stop acting as an employer and get out of the employment business.

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:14:31 AM PST

    •  Those pesky labor laws (14+ / 0-)

      All workplaces have mandatory notices posted about workers' compensation rights and laws, safety matters, etc, right?   All we're all fine and accepting of that...no controversy.

      But what happens when the NLRB creates a rule that requires an Employee Rights Notice Posting in the workplace?

      Here's one reaction.  A group of local electrical contractors  complained at a meeting that the NRLB was making up laws and the contractors were being forced to tell their employees that they can unionize.

      A co-worker agreed with those complaints and I pointed out:

      a. Workers have had that right for decades.

      b. The NLRB promotes rules, not laws.

      c. The poster only helps to remind workers of rights that they already have---and which companies like Walmart are actively hostile towards to the extent of firing people if there's a hint of union interest.

      She, of course, did not know any of this and to her credit, had an open mind to new knowledge and changing to her opinions.    I asked my co-worker if she thought Walmart's actions should be illegal and she agreed they were wrong with her new-found knowledge.

      Bottom line: I think very people understand workers' rights and what U.S. law provides to protect those rights.  

      I only learned most of what I learned from an excellent labor economics course in college.  Where and how are people supposed to get that knowledge in general?

    •  They Could Ordain All Their Employees!!! (3+ / 0-)

      Even women!  Ooops....

    •  Or better yet, give up their (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, ssgbryan, Knarfc

      tax-exempt status and go for full-time political lobbying instead.

    •  It is more than that, really. (0+ / 0-)

      While making allowances that this is an election year, and for the rights of freedom of speech, and that we are discussing this issue because a Republican candidate for President has placed himself at the spearhead of what is in effect a proposal for a theocracy at the federal level, consider that any organization which does not follow the law, states that it will not follow the law, or wants to maintain its own law, thus effectivley its own sovereignty, if sufficiently widespread geographically, that it's not a question of a ceasing of employment practices, it's a threat of insurrection and rebellion.

      H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

      by Knarfc on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:26:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Single payer will have ramifications for smokers, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, coffeetalk, ssgbryan

    the obese, and other lifestyles deemed "unhealthy." You have to have a personal responsibility component or it (single payer) simply will not work. By the way, employers tell employees all the time how to live their lives through their insurance coverage of people who blood test as smokers and who pay higher premiums. Many professional athletes cannot engage in high risk sports like skiing mountain climbing.

    Some...spoke with strong and powerful voices, which proclaimed in accents trumpet-tongued,"I am beautiful, and I rule". Others murmured in tones scarcely audible, but exquisetly soft and sweet, "I am little, and I am beloved"." Armandine A.L. Dupin

    by Kvetchnrelease on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:15:44 AM PST

    •  Pee testing. (17+ / 0-)

      the purity of your bodily fluids is more important then your experience, your education, or your talent. It simply trumps all that. Nothing is more important than pure bodily fluids in getting gainful employment.

      And it's as wrong as wrong can be, but people accept it unblinkingly, which is...well.... wrong.

      Pee testing is also judge and jury -the essence of the rationalization behind pee testing is anti-4th amendment and a statement of 'guilty until proven innocent'.

      it is unreasonable search and seizure and the government is forbidden from doing it, no matter how many time mouthbreathing, dumbfuck republicans want to pee test people for their welfare, their unemployment and whatever.

      But drink as much booze as you want.

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:32:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nebulous territory (obesity/tobacco addiction) (10+ / 0-)

      People are free to eat shitty foods, not exercise, smoke legal tobacco and drink legal alcohol.

      Obesity creates a serious potential for Type II diabetes, which is really bad. I am curently working with some people who are A) obese, B) have diabetes badly and C) have already started losing legs and such to it.

      But they don't smoke pot, so it's all good, I guess.

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:43:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Federal gov't. drug tests part time employees (5+ / 0-)

        for jobs where come in contact with the public.

        NYC tests HAIR samples for driver jobs.  

        So, this is the Federal government and city government violating my 4th amendment guarantee to be safe in my person and property...but only as long as I stay away from government.  Sounds like the usual hypocrisy to me.

        •  Hair testing can tell what you have been doing (10+ / 0-)

          months ago AND, in a two-fer for these assholes, the longer your hair, the more they can know, which encourages some to keep their hair short.

          Fascism.

          #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

          by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:00:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You raise an interesting point. I for one do want (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xxdr zombiexx

          be sure that people who are driving tractor trailers, heavy equipment, trains, planes, etc. are not under the influence on the job. I have no concern what they do off the job.

          Substance addictions and employment is a quagmire, plain and simple. No matter the viewpoint or angle from which you approach it... Would that it weren't so.

          This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

          by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:12:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The HUGE problem with Pee Testing (0+ / 0-)

            is that it doesn't address your concern, particularly when it comes to the Evil weed.

            I could fly to Amsterdam on Friday, smoke up legally, fly back on Monday - get piss-tested 21 days later and fail the test.

            You haven't been protected.

            Never mind that weed doesn't impact my motor skills, depth perception or reaction time. None of those facts mean a thing to people who still believe the propaganda and will feel - erroneously - they know more about this than I do.

            Facts mean absolutely nothing on this political, highly emotionalized nonsense.

            The Field Sobriety Test DOES determine CURRENT intoxication and if one can pass it, one can pass it. If you fail, you fail.

            but this isn't good enough for pearl-clutching weenies who wont believe the government about anything else but think, for some fucked-up reason, that the US Federal Gov't ISN'T lying about the weed.

            #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

            by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:02:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, And Choose Your Parents Wisely (11+ / 0-)

      That's what insurance is for...to equalize the risk between people whose lifestyle YOU would accept vs those that are OK for me.

      Are you taking into account the role of BPA in estrogenizing the environment?  Would you include drinking out of plastic water bottles into your equation?  Butter?  Driving over the speed limit?

      How about the role of childhood poverty?  If your parent were poor would you boot them out of the plan too?

      Your position is untenable.

      •  Good arguments. nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, Words In Action

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:17:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He's drawing his line at 'lifestyle choices' (6+ / 0-)

        but as you point out, not everything that shapes us is actually a choice.  you can certainly choose to pick up a cigarette or not, but anybody who refuses to pick up a fork (aka eats) is dead within a couple of weeks.  

        Eating habits are also dependent upon economic freedom and ubiquitous marketing.  If the only food sources around you stock 90% processed foods with a variety of chemicals but lacking in nutrition, your body is going to tell you to keep eating until you actually manage to eat something that contains whatever nutrients it's short on, or you end up so far past the point of what you should eat in terms of volume that it's physically discomforting.

        We need a stronger emphasis on living healthy in public schooling, with ongoing education on physiology and nutrition, and supportive governmental funding of actual nutritious school meals that are not simply dictates of whatever particular food industry has hired the most lobbyists.  

        And this is one place I tip my hat to the current administration.  Despite all sorts of status quo pressure, the administration has been working strongly to actually improve school lunches to make them healthier, and the First Lady has focused much of her own efforts on improving the health of school children.

        Public schooling is an important battleground, perhaps the most important battleground for the future of the country, because the children of today are the citizens and voters and politicians of tomorrow.  

        Republicans have been playing the long game for decades, whittling away at public schools, at teachers unions, at any sort of rational curricula or teaching methodology to try and turn public schools into a factory for docile, unskilled labor.  To make classic science fiction such as Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World' a reality, with the 'alphas' living in luxury, well educated, and served by a much larger class of Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons whose growth is stunted both by poor food and poor education.

        I'd tip my hat to the President even more if he'd get rid of Arne Duncan, and replace him with someone who actually wanted to reverse the destruction of the public school system and allow teachers to actually teach more naturally, than to continue the the teach to the test nonsense with ever fewer resources to support them, and to actually remove resources from systems that need them the most, and to hand those resources over to the schools already doing the best.

      •  The medical profession does have some (0+ / 0-)

        mechanisms for considering lifestyle choices in determining medical responses. For example, as I understand it, someone with lifelong irremediable alcoholism is not a candidate for liver replacement. But these considerations are limited because the profession is sworn to do no harm, which is generously interpreted as do good.

        WIth addictions, obesity, etc., it's a tough one. First, because the causes are so numerous, enmeshed and intractable. Second , because many of these are not related to personal choices (considering the difficulty and expense of a restricting yourself to a diet that excludes all processed foods, which as a category are linked to obesity, cancer, heart disease, etc).
        Third, value judgments are thus precarious. Fourth, progressives generally see such value judgements as small-spirited. And fifth, because not treating disease is often more societally expensive than treating them. Having a lot of sick people, like having a lot of poor people, is just no good for anyone (not even the selfish hoarders who tend to prevent such problems from being addressed because of a hypocritical fear that such largesse might unfair to them). Various happiness studies/indexes show that.

        This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

        by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:08:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Spend the money at prevention and you don't have (6+ / 0-)

      to spend it on treatment.

      Spend the money to make tasty, nutritious, non-toxin containing balanced foods available cheaply, provide free, well-equipped community gymnasiums, running and biking paths, swimming pools and rock climbing walls, lots of community outreach and challenges to entice people into working out together.

      It's far cheaper for a society to simply keep people healthy in the first place than to treat them for chronic conditions, ye that's exactly what the US does - spend virtually nothing on prevention, somewhat more on screenings, and then far more on treatments.  We're exactly backwards, because most Republicans and many Democrats simply won't pony up the harder to quantify costs of keeping someone healthy.

      If they're healthy, they won't even consider the costs of them not being chronically sick as a healthcare savings, but if they're sick, they can easily see and quantify the costs of treating them.

    •  I don't think that paying a higher premium (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, Kvetchnrelease

      Equates to the employer "telling the employee how to live their lives".  

      I think a good analogy is that the bishops would like to have the option of not giving an employee vacation time should she want to go to (for example) France.

      But Italy would be okay.

      It's all about the cheese!

  •  Bingo! (17+ / 0-)
    If the government was telling you, as an individual, that you had to use birth control, that would be a violation of your rights. That's not happening. They're just saying that you don't get to make that decision for the people who work for your company. Because, really, you don't own them.
    Thank you for this. They will not get the point, though. The reason is their faulty mindset/judgment which is a two dimesional world of a competition between the "either, or." It means, if they are not "owning" others, then there is only one other option, that they are "owned." It is a world of victims and victimizers with no third/gray area in between. That is why they are constantly on the attack while complaining of being victims.

    They have a troubled psychology: Missing center/middle, third option where all is clear/rational/fair and equal.

    They really lack it in their brains. Like beasts in a jungle, they survive, don't live.

    That's one of the reasons why they don't like a strong middle class. For them the guarantee for survival is in stark two classes with one on top of the other; they being on top, of course. "Middle class" messes up their worldview.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:17:57 AM PST

  •  extremely well put (30+ / 0-)

    I have not heard this point so well made.

    I am a physician who is a strong advocate of single payer.  Without having to spend 40% or more on administration and profits, we could provide health care to everyone for what we are spending now. ( Private insurers spend 30% on profits and administration, leaving only 70% for the "medical loss ratio, ie the amount actually providing care.  Of the remaining, 10-30% is spent in overhead by the doctors and hospitals collecting their bills and fighting with the insurance companies to get paid.)  

    I am continually amazed at those who have health care under the current system begruding care to those who don't- but not realizing that they are already paying for that care in cost shifted higher premiums.

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:18:13 AM PST

    •  this has always been my point too (9+ / 0-)

      We already take care of the oldest, youngest, sickest, and those most likely to need catastrophic care (the military). Adding in the younger, healthier people wouldnt add much to the cost. And that could easily be covered by the many BILLIONS of profit that the health insurers make.

      We spend more per capita than anybody else in the world. How can we manage to do that and NOT cover everybody?

    •  Great point (5+ / 0-)

      Thanks for someone in the medical profession supporting what I have always thought, most health insurance companies spend too much time trying to deny claims in order to avoid paying for legitimate heath-care costs.  IMO this hurts both doctors and their patients and solely for the purpose of increasing the profits of the insurance company.  It's what really disgusts me about the current health care system.
      And you are so right about how denying access to affordable health insurance ends up increasing the costs to those of us now under the current insurance system.

      Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

      by Tx LIberal on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:18:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They shriek at the potential tax increase never (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SquirrelQueen, Eric Nelson

      realizing that if you add the more expensive private cost to the employers and employees (approaching 20%) you would see that we are spending more by not using payer. They at look at Scandanavian tax rates and ignore the services Scandanavian are getting for their buck: universal health care AND free higher education. What a boon to society. Which is also why those countries score so well on happiness/wellness indexes.

      See the Richard Wilkinson TED conference presentation. It's compelling.







      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:22:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Mark, for saying what needed to be (15+ / 0-)

    said.  The South LOST!  They really did!  And Nixon and Elvis left the building a long time ago and will never return.

    I hate the "mean-souled" schtick of the "Republic" party.  "I've got mine so the rest of you just go to hell in a handbasket."

    And yet, these people are the ones who have the country in an iron grip. Only a Congress full of progressives, not blue dog Dems., and a progressive president will get us out of the scant-souled, mean-minded country we've become.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:18:14 AM PST

  •  An exclamation point on a great diary (3+ / 0-)
    ... there's a cure for that. It's called "single payer."
  •  "Medicare for All".... (4+ / 0-)

    ...not "single payer."

    Got to get the branding right!

    Otherwise, I agree 100%.

    Tunis...Cairo...Tripoli...Wall Street

    by GreenSooner on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:20:59 AM PST

    •  Considering what Repubs want to do (0+ / 0-)

      to Medicare, I've back off that one. They do know how to co-opt and kill, the stinkers!

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:20:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  They want sharecropping not slavery (19+ / 0-)

    Under sharecropping people were ostensibly free but were held under virtual slavery due to debt. Instead of paying fair wages sharecropper were lent money at rates that were usurious and sunk so deep into debt they had little real freedom. This is the system the Southern GOP is trying to "export" to the rest of the United Sates.  

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:21:06 AM PST

  •  These asshats actually believe (24+ / 0-)

    That when someone hires you, they own you for at least eight hours a day.  What is your job?  Whatever the boss tells you to do.  It reminds me of the old Firesign Theatre line.  In an exaggerated minstrel voice.  "Thank god de war is over.  Nobody gonna have to be a slave all de time no more.  We gonna take turns!"

    Well fuck that.  Employers hire human beings to do a job because they haven't made a machine yet that can do what they want the human to do.  But you know god damn well that if they could get a machine to do your job they would.  However, the equation works both ways.  If they had bought a machine to do your job, they couldn't ask it to wash the bosses car when the line goes down.  Or make him coffee.  Even machines aren't as much at the mercy of their employer's whims as slaves.  They have a job and that is all they have to worry about.  A slave can literally be asked to do anything.  

    This is what labor law is all about.  And labor law is what separates an advanced society from slavery.  We have seen a systematic undermining of labor law in this country for the past forty years.  The result has been a shift in the balance of power in the direction of capital to the point that all of the gains of increasing productivity now go to shareholders rather than any of that going to workers.  The end result of that is a collapse of demand because one man's loathsome labor costs are another man's customer's disposable income.  

    •  When I was a secretary, people asked (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon

      me to make coffee just once. I don't drink or like coffee and wouldn't know good coffee from bad. I followed their directions, but somehow it didn't work. I know how to cook, but I can't make coffee. Anyone who asks me will find that out. :)

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:25:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, they don't just own you for 8 hours. (5+ / 0-)

      Bear in mind that people have been fired over Facebook photos that shows them acting "inappropriately" in a way that might "damage the company's reputation".

      Your off-time belongs to them, too, now.

    •  And when the machines have all been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42

      created to do all the work, the few will continue to take all the credit and the money and leave the rest to rot, even the ones need to maintain, repair and operate the machines.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:25:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read a sci-fi story ten or so years ago (0+ / 0-)

        in Analog magazine. The premise was: conscious androids/robots that can do human work (called omnibots, or omnis) have been created. They cost about the same as a new car. Companies say "Why should we hire workers? We have omnis!"

        The unions are up in arms, management is up in arms, and a government negotiator is called in because this is an economic crisis liek woah.

        The eventual solution?

        Corporations can only employ omnis that are owned by workers. Corporations may not buy their own omnis.

        Only one omni can be owned by one worker.

        Only one job may be held by one omni - the worker cannot send the omni to work two jobs.

        Workers who own an omni are free to create their own businesses and become small-scale capitalists.

        Corporations that want to employ a specific kind of omni will subsidize the cost of buying one for a worker who doesn't have an omni yet.

        Sounds great in theory. I wonder how it would work out in practice. In today's society, probably not at all.

        "You're on your own" within the context of a society IS sociopathic. - kovie

        by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 03:07:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  But why do the employees go along with this? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Dirtandiron, Eric Nelson

    the south still votes for these "rules" and wants all other employees throughout the country  to get the same

  •  Yes, the problem is that a personal issue (11+ / 0-)

    such as health care is funneled through an employer.

    An employer DOES have the right to place restrictions on the employee's rights at work.  The employer can prevent an employee from putting up a cross at work for example, or political signs, or whatever. A Jewish employer does not need to allow Christian employees to put up religious symbols of Christmas at work.  On the other hand, an employer cannot direct what the employee does on his own time as long as it does not spill over to the job.

    The problem is that we have structured a society where providing health insurance is part of the job.  Because of that, we have an inevitable conflict between the right of the employer not to have to violate his/her religious beliefs with respect to what happens with respect to his/her business,  and the right of the employee to his/her own life on his/her own private time.  If the employer was not required to provide health insurance as part of his business, this would not be an issue at all.

    The solution is to divorce health insurance from the job.  That way, it would be entirely and solely the employee's business, and the employer would have no role in it.  Unfortunately, rather than move to divorce health insurance from employment, the ACA doubled down on that connection.  

    •  On the other hand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TexasTom, adrianrf

      health insurance would be a mandatory benefit regardless of the employers faith. If the benefit is mandatory, it is no different than paying out cash (which all employers do). The reason we require universal health care is to make sure that everyone is putting some money into health care (no different than retirement through social security).

      Think of it this way, a $2000 paycheck from a Catholic employer has the same utility as a $2000 paycheck from a Jewish employer. Shouldn't the health care benefit have the same utility?

      •  The problem with your analysis is that (5+ / 0-)

        it is the employer, not the employee, that contracts with the health insurance company.  (At least, that is how it works in my business.)  So, it is the employer, not the employee, that is contracting for the scope of services covered and not covered. Employers spend a significant amount of time negotiating with, and choosing, the insurer for the company and the scope and terms of coverage.  The issue from the employer side is that this forces them to negotiate for, and directly pay for, something that violates their religious beliefs.  On the other hand, if the employer's religious beliefs are protected under the First Amendment, the employee doesn't get the employer-provided insurance coverage for the employee's private health choices.    

        If employers simply had to provide a financial CREDIT (deductible to the empolyer as a benefit and not considered income to the employee) to the employee for the EMPLOYEE to go out and find the insurance that best met the EMPLOYEE'S needs, I would agree with you.  

        •  if the employer is a single person, or homogenous (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OldDragon

          Group of people, they might have the same religious point of view.

          But a corporation? An entity the size of a hospital? You tell me that all the people running a catholic hospital are catholic? I kinda doubt that. It's a big business, and my bet is they contract for a lot of services that don't strictly accord with catholic doctrine.

          •  I see a significant difference between (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erush1345, VClib

            a publicly-traded corporation, which is owned by thousands of shareholders, and an organization owned by a religious institution.  The question is not "who runs" a Catholic Charity, for example.  The question is who owns the business.  The one who owns the business is the one with the right to say what goes on in that business.  If I own a small business, I get to say, "No Christian symbols at my business" regardless of whether I hire Christians to run it or whether I contract with Christians for services.  

            The owner gets to set the goals for the business, the parameters for the business, everything about the business.  The owner gets the final word.  If the owner chooses to do something, that's fine.  The question is whether, and when, the owner can be forced to do something that violates his religion.  

        •  Employers also spend... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dirtandiron, schnecke21, acnetj

          ..."a significant amount of time negotiating with, and choosing..." new employees.  Sorting resumes, conducting (multiple) interviews, performing the analysis to determine what an offer will look like, and who it will go to -- all of these tasks take a lot of work and time.

          So, on that basis, what happens when an employer argues that hiring someone of a specific faith, sexual orientation, or ethnicity violates their religious beliefs?  Afer all, if you sincerely believe that homosexuality is an abomination that is destroying our nation, or that Buddhism is sent by Satan, then having to work with and pay money to someone who is gay or a Buddhist could be interpreted as a violation of an employers' rights just as having to pay for insurance benefits that they object to is a violation.  Or how about forcing an employer to keep a position open while a single parent goes on maternity leave?

          Consequently, on balance I'm strongly inclined to reject religious liberties argument as it applies to health insurance and religious freedom.  Because once we buy into it, all sorts of other civil rights laws and employee protections will start unwinding, too.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:57:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, some employers can discriminate on (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erush1345, VClib

            those bases.

            Here's the shorthand version.  The Constitution only prevents government from discriminating against people, but does not prevent private employers from discriminating.  The Civil Rights laws are what apply to private employers.  And the Constitution says that religious employers CAN discriminate in hiring when they are hiring for a position that is, in the law, called a "ministerial" position.  That's not just a minister in a church.  When a religious employer hires a position that is, at least in some part, a religious position and serves at least a partly religious purpose.  See the unanimous SCOTUS decision here.  I point this out because it is not as simple as saying, "employers can't discriminate based on their own so-called religious beliefs."  The First Amendment's Free Exercise clause says that, in some instances, they absolutely can.   A Catholic school, for example, can probably fire a single female teacher who gets pregnant outside of marriage.  In Catholic schools, teachers are charged with, at least in significant part, imparting religious values in the children, so teachers who openly flout Catholic teachings can be fired for doing so.  

            In some instances, under certain circumstances, the Constitutional Free Exercise rights of the religious based employer will trump the rights of the employee under the Civil Rights laws -- as the SCOTUS held in a unanimous decision just last month.  

            That's not to say what would happen if this situation came to court.  It's just to show that, yes, religious employers do have Constitutional First Amendment rights in some instances.  

            •  Those exemptions aren't really relevant... (0+ / 0-)

              ...to the birth control debate, since the policy exempted the actual church from the birth control coverage mandate.  That's a reasonable accomodation of religious freedom, because if you're working in a church it's not unreasonable for the church to expect you to share their doctrine and beliefs.

              Applying your comments to the current debate, the suggestion here is that a Catholic church-owned hospital could expect the chaplains in that hospital to conform to church policies, but wouldn't have the same ability when it comes to nonsecular employees.  

              Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

              by TexasTom on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 11:53:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, they are relevant. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                The original policy did not exempt institutions like schools and Catholic Charities.  And those institutions -- even hospitals -- can clearly have employees that are in "ministerial positions" as the SCOTUS defines it. So, those institutions have a constitutional right to be discriminatory with at least some of those employees, like pretty much ALL  the teachers in a Catholic school -- yet the original policy required them to pay for something that was against their religious beliefs for those religious employees.  

                Read that case I linked to.  The "ministerial exception" goes far, far beyond priests or ministers.  The employee in that case was a teacher who did a lot of secular stuff, but who agreed when she was hired that there was a religious component to her job.  That can apply to a whole lot of people in an institution like a religious school or a religious charity, both of which were not exempted under the original policy.  And even Catholic hospitals have employees other than chaplins who have a religious component to their job (although not as many) and those employees could well fit under that unanimous SCOTUS decision.  

      •  Maybe employers could refuse to pay (0+ / 0-)

        their employees if they gave money to the Democratic Party, or went to an R-rated movie, or bought a costume for a gay pride parade. After all, it's their (the employers) money.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:30:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it's not. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345, VClib

          When the employer pays the employee money for work, that becomes the employee's money.  If the employer paid the employee and the employee went out and chose his/her own insurance plan, there would not be an issue.  That's the way it ought to be -- the employee makes enough to buy his/her own insurance on his/her own terms, and based on his/her own choices.   The problem is that the system requires the employer to go out and negotiate with an insurance company for the employer to buy something that violates the employer's religion.  

  •  Why is WV in that confederate-flag map graphic? (18+ / 0-)

    The whole reason the state of West Virginia exists is that they voted to split with Virginia to join the Union in the Civil War.

    Sorry to be picky, I love my Mountain State :)

  •  Ive seen this...bizarre (10+ / 0-)

    line of thought from the right recently. It seems to grow from their whole "party of lincoln" deal. They are, astoundingly, claiming it was THEY who won the civil war, that it was their side all those years ago that were the true heros, that democrats just wanted more slaves.

    Presumably, it means they think they were the Union.I honestly don't know at this point. Its kinda astounding. It seems to be based on the flimsy idea of party names. Of course it makes absolutely no sense, cause even if it did make sense, they still do things like wave the confederate flag..

    Republicans confuse me.

    When that time comes, there shall be a deep enmity between you and the world. This is not speculation or prediction...This is history!

    by kamrom on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:31:54 AM PST

  •  The argument (0+ / 0-)

    This essay assumes first of all the understanding that employer provision of contraception and abortion is a right, in the same way as freedom of speech and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure are rights. This would need to be shown first as a principle. After that we'd need to agree on its requisite implementation (not all speech is protected; sometimes your property is subject to search and seizure). Mr. Sumner has not taken up this work here.

    But for purposes of argument, let's grant that he could do this. After that, Mr. Sumner would need to establish that denial of some one implementation of this right is tantamount to the denial of nearly all rights of every kind, that is, to slavery. This, to me, seems quite a stretch—both unreasonable and intemperate. Among other considerations, if enshrining religious belief in law amounted to slavery, then it would have to be said that, say, virtually any Islamic country is a nation of slaves.

    Needs work.

    •  Someone should make a Ninth Amendment case (0+ / 0-)

      of it and argue it all the way up to the Supreme Court. I'm not sure what the current RATS would make of it, but any sane SC would have to concede there was a viable argument.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:13:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans miss the slavery they like to take (10+ / 0-)

    credit for eliminating.

    They really, really, really, want it back.

    They miss lynchings, too.

    And openly talking racist language about the 'lesser races'.

    Foul, horrible people.

    #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:34:30 AM PST

    •  They just don't realise (0+ / 0-)

      Most of the supporters of the Republican Party don't realise that they would be the slaves and serfs. Somehow, they think that they are part of the aristocracy.

      FOSI: Full Of Shit Information - Both my sister and I are trivia freaks...

      by Spoc42 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 05:42:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Mark. You opened my eyes! (7+ / 0-)

    Just woke up and turned on the computer, and there this was.  There's a MAJOR discourse going on in various branches of history (the film history take in this is really really interesting) about how the South won the historiography of the Civil War -- the lost cause and all that entails --and how it's taking a lot longer than anyone expected to reverse the way people write about it.  If you're in doubt, consider the terms "carpetbagger" and "scalawag".

    Of course it bleeds over into politics.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:34:48 AM PST

  •  Excellent! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:35:33 AM PST

  •  "freedom OF religion...and freedom FROM religion" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Renfriend, OldDragon, adrianrf, pademocrat

    -Bill Moyers.

    Obama's bane: looking forward without looking back.  There's been no justice on Wall Street, so why should anyone rich enough to bribe a judge be afraid of the law?  Moliere laughs.  

    ...What just a few weeks ago was considered so mainstream as to [be] an afterthought (providing contraception) is now seen as some sort of controversial touchstone, even as "religious freedom" has become a buzzword in the press.

    Democrats can high-five one another about Republican overreach and laugh hysterically at the increased number of votes Barack Obama will receive in 2012 over Mitt Santorum.  But ultimately the joke's on us.  It's been on us ever since the Obama Administration decided to concede an inch to the misogynist conspiracy of extremist fanatics that are the Bishops, rather than mock them immediately for being out of touch with their own flock, to say nothing of the mainstream American public....

    [my emphasis]

    Perhaps the Bishops should be deported back to Rome from whence they ostensibly emerged. Perhaps the churches should be taxed to within an inch of their fiscal lives. This is the part of American politics I do not understand.  

    No one uttered this simple phrase:
    It's already the law in 28 states!!

    Why didn't Obama just tell them that their argument was not with his administration at all, but with the states which have clearly defined their Constitutional obligations?  Why has no one in the media dared to confront the Bishops' stance as a perversion of the Bill of Rights standing it directly on its head?  They are so wrong on every level as to be freakish.  

    I was thinking of going to church to see my friend play organ and sing today.  But, now, no, I will not.  The churches should be taxed to within an inch of their lives.

  •  this one will stun them (12+ / 0-)
    Your employees are separate from you. Not only that, they are equal to you in rights, no matter how unequal you may be in income.

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:42:01 AM PST

    •  Agreed. (9+ / 0-)

      It's like the labor laws of the past 100+ years never happened.

      A conservative brother's favorite mantra to dismiss such rights-protective efforts is "Life isn't fair--get used to it."  

      But he has no such patience himself, of course.  I've heard countless rants from him when he felt like he has suffered a breach of contract in prior employment situations, or when he feels dis-respected by someone who is below him in social position (e.g, a retail clerk).  we are forced to suffer too by hearing his multiple repeats of long complaining rants about the events.    A throwback comment of "Life isn't fair to him..." only brings a "harrumph! you don't understand" reaction.

      We are so different; I often ponder how we worn born from the same womb and raised in the same family.   Except, he has remained devoutly Catholic and perhaps believes that our lot in life is to suffer at the hands of patriarchal authorities; I rejected that model when I was 12.
       

  •  That's the sense in which they genuinely... (5+ / 0-)

    ...believe that Democrats are communists.

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:45:29 AM PST

  •  excellent diary! (5+ / 0-)

    This mentality lies behind right-to-work laws, too, and outsourcing (even to the South):  Move the jobs where workers take less pay and more crap.

    And the drive for deregulation (i.e. anarchy in the business sector) presupposes that men in white collars are intrinsically good and don't need laws to govern them, written with the help of... well, the help.

    "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

    by nominalize on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:53:36 AM PST

  •  Here Is My Take On This: ANY Medical Procedure (10+ / 0-)

    or treatment that  is legal should be paid for by health insurance. That means abortions, in-vitro fertilization, birth control, etc. (all legal medical procedures) get paid for, whether the righties or the employer disagrees with it or not. Their religion does not give them the right to refuse to fund certain legal medical procedures or treatments. If an exception is allowed for providing birth control and abortion, what will be next? The employer doesn't want to subsidize blood transfusions (because he/she is a Jehovah's witness)? Or the employer doesn't want to subsidize cancer treatment for certain types of cancers that may have been caused by STD's (i.e. cervical cancer that can be caused by HPV)? Or the employer doesn't want to subsidize treatment for HIV/AIDS because they think homosexuality is a sin? Allowing exceptions is a slippery slope - I say if a medical treatment/medicine is legal, it MUST be covered.

  •  Too late for single payer (0+ / 0-)

    The choice was made two years ago to ignore the only possible way to get to universal healthcare and go with  insurance corp profits instead.  Our path leads to concierge medicine and implosion for everybody else.

    •  I think it's inevitable, just a matter of when. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf, Ghost of NY

      Yes, there will be a period of healthcare chaos because we've refused to embrace single payer, but health insurance companies were driving themselves out of business with ever pricier rates that kept shrinking the customer base.  

      They fought like mad to turn the ACA into something that would save them, but thanks to one simple sticking point that managed to survive the Blue Dogs, the mandated profitability isn't enough for them.  Yes, private insurance companies are given a guaranteed profit margin, subsidized at taxpayer expense, but it's not enough for the greedheads who run and own the companies, and so insurance companies are beginning to drop out of various markets.

      So we're going to come to that greater crisis point, where far more Americans are getting far less healthcare, and the fight will boil up again, and the government will have nothing they can do that will make any difference UNLESS they start offering a public option that will continue to expand as more and more companies abandon the field as not being profitable enough.

  •  I think the worsening of the GOP is related (7+ / 0-)

    Northern Republicans were quite acutely aware that the South had lost, but the Southern Strategy pushed them out of the party.  

    As the party has become more and more Southern, it has become more and more extreme, in a self-feeding cycle: The more extreme it gets, the more it drives away moderates, leaving only the most extreme, and so on.

    "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

    by nominalize on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:01:29 AM PST

    •  Plus Miscalculations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf

      Swinging to get the Fundamentalists is doing damage in the northeast, west, and southwest, and that covers a large chunk of population.

      2010 looks like the high-water point for nutcases in the House.  I can't see it getting any worse than that.

      If the Senate weren't two per state and had more of a population distribution equality, the Republican party would have already imploded.

      (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:13:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you're right. (0+ / 0-)

        "2010 looks like the high-water point for nutcases in the House.  I can't see it getting any worse than that."

        If you're wrong, we are so seriously screwed it's not even funny.

        "You're on your own" within the context of a society IS sociopathic. - kovie

        by Killer of Sacred Cows on Sun Feb 26, 2012 at 03:13:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Perversity of "Republican Philosophy" (6+ / 0-)

         It is a great irony that the GOP purports to stand for the interests of the individual. Central to Republican philosophy, however, is a fundamental lack of respect for the individual. The notion that employees are equal in dignity and rights to their employers is repugnant to modern Republican philosophy.  How, Republicans ask, can these mere units of production, be as worthy as the boss?  What they forget, is that the bosses' success depends directly upon the brains and labor of the employees.  No employees or badly-treated employees: boss is a failure. Well-trained, well-motivated (respected) employees: boss is a success.          
          Indeed, Republicans' disrespect for the individual extends to virtually all areas of life.  Allowing individuals to think for themselves, whether it be in the work place or in the bedroom, is anathema to Republicans.  All of the Republican heavy breathing over so-called culture wars and "wars against religion" are, at bottom, right-wing demands for governmental intrusion into the private lives and thoughts of Americans.  The right-wing so-called pundits who presently hold the GOP hostage claim to be defending us from government intrusion, when in  fact, they seek to dictate to all of us how we should live and what we should believe.  It's very perverse.  

  •  The south lost (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rasfrome

    I always find it amazingly funny, when someone talking about the Civil War, brings up Republican values as a negative.  Since it was the first U.S. Republican President, Abe Lincoln, that issued the Emancipation Proclamation. I also have yet to figure out how mandated medical insurance coverage, provided by an employer or the taxpayers, is a right.  The Catholic church is making a stand on birth control only here.  Birth control is not a medical condition but preventative only and in direct conflict with their beliefs.  The cost of birth control pills are cheap compared to medicines used to control or cure medical conditions. I see no reason that anyone working for a Catholic organization would demand that the Catholic Church pay for something that is against their core beliefs when it is strictly by choice that the employee uses it.  If the employee does have the belief that birth control is a "right" as far as medical insurance coverage they also have the right to seek out an employer that will cover that cost for them.

    •  The Republican Party of Lincoln was liberal (9+ / 0-)

      and Northern.  The Republican Party of today is fascist and Southern.  They don't get to claim Lincoln, TR, or even Eisenhower in their resume anymore, because they completely reject those accomplishments.

      Live by the certainty that nothing can kill you. You'll only be wrong once.

      by Troubadour on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:12:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yr both right (0+ / 0-)

        I like this piece's attempt to resolve right wing love of sharecropperdom with workers rights w health care example.  though it'd be better to  go along w the Rs and drop mandates, and drop employee sponsored health mandates, and let the market decide, or employers decide if it's in their interest to offer health care.

        the outcome will be  people will demand & vote in single payer in large droves from both parties.  

        i need a rails developer to help me with a cool map project

        by rasfrome on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:24:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The party of Lincoln died w/ Lincoln (0+ / 0-)

        The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

        by a2nite on Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 05:43:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Given that basically the only thing the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, adrianrf, pademocrat

      Republican Party under Lincoln and the modern Republican party share is a name, why is it 'amazingly funny' that current Republican values are seen as a negative?

      And being pregnant is a medical condition, although admittedly one that some women specifically seek at out at times in their lives.  But even women who do want children, by and large, only want a specific number of children, born at specific times in their lives.  

      Planned Parenthood is just actually about planning to become a parent as a deliberate act of will, not just randomly having one and taking the chance that the added expenses will drive you into poverty or prevent you from having the time to train to get a job that pays enough and allows you to be a productive member of society.

      99% of women use birth control, 98% of Catholic women do.  Money is fungible.  If the Catholic Church isn't paying for healthcare coverage that pays for birth control, those women are going to be paying for it out of pocket.  With money they earned at their job working for the Catholic organization.  If the Catholic Church (or other Catholic organizations) don't want to 'pay for birth control', they need to stop paying these people entirely.  Because whether they're paying for health insurance that covers it, or their employees are paying directly, it is money the Catholic Church provided that is paying for it.

       I suspect a spinning vase will be in your future.

    •  Birth Control Pills Are In Fact Used To Treat Some (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schnecke21

      medical conditions, and are not used solely to prevent pregnancy.

  •  How much is there to this? (0+ / 0-)

    If the employer is a competitive company who wants great employees they will offer a good benefits package.  Cherry picking benefits is a turn off.

    It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

    by GrinningLibber on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:13:35 AM PST

    •  yes, because in libertopia.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf

      ...there isn't 15% or more effective unemployment, and the entire educated class is not bound hand and foot by their student loans.

      So of course there is a totally competitive labour market in which North Americans, Chinese and Indians all compete for the same jobs on an even keel with their large non-unionised potential employers....for who can pick the most cotton before they starve to death.

      Scripture says "resist not evil", but evil unresisted will prevail.

      by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:50:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, the problem is, the typical employer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Knarfc

      seems to feel that "you should be thankful you even have a job!" We are supposed to show up every morning singing hymns of worshipful praise for our kindly, benevolent benefactor-bosses-- and how dare we insist on any sort of benefits or indeed anything beyond what paychecks they see fit to dole out.

    •  In an ideal world that might work (0+ / 0-)

      In THIS world the company would be ground under by ruthless competitors who brutally exploit their employees and squeeze every possible nickel's worth of work from them, then throw them away.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:18:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Germany Lost Also. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Canis Aureus, pademocrat

    Look at the South and Germany years after their respected losses, and they're doing damned well. I don't know if Germany will take over Europe but the South is doing one hell of a good job taking over the United States.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:17:12 AM PST

  •  So Texas seceeds and goes to war with Mexico (0+ / 0-)

    because they can't seem to keep their citizens from crossing the Texas border.

    And since Mexico is an ally and trading partner of the US, we go to war against Texas - the shock and awe of which leads to the sacking of Sacramento less than a day later.

    The conjecture is endless, of course, but it doesn't lack for interest.

    “Are you calling the Koch brothers during the recess?” - Henry Waxman

    by thenekkidtruth on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:22:34 AM PST

  •  bad analogy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    Making an analogy between Catholic institutions or other employers trying to resist providing birth control for their employees and slavery is stupid.    

    We may disagree with those institutions but it's neither "wage slavery" nor "some other kind of slavery."

    We all hate it when idiot conservatives analogize everything they don't like about liberals or President Obama to Hitler.    To me, slavery is in the same category as the Holocaust as something that should almost never be used as an analogy.  It's wrong and rhetorically way over the top.  

    •  Well yes and no. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon

      What makes it a bad analogy, and the whole "wage-slavery" bit a bad analogy, is that this is actually a left-over from 19th century Republican thought, not early 19th Democratic thought.  So, for instance, a resistance against labor laws, a strict adherence to the gold standard (19th century version of austerity and tight monetary policy) comes from the late 19th century Republican Party.

      Now, one can make the argument, and I think it's a very convincing one, that modern-day Republicans have the mentality of Southern slaveholders in the antebellum years.  They fear that their way of life is in jeapordy and that they need politicians to protect that way of life by stamping out the rights of others.  

      In this analogy, the attack on women's rights (contraception laws, anti-abortion laws, prevented equal pay for equal work) would be akin to the expansion on slave rights and the attack on northern rights (allowing southerners to bring their slaves into free territories of the North [the Dred Scott decision], instituting the gag rule to prevent the right of petition for Northerners).

      The difference here is that the modern Republican party is not defending slavery, but rather is defending their myth of the 1950s (conservative social values and free enterprise at work!).   In some ways though, the politics are the same - the majority of the nation is moving in a more progressive direction and Republicans now (Democrats then) are desperately expanded the rights of the forces of conservatism in order to hold back the inevitably of their own destruction.

  •  Limit the scope of this thinking to the South at (7+ / 0-)

    your own peril. Remember James Carville's famous 1992 quote about Pennsylvania?

    "Philadelphi and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between."
    They're everywhere. They're in Maine and New Hampshire, for Christ's sake. They're in Nebraska and Kansas and South Boston and Chicago, too. Some just mask the bigotry more effectively, but they're everywhere.

    GOP = Greedy One Percent

    by Palafox on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:25:24 AM PST

  •  Many employers, especially in retail (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, adrianrf, pademocrat

    express the ownership thing in a far more insidious way: by expecting hourly workers to be available at an hour's notice, 24/7. Now that's slavery!

  •  Agree with the diary - and map comments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leslie in KY, adrianrf, pademocrat

    That Maryland, Delaware and Kentucky don't belong there because they never joined the confederacy, while Missouri was just as virulently a slave state as the other confederate dtates, but also didn't join. I find Civil War history endlessly fascinating.
      So I can't help contributing that this is roughly the 150th anniversary of the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson; union victories that probably did more to advance the union cause than any other single victory in the war, with the possible exception of Gettysburg, Vicksburg and Missionary Ridge (Shelby Foote has said this very same thing). Go boys in blue.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:36:58 AM PST

    •  The Confederacy *did* count KY and MO (0+ / 0-)

      on the grounds that a "rump session" of each state's government had voted for secession (even though the legitimate government had not).

      Maryland had its Secesh element, but when the chips were down the answer was "No".

      And everybody just overlooked Delaware.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:24:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, as Lincoln said (0+ / 0-)

        "I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky".

        An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

        by MichiganChet on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 06:26:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was even more imperative to have Maryland (0+ / 0-)

          since losing that state would have cut off all access to Washington DC and probably have forced the relocation of the nation's capitol to some other city in clearly Union territory.

          Maryland dithered and dithered and dithered, and finally settled down on the Union side.

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:31:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary! Well said. (0+ / 0-)
  •  THE OPPORTUNITY i$ DOUGH-ray-ME (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon

    EVERY single thing that the rich pig TAKES from me,

    I do NOT have.

    pretty fucking complicated, no?

    We ALL contribute differently with our work to the TOTAL wealth created every year.

    ALL our individual work contributions are VALUED differently, too.

    We need surplus to educate the young, take care of the old and the sick, and get retraining as technology evolves, maintain the community so we can do our work, AND to invest for future productive capacity.

    We have ALL EARNED the right to dip into the community pot of health care so we can stay healthy and work.

    We have ALL earned the right to dip into the community retraining bucket when our work has been made obsolete.

    We have ALL earned the right to some security when we're aged and have spent decades working for the community.

    We've ALL earned the right to get our off spring trained and educated so that they can productively work to support the community.

    WHY don't we have the surplus for the education of the young, the care of the sick, the care of the aged and the retraining of ALL the working stiffs?

    WHY don't we have the surplus to maintain the community and to invest in the community?

    Cuz the fucking pigs who are charged with being in charge to make things run efficiently so there is community surplus TAKE all the surplus to like fuckign pigs.

    Cuz the reward systems and merit systems are designed to reward those who TAKE the most, instead of rewarding those who invent the google or the penicillin or the assembly line.

    Ta Da!

    Pretty fucking complicated, no?

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:38:43 AM PST

  •  Well stated and well written. (0+ / 0-)

    Should be mandatory reading for every employer in the country.  A constitution for hiring.

  •  I'm in my 40's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon

    and would love to be doing carpentry or home repair. But I do civil work because of the insurance. So in this regard my employer owns me. He knows it, too.

    No Jesus, Know Peace

    by plok on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:56:24 AM PST

  •  wow (0+ / 0-)

    I always like your diaries/writing but this one is absolutely awesome.  

  •  it's a way to legitimize workplace discrimination (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pademocrat

    -- get rid of the pesky women, people with preexisting conditions, folks with depression, MS, HIV, you name it.  

    Also, the map of the Confederacy has too many states in it.  Yes, they were all slave states, but the holding of Dred Scott was every state was a slave state.

    The study of law was certainly a strange discipline. -- Yukio Mishima

    by Loge on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:56:52 AM PST

  •  Excellent diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon

    When this all started and Obama came out and basically took most of the heat off himself by saying that  (paraphrasing):
    "No "religious based" institution will have to pay for coverage of contraceptives but the insurance companies will have to offer it to their employees free of additional charge, if they want it."
    Problem solved?  Apparently not according to republicans.
    Instead of accepting this as a victory, most of the republicans, including all of those running for President, have basically all tried to jump off the same cliff at the same time with their endless pandering to the far right.  Some now want to pass a bill to allow ANY employer to deny coverage for contraceptives because of religious objectives or others want to allow insurance companies to refuse to cover them if they have "religious objectives".  This return to the anti-woman policies of the pre-1950's and early 60's is laughable at best.  This could be the "gift that keeps on giving" to democrats in the fall.  Please, please repugs keep this up and then go ahead and JUMP!

    Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs?

    by Tx LIberal on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:57:02 AM PST

  •  flags (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, adrianrf, pademocrat

    We moved from NY to coastal NC and discovered that the South won the Civil War--in their eyes.   Confederate flags are common--especially on pick up trucks and in trailer parks.  Local Whites vote Republican because they believe Dems give all their tax money to "those people."  Churches abound--usually a big beautiful White church and a nearby humble Black one---and the color refers to parishioners.  How can the clergy allow this to exist?--well, the Confederacy won the war!!

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 07:59:56 AM PST

  •  You are so right! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon

    I don't know if you recall that during the Bush administration several books appeared extolling the virtues of slavery.

    How ANYONE could ever vote for a Republican again is beyond me.

  •  They have Ashley Wilkes hearing. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf, pademocrat

    Very, very selective hearing.  Ashley Wilkes "There are no shrieks in slavery.  Only high soft laughter."

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:07:46 AM PST

  •  This is soooo painfully true... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, adrianrf, pademocrat

    But remember, the Civil War wasn't fought over slavery and the prickly issues thereof; it was fought over "states rights", see?

    Of course, I always reply with, "Yes-- the right of the states to have people bought and sold as slaves." When I bring up issues like the Northwest Ordinance, Missouri Compromise, unequal representation in Congress and the 3/5ths rule, and Bloody Kansas, I get a total  deer-in-the-headlights look that tells me that these people don't know WTF they are talking about and are totally unprepared to back up their statement.

    Then its popcorn time.

  •  Keep Your God Out Of My God's Face (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, adrianrf, pademocrat

    and we'll get along just fine.

    The faith-based Republican will exempt their behavior, from the clear directives that thier faith demands of them, while demanding the very opposite of everyone else. That is dangerous human behavior and we've seen it before.

    Those who think theocratic rule actually has validity, in our society and government, could be accused of treason, and we could find ourselves repeating history.

    It is partially the reason why we killed as many people from the South as we did, during the Civil War. It was not the grace of God that stopped us from wiping them off the face of the Earth completely, it was the human decision that we successfully destroyed the busniess model of slave labor that ended that war over what they perceived as a divine right, which they now call state's rights.

    To avoid another confrontation, by the stupids for the stupids more people should confront the faith-based politicians and businesses, with....
    Keep Your God Out Of My God's Face and We'll Get Along Just Fine.

    •  How a theocrat defines liberty (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon, Ghost of NY, pademocrat

      Here in Texas, I have a veritable buffet of right wing radio hosts to choose from, one of whom is former Dallas city counsel man Mark Davis.  I was listening to his show on the way to work a few mornings ago and he played his introduction to Rick Santorum's appearance at a country club in McKinney, TX.  

      You'll have to bear with me , because this is a very loose paraphrase, but  he mentioned that an essential American value was obedience to God.  Yes, really.  He also defined liberty not as the right to do what you want to do, but the right to do what you ought to do.  

      Ought to do?  That leaves the question of who it is who gets to decide what it is I ought to do.  That statement summed up the religious right's vision of liberty better than I ever could have.  You are free to do what you want as long as it's exactly what we say you can do.  

  •  A lot of people esp. children get their insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon

    through a partner or parents employer, right?

    What happens when a (esp. religiously affiliated) employer decides that it would be an affront to their faith to have to pay for the health care of a same sex partner, or the result of a miscegenous union?

    Hasn't the caving in on contraceptives basically made this a "gimme" for any such assertions?

    •  There are no gimmes with Republicans. (0+ / 0-)

      THey don't believe in ergo ipso facto.

      Each battle has to be fought and won separately in the court of public opinion, against the plutocracy, its government and its media.

      Which is why it's so slow, aggravating and exhausting.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:45:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Employer - Employee Relationship is Contract! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Thank you Mark for posting this diary. You reminded us that employees have the same rights and employers and that employees are not beholden to employers beyond the employment duties.

    We need to change the conversation. ALL employer-employee relationships are contractual, not just the ones where they sign a contract but even the ones at McDonalds. The same way the employer enters into contracts for materials, electricity, phone...employees sell their services to employers but like Mark said that does not make us slaves.

  •  Poorly conceived, poorly expressed (0+ / 0-)

    It is sad that some people cannot see through such argument as expressed herein.  There is one critical right that each individual does NOT have, so readily overlooked by this author.  No individual has a right to be employed by any certain other -- company, corporation, nor even themselves -- under the conditions of their own choosing absent the views of that other.  If you are employed by a factory that operates between the hours of midnight and 8am, you do not have the right to that employment despite the fact that you are unavailable in that timeframe.  The right you possess is that of property... in this case, the ownership of your own time as it represents work product.  You have the right to sell such property under the conditions that you find acceptable, and to withhold its sale under the conditions you wish not accept.  If you are an employer, you have the right to those reasonable requirements in employment that you deem suitable to your business.  Should they be sufficiently onerous, none will elect of their own free will to be employed under them, and you will either amend the requirements or fail entirely.

    It is indeed the path to tyranny on which the government -- acting as though it were a disinterested party -- claims the power to dictate EITHER that the individual may sell their property in the form of time and effort only under conditions defined by some central planner OR that the employer (be they individual or assembly thereof) may only purchase the property of others under such externally-defined positions.

    •  As a small business owner (0+ / 0-)

      I understand your argument and even agree with it within a narrow band of mutual rights, particularly in an economy where the majority of laws that apply businesses are so poorly and unevenly administered and enforced, which makes it damn difficult for an honest broker to compete in many industries and markets. Without some rights and prerogatives, honest brokers today can be squeezed right out of business.

      I owned a moving company in an area in which is highly non-unionized and fraught with labor law violations. While I did very well growing the business, margins were always tight due to the cost of treating employees well in a market in which virtually no one else did, yet having to compete on price. Even worse, though I did so of my own volition, thinking it was the right thing to do and would reduce employee turnover in an industry in which turnover is extremely high, I got little no appreciation from employees and virtually no benefit in reduced turnover. Turned out whether or not employees "stuck" was related much more to the volatility of their own lives and, I had to say it, bad personal choices, such as too frquently missing work due to hangovers, etc.

      Nevertheless, if all businesses equally had their feet held to the fire vis-a-vis laws and regulations, then it would be a helluva lot easier if not more viable for individual employers to do so and employment conditions everywhere would improve. And then this should be applied internationally, to allow American workers to compete on level playing field of fair labor practices, by employing tariffs if necessary to suppliers who do not follow our regulations, all regulations that pertain to business (e.g., environment). This would discourage companies from exporting regulatory abuse, gaining competitive advantage destructively, making American workers even more vulnerable to exploitation, etc.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:51:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  thank you for this diary, I needed that really bad (0+ / 0-)

    I could lose my head sometimes, these diaries are the rare glimpse that keep me sane. Thank you.

  •  You do realize... (0+ / 0-)

    that the GOP was Lincoln's party while the Democrats represented the slave states (mostly) right? Not that I don't agree with you, just thought I'd point it out

    Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do. Benjamin Franklin

    by golfervet on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:02:20 AM PST

    •  Not really the same parties then as they (0+ / 0-)

      are now, right? I mean, southern Democrats were pretty much always misplaced until LBJ exposed the lie that prompted the current alignment. As long as we are limited to two parties, this will always be the case to some point: parties will always contain anomalies, people who are misplaced but for commonality on a few issues and no real option for a more accurate alliance. Think of conservative gays, conservative environmentalists, socially liberal Republicans, etc.

      IMO, which could be more educated on forms and methods of governance, a parliamentary structure tightly intertwined with mechanisms of direct democracy would be a better approach.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:59:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So true... (0+ / 0-)

        which is why your comments about 2 parties are right on. But, I wonder what we would end up with if we truly had a 3rd party? Would it be the full left side of the Democratic Party? The closest we as a country have come to matching that in a Presidential election this past 100 years was John Anderson and of course poor Perot. When I look back at that election I'm sorry I didn't vote for him. The media did a number on his credibility which makes me wonder whether they were doing a FOX even then.

        Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do. Benjamin Franklin

        by golfervet on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 12:39:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I hope people saw (3+ / 0-)

    Peonage: Slavery by Another Name that PBS broadcast last week. The resemblance to today's version of it--working wages that do not allow a person to escape debt is not lost on the viewer. I would say that many of the schemes to encourage debt are but new variations on this old theme.

    Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. Marx

    by Marihilda on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:10:21 AM PST

    •  "Encourage debt" and limit or eliminate options. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marihilda, a2nite

      That's the key and always has been. "If you don't like it, leave" gains it power from markets in which options of better conditions are eliminated. And the options are eliminated in part by extreme lack of regulations or regulatory enforcement that make it difficult if not impossible for employers who would do the right thing to even compete.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:04:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Corporate Religion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    If companies can impose religeous or moral beliefs, I believe they should formally align with one specific religion and church and declare that religion and the church to be the official church of the company. Since 'corporations are people', they should declare their religion just like us real people. And, if say Apple declares Church of Scientology to be their official church...then you as an employee have a "choice" to work there. See - it's all about worker "choice"! Freedoms!!!!!

    •  "'choice' to work there" or buy their products. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      Anti-monopoly enforcement would be really helpful, too. Then it would be a lot easier to vote with you wallet. As it stands, it is often extremely difficult to do so, since just about every company either is plutocratically corrupted or is allied, via family of ownership, with plutocratic corruption, which is overwhelmingly correlated with this culture war antagonism.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:32:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Hispanics are going to take over! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, Matt Z, a2nite

    And then we white Republicans will be screwed!

    Stop immigration! Deport the hispanics! Disenfranchise the hispanic vote!

    Draw the wagons into a circle!

    Heaven help us if the hispanics take over!

    This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

    by Words In Action on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:28:09 AM PST

  •  Leslie Gore (0+ / 0-)

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 09:33:14 AM PST

  •  Right, correct, and all (0+ / 0-)

    But the term "wage slavery", while novel, is not what we need here.  

    The country has forgotten how to have a discussion about labor vs management.  It now thinks of capitalists as productive -- "job creators" -- and of laws protecting workers from abuse by capitalists as "job killing regulations".  

    Formerly, the worker was the producer and the capitalist was a parasite, a value extractor.  Management was just a henchman of the capitalist system of abusing the heroic producers.  

    Can you say, value reversal?

    "Wage Slave" is not a type of hero.  Its a victim.  Learn how to build someone up into something that deserves admiration, not pity.  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:02:02 AM PST

  •  The term 'fascism' means totalitarianism (0+ / 0-)

    It's not related to the US.

  •  Amen. (0+ / 0-)

    Besides, even though I am a law abiding citizen, I have no problem whatsoever flouting the wishes of my employer.  Or my priest.  Or your priest (imam/rabbi/wiccan mistress).  Because I can.

  •  The idea that the Bill of Rights (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knarfc, a2nite

    ...ends at the office or factory door is not a Southernism, no matter how well the Southernized Republican Party has embraced it.

    Now that doctrine of divine right of managers/owners extends outside the office/factory as well.  Through confidentiality agreements, behavioral snooping, and other means.

    The Republican extension into birth control is not new.

    Morever the propensity for slaveowners to be obsessed with liberty is not new either.  In fact it was baked into the Constitution.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 10:51:48 AM PST

  •  Wonderful essay! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Thanks.

  •  It may boil down to politics of privilege, friend (0+ / 0-)

    I've been stuck out here in the red region of the Midwest for a few years, been trying to understand the climate of the region as best as I may, in that time. Recently, I think I've begun to better understand the politics of privilege that would seem to drive the prevailing climate of the region.

    There is a sense of cultural identity that the typical Redneck carries oneself with, and in that sense of cultural identity, there are certain cultural values and cultural desires represented. I wish that I could offer a more immediately objective ethnographic view of the same - perhaps it would not sound so personal, then.

    I can ascertain, objectively, this much, while still stuck in this region: It's a matter of the politics of privilege.

    While stuck out here, perhaps I've seen some of the worst of how far people would be willing to go, anywhere short of obvious illegal action, to maintain their ghostly ideals of self-defined privilege - so far as to demean a person's individual character, knowing the person none, but apparently wishing to invent a leverage over whom, and why, I cannot actually imagine.

    I'm not one to respond directly to the political drama of the climate, out here. In fact, I think it's all a lot of superfluous bullshit - the Redneck Groupthink - it having no real bearing on business, economy, industry, science,  knowledge, or culture, except to  wholly interfere with all of the same.

    If the Red Region can just grow the hell up, already, I think we'd all be doing better for it. In the mean while, it's good to know that one is not alone in this climate.

    It could begin to resemble an Ayn Rand book, at times - Anthem, namely

    •  Redneck is an insulting phrase (0+ / 0-)

      You realize that the roots of the term "redneck" refers to people who work in the fields and thus get a sun-burned neck. It is a classist insult. It is time for people to give it up -- I don't care how much Jeff Foxworthy uses it. (By the way, Foxworthy is the son of an Atlanta IBM executive, so his work is as judgmental as anyone's.) There was a time when intellectuals were on the side of working people, but that sure ain't the case here.

  •  Good diary overall, but (0+ / 0-)

    I take exception to the map. Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware - shown on your map as Confederate States - were all Union States. MD and DE abolished slavery during the Civil War, and KY acquiesced in good grace when the 13th Amendment was passed.

  •  More Anti-South Words from Daily Kos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kvetchnrelease

    I was born and raised in the north -- Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois -- and moved to NC 13 years ago. Anti-Southern stereotypes seem to be one of the few insults still allowed, and frankly it is no more acceptable than racist stereotypes. It is an intellectually lazy way to make a point. I read DailyKos several times a day, and I am regularly shocked by the anti-southern and anti-rural nonsense I read.

    •  Also born and raised in the North (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OldDragon

      Ohio, and Indiana in my case, and now living in Texas.

      But the South consistently votes against their self interest on a regular basis.  Several states purposely sabotage their educational systems.  

      The public figures that are the faces of the Southern Republican Party do not discourage a negative Southern stereotype, and in fact, play it up.  

      That there is a pervasive negative Southern stereotype isn't a surprise.  It is self inflicted.

  •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

    An point of view that I had not considered, but with which I totally agree

    "Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans." - Will Rogers

    by jkerrigan on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 12:10:43 PM PST

  •  yes, only the government (0+ / 0-)

    gets to impose it's version of health care on people,
    not employers

    •  Not True it is always the Insurance Company (0+ / 0-)

      and the employers choice of plans and the percentage of the plan they will pay. For the last 20 years as an employer I had to compete for customers with companies that were racing to the bottom on wages and percentage of Insurance. It was good since they were also racing to the bottom on customer care and service to save money. They lost their good employees and all but the cheapest customers. They ended by subletting everything having no employees and going away. While my company kept growing.

  •  I rec'd because this diary got off to an excellent (0+ / 0-)

    start.

    Then the conclusion becomes single payer health care. I suppose that's considered the other extreme.

    As far as rights go, individuals and groups only have them to the extent that they have the power to assert and to defend them.

    If Republicans have the power to say that government should not be impinging upon the rights of employers, or of businesses generally, then we the people collectively must have the power to say that the rights of employers and the rights of businesses generally are secondary to, and not in any way equal to, the rights of the individual, and of the community as a whole. Any other approach implies or maintains that the government is subservient to a special interest.

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Sun Feb 19, 2012 at 08:10:19 PM PST

  •  Graphic fail (0+ / 0-)

    WVa wasn't part of the Confederacy.

  •  Slavery (0+ / 0-)

    My thoughts as expressed by another. I concur. It would be nice to have this sent to the Raleigh News & Observer. Heck It ought to run in all major City newspapers!  The portion of medical insurance paid by Hobby Lobby is not "their" money any more than the wage paid to their employees can be held back if the owners are opposed to the way some employee might spend his or her earnings. The employee doesn't get the "benefit" if they don't work. So it IS compensation for labor.

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