From a historical perspective, it appears that “might makes right”. With regard to the decent peoples of the Ukraine and Russia whose ancestral struggles have cut-out contentious national boundaries, frontier inhabitants may view themselves as nationals of the neighboring country rather than nominal citizens of the “home” country. In contrast and by comparison, it did not serve Native Americans well to be autonomous “nations” living within the United States of America; rather, it required a federal bureau to protect and defend the rights of Native Americans and later an administrative agency to minister to the needs of their health and welfare. The dissociation and recent demise of the Soviet Union has brought many deaths, sorrow, and increased hardship to former constituent and autonomous republics. The challenge of newly gained freedom and formulation of alliances will take concerted effort to effect before conditions return to normalcy. Hopefully, law and order restoring domestic tranquility will return soon. Good luck to everyone involved.
safe from internal and external threats! If international law will not defend it then they must be forever vigilant against real and perceived threats.
The loss of innocent lives must stop, however. Tit for tat, unhappily, may be the method of accommodation and justice but it should cease and yield to the rule of law and order.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” I am not a lawyer, law student, or do not affiliate with any religion or sect but I believe the Founding Fathers intent was clear in so far as personal religious beliefs govern one’s own actions but that those actions affecting others, as in the course of employment, can be legally addressed. The U.S. Supreme Court Justices have wrongly abridged employees’ rights by ruling that certain forms of contraception can be effectively barred by an active employer’s failure to fund them. With regard to less compensated employees who barely earn more than the minimum wage and are attempting to raise or maintain their standard of living by, in this case, family planning, it is a private matter between the woman, her physician, and her family (spouse) to use whatever method is believed effective and safe during her childbearing years. Moreover, what may be effective and safe at one time during these years may cease to be later on in her life. No method, in fact, is 100 percent effective and resort to an abortion has been known to be required to end an unwanted pregnancy.
Employers have every right to believe what they will. However, the human resources department’s policies should know this aspect about their employees health and wellbeing. If they hire young employees, family planning materials promoting their views should be readily available. At the onset (before hiring a new employee and at all times afterward, as well as for existing employees) these materials should point to “approved” providers of care that support the employers religious views. Nevertheless, this is a personal matter, as stated, between the woman, her doctor, and spouse and must be supported by the employer as a matter of course. They do not have the right to impose their religious views on their employees after the employee candidate has been hired. Of course, if they have written policies and procedures, an organizational vision, mission, and goals statement available before hiring and at all times for the public and employees to familiarize themselves with, the employee at issue may be subject to termination for failure to align her-/himself with the policies & procedures, vision, mission and strategic goals of her/his company.
In Justice Ginsburg’s dissent, in contrast, she states:
I would conclude that the connection between the families’ religious
objections and the contraceptive coverage requirement
is too attenuated to rank as substantial. The requirement carries no command that Hobby Lobby or Conestoga [Respondents]
purchase or provide the contraceptives they find
objectionable. Instead, it calls on the companies covered
by the requirement to direct money into undifferentiated
funds that finance a wide variety of benefits under comprehensive
health plans. Those plans, in order to comply
with the ACA, see supra, at 3–6, must offer contraceptive
coverage without cost sharing, just as they must cover an
array of other preventive services.
In a footnote, Justice Ginsburg notes: “…one person’s
right to free exercise must be kept in harmony with the rights of her
fellow citizens, and ‘some religious practices [must] yield to the common
good.’” United States v. Lee, 455 U. S. 252, 259 (1982).
I agree with J. Ginsburg as her credentials make her abundantly qualified to make these assertions. She is a woman, mother, grandmother, and has suffered from cancer which she insists does not affect her ability to carry out her legal responsibilities on the SCOTUS. Matters of conscience when put into actions that affect others are subject to laws. As she reiterates, and I paraphrase, “ones freedom to swing one’s arms about ends where my nose begins.” The Respondents, in this case, may be relieved of their “duty” under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 2010 to provide the specified forms of contraception coverage at issue, in accordance with the majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court, by passing on their burden to the tax payer so that these closely held non-profit companies’ owners can be conscientiously assuaged allowing them to harmoniously live in accordance with their religious convictions. However, this solution is contrary to J. Ginsburg and my beliefs; neither of us is mollified to varying degrees by it.
It may be interesting to note legal decisions that may or may not exculpate mental health professionals (psychiatrists, clinical psychologists/social workers) from the duty to warn third parties of imminent harm (1). These range from the Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California to the Brady v. Hopper (an appeal by victims of the attempted assassination of the late former President Ronald Reagan in 1981 by John Hinckley, Jr.) cases (authorities or binding) and persuasive (dicta, or non-binding) court decisions. However, these professionals in particular are our guardians and must protect society from reasonably foreseeable physical harms just as health care professionals, in comparison, are responsible for warning us of the risk of an epidemic/pandemic outbreak caused by the prevalence in the community of a pathological micro-organism.
1) 751 F.2d 329: James Scott Brady, Timothy John McCarthy, and Thomas K. Delahanty, Plaintiffs-appellants, v. John J. Hopper, Jr., M.D., Defendant-Appellee
United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit. – 751 F.2d 329
Dec. 27, 1984
Last accessed June 26, 2014.
An outsider, as I feel I am, is much enlightened by your website and I thank you for it. Nevertheless, without second guessing our diplomatic core and the Administration, I think of the innocent lives that are lost to “collateral damage”. The U.S. forces must pull-out now as, I believe, our objectives have been accomplished. Osama Bin Laden is dead. We must prevent Taliban threats at Home and not pursue enemies abroad unless they directly threaten our Allies. We do not have a right to invade a foreign country nor to direct its policies; we must execute our objectives successfully then leave ensuring that our wake establishes continued safety for our nationals and that of our Allies.
Both the YouTube.com video and the (Internet accessible) “Manifesto” of the slain Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who slew 6 other young people, seriously injured thirteen others, and reportedly killed himself during the police chase in Isla Vista, California this past Friday, May 23, 2014, present two different sides of this deranged young man. On the one hand, he portrays himself to be a vindictive, petty, vengeful young man in the YouTube.com “Retribution” video. The Manifesto, however, is the work of an articulate, thoughtful, sensitive, and very organized person. His thoughts of hate could be construed as those of a spoiled child who was not appeased when his whims were not catered to. Furthermore, his vengeful sentiments might be viewed as predictive of wrongful prospective behaviors that few foresaw would lead to the resultant deaths, injuries, and property damage. If they had been known, those concerned should have instigated timely intervention in order to prevent them.
With regard to his stated desire for sexual fulfillment, I believe he was seeking to meet that need through a loving relationship. Possibly, at his age, flirtations may have been satisfactory but he demeaned others who boasted of their sexual encounters although he admits to feelings of jealousy as well. The need for sexual fulfillment in a young person is profound and can be at times overwhelming, but had he crossed into Nevada after learning to drive he could have paid for sex and found some gratification.
Even so, the fact remains that he wantonly sought “retribution” from innocent others depriving them of their lives and/or happiness. His parents, as he reported, took an interest in his wellbeing but their efforts did not help him sublimate his desires although they often pampered him. Also, he did not obtain adequate counsel from the mental health community to help him channel his anti-social plans and frustrated sexual desires. Unhappily, he was a powder keg seething with envy and jealousy on the verge of exploding in a college town.
I think it sad that the stigma of mental illness is still palpable today. Our minds’ health is a critical component of each us. They must also be developed, nurtured, and cared for just as are the needs of our physical bodies. Although, Elliot Rodger felt he had a keen intellect, he did not pursue its development to a level which sufficiently challenged him. Nor did he apply himself to any activity other than to his computer games. Again, it is disheartening that professional help did not intervene quickly enough to have prevented Elliot from carrying out senseless acts which resulted in yet another mass casualty shooting.
Here is a website with his “Manifesto”, “Retribution” YouTube.com streaming video, other commentary and links.
June 6, 2014
As I examine Rodger’s Manifesto, or memoir, his dark intentioned foreboding declarations, viz.,
“Ever since my life took a very dark turn at the age of seventeen, I often had fantasies of how malevolent satisfying it would be to punish all of the popular kids and young couples for the crime of having a better life than me. I dreamed of how sweet it would be to torture or kill every single young couple I saw. However, as I said previously in this story, I never thought I would actually go through with these drastic desires. I had hope inside me that I could one day have a happy life.
It was only when I first moved to Santa Barbara that I started considering the possibility of having to carry out a violent act of revenge, as the final solution to dealing with all of the injustices I’ve had to face at the hands of women and society. I came up with a name for this after I saw all of the good-looking young couples walking around my college and in the town of Isla Vista. I named it the Day of Retribution.
It would be a day in which I exact my ultimate retribution and revenge on all of the hedonistic scum who enjoyed lives of pleasure that they don’t deserve. If I can’t have it, I will destroy it. I will destroy all women because I can never have them. I will make them all suffer for rejecting me. I will arm myself with deadly weapons and wage a war against all women and the men they are attracted to. And I will slaughter them like the animals they are. If they won’t accept me among them, then they are my enemies. They showed me no mercy, and in turn I will show them no mercy. The prospect will be so sweet, and justice will ultimately be served. And of course, I would have to die in the act to avoid going to prison.
That is when I realized that this threshold existed, and if I crossed it, I will have to carry out this Day of Retribution. It has remained stagnant in the back of my mind ever since, until this point. After dropping my Spring classes at Santa Barbara City College, I knew that the Day of Retribution was now very possible. I even wrote about it in my diary, but I later tore out the pages because I feared someone might find them. A shiver ran through me, realizing how twisted my world had become, that I would have to resort to doing something that I would consider unthinkable a few years ago. I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to live. Thinking about the Day of Retribution made me feel trapped. I wanted a way out.”
I wonder if health care workers should not have noticed his intentions and motivations leading them to take steps to help him overcome these wrong-minded feelings and potential unlawful inclinations. He needed serious help or incarceration as he had already acted out his aggressions against innocent people by spilling his coffee on them at various times without any provocation whatsoever.
PS: In the aftermath of this tragic series of events, I feel that we must consider two other important social responsibilities which have been on the minds of enlightened Californians, as well as others in the United States, for sometime, and these are 1) access to and control of firearms; and 2) assessing culpability – societal costs, recompense, and punishment/rehabilitation. In spite of the death of the assailant (whom I refuse to refer to as a “suspect”), what if he had survived? What course of action(s) should take place after such mass shootings? He is guilty (but insane? delusional? culpable but must pay for his wrong-doings by incarceration for life with/without the possibility of parole?)! These issues too are calls for action by responsible citizens (through our right to vote/lobbying our elected representatives AND protected by the “Bill of Rights”).
President Obama and his Republican Party contender, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, gave an interesting first public appearance and debate together last night. Mitt Romney’s persona is just slightly more appealing than previously; and he was not at all attractive (as a potential forty-fifth President of the United States) prior to last night. However, throughout the campaign to date, he has consistently shown that he is nothing more than a wanna-be politician. I lack confidence that he can stand up to the rigors of the challenges that lie ahead for the nation and the Oval Office. Thumbs down on Mr. Romney.