Content Advisory: Whereas: this blog occasionally employs "colorful language,"
may also occasionally contain implicit and explicit references to
tobacco, alcohol, and other substances, as well as sexuality,
and favors logic over dogma, any or all of which may offend some,
and whereas I may occasionally give disclaimers,
but I do NOT give "trigger warnings,"
therefore, be it resolved that: this blog is intended for mature readers.
However, this blog is not age-restricted.
Friday, January 17, 2014
Some of those who read this blog may have noticed that I haven't been very active in posting this month, and may have been wondering where I've been and what I've been doing, and so on. Fear not, I have not abandoned this blog, and will return to posting here in the future.
However, I've also been working on a website for my fleet in the Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), Star Trek Online (STO). For those not familiar with the game, a "fleet" in STO is the equivalent of what some MMOs refer to as a "guild" or "clan," that is, a group of players of the game, organized through the game's mechanics, into an association. Ideally, these groups should function in a tribe-like manner, cooperating for the betterment of the group as a group, and for the members of the group as individuals, with each member contributing to the group itself and helping other members get ahead in the game.
The fleet I started in STO is named "Tal'Diann," which is the name of the Military Intelligence organization in Romulan society. Some of us are fans of the writings of Diane Duane, and the language which she created for the Romulans in her novels. As such, use of the doaege Rihan (Romulan language) is welcome and encouraged within the fleet, although not required. I'm also using the language quite a bit on the fleet website (with translation provided, of course), and have two pages on the site which provide resources for the language.
For those who might find any of this interesting, please feel free to have a look around the site (which is still growing; my two current projects for the site are a discussion of history and culture pertaining to the Romulan people, and a biography of my main character in STO, G'essatra ir'Virinat t'Prell, the Fleet Admiral of the Tal'Diann -- neither of these writings is currently visible to the public, but they should become visible within a relatively short period of time, once I'm satisfied enough with the presentation). Here's a link:
Tal'Diann (Phi'Tlaru Rihan)
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Sotomayor Temporarily Blocks Obamacare "Forcing" Some Religious Groups to Provide Birth Control Coverage
Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Obama administration from forcing some religious-affiliated groups to provide health insurance coverage of birth control or face penalties as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Acting at the request of an order of nuns in Colorado, Justice Sotomayor issued the stay just hours before the requirement was to go into effect on New Year’s Day. She gave the Obama administration until Friday to respond to the Supreme Court.
... Religious opponents of abortion have objected especially strongly to the requirement to provide emergency contraception pills, like Plan B, although most studies show that the drug works by preventing fertilization, not by inducing abortion. ...
The Obama administration has repeatedly defended the birth control requirement. “The president believes that no one, including the government or for-profit corporations, should be able to dictate those decisions to women,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said last month.
Justice Blocks Contraception Mandate on Insurance in Suit by Nuns
Jehovah's Witnesses oppose blood transfusions. Scientologists oppose psychiatric treatment. Will businesses affiliated with these religious groups also be given exemptions for those specifics? If an exception is made for religions with a large following like the Roman Catholic Church or the Southern Baptist Convention, but not for religions with a smaller following such as the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Church of Scientology, would that not be a clear case of the government giving preferential treatment to specific religious groups while denying such privileges to other religious groups, and thus a rather blatant violation of not only the letter, but also the spirit, of the First Amendment's non-establishment clause? Upon what basis is an employer entitled to make health decisions for his/her employees? If a person believes that abortion or contraception is morally wrong, that person is free to refrain from having an abortion or using contraceptives, but that person has no authority or right to impose such beliefs -- or the practical application of those beliefs -- on anyone else.
More to the point, why does any employer have a right to know the medical history of any employee? Is it not the usual operating procedure for any insurance provider to accumulate a resource pool from which to cover the medical expenses of any given subscriber, whether or not that subscriber or any other subscriber ever makes use of specific coverage? And do insurance companies have any requirement to tell every subscriber the medical history of every other subscriber? Is this not really about the typical capitalist desire to maximize the intake of wealth while decreasing any expenditures, rather than any sort of religious conviction? If not, then is this not simply a case of religious imperialism?