1000 Questions

I’ve been trying desperately to understand this new push by the senate to get a public option passed through reconciliation.

Did the Administration and the Senate grow something, give the insurance industry just enough rope to hang itself, or was this simply a trap?

Did the insurance industry underestimate the current administration and congress’ ability to successfully address health insurance reform? Did it get played like a fiddle by this administration and congress? Did it act too soon by falling prey to the very greed that has driven this industry for years?

Did the insurance industry have just enough disdain and arrogance that it figured it could start gouging consumers long before the ink was dry on the death certificate of health insurance reform? Did it hedge its bet that it couldn’t lose in the health insurance reform debate? Did it make the calculated bet that the worse that would happen if reform failed would be that it would be left with the ability to raise premiums and to deny and drop coverage indiscriminately? Did it bet that if reform passed that it would not have a public option and a 30 million new customer jackpot would be hit with all obligated by law to purchase health insurance at whatever the market rate set by the insurance industry?

Did the insurance industry get caught believing the 24×7 hype about the struggles surrounding reform? Did it get trapped reading and listening to all of the negative information designed to motivate and drive the failure of Barack Obama, his administration, and oh by the way health insurance reform? Was it fooled into thinking that Jim DeMint and his gang of saboteurs could successfully defeat reform and bring Barack Obama to his waterloo?

Was the behavior of Anthem Blue Cross of California and the reports of its 30 to 39 percent major rate hike affecting 800, 000 policyholders really a harbinger of rising premiums?

Or was this the behavior that the administration and congress needed in order to move forward with health insurance reform?

And now Dianne Feinstein plans to introduce legislation that would bar insurance companies from enacting premium increases that the government deems unjustified.

Are we just lucky or is there something to this?

wildweezle (© Wildweezle Enterprises 2010, all rights reserved.)

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The Pursuit of Happiness

If the renaissance began Nov 5, 2008, why then are we still confused over why denying same sex couples the full right of marriage is a fight for civil rights? 

We are dealing with civil law and not religious doctrine. Our government is not a theocracy. We are a nation of civil laws and not religious laws although they sometimes look the same. Because the majority of our civil codes mimic what you would find in religious doctrine does not in any way signal that we are a nation governed by religious doctrine.

Our laws are there to protect each citizen’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is translated to mean that no man shall harm another in his life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness. These aspects are listed among the inalienable rights of man. Since our discussion focuses on California Ballot Proposition 8 let’s do some research. The “pursuit of happiness” is set forth by the constitution of California thereby making it enforceable as a fundamental right. It states in its declaration of rights:

SECTION 1.

All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights.  Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

With this declaration of rights for the people of California this means that no man shall interfere or harm another in his pursuit of those inalienable rights. The inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness is the right of men to pursue their happiness in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others.

“The United States Supreme Court, in recognizing that marriage is a fundamental right, stated that “the freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness.”

We should take care not to impose religious definitions of marriage on our civil codes. This creates problems because the act is viewed differently even among the religions. As an example marriage in Catholic Church is a sacrament which means it is sanctioned by the church and is both a natural and supernatural institution. The supernatural aspect is hardly compatible to our form of secular government. If one is Catholic all the rules governing that sacrament are applied such as being in good standing, union between a male and female (it is curious that no age is implied), not closely related (has changed meanings over time), both partners Christians and at least one catholic (also a change from both had to be Catholic), free of prior marriage (meaning the spouse must be deceased or a church nullity was granted). As a Catholic one is married through the church and that marriage is then recognized by the State. So at a minimum Catholics have a civil and a religious union where the civil union is the state’s recognition of the religious union. The religious union satisfies the spiritual objectives of the church however it is the legal union that is enforceable by our government.

There have been many discussions over the differences between the struggles of the Gay Community and African-American Struggles. In our form of government these comparisons are unnecessary. Our Federal and State constitutions make no distinctions between rights. They protect and guarantee all civil rights equally for all of its citizens and classes of citizens. No civil right has priority or outweighs another no matter how heinous the effects endured by the loss of that civil right is. Whether you’re owned by another as in the case of African-Americans or you were denied your right to life in the case of Matthew Shepard because of some class membership. Both are considered EQUAL in protection under the laws of this nation.

So to argue how the denial of the civil rights of African-Americans is different and more important than those sought by Gays even if the right is simply equality in marriage is a specious argument. We must be careful that the struggles of African-Americans in their fight for equality do not become the yardstick for the legitimacy of other civil rights struggles. The systematic denial of any right to ANY citizen is an offense based on factors like socio-economic background, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and religion. Race alone is not the only factor. I certainly understand the emotion but our system demands OBJECTIVITY. A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with, no matter how big or small, by another gives rise to an action for injury. Discrimination occurs when ANY civil right of ANY CITIZEN is denied or interfered with because of membership in a particular group or class.

The California Judiciary has to determine if the enactment and enforcement of PROP 8 is a RISK FACTOR for the civil liberties of ANY California citizen or citizen group. If it is found to be, then it will NOT be enacted. That means that if the good citizens of California decide that they want to amend their constitution to define “state sanctioned” marriage, then it will be necessary to follow the process for amending the state constitution because the California Supreme Court has published a brief on this matter which means that the denial of marriage to same sex couples is a interference of their pursuit of happiness and is therefore they MUST be protected under the constitution of the state of California.

In order to change marriage rules and guidelines it will be necessary to amend state constitutions in order to codify whatever religious beliefs that are being sought to restrict marriage to an act between a male and female.

There have been many comparisons between pedophilia, polygamy, child marriage, etc but it is important to note that these acts are ILLEGAL and until the state of California outlaws homosexuality and makes it a crime it is UNFAIR and DISHONESST for religious leaders such as Rick Warren to casually make comparisons between these acts and homosexuality. This demonstrates ignorance on his part that is borne out in a form of bigotry.

There are very basic formulas underlying our constitutional form of government and they work quite well when executed properly. Here is an example:

If the Constitution guarantees and protects 10 rights for its citizens, then ALL of its CITIZENS are guaranteed those 10 rights until the constitution is amended to remove privileges to those 10 rights for an individual, class, group, etc.

Marriage between same sex partners cannot be restricted until homosexuality is made unlawful. Without this there is not a court in this land that will interfere or harm another man in his pursuit of happiness.

Wildweezle(© Wildweezle Enterprises)