Author Archives: Norbrook

About Norbrook

I'm a pragmatic liberal, registered Democrat, with a science and technology background. I also have a warped sense of humor, and do not tolerate fools gladly.

Religious Business? Some Thoughts

The recent Supreme Court decision about Hobby Lobby being able to deny contraceptive coverage to its employees, because of … religious beliefs … has caused a major uproar.  My opinion is that it’s probably the most weasel-worded, constitutionally questionable decision the Supreme Court has reached in quite some time.   As a concept, the idea of a corporation as a person has any number of good features.  The way conservatives, and in particular this Supreme Court, have extended that to the realms of free speech and religion are not among them.   But, if corporations want to claim religious beliefs as a reason not to provide a benefit for their workers, I have an idea for making them regret it:  Make them live up to it.

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Regulations: The Conversation I’d Prefer To Have

One of the subjects I’ve devoted some time to here over the past few years has been the subject of regulations.    As I pointed out earlier this year, there are reasons we have regulations.   Most often, those reasons are remembered when … they aren’t followed, enforced, or not there to begin with.   According to conservatives,  regulations are “unnecessary” and the “free market” will behave properly or correct itself if left alone, all evidence from the past and present to the contrary.

One problems I have with conservatives is that they’ve turned the debate into defending the need for them in the first place.  I’d rather have a much different conversation.

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Miscellaneous Thoughts On Recent News

Bob Cesca has a great post up about the right-wing politicians and pundits, and their relation to Las Vegas shootings and the Atlanta courthouse shooting.

Did they really believe they could talk like this for so long and at such an urgent fever-pitch, encouraging armed revolution and Second Amendment solutions, and believe that no one would act upon the nonstop join-or-die hype? It’s not just Alex Jones, either. We’re also told by our elected leaders — those we’ve tasked with passing laws and safeguarding our liberty — that we should take up arms against domestic enemies.

To judge by their scramble to paint the shooters as “socialists” and to point the finger anywhere else but at themselves, the answer is “Yes, yes they did believe that.”

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Still Around, and Still Opinionated

It’s been a while since I wrote a post here,  because work has been … intense … the past month and a half.  While starting work in the field during the summer always decreases my posting frequency, this year has been more problematic than others.  There’s a corollary to Murphy’s Law which says “Murphy was an optimist.”   That’s been the applicable statement  this year, as things that shouldn’t have “gone wrong” did, and things that were supposed to have been ready … weren’t.   Add in a new assistant to be trained, along with an unexpected budget cut meaning we couldn’t hire a much-needed additional person, and things have been … busy.   I have been trying to keep up with the news, with variable success.  With that variability comes some opinions.

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Mid-Week Musing

As the long-term readers here are aware, I become scarce about this time of year, and remain that way until November.    My work takes me out into the field for the next several months, and my time, opportunity, and inclination to write blog posts takes a major hit.   A week from now, that cycle is going to start again.  Besides the usual workload, I am once again breaking in a new assistant, which means even less time.  Now, on to the other stuff.

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