Whitney Houston: 1963 – 2012
By Tom Quiner
It is a silent movie (mostly).
It is shot in black and white.
And it is marvelous.
The Artist tells an old story in what seems to be a fresh, new way, simply because we haven’t seen a movie like this in a long, long time. The lead, Jean Dujardin, garnered a best actor nomination from the Academy Awards.
Who is this guy? Evidently, he is a French comedian. In this film, he projects that suave and confident masculinity that both women and men will appreciate, although in different ways.
I was impressed.
The story is an old one, reminiscent of “A Star is Born.” The sound track is wonderful and takes you back in time to another era where men were men, women were women, and a dog was man’s best friend. I mention the dog because a Jack Russell terrier named Uggie practically steals the movie.
Go and see The Artist. What a treat!
By Tom Quiner
Quick recap: Barack Obama, by presidential fiat imposed a health insurance mandate on faith-based organizations. The Obama Mandate dictates these organizations must require three types of services regardless of whether it violates their conscience or not. These services include:
√ Abortifacients like the morning after pill, a pill that kills human life.
Faith-based institutions screamed that this is a violation of their religious freedoms.
The president yawned.
U.S. Catholic bishops objected vigorously:
“We objected to the rule forcing private health plans — nationwide, by the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen—to cover sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion. All the other mandated “preventive services” prevent disease, and pregnancy is not a disease. Moreover, forcing plans to cover abortifacients violates existing federal conscience laws. Therefore, we called for the rescission of the mandate altogether.”
They had more objections:
“We explained that the mandate would impose a burden of unprecedented reach and severity on the consciences of those who consider such “services” immoral: insurers forced to write policies including this coverage; employers and schools forced to sponsor and subsidize the coverage; and individual employees and students forced to pay premiums for the coverage.”
The president began to realize that Catholics and other faith-based organizations weren’t going to go away, that this may cost him votes, a lot of votes.
His solution is not a compromise, it is a con job that is cynical by even the president’s contemptuous standards. In essence, he said, “no problem, we’ll just force insurance companies to provide them for free. You don’t have to pay for them.”
Let us look at this compromise through the harsh light of basic honesty:
1. “Health” services that Catholics and other faith-based institutions consider to be immoral are still being forced upon their employees.
2. The services are not free. Someone pays. Whom? Why the organization writing the check. It doesn’t matter how much accounting sleight-of-hand you use, there is no free lunch. Faith-based groups are still paying for the destruction of human life … and for products that treat human life as if creation is a disease.
I have a simple solution. Let us call it the “Pro Choice Model”: let us eliminate ALL mandates at the state and federal level. Let us offer consumers real choice.
Two things will quickly happen:
First, insurance premiums will drop, because consumers will only pay for product features they really want.
Secondly, religious freedom is preserved. The federal government has no business telling us what to buy. And states have screwed up the insurance market by imposing dozens of mandates that drive up health insurance premiums.
And while we’re at it, let consumers purchase products across state lines like they do for practically every other product and service they buy.
What a win/win. The president could ride the Pro Choice Model to a landslide re-election if he wasn’t so driven by his anti-life ideology.
By Tom Quiner
America’s political Left is working hard to impose their perverse political philosophy on America: Liberal Totalitarianism.
It is characterized by increasing government control of all aspects of our life except one.
They call for massive new government regulations in running our businesses, in the way our economy is structured, in the way healthcare is structured, in every aspect, but one.
They want the state to move into our churches and tell us what we may and may not believe and who we must hire. They are adamant that the conscience of the faithful is irrelevant and must bow to the besotted wisdom of the elite.
They want control of everything except one area, and that of course is when it comes to the right of a human life to be born. They revile the rights of the preborn. They use their considerable clout to block even the most modest regulations on the billion dollar abortion industry.
They have set their crosshairs on the faithful with the Obama Mandate. By presidential fiat, Barack Obama will force religious organizations to violate their conscience by forcing them to provide services to their employees they find immoral, including abortifacients.
Some characterize this as simply a “Catholic thing.” It’s not. The president targets ALL people of faith including Jews, Protestants, and Muslims.
Is there anyway out of this for the faithful? Yes. Catholic hospitals must fire all non-Catholic employees and probably face anti-discrimination lawsuits. They must expel all non-Catholic patients and refuse admission of all non-Catholics in the future and again face anti-discrimination lawsuits.
Even worse, the Obama Mandate will prevent Catholics from carrying out Christ’s call to serve the needy, whether they are Gentile or Jew, white or black.
It’s not just Catholics who will feel the wrath of liberal totalitarianism. It is any faith-based organization that serves anyone outside of their faith.
One of the most thoughtful commentators on the subject is Fr. Robert Barron out of Chicago. I’ve posted his eloquent video above which any person of conscience will respect, whether they agree with him or not.
“If Rick Santorum weren’t running for president, he would still be saying the same things he is saying today. Very few people believe that about Mitt Romney. If he can’t fix that problem, he may win the Republican nomination, but it won’t be worth much.”
David Brooks, “The Crowd Pleaser,” NYT