Monday, March 24, 2014

Corporations are NOT People!

So SCOTUS is going to hear the Hobby Lobby case. For those living under a stump somewhere, Hobby Lobby (with about 50 other corporations - all FOR-PROFIT) is suing the Administration because they claim that the ACA provision on requiring payment for birth control is "against their religion."

And of course, since corporations have political feelings, at least according to Citizens United, they apparently also have religious feelings too. And Hobby Lobby's religious feelings are offended - nay, shattered - at the thought of having to pay for contraception for its female employees.

What's scary about this is that they've already won a significant victory, courtesy of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which wrote:

"We see no reason the Supreme Court would recognize constitutional protection for a corporation's political expressions but not its religious expression." 

This is in Denver, just to give you a more complete picture. 

See, this is my problem. Well, first and foremost CITIZENS UNITED is my problem. A corporation, by definition, is not a person, no matter how many guys in black robes in a courtroom may say it is. According to Investopedia, a corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners.

But the lovely people of SCOTUS gave us, instead, this definition: a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Don't get me wrong; I'm no lawyer. But let's just use some good, old-fashioned logic for this one.

People formed corporations for many reasons. One of which was so that they would be protected INDIVIDUALLY should someone sue the corporation for any reason. Such as: unpaid bills, injuries to workers, injuries due to product liability... See - if you and I owned a business, The Stitch & Tea Shop, let's say, and we were going merrily on our way, we would be serving tea, providing an area to allow people to come into our place of business and sit with needles and floss or sticks and string, and exercise their right to congregate and enjoy our tea and atmosphere.

But say we, as trusting individuals, never incorporated. And say the knitters and the needleworkers got into a fiber war. Needles were thrown. People were hurt. Guess who they'd come after? 

You and me as owners. Individually. I could lose my house. You could lose your house. We would lose all of our savings. 

Another example: One of our workers gets scalded by a pot of hot tea. She sues us for medical expenses because she's badly injured. And she also includes pain and suffering - burns are horrible things. 

We lose. Everything. Because we aren't protected by the fact that the CORPORATION exists outside of US as people. 

If we HAD incorporated: Stitch & Tea, Inc. -- then the only thing that our worker (or those darned territorial stitchers & knitters) could sue would be the CORPORATION itself. Not you and me. And the CORPORATION may lose everything, but we'd still be able to keep our homes. 

That's why it's done that way, kids... This whole "corporations are people" thing is insane. And politically driven so that unending amounts of $$$ can be poured into elections. Even those little local elections are being affected by outside money. Courtesy of the Supreme Court, bought and paid for. 

So now Hobby Lobby says it can't provide contraception costs to its female employees because doing that would offend the religious sensibilities of its owners, who it is said "exercise their religion in the way they control their company."

The Administration has already exempted religious organizations (all non-profit) from the burden of providing contraception. But what gets my goat (and the reason why I will never stop into one of those stores again) is that Hobby Lobby is HUGE. To the tune of $186 MILLION last year. And that's profit, kids. They do give to charity - mostly to places like Liberty University - which is a whole other blog entry... 

But the point is - this isn't some faith-based community organization. It's a major company. And major companies should play by the rules. 

I can see how my own employer wants out of this (I work for a Catholic school) -- it's a religious non-profit school. 

But I can't do the "for-profit" thingie... I also can't do "corporations are people." Historically, people SHIELDED themselves and their families from any liability with a corporation. Now? What? When some employee at Hobby Lobby has an ectopic pregnancy, can she sue? I bet not. 

And I bet that the owners wouldn't care anyway. Likely, they'll say it was "God's will" and even more likely? They'd fire the woman who sues. 

Regardless of any statistics which clearly show that supplying birth control leads to fewer unplanned pregnancies, fewer abortions and healthier women -- they don't care. Somewhere in their Bible, God spoke against birth control and that's good enough for them.

It's not good enough for me. And I hope that it's not good enough for SCOTUS. As Kid #2 said to me the other day, "I thought we had all this settled way back a long time ago."

So did I.


Had to sub the senior class because the original teacher is on vacation. Very weird, particularly since my mom's in that class. Apparently, I did ok. Nobody got hurt and they all said they'd be back Wednesday! 

It's an odd dynamic. I felt odd giving direction, but they're fairly well trained and they didn't need much. So I ended up finishing the class, and thankfully, nobody wanted to linger. I had my work clothes in the truck. Whizzed up to work, slammed my door and closed my blinds and did a quick-change. Brrrrrrrrr - it was 28* outside, and putting on cold blue jeans was not what I wanted to do!! 

Doing a lot of subbing... Tonight I teach my regular class. Wednesday, I sub a 9 a.m. class and the 7 p.m. class I usually TAKE. Thursday night I sub as well. 

That's a lot of yoga for me, particularly since I do also have a day job. As a matter of a small rant, some of our other teachers always ask for "more classes." But never step up for sub duty. C'mon, folks. Can't have it both ways. No sense putting a zillion classes on the schedule if you can't fill the studio. No matter how much you enjoy teaching, if you can't bring the mats to the studio, it's economically unfeasible. Pack the classes - have 10 or 15 consistently. That makes it more fulfilling for you as a teacher. Truly, without getting all fuzzy about it, you can definitely see the energy level in a class of 2 - 4 students as opposed to a class of 10+ - the energy in the larger class is much more palpable. 


So yesterday, per schedule, I did counted cross-stitch. Well, first I dusted off the fabric that was stretched on the frame. It's been there a good year. (go ahead, giggle)

Flower Thread
Then, Hubby pulled down the boxes of floss so that I could pull the colors. We found all of them, and I had to wind them onto bobbins (keeps them from tangling and me from flinging said tangled mess across the room). Hubby tried, but managed to mangle a good hunk of Flower Thread. It's a bugger to card this stuff anyway, since it's single-ply and very persnickety. But that's ok. I managed to get it onto the bobbin, and I will probably have to lop off about 1" of floss. I mean, seriously - look at those two skeins. Almost hair-thin. 

Hubby decided to go checking E-Bay because I need more black and more white. It's almost impossible to get now, at least in stores - even the specialty needlework stores. It's no longer available in the big stores - even when it was manufactured, you had to go to a specialty store or show to get a goodly supply. We got the first large batch on E-Bay years ago. Now, especially since the project is a monthly snowman, as you can imagine, I need more black and white. 

March Snowman
I have all 12 of them. And I think about 2 or 3 others from his series. His designs were very popular way back when counted cross-stitch was at its heyday. I've made January, February, and December. I'm working on March now. Each is done on linen, and I've done them in both regular DMC 6-strand floss and in Flower Thread. DMC 6-strand is more vibrant. Flower Thread is more old-timey and muted. I framed December, but January and February were both my sad attempts at quilting. I quilted them into a banner and each month, at the appropriate time, I hung them. December was actually done on a glittery fabric, Lugano, and I added beads. I added beads and buttons to each of the others as well.

I'll likely add buttons where the snowman's chest is. I like giving them some dimension, and while I do have beads and metallic thread, with the main chart being executed in Flower Thread, other embellishments aren't appropriate. And I'm not sure if I'll quilt March. Hubby can get some 3/4 round trim and I can paint or stain it to make our own custom frame. I'm not sure yet -- have to see what this looks like when I'm done. 

The key to substitution for Flower Thread, if you're interested, is simple: Flower Thread is a 4-digit number. Lop off that first digit and the last 3 correspond to regular DMC 6-strand. So you really can go either way, but due to the texture of the thread you need to pick one or the other. 

March Snowman started...
So I get the chair settled. I get the lamp set up and the magnifier. I look, in shock, at the fabric (32-count linen - which means 32 threads of fabric per inch)... and I realize that I really, REALLY need the magnifier!! I used to be able to do this stuff without it. Old sucks.

I cranked the frame onto the holder, and then asked Hubby to give it another crank at the back so that the frame would be stable - it was slipping. He did. The crank broke. I guess I should've oiled the wood more.... So no stand. I've got to balance this on my lap. Luckily, it's a small piece, but I really do need him to fix that by the time I get to my mom's angel!!

Why didn't I start on the angel again, you ask? Good question. Answer: I haven't picked up a cross-stitch project in about 4 years. My eyeballs are used to knitting. Check out the picture to the right. That's tan thread (for the snowman's shillelagh). It's on tan linen. Bad idea on my part, but I thought as I went along, that it might work. I should've pulled a darker tan. I'm not ripping it out. If I have to (and I don't want to, because the hallmark of these designs is "folk art"), I will outline the thing. Maybe only in parts, as in a shadow so you get the idea of where the outline is. That tool on my finger is a laying tool. As you pull the thread in and out, it can sometimes twist. When your work is judged, as mine has been in years past, the judge would ding you for "twisted" stitches. The laying tool catches the thread as it lays over the fabric and helps smooth it over. It looks better anyway, so you should do it if you can, just to make your work look nicer. 

Not mine - an example only!
I just searched for "completed" projects by this designer. Wow - didn't know he did a whole whack of redwork! No - not interested. It's fascinating, but boring to use the same color and I don't like backstitching everything. I'll keep with what I'm doing. 

The picture to the left shows an example of what it looks like. It does look better on white, but I'm not starting over! This person pinned a shamrock pin on the vest (nice idea!) and used some shamrock buttons to make her pillow-door-hanger thingie. 

My quilted ones are slightly bigger, about 8x10" and they are hung on a dowel with tabs across the top. I will probably steal - ummmmm, borrow - the idea of the shamrock pin, since I have one that I never wear. Except I'll likely put it on the hat, since I will use small black buttons where they go down the middle of the tummy for the pieces of coal. Or I can use black beads. That would still work. 

As I'm working on it (and rats - we missed Cosmos last night, but we were watching Ingrid Bergman), Kid #2 says, "Wow -- I haven't seen you do THAT in a long time!" Hey, as long as I'm plowing through WIPs. It's all about the goal now. 

Today is Pink Sock day. I haven't knitted yet. But I have time. For what it's worth, I really did want to work on the Kid Afghan yesterday, but I kept to the schedule. I have almost gotten to the part on the snowman where his stick intersects his hand. That's progress indeed. 


We are apparently having technical difficulties. Both the hard-wired and wireless networks are a bit wonky. Which makes me wonder why in the world we want to be MORE wired? Google, Apple and Microsoft are all bringing out Dick-Tracy-Type watches. 

I'm sorry. I'm wearing a watch. I wear a watch every day. Except if I'm having surgery - they make me take it off. If I'm not wearing a watch, I feel distinctly undressed. 

Seiko Kinetic Watch
My granny used to complain about my watch. It's big. She loved the little tiny ones that "ladies wear." But she couldn't see the dial. Before you laugh, please note that my sister just got a watch with a face about twice this size. She really needs to get new glasses, but who am I to tell her?? I did ask of she could lift her arm...she whacked me. It probably left a bruise. 

Here's my lovely Seiko self-winding watch. It does things. Like tell time and tell me the date.  Which is really all I require of a watch. Oh, it's also glow-in-the-dark and it's waterproof, just in case. I wear it constantly - seriously, even in the shower, when I'm in a pool - it's just a part of me. I'm not the only one who still wears a watch. I've seen us... there are a bunch of us who still feel the need for the thingie strapped to our wrist.

The good folks in technology, however, feel that we need MORE. 

They feel that it's not enough that our cell phones are mini-computers. They feel that we don't rely on their technology enough. We're not "wired" enough. We're not "connected" enough. 

New technology
We need........ A watch. 

One that tells you "before you know you need to know" (I'm not making that up) -- just what's going on with your e-mail, your Facebook, your appointments.

In other words, strap this little guy on and you will ALWAYS know EVERYTHING. Like the breaking news of who's on the latest cover of Vogue. Or what your friend had to eat at lunch. Or when the boss is looking for you.


We all need a gigantic time-out. We need to unplug. At least once a day, everyone needs to take a device-break. And at least once a week, unless of course you're a doctor, nurse or other person involved in basically saving lives - you need to turn it all off. 

All of it. 

The other day, there was nothing on television. Yeah, I know - 500 channels and nothing on. But there was nothing on that I was interested in. It was a Saturday morning. Hubby had already left to take the dogs for their daily constitutional. I got up, Kid #2 was still asleep. 

And I left the big whiz-bang TV off. 

He got up and said, "Can't you remember how to turn it on?" I said, "Yes. Nothing's on." Of course, he checked. And agreed with me. And then we sat. Enjoying the quiet. It was remarkable. We read the paper, had our morning tea and just ... sat. In silence. 

What a refreshing thought. Instead of constant background noise, instead of constantly knowing who's doing what, instead of the buzz, beep and tweet of electronics... there was silence. 

Hubby likes the background noise. I have to say I miss the days when I got up, got my tea and started my day in silence. Maybe that's why I like to read and knit and do needlework. I can, for the most part, tune out the din. And I find that I'm more refreshed when I do that on a regular basis. 

Random Picture...

MY chair!

Silence is golden. Silence, with a Ninja-Husky-Dog? Can be dangerous. The first swath of silence came while she managed to snag a tissue out of the trash and shred it... Aaack!!! We got that away from her and I went back to skimming the paper prior to my early yoga class.

I went to take a shower. Hubby was switching the laundry. I come out. This is what I see... Madame Ninja-Husky-Dog appropriated my chair. Again. Apparently, when I'm not in it, she thinks it's hers. 

I called "Off." She looked at me. I tried again. Got the same "Who, me???" look and tugged at her collar. She reluctantly ceded the chair to its rightful owner.

It's bad enough that Quinn still hides under it in the back. It's a non-reclining-recliner since there's usually an Elkhound head under it. 

Now - there's a Husky butt IN it. 

I can't win. I should just accept that. 

No comments: