Category Archives: lawsuit

Catholic Hospitals on Obama’s Compromise: “On second thought…NO”.

Courtesy of WSJ.com:

The head of the Catholic hospitals trade group reversed her support for the Obama administration’s proposed compromise on a controversial requirement that employers cover contraception in workers’ health plans. Sister Carol Keehan, head of the Catholic Health Association, was the most high-profile Catholic to speak in support of President Barack Obama‘s February announcement that the federal government would allow religious employers that object to the use of birth control to turn over responsibility for covering it for their workers to insurance companies.

In a formal submission to federal regulators, Sister Keehan wrote that the Catholic hospitals group had decided all of the options being discussed were “unduly cumbersome and would be unlikely to adequately meet the religious liberty concerns of all of our members and other Church ministries.”

I confess I didn’t pay enough attention to this whole issue when it was fresh.  So I went back and read President Obama’s announcement, and I can see why Sister Keehan initially approved.  She was probably sucked in momentarily by the affable, gracious-sounding rhetoric,  just as I was:   “I know how important the work that faith-based organizations do (sic) and how much impact they can have in their communities,” the President averred.

After “explaining” what the compromise would entail, he reiterated (twice):

 “The result will be that religious organizations won’t have to pay for these services, and no religious institution will have to provide these services directly.  Let me repeat:  These employers will not have to pay for, or provide, contraceptive services.  But women who work at these institutions will have access to free contraceptive services, just like other women, and they’ll no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars a year that could go towards paying the rent or buying groceries.”

Now I don’t have the most brilliant business mind, but that sounds like some pretty fancy footwork to me.  Justturnright thought so several weeks ago:

Further, the argument that “the coverage will be provided for free” is specious and outright laughable. Even the LA Times called such statements “magical thinking” back in February.

It stands to reason:  the insurance company is not Grandpa Gus, paying your bill out of the kindness of its corporate heart.  That money is coming from somewhere.  Typically it comes from premiums, whether the employer is paying them, the employee is paying them, or they’re sharing the cost.  If neither the employer nor the employee is required to pay anything for a particular service, then–golly gee whillikers, do you really think the insurance company is going to fork it over out of its profits?  Do you still get quarters from the Tooth Fairy?

Obviously, the insurance companies will be passing those costs along.  Now, do you think they’ll be carefully raising the premiums of only non-objecting, nonreligious employers?  Good heavens, that sounds like discrimination!  No, I suspect what cleverer people figured out a long time ago, that everyone’s premiums will go up in order to pay for this cockamamie government scheme.

And for that reason–among others–Sister Keehan has wisely washed her hands of any involvement with such a dubious compromise.

This is timely, as the bishops have organized a “Fortnight for Freedom,” which begins tomorrow, June 21st.

 Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayerstudycatechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

This is a crucial period for the Church, and the addition of the hospitals into the fight is a critical blow to Obama’s claim that his compromise was anything of the sort.

Threats, Guns, Lawsuits, and other hazards of Blogging

I honestly haven’t been keeping up with this like I should, but I gotta tell ya: this is scary stuff.

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This isn’t a prank. A prank is convincing your brother that a monster actually DOES live in the closet. A prank is tying up someone’s house in surveyor’s tape (…not that I would ever do such things….).

Convincing a SWAT team that I just gunned down my wife, am still armed and very dangerous is NOT a prank. Considering all of the things that could have potentially gone wrong in that scenario, that is a de facto attempt on someone’s life.

After Fox News covered it a week ago, ABCnews.com finally decided to cover this, as well:

A number of conservative bloggers allege they have been targeted through the use of harassment tactics such as SWAT-ting (fooling 911 operators into sending emergency teams to their homes), in retaliation for posts they have written, and now Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., has stepped into the matter. He has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to investigate the SWAT-ting cases to see if federal laws have been violated.

“Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse. Those who choose to enter into that political discourse should not have to worry about potential threats to their or their family’s safety,” Chambliss wrote in the letter.

The entire article is fairly long, so I’ll just link to it again and borrow another small section:

But several conservative bloggers have been vocal about who they believe is responsible for the SWAT-tings and other forms of harassment — Brett Kimberlin, a man who was convicted of a series of bombings in Speedway, Indiana in the 1980s and made headlines in 1988 when he claimed to have once sold marijuana to then-vice presidential candidate Dan Quayle.

Kimberlin, who is now the director of a non-profit organization called Justice Through Music, told ABC News that he did not commit or ask anyone to conduct the SWAT-ting hoaxes that were perpetrated against Erickson and Frey.

“Of course not, it’s ridiculous.  It’s totally irresponsible for them to even say this,” Kimberlin told ABC News.   “There is no truth to anything about the SWAT-ting.”

But some conservative bloggers contend Kimberlin and his associates are responsible for other forms of harassment as well.  Robert Stacy McCain, a contributor to the American Spectator and founder of The Other McCain Blog, wrote about Kimberlin, and shortly after, his wife’s place of employment received a phone call from Kimberlin accusing McCain of harassment.  Based on Kimberlin’s ability to find his wife’s employer, McCain became concerned Kimberlin also knew the location of his home, so the McCain family relocated to an undisclosed location.

“If I was going to continue doing this story, I couldn’t do it from my home,” McCain told ABC News. ”This kind of intimidation — it’s a threat to protected first amendment expression.”

Does anyone other than me have the first 15 minutes of ‘When A Stranger Calls’ running through their head right now?

It gets worse:

Ali Akbar, the president of the National Blogger’s Club, an organization established to support bloggers, recently was targeted by an anonymous website which posted the address of his mother’s home in Forth Worth, Texas, along with a picture of the house. Akbar and other bloggers believe the website, “Breitbart Unmasked,” is linked to Kimberlin.

The National Blogger’s Club recently started a relief fund to help ease the financial woes of bloggers who are undergoing lawsuits, including one lawsuit by Kimberlin against blogger Aaron Walker, and Akbar believes the anonymous post of his mother’s home address was a response to the creation of this fund.

“They decided to take this from a discussion about me trying to help some members of my club, and they tried to disable us,” Akbar said.

Why is it that leftists always go this route? Unions, Occupy, the Greenie-weanies and now these freaks: they don’t want to discuss anything. “The science is settled“, …even when it’s not. “This is what Democracy looks like“….except when they lose. And now this.

Bottom line: they just want you to shut up. The side that calls itself non-judgmental, tolerant, and open-minded….wants you to shut up. You, yes YOU, with all of your dissenting opinions, “facts” and “logic”….shut up, shuttin’ up. Now, please.

But you know what?

Ain’t gonna happen.

Suit Yourself

We just discussed the need to solve the problem of lawsuit abuse the other day (In Lawsuits We Trust). Please consider this the most recent, and perhaps best, example of just why such reform is needed.

Read through this first, courtesy of Bill Hanstock at sbnation.com:

Really, this could be a primer on how NOT to file a suit.

From Bill:

“What can we learn about the plaintiff from this document? Well, we know first of all that he owns a typewriter, but not a computer. We can further assume that he had only one piece of paper to work with, given the amount of “corrections” made on the fly.

He also appears to be technically filing for “COPRIGHT INFRINGEMENTU” which may not be the same thing as copyright infringement. Hopefully he didn’t accidentally begin a case about something having to do with police rights.”

Even better, Johnnie N. Perry goes so far as refer to his invention as a “three-point stands”. Here’s Mr. Perry’s invention:

Improper pluralization aside, when I think “three points”, I’m generally looking for..three points.

Call me crazy.

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My advice: if you are thinking of filing a “COPRIGHT INFRINGEMENTU” suit, do yourself a favor —  find a computer, make sure it has SpellCheck, or at the very least hire a 4th grader as your proof reader.

Otherwise, you could end up as one very unhappy “PALINTIFF“.

In Lawsuits We Trust

Stick with me here: there’s good news towards the end of this.

Every year there are thousands upon thousands of lawsuits filed in the United States, with many of them being patently ridiculous. According to facesoflawsuitabuse.org, here are some of the most outrageous ones from 2011 alone:

•A kidnapped couple is sued by a convict who kidnapped them because they did not aid him in evading police.

•A mother is sued by her adult children because she sent cards that did not include gifts and because she allegedly plays favorites.

•A woman files a lawsuit asking for $5 million after she disagrees with a store over an 80 cent refund she was supposed to receive.

•A mother files a lawsuit against an exclusive preschool because of her child’s college prospects.

•A man sued Procter & Gamble over toothpaste left in the tube.

•A woman files a lawsuit because of a movie trailer that does not have enough driving in it. The trailer the movie was for? ‘Drive.’

The entire funny-yet-depressing list can be found here.

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Now the truly troubling aspect of all this is that these companies had to defend themselves in court, usually racking up significant costs. Those costs get put right back into the price of their products, and we all end up paying more. Isn’t that great?

Why is nothing being done about this by our elected leaders? What about some ideas from the folks who always seem to be “fixing” everything, other than things which actually need fixing?

No more calls; we have a winner! An individual state did take a significant step towards curbing this insanity.

From tennessean.com:

Tennessee Republicans have a message for those filing civil lawsuits: You better make sure your facts are in order or you could be on the hook for up to $10,000 in attorney fees for the other side.

Lawmakers last week approved legislation that would penalize people who file lawsuits that are later dismissed as baseless. They would have to pay up to $10,000 to cover court costs and their opponent’s attorney fees.

“It is a very limited loser-pays bill,” said Rep. Vance Dennis, R-Savannah, the bill’s House sponsor. “It goes to purely frivolous lawsuits, lawsuits that don’t have any merit.”

I read that and got a little verklempt. It is possible to look at a problem and pass legislation that might help fix the problem! God bless those crazy, knuckle-dragging, bible-clinging GOP Tennesseans for bringing some common-sense to the courtrooms of America, or at least Tennessee. For the moment, that makes one significant problem addressed….

………and at least a million to go.

Hey, it’s a start.