First up, a topic that is near and dear to my heart: Metrication in the United States.
I remember teachers telling us back when I was young that the US would be moving towards switching over to the metric system of measurement. We were taught all about the metric system and the virtues were extolled:
- It is easier
- Practically everyone else in the world uses it
Then.... nothing happened. We didn't switch over. The schools stopped teaching us the metric system and preparing us. It all ground to a halt.
What happened? Well, it appears that the United States Metric Board - which was set up to help us transition to the new system - stopped being funded by Congress and ceased to exist in 1982. Meanwhile, we've been continuing to use the imperial system here in the US.
I came across this article yesterday which reminded me of the whole notion of conversion to the metric system and renewed my interest. The article mentions a We The People petition asking that we renew our efforts to transition to the metric system.
If you are unfamiliar with them, these petitions are set up by people who wish to petition the Obama administration to take action on whatever topics we feel are important. If the petition reaches the signature threshold - 25,000 signatures within 30 days - then it will be reviewed by the administration.
Please consider signing the petition. Thanks!
My second item is a situation I mentioned in passing in an earlier post. Hobby Lobby, the craft store chain, sued the government over having to provide birth control to its employees as mandated in the Affordable Care Act. They lost their case. Now the deadline is here and the company says it will not provide the health care required. It appears that they will have to pay 1.3 million dollars a day. (Side note to any Hobby Lobby employees: Run, don't walk, to your nearest job center and start getting those applications out there. It appears that you may not have a job for long.) The fines are on hold right now pending an appeal of the ruling they lost but I cannot see that a higher court is going to disagree.
So, to put this into context: Hobby Lobby believes that some methods of birth control cause abortion or are equal to abortion so they refuse to provide health care to their employees that would cover these methods of birth control.
The problem with this is twofold. First, birth control does not equal abortion. The morning after pill does not cause abortions. Other methods of birth control do not cause abortions. This whole thing is based on an inaccurate assumption. Secondly, there are medical reasons that a birth control pill might be prescribed that have nothing to do with preventing pregnancy. What are their employees supposed to do if they can't afford the medication because it isn't covered by their insurance? Suffer?
So, Hobby Lobby is asking for an exemption from the law because they hold false beliefs about birth control and they are willing to put their employees on the unemployment line to... prove a point? (If a company is a person can they be a martyr, too?) I think they need to rethink their business model.
Image obtained here.