Saturday, December 29, 2012


These days, my parents and my brother have settled into the state that calls itself "Native America" on its license plates. And though I've said far too many disparaging things about Oklahoma City in previous posts, fact of the matter is, there's always more to a place than meets the judgmental eye.

One thing that Oklahoma does do right is house a gorgeous collection of art in its state house. We went to see a new exhibit in its halls of some beautiful fiber art and were treated to this spectacle.

The derrick is symbolic these days, but the tanks in front of it aren't.

Seems that, although the state's Arts Council has this fantastic program, the building in which much of it is  housed has been deemed less worthy of the same care given to the exhibitions in its many floors. I think they want a bunch of private donors to do for the rest of the building what has been done for the capitol dome.

Among the names of those donors that ring the bottom edge of the capitol dome (look carefully) is one that's gained some notoriety locally for its policies on health care:
Craft store chain Hobby Lobby announced on Friday that it will ignore the ruling of U.S. courts and refuse to provide copay-free birth control access to its employees. It will do so despite whatever costs it may incur, even if they are higher than the cost of birth control itself. 
 Upon learning that Obamacare required employers and insurance companies to provide birth control with no cost to employees, Hobby Lobby sued, saying that, despite the secular nature of the business, the company’s owner’s religious objections should be taken into consideration. When a court denied that line of reasoning, Hobby Lobby took its grievances to the Supreme Court and asked for an injunction. The highest court in the land denied that request, telling Hobby Lobby that it must allow its employees access to birth control as it seeks further litigation. 
 But Hobby Lobby is saying no. 
The store plans to ignore the provision anyway, opting to pay a fine instead of provide birth control, including the morning after pill commonly known as Plan B, which the owner feels goes against his personal religious values: 
With Wednesday’s rejection of an emergency stay of that federal health care law by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel could be subject to fines of up to $1.3 million a day beginning Tuesday.  
They’re not going to comply with the mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the company. “They’re not going to offer coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in the insurance plan.”
Honestly? I'd personally rather let a state house crumble than rely on such people to pony up for its renovations. The people who run that company aren't interested in the overall health and well-being of anyone except those who are just like themselves. It's not a principle I stand for at all.

Then again, I should talk, considering the state in which I live. We in Louisiana tend to be fond of saying "thank God for Mississippi" when it comes to bottom of the barrel status in matters such as education and health care.

What do you think they say here in Oklahoma?


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