Archive for May, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

May 26, 2008

Advertisements

Welcome to the World, Ainsley!

May 17, 2008

The California Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage

May 15, 2008

Today, the California Supreme Court decided by a 4 to 3 vote that it knows better than the people of California. In 2000, the voters in California overwhelmingly passed Proposition 22, stating that marriage in California is between a man and a woman. Today, the will of the citizens of California was ruled unconstitutional.

California already has very strong domestic partnership laws which give most of the benefits of marriage to registered partners. Apparently this isn’t enough for the Court.

The decision can be found here.

Society defines the rights and the obligations of marriage. It determines, for example, the appropriate age when an individual can marry. An age limit is a limitation imposed by the society. If society can impose an age limitation, it can also impose limits on how marriage is defined.

I have had mixed feelings about a federal constitutional amendment on marriage. In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed, a federal version of Prop 22. It defines marriage for federal purposes as being between a man and a woman and allows states not to recognize same-sex marriage performed in other states. Because some activist judges have decided that the courts are the way to make social change, laws such as DOMA and Prop 22 are no longer enough to protect the institution and the concept of marriage. I think it is now time to move a federal constitutional amendment forward that will take the definition of marriage out of the purview of the courts. This is an issue that should be debated in legislatures where public policy issues should be decided.

Hugh Hewitt, a radio host who is a constitution law professor, posted this on his blog:

Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 1:49 PM Today’s decision by the California Supreme Court is yet another judicial puscht. It is appalling. Incredibly, a feverish will to power on the part of small numbers of judges is rapidly eroding a citizen’s standing as the ultimate lawgiver. Courts unbound by any sense of limits, by any sense of restraint, threaten the basic understanding that has long undergirded the Republic –that the laws proceed from the open consent of the people, and that the ultimate laws, the federal and state constitutions, are documents of fixed meaning and structure, not merely window dressing on the rule of judicial elites or empty phrases waiting for elites to fill them with meaning.

Today’s ruling framed the question before the California Supreme Court this way:

The question we must address is whether, under these circumstances, the failure to designate the official relationship of same-sex couples as marriage violates the California Constitution

That was not in fact the central question. The central question was whether the representative nature of the California state government, including its initiative provisions, would be upheld.

They were not. The California Supreme Court asserted its ultimate power today in a way that is shameful and deeply destructive of the ability of a free people to govern themselves.

Happy Mothers Day!

May 11, 2008

.

Burma Update

May 9, 2008

EarthSky Blogs has an interesting update on why the hurricane in Burma was so deadly. Check it out here. It has before and after satellite photos of the flooded areas. It was a “perfect storm” problem. Too many bad things happening at the same time. Some places received more than 24 inches of rain. The storm surge was at least 12 feet high. Most of the area in the delta has been flooded. Current estimates on the death toll are over 100,000.

I believe that the corrupt, totalitarian Burmese junta government will cause more deaths than the storm. It has been very slow in allowing humanitarian aid into the country. One UN-backed effort has been stopped after the government stole the food. Shelter, food and water are ready to be delivered, but is not allowed to cross the borders.

Join or Die

May 9, 2008

On May 9, 1754, Join, or Die was printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette.  It is considered to be the first American political cartoon.  The idea was probably Benjamin Franklin’s and it was a call for unity of the British colonies against the French.  The cartoon was used years later in a call for unity against the Stamp Act.

Life Without Edges

May 8, 2008

Check out this well done article–Life Without Edges — The Left’s Seductive Promise.

Force

May 8, 2008

Force is making someone do something they don’t want to do. It has very little to do with change. It is change by compulsion.

Right now, the Democrats are busy figuring out ways to force oil companies and the auto manufacturers to bring down the price of oil and to increase the fuel efficiencies of cars by taxing them.

If we are to force anything, let’s force all political candidates to learn basic economics. Price is a function of supply and demand. When demand is high and supply is limited, prices increase. Taxing oil company profits has nothing to do with increasing supply. It has the opposite effect. Taxes are costs. Higher costs mean less money to explore for petroleum and to produce gasoline.

Another basic fact. Corporations do not pay taxes. Their customers do. Increasing taxes will increase the cost of gasoline.

Let’s just let the marketplace take care of price. The government doesn’t have better wisdom. In fact, government rarely fixes anything, but it is very good at fouling things up.

Burma–A Duel Tragedy

May 7, 2008

The terrible death toll from the hurricane the struck Burma shows a duel tragedy.  First, massive destruction was caused by Cyclone Nargis.  So far, more than 22,000 people have been killed and more than 40,000 people are missing.  Over 1 million people are homeless.  The hardest hit area was the country’s rice production area.  The rice fields, mills and other production facilities have been destroyed.  Water and power is in extremely short supply.

The second tragedy is the Burmese government’s response.  The socialist military junta has so far refused assistance from the United States.  It has asked the UN for bilateral, government to government aid, but it doesn’t want any direct help.

While no one can stop the destruction of a hurricane, the Burmese response to the destruction is completely without excuse.  Thousands more will die just because a government with a corrupt, evil ideology doesn’t want to accept offered help.

Sometimes Timing is Everything

May 5, 2008

A wise man told me when I was 12, “Be in the right place, at the right time and you will do fine.” I’ve repeated this advice many times with a small addition, “Be in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.”

Sometimes the timing of our actions will make all the difference. We need to do the right thing, say the right words, or be in the right place all at the right time to get the best results.

Here is a minor example. I took the first photo on April 5, 2008. My neighbor, Dennis, took the second photo on April 28, 2008.

.