Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Constitution, American Law, and Same-Sex Marriage

A primer on why Conservatives are either wrong, or are not really Conservatives.

Allow me first to dispel the most common straw man in the debate:  Marriage equality does not undermine, nor does it infringe upon, the right of religious organizations to determine upon whom they will or won’t bestow the sacraments of their faith.  No one is demanding any church be forced to perform same-sex marriages.  Religion is not an argument.

The issue is simply one of basic human rights and Constitutional protections.  To wit:

“Conservatives” from time to time like to point to the Enumerated Powers delineated in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution as limiting the role of the Federal Government, and they are correct.  Therefore, laws such as The Defense of Marriage Act are clearly unconstitutional because the power to define marriage is nowhere to be found in I, 8.  Incredibly, “Conservatives” overwhelmingly support and voted for DOMA.  That circle has yet to be squared to anyone’s satisfaction.

“Conservatives” are likewise generally fond of the Ninth Amendment, which states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”  In essence, the Ninth Amendment is saying “Hey look, people have a lot more rights than the few we listed in the first eight amendments, and just because we didn’t  list them doesn’t mean people do not possess them.”  For example, we have a right to provide for the education of our children, and more than that there is actually a right to have children if we are able and willing to provide for them.  There is a right to utilize the fruits of our labors for our own benefit in whatever way we chose, so long as we harm no one else nor deny them equal benefit.  And there is a right to marry.  That is indisputable, it has been available to segments of our population since we first became a nation.

That last statement might seem obvious, but full realization of that right has at times required a struggle.  In many states, marriage between couples of difference races was forbidden by law until as recently as 1967.  (Interestingly, many of the same arguments now being offered against same-sex marriages were used to discourage marriages between men and women of differing color.) Change had come slowly but inexorably to most of America in the case of interracial marriage, but in 1967 sixteen states, all Southern or Border States, still forbade mixed marriage.  In that year, the Supreme Court in the case of Loving v Virginia, ruled that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In its decision, the court wrote:

“Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the StateThere is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification.

Which, as stated so eloquently in Loving above, brings us to the Fourteenth Amendment.  The primary effect of the Fourteenth Amendment is to make the rights, defined or not, of American citizens binding on the states.  It reads in part: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

In essence, if there is a right to marry, and if states recognize and indeed encourage the exercise of that right among some of their citizens, they must extend that right to all of their citizens equally.  Nowhere in the Constitution or the Fourteenth Amendment is there an exclusion carved out in respect to Gays, Lesbians, et. al.

That’s it.  It is that simple and that basic.  It has nothing to do with religion, nor, under the First Amendment, should it.  No other arguments matter, nor will they suffice.  Those arguing against same-sex marriages are in essence arguing to condemn members of the GLBT community to second-class citizenship, and under our Constitution there can be no such thing.

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This year the “Wasted Vote” excuse does not apply.

2012 could be a watershed year in American politics.  Not since 1992 have Americans had a better chance to send a message to the power brokers, politicians, and out of touch bureaucrats who seek to dominate our lives.

Some look at the results of the ’92 election as one where George Bush the Elder was denied reelection because Ross Perot was able to garner 19% of the vote.  To be sure, Bill Clinton was swept into power, but think of what followed.

The GOP was forced to turn on a dime and pay attention to the disaffected middle, something it had not done in decades.  The 1994 GOP revolution and the Contract with America were conceived in Bush’s defeat, and brought us tax reform, welfare reform, and a host of other improvements that would not have occurred had Bush won in ’92 and been the sitting President.

The downside of course is that by 2000, Republicans had by and large forgotten the lessons of ’92 and ’94, opening the floodgates for the most profligate White house – Congressional collusion in American History.  Except for the past four years of course.

Which gets me to my point:  There is no discernible difference between this year’s Republican nominee and the sitting President on any issue of significance to America’s future. Whether it is the refusal to consider any real tax reform, halting taxpayer largess to the largest banks and wealthiest corporations, agreement on NDAA – which in case you were asleep at the time permits one man to suspend any and every American citizen’s fourth, fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights at his whim, and have them held without charges or trial by the military for as long as he deems fit – the inability to recognize the failure and incredible cost in spending and lives of the 45 year old “War on Drugs”, dealing with the deficit and resulting crippling national debtor any other issue you care to name, a vote for Romney is a vote for continuing Obama’s policies, and likely raising him a bit.

It just doesn’t matter how you vote, or even if you bother.  Unless…

What if, recognizing the futility of continuing to affirm the inevitability of the Tweedle-De, Tweedle-Dum duopoly that sits astride our rights, pocketbooks, and future, we stood up as in 1992 and shouted “enough”!  What if, seeing that a vote for Romney and/or a vote for Obama were the real “wasted votes”, Americans turned toward a candidate offering a third way, and promising a genuine renewal of our nation.  What if, just one time, enough Americans, rather than wasting their votes on more of the same, cast their votes for Governor Gary Johnson?  Win, lose, or draw, a chilling message will have been sent to the”major” parties, and perhaps they will begin doing some of the things we elected them to do in the first place.  Or just maybe they will have to contend with a tough and no-nonsense American with the vision and the gumption to reignite our American dream.

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Potentially, I am a threat to you.

I really am.

Gun violence is never pretty.  Neither is the aftermath.

Whenever a bad guy with a gun does something awful, the first instinct of usually thoughtful, well-meaning people is to deny guns to the some 85 million Americans who are innocent of any crime. Logical?

A New York bred ex-father in law once told me that because I owned firearms I was a threat to him.

In the big scheme of things, he may have been right.  I own and/or have owned more than a dozen guns of all types and have never broken the law with one of them.  There is a chance, albeit an infinitesimally small one, that one day in a fit of rage or because I have descended into a state of mental incapacity I will harm someone with one of my firearms.

There is a far better chance however that owning and carrying a firearm will prevent me or someone else from being a victim of crime.  We know this because FBI statistics clearly show that firearms are used far more often to prevent crimes than to commit them, and in the overwhelming number of cases without being discharged. (Civilians fire their weapons in self-defense far less often than law enforcement officers do in similar situations.)

There is another statistic of note that gun-abolishers never mention, and that is for the past couple of decades, while firearm ownership (along with the number of concealed carry permits issued) has increased dramatically, the rate of violent crime in our nation has been in a steady decline.

A time worn joke is that guns kill people in the same way that forks made Michael Moore fat.  Gun violence is a serious thing, but abolition of the natural law rights of people to protect themselves and their property is not an answer.  Your chance of being killed in an automobile accident this week is far greater than your chance of being a gun crime fatality.  Should we ban cars to assure your total safety?  You are immensely more likely to die of obesity-related heart disease or cancer than to be a shooting victim.  Is it time to ban forks?

Answering irrationality with irrationality has never seemed like a very good idea to me.  Sorry.

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Old Habits We Need to Break

I know some of will not want to hear this, but it is the truth.  And time is running out.
 
 
There will be no more change between the policies of a President Romney and a President Obama than there was between Obama and Bush the Younger.
 
Deficits and debt will continue to grow (Debt plus unfunded liabilities now approaches 70 TRILLION dollars, 30% more than the net worth of all of our citizens combined), foreign adventures will not cease, our basic rights will continue to be eroded, and government will continue to grow in size and its power over us.
 
Yet, people will frantically vote for Romney, or Obama, in order to keep the other from being elected.  WE are to blame for this mess because this is the way we have been voting for generations, voting from fear rather than for the principles upon which our Republic was founded.
 
If either of these two men is elected, our debt to GDP ration will exceed Greece’s in just six more years.  A vote for either is a vote for hyper-inflation, monetary collapse, or both.
 
Please check out www.GaryJohnson2012.com.  We are not going to get many more chances.

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It Does Raise a Question…

One of the programs financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seeks to provide birth control information and means to 120 million poor women world wide.  One doesn’t even have to pause for the smallest sliver of time to think  whom it might be is ranting in violent opposition to such a noteworthy and noble effort.

Of course.  The Holy Roman Catholic Besmirched. Because being responsible for one’s personal sexual health and family planning is an unforgivable mortal sin.  One Catholic website, the inaptly named LifeSiteNews.com, has frequently published diatribes against Gates, calling into question her faith, and calling her plan a “blatant attack on Catholic sexual morality.”

Consider just that final phrase if you will: a “blatant attack on Catholic sexual morality.”  Now remember if you will the hundreds of thousands of children over the decades that Catholic clerics have raped, and the decades (if not centuries) long official effort of the Catholic Church’s bishops, cardinals, and Popes to cover up that abuse for no other reason than public relations (and, quite probably, to keep the money flowing), and we get a pretty good idea of exactly how immoral and disgusting “…Catholic sexual morality” really is. 

Add to said sad state of affairs the Church’s position on condoms to fight AIDS in Africa, and in opposition to disease-curing stem cell research, and all I can conclude is this church and its criminal gang haven’t been attacked often, nor severely, enough.  What do you think?

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New Business Opportunity?

I may have just hit upon a great new part time business opportunity.  No, I haven’t been drinking nor have I begun believing all my junk email.  I will explain.

Recently I filed a couple of complaints against some tele-marketers with the FCC.  Today, the FCC responded with a confirmation, which read in part:

“…the TCPA also provides for enforcement of the telemarketing and junk fax rules by state attorneys general and by individual consumers.  With respect to the latter, the TCPA permits individuals who have received certain unlawful telemarketing, such as junk faxes or telemarketing calls, to sue the violator in state courts where they may be awarded up to $1500 for each violation.”

Just thinking about it sends a tingle down my leg.

Come on Tele-scumbags, make my day…

Don’t thank me, just sue the bastards.

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Moving…

I have been blogging over at Blogger for years, but for the past six months or so have been having trouble formatting and getting the look I want, so…

I said to myself, “Self, why not try something new?”

And here I am.  For now. We’ll see.

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