DOMA: Passed by hundreds, rejected by five

The Defense of Marriage Act was another in a series of religious political moves to control human behavior through the force of law. Hard to believe that President Clinton signed it but these things are never done in a vacuum. I wonder what he got in return for his vote in 1996.

It took five people to choose federal policy towards fairness. Imagine that.

The amazing thing is that 4 *cough* judges *cough* voted to retain a law that essentially discriminates between those marriages that have two similar sex organs and those that have one of each. How in the freaking world can one ever think that federal law should be so biased? Just goes to show you that all that education and thinking about the law makes one as blind as Lady Justice. Or at least shortsighted. (What will they do with transvestites? I don’t want to think about it.)

But here’s the thing: I am opposed to gay marriage also if it gives any power to force churches to marry gay persons. I think that some rights end where the church door begins.A church is a group of people who (more or less) agree with a set of tenets on what is right to be a member of their church. If that belief is that marriage is the union of two opposite sex people then that church is not obligated to marry gay people. I know that some say that isn’t what today’s fight is about, but it will be a fight one day to force a church to marry any two people with a valid marriage license. This should not be the case.

So if the DOMA was Defense of Church Act, I would support the law that says churches don’t have to marry any two persons with a license. They have the right to choose who they will marry without worrying about lawsuits or such.

I find it completely acceptable that federal law supports the union of two people as the states define that union.(i.e. Federal law supports gay marriage in states that recognize gay marriage but does not recognize it in states that do not have gay marriage.) I also find it acceptable if the federal government defines a union that will be recognized under federal law. One cannot marry one’s pet, car, or national monument in my opinion and I hope that everyone agrees. But my fear is that someone will not agree and want their pet elephant of the past 50 years to be entitled to their insurance benefits because they have lived as a couple for so long and both have shared equally in the relationship.That is pap. But it might happen soon if Congress does not pay attention.

But here is what is really stupid:

DOMA’s “demonstrated purpose is to ensure that if any State decides to recognize same-sex marriages, those unions will be treated as second-class marriages for purposes of federal law,” the majority ruled. “This raises a most serious question under the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.” DOMA, the majority said, “humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples” and “makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.”

Ahhh, it is all about feelings of others rather than the morality or illogical nature of the darn law in the first place. I don’t particularly care that somebody feels bad. I care that the law is fair and just and it wasn’t in this case.

Thank God for five but do they really have to say that it is all about the children and how others ‘feel’? Sheesh. (Time for a whiskey now. I’ve got to wash the taste of milquetoast out of my mind.)

In summary, I am glad that DOMA was struck down. The federal government does not have to give permission for one state to reject what another state recognizes. I am pleased to see this specific definition of marriage rejected because it sets up a two-level marriage benefit system across America. I sigh that the federal government cannot think itself out of any room with open windows and locked doors.

Thanks for the points on the scoreboard, Supremes, but you play an ugly game.

TWA Flight 800 : Another government lie

Another Lie.

Makes you wonder if you can trust any federal agency anymore.

The NTSB took four years to craft a lie and push it out into the public. Now investigators have come forward to blow the whistle on another government cover-up.

“You can’t handle the truth”. Exactly who said the American public could not handle the truth that a possible Stinger missile shot down TWA Flight 800 in 1996?

Was this disclosure of a government cover-up equal to Snowden’s disclosure of domestic surveillance?

The difference here is the title and responsibilities of the people leaking TWA 800 information compared to Snowden.

So now who are you going to believe when a train derails or a refinery blows up or a chemical plant explosion occurs “by accident” ? Hmmm?

Farm Bill defeated, who wins?

In a defeat for Republican leadership, the House on Thursday rejected a sweeping farm bill, amid opposition from both sides of the aisle.

More than 60 House Republicans defected and voted against the half-trillion-dollar bill, which sets funding for farm subsidies and other assistance as well as food stamps.

The vote was 234-195 against the bill.

There was a time when America wanted to feed the world and incentives were put in play to assist. But federal programs have grown so large that it no longer makes sense to take taxes from everyone to stimulate a few to produce to excess. I live in an area of one-crop farming. The farms are highly specialized and plant either corn or beans with occasional wheat thrown in. Or they are milk farms or turkey farms. But still, they are one-product farms each year. I wonder if that existed before the 1960s.
In this farm bill, the federal food stamp program was to have been cut. I agree that this program needs to shift from the federal government to state governments but I would like to hear more about how state governments should fund this.
Here is an interesting chart. It appears that people have learned how to improve their lives by taking food stamps and using their paychecks for other things. Wise choice, I think. But to double the number of people on food stamps in a decade reflects a sorry economy.
Eligibility for food stamps is a bit complicated which is why the government has people to help you. Look Here at the rules.
In any event, what does it say about the richest country in the world if ~50M people are on government food stamp assistance?
It says that the US is producing more ‘have-nots’ than ‘haves’. (I wonder if someone was incented to do that?)
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More thoughts on gay marriage…

The TV reasons for gay marriage can probably be summed up as:

1. They’re just people and people should all have the same rights.

2. Gay persons who wish to marry and are not permitted don’t receive the same legal and societal benefits as married heterosexual couples.

3.Gay persons are currently marginalized by existing laws and customs.

The reasons against gay marriage can probably be summed up as:

There is a Judeo-Christian tradition that marriage is between one man and one woman. The laws of the United States follow the Judeo-Christian beliefs. Marriage consists of a religious ceremony that declares these two are united. That religious marriage is documented by the state government as a contract between one man and one woman. That contract is awarded specific benefits under the laws of the land and it possesses a cultural and societal significance beyond the law.

To accommodate those who wish to enact a contract between one man and one woman but not have a religious ceremony, the state government recognizes those unions (contracts) with the signature of certain authorized persons (i.e.,justice-of-the-peace, ship captains, etc)  on the marriage license.

Rather than changing the definition of marriage, why not a federal law that simply states:

“The federal government recognizes the definition of marriage to be a contract between one man and one woman as history has defined it. Effective January 1, 2014, the federal government also recognizes contracts between two people of the same sex as civil unions. Marriages and civil unions shall be considered equivalent under federal law and accorded the same rights and responsibilities as the individual law describes.”

I wonder if the = issue for some gay activists is not simply equality under the law but validation. What do you think? Is it possible that changing the definition of marriage validates gay relationships in ways that legal equality does not?

Do you think that perhaps ‘slings and arrows’ are the reason that gay activists chose to re-define marriage rather than to seek equality under the law? Is there a sense of validation to be achieved by rubbing those traditional marriage noses in it, so to speak?

Which brings me once again to say ‘Why is the definition of marriage the issue and not equality under the law for couples who wish to establish a contract between themselves?’

= or not… why this way?

So here is my question:

Why did gay activists make this ‘=’ issue about marriage?

Okay, so the laws of intestate (inheritance) are unfair. Why not change those laws so that all single people in committed relationships can inherit without paying income taxes?

Okay, so HIPAA laws prevent life partners from obtaining medical news about their partners but married couples are not restricted. Why not change the HIPAA laws so that single people can obtain medical news about their committed relationships?

Okay, so gay unmarried couples want the same benefits as married couples. Why not change all the laws to give all unmarried couples the same benefits as married couples?

Why was marriage chosen as the battlefront? Hmmmm? Why?

All I know is that this fight was chosen for a reason. Why would gay activists not care about ‘single and committed’ relationships?

Of course laws have been written to favor marriage. It is  cultural, historical, and moral basis for a reproducing society.

I bemoan the corruption of language that changes the meaning of words to the point that the word itself no longer has its power. Assault is now the word that describes any time a person lays hands on another without their permission. At one time, I think it meant to strike or to deal a blow. But now, if one is boorish enough to pinch a woman’s behind it is called sexual assault. Assault? Hardly.

The definition of marriage is now on the table and I don’t like it. Perhaps one can say that benefits that accrue to one man/one woman relationships should be made available to others and I would not dispute that. But apparently, it is the marriage icon that gay activists seek to change and not the benefits granted under law.

If marriage has become iconic it is because it was limited to one man/one woman committed relationships sanctified by religious ceremony and documented by governments the world over. Marriage has become iconic because laws have been written that favor those relationships.

The gay activist movement appears to be “Don’t change the laws, change the definition.” There must be a reason for this….

The ‘Inner City Archipelago’ in America

Almost every day we read about violence in the inner city and we lament that it exists. We try to control it by outlawing guns and those who possess them with the eternal hope that the violence will abate if we only reduce the accessibility or the possession of firearms. Sadly, we cling to that thought because no one has given us any hope that there are other means to reducing violence rather than gun control and gun abatement policies.

“It’s the culture” some cry. “Why doesn’t somebody do something” is the question on the lips of many. The simple facts are that no one cares enough to solve violence in a comprehensive way.

So let’s begin by saying that we all know that 80+% of personal violence is committed in a few square miles of the largest of cities. There are maps that show crimes by zip code and clearly demonstrate where violence congregates. Look here for a few cities and you will see what I mean. Use the Advanced feature to remove all crimes against property and  leave crimes against people and you will see islands of crime in every major city. Try Chicago and look at crimes in the University area for the past year compared to other areas.

This establishes that violence islands do exist but politicians and city officials have not figured out how to deal with it. Well, in truth,  they deal with it by keeping ‘it’ confined to a certain island in the city.

In a second fashion, we know that Nature and Nurture influence how we behave. There are hardwired behaviors in people that cause them to act in certain ways. Those actions are enhanced or reduced by the environment that surrounds the individual and by the “rules” we learned as children. The nurture part of the equation needs consistent  reinforcement to maintain control over the hardwired behaviors. In a ‘good’ neighborhood, the consistent good nurturing is repeated and in the ‘bad’ neighborhood, the consistent bad nurturing is repeated.

Third, we know that society and the government has never attempted to change bad neighborhoods into good ones. What they do is reactive and not corrective or preventive. They incarcerate the individual and fail to change the neighborhood. This has gone on for centuries.

Our first question is ‘Should society care about the islands of  violence in every city?’

Our second question is ‘What authority over people should our government have to reduce or eliminate the islands of violence?”

Our third question is “What methods and approaches would have the greatest impact in reducing a single island of violence significantly?

Frederic Taylor demonstrated that any change in an environment will provide a temporary improvement in a measured behavior. He studied people’s productivity, made changes in the environment, and then measured the results. The Principles of Scientific Management is his contribution to the study of how people act and react to their environment.

If we apply Taylor’s concepts to island’s of violence then we should see temporary changes in violence if we increase police patrols but ultimately the levels will return to their former status. The same could be said if we use any reactive method to violent crime (vigilante-ism, incarceration, increasing sentencing, more laws and more patrol cars) .

To change people’s behaviors for the long term, a change in values is required. And to change the values, we need to change the interactions among the people. And to change that, we need to change the people. The first step to changing the culture of violence is to remove the ‘hardwired behavioral problem people with poor nurturing’ from the remainder of the population. Interestingly, this is one result of a three strikes law. It removes a habitual criminal from society and incarcerates him for a longer period of time.

I recall that Minneapolis police noticed there were residences that had significantly more police calls than others. By working with landlords, they forced these habitual offenders to move to new and different areas by not renewing leases or forcing the tenant out. The change in location had a permanent impact on the crime recorded for the address and a temporary impact on the overall crime rates of the individual. I don’t know if those ‘relocation’ influences had a permanent impact over the years but it would be nice to think so.

Chicago built a rail system from downtown to Chicago O’Hare to ensure that city folks would not be distressed in going to the airport by driving on the freeways and to ensure that O’Hare had a supply of less expensive city labor to work in O’Hare, the cry of the suburbanites was that this would only “bring crime to the suburbs”. I don’t know if that is what happened but that was the fear at the time. Everyone appears to know that crime can ebb and flow with the quality of the people in an area.

Where do you put the hardwired bad behavior people? Good question. We are going to have to answer that one and it will likely be an uncomfortable answer. To my knowledge, there is no method to change the hardwired nature.

The second part of reducing violence in the Archipelago will be nurturing the remaining population. Life coaches, job training, and reinforcement will be needed to give them an opportunity to pursue a life without crime.

The third part is that government will have to shoulder this burden through a generational project to change behaviors. And before you scoff, this is exactly the message and the meaning of the reign of Christ in Revelations. Biblically speaking, removing the hardwired bad behavior people permanently is God’s solution, too. (Shh, don’t tell anyone.)

But until that time, what should we do with the Inner City Archipelago?

The Domestic Enemies of America

1. Any President who asserts authority not granted by the Constitution.

2. Any Congress that asserts authority not granted by the Constitution.

3. Any Supreme Court that ignores the rights of individual or collective states (or persons) and establishes more authority for Congress and the President than plainly expressed in the Constitution.

4. Political parties that seek to raid the National Treasury instead of preserving it.

5. An educational system that prefers advancing underachievers rather than developing excellence.

6. Federal and local law enforcement that commit unconstitutional and illegal acts while performing their duties.

7. Groups and organizations that promote social justice first, personal responsibility and freedom second.

8. News media that proselytize to stir emotions instead of promoting understanding.

9. People and organizations seeking to use the force of law over others to accomplish what they cannot achieve themselves by argument.

10. Those who do not recognize that just societies, economic societies, and healthy societies are fundamentally based upon spiritual qualities: honesty, truth, integrity, self-discipline, love of oneself, respect for others, and acceptance of the immutable goodness and evilness existing within the body of mankind.

The Obama Terrorist Algorithm

The Atlantic has a flowchart of the process to determine if you are a terrorist and what your fate will be.

“Over the past two years, the Obama administration has begun to formalize a so-called “disposition matrix” for suspected terrorists abroad: a continuously evolving database that spells out the intelligence on targets and various strategies, including contingencies, for handling them. Although the government has not spelled out the steps involved in deciding how to treat various terrorists, a look at U.S. actions in the past makes it possible to reverse-engineer a rough decision tree for certain types of suspects.”

The decision points include: Are you in the US currently or outside the US? Is the subject important enough to warrant overseas action? And perhaps ultimately does  lethal force apply if you are a threat? Everything makes sense except it does not ask if the person is an American citizen or if the Constitution applies.

We know that a decision matrix had to be in place but had not speculated on what it would contain and to whom it would apply. Apparently, others have done that thinking already.

I am curious about something. The Soviet Union  and the US were in a Cold War for decades. No such algorithm was in place for the conflict that occurred and Americans lost no liberties and were not subject to the surveillance we are today. Makes me wonder if Armand Hammer were to fly his famous airplane to known terrorist encampments (like he flew to Moscow) would Hammer have been rendered like others have been? Would he have been shot down as a terrorist sympathizer? Or detained for weeks?

The Bill of Rights was to place restrictions on what the Federal Government can do. Looks like we need to remind our Congress and our President that institutionalizing the execution or incarceration of  people without a trial is wrong. It is precisely because the President is involved that the process itself is unholy and anti-American and unconstitutional.

So take a moment now and see if you meet the criteria of the Obama Terrorist Algorithm. Are you in any US database and suspected of being anti-US?

1. Are you in the US right now? If so, you will be arrested.

2. If not, are you returning to the US soon? If so, we will wait for you.

3. Can a reliable government arrest you and turn you over to US custody?

4.Are you important enough to warrant action although you are outside the US?

5. If so, is capture possible? And are you an operational leader?

6.  Are you an immediate threat?

The institutionalizing of this is egregious. Why can’t this be kept secret and buried in the CIA where it belongs?

When the expectation is that the President is choosing who to kill and capture around the world, we have become a criminal government.

Are criminals to become a protected class?

No worries here about America becoming socialist or communist. Nobody is equal in America anymore. The trend in America is to be protected from discrimination. Even criminals are angling for legal protection. No one is equal when every band of idiots obtains special permission to be exempted from something

Marion Barry (ex-mayor of Washington DC caught buying drugs in  1990) is one of many people trying to make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against applicants with a criminal history. Imagine that. An ex-con seeking the same protected status as those who fight race and gender discrimination; the same protected status as those who fight religious discrimination and age discrimination. Criminals, says Mr. Barry, are discriminated against because of their criminal records. “In America, it is wrong,” he says. What planet is this guy from?

America is taking this to the extreme: We no longer suffer the consequences of our actions because somebody’s going to protect us. At least that is what Mr. Barry thinks and aspires to do for criminals like himself.

We have a kakistocracy today. A government of lesser men -or unprincipled men. Did you know that this drug-buying ex-mayor now serves on the DC city council? The Democrat voting machine found a place to put him where he does not have to work for a living and he can get a paycheck. There are ‘citizen maroons’ in DC for certain.

The Democrats have fallen off the deep end. In NJ, a Democrat woman assemblymen (perhaps she is an assemblyperson but who really cares if she is offended) submitted a similar bill. Public and private employers cannot discriminate because you are a felon. I wonder if this means that every business now has to have a token sex-offender, thief, or druggie or else they will be sued for ‘criminal’ prejudice.

How wise is Marion Barry? He says “I don’t expect a bank robber to be hired by a bank. That’s craziness.”  Does this mean that Marion Barry expects QwikTrip to hire a bank robber? How about a hotel cleaning service with all your valuables in a hotel room? Would you hire a bank robber any place where there is something that can be stolen? I wouldn’t. Where would you hire a druggie? A pharmacy? A hospital? How about a nursery? How about a wife beater or a person convicted of assault? Would you hire them as salespeople or customer service representatives? Marion Barry isn’t qualified to tell any company or any one who they should hire. Imagine all the places that Marion Barry would allow a rapist to work or try to imagine places that Mr. Barry would not allow rapists to work. What business could legally defend itself  if they refused to hire a rapist? None.

So what are you going to do about? Probably nothing because its DC and NJ, or maybe you are telling yourself ‘nothing cuz what can I do?’ Well you can send this post to the smartest person you know and ask them to send it to your congressmen. Send it to your grandfather and he will write a letter to the editor. Send it to your neighbor and ask him to do something . You know what you cannot do? You cannot sit on your butt anymore and expect other people to do your job. If you aren’t doing something to protect America every day then you are an American freeloader. You enjoy all the benefits of a liberal democracy (that is what we are) in a constitutional republic but you sit on your butt and do nothing to protect it.

You are the problem. If you aren’t willing to send a letter to the editor or tell your congressmen what is right or wrong then you are freeloading off America. Get your butt in gear and do something for America. Tell the bad guys to stuff it. Tell the silent to speak out. Tell those speaking out to tell the truth. Tell the truth tellers to let everyone know when the government is mucking it up.

Marion Barry is a druggie felon who is now trying to ruin America like he ruined DC and his reputation. What are you going to do about it….hmmm?

 

Chick-Fil-A Controversy

Intolerance: do you know it when you see it?

Which is worse: The company president and other owners of Chick-Fil-A supporting traditional marriage with their money or the Mayor of Chicago using the power of government to interfere with a business expansion in Chicago because of the beliefs of the owners?

What is the difference?