What to do with a broken printer?

November 20, 2008


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Moron of the Day Award – November 20

November 20, 2008


And the winner is…

Phil Walzak (sp?) of Alaska on why he voted for Ted Stevens (R Sen – Alaska) in his recent (failed) bid for reelection following a conviction for failing to report $250,000 worth of gifts:

I voted for him for the things he did in the past, and maybe as a, a way of saying that people in Washington shouldn’t be making decisions for us on what’s right and wrong.

Uh, like, following the law Phil?

Via NPR, All Things Considered, Wednesday, November 20th.

What will happen if Prop 8 is overturned?

November 20, 2008




Oh god that’s funny.  Thanks Ang!

Biased Coverage of Prop 8?

November 20, 2008


My previous post regarding the California Supreme Court’s decision to hear cases regarding the legality of Prop 8 contains the text of a Sacramento Bee article.  Something seemed a bit off balance about the article to me, so I did a little math and found:

Total words in article

Words that relay facts, without opinion or editorial (the “important” words)

Words that present the opinion or reaction of the anti-gay marriage community.

Words that present the opinion of reaction of the pro-gay marriage community.

Um, what the hell?  Gay marriage opponents got more press space than the facts, and roughly 5 times the space of Prop 8 opponents?  This is journalism?

SacBee on the CA Supreme Court Decision to take on Prop 8

November 19, 2008

Supreme Court takes up gay marriage issue

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008

The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider complaints by opponents of Proposition 8 that it improperly revised the constitution to ban gay marriage. The court declined to stay its enforcement in the meantime.

Court spokeswoman Lynn Holton said the court asked the parties involved to write briefs arguing three issues:

(1) Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?

(2) Does Proposition 8 violate the separation-of-powers doctrine under the California Constitution?

(3) If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

Holton said the court established an expedited briefing schedule. She said oral argument could be held as early as March 2009.

While most proponents of the initiative had welcomed a Supreme Court review, one advocate of traditional marriage denounced the court’s decision to consider Proposition 8’s constitutionality.

“It’s unfortunate that the judges are giving time to the mushy, subjective arguments of homosexual activists who reject the clear reading of the constitution and the clear reading of Proposition 8,” Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families, said in a statement. “If the court disobeys the constitution by voiding Prop. 8, it will ignite a voter revolt. It will also threaten the validity of all future constitutional amendments.”

Thomasson said the court is “playing with fire” by threatening to reverse a vote of the people.

“The California Constitution clearly says that the voters have the right to alter the highest law of the land,” he said. “It’s the beauty of the American system of government. The four Supreme Court justices who unconstitutionally invented homosexual ‘marriages’ — Ron George, Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Werdegar and Carlos Moreno — seem to be ignoring the fact that the people get the last word, not the judges.”

The campaign committee that pushed the measure said it is “profoundly gratified” that court granted its requests and refused to allow outside groups like Thomasson’s to participate directly in the cases.

“This is a great day for the rule of law and the voters of California,” said ProtectMarriage.com General Counsel Andy Pugno in a statement. “This order means that voters will get their day in court and ensures that voters will have a vigorous defense of Proposition 8 before the California Supreme Court. We are profoundly gratified with the Court’s order and are confident that Proposition 8 will be upheld.”

The state’s highest court essentially agreed to the approach supported by state Attorney General Jerry Brown, who on Monday urged the justices to review legal challenges to Proposition 8 “to provide certainty and finality in this matter.” His office also argued that the court should allow the measure to remain in effect during the review period because doing otherwise would cause confusion.

Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, said opponents of Proposition 8 would have preferred that the court allow gay marriages until the issue is decided.

“We’re disappointed that the court didn’t issue a stay, but we’re very encouraged that the court is taking the case,” she said.

CA Supreme Court will hear cases regarding Proposition 8

November 19, 2008


This is wonderful news!!


California Supreme Court Grants Review in Prop 8 Legal Challenges

 Court to Determine Constitutionality of Prop 8

Today the California Supreme Court granted review in the legal challenges to Proposition 8, which passed by a narrow margin of 52 percent on November 4. In an order issued today, the Court agreed to hear the case and set an expedited briefing schedule. The Court also denied an immediate stay.     

On November 5, 2008, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court on behalf of six couples and Equality California. The City of San Francisco, joined by the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, and Santa Clara County, filed a similar challenge, as did a private attorney in Los Angeles.

The lawsuits allege that, on its face, Proposition 8 is an improper revision rather than an amendment of the California Constitution because, in its very title, which was “Eliminates the right to marry for same-sex couples,” the initiative eliminated an existing right only for a targeted minority. If permitted to stand, Proposition 8 would be the first time an initiative has successfully been used to change the California Constitution to take way an existing right only for a particular group. [emphasis mine] Such a change would defeat the very purpose of a constitution and fundamentally alter the role of the courts in protecting minority rights.   According to the California Constitution, such a serious revision of our state Constitution cannot be enacted through a simple majority vote, but must first be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature.   

Since the three lawsuits submitted on November 5, three other lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 have been filed. In a petition filed on November 14, 2008, leading African American, Latino, and Asian American groups argued that Proposition 8 threatens the equal protection rights of all Californians.

On November 17, 2008, the California Council of Churches and other religious leaders and faith organizations representing millions of members statewide, also filed a petition asserting that Proposition 8 poses a severe threat to the guarantee of equal protection for all, and was not enacted through the constitutionally required process for such a dramatic change to the California Constitution. On the same day, prominent California women’s rights organizations filed a petition asking the Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because of its potentially disastrous implications for women and other groups that face discrimination.

In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court held that barring same-sex couples from marriage violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and violates the fundamental right to marry. Proposition 8 would completely eliminate the right to marry only for same-sex couples. No other initiative has ever successfully changed the California Constitution to take away a right only from a targeted minority group.    

Over the past 100 years, the California Supreme Court has heard nine cases challenging either legislative enactments or initiatives as invalid revisions of the California Constitution. In three of those cases, the Court invalidated those measures.

Via EQCA.  For more about the cases click here.

Afghan school girls attacked with acid

November 19, 2008


On Monday, All Things Considered, NPR, aired a interview with former NPR reporter Sarah Chase.  Sarah has left reporting and now runs agricultural cooperative in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  As she reports, the situation there is appalling, and deteriorating rapidly.  There are approximately 30,000 American troops on the ground in Afghanistan – less than in any post-conflict nation building the US has been involved in.   Lower even than Haiti in the 1990s.  More troops are called for, to protect and mentor the Afghan people, not to “hunt and kill bad guys.”

Barack Obama’s inauguration cannot come soon enough.

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