Daily Archives: November 23, 2008

Yeah, what I was just saying…

I just read this news item from Reuters. I’ll just copy and paste it; no commentary is necessary, as I’ve already commented extensively on the topic

California‘s gay marriage ban could open the door to legal discrimination against unpopular groups if the state Supreme Court allows the voter-approved measure to stand, blacks, Latinos, Asians and other minorities said.

The November 4 vote, supporting an end to legal same-sex marriage in the most populous U.S. state, has caused a nationwide furor as opponents of the measure decry what they consider a civil rights violation.

California’s highest court agreed on November 19 to hear a challenge, based on whether the state constitution requires support from the legislature — as well as a majority vote of the people — to strip rights from any group.

The court had recognized such marriages in May, and about 20,000 same-sex couples wed before the November vote. Those marriages may now hang in the balance. Connecticut and Massachusetts are the only states that allow gay marriage.

Legal scholars say the measure, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, breaks new ground by limiting the courts’ ability to protect minorities.

“They could take away any right from any group,” said University of Southern California Law Professor David Cruz, who filed a brief in favor of gay marriage in an earlier case.

Equal protection “subversion”

The ban, California Proposition 8, amended the constitution with 52 percent support — less than is required to approve some state bond measures.

“The entire purpose behind the constitutional principle of equal protection would be subverted if the constitutional protection of unpopular minorities were subject to simple majority rule,” read a brief by black, Asian and Hispanic groups challenging the ban. “This case is not simply about gay and lesbian equality.”

It is unlikely that relatively liberal California would approve restrictions on racial and religious minorities, especially ones that clash with the protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, Cruz and others say.

“We are past that as a realistic matter. We just elected an African-American president, for Christ’s sake,” said University of California, Berkeley, law professor Jesse Choper, who also filed on behalf of gay advocates in the original gay marriage case.

Other groups — from prisoners to undocumented workers — might not have public opinion on their side.

“The history of California demonstrates with sobering clarity the potential for disfavored minorities to be subjected to oppression by hostile majorities,” the minority groups say in their brief, pointing to segregation laws and one excluding Asian-Americans from land ownership as examples.

“Track record”

“It is not hypothetical. It’s a track record,” said Stanford University law professor Jane Schacter, who has not filed briefs in the case.

Indeed, a central argument in support of the gay marriage ban is that majority-vote constitutional amendments can change rights.

“That power is broad and deep and, by nature, populist. It has often been used to be make significant changes in state government and to override judicial interpretations of the Constitution with which the people disagree — including interpretations involving basic constitutional rights,” lawyer Andrew Pugno argued in court papers.

He also argued that defining marriage as between a man and a woman simply re-established the situation before the court recognized gay marriage in May.

The California high court could hear arguments in March. Berkeley’s Choper says it will be an uphill battle to persuade the judges that the measure requires legislative action.

Choper said he understands why the groups are fighting the ban and he is sympathetic, “but that’s not the way the system works.”

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Ai hart ‘lolcats’

OK, I can’t lose readership that I don’t even have, so I will go ahead and admit publicly that I like “lolcats.”

(Also, I really need to demonstrate that I really am capable of discussing something other than politics and Proposition 8…)

I learned about “lolcats” on Salon.com.

“Lolcats,” if you don’t know, are photos of animals — cats, mostly — with captions that people create. They submit their captioned photos to this web site. The captions (most of them, anyway) are to be written in a way that the animals themselves might have written them, so spelling and grammar are tweaked, and very apparently there are “lolcat” conventions, such as “Ai” for “I,” “hai” for “hi” and “sry” for “sorry.”

Some of the “lolcats” are funnier than others, and I like it when animals besides cats make appearances (I’m more of a dog person than a cat person), but I find the web site addictive despite the fact that it’s heavy on the pus — er, cats.

Here are some “lolcats”:

cat

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

funny pictures of cats with captions

Humorous Pictures

Humorous Pictures

And my favorite “lolcat,” of course:

cat

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I can live with Billary

Senator Hillary Clinton (L), President-elect Barack Obama (C) ...

Reuters photo

Sen. Hillary Clinton is shown with then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McInsane in January. You didn’t think that she was going to go away empty-handed, didja?

Although she voted for the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War in October 2002, thus enabling the unelected Bush regime to hand over billions upon billions of American taxpayers’ dollars to Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp (which was the main objective of the Vietraq War all along) — and resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis (death is pretty “liberating,” I guess) — I guess that I can live with Billary as the next secretary of state.

Mainly, I just didn’t want her to be the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee, given her “centrism” and the fact that Billary-hatred is so widespread that I didn’t/don’t see how she could have won the White House had she won the Democratic presidential nomination.

Presumably, President-elect Barack Obama will be in charge and will give Billary her orders, not vice-versa, so the prospect of Billary being the next secretary of state doesn’t keep me awake at night.

And hey, after Secretary of State Condoleezza “You Know She’s Lying When Her Lips Are Moving” Rice, just about anyone is an improvement…

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