February 7, 2012 archive

9th Circuit Court Rules CA Prop 8 Unconstitutional

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This morning the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that California’s Prop 8 is unconstitutional striking down the ban on gay marriage under both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. The ruling is limited and specific to California only.

“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” the court said.

The ruling upheld a decision by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who struck down the ballot measure in 2010 after holding an unprecedented trial on the nature of sexual orientation and the history of marriage.

The ruling makes same sex marriage legal again in California but it is expected that the court will not permit marriages to take place while the appeals are in progress. The backers of Prop 8 have stated that they will appeal this ruling but have not said if they would request a the full 9th Court to hear the appeal or take it directly to the US Supreme Court.

Ninth Circuit Prop. 8 decision


Well, I think you deserve some explanation and it’s also instructive.

Not that I’m complaining because many people have much worse problems.  After Sunday’s Superbowl live blog I noticed some changes in the performance of my computer.  The significant indicators were that all the websites I visited had invalid security certificates (even yahoo mail) and no Java enabled features would work.

So I spent a whole day (because that’s how long it takes) running virus scans (caught a few) and uninstalling and re-installing browsers and Java.

Since re-installing your prime OS is a pain in the ass, even if you have a backup, and can take even longer.

Monday night I spent a lot of time preparing for a format when I should have been sleeping, backing up all those piddly things like bookmarks and wallpaper and your last 2 weeks of writing that you ought but never get around to and then I dug out my amber preserved base and took a nap because it’s best to start these things fresh.

When I approached my machine I noticed the date was out of wack.  That’s odd said I.  So I changed it.

Problem solved (apparently).

It’s times like these I think myself a poor technician and blogger.  Thank goodness I have TheMomCat who is always supportive even when I am stupid and lazy.

I apologize to my readers also.  You put up with a lot of abuse and hardly ever call me on it.


Wacky Blackout

Perspectives On Hedge’s “Cancer in Occupy”

There’s one thing they tell you when you start a cancer treatment schedule, sitting there in wide-eyed horror and shock. “I know this all seems unthinkable right now, but believe it or not, it will soon just become your routine.  Your new normal.”  Anyone who has lived through childhood abuse, or been in an abusive relationship will tell you the same. “Well, most of the time he was nice,” they will say, “its just sometimes it got really scary or bad.”  There has been reams written about co-dependent behaviours already, both personal and societal.  Me?  I think mostly its a matter of acclimation. Its the conversation you have about TV on your way to chemo, and the new meals that become routine; creating food the cancer-stricken might possibly eat.  It kids playing soccer among the rubble where the bombs just fell. It learning your new wheel chair. Or learning to read in Braille.  I say it a lot.  “It is what it is.

Photobucket There’s a flip side to this too. As my husbands 6’1″ frame dwindled to 130 or less pounds, as his hair fell out?  He avoided mirrors like the plague.  Its like the restaurant you no longer frequent because its where your ex-girlfriend and her new man hang out.  Its like changing the channel every time that commercial comes on, with Sara McLoughlin singing and all the abused animals cover your screen.  Its refusing to look at the reality of what homelessness, starvation, or what the ravages of War truly are.  Its the pictures of children struck by depleted uranium you never really look at for long. Put even more basically?  Its blocking someone on Facebook who has been cruel to you. You compartmentalize the bad away, and let normalcy be created by routine – and you  just avoid the damned mirrors.

You see?  Mirrors tell the truth.  Mirrors belie the little boxes in our psyche that say everything is normal. So we veil them.

I like Chris Hedges.  He is what he is. I’m not even remotely insulted he used the cancer analogy as a fresh cancer widow.  

What I find particularly offensive after giving it a night of thought?  Is Hedged opining how a few kids in black pajamas breaking a window has become an unthinkable Cancer to bringing the Public Sway on board to the “treatment” that Occupy is trying to apply to the REAL CANCERS of our Society.  The Cancers that have become both our “normal” and our “mirror avoidance.”

On This Day In History February 7

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 7 is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 327 days remaining until the end of the year (328 in leap years).

On this day in 1795, The 11th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified. It dealt with each state’s sovereign immunity from being sued in federal court by someone of another state or country.

The Eleventh Amendment (Amendment XI) to the United States Constitution, which was passed by the Congress on March 4, 1794 and was ratified on February 7, 1795, deals with each state’s sovereign immunity from being sued in federal court by someone of another state or country. This amendment was adopted in order to overrule the U.S. Supreme Court‘s decision in Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419 (1793).]

Amendment Eleven:

   The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

By itself this Amendment is a little impenetrable. It was passed as a clarification of Article 3, Section 2 of the Constitution, specifically Clause One which reads:

Clause 1:

   The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;–to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;–to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;–to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;–to Controversies between two or more States;–between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States,–between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects

Basically what this boils down to is the concept of Sovereign Immunity. Basically you can not use the Federal Government unless it agrees to let the case be heard. Yes, you read that right. The Government reserves the right to prevent you from suing it, as a citizen, except under very specific circumstances. The exceptions are detailed in the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Tucker Act. These acts allow a citizen to sue the Government if there is a claim resulting from either the actions of a federal employee or if there is a case involving contracts with the Federal Government.

Now, Amendment 11 extends this same sovereign immunity to the States in terms of the Federal Courts. What that means is that you as a citizen can not use the Federal Courts to sue your State Government, without the consent of the State. The Dog believes the reason for this is to prevent citizens from tying up their government with suits that arise from the normal operation of the government. As a practical matter it forces citizens that don’t like the way things are being run to replace their government officials instead of just suing the government.

Now, this does not apply to crimes committed by members of the government or the government itself. There is what is called a Stripping Doctrine that says when a government employee or official commits a crime, they have lost their immunity. So, in the case of torture or War Crimes there can be no reasonable sovereign immunity defense.

h/t Something the Dog Said

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Late Night Karaoke

Half-time America

The most interesting part of the super bowl was Clint Eastwood’s commercial on behalf of motor city and, more largely, America. If ever there were a poster boy for uptight, white American males’ not incompletely insensate fears of anarchy from poor, down-on-their-luck, immoral evil-doers, corrupt politicians, psychotic women and bad cops, make my day with .44 magnum, the most powerful hand-gun in the world. And paint my wagon, to boot, when Josey comes home.

It was almost a disheveling experience to witness such pleading for American greatness in the middle of our malest, most commercialized sporting event ever; such a public display, such an admission of abject failure; scaredat halftime. Lost our hearts. Coming from behind. Coming together. Hear those imaginations roar. Yikes. Are you sure you’re reading that clock right? It looks more like the two-minute warning than a new American century. Maybe like the Giants we don’t want to score that touchdown just yet.

I truly wonder whether there was White House involvement in this one, part electioneering (Obama saved Detroit!), part just bucking us up; you remember Obama’s inaugural, wherein he admitted we had fallen down, and needed to get back up and brush ourselves off? Our piping hot failures really are infusing the public’s mental tea bag. I’m hearing the evaporation, the boiling off of confidence in the system.

Astounding. I suppose next we’ll get Al Pacino’s Any Given Sunday speech about fighting for every inch. Either we heal as a team, or we crumble, inch by inch, play by play. The inches we need are everywhere around us.