Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Death of DOMA, and another fine mess you've gotten us into . . .

It's the latest, most important news.  DOMA is toast. 

I never knew where Congress got the authority to create a restrictive definition of marriage in the first place.  It sure isn't in the enumerated powers.  What, the interstate commerce clause?  That means if a homosexual couple gets married in a state which permits such marriages, they are married for purposes of federal law, and have the benefits and obligations that arise under federal law. 

Well, if the Defense of Marriage Act is toast, does that mean that states now have to recognize homosexual marriage relationships created under other state's laws?  Or can the states say that a marriage that would be contrary to law in one state isn't automatically made lawful because some other state let it happen under more liberal laws?  In other words, may states now question the legitimacy of actions of other states, when citizens move from state to state?

Further, there is the Prop 8 clusterf*ck the court is dealing with.  California voters passed Prop 8, saying, no homosexual marriage.  Some people sued the state, saying that Prop 8, enforced by the state, would violate some sort of rights they imagined they had, just as if a right is some sort of biological appendage rather than a condition created by government action.  Anyhow, the political masters of California, who didn't like Prop 8 much in the first place mostly because they don't like the idea of citizens getting all uppity and thinking they should be considered, decided not to defend the case brought by the people who were suing to claim Prop 8 was a violation. 

So, how tough is it to win a lawsuit, when the defendant doesn't show up?

To avoid a default position, the original proponents of Prop 8 stepped in and nominated themselves as defendants.  The plaintiffs, suing the state, wanted them kicked out of court, saying, "We aren't suing you, we're suing California and you have no right to be here."  The problem went to the 9th circuit judges who said citizens can defend a lawsuit when the state defendant won't.  Contrarily, the Supreme Court has  ruled that citizens cannot appear and defend if the state, as defendant, won't.

I guess that means that the challenge to Prop 8 will be upheld because the political masters of California are going to take a dive on the issue, and the voters who voted and passed Prop 8 can pretty much go pound sand, for all that they matter.  Governor Brown wants queer marriage in California, and his will be done.

So where does that leave us?  Who the hell knows.  More litigation will ensue, for sure, for sure, and speeches will be made, politicians will weep phony tears, activists of one sort or another will activate, and pulpits will roar with righteousness.  And all the sturm und drang will be in aid of homosexual marriage. 

Hey, what percentage of Americans are exclusively homosexual in the first place?  Maybe 5%, if that?  And what percentage of those want the right to marry?  Certainly not all.  After all, a helluva lot of straight people have determined that marriage isn't all that.  So we have all this attention paid to something that will benefit only a fraction of a very small minority.

Thanks Supremes.  You made the mess worse.  Gah!

I guess that the issues of government surveillance of citizens without probable cause, contrary to the 4th Amendment, can be safely ignored.  And no need to concern ourselves with the politicizing of IRS decision making.  And we needn't be concerned about who decided to let Americans die without even trying to do something about it in Bengahzi.  And nothing to look at when Kathleen Sibelius tries to shake down constituents.  No need to wonder about the EPA's violation of administration rule making rules.  Homeland Security's heavy handed violation of travelers means nothing.  A porous border with the federal government declining to enforce its own laws is something we should welcome in the name of diversity and social progress.  And don't speak of the threat of militant Islamism which has declared war on us and shown over the years that attacks can be made within our borders with impunity.

None of that dreck is all that important, compared to the rights of homosexuals to fulfill their heart's desire to prance down a wedding aisle with a white veil masking a heavy beard, all with the approval and support of loving government busybodies.

Don't get me wrong.  Homosexuals are wronged by the present state of the law.  Well.  Fix that.  Let's get it done clearly and without confusion, and let's stop screwing over the icky queers, if that's our thing, and let's get on with the real challenges to our republic. 

Or could it be that our government masters welcome and promote the distraction provided by minor issues, like homosexual marriage, so that attention will be directed away from some the concerns noted above, all of which arise in the first place mostly because many of our government masters are not fundamentally in favor of a republican form of government which essentially empowers the little people to resist the depredations of solipsistic politicians? 

Nah, surely not that.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Big Alterna . . .

Got some unsolicited stuff in the mail, as we do, now that my bride has subscribed to some information services promoting good health.

It occurs to me that providing for alternative medical practices and ingestible supplements is a big business, bringing in big, big bucks, when you figure that on top of all the stuff being sold, there's a whole arkload of alternative treatment practitioners, healers, spiritual advisors, swamis, consultants, and suchlike, from acupunctuationists to rolfbrokers, to reikipilots, and all notional practitioners in-between.

And every damn one of them shares to following two points.
  • They aren't doing what they do or distributing what they deliver for no charge.
  • They all hate and despise what they contemptuously call Big Pharma, by which they mean protocols and substances that have been developed with more than a passing familiarity with the scientific method.
I say it's time to recognize that you have a choice between Big Pharma, and Big Alterna.  And your choice ought to be related to efficiency of result, alone, and not the fact that Big Pharma makes big bucks.

In that regard, Big Pharma is indistinguishable from Big Alterna, and don't think otherwise.

But hey, if you believe that a $139.00 hat with earflaps, made out of a sun activated corn silk and mole fur blend derived from ranch-raised moles, will cure migraines and ice-cream headaches, well, go for it.

It probably won't make any difference, in Darwinian terms, anyhow.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The NSA, that is, National Spy Agency . . .

There are reasons for being suspicious of our government.  And keep in mind that being against the government is not the same thing as being against the country.  We're just talking about the guys running the place, you know, the current four branches of government, the judiciary, the legislature, the executive, and the vast unelected civil service.  (Yeah, there's four, that is, one more than your teacher, who didn't know any better, told you about in the seventh grade.)

Let's see.  There's Fast and Furious.  There's Sibelius.  There's Bengahzi.  Then there's the Bengahzi cover-up.  There's the IRS being politicalized.  And there's the NSA wiretapping deal.  There may be more that I've forgotten.  Any of these could be enough to shake up the White House.  After all, with Nixon, the problem was bugging just the Democratic campaign offices, and that was enough.  But the NSA has bugged the entire country, including your voice calls, email, texts, etc.  A ginormously huge data center is being built in Utah to store everything the NSA gets.

And this is potentially the worst of all.  First, I'm pretty sure there are hackers in China and Russia, and maybe Iran, who can't wait to hack into all this NSA data.  If they haven't already.  And of course, we have our own domestic hackers to worry about, not the mention the various government busybodies who are going to check you out.  And if they are collecting information from everybody, then everybody is the potential target, and it has nothing to do with actual guilt or 4th Amendment probable cause. 

Do you think that girl you dumped in your senior year has forgotten about it, now that she works for the Veteran's Administration where you just happen to be applying for benefits?  Let's just check you out.

But that isn't the worst of it because, second, there's a million dedicated, crazy conspiracy-theory paranoids out there, slapping their knee right now and saying, "I knew it!" 

We have a whole lot of crazy people running around loose, since the great psychiatric insight of the seventies -- that the best and most humane treatment for crazy people is to pretend they can function in normal society and to ignore them and their emotional pain until they commit a serious crime that gets them locked up for a time.

So here's a little message for all the crazy people. 

Boys and girls, just because it's true that the NSA really is collecting all sorts of information about everybody, not just foreign transactions, doesn't mean you haven't been crazy all this time.  You just caught a lucky break, but you are still crazy.  Even though all the electronic data is being collected, the government is still not spying on you and watching what you do through the light bulbs, not now and never was

At least not the old kind.

I'm not so sure about those new curly compact florescent kind.