Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pastor Rick Warren: An American Heretic?

The venom of gay activist groups towards President-elect Obama over his choice of Reverend Rick Warren to lead his inaugural prayer reveals the extreme hatred and intolerance on the far left. These gay activist groups are so self-absorbed that they neither acknowledge the magnanimity of President Elect Obama nor the universal right of every man and woman to pray publically on behalf of all despite their sins of against mere political orthodoxy.

Perhaps the first thing that came to the minds of many who heard Reverend Rick Warren’s named to lead the inaugural prayer for President-elect Barrack Obama was “graciousness.” Perhaps the most important moments of the early campaign occurred in Reverend Warren’s church when the President Elect sat before religious conservatives and shared his views on a variety of issues relevant to all Americans. Besides bravely putting aside the notion that he would govern according to the view of his longtime Chicago pastor by going to church with the Republicans also, the open honest forum was one of the only bright spots in John McCain’s campaign. President-elect Obama’s acknowledgment of Reverend Warren was an olive branch to an entire spectrum of the electorate that has fundamental disagreements with the future 44th President of the United States. In that recognition of Obama’s graciousness, one is naturally drawn to appreciate a religious figure who held honest policy differences with a powerful political figure and yet remained on friendly terms. Reverend Warrens’ ability to transcend narrowly held political ideologies in view of the larger human concerns was only echoed by President-elect Obama’s request for the man to lead an the inaugural prayer.

If President Bush, in retrospect, bemoans his attempt at raising the tone of political discourse in Washington as a failure, he was perhaps, premature. Then again, perhaps not. Within a heartbeat of Barrack Obama’s magnanimous gesture, gay right activists were doing everything but burning crosses on Warren’s church lawn in order to brand the clergyman as a bigot. Likewise, with equal intolerance, they complained bitterly that the president-elect had chosen a person to pray who did not represent “all Americans.” One must assume that these groups would never pray with Reverend Warren, no matter how graciously he extended the invitation. However, the reason for their refusal is Reverend Warren’s intolerance. This is the continuing lie propounded by the gay marriage crowd. If you don’t endorse gay marriage, you are a homophobe bigot. In general, any group that insists that men and women pretend that others are married so that they feel “included” must be selfish to the core. This was once again plainly shown by the invidious bile spewed in President-elect Obama’s face by gay activist groups that are self-absorbed, self-obsessed, and harshly intolerant of the views of others.

These activists are plainly not victims. The precursor to all persecution is to establish the sinfulness of one’s opponent’s position. If you have and extreme disagreement with your opponent’s doctrinal position, you demonize the opposition and attack his or her credibility. After one’s credibility has been diminished and your opponent isolated, the persecutions begin. No one is persecuting homosexuals in 21st century America; however, the left is endeavoring to demonize those whose views on choice and matrimony they disagree with. The result would be to brand certain religious beliefs as a national heresy.

The far left groups are, on a personal level, trying to injure Reverend Warren and his standing, not only in terms of his political views, but as a spiritual person. This should be off the table and not part of the discussion. Reverend Warren may disagree with some on the left in a political sense, but Pastor Warren’s right to pray or lead prayer in a land were religious freedom is our most precious inheritance should never be impinged. President-elect Obama is correct, Reverend Warren’s spirituality and his standing as person whose religious values are sincere should be off the table when it comes to inauguration politics.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Limited Representative Government: Prop. 8 and Racism

Californians are now just racists (like they have always been) because its citizens won't allow same sex couples to pretend they are married. Direct democracy must not be allowed, they say, only the power of the state constitution is right! Well, if the state constitution allows for direct democracy, then to what constitution do they refer? Some say that constitutions are written to protect the minority from the majority. That is not correct, otherwise no majority rule could exist, hence no democracy and no democratic republics. Constitutions in constitutional republics represent a covenant among the people as to how their laws will work. When that covenant is broken, they owe the powers that broke the covenant no allegiance.

The biggest problem with more direct forms of democracy is that important issues are fought out in sound bites (like education becoming the focus of the last month's debate). During the 1960's revision period Bernard Hyink (see page 5 of article) made a series of serious arguments against the prevalence of direct democracy in California's constitution. Californians did not want any part of returning to a more representative form of government. It is this direct democracy that is more Libertarian because it liberally gives the people greater say. A reduced dependency on an independent judiciary is another libertarian notion that arose in California as the institutions of the federal constitution began to struggle under the pressures of massive industrialization during the Civil War period.

There have been many really stupid things written into California's constitution over time, including, as some rightly point out, racist notions in bold print. These things have all been eradicated, but the principles of greater direct democracy have been strengthened.

Constitutions don't come from a Divine Being. They come from people. Good people don't come from governments; good governments come from good people. There are those, (I am not among them), that argue that even our notions of right and wrong don't originate from a Higher Power. I do believe that things like passionate self-interest, greed, and jealousy often blind some people to the voice of conscience. These people, sadly, are too often the ones that are in authority in political parties.

Some folks talk about how health care must be reformed because of greedy and corrupt doctors. My response to this has always been to throw up my hands. If the people who deliver the health care are corrupt, it's over. What can anyone do? That's how I feel about the "checked" use of a greater direct democracy in not only California, but in the nation. If the people, of whom, by whom and for whom government exists, have lost their way, what's the point?

I think, because of the federal constitution, and the language of the California constitution regarding it's subjection to the federal constitution, the objections some raise about returning to a KKK society is a read herring. I say, "I think", because San Francisco seems to have seceded from the union relative to immigration law and no one cares.

In general, it is sad that people accuse the entire populace of hate because they don't want to lie to their kids and tell them that same sex couple are married... well not really... well legally... That's a bit much. What's wrong with civil unions anyhow?

I saw a good Wikipedia article on the language of Prop. 8. After great debate, "may" and "could" were the words left in the ballot initiative concerning required teacher participation in educational programs. The Supreme Court Justices had essentially ordered teachers to lie to little children, whether students could "opt out" or not.

The constitution of California never, ever provided for making people say that same sex couples are married when they are not. Four Supreme Court judges, perhaps inspired by some vision from of Saturn in red, exercised their authority to INTERPRET the constitution (if they did more than this they dare not admit it!). The simplest way to clarify the constitution was to do the people of California did.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Proposition 8 and Revisions of California's Constitution

While some argue that the people of California are not worthy of the initiative process the state constitution liberally grants its citizens, the very heart of California's law disagrees. The ballot initiative process is not a twentieth century libertarian whim cooked up by 1960's radicals. Instead, it was adopted to directly address the challenges and pressures of a representative government in the modern era.

California's Constitution's Preamble is the usual: "We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution." This is a wonderful echo of the age of the founding fathers of the United States of America. However section 1 of the first article of California's constitution is not the unusual: "All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require." This has a bold and defiant tone, the tone of those who have had enough of pretense and hypocrisy. These are grave and solemn declarations. They are the words of men and women who have had some experience being vigilant in the great and ongoing struggle for liberty. Surprisingly, the rest of California's constitution lives up to these brave words. That's not usual either.

For these very self-evident reasons, any refusal by four judges to enact Proposition 8, by describing it as a revision, would to be to drastically alter the heart of California's constitution.

The Constitution of California is a living document, but its life is not ultimately in the hands of a Supreme Court, and its breath does not wait on a two thirds majority of the state legislature. California's constitution is specifically designed to live and breathe with the people of California. Nor was this done for light and transient causes. California's constitution is borne of the schools of error and hard experience in this land of opportunity.

Of all the states in the union, California has the most experience with constitutions. It drafted its original constitution in coordination with a military proclamation shortly following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and California redrafted its constitution only thirty years later. It was in this second draft of its constitution that California began its loathing of political authorities and its love of the initiative and referendum process. Finally, after years of committee analysis, in 1966 California used the mechanisms within the 1897 draft to significantly revise its constitution (CPS p. 3). This it did with a constitutional convention and approval of the electorate. Ultimately, the revision committee completed the final part of its revision process with a series of tailor made ballot initiatives (CPS 6). Hence, if California's constitution is one of the most liberal states in the union, it is a political path based, not on navet, but on experience. In other words, if California gives greater authority to its electorate that any other state it is because California has learned from its history. Its institutions recognize that those in authority are often as impervious to truth as they are imperfect in character. California's limits on its Supreme Court Justices, as set out in terms of recall and elective terms, is not done without a very clear understanding of the challenges to freedom that arise in every generation, even in nations governed as constitutional and democratic republics.

The problem with the founding father's notion of an independent judiciary is that our forefathers benignly believed that the check on judges would be the laws and the constitutional documents they embodied. California discovered that such a check was not always convenient. While, on the one hand, California gives its chief justice tremendous powers over the interpretation and the culture of interpretation that surrounds California's laws, the consequences of its painful experiences with the powerful forces of large business interests during the Civil War period left the people of this state with an extremely sober view of all the elements of representative government, including the judiciary. California's judiciary is one of the least independent in the nation. While judges are appointed by the governor, the judges are subject to reelection every twelve years. Furthermore, they are subject to recall at any time by way of the initiative process.

It would not be beyond imagination then to conceive of a unanimous Supreme Court decision in favor of the proponents of Proposition 8, and that is as it should be according to California law. In the United States Constitution five judges closely divided with four others in the interpretation of the federal constitution plus the silence of the legislature can equal, in practical terms, via stare decisis, an amendment or a revision or of the constitution. Of course the more divided the judiciary, the more divided the legislature, so, in the course of time, judges have often changed the constitutional rudiments of our federal laws. In California, though, the people must also remain silent for a judicial opinion, an interpretation of the law to become, via stare decisis, an amendment to or a drastic revision of the California constitution.

In the matter of Proposition 8 and Proposition 22, Californians were not silent. They thought long and hard; twice Californians have clarified the definition of marriage. This may have been an altogether silly exercise forced on them from above, but it was, nonetheless, a gracious and constitutional one. All those who oppose that definition ought to accept the verdict in the gracious spirit in which it was legally and duly offered. The definition of marriage Californians have declared doesn't harm anyone, and it does apply equally applied to all. Homosexuals may also get married to one member of the opposite sex, just like every other Californian. Californians do not hold anyone's sexual orientation against them. The people of California have never been perfect, and they are not now. California's constitution though, isn't bad. Other states ought to follow California's example of liberally granting the final say and authority to the people. After all, where do all constitutions that are worth the ink originate?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How to Recall a California Supreme Court Justice

Information is power if power has already been granted to you. Indeed, in California great political authority has already been granted to its citizens. That power is our history and our legacy, for the California Constitution in Article 2 Section 1 reads: "All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require."

The voters of California have recently reformed their state by way of a ballot initiative called Proposition 8. This was a reformation because marriage in California (and in all the world) has always been between a man and a woman. Only in recent months did our justices deem it fit to alter our state laws and our constitution. Because the justices are sworn to uphold the constitution, not alter it, they should be recalled for the failure to discharge their duties. The people of California have also been granted this right. It is within our authority as states Article 2 Section 13: "Recall is the power of the electors to remove an elective officer," and, as the constitutional framers saw fit and in California Supreme Court Justices are elected, not appointed; Article 2 Section 16a: "Judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected at large and judges of courts of appeal shall be elected in their districts at general elections at the same time and places as the Governor. Their terms are 12 years beginning the Monday after January 1 following their election." Because California Supreme Court Justices are not appointed as they are under the federal constitution, but elected, they are subject to recall by the electorate.

The constitutional framers made the manner of recall very simple. The recall process has two parts. Both of these parts are stated plainly in Article 2 Section 14a. The first is: "Recall of a state officer is initiated by delivering to the Secretary of State a petition alleging reason for recall. Sufficiency of reason is not reviewable." The petition to remove these elected officials is not "reviewable." That means that the voters could say, "We the people of California petition for the removal of these four Supreme Court Justices because they are dumb dumb heads, and we don't like them any more." Such a claim could not be rejected on legal grounds; however, such simplicity might not be considered overly persuasive either. Nonetheless, the point is that the California Constitution makes this matter simple because its intent is that the people of California, not its lawyers or its judges, define the nature and scope of our laws.

Those who choose to circulate a petition to recall each of these four judges might contemplate a petition that says:

"We the people of California, petition for the recall of Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard, Associate Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, and Associate Justice Carlos R. Moreno for the following reasons:

Unless one is of an unsound mind, seeks personal aggrandizement, or sets himself above the body of laws and the constitution he has taken an oath to uphold, the historic documents surrounding the constitution and the historic contexts of the documents surrounding the family law of California cannot be construed to include homosexuality as a suspect category in civil right laws: these are plainly limited to race, religion and gender.

The historic documents of California and the body of documentation surrounding California can not be held to imply or refer to a right for same sex couples to pretend to marriage by law, and any such conclusion is evidence of an unsound mind, self seeking, or a judicial hubris that pretends to be above the body of laws embodied in the constitution of California he swore to uphold.

In altering the Constitution of California and the body of laws it embodies, this jurist has undermined the civil right to marry for all couples; he has reduced marriage to a mere legal contract defined by states rather than upholding the court's legitimate responsibility to recognize the union of a man and a woman. This is an ancient contract between two people based on exalting that which nature and the God of nature has set within the heart of all people everywhere without regard to race, religion or gender. This fundamental joining, like the right to free speech, like the right to worship in accordance with our conscience, like the right to free movement and like the right to defend oneself against tyrants and any who would threaten life and property, exists prior to governments and any government that refuses to recognize such rights is illegitimate.

In altering the Constitution of California and the body of laws it embodies, these jurists have undermined civil society, civil conversation, and the peace of this great state, for we have had untold expenditures of time and money resulting only in increased acrimony and civil unrest. This is entirely the fault of this Court. Rather than undermining the documents and laws of this land designed for the express purpose of maintaining civil discourse, a democratic union and the peace of this people, this court could have urged the plaintiffs in "re Marriages" to utilize the ballot initiatives to democratically amend our State's Constitution. Instead, this court has purposely misrepresented the documents of our state and deceived many of its unwitting populace into feeling that it has "rights" it never received in accordance with the democratic principles of our society.

The ruling of this court expresses an explicit intent to order state representatives to deceive others by applying the historic name and honor of the institution of "marriage" on unions that have no history at all. This legislated fraud would have constituted a tyranny and would have affected young children of every race, religion and gender from the tender ages in which they enter our public school system.

Article 2 Section 14a also sets out the second condition for demanding the recall of its elected judges: "Proponents (of the recall) have 160 days to file signed petitions." Article 2 Section 14b and c contains the instructions on filing the petition:

"A petition to recall a statewide officer must be signed by electors equal in number to 12 percent of the last vote for the office, with signatures from each of 5 counties equal in number to 1 percent of the last vote for the office in the county. Signatures to recall Senators, members of the Assembly, members of the Board of Equalization, and judges of courts of appeal and trial courts must equal in number 20 percent of the last vote for the office. (b) The Secretary of State shall maintain a continuous count of the signatures certified to that office."

California is one of the most liberal states in These United States of America in the oldest and truest meaning of that word. California is not liberal because has relativism, high taxes, deficit spending and a "nanny government" written into its constitution. California is proudly one of the most liberal states in the Union because, rather than specifying that the authority and responsibility for governance resides primarily in the representatives of the people, it gives the authority and responsibility for governance to the people in some of the most direct and practical ways ever devised. Californians ought to prize the authority its citizens have been granted, but with this greater authority comes greater responsibility. Californians have a responsibility, a duty, to recall these judges. This matter has not been left to lawyers, other judges, or to elected representative. They do not, therefore, have the responsibility to recall these judges. Californians, however, do. It is therefore, the people of California who are responsible for the harm these judges have done and will do if they do not act together swiftly and decisively to recall them.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ballot Measures: Joe the Voter Shoulders the Heaviest Lifting Again

Although the practice of direct democracy began primarily with constitutional amendments, it has become more prevalent as our representatives in government have failed at their work. Once again the common man must do the heavy lifting.

Proposition 8, in some ways fits the historic reason for direct democracy through a referendum or ballot initiative process. Referendums have always been part of American democracy. Massachusetts held a referendum to approve its new constitution in 1780. By 1850 it was becoming standard practice to hold a referendum when amending a state constitution (Eclipse of Legislatures USC Research Computing Facility 2004). As sad as it is that the Supreme Court of California made an amendment to the State Constitution of California an all too provident and necessary process, Proposition 8 is a tried and true way for the citizens of a state to decide the nature of their governments.

Although a state constitution is not simply laws, it is more important because it forms the basis upon which our state laws can and should be made, or it is a set of limits on our governments saying what kinds of laws it may not make. It is very important then, that such a foundation for laws is expressed in simple words that make total sense. "A marriage is between a man and a woman makes" makes total sense. There are a few things implied rather than explicitly stated because we don't want to have to wash our children's mouth out with soap after they recite their sixth grade homework to us. Still, the words are plain and foundational. They make sense and allow little room for disagreement. On the other hand, a constitutional amendment that said that marriage was NOT between a man and a woman would be an unsound amendment because it does not plainly lay a clear foundation for the laws of California. When the people affirm what marriage is, the people set family law in California on a clearly understood idea. Other laws, including those for our schools and for civil unions will then have a firm and clear basis on which to build.

On the other hand, the other reasons we really need to pass Proposition 8 all too clearly reflect the reasons that there are more referendums on more state ballots this Tuesday than at almost any other time in our nation's history. Historically, referendums became more prevalent because of the failure of our representative form of government, in its executive, legislative, and judicial form, to do its jobs. A wave of defaults in the 1800's led to the requirements for a popular vote in 21 states (Kiewiet and Szakaly 1996). That sounds familiar doesn't it? Our national representatives as a group, including Diane Fienstein, allowed lending practices to go haywire. They did this because it was inconvenient to take a difficult position that might upset some important colleagues or more powerful constituents. This goes on, it seems, all the time in Washington. No one wants to hurt anyone's feelings. They will say "yes" whenever possible because that is how one gets reelected. People don't get reelected by saying "no." Hence, the tough job of financial responsibility has become more and more often left to the citizens. The states that require bond measures to be ratified by a referendum process have less state spending and more decentralized spending than those that do not (Eclipse).

One of the problems with representative democracy is that our representatives in the legislature "logroll", that is, they trade votes when they make a decision on behalf of their constituents. If one of our representatives needs a block of votes to approve, let's say, a new hospital in a certain municipality, they will trade their support on another issue. Hence, the majority of voters are not served by either vote. Many citizens recognize that "earmarking" in the national budget process is the current epitome of the evils of logrolling. In fact, even public policy positions taken by our representatives are often suspect. Our representatives will change positions on areas important to those who voted for them, or those whose union dues they spend. A recent national survey conducted for the Initiative & Referendum Institute at USC asked: "All other things being equal, which do you think is most likely to produce laws that are in the public interest: when the law is adopted by the legislature or when the voters adopt the law? Sixty-six percent of respondents selected "voters" compared to 20% that selected "the legislature"1. The pattern held for men and women, across all age groups, and for whites, blacks, and other ethnic groups.

Hence, direct democracy, the referendum process, has become more necessary and more popular because the representatives of the people have lost our respect. When we go to the polls on Tuesday in California, then, may we let common sense rule. It is in our best interest not to listen to authority figures like the Superintendent of Public schools who contradicted his own website on the issue of whether or not students will be taught that homosexual marriages are excellent at the age of seven. Nor should we allow authority figures that have a history of spinelessly saying "yes" to every spending measure imaginable harangue us about fairness. If you can't figure out what rights are unfairly jeopardized by affirming what a marriage actually is, consider the sources the budgets and the taxes that also make no sense. Once again, the tough job of laying the firm foundation for the future of California will come down to us. If you aren't sure what a proposal is asking, say "no." If you aren't sure what a marriage is if it is not between a man and a woman, vote "Yes" on 8.

1. The survey was conducted by Portrait of America. It can be found in Waters (2003) and on the web site of the Initiative & Referendum Institute (

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spreading the Wealth, National Banks, and the Communist Family

Obama's plan to "spread the wealth" must destroy wealth and Europe's plan to nationalize banks will wreck the wealth of nations. These are things any good student of Marxism understands plainly. Karl Marx's vision of a workers' paradise also involved ridding society of mothers and fathers. Marxist Communism was never about utopia. It was always about totalitarianism. It's amazing how close to his vision we are getting.

Spreading the wealth around is an idea at least as old as Karl Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Program in which he wrote: “From each according to his ability to each according to his need.” To Marx this notion was a transitional principle leading to the workers’ paradise. It was part of the “dictatorship of the working class.” Ultimately, Marx desired that there would be no wealth to spread around. He desired the abolition of capital. That is, Marx envisioned the abolition of the means to relate to others in terms of employer and wage earner. It was an idea that never worked very well. Why? Have you noticed the flaw in Marxist logic? If there is no capital, there can be no wage earners, or in other words, no jobs. Therefore, Marxism leads to the absence of wealth! If you study Obama’s tax plan you can see that he desires the abolition of capital also. Even if jobs cannot be generated, even if the United States is in the middle of a recession where jobs are getting scarcer every day, Obama is sticking to Marxist transitional principles.

Although some five star generals might not like to hear it, illogical notions don’t work in the real world. Because of the failure of these Marxist ideas in practice, as well as on the drawing board, one almost suspects the motivation of anyone in any government who proposes them. On one level the motivation seems plain. The appeal of Marxism can be outwardly pleasant. When we humans don’t get what they want, it feels very unfair to us. It is easy to demand fairness instead of responsibility, and it is even easier to promise to make things fair by taking some one else’s property and making a gift of it to those who desire “fairness.” As a parent my response to the fairness argument has always been, “You bet life’s not fair, and a good thing it’s not! We live in America and other’s don’t. What’s fair about that?” Well life may be getting fair for those who live in Red China. We’re not far behind. In fact, capital seems to prefer Beijing.

By the way, some wonder whether the United States bank bailout plans will work. Interestingly, here is the fifth of the ten Marxist preconditions for a workers paradise first outlined in the Communist Manifesto: “Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.” Pope Paulson I, by the way, is conservative compared to the Europeans. They are completely behind Warren Buffet’s notion of buying up bank stocks to “recapitalize” them into borrowing, but Henry Paulson had to be dragged kicking and screaming to this table. Even now, he only wants to use a quarter of the cool trillion dollars printed by the congress for nationalizing banks. Will such bailout plans work? It depends on what one means by “work.” If one knows history and knows the failure of Marxist theory, one can be certain that the bail out plan will not produce wealth. However if one hates the United States because of its international prestige, its great abundance, and its liberties, and, as a student of Marxism, has been awaiting a crisis of capital to forward the communist agenda for the express purpose of ruining the wealth of nations, this bail out will work perfectly.

By the way Marx had some interesting notions about marriage as well. The Manifesto reads: “Bourgeois (an employer’s or rich person’s) marriage is (because of rampant infidelity), in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed (system of free love), an openly legalized system of free love. Yes, an organized force that disrupts the marriage one’s marriage was part of the plan for a worker’s paradise. So what happened to “the community of women” that would eventually bring an end to the nuclear family? Do we see such institutions in existence today? Ahhh… no. That was another failed Marxist notion.

In general though, the nuclear family appeared to be a threat to the burly bearded communist theorist. Again, the manifesto reads: “Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists…” Outside of the revolutionary party’s “community of women” the destruction of the nuclear family would occur without systematic intervention (except by public schools). Once capital had been destroyed, Marx believed, of nature course the workers paradise would feature no mothers and no fathers. Although Marx claimed that “the bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation into a mere money relation,” he was wrong about that as well. No, it would be a hundred and fifty years before the Supreme Court of California, not the bourgeoisie, did this. Even if you don’t like McCain or Obama, Californians should get themselves to the polls and vote “Yes” on Proposition 8.

A careful read of the Communist Manifesto will reveal its ambitious aims to amass the power of the state in the hands of the few. This, not a workers’ paradise, is what following the Manifesto’s outlines have always achieved for those who have used its perverse arguments to their advantage. If you’ve ever wondered why America, despite its tremendous powers of innovation, has been increasingly in debt, in the red, since World War II, consider some of the other preconditions for Marxist communism that were first set out in 1847. Precondition #2: A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. Precondition #3: Abolition of all rights of inheritance. Precondition #10: Free education for all children in public schools… That’s why we need the flat tax, school vouchers and to protect traditional marriage. We need to say no to the Obamanation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Free Markets, Crashes, and Other Parables

“We have now entered the final phase of the boom-bust cycle--the search for villains for past ill deeds and the search for reforms to prevent future calamities. But in the panic to sell shares in U.S. companies, investors are deaf to good news about the resilience and productivity of the American economy just as they were deaf to bad news at the height of the market euphoria.” These words, penned by Laura Tyson in her 2002 article, “After Irrational Exuberance, Irrational Pessimism” are, once again, almost completely relevant to today’s market. Perhaps what’s missing is the good news. Oil going down is apparently something approaching a positive, but that’s it. However, because of the consistency of human deafness to market fundamentals, Ms. Tyson’s article is almost always partially relevant. Here’s the sad little story rife with truths.

From 2003-2005, real estate, like the equity markets of the late 1990’s, had that peculiar reek of impending disaster that emerges from willful ignorance to market forces by those who should know better. A March 2008 REIT Wrecks article commendably explores the death of real estate’s canary: in 2005 rental occupancies fell despite declining rents. The article, “Play Subprime Safely With These Residential REITs” carefully exposes the Spiderman-like tingling those who specialized in rental properties had. They could smell the gas of the broken main. They knew that all that was driving real estate was the money supply. The loan amounts kept increasing as the credit requirements decreased. The only impediment to receiving the cash was having a residential deed to sign.

Interest rates finally began to rise, but they were answered with more easy money. After all, the changing bankruptcy laws of 2005 (making Chapter 7 debt forgiveness more difficult to come by) meant that more foreclosed assets would be available to offset these bad loans. Even more importantly, as far as the speculative eye could see more and more non-standard loans were coming down the pike. Hence, real estate had to continue to rise as the free money bid them well above their actual values. If real estate had to continue to spiral upwards, then even foreclosed properties would be worth more than the original assets. Hence, easy loans were more easily packaged into marketable “securities” that, based on an implied connection between Fannie, Feddie and the Feds, met only the most cavalier inspections. Who’d know? Who’d say anything? The only evidence of this covenant with disaster would be the mushrooming commissions on portfolio mangers’ Christmas bonuses.

However, even the “victims,” those with no credit who took exorbitant interest rates hits, laughed out loud as they signed and swore on a thousand dotted lines. Even they thought they’d hit the Vegas craps. “Why worry?” they thought; they could to sell for a 15% profit in a year. That would be more money in one place than they’d seen in their whole lives! Everyone was doing it… Then oil hit the roof, and the predatory lenders headed for the high grass. Everyone knows the rest.

Just as in the dotcom bubble, those who should have known did know. But why pull the fire alarm and alert the police? Instead, lawless bands of speculators who knew better, weren’t betting on the American dream. No, they were betting they could get out of town before the three alarm conflagration was noised abroad. The parable? Markets don’t need corrections, people do. The moral: unregulated markets will result in great prosperity only in proportion to the sense of responsibility and the recognition of the ethical source of prosperity owned by those that participate.
California, here’s the allegory: As free markets are to ethics, so is a great nation’s government to the truth. As the real estate fundamentals were eroded by senseless monetary expansion, so the credibility of our government will be eroded if we enshrine lies in our laws. Vote “Yes” on Proposition 8.

As depressing as today’s corruption of our markets may be, it has a precedent. As Frank Shostak discusses in his article, “The Prophet of the Great Depression,” two Austrian’s, Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, based on their theories of credit expansion, predicted the Roaring 20’s would end calamitously. The Austrians used a cool math based on exchange rates, but the reality is that no wizard-like forecasts are required. Indeed, even the victims of this latest real estate credit bubble knew what they were up against. They knew they were at cross purposes with the basic principles of responsibility, ethics, and, hence, genuine prosperity. We all finally got what all involved already owned.

Individuals cannot live a lie and escape the consequences. Don’t try to tell such people however, for you will be mocked to scorn. Likewise, societies cannot live a lie and long endure. But what if that lie is consecrated by the consensus of one’s fellow creatures, as was the run on equities in the 1920’s and the run on real estate in the twenty-first century? It doesn’t matter; such a nation and such a person cannot prosper. Even if so many thrill with the lie that one might say the lie is “normal,” a lie it is nonetheless, and who are so heedless cannot prosper. Whether it is abandoned at the church door or at the cork of those spirits that cry “you can’t prove it!” discard reason at your peril.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why the ACLU Opposes Proposition 8

There are many powerful people who purport to believe that religion, "the opiate of the people (Karl Marx)," is a scourge on humanity. Altruists, they purport to genuinely believe that society would be better if all religions, especially Christianity, were expunged from planet earth.

That’s not a constitutional view of course. Freedom of religion is as sacred as the freedom of speech. Like the right to marry, it is part of what is innate in people and what is part of who we are as humans prior to government. Of course governments need to, as much as is possible, keep out of the business of policing religions. Any law or ordinance that puts government into the business of arbitrating religious belief should be shunned. Indeed, governments ought to be in the business of promoting and exalting those freedoms that abound in a free people. This includes the “right to marry” and the practice of religion openly and freely.

The ACLU may believe in the right of same-sex couples to call their unions a marriage too. That’s fine; however, if Reverend James Wilson is correct, perhaps it has a more nefarious agenda in mind. Perhaps there is a secret treasure to be exhumed from the corpse of our mangled California family law. With a victory against Proposition 8 in hand, perhaps the ACLU can end religion in public life completely. We will be able to think religious thoughts, but we will not be able to either speak our beliefs or practice them in public.

Reverend James Wilson wrote in his September 15 article “Proposition 8 protects freedom of religion” at that:

“The state Supreme Court decision OK'ing civil rights laws for suppression of doctors' consciences is …part of an alarming pattern. The decision held doctors liable after they refused — for religious reasons — to inseminate a lesbian. The doctors referred her; there was no injury to the woman as she was inseminated and gave birth. … But the court said doctors lose their right to free speech and religion when licensed to practice medicine in California. And — if the experience of northern Europe and Canada is any indicator — pastors will lose those rights should Proposition 8 fail in November. That is because courts in those nations have found pastors (and any who express politically incorrect views) guilty of ‘hate speech.’:”

One would ordinarily think this is ridiculously alarmist, but reading the series of bilious comments by readers of Wilson’s article gave me pause. Here are several:

• “Rev. James Wilson, it's a shame you don't follow Jesus' teachings to love one another instead of spreading hate like this column.
• Practice what you preach.”
• You have no idea what the Bible says, do ya...

Rev. Wilson did not quote the Bible, but anyone who has read Romans chapter 1 knows that he did not quote it out of courtesy.

• “He's just being a hypocrite.”
• it IS "hate speech", MR. Wilson (you don't deserve to be addressed as "Reverend" - that title should be reserved for people who attempt to reflect God's love and compassion in their lives).

Rev. Wilson’s most controversial line was that “love without truth is not love.” I admit that I’ve picked the most obvious examples of spiteful disregard found in the reader comments. Nonetheless, Reverend Wilson’s article is simply one of a tremendous variety of instances in which the volume of the spiteful ad hominem attacks increases exponentially when faith is mentioned at all. The raw enmity expressed in any number of reader comments associated with those expressing religious disagreements with homosexuality itself is a firestorm. Whether the religion is Roman Catholic, Mormon, or Muslim, the hate as furious as it is obvious.

Of course I had to get into the act. I commented:

“The Reverend's article, although restricted to an audience of Bible believing Christians, nevertheless proves its broader point by the overwhelming anger and hate personally directed at its author for his faith. Are we to trust any movement that so indiscriminately hates those who offer reasonable disagreements with it based on personal religious beliefs?”

Since my post was not faith based, the response I received from a fellow reader, “specialK” was reasonable and well-measured:

“It's not for his faith, rather his active campaigning to rescind and eliminate the civil rights of a small minority of citizens when he himself and the majority here enjoy the legal recognition of your primary relationship. To claim that his rights are being impinged on because I now have the same, or shall I say, equal civil (not religious mind you) rights, should not in any way interfere with the Rev's religion. The hate must only be coming from those who suffer from ignorance and fear.”

However, “specialK”’s response was not to the point. He, like many, did not see that freedom of speech and freedom of religion could be impacted by the laws of California. He (or she) thinks that it is alarmist to assume that letting same-sex couples say they're married could, in any way, impact freedom of religion. Still, the motive of those seeking to defeat Proposition 8 should be relevant to us. Is the motive of those who seek to defeat Proposition 8 less government? Plainly not. If it is more government, then what is it they most seek to govern? Likewise, all voters might want to ask, ‘what segment of society are the opponents of Proposition 8 most willing disparage?’

My articles have not been addressed to a faith audience, and so, because I understand the nature of our competitive Western society in which we take adversarial positions in order pursue the truth, I haven’t been particularly troubled by readers who ignore my arguments and then endeavor to defame me because my thesis is disagreeable to them. That’s all part of the American smear machine we call our national discourse. Even though the often decried ad hominem attack is a well-known logical fallacy, it is as beloved of 21st century America as apple pie and college football.

I also recognize that very often the more intense and unnecessarily disagreeable disagreements contain a question not answered in an article. That intensity is not what I’m writing about. There is a significant difference, an intense intolerance, shown by opponents of Proposition 8 to those who have religious beliefs. They feel entitled to this intolerance. Voters who value religious freedom should be hesitant to ally themselves with such intolerance.

Besides, who knows, perhaps there is something sacred about humanity. Who knows… maybe there is something true in these ancient religions handed down from the mists of time. I know, I can hear the barrage coming now. This article is not for them; it’s for you.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Rewrite of the California Constitution I Missed

Connor Boyak on posted a great article on his blog at:

He does a great job pointing out that "re Marriage Cases" has profoundly changed the Constitution and the law of California by adding "sexual orientation" as a protected class with regards to equal rights. Sexual orientation is not a race, a gender or a religion. Despite all the whining from liberals, sexual orientation is not, constitutionally, a civil rights issue. There are laws on the books in California that do, however, recognize sexual orientation as a "protected class." Judge George in "re Marriages" uses this language written by the California legislature as enough of a reason to rewrite the Constitution of California:

“[e]xpanding the rights and creating responsibilities of registered domestic partners would further California’s interests in promoting family relationships and protecting family members during life crises, and would reduce discrimination on the bases of sex and sexual orientation in a manner consistent with the requirements of the California Constitution."

He is also correct about the serious impact that this has on jurisprudence in California. As as dissenting Jurist Baxter wrote on page 22 of his dissent:

"As the majority also notes, the issue is one of first impression in California. I find that circumstance highly significant. Considering the current status of gays and lesbians as citizens of 21st-century California, the majority fails to persuade me we should now hold that they qualify, under our state Constitution, for the extraordinary protection accorded to suspect classes" (my emphasis).

Connor is correct. It's time for Proposition 9: "Equal protection laws in California only apply to race, religion, and gender."

Meanwhile, a "Yes" vote on Proposition 8 will reduce a great deal of the damage this Court has done.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another Genius!

I was amazed when I read the introductory paragraph to Jennifer Robach Morse’s Marriage and the Limits of Contract only to find my own thoughts penned two years before I ever thought of them. Sadly, as one who thinks great thoughts can make a difference, I had to humbly link to Ms. Morse’s article because she articulates these ideas so well. Here’s the URL:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Supreme Deception: the Right to Deceive, Part III

Even on the surface, the idea of same-sex marriage must be either a lie or a deceit; hence, any court’s opinion that is engaged in “legalizing” such a thing must also be replete with lies or immersed in deception. In “redefining” marriage without admitting that it has done so, the Supreme Court of California’s opinion is riddled with deceptions. The California Supreme Court has masked its reduction of marriage to the mere legality that it conferred on civil unions by using the misleading terms “family relationship” and “family unit” to describe homosexual relationships and civil unions. Furthermore, the Court’s opinion use of this misleading terminology generates the appearance that previous courts' opinions and precedents support the benefits of, and state interests in, gay marriage. In fact, the opinion refers to no evidence whatsoever from previous case law or precedent that the state has either an abiding interest in, or that individuals derive substantial benefit from, gay marriage.

Whether by design or by incompetence, the Court’s opinion uses circular reasoning throughout. The opinion supposes that marriage is not between a man and a woman so that it may find an offended class and conclude that marriage, indeed, must not be only between a man and a woman. Finally, not satisfied with an opinion that is so inadequate that it deceives only the public, the Court produces several passages in which it seems to have conferred the right to deceive the public on the plaintiffs. Deceiving people is what the Court has, directly or indirectly, sanctioned by its discussion of “privacy rights” on page 105 below:

“Plaintiffs point out that one consequence of the coexistence of two parallel types of familial relationship (marriage and domestic partnerships) is that — in the numerous everyday social, employment, and governmental settings in which an individual is asked whether he or she “is married or single” — an individual who is a domestic partner and who accurately responds to the question by disclosing that status will (as a realistic matter) be disclosing his or her homosexual orientation, even if he or she would rather not do so under the circumstances and even if that information is totally irrelevant in the setting in question.”

The opinion of the majority in “re Marriages” explains that disclosing one’s sexual orientation is protected under a right to privacy, but the Court’s resolution of the issue should not be to sanction intentional deception as a remedy. Under this court’s ruling same sex couples may mislead an employer, whether it is a government office or a private enterprise, by leading individuals to believe that their status is heterosexual. That is, they may rest assured that when they say they are married , their employer or insurance company will understand the ordinary sense of the word and assume they are heterosexual. Doesn’t the state have an interest in deploring all acts of deception, especially as it relates to its own offices? Instead, this court has sanctioned the deceptions and provided the means of deception. Is deception, then, simply a matter of course and necessity to the California Supreme Court? Shall we consider this evidence of the intention of the court itself to deceive the public with its ruling and its opinion? Doesn't it seem that the court recognizes that the high end of “equality” justifies deception? Should we assume that the Court itself with its high view of equality and equity felt that, for itself too, deception as practically necessary is a dogma worthy of application? If we should so decide, fellow Californians, what then should we do? You know very well what you must do. You must recall these judges.

Nor is the foregoing deception seemingly advocated by the Court without potentially serious implications for insurance, credit, and medical institutions. Although the court recognized that some of these requests for information are not relevant, the discretion on when to deceive seems to be entirely in the hands of a member of a same sex partnership.

Some may argue that the destruction of the word marriage and its meaning would result in “marriage” would no longer implying heterosexuality. Hence, there would be no deception. However, until the process of reconstructing documents in which one’s sexual orientation is necessary information and, instance by instance, allowing courts to decide upon this necessity, many instances of deception on important matters will have been perpetrated and seemingly sanctioned by this Court.

Nor is such deception a necessary instrument for achieving equality in the United States of America. No one can seriously imagine women seeking equal opportunity being able to get away with bubbling in "man" on their employment applications. No, in order to equalize the playing field women proudly declared their gender and insisted on access. Likewise, African Americans proudly declared their identities as they demanded the equal rights they were entitled to under the law.

Perhaps religions have had the "option" of “going public” with their beliefs through the years. Notice how well that has gone? The religions such as Islam that state their creeds by their apparel and their deeds have a far greater opportunity for recognition and accommodation under U.S. Laws than do the more timid believers who obey court and statute despite the outcry of their consciences. Secrecy is no ally of civil rights. Not only does the Court appear to confer the right to deceive on a special segment of the population, it undermines the very equality is seeks to establish. The gay community ought to rise up and vote “yes” on California’s proposition 8, not only so they are not embarrassed by being part of a ruling that must go down in infamy, but so that their own movement for equal rights and recognition is not undermined by legally sanctioned duplicities.

On page 117-118 the Court issues a pronouncement that, essentially, concedes the right to deceive to all same sex couples in California while, at the same time, insisting that all citizens of the state of California who have direct dealings with the state government perpetrate deception on others:

“As discussed above, (page 81) because of the long and celebrated history of the term ‘marriage’ and the widespread understanding that this word describes a family relationship (my italics) unreservedly sanctioned by the community, the statutory provisions that continue to limit access to this designation exclusively to opposite-sex couples — while providing only a novel, alternative institution for same-sex couples — likely will be viewed as an official statement that the family relationship of same-sex couples is not of comparable stature or equal dignity to the family relationship of opposite-sex couples.”

First of all, the word marriage does not refer to the commonly understood words “family relationship.” The new terminology introduced by the George court names marriage a “family relationship.” In the same way that a cursory reading of this ruling and an assumption of judiciary accuracy with language might mislead a reader, the use of the term “marriage” for same sex couples has the potential for misleading many citizens of the state and the nation. The problem is that, if nothing else, same sex civil unions are very novel, and indeed they are an alternate relationship relative to that of traditional marriage. Novel and alternative are not pejoratives, nor should anyone expect them to be.

By the courts own admission, by its stated design, the venerable history of marriage will be conferred, naturally, on same sex couples. However, that is deceptive precisely because same sex unions have no history at all. The application of the commonly understood word to marriage to same sex couples is, therefore misleading and deceptive. Even if there is a tradition of prejudice towards gay couples, prejudice in every other area of American life is not overcome by way of deception. Prejudice is overcome by being who we are, and by proving, with the equal opportunities we are granted, that hurtful prejudgments are no more than the products of ignorance.

Marriage has a long and celebrated history and has been widely sanctioned in every community in history (even if not always faithfully adhered to!) because of what it is. The use of the word “marriage” in California is now new, controversial, and alternate from every other known use of the word for 6,000 years of recorded history. Let us as Californians be clear about this: marriage in California now, under the ruling of the George court, no longer means “marriage.” If you think it does, you are deceived. If after reading this series of articles you are deceived, then you are deceiving yourself. However, when state employees, whether they be doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, policemen, or firemen say “marriage,” the common understanding of marriage will come to the mind of the hearers. Government employees everywhere may be directed to say “marriage” with the intended new meaning concocted by this court; however, those that hear what they say will not necessarily understand what is meant. Indeed, who really can understand this definition of marriage as a “family relationship” given meaning through a concoction of legal rights pulled from a seascape of irrelevant references?

The entire progress of this Court’s legislation, and it is certainly that, and its explanations are immersed in deception. It is by this means that it seeks to persuade us of its equanimity in making us its partners in its deceptions. Whether these deceptions are accidental or intended, we will all be employed in them. This court's ruling, whether by incompetence or by malice, evinces a design to reduce us under an absolute despotism of the state. It demands that we ourselves become the instruments of deception. The state can stand in no greater tyranny to its subjects than that it demand them to dissemble in order to comply with its dictates.

On page 8 of this opinion, Judge George wrote,

“We need not decide in this case whether the name ‘marriage’ is invariably a core element of the state constitutional right to marry so that the state would violate a couple’s constitutional right even if — perhaps in order to emphasize and clarify that this civil institution is distinct from the religious institution of marriage — the state were to assign a name other than marriage as the official designation of the formal family relationship for all couples.”

This is incorrect. If the opinion of this court is that marriage is no longer marriage and that one new institution is fitting for all, then let the Court proudly proclaim this! Instead, this court lets stand a document that rids California of marriage entirely without even the slightest acknowledgment of its radicalism. The Court seems to embrace deception for a remedy to the plaintiffs claims of privacy and its ruling encourages the deception of the entire state by insisting that government officials use a new, and impossibly complex and incoherent legal definition in communicating with children and minors about marriage.

Oh... no adults would be lying to children… Oh, no… And fear not California, your little children will not be deceived. No, even they know what marriage is. Instead, they will assume that policemen, firemen, teachers, doctors and nurses are cowardly liars or deluded morons. Good work Chief Justice George, and let us give thanks to all those members of the court that concurred.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Supreme Deception: the Evidence, Part II

A marriage is not a family and to call it one is a lie. A family always involves children. For the Supreme Court to continue to call a same sex relationship a “family unit” is extraordinarily deceptive because no family can ever occur as a result of a same sex relationship. This deceptive legal jargon has entered California jurisprudence during the period of time in which Judge George has been the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice. In 2005 the majority opinion in Kobke vs. Bernardo Club Country Club, uses the terms “family unit” and “domestic partnership” synonymously. What is new in the court’s jargon in “re Marriages” (May 2008) is the Chief Justice’s wider use of “family relationship” to mean “marriage” or “domestic partnership” (pages 65-66). All of this is in keeping with the Court’s open refusal to recognize marriage in the state of California. Marriage is not a “family relationship,” whatever that is supposed to mean. Marriage is not a “family unit” and never has been. Further, in the corrupt jargon of the state of California it is even more assuredly not a “family unit” or, in other words, a domestic partnership.

Californians are deceived if they think that marriage currently exists in their law as that law has now been defined by Chief Justice George and the Supreme Court of California. The definition of marriage has not been expanded to include domestic partnerships. Instead, the definition of marriage has been contracted and dehumanized. To the Supreme Court of California marriage is a mere patchwork of rights conferred on two people by the legislature and the courts. Marriage results in husbands and wives, not “Party A’s” and “Party B’s.” To cite Perez vs. The State of California, “Marriage is thus something more than a civil contract subject to regulation by the state; it is a fundamental right of free men” (p. 714). Likewise also in Williams v. Garcetti, the Supreme Court at that time stated: “… we have already recognized that ‘[t]he concept of personal liberties and fundamental human rights entitled to protection against overbroad intrusion or regulation by government [such as defining marriage as merely the rights conferred by government] ... extends to . . . such basic civil liberties and rights not listed in the Constitution [as] the right to marry, establish a home and bring up children… (page 577, brackets and italics added).”

None of this, however, fully describes the patterns deception perpetrated on the public by the Supreme Court of California in “re Marriages.” The majority opinion authored by Judge George is deceptive when it refers to other cases of precedent on the importance of “family relationships.” The Chief Justice refers to cases of precedent written before 2003 as evidence that supports the importance of “family relationships” as defined by the court in 2005 and 2008. For instance, on page 54, Judge George notes that

“…subsequent California decisions discussing the nature of marriage and the right to marry have recognized repeatedly the linkage between marriage, establishing a home, and raising children in identifying civil marriage as the means available to an individual to establish, with a loved one of his or her choice, an officially recognized family relationship” (Italics added).

Domestic partnerships are not what the case he cites, DeBurgh v. DeBurgh (1952), was about at all. Continuing on Judge George stated,

“…for example, in explaining ‘the public interest in the institution of marriage’ (id. at p. 863), this court (in Deburgh…) stated: “The family is the basic unit of our society, the center of the personal affections that ennoble and enrich human life. It channels biological drives that might otherwise become socially destructive; it ensures the care and education of children in a stable environment; it establishes continuity from one generation to another; it nurtures and develops the individual initiative that distinguishes a free people. Since the family is the core of our society, the law seeks to foster and preserve marriage.” (Id. at pp. 863-864.)

In his citation of DeBurgh v. DeBurgh Chief Justice George makes it sound as though this court referred to marriage as a family relationship. It never did. In 1952 marriage was marriage and a family was a family. Additionally, in order to utilize this quote about domestic partnerships, the judge must assume first that marriage is not between a man and a woman. However, George blurs this very important distinction rather than obviate it. He does this by using the jargon concocted under his rule as Chief Justice.

Similarly, throughout the section in which he notes past decisions about marriage in order to catalog the importance and rights of marriage (53-66), he assumes that each right or benefit of marriage from old precedents can be assigned to any legalized relationship between two people. On page 66 the judge concluded,

“It is true, of course, that as an historical matter in this state marriage always has been limited to a union between a man and a woman. Hence, the foregoing thirteen pages of supposed evidence are entirely irrelevant. Tradition alone, however, generally has not been viewed as a sufficient justification for perpetuating, without examination, the restriction or denial of a fundamental constitutional right.”

The italicized words are my addition. These words should have been added by Judge George, all the more because he concludes that this was all the traffic of mere tradition. Moreover, his conclusion that all of the rights attributed to marriage were based on no more than tradition is itself misleading. The references were observations justices made in specific instances; they were not observations about historic tradition. Finally, although no evidence was presented that same sex couples gain any of the benefits mentioned by the authorities referred to, nor that the state has any interest at all in same sex unions, the court behaves as though it has listed thirteen pages of evidence proving both the interest of the state and the benefit to individuals of same sex unions. This is misleading and deceptive. The Court should plainly admit that it is rewriting the definition of marriage in a way it sees fit and cease attempting to persuade Californians that this has anything whatsoever to do with previous case law.

The court would lead us to believe that the references to families as the building blocks of society are directly related to the civil institutions designated by governments. The court would have us believe that a same sex couple is a building block of society, just as these famed jurists of the past declared was the case with married couples and their children. This equation is at least, open to discussion.

While we can conceive of marriages and children leading to societies and governments, we cannot see same sex unions leading to the existence of nations states. Indeed, the existence of children in a same sex union is, like a school, inconceivable without the good graces of the society at large. This is a matter for legislation, not for courts. The people of California are under no genuine constitutional compulsion to submit children who are wards of the state for adoption to same sex couples. In California the people have legislated that such adoption is acceptable. Considering the incompetence of state agencies in every aspect of public and private life, perhaps the wisdom of the people of California is to be applauded.

In Part III of “Supreme Deception: the Right to Deceive” the court’s explanation of privacy rights and same sex marriage will be probed.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Supreme Deception: “re Marriages” Twists the Meaning of Family, Part I

A marriage is not a family. A family is comprised of parents and children. Here, from

“Family – 1. parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not. 2. the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family. 3. the spouse and children of one person: We're taking the family on vacation next week…”

There are eleven definitions of family given on All of the definitions, even the idiomatic ones, explicitly include or figuratively imply children. In “re Marriages…” the California Supreme Court defines the union of same sex couples as a “family” relationship. It is by this euphemism that the Court names the congress of couples heterosexual and homosexual.

No matter how enlightened we are, none of us want our courtrooms filled with vivid descriptions of what takes place to consummate marriages or same sex relationships. However, could the court have picked a more deceptive title to describe the relationship that is the basis of a domestic partnership? From this relationship no family can ever, by nature, grow. Although this is deceptive, and although in all matters one tends to distrust this Court, if King George and the Supremes were to plead innocent to the charge of intentionally deceiving the public, they might be found “not guilty.” Too often it is the case that good and useful words become the jargon of legal decisions, so it is here.

All through its judicial history California has used the words marriage and family appropriately. For instance, here is a direct quote from a 1995 case cited in Judge George’s opinion:

“And in Warfield v. Peninsula Golf & Country Club (1995) 10 Cal.4th 594, in discussing the types of relationship that fall within the scope of the constitutionally protected right of intimate association (one component of our state constitutional right of privacy (id. at pp. 629-630)), we [Judge George himself is the we because, in his office as a Judge of the Supreme Court of California, he wrote the court’s opinion] explained that “the highly personal relationships that are sheltered by this constitutional guaranty are exemplified by ‘those that attend the creation and sustenance of a family — marriage . . . , childbirth . . . , the raising and education of children . . . and cohabitation with one’s relatives . . . [page 56].

The comment in brackets and the emboldened text added for clarification show that in 1995 the Supreme Court of California knew the difference between a marriage and a family. Marriages were part of the creation of a family. The raising and education of children were part of the sustenance of a family. In 1996 Supreme Court Judge Ronald George was elevated to Chief Justice.

However, by 2003 that the legislature of California introduced confused language into the jurisprudence of the state with this uncodified statement of legislative intent:

"This act is intended to help California move closer to fulfilling the promises of inalienable rights, liberty, and equality contained in Sections 1 and 7 of Article 1 of the California Constitution by providing all caring and committed couples, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, the opportunity to obtain essential rights, protections, and benefits and to assume corresponding responsibilities, obligations, and duties and to further the state’s interests in promoting stable and lasting family relationships, and protecting Californians from the economic and social consequences of abandonment, separation, the death of loved ones, and other life crises” [Stats. 2003, ch. 421, § 1, subd. (a) excerpted from page 38 “re Marriages…”].

It is unclear from the immediate context what the legislature intended by “in promoting lasting family relationships…” This may refer to the resolution of problems same sex couples had gaining access to loved ones during hospital stays. The domestic partnership act made one’s partner [Party A] a legal member of party B’s extended family. In that way, despite objections by Party A’s immediate family, Party B had full access and legal authority over Party A’s medical care.

By 2005 the change of language from confused wording to deceptive jargon was completely effected:

As we (Judge George in his office of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of California in its majority opinion) explained in Koebke, supra, 36 Cal.4th 824, 843: “[T]he decision . . . to enter into a domestic partnership is more than a change in the legal status of individuals . . . . [T]he consequence[] of the decision is the creation of a new family unit with all of its implications in terms of personal commitment as well as legal rights and obligations” (excerpted from page 46 of “re Marriages…”).

In this quote from the 2005 majority opinion in Kobke vs. Bernardo Club Country Club, the court plainly uses the terms family unit and domestic partnership synonymously. What is new in the court’s jargon in “re Marriages” is the wider use of “family relationship” to mean marriage and domestic partnership. It is in this 2008 opinion that the Court has simply decided to dispense with dictionaries, histories, statutes, or linguistic contexts of any type. Whether or not members of this court participated in making this deceptive change in the jargon for the express purpose of deception in “re Marriages” is an open question. The prior use of the unclear language of legislative intent in the 2003 to express the Court’s opinion in 2005 can be argued as an authentic representation of the liberal intent of the California Legislature.

In the evolution of the jargon of the California judiciary, it becomes plain that marriage has been banned by the Court. Marriages no longer lead to families; they are families. Like domestic partnerships, the consummating act of marriage is not required, nor is it recognized. Like marriages, families too are now no more or no less than what some court decides they are. Families in California are no longer recognized as realities preceding governments. If everything a family legally is, depends on the good graces of legislatures and courts, what privacy rights are left to protect?

Of course the change of the legal status of marriage changes the legal status of a family. Even as early as 2003 the extraordinary changes in domestic partnership law unconstitutionally impacted the rights of family. Beginning in 2003 “Party B” gained full rights with the parent of lineage to the children of “Party A”. This was not based on an expressed last will and testament of "Party A" that would then be contested in a family court. The simple act of registering as a domestic partner deprived the bloodline parent, the child’s true family, of elements of its legal family rights.

This, however, does not conclude the list deceptions perpetrated on the public by the Supreme Court of California. In “re Marriages” the patterns of deception and their repercussions are discussed in “Supreme Deception: re Marriages Twists Family, Part II.”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Marriage is Not a School

So argues the majority of justices in the ruling of the Supreme Court of California on pages 103-104 in “re: Marriages…”:

“In this regard, plaintiffs (those same sex couples seeking marriage licenses) persuasively invoke by analogy the decisions of the United States Supreme Court finding inadequate a state’s creation of a separate law school for Black students rather than granting such students access to the University of Texas Law School (Sweatt v. Painter (1950) 339 U.S. 629, 634),67 and a state’s founding of a separate military program for women rather than admitting women to the Virginia Military Institute (United States v. Virginia (1996) 518 U.S. 515, 555-556).”

Marriage is an education, but it is not a school. Unlike the equal access to an education, the only equal access to marriage is that which is duly clothed in commitment and free choice. Schools on the other hand, are primarily about the access men and women have to the opportunities provided by society at large. This Court errs grievously by comparing what a marriage is primarily to what a school, a public school no less, primarily, is.

Schools are primarily social in function. Teaching may be more fundamental to human life in the context of a family, but a school by definition is social. Marriage, in contrast, is a very specific and complete access to another person based solely on the commitments and choices of those two individuals. One can easily conceive of marriage as a fundamental building block of society and, therefore, as a liberty, prior to society and its governments. This is impossible in envisioning a school, especially a public school. The caricature of marriage that emerges from the Court’s attempt to draw parallels between these two unlike institutions is grotesque and offensive. The Court again degrades all humanity by arguing that what we are as people exists, like a school, primarily because of the good graces of government.

What is absurd on its face reveals greater errors in its specifics. The Court also erred in the arcane reasoning it based upon its grotesque analogy. Here is more from pages 103-104:

“As plaintiffs maintain, these high court decisions (Texas Law School and Virginia Military School) demonstrate that even when the state grants ostensibly equal benefits to a previously excluded class (a class that had been denied access, not because of their abilities, but a history of prejudice) through the creation of a new institution, the intangible symbolic differences that remain often are constitutionally significant.”

The two high court decisions alluded to are fine, but their analogy to marriage is ridiculous. No one can blame the plaintiffs for arguing it; that’s what a decent lawyer is supposed to do. However, the idea that the Supreme Court accepted this analogy is both hilarious and tragic. It’s tragic because it is a true reflection of what we have become as a society. Nothing in our public life matters. Anything goes. Judges should know better, but who really cares? Here are the differences that make the analogy of marriages and schools, let’s just say, inadequate:

The ability to marry comes from what we are as people, male and female, more than it is about who we are as people. This is also true of other essential human liberties. Because of what we are as people, we can speak. What we say determines “who we are,” or what kind of person we are. We also have the freedom to worship. This is part of the nature of what we are as people. Who we worship determines who we are as people. The content of one’s character doesn’t enter into the ability to have access to marriage, or more specifically, the access which is marriage.

Unlike the analogies at Virginia Tech., and, we hope, to the public high school at issue in Brown vs. The Board of Education, meeting certain qualifications (passing examinations, excelling at one’s coursework) has nothing to do with the right to marry. Hence, when the Court says these two people meet the qualifications we (the Court) set as those necessary to be “married” (they are of the correct age, they can form informed consent, etc), they cannot say that, therefore, these two must have equal access to marriage. Two people cannot merit marriage. Hence, what one merits is not being withheld by society because of prejudice. How two people behave once they are married determines whether or not the marriage has merit. If this is a civil rights case, it is not a civil rights case that is related to the decisions in Brown vs. the Board of Education, Virginia Tech., or the Texas Law School. Marriage is not a school.

Indeed, if it is a civil rights case, then it is far more analogous to the equal access granted or denied women, as women. Oddly, this is the analogy the Court, in footnote 65, decided did not merit consideration.

“For example, the establishment and maintenance of separate women’s collegiate athletic teams to address the long-standing discrimination against women in the allocation of athletic resources has been found to be constitutionally valid. (See, e.g., O’Connor v. Board of Education of School Dist…”

In these cases, the discussion came down not to an unwillingness to recognize the abilities of women to excel in sports. These cases weren’t about denying women the access that they merited simply because of a prejudice against gender itself. All agreed that merit existed and access was deserved. Instead, the issues in these cases came down to problems of access posed by the problems that exist by virtue of what we are as men and women. In civil rights cases of this type, merit and prejudice are not the issue. Instead, we are nonetheless confronted by what we are as people, male and female. Any disregard of who we are as people would have resulted, in these instances, in an injustice to all.

Same sex marriage is not a civil rights issue relating to race, since homosexuality is not a race. Same sex marriage is not a civil rights issue related to religion because it is not a religion. Nor is same sex marriage a civil rights case based on gender for homosexuality is not gender specific. However, if same sex marriage is a civil rights issue, there are cases of resolving inequity in access to society’s benefits that arise for other reasons. However, bringing these analogies up might be offensive to some. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court of California erred: marriage is not a school.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Why Log Cabin Republicans Should Vote "yes" on Proposition 8

A recent, articulate, and well thought through article by George Stienburg (July 12) argues that Proposition 8, the California amendment initiative saying that marriage is between a man and a woman, will not succeed on the November ballot. In his article "Why Prop. 8 is a losing proposition," Stienburg explains that voting against "Gay Marriage" rather than voting for "Marriage" will cause nice people to vote "no" on Proposition 8. He also notes a number of other disadvantages that Proposition 8 faces in November, including the pull of the general election on the numbers of people who show up.

Mr. Stienburg may have miscalculated. Many originally argued that Proposition 22 was an unnecessary measure. Although they may have been correct because California law already makes plain that marriage is between a man and a woman, the willingness to overturn a measure passed by a vast majority of California voters has exposed the California Supreme Court. This court is now widely seen as tyrannical and lawless. It knows no boundaries; it is callus to the very human institutions and rights it is sworn to uphold. The electorate may not be as religious about the pontifications of the left as many hope. Despite their feelings about, in general, being good sports, despite their willingness to "live and let live," they will surely see that this court has gone too far. It is the electorate themselves who are now the oppressed. What must the people of California do to have a voice in the laws of their own state? Perhaps they know now... I imagine they have an idea.

However, I'll bet the Supreme Court of California know how exposed it is as well. Will they willingly let the unwashed mass of the tax-paying (and non-taxpaying) citizens tell them what to do? I doubt it. If there is one more honest person on that court, all will be well. We'll be able to test Stienberg's theories, and we will see.

However, if Log Cabin Republicans have any pull with this court, it would be well advised to support Proposition 8 making it on the ballot. An appeal to the U.S. Courts on denial of due process might be interesting. Likewise, Log Cabin Republicans would do well to tell all the courts that the laws of this land are more important to them than single issues. They should vote for Proposition and campaign for and with all who support the ballot amendment. The laws of our land protect us all. The will of court, like the will of all bullies and tyrants, is unpredictable, violent and severe. Send a message Log Cabin Republicans. Tell Californians, citizens who have supported diversity with generous civil union laws, and tell every American that you are the real deal. Join us in keeping the theocracy of the golden gavel and the pontifications of the priests of "fairness" from rewriting our constitution and every other aspect of our laws.

Friday, July 11, 2008

“Bitter” Americans Stick to Their Guns in Kern California

On June 10, 2008, just days before the days of illegal “marriages” in California, the Kern County board of supervisors, citing their desire to cling to their religious beliefs, ceased all ceremonies solemnizing civil marriages in that county. Four weeks later, on July 8, 2008, despite already exposing the County to a deluge of lawsuits presided over by an antagonistic monkey court, this “bitter” California county felt that they had not yet done enough. To do more to rebel against California’s Supreme tyranny, the Kern County Board of Supervisors considered a motion to begin issuing legal marriage licenses, licenses that said “husband” and “wife” and that could not be used by couples that needed to be subtitled “Party A” and “Party B.” The Kern County Board of Supervisors eventually backed down, but not from cowardice, but from courage and integrity, the qualities sometimes named bitterness by the truly enlightened.

Kern County had been presented with a detailed legal briefing explaining that for a marriage to be legal it must comport with the law. The United States Justice Foundation (USJF) briefing concluded that Proposition 22 was always an unnecessary gesture and that the abundance of California statutes that say marriage takes place between a man and a woman still have legal status. For same sex “marriages” to be legal, all these statutes must be rewritten by California’s legislature. Additionally, pointed out the brief, the Kern County Board of Supervisors is beholden by oath to uphold the law, not the rulings of any Court, or the illegal actions of the executive branch. At Wednesday night’s meeting “bitter” American after “bitter” American encouraged the Board of Supervisors to issue the new Kern County marriage licenses. There are reports form sources close to the board that several of the Commission’s “Party A’s” also pleaded that the board move forward. Additionally, several studies had demonstrated that a flood of tax and tourist revenue would have been spawned by the crowds of Californians that were willing to come to Kern. Studies estimated that thousands of Californians would be willing to travel to Kern for the sake of keeping the sentimental “husband” and “wife” title part of their marriage.

But it was not to be. In the end nothing could move this “bitter” County Board; their personal integrity could not be so easily swayed. Legally, Kern County does not have the authority to distribute marriage licenses. Marriage licenses can only be issued by the State of California. It did not matter that the Mayor of San Francisco issued illegal licenses and was rewarded by the Supreme Court of California with a sweeping rewrite of California law and an unconstitutional ruling in his support. Not even the prosperity of the unjust would shake this Board’s “bitterness.” Their integrity was not to be undermined by examples from this world. May Pennsylvania’s Americans prove half as “bitter” when their time comes, and, yes sir, it’s on its way.

Supervisor Rubio proposed a revisiting of the ban on civil ceremonies citing the 2,000 civil marriages performed last year, many for minority couples. On this, the board again demurred, still granting licenses, but not ceremonies to petitioners. If I had just a little more bitterness, or a little more forsight, I would have urged this bitter board to cease the dispensation of all illegal marriage licenses beginning in August. Let it be what it is in truth. The California Supreme Court has, somehow, with an unconstitutional process, tyrannically banned all lawful marriages in California. I urge all bitter Americans in California civil government to let it be what it truly is. If you don’t have the power to issue legal certificates, at least refuse to issue illegal ones.

Monday, July 7, 2008

California Supreme Justice: The word marriage not important to the ‘right to marry.’

So says California's Supreme Justice:

“Whether or not the name “marriage,” in the abstract, is considered a core element of the state constitutional right to marry... (p. 81)”

Is there any reason such clear thinking ought not to be remembered in a recall election as soon as possible?

To this court marriage is nothing more than the rights conferred upon it by the state. Marriage, that is, the right to join in marriage, has a special recognition in law simply because marriage is prior to and independent of any right any state can confer upon it. The state must recognize marriage as it exists independently of government and its ideologies. Why? Because, like freedom of religion and freedom of speech, marriage is a constitutional liberty and an inalienable right of free people. To diminish the full recognition of marriage in our laws is to diminish the recognition of who we are as people, a free people.

Of course the court was lured into revealing its deep-seated lunacy by what sounds (according to the court’s paraphrasing) like an equally loony argument by the California attorney general:

"We have no occasion in this case to determine whether the state constitutional right to marry necessarily affords all couples the constitutional right to require the state to designate their official family relationship a “marriage,” or whether, as the Attorney General suggests, the Legislature would not violate a couple’s constitutional right to marry if — perhaps in order to emphasize and clarify that this civil institution is distinct from the religious institution of marriage — it were to assign a name other than marriage as the official designation of the family relationship for all couples. (p.80)

As this court has proven, names, indeed words themselves, are meaningless when, left to the divine wisdom of judges and lawyers, they are taken out of their legislative history, civil rights context, and timeless reality. Call it what you want, marriage is a compact, a commitment between two people (two people who can marry) in which the natural realities of who we are as human beings, male and female together, are appropriately cherished and exalted. Marriages can be good or bad. People in them will be good or bad as husbands and wives. Nonetheless, it is the ability to join in marriage that is at the core of the right to marry. This is the core of every other right that governments rightly or wrongly conferred or witheld in their recognition or ignorance of married life.

Marriage is not injured at all by history’s discoveries and failures in regard to the meaning of that union. However, societies have revealed themselves in their virtues or their failings by their regard for marriage. How are we doing? What does this travesty say about us as a people?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dehumanizing Marriage

Anytime a basic civil right, an inalienable right, whether enumerated in the U.S. Constitutional documents or not, is violated by a government, that government is dehumanized, the citizens participating in that government are dehumanized, and, of course, those having their constitutional liberties abridged are dehumanized. Consider the cases in Nazi Germany in which Jews were made to wear a yellow Star of David. The Nazi’s ignored the basic and self-evident equality among ethnicities in order to single Jews out as less human, deprived of the dignity of equality. The most devious of the Nazi aims, however, had to do with dehumanizing the populace of Germany itself. By refusing to stand up for their fellow humans, the people of German civil society became callus towards the Jews. Ultimately, the Nazi’s themselves became more and more unfeeling towards human life and the plight of their fellow man. Of course the dehumanization of the German Jew was exponentially quickened because essential religious freedom to worship was likewise stigmatized. Two sets of essential civil liberties were abridged by the Nazis at once. Yet, could the Jews have claimed to have been harmed by wearing the yellow star of David? Shouldn’t they have been proud of their religious background? The wearing of the star was the first of a continuing series of Nazi violations of civil liberties, but the dehumanization of the Jew was already complete before the clear harm began. This prima facia violation of human rights was the harm.

Likewise, no matter how one wants to interpret the odd wording of the 2nd amendment of the United States Constitution, humans in a state of nature, without government, have the right to take up arms and defend themselves. Although the choice is intimidating to some, it must be; for that is the essence of self defense. The right to defend oneself is a severe right that elevates all human life by its severity. The choice to bear arms or not to bear arms defines human character, but it is still a fundamental free choice, a liberty that is part of being human. Although, as the U. S. Supreme Court found, to protect the general welfare and to secure the blessings of all our liberties, the state, as authorized by the people, has the right to limit the liberty to bear arms, court or no court, court or no court the right to self defense must not be compromised.

The District of Columbia completely abridged the right to bear arms and the right of self defense thereby. Law abiding citizens, then, are completely reduced to dependency on government for their defense. They become no more than serfs of the Dark Ages dependent on their feudal lords for defense. They become the chattel of the state, the property of the state. Their humanity is compromised. The state too is dehumanized, for it becomes like a feudal lord, above those whom it exists solely to serve. Yet, how are those that were refused the right to bear arms for many years in DC harmed? There is only slight evidence of that harm. The NRA often points to the rise in violent crime in areas in which the right to bear arms is constrained severely. This may be simply the obvious result of the criminals being emboldened by an unarmed populace. However, it may be that the dehumanizing effects of the abridgement of the right to bear arms emboldens those who contemplate violence.

How do these tests of the abridgement of constitutional liberties relate to the recent ban on marriage in California? In both of these instances, laws abridging human rights have plainly existed without any clear harm initially being found. Both instances are also examples of the truth that any abridgement of a civil liberty dehumanizes the state and its citizens. In California there are no more marriages. Men and women cannot receive a marriage license that says “husband” and “wife”; instead, they become “Party A” and “Party B.” This language is plainly dehumanizing, and it is not the happenstance of nomenclature. The ruling of the Supreme Court of California and its accompanying opinion wreaks with violations of civil liberties and a callus, inhuman refusal to acknowledge the very essence of what it means for a man and woman to join in matrimony.

California’s Court has reduced marriage to only that over which the state has authority. It has looked at all the clothing of marriage and called these changing incidentals ‘marriage’; but the Court has ruled to ignore that unchanging reality of marriage that forms the basis of marriage as a constitutional liberty. In every case, a constitutional liberty is such because its reality is greater than man; its power is independent of governments. It is because of such fundamental liberties’ superiority and priority to government that good governments reside in harmony with these native, inborn rights natural to humanity. Good government perceives that these greater, natural, freedoms are the very blessings of liberty that governments exist, solely, to secure. Marriage is such a liberty because it is more than contracts and commitments conferred by the state. The duties of marriage proceed from the joining in marriage, not from government. This joining for which men and woman were designed (whether by natural selection of by the hand of the God of Nature Himself), this is the very essence of marriage the State refuses to acknowledge. Refusing the title of “husband” and “wife” is not the happenstance of nomenclature; it is evidence that the State of California refuses to acknowledge the essence of marriage, the joining in marriage, that is central to marriage as a constitutional liberty.

Because the state of California, through the voice of its Supreme Pontiffs, manifestly recognizes only those social rights involved in marriage, and because the essence of my marriage, my ‘right to marry,’ to join with my partner as husband and wife, is no longer recognized by California law, my constitutional right to marry is completely abridged. It is in the essence of humanity, male and female, to be able to freely join in marriage. California has a right to regulate marriage, even as the District of Columbia has a right to regulate the right to bear arms, but California does not have the right to legislate marriage out of existence, to deny its reality, and to ignore its core humanity. To designate marriage as a simple set of rights society chooses by tradition to assign dehumanizes us all.