Precinct 333

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Why Homosexual Marriage Matters In 2004 Election

Jeffrey Bell and Frank Cannon write an excellent piece on why gay marriage is a crucial issue in 2004, and why the candidates cannot avoid it.

On August 3, a judge in Washington state decreed that the framers of that state's constitution included a right to homosexual marriage in the state constitution when they adopted the document in the nineteenth century. On the same day, voters in Missouri became the first to amend their state constitution to forbid homosexual marriage. That day made it clear that what we face -- the people oppose homosexual marriage (even when, as in Missouri, supporters of homosexual marriage outspent opponents by 40-1), but the judiciary seems intent upon contorting itself to find it in our laws and constitutions. What can be done about this disconnect.

President Bush supports an amendment to the US Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Kerry, feigning a belief in federalism, argues that the matter should be decided state-by-state. But given that the decision is coming from judges rather than the legislature or the people, that seems to beg the issue -- especially if a federal judge discerns the right in the US Constitution and a liberal Supreme Court stacked with Kerry appointees upholds the decision. After all, both Democrat nominees are on record against the Defense of Marriage Act (supposedly designed to allow for the states to make their own decision on homosexual marriage), and both have voted against amendment the US Constitution.

As a result, the issue of homosexual marriage must be one in this election. Why?
Events such as those last week in Missouri and Washington are making it less and less likely that Kerry, and the Democrats who cheered him in Boston, will get their wish. Kerry has made it clear that he and Edwards are personally opposed to same-sex marriage, so the debate will not be about the merits of this impending social change. Kerry, remember, has "no problem" with the Missouri vote. Yet everyone knows that, if left to themselves, judges like the ones in Massachusetts and Washington state will override the preferences of the 70 percent or so of Americans who likewise oppose same-sex marriage.

When it comes up in the fall campaign, as it certainly will, the issue will be what to do about this collision between democratic decision-making and judicial ambition. President Bush will have a clear answer: He will fight to preserve marriage, and his opponent will not. How does Bush know this? Kerry opposes changing the Constitution to preserve traditional marriage. He was one of 14 senators to vote against legislation to let states preserve it. And he is committed to appointing the kind of federal judges who created the problem in the first place.

That is the debate John Kerry can no longer avoid.

Or, put differently, it's about letting the will of the people or the will of the judges to prevail, and only President Bush is on the side of the people, when one cuts through all the Democrat dissembling.


We Won't Hold Our Breath

There is at least one honest editorialist in the land. That soul works for the Bowling Green Daily News. I make this assertion because of an editorial which speaks the plain, unvarnished truth about the 9/11 report and the president. George W. Bush is owed an apology by a bunch of folks. What's more impressive, the editorial even names the names of some who need to start apologizing.

Who are the folks the editorial names?

Howard Dean.

Dennis Kucinich.

Al Gore.

Michael Moore.

John Kerry.

And in a conclusion that reflects my opinion to the last jot and tittle, the editorial says:
What is most disturbing about this is that it wasn’t just our intelligence that said there were WMD in Iraq. British, French, Russian, Jordanian and Egyptian intelligence all said that Hussein possessed WMD.

Even the United Nations, hardly a supporter of the war, concluded that Hussein had WMD.

The bottom line is that this was an intelligence failure.

For political figures to blatantly deny the findings of the Sept. 11 commission and continue to throw false allegations about Bush is sad.

In essence Bush deserves an apology, but from the field of those throwing the punches, it doesn’t seem likely.



Swift Boat Heroes Respond

Kerry has tried to force ads featuring the Swift boat Heroes off the air. He has gotten John McCain, a veteran who didn't serve in the same unit as Kerry, to tell veterans who did serve in the same unit that they cannot criticize Kerry -- on the ground that those who were in the same unit didn't serve on the same boat with Kerry and the men from the boat support him (which leads us to ask why McCain thinks he has anything to say on the matter -- he didn't serve on the boat either). And Kerry surrogates, funded by George Soros millions, attempt to discredit the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth by pointing to a single $100,000 donation from a Texas Republican. Now comes an article by Boston Globe reporter Michael Kranish claiming that one of the vets, Kerry's former commanding officer, has retracted his statements about Kerry. That vet, Lieutenant Commander George Elliott, has denied doing so, and claims that Kranish has distorted his words.

I'm not sure what to make of this situation. Kranish himself writes in his book on Kerry that the senator admits he shot a fleeing VietCong because he feared the man would turn around. Where would that means Kerry shot him? Unless my understanding of anatomy is totally flawed, he would have had to shot the guy in the back -- a possible war crime. And given his other admission of war crimes (blogged on here), I find the charges leveled against him plausible.

But in the end, it is his post-war actions that need closer examination. Go read about the Winter Soldier investigation. Go read the book Kerry wrote in 1971 but doesn't want you to read today, The New Soldier. And go read the transcript of the 1971 Dick Cavett interview/debate between Kerry and Swift Boat Hero John O'Neill. I won't even get into the use of Kerry's statements by the North Vietnamese as part of their torture of American POWs, or of their continued use for propaganda purposes by that Communist dictatorship today.

I just want to know when the press will look at these issues with the degree of seriousness they deserve.



We don't need no stinking foreign monitors.

The Bush administration has invited a team of international monitors to observe the U.S. presidential election in November, but the group will not come from the United Nations, as some congressional Democrats had urged.

< SNIP >

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the largest regional organization in the world with 55 participating nations, will monitor the U.S. election on Nov. 2. Members include Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain and the United States.

This is a disturbing development from the administration, desperately triangulating between the Congressional Black Caucus and the GOP base. Let's just say this member of the base is not happy, and as Election Judge I will not let these folks through the door at my polling place without a court order or the paperwork required by the Texas Election Code. I run a clean and honest polling place, but I will not prove it to a bunch of foreigners just to please the race-baiting socialists of the CBC and the Euro-trash of the OSCE.


I Like The Sound Of This

Chief Justice Clarence Thomas. It has a great ring to it. One more reason to support the president in November, despite bonehead moves like the one below.

Thomas is a scholar, writes fantastic opinions grounded in the Constitution and history, and is willing to challenge a precedent when it is wrong, even though it is old and venerated. After all, how many justices would be willing to say that Michael Newdow was right in his interpretation of SCOTUS jurisprudence on the Establishment Clause, but that the entire line of cases since Everson in 1947 had been wrongly decided and needed to be reexamined and overturned? Not one, for the rest voted to avoid the Pledge issue altogether.

A great man. We could, and have, done significantly worse.

And it would surely piss off the race-baiters and poverty-pimps of in the Democrat Party.


Rep. Alexander Switches To GOP

Welcome to the Party, Rodney.

And to all you whining liberals out there, I offer you two words -- Jim Jeffords.


Thursday, August 05, 2004

Dems Lose Second Religion Adviser

Maybe if they pick some who actually supported religion they wouldn't have this problem. I mean, let's get real here. The first wone chosen was Mara Vanderslice, a publicly avowed Marxist-Leninist with ties to anti-Catholic activities and organizations -- hardly the sort to be particularly acceptable to believers. You know, "opiate of the masses" and all that stuff. The Kerry campaign quickly silenced her.

Buth then they picked Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, who as head of the left-wing Clergy Leadership Network. In that position she ran a group that argued that Jesus supported higher taxes as the way of ensuring that society cares for the poor, gay marriage, abotion, and increased secularism in American society. Hardly mainstream beliefs in America's Christian community, whether right, center, or left.

Congratulations to the Catholic League for riding this one down, and pointing out the continuing links of the Democrats to anti-Catholicism.


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Swift Boat Heroes Tell All -- Kerry "Unfit For Command"

John Kerry has made much of his "war hero" status. He even arrived at the convention by water, with a couple of his fellow swift boat vets at his side, just to make the point. But what do his fellow swift boat vets have to say about John Kerry?

We're about to find out, with the publication of Unfit for Command, by the members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. And the Kerry camp is already squawking.

According to Drudge, the book claims
# Two of John Kerry's three Purple Heart decorations resulted from self-inflicted wounds, not suffered under enemy fire.

# All three of Kerry's Purple Hearts were for minor injuries, not requiring a single hour of hospitalization.

# A "fanny wound" was the highlight of Kerry's much touted "no man left behind" Bronze Star.

# Kerry turned the tragic death of a father and small child in a Vietnamese fishing boat into an act of "heroism" by filing a false report on the incident.

# Kerry entered an abandoned Vietnamese village and slaughtered the domestic animals owned by the civilians and burned down their homes with his Zippo lighter.

# Kerry's reckless behavior convinced his colleagues that he had to go -- becoming the only Swift Boat veteran to serve only four months.

Now I cannot help but note that, beyond the questions of honesty and interpretation, at least one of these matters arguably constitutes a war crime. Given Kerry's later conduct, including his statements about war crimes in Vietnam, I find it very likely that the charge against the senator is true. He admits it in a 1971 debate with John O'Neill on the Dick Cavett show.
MR. CAVETT: Well, let's talk about that. Did you see war crimes committed and –

MR. KERRY: Well, I have often talked about this subject. I personally didn't see personal atrocities in the sense that I saw somebody cut a head off or something like that. However, I did take part in free fire zones and I did take part in harassment interdiction fire. I did take part in search-and-destroy missions in which the houses of noncombatants were burned to the ground. And all of these, I find out later on, these acts are contrary to the Hague and Geneva Conventions and to the laws of warfare. So in that sense, anybody who took part in those, if you carry out the applications of the Nuremberg principles, is in fact guilty.

Speaking of his post-war activities, I stumbled across a site devoted to documenting the activities of Kerry and others involved in the famous Winter Soldier investigation. The notion that anyone involved in this could be elected to any office, especially the highest office in the nation, is appalling. It includes a link to John Kerry's infamous book, The New Soldier Better look at it quickly, because Kerry and his associates refuse to allow the book to be republished (used copies sell for over $500 -- and it is rumored that many of them are purchased for destruction), and regularly threatens legal action to knock sites off the web when they post this historical document that sheds such light on the character of the man who would be President.

In short, Kerry is clearly Unfit for Command.


Religious Freedom v. Religious Freedom in the Workplace

Does an employer have the right to set workplace policies based upon his religion? That is an interesting question arising in a Florida case.

Lisa Morales was fired from her job with telecommunications company Rising Star for violating an unwritten policy and directives from her supervisors that pork and pork products not be eaten on the premises of the building, because the meat is "unclean" in the Islamic faith (Muslim halal rules are somewhat similar to Jewish kosher rules). She is now claiming religious discrimination, while Rising Star CEO Kujaatele Kweli indicates he is trying to accommodate all employees.

I don't have an easy answer to this one. May an employer ban conduct that he and many employees find religiously offensive? Or must he allow that conduct on the basis that it is permissible within another employees religion? And what of the very real problem of possible food contamination in a lunchroom, especially if in microwaves or on shared counter/table space? And to what degree is forbidding one type of food an illegal act of discrimination against some rather than an accommodation of others? Anyone want to give it a shot?


Some Folks Are Just TOO Sensitive!

East Lyme, Connecticut farmer Joseph Smith has a goose problem. Most farmers solve that problem by firing off shotgun blasts to scare the birds away. Smith cannot do that because he is close to a state prison, and gunfire or other loud sounds create a security hazard. That led to the laborers on his farm making scarecrows out of one of the white hazard suits they wear while spraying chemicals on the fields.

Unfortunately, the result was a completely different problem.
The scarecrows so closely resembled Ku Klux Klan garb that they sparked complaints from minority guards and visitors at a nearby prison.

Workers on Smith's farm made the scarecrows last week out of the white, hooded environmental suits they wear to spray the crops. Soon after, administrators at the J.B. Gates Correctional Institution began receiving complaints.

Smith has had to remove his scarecrow, apparently because of pressure from prison officials.

Personally, I would have left the thing up. But then again, maybe it's better to give in than being annoyed to death by morons.


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

A Little Google Experiment

Joining DGCI and TrueBlue in a check of what Google registers in the way of keywords.

God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush, God bless George W. Bush


"Mother Teresa" Does It Again!

She's called President Bush and Vice President Cheney "un-patriotic". She's told a reporter to "shove it" for daring to ask her about the meaning of a speech. Now she's said that a second term for George W. Bush would be "four more years of hell." And for the third time, John Kerry has indicated that "she speaks her mind and she speaks the truth."

When are the going to rein-in this out of control mouth? And when will the media make an issue of it as big as they would if Laura Bush were making such comments -- or as they made of the college drinking escapades of the Bush daughters?

And in a matter that will likely not be reported, apparently Kerry thugs roughed up Bush supporters at the rear of the Milwaukee rally. As the GOP-backers stood on a bridge holding signs, Kerry supporters tried to block them with signs of their own. A scuffle later broke out as the Kerry backers tried to knock Bush signs out of the hands of Bush supporters and into the water below. Teresa Kerry encourages such incivility by her demonization of anyone who opposes her or her husband. And those, I daresay, are "un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits" entering into this campaign.


Rusty Seeks Divorce

Rusty Yates, husband of child-killer Andrea Yates, has filed for divorce. Mr. Yates, a NASA engineer, cites marital discord, the fact that the couple has resided apart for three years (since the murders), and the lack of children (because Andrea murdered them after Rusty left his mentally-ill wife alone with them) as reasons for the divorce. According to legal representatives of Mrs. Yates, the move is not unexpected. Andrea Yates' attorney, George Parnham, commented on the timing of the filing, so close to the June 20 anniversary of the murders.
"I'm not sure that this was the most appropriate time for Rusty to do this," he said. "Then again, there's probably not any most appropriate time."

I think my wife, The Loyal Opposition, has the best take on this matter -- "I'm surprised it's taken him so long. Does this mean he has a new woman to start pumping them out with?" I don't know that the is any way to do it under Texas law, but I almost hope the judge refuses to grant a divorce, to protect any woman and potential children from Rusty.


Bible-Banner Whines About The Heat

But she'd better get used to it -- it will be warmer where she's headed.

Apparently you are not permitted to disagree with Kay Staley -- at least not if you are a Christian. According to her, the estimated 40 letters, 50 phone calls and several e-mails she claims to have received are somehow unchristian because of their angry tone. I guess that she, indignant about a small memorial to Houston philanthropist William S. Mosher, is the only one allowed to become upset over something they find offensive.

Why is Staley upset? Because the memorial, erected outside the Harris County Civil Courts Building at the expense of Star of Hope Mission in 1956 and refurbished with private funds in 1995, contains a Bible. She wants that book banned from county property on the basis of the extra-constitutional doctrine of separation of church and state. She also claims that she is discriminated against because the book doesn't represent her beliefs -- and that it also discriminates against the majority of Christians because the Bible doesn't represent their beliefs, either!

It sounds to me like US District Court Judge Sim Lake is looking at the right questions, as he has asked the attornies for both sides to brief him on the following issues.
•If the monument has both secular and religious purposes, does it pass constitutional muster by only showing that it has a secular purpose?
•Should he consider only the original purpose of the monument or the purpose it had since the monument was refurbished?
•Should he consider oral statements made at the dedication? This is a reference to religious statements made at the 1996 dedication.
•Should he consider the community understanding of the monument or only the described purpose of the monument?

Interestingly enough, I spent two weeks in that building last month when I did jury duty. My observation of it is that the monument is unobtrusive, standing about four feet high. It is rectangular, maybe 30 inches by 18 inches. Had I not known what it was there, I probably would not have noticed it. It clearly identifies both the donor and the honoree. I genuinely believe that if this monument is ordered away, that the eventual outcome will be the exclusion of any religious reference in any public place -- effectively establishing atheism as the official religion of the United States. It may be, as Justice Thomas indicated in the recent Pledge of Allegiance case, time to reexamine a half century or more of Establishment Clause jurisprudence on the basis of the unintended consequences of those decisions.


Former host sentenced

I was, for several years, a big fan of Jon Matthews, both when he was on KPRC and KSEV. His departure in the wake of charges of indecent exposing himself to a 11 year old neighbor came as a shock. I hoped he would fight the charge, but understood his stated reason for not doing so (a desire not to subject the girl and her family to a trial).

Yesterday he was sentenced to seven years probation, as well as the usual array of restrictions on registered sex offenders. Needless to say, his radio career is over.

What I find interesting is this bit at the end of the article.
"Those of you who have listened to my radio show and read my newspaper columns over the years know how strong a supporter I was of our criminal justice system. I can only say how misguided I was. Our criminal justice system is not based on justice; it is a quota system where conviction is the only scorecard," he said.

Matthews said he hopes one day to talk about the case.

That leaves me wondering if this was not a case of something being done unintentionally and being used by prosecutors to "get" a local gadfly. I just don't know.

But regardless, my concern is mostly with the young girl who has to live with this, and with her family. My she and they find whatever healing and closure they need.


Sunday, August 01, 2004

Terrorists Seek Christian Blood

Terrorist cowards in Iraq targeted at least five churches this morning, killing two. They also targeted police, killing five people, including one American. The unprecedented attack on the minority Christian community was immediately condemned by many Muslim religious leaders, including at least one who has been opposed to the American presence in Iraq.
"This is a cowardly act and targets all Iraqis," Abdul Hadi al-Daraji, spokesman for radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, told Al-Jazeera television.

unfortunately, this just contributes to the fear of the small Christian minority in Iraq.
"What are the Muslims doing? Does this mean that they want us out?" Brother Louis, a deacon at Our Lady of Salvation, asked as he cried outside the damaged Assyrian Catholic church. "Those people who commit these awful criminal acts have nothing to do with God. They will go to hell."

And not only will they go there, we have an obligation to help send them.


Who's Leaking Now?

Democrats expressed outrage over the leak of the Sandy Berger probe and the name of disgraced former ambassador (and former Kerry advisor) Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, to Bob Novak. But I don't hear any complaints about this leak about Colin Powell's testimony before a grand jury in the Wilson/Plame/Novak case to Michael Isikoff and Eve Conant of Newsweek.

Powell is not, however, a target of the investigation. The subpoena is just one more sign that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is being thorough in his work. In other words, the president's pledge to have a full and complete investigation of the matter is being fulfilled, and there is no cover-up. What a refreshing change of pace from the type of obstruction we got from the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


Berger Probe Continues

Despite frantic spinning by Democrats after reports that no original documents had been destroyed by former Clinton National Security Advisor and John Kerry advisor Sandy Berger, the probe of the events continue.

Why? Because, by his own admission, Berger broke security rules and probably the law by his actions. This has to be investigated, to determine how and why this security breach took place. It is ultimately not about documents stuffed in socks or pants, as some sensational reports have indicated. This is about national security. Anyone seeking to spin this as a mere political scandal doesn't get the full implication of what went on.


No Hero Left Behind

Lest we forget, the Cold War was a real war. Men died in its pursuit.

Soon, God willing, five more will be coming home. They died in Greenland in 1962, when their P-2V Neptune sub-tracker crashed into a glacier. The remains of seven were recovered in 1966, but the other five have remained on the glacier to this day. At times the remains have been covered, at others the weather has made recovery attempts impossible.
The Atlantic Fleet Naval Air Force safety officer, Capt. Tom Sparks, is leading a 16-member recovery team, accompanied by dogs trained to search for cadavers. They are expected to be on the glacier for about a week and return to the United States around Aug. 15.

God bless them in this endeavor.

And God bless Bob Pettway, who has led a national letter writing campaign on behalf of the men and their families. He is kin to none of the men on that plane, just a Navy veteran who kept the memory alive. His efforts will surely be rewarded by a gracious God.


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