Saturday, October 11, 2008
I am strongly opposed to amending a state or U.S. Constitution to address something like marriage. I don't think the Constitution should have language which expressly sets forth marriage shall be between one man and one woman only.
The problem is, judges don't share that belief. As we have seen, first in Massachusetts, then in California and now in Connecticut, judges believe they have the power and the duty to amend the state constitution to override the express will of the people and the state legislatures and radically alter the state constitution and create out of whole cloth a new definition of marriage.
Accordingly, it is time to rebuke the judges and let the people amend their constitutions - it is probably time to pass a federal marriage amendment as well.
It should be noted the extreme violence these radical judges are doing to the state of the law by substituting their own personal whims for the laws carefully thought out and developed over time. It could be that, in time, society will change and will decide to jettison marriage and substitute something new. So be it - it is not for the judges to act as tyrants to ram these changes through.
Therefore - amend the constitution and send a clear message to the judges that they, too, are under the law.
Friday, October 10, 2008
First, the Dow from September 16, 2008:
Second, the RealClearPolitics Average of Polls from September 17, 2008, the last time Senator Obama and Senator McCain were tied:
Is there a correlation?
Is there causation?
In response to the blogfather, one reader notes:
One of my hedge-fund readers emails:
The thumbnail future market history of this month is likely to include the phrase "correctly discounting the economic fallout of an Obama presidency and hard-left Congress repeating the failed frenetic economic policies of the 1930s". Let's just hope it doesn't take a re-run of the 1940s to extract us.
Ugh. Thanks for that comforting thought. And those enthusiastic for New Deal type solutions should be required to read Amity Shlaes' book on the subject.
P.S. Thanks for the comments!
Sunday, October 05, 2008
I also want to get to Senator John McCain on his response to the human rights of a baby question. I think that while he answered the question in a manner that, say, a devout Roman Catholic might agree with, his past vote does not square with his answer. Again, from the Saddleback Civil Forum:
Q: AT WHAT POINT IS A BABY ENTITLED TO HUMAN RIGHTS?Unlike my post below, this will be a brief one (for now - I may revisit).
A: AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION. I HAVE A 25-YEAR PRO LIFE RECORD IN THE CONGRESS, IN THE SENATE. AND AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, I WILL BE A PRO LIFE PRESIDENT AND THIS PRESIDENCY WILL HAVE PRO LIFE POLICIES. THAT'S MY COMMITMENT, THAT'S MY COMMITMENT TO YOU.
The problem is, that while John McCain opposes "fetal farming" or the creating of human embryos for stem cell research, he is also in favor of using human embryos already existing for such research.
In addition, he has voted to fund such research:
Q: Would you expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?As quoted from here.
A: I believe that we need to fund this. This is a tough issue for those of us in the pro-life community. I would remind you that these stem cells are either going to be discarded or perpetually frozen. We need to do what we can to relieve human suffering. It's a tough issue. I support federal funding.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007
I respectfully submit, then, that he does not believe a baby is entitled to human rights at the moment of conception.
As I note below, Pepperdine Law Professor (and former Dean of Catholic University) Douglas has endorsed Barak Obama, a man who is, without question, the most pro-abortion candidate to ever run for the U.S. Presidency. He has gone further and written a book defending his position. His initial endorsement is here, although he does nothing to attempt to reconcile his supposed pro-life beliefs with Barack Obama's pro-abortion actions. (Wisconsin Law Professor mocks it as not understandable.)
So why does Kmiec back Obama?
Does he believe that Obama has had a conversion experience and now admits he was wrong? No, he acknowledges disagreements with Obama over the issue.
Has Kmiec changed his view and become pro-abortion? No, Kmiec insists that he is still a faithful Roman Catholic.
Is Kmiec a Quisling or a Richard Rich who will betray all for higher office (perhaps a judicial appointment)? Well, he's not craven enough to say.
What Kmiec says is that Roe will never be overturned and that Obama will try to keep girls and young women from becoming pregnant. Apparently, he is also fed up with the Iraq war and believes that the U.S. should pull out immediately, even if it leads to civil war and genocide.
No really. Here is one of his essays defending his support for Obama.
Also, as you will note in the essay, Kmeic, a self-professed Republican lawyer claims "the current Republican Party thrives on demonizing its opposition to win elections." This may be the only thing I currently agree with him on - however, I note that the Democratic Party is doing exactly the same thing - witness the unrelenting attacks on Sarah Palin (do I even need to begin to document this?)
Here are some thoughts by Deacon Keith Fournier. Here is a post by Prof. Richard Garnett (added later: And this longer more recent one on the First Things blog). First Things editor Fr. Richard John Neuhaus responded earlier here. Finally, although not directly on-point on Kmiec, here is an interesting note on the effect of an Obama Presidency passed on by Rob Vischer (although not written by him).
The Martyrdom of St. Douglas Kmiec:
Here is Kmiec's account of being denied the Holy Eucharist. Here are some responses by Kmiec to a Beliefnet Q and A.
In my last post, I looked at Obama's statements on the human rights of a baby - in particular related to abortion. In this post, I will examine his actions as a legislator.
First, I must acknowledge the wonderful work done by Jill Stanek, a nurse whose ordeal at Christ Hospital, pushed her into the forefront of this issue. Ms. Stanek, in 1996 held a newborn boy who had Downs Syndrome, while she watched him die because he survived an abortion. She contacted law enforcement officials who told her the law did not protect infants who survive an abortion - as a result she began a campaign for a law which would protect any baby who had been delivered from the womb from being "terminated."
This legislation, known as the Born Alive Infants Protection Act was overwhelmingly passed at the federal level and signed into law by President Bush. It passed the House by a voice vote and it passed the Senate unanimously.
In 2001, in Illinois while Barack Obama was serving in the State Senate, state Sen. Patrick O’Malley of Oak Lawn introduced a parallel bill to apply at the state level. [Due to constitutional concerns, even if the federal law had been in effect, it is not likely that it could be enforced in the individual states - see United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000)]. The bill used as its definition of "live birth" the same definition used by the World Health Organization in 1950 and adopted by the United Nations in 1955. See Senate Bill 1095, Born Alive Infant Protection Act. The bill was sent to the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee where Sen. Obama voted no. (see .pdf here). When the measure reached the floor, Senator Obama was the only voice to speak in opposition and indicated he would vote present (which, for purposes of this bill, had the same effect as a "no" vote). The bill passed The floor discussion can be read here (.pdf transcript, pages 84-90). Here is Senator Obama's objection:
… I just want to suggest … that this [legislation] is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny.What he is arguing is that because the Act covers a baby when it is removed or expelled from the mother, the Act would also protect a living baby in the womb. Never mind that the definition, as noted above, only covers a baby who has been delivered in some fashion from the mother.
Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a — child, a 9-month-old — child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place.
I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.
Although the bill passed the Illinois Senate - over Barak Obama's objections - it died in the house. See here for Obama's "present" vote on the Illinois Senate floor (.pdf), March 30, 2001.
Recall that we are looking at when Barak Obama thinks a living human gets human rights - for Obama in 2001, a baby who had fully been delivered from the mother was not guaranteed the protection of the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights or any human rights. It could be exposed and left to die and Barack Obama was alright with that.
In 2002, Sen. O'Malley again introduced the Born Alive Infants Protection Act as SB1662. Again the bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee where Sen. Obama voted no (.pdf). Having passed the committee, the bill was sent to the floor, where again Sen. Obama led the opposition to it. Transcript from April 4, 2002 (.pdf) - see pages 28-35. Specifically, if you read his objections, he believe the intent of this bill is not to protect a human life but is "...really designed simply to burden the original decision of the woman... to perform an abortion." Ms. Stanek has posted audio of Obama making this objection on the floor here. Unlike in the prior year, this time Sen. Obama actually voted "no" on this bill. See here (.pdf). Again the bill died in the Illinios House.
In 2003, control of the House switched parties and although the Bill was introduced again, this time it was not sent to the Judiciary Committee, but to the Health & Human Services Committee, chaired by Barack Obama. In Committee, the Bill was amended to add the "neutrality clause" from the federal version to the Illinois Bill version to make them absolutely identical. Barack Obama voted in favor of adding this clause. See the docket, here in .pdf. Even after making this amendment, which appeased rapid-pro-abortion politicians such as Barbara Boxer, Barack Obama still voted to kill the bill which would protect a child who was born alive during an abortion. Once again, the bill was killed and did not see the light of day. For a very complete discussion of the episode of the 2003 bill see this page by Jill Stanek.
The bill did not pass the statehouse until after Barack had left the state senate. See this letter to the editor from Former state senator Rick Winkel, in which Sen. Winkel notes that none of the opponents, he believes, actually favor infanticide, but all were so rabidly pro-abortion that none could bring themselves to vote for protecting the newly born:
On March 12, 2003, I presented the neutrality amendment before the state Health and Human Services Committee chaired by then state Sen. Obama. All 10 committee members voted to add the amendment. Nevertheless, during the same hearing, the committee rejected the bill as amended on a vote of 4-6-0. Obama voted no.To summarize: Barack Obama has, through his actions, shown the world that if it comes to a newborn baby's human right to life versus a mother who intended that that child die in an abortion, the baby has no right to life and must die. To answer the question he avoided at the Civil Forum, it appears that for Barack Obama, no fetus has any human rights and no newborn has human rights if the mother desires the child dead.
I was stunned because the neutrality amendment addressed the concerns of opponents. It was the same neutrality language approved by U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry in the federal bill.
None of those who voted against SB-1082 favored infanticide. Rather their zeal for pro-choice dogma was clearly the overriding force behind their negative votes rather than concern that my bill would protect babies who are born alive.
In 2005, I joined 116 state representatives and 54 senators in voting for HB-984, which contained the same born-alive definition and neutrality language as Senate Bill 1082, plus some extra language to satisfy the most zealous pro-choice legislators, yet harmless to the bill's purpose. No one voted against it. We had finally accomplished what we had set out to do—protect a newborn baby's life.
I did not intend for there to be such a long delay between my first post on this subject, immediately below, and this one. Indeed, most of this was written at the time of that post (in fact, they originally were to be one, but due to the length, I split them), however, there were many new news stories and developments. As I expressed initially, I started writing this with a desire to give Senator Obama the full benefit of any doubt and have spent a great deal of time reading the charges and countercharges and looking for an exculpatory explanation which would indicate Barack Obama would, in deed, give a new born child some human rights. Nevertheless, the record is quite clear. If you doubt me, please do your own research. Finally, this link sets forth Sen. Obama's defense of his record on this issue:
You may also read the webpage of former Catholic University Law School Dean Douglas Kmeic here. (See also, Ed Whelan who counters Kmeic here.)
And finally, here is a link to an examination of this issue by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania: FactCheck.Org