Friday, November 12, 2004

Read This. Read this now. An excerpt:

For my wife and her family, being a Catholic meant being a Democrat, and being a Democrat meant fighting for the little guy - literally. That included the poor, the homeless, racial and ethnic minorities, and the unemployed. It also meant defending the unborn child.

For my wife, arguing whether an unborn child was a "full human person" or a "developing human being" was irrelevant - or worse, a kind of lying. The dignity of the unborn life involved was exactly the same, whatever one called it.

In the years since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on demand, my wife and I have struggled many times with the choice of voting Democratic. Our youngest son has Down syndrome, and Democratic policies often benefit the disabled in ways Republican policies don't.

But it's also true that children like our son are becoming extinct in part because the abortion lobby has a stranglehold on the Democratic Party platform, with all that it implies for legislation and judicial appointments. The easiest response to handicapped children is to kill them before they arrive. That's not a solution. That's homicide.

Like I said, read it all.

There is a group calling for a return to sanity for the Democratic party.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Currently reading. The afternoon of the Bin Laden tape release, my library hold of Shadow War by Richard Miniter came in. Had I picked it up a day earlier, I would not have been surprised to find bin Laden still alive -- Miniter presented solid evidence for this in the first 5 pages. Nevertheless, I had been reluctant to read this one, assuming that since it was on the Regnery label, it was right-wing screed and/or rah-rah Bush. Not so. While Miniter does make the case that the War on Terror is largely being won, he does not pull his punches, critizing Bush where warranted.

I'm also reading Wormwood by G. P. Taylor, and am frankly finding it quite boring. Maybe it's the British narration, but I'm finding it like Dickens, without plot or characterization. Rev. Taylor seems to be spending all his time showing you a very dark menagerie, but there doesn't appear to be any redeeming point to this tale. I'm not going to go so far as to label this "spiritual pornography," but I'm almost half-way through and I keep waiting for a glimmer of light. Right now, I'd recommend reading any of the Harry Potter books and stay away from this one.

Recently, I finished reading the final two books in the Jasper Fforde "Thursday Next" series, Well of Lost Plots and Something Rotten. The series is great fun and the conclusion of "Something Rotten" is very satisfying. (BTW, I read half of Rotten, then had to return it to the library and ended up listening to the whole book on audiobook -- a good reading. I'm not sure if the other three books in the series could've made the jump to audio book, but this one does. Nevertheless, there are a lot of gimmicks that only work on paper. Think e.e.cummings.)

Up next: Jim Webb's Born Fighting and Owen West's Four Days to Veracruz. BTW, I strongly recommend West's first novel, Sharkman Six about the Marine "invasion" of Somalia (now in paperback!).

On the horizon: Philip Yancey's Reaching for the Invisible God and Michael Crichton's State of Fear.
Get Religion. Since the GetReligion crew is traveling, here is a link to a recommendation from Morton Kondracke to "Get" religion.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hawai'i Football. Good article on the front of the USAToday: High School football in Hawai'i rivals that of Texas and Florida. I especially like the focus on Kahuku Red Raiders.
Unconstitutional. As has been extensively noted, since activist courts* have taken to redefining "marriage," persons in a number of states have adopted constitutional amendments seeking to fix the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. See, for example, this Jeff Jacoby column.

This should fix the problem, right? At least as far as the individual states are concerned, right? I mean what's higher than the constitution?

No, this doesn't fix the problem.

Matt Foreman, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is quoted as saying "We'll win some states and we'll lose some states, but eventually the Supreme Court is going to look at the Bill of Rights and isn't going to give a damn what's in any of these state constitutions."

And he is quite right.

In Romer v. Evans, (1996) the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Colorado's Amendment 2 to that state's Constitution. According to the majority opinion, "Amendment 2, in explicit terms . . . prohibits all legislative, executive or judicial action at any level of state or local government designed to protect the named class, a class we shall refer to as homosexual persons or gays and lesbians." Or, as Justice Scalia observed in his dissent, the amendment was adopted "to prohibit[] special protection for homosexuals." The court held that in adopting this amendment to the constitution, the state was discriminating agains gays: "Amendment 2, however, in making a general announcement that gays and lesbians shall not have any particular protections from the law, inflicts on them immediate, continuing, and real injuries that outrun and belie any legitimate justifications that may be claimed for it."

In Romer, the Supremes declared themselves to be above the law and seized the authority to strike down state constitutional provisions that the judges simply didn't like.**

You can bet that if they've done it once, they will do it again. The Supreme Court doesn't give a damn what's constitutional.

*In another, not-to-remote era, courts affirmed the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. For example, in Singer v. Hara, 11 Wn. App. 247 (1974) the Washington Supreme Court noted in passing, "The operative distinction lies in the relationship which is described by the term 'marriage' itself, and that relationship is the legal union of one man and one woman." (declining to apply the state's Equal Rights Amendment to homosexual marriage). However, in Hawai'i, Vermont, and most recently in Massachusetts, judges have begun re-writing the law.

** For more reading, see this issue of First Things which led to open warfare between the neo-cons and the theo-cons.

More on the Incredibles. Don't miss this essay by Frederica Mathewes-Green on this superb movie (her observations about Pixar ring true as well).
Raising Cain. So Ashcroft and Evans are the first to depart the Cabinet (post-election). Ashcroft's departure will bring sadness to those who use him to raise money for the left and far left. I was expecting he would be followed by Larry Thompson, but the WaPo says it ain't so.

There's no speculation on Evans replacement at Commerce. I like Herman Cain for that position.
From Tun to Fallujah. Happy Birthday, United States Marine Corps. 229 and counting.

Some people spend their entire lifetime wondering if they have made a difference,
the Marines don't have that problem.

-- Attributed to President Ronald Reagan