Thursday, May 28, 2009

Inconsistency from the California Supreme Court

I'm a little confused by the recent ruling of the California Supreme Court. They upheld Prop 8, which prohibited same-sex marriage. As an aside, I strongly opposed the proposition. But the Court also allowed the same-sex marriages performed before the passage of Prop 8 to stand. This doesn't make much sense. If Proposition 8 is constitutional, why does it only apply to marriages performed after its passage? If there's a constitutional attorney reading this blog, please explain this seeming contradiction.

Another non-constitutional point: shouldn't conservatives be pushing to invalidate these marriages? If gay marriage is as harmful to society as they think it is, then no gay marriages should be allowed. Many on the right have compared it to polygamy (and worse). How about some consistency? Surely God is opposed to this sinfulness!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not on the table

Apparently, the concept of a national health insurance plan, with fees paid by a single payer, is politically unacceptable in Washington, D.C. My question is: Why? It seems it least a potential solution. But what has happened is single-payer advocates are being shut out of Congressional hearings, even though the President at one time endorsed single-payer (as recent as 2003). Perhaps Mr.Obama (and his fellow Democrats) have been taking lots of campaign contributions from the health insurance industry. (That's a polite way to say they've been bought off). As Jerry Seinfeld used to say, "What's the deal?"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why hate crimes legislation is a bad idea

This is the draft of a letter I submitted to the North County Times, which sums up my feelings on the pending "hate-crimes" bill (what is a love crime, anyway)? I don't know that they'll publish, so I'll post it here.

Eric Parish and J. Howard Crews (Community Forum, May 17) call for the passing of hate-crimes legislation. This is a terrible idea, for a number of reasons:

1. It makes certain victims of crime more deserving than others in the eye of the law. A homosexual attacked by a heterosexual is more of a victim—by some logic— than a heterosexual assaulted by another heterosexual. As George Orwell said in Animal Farm, all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

2. This bill criminalizes peoples' motives, something which can never be truly known. I have respect for our law enforcement officials, but none of them are mind readers.

3. No one with an ounce of common sense thinks that black on white crime or Hispanic on white crime will ever be prosecuted under this law. This is a leftist law, made for the protection of politically correct minorities, and should be rejected.

Question: if I get into an argument with someone, he offends me, I punch him out, and then I find out later he's gay and I'm being charged with a hate crime, how do I prove I'm not a hater of homosexuals? I can't, of course, and no one can possibly disprove a prejudicial state of mind. This bill should be rejected.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Even when he's right, he's wrong

I'm not at all a fan of FOX News anchor Bill O'Reilly, but his latest column is on target. As O'Reilly points out, Carrie Prejean has been harassed and viciously slandered merely for uttering an opinion on gay marriage. (It's an opinion that I don't share, but that's not the point). But even when his main point is correct, O'Reilly shows he doesn't understand our system of government. He says "Most polls show that the majority of Americans agree with Prejean." That is utterly irrelevant to the issue. Freedom of speech exists equally for the minority as for the majority. The polls have nothing to do with the right of free speech. Even if no one agreed with Prejean, she would have every right to speak her conscience. You see, Bill, we live in a republic, not a democracy—well, it's a long story, but the bottom line is our rights are not dependent on majority approval. And that's a good thing for a nonbeliever like myself.

Monday, May 04, 2009

My letter to local paper

I'm too lazy to post anything new, so I'm going to reprint my letter criticizing Al Gore:

Al Gore's movie not a reliable source

Michael McNulty (Letters, April 29) accuses critics of Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," of being global-warming deniers, afraid of the facts.

Mr. McNulty seems to think either you embrace the movie or you're an anti-science propagandist. This is a false dichotomy.

Perhaps Mr. McNulty is unaware that many people—myself included—accept that man influences the climate, but do not accept Gore's movie as a reliable source on the subject. A number of mainstream scientists have spoken or written against Gore's fearmongering. UC Berkeley professor of physics Richard Muller, in his excellent book, "Physics for Future Presidents," accuses Gore's film of "exaggeration, mixed with distortion, and a good deal of cherry-picking." Muller strongly believes in man-made global warming.

More examples? Renowned physicist Freeman Dyson, also a believer in global warming, has accused Gore of being an opportunist and an exaggerator. Bjorn Lomborg, in his book "Cool It," has shown that much of Gore's alarmism is unjustified. Lomborg, who accepts man-made global warming, shows that the stories of polar bears disappearing from global warming are false.

Mr. McNulty calls for "truth, facts and common sense." I fully agree, which is why I can't endorse "An Inconvenient Truth."

Further comment: I urge every reader to pick up a copy of Muller's and Lomborg's book. Both are calm, scientific analysises of climate change. Freeman Dyson has a book with one chapter on climate change, the book's name is A Many-Colored Glass. There are two common positions on global warming/climate change: denial and alarmism. Both are wrong. As I said in the letter, the "debate" is a false dilemma.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

You learn something new everyday...

In my local paper's "Community Forum," the writer actually says—as part of an argument against global warming—" a recent Rasmussen poll also reports that only 34 percent of voter believe global warming is caused by humans)." Uh, that's utterly irrelevant to the debate. Science is settled by experimentation and observation, not through opinion polls. Since only half of Americans think the earth orbits around the sun in a year, perhaps that doesn't happen either. As for evolution...well, less than half of Americans accept it. It is true nonetheless.