Ding Dong the DOMAs Dead!

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DOMA
The BIG news today is, of course the Supreme Court’s ruling “overturning” DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act); it’s hard to understand legalese sometimes, but I think that means that they declared DOMA unconstitutional.

I don’t know how many times I’ve declared DOMA unconstitutional over the past years in this blog, but it feels good to be proved right.

The absolute foolishness of believing, as most anti-gay marriage activists apparently do, that a same-sex marriage in any way effects a traditional marriage, is mind boggling. Do they really think that every time a same-sex couple gets married, a heterosexual couple will get unmarried? Do they really believe that “straight” people will be lured into same-sex relationships simply by the legalization of same-sex marriage? If they do they are thinking stupid. Do they worry that their straight kids will all suddenly go against their natural attractions and suddenly become attracted to someone of the same sex? Apparently they do and that’s even worse than stupid, it’s illogical.

This whole anti-gay phenomenon is simply a reaction by people who have been raised with (and by)religion. The simple realization that all society is not ruled strictly by bible verse is driving them crazy. There are many wonderful lessons to be learned by the Bible but there are also many falsehoods (such as the basic falsehood, the inerrancy of the Bible) that have been taken for granted as true. To understand that the Bible was written by mortal men who inserted their own beliefs into what they felt to be “the word of God” is a very important understanding.

Back from the sublime: there will probably be more “Gay Pride” parades in the following days, with gay guys dancing around like a bunch of Disney fairies. News Flash! You have nothing to be proud of. You are what you are and antagonizing the rest of the population (the majority) will gain you nothing but more ridicule and more hate! Well deserved ridicule for acting like uncivilized children and understandable hate by people who refuse to believe that gay is NOT a choice — but a God-given (if you’ll allow me that phrase), inherent sexual preference.

References:

Politico: Justice Antonin Scalia brings drama to DOMA ruling

USA Today: How will same-sex marriage rulings affect children?

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Affirmative Action: Court Sanctioned Discrimination?

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Affirmative Action
In yesterday’s Supreme Court 7 to 1 non-decision regarding Affirmative Action at the University of Texas, the court basically decided that the University could do whatever it wants . . . as long as there is racial diversity on campus. So, basically, UT can NOT do whatever UT wants, such as setting an academic standard for admission into the university, other things must be considered, things apparently more important than academic standards; things such as the color or ethnicity of the student. I guess that kind of blind ignorance can be expected from a court filled with people who seem to be more concerned about being politically correct and “fair”, than they are about the reason for their being: making things Constitutional, which does not necessarily mean “fair.”

Rather than making an unpopular decision, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court.

Ask anyone who has not led a life of privilege and they will tell you, life is not fair. To achieve a position anywhere above the basic subsistence level, you must “work your butt off” and make the most of your opportunities; and in this 21st Century there are opportunities for every United States citizen (at least those that are left after accommodating the millions of illegal immigrants).

Affirmative Action, while useful in the past to give educational opportunities to those who do not have the educational background to pass an academic standards test, has never been “fair.” It was never intended to be fair. It was intended to be discriminatory against white students who CAN meet the academic standards test. Imagine that! Racial discrimination has been sanctioned (and ordered by) the Supreme Court of the United States, based on some kind of decades old “guilt trip.”

So what has been the result of that “guilt trip”?

A positive result is that some minority students have benefited. Many, who had not previously displayed exceptional academic abilities have been given the opportunity to earn a college degree. If we assume that grades were not affected by affirmative action, there have certainly been some successes. Successes NOT due to affirmative action but due to the ability of those students to work hard at learning and understanding complex concepts and the ability of their educators to present those concepts. There have certainly also been some failures, again these were not due to affirmative action but either due to students inability to grasp the material they were presented with or the inability of some individual students to ignore the distractions of college life.

To be fair, students of all races have to pay a sometimes very high tuition; necessitating finding a job, which may shift a students focus away from study time.

The negative effect of Affirmative Action has been to deny acceptance to many excellent students, based solely on their race, the opportunity of attending the college or university of their choice.

An article in yesterday’s “LA Times, Nation Now” section titled “Texas students have strong opinions on affirmative action ruling” shares two of those opinions from black students.

A block, 21 y/o female student at UT Austin, Delanecia Holley, feels that Affirmative Action is not working and that the University is not trying hard enough. She gives the example of being the only black female in her business class and is also “quoted” (without quotation marks) as saying that she had ‘a recent run-in with a white professor who implied she and other black students hadn’t earned their place at the university.’

That attitude, by that unnamed professor, if he truly said that, IS completely the fault of Affirmative Action. It’s a natural reaction to the reverse discrimination that was created by Affirmative Action.

The LA Times article also mentions that Ms. Holley is the president of Texas Gospel Fellowship, a black student Bible study group with about 100 members. (I can understand her interest in the Bible, but why would a student so interested in racial diversity, choose to lead a presumably black-only bible study group?)
(Maybe white Christians have also become a minority group.)

The Times also interviewed a 35 y/o black male student, Eric Hall, who is studying Constitutional Law at UT Austin. Hall feels that Affirmative Action is “redundant and claims that it undermines “his legitimacy on campus.”

Unknowingly, Ms. Delanecia Holley provided some substantial proof of Mr. Hall’s claim by quoting her professor as saying that he feels that ‘black students haven’t earned their place at the university.’

Mr. Hall, who leads the Young Conservatives of Texas chapter at UT Dallas, told the Times that he feels that Affirmative Action is ‘just constitutionally wrong’ but he apparently feels that it is working, he described UT Austin as “one of the most diverse campuses” he’s seen.

Hall also stated that Affirmative Action “can kind of have a stigma and make you feel like you didn’t work as hard as your white counterparts.”

Whatever side of the argument you are on, it’s clear that Affirmative Action IS discrimination but it has had some successes. The thought occurs to me that, since there have been numerous successes at UT for students who initially didn’t get a good enough score on pre-admission exams, but were given a chance; the standards might be a bit too rigid and/or colleges might need to reexamine their criteria. Certainly more students of all races would benefit by a redesign of the tests so it reflects the abilities of the Affirmative Action success stories; and one-on-one interviews, on campus, by experienced educators with every test taker certainly wouldn’t hurt.

The Case Against Social Conservatism

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
— Albert Einstein

Once again, the Republicans in the House of Representatives have allowed Social Conservatives to shoved aside the issues that are important to normal voting Americans in favor of a Social Conservative moral message. They have created another abortion bill; this one would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Will they never learn?

Alright so Kermit Gosnell was a real piece of human excrement, we have laws that will take care of him, we don’t need grandstanders like Trent Franks (R-Az) to turn it into a ‘federal case’ for his personal satisfaction or for political gain.

Normal Americans (and yes! The implication is that Social Conservatives do not behave like normal people, they have taken the role of moral arbiters) don’t want Washington ‘evangelists’ controlling, or even attempting to control their lives — especially their intimate personal lives. Who they sleep with, who they marry, if and when they decide to have a baby or terminate a pregnancy: these are questions that can not be and should not be answered by the Federal government. These are personal situations that DON’T require Federal government (or any government’s) oversight. A person’s behavior, as long as it is not illegal, should always be protected by the government NOT controlled by the government.

Social Conservatives always preach about limited government and individual freedom and then do what they can to inject the government into our personal lives and limit our freedom until it conforms to THEIR values. They helped the Republican party “shoot itself in the foot” in 2012 by doing that and they seem determined to do it to us again in 2014 and 2016. What a price we paid!

Republicans (who ALMOST ALL call themselves Conservatives now-a-days) went down to defeat in the last presidential election at least partially because the Republican electorate saw religious loons like Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachman threatening to take the lead in the Republican race, so they rushed to Mitt “Milktoast” Romney’s side and, in the end, were defeated not just by the Democrats but by potential Republican voters who felt that they couldn’t trust or even endure four years of ‘Mr. Nice Guy,’ so they stayed at home on election day.

Lets not do that again! If Social Conservatives really care about limited government and personal freedom they should start acting like it. Our next Republican platform should contain NO moral manifestos. No one needs to know how Social Conservatives feel about their personal behaviors and certainly no one has any reason to care. We have hundreds of thousands of pages of LAW ‘on the books’ that has been meticulously worded, thoroughly vetted, tried and tested. We certainly don’t need religious preference and modern interpretations of ancient manuscripts (which, when it comes down to it is all the Social Conservatives have to offer) added to our civil laws.

To be clear, I am not criticizing what “believers” believe (unless they are terrorists) or how they apply those beliefs to their PERSONAL lives; what I am criticizing is their childish and boorish behaviors when it comes to what others believe or don’t believe. Election to public office is not an invitation to run everyone else’s lives, it is a mandate to responsibly run a branch or office of government to the benefit of ALL Americans.

REFERENCE:

Washington Post Blogs: The House abortion bill likely won’t make it into law. But it still matters.

Boy Scouts may be better off without Southern Baptists

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Blind Faith

The LA Times story headed: “Southern Baptists consider abandoning Boy Scouts of America” is not an unexpected development . . . at least not from the Southern Baptists.

The truly sad part of the situation is that young boys are being discriminated against because of their “God-given nature” . . . one would almost have to assume that people who truly believe in God would understand that homosexual boys and girls are not “choosing” to be outcasts from society; they are what and who they are (who they were meant to be) because The Creator made them that way. It’s sad but not, however, surprising!

This is not to imply that Southern Baptists do not “truly” believe in their God, they no doubt do, but they also believe in irrational concepts like the absolute inerrancy of a Book that was pieced together from the writings of mere mortal men, and they believe this in spite of the thousands of times the Bible contradicts itself and in spite of the obviously illogical nature of “blind faith.”

Boys who want to experience acceptance in a peer group, regardless of their sexual identity, are far better off without the judgment and influence of a group of people like Southern Baptists.

This is NOT to imply that Southern Baptists are bad people; they are just lost! Lost from reality, reason and logic and in real-life terms that makes them less than adequate life-guides for children.

Edward Snowden: Patriot or Villain

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Snowden

Is Edward J. Snowden a hero, as the sign says, or a treasonous villain who, possibly, as an operative for a foreign government, was under orders to pull the teeth out of an important government counter terrorism operation.

I would say he is probably a patriotic American who came across the information that our government was illegally accessing phone records and was so fed up with the insidious tactics of the Obama administration over the past 5-1/2 years, he felt that he had to do something . . . something rash, even if that would put him in danger.

If he was working as a foreign spy or even as an enemy of America, as many in the media (Left- as well as Right-leaning) have suggested, there would have been no reason for him to come forward last week and break his cover; the information was out there and he could have just ‘disappeared’. If he was anything but a martyr for the cause of government transparency, he would have not gone to Hong Kong and then revealed exactly where he was in that city, when he knew that Hong Kong and the United States had an extradition treaty; instead he would have simply boarded a Hong Kong ferry that would have taken him to mainland China where he could ask for, and probably receive, political asylum. (Granted, he also probably knew that extradition from Hong Kong is a very lengthy process, giving him time to argue his case.)

Today the ACLU filed suit against the Obama Administration, charging that their mass collection of phone records is illegal. I don’t often take sides with the ACLU, but this time I’m behind them. This time they are going up against a president who acts more like a Czar that an American president. A president who has made it clear through his actions and through the actions of his appointees that he believes that there is no law, civil liberty, tradition or precedent in the United States that is more important to him than his personal/political agenda.

I may be wrong about Snowden and his motives, time will tell on that one, but it’s been apparent (at least to me) from the very beginning of his administration that neither Barack Hussain Obama or his political appointees can be trusted or believed.

REFERENCES:

N.Y. Yimes: A.C.L.U. Files Lawsuit Seeking to Stop the Collection of Domestic Phone Logs

Chron.com: US leaker Snowden faces hard choices while hiding

Rape in the Military: Hormones or Disrespect?

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A Fox News article today focuses on the perceived ‘epidemic’ of sexual assaults in all branches of the armed services.

The Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday brought in the top brass from each of the armed services for a grilling about the possible reasons behind the rash of sexual assaults and their plans for solving the problem; ironically it was one of their own senators who was the first one placed over the proverbial barrel, not one of the brass. Senator Saxby Chambliss actually had the temerity to state that the reason for the rash of sexual assaults might just be (in his words):

“The young folks that are coming into each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22, or 23. Gee whiz, the level — the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur.”

Yes! The senior senator from Georgia actually said “gee wiz;” and yes he is probably at least 90% correct in his assessment but he was attacked from both sides of the aisle for saying it . . . that’s not what the publicity hounds on the Senate Committee wanted to hear. The committee didn’t assemble to hear reason or logic, they wanted to hear solutions, and rightly so. They also wanted to rip some “brass” off the top brass to satisfy ‘blood-thirsty’ female voters.

If Sen. Chambliss had thought to add: “but that’s no excuse for rape” he could be sitting peacefully sipping Southern Comfort tonight instead of trying to justify his apparent justification of rape. When even Debbie Wasserman Schultz is more correct on any subject than you are, you know you’re in a very tenuous position.

The military is, and always has been, a reflection of society in general. Our society today has become more sexualized and less respectful of authority — in two words, ‘less civilized.’ In what has been referred to as the “good old days” people had more respect for authority and for each other because the rules were, for the most part, logical, rational and fairly enforced. Today however, logic and rationality have been replaced by “zero tolerance” which is anything but logical or rational. Zero tolerance was created by lazy school administrators and was soon adopted by lazy business administrators. Nonsensical rules turn the ‘fear of breaking’ rules into the ‘challenge of breaking rules without getting caught.’

It is those teenagers and young adults who have developed an indifferent attitude toward rules who are going into the military and not adapting to the strict, respectful, no nonsense culture required for military discipline.

I can’t imagine a scenario where society will ever return to the old attitudes about the sanctity of rules but we can go forward! Go forward into a culture where rules are tempered with common sense and, for that reason, breaking them is not easily justified by potential rule breakers.

Perhaps more classroom time is needed in military boot camp, to reeducate the kids that our society has failed.

Scotland: Force-Fed Religion in Schools

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In Edinburgh, Scotland religious assemblies are held in all schools (even the ‘private’ or non-denominational ones) several times during the school year. This is mandated by the Scotland Education Act of 1980. While, here in America, this seems like what it is, a despicable overreach by the Church of Scotland, until recently, it was just the way things are in Scottish schools. Up until 1872 all education in Scotland was controlled by the Church of Scotland. When non-denominational schools were allowed to open their doors, the religious aspect of student’s education did not significantly change.

Finally now, parents who object to mandatory “spiritual” education are starting to fight back and are hoping that, through a ballot referendum, they will have the support of the majority of Scottish voters to eliminate the religious curriculum in non-denominational schools. The issue is now before the Edinbourough City Council’s Petitions Committee.

A main bone of contention right now is the cost of a special election to decide the issue of the propriety of religious indoctrination in non-denominational schools. Setting up and administering a special election it would cost the city of Edinborough an estimated 10 million pounds (the equivalent of over $15 million U.S).

This is a very timely issue in Edinborough that is drawing a lot of public debate, if the issue is not resolved in a special election, it will most likely be held over until the next general election (in 3 years).

The “rebels” in this particular “war against the Church of Scotland” (basically a Presbyterian church) are the members of and supporters of the Edinburgh Secular Society. Since less than half of the population of Scotland claim any allegiance whatsoever to the Church of Scotland, the ballot initiative has a good chance of passing . . . if it is allowed to reach a vote by the general public.

Generally, in the United States, secularists tend to do quite a bit of “overreaching” themselves but the Edinborough secularists seem to have a very valid cause for complaint.

References:

Scotsman.com: <a href=”http://www.scotsman.com/news/education/let-us-pay-10m-bill-to-axe-religion-in-schools-1-2953813″&gt; Let us pay: £10m bill to axe religion in schools</a>

Wikipedia: <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Scotland”&gt; Church of Scotland</a>

National Secular Society: <a href=”http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2013/02/edinburgh-secularists-back-bid-to-abolish-religious-observance-in-schools”&gt; Edinburgh secularists back bid to abolish religious observance in schools</a>