Friday Digest

A Defining Case for Marriage

Dec. 14, 2012
“The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.” –John Adams
Marriage before the Court

The Supreme Court is set to hear a challenge against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a statute passed by Congress in 1996 to protect marriage (i.e., to define it as a contract between one man and one woman). The case comes along with an appeal of the Ninth Circus Court’s decision striking down California’s Proposition 8, itself an attempt by state voters to inoculate against looming legal onslaughts that challenge marriage in its traditional meaning. Marriage, of course, is the building block of society. Thus, this case is of the utmost importance.

While DOMA may not be the best course of action as far as constitutional law is concerned – the Constitution is silent on the issue of marriage, thus leaving it to the states – its passage is certainly understandable. The law both protects states from having to recognize marriages formalized in other states and defines marriage for the purpose of federal law, specifically taxes. The latter is the section under challenge, and, frankly, not without justification under the Tenth Amendment.

Redefining the institution is a slippery slope that could end up being wide-open, anything-goes “marriage” between any two – or more – “things,” whether humans or not. But the Left thinks they hold the trump card of “rights.” Never mind the government’s interest in having clearly discernible lines to legal benefits for those qualifying as being “married.” Never mind decades of past legislative decisions that will have to be re-examined in light of these new “marriages.” Never mind the state’s interest in ensuring children don’t grow up in dysfunctional homes. Also abandon any notion that states should have a say in the matter under the Tenth Amendment. No, the Left’s operative issue is “gay” rights, above all others, and that makes it a federal case, almost by definition.

Although the Constitution is silent about marriage, neither Congress nor the Obama administration has been. Since both the legislative and executive branches are constitutionally restricted to those powers specifically enumerated within that document, neither should have any say as to what the term “marriage” means. Such definitions and decisions – in a perfect world, at least – are best left to the individual states. Couples can “vote with their feet” if they are unhappy with a given state’s legislative policy regarding marriage.

One of the Founders' original ideas behind federalism was allowing each state to experiment with legislative policy so that those whose policies that worked would serve as trail guides to other states whose policies ended in failure. Their intent was never that the federal government should be the across-the-board arbiter of controversial decisions made by a state or group of states. Unfortunately, today’s activists, judicial or otherwise, don’t care about the Founders' intent.

Expect the SCOTUS decision to be 5-4 one way or the other. We suppose we’ll hear a distorted reading of the Equal Protection Clause, using terms such as “rational basis,” “important” and “compelling” interests and the like, each utterly fraught with subjective bars to clear – or not clear. We do hope, however, that the decision won’t further erode our federalist system.

Government and Politics

News From the Swamp: The Cliffs of Insanity

Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner exchanged fresh fiscal bluff proposals this week, although neither offer brings the two sides closer to an agreement. As it currently stands, many Republicans seem to be wavering about stopping a tax hike on top earners, and they are now turning their attention to spending cuts. Republicans are, however weakly, proposing to rein in entitlement spending, which is far and away the biggest driver of government debt. Among those proposals are plans to increase the eligibility age for Medicare, requiring more affluent Americans to pay more for Medicare, and slowing the growth of Social Security benefits by changing the formula for calculating Consumer Price Index adjustments.

Democrats are counting on Republicans caving on the tax hike issue, and they have begun back room discussions about which GOP budget cut proposals they believe they can accept as part of a final deal. Unfortunately, the short answer to that inquiry seems to be “none of the above.” Leftist groups like MoveOn and AARP are prompting their followers to refuse any cuts to their favorite programs. The NeoComs in Congress are actually going the other way on spending, calling for $250 billion in new spending that isn’t offset, and is three times what the tax on top earners would supposedly bring in. Among the new spending items are $60 billion for “emergency” Hurricane Sandy relief (though it’s stuffed with the usual pork, some of which wouldn’t even be spent until 2018) and an extension of unemployment benefits. They’re even now pushing an extension of the payroll tax holiday.

Obama has only been a hindrance in negotiations; he’s spending time back on what looks like the campaign trail stirring up his base with class warfare rhetoric. His latest proposal included a promise to overhaul the corporate tax code, but Republicans figured that was already on the agenda. It’s mostly just an attempt to gin up support among the business community, which isn’t taking the fiscal bluff uncertainty too well, as recent stock market and employment activity demonstrates.

Obama has stubbornly insisted that Republicans must first accept the tax hike before he makes any budget trimming proposals public. That would be because he has no real intention of making any budget cuts (see the added spending above). As Investor’s Business Daily writes, “Over the next 10 years, Obama’s plan would tack $8.6 trillion onto our nation’s debt.” Yet on the campaign trail, Obama “vowed to cut $2.50 in spending for every $1 raised with higher taxes. Instead, in one of the great switcheroos of all time, Obama now proposes $4 in spending increases for every dollar of extra tax revenue. Call us simplistic, but shouldn’t ‘balance’ include spending cuts?” Boehner remains publicly optimistic that a deal can be struck, but what kind of deal is another matter entirely.

This Week’s ‘Braying Jenny’ Award

“Why are we having all this subterfuge and this, that and the other thing [on the fiscal cliff]? Why are we being told make a reservation on Christmas Eve and one on the day after Christmas to come back? Is there not an appreciation for the Jewish holidays? The Christmas holiday? Kwanzaa? All the other things that families come together around?” –Nancy Pelosi

The BIG Lie

“We all do better when the money is circulating. Those up on the top end – they’re going to continue to make money. But those who are just working people and those who aspire for the middle class – when that money is circulating then we can all collectively become more wealthy.” –Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Guam) explaining why we should raise taxes on the wealthy

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Quantitative Easing, Take Four

Amid the 2008 financial panic, the Federal Reserve took the opportunity to begin printing more money to supposedly “rescue” the economy. They euphemistically call this quantitative easing so it won’t sound like what it actually is. Chairman Ben Bernanke announced Thursday that the Fed will undertake a fourth round of printing. This practice hasn’t worked for the last four years. Why does the Fed think another round will do the trick?

The question is rhetorical, of course. The Fed even admits that their goal is 2.5 percent inflation, and as economist Thomas Sowell explains, printing money and the resulting inflation is a massive stealth tax on the American people, especially the poor. All that merely provides some cover for Obama’s deficit spending because it makes borrowing so much cheaper. Once Obama is safely out of office and the government has to refinance that debt at a higher interest rate, well, then the fun will really begin.

Hope ‘n’ Change: We Keep Finding Out What’s in It

The Obama administration tacitly admitted once again that ObamaCare will result in higher insurance premiums. Buried in a rush of recent regulations released by the Department of Health and Human Services is a $63 fee that will be charged to every health insurance plan in America to help fund the cost of covering the uninsured and people with pre-existing conditions. It’s expected to collect $30 billion and will be charged to insurers and private companies who insure their workers, but it will ultimately be passed along to the people who actually pay for these plans. The fee is supposed to take effect in 2014 when insurance companies will no longer be allowed to turn away the sick, but HHS says it will be phased out in 2017 because, by that point they say, all the sick will be covered. Don’t be fooled: This new fee is permanent.

Also this week, a group of 18 Senate Democrats are seeking to delay the $28 billion medical device tax, due to take effect in January, because – lo and behold – it will result in a loss of jobs in the medical manufacturing industry. Among the newly enlightened are Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Patty Murray (WA), Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Dick Durbin (IL). It’s awfully rich that suddenly these leftists are concerned with the impact of their policies on the economy because the tax was a rare ObamaCare measure that was publicly debated in 2009 and 2010 and could have easily been struck at the time.

Meanwhile, today is the latest deadline for states to set up the government-run exchanges under ObamaCare. The provision was a thinly veiled attempt to appear to use federalism to achieve the Left’s goals, but in reality, it’s a plan to use states as henchmen. HHS has been ominously silent when states requested information about how to set up the exchanges, leaving many states unwilling to step out into the unknown. In fact, just 15 states (and possibly three more) have signed on, leaving an unprepared HHS to figure out how to set up and run (or at least offer substantial aid to) more than 30 exchanges.

From the Left: PSY Photo Ops

South Korean rapping sensation PSY performed at the White House Christmas in Washington concert this week, despite widespread condemnation of the performer’s anti-American past. The rapper, whose current hit “Gangnam Style” has become a worldwide sensation, performed at a concert in 2004 protesting the war in Iraq, where he sang a little ditty called “Dear American.” The lyrics include, “Kill those f—ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives … Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers. Kill them all slowly and painfully.”

A petition on the White House’s “We the People” website collected signatures calling for PSY’s removal from the Christmas festivities, but it was taken down for violating the site’s terms and conditions. The White House didn’t elaborate on what those conditions were, but it probably had something to do with posting items that might be critical of Barack Obama. PSY issued a standard non-apology and performed at the concert anyway, with the First Family in attendance. Obama and PSY later took some photos together. We’re sure they had a good ol' anti-American time.

Cabinet Updates

UN Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew Thursday from consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Rice’s nomination was almost certainly doomed due to Republican opposition over her key role in the cover-up of the Benghazi murders of our ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Of course, the Left says this opposition is racist and sexist, but what else is new? Her withdrawal makes John Kerry the most likely successor for Clinton.

Meanwhile, former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel will almost certainly be nominated as secretary of defense to replace the outgoing Leon Panetta. It’s noteworthy that the narcissistic Hagel voted for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, but then against the surge in 2007 that secured victory there. Hagel, a Leftmedia darling, is also known for his frequent criticism of Israel and our close alliance with that nation. His nomination would be yet another unfriendly signal from the Obama White House to Israel.

Economy

Around the Nation: Michigan Becomes Latest to Give Workers a Choice

It’s the home of many of the manufacturers that made Big Labor the potent political force that it has been, but earlier this week the freedom to choose was restored for Michigan workers. Over the violent protests of union members, Michigan’s legislature passed a bill to give both private- and public-sector workers the right to forgo union membership in formerly closed shops if they so desire. Signed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, it completed a lightning-fast turnaround that began last month when Wolverine State voters rejected a proposal to enshrine the right to collective bargaining in the state constitution.

Yet on the heels of setbacks to their cause in Wisconsin and Indiana, Michigan union workers weren’t going down without a fight – literally. Protesters were caught on camera assaulting Fox News contributor Steven Crowder and destroying a tent belonging to a pro-business group, Americans for Prosperity. Unlike the situation in Wisconsin, though, Michigan’s bills passed through the process so quickly that unions and their Democrat allies were caught off guard, with one union leader absurdly comparing the process to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

But of all who came to protest, those leading the way were teachers, many of whom are among the best-paid and least-worked unionites in the nation. In fact, so many teachers from two Detroit-area districts called in “sick” to attend the protest that their districts had to cancel classes. Not that students were learning much anyway – only 7 percent of eighth-graders in the Detroit Public Schools are grade-level proficient in reading, and only 4 percent are grade-level proficient in math, according to federal Department of Education statistics.

Obviously, the unions have done the math, as a poll of Michigan workers found nearly one in four would leave the union given the choice. With union dues averaging $600-900 per year, one estimate pegs the financial cost to Big Labor at $100 million annually. That’s a lot of campaign commercials Big Labor can’t buy, and Democrats around the country (including Barack Obama) are crying foul. And here we thought Democrats were all about “choice.”

Income Redistribution: Moving 2013 Income to 2012

Corporate America has gotten wind that tax rates will rise significantly next year. With the possibility of taxation of dividends dramatically increasing from its current 15 percent rate to a rate of 43.4 percent – the old Clinton dividend tax rate of 39.6 cents on the dollar plus a special ObamaCare tax that adds another 3.8 cents – many companies are considering ways of getting around the tax for their investors.

Those who contributed heavily to Barack Obama’s re-election and even stumped for his demanded tax increases are now shamelessly trying to avoid those very taxes. For example, the Washington Post Company that publishes its namesake paper will pay its entire projected 2013 dividend as one lump sum on Dec. 27. This will allow shareholders to save about $2.78 per share in taxation on the $9.80 per share lump sum they’ll receive.

Similarly, Costco, the big-box retailer whose former CEO, Jim Sinegal, made a prime-time speech on job creation at the Democratic National Convention, is borrowing $3.5 billion to make a special $7 per-share dividend payout before year’s end. Naturally, Costco board members – who collectively own about four million shares of the company – will see a multimillion-dollar payday and avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes.

Nor is tax avoidance simply a matter of dividends. Google recently came under fire for using a shell company based in Bermuda (which has no corporate income tax) to avoid paying $2 billion in taxes to countries around the world. It’s a perfectly legal loophole, but one that a European tax researcher called “a deep embarrassment to governments around Europe.” Last year Google funneled $9.8 billion in revenues to a subsidiary in Bermuda; however, even with the $2 billion saved, the firm still paid over $1.5 billion in taxes worldwide.

Let this be a message to those who think taxes don’t change behavior: You’re dead wrong.

AIG Finally Out From Treasury’s Shadow

The long, slow process of rebuilding insurer American International Group (AIG), a company whose near-collapse began the federal government’s era of bailouts in 2008, will come to an end soon when the Treasury Department finalizes the sale of practically all of its remaining holdings of the insurance giant. The estimated $7.6 billion in proceeds from the sale will give Uncle Sam a $22.7 billion overall profit on the deal, at least on paper. All the Treasury Department will have left in AIG is the option to buy 2.7 million shares at $50 per share, a package adopted as part of the bailout.

Yet AIG will be losing big on a deal to spin off its last remaining non-insurance subsidiary to a group of Chinese companies. ILFC, a company specializing in the leasing of passenger aircraft such as the Boeing 787, owns or manages a fleet of over 200 such planes worldwide with China already being its largest market. AIG will claim a $4.4 billion non-operating loss on the sale of ILFC, which it purchased in 1990.

While the bailout of AIG and the subsequent return on investment is being hailed as a TARP success story, the federal government is still holding the bag on billions in losses from other companies that couldn’t rebound or that were initially overvalued. The “success” of AIG simply allows government bean-counters to reduce their estimate of TARP losses from $32 billion to $24 billion, although the exact figure may never be known. Such figures also ignore the real issue, which wasn’t profit or loss, but constitutional authority – or, more to the point, the lack thereof.

Security

All Your Information

A government program enacted by Attorney General Eric Holder in March of this year, according to The Wall Street Journal, allows “the little-known National Counterterrorism Center [NCTC] to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them.” The Journal extracted the information from the “most transparent administration in history” only through a Freedom of Information Act request – and, as it happens, only after the election.

The collection and use of this information about ordinary citizens – anything from flight records to financial assistance applications to health records to firearms permits – is unprecedented. The NCTC, established in 2003 by George W. Bush, may keep said information for up to five years, but if the information is “reasonably believed to constitute terrorism information,” it may be retained permanently. Information can also be given to foreign governments. Indeed, the Journal quotes a “former senior administration official” as saying the new power is “breathtaking” in its scope. As usual, the Obama White House completely bypassed Congress.

Despite assurances from the administration that there will be “rigorous oversight,” this new power grab is deeply troubling. For starters, collecting information without probable cause would seem to violate the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches. However, just how this applies to records the government creates and then shares isn’t clear. The Federal Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the sharing of government-collected data in a way incompatible with its original purpose, but it also leaves room for agencies to exempt themselves so long as they provide notice in the Federal Register. The Obama administration has a disturbing penchant for fretting over right-wing extremists, meaning American Patriots have much to fear.

We certainly don’t think the Founders intended to grant this sweeping power to the federal government. Benjamin Franklin once said, “They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.” He was right.

Department of Military Correctness: Army Manual

A new manual for the U.S. Army is being drafted, and it’s already raising hackles for bringing political correctness to new heights. According to Judicial Watch, “the new manual, which is around 75 pages, suggests that Western ignorance of Afghan culture – not Taliban infiltration – is responsible for the increase in deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers against the coalition forces.” The draft was leaked, and it reportedly contains a whole list of taboo subjects, including “making derogatory comments about the Taliban,” “advocating women’s rights,” “any criticism of pedophilia,” “mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct” or “anything related to Islam.”

This is the same sort of thinking that blames guns for crime. Instead of treating the Taliban like the enemy, our soldiers will be forced to show “sensitivity” toward them, even as the Taliban gradually wrests back the nation we’ve spent 11 years and more than 2,000 lives to liberate from their iron grip. Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, disapproves of the manual, and we hope his opinion prevails over the mushy sentiment of leftists.

Continuing Trouble in Egypt and Syria

The much ballyhooed “Arab Spring,” which leftists told us would somehow give birth to an Arab love of democracy, instead continues to devolve into the usual Arab thuggery, while Islamist Sharia law metastasizes across the region. In Egypt, the world’s largest Arab country, President Mohamed Morsi, former leader of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, prepared to deploy the Egyptian military to safeguard balloting during a referendum on the country’s new, Sharia-heavy constitution. Over the past two weeks, hundreds of thousands have protested in the streets against the new charter, MB offices and headquarters have been attacked, and at least seven people have died in clashes between Islamists and secular political factions. Morsi followed through on plans to authorize the military to protect national institutions and polling places, an order that amounts to a form of martial law, as it allows soldiers, under the direction of the defense minister, to arrest civilians under a military code of justice.

Why would the powerful Egyptian military, a partner of the West for decades under deposed President Hosni Mubarak and recipient of billions of dollars from the U.S., agree to go to bat for the MB? First, there are more Islamists in the military’s leadership than previously thought, and second, the military seems to have reached a mutual “do not disturb” agreement with the MB.

Indeed, the new constitution creates a 15-member national defense council that will be an autonomous overseer of the Egyptian military, thus allowing the military to operate as it pleases. And by keeping the military free from MB control – at least for now – the MB is saying that it’s just fine to keep U.S. dollars and weapons coming, including more than 20 F-16 fighter jets that are part of a $1 billion foreign aid package. The first four of these jets will be delivered to Egypt in January, joining more than 200 of the planes already in the Egyptian arsenal. Of course, as soon as Morsi and the MB get their constitution and consolidate power, Islamists in the military will purge any remaining secularists, and Egypt’s powerful military will become an Islamist hammer, ready to pound on neighboring Israel.

In Syria, meanwhile, the U.S. formally recognized the primary rebel group as the “legitimate representative of the Syrian people,” and invited the rebel leader, Moaz al-Khatib, to the White House. Now that staunchly pro-Syrian Russia is hedging its bets on President Bashar al-Assad’s ability to retain power, the Obama lead-from-behind foreign policy team is exploring possible U.S. involvement in the civil war there. On the other hand, the U.S. is sending two Patriot missile batteries to Turkey to defend against any Syrian missiles.

Culture

Second Amendment: Illinois Carry

Illinois is known for its stringent gun control laws while the city of Chicago is known for its out-of-control gang problem. To date, the state bans the carrying of concealed weapons, and a tsunami of regulatory hurdles makes it next to impossible to even own a firearm in Chicago (note how much that’s reduced violence in the city). But good news came on Tuesday as the Seventh Circuit Court struck down the long-standing carry ban and gave the state 180 days to pass a bill permitting concealed carry. “The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside,” declared Judge Richard Posner. “Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden.”

As expected, gun control advocates plan to continue the legal fight and are pressuring the state to implement highly restrictive carry requirements. Citing escalating gang violence, Chicago aldermen have promised to do whatever it takes to fight the decision. Alderman Joe Moore seemingly outlines their next move: “I believe that the city would be well within its rights to prohibit [concealed carry] within its borders, and then we’ll take that up to the Supreme Court.” The city already responded to the Supreme Court’s decision striking down its gun ban by keeping as many draconian restrictions on ownership as possible.

The Illinois House previously failed to get the 71 votes needed to pass a concealed carry bill in May 2011. The sponsor of that bill, Rep. Brandon Phelps, is contemplating an attempt to pass another bill in January’s lame-duck session. Phelps says that many Chicago city workers are afraid to speak out in support of concealed carry legislation.

This week’s ruling is certainly good news that should at least limit the state’s unconstitutional prohibition on gun rights, but it’s only the start of an uphill road. No word yet on whether Barack Obama has scheduled a flight to Chicago to publicly bash the court’s decision.

Judicial Benchmarks: ‘Choose Life’ Plates Struck Down

Miffed at not getting their own way, pro-abortion crusaders are trying to silence those who stand for life. Last week in North Carolina, a federal judge caved to the ACLU by declaring unconstitutional the state’s “Choose Life” license plates, all because the state doesn’t also offer “reproductive freedom” plates. In order for a license plate to be offered in North Carolina, the state legislature – that governing body elected by the people – must authorize it. In 2011, the legislature did just that with the “Choose Life” plates. Six times, however, the legislature rejected plates saying either “Trust Women. Respect Choice” or “Respect Choice.” Unable to win through the democratic process, the pro-choice crowd hired the ACLU to file a lawsuit. And in November of last year, a judge temporarily blocked production of the pro-life plates. The recent ruling made that block permanent.

The truth is that pro-abortionists aren’t satisfied with free speech – no one is stopping them from saying anything. Their goal is to silence those who disagree with them. Failing through representative government, they’re trying to succeed through judicial censure. The ACLU called the ruling “a great victory for the free speech rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on reproductive freedom.” Only the Left could claim that silencing one side is free speech for all.

Thieves Steal, but Toymaker Makes Right

A few weeks ago, thieves broke into a storage shed on the grounds of St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, and stole toys intended for 300 needy children. It’s not clear how many individuals were involved in the theft, but they were no doubt aware of the effect their crime would have on already struggling families. Many of these children are supported by St. Anne’s pantry, and the church collected the toys for the past year so that they could have something to open on Christmas.

When news of the theft broke, toy giant Hasbro teamed up with church officials to replace the gifts; they even matched the children’s Christmas “wish lists.” To those who believe in both the meaning of Christmas and private industry, this story is heartwarming but not all that hard to believe. Those who have made a career of vilifying “big business,” however, might be surprised to learn that corporations are actually run by real people capable of extraordinary kindnesses and real Christmas spirit.

And Last…

Elizabeth Warren won her Massachusetts Senate seat for a number of reasons, not least of which being that when the Bay State elected Ted Kennedy in perpetuity, it set the bar incredibly low. Even Warren’s false claims to Native American ancestry didn’t derail her bid. But now that she’s laid claim to a life-long Senate seat, she needs to pay off $400,000 in campaign debt. What better experience for governing does she need than running a campaign deficit? She blames the debt on the problem of having so many volunteers late in the campaign that they had to buy “more last-minute coffee and pizza” than she could afford. The truth is, the debt resulted from dullard things like printing, mailing and accounting costs – well, that plus wigwams, powwows and peace pipes.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

View all comments

219 Comments

Bill Byford in Las Cruces said:

They are all about choice when it's there choice and no one else's choice matters.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Id10t in Blue State replied:

Between there and their and they're, there's a difference!

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Pete G. in MS said:

It all makes sense now, Marijuana and Gay Marriage being legalized on the
same day.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

Go be a Muslim under Sharia law then and live in the stone age.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Brad W. in Newton, MA replied:

Now THAT is funny, Pete.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

Yeah, it is funny, & we had all better hope God has a sense of humor, & I think he does, because Obama got re-elected, Oh, and we should take up a collection to buy Pete a Sense of Humor.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 6:03 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

Oh, Bob is the one to buy for! 8*))

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 6:04 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

But Petes post brings up another issue. For years after years in several different states - "Same-Sex" marriage has failed in referendum after referendum only to be challenged and overturned by a single activist judge, then suddenly in a year when Obama gets re-elected, with several probability anomalies some refer to as statistical impossiblities wherein some Blue State precincts in large Urban areas zero votes are recorded for the GOP opposition. And to prove the improbablity of this happenstance a largely rural, conservative county in TX with a small population has 5 votes for Obama, which proves to me that even in a large urban demographic Zero votes for anyone is Impossible. And so in this same years of vote irregularities, three states- the only states having referendums- have referendums on "same-sex" marriages and all PASS?

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Richard Sims in Tacoma, WA replied:

Pete, PRICELESS!! But I don't think Moses was considering a weed when he wrote this.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Bob E in NM said:

I still have a vestigial bone leftover from my days as a Democrat so I am not always in total agreement with you guys. But I will say that the top earners in my neighborhood are government aristocrats. These are guys who snatch food and prosperity off of Grandma and Grandpa's plates and go out and buy all of the latest toys. They drive SUVs and Harleys and jetskis and Winnebegos. Their kids all have Iphones. But get this, they don't pay the Social Security Tax (sic) the rest of us have paid all of our lives. So they expect us to bend our knees and doff our hats to their unfunded pension liabilities after having skipped out on Social Security.

Many of these guys are double dippers. They get their retirement and stay on the job. Try doing that with Social Security and see what happens. Try doing that with any private sector retirement and see what happens.

Neo Coms prancing about in a world of special privilege... pointing with one hand at the wealthy 2% with one hand while their other hand is deep in our pockets pinching and twisting. In my mind the 2% they are pointing at is the Stock Market. They hate and envy the Stock Market. Bu that is where private sector retirements live. To satisfy their unfunded liabilities... they want to eat our retirements.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Mark in San Antonio replied:

Good post, Bob...

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

MajorStu in Peru, IN replied:

Those working in unions probably don't know that the stock market is where their pension funds are invested, too.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Cousin Elwood in Concord, CA said:

We just have too many laws. Gay marriage is supposed to give equal tax benefits to gay couples, but income tax was a breach of the Constitution in 1913. One bad law begets another.
Straight folks object to homosexuality being taught in schools but schools were never set up to teach your children about sex - readin' ritin', rithmatic people. That's all.
We don't need immigration reform, because anyone should be allowed to come. We need welfare reform (removal) because no on, immigrant or otherwise, should burden the country by their laziness. And so many "illegals" would work if they weren't hiding from ICE.
This country should run on 1% of the laws we now have.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Paul Zuzzio in Wrightstown, NJ said:

While I agree totally with your evaluation of the 10th Ammendment and Constitutional issues involving the upcoming SCOTUS cases, I can't help but notice that even you guys at the Post fail to address the issue in its most basic form, applicability. With the exception of religion, which has been clearly enshrined in our Constitution via the 1st Ammendment, no other basis for "anti-discrimination" or "equality" has been based on the CHOICES of the individuals involved, but rather involuntary traits and conditions. Homosexuality is no exception.

There is ZERO objective scientific evidence to support, or disprove, the causes of homosexuality. All the studies that have been done have either been proven as biased, cherry picked, pre-determined outcome garbage or had sample groups so small and research methodology so poor that they rival "Global Warming" in their absurdity. Meanwhile, some of the "protected classes" being argued for by the Left, imply or outright state personal CHOICE as part of the title: Bisexuality, Transsexual, Transgender (the last two still being recognized as mental illness and Gender Identity Disorder).

Until such time as a PROPER scientific study has been conducted, in accordance with standard protocals and research objectivity, homosexuality can not be legitimately ruled upon either way in regards to it's standing as a genetic trait (involuntary, "I was born this way", subject to anti-discrimination and equality enforcement) or as a behavior choice caused by any number of reasons up to including mental illness (behavior choice and not protectable).

Please keep your focus on the core issues at heart of this matter and don't let yourself get sidetracked or distracted with other points while assumptions and assertions go unanswered.

Thanks

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:22 AM

rippedchef in sc replied:

for the umpteenth time,as your post seems very intelligent,I'll explain-homosexuality is a choice by definition,as is obesity,drug abuse,violence and many other behaviors and actions.Regardless of how any person "feels" he/she was created with certain equiptment that operates in a specific manner.Using the equiptment for something other than what it was designed for is a choice,regardless of any feelings to the contrary.Even with a gun to your head there is a choice,perhaps not a good choice but a choice none the less.I for one would be much more willing to even discuss the whole LGBT "thing"if they would quit whining about what victims they are and actually take responsibility for their choices and then stand their ground and make their demands.Weakness and victimhood are never good arguments and excuses are alwyas worthless

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

Your analogies are bogus. Homosexuality in no more a choice than heterosexuality

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:14 PM

rippedchef in sc replied:

wow-thats all you've got?-"my analogies are bogus",perhaps you could look up the definition of "choice" or perhaps you and your gay friends want to change the meaning of that word as well??

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Brian in Newport News replied:

"Shut up!" he exclaimed.

Of course it is a choice. To have sex at all is a choice. To not have sex at all is a choice. Even under the threat of violence (ie, holding a gun to one's head) the one threatened still has a choice. All behavior (except involuntary reflexes, and even that can be unlearned) is a choice.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia said:

The Constitution has no authority in marriage. Its a states rites area period. However, if you say only a man and woman can marry, then whats next, only people of the same race, ethnic group ect. No human is going to marry there cow or dog. But a human should be able to marry another human regardless of sex. Now this does not mean a church wedding either. Church and State in this area are seperate. But the "government" really has no authority to tell people who can marry whom. To me its a civil rites issue.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Craig Omaha in Omaha, NE replied:

Hey Bob,

I'll bet you a quarter now that in ten years we are talking about poligamy not being covered in the constitution, adult men marrying young boys and yes even people marrying their pets for the tax and social program benefits.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

Now you are going to extreems with no rationallity.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:15 PM

RedLeg in M'boro replied:

Your commment was used when this whole arguement began in the 1960's or before. That this country would never allow same sex marriage. The line just keeps moving and those that do not understand the history behind events, well everyone pretty much knows the rest of the statement. Yes, it easy to fathom that idea that NMBLA will get rights, same as rapist, same as animal lovers. When does it all stop and the citizenry states "this life style is normal" those outside of normal...?. We cannot be mean, but there will be a stopping point one day. I am just wondering when?

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Bruce R Pierce in Owensboro, Ky replied:

Marriage as an institution is a Judo/Christian contract between God, a man and a woman. For centuries secular couples have respected that designation with rituals from "hand fasting" to visiting the JOP, except for political reasons this should be a non-issue. This country was founded on the Judo/Christian ideals so the further this country removes itself from those ideals the closer it gets to become the next failed state. Machiavelli, an atheist, believed in both religious values and strong family relations as the agent that promotes a strong society, he also stated that a society will get the government it deserves. Looking back on the history of the Roman republic through empire to its fall just about parallels what this country is going through. The sad fact is the only person that believes this are those who are looked at as being the problem. The time has come for those of us that understand what is going on to “hang together”.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Ray in Calumet City said:

Marriage is between a man and a woman.That's the way God the Creator ordained this contract and that's the way it is! You got a different view, bring it up with G-d!

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

From the Bibles point of view, correct. From our Constitutions point of view it is not and should not be.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Bruce R Pierce in Owensboro, Ky replied:

Funny you should bring the Constitution up, as far as it's concerned it is not the government responsibility either.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

MNIce in Minnesota replied:

Wrong, Bob, the Constitution is explicitly silent (i. e., it says nothing on the subject and that is intentional). What it does say is the Tenth Amendment, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

What this says is that neither Congress, nor the President or any part of the Executive, nor the Federal Courts have any jurisdiction whatsoever on marriage issues, except insofar as marriage may have a bearing on matters between the States (hence the federal DOMA). The Constitution does NOT prohibit the States from regulating or defining legal aspects of marriage.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:59 PM

callmeBob in NorCal said:

Equal rights - absolutely.
Marriage is a word that describes a union between a man and a woman. Not a union between two members of the same sex.

The equal rights 9for argument strives to confuse the the definition of marriage more than it attempts to gain equal rights.

Equal rights why not?
"marriage" between two members of the same sex - Never.

Its similar to referring to your house as an apartment (many call each one home) but they not the same. Also red and blue are both colors but they are notably different and appropriately described differently.

A right conferring a union between two same sex persons should not change the definition of a word.
callmeBob

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

The word marrage has more than one meaning. I really dont see how it hurts anyone else who marries who.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM

rippedchef in sc replied:

give 'em civil unions and be done with it.Gay "marriage" is an oxymoron,marriage is by definition heterosexual in nature with the purpose of propogating families period.It is not the same as my marriage,I don't care how many gays stomp their feet and hold their breath,they are not the same.Their lifestyle choices are immoral and should never be taught as an "alternate" lifestyle to any child in any school.I agree with you,get gov't away from the issue totally-out of marriages and sexuality in schools and if states want to redefine marriage so be it-I'll live in one that doesn't

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:32 PM

jackieray in lewiston me replied:

ATTA BOY!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Mark in San Antonio replied:

The word marriage does indeed have ONE meaning. It's liberal/progressives that are tying to RE-define the a word - as Bob pointed out above. If the color blue says it's no fair red is called red, and the law is changed to allow blue to be called red. No matter how you look at it - the color blue is, and will always be blue...

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM

jackieray in lewiston me replied:

There are also at least 47 shades of blue all called BLUE

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11:03 PM

MNIce in Minnesota replied:

You have to look at more than the paint when you buy a car, Bob. Before you can argue intelligently about the definition of marriage, you must understand the purpose of marriage. Marriage is a complementary union between a man and a woman. The adjective "complementary"≈ is a key part. There are things a woman brings to a marriage that a man cannot, and vice versa, and the physical aspects are by no means the entirety of this class of complementary contributions. Just as you cannot fasten a mechanism together with two bolts only, or two nuts only, but must use a nut and a bolt, so you cannot found a true family with two men or two women (I'm speaking of a multi-generational family, not sibling relationships).

A very important function of the man-woman union is the raising of children (even though that does not directly apply to all marriages). Children do best in a home headed by a husband and his wife. America pays a very heavy price for failing to keep that the norm. That was once a primary rationale for state marriage laws, which used to incorporate prohibitions on adultery and fornication, and strong restrictions on divorce in part for this purpose.

Marriage between one man and one woman is the proper outlet for sexuality. Again, our society pays a large penalty for neglecting this wisdom. Besides the rampant physical diseases transmitted through sexual immorality, there are emotional and mental health consequences. Inappropriate sexual behavior can lead to difficulty with personal relationships, including those that should have no sexual component. This is especially prominent in women who were "sexually active" as adolescents, according to a number of studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. It is no coincidence that the demand for professional counseling has soared as society has rejected sexual mores.

The bottom line is that God's laws on sexuality and marriage are not arbitrary or capricious, nor are they the invention of stuffy old folks. They are based on love and wisdom, and the Creator's intimate understanding of human nature. We discard them at our peril. "He who sins sexually sins against his own body."

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Hamilton in IL replied:

TO: Bob, rippedchef, jackieray, mark, MNIce, et al

On gay marriage ...

It makes no sense to bitch and moan about being down at the bottom of a hole while you're still digging.

We can argue about what marriage means until we're blue in the face, but it won't help until we realize that the self-appointed arbiter in this case is the wrong entity. In my opinion, the gay marriage debate would disappear, and everyone would be happy, except big-government types, if we could get government, at all levels, out of marriage. Marriage was a religious construct, long before government got into it.

The main reason for the arguments is because of the inequality created by the government's rules about marriage. It is the government that, by virtue of their marriage laws, creates a "married" class of person with rights and privileges specific to that class, and often in conflict with, and in discrimination against, unmarried individuals. Get it? There should be no "class" in society beyond, or in addition to, the individual. Tax and insurance ramifications should only apply to individuals.

I say that if we could acknowledge that people want to marry whomever they want, and if we could get government out of marriage completely, thereby remanding it back to the various religious sanctuaries where it belongs, we could say goodbye to this controversy. Let hetero Christian couples get married in their churches. Let hetero Jewish couples get married in their synagogs. Let hetero Buddhist couples get married in their temples. Etc, etc, etc. Then let homosexuals create their own sanctuaries in which they can get married. And in all these sanctuaries, the benefit of being married will be limited to the recognition given to them by their respective sanctuaries.

In this absence of any government recognition of marriage and any government-sponsored benefit to being married, I think hetero couples will still get married because the benefits of marriage come from the strength of the mutual and willful partnership, within the couples themselves. If homosexuals really want to get married, then their sanctuaries will get created. If not, then they won't. And if they do, their marriage benefits will be no different than any others.

Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 12:23 PM

jackieray in lewiston me replied:

Marriage is a word that describes a union between two consenting adults reconized by the government

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Larry Klein in MN said:

Regarding toy thieves, are you saying the meaning of Christmas is toys? ( "To those who believe in both the meaning of Christmas".)

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Mark in San Antonio replied:

Of course not - the outrage is that the thieves stole gifts specifically donated for/to under-privileged kids. Wouldn't matter if it was Christmas, Hanukkah, or gifts for hurricane Sandy victims.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM

MNIce in Minnesota replied:

No, the meaning of Christmas is the generous giving of the greatest Gift to man, the Son of Man. We celebrate this Gift by giving gifts to others, particularly those who do not deserve them or cannot repay in kind. It was very generous of Hasbro to give replacement gifts to those from whom the original gifts were stolen.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:56 PM

Trudy in alabama said:

Some woman, years ago, married a tree. I feel sure she has since abandoned said tree--someone should pursue her for support or, heaven forbid, polygamy! What about alimony? Opening Pandora's box, methinks.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

I doubt seriously any state or religion would sanction a tree marriage.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Brad W. in Newton, MA replied:

I recall that woman. The tree was above the age of consent at least, but was a strong, silent type who promised he would never leaf her. He did have rings but it is unknown if he gave her one. They put down roots and there are several branches to their family now, but some of their offspring are nuts.

OK I am done now. :)

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

Lol.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Lisa in MD replied:

Good reply funny. Love it!

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:29 PM

MNIce in Minnesota replied:

The question should have been asked, wood that relationship hold up, or wood one of the partners lumber away?

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Randy Miller in Ohio said:

Lost in all this argument is the fact that marriage did not originate with government, it predates government. The federal and state governments can decide how they will react to and treat the covenent of marriage but neither entity has any right to redefine what it is any more than they can redefine any other basic fact. Government recognizes marriage, it doesn't own marriage. Redefinition of terms is an insidious deceit and we must stop allowing it to happen.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Eric in Maryland said:

I always find it interesting, how conservative thinkers get caught in between a rock and a hard place on this issue. On one hand, it's a state's rights issue, since the Constitution is silent on it. On the other hand, it turns into a religious issue, because Christianity believes it to be a sin. You cannot legislate morality. See Prohibition.

That being said, if a state wants to legalize it, then that is their voters' choice. The Federal government should just say that if your state recognizes you as married, then for Federal taxes and other legal issues, you are considered as being in a civil union, with all the legal rights and responsibilities of being married.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

Thank-you, a breath of reason.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Mark in San Antonio replied:

There's no rock or hard place in my thinking... Marriage is a word with a specific definition. (Just as we define the color "red" to be red.) Redefining words to meet a political, social, or sexual agendas is plain and simple wrong.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 2:52 PM

jackieray in lewiston me replied:

there are at least 47 shades of red all called red

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM

MNIce in Minnesota replied:

"You cannot legislate morality." This old canard has been refuted many times by counter-example. It is immoral to steal. States have numerous laws covering many methods of stealing. The fact that some people still steal does not mean the laws are worthless; rather it points out the need for penalties for violating the laws.

The problem arises when the law is applied inappropriately. It is one thing to limit drinking by prohibiting the operation of machinery while intoxicated, or banning public drunkenness. It is another to try to enforce a prohibition against entirely private behavior of little consequence to anyone else. (However, a person who disrupts his family with drunkenness may be subject to neglect or abuse charges, which then amount to an unwritten penalty for alcohol misuse, for this is not "entirely private.")

I have argued elsewhere in these comments that sexual behavior is not entirely private in its consequences. Where the consequences affect the public welfare, the state may have a proper interest.

But not everything disallowed should be coerced against with threats of fines or imprisonment. Some misbehavior should be subject to public censure and disapproval, and in such cases, the public must be permitted to make its disapproval known (as is commonly done with smoking, which is immoral only insofar as it is a waste of resources or pollution of the air breathed by others). Those who attempt to silence censure of improper sexual behavior are trying to impose their immorality on society. Their actions are all the more egregious when they have "pride" celebrations on the government dime and attempt to indoctrinate everyone's children with their propaganda through public school laws.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 12:23 AM

JTG in Indiana replied:

I find it interesting that there's no comment on church/state separation on this issue as it doesn't fit the left's narrative. I find it disturbing that the Penn State coach indulged in the most vile form of homosexuality and it's only noticed because the victims were young boys. Homosexuality is an aberration and it should not be forced down out throats (pardon the pun).

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Robert in Alabama said:

I personally disagree with the Homosexual, Gender disorientation thing . I do believe the only way to get new members to their society is to recruit from underage,impressionable kids so by definition they are child molesters. However the problem is Government and those who use government to force their ideas,costs,beliefs,morals or lack there of on everyone by decree. Just because it has been deemed lawful doesn't make it acceptable to everyone. Morality and immorality should not be forced on anyone. 300 million people will never agree on anything so maybe just doing what you want (anything peace full) with out government interference should be the AMERICAN way. Government is not and never will be the answer to any problem. It only creates more and makes life more difficult. "The Economics of Prohibition" will set you straight .

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Brad W. in Newton, MA replied:

With all due respect, Robert, in knowing a good number of men and women who are gay, there was never any doubt in their minds to whom they were attracted. Just as I knew when I was two, when I had a major crush on this really adorable 5 year old girl, "it just was".

They too had similar recollections from an early age. Is it a dominant number of people? No, not at all. But they are still for whatever reason, wired as they are, as we are wired as we our (as I presume, "straight").

Was never a choice nor a decision to be made and certainly not an act of recruitment.

When my (gay) friends get married, it does not undermine my marriage in any way. We all lead good, productive lives and help those around us. Many of us are also, to use a term, conservatives, strongly so in many ways, enjoying the right to be left alone. I probably will not convince you, only ask to speak my mine. Thanks for reading.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

Ah, its so good to read comments that have reason written in them rather than emotional BS

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 1:18 PM

wladamson in Maryland said:

Is there some reason that Patriot Post doesn't offer the opportunity to donate via Pay Pal? I give to many organizations by this method but can't give to the Patriot Post by that means. I donated recently by credit card but would prefer Pay Pal.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Jerry O'Donnell in East Syracuse said:

Marriage if I'm not mistaken comes for the word Matramony a sacrament in the Catholic faith. It is a relegious event not a gov't event.
If some want a civil uniion (partnersbhip) with all the legal rights of a married couple. I'm fine with that. Just don't call it a marriage.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Bob in Brunswick Georgia replied:

Whats in a word, when marriage and union meant the same thing.

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM

JWH in "The Republic of Texas" replied:

Plenty!

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Brad W. in Newton, MA replied:

I suspect the term "marriage" does come from "Matramony", the confluence of "Mattress" and "Money". But I digress. :)

Friday, December 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM