Saturday, February 21, 2004

So Nader's now on Bush's payroll
Salon.com News | Nader's nadir
I'm so fucking livid i can hardly fucking type.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Screw the Right - get married today in New Mexico!
CNN.com - Gay couples marry in New Mexico - Feb. 20, 2004
Yes! I'm sorry to all those of you who think this is imprudent, but I think this kind of action is necessary - there should be a flood of this, and I think Multnomah County has a moral obligation to follw suit. (how's that for a run-on sentence?)

Your hair dryer is making you stupid, for real
ScienceDaily News Release: Exposure To Low-level Magnetic Fields Causes DNA Damage In Rat Brain Cells, Researchers Find
This should, but probably won't change people's behavior.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

This is just... awesome
Salon.com Sex | The hot naked tattooed guy next door
Article on a new porn zine for girls.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Contact info for Mayor Newsom
SFGov: Office of the Mayor: Contact the Mayor
I just sent him a nice email.

The Bush Economic Report on Healthcare
Op-Ed Columnist: The Health of Nations
From the same blokes who gave us the concept that American's jobs going overseas was good for the economy comes this. As Krugman puts it:
"When I saw that the president's economic report devoted a whole chapter to health care, I assumed that it would make some attempt to address these public concerns.

Instead, the report pooh-poohs the problem. Although more than 40 million people lack health insurance, this doesn't matter too much because "the uninsured are a diverse and perpetually changing group." This is good news? At any given time about one in seven Americans is uninsured, which is bad enough. Because the uninsured are a "perpetually changing group," however, a much larger fraction of the population suffers periodic, terrifying spells of being uninsured, and an even larger fraction lives with the fear of losing insurance if anything goes wrong at work or at home.
"

And Americans are still buying some crap about how conservatives understand economics better than liberals? This reminds me (for some reason) of when Poppy Bush saw the scanner at the grocery store and was just amazed by the technology, because he hadn't been to a grocery store in so long. This family just creeps me out.

If you read no other political commentary this week
Salon.com | The culture-war president
Read Arianna's brilliant analysis of Bush's misplaced priorities. And thank you, Arianna, for pointing out that the administration that should be focused on terror, is upping its war on porn. And attacking gay people who want to get married.

Article explaining why you need to give up HFCS
Sugar coated / We're drowning in high fructose corn syrup. Do the risks go beyond our waistline?
I have expelled all High Fructose Corn Syrup from my diet, excepting that found in Tonic. I am having trouble finding any tonic without it. But this one horrible and pervasive poison is making America fat-assed pigs, and you out there in blog land need to read some labels! Today's task, look to see how much HFCS is in your bread. That's right: bread.
Note: I put my opinion into that headline - the article focuses on the debate surrounding it. With food debates, even the most obvious assertion, like say "high fat & sugered foods can cause obesity" will be disputed by "scientists" hired by the food companies. And the Bush Administration disputes these types of things with regularity. [previously blogged, too lazy too look it up.]

Why I want this in Portland!
Now, That's San Francisco / Nothing like a few thousand gay marriage ceremonies to reignite your urban pride
Civic pride - doing the right thing and a big fuck-off to the Christian right. San Francisco outdid us. They beat us (again) to the progressive punch. But that's no reason why we can't join them in this effort say... tomorrow. I love Portland, and I want it to be even better - like with some real equal protection under the law.

A response from my letter writing fling
email from Gary.Russ@providence.org, who writes,
" I spoke with Roey Thorpe, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon, last night about this. She would appreciate anybody thinking of contacting any government body to contact her & work through them as they are developing a strategy based upon what's learned from San Francisco's case. She's looking for other couples who got married in SF, of which I know two. She did tell me to go ahead and file my paperwork here with Providence on changing my marital status and my benefits. I have already done most of it except putting my partner on the forms and delivering them to corporate HR. I'll keep you abreast of what develops.
Thank you,
- Gary"
Now I don't know Gary, but I thought his input was valuable. Here's a link to Basic Rights Oregon: http://www.basicrights.org/

I know there are plenty of gay rights groups strategizing about the best possible manner by which to get this done, but I'll respectfully disagree that that means we should not let our elected representatives know how we feel about the issue. I guaruntee you the wacky right is writing letters. Additionally, if all the correspondence comes from a single lobbying group, all the letters can be collectively dismissed as coming from a "special interest" as opposed to "constituents." It may be difficult to change things, and there's some value in being prudent and cautious, but we can't stay silent. We have to be heard, or we'll lose while we're sitting back trying not to piss people off.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Same-sex marriage in Multnomah county?
link to contact Diane Linn
General contact page for all commissioners
Why not? I just sent this message to Diane Linn, our county chair (CEO): "San Francisco beat us to it! Multnomah County should be doing the same thing and should start issuing marriage liscenses to same-sex couples ASAP. Please contact your legal advisors to determine the most legally sound method of beginning this process. The County can make an important statement to the country while fulfilling its Constitutional duty to extend equal protection to all who live here. While the battles are being fought in Massachusettes and California, we can extend this important and pertinent fight to our own backyards. Thank you for listening, and please take this action!"
If we send enough such messages to our five county commissioners, maybe they'll take a stand on this. Open up the Portland front in this war!

Monday, February 16, 2004

Solid discussion of legal issues, especially for a newspaper!
S.F. set to defend marriages in court / After mad weekend of weddings, more litigation begins today
Good article addressing some of what I wrote earlier on the issue. Apparently the second group is alleging that city officials do not have the legal authority to decide not to follow a law that they see as unconstitutional. The quote at the end of the article accurately rebuffs such notion: "Public officials have not only the right but the duty to comply with the Constitution, which is the first and highest law of the state.'' All public officials have the duty to uphold the Constitution. However, should a court issue a ruling on what the Constitution does actually say, then they can force city officials to act in a certain manner by order. This would apply when they say: "you must integrate the schools." This is a different scenario - this is city officials attempting to grant persons constitutional rights where a court has not yet determined there to be one. I see no reason why they can't do so.

A big wrinkle - Sacremento has to rubber stamp the marriage certificates, and they might not do so as the certificates had to be altered to become gender neutral. Hmm. looks like the ball's in Arnold's court.

Bush pardons Texas S&L crook
CNN.com - Bush pardons former mayor - Feb. 16, 2004
Good to know exactly where this President's sympathies lie.

Complaint against San Francisco to be heard tomorrow
pdf file of complaint
So I was too curious about what the plaintiffs were alleging against SF in the attempt to get a court to halt (via injunction) the same-sex marriages taking place there. There are two seperate court cases, and this complaint is one of them. I don't know where I can find the other off the top of my head, and thank almighty Isis, I'm not a lawyer. So anyway, the complaint, as I read it, says that the plaintiffs (the conservative California "pro-family" (so long as I like that family) group) has a Constitutional right to not live in a state where gay people marry each other. This right is based on Proposition 22, which the voters of California enacted a bit ago. Apparently, they are asserting that when the voters pass a law, the voters then have a constitutional right to have that law be enforced.

I disagree. If the Plaintiff's assertion were so, then all laws passed by voter initiative would automatically raise to the level of a Constitutional provision. Clearly, laws are not equal to or greater than the state Constitution.. Rather, they are subject to the Constitution, and should the two be at odds, the Constitution prevails, and the law is voided, regardless of how it was enacted.

Now this doesn't mean that the conservative groups won't eventually prevail, but certainly their call for an injunction based on the alleged injury to their Constitutional rights to have the law upheld, is bogus.

The proper venus for this lies with the State law enforcement, to wit: the California Attorney General's office. It is up to that office to enforce Proposition 22, and only if they see fit to do so. Certainly, there is no requirement that all laws of the state be enforced to the fullest extent possible. the AG's office could just choose to do nothing about the SF marriages at all, and they would all be valid.

I'm guessing the other case, brought by an Arizona group will have similar luck alleging an imminent injury that the court would have to step in to stop.

Unreal Tournament 2004
...is amazing! I have not blogged much, because I can't stop playing. The demo is available, and the full version should be out next month.