I know Mikasaur2000 already posted this, but it’s so fantastic I need to post it again.
Archive for the ‘gay rights’ Category.
Whoa! It seems I was totally wrong when I expected the California Supreme Court to uphold the ban on gay marriage. Instead, they struck down the ban as unconstitutional, allowing same sex marriage in the state. Conservatives are already rallying to try to get a constitutional amendment banning it on the ballots in November,
but it seems pretty unlikely that they’d be able to get the two thirds majority needed to pass it. Edit: it only takes a simple majority, which seems much easier. I don’t know if it is likely to pass. Hooray, progress!
Also, there is currently some finegaling in Congress these days over funding the Iraq invasion. It would be awesome if the legislators finally grew a spine and started passing bills that would, you know, stop wars of aggression and ban torture and provide education and medical benefits to veterans (admittedly, that last one is not related to Congress, but it’s despicable enough to mention along with the rest of this crap). but unfortunately I doubt this will actually go anywhere, and even if it did, Bush would almost certainly veto any such measure.
In natural disaster news, the cyclone that hit Burma and the earthquake in China have each left tens of thousands dead. Burma is in trouble because it is a poor country that doesn’t have the infrastructure to help the refugees or to rescue the people still trapped. China is in trouble because the areas worst hit are in hard-to-reach mountainous areas, and the earthquake coupled with heavy rains the next day wiped out most of the roads and airports, so it’s hard to send aid to the victims.
Hooray, getting my blog back onto the “Civil Liberties and World News” bit, rather than the “and computer science and stuff” part. I had begun to wonder if I needed to change the title of this blog.
Today the California Supreme Court began considering the constitutionality of gay marriage. The overwhelmingly Republican court is expected to deny the pleas of dozens of plaintiffs hoping the state will sanction their marriages. A decision is expected in about 3 months, so this shouldn’t drag on forever and with any luck I’ll remember to follow up on it when the results are in. In the meantime, I can hope against hope that the court will extend the same rights and liberties to everyone.
The news of the week comes in two different parts, and I think that they both are distressing.
The high court of Maryland held up a law which has banned all gay marriages there. They didn’t, however, say lawmakers cannot repeal the decree if they want. In other words, neither the ban nor gay marriage is unconstitutional there. This nonetheless comes as a setback for anyone trying to legalize it; I fear that repealing the law will not happen for several more years at this rate.
Also, the EU rejected a plea from their parliament asking to cancel the ban of all liquids on flights coming into or leaving from Europe. They claim that the liquids can still pose a threat in the hands of some mythical terrorists (these people, apparently, somehow are able to blow up a plane with the liquids but cannot, of course, simply carry them on in the smaller containers allowed). The problem as I see it lies in the fact that the only known terororists ever considering using a liquid explosive were foiled without such a ban, and instead they were caught using only police and detective work (note that I thought there were older attempts, but I can’t seem to find them again; I recall that they also had planned to use liquids and they, too, were stopped by police work instead. I think this had been in the ’90’s sometime, but it’s honestly just a gut feeling.). However, the EU’s Commission decided that lifting the ban would still “lower its guard” and instead they require “the full range” of (useless and impotent) measures in place. These rules are so stupid; I wish someone there would just tell them they’re being irrational.
The news everyone seems to be talking about is that former US President Gerald Ford has died, presumably of something related to old age. Although I had always had the impression that he was a bumbling fool and everyone disliked him for pardoning Nixon (which apparently lead to his defeat in the next Presidential election), lots of people seem to be coming out of the woodwork and saying how great Ford was at bringing the nation together and healing them after the Watergate, Vietnam, and civil rights problems the country was experiencing.
In what I consider more interesting news, the Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that the state Senate must vote on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The legislature moved to recess without voting on it, which is against the state laws. However, the court aknowledges that they cannot force the lawmakers to vote on the issue (and the lawmakers have done this before). Assuming the amendment gets at least 25% of the Senate’s votes, it would go to a public election. This makes a lot of sense for constitutional amendments; it seems like they should be ratified by the people. However, it seems like a really bad idea to let the often ignorant, stupid, and bigoted masses decide on civil rights issues (can you imagine what would have happened if segregation had been put to a popular vote in 1954, instead of just letting Brown v. Board of Education stand?). We’ll see what happens, and although it would be nice if lawmakers followed the law, I really hope that gay marriages aren’t banned.
Finally, it looks like President Bush is considering changes in his Iraq policy, though I personally doubt he will set any sort of timetable. From what I’ve seen on CNN (Anderson Cooper is so awesome!), we need more troops over there to keep everything from collapsing into civil war (you know, more than it already has), but we don’t appear to have many more troops to send over. The whole thing is a disaster, but at least Bush is starting to consider new options instead of just burying his head in the sand. Time will tell how this turns out.
I’m back in MN for a week, and although it’s great to see friends from high school again (and hopefully play some more bridge with Jim), my mom is already driving me nuts. I think I just need to spend as much time as possible outside of the house, and I’ll be ok. If you’re in town, give me a call; my number is on Facebook (yes, psifer, it really is)!
Today’s nerdtacular tip is brought to you by the letter π and the number e: if you telnet into port 80 of a webserver, you can write your HTTP requests by hand. I haven’t quite figured out how to use this to my advantage yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s there somewhere… I can now fill in my own custom values when submitting forms, without bothering to download and edit the source for the page with the form on it, if nothing else (though I’d still need to look at the source to see what parameters the form contains).
A quick example →