Separation of Church and State Is Not Supported by Justice Scalia

Opinions on Marriage Equality Rapidly Evolving
Opinions on Marriage Equality Rapidly Evolving

The American population does not equate homosexuality with sins as egregious as rape or murder, much to the dismay of the hard-line Fundamentalist Christians on the Right. This shift in attitude towards gays is based on recent polls which demonstrate increasing acceptance of the idea of marriage equality, especially among the millennial generation (those born after 1980), where eventually, discrimination against homosexuals marrying will be considered as unpalatable as overt racism is today (provided you are not at a Teaparty Express rally). Unfortunately, one of our very own Supreme Court Justices believes quite the contrary. “If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?” Scalia said he is not equating sodomy with murder but drawing a parallel between the bans on both.” Equating the acceptance of gay marriage with tolerance of murder certainly perverts society to a point where logical conversation can no longer take place. It is worth noting that Antonin Scalia exerts massive influence over Justices like Alito and Thomas so it is unfortunate that at least one-third of our highest court in the land rules in favor of Biblical law over the Constitutional principles they were appointed to uphold.

Don’t actual human beings who simply want their marriages recognized in law at least deserve equal dignity with guns? Not as far as Scalia is concerned. Scalia himself, in his majority opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (establishing a heretofore unrecognized individual right to bear arms) looks to what weapons are “typically possessed by law-abiding citizens” to determine which classes of guns might, or might not be, deserving of Second Amendment protection. So evolving standards of gun ownership over the course of 200 years can be used to interpret the constitutionality of gun control laws. If Scalia were truly an “originalist,” he would have stopped at muskets and bayonets that were in common usage at the time the Bill of Rights was passed. The evolution of firearm technology receives far more consideration than the increasingly more tolerant mores of society and its attitudes towards equality for all.

Scalia was the headliner this year at the St Thomas More dinner in Las Vegas in September, 2012. He’s also appeared at an evening Catholic Red Mass liturgy at the Guardian Angel Cathedral just off the Strip. The church service seeks divine guidance for judges, lawyers and other legal professionals. The SCOTUS justice believes canon law and constitutional law are inextricably linked. His very own son is a Catholic Priest who firmly believes in reparative therapy for gay and lesbian “sinners.”

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Father Paul Scalia
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Justice Antonin Scalia

Antonin’s son Paul, a Roman Catholic, has served as chaplain for the Arlington, Virginia chapter of “Courage” an official Catholic apostolate that ministers to people with “same-sex attractions” or what the rest of society refers to as gay, lesbian and bisexual people. The ludicrous assumption that sexual identity is something left to choice and not inherent characteristics people are born with shows just how outdated his thinking is.

Scalia has a sordid history in rulings that entirely discount racial bias as inevitable, as if they are simply a natural byproduct of society. As a strict constructionist, Scalia would have supported the decision of Plessy Vs.Ferguson which allowed for state mandated segregation. Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954 fortunately reversed that awful mark on our society as a non-egalitarian nation. Scalia does, based on his history of religious dogma actually superseding the Constitution, support Biblical law over Democracy. We all know the Bible is laden with misogyny, slavery, prejudice and murder. Having members of our very own Supreme Court who think this way is an embarrassment and represents totally regressive thinking.

The high court will continue to inflict its brand of biblical justice on our nations’ gay and lesbian population if they don’t strike down the ban on same-sex marriage in ALL fifty states. DOMA was passed in 1996, according to Justice Kagan, in a climate with dislike of gay people. As the attitudes of our citizens evolve and shift on this equal rights issue, it is absolutely absurd our highest court in the land should continue to uphold draconian measures based on a work of fiction. By labeling gays as an abomination, Scalia, the strict constructionist who terrorizes Americans with his antediluvian brand of justice, hopes to nullify the equality espoused by our Founding Fathers. Around the world, so many are watching the United States, once a bastion of freedom and hope, with horror as the possibility of sanctioned discrimination may continue if Scalia has his way.

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Tea-Billy Gun Nuts Holding Rational Americans Hostage

A generous estimation of the membership of the NRA puts their total number at around four million. In a nation of over 300,000,000 citizens, how can the bosses of this relatively small group control the agenda of all legislation pertaining to Second Amendment matters and more specifically, the proliferation of high-powered guns? Moreover, most gun owners are entirely supportive of sensible gun laws Congress refuses to pass. What causes such disharmony where popular opinion is so antithetical to current legislation?

The founders of these United States could not have foreseen weaponry as lethal as today’s automatic weapons when, at that time, it was so arduous to fire a single shot musket. They designed the living, breathing Constitution to be malleable, hence the amendments that have kept up with changing times. Technology adds extra responsibility and these advancements infringe upon the safety and well-being of our citizens. This was paramount to the thinking behind our Constitution. No one with an IQ higher than room temperature argues against stricter background checks, assault weapons restrictions and Internet/private/gun show sales. In fact, most members of the NRA already believe stricter gun laws ARE in place.

The culprit of all this malevolence is the conservative-owned media. They seek to deceive, distort and confuse their base. This deception is achieved by employing some basic strategies: offensively false billboards, hiring caustic radio/tv personalities and the natural concomitance of fundamentalist Christians with the gun industry. Add a touch of racism and Hitler=Obama-hysteria and you’ve ginned up enough terror in a large segment of the population to create a culture that now believes the government is plotting a socialist takeover where the Second Amendment will be annulled. Many people honestly believe President Obama is coming for their guns even though he has not passed one law to justify this paranoia.

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Rhea County, Tennessee. An ACTUAL billboard

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed three bills into law to curb gun violence on March 20, 2013. However, just the night before the signing, a member of a white supremacist prison gang shot Tom Clements fatally. The perpetrator, ex-convict Evan Ebel, the 28-year-old parolee from Denver, emerged as a lead suspect in the killing of the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections. Ebel has a history of violence, combined with “a hateful mean streak” and was eventually apprehended and shot by a Wise County, Texas deputy. The order for the hit on Clements, age 58, came from within the 211 Crew, a prison gang.

The gun problem is actually a very partisan issue, where Republicans are the primary recipients of NRA support. 88 PERCENT of Republicans in Congress have accepted monies from this terrorist organization who places profit over the general welfare of the country. Also worth noting, 11 percent of the recipients of NRA cash are Democrats (from Red States mainly) and this explains the inability of certain Democratic Senators to vote against anything that seemingly limits gun ownership. Knowing there would only be roughly forty votes in the Senate, many liberal progressives, chastised Majority Leader, Senator Reid, for not bringing an assault weapons ban to the floor. Unfortunately, a failed vote would not only fail to bring any legislative change, it would damage the Senators facing reelection in 2014 like Begich (Ak), Landrieu (La) and Baucus (Mt). Harry Reid knows when a vote would be pointless, and as unpalatable the whole thing seems, he’s right.

Even my beloved state, Nevada, has been hijacked by the more guns are always the solution crowd. S.B. 137 gets its hearing today in the Nevada Legislature, in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The measure sponsored by state Senate Republicans Goicoechea, Settelmeyer, and Cegavske, would revise and ease restrictions on concealed carry permits for firearms. Of course we should let more folks carry guns, because that preventative measure worked so well for the dead Marines at Quantico Base, who were surrounded by guns. I am positively nauseous at stories like the poor woman whose baby was shot while in a stroller by gun toting teens after losing another child to violence.

Wayne LaPierre and David Keene are death merchants, plain and simple. The NRA leadership embodies THE quintessential Libertarian/Republican principles of valuing profit over safety, health and security while promoting paranoia and distrust of government. Only when one of their own is affected by a particular societal injustice will they open their eyes to the mainstream opinions of our ever evolving population, who increasingly accept gay marriage, stricter gun laws and laws to protect our frightfully toxic environment. Anyone who believes laws will be broken, therefore we don’t need to bother enacting any laws to curb guns is employing absurd reasoning and should not be considered a rational human being.

This is a battle that is far from over, and if the progress on gay marriage and women’s rights is any indication of our society evolving despite the out-of-touch GOP wanting otherwise, history will repeat itself. Eventually the Tea-Party crazies, white-supremacist doomsday preppers and the NRA itself will be an embarrassing relic of our past, like the Antebellum South with its sordid history of slavery in America. Until that wonderful day, where we can put this violent domestic terrorism behind us, we have to contend with more tragedies which could so easily be averted. Australia and England have concrete data which show that strict gun control works! Someday, I sincerely believe we will as well.

Recently, following the Boston Marathon tragedy, a suggestion was posed that should irrefutably solve this Second Amendment “dilemma.” If there have been over 1,300 weapons purchases recently by those on the FBI’s TERROR WATCH LIST tell me what kind of rights are these psychopaths trying to protect? As antiquated as the 3rd Amendment is now considered, the 2nd Amendment seems as antediluvian.

A Letter to Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld from a Dying Veteran

This is what needs to be read directly to war criminals Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. They deserve all the scorn and fury they will receive some day. That knowledge helps keep us fighting for these veterans.

LeakSource

 

03/19/2013

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf…

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Good Luck With Your Rebranding, Republicans

If you checked out some of the highlights (or lowlights as I see them) from CPAC 2013, you might catch a hint of a half-hearted admission that something has got to change in the Grand Old Party. A political party that sounds reminiscent of the antebellum plantation mentality (that still permeates much of rural America) has deduced, from election post-mortem analyses, the future looks anything but promising.  This was discussed, but honestly, there are no plans to modify thinking on a scale necessary to rebrand the party to fit the needs of the majority of voters.

The most telling evidence the GOP is not ready for prime time can be found when interviewing a few CPAC attendees about what they thought of Senator Rob Portman (R-Oh) coming out in favor of gay marriage. Because he learned two years ago his son is gay he felt understandably sympathetic to the rights of homosexuals marrying and this simply did not sit well with conservatives. Please pay close attention to the comment of the woman at the 02:15 mark of the video.

The Frederick Douglass Republicans are those who have hijacked the black leader’s name because he was a successful businessman who must have espoused all the Republican and Libertarian values of our great Capitalist society.  This largely unknown group thinks President Obama is nothing like this man because he is so anti-business, the Koch Brothers have only increased their wealth by 43% since 2010, so that Socialist in the White House is very anti-business.  Hypocrisy abounds as the group  does not emulate Mr. Douglass in most regards.  At one of the CPAC forums, an audience member asked a rather shocking question with regards to the treatment of slaves.

Stunningly, many Conservatives believe not only should homosexuals stay in the closet like they did in the 1950’s, but slaves should have been grateful for food and shelter which they received from their captors.  Unfortunately, this type of fringe thinking is no longer on the outskirts of the party.   It’s obvious the Teaparty and Fundamentalist wing of the GOP is calling the shots.  However, in a society that is evolving towards acceptance and tolerance of all and departing from Biblical Draconian law, the GOP has little hope for evolution (ironically, many deny the concept altogether).

Misogynist Libertarian Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
Misogynist Libertarian Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

Much ado has been made by both liberals and conservatives over Rand Paul and his espousal of the idealistic Libertarian values of freedom and liberty.   After his pointless and costly 13 hour filibuster, he was the winner of the CPAC 2013 straw poll for 2016 GOP presidential nominee.  The Kentucky Senator believes corporations should be free to dump as much toxic waste into our rivers as they wish, no taxes should be paid to help our fellow citizens in need (especially to receive healthcare) and education should not be paid for by the state.  In a nutshell, he wants the government to stay out of our affairs.

He has sponsored the Fetal Personhood Amendment to give a cluster of embryonic cells the same rights as a human being.  However, before we commend him on his “pro-life” stance, he also feels a person of color could or should be excluded from any private establishment, like a restaurant, simply because the owner should have the freedom to discriminate if he so chooses.  The free market should eliminate the need for all government regulations and if active discrimination is rampant in this country once again, so be it.  This is not a man who believes in the pursuit of happiness.  He believes in the pursuit of happiness for a select few.

Isn’t the goal of the GOP, convening with their best and brightest as they did this past weekend, to increase their membership and numbers?  Has anyone in this party considered that restricting or outlawing birth control while simultaneously cutting funding for poor and unwanted children will most likely  increase the number of Democratic voters?  Minorities are generally immigrants and one of the stars of the GOP, Donald Trump, even said (out loud) that naturalizing 11,000,000 immigrants will only add that many more “Democrat” voters.  I’m having a hard time following their logic, as logic seems to evade this party entirely.

As long as women are not in control of when they give birth, discrimination and overt racism are acceptable and religious dogma supersedes equality for humanity, the Republicans are content.  The rest of the country, however, is not of this mindset and any rebranding should include a tabula rasa for the entire GOP.  This antiquated way of thinking must change, and it looks like the odds are pretty slim the hard-liners of the party will have such an epiphany.

CPAC 2013 and Selective Mandates Show Republican Ignorance

A few weeks ago, I ran into an old acquaintance from Connecticut, who was in our fair city for a few days. The first thing he told me was how absolutely bizarre Las Vegas seemed as to display numerous gigantic billboards advertising the opportunity to fire an automatic firearm. For someone from the eastern seaboard, this is rather anomalous.

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Billboards like this one are very common in Las Vegas, Nevada

In light of the obvious mass shooting tragedy that has rocked the civilized world, especially New England, any reasonable person visiting the City of Sin would find it callous and objectionable to glorify this type of weaponry. I told him this is rather de rigueur here and it doesn’t even phase most residents. Las Vegas has much the same attitude as many Red State (or purple in Nevada’s case) attitudes where guns are considered a right and a necessity for the über paranoid who have been hypnotized to believe President Obama is on a Marxist bender to disarm the nation. The Obama administration and his Leftist Army is trying to make the government so invasive, he wants to demand everyone must eat broccoli or arugula and join the New Black Panthers while paying for lazy welfare queens to go to Planned Parenthood for weekly abortions.

As utterly irrational as this may sound, it is not much of a stretch for a few towns in the South. Nelson, Georgia, population 1,300 is labeled “a liberal’s worst nightmare” because they have mandated every head of household own and maintain a firearm. Republicans hate big government and despise any invasion into their personal freedoms. But let’s look at their record of trying to mandate their way into our private lives. If they are offended by government simply trying to keep Americans safe from all-too-frequent massacres, one would think they’d be outraged at the government controlling religious freedom, reproductive health and interpersonal adult relations, right? A reasonable, logical person would think so, but we are talking about the GOP.

Indiana, one of the most Republican states in the country, has put forth a bill to mandate praying in the classroom. The recitation of The Lord’s Prayer has been proposed by an Indiana State Senator. “…The governing body of a school corporation or the equivalent authority of a charter school may require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day. The prayer may be recited by a teacher, a student, or the class of students.” Obviously the precious First Amendment would be completely dismantled by this idea, but as long it doesn’t restrict an American’s right to own weapons that can shoot 152 bullets in 5 minutes, it’s “on the table.”

New kid on the block and Republican heckler, Senator Ted Cruz (Tx), had the audacity to suggest restricting the types of guns one can own is equivalent to outlawing certain types of books. The false equivalency of the lethality of guns versus possession of certain books elucidates the perverted machinations of Cruz’s mind, which clearly is lost. In case you missed his pernicious exchange with the Democratic Senator, Diane Feinstein (CA) yesterday, here it is:

None of these small government advocates have a problem mandating teachers be armed in the classroom as well. They discard studies that show an increase in firearms is directly proportionate to an increase in firearm-related homicides. Several states have proposed laws to arm teachers and one has even passed legislation practically demanding teachers be armed, as is the case now in South Dakota.

On the issue of women’s health and reproductive freedom, the GOP has been incredibly diligent at legislating their way into the bodies of women, who comprise roughly half the population, no big deal. The anti-abortion bills put on the floor for a vote in the House alone exponentially outnumbers the jobs proposals by Republicans. But it’s even worse in the state governments run by Republicans where they’ve virtually wiped out affordable and safe abortion for poor women, especially in Arkansas, Mississippi, South Dakota and Michigan. Lest we forget the redefining of a violent act like rape and the transvaginal ultrasound probe requirement many Republicans have supported as mandatory to any abortion procedure, even when the woman is a victim of a sexual assault. This gross interpretation of freedom cost many Republicans their seats in the 2012 election, but it seems these folks have a very short memory, much like a goldfish I presume.

Today, Ohio Senator Rob Portman proclaimed his support and reformed attitude towards marriage equality. He professed how his support for love and acceptance as depicted in the Bible supersedes the traditional definition of marriage also known as DOMA, which was signed into law in 1996 but is slowly becoming highly unpopular and downright offensive to forward thinking Americans.

Do not despair, CPAC 2013 has a unique way of portraying America as hate-filled and intolerant as some of the fine speakers they showcase every year. Florida Tea-party darling Senator Marco Rubio (R) preached his usual science-denying climate change is unproven and a zygote is more important than the mother who carries it garbage. “The people who are actually closed-minded in American politics are the people who love to preach about the certainty of science with regards to our climate but ignore the absolute fact that science has proven that life begins at conception.”

 

Mandates like trying to keep people from drinking too much sugary soda and insurance companies paying for contraception have the right wing in a frenzy. But if you force an Atheist, Hindu or Muslim to recite a Christian prayer, force a woman to have an unwanted child, prevent two loving adults from marrying or allow a mentally unstable individual the right to purchase assault rifles, you are simply following god’s law and doing the work of Republican Jesus. Mandates are only wrong when they don’t make Wayne LaPierre wealthier. Perhaps this is why these guys are outraged over the shut down of White House tours; because deep down inside, in that last microscopic shred of humanity, the GOP realizes they won’t ever see the inside of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue any time soon. Elections will be theirs to lose if they continue on this path, and I’m sure not going to stop them!

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Dividing the Progressive Movement by Standing With Rand Paul Insanity

Drones were devised for the purpose of conducting strikes and surveillance over territories deemed too perilous for our own pilots. Unpleasant as it may be to imagine, we have many enemies, through much fault of our own, who wish to harm Americans worldwide. Since their invention, the American military has utilized drone technology in countries like Yemen and Pakistan because the countries are a safe-haven for terrorist activities and they’re very remote. Manned military strikes are exceptionally treacherous. The mere existence of drones is simply for the purpose of launching these offensives in areas that are foreign, so by design, they’re not for domestic use. Perhaps on rare occasion, if a foreign combatant threatened the U.S. and there was no other way (which is quite outlandish) a president could use any means necessary to protect our citizens. However, it never was an issue which an economically hampered America should concern itself with, especially in light of all the other threats which endanger Americans, like teachers in South Dakota legally allowed to carry firearms while instructing children. This is a smokescreen, nothing more, and it is embarrassing progressives fall for such nonsense.

A Kentucky Republican launched a filibuster for what he considers a noble Libertarian cause, emphatically asserting domestic drone strikes should be illegal because they violate due process in a land founded on Constitutional principles. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky/Teaparty) droned on for almost 13 hours over this pressing issue. Paul filibustered the Senate, in protest of ANOTHER Obama cabinet appointment for simple self-aggrandizement and shameless political posturing. He received the following letter a few hours hence from our Attorney General, Eric Holder:

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HuffPo-Rand-Paul-Filibuster-Drone-Stand
Courtesy of The Huffington Post

The incessant references to Hitler, the mentions of tyranny, liberty and freedom were numerous and based in fantasy and paranoia, as per usual with this Teaparty caucus. Paul also managed to defend awful Supreme Court decisions which were blatantly racist and abhorrent. Nevertheless, he was lauded by progressives who agreed with Senator Paul’s “brave” filibuster, including Van Jones. Much to my dismay, this man aired his pro-Paul sentiments on “CNN Newsroom,” and called the senator “a hero” for “sticking up for civil liberties.” Similar praise erupted from Senator Ron Wyden (D-Or) and Code Pink. On Friday March 8th, Arianna Huffington appeared as a panelist on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO and said: “I want to defend Rand Paul…I think what Rand Paul did was fantastic…What he did was incredibly important. First of all, it completely scrambled that right-left way of looking at politics.” She critiqued Democrats (aside from GOP ally Wyden of course) for not taking a similar stand. Really Arianna? Domestic drone use is a pressing concern? More pressing than another fiscal cliff, environmental insanity and gun violence? Sorry, ma’am, you’re costing us time and money for contrived threats which benefit the GOP by allowing them to divide Democrats and skirt the real issues. President Obama has never once threatened ANYONE domestically with these highly technical killing machines and he has no intention of doing so.

Naturally, the Right Wing couldn’t thank Paul enough for his obstructionism. Fox’s favorite immigrant-loathing “Anchor Baby” Michelle Malkin heaps praise on Rand Paul for singlehandedly saving the Republican Party.

 

Ironically, immediately following Holder’s letter, which negated his entire thirteen hour charade, Mr. Paul fell in line and confirmed the new CIA director at once. After the dramatic episode concluded, we learned that the whole charade was staged for the purpose of showboating and fundraising. Obviously Rand is unconcerned with the threats to American citizens and real civil liberties as he feels it is more important to allow manufacturers of lethal weapons to sell their products unchecked to a nation incited to violence by none other than the racist agenda he promotes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates over 1200 anti government patriot groups in existence today, where the anti-Civil Rights Act agenda of Mr. Paul along with others like Teabagger Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) operate in perfect symbiosis. Not only is he opposed to the 1965 law which is THE cornerstone of anti-racism legislation in America, but he opposed VAWA, denies abortion as a right and believes Biblical Law should replace the U.S. Constitution. He believes in low taxes for the rich and wouldn’t hesitate to cut funding for the poor woman he forced to birth a baby (after he defunds all women’s care facilities), because this is what Jesus would do. Maybe I forgot how Rand Paul sees Jesus: A White, Southern, GOP, and male chauvinist Jesus, not that Aramaic Semite from the Middle East who preached tolerance, humility and poverty.

Heaven forbid the first black president, or any president, chooses to use a weaponized drone on a person or group threatening the safety of the United States from within. We have an audaciously well-armed police force, FBI, ATF, CIA and four branches of the world’s largest military to defend our citizens. If at any time, a president chooses the drone option for domestic use, we are in so much trouble, I think Rand Paul’s freedom (to wear any animal on his head) is the last thing we need to worry about. Things are about to get real. I’m sure his outlandish soliloquy gave President Obama plenty of time to contemplate a domestic drone-strike option. He is far more tolerant than I would have been, as he dispensed with Senator Paul’s histrionics with a simple NO. Progressives and supporters of Democratic principles should have done the same thing. History will not be kind to the Rand Paul grandstanders of these tough times. This should be the last we hear of this nonsense, but I’m sure it will drone on ad nauseum.