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Links With Your Coffee - Wednesday

Coffee Cup

Earlier this year, in a typical exercise in editorial bloviation, the pompous Thomas Friedman, a high priest in the cult of the entrepreneur, belittled the bail-outs and by inference any proto-Keynesian impulses from the left. Bail-out money would have been better spent on start-ups, Friedman suggests. Grove destroys the nonsensical position that the government should back start-ups while commodity manufacturing should be allowed to die. No matter what Mr. Friedman says, our faith in start-ups as little job creation engines is misplaced. Long experience in Silicon Valley informs Grove’s argument that shipping jobs overseas to avoid rising costs stateside is a chump’s game.

Until Wednesday, the thousands of same-sex couples who have married did so because a state judge or Legislature allowed them to. The nation’s most fundamental guarantees of freedom, set out in the Constitution, were not part of the equation. That has changed with the historic decision by a federal judge in California, Vaughn Walker, that his state’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the 14th Amendment’s rights to equal protection and due process of law.

The decision, though an instant landmark in American legal history, is more than that. It also is a stirring and eloquently reasoned denunciation of all forms of irrational discrimination, the latest link in a chain of pathbreaking decisions that permitted interracial marriages and decriminalized gay sex between consenting adults.

As the case heads toward appeals at the circuit level and probably the Supreme Court, Judge Walker’s opinion will provide a firm legal foundation that will be difficult for appellate judges to assail.

Food Growing, Energy Producing Harvest Green Tower



re: Organic Skyscrapers

Well isn't that just the cutest concept! Wonder how they plan to address the "Pasture access for Ruminants" ruling in the National Organic Program with their 2nd from the top floor of a skyscraper "Organic" dairy, or, for that matter, how they plan to power the huge fans required for Ammonia disipation from the confinement Poultry operation the next floor down. Wouldn't ya just love to have your flat or office space next to that one!

Who ARE these people?

re: Prop 8 Ruling

The full text of this final ruling is worth a read.

My favorite paragraph is on page 113. It says,

"The evidence shows that the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in marriage. The evidence did not show any historical purpose for excluding same-sex couples from marriage, as states have never required spouses to have an ability or willingness to procreate in order to marry. FF 21. Rather, the exclusion exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed."

the confinement Poultry operation the next floor down.

In their defense, they don't specify confined.

To your credit. Farming livestock in appartments seems like a pretty stupid idea. The truck ride in from teh countryside for my farm fresh eggs is not worrying me enough to raise a chicken in my bathtub.

Living in Minnesota, I do think integrating indoor garden spaces into apartments and offices would increase the availiability of local foods and likely increase air quality better than any air filter ever has.

I'm so pleased about the Prop 8 ruling. Judge Walker granted the plaintiffs everything they could have hoped for.

My favorite paragraphs (not the most poetic, but some of the most legally forceful):

"Plaintiffs do not seek recognition of a new right. To characterize plaintiffs’ objective as “the right to same-sex marriage” would suggest that plaintiffs seek something different from what opposite-sex couples across the state enjoy —— namely, marriage. Rather, plaintiffs ask California to recognize their relationships for what they are: marriages."


"Many of the purported interests identified by proponents are nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples. Those interests that are legitimate are unrelated to the classification drawn by Proposition 8. The evidence shows that, by every available metric, opposite-sex couples are not better than their same-sex counterparts; instead, as partners, parents and citizens, opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples are equal. FF 47-50. Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause because it does not treat them equally."

As both a grad student of criminal justice and a butt pirate, I'm glad Justice Walker came to the decision he did, not because I enjoy the result (which of course I do as any rump ranger naturally would) but because of the legal reasoning that made him arrive at it.

Since 1942 til the present, the Supreme Court time and again has upheld marriage to be a fundamental right (whether you or I or even this district court judge disagrees with that is irrelevant to sticking to settled law). That said, that the majority of California voters supported Proposition 8 is irrelevant, as “fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” (per West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette).

This is because justice, properly understood, is a process, not a result. The judiciary is there to decide whether everything is properly in accord with existing statutes. In other words: 'constitutional' is not a synonym for 'good.'

While I agree with this decision's reasoning at the district level being bound to by Supreme Court precedent, my honest question would be: how is marriage itself a 'fundamental' right?


Fanny bandit

WHat I find most hopeful about this case is the comination of this idea

“fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.” (per West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette).

With the this idea:

Many of the purported interests identified by proponents are nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples.

I think some of the precedent could serve to decouple religious sin judgements from the rule of law.

Next stop, legalizing Pot.

What the heck does 'democratic' mean to you Red?

Individual liberty combined with cooperative rule of law.

He the judge ruled that the popular vote went outside the role of govt and imposed a personal judgement on a minority.

One of the central tennants of democracy is that the majority can not write law to discriminate against the minority

Where are you getting this stuff?

Social studies class

RE: Lance Armstrong The article incorrectly refers to Armstrong as <>. Unlike Merckx, Hinault and Indurain, Lance competed in very few 'one day classics', never in the Giro d'Italia and maybe one Vuelta de España. He perhaps dominated the Tour de France, that's about it.

The quote should read:

"someone who dominated his sport"


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