Thursday, November 20, 2014

We Must Wait to See What Really Will Happen

   We'll have to wait to see how this plays out. Is it more smoke than fire? Is President Obama not delivering much of a change despite all the hubbub of a build-up? The heart of what he announced was that if a person here illegally has been here five years, has children, and is willing to register and pay taxes, then they can stay . . . temporarily.
   They can already do that, if you account for the fact there are deportation hearings before they are deported. If we just didn't place them in jail while they went through the process, would we be accomplishing just as much as what Obama's "deal" is providing?
   We will have to wait and see how it plays out. Obama's speech was too vague for me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Where is the Right to Privacy Implied

   So, the decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton -- those famous cases back in 1973 that legalized abortion -- were based on the premise of privacy, that women have a right to privacy protected by the Constitution?
   I join my voice to others. Just where in the Constitution does it mention this right to privacy? I understand that it is only implied. I just want to know where. Where is it implied?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Where on the Meter with Congress is rBST?

  No, we shouldn't ban an item just because everyone else does, but we sure ought to wonder about the item, and, yes, we ought to see if there is reason.
  So, if the artificial growth hormone known as rBST, which is fed to dairy cows, has been banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel and the European Union since 2000, well, we ought to wonder why the U.S. Congress doesn't consider its own ban.
   The rBST opposition says the artificial growth hormone is responsible for many a health woe.
   So, why is it we never hear a drum beating for Congress to take action on rBST? Why is it we don't hear about rBST even being considered by Congress? Perhaps there have been bills. Perhaps I just haven't been in tune enough to hear about them.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Popular Opinion and the Courts Both Give Nod to a Stronger Argument

   So, I noted that the courts are in line with public opinion on the same-sex marriage issue. They were in line all those years when same-sex marriage was not popular, and they swung over to the side of same-sex marriage when that view became popular.
   But, it should be noted that the argument for same-sex marriage became stronger. Somewhere in there, the notion that people are born with a predisposition for sexual orientation got a scientific stamp of approval. It is probably more true that the courts were but influenced by the new argument, than that they were influenced by public opinion. Public opinion, as well, also was influenced by the new, improved and stronger argument.
   Me? I do not fully accept the notion that those with same-sex dispositions are born with those inclinations. At least not all of them. Maybe many are born that way, maybe not. I do know. I have read the account of Josh Weed, and he is both sincere and persuasive in saying he was born with his same-sex attractions.
   Regardless whether it is something some are born with, I do not believe a person should practice same-sex intimacy. I simply believe God has said no to that. The Bible seems clear on the topic.
  (This post was added to 11/18/14.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gorbachev and the Miracle of a Kingdom Set Free

   One of the rare individuals in history, this Mikhail Gorbachev, for has ever there been a leader who set about taking power from himself and giving it to the people?
   What of the things leading up to the demise of the Soviet Union? Gorbachev, the supreme leader, calling for restructuring ("perestroika," we called it) of his own government?  Since when does a man in power call for a restructuring that leaves him less in power? How is it that we found this Gorbachev, whose power didn't leave him much short of being a  dictator, calling for more openness and freedom ("Glasnost," we called it)? Since when does an oppressive government such as the Soviet Union call for "openness"?
   I have long considered the return of the Jews to Israel and the the creation of the nation of Israel in 1948 as a miracle in my time. Last Sunday, as the world reflected on the 25th anniversary of events that brought down the Berlin Wall, I considered that those series of events were also of the fabric of miracle.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Courts are not to be Given to the Winds of Popular Opinion

   I read a portion of the majority opinion in the Sixth Circuit Court's decision on DeBoer v. Snyder -- that would be the case on same-sex marriage that appears likely to throw the ball back into the Supreme Court's lap.
   But, it is from the dissenting opinion that tonight  I think to comment. Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey would have the courts make same-sex marriage legal. But, I find in her comments an argument for not making same-sex marriage legal. "The framers (of the Constitution) presciently recognized that two of the three co-equal branches of government were representative in nature and necessarily would be guided by self-interest and the pull of popular opinion.To restrain those natural, human impulses, the frames crafted Article III to ensure that the rights, liberties, and duties need not be held hostage by popular whims."
   To Judge Daughtrey, I would note that it is the swing of popular opinion that has led same-sex marriage now winning the day, it is popular opinion that is leading marriage to expand to include same-sex marriage. If left to the other two branches of government, same-sex marriage will likely continue to gain acceptance and legality.
   It is, indeed, Judge Daughtrey, the provision of the courts not to bend with the wind, not to serve popular opinion. One can wonder how well they are doing on this matter, for they stood with marriage as being between a man and woman for as long as that was the popular opinion, and now are shifting to say marriage should be between any two consenting adults.
   Popular opinion does seem to be a factor.

Friday, November 14, 2014

To Stop a Criminal, You Shoot and Kill -- Everyone Knows That

   Add Kristine Biggs Johnson to a growing list. There was Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. That was the big one. But, what of John Crawford being shot down by police as he walked down an aisle in an Ohio Walmart? Or, Danielle Willard in West Valley City? What of the two more recent Utah cases, Dillon Taylor in South Salt Lake and Damian Hunt in Saratoga Springs? What of Mary Hawkes in Albuquerque, New Mexico?
   And, you've heard of others. Police use of deadly force being questioned for being unreasonable and unnecessary.
   Unlike the others listed above, Kristine Biggs Johnson didn't die. She survived. She lived to file suit. She had her eye shot out, but she lived to tell about it. You have heard it said, always kill them? Dead victims don't talk. They don't file lawsuits. Their family might, but they don't.
   At what point do we say something must be done? At what point do we start to wonder if we are training them wrong? Or hiring them wrong? Or doing something that can and ought to be corrected? I do not know but what some of these incidents were not justified. I rather think some might have been. But, I wonder about them as a whole.
   How about that maxim that to stop a criminal, you shoot -- and you shoot to kill? Isn't that a little bit of a dangerous generality to be teaching each other?
   I do notice this: Police are taught to use deadly force. Society teaches the same. We teach each other that if there is any danger at all, you pull that gun, shoot and . . .
   The officer was reportedly in no danger of being harmed when he took a gun to Kristine Biggs Johnson, shooting through the window of a truck she was driving no more than 5 mph. She was drunk. She was resisting arrest. But, those are not capital offenses.
   Shoot . . . and kill. Society teaches that. To stop a criminal, you shoot and kill. Everyone knows that.