Friday, 26 March 2010
Don't Let Freedom Slip Away
COMMENT: Kitty Werthmann is the president of South Dakota Eagle Forum and a personal friend. Her life story is both moving and sobering as we look at the world around us.
AMERICA.......Truly is the Greatest Country in the World.
Don't Let Freedom Slip Away
By: Kitty Werthmann
What I am about to tell you is something you've probably never heard or will ever read in history books.
I believe that I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide - 98% of the vote. I've never read that in any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.
In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.
Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people - about 30 daily.
The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna, Linz, and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.
We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group -- Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria . We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.
We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.
After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order.
Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.
Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.
Hitler Targets Education - Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:
Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang "Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles," and had physical education.
Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.
My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun - no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.
Equal Rights Hits Home:
In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and if you didn't have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.
Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.
Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare:
When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.
Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:
Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna . After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.
As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.
We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.
We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.
"Mercy Killing" Redefined:
In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps . The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.
As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.
The Final Steps - Gun Laws:
Next came gun registration.. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.
No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.
Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria . Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.
After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria . Women were raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn't destroy, they burned. We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses.
Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who couldn't, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians. This is an eye witness account.
"It's true..those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.
America Truly is the Greatest Country in the World. Don't Let Freedom Slip Away
"After America , There is No Place to Go"
Posted on 03/26/2010 7:58 AM by Bobbie Patray
Sunday, 7 March 2010
ALERT: Here's the plan....
COMMENT: As the old song goes, "And the days dwindle down to a precious few...". Just a few days remain for everyone to make their voices heard in no uncertain terms.
ACTION: Tennesseans go HERE to send your congressman an email. Go HERE to find phone numbers (even better than email).
Out-of-state subscribers: First scroll to the end of this email to see if your congressman is on the target list compiled by AmeriPAC. If he or she is not, the go HERE to find contact information for your congressman.
1. President Launches Last Push on Health-Care Overhaul
President Barack Obama opened the final act of a year-long drama over health-care legislation Wednesday, calling on Democrats in Congress to approve the sweeping bill despite political risks and Republican opposition.
The president vowed to rally Americans and wavering lawmakers alike. White House aides said a pair of trips next week will be followed by a stream of public and private lobbying. The White House wants final votes by month's end.
President Obama outlines his three-part proposal for health care reform in an address at the White House. Courtesy Fox News.
"At stake right now is not just our ability to solve this problem, but our ability to solve any problem," Mr. Obama told a crowd of white-coated doctors and nurses in the East Room, where a year ago he started the drive for the legislation.
With polls showing that the legislation is unpopular and congressional Democrats bracing for big losses in this fall's elections, the president urged them to ignore the politics. "I do not know how this plays politically, but I know it's right," he said. "Let's get it done."
Democrats and the White House are balancing high risks and rewards. Passing the health overhaul would fulfill a decades-old Democratic dream, bringing insurance to some 30 million Americans, and represent the greatest expansion of coverage since Medicare was created in 1965. But if the public judges the overhaul harshly, it is likely to cost some Democrats their seats, and the party's majority in the House could be at risk.
The White House argues that, despite the negative poll numbers, Americans will like the measure if it becomes law, since the focus then could shift from the legislative process to the measure's impact. Polling does find stronger support for the bill's individual provisions than for the package as a whole.
Mr. Obama Wednesday also highlighted a handful of Republican ideas used in the legislation. Republicans dismissed the gesture as insufficient.
"You can't add a couple of Republican sprinkles on the top of a 2,700-page bill and claim that it's bipartisan," said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio).
Rejecting Republican calls to start again, the president said that given the "honest and substantial differences between the parties," there was no point. "Everything there is to say about health care has been said," he said to laughter, "and just about everybody has said it."
For the first time, the president explicitly called on Congress to use a procedural technique that will let the Senate give its final approval with a simple majority vote. He didn't use the word for that technique—"reconciliation"—but characterized the process as a way of calling a simple "up or down vote" that has been used for big bills before.
Republicans say the reconciliation process was never intended for such major legislation. "History is clear: Big legislation always requires big majorities," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on the floor Wednesday.
Democrats need to approve the changes in the Senate through reconciliation because they no longer have 60 Senate votes necessary to end a standard debate, due to the loss last month of the Massachusetts seat long held by the late Edward Kennedy. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs downplayed the significance of the reconciliation measure, calling it a set of "technical corrections" to the original Senate measure. The reconciliation version contains some significant differences from the Senate bill, including taxes on the wealthy and lower levies on high-value health-insurance plans.
Under the Democratic plan, the process would work like this: First, the House would vote on the bill that the Senate approved in late December. House leaders hope to pass both that Senate bill, and then the reconciliation package, by March 17. After that, the Senate would need to pass the reconciliation bill. By month's end, Democrats hope, the measure would go to the president to be signed into law.
The final push by Mr. Obama amounts to a critical test of his powers of persuasion. Democrats could face a tough decision, balancing the risk of passing potentially unpopular legislation against the risk of inaction and the stigma of having labored for more than a year to produce nothing. Democratic leaders say lawmakers who already voted yes once will be attacked no matter what, but will be in better shape politically if they have something to show for it.
White House aides vowed the president would use all tactics at his disposal to rally support. That includes speeches around the country, starting with a trip to Philadelphia on Monday, media interviews and direct communication with supporters. Read more here.
03/04/10 11:22 AM ET -
Passing the healthcare proposals before Congress will "hang out to dry" every Democratic incumbent running for reelection this fall, Howard Dean said Thursday.
Dean, a physician by training who's a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), said that Democrats in Congress -- and President Barack Obama -- would do themselves more harm than good by passing the current healthcare bill.
"The plan, as it comes from the Senate, hangs out every Democrat who's running for office to dry -- including the president, in 2012, because it makes him defend a plan that isn't in effect essentially yet," Dean said during an appearance on the liberal Bill Press Radio Show. Read more here.
3. Hatch: Biden Will ‘Go Down in History as a Real Dolt’ If He Over-Rules Senate Parliamentarian and Lets The Dems Pass Health Care Without 60 Votes
Thursday, March 04, 2010
By Christopher Neefus
(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said that Vice President Joe Biden would “go down in history as a real dolt” if he used his power as president of the Senate to overrule the Senate parliamentarian on the legitimacy of procedural tactics that could allow the Democrats to enact their health-care reform bill without getting the normally required 60 votes in the Senate.
Because the Democrat caucus in the Senate no longer has 60 members with which to end debate on a bill (and prevent a Republican filibuster), it is being reported that the Democrats may attempt to pass changes to their original health care bill with just 51 votes through a process called reconciliation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday that if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cannot get the 60 votes needed to end debate on the health care bill, they will “go to the simple majority,” 51 votes in the Senate, to pass the legislation.
The Democrats hold 57 seats in the Senate, and the two Independents, Bernard Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, caucus with the Democrats, giving them a 59-seat majority: Both Independents voted with the Democrats to pass the Senate health care bill in December 2009. The Republicans hold 41 seats in the Senate. Read more here.
4. Pelosi: If Senate Can’t Get 60 Votes, We’ll Go to ‘Simple Majority’ to Pass Health Care Bill
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
By Nicholas Ballasy, Video Reporter
5. For Obama and Pelosi, health care is ego trip
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
March 2, 2010
In the entire health care debate, among all the competing lawmakers, politicians, experts and pundits, there's just one person who has seen things from both sides of the political aisle. That is Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama, who was elected as a Democrat in 2008 and was part of the House Democratic caucus until last Dec. 22, when he switched sides to become a Republican. (Republican-turned-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter doesn't count, because he switched parties in April 2009, before the current health care debate got underway.)
Given Griffith's unique perspective -- he is also a doctor, with 30 years' experience as an oncologist -- perhaps he has some insight into why the White House and his former Democratic allies in Congress continue to press forward on a national health care bill despite widespread public opposition.
It's gotten personal, Griffith says. "You have personalities who have bet the farm, bet their reputations, on shoving a health care bill through the Congress. It's no longer about health care reform. It's all about ego now. The president's ego. Nancy Pelosi's ego. This is about personalities, saving face, and it has very little to do with what's good for the American people."
Conflicts driven by personal feelings can lead to self-destructive outcomes. Ask Griffith whether Speaker Pelosi, his old leader, would accept losing Democratic control of the House as the price for passing the health care bill, and he answers quickly. "Oh yeah. This is a trophy for the speaker, it's a trophy for several committee chairs, and it's a trophy for the president." It does not seem to matter that if Democrats lose the House, the speaker will no longer be speaker, the chairmen will no longer be chairmen, and the president will be significantly weakened.
As Griffith sees his former colleagues, Democratic leaders have become so consumed with the idea of achieving the historical goal of a national health care system that they are able to explain away the scores of opinion polls over the last six months that show people solidly opposed to the Democratic proposal.
The polls are wrong, they say. Or the polls are contradictory. Or the polls actually show that people love the health care plan. And even if the polls are right, and people hate the plan, real leaders don't govern by following the polls. So just pass the bill.
That's easy for Democrats like Pelosi, who occupy safe seats. Not so for dozens of moderate House Democrats whose votes are required for passage, but who face likely defeat for it. "I don't think there are that many moderate or conservative Democrats who want to be sacrificial representatives," says Griffith. Read more here.
Posted on 03/07/2010 2:52 PM by Bobbie Patray
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Disagree with the President? Get un-invited!
Air Force Retracted Invitation for Conservative Leader to Speak at Prayer Luncheon After He Criticized Obama's Position on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. Air Force admits that the chaplain's office at Andrews Air Force Base retracted an invitation to Family Research Council President Tony Perkins--a former Marine officer--to speak at a prayer luncheon held at the base on Thursday after the conservative leader criticized President Obama’s efforts to end “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell"--the military policy on homosexuality.
Friday, February 26, 2010
By Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor
“The Chaplain’s Office retracted Mr. Perkins’ invitation after his recent public comments made many who planned to attend the event uncomfortable,” the Andrews base public affairs office said in a statement issued late Thursday.
“This was a local decision made by the Chaplain’s Office who wanted the luncheon to be inclusive for the entire base community," the statement said. "The Chaplain’s Office respects and defends Mr. Perkins right to express his opinions, and regrets any inconvenience to him. We thank and respect him for his prior military service.”
Perkins told CNSNews.com he was invited last October by the Chaplain’s Office to speak at the prayer luncheon, which focused this year on deployed personnel, families and prayer.
“The theme was back to basics – that is exactly what I was going to talk about, the basics – as Christ talks about the two greatest commandments, to love God and to love your neighbor,” he told CNSNews.com.
But Perkins said the comments that got him in trouble were published on the FRC Web site on Jan. 27, after President Obama delivered his State of the Union address.
Obama called on Congress to lift all restrictions on service in the military by open homosexuals, and Perkins admitted he had been very vocal in opposing Obama’s policy. Perkins said he took to the FRC Web site to oppose Obama’s policy proposal, and urged Congress to retain the current law which excludes homosexuals from openly serving in the military.
“Two days after the president’s State of the Union address, I received a letter from the chaplain rescinding the invitation, based upon statements that were on our Web site that were deemed to be ‘incompatible with men and women who serve in the military at the direction of the commander-in-chief,’” Perkins said.
A letter, dated Jan. 29, was sent from the chaplain's office at Andrews AFB. Read more here.
Outraged Conservatives: Barring Critic of Obama’s Gays-in-Military Policy from Air Force Prayer Meeting Is Attack on Free Speech
Monday, March 01, 2010
By Pete Winn and Katren Schuberg
(CNSNews.com) - Conservative leaders and members of Congress largely expressed outrage Friday that the Air Force had blacklisted Family Research Council President Tony Perkins from speaking at Andrews Air Force Base because of his position on the military policy on homosexuality.
As CNSNews.com reported Friday, the Air Force has admitted the chaplain's office at Andrews retracted an invitation to him to speak at the prayer luncheon held there on Feb. 25 because of the views that Perkins had expressed.
Andrews is the home base for Air Force One, the designation for the airplane that carries the president when he travels.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told CNSNews.com that he’s “disappointed” the Air Force would “un-invite” Perkins because of his positions.
“These actions are out of line with the caution that the heads of the military branches have expressed with regards to this policy,” Inhofe said.
“Each one of them has indicated that it would be best for the Pentagon to finish its review before addressing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in a manner that disrupts readiness and recruitment. I wonder if Tony Perkins would have received the same treatment if his views on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had matched those of President Obama.”
Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, was outraged.
“I think many members (of Congress) are outraged,” Kingston told CNSNews.com. “The mainstream media hasn’t given this as much coverage as they would if they agreed with Perkins. This is something that I think that people will be asking a lot of questions--a harbinger of what may be out there to come, you know, if on a high-profile captain like Tony Perkins, they reject him. They may (start) doing it to everybody else."Read more here.
Posted on 03/07/2010 2:50 PM by Bobbie Patray
Sunday, 7 March 2010
How is this for tolerance?
COMMENT: So much for 'tolerance'. Same-sex marriage supporters will not be satisfied until these relationships are legal and the sexual behavior is protected, supported and validated through public policy. Now it is being reported that the judge hearing the court case on Prop 8 in California is homosexual. No wonder I have been receiving emails about how that case is being handled. I encourage you to pray about the case and the people involved in passing Prop 8 as they are harassed. The outcome could impact the whole country!!
The Elephant in the Room: No way to preach tolerance
Opponents of same- sex marriage have faced persecution in California.
Kids need a mom and a dad. Californians who think the state's marriage law should reflect this deeply held belief were forced to appeal directly to the people, with a 2008 referendum to overturn a state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. Proposition 8, an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, passed easily.
The reaction of some Prop 8 opponents - the self-proclaimed champions of tolerance - was swift and fierce. They moved to harass and persecute Prop 8 supporters.
Groups such as the misnamed "Californians Against Hate" published blacklists of Prop 8 backers that included supporters' names and addresses. Prop 8 advocates became the target of harassing protests, phone calls, e-mails, and mailings.
A flier distributed in one town featured a photo of one Prop 8 backer, his name, the amount of his donation, and the name of his (Catholic) church. Next to his photo was the word "Bigot."
Some Prop 8 campaign donors had to resign from their jobs or take leaves of absence to protect their employers and colleagues. Top officials of California Musical Theatre and the Los Angeles Film Festival were forced to resign just because they had donated in support of Prop 8.
That wasn't all. These warriors for the oppressed also made a point of going after pro-Prop 8 Mormons and their church.
While this ugliness was exploding across California, the anti-Prop 8 forces also ran to the state courts to overturn the people's will. They claimed - get this - that the amendment to the state constitution violated the state constitution.
But not even a state Supreme Court with a habit of rewriting the constitution would accept this illogical absurdity. It upheld Prop 8.
If the reliably progressive activists on the state Supreme Court couldn't be counted on, where to go? How about going before a sympathetic federal district court judge in San Francisco to challenge Prop 8 as violating the U.S. Constitution?
Federal Judge Vaughn Walker has accepted the Prop 8 opponents' assertion that constitutionality hinges on the attitudes of voters, not legal arguments and precedents. So he has consistently ruled in their favor, turning this trial into another instance of harassment of Prop 8 supporters.
Consider Walker's precedent-breaking rulings in the trial, which began last month:
He decided that Prop 8 proponents should be subjected to questioning about their personal beliefs on marriage and sexuality.
He ordered Prop 8 proponents to disclose private communications about never-used campaign messages.
He directed the Prop 8 campaign to turn over copies of all internal records and e-mail messages on campaign strategy.
He refused not only to demand any of these things of the proposition's opponents, but also to so much as rule on a motion related to that issue.
He subjected one proponent to humiliation for his concerns about homosexuality, as written in private e-mails to friends - in Chinese.
He allowed witnesses for opponents of the proposition to air their "expert" opinions that homosexuals have been discriminated against, that they feel bad when society does not validate their relationships, and that the passage of Prop 8 echoed historical bigotry foisted on society by religious zealots.
Read more here.
Judge Walker’s Skewed Judgment [Ed Whelan]
According to this column in today’s San Francisco Chronicle, “The biggest open secret in the landmark trial over same-sex marriage being heard in San Francisco is that the federal judge who will decide the case, Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, is himself gay.”
In terms of his judicial performance in the anti-Proposition 8 case, the bottom-line question that matters isn’t whether Walker is straight or gay. It’s whether he is capable of ruling impartially. I have no reason to doubt that there are homosexuals who could preside impartially over this case, just as I have no reason to doubt that there are heterosexuals whose bias in favor of, or against, same-sex marriage would unduly skew their handling of the case.
From the outset, Walker’s entire course of conduct in the anti-Prop 8 case has reflected a manifest design to turn the lawsuit into a high-profile, culture-transforming, history-making, Scopes-style show trial of Prop 8’s sponsors. Consider his series of controversial—and, in many instances, unprecedented—decisions:
Take, for example, Walker’s resort to procedural shenanigans and outright illegality in support of his fervent desire to broadcast the trial, in utter disregard of (if not affirmatively welcoming) the harassment and abuse that pro-Prop 8 witnesses would reasonably anticipate. Walker’s decision was ultimately blocked by an extraordinary (and fully warranted) stay order by the Supreme Court in an opinion that was plainly a stinging rebuke of Walker’s lack of impartiality. Read more here.
'Gay' judge asked to quit Prop. 8 case
Attorney challenges claim Walker's lifestyle 'nonissue' in California court challenge
An activist attorney is challenging the claim that the reported homosexual lifestyle of the judge deciding the constitutionality of California's limitation of marriage to one man and one woman is a "nonissue."
The San Francisco Chronicle reported politicians and lawyers in the city who have dealt with U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker confirmed Walker has never tried to promote or hide his orientation.
The newspaper said a state senator, Mark Leno, who has proposed several times the authorization of same-sex "marriage," described the judge's background as a nonissue.
Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs with Liberty Counsel, disagrees.
"This is no different than having an avid gun collector preside over a Second Amendment case," he said today, "or a frequent user of medical marijuana deciding the legality of medical marijuana."
"Even his fellow judges on the notoriously liberal 9th circuit have been forced to step in and overturn more than one of his inexplicable rulings relative to this case. Based on his demonstrated misbehavior, there's no reason to believe anything will change," Barber said.
As WND has reported, the dispute over the constitutional definition of marriage adopted by voters in the state has implications across the nation.
The case is petitioning a federal court to overturn not just a law, but a constitutional amendment passed by the people and affirmed by the state's Supreme Court. A victory for same-sex marriage advocates in the case could set a precedent for federal courts to overturn every law and amendment in the country currently protecting the traditional definition of marriage.
The law is being defended by private attorneys, because California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown, both of whom are named as defendants in the suit, have refused to defend the amendment.Read more here.
Defense Calls First Witness at ‘Gay Marriage’ Trial
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
By Lisa Leff, Associated Press
San Francisco (AP) - The federal laws that prevent gays from serving openly in the military and the government from recognizing same-sex relationships are examples of "legally enforced discrimination," a political scientist testified in a federal trial challenging California's ban on gay marriages.
The assertion by Claremont McKenna College professor Kenneth Miller came as he was being cross-examined Monday on his testimony that gays in California enjoy substantial political power as a result of nearly unanimous support from high-ranking elected officials, labor unions, newspapers, corporations and progressive religious groups.
"Is there any other minority you can identify that is discharged from the military when they are doing a perfectly good job just because somebody discovers their status?" asked David Boies, a lawyer for two same-sex couples suing to overturn the state's gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8.
"I'm not aware of any," Miller answered.
But Miller resisted Boies' persistent attempts to get him to put Proposition 8 in the same category as the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military. Boies asked Miller if he agreed with another political scientist with whom he had co-authored a book chapter that Proposition 8 is inherently discriminatory.
"It's differential treatment. Whether it's legally discriminatory, I don't know," Miller said.
The question of whether the gay rights movement constitutes a potent political force is central to efforts by lawyers seeking to challenge the state's same-sex marriage ban on grounds that it unlawfully targeted a disadvantaged group.
Miller said one indication of the gay rights movement's clout in California was that neither Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nor any other statewide office holders endorsed Proposition 8. But perhaps the best measure of the movement's strength was the $43 million amassed to defeat the gay marriage ban in 2008, he said. That was $3.4 million more than initiative backers raised. Read more here.
Posted on 03/07/2010 2:49 PM by Bobbie Patray