Friday, February 27, 2004

Sullivan's Argument

It seemed to me the strongest argument against gay marriage was that the Full Faith Clause (FFC) of the Constitution would be affected if marriages in one state were not recognized in another. Andrew Sullivan makes the point that marriages are licensed by the state, and thus have never been subject to the FFC, wheras divorces are the result of judicial proceedings, and thus always have been subject to the FFC. In other words, a marriage between first cousins younger than 65 will probably not be recognized in Arizona (it's against AZ law), even if it might be OK elsewhere in the U.S., but a divorce must be recognized everywhere in the U.S. Game, set, match.
Bankruptcy and the Middle Class

Interesting article! The author's point is that many in the middle class have a lot fewer choices than you might suppose, and that when so many of them go bust at once, there are bound to be political repercussions.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

More Tales From Sacramento at Night

Last night, while walking Sparky east along Second Avenue at about 1 a.m., sirens approached from ahead. A red sedan with its lights off roared through the stop sign at 24th Street, going about 70 mph along the residential street, and continued west. I'm not sure, but it looked as if the vehicle turned and went the wrong way (south) down one-way 21st Street and dodged into the neighborhood just south of my house. The cops, quite far behind in pursuit, missed the guy, and for the next half hour, they quietly roamed neighborhood streets looking for the miscreant. The guy apparently escaped.
You Can Fool All of the People Some of the Time

Andrew Sullivan makes interesting reading, in light of Bush's ill-advised effort to write a gay-marriage ban into the Constitution.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Weekend Travel to NM - Pretty Weather in Phoenix

On Saturday, I traveled to ABQ and spent a couple of nights there, returning yesterday. When I got there, my father had just been released from the hospital and he looked really tired (hospitals are notorious for their constant noise and interruptions). He slowly seemed to be getting better, but I'm still quite worried: with his weakened lungs, a chest cold would suffice to kill him, I fear. Ah, the price of youthful (and middle-aged) smoking!

I passed through Phoenix for a few minutes Monday afternoon, on Southwest Airlines. We touched down at 3:15 p.m. (PST), and were wheels up again by 3:45 p.m. Because of the Phoenix storm, the plane couldn't leave Phoenix until late, first to go to ABQ to pick us up, and then return to Phoenix for the connecting flights. So, I had a screaming 5 minutes in the airport to dash into a different concourse and just catch my Sacramento flight - no time for even a bathroom stop.

Still, it was very pretty. The flight from ABQ to Phoenix passed mostly over a vast fuzzy featureless plateau of cloud, but as soon as we approached the Verde River, the cloud deck broke up into a riot of cloud and sky and sun. It was raining in North Scottsdale, but the sun was shining in Tempe and South Scottsdale. There were premonitions of funnel clouds in the clouds, I thought: the clouds looked "funny" over North Scottsdale, and there was a strange "plume" (too crooked to be a funnel, but still strange to look at) reaching from cloud to ground far to the west, somewhere west of Luke AFB. The streets and parking lots glistened with water, and as the plane landed, I looked backwards from my window seat, and saw the pretty rainbow that was tagging the plane - so pretty!

On the flight out of Phoenix, I was wedged in between two beefy guys, and saw little, but we did experience some nifty turbulence a few miles SW of Walker Lake, in western Nevada (which made me grateful for the extra padding on either side).

Marvellous Josh Marshall Post

And this excerpt from a discussion about Bush's campaign isn't even the best part!

The support among conservatives has taken some real hits. The White House has decided that the long-predicted rising economy won't float them through this election. The situation in Iraq looks wobbly and likely to get worse before it gets better. So deprived of the ability to run on his record he's decided to save his political hide by trying to tear the country apart over a charged and divisive social issue which is being hashed out through the political process in the states.

It's his dad and the flag burning amendment all over again. Is there really anything that tells you more about a man's character than this?