Sunday, March 27, 2005

It's long overdue so I give to you another:

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH

One week till opening day in the Bronx, Wells vs. The Big Unit in the Bronx. Go Sox!

One warm spring nights I sit and ponder what the heck keeps MJ employed as the head baseball coach, good enough to be good, but never good enough to make the final dance and horrid player management. It's like going to the prom, much ado about nothing except a lot of hype.

I went to Austin recently, went to 6th St. 6th Street is the Thayer St. of Austin....I saw stuff I didn't want to see nor do I care to see again.

I recently picked up W.P. Kinsella's Shoeless Joe, the book that they based "Field of Dreams" on, I look forward to reading it.

My NCAA bracket looks like a red pen broke on it, how about yours?

Speaking of the NCAA tourney, I saw Kentucky fans, Duke fans, and Michigan St. fans in Austin...sadly all that blue and green was not enough to make all the burnt orange not stand out.

Mrs. Clinton will be delivering the commencement address at RPI this spring, Billary seems to have strong ties to that school....make me want to puke. That couple couldn't lead a monkey to a banana raffle.

Is the American public stupid enough to think that politicians actually are moving to the middle because they want to during an election year/build up to a campaign?

The Terri Shiavo situation is sad on all fronts. Pray God's will be done, for the will of men is bent against the Almighty and ignores the teachings of Providence.

On that note, we are citizen's of the United States second, citizen's of Christ's Church first and always.

Sunny days are here, baseball season is rolling, the Sox will be opening soon, it's March in Texas and can't be beat.

Amos Lee can sing and has somehow managed to put into song, the words I would like to put there, but alas I can only ramble in poetry, song writing is not a skile of mine.

Sox v. Yankees Case No. 2005 Opening Arguments Schedules for April 3rd, final ruling expceted in October 2005.


There come moments that change a person's outlook on things, change the way the think and feel on certain things. We know not when these moments will occurr or just how their effects will affect our lives. What we can be certain of though, is that they will happen and we will be better because of it. Things once viewed as simple become quite complicated, that much I know. Life was simpler when I just had to worry about getting to baseball practice after school, however I would not go back, I rather like the challenges and issues presented me in the present. My only prayer is that the solutions would be just as simple as the forgone era.

"The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That's the time to listen to every fear you can imagine. When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead." Gen. George S. Patton

Sunday, March 20, 2005

California Dreaming

This past week San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said that withholding marriage licenses from gays and lesbians violates California's Constitution.
"It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners," Kramer wrote.

The judge wrote that the state's historical definition of marriage, by itself, cannot justify the denial of equal protection for gays and lesbians.

"The state's protracted denial of equal protection cannot be justified simply because such constitutional violation has become traditional," Kramer wrote.

Before I get going, let me state that below is the equal rights provision of the California Constitution as it was adopted and enacted by the State of California on February 17, 1972.

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTIONARTICLE 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTSSEC. 7. (a) A person may not be deprived of life, liberty, orproperty without due process of law or denied equal protection of thelaws; provided, that nothing contained herein or elsewhere in thisConstitution imposes upon the State of California or any publicentity, board, or official any obligations or responsibilities whichexceed those imposed by the Equal Protection Clause of the 14thAmendment to the United States Constitution with respect to the useof pupil school assignment or pupil transportation. In enforcingthis subdivision or any other provision of this Constitution, no court of this State may impose upon the State of California or anypublic entity, board, or official any obligation or responsibilitywith respect to the use of pupil school assignment or pupiltransportation, (1) except to remedy a specific violation by suchparty that would also constitute a violation of the Equal ProtectionClause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and(2) unless a federal court would be permitted under federaldecisional law to impose that obligation or responsibility upon suchparty to remedy the specific violation of the Equal Protection Clauseof the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
From this any reasonable individual can see that the equal protection clause under the California Constitution does not allow any court in the State of California except to remedy a violation of the 14th Amendent of the Constitution of the United States. Judge Kramer in his ruling states that the traditional definition of marriage by itself can not be used to justify the State of California for denying gay marriages in that State. However, Judge Kramer does not view the intent of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution in his decision. [ To save some time on where I am going with this and to prevent me from writing a law school caliber paper, which I'm not in the mood for writing right now, please visit either this link or visit the blog of Miss Amanda Owens, which can be found by clicking the appropriate link on the left of the page]
Long story short, the equal protect clause of the 14th Amendent was not written with the legislative intent of providing equal protection for same sex marriages. The 14th Amendment was adopted and added to the United States Constitution in 1868 it reads as follows:
Amendment XIV (1868)
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
The legislative intent of this ammendment came out of reconstruction following the War Between the States. Freed slaves were being denied the rights provided to their white peers in many states, mostly in the states that had formed the Confederate States of America. This law allowed freedmen the ability to be counted as a person in census numbers and not 3/5 had been the fate of slaves, it provided freedmen the right to vote, own property, and participate in the political process, except in cases of those held in violation of the prohibitions stated in section 3 (I remember this by thinking of it as the General Lee clause, though it extended to many others, Lee is the most well known case I think of.)
Judge Kramer is placing the legality of gay marriage into a lense of 19th century reconstruction. The intent of the 14th Amendent was to focus upon the issues resulting out of the War Between the States not for the issue of gay marriage, for such an issue would not have been considered at that time, anywhere in the world. It cannot be applied to an issue for which it was never intended to apply. As such, it cannot be used to issue a legal decision on a matter for which it was not meant to address.
As such, Judge Kramer has made an unconstitutional ruling based on what he wishes to see in the laws of California and the Constitution of the United States. Unfortunately, this is becoming a common practice of judges sitting on the bench who wish to see their political agendas advanced to the sacrifice of the rule of law at the alter of humanistic philosophy.
As the 14th Amendent clearly states, the enforcement of the 14th Amendment is left to Congress to make laws and provisions unto that end. The laws of California do not violate this, California defines marriage as union between a man and woman. As such, the people of California have laws in place to show how they view the idea of marriage in that state. Even if we want to go so far as to say that the 14th Amendent does apply to this case, and I do not believe that it does, then the California people have stated what they consider to be and not to be a provision of equal protection. By prohibiting gay marriage, the people of California have stated that gay marriage is not something they want to recognize in that state. Therefore, the California Congress has made a provision for the enforcement of the 14th Amendent, and that provision is that gay marriage does not qualify.
On a Federal level, gay marriage does not fall under the 14th Amendment. Just as the 14th Ammendment did not extend to giving women the right to vote, equal protection did not apply in this case, therefore it can certainly not extend to another situation. Gay marriage is not provided for under the laws of the United States.
I will freely that admit that I am opposed to gay marriage. However, it is a matter that must be left to the states to decide upon on a state by state basis and/or to the Congress of the United Stated and 2/3 of the states as a Constitutional Amendemnt. Judge Kramer is wrong in his decision and it should on a legal basis be overturned.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

My Goodness, My Guinness....Happy St. Patrick's Day

As I arise today, may the strength of God pilot me, the power of God uphold me, the wisdom of God guide me. May the eye of God look before me, the ear of God hear me, the word of God speak for me. May the hand of God protect me, the way of God lie before me, the shield of God defend me, the host of God save me.

May Christ shield me today...Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit, Christ when I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. Amen.
--St. Patrick of Ireland

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Suport Senate Call for Stopping Genocide in Darfur!


Dear Friends,



On September 9th, 2004, former Secretary of State Colin Powell responded to pressure from citizens and Congress and declared the situation in Darfur, Sudan to be genocide. Today, six months later, little progress has been made towards protecting civilians in Darfur and ending the genocide. To date, up to 400,000 lives have been lost and 2 million people displaced. We are asking you today to support the current effort by the U.S. Senate to stop the crisis and to encourage them to make stronger demands on the Administration.



Take Action Now: Please urge your senator to co-sponsor the Darfur Accountability Act.



The U.S. Senate recently introduced the Darfur Accountability Act (S.495), which calls on the Administration to engage in a “concerted, sustained campaign” with the United Nations Security Council to end the ongoing genocide. The Act calls on the U.S. to seek passage of a United Nations Resolution that would impose sanctions on the government of Sudan, establish a military no-fly zone in Darfur, and expand the size and strength of the African Union force in Darfur in order to stop the violence and protect the people in Darfur.



S. 495 supports the efforts to end genocide in Darfur by raising the profile of the issue and encouraging greater action by the Administration. However, the most appropriate way to support the African Union, which already has troops in Darfur, is for the U.S. to seek a Chapter 7 Mandate under the United Nations Charter for the force in Darfur and then for the UN to expand this force into a UN peacekeeping operation. Chapter 7 provides an intervention force with the ability to protect civilians and enforce the cease-fire. Africa Action believes that a Chapter 7 mandate is necessary to stop the genocide. As the Darfur Accountability Act falls short of this goal, we are asking you to write both in support of S. 495 and to suggest that the Senate amend the Act to include stronger language.



For more information on why a UN Chapter 7 intervention is necessary to stop genocide in Darfur, check out Africa Action’s Talking Points on Ending Genocide in Darfur.



Last July, Congress passed a resolution on Darfur that directly led to the Administration declaring genocide. As Congress has decided to increase pressure on the Administration; it is imperative that we make our voices heard.Let’s push Congress to urge the President to act now to stop genocide.




NOTE: If you live in any of these states: Indiana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Virginia, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Alaska, Florida, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, California, Florida, Illinois, your input is very important as your Senator sits on the Foreign Relations Committee where this bill is currently being considered.



Take Action Now: Please urge your senator to co-sponsor the Darfur Accountability Act.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

.

He's Still Out There Ridin Fences

Today one of the last singing cowboys passed away in Casper, Wyoming from complications arising from cancer of the bile duct. Singer-songwriter and former rodeo champion Chris LeDoux died in Casper, Wyo., following a lengthy battle with liver ailments. He was 56.

LeDoux was admitted to Wyoming Medical Center in Casper earlier this week after
experiencing complications from his cancer. He and his family lived on a ranch near Kaycee, Wyo.LeDoux underwent a liver transplant in October 2000 after being diagnosed with a rare liver disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis. In November 2004, LeDoux confirmed he had been diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a slow-growing cancer of the bile duct.

Born Oct. 2, 1948, in Biloxi, Miss., Chris LeDoux was raised in Austin, Texas. His father was an Air Force pilot who moved the family throughout the U.S. While spending time in Texas and Wyoming, LeDoux gained an interest in music and the rodeo. In 1976, he earned the title of world champion bareback rider from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

LeDoux began dabbling at songwriting while in high school and started recording and releasing his own albums in 1973. With titles such as Old Cowboy Heroes, Rodeo Songs and Wild and Wooly, LeDoux's music was aimed directly at the rodeo and cowboy subculture. Selling the tapes at rodeos, LeDoux built a devoted fan base that would continue to support him for more than three decades.

In 1989, Garth Brooks sang "a worn out of tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women and bad booze.." in his hit song "Much Too Young" propelling him to another level of popularity. He has played such venues as ChiliFest and The Texas Hall of Fame here locally near College Station.

He had performed duets with the likes of Garth Brooks, Charlie Daniels and Jon Bon Jovi.

A rodeo champion, a cowboy,an accomplished sculptor, and a singer. A man among cookie cutter singers.


But he's still out there ridin' fences
Still makes his livin' with his rope
As long as there's a sunset he'll keep ridin' for the brand
You just can't see him from the road
Well he never learned to two step hell he barely learned to walk
But he's worn a lot of leather off the tree
He's had one or two good horses that he counts among his friends
He never drew a breath that wasn't free
Well he's tall in the saddle short on the cash
The last to quit the first to buy the beer
Well he's a knight in leather armor still livin' by the code
That's made him what he's been a hundred years
As long as there's a sunset he'll keep ridin' for the brand
You just can't see him from the road
"GOD BLESS CHRIS LEDOUX!"

Monday, March 07, 2005

Simply Symphony

It is now Monday morning, so to be accurate, yesterday afternoon I had the good pleasure of attending the MSC OPAS performance of the Prague Symphony Orchestra at Rudder Auditorium on the A&M campus. It was simply splendid. I will admit to be a closet lover of classical music, I really can't tell a lot of it apart from piece to the next, but I do so love it.
The show lasted abour 2 hours in length with a brief intermission. The opening number was Carnival Overture, Op.2, by Antonin Dvorak which was followed by the great Symphony No. 38 in D Major, of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A brief intermission ensued before the finale, which was an absolutely marvelous rendition of Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 6 by Ludwig Van Beethoven.
Being able to experience events like this is one of the great joys and gifts of living in a college town. One can go from baseball, to the symphony, to a game of cards all in one weekend...to help develop the well rounded character. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert this afternoon, words alone can not describe just how wonderful, pleasing, and relaxing it was. Amazing, does not do justice to my emotions. I, naturally, can not mention the concert without thanking my friend Amanda for going with me, she, too, expressed her delight and joy in the perfromance. She also spent last summer in Prague and is a pretty decent trombone player, I've never heard her play, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt, it's my blog..I can do that.
Well, I am off to sleep...another week of work awaits and time sheets are due in the morning. Good night, sweet dreams and God Bless!

p.s. I am not spell checking this, I don't care too...it's late...if any mispellings bother you...deal with it. LOL.