|bad news, good news
||[Jun. 29th, 2006|02:35 pm]
Random news items that have left me thinking recently:
Bad news - High court upholds most of Texas redistricting map. The Supreme Court ruled that it is essentially OK for state legislatures to redraw Congressional districts whenever they want, and not just every 10 years (after the Census) as required by law. This to me is really horrible news. A Daily Kos article opines that the Democrats should take advantage and do this in states where the state legislature is more Democratic than the congressional delegation. I consider this whole thing to be a non-trivial threat to democracy. Guh.
Good news - High court blocks Gitmo military tribunals (CNN really likes to refer to the supreme court as "high court", apparently :-) ) This is a big rebuke to Bush's claim that, since we're at war, he has broad overarching powers to hold people as enemy combatants. Andrew Sullivan points out the court seems to have reinstated the Geneva Conventions in the "war on terror", which is also good.
Bad news - Israel hits Gaza as Hamas lawmakers held. This has been a rapidly-escalating series of attacks between Israel and Palestine and it looks like things are getting much worse. This latest conflagration started when Palestinian militants kidnapped an Israeli soldier, and they have killed an Israeli settler since then. To put pressure on the Syrian president to stop aiding Hamas, Israeli fighters buzzed his home yesterday (anti-aircraft guns fired on them). Scary stuff.
Good news - Buffett to give away billions. Warren Buffett is giving away $30+ billion dollars, most of it to the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. The Gates foundation does great stuff in global health and education, and $30 billion dollars goes a looong way. Good for him!
I read this great speech by Barack Obama - it's a little long, but very powerful. The last 10 paragraphs or so I liked a lot for personal reasons. I hope he runs for president in 2008 or 2012 or sometime...
Something that makes me happy - I heard this on NPR, and I'm sure there are news articles about it. Georgia passed a constitutional amendment that says 1) no gay marriage and 2) no civil unions. Well the Georgia Supreme Court is ruling on whether that amendment was legal because they have a rule that requires a proposition put to voters to only have ONE idea in it, not TWO.
Now, Texas *might* have the same sort of "one idea only" law (haven't been able to research this). If so, we do have the amendment that says 1) one man one woman 2) nothing like marriage will be considered marriage. So IF we have such a law and IF Georgia rules that the Georgia Amendment is a prohibited "twofer" - this might get interesting.
I'm sleepy. Let me know if I explained that okay.
Having said that, it would really just be delaying the inevitable (both here and in Georgia). Although only one idea per vote is a good principle...
Well yes and no. People may be more willing to vote for "no gay marriage" than they are for "no things that look like marriage which might invalidate common law marriage." Part 1 will pass, part 2 may fail. In that sense, it would maintain the ability for gay people to have contracts etc. Not a full victory but not as bad as the situation now.
I read Obama's speech. It's been a long time since I've read a speech by a politician that made me think that perhaps, just perhaps, he actually gets it. Unfortunately, his speech addresses only a tiny minority in America. To whit, those Americans who are actually willing to think.
But maybe, someday, that will change.
This is true...but he won a crowded five-way primary in Illinois basically out of nowhere. He's a gifted orator, and I think (hope!) he might be going places.
I really, really hate our current, apparent stance on the Gaza attacks. Basically, the US goverment is turning a blind eye to military actions against a people. Isn't that what they raised such a fuss over in WWI, WWII, Iraq, and every other time our military has been sent out of the country? Why should Israel's military excess be deemed ok?