Judicial activism is alive and well, and we’d be silly to even try to deny it after today’s decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who ruled today that California’s voter-approved ballot Proposition 8 (banning gay marriage in the state) was unconstitutional.
I’m no attorney, so I’m working on the legal analysis already given. Basically the court ruled that because the “right” of gays to marry existed before prop 8, and they didn’t see any legitimate state interest promoted by banning that “right,” then such a proposition was unconstitutional.
This is some sad circular reasoning. Now, remember Prop 8 only came about because the California State Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was a “right.” It was certainly, up to that point, illegal for gays to marry, thus the right was, in fact, a new right altogether.
The appeals court, today, ruled that because the right existed, it could not be taken away.
Think about that. An instance of judicial activism on the part of the CA Supreme Court created a new “right.” Voters initiated a procedure to amend the state Constitution to clarify that issue. Then, an appeals court comes along and says that since the right existed, it should stay. Yes, the right existed because the courts suddenly decided a year earlier that the right existed!
What this ruling means is that courts can now make any rulings they so desire in terms of new constitutional “rights,” and the citizens of the state have no redress when it comes to changing that. Why wouldn’t judges across the state just start writing, into the law, new rights everyday? Then the appeals courts can simply declare the right existed, and that’s why we can’t take it away?
Absurd logic on the part of the supreme court of the state and the court of appeals.
Rick Perry announced he will exit the presidential race. He entered the primary race late, quickly rocketed to the top, and then plummeted after some not-so-stellar debate performances. What does this mean for the GOP, and more broadly what does it mean for all of us?
I’d argue this is, in fact, bad news for all of us. The fact that he came in early, was sky high for a bit, then plummeted is proof that we are now stuck with a two year presidential campaign every two years, which is just stupid and means next to nothing will ever get done well in the process. Do we honestly want to live in a world where we’re perpetually choosing a president, the candidates never stopping to actual DO something, always obsessed with the next pointless TV “debate” or looking good for the cameras?
It also means that the GOP has all but completely abandoned its ideology of conservatism. Mitt Romney is simply not a conservative on most matters. He changes with the political winds, and it makes him look as if he has no true convictions.
It also means that we’re now living in a country that is obsessed with image. Style over substance. You aren’t the greatest debater, well by heaven, you must be an idiot then who could never be a great president…except we know Perry was a great governor who had a lot of success. Nevermind that substance, we’re more obsessed with who speaks the best and has the best comebacks at these so-called “debates.”
This election and last are a turning point for the GOP. I doubt actually Romney can win. No one likes him. Mainly because there’s nothing to like. He’s Al Gore in mormon drab. He’s boring, he’s stiff, he’s robotic, he has no chemistry and no personality. I’m at a loss as to how on earth so many people are backing the guy, because what on earth is there to be passionate about with him?
He’s facing a “historic” president like none other we have ever seen (at least his die hard supporters think so.) A president of immense and powerful “change.” In 2008, if you listened to his supporters and the mainstream media- Obama was a man who is not only a mini-god, but also very much like the real God Himself. How do you fight that with Robot Romney who can’t seem to find any true convictions?
The people have spoken about who they want as leaders, and what sort of country in which they want to live- we’ve officially become the American Idol nation. Records no longer matter. Actions no longer matter. All that matters is who can sing the prettiest song for a willfully ignorant electorate. And that’s bad news not just for conservatives but for all Americans.
So, I’m watching random YouTube videos the other day when I see a TV opening video…I get to a list of several TV intros from different years. In 1988 and 1989, there was a series on Fox called BEYOND TOMORROW. From what I can recall, and what little I saw of the opening of the show, it’s a newsmagazine style series focusing on new technology and advances in science.
I vaguely remember the theme song…it’s fantastic stuff. The shots in the opening are pretty funny- an old word processor, a robotic hand moving a chess piece, plastic strands of DNA, satellites spinning…all stuff of the future. How far we’ve come since 1989, huh?
Check out the intro here on this video- it starts about 5:28 into this compilation of shows from 1988…
For some reason, the music gets to me. It’s one of those songs that takes me immediately back to when I was 12 years ago…not even yet in high school, watching this show. I don’t remember a thing about it, but I recall the music and I know I watched the series on several different occasions.
If you have any episodes of the show or any video at all of it, send me an email (josh thebluesite.com) and I will try to post some of it here. Good memories.
This is my entry for Project 2, 996. A site that gathers together the stories of those lost on Sept 11, 2001.
Some days will always be etched in your mind. September 11, 2001 is one of those days for most of us, and it will probably stay burned into our memories as long as we’re on this earth. I was in between jobs at the time, and I was living at home. I had stayed up all night and was about to get a few hours of sleep. I decided to turn on the morning shows to see what was happening…the Today show had live views from a fire at the World Trade Center in NYC. A small plane (maybe the size of a Cessna) had inadvertently gone off course and hit the side of the massive tower. No word on fatalities or a cause.
I’m trans fixed by billowing smoke and what seems to be a very large fire for such a small plane deep inside the building. All of a sudden a second plane smashes into the tower at what has to be a very high rate speed, and this was definitely an airliner. The cameraman is so caught off guard that the camera shakes and loses the scene for a second, only to pan back into place, showing a large fireball shooting out of the side of the building. These were not accidents, these were deliberate…turning to Fox News, that was the first thought most of them had- this was terrorism.
I felt sick to my stomach. I was in a slight daze…already very tired from being up all night and now in a state of semi-shock. I quickly woke my mother up and told her to hurry into the living room to turn on the TV, I had no idea what was going on but something wasn’t right. We watched for hours. We watched the buildings fall. We saw people running through the streets fleeing what would turn out to be a cloud of smoke, debris, and we though dare not say it at the time- death.
I remember vividly how horrified I was, how that day changed my life. I can’t even begin to imagine those stuck in the buildings that made it to safety. Worse yet, I can’t ever forget the fact that thousands never made it to safety, and what was merely a day of shock from a far for me, it was a living nightmare for some and some would see that nightmare end it all for them that day.
2, 996 innocent lives taken. 2, 996 people who went to work, boarded a plane, or were merely walking down the street. All of them murdered because of a senseless ideology that relishes death and destruction. Normal lives, average lives, extraordinary lives, brave lives, there were all sorts of lives taken that day.
One of those taken was Robert Cordice. Robert was a 28 year old firefighter disappeared on Sept 11. He was part of Squad 1 of the FDNY. He had been there only two weeks. He had recently transferred from Engine Company 152 in Staten Island…he wanted to be part of the elite Squad 1 in Brooklyn to be in the thick of the action. Robert was a thrill seeker. Before becoming a firefighter, he spent 3 years with the police department, stationed at the 13th precint in Manhattan.
Robert was also a ladies man. He loved the ladies, and they loved him. He had made the cut for the 2002 Fire Department Hunks Calendar. This is the picture that was eventually used in the calendar, the calendars were used to raise money for charity.
Robert Cordice lived his life constantly being selfless and putting others before himself. “It is no surprise that he was in the building when it collapsed,” said friend and fellow firefighter John Deliso. “He was the type of guy who wasn’t worried about himself.”
Cordice had a bright future ahead of him, if not for the tragedy. His mother, Carolina Cordice spoke about her son, “All his friends loved him very much. He was a very funny, very positive, very honest and loving son.”
Robert Cordice craved action throughout his life. He decided to become an officer and protect, and he decided to change that routine to become a NYC firefighter. He put in for a transfer to get into even more action. He got the big action he wanted. Sadly that action meant the risk of injury or death. It was that action he craved that took Robert from this earth. He gave his life to do what little part he could in this world to protect others around him. As others fled from the carnage, Robert ran toward it. As is the life of those brave men and women around us, who selflessly give of themselves day in and day out. Sometimes they make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. No telling how many lives were saved that day thanks to the bravery of men and women like Robert Cordice. He had a promising future. It’s a shame we’ll never know what would have ultimate been made of it. Today, I honor him.
UPDATE: Josh was a pleasure to talk to, and he gave us all some really great information on his background, the series as a whole, and a good look at what to expect for this new season starting September 9! If you click “read the rest of the entry” at the bottom, I’ve attached the transcript from his conference call. I will hopefully be able to write up a bit more about the show in the next few days.
I will be talking to Josh Gates, the host and lead investigator on the SyFy series, Destination Truth. Gates travels around the globe in search of answers to some of the world’s biggest mysteries. The third season of the series begins September 9 at 10/9CT on SyFy.
Here is some more information on the series and Josh Gates:
World traveler and intrepid explorer Josh Gates returns to host all-new quests in season 3 of Destination Truth – each an off-the-map adventure in search of the answers to some of the world’s most intriguing unexplained mysteries.
This season, Josh will travel to some of the most extreme locations on earth, including the isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and the heart of the world’s worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl. Viewers will also ride along on unprecedented investigations, including the world’s first overnight exploration of King Tut’s cursed tomb and pitch-black dives in ancient Caribbean caves.
Host, Destination Truth
Explorer, adventurer, and photographer Josh Gates hails from the small town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. A graduate of Boston’s renowned Tufts University, Josh holds degrees in archaeology and drama. His work and travels have taken him to more than 75 countries around the world.
An avid scuba diver, he has participated in sub-sea archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean, and his work as a photographer has taken him from sweltering African villages to the icy heights of the Himalayas. In addition, he has scaled “the roof of Africa” on Mt. Kilimanjaro, climbed Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas, and set foot in more than 75 countries around the world. Josh holds degrees from Tufts University in archaeology and drama, and was recently inducted into The Explorers Club, a prestigious global organization dedicated to the advancement of exploration and field research.
Josh currently resides in Los Angeles.
Come back here after the conference call for more information on the new season and see what Josh has to say about his adventures!
UPDATE 3: Totally bummed I wasn’t able to take part in this due to technical issues (on my end). This was an interesting read, and Ermey is, as always, a gentleman who is always backing our fighting men and women. Check out the full transcript at the bottom of this post, just click MORE to read it…
UPDATE 2: Unfortunately, I missed this call. I dialed in several times but couldn’t get through (think it was a problem with the voip system on my end). I finally got through nearly 50 mins into the call and was informed that it had concluded! So sad, as I wanted to ask Ermey what was his favorite weapon to have fired so far in the series. A basic question that might have been asked before I got to ask it, but that’s what I was most curious about.
Update: I originally listed the day as Tuesday. The call actually takes place this Friday. My apologies.
I’ll be chatting with R. Lee Ermey about his new History series, Lock N’ Load Friday afternoon. Should be fun. Let me know what you think I should ask Gunny!
I’ll post an update here with some information from the call after it takes place, so check back for updates!
Check out Lock N Load on History- new episodes Friday nights!
About R.LEE ERMEY
As a Golden Globe nominee and Boston Society of Film Critics Award-winner for Best Supporting Actor in director Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket (1987)”, R. Lee Ermey is one of the most successful and talented actors working in film and television today.
Ermey spent eleven years in the Marine Corps, Two of which were spent as being a Drill Instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, India Company 3rd Recruit Training Battalion 1965-67, Arrived in Vietnam in 1968 spending 14 months attached to Marine Wing Support Group 17 and 2 tours in Okinawa. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was medically retired for injuries received. On May 17, 2002 he received an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) by Commandant James L. Jones, becoming the first retiree in the history of the Marines to be promoted. Using G.I. Bill benefits, Ermey enrolled at the University of Manila in the Philippines, where he studied drama. Francis Ford Coppola was filming “Apocalypse Now (1979)” in the area and cast Ermey in a featured role. He has since gone on to star or appear in approximately sixty films.
I posted a promo video before for the new History series, LOCK N LOAD with R. Lee Ermey. I just finished the episode on the machine gun. It’s actually very interesting, and Ermey definitely holds your attention.
He talked about the history of machines guns and how the gun evolved over the years. From the machine gun’s start with American inventor, Dr. Richard J Gatling in 1861, to the most advanced machine guns today, Ermey goes through all of it with his characteristic flare. This guy was a marine, and it shines through constantly.
It’s history geared toward those who love weaponry, so it’s very targeted, but it’s broad enough in its scope (at least from the episode I watched) to appeal to the general history-loving viewer like myself.
Some information I learned from this episode which I found pretty cool. The gatling gun was basically ten guns in one, in that it had ten barrels. What’s the point, I asked? Ermey, of course, answered that quickly- a gun barrel heats up quickly with the force of friction as the bullet travels its length. With ten barrels, not only can you shoot more projectiles in a shorter period of time, but it also allows each barrel to cool as you move to the next barrel and the next until you get back to the first barrel again. The first gatling guns weren’t technically machine guns, as they had to be manually cranked to turn to a new barrel, but they’re fascinating either way.
CHECK OUT Lock N Load on History. New episodes every Friday night at 8PM ET.