counter statistics

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Another Wizstory? Is Art Erickson President of CNIA or Wizard Marks Bearing False Witness?

Wizard Marks posted the following statement on the Minneapolis Issues List regarding the CNIA annual meeting:
The piece de resistance, though, was the announcement by Art Erickson, President of the Board, that CNIA had
satisfied the state auditor, the books are in proper order for both the auditor and the NRP and whoever else does the checking. It was great.
John Bostrom from the state auditor's office, though, said this in an email forwarded to me by Ying Lee in the Auditor's office:

1. CNIA stands for Central Neighborhood Improvement Association. This is a Minneapolis neighborhood organization that we have audited for several years now. In recent years, our reports have indicated several problems. Our last audit was for the year
ended September 30, 2000. We declined to audit their financial statements for the year ended September 30,
2001 due to the absence of sufficient records. This condition also caused their funding from the Minneapolis NRP Program to be stopped. Since that time, neighborhood leaders have attempted to come up with sufficient records for the 2001 year, so that
we would agree to perform an audit. By having an audit, it is their hope that funding will be restored.
2. Ms. Young's quotes from Art Erickson are apparently correct. That is, Mr. Erickson did make remarks at CNIA's annual meeting to the effect that the neighborhood has satisfied the state auditors with the sufficiency of their records. That statement by Mr. Erickson is not true. Recently, we were provided with some records from CNIA and asked to assess them, relative to their sufficiency for an audit to be performed. Our conclusion was that there was not sufficient records for an audit to be performed.

EY: Art Erickson, President of CNIA and Urban Vermin has not responded to our request for comment. Developing......

Who cut the Gang Task Force?

Hatch says it was Pawlenty, Pawlenty says it was the Senate Democrats during a budget negotiations. I've sent an email to several Senate Dems to get their response.

From the Governor's Press Release

Although the Governor proposed minimal administrative reductions of $76,000 to the Strike Force’s budget, Senate Democrats insisted on a deal last month that removed $3.076 million from the organization’s biennial budget. The funds help reimburse law enforcement agencies for officers assigned to the Gang Strike Force — an organization that makes about 700 annual arrests, mostly of violent felons involved in gang activity.

I'd be interested in knowing if this is true.

Also, was the Minneapolis Lobbyist at the Legislature asleep at the wheel on this one?

Stay Tuned.......

Another Parody Site gets sued......

This gets covered by the UK - not in the US.

A parody Web site called has drawn fire from FOX News legal beagles for selling an amusing line of 'FAUX News' and 'O'Reilly Youth' t-shirts and similar merchandise.

The Austin, Texas group of "graphics designers and musicians" behind the site had been selling the shirts at anti-war demonstrations, until these gatherings began to dwindle in the face of shock-and-awe footage flooding into TV sets across the nation, lulling the populace into complacency.

Agitproperties was fast losing steam. "Our site has been up since last April and to be honest we were averaging a pathetic 2500 page hits a day, and were seriously thinking about 'packing it in' once our inventory ran out," Webmaster Richard Luckett told us.

That is, until the humourless powers at FOX decided to crack a small nut with a very large hammer. Ironically, publicity from the dispute has boosted the site's popularity by a considerable measure. "Yesterday we logged 41,095 page hits, more in one 24-hour period than we have had since we went on line," Luckett says.

EY: First Southwest Journal goes after Ken Avidor and the Stride site, then Talk Radio Network goes after and related sites (though not GLAAD), and now Fox says people are too dumb to see this is a parody site.


"We demand that you immediately cease displaying and selling merchandise on the Website. Fox is particularly concerned that its intellectual property not be used in a manner that will likely lead to the impairment of the goodwill represented by the name 'Fox News Channel,' as well as the likelihood of confusion as to an affiliation with and endorsement of the Network," the lawyers warn.

The Blogosphere on the SCOTUS Ruling on Sodomy

Stephen Miller's Culture Watch.

Andrew Sullivan comments on Scalia's and Thomas's dissent......

Today is Take Michael Savage's Name for Your Own Purpose's Day

See the proposal on Neal Pollack's blog via Atrios.

Findlaw's Copy of the Supreme Court Decision on Sodomy

This version is easier to quote and deal with than the PDF document links I posted earlier.


From Scalia's Longwinded Dissent

Today's opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct. I noted in an earlier opinion the fact that the American Association of Law Schools (to which any reputable law school must seek to belong) excludes from membership any school that
refuses to ban from its job-interview facilities a law firm (no matter how small) that does not wish to hire as a prospective partner a person who openly engages in homosexual conduct. See Romer, supra, at 653.

One of the most revealing statements in today's opinion is the Court's grim warning that the criminalization of homosexual conduct is "an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and in the private spheres." Ante, at 14. It is clear from this that the Court has taken sides in the culture war, departing from its role of assuring, as neutral observer, that the democratic rules of engagement are observed. Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children's schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive. The Court views it as "discrimination" which it is the function of our judgments to deter. So imbued is the Court with the law profession's anti-anti-homosexual culture, that it is seemingly unaware that the attitudes of that culture are not obviously "mainstream"; that in most States what the Court calls iadiscriminationlu against those who engage in homosexual acts is perfectly legal; that proposals to ban such "discrimination" under Title VII have repeatedly been rejected by Congress, see Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 1994, S. 2238, 103d Cong., 2d Sess. (1994); Civil Rights Amendments, H. R. 5452, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. (1975); that in some cases such "discrimination" is mandated by federal statute, see 10 U. S. C. §654(b)(1) (mandating discharge from the armed forces of any service member who engages in or intends to engage in homosexual acts); and that in some cases such "discrimination" is a constitutional right, see Boy Scouts of America v. Dale,
530 U. S. 640 (2000).

Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means. Social perceptions of sexual and other morality change over time, and every group has the right to persuade its fellow citizens that its view of such matters is the best. That homosexuals have achieved some success in that enterprise is attested to by the fact that Texas is one of the few remaining States that criminalize private, consensual homosexual acts. But persuading one's fellow citizens is one thing, and imposing one's views in absence of democratic majority will is something else. I would no more require a State to criminalize homosexual acts or, for that matter, display any moral disapprobation of them than I would forbid it to do so. What Texas has chosen to do is well within the range of traditional democratic action, and its hand should not be stayed through the invention of a brand-new "constitutional right" by a Court that is impatient of democratic
change. It is indeed true that later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress, ante, at 18; and when that happens, later generations can repeal those laws. But it is the premise of our system that those judgments are to be made by the people, and not imposed by a governing caste that knows best.

One of the benefits of leaving regulation of this matter to the people rather than to the courts is that the people, unlike judges, need not carry things to their logical conclusion. The people may feel that their disapprobation of homosexual conduct is strong enough to disallow homosexual marriage, but not strong enough to criminalize private homosexual acts and may legislate accordingly. The Court today pretends that it possesses a similar freedom of action, so that that we need not fear judicial imposition of homosexual marriage, as has recently occurred in Canada (in a decision that the Canadian Government has chosen not to appeal). See Halpern v. Toronto, 2003 WL 34950 (Ontario Ct. App.); Cohen, Dozens in Canada Follow Gay Couple's Lead, Washington Post, June 12, 2003, p. A25. At the end of its opinion after having laid waste the foundations of our rational-basis jurisprudence the Court says that the present case iadoes not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to Ante, at 17. Do not believe it. More illuminating than this bald, unreasoned disclaimer is the progression of thought displayed by an earlier passage in the Court's opinion, which notes the constitutional protections afforded to "personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing, and education," and then declares that persons in a homosexual relationship may seek autonomy for these purposes, just as heterosexual persons do. Ante, at 13 (emphasis added). Today's opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned. If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is "no legitimate state interest" for purposes of proscribing that conduct, ante, at 18; and if, as the Court coos (casting aside all pretense of neutrality), when sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring,lg ante, at 6; what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising "the liberty protected by the Constitution," ibid.? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry. This case "does not involve" the issue of homosexual marriage only if one entertains the belief that principle and logic have nothing to do with the decisions of this Court. Many will hope that, as the Court comfortingly assures us, this is so.

The matters appropriate for this Court's resolution are only three: Texas's prohibition of sodomy neither infringes "fundamental right" (which the Court does not dispute), nor is unsupported by a rational relation to what the Constitution considers a legitimate state interest, nor denies the equal protection of the laws. I dissent.

Sodomy Law Overturned by Supreme Court - 6-3

Read the opinion by Kennedy.

O'Connor's narrower concuring opinion.

Thomas's dissent: JUSTICE THOMAS, dissenting. I join JUSTICE SCALIA's dissenting opinion. I write separately to note that the law before the Court today is
. . . uncommonly silly.ln Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479, 527 (1965) (Stewart, J., dissenting). If I were a mem-
ber of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it. Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference
through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valu-
able law enforcement resources. Notwithstanding this, I recognize that as a member of this Court I am not empowered to help petitioners and others similarly situated. My duty, rather, is to "decide cases ‚agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United
States." lt Id., at 530. And, just like Justice Stewart, I "can find [neither in the Bill of Rights nor any other part of the
Constitution a] general right of privacy,li ibid., or as the Court terms it today, the ihliberty of the person both in its
spatial and more transcendent dimensions," ante, at 1.

EY: A dissent that says it's a stupid law, but states have the right to have stupid laws. Well I bet most legislatures are relieved.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Signorile weighs in on the Pryor Nomination

This is a man who, after all, vigorously defended an attempt to ban "any device primarily designed or marketed as useful for the stimulation of human genital organs" in the state of Alabama.

EY: Here in Minnesota the Husband of Secretary of State Kiffmeyer tried to get a similar law passed in MN.