Saturday, August 01, 2015
A Federalist 57 Website
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

What Next on the Same-Sex Front?


July 19, 2015 --

The Wall Street Journal, in its lead editorial, June 27-28, "A More Perfect Union," wrote that same-sex "activists may not be satisfied until the force of government stamps out private values and practices they find deplorable."

The concluding sentence in the lead editorial in The New York Times, July 10, certainly does not refute that Journal suggestion. The Times editorial, "Defiance on Same-Sex Marriage," ended: "The Constitution's protection of religious freedom simply does not include the right to discriminate against others in the public sphere." The focus of that Times editorial was on officials who, as public employees, refused to grant licenses to same-sex couples -- or officiate at their weddings. The Times suggests that public employees who claim that getting involved in same-sex marriages "violates his or her religious beliefs {should] find another job...."

LPR has come to regard the Supreme Court ruling, in Obergefell v. Hodges -- the same-sex cases -- as a 5-4 decision that, essentially, overrules G-d on what marriage is all about.

If the Court has the power to overrule God on relations involving couples, is there any subject in the Bible on which the United States Supreme Court, by vote of five of its nine members, cannot overrule God?

What if a same-sex couple asks an orthodox Jewish caterer to cater their wedding reception -- and, further, asks the caterer to include ham and bacon and shrimp and lobster on the menu? Can God's dietary laws withstand discrimination claims from a same-sex couple? What if the same-sex couple tells the kosher caterer that it will hold the wedding reception on a Saturday afternoon?

Does the demand to cater on the seventh day trump God's command to refrain from working on the Sabbath? What if a couple -- same, or different,sex -- asks a kosher baker to put lard in a wedding cake? Does the wish trump religious observance?

The New York Times tells civil officials to find other work if they cannot, on religious grounds, act in some aspect of same-sex marriages. Will The New York Times, citing Obergefell v. Hodges, advise members of the clergy, who, on religious grounds, decline to officiate at same-sex weddings, "to find another job"?

The Wall Street Journal, in its June 27-28 editorial on the same-sex ruling concluded by indicating its hope that Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, will, in future litigation, rule in favor of the religious freedom of those who disagree with the Obergefell ruling.

The Journal editorial, however, also took note of "[t]he unfortunate truth...that the political left is rarely magnanimous in victory...." And Justice Kennedy, by his decision in Obergefell, is now a member of the Supreme Court's left. If the case of the Kleins, Oregon bakers hit with a $135,000 penalty for declining to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, reaches the Supreme Court, LPR does not expect Justice Kennedy to lead a 5-4 Court in throwing out that penalty.

LPR also wonders -- do bakers now face penalties for refusing, on religious grounds, to bake sexually-suggestive cookies and cakes?

Indeed, now that the Court has ruled in Obergefell, what religious observance, if any, is not trumped by activist demands?

"A vote that represents free will is never wasted"
-- David Zukerman

Red Line

The Presidential Candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders

July 19, 2015 --

Senator Bernard "Bernie" Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate as an independent. He is, however, seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. Sen. Sanders calls himself a "democratic socialist." LPR believes that socialism is not the same as populism. Populism can be summed up, in Lincoln's words, as "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Socialism, for LPR, is government to the people -- big government to the people. Even mammoth government to the people, with the result that the elite enjoy the fruits of Mammon that fall from the Mammoth Tree of Government.

An article about Sanders, by leftist Todd Gitlin, in The New York Times, July 12, commented, "Bernie Sanders is saying, 'Think big.'" Actually, as already here indicated, LPR thinks Sanders is saying: "Think Really Big Government."

Curiously, for all his talk about wealth inequality, and need of "political revolution," Sanders seems not to notice the issue of social security poverty. Certainly, LPR is not aware that Sanders endorses the LPR call for a $5,000 credit card @3% interest for seniors, to make it possible for them to pay bills not noticed by leftist advocates of mammoth government. So far as LPR is aware, Sanders, like most pols, endorses the idea of very, very low interest rates -- only to benefit the banks he pretends to denounce.

One other question about "Bernie." Does he have a foreign policy?



Red Line

Will a Senate Minority Endorse That Deal With Iran?

July 19, 2015 --

Now that Washington and Tehran have reached agreement on a deal that, as LPR sees it, will anable Iran to join the nuclear arms club, will the United States Senate approve the agreement? Under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, the president "shall have the power, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the senators present concur...."

This meant, previously, that in a Senate composed of 100 senators, it would take 67 affirmative votes to ratify a treaty. For the Iran deal, however, the Constitution's treaty requirements have been turned upside-down. For the Iran deal to be rejected, it will take 67 senators to vote against the agreement.

To LPR's knowledge, Republicans have not made it clear to the American people that President Obama can get his nuclear agreement with Iran with the support of merely 34 of the 100 members of the United States Senate. Is this any way to carry out representative government in a Republic?

LPR does not discount the possibility that, if the agreement comes into effect, in Iran it will be greeted with thunderous cries of "Death to America; Death to Israel."


Red Line

What About the Impact of Global Warming (a/k/a Climate Control) on El Nino?

July 19, 2015 --

A Wall Street Journal story, July 6 on the impact of El Nino on commodity prices, reports: "El Nino occurs when winds in the equatorial Pacific slow down or reverse direction." As a result, water gets warmed "over a vast area, which in turn can upend weather patterns around the world; ... typically reduc[ing] rainfall in Autralia and across parts of southeast and southern Asia." This might also cause "wetter South America [that] could boost crops of soybeans, corn and sugar there."

There seems to be something very suspicious about this explanation for El Nino. Where is the human element in this weather phenomenon? LPR looks forward to a New York Times statement -- or advisory from the White House -- how the abuse of fossil fuels by humans sets in motion the equatorial winds that spawn El Nino.

And how long for Washington to reveal that abrupt weather changes are caused by the Internet -- all those bits of data wrapping the planet in a cyber-cocoon?


Red Line

"What's the Matter With Polling?"

July 19, 2015 --

This question was the title of a New York Times article, June 20, on political polls, by Rutgers Professor Cliff Zukin, who noted that political polls did not predict Republican congressional gains in 2014, or the conservative victories this year of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel and Prime Minister David Cameron in Great Britain.

Prof. Zukin attributed the miscalls to several technical issues: growth of cellphones, lower rate of response -- and "overestimation of turnout."

Apparently, inherent political bias in the surveys -- with the aim not of predicting a result but of getting a desired result -- either has not occurred to the Rutgers professor, or is, to him, simply inconceivable.

Please take the LPR poll …
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July 19, 2015 --

A Caveat to Republican Presidential Candidates ...

The Republican candidate who gets a good write-up in The New York Times is the candidate the Times wants to see challenging the Democrat -- and losing to her.


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In Memory Of …

Shana Zukerman
1989 - 2006