What I really want to blog about right now is the continuing threats from North Korea, but first I must note that the fight over same sex marriage continues in California. I understand that two attorneys today are going to (or already have) file a brief in U.S. District Court in California to among other things get an injunction against the ban on same sex marriages.
In addition, I believe there are plans to mount yet another ballot measure, this time to re-instate same sex marriage.
As I blogged yesterday, I am not and out and out supporter of same sex marriage as such, but I do believe that the law should be clear on this. Right now we have a situation in which the state’s high court HAD declared that same sex marriage was protected under the state’s constitution, but then upheld a ban on such marriages that came as a result of a voter initiative. But another voter initiative could be mounted and the vote could go the other way. Opinion on the matter I think is fairly well evenly divided in the state. Prop. 8, which banned same sex marriages, passed, but part of that was from voter apathy and even confusion on the measure itself, as I recall.
One thing we have found out here in California is that it is far too easy to change our constitution. The anti-same sex marriage forces (including money from out of state and including help from the Mormons) were able to successfully argue that their ballot measure was an amendment, not a revision. Under state law an amendment can be made by the voters, but a revision requires a two thirds vote of the legislature and then a majority vote by the electorate.
To add confusion to all of this, some 18,000 same sex marriages performed before the ban are still legally recognized under yesterday’s court ruling. That seems rather odd to me, to say the least. Some same sex couples can be married others not. There is no precise legal definition in state law that makes it clear as to what the differences are between an amendment and a revision. The revision is supposed to be more all encompassing. Well anytime a class of people are said to have rights and then those rights are snatched away from them seems kind of a major deal to me, kind of like a “revision”.
It is argued that same sex couples have the right to civil unions and are afforded the same (or essentially the same) protections as opposite sex married couples. I doubt that such is accurate. And I doubt that California civil unions are recognized in all states, whereas marriages are (except possibly same sex marriages?).
Recognizing same sex marriages and calling them marriages is a major cultural change. And that is the problem. But it needs to be resolved by something better than a court ruling that same sex marriages can be allowed, but then disallowed by voters, but then maybe allowed again.
What if all the protections we have under the federal constitution’s Bill of Rights could be changed each election or in special elections at the voters’ whims? Fortunately it is a lot harder to amend or revise the federal document. Maybe California’s way of doing things needs to be revised.
AND NOW TO NORTH KOREA:
Just read an article on the web that said the North Korean army has declared the 1953 armistice null and void and that the Korean War is on again. And I think that this was in reference to some plan to intercept shipments dealing with nuclear proliferation to or from North Korea, that South Korea joined in. North Korea has threatened to attack U.S. and South Korean ships (I would hope we would respond to an attack better than we did in the Pueblo incident).
Well, it’s just threats for now.
An underground nuke test (and it is not generally known really how powerful it really was) and some more missile test launches and a lot of tough words have and are coming out of North Korea. And I read today that everyone, and especially the U.S. and China, which are key players here, seems baffled or befuddled as to what to do about the whole thing. North Korea is supposed to be China’s ally, but it is making that nation’s leaders uncomfortable with all of its threats that it is ready to use nukes to get its way. China does not want to cut off food and other aid on which North Korea depends for its survival. Fore one thing, China is afraid that if North Korea collapsed its million-man army might turn into armed marauders. The U.S. has to be concerned that North Korea might do something crazy like attack South Korea (a major ally of ours and one we saved at great cost to us back in the early 1950s). Or they might eventually, if left unchecked, launch a nuke at us, or sink one of our ships, or who knows?
I have read that the U.S. is depending upon China to do something about North Korea because we here in the USA don’t have many options. On the one hand, it might be hard to exert pressure on China since we are so much in debt to them for all the outstanding loans they have made us. On the other hand our whole relationship with that communist nation is symbiotic. Although we seem to depend upon them for money and our consumer goods, they depend upon us for trade, that is for buying all of their products.
While I am not for a lot secret dealing in international relations, maybe if it is necessary we should be doing some with China. As I have blogged many times – give nations like North Korea or Iran a secret ultimatum that allows them to change course but save face at the same time. Maybe we could do this with China. Make it plain to them that we, the USA, do not intend to simply wait until North Korea actually has the power to make good on its threats.
And if you read my blogs, I know you’ve read this one before: I like Teddy Roosevelt’s idea that we should speak softly and (but) carry a big stick. John McCain, as I recall, said he liked that approach too. So in that respect, if he really believed that (and with his singing, bomb, bomb, Iran, I don’t think he did so much), in the field of foreign relations he might have been a better pick for president. But there were so many other issues, such as the economy, for which he did not seem to offer acceptable alternatives to his own political party’s bungling (and yes, the Democrats bungled too, but they had a new face and something that appeared more like change).
President Obama is no peacenik. He has not ended the war in Iraq and is strengthening our effort in Afghanistan (and Pakistan). And I think he may well realize that at some point we will have to do something about North Korea. Mean words from that nation will not hurt anyone, but nukes controlled by a nut case of a dictator could (and that applies to both North Korea and Iran).