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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Shredding The Social Contract

The following article originally appeared in the Roanoke Times on August 24, 2006.

Shredding The Social Contract
By Jerry Fuhrman

We were at one time so close to an accommodation. Homosexuals and their supporters had been arguing for years that what gay men and women did behind closed doors was their business, not ours. Those of us on the right, at least those who operated from a libertarian perspective, came to agree -- if ever so belatedly.
This sea change in conservative attitudes became pronounced in 1982 when the facts were made known in a Georgia legal case (Bowers v. Hardwick) that involved the arrest of two homosexuals who were caught having sex in the privacy of their bedroom by a local police officer and charged under the state's criminal sodomy laws. It wasn't the lurid details of the case that shocked us all; it was the privacy concern. The case made its way to the United States Supreme Court where it was decided that there is nothing in the Constitution that "would extend a fundamental right to homosexuals to engage in acts of consensual sodomy."

It wasn't until June 2003 in another case with a similar background (Lawrence v. Texas) that the Supreme Court finally reversed itself and essentially voided all sodomy laws, finding privacy rights of individual Americans to be paramount. The court was right in doing so.

On the subject of gay partnerships, it was then that we found common ground. Though many of us have a deep-seated problem with homosexuality generally, we knew it was not our place to interfere in gays' private lives. It was only right that they be left alone.

As it turned out, we walked common ground for only a few months. In February of the following year, the social contract -- the implicit agreement into which homosexuals and libertarians had entered -- was shredded by a liberal, some would say reckless, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that found, somehow, the state's age-old ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. What was tolerated if kept private was now -- as required by law -- to be sanctified.

Chaos has ensued.


In May 2004, Massachusetts began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

The upheaval wasn't confined to the Bay State. Beginning in 2004, leftist mayors around the country began issuing marriage licenses and courts in the states involved smacked each one of them down. In Nebraska in 2005, an amendment banning gay marriage that had been passed overwhelmingly by the people was overturned by another liberal judge. In October of that year, the California legislature passed a law making homosexual marriage legal, but quickly saw it vetoed by the governor.

So far this year, a city judge in Baltimore and a county judge in Georgia have voided a state law and a constitutional amendment respectively. Dozens of state legislatures have passed Defense of Marriage Amendments, and they are in various stages of ratification.

Bedlam exists throughout the land because the liberal left saw society's willingness to tolerate homosexuals as long as they kept their interactions in the privacy of their homes. They took our tolerance to be acceptance and then demanded from us sanction.

Which brings us to the marriage amendment on the November ballot here in Virginia.

Some, like NAACP Chairman Julian Bond in a slippery commentary that appeared in The Roanoke Times on Aug. 18 ("Virginia is no longer for lovers"), claim that we are trying to turn back the clock and that homosexuals' civil rights are under assault. Others suggest that the state doesn't need a constitutional amendment since the commonwealth already has laws on the books proscribing gay marriage. Still others charge that the constitution shouldn't be used to discriminate against one segment of the populace.

In any case, none of this would have been necessary had the liberal left -- in this instance, four renegade judges -- not misconstrued our interest in tolerance and from it demanded that we sanctify homosexual relationships.

None of us wishes to see the gay community returned "to the closet." But make no mistake, we fully intend to bring order out of this chaos.

Should Gov't Be Promoting Alcoholism?

I love the resilience of the American mind. It sets us apart from the rest of the planet.

Case in point - the movement afoot throughout the land to ban cigarette smoking (and to reduce revenue) in local eateries and the reaction of freedom-loving Americans to it.

The state of Georgia prohibited smoking in restaurants statewide in July of last year, causing a good deal of hardship for local business owners. So how did Chuck and Kay Fordham in Dublin, GA get around the ban?

Resilience:

No-smoking law? No problem!
Eateries, businesses strike up new ways to circumvent state bans
By Russ Bynum, The Associated Press

DUBLIN, Ga. -- A year after Georgia forced restaurants to extinguish their smoking sections, the sign outside Chuck and Kay Fordham's diner defiantly invites customers to "Bring Your Butts On In."

The Fordhams found a way around the smoking ban by exploiting a loophole that exempts bars from the law. Instead of banning cigarettes, the couple banned children from their restaurant. (
link)
So instead of turning smokers into lepers, as was the intent of nanny-state lawmakers, they've turned quaint family restaurants into dens of iniquity. How proud they must be.

As for the puritanical anti-smoking crusade, I think Chris Fordham speaks for many of us:

"The biggest thing with me was the government telling you that you can't do this."
I love this country.

Good News Bad News

The good news (from the New York Times):
Shuttle, Delayed by Faulty Sensor
The bad news:
Will Try Again Saturday
The reason for the flight into space? Nobody remembers ...

Ouch!

It was announced just days ago that James Webb is releasing a new television commercial that has resurrected the image of former President Ronald Reagan, drawing for the people of Virginia the unmistakable inference that the gipper would have been right there beside Webb enthusiastically supporting his candidacy for the Senate.

In response, three close Reagan friends and allies issued this statement yesterday:

For Immediate Release
September 8, 2006

Laxalt, Meese, Duberstein Question Webb's Reagan Credentials

Former Officials Say Allen Is True Reagan Heir

Arlington, VA. Two former officials in President Ronald Reagan's administration and the chairman of his presidential campaigns in 1976, 1980 and 1984 reacted today to news that Democratic Senate candidate James Webb will run television advertisements with a video clip of the late president. Former Reagan Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein, former Counselor to President Reagan and U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese, as well as former Reagan Campaign Chairman and U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt released the following statement this afternoon:

We are disappointed that James Webb is dishonoring the memory of President Reagan by using an old video clip to imply that Ronald Reagan would be supporting him. He should be ashamed of himself.

It is Senator George Allen whose leadership, integrity and optimism reminds us of President Reagan. On virtually every issue, from the consistency of his views and outlook, to his constant support for low taxes and less government spending, to his commitment to supporting judges who will interpret the law rather than make new law, it is Senator Allen who is the true heir to President Reagan. He will continue to offer conservative and common sense solutions to the problems we face and will represent Virginia in the Reagan tradition by emphasizing limited government, traditional values and a strong, forward looking foreign policy.

Interested media should contact the Allen campaign if they would like to speak with Laxalt, Meese or Duberstein.

"He should be ashamed of himself." Seems I've said that once or twice lately myself about James Webb and his repugnant campaign tactics.

Nancy Enters The Fray

Nancy Reagan is none too pleased that James Webb has dragged her beloved Ronnie into the Virginia Senate race either. She has forwarded the Webb campaign a letter expressing her displeasure in Webb's use of a Reagan video clip:
Nancy Reagan Tells Webb Not To Use Video Of Her Husband In Latest Ad
Associated Press


Sep 8, 2006 06:54 PM EDT

Nancy Reagan has ordered Democratic Senate candidate Jim Webb, a former Reagan White House military aide, NOT to use video of her husband praising Webb in an upcoming campaign ad.

A three-paragraph letter from the former first lady's office says the use of footage of President Reagan is "neither authorized nor appropriate." (
link)
"Nor appropriate." To say the least.

By the way, as one has learned to expect of James Webb, there is also this:
Webb was NOT immediately available for comment. [emphasis not mine]