Kennedy, DOMA and ‘Equal Liberty’

Another fascinating aspect of Justice Kennedy’s ruling in the DOMA case is its dependence on the “equal liberty” guaranteed by the 5th Amendment. Not the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause? Well, kind of. The 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, Kennedy says, helps us understand the 5th Amendment guarantee of liberty better:
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Books That Changed Me

For any thinking person, there are bound to be a handful of books that had such a powerful impact on them that they have returned to them again and again throughout their lives. I thought it would be interesting to hear what books my readers would identify for them, so I’ll start by reposting something I wrote a few years ago on the subject at my old blog, with a few updates.
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Santorum’s Bizarre Notion of Liberty

Rick Santorum spoke at a prayer gathering this past weekend and made one of the most bizarre statements I’ve ever heard about the founding fathers and religion. He actually claims that when the Declaration of Independence says that we have an unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness, they only meant that we have the right to do God’s will.
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Badass Quote of the Day

‎”Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves and the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.” — Howard Zinn.

Ramen.

NOM Continues to Conflate Homosexuality and Pedophilia

The vile National Organization for Bigotry Marriage, which is actually anti-marriage, continues its long history of ridiculous and bigoted anti-gay screeds by once again conflating homosexuality and pedophilia in a post by Douglas Farrow, a professor of “Christian Thought” at McGill University, which is actually just part of a longer piece in Touchstone Magazine.
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ACLU Ranks Presidential Candidates

The ACLU has put out a voter guide for all the 2012 presidential candidates, ranking them all on 7 issues: humane immigration policy, closing Gitmo and indefinite detention, gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, ending torture, ending the surveillance state, same-sex marriage, and reproductive rights. Anthony Romero, the ACLU’s executive director, writes:
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Democratic Blindness to Obama’s Faults

I had a brief but absurd exchange with someone on my Facebook friends list on Saturday. His name is Mike Jordan, but I don’t know him; I assumed he was on my friends list because he’s a blog reader. And he quoted George Clooney saying something about how he was disappointed in people who were disappointed in Obama. So I replied to that quote:
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And Now Havel is Gone Too

Wow, this has been a bad week. Vaclav Havel, the brave leader of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, has died at the age of 75. Havel was one of the great anti-totalitarian leaders of the late 20th century and is as responsible as anyone for ending Soviet communism and bringing freedom to millions. A sad coincidence that he died the same week as his friend Christopher Hitchens.

Update: And apparently, Kim Jong Il is dead too. That’s one for the good guys and one for the bad guys. One of the last totalitarian leaders dies on the same day as one of the great anti-totalitarians.