From June, 2015

Thoughts and Clarifications on the Issue of Same-Sex Marriage

In the aftermath of last week’s Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell, I have engaged in some online debates with people of goodwill regarding the issue of same-sex marriage. I expect that those debates will continue for some time to come, but in the event that it is useful, here is a comprehensive outline regarding where I stand regarding the issue:

Quote of the Day

Notwithstanding the paranoid fantasies of some religious conservatives, no church or clergy in the United States will be compelled to perform same-sex marriages, any more than they are compelled to perform remarriages or interreligious marriages. Neither will religious teachings about sexuality and marriage be penalized; Kennedy‚Äôs opinion reaffirms this obvious point. Kennedy moreover steps away from his previous tendency to say that opposition to homosexuality is nothing but an irrational animus; that view would tend to get in the way of thinking about the just freedom of members of religious groups that oppose same-sex marriage. But there remain live questions…

The Supreme Court Bats .500. Legal and Political Analysis Follows.

The United States Supreme Court has come out with two major opinions, in as many days. The first concerned Barack Obama’s health care law, and featured a bad outcome based on poor reasoning. The second concerned the issue of same-sex marriage and featured a laudable outcome based on less-than-good reasoning.

On the Confederate Flag

In the wake of the absolutely horrific shooting in South Carolina that left nine people dead, attention has swiftly turned to the display of the Confederate flag in the state, given that the murderer, Dylann Roof, was pictured wrapped in the flag, and given the (to put matters mildly) problematic history behind the flag. As anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock is well aware by now, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina has come out in favor of removing the Confederate flag. I support this move, and think it is long overdue. But no one should pretend that…

The Democratic Party’s Failure on Trade Policy

As anyone who follows the news is aware, Barack Obama’s biggest legislative goal for his second term is to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. He may well get fast-track authority in order to push for passage of the agreement, and the agreement may yet pass. I hope that he does get fast-track authority, and that the agreement passes. But as anyone who follows the news is also aware, the initial attempt to pass fast-track authority failed in the House of Representatives, because Democrats decided to desert and defy a president from their own party:

More Horrifying News on the National Security Front

I am most emphatically not one of those people who freaks out upon hearing that jobs have been outsourced to other countries. “The outsourcing bogeyman” is just that; a bogeyman whose supposed ill effects on the American economy are wildly overstated, and the evolution of the economy means that certain jobs will be outsourced–something we should not necessarily fear. But there are certain jobs that should never be outsourced–like, say, protecting data held by the Office of Personnel Management: