Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Democrats in California want to pass laws to penalize Asians

Basically, the Democrats in California want to pass an affirmative action bill, which would penalize overachievers. Asians tend to outperform other races in academics, so they are always the losers when academic criteria are minimized in favor of racial criteria for college admissions.

Here’s an article from National Review, sent to me by Letitia.

Excerpt:

The California state legislature was on the verge of approving a referendum to restore the consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions to state universities.

[...]What both sides of the bimodal Asian immigration population have in common is that their children do uncommonly well in school. They are represented in California’s much-admired universities in far larger numbers than their share of the population would suggest: Asians compose 14 percent of California’s population but 37 percent of the undergraduates at its state universities. They make up about 40 percent of the students at UCLA, 43 percent of the students at Berkeley, half the students at UC San Diego, and more than half of the students at UC Irvine. A relatively small minority, they compose the largest single ethnic group on California university campuses (at least as California defines “ethnic group”).

[...]Liberals talk a great deal of mindless rot about what they like to call “privilege,” the supposedly omnipresent advantages that accrue to the white, the male, the heterosexual, those whose sense of self is more or less congruent with their biological genitals, etc. But it is worth keeping in mind that progressive social-engineering programs such as the use of racial criteria in university admissions do not hurt only hurt well-off white people sporting penises. (Not that we should shortchange the interests of well-off white penis-sporters.) They also hurt poor people and immigrants, in this case a group of immigrants that we as a country should count ourselves lucky to have. It is important to remember why race-based admissions are such an important issue for progressives: The Left lives in the public schools, which do a terrible job of teaching black, Hispanic, and poor students, who consequently show up in embarrassingly small proportions at elite institutions. Asian students, on the other hand, do a tremendous amount of work outside of school, spending ten times as much time as non-Asian students do on organized non-school activities ranging from music lessons to tutoring to test-preparation courses. That is true across the economic spectrum: Working-class Asian immigrant families in Queens send their children to tutoring sessions and piano lessons at a much higher rate than does the non-Asian population, even though the relative financial sacrifices necessary for them to do so are heavy.

For that, California’s professional race hustlers, and their allies across the country, would see them punished.

So, here is another case where the party that talks a lot about racism and race is actually the one that is opposed to Asians getting ahead. My view is that if Asians have the strong families that produce high achievers, then let them be 40% of the students at the university. Maybe then people of other races will get the message that they need to focus more on raising children who can compete. Follow the rules and you won’t be poor: finish high school, get jobs, get married, have children, don’t get divorced. If you follow those rules, you will not be poor, and your children will outperform you.

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What the death of Prop 8 means for democracy and the rule of law

ECM messaged me about this post from the Public Discourse. The author is the person who managed to get a constitutional amendment defining marriage in California, only to see if defeated three times by judges.

Federal judge was in a gay relationship:

The Prop 8 challenge landed in the San Francisco federal courtroom of Vaughn Walker. We’re supposed to accept that this happened randomly, and that the plaintiffs weren’t tipped off by someone in the court system to file the case at a particular time when Judge Walker happened to be the one who’d get it.

Whether by accident or grand design, it was a fortunate assignment for the plaintiffs. Walker was a judge in a long-term committed relationship with another man—in other words, he was in exactly the type of relationship as the plaintiffs who were bringing suit. Walker never disclosed this critical fact to Prop 8 supporters, or to the public, despite judicial rules requiring such disclosure if even the appearance of impropriety was present.

Private citizens have to defend the law of the land:

While the lawsuit stood before a hometown judge, state officials did everything in their power to throw the case. Both then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-Attorney General Jerry Brown refused to defend the law enacted by the people of California, despite their sworn oath of office to do so. The current Attorney General, Kamala Harris, dutifully took the same course.

Of course, the constitution of California does not give to the governor or the attorney general the power to decide for themselves which laws are constitutional and which are not, nor are they free to determine which laws shall be defended and which shall be abandoned. But no matter.

Having orphaned Prop 8, leaving it and the seven million citizens who enacted it defenseless in court, it fell to the backers of the initiative to defend the law in the federal courts. This not only cost the supporters of Prop 8 over $10 million in legal expenses; it ultimately put a sleeper hold on the initiative.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals:

Next the case headed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it became the province of a panel including Stephen Reinhardt, senior judge of the circuit and widely considered to be one of the most liberal (and most overturned) judges in America. I frankly never expected much relief out of what many conservatives ruefully refer to as the “Ninth Circus.” But even I was surprised by the chicanery involved in Reinhardt’s handling of the case.

It turns out that his wife, an attorney with the ACLU, had advised the plaintiffs’ lawyers on strategy before this very case was even filed! Reinhardt refused to recuse himself from deciding the case his wife had participated in, and went on to write a majority opinion finding that Prop 8 was unconstitutional.

And then on the Supreme Court, and we know how that ended.

The conclusion of the piece is very moving, but saddening too.

Here’s part of it:

I feel like we were cheated. Just like I felt as a kid watching the bad guy put a sleeper hold on his opponent, or hitting him below the belt or with the brass knuckles while the referee had his back turned, so have the legal system and politicians cold-cocked the people of California—seven million of whom went to the polls to lawfully enact Prop 8. Only this time, I realize there’s not likely to be a rematch. The cheaters won.

I feel like the rule of law has been shredded, and conniving politicians have been rewarded for ignoring their sworn oath of office. Public confidence in the judicial system has been dealt a severe blow. Supporters of same-sex “marriage” may be happy with the result today, but hold on until the tables are turned and a conservative governor and attorney general refuse to defend a law they don’t personally support, and there’s nobody left with standing to defend it. The seeds of that action will have been sown by leftist politicians like Brown, Harris, and Schwarzenegger.

I feel like a broadside has ripped a great hole in the initiative and referendum process itself. I have managed nearly forty statewide ballot initiative campaigns in my career. The initiative process is one of the few viable ways to get a recalcitrant government to respond to legitimate issues that are not being addressed by the legislature or the state administration. By its nature, citizens are often pushing a law that is opposed by those in power.

Now those very people in power—the governor and attorney general—have been given a pocket veto over the initiative process itself. They can invalidate any measure they don’t personally support simply by refusing to defend it in federal court. Such power was never contemplated by the framers of the constitution, or by the people of California, but that is the practical result of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Prop 8. Again—it is marriage today, but tomorrow it could be any other issue on the political spectrum.

I feel a measure of sadness for all the people who worked so hard for something they believed so passionately—a belief shared by millions of people. Campaigns are about ideas and laws, certainly, but they involve real people.

So I think about people like Scott Eckern, a distinguished musical producer, who was forced to resign from the California Musical Theater in Sacramento over his $1,000 contribution in support of Prop 8. I think about Marjorie Christofferson, a then-67-year-old employee at her family-owned Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles, who was forced to take a leave from the business over donating a mere $100 to our campaign.

I think about the 80,000 people just like them—moms and dads, retirees, students, husbands and wives—who gave generously of their financial resources to allow us to mount a winning campaign. I think about all the pastors, priests, bishops, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders who put their religious differences aside to work together in support of the eternal truth about marriage—that it is a covenant between one man and one woman, modeled after God’s own covenant with us.

And I think about the 250,000 volunteers in our campaign who walked precincts, knocked on doors, and manned phone banks, including Jose Nunez, a proud immigrant and newly sworn-in US citizen, who was physically assaulted by a Prop 8 opponent while waiting to distribute signs outside his Catholic church.

All of these people paid a tremendous price. They, and the voters, deserved better than to be left undefended before the legal system, abandoned by those sworn to defend them, ignored by judges determined to impose a particular result, and then orphaned by the Supreme Court as the great referee pretended not to see all the nefarious activity going on with the case right in front of them.

I still haven’t really gotten my head around all of the unfairness that happened with the defeat of Prop 8 by leftist lawyers and judges. How can it be that elected officials refuse to defend the law of the land? But this is not just a California issue. The Obama administration also refused to defend DOMA in court.  The amount of money and time that was spent in vain by the pro-marriage team on these legal efforts makes me very unhappy. The Prop 8 campaign involved millions of dollars, thousands of volunteers, and enormous amounts of time spent by everyone. Conservatives can’t take on these Herculean tasks and keep losing. The money and time we spent on defending marriage is gone once it’s gone. It can’t be spent a second time on something else.

We are already living in a time where over 40% of children are being born out-of-wedlock – facing the world without their father, because women choose to take welfare instead of marrying a good man before getting pregnant. We are already living in a world where over 40% of first-time marriages end in divorce, thanks to no-fault divorce laws and anti-male divorce courts. Gay marriage just makes it worse, and that’s the real tragedy. The family is dying, and no one seems to care. No one seems to be aware of the purpose of marriage for society. They are so busy smashing it down that they never stop to ask why it was there in the first place.

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Amazing: California teachers challenge forced payment of union dues

Dad sent me this article from the Washington Free Beacon. It’s good news!

Excerpt:

A group of California teachers is preparing for a Supreme Court battle to overturn forced union dues in a groundbreaking lawsuits filed in June.

For nearly three decades, the Supreme Court has allowed closed-shop unionism, in which public employees must pay dues to labor groups handling collective bargaining negotiations.

The Supreme Court established Beck Rights in 1988 allowing workers to opt out of union dues for political activities, while continuing to pay for union negotiating expenses. The teachers are hoping to take that battle one step further by putting an end to all coercive union dues.

Ten California schoolteachers are challenging California’s policy of forcing all public employees to pay union dues for collective bargaining. The Center for Individual Rights (CIR) is aiding their suit. The CIR views the issue through the lens of the Constitution, rather than as a contest of labor policy.

“Our efforts are not anti-union; we are trying to solidify the First Amendment rights of public employees to freely assemble,” CIR president Terry Pell said.

The plaintiffs filed a preliminary injunction on Tuesday asking the court to waive the teachers’ union dues during the ongoing trial. Pell is certain the motion will fail, which is all the better for the plaintiffs because it will “fast-track” the litigation to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and eventually the Supreme Court.

“This is a piece of strategic litigation—we’re trying to get the issue of compulsory union dues to the Supreme Court as quickly as possible,” he said. “We know that lower courts can’t overrule Supreme Court precedent, but this will expedite us through the system.”

The Roberts court opened the door to ending coercive unionism last year when it ruled 5-4 that Service Employees International Union improperly charged non-union members for political activities. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority in Knox v. Service Employees International Union, said the forced dues on non-union members were “indefensible”

One of the biggest problems with California is the stranglehold that public sector unions have on the state. This would be a good first step to getting the state to turn around. Even liberals stop paying dues when it’s not mandatory, because they want to keep their own money just like anyone does.

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Report: Los Angeles students being trained by schools to promote Obamacare

Investors Business Daily reports on it.

Excerpt:

With great excitement, the Los Angeles Unified School District has designed a nearly $1 million program to train teenagers to promote the glories of ObamaCare to parents, relatives and friends at home.

The state’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, is handing $990,000 to LA schools, along with federal grants totaling 36-million more U.S. taxpayer dollars to districts around the most populous state.

The goal is to train millions of student messengers statewide to sell the idea of government-subsidized health insurance to parents and relatives at home and to get more people enrolled in ObamaCare.

Taxpayer-paid public school staff will also be used to phone students’ homes urging enrollment under Obama’s Affordable Care Act. And they will be used to consume precious class instructional time to teach the students all about the healthcare program that the Democrat Congress did not read before passing in 2010.

[...]A spokeswoman for the LA school district proudly said the student ObamaCare scheme was actually a pilot program to see how well teenagers serve as messengers of government-sponsored information.

The goal, she said, is to determine “whether young people can be trained as messengers to deliver” a broad array of school and government-sponsored messages to family and friends. Now, there’s a student indoctrination idea that sounds like some country other than the United States.

If they prove proficient at influencing their own families to believe material sent home from schools, she said, the teens will be used to deliver numerous other official messages to adults in their home and neighborhoods.

One thing that the Los Angeles schools could do is tell everyone how well the British “public option” health care system works.

Here’s an article from the UK Daily Mail that the schools could use to make the case for Obamacare. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

As many as 1,165 people starved to death in NHS hospitals over the past four years fuelling claims nurses are too busy to feed their patients.

The Department of Health branded the figures ‘unacceptable’ and said the number ofunannounced inspections by the care watchdog will increase.

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics following a Freedom of Information request, for every patient who dies from malnutrition, four more have dehydration mentioned on their death certificate.

Critics say nurses are too busy to feed patients and often food and drink are placed out of reach of vulnerable people.

In 2011, 43 patients starved to death and 291 died in a state of severe malnutrition, while the number of patients discharged from hospitalsuffering from malnutrition doubled to 5,558.

See? It works! Just think of it as post-birth abortion.

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Supreme Court overrules elected legislators and imposes new definition of marriage

Here’s an article from National Review by professor Hadley Arkes to make sense of the SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage.

Excerpt:

These decisions, handed down by the Court today, affect to be limited in their reach, but they are even worse than they appear, and they cannot be cabined. They lay down the predicates for litigation that will clearly unfold now, and with short steps sure to come, virtually all of the barriers to same-sex marriage in this country can be swept away. Even constitutional amendments, passed by so many of the states, can be overridden now. The engine put in place to power this drive is supplied by Justice Kennedy’s “hate speech,” offering itself as the opinion of the Court in U.S. v. Windsor. Kennedy wrote for the Court in striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the part of the act that recognized as “marriage,” in federal law, only the union of a man and woman. In Kennedy’s translation, the Defense of Marriage Act showed its animus in its very title: The defense of marriage was simply another way of disparaging and “denigrating” gays and lesbians, and denying dignity to their “relationships.” As Justice Scalia noted so tellingly in his dissent, Kennedy could characterize then as bigots the 85 senators who voted for the Act, along with the president (Clinton) who signed it. Every plausible account of marriage as a relation of a man and woman can then be swept away, as so much cover for malice and blind hatred.

As Scalia suggested, that opinion can now become the predicate for challenges to the laws on marriage in all of the States. A couple of the same sex need merely go into a federal court and invoke Justice Kennedy’s opinion in the DOMA case (U.S. v. Windsor): The Supreme Court has declared now that a law that refuses to recognize same-sex marriage is animated by a passion to demean and denigrate. Any such law cannot find a rational ground of justification. As Kennedy had famously said in Romer v. Evans, those kinds of laws can be explained only in terms of an irrational “animus.”

That may be enough to have the laws and the constitutional provision overruled. But it gets even better if the state has a Democratic governor: For he may declare now that he will not enforce the constitutional amendment, for he thinks it runs counter to the federal Constitution. And by the holding today in the case on Proposition 8 in California (Hollingsworth v. Perry), the backers of the constitutional amendment will have no standing in court to contest the judgment. Constitutional amendments are meant to secure provisions that will not be undone by the shift in season from one election to another. But with the combination of these two cases today, any liberal governor can virtually undo a constitutional amendment on marriage in his state.

Here is another reaction from the Family Research Council.

Here’s a good article by Ryan T. Anderson, explaining how the redefinition of marriage really means the end of marriage. It also means the end of religious liberty. Make no mistake, this decision will force Christians to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies on their property, whether they like it or not. That’s what is already happening in countries that legalized gay marriage.

I for one am surprised that so many people who call themselves Christian could have voted for a political party that has now ended marriage as we know it. I think that most people who vote for the Democrat party are motivated by the desire for their neighbor’s money – they voted for the party that gives them the most goodies. They decided to sacrifice the needs of children in order to keep the money from the welfare state flowing. I hope that this SCOTUS decision helps those who voted Democrat to understand that their true positions on issues like abortion and gay marriage. I am especially concerned with people who claim to believe in God and even claim to be Christians. When it came time to be counted, you voted for abortion and gay marriage. Your vote ensured that tiny little children would feel lost in the world, making it easier for them separated from their biological mother or their biological father. That’s assuming that the selfish grown-ups even allow them to be born at all.

I think the greatest condemnation will be reserved for the pious celebrity pastors who took great pride in not educating members of their churches about what gay marriage would really do. They were so proud about not having any reasons outside of the Bible to oppose same-sex marriage. They made sure that opposition to gay marriage, like opposition to abortion and Darwinism, would be dismissed as so much religious bigotry in the public square by non-Christians. Those fideistic pastors paved the way for gay marriage, by sheltering their flock from the arguments and evidence that would have been persuasive to non-Christians. I hope that when they are forced to perform gay marriages in their churches, that they’ll finally understand why research papers, studies and academic debates are more important than singing songs in church.

UPDATE: I have been advised by Sean G. that Proposition 8 is still the law in California after this ruling. This Breitbart article explains:

As of today, there is no appellate opinion (meaning an opinion issued by a court of appeals) against Prop 8. The Supreme Court refused to issue one, and threw out the only other one (the Ninth Circuit’s). There is only a trial court opinion. So every agency in California is legally bound to regard Prop 8 as binding law.

Since no one who wants to defend Prop 8 has standing to appeal rulings on it to the Ninth Circuit, there will never be such an opinion in the federal court system. So the only way to get an appellate opinion would be in the California state court system. So someone would have to file a lawsuit regarding Prop 8, and then appeal it to a California court of appeals and then maybe to the California Supreme Court. Only when one of those courts hold Prop 8 unconstitutional can the public officials in that state regard it as stricken from the books.

That litigation could take years. And in the meantime, supporters of traditional marriage can continue making the case for marriage.

So the outcome for Prop 8 is not as bad as the outcome for DOMA.

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