Checks and Balances

So, I’ve been getting myself edjumacated on the Gay Marriage issue, and I’m a bit confused on how the government system works in our state. So, I’d appreciate someone helping me figure out how the process of legalizing Gay Marriage in Massachusetts worked.

  • The Massachusetts SJC decided that the Marriage laws in Massachusetts were unconstitutional. How do they manage to tell the Legislature to change it? Had they not changed the laws, what would the consequences have been? If Gov. Romney had vetoed the change, would he have been held in contempt of court?
  • It’s my understanding that government branches are set up as a system of checks and balances, to keep any one branch from having too much power. In this case, the courts were changing what the Legislature was doing. What’s the system in place to keep the courts from having too much power? That is, since I’ve been disagreeing with the decisions that the courts have been making, what actions can I as a citizen do to try to keep the courts in check? (I understand that this may be indirect. I think I’m looking for an answer of the form “Vote for candidates for office X that support doing Y.”, but I’m not sure.)

I’m primarily focusing on the state level of government here, but input on the federal level is also appreciated.

Time to be more controversial

A long time ago, when I was first exploring this LiveJournal thing, I once asked why nobody commented on my posts. It was apparently because my posts were boring. Well, I’ve discovered that if I post more about things I think and my religious and political beliefs, I tend to get oodles and oodles of comments.

Well, I don’t know if that’s good or not. But I’ve got a hunch I’m about to do it again. Please don’t follow the following links if you’re unwilling to be offended by my beliefs.

In a discussion in ‘s journal on open-mindedness, she asked me why I have the religious beliefs that I do. I’ve posted my answer.

This Friday, and I are going to the Mall. Which mall? The Mall. We’re attending the Mayday for Marriage rally in Washington, D.C. to take a stand for traditional marriage. People are welcome to join us if they’d like.

Disappointment

So, I went to Card Stop in Dudley today to try to run a Standard Constructed Magic tournament for them. At our peak, we had 4 willing participants:

  • My wife, whom I brought
  • The store owner
  • Random Person #1, who freely admitted currently being banned from DCI tournaments for a year for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.
  • Random Person #2, who showed up about 45 minutes after we were hoping to start

Since we need an 8 player minimum to really have a tournament, it was a bit disappointing. Hopefully we’ll have a slightly better turnout to the draft I want to run at the beginning of November.

Tomorrow morning, I get to go to work to try to catch up on some really nifty changes we’re making to our web site. Whee!

Random Rambling: More Political Commentary

Another thing I noticed about the VP debate: They spent half of it on “foreign policy issues”, which basically meant Iraq. The media seems to spend a lot of time on it, which may be part of the reason it seems that many people care about it. However, the war just isn’t that big an issue to me. Perhaps it’s a little naïve of me, but I have faith that our government and military is doing the best they can. I think that they know what they’re doing.

Much more important to me are domestic moral issues, like stopping abortion, stem-cell research, and gay marriage. I was disappointed that they weren’t covered much in the debate.

(Then again, it probably doesn’t make for good television: One person says they support one thing, and other says they oppose it, and that’s just about it. They’re not going to convince any undecided person of anything by arguing about it. Those who care about those issues can look up the candidates’ opinions fairly easily.)

But maybe I’m just a part of the moral minority.

Random Rambling: Political Commentary

So, I saw the VP debate last night… I unfortunately missed the presidential debate last week due to forgetfulness. I’ve got a few random comments on things that I found interesting, which you’re free to comment on or ignore.

  • The candidates spoke mostly about what their running-mates would do, and not a whole lot about themselves. I didn’t feel like I got enough information about these candidates to decide between them specifically, although I suppose that that’s not how I’d be making a decision.
  • The media tries to make things controversial.
    • The moderator tried a question to the effect of “Do you think that your opponent is personally responsible for the increased cost of health care?”, as well as other questions trying to get them to butt heads with and insult each other specifically. Luckily, the candidates didn’t really go for it and mostly stuck to the issues.
    • The media has polls and encourages questions like “Who do you think won the debate?”, as opposed to what I think would be the point, “Do you think that the candidates did a good job describing their views and where they differ?”.
  • Cheney made a good point that I don’t think most Americans understand. He stated why tax cuts for the rich were a good idea. People tend to want “tax cuts for the middle class”, which affect them and make their paychecks bigger immediately. However, I think the better long-term plan is what he proposed, giving tax breaks to richer people. If the owner of the company where I work (who would qualify under “rich” for most definitions, I think (although of course, I don’t know for certain as I am not his accountant)) gets a tax break, then he has more money to grow his company. This means that he can hire more people and give me more raises. It really seems like a better long-term plan to me. And even with the cut, the rich people would still continue to carry the largest portion of the tax burden.