Liberty 101: Same-sex “marriage” and the power of bureaucracy

Bureaucracy attacks.

Americans today are getting a crash course in the liberty we give up when we create bureaucracies and let the executive branch grow without restraint.

Consider these points:

1.  The appeal for California’s Proposition 8 was thrown out because of an issue of standing for the defendants (i.e., the backers of Prop. 8 – who, it will be remembered, stepped in to continue the appeals process after the original backers dropped out).  The last ruling of the lower court is being allowed to stand, but the issue itself – the constitutionality of defining marriage in traditional terms – has not been ruled on by the Supreme Court.  The Court didn’t say that it’s unconstitutional for a government authority or the people themselves to define marriage in traditional terms.

2.  What was ruled on was the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).   And in spite of Continue reading “Liberty 101: Same-sex “marriage” and the power of bureaucracy”

Mr. Paul goes to Washington

Assassination – No.

There are a lot of things going on in America today, from inclement weather in northern Virginia to the uneasy high-fiving over the record Dow close of yesterday, to my own efforts to refinance my house (a fax-intensive operation, to say the least).

But the most important thing may well be the filibuster Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is conducting in the U.S. Senate right now.  Officially, Paul is holding up the confirmation vote for John Brennan as director of central intelligence – which is, in its own right, a foolish and ill-judged appointment, but Paul has already endorsed the appointments of both John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, because he thinks the president should have as much latitude in that area as possible.  Paul’s real concern is, rather, Continue reading “Mr. Paul goes to Washington”

UPDATE: The Civil War is not analogous to the killing-Americans-with-drones problem

Different kinds of war.

Pundits have for weeks been erroneously comparing the issue of “killing Americans” with drone strikes abroad to the brother-against-brother character of the U.S. Civil War of 1861-1865.  It’s time to point out that the Civil War is a false analogy to the drone-execution issue.  This false analogy muddies the waters, and the public debate over executive privilege and the people’s rights needs to proceed without it.

There are two basic aspects of the Civil War that make it different from the War on Terror, in the ways that matter to the drone issue.  One is an obvious feature of the Civil War: Continue reading “UPDATE: The Civil War is not analogous to the killing-Americans-with-drones problem”