Climbing partner.From Chief Justice Roberts' dissent to today's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (emphasis mine):
The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational.and from Justice Scalia's dissent:
[Justices in the majority] are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.Numerous societies living on North American soil before there was a USA evidently don't count.
In 1542, one of the earliest Spanish explorers in Florida, Cabeza de Vaca, reported on his previous five years among the Timucua Indians: "During the time I was thus among these people I saw a devilish thing, and it is that I saw one man married to another."Lawyers arguing on behalf of Obergefell et al. share in the blame for this omission. At oral argument, Scalia asked petitioners if they knew of any society that permitted same‑sex marriage prior to the Netherlands in 2001 and they couldn't name any.
Excitement on my block this morning.Yesterday, Wikileaks started posting a bunch of secret Saudi communications. Al Jazeera America reports:
Saudi officials have not explicitly challenged the authenticity of the documents, and Saudi diplomats have not answered repeated requests for comment. However, the Foreign Ministry posted a carefully worded message on its Twitter account early Saturday morning, warning citizens to avoid visiting "any website with the aim of getting a document or leaked information that could be untrue and aims to harm the nation."In 2010, when Wikileaks published cables leaked by then‑Bradley Manning, the US government couldn't tell the general public not to read them—but the over 5 million Americans who hold security clearances are subject to different rules. The government continued to deem the embassy cables classified despite their widespread publication and sent a memo to companies with cleared employees reminding them of the oath they took not to access materials for which they weren't granted permission. In other words, the government told millions of its citizens to avert their eyes should they come across certain materials in a newspaper.
Such requests are of course subject to the Streisand effect.
Yes, I am easily amused.
Headline from today's New York Times.
Stripper image from a 1959 AP photo of Ms. Starr.
Centrifugal governor illustration licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
A cactus I planted in my yard last yearI chose Lone Pine back in 1997 partly because it has ample groundwater. I was looking to live in the desert but not in one of many areas of the western USA with a contrived and potentially unsustainable water supply. I'd recently read the book Cadillac Desert that lays bare how arrogant and shortsighted the development of the West has been. From the introduction:
appears to be preparing its first flowers.
Confronted by the desert, the first thing Americans want to do is change it. People say that they "love" the desert, but few of them love it enough to live there. I mean in the real desert, not in a make-believe city like Phoenix with exotic palms and golf-course lawns and a five-hundred foot fountain and an artificial surf.Not all of California is desert, but much of the state's development depends on precarious supplies of water. Californians have enjoyed the availability of water for so long that they forget how much of a house of cards the whole project is.
But now, drought and water rationing. A newspaper article recently reported on how residents of Rancho Santa Fe, California (where median annual household income exceeds $200,000) are taking it. In short, Rancho Santa Feans are displeased that there's a commodity money can no longer buy in unlimited quantity. "It angers me because people aren't looking at the overall picture," said an interior designer (apparently without irony). "What are we supposed to do, just have dirt around our house on four acres?"
When I watched it last week, I thought totally exemplified how much of a treat the film is.