Sometimes What I Do

Sometimes What I Do
Cellphone || LG8300 || Verizon

I made my own 12-key keypad on Tuesday. I think it would have just been easier to order one from Digikey.

Thoughts on Proposition 8

The following is a short response for an in-class quiz we had today in Introduction to Law. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and so I was pretty excited to be able to take a stab at determining its validity. Since the following was an in-class quiz, it should not be considered as a thorough argument. I picked a response format similar to a Supreme Court Majority Opinion.

The facts being evaluated are two fold: A) Is Ms. Sykes sill married? and B) Is California’s Proposition 8 allowed under the United States Constitution.

In the matter of Ms. Sykes current marital status, several facts must first be established. We will assume that Ms. Sykes was legally married to another person of the same sex under California State law and such marriage was valid and recognized. Second, we shall assume that Proposition 8 is now a part of the California State Constitution and in full effect. Finally we shall assume that, for the purposes of this question only, Proposition 8 is constitutional.

Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution states, in part, that “No state shall…pass any…ex post factor law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts.” The rule prohibiting ex post fact law is not applicable in this instance because the issue does not deal with anything criminal. That is to say, Proposition 8 does not make same sex relationships illegal, it just does not deem a marriage between people of the same sex as valid or recognized.

The second part of the quited Article 1, Section 10 address the obligation of contracts. Marriage is the joining of two people to become one. Taxes are filled jointly, property is owned jointly, and certain legals privileges exist between spouses because of their joint operation. In fact, for a marriage to be legal, both parties must sign documents that, for all intents and purposes, is a legally binding contract. To allow for the passing of a law which impairs the obligation of that contact is thus unconstitutional. Held: Under Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, Wanda Sykes is still married and her marriage is valid and recognized in the State of California.

In the matter of the constitutionality of Proposition 8, it would seem that the afore argued point would be significant cause to declare the proposition as unconstitutional as it is written. However, we shall endeavor to further prove this point. The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution states, in part, that “No state shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protect of the laws.” This amendment and the subsequent Brown v. Board of Education (347 US 483, 1954) ruling lay the groundwork. It would seem self-evident that denying the marriage of two people because of their sex would be denying them equal protection under the law. It was not that long ago that a black person was not legally allowed to marry a white person or that black children and white children were to be educated in separate but “equal” schools. We fine this law to be no different in its meaning or intent: to disenfranchise a particular class of individual because one thinks lesser of them.

Ignorance

I recently received an email from someone. I’m not going to say whom; and if this person happens to read my blog: I’m not trying to point you out or pick on you. Promise.

The email essential asked me to sign an online petition to make Obama prove that he’s an American.

The above mentioned website states, in part, that:

There are numerous questions as to Obama’s citizen status raising suspicion and doubt about Obama constitutional qualification to be president. To settle these questions Mr. Obama must produce proof of citizenship!

It is reasonable that these documents should be produced considering that his father is Kenyan, his adoptive father is Indonesian, and his grandmother claims to have been present at his birth in Kenya. If he is a natural born citizen then producing these documents should not be any problem.

I’m not quite where to start on this one. I don’t know if this petition is being passed around because Obama is black or because people were upset John McCain didn’t get elected. Either way, it should not matter. Low-blow tactics like this are lame, ineffective, and divisive.

Just before the election, I heard of cases (and even received a text message) that said that due to the amount of people wanting to vote in this election, people wanting to vote for Barack Obama should vote on Wednesday, November 5th. I also saw a similar tactic used to ask McCain supporters vote the day after the election as well.

Now, I’m not a lawyer (IANAL), but I would suspect that making statements to that effect are illegal. If they’re not illegal now, I bet they soon will be. And in any case, I have incredible disdain for anyone who would post, publish, transmit, etc such a message. Like I said before, low-blow tactics like this are lame, ineffective, and divisive.

So, in my ongoing mission to quash ignorance and I typed up a rather lengthy email and sent it back to this person. I now present to you an edieted version of my response:

I’m concerned by your potential motives and you lack of research. I suspect that you are not in favor of Barack Obama being elected President, which is fine. I’m not here to debate politics. What causes me concern is that you are willing to spread rumors or even lies because you do not favor Obama and without doing any research of the facts.

Now, let me stop for a second. Those are some serious charges that I’ve levied against you and I make them based on indirect evidence. It is easily within the realm of possibility that my allegations against you are false. If they are, it’s important that you let me know so that I can correct the record and apologize.

My request is that the next time you want to forward something, especially something as potentially divisive as claiming Obama may not be an American Citizen, I would strongly urge you to research the facts. Ignorance is a dangerous thing and I would encourage you to always seek the truth. Always.

Now, you would probably not be receiving this email if, in fact, the allegations held truth. However, they don’t. Here are a few links from reputable sources that I believe prove that President-Elect Obama is an American Citizen.

The first place I like to check is Wikipedia. And Wikipedia does confirm that that Obama was born in Hawaii: “Barack Obama was born at the Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu, Hawaii,[1] to Barack Obama, Sr., a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya, and Ann Dunham, a white American from Wichita, Kansas[2] of mainly English, Irish and smaller amounts of German descent.[3][4][5]” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama#Early_life_and_career)

However, Wikipedia, by itself, should not be considered an authoritative source. That is to say, just because Wikipedia says Obama is an American citizen doesn’t mean that he actually is. Fortunately, Wikipedia provides sources for their information. The [1] link refers to an article in the Washington Post, “Before crossing the overpass above the H1 freeway, where traffic zoomed east to body-surfing beaches or west to the airport and Pearl Harbor, he passed Kapiolani Medical Center, walking below the hospital room where he was born on Aug. 4, 1961.” (Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/23/AR2008082301620_pf.html)

More research leads to confirmation of these facts by the LA Times, “Well, the folks at FactCheck.org say they have seen the certificate, touched and vouched it — Obama is as American as baseball, apple pie and, these days, burritos, pasta and kung pao chicken.” (Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/08/mystery-solved.html) and provide an image of the actual birth certificate (Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/06/obama-birth.html)

The aforementioned FactCheck.org writes, “The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed Oct. 31 that Obama was born in Honolulu.” (Source: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html)

The Associated Press confirms all of the above:
“State officials say there’s no doubt Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.
Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said Friday she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama’s original birth certificate.” (Source: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iw1At-4G1xuE50oXVFRlBPfR3dqgD945OLU00)

I could probably continue to find proof of Obama’s American citizenship until the cows come home. But I think you get the point.

And lest you think that this entire email is from an overzealous Obama supporter, I did not vote for Barack Obama….although I have no way of proving that to you 😉

–End email–

So, let’s recap. Hawaii became a state in 19591. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. Barack Obama is, under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, eligible for Presidency. If you have a problem with this, feel free to make “a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State.”2))3.))

Please tell me I’m not alone in my thoughts.


  1. I didn’t actually state this fact in my argument since I assume it’s an easily confirmable fact that is not subject to interpretation. 

  2. (8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5 

  3. My point is not that you should renounce your citizenship because you don’t want Barack Obama to be President. My point is that you might consider renouncing your citizenship if you don’t want to play by the rules ((Staples, I’m suspecting you’ll want to argue this point. 

The Dream

I had a dream last night. I dreamt that I was back in Seattle at UPC. I was walking around and I saw Earl Palmer. The events of this dream take place just a few weeks after he had left his position as Senior Pastor. I ran over to him, and his eyes started to well up. I hugged him and started crying, just thanking him for being such a good pastor and for our talk this summer.1

I remember feeling happy that I was able to cry. I’ve been very emotionally drained these last few weeks. At times I’ve felt like crying, even wanting to cry. But nothing ever came out. It was refreshing to finally be able to cry, even if it only was in my dreams.

I wonder if he had the same dream.

1 In real life, I never got to say goodbye and thank before Earl left.

Comment Stats

TDavid over at Make You Go Hmm has been playing around with mySQL to get stats on his users comments. I also enjoy looking at pretty numbers (always being careful to remember they mean absolutely nothing), so I did some digging in my own comments database.

So here we go:
First up, total posts by year:

The blue line is all comments. The red line is all comments minus the ones from the WordPress plugin related pages, which are typically help related. While this year isn’t over yet, I highly doubt I’ll get to 2007 or even 2006 levels of comments.

Top ten commenters of all time are

  1. Andrew Ferguson (595)
  2. quinn (108)
  3. staples.jeff (107)
  4. Audrey (69)
  5. Matt Matteson (43)
  6. Peter (42)
  7. CrazyBarbour (40)
  8. laura (34)
  9. Amelie (23)
  10. Ryan “Artoo” Goodwin (19)

I was going to post the leader board for each individual year, however people changed their emails and the way they entered their names in the comment fields and I really don’t want to fix all of them to get accurate results.

I’m kind of stumped as to why 2006 was such a good year for commenting. Interestingly enough, this year has seen more comments per a post, which I think is good. Thoughts?

Some Religious Points I’ve Been Mulling

A couple of Christian-related things I’ve been mulling over recently:

First, Karl Barth, a twentieth-century theologian, said, “No harm must be done to the critical choice.” This is interpreted by Rev. Earl Palmer as, “No harm must be done to our freedom, and no harm must be done to God’s freedom.”

Second, Karl Barth talks about prayer, saying, “He is not deaf, he listens; more than that, he acts. He does not act in the same way whether we pray or not. Prayer exerts an influence upon God’s action, even upon his existence. That is what the word ‘answer’ means. … The fact that God yields to man’s petitions, changing his intentions in response to man’s prayer, is not a sign of weakness. He himself, in the glory of his majesty and power, has so willed it.”

Finally, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22:

19Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22Avoid every kind of evil.

I stumbled upon this passage when we were going over Matthew 7:1-6. Matthew 7:1 reads:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

The footnote in my bible for 7:1 says:

The Christian is not to judge hypocritically or self-righteously, as can be seen from the context (v. 5). The same though is expressed in 23:13-39 (cf. Ro 2:1). To obey Christ’s commands in this chapter, we must first evaluate a person’s character – whether he is a “dog” (v. 6) or a false prophet (v. 15), or whether his life shows fruit (v. 16). Scripture repeatedly exhorts believers to evaluate carefully and choose between good and bad people and things (sexually immoral, 1Co 5:9; those who masquerade as angels of light, 2Co 11:14; dogs, Php 3:2; false prophets, 1Jn 4:1). The Christian is to “test everything” (1Th 5:21).

The Christian is to “test everything”. I’m relishing 5:21. The footnote in my Bible for 5:21 reads:

Test everything. The approval of prophecy (v. 20) does not mean that anyone who claims to speak in the name of the Lord is to be accepted wihtout question. Paul does not say what specific tests are to be applied, but he is clear that every teaching must be tested – surely they must be in agreement with his gospel.

I wish that more people would be objective, in general.

CSO Goes to the Movies – Trek: The Concert

One of the great things about going to the Colorado School of Mines is that we get $5 tickets to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Which, if I can manage to get a good seat, is a 93% discount. CSO posted their 08/09 schedule over the summer and I took a gander at. One concert immediately caught my attention: Trek: The Concert. I put it on my schedule at least four months ago and this last weekend the moment finally came!

I headed down to the Denver Performing Arts Complex and met Smiley and his girlfriend there. We got front row seats and proceeded to enjoy the music of Alexander Courage, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Leonard Rosenman, Cliff Eidelman, and Dennis McCarthy.

Between each piece, John de Lancie (Q) and Marina Sirtis Robert Picardo (The Doctor) delivered comedic anecdotes about Star Trek and lore thereof.

I hung around for a while afterward, hoping to catch a glimpse and maybe even a photograph or autograph of de Lancie or Picardo. However, surmise they took the back exit.

I did manage to get my picture taken with some Klingons though!
IMG_0297

Starting Physical Therapy

I started physical therapy for my hand yesterday. I’ll be going twice a week for four weeks. I’m working with Jamie who is a wonderful physical therapist at Select Physical Therapy. She’s not entirely sure what the problem is, but she’s going to treat it as a radial nerve problem and that seems to be working. My hand felt better after Monday’s PT, so I look forward to tomorrow’s session. She also gave me a couple of exercises to complete at home, so I’m doing those as well.

Henry Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body:

Caption: Back of right upper extremity, showing surface markings for bones and nerves.


Caption: Front of right upper extremity, showing surface markings for bones, arteries, and nerves.