Wednesday, July 22, 2009 Is a Site That Needs Help

When the news came out announcing the marriage of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, it was greeted publicly with the usual hoopla. The surprise came when Ivanka decided to convert to Judaism, the same religion as her fiance. Understandably, some people were disappointed and some were excited. When the web sites got wind of the news, the reporting was mostly favorable. When the website evilbeetgossip reported the news, it reported that, "Ivanka Trump is officially a dirty Jew." Considering the fact that the article later used Yiddish terminology in a positive light to describe the union leads me to believe the writer is Jewish or part Jewish. This poorly written remark is riddled with bad taste, overtones of hatemongering, and perpetuating the belief that it is okay to say it. The comments posted under this article are testament to this. A reminder of the Vice President referring to Sheik Obama as "clean" quickly comes to mind. Shame on evilbeetgossip!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


The Jews do not pursue the conversion of others. On the other hand, when someone does want to become a Jewish person, the conversion is no small task. In the show Sex in the City, one of the characters was considering converting to Judaism for a relationship with a man. When the woman finds a Rabbi to assist her through the process, he refuses her request. (No, I don't watch the show). The character Charlotte is repeatedly dismissed because in Judaism your advances must be serious and sincere. So, when Ivanka decided to convert to Judaism, I know she went through a rigorous ordeal. She is a person I respected greatly beforehand. Now, I can say she is one of us. So, from the UnapologeticEthnocentricSemite, WELCOME. Happy to have you aboard. Oh, and the episode was from season six.
Ivanka Trump
Ivanka Trump Pictures

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Unlikely Foes: Ted Olson Takes On Proposition 8

There's an epic battle brewing on the Western front, and it's going largely unnoticed. Theodore Olson, former Solicitor General under the second Bush administration and a staunch conservative and Federalist, along with David Boies have filed suit in the Northern District of California challenging Proposition 8 on, inter alia, equal protection grounds under the 14th amendment. Ted Olson and David Boies are titans in the legal industry. Interesting tid-bit: Ted Olson and David Boies were adversaries in Bush v. Gore, with Olson defending Bush and Boies defending Gore. They stand at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. Yet, they are standing together in the name of equal protection.

Proposition 8, by way of Strauss v. Horton, was upheld by the California Supreme Court a couple months ago, which resulted in the continued validity of 18,000 gay marriages that occurred prior to the decision but outlawed any further gay marriages. So currently, while 18,000 gay marriages remain valid, no others are permitted under California law. And the rub is that now you necessarily have inequality based on sexual orientation. Proponents for Prop 8, led by attorney Charles Cooper, another legal titan, will argue that because each individual still has the right to marry whoever they want, as long as marriage is between a man and a woman, there is no equal protection violation. Opponents of Prop 8, led by Olson and Boies, will equate a ban on gay marriage with a ban on interracial marriage, specifically pointing to Loving v. Virginia that struck down on equal protections grounds a Virgina law banning interracial marriages.

I part company with many conservatives and find Olson's challenge to Proposition 8 compelling. I fully support it. Some conservative legal scholars, particularly those from the Alliance Defense Fund and the Liberty Counsel have argued that Loving v. Virginia is distinguishable with Proposition 8 because in Loving there was indeed discrimination based on a suspect class, namely, race, but that here, there is no such discrimination because sexual orientation is not a suspect class. In other words, the ban on interracial marriage treated people differently based on race, a fundamental trait, but that Proposition 8 does not because presumably sexual orientation is not a fundamental trait recognized by our laws. Another argument is based on federalist principles in that the people of California voted for a measure and therefore federal courts must respect the outcome.

Although I rarely part company with the ADF and Liberty, I must say both arguments are specious. The first argument is specious because there is necessarily unequal protection in California due to the ruling in Strauss v. Horton - you have 18,000 gay couples enjoying a fundamental right to marry (a right that is well established to be fundamental) while other gay couples are not enjoying the right beause they cannot under Strauss v. Horton. This presents an unequal instance that seems clearly violative of the 14th amendment equal protection guarantee. And if you accept that Proposition 8 is therefore unconstitutional, then it doesn't matter if 99% of Californians voted for the measure, it must be struck down.

As the saying goes, you can't have your cake and eat it too - gay marriage is either valid of invalid. If you say marriage is between a man and a woman, that is black letter law and thus must be enforced as such, which would necessarily mean that the existing 18,000 gay marriages must be invalidated as well. We are talking about a fundamental right here. But if you're going to allow the 18,000 gay marriages to remain valid, then you are necessarily saying that those gay marriages are legally valid, which in turn means marriage can indeed be between same-sex couples, which then means Strauss v. Horton is unconstitutional on equal protection grounds. Again, under our Constitution, you can't say the 18,000 gay couples can enjoy a fundamental right, but no other gay couple can. Undoubtedly, this presents a constitutional conflict ripe for the Supreme Court.

This case is surely going up all the way to the Supreme Court. The timing poses a risk for Olson and the gay community. The biggest risk is that the Supreme Court will take the opportunity to declare once and for all that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman, effectively acting as a federal amendment to the Constitution. Then, Olson and the gay community would be hoist by their own petard. This is outcome if very possible given the make-up of the Court presently.

Regardless of whether you have moral problems with homosexuality and gay marriage, I think everyone who respects our Constitution should really consider the merits of Olson's case. In our nation, fundamental rights are provided to every citizen with equal vigor. We don't say one person can enjoy a right but another cannot. Loving v. Virginia makes it clear that marriage is a fundamental right. Moreover, our founding fathers were explicit in their intent to protect the weak from the strong, to protect the minority from the majority, and is why our country is a Democratic Republic, as opposed to a full-fledged democracy. Just because the majority of a state (or even our nation) votes one way or another, if that vote violates equal protection in any way, that must be struck down. That is the job of the Judiciary, our third, and perhaps the most influential and powerful, branch of government.

One last point, whether you support Olson and his lawsuit against the current status quo in California boils down to this question: What's more important to you, 14th amendment equal protection or stopping gay marriages in California? For me, it is unquestionnably the former. Olson's lawsuit challenges the inequality that resulted from Strauss v. Horton. In order to correct this situation, Olson is hoping to reverse Strauss and allow gay marriages in California and in doing so must directly attack Prop 8. If, however, stopping gay marriage is more important to you, then you are willing to tolerate the clear equal protection violation we currently see in California and will side with the proponents of Prop 8. Even if you supported Proposition 8, you can still maintain your integrity: by supporting Olson, you are not necessarily supporting gay marriage, but rather you are supporting equal protection and claiming that either everyone deserves to enjoy a fundamental right or no one does.

So my hat's off to Ted Olson and David Boies. Godspeed.

American Confucius

1943 Christmas Dinner: Company B Ordinanace Maintenance Battalion

Click the picture to enlarge!

Posted by ShoZu

When this menu is opened, the dishes are listed in the center. This was printed for Company B 127th Ordinance Maintenance Battalion. The symbol for the Company can be seen in the center top of the menu. It's yellow, blue-green, and red. It has a side view of a tank tread and wheels, a cannon with the barrel pointed to the top left, and a lightning bolt in red across the center.

WWII Christmas Dinner: Company B

For Independence Day, I felt like sharing a momento from WWII. The Veterans of that war are dying off in great numbers everyday. For them, please enjoy this!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Battles of the 2nd Amendment

Judge Sotomayor of the 2nd Circuit has been nominated to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court bench. The nomination has invited a flurry of opinions from everyone with two cents. Sotomayor's nomination has been controversial to say the least, but, as everyone knows at this point, despite all the questions surrounding her record, her victim-minority sensibilities and her competence as an intellectually-qualified jurist, the probability that she'll fly through the Senatorial kabooki theater (aka confirmation process) is very high. But recently, the Supreme Court's reversal of the infamous white firefighter case (Ricci) certainly adds to Sotomayor's baggage that may weigh her down during the hearings. Sotomayor was one of three 2nd Circuit judges that held against the firefighters. Without going into the details of the case, it's enough to say that the Supreme Court rightly held (and reversed Sotomayor) that a disparate impact along racial lines was not an acceptable basis upon which to deny the white firefighters (and one hispanic) their promotions, which they earned by passing a promotional examination. It was a momentous victory for meritocracy, fairness, and racial equality.

But perhaps this is not the most interesting happenstance surrounding Judge Sotomayor. Another one of Judge Sotomayor's 2nd circuit case, Maloney v. Cuomo, will be reviewed by the Supreme Court in the next term. In that case, a New York resident/citizen was arrested and fined for owning a set of nunchakus (or, "chukka sticks") in violation of New York law prohibiting the ownership of arms. Under current New York law, nunchakus are considered arms and thus fits the state's 2nd amendment prohibitions. Moreover, under the 1873 Slaughter-house cases and the Cruikshank case, the 2nd amendment is not incorporated into the states and local governments and therefore, New York's prohibition of owning arms includes the prohibition to own nunchakus.

Here's the problem. DC v. Heller, the seminal Supreme Court's 2nd amendment decision, unambiguously pronounced last year that the right to bear arms is an individual fundamental right, on the same level as free speech for instance. This necessarily means that all states and local governments must comply and respect the right, unless the state's restriction can survive strict scrutiny, which historically-speaking is near impossible. The 2nd circuit panel in Maloney, which included Judge Sotomayor, concluded that 1) the 2nd amendment does not apply to the state or local governments (according to Slaughterhouse and Cruikshank) and 2) that the right to bear arms is not fundamental and therefore the states only have to come up with a rational basis for the restriction to bear arms, as opposed to surmounting the strict scrutiny standard which automatically presumes the state restriction is unconstitutional. The court of course ruled that the state did in fact have a rational basis for the restriction and upheld the New York law. Essentially, Judge Sotomayor and her panel colleagues completely ignored Heller's clear pronouncement that the right to bear arms is a fundamental constitutional right deserving of the strict scrutiny standard and mooting the question of whether the 2nd amendment is incorporated into the states.

Interestingly, there are two circuit cases currently pending that directly concern both issues in Maloney. A case in the 5th circuit, Bledsoe v. U.S., concerns the issue of whether the right to bear arms is indeed fundamental, a challenge thats likely to fall on deaf ears due to the clarity of Heller. There's another case in the 7th circuit, NRA v. Chicago, where the NRA is directly challenging the Slaughter-house cases and Cruikshank's pronouncement that the 2nd amendment, or more generally the Bill of Rights, are not incorporated into state and local governments. Its reasonable to assume that the Supreme Court decided to review Maloney in order to dispose of both of these critical 2nd amendment issues, which in turn would dispose of Bledsoe, NRA, and Maloney, all at the same time. (The ruling could also overrule Slaugherhouse and Cruikshank, a very welcome proposition in my opinon).

Here's my prediction for Maloney: it's hard to imagine that the Supreme Court will reverse itself so quickly after Heller. Thus, I think the Court will affirm Heller and rule that the right is indeed fundamental. The State of New York will have to show that its restriction on owning nunchakus has a "compelling state interest" (as opposed to simply a rational basis) and that the restriction is narrowly tailored. I highly doubt that New York will be able to surmount this high standard of review since there's an automatic presumption that the restriction is unconstitutional. Additionally, nunchakus are usually used to practice martial arts (how many assaults/murders have you heard of where nunchakus were used?) and the self-defense justifications for owning and bearing arms generally are compelling reasons that run against the State's compelling interest in curbing arms ownership by its citizens. So if the State fails to meet its burden, which I predict it will, the Court will then rule that the State law abridging the 2nd amendment is unconstitutional, reversing Sotomayor's ruling in Maloney. Moreover, given the incrementalist approach of the current Supreme Court, it's not unreasonable to predict that the Court may "prudentially" punt on the constitutional issue of whether Slaughterhouse and Cruikshank were rightly decided.

At any rate, it's an exciting, and in some ways precarious, time for the 2nd amendment. Its founding integrity is far from certain.

American Confucius

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


If you want to join the party, go to the website! It's here at

This is an example of the type of people that go to Tea Party events. Get a good look because there are NO EXTREMISTS HERE!



Here are real live EXTREMISTS!! Take note! They are holding signs containing slogans strictly pro America! The poorly informed media believe "White Supremists" run the party or are in attendance for recruitment purposes. Obviously, this is falsely reported. Why? Because the sign at the bottom picture has a sign for a man running for US CONGRESS. Who? Allen West. I met him at a 912 meeting in Palm Beach Gardens. He gave a brilliant lecture on his positions on current matters. Also, he happens to be Black or African American. I know, shocked! He is a recently retired military officer and I encourage everyone to go to his website and to vote for him!


Here is the radio celebrity Joyce Kaufman lending a hand. If anyone can get this party started, it's Joyce!

No lack of speakers here. These guys got the message across about why we were demonstrating.


Some of the 912ers were in attendance. I wanted to point out many local groups sympathic to the message participated. I won't reveal who they are but they deserve recognition. Thanks!


Joyce Kaufman is a radio talk show host who is very popular in South Florida. She is a hero in my book. Her shows have inspired many members to join. She has talked about terrorism, patriotism, and American Rights regularly. She knows who I am and knows how much everyone appreciated her appearing. Make yourself a list of things to do and make number 1 on the list to go to this site and listen to her. JOYCE KAUFMAN

Well, this little supporter should put egg on the face of liberals! She is extreme only in support of the Tea Party! And that is okay with us.

Police estimates were 2500 people. The demonstration got attention of the crowd that came down for the "Fourth on Flagler" celebration.

Maybe the Administration should look at some of these pictures. Dress the part!!


Posted by ShoZu

The local Police Dept. was on hand to ensure the peaceful demonstration stayed peaceful. Thanks go out to them!


This was the sign handed out to the adoring public. The message is short, sweet, and clear. When anyone cares to participate, it is great to bring your own homemade sign, too.

Posted by ShoZu


This is a picture of the group which can be clicked on to make larger. If you look closely, you can see that the channel 12 local CBS news crew has a truck in the right back of the picture. They took little note of the demonstration. It was easy to miss right in front of their faces!

Posted by ShoZu


CLICK THIS PHOTO! This guys sign is great!!

Posted by ShoZu