Wednesday, March 26, 2003
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Expect to hear a lot about depleted uranium from the EU, the UN, NPR, the NYT, and the BBC. This is a good article on the subject.
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An air force guy has this to say:
"03/25/03 - OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM -- Army Chaplain (Col.) Richard Rogers leads a prayer March 25 for six airmen killed when their HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crashed near Ghazni, Afghanistan, on March 23. The helicopter crew was on its way to pick up two Afghan children for treatment in U.S. medical facilities at Bagram Air Base. The remains were being flown to Dover Air Force Base, Del. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Terri Rorke)
Picture: Flag draped coffins
"Look. These are the coffins of six members of the United States Air Force. They did not die as a result of enemy fire. They died while attempting to transport Afghani children to a US medical facility for treatment. That is what the United States does. To all those who say, "...but what about Afghanistan? We haven't fixed it yet..." and other such whining, I say: screw you. Six brave airmen died trying to make life better for children and their families who were brutalized under a tyrannical theocratic regime. Show me any other nation that does this as a matter of routine, 99% of the time without any press or media attention."
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Well I'll be watching this one closely.
"A gay-rights case before the Supreme court tests how times have changed for the country and for the court itself, which was widely criticized for a ruling 17 years ago that upheld a ban on homosexual sex. The court could reverse course and declare a similar ban unconstitutional.
Lawyers for two Texas men arrested in their bedroom are asking the court Wednesday to overturn their convictions for sodomy under a state ``Homosexual Conduct'' law. The law unfairly treats gay men and lesbians differently from heterosexuals who may engage in the same kinds of sex acts and violates privacy rights, the opponents argued in court filings.
Of the 13 states with sodomy laws, four - Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri - prohibit ``deviate sexual intercourse,'' or oral and anal sex, between same-sex couples. The other nine ban consensual sodomy for everyone: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.
An unusual array of organizations is backing the two Texas men. In addition to a long list of gay rights, human rights and medical groups, a group of conservative Republicans and the libertarian Cato Institute and Institute for Justice argued in friend of the court filings that government should stay out of the bedroom.
On the other side, the Texas government and its allies say the case is about the right of states to enforce the moral standards of their communities.
``The states of the union have historically prohibited a wide variety of extramarital sexual conduct,'' Texas authorities argued in legal papers. Nothing in that legal tradition recognizes ``a constitutionally protected liberty interest in engaging in any form of sexual conduct with whomever one chooses,'' the state argued.
The case is Lawrence v. Texas, 02-102."
It'll be interesting to see what they do, and if they rule against it on what grounds they do so. If they rule on privacy then all 13 state laws get thrown out. (Always a good idea to put another bar on government snooping in the bedroom.) If they only rule on the equal protection aspect then it'll still allow for some anti-sodomy laws. FYI: the rationale for Roe vs. Wade was the privacy issue.
Froggi: Oh LexisNexis access goddess: Would you look up the opinion for the 1986 Georgia decision? I'm really curious how both sides approached that one and what the court decided.
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