Archives for category: The outside world

The day in trains was a bit of a snoozer in terms of news.  We learned (again) that Governor Doyle will not go ahead with the trains until Gov-elect Walker signs onto the project (that’s why all the phone calls, emails, petitions and community education are so important right now).  Walker also said he wasn’t going to push the feds right now on getting the rail money appropriated for roads (probably because he knows he can’t get the appropriation changed). Is he simply trying to ride out the negative press behind the project’s cancellation?  Is our Gov-elect looking to negotiate, or be convinced of something? Is he hoping that once the new congress starts, something will happen that will allow him to get the appropriation changed? It’s a great mystery that I’m sure will be partially revealed down the road.

Wisconsin’s rail debate became national news, with a feature piece this evening on NPR.  I continue to question Gov-elect Walker’s rationale for cancelling the project, given that costs are still negotiable at this point AND there are many people willing to come to the table with him.  Further, as I said yesterday, Gov-elect Walker favors state support for the Hiawatha line from Milwaukee to Chicago.  What gives? I’ve suspected an anti-Madison bias (and this Journal Sentinel blog indicates that it’s clearly out there among conservatives–by the way, the Madison Metro area is nearly 500,000 and contains the best university in the state and the State Capitol. Madison is important and pretty.).  Others suspect Gov-elect Walker may feel a sense of obligation to road builders for all the money they gave to his campaign.  I certainly hope for all of our sakes that such suspicions are incorrect.

In positive news, the Save the Train Wisconsin Facebook Group is up to nearly 7,000 supporters!  And all those train supporters have been busy planning activities to get the word out as to why Wisconsin needs to be a player in the Midwest high-speed rail network.  As I mentioned yesterday, the Sierra Club’s Wisconsin Chapter has declared next Saturday, November 20th a Save the Train action day.  There are rallies and events scheduled to take place all over the state.  To learn more, visit their website.

Also, it positive news, the majority of the members of the Milwaukee Common Council came out in favor of the train.  And AND Virgin Everything owner Richard Branson is interested in investing in Florida’s high-speed rail project.  This is nice to just have in the back of your mind when someone makes an argument that private enterprise does see value in passenger trains. “If trains were valuable, businesses would invest in them”–here’s a very powerful businessman investing in a train.  I’ve already pointed out that Madison’s business community is very much in favor of the project.  After the election, Milwaukee’s business community sort of said “Meh. We like our train to Chicago, but don’t want to help you get yours.”  Although here’s a video of several Milwaukee business leaders showing strong support for public transportation. “It’s not a want. It’s a need,” says one executive:

You scratch my head; I’ll scratch yours!

New Links of Interest

Advocacy (Growing by leaps and bounds!)

Call Scott Walker’s Transition Office: 608-261-9200

AFL-CIO Rally (Monday, November 15th, Noon, Talgo site in Milwaukee)

UW-Eau Claire Petition Rally (Wednesday, November 17th, 8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m., Campus Mall)

WISPIRG Letter Campaign

Badger Football Game Flier Distribution (Saturday, November 13th, Meet at Topper’s near Camp Randall at 9:30 a.m. — More details an the linked Facebook group)

1,000 Friends of Wisconsin Petition Campaign

Wisconsin Environment Petition

Bring High-Speed Rail to Eau Claire Facebook Group

Ray LaHood Facebook Page (Let the US Transportation Secretary know Wisconsin is still committed to high-speed rail)

Keep High-Speed Rail in Wisconsin Facebook Page

Editorials

Plain Talk: Road builders get return on their Walker investment

Capital Times – Even Republicans are tell Walker he’s wrong about rail money

Letters to the Editor

‘Tainted’ funds must be rejected by Walker

Blogs

Riding the Rails, Looking for Work

News Analysis

The Roadmap to a High-Speed Recovery

Today in trains:  More people speak up in favor of Wisconsin’s high-speed rail project and they get a bunch of smoke and mirrors in return.

That’s right, much of today’s news about the train revolved around the fact that people don’t understand the logic behind cancelling the project.  The media discovered the Save the Train Facebook Page (up by 4,000 like since yesterday!) and Illinois feels sad for us because we are being so stupid with our train hate.  As one person asks in this clip: “Why shouldn’t you be taking advantage of the funding that should go to your state?” Great question. Our neighbor to the south also made a play for our new train factory.  More jobs lost because of the terrible threat of putting Wisconsinites on the hook for anywhere from less than $0.20 all the way up to $2.00 a year!  Even first cousin Minnesota in confused by their dim-witted relative, but Minnesota’s going ahead with their train  project.

Also Madison’s Mayor Dave went on record last night to be clear that he was open to working with the Walker administration on alternative funding mechanisms for the train’s yearly maintenance costs.  This would have been a great opportunity for Governor-elect Walker to say something like “because of new information related to costs for this project I am now open to negotiating with stakeholders on a rail project that would not burden state tax payers in the future.”  He could have said that by now. He could say he was committed to jobs before rhetoric. He would have four years for the remaining anti-train people to get over it…by then most of them would be.   But he didn’t do that.  Instead, he sent this letter to the Doyle administration, to ask if it would be okay if he could be Governor two months early, and also to remind people that he doesn’t know anything about the policies he doesn’t like.  Getting the support of 52% of 50% of the voters makes one King of Wisconsin!

 

From the Daily Cardinal

 

What is often being forgotten in the debate about the train project is that it is not really about cost.  Scott Walker is in favor of spending the money we are slated to receive from the feds, just not on train.  He is in favor of state-supported trains, just not this one.  The state could develop a number of creative ways to deal with the estimated $7.5 million yearly cost of the train.  For instance, the state could receive support from Madison, as Madison has said it would be willing to do give more money to the project.  There could be train cards or memberships–or just ask for supporters to donate $3 extra on their annual tax returns for crying out loud! I want the train so badly, I would even pay *gasp* $20 or even more extra on my taxes.  So I would pay my “burden” and the “burden” on 9 other people.  We can get it done if there are honest brokers on either side of the negotiating table.  Every day that this debate goes on, I question more and more whether we have an honest partner in our Governor-elect.

The good news is that people continue to be vocal in support of the train.  Watertown’s republican mayor continues to show support for the train because he believes it’s in his city’s best interests.  We need more business people, more republicans, more people outside of Madison to make it clear that they support the train (because Madison is apparently no longer part of Wisconsin).

News Links of Interest

Advocacy

Sierra Club Wisconsin – November 20th – Save the Train Events (Sierra Club Wisconsin is declaring November 20th a day of action on the train — learn how to plan or attend an event in your area)

Survey – Should Walker his plan to stop the train project

Sierra Club Wisconsin – Intercity Rail Letter Campaign

Poll: Should Wisconsin go ahead with plan for high-speed rail

Editorials

Tomah Journal – Editorial: Wisconsin open for business … except for mass transit

Randy’s Ramblings: Who’ll stop the train?

Walker’s plan for high-speed rail a huge fail

Blogs

Jeremy Bloom – Off the Rails II: GOP misreading Ayn Rand in blocking railroads

Mike Shafer – Opponents spew myths about high-speed rail

Matt Logan – Scott Walker stuck in the 70s

Myths about Madison-Milwaukee rail service – station and train ridership

Emily’s Post: Wisconsin high-speed rail supporters fight back

Rejecting high-speed rail will isolate Wisconsin

This time out could be useful for high-speed rail

Letters to the Editor

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Today in train talk, the  Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce went on record (again) to voice support for Wisconsin’s high-speed rail project. (This is a business association with over 1,600 members in the Madison area.) In the same article, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce basically said to Madison’s business community, “screw you guys, we got ours”:

“Quite frankly, our focus was on ensuring that we had that (Hiawatha) connection to Chicago for lots of reasons. (The Madison line has) been more of a nice-to-have discussion than a need-to-have discussion in the business community in southeastern Wisconsin,” Sheehy said Wednesday. “In a sense, why beat a dead train?”

Here’s a fact that may make you hit your head against the wall:  Governor-elect Walker supports the already-existing train from Milwaukee to Chicago AND the use of stimulus money to upgrade it.  This begs the question–why do some people hate Madison? Seriously. Is it the university?  The State Capitol? Our tolerance of people (even Republicans!)? Our emphasis on urban planning? The fact that we’re generally ranked as one of the healthiest and best places to live in the country? Our high-tech businesses? Ella’s Deli?  Why is a train from Milwaukee to Chicago a good investment in our infrastructure, but a train from Madison to Chicago is a boondoggle?  This makes no sense.

 

Talgo

 

Also there was a press conference today where people who make trains in Wisconsin said they are worried that they will lose their jobs.  Also Governor-elect Walker again said he will end the train project while somehow also creating 250,000 jobs. Brain explosion!

New Links of Interest

Advocacy

Save the Train Wisconsin Facebook Page (This is different from the page I posted yesterday and has many more supporters)

Gov-elect Walker – Citizen Suggestions (Governor-elect Walker seeks our suggestions–maybe he’ll listen to our suggestions to save jobs and keep the train!)

Care 2 – Wisconsin High Speed Rail Petition (To Gov-elect Walker)

National Association of Railroad Passengers Petition

Save the Train – What you can do (Document prepared by ProRail with additional ideas and resources for advocacy)

Editorials

Jim Stingl – Walker holding firm on the wrong side of the tracks

Dan Bell – Governor-elect should do the math on rail line

La Crosse Tribune – Our View: Walker must trust rail project

William S. Lind – Conservatives should like rail

High-speed rail: A gravy train?

Blogs (Highlights from the past week)

Anti-spending climate shouldn’t mean cloudy skies for transit

In the public interest: Fast trains don’t belong to either party

Emily’s Post: Wisconsin Republicans focusing on everything but jobs

Governor-elect Scott Walker is being unrealistic about trains

Letters to the Editor

In economic terms, Wisconsin loses

Don’t waste once in a lifetime opportunity

Dems–Don’t let GOP abandon rail

High-speed rail is an economic engine

Press Releases

WISPIRG – Why Wisconsin needs passenger rail

Letter of Support

Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce – Letter in support of Wisconsin’s application for high-speed rail funds

 

BizTimes.com

 

Hey, Wisconsin! How’s it going?  Remember how a week ago today we has this thing called an election? Remember how 52% of you decided to vote Republican everything, no matter how vapid and insane the Republican candidate appeared to be? Dear, Wisconsin, I have a question: What did you mean by that?  Did 52% of you mean, by voting that way, that you don’t want there to by high-speed rail in Wisconsin? Or did 52% of you vote Republican for a litany of variant hopes and fears that may or may not had anything to with high-speed rail. My guess is that it is probably the latter.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a good way to know how many people were thinking about rail when they connected their arrow to Scott Walker last Tuesday.  High speed rail was not part of any exit polling data I’ve seen. Moreover, before the election, polling on the high-speed rail project was limited.  The most recent poll on this issue was the St. Norbert’s poll, which came out around mid-October.  In October 44% of respondents were in favor of rail.  What’s striking is that, of this group of respondents, 60% said they would probably never take the train. Chances are many of the people polled live nowhere near the proposed line or stations. What if a similar survey were to concentrate on the areas of the state most likely to use the train: Southern and Western Wisconsin? Why do we poll statewide on local infrastructure questions?  What approval rate would we see in statewide polls if questions were to be asked about local highway and interstate expansions? We don’t normally ask those questions; why did we ask such questions about the train project? Oh, I answered that one myself. Because the train project became a campaign issue! Why was that again?

Behind these questions is a deep, deep concern: Wisconsin may lose it’s high-speed train.  For those of you not in the know, last year Wisconsin bid for and won $810 million of federal recovery act funds to build a high-speed rail line that would run from Chicago to Milwaukee to Madison and (a few years later) eventually on to Minneapolis. This is a line that does not currently exist and has long been supported by people from both parties (including Republican former Governor, Tommy Thompson).  Last Tuesday, Wisconsin elected Scott Walker as our next Governor. Scott Walker has consistently said he does not support the train project and claims that his election victory means that 52% of Wisconsin voters also want to kill the train.  But is that actually true? And at what cost do we end this project?

Those are the questions that we need to answer right now, Wisconsin.  Governor Doyle has made it clear that the decision on the rail project now ultimately rests with Governor-elect Walker.  But should Walker choose to the end the project, it will have catastrophic implications on our infrastructure and economy.  Not only will Wisconsin have no high-speed train (which will improve our transportation infrastructure and help commerce), but we will be on the hook to the feds for $14 million we’ve already spent and another $80 million for other projects and upgrades.  Further, Wisconsin will immediately lose 400 jobs and will say goodbye to the additional 4,000 to be created during the construction phase of the project.

In light of these numbers, why would anyone want to end this infrastructure project? Walker has said that he wants the feds to allow the high-speed rail money to come to Wisconsin as road money–as he believes it would be better spent that way.  But this argument willfully ignores the fact that this money is, by law, designated as rail money.  Designating this money to sometime else would require an act of congress.  Further, the US DOT, has said that it will not allow Wisconsin to use the money for anything but trains, and should Wisconsin refuse to use its money for that purpose it will be given to another state.  Both New York and Illinois have already said they will gladly take our rail funding.  Even fellow Republicans admit that congress is far more likely to give the funds to another state for than to reappropriate the money as road funding.  Does Gov-elect Walker really think that his election meant voters would be okay with giving our jobs and money to New York or *cough* Illinois?

Further, Walker has claimed that he doesn’t want Wisconsin to be on the hook for the estimated $7.5 million annual upkeep cost for the rail line.  But this $7.5 million is really a drop in the bucket of what the state spends on road upkeep every year.  In the current state budget, the state DOT receives $200 million for road maintenance and repair.  This money is designated for projects that do not receive any federal support. We also get money from the feds for upkeep and repair. And, yes, this all taxpayer money, too. Roads aren’t free, either. Further, federal and state officials have both strongly hinted that many of the rail upkeep costs could be picked up by the federal government.  BREAKING: And Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz has said Madison is willing to help off-set the state’s operating costs for the project, while Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he will sue the state if it does not go through with the project. (The reason why he wants to sue is because Milwaukee has put capital of its own in the project–a Milwaukee train manufacturer has already said it will leave the state if Wisconsin ends the project.)

Wisconsin, this is our opportunity to tell our Governor-elect that we want rail jobs to stay here in Wisconsin and that we rail is important part of our infrastructure. High-speed passenger rail holds great promise to reduce congestion and improve commerce along the rail line.  Many people and organizations have voiced support for the train in recent days, I hope you will consider joining them.

Here are links of interest (I hope to update as the issue progresses):

Advocacy

Stand Up For Trains (Midwest High Speed Rail Association–has links to their Facebook page and encourage word of mouth advocacy)

Forward Lookout (Progressive Blog, lays out strong arguments to refute common anti-rail misconceptions)

Save the Train – Wisconsin Facebook Group

Community Support

Watertown Chamber of Commerce

League of Women Voters

Citizen Action of Wisconsin

Sierra  Club of Wisconsin

Downtown Madison Inc

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz (Also here and here)

Editorials

Wisconsin State Journal – Get Past Rail Rhetoric to Reality

Hands on Wisconsin: Walker’s great train robbery

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – There are Jobs at Stake

Capital Times – High-speed rail essential to Wisconsin’s economic renewal

The Sheboygan Press – Let’s look at big picture on rail line

La Crosse Tribune – Let’s hope Walker changes mind on rail

Watertown Daily Times – The high-speed train issue

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Questionable Dealing

Letters to the Editor

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Build the Train

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – It’s time to catch up; Muddled editorial thinking; Saying no is madness


Today I cast an early vote for the November 2nd general election.  It was easy and fun in the way that voting is always fun.  Frankly, if you are American and have opinions you should freaking vote in all elections.  Even if I don’t agree with the way you will vote, I want you to vote.  How lucky are we that we get to vote in U.S. elections? I digress…to vote early, I just went to the city hall and gave the clerk my name (I’m registered already because I always vote). If you need to register, just remember to bring a piece of mail with your full name and address.  In Wisconsin that’s all you need.

Although you should enjoy voting in whatever way you feel best represents you, to my fellow Wisconsinites may I offer this humble consideration: rehire Senator Russ Feingold.  He’s a lone wolf.  Whether we like to admit it or not, I think we’ve all had our Feingold pride moments.

Remember how he votes independently regardless of external pressures (like the time he was the only Senator to vote against the Patriot Act. He was also the only Democrat to vote against the motion to dismiss the Clinton impeachment because he thought the House of Representatives needed to have “every opportunity” to prove its case.) Remember how he visits every single Wisconsin county once every year?  72 counties every year.  And he listens to people, no matter how angry, old, frustrating and Republican they are:

Seriously, dude represents.  Even when it sucks and we are a-holes.  When I lived out of state people always told me how lucky I was to have a Senator with a backbone.  Those don’t exist in other states.  Every other states has spineless millionaires “representing” them, which we, too, might have after November 2nd.

Here are some classics Feingold ads.  To me, he is still this Senator:

Also, I love that he finally got to vote for some kind of health legislation.  Also, he is still against NAFTA:

Okay, I have to admit these campaign ads make me wonder why he hasn’t been running campaign ads like this during this election cycle. They are winners.  That being said, he is still all of these things, Wisconsin.  Yes, he’s higher profile, but he’s middle class and votes for things he thinks will help middle class Wisconsinites:

Please, please Wisconsin.  Campaign finance reform.  That was a great idea!  He did that one, too. Think of all the great ideas that will never come to be if we vote for another boring millionaire who regurgitates talking points and has no ideas of his own.

One of the duties of blogging appears to be acknowledging the sheer awesomeness of other blogs. Today, this lowly blog must acknowledge the unquestionable work of two far superior producers: the unsurpassed Feline Underground and Jack Shepherd at Buzz Feed for leading to and creating (respectively) 109 Cats in Sweaters.  For over 14 years (half my life!) the internet has unspooled for me its golden fleece, or thread of information, or whatever, but none of its contributions to date compare to 109 Cats in Sweaters.  How has all this time passed, internet, and I had never even imagined a cat in a sweater.  Yet here they were the whole time. All 109 of them. And they present some questions and observations.

1. How does one put a cat in a sweater?

Granted there are some incredibly docile cats out there–some that will allow you to sprawl them across your shoulders (as if a living stole!) and carry them around for several minutes until the novelty wears off.  But some of these sweaters are incredibly fitted–so fitted that it would be difficult for a human (with a much greater range of motion) to wrangle themselves into. It’s almost impossible to calculate the minutes someone spent slowly shimmying such sweaters up the front legs of a wary cat.  Do you put the head in first?  Explain:

2. Some of these sweaters are very high quality!

Although some of these cats are obviously wearing items for children (probably not handmade), another remarkable aspect of this collection of images is the variant and highly technical knitting skills displayed by the homemade sweaters.  These are  not sweaters culled from the leftovers of a screw-up piece.  Most of these are not starter-sweaters. Many of these sweaters are intricate and designed for their wearer.  For instance, the piece pictured just above (the cream cable knit sweater) would have involved measurements, stitch counting, swatches and, you  know,  math to develop a pattern.  In fact, the vast majority of these sweaters suggest the work of a highly experienced knitter who has exhausted all possible knitting projects for the humans in his or her life.

Although it’s hard to see exactly, I believe the above sweater contains seed stitching, ribbing, crochet techniques and some other advance shaping techniques.  Also whoever made this has genius eye for styling–the red certainly pops off the grey of the cat’s fur and the green in its eye.  And the feminine accent touches really do bring out the femininity of the cat.  This is probably a little too Santa-workshopish to transfer to a great sweater for an actual woman, though. Unless you worked in Santa’s workshop, that is.  Then it’s prima.

Here again, with the above example, we see a carefully measured pattern designed obviously for this cat to be its sole wearer.  There are stripes, ribs, fitted sleeves, and also what looks like some pretty detailed embroidery (with a little bling). Glad to see this cat seems to be enjoying its sweater because the maker but some heart into it!

I don’t know exactly what the technique is called that brings the color patterns to this sweater. Forgive master knitters, but is this a watered down version of fair isle knitting? Anyway, doing patterns like this is way more difficult than doing stripes of colors.  Beyond the unbearable cuteness of the cardigan-kitten combination, the cardigan is a smart idea as it makes the sweater easier to force a cat into.  The bow also is a time saver vs. a button and works in the overall package of the sweater.  Although the colors would never work for me, I could see wearing a human version of this (maybe in emerald-green and creme) while tooling around the apartment in winter.

3. What do these sweaters say about their makers?

It’s hard not to look at some of these sweaters and see, superimposed over the cat, the person who made the sweater.  For instance, the one below creates the image of a middle-aged woman with wide-brimmed glasses, a loose flowing skirt to below the knees, out on her lunch break wearing some super comfortable Mary Janes. She has a brisk pace and,I imagine, a great laugh.

Here’s another:

I feel like I’ve encountered the woman responsible for the above multiple times in my local yarn store.  She’s answers questions about yarn while still holding her knitting projects.  She pushes me towards expensive yarns and judges me about the quality of my preferred fibers.

Sometimes we just need a good pity party.  Join me:

Yesterday NPR’s Morning Edition ran a brief story on a Foreign Service Officer, Elizabeth Colton, who is suing the U.S. State Department over its mandatory retirement age of 65 for members of the Foreign Service (that’s our diplomatic corps).  As someone who is trying to get into the Foreign Service, it’s hard to avoid a strong reaction to such a story.  First, it sounds like Ms. Colton is an interesting person, has a huge range of talents and experiences and is, no doubt, using her experience to serve our country well.   It says something about a person when she is willing to give up what sounds like a successful career in order to start over in a career that is as much about service and sacrifice as it is about the perks of the diplomatic lifestyle.

Yet the article makes it sound like there is no one to take Ms. Colton’s place when she retires.  Here I am, NPR.  I am waiting in the wings.  If anyone reads this and happens to be aware of the craziness of the Foreign Service application process, I am in the limbo phase. This means I have passed the Oral Assessment, have a conditional offer of employment but am waiting on my security clearance and final suitability review to be put on a list of eligible hires.  I have a low score and would likely be on the bottom of any list of eligible hires until I can boost myself with language points.  This may mean I may never get hired off the list and my application will simply expire and I start the process over. As someone in this strange position, I can say, that there are hundreds of people currently on the registers who have all received clearances and are waiting to be hired. That is a whole crop of young talent waiting to be harvested.

Although I sympathize with Ms. Colton (shouldn’t people be able to work in jobs they love, so long as they do it well?),  it’s hard not be frustrated by the current job market for young professionals.  For many, these will simply be wasted years.  I feel fortunate to have the job I do have while I wait to see if I will become a Foreign Service Officer in the coming months.  Yet, it doesn’t seem like we are doing a good job of balancing easing young professionals into careers while easing out older professionals.  What is often not reported is that for young people (30 and under), unemployment numbers currently match those of our age group during the Great Depression.  We are the mini-depression within the recession and it is…uh…depressing.  Maybe the thought is that we are young enough to have parents willing to support us, but that certainly isn’t true for anyone I know. Although I’m all for Ms. Colton extending her “dream” life, it would be nice if there was a little more sensitivity to us bottom-feeders who are waiting for some semblance of the dream to start.

What up, Ladies!?  We’ve been voting for 90 years! That’s right, our favorite amendment (okay–maybe tied with a few others–whatevs this one rawks), the great 19th, turned a whopping 90 years old today, but is still as sassy and histrionic as ever…that sly bird!  So let’s hike up our skirts to reveal some ankle and give the old girl a hairy-legged salute!

By the way…the next time some paranoid lame-o starts fearing the unknown of change and pushes a No-Bama sign in our face, let’s remind him or her of this culture-shifting moment from 1920 and everything this country has achieved since then.  Also, refer to the Bilderberg Group as the Build-a-Bear Group.  That’s funny, right?

Federal Judge Vaughn Walker ruled today that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.   I did not see this one coming, mainly because I stopped following this a couple of weeks ago–that is my overall irresponsibility!  Although I am relieved by the ruling, it’s pretty obvious that this decision will be appealed up to the Supreme Court.  The Paper of Record has a nice analysis of why Judge Walker is a legal hero (it involves logic and facts):

“And to that end, Judge Walker’s 136-page opinion lays a rich factual record, with extensive quotation of expert testimony from the lengthy trial. The 2008 initiative campaign to ban same-sex marriages was suffused, the judge said, with moral comparisons of these unions and heterosexual marriage, with the clear implication that “denial of marriage to same-sex couples protects children” and that “the ideal child-rearing environment” requires marriage between a man and a woman.

“Judge Walker wrote, however, that the Supreme Court has stated that government cannot enforce moral or religious beliefs without an accompanying secular purpose. The judge suggested that the defendants shifted their arguments for the courtroom, with a focus on “statistically optimal” child-rearing households and by arguing that they were abiding by the will of California voters.

“California’s law, he wrote, demanded discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation. “Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians,” he wrote, including the notion that “gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals” and “gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society.”

But alas, the Supreme Court is a great mystery because logic and facts cloud prejudgements (corporations are people now!). But even if the Supreme Court somehow overturns today’s ruling, I do feel the writing is on the wall for those who believe the institution of marriage is somehow better when it is based on discrimination.  Most people in my doomed generation (Millenials, the Dudes who Say ‘Sup, Ne0-Hobos–whichever you prefer) do support marriage equality.  Maybe we’re revolutionaries, but it make sense that marriage should be based on love.  Also stable, loving households–we need more of those–those make marriage look better.  When closeted people marry their  beards–that’s a marriage based on a lie–we need less of those.