@Josh and Tom
I do not see how you can call yourself a Libertarian or a conservative and support prop 4 or 8. I am a registered libertarian because I believe the constitution outlined a framework for the limitations in the purpose government is meant to serve. There are certain things people CAN do and there are things that people CAN NOT do. The only role I see necessary for the government is infrastructure and contract enforcement / dissolution, with very broad interpretation. Roads, power lines, Internet are infrastructure issues. Issues from murder to civil rights are a matter of social contract. Good policy is the only thing that can legitimize a government. When a government goes beyond its role of infrastructure and contract enforcement, it becomes illegitimate. This was a fundamental flaw identified with democracies by the Greeks is that Governments that serve the majority rather social contract of the society for the individual, you end up with a class-ism separating people into groups for which the government serves, and others to which are only slaves.
Marriage is a social contract. It may have many varieties with regard to religion, race, eye color, and hair style, but natural law allows two people to coexist in what ever way they desire. God's law, if you would have it: Anything that can happen on a deserted island. Two people can coexist and either work together, or not. These are the fundamental laws put into place by the natural order of the universe. That can not be regulated legitimately any more than making heavy things smaller controls gravity.
Now, a legitimate government can recognize that individuals may wish to coexist in a way that is mutually beneficial. This is a natural social contract. The government can, as part of its role it serves in assisting with social contracts, reduce the obligations on parts of the individuals to contribute to the government because in the way that the government is there to assist people, those people are already assisting people with each other. To make matters simple, the government will only recognize one such commitment between any two people at a time (not including dependents, but that is a different type of social contract). This amounts to reduction in taxes, joint filing, hospital visits, and other such things that make them a unit in the eyes of the law, and recognizing the reduction of work necessary by the government because these two people are partly doing the governments job with respect two those individuals, for each other.
Between person + person = contract and the recognition of that contract by the government, what legitimate role could the government have in judging who the members of that contract after we have recognized then as citizens.
Under this interpretation of the role of government and legitimate social policy, person + dog = marriage is legitimately illegal because the dog is not a citizen, and therefore can not enter a legal contract in any way that is enforceable by the government (don't read too much into it, it was only meant to be taken at face value and the context). person + child = marriage is not legitimate because the government does not recognize children as adults. Government recognizes its citizens, and children are still wards of the parents. In a society, with regard to social policy alone, there is a social contract that says "I will be a part of this society, but I don't want you to have sex with my kids". This social contract is enforceable by law going back to natural law / deserted island. People need to know the differences between being part of the society, and being alone in nature.
So as Wanda Sykes puts it, if you are against same-sex marriage, don't marry a member of the same sex. You don't want to enter into a certain contract with somebody, you don't have to; another part of the governments role.
Now, more of the way that this role of government is recognized is in the first amendment, with regard to religion. The contract of Marriage exist in all religions I know of. It is an important part of peoples faiths. The religious implications are irrelevant with regard to the role the government plays.
Government should not regulate religion, religious ceremonies, or other things that have no legitimacy having a relationship to the law. However, there is no reason why the government should not be allowed to call its relationship to this social contract that coexists with the persons faith, also marriage. If the government can not legitimately coexist with the word marriage for the implications it can have with regard to a persons faith, then either the relationship needs to be abolished, or the name needs to change for people to recognize and respect its differences.
Marriage for all, or we need to only have civil unions.
Now prop 4 is a little more complicated. I mentioned earlier the legitimacy the government has to step in with regard to relationship with minors, but this is something different. The elements and legitimacy of the government with regard to social contract contrasted with natural / God's law. Natural law says, as in what will happen in nature, is that a woman becomes fertile. With regard to the moral standards of our society, it is very young, but nature only knows a female as either prepubescent, and fertile. We can mess with it in all kinds of ways. We could force medication on people, we can chain chastity belts on them, we can even traumatize them with terrible stories of whores and witchcraft, but none of that changes the natural order of things.
Further, there is way more to reproduction and fertility than man + woman = baby, or eggs + sperm = baby, or penis + vagina = baby. Look at infant mortality rates around the world, and see it is more complicated then that. Women that want to become mothers that have lived so far very rewarding lives that want to expand on their experiences by adding motherhood to that experience are warned of the dangers of possible complications involved in breeding. It is common to expect possible mis carriages in early term. Part of this comes from nature knowing and regulating this. The natural law causes some people to not become mothers, causes people to die during childbirth, causes miscarriages / spontaneous abortion. A big part of that is a womans body can know if it is right to have a baby. In nature, animals frequently kill their young if they know that the children would not survive, and that if the mother takes care of herself, she is going to have better opportunities to actually have a healthy litter or whatnot in the future. Obviously, this is most common amongst mammals.
This is a complicated and emotional issue. While this may have sounded like an argument to support abortion, that was not the purpose. The places where the government can get involved with regard to abortion were outlined in Roe v. Wade, which was NOT a 'free for all' on abortion. It clearly outlined circumstances and situations where the government at different levels could get involved. To any supporter of pro-choice or pro-life as each life to be referred, I hope you know and understand exactly what Roe v. Wade actually decided, because I will agree that it addressed the core "issue" in a very unique way, unlike much of any other supreme court decision before or after.
So to social contracts and natural law, it makes it is illegitimate for the government to not recognize the right to privacy rights of minors IN THIS UNIQUE CASE. Driving, smoking, drinking, voting, owning property, and many other things that are rights, privileges, and benefits of civilized society. In this way, the government has an obligation to uphold the requests of the parent with regard to those issues as the child is still a legal defendant. Over simplifying, in every other case, the government is protecting the people from the government such that benefits do not become hindrances, even if they continue to be liabilities.
For lack of a better term, the government does not enable women to become pregnant in the way that all the other things of a great society can offer. Further, the courts have recognized the wisdom of Edward Abbey and this legal relationship between citizen and government:
"Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State."
God / Nature has already given a woman the right to choose, in many ways. As the government has decided its role in enforcing the social contract of expectations of the part of society for a fertile woman, we leave to the woman what would otherwise be left to nature. There is no legitimate reason for an issue so closely related in the natural contract between a woman and nature for something like the government to come in and apply its ideas about age and maturity on an issue with which the government had no role to play.
Other than that, most everything else there is to say on the matter has been said. Parents should have the right to form open and honest relationships with their children as their defendants as they see fit. There is little justification for government to impose mandates on parenting other than the strict guidelines with regard to overt abuse and neglect. Teachers can be compelled to teach certain subjects and for certain core material be covered because parents are trusting their kids with that teacher. The government is expected to regulated, especially when it comes to a government (public) school. To give the government the power to force parents to talk about anything with their kids can be understandable, but it is completely illegitimate with regard to the role of government.
As for the other issues:
prop 1: infrastructure. Will this proposal over all make a positive contribution to the infrastructure of California? Yes.
I have some issues with the way that those contracts are given out, but that is a completely different issue that is not going to be resolved by revising this bill in any way.
2: Social policy? Well, that is why we vote. Is this the minimum standard we as a society want to set for providing these types, whether they be used domestically or for import. I think it is a good bill, but it is not complete. If we want this to be our social policy, it needs to be more than a restriction on California farmers. Prop 2 should be a consumer protection not a farm animal protection; farm animals are not citizens. The restriction should be on what is legal to produce and sell in this state. Then California is setting a good example in its policy, and providing for protections for consumers that wanted that policy. Seems easy enough. So vote yes if you think this is good and can be improved, or reject it for either disagreeing with the idea, or because we should not make bad laws that need to be fixed later. I side with only passing good laws.
3. Government might have a legitimate role in medicine, but it has utterly failed in every attempt. The progress made has been by individuals, doctors, and organizations that have been forced to battle the government. Yuck, what a mess. Government needs to get out, figure itself out before trying to just do MORE. Out of the context of what government has done for health care, this proposal makes no sense in our present economic situation.
5. Something the government has gotten overly involved in and screwed up horribly. The number one cause of accidental death in this country is prescription drugs followed by non prescription drugs. The drug war wasn't just a failure, but it should have reinforced this idea of the role of government and splitting up people into classes it very damaging to society. Our only solution to drug problems in the past (at least drugs the government can't give out patents for and such) is use it as an excuse to circumvent civil rights laws, and lock up undesirables. The issue has become more complicated, and we have learned that prohibition does not work. This will be a delicate issue, and while I could be in support of a sledge hammer to the issue, I recognize the desire by people for this to be a progressive matter, and that aside from the problems with the law, there are some real issues with drugs that need to be addressed. Prop 5 is a very well designed step towards a society that supports and protects social policy.
6. I think about the same is true for prop 6 as prop 5, but I am less familiar with the details and implications of the proposals, but feel that right or wrong, it is a legitimate role of government to address this issue, and that the people I would be most concerned about this bill being affected are in support of it.
7. Infrastructure? NO! This is a private business matter. There are TONS of problems with power companies in the state due to well intentioned BAD policy. This might possibly have a place in some state that had a handle on the issue, but it is particularly awful to try to throw on top of the heaping pile of [junk] that has become utilities management in this state. This is the most corrupt industry in this state, rivaled maybe only by telecommunications.
9. The way McClintock is putting it, such a law is already in place. If there is a problem, it is being addressed from the wrong angle. I am for victims rights, but there is a limit to everything before it just becomes [bad].
10. I completely agree with McClintock's argument.
The government is not your god. What a sick implication that you would petition the government to address issues completely outside of its role or purpose. Take some responsibility for your own lives, and use sound judgment before giving up your rights to make the government to do your bidding, cause some how historically, that never quite seems to work out. The government is power hungry and happy to take anything you give it. Think of Stephen King's "Needful Things". Be careful what you wish for.
UPDATE: Glad I blogged this, cause my reply wasn't posted. maybe it was too long, but I had a lot to say. Rather than starting a new post, I want to share the thoughts I had in the few hours after this posting.
With regard to the principles I argued for that make a legitimate government, I started thinking more about something humorous about this election. We are stuck picking between a democrat, and a socialist. With regard to some of the comments made on the Mark Levin Show (Afternoons PSD Sirius Patriot 144) about Obama's anti-founding fathers, anti us constitution comments from 2001 on Chicago Public Radio, I started reflecting on "Trying something different". If failure is a reflection of the plan then it is not terribly difficult to argue the plan didn't work. Our founding fathers told us what would work, and how this country would ultimately fail. They were right. So if we are going to praise them for what they did so well, maybe we should give them a little more credit for this countries failure.
Barack Obama has Hope for Change. republicans (little 'r' just for you Mike Church) have the worst fears of his Marxist regime, as they put it. I have been arguing for awhile that arguing with others that the constution is GREAT, bug that we gave up on it long ago. We live in a Media run, strongly religious right, communist nation. So maybe the republicans are right, and maybe the reason this isn't getting any huge attention because this is exactly what people want, and kinda don'd want to use the forbidden 'C' word to describe their beliefs because it has been such a taboo subject since the McCarthy Era and the Rosenburg trial. Or maybe they just havn't actually read the Communist Manifesto and understand the vision Marx had.
So what if Obama wants to try this new social experiment of what I have refered to as "democratic socialism". Obviously some people disadreed with Ron Paul on his reasons why people should not vote for him; "If you think that government has to take care of us, from cradle to grave, and if you think our government should police the world, [then I am not your cannidate]" he says.
With all the problems in this country right now, I think people are desperately looking for something different, in a major way, possible just in protest of how bad things have gotten screwed up so bad. The country wants to take another look at communism, but with more of a classless approach, a compassion for the american dream that works on giving a helping hand to everyone that wants to try. People are saying screw progress, we want help today.
I don't think this is the best solution for the country... but I do recognize that despite the fact that I think what is flanned is totally wrong in so many ways, I am exactly in the margin to get the most help... if you ignore the possibility of the whole system collapsing in on itself such that nobody can get any help.
Maybe this is the last I can hope for instead of feeling so cynical. I am told to worry about the economy, so I look into it (reading up on some of the great minds on the issue, such as Smith and Mesis) and see the people that are meant to ei leading this nation doing what appears to be down right guessing! All I can think is WTF, a HS Economics clas could show you why what you are doing is totally messed up. Taxes, people complain about taxes. So a real study is put forth to find the best system for all that would not change the present level of income. Pure reform. Real research was done my some of the best minds and finally produce a masterpiece. Finally some rational legislation based on logical reason and historical fact. The Fair Tax. What happenr? It gets ignored! All democrats can say is "Sales Tax is regressive". Read the damn bill! Yeah, it is pretty freaking long, but NOTHING compared to the montrosity of the present system.
It is crazy and frustrating. I am more sympathetic of the people happy that Obama has won than the people claiming the end of the world that McCain lost. I think a lot was totally fucked up by the Clintons, and Bush is being blamed for not fixing it. I CAN NOT accept all the blame being thrown at Bush in the face of a democraticly controlled congress. But fuck democratically controlled, there are 435 members of congress with all their stupid little commities trying to get everything right. Yeah, Bush wasn't a great leader, but this isn't Boy Scouts, you are United States Congressmen. With such a push over of a president, why wasn't this the time for Congress to shine?
Well Here's to HOPE. I am glad people like Obama... but other than that, I don't think I have anything positive to say. Maybe later... on a different subject.