Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Straightening Out America's Gays

I'm pleased to read of this development in terms of sheer fairness. I am less convinced that the gay mob rushing into the broken and unfixable yoke of the institution of heterosexual marriage is to be welcomed. Since when have gays et al benefited from anything created by straights? Isn't it supposed to be the other way round?
WASHINGTON, March 31st — The Obama administration put a hold this week on decisions in immigration cases involving married gay couples — a temporary reprieve while lawyers evaluate the law.
There has been legal confusion over these cases since February, when the administration said the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.
American citizens are routinely allowed to obtain green cards for their immigrant spouses, but not if they are homosexual. Gay rights advocates have said the law is discriminatory.
“If you are a bi-national couple that is heterosexual, you get to stay here and work here,” said Richard Socarides, president of Equality Matters, told The New York Times. “If you are gay, you get deported.”
The United States is home to about 24,000 same-sex couples in which one partner is an American citizen and the other is not, according to an analysis of 2008 census survey data by the Williams Institute, University of California Los Angeles Law School. About 25 percent of those couples have children.
No one knows how many of these couples are with immigration problems. Some obtain legal residency through work visas, applying for asylum or getting green cards on their own. Others leave for countries that have more favorable laws.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Big Things in the Big Apple

I spotted these enormous roses (complete with bugs to scale) on Park Avenue... 

...not far from this huge teddy bear... 

...not to mention this enormous Irishman...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Two Books, and a Review of Them

From the London Review of Books:
This traditional critique does not see the weakness of democracy as a matter of the voters wanting the wrong things, or not really knowing what they want. They know what they want but they don’t know how to get it. It’s because they don’t understand the world they live in that democracy isn’t working. People aren’t stupid, but when it comes to politics they are ignorant, lazy and easily satisfied with pat answers to difficult questions. Hacker and Pierson recognise that it has become bad manners to point this out even in serious political discourse. But it remains the truth. ‘Most citizens pay very little attention to politics, and it shows. To call their knowledge of even the most elementary facts about the political system shaky would be generous.’