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Tuesday, February 7

If Today's Tuesday . . .

That means that the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that California's Proposition 8 - defining marriage by statute to mean one-man, one-woman - is unconstitutional. The entire decision of the Court is here, and the Court ruled 2-1.

While this is a victory for the forces of tolerance, modernity and overall good sense, the conservatives who initially backed the measure have gone into their usual hate-frenzy. I confidently expect them to file for a writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court. Based upon the US Supreme Court's ideological and religious composition and their recent decisions, I expect the Ninth Circuit's decision to be reversed.

(For extra fun points, look at how the Court defines marriage: "... symbolizes state legitimization and societal recognition of their committed relationships." Which is what marriage is, despite what the God-botherers screech about.)

So the war's not over, although a battle has been won.

***

In Syria today, the shells still fall and the bullets still fly. The United Nations failed to pass a resolution calling upon the Assad Government to stop fucking over its own people, mainly because Russia and China refused to back it. Both states have their reasons - Russia sells a lot of guns to Syria and resents any growth of Western influence into the region, while China thinks that it's a purely internal matter.

Meanwhile, the Turks are starting to get antsy about the idea of a civil war spilling across into their country (they're Syria's largest trading partner), and I'm sure there's a lot of Viewing With Alarm in Beirut and Tel Aviv. This will get worse before it gets better, folks.

***

Iran continues to develop a nuclear capacity. Now, this isn't the same as building a bomb; building a bomb requires highly-enriched uranium or plutonium, which it doesn't have. That's what came from our own Secretary of Defense, dear readers. Iran has low-enriched uranium suitable for running a reactor (and has managed to create one - one! - fuel rod element).

But fear is a great motivator. Fear can motivate otherwise reasonable people to buy guns and shoot people if they feel they're being threatened. The US and the EU have instituted an oil embargo on Iran in an effort to economically strangle the country into giving up its nuclear ambitions, and Israel has been making noises about bombing the nuclear sites for a few years now.

Be wary of backing Iran into a corner. It has stated that any attack on it by either the United States or Israel will result in retaliatory action against the Sunni Arab Gulf states - which supply us with a lot of oil. And attacking Iran may cause it to do what it's been saying it doesn't want to do.

Build a bomb.

***

There's an old Far Side comic that has people arriving in Hell and getting a complimentary accordion. Well, Hell might be in North Korea:

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