Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Sad Day

I just wanted to take a moment to discuss what happened today in California.

In case you weren't aware today the California Supreme Court has ruled to uphold proposition 8 which makes same sex marriage against the states constitution. This is an especially important issue to me as this judgement comes down four months to the day before my wedding.

Please, for a moment, put aside any religious or personal feelings you have toward homosexuality and look at this from a purely legal point of veiw, as those justices were supposed to have done.

The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. "

This one sentance makes it clear that what the California Supreme Court did today was not just against what this country was founded on but actually against the constitution which they are charged to uphold.

The first amendment lays the foundation for the seperation of church and state which has been further upheld and solidified through Supreme Court decitions dating as far back as 1878. Simply stated, it is unconstitutional to legislate morality which is the only way to define what was done today in California.

There are no valid, legal reasons to ban gay marrage. The only arguments that have been presented are that homosexuality is 'an abomination', 'unnatural', or 'against God'. And while those who argue this way are absolutely entitled to their beliefs, under the first amendment they are not entitled to make these beliefs law.

For the same reason that a Baptist marrage is just as legal as a Catholic, Jewish, Muslim or Athiest marrage or for that matter Inter-Racial marrage, Same-Sex marrage must be allowed. You don't have to like it or believe that it is right but our forefathers made sure that our personal beliefs couldn't impede on the rights of our fellow, equal citizens.

I'll get off my soap box now, just wanted you to be fully and unprejudicedly informed.

*Note, the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution stated in Article VI Paragraph 2, "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. " Makes it so the Federal Government when exercising its constitutional powers has supremacy over all state laws (supported by the Marshall Court in McCulloch v Maryland) What this means is that the when this goes to the Federal Supreme Court, their dicition, which must be made to uphold the constitution, which the California Supreme Court is not so strictly bound by, their decition will have national repercussions and make gay marrage legal in the US not just in certain states. So maybe this is a little backward victory*

Update: My good friend and law student Ak informed me in his infinite genius, "It's unlikely the Supreme Court will agree to hear it given that it's a state constitution issue - really, given some of the jackasses on the court right now that's probably for the best - and they'd only be granting certiorari on the technical issue rather than whether or not banning gay marriage is discriminatory.

More likely is we're just going to overturn it next year. Never say die!"

And there you have it. Note to others, CTY Law and Politics definitely makes it so you can make a logical and informed sounding argument, but it doesn't mean it's going to be correct :)

Monday, May 25, 2009


Hey All!

Hope your Memorial Day Weekend was amazing! Mine was quite the adventure!!!

My soon to be Brother-In-Law, K, suggested that we (and by we he invited my Fiancee, A, and our good friend, W, but of course it was assumed the women folk could tag along) go hiking and threw out the Polallie Ridge Loop as an idea.

We looked it over and really, just relied on experienced hiker K to do all the research heavy lifting and didn't really think twice about it. Silly us!

Now, I should let you know that I would consider myself athletic. I've cheered for over 8 years and don't shy away from activity. It's true I am a little rounder and fluffier than I would like but I didn't think this would impact my ability to hike. In fact I was super excited to go because I felt I was really prepared. I started running a little more than a month ago and now am running 2.8 miles 4 days a week with M and some times a sneak in a bonus run with my honey on the weekends (yes I really did just say bonus run). K described this hike as a fun, summer trail with some elevation change but he didn't think it would be too hard and when A and I mentioned we didn't have hiking boots he said our running shoes would do just fine.

I was ill prepared for this adventure.

We set out Saturday morning, driving about two hours to the trail head and we were all extremely excited! This was the first time I've gone camping with my fiancee, in fact this is the first time I've gone camping since I was 12 and we brought our new puppy, B. It was hot and sunny and it looked like it would stay that way all weekend. Truly perfect.

The plan is to hike as far as we can the first day, trying to conquer all of the elevation change (all three thousand feet of it!!!!<-- we didn't really realize what this meant until we hiked it). The second day we can take it easy if we want or forge ahead and then because we're taking the loop counterclockwise the last seven miles are really easy, all level or downhill for the last day.

Setting out it was just what I expected, hot sunny day with some steep hiking but mostly low grade and lots of fun on the trail. Our friends M and W brought a ton of wildlife books (wildflowers, trees, bugs, something else I can't remember) and we stopped frequently for water and to identify this flower or that. It was a good challenge but not so difficult that I couldn't do it for three days. Things we looking really good!

A little ways in however, we ran into two guys coming down off the hill. We asked them about the trails, as the loop we were taking starts off as one and then forks off into another, so we were trying to gauge how far we had gone. They mention to us that the trail is snowed out and they are turning back.

Now, if this was a book this would be foreshadowing. This is where the characters are receiving useful information but choosing to ignore it.

These guys were wearing shorts and one of them is shirtless. They had small packs are clearly were not going to do the whole loop or were trying to make a day hike of it. We felt the snow they came across was probably just patchy and they were over reacting because they weren't prepared to spend more than a few hours hiking. We forged ahead. And sure enough there was snow.

At this point it's still spotty and intermittent.

No one's really concerned about it.
(There's B, he loved the snow and did really well on the hike, not only staying with us but checking on everyone from time to time. It was awesome and he is a welcome companion on all future hikes!!!)

In fact because of the heat of the day it was actually quite welcome.

We reached a peak at about lunch time and sat down for one of the most scenic meals of my life. It was gorgeous!!!

At this point I am actually pretty sore already. The trail has become completely covered in snow

But that's ok because Diamond lake should be really close and the trail is hilly but more level from here on out.

Should be....

At lunch we realize that the snow has caused us to vere off course and this beautiful veiw point was a detour. It will take us several hours, and lots of extra hiking, to find the trail again....

Even B gets tired. We paused for water and a map check, still off the trail and he decided it was stopping time. Dug himself a den right there a plopped down.

Sorry buddy, it's still hours from stopping time...

To Be Continued.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Wow Wow Wow!

I didn't realize how long it's been since I updated!!! SO! What's new?? A WHOLE LOT, that's what!

Wedding planning:

Save The Dates-sent!

I'm going to sit down soon and make sure I'm all caught up with (and even a little ahead) because I've got so much coming up as crazy as this sounds, wedding planning will have to be on the back burner for a bit!


I'm Graduating!!!!!!!!!(24 days till I walk!!)
I have a job!!!!
I'm going to Africa!!!!!!!!
We have a dog!!!!!


Down to 152!!
Working out more regularly (thanks to M!)
Triathlon this summer??
Half Marathon??
Full Marathon?? <--No this wont happen, this is me getting caught up in things.

Quite an update no??

I'm really excited for the end of May and beginning of June. By this time next month I'll have my degree and be in Zambia working with engineers without boarders!

So yes a lot has been going on and there will be more updates in the future (more regularly too) hope this will tide you over.