Friday, May 8, 2009


I don't know if this plan is in any way practical or feasible, but damn it sounds wicked cool!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Preparing for the next fight.

The easy part is done. Maine has passed a bill legalizing same sex marriage. The next step is to fight the inevitable challanges against the bill from fundementalist groups who have successfully challenged Maine's attempts to pass Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Rights bills in the past. The good news of course is that there are plenty of legal precedents established that support the legality of gay marriage. State Supreme courts in Iowa, Massachusetts, and Connecticut for example have already ruled in favor of same sex marriage. If you live in Maine I'd also suggest a preemptive letter writing campaign supporting the new law. You may want to give Governor Baldacci a call to and let him know he's done the right thing. I'm sure he's getting a flood of hate calls, and he needs encouragement.

Also let me share some thoughts about religion and gay marriage. First off, nobodies going to force Catholics, Baptists and Pentecostal congregations to do same sex marriages if they don't want to. But let me point out to any and all sects that oppose same sex marriage, that their opposition is based on their personal interrpertation of the Bible, and thier own personal prejudices. Not every religion chooses to interpert the Bibile in such a fashion. There are plenty of religious sects, such as the Unitarians and the UCC that believe that same sex marriage is just fine. To oppose this law is to say that only certain interrpertations of the Bible are allowed, and that infringes on the religious liberties of others. Get that. There is NO WAY this law infringes on the religous liberties of opponents of same sex marriage. But to invalidate it would in fact infinge upon the liberties of those religous sexts that believe that same sex marriage is fine, and that I think is the best way to frame the debate.

If you wish to support the cause of civil liberties in Maine, I would strongly suggest making a donation to Equality Maine and help fight against bigotry.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Let Freedom Ring!

The Governor of Maine, John Baldacci, has signed a law legalizing gay marriage in that state. See an article here. I think this is great news, and look forward to the time when all of us, all our brothers and sisters, can have the same societal rights and protections granted by marriage.

Let freedom ring!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How Politicos give Government a bad name

Two completely insane things are happening in Massachusetts politics and law right now.

The first is that several Attorneys General (including ours) are meeting with the poor CraigsList people to demand they stop allowing advertising for their "Erotic Services." This, in the wake a sensational local story of a handsome, soon-to-be-married Med Student who allegedly got some income and kicks from beating and robbing prostitutes and providers of "erotic massage" he contacted through Craigslist.

I find it shocking that anyone, but particularly someone as educated as our state AG must be, thinks that anyone can curtail an illegal activity through limiting the advertising of something that is completely legal. The illegal part can't be fixed through cutting the adds. As an example... I could easily offer sexual services to clients who contacted me for COMPUTER REPAIR, once we had met. ("Now that I've defragged your hard drive... I do offer a range of other services that involve my own hard drive...") I could also, very easily, be bound, beaten, and robbed by someone who had met me through my add for COMPUTER REPAIR. ("Thanks for coming to fix my hard drive. Stick 'em up!")

The problem isn't the add, the problem is (a) the prostitution and (b) the robbing, neither of which can be explicitly advertised on Craigslist. You really think these underground cultures and economies won't adapt to whatever situation arises from these meetings? You honestly think, for example, that a prositute won't simply start posting adds in the COMPUTER REPAIR sections offering, among other "services," "I'll defrag your hard drive!"

Craigslist specifically created the "Erotic Services" sections because of adds like this. People who really wanted to have thier computer fixed were having to slog through scores of tongue in cheek (among other places) adds in order to find techs to fix a PC. To say nothing of the people looking for erotic services or prostitutes to beat and rob having to take the chance that they might, in fact, have contracted a 45 year old computer geek with a tool bag and a thumb drive, instead an 18 year old blonde with an oral fixation.

Dude. This is a joke, and the salary these AGs are drawing while they worked on this idea and attended these meetings should be returned. There's no way the kind of action the AG's are looking for will in any way curtail the illegal activities they are seeking to curtail. They're just wasting everyone's time and money.

And what else? Right now, the Massachusetts DORSP Department of Revenue (and Screwing People), or DOR, for short, is suing a local Mass retailer. The case has now risen to the state supreme court. At issue is the state's contention that, since the retailer has stores in Mass, its should ALSO have charged Mass Taxes on Mass residents who made purchases from the retailer's "Tax Free New Hampshire" locations.

That's right- a New Hampshire retail store was supposed to charge Mass taxes to Mass residents who went to NH for tax free purchases.

The following issues immediately come to mind:
1) How exactly does the Mass DOR enforce a tax in NH?
2) Aren't there enough things for retailers to worry about, without them having to police customers?
3) Does that mean a company with stores in both states can charge no tax on NH residents who buy in Mass? What about stores based in states with higher tax rates, like New York?

No, this whole thing is a ludicrous exercise in grandstanding. The Mass SJC will have to concede that whoever owns the overall company, a brick-and-mortar retail store is bound by the laws in the state in which it resides. To force a company to collect different taxes on different customers is an insane idea. The SJC will also have to concede that people have a right to drive 100 miles to buy in "Tax-Free New Hampshire" and that this is just the way things sometimes work in a free society. NH faces different issues than Massachusetts, and they tackle them differently, apparently, than the Mass state legislature. That's the way things are.

I'd also like to point out that if, somehow, the SJC and our AG figure out a legal way to impose Mass law in other states, I'd demand they then apply that logic, and that legal setup, to Gay Marriage in California, and Mass Educational Standardards in Kentucky. Nevada should enforce its prostitution and gambling laws in Indianna and Utah. And California should export its Auto Emission Standards to all states, as well. After all, many people from all over the country sometimes drive there.

Because that's what we're talking about here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Back from my trip to North Carolina and D.C.

Some thoughts on the Washington Metro System. The fare system can be a bit confusing to the uninitiated. Unlike some systems like New York and Boston were a ride is the same price no matter were you are going to, the DC metro charges you according to how far you've traveled. You price will also vary depending on the time of day your board and exit. This can introduce a lot of variables into the system. If you plan to make more then three stops during the course of a single day and don't want to do a lot of math, you're probably better off buying a day pass for the relatively modest price of $7.80.

On the positive side, trains are frequent even in off peak times, so you're not stuck waiting around on a platform for too long, and the trains pretty much travel to where you want.

Maine has caught TEH GAY!!!!!!!

Maine State senate approves Gay Marriage I was afraid we were going ot let Vermont and Massachussetts show us up. In your face New Hampshire!!!!