Monday Open Thread

The Obamacare deadline has been extended to Christmas Eve.

The jailed Pussy Riot members are free. One expressed her criticism of Putin, calling the amnesty a publicity stunt.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24, shouted "Russia without Putin" following her release from a Siberian prison, hours after band mate Maria Alyokhina, 25, was freed from jail in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    From our "Barbarians at the Gate" file: (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 02:34:37 PM EST
    According to Fox Broadcasting's Salt Lake City affiliate and the local Deseret News (thanks to Peter G. in an earlier thread), U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby has refused the State of Utah's request that he place a temporary stay on his own ruling from last Friday, which struck down that state's proscribed ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The counties may now continue to issue marriage licenses to LGBT couples.

    The bastion of opposition to GLBT civil rights has been breached, with 120 to 150 licenses being issues in Salt Lake City last Friday alone. The matter now shifts back to the 10th Circuit in Denver, to which the Utah Attorney General's Office will undoubtedly appeal. But for now, it appears that the legal ground has indeed shifted on the issue, perhaps decisively.


    And today, Ohio (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 05:04:08 PM EST
    Three states in three days. Although the Ohio ruling, by a federal judge in Cincinnati, was rendered in an unusual context. (The challengers are two widow(er)s of deceased same-sex partners who want to be listed as "spouse" on the death certificate.  The couples were each lawfully wed in another state but then moved to Ohio, which does not recognize same-sex marriage.)

    Yes, The Utah and Ohio (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:27:30 PM EST
    rulings are critically important--in that they deal  with the question of whether a state can do what the federal government cannot.  Voter approval of a ban on same sex marriage (Utah) was found to violate the Constitution and ordering  (Ohio) that death certificates reflect the marital status of a valid marriage in another state involved the guarantee of equal protection.

    In other news, the Queen gave a Royal pardon to the British mathematics genius, Alan Turing.  Turing, considered the "father of computing,"  broke the Nazi's secret code, Enigma .     The monumental work of Turing in shortening the war, resulted, not in honors by his country, but by arrest and conviction in 1952 of "gross indecency." Turing admitted to having a relationship with a man.

    He lost his security clearance and his job.  As an alternative to  prison, Turing was subjected to an experiment in chemical castration by administration of a series of estrogenic hormones with the intention of reducing or eliminating his sexual orientation.   Two years later, in 1954, Turing committed suicide.

     In 2005, P.M. Gordon Brown issued an apology calling the treatment of Turing, "horrifying" and "utterly unfair."  But, P.M. Cameron's government denied a posthumous pardon just last year.  So now, 61-years later the British government issued a pardon.

    No word on whether the government has been pardoned.  Sometimes, progress moves with speed, such as in Utah and Ohio, since the Supreme Court ruling, and sometimes progress moves with glacial speed.  


    More on (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:37:23 PM EST
    Cruel Experimentation (none / 0) (#13)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 12:39:58 PM EST
    Ironic, considering that the "freedom" he helped ensure against from fascist Nazi rule, turned out not much better for him.

    As they say, ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 02:32:17 PM EST
    ... no good deed goes unpunished.

    I checked with the Tenth Circuit official docket (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 04:47:55 PM EST
    The state filed a motion for stay earlier this afternoon.  The two-judge motions panel issued an order making the plantiffs' (the gay couples') response to that motion due by 5 pm Mountain Time Monday.

    Let's hope they were ready ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 07:10:48 PM EST
    ... and got it in on time. From what I've read, Judge Shelby has set a very high bar for the State of Utah to meet, by which they need to both demonstrate and specify the irreparable harm being caused to that state's heterosexual marriages by allowing gay men and lesbians to tie the knot.

    Funny, but that was also the crux of the ruling two decades ago in Baehr v. Miike, in which First Circuit Court Judge Kevin Chang ruled that the State of Hawaii failed to demonstrate to the Court's satisfaction that there was a compelling public interest for restricting availability of the state marriage license to heterosexual couples only. His groundbreaking ruling was later upheld by the Hawaii Supreme Court, and that's what started the whole DOMA thing in Congress.



    Response to motion for stay was filed on time (none / 0) (#8)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 07:55:13 PM EST
    17 pp.  No ruling yet (as of 9 pm Eastern/7 pm Mountain) - too soon, really.  Probably not until tomorrow morning.  The requirement to show "irreparable injury" was not set by Judge Shelby; that's a standard requirement for getting an injunction or a stay. Not always applied, however, when it's a government seeking the stay against a ruling invalidating a duly enacted law as unconstitutional.  So, we shall see.

    Tenth Circuit denied a stay (none / 0) (#15)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 25, 2013 at 01:14:34 PM EST
    on Tuesday night.  Next (fruitless) stop for the state of Utah will be Justice Sotomayor, who is Circuit Justice for the Tenth Circuit.  Expect a filing Thursday and a denial by Friday.

    When you elevate abstract idealism (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jtaylorr on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 05:48:16 PM EST
    above logic, common sense, and rationality this is the result:

    14 year old shot dead by step-dad while sneaking back into the house

    American exceptionalism indeed! Exceptional in how easily we stand by as innocents are killed (obviously not restricted to gun laws).

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY, vol. 225 (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 02:13:37 PM EST
    When the kleptocrats write to the fat man up north. (link)

    Vol. 224

    Vol. 223

    Have a great eve before Xmas eve, y'all.

    Go Niners!!

    Barrel bombs causing unimaginable misery (none / 0) (#7)
    by Politalkix on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 07:53:30 PM EST
    and death of children in Syria. link

    Good thing we got those chemical (none / 0) (#9)
    by Slado on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 10:30:04 PM EST
    Weapons coming out of there.

    Great Jon Barry.


    Seriously? (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Yman on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 06:49:04 AM EST
    1.  What does this have to do with chemical weapons?

    2.  How is this Obama's fault?