Now that the highly-emotionalized “gay marriage” issue has moved—at least temporarily—from the center of the national-issues stage, a less emotional look at the issue might be appropriate, along with some comments on news media performance in coverage of the spectacle.
The truth was hard to find in the emotional media coverage and the noisy demonstrations in front of the United States Supreme Court building where the issue was being argued as a matter of law, not emotion. Legal focus, of course, was on whether the legal definition of marriage should be left to the states as it has been for so many years or will it be taken over by the federal government via a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court.
News media coverage and comment were, generally, slanted toward support of a federal takeover, as in this television broadcast language: “A 21st Century social revolution.”
No consideration at all of the many millions of Americans who aren’t revolting but instead support the time-tested present system of leaving marriage law-making to the states.
Why Ignore Nine States Which Have Changed Their Laws?
Story after story failed to mention that nine states have changed their marriage laws to recognize marriage between homosexuals and between lesbians.
To acknowledge this reality would, of course, weaken the case for a federal takeover, so it got relatively little attention until Chief Justice John Roberts mentioned it as the Supreme Court heard arguments on the issue of whether a popular vote in California against “gay marriage” should be overturned by the high court.
Charlie Rose Of PBS Goes Far Left
I was disappointed but probably shouldn’t have been surprised when PBS commentator Charlie Rose presented an hour of perhaps the most one-sided commentary of the entire pro-gay media presentations.
For the entire hour of one of his five-times-a-week programs—which Marian and I watch regularly—Rose had as his guest one of the two principal lawyers supporting the “gay” position before the Supreme Court.
Not a word of commentary on the subject that presented anything of the other side of the issue. Everything was in favor of the federal government taking over through a Supreme Court ruling.
Nebraska and Iowa demonstrate that states can and have acted on their own—without orders from Washington—to address the issue of “gay marriage.”
Nebraskans in 2000 approved, by a more than 2-to-1 margin, a state constitutional amendment which specified that “only marriage between a man and a woman shall be recognized in Nebraska.”
Iowa Supreme Court Overruled Legislature
The constitutional amendment went further and specified that so-called “civil unions” or similar same-sex relationships shall not be valid in Nebraska. (I voted against the amendment because I believe civil unions should be recognized as a legal relationship between same-sex couples.)
In neighboring Iowa, opponents of same-sex marriage had built a legal barrier to such marriages but the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously struck it down. So Iowa is one of the nine same-sex marriage states. (Three of the Iowa Supreme Court justices were voted out of office the next time they faced the voters.)
We can be sure, of course, that the street demonstrations and other such substitutes for rationality will resume if the United States Supreme Court this summer doesn’t go along with the advocates of federally-mandated recognition of same-sex marriages in every state.
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Creighton And Omaha Can Benefit
But It’s Far From A Slam Dunk
Turning to another over-emotionalized issue of a quite different character and much more localized in impact:
As I see it, there was little if any justification for the explosion of emotional enthusiasm with which both the Omaha media and Creighton University officials greeted the success of Creighton’s intensive lobbying to become a member of the Big East athletic conference, known as perhaps the best basketball conference in the nation before seven Catholic universities pulled out.
A World-Herald story appeared under this headline: “A big step up for Omaha.” The case for such enthusiasm was hardly strengthened when the same World-Herald article went on to list category after category in which Omaha stands out—such things as the new TD Ameritrade stadium home of the College World Series and “remarkable public transformation” of the riverfront area. All this ignored the fact that the praiseworthy developments occurred before Creighton had joined what was left of the Big East Conference.
Let the record show that I think Creighton took a calculated but potentially productive risk, and I very much hope that the Bluejay basketball team rises to the major challenge of recruiting the talent to enable them to compete successfully in games played in the New York City and Washington, D.C. areas, for example.
Student Recruiting Opportunities Most Important
The important potential benefit to Creighton will be in spreading the image of a splendid university and creating more opportunities for recruiting of students from the areas where the basketball team will be playing.
Decisive defeat in the second round of the 68-team NCAA basketball tournament should indicate the challenge the Jays face as they try to make an impact in the Big East.
I hope that all parties, including Bluejay supporters like me, will be patient, recognizing the size of the challenge Creighton faces in its basketball competition transition. Let’s forget the euphoria (“A big step up for Omaha” and “a match made in heaven,” that sort of thing) and concentrate on more realistic but still hopefully attainable goals as the Bluejays and Creighton’s image fly east.
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Jean Stothert Shows Surprising Strength
In Topping Suttle In Mayoral Primary
As to Tuesday’s municipal election results, no time for a look at all the important but rather detailed School Board and City Council results, but herewith some quick thoughts on the on the nominees for mayor.
Incumbent Mayor Jim Suttle—the beneficiary of non-Suttle votes being spread among four other hard-campaigning candidates—was predictably nominated, as was the hardest campaigner of all of his challengers, City Councilwoman Jean Stothert.
Stothert started earlier and campaigned harder than any of the other challengers. She was the beneficiary of attack ads which were, of course, not intended to benefit her but, I believe boomeranged on the attackers, creating sympathy for Stothert.
As to Mayor Suttle’s re-nomination: I emphatically disagree with those who think Suttle doesn’t deserve consideration for re-nomination for another term.
All of the candidates, including Suttle, made the customary pledge to cut taxes—an irresponsible position, as I see it.
But Suttle has a record of tackling and dealing successfully with some tough issues, dealing with them more successfully than he is given credit for by some people.
One notable record of the Suttle Administration: The city’s bond rating has been restored from AA to AAA, saving millions of dollars in the rate of interest paid on municipal bonds.
But a fiercely-determined Stothert out-campaigned Suttle and his other challengers with an ambitious drive which will certainly carry through the general election campaign, posing a serious challenge which Suttle may have difficulty meeting.
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When Will Politicians/Commentators Learn?
Focus More On People Than On Guns
Although it needs to take a tougher stand on background checks and other efforts to see that gun purchases go to responsible citizens, the National Rifle Association is absolutely right when it argues that guns don’t kill people, “people kill people.”
That basic truth often gets lost in the debate over how to curb fatal shootings.
Millions upon millions of Americans own guns safely and responsibly. The national focus should be on the minority who do not own them responsibly, failing to take steps to keep them safely locked away from use by potential killers.
But most important of all—almost overlooked in the effort to concentrate on restricting the sale of semi-automatic attack weapons and more handguns—is the need for intensive new efforts for early identification of psychopaths like the youth responsible for the senseless slaughter of more than 20 people in a small New England town—people including his mother.
Mother Helped Bring On Own Death
I find it impossible to believe that there were not signs which should have alerted his mother that her son had a serious mental problem which called for treatment and possible confinement before he had a chance to go on a killing spree.
The mother helped bring on her own death by failing to take action for treatment or confinement of her son and failing to keep her legally-owned weapons locked up without her son having access.
(It was the failure of an adult member of the household to keep his assault weapon locked up which allowed a young psychopath to carry out his killing spree at the Von Maur department store in Omaha.)
There is example after example of cases where senseless killings are carried out by psychopaths, many of them young, who have been clearly identified as nursing the potential for unprovoked violence.
But, the story revealed, although the teenager in question received psychiatric treatment, when he went free after a prison term he killed his mother.
Similar evidence of warning signs which are either ignored or inadequately addressed is a common factor in cases of senseless slaughter.
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It’s Baseball Time, And Marian Speaks Out!
It’s major league baseball season, so television at the Andersen household is dominated by Marian’s choice of games. She, as some of my readers know, is a knowledgeable sports fan, and she’ll watch any major league game under almost any circumstances (unless there is a high-stakes basketball game to watch).
An early-season reaction from Marian:
“Chicago Cubs 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 1. On to the World Series, Cubbies!”
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