Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hit and Miss

France does something right!

France’s Constitutional Council Upholds Marriage as Between One Man and One Woman

6. Whereas, first, Article 66 of the Constitution prohibits arbitrary detention and entrusts to the judicial authority, as provided by law, the protection of individual liberty; the freedom to marry, a component of personal freedom, arises from Articles 2 and 4 of the 1789 Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen (Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen); the challenged provisions do not affect personal liberty, and therefore, the complaint of violation of Article 66 of the Constitution is irrelevant;

7. Whereas, second, the freedom to marry does not restrict the legislature’s jurisdiction under Article 34 of the Constitution to establish conditions for marriage so long as they are not contrary to other constitutional principles;

8. Whereas, on one hand, the right to lead a normal family life is founded in the tenth paragraph of the Preamble to the Constitution of 1946, which provides: “The Nation shall provide the individual and the family with the conditions necessary for their development”; the last paragraph of Article 75 and Article 144 of the Civil Code do not preclude the freedom of same-sex couples to cohabit under the conditions defined by Article 515-8 of the Code or to benefit from the legal framework of a civil union (PACS) governed by Articles 515-1 et seq.; the right to lead a normal family life does not necessitate a right to same-sex marriage, and consequently, the challenged provisions do not implicate the right to lead a normal family life;

9. Whereas, on the other hand, Article 6 of the 1789 Declaration states that the law “must be the same for everyone, whether it protects or punishes”; the principle of equality precludes neither that the legislature regulate differently in different situations nor that he depart from equality in serving the greater good, provided that in either case the resultant difference in treatment be directly related to the state interest; by maintaining the principle that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, the legislature, in exercising the jurisdiction granted it in Article 34 of the Constitution, considers that the difference in situation of same-sex couples and couples composed of a man and a woman can justify different treatment with regard to the rules of family law; it is not for the Constitutional Court to then substitute its opinion for that of the legislature in this matter; therefore, the complaint of violation of Article 6 of the 1789 Declaration must be rejected;

10. Whereas it follows from the foregoing that the complaint of infringement of the freedom to marry must be rejected.
From the Blog Turtle Bay and Beyond, International Law, Policy, and Institutions (Link)

and Germany misses the mark:

Germany: Radical Lesbian Gender-Theorist appointed to serve at Constitutional Court

It is pretty much as if Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, or Judith Butler had been appointed as Justices for the US Supreme Court: since the beginning of this month, Germany’s Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVG) features among its judges a radical gender-theorist with absolutely no prior experience as a judge. Her name is Susanne Baer, and she is living in a lesbian relationship.

Mrs. Baer has no prior experience whatsoever as a judge, nor as an attorney. Her qualification for the job is that for eight years she has served as Professor for “Feminist Legal Theory” at Humboldt University, Berlin. Until 2010 she also was the Director of the “GenderKompetenzZentrum” (Center for Gender Competence), an Institute that was established at Humboldt University to promote the theory of “Gender-Mainstreaming”. The basis for her swift academic career was thus not the promotion of knowledge and insight, but of radical ideologies. I write “ideologies”, because, closely following the Marxist tradition, she views law as a tool to make politics rather than as something that must correspond to an outward reality. As she once wrote, “law is a means to construct reality”….

The task of a judge is to apply laws to cases. Mrs. Baer, it must be expected, has neither been trained to do that, nor does she want to. With all due respect: given her career as an ideologue-dressed-up-as-academic, it is hardly likely that she will not abuse her judicial power in order to turn her radical theories into law. After all, that is precisely what her political masters have nominated her for…

From the Blog Turtle Bay and Beyond, International Law, Policy, and Institutions (Link)

Encouraging signs

From the C-FAM Friday Fax - Holy See Combats Radical Agenda During Commission on Social Development

Many delegations have commented on what they see as a new tenor and tone of the Holy See delegation. Delegations are also talking about how much more active the Holy See delegates have been in actual negotiations. Some delegations have greeted this outspokenness with chagrin and even hostility.

"The greatness of Christianity lies in its being hated by the world" - Ignatius of Antioch to the Romans

Monday, February 21, 2011

Passing of my father

In the previous post I asked for prayers for my father; he passed away peacefully yesterday and if you don't mind, I hope you will say a prayer for the repose of his soul.

thank you and God bless you.

Why do we Climb Mountains, by Br Corwin Low OP

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

If you are reading this...

If you are reading this post, please know that the computer you are using (if it has a disk drive) contains technology pioneered by my father, William A Gross, while working at IBM/Morgan Hill in the 1950s. Dad was part of a 5 man "Tiger Team" charged with developing the theoretical and technical engineering which would come down to us as the "magnetic head" which is the heart of all disk drives. His seminal book, "Gas Film Lubrication" was published in 1962 and is still in print undergoing active revision and is an industry standard.

Dad left IBM and disk memory, and went to AMPEX where he was VP of research (magnetic tape), and was involved in such things as the development of cassette audio tapes, video, and portable video recording. it wasn't until 1984 when he was invited to speak on the topic of Tiger Teams at an IEEE meeting in San Diego, that he learned that his research had attained such profound practical application!

I was but a tot during dad's years at IBM; he commuted in a 1956 VW Bug (comes in any color, as long as it's grey), but by the 60s I was old enough to help Al Stahler with the first field test of the first portable video recorder, a 90 lb monster backpack carried while filming; the test was a Stanford university football game; "instant replay" from the field was born!

I went to university to study Geology, and one day in the early 1970s startled my dad with the revelation that fossil energy resources are finite, a problem which captivated his immagination; having lost his dear wife, Shirley to a rare liver disease, he was ready for something new; with his new wife Sharon, and a new outlook on life, they moved to Albuquerque New Mexico where he took the post of Dean of Engineering, where he invested his creative energy in alternative energy and entepreneural engineering, as well as putting his social conscience to work finding ways to bring minorities into the engineering profession, and helping to develop engineering programs in third world countries around the world.

Dad was raised Baptist, but his response to the horrors of WWII was to become a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), in which I was raised, and which he has remained active all his adult life. I don't think dad ever has understood how my becoming Catholic is a logical and rational thing to do based on the foundation he laid in my childhood; the boogy-man of Catholicism used to terrify him as a child he never really outgrew, but he did not oppose it, seeing it as something that filled an obscure need of mine, never grasping the nature of the relationship.

And so as William A Gross (Bill) spends his last days in hospice, I beg your prayers for him and his beloved Sherry, and I also thank God for the gifts which He gave me through his servant Bill. We all fall short of the glory of God, but this dear man taught me as a child an invaluable lesson while camping: "Always leave a place better than you found it." until last week I didn't really appreciate how this lesson from the campground shapes life in general, and relations with people in particular.

Thanks to Anita at V-ForVictory who put out the earlier call for prayers while I was in Phoenix and Albuquerque with dad. it was a tremendous gift to spend those days with both dad and Sherry. thank you for your prayers. And thanks for indulging a bit of memory lane wandering.