Questions for Cameron Hamilton on the Brian Ward Pro-Prop 8 Resolution He Voted For

Today on facebook I posted a series of questions to Cameron Hamilton, one of two driving forces behind the anti-gay and only in Porterville Council Resolution in favor of Prop 8. Hamilton is up for re-election tomorrow, and ducked my taking him up on his offer to answer my questions “any time any place” when I took him up on it and tried to arrange a time and a very public place.

Today, he appeared again on the local newspaper’s facebook page where there has been plenty of heated discussion about his record and which candidates would serve us best.

He answered a few questions, cryptically to be generous, regarding his positions, and denied ducking me.

So I decided to put up a series of dirt simple questions that would take 5 minutes for him to answer and from which his true position and reasoning could be inferred with little room for error.

The issi is not just Prop 8, but the damage to local economic development that has resulted from his vote in 2008, and why his 2008 vote contrasted to a 2003 Patriot Act Resoltuion that he also voted for that urged Council and others to protect against the attempts of government to restrict or remove rights from citizens.

Note that up until this time, he has never publicly acknowledged that there were rights that Prop 8 took away, or undertaken any kind of comprehensive explanation for his behavior.

Below are the questions::

‎1 – Do you agree you voted in 2003 to have Council stand against government intrusions on the rights of all citizens?

Yes or No?

2 – Do you agree that the US Supreme Court has indicated that the right to marry is a fundamental right in more than 14 cases over more that 100 years?

Read the rest

How Cam Hamilton and Brian Ward have tied the hands of Economic Development Staff, and cost Porterville jobs and tax revenues for 4 years, and a simple solution at the end

How is it that Porterville’s economic development is hurt by its Council’s flip-flop between 2003 and 2008 on the advisability of the protection of Rights of citizens from government intervention?

Part 1:

Here is the article that describes the 2003 public hearing now-Mayor Roh Irish was absent from and the Council’s holding up the vote so he could be present. I don’t have any beef with him not being present, life happens. And I don’t have any beef with Council wanting to give him a chance to weigh in.

The article that describes the vote and containse the text of the resolution is no longer searchable on the Recorder’s web site. It used to be, but is gone now, I can only speculate as to why, maybe because I have raised this issue in the past. Rick Elkins has avoided answering my question as to why, and I have no idea why that is. (Not that it would be the first content to disappear while he was the editor, but that is a different matter)

No matter, the text or the Resolution is available elsewhere: (also contains a report of the meeting including some of Irish’s actions)

Text of the Resolution only:

By contrast, here is the report of the meeting on the Prop 8 Resolution and the text of the Resolution(when Mayor Irish was not on Council 5 years almost to the day later!):

Please read those Resolutions over, and you will see that Council voted for both unanimously, Cam Hamilton was on both Councils, Irish was on the first, and that one clearly affirms the rights of all citizens should not be limited by government, and the second calls for government (the people of California being the 4th branch) to do just that.

Independent of you the reader’s opinion on Prop 8 or gay rights or any of that, can we agree so far that this was the opposite intents of the two Resolutions?… Read the rest

Porterville Homophobia Redux

From Queer Visalia, reporting homophobic club posts at Porterville College, since disappeared. But not before I could capture a screenshot from google cache on August 9, 2011 at about 5:30 PM local time.

A Storm Is Brewing in Porterville

Photo Credit: Porterville College

Joel Wiens, Ed.D., teaches Anatomy, Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology at Porterville College.  He is also faculty adviser for the One In Christ Club on the campus.

A posting by that club on the College’s website has caught the eye of local gay rights activists, and will be the focus of efforts to get the clearly false information removed.

The posting starts out:

Homosexuality, at its root, is not a sexual problem – it is a gender-identity problem.

Four gay myths
1.  10% of the population is homosexual
2.  A person can be born gay.
3.  Once gay, always gay.
4.  Homosexuality is normal in every way.

The very first line exposes the mindset of the post.

Click on the image to see full size.… Read the rest

How did “Separation of Church and State” get into the US Constitution anyway?

On Facebook today, a Conservative was discussing the typical Conservative positions regarding separation of curch and state, then took the dramatic and unexpected turn of asking if anyone knew the actual history or not from source documents, as he him self  did not.

I wrote the following in response, off the top of my head, so it may contain minor errors to the most detailed scholars. Still, the information below is something every American should know and internalize, and we will all be better off for it.

@Tim – I wonder how you came to your position without knowing the history of the First Amendment and the rest of the Constitution?

This lesson is going to be necessarily brief, but all supporting original documents are available online and in print, owing to their age and freedom from copyright.

The Constitution did not simply fall out of thin air. It was not even the first form of government for the United States. In fact, the first form was on the verge of failure and collapse and recognition of that by the public and the Founding Fathers is what spawned the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia.

During the Convention, the Constitution itself was created by all the signers over a period of many months. James Madison kept voracious notes of the debate during the entire era. So you can see for yourself who said what, and for what reasons, and when.

If you deign to read this important document, you will find that the Founders sought to create a government that was radically different from what they (and individually and collectively they were scholars of history of government and philosophy) knew of in the world prior.

In particular, you can see that they were quite concerned that the combination of a state government with religion could be pointed to as a weakness of both.… Read the rest

River Location: Springville

Read the rest

Senator Roy Ashburn, meet your lifetime legacy. Lifetime legacy, Senator Ashburn.

Barry Caplan
This is sickening on so many levels.

and here:

None of the articles mention the reason why the young man was being bullied. Even teh family seems shamed about teir own son who brought this upon himself, and worse, upon them.

I hope that there is a move afoot to see all that change.

This is Roy Ashburn’s district, on the far other end from where I am. What a fine way for Roy to end his political career, standing up for this young gay man, who was struggling with the same issues Ashburn did growing up that he now says he wants to do something about.

Seth Walsh, 13, whose suicide attempt Sept. 19 stunned the community, died Sept. 27 at Kern Medical Center with his family standing vigil.… Read the rest

Most Overweight Nations: OECD Report (PHOTOS)

A facebook discussion has broken out regarding this article: Most Overweight Nations: OECD Report (PHOTOS)

I thought I’d share a somewhat editied selection of my posts and others.

I wrote: The American food industry is so productive and efficient both that it produced far more calories per capita than we should be eating. But we eat them anyway.

Of course we shouldn’t, but it is a more complex issue than is generally presented. If we ate the DRA, than I think that might be as few as 40% of what we produce. What will happen to the rest of the food? Should we not grow it or produce it?

We can’t simply export all food for lots of reasons, so are we willing to sacrifice jobs for our waistlines?

A response: over eating is a large part of the problem but lack of exercise is also to blame. we did not evolve as a species to sit behind a computer screen or in front of a tv.

My followup: Yes of course, but we didn’t evolve as a nation to simply toss out or limit an industry because it became *too* efficient at what it does.

Notice that when our food industry produced something on the order of the amount of food we should eat, instead of 2-3 times as much, we were skinnier.

I am not aware of any evidence that shows that, for especially urban or suburban, in say, the era from 1945-1960, that people exercised more than they do now.

OTOH, I do know that President Kennedy instituted a national exercise effort because kids were soft compared to their scary Soviet counterparts. So already by then, there is evidence that kids (and presumably their families) were not exercising enough although they were eating just fine.

I don’t know how old you are, but I am old enough to have been in college in the late 70s early 80s, and I am amazed almost every day at the difference in portion sizes in every restaurant and the expectations about what constitutes a meal since I was in college.… Read the rest

You can’t manage what you can’t measure

Statistics take “millions of dollars” and “years to analyze” says Library staff in begging off the task

I just attended an interesting local board meeting where every local problem, and they are legion, was touched upon or hinted at in an indirect manner. How the Library Board came to be the nexus of that, I am not exactly sure, but here is my best guess:

In Central Valley towns everywhere, including Porterville, social problems abound. No need to get into the specifics of why, but John Steinbeck wrote about it in Grapes of Wrath so they are well known to the American public. The problems shown there have not been solved, not a one of them. Oh some of them are not quite as bad as they used to be, but some are worse.

So it seems that in order to fight the Ghost of Tom Joad, in a pique of blaming current crime levels for all the ills of the City, a few years back before I arrived, the town voted to tax itself with a local sales tax of .75 percent in a ballot measure known as Measure H.

Measure H doles out the money 85% to police and safety for new toys to “reduce crime”. The other 15% is supposed to go to the library for vaguely defined “literacy programs” because it is believed that doing so will also reduce crime.

All well and good I suppose, but there is a catch. The cops want that 15% and the locals are inclined to give it to them, or at least make the Library beg continually to justify every single dollar, although cops and fire departments have no such pressure to justify their large piece of the pie.

How does that happen? There is a committee, called an oversight committee, that once a year reports to City Council its opinion as to whether the Measure H funds (the Library part of it in practice) were spent “wisely” during the preceding year.… Read the rest

What is the “Equinox”?

Heh, this being my birthday and having worked with some top astronomers in the past, I can tell you how they explained it: The equinox is when the earth’s equator crosses the ecliptic plane (which is the plane that the earth makes around the sun as it orbits).

In (probably only a little) simpler language, this happens because the earth is tilted like a top relative to the ecliptic plane. For part of the year, the north pole points slightly towards the sun and the south slightly away. Later, it is the other way around.

The equinox is the time when both are pointing at the midpoint of those two extremes, more or less up and down. That means for a brief instant, the equator is parallel to the ecliptic plane.

A good way to see how this works is to get a table and a ball. Mark the ball with a pen or something on the top and bottom. Those will be the poles. Draw a line around the equator between the two poles.

Hold the ball near the edge of the table, which represents the ecliptic plane, so the north pole points a little bit towards the table, pointing over the top of the table. Note the equator is at an angle to the surface of the table.

Now, keep the ball in the same spot, but tilt it so the south pole points at the same angle as the North Pole did, but under the table. The equator will have tilted too.

Somewhere in between those two examples, move the ball so that the equator is parallel to the surface of the table. Note where the North and South poles are now. This is the equinox, and it happens twice a year.

It is those movements of the poles that cause the change in the angle of the equator, and hence the seasons.… Read the rest

Prop 8 and the American Form of Government

On the Facebook page of my friend Stuart Gaffney, who was one of the plaintiffs of California’s In Re: Marriage Cases, a European friend asked for some guidance understanding Executive, Legislative, and Executive branches of our Government and how they relate to the case. She was also interested in what the differences were between State and Federal levels. I wrote the following:


Rachel – I approve of the effort too!

All states have the same set of 3 branches that apply to their own state government. Local government generally works the same way too. It is the American model.


Here is that part where it gets messy on the ground with this issue.

In California, I guess historically government got so that it was not responsive to the citizens. So the Citizens of the time changed the Constitution that said citizens can pass laws without the usual process that involves the legislature proposing the law and the executive (governor) signing it.

In California, people can propose a law by getting enough signatures from the voting public to place it on a ballot. That law can be a general law, or it can be Constitutional Amendment.

As a result, our Constitution is easily amended, compared to others. We have over 500 amendments in the 100 years or so since this could happen.

By contrast, the US Constitution was ratified in 1791 and has only 27 amendments, 10 of which are the Bill of Rights and were passed at the time of the Ratification itself.

Which brings us to the issue and our hero Stuart: a few years ago, the people passed by ballot called Prop 22. IIRC, the language was the same or close to what Prop 8 says now about who can marry.

Stuart and his partner sued that that law was unconstitutional – the California Constitution.… Read the rest

Equality California Urges President Obama to Take Action on Federal Prop. 8 Case

Equality California filed an amicus brief supporting the federal challenge of Proposition 8

SAN FRANCISCO– Today, Equality California renewed its call for President Obama to take action on the federal court challenge of Proposition 8. Yesterday the deadline passed for third parties to file amicus briefs in the case weighing the constitutionality of Proposition 8, a state referendum that stripped same-sex couples of the freedom to marry.… Read the rest