04 April 2009

Sometimes we Iowans get it right...

The Supreme Court of the Iowa territorial government got it right in 1839 when, in their very first ruling, they struck down slavery laws.

We got it right when we protected escaped slaves from capture and return to the South, even though federal law gave Southern states the right to send bounty hunters to the North to reclaim slaves.

We got it right in the Civil War, when a higher percentage of our men fought for the Union cause than any other state.

We got it right in 1965, when capital punishment was outlawed here.

We got it right when we became the first state to send a young black woman to represent us in the Miss USA pageant in 1969, even though the population was 97% white.

We got it right when our Republican governor declared Iowa a haven for refugees fleeing Viet Nam after the US withdrew and spent state funds to help those people get here and settle.

Today, the Iowa Supreme Court got it right again in ruling unanimously that it violates the state constitution to deny homosexual couples the right to civil marriage.  We are only the third state in the US to do so and the first in the Midwest.  Amending the Iowa state constitution is very difficult, so it is highly unlikely that this decision will be overturned.

I know it's got feck all to do with Cif - but I just found out and I'm just so freaking proud of my state right now - I had to share.


  1. Applause....Go Iowa

  2. Yeeha for Iowa. Nice one Montana

  3. Iowa: 4 letters, 3 of them vowels, you just knew it had class.

  4. Yep; Iowa and Ohio, best states in the union.

    Well done Montana and Iowa. Now let's see what Texas can do.

  5. And while we're talking about States, here's a great song

  6. I honestly cant remember the last time i felt proud of a political decision in the UK.

  7. Jay

    Not even Tony Blair's announcement of Nulabour's ethical foreign policy?

  8. I honestly had tears in my eyes as I read the comments to the article about the decision from the NYTimes website. Lots of snobs on either coast, embarrassed that it happened here before it happened there and lots of transplanted Iowans from around the country saying they weren't surprised in the least.

    Martillo - we used to sing a similar song in Girl Scouts. Tune was a bit different, but most of the questions/answers were the same. They left out "What did Ioway? She weighed a Washington." in the version you linked to. But that song led me to this and now I'm feeling 'homesick'.

  9. Oh, and monkeyfish - yep. The vowelly states. Gotta love 'em. Actual exchange I once had with a kid from New York in a youth hostel in Stockholm:

    Kid: So where are you from?
    Me: I'm from a small town in SW Iowa.
    Kid: How far is your town from Cincinnati?
    Me: I dunno. I suppose about 800 miles.
    Kid: It can't be that far! Ohio's not that big.
    Me: I'm not from Ohio. I'm from Iowa.
    Kid thinks a bit
    Kid: Oh, yeah. That's where they grow all the potatoes!
    Me: No. That's Idaho. I'm from I-o-wa.
    Kid: You mean there's three of them?

  10. Montana does her Columbo impression:

    Oh, and just one more thing - why is it that I've never met a European who didn't know where Iowa is or what we do here? Why is it that my compatriots know less about this place than the average European?

  11. I am quite proud of the fact that here in Wales everyone gets their medication free (not just kids and pensioners and people on benefits)

    Its one of the few really good things the Welsh Assembly has done.

    Its a great relief to doctors who know that many people who are just above the line often found it difficult if they have multiple prescriptions and pharmacists used to be asked "which one can I do without?". the answer of course is none of them.

    I think the charge is currently about £7 per item if I was living in England and was under 65 I would have to pay aprox £56 per month to stay alive.

    As Nye Bevan wanted medical treatment to be 'Free at point of use', this is a travesty.

    But at least when I was rushed into Hospital with heart failure I got the treatment and didn't have to worry about Hospital bills. The NHS isn't perfect but I am still rather proud of it.

    I've had cervical cancer, breast cancer and a serious heart condition and got excellent treatment for all them - free of charge.

    Am I really that unusual?

  12. o annetan.. I bless the people who looked after my mum... and who look after others....

  13. I should probably explain myself. I'm a former lefty of a radical, unthinking type. I've gone through a shudderingly painful disillusionment with all the stark, murderous failures of the things I held dear.

    I'm also a bit of a dipso. ;-)

    "The Supreme Court of the Iowa territorial government got it right in 1839 when, in their very first ruling, they struck down slavery laws."

    No quarrel from me there.

    "We got it right when we protected escaped slaves from capture and return to the South, even though federal law gave Southern states the right to send bounty hunters to the North to reclaim slaves."

    As above. Hooray for Iowa.

    "We got it right in 1965, when capital punishment was outlawed here."

    Thought and thought and thought about this. I may well have a unique distinction in that BOTH of my Grandfathers survived the passing of a death sentence. So don't anyone tell me I have no insight.

    I believe that the death sentence is a valid sanction.

    "We got it right when our Republican governor declared Iowa a haven for refugees fleeing Viet Nam after the US withdrew and spent state funds to help those people get here and settle."

    Why did you italicise Republican? Who initiated and escalated the Vietnam War? Before abandoniong his ally out of sheer cowardice and exhaustion and leaving them to the tender mercies of the Northern Labour camps? Who was the worst US President of the 20th century? For me LBJ skins Coolidge, Hoover and the younger Bush alive in the race for that title.

    "Today, the Iowa Supreme Court got it right again in ruling unanimously that it violates the state constitution to deny homosexual couples the right to civil marriage."

    Sorry but I've yet to be convinced that the Founding Fathers had the rights of homosexual couples in mind in framing the constitution. I appreciate that the I-O-W-A constitution is not the same as the US, and I stand ready to be butchered in logical terms as regards constitutional issues.

    "I know it's got feck all to do with Cif - but I just found out and I'm just so freaking proud of my state right now - I had to share."

    You are a bit of a love. Share on you crazy diamond.

    In spite of my reactionary ranting I'll fix bayonets in defence of a National Health Service free at the point of delivery. Are you unusual? Nah. You're an out and out sweetheart as far as I'm concerned. You'll see us all out yet.

    *dodges back into trench and counts down grenade's fuse.*

  14. I italicised Republican because they're not terribly pro-immigration. Very few states were willing to take the "Boat People" as they were called. Iowa did. I'm proud of that. I'm not even going to try to defend Kennedy & Johnson (although, I will say that, on domestic policy Johnson would certainly not qualify as one of the worst presidents of the 20thC) in regards to Viet Nam or any of several other foreign policy disasters. I'm not sure if you've noticed yet, staybryte, but there's not much in my nation's history that I do find to be proud of and the Democrats aren't much more to my liking than the Republicans.

    As for the Founding Fathers and what they had in mind - many of them were slave-owners, yet they wrote "All men are created equal". If those opposed to slavery had said, "Oh, gee, the Founding Fathers didn't really mean all men are created equal - just the white, land-owning ones." we would have had slavery well beyond 1863. Why should it matter whether the Founding Fathers had homosexual rights in mind? I've had way too many gay and lesbian friends who grew up hating themselves because they were different and thought it meant that something was wrong with them to believe that homosexuality is a choice. They have no more chosen to be gay than I have chosen to be left-handed. There was a time (not all that long ago) when my left-handedness would have been seen as a sign of mental illness or even evil. Seems kind of silly today, doesn't it? I hope that someday the notion that homosexuality is a sin or a form of mental illness will seem just as ludicrous. The justices, by the way, were very clear in stating that this was a civil matter that in no way meant that any religious body would be forced to allow homosexual couples to marry in their traditions.

  15. "I'm not sure if you've noticed yet, staybryte, but there's not much in my nation's history that I do find to be proud of and the Democrats aren't much more to my liking than the Republicans."

    I honestly and truly hadn't done so Montana Wildhack, primarily because I've not really read much of your CIF input, and my visits here are infrequent - and initially prompted by my chum Bitterweed. So no ill-will or sarcasm was meant.

    I know this is a massive cop-out, but I'm a bit pissed and I really should go to bed now. It's either that, A Clockwork Orange, or "Darts Players' Wives". The wooden hill to Bedfordshire looms...

  16. Thinking from a 'think globally, act locally' stance I have to express my congratulations to citizens and politicians of Iowa for passing such a (relatively, globally) libertarian statute.

    At the last Gay Pride march here in Budapest, all the old prejudices that are prevalent around much of the world were on show. Little old ladies who wouldn't say boo to a goose normally screaming 'I hope you all burn in Hell for eternity for your paedophiliac crimes' (Hungarians are good at insults and hurling abuse, something to do with the language) and skinheads trying to rush the march to start a fight.

    And roughly half of our 'Western European' society just sat back and said collectively 'Well what do you expect, you're gay. You fucking homos!'.

    Sometimes I despair at my chosen homeland and think what the fuck am I doing here. Then I realise that the world only improves in little steps and we all have to try to do our bit to help. I'm also happy that, at least in some more civil parts of world, people can at least debate topics like this without threatening to kill/maim/hex people who have a different point of view.

  17. *Sigh* How is it that, even when I write, I come off sounding more emotional than I mean to? Staybryte, I wasn't angry with what you'd asked and when I said "I'm not sure if you've noticed.." I meant just that - I didn't know if you'd read enough of my comments to realise that I'm not exactly the most patriotic American you're ever going to encounter. In fact, Sarka once chastised me for saying that my nationality is my albatross.

    Pest - it never ceases to amaze me how many people who are otherwise fairly progressive can continue to cling to the notion that homosexuality is somehow a choice.

  18. Here's the other side to my country: this week 32 people have died in 5 mass killings. That doesn't include the killers themselves. 13 people at a language school in Binghamton, NY. 3 Pittsburgh policemen were ambushed on a domestic violence call. In Boston, a 23 yr old man stabbed three of his younger siblings. In South Carolina, 7 residents and a staff member were shot in a nursing home and just yesterday, in a small town south of Seattle, a father killed his five children and then turned the gun on himself after his wife left him. So it goes.

  19. Montana: "Oh, and just one more thing - why is it that I've never met a European who didn't know where Iowa is or what we do here?"

    For myself, and I suspect many people in the UK, it's at least partly because of the writer Bill Bryson. Is he well-known in the US? Anyway, he grew up in Iowa and talks about the state in a few of his books.

  20. Matt - as it happens, it was an English friend who introduced me to Bryson. Last time I was in Britain (1995), a friend gave me a copy of The Lost Continent to read on the flight home. How can an Iowegian not fall in love with a writer who starts a book, "I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to."? Big fan now, though he's still not very well known here. (What is that saying about a prophet in his own town?)

  21. Morning all.

    I feel sorry for homosexual couples, not just because they're victimized, but also because in Iowa one can turn to the other and say "Well if you REALLY love me you'd ask me to marry you!"


    Next they'll be campaigning for the right for one of them to monopolize the remote and have the other say "my mother was right about you!" It's a slippery slope, it really is.

    Also just checked the Graun's Gender pages and saw this:

    "Women's refuges told they must admit men"

    Which kinda pleases me, but I really wish they'd put it on CiF as I think there's a lot to be said about it.

  22. Who's this "undeleted" character who's got all but one of his posts on the Bunting thread deleted?

  23. Toastand Marmite07 April, 2009 13:25

    Yay for Bill Bryson. Get's a pasting from soem of the more 'highbrow' literary critics for being *shudder* popular and humourous.

    He is also a huge fan of proper British puddings, which only increases my admiration of him.

  24. Bill Bryson's top man, Made In America is endless fascinating.

    Still in pre-mod despite my last two posts being wholly responsible and getting 200 reccs each (or thereabouts - who's counting?!).

    Anyone read Hattenstone's thread today in its virgin state? Couldn't believe some of the racist crap being spouted on there, all the sarcastic references to "St Stephen (Lawrence)", and why his mum wouldn't just play nice and be quiet about his murder and the fucked up investigation. And his mate who'd been the target of three failed prosecutions which weren't of course malicious actions by the police, or of how middle class whites are the real victims of the Lawrence case and its aftermath.

    Depressing stuff. If only we could set up a party which promised to represent the interests of middle class white blokes...

  25. I'm a bit cross about the jenni russell thread... everyone is so busy arguing about the rights and wrongs of sex work (from escorts and lap dancers to prostitution) per se that no one seems remotely interested in the fact that job centres advertising some kinds of sex work might just constitute REAL coercion of women (and some men)into the sex industry AND from a government agency AND when this government has gone on one about legislating against porn and prostitution... I don't get it? men paying for sex... criminalised... job centres advertising and maybe even pressurising women legit! Where's the fem outcry on the thread? Not one has picked up on it? Am i going mad?

  26. I read a bit of the Jenni Russell thread at work, kiz, (on my lunch obviously), and thought it just read like every single other thread which deals with prostitution.

    Some pretty nauseating views from guys who either hate women, worship the free market, or both.

    You're right to pick up on the issue of women being pressured into taking jobs but the market must decide...

    I'm far from being a typical middle-class Guardianista but it just seems wrong that Comment is free to the extent that the site welcomes some pretty extremist racist and sexist bullies.

    Might explain why I get moderated so often. That and questionning the moderation policy of course.

  27. Hank, you are right about the quality of comments on CiF. The saddest thing is that you get to suffer for pointing out the bigotry whereas the bigots often avoid it (see MaM, EarlofSuave or smellthecoffee). What's even sadder is that these pricks would not dare spout their odious views in public. You just know they are utter cowards in reality.

    Can't believe your still in pre-mod. How long now?

  28. Two and a half weeks, olching, but less than ten posts. The bastards have ground me down. Can't be bothered to post much now, although I am on the Hattenstone thread tonight trying to put my views across simply because I was so outraged at some of the shite that was spewed out on there earlier...

    Have you read it? Amazing how speedkermit, Bisonex and Blitzdonkey all turn up whenever there's the least whiff of criticism of police tactics. The first two are of course "job" (ex-job in Biso's case) and I'd bet a pound to a penny that Blitz is too...

    EarlofSuave's a joke. I don't take him seriously. Annoying but, like PrezzieD and the blowhards who were all over the Obama threads, a bit pitiable. MAM is becoming a parody of himself and I think most people just ignore him now. Smellthecoffee is a racial supremacist, pure and simple, as are one or two others who should be banned.

    I ordered that book you recc'd btw. Looking forward to reading it while sulking in solitary.

    Enjoyed your posts about the G20. Pleased to see one of them made "post of the day". Been a while since I had the virtual trophy on the virtual mantelpiece!

  29. 2.5 weeks? Jesus. I know what it feels like Hank. I was fucked into submission a few times over Nick Cohen. It really is ridiculous. Pre-mod basically means being cancelled out of debate. Have you emailed them? I emailed as often as I could and tried to explain and explain and bullshit a bit. I got off twice. I had to basically promise to ASBO myself from Cohen's articles.

    I don't know why I still go to CiF. I guess it's just a way of quickly getting things off your back...

    Yes, there are apologists everywhere. I find it quite incredible how bigoted some people are. I avoided the Hattenstone thread. I couldn't face it. I've had a few beers now and might have a wee glance...

    Hope you enjoy the book...if you ever have the chance to see Siegfried at a public lecture, go for it.

    Thanks for the compliment. Personally, I don't like the 'best of the comments'. Often they mean 'most insipid' or 'least controversial'. But anyway, hope that all the eyewitness accounts were informative. Now that the filth have been rumbled further, people will hopefully now where they stand come the "Summer of Rage".

  30. Hank, check the Duncan Campbell thread. A couple of die-hard police apologists are on there. NapoleonKaramazov is perhaps the pick of the bunch. A callous cunt.

    By the way, if your beloved Forest do get relegated this season, I'll see you at your ground next year. My team are poised beautifully in 14th position in League One...no way up, no way down. A lovely season...

  31. Sorry for the delay, olching, watching a film. See if you can guess what it is: a beautiful brunette looks up with dark, dark eyes to her moody beau and says "tell me about Macclesfield..."

    Re the best of the comments - well, it's a badge of honour but I did start to lose interest once MaM, pikey and others got their 20 metres swimmin certificates. Recently, the awards seem to have gone to those who post comments which have some personal experience, which is fair enough, and better than a TOTP-type "most reccommended" contest.

    Bristol Rovers? Old school Eastville or a Bath newbie? Either way, I reckon my boys will beat the drop, just. But you're always welcome at Hank Towers.

    Ok, off to the Campbell thread as an interested bystander. Just like the guy who took the footage of Ian Tomlinson meeting our friendly neighbourhood coppers....

  32. Control? No way! I recently watched Offset with Alexandra Maria Lara. My god, she's wonderful.

    Yep, the Gas. Never like the Bath ground. I have a soft spot for the Memorial Ground though...

    By the way, I watched United v Porto (who to hate more?) tonight and noted with some glee that Porto have a player called 'Hulk'.

    I'll probably join you in pre-mod after the Campbell thread. Am a bit pissed...anything could happen.

    Saw Bitterweed was back today with a classic comment (Lola's thread).

  33. Just watched the video of the police assault on Ian Tomlinson and read the Duncan Campbell thread. Just so infuriating and sad and frustrating...

  34. Yeh, she's a bit of a honey, olching. Sad ending to the film btw, he kills himself. Didn't see that coming.

    Utd v Porto - who to hate more? United. Tricky one is tomorrow at Anfield...

    I can't get a fucking thing posted tonight. My first one got posted after about 15 minutes, which seemed promising. After that, I've not got a chance. It seems that the mods don't like the fact that I'm questioning the impartiality of Bisonex, speedkermit and blitzdonkey given that they are all coppers....

    I've scanned Campbell's blog and seen that there were c.300 posts in less than 3 hours. Funny enough I posted on the Hattenstone blog that the video proved it was manslaughter some time before Dunc got to work. He gets the glory and gets to go home to Julie Christie and I get modded and... well, at least the Mancs didn't win tonight eh?

    Montana - if you're posting on there and either one of the three posters I've mentioned above surface, you might like to question their impartiality given their job/ex-job. Sickens me how coppers close ranks. Whatever happened to justice and protecting and serving the public above all?

  35. You know, I didn't know speedkermit was a copper, but it explains a lot. He's alright I think, but there's always that straighter than straight bit to him with which he excuses everything. Now I know what it is: An emp;oyee of Pigs Plc.

  36. Oh yeh, speedkermit's a copper - South Yorkshire police. Love the SY police, Hillsboro, miners' strike etc. Bisonex was also in the SY police iirc but now works as a teacher. No doubt took early retirement as a result of the trauma he suffered as a result of a disaster he contributed to.

    Wouldn't piss on etc...

    Speedkermit's interesting and pretty informed in some areas but now I've flagged it up see if you can spot how often he (and Bisonex) get onto the "police" threads.

    The other interesting thing I've noticed is how sk and Pikey agree on a lot of social and political issues, but fall out badly when it comes to the civil liberties stuff.

  37. BTw olching, my comments are now posted on the Hattenstone thread, four hours after posting them...catch em while you can!

  38. I've just seen them, Hank, and you make very good points. I'll read speedkermit with new eyes in future. Thanks for pointing it out.

    By the way, has Pikey thrown in the towel?

    This comment on this thread.

    Kizbot, do you know more about this...?

    Maybe he was just as pissed as I am know...need to sleep. Tomorrow morning will be painful...

  39. I'm not pikey's biggest fan, olching, but I've just checked his profile and he seems to be entering some sort of psychic trauma. I got an inkling on this thread (ignore the second post, which cast a brilliant light never to be reflected) - scroll down to the post at 9.01am, which was uncharacteristically self-pitying...


    I checked pikey's profile just now and you got a few mentions. You big bully (-:

  40. I've been mild with him, honestly! He mentions me? On his profile? I didn't spot it. Do you mean in his comments?

    Perhaps he's just sulking, because he hasn't had any articles accepted since December. The Guardian are ruthlessly chinless in that respect. I don't like Pikey's stuff at all, but it is so offbeat, not mainstream. The Graun doesn't like stuff that doesn't fit in with lifestyle politics.

    Neil Clark has also been ruthlessly ditched, even though his articles were 10 times better than those of the average Graun hack. He still writes for the NS and other media, though.

  41. Couldn't bring myself to read pikey's profile, olching, but he's mentioned you in his last few posts.

    Surprised he hasn't been more prominent today on the Tomlinson threads. He's usually dead keen on all the civil liberties stuff, iirc. Maybe, like most right-wingers, he's only interested in civil libs for him and those like him.

  42. olching, seriously you didn't know that speedy was a copper? But you know that speedkermit is openly gay but unsatisfied in his sexuality right?

  43. Oh fuck, I forgot about that; he was coming onto me :0)

    Parallax, you need to write a short story about the biogs of CiFers...

  44. Olching - my man (as speedy would say) - you pitch it, Hank can negotiate the terms, and I'll write it.The best bit will be when we - as a panel - sell the film rights and sit in on auditions for the starring roles :)

  45. Behave, parallax. I nominate MaM to play Hank.

  46. Very funny. I'm lining waltz up for your role, olching (-;

  47. Olching- Do you mean the comment Pikey made about how cath presses all the right buttons with the graun eds but he can't get any of his stuff up?

  48. Kiz - Yep, that's what I meant. Didn't sound good, did it...

  49. No it didn't... But their posts to one another were getting increasingly bitter as the thread went on and at that point Pb had lost it completely... But when I pointed out that he sounded bitter he did post back saying I was right and 'retired'... Then the mods expunged all traces...

  50. The mods went mad on that thread, I lost loads and I don't even know why some of them went. I got one deleted for telling someone not to be an arse. Then I reported the guy that was being an arse for calling BTH a pompous arse. Well, if I can't do it then no one else should be able to either. BTH is actually growing on me. I like a man who cares, and he def does care.

  51. I'm sure he does care biskie... but he does come out with some odd stuff, especially when it comes to ally...
    So has everyone buggered off for Easter now? it's not easter here till next week... bit bored now, no one to play with...

  52. Well, I'm here and I've been checking in regularly, but I don't know whether it's been my mood or what, but I just haven't seen a whole lot to comment on. I have been rather cheered to see that Bru has returned. Discovered why I hadn't found her profile - I was forgetting the 's' at the end of her user name. Now why, on earth is she plural? She was gone from late Jan to 1 Apr.

    Rather sickened by the death of Ian Tomlinson, but most people seem to agree and the ones who don't aren't worth trying to argue with.

    I have a long weekend & Monday will be child-free, as Tim will have school & I won't! Fingers crossed for some red meat on Cif this weekend.

  53. I've been in Ireland for 10 days, but I'm back back and am up for it.

    I would like also like to complain here about sitting on the runway at Stansted for an hour because Air Force One was landing and they cleared the airspace. Of course, I blame Barack Obama and Montana Wildhack for this. If you think PikeBishop (don't tell'em Pike) is bitter, how do you think I feel? I wanted Obama to be elected and then he turns round and does this to me? It's almost enough to shake my faith in politicians.

    BTW, Happy Easter everyone. The Christ is risen, and Easter eggs are made of chocolate. What's not to like?

  54. Mea culpa, mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. I *did* vote for the guy.

    Welcome back, scherfig! Been wondering where you were.