Life of Megan

Monday, June 05, 2006

Setting the record straight.

With the new attempt to create a new Constitutional amendment "protecting" marriage, there's much more talk of judges extending beyond their roles, being activists, and "legislating" new laws.

Judges can't legislate anything. What they do is decide cases using the state's and/or federal constitution and existing laws. If a gay couple sues the state after being denied a marriage license, and the judges decide they should have been given the license, they haven't created a new law. A court's decision regarding the legality of gay marriage depends mostly on whether they have a strict, literal interpretation of the state constitution (or a loose, more "liberal" interpretation). Judges can't get together one day and say to each other "You know, we think gay marriage should be legal. Let's legislate that." They have to have a case, and they have to play within the bounds of the constitution. Judges interpret laws as they are written now. If we disagree with them, the onus is on us to change the laws.

Please take those fingers that are currently pointing at "activist" judges and turn them back to face yourselves. Part of our responsibility to this country is appointing leaders who will write laws that reflect the will of the majority, protect the rights of this country's citizens, and that are written in such a way that don't leave room for questions about intent and interpretation. Blaming others makes us feel important and educated, but that's all it does. Don't like the way this country is going? Get up, get out, get others behind you, and vote.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

New York wines get some big attention!

The next time you're at a grocery store or spending some time waiting for your flight in an airport, pick up a copy of the May issue of Wine Spectator. The cover article is all about wines of New York, with Long Island, the Hudson River Valley, and the Finger Lakes figuring prominently. The guide has an excellent list of recommended wineries to visit and a comprehensive list of fancy places to eat. I vote you return to Ithaca for pizza subs from the Hot Truck/Shortstop, as suggested by Gourmet Magazine, but that's another blog entry.

Our favorite winery, the Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard isn't included, but you should make it a detour. It's on the west side of Seneca Lake. We suspect they're not in the magazine because, with all their grapes coming from their own vines, they simply don't have the capacity to support the increased level of tourism this sort of national recognition would get them. Wiemer is an odd place. Like the article, I highly recommend you go to Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars. Not only did Dr. Frank get the move to vinifera wines started, but his family has kept his vineyard going strong, and his wines are better than ever. The staff who run the tastings are also some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable around.

Remember, any time you taste wine, be especially nice to the person who's pouring it for you, because then, when you want to try something not listed on the tasting sheet, a smile and a polite request will usually get you your way (but be discreet, and be prepared to be turned down).