No-Fly, No-Buy (Guns), No Due Process – UN-AMERICAN!

No-Fly, No-Buy (Guns), No Due Process – UN-AMERICAN!

Many years ago, the United States government instituted a “No-Fly List” in an attempt to prevent terrorists from boarding airplanes. This is a secret list, so secret that you cannot find out if you are on it before it is too late.  There is no stated procedure to ask about your status on the list, and no way to ask the government to remove your name from it.  You get the bad news only when you try to obtain a boarding pass for your flight.  Since there is no “due process” as required by the Fourteenth Amendment for deprivations of liberty, the list is unconstitutional and very Un-American.

Today, the government wants to prevent people on that list from buying a firearm, again without any due process.  Note carefully that placement on the No-Buy (Guns) list results automatically from being on the No-Fly list, without any other consideration.  Nothing that shows that you would be a responsible gun owner or are already the responsible owner of another gun will be considered.  Yes, this is the United States of America!

First, there may be no connection between the reason for No-Fly and a reason for No-Buy.  The person may have disrupted a flight and forced the airplane to land immediately for his or her removal as a passenger.  That has nothing to do with that person’s owning a gun for self-protection at home.  Second, the government may have made a mistake by confusing that person with another with a similar name and age.  Third, the government may have practiced racial or religious profiling by assuming that all or most Muslims or Mormons are potential terrorists.  Fourth, the government may have acted in response to a demand or bribe from a powerful or otherwise influential person or corporation.  I could continue …

In general, when a government wants to deprive you of a privilege, you get prior notice of that and a chance to respond in writing and/or at a hearing of some kind.  For example, if the Motor Vehicles administration wants to suspend your driver’s license, it sends you a written notice of its reasons for doing so (e.g., drunk driving) with instructions on how to object and present your position.  If the your license is then suspended, you are usually given an administrative procedure for appealing that decision, and often an optional review by a state court.

In the No-Fly situation, you get nothing but sudden death when you try to board an airplane.  If you are on the No-Fly list, then you will get the same sudden death when you try to buy a gun.  You will not be advised of any reason for your punishment, and the gun store will also be in the dark.  This compound due process violation also violates your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  You might say “you gotta be kidding”, that is Un-American, but the government will just stonewall you.  Of course, you can obtain a gun privately and legally, so the No-Fly, No-Buy rule is likely be largely ineffective and cause people to avoid gun stores when buying a firearm.  Only the 100% law abiding citizen will be punished!

As you might guess, there is at least one lawsuit and it is progressing through the *** Circuit in the Federal system.

**********[to be continued]***********

Police Qualifications: Brains, Brawn and Self-Control

Police Qualifications: Brains, Brawn and Self-Discipline

We have too many Police officers, especially in big cities.  The dead apples, at about 49 percent, impede the work of the good apples, about 49 percent.  The remaining two percent comprise the bad apples, the brutal officers who kill people without necessity and give Police departments bad reputations and expensive lawsuits.

The Qualifications

  1.  Brains — Brains includes not only intelligence and good judgment, but also an adequate education for Police work.  To me, that includes four years of a completed college education.
  2.  Brawn — This includes both strength and stamina, as well as training in marshal arts or an equivalent.  Heavy weight does not suffice, since it may result in disabilities and sluggish response to emergency situations.
  3. Self-Discipline — The ability to control one’s actions in response to a situation so that contacts are not injured or killed except in cases where such force is necessary.

Most people cannot really qualify for Police work.  Police work is very difficult to do correctly, and those who perform well are substantially underpaid.  The dead apples generally desire easy work for 20 years without being shot that ends with a good pension; then they add that to income from another job and enjoy an almost upper middle class income and lifestyle from about age 45 onward.  They are not “turned on” by Police work, so they usually get in the way of the good apples.

The good apples perform Police work very well because they have enthusiasm for the job and often perform heroically.  Unfortunately, they are paid little more than the dead apples.  Because they are represented by  a labor union, their pay is based largely on longevity, not performance.  After years of such treatment, many become discouraged, so their pay must be increased.  Can this be done without increasing the budget for a Police Department?  Yes!

For example, consider a large city Police Department with 3000 sworn officers, excluding the Chief’s staff and (say) the Precinct Commanders.  Rank those officers from top to bottom based on their brains, brawn, and self-discipline, with Number 1 the best and Number 3000 the worst.  Draw a line under Number 1500, and terminate all officers below that line with a favorable letter of reference.  Then use the money saved from not paying those officers to (approximately) double the pay of those above the line.  In a typical big city like Phoenix, most of the top 1500 would be receiving over $100,000 per year, a true professional salary.  As such they would no longer need a labor union.

In the above process, the bad apples will necessarily be terminated.  There is really no reason to brand them with bad letters of reference; their performance histories are likely to keep them out of Police work.

**** [to be continued further] *****

Beware of the Dangerous APS “Demand” Charge for Electricity; It Uses Smart Meters

In early 2016, residential customers of Arizona Public Service (APS) in Arizona began hearing about a new mandatory charge based on “demand”. For the past several decades, electrical bills have been based almost solely on energy usage measured in kilowatt-hours. Demand, on the other hand, is measured in kilowatts, usually averaged over a short period of time like 30 or 60 minutes. And demand charges are typically very high, often over $13.00 per kilowatt. For example, a “demand” of five kilowatts, that occurred on only one day during an entire monthly billing cycle, could result in an added charge of $85.00! This could be caused by an ordinary central air conditioner for a typical three-bedroom house in Phoenix during July and August.

Demand charges are possible only because of smart meters, wireless computerized devices that send your data several times per minute to APS. They may be hacked by a terrorist, invade your privacy (are you home?), sicken five percent of the population, and set fire to your house.

Large appliances running at the same time can create a huge demand and a shocking charge of around $150.00 in addition to the regular charge for energy (kilowatt-hours) actually used. Under even the lower winter rates, the demand charge could TRIPLE your electrical bill. (In the summer, the charge could increase your bill by about 75%; e.g., $200 to $350.)

Common large appliances include central air-conditioning, an electrical stove, an electrical clothes dryer, an electrical water heater and anything else that uses a high power heating element. For example, my A/C unit draws over four kilowatts when its compressor is running; my electrical stove has four surface elements, two of which draw three kW and two oven elements, one of which draws over three kW when the element is on; a typical electrical water heater draws four kW then its heating element is on. As you probably know, all of those appliances cycle on and off to maintain a set temperature. But it is not only possible but actually very likely that the on-times of several appliances will overlap, producing a very large power “demand” of sufficient duration to be counted by APS after being averaged over 60 minutes or even as little as 30 minutes. (APS is proposing 60 minutes; the Arizona Salt River Project (SRP) is now using 30 minutes.)

There is little a customer can do to avoid high charges for demand, since a usage error on just one day out of an entire month of 30 days is enough to produce a $150 demand charge. For example, you can be careful to use your clothes dryer only during evenings and on weekends, but a one-day need for afternoon drying can blast your bill into the stratosphere! Similar afternoon dryer usage will not affect the high demand charge either way; one error will “ruin” the entire month!

Wealthy customers have the option of replacing high power electrical appliances with equivalent gas units. If your house is supplied with gas, you can consider purchasing a modest gas stove and a gas water heater for a total of about $1,000. Installation of the stove may be do-it-yourself, but the water heater installation could easily cost over $500. Unfortunately, the success of this substitution depends on your gas company’s never adding a “demand” charge!

APS and other electrical suppliers may suggest installing a “load shedding” system. Hardware cost alone for such a system is beyond most middle-class homeowners, and the installation cost will be prohibitive because you must hire an electrical contractor for the job.

Now for some mathematics. APS defines the “demand” itself as the “average kW supplied during the 60-minute period of maximum use during the customer’s On-Peak hours”.  Recall that demand is measured in kilowatts; the new demand charge is in addition to the (regular) energy charge measured in kilowatt-hours.

For an easy example, assume for simplicity that you draw one kilowatt continuously all day every day for a one “month” billing cycle except for five minutes on one day when I draw ten kilowatts.  What is your “demand” (in kilowatts)? It is 1.75 kW, based on an average over 60 minutes, as follows: ((1 kW x 55 minutes) + (10 kW x 5 minutes)) x (1 hour / 60 minutes) = (55 kW-minutes + 50 kW-minutes) x (1 hour / 60 minutes) = 105/60 kW = 1.75 kW. Note that if you are a customer of the Salt River Project (SRP), your demand would double to 3.50 kW because SRP averages over only 30 minutes.

Here is another example, based on a slight simplification of the performance of an electrical stove. For simplicity, assume that your load is zero for an entire billing cycle except for the following appliance operation, which occurs once a day during the same hour every day.

The entire load is an electrical stove with three elements in use: two surface units at 3.0 kW and one oven element (for simplicity) also at 3.0 kW.  The stove is on for exactly 60 minutes every day, but the three elements are thermostatically controlled and cycle on and off independently of one another.  Each element cycles continuously for the 60 minutes and is on for five minutes and then off for ten minutes.  Is the demand calculable from the foregoing information, or does the demand depend on statistics regarding how the three loads overlap?

The demand is easily calculable, because the overlap, which varies greatly over time, does not matter at all.  Each heating element is on one-third of the time and off two-thirds of the time, and each one goes through four cycles during the 60 minute averaging period. Therefore, each element has an average demand of 1/3 of 3.0 kW or 1.0 kW, so that the total demand is three times that or 3.0 kW, independent of the overlap. (As long as each element goes through the same number of cycles, the foregoing calculation is correct.)

To be fair to APS, I understand that they intend to offer a plan similar to their present ECT-2 in the tariff. It has a high summer demand charge rate ($13.50 per kilowatt) but a lower rate for energy (5.7 cents average per kilowatt-hour instead of 13.4 average cents per kWh). If you have the money to purchase and install a computerized load-shedding system to control your demand and the expertise to maintain it, it is theoretically possible to save money, but you will be entering a gambling casino operated by APS. As with most casinos, the odds are against the gambler!

To avoid bankruptcy, switch to gas or install a load shedder. Better yet, file a motion with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to “intervene” in APS Docket No. 16-0036 as a ratepayer. There is no charge to participate in ACC proceedings, and you don’t need a lawyer!

 

Government “For the People” Requires Socialism

rgayer@cox.net, 19 March 2016

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (2016) labels himself as a “democratic socialist”, thereby upsetting many who are firmly opposed to any form of socialism. But those same people fail to observe Abe Lincoln’s third requirement for an enduring government: it must be “for the people”; “of the people” and “by the people” are not enough.

I believe that a government that is actually for the people must include some socialistic programs.

Socialism today: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance and perhaps Obamacare.     
Communism today: public education from kindergarten through twelfth grade.                                     
“Private” (non-governmental) socialism today: all forms of insurance, especially car insurance, fire (homeowners) insurance, health care insurance, malpractice insurance, and any other form of liability insurance.

Social security is the best known type of socialism in the United States. All workers, self-employed or employed by an employer, pay the same percentage of their gross income (up to about $108,000) into what amounts to a modest retirement plan. However, they obtain much more money when they retire than they (and their employers) have contributed. Because this extra cash comes from taxpayers, the program is socialistic. Despite this label, the program has always been very popular. Nevertheless, many Republicans want to privatize this program, leaving its beneficiaries exposed to the unpredictable risks of the stock market.

Medicare is another well known type of socialism supported by the so-called payroll tax (or the self-employment tax). After age 65, beneficiaries pay a low fixed monthly premium plus 20 percent of their bills from doctors and hospitals. Beneficiaries may purchase a “Medicare supplement” from private insurers that pays all or part of the 20 percent. After buying such a supplement, the insured is tempted is to seek medical care for every little pain or discomfort.

A Medicare beneficiary with a “supplement” is participating in two types of socialism, the second being what I call “private socialism”.

Again, many Republicans want to privatize this program by handing out vouchers that will be turned over to for-profit insurance companies. Such a change without regulations of insurance premiums would eventually deprive seniors of the means to pay for needed health case (as will Obamacare in its present form).

Medicaid is even more socialistic: “poor” people pay almost nothing for this benefit that covers almost all of their expenses for health care. But the payments to providers are so low that many refuse to “accept” Medicaid.

Obamacare is a complex form of insurance, but most of it is paid for by taxpayers, and beneficiaries often receive little or no benefits because of high annual deductibles exceeding $5,000. That is, Obamacare is an expensive wasteful program whose benefits inure largely to greedy private insurance companies. It is not really socialism, since it provides little benefit to its beneficiaries. Adding a “public option”, originally suggested by Obama, could make it at least somewhat socialistic and likely to succeed. In its present form, it is destined for complete failure in a few years.

The practical and socialistic solution to these problems is to provide Medicare for people of all ages based on a substantial tax on income but without any (other) payments for health care insurance. People would enjoy the same quality of health care independent of income; worry about losing health care because of unemployment would cease.

The foregoing programs are safety nets. They are favored by most people because they provide benefits “for the people” including peace of mind, even though they are socialistic. But since “socialism” is a dirty word in American politics, these programs are provided with a great deal of reluctance, which makes them wasteful because they are surrounded with complex rules for eligibility. Basic unemployment insurance is not truly socialistic because it is limited and is fully paid for by employers, but so-called “federal extensions” are fully funded by taxpayers. Such insurance is not limited in The Netherlands, and Dutch citizens enjoy increased peace of mind as a result.

Any type of insurance is socialistic, since it involves pooling money to protect those who need protection. Everyone else just pays for peace of mind; the insurance money goes to careless drivers, sloppy doctors, homeowners who smoke in bed, and other negligent people. Health care insurance is very different, since people are seldom able to avoid sickness and injury.

In liability insurance based on negligence, the large number of careful people pay for the errors of the few careless ones. But why? In a truly capitalist system, each person would pay for his or her own errors; a very careful person would never pay anything, including “premiums” for insurance. With insurance, large numbers of worried people and those compelled to buy (say) car insurance pay substantial tributes year after year to a for-profit company. We pool our resources so that none of us will face bankruptcy from a large claim for damages. That is nothing but socialism, especially when the purchase of insurance is compelled by the government, usually by the state. Why should you pay part of the damage I cause when I crash into another car and injure it and its driver? But most of us would buy car insurance even if it was not compelled.

Finally, consider a type of American communism: public education from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Each person pays a tax – usually a property tax – but receives an education free of charge. The property tax is paid after a person receives the education, and often to a state or county that did not provide the education. In addition, the (state) government owns, maintains and pays for the “means of production”; i.e., the school buildings, equipment, other expenses and payment of salaries for teachers and administrators. (Charter schools are still supported by the government.) This is true communism, but it is a service that few people want to terminate.

A basic college education has saddled many graduates with unaffordable bills that they may never be able to pay fully. Bernie Sanders favors free tuition for state colleges and universities for academically qualified persons. Germany has provided successfully such a program for years. Yet another form of socialism that is truly “for the people”!

Another benefit of socialistic safety nets is a peaceful society with minimal violence from guns and other violent conduct. Peace of mind engenders peace by reducing stress. Did you ever wonder why gun violence is minimal in Western European countries and Canada but high in America? The answer is simple: they are all socialistic. I doubt that strict gun-control laws are the main reason; New York City has long had such laws, but it also has had major gun violence.

Two powerful causes of stress and violence in the United states are the great inequalities of income and wealth. With most wealth and income concentrated in the top one percent of Americans and the consequent loss of upward mobility for the rest of us, most Americans have suffered income stagnation for the past few decades without hope for a better future.

The foregoing problems will ruin America unless our government truly becomes “for the people”.

 

Trump Is Intentionally Helping Clinton

              Donald Trump Is Intentionally Helping Hillary Clinton

This article is based on remarks made during the Republican debate of February 13, 2016. Six men took part: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush.

During the debate, both Ben Carson and John Kasich implicitly recognized that Donald Trump was the cause of the embarrassing fighting among the Republican candidates for president. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump attacked each other frequently during the debate, and Marco Rubio participated in the fray from time to time. Jeb Bush also got into the action with Trump.

John Kasich was the first to comment on this immature conduct, stating that “I don’t want to get into all this fighting”. Earlier he observed that “I think we’re fixing to lose the election to Hillary Clinton if we don’t stop this”. Ben Carson agreed, commenting on the “screaming” and “jumping up and down” and concluding that this infighting will help the Democrats in the fall.

Ted Cruz effectively explained the motivation of Trump’s non-stop bullying, stating that he has liberal views and has backed Democrats in the past. From comments made by Trump before the debate, we know that he and Hillary Clinton have socialized more than once in the past.

The foregoing ends the mystery of why Trump is acting like an adolescent bully while running for the Republican nomination for President. He has gained control of his opponents by his tactics to the extent that three of them respond to his attacks in kind.

I predict that if Trump wins the nomination, then he will shock Republicans by campaigning weakly, seeming to “throw” the election to the Democrats. If he loses, then he may run as a third-party apparent conservative in order to steal votes from the Republican candidate.

What do you think?

 

Smart Meters Invite Hacking By Terrorists

Revised 6 December 2015

In December 2014, a large group of APS customers protested to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) about the adverse health effects of microwave radiation from so-called “Smart Meters”, but I believe that there is an even more serious danger from those meters: hacking by terrorists.  (There are also privacy concerns.)

These meters operate in an open wireless network in which each meter sends and receives signals with APS.  As a result, each meter can be hacked individually as can the entire network of meters without making any physical connections.  As we know from our experience with computers and wireless routers, passwords and encryption cannot provide complete protection.  An individual customer can hack his own meter to reduce his electric bill, but a sophisticated hacker can disconnect an entire neighborhood (or more) from power.  In an article from Maxim Integrated [Electronic] Products in February 2013, David Andeen wrote that “A former utility employee recently asked me, ‘If we network all of the electricity meters and grid infrastructure, can someone write a computer virus and take down the entire grid?’ Unfortunately, my answer was yes.”  See http://www.maximintegrated.com/en/app-notes/index.mvp/id/5537.  (To appreciate the extent of such hacking, just Google “hacking a smart meter”.)

So far, Smart Meters have not been shown to benefit customers in any way; they benefit only APS and other utilities by saving money on meter reading while the huge costs of Smart Meters increase their rate base upon which they get a guaranteed return on investment.  APS claim customer benefits, but the data available are at least 24 hours old and lack detailed time information.  The only “benefit” APS can assert is customer entertainment from colorful graphics that lack any practical use or value.

On the other hand, they do provide an invitation to terrorists to deprive entire cities of electrical power without using explosives or other destructive means.  Note that the old fashioned mechanical analog meters are 100 percent immune to wireless attacks.  Millions of smart meters provide easy access to countless vulnerable network points with much less cyber security than a power plant and comparatively little physical security.  It is time to end the use of these dangerous meters before the first terrorist strikes; the danger of massive power outages and potential health problems clearly outweigh any alleged benefit.

Here is part of an interview with former CIA Director James Woolsey  [courtesy of YouTube from 2011]

Q: Are you saying also on a federal level there is no one in charge of cyber security, policy and defense.  A: There is no one in charge of security for the grid, whether its cyber or transformers or whatever.  You can search forever thru the Federal Code to try to find who that person might be.

Q: You think it should be the President?  A: Well I think it’s — there is a very good reason for it perhaps to be the Chairman of the, of FERC.  Or, but to try out to see what would work, I think having the Defense Department work with the local utility is the best.

    [A, cont’d] What they’re doing now, they’re constructing what they call a smart grid and they’re going to make it easier for you and me to call our homes on our cell phone and turn down our air conditioning on a hot afternoon if we’re not there.  Great!  *** But that may well mean that a hacker in Shanghai with his cell phone can do the same thing or worse.  And, a so-called smart grid that is as vulnerable as what we’ve got is not smart at all.  It’s a really, really stupid grid.

As a speaker said near the end of Black Hat meeting in Europe in 2014:

“You want to shut down a whole neighborhood? Or even a little more? Sure! Just start to ping MACs for a while to check who is around, then send the proper command! And you don’t really need to be even close to the meters, you just need a power plug!” (MAC = media access control address, unique for each network device.)

Yes it is a “really stupid grid”, and very dangerous as well.

To deal with vulnerabilities of Smart meters to hacking, Congressman Donald Norcross (R-NJ) introduced an amendment to HR8 in December 2015 and made the following remarks:

“Our society has become so reliant on the very electricity that we are standing under today that those who would do damage to our country might have a vulnerability here. And we need to act before they do. This is why I bring this amendment forward. I started out as an electrician many years ago, so I understand the power side of it. I sit on the Emerging Threats Subcommittee. I hear those threats each and every day. We have to make sure that we keep our homes, our businesses, and, most importantly, our military safe. We are talking about damaged equipment and potentially massive blackouts, not just like the ones we had in New York almost a decade ago but potentially taking down our entire grid. Smart meters are now part of the fabric of what we do day in and day out. This amendment very carefully identifies those vulnerabilities. I would urge members to support this.”

Moving briefly to health concerns, it seems that about three to five percent of people are susceptible to physical injury from the microwave radiation from smart meters.  In my small neighborhood of about 1500 people in about 900 single homes, up to 75 people could be sickened by those meters.  And having your smart meter replaced is only part of the solution; you remain surrounded by other homes with these radiating meters, so it is essential that at least your nearby neighbors have their smart meters replaced by analog meters.

I found the following report about judicial proceedings in Maine relating to health problems on the StopSmartMeters.org website:

1. Maine Supreme Court Justices Grill Utility Advocates As part of a potentially precedent-setting court case before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court over the health and safety of smart meters, on November 3rd justices heard an appeal of a previous ruling that smart meters were essentially “safe enough.”   ***  Attorney Bruce McGlauflin represented lead plaintiff Ed Friedman of Maine Coalition to Stop Smart Meters in the Maine Supreme Court, and presented evidence from physicians, microbiologists, and other professionals that radiation emitted by smart meters poses a serious risk of physical harm, and should be recalled.

Finally, let’s realize that smart meters can be used to invade your privacy; in simple terms, they are computerized surveillance devices. The existing Elster meters transmit your personal usage information every few minutes, and the coming and more powerful Landis and Gyr meters do so at least every minute. That is much more than is necessary to measure your usage of electrical energy, and is frequent enough for each appliance that you are using at a given time to produce a “signature” that a computer can identify. The same computer can also determine when you are at home and can estimate the number of people living in your house.

What is worse, there are commercial enterprises that are now willing to pay APS for these data about you and your family. Yet, the smart meter does nothing at all for you; it is all detriment and no benefit.

The ACC recently cancelled charges that APS may impose on customers who wish to return to their mechanical analog meters: a $50.00 installation charge and a $5.00 monthly meter reading charge.  Right now, you can have your smart meter replaced with an analog meter for no charge at all, and your analog meter will also be read at no (additional) charge, at least until the next APS rate case in mid-2016.   It’s time for everyone who wants to avoid a blackout caused by terrorists or nasty neighbors to get rid of his or her smart meter now!

 

Marriage: Legal and Religious, Same Sex and Opposite Sex

5 October 2015

Much of the debate about same sex marriage confuses the two forms of all marriages: Legal (or secular) and Religious (or sectarian or sacred). This confusion results primarily from the conflation of the two forms in state laws empowering clergy to perform both Legal and Religious marriages in one ceremony. Convenient but misleading!

First, we must recognize the nature of a “marriage license”. This document applies only to Legal marriages and has nothing to do with Religious ones. A Legal marriage provides the partners with countless federal and state legal rights and many responsibilities, especially if they have children. A government “license” is required to enter into such a marriage.

No “license” or other government document is or may be required to enter into a Religious marriage. The complementary provisions of the First Amendment prevent the government from prohibiting clerics from marrying same sex couples as well as requiring licenses for Religious marriages. (See note below.)

A Religious marriage is performed by a member of the clergy (typically a minister, priest, rabbi or imam). Each cleric, together with his or her religious institution (usually a church, synagogue, mosque or temple) is totally free to set the requirements for Religious marriage. Such requirements may be totally unrelated to the requirements for Legal marriage in the applicable state, but they usually do overlap. A common overlap is that the partners must be adults of opposite sexes. Religious institutions often add many other requirements, including membership in the institution, a declared belief in the relevant God, regular participation in a ceremony such as holy communion or baptism, and successful completion of a class in a marriage in the applicable religion. In addition, a religious institution may impose requirements based on racial considerations and age differences.

Since no government document is required for a Religious marriage, clerics and their institutions are free to marry persons of the same sex. Such persons become married in the sight of God but receive no legal rights or responsibilities from that marriage. On the other hand, a marriage performed by a judge or other judicial worker conveys all applicable legal rights and responsibilities but does nothing at all for the partners in the sight of God. To receive a blessing from God, the partners must be married by a cleric.

Two examples. If the marriage is first performed by a judge and the partners then desire a Religious marriage, they must be married again by a cleric of their choice. (No license for that marriage is required.) If, however, the marriage if first performed by a cleric upon the presentation of a marriage license, then the result is both a Religious and Legal marriage in one ceremony. It’s simple and convenient, but totally confusing to many people.

Therefore, Kim Davis, the County Clerk in Kentucky, has no basis to complain about issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. The licenses she issues have no religious significance whatsoever, no matter how many days she spends in jail. Thus it appears that her shouting is solely for the purpose of obtaining publicity against same sex marriages (including an audience with the Pope). It’s not about religion, it’s just politics!

*******************************************************

Note: A North Carolina statute that would have punished any cleric who married two men or two women was void anyway under the First Amendment and was clearly voided by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (June 2015), finding constitutional protection for same sex marriages under the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses.