Maybe. Maybe. YES! Maybe. NO! Hell No! & NO!

Not that you asked, but since it's usually impossible to find guidance on Maryland ballot questions, I'm going to tell you how I plan to vote on our SEVEN ballot questions and you can vote with me or cancel me out as you see fit. (In previous years, lacking better info, I've found it helpful if I couldn't figure out what the issue was to at least get a handle on who was supporting it.)

There are 7 questions. I have strong opinions on questions 3 (Yes!) 5,6,7 (No!) and am "meh" on questions 1,2,4.

Questions 1 & 2 require judges of the Orphans' Courts in PG  and Baltimore Counties respectively to be Maryland attorneys in good standing with the state bar. This kind of measure seems to come up every year and I don't understand why it's an issue. Always half wonder if it's some kind of lawyer's trick to exclude other eligible professions from judgships, but where there's corrupt local government, I suppose it's good that folks at a minimum not be disbarred for some reason. The local GOP is supporting these two measures; don't know the Dem position.

Question 3 Oh, hell yes. Speaking of corrupt local government, we've recently been treated to the spectacle of convicted criminals maintaining their offices. This changes the removal process for elected officials so when they're convicted or plead guilty they immediately lose their seats. As long as we're going to keep electing corrupt clowns, at least we can toss them out when their wives are caught with thousands of dollars of cash billowing out of their brassieres.

Question 4 Maryland Dream Act. Still pondering this one, but leaning towards voting for it, in deference to the Maryland Catholic Conference, which is supporting it. Dems are for, GOP is against. Unlike national and other state Dream Acts, this one is narrowly drawn. It allows the children of illegal immigrants -- kids who were brought here through no fault of their own and have been educated in our schools, have no criminal record, and can show proof of paying taxes in MD-- to pay in-state tuition rates at Maryland State Schools. They can't take slots designated for Maryland residents; they have to compete with other students for out-of-state positions. But if they win them, they pay in-state tuition based on their having paid taxes here. That seems like basic fairness to me, and I don't see that it encourages further illegal immigration. If we enforce our immigration laws for the parents, this will be a humane and relatively minor accommodation for a single generation of kids.

As readers here know, I want regulation of the border and penalties for coming here illegally. But I also want us to change our laws to alter the incentives so that immigrants want to come here legally because it doesn't take years and riches to do so.

I've become hardened in this view since reading John Mueller's brilliant Redeeming Economics. One of the tangential points he makes is that in a sense the economy abhors a vacuum. Since people tend to migrate in their twenties, if you want to know what the total immigration rate (legal + illegal) is going to be, just look at total fertility rates twenty years earlier -- or for shorthand, look at the abortion rate 20 years ago. (This is no mere assertion; he demonstrates it empirically with charts comparing the two figures.) He says that economic pressures being what they are, there's no way to stop people filling the vacuum you create by failing to have your own children. You just have to decide as a nation whether to create a way for immigrants to come legally or not.

So if that's the case -- you can't stop people-- it's better to find ways to assimilate them. Of course, I'd feel better about the whole thing if we were sending these kids to Ashland or Hillsdale for assimilation rather than UMd.

On the other hand, while the law itself doesn't trouble me, I fear its passage sends the signal that we're not serious about immigration enforcement. And I'm not sure why the state of Maryland should prefer illegal immigrant children over, say, citizens of New Jersey. And as indicated above, the likelihood of many of these kids being radicalized in Latino and Womyn's studies courses is high. And it annoys me that the local bishops are pushing this hard when marriage is on the ballot, as if there were an equivalence in the issues' importance.

So I'm thinking about it.

Update: Upon consideration, I will have to vote against. Giving the tuition break necessarily means U Md will take in less in tuition, which means either taxes or tuition for all citizens will go up. That's an injustice. But the worse injustice is that the state of Maryland is collecting the taxes of illegal aliens at all (though granted it does so because documentation is offered fraudulently. It's wrong to take tax monies from people who aren't citizens and aren't really going to receive the protections of citizens. That's exploitative. So, while the measure is going to win handily without me and I respect the good intentions of the MDCathConf on this, I think it's actually a contribution to what the Catechism calls a "structure of sin" and I can't in conscience support it, hard though I tried.
Question 5 No. As discussed here previously, a "yes" vote upholds a gerrymandering plan so absurd the local press are mocking it and even the local Democratic party isn't taking a position on it. Not only does it eliminate GOP congressional seats, it dilutes the minority vote by taking a heavily black/Hispanic area and sprinkling it into several districts -- enough to guarantee Democratic seats (and notably Sen. Sarbanes' son's seat), but diluting minority strength. Why blacks don't rise up and boot the Democratic party out I cannot understand; they are shown no respect, even on the "diversity" terms I don't believe in but the Democratic Party supposedly upholds.

Question 6  Emphatically no. Redefines marriage and in no way protects religious liberty (in fact the statute expressly excludes from protection what we might loosely call "apostolates" run by Church groups). A "yes" vote is a vote to remove the words "man" and "woman" from the state definition of marriage and to subject those who don't wish to approve homosexual unions to harrassment lawsuits and treatment as pariahs before the law. A "no" vote is a vote to maintain man-woman marriage. (Donate for advertising or volunteer to work the polls Tuesday at

Question 7 Allows slots and table games at National Harbor. Both party establishments are behind the measure. I'm not anti-gambling per se but will vote against this because they're putting it in P.G. County  -- a cynical effort to make money off the backs of poor blacks and hispanics in a county where family breakdown is already rampant. They want a new casino up county? Be my guest. But this is just vile. Plus it just gives more money to the local government for unspecified projects. More $$ for this government will go for mischief. So: NO.  Keep National Harbor safe, wholesome and family oriented.