aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, August 29, 2005
Global warming & hurricanes
Thank God it wasn’t worse! But the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory ("engaged in comprehensive long lead-time research fundamental to NOAA’s mission") warns that it’s bound to get worse:
The strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth’s climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Although we cannot say at present whether more or fewer hurricane will occur in the future with global warming, the hurricanes that do occur near the end of the 21st century are expected to be stronger and have significantly more intense rainfall than under present day climate conditions. This expectation (Figure 1) is based on an anticipated enhancement of energy available to the storms due to higher tropical sea surface temperatures.
Which reminds me to mention… I wasn’t watching TV yesterday so I missed the media frenzy. What I did instead was read blogs; I got caught up in the blog frenzy. I have to say that much of it was as overwrought and hyperbolic as anything the MSM puts out, if not more so. We’ve learned from the masters.
Why’s the dog not barking?
Far from rallying support for Miller, today’s pitiable plea instead calls attention to how little support for Miller there actually isÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ even among the Times’ own op-ed columnists. Not one of them has written a single word about their incarcerated colleague during the entire month of August, a time when the questions about Miller’s actions have come to the fore. And even before then not one of them chose to devote an entire column to Judy’s plight. Indeed, Bob Herbert, Paul Krugman, Tom Friedman, David Brooks and John Tierney haven’t written a word about it. Maureen Down and Nick Kristof barely mentioned it in passing. And Frank Rich wrote three July columns on Plamegate without once offering even a full sentence to her defense.
It’s the Times version of Sherlock Holmes’ curious incident of the dog that didn’t bark in the night.
Only Bill Safire, by then a former Times columnist, chose to devote a whole column to Judy (on July 29). And Safire is an unabashed Miller supporter. At a recent lunch thrown for him by Mort Zuckerman in his East Hampton home, Safire offered a toast to Miller “because she’s in jail and we’re not”. According to four of the guests, the toast left them and many others at the gathering scratching their heads. As one of them put it: “why the hell should I be in jail?”.
Same sex marriage prospects in MA
Two local lawmakers are rethinking their support for a state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage but allow civil unions, bolstering predictions the measure won’t secure a majority vote in next month’s Constitutional Convention.
State Reps. James Vallee and Stephen LeDuc said they are talking to gay marriage supporters and opponents about whether to back the amendment during the upcoming second round of voting.
“I have been re-evaluating the whole circumstance, and I am keeping an open mind,” said LeDuc, D-Marlborough. “I’m reaching out to people on both sides of the issue.”
Vallee, D-Franklin, said “there hasn’t been any adverse affect on society” since gay marriages started in the state in May 2004, two months after the amendment passed the first time.
Nathan Newman says that’s how the system should work:
While the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, it would only take a majority of the legislature followed by a vote by a majority of the population to reverse that decision.
To the frustration of the proponents of banning gay marriage, the legislature doesn’t appear to have the votes to overturn the court decision.
The legislature probably wouldn’t have had the political will to pass gay marriage on it own, but with the court’s moral argument about what equal protection means, they now have the political courage to uphold it. In some ways, this is a good model for what the judicial role should be in a democratic society and at the federal level. Courts would make clear moral statements of what rights should be under the Constitution, with legislators free to accept or reject that judicial viewpoint.