aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, January 20, 2006
Same-sex marriage in MD
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge today struck down Maryland’s 33-year-old law against same-sex marriage, ruling in favor of 19 gay men and women who contended the prohibition violated the state’s equal rights amendments.
Anticipating that her decision eventually would be appealed to Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, Judge M. Brooke Murdock stayed action on her ruling pending that appeal.
“After much study and serious reflection, this court holds that Maryland’s statutory prohibition against same-sex marriage cannot withstand this constitutional challenge,” Murdock wrote in her decision. [...]
“There is no apparent compelling state interest in a statutory prohibition of same-sex marriage discriminating, on the basis of sex, against those individuals whose gender is identical to their intended spouses,” Murdock wrote. “Indeed, this court is unable to even find that the prohibition of same-sex marriage rationally relates to a legitimate state interest.”
UPDATE: More from the WaPo.
Copyright as incentive
Copyright is about creating incentives. Incentives are prospective. No matter what even the US Congress does, it will not give Elvis any more incentive to create in 1954. So whatever the length of copyright should be prospectively, we know it can make no sense of incentives to extend the term for work that is already created.
Now I’ve been reading Larry lessig for many years, and I understand that copyright was set up to create incentives.
But I don’t know that the public believes that. I think most are more in line with my friend’s belief that copyright exists “to protect the copyright holder’s property.”
Google and the porno subpoena
SEE ALSO: my later post Egregious is as egregious does: Google as cause cÃƒÂ©lÃƒÂ¨bre.
Reading the headline I was inclined to side with Google. Reading the article changed my mind.
The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to compel Google, the Internet search giant, to turn over records on millions of its users’ search queries as part of the government’s effort to uphold an online pornography law.
Google has been refusing the request since a subpoena was first issued last August, even as three of its competitors agreed to provide information, according to court documents made public this week. Google asserts that the request is unnecessary, overly broad, would be onerous to comply with, would jeopardize its trade secrets and could expose identifying information about its users.
I agree with Google and its supporters that the government most demonstrate the necessity of the request and keep it as narrowly tailored as possible; but i do think the government should be able to use these same tools that marketers and others do:
The government’s move in the Google case, however, is different in its aims. Rather than seeking data on individuals, it says it is trying to establish a profile of Internet use that will help it defend the Child Online Protection Act, a 1998 law that would impose tough criminal penalties on individuals whose Web sites carried material deemed harmful to minors.
Quotes from Google supporters don’t strike me as persuasive:
Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineWatch, an online industry newsletter, questioned the need for a subpoena. “Is this really something the government needs Google to help them with?” he said. [...]
Susan P. Crawford, a professor at the Cardozo School of Law in New York, said she could understand why the companies complied. “There’s this real perception that if you’re not with us you’re against us,” she said. “So the major companies will cooperate with enormously burdensome requests just to avoid future vengeance being wreaked on them” by the Justice Department.
It seems obvious to me that the government must get such info from Google, and I’m not understanding the enormous burden to gather what the government wants - Yahoo!, AOL and Microsft were apparently able to handle the burden.
We want openness in all kinds of areas but not in this? Explain it to me. But in the explanation please also address how we handle a boy with his webcam.
LATER: A friend emailed his disagreement with me, “this combined with all of the Bush teams other creepy tactics is getting me a little paranoid.” I understand. So does Kevin Drum:
[G]iven the fact that the NSA scandal has put everyone on edge over government spying, DOJ sure picked a lousy time to force this issue, didn’t they? Do you think Congress will be (a) more likely or (b) less likely to vote for expansion of the Patriot Act after their constituents start to understand that it’s not just used for terrorism investigations?
Hillary’s upstate success reconsidered
Marisa Katz in the New Republic calls Hillary’s upstate strength in NY a myth:
Although the junior senator from New York hasn’t said anything yet about a return to the White House, a run appears likely. And, in anticipation, her champions are making upstate their best defense against doubts about her “electability"--a term popular with Democratic primary voters last time around. But, before the Hillary-can-do-it-because-she-did-it-upstate narrative gets any more airtime, it’s worth pointing out its fatal flaws. Namely, upstate New York is not that conservative. Clinton hasn’t done all that well here--in fact, she lost the region in 2000 and remains a highly polarizing figure. And, when she has won people over, it’s been through retail politics at a very local level. Ultimately, if she’s going to do well as a presidential candidate, she and her advisers must accept that her Senate campaign doesn’t count as a dress rehearsal. She’s going to have to bring something else to the national stage. [...]
The upstate voters she has won over she courted with retail politics: showing up in small towns, becoming fluent in the most parochial of concerns, and delivering federal dollars. In a region that historically hasn’t seen much of its senators, she has been omnipresent. Zogby says it’s these repeat visits that have done the most to expand her support base. “Presence is so important to upstate voters,” he says. “The psychology is: If you pay attention to us, we’ll give you support.”
But retail politics don’t translate well nationally. “Obviously, you can’t do a listening tour in all twelve zillion counties,” says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, though he suggests that the same skills are useful during primary season.
I’m not persuaded. Remember, I think we’re closely divided not deeply divided.
I stand by my view that the way for her to win is to, right after re-election as senator, set up an exploratory committee and launch a listening tour that is the exact national replica of the one that won her first senate election. Maybe even start with a swing through the South.