aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, July 24, 2006
Augusta Chronicle drops Coulter
As it happens, I’m sitting right now in a Panera Bread in Augusta:
The Augusta Chronicle of Georgia dropped Coulter’s column from its editorial page last week. A Friday article from its editorial staff claimed that its editorial page “stand[s] for civility,” and noted two reasons to part ways with Coulter. First, it saw “stridency” in her declaration that 9/11 widows were “witches.” Second, it worried that “Coulter herself had become the issue, rather than the topics she was writing about, which is an unhealthy circumstance for a journalist, even a columnist.”
The paper will replace Coulter with conservative columnist Michelle Malkin.
That’s progress???No, that’s Georgia.
What happened in Latvia
An open letter from Lars Grava, a founding member of Mozaika, the organisation that co-ordinated the Riga Pride and Friendship Days:
I am writing this in English since the story needs to be told far and wide. This is the story from my perspective. Everyone else who was there will have other stories to share.
Gaston and I are safe after yesterday’s well-organized fascist attacks against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community in Riga during Pride.
We are shocked by the hatred that manifested itself yesterday, but we are thrilled by the positive energy that we found among so many friends and supporters. READ ON.
It’s a gay world after all
Here are the finalists for the Mr Gay Competition, to be held in Palm Springs this October. It’s no big deal, a tiny little event in the grand scheme of things. But I cannot help but notice that Iraq has a finalist, along with Israel, Nigeria, Lebanon, Poland and, my favorite ... Vatican City.
Giving the people what they want
During the week which ended on July 16, the ever-popular online video-sharing site’s unique audience soar by a whopping 75 percent to 12.8 million users, up from 7.3 million during the previous week, according to new data released by Nielsen//NetRatings. That traffic jump follows a hard-to-fathom six-month period of exponential growth for the site, as its audience size skyrocketed by nearly 300 percent since the beginning of the year.
I for one am hpoping that they are the next Google.
Deep linking video
Google has a new feature that lets you link within a video:
Now you can email links to specific points inside a video! All you have to do is add the time you’d like to share to the end of a video’s URL. We support hours (h), minutes (m), and seconds (s).
For example, Invisible Board is a 1 min 46 sec long video but I believe the coolest part is at 1 min 26 sec, so all I have to do is add #1m26s to the link I’m going to send to my friends! Just like this: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6396990712930217422#1m26s
A similar functionality that lets you excerpt an audio file has long been one of my favorite features at ITConversations.
It’s the interplay
So, not long ago I was the clichÃƒÂ© liberal writing that the courts protect minorities. I gather that was the mainstream liberal thinking at the time. The vogue among liberals now is to say courts should do nothing. From Dahlia Lithwick’s review of Jeffrey Rosen’s The Most Democratic Branch:
Rosen rejects the “romantic myth” of “antidemocratic courts protecting vulnerable minorities against tyrannical majorities.” He contends that “the least effective decisions have been those in which courts unilaterally try to strike down laws in the name of a constitutional principle that is being actively and intensely contested by a majority of the American people.” And then he urges that if the courts want to maintain “democratic legitimacy” they must become safe, cautious; forever lagging one step behind Congress and the public-opinion polls.
There are two problems with this prescription: The first is practical and the second is normative. As a pragmatic matter, Rosen is never terribly clear as to how the courts are meant to divine public readiness for big constitutional change. He claims that “polls are hardly a reliable indicator,” and concedes, as he must, that “judges are not supposed to follow the polls.” Yet as he works through case after case, classing decisions as either constitutional successes or reckless overreaching, his predominant support lies in the contemporaneous polls he cites.
More troubling, he claims that the nation was ready for the dramatic constitutional shift in Brown v. Board because “over half the country” supported it, whereas the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was an affront because 52 percent of the country supported it. To be sure, Rosen can slice and dice that data to suggest that the country wasn’t really ready for Roe, even though the polls suggested it might have been. And it isn’t inconsequential that the court had the support (admittedly grudging) of the executive branch in handing down Brown. But as Rosen himself proves, by futzing with these equivocal numbers, it’s not possible to know with any certainty what the country is ready for-particularly when the polls show the public to be about evenly divided on some constitutional question.
Me, I’ve taken to saying that the beauty of the three branches is in the interaction among them; I don’t think it matters whether it’s the courts or the executive or the legislature. It’s the jockeying for place and power among them that engages us, makes us think, and moves us forward. That imterplay is our process of reconciliation and progress.