Your Virtual Front Page for Friday, January 16, 2015

Here you go, since I haven’t given you anything else to chew on today:

1. Belgium charges terror plot suspects (BBC) — This happened last night and all, but it’s huge, with raids across Belgium, France and Germany. Meanwhile, Obama and PM Cameron meet to discuss terror, and to reaffirm the “special relationship.” Presumably, POTUS didn’t use the occasion to return any Churchill busts.

2. 2014 Was the Warmest Year Ever Recorded on Earth (NYT) — Just FYI. Something you might really want to take note of…

3. Supreme Court to hear same-sex marriage cases (WashPost) — This one could decide whether there is a right involved. Which makes me wonder: Has the court ever found a constitutional right to marry for anyone, regardless of gender or orientation? I have no idea. Maybe some of our lawyers would know.

4. Gov. Nikki Haley: Uber ban ‘extremely disappointing’ ( — What? I didn’t know the PSC had enacted an Uber ban. When did THAT happen?

5. Saudis ‘to review’ blogger flogging (BBC) — That would be good, since we don’t want blogger flogging to become a thing. Especially not like this — 1,000 lashes amounts to execution by whip.

6. Police: Teen sweethearts blaze trail of crime across South (AP) — Yeah, I didn’t really think it was a front-page story, either, but the lurid headline reeled me right in. The girl is just 13. The boy, who is 18, supposedly doesn’t know that…


23 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page for Friday, January 16, 2015

  1. Karen Pearson

    It’ not a case of “right to marry.” It’s a case of right to refuse to allow marriage to the person of his/her choice.

  2. Juan Caruso

    #2 “2014 Was the Warmest Year Ever Recorded on Earth (NYT)” —
    As someone who has raised veges since 1980 in S.C., my experience has been for the last 6 years that the growing season has become shorter on BOTH ENDS … due to the COOLER weather!

    Let’s not take my side of the argument, however, nor the one-sided (I really detest one-sided journalism) article Brad provided. Here’s your AUTHORATATIVE rebuttal:

    excerpt …Scientists balk at ‘hottest year’ claims: Ignores Satellites showing 18 Year ‘Pause’ – ‘We are arguing over the significance of hundredths of a degree’ – The ‘Pause’ continues

    Allso, please allow me to repeat one quote from the 5 provided a week or two ago regarding the dubious notion of AGW (anthropomorphic global warming):

    “IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer admitted in November 2010, “…one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth…” – Forbes

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Juan, the problem with your comment was the link. WordPress tends to automatically hold things for moderation when they contain links. I didn’t check comments over the weekend. I just saw this, and your two other attempts, this morning.

      Sorry about that…

    2. Norm Ivey

      A single person’s anecdotal experience in a single location may be a good starting point for a scientific inquiry, but by itself, it means nothing in terms of global warming.

      The Climate Depot website you linked to is a product of The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a policy group “mostly funded by private citizens,” including Exxon apparently. They don’t do any science. They spin news and advocate policy. They’ll be relevant when they reject Exxon’s funding and promote policy focused on what to do about global warming rather than simply denying it. Their 2009 Copenhagen counter-conference attracted less than 100 attendees from around the world including journalists. The UN Climate Change Conference in the same location at the same time attracted 33,000 serious people.

      Whether last year was the warmest on record does not matter. Whether there is a slow down in the rate of global warming doesn’t matter. (Norman Loeb from NASA has data showing that the slow down is because the oceans are absorbing the heat faster than the atmosphere, which is just as bad.) What matters is what we decide to do in response to global warming.

  3. Mark Stewart

    Please explain how this is any different than the discrimination the Supreme Court struck down almost 50yrs ago over mixed race marriages?

    In fact, these same issues of majority passage of legislation targeting minority groups have been stuck down over and over since the ratification of our Constitution. If it doesn’t agree with “all people are created equal” then, eventually, it is going to be struck down.

    I thought it telling that all four cases the Supreme Court agreed to hear are in the 6th Court of Appeals. Was this not a forgone conclusion, the cases would have been different..

    1. Barry

      And plural marriage is next

      If consenting adults want to marry 2 people, or 10, it’s not anyone else’s business.

      1. Mark Stewart

        Here’s how one could conceptually/logically tie your comment to mine: “black people should continue to be denied the right to vote, because otherwise they will next ask to have their vote count twice as much as does a white person’s vote.”

        I guess it’s appropriate that it is MLK day.

      2. Kathryn Fenner

        Actually, as long as they can support their families, I don’t care how many spouses one has. The issue with plural marriage is that often the junior families end up on public assistance. Also, the hardship on un-paired males.

  4. Lynn Teague

    Excellent point Mark. The justices aren’t planning to reverse the other appeals courts or they would have heard their cases. They are planning to reverse District 6.

  5. Phillip

    #2 reminds us that of course all matters that seem so critical to us now, ISIS, the Paris terror attack, war in Syria, whether Iran will or will not have nukes, the health of our domestic economy…all pale in comparison to this issue, ultimately. Capitalism is a great system in many ways, but I don’t know that a predominantly free-market world can solve this problem. Whatever capitalism’s strengths, they are ones that tend to favor short-term profit rather than the long-term undertaking with “returns” perhaps not to be seen until a generation or two hence.

    1. Norm Ivey

      I agree that there’s probably no free market solution to this, but it wasn’t a free market that created our reliance on fossil fuels. It took subsidies to turn coal and oil into cheap energy sources, and most industrial nations did the same. Were we to begin shifting some of those subsidies from fossil fuels to cleaner technologies, we would see more rapid adoption of those technologies.

      China is ahead of us on this. Most of the largest solar panel producers are located in China, and they are not only selling them to the USA, but are installing and using them in their own country. China also is home to the second-largest manufacturer of wind turbines. If we had leaders in this country who would 1) acknowledge the threat of global warming, and 2) stand up to the oil and coal lobbies, we could begin to wean ourselves off fossil fuels before Mother Nature does it for us.

    1. Norm Ivey

      Their doubt stems from whether it was the warmest year on record. Whether 2014 was the warmest or as low as the third warmest year on record (behind 2010 and 2005), it’s the trend over time that indicates trouble ahead. Focusing on a single year’s data that is subject to natural fluctuations does nothing to alter the reality of global warming.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Ok, just to make sure that I’m following you:

        If 2014 was the warmest year ever, that’s evidence of a warming trend.

        Ii 2014 was not the warmest year ever, then it means nothing either way.

        Do I have this right?

        1. Norm Ivey

          Frankly, no, you don’t have it right.

          I didn’t state that if 2014 was not the warmest year on record that it meant nothing either way. What I said was that 2014–regardless of whether it’s the first, second or third warmest year–when viewed with other data over time indicates that the average global temperature is increasing. I stand by that statement.

          The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. When you look at average temperatures by decade, every decade since 1880 has been warmer than the decade before.

          This from the original NASA press release claiming 2014 was the warmest on record:

          While 2014 temperatures continue the planet’s long-term warming trend, scientists still expect to see year-to-year fluctuations in average global temperature caused by phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña. [emphasis added]

          1. Norm Ivey

            OK, my html for the emphasis failed. This is the section I meant to emphasize:
            scientists still expect to see year-to-year fluctuations in average global temperature caused by phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña.

          2. Mark Stewart

            I wonder what the 10,000 year weather history would look like?

            I owned a house built in 1880 (and live in one built in 1800) – that’s really not that long ago; certainly not in terms of world-wide weather phenomena. I grant that humans have warmed the world since 1880; but I’m still not sure what the real human historical record would look like – as in going back a 100,000 years, or more.

            Any insight into what the world-wide weather trends looked like 5,000 and 25,000 years ago compared to today? Just as random points in time…

            1. Norm Ivey

              25,000 years ago we were still in a glacial period. The Great Lakes are the result of that period. Humans were out and about, but they were nomads–the hunter-gatherers. We exited that period about 20,000 years ago. Over the next 15,000 years the global temperature increased about 6 degrees (5,000 years ago) before dropping about 1.5 degrees to pre-Industrial Revolution levels. That 1.5 degree drop has been negated in about 150 years.

              One difference this time is that the temperature increase is being driven by the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. The whole of human civilization has been during a period of ~325 ppm. We are around 400 ppm. The last time we had that level of CO2 was 2-3 million years ago. The planet was an average of 8 degrees warmer, sea level was 75 feet higher (Lake Marion is about that same elevation for reference), and much of the Antartic ice sheets did not exist. It was a different world that humans had yet to get a foothold in.

              A second difference is the rate of change. A gradual temperature change allows organisms to adapt to the new climate. Rapid change does not. We are in a period of rapid change.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      Yeah, but does he stand a chance against Jeb Bush?
      Nikki Haley got more votes than he did. Sad, but true.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        No, he does not.

        I’m pretty sure this is one of those “running to get free media in order to raise certain issues” campaigns. I think he assumes that none of those running will provide the kind of critique of the Obama administration on international affairs as he will. What I’ve been seeing lately suggests that both parties will be trying to out-populist each other on economic issues.

        I don’t think it’s about trying to beat anybody. But I could be wrong.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *