Denying reality

Here is the North Carolina General Assembly’s Bill to Study and Modify Certain Coastal Management Policies. Forbes notes that the State’s

delicate barrier islands protect extensive lowlands vulnerable to both hurricane storm surges and flooding from heavy rains

and therefore it needs the infrastructure to protect those lowlands. So what would the Bill do?

Coastal counties nominate members to the Coastal Resources Commission, which is the only State body authorised to adopt a policy on sea-level rise. It is not mandated to do so, but if it does so it must instruct the Division of Coastal Management to calculate the rates of rise. Section 2(e) needs to be quoted:

These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated linearly to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios of accelerated rates of sea-level rise.

That is not something I want a lawyer or legislator to decide. If I am under threat of flooding, I want the best prediction of the rates of rise, demonstrated by the scientific method, with the use of all available information. Let the scientists debate the issue, they are the ones with the knowledge.

The result could be that the future sea level is clearly known, but the Coastal Resources Commission is legally bound to make plans as if it will be lower, and the Division of Coastal Management is bound to make predictions of rise which most people admit are false.

I do not know the science of sea-level rise, but I do know that accelerated rates of rise cannot be ruled out.  

Ocracoke Lighthouse, North CarolinaUntil this year, I self-identified as a Conservative. This legislation is in no way Conservative. Conservatives know that public goods need to be publicly funded. There may be a decision that the costs of a particular public good are too great, but that decision should be made on the facts. It may even be argued that man-made global warming is a reasonable price to pay for economic growth: that decision, too, should be made on the facts.

If it is possible that this Bill might require someone by law to make a statement he knows to be false, then I do not have words strong enough. It is Wicked. Refute accelerated rates of rise by evidence, not by fiat.

Thank you to 2 Girls Getting Married for informing me of this. Picture credit. I hope that those websites will tolerate me using their pictures, and linking to them. I hope that the website owners will not be too scared. Go, tourist North Carolina! See Roanoke Island- before it is too late!

Believe in America!

I believe in America. I’ve seen it on satellite photos and heard Aaron Copland’s music. People whom I trust say they have been there. Apart from a vacuous slogan, the man most likely to come second in November has some vacuous beliefs.

I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and, as president, I will protect traditional marriage and appoint judges who interpret the Constitution as it is written and not according to their own politics and prejudices.

Mr Romney’s own website shows that he has worked hard to oppose marriage equality. This is not a religious freedom issue. Conservatives do not have to call the union of two women a “marriage”. They do not have to make friends with those women, or let them attend their church. But they do not have the right to prevent us from celebrating and naming our unions. Your freedom to swing your fist ends at my face, and it really irks me when you start to whine that your fist hurts after hitting me. And I am perplexed that he would so badly misunderstand what judges do.

I am glad he is standing, though. Were it not for that, I would not have heard about temple garments. I have had other moments of shocked derision because the serious press is paying attention to Mormonism.

Shocked derision is my constant reaction more generally. Newt wants a moonbase by 2020, and his supporters cheered: why bother? You’re on another planet already. I have heard various excuses for this. The President as an embodiment of the Nation has to pretend to be an ordinary man. The constitution, as a way of getting Government out of the faces of citizens, elects second raters.

What does Newt have to say about marriage equality?

[gay marriage is] a perfect example of what I mean by the rise of paganism. The effort to create alternatives to marriage between a man and a woman are perfectly natural pagan behaviors

Sounds reasonable. I like paganism, I have liked pagans I have met, I like their spirituality, and generally pagans are keener on equal marriage than Southern Baptists because pagans are more sane. Unfortunately, Newt continued:

but they are a fundamental violation of our civilization.

Oh. So. Two perfectly nice ordinary groups of Americans, mostly friendly and pleasant enough, are named as Enemies of Civilisation. The Enemy Within. We don’t have the Commie threat any more (many of those damn commies were homosexuals) so Newt has to make do with homosexuals and pagans. Oops, don’t forget Muslims:

Remember, the Organization of Islamic Countries is dedicated to preventing anyone, anywhere in the world from commenting negatively about Islam, so they would literally eliminate our free speech and there were clearly conversations held that implied that the U.S. Justice Department would begin to enforce censorship against American citizens to protect radical Islam

I seem to remember a good news story from the Republican primaries. Wasn’t there an out gay Republican candidate? Someone more centrist and moderate? Oh yes, Fred Karger. How’s he doing, then? He has not secured a single delegate. And what does he think of the people getting involved in politics?

It’s great that we can express our political ideologies by dressing up as colonial revolutionaries and yelling about economic policies we don’t understand. But were the Tea Party and Occupy movements populist statements reflecting democratic dialogue, or did they serve only to undermine perfectly capable “establishment” candidates?

Leave it to the professionals, in other words. After all, they have done brilliantly so far…

Good patriotic Americans might think that, considering I have never been West of Reykjavik, I should not involve myself in their private grief. But the Leader of the Free World affects us all, and my country has been to war twice, on his say-so, in the last ten years.

Ask you what provocation I have had?
The strong antipathy of Good to Bad.

The Googling to find this stuff took minutes. It is easy to find monstrous and vile things that these men say.