Social Issues

Polygamy: It’s Coming

Featured image In Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court, reversing its own then-recent holding in Bowers v. Hardwick, ruled that laws against homosexual sodomy are unconstitutional–even though the Constitution says nothing about sex, let alone sodomy–on the ground that the right of privacy (also never mentioned in the Constitution) protects all consensual, private sexual contact between adults. Lawrence immediately was seen as a milestone in the campaign for gay marriage. Some »

Where social conservatism and economic conservatism converge

Featured image In response to my post below called Education, Immigration, and Diversity, one of my favorite readers writes: You hit a bunch of nails squarely on the head, most of which are routinely overlooked or disallowed from the discussion. As you know, economic and political questions are often, at root, moral and behavioral in nature. A foundational premise of economics is that “Money is like fertilizer: whatever you throw resources at, »

Chris Christie’s “Berlin Wall” for sexual orientation

Featured image Nicholas Frankovich at NRO writes: Bradley Manning wants to change his sex, and the bien-pensants of the Left honor his decision, changing the gender of the pronouns they use to refer to him. Meanwhile, John Doe wants to change his sexual orientation, but that’s different: They rush to save him from the horror of his self-hatred and psychological self-punishment, as they see it. Hence the bill that Governor Chris Christie »

My Relative the World-Famous Surfer Girl, With a Surprise Ending

Featured image The most glamorous member of my extended family is probably Lakey Peterson, who at age 18 is one of the most famous surfers in the world. Starting at age 16 or 17, she has toured the globe, sponsored by Nike, competing on the international surfing circuit. Lakey’s mother Susan is a Hinderaker; she was an all-America swimmer at USC. So Lakey is my kids’ third cousin. Tonight we watched an »

When Did the Sports Pages Get More Liberal Than the News?

Featured image Most of us read a newspaper’s sports pages for a respite from the generally depressing news of the day, and there was once a time when we could even expect a conservative outlook from most sports reporters. But those days are long gone. For some reason, today’s sportswriters are, if anything, farther to the left than their brethren in the news room. Moreover, some of the most obnoxious, far-left news »

Who Cares About Unemployment When We’ve Got Gay Marriage?

Featured image Today the Minnesota Senate passed a bill authorizing gay marriage which will be signed into law by our governor, Mark Dayton. That is the context for this text, which my oldest daughter sent me a few minutes ago: If I had a dollar for every #time4marriage hashtag on my feed I’d be rich. Someone should start a #time4jobs trend, seeing as there are approx. twice as many unemployed Americans as »

Jennifer Rubin’s search-and-destroy mission

Featured image Jennifer Rubin argues that Ronald Reagan’s mythical status “has become a burden for the modern GOP.” “The old guard,” she says, “has become convinced that Reagan’s solutions to the problems of his time were the essence of conservatism — not simply conservative ideas appropriate for that era.” As a result, Republicans have lost their ability to connect with average Americans at an emotional level. Rubin is sore that, for the »

The Roots of Polarization?

Featured image So this is another of my occasional highly idiosyncratic posts, like previous ones on Progressive Rock, that is difficult to categorize and present.  I’ve been talking lately with one of my moderate liberal friends, David Ropeik.  He doesn’t like it when I call him a liberal because he is not a partisan, but I don’t mean it as a pejorative, insult or provocation.  He would surely seem a liberal to »

Social issues, should Republicans re-calibrate?

Featured image John’s post on social issues, “Where Do Republicans Go From Here? The Social Issues” appears to be receiving plenty of attention, and deservedly so. Here is the prescription with which John concludes the post: 1) Don’t emphasize abortion, but don’t walk away from the issue, either, when issues legitimately arise, as with respect to public funding. When pressed on the subject, don’t be defensive, but respond by pointing out the »

Where Do Republicans Go From Here? The Social Issues

Featured image Do Democrats engage in soul-searching after they lose an election? Maybe I miss it because I’m not a Democrat, but it doesn’t seem that they do. After John Kerry lost in 2004, did Democrats agonize over whether they should stop opposing the war in Iraq, or become pro-abortion? When Democrats were “shellacked,” as President Obama put it, in 2010, did they debate whether they should come up with a coherent »

Say What You Will About Gay Marriage…

Featured image …you have to admit that under traditional arrangements, we didn’t need to worry about this sort of confusion. From today’s New York Times Corrections section: A report on Sept. 30 about the marriage of Paul Poux and David Pfingstler misidentified them in the accompanying photograph. Mr. Pfingstler was on the left, Mr. Poux at the right. »

A Few Minutes with Ron Bailey

Featured image Earlier this week I spent some time chatting with Reason magazine’s superb science and technology writer, Ron Bailey, about all kinds of things.  The short video here (2:30 long) talks about the findings of the Yale Cultural Cognition Project, which throw cold water on the “if only people were more informed” argument.  Some types of people get more irrational when they have more information about a subject.  (The typology Bailey »

Huckabee doubles down on Akin

Featured image Mike Huckabee is doubling down on his support for Todd Akin, the man he helped win the Republican Senate nomination. Here, in part, is what Huckabee had to say on Akin’s behalf: The Party’s leaders have for reasons that aren’t rational, left [Akin] behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding, a casualty of his self-inflicted, but not intentional wound. In a Party that supposedly stands for life, it was »

Are the Democrats Delusional On Abortion?

Featured image The Democrats apparently think they have hit the jackpot with Todd Akin’s moment of stupidity, but I’m not so sure. How, exactly, are they going to take advantage of Akin’s blunder? By talking ceaselessly about abortion. At the Washington Examiner, Paul Bedard headlines: “Dem Convention becomes anti-Akin affair.” That is a serious mistake. The Democratic convention should be an anti-Romney affair. Until a few days ago, probably 98% of voters »

Thoughts on the Family Research Council Shooting

Featured image One of the most troubling aspects of contemporary public life is the frequency with which violent episodes take on a political coloration. We have, actually, very little political violence in this country–almost none. But we have a lot of people who try to make political hay out of violence. A wrong turn was taken in the Jared Loughner case. Loughner was a lunatic, so deranged that it remained doubtful for »

Is Welfare Spending Futile?

Featured image That’s the question that is raised by this chart, plotting federal welfare spending against the poverty rate. When President Johnson announced the War on Poverty, he said his intention was to abolish poverty in America. That hasn’t happened, of course. And I doubt that any liberal today would proclaim such a goal. Today, welfare spending is mainly a way to funnel dollars into the pockets of Democratic Party constituencies; therefore, »

Rethinking Gay Marriage

Featured image Anyone who is active in the political world knows that the most obnoxious, profane, hateful partisans, the ones most likely to engage in harassment, are the left-wing gay activists. So I was not at all surprised to see the latest misbehavior from that source: gay activists invited to the White House for a “gay pride” event by President Obama photographed each other making obscene gestures toward Ronald Reagan’s portrait. Proud »