Boy, blogging is hard work! I thought it was all about first impressions and knee jerk reactions (things I am very good at). everytime I look on line, I'm either being called an ass or the voice of history (is that good?). So, as the title of my latest and perhaps last attempt at blogging suggests, I will stick to facts that I know for certain to be true. Ok... a few more things that I am slightly less certain on and then I promise to be done.
Regarding welfare: There is an excellent book by Steve Teles on welfare and I defer to the expert. I did take a quick look online and found plenty of studies that said the current welfare reform was going badly (from places like the urban institute, brookings, etc) but all the studies I saw said 'further research is necessary.' I was going to read them, but Klinkner cut my pay after the success of my last blog so I need to go back to my other job.
I dont back down from what I said about gay marriage. I dont think its a policy question--I believe in certain inherent human rights (which I'm happy to discuss if our blog wants to go there--like, what rights are 'human rights' etc... count me as one who at least likes the idea and is stupid enough to think we could come up with a working and relatively fair list). I think not discriminating against people on the basis of their sexuality is one of these rights. So let me ask in the honest spirit of learning, the following questions--is Loving v. Virginia a good decision? If so, why are gays and lesbians different? Would it be ok to allow Alabama to stop interractial marriage (in the moral sense which makes blogging about it worthwhile?) Would a state law that denies Muslims the right to marry Christians be different? (Again, I'm talking moral here, not strictly what the law says b/c I am familiar with it--or so I thought--I await comments that correct me...). My friend, Phil's friend, Steve's friend-- John Skrentny-- wrote an excellent book called the Minority Rights Revolution that deserves a wide readership. He raised exactly this question--is race different than sexuality and why? America and policy makers clearly saw it as different in the time period Skrentny studies. But I ask here, should it be? Would it still be different if it wasnt a 'lifestyle choice' and actually an inherent trait? Obviously, I think they aren't different which is why I link the current policy discussion of gay marriage and the support of state autonomy to that of the civil rights arguments in the 50s and 60s that promoted state and local responses. Its also why I outrageously claimed that we would in 50 years view gay rights as we do race, now 40 years after the civil rights act. If in 50 years when none of us have teeth, I see that we are still debating basic questions of whether gays and lesbians can have the same rights as other people, well... I'll be sad. But I really dont think that's going to happen--we as humans do progress over time, and if we don't get nuked, I really think that discrimination against gays and lesbians is a new American dilemma that doesnt fit our liberal ideals and will at least legally and in the mainstream morals be a settled issue in 2054.
But, I will conclude by sticking to the facts... it stopped raining. Wait, I see a raindrop. Actually, I'm not sure if its raining b/c my window is foggy. Until I have the facts, I'll stick with 'no comment.'