Monday Miscellany: WaPo admits bias against traditionalists; per capita spending graph; civil rights and gay marriage

25 Feb

The Washington Post argues that it can’t be honest (at least in private email exchanges) without being unfair to traditionalists; one cheer?  From Rod Dreher

From one of the disclosed email exchanges:

The reader wrote that Post stories too often minimize the conservative argument: “The overlooked ‘other side’ on the gay issue is quite legitimate, and includes the Pope, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, evangelist Billy Graham, scholars such as Robert George of Princeton, and the millions of Americans who believe in traditional marriage and oppose redefining marriage into nothingness. . . . Is there no room in The Post for those who support the male-female, procreative model of marriage?”

Replied the reporter: “The reason that legitimate media outlets routinely cover gays is because it is the civil rights issue of our time. Journalism, at its core, is about justice and fairness, and that’s the ‘view of the world’ that we espouse; therefore, journalists are going to cover the segment of society that is still not treated equally under the law.”

The reader: “Contrary to what you say, the mission of journalism is not justice. Defining justice is a political matter, not journalistic. Journalism should be about accuracy and fairness.

A Most Depressing Graph (per capita federal government spending over time): From William Briggs

This is the amount of money the federal government spent in the name of each citizen, adjusted for inflation so that everything is in constant dollars (the base year of 2008 matters not; 2013 is an official forecast, and therefore too low). There is no one picture which can capture the inexorable rise of Leviathan, but this one is satisfactory.

Each dollar spent is a dollar taken from a citizen or created from vapor, but each requires management and an apparatus for agreement, acquiescence, and distribution between citizens and government. If the federal government were as small now as it was in 1901, it would today spend $169 for each citizen; this would imply a budget of around $59 billion. Customs duties would have paid for half of that. There would be no need of income tax. It spends $11,630 now.

(I’ll add two cents.  Cent 1 Graph 1: means-tested spending over roughly the same period looks like the graph below; this takes non-discretionary spending out and just looks at government spending per capita on non-entitlement items…Cent 2 Graph 2: Both of these graphs on spending are simply either the inverse of marital decline rates or following the same trends in out-of-wedlock-birth rates, over the same time period; take a hint):

Graph 1

Graph 2

One more for laughs, or maybe tears


U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census and American Community Survey

Is opposition to Same-Sex Marriage the same as Support for Slavery (or is Same-Sex Marriage a Civil Rights issue like matters of race?  If this is the way the issue will be portrayed, game over for traditionalists.  But… from Timothy Dalrymple:

I’ve noted before how labeling the struggle for same-sex marriage as a Civil Rights struggle on a par with the struggle for racial equality makes further conversation on the matter nearly impossible.  While I believe (and I would encourage all Christians to believe) that every homosexual individual deserves all of the same rights and protections that heterosexual individuals enjoy — and preventing gays from suffering bullying, for instance, is absolutely a civil rights issue.  I believe all humans are, essentially and in themselves, equal in the eyes of God and ought to be treated as equal before the law.  But just as it does not follow that every human action is equal in the sight of the law (the state has every right to treat people differently on the basis of their actions), so it does not follow that every human relationship need be equal in the sight of the law.

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