Friday, March 29, 2013

Fun Stuff in the Culture Wars

I found this excerpt from the Lawrence O'Donnell Show on the Huffington Post about a rift between Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh to be very entertaining:

Much as I'd like to, no comment needed.

While we're at it we might as well offer this bit from Ezra Klein's WonkBlog in the WaPo. It's pretty amusing as well. It's bad enough we have such a celebrated clown as Antonin Scalia -- famous for his oral-argument wit -- on the bench to begin with, but now that he's aging, his ideas are not just getting stale, they're getting wronger by the minute. Sez Ezra:
On Wednesday, I wrote about Justice Antonin Scalia’s comment that “there’s considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not.”
It turns out Scalia’s comment was wronger than I thought — and wrong in a way that Scalia, in particular, should have known.
It relied, remember, on the idea that sociologists are, in some significant way, split on this question. That’s not what the American Association of Sociologists thinks. Here’s its official statement on the matter:
The claim that same-sex parents produce less positive child outcomes than opposite-sex parents—either because such families lack both a male and female parent or because both parents are not the biological parents of their children—contradicts abundant social science research. Decades of methodologically sound social science research, especially multiple nationally representative studies and the expert evidence introduced in the district courts below, confirm that positive child wellbeing is the product of stability in the relationship between the two parents, stability in the relationship between the parents and child, and greater parental socioeconomic resources. Whether a child is raised by same-sex or opposite-sex parents has no bearing on a child’s wellbeing.
The clear and consistent consensus in the social science profession is that across a wide range of indicators, children fare just as well when they are raised by same-sex parents when compared to children raised by opposite-sex parents.
Pretty definitive. And here’s the punchline: That paragraph isn’t buried in a press release on its blog or in an editorial from its trade magazine. It’s from the amicus curiae brief that the ASA filed in the very case Scalia was commenting on.
In other words, the official organization representing American sociologists went out of their way to provide the Supreme Court with their “consensus” opinion on the effect of same-sex parents on children. And yet, when struggling for a “concrete” harm that could come from gay marriage, Scalia went with “considerable disagreement among sociologists.”
 Facts have always gotten in the way in the culture wars. It's just pretty hard to take when members of the Supreme Court begin trotting out the old "experts don't agree" canard when the experts actually have a widely held consensus that confounds their personal beliefs.

Okay for Sarah Palin, but Justice Scalia? Come on, you can do better than that, huh, Nino?

Hey, Scalia, you at least used to be funny, but're just making stuff up.

Note. The American Society of Pediatrics weighed in on this a couple of weeks ago with a study of studies, declaring that:
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports civil marriage for same-gender couples – as well as full adoption and foster care rights for all parents, regardless of sexual orientation – as the best way to guarantee benefits and security for their children.
Pretty definitive. But read the whole thing. Scalia -- and Samuel Alito -- should have, or should at least do so before rendering their decision.

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