Professor Shanley's argument is compelling, powerful, and well grounded in communitarian arguments. However, when all is said and done she does not directly address the question of whether gay and lesbian unions should be accorded the same legal status as heterosexual ones.
Several leading civil libertarian groups and advocated (and libertarians) argue that minors of all ages are entitled to First Amendment rights. (To save breath, they are all referred to from here on as civil libertarians.) Reference is mainly not to "production" of speech but to "consumption," the unfettered access to cultural material.
How does one transform society? The present attempt by President Clinton to reform the health-care system illustrates both the short-term opportunities and the long-term challenges.
A sociological prize ought to be awarded to the member of a TV audience who, during a show about the S&L mess, exclaimed: “The taxpayers shouldn’t pay for this; the government should!” He expressed well a major theme of contemporary American civic culture: a strong sense of entitlement and a weak sense of obligation to the community. Americans hold dear the right to be tried by a jury of their peers; but when asked to serve on such juries, most do their damnedest to evade the call. Most Americans cheered our show of force in the Gulf, but very few wish to serve in the armed forces or have their children sign up.
Americans have recently called for more government services, but showed greater opposition to new taxes; the express their willingness to show the flag anywhere from Central America to the Gulf, but many are reluctant to serve in the armed forces; and they have a firm sense that one ought to have the right to be tried before a jury of one’s peers, but evade serving on such juries.
Among the least reported results of last November’s elections - and one that is only now coming into effect - was the insistence by voters of the District of Columbia that residents of the city’s homeless shelters attend rehabilitative programs, work, and save for their future housing.
The state of Oregon is proposing to lead the nation in rationing health care - by denying services to the poor.
If you think that practically everybody factors getting people off the dole, breaking their dependence on the government and making them earn their own keep, think again.
In the coming years, Daniel Callahan's call to ration health care for the elderly, put forth in his book Setting Limits, is likely to have growing appeal.