Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday miscellaneous (8/24)

Today is the anniversary of the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre. And 200 years ago today, the British captured and burned Washington DC.

The Obama campaign has to be worrying a little bit right now. In swing states, the race just keeps getting tighter. A historically accurate economic model has predicted Romney will win most of the swing states. And a poll this week in Michigan put Romney ahead (it remains to be seen whether this is accurate or just an outlier). Newsweek ran a cover article entitled: “Hit the Road Barack: Why We Need a New President.” (The author subsequently defended his premise.) The left-leaning Atlantic also had a story entitled “Liberals Need to Start Holding Obama Responsible for His Policies.”

If liberals are going express horror at the GOP agenda as they enthusiastically support Obama's reelection, it's time for them to own his policies and stop trying to blame them on George W. Bush, or intransigent Republicans, or the financial crisis, or corporate campaign donations, or the desire to compromise, or an electorate that wasn't ready for the allegedly "knighted" Obama.
And this article considers Romney’s debate strengths and weaknesses for the upcoming presidential debates: “if Obama is taking anything for granted about these encounters, he is making a mistake.”
[Romney’s] strengths, again, are faultless preparation, crisp and precise expression, a readiness both to attack and to defend, and an ability to stay purely on message. His weaknesses are thin factual knowledge on many policy issues, a preference to talk in generalities—and a palpable awkwardness when caught unprepared and forced to improvise.
And of course, this story doesn’t put the President in a positive light eitherdespite talking about his fundamental belief that “I am my brother’s keeper,” President Obama’s actual brother turned to conservative author Dinesh D’Souza when he faced unexpected medical expenses.

Furthermore, Paul Ryan is appealing to younger voters—that very bloc that went overwhelmingly for Obama four years ago.

Education keeps getting more and more expensive, while at the same time schools are relying more and more on underpaid adjunct professors. Someone between the teacher and the student must be making an amazing profit. (It’s not me, in case anyone was wondering.)

Although it is a rough economy, some people are still succeeding. Take, for example, this 14 year old who is now collecting rent from the home she purchased with money from dumpster diving.

On a lighter note, here are some tongue in cheek FAQs about Christianity for those otherwise unfamiliar with the religion.

Mark Mitchell has another excellent piece on culture.

The problem is obvious: Liberalism denies limits. Culture is, at its heart, a complex array of limits, both positive and negative. Thus, a liberal culture is a contradiction in terms. Pure liberalism is simply incompatible with a coherent culture. Liberalism seeks to erode and overturn all limits while a coherent culture continually affirms and reinforces the outlines that both limit and direct action. Liberalism is, then, inherently anti-culture, and to embrace liberalism in its pure form is to actively undermine one’s culture.
And for our Michigan readers, Professor Mitchell (and other speakers) will be in Holland, MI on September 15. I recommend going.

Speaking of culture, here’s an article on some of the cultural problems in China, including its property bubble and its educational problems. As a result, China’s strong economy may have week underpinnings.

But despite problems, China and Singapore may have created better retirement models than our Social Security system.

And finally, imagine a world where movie scripts were written by children. (Actually, on second thought, there’s probably more plot here than in some recent blockbuster releases.)

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