Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday miscellaneous (11/16)

Last week I determined that these Friday posts were too long and taking too much time to write. Then last night I sat down to compose today’s post and found myself looking at a page and a half of links that I’d saved over the course of the week.

Shorter? Ha. Maybe next week. Here it goes.

For those wondering what changed between 2008 and 2012, the New York Times presents a very well done graph. And the numbers also show that those red states wishing to secede typically receive more federal money than they contribute.

This week I criticized the Republican party for not having space for urban voters. I’m not the only one with this observation. Ramesh Ponnuru at National Review also agrees with some of my sentiments:

Romney was not a drag on the Republican party. The Republican party was a drag on him. Aaron Blake pointed out in the Washington Post that Romney ran ahead of most of the Republican Senate candidates: He did better than Connie Mack in Florida, George Allen in Virginia, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin, Denny Rehberg in Montana, Jeff Flake in Arizona, Pete Hoekstra in Michigan, Deb Fischer in Nebraska, Rick Berg in North Dakota, Josh Mandel in Ohio, and of course Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana. In some cases Romney did a lot better. (He also did slightly better than Ted Cruz in Texas, a race Blake for some reason ignored.)
Maybe the Republicans can learn from the Democrats’ restructuring after their 2004 loss.

Also echoing the need to modernize, the American Conservative is putting together a list of those we do and don’t need to hear from any more (Mark Mitchell, my logic, philosophy, and political theory professor made the “do” list). As for how to talk about abortion in the context of rape, I propose that all future candidates read and learn to articulate this article:

Pro-choicers fixate on rights to the neglect of duty. The difficulty in a rape situation is that rights have already been violated. This brutal fact leaves us furious and sympathetic to the victim. But one evil does not justify another, and it is important to consider not just rights but also duties. Horrible situations do not diminish our duties to care for others. 
For instance, parents have a duty to care for their children. We don’t call a child heartless or selfish when she expects her parents to care for her needs by changing a diaper or feeding her when she is hungry. This isn’t limited to mothers—we hold it as a matter of law that the father also has this duty. In the very least, if he is not directly raising the child, he must still pay child support. Is that child selfish to expect food, clothing, and school supplies? How much more absurd to call an unborn child heartless to expect to be given safety during a time when the mother-child connection is so intimate, so intertwined!
James Matthew Wilson shares his thoughts on what the election means for citizenship.
The hard work ahead of us is not convincing Americans they want to be good citizens.  They already do.  But we must show them that this entails something other than a tick at the ballot box.
And someone might want to warn the President that, historically, second terms are even harder than the first.

As for more immediate concerns, the case can be made for the Republican House to give in more to the Senate and President--and then make them own their policies. With taxes this may be particularly useful, since making the people pay for the services they’re receiving may be a better approach to shrinking government than trying to reduce revenue (which has just led to larger deficits). It should be done in a balanced way, though.

Enough with politics. Many conservative Christians are despairing after the election. That gives it too much weight. And Christians, especially, should remember this: “Evil cares less about destroying America than it cares about destroying Americans. In the same way Christ did not come to rescue America; he came to rescue Americans…and people from every tribe, people, nation, and tongue."

On education, NPR highlights some of the differences between Japanese and American teaching styles. Homeschool author Susan Wise Bauer is taking a break from conference speaking, citing the increasing polarization and ideological rigidity of the movement. And this is for those looking for rites of passage for their children.

In honor of Veteran's Day, Dr. Grumpy tells the story of Sergeant Stubby. And since this week is Thanksgiving, we can see how the various presidents have celebrated the holiday.

Has anyone else heard the story of the chemist who foiled Adolf Hitler?

And finally, I think this gets the prize for most irreverent baptism.
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