I am currently hosting my so-called "French Sister". She is the youngest daughter in a family with whom I lived in France during my junior year of undergrad. It wasn't a pre-determined arrangement by some agency...just chance. I was studying and living in Avignon in my own apartment when I met a young man (through a mutual friend) at school who would become one of my best friends to this day.
So recently I've done some research on the controversial Born Alive Act of Illinois (BAI) that was presented in the Illinois legislature and on the federal level. I was curious, because, as an Obama supporter, I wanted to know what was up with his "Present" vote on the issue. Quick Disclaimers: I support the general Three Exceptions approach to abortions (rape incest, physical health). However, abortion is not one of those hot-seat issues with me, because I do know that should Roe fall, it would just go to the state level anyway, effectively ending Republican grandstanding on the issue.
It is becoming more apparent with each passing day that the American lifestyle as it currently exist is unsustainable. For more than three decades we have accepted the false narrative that we can live beyond our means and there will be no cost for the extravagance. Not only has our government accepted and promoted this falsehood, but we as a nation have accepted it as well. It has become so ingrained into our national psyche that anyone who dares to point out its inherent flaws is immediately ridiculed by politicians, the media, and their fellow citizens. You see rather than looking at the real culprits of our failed domestic and foreign policies we want to create these “bogeymen” who want to destroy our sacred way of life. The truth is that it is always easier to blame others for our shortsightedness and faults.
It is ironic that with the ascension of the Barack Obama candidacy many people believe that it is
ringing the death knell for the civil rights movement as we have known it. After 50 years of struggle, are
we reaching the end of the movement that has defined the state of black America for decades? Has
America or more importantly the black community outgrown the type of politics and confrontational style
of the previous generation? Is black America better served by the rhetoric of reconciliation and personal
responsibility being touted by Senator Obama. The answer largely depends on who you ask.
Hat tip to Arnold Kling who cites a great thought experiment from unqualified reservations . This experiment is right up my alley because it forms part of the bedrock of my perspective on society, progress and governance. I've touched on this general area of thinking in the past in various conversations and in many forms.
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(Cross-posted from My Left Wing .)
The normal ratio of boys to girls born around the world is 105:100, but in China and India, the two most populous countries, that ratio is becoming increasingly skewed: in China, the proportion of boys is believed to be about 120, and India's proportion has increased from 102 in the 1950's to 108 today.
In the commentary, Boaz challenges the notion, implicit or explicit, put forth by the presumptive nominees which states that we as citizens should commit ourselves to higher national causes.
Boaz is obviously not impressed with this vision.
Having reading a study about education, market inequality and the question, "why more people don't go to college?", by Altonji, Bharadwaj, and Lange, Brad Delong concludes:
Altonji, Bharadwaj, and Lange do not know.
I took the liberty in creating an SC Folding@Home team .
For those of you not familiar with F@H, I'll let their FAQ do the talking. Essentially, you run a program that runs only when you are not actively using your computer. It does complex mathematical calculations involved in protein folding, which has applications in treating many diseases.
"Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you." I think I like that formulation of the Golden Rule a bit better than the one I have heard more often, "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you." For one thing, it makes it that much more difficult to justify the kind of logic that we discussed ad nauseum recently.
As someone who lives in a neighborhood going through gentrification I am often at odds with my belief that poor people need to be integrated into mixed income neighborhoods and the fact that many poor people trash the neighborhoods they live in. We must develop a method of removing poor people from the isolation of ghetto existence, while at the same time protecting the values of the properties we relocate them to. Unfortunately because of personal decisions, lifestyles, and circumstances many of our poorer citizens have lost either the desire or the ability to respect their environments. Many will say that this is due to our treatment of poor people and I would not disagree with this, but this does not help in creating situations that will allow them to escape the dangers of ghetto life.
In the used-to-be-popular TV show Who wants to be a millionaire? contestants had the option of using an "ask the audience" lifeline . In the US version, the audience as a whole almost always indicated the correct response. The idea that by putting enough people together we can somehow aggregate their knowledge is a popular one, and certainly true on some level. On the other hand, anyone who has sat through one too many meetings about team building or has tried to convince a stubborn majority they've made a mistake knows that sometimes a whole bunch of people are just a whole bunch of wrong or a whole bunch of dumb =) Definitive proof below the fold...
I have to wonder if Barack Obama's critics on the race issue have seen or read the entirety of his speech . The truth is, Obama clearly answered some of the questions that his critics here are still putting forth as if Obama had not addressed them at all.
For instance, one critic wondered why Obama would throw Louis Farrakhan under the bus and go easy on Rev. Wright:
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Hat to Arnold Kling at EconLog
Ibsen Martinez writes about life in Chavez's Venezuela and follies of his policies.
I happened to stop by and see my folks this weekend as is usually my custom and it is amazing how the conversation has changed in the last month. Originally we discussed the remote possibility of Senator Obama getting elected, then whether his agenda included black issues and would whites vote for him, and now as he is continuing to win a much more ominous question is being discussed. I wish I could say these conversations were only limited to my parents, but unfortunately they aren’t. The question and concern starting to arise among many blacks in America and maybe worldwide is the safety of Barack Obama.