All of you are thinking too small. Why bother with learning the written language at all? Won't computers just be reading this stuff to us in the future, and we will just speak back our replies. Isn't this written word stuff just so antiquated. Must be worthless. On with progress!
I actually sympathize. Early in my career I found it incredibly awkward whenever the subject of my alma mater came up. Some immediately assumed I was an elitist snob and made snap judgments about me simply because they hated their image of the school. Others became so fascinated in the fact that I went to the school, way over-inflating its importance to who I am or where I really learned my skills.
I still see a need to separate fact from the narrative we keep telling ourselves. Obama "rode the demographic shift" all the way to 4 million fewer votes.
This is not me saying we shouldn't talk about what Republicans should be doing better, etc. I'm just saying we need to cut out the hyperbole. Just like the present "fiscal cliff" talk. It is not Armageddon if there isn't a resolution.
I suspect you are right FireLeaf. Still, one hopes that facts don't get thrown out the window, leaving only talking points and spin narrative as inputs for the analysis. FUD doesn't typically lead to good decision-making.
Schrodinger's Cat: my question is why? Do they really hate conservative values or have they just too willingly bought into a narrative that doesn't fit the facts. Obama got 4 million less votes. Why aren't we hearing more mention of that?
Religious faith, when examined closely, can in fact be quite reasonable and quite reflective of its object of study, the human experience.
Beyond that, let's not forget all of the ways in which natural faith enhances our ability to reason in non-religious spheres. In fact, I'd challenge anyone to live a day without taking something on faith. When my brother tells me what he learned from my Mom when he talked to her -- if I believe my brother has a basis of knowing the information and no reason to want to mislead me -- I don't have to go to my wife and tell her, when she asks what's new today, "Well, allegedly my mom and dad went on a trip last week." I say, "Mom and Dad went on a vacation last week."
Reason relies on faith and faith (religious faith included) is reasonable basis for knowing. Sometimes people's faith isn't rooted in the reasonable and sometimes people's reasoning is distorted to deny that faith is a basis for knowing, but these failings don't disprove the higher principle.
Faith and reason are two words that get tossed around a heck of a lot, but we tend to never actually define them or think critically about their usage.
Religion is the realm of faith and politics is the realm of reason. Hmm, so much wrong with that phrase. Let's start with politics. One would hope it was the realm of reason, but if anything has been demonstrated in recent times, it is that it is the realm of ideology, not reason. Most of what we all complain about regarding modern politics is, at its core, about how unreasonable it is.
As for religion being the realm of faith, well I suppose true to a degree. But faith is also something that is reasonable. If it weren't, then it would be stupid. Funny how so many Catholic writers (JP II, Benedict, Guardini, Sheen, Giussani) get this, but others just fall back to a distinction between the two concepts that is unjustified.
Reason is pluripotent. It doesn't have one method. It in fact makes use of the best method given the object of study.
Mollie Hemingway, Ed.:
But the Congressional District scheme does little to alleviate that problem. It would still involve winner-take-all jurisdictions - so instead of having 50 statewide elections with 8 of them being competitve, we would have 435 elections with 75 of them being competitive.
Candidates would still avoid any wasting time/money in any CD that is heavily slanted toward one party, and would still play the superficial popularity contest in CDs where the R/D ratio approaches 50/50. The main difference would be that rural and inner-city Ohioans and Pennsylvanians would now be ignored, while the suburbs around Chicago and Denver would be innundated.
In other words, same [expletive], different place. · 11 minutes ago
I'm not sure why that's a real problem, actually. Politicians having to pay attention to more (but not all) areas of the country is a bad thing? It's not a panacea, but it may be meaningful. And, not that this would be a reason to do it, but until all states adopt it, there's a first mover advantage. What if CA was the first state to make the change?
Nebraska and NH or Maine have something like this. Obama actually one some electoral votes in NE in 2008 as a result.
NE and ME apportion their electoral votes (mostly) by Congressional District, which is much different than apportioning by county - CDs in one state have roughly the same population, counties don't. · 0 minutes ago
Yes, I was aware of that. My point in mentioning it is that there is potential to have something other than a winner takes all approach. CD has the benefit of not being open to an accusation of being skewed by population, like county. I'm curious what the map would look like if done by CD.
So, add onto the list of things Republicans need to do to win elections: have a strategy to win the cities and especially the larger exurbs.
With all due respect, I find this statement quite naive.
Ever since humans began to congregate around navigable waters, urban residents have favored stronger central governments than rural residents. To say that all we need to do is win over cities is akin to saying all we need to do to stop dying is eliminate disease. · in 1 minute
You sure about that or that that means Republicans can't win? I honestly don't know the data. Look at this list of the History of the Mayors of Detroit. There's a lot of history (and as a result a lot of potential explanations) embedded in there, but it does show Republicans once knew how to win cities.
SunnyOptimism: The difference between maps #1 and #2 is easy to explain - it's called the Electoral College distortion.
The fix is even easier - have Republican Governors start pushing legislation in their states (Constitutional amendments would be better), that electors will be apportioned by county rather than winner takes all for the entire state. PA almost did that after the 2010 midterms.
This will fix the problem where dense population centers get to determine the entire state's choice for POTUS.
Sure, it's a gimmick, but it will do a lot to fix the problem of every election being decided by 6 or 7 "battleground" states. · 7 minutes ago
Edited 5 minutes ago
I actually would love to see someone like Adam S. analyze what the outcome of past elections would have been if this were the case. Nebraska and NH or Maine have something like this. Obama actually one some electoral votes in NE in 2008 as a result.
You all make a good point that winning a mayoral race doesn't guarantee it translate into Republican progress at the national stage.
But is that really a fait accompli? Or does that suggest that they did what they needed to do to win a mayor race, but not what was needed to change the party leanings?
I agree with the above commentator. It seems utterly reductionistic thinking to argue that something is against or in line with a "preferential option for the poor" based on simply whether it increases or decreases spending on the safety net.
Peter Robinson: Wow. Only half a dozen comments so far, but I'm already rolling in good suggestions. Thank you, thank you. I'll look into every one of these, even Diane's suggestion for sullying my hands, and the roof of my car, by cutting down my own tree. Ah, but wait! My oldest son has his driver's license! I'll send the boys. Yes. That's it! I won't even have to go! (Thank you, Diane, for helping me get into the spirit.)
Note to Jack: As it happens, I stopped in the bookstore at Our Lady of Peace earlier this very week. The manager told me that she simply doesn't stock advent calendars. I listened to this slack-jawed with disbelief, but, since she's so obviously a sweet, efficient lady who knows her business, I just let it go, choosing not to probe for her rationale. · Dec 3 at 10:32am
I'm glad I'm not the only one with that reaction to learning OLOP doesn't stock them!
As far as an Advent devotional, I think the one published by Magnificat each year is pretty nice. You can pick one up in most any Catholic bookstore (if they aren't out, OLOP should have one) for about 5 bucks.
If you are interested in music, I'd definitely check out a CD published years ago by the Brotherhood of Hope. It's a simple amateur recording, but about the only one I know of focused on Advent songs and not Christmas ones. Not sure if it is available for download anywhere, but I know you can order it online from the religious order's website.
As far as an advent calendar, let me know if you find one. I was surprised I couldn't find one at OLOP.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned here, it's not just a problem of the left. It's also a problem of the whole language of the tax profession. I learned this first-hand from my significant other as she took tax classes in law school and from her comments of the accounting profession. There's a real problem in the language of the whole subject. Everyone approaches the question of tax policy as if the government is the actor, never the taxpayer. Whether it began as a thing of the left, I don't know, but it's now common place. Even Republicans unwittingly buy into this language even if they try to oppose the "it's the government" attitude.
I liken it to how the debate over abortion, and when human life began, has been framed as a religious issue. That certainly was a tactic of those who were pro-choice, but so many people have for so long ceded to that framing, that it has almost become impossible to convince people it isn't. It's now an excuse (it's just religion) to avoid engagement on the substance.
Reminder of the power of language to shape opinion.
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