Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Some more links

Yeah, I know.  I'm a terrible blogger.  Not only have I not been posting, but I left comments sitting for about a week before replying!  I'm not sure why I've been so absent.  Time has just been passing so incredibly fast.  I think it must be because I'm busy.  But busy doing what?  Just building tinkertoy airplanes, cleaning up messes, and washing all of Marko's pants daily?  Yeah, maybe that's it.

I still have no time for a "real" post, but here are some excellent links I've been reading.  That should give you a sense of what's been on my mind: all but one are political.  But heck, it's October.  The only reason anyone isn't thinking of politics is because they're actively trying to ignore it.  (Which is awfully tempting.  If I see another political ad during Marko's nightly YouTube music video watching (yeah, I know, not healthy, but it WORKS and he goes to sleep, unless of course Robomney are there yammering on about the economy, in which case he snaps awake and starts to whine) I swear I won't for either of them!  Haha.

Obama vs. Romney Immigration Reform: Why Immigrants Make America Stronger, Not Weaker
"In an article on FactCheck.Org Viveca Novak goes even further, reporting that countless studies show "immigrants grow the economy, expanding demand for goods and services that the foreign-born workers and their families consume, and thereby creating jobs." What is more, Novak suggests that economists have found strong evidence that immigrants as a whole "increase average wages for American-born workers." Simply because our economy is in shambles and jobs scarce does not mean we should jump to the conclusion that illegal immigrants are in any way adding to the problem."
I'm for immigration.  Of course, because illegal immigration causes all kinds of problems, like a lack of security and injustice for "invisible people" who are afraid to go to the police if they're exploited, it has to be legal immigration.  But you know why people are so bound and determined to sneak in illegally?  That's right ... because it's so dang difficult to do legally.  It's awfully hypocritical for current Americans, who obviously are all (except the Native Americans) immigrants, to refuse entry to more immigrants.  Immigrants made this country great.  And anyway, if we keep not having babies, we NEED immigrants to keep ourselves afloat.

The End of Debate As We Know It?
"We are approaching — and may already have arrived at — a point when debate is useless because the terms of the debate have no common reference point in reality. Words like “rich”, “poor”, “middle class”, “ally”, “tax”, “family values”, and, most pointedly, “freedom” have red definitions and blue definitions.  No debate is possible about where we should turn when there is no agreement on where we are and where we need to go. We no longer argue for our proposed solution, we merely advocate for our reality." 
 Do you get this sensation when you're arguing with someone of the opposite political position as you?  That sense that you guys are both using the same words but meaning absolutely different things?  One thing that would help to combat this is to make more friends, and read more blogs, that disagree with you.  I mean disagree with you drastically.  And at the same time, make sure they are people you respect.  On the one hand, they can help explain to you what they mean when using those words.  And on the other, you will be forced to admit that it is possible to be a good person and disagree with you.

Dear Congressman Ryan
"So if it’s true that you want to help the poor in accordance with the infallible and authentic social teachings of the Catholic Church, then why don’t you come to the assistance of the poor  — not by proposing big new government programs, but by demanding that the government stop persecuting the poor? Why not harness the entrepreneurial aspirations of low income people so they can create their own jobs?"
 This article is amazing.  First off, it calls Ryan on his lack of care for the poor (he's something of a Randian).  And then it points out all the ways the Republican party doesn't care about the poor.  Not that they're against a ton of programs -- that's fine.  But if they don't want to keep the programs, they will instead have to get rid of the dozens and dozens of laws that discriminate against the poor and make it easier for them to run a drug ring than a roadside hotdog stand.  If they do neither one, the only other option is to let poor people starve to death ... which, as this article points out, is just plain un-Catholic.

An Invitation.  Because I Love You.
"You know when you eat something fantastic or see something wonderful, you can't wait to tell everyone about it?  You feel sad that anyone is going through life without having eaten that fantastic food or seeing that wonderful thing?  And you want to say "I know you've been eating margarine and margarine is fine, but trust me.  Butter is the thing.  You've GOT to try butter.  Once you try butter you'll never, ever, ever go back to margarine.  Trust me!".  That's how I feel about the Church.  The Church is my butter.  Delicious, glorious, life-changing butter."
 Do you read Dwija?  You should read Dwija.  She is awesome.  This is the sole non-political article today.  I'd like to extend her invitation as well: if you have the slightest interest, the Catholic Church does have a neat little program (RCIA) that you can go to with zero commitment to find out more.  Find out when it is at your local parish and just show up.  Or ask a Catholic friend to bring you.  Ask me, if you're nearby.  Because Catholicism is like butter; you can't just let people go on eating margarine without anyone ever telling them that butter is available too.

Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama
 "Is anyone looking beyond 2012?

The future I hope for, where these actions are deal-breakers in at least one party (I don't care which), requires some beginning, some small number of voters to say, "These things I cannot support."

Are these issues important enough to justify a stand like that?

I think so."

 Lately most of the third-party articles you read are by conservatives.  So I keep hearing that third-party voters are "stealing votes from Romney" and that they are too conservative for the Republican Party.  Actually, liberty is an issue far beyond left and right.  The left wants to control you in one way; the right in another.  Most of us would really rather not be controlled, and so when we vote right or left, it's only as a concession.  I wonder what would happen if everyone who wanted liberty actually voted for it.  Could we make a change?

In other news, I took captchas off the comment box.  (At least I meant to; please tell me if they keep appearing because I can't tell.)  So if you've been longing to comment but can't figure out the captchas (as apparently my parents have been), here's your chance.  Go ahead and comment wherever you want.  I'll just delete spam manually if I get any.  Oh, and it's fine to comment on centuries-old posts -- I still see those comments and respond to them!

ETA: Forgot to post these two!

Marriage: America's Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty
A ton of facts and studies that support what I've been saying recently -- having married parents is really, really important for kids.

A collection of interviews with grown unschoolers
In case you've ever wondered, "Does unschooling really turn out happy, fulfilled people who can also hold down a job?"


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. I am one of those people who, onec upon a time, was being told that if I voted Green Party, I was "stealing" votes from Democrats or "throwing away" my vote.

Anonymous said...

Oops - that posted easy! What I was going to say was that a speaker (who I will not name so as to avoid any bias) said something that stuck with was something like tis "Third parties do not exist to gain votes for the Democratic or Republican Party. We exist because those parties fail to represent us."

I have a LOT of respect for conservatives who refuse the tow the party line this year - I hope it's overwhelming and sends a clear message. Ron Paul did not deserve to be ignored by the Republican Party.

Sheila said...

I looked into the Green Party today. I like the ideals, but I'm not so sure their policies would work. But in any event, I think if people on both sides of the aisle start abandoning the two parties in droves, one of two things would happen: Either the parties would die, or they would be forced to start considering our point of view. Either one would be great!

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