Category Archives: Serious Things

Not Sure What To Do With This Tidbit

From Totalitarianism Today a while back: A recent study in this month’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 88, No. 4) suggests that social exclusion reduces people’s ability to self-regulate or defer gratification. The conclusions are interesting in their suggestion of a tight link between ability to self-regulate and rationality. These findings make sense, the researchers say, because regulating… Read more »

Plain-Speaking Politicians: Win or Lose?

This article on Montana’s Governor reminded me of something Ben’s Aunt Kathy shared with us when she came to visit last year. Kathy is a judge. Somehow the three of us ended up discussing politics – imagine that! – and the topic turned to Jesse Ventura. Kathy described that governor’s race as having three candidates: a moderate-right guy who was… Read more »

Defending Marriage, Proposed New Government Initiative

Maybe everyone else saw this quote back in November 2003, but it just appeared in my inbox today. If the government truly wanted to ‘defend my marriage’ it would hire us a maid and a cook and prevent another massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from ever working on my husband’s computer. By Kelly Henley, in a letter to the… Read more »

It’s Amazing What Happens When People Are Educated

Among adult prisoners in Texas, inmates with a 9th grade education have a 14% lower recidivism rate than inmates with a 4th grade education, and the highest impact on recidivism occurs when young illiterate property offenders are taught to read: a 37% reduction in recidivism. Source: Texas Department of Criminal Justice Strategic Plan 2005-2009

How Depressing

In a document at work, I’m replacing “so children aren’t lost in a bureaucratic shuffle” with “so children’s needs aren’t lost in a bureaucratic shuffle”… because when you’re writing about the Child Protective Services system in any state, this distinction must be made.

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Church Says Girl’s Communion Not Valid An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot eat wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained no wheat, violating Roman Catholic doctrine. […] “This is not an issue to be determined at the diocesan or parish level, but has already been decided for the… Read more »

Deduct This!

Austin-American Statesman: House passes sales tax write-off – Bill also includes tax cuts for businesses, $9.6 billion in tobacco subsidies: Four dozen House Democrats, including six from Texas, provided the winning margin Thursday for a Republican bill that would cut corporate taxes, offer $9.6 billion to tobacco farmers and let Texans deduct sales taxes on their IRS forms. […] The… Read more »