Archives: January 2012

GOP debate

I watched the GOP debate in South Carolina tonight. I did so not long after reading Lies My Teacher Told Me, an oldie but a goodie about bad history textbooks. It struck me, watching Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul duke it out, how pervasive the ideology of American exceptionalism has been lately in the campaign.

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GOP blues

The Romney train chugs on – next stop, South Carolina. A sizable chunk of the GOP doesn’t like this situation at all. If you add up all the poll numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire and any South Carolina poll, the problem asserts itself – despite his two wins, Romney still has more Republicans voting

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A interesting call

The Supremes recently made an interesting 9-0 decision. Church fires a “called” female teacher for filing an ADA suit instead of settling things within the church (presumably via the Pauline reasoning of 1 Cor 6). SCOTUS said this was ok because the 1st amendment keeps government from meddling with how churches choose their ‘ministers.’ Religious

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Sam Harris’s The Moral Landscape

Another vacation book review. There has to be a reasonable middle ground between the cultural relativism that Harris dislikes and the “New Atheist” hostility to religion that he champions. I can understand the attacks on the NAs because the lot of them, especially Dawkins, are often crass. Then again they’re sort of the professional poker

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David Maurer’s The Big Con

Just read this book, which I picked up on a whim. Maurer was a sociolinguist who published this book in 1940 as a kind of summary of the language and habits of American con men. It is completely fascinating from the perspective of rhetorical theory. It’s a wonder I haven’t run around mention of it

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Rejection, holidays

I got a split decision on a manuscript just before the holidays that has gotten me thinking about the nature of academic rejection. My hit rate is pretty high, so any individual setback is not serious, but I am reminded yet again of Mike’s Rule of Manuscript Submission: for anything you write, someone somewhere will

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