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41 Years Since Roe v. Wade in Six Minutes

From Texas Alliance For Life:

HT: Justin Taylor

It’s less well-known today that through the 1980s leaders of both political parties feared the consequences of staking out a pro-abortion rights position. Things changed in the run-up to the first term of President Clinton. For a fascinating book on this history, check out The Politics of Abortion by Anne Hendershott, whom I interviewed a few years ago.

Relentlessly Call Abortion What It Really Is

Relentlessly Call Abortion What It Really Is

Jon Bloom:

Abortion is rarely talked about.

I’m not talking about the word “abortion.” We hear this word a lot it in the public square. But we rarely hear about it. Abortion almost always refers to something else. We hear that abortion is fundamentally about a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. Or abortion is a litmus test for judicial nominees. Or abortion is symptomatic of what’s wrong with the social discourse in America.

But none of those things is what abortion really is. Abortion is the intentional killing of unborn children.

Read the whole thing.

Does Where You Go to School Matter to Employers?

c7747Great post from Lynn O’Shaughnessy on whether you need to attend an elite school to be successful.  An excerpt:

I am involved in recruiting for a very selective federal agency. Our jobs require very high level skills, including a minimum of a master’s degree. Most people I work with are brilliant. They get their jobs here by passing a rigorous entrance test on knowledge of foreign affairs, foreign language aptitude, writing samples, oral exam (to determine presentation skills), quantitative skills, and a psychological battery….

We have people from famous and not-so-famous colleges. We have smart people from every type of college you can imagine — people from Middle Tennessee State University working alongside people from Harvard. And guess what? They’re all doing the same work with great enthusiasm, smarts, and capability.

Read the whole thing.

What It Takes To Get Into an Elite University

I discussed what to look for in a college in a lengthy chapter of Preparing Your Teens for College (see the Table of Contents). College admissions has changed profoundly over the last two decades as an increasing number of high school graduates are pursuing higher education. Among most universities, there is increasing competition for students. These colleges are vying for numerical growth and/or better students in the hopes of moving up the ranks (raising their average SAT/ACT score, boosting their graduation rates, and so on). But among elite universities, the competition from students has become increasingly fierce. Ivan Maisel explains in an article for the Stanford alumni magazine:

Brand consciousness and a belief (not shared by Stanford admissions people) that success is measured by entry to one of a handful of elite schools is part of the cause. The rising cost of college—and concerns about the value of a degree—has hastened this phenomenon as families gravitate toward well-known schools with strong reputations. The emphasis on rankings such as those compiled annually by U.S. News & World Report exacerbates the fallacy, says dean of admission Richard Shaw, “that if you don’t get into a top 25 school, you’re doomed.”

Continue Reading…

The Book of Tebow

Tim Tebow fans won’t want to miss the 12,000+ word article that Sports Illustrated ran on him right before Christmas–and then buried without fanfare on their website, rather than run even a portion of it in their print magazine.  Terry Mattingly has a good write-up about it in Patheos.  An excerpt from the SI article quoted by Mattingly:

There is no real precedent for his situation. Tebow is America’s most influential athlete, according to a poll of 1,100 adults published by Forbes in May, and he is also unemployed. In 23 months he became a starting NFL quarterback, won seven of eight games in exhilarating fashion, led the Broncos to an astonishing playoff win over the Steelers and was cast aside by the Broncos, Jets and Patriots. Every other team had a chance to pick him up, and none did. Now, at 26, in his early prime as an athlete, he is trying to become what he already was.

HT: Eric Metaxas

Why Focusing Too Narrowly in College Could Backfire

Insightful commentary from Peter Cappelli in the Wall Street Journal on the danger of over-specializing in college. Being a business or engineering major is one thing, but narrower specializations like hospital financing, casino management (ethics aside), and pharmaceutical marketing, can backfire. For students in all majors, broad, general learning skills (like critical thinking, problem solving, and writing) are of tremendous importance. More on this in chapter 10 of Preparing Your Teens for College.

Capelli writes:

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Malcolm Gladwell’s Rediscovery of Faith

Those who have enjoyed following the best-selling work of Malcolm Gladwell will find his article in Relevant to be a fascinating insight into the iconoclastic author’s religious roots, faith rediscovery, his latest book, and even his research methods. To the best of my knowledge, Gladwell’s theology is undeveloped at best. But I think there’s a valuable lesson in what he says about “seeing God’s power.” The closing:

I have always believed in God. I have grasped the logic of Christian faith. What I have had a hard time seeing is God’s power.

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The Humanities Have Forgotten Their Humanity

Heather MacDonald unpacks how political correctness is contributing to the demise of the humanities at UCLA (and elsewhere):

In 2011, the University of California at Los Angeles wrecked its English major. Such a development may seem insignificant, compared with, say, the federal takeover of health care. It is not. What happened at UCLA is part of a momentous shift that bears on our relationship to the past—and to civilization itself.

MacDonald explains that the evisceration of the core curriculum (not surprisingly) results in students losing interest in studying the humanities. Victor Davis Hansen made a similar point some time ago. MacDonald also paints a picture of the importance and beauty of the humanities (rightly conceived):

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Why Working Class Men Are Falling Behind

Michael Jindra writes:

In my work as an anthropologist, I’ve become convinced that American lifestyles are increasingly diverging between “hyper-achievers” trained early on to succeed, and those often labeled “slackers” whose lives revolve around entertainments of various sorts. You won’t be surprised to learn that a disproportionate percentage of “slackers” are men. Males, particularly in the working class, are working less, earning less, and are increasingly disconnected from families and from society as a whole. The future prospects for many working-class men seem very dim.

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Why is Student Loan Debt a Big Issue?

A picture worth a thousand words:

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 9.31.48 PM

HT: Nancy Pearcey

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