Friday, July 28, 2006

A Few Good Thoughts

I recently came across an article that discussed the necessity of affirmative action. In Larry Adelman's 2003 piece, he discusses the value of his home (in a white neighborhood) as compared to the value of the home of a friend of his (in a black neighborhood). The basic point of the piece is that invisible government racism is the cause of rampant poverty in the African-American community. The piece is important because it uses some solid reasoning rather than relying on referring to the anti-affirmative action community as racist.

The problem with Adelman's argument is that whether or not whites have more money than blacks, the two groups have an equal opportunity to work hard while in school, participate in other activities, and, in general, give themselves an opportunity to qualify for colleges. A family's inability to pay for college is an argument for that family to take advantage of need-based financial aid.

It is interesting to note that the (politically incorrect) opinions of Charles Barkley and Bill Cosby (placing the blame for African-American poverty, crime, etc. on bad parenting and poor role models) have been scorned, while (politically correct) blame of the government has become curriculum.


The opinions of the rich and famous are often cited as a cause of liberalism in this country (the idea being that people want to be cool, and choose to make their attempt at coolness through their opinions). This is one of the most pitiable and unfortunate things that one can do - deciding personal beliefs through a means other than rational argumentation. While conservatives do fall into the trap of starting with an end argument instead of working towards it, seemingly every liberal argument starts at the end and then formulates a beginning based on that end - rendering their arguments ridiculous due to lack of foundation. The best example of this is abortion. Starting with the conclusion that abortion should legal, liberals argued that a woman had a right to choose. Faced with the dilemna that the woman had chosen when consented to have sex with a man, liberals decided that abortion must be legal because of rape (and other similar occurences). This raises an interesting point: someone actually thinks it makes logical sense from the perspective of morals that because an evil act (rape) was done, a greater evil (murder) should be allowable. However, that evil should only be allowable up until just after birth. Is it possible that this could be any more deluded and arbitary?


It may only be my fellow First Things readers and I that this means anything to, but when I saw that Joseph Bottum was writing about a video on Youtube, I was quite shocked. A magazine focused on American and world affairs discussing Youtube in general on their blog would have been shocking enough, but a specific video....and that was before I found out it was a guy playing a ukelele.

However, that shock quickly wore off when I clicked the link and heard the twang of Jake Shimabukuro's ukelele. I'll say it this way: I love of great music, I know great music when I hear it, and the ukelele doesn't make great music. Jake Shimabukuro has done what I thought undoable - he elevated the ukelele. To see what I mean, watch this video.

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