Fertility Rate

Well, I lost the link to the article I read yesterday, so I'm going to have to wing it a little bit. But, good news! The US fertility rate rose 2% to 2.1 children per woman. Who cares, you ask? Well, 2.1 is apparently the rate that sociologists claim allows the younger generations to fully replace the older ones, keeping population steady. Of course, the environmentalists weren't very happy about this. But they're not happy about very much, anyways.

The US's fertility rate is much higher than most modern countries, especially Italy and Japan. Italy's fertility rate is currently 1.29 children per woman, which is horrendously low. I read somewhere once that if the trend in Italy continues, its population will be cut in half by 2050 (don't quote me on that, though). Crazy.

A lot of scientists are puzzled about the US's relatively high rate. Most agree that the US's strong religious traditions promote child-bearing, more so than secular Europe. Some attribute the recent rise to the inflow of Latin Americans, who tend to have more children. Finally, some say that the ability for women in the US to have children while continuing a career helps to keep the rate high. All interesting.
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Words

So the Washington Post did a pretty good "Learn about the candidates" section over the past few weeks. It's a pretty interesting section of their website for the time being. Above all the personal stories, poll numbers, etc., I found the section that listed common words used to describe the candidate most intriguing. The Post called just over 1,000 randomly selected Americans and asked them to describe a given candidate in one word. They then compiled the most frequently used words, scattered them around the page, and proportionally enlarged the words depending on how often they were used. Assuming that the polling was done in a statistically-okay manner, these word pages should really show people's first thoughts of the candidates, who are always working so hard to shape their images.

Here a few examples:

John McCain

Hillary Clinton

Mitt Romney

Barack Obama
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Just kidding

Alright, so I lied. I will blog on something a little more substantial that I just found online. Check out the article below about the now twice-vetoed SCHIP bill. Bush says that he vetoed the bill because instead of working to put needy children on health insurance, it moves children who have private insurance to public insurance. Also, it allows adults to be a part of the "childrens" health bill. So, it's pretty much just a stepping stone to European government-over-your-shoulder healthcare. Now, Bush has said he's willing to increase the spending on SCHIP more than the original $5 billion if a few, simple, conditions are met. This is one of them: "A major point of contention with the White House was Bush's demand that nearly all poor children eligible for the program be found and enrolled before any in slightly higher-income families could be covered. He originally proposed adding $5 billion to the program over five years but later said he was willing to go higher as long as his conditions were met."

What's so unreasonable about this? If the Democrats were really worried about insuring needy children rather than scoring points for their so far utterly unimpressive Congressional term, they would stop fighting over points that aren't meant to serve the neediest in this country. Typical.

"Lata" SCHIP
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The end

It's finals week...so I'm too busy to write much. But, good luck to everyone with final classes and exams. Home in four days!
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Boston

Haha this is a great article. It reminds me of how much I miss driving! And even more- Boston driving!

Boston Globe Driving Article
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Romney's Speech

I don't know if anyone else saw Mitt Romney's Mormonism speech today, but I was pretty impressed. The message was an important one. It's important that a candidate not be ashamed of his religion and not be ashamed to say that that religion guides him/her in principles and values. Being guided by your religion doesn't violate separation of church and state. Liberals' and the ACLU's obsession with eliminating all religion in the public square is more of a violation of church and state than anything else. Nevertheless, he looked very presidential today and I look forward to him speaking like that in 2008.
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(Exhale)

I'm free! For the past two weeks my life has been dominated by three subjects:

1) The negative effect of commodification, introduced during the East Asian Miracle, on the Korean family with regards to divorce, fertility, and family traditions.

2) The failed Bruce Invasion of Ireland, when the King of Scotland, Robert Bruce, invaded Ireland in 1327 AD and failed to capture the island due to he and his military general brother's shortsightedness in foreign and military policy.

3) The controversy surrounding Florida's decision to move its primary, against the rules of the RNC and DNC, up to January 29th from its former March position, leading to the loss of important delegates. Florida now holds virtually no power in determining the party nominees for the 2008 election, unless the chosen candidates bail out the state at the national conventions later in 2008.

So, there you have it. I have been owned and deprived of sleep by these three different subjects for the past few weeks. Make my time worth it and ask me a question about them!

12 days 'til home!
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Islam

Ahh yes...Islam, the religion of peace. I love continually reading these stories about mass numbers of Muslims marching to kill a British teacher for allowing her STUDENT to name a teddy bear Muhammed. Oh yea, the articles about Muslim women being arrested for being raped are great images of Islam, too.

Where's the public outcry from all of those 'moderate' Muslims in the world? What about the U.S. feminist groups who see everything wrong with Catholicism and the U.S.? I'm still waiting to hear about their protests in support of these poor women.

God bless America

Thousands of Muslims March in Support of Killing British Teacher
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