Links, 5/19/10

  • John Avlon, “NJ’s Christie is blunt – and right – on fiscal control” (h/t Josh) – from the article: But when cuts came to public education, the teachers union fought a proposed 5 percent cut from state aid per school district, which would bring budgets in line to where they had been mid-decade. New Jersey schools, like other parts of state government, had seen spending and hires increase at a far greater rate than the population: School hiring increased by 14 percent over the past decade, while school enrollment grew by only 3 percent, and wage costs have increased by 43 percent. Cuts are always emotional, but they do not represent gutting the school system, as teachers unions charged. Adding to the loss of perspective were teacher union Facebook posts that compared Christie to Hitler and Pol Pot. The president of the Bergen County union e-mailed his 17,000 members a “joke” e-mail that prayed for Christie’s death…
  • Megan McArdle, “Why Does Academia Treat Its Workforce So Badly?” – the article this post links to contains information everyone should know. Note the percentage of non-tenured faculty teaching.
  • Ario Farin, “Shudder” – Ario reflects on an essay of Eliot’s that gets some things exactly right. Eliot: One error, in fact, of eccentricity in poetry is to seek for new human emotions to express; and in this search for novelty in the wrong place it discovers the perverse. The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all.
  • David Hart, “Believe it or Not” (h/t – don’t agree with everything here; the discussion of classical thought has me scratching my head. The conclusion is powerful, and there are plenty of good points raised along the way. From the article: One does not have to believe any of it, of course—the Christian story, its moral claims, its metaphysical systems, and so forth. But anyone who chooses to lament that event should also be willing, first, to see this image of the God-man, broken at the foot of the cross, for what it is, in the full mystery of its historical contingency, spiritual pathos, and moral novelty: that tender agony of the soul that finds the glory of God in the most abject and defeated of human forms. Only if one has succeeded in doing this can it be of any significance if one still, then, elects to turn away.

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