Monday, March 2, 2009

Why we don't all speak Dutch: Language extinction and language survival

Those of you who are Dutch or who live in Dutch areas may find this link very interesting. It was linked to here, where there is some interesting discussion.

By the way, I have lived not only in Dutch areas like Sioux County, Iowa, but when I was a kid I lived near the area where the "Jackson whites" (many of them don't like that terminology, by the way) live.

The Monday Evening Club: Why we don't all speak Dutch: Language extinction and language survival

Judges--elected or appointed

At my church we have an adult education hour two Wednesday nights each month. Occasionally we have been using the series "Ethics in America." The series is not explicitly Christian, but it gets at issues that Christians ought to think about, and the leader encourages participants to apply their Christian worldview to the issues raised there.

One issue raised in that series, an issue I have thought about without coming to any definite conclusions, is whether it is better to elect or appoint judges. Here, the SCOTUSblog deals with a pending Supreme Court case where such issues play a role.

Politics play a role with either method of choosing judges. The best candidate is not guaranteed to become a judge under either method, and recent higher court elections in Wisconsin have clearly degenerated into political battles funded by monied interests with much at stake. Yet, the Blagojevich fiasco shows that there are problems with appointments as well.

I have not used this space (yet) for posting much in the way of my opinions; choosing rather to post links to interesting articles that may or may not shape the way I think on certain things. I have some ideas for reforming the method we use for appointing judges, but I want to think it through even more before going "on the record." Any thoughts?