Ok I know. This is a bit off the wall and a bit out of the way. But I'm helping out a friend here with a new website for her hearing aid business here in Cuenca Ecuador. They are a hardworking family and I have appreciated being able to get to know them.
Tuesday, December 23
Thursday, April 12
By Lucas at 12:00 PM
A good friend of mine has an online course for AP US History for home schoolers. I attended Patrick Henry College with Daniel Burns and can assure you that he has an excellent grasp on US History. If you are a home schooling parent and you are interested in having your kids pass an AP US history course I can assure you that you would be very pleased with this course. For that matter, Daniel Burns is also a missionary. By taking this course you are helping support his work in Mexico. You can sign up here.
By Lucas at 11:53 AM
Monday, February 27
Thursday, July 8
A little candid opinion from Mitch Daniels this last Christmas on faith. HT: Hotair...but why in the world do they have "Heartache" next to the story headline and link? Inside atheists there?
Mellinger: Is there part of you that is bothered by the aggressive atheism of a [Sam] Harris, a [Christopher] Hitchens, a [Richard] Dawkins? And what I mean is... this atheism is a little different than atheism has been in the past because it does seek to convert people.
Daniels: I'm not sure it's all that new. People who reject the idea of a God -who think that we're just accidental protoplasm- have always been with us. What bothers me is the implications -which not all such folks have thought through- because really, if we are just accidental, if this life is all there is, if there is no eternal standard of right and wrong, then all that matters is power.And atheism leads to brutality. All the horrific crimes of the last century were committed by atheists -Stalin and Hitler and Mao and so forth- because it flows very naturally from an idea that there is no judgment and there is nothing other than the brief time we spend on this Earth.Everyone's certainly entitled in our country to equal treatment regardless of their opinion. But yes, I think that folks who believe they've come to that opinion ought to think very carefully, first of all, about how different it is from the American tradition; how it leads to a very different set of outcomes in the real world.
By Lucas at 12:06 PM
Friday, June 11
Eau Claire Strawberries can also be found from Red Cedar Valley Farms in the Eau Claire . These strawberries are driven up fresh every day from Menomonie to various sites around Eau Claire. You can find out more at www.eauclairestrawberries.com
By Lucas at 1:56 PM
Find your Menomonie Strawberries. We have worked at Red Cedar Valley Farms for many years and always have enjoyed and appreciated the farm and the great strawberries they produce in Menomonie. The season starts this Saturday, so make sure you stock up for the winter!
By Lucas at 1:51 PM
Tuesday, June 8
Yet on every question the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31%) was more than twice that of conservatives (13%) and more than four times that of libertarians (7%). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61%) was more than four times that of conservatives (13%) and almost three times that of libertarians (21%).
The survey also asked about party affiliation. Those responding Democratic averaged 4.59 incorrect answers. Republicans averaged 1.61 incorrect, and Libertarians 1.26 incorrect.
By Lucas at 8:01 AM
Thursday, May 13
Really we are sheep being led off to the slaughter. Everyone else looks at our generation and laughs. It's not that we are some sort of Woodstock generation. Indeed in many ways we have a responsible attitude when it comes to the world. But we have been used.
By Lucas at 4:06 PM
Tuesday, May 11
First is her judicial philosophy. Does she agree with the Constitution? What standard does she use to understand this foundation of our government? Is she inclined to find penumbra (shadow) rights within the document? Does she try and understand the real and literal meaning of those who created it? These are legitimate questions of a justice. How well does she show that she is no respecter of people, only the law.
By Lucas at 1:32 PM
I have not been sold on the whole Global Warming deal, but if I were, Bill Gates and his cloud ships would be a great first thing to look at. After all, it is much cheaper than many of the extremely expensive energy taxes proposed by the left.
Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire, is funding research into machines to suck up ten tonnes of seawater every second and spray it upwards. This would seed vast banks of white clouds to reflect the Sun’s rays away from Earth.The British and American scientists involved do not intend to wait for international rules on technology that deliberately alters the climate. They believe that the weak outcome of December’s climate summit in Copenhagen means that emissions will continue to rise unchecked and that the world urgently needs an alternative strategy to protect itself from global warming.Many methods of cooling the planet, collectively known as geoengineering, have been proposed. They include rockets to deploy millions of mirrors in the stratosphere and artificial trees to suck carbon dioxide from the air. Most would be prohibitively expensive and could not be deployed for decades.However, a study last year calculated that a fleet of 1,900 ships costing £5 billion could arrest the rise in temperature by criss-crossing the oceans and spraying seawater from tall funnels to whiten clouds and increase their reflectivity.
By Lucas at 9:51 AM
Tuesday, May 4
Have you seen the ability to use your facebook login to comment? I saw it on the CNN site the other day. This will be the wave of the future, since most users already have a facebook account and don't want to create a new account simply to post a comment. Lower the threshold and you will get much more interaction. I found I can even implement facebook comments with Joomla. The hitch? Right now the system is a bit fat. Pages take a bit long to load.
By Lucas at 8:50 AM
Most people my age hate any money that is paper. Checks? You have to actually write out the amount you want to spend, and then balance a checkbook? And bills are only in possession in a straight line from ATM to merchant. But you still need the paper for small time purchases like farmers markets, donating to a candidate for a fundraiser or tithing at church. Not anymore. Check out squareus.com. They enable even a chalk painter in New York to swipe plastic and get a donation with an iPhone. Next up: persuade my churchwe need to strap a square enable iPhone to the offering plate.
By Lucas at 8:46 AM
Tuesday, April 27
study of the Brown campaign’s social media presence by Word Stream,
a search engine marketing company, actually identified Brown’s momentum
before polling or the political class did. Their final count found he
had a ten to one advantage in web traffic, ten to one in YouTube views,
three to one in Twitter followers, and four to one in Facebook
Perry proclaimed himself a “gadget guy” to a group of Austin
technologists over a beer at the Chili Parlor. “It’s a very normal thing
for me in my life to be using a GPS when they first came out, and LORAN
before that,” referring to the radio-based navigation system that was a
precursor of the modern GPS.
His staff says he often surprises people when they see him tweeting
on his mobile phone. “Governor Perry has made [technology] a priority in
his everyday life. It’s because he can change the way he interacts with
the people of Texas,” says Will Franklin, director of new media for the
By Lucas at 7:55 AM
Monday, April 12
Congress—both chambers with Democratic majorities—responded by just
saying "no." No to the whole New Deal revival: no federal program for
health care, no full-employment act, only limited federal housing, and
no increase in minimum wage or Social Security benefits.
Instead, Congress reduced taxes. Income tax rates were cut across the
board. FDR's top marginal rate, 94% on all income over $200,000, was
cut to 86.45%. The lowest rate was cut to 19% from 23%, and with a
change in the amount of income exempt from taxation an estimated 12
million Americans were eliminated from the tax rolls entirely.
Corporate tax rates were trimmed and FDR's "excess profits" tax was
repealed, which meant that top marginal corporate tax rates effectively
went to 38% from 90% after 1945.
Georgia Sen. Walter George, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee,
defended the Revenue Act of 1945 with arguments that today we would
call "supply-side economics." If the tax bill "has the effect which it
is hoped it will have," George said, "it will so stimulate the expansion
of business as to bring in a greater total revenue."
He was prophetic. By the late 1940s, a revived economy was generating
more annual federal revenue than the U.S. had received during the war
years, when tax rates were higher. Price controls from the war were also
eliminated by the end of 1946. The U.S. began running budget surpluses.
By Lucas at 12:08 PM
Wednesday, April 7
- There should be zero chance of any suffering for even the most heinous criminals while they work toward the ultimate goal of having no executions.
- There should be zero consideration of any suffering for babies in the womb while they work toward the ultimate goal of having no abortion restrictions.
By Lucas at 8:57 AM
Monday, February 8
1. Obama Sheer Style
As in the sheer audacity of government take over. We could push for government band-aids to be sold next to the Johnson and Johnson brand at Wal-Mart. But since government can legislate everything from the cost of the petroleum to the cost of labor put into the band-aids and the advertisement J&J can run the result would most likely turn quickly into a government take over while the full cost of band-aids continued to rise. And don't forget that there would be band-aids for abortion, and a mandate that every American carry at least one band-aid in their wallet or purse or risk being fined.
2. Letting 3M and Sam Walton innovation work
If the comparison is between band-aids and health care/health insurance each band-aid would have to be sold in the state it was made in. No selling over state lines. Worse, the government would already be involved in half of the band-aids sold the poor while only paying the manufacturers 40% what it cost to make them with the difference being made up by every other American. Don't forget that the very stickiness of the bandage would be litigated into million dollar settlements by lawyers adding additional costs to those band-aids. Not that you would actually know the cost of those band-aids before you buy them. Cut your hand and must run to the store to stop the bleeding? Both Wal-Mart, Kmart and your local drugstore would all have the bandaid, but they would be unable/unwilling to tell you how much it cost until they send you a bill in the mail six months after swipe the plastic to wrap your oozing finger in protective sheer.
Is it clear yet why your health insurance and healthcare are through the roof? If band-aids were sold as healthcare is now sold, I could guarantee you they would be irrationally expensive and complicated. 3M and Sam Walton innovation are left to work and bring down band-aid prices, there is no reason why our healthcare could not be brought some of the same reform.
By Lucas at 2:57 PM
By Lucas at 1:36 PM
Now, look. I don't have anything against farmers, having grown sweet corn and worked out at a strawberry farm for years, but this sort of entitlement is embarrassing.
You want jobs? Pay website designers. Goodness, let's just pay everyone government money. That's what you call redistributive socialism. I say, "You want that sort of job? Move to Europe!"
By Lucas at 12:42 PM
Interestingly, during one of the hardest depressions the United States ever faced during the 1920-1921 wages were allowed to fluctuate with the state of the economy. Although wages fell substantially along with the stock market and the rest of the economy, unemployment was quickly (in around a year!) brought under control, and wages too quickly recovered.
Indeed, probably the best synopsis of this success was written by none other than Ben Bernanke.
On how bad it was:
"In one crucial respect, the depression of 1920-21 was actually more severe than the Great Depression itself: there was a rapid decline in the price level of between forty and fifty percent within the course of a single year."
On how employment reacted:
"Employment and output were however not as severely affected as in the Great Depression. Of course precise unemployment data are not available for this period, but one representative estimate (Lebergott, 1957) puts civilian unemployment at 2.3% in 1919, 11.9% in 1921, and back to 3.2% in 1923."
The reason? Wage flexibility:
"As these stylized facts indicate, the second unusual feature of the depression of 1920-21 was the rapid recovery in employment and output, in sync with a swift adjustment of the real wage to its new equilibrium position."
One of the unique differences between the depression of 1920 and 1929 was that wages were not allowed by the government to fluctuate in 1929 like they had in 1920. The result was that the depression of 1920 was over in a year (unemployment was at 3.2% in 1923!). While the 1929 depression lasted for over a decade with unemployment rates of over 10% until the 1940s!
Now, remember those confusing employment numbers from January. How the unemployment rate fell but the job loss continued? The main reason this was possible is because of the increasing number of people who are self-employed according to reports. Self-employed people still respond to the actual market for labor much more closely than labor protected by union and government imposed wage restrictions. The result is that despite the government's attempt to continue to bungle the economy by keeping wages high, there remains enough freedom through avenues like self-employment for wages to fluctuate enough for the economy to recover.
To let the economy (and jobs especially) recover faster we must let wages be flexible.
By Lucas at 12:02 PM
Tuesday, February 2
"We want to help clarify that projects may be carried out in association with religious organizations, so long as project activities do not involve religious advocacy or proselytizing – acts and intentions to advance a religious denomination or expand membership or encourage conversion: http://www.facebook.com/l/40867;www.refresheverything.com/official-application-guidelines."
Hope Gospel Mission is still a problem. They see a change of heart part of the solution instead of simply putting a band-aid on the physical. Again, I say let the voters--those who drink pepsi--decide if the cause merits the grant rather than getting pepsi mixed up in the middle. I wonder why they don't avoid politics too...
By Lucas at 8:10 PM
By Lucas at 3:34 PM
Also of note is the Bible Facebook page that simply posts and discusses portions of the Bible (again started by Mark Brown) It now has over 1.4 million fans. Incredible.
You try thinking of a church
By Lucas at 11:11 AM
The only other substantive qualifications deal with age, operating within the United States and that the project can be done on time. There is not even any of the classic concern about discrimination on the basis of race, origin, etc. That could have been more acceptable but then again, what if I want help Boy Scouts go camping? That would discriminate against girls. But if I want to help out the homeless with biblical principles of honesty and hard work--nope.
No, the best thing for Pepsi to do, is to ax the discrimination completely. They already are asking their customers to vote, why can't they decide as well if they want to support the Salvation Army or World Vision if they want to?
Go to Pepsi refresh now and comment on their wall. If social media works, we can show how this hurts some of our most valuable nonprofits.
By Lucas at 10:06 AM
Monday, February 1
The scientific evidence:
Over the next two years, about 33 percent of the students who went through the abstinence program started having sex, compared to about 52 percent who were just taught safe sex. About 42 percent of the students who went through the comprehensive program started having sex, and about 47 percent of those who just learned about other ways to be healthy. The abstinence program had no negative effects on condom use, which has been a major criticism of the abstinence approach.
Question: does this mean Obama and the left will now support science or their own agenda?
By Lucas at 5:30 PM
Saturday, January 30
Lesson: Blogs are still important online in driving a narrative and contributions, probably moreso than Facebook and Twitter, though I believe the latter can serve as an important signaling mechanism for bloggers and media to pick the story up and run with it. And it should be no surprise that once a story like this gets into traditional media, the impact can be magnified many-fold.
By Lucas at 1:22 PM
Thursday, January 28
By Lucas at 4:18 PM
Wednesday, January 27
He said he was setting a new goal to double US exports over the next five years: "an increase that will support two million jobs in America".
By Lucas at 9:42 PM
Yes, this is satire, but close to the truth about the way Obama does his speeches.
By Lucas at 10:39 AM
Tuesday, January 26
By Lucas at 9:21 AM
Monday, January 25
By Lucas at 9:06 AM
The Senate is debating a $1.9 trillion increase in the nation's debt limit that would lift Treasury's legal borrowing ceiling to $14.3 trillion. After a $290 billion debt-limit raise last month, this giant new increase is intended to get Democrats past November's election without another reminder to voters of how much debt their spending is piling up.
Mr. Coburn has a better idea: Cut spending to a level that would allow the government to stay beneath the current debt ceiling for a few more months. President Obama promised in his campaign to eliminate "unnecessary redundancy" in government, so Mr. Coburn is calling for at least $20 billion in spending cuts on programs that are duplicated across federal agencies. That's about 4% of nondefense discretionary spending, and Mr. Coburn's amendment identifies at least 640 programs that could be consolidated.
A few examples: A 2009 Government Accountability Office report found 69 early education programs, administered by nine different agencies. A 2003 GAO report found 44 job training programs, also administered by nine agencies. The Department of Education runs 14 separate programs for foreign study exchanges. Taxpayers spend more than $300 million annually on at least nine Agriculture Department programs to develop biofuels. Too bad we can't pay for all this with wood chips.
By Lucas at 8:18 AM
Saturday, January 23
H/T MacIver Institute
By Lucas at 6:49 PM
Friday, January 22
May we always remember the millions who have died.
By Lucas at 7:50 AM
Thursday, January 21
1. McDonnell is proposing making starting a business easier:
As we all know, it is efficient businesses that create jobs. This sounds like a no-brainer to me. Let`s make Virginia the second easiest place to open a business.
2. McConnell wants to drill for oil and national gas offshore. Wisconsin does not have that option. However, Wisconsin could utilize resources like forests on national parks in a responsible manner in the same way. Even better, Wisconsin has to find a way to decrease the price of energy and gasoline in the state. High energy is a huge drag on the economy.
And take note: the first idea does not need one more dollar of state spending to make it happen. 0$
By Lucas at 2:54 PM
A divided U.S. Supreme Court struck down decades-old restrictions on corporate campaign spending, reversing two of its precedents and freeing companies to conduct advertising campaigns that explicitly try to sway voters.
The 5-4 ruling went beyond the circumstances in the case before the justices, a dispute over a documentary film attacking then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The majority, invoking the Constitution’s free-speech clause, said the government lacks a legitimate basis to restrict independent campaign expenditures by companies.
“The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.
By Lucas at 10:41 AM
The Alliance Defense Fund is in the middle of the fight even as the state of California fails to support their own constitution. The Alliance Defense Fund has the updates right from the courtroom.
Some of the most telling points:
The judge tried to broadcast the testimony on TV and needed the Supreme Court to step in and put it in line (not surprising from a San Fransisco judge I guess). The Constitutional opponents have been downright ruthlessly hateful in their response to supporters of the amendment threatening professional and financial ruin for those who supported this position. Partly because of these threats the Supreme Court required the witness testimony to be kept off TV.
Testimony by those against traditional marriage have been forced to concede that a children are best raised in a traditional, stable, Mom and Dad family. I think the powerful evidence of the positive influence that BOTH a Mom and Dad have is not surprising, but enlightening in a nation of high divorce and increased disrespect shown toward traditional families.
By Lucas at 10:36 AM
Wednesday, January 20
By Lucas at 2:01 PM
Wednesday, January 13
After Reid's comments on Obama's race, not exactly a vote of confidence.
Personally I think someone losing their position over a comment like this is just silly. But the double-standard of the Democrats in standing by Reid after dumping Lot is worse.
By Lucas at 9:39 AM