Wednesday, December 28

Homosexuality Genetic II?

Their is plenty of scientific evidence that homosexuality is not genetic to add to the fact that people can change. For example one study (Bailey, J. M. & Pillard, R. C. (1991). A genetic study of male sexual orientation. Archives of General Psychiatry, 48, pp. 1089-1096.) looked at twins.

They found a concordance (both twins homosexual) rate of 52% among identical twins, 22% among non-identical twins and a 9.2 % among non-twins. This study actually provides support for environmental factors. If homosexuality were in the genetic code, all of the identical twins would have been homosexual (1991).

See also here.

Is Homosexuality Genetic?

In one way yes. If you mean that we all have a tendency to go astray and to do wrong, then yes, it is genetic. There is not one person who reads this who cannot think back about some action be it lying, stealing, or breaking the law that is wrong. We are born with a nature that does wrong. But that does not mean that some people are born as homosexuals and some as heterosexuals. We all equally have the ability to fall into homosexuality, and all equally have the ability to be free from it. A person could wade through the studies, but the best evidence that it is not genetic is that people can be cured from homosexuality. From the website of a man who actually is a former homosexual you can read all about it.

Why Homosexual Marriage Destorys Your Marriage

It always comes back. I can never write enough it seems about how allowing homosexual marriages will destroy the rights of those who are already married. It really surprises me because it seems like such a universal concept in understanding constitutional rights and responsibilities: when you allow those who have a fundamental and destructive difference to enjoy the rights that another group enjoy, the first group's rights will be destroyed. This isn't just about homosexual marriages.

Let me try and give some examples. As I said in a comment, if we gave frogs the right of citizenship--even one frog the right of citizenship--we would strike a blow against the citizenship of every other American. Froggy would now be able to vote (diluting the effect of your vote), have a right to life (your two-year-old could be convicted for killing a frog), be free from unreasonable search (DNR couldn't look inside his home), etc. I know this all sounds crazy but is the point coming thru? Letting froggy attain the rights of citizenship even tho he is fundamentally and destructively different destroys the rights of all the rest of American citizens.

Take another example. Harvard gives out degrees to those who graduate from Harvard or to those it deems worthy of them. Now Harvard is perfectly free to start handing out degrees to anyone who graduates from highschool, but by doing so Havard would expect to hear an outcry from its alumni because their degree would be worth much less. Their "right" to the benefits of a Harvard degree was destroyed when others were freely tossed degrees.

Back again to the issue at hand. If I were given a marriage license because I love my computer (which I'm not sure I do at this moment seeing my keyboard just quit on me) I hope we can all agreethat traditional marriage would be destroyed. The issue then, is not if allowing a new group (homosexuals) to enjoy a right can destroy the rights of those who already hold that right (married couples), but if there are fundamental and destructive differences inherent in homosexual marriages that will destroy traditional marriage.

I believe there is, and that is what the debate should be about.

Why We Need the Marriage Amendment Part II

The first post in this series looked at the reasons why homosexual marriage would be wrong direction to travel in. This post seeks to look at Wisconsin specifically. Why does Wisconsin need the amendment now.

1. Laws are Not Enough

The present statuary status of marriage is "a legal relationship between 2 equal persons, a husband and wife. You would have to be living in a cocoonto not realize however, that this law is not enough to protect marriage. Over the last six years, Vermont has created the equivalentof homosexual marriages with a civil unions bill, Massachusetts destroyed the word and institution, and Canadian courts also followed suit. I want to emphasis that it was the courts that did this, even if the laws dictated something different. Wisconsin laws will not protect us from the destruction of marriage. We are only one Wisconsin Supreme Court case away from homosexual, polygamous, or any other relationship that the court deems to impose on the state. When the Massachusetts Supreme Court ordered homosexual marriages, they called marriage an "evolving paradigm." If our Supreme Court took up that type of argument we could see marriage going anywhere.

2. An Amendment is Not a Duplication

Laws can be easily changed. Like I have already demonstrated, one ruling and they are toast. Our Constitutions are set up to stand as bulwarks against the storm. A constitutional amendment is different than the law that is already on the books. A constitutional amendment protects our most cherished rights behind barrier unassailableby the courts, governor, and legislature and equal in protection to the difficulty in getting it passed. A state court can call a law unconstitutional; it can never call the constitution unconstitutional.

3. Marriage Merits Protection in the Constitution

I think we should be able to drive 75mph on the interstates. Does that mean I want a constitutional amendment to ensure that I can? No. Such an issue does not rise to the level of a fundamental right or liberty and should be left to the legislature to decide by law. But certain foundations of civil society that should never change and are not dependent upon the circumstance or age we live in are to be rooted in the Constitution. Marriage rises to that level. The mini societalunit of thefamily upon which all other parts and forms of government are built is at stake. There is no reason why this would change; family and marriage have always been, always will be, and will always be a positive influence on society. An amendment is appropriate.

4. The Supreme Court is Ready

While not as far out as Massachusetts, our court is significantly enough liberal to be more than ready to force upon the state homosexual marriages. Do you really want to trust them with your marriage?

Friday, December 23

Around the Web: Local News Search

Topix is a great search engine for local news. It's the best I've found. You can search by zip code, city name, state, etc. Another tool to ad to Google's.

Got Wood?

It's hard not revel a bit in nice wood heat while the rest tighten the thermostat. The local Menomonie high school has even lowered the temperature in the school down to 68 degrees as it attempts to lower heating costs. Of course the students adpated. They quit wearing their shorts and tank tops and hopped into warmer wear. They even had a fashion show to highlight warmer clothing that was acceptable. Coincidentally, it was snowed out.

Thursday, December 22

Canada: First Down the Slippery Slope

Who said that legalizing homosexuality wasn't the first step toward demolition of marriage? Canada's 'leadership' down the slippery slope toward marriageless society (starting with legalized homosexual marriage) picked up speed today when they ruled that group sexual actions were legal and not a threat to society.

Is anyone else starting to feel dirty just trying to keep up with the developments on this front?

Monday, December 19

Me Give or Force You to Give?

In the wonderful spirit of Christmas giving, Nancy Pelosi and Dave Obey are worrying that they won't be able to give your money away. You know if I took my brother's Christmas gift and gave it to my Dad as my own gift would you call a kind-hearted Christmas giver? Yet that is what Pelosi wants me to laud her for.

"As the Bible teaches us, to minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship, to ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. "Let us vote no on this budget as an act of worship and for America's children."

I agree that giving to the needy is an act of worship, but forcing others to give???

Let me just encourage you to really give, instead of worrying if our Congressmen are making everyone give if they want to or not.

Thursday, December 15


Blogging should be brisk now that I've finished my last school final for the year yesterday.

I also am planning on a trip to Ecuador this next semester. (Let me hear a cheer for the land of my birth!) The initial reason I'm going is to learn Spanish for school but I'm also looking forward to ministering in a private school down there. I have the absolutely splendid opportunity to live with a family from Ecuador so I will be learning my Spanish fast.

What does this mean for Wild Wisconsin? I will not be able to keep up my regular news and commentary postings, but I do hope to post some updates on my time down in Ecuador. I am also looking into possibilities of having a guest blogger on board. If you would like to have my updates on my time in Ecuador sent directly to your inbox please email me and I will add you to my list.

Death Penalty Saves Lives

Eighteen. That is the number of murder that are prevented by one execution according to a recent study by Cass R. Sunstein. He makes this finding by comparing states that have re instituted the death penalty. Definitely something to keep in mind as the DP is being talked about these days.

From the conclusion:

[If these] findings are ultimately shown to be right, capital punishment as a strong claim to being not merely morally permissible, but morally obligatory, above all from the standpoint of those who wish to protect life.

Do I need to say it again? Like this finding shows, being prolife and prodeath penalty is one and the same. Both protect life.


Wednesday, December 14

Raise Your Purple Finger

for freedom! Even as the Iraqis ink their fingers to vote, follow their example and do the same to your finger. Together we can support democracy and the rule of law around the globe.

Wednesday, December 7

Merry Christmas from Wal-Mart!

Yup that's right. If you want to be greeted by a warm "Merry Christmas", Wal-Mart might be the best shopping place to get it. Unlike other stores that are in the midst of a frenzied effort to de-Christmas their employees wishes as they accept their patronage, Wal-Mart allows their employees to continue to use whatever greeting they would like.

According to Sarah Clark, Wal-Mart spokesperson, "We encourage associates to use their best judgment when greeting our customers and to assess which
greeting -- or greetings -- best suit the customers and associates in their
local store.

Opposition=Hate and Violence: First Entries

Like I expected the examples are already flowing in to my Opinion Search Contest since renamed Opposition = Hate and Violence Search. One reader has already sent me two examples. First:

"This document draws a parallel to the 1930s and 40s when country clubs barred membership to Jews and blacks," Garinger said. "It's like, 'We accept you as a Jew or African-American but you're not allowed.'" ...

"They are doing this to deflect attention from the fact that they're not doing anything concerning the sexual abuse. People are asking what's being done with the bishops who shuffled pedophile priests from one parish to another, so they're trying to find a scapegoat. Gays are an easy target and it's popular to hate gays right now."

And here is the second, not quite as precise but still a good example:

“This proposed constitutional amendment is in fact a hateful attack on the promise of privacy from unwarranted government intrusion, which makes up the core of our fundamental rights and freedoms in Wisconsin and the United States of America,” said Chris Taylor, attorney and political director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin.

“SJR 53 harkens back to a very dark period in American history, when states discriminated against interracial couples by forbidding them to marry. This amendment is the same strand of that hateful prejudice,” said Taylor. “Since the majority in the Senate is embracing prejudice, it will be up to the Assembly and the people of Wisconsin to put an end to this shameful attempt to interject discrimination into our state constitution.”

Those who support marriage can't seem to do anything without hating. What's so ironic is how hateful such accusations all sound. I'm at least thankful that none of my comments qualify for this search yet. Just goes to show how above par Wild Wisconsin readers all are. :)

The Assumption that is the Argument

Another false argument:

He fears the amendment would lead to the erosion of domestic partnership benefits. "This amendment will actually hurt real Wisconsin families and it will hurt children in those families," he said.

The implication here is that two homosexual people living together are already married or are a family. That's what this debate is all about! That is what we are arguing about! You can't assume your conclusion and then use it as an argument. It's a form of circular reasoning.

The reality: Under Wisconsin law homosexuals can not be married or form families and that is what we are arguing we should protect. Any statement that assumes this to be true is false. They may pretend but call them families is not true. This assumption is more deeply rooted in arguments in favor of homosexual marriage than many may realize. Another thing to watch for.

Opinion Search Contest

I'm opening up a contest. Every time you see reference to speech in opposition to homosexual marriage in Wisconsin that is then interrupted to mean hatred of homosexuals or physical violence against them please let me know. The winner finds the most references. Here is the first one:

"I'm afraid that the things that the proponents of this amendment have been saying will encourage some people to hate gay and lesbian people and same-gendered couples and may even encourage violence against them," said Rev. Curt Anderson

I think both sides can admit that political opinions on this issue have often been misdirected toward violence. To characterize all speech tho in opposition to homosexual marriage as encouraging violence is flat out wrong. It violates core principles of the freedom of speech. I could just as easily say that advocating homosexual marriages causes violence and hatred and I would be just as wrong.

Charlie Tells and Sells True Christmas

In an era when even the word Christmas is painted as offensive, Charlie's simple tale about the true meaning of Christmas complete (let me hear the gasps) with the reading of the Christmas story straight from the book of Luke continues to be a roaring success story.

The first broadcast was watched by almost 50% of the nation's viewers. "When I started reading the reviews, I was absolutely shocked," says Melendez, 89. "They actually liked it!"

And when the program airs today at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, it will mark its 40th anniversary - a run that has made it a staple of family holiday traditions and an icon of American pop culture. The show won an Emmy and a Peabody award and began a string of more than two dozen Peanuts specials.

Last year, 13.6 million people watched it, making it the 18th-most-popular show on television the week it aired; CSI was first. One advertiser on the show, financial services giant MetLife, has contracted to use Peanuts characters in its advertising since 1985 and will continue through at least 2012.

Stores and companies have every right to avoid or advance the message of Christmas. Yet, will some elite view that this offends keep them from embracing what Americans are dying to hear? Say Merry Christmas. Read the story. The message it has is greater than the message and PC that tries to swallow it. Again, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 5

Why We Need a Marriage Amendment Part I

This first post on the Marriage Amendment will lay out why we must reject homosexual marriages. Future posts will look at why our Wisconsin Constitutional amendment is needed specifically. It may seem rudimentary or repetitious to write out these posts but many still wonder and they will be on file to link back to for future posts.(Note: first post has been changed from giving my own personal opinion to a policy position.)

1. It Defies Nature and History

The natural order of things tell us that homosexual marriage is not correct. It is bulls and cows not bulls and bulls or cows and cows that produce calves. It is a goose and a gander that form their happy little family. From the beginningof time, it has been families with a one man and one women that have formed the building blocks of society.

The additional problem with recognizing a homosexual relationship as marriage is not only is this moral evil being committed but society is asked to recognize it as legitimate, right, and on the same footing as the marriage between a man and wife. I am forced as a member of the society that hands out marriage licenses that such actions are correct to the point that they should receive special privileges. In effect, I'm forced to be an accomplice.

2. Homosexual marriage will destroy traditional marriage.
This argument has never been understood for reasons I can't figure out. The logic follows like this. If everyone could have the benefits of marriage there would be no benefit at all. By changing that meaning of marriage to include homosexuals, we take away from the meaning of traditional marriage and endanger its very existence. Take citizenship as a similar example. Just about anyone can become a citizen of the United States just as anyone can marry a person of the opposite sex.Yet, the reason that citizenship carries something special in it is that it is bestowed only upon those who have the necessary requirements that we have laid down. If we were to bestow American citizenship on every person in the world without regard to whether they share what we consider to be American principles we have effectively destroyed the citizenship of every American. The same is true with marriage. Open it up to "any two people who love each other" and we destroy the whole institution.

If I could say "I'm married" in Texas (and in Wisconsin so long as no judges come along to make things up) everyone knows that means I've got one wife with whom I've made a special commitment be joined together 'till death do us part. Now if I said "I'm married"in Massachusetts people would only know that I love some other person whether it be man or women. Hence by allowing other relationships to be included under the relationship of man and wife we have struck a fatal blow at the original relationship between man and wife.

3. It's all about the Children
Children deserve a stable family. They don't always get one, but they still deserve it. Today we recognize that many children live in broken families that only have one parent, or many other arrangements that are less than ideal. That doesn't mean the state, the society, should work to endorse and encourage more of this type of situation. It should be apparent by the inability of procreation in a homosexual marriage that it does not raise kids well. To think that a child will not have a mom or dad if homosexual marriage is allowed should confirm our rejection.

4. It reduces marriage to attraction

Do you see where this leads? If I'm attracted to my cousin can I marry her? My sister? My mother? My dog? Two wives? If love or attraction is the only thing that defines marriage all is lost. You can even marry yourself. (I'm not kidding!) Marriage is more than just liking someone. Marriage is about forming a binding and lasting creating family that brings together the complimenting strengths of man and wife as one flesh. Again, doesn't this show how the whole institution of marriage is at stake?

I'm not talking about every man being divided from his wife, but the we are building the casket for an essential aspect of our society. If you have not already done so take a look at your family (you all have one) and see if it is worth protecting.

Note: I feel impelled by the way that many misinterpret the debate about homosexuality to add the obvious fact that while I may speak frankly about how wrong I feel the act to be, I will continue to have a brotherly love toward those who are still involved in these types of relationships, hoping all the while that they are freed from it. This debate is not against any group of people but against an action they commit.

State Senate Votes Tuesday on Marriage Amendment

If you have not done so already, call or email your senator and let them know that you support traditional marriage. Even if you know that they already do, please let them know that you stand with them. Think of your parents, look your wife or husband in the eye, take your child's trusting hand and ask yourself if marriage is something worth protecting.

Who's Wacking Wal-Mart

Understand who is really out to tip the price cutting giant.

But suppose Wal-Mart did look more like the company its detractors would like it to be, with overpaid workers, union work rules, and correspondingly higher prices on goods. It would not only be a less attractive place to shop, and hence a considerably smaller company. It would drive up the cost of living for the millions who shop there, thus hurting those in the bottom half of the income-distribution tables that Wal-Mart's critics claim to be speaking for. One might expect this fact to trouble the anti-Wal-Mart forces, except that their agenda is very different from what they profess it to be.

As our Holman W. Jenkins Jr. pointed out in a recent column, the vanguard of the Wal-Mart haters is composed of unions that have for decades kept retail wages and prices artificially high, especially in the supermarket business. Those unions have had next to no success organizing Wal-Mart employees and see Wal-Mart's push into groceries as a direct threat to their market position. And on that one score, they may be right.
(Emphasis mine)

HT: Worldmag blog.

Thursday, December 1

"Partial Victory" against RA Bible Ban

In a press release by the UW system, Kevin P. Reilly said that a committee would be formed to look into the issue of RA leading Bible studies. In the mean time, there is a temporary suspension of the Bible study least until there are "specific complaints." Reilly said that these are "serious and complex questions." Yup, the Chinese in their enforcement of their own broader based restriction on Bible studies would agree: 'tis tuff, while the founders would have been able to decide this one in a split second: 'tis free speech; free exercise.

From Cong. Green.

“Today’s announcement by UW-Eau Claire that it would, at least temporarily, reverse its practice of barring RAs from holding voluntary Bible studies in their dorm rooms was a major step in the right direction. However, the issue is by no means put to rest. Rather than eliminate this absurd practice once and for all, the UW System – in typical fashion – has opted to form a committee to evaluate the policy, leaving the matter unresolved, and its students’ constitutional rights still in jeopardy. The system, and its schools, should do what I’ve asked for since this controversy began. It should issue written rules specifically permitting these study groups. They shouldn’t need a commission and months of deliberations to tell them that.”

Christains Against Traditional Marriage

Anti-marriage groups appear willing to even use Christain faith as a reason to oppose traditional marriage. A group calling themselves Christians for Equality in Wisconsin and spearheaded by the First Congregational United Church in Madison will lead an assualt on marriage. Their reason? Christ commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves, hence we should support homosexual marriages. I wonder if "Christ's love" would also require us to support a marriage between a man and his dog....or why not his toaster?

In every contact with a legislature make your Christian/faith connection a key basis for opposition noting specifically the second part of the proposed amendment (emphasis mine).

Did they read the Amendemnt?

Those against protecting marriage spin the amendment around a Thanksgiving dinner:

As gay people and the families who love them gather around Thanksgiving tables, many of us will have fear and worry in the back of our minds. What will it mean to be singled out for discrimination in the state constitution?

Singled out for discrimination? Now that's pure written hyperbole. This isn't discriminating against anyone. Anyone one can marry a person of the opposite sex. Traditional marriage is open to anyone. Furthermore this is not just about homosexual relationships. This is about one man and three wives, two men and one wife or whatever other concoction you want to think up. As the amendment clearly says, this is just about protecting the marriage that civil societies have forever recognized as being essential to the preservation of a nation and state. As you gathered around your Thanksgiving table I hope you recognized that the family you love so dearly is the matter at stake.

Marriage Amendment Update

Family Research Institute appears to be leading the defense of marriage and the support of the Wisconsin constitutional amendment. They have a petition you can sign here. Find out how to get involved and stay updated here. Please also find you Representatives and ask them to support this. A quick email is all you need to send. Sent by many the message will come through loud and clear.

Another update: Wisconsin Coalition for Traditional Marriage is up and running as well. I just needed to search a bit better. Great start. I wonder if they would like to have a blog????

Wednesday, November 30

Marriage Amendment Debate

Hearings were held on the Marriage Amendment today in Madison. This fight is going to be big. Already those who want to destroy the traditional marriage have their campaign up and running along with a blog.

This is also a time for heroes. From all I've seen the Republican leadership as been tops on this issue. I'm still looking tho for the organization that will be spearheading the effort to support this amendment.

If you are married, I want you to look directly at your husband or wife and think for a moment if this is worth defending. I want you also to look at your kids to think back on your own mother and father, and see if you believe that the institution of family is worth holding dear. Would you like your children to grow up with two "mommies?" How about your grandchildren to have only two "daddies" and no mother? It is going to be up to you and the rest of the people of Wisconsin this next election. Homosexuality began as something we must all tolerate. Now some courts believe society owes them the right to have society sign their marriage certificate in approval. If you think this will never affect you, let Holland mark you a fool. It is sick to even speak what is allowed there. If anything comprises a marriage it means nothing. If anyone can get a degree from Harvard for the asking what good is it? Your marriage only means anything so long as it is protected.

Vote yes. Your family is worth it.

Liberals for Wal-Mart?

If they're big they're bad. That's the only reason I have come to see many people trash Wal-Mart. Now even some liberals are coming around on Wal-Mart. In his work "Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story Jason Furman calculates the tremendous benefits of Wal-Mart from the consumer to the worker and of course the entrepreneur

Productivity is the principal driver of economic progress. It is the only force that can make everyone better off: workers, consumers, and owners of capital. Wal-Mart has indisputably made a tremendous contribution to productivity. From its sophisticated inventory systems to its pricing innovations, Wal-Mart has blazed a path that numerous other retailers are now following, many of them vigorously competing with Wal-Mart. Today, Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the country, the largest grocery store in the country, and the third largest pharmacy. Eight in ten Americans shop at Wal-Mart.

There is little dispute that Wal-Mart’s price reductions have benefited the 120 million American workers employed outside of the retail sector. Plausible estimates of the magnitude of the savings from Wal-Mart are enormous – a total of $263 billion in 2004, or $2,329 per household.2 Even if you grant that Wal-Mart hurts workers in the retail sector – and the evidence for this is far from clear – the magnitude of any potential harm is small in comparison. One study, for example, found that the “Wal-Mart effect” lowered retail wages by $4.7 billion in 2000.3

Hey, and I just about lost my job to Wal-Mart, and have many friends that work there now too.

HT: worldmag blog

Crying Over Spilled Milk

Politically I can see why Cong. Green and Sen. Santorum want to keep milk subsidies, but like always a person must put principle above politics. It's long past time that we get the gov't out of milk industry welfare.

And this is....

A Christmas tree! You would think that this would be clear even to a first grader, but not so in today's PC world.

If it's a spruce tree adorned with 10,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments displayed on the Capitol grounds in December, it's a Christmas tree and that's what it should be called, says House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Hastert, R-Ill., in a letter to the Architect of the Capitol, recommended that the annual Capitol Holiday Tree, as it has been called the past several years, be renamed the Capitol Christmas Tree.

Oh yes, and hope you all are looking forward to a merry CHRISTMAS. I pitty the poor souls who only have "holidays" and "seasons" to celebrate.

Monday, November 28

Yikes! He forgot!

Tom Cruise buys a sonogram machine to view his aaaahh.... wellllll I guess baby. Oops someone forgot big time to remind him that you don't use such a humanizing term until it's illegal to kill them.

Cruise said he did not know the gender of the child but said if he did, he would not reveal it. Walters then asked him, "So what do you see?" and he answered "a little baby."

The Worldview Clash

All I will say for now is "stunning!" (Of course more later.) But don't take my word for it, if you really wonder about the rationality of Christianity take a few minutes to read this.

My bro. Peter gets a nice nine point buck. Cool.

Click to enlarge

The Church is One Many Denominations

Most Christians readily accept the fact that the true Christian church resides in many different denominations and church congregations that may hold to slight (or even major) differences in Christian belief. But is it right? Often called denominationalism, the concept is relatively new in the Christian church. Up until maybe about the 1600s most Christians believed that there should only be one denomination and that only one denomination actually held to the proper tenants of belief and the others were heretics.

I'm personally disposed to like the denominationalism concept but that matters little. "What sayeth Scripture?" Is the only thing that really matters.

I don't find much support for denominationalism in Scripture. From the early church in Acts down through the Epistle letters the assumption is that there is only one true church that holds to the same doctrine and beliefs. Sure you might argue that some of the gentile churches might have had a structural difference, but there was nothing approaching, say baptism, or Free Will that separated the church. Of course I don't think the answer is to mandate that the state accomplish a unity, but I do think it is right to pray for a unifying of the church in understanding true Christian doctrine.

Friday, November 25

Wisconsin's Own

Blog General who resides over at Brainpost has just entered Iraq. Make sure to check back often and find out how he is helping out our freedoms.

Wednesday, November 23

In Everything Give Thanks?

Often when asked what we are thankful for we struggle to find something off the top of our head. Not Martin Rinkart. As this article suggests, Mr. Rinkart's heart was able to overflow with thankfulness to God in the midst of the deepest tragedy.

How can a hymn overflowing with thanksgiving be written in the midst of prolonged death and destruction? This hymn's context is one of the more dramatic in the annals of congregational song.

Martin Rinkart (1586-1649) was both a musician and theologian, educated at Eilenburg and St. Thomas School in Leipzig, studying theology at the University of Leipzig. He served both as a cantor and deacon in the Lutheran Church.
Rinkart was a voluminous hymn writer -- an art that combined his musical and theological training.

The city of Eilenburg was particularly hard-hit during the devastation wrought by the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). When the Swedish army surrounded the city, thousands of people sought refuge behind the city's walls.

Though historians today suggest the rate of death was generally between 15 and 20 percent due to armed conflict, famine and disease, the conditions in Eilenburg suggest an even higher casualty rate.

Eventually Rinkart became the only minister left in the city, presiding at times over as many as 50-60 funerals a day -- nearly 5,000 in all! Among those who died was his wife.

Yes, in every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Th.5:18). So what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 22

Alito Roe AND Politics of Confirmation

If the issue of Abortion was pulled front and center in the debate over Alito's confirmation I believe he still would be confirmed. Of course I don't think that it should, but many liberal groups sure would do it if they thought they could pull it off. But like I've noted they're not. Well the country as a whole may still not see the contradiction in Roe and want to see it overturned the matter might be different if we apply it on a state by state level. I can't seem to find polls on the subject, but from information like this and an understanding of how many states voted for a prolife president, I think we can conclude that there are more senators coming from prolife states than pro abortion states. The result is that if Roe became the central element of the debate, the pressure on the senators would be to confirm Alito rather than reject him. Thus, we probably see the prodeath side not wanting to engage in an Alito and Roe debate.


Hotel Information

1. about the window in the guest room: It isn't possible that it is possible to open a window at the guest room (On the safety).

2. about the laundering: The wash becomes a finish the evening tomorrow at the front desk until 7 o'clock at night of the day.
(It becomes the evening tomorrow in the morning even if it has).

Sound a little funny? It's an example of some of the instructions that are translated into English in foreign countries--especially in Japan and China. My sister got a kick out of finding these when she visited Taiwan. You can find more at They are really funny, but on second thought, it is really quite similar to what my Spanish often looks like if I ever try and write in it.

HT: bogus gold

Better Movies

Can the right, and even more so Christians, take back the giant of Hollywood? If Hollywood is driven by the $$$s some say yes.

HOLLYWOOD HAS been chattering nervously about bad box office this year. Film attendance is down a wrenching 12% from 2004. Here's an easy fix: The more culturally and morally conservative movies Hollywood makes, the better its returns will be.

HT: World mag blog

Bumped Comment

Alice said:

An example of Dr Chiang's writings is at Science meets Religion. You can comment directly to Dr Chiang on his article at Gary Chiang Blog

Judy Johnson For Senate

Judy Johnson is running for Minnesota State Senate today. If any of you are over there in the district please get out and vote. As Judy Johnson for senate and her website indicate she is the type of legislator every place of government needs. She has experience as a successful mayor of Plymouth. She is committed to protecting life, marriage, and keeping taxes under control. I've been interested to see that she has also embraced the education and conservation full-heatedly while urging education to be kept at the local level and a conservation mindset where nature is used but not horded.

If you can, please get out and vote Judy Johnson for state senate.

I became so interested in this campaign that I even went up yesterday and helped out for a day.

Saturday, November 19

A Saturday Laugh

Man! (and womyn??), these are funny!

The Top Politically inCorrect Words and Phrases for 2005:

1. Misguided Criminals for Terrorist: The BBC attempts to strip away all emotion by using what it considers neutral descriptions when describing those who carried out the bombings in the London Tubes. The rub: the professed intent of these misguided criminals was to kill, without warning, as many innocents as possible (which is the common definition for the term, terrorist).

2. Intrinsic Aptitude (or lack thereof) was a suggestion by Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard, on why women might be underrepresented in engineering and science. He was nearly fired for his speculation.

3. Thought Shower or Word Shower substituting for brainstorm so as not to offend those with brain disorders such as epilepsy.

The Whine Response

Hoping to elect themselves by promoting deficit spending, the Dems put up a stink about the cuts to big gov't spending:

Democrats dissented, with one eye on the 2006 elections.

"The Republicans are taking food out of the mouths of children to give tax cuts to America's wealthiest. This is not a statement of America's values,"

Look I admit it. Well this move is hardly more than a token cut, if the federal gov't returns to stable spending levels and reduced taxes to jump start the economy, some people now on the gov't dole might be left in need. And so the Dems will try and smear those who voted for this bill.So here is my challenge: If anyone reading this blog knows of anyone who is left in need because of these cuts to gov't programs in my area, please let me know. I would love to be able to help them out with the assistance of my church. I'm not against helping out the poor; it's just that the gov't is a blunt and ineffective tool to do the job.

Deficit Spending Slashed. Where's Kind?

Kudos to the Republican leadership on some long overdue spending cuts. If we ever want to keep this economy going and keep our gov't from pushing all it problems onto credit cards this is the type of leadership we need. And after all the complaining about deficits by Dems, where are their votes? Especially where is Kind's vote?

Look at what he was saying in 2003:

"As a member of the House Budget Committee, I am deeply concerned by the record-breaking deficits occurring under this Administration's fiscal stewardship. The combination of increased government spending and lost revenue due to tax cuts has left this nation with a gaping budget hole that will stifle future growth and place massive burdens on our children and grandchildren."

Now, step up to the plate Con. Kind. Stand up to some of the pork your party wants to protect and vote for the fiscal responsibility that you seem to think is such a huge problem.

I'm quite sure that Paul R. Nelson would have voted for fiscal responsibility. It's time we vote for our children and a responsible gov't instead of Kind's pork protection projects.

Wednesday, November 16

Feingold Before the War

"With Regard To Iraq, I Agree, Iraq Presents A Genuine Threat, Especially In The Form Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Chemical, Biological, And Potentially Nuclear Weapons. I Agree That Saddam Hussein Is Exceptionally Dangerous And Brutal, If Not Uniquely So, As The President Argues." (Sen. Russell Feingold, Congressional Record, 10/9/02, p. S10147)

And I'll refrain from saying that Russ LIED men died, 'cause at least with this quote he didn't. He made the most responsible statement reasonably possible with what the intelligence community knew.

Paul R. Nelson Launches Blog

Paul R. Nelson the congressional candidate for Wisconsin 3rd district now has a blog up and running. It's basically the campaign's weekly update. (Disclosure: Yes, I've been helping out Paul R. Nelson with contacting the blogosphere.)

For those interested in who Paul R. Nelson is, here are a few more things I have been learning.

On the stem cell research issue, Paul R. Nelson rejects a First type of approach to funding embryonic stem cell research when there is so much promising research being done on adult stem cells.

When asked about term limits, he came out swinging against McCain/Feingold's campaign finance deform saying that he would be happy to vote for "election reform that gives the challenger a fighting chance."

In my contact, I would describe Paul R. Nelson as a no frills family man committed to common sense actions in Washington. He may be new to the political arena but he has a firm grasp on the basics rights that Americans hold dear. If you want more information go look at his website, and consider signing up for his campaign updates.

Tuesday, November 15

Conservative Check

Every conservaitve should be ashamed of being out done by Cong. Kind on this one. His office sends out a press release to offer its services to (of course) help people get on the gov't dole. But where are the conservative gov't officials' offices? Why aren't they out there helping those in need find help that isn't from the gov't?

More Litmus Testing

Alito has been subject to a storm of litmus testing on the abortion issue over his questioning of the reasoning involved in the Roe decision (see more in post below).

Ted Kennedy said these "extreme statements ... are deeply troubling." Read: Alito has been weighed on Kennedy's own scale of the limits of abortion (i.e., right up until it can take its first breath) and found to not hold that view.

Meanwhile Cornyn also points out that even thoroughly dyed liberals continue to find the reasoning in Roe as clear as a DQ mudslide shake.

Are we all of a sudden going to start saying that a judge is not qualified unless he believes every Supreme Court decision is supernaturally inspired faultless fact? If that's the case we have about eight (I don't know about Roberts yet since he has not ruled on enough cases) Supreme Court Justices who are not qualified to sit on the bench either. How many think that Scalia has never criticized a Supreme Court precedent or that John Paul Stevens has never overruled one? Your heads in the sand. I really wish that the reality disconnect between appointee and Supreme Court justice would end. The question is: Is Alito qualified? Will he uphold the Constitution in its original understanding as law written in granite? Since the answer is yes to both, the senators' vote should also be "yes."

Hey Schumer! Remember Ginsburg?

Sen. Schumer is all mixed up over the fact that Alito told the Reagan adminstration that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion." He said that it was "the strongest statement we've seen from a nominee on this very controversial subject for a long time."

First off, there is a big difference between a judge saying these things and a guy looking for the assistant attorney general's job saying them. Reagan was prolife so it was no wonder he would put down that he would be willing to argue this position for the White House.

Second, where is Schumer's memory? Ginsburg was not afraid to say that she supported abortion. Did that surprise or concern Schumer then? If you are wanting a more recent example of someone taking a strong stand on the issue what about Pryor? “[T]he worst abomination in the history of constitutional law" is no lame statement on abortion

Monday, November 14

EC Truth

What never seems to get talked about:

Proponents of the morning-after pill contend that it "prevents pregnancy" and therefore does not cause an abortion. However, they tendentiously define the term "pregnancy" as implantation of a fertilized egg, as opposed to scientifically defining "pregnancy" as the fertilization of an egg.

The fact is that so-called "emergency contraception" can work in three ways: to suppress ovulation, to inhibit the mobility of sperm, and, if fertilization occurs, to irritate the lining of the uterus so that a newly conceived child is unable to implant in the womb, thus starving and dying.

If we could quite avoiding the real issue of whether this is a person or not we might get somewhere in the debate about preborn life.

Being Articulate

I don't think the guy who bought this knew the tale about the emporers new clothes. I could think of much better things to do with $24 million than this stack of junk. Or as this blogger says,

As I stare at it, I’m almost certain my son made something similar when he was 4.

I made him put away the blocks before he went to bed. That’s right, I could have sold the heap for millions, but I didn’t know better. I’m an idiot.

I had no idea my son was a building block genius. That his was a masterpiece just waiting for a Sothesby auction and a few zillionaires who have long since tired of things recognizable in the world of art.

Click to enlarge

HT: Beyond the news blog

Winter Storm Coming Thru!

Check out what our forecast is over at noaa. Or see what the driving conditions are around the state.

Yipeee! I always have loved a good winter storm. It must come from the full five years of winter I missed while I lived down south.

Americans: We like Alito's Abortion Stand

The NYT is reporting, that in essence, Planned Barrenhood et al. destructive views on the destruction of preborn life is out of the "mainstream" and that Alito's decisions relating to abortion are favored by most Americans. This just goes to prove that Americans aren't as dumb as Planned Barrenhood thinks they are. It also shows that it is time for those who do support life to go on the offensive and fearlessly declare that all peopled are endowed with the right to live.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 - A coalition of liberal groups is preparing a national television advertising campaign against the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. that seeks to move the debate over his selection beyond abortion rights and focus instead on subjects like police searches and employment discrimination, several leaders of the coalition said.

The possibility that Judge Alito could vote to narrow abortion rights has dominated discussion among both supporters and opponents of his nomination. But Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice and one of the leaders of the coalition, said a poll commissioned by her organization showed the potential to attack Judge Alito on aspects of his record that had received less attention.

In addition to the alliance, a liberal legal group that focuses on judicial nominations, the coalition includes the abortion rights groups Naral Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood, as well as People for the American Way, the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Sierra Club.

Last week, the alliance released results of a poll that highlighted elements of the judge's record unrelated to abortion that the liberal groups say could have greater resonance with moderate voters.

Update: ben in the comments said that the title was a contradiction. My response is in the comments as well.

Stop Stealing Dirt!

I often find it surprising how those who deny the existence of God steal most of the fundamental structure that God created and then use that structure to defend the non-existence of God. They don't understand the position they start out in without an assumption of the existence of God and the creation he created. Without God you have to start out with NOTHING, and many don't understand what NOTHING means. Allow me to at least partially explain.

First of all, those who deny God steal dirt. There is a story told about a conversation between Nietzsche and God. Nietzsche looked over at God and said "I can create man just as well as you can." God said, "Ok go ahead and try." But as Nietzsche stooped down and began to mold a man out of some clay God thundered down, "get your own dirt!" Every last materialistic explanation of the universe starts out with some sort of matter or dirt. That's stealing. If you really believe that God did not create the universe you have to start out without one particle of dirt. Nothing means no dirt.

But dirt is not all materialist steal. Assumed in every aspect of their creation out of the dirt is the assumption of universal physical laws that direct the course of the universe. Nothing means no laws of gravity, no laws of thermodynamics, no E=mc2.

Then there is time. This universe would not have had to have succeeding moments in which we are only able to exist in "now." God exists in the past, present, and future, and is not controlled by time. Christians believe that God created time. Nothing means means no time. Nothing means you cannot exist in either the past, present, or future, because such options are not available to you.

Materialists also steal reason and knowledge. That thoughts and events can be analyzed, perceived, and rejected or accepted is a fact that materialists steal but does not exist in the state of nothing. When we say nothing it does not only mean physical but conceptual concepts that are often taken for granted or stolen by those who deny God. There is an acceptance of reality or the knowledge of some sort of truth even though these qualities are not apart of the essence of "nothing".

Man has said in his heart there is no God, yet the very way, the very tools, the very examples that they use to prove this is stolen from the God himself they are out to disprove. They keep stealing dirt. They don't know the definition of NOTHING!

Saturday, November 12

Carter: Abortion bringing down Dems.

Carter comes out and sez that the abortion issue has been hurting the Democratic party.

Carter said leaders in the Democratic Party have hurt it because of their insistence on a rigid pro-abortion stance within the party and for party leadership positions.

"I have always thought it was not in the mainstream of the American public to be extremely liberal on many issues," Carter said, according to a Washington Times report. "I think our party's leaders -- some of them -- are overemphasizing the abortion issue."

Carter said his party lost the 2004 presidential elections and lost seats in the House and Senate because it failed "to demonstrate a compatibility with the deeply religious people in this country. I think that absence hurt a lot."

Democrats must "let the deeply religious people and the moderates on social issues like abortion feel that the Democratic party cares about them and understands them," he said, adding that many Democrats, like him, "have some concern about, say, late-term abortions, where you kill a baby as it's emerging from its mother's womb."

The recent election of a Dem. guv. in Virginia who at least calls himself prolife supports this view as well. Perhaps being endorsed by NARAL and NOW is not such a PC thing.

Friday, November 11

President Responds

Today the President responded to his critiques about the reason we went to war:

THE PRESIDENT: "While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs. They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. Many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: 'When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security.' That's why more than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.

"The stakes in the global War on Terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our Nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory."

Monday, November 7

Airplane Tickets

Side Step is the best place that I have found. It's a search engine that searches all the sites for the best prices. If anyone else has a suggestion let me know. Wondering why I'm looking for airplane tickets? I'll let you know soon.

Understanding Strict Constitutionalists

Powerline guys write about it in the Washington Post. For those who really want to understand who an "activist" and constitutionalist" judge is this is the place to go.

When conservatives say that we want "conservative" judges, or "strict constructionist" or "constitutionalist" judges, what we mean is pretty simple: We want judges who won't make stuff up. We want judges who won't view the Constitution as a mirror in which, at every turn, they see reflected their own opinions and policy preferences. We want judges who will play it straight, read the Constitutional or statutory text (our text, not foreign ones, which the court has relied on in cases like last session's Roper v. Simmons , which held execution of juveniles to be unconstitutional), and apply it as fairly as they can to the individual case before them.

If that were all, liberals would be left with little to say. But there is one thing more: The corollary of the proposition that judges shouldn't make up stuff that isn't in the Constitution or laws is that judges also don't have the discretion to ignore language that is in the Constitution or the laws. Thus, the interstate commerce clause must be recognized as a limitation on Congress's power to regulate the economy, as Judge Roberts noted in the case of the "hapless toad." The Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection of the laws can't be ignored every time a public university wants to prefer some applicants over others, based on race. And the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms can't be treated as if it got repealed somewhere along the way.

Thursday, November 3

Painful Truth

Planned Parenthood has gone hysterical over the Fetal Pain Bill that tells women that there is evidence that there child would feel pain in an abortion.

Women expect their physicians to provide them with sound information about all medical options and treatments. AB 321/SB 138 threatens the doctor-patient relationship by mandating doctors tell women medically incorrect, misleading, and unproven statements about abortion in an effort to coerce and shame women. This bill allows politicians to act as physicians, and removes a physician's ethical obligation to provide accurate, comprehensive information to patients.

Note that the bill doesn't even say that the child WILL experience pain, just that there "is evidence." And the evidence is quite compelling.

Yet the fact that young babies feel pain is much more apparent than a study in a medical journal. It might be hard to scientifically prove that I experience pain each time that I hit my finger with a hammer, but do you need a rocket scientist to tell a Mom when her baby is hurt let alone try and convince her that we don't know for sure if her baby will experience pain if you tear it apart limb by limb or stab it in the back of the head with a pair of scissors?

Take a look at what they do for preborn children: they stick them in an incubator and on the softest blanket. Why? Do you think it is because they are sensitive? I would like to ask Planned Barrenhood: If I smashed a 30 week old babies hand with a hammer do you think they would feel pain? Why would a child inside the womb be any different? But they know the connection and they want to hide it: If the baby inside a mom feels pain its probably a unique human being.

No RA Bible Studies

We get so caught up in some of the penumbras of the Constitution often we violate the obvious. The freedom to express your beliefs is something we must protect...and not take for granted.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is reviewing the legalities of its policy banning resident assistants from leading Bible studies in their dorms, a spokesman said Thursday.

The university’s associate director for housing and residence life sent a letter last July to several resident assistants who had been leading Bible studies.

Deborah Newman said in the letter that if the studies continued, students might not find them “approachable” or might fear they’d be “judged or pushed in a direction that does not work for them.” Newman added that resident assistants who persist in holding Bible studies would face disciplinary action.

Update: FIRE has responded. This as well.

FIRE also pointed out a 2004 article in UWEC’s student newspaper in which the Office of Housing and Residence Life praised an RA who for three years in a row staged the controversial feminist play "The Vagina Monologues" as an official "residence hall activity.”

This praise came despite the RA’s acknowledgement that "with the Vagina Monologues ... she [did not have] as much time as she would have liked for her wing.” UWEC has failed to respond to FIRE’s letter.

"UWEC’s position that leading a Bible study is more likely to make students uncomfortable than leading a controversial play like 'The Vagina Monologues' simply doesn’t hold water,” noted FIRE’s French. He continued, "The First Amendment doesn’t end with a Bible study or with 'The Vagina Monologues' — it guarantees a student’s right to perform both.”

"While RAs have a responsibility to be approachable to students, this cannot extend so far as to bar their own religious or political expression,” added FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Greg Lukianoff. "No state institution has a right to demand that others not hold any beliefs or engage in any expression that might possibly be offensive.”

Hat tip: family

Wednesday, November 2

Alito's Groody "Strip Search"

Powerline does a wonderful service by analysing the Doe v. Groody decision in which Alito (it is said) "voted to authorize a strip search of a ten-year-old girl.

I was concerned about this decision but by looking into the case I can only applaud Alito's decision.

Parental Notification Passes

Now a minor must receive the same permission to get an abortion just as she must receive a parents consent in every other area--field trips, surgery, ear piercing, taking over-the-counter medications at school, and every non-emergency medical procedure.

Common sense unless this means less biz for you.

AB 175 passed the Assembly today by a vote of 62-35. A few Dems were brave enough to find the light and anger their fringe: Staskunas, Krusick, and Ziegelbauer. All Republicans voted for the bill. Good for all of them.

Tuesday, November 1

Kohl and Feingold on Alito


“Evaluating a nominee to the United States Supreme Court is a responsibility I take extremely seriously. The country deserves a thorough examination of Judge Alito's record and views, and I look forward to participating in that process. Because Supreme Court justices can have a uniquely significant impact on our country for years, even decades, I will have to be satisfied that this nominee has the highest level of ability, integrity, objectivity, temperament, and fairness before I will vote to confirm him.”


The nomination of Judge Alito to replace Justice O'Connor will be crucial to determining the balance of the Supreme Court for decades to come. This balance currently keeps the Court in the mainstream of American thought and is what upholds many rights that Americans take for granted. Accordingly I will give Judge Alito's record and judicial philosophy the most careful scrutiny in the weeks ahead.

I will not prejudge this nomination. I look forward to meeting with Judge Alito privately and to the public hearings where he will present his views on the law and the important constitutional issues facing our country.

I am planning to reconvene the bipartisan task force of distinguished Wisconsin legal minds and community leaders that gave me their best advice and counsel during Chief Justice Roberts' nomination. I look forward to working with them again.

At least neither of them talked about his "heart". Kohl's statement is way too political. Feingold's is really top-notch all the way around. I expect to hold him to it.

The Diversity Card

Silly number two (see below for the first): Alito doesn't help the courts diversity. Look at the MJS Ed. again:

Another minus is that the nomination lessens the court's diversity....

In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America.

It's little of Bush's fault that this is the case. He's only chosen two of the justices. Furthermore, in his appointments he has been very openly eager to elevate justices regardless of their color, race or gender. And the Democrats haven't helped. They have filibustered many appeals court justices that the MJS would say would help give a court diversity. In fact some have noted that if the Democrats hadn't filibustered people like Miguel Estrada he might be the nominee today. Unless the President was purposely ignoring a specific class or person, there is no reason to fault him for racial or gender discrimination. If Alito or Miers were picked or looked over because of their race or gender then there would have been a problem. It is just way to simplistic to say that because Alito is a white guy Bush must have discriminated in favor of him. I believe the case for discrimination is actually much higher in the case of Miers in the present political climate...but of course I haven't found a liberal yet who would be able to think or be brave enough to say so.

The Balance Card

You hear the liberals saying over and over again that we need balance on the court. Ya know, a moderate for a moderate, an O'Connor for an O'Connor. How silly.

First, it is completely political to think that the court is divided "conservative" and "liberal" even though that might be the reality. Second, to have a court mixed up on every last issue as the Rehnquist court has often been, creates judicial chaos rather than distinct settled justice. Third, historically, the President chooses someone he believes upholds the Constitution, not someone in a similar mold to the last judge (See Clinton's trade of Ginsburg for White). Fourth, if you really want to look at balance, if Alito is placed on the court and if you attempt to politicize the court by splitting in "conservative" and "liberal" you will create a court with four liberals, four conservatives, and one swing vote (Kennedy). In this sense Alito will create balance.

But, again, shouldn't we be looking at his qualifications more than the "balance" court?

Thomas Thinks White

Best of the Web pointed out today that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel thinks it knows how blacks think and that Supreme Court Justice doesn't think black.

In losing a woman, the court with Alito would feature seven white men, one white woman and a black man, who deserves an asterisk because he arguably does not represent the views of mainstream black America.

This smacks of racial demeaing through and through. They are in essence saying that while white or other races may be able to think independently, blacks have to think black, to be an "asterisk free" or genunie black. Let all good men who think that all are created equal revolt!

Monday, October 31

Why There's No Oil Cliff

To the doom sayer:

The evidence is in something called oil sands (also called oil shale), a tar-like substance that can be surface mined as coal often is. The oil is then separated from the dirt using energy from oil or natural gas extracted from the site itself to produce a tar-like goo called bitumen. It's then chemically split to produce crude as light as from a well head.

Oil sands in a single Venezuelan deposit contain an estimated 1.8 trillion barrels of petroleum, with 1.7 trillion in a single Canadian deposit. In all, about 70 countries (including the U.S.), have oil sand deposits although technology hasn't yet made them economical for exploitation. Of Canada's reserves alone, about 255 billion barrels (almost equal to the entire proved oil reserves of Saudi Arabia) is currently considered recoverable. And recovering it they are.

Reid's two Silly Objections

Two reasons why Reid doesn't like Alito: 1. I didn't pick him. 2. He's not a minority.

If that's the only reason the left can find to oppose him, Alito should sail through. The American people know their Constitution enough to know that Reid's two requirements for Supreme Court nominees just aren't there. I'll at least give him this much: at least his third reason wasn't "cause he's too much like Scalia." :)

Alito and Roe

One of the best thing about Alito is that he is on the record against Roe supports a judicial philosophy that opposes Roe. (I stand corrected.) If you are serious about the Constitution you have to be. No one doubts him on this issue. What this means?

First, the biggest battle about Roe is probably about to take place. Now is the time to stand up for life if there ever has been a time in the last 20 years and save those who are innocently stuck in "death Roe." Second, the Senate still would vote to let death Roe stand 51-49. Yet barring the most unexpected, Alito is expected to make it through. PoliPundit has the breakdown on where each pro-death republican or main stream prolife Democrat will fall on the vote. It's worth a look.

Most interesting:

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) - With the Judiciary Committee comprising 10 Republicans and 8 Democrats, Specter holds the balance as to whether the nomination will be favorably reported out of Committee. He voted against Robert Bork, but was instrumental in getting Clarence Thomas confirmed. Who knows where he’ll come down on his fellow Philadelphian. If you were to put a gun to my head and force me to make a prediction, I’d say he’ll vote in favor of Alito.

Conclusion= "That makes the roll call tally 50-54 votes in favor of this nomination. With the vice president’s tie-breaking vote, confirmation is almost certainly assured."

Via Michelle Malkin who is rolling all the info in.

Alito and Kohl

We know that Kohl already voted for him (voice vote) when he was unanimously confirmed to his appeals court seat.

Feingold wasn't in the Senate yet so he didn't get to vote.

Alito Wow Power!

Judge Alito has served with great distinction on the Third Circuit. He has participated in thousands of appeals and authored hundreds of opinions. He has more judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in more than 70 years and more federal judicial experience than 105 of the 109 Justices appointed in U.S. history.

Again, WW will be following this nomination extensively with special attention given to our two Senators.

Alito = Scalia = Reject????

Take a look at the evidence People for the American Way give for rejecting Alito.

Today, President Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court. Alito has compiled an extensive, right-wing judicial record on numerous matters of importance to the protection of the rights and interests of ordinary Americans -- a record that has earned him the nickname "Scalito" for his ideological resemblance to Justice Antonin Scalia. Alito's judicial opinions demonstrate that he is an out of the mainstream opponent of fundamental legal rights and protections for all Americans and must not be confirmed to the Supreme Court. (emphasis mine)

So if he's like a Justice that even Harry Reid conceads is "one smart guy," then we should ask our Senators "to Oppose Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court"????

I don't believe that it is proper to call Justice Alito a cookie cutter copy of Scalia. But when judges are reading the same document you wish that they could come to at least a similar conclusion. Many people said the same thing about Thomas when we was selected and it hasn't held at all.

That said, shouldn't we assume, until proven otherwise, that an appellate judge who's opinions have already favorably been compared to a Supreme Court Justice's (and especially a smart and constitutionally solid one) would naturally make a good Supreme Court Justice!?

Too Radical?

"The Senate needs to find out if the man replacing Miers is too radical for the American people," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid...


So consistently conservative, Alito has been dubbed "Scalito" or "Scalia-lite" by some lawyers because his judicial philosophy invites comparisons to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But while Scalia is outspoken and is known to badger lawyers, Alito is polite, reserved and even-tempered.

Are you saying Mr. Reid that a "polite, reserved, and even-tempered" Justice in the mold of Scalia and Thomas would be "too radical" for the Supreme Court? If that's the case, you should be saying the same thing about these two current justices.

Again, let me just congratulate Bush on picking the best of the batch. He's not fiery conservative, but intellectually so. He's the kind of judge we want.

An Extraordinary Pick

Alito, 55, is sometimes given the nickname "Scalito" -- a comparison to Scalia, who shares his Italian heritage as well as his reputation for conservatism and a strong intellect.

That's all Bush said he wanted wasn't it?

Alito's the Man!

BUSH: Good morning.

I’m pleased to announce my nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Judge Alito is one of the most accomplished and respected judges in America. And his long career in public service has given him an extraordinary breadth of experience.

As a Justice Department official, federal prosecutor and judge on the United States Court of Appeals, Sam Alito has shown a mastery of the law, a deep commitment of justice, and he is a man of enormous character.

He is scholarly, fair-minded and principled, and these qualities will serve our nation well on the highest court of the land.

Judge Alito showed great promise from the beginning in studies at Princeton and Yale Law School, as editor of the Yale Law Journal, as a clerk for a federal court of appeals judge.

He served in the Army Reserves and was honorably discharged as a captain. Early in his career, Sam Alito worked as a federal prosecutor and handled criminal and civil matters for the United States. As assistant to the solicitor general, he argued 12 cases before the Supreme Court, and has argued dozens of others before the federal courts of appeals.

He served in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, providing constitutional advice for the president and the executive branch.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan named him the United States attorney for the District of New Jersey, the top prosecutor in one of the nation’s largest federal districts. And he was confirmed by unanimous consent by the Senate.

He moved aggressively against white collar and environmental crimes, and drug trafficking and organized crime and violation of civil rights.

In his role, Sam Alito showed a passionate commitment to the rule of law, and he gained a reputation for being both tough and fair.

In 1990, President Bush nominated Sam Alito, at the age of 39, for the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

He has a deep understanding of the proper role of judges in our society. He understands that judges are to interpret the laws, not to impose their preferences or priorities on the people.

In the performance of his duties, Judge Alito has gained the respect of his colleagues and attorneys for his brilliance and decency. He’s won admirers across the political spectrum.

I’m confident that the United States Senate will be impressed by Judge Alito’s distinguished record, his measured judicial temperament and his tremendous personal integrity. And I urge the Senate to act promptly on this important nomination so that an up-or-down vote is held before the end of this year.

Today, Judge Alito is joined by his wife, Martha, who was a law librarian when he first met her. Sam and I both know you can’t go wrong marrying a librarian.

Sam and Martha’s two children, Phil and Laura (ph), are also with us.

And I know how proud you are of your dad today.

I’m sure, as well, that Judge Alito is thinking of his mom, Rose, who will be 91 in December. And I know he’s thinking about his late father. Samuel Alito Sr. came to this country as a immigrant from Italy in 1914. And his fine family has realized the great promise of our country. Judge, thanks for agreeing to serve. And congratulations on your nomination.

Friday, October 28

Sykes is Again on the Short List

See Redstate on it here.

Even better is the opinion piece in the MJS.

One of the judges widely said to be on the short list to replace Miers is Milwaukee's own Diane Sykes, formerly a justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and currently serving on the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago.

She would be an excellent nominee. Not only does she have the intellectual hops to play in the show, she has a well-articulated judicial philosophy to which one would expect she would adhere while serving on the court. While Kennedy and Estrich might regard that as rigid, I would suggest that it is principled.

Big Gov't Health

That second to the last thing that Republicans can do is ignore health care. The absolute last thing they can do is fall under the belief that it is the governments responsibility. Yet Canada gives us a look at what happen health care goes national: waiting becomes a national past time. I know. My uncle had to wait for years to get his hips done, even though every day it became worse and the prospects of rehabilitation got worse every day.

Lance Burri did two pieces on it.

Even neater is this little video on it. Gives you an idea of the waiting.

Con. Moore Sends Your Money to the Bottom of the Sea.

This was bottom dweller pork:

Today Congresswoman Gwen Moore announced that she has secured $562,519 in federal funding in the Agriculture Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006 Conference Report (H.R. 2744) for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Great Lakes Aquaculture Center. The funds will be used for the expansion of the Center, which is operated in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and for the research and development of aquaculture technologies and techniques that will increase the production of the area's seafood industry.

Doesn't this sound a bit fishy? Spending tax money is all about priorities. Do you think it is more important to feed money to the fish in Milwaukee or help Louisianan rebuild its critical infrastructure? Until we start catching our own local fish in the act of spending our tax dollars on frivolous things we will never get rid of this horrible type of pork. Just take a look at what else Moore had to swallow to get this one thing into the bill.

Retaining Human Identity

2BHuman links to a couple of important articles.

First one about Sex Selection. Parents will be able to decide if they want to put a pink or blue balloon up when there child is born. My first thought was "we can tell this is a boy or a girl but it isn't human yet?"

Second, doesn't this sound like a strange mixture of China's killing of baby girls (except now the parents can choose which sex they want to kill), and of the experiments that the Nazis did on their prisoners?

A clinical trial into the effects of allowing couples to choose the sex of their babies has been given the go-ahead at a US fertility clinic. The controversial study was given the green light by an ethics committee after nine years of consultation. The purpose of the study is to find out how cultural notions, family values and gender issues feed into a couple's desire to choose the gender of their child.

It all comes back to the slipper slope of saying that these baby embryeos are not human.

Second, somthin about designer drugs. In this article, Al Mohler talks about the rise of drug induced physical and mental enhancements. So a big test is coming up? No problem take Adderal described as "a cocktail of amphetamines that increases alertness, concentration, and mental-processing speed and decreases fatigue." Whew! With a few midterms just under my belt (hence the low blog) I can understand the temptation to desire something that will help a person mentally, but serious problems still exist.

Mohler points out that these drugs question God and by trying to enhance the creation that was made in His image: us. I also can't avoid the fact that these drugs never come without some serious side effect. Drugs that "help" you out physically have been around for eons. None of them have ever become desirable to a human existence because of the terrible addiction and problems associated with them. I see no reason to believe that this will ever change.

All this comes to my attention because of a paper I'm having to do on transhumanism. Wow! you can't fault them for lacking an imagination!

Miers Thoughts

The withdrawal of Miers is no moment for rejoicing. It should in no way be thought of as a political victory so much as a political reality: Miers graciously stepped aside instead of creating a train wreak when she landed in the Senate.

Some say she instead of being borked, her failed appointment to the Supreme Court will produce a new term: to mier

To Mier: "to put your own allies in the most untenable position possible based upon exceptionally bad decision-making."

It is time to move forward. The next nominee will be named very, very soon. The most important thing for Bush to do is the pick the BEST candidate for the position I don't care if they are a women, black, pink, or orange. My only concern is that they are picked because they are from a certain group instead of being the best qualified. This pick should also be instructive in that it shouldn't matter as much what the Dems think feel about a nominees heart so much as what the 55 Senators are able to discern about the nominee's capacity to stick to the Constitution.

Do we have to be afraid to put forward a candidate who has a record on what they believe? I hope not.

Thursday, October 27

Miers Withdraws Her Nomination.

It is sad yet probably the best decision. We now look and pray about the next nominee.

Saturday, October 22

Pumpkin Movie

Ever want to see one of those giant pumpkins grow? I mean SEE it grow. Now you can with these movies that document the growth of a pumpkin. I once tried to do this with watermelons but a camera just doesn't work like a webcam.

Borking Pork

Sen. Coburn (R-Ok) has done the unpardonable in Washington by rolling back the pork. And for his crime of cutting back the spending of American tax dollars on bridges to nowhere or really just diverting the funds down to Louisiana instead of Alaska he get the fire. Tapscott gets the scoop. And might I add that our own Sen. Feingold was one of only 15 who voted for the amendment. You might as well thank him when you can, 'cause it is likely only to happen once in a life time.

Via powerline

Thursday, October 20

Admin: Blog Tweaks

As you may have noticed there are a few changes. Perhaps the biggest is the picture which I got up again since I started html editing the sidebar/profile instead of using blogger's system. As always, feel free to comment.

The Great Pig Hunt

I was talking to some hunters yesterday and they said that their were some 300-500 lb wild porkers shot just a few miles from our house. Link.

MADISON, Wis.-- State wildlife officials are hoping deer hunters will take aim at another animal they might encounter in the woods and fields this fall-- wild pigs.

The Department of Natural Resources warned the number of wild pigs in Wisconsin seems to be rising.

"Seeing as how they're not from Wisconsin, we'd like to keep them out," DNR wildlife biologist Eric Mark said.

AFLC Missions Blog

The denomination (Association of Free Lutheran Congregations or AFLC) that I am apart of has a missions blog. See it here.

This is what I was hoping to see more from the church. It may not have been there the week after but I'm more and more pleased of the reaction since then:

Many people from AFLC Churches have been interested in helping with rebuilding efforts, especially in the upcoming winter months. Builders Fellowship is attempting to identify and coordinate teams of volunteers from AFLC Congregations who desire to help.

Volunteers will be responsible for traveling to and from the site, food and lodging will be provided on the site. Partners in Missions (PIMO) has talked about making their bus available for this trips.

For more information contact Lavon Bohling at the AFLC, 763-545-5631.

Bookmark it.

Wednesday, October 19

Beached Servicemen

The Navy is being sued because some environmentalist allege that the sonar it uses during military exercises strands some whales and dolphins.

"Our position [the environmentalists] is that whales shouldn't have to die for practice."

But did it ever occur to them that if the Navy doesn't do a legitimate practice it might cost American lives? Envio fringe groups don't want the military to turn on sonar in calving and migration areas, I guess even if the Navy feels it is essential to perform there operation in that area.

The Navy countered that they are doing many of the things named in the suit; they are not ignoring the impact they may have on conservation measures, but to push this matter seems downright irresponsible and boarders on giving aid to any potential American enemy. Face it, if America falls to an enemy you can be sure there will be little of any type of conservation from the new gov't.

Tuesday, October 18

Miers's One Yes Check

So Miers once filled out in a questionnaire that she thought abortion should be prohibited in Texas if Roe was overturned.

My question: Does disagreeing with a Supreme Court precedent disqualify you from serving? Granted, it is not for justices to prejudge a case. They must never decide how to judge a case until they hear the arguments from both sides and can make an informed decision about an individual situation. But obviously, Supreme Court justices have overturned cases, and it is not improbable to think that they understood those decisions to violate the Constitution before they ever were appointed to the court. Miers is a poor example because the position she took was completely political instead of judicial, but lets instead say that Pryor was appointed to the Supreme Court and in the judicial hearings he continued to stand by his words that Roe is "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history". Does that immediately exclude him from appointment?

Or perhaps to take a less controversial issue, what about a Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren. If he would have held that the Plessy v. Ferguson definition of "sperate but equal" was unconstitutional would he have been qualified to sit on the Court? The answer has to be yes.

The questions presented to a justice must be concerning their judicial philosophy. It may become apparent where that judicial philosophy leads, (i.e., to the overturn of Roe) but the way a justice would rule on abortion should not be a question they should answer nor really what we should ask.

BTW, this is the last thing that Harry Reid wants to hear now that he has already spoken so highly of her. What will his base on the left cliff think?

UPDATE: John at Powerline deals with Miers and Roe too, and how it could be a real winner for the President. He also thinks that the Dems will line up to filibuster her. Agreed.

Yes My Heart Goes Out... the people who died in the bus accident this last Sunday. It really shook up our community, especially those involved in the school system. I was talking to a pair of college students who had attended the event and had been very involved in band in their younger years. All they could do was shake their head. Man knows not his time; it's best to be ready.

Friday, October 14

A Christian's Guide to Defeating Evolution

Dr. Gary Chiang was good enough to answer some of my questions on transhumanism that I am pursuing for my report. He sent along a portion of his book that he wrote on the topic of defeating Evolution since transhumanism and Evolution are closely related. I found it insightful. Here is a taste:

The argument that evolution is science and creationism is religion has been accepted by at least one judge in the United States. This judge considered Creation Science to be a religion, and would not allow it to be taught in the science classrooms of state-run schools. Yet considering the unproven philosophical assumptions in evolution as described in this book, one wonders if this is a fair comparison of these two competing theories of origin.

You can find the book here.