Thursday, December 24
By Lucas at 11:06 AM
Tuesday, December 15
When is a tax cut not a tax cut? How about when it is actually a tax increase?
The House of Representatives recently passed the Tax Extenders Act of 2009. The act extends over 30 tax breaks to individuals and businesses, $31 billion of tax relief a year
Congressman Ron Kind said of this bill, "This bill will provide much‐needed relief to families and businesses who are struggling in the current economic downturn and in a way that is fiscally responsible."
As a result, while Kagen and Kind are claiming that they just voted for tax cuts, the reality is that they voted for a net increase in taxes. They have used not increasing a host of taxes as an excuse to raise other taxes.
The Tax Extenders Act of 2009 increases taxes on private-equity firms that sell shares to the public to more than 30% instead of the usual15% rate. It also taxes carried interest that investment managers receive at the ordinary income rate of 35% instead of the lower capital gains rate of 15% they currently pay.
By Lucas at 11:51 AM
Monday, December 14
Take a special look at graph for Kohl. Notice where the line takes a decided turn down? August. The same time that there was mass dissatisfaction expressed by thousands of constituents over the health care bill. Now a few things before this is simply dismissed as "another poll." First this isn't just a single poll but the compilation of several polls and one of them (PPP) is a specifically Democratic polling unit. But no matter how you take the numbers--either only from one polling place or compiled--the result is very similar.
Second, look at Health care in general:
Now the change is much more dramatic (from 50/20 support/opposed to 38/54 support/opposed) yet the overall correlation between the graphs cannot be denied. Indeed, if we take Doyle as another statewide Democrat who should not be affected by national politics nearly as much we can find that while his approval in general is much worse, he has actually improved during this same time period.
It is fairly obvious that Feingold and Kohl have almost equally lost almost 10% of their approval ratings with the voters this year. While not as certain, the correlation of that drop with the lack of support of health care and the dominance of that issue on the national scene implies that they are on slippery political ground to continue their support. Indeed, both of them have already dropped below the monumental 50% approval mark. If this same trend continues, Feingold could face a challenging environment in the 2010 election if a quality Republican decides to take him on. It also demonstrates just how harmful the Democratic health care bill has become to even comforatable senators like Kohl and Fiengold.
By Lucas at 2:20 PM
Thursday, December 10
By Lucas at 9:39 AM
According to follow up by Marquette graduate Dan Zeidler, he was assured that two could work “directly” on a solution to prevent controversial abortion coverage mandates."
Interesting to be sure. Now we know that Kohl voted AGAINST the Nelson amendment when it came for a vote (which is were the real proof of the pudding resides) but this statement shows that with a little more clarity on the topic he could support some life issues.
By Lucas at 9:21 AM
By Lucas at 9:05 AM
By Lucas at 8:33 AM
The White House has vowed to be more deficit conscious in its forthcoming 2011 budget due out in February. But the House could vote as early as Thursday on a $446.8 billion year-end package covering more than a dozen Cabinet departments and agencies and representing a healthy 9 percent to 10 percent increase over current spending for the same accounts.
For example, transportation and housing resources would grow by 12 percent, including $2.5 billion for high-speed-rail investments on top of the $8 billion already added by the White House to the giant stimulus bill in February. A $163.5 budget for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education would add an additional $8.6 billion to annual spending, and Veterans Health Administration spending would grow to $45.1 billion, a $4.1 billion increase.
By Lucas at 8:28 AM
Wednesday, December 9
Year to date totals for the Wisconsin delegation are: Ryan - $951,904; Baldwin - $922,888; Kind - $931,578; Moore - $817,093; Sensenbrenner - $898,976; Petri - $935,137; Obey - $686,796; Kagen - $1,183,73So much for frugality.
By Lucas at 12:02 PM
For the first time ever, you can now find out how much your individual Congressman is spending in his Congressional office without making a special trip to Washington. So, with that weapons cache in tow, bloggers and journalists have been pouring over the report available either at the Office of the House's Chief Administrative Officer or the Sunlight Foundation. Some of them -- like this one in New Mexico -- have begun compiling lists of the biggest Congressional spenders for the third quarter of 2009.
At the top: Appleton's own Steve Kagen.
According to the report, U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of Santa Fe spent more than $337,000 on his office between June and September and $808,000 in the first nine months of the year. That seems like a lot, but it’s less than New Mexico’s other two congressmen. Martin Heinrich of Albuquerque spent more than $343,000 for the quarter and $908,000 for January through September, while Harry Teague of Hobbs spent more than $352,000 the last quarter and more than $899,000 as of the end of September.
The most expensive offices in Congress are those of Reps. Steve Kagen, D-Wisc., who spent $452,000 in the last quarter, Alan Grayson, D-Fla., who spent $449,000, and Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., who spent $445,000.
In actuality, Kagen's office spent $452,596. Congressional offices get a total of $1.5 million to spend for the entire fiscal year.
By Lucas at 11:54 AM
Wednesday, November 18
About nine months ago the federal government decided to spend on an average $7,000 of your families taxes in an attempt to create jobs and boost the economy with a $787 billion spending spree. As the results slowly trickle in the question is how has an area like Dunn County done?
Not surprisingly, the government has done a fine job finding ways to spend your tax dollars. According to information the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has complied, $17.17 million has been spent in Dunn County alone. We all know that spending is not as important as the jobs though. How did the jobs fair in the county?
Badly. Unfortunately that $17.17 million dollars has only created 16.52 jobs in the County according to the government’s own figures. Do the math and you find that it takes over $1 million taxpayer dollars to create or save one single job in the County! Worse, although President Obama promised that 90% of the jobs would be saved or created in the private sector all but 3 of those 16.52 jobs were government agencies reporting jobs saved or created.
To add even more confusion the only primary recipient that was a private business and not a government identity was 4 Control Inc which reported receiving $0 and yet was reported as creating three private sector jobs. Lee Shambeau helps run 4 Control Inc. He confirmed that his company had not been paid for any stimulus dollars yet, although they had worked on one stimulus project with three employees for two days. The reporting requirements were incredibly confusing he acknowledged and the report on that one project is what probably showed up on the site. Most of the stimulus funding he is hoping to receiving is still only a hope with no confirmation. So while the government drags its feet and hints at possible funding it happily reports the jobs it has “saved”. In reality then, Dunn County only created or saved 13.52 jobs at a cost of $1.2 million per job.
These local results should be no surprise given that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported “A stimulus job report that says more than 10,000 jobs were saved or created in Wisconsin is rife with errors, double counting and inflated numbers based more on satisfying federal formulas than creating real jobs.”
Instead of dumping money on government bureaucracies and calling it stimulus, I asked Lee Shambeau from 4 Control what the impact of 1 million dollars in tax cuts would have had to a business like his. Would he have been able to create one job with 1 million dollars? He quickly replied “Taxes are killing business. Taxes are very instrumental part of the cost of doing business.”
As national unemployment jumps to 10.2% and Dunn County unemployment hits 7.6% we would do well to reconsider our attempt to put your family $7,000 in federal debt to spend over $1.2 million per bureaucratic job saved. We would do much better to increase the competitiveness of small businesses like 4 Control through tax cuts if we want to see real employment in Dunn County and across our great country.
By Lucas at 7:46 AM
Monday, November 16
Note: This article ran as an opinion piece in the Dunn County News.
Confused about the healthcare bill? You’re not alone to be sure. Just take a look at some of our local Midwestern representative’s statements and let your head spin. I’m not even talking of the partisan debate. Take three rural Democratic Congressmen: Collin Peterson (D-MN), Jim Oberstar (D-MN), and our own Ron Kind (D-WI). Collin Peterson voted against the bill because "We've got over a $70 trillion unfunded liability in this over the next 75 years and we're just going to make it worse. And I don't see how that's sustainable.” Kind said, “The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) has confirmed that the House health care reform bill reduces the national deficit by $109 billion over the next 10 years with estimated subsequent savings through 2029.” (Personal email with Kind).
Federal funding for abortion is even more confusing. All three said they supported keeping federal funds from going toward abortion. Yet Ron Kind said that the healthcare legislation would not use public dollars to fund abortion; Peterson and Oberstar said it would. Let the debate begin!Publish Post
The original bill (H.R. 3200) on page 110 said, “[N]othing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the public health insurance option from providing for” payments for all elective abortions. Indeed, factcheck.org a nonpartisan watchdog group confirmed that the bill would allow for public funding of abortion. Kind might say that only premiums paid for the public option will go for abortions, but that is like letting AIG employees earmark their Medicare payment for spa treatments and claim there is no public funding. Logically and legally the government can only spend public dollars. Strike one for Kind.
As has been widely reported, there was also an amendment by Bart Stupak (D-MI) that the Catholic Bishops supported to specifically and narrowly keep public funding for abortion out of healthcare reform. Regardless of what they thought the bill originally said, you would hope they could all support clarifying no public funds for abortion. Nope. Of the three, Kind was the only one that voted against it. Strike two for Kind.According to a recent Gallup poll Congressional approval is at historic lows along with the trust in government. There is little wonder why. When Congressman from the same party in neighbouring states cannot agree or accurately explain a bill to their constituents back home, we should lose faith in them to properly serve us. And that is a strikeout for everyone.
By Lucas at 9:40 AM
Tuesday, September 29
On a Wisconsin note, I think that Scott Walker has established himself as a fiscal leader with the experience to bring some fiscal sanity to the state. My hope would be that he could do some of the same things that Daniels has done in Indiana.
By Lucas at 8:11 PM
Thursday, August 27
Discussed throughout the conference call was a hope that this group would be one that would carry on past the United We Serve campaign to support the President’s initiatives and those issues for which the group was passionate. The making of a machine appeared to be in its infancy, initiated by the NEA, to corral artists to address specific issues. This function was not the original intention for creating the National Endowment for the Arts.
A machine that the NEA helped to create could potentially be wielded by the state to push policy. Through providing guidelines to the art community on what topics to discuss and providing them a step-by-step instruction to apply their art form to these issues, the “nation’s largest annual funder of the arts” is attempting to direct imagery, songs, films, and literature that could create the illusion of a national consensus. This is what Noam Chomsky calls “manufacturing consent.”
By Lucas at 10:29 PM
By Lucas at 10:04 PM
Tuesday, August 25
Abortion foes quickly denounced Obama’s statementVideo update on how Kind continues the fabrication coming soon.
as untrue. The NRLC’s Johnson said "the bill backed by the White House
(H.R. 3200) explicitly authorizes the government plan to cover all
elective abortions." And our analysis shows that Johnson’s statement is
correct. Though we of course take no position on whether the
legislation should allow or not allow coverage for abortions, the House
bill does just that.
By Lucas at 8:58 PM
Monday, August 24
By Lucas at 7:44 PM
Wednesday, August 12
600 W Seminary St
Richland Center, WI 53581
Thursday, August 20th
*Tomah High School Auditorium
901 Lincoln Ave
Tomah, WI 54660
Friday, August 21st
*Whitehall High School Auditorium
19121 Hobson St
Whitehall, WI 54773-8652
Tuesday, August 25th
*Darlington High School
11838 Center Hill Rd
Darlington, WI 53530-9605
Tuesday, August 25th
Since I will not be able to visit every county this August, I also plan
to hold a health care telephone town hall. Interested constituents can
dial-in to the telephone town hall by calling (toll-free)
1-877-229-8493 and entering the code 13433.
By Lucas at 9:11 PM
And what about the vaunted Feingold and his townhall listening sessions? Well, he has four in the uppermost part of the state. Almost like he is avoiding the populous areas. Well.
By Lucas at 9:03 PM
Tuesday, August 4
Tuesday, August 18th
Conference Room 2 - First Floor
181 W Seminary St.
Richland Center, WI 53581-2356
Thursday, August 20th
819 Superior Ave.
Tomah, WI 54660
Friday, August 21st
Tri-County Memorial Hospital
18601 Lincoln St.
Whitehall, WI 54773-8605
Tuesday, August 25th
Darlington Memorial Hospital
800 Clay St.
Darlington, WI 53530
By Lucas at 8:49 PM
Monday, August 3
By Lucas at 9:37 PM
Monday, July 20
By Lucas at 9:52 PM
Thursday, July 16
Then the companies' servers crash after they threaten to sue. hmmmmm.
By Lucas at 12:03 AM
Tuesday, July 14
By Lucas at 10:28 PM
By Lucas at 8:20 PM
Friday, June 26
Except for the petroleum production, this list IS Wisconsin.
Even as we see the Janesville WI GM plant destroyed by government policies, we can expect this same regulation to entrap much of the rest of the state.
By Lucas at 8:42 PM
Monday, June 22
desire to preach the Word of God? Christ the King Lutheran Church in Wilson Wisconsin shares your desire to worship the Lord in all the glory and majesty.
Worship Service Times
9:00am Sunday Worship
10:30 Truth Project
By Lucas at 8:07 PM
Sunday, June 21
By Lucas at 4:10 PM
Thursday, June 18
For website hosting I used Fatcows. Not only do they provide one of the cheapest plans but they also have top of the line customer support. I had used GoDaddy in the past and was satisfied with their price (not as good as FatCows though) but had troubles with their help and site navigation. Fatcows has a better navigation system and less service advertisements. It is simple, clean, and effective.
I have had a few issues with server speed, but they seem to have addressed those. If you do use Fat cows, please enter my website (www.visitchristtheking.org) in as your referral and I will get a slight discount on my next membership renewal.
By Lucas at 6:00 PM
Wednesday, June 17
By Lucas at 5:48 PM
Monday, June 15
Brian Riedl also offers some other ways that Republicans could and should advance to cut the size of government.
* Eliminating the $60 billion spent annually on corporate welfare programs.
* Reducing farm subsidies for large and profitable agribusinesses, which actually worsen the farm economy.
* Devolving functions like highways, economic development, education, housing, and anti-poverty programs to state and local governments that are closest to the people. This would eliminate the expensive Washington middleman, and tailoring local programs to local needs (while eliminating failed programs) would surely save tax dollars. Given the unpopularity of Washington, this should be a no-brainer.
* Most importantly, addressing Social Security and Medicare, which would otherwise require a doubling of all current tax rates. A logical place to start would be a progressive indexing of Social Security benefits for upper-income seniors and also stopping over-subsidizing the Medicare B and D premiums for upper-income seniors.
By Lucas at 9:31 PM
Monday, June 8
By Lucas at 10:43 PM
By Lucas at 2:11 PM
Thursday, June 4
By Lucas at 4:53 PM
Image by erjkprunczyk via Flickr
One would really have to be a judge and see all the evidence to make a final and conclusive judgement on the matter, but after reading both sides the fault and blame seems to fall most heavily on the shoulders of the government of Ecuador.
The Ecuador gov't started out with a 25% stake in the operation that rose to 65% and finally to total control in 1992. Texaco/Chevron and others had much of the control of the operations but had to constantly wind their way through the loops of gov't control. When Chevron finally was given the boot out of the country they negotiated an exemption from liability with the government with a clean up of their portion of the problem that cost $40 million. Did they actually clean up what they said they would? The government then said yes, and signed the contract. Outside interest groups now say no, and want to hold Chevron responsible.
I might sound like a broken record soon, but I firmly believe that good government is about following the law, and that includes the government as well. The Ecuadorian government followed few laws.
In 1999 a new law was passed that created a loophole for new Chevron liability in the case. An ex post facto or retroactive law was passed to make it possible for not only the government to hold Chevron responsibile but individuals as well. This violated the Ecuadorian constitution.
Further, the present government of Ecuador has threatened to dismiss any judge that rules in favor of Chevron. Say goodbye to an independent judiciary.
This whole scenario reminds me of John Adam's position in the Boston Massacre. John Adam's at the peril of his career and even safety argued in defense of the soldiers who shot and killed individuals at a Massachusetts protest. Why? Because the law supported them.
Chevron might not be a nice company. Maybe they are. That should not matter. Those responsible should bare the costs, and that appears to be the Ecuadorian government.
By Lucas at 9:54 AM
Monday, June 1
The Chicago-Tribune Reports:
[T]he nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, have questioned whether Wisconsin can legally or practically stop large oil companies like Exxon and British Petroleum from raising prices at the pump to make up for the state tax.
No other state taxes oil companies and bars them from passing the tax along at the pump, the Fiscal Bureau said.
"It is likely the oil industry will litigate swiftly in the hope that successful litigation would put an end to any efforts by other states to enact similar provisions," the Fiscal Bureau said in a memo for lawmakers.
The tax is a percentage based on revenues of the oil companies, not their profits as Doyle has repeatedly characterized it. Because fuel may be bought and sold several times before it gets to the pump, tracking the costs of each buyer and seller would be difficult, the Fiscal Bureau said.
So this law is not only wrong because of the higher taxes, but legally it appears fishy as well. And if the companies get lower profits in Wisconsin what is going to keep them from just leaving the state? Or at minimum building fewer gas stations or offering fewer services (like free air) with your gas purchase. There is no free lunch and that goes for the government as much as the consumer.
Really, if you hate Exxon Mobil don't buy gas from them. Taxing them will only make your gas purchasing more expensive one way or another. I for one have a bigger contempt for bad and illogical government laws.
By Lucas at 7:26 PM
Wednesday, May 27
I do not agree with my conservative brethren that the children of immigrants should be punished because their parents elected to flee from a land of oppression. And yes, I use the word “punish” because it most accurately reflects Pillman’s position. Pillman’s argument misses its mark because it assumes that children are guilty of breaking the law vicariously through their parents. Thus, according to Pillman, they are rendered ineligible for receipt of equal educational privileges enjoyed by non-immigrants.
I argued in the comments of the original article that children can be caught by legitimate laws that their parents don't obey. However, in this case, the children are also breaking the law. It is not even as Alex argues that the equivalent is punishing a child if the parent stole a car. The equivalent of Doyle's proposal would be giving a stereo system to the kid after you caught both the kid and the parent stealing and both have continued in theft.
Again, I just can't see how giving tuition is rewarding lawlessness.
By Lucas at 9:24 PM
And so even though we face the difficulties of everyone saying a justice should be confirmed simply because of her race and sex, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on Capital Hill, the sons of sixties radicals and the sons of former racists will be able to sit down together at a confirmation hearing and be blind to race.
I have a dream that one day even the Supreme Court that tortures the definition of blind equality with affirmative action will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be voted for or appointed by the color of their skin but by their character and qualifications.
I have a dream today!"
By Lucas at 6:55 PM
Tuesday, May 26
- $138,000.00 in savings over two years from the Medigap Helpline. Oh wait, the "savings" is lapsed into the general fund for other spending. Not a cut.
-Approved $25,000.00 for a feasibility study. Looks like I spoke too fast. With a $6 billion dollar deficit staring us in the face, do we have the money, even if it is only $25,000, to spend on a study?
By Lucas at 8:30 PM
Thursday, May 21
Laws are made to be followed. People are punished for breaking the laws, not rewarded. Such notions might be common sense and require the barest of understanding of justice and government but don't count on it when it comes to illegal immigration.
Doyle has proposed instate tuition for illegal immigrants but doing so will only hurt immigrants and the state and country they so desire to come to.
Of course I have to say before we actually engage the argument that I'm not opposed to immigrants or hate Mexicans, latinos, etc. In fact I was personally born in Ecuador and have Ecuadorian citizenship. I love to speak Spanish and enjoy Latino culture. I have frequently visited South American countries and have shared the heartbreak of those who live there and here and try to navigate the increasingly obtuse immigration laws.
Indeed, Doyle's idea must be opposed precisely because it hurts legal immigrants.
Please let me introduce you to Adrianna Sari a good friend of mine from Ecuador. She worked hard through high school and had the the academic and even financial means to come to study here in the United States. She knows English. She had plans to return to Ecuador and was willing to not even work here if the laws dictated such. No luck. After wasting hundreds of dollars on speaking to American immigration officials she remains stuck with not only no tuition but no opportunity to study here. Why? Because she followed the law.
Contrast that with any random illegal immigrant whether they are from Canada, Ecuador, or Poland. They break the law and avoid the proper course that Adrianna took to try and come to our land of opportunity. We miss them on the boarder and they graduate from a Wisconsin high school. Luck strikes! Free tuition! Why? Because she broke our law and ran the boarder.
Since when has the American opportunity become the opportunity to reward those who break the law and punish those who follow it? Why have we developed a false sense of compassion for those illegally within the country and still discriminate against those who want to follow the law?
One of the biggest differences between America and other countries people flee from is the rule of law. Ecuador has a very fragile understanding of the rule of law and their security and prosperity suffer. And yet Doyle is trying to destroy this same bedrock principle.
Doyle, stop rewarding the lawless and punishing the lawabiding. Give and help the legal not illegal for our own good and their own good.
By Lucas at 12:07 PM
Texaco [now Chevron] reached a $40 million agreement with Ecuador to clean a
portion of the well sites and waste pits in its concession area,
absolving it of future liability. But that cleanup, carried out in the
1990s, was far from the bookend Texaco hoped to achieve. Instead,
villagers in Ecuador became convinced they were getting sick from the
pollution left behind. They filed suit in 1993 in the United States,
and later claimed that their grievances were not covered by Texaco’s
With little respect for the law and major populism sweeping the country, any company should be ware of doing business there.
By Lucas at 11:26 AM
Monday, May 18
All smoke screen.
By Lucas at 10:38 PM
By Lucas at 10:29 PM
Saturday, May 9
That is correct. Our old friend Mitch Daniels, who went home to Indiana to engage in some hands-on governing after years as a well-liked Republican apparatchik here in Washington, says lambasting the other guy is not enough. The voters kind of like to know where candidates propose to take them.
By Lucas at 10:18 PM
Thursday, May 7
Here is the need:
According to the Bureau of Health and Information Policy “[i]n 2008, the ratio of Wisconsin marriages to Wisconsin divorces was 1.9 to 1 (there were 1.9 marriages for each divorce). This ratio has been falling since 1920, when it was 9.2 to 1; it was 6.7 to 1 in 1960; 2.2 to 1 in 1990; and 2.1 to 1 in 2000.”
Hardest hit are the children under the age of 18. Over fifty of all Wisconsin divorces in 2008 involved children under the age of 18.2
Although marriage has been defined under the Constitution as being only between one man and one women, this too continues to be under constant pressure primarily by homosexual activist who want recognitions for other forms of marriage. Just look at the same sex register for couples that Doyle is promoting.
Wisconsin Marriage Institute would recognize its members by sending the wife an anniversary gift. Gifts and gift registries for couples soon to be married would also be promoted to establish new members.
Wisconsin Marriage Institute would also provide educational resources to its members who face marriage difficulties—another given reason to be a member. Membership in WMI would be a type of marriage insurance. Not legal or absolute insurance but a guiding hand and dedicated organization to the preservation of your marriage. These resource would be especially targeted at pastors to help WMI members in their church. For example, WMI would email and/or mail the couple evaluation questions once during the year to measure their marriage health and encourage the couple.
Once every year it would also hold a couples “date night” with extra special dinning, speakers, and celebration of each of the married couples and marriage in general in the state. Members would also renew their membership at this time.
Interested? See full .pdf of the proposal.
By Lucas at 8:39 AM
Wednesday, May 6
A massive natural-gas discovery here in northern Louisiana heralds a big shift in the nation's energy landscape. After an era of declining production, the U.S. is now swimming in natural gas.
By Lucas at 11:02 AM
Tuesday, May 5
Avoid: Litmus tests. Be it issue, race, creed, or party. Please can we move past nominating people for the color of their skin or gender?
By Lucas at 1:41 PM
Yet they seem AWOL when it comes to marriage in any other context. Advance laws that decrease divorce? Strengthen laws against sex offenders? Porn filters in libraries? Sexual abuse against minors?
The facade should be obvious: It's not for the sake of marriage; they have no desire to strengthen marriage. All homosexual activists desire is societal legitimacy for their actions and a normative redefinition of the family structure.
Also, Maggie Gallgher has one of the best, thorough, and solid defenses of marriage.
By Lucas at 11:47 AM
How about too much spending? The balloon analogy is especially good.
By Lucas at 8:52 AM
Monday, May 4
Kudos to the court for getting closer to consistent when in comes to irreligious belief in the classroom, but this ruling got schools no closer to a sane and logical solution.
Again, I would give much more deference to the parents in matters of education. What did they think?
By Lucas at 8:40 PM
Saturday, May 2
And then Perez Hilton thinks he can sue for copyright infringement for the use of this profane personal attack that show his true colors? Now that is laughable. Small thing called "fair use" and 1st Amendment here Hilton.
By Lucas at 12:01 PM
Friday, May 1
Contrary to Western "international nannies," the primary conflict motivators in both countries [Pakistan and Afghanistan] are ethnic and tribal loyalties, religious fanaticism and simple opportunism. It is not a case of the "have nots" rising against the "haves," but of True Believers on a divine mission. Accordingly, neither greater economic assistance, nor more civilian advisers upcountry, nor stronger democratic institutions will eliminate the strategic threat nearly soon enough.
By Lucas at 11:43 PM
Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr
In a recorded telephone conversation between a girl posing as a 14-year-old
and a Planned Parenthood employee at its Overland Park, Kansas facility,
the employee is informed that the young girl believes she may be pregnant
by her 23-year-old boyfriend.
Planned Parenthood invites the young girl to the clinic for a pregnancy test
and informs the potential statutory rape victim that her sexual abuser
can come to the clinic to pick up the contraceptives.
The lawmakers tell LifeNews.com that, at no point during the recorded
conversation, does the employee raise any concerns about sexual abuse,
despite the fact that the situation described constitutes Aggravated
Indecent Liberties under Kansas law.
“This shocking conversation is consistent with a nationwide Planned Parenthood
pattern of covering up sexual abuse of young girls,” said Huelskamp,
also a candidate for Congress.
By Lucas at 10:05 PM
1. Try and block it in the Assembly and Senate. This will be tough however as Democrats control both chambers. Let's be blunt: they don't care about the Constitution or the laws and will try and pass this.
2. Challenge the law through the courts. The constitution and the will of the voters was plain when they passed it was to protect marriage and anything "identical or substantially similar to marriage." This is blatant disregard for our Constitution. Isn't the governor suppose to protect it?
3. Pairs of guys (who are not homosexuals) should apply for the registry if it is enacted. The whole system falls apart if every college dorm roommates can collect partner benefits. This is bluff, so call them on it.
By Lucas at 4:34 PM
“This plan is contrary to what Chrysler has been telling us all along,”
Governor Doyle said. “Now we find out through the news media that they
may be shipping Wisconsin’s jobs to Mexico. This is outrageous.
Wisconsin workers are willing to invest their hard earned tax dollars
to help save Chrysler but it is unfair to ask those same workers to
sacrifice their jobs to save a foreign plant making the exact same
Yeah, but through the other side of your mouth you raise taxes no wonder businesses are moving out. And to Mexico? If labor is cheaper why not. We aren't letting the Mexican's in.
By Lucas at 4:10 PM
Joint Finance committee voted on the budget 14 hours after the
scheduled time, at 1 a.m. Part of the plan was a new light rail system
for a train system in south eastern Wisconsin. Seeing that taxpayers
will pay $25 per ride to cover the difference for a $28 ride I don't know who thinks this is much of a deal either.
wrong with trains. I would ride and use a train if practical. I like to
be able to read on my way to work. But $28? How is that suppose to help
the people of Wisconsin during these hard economic times? I can drive
across the state to Madison for $28 each way. This is a huge government
All Republicans voted against; all Democrats for.
By Lucas at 3:48 PM
Thursday, April 30
At least two people will run: Scott Walker and Mark Nuemann.
I respect both of these guys. Couldn't one of them run for Senate instead? Of course with Doyle's numbers in the tank it is no surprise that he is attracting strong candidates to run against him.
Scott Walker is the Milwaukee Co. executive and has done an amazing job on keeping down costs and effectively running a tough county. He ran and lost in the primary against Mark Green.
Mark Nuemann is a former Congressman from Paul Ryan's 1st District. He ran against Feingold in 1998 and only lost by 2%.
By Lucas at 11:36 AM
Awards are handed out each month. Amazing idea. Now get your blogging skills and find some pork.
By Lucas at 9:44 AM
Wednesday, April 29
"Saved or created 150,000 jobs": Wrong!
"Bipartisan Health care": Wrong!
Well worth reading the whole thing. Most of Obama's talking points even the AP find over the top.
By Lucas at 10:16 PM
By Lucas at 10:01 PM
Tuesday, April 28
Marriage may not make you rich -- that's not its purpose -- but a biblical proverb reveals this nifty side effect: "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work."
So while many young Americans mark their days in the usual ways -- by hitting the clubs, incessantly checking Facebook, Twittering their latest love interest and obsessing about their poor job prospects or how to get into graduate school -- my applause goes out to those among them who've figured out that the proverb was right. One of those is Jennifer, a 23-year-old former student of mine. She's getting married this fall. It wasn't religion that made her do it. It wasn't fear of being alone. It was simply affection. She met Jake while still in college and decided that there was no point in barhopping through her 20s. Her friends balked. She stood firm. Now they're bridesmaids.
By Lucas at 3:20 PM
Wednesday, April 22
By Lucas at 8:12 AM
Monday, April 20
By Lucas at 3:09 PM
Saturday, April 18
The downside, though, is the bellicose way in which the Americans have pledged to sort the piracy problem out.
No-one seemed that bothered when it was just Filipinos, Indians and Egyptians being held.
By Lucas at 10:53 PM
Italy's "Festival di San Remo," the most important musical happening in my country which is seen on T.V. by millions of Italians, became the unlikely platform this year for a powerful ex-gay testimony. The singer, Giuseppe Povia, winner of the festival in 2006, presented a song entitled, "Luca Era Gay" (Luca was once gay)
By Lucas at 11:22 AM
Again, this is a savvy move by the homosexual agenda to get Republicans to think that supportinig marriage is the cause of their troubles, but is is also false. Once both parties accept a position, it is as good as passed.
Obama didn't win by pulling over homosexuals to vote for him. Indeed he walked a tightrope on the opinion saying he opposed homosexual marriage while silently supporting everything (like DOMA and allowing homosexuality in the military) that destroys marriage. For all the smoke they blow, homosexual activist are actually a small (but motivated) group solidly supporting Obama.
Obama DID win by appealing to rural populist voters. Take a look at the counties he swapped from GOP in 2004 to Obama in 2008 and you will understand this trend. It was not the liberal (and homosexual) populated areas like Madison, but the rural areas like Columbia County that saw some of the biggest change.
This all goes to show that the GOP has more to lose than gain simply politically not to mention morally from accepting homosexuality. The moral conservative base that effectively turned out for Bush languished in enthusiasm for McCain.
The biggest anger and backlash for the GOP is on the fiscal side. Tea parties anyone? Rejecting Steele to speak? These traditional supporters of the Republicans are rightly skeptical and witholding support until they see a true return to limited government, and fiscal sanity. Indeed any Big Tent concept with homosexual voters for the GOP would be best served by simply getting the fiscal part right.
By Lucas at 11:04 AM
The new law offers citizenship to many individuals now in limbo. It also stops the previous practice of granting citizenship in perpetuity to children of Canadians born abroad, limiting eligibility to children of parents born in Canada.
On the other hand, you might "wake up Canadian!" If you are, I say "cool eh?!"
By Lucas at 9:24 AM
Friday, April 17
Gov. Jim Doyle's approval rating hit an all-time low in a survey that has tracked it since he took office in 2003.
The St. Norbert College Survey Center Poll sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio released Friday shows that only 45 percent of respondents are very or somewhat satisfied with Doyle.
That is the lowest numbers for the Democratic governor since 54 percent said they were satisfied in fall 2007.
A year ago, 59 percent said they were satisfied with Doyle.
This is probably worse than the poll says. NPR presidential polls always skewed liberal against results. I suspect real number are hovering around high 30s or 40%.
Why? The people of Wisconsin know that more taxes and fees is not the way to get us out of economic troubles. That is part of the reason Land O Lakes is moving out of Madison Wisconsin too.
By Lucas at 12:10 PM
Wednesday, April 15
By Lucas at 9:48 PM
Tuesday, April 14
Tax day brings me back to the purpose of taxes. Are they necessary. Yes. Are taxes too high or too low? That is really the wrong question. The question should more be if they are being used for a legitimate end. Are my taxes going to prop up the luxury of those in power? If so, those taxes are wrong. Are my taxes going to snipe out pirates off Somalia? Security is a legitimate government interest, so that's ok.
What about bailing out AIG? Pass. USSR taught us about government business. What about welfare queens? Gov't wasn't' ever designed to play religious duty of helping out the less fortunate by taxing the successful.
Taxes have been abused when they have been targeted specifically with targeted benefit. Taxes are best when they are commonly leveled for the common good.
By Lucas at 1:57 PM
Last month, the Senate finally approved legislation that ends automatic pay increases for members of Congress. This feat could not have been accomplished without the influx of letters and phone calls that came into Congress as public outrage over the pay raises grew into a national discussion on issues that have long angered many people across the country. The final bill that passed was virtually identical to the legislation that we have been advocating for some time.
By Lucas at 9:30 AM
Sunday, April 12
No, I don’t claim to know how everything began; that is part of the wonder of it, for me, that all of this should have come from something simple. It is impossible, as I believe your Job quote implies, to know exactly what happened when the universe was created; we can observe it only indirectly through lingering radiation and through mathematics. Is the universe infinite in time, especially considering that time as we know it did not exist before the Big Bang? Did the universe unfurl from a single point or multiple points? Has it happened before? Is it a result of parallel universes bumping into each other? Does it happen the same way every time?
I am not saying that a parent should be limited in what they teach
their children, but I don’t want to have to pay to teach it to every
child who passes through a public school, especially as including
creationism in science class is so often a way to undermine science
rather than to contribute to our understanding of it. If a parent wants
to pass on their faith, they should do it through one of the other
avenues available; through their church, through their friends who have
get-togethers expressly for that purpose, or even just instructing
their children themselves; besides, it is much more personal that way,
as spirituality should be. If they want their children to be open to
multiple religious options or learn about the cultural significance of
various beliefs, then they should do so through a religions class or
philosophy course. Science is exclusively the domain of the explainable
and physical, and things that can’t be proven are set aside not
necessarily because scientists think it’s dumb but because there’s
really nothing that they can do with it. (And as far as the North
retaking the South: well, personally I think that as far as morality
goes, slavery, while it kept the South afloat financially, was worth
stopping; however, legally the North wasn’t really justified.)
By Lucas at 7:15 PM
Saturday, April 11
Which scientists? Actual, academic biologists, or people who are just there to give an appearance of disagreement? Evolution is so not debated that it's the foundation of modern biology; in fact, that is why it is called a theory. You might be familiar with other theories--like the theory of relativity, the kinetic molecular theory, germ theory, and atomic theory. And boy, isn't it brazen of schools to require people to learn about atoms, considering that they're just a theory? Newtonian theory was an early thing that was, just like Darwin's original theory of evolution, flawed but later modified when it did not fit the evidence. This is what science does, unlike creationism; if it doesn't work, it is fixed.
However, in both of those instances the overall gist of the theory was correct; the problem with humans is that we do not live very long and our experience of the world is limited. Given that we move incredibly slowly, we did not notice the effects of relativity until recently and even then mostly indirectly; likewise, as we cannot see DNA with our bare eyes, Darwin could not know the precise ins and outs of evolution. The basics of both are still used today, though; in math class we still learn the Newtonian model for the sake of simplicity, and in biology we still learn "survival of the fittest" even though it's more complicated than that.
Creationism does not rely on evidence, and if it did, all of its practitioners would give up on it. The only arguments for creationism are a.) "it's in the bible so it must be true" and b.) "you can't explain that [yet] so therefore I must be right." Creationism is based on faith; science is based on open-minded observation and skepticism. Multiple disciplines, not just evolution, defy the young earth myth; that relativity that you mentioned being one of them, as how else would we be able to see other galaxies if the light hadn't had time to reach here yet? Unless one were to make the argument that god put all of this evidence here to make it look like the universe began billions of years ago even though it didn't, which is really just odd and rather obtuse.
Science should be taught in all of its permutations, yes; although keep in mind that the decision on what is most likely true in the objective, scientific world should be left to people who have been studying it for years, not to bored sophomores who really don't have the background to be able to make an educated decision (so none of that "teach the controversy."). And as I explained, creationism does not hold up in the scientific realm--when was the last time you saw an academic paper on creationism survive a serious publication?--and therefore should be kept to the realm of faith.
And what, I hope you are not suggesting that science classes should leave all of the origins theory to the religion classes, even the scientific ones? That would be unwise, as we owe it to the next generation to be educated in science and the processes of the universe.
Certainly science should have an aspect in religion classes; shouldn't it be present everywhere? Science is the frame by which we understand the world and if we can weave other things into it, we should. Religious myths in a public system should always be taught as hypothetical so it is important to establish a position from which to view them.
Exactly. Whose kids are they, and why should the state have to bother teaching them about religion? If the parents want to teach something to their kids, what's stopping them? The state does not care what is taught within the confines of the home or the religious community, only do not use my tax money to teach religion to people who want no part of it, and do use it to educate people about things that are relevant to everybody, not just those select few who follow these faiths.
I believe an understanding of the difference of our presuppositions is critical. To ignore them we are not even looking at the same topic. So let's go back to when there was once nothing. At least as far as material existence and the laws that govern them. In the beginnings past that original state of nothing we have fundamental and even irreconcilable differences. I believe that in the beginning there was God. Everything else fits within this rubric. He created science, matter, life, and the laws that govern our material existence. As you said however you believe that "Science is the frame by which we understand the world..." Correct me if I am wrong but I understand this to mean that when you understand the origins of beginnings--the move from nothing to everything--you believe in the appearance of matter and the scientific framework by which our existence is continued. The nonexistence of God and the appearance of matter would be your presupposition.
In short, I believe, in the beginning God. You believe in the beginning matter/scientific laws.
I come back to my question in the previous post: are not both of these points of view religious or determined on faith? We go from nothing to everything. Can that be explained by the confines of "open-minded observation and skepticism"? Indeed, when you stated: "Creationism is based on faith; science is based on open-minded observation and skepticism" I saw it as comparing apples to oranges. Your first statement is about my belief in origins and nothing about my approach to understanding how I study the world; the second is about how you study the world and nothing about what you believe about origins. It is really two different topics mismatched in comparison.
Am I saying that classes that talk about origins should be consider religious? Yes. As I was talking about above I see existence and the corrolated presuppositions in the order of "God ---> everything else" you see it as "Matter/science -->everything else". Neither can be proved by objective observation and both must be taken by faith. Yes, evidence that we observe can be marshaled on either side (i.e. God created mature stars, with light already shining even as he created mature man and animals) but the fundamental elements of origins is a matter of belief.
I know I have been bold in characterizing what you think about the origins, so if I am in error please let me know. You don't know how much I value your highly thoughtful comments.
As this relates to public education, I could agree with you Alexius, with the idea that government should not be in the business of teaching faith. Drawing the line of when belief begins separated from universally excepted facts is messy. That is why in actual application I think the better option is to give parents as much as possible the responsibility to teach their kids what they want rather than political, educational, or scientific elite. We know both can error, but when it comes to kids they are wards of the parents not of the state. If a parent is teaching that it was right for the South to leave the Union and the scientist and his peers believe that the North really was in the right to preserve the union, I would back the parents with my tax dollars even though I think there is no sound basis for their opinion. This same tolerence for parental Creation influence in their children's education is all I am asking for. I am not so much debating the validity of creation.
A few quick specific answers:
"Evolution is so not debated that it's the foundation of modern biology; in fact, that is why it is called a theory."
No, macro evolution is still debated in biology such as Michael Behe's irreducible complexity.
"the problem with humans is that we do not live very long and our experience of the world is limited."
Amen. The more I learn the more I am humbled by this reality. It also provides (as you implied) a good caveat to those who might be dogmatic about human ability to interpert what we experience, and (for me) a greater ability to accept paradoxes in light of the presuppositions I believe in. Indeed, the last chapters of Job are a constant source of inspiration to me in this area:
"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determiend its measurements--surely you know! Or stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sones of god shouted for joy?
And I echo with Job (42:2-3) I know that you can do everything...therefore have I uttered what I do not understand."
By Lucas at 11:15 PM
Friday, April 10
Join us for a reception in honor of
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin
2nd District, Wisconsin
Member, Energy & Commerce Committee
Member, Judiciary Committee
And you wonder how the incumbents get re-elected...esp. when you are a pork spender like Tammy Baldwin.
By Lucas at 1:31 PM
The liberal tag line about this being a failed nation with little stability, etc. is precisely the point. If a country cannot control it's own citizens than it is our responsibility to protect and punish those who attack our citizens. The quicker we deal with these pirates, the sooner stability will come to places like Somalia.
The current policy of playing helpless and paying ransom is a news bulletin to the world that ocean ships are quick easy cash. Ransoms negotiated outside of government control must be outlawed, and any captured pirate severely punished.
Our nations first budget and international policy was dominated by freedom of the seas and trade. Now is not a time to leave that heritage behind.
By Lucas at 1:18 PM
Thursday, April 9
"Every piece of research we have done has shown that the generation gap is closing," Gould says. "Girls and boys truly look to their parents for second opinions, and they want to make sure they are doing what their parents feel is appropriate for them."
Does this mean that family is cool? "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." Seems pretty biblical too.
By Lucas at 10:54 AM
Tuesday, April 7
By Lucas at 8:04 PM
Tuesday, March 31
By Lucas at 9:34 PM
Wild Wisconsin DPI coverage:
Tony Evers Bashes Homeschoolers
DPI Letter to the editor
Personal Interview with Rose Fernandez
So Who is Funding Tony Evers?
Wild Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Coverage:
Judge Abrahamson and Planned Barrenhood
CapTimes Seeks Religious Litmus of Koschnick
Why Rose Fernandez? Well first off, when the teachers unions spend more than parents for both candidates combined you gotta wonder what Evers will be giving to them. But that is only the smell test. The real test is who they see as the primary agents of control. Rose Fernandez = Parents. Tony Evers = WEAC and Madison. (Not to mention that his campaign promised me an interview but never could find a time or get back to me.)
Abrahamson also has a long and biased history in manipulating the constitution to fit her own agenda. Koschnick has promised that “The role of a justice is to apply the law; not make it. I pledge to not legislate from the bench."
Wild Wisconsin endorses parents in education and the law in justice.
By Lucas at 8:59 PM