Wednesday, January 31, 2007

OpinionJournal - Leisure & Arts: TV's Evangelist for Capitalism

re: John H. Fund writes, "Despite his renown as a Nobel Prize-winning economist and best-selling author, most people came to know the late Milton Friedman through television. His 10-part 1980 series, "Free to Choose," was so popular that it aired three times on public television and is even now adding fans via a free Internet video-stream (www.ideachannel.tv)./ So it's fitting that the original team of producers for "Free to Choose" returned to PBS Monday (declared "Milton Friedman Day" in California by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco) with a 90-minute intellectual biography called "The Power of Choice: The Life and Times of Milton Friedman." (Many public television stations are airing the program at other times this week; check local listings.)...[snip]...As much as the show is a celebration of Friedman's life and work, it also showcases the remarkable entrepreneur who made it and "Free to Choose" possible. Bob Chitester produced the original series while serving as the only public-TV station manager in the country who didn't believe in government subsidies. A tireless promoter, he raised the equivalent of $8 million today for the series--entirely from private sources, an achievement that delighted Friedman..."...

The Corner on National Review Online: Virgin Stem Cells

re: Yuval Levin writes, "Richard Branson, the man behind Virgin Atlantic and assorted other Virgin-branded companies, is going into the stem cell storage business. His new company, to be launched tomorrow, will store umbilical cord blood stem cells (obtained after birth, without raising ethical concerns) for parents who hope they might someday be therapeutically useful for a member of the family. This Times article does its best to rustle up some controversy, but its assertion that “some anti-abortion groups believe that any use of stem cells will lead to human cloning” is just plain bonkers. No anti-abortion group opposes the use of umbilical cord blood cells. The “controversy” such as it is has to do with whether there ought to be private banks of such cells or only government-run public ones. Some European countries, not surprisingly, have opted to permit only public banks. The British (and the US) permit both."...

Newt Gingrich & Christopher Levenick on Wren Cross & William & Mary on National Review Online

re: "...The controversy at William and Mary is one of Nichol’s own creation, based on vicarious offense taken in the service of arbitrary principle. He would have been better served to heed the counsel of O’Connor’s former colleague, the liberal Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer. Breyer has recently come to understand that, whatever else may be said of the matter, the Constitution intends to diminish the possibility of religious conflict. Those who needlessly disturb the peace are thus at direct odds with its purpose; tearing down long-established religious symbols is therefore as unacceptable as needlessly erecting new ones. To be sure, Breyer’s idea leaves much to be desired as a legal principle. But, as a practical administrative rule of thumb, it makes a great deal of sense, offering us all a moment of relief, as welcome and rare as a quiet Christmas."...

Monday, January 29, 2007

OpinionJournal - Gliberalism

re: from Ruth R. Wisse, the Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and a professor of comparative literature at Harvard, "...Recent surveys confirm that university faculties have been tilting steadily leftward, but I think it is wrong to assume they have been tilting toward "liberalism" as is commonly assumed. Liberalism worthy of the name emphasizes freedom of the individual, democracy and the rule of law. Liberalism is prepared to fight for those freedoms through constitutional participatory government, and to protect those freedoms, in battle if necessary. What we see on the American campus is not liberalism, but a gutted and gutless "gliberalism," that leaves to others the responsibility for governance, and arrogates to itself the right to criticize. It accepts money from the public purse without assuming reciprocal duties for the public good. Instead of debating public policy in the public arena, faculty says, "I quit," but then continues to draw benefits from the system it will not protect..."...

Defining Literacy Down -- Do Your Kids Read Books?

re: from Albert Mohler, "Every generation worries about the next -- and usually with good reason. Here is another reason for worry about today's adolescents and young adults -- they don't read. That is a generalization, of course. But the generalization seems to be holding true./Thomas Washington, librarian at a Washington, DC area private school, recently contributed a "lament" to The Washington Post. The kids are privileged and have no problem of access to books, but they do not read..."...

Press Releases - American Anglican Council Live Website

re: The Rt. Rev. Peter Lee, the Episcopal Bishop of Virginia, is trying to claim that CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America) is not a part of the Anglican Communion. Writes The Rev. Canon David C. Anderson, President and CEO, American Anglican Council, "...The only problem is that TEC’s membership is currently in a stand-down mode and is under critical review. Further sanctions may in fact be levied against TEC, and this would weaken Bishop Lee’s standing in the Anglican Communion as well./CANA, on the other hand is also a part of the Anglican Communion, but through the Anglican Province of Nigeria instead of The Episcopal Church in the United States. CANA was formed legally within the Constitution and Canons of the Nigerian church, and CANA’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, was consecrated with other Nigerian bishops at a service in the cathedral in Abuja, Nigeria, last summer. Bishop Minns sits in the House of Bishops of Nigeria as a voting member along with the other Nigerian bishops. CANA’s connection to the Anglican Communion is through Nigeria, which is not under any stand-down protocol or critical review within the Anglican Communion. It is, in fact, the largest and fastest growing of all the Anglican provinces./The irony of Bishop Lee’s remarks is that he gets the exclusive claim wrong. The Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church (of the United States) are both tarnished at present, whereas the Province of Nigeria and her CANA mission in the United States are untarnished and in good standing. Although both the Diocese of Virginia and CANA exist as churches under their representative provinces, the status of the U.S. province is clouded; furthermore, TEC is diminishing numbers, representing just over 2 million individuals on the roles, whereas the Province of Nigeria is rapidly growing and has approximately 20 million in church on Sundays..."...

The Scotsman - Business - 'Delivering' difficult in a climate of fear

re: Jim Buchan on a recent Scottish farming conference, at which frustration was voiced on reforms that were supposed to reduce paperwork but achieved the reverse, regulations, policies "based on some pretty flimsy evidence and doubtful assumptions," supermarkets that flex their muscle on pricing, etc...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

OpinionJournal - Hot Topic: Very, Very Big Corn

re: ethanol and its consequences...

BrothersJudd Blog: THE RAGING FUNDAMENTALISTS:

re: Alister McGrath, author of Dawkins' God, on Richard Dawkins's panicky book against religion...

BrothersJudd Blog: PURITAN NATION FILES:

re: a crackdown on crime in skid row in LA is having notable success...

The Swamp - Chicago Tribune - Fonda, Sarandon, throngs in protest

re: Mark Silva leads into his post with "When Jane Fonda shows up to protest the war in Iraq in the shadow of the Capitol, the president and Congress know they have a bona-fide anti-war protest on their hands..."...

(He's kidding, right?)

Considerettes - Conservative commentary served up in bite-sized bits » Dems Talk the Talk, and Stop There

re: links to Power Line post on Democrats blocking Gregg Amendment, which would have put questionable spending under more scrutiny...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Captain's Quarters: You Knew Darned Well I Was A Snake Before You Took Me In

re: From Captain Ed, "I often think about the wisdom contained in the classic, "The Snake", about the fatal naiveté of a woman who succoured a snake back to health, only to receive a fatal bite in the end. That parable struck me when I read this story about Lloyds of London balking at paying a £30 million reinsurance judgment to North Korea after agreeing to underwrite under the terms of North Korean law...[snip]...A few weeks ago, I blogged on the scam that Kim Jong-Il was running on insurers in order to gain hard currency, now that the US has shut down their counterfeiting fence. Kim has raked in over $150 million already in insurance fraud, primarily life insurance, because he has control of all of the official agencies that would substantiate any claims. At the time, I warned that the reinsurance market would bear the brunt of Kim's fraud and suggested that they declare any claim without independent verification as baseless./And that's exactly what Lloyd's intends to do, but unfortunately, their contract forces them to accept North Korean courts as the authority having jurisdiction for any dispute. Why they accepted these terms is a question they have yet to answer, but the fact is that they did, and they have been accepting the premiums for nine years on this policy..."...

OpinionJournal - Potomac Watch: If the Cap Fits

re: Kimberly A. Strassel writes, "Washington this week officially welcomed the newest industry on the hunt for financial and regulatory favors. Big CarbonCap may have the same dollar-sign agenda as Big Oil or Big Pharma, but don't expect Nancy Pelosi to admit to it...[snip]...What makes this lobby worse than the usual K-Street crowd is that it offers no upside. At least when Big Pharma self-interestedly asks for fewer regulations, the economy benefits. There's nothing capitalist about lobbying for a program that foists its debilitating costs on taxpayers and consumers while redistributing the wealth to a few corporate players./This is what comes from Washington steadily backstepping energy policy into the interventionist 1970s, picking winners and losers. In ethanol, in biodiesel, in wind farms, success isn't a function of supply or demand. The champs are the ones that coax out of Washington the best subsidies and regulations. Global warming is simply the biggest trough yet..."...

OpinionJournal - Meet the Clients

re: Cameron Stracher, publisher of the New York Law School Law Review and co-director of the Program in Law & Journalism, has some ideas on how law schools could better prepare law students to become lawyers...

OpinionJournal - Jack Bauer's Dilemmas -- and Ours

re: Brian M. Carney on watching the television show "24" as "a kind of primer on moral philosophy"...

OpinionJournal - Keeping an Eye on the Collection Plate

re: David Gibson, author of of The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle With the Modern World" (HarperSanFrancisco, 2006), takes on the increasing drumbeat of stories of financial malfeasance within the Catholic Church, countering with instances of improved financial oversight...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

As I See It Now: That Was Then, This Is Now...

re: "...I wanted our house to be the one people in charge of church plays or ladies' teas came to when they needed props. And it was..."...

bookfever.com : Nancy Drew for Smart Kids: Mysteries by Augusta Huiell Seaman

re: long, detailed Christine M. Volk article on prolific and popular author of early 1900s...

Union Told Me to Pay Dues or Change Religion, Teacher Says -- 01/25/2007

re: "(CNSNews.com) - Told by a union official to pay forced dues or "change religions," a teacher in southern Ohio is challenging a state law that allows only those public employees who belong to certain denominations the right to claim religious objection to paying union dues./Carol Katter, a mathematics and language arts instructor in the St. Marys district, filed a federal complaint in the U.S. District Court in Columbus this week over an Ohio law that prevents the lifelong Catholic from diverting her dues from a union she refuses to fund because it supports abortion on demand...[snip]..."I had never belonged to a teacher's union [because] I know where NEA money goes, and I knew I never wanted to be a part of that," Katter said. "When it became mandatory last year, we were told our dues could go to a charity./"However, she later learned that members of only two religions receive the charity exception. "If you're a Seventh-Day Adventist or a Mennonite, you're pretty well covered" because unions "don't hassle them at all" due to those denominations' history of objection to union membership, she said..."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

OpinionJournal - Outside the Box: A Spending Sham

re: Pete du Pont explains that "Pay as you go" (aka "paygo") is a sneaky way for the new Congress to make government bigger...

Captain's Quarters: French Socialist Demands Quebec Sovereignty

re: "The political trajectory of Ségolène Royal suffered a little turbulence yesterday, as she managed to insult one of France's allies and inject herself into a long-standing point of contention in Canada. Campaigning for the French presidency, Royal demanded "sovereignty and liberty" for the French-speaking province of Quebec..."...

Captain's Quarters: The Conservatism of Rudy Giuliani

re: why conservatives should give Giuliani a second look, with link to and excerpt from Steven Malanga article at City Journal...

Reason & Revelation: Wyoming Catholic College

re: a different approach to higher ed...

Phi Beta Cons on National Review Online

re: David French writes, "Clark’s Friday post referring to Charles Murray’s critique of cultural relativism in the academy reminds me of a point that I’ve been wanting to make for some time: Our colleges are not overrun with either moral or cultural relativism. The problem is the opposite — moral and cultural absolutism..."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

The Kentucky Library and Museum Online: Rice Collection

re: papers, mostly incoming letters, associated with Kentucky author Alice Hegan Rice (1870-1942) and her poet/dramatist husband, Cale Young Rice (1872-1943)...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Historical perspective and commentary on a Muslim being sworn into Congress

re: David Barton of wallbuilders.com looks at Islam and America, past and present, and offers advice to fellow Christians...

Jules Crittenden » Iran/Hezbollah Makes Its Move

re: "While we’re distracted with Billary, Obama, SOTU, surge, etc., Iran and its Hezbollah stooges are making their move in Lebanon..."...

Richard Dawkins -- On a Mission to Convert

re: Albert Mohler writes about a recent review by H. Allen Orr in The New York Review of Books about Richard Dawkins's book The God Delusion. From Orr, "...The most disappointing feature of The God Delusion is Dawkins's failure to engage religious thought in any serious way. This is, obviously, an odd thing to say about a book-length investigation into God. But the problem reflects Dawkins's cavalier attitude about the quality of religious thinking..." And Orr is a fan of previous work of Dawkins...

Scotsman.com News - Scotsman Nationhood Debate

re: The Scotsman is marking the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union by promoting debate on nationhood in Scotland, "[o]n the streets, in print and online". Includes a road tour blog...

Scotsman.com News - 'Moral panic' threat to children of drug addicts

re: "HUNDREDS of children whose parents are drug addicts face the risk of being taken into care because of a "moral panic" over the issue, Scotland's drug and alcohol tsar has warned./Tom Wood, chairman of the Scottish Association of Drug and Alcohol Action Teams, warned that knee-jerk responses to the issue of protecting drug addicts' children could do far more harm than good..."...

The Scotsman - Business - Sale ends the Silicon Glen dream

re: "THE decade-long dream of creating a cutting-edge global electronics hub in the heart of Scotland was abandoned yesterday, after Scottish Enterprise sold its stake in the scheme./The 96-acre Alba Campus in Livingston is now to be converted into a general use business park after garnering just a fraction of the 6,000 jobs it was expected to attract..."...

The Scotsman - Business - Slated by TV gurus, now Cabtivate folds

re: "CABTIVATE, the in-taxi TV advertising company which was slated on the BBC's Dragon's Den, is set to be liquidated. /The Edinburgh-based company paid taxi drivers to put television screens in their vehicles and aimed to generate funds from selling advertising..."...

On Slippery Slopes, the Blogosphere, and (oh, yes) Women - Books & Culture

re: Susan Wise Bauer explains some of the thinking behind her approving review of John Stackhouse's book Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender, and also explains why "As a metaphor, the slippery slope is loaded with associations" and suggests "Perhaps we could replace the slippery slope with a more biblical metaphor, such as the narrow path..."...

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Weekly Standard: A Worthwhile U.N. Initiative!

re: Wesley J. Smith writes, "Can anything good come out of the United Nations? Actually, yes. Little noted in December, the General Assembly adopted a "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities." If ratified by most member nations, the convention could strengthen protections for many people with disabilities./This is no trivial matter. In many countries, people with disabilities face significant, sometimes life-threatening discrimination. According to a 1997 study published in the British medical journal Lancet, about 8 percent of all infants who die each year in the Netherlands are euthanized by physicians due to severe illness or disability. North Korea has been accused by defectors of killing disabled newborns, a charge made all the more credible by New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof's assertion in 2003 that North Korea "systematically" exiles "mentally retarded and disabled people from the capital, so as not to mar its beauty." The People's Republic of China has legalized certain eugenics policies, while here in the United States, disability-rights activists complain that disabled patients face medical discrimination, such as being pressured into signing do-not-resuscitate orders when they enter the hospital with non-life-threatening conditions..."...

The Forgotten Virtue

re: Harvey Mansfield recommends the book Plato and the Virtue of Courage by Linda R. Rabieh...

ADF: In one week, four ADF lawsuits compel four schools to allow pro-life student speech on Roe v. Wade - Alliance Defense Fund

re: public schools get the message that they can't block non-disruptive pro-life student speech...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The 10 Most Expensive Books Of 2006 - Forbes.com

re: "...Auction houses and collectors did brisk business in rare books in 2006, setting records in several categories. A 15th-century edition of maps by the second-century Greek mathematician Ptolemy brought in $4 million, the highest price ever paid for an atlas. An 1873 signed edition of Une saison en enfer (A Season in Hell) by the poet Arthur Rimbaud brought in a record price for a work of French literature, $644,000..."...

CitizenLink: Embryos, Floods and the Naming of Names

re: the baby boy Noah, once a frozen embryo rescued after Hurricane Katrina...

CitizenLink: Arizona Lawmakers Introduce Assisted-Suicide Bill

re: Four Democratic members of the Arizona state House presented legislation that would legalize physician-assisted death, LifeNews.com reported...[snip]...Dan Kennedy, chief executive of Human Life of Washington, said it's not the answer to suffering./"We think that the answer is love and care at the end of life and not eliminating patients," he said. "This turns (care) 180 degrees and asks doctors to be complicit in something we find morally offensive."/Legislators in California, Hawaii and Vermont have voted down similar bills and Michigan voters opposed a measure to legalize assisted suicide in their state..."...

BooksForKidsBlog

re: retired librarian blogs about books...

hat tip: Glenn Reynolds

Who’s “Superior”? « Expat Yank

re: Robert notes that while author Frank McLynn seems to know a good bit about the 12th century, in his book Lionheart and Lackland: King Richard, King John and the Wars of Conquest, McLynn does seem to misunderstand what the United Nations was chartered to do (McLynn uses it as a comparison to the power of Capetian kings versus former vassal-states and vassal-kings)...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Semicolon: Bloggers' Reading Lists 2006

re: round-up of lists of what was read in 2006 and/or what's on deck for 2007...

OpinionJournal - Federation: After Bush

re: Wilfred M. McClay discusses the past, present and future of conservatism and notes, among other things, that "...Americans in general too easily forget such times of struggle and division, making them over into placid and uncomplicated memories. A bipartisan example of this creative amnesia occurred at the time of Reagan's death in June 2004 and spilled over into that year's presidential campaign. Television journalists and Democratic candidates alike repeatedly contrasted the idyllic spirit of unity at home and cooperation abroad that allegedly prevailed during the cold-war years under Reagan with the national disunity prevailing over the Iraq issue under Bush. Many Americans, even some old enough to know better, seem actually to have credited such ridiculous assertions..."...

Opportunity Lost - Prison Fellowship

re: Chuck Colson notes that the movie The Children of Men completely lost what PD James had to say in the novel...

There’s a Brand New Church with passion in rural America - (BP)

re: rapidly growing church in rural Arkansas, called Brand New Church (aka BNC), to emphasize 'the message of a brand-new life in Christ'...

SBC Baptist Press - FIRST-PERSON: An event even the ACLU should love

re: Religious Freedom Day and related issues...

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Point: Re: More on 'Children of Men'

re: Gina Dalfonnzo pulls out Dorothy Sayers to counter the movie approach to "The Children of Men" (which apparently has little in common with James's vision)...

$1M in alleged arson suffered by historic N.C. congregation - (BP)

re: "GREENVILLE, N.C. (BP)--One of North Carolina’s oldest Baptist church buildings suffered at least $1 million in damages from a blaze set by suspected arsonists Saturday night, Jan. 13. / The Memorial Baptist Church in Greenville was one of two churches targeted in suspected arson attacks during the night. The other church, Unity Free Will Baptist, sustained about $40,000 in damages. /At a third church, Oakmont Baptist, an apparent break-in was thwarted by an alarm. /All three congregations are within a mile of each other in Greenville, a city of about 65,000 people in eastern North Carolina..."...

City of Hillsdale, Michigan

re: info on small town in South Central Michigan, bordering Indiana and Ohio...

Investigation Follows Fatal Radio Station Contest - News

re: "SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Officials continue to investigate after a Rancho Cordova woman died Friday following a water-drinking contest at a Sacramento radio station./The family of Jennifer Strange said she died after taking part in a competition at the office of KDND 107.9 The End in an attempt to win a Nintendo Wii video game system for her three children./Assistant Sacramento County coroner Ed Smith said a preliminary investigation found evidence consistent with water intoxication in the death./Strange was the runner-up in the contest that required drinking huge amounts of water in a short amount of time..."...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Captain's Quarters: Final Islamist Collapse in Somalia

re: "The final organized base of the Union of Islamic Courts fell to Ethiopian and Somali forces last night, completing the lightning rout of what had been an ascendant radical Islamist force. Ras Kamboni had been the last organized redoubt for the UIC, and now they have fled into to forests on the Kenyan border..."...

Birds

re: "...Patuxent Wildlife Research Center scientists are currently conducting research on a wide variety of scientific topics..."...

The Loneliness of Modern Man « Glory to God for All Things

re: "...As modern man has lost his stability... so we have lost the fruit of stability..."...

hat tip: The Anchoress

Missing Missouri boy's parents turned grief into crusade | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

re: "RICHWOODS, Mo. — The parents of Shawn Hornbeck say hope and sheer obsession with finding their son helped them endure the more than four years after the boy was abducted while riding his bike./
The family turned its grief into a crusade, telling anyone who'd listen about what happened to their son and the dangers of strangers. Their work was rewarded Friday with the improbable return of the boy, now a shaggy-haired 15-year-old, and another boy who vanished Monday...[snip]...Hornbeck was abducted the same year as Elizabeth Smart. Long after the volunteer search parties disbanded, the Akers kept the search alive./Along the way, they did all they could to help others in a similar situation, founding the Shawn Hornbeck Foundation to assist in the search and recovery of missing kids. Every time there was an abduction in eastern Missouri, it was a safe bet the Akers would show up to offer help..."...

The Scotsman - Features - The Scotsman Book Club

re: "...The Scotsman Book Club's next book will be the graphic novel version of Kidnapped. Adapted by Alan Grant and illustrated by Cam Kennedy, it's out on 1 February as part of Edinburgh's One Book – One City reading campaign organised by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature..."...

little old house on the hill in the woods

re: one of tonia's new blogs...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Napa Valley Register | Spurred by Schiavo, Catholics turn to church for legal guidance

re: AP article with a few errors (has incorrect spelling for Terri Schiavo's first name, claims she was in a persistant vegetative state, pushes the edge on a few Catholic teachings by quoting liberal priests...) still manages to get across that Catholics are pushing to have Church doctrine respected when they are seriously ill or dying. Article ends with good observation: "Other Catholics who have signed similar document are less focused on the feeding tube debate. Jeremiah Murphy, 76, an attorney and Catholic lobbyist in Sioux Falls, S.D., drafted his own Catholic durable power of attorney after undergoing emergency heart surgery in 1988./ As he was wheeled around the hospital, Murphy said he realized many generic living wills would allow a surgeon to make life-or-death decisions for him in a crisis. He had always assumed a longtime family doctor or his wife would make any difficult choices./“It’s not. It’s the last specialist who gets his hands on you,” Murphy said. “They don’t know anything about my philosophy or anything else. And this guy’s going to decide whether they turn the key or not?”..."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Captain's Quarters: The Softly-Softly General

re: "President Bush selected General David Petraeus as his new commander in Iraq in part because of his success in pacifying his sector of the Iraq theater in 2003. Petraeus learned the tactics as a student of British experience in imperial military counterinsurgency operations, a point that the Times of London believes will make a significant difference..."...

OpinionJournal - Extra" 'Malicious Advocacy'

re: "The Carter Center councilors' letter of resignation"...

OpinionJournal - Cross Country: Let There Be 'Blight'

re: "SEATTLE--The city of Burien, Wash., recently decided that a piece of property owned by the seven Strobel sisters that had long housed a popular diner-style restaurant was not upscale enough for the city's ambitious "Town Square" development, which will feature condos, shops, restaurants and offices. Rather than condemn the property for a private developer and risk a lawsuit, Burien came up with a plan--it would put a road through the property, and the city manager told his staff to "make damn sure" it did. When a subsequent survey revealed that the road would not affect the building itself, but only sideswipe a small corner of the property, the staff developed yet another site plan that put the road directly through the building. A trial court concluded that the city's actions might be "oppressive" and "an abuse of power"--but allowed the condemnation anyway. The Washington Court of Appeals affirmed, and the Washington Supreme Court refused to hear the case. /Welcome to the post-Kelo world. The U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 decision made clear that the federal courts would not stop local governments across the country from condemning private property for economic development. While the court noted that states were free to provide greater protections for homes and small businesses if they chose, Washington state stands as evidence that a strong state constitution means little if the courts do not enforce it and local governments disregard it..."...

JS Online: Fuel for car may be food for trouble

re: soaring demand for ethanol might raise food prices...

hat tip: James Wigderson

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Register-Guard: Council declines to pull support from King event

re: Edward Russo reports, "Eugene City Councilor Bonny Bettman on Monday wanted to drop the city's support for next week's Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, but she didn't get far./Bettman's motion to withhold city support for Monday's celebration because the keynote speaker opposes gay marriage ran into a brick wall with other councilors. None of them wanted to discuss it...[snip]...Bettman's proposals came about because the city's human rights commission last week reversed an earlier position and reaffirmed its support for the King celebration. The commission did so while expressing dismay about the keynote speaker's opposition to gay marriage./The speaker, the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, was an associate of King's in the 1960s. He has joined other black ministers in support of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as between a man and a woman...[snip]...Bettman made her motions during a joint City Council-human rights commission meeting. /Afterward, Councilor Betty Taylor, a frequent Bettman ally, said she didn't second Bettman's motions because she doesn't know much about Fauntroy. And Taylor said she doesn't favor censorship. "People who speak don't have to have the right views on everything," she said..."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

OpinionJournal - Federation: Why They Fight

re: Peter Wehner, deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House's Office of Strategic Initiatives, writes, "...Given the stakes involved in this war and how little is known, even now, about what is at the core of this conflict, it is worth reviewing in some detail the nature of our enemy--including disaggregating who they are (Shia and Sunni extremists), what they believe and why they believe it, and the implications of that for America and the West..."...

OpinionJournal : What GE Brought to His Life

re: John H. Fund writes, "...Thomas W. Evans, a lawyer who served in the Reagan administration, has composed an elegant history of Reagan's "studies" with General Electric. Much of "The Education of Ronald Reagan" is devoted to rediscovering Lemuel Boulware, Reagan's mentor at GE and the dynamo behind both the company's PR efforts and its labor-negotiation policy..."...

Monday, January 08, 2007

OpinionJournal - John Fund on the Trail: One Word: 'Switchgrass'

re: concern that President Bush will get caught up in trendy alternative energy ideas, instead of sensible ones; plus some downsides to ethanol...

OpinionJournal - Five Best

re: Clive James lists his favorite books of poetry...

Atheist leader admits misinformation - 01/06/07 - The Detroit News Online

re: from Valerie Olander, The Detroit News: "HOWELL -- The leader of an atheists' group opposing a proposal to bring a Bible study curriculum into Howell schools acknowledged Friday that she spread misinformation about the legality of the plan./ The leader, whose legal name is Arlene-Marie, state director of the Michigan Atheists, said she erred when she claimed in a letter to Howell schools that the curriculum of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools had been found to be unconstitutional in four states. The council's curriculum has never been found to be unconstitutional..."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Six Literary Centennials to Celebrate in 2007 - Britannica Blog

re: among the authors born in 1907 who are being celebrated this year are Astrid Lindgren (creator of Pippi Longstocking) and Robert A. Heinlein (major science fiction author). Sweden's going big for Lindgren, and there will be a Heinlein conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in July...

hat tip: Books, Inq.

Amniotic Stem Cells Could Alter Embryonic Stem Cell Research Debate

re: "Winston Salem, NC (LifeNews.com) -- Scientists have been able to successfully manipulate stem cells found in the amniotic fluid of a pregnant woman that have many properties of embryonic stem cells. The finding could alter the debate on the controversial research by giving scientists another source of cells that don't involve the destruction of human life to obtain...[snip]...Anthony Atala, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine told the Washington Post, "They grow fast, as fast as embryonic stem cells, and they show great pluripotentiality," which means they can become various types of tissues./ They are also easier to maintain in a laboratory than embryonic stem cells and don't pose some of the same transplant concerns that embryonic stem cells do. The embryonic cells, which can only be obtained by destroying a days-old unborn child, have caused tumors when injected into animals in experiments...."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Phi Beta Cons: "Less is More"

re: David French post on the memo sent to employees by the Dean of Southern Illinois School of Law on the rules for decorating for the “government holiday called ‘Christmas.’”...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Brandywine Books: Three unconnected items

re: includes story of woman who sent ten bucks to her church to buy a Bible, since they didn't seem to have one at HQ...

OpinionJournal - Taste: Reviving Judaism

re: Naomi Schaeffer Riley wonders if some of the present attempts to try to make Judaism more popular, and "enabling people to celebrate Shabbat the way they want to" are really such great ideas...

OpinionJournal - Taste: Meeting in St. Louis

re: Kathy Gilsinan reports: "ST. LOUIS--At the age of 24, Heather Nichols has taught songs to kids in Thailand and has been to Africa twice to assist surgeons. She has led a missionary trip to inner-city Philadelphia and is about to do another. And she closed out her year here in St. Louis with more than 22,000 of her closest friends in Christ. /For five days, the ordinarily sluggish streets of downtown St. Louis were teeming with fresh-faced evangelicals clutching custom-printed Bibles emblazoned with the motto "Live a life worthy of the calling"; 23,000 of these were donated by the International Bible Society, at printing costs between $40,000 and $50,000. /The convention, called Urbana, has been going on triennially for the past 60 years, but this year it finally outgrew the venue at the University of Illinois for which it is named. So the organizers at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship moved the operation to the St. Louis convention center to accommodate its expanding girth; and Urbana Director Jim Tebbe hopes that St. Louis, as a result, will become known not only as the Gateway to the West but also the "Gateway to World Missions." /With more than 300 mission agencies, relief and development organizations, and schools present in a sort of shopping mall for the faithful, the gateway was wide open..."...

OpinionJournal - Taste: Without God, Gall Is Permitted

re: Sam Schulman commentary, with the subhead "Modern atheists have no new arguments, and they lack their forebears' charm"...

Bench Memos on National Review Online

re: from a Matthew J. Franck post, "...Robert A. Goldwin, who went on after leaving the Ford White House to a distinguished career at the American Enterprise Institute, where among other things he edited the best series of volumes collecting various essays on the Constitution, in celebration of the 1987 bicentennial. Goldwin is also the author of the best book yet published on the origins of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, From Parchment to Power."...

Walter M. Weber on Judiciary on National Review Online

re: will this Supreme Court rein in litigation-happy church-state separationists?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Townhall.com::Sondheim Writes Music for 'King Lear'

re: "Stephen Sondheim will write some of the music for the Public Theater's upcoming production of "King Lear," starring Kevin Kline as Shakespeare's tormented monarch..."...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

ABC News: Trailer Park Residents Offered Buyouts

re: "BRINY BREEZES, Fla. Jan 2, 2007 (AP)— The owners of nearly 500 mobile homes in one of the last waterfront trailer-park towns in South Florida stand to become instant millionaires if they agree to sell to a developer. But some are holding out, saying there are things more important than money. /"You just can't buy a way of life," said Tom Byrne..."...

HistoryLink Essay: Hope Heart Institute

re: "The Hope Heart Institute was founded in 1959 on a figurative shoestring and a literal prayer, in a collaboration between a young Seattle heart surgeon and a Catholic nun...[snip]...Sister Genevieve of Nanterre (born Marie Verena Gauthier in St. Jerome, Canada) entered the Montreal-based Sisters of Providence religious order in 1906, at age 19. By that time, the order was operating 20 hospitals and associated schools of nursing in the western United States...."...

Reasoned Audacity: Eternal Father, Strong to Save: The Naval Hymn

re: history and words to the Naval Hymn (sung today at President Gerald Ford's service at the National Cathedral)...

hat tip: ProLifeBlogs aggregator

Time for the NY Times to post a correction on its story about abortion in El Salvador :: Abortion :: ProLifeBlogs

re: "Remember that long New York Times Magazine story by Jack Hitt about El Salvador's abortion law and how a woman named Carmen Climaco was sentenced to 30 years for supposedly having an illegal abortion at 18 weeks?/Remember how LifeSite News published a story showing how the woman was actually imprisoned for strangling her newborn?/ Byron Calame, the NY Times' Pubic Editor, now has an article exposing the laziness and/or bias of writer Jack Hitt and some of editors of the NYT...."...

Dominion Family » Cookie Day

re: more cookie recipes...

With the quiet release of a 33-year-old US State Department cable, a good chunk of the edifice of the longest-running big lie was destroyed

re: Caroline B. Glick reports on more evidence that Yasser Arafat ordered the killings of Americans, while pretending he had no links to the groups involved...

hat tip: Seraphic Secret

New U.N. chief takes over, determined to end mistrust of world body - USATODAY.com

re: "UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Starting his first day of work, new Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon vowed Tuesday to end mistrust of the United Nations and called for action to tackle "daunting" problems from crises in the Middle East and Darfur to reducing extreme poverty by half by 2015..."...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Another Joins The List « Expat Yank

re: political leaders through history commenting on religious freedom in America...

National MS Society | MS and Pain

re: includes list of medications to treat MS-related pain, including Trigeminal Neuralgia...

National MS Society | Research Bulletin

re: overview of 2006 in MS research...

National MS Society | InsideMS: Talking with Richard M. Cohen

re: short interview with Richard M. Cohen, author of Blindsided...

ABC News: Group Recommends Down Syndrome Testing

re: "WASHINGTON Dec 31, 2006 (AP)— There's a big change coming for pregnant women: Down syndrome testing no longer hinges on whether they're older or younger than 35. This week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists begins recommending that every pregnant woman, regardless of age, be offered a choice of tests for this common birth defect./ The main reason: Tests far less invasive than the long-used amniocentesis are now widely available, some that can tell in the first trimester the risk of a fetus having Down syndrome or other chromosomal defects./It's a change that promises to decrease unnecessary amnios giving mothers-to-be peace of mind without the ordeal while also detecting Down syndrome in moms who otherwise would have gone unchecked..."...

The Scotsman - Business - LSE to beat Wall Street on value of 2006 share issues

re: "FRENZIED mergers and acquisitions activity is set to push London ahead of Wall Street as the world's financial capital for the first time this decade./ New issues of shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) raised almost £28 billion this year - £10bn more than the New York Stock Exchange's total to the end of November and more than the combined total on the NYSE and Nasdaq to the end of November..."...

New Laws Go Into Effect On New Year's Day - News

re: Colorado stiffens drunk driving limit, outlaws the posting of or Internet transmission of unecrypted Social Security numbers, and requires home sales contracts to note if properties were ever used as a meth lab...