29 June 2012

More on Health Care (or, Moron Healthcare)

There is one logical undeniable ramification to state-sponsored health care:  real freedom of religion and federal control of health care CANNOT co-exist in the same legal system.

We've seen ample evidence of this in years past with Medicare, indigent health care, etc.  We are about to see a lot more evidence for it, including gross manifestation of the truth of the matter.

Here's more from Atlantic columnist Daniel Epps.

Health Care Snippet

Doug Wilson noted this little factoid on his blog today-

"Obamacare was upheld as a tax. This means several things. First, the Constitution requires tax bills to originate in the House, and Obamacare originated in the Senate. A suit should be filed on that basis. Second, this means that Obamacare can now be overturned in the Senate with 51 votes instead of the 60 that were required before."


28 June 2012

Health Care Law and The Future

Since the SCOTUS has ruled in favor of Obamacare (not entirely unexpected, though one of the names on the positive side of the decision was), the question becomes, 'What now?'

Here's my prediction:  This decision won't be as bad as we fear.  I predict that without the SCOTUS to run against, there's now a fair-to-middlin' chance that the democrat incumbent in the White House could lose the election, which is a historically rare occurrence.  I also think this will lead to 10-15 additional GOP wins in House elections, and one or two wins in the Senate.

All that said, we now have a SCOTUS precedence that the federal government can tax the people in any amount for any reason.  That is certainly is a problem.

We'll see how it goes in November.

22 June 2012

A Day That Should Live in Infamy, but Doesn't

Today marks the 71st anniversary of an event that should live in infamy in world history, but is rarely mentioned outside Eastern Europe.  The event resulted in the deaths of more people than any other event in the history of the world, excepting the Great Flood.  Today is the anniversary of Operation Barbarossa.

Barbarossa was the code name for Adolf Hitler's plan to invade and conquer the Soviet Union. 3.9 million German soldiers faced 6 million Soviet troops; by the end of the operation in 1945 there would be between 20 million and 30 million dead, including civilians.

We don't think much about this in the West, but these events shaped the world as we know it, and today must bring painful memories back to millions of people.  I watched a movie with my oldest boys night-before-last:  Enemy at the Gates.  This is a dramatization of a story within the story of the Battle of Stalingrad.  It is about a Russian sniper, Vasily Zaitsev.  It is a fascinating story with a good amount of historical accuracy in spite of being a dramatization.  This movie is NOT suitable for small children...the level of violence is excessive.  But for older teens it gives a good idea of what the war was like on the Eastern Front.  For those who know little about this aspect of the Second World War, I recommend it.

Here is a trailer for the movie-

18 June 2012

Land of the Midnight Sun

We just got back from two weeks in Alaska.  Here's a photo I took at midnight, just after our plane took off from Ted Stevens Airport, on Friday-

They aren't kidding about midnight sun.

I'll post some more on this in the next few days.  Here's our look at Denali from the Talkeetna Lodge-

(I think you can click on these and get a bigger picture.)

01 June 2012

When is Plagiarism Not Plagiarism?

I guess we are seeing the logical results of the culture that's been around in colleges and universities for a long time.  This response, written by the always-interesting-and-sometimes-provocative Carl Trueman, to this web site which provides 'research services' to pastors, is very interesting.

I suppose there are legitimate reasons for pastors to use such a service, but I can't see how such a service could be financially viable if it was restricted to 'legitimate reasons.'  I have a funny feeling, as Trueman hints, that there is a lot more ghost writing going on than meets the eye.  In my mind, this kind of ghost writing for sermons is no different than the purchasing of parts (or all) of term papers by college students.

Well, there is one difference:  college students who buy their papers will answer for their dishonesty, but pastors who don't do what they are paid to do will answer for their dishonesty as well.  I can relate, because sometimes I don't always do everything I'm supposed to do, so I'm guilty of the same thing at times.  What really bothers me is these pastors will also answer for their responsibility as teachers, per the New Testament proscription on teaching, cited by Dr. Trueman.  That's kinda scary.

I don't want to paint all these pastors with a broad brush as dishonest.  Some of the names and faces on the testimonial list are pastors I greatly respect and admire.  I'm sure many pastors really do use this service for viable and legitimate reasons.  But I think they should be very careful in attaching their endorsement of such a service because of the liability of being associated with those who step over the line of appropriate activity.

It will be interesting to see if this story grows some legs.