We Win, They Lose
The Wit and Wisdom of Three Guys Named Brent, Mark and Mike
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The Leadership of George W. Bush: Con & Pro
is the title of this interesting piece at First Things. Check it out.

Male? White? Go ahead and threaten 'em!!
Check out this post at Feministing (these gals(?) make me laugh, every time!):

When I was presenting at SXSW, one of the questions discussed was how safe can we make online communities for diverse voices and is it possible? Some people believe that everyone should be able to say what they want, but somethings are just not O.K. Threatening women or people of color for voicing their thoughts, concerns and opinions is NOT O.K. It is an old, tired and paranoid brand of racist misogyny and we are not going to put up with it.

It is so unfortunate that someone would have to cancel a speaking engagement because stupid trolls were so threatened by a women talking tech.


Yeah, really. After all, it's not like they are threatening males, or people of non-color. I mean, come on.

And by the way, are women and people of color (read: everyone but white males) automatically protected from threats just by virtue of their sex and/or pigmentation? Is it true that they can voice any opinion, thought or concern and remain free from threats? Out of curiosity, I wonder where the girls stand on Ann Coulter -- is it "NOT O.K." to threaten her for "voicing [her] thoughts, concerns and opinions"? Just wondering. How about Condi Rice (she's a two-fer in the Feministing "protected category" list -- can she be threatened?

Monday, March 26, 2007
Anti-Mormon DVD released - Hundreds Dead, Riots, Protests.....
is the title of this post at Utah Patriots:

At least that is what would have happened if a similar DVD was released about Mohammed. In this case it is about the Mormons, but i don't see any riots or murder, beheadings.

Good point.

Sunday, March 25, 2007
Check out this guy...
From KUTV.com:

A science teacher who has been suspended since January, apparently for a derogatory crack about a Mormon-run university, was carried out of Moses Lake High School after "initiating a riot," officials said.

Four school personnel carried Samson "Sam" Lyman out of the building by his arms and legs Wednesday after he burst through the cafeteria doors and began yelling that he had been treated unfairly, peppering his language with obscenities, principal Dave Balcom said.

"When (school officials) approached him, he jumped on a chair and started initiating a riot in our school commons," Balcom said. "Unfortunately it led to us having to remove him."

Saturday, March 24, 2007
I have mentioned this movie before, I really want to see it when it comes out. (Click here and here for movie sites.) Latest word looks like a late summer release, watch for it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007
Ponnuru Review
The Claremont Institute carries a review of Ramesh's book The Party of Death.

Sunday, March 18, 2007
Contraception a Civil Right?
Feministing is complaining:

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a company's failure to offer insurance coverage for contraception doesn't violate its female employees' civil rights.

Holy cow!! Let's march in the streets!! This is an outrage!! Here's the commentary:

The female employees and Planned Parenthood (which joined the suit) alleged that failure to cover contraception is discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The language in the law says it applies to "women affected by pregnancy," not "pregnant women." They argued that every sexually active woman who is capable of becoming pregnant is a woman "affected by pregnancy." (I completely agree.) But the appellate judges rejected the argument on the basis that the PDA does not specifically mention contraception.

How hard is it for judges to understand that 1) contraception is a basic, fundamental part of women's preventive and routine health care, 2) pregnancy -- which is the result of lack of contraception use -- disproportionately affects female employees, so 3) failure to cover contraception is discrimination against women? Seems clear as day to me.

That's some tough logic with which to argue, but here goes: 1) if contraception is so "basic" and "fundamental," why don't women - gasp! - provide for it themselves? 2) Pregnancy is "the result of lack of contraception use"? Funny, I thought it was caused by the union of a sperm and an egg, following sexual intercourse. Silly me. I guess today's women can end up pregnant simply by failing to use contraception, even in the absence of a sexual act. This is like saying the man who dies of a gunshot wound was killed by his lack of a bulletproof vest, rather than by the gunshot. 3) Hard to believe that they are taking issue with the court's refusal to read into a statute a result they admit it does not contain. I mean, come on folks, why do we have a legislature? Surely if contraception is so fundamental, the legislature will mandate the "correct" result? The post goes on to state:

One judge on the panel dissented, which may pave the way for an appeal. In the mean time, we can encourage Congress to take action on the Prevention First Act, which "guarantees equity in contraceptive coverage by ensuring that private health plans offer the same level of coverage for contraceptives as they do for other prescription drugs and services."

Yeah, "in the mean time." That sums up the attitude of those more emlightened than the rest of us. They have no need for elections, legislatures or people with differing views, and can't be bothered convincing a majority of their fellow citizens of the propriety of their views, they prefer to enact their preferences directly through their buddies the judges. In a pinch, they'll bide their time while waiting for the judges to enact their policy preferences into law, by slumming with the rest of us: "Well, gee, I suppose we could try to influence the representatives actually elected by the citizenry. That's obviously not our first choice, you know how stupid most people are. They're just not as enlightened as us and our (usual) friends, the judges. But, while we're waiting..."

Seems clear as day to me.

Global Warming: Environmentalism’s Threat of Hell on Earth
As a follow-up to my recent post on environmentalism as religion, see this excellent post by George Reisman. He begins:

It is customary for old-fashioned religion to threaten those whose way of life is not to its satisfaction, with the prospect of hell in the afterlife. Substitute for the afterlife, life on earth in centuries to come, and it is possible to see that environmentalism and the rest of the left are now doing essentially the same thing. They hate the American way of life because of its comfort and luxury, which they contemptuously dismiss as “conspicuous consumption.” And to frighten people into abandoning it, they are threatening them with a global-warming version of hell.

This is not yet so open and explicit as to be obvious to everyone. Nevertheless, it is clearly present. It is hinted at in allusions to the possibility of temperature increases beyond the likely range of 3.5 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit projected in the recent United Nations report on global warming. For example, according to The New York Times, “the report says there is a more than a 1-in-10 chance of much greater warming, a risk that many experts say is far too high to ignore.”

Environmentalist threats of hell can be expected to become more blatant and shrill if the movement’s present efforts to frighten the people of the United States into supporting its program of caps and reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions appear to be insufficient. Hell is the environmentalists’ ultimate threat.

Reisman sums it up rather nicely with this line:

Global warming is not a threat. But environmentalism’s destructive response to it is.

Saturday, March 17, 2007
Click here for a study which confirms something I have assumed for some time:

Most movie-goers would rather watch a film with a strong Christian theme than one containing explicit sex or nudity, according to a study tracking box office film earnings over the past nine years.

Christian News Today reported on the study conducted by MOVIEGUIDE®, a popular movie review service that evaluates films from a Christian perspective. The study examined more than 2,400 top-grossing films produced between 1998 and 2006, comparing the amount of money brought in by films with a Christian theme to the money earned by R-Rated movies that contained extreme sexual content, nudity and/or extreme foul language.

Christian films made at least double the amount of money brought in by explicit films, the study found, and frequently three to five times as much.

The saddest thing about Hollywood is you have all that talent and ability, and a real chance ot be an influence for good, and instead it's frittered away on nothing, trash. Sad.

State of Fear
is a book by Michael Crichton. Brent (remember him?) advised me that this book is excellent, which means you simply must go get it. I came across this speech given by Crichton in 2003, here is an interesting excerpt:

[Y]ou cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday---these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don't want to talk anybody out of them, as I don't want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don't want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.

And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die.

I touched on a similar point a few years ago here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007
At B.Y.U., Growing Pains and Gains
is the title of this piece in the New York Times about BYU's missionary basketball playerss. On a related note, my beloved Illini backed into the NCAA tournament with a twelve seed. Not a good season, unfortunately. Numerous problems on court and off, then the university nixes the Chief. Look for a quick exit.

Monday, March 12, 2007
Big Win
Look for this one to go to the Supreme Court, as most other federal appellate courts have found that the Second Amendment protects only the right to participate in an organized militia. Good piece in the Washington Post on the plaintiffs, read the whole thing.

George Lyon says he wants a gun in his home because it's his constitutional right. Tom Palmer says he used a gun to ward off a beating. And Gillian St. Lawrence says her shotgun is useless because it has to be unloaded and have its trigger locked.

They are among the six city residents who successfully challenged the District's long-standing gun law, winning a major ruling Friday in a case that could reach the Supreme Court. The three men and three women share a strong desire to keep guns legally in their homes in what they say is a violent city.

"We live in a society where having a handgun at home can be the difference between life and death," Palmer said.

D.C. officials contend that easing the gun ban will put citizens at an even higher risk of crime and say they will appeal the decision. An appeal would be likely to delay any change to the law. Officials maintain that the gun law is just as important as when it was enacted 31 years ago. Even with a ban, guns are used in more than 80 percent of the city's homicides, and police are struggling to get them out of the hands of criminals: More than 2,600 were seized last year.

Alan Gura, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, said the residents who brought the suit are just like many District residents who want to feel safe and secure in their homes. They believe the Second Amendment gives them the right to possess a gun for that purpose.

"These are just six average, normal people who come from all walks of life," Gura said. "They just want to have their rights respected by the city."

Now why would they believe a thing like that?

Sunday, March 11, 2007
Tony Dungy
has alweays seemed like a good guy to me. Of course, sooner or later that will make him a target. Click here for an article with the subtitle "[Dungy's] appearance with Indiana Family Institute upsets gay group." Ooooohhhh!!! -- we can't have that!! If a gay group is upset, he must have done something wrong!! The article states:

Colts coach Tony Dungy’s acceptance of an invitation to speak to a conservative Christian group should not be construed as an endorsement of the group’s opposition to same-sex marriage, the head of the Indiana Family Institute said Saturday.

Some local and national gay rights groups have questioned Dungy’s decision to appear at a fundraising banquet this month for the institute, which has been a leading supporter of a proposed state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.

Institute president Curt Smith said the invitation was based on Dungy’s pro-family activities.

“We’re very pleased coach Dungy is coming, and I don’t pretend to know his views on some of the public policy issues we work on,” Smith said.

The institute, which is affiliated with Focus on the Family, plans to honor Dungy on March 20 with its “Friend of the Family” award. Previous recipients include Focus on the Family co-founder Shirley Dobson, U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and former federal independent counsel Kenneth Starr.

Kathy Sarris, president of the Indiana Equality Education Fund, a gay rights advocacy group, told the Indianapolis Star: “I am a little disappointed in that I would think he would want to stay out of the political arena, and the Family Institute is a political organization.”

Does that mean Sarris' group (and Sarris herself) must "stay out of the [sports] arena"? Or is this supposed prohibition a one-way street? I think we know the answer.

Another article here, in this one it appears Ms. Sarris chose not to comment.

I'd like to hear more details about this...
the "Illinois Professor Refuses to Issue Grade to Christian Student." It sounds almost too unbelievable. I need some more details. The short piece states:

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) intervened after a professor at Southern Illinois University refused to grade the paper of a Christian student.

Christine Mize, a social work graduate student, had to create an eight-week therapy program based on a topic of her choice.

She chose to create a therapy model for women who suffer from post-abortion syndrome and told her professor, Laura Drueth Zeman, that the recovery portion would be faith-based. Drueth Zeman told Mize that she would downgrade the paper if it included a faith-based element.

Mize handed in her paper without the contested section, but also provided the professor with legal information to avoid any such misunderstandings in the future.

Amy Smith, litigation counsel for ADF, said Drueth Zeman has had the paper since December and has refused to issue a grade -- leaving Mize, a 4.0 student, with an incomplete in a class required for graduation.

Has he returned other papers? Anything unusual about the time? It sounds long to me, but is it? I just don't know what to make of this.

UPDATE: Oh -- didn't see this. It's a copy of the letter ADF sent to SIU, it provides more detail. Sounds crazy.

Saturday, March 10, 2007
This is funny
Click here for a post about a funny lawyer who wrote a funny(?) motion, which was pointed out by a funny website. After that it got very boring.

How can we reconcile this deadly earnest, possibly paranoid environmental crusader with the fun-loving, wine-swilling, emoticon-using lawyer who filed such a delightful and charming motion?

There goes the 'gayborhood'?
That's the title of this AP piece, lamenting the fact that gay neighborhoods are no longer places where "wild abandon" reigns. A quote from a (surely very tolerant) Brian Baldinger:

"When I see a stroller now, I see it as someone who evicted a person with AIDS, right or wrong," said Basinger, president of the Harvey Milk Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transexual Democratic Club.

What are the odds Mr. Baldinger would be offended by a quote from a mother about seeing a gay man in her neighborhood, something like: "When I see two men holding hands now, I see it as people who evicted a real family, right or wrong."

It closes with this:

In the early 1970s, an atmosphere of wild abandon prevailed in districts often referred to as "gay ghettos." Men who had kept their sexual orientations hidden reveled in the freedom of leading openly gay lives for the first time. The nonstop party dragged to a painful halt in the 1980s with the onset of AIDS, Reuter said, but the crisis also solidified gay communities even as it decimated them.

Sunday, March 04, 2007
Amistad Sails Again
This is pretty interesting:

The Amistad lay moored, mastless, at Mystic Seaport Thursday morning when its past and present captains, Bill Pinkney and Eliza Garfield, stepped on board to survey the work underway to prepare the schooner for its longest, most historic voyage.

Beginning in June, under their command, the Amistad will cross the Atlantic to England, then proceed to the old slave coast of Africa before returning to Connecticut - a journey of 14,000 miles to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the British Parliament's vote in 1807 that outlawed the slave trade.

That vote coincided with a similar one by the U.S. Congress 200 years ago today. On March 2, 1807, it passed "An act to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States" as of Jan. 1, 1808.

Justice Thomas Interview
One of the best bloggers out there (Stuart Buck) points out this interesting interview with Justice Thomas. Read it.

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm....
Check out this piece:

SANTA ROSA Calif. — When a few classmates razzed Rebekah Rice about her Mormon upbringing with questions such as, "Do you have 10 moms?" she shot back: "That's so gay."

Those three words landed the high school freshman in the principal's office and resulted in a lawsuit that raises this question: When do playground insults used every day all over America cross the line into hate speech that must be stamped out?


Rice's parents, Elden and Katherine Rice, also claim the public high school employed a double-standard because, they say, administrators never sought to shield Rebekah from teasing based on Mormon stereotypes.

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