The coach who never punts

A high school coach in Arkansas has developed a new football strategy:  His team never punts.  And he always employs the on-side kick.  Coach Kevin Kelley developed these tactics from a study of football statistics; though the team often gives up the ball on downs, the increased number of possessions pays off in the long run.  (Go here for the math.)  The coach has an .833 record since adopting this strategy, and his team has won the state championship three times.  This season the team is 10-0.  Details and a video of how and why this works after the jump. [Read more…]

Casino magnate funds crusade against internet gambling

Get ready for a major push to restrict internet gambling–a major lobbying effort, political arm-twisting, and public service ads on how internet gambling hurts children and the poor.

The irony:  All of this anti-gambling sentiment is being stirred up by a billionaire casino owner who wants to stifle the competition.

By the way, he is also a “super-donor” to conservative causes and to Republican politicians. [Read more…]

Conservatives launch war on poverty

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) is the founder of the Tea Party Caucus, a true limited-government firebrand.  But the potential presidential candidate is launching a war on poverty.  So is Mitt Romney’s running-mate Paul Ryan, the Congressman from Wisconsin known for his budget-cutting schemes.  He too is a likely presidential contender.

After the jump, stories about both efforts.  What do you make of this?  [Read more…]

80 lashes for receiving Communion

Aspects of our faith that are so commonplace that we often take them for granted are serious crimes in other countries, bringing horrible punishments.  Yesterday we blogged about North Korea executing people for simply possessing a Bible.  In Iran, since Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol, if you are a Muslim convert, receiving Christ’s blood in the wine of Holy Communion is punishable by 80 lashes.  Evangelism–that is, the crime of spreading Christianity–can mean 3 years and 8 months in prison.  Would we pay prices like that for our Bibles, for Holy Communion, for witnessing to our faith? [Read more…]

Two kinds of libertarianism

A writer who goes by the nom de plume “Hamilton” says that both Republican and Democratic intellectuals and policy makers are essentially libertarians.  (He says that there are few old-school socialists or New Dealers left in the Democratic party.)  But there are two different kinds of libertarians:  the school of John C. Calhoun and the school of Robert Heinlein.

Calhoun was the 19th century statesman from South Carolina who was a major spokesman for state’s rights, limited government, and individual rights.  Heinlein was the 20th century science fiction writer who championed individual liberty empowered by technology.   Calhounian libertarians are socially conservative, religious, and inhabit the Republican party.  Heinleinian libertarians are the socially liberal, tend to be involved in the new information technology, and are usually Democrats.

But Hamilton thinks that Calhoun and Heinlein could form an alliance.  I would  question the authenticity of a libertarianism that defends slavery, as Calhoun did, and that supports the power of one person over another that we see in abortion, as Democratic  libertarians tend to do.  But still. . . .What do you think of Hamilton’s analysis, given after the jump? [Read more…]

Google to fight child pornography

Who says nothing can be done about online pornography?  Google is not only applying technological solutions to blocking access to child porn, it is using the power of shame. [Read more…]