President Obama said something that will be a much-replayed sound-bite in the presidential race: Laying out his economic argument at a morning news conference, Obama said that cutbacks in state and local government spending have slowed the nation’s recovery and that Congress has “no excuse” for not supporting his jobs bill that would provide funding to retain public workers. “The private sector,” the president added as a point of comparison, “is doing fine.” The remark struck a discordant political note… Read more

An interesting article by Ariana Eunjung Cha on how financiers, politicians, and researchers are mining data from Twitter, Google, Facebook, and the like to identify trends and forecast the future: From a trading desk in London, Paul Hawtin monitors the fire hose of more than 340 million Twitter posts flying around the world each day to try to assess the collective mood of the populace. The computer program he uses generates a global sentiment score from 1 to 50 based… Read more

Picking up on some earlier discussion, I came across this list of ways that a person can know whether or not they have been truly saved.  They are from a book by Jim Wilson entitled (ironically, it seems to me) Assurance of Salvation: 1. The Holy Spirit seals, guarantees, and assures us (1 Jn. 4:13, Rom. 8:16-17, Eph. 1:13-14, 2 Cor. 5:5, 1 Cor. 2:11-16). 2. Change of Character: read the lists of the works of the flesh and the… Read more

Another practice in which Congress evades its constitutional responsibilities:  Passing laws that consist largely of vague frameworks and enabling bureaucrats from the executive branch to fill in the blanks with the substance of the law.  George Will on a bill that would put regulations back under Congressional scrutiny: John Marini of the University of Nevada, Reno, writes in the Claremont Review of Books that the 2,500-page Obamacare legislation exemplifies current lawmaking, which serves principally to expand the administrative state’s unfettered… Read more

Come to  The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education conference, July 17-19, 2012, at Memorial Lutheran Church & School in Houston, Texas.    I’ll be there!   Here is a summary of what’s on tap: Plenary Speakers Rev. Todd Wilken of Issues, Etc., for discussions on essential matters of Lutheran education Dr. Gene Edward Veith for insights and commentary on classical education Session Leaders include… Dr. E. Christian Kopff with a discussion of Milton’s essay, “On Education” Rev. Dr. Steven Hein on… Read more

Washington, D.C., turns into a sweltering swamp in the summer.  It has been said that our problems with a too-big government began with the invention of air conditioning.  Before that, Congress and government officials only stayed in town a few months and was anxious to leave.  Since air conditioning was invented, they stick around all year, passing laws and running things. I don’t know about that, but Monica Hesse, in an article about how air conditioning makes offices too cold,… Read more

The latest issue of Christianity Today has a brilliant cover story that accounts for much of what we see in American churches today.  A century and more ago, many Protestant churches adjusted their worship and their ministries to accord with something that at first was quite separate:  the revival meeting.  (My historical parallel.)   Now churches have adjusted their worship and ministries to accord with another separate activity:  youth group!  But, of course, there is more to it than that. … Read more

Another great artist has died, Ray Bradbury.  His genre was science fiction, and though his religious beliefs were somewhat inchoate, he had them, and his stories often have a Christian resonance. In a tribute by Kathy Schiffer, she addresses his religious beliefs: Bradbury described himself as a “delicatessen religionist.” He was raised Baptist—but his parents were infrequent church-goers. He and his wife of 50 years, Maggie, were married in the Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal. He has been called… Read more

Journalist Laura Sessions Stepp at CNN says that people who oppose contraception are anti-science.  They are among those conservatives who have no faith in science and oppose Darwin’s theory of evolution. via Anti-science and anti-contraception – CNN.com. First of all, how can science (which is concerned with “is”) determine a moral principle (which is concerned with “ought”)? Second, who are these people who oppose contraception?  The most defined group would be “Catholics,” not “conservatives” or even “the religious right” as… Read more

As I have confessed in this space, I have pretty much stopped watching basketball, due to the feeling that I always jinx the team I want to win.  Well, the Oklahoma City Thunder–from my home state–are so good that they even overcame me. When they were down two games to the San Antonio Spurs, a team that had won 20 in a row, I thought I might as well watch them, since they were going to lose anyway.  Well, they… Read more

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