In the course of a column on Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz’s victory in Texas for the Republican senate nomination, George Will recounts a time one hundred years ago this Sunday when Republicans purposefully lost an election to preserve the Constitution.  I did not know these things about Teddy Roosevelt: After leaving the presidency in 1909, TR went haywire. He had always chafed under constitutional restraints, but he had remained a Hamiltonian, construing the Constitution expansively but respectfully. By 1912,… Read more

Badminton players from China, South Korea, and Indonesia, were expelled from the Olympics for intentionally losing–they just hit the birdie into the net over and over–so that they would draw easier opponents and avoid competing against another national team in the tournament: Eight badminton players at the London Olympics were kicked out of competition Wednesday for trying to lose — a display that drew outrage from fans and organizers who said the women had violated the most sacred stage in… Read more

Remember those spunky little rovers that were landed on Mars, sending back pictures of the Red Planet for years on end?  Well, another rover is scheduled to touch down on Mars this Sunday, August 6. It’s the size of an SUV, with massive digging arms, lasers, and automated laboratories that may settle the question of Martian life once and for all.  The plan is for this 2000 pound vehicle, named “Curiosity,” to be dropped inside a Martian crater that appears… Read more

Andrew Root, a professor at Luther Seminary, has a moving and illuminating article in Christianity Today.  A sample: Just months before my own wedding, I sat with my mom in the living room of the home I had grown up in, as she explained that divorce was the next exit on the highway of our family’s history. It had been several weeks since she had told me that her and my father’s marriage was in serious trouble. Now, she told… Read more

Mitt Romney not only organized the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, he has a horse in this year’s game.  He and his wife are part owners of a horse that will compete in the dressage competition.   Comedians, satirists, and Democrats in general are having a field day with this, calling it “ballet for horses” and an example of the effete decadence of  very wealthy people like the Romneys.  For example, this from a snarky column by Dana Milbank: Rafalca, a… Read more

According to the left, the financial crisis was caused in large measure by the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, making it possible for local commercial banks to make risky investments.  Business & economics columnist Steven Pearlstein–who is himself a liberal–busts that myth: I was watching “The Newsroom” last week, the latest hit show by the producer and screenwriter, when the brainy-but-beautiful economics correspondent for the fictional cable news network was explaining to her gutsy-but-impulsive executive producer how the world’s financial… Read more

Today, August 1, has been proclaimed “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” by those who support the chicken sandwich company’s CEO who is catching flak for opposing gay marriage.  Americans are being urged to show up at one of their stores and simply buy a sandwich.  I suspect the company will have huge sales today. Then again, pro-gay-marriage protesters are promising to show up too.  Some are saying they will just order water, so as to make workers busy without buying anything.  Gays… Read more

As of today, women can get free contraceptives and abortifacients, as well as other goodies that their insurance will have to give them without co-pays to doctors: Democrats hailed the Aug. 1 introduction of these Affordable Care Act services as a turning point at which the American public would finally grasp the magnitude of healthcare reform. The new services that will be required to be offered under insurance plans without a co-payment are well-woman visits, gestational diabetes screening, domestic violence… Read more

A former student wrote me after the Aurora shootings saying that a friend of his was in the theater and had been shot.  He said she was from an active homeschooling family, a leader in the Colorado homeschool debate league, and a committed Christian, very much like our other students.  He was distraught about it, and the parallels with our other students made the shootings disturbingly real to me. A few days later, my student updated me about how his… Read more

Who says conservative Lutherans don’t like contemporary Christian music in church?  We do.  It’s just that we want the contemporary Christian music to be, you know, hymns, as opposed to pop ditties.  And we do need new hymns.  Towards addressing that need, I am happy to announce that some twenty-somethings in our congregation, St. Athanasius Lutheran Church in Vienna, Virginia, have organized a major hymn-writing competition.  They have raised a $1,000 prize and have arranged for publication.  For details and… Read more

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