China to put a man on the moon

China, the new America: China has declared its intention to land an astronaut on the moon, in the first official confirmation of its aim to go where Americans last set foot nearly 40 years ago. While Chinese scientists have previously discussed the possibility of a manned lunar mission, a government white paper published on Thursday is the first public government document to enshrine it as a policy goal. China will “conduct studies on the preliminary plan for a human lunar… Read more

The evangelical who made Democrats liberal

Scott Farris has a feature in the Washington Post about how those who lost presidential campaigns often had big and long-lasting effects on their parties and on the nation.  Barry Goldwater and George McGovern would be the obvious examples.  But the most powerful influence, according to Farris, was that of evangelical Christian best known today for battling Darwinism in the Scopes trial: But the greatest transformation probably occurred in 1896, when William Jennings Bryan, 36, became the youngest man ever… Read more

Virginia’s Republican loyalty oath

First, Virginia prevents everybody except Romney and Paul from appearing on the Republican primary ballot.  And now this: In order to cast their ballots in the GOP nominating contest, Virginians will have to sign a form that says, “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which first reported the move. On Wednesday, the state Board of Elections approved the pledge form, as well as signs… Read more

We have become barren

Mark Steyn, connecting the birth of John the Baptist to the West’s current demographic and economic woes: Of the four gospels, only two bother with the tale of Christ’s birth, and only Luke begins with the tale of two pregnancies. Zacharias is surprised by his impending paternity — “for I am an old man and my wife well stricken in years.” Nonetheless, an aged, barren woman conceives and, in the sixth month of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, the angel visits her cousin… Read more

Happy New Year!

January is named after the Roman deity Janus, the god of thresholds.   He had two faces, one that looked back and one that looked forward.  So that’s what we do on New Year’s.  We look back on the year that has passed and we look forward to the year ahead. Whether your 2011 was a year of trials or thanksgivings or both and whatever 2012 will hold for you, I hope that you will know the promise of Psalm 31:15: … Read more

Last year’s predictions & contest results

A New Year’s custom on this blog is to have readers predict what will happen in the year ahead.  That’s not particularly unique.  But what is unique is our other custom:  To review those predictions at the end of the year and actually check how everyone did.  Whoever has the most impressive prediction wins universal acclaim and bragging rights for the whole year. I urge you all to read Your predictions for 2011 | Cranach: The Blog of Veith.  You… Read more

Your predictions for 2012

Now it’s time for you to predict what will happen in 2012!  See the accompanying post that looks back on last year’s predictions for how the contest works. Don’t worry.  We are not enforcing the Deuteronomy 18:22 rule.  Anyway, we aren’t asking for prophecy, just predictions. The more specific the prediction the more remarkable it will be if it comes true, and the more likely you will be a winner.  (Highly generalized prediction:  “Politics will continue to be polarizing as… Read more

What history was made in 2011?

Here are the top news stories of 2011 according to the Associated Press: 1. Bin Laden’s death 2. Disasters in Japan 3. The Arab Spring 4. EU fiscal crisis 5. U.S. economy 6. Penn State scandal 7. Gadhafi’s fall 8. U.S. Congress 9. Occupy protests 10. Congresswoman Giffords shooting Other contenders: the death of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, Hurricane Irene, tornados in he Midwest and Southeastern U.S., the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy I think we… Read more

Ron Paul’s baggage

As a Virginian, my only choices in the Republican primary are Mitt Romney and Ron Paul–the other candidates having failed to get on the ballot–so I am studying these candidates closely.  There would be a certain coolness factor in voting for Paul.  But I’ve got to figure out what I think about his newsletters of a couple of decades ago, with their racist and anti-semitic vibe, as well as his associations with the off-the-wall right. I know some of you… Read more

Good news on the crime rate

Not everything in our society is going from bad to worse.  Over the last decade, we have seen a dramatic drop in the crime rate, and it keeps getting better.  Charles Lane gives some details: The most important social trend of the past 20 years is as positive as it is underappreciated: the United States’ plunging crime rate. Between 1991 and 2010, the homicide rate in the United States fell 51 percent, from 9.8 per 100,000 residents to 4.8 per… Read more

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