More creative taxation ideas, combined with the impulse for the government to make us better: An Illinois lawmaker says parents who have obese children should lose their state tax deduction. “It’s the parents’ responsibility that have obese kids,” said state Sen. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga. “Take the tax deduction away for parents that have obese kids.” Cultra has not introduced legislation to deny parents the $2,000 standard tax deduction, but he floated the idea Tuesday, when lawmakers took a shot at… Read more

Ezra Klein highlights some proposals going around Washington that are not controversial and that everyone of any political party should be able to get behind.  Not me, when it comes to abolishing the penny! In 2007, economist Austan Goolsbee wrote an op-ed article in which he asked, “How dumb do you have to be to mint money at a loss?” Goolsbee is now President Obama’s chief economic adviser, so it would be unwise for him to answer his own question…. Read more

While we Americans tend to embrace our “exceptionalism,”  people from other countries often see that as a bad thing.  Britain’s prominent Christian author N. T. Wright excoriates America for our presumption in the bin Laden assassination: Popular author and New Testament scholar N.T. Wright has accused the world of giving America a free pass for violating Pakistan’s sovereignty and killing an unarmed man during the recent attack that killed Osama bin Laden. The former bishop of Durham sent a short statement… Read more

Chaplains in the navy have been told that they may perform gay marriages in navy chapels, if they are legal in the particular state and if the chaplain is willing to do so: Anticipating the elimination of the military ban on homosexuality, the Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains has decided that same-sex couples in the Navy will be able to get married in Navy chapels, and that Navy chaplains will be allowed to perform the ceremonies — if… Read more

The street in Memphis where the blues were born is underwater, as are many of the towns and cities and farms along the Mississippi river: Waging war against flooding of historic proportions that has already affected thousands of people in eight Midwestern and Southern states, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened a spillway Monday north of New Orleans in an effort to calm the rising Mississippi River. A crowd gathered near the entrance to the Bonnet Carre spillway to… Read more

In the midst of all of the talk about Redeemed Rambling’s critique of the appearance of this blog, the consensus that this blog has a good design really, the addition of Cranach’s seal with its many variations, the minor suggestions that people put forward, and the tweaks that Stewart implemented, commenter Tom Hering–who knows a thing or two about design–was kind enough to design some other possible headings for the title of this blog.  I really liked the one with… Read more

University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis is the LCMS campus ministry to the University of Minnesota.  It has ministered effectively to generations of college students, quite a few of whom have gone on to seminary and the pastoral ministry due to its influence.  My oldest daughter went to the University of Minnesota, and though exposed to some of the worst excesses of left wing postmodernist academia, she graduated battle tested and more firmly grounded in her Christian faith than ever, thanks… Read more

How do you think this would go over? The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive. The plan is a part of the administration’s Transportation Opportunities Act, an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly. The White House, however, said the bill is only an early draft that was not formally circulated within the… Read more

Steeples and bell towers have gone out of fashion for church buildings, reports USA Today. What hurts is the reason: Nationwide, church steeples are taking a beating and the bell tolls for bell towers, too, as these landmarks of faith on the landscape are hard hit by economic, social and religious change. . . . Architects and church planners see today’s new congregations meet in retooled sports arenas or shopping malls or modern buildings designed to appeal to contemporary believers… Read more

We don’t get to see a photograph of Osama bin Laden’s body, but we did get to see a  photograph of the President and his team watching the mission go down.  It’s quite dramatic to see the expressions on everyone’s faces during this intense moment–the President’s intense stare, the Secretary of State’s hand covering her face (apparently in emotion, though she says now she might have just been coughing due to her allergies). The Washington Post features various experts commenting… Read more

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