Quarter of Army recruits can’t pass entrance exam

We apparently no longer have universal education in this country.  Even high school graduates cannot be assumed to have even the most basic educational skills.  That’s what the army is finding.  At least the army is maintaining its educational standards: Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new… Read more

Suspects arrested in murder of our friend

Thanks to Tom Hering for this update to my post about the murder of our friend, a missionary in Israel: Two men allegedly involved in the stabbing of two women, one fatally, near Beit Shemesh on Saturday have been apprehended. Police are maintaining a media blackout on the investigation, though they said they believe the attack was nationalistically motivated and not a random act of violence. Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday night that no… Read more

Social capital

We’re in Oklahoma for the Christmas holidays, traveling around visiting relatives and revisiting the places of our past.  Part of it has me feeling melancholy, as I see beloved locations rich with memory falling into neglect, disrepair, and decay. My wife, who has been studying the social sciences, introduced me to a term that helps me understand what I am seeing:  Social capital.  This refers to what builds up a sense of community, relationships with neighbors, and social networks.   The… Read more

Reapportionment Favors Republicans

The constitutionally-mandated reappportionment of congressional delegates (and thus electoral votes) according to the latest census is looking good for Republicans. States gaining Congressional seats: Arizona (1), Florida (2), Georgia (1), Nevada (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1). States losing Congressional seats: Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1). via Pajamas Media » Reapportionment Favors the Red States. Of those gaining representatives,… Read more

Someone I know has been martyred!

That American tourist who was murdered in Israel–I knew her!  Kristine Luken.  She worked for Patrick Henry College for awhile, helping us with accreditation issues.  (She had previously worked for the Department of Education as a liason with colleges.)  She became friends with my wife.  A Jewish convert to Christianity, Kristine began to feel a strong calling to go to England to work with a ministry there involved with evangelizing Jews.  That was surely a calling to her martyrdom. Kristine… Read more

Brits to take on internet porn

Great Britain’s new get-serious coalition government is concerned with the sexualization of children and may have found a way to thwart internet pornography.  Instead of setting up systems to “opt out” of certain kinds of content, adult users would have to “opt in” before  getting access to pornography. THE UK Government is to combat the early sexualization of children by blocking internet pornography unless parents request it, it was revealed today. The move is intended to ensure that children are… Read more

Handel’s Messiah as (Lutheran) Apologetics

Crossway editor Justin Taylor interviews Calvin Stappert on his new book about Handel’s Messiah.  Did you know Handel was a Lutheran?  Did you know he intended his oratorio to be a work of Christian apologetics? Can you give us a thumbnail sketch of who George Handel was? George Frideric Handel was born in 1685 in Halle, Germany. Like J. S. Bach, born the same year, Handel was born into a Lutheran family and his earliest musical training came from a… Read more

Gays in the military, in history

The Senate struck down the  “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, allowing gays to serve openly in the military.  Unlike gay marriage, this is not unprecedented.  In fact, the Greeks sometimes purposefully cultivated homosexual attachments in military units in order to build unit cohesion.   This happened among the Spartans.  The most famous example, though, was the elite fighting force known as the Theban Band, a.k.a., the Sacred Band of Thebes: Plutarch records that the Sacred Band was made up of… Read more

Americans have gotten pessimistic

Engrained in the American character, it seemed, was optimism.  Liberals believe in progress and Conservatives believe in Ronald Reagan’s “morning in America.”  Now, though, we are seeing something very different: Americans are deeply pessimistic about the state of the country and its future, according to a series of new national polls, a negativity that puts politicians in a difficult place as they try to woo voters and keep hold on office. In the new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, 63 percent… Read more

The nativity in online terms

Have you seen this?  (If the video doesn’t show up, hit “comments” so that you can see the post separately. You should be able to see it then.) {httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkHNNPM7pJA&feature=player_embedded} HT:  Mary Read more

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