All posts by Wintery Knight

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Amendments to block coerced abortions and U.N. global taxes fail

Senator James Inhofe
Senator James Inhofe

I found these stories on James Inhofe’s blog. First, an amendment to the 410 billion dollar omnibus (son of porkulus) that would have prohibited US-taxpayer funds being used by the UN for coerced abortions has been voted down by the Democrats.

Inhofe’s first statement reads:

The amendment would have required that amounts appropriated for the United Nations Population Fund are not used by organizations that support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization. I am strongly opposed to the use of taxpayer dollars for these purposes and for these organizations. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize abortion in the United States or abroad.

Second, another omnibus amendment to prevent US-taxpayer funds being used by the UN to implement global tax schemes has also failed.

Inhofe’s second statement reads:

My amendment to the FY’09 omnibus appropriations bill would have reinstated this important U.S. policy and ensured that officials at the U.N. and other international bureaucracies who receive generous funding from U.S. taxpayers do not pursue or implement policies of international taxes on U.S. taxpayers.

Well, I guess the Democrats think that the UN needs that money more than ordinary US taxpayers, anyway.

TCF Bank returns TARP money, rejects government interference in business

Representative Michele Bachmann
Representative Michele Bachmann

On Michele Bachmann’s blog, she has posted twice about banks that are returning TARP bailout money, rather than accept government control of their business. Michele voted against the TARP bill, which redistributed 700 billion dollars from the honest/productive sector of the economy to the irresponsible/fraudulent sector.

Here is an except from her first post:

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported yesterday that TFC Financial Corp. has joined Northern Trust and Iberiabank Corp. as financial institutions who are staying clear of the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The way TCF Chief Executive Bill Cooper views it:

“I don’t want to be part of the new regulatory regime that’s growing up around TARP. Congress is now talking about putting their oar in the water on just about everything we do. That puts us at a competitive disadvantage.”

A more recent post links to a Fox News story on TCF bank. According to the TCF Bank CEO, TCF never made any subprime loans, and therefore they do not need a bailout. Although they were going to take the money, they decided to return it, because they refused to yield their autonomy to the federal government.

Watch the 5-minute clip: (need I mention that Megyn Kelly does the interview?)

Now, for those of you who have read F.A. Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom”, you know that all our liberties, including our precious freedom of religious expression, hangs on the separation between government and the means of production. If the government controls the means by which you earn your living, then the government controls you.

A summary of the Road to Serfdom is here.

Al Gore refuses questions from reporters, refuses to debate skeptics

Now, if you guys have been on the blog, you know that a majority of stories here are going to be presented as issues to resolve between two oppsing forces, especially when it comes to spiritual issues. And that is because I believe that no one can convinced, by anyone, on any issue, until they hear both sides. But that is not the case with Al Gore.

Gateway Pundit links to this story from KNX:

Former Vice President Al Gore repeated his message that climate change is a planetary emergency at the WSJ’s Eco:nomics conference in California. …But don’t expect Mr. Gore to debate the merits of how best to tackle climate change anytime soon.

…he was challenged by Mr. Lomborg, the Danish skeptical environmentalist who thinks the world would be better off spending more money on health and education issues than curbing carbon emissions.

“I don’t mean to corner you, or maybe I do mean to corner you, but would you be willing to have a debate with me on that point?” asked the polo-shirt wearing Dane.

So Al Gore refused to debate Bjorn Lomborg. Must-see video is here:

Larry Elder links to this Boston Globe article that re-caps Al Gore’s impressive scientific credentials:

Gore’s undergraduate transcript from Harvard is riddled with C’s, including a C-minus in introductory economics, a D in one science course, and a C-plus in another… Moreover, Gore’s graduate school record – consistently glossed over by the press – is nothing short of shameful. In 1971, Gore enrolled in Vanderbilt Divinity School where, according to Bill Turque, author of “Inventing Al Gore,” he received F’s in five of the eight classes he took over the course of three semesters. Not surprisingly, Gore did not receive a degree from the divinity school. Nor did Gore graduate from Vanderbilt Law School, where he enrolled for a brief time and received his fair share of C’s.

Heck, all we have on our skeptical side are people like Richard S. Lindzen:

Richard S. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Lindzen received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and he is a contributor to numerous scholarly volumes and the author of more than 200 articles in scientific journals. He is a member of the national Academy of Sciences and the Science and Economic Advisory Council of the Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy.

And just look at the poor quality of his arguments. Al Gore could wipe the floor with Lindzen. Yeah. He really could.

UPDATE: Commenter ECM posted this link to a post on Watts Up With That? blog. Al Gore certainly seems to win a lot of awards, this one is for raising awareness about global warming. From the story: “Scripps Institution of Oceanography is awarding its first-even Roger Revelle Prize to former Vice President Al Gore… UCSD said Gore was selected for his efforts to raise awareness of global warming.”

John Boehner calls for Congress to freeze spending at current levels

House Republican Leader John Boehner
House Republican Leader John Boehner

House Republican Leader John Boehner calls for an immediate spending freeze at current levels. The freeze would cancel the 900 earmarks in the 410 billion dollar porkulus-2 omnibus bill. The video of his speech is below, and you need to watch it right now. Please.

Excerpt from John Boehner’s speech on the floor of the House of Representatives:

I know there are a lot of members that have a lot of other issues that they’d like to include in this, but the fact is that American families are hurting, small businesses are hurting around the country, our economy is hurting. And I think we could help our economy, we could send a strong signal to the American people by extending this spending freeze through September 30.

“Let’s show the American taxpayers that we get it. Let’s show investors in our American economy that we get it. Because clearly the bill that’s been under consideration both here in the House and now in the Senate has a $30 billion increase over last year’s spending, and includes nearly 9,000 earmarks. And the way to put all of this to a stop is to just have a spending freeze. Let’s show the American people we understand the pain they are under and show them that we are willing to tighten our belt.

Boehner was not content to give mere talk. He tried to force a vote on the freeze in order to get the Democrats to go on record on the 1.75 trillion dollar deficit they’ve introduced. The story is here, and includes this quote from the Associated Press:

“The top Republican in the House is seizing on the latest spike in unemployment to call for a freeze on government spending and to urge President Barack Obama to veto a $410 billion spending bill.”

“Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the jump in unemployment to 8.1 percent and the loss of 651,000 jobs in February is a sign of a worsening recession that demands better solutions from both parties.”

“Boehner criticized the spending bill as chocked full of wasteful, pork-barrel projects. The Senate postponed a vote on the bill until Monday amid the criticism.”

“Boehner said he hoped Obama would veto the bill. He urged the president to work with House Republicans to impose a spending freeze until the end of this fiscal year.”

Who gets it? The House Republicans get it.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is reporting (via Connie Hair of Human Events) that the motion failed 160-218, with every Republican present voting for it.

How do atheist scholars justify morality on atheism in debates?

I want to tell you that the easiest topic to debate with non-Christians is the foundations of morality. Here’s a primer:

  1. If atheism is true, matter is all there is. Your actions are biologically determined. So there is no free will. As Dawkins says, there is only DNA and you dance to its music. Period. If there is no free will, there are no moral choices and no moral responsibility. Moral actions are not rationally justifiable on atheism.
  2. If atheism is true, humans are accidents with no intrinsic value. Any value that is assigned to humans is arbitrary, and arbitrary standards do not constrain the will of rational people when it is not in their best interest and/or they will not be caught (e.g. – Stalin).
  3. If atheism is true, there is no ultimate accountability for moral evil. Being good or evil is irrelevant to where you end up, and where humanity ends up. (The heat death of the universe). Being good when it requires self-sacrifice is irrational, on atheism.
  4. There are only 2 reasons to be moral on atheism. If you get pleasure out of following these made-up rules or if you avoid punishment. That is not what theists mean by virtue. Acting in the way you were designed to act in order to achieve what Aristotle called eudaimonia.
  5. Etc.

Try absorbing some of these actual public debates with real scholars and see for yourself:

  1. From Christianity Today, a written debate: Douglas Wilson vs. Christopher Hitchens
  2. From the University of Western Ontario, a transcript of a public debate: William Lane Craig vs. Kai Nielsen
  3. From Schenectady College, a transcript of a public debate:William Lane Craig vs Richard Taylor
  4. From Franklin & Marshall College, William Lane Craig vs. Paul Kurtz (audio, video1, video2, video3, video4, video5, video6, video7)
  5. From the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, William Lane Craig vs. Louise Antony (audio1, audio2, video1, video2)

These debate links are courtesy of ChristianJR4. Where’s your blog, JR4? Come on, man! Get with it! If you other readers agree with me that he should start his own blog, then e-mail me or comment about it, and I will see that he is appropriately castigated for his slacking.

If you want to learn about these issues at a deeper level, there is also a good paper by Bill Craig on the problem of rationally-grounding prescriptive morality here. My previous posts on this blog on this topic are here and here. The first one is about whether atheists can use a made-up standard to judge God for his perceived moral failures, the second one is on whether meaningful morality is rational on atheism.

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Truthbomb Apologetics! Thanks for posting about my blog, Chad! New visitors from Truthbomb may be interested in my posts in the apologetics category.