Round-up of recent Republican legislative initiatives

Tom Coburn

The Maritime Sentry had this post about Senator Tom Coburn’s Patient’s Choice Act.

“The Patients’ Choice Act of 2009,” transforms health care in America by strengthening the relationship between the patient and the doctor; using choice and competition rather than rationing and restrictions to contain costs; and ensuring universal, affordable health care for all Americans.

Tom Coburn is a medical doctor, not an ACORN lawyer who sues banks to force them to make risky loans. Commenter ECM sent me this article he wrote for the left-wing Huffington Post, in which he explains his new bill.

Marsha Blackburn

Congresswoman Blackburn urged the Senate not to pass the Democrat health care bill, citing the experience gleaned from Tennessee’s own bankrupt single-payer system.

In 1995, the state implemented TennCare, a health program modeled after Medicaid. While it covered more uninsured adults, the budget-busting program grew at a 1.5-percent annual rate, with costs skyrocketing from $2.5 billion in 1995 to $8 billion by 2004, Blackburn said.

“This program started to consume every new dollar that was generated in the state,” Blackburn said. Additionally, Tennessee residents who already had private health insurance were dropping their plans to get on the free health program, she said. “We started hearing stories of individuals trying to buy ‘uninsurable’ letters so they could get on TennCare.”

By 2005, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen cut 170,000 adults from the program and reduced benefits for thousands more to get a handle on the soaring costs. “Our experience with trying to do universal coverage ended up being a disaster,” he recently told the AP.

Don’t forget about Mitt Romney’s socialized health care plan in Massachusetts, which is also bankrupt. When you make something “free” demand skyrockets, and the people who are being taxed to pay for it stop working or leave. That’s reality.

Lamar Alexander

Senator Lamar Alexander introduced a bill last week to distribute the government’s newly acquired stock in GM and Chrysler to taxpaying Americans.

“Instead of the Treasury owning 60 percent of shares in the new GM and 8 percent of Chrysler, you would own them, if you were one of about 120 million individuals who paid taxes on April 15,” Alexander explained. “This is the fastest way to get the stock out of the hands of Washington and back into the hands of the American people in the marketplace where it belongs. The stock certificates would be in your name, not that of your government.”

…“It would be helpful to GM and Chrysler if they had 120 million Americans interested in their success.”

And Senator Mike Johanns urges oversight on the TARP money already redistributed to the Obama’s union special interests, who desperately need it to pay for their underfunded pensions. In contrast, Democrat Barney Frank called GM’s CEO to complain about a GM warehouse closing in his home state. (Recall that Obama called the mayor of Detorit to assure him that GM would not be moving their headquarters out of Detroit). The Road to Serfdom.

Mike Pence

Congressman Mike Pence introduces the American Energy Act, a bill to increase clean domestic energy production.

The bill has 4 main objectives:

  • Increase production of American-made energy in an environmentally-sound manner.
  • Promote new, clean and renewable sources of energy such as nuclear, clean-coal-technology, wind and solar energy.
  • Encourage greater efficiency and conservation by extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and rewarding development of greater conservation techniques and new energy sources.
  • Cut red-tape and reduce frivolous litigation.

Good idea since gas prices are up $1.00 per gallon from the beginning of the year.

Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal, my pick in 2012 for President, is championing EIGHT bills to get tough on criminals.

Here are two of them:

  • House Bill 445 will, as reported by the Baton Rouge Advocate, “suspend a license for two years the first time a driver refuses to take a Breathalyzer test [and] a subsequent refusal would strip a driver’s license for four years.”
  • Senate Bill 166 would, as stated in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “change the offense of driving with a suspended license for a previous DWI-related conviction from a traffic law violation to a violation of the criminal code.”

The rest are here, addressing child abuse, child welfare, sexual misconduct by teachers, monitoring of sex offenders, and more!

Will Al Gore make billions if cap and trade passes?

I spotted this story over on Steve Milloy’s Green Hell blog.

He writes:

Al Gore’s venture capital firm has invested $6 million in a software company that stands to make billions of dollars from cap-and-trade regulation — further fueling controversy that Gore lied about his profiteering from cap-and-trade to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee during testimony in April.

Hara Software sells software to help track greenhouse gas emissions. The market for such software is now about $2.5 billion dollars in size, and is expected to grow by a factor of ten to $25 billion if cap-and-trade legislation is enacted, according to Hara CEO Amit Chatterjee.

…Gore is also under fire for lying to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) at the same congressional hearing about his relationship with Goldman Sachs.

My post featuring the video of Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn grilling Al Gore on his investments is here.

Debate: June 11, 2009 in Toronto: Tony Costa vs. Habeeb Alli

Christianity vs. Islam debate

Tony Costa e-mailed me to notify my readers in Ontario about a debate scheduled for this Thursday!

Details here.

  • Date: June 11, 2009 @ 7 PM
  • Place: 4140 Finch Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario
  • Price: FREE!

For some background, check out my post on the doctrine of the Trinity.

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity

Other debates on Christianity and Islam featuring William Lane Craig

Debate Topic
Jamal Badawi The Concept Of God In Islam and Christianity Audio Video
Shabir Ally Did Jesus Rise From The Dead? Audio Video
Shabir Ally The Concept Of God In Islam and Christianity Audio Video
Shabir Ally Who Is The Real Jesus? Audio Video

Courtesy of ChristianJR4 who maintains a full list of Bill Craig debates here. I helped to sponsor the last 3 of those debates!

Could the building blocks of life have emerged spontaneously on the early Earth?

The origin of life

There are two problems related to the origin of the first living cell, on atheism:

  1. The problem of getting the building blocks needed to create life – i.e. the amino acids
  2. The problem of creating the functional sequences of amino acids and proteins that can support the minimal operations of a simple living cell

Normally, I concede the first problem and grant the atheist all the building blocks he needs. This is because step 2 is impossible. There is no way, on atheism, to form the sequences of amino acids that will fold up into proteins, and then to form the sequences of proteins that can be used to form everything else in the cell, including the DNA itself. But that’s tomorrow’s topic.

Today, let’s take a look at the problems with step 1.

The problem of getting the building blocks of life

Now you may have heard that some scientists managed to spark some gasses to generate most of the 20 amino acids found in living systems. These experiments are called the “Miller-Urey” experiments.

The IDEA center has a nice summary of origin-of-life research that explains a few of the main problems with step 1.

Miler and Urey used the wrong gasses:

Miller’s experiment requires a reducing methane and ammonia atmosphere,11, 12 however geochemical evidence says the atmosphere was hydrogen, water, and carbon dioxide (non-reducing).15, 16 The only amino acid produced in a such an atmosphere is glycine (and only when the hydrogen content is unreasonably high), and could not form the necessary building blocks of life.11

Miller and Urey didn’t account for UV of molecular instability:

Not only would UV radiation destroy any molecules that were made, but their own short lifespans would also greatly limit their numbers. For example, at 100ºC (boiling point of water), the half lives of the nucleic acids Adenine and Guanine are 1 year, uracil is 12 years, and cytozine is 19 days20 (nucleic acids and other important proteins such as chlorophyll and hemoglobin have never been synthesized in origin-of-life type experiments19).

Miller and Urey didn’t account for molecular oxygen:

We all have know ozone in the upper atmosphere protects life from harmful UV radiation. However, ozone is composed of oxygen which is the very gas that Stanley Miller-type experiments avoided, for it prevents the synthesis of organic molecules like the ones obtained from the experiments! Pre-biotic synthesis is in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” scenario. The chemistry does not work if there is oxygen because the atmosphere would be non-reducing, but if there is no UV-light-blocking oxygen (i.e. ozone – O3) in the atmosphere, the amino acids would be quickly destroyed by extremely high amounts of UV light (which would have been 100 times stronger than today on the early earth).20, 21, 22 This radiation could destroy methane within a few tens of years,23 and atmospheric ammonia within 30,000 years.15

And there were three other problems too:

At best the processes would likely create a dilute “thin soup,”24 destroyed by meteorite impacts every 10 million years.20, 25 This severely limits the time available to create pre-biotic chemicals and allow for the OOL.

Chemically speaking, life uses only “left-handed” (“L”) amino acids and “right-handed” (“R)” genetic molecules. This is called “chirality,” and any account of the origin of life must somehow explain the origin of chirality. Nearly all chemical reactions produce “racemic” mixtures–mixtures with products that are 50% L and 50% R.

Two more problems are not mentioned in the article. A non-peptide bond anywhere in the chain will ruin the chain. You need around 200 amino acids to make a protein. If any of the bonds is not a peptide bond, the chain will not work in a living system. Additionally, the article does not mention the need for the experimenter to intervene in order to prevent interfering cross-reactions that would prevent the amino acids from forming.

The progress of science

As science has progressed, the discoveries have proved out the need for a Creator and Designer in every area – the big bang, cosmic, galactic and stellar fine-tuning, the Cambrian explosion, etc…. and even the origin of life.

“More than 30 years of experimentation on the origin of life in the fields of chemical and molecular evolution have led to a better perception of the immensity of the problem of the origin of life on Earth rather than to its solution. At present all discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in stalemate or in a confession of ignorance. New lines of thinking and experimentation must be tried.”

(Dose, Klaus, “The Origin of Life: More Questions Than Answers,” Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Vol. 13, No. 4, 1988, p.348.)

Meanwhile, atheists are left to have blind faith that the progress scientists have made during decades of research will be miraculously overturned by new evidence that their beloved unobservable Flying Spaghetti Monster, (peas be upon him), did it. Hey! Don’t blaspheme against the non-supernatural powers of his noodly appendage! (Two Ph.Ds in biology will not save you from the wrath of the Darwoid cultists!)

To see how bad this gets for atheists, watch this video where Dawkins says that unobservable aliens evolved somewhere else and then seeded the Earth with life. He has no evidence that these aliens did evolve (no fossil record), and even worse, he does not know whether they even exist. Nevertheless, that is the state of atheism today – an unobservable Flying Spaghetti Monster evolved somewhere else and seeded the Earth with life.

What else could have happened?

Further study

One of my favorite resources on the origin of life is this interview from the University of California with former atheist and origin of life researcher Dean Kenyon. Kenyon, a professor of Biology at San Francisco State University, wrote the textbook on “chemical evolution”, which is the view that chemicals can arrange themselves in order to create the first living cell, without intervention.

This interview from the University of California with another origin of life researcher, Charles Thaxton, is also one of my favorites.

You’ll need Quicktime to see the videos, or buy the videos from ARN. (Kenyon, Thaxton) I have both of them – they rock!

Meet two conservative women who are better than Sarah Palin

I noticed a story up at Hot Air about that Hollywood idiot David Letterman making fun of Sarah Palin, and it occurred to me to remind my readers that we have better women who can represent our views, among them Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn.

First, let me just say that Sarah Palin is NOT conservative on issues like private schools and vouchers, as well on global warming. While Michele Bachmann took time off to homeschool a bunch of her children, (she has 5 natural-born and 23 foster children), we all know about Palin’s weaknesses with her children.

Let’s see what real conservative women can do.

Representative Michele Bachmann
Representative Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann

Her official blog is here.

Her video clips are here.

Here is a sample video – she wants to drill in ANWR so that we can all pay less for gas. (If you click on the video to go to YouTube, they’ve got an HQ button for high quality!)

Here is another sample video – she can defend capitalism and the rule of law as articulately as Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams might. (If you click on the video to go to YouTube, they’ve got an HQ button for high quality!)

Her most recent issue is trying to stop the Democrats from giving money to ACORN while they are charged with criminal offenses, such as voter fraud. Here she is speaking with Glenn Beck on that very issue.

Representative Marsha Blackburn
Representative Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn

Her official blog is here.

And here is a recent video clip where she exposed Al Gore’s financial reasons for supporting cap and trade.

I noticed that the Heritage Foundation featured a video clip of her today regarding health care.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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