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St. Patrick Hamilton, Theologian and Martyr

Today is more than merely "Leap Day." It's the anniversary of the death of a man who deserves to be far better remembered than he is: Scottish Lutheran theologian and martyr Patrick Hamilton.

Hamilton was born into the Scottish royal family, the grandson of King James II. He was appointed titular abbot of Fearn Abbey, Ross-shire, in 1517, the same year that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Hamilton first came across the teachings of Luther as a student at the University of Paris. He returned home first to study at and later to teach at St. Leonard's College at St. Andrews University. An accomplished musician, while at St. Andrews Hamilton conducted a mass of his own composition.

Hamilton's Lutheran convictions soon attracted the attention of James Cardinal Beaton, a notorious persecutor of Protestants who would eventually be lynched in a popular uprising against his predations. Beaton ordered that Hamilton be tri…

Discouraged and disgusted

I guess it's back to the bad old days for my Blackhawks- the days of simply hoping to make the playoffs, as opposed to looking forward to an actual assault on the Stanley Cup.

No question but that getting Johnny Oduya from Winnepeg for draft picks just before the trade deadline will help. But I really don't think it's going to be enough. Perhaps some of the damage Stan Bowman did by trading Bryan Campbell can be undone. But I don't see this deal doing much about the Hawks' inconsistent scoring or the equally inconsistent- and frequently downright sloppy- goalkeeping of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery.

I frankly don't care about making the playoffs. If we're not going to have a shot at winning it all, why bother? Maybe Bowman will do something during the off-season. Maybe Carter Hutton or Alexander Salak will mature before next Fall and take over for us in goal.

But I'm not counting on it. Now is the winter of our discontent, Hawks fans. Stan Bowman has just d…

No, Dr. Paul.

Iran is no threat.

None at all.

HT: Drudge

Dawkins: 'I'm an agnostic, not an atheist."

Richard Dawkins- reputed to be the world's most famous atheist- claims that in fact he is not absolutely certain that there is no God, and is therefore properly called an agnostic.

Dawkins made this statement in a debate with the Archbishop of Canturbury, who- nearly as surprisingly- turns out to be neither.

You know things are tough when you can't even get atheists to be consistent in their theology.  BTW, I recently came a cross a wonderful quotation from Reformed theologian R.C. Sproul:

“I'm afraid that in the United States of America today the prevailing doctrine of justification is not justification by faith alone. It is not even justification by good works or by a combination of faith and works. The prevailing notion of justification in our culture today is justification by death. All one has to do to be received into the everlasting arms of God is to die.”
And I imagine there are still people in the LCMC and the ELCA who really don't see what that has to do with …

Hawks 2, Detroit 1

Corey Crawford seems to have regained his mojo, and the Blackhawks are suddenly playing as in days of yore.

Crow has a .958 save percentage in the last four games- all victories. Only five to go, and we'll be at .500 for the last eighteen. :(

The trade deadline is Monday, and the clock is ticking on General Manager Stan Bowman. Crawford seems to have recovered just in time; there had been talk of including him in a package to land a more reliable goalie. If Crow can keep this up, that may not be necessary. Maybe now we can address the hole on the Good Guys' blue line left by the inexplicable trade of Bryan Campbell.

Another top-notch forward wouldn't hurt, either. This team still hasn't recovered from the blow dealt the 2010 Stanley Cup champions by Dollar Bill's Revenge, the salary cap. Right now I don't see us as a Stanley Cup calibre team. We've got some rebuilding of the lower half of the roster to do, and I, for one, wish Bowman would get on with it.

N…

Hold the presses!

That game-changing upset in Michigan next week may not happen after all.

Mitt Romney is closing fast on Rick Santorum.

Contrary to what Newt Gingrich says, losing Michigan wouldn't "damage" Mitt anything like what losing Georgia would do to Newt, or losing Pennsylvania would do to Santorum.

Effectively having three home states- Michigan, Massachusetts, and Utah- does have its advantages, and two out of three wouldn't be bad ;).

HT: Drudge

Where do I begin?

First, Crazy Ron- of all people!- has no business telling other candidates that they're unelectable.

Secondly, if anybody can make logical sense out of the statement that we should pass a human life amendment declaring fetuses to be persons as of the moment of conception, but that at the same time  abortion laws should be left to the states, that person should immediately be awarded the Paul Begala Award for Conspicuous Excellence in Sophistry.

And finally, anyone with any illusions that Ron Paul is compatible with mainstream conservative or Republican thought should have those illusions dispelled by the interview linked to above.

HT: Drudge

LCMS President Harrison testifies about the Obama assault on religious freedom

Testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concerning the Obama administration's attempt to mandate insurance coverage for chemical abortions:

No, Ronbies.

Reality is really not a conspiracy against Ron Paul.

And neither were the results of the Maine Caucuses.

Corrected returns will be released soon, and perhaps even this afternoon. Many of the errors made seem to have actually benefitted Paul, and come at Romney's expense; some returns emailed to the state party seem to have gone to the spam folder. But it seems clear already that when all the mistakes have been corrected, the final result will remain the same as announced on Saturday.

Sorry, Jeff.

HT: Drudge

The trouble with Rick Santorum

People tempted to support Rick Santorum need to reflect on his uncanny ability to start from perfectly reasonable premises, and end up sounding utterly insane.

Promiscuity is indeed bad, and there is no doubt that birth control has fostered promiscuity. But it doesn't follow that therefore, without qualification, birth control is bad.

No, Rick. It doesn't.

I know. Maybe Mitt can pick him for vice-president, and he and Joe Biden can cancel each other out. It would be the first vice-presidential debate in history in which neither candidate can be understood, because both have their feet in their mouths.

HT: Drudge

Cousin Maxine foams at the mouth. Again.

Cousin Maxine says that Speaker Boehner and Majority leader Cantor are "demons,' who "would rather do anything they can to destroy this president, rather than for the good of thos country."

Showing the spirit of bi-partisanship for which she is well-known, the hatemonger and fanatic from California added, “Don’t ever let me see again in life those Republicans in our hall on our screens talking about anything.”

Maxine Waters is an embarassment to her party, her district, her state, and her country. And to people everywhere who share her last name.



HT: Drudge

Kinda gets you right in the ib*

Some things just don't change with the centuries. Men are among them.

It is fitting that it was on this Valentine's Day that I read an ancient Egyptian love poem which any man will find deeply moving. Women, probably not so much. But hey.

Surely none can doubt the sincere
(love) of the man who wrote this of his beloved:

When I kiss her, and her lips are open,
Then I am happy even without beer. Surely such a love will endure even in the Land of the West, and the heart of this lover would be judged pure when weighed against Ma'at's feather of truth in the scales of Anubus.

I hope she realized how lucky she was.

*Egyptian for "heart," signified by the hieroglyph

Santorum in virtual tie with Mitt nationally; passes him in Michigan poll

Rick Santorum is now in a virtual tie with Mitt Romney for the lead as the favored candidate of the nation's Republicans. Santorum also has surged past Romney in Michigan, the state where Mitt grew up and where his dad was governor in the 'Sixties.

Ron Paul's national support has fallen to 8%, the lowest it's been all year.

The Michigan primary is February 28. A defeat for Romney would be a major blow to his aura of inevitability- and clearly establish Santorum as his only credible challenger.

HT: Drudge

Obama campaign readies spin, misdirection effort for 2012

Four years ago, Barack Obama's campaign publicly confected its campaign Kool-Aide through an ironically-named "truth page," which served as a convenient means to distort the truth when it became convenient.

As chairman of a committee in the Illinois Senate, Obama had been instrumental in killing a bill which would have required doctors to obtain a second opinion on the viability of a fetus which had been born alive before allowing it to be ignored to death. The "truth page" claimed- as did Mr. Obama himself- that he would have favored the bill had it included language making it clear that its provisions did not conflict with Roe v. Wade.

The trouble is that before killing the bill, Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats had amended it in committee to include even stronger language to that effect. Nevertheless, the whopper remained a key Democratic talking point, nor was the "truth page" corrected when the falsehood was pointed out.

Mr. Obama and his &quo…

Will Maine say 'ayuh' to Ron Paul?

Maine announces the winner of its rather lengthy precinct caucus process today.

This could be Ron Paul's best shot at avoiding a shutout in this year's GOP primaries and caucuses.

If so, as Maine goes, "NO!" goes the nation.

HT: Drudge

ADDENDUM: Final result: Romney 39.2%, Paul 35.7%,  Santorum 17.7%, Gingrich 6.2%, Other 1.1%

The Paul people- who, living as they do on another planet, are so adept at coming up with bizarre conspiracy theories to explain their defeats- apparently think that Romney arranged a snow storm that resulted in the cancellation of the caucuses in a pro-Paul county.

Paul is claiming a "virtual tie" with Romney in Maine- which might be worth noticing if it weren't for the fact that Crazy Ron still has yet to win a primary or caucus. Not even one.

For a real candidate, as opposed to a protest candidate like Paul, such a record would dry up campaign finances and have long since embarrassed the candidate into withdrawing from the race.…

The world needs America

Even leaving considerations of national and world security aside, Ron Paul's foreign policy would be a disaster, not only for America, but for the world- and especially for free enterprise and freedom generally..

Anybody with doubts about that should read this article.

HT: Drudge

Crashing Blackhawks seek some trade deadline Febreze

The Blackhawks- having lead the division for most of the year, the conference for much of it, and the league for quite a bit of it- have sort of crashed and burned of late. In fact, they've lost seven in a row, and tumbled to fourth in the division. It's not too late to get back on track, but Corey Crawford- who is running out of time to have his poor play explained away by that groin injury earlier in the year- has pretty much stunk up the goal crease. And after a brief hot streak, backup Ray Emery hasn't been much better.

Terrible defense is one reason, and I doubt that the Hawks will be able to do much about that this season. But with the trade deadline coming up on February 27, there are several top notch goalies who could possibly be had for a price the Hawks (who have no particular salary cap problem at the moment) could probably manage.

Cam Ward of the Hurricanes, Ryan Miller (yes, that Ryan Miller!)of the Sabres, Miikka Kiprusoff of the Flames, Evgeni Nabokov of the …

Santorum displaces Gingrich as main challenger to Mitt

Ok. I knew the Democrats in Minnesota were crazy. But who would have thought that the Republicans in our northern neighbor state were zanier than they are here in Iowa?

While to say that I have doubts about his electability would be to put it mildly, I have always rather liked Rick Santorum. He's bright, he's articulate, he shares (no, embodies, to a great extent) my concerns about social issues (even though his rhetoric on those issues needs some polishing), and I was saddened by his defeat six years ago in his race for re-election to the Senate (even though I've always been a fan of the Casey clan, a gaggle of that endangered species the pro-life Democrat). No, it's not Santorum's expected victory in Minnesota and unexpected victories in Colorado and Missouri that have me shaking my head. It's that somehow Crazy Ron finished ahead of Mitt Romney in Minnesota!

Continuing his pattern of bizarrely optimistic post-defeat rhetoric, Paul characterized his performa…

Federal appeals court voids Proposition 8; same-sex "marriage" issue to SCOTUS

A Federal Court of Appeals has ruled 2-to-1 that California's Proposition 8, outlawing gay "marriage," is unconstitutional.

The ruling fairly summarizes the case for re-defining the most basic unit of human society in language which makes the radical- and frankly bizarre- nature of that argument clear:

Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted... Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples. The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.” Judge Randy Smith dissented from the decision, which seems clearly to emb…

Lutheran Satire takes on the Restorationist Movement

You know: that Churches (oh, excuse me... churches) of Christ, the Disciples of Christ, and the others groups who came out of the Campbellite movement.

Ex-fighter pilots: Reconsider cuts

A group of retired fighter pilots have written to Congress warning that the administration's planned military cutbacks will come at a heavy cost: American fighter supremacy.

Here in Des Moines, the Air Force Reserve F-16 squadron which has been seen so often over the South Side since 9/11 will apparently be retired- as will the F-16 itself (right).

The F-16 is a standard fighter in the air forces of the free world, from Israel to Holland. It will be replaced in the near future by the F-35 joint strike fighter, but that is years away.

HT: Drudge

Tomorrow's winners figure to be Romney and Santorum

Nevada results: Romney 50.1%, Gingrich 21.1%, Paul 18.8%, Santorum 10%.

Tomorrow Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri go to the polls. Gingrich is not on the ballot in Missouri; Santorum, as a result, will be the only credible "un-Romney" on the ballot, and is leading in the polls.The latest polls indicate that tomorrow may be a good day for the former Pennsylvania senator. The latest poll from Minnesota also puts him up on Romney,29-27. Gingrich is third, with 22%, and Paul trails, with 19%.

As you doubtless recall, after the "long count" here in Baja Minnesota early last month Santorum narrowly beat Romney. Were it not for Newt's stubbornness, I have to wonder whether Santorum's relative lack of baggage and popularity (well-earned, btw) among "Evangelicals" might not make him, in the long run, a more credible challenger to Romney from the right than Gingrich.

In fact, Santorum is running second to Romney in Colorado, although a distant second- 40…

Nevada looks like Romney rout; Paul not a factor after all

The Nevada Republican Caucuses are tomorrow, and the last two polls give Mitt Romney leads of 20% and 25% respectively over Newt Gingrich.

The expected strong showing by Rep. Ron Paul (R- Utopia Planitia) apparently isn't going to happen- though according to the last poll he has passed Rick Santorum and moved into third place,  a mere 39% behind Romney.

It will be interesting to see how much longer Santorum will hold on.

Rasmussen, meanwhile, gives Romney a 15-point lead in the February 28 Michigan primary, and a 27-point lead in the Arizona primary the same day.

Survey USA, however, puts Gingrich ahead in the Georgia primary by 13%.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Komen gives in to Leftist pressure, re-funds Planned Parenthood

The Susan G. Komen people have given in to pressure from the feminist Left and reversed their decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

A shame. Now neither I nor millions of others who agree with Susan B. Anthony about abortion will be able, in conscience, to support the Komen organization's important work.

One really ought to be able to support finding a cure for breast cancer without at the same time having to support the killing of the unborn. It's a shame that the Komen organization has chosen to make this impossible by continuing an alliance which has no logical connection to its own agenda, and in fact only shrinks the available base of potential support for it.

Clearly NOT about Pentecost

Somebody ought to tell Ebeneezer "Lutheran" "Church" in San Francisco about this:


Hell of a parament. And given the current theological orientation of the ELCA, very fitting.

HT: Bad  Vestments

Mitt Romney, Paul Krugman, and the politics of character assassination

Mitt Romney has admitted the obvious- that he put his foot in his mouth the other day by using words to explain that his focus was on the plight of the middle class which could be taken out of context to imply that he didn't care about poor people.

Which has not, of course, stopped the Left from continuing to take them out of context. Paul Krugman's questionable opinions as to the efficacy of Romney's economic program for the poor do not constitute evidence that the likely Republican nominee is a heartless, uncaring Scrooge. Even if one accepts every one of Krugman's arguments at face value, they would prove only that Romney's economic prescriptions don't work, not that he's a lousy human being.

Krugman's article- and we will see far more like it in coming months- is a very fine example of the kind of demonization of the opposition which has divided our nation so badly as to threaten the very viability of our democracy. Shame on you, Mr. K.

HT: Real Cle…

Unemployment falls to three-year low at 8.3%. Sort of.

January's unemployment rate was 8.3%- the lowest in three years. Debate has promptly broken out as to whether we have turned a corner in our national recovery from the Great Recession, or whether the news is less heartening than it seems

A record 1.2 million Americans left the labor force in January. The percentage of Americans who are actually working has fallen to a 30-year low. The number of people not participating in the labor force has exploded at the same time the number of people who are has grown, and as a result the new unemployment figures paint a deceptively rosy picture. When people stop looking for work, unemployment figures go down just as if they had found it.

Both parties will doubtless spin these numbers for all they're worth. The bottom line, though, will be the amount of pain the American voter is in come November.  You can't spin bills and debt away, unfortunately.

CNN business correspondent Rick Santelli explains what is wrong with January's stat…

Oh,please

The morning after his victory in the Florida primary, Mitt Romney said the following:

"I said I'm not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net, but if it has holes in it, I will repair them. We will hear from the Democratic party the plight of the poor, and there's no question it's not good being poor, and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor. But my campaign is focused on middle-income Americans. My campaign — you can choose on where to focus. You can focus on the rich — that's not my focus. You can focus on the very poor, that's not my focus. ...We have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether it has holes in it. We have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor..."
From this, the liberal media, the Democrats,  Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have dishonestly selected out the words, "I'm not concerned about the very p…

Why it's so silly to say that one has "no creed but Christ"

In this day of brain-dead modernism and post-modernism masquerading as tolerance and even "heart religion," here's a word worth heeding:

Komen breast cancer fund defunds Planned Parenthood

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fund has stopped funding Planned Parenthood over the latter's involvement with abortion.

Good.

Those who hold to the historic position of Christianity on this matter, as well as others who don't believe that it's possible to be a living member of species Homo sapiens without at the same time being a person, can now in conscience support the Comen Fund. Its worthy purpose has nothing to do with killing unborn children in the first place, and I, for one, rejoice that this obstacle to supporting it has been removed.

323 to 215

That will be the electoral vote margin by which President Obama is defeated for re-election if Gallup's annual state-by-state poll of POTUS's approval rating accurately predicts the outcome of November's election.

The map assumes that Mr. Obama will carry any state where he had a positive approval rating last year, and lose any state where his approval rating was negative. This, of course, will not necesarily happen, as witness George W. Bush's re-election in 2004. The critical factor will be whether Mr. Obama, like Mr. Bush, succeeds in making his opponent, rather than his own record, the issue.

HT: Drudge

Romney cruises in Florida; Paulistas have rare shot at relevance in Nevada

Mitt Romney beat Newt Gingrich in Florida by not quite 15%, as it turned out. Newt will fight on. So will Rick Santorum, who has followed his narrow victory here in Iowa with three straight third place finishes.

Romney's victory should put to rest the notion that conservatives won't support him. As in New Hampshire, he convincingly carried that demographic- as well as all the others that matter.

Meanwhile, Paul's supporters are enraged because the media didn't give similar coverage to their man's victory in a straw poll in Tennessee. Paul- who does quite well in straw polls, but alone among the remaining contenders has yet to win an actual primary or caucus- got 7% of the vote in Florida, once again finishing last among the active candidates.

The Ronbots may have a rare post-Iowa chance to be somewhat relevant- and maybe even win one- when the candidate from Mars provides what will likely be the biggest challenge to Romney in Nevada Saturday.  Romney beat Paul by …