Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Good news: school choice victory in Indiana, pro-life victory in North Dakota

The Heritage Foundation reports.

Excerpt:

It’s hard to overstate what an outstanding victory for school choice Indiana’s Supreme Court issued yesterday.

Indiana’s highest court ruled unanimously in Meredith v. Pence that the Choice Scholarship Program (CSP), which provides vouchers to low-income and middle-income families in the Hoosier State, is constitutional. The suit, brought by the teachers unions, sought to end the country’s largest and most inclusive school voucher program.

Thankfully for the families currently participating in the CSP—and for the 600,000 children who are now eligible to receive scholarships to attend a private school that meets their unique learning needs—the court sided 5–0 with educational freedom. As the Institute for Justice’s Bert Gall notes that

the unions’ legal claims focused on two types of constitutional provisions that are common in most other state constitutions: 1) provisions requiring that states provide a “general and uniform” system of public education; and 2) provisions forbidding state support of religion.

With regard to requiring a uniform system of public education, Gall goes on to write that the court “showed that the duty to provide a ‘general and uniform’ system of public schools is not violated when a state provides educational options above and beyond the system.”

As for the provision prohibiting state support of religion, the court noted that

any benefit to program-eligible schools, religious or non-religious, derives from the private, independent choice of the parents of program-eligible students, not the decree of the state, and is thus ancillary and incidental to the benefit conferred on these families.

The Indiana ruling not only ends the challenge to the voucher program in the state, it is also an important victory for school choice and, as Gall put it, “solidifie[s] the growing body of case law supporting school choice and expose[s] the flaws in the teachers’ unions’ favorite legal claims.”

That’s good news for fiscal conservatives, but there was also good news for social conservatives last week – in North Dakota.

Excerpt:

If abortion proponents condemned 2011 as “the year of abortion restrictions… mark[ing] a sea change for abortion rights,” and 2012 as “an unmitigated disaster for abortion rights,” I can’t imagine what they will say about 2013.

In 2011 there were a record 92 pro-life laws enacted in the states, followed by the second highest number, 43, in in 2012. This year has already seen at least 14 pro-life bills become law, according toMailee Smith, Staff Counsel for Americans United for Life, so we are on track for another banner year.

But in 2013 we are not only seeing a high volume of typical pro-life legislative fare, we are seeing passage of pro-life legislation on steroids, the likes of which has never been observed in 40 years of legalized abortions throughout the U.S.

Yesterday, North Dakota adopted the “heartbeat” ban, which outlaws abortion once a baby’s heart tones can be detected, as early as six weeks. At the same time ND Governor Jack Dalrymple signed the first ever ban against eugenic abortions for fetal abnormalities or gender.

Bumped from the top spot, held only three weeks, was Arkansas, which on March 6 passed what was then an unprecedented ban on abortions after 12 weeks.

Just a week prior, Arkansas became the 10th* state to pass a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

Then there’s the Personhood Amendment. On March 22 North Dakota became the first state to legislatively authorize a ballot initiative that would establish the right to life from the moment of conception.

All the more reason for sensible Americans to continue their mass emigration from leftist blue states to conservative red states.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

Indiana man saves his two children from drowning in icy pond

From WANE News in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Excerpt:

[S]amantha Buuck, 8, was walking behind her home when she ventured out onto the frozen pond. She fell through the ice and called for help. She was struggling to stay afloat. Her 12-year-old brother, Anthony, heard her calling for help and jumped into the water. He got to Samantha and started calling for help too.

The children’s father, Dale Buuck, heard the calls from inside their home. He ran to help and also went into the icy water. He was able to push Samantha and Anthony into shallower water. The conservation officers said Anthony was then able to get himself and Samantha out of the water. Anthony started to perform CPR on his sister until Dale got out of the water and took over. Anthony then called 911.

It’s estimated Samantha was under water for about two minutes. Paramedics transported Samantha to a hospital in critical condition. They were able to get her breathing back and she is expected to recover.

I think that the mother of those children made a good decision when she chose that man, because he can do the job of protecting the children. The government workers would never have got there in time, and that’s why it’s important that men be there and be effective in dealing with threats using their own judgment.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

Live streaming: William Lane Craig vs atheist Alex Rosenberg this Friday at Purdue University

UPDATE: I have posted a FULL SUMMARY and a link to the MP3 AUDIO of the Craig/Rosenberg debate.

The information about how to get live-streaming for the debate is available at the Biola web site.

Details about the debate:

Debate: Alex Rosenberg vs. William Lane Craig

February 1, 2013 — 7:00-9:30 pm EST LIVE — Purdue University

And: 7:00-9:30 pm PST West Coast Delayed Feed

Cost: FREE

Location: Elliot Hall of Music
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

Here’s some of what Biola sent me in an e-mail after I registered:

VIEWING OPTIONS

In addition to the live debate at 7:00 pm EST we will be re-airing the debate at 7:00 pm PST for those on the West Coast. The debate will also be available on-demand after 2 pm EST on Saturday, February 2. Please visit http://live.biola.edu/faq/ for more details on viewing options.

VIEWING LOCATIONS

Many groups are hosting viewings that are open to the public. Check out the full list here: http://live.biola.edu/locations/ and join people in your community to watch the debate and dialogue. If you are interested in a hosting a public viewing please contact us at conference.coordinator@biola.edu to have your location added!

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SCREENING AT BIOLA UNIVERSITY

Are you near Biola? The debate may be happening in freezing Indiana, but we’ll be hosting a viewing in Sutherland Auditorium on the Biola campus at 7:00 pm PST. This event is FREE. For more information and to RSVP please visit www.apologeticsevents.com.

FAQ & TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

Please test your equipment and connection at our test site: http://live.biola.edu/faq/ If you run into any issues, please contact us before the event so we can help resolve them with you. Contact us at conference.coordinator@biola.edu.

HOW TO VIEW THE DEBATE

After you’ve tested your equipment and gathered round your friends and family, we recommend logging onto the debate website at least 20 minutes before the event begins. You will connect to www.biola.edu/debate (the same place you registered!) and be directed to log in. You will use the same email address you provided when registering. Remember: registration is required so if you have friends in other cities watching as well remind them to register now at www.biola.edu/debate.

I thought this snip from Wikipedia was also interesting:

During the 2006 Duke University lacrosse case, he was one of the so-called Group of 88 professors who, shortly after members of the university’s lacrosse team were accused of rape, signed a letter calling attention to problems with race relations at Duke and thanking protesters for “making a collective noise” on “what happened to this young woman.” After a year-long ordeal that is now widely viewed as one of the most conspicuous miscarriages of justice by a prosecutor in modern American history, the lacrosse players were found innocent of the rape charges. The so-called “Group of 88″ letter is regarded by some conservatives as an example of unfair prejudgment.

You can read something that Alex Rosenberg wrote about his naturalistic worldview in the left-wing New York Times.

Filed under: Events, , , , , , , , , , ,

RINO Richard Lugar loses Indiana Senate primary to Tea party candidate

Central United States

Central United States

From the radically leftist NPR.

Excerpt:

The nearly four-decade career of Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar has come to an end. The Republican elder statesman, well known as an internationalist and as a moderate willing to reach across the aisle, lost his primary battle to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, a conservative upstart backed by the Tea Party.

[...]Lugar becomes the latest incumbent to lose a re-election to a Tea Party candidate. The Washington Post reports that in 2010, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, from Alaska, and Sen. Robert Bennett, from Utah, also lost their primaries. That same year, voters also spurned GOP establishment favorites for Tea Party candidates in Colorado, Delaware and Nevada.

“Richard Mourdock’s victory truly sends a message to the liberals in the Republican Party: voters are rejecting the policies that led to record debt and diminished economic freedom, and they will continue to be rejected in elections throughout America,” Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth, which infused the Mourdock campaign with cash, told the Post.

The Tea Party Express, a political action committee, said it went after the longtime senator because he had “lost his conservative edge.” Lugar’s defeat, the organization said, is just the latest sign that the Tea Party movement is still going strong.

Mourdock will face Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in November.

How liberal was Richard Lugar?

From Life News.

Excerpt:

Lugar’s relationship with pro-life advocates has been rocky during his time in the Senate. Lugar should be commended for supporting pro-life initiatives like the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Mexico City Policy, the de-funding of Planned Parenthood and the repeal of Obamacare. However, Lugar alienated pro-life advocates with votes in favor of embryonic stem cell research and his enthusiastic support for President Obama’s two pro-abortion Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Even before Sotomayor’s nomination made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lugar announced he would vote to confirm her. A year later, Lugar jumped at the chance to support Elena Kagan, becoming the first Republican not on the Judiciary Committee to support her confirmation.

National Review has more about Mourdock and Lugar.

Excerpt:

In 2010, only four Republican senators registered more liberal voting records [than Lugar], according to the American Conservative Union. In a separate analysis, National Journal ranked Lugar as the Senate’s fourth most liberal Republican. He’s a moderate to the core: a pro-lifer who voted to confirm both of Obama’s nominations to the Supreme Court, a hawk on farm subsidies who opposed the ban on earmarks, and a foe of Obamacare who has supported more federal spending on health care. Lugar also has favored stronger gun-control laws, minimum-wage hikes, and the DREAM Act, which would provide an amnesty to illegal aliens who attend college or serve in the military.

I don’t recommend throwing moderate Republicans out willy-nilly, but Lugar was a jerk.

We have a lot of good Senate candidates this year: Ted Cruz, Josh Mandel and Richard Mourdock. I hope they all win.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Indiana passes right-to-work law and is now open for business – and jobs

Central United States

Central United States

From GOP USA.

Excerpt:

Indiana is poised to become the first right-to-work state in more than a decade after the Republican-controlled House passed legislation on Wednesday banning unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers.

It is yet another blow to organized labor in the heavily unionized Midwest, which is home to many of the country’s manufacturing jobs. Wisconsin last year stripped unions of collective bargaining rights.

The vote came after weeks of protest by minority Democrats who tried various tactics to stop the bill. They refused to show up to debate despite the threat of fines that totaled $1,000 per day and introduced dozens of amendments aimed at delaying a vote. But conceding their tactics could not last forever because they were outnumbered, they finally agreed to allow the vote to take place.

The House voted 54-44 Wednesday to make Indiana the nation’s 23rd right-to-work state. The measure is expected to face little opposition in Indiana’s Republican-controlled Senate and could reach Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels’ desk shortly before the Feb. 5 Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

“This announces especially in the Rust Belt, that we are open for business here,” Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said of the right-to-work proposal that would ban unions from collecting mandatory representation fees from workers.

Republicans recently attempted similar anti-union measures in other Rust-Belt states like Wisconsin and Ohio where they have faced massive backlash. Ohio voters overturned Gov. John Kasich’s labor measures last November and union activists delivered roughly 1 million petitions last week in an effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Indiana would mark the first win in 10 years for national right-to-work advocates who have pushed unsuccessfully for the measure in other states following a Republican sweep of statehouses in 2010. But few right-work states boast Indiana’s union clout, borne of a long manufacturing legacy.

Every time one state enacts a right-to-work law, it puts competitive pressure on other states. The reason why is because businesses are attracted to right-to-work states, and they will prefer to expand there, rather than in union-friendly states. In fact, some companies will just up and move to right-to-work states, leaving the union-friendly states with no employers at all.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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