Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

You can eat a meal with Richard Dawkins if you contribute $500,000 to his fan club

I wanted to post on this yesterday at 2 PM, but somehow, the post was never published. I blame Jonathan M., because I was Skyping with him while writing it, and must have forgotten to click “Publish”.

Nancy Pearcey and Jay Richards tweeted this story from the UK Spectator.

Excerpt:

[T]he Richard Dawkins website offers followers the chance to join the ‘Reason Circle’, which, like Dante’s Hell, is arranged in concentric circles. For $85 a month, you get discounts on his merchandise, and the chance to meet ‘Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science personalities’. Obviously that’s not enough to meet the man himself. For that you pay $210 a month — or $5,000 a year — for the chance to attend an event where he will speak.

When you compare this to the going rate for other charismatic preachers, it does seem on the high side. The Pentecostal evangelist Morris Cerullo, for example, charges only $30 a month to become a member of ‘God’s Victorious Army’, which is bringing ‘healing and deliverance to the world’. And from Cerullo you get free DVDs, not just discounts.

But the $85 a month just touches the hem of rationality. After the neophyte passes through the successively more expensive ‘Darwin Circle’ and then the ‘Evolution Circle’, he attains the innermost circle, where for $100,000 a year or more he gets to have a private breakfast or lunch with Richard Dawkins, and a reserved table at an invitation-only circle event with ‘Richard’ as well as ‘all the benefits listed above’, so he still gets a discount on his Richard Dawkins T-shirt saying ‘Religion — together we can find a cure.’

The website suggests that donations of up to $500,000 a year will be accepted for the privilege of eating with him once a year: at this level of contribution you become a member of something called ‘The Magic of Reality Circle’. I don’t think any irony is intended.

At this point it is obvious to everyone except the participants that what we have here is a religion without the good bits.

I thought this was the weirdest thing. Atheist Pope who attacks Roman Catholicism is now collecting indulgences from his gullible followers. That’s just weird. But at least I understand now why he refused to debate William Lane Craig after seeing his atheist buddies go down in flames against Dr. Craig – it’s the money.

Filed under: News, , ,

Former abortion clinic owner: we created demand for abortion by pushing sex education

From Life Site News.

Excerpt:

“How do you sell an abortion? In the US it’s very simple: You do it through sex education,” former abortion clinic owner Carol Everett told participants at the Rose Dinner following the National March for Life on Thursday in Ottawa.

Everett, who ran a chain of four abortion clinics in Texas from 1977-1983 — where an estimated 35,000 unborn children were aborted before her dramatic conversion and departure from the industry — told about 430 participants at the dinner that she had a goal of becoming a millionaire by selling abortions to teenage girls.

“We had a goal of 3-5 abortions from every girl between the ages of 13 and 18, because we all work on a straight commission inside the abortion industry,” she said. With every customer, Everett became a little richer.

But in order to reach her financial goal, Everett said she first had to create a “market for abortions.” That meant convincing young people from the earliest age possible to see sexuality in an entirely different way than previous generations.

“We started in kindergarten. In kindergarten you put the children in a circle and you go around the room and you ask them all the same question: ‘What do your parents call your private parts?’”

“You know and I know that every family in this room has a different name for the private parts. So by the time you reach the third or fourth child it is clear to those children that parents simply do not know what they have. But we did. We said: ‘Boys this is what you have and girls this is what you have and don’t be ashamed of your private parts.’”

Everett explained how sex education at the earliest ages aimed at eroding in the children what she called “natural modesty.” Everything was calculated to “separate the children from their values and their parents.”

[…]“My goal was to get them sexually active on a low dose birth control pill that we knew they would get pregnant on. How do you do that? You give them a low dose birth control pill that, in order to provide any level of protection, has to be taken accurately at the same time every single day. And you know and I know, there’s not a teen in the world who does everything the same time every day.”

Everett said that a girl on the pill who thought she was ‘safe’ typically had sex more frequently than those not on the pill.

“That pill did not work, and we could accomplish our goal of 3-5 abortions between the ages of 13 and 18,” she said.

Something to think about if you send your children to public schools.

Filed under: News, , , ,

Why do so many people vote for the Democrat party?

ECM sent me this article from National Review that explains why so many people vote Democrat.

Excerpt:

First, we should recognize that the War on Poverty is now a huge budget item. According to calculations by the Congressional Research Service and the Senate Budget Committee, taxpayers coughed up over $1 trillion in federal and state-provided benefits in 2011. These benefits flow to tens of millions of voters and cover the waterfront, offering low-income Americans everything from cash assistance to food, housing, and medical care, not to mention help with education, transportation, home-heating costs, and child care. Spending on these programs has soared more than 40 percent since 2007. That’s an unsustainable trajectory.

Then we get some facts from a Wall Street Journal article on the topic:

  • The percentage of the American labor force drawing disability benefits from the government has doubled since 1992, from 3 percent to 6 percent. They further note: “The number of workers qualifying for disability since the recession ended in 2009 has grown twice as fast as private employment.”
  • During the last four years, the Obama administration’s aggressive promotion of the food-stamp program has increased the number of recipients by 18.5 million.
  • Unemployment insurance that lasted no longer than 55 weeks in 1980 and 72 weeks in 1992 now can last 99 weeks. Some 40 percent of unemployed workers have been out of work for more than half a year.

And how does it affect voting?:

The Battleground Polls conducted by the Tarrance Group on behalf of George Washington University and Politico make this level of detail readily available. The poll helpfully divides its sample of likely voters into, among other things, those who self-identify as either “low income” or “middle class.”

So, what do we know about these voters?

  • Those who self-identify as “low income” are more likely to be unemployed, frustrated over the state of the economy, and pessimistic over the general direction of our country than are those with higher incomes. Yet the Battleground Poll indicates they are more Why do people likely than those who identify as middle class to believe the country is heading in the right direction (42 percent vs. 35 percent).
  • Do welfare benefits insulate these voters from the sort of economic concerns that plague middle-class voters? Apparently so. Compared with their middle-class counterparts, far fewer low-income voters cite pocketbook issues as their number-one concern (53 percent vs.74 percent). Middle-class voters are, almost by definition, far more likely to pay taxes than low-income voters. Unsurprisingly, they are much more likely to list the economy and the level of spending and deficits as their most important concern (28 percent and 17 percent, respectively) than low-income Americans. Among the latter group, only 20 percent say the economy is most important, and a mere 7 percent worry about spending and deficits. Again, this is not surprising, considering that, for most low-income Americans, government benefits come with no strings attached, and at little or no cost in taxes.
  • In contrast, low-income Americans cite Medicare, Social Security, and education benefits as their number-one issue (29 percent in all) more than twice as frequently as do middle-class voters (only 13 percent).
  • If the receipt of welfare benefits affects voters’ views of the economy and alters the equation they use to judge candidates, one would expect them to give the president high marks for how he has handled the most stagnant and underperforming economy in over half a century. And, indeed, that is the case. By a margin of 51 percent to 37 percent low-income voters prefer Obama over Romney on this measure. They prefer Obama by an even more lopsided margin, 55 percent to 37 percent, on the issue of jobs. In contrast, Romney wins big among middle-class voters on these concerns (56 percent to 41 percent on handling the economy, and 54 percent to 43 percent on jobs).

These people aren’t voting for any high and noble reason. They want money. It’s just greed. Greed is why people vote Democrat.

Elusive Wapiti adds:

It makes sense, really. The 47% vote their pocketbook too… the issue comes from the pocketbook being oriented in the opposite direction. Government largesse fills their wallet, whilst draining the bankbooks of the 53%. They are the “zero liability” voter; they are insulated from the costs of the programs and candidates they vote for… but they are understandably quite concerned with ensuring the payouts continue.

You need to get out there today and vote for Mitt Romney to stop the downward spiral into dependency and bankruptcy that we can see in countries like Greece, Spain and Italy. We can see it happening over there, don’t let it happen here.

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

Global warming: 2000 new record low temperatures in October

October 2012 temperature records: (click for larger image)

October 2012 temperature records: (click for larger image)

From Watt’s Up With That ? blog. (H/T Bad Blue)

Excerpt:

In the continental USA, there were 137 high temperature type records versus 857 low temperature type records this past week , a 6-1 difference. Last week there were 1154 low temperature type records putting the two week total for October at 2011. There were also 24 new snowfall records set this week in the upper plains.

Remember, the whole reason Obama was so keen to reward his campaign fundraisers who own green energy companies that are now bankrupt was because of the fear of global warming.

Remember Solyndra, the solar panel maker?

Look:

Eight months before solar panel maker Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, the company’s politically connected backer sought to hold on to lucrative tax breaks in the event the company went out of business, according to court documents.

The new information was revealed on Wednesday by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, which filed an official objection to Solyndra’s bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The failure of Solyndra, the company President Obama held up as an example of government backing for renewable energy jobs, is a political weapon for Republicans ahead of the November elections as they highlight energy policies more favorable to fossil fuels.

[…]Solyndra’s bankruptcy plan could prove a further embarrassment to the administration if it is seen rewarding risk-driven venture capitalists ahead of unsecured creditors such as suppliers and laid-off staff.

In its court filing on Wednesday, the IRS opposed Solyndra’s plan. If approved by creditors, a holding company would emerge from bankruptcy with no employees or business operations – but as much as $350 million in tax breaks that could be used by Solyndra’s investors, including Argonaut Ventures.

Argonaut is the investment arm of a foundation tied to the Democratic fundraiser, Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser. Most of the tax breaks would come in the form of Net Operating Losses (NOLs) which could be used to offset future taxable income.

Meanwhile, under the bankruptcy plan Solyndra’s creditors would receive pennies on the dollar, the IRS said, adding that the principal purpose of the plan is “tax avoidance.”

[…]The IRS cited emails from Kaiser to one of the venture firm’s managing directors.

[…]Solyndra has said in recent court filings it may not be able to repay any of the $528 million that the U.S. government had lent in 2009 to promote clean energy businesses.

Republicans have seized on Solyndra’s failure to accuse the White House of rushing the $528 million loan in part to help the venture capital backers. The Obama administration has said the loan was based on the merits of Solyndra’s business prospects.

Global warming fraud, cronyism and corruption. And they did everything they could to block domestic energy production, like blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and all the thousands of jobs that would have created. Do we really need four more years of this?

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

Who really gets rich from gasoline? Big oil companies or big government?

Here’s a great article that will blow your mind from the Wall Street Journal. (H/T Tom)

Excerpt:

With the average price of gas in America hovering around $3.50 per gallon for regular unleaded, it costs more than $50 to fill a typical car’s 15-gallon tank this summer. Why does gas cost so much?

You may blame high gas prices on rich oil company executives or greedy gas station owners. The truth is that governments rake in a larger profit at the pump than anyone—and with gas taxes on the rise in many parts of the country, there’s no relief in sight.

The price of a gallon of gas is based on the combination of four costs: that of crude oil, of refining gas, of distribution and marketing, and of taxes.

Crude oil costs make up about 76% of the cost of gasoline, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Thus $2.66 of a $3.50 gallon of gasoline is set before the oil is even refined. Global markets, reacting to supply and demand, determine the cost of crude oil. Just like any commodity, from gold to corn, a shortage in supply or an increase in demand leads to a rise in prices.

Refining oil is the next step in the process—and the next expense for drivers. Gasoline is extracted from crude oil and additives, including lubricants and detergents to reduce engine deposits, are added. As of January 2012, the EIA found that refining was responsible for 6% of the cost of gasoline.

Distribution and marketing—the part of the process most apparent to consumers—constitutes another 6% of gas prices. That portion of the cost includes the shipping and transportation of the gasoline, a markup to cover retailers’ expenses, and any advertising created to appeal to customers.

The remaining 12%—or almost 50 cents per gallon today—goes directly to federal, state and local governments in an array of sales and excise taxes. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents on every gallon of gasoline sold in America. State gas-tax rates vary from a low of eight cents per gallon in Alaska to a jarring 49 cents per gallon in New York. Other states where it’s steep to fill up include California and Connecticut—each with 48.6-cent-per-gallon gas taxes—and Hawaii, at 47.1 cents per gallon.

Some local governments have gotten in on the act, too. In California, local sales and excise taxes on gasoline average 3.1%, according to the Los Angeles Times. That works out to about 12 cents in local taxes for each gallon of gas, based on the state’s current average of $3.80 per gallon.

[…]Exxon, for example, made only seven cents per gallon of gasoline in 2011. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly 50 cents per gallon that federal, state and local governments rake in on an average gallon of gas pumped in the U.S.

That’s not going to stop the unproductive socialists in government for accusing oil companies of being greedy. Who’s really greedy? Government is greedy. They take more of your money in gas taxes than the oil companies do.

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

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