Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Indiana legislators working on mandatory civics exam for high schoolers

Indiana is one of my favorite states, and here is some great news about Indiana.

Excerpt:

Hoosier lawmakers have joined a growing number of states that want your kid to take another exam. To graduate high school, students would have to pass an exam similar to the naturalization test required for immigrants to become U.S. citizens.

Still a work in progress, the bill will come up for debate during the upcoming legislative session and is being championed by Indiana Senate Education Chairman Dennis Kruse, a Republican of Auburn.

Kruse told The Daily Signal that he’s eager to see Indiana students rise to the same standard as individuals applying for American citizenship.

“I don’t know why our own young people—who are born citizens here, who go through our regular school system—shouldn’t know the same information,” Kruse said.

This is interesting:

The naturalization exam administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requires a candidate to verbally answer 6 of 10 questions concerning American history and government. On average, 91 percent of candidates passon their first try.

The test requires citizenship candidates to answer basic questions like “What is the supreme law of the land?” and “What is the name of the president of the United States now?”

Hoosier high-school students would take a similar exam but with a few important differences. Required to answer 60 percent correctly, students would take a written, multiple choice, 100-question test.

So many people are focused on elections that they don’t know how to do anything about the culture. Well, I think this policy is going to have a good effect on the culture. If people can understand more about why the United States is organized the way it is, then maybe they will not be in such a hurry to undo it so we can be more like France (or even Greece, judging from the debt). Even making a requirement to teach basic economics and business administration would be good insulation for children against the fact-free, math-free world of leftism.

By the way, according to a report (PDF) by the Center for Education Reform web site, Indiana is number one for school choice in the USA:

The Hoosier State leads the country, with a universal voucher program open to all students across the state and no limit on the number of vouchers that can be awarded. The state has taken a varied approach to income-eligibility requirements, with the lowest-in-the-nation threshold for typical students, only increasing that threshold for special needs and failing-school students. The state is the second-worst in the country on infringing on private school autonomy, mandating such things as course content and insisting on allowing government observation of classes. With just a bit of reform in these two areas, Indiana would come close to reaching the maximum score possible.

Ohio and Wisconsin are right behind Indiana. Three of my favorite states.

Filed under: News, , ,

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, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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