(’76 Contributor) When the President solemnly vows to “get to the bottom of all this and bring these violent extremists to justice”, he is telegraphing the following: 1. He is NOT connecting the violence to Islamic Jihad, which IS the main ideological threat to the United States. Islamic Jihadists generate markers that fit the facts on the ground. With these markers, we can proceed to watch the Mosques where Jihadist groups are formed, we can read their literature and understand their doctrine, we can listen to the Imams and anticipate their actions. But “violent extremists” generate nothing! How do you define one? You can’t! The media continues their apologist approach, describing the million and first “disturbed young man”, and of course Islam has nothing to do with it. They also strive for “balance” and are sure to mention “right wing extremists” in the same breath, even though there has been a weekly Islamic Jihad incident since July of this year, and nothing from “right wing extremists” since Oklahoma City.
(’76 Editor) Also from our Head On mini-debate series on Colorado Public Television, Susan Barnes-Gelt and I vie for the oddest angle on what the New Year of 2010 might bring. Don’t hold your breath for any of this to come true, but the wacky speculation is an amusing pastime as Jan. 1 rushes toward us. John: Break out the funny hats and champagne. It’s John and Susan’s fearless predictions of 2010. To balance the budget, Ritter sells the Teamsters naming rights to the gold dome. Romanoff wins the Senate nomination by proving his carbon footprint is smaller. Oprah wins the Nobel Peace Prize for finally leaving us in peace.
(’76 Editor) Fast away the old year passes! And as it does, Colorado Public Television is airing my backward glance at the newsmakers deserving of conservative bouquets and brickbats in 2009, counter-balanced by the liberal perspective of Susan Barnes-Gelt. Here’s the take from the two of us: John: Back by popular demand. As inevitable, and indigestible, as a Christmas fruitcake: our winners and sinners honor roll for the old year. I say hurrah for the tea parties, the townhalls, and the return of Sarah Palin. I say bahhh for Obama’s apology tour and the political correctness that enabled Fort Hood.
(’76 Contributor) If you’re someone who cherishes humanity and thus opposes human exploitation, as I do, you will welcome the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, a new joint effort by conservative Christians standing against global warming alarmism. Please read the group’s formal declaration and then consider signing the declaration. There are varying opinions on global warming and the responses being put forth by our governments (state and national). But the possible negative consequences of putting the control of energy resources in the hands of a few are beyond imagination. As I have followed this issue for years, I have noted a huge disconnect between the rhetoric and the lifestyle of some of the top promoters of human-caused global warming. This alone has generated a skepticism and recent revelations of tainted data confirm my skepticism.
(’76 Contributor) “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience,” released last month, impressed me as a profound statement by a large number of Christian leaders taking a stand for the foundations of civilization, the family, and the sanctity of human life. People of faith have to work together to preserve and protect the fundamental principles of morality from those who seek to destroy them. This declaration brings together numerous Catholic bishops, Orthodox clergy, and Evangelical leaders—and as an evangelical Christian I will gladly partner with other types of Christians on the common concepts that form the backbone of Christianity. Here are the opening lines from ManhattanDeclaration.org:
(Denver Post, Dec. 27) Remember those times when we thought the world had changed, but it hadn’t? Eight years ago after jihadists attacked the US homeland, and again last year after America elected its first black president, the talk of “forever different” was soon quieted by life’s old patterns. The world does not change, because human nature does not. But an event that did change the world occurred 2000 years ago in the stable at Bethlehem. Religious differences aside, the earthquake of Jesus’ coming is historical fact. The idea of all persons created equal, all endowed with dignity and liberty, arrived with him and has gained steadily ever since. This makes our seasonal celebrations, both sacred and secular, most fitting.
(CCU Student) Remember the news of an uninvited and uncredentialed couple that snuck into the White House for the State Dinner? I’m starting to believe that couple happens to be Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama. The genius that brought you a whopping 1.4 trillion dollar debt, with his vast credentials, now brings you the following statement: “Choice, competition, reducing costs—those are the things that I want to see accomplished in this health reform bill.”
There is a consensus that the desperate plight of higher education finances in Colorado calls not for tinkering around the edges but a radical re-examination of basic premises. The traditional solution of “Give Them More Money” is simply not an option given the perilous condition of the state and national economy. One proposal under consideration is the creation of more three-year bachelor’s programs as a means of achieving significant savings for students, parents, colleges, and taxpayers. Before opining on the virtues of this idea it would useful to reflect on where the notion of a “four year degree” came from and also what usages are found in other nations.
Much has been said about the dumbing down of America. One look at the “Let’s Make A Deal” health-care reform process in Washington shows we need better problem-solving skills. Yet helping students learn to problem-solve and “learn to learn” is something almost all schools are failing to do, according to Jack Elliott and Larry Hargrave in a Denver Post opinion piece on Dec. 19. My jaw dropped when I read their article. They discussed how teaching our students cognitive skills will improve the capacity of students to learn the learning skills many of our students need to improve in order to provide higher level cognitive skills and help more students graduate instead being left behind. Rather than a curriculum-based philosophy, they suggest a student-oriented approach that improves learning skills.