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A View from the Altar / Blog Archives
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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Quick comment on taxes

26-Jan-12

Our country taxes all kinds of stuff at different rates.  We tax retail sales in Florida at a rate of 7 percent.  And in Florida, wages are not taxed at all.  We tax your home phone at a certain rate and your cell phone at a different rate.  Gasoline, propane, natural gas, diesel fuel, and […]

Newtopia

23-Jan-12

Newt and Big Media Say what you will about the substance of Gingrich’s campaign or his marriages and the circumstances under which they went kaput. But it was sure fun to see him yank down CNN’s pants (and ABC’s) over their attempted mugging with Marianne. And what Newt said about the “elite media protecting Obama” […]

Slaughter of the innocents

23-Jan-12

We’ve just passed the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s low water mark for jurisprudence, Roe vs. Wade. As our preacher pointed out in church yesterday, America has now eliminated somewhere around 50 million unwanted kids. Numerically speaking, that’s the size of the Nazi Holocaust eight times over, a staggering amount of humanity that never […]

IBM’s possible EV battery

23-Jan-12

The electric car makers keep on dreaming, bless ’em.  A forecast by Deloitte says they’ll sell a bazillion overpriced golf carts, soon, to “Generation Y” because (I am not making this up) digital dashboards could be user-customized, and Gen-Yers like smart phones in their cars.  Personally, I’m doubtful.  But digital dashboards can be put anywhere, […]

ObamaCare and creeping tyranny

21-Jan-12

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Christian organizations with health care insurance have one year to begin providing birth control for their participants… or else.  For Roman Catholics and a few other denominations, this is just flat-out unconscionable.  It’s long been a Roman Catholic doctrine that birth control is sinful. The explanation provided by […]

Marianne, Millard, and the Grinch

19-Jan-12

The uproar du jour over Marianne Gingrich’s spitting mad expose’ of Newt is fast becoming a case study in missing the point. Newt has all along admitted that he’s got personal baggage. He did some folly and now confesses he was wrong.  “God has forgiven me,” he says. And yay for forgiveness.  But forgiveness isn’t […]

A real money quote

19-Jan-12

I’ve often fumed about everyone in the power business picking natural gas over every other fuel source. The problem is that they’re all running to the same side of the boat. Now, gas is good stuff. It’s way cleaner than coal. Gas fired power plants are far easier to start and stop than either coal […]

Bat and breakfast

18-Jan-12

I knew a guy some years ago who, together with his wife, opened a bed and breakfast in a small southern town.  The B&B was located in century-old frame house three stories high.  The third floor was really just a huge attic.  The attic was home to a vast colony of bats. He began trying […]

Limited government? How come?

17-Jan-12

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. Nimrod be hatin’ on the Apostles The Republican primary […]

OMG! OMG! What if the fundies are right?

07-Jan-12

Fox News has published an article from Shari Johnson on the subject of homosexual marriage.  Johnson says she held Christian views on the subject and that her mind was pretty much closed until her 37-year old daughter phoned one night to say that she was a lesbian.  Johnson then mentions Mark Driscoll’s recent article (also […]

Nuclear power still makes financial sense

04-Jan-12

A brief, back-of-envelope estimate of power costs from a new nuclear plant shows why utilities are still interested in building new nuclear capacity.  No, this isn’t a scientific analysis, just a rough estimate to show you it makes sense. Suppose it costs $17 billion to build a new, two-unit nuclear power plant.  And let’s suppose […]

Washington Visigoths hacking down the Constitution

03-Jan-12

The consent of the governed The Framers of our Constitution traced the power of governors to the consent of the governed.  Being a Christian, I would have expressed that in slightly different terms.  The power to govern comes from God (Rom 13:1) and is inherently limited by divinely established, hence immutable, laws of justice.  Those […]

Battery technology

01-Jan-12

When I was a kid, nobody wanted a battery-powered toy.  Carbon-zinc cells were all you could buy.  They were so weak that photons from a flashlight would ooze out of the filament and drip onto the floor like goo. Batteries are way better now.  Rechargeable lithium-ion cells can power your cell phone for many hours.  […]