Monday, July 25, 2011

Real Christians don't murder

Anders Behring Breivik claims to be a Christian. He does so both in his manifesto and on his Facebook page. He is clearly mistaken. On page 1307 of Breivik’s manifesto (8MB pdf file): he makes the following assertion:
If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.

No it doesn't. It makes you an ideologue. The fourth commandment:

Exodus 20:7
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

This madman has attempted to cover his atrocity with the name of Jesus. He admits no personal relationship with the Savior, but calls himself a Christian.

He is not a Christian.
He is a murderer.

Hat tip: Verum Serum

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Can we defend our prosperity?

It is because we are a prosperous nation that we can devote precious resources to things like clean energy initiatives, healthcare for the poor, and welfare for the unemployed. Moreover, every prosperous nation - including our own - has been attacked for that prosperity. Our ability to be generous and compassionate depends on having enough wealth to literally give much of it away. Poor people are not generous because they have nothing to give.

With these facts in mind, look at the chart published by the House Armed Services Committee (please click to enlarge):

Remember that food travels by ships that need protection from piracy. The seas are still just as large as they were 20 years ago, and we have only half the ships we did when Bill Clinton was president. We cannot support ground troops without fighter squadrons and strategic bombers.

And the world is not safer than it was in 1990 ... it is far more dangerous.

A weakened America means an ever more dangerous world.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The consequence of the minimum wage

One of the most common arguments when it comes to the minimum wage is that it hasn't keep pace with inflation, and therefore should be raised. However, only one part of that argument is factual. The other is purely opinion.

In 1978, the minimum wage was $2.65 per hour, which when it is adjusted for inflation would equate to $9.18/hr in 2011. Therefore, it is true that increases in the minimum wage have lagged behind increases in the general price level.

But an increase in the minimum wage is a government action ... and all actions have consequences. Even if that action is supposedly in response to other events, the consequences are real.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only one in four teens, age 16-19, have found a job. Notice the steady downward trend since the peak in the late 70's.

Notice how teen employment dropped until the early 80's, then climbed again until 1989, when it began another steep drop.

What happened?

YearMin. Wage
1990 $3.80
1991 $4.25

Each drop in teen employment was preceded by a federally mandated increase in the minimum wage. This is a small sample which illustrates this larger pattern. It is an entirely predictable pattern. And it should call into question the very existence of a minimum wage.

The entire history of minimum wage rates is available at the US Dept of Labor.