About

Please don’t call me an evangelical. Though my denomination is considered to be evangelical I prefer the simple term “Presbyterian.” See, I’ve spent some time in the evangelical park, but it’s too big, and there’s too many faces I don’t recognize. Sure, there’s always entertainment and smiles, but it’s not my kind of entertainment and the pressure of having to mirror all those smiles gets me tired. So notwithstanding all the activity and optimism of the evangelical park, I tended to wander off to find a comfortable spot to read.

Anyway, I like being Presbyterian. I get Sundays off from all my worldly cares. I sit under sermons of substance and sing psalms and hymns with meaningful lyrics. Presbyterian structure provides order and accountability. Theology matters. Liberty matters. And we can participate in the Kingdom of God without trying to fully install it ahead of schedule.

That timing on the divine calendar is what makes the blues both real and refreshing. In our days under the sun there is much vanity, so it’s no shame to get the blues. A blues note may take you down, but it also takes away some of your burden; you pop back up a little lighter. So I am Presbyterian Blue.

About me: I have a BA in Philosophy and a JD. Originally from New England, I live in Iowa where I’m a practicing lawyer. I prefer to keep my name out of search engines as much as possible. I can’t do a lot of commenting due to my daytime job, but I do enjoy seeing your comments and will reply more often than not.

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9 responses to “About

  1. 2866oa

    I have only the faintest idea of “Obamacare’s” implications, but am enjoying your go-round with Erik Charter on the subject over at Old Life. True, isn’t it, that years back the Heritage Foundation-no less- called for a form of universal mandatory health insurance coverage?

    • Enumerated One, my conversation with Erik was, from my point of view, mostly about how court decisions are misread and judges unfairly impugned. You can’t just read the result then loathe the judge if s/he doesn’t render a decision favorable to your political desires. I’m speaking generally here, not about Erik specifically. Judges don’t draw opinions on blank slates, but are constrained by procedural presumptions, precedent, the specific statutory scheme being evaluated, and any number of facts that might push them one way or another. They aren’t writing political essays.

      As for Obamacare, I was actually partial to Scalia’s decision to strike it all down, but I was arguing that CJ Roberts had a position that is defensible. What will Obamacare be like? I don’t know if anyone knows, but I’m guessing it will result in a lower quality of services for many who can afford excellent health care now and better quality care for those who can’t afford it now. Heavy regulation tends to raze the moutains and fill in the valleys, right?

      But, for all their complaining, Republicans had their chance to improve health care in more moderate ways but didn’t. So I’m not impressed by all the indignation from those quarters.

  2. Paul(UK)

    The question “What will Obamacare be like?” may have some partial answers in looking at how national governments in Europe have led in this field. I have worked for 26 years in the British model, the National Health Service. Standards of care are falling in key areas and across the board national directives stipulating what level of service should be given seem to have little effect; thousands of patients in NHS hospitals needlessly die due to poor care and scandals about badly managed hospitals are becoming more frequent.
    The politicisation of the NHS is another factor which detracts it from its focus as the government stipulates how hospitals should, for example, put resources into diversity and equality posts and similar deparments which are both very costly and of questionable value in relation to patient care. I would argue that where national government gets involved in health care then inertia inevitably creeps into the care system at many key levels. The USA will see in due time whether it will experience the same problems which plague the UK government directed NHS.
    On a totally different subject mikelmann I think you asked me some weeks ago over at OL if I had ever heard of blues guitarist Rory Gallagher. I actually saw Rory about 30 years ago at Salford University near Manchester. The lad played brilliantly, and it was a beery and loud night of music from the Irish legend. Sad to hear he passed over some years ago, and such guitar maestros are rare in the UK today. For fine guitar playing in a band like those Britain used to spin out more often in better times, I would go for Cumbria’s latest incarnation of It Bites – not blues but very fine music indeed.

    • Interesting to hear, Paul. I know doctors are currently frustrated due to giving up some of their decision-making to insurance companies – it seems that will only be exacerbated by increased governmental oversight.

      Thanks for the music tip. I just posted a couple of Rory’s videos. If you want to pushback on my lukewarmness for UK blues, have at it!

  3. 2866oa

    mikelmann, care to weigh in on the Ia. Senate’s rejection, specifically, of conservative gay-marriage foe Cramer’s nomination to the Ia. Board of Regents? One defense used for Cramer was that Iowa’s constitution forbids a religious test as qualification for office, and that Cramer was being wronged for his faith’s opposition to homosexual behavior. But that argument was a poor one for conservatives, wasn’t it. A pro-gay rights nominee could likewise claim mainline church endorsement for his views, and also plead religious discrimination if rejected. I think the Family Leader wouldn’t have hesitated much in deploring such a nominee’s views as harmful to the public weal. One conclusion: the religious test argument is a double-edged sword, and is best left sheathed.

  4. I haven’t seen the story at all. Source?

  5. 2866oa

    The man’s name is Robert Cramer, I believe, who is a construction co. owner and major figure with The Family Leader group. The story was prominent in the DM Register legislative news section (also being commented on editorially) the last couple weeks.

  6. So there was something like a straight-paty vote on Cramer, a man who:
    – Opposes gay marriage
    – Worked (works?) for Family Leader, a strident culture war group (sorry for the redundancy there)
    – Wanted to ban a book by Maya Angelou as well as another book in the Johnston school system.

    So why was he voted down? It’s always dangerous to impute intent to legislators as they are rarely informed or principled enough to have intent in the way that we think of it. They want to get elected again, they want to please certain lobbyists, they owe favors to other politicians and officials, and they want to get out of the hearing in time for their lunch appointments.

  7. BTW, they also rejected another Branstad nominee:

    “The Democrat-controlled Senate voted 30-20 on Monday, mostly along party lines, to reject Gov. Terry Branstad’s nomination of Lang, a Republican, for a second term on the board, leaving open who the board’s new leader will be. The Senate also rejected nominee Robert Cramer, a construction executive from Grimes.”

    Here’s another possible cause: maybe they’re mad at the governor. And another: maybe they don’t like what the Board of Regents has done in recent years.

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