Denison Forum on Truth and Culture logo

Cultural Commentary

How to resolve the government shutdown

President Barack Obama pauses while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington (Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)The United States Constitution requires Congress to authorize the government to spend money. Under the Anti-Deficiency Act, it can be a felony to spend taxpayer money without such congressional authorization. Since the new fiscal year begins today, a bill to fund the government had to be passed by both chambers of Congress and signed by the president by midnight.

The House passed their version, which delays implementation of the Affordable Care Act by a year and repeals a 2.3 percent medical devices tax that would help pay for the health care law. The Democratic majority in the Senate rejected both provisions, so it sent the spending bill back to the House without them. Since neither side would compromise, the government has "shut down" and the president has authority to fund those parts of the government he considers "essential." As a result, the state-run health exchanges that are a part of ObamaCare begin this morning despite Republican action and opposition.

Hits: 8176

'Sugar Baby' campaign sweeping the nation

Arrangement Finders Sugar Daddy campaign billboard on Interstate 30 in East Texas (Credit: CBSDFW.COM)A billboard on Interstate 30 in East Texas pictures a young blond woman and the words, "Get out of Prostitution.  Be a SUGAR BABY!"  I didn't know what a "sugar baby" was.  It turns out, this is a woman who is paid by a man to have an ongoing sexual relationship with him.  Advocates say it's not prostitution, since it's not a one-time encounter.  Critics call it "an online pimping service on a billboard."

Similar billboards are popping up around the country.  A billboard in Philadelphia reads "Thou shalt not commit adultery."  They lead to a website that offers a selection of men willing to pay for relationships.  These men post profiles, even including their income levels.  This phenomenon is growing everywhere, including the Bible Belt.  A company spokesperson says, "Dallas is one of the sugar daddy hubs in the U.S."  They claim 30,000 members in Dallas, and hope to double that number.

Hits: 10715

You'll never believe these new TV shows

The ocean is big but it's not nearly big enough for these two clam diggers, and they'll stop at nothing to be crowned king of the clams, trailer from reality tv show spoof Clam Kings (Credit: PBS) "When it comes to clams, these two aren't shucking around," the announcer says.  "Clam Kings" tells the story of two clam diggers who compete with each other for beachfront access.  Or not.  The "Clam Kings" trailer is actually a spoof by Public Broadcasting Service stations, which says, "The fact you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV.  Support quality programming."

Other spoofs include "Long Island Landscapers," which focuses on a team of yard guys who "are going over the hedge."  And there's "Meet the Tanners," a sun-loving family with questionable priorities—"We have rules in this house," says the mom.  "If you sass me, you go in the shade."

Hits: 6040

The key to ending poverty is within our reach

A boy scavenged through garbage at a landfill in Rio Hato, Panama, Wednesday. Human-rights organizations say extreme poverty remains an unresolved issue in the country (Credit: Reuters/Alberto Lowe) This New York Times headline caught my eye: "The End of Poverty, Soon."  Is this possible?

In 1980, 52 percent of households in developing countries were below the extreme-poverty line, according to the World Bank.  That number declined to 43 percent in 1990, 34 percent in 1999, and 21 percent in 2010.

According to the United Nations Children's Fund, the mortality rate of children in Africa under the age of five has declined from 177 deaths per 1,000 births in 1990, to 98 per 1,000 in 2012.  Meanwhile, economic growth in Africa has increased from 2.3 percent per year in 1990-2000, to 5.7 percent during 2000-10.

Hits: 1658

Pope excommunicates pro-gay marriage priest

Pope Francis has said he wants to bring the activities of the Vatican bank more in line with the universal mission of the Apostolic See (Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile) USA Today, like most news sources, summarized a recently published interview with Pope Francis: "Pope Francis said the Catholic Church should focus less on abortion, gays and contraception."  Is there more to the story?

Consider this: last May, Pope Francis excommunicated a pro-gay marriage priest.  Greg Reynolds of Melbourne, Australia had been advocating views on women clergy and gay marriage that clearly contradict Catholic doctrine.  However, the pope's action is only now making news.  Why?  Perhaps because, as one commentator notes, "he's not the liberal the media wants."

Hits: 4367

Latest News

17304 Preston Rd | Suite 1060 | Dallas | TX | 75252-5618 | 214-705-3710
© 2009-2014 Copyright, Denison Forum. All rights reserved.