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by Scott Bennett    Sun, Apr 16, 2006, 04:34 PM

"Do you believe that increased trade between the United States and other countries helps or hurts American workers?"  According to USA Today/Gallup 65% say its hurts while only 30% say it helps.  Change "workers" to "companies" and 50% say it "hurts" versus 44% that say it "helps."

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by Scott Bennett    Sun, Apr 16, 2006, 04:28 PM

In a poll released yesterday by Rasmussen Associates 75% of all Americans said they believed that Christ rose from the dead versus only 16% who said he did not.  Slightly higher percentages of African Americans and Hispanics believed in the resurrection than Anglos or Asians.  The poll also found that 78% of you, regardless of religious affiliation, are now recovering from a large Easter feast.

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by Scott Bennett    Sun, Apr 16, 2006, 04:00 PM

utd-mercury-logo.gifThe UTD Mercury, the student-run newspaper of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), received a record 32 awards for journalistic excellence in San Antonio over the weekend at the 98th annual conference of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA), the oldest and largest press association of its kind in the United States.  The UTD Mercury captured honors in 24 of the 28 contest categories, including its first-ever Sweepstakes award as the top points-earning newspaper in its 10-school division.

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by Special to    Sun, Apr 16, 2006, 12:15 PM

One week after carrying a front page story on the so-called Gospel of Judas, the Dallas Morning News has an well-crafted editorial in its Sunday newspaper shedding light on the Judas gospel:  "This gospel, like other non-canonical gospels, was written by Gnostics, adherents to an early Christian heresy that mixed pagan belief with Christian teachings.  The early Church fathers frequently condemned Gnosticism , whose doctrines are bizarre and contradictory to what was emerging as normative Christianity."

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by Special to    Sun, Apr 16, 2006, 12:07 PM

The Sunday Scotsman reports that "neo-conservatives in the Bush administration are on a 'collision course' with Tehran."  The newspaper claims that British Prime Minister Tony Blair has turned down President Bush's request for military support for a possible air strike on Iran.  Blair was a close ally of the President's in the decision of the Bush Administration to go to war in Iraq.  Meanwhile, the London Times is reporting that "Iran has formed battalions of suicide bombers to strike at British and American targets if the nation's nuclear sites are attacked.  According to Iranian officials, 40,000 trained suicide bombers are ready for action."

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by Special to    Sun, Apr 16, 2006, 11:42 AM

The worldwide leader of the Anglican Church, Dr. Rowan Williams, used the occasion of his Easter sermon to denounce the "Gospel Of Judas" which paints Judas in a much more favorable light than do the four Gospels of the Apostles contained in the New Testament.  The  report in the Sunday Telegraph said that the Archbishop poured scorn on this purported new gospel as an attempt to prevent people from "finding out what 'really' happened." The so-called gospel of Judas also was dismissed by the Pope in his Easter address to pilgrims. 

In his Easter remarks, the Archbishop of Canterbury also was very harsh in his criticism of books such as The Da Vinci Code, according to the Telegraph:  "The Archbishop of Canterbury today attacks society's obsession with books such as The Da Vinci Code which, he says, encourage people to believe that the Christian faith is a series of 'conspiracies and cover ups.'"

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by Tom Pauken    Sun, Apr 16, 2006, 11:10 AM

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and his Cyber Crimes Unit will host a townhall meeting in Plano on April 20th to address the problem of predators seeking children online.  The meeting is designed to arm parents with the tools they need to keep their children safer on the Internet

National statistics show that one in five children received unwanted sexual solicitations online each year.

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by Tom Pauken    Sun, Apr 16, 2006, 10:58 AM

As anyone who regularly reads the DallasBlog knows, we have been very tough on Steve Blow for a number of the columns he has written.  To be blunt, we haven't been all that impressed with what he has had to say recently.  Let me be the first then to congratulate Steve on an excellent column Easter Sunday about one Patty Huffman who has found her way back from a very hard life.  A single mom with three kids at a young age, Patty drifted into topless dancing and, later, into prostitution.  Finally, she turned to an organization called New Friends New Life, an organization designed to help women working in sexually oriented businesses.  She has changed her life as a result.  Steve Blow quotes Patty Huffman as saying:  "For so long, I lived in darkness," she said.  "But God brought me into the light.  Now I want the world to know:  Patricia Huffman is living in the light." 

Steve Blow concludes his column with these words:  "So on this Easter day, she reminds us:  Resurrection is still possible."

Now, that is a nice Easter Sunday column.  Congratulations to Steve Blow.

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by Tom Pauken    Sun, Apr 16, 2006, 10:45 AM

I got the call last night that Cloyde Pinson, our Veterans Voice columnist, had died this weekend at the hospital where he underwent surgery on both of his knees.  As Cloyde's friend (who called me with the news) pointed out, Cloyde had had a hectic week, getting his son's body moved to the Dallas-Ft. Worth National Cemetary--a veterans cemetary which Cloyde  had worked so hard to establish.  His son had been a young Marine who had died in Vietnam.  Our fellow veteran and friend of Cloyde's, Bill Solemene, will publish a more fitting obituary for Cloyde tomorrow. 

I can only say that his family should be proud of a man like Cloyde Pinson who volunteered so much of his time and energy helping his fellow Veterans.  We were pleased that Cloyde joined us here at DallasBlog to bring news of veterans events and issues to our readers attention.  We will miss you, Cloyde; and may your soul rest in peace.

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by Brian Bodine    Sat, Apr 15, 2006, 03:01 PM

A Delaware based conservative think tank has high hopes for conservative college students across the country.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a nonprofit think tank that seeks to give college students a better understanding of the values and institutions that sustain a free and virtuous society, recently held a “Get To Know ISI Soiree” at the University of Dallas. The soiree was a two hour event administered by Francisco Gonzalez, the Director of Membership and Campus Leadership for ISI.

The soirees are a new thing that ISI has been doing to further its purpose of increasing civic literacy among college students and of recruiting college students into its programs.

According to Francisco, civic literacy has taken a dive among college students. The decreasing number of students that “understand the roots of our nation” is becoming painfully apparent.

“Civic literacy is basically the idea that you are well grounded in the core principles of what America is,” said Francisco. “In order to know where we are headed, we must know our past. We are the accumulation of western civilization.”

In 2003, ISI initiated a study to test the civic literacy of college students in America. They hired a testing company to test freshmen and seniors at a number of colleges and universities across the country.

“When we turned 50, we launched a campaign to study civic literacy in higher education to determine what our universities are teaching and not teaching about our nation’s founding principles,” said Francisco. “These days, you can go through four years of college and not have to take a comprehensive course in history.”

Francisco said that the main emphasis of the study is on government and history. Francisco mentioned that many students take specialized courses in history, but fail to grasp the bigger picture. A student might take a course about women and feminism in American history and at the same time neglect learning about the roots of western civilization or about the meaning of the Federalist Papers.

Francisco explained that the reason for all of this is the fact that the universities are dominated by the Left.

“If you want to change a society you have to control the cultural producers of a society,” said Francisco, suggesting that the cultural producers are media and entertainment. “In order to do that, you have to change the history.” Francisco explained that the Left realizes that they have lost in politics and that they have to take over the academic institutions in order to change history.

“They’re trying to undermine our nation’s principles because they do not really believe in a lot of them,” said Francisco. “They would rather focus on the fact that our nation’s owners were slave owners and white male elites. For them, history started in the 1960s with the civil rights movement.”

“Instead they should focus on how great the U.S. constitution is,” added Francisco.

Student Publications

As the soiree ended, Stephen Wauck seemed impressed with Francisco’s presentation. “I like the way he stressed the connection with the liberal arts and politics today, and how the two relate,” said Wauck, a University of Dallas junior who described himself as intellectually conservative, though not politically active.

Wauck is one of a number of students that left the soiree pondering the possibility of starting a conservative publication on campus. The later part of the soiree was dominated by Francisco informing the students about the potential to start up independent conservative publications at their schools. Once a publication starts printing, explained Francisco, it could become eligible for yearly funding from a program that ISI operates through the Collegiate Network (CN).

ISI and CN have 90 of these college papers as affiliates across the country, according to Francisco. Conservative students use them as a medium to deliver viewpoints that are often not represented in the official student newspaper on campus.

“The papers really serve as a tool to fight the political correctness on campus. The papers expose political correctness to the public,” said Francisco.

Many of these papers use humor and satire to get their point across. Francisco mentioned Bucknell University’s Counterweight as an example of a paper that really stands out. The cover of one issue of the Counterweight had a mildly risqué picture of what appears to be a stripper, with “So this is what a feminist looks like?” written across the cover.

Other papers, such as Harvard’s Ichthus, have a Christian bent. According to Francisco, many papers are even run by libertarians.

Blake Vaughn, who serves as Chairman of the Dallas Baptist University College Republicans, attended the soiree and said that he plans on starting a paper at his school. “I learned so much about the history of the conservative movement. It has really lit the fire inside me to work hard for the ideas I believe in. I love how ISI will provide people with the intellectual arguments for conservatism,” said Vaughn, who describes himself as a conservative who believes in the Judeo-Christian history of our nation and that morality has its place in government.

As ISI does more of these soirees in other states, more students will start up papers. That’s what Francisco is hoping for.

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