Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Spring Break!

I have donned my sandles, flowered shirt, and bathing suit. I plan to enjoy the sun while sitting in a lounge chair on the beach with a virgin Pina-colada in one hand and a school book in the other. Well... at least I will have the school book. Trinidad here I come. Yeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

PHC Students Volunteer to Help at the Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad

Purcellville, VA--The ambulance was well soaped up and PHC student Quinn Harr was using a pressure washer to reveal the ambulance’s enviable glow. A loud, clanging bell sang out just as Mr. Harr began rinsing the front cab of the ambulance.

Volunteers from the Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad (Company 14) ran out and jumped into the ambulance to take the call but found that they could not see out the windshield and side windows from the suds. Quinn quickly dragged the heavy motor of the pressure washer around while spraying the windows clean. Sirens blaring, the ambulance pulled off—water and soap pouring off the back. Despite the small hiccup, PHC students made themselves useful.

Quinn Harr was one of nine students from Patrick Henry College (PHC) that went to help clean up at the Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad last Saturday.

The clean up was organized by PHC’s Community Involvement Commission (CIC). Mark Cianci, who has been chairman of the CIC for two years, wants to use the CIC, “to glorify God through serving the community… [and] to let the community know that the students care about the community as a whole.”

Those nine students were not just there to help clean up, they were also there to work towards PHC’s mission to lead the nation and shape the culture.

Mr. Cianci has noticed that at times, while out serving the community, the reaction to the school has been a little bit negative and wants to change what he sees as a faulty perception of the school. He says, “there is a real tangible effect.” Working in the community “is the practical side of our Christianity.” Even so, Mr. Cianci thinks “the people that benefit most from the CIC are the students themselves as it takes us out of our comfort zones and shows us that there is a bigger world out there to serve.”

Mr. Harr wants to work towards PHC’s mission as well: “How are we going to change the nation if we ignore the needs of the community?” wonders Mr. Harr. “Things like [helping Company 14] are a good way to help the community we are in. If we as students are going to change the culture we might as well start now.”

One way the students helped the Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad was by cleaning out the attic. Two volunteers from Company 14 passed stuff down out of the attic, wearing white full body suits to protect themselves from the dust, to the students below who passed the stuff out of the garage like a fire brigade passing buckets to quench a fire. They passed out records dated from the 1970’s and boxes filled with lime green and vibrant pink colored clothing—some of the pants with cuffs as big as the waist. The students also pressure washed the garage, cleaned the vehicles, and waxed the floors in the common area.

Assistant Rescue Chief Linda Curtis, of Company 14, says she finds the help great as “it takes off the burden from regular members”

One volunteer, Amanda Lark, who has volunteered before with the CIC at the Juvenile Detention Center, found it “nice to get off of campus and do something that was not mental work… it feels like you are actually doing something for somebody.”

In the past the CIC has organized cleaning trips to the Purcellville Rescue Squad about once every year; Mr. Cianci would like the CIC to become more structured with a scheduled date for the CIC to clean up the Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad each year.


Monday, March 21, 2005


Defending champions Matt du Mee and Rayel won against Oxford today in the moot court finals held at the Virginia supreme court.

Previously, Dec. 6, 2004, Matt and Rayel beat Oxford at Oxford University in PHC's first international moot cour competition. In England the cases argued had to be run under the British legal system using British contract law, which the Patrick Henry teams had to learn prior to their trip.

In the latest win Rayel also took 1st place speaker award as well. GO PHC!!!

In the picture Matt du Mee and Rayel argue their case at Balliol one of the 39 colleges that make up Oxford
 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I am glad I am at PHC

I am so thankful for the peace and freedom I enjoy here at PHC where we are encouraged to excel as opposed to Harvard where the students are pressured into lowering themselves to the least on campus...

I took this excerpt from Brit Hume's Political Grapevine (

Paper's Problem

Harvard's school paper, The Crimson, is urging students to boycott the new on-campus cleaning service Dormaid (search), launched by one of their fellow students a few weeks ago. The Crimson says Dormaid is "threaten[ing] our student unity" and "creating yet another differential between the haves and the have-nots on campus." The paper says, "Dorm life is one of the few common experiences left that all students, regardless of class or background, have to endure with a measure of equality. ... Hiring someone to clean dorm rooms is ... an obvious display of wealth that would establish a perceived, if unspoken, barrier between students of different economic means."
The student who started Dormaid calls that a "very uneconomic and narrow view." The call for a boycott stirred up reactions all over the Internet, with one blogger saying, "Yes, the collective good must always outweigh the individual's right ... to spend their own money however they wish."


I have just been informed of many conspiring against me. Woe to them.

Psalm 2:1: "Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?"

P.S. For Shame

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I have a rhetoric speech analysis of Cicero's Pro Roscius Amerino due this Friday but am not worried as I learned a little something from Calvin Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 12, 2005

PHC Debate team sweeps NEDA tournament in Dayton, Ohio

You guys did it again. AWESOME!

Patrick Henry College's Debate team swept the NEDA tournament in Dayton, Ohio this weekend wining fist place in Varsity, Novice and Lincoln/Douglas divisions. Also, they closed out the final round in open with PHC teams.

3th place--Katie Tuble
1st Place--Katy Jones
Novice Team policy:
Quarter Finalist--Daniel Burns/Danielle Small
1st Place--Cami Helm/Amber Smith

Novice Speaker Awards:
9th Daniel Burns
7th Danielle Small

Varsity (OPEN), Team Policy:
Quarter Finalist--Andrew Tyrrell/Melanie Inglis
2nd Place--Peter Kamakawiwoole/Nick Timpe
1st place--Matthew DuMee/Christy Ross

Varsity Speaker Awards:
8th Place--Nick Timpe
4th place --Christ Ross
2nd place--Peter Kamakawiwoole
1st place--Matthew duMee

Bush's Social Security Plan Loosing Support According to March 3rd Poll

Support for President Bush’s plan for Social Security reform is falling, according to the latest Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll released March 3.

In the latest survey, almost half of Americans, 47 percent, oppose including personal accounts in Social Security reform, 40 percent support them and 13 percent are undecided. An earlier Opinion Dynamics poll on Feb 10 showed that 57 percent of Americans support the President

The poll also revealed a generational divide over the issue. According to the same, March 3rd, poll 65 percent of those under age 30 answered in support but only 29 percent of those over 55.

According to the latest annual report of the Social Security program’s trustees, the annual cost for Social Security is projected to exceed program income starting in 2018 and its funds to become exhausted in 2042 (For the full report go to Social Security, as currently projected, will be broke when those who are now in college are old enough for retirement.

In Bush’s State of the Union address he said that Social Security was headed for bankruptcy and called for a candid review of the options to strengthen Social Security. Bush also has said that he will not change the system for those born before 1950 and that he will not increase payroll taxes.

President Bush has proposed adding voluntary personal retirement accounts to the Social Security system similar to the retirement program for Federal employees. Under President Bush’s plan, published February 2005, “personal retirement accounts would start gradually. Yearly contribution limits would be raised over time, eventually permitting all workers to set aside 4 percentage points of their payroll taxes in their accounts. Annual contributions to personal retirement accounts initially would be capped, at $1,000 per year in 2009. The cap would rise gradually over time, growing $100 per year, plus growth in average wages.”

In his testimony before the Committee on the Budget on March 2 Alan Greenspan agreed with Bush saying, “I fear that we may have already committed more physical resources to the baby-boom generation in its retirement years than our economy has the capacity to deliver. If existing promises need to be changed, those changes should be made sooner rather than later.” He added, “In my view, a retirement system with a significant personal accounts component would provide a more credible means of ensuring that the program actually adds to overall saving and, in turn, boosts the nation's capital stock.”

Discussing Social Security in New Jersey a week ago the President said that “if you're a young worker, you've got a problem… I hope that as time goes on and this debate goes forward, that you understand the power of your voice to say to people, we've seen enough of this, we're not going to move because somebody might look good, or, we don't want to do it because my political party told me not to do something. Now is the time to get rid of… all that deadlock in Washington, and focus on the problem for the good of the generation to come.”

Friday, March 11, 2005

Mission Accomplished

Its done. Midterms are over. I am in a state of mind that can only be created by just getting out of a Dr. Smith rhetoric midterm. Certainly odd. Now I only have eight--school is wonderful--more papers,a bunch of exams and quizzes, and finals to go. I guess I better stop procrastinating and get to work then. Ecclesiastes 12: 11-12:

The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly
embedded nails--given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in
addition to them.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study
wearies the body.

Ahhh its good to be back

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Patrick Henry College on CNN

We made it on CNN...

Too Much Work

I am sad to say I won't be able to post until this Saturday as I am bogged down with midterms, papers, and quizes. I hope you get a chance to respond to my article of the month!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sun and Snow

In the past, having lived mostly in tropical climates, I have taken it for granted that the sun provides two functions 1) Light 2) Heat. I have quickly come to learn that in a huge chunk of the world the sun only provides one of those functions for many months. The function of light. I have really really missed feeling the sun until today. It was so nice, 58 degrees, a group of us students had to go out for a walk and take in the heat. I did still manage to get a ton of snow down my shirt, in my face, and in my ears though. Thank you Jeremiah for that pleasure. :) Have a great day and enjoy the sun for its blessing of light and heat.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Article of the Month "What is your Foundation?"

Find previous Article's of the Month and more on my worldview at


“Every argument begins with an infallible dogma; you can never prove your first statement or it would not be your first.”[1]

This month's article of the month is heavily based on a few discussions and lectures I had in my Logic class at Patrick Henry College. In my last three articles I wrote about what I believe. In this article I want to ask you what you believe. To quote G.K. Chesterton, “Much of our chaos about religion and doubt arises from this—that our modern skeptics always begin by telling us what they do not believe. But even in a skeptic we want to know first what he does believe.”[2] I would like to ask you to consider this question. What is your foundation?

We all hold a foundational belief that we have to assume to be true. All arguments begin with an assumption. G.K Chesterton writes: “you can, of course, if you like, doubt the assumption at the beginning of your argument, but in that case you are beginning a different argument with another assumption at the beginning of it.”[3] What is your foundational assumption? I am trying here to dispel the idea that a worldview can be held, whether it is an atheistic or theistic worldview, without faith in a foundational belief that can only be held on assumptions. To quote G.K. Chesterton, “All sane men, I say, believe firmly and unalterably in a certain number of things which are unproved and unprovable.” He then lists four things:

1) Every sane man believes that the world around him and the people in it are real, and not his own delusion or dream. No man starts burning London in the belief that his servant will soon wake him for breakfast. But that I, at any given moment, am not in a dream, is unproved and unprovable. That anything exists except myself is unproved and unprovable.
2) All sane men believe that this world not only exists, but matters. Every man believes there is a sort of obligation on us to interest ourselves in this vision or panorama of life. He would think a man wrong who said, ‘I did not ask for this farce and it bores me. I am aware that an old lady is being murdered down-stairs, but I am going to sleep.’ That there is any such duty to improve the things we did not make is a thing unproved and unprovable.
3) All sane men believe that there is such a thing as a self, or ego, which is continuous. There is no inch of my brain matter the same as it was ten years ago. But if I have saved a man in battle ten years ago, I am proud; if I have run away, I am ashamed. That there is such a paramount “I” is unproved and unprovable. But it is more than unproved and unprovable; it is definitely disputed by many metaphysicians.
4) Lastly, most sane men believe, and all sane men in practice assume, that they have a power of choice and responsibility for action.[4]

Why do we shy away from beliefs that we cannot hold without doubt? Philosophy has a way of affecting how we all look at life even if it is the philosophy of, among others, Descartes from over 350 years ago. Descartes had four steps to truth. Even just the way he had four steps to truth, a method, is a lot like the way we like to deal with problems today. Just think of all the books boasting three easy steps to whatever. About a week ago we set up the internet at our new house using “three easy steps.” Method is everywhere. We love method. Descartes's four steps to the truth are: never accept anything to be true unless you are certain of it, divide the problem into parts, begin with the simplest and work to the hardest, show your work so you can keep checking yourself. It is the first step, never accept anything to be true unless you are certain of it, that is part of why we shy away from beliefs that we cannot hold without doubt. I think it is amazing how much we use Descartes's four steps to the truth even 350 or so years later.

The two main foundational starting points are the anta logical starting point and epistemological starting point. The anta logical starting point starts with God, epistemological starts fresh and builds on doubt. Descartes started with the epistemological starting point, making his ego, the foundational belief that he would build on, with his famous line “I think, therefore I am.” The Evidentialist Objection to those that say they can believe in God without any reasons is, in standard form:

1) It is irrational or unreasonable to accept theistic belief in the absence of sufficient evidence or reasons.
2) There is no evidence, or at any rate not sufficient evidence, for the proposition that God exists
3) If 1 and 2, then it is irrational or unreasonable to accept theistic belief
4) :.C It is irrational or unreasonable to accept theistic belief[5]

The Evidentialist Objection rests on Classical Foundationalsm which goes something like this:

1) P (proposition) is properly basic (starting point to argue) for S (person) if and only if P is self evident, incorrigible, or evident to the senses.

Most Christians take on the Evidentalist Objection by attacking premise two. Interestingly, though, Dr. Alvin Plantiga, philosopher and professor of philosophy at the Univesity of Notre Dame, attacks the first premise. Here is Dr. Plantiga's argument in standard form:

1) P is properly basic for S if and only if P is self evident, incorrigible or evident to the senses.
2) The Classical Foundationalist takes line 1 as basic or not basic
3) If not basic, then he must present an argument supporting it from premises that are properly basic.
4) The Classical Foundationalist does not make such an argument
5) :. Classical Foundationalism is basic
6) If line 1 is basic, then (according to the definition in line 1) line 1 must be either self-evident, incorrigible, or evident to the senses
7) 1 is neither self-evident, incorrigible, nor evident to the senses
8) :. Classical Foundationalism is not basic
9) If line 5 and line 8 then Classical Foundationalism is self-referentially inconsistent
10) :.C Classical Foundationalsm is self-referentially inconsistent

Because the Evidentialist Objection rests on Classical Foundationalsm and Classical Foundationalsm is inconsistent, the Evidentialist Objection must be false. It is totally reasonable to hold a belief on insufficient evidence and even further you have to hold a foundational belief based on an assumption or assumptions. My foundational belief is God. He is my rock. What is yours?

"I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies."
--PSALM 18:1-2

[1] G.K. Chesterton, “Philosophy for the Schoolroom,”

[2] Ibid
[3] Ibid
[4] Ibid
[5] The symbol ":." stands for therefore

Ronald Reagan Posted by Hello

Cool quote

I was working on a wonderfully fun (drip, drip) rhetoric assignment for Dr. Smith when I came across a quote by Ronald Reagan that is just too true:

“The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Iraqis watching a reality show, "Terrorism in the Grip of Justice," on TV that make the terrorists the bad guys?!

Check it out... - The Big Story w/ John Gibson - My Word - Iraq's Most Wanted

Calvin and Hobbes to kick off my blog Posted by Hello