November 18, 2008

Weekly Summary: Week One

The first official publication of the Student Newspaper brings out six issues:

The Grand Introduction, A Letter From the Editor
By Tobias Davis

Shattering the Human Mosaic: Down Syndrom Abortions in the Modern Era
By Stephen Harris

Real Change, or The Christian's Attitude Toward Change
By William Collen

A Different Quiz
By Francis Mader

The O-----
By Alan Guard

How Did America Become Great?
By Andrew Lacy

November 17, 2008

Shattering the Human Mosaic: Down Syndrome Abortions in the Modern Era

In the United States, 80 to 90 percent of infants prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted, according to Dr. Brian Skotko of Children’s Hospital Boston. Statistics are similar in England.

Steve Wagner, bio-ethics speaker for the Christian apologetics group Stand to Reason, said: “Is this the killing of a group of people simply because they're in the way and they can't defend themselves? That seems clearly what's happening with Down Syndrome in [this] country.”
During the first 20 years of legalized abortions following Roe vs. Wade in 1973, the percentage of live-born Down Syndrome infants dropped dramatically, according to a 1998 study by Harvard Medical School.

“The longer abortion is legal in this country, the more that people come to believe what the government is teaching them,” Wagner said, “that the unborn is not a human being with the same basic rights – rights to life and liberty – that you and I share.”

Dr. Skotko cited the book, “Drawing the Lines: Notes for Policymakers,” which documents a large anonymous survey in which 23 percent of physicians admitted to either over-emphasizing the negative information concerning Down Syndrome, or to actively urging mothers to terminate.

Lolita Hanks, board member of Colorado Right to Life, said, “There is a place for testing, but to specifically look for genetic defects, with the premise of, ‘You should get rid of this kid,’ isn’t that a little eugenics-sounding?”

According to Children’s Hospital Boston, about one in every 733 children in the United States is born with Down Syndrome: a total of 5,000 in a year. Of those, 12.5 percent, or 625, are diagnosed prenatally.

In the majority of cases, Down Syndrome is caused by having three chromosomes in the 21st position instead of the usual two. Down Syndrome causes varying degrees of mental and physical handicaps, including the physical characteristics of small body, mouth and ear size, and an upward slant to the eyes.

Thirty-nine percent of Americans approve of aborting Down Syndrome fetuses, according to a Gallup poll referenced in Wagner’s book, “Common Ground Without Compromise.”

The number of Down Syndrome abortions appears higher than the number of people who approve of them. Dr. Skotko said that the high termination rates apply only to infants diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Only a small portion of women undergo definitive testing because the two leading procedures have a one percent chance of causing a miscarriage, he said.

New, non-invasive tests, however, will likely increase the number of diagnoses that will take place.

In 2009, the biotech company Sequenom plans to unveil a blood test that the company claims will offer a definitive diagnosis of Down Syndrome for a little over 90 percent of mothers, a number rivaling current more dangerous methods.

“Of course, that means that the rate of abortions for Down Syndrome babies will rise,” Julie Johnson, former consultant for the crisis pregnancy center network Care Net, said.
“I think that couples should have a choice as to whether they wish to raise a child with Down Syndrome or not,” Dr. Peter Singer, Princeton ethicist, said. “[If] the majority of them choose not to, I think that's reasonable.

“They'll probably have another child who won’t have Down Syndrome, and that child’s life will be, perhaps in their view, better than the life of a child with Down Syndrome,” he said.

“Parents’ wishes about their children are very important to their life. I think it would be wrong to deprive them of that choice,” Dr. Singer said.

Wagner, however, said human nature is the basis of human rights.

“Someone with Down Syndrome is just a human being with a different number of chromosomes in the 21st position,” Wagner said. “We should focus on the image of God in people, and that should direct how we treat them.”

Mrs. Vickie Hughes, the mother of a Down Syndrome child named Rachel, said she wishes those considering terminating their Down’s pregnancy would take the time to meet her daughter. “I think if they spent one day in our house with Rachel, they would make a totally different decision,” she said.

As the result of a new law, parents will have more opportunities to meet such families with Down Syndrome children. On Oct. 8, President Bush signed the “Prenatally and Post-Natally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act.”

The law will establish a grant program to ensure that families whose children receive diagnoses for conditions such as Down syndrome will be offered accurate information about the nature of the condition and be connected with support services.

“Down Syndrome children, at least the ones I've known, are very active, they're very innocent and they're very loving,” Wagner said. “I think that’s a part of the human community, a part of the human mosaic that, if we lose it, we miss learning something about what it means to be human.”

Real Change

Real Change, or, The Christian's Attitude Towards Change

We hear a lot about change from Barack Obama. Change is something he is very passionate about. But what should be the Christian's attitude towards change? We can agree with Obama that there are problems with this country, and change is needed. But should we work for change in the same manner that Obama does?

As Christians, we should be committed to following God's law. This means that if a government is in rebellion to God's law, then it is time for change. But since we have God's law as a standard, we should always be working toward a return to Biblical principles, not a revolution or even the kind of directionless change that Obama's campaign seems to endorse.

But for the liberals, change is the standard. When the liberals proposed changes are adopted, all they do is clamor for more change. Where does the change stop? When do we finally reach a goal? The truth is that there is no goal to the liberals, and Obama's, desire for change. It is only a political maneuver: the idea that indiscriminate change is necessary caters to people's selfish discontent and lazy unwillingness to work towards a solution to our problems. It is always easier to throw away and replace what is broken, rather than fix it. Similarly people like the liberals easy change rather than the conservative’s more difficult, but ultimately more effective, repair strategy.

What we need is not groundless change. We need a return to strong Biblical methods of operation, methods that God promises to bless, methods that have worked in the past and are guaranteed to work in the future.

By William Collen
William Collen is a man living in Omaha. He is awesome.

Grand Introduction

Greetings fellow students!

Do you like guns, hunting, and going to church on Sunday? Do you argue for the right to own land, the right to self defense? Do you think the government ought to keep it's meddling fingers out of the economy? These things, among other things like a literal view of the Constitution and the necessity of a free state, were the ideas once considered to be obvious.

It seems, however, that every idea once held obvious is now under attack by liberal agendas. Our right to own guns is being degraded, while criminal activity escalates. Our freedom to hunt is threatened by animal rights activists, while the human life is not defended. The government promises to bail out billion dollar companies, while the farmer loses his land because of increased taxes and the city steals your house by eminent domain so they can build hotels or strip malls.

There is an old saying, by Edmund Burke, that goes: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Well, instead of doing nothing, join with us in the fight for freedom! This day marks the beginning of something great, the introduction of a paper which holds to a traditional conservative bias. We will never pretend to be unbiased, but rather embrace our view fully. You can always know our stance: For freedom, for God, for Country, for family, and for the liberty of the individual!

Do you enjoy writing? Do you hold to the traditional conservative view? No matter your degree, whether student or teacher, slave to the state or free, you too can write articles for this paper.

By Tobias Davis
Tobias Davis is a Mechanical Engineering Major at UNL and the standing Editor for the Student Paper

A Different Quiz

POP QUIZ! Do you recognize any of these names? Berringer? Gershwin? Odenga?

If you knew that Brook Berringer played after Tommy Frasier for the 1994 Championship season, you are a prestigious Huskers fan. If you knew that George Gershwin wrote Rhapsody in Blue, you must have a fine musical collection. And if you knew that Raila Odenga is the prime minister of Kenya, you might be a very educated person in global politics.

For those of you not familiar with any of the names, I’m sure you are very knowledgeable of the people in a significant field of study.

A consideration of economics can show where we choose to develop our skills in some subject matters instead of others. With limited amounts of time and effort, it is only right that an individual invests his or her passions into something valuable to them that bring them joy. Here an opportunity cost is presented with subject less appealing, and it helps explain why Michel Dell valued computers over college, UFC fighters value the circuit over working at McDonalds, and the football fan values Husker history over Kenyan politics. It is what we value that creates our beneficial differences.

The word university receives its name because people become united in diversity. The amount of various skills and talents that abound in the college setting is a precious commodity not found in many other institutions. Since disciplined individuals have developed these skills, it would be erroneous to accept individuals onto the campus based on immutable characteristics rather than achievement of academic standards.

Take, for instance, the realm of sports.

On Thanksgiving, I proposed to let Colorado start with 10 points at the beginning of the game, just because they are from a different geographic location. Likewise, let’s imagine having some sprinters start 20 meters ahead in the 100 meter dash because their parents are in a low-income bracket.

Showing preferential treatment in competitive sports might be considered mad to most people. Fortunately, the Athletic Department correctly values the skills and the productivity of the athlete, rather than the athlete’s ethnicity or income.

Realizing that the Athletic Department is responsible for marketing the school and generating massive amounts of income, the quality of the athletes is of paramount priority. Because the student athletes meet the highest athletic standards know to NCAA sports, Nebraska has the most Academic All-Stars in history. One may also notice the 17 former Huskers competed in Beijing in August and 3 football players were accepted in the 2008 NFL Draft. The prestigious fans can check the answers below for the draftees.

Excellence is valued with athletes, but is academic excellence valued in other parts of the college?

It may seem that UNL values a certain gender more than another when the university accepts $9.3 million from the National Science Foundation. The grant goes to promoting women in science, technology, math, and engineering fields. One might think that the demand for people in these jobs would be naturally met by those who are interested and value these areas, but the college insists that the gender of the workers is worth $9,300,000 for accomplishing these science-related tasks.

When a group is promoted in a field, it is to the detriment of the alternative groups. By valuing the qualities of individuals that are permanent, the qualities that can show real worth are disregarded. The real benefits of the people united in diversity arrive from people’s interests, not in the amount of melanin in their skin. This means that anyone should be free to pursuit Husker football, classical music, politics, science, technology, math, or any subject they enjoy. As these different subjects become more valued by individuals who fundamentally desire to master them, only then can they excel and foster a great learning environment. A place where people are accepted immutable characteristics cannot be expected to thrive in a competitive world.

I don’t know what will become of these thoughts. Like most ideas, I hope that they should be considered and given a fair judgment before being rightly discarded or put into one’s paradigm.

By Francis Mader
Francis Mader is a student on the UNL campus

Sources : 5th round- Zack Bowman, Chicago; 5th round-Carl Nicks, New Orleans, 6th round-Bo Ruud, New England

The O-----

[This article is partially in response to an event on the UNL campus called "The Female Orgasm", internet based information was not immediately found with a Google(tm) search, sorry. ---Editor]

The Female “Orgasm.” Were you offended? Let’s say it again: ORGASM. Strange we aren’t afraid to blurt this risky word whenever it seems appropriate, or not. So what is an orgasm anyway? Well, let’s simply put it as feeling associated with sex. Many things are associated with sex, including some not so pleasant aspects. Lets take little Masud for an example.

Little orphan Masud is living in the heart of where mankind originated. Lying in his cot in a Red Cross tent, Masud rolls over and puts a withered arm on the arm of a peer. It feels cold and lifeless. Masud must face another day of suffering, as undereducated nurses must tend to the needs of many other orphans. Did he have sex? No, but he is feeling the consequences and how he was infected is up to you to decide. This horrifying disease is something we, in the States, hope we never have to face. Sadly 1 in 300 Americans have such a disease.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,014,797 people are suffering with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. as of 2006.

Would you deny the fact our culture has become sexually deviant even when the risks of catching something is almost as daring as a game of Russian roulette? At the beginning of the year, a Nebraska starting lineman was arrested for First Degree Sexual Assault. Around that same time, the Associated Press reported that 1 in 4 American teenage girls have a sexually transmitted disease. The crimes and diseases propagated by unfettered sexual activity are strangely neglected by today’s society, while the University seems to be promoting sexual liberation.

So do you think we should treat sex as a casual activity with any creature that walks upon two legs? Should we be under the illusion that we are only animals giving into to a natural instinct? So go ahead, attend this seminar and educated yourself. Let’s just hope they encourage some responsibility. And sexual responsibility is of course, your responsibility (not the State’s).

[A Daily Nebraskan article by Noah Ballard stated: "there is an editors note stating that the 'facts' the writer used cannot be found with a Google search." The statement referenced, which I presume he means to be the editors note at the top of this page, is not intended to state that the facts of the article are not findable on Google, but rather the event (The Female O) had no information readily available online. I would have thought this to be obvious. ---Editor]

How Did America Become Great?

In a time when our country faces a number of challenges, from a struggling economy to security threats from Russia and Iran, I think it’s important that we take a step back and ask ourselves this question: how did America become great?

From the time of Adam and Eve, people throughout history have organized themselves in various ways – families, neighborhoods, nations – but none of these groups in human history has every achieved the opportunity, security and prosperity of America. How did this happen? We’re just humans like everyone else on this planet. There are plenty of nations that have been in existence much longer than the United States and yet those countries in their long histories have been unable to match what the U.S. has accomplished in just 230 years. Why?

People from those older countries founded the United States, yet they were unable to achieve in their homelands what they did here. The Founding Fathers were British, but why were they unable to make England as great as America? Why did they have to uproot their lives and come to the new world to do it?

There is no difference between us and people from other countries, yet the United States has become the richest, the most powerful and the most technologically advanced country in human history. We are a nation that has liberated hundreds of millions of people from oppression in the last century alone. We are a nation that rebuilt Europe after the horrors of World War II. By giving the Philippines independence after WWII, we became the only nation in history to win a war and willingly lose territory. We are the nation that has invented many of the luxuries we take for granted every day. We are the nation the world turns to when they need humanitarian aid in the wake of natural disasters.

How did this happen? This answer is very simple. In a word: freedom. Most of the people around the world don’t have the degree of freedom that we enjoy. The Founding Fathers recognized that freedom is an essential part of our creation. The made very clear in our founding documents that we are endowed by our Creator with the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Every human is born with these rights, but many live in places where they are not allowed to fully exercise those rights.

Our ancestors were allowed to exercise these rights and they used them to build, to invent, and ultimately to make the United States of America the greatest nation the world has ever seen. It is that freedom that allows us to come to college to pursue our own ambitions and do what we love. We have the power to do anything we want if we desire it bad enough and are willing to put in the amount of work necessary. The Founders recognized this, and more importantly they recognized that this power doesn’t come from politicians. Truth be told, it doesn’t come from we the people, either. It first comes from God Almighty.

The answers to all the challenges our country faces come directly from above, and are transmitted to our hearts so we can act on them. As long as we follow that flow of action, we’ll be all right. The answer to our economic concerns is as close as your wallet or purse. How ironic that the answer is to be found right on the symbol of the problem: IN GOD WE TRUST.

More Information

Project Walrus, The Introduction:
The project, code name Walrus, was the project behind publishing the paper "Student Newspaper" for distribution on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). The University currently publishes a daily paper which is run by, and writes from a specific view of, the liberal minds. While there may be an occasional conservative minded article, in general the paper considers the ideas of the classical conservative to be offensive, or unintelligent at best.

Additionally, the traditional values that this country has held for the majority of it's history are elsewhere being degraded and are constantly under attack. Because the general public is exposed to this degradation of these traditional values, the same general public increasingly find their arguments difficult to elaborate on. Like someone who was at one time a disciplined student, the skill of argumentation, and the arguments themselves, become lost in the past when they are constantly put down or ignored.

Project Walrus was initiated to aid the fellow conservatives on the UNL campus, to help defend our increasingly attacked rights, and to get people of all views thinking more critically.

The Guiding Principles:
Within the project Walrus there is a driving motive to encourage a point of view. There is no pretense of being without bias, project Walrus is specifically biased toward a fundamentally conservative Christian view of the world and it's history. It is a simple point of statistics to note that the majority of conservatives are Christian, but it can also be noted that conservatism is not an exclusively Christian view: Many notable atheists hold to some form of conservatism, and humanists everywhere agree to the benefits of a traditional conservative view.

The guiding principles of traditional conservatism can be based on many things: Historical statistics, Crowd consensus, and so on. However, any true lasting values or principles must be founded on something more lasting than the people who create the principles. In order to place the principles on the most lasting historical document, project Walrus has as it's guiding principles the entire Bible. Specifically, project Walrus argues that the traditional conservative values come directly from the Bible.

The founders of project Walrus believe that, due to what the Bible calls grace, even someone who is not a Christian can have views which are similar to Christian conservative views. Because we believe that a person may not ascribe to our religious view but still argue very well for traditional conservative views, project Walrus will accept for review articles from anyone who holds to the general principles in the Writers Principles section, whether that person be Christian or not.

Who We Are
Project Walrus, and the resulting paper, are the product of a core of five UNL students who have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of conservative voice on the UNL campus. It is our hope that the conservatives on campus will speak up and defend their own rights. We are not professional writers, and many of the volunteers with Project Walrus do not desire to be, but we each desire to see truth promoted, and conservative ideas debated openly and honestly without fear. The standing editor at this time is Tobias Davis, a mechanical engineering student. He can be reached through the official Project Walrus e-mail (