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Friday, December 30, 2011

Savings

In an economics course, I've heard this was taught:
The key to wealth is to spend less than you earn. Simple, right? Why is it that Congress doesn't see the value in it?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Optimism

These are exciting times! Santorum is climbing in the Iowa polls upon Gingrich's decline, Romney has a good chance against Ron Paul, and there are rumors that Obama would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton! I don't know if that will come to pass, but the very mention of the possibility screams loud for all to hear that Obama is desparate and knows he doesn't have much of a chance at re-election.

As I've said before, we MUST get rid of Obamacare. It is bad new for the entire country.  Even before the full implementation of Obamacare, doctors are retiring and fleeing in droves. Bad for patients. Some smaller hospitals are closing. Bad for patients. Employers can't afford the more expensive insurance required under Obamacare and aren't expanding if not shrinking in , bad for jobs and patients. Insurance companies are raising premiums because of Obamacare's expensive requirements: bad for patients. Bad for jobs if those companies fold. Even the public option isn't attractive: I've been on public and private and there is NO comparison in quality of care. Bad for patients. And of course, the costs will be astronomically higher than projected like every other government program, which taxpayers get to cover. And this doesn't even touch upon the radical Medicare reimbursement changes due Jan 1 2012.
 
The current law says that come Jan 1, 2012, Medicare will no longer reimburse individuals involved in care, but give out a certain amount based solely upon diagnosis. This amount of money would not change based upon severity of the disease, length of stay, extra testing, etc. That means all doctors (and the hospital) will have to divide up the money in some way hopefully reflective of care given, and the result is projected to halve doctors' pay to a little over $100k. This might not be a big deal were medical education so long and expensive and malpractice so high. But Obamacare lacks any tort reform, so medical costs will continue to be high so that doctors can assure lawyers in court that they did everything possible to care for their patients, including unneccessary expensive tests and labs. Not that I blame them for not wanting to get their butts sued off. I blame Obamacare for leaving out changes to the biggest cost driver in medicine, but what do you expect from a bunch of lawyers?

I am delighted that Ann Coulter featured this topic (getting rid of Obamacare) in her column this week. She specifically is supporting Romney as sufficiently against the entire bill as to get rid of it, and further to beat illegal immigration. To quote:

"In order to allow Democrats to indignantly denounce Republicans who said Obamacare would add to the deficit, the bill was structured so that no goodies get paid out immediately. That way, when the Congressional Budget Office was asked to determine if Obamacare was "revenue neutral" over its first 10 years, government accountants were looking at a bill that collected taxes for 10 years, but only distributed treats in the later years.

"Starting at year 11, those accountants will be in for a big surprise when the government starts paying out Obamacare benefits without interruption.

"Because of this accounting fraud, Obamacare can still be repealed. But as soon as all Americans have been thrown off their employer-provided insurance plans and are forced to start depending on the government for health care, Republicans will never be able to repeal it."

She continues. It's a good read and I recommend it. We, as voters, need to be aware of the importance of every issue at stake as we head into the primaries.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A saying

How does it go? Correct me if I don't say this right. They say that the devil doesn't have to get good men to do evil, he just tries to get good men to do nothing.

Study up on the candidates and vote!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday, filled with joy and companionship and gratitude, and for all the Christians in the audience, a reflection on how we are blessed by the life of Christ.
No guarantees of frequent posting during the next week...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter

The two must not be friends. The last few weeks, Ann Coulter has run and posted anti-Gingrich columns. You can view older posts through the archive section on her website. Her main objective seems to be to remind Americans - conservatives in particular- of the facts behind what Newt claims about his own history. She reminds us that he has said and done several things inconsistent with what he's saying and doing now. This is the time to carefully look over each candidate, have at it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Payroll Tax issue

Anyone else a little confused about why 2 months or 12 months are such a big deal in Washington? Bear in mind: the payroll tax is the ONLY funding for Social Security. Bear also in mind, we've been enjoying a cut in that tax rate during the last year, which is due to expire. So, Obama cut Social Security funding, and no one is crying out that he's killing retirees, bankrupting them, etc - because he's a Democrat. And why aren't the Republicans bringing up this fact? Beats me.

Rush explained the nitty-gritty of the fight for me: maybe it will help you understand it too. I've posted below about half of what he said.

"In the meantime, the substance of this issue is being totally ignored at the expense of playing the political game.  So what is apparent to me -- and I shall detail this as the program unfolds -- what's apparent to me is that the view that you and I have about the country and its perilous state right now is not shared. We know by the Democrat establishment.  Continuing evidence is that the Republican establishment does not really see the country threatened or imperiled.  This is just the latest political cycle.  Democrats happened to win last time, it's gonna be our turn soon, it's nothing really out of the ordinary here.  Seventeen trillion national debt, ah, no different than five trillion.  The president, the White House is waging war on the middle class, "Ah, not that big a deal, Mr. Limbaugh, we'll fix all this when we get our turn back."

"In the meantime the substance of this issue, this payroll tax cut, FICA, Social Security, what's actually being done here, what it actually means, and the substantive reason to not let Obama win this, to not let the Democrats win this, to insist on this being for a full year is being lost.  In fact, what this is is even being lost.  On the one hand, they tell us that Social Security is not really a tax, right?  It's a deduction, it's a contribution.  This is simply citizens paying into their own retirement, and they'll get the money back, it's not a tax.  Now all of a sudden it's a tax.  Now all of a sudden it's a tax cut.  No, it's the only mechanism for funding Social Security that there is.  The Democrat president -- see, if we had a team that was on offense rather than trying to defend something, if we had a team that was on offense what we'd be doing is making the point that a Democrat president is trying to underfund senior citizens' retirement.

"I don't know about you, but as a Republican I'm sick and tired of being told all my life that I want to kick old people out of their houses and that I want them to eat dog food, and that I don't care about their health care or any of that, that I want to cut their Social Security.  That lie has been around for as long as I can remember.  Well, now look what's happening.  The only funding mechanism is being underfunded by 250 to $500 billion a year by the Democrat president, and nobody talks about us that.  No, we get caught up here in, "Oh, gosh, oh, gosh, Obama, Obama is gonna get away with a tax cut idea, we're gonna have it stolen from us, oh, no, no, no."  Meanwhile, Romney was on O'Reilly last night.  He refuses to call Obama a socialist.  He says he's in over his head.  He won't call him a socialist.  And that's nothing.  Imagine asking Romney to call him a Marxist.  So it's coalescing here, what we face and where we are."

"Here we have a Democrat actually doing to the Social Security trust fund what they have accused us of wanting to do all my life. A Democrat presidents actually doing it, and we're going along with the language that it's a tax cut, when it's not, it's a raid on the Social Security trust fund.  But Jake Tapper said that the implementation here can't be accomplished.  Not enough time to reprogram all the computers for the proper withholding and so forth.  Two months is not enough time to do this.  By the time they get the computers programmed, the two-month extension will be over.  The law will foul up the entire payroll system because it's too last minute.

"Now, I hate to nitpick here, but I would think that that would mean something to lawmakers who didn't know that when they came up with their hare-brained idea, but who do know it now.  The Journal in their editorial does not make mention of this logistical nightmare.  They're too busy panicking here over the optics.  They just say the fatally flawed law must be passed for appearances.  They admit it's fatally flawed but we gotta pass it, because it says tax cut.  "Oh, gosh, it says tax cut, we have to be behind it. We can't cede tax cut optics to Democrats."  Because if we let 'em have that then all of a sudden Obama, despite reality, despite his massive tax increases, all of a sudden Obama will be forever known as the king of tax cuts.  That's nonsense to me.  The only way that happens is if we lay down and let it happen, which seems to be the preferred course by too many on our side."

Monday, December 19, 2011

Your tax dollars at work

Senator Coburn posted a list of ways that the government has spent - wasted- our money this year. To quote an article about it:

"Video games, robot dragons, Christmas trees, and magic museums. This is not a Christmas wish list, these are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars. Over the past 12 months, politicians argued, debated and lamented about how to reign in the federal government’s out of control spending. All the while, Washington was on a shopping binge, spending money we do not have on things we do not absolutely need. Instead of cutting wasteful spending, nearly $2.5 billion was added each day in 2011 to our national debt, which now exceeds $15 trillion.

“Congress cannot even agree on a plan to pay for the costs of extending jobless benefits to the millions of Americans who are still out of work. Yet, thousands of millionaires are receiving unemployment benefits and billions of dollars of improper payments of unemployment insurance are being made to individuals with jobs and others who do not qualify. And remember those infamous bridges to nowhere in Alaska that became symbols of government waste years ago? The bridges were never built, yet the federal government still spent more than a million dollars just this year to pay for staff to promote one of the bridges.”

Stunning. I'm so proud of Congress for wasting money while they refuse to cut back, citing their imminent needs and crying 'draconian cuts' if anyone threatens to touch it.


Coupled with Jeb Bush's article in the WSJ yesterday embracing capitalism, it has been a good week for the anti-big government movement! Bush's article this week is a bold and necessary response to Obama's socialism. To quote again:

"Think about it. We talk about the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to assembly. The right to rise doesn't seem like something we should have to protect.
"But we do. We have to make it easier for people to do the things that allow them to rise. We have to let them compete. We need to let people fight for business. We need to let people take risks. We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions. And we need to let people enjoy the fruits of good decisions, even good luck.
"That is what economic freedom looks like. Freedom to succeed as well as to fail, freedom to do something or nothing. People understand this. Freedom of speech, for example, means that we put up with a lot of verbal and visual garbage in order to make sure that individuals have the right to say what needs to be said, even when it is inconvenient or unpopular. We forgive the sacrifices of free speech because we value its blessings.
"But when it comes to economic freedom, we are less forgiving of the cycles of growth and loss, of trial and error, and of failure and success that are part of the realities of the marketplace and life itself."

He keeps going, it's a brilliant defense of our system as it is meant to be run, not as it is currently consituted. Read it.

Kim Jong Il

Why is the media glorifying a man responsible for the deaths of millions upon millions of North Koreans, either directly or indirectly? Why is the media recalling his 'strengths' which have encumbered his people for decades? Why are they defending and celebrating a man who starves his people and where the people living have stunted growth due to malnutrition? Who murders dissenters? Who sends dissenters' families to concentration camps where they die in a short time? Who rules with such a tight fist that only his books are allowed in the country? Where his image is the only image in any building? The only city with electricity is the capital where he lives? The only city with food instead of starvation is the capital where he lives? The man who gives humanitarian aid to only the military and his faithful followers? Who refuses to let doctors in to give aid because they would reveal his atrocities? Why is the media concerned over unrest with the possible weakness of his successor? That should be celebrated as the best hope for the North Koreans.

Friday, December 16, 2011

PolitiFact and the GOP Candidates

PolitiFact is an online 'non-partisan' (they say, I'm not sure I believe them) rating system for leading politicians. They rate whether the things people say or do about history, people, etc. are factually accurate. The breakdown is True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False, and Pants on Fire. I thought it might be interesting to see what sort of ratings different GOP candidates are getting. You could, if you like, search for any other big name in politics and see their ratings as well. I report here the average truth ratings as a true to lie ratio (True through Half True versus Mostly False through Pants on Fire). Caveat: I can only include what is on Politifact. In my mind there are more controversial statements which can and should be evaluated.

Starting from the bottom up:
Jon Huntsman: 10 to 5
Michele Bachmann: 15 to 38
Rick Santorum: 7 to 6
Rick Perry: 55 to 56
Ron Paul: 18 to 10
Mitt Romney: 54 to 34
Newt Gingrich: 15 to 21

So, the most truthful down to the biggest liar in that order:
Jon Huntsman (not enough data to determine whether this is statistically true)
Ron Paul
Mitt Romney
Rick Santorum (again, not much data)
Rick Perry
Newt Gingrich
Michele Bachmann

Every Voice Counts

I checked out "Horton Hears a Who" (by Dr. Seuss) from the library to read to my children. With each rereading, I am further struck by the vital importance of a lone, additional voice. Now is the time, folks! Now is the time to get caught up on what is going on in the political world around you, decide what you want done, and act accordingly. Prepare to vote. Vote. Contact your representatives. Maybe even become involved locally. If you don't, don't bother to complain about the quality or corruption of your leaders because you didn't bother to do your part. Apathy on the part of voters has in part led to the current level of corruption and misrepresentation in government today. The other part being ignorance and/or that people believe a biased media. Read both sides.

The last GOP debate of 2011

What a night! The crowd was pumped, the candidates were at top form, and the overall theme was taking every topic home to the failures of President Barack Obama. His failures in foreign policy, domestic policy, generating growth and jobs, reigning in spending, reducing crony-capitalism... I don't see how any one of those candidates, running a strong campain, could fail to beat Barack Obama in a general election, with the possible exception of Ron Paul.

Loser: Ron Paul. I hope he sufficiently scared people with his naive foreign policy that they'll leave running. He runs left of Obama on foreign policy! Michele Bachman was right on when she said it was dangerous policy to have as the Iranian-taught ennobling principle is martyrdom as opposed to freedom (Santorum brought that up), when their Constitution a worldwide jihad, and Iran is actively pursuing a nuclear weapon and has declared war on us and Paul doesn't want to defend the people in Israel or the United States against a threatened nuclear attack? Get real. Sure there are times for diplomacy, but diplomacy doesn't do anything with evil tyrants.

Winner: Mitt Romney. This was close. There were any number of things that stood out from the entire left hand side of the stage, including Newt Gingrich, but Mitt really came through shining. He embraced the opportunity to defend his role governing in a liberal state, defending his continual anti-abortion and pro-family stances during that time, and fighting back in every conceivable way when liberals won on those issues in his state. He brought it back to Obama's failed policies time and time again. He welcomed the opportunities to clarify his record (unlike Gingrich, who seemed peeved at times) and did so in an unpretentious, genuine way. He was witty, likeable, gave specifics in how he would go after Obama, gave specifics on how he would regenerate American prosperity. It was abundantly clear that he knew what he was talking about and had confidence in his abilities to lead. I know there are plenty of people who think he's out of touch because he's wealthy: I strongly disagree.

Summing up the others:
Santorum: he would make a fantastic secretary of defense. He really knows about the relationships between countries, the principles behind different regimes, the time for diplomacy and the time for defense. He's not as strong on the economy as most of his counterparts, yet he does have an excellent record of success in the face of overwhelming opposition, unlike Bachmann.

Perry: He's become so comfortable at debates that I wouldn't be surprised if people start giving him a second look.

Gingrich: Defensive. He seems to be straddling the fine line between defending himself and not attacking the other opponents with their reservations towards accepting him as a candidate, but we'll see. He has a lot of baggage to defend. I'll be interested to see if he keeps his lead in the polls.

Ron Paul: He wouldn't say he'd rule out a third party run. That would hand it to Obama, he's got to know that! Is that what he really wants? I don't trust a man like that.

Bachmann: On offense. She's got nothing to lose by this stance, and I think she's filling a valuable need to question several statements and positions of both Gingrich and Paul in this particular debate. She's spent other debates focusing on other candidates like Romney or Perry. She's asking questions that need to be asked and need to be answered as we carefully consider choosing a candidate.

Huntsman: Vague and pandering to the people who don't like pandering. I don't know why he's still on stage. He's also got to know that third party means more Obama, yet he's considering it. Oh, the vanity of man!

What did you all think? You can watch it here, or wait for a forthcoming transcript. I am delighted to have arrived at the same conclusions as Rush Limbaugh about the overall debate performance, in fact he said it was the best debate yet!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

On Poverty

The least among us have enormous blessings compared to decades ago. Refrigerators, microwaves, TVs, most have basic cable and satellite... Rush shows a chart from the Heritage Foundation, which I can't figure out how to copy over, so follow the link. It puts things in perspective though amidst all this ridiculous class warfare, don't you think? The poorest still have medical care available, they've got any number of welfare programs to assist them to live at a level only the rich can afford in most of Central and South America, Asia and Africa.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A new low for the president

It's actually quite humorous, despite the lack of dignity shown his venerable office. Obama is emailing all his Democrat donors, according to this site, with this:

"From the Obama website:
Who inspires you to give?
This holiday season, we’re giving you a chance to have a little fun at the expense of a Republican in your life by letting them know they inspired you to make a donation to the Obama campaign.
Simply enter their name and email address below. Then, we’ll send them a message letting them know they inspired you to donate.
Thank you for supporting this campaign, and happy holidays.
Important: By making a donation today, you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to have dinner with Barack and Michelle Obama. By clicking on the “Submit” button below or otherwise participating in the promotion, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and represent that you satisfy all of the eligibility requirements.
The effort is being supported by emails from the campaign to members of the vast Obama 2012 email list urging them to participate."

This article I'm referencing surmises that Obama and the Democrats are collecting Republican email addresses to barrage them with propaganda, anit-GOP candidate information, and the like. Classy. Just like raffling off dinner with the president and his wife. Who does he think he is, the mayor of Chicago!? Oh, wait- there aren't enough Republicans in Chicago to make it worth his while. I suppose it wouldn't be Obama if it didn't include class rivalry and/or partisanship!

In case you've never heard, Bush refused to strike back at the media or against their false allegations, because he considered it beneath the dignity of the office of the president of the United States. That alone remains the most probable factor behind his poor reputation when leaving office, but at least he had standards.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jon Huntsman

Here's my problem with Jon Huntsman. He's a Mormon - at least culturally- but the things he says or does don't necessarily show it. Early in his campaign he said something to the effect that his ancestors were a mix of proselyters and saloon keepers and he draws from both sides. What the heck is that supposed to mean?! That's he's not embracing his religion? Then three of his daugters appear strapless in a Youtube segment for their father? Mormons are modest and cover their shoulders. To be a Mormon- to profess to be a disciple of Jesus Christ- is to admit your religion and live your religion. He will never get my vote. I don't trust a Mormon who doesn't live his religion. I don't think I'd have those reservations if he came out and said that he used to be a Mormon. I have no qualms about Mitt Romney. I have similar qualms about Newt Gingrich but he's said he's repented. We'll see, we'll see.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Elena Kagan

She has recused herself from the Arizona immigration law hearing, because of her previous appointment in the DOJ. One can only hope she'll have the decency to do the same for the Obamacare hearing, also slated for 2012. These are exciting times, folks!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Debate winner

Is Rick Perry! Wonders never cease. This is my opinion, only. I pick him as a winner because he successfully time and time again pointed out the problems we having stemming from our current administration, from corruption in Washington, and the inaptitude of our president. For example, he said that Obama had two opportunities when a drone went down in Iran: retrieve it or destroy it. Instead, he did nothing at all, letting our technology be handed right over to the likes of Iran, Russia, and China. Way to go, Obama.
Newt didn't do a great job explaining himself but not a terrible job either.  Romney did a better job maintaining his positions, but I think he didn't remain as poised as usual. The candidates all, for the most part, did a great job of maintaining civil discussion and avoiding infighting. The candidates all, for the most part, did a great job focusing on why conservativism is the answer for the problems of our day. For the complete debate, click here.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Moral Relativism and the Rule of Law

Not too long ago, people in general were willing to say certain behaviors or mentalities were wrong. Putting self first, doing things that hurt someone else - generally these behaviors were in line with religious teachings. Now, people in general believe in moral relativism. This is a dangerous trap, because if you start to say that some things are only wrong for some people, then how can laws be upheld? I remember hearing about a debate between a big moral relativist and someone of traditional religious morals and that relativist asked the moralist to tell her one thing that was absolutely wrong at all times, as if there couldn't be such a thing. This same moralist was dumb-founded when she was told in answer, "Rape." The fact that there is an obvious exception to relativism should cast doubt on the whole philosophy. A bigger question weighs: what will the future of the country be with the growth of moral relativism?  Will we as a country depart from our founding principles?
Consider now the unethical behavior of so many politicians (on both sides) in Washington. It is technically not against the law for Congressman to engage in insider trading. Or for policitians to give tax breaks to donor corporations. Ethically, most people in the United States feel both are wrong, it is not fair or just. But to change laws would require the very politicians guilty of these behaviors to see that it is not fair and be willing to change it. I think we can safely say that unless the people of the United States choose moral representatives, we will never see that change occur. Which will require them to both recognize and value morals.
This is what the LDS prophet, President Thomas S. Monson has to say in a talk in October 2011 General Conference, "Dare to Stand Alone." He is specifically talking to the men in the church, and about keeping oneself clean from the sins and weaknesses rampant and accepted in the world at large.
"We live in a time when we are surrounded by much that is intended to entice us into paths which may lead to our destruction. To avoid such paths requires determination and courage.
I recall a time—and some of you here tonight will also—when the standards of most people were very similar to our standards. No longer is this true. I recently read an article in the New York Times concerning a study which took place during the summer of 2008. A distinguished Notre Dame sociologist led a research team in conducting in-depth interviews with 230 young adults across America. I believe we can safely assume that the results would be similar in most parts of the world.
I share with you just a portion of this very telling article:
“The interviewers asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life. In the rambling answers, … you see the young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so.
“When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all, like whether they could afford to rent a certain apartment or whether they had enough quarters to feed the meter at a parking spot.”
The article continues:
“The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste. ‘It’s personal,’ the respondents typically said. ‘It’s up to the individual. Who am I to say?’
“Rejecting blind deference to authority, many of the young people have gone off to the other extreme [saying]: ‘I would do what I thought made me happy or how I felt. I have no other way of knowing what to do but how I internally feel.’”
Those who conducted the interviews emphasized that the majority of the young people with whom they spoke had “not been given the resources—by schools, institutions [or] families—to cultivate their moral intuitions.”1
Brethren, none within the sound of my voice should be in any doubt concerning what is moral and what is not, nor should any be in doubt about what is expected of us as holders of the priesthood of God. We have been and continue to be taught God’s laws. Despite what you may see or hear elsewhere, these laws are unchanging.
As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone? As holders of the priesthood of God, it is essential that we are able to face—with courage—whatever challenges come our way. Remember the words of Tennyson: “My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.”2
Increasingly, some celebrities and others who—for one reason or another—are in the public eye have a tendency to ridicule religion in general and, at times, the Church in particular. If our testimonies are not firmly enough rooted, such criticisms can cause us to doubt our own beliefs or to waver in our resolves.
In Lehi’s vision of the tree of life, found in 1 Nephi 8, Lehi sees, among others, those who hold to the iron rod until they come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree of life, which we know is a representation of the love of God. And then, sadly, after they partake of the fruit, some are ashamed because of those in the “great and spacious building,” who represent the pride of the children of men, who are pointing fingers at them and scoffing at them; and they fall away into forbidden paths and are lost.3 What a powerful tool of the adversary is ridicule and mockery! Again, brethren, do we have the courage to stand strong and firm in the face of such difficult opposition?"

You can find the entire article at the link provided above.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More about the LDS Church Welfare Program

This is an excerpt from Elder Dieter Uchtdorf's talk "Providing in the Lord's Way," from the October 2011 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This article elaborates on things I've mentioned previously on this site.

"There are many good people and organizations in the world that are trying to meet the pressing needs of the poor and needy everywhere. We are grateful for this, but the Lord’s way of caring for the needy is different from the world’s way. The Lord has said, “It must needs be done in mine own way.”9 He is not only interested in our immediate needs; He is also concerned about our eternal progression. For this reason, the Lord’s way has always included self-reliance and service to our neighbor in addition to caring for the poor.
In 1941 the Gila River overflowed and flooded the Duncan Valley in Arizona. A young stake president by the name of Spencer W. Kimball met with his counselors, assessed the damage, and sent a telegram to Salt Lake City asking for a large sum of money.
Instead of sending money, President Heber J. Grant sent three men: Henry D. Moyle, Marion G. Romney, and Harold B. Lee. They visited with President Kimball and taught him an important lesson: “This isn’t a program of ‘give me,’” they said. “This is a program of ‘self-help.’”
Many years later, President Kimball said: “It would have been an easy thing, I think, for the Brethren to have sent us [the money,] and it wouldn’t have been too hard to sit in my office and distribute it; but what a lot of good came to us as we had hundreds of [our own] go to Duncan and build fences and haul the hay and level the ground and do all the things that needed doing. That is self-help.”10
By following the Lord’s way, the members of President Kimball’s stake not only had their immediate needs met, but they also developed self-reliance, alleviated suffering, and grew in love and unity as they served each other.
This very hour there are many members of the Church who are suffering. They are hungry, stretched financially, and struggling with all manner of physical, emotional, and spiritual distress. They pray with all the energy of their souls for succor, for relief.
Brethren, please do not think that this is someone else’s responsibility. It is mine, and it is yours. We are all enlisted. “All” means all—every Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood holder, rich and poor, in every nation. In the Lord’s plan, there is something everyone can contribute.11
The lesson we learn generation after generation is that rich and poor are all under the same sacred obligation to help their neighbor. It will take all of us working together to successfully apply the principles of welfare and self-reliance.
Too often we notice the needs around us, hoping that someone from far away will magically appear to meet those needs. Perhaps we wait for experts with specialized knowledge to solve specific problems. When we do this, we deprive our neighbor of the service we could render, and we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to serve. While there is nothing wrong with experts, let’s face it: there will never be enough of them to solve all the problems. Instead, the Lord has placed His priesthood and its organization at our doorsteps in every nation where the Church is established. And, right by its side, He has placed the Relief Society. As we priesthood holders know, no welfare effort is successful if it fails to make use of the remarkable gifts and talents of our sisters.
The Lord’s way is not to sit at the side of the stream and wait for the water to pass before we cross. It is to come together, roll up our sleeves, go to work, and build a bridge or a boat to cross the waters of our challenges. You men of Zion, you priesthood holders, are the ones who can lead out and bring relief to the Saints by applying the inspired principles of the welfare program! It is your mission to open your eyes, use your priesthood, and go to work in the Lord’s way."

This is not the full script; to read the entire article in full please use the link provided at the top of the page.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Case in Point!

Michael Moore is in an article on RealClearPolitics today slamming Obama for raising more money from Wall Street than all eight GOP candidates combined! I'm glad some liberals are finally seeing the light. The corruption, that is. The fact that we can guarantee Wall Street knows that Obama will censor them less and regulate and prosecute them less than the GOP. The fact that Obama can be bought! The fact that the Democrat party is in Wall Street continuing the corruption, and that their 'ownership' of OWS is a sham! The fact that even Michael Moore is aware of this hypocrisy is bad news to Obama and the Democrats.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Newt Gingrich

What do I think? You probably don't really care, but I'll tell you anyway. Newt has a mixed history and a LOT of baggage. People hate him on both sides and rightfully so! However, if he withstands the instense scrutiny in the next couple months and still becomes the candidate, I'll vote for him happily knowing that his leadership would be an immense improvment over our current leadership. He's very intelligent. It's his not knowing his limits that gets him in trouble. I'll believe he's electable if he withstands the current spotlight notwithstanding.
Glenn Beck has an interview up on his website, it's interesting. It's better to get information at the source before it's slanted one way or the other.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Empowerment

GOP candidates are weighing in and to some degree discussing solutions to the biggest problems in the United States, for the first time in my memory. Doesn't mean it hasn't happened, but the solutions suggested are making sense to me and the fact that they're talking about them in concrete terms instead of vague political jargon which means precisely nothing will be done, I'm excited for the change!

For example, reforming unemployment benefits to include job training. If someone is unemployed for a long time, it's highly possible their skills are obsolete. Take a paper-pusher. Paper is becoming obsolete, to the degree that electronic filing is taking over. These sorts of people need new skills. Middle-management positions are becoming obsolete, meaning those people need new skills. The idea of waiting for jobs to fit their skills are ludicrous, in these cases. I know of plenty of jobs available in the United States that go unfilled because of the lack of qualified applicants. Jobs like IT, computer technology, and other highly skilled types of work. I've even heard of blue-collar job openings in manufacturing, and I really don't know why they're going unfilled. Sometimes getting a job requires moving. I think a job is worth a move, a change of scene. Of course, I have moved several times, so it might make more sense to me than someone who has been in one place their entire life. Another job problem we've got is that people somehow expect that they'll be able to find a job doing exactly what they love. That's not realistic: the world only needs and pays for so many NBA players, journalists, artists, actors, English majors, psychology majors, etc. These people can keep up these sorts of things as hobbies, but the odds to support themselves in these careers are bad. Besides, when it comes down to it, work is work. Even doing something you love you'll have to do things you don't like, there are always ups and downs. As long as you don't hate it and it brings home the bacon, it's worth keeping!

Another example: including some sort of work requirement for food stamps. For people who are able-bodied, the idea that they can acquire all of their basic needs as freeloaders makes me writhe! Such as some people in South Chicago who would get Medicaid, food stamps (worth twice my monthly household budget), and section 8 for housing. And sometimes more programs. They had no need to work and no interest in working, were without gratitude for those of us paying their way or for their government creating these dependency programs. It is all-around an ugly thing. Note I'm not talking about disability here, though that program is also greatly abused. Instead of being freeloaders, the able-bodied can and should work for some of their basic needs, acquire new skills, and be able to get out of government-coddled poverty. And in turn, the government should help to empower citizens and get them off of welfare rather than wanting to keep them on it forever to keep their votes.

And last example: Social Security. The Chilean government effectively solved this problem by allowing workers to pay into their own private accounts, with some sort of government minimum guarantee. People saved so much of their own money, that Chile has very little dependency (at least for retirement) left. When we're talking so much about the number of working people decreasing in comparison to every recipient of Social Security, this sort of plan begins to make sense. Especially given that unemployment is high and government dependency before retirement is becoming increasingly common.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A scripture

From Romans 8 in the New Testament: 
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye ashall die: but if ye through the Spirit do bmortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
 14 For as many as are aled by the bSpirit of God, they are the csons of God.

 35 Who shall separate us from the alove of Christ? shall btribulation, or distress, or cpersecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are akilled all the day long; we are accounted as bsheep for the slaughter.
 37 Nay, in all these things we are amore than bconquerors through him that loved us.
 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to aseparate us from the blove of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Another OWS fallacy

I've read somewhere that 'standing with the 99%' is admitting that Wall Street has problems and something needs to be done about it. Sure it does! But that doesn't mean that government is going to fix the problem. Politicians in Washington on both sides have been best buddies with Wall Street for generations, and anything they say about fixing Wall Street you can guarantee will an campaign stunt only. It is high time for we the people of the United States to band together against them, the politicians, and search for principled men and women of character - on both sides - to battle the rampant corruption in our government. We need not be distracted by the partisan bickering in Washington to do this.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The stark reality

It has hit me, slowly over time yet more rapidly of late, that our politicians on both sides don't care one bit about listening to constituents. They are interested in power, money, and fame. This goes for both sides, and I, for one, am sick and tired of corruption in our government! I know the Tea Party is with me. OWS is with me except they look at government as the solution instead of the problem it really is. Politicians keep tax breaks to big companies that don't need them because of campaign donations - this is crony-capitalism. On both sides. Bailouts are really another form of crony-capitalism because these are the same large donating companies getting bailed out. Obama doesn't seem at all embarrassed to have been running one continual campaign gathering money from unions and giving federal money to union-run companies instead of running the country. Meanwhile, politicians have so kept United States citizens in the dark that we have spending at an unprecedented, unsustainable rate. And we'll have to pay for it. I can't even begin to impress upon you how critical this election is. Please do your research, read both sides because they both leave stuff out, and look for politicians who recognize this time and situation as a crisis.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Precipice

If I read it right, a lot of the anger misdirected towards the Tea Party would turn around and point at the government if the angry people knew what the Tea Party people know. In short, that the United States government has spent themselves (and us, as taxpayers) down a deep, deep hole from which extrication will be very difficult and every wasted minute makes it harder to turn around.

First, the national debt has nearly DOUBLED under Obama, and it wasn't pretty to start with. Second, government budgets in EACH department go up by 10% from the previous year (this since a law passed in the late '70's), regardless of tax revenue. This shouldn't take a mathmetician to explain that this spending course is unsustainable! Washington doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. With the budget increasing so much under Obama, most of these departments have more money than they know what to do with. And really, it is a huge tax burden on the people of the United States, they don't need nearly as much money as they're getting, with the possible exception of Defense, which has declined under Obama.

When you consider that our present spending course is on track to turn us into the EU with all its current financial woes, what would you think would be a logical course of action? You'd think it would entail balancing this overgrown budget, right? According to Obama, it's to spend even more in a 'jobs' bill, which doesn't even create jobs (if you read it, you'll see what I mean). On top of that, the so-called Super-committee which is currently stalemated at spending 'cuts' which don't even scratch the surface of our projected debt, will likely never compromise. This isn't necessarily bad, it emphatically points out that the Democrats are more than willing to refuse any GOP proposal and scream about it while not putting a single idea forward of their own. Hopefully people will begin to realize they're being played for fools. It's all for show: Obama wants to run against a do-nothing Congress (even though he got everything handed to him by Dem Congress his first two years) and incite class warfare. You just watch and see. Meanwhile, we teeter ever nearer the precipice...

What will really push us over the edge is the enactment of Obamacare. If Obama is reelected, the whole law will go into effect, the total price tag passed on to American citizens will be several multiples of the $1T estimate, and our country will never recover. It is much harder to get rid of something already implemented than when it's still in beginning stages.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Milton Friedman

He was a Nobel-prize winning economist for a reason, and I think it would be valuable and instructive for Americans to revisit his warnings on big government, freedom, class warfare, etc. These are truly critical things to understand in order to make our government work for us.

On Freedom:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q84y08nu74I&feature=feedrec_grec_index

Greed:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

Socialism vs. capitalism:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-o0kD9f6wo&feature=related

On Alinsky:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjH4QBSwWlg&feature=related

Why soaking the rich won't work:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi-D24oCa10&feature=related

Nothing is free:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6hgEkdSlJw&feature=related

Middle class warfare:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwG-5xCTGyI&feature=related

Poverty and equality:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKc6esIi0_U&feature=related

The Wefare Establishment:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJEP1BzSeMQ&feature=related

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Peace

Amidst all the turmoil the world over from various manmade and natural causes, and with the renewal of the holiday season, I think it is a good time to talk about feeling peace. I'm not talking about world peace or lack of conflict. Rather, the ability to feel peace within one's heart in the middle of chaos. "The peace that comes alone from Thee," as as is commonly written and sung.

Martin Luther wrote the hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God," describing this feeling which God gives His faithful followers. "A mighty fortress is our God, A tower of strength ne'er failing. A helper mighty is our God, O'er ills of life prevailing. He overcometh all. He saveth from the Fall. His might and pow'r are great. He all things did create. And he shall reign forevermore."

Without faith in God, this feeling is lost, a mystery. Those of you who believe in God and have felt His love and power will know what I'm talking about. Those of you who haven't won't unless or until you give faith a try. I know for myself that the things of the spirit are just as real as the physical body, even if they're not manifested in the same (physical) ways. The spiritual ways are taught in the scriptures. First, you must want to believe, and pray and obey the commandments as if you did believe, then God can manifest His love and power to you, and you will know. I have great peace and reassurance through Christ that He is in control of my life, guiding and blessing my life, and that with His help, I can face any challenges. Even if things don't turn out the way I'd like or if truly horrible things happen, I can handle it with His support.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

This story is from Rush Limbaugh's book, "See, I Told You So," which I haven't read, but I have heard him quote. This gets down to the nitty-gritties of the Pilgrims and how their colony was set up initially, and why socialism didn't work for them then, just as it wouldn't work for us now. I'll quote him: Rush tells this story on the air annually.

"The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs.

"A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community.  After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example.

"And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found -- according to Bradford's detailed journal -- a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims -- including Bradford's own wife -- died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats.

"Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well.  They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well.

(These are Rush's comments interspersed) "Nobody owned anything." It was a forerunner of Occupy Wall Street. Seriously. "They just had a share in it," but nobody owned anything. "It was a commune, folks." The original pilgrim settlement was a commune. "It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the '60s and '70s out in California," and Occupy Wall Street, "and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way." There's no question they were organic vegetables. What else could they be? "Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage," as they saw fit, and, "thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. That's right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism.

"And what happened? It didn't work!" They nearly starved! "It never has worked! What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years -- trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it -- the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future." If it were, there wouldn't be any Occupy Wall Street. There wouldn't be any romance for it.

"The experience that we had in this common course and condition,'" Bradford wrote. "'The experience that we had in this common course and condition tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing -- as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote." This was his way of saying, it didn't work, we thought we were smarter than everybody, everybody was gonna share equally, nobody was gonna have anything more than anything else, it was gonna be hunky-dory, kumbaya. Except it doesn't work. Because of half of them didn't work, maybe more. They depended on the others to do all the work. There was no incentive.

"'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense,'" without being paid for it, "'that was thought injustice.'" They figured it out real quick. Half the community is not working -- living off the other half, that is. Resentment built. Why should you work for other people when you can't work for yourself? that's what he was saying. So the Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the under-girding capitalistic principle of private property.

"Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' ... Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes, it did. Now, this is where it gets really good, folks, if you're laboring under the misconception that I was, as I was taught in school. "So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians." This is what happened. After everybody had their own plot of land and were allowed to market it and develop it as they saw fit and got to keep what they produced, bounty, plenty resulted.

"And then they set up trading posts, stores. They exchanged goods with and sold the Indians things. Good old-fashioned commerce. They sold stuff. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. They paid off the merchant sponsors back in London with their profits, they were selling goods and services to the Indians. The success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans," what was barren was now productive, "and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'

But this story stops when the Indians taught the newly arrived suffering-in-socialism Pilgrims how to plant corn and fish for cod. That's where the original Thanksgiving story stops, and the story basically doesn't even begin there. The real story of Thanksgiving is William Bradford giving thanks to God," the pilgrims giving thanks to God, "for the guidance and the inspiration to set up a thriving colony," for surviving the trip, for surviving the experience and prospering in it. "The bounty was shared with the Indians." That's the story. "They did sit down" and they did have free-range turkey and organic vegetables. There were no trans fats, "but it was not the Indians who saved the day. It was capitalism and Scripture which saved the day," as acknowledged by George Washington in his first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, which I also have here.

Media Bias and Obamacare

Foxnews has a lead article up today about the coming Medicare cuts in 2012, and how those cuts will affect doctors, and patients. I've already talked about that, here. You should read that, if you missed it. What I notice, though, is that while many conservative sites are talking about Obamacare off and on, there is an eerie, deliberate silence on the subject from the left. I am positive that they think the less that you the people of America know, the better. That should scare you. And you should learn more about it. And commit to persuading your Congressemen to repeal it. And vote for people who oppose it. America will never recover from the fiscal burden on the taxpayer if we do not. Not to mention the increased difficulty in receiving quality care.

For a bonus conservative argument against the meaningless stuff the media focuses on, check out this topic on Rush today. He really takes it to them for ignoring really important things, like a discussion on how we can improve the economy and avoid following the EU to the grave, to give time for the relatively meaningless quibblings between candidates.

And a super-extra bonus: Tea Partiers are billed for services by municipalities while OWS gets a free ticket! That's not news. But now it's getting out of hand. This is up on Breitbart, you won't find this on news media.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Back to Work!

Liberals did African-Americans a real disfavor by giving out welfare as it is currently constituted. Handouts breed dependency, thereby 'buying' the vote of the dependent groups. If you haven't noticed, Obama's policies are all about creating more dependencies; that is why nearly half of the entire population of tax payers get returns. That is why he's taken over so many industries in the form of bailouts, and the reason for the coming takeover of medicine in Obamacare. We're in big trouble if we as Americans are bought this way.

Self-reliance breeds prosperity: not handouts. Self-reliance breeds dignity: not handouts. Self-reliance breeds pride in one's self and one's business and one's country: not handouts.

Watching all these documentaries about third world countries recently has not only made me realize again how blessed we are in America, but also how ungrateful we are for those blessings. We are no longer taught to be so much as patriotic. It's a shame.

Many of the Sudanese refugees brought to America, for example, love their country so much that they do everything in their power to work hard, earn good money, and use that money to better their families' situations or that of orphans there, etc. While in this country we are free to choose how we earn and spend our time and money, I greatly admire these Sudanese for their devotion and love of country. My favorite part of this particular documentary, in fact, was when a Sudanese refugee chided some fellow refugees for getting in with the wrong crowd (the ghetto African-American crowd, unfortuneately), and forgetting who they were as Sudanese and what they should feel towards bettering their country. I sure hope that we can educate or reform welfare hand-outs to the point that we are truly seeking the best for the poor in our country and teach them what it means to be contributing, proud members of our society. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

On a day like today, we are all thankful for blessings such as family, friends, and the freedoms we enjoy. My husband and I were talking recently and came to the conclusion that people the world over largely like to be left alone, free to live their own lives as they see fit. This would be true of people in North Korea, those involved in civil wars across Africa, as well as the United States; a truism of humankind. The difference between them and us is in government. The people in North Korea don't have food to eat or medical care or adequate shelter, thanks to their oppresive government. Those in civil wars or those wishing for overthrows of oppressive regimes simply don't have the ability to survive thanks to their governments. We recently watched a terribly depressing documentaries about these subjects.

While obviously we in the United States don't suffer from the abysmal oppression and rampant human suffering in North Korea and other evil regimes across the globe, or the lesser tyrannies such as those born by people in China with government laws so meddlesome in family life, we are not what we were. We are not the champions of democracy, religious freedom, free markets and therefore prosperity of our people that we have been in the past.  Here's to a free America. Here is to keeping America free from oppression, free from preying politicians, free from a government imposing its will on its people rather than allowing freedom to make their own choices. Here's to America the way it was founded. I love our country.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ron Paul

Ron Paul scares me. Watching the debate last night scared me more. Good debate, but the idea that someone (Ron Paul) who thinks so ill of foreign policy as to suggest we, the United States of America, the champion of democracy the world over, should stick to ourselves and 'mind our own business,' makes me quake in my boots. What of our allies? What of our foes? Does he want countries with more evil inclinations to fill the power vacuum? Would he let Iran build a nuclear weapon? It sure seems like it. Doesn't he know they would use one against us right after nuking Israel? Apparently not!

Yet another idea puts genuine trembling fear into my soul: Ron Paul not ruling out running as a third party candidate. He's got to know that by splitting the vote, he gives Obama reelection, which is about the same thing as handing Iran a nuclear weapon to use, and sealing the doom of our country's economy forever (owned by China at that point) with Obamacare. Not to mention our quick road to socialism under Obama and the general resultant dearth of prosperity. Could he care so little about the fate of an entire nation? OUR entire nation?

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Family Proclamation

The leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published the following proclamation in response to the moral degeneration in our time. This proclamation is written by the prophet, his counselors and is also signed by the quorum of the twelve apostles.The Family: A Proclamation to the World is considered part of LDS church scripture, and provides direction specifically on the gospel doctrines of the family.  This is the standard I hold myself to living, and the morals and values I look for in those holding public office.

"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God's eternal plan.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. "Children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psalms 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Speaking of crony-capitalism ...

Here is an article written by Sarah Palin in the Wall Street Journal, talking about cronyism as it exists among Congressional politicians across the board - and what we can do about it!

Specific Reforms:
1. Transparency laws in Congress
2. Freedom of Information Act on Congress
3. Making Insider trading illegal
4. Stricter rules governing lobbyists - for example no nepotism between Congress and lobbyists
5. No campaign donations while Congress is in session

And her closing paragraph:
"This call for real reform must transcend political parties. The grass-roots movements of the right and the left should embrace this. The tea party's mission has always been opposition to waste and crony capitalism, and the Occupy protesters must realize that Washington politicians have been "Occupying Wall Street" long before anyone pitched a tent in Zuccotti Park."

She's absolutely right!

Really?

An article on Yahoo! News is entitled, "Deep Spending Cuts Pose New Threat to US Ecomony." Oh, since obviously all the excessive spending by the Obama administration and Congress have been so stimulating to the economy! Including the quote "Stimulus!" Good grief! What sort of garbage do the media think Americans will believe? Don't be deceived: the same leftist media that welcomes Chelsea Clinton into its ranks with no prior experience, passing by numerous more qualified people, gets its headlines and slants directed by the leftist politicians.  Of course politicians - including too many in the GOP- don't want to reign in excessive spending, they like being in control of lots of (your) money and taking what they can of it! The debt is spiraling up at a faster than it ever has in American history thanks to the spending of the past three years. Wasn't it $8T when Bush left? High? And now it's on track for $14T before Obama's term is up? If this article were honest, it would be called, "High Government Spending Poses Continual Threat to US Economy."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Campaign Season

It is an exciting season, don't you think? So many candidates so fluidly moving up and down in the polls? What ever will happen next?  While I don't claim to know the answer, there are plenty of opinions out there. Ann Coulter has an awesome, hilarious article this week. Rush Limbaugh, on the other hand, seems to think that any of them are electable. I don't agree with that, especially given that Rush doesn't have a good track record when it comes to predicting presidential election results. For understanding the way that liberals think and operate, he's your go-to guy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Big government versus small government

What does big government do better than small government? Interfere in our lives. Anything else? Cost us a lot of money. I've been trying to think here about what advantages there are to growing government and I can't think of many. If we're already to the point (and we are) that the size and cost of government are slowing and obstructing our economic growth, then it is too big and needs to be trimmed back.

I know there are those who would argue that such a move would hurt the poor and that charitable giving wouldn't be sufficient to care for them. I think it would. I think before we enter into a discussion on this subject, you have to realize that conservatives and many GOP politicians donate a lot of money to charitable causes. Compared to liberals and Democratic politicians, the right is enormously generous. Not widely publicized on the net is each year's annual report on charitable giving by politicians. This is because every year the leftist media wants to hide the facts about Democratic politicians who are stingy with their money when it comes to good causes. They aren't stingy with your money and plan to use even more of it in government-funded causes, but when it comes to their own, the pocketbooks are closed. Therefore, the people telling you that government needs to care for poor people are the ones who must be compelled to help, rather than choosing to help out of a love for their fellow men.

I hear rumors that Democrats want to do away with tax breaks for charitable giving. I certainly hope that isn't true. It is NOT the government's responsibility to choose which causes an individual will help, and the individual may not wish to pay higher taxes with higher overhead to the government to do it for him. Tax-free donations are and will continue to be popular, because helping other people is a good thing, and makes us feel good.
Sometimes I also wonder if this opposition towards charitable giving is a war on religious behavior. The news media certainly attacks Christianity and related causes at every available opportunity and I can't think of a single example where they rush to a Christian's defense, unless religion is entirely out of the picture. Muslims, they are feared and left by and large alone but even then, the liberals mock people who believe in God. Which is a shame. For an entity that preaches tolerance and acceptance, I do not find them tolerant or accepting.

Be that as it may, I still hope that trimming government down to size wins the day, restoring our economy and allowing better financial freedom to give where we choose to give and not where we are compelled.

Freedom and the role of government

How does one obtain freedom?  Too small a government, and anarchy is the result, a life without law. I watched a documentary recently about a doctor who participated in Doctors Without Borders. He lived in anarchic Somalia in the 90's during an enormous famine; when gangs and warlords ruled pockets of terrain with such weapons as they could obtain. They would demand any food and aid brought in by the international community to 'distribute' to the people themselves. Children under 5 had a 70% mortality at that time. Anarchy does not lend itself to personal freedom because there are too many who take advantage of the weak.

Dictatorship happens with too large a role of government, and one person or a group of people being above the laws set for the rest of society. When government is the sole entity deciding the activities within the country, there is still no personal freedom. Dictatorships control prices of commodities, access to justice, health care, jobs, sometimes even family decisions like marriage and children, etc. Think of Cuba or North Korea. Sure, they're communist countries, but one man calls the shots and takes whatever he wants and the people suffer. Not much personal freedom available in dictatorships, unless perhaps you have a moral dictator. I've not heard of one in modern times.

Where does the balance come, then? Somewhere between the two extremes is a kind of government allowing the most possible personal freedom, where laws are applied equally to each member of society and each member of society agrees to abide by the laws or suffer the consequences. A society where laws are given to aid and enhance freedoms within the society. This is best achieved  in democracy.  In a democracy, the people have the political power. They have the ability and responsibility to choose political leaders to lead the country collectively towards properity and peace. The United States of America was set up by our Founding Fathers such that a system of checks and balances would keep the government from preying on the people, and the different branches of government from taking over the others.

Our federal government today is not the same as it was then, because when the country was founded, the states had much more power than the federal government. The federal government has grown at the expense of state power and the power of the people. Note I'm not talking about rights for women and minorities here, just power in the federal government. The federal government did not charge taxes until this past century. The federal government has gained control over states by giving the states rules to keep if they want federal (taxpayer!) money, such as for Medicaid. The taxes are high enough, and the restrictions and regulations on private businesses (allowing personal prosperity) expensive enough that we are losing power as a people. We are limited financially by the policies of our government. We can still choose our leaders, but we must choose wisely.  We must choose leaders that will truly act in the best interest of the people, allowing for peace and prosperity to shine.

Throughout history, there are numerous examples of prosperous kingdoms and societies as well as the opposite.  For example, the ancient Israelites were governed first by prophets, then judges and kings. A great example of a lesser-known civilization in the ancient Americas that successfully transformed a monarchy to a democracy is found in the Book of Mormon. It is of one King Mosiah, who ruled benevolently.

Mosiah 6: 7 And king Mosiah did cause his people that they should till the earth. And he also, himself, did till the earth, that thereby he might not become burdensome to his people, that he might do according to that which his father had done is all things. And there was no contention among all his people for the space of three years.

Then, when the time came for Mosiah to give the kingdom to one of his sons, they did not want to rule. He instead, with the support of the people, instituted a form of democracy.

Mosiah 29: 11-17; 24-34; 38-39; 43
11 Therefore I will be your king the remainder of my days; nevertheless, let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law; and we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God.
12 Now it is better than a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgements of God are always just, but the judgements of man are not always just.
13 Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people - I say unto you, if this could always be the case, then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you.
14 And even I myself have labored with all the power and faculties which I have possessed, to teach you the commandments of God, and to establish peace throughout the land, that there should be no wars nor contentioin, nor stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity;
15 And whosoever has committed iniquity, him have I punished according to the crime which he has committed, according to the law which has been given to us by our fathers.
16 Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a king or kings to rule over you.
17 For behod, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction!

24 And now behold I say unto you, it is not expedient that such abominations should come upon you.
25 Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.
26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law - to do your business by the voice of the people.
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
28 And now if ye have judges, and they do not judge you according to the law shich has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge.
29 If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people.
30 And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads.
31 For behold I say unto you , the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings.
32 And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.
33 And many more things did king Mosiah write unto them, unfolding unto them all the trials and troubles of a righteous king, yea, all the travails of soul for their people, and also all the murmurings of the people to their king; and he explained it all unto them.
34 And he told them that these things ought not to be; but that the burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part.

38 Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land; yea, and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins.
39 Therefore, it came to pass that they assembled themselves together in bodies throughout the land, to cast in their voices concerning who should be their judges, to judge them according to the law which had been given them; and they were exceedingly rejoiced because of the liberty which had been granted unto them.

43 And now it came to pass that Alma (the first chief judge) did walk in the ways of the Lord, and he did keep his commandments, and he did judge righteous judgements; and there was continual peace through the land.

I glean so much from this chapter of Mosiah, and I recommend reading it in entirety. It makes me reflect back on the discussions among the Founding Fathers while they set up our union. It makes me think about the potential for peace and prosperity, given righteous leaders. And helps me realize the blessings of liberty. I think also about what this chapter hints about entitlements or those who negate their civic responsibilities to answer for themselves. Above all, I think about the potential in this country to elect good moral leaders, if each citizen would take seriously the responsibility they have to select good leaders.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Morals versus Corruption

All this 60 Minutes hoop-la about insider trading involving Congressmen reminds me just how much needs to change in Washington. Sure, they featured 4 Republicans and only 1 Democrat despite the fact that there are actually many more Democrats than Republicans guilty of this problem. But that's not really the point, here (though it is yet another example backing up the premise of the previous post). The point is that Washington is corrupt!

Corruption implies that people think they are above and beyond the law. It implies a lack of morals. It means no good things for society.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, otherwise known as the Mormon Church, we believe in the existence of absolute right and wrong. This belief is shared with many other religions across the country and the world. For example, we believe it is right to keep the commandments of God and follow the laws of the land in which we live. We also believe that when people at large begins to break the commandments of God and the laws of the land, arguing that they are above the law or that it doesn't pertain to them, that society begins to decay. The very forces that bind us together into a nation are imperiled when the majority of the people do not recognize good and evil for what they really are.  We see this in small-scale quite clearly with the effects of single-parent homes. A family without two parents is not equal to a family with a broken home in terms of outcome. Broken homes come as a result of one or both of the adults in the family breaking promises to each other and often commandments of God in addition. So, to prevent the break-up of our society as we know it, we need to return morals to society!

I dislike the liberal agenda that tries to paint white black and black white (bending laws for OWS, for example, or liberal politicians, or ignoring the impeachable instances of the Solyndra and other similar Democrat-donor companies 'stimulus loans,' of the DOJ sending weapons to Mexico to try and undermine the second amendment. Wrong is wrong. Breaking the law is illegal at all times. I like the Tea Party stance of throwing out every single representative (of any party) that doesn't act the way he or she should: representing and furthering the interests and freedom of his or her constituency. Not furthering his or her own gain, power, fame, etc. Not setting forth an agenda other than to preserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. An informed voting block is what will change this country, by selecting representatives who are committed - morally- to doing their duty. Let's hold our leadership accountable!

The Hypocritical Media, as relating to Obamacare at the Supreme Court

Nothing in this political enviroment gets me more upset than the hypocrisy and lies in liberal news media. They will, EVERY time, say that the jobs report is better than expected in some detail even though the jobs reports are always horrible and are often adjusted to that effect after the fact. They will say that Republicans are the reason bills aren't getting through the Senate (the so-called Jobs bill, most recently -really it's a tax bill), when the Senate has a Democrat majority and could pass bills without any Republicans voting at all. They will likewise paint any failures of the Super-commitee in Congress as the fault of the Republicans when the liberals on the committe have rejected proposal after proposal brought forward by the GOP and have set absolutely no proposals forward of their own. This feels like deja-vu - oh, wait; it is! This is precisely what happened leading up to the very bill giving us the Super-committee, when the threat of 'default' was upon us this summer and the Democrats refused to but a budget bill on the table but attacked every single GOP plan, most notably the Ryan plan. You'll see a repeat, just wait and see.

The media is completely hypocritical when it comes to liberals versus conservatives: they stir up cries of sexual harassment against Cain with NO details, yet ignored multiple leads and of instances involving Clinton, Weiner, Edwards, Ted Kennedy, etc. as long as they possibly could, and made excuses for them when they couldn't ignore it any longer. The media and the liberal politicians are so entirely tied together that the liberals have been entirely in control of the national news conversation for decades, until the recent bloom of more conservative, non-traditional media like the internet.

Here they are, the newsmedia and liberals in Congress, lately calling on conservative Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from judging the Obamacare trial because of his wife's work in the past? After years of proving himself more than able to separate his work from hers?

Contrast that with liberal Supreme Court judge Elena Kagan, who immediately before her Supreme Court appointment worked for President Obama as solicitor general, responsible for legally defending the positions of the administration. She cheered at the passage of Obamacare. If you haven't heard about the hypocrisy involved here, it's because you are a victim of the liberal news media. To quote an article from CNSnews,  "According to 28 USC 455, a Supreme Court justice must recuse from “any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” The law also says a justice must recuse anytime he has “expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy” while he “served in governmental employment.”" 

Sometimes I just can't take it anymore! That's why I write these posts. I get it out of my system and hope that my words will educate at least one other person, and then I go back to being a nice conservative Mormon mom, hoping for the possibility of raising my children under a United States government that listens to the voice of the people and works for them instead of against them. That will only happen when the majority of the American people recognize the mess we're currently in and that we're headed to worse. In short, when people understand that the media lies.