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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.