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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What makes Mormons different?

Mormons are often thought of as different. We're a different kind of Christian than mainstream Protestantism, for example. We believe in Jesus Christ, but we also believe that His Church is organized under the same priesthood and same order that He organized when He was on earth Himself.
Worldwide, one of the things that sets Mormons apart the most is service participation. Young adults serve as missionaries. At any given time, there are more than 50,000 full-time missionaries serving throughout the world and teaching the gospel. Men serve for 24 months, women for 18 months. LDS church members serve in their communities. Helping Hands has become a widely recognized organization for disaster relief, and it pops up with local church groups immediately following any natural disaster. Older couples may serve as missionaries too.
The LDS Church Newsroom highlighted this voluteerism in a recent article.
Sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, the team of researchers analyzed survey data from 2,664 church-attending Latter-day Saints living throughout the country. Based on their findings, the authors concluded that active Latter-day Saints “volunteer and donate significantly more than the average American and are even more generous in time and money than the upper quintile of religious people in America.”
According to the data, while the average American volunteers some 48 hours per year (4 hours per month) to charitable causes, an active Latter-day Saint volunteers 427.9 hours annually (35.6 hours per month) — a contribution worth an estimated $9,140 annually.
Of course, much of Latter-day Saint volunteerism is religious in nature; for example, congregants volunteer time to teach youth scripture classes or help prepare the chapel for Sunday worship, among other things. Yet, as the study points out, active Church members also dedicate 151.9 hours annually to serving in the Church’s social and community initiatives, such as Boy Scouts of America or the Church’s worldwide welfare and humanitarian aid programs. Aside from these efforts, the study found that individual members give an additional 34 hours annually to other social causes unrelated to the Church.
I find this impressive. But what does volunteering really mean? What does service bring the participant and those served that makes it transformative? Rabbi Shmuley Boteach wrote about the qualities Mormons learn while serving on missions or those who volunteer in other ways on his Huffington Post blog recently:
A year of service is something that all American youth need to learn.
What plagues America more than anything else is a sense of entitlement on the part of our population in which citizenship is seen as something that entails receiving without giving, obtaining government gifts without concomatant civic obligations, indulging in the blessings of America without consecrating our lives as a blessing to our great Republic.
In 2008 we came within a whisker of collapsing the world's richest economy because whatever it gave us was still not enough. And let's be honest. Greed has not only infected Wall Street. It has also trickled down to Main Street. American culture often resembles one giant reality show where we fixate on the lives of the rich and famous hoping to be struck with the same good fortune as our envied heroes.
Fair enough. Wealth is a great blessing. May it happen to each and every one of us. But money without sacrifice, wealth without obligations, breeds woefully inadequate character.
 He's right. The entitlement mentality (as preached by liberals) is undermining our very natures. We are becoming more selfish and less other-minded. He talked about military service as teaching the same principles as well, which is another great way to build character.
Of course, the greatest example of the inculcation of this selfless is the Israeli insistence that all its young men and women give two to three years of their young lives to their country in the form of military service. And while this is a necessity due to the endless collection of enemies arrayed agianast the Jewish state who seek its total destruction, its immediate by-product is the creation of a populace which, though tiny, is electrifying the world with its industriousness, creativity, and entrepreneurship.  
Our media and advertising constantly preach that you deserve it and do whatever makes you happy but these ideas do not bring lasting joy or happiness. For that, we must look outside ourselves, as is taught in the scriptures by Jesus Christ and many prophets. The LDS prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson, teaches the same principle. He said in the aforementioned LDS Newsroom article:
 “To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy. We do not live alone — in our city, our nation, or our world. There is no dividing line between our prosperity and our neighbor's wretchedness. 'Love thy neighbor' is more than a divine truth. It is a pattern for perfection.”
These are truths that I hope the people of the United States will reconnect with and make part of themselves. Only in that way can we become the great nation we have been in the past. Great, because of the selfless patriots who found causes more important than themselves.

This weekend is a General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church members the entire world over - 14 million strong and growing - will listen to the words of the living prophet and the apostles, and other Church leaders. It will be broadcast live on Saturday and Sunday through lds.org as well as played on byutv. The session times are 12-2pm and 4-6pm ET both days. I invite you to listen to General Conference and see for yourself what Mormons are all about.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Analyzing the Media

Rush Limbaugh has been on a roll lately. As I've said before, he's the one that showed me how and why to question the media in the first place, but I've missed a lot of the points he's been making until he brought them up. Like why is the media fixated on Trayvon? Why is it assumed that liberal judges can't be swayed but conservative ones can? Here are the headlines to articles on his website, which are transcripts from the radio show divided up by topic.

Obamacare Oral Argument Don't Appear to be Going Well for the Regime
Tasteless: Obama 2012 Sells Hoodies to Exploit the Death of Trayvon Martin
Reuters: Consumer Confidence "Eases" Rush: It plunged!
Nobody Doubts How the Liberal Members of the Supreme Court Will Rule
New Black Panthers Put Out Bounty for Zimmerman - and the President is Silent
Libs to Cheney: Take the Painkiller As in, he's 'too old' for a transplant. He actually would be, under a VA. And we're headed to government-run care soon enough. Death panels, people!
The Left's Obsession with Race
Bam to Russians: Give Me Time

Again, I can only repeat that if you aren't reading both sides of an issue, you are underinformed. Both sides leave stuff out because both sides want to talk themselves up and the other side down! Thus, you need to read both sides to really know what's going on and have an educated opinion.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Climate Change is Normal and Natural

Did you know that citrus trees grew in England for centuries up until the middle ages? That pastures once reigned the area taken over the Sahara?  I did thanks to my education. It isn't broadcast via news media.

A new study (and good luck finding it in liberal news media) reveals that the warming of the middle ages was not confined to Europe alone, but was rather experienced worldwide. What does this mean? Human CO2 emissions are likely not to blame for any current climate change after all, we don't need to give governments -courtesy of liberal politicians- any new taxes related to the environment which don't curb emissions much anyway, just tax them and place additional burdens on burdened economies, and that we could expect the earth to cool down again after warming just as it has over and over through out its 4.5 billion year history without the aid or intervention of human beings.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving the environment if it improves the lives of humans. Like anti-smoking laws,  particulates, drinking water pollutants, etc.  Just don't give me the CO2 stuff or its like. I never bought that CO2 was a pollutant in the first place! It's a natural part of the atmosphere, the levels varying wildly depending on the overall climate on earth at the time. Plants just love high levels of CO2 and energy from the sun - as evidenced by the highest level of allergens ever recorded in various places. Plants use CO2 along with sunlight and give off oxygen, which animal life requires. Meanwhile, if the earth is truly warming again, enjoy the good weather!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Religious Freedom and Tolerance

At Deseret News, I ran into Religious freedom as a core human right: A three-sides, global debate. Part 1 of 2. Part 2 will talk about the Obama administration in the context of religious freedom.

The tolerance of religious beliefs is foundational to our country. Beginning from the time of the Revolution when men and women of all faiths joined together to fight a common enemy, religious tolerance has been a large part of the United States of America.  It's part of who we are. It's a part of us we want to keep and to share in lands that don't give religious freedom. It's one of the things I love best about living in America: knowing people of varying beliefs who are yet wonderful and loving friends and neighbors who respect my religion and beliefs just as I respect theirs. How do we teach this? We begin with government and leaders who uphold these laws.
"We have found that an increase in government restrictions on religion coincides with a spike in religious persecution and violence," said Brian Grim at the Pew Research Center (see graphic). Impunity seeps into the social fabric, experts say.
I recently watched a documentary about Ethiopian history. The Ethiopians are largely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian or Muslim. The two groups were brought together by their king of the time, who was Christian, against a common enemy, the Portuguese Jesuits, centuries ago when all Africa was being claimed for European monarchies. To this day the two factions live together in peace. Despite all the religious turmoil and genocide that surround their country.

Leaders can claim large responsibility for the peace and tolerance in a region. In hosts of Islamic countries, members of other faiths are persecuted or killed. Even differing factions war upon each other. This violence is often incited by religious leaders (radical imams) and political leaders (Ahmadinejad, for example).

The article also talks about the shaky foundation behind the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding religion.
 In fact, the religion clause of human rights declaration is quite challenging for many authoritarian and Islamic governments. Apostasy from Islam and blasphemy against it are widely seen as capital crimes, and non-Muslims have historically faced discrimination (dhimmi status) in exchange for a modicum of tolerance. Authoritarian governments, meanwhile, view uncontrolled religious passions as threats to public order.It was thus no surprise that the eight abstentions from the 1948 declaration vote were seven Soviet bloc countries — and Saudi Arabia. The tension within Islam escalated in 1990, when the 45 member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference meeting in Cairo signed an alternative Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. The Cairo declaration offers neither religious freedom nor any of the other vital rights outlined in 1948. It has been roundly criticized, but it signals the height of the hurdles.
Time will tell regarding the resolution of these issues, but a lack of tolerance has already cost many human lives. Living together in peace presupposes that all parties are willing to be tolerant of each other (also Ron Paul's fatal flaw). We already know that not all religions or peoples are tolerant.  From what I understand of Islam, the people who are literate and read the Koran know that the radical imams who preach violence on the basis of the Koran are wrong.  Increasing literacy - particularly for girls and women, who teach the future generations - will increase tolerance. The work Greg Mortenson is doing just this. Greg is the author of "Three Cups of Tea" and "Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Pakistan and Afghanistan," and co-founder of the Central Asia Institute and Pennies for Peace.

*Monday. Part 2 about Obama's work undermining religious freedom is available here.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Economy Explained

The Economy: The Bright and the Blight, currently up at Breitbart, has explained to me (in a way I understand at last) about the interconnected reasons behind why TARP might have worked but didn't. And where it leaves us today in terms of the relationship between debt and interest rates. Excuse a very long quotation: it's worth it.
As the magnitude of the financial meltdown became terrifyingly clear over a trillion dollars was pumped into the banking system, and short-term interest rates at which banks could borrow were reduced, essentially, to zero. The prime rate of interest at which an individual or business could borrow (and, of course, the rate which households could earn on their savings or investments) plunged accordingly. Thus, the money supply rapidly expanded and the economy, in theory, should have briskly expanded thereafter. It didn’t.  
That’s because banks, now awash with cash, didn’t loan that cash to consumers or businesses. So we experienced a rapid increase in the money supply but no real acceleration in the velocity of the money supply (the rate at which money changes hands). 
Banks had, and have, two reasons for hoarding their taxpayer provided largess. First, why take on any risk at all when the Fed is making money available at, essentially, no cost, which can then be recycled (at no risk) into interest bearing government treasuries with the banks pocketing the difference as profit. Second, the banks know that their balance sheets still carry enormous levels of real estate (residential and commercial) valued far in excess of their realistic current value. The incentive is huge for the banks to hoard all, or the lion’s share, of the free cash as a hedge against a day of reckoning the banks know (or fear) may be coming. So, in effect, trillions of dollars (increases in the money supply) are locked in irons (curtailing the velocity at which money changes hands) and have had little value in stimulating the economy. 
We don’t minimize the value of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was initiated under Bush and accelerated under Obama. One can only imagine how devastating the financial meltdown would have been had a bank run reached critical mass. But when, and if, that money begins to flow into the economy its inflationary impact (the resulting increase in the velocity of the money supply) could be disastrous. We do not share the view that we needn’t worry about inflation because it hasn’t reared its head yet. As we opined in a previous essay, that’s like a physician advising a patient not to worry about smoking, because, so far, there is no sign of lung cancer. 
The Fed and the government are in a quandary. Interest rates have been kept artificially low, we are told, to stimulate the economy and to keep the country from falling back into recession from which, presumably, it emerged three years ago. That may be true, but the fact is that any significant increase in the rates the government has to pay to its creditors (domestic and foreign) would be a real body blow to any effort to reduce our soaring deficits. We are caught in a proverbial Catch 22. While interest rates may be unrealistically low, and, therefore, in need of some upward adjustment in the near future; the last thing the country can afford is a dramatic spike in the cost of servicing its ever-mounting debt.
He continues with a reminder that the deficit exceeds GDP, and we need to deal with it soon. As stands to reason! 

This article explains to me also why Romney supported TARP was it was formulated, which I had wondered about. It also explained why now Romney feels so strongly that we tackle the deficit before it conquers us.

Friday, March 23, 2012

More Lies From Obama

The standard news media is taking the public for a ride on many key issues as the general election season nears. I feel sick to my stomach reading some of these misleading articles. If they were true, it would be great! But they're not. The following headlines give you the general idea. See also Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, and the Drudge Report for more.

Brazen Media Backs Up Obama's Keystone Lies with Dishonest News Stories
Obama's PR with Keystone shows a part already being built that had nothing to do with him, nor did he approve connecting that end with Canada. Publicity stunt only.

Will Obama's FCC Investigate Illegal Robocalls?
The progressive media attack conservatives

George Zimmerman's father: My son is not racist, did not confront Trayvon Martin
He is in fact Hispanic with black relatives. Not white as the media leads you to believe.

Report: Oil Production on Federal Lands Dropped 275,000 Barrels a Day in 2011
Our president is lying through his teeth that our production is at full capacity.

Wisconsin Anti-Walker Protests Were Fueled By National Orgs and Professional Protesters
Nor will the media admit that Walker has turned around Wisconsin off the path of fiscal insolvency. Do these public union members really think they'll get paid if their government is completely broke?


Documents: White House was all-hands-on-deck as Solyndra collapse neared
Which isn't what Obama is saying about it now.


One Reelection Doc, Six Falsehoods, Zero Media Attention
Healthcare lies promulgated by the Obama administration.


Do liberals begin to understand why the GOP gets so frustrated? Probably not. Dems have control of the national media and paint the GOP incorrectly as uncaring, infighting, and only liars. They think they can drive the entire national conversation and while they certainly dominate it, the formerly silent majority ensures that they do not monopolize it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Romney and Spending Reduction

With all our deficit and spending woes in Washington, I'm becoming more and more convinced that Mitt Romney has been placed here for such a time as this. He is the only candidate who has truly balanced a budget by reducing spending while serving in a public position. He's right when he says that exercising freedom requires economic opportunity. Opportunities not seen in America at the moment, nor will we again unless we get this mountain of debt in line before it is too late. He seems to be just the man for the job.

Ann Coulter sings my own tune but with well-researched facts. This week she says, after introducing facts about Massachusetts' political and fiscal climate and contrasting it with Reagan's California:
But even Reagan didn't stop the growth of state government: While he was governor of California, the budget increased from $4.6 billion to $10.2 billion.
Republicans are able to contextualize Reagan's record -– it was California! -- but seem unable to contextualize Mitt Romney's record, even though he had to govern a state far more liberal than California was half a century ago.
 The following seems one of the strongest recent example of how tax cuts generate revenue, or not raising taxes at minimum:
Like Reagan, Romney inherited a huge, Democrat-created budget deficit. The existing Massachusetts deficit was already more than half a billion dollars when Romney took office halfway through a fiscal year, with a projected deficit of $3 billion for the following fiscal year.
And yet, Romney balanced Massachusetts' budget each year he was in office and left the state with a surplus, without raising taxes.
To the contrary, every single budget Romney submitted included income tax cuts -- all of which were rejected by the 85-percent Democratic Legislature. (The last time Massachusetts legislators approved an income tax cut was when it was attached to a bill raising their own salaries by 55 percent.)
Isn't that something? I'll repeat that if Mitt Romney talked about himself as well as Ann Coulter talks about him (and the media was honest enough to report it), he would have the nomination in the bag and Obama wouldn't stand a chance at reelection. But the guy has the rare (in a politian) quality of humility. He doesn't like to talk himself up that much.
Ann Coulter also takes on Rick Santorum's record and challenges his conservatism, but you can read that yourself here. In closing:
Mitt Romney has spent no time in Washington. He was a rabidly frugal fiscal conservative in a state where cutting government spending was as foreign an idea as it is in Washington today.
Here's hoping we can get a president and congressional leaders committed to tackling the most serious issue we face.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Paul Ryan Budget

The GOP is showing, once again, that they care for this country and want to preserve it. This budget proposes to reform government programs and cut spending to the tune of $5.7T in cuts and $2T less in taxes, before it's too late to do so and all programs are gone, snuffed out with the debt implosion! As hard as the left is mocking this bill, they sure don't have realistic ideas. We have already been downgraded, thanks to the left. Their big government policies and high taxes are costing us any hope of a sound economic recovery. We will be downgraded again soon if we don't get serious about budget cuts.
There isn't enough money in the country to make the slightest dent in the $15.5T deficit - even by taxing at 100% (which would kill the economy once and for all). Spending more is NOT a good idea. Raising taxes on a weak economy is NOT a good idea. Not reforming is NOT a good idea. I'm hoping this bites Democrats in the behind during this election year, because they're laughing at a serious attempt - the only one we've seen - to keep our country solvent and prosperous. And it seems like more and more people know it. Paul Ryan said:
We propose that we repeal the president's disastrous health care law. We propose to save and strengthen Medicare by taking power away from government bureaucrats. We believe competition and choice should be the way forward versus price controls that lead to rationing. We also propose, as one of our hallmark issues to get to economic growth and job creation, to reform the tax system. We propose to collapse the six different tax brackets into two rates: A 10% bracket and a 25% bracket for individuals -- and a 25% bracket for corporations, which is at the international average and going to a territorial system.
Good plans, for reasons aforementioned. Rush had a lot to say about the attacks on Ryan from the left, as usual. Some of his response follows:
And yet they tell us we're not spending enough money and we're not taxed enough. And every year this country's government spends over $3 trillion -- and of that $3 trillion, close to $2 trillion we don't have. That's above and beyond what's collected from tax revenues and other income sources for the government. Folks, it literally is insulting for us to be told that this country can't be run on $2 trillion.
 We're being sold such a bill of goods. It's outrageous the amount of money that's being spent and what little we're getting for it. All we're getting for it is the empowerment of the Democrat Party and the destruction of our culture. The destruction of our society. And it's so much money, we can't comprehend it. One hundred thousand million is just 100 billion. And people start talking about, "Well, we're $2 trillion in debt and the federal budget is $3 trillion." We hear the number "three," which is a small number. We don't have any trillionaires, so it's not possible to relate to some individual who has that kind of money. No individual does.
Except Obama. It's all his.
But it's a long way around getting to the point that we've got to start going the other way on the spending of money that this nation doesn't have. Because we are getting the money that we don't have from the tax payments that will be made by your grandkids. Do you realize the annual federal budget when your grandkids become 20 or 21 years old is already spent? The normal tax rates, if tax rates are what they are today, your grandkids' lifetime taxes have already been spent. What do you think their ultimate, real tax rate's gonna be if we don't get a handle on this?
And every time somebody comes up with a responsible way to get started on it, they get shouted down by the media, shouted down by the Democrat Party, ridiculed. It's just an election year trick. Meanwhile, the authors of this debacle continually are praised and held up with the highest regard as people with compassion and caring and big hearts. And they are the destroyers. It just offends my sensibilities to have the architects of an absolute national disaster come out now and dare comment on the competence, the quality and the relevance of Paul Ryan's budget. They have no right to say a damn word about it because they are the problem.
He's right, and he says it well. I'm sure many Democrats will go on thinking Rush is all lies and that the GOP all bad guys, but the debt crisis is already at the boiling point and we can't in good faith go on like we have been. That would literally be to run off the highest cliff with our eyes wide open, believing we'll be able to keep running at the bottom of it. There is no room for compromise in this issue, I repeat. Literally none. Wise Democrats will jump on board the reform train, and join the GOP in tackling this most vital issue. Contact your Congressmen. Vote against politicians who don't take this issue seriously, on both sides.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Obama Lied During Debt Ceiling Debate

Remember that debacle? The time when we began to have our credit rating downgraded because the debt ceiling deal didn't include big spending cuts? At the spending rate we're going, we'll probably need another debt ceiling raise by October, which is two months earlier than Obama had planned because it's before the general election. Read this, because I bet we could expect a lot of the same things to happen all over again. And the same biased media coverage blaming the GOP falsely, to boot.
Rush Limbaugh tipped me off Monday to the Washington Post story, Obama's evolution: Behind the failed 'grand bargain' on the debt. It's a very long article reminding us of the debt talks, the back and forths, and the fall-outs, but it goes behind the scenes, so to speak. It talks about details from the 'secret meetings' between Boehner, Reid, Obama, and others.
For the sake of brevity I'll quote from Rush, who summarizes it nicely.
And what this story points out is that Obama purposely, intentionally lied to the American people when he told us that the Republicans were not interested in raising taxes, that they wanted a cuts-only solution to the debt crisis. It turns out that John Boehner and Eric Cantor had indeed offered $808 million in tax increases. Obama lied. He just flat-out lied to the American people about the Republicans and their position in the debt negotiations. He flat-out lied.
 And further down:
This story paints Harry Reid and Pelosi as practically irrelevant. Where everybody thinks they're part of the problem, part of the obstacles problem, this story makes it clear that they're just up there to do Obama's bidding but that Obama doesn't know how to negotiate. This story points out that Obama's incompetent when he negotiates because he lies. He told Boehner and he told the country that the Republicans were not willing to compromise in an area, and they were all along.Boehner said, "I don't know what to do about this." By the way, I had a meeting with Boehner not long before that. This was last summer sometime, and I had a meeting with Boehner here at the EIB Southern Command some months before that. I just casually asked him what it was like working with Harry Reid. And he said, "You know, it'd surprise you. If it were just Reid and me we could get a deal done." Of course I thought he was off. "Oh, gosh. Don't tell me he really believes this." He did. He said, "If it was just Reid and me we'd get a deal." He said, "Harry gets it." I said, "Oh my. (groan)" This story says that. Or pretty close to it.
This story in the front page of the Washington Post pretty much says that Boehner and Reid could and it work together, and that Obama is the whole problem. Obama was campaigning. Obama had to give his base something. Obama, the whole debt limit thing was a phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock 'n' roller diversion. Yeah, he wanted the debt ceiling raised but he could not afford for his base, lunatic fringe base to see him as compromising at all. This is the bunch that talks about "compromise." This is the bunch (along with the Republican establishment, too,) heralding the beauties and the wonders of compromise.
And here was Obama making it look like he was willing to compromise. He was the stone wall, and he lied in a national address to the nation! He lied in a prime-time address to the nation. And don't take my word for it if you don't want to. It's the Washington Post.
 Rush likes to remind his listeners that there is no room for compromise in the current political climate: where is the compromise between implementing drastic spending cuts to save the country versus the continual spending increases that the left wants and we cannot afford? That's almost besides the point in this debt ceiling discussion since the deal fell through, but it illustrates the absurdity of compromise being the best option. Rush, even at that time, was saying that Obama wants to run against a do-nothing Congress so he's not going to take any deal. Use the links on top to see for yourself. But if you're too lazy, here's more of what you shouldn't miss:
And here was Obama making it look like he was willing to compromise. He was the stone wall, and he lied in a national address to the nation! He lied in a prime-time address to the nation. And don't take my word for it if you don't want to. It's the Washington Post.
And also the story says that he doesn't know nearly what he thinks he knows. He's... I'll use the word "ignorant." Arrogant and ignorant. Arrogant condescension is the way Obama's portrayed in this story in dealing with the Republicans. Also it points out that Reid and Pelosi were nonfactors. They took the heat but they had to follow Obama's lead. So not only is he incompetent, he's dishonest. Once he got what he asked for he moved the goalposts and did it in a prime-time address to the nation. But the story didn't end there. From the New York Times, this is a story in July, July 23rd.
"Debt Ceiling Costs Collapse as Boehner Walks Out." Then in August is when the country debt ceiling had its credit rating downgraded, August of 2011. We lost our AAA credit rating because the debt ceiling fell through, and we now know (thanks to the Washington Post) that it fell through because Obama refused to accept it. It had everything in it he wanted and that was the problem. His bluff was called. I think toward the end of the negotiations, Boehner and the Republicans just decided, "Okay, let's see what happens," because it was proving impossible to negotiate with him. Every day that they negotiated, Boehner and Cantor would hear things that had not been agreed to.
They would listen to Obama recount things that had not been discussed, basically making it up every day as a negotiating tactic to keep them off balance. Nobody would know this to this day. We'd only have speculation. Well, Boehner and the guys know it but had they made a big deal out of it, they would have just been accused of being crybabies and whiners. So, I don't know the purpose of the story. I don't know why the Washington Post ran this thing yesterday, and I don't know why they spent so much time on it.
I don't know why the Washington Post basically lets anybody who reads this story know that Obama was the single problem here; that he's incompetent, arrogant and he lied to the nation in a prime-time address. I don't know why they're running this story. But, folks, I'm just gonna tell you here that there's abject panic in the White House. And again, things can turn on a dime in the business of politics. Republicans could screw up tomorrow (that's quite easy) and Obama would be back on a wave that nobody could stop him.
 The Washington Post doesn't use these adjectives that Rush uses about Obama, for the record. But the information is all there, and it is easy enough to draw the same conclusions about Obama's incompetence, dishonesty, etc.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Corruption

Over at Foxnews, I encountered Study: State Governments At High Risk For Corruption. How reassuring - not! I'll hazard a guess that these measures would rank our federal government even lower than most states.
"It's telling that no state received an overall grade of A," said Caitlin Ginley, a staff writer for the Center for Public Integrity and a project manager on the study. "In every state, there's room to improve the ethics laws, the level of transparency on government proceedings, the disclosure of information, and — most importantly — the oversight of these laws.
"One of the major findings was that even when ethics laws are passed, they are difficult to enforce and lack meaningful consequences for violators."
This harks back towards something commonly discussed in public discourse, thanks to the GOP primary season: character and trust, leading to two leaders I both consider worthy of public trust. Ron Paul I trust even more, but I don't agree with his foreign policy nor is he a leader in the primaries. An efficient, effective government requires personal integrity of each employee. Speaking of the nation as a whole, I wouldn't say our country is the most trustworthy, and no surprise there because religion and morals have been deemphasized for decades. On the contrary, untrustworthy people seem drawn to public office and places of influence.
Only five states got rankings of B, led by a surprising recipient: New Jersey. It got a B-plus, with an overall score of 87 out of a possible 100.
Despite — or perhaps because of — recent corruption scandals, New Jersey got the top ranking because of steps it took to combat corruption, including tough ethics and anti-corruption laws it adopted in response.
 Go Governor Christie!
"It's nice to be recognized for being ahead of the curve," said Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted many of the recent cases. "The governor is proud of the changes he's made and the resources he's made available to the public in terms of government transparency. Government operates and behaves better when it's open and transparent, and taxpayers feel informed and a part of the process when they can see how their money is spent, who is getting contracts and who's on the payroll and such."
 To see how your state ranks, visit http://www.stateintegrity.org. My liberal state got 'D' overall, but an 'F' in the areas of state budget processes, state pension fund management, ethics enforcement agencies, and redistricting. I'm not surprised, nor do I expect to see any change. This state is bankrupt but doesn't have the guts to say so, reform, or otherwise get rid of unnecessary waste or overspending.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

We Have Been Warned

The LDS Church believes in living prophets, just as existed in biblical times. Our current prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and his predecessor President Gordon B. Hinckley, have both warned the members of the Church and anyone else who would listen of the dangers of debt since the late 1980s. Other church leaders and prophets have issued warning as well. Here is a collection of some of these prophetic and apostolic warnings, as found in the article Understanding Interest on Debt by Scott Nash, a public finance consultant, is a counselor in the bishopric of the Warm Springs Ward, Las Vegas Nevada Warm Springs Stake.
President Gordon B. Hinckley: “To satisfy our desires, we go into debt, dissipate our resources in the payment of high interest, and become as slaves working to pay it off. …
“I commend to you the virtues of thrift and industry. … It is work and thrift that make the family independent” (“‘Thou Shalt Not Covet,’” Ensign, Mar. 1990, 4). 
President Thomas S. Monson: “We urge all Latter-day Saints to be prudent in their planning, to be conservative in their living, and to avoid excessive or unnecessary debt” (“To Learn, To Do, To Be,” Ensign, May 1992, 47). 
President James E. Faust: “It is important to learn to distinguish between wants and needs. It takes self-discipline to avoid the ‘buy now, pay later’ philosophy and to adopt the ‘save now and buy later’ practice. …
“Owning a home free of debt is an important goal of provident living. … Homes that are free and clear of mortgages and liens cannot be foreclosed on.
“… Independence means … being free of personal debt and of the interest and carrying charges required by debt the world over” (“The Responsibility for Welfare Rests with Me and My Family,” Ensign, May 1986, 20, 21). 
President Ezra Taft Benson: “Our inspired leaders have always urged us to get out of debt, live within our means, and pay as we go” (“‘Pay Thy Debt, and Live,’” Ensign, June 1987, 3).

President Spencer W. Kimball: “All my life from childhood I have heard the Brethren saying, ‘Get out of debt and stay out of debt’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 166).

President J. Reuben Clark Jr.: “Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; … Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1938, 103).

President Heber J. Grant: “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet” (Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham [1941], 111).

Elder L. Tom Perry: “We should not heed the current cries … [that] tempt us to compete for ownership in the things of this world. … Often these items are purchased with borrowed money, without giving any thought to providing for our future needs. …
“… Wisely we have been counseled to avoid debt as we would avoid the plague. …
“… A well-managed family does not pay interest—it earns it” (“‘If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,’” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 35–36).

Those who heeded these warnings are grateful. The blessings that come from obeying prophets whether living or biblical stand available to any who obey their counsel. A parting quote from President Hinckley, as referenced in Climbing Out of Debt, found here
“I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order … ,” President Gordon B. Hinckley urged Church members during October 1998 general conference. “Self-reliance cannot obtain when there is serious debt hanging over a household. One has neither independence nor freedom from bondage when he is obligated to others.”
 I venture to say that the United States of America and other countries worldwide forfeit freedom with debt as well.

Economy Still Tanking Despite Media Reports to the Contrary

Over at Economic Collapse blog, I saw a synopsis of the latest economic polls that say it all better than I would have put it myself.
Are you better off today than you were four years ago? If not, then you are just like most other Americans. According to a CBS News/New York Times poll that was released a few days ago, 80 percent of Americans say that their financial situation is not "better today" than it was four years ago. But if you turn on the television and listen to what the "pundits" are saying, you would be tempted to think that we were in the midst of a robust economic recovery. You would be tempted to think that the U.S. economy is in great shape and that we are heading for a really bright future. But the fact that the stock market is soaring does not mean much to most Americans. In fact, most Americans couldn't care less that the Dow is well above 13,000 and that the NASDAQ is above 3,000. What most Americans care about is having a job and being able to provide for their families. If you haven't paid the mortgage in three months or if you don't have enough money to take your daughter to go see the doctor it really is not going to matter to you how well the boys and girls over on Wall Street are doing. Right now most American families are doing worse than they were doing four years ago, and no amount of media hype is going to change that fact.
.... 
When Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of "long-term unemployed workers" in the United States was approximately 2.6 million. Today, that number is sitting at 5.6 million.
Too true. And that's precisely why all the media hype in the world isn't going to make Obama's approval numbers go up. That blog has plenty of other numbers for you to see; follow the link provided at the top of the page.

Regarding other economic news, Rush Limbaugh highlighted Friday a preview by Paul Ryan of the budget proposal coming out next week.  Says Ryan in part of it:
You know, I was here in Congress in 2008 when we had the economic crisis. It was a terrible time. Millions of people lost their jobs, trillions of dollars of wealth gone. This coming debt crisis is the most predictable crisis we've ever had in this country. And look what's happening. This is why we're acting. This is why we're leading. This is why we're proposing, and passing out of the House, a budget to fix this problem so we can save our country for ourselves and for our children's future.
The liberal media (on Obama's behalf) can blame the GOP for nonexistent problems like contraception all they want but I'm not seeing anyone on the left addressing our economic problems. Out they should go! We should vote out any member of Congress or president who is not committed in both word and deed to tackling spending and the deficit. $15T and rising, more than $5T in three years, deficit exceeding the GDP, the debt per capita those than Greece? What better time is there to address our problems than now? Otherwise we're following the EU with our eyes wide open. That would be the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it - but to follow a fresh example is even worse!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Obama's failing energy policy

As I've said time and again, Obama - ever since capitalizing on the BP oil spill because it suited his purposes - is using energy as a way of deliberately keeping cost of living high for Americans. He could bring prices down if he chose, just as Bush did. Not that liberal media gave Bush credit for it any more than they'll give Obama flak about it. But why doesn't Obama want Americans to prosper?  Domestic oil means jobs, a growing economy, and lower cost of living.
Especially after the exposure a couple months ago of Obama's domestic oil exports in the past three years (found at CNN Money) at a time that our domestic gas prices are so high, one must wonder what Obama's really going for. If he cared about the economy or jobs, he'd lift the oil-drilling moratorium, accept Keystone, and allow domestic oil to be used domestically. Prices would plummet, we would have spending money! If, on the other hand, this is about the environment as he'd like you to believe, why do you believe we're saving the environment when we're instead buying oil from distant, hostile, human-rights violating countries with less stringent environmental standards then our own? We have the highest environmental standards for drilling in the world and we have for decades. So that doesn't fly.

You could argue that it's for federal taxes on gasoline, which are amassing into the treasury with these high gas prices. But our deficit continues to skyrocket, advancing at a hitherto unprecented rate under Obama. Our deficit has surpasses the GDP, for crying out loud! Our debt per capita is worse than that of Greece! So the tax revenue isn't covering Obama's massive expenditures, and he's never seemed at all concerned about the ballooning debt which which he's burdening the American people. So that's not it either.
It must be the ensuing economic hardship driving citizens of the United States to turn to their government instead of relying on themselves. He's buying votes with government dependency (already about 50% of citizens) for his reelection, after which we'll make a swift and seemingly natural transition to socialism despite the failure of socialism everywhere it's been tried. (See Saul Alinsky's book Rules For Radicals and you'll see exactly what I mean - see Breitbart's How Saul Alinsky Taught Barack Obama Everything He Knows About Civic Upheaval.) The problem for him here is he's got to appear to care about Americans just enough that he'll get reelected for this to happen.

Now Obama is out there blaming the GOP for saying mean things about him like he can get prices down. He's saying all sorts of desparate things trying to shift the blame somewhere other than his shoulders where it belongs. Rush Limbaugh on Thursday had a lot to say about the disparity between what Obama's saying and what he's doing.
Obama has just announced that the United States and Britain are going to release oil from their Strategic Reserves. ... We don't have an emergency. There is not a shortage. We are exporting gasoline. Do you know that, folks? We are a net exporter now of gasoline. As you go to the pump and you see the price rise, we have a net-exporting-of-gasoline position now. Part of this is due to refining capacity around the world and a number of other things. There's not an oil shortage. There's not a crisis. This is simply a flailing attempt to try to get the price down. If you're gonna do this, do this in October, not now. Folks, I'm gonna tell you something. Doing this now, releasing oil from our Strategic Reserve is a sign, I think, of pure panic. I think the truth of the matter is the left is in a state of panic.
It's nice that Rush is backing me up on the oil exporting. After CNN Money originally published an article about the subject, I've been unable to find reference to this anywhere! I'm sure the Obama regime is doing all it can to keep that a secret, as they do anything else that would be unpopular with the voters in the United States of America. To continue farther down:
Well, you can't possibly be in context here if you're just joining us today or this week, and we've been at it for 23 years. But the Strategic Oil Reserve does not exist to lower gasoline prices. That's not its purpose. The Strategic Reserve is so we have a supply of oil when this nation is cut off, or is being threatened with a cutoff of imported oil, or when there is a genuine shortage. And when our national security depends on it. This is nothing more than a cheap political ploy that's gonna end up costing money because the oil is gonna have to replenished. But there's not enough in the Strategic Reserves to last long enough.
If it's all refined as gasoline, by the way, there's still not enough of it to last long enough to have any kind of permanent, meaningful impact on the price of gasoline.
Isn't that interesting? We use reserves for a non-emergency, then rebuild them at a higher price, costing taxpayers yet more money? That does seem to be Obama's plan for a lot of things.
We are not having any supply cut off, other than Obama refusing to drill and Obama refusing to authorize the Keystone pipeline. The one man standing in the way of an increased supply of oil in this country is Barack Obama! And so now he's gonna release oil from the Strategic Reserves because they say it's supposed to lower prices. And the media is gonna be right in here, folks. The media is gonna be jumping for joy with this and doing exactly what they're supposed to do. The news is going to be, "Obama cares! He's not waiting for the oil companies. Somebody has to act! Somebody has to care about the American people. Somebody has to care about the price of gasoline! They say that presidents can't do anything about it.
...
Or maybe they're just gonna try to live off the fact that "Somebody finally had to do something for the struggling American people, fighting against Big Oil, attempting to rape and rip off average Americans who are already in challenging economic times!" So Obama is hero again. Democrats as saviors! They create a bunch of victims and ride to the rescue as the savior and so forth. Again, folks, this Strategic Reserve is supposed to be used to help us survive an interruption of our oil supply -- which we could have, by the way, if the Iranians closed down the Strait of Hormuz, but they haven't. They're not gonna do that today. There is no interruption. We are not having any problem getting oil other than the obstacles Obama has put in the way of the free flow of oil at market prices, refusing to drill here and the failure to okay the Keystone pipeline.
 All valid points. And valid observations about our liberal media and liberal president. This next quote mentions an editorial in Politico about gas prices affecting the economic growth.
Every 10% increase in oil prices is expected to knock 0.25% off economic growth..." That, if true, is an amazing fact, especially when you bear in mind that we've had gasoline prices go up more than 100% under Obama. That works out to a reduction of GDP by 2.5%, and our GDP is not even growing at 2%. Our GDP, our economy is growing at under 2%, and the federal government's share of the total economic output of this (which does not include economic output; they don't produce anything) is 23%, on its way eventually to 25%. It is at a historical high. That's how much of the private sector that Obama and the Democrats have simply transferred and shut down and moved to the government sector. And that's why there are two million fewer jobs. So you had this statistic from Lugar: Every 10% increase in oil prices is expected to knock a quarter of a percentage point off economic growth. Well, you run the numbers: The oil price is up over 100% under Obama, and gross domestic product is down by 2.5%. Think of how much this has cost the country. Think of how much it has cost you and me, and how much it's going to cost the economy if Obama doesn't do something about it. Which he could very easily do, but not this way. Not releasing the Strategic Reserve. He did that before.
You may not remember, but back in June, Obama released 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Reserves because of the Arab Spring. Back in June, did that make the world price of oil go down? I don't think so. There's not enough. Thirty million barrels is a thimble compared to the daily usage of oil by everybody on the planet.
So much here. In essence, everything Obama says is to make himself look good in the eyes of the public while he does something else entirely. Something destructive to the private sector, to economic growth, and prosperity.
Finally, in response to some direct quotations about oil policy by Obama:
When he says, "Do not tell me we're not drilling. We're drilling all over this country," his policy has been to shut down as much drilling as possible. The only place he can't shut down drilling is that which is occurring on privately owned land in America, like land that might be owned by an oil company or an individual entrepreneur, a wildcatter who is drilling his own oil. But he most definitely has shut down drilling, and he has refused new permits for drilling -- and up until this sound bite, he's out there explaining why.
Now all of a sudden, in a state of panic, he wants to tell people how he's Mr. Drill? He is all over the ballpark each and every day saying whatever he has to say in reaction to a crisis that is engulfing him. This is a classic example, and it's so un-presidential. This is so childish and immature. (impression) "We're not drilling in National Mall. We're not drillin' your house! I guess we could set up a couple rigs in the Chesapeake Bay." Nobody's talking about doing that. Nobody wants to drill on the National Mall. Nobody wants to drill in Chesapeake Bay. Nobody's suggesting this. It's a classic Obama technique of setting up a straw man: You know, an imaginary troll out there, an imaginary evil guy, an imaginary evil party, an imaginary evil radio host.
It's typical Obama, following Saul Alinky's Rule for Radicals as usual. You read this and see if you can't see this all over America today in what Obama says and does in just about every aspect of government. From the Breitbart link in the opening, quoting Alinsky:
[You must help] the people in the community…feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future. [An] organizer must shake up the prevailing patterns of their lives—agitate, create disenchantment and discontent with the current values, to produce, if not a passion for change, at least a passive, affirmative, non-challenging climate. [You must] fan the embers of hopelessness into a flame of fight.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Obamacare revisited

I've written before about the many flaws in this enormous and poorly crafted bill; chief among them being that costs are not lowered as promised and in fact the costs are pushed up by adding insult to injury on cost drivers in medicine! That and making it more difficult for doctor and the medical community to provide quality care because of the nature of new regulations and low reimbursements. Once the ten years are up (from the budget analysis), Obamacare will never be even close to solvent again. Instead it will add trillions, probably annually, to our ballooning deficit, already equal to our entire GDP (over $15T), this while our debt per capita is worse than that of Greece. Scary times financially to be adding enormous costs with more entitlement programs of any kind, simultaneously with rises in Medicare and Social Security costs and no reforms on the horizon.

A new cost analysis published in the Washington Examiner shows that Obamacare is much more expensive than previously thought even over the ten year interval. Surprise, surprise. Here is Rush's synopsis of the CBO report, which he quotes.
CBO cannot make assumptions. The Congressional Budget Office can only score the cost of legislation based on the input or the data that they are given from members of Congress. Of course, it's "garbage in, garbage out." The data was flawed, and here's the proof: "President Obama's national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law. Democrats employed many accounting tricks when they were pushing through the national health care legislation, the most egregious of which was to delay full implementation of the law until 2014, so it would appear cheaper under the CBO's standard ten-year budget window and, at least on paper, meet Obama's pledge that the legislation would cost 'around $900 billion over 10 years.'"
Yup. We're doomed nationally to follow Europe with our eyes wide open and never be a prosperous nation again if we don't repeal this bill in entirety. The Supremes may strike it down, but probably not the whole thing. This reason alone is the single most important reason we need to vote against Obama in 2012. We want to preserve our country as it has existed for hundreds of years - prosperous and a land of freedom. We want to be able to enjoy our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We can't do that if our country's debt and spending practices and regulatory burdens are preventing prosperity.




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The GOP race thus far

Here's my takeaway from Mississippi, Alabama, and Hawaii yesterday. Santorum surprised me by taking both of the states in the south, but that race in Ole Miss was SO close between Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney that they came away with similar numbers of delegates from that contest. Meaning, Romney's lead isn't going anywhere, and since he took Hawaii he continues to have more delegates than all the others combined. He is still the clear front-runner, and I expect he'll stay there. For a Mormon to be competitive in the South is a big deal.

Here's what's confusing to me and probably to others: apparently the GOP party leaders change the rules from time to time, which is why we keep having these divided contests now instead of winner-takes-all-delegates. Yesterday I saw a quote from Michael Steele, former head of the party, who said that the rules were designed to keep the contest going deliberately to force a brokered convention. What is the point of that, I wonder? Sure, it is more fair that candidates get delegates proportionally to how many people voted for them. But to make 1100 delegates the target in this system? Is this the establishment trying to wrest away the votes of the majority of party members by slipping in their own preferred candidate in the convention? It better not be! If the candidate chosen at the open convention (assuming that is what happens) is not one of the candidates who have been running all along, there will be hell to pay for party leaders.  And I mean that in the most literal and least provocative way possible. We want a vetted candidate! We want our votes to count! That is our right as American citizens.

Any of our candidates, Romney and Santorum more than Gingrich or Paul, have the wherewithal to take down Obama. Obama can't run on his record - he has to run away from it! I am confident that any of the four remaining candidates would keep the focus on Obama's many failures in office during a general election campaign. Obama's diversions of contraception and presumed GOP idiocy are falling flat (he's only got 41% approval now) and voters remained preoccupied with our dismal economy and gas prices. Imagine that! Voters care more about the real issues of the day than being swayed by Obama through liberal media.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vetting Obama continued

Last week Breitbart.com began to post articles vetting our current president (since he wasn't vetted by the media in 2008), which Andrew Breitbart originally intended for release on March 1, but he died just hours before. As part of this series, Obama's connections to and beliefs in Critical Race Theory, as taught by Derrick Bell, were brought to the forefront. The left made a big to-do about why does it matter what Derrick Bell said? Obama was his student, he didn't write the stuff.

In response, Breitbart.com has explained time and again in various articles precisely why Critical Race Theory is relevant in our political climate today, in government, particularly as displayed by Obama's choices and positions in office. See Ben Shapiro's article, "Critical Race Theory Explained."

Congressional Scorecards

Reports of congressional voting records, how well they match up to campaign promises, etc. are often hard to find. RedState is one of the best resources I've seen for watching Congressional activity in the day to day, knowing which congressmen are committed to deficit reduction, conservatism, etc. They encourage voter participation ahead of some bills' passage to let the Congressmen in question know how their constituents expect them to vote. One article up today is a good example: Senate Action Alert: Highway Bill/Energy Subsidies. These sorts of articles on RedState often also direct voters to which Congressmen are worth keeping ahead of Congressional elections. Here's another article from the chief editor, Erick Erickson. The Utah Election.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Freedom

The United States used to be a beacon of freedom for every country, every person in the world. What does freedom mean to you? To me, freedom means that I can live my life how I want to, while following the Golden Rule and expecting others to do the same. I should be free to live my own faith without concern that our government is attacking freedom of religion and religious liberties. I should be free to raise my children how I see fit, not how the government tells me. I should be free to educated my children how I see fit, not how the government tells me. I should be free to raise my own food if I see fit without burdensome government interference. I should be able to drive a car or purchase a product with sufficient competition in the private market that prices are low, which means that these products and services should not be burdened with excessive regulations and compliance standards. I should be free to not think about government's interference in my life - should I choose to - because of a well maintained economy experiencing growth.

Contrast the capitalist United States of old with communist/socialist/dictatorship North Korea. I've watched quite a few documentaries regarding their policies. This state kills anyone who tries to leave, or even anyone who complains against the leadership. Those related to escapees or those who fall from favor are imprisoned in concentration camps where they work forced labor on meager rations. The only media is state media blaring propaganda. There is one TV station, not that many have television. The housing in Pyongyang (those lucky enough to live there) blares radio messages from the government and there is no way to turn it off. Their socialist state stopped providing food for anyone living outside Pyongyang back in the 90's. Meanwhile they had a drought so nothing would grow. Malnourishment and stunted growth are rampant. Even the military doesn't have enough supplies so they prey upon the already barely surviving people in towns. Health care is nonexistent outside the capital and spotty within it. This is a state ruled with an iron fist, and people have no freedom beyond what the state directly grants them. This state is a dead end.

This is backwards from freedom - the direct opposite. Freedom should begin with the people, and given to government insomuch that the government works to preserve the freedom of the people. To do this the government should not burden the people with excessive debt. The government should not lie (with media help) about the true state of affairs. The government should have a military to protect its interests and preserve liberty. The government should maintain a climate of economic growth to allow everyone the opportunity for prosperity should they seek it.

Capitalism benefits all and preserves freedom. Socialism benefits the few in power only, at the expense of everyone else by usurping the power of the people.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Learning about the Founding

I just learned that if you have a Roku box (and no cable) you can still access the BYU TV channel for free! That means I can now watch "American Ride." This dude on a motorcycle teaches about little-known details from the very beginnings of our country. I love it! There are great lessons in it for our time, centuries later.

By the way, Deseret News has up a great article about Romney.
Romney's 'weakness' is really his strength

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mark Levin's Book

Mark Levin wrote a book titled Ameritopia. It's selling in the millions but has received little press attention, understandably considering that it's about how America has deviated from her founding principles. Rush Limbaugh included an interview about the book in the most recent Limbaugh Letter. The Constitution is being attacked and abandoned by our politicians, under our noses, without our realizing it. Levin says that while most Americans have heard of FDR and Woodrow Wilson, they haven't learned about John Locke or Charles de Montesquieu, men whose words were highly instrumental in shaping our founding documents. Similarly Americans are more likely to read Karl Marx than Plato's Republic, also studied by our founding fathers. In essence, if Americans don't wake up to the hijacking of our country, we're not going to recognize it in a few short years. Our country was designed with checks and balances for a reason: people are imperfect and liable to corruption and to seek power! Like Obama, who is taking liberties he doesn't possess as President, despite those acts being illegal under the Constitution. Like people dependent on the government, yielding their power by allowing themselves to be bought with handouts.

Now, you may wonder what I'm doing talking about Rush Limbaugh when he's getting slaughtered by the media for an inappropriate remark. This remark, while inappropriate, was wildly taken out of context and the Democrats have jumped all over him for it as a means of trying (not going to happen) to take him down, while simultaneously distracting from real issues. They like to do that, if you haven't noticed. What, the jobs numbers aren't as good as Obama says? Instead we have to hear about an imaginary battle over contraception coverage?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Beware Complacency

It's all too easy in the current political climate to be lulled into a sense of security, a sense that all is well. A sense that if we don't have bombs dropping on our heads or taxes raising through the roof that things are OK.  The media does a good job of facilitating this for Democratic presidents, and hinders it for Republican presidents but for the wrong reasons. It's time to wake up, fellow Americans! Things are most definitely NOT OK right now. Unemployment is still high. Wages are still low. Inflation and energy prices stretch us thin. Our deficit exceeds the GDP. Our debt per capita exceeds that of Greece. And all of these things are preventable and solvable problems, should our president want to solve them. He just doesn't, and the media is right by his side agreeing with him because he's a Democrat. Don't buy it!

I'm reminded greatly of a scripture in the Book of Mormon, in the book of 2nd Nephi (a prophet). In chapter 28, Nephi says (paraphrasing) "Wo unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo until them that say all is well!" That's our media these days. And Democrats too, for that matter. They've become interchangeable. I've included the text of a large part of 2nd Nephi Chapter 28 for your perusal. Nephi is referring here to the last days (now). For more context, follow the link and read as much as you choose. I'm not implying, by the way, that the media is the devil. Just that they frequently follow the devil's tactics.


Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
 And there shall also be many which shall say: aEat, drink, and bebmerry; nevertheless, fear God—he will cjustify in committing a little dsin; yea, elie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a fpit for thy neighbor; there is gno harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, afalse and vain and bfoolish cdoctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.
 10 And the ablood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them.
 11 Yea, they have all gone out of the away; they have becomebcorrupted.
 12 Because of apride, and because of bfalse teachers, and cfalsedoctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up.
 13 They arob the bpoor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their cpride they are puffed up.
 14 They wear astiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and bwhoredoms, they have all cgone astray save it be a dfew, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are eled, that in many instances they do ferr because they are taught by the precepts of men.
 15 O the awise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the bpride of their chearts, and all those who preach dfalsedoctrines, and all those who commit ewhoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, fwo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!
 16 Wo unto them that aturn aside the just for a thing of naught and brevile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are cfullyripe in iniquity they shall perish.
 17 But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.
 18 But behold, that great and aabominable church, the bwhore of all the earth, must ctumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof.
 19 For the kingdom of the devil must ashake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or thebdevil will grasp them with his everlasting cchains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish;
 20 For behold, at that day shall he arage in the bhearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
 21 And others will he apacify, and lull them away into carnalbsecurity, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the cdevil dcheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
 22 And behold, others he aflattereth away, and telleth them there is no bhell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful cchains, from whence there is no deliverance.
 23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be ajudged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a blake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
 24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at aease in Zion!
 25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
 26 Yea, wo be unto him that ahearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!
 27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and weaneed no more!
 28 And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are aangrybecause of bthe truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon thecrock dreceiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.
 29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we aneed bno more of the word of God, for we have enough!
 30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon aprecept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learnbwisdom; for unto him that creceiveth I will give dmore; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
 31 Cursed is he that putteth his atrust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the bprecepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 32 aWo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and bcome unto me; for mine carm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.