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Monday, April 30, 2012

Classification of Mormons is Ridiculous

I just read two articles up at RealClearReligion, one of them responding to the other. The first is Maniac, Moderate & Modernist Mormons by Fr. Dwight Longenecker, CO. Which was a load of inaccuracies, first by referring to Warren Jeffs as a Mormon when he is most definitely NOT. The second is The Five Kinds of Mormons by Peggy Fletcher Stack, of the Salt Lake Tribune. From the second:
Sorry, Father. Those categories don't work for observers with a better sense of the Mormon population.

If you want to come closer to understanding Latter-day Saints, check out Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby's “Five Kinds of Mormons.”
They are: liberal Mormons, genuine Mormons, conservative Mormons, orthodox Mormons and Nazi Mormons.
Are you kidding me? You really think that Mormons can't be genuine and liberal or genuine and conservative? I don't even want to know what you're referring to with orthodox and Nazi Mormons. Classification doesn't even make much sense here!

Let me lay it out plain for you, speaking here as a Mormon. There are at most two kinds. There are Mormons who try to follow Jesus Christ with all their hearts, having experienced a true conversion. And there are those who don't, until perhaps they become truly converted or stop coming. That's it. And it's that simple. Politics has nothing to do with it, and neither does anything else besides following Jesus Christ.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

No Religious Test Required

You know how there are all sorts of people in the press calling for Romney to answer more questions about his religion, or how his faith will shape his presidency? Guess what? He already answered those questions, back in his first presidential run. The media must have conveniently forgotten about that. I think he's smart to let it alone this time around, because there truly is no religious test for the President of the United States, guaranteed by the Constitution. He has more important matters to focus on than continually defending his religion.

For example, here is an excerpt from the Meet the Press transcript of Dec. 16, 2007, picking up after Romney's answer about religious freedom and leading into black members of the LDS Church.
MR. RUSSERT:  You, you raise the issue of color of skin.  In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court, Brown vs.  Board of Education, desegregated all our public schools.  In 1964 civil rights laws giving full equality to black Americans. And yet it wasn't till 1978 that the Mormon church decided to allow blacks to participate fully.  Here was the headlines in the papers in June of '78. "Mormon Church Dissolves Black Bias.  Citing new revelation from God, the president of the Mormon Church decreed for the first time black males could fully participate in church rites." You were 31 years old, and your church was excluding blacks from full participation.  Didn't you think, "What am I doing part of an organization that is viewed by many as a racist organization?"
GOV. ROMNEY:  I'm very proud of my faith, and it's the faith of my fathers, and I certainly believe that it is a, a faith--well, it's true and I love my faith.  And I'm not going to distance myself in any way from my faith.  But you can see what I believed and what my family believed by looking at, at our lives.  My dad marched with Martin Luther King.  My mom was a tireless crusader for civil rights.  You may recall that my dad walked out of the Republican convention in 1964 in San Francisco in part because Barry Goldwater, in his speech, gave my dad the impression that he was someone who was going to be weak on civil rights.  So my dad's reputation, my mom's and my own has always been one of reaching out to people and not discriminating based upon race or anything else.  And so those are my fundamental core beliefs, and I was anxious to see a change in, in my church.
I can remember when, when I heard about the change being made.  I was driving home from, I think, it was law school, but I was driving home, going through the Fresh Pond rotary in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  I heard it on the radio, and I pulled over and, and literally wept.  Even at this day it's emotional, and so it's very deep and fundamental in my, in my life and my most core beliefs that all people are children of God.  My faith has always told me that.  My faith has also always told me that, in the eyes of God, every individual was, was merited the, the fullest degree of happiness in the hereafter, and I, and I had no question in my mind that African-Americans and, and blacks generally, would have every right and every benefit in the hereafter that anyone else had and that God is no respecter of persons.
MR. RUSSERT:  But it was wrong for your faith to exclude it for as long as it did.
GOV. ROMNEY:  I've told you exactly where I stand.  My view is that there--there's, there's no discrimination in the eyes of God, and I could not have been more pleased than to see the change that occurred.
This attitude was typical of Church members, by the way.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Boehner

Have you noticed he's been more vocal against Obama and the Democrats these days? I have. It must be election year! He's made headline on Politico for it, and now on Breitbart.
Boehner Slams Obama, Democrats for Politicizing 'Everything' in Passionate Speech

Friday, April 27, 2012

Illegal Immigration

There are so many ideas out and about regarding the DREAM act and variations of it. I've been confused at times about the conservative positions on illegal immigration until Romney came along and explained his plan. It made sense! Now there are plenty of people in the GOP (Establishment types, no doubt) that are pressuring him to ease his positions for the general election. I don't think he should do this. The left has already slapped him as a flip-flopper and he doesn't need to give that label any credibility. Beyond that, I shifting positions will make a stronger America.

Ann Coulter, as usual, explains this better than anyone else. She consistently explains conservatism in a clear way with the appropriate historical contexts. Rush Limbaugh doesn't hold a candle to her on explaining conservatism; his expertise lies in explaining liberalism and the flaws beneath their arguments. But I digress. Ann Coulter on the hidden costs of illegal immigration, regardless their 'cheap' labor:
Today, 70 percent of illegal immigrant households collect government benefits -- as do 57 percent of all immigrant households -- compared to 39 percent of native households.

Immigrant households with the highest rate of government assistance are from the Dominican Republic (82 percent), Mexico and Guatemala (tied at 75 percent), based on the latest available data from 2009. Immigrant households least likely to be on any welfare program are from the United Kingdom (7 percent).
This isn't a surprise to me. In fact there are other costs not accounted for in these government benefits: such as loss of funding to public schools. Additionally, illegal immigrants or otherwise uninsured individuals can get free care at the ER. Actually, it's only free to them, because costs are raised elsewhere in the hospital to cover for the losses coming from this government mandate that emergency rooms must provide care, whether the ER would be the most appropriate place for a vaccine or antibiotics or not. Coulter provides more terminology:
Yes, many illegal immigrants work hard, but it's not our responsibility if their employers don't pay them a living wage. This is known as an "externality," which we hear a lot about in the case of greedy businesses polluting the land, but not when it's greedy businesses making the rest of us support their underpaid employees.

Romney is one of the few Republicans to recognize that there is no need to "round up" illegal aliens (in the lingo of amnesty supporters) to get them to go home. Illegal aliens will leave the same way they arrived. They decided to walk across the border to get jobs -- and welfare, apparently -- and they'll walk back across the border as soon as the jobs and welfare dry up.
Exactly what made sense to me with Romney's plan when he explained it in various debates. In fact, we're already seeing that immigrants leave when they can't find what they're looking for: jobs, freedom, prosperity, etc. Just in this last week the report came out that illegal immigrants are leaving the United States as much as they are entering it, meaning a net change of zero instead of growing numbers as is standard with a growing economy and insufficient laws or enforcement of laws against illegal immigration. Coulter refers to that as well:
 Obama has a similar plan, but instead of using E-Verify to stop illegal aliens from taking American jobs, he did it by destroying the entire job market. Hmmmm, drug-war ravaged Ciudad Juarez, or Obama's America ... I'll take Juarez! Under the booming economy President Romney is going to produce, we're going to need a really high fence.

It didn't take a government administrator "rounding up" foreigners and putting them on buses to get 20 million illegal aliens here, and it won't take a government program "rounding them up" to get them home.
Also, if you haven't heard, the Supreme Court heard the Arizona illegal immigration law in court Wednesday, and were not impressed with the Obama administration's defense of their position against Arizona's law. The question was raised whether the federal government wants to know who is here illegally at all. Exactly. The liberal government, that is, in both parties. Coulter calls the establishment out on this, but you can read that yourself. I'll end with more of her numbers.
As Romney said in one of the early debates, Republicans appeal to Latinos "by telling them what they know in their heart, which is they or their ancestors did not come here for a handout. If they came here for a handout, they'd be voting for Democrats. They came here for opportunity and freedom. And that's what we represent."
Romney crushed pro-amnesty Newt Gingrich in the Florida primary, winning a huge majority of that state's substantial Hispanic population. And Gingrich promised Hispanics their own moon base!
Before the primary, Gingrich played up his support for amnesty, while accusing Romney of wanting to "round up" illegal alien grandmothers. The one thing every Florida primary voter knew was that Romney said he'd veto the Dream Act, giving citizenship to illegal alien children.
And then Romney won the primary with an even larger percentage of the Hispanic vote than Florida at large. Romney beat Gingrich statewide, 46 percent to 32. But among Latino voters, Romney routed Gingrich, 54 percent to 29 percent.
It's not just Florida. In 2006, Arizona Hispanics supported four anti-illegal immigration propositions by 40 to 50 percent -- which is a lot more than voted for pro-amnesty Republican presidential candidates John McCain or George W. Bush.
Notice a pattern? Let's hope the people of America do too, and choose representation accordingly. Enough with these GOP elite deciding they're not going to support the will of the people. There are plenty of Latino Republicans. We don't need to pander to get votes.
These are our Latinos -- the ones, as Romney said, who came here for opportunity and freedom. Any race-mongering, welfare-collecting, ethnic-identity rabble-rousers are voting for the Democrat.

Bad signs for Obama

This quarter's GDP growth missed the mark. Last quarter was 3.0% growth, this quarter was projected around 2.6% but only achieved 2.2%, with consumer spending being a major contributor to the growth that occurred, at the expense of personal savings. This slowing of GDP is just part of the reason the deficit exceeds GDP - most of the reason is uncontrolled government spending. That spending and debt burden are beginning to impact our economy in big ways. What will this mean? In the immediate future, a projection up at Breitbart says:
Throughout the first quarter, consumers heard lots of happy-talk from the media about how the economy was picking up steam. Americans are eternally optimistic about the future and believed much of it. When the dust finally settled though, their incomes had basically stagnated and they'd blown through a lot of savings keeping up with higher prices.
As the hangover sets in, expect a consumer pull-back in the 2nd Quarter.
Not good for future growth, in other words. Nor do the job reports look good any way you spin them. Quoting Rush:
Let me give you the numbers here.  "The number of people seeking US unemployment benefits remained stuck near a three-month high last week, a sign that hiring has likely slowed since winter. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications dipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000. It was little changed from the previous week's figure."  This figure is misleading, 59 -- I think these are the right numbers -- 59 out of the last 60 weeks, the unemployment number has been revised upward the week after it has been released. 
Now, if businesses tried this, CEOs would be in jail, or they certainly would be charged.  If CEOs put out numbers that were never right and a week later when nobody was paying attention they changed them and made them accurate and therefore worse, the CEO would be in trouble.  Fifty-nine of the last 60 weeks, I think that's the number, 59 of the last 60 weeks the unemployment number has been revised upward or gotten worse the week after it was released. Let me explain it as it's specific to this week's number.
Uh-huh. Our government tries slight of hand tricks to make us think things are better around here than they are. It doesn't work because we know the climate we live in!

Extra: A scholarly article about why Joseph Smith's claims about the Restoration have stood the test of time.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Media Attacks on Mormons

There is a lot of talk about coverage on Mormons and what is and isn't OK to address about them. Joanna Brooks, a liberal Mormon writer, brings up good points on what is and isn't bigoted, while the NYT has an editorial about why the media will do Obama's dirty work on marginalizing Mormons. Even the USA Today talks about the Constitution barring some religious test yet we still hold grudges or inhibitions against people of certain faiths such as Mormons. A GetReligion.org post wonders why MSNBS Bashir condemns Mitt Romney to hell using Book of Mormon scriptures rather than Biblical ones.

What all the point of all this media attention on Mormons? The NYT editorial answers that.
For Romney’s religion to become a significant issue in the general election, the White House probably needs the media to play the Mormon card for them. Not through overt attacks on Mormon theology and practice, which would be out of bounds for most mainstream outlets. Rather, the Obama campaign’s best-case scenario involves a wave of theoretically evenhanded coverage come August and September – newsmagazine cover stories on Mormon theology, 60 Minutes specials on L.D.S. history, pieces about Romney’s own family tree – that end up reminding undecided voters of the things that they find strange and alien about the Republican nominee’s faith.
This answers why Bashir used a Book of Mormon passage over the Bible, when both teach the same thing. We are alienating only Mormons here, not all Christians. USA Today's point seems to remind us that Mormons are questionable despite the assurance of no religious qualifications as guaranteed in our Constitution. Joanna Brooks is trying to fight the 'bigoted Democrat' image on behalf of fellow Democrats and against conservatives crying 'bigot.' I think she condemns these Democrats by her reasoning more than she excuses them. And it's not going to change.

The media is going to paint the Mormons as too different, too strange. They will put questions in people's minds about Romney that have no business being asked of someone running for public office. They're going to take any 'weird' aspect of LDS Church history, beliefs, and practices and accentuate that. They will create discomfort - hoping to make the idea of a Mormon in the White House so uncomfortable that people won't vote for Romney.

Under no circumstances will they unify or accentuate the fundamental beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They agree to much with all of Christianity! I suspect that Mormons like me around the world are going to be speaking up and teaching their audiences that Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. We believe in following Jesus Christ by helping the people around us and by obeying the commandments. I suspect that our friends who respect us will come to our aid in this endeavor.

Will Romney talk explicity about how the LDS Church has shaped him or will guide him in office (it won't)? I doubt it. The liberal media would love to see that happen and attack him for it for bringing it up. I don't think it's his place, as a Mormon running for public office. At any rate, he has already addressed many of these questions in his 2008 address "Faith in America." Rather than it being his job to explain his religion among the many other pressures of campaigning, it is the job of fellow Mormons and the people who understand them the world over.


Also on my mind:
Paul Ryan's "Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge" (the government-induced spending and debt crisis)
Economic Collapse Blog's "5 New Lies The Federal Reserve Is Telling The American People"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Life Under Communist Regimes

Once upon a time I lived in China, a communist country slowly permitting free-market principles to have enough growth to support their population. A friend of mine once lived in Bulgaria, a formerly Communist country. Here is what we learned.

In both countries, corruption and bribery were the unwritten law of the land. Getting what you wanted was all about greasing the wheel. Getting a good job was more about who you know or better yet - who you were related to. Housing was cheap and cheaply made. Think concrete blocks without insulation. The only fancy places to speak of were Communist Party headquarters. The only people with cars in China were the rich (making bank off of the more open markets). Most of the people with cars in Bulgaria were belonged to the mafia.

I've heard from a Chinese acquaintance that Mao sent his son to North Korean during the Korean War, where he was killed. This person surmised that had he not died, Mao would more than likely have passed the regime on to his son (as Kim Sung Il did), and the Chinese people would have continued as oppressed and impoverished and imprisoned as their North Korean allies are to this day. 

As it is, China grows more and more friendly to business and investment. Their people are still hard-working and enterprising, as they have been for millenia. While opportunities are not equal for all and only the privileged few can leave China or gain wealth, the poor can usually find work in the cities and they are willing to work hard to support their families in the country. The wealthy can afford good education for their children. The poor cannot. Everyone pays tuition for school in China. State-run health care usually means poor quality of care unless you have money and can travel as well.

Bulgaria stands a contrast here. The saying is that 500 years (or however many it was) of the Ottoman Empire didn't destroy Orthodox Christianity, but 50 years of communism did. Their population is shrinking, with the gypsy population poised to overtake the majority soon. That will be interesting- Bulgarians are quite racist against gypsies. Probably even more than they are racist they are bigoted against the Mormons. For some obscure reason they think that Mormons preach suicide and eat babies. (Say what!?)

I'd say that communism destroyed more than Bulgarian's faith - there still exists a lack of free enterprise. A story will illustrate. There was a pastry shop in some small city. This shop made certain numbers of different kinds of pastries each morning - the same numbers as prescribed by the communist leaders back in the day. Every day the chocolate pastries would sell out very quickly, and every day there would be many leftover pickle pastries. The Americans in town tried to explain, why don't you make more chocolate ones and fewer pickle ones? You'll make more money that way. These good socialists said they had always made this many of each kind and would continue to make that many of each kind. They couldn't understand that everyone would be better off if they switched. People would get to eat more chocolate pastries and they would earn more money!

This difference in attitudes may partially explain why China is an ascendent power while much of the Soviet Bloc remains in decline.




We Have a Winner!

This isn't really news, but now that Romney has swept the 5 primaries in the northeastern United States, he has a statistically insurmountable lead and shouldn't face any obstacles getting the rest of the delegates he needs to guarantee the nomination. There are slight variations reported on the number of delegates he has won, but RealClearPolitics puts him at 838 delegates out of 1,144 needed to win. That link also shows which states are left and how many delegates each have. California has a winner-takes-all which will presumably give him 172 more. Utah does likewise with 40 and New Jersey with 50. The 10 other states which assign delegates proportionately won't even matter mathematically, since I'm sure between the 10 of them he can muster the remaining 44 delegates required.

Romney gave a good speech last night. You can watch it here at Breitbart. Or here for the part about 'A Better America Begins Tonight.' I won't trouble you or waste your time with the response of various liberals. Their case is desperate, and it shows.

A different kind of winner: Erick Erickson's article over at Redstate. The Second Coming of American Liberal Fascism? It's well worth your time. It's good information throughout, information otherwise lost in the annals of history that liberal media refuses to report.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Judge Not That Ye Be Not Judged

Oh, boy. Have you seen this? Drudge had a link up with his teaser "Now that's justice for Trayvon" which ended up being a quote from someone in the mob who beat a man senseless in Alabama. Are y'all serious? It is justice in your minds to beat innocent people? To answer lawbreaking with more lawbreaking? Zimmerman is in the able (I hope) hands of the law (unless the angry mobs there catch him as they have threatened), and you feel the need to sentence other people to death for crimes they did not commit? This only fuels any fires burning. These sorts of actions or even words and thoughts do NOT solve any problems. They do not unite, they do not help us grow past this and become better people and a stronger nation.

This morning I was reading in 1 John 4.
20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
And I was reminded of Paul's teaching to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 13 all about charity. If we have not charity we are nothing. In other words, if we are not long-suffering, patient, slow to anger, kind, endure all things, etc. we are nothing before God. You can give to the poor all day long but if you don't feel love for people it doesn't help your case. You can call yourself Christian until the cows come home but it won't make a dime's worth of difference if you do not have the love of God in your heart for your fellow men.

This is a tall order. It is difficult to love our families all the time, let alone strangers, let alone people who have done us wrong! But that doesn't mean it is right to walk away from this commandment to "love one another as I have loved you" which Christ taught. And it certainly doesn't mean it's OK to take the law into your own hands. "Judgement is mine," God says. We will answer for our own sins and other people's sins really aren't our concern anyway unless they do us harm.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church gave a sermon during April 2012 General Conference titled, "The Merciful Obtain Mercy." This part I quote is from towards the end.
Brothers and sisters, there is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it through our own stubbornness, bitterness, and resentment.
We are not perfect.
The people around us are not perfect.19 People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way.
Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way.
Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common: They are forgiven. And they forgive.
Lay your burden at the Savior’s feet. Let go of judgment. Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another.
The merciful will obtain mercy.
What a terrific lesson and reminder.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The economy is king

Politico allows the odd conservative to put up articles from time to time. Some are more conservative than others. Kathleen Hughes' article Opinion: Why Mitt Romney will be a good president caught my interest. She makes the same points I like to make and repeat over here! Executive experience, financial turnarounds around in various capacities, a good listener - important in a leader responsible for making critical decisions, a belief in something higher than himself - a good sign he won't be easily swayed, and a first-hand knowledge of job creation. Check it out using the link.

Speaking of jobs, The Economic Collapse Blog has newly up 53 Percent Of All Young College Graduates Are Either Unemployed Or Underemployed. That title says it all. Here is another teaser:
All over the United States, "middle class jobs" are being replaced by "low income jobs" and young college graduates are being hurt by this transition more than almost anyone else.  Massive numbers of young college graduates are now working jobs that do not even require a high school degree.
That's the hope and change you get under Obama, folks. Don't let any liberal tell you otherwise. I saw a leftist article today that claimed the economy is stronger now than it was for most of Bush's tenure. He was using numbers I was not familiar with and I've seen plenty of numbers. I think they were finagled to reflect an incomplete picture rather than the hard data in terms of jobs available now versus then, etc. Trust your gut. If you know people struggling or are struggling yourself, then the economy is worse off.

PS. If you live in a northeastern state that votes tomorrow, don't forget about it! Now that the nominee is considered 'inevitable' I have seen nothing or next to nothing in the press about elections tomorrow. This may also be a tactic, but it is still your job to vote whether the press reminds you or not. To see primary days by state visit here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Focusing on the Periphery

Poll after poll shows that what voters care about is the economy or factors relating directly to the economy. Yet what does the media report? Non-issues or issues on the sidelines. They desperately want to take the focus away from the economy, which is the core of the country. It's all distractions stirring up hatred and partisan divisions needlessly unless you consider Barack Obama's re-election to be a vital need. Which I don't. The country got along pretty well for 200+ years without him with various ups and downs, and is worse off for the 3+ years we've had.

To the same effect, the media's focus on Mormonism is on the periphery. Their focus is the sidelines, the issues that don't define Mormons for who or what they are. The core of the LDS Church is the belief that only in and through Jesus Christ can we be saved. We try to be like Him and follow His example. We try to do the things he taught like preach the gospel, love others regardless of wrongs they commit, serve others and bless them according to their needs. This is the heart and root of our faith. You will not find it reported much in the media, if at all. That would be too unifying a part of Mormonism to talk about when division is what they seek in a reelection year against a Mormon.

I don't think these distractions put the liberals in a good light. They're showing themselves for what they are: hypocrites. I am seeing more and more response to the media that 'you can't have it both ways.' You can't say that the GOP has a war on women when Obama himself pays women less than men and women have been disproportionately hard hit in job losses during the past couple years. You can't say that this country is racist or the GOP is racist when Obama himself has an almost entirely white staff. You can't blame Romney for his success or credit his family circumstances for his success and then say that others don't have those opportunities because of their family situations. Obama is successful despite his history. That doesn't work. You can't convince us that we don't want Romney because he was successful when in fact our country is struggling economically so he is exactly what we want! That doesn't work either. You can't say that if you get handed a silver spoon you don't understand other people who aren't, when in fact every human being on the planet has his or her own struggles. We can all understand struggles (and Romney started dirt-poor by choice, with a brand-new family so that argument doesn't hold up for him either). You can't say that religion is off limits and then allow liberals media to do the dirty work of marginalizing the Mormon faith. And above all, you can't say that Bush's $5 trillion were bad and Obama's $5 trillion are not. $5 trillion is bad no matter who is responsible and we've got to cut back before it's too late! I'd love to hear how the media would defend have a debt per capita worse than that of Greece.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stand Your Ground

I haven't addressed this topic much. My overall thoughts on the Trayvon Martin case are sympathy for Zimmerman and his family since I believe he acted in self-defense (as his head wounds and full 911 tapes clearly show). They have been threatened and Zimmerman had a price put on his head. How is that legal in the United States? There are thousands of deaths among which are plenty of murder daily in the United States, why focus on this one? The press called Zimmerman white (which he is not) and politicized for the entire nation with some international attention to boot something that should have been left in the hands of the local law enforcement agency. Then the ever-campaigning president of the United States decided to take up racism as yet another weapon in his distraction arsenal. I truly feel sorry for the Zimmermans.
On to gun-laws. It seems pretty logical to me that if crime is a risk in a certain place that having a weapon for self-defense would deter crime. I know of plenty of gun-friendly places in the United States with very low crime rates, and plenty of places with anti-gun policies with rampant crime and plenty of guns regardless, but in the hands of the criminals. Maybe pro-gun policies enable responsible citizens to encourage lawful behavior from the more criminally minded? That's my conjecture. That may be too much logic for the Democrats. I know they like to proport the opposite effect.
I'm loving Ann Coulter's history lesson on gun laws from her article this week.
Gun control laws were originally promulgated by Democrats to keep guns out of the hands of blacks. This allowed the Democratic policy of slavery to proceed with fewer bumps and, after the Civil War, allowed the Democratic Ku Klux Klan to menace and murder black Americans with little resistance.
(Contrary to what illiterates believe, the KKK was an outgrowth of the Democratic Party, with overlapping membership rolls. The Klan was to the Democrats what the American Civil Liberties Union is today: Not every Democrat is an ACLU'er, but every ACLU'er is a Democrat. Same with the Klan.)
In 1640, the very first gun control law ever enacted on these shores was passed in Virginia. It provided that blacks -- even freemen -- could not own guns.
I certainly never learned that in union-run (I mean Democratic) public schools! Although I did know that Democrats were the ones depriving African Americans of their rights following the Civil War with segregation laws, etc. Further down her article she continues:
The original draft of the Anti-Klan Act of 1871 -- passed at the urging of Republican president Ulysses S. Grant -- made it a federal felony to "deprive any citizen of the United States of any arms or weapons he may have in his house or possession for the defense of his person, family, or property." This section was deleted from the final bill only because it was deemed both beyond Congress' authority and superfluous, inasmuch as the rights of citizenship included the right to bear arms.
Under authority of the Anti-Klan Act, President Grant deployed the U.S. military to destroy the Klan, and pretty nearly completed the job.

But the Klan had a few resurgences in the early and mid-20th century. Curiously, wherever the Klan became a political force, gun control laws would suddenly appear on the books. 
This will give you an idea of how gun control laws worked. Following the firebombing of his house in 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, who was, among other things, a Christian minister, applied for a gun permit, but the Alabama authorities found him unsuitable. A decade later, he won a Nobel Peace Prize. 
Isn't that interesting? Democrats have historically been against guns because they wanted to control a specific population - they were racist, in fact. The same population they now prefer to control through government dependence. Keep 'em aiming on welfare instead of bettering their situation, so they'll keep voting Democrat to preserve their entitlements. Since Democrats are in charge of the national conversation (and national education) these inconvenient truths are conveniently erased from public memory. I'm willing to hazard a guess that no one is going to call them out on it in a way that receives national attention, either. Maybe if everyone learned to disbelieve what's in the press that would be more likely.
Coulter's premise for her article (history lesson) is as follows:
We don't know the facts yet, but let's assume the conclusion MSNBC is leaping to is accurate: George Zimmerman stalked a small black child and murdered him in cold blood, just because he was black.
And her conclusion?
Contrary to MSNBC hosts, I do not believe the shooting in Florida is evidence of a resurgent KKK. But wherever the truth lies in that case, gun control is always a scheme of the powerful to deprive the powerless of the right to self-defense. 
Exactly. And the Trayvon case? Let the court do its job. It's not my place to judge and it's not yours either. In our country we believe people are innocent until proved guilty in court. Though the media have sure made you want to play judge anyway and drummed up some fictitious rumors of racism. The press just loves to manipulate your feelings to suit their causes (voting Democrat) rather than give actual facts.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

By Dividing Us They Conquer: Stand United

I'm sure you've all noticed that the liberal media loves to create or amplify divisions within our country. Class warfare, racism, the 'war on women,' religions vs. atheism, political partisanship, SAHMs versus working moms, have versus have-nots of any kind. There's a new one in the works: liberal Mormons versus conservative Mormons. This isn't going to be the fault of the Mormons, but the media who use them. We Mormons will have to tread very, very carefully. Liberal media, the largest entities for news and editorials out there, are going to take the words of any Mormon who will talk to them and skew them to the point of division within the Church. If they can - if we let them.

The LDS Church is politically neutral, and while 85% of the Church membership within the United States is Republican, the other 15% are independent or Democrat. There is nothing wrong with this. What is wrong is trying to pit Mormons against each other. We must stand united, Christlike examples to the world of love, forgiveness, service, and faith. We have been warned by more than one authority that we need to have 'thick skins' through this time of intent focus upon the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whether for good or ill.

To this end, I would like to share what all Mormons believe - liberal or conservative. We strive to live up to the example that Jesus Christ set, by forgiving each other and others, tolerance, love, patience, and doing good to all men. There will be plenty of opportunities to take offense, I'm afraid, either as a Mormon when we are misrepresented in the media or as any other Christian when learning something that makes them uncomfortable about the Mormons (whether true or not). The answer? Tolerance. We Mormons have just been warned in General Conference by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:
We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”
Then, further down in the same article, The Merciful Obtain Mercy:
My dear brothers and sisters, consider the following questions as a self-test:
Do you harbor a grudge against someone else?
Do you gossip, even when what you say may be true?
Do you exclude, push away, or punish others because of something they have done?
Do you secretly envy another?
Do you wish to cause harm to someone?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to apply the two-word sermon from earlier: stop it!
In a world of accusations and unfriendliness, it is easy to gather and cast stones. But before we do so, let us remember the words of the One who is our Master and model: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.”12
Brothers and sisters, let us put down our stones.
Let us be kind.
Let us forgive.
Let us talk peacefully with each other.
Let the love of God fill our hearts.
“Let us do good unto all men.”13
For those of you who are not very familiar with the Mormons, I again invite you to find out more from the best sources. Lds.org, mormon.org, and mormonnewsroom.org are great resources for fact-checking media articles or for your own enlightenment. There is another thing that you should know, as you see LDS prophets quoted in the media right and left. From The Doctrine Of Christ given by Elder D. Todd Christofferson from the same recent General Conference:
At the same time it should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “a prophet [is] a prophet only when he [is] acting as such.”5 President Clark, quoted earlier, observed:
“To this point runs a simple story my father told me as a boy, I do not know on what authority, but it illustrates the point. His story was that during the excitement incident to the coming of [Johnston’s] Army, Brother Brigham preached to the people in a morning meeting a sermon vibrant with defiance to the approaching army, and declaring an intention to oppose and drive them back. In the afternoon meeting he arose and said that Brigham Young had been talking in the morning, but the Lord was going to talk now. He then delivered an address, the tempo of which was the opposite from the morning talk. …
The Prophet Joseph Smith confirmed the Savior’s central role in our doctrine in one definitive sentence: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”7 Joseph Smith’s testimony of Jesus is that He lives, “for [he] saw him, even on the right hand of God; and [he] heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father” (D&C 76:23; see also verse 22). I appeal to all who hear or read this message to seek through prayer and study of the scriptures that same witness of the divine character, the Atonement, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Accept His doctrine by repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then throughout your life following the laws and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What Elder Christofferson is talking about at the beginning, there, is that prophets are not always speaking as the prophet. For you to assume that the words quoted are doctrinal and from God in the ears of the Mormons, the quotation should come from a General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or be addressed to the general membership of the Church. Even then, be careful of context. There are many quotations I've seen that remove the context and then place a strict interpretation of the doctrine which is not necessarily (even rarely) true of the Mormons. As the last paragraph quoted above indicates, the very fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ relate to Jesus Christ Himself. Not the obscure things that any Mormon or even any prophet has ever said.

There. If we remember that, we can handle the onslaught of media attacks against the Mormons. We being the Mormons ourselves as well as anyone else who may be swayed by these attacks against Mormons. So remember: don't believe everything you read though I give you my solemn promise that anything I publish will be reflective of my best understanding of my LDS faith.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Reverend Jeffress climbs onboard

Over at Deseret News  I found Rev. Jeffress endorses Mitt Romney and shared values. Astonishing! An anti-Mormon pastor found common ground with the Mormons. It's not hard, folks. As a recap, Jeffress made public anti-Mormon remarks back when Rick Perry was running in some sort of political venue.
Last October, Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Baptist megachurch pastor and supporter of then-presidential candidate Rick Perry, launched a media firestorm of reaction and criticism when he belittled Mitt Romney's presidential bid by referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – to which Romney belongs – as a non-Christian cult.
On Sunday, Rev. Jeffress officially endorsed Mitt Romney for president because President Barack Obama "opposes Biblical principles."
Jeffress said also that he was never opposed to people voting for Mitt Romney, just his Mormonism which he remains opposed to. I'll take that. We are guaranteed religious freedom in this country, and he is entitled to his opinions and beliefs just as I am entitled to mine. I still hate the word entitled - it is all to often misused in our political discourse. But as we actually do have the right of freedom of religion so it is safe to say we are entitled to it under the Constitution.

I, like all other Mormons, maintain that we are Christians. We believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. The first and third articles of faith in the LDS Church are:

1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

Back to the politics. Politico has essentially the same story about Jeffress, combined with results of a poll showing that evangelicals would overwhelmingly support Romney over Obama. This is my favorite part:
Taken together, the two raise a question that doesn't get asked much: what if Romney's faith hardly matters at all? While it's naive to think it won't have any effect, it's not like there is a wide body of evidence that proves significant bias against Mormon candidates. And it's becoming clear through polling -- and from the statements of evangelicals like Jeffress -- that resistance to Obama on the right is so strong that it's probably enough to overcome any marginal reservations about Romney's LDS faith.
Panic on the left! Their ridiculous stories trying to drum up fear of Mormons and their religious beliefs aren't working! Mormon's family values and good characters are resonating too much!

Mormons and Patriotism

Yesterday I saw a comment expressing doubt whether Romney would be capable of serving under the oath of office requisite for the President of the United States, because as a Mormon he has made covenants with God and how could he reconcile the two? A responding comment informed this person that Mormons are fiercely patriotic, so much so that several times as the LDS Church has sought permission to proselytize in a new country (for them), they have been denied access because these countries viewed the LDS Church as so pro-American that they didn't want that to infect their populations! That is a true story, by the way. Yet slowly the LDS Church opens more doors and sends more missionaries to more places throughout the world. We are a patriotic people wherever we live.

As a historical note: Given that Mormons were chased entirely out of the United States in the 1840s I find it quite amazing that they remained so patriotic. Years before that, their homes in Missouri had been burned, Church leaders were put in jail, the governor of Missouri signed an extermination order, and the Saints were chased by mobs until they left the state for safety in Illinois where they built their own city, Nauvoo. Joseph Smith was unable to find a politician willing to guarantee the Mormons their religious rights, so he ran for president himself. After he was murdered by a mob, the Mormons were harassed out of Nauvoo, Illinois so they fled to safety in the mountains. Many died after each episode as a result of hardship from the lack of food, clothing, and shelter, disease, and the weather. When they fled to safety in the Utah Territory led by the second president of the Church, Brigham Young, they were thousands of miles away from other settlements. Statehood in the United States didn't come until decades later but was a cause for celebration which Utahns commemorate annually.

The twelfth article of faith of the LDS Church says, "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." In each country where the 14.5 million Mormons in the world are found should be found law-abiding citizens of good character. We are encouraged to support our governments and do our part if we live in a democracy, participate in our communities, strengthen them with strong family values, and we are certainly not discouraged from becoming politically involved.

I believe Romney when he quotes his father's advice that if he ever found himself in a position to serve the country he should do so. This country needs someone of his business experience like never before to save us from impending fiscal meltdown with a skyrocketing deficit. I trust a man of his character to do just what he says he would do, if he can get Congress to go along with him. Given his track record in Massachusetts with a liberal legislature, I say we'd be in great hands with Romney serving as President of the United States.

Would his Mormonism shape his actions as president? To the extent that he is honest, hardworking, patriotic, willing to serve above and beyond, and truly concerned for the people of the United States, I say yes, as well it should. Would the Church leadership try to direct his actions as president of the United States? Absolutely not, just as they do not try to influence the actions of Harry Reid in the Senate. We Mormons believe in a strict separation of church and state, with the state protecting the God-given right of freedom of religion as laid out under the Constitution.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Civility

Has anyone else noticed that with this election year, our media have dipped to new lows in basic civility, which weren't high to begin with? Ridicule, outright mocking, accusations that the right doesn't know what it's talking about rather than answer their arguments.... Partisanship is more flagrant, discussions seem more heated, open-mindedness has gone by the wayside, and the issues that bring about the most 'discussion' aren't even substantive! I'm talking, of course, on the 'war on women' and all the other distractions the Democrats use to keep the national attention away from Obama's (and his liberal supporters) failed policies. Why is this OK in the minds of their supporters? Maybe it isn't OK and will affect Democratic support.

Do we really need to be subject to the inflammatory and utterly inappropriate words of Bill Maher? Or to have the message that "You're wrong!" shoved down conservative throats when conservatives aren't responsible for the focus or direction of national attention anyway? Or do liberals really think that they're winning a debate with conservatives when conservatives aren't guilty of the things the left accuses them of doing? This sort of behavior is unnecessary, though it is par for the political course. I think the tenor of this politically-charged atmosphere is going to have consequences in terms of Democratic votes. This blatant bias and rudeness has to be a turn-off to at least a few fence-sitters. Democrats really can't say they take the high road in their policies when the results of these policies show failure (which they make excuses for or disregard or ignore) when to get support for these policies they resort to belittling the opposite point of view in combination with a few ambiguous hard numbers, nor can they spin their failures into conservative failures through their finger pointing and name calling. Incivility makes them look bad.

Were Democrat talking heads civil, they would respectfully disagree with conservative positions and argue their points. This leads me to wonder whether they can make their case in rational ways, since instead they inevitably make fun of the other side and try to drive national opinion to follow suit. Think of Sarah Palin! They so demonized that poor woman that people who had never met her, never heard her speak, or read her articles proclaimed her of the devil, stupid, ignorant, and hateful!  And even now, though they grudgingly admit that they haven't killed her even though they sure tried their hardest to ruin her reputation, they continue to mock her, without calling her stupid since that didn't work. They also falsely accuse the Tea Party of things like racism and slander, etc. They even offered to pay anyone who could provide hard evidence of racism or law-breaking at a Tea Party rally, but nothing turned up, yet the story continued without any evidence. Is that civil? Now they ignore the Tea Party rather than give them any attention and possible support. The OWS group, begun as a liberal version of the Tea Party to drum up compassion and fervor for the liberal cause, was promptly dropped from national attention because the members were so rowdy and violent and law-breaking that they weren't helping liberals at all! I realize that Democrats might here say that I'm being uncivil myself. That is not my intent. My intent is to provide food for thought and for introspection on where you stand relating to this sort of discourse. Do you support it, agree with it, or find it effective?

Let's look at the other side. For conservative media to have national attention paid to it, it has to be so substantive that liberal media can't ignore it. Like the John Edwards scandal, for example. That story broke grudgingly and belatedly after exposure by Breitbart. The tenor of these articles or conversations is starkly different than liberal media. Rather than making fun of people, they have to make their cases by using the hard facts, often by pointing out liberal bias or holes in the liberal logic for these distractions such as 'the war on women.' Even Rush Limbaugh's supposedly inflammatory remarks really aren't, if you listen to all of what he says instead of only a phrase or two. A caution for the right would be to avoid excessive sarcasm and maintain a respectful tone to promote the conservative cause. Many of us on the right point fingers back at the left and essentially do the same thing they do. It is easier and more entertaining, and they are valid points to make, but we can do it without rancor to more effect.

There is a lesson here. Substance and reason are more convincing to change minds than contention will ever be, as entertaining as it may seem. Obama is lauded for his restraint and self-discipline. I don't know that I've seen such a thing when he is crossed or questioned (arrogance and condescension come to mind), but I'll go with it for now. Mitt Romney is as well, in at least some of the editorials I've read. In this they are both examples of appropriate behavior when we have differences of opinion. These are people serious about winning over the minds and support of the people of the United States.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Harry Reid is a Mormon too

It is articles like this one on Politico that make me roll my eyes right out of my head. It's called GOP to Mitt Romney: Own your Mormonism. Yes, Mitt Romney is a Mormon. We all know it. How pertinent is it to the presidential race? Not very. Yet in the last couple weeks we have heard plenty of Democrat operatives cry that they would never make an issue of Romney's religion, because it doesn't matter and more likely because they don't want the GOP to bring up Obama's religious past with the anti-American Reverend Wright. They said this while some within the GOP (most other Mormon politicians, incidentally) were saying in effect, "Oh yes, they are bringing up Romney's religion." And simultaneously plenty of other liberals in the media were attempting to wreak havoc for Romney by bringing up all sorts of false claims about Mormons and Mormonism.

I don't mind the increased attention that Mormonism is getting. Democrats are banking on the fact that people in the United States are still scared of Mormons because they're 'different' or 'weird.'  I don't think that this media campaign will influence voters the way liberal media intends, which is not a bad thing. People who know Mormons usually like them and respect them and even admire them for their strong commitments to their families and communities.

What does bother me is the sheer hypocrisy of the whole thing! Suppose, for a minute, that Harry Reid were the Democratic nominee for president right now. His Mormonism would not be touched - not even brought up. Instead it would be purposefully ignored. Just as it has been for his entire political career. If Harry Reid's faith doesn't matter to Democrats (or Barack Obama's), Mitt Romney's faith shouldn't matter to Democrats either.

Suppose that these same Democrats would argue that the cases aren't the same because Harry Reid hasn't sought the presidency. There is a point there, but not as big a point as the one I'm making. Democrats are only too willing to excuse themselves from the things they love to accuse the GOP about. The war on women, race, and religion to name just three. There are plenty of problems within both parties, but you've got to read both sides of the story to figure that out. If you read only the liberal news media and think you're well informed, you have been deceived. Partisanship causes blindness to the problems we have within this country. I could even argue that the GOP base is better informed as a whole than the Democrat base because the GOP can't escape liberal media, yet they make the effort to find conservative media for more information, while Democrats do not. Every Democrat I've ever heard use exactly the same arguments word for word that liberal media spouts off, as if that was where intelligence lies, instead of keeping an open mind while gathering more information before forming an opinion as to which side is more correct on a particular issue. Self and party introspection is in order to become well grounded and well spoken in your political philosophies. Or religion, for that matter!

In conclusion, just because the liberal media is making a big deal out of Romney's religion doesn't mean it will hurt him. It may very well come back to bite them.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

By Their Fruits Shall Ye Know Them

Matthew 20: 16-20
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

With the spotlight on Mormons as never before, I have seen all sorts of underinformed comments, opinions, and articles. My invitation to find about Mormons from the source still stands. lds.org, mormon.org, and mormonewsroom.org are great resources for fact-checking or your own enlightenment. There is no reason in the internet age that people should not understand each other for too little information! To make a well-informed opinion you must consider both points of view. 
This scripture in Matthew is relevant as you judge the LDS Church. Are the Mormons you know good people doing good things or the opposite? By their fruits shall ye know them. Go to Mormon.org/values/ to learn more or visit mormon.org/articles-of-faith/. Or both!

Still, I'd like to devote this post to debunking some common Mormon myths. 
  1. Mormons are racist. As I've said before, we don't really know why the priesthood wasn't available to all worthy male members of the Church until 1978. Early in Church history all priesthood blessings were available to all Church members regardless of race. Early Mormons were against slavery and bought freedom for some slaves who believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and wanted to join their fellow Saints. Here's the biggest indicator that racism isn't a belief of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: the Church is 14.5 million members strong worldwide, with especially quick rates of growth in the continent of Africa. The Church also grows rapidly in South America. Would this happen if we were racist? I think not. The invitation to come unto Christ and be perfected in him is open to all and we welcome all.
  2. The Book of Mormon is of the devil, or Joseph Smith wrote it, or any number of other lies. People who slander the Book of Mormon either take words in it out of context, or they have never read the Book of Mormon in the first place. Joseph Smith, a man with a third grade education, translated in 60 days, with divine help, an ancient record written on gold plates from the people who had lived in the Americas and were directed and visited by Jesus Christ following His resurrection. Read it for yourself and form your own opinion. It's a book, it's not going to bite you. The full name is The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. You can read about the beginnings of the Book of Mormon at Mormon.org/Book-of-Mormon/.
  3. Mormons are polygamists and Joseph Smith founded the Church because he had a mistress. False! Joseph Smith founded the Church as a young married man, under direction from the Lord Jesus Christ. Polygamy did not begin within the Church until some 15 years later. To read Joseph Smith's story, visit mormon.org/joseph-smith/. You can find information about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ at mormon.org/restoration/. Polygamy was a part of the early Church, just as it was anciently with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To my knowledge all marriages were by invitation to those who had the faith and temporal means to support additional women and children. There were many widows among the early Saints and more women than men. It was a trial of faith for the members asked to participate, including Joseph Smith himself.
  4. Mormons are all conservative. 85% of us are Republicans (of the Mormons in the United States), but there are several prominent LDS Democrats. Look no further than Harry Reid. Do politicians bring up his religion? No. But that gets into politics and media bias and we're focusing now on Mormons.
  5. Magic underwear. Temple garments are sacred, and remind the wearer of covenants he or she has made with God in the temple. We don't talk about sacred things to protect their sanctity. It is out of respect for God, not a desire to be secretive. Cast not pearls before swine, that sort of idea.
  6. Mormons are brainwashed. Hah! This one makes me laugh, because in reality Mormons are encouraged to seek answers about revelation from prophets themselves through study, prayer, and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Being encouraged to question and find answers for ourselves we are most certainly not brainwashed.
Other questions? Ask me in the comments or hop on over to mormon.org to find more answers.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Undercutting the 'Establishment'

Over at Red State, I found this article about a fundamental problem for the GOP. Politicians who say one thing and do another! This is not inherent to the GOP, but it's highlighted right now with spending and revenue so disproportionate to each other and the rise of the Tea Party.
As Republicans, we have ridiculed Obama’s stimulus, bailouts, picking winners and losers, crony capitalism, Keynesian economics, European-style socialism, and Solyndra-style loans.  Yet, there might only be 50 Republicans in the House who are willing to block a GOP effort to reauthorize a New-Deal policy that represents all of the aforementioned vices.
Roll Call is reporting that Eric Cantor is negotiating with Steny Hoyer in an effort to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which is set to expire May 31.  What’s worse is that GOP leadership is seeking Democrat support for a “compromise” to circumvent the lonely 50-70 Republicans who might block the reauthorization:
One would expect all of the 160+ RSC members to stick together and oppose an institution that subsidizes specific exporters to sell products to foreign consumers as opposed to domestic ones.  Yet, once again, we will be left with only a small group opposing this anti-free-market reauthorization.
The author makes the point that there are legislators from 100 conservative districts but only half of them or maybe less will stick with their principles of protecting the free market. Yikes!

This is where citizens of the country come in. Until voters care enough to communicate with their representatives on the issues, we can expect that accountability for Congressional votes like these just won't exist. If our representatives vote against the will of their constituents - supposing these constituents have in fact communicated with their representatives, they should be voted out of office. Until we vote out the promise-breakers, we can't expect real cuts or real change in our government "by the people, for the people, of the people." Congress will continue to spend money where the people don't want it spent unless the people get more involved.

Of course, as I remind you daily, before people will even realize that this is a problem, they first need to realize that the news media is liberal and thus biased against conservatism and therefore not shooting straight. Our deficit is larger than GDP, with debt per capita worse than that of Greece. Right now we're headed off of the deepest of cliffs, running full steam ahead towards a preposterously high debt ceiling. Democrats seems to think they can keep running at the bottom of it, with Obama proudly in the lead. It's time to adopt the Paul Ryan plan, and ask the GOP legislators to who remain reluctant to climb aboard now or miss the boat.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

If You're Still Not Convinced

Consider this article from Breitbart, written by a staunch anti-Romney: It's Time to Galvanize. She had a wake-up call from Andrew Breitbart himself.
"You especially need to listen to what I'm going to say," he told me the day before his CPAC 2012 speech. 
"I don't care who our candidate is. I haven't since the beginning of this," he had said before the audience. "I will march behind whoever our candidate is because if we don't, we lose. There are two paths: one is America, the other one is Occupy." 
"Anyone that is willing to stand next to me to fight the progressive left I will be in that bunker, and if you're not in that bunker because you're not satisfied with this candidate, more than shame on you,  you're on the other side."
It was a startling realization. He was right. I thought of the future and what a non-Obama presidency meant for America: domestic energy reliance to lower the price of oil, the repeal of Obamacare, a Supreme Court nomination made by our side; the end of the Fairness Doctrine, of the green energy loans, of Dodd-Frank, the items on this list are numerous. There is more at stake than some realize.
I'm not willing to risk losing the country and all of the things enumerated above over the loss of one primary. I'll support the Republican nominee and all efforts to change out Washington DC. Afterwards, in the quiet aftermath, I'll work to change the DNA of the Republican party by focusing on the hearts and minds of those who shape it. I hope you'll join me. Country first. 
Thanks Andrew, for the lesson.
 Glad to have you join the ranks.

Ann Coulter to the Rescue

Ann Coulter's article this week highlights that we need drastic action on spending to get the $15.5T deficit back in line and not rely solely upon cutting taxes to generate the much needed federal revenue. This would close the gap between the federal spending which is well over 1.5 times greater than revenue, but that doesn't cut the deficit, it merely stagnates it. Her example:
When Reagan took office, the top marginal tax rate in this country was a staggering 70 percent. Lowering that to 28 percent was an enormous shot in the arm to the economy.
Cutting the top tax rate today from 35 percent to 30 percent -- or even 20 percent -- cannot possibly have the same dramatic effect. Republicans, as the only responsible party, are going to have to do something that's never been tried before in Washington: Cut government spending.
After summarizing years of moderate Republicans versus conservative Republicans in primary races, she says that times have changed:
For the first time, the last cycle's conservative has been rebranded a "liberal" by right-wingers eager to resume their battle against liberal Republicans. This year's actual liberal Republican, much admired by the Non-Fox Media, was Jon Huntsman. But he dropped out after the New Hampshire primary.

Mitt Romney isn't a liberal. He isn't even a moderate. And he certainly isn't liked by the Times.

Liberals so loathe Romney that in 2008, their most Christian-phobic columnist, Frank Rich, was forced to write admiringly about pro-life Christian conservative Mike Huckabee. He may have been a Christian, but at least he wasn't Mitt Romney!

Conservatives know perfectly well Romney isn't a "moderate" -- he was our conservative hero just four years ago!
I have said at least three times now that if Mitt Romney talked about his record as well as Ann Coulter does, he would have already taken the nomination.  That nomination seems inevitable now, but it didn't always. The point is that Ann Coulter defends Mitt Romney's conservatism strongly through specific examples from his record and compares them to other records, in this case that of John McCain, an actual liberal. You could read that on your own, but beyond McCain:
By contrast, when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, every single budget he submitted to the 85 percent Democratic legislature included tax cuts. He became a pro-lifer when it mattered -- while he was governor -- and vetoed a stem cell research bill. He slashed government spending in one of the most liberal states of the union. He is the rare elected Republican who is tough on illegal immigration. He has forcefully denounced Obama's dangerous foreign policy.

But the facts are irrelevant to people busy fighting the last war. It's not about Romney at all, but their own posing. Romney is the Emmanuel Goldstein of GOP primary voters looking for a moderate to hate because they fell down on the job last time.

Liberal Republicans always lose. Because he is not a liberal, Romney stands a good chance of beating Obama this fall. But if the fantasist posers keep turning this presidential race into their personal "Dungeons and Dragons" battle against "moderates," Romney's victory will go into the "Liberal Wins" column, when it is anything but.
She's quite right. Romney's fiscal record in Massachusetts alone should excite the GOP base to vote for the first presidential candidate we've ever had who had actually cut spending, and by forcing the hand of the liberals he was working with, no less! He's exactly the man we need for the problem at hand.

Enough with liberal media branding GOP candidates and the GOP base believing them. We should all know better than that. We should also know better than to trust the 'establishment' big spenders in the party who cozy up with this same media, like John McCain did in '08. Most of them don't like Romney either, but chose him for likeability over twice-divorced and egomaniac Gingrich or social-issues Santorum. Social issues are certainly important to us in the GOP base, but to the 'establishment' they're poison. Of course they chose Romney! But I don't think they believe the GOP can win at all against Obama. They believe the media, remember? We can show them otherwise, just as we did with Ronald Reagan.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Romney's battles with the media

Now that Santorum has bowed out with Romney almost guaranteed the nomination, the attacks on him will  ramp up on and up until the general election. I issue some warnings on things in the media to take with a grain or two of salt if not disregard altogether.
  1. Mitt Romney is a 1%er and says 'marvelous.' So? Does that make him uncompassionate by definition? Obama is a 1%er too, and so is his wife. Romney's charitable giving shows that he thinks of giving and service. The very fact that he's running for president rather than making serious money in business shows that he's willing to sacrifice for a greater good. As in, maybe he knows his business skills are sorely needed in federal government right now? As he said himself?
  2. Romney is against women. I don't know where they even came up with this one. Sure, polls show he's not connecting with them as well as Obama, but does that mean he's anti-women? Of course not. Nor does being pro-life mean that he's anti-women any more than I am anti-women as a pro-life woman!
  3. Romney wants to cut his own taxes. Sure, liberals as if Romney wants to run for president of the United States to cut his own taxes. That seems like a pretty expensive, round-about way of seeking the (questionable) objective if you ask me! Why not vote for someone else wanting to lower his taxes? No, Romney wants to lower everyone's taxes and generate more revenue for the federal government by having more jobs created by a strong and growing private sector. See previous post for more on taxes.
  4. Romney can't connect. In large groups, that is a definite weakness for him. In closer settings, he has no problem connecting with people he talks with. When addressing an individual his warmth and concern come through without any problem. 
  5. Romney likes to fire people. Ha! That statement has already been taken out of context numerous times but it will be again without a doubt. I think we should be looking for someone willing to fire people - in the form of excessive government employees and redundant government departments.
  6. Romney is a vulture capitalist. Thanks, Rick Perry, for introducing the term. We all should know by now that capitalism involves risks. Businesses fail, businesses fold, businesses succeed. What on earth is wrong with trying to turn faltering businesses around and succeeding? A bigger problem today is crony capitalism, which is something President Obama excels at. Handing out government money to political pals and donors. That's gotta go, and Obama is hardly the man to do it.
  7. Romney is racist. This is a thinly veiled accusation meaning Romney is a Mormon. Until the 70's, blacks did not hold the priesthood in the LDS Church. No one knows why, but the current Church position is that racism in any form is reprehensible and intolerable.
  8. Romney is weird. This is another thinly veiled accusation probably meaning that Romney is a Mormon. Mormonism is a little different than mainstream Christianity. People like to point out differences as if they're necessarily bad and to be feared, but I find that position intolerant, and in the case of a religion, bigoted as well. Romney has already said that the Church will not influence his actions as president of the United States, and that is good enough for me. I trust him.
  9. Romney is a flip-flopper. The left sure has made this label a sticky one. Actually looking at his record and hearing his own explanations for the issues the left brings up leaves me convinced that he doesn't deserve the label.  What's more, a key part of Mormonism is honesty so I believe him. I would never, on the other hand, take media reports at face value because I don't trust them. In short, never believe a premise of the left regarding Romney's political positions.
  10. Mormons are flawed because of what they believe. This one is especially relevant today, because of liberal attacks on Mormonism all the while liberals say making those attacks are beneath them. I've seen liberals say that they're just joking around and can't Mormons take a joke, but the very nature of their misinformation and mischaracterization is not all in good fun. It is to demonize and call in question the character and belief of each and every Mormon. Except for Harry Reid of course, whose membership in the LDS Church continues to go unmentioned, along with some other Mormon Democratic politicians.
  11. Romney is just like Obama. What? Obama never worked in the private sector in his life. Obama has poured billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars away on failed crony-capitalism and bad social engineering. Obama wants to increase taxes. Obama can't run on his record. They're both family men is about as far as the similarities go in my mind.
  12. Romneycare guarantees Romney's doom in the general election. I doubt it. 'Conventional' wisdom is wrong far too often for me to take that seriously. Even if the Supreme Court doesn't strike down Obamacare, Romney has vowed to get Obamacare repealed. He is a man of his word. Besides, states are free to make laws for their constituents and people in Massachusetts like their law by a strong majority, and in Romney's day it didn't add a penny to the deficit. NOT like Obamacare.
  13. Romney isn't conservative. I don't know why liberals like to say this. Maybe to scare away conservatives? He has a good record in Massachusetts for growth and fiscal responsibility. He has a good record of social conservatism in Massachusetts too. Liberal media must have selective memory.
I'm sure there are more attacks I'm missing. Democrats have no reservations when it comes to attacking Republicans, and they hold a near monopoly on televised news coverage which they use for brainwashing the minds of unsuspecting citizens. Play it safe and take them all with a grain of salt, and check Romney's record for yourself. The same principle applies for attacks on Mormonism. Check into it for yourself. lds.org, mormon.org, and mormonnewsroom.org are great resources for fact-checking the media or for your own enlightenment.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

Can you imagine paying more taxes right now when cost of living is so high between food and energy prices? When budgets are already tight and pinched and so many Americans have lost savings through the crash of the housing market and Wall Street in 2008?  Prepare yourselves, because you will. Pay more in taxes, that is. I don't know what Obama is thinking. More taxes, when the economy is completely unstable? If you listen only to liberal media the economy is just fine. But they're wrong. Unemployment is still high. There are still 88 million Americans out of work, in a country of 312 million people. That's 28%. Obama's 8.2% unemployment doesn't count the people not looking for work, nor does it account for the labor market shrinking. Meaning America has fewer jobs.

With fewer people working and fewer people paying taxes, of course it takes a toll on federal revenue. What should the response be of our federal government? If they were smart and thinking long term, they would not add to the deficit by increasing spending, even if they promise to pay for it with taxes. That never works. When they raise taxes, people are less inclined to invest domestically and are more likely to move money offshore or keep it offshore. Not helpful to paying for spending. Not helpful to reducing the deficit.

Get this headline, found over on The Hill. Obama administration diverts $500 million to IRS to implement healthcare reform law.  Here's the introduction:
The Obama administration is quietly diverting roughly $500 million to the IRS to help implement the president’s healthcare law.
The money is only part of the IRS’s total implementation spending, and it is being provided outside the normal appropriations process. The tax agency is responsible for several key provisions of the new law, including the unpopular individual mandate.
Do you really want the IRS in charge of any aspect of your healthcare? Not me. The whole of Obamacare is a mess, if you ask me. And instead of biding their time and waiting for the Supreme Court ruling, Democrats are working to get as much of the law in place as possible, and spending taxpayers' money like water to do it, under the table.
It has moved aggressively to get important policies in place. And, according to a review of budget documents and figures provided by congressional staff, the administration is also burning through implementation funding provided in the healthcare law.
The law contains dozens of targeted appropriations to implement specific provisions. It also gave the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a $1 billion implementation fund, to use as it sees fit. Republicans have called it a “slush fund.”
HHS plans to drain the entire fund by September — before the presidential election, and more than a year before most of the healthcare law takes effect. Roughly half of that money will ultimately go to the IRS.
There's more than that to scare you over at the article itself. Next we get to the part about new taxes, which I warned you about. These Obamacare taxes aren't even the same taxes that will be raised automatically in 2013 that I told you about a few days ago
The healthcare law includes a slew of new taxes and fees, some of which are already in effect. The tax agency wants to hire more than 300 new employees next year to cover those tax changes, such as the new fees on drug companies and insurance policies.
The IRS will also administer the most expensive piece of the new law — subsidies to help low-income people pay for insurance, which are structured as tax credits. The agency asked Congress to fund another 537 new employees dedicated to administering the new subsidies.
The moral of the story is that we're robbing Peter to pay Paul. Or robbing taxpayers to pay for an increase in taxpayers' health care costs, caused by government. In other words, government took the government-caused health care cost increases and made them even worse by adding more regulations to it. There has got to be a better way, and in fact - there is!

Deregulation would solve a multitude of ills in the private sector and public sector. With less government compliance costs, businesses keep more money to reinvest and grow and hire and even pay more taxes! The same thing happens by cutting taxes. The more money in the private sector, the more money generated by the private sector, meaning an increasing GDP and economy and an end to the recession/stagnation which liberals claim already ended. The more money generated by the private sector, the more the federal government collects in revenue and the less the deficit is expanded. The more money generated by the private sector, the more people get jobs and benefits and the less they need government programs, leading to cutting costs to these programs and shrinking the deficit. More government is not the answer to any of our fiscal problems. Rather, it is the problem with many of our fiscal problems!

PS. There's an awesome letter to the editor/to President Obama in the comment section of the article. It worth the read. It's the fourth comment down, not hard to find. It echoes the same sentiments I shared just now, and given the number of people who liked the comment, the same sentiments shared by many Americans!

PPS. Rush had plenty to say about this subject of Obamacare taxes today, as well as yesterday.
*From Thursday April 11 he said:
Every policy Obama has in place is an obstacle to job creation. The Bush-era tax cuts were followed by 52 consecutive months of job growth. That, by the way, is a record in US history. The Bush tax cuts helped to create more than eight million new jobs. That's close to a record in the period of time. The Bush tax cuts brought the unemployment rate down to 4.5%. The Bush tax cuts worked better than even their biggest advocates dreamed they would work.

PPS. Over at Smart Money there is a great article explaining some of the baffling contradictions within the tax code.

PPPS. The Economic Collapse Blog featured taxes today (Thursday).

Monday, April 9, 2012

Voter Fraud

Have you heard the latest news? If you haven't chances are real good that you're not reading both sides. On the right, you can find the results of a voter fraud investigation, found here at Breitbart.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that there is no proof that in-person voter fraud is a problem. He's about to see proof that even he can't deny.

In a new video provided to Breitbart.com, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas demonstrates why Holder should stop attacking voter ID laws--by walking into Holder’s voting precinct and showing the world that anyone can obtain Eric Holder’s primary ballot. Literally.
Uh-huh. You read that right. All that hooting and hollering from the left about the lack of voter fraud and how awful it would be to prove that you are who you say you are on voting day and how discriminatory that practice is for voters just got shot down. You can watch the video through the link above. Here's the end of the article:
Holder has maintained that voter fraud is not a major problem in the United States, and that voter ID would not curb voter fraud in any case.
As Project Veritas has proven, voter fraud is easy and simple--and may be increasingly common in the absence of voter ID laws.
Project Veritas has already shown how dead people can vote in New Hampshire, prompting the state senate to pass a voter ID law; they’ve also shown people can use celebrity names like Tim Tebow and Tom Brady to vote in Minnesota, prompting the state legislature to put voter ID on the ballot as a constitutional amendment.
Encouraging, that we can muscle necessary changes through legislatures. An involved citizenry is always the safest, because the government officials know that their voters will hold them accountable and get rid of them if they are not satisfied with the work they do.

Rush Limbaugh talked today about this issue of voter fraud and raised some great points:
This photo ID business.  Look at all the places in our economy where you need one before you can participate.  You can't get a credit card.  You can't use a credit card. You can't cash a check. You can't get on an airplane. You probably can't get on a train. You can't do anything.  You are shut out from the US economy without a photo ID.  And yet the Democrat Party is content for whatever numbers of Americans that don't have photo IDs to be shut out of the US economy, all for the sake of what obviously is vote fraud.  This is clear what they want to preserve.  They want to preserve exactly what O'Keefe was able to do here.  But O'Keefe has brilliantly exposed the fallacy in not requiring a photo ID, which everybody with a modicum of common sense understands this.  But because the charge is racism if you demand one, if you support photo ID to vote, you're a racist, it quells people's energy on it, shuts 'em down and they don't want to push the issue because nobody wants to be called a racist.