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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today's Must Read

Breitbart's Path to 50, referring to 50 Senate seats for the GOP. It's entirely within reach, given that the majority of people in the United States want Obamacare repealed, and Democrats don't. Game on!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Oh My!

After yesterday's disappointment (though blessing in disguise), the coverage of Eric Holder's wiretaps are all the sweeter. The left doesn't even get to keep gloating about Obamacare, because now they have to furiously cover up Fast and Furious - or actually cover it - fast. Most liberal news outlets have been ingoring it entirely, if you haven't noticed. Smart move, GOP-led House of Representatives, to focus on Holder at the same time as the Court announcement.

Pre-wiretaps, Ann Coulter gave a typical analysis of what Fast and Furious is, not that Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart haven't been doing so all along. In short, Holder made sure that guns walked across the border to Mexico - big guns - without any tracking, without any arrests of criminals who used them, which all resulted in the deaths of 200-300 Mexicans and 1 U.S. border officer. It bore no semblance to Bush's DOJ move to track and make arrests in the drug wars until the criminals figured out how to disable the trackers, ending well before Obama's "ascension."

Now, post-wiretaps. How can the left even try to defend Holder? How can they defend Obama - who moved in to protect Holder with executive privelege? Don't get me wrong - there are plenty of Democrats still trying to do this very thing but the fact of the matter is that this is MUCH bigger than Watergate. Impeachment might be in serious order, since I'm absolutely convinced that Obama knew what Holder was doing all along - and might even have told him to do it in the first place. It is just as illegal to know about an operation that is intended for use in crime and murders as it is to run the operation.

According to the article on RollCall, not only did Holder direct the operation himself, but also refused to allow any cases involving these guns to be tried. Such is Holder's "justice."

“The wiretap affidavit details that agents were well aware that large sums of money were being used to purchase a large number of firearms, many of which were flowing across the border,” the letter says.

The application included details such as how many guns specific suspects had purchased via straw purchasers and how many of those guns had been recovered in Mexico.

It also described how ATF officials watched guns bought by suspected straw purchasers but then ended their surveillance without interdicting the guns.

In at least one instance, the guns were recovered at a police stop at the U.S.-Mexico border the next day.

The application included financial details for four suspected straw purchasers showing they had purchased $373,000 worth of guns in cash but reported almost no income for the previous year, the letter says.

“Although ATF was aware of these facts, no one was arrested, and ATF failed to even approach the straw purchasers. Upon learning these details through its review of this wiretap affidavit, senior Justice Department officials had a duty to stop this operation. Further, failure to do so was a violation of Justice Department policy,” the letter says.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

As luck would have it

My computer crashed on the very day I most wanted to be connected! As a result, I didn't find out what happened today until dinnertime. I suppose I was spared some anguish? I've heard that Rush Limbaugh was in beyond his top form today - check him out. While I'm disappointed in Chief Justice Roberts, I'm not surprised after the immigration law ruling. I have no idea what this man is thinking - he just expanded the power and size of government in an unprecedented way - Congress can now legally tax whatever they want - even people who refuse to eat broccoli.

Congrats, Dems. You have won today, to be sure, but you also ensured your doom in November. The conservative base is FIRED UP!!! There is no way that the majority of the people in the United States will want Obamacare any more than they did before the Supreme Court ruling (when 2/3 opposed it and wanted it overturned). Especially on a ruling that allows Congress unlimited power to pass whatever taxes they want, willy-nilly. Which was explicitly left out of arguments - Dems were showing why Obamacare wasn't a tax at all! There is no way that Americans are going to sit around and not get involved. More than ever before, people will be flooding the Tea Party chapter near you.

Obamacare is going to have to be repealed, at this point. The House plans to force a vote and everyone will know where their representatives stand on the matter. Except Congressmen to be voted out if they support Obamacare. Expect Romney to be voted in. There is no way the people of the United States will risk keeping Obama in office with nothing but unlimited debt, spending, and taxes in sight and a shriveling GDP and labor market. No Way. NO WAY. Americans don't like taxes. They don't like Obamacare. People don't like the enormous burden that is our federal government's spending. They fear the entitlement society that we are inexorably moving towards, unless Romney turns it around. This is why Michelle Bachmann (and others) reiterate that 2012 is the last chance to preserve America as founded.

The entire election, at least for the next few weeks, will hinge entirely around Obamacare and its effect on the economy with all that entails. I'll expound on what exactly Obamacare entails later. If there was ever a time that people will be supporting Romney en masse, it is now. Didn't he raise $1 million in an hour today? Something like that.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hatch wins big

Drudge has this link up from the Salt Lake Tribune. I've had mixed feelings about Hatch because a) he's been in the Senate for just about forever and b) he's reformed his voting to be more conservative when his constituents wanted it - he's honestly trying to do what his constituents want. Whether out of fear of being voted out or because of the honest commitment to the people who send him to Washington. Who knows. Either way I'm glad he won, because of this situation:
He vowed to keep working hard in the general election, and said he will continue to stress how important is for him to become chairman of the Finance Committee, if Republicans can win control of the Senate.

"That’s where 60 percent of all the spending is [controlled], that’s where the entitlements are, it’s where the terrible tax code is … it’s all on that committee. Romney understands that," Hatch said.
Romney absolutely needs people in Congress willing and able to work with him in cutting spending and reforming the tax code and entitlements on the Congressional leadership level. I do remember hearing in Deseret News months ago that Romney was for Hatch, and now I understand why. Seniority does matter in Congressional leadership traditionally. I'm not too sure about the House leadership being happy to work with Romney, but with a Republican president those establishment politicians aren't going to cross him even if they don't all like what he's doing. The liklihood of the GOP taking the Senate? My gut instinct says it's pretty high though far from a sure bet. Mitt Romney is probably more likely to take the presidency than the GOP is to take back the Senate, but both are within the realms of possibility. Keep up the good work, Republicans and Republican voters!

The conservatives are getting more and more impressed with how Romney plays the game against Obama. Meaning Romney avoids falling into traps the media and Obama campaign lays out for him and which most Republicans fall for. He's campaiging on his own terms and he's doing a brilliant job. Go Romney!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Supreme Court and an inclusive faith

As we eagerly await the decision on Obamacare, conservatives everywhere (Breitbart and Rush Limbaugh as two prominent example) celebrate that these suits against Arizona and Montana were ruled in favor of freedom (and the Constitution). That bodes well for Obamacare, is our hope. Naturally, the press is trying to spin each Supreme Court decision into a win for Obama, which is arguable at best - hence both sides claiming wins. Arizona gets the short stick however - and the Obama administration effectively tells them to "drop dead." From Rush:
So the responsible people, the adults in Arizona, said, "We are going to enforce the law ourselves." So they wrote law which mirrors federal law. They did not go one step further. It mirrors federal law. The Supreme Court said, "You can't do that. This is a federal government job and you can't do it," and Antonin Scalia in his dissent said it boggles the mind. A sovereign state writes laws that reflect and mirror federal laws which are not being enforced. The people not enforcing the law then sue the state of Arizona for trying to enforce what is, essentially, federal law -- and they win!

 
Meanwhile, I ran across a writer on Patheos who provided a great perspective with his article Misunderestimating Mormonism. He's been learning more details about the LDS Church for himself from the missionaries, attending LDS Church services, and reading materials about it.

He's more than a little peeved at undereducated statements that Mormons condemn all others to hell. Rightly so, because that is NOT what we believe. So, allow me to explain what he did, but hopefully in a clearer way.

First of all, unlike some other religions I've heard about, Mormons do not ever preach against a particular faith. Ever. Even when and if other faiths are teaching their congregations falsehoods about the LDS Church, as they have since the very foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Detractors everywhere. Even with all that persecution, Joseph Smith taught respect for all religions and said in essence that whatever faith a man had and whatever truth was embraced by that faith; let him come and see if the Mormons could add to it. Mormons believe in continuing revelation.

Part of that revelation is that, we believe, truths that were lost or edited away from the Bible, are restored through the Book of Mormon. The most basic of these truths is the complete plan of redemption, also known as plan of happiness or the plan of salvation. There are bits and pieces of it surviving in the Bible as well.

First, we believe in a premortal existence which included a counsel of all God's spirit children before the formation of the earth. We were presented a plan whereby we could come to earth, get a physical body like our Heavenly Father, and prove ourselves by our actions and choices on earth. If we were faithful to God (obedient to His laws) on earth, we could inherit all that our Father has. Right now it would be really handy to see this diagram but I can't get it to upload.

For this plan to work, we needed a Savior. Mortals make mistakes - obviously. Yet, no unclean thing can feel happy in the presence of God. This means we needed a way to repent and be cleansed from our sins. Jesus Christ offered to fill this role of Savior, as a divine Son of God on earth. He alone able to make a lasting sacrifice for all of us so we could repent, and to have power over death so we could all live again in the flesh through resurrection. Jesus Christ really is the way, the truth, and the life.

Satan and many of God's children weren't happy with this plan. They prefered that people be denied agency (the ability to choose for themselves) and be forced to be obedient to God's laws. This prevents progression, however, and such people could never become like God because their desires and choices could never be transformed without this ability to choose. Satan and his followers were cast out, and are collectively called the devil and his angels.

As we enter earth as babies, a veil of forgetfulness is put over our minds so that we can be tested by temptation. Thus, we don't remember our life with Heavenly Father before Earth. If we follow God's laws, we can have eternal life. When we die, our spirts and bodies are temporarily separated. If any of God's spirit children die having never learned about Jesus Christ or the plan of salvation, then they may learn about it in the next life before Judgement Day. This is where temple work for the dead comes in. If those who have died choose to accept the gospel, they also accept the ordinaces such as baptism performed in temples on their behalf. If they don't choose the gospel, it's as if these ordinances were never performed. Agency (the ability to choose) is still the most important part in individual salvation, whether during mortality or afterwards.

When we are judged, we may be assigned to one of three kingdom, or three degrees of glory. You may think of it as three tiers of heaven. The highest of these levels is for those people who chose to keep all of God's laws and ordinances of the gospel. They have eternal life and become as God. Those in lower kingdoms stop in their progression, never becoming as God, but still in a happy place nonetheless. If someone is so bad as to not merit a degree of glory (rare and difficult) they are cast out with Satan. Call it Hell, if you wish. The kind of people there are the ones who knew Christ completely and absolutely yet still denied Him.

See? Mormons don't believe that they're better than other people. They don't condemn others to hell. On the contrary, they work hard to teach people of the full plan of salvation, so that all people can choose for themselves whether they will follow Christ and gain eternal life.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hydrofracking: the Science


I'm sure you've all seen plenty of fors and againsts on the subject - especially againsts. That's how liberals get what they want - they care the populace with false claims about the environment and human health. Remember how liberals say that fracking contaminates the ground water? A petroleum engineer over at RedState has looked at the scientific data available and compared it with the liberal propaganda and concludes that the propaganda is just that: no substance.

I've been keeping an eye out for the hard science on this for awhile (remember I'm a scientist by training). See that chart? See the yellow lines and the blue? The blue is the groundwater levels from which people drink from wells in areas near fracking. The red is where the fracking happens, and the yellow is the fracturing that happens in the rock above the fracking. Even with that upward fracturing of the rock, the nearest the fractures and groundwater ever come to each other is 3000 feet, of over 350 scientific measurements at well sites. No threat to drinking water. The drilling shafts are designed with minimal (if any) impact on the groundwater, and are much safer than older wells dug specifically for drinking water.

In conclusion, liberals apparently want America to remain dependent on foriegn oil from distant, hostile, human-rights-violating countries in their position against domestic oil from hydrofracking (as well as oil from the Keystone pipeline), all in the name of saving the environment which doesn't need the overprotection they support. Case in point: the Alaska pipeline didn't damage moose or reindeer populations, or even the tundra.

The end. I wish.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Coordination

This isn't the first time that the Washiongton Post has coordinated attacks on Romney. Nor is it the first time that Breitbart called them out on it.

Romney "outsourcing jobs," pounced on by Obama and WaPo.
Romney "bullied homosexuals" at the same time Obama came out for gay marriage
Demonizing a Romney super-PAC together.
Etc.

There will be more. As they say in journalism and talk radio, they're in bed with each other.

Friday, June 22, 2012

He's Onto Something

*As an introduction, I'll extend to you the six week challenge that came up on his program yesterday. Give Rush six weeks before making the decision about whether or not he's right.
Rush Limbaugh has spent a lot of time talking about Fast and Furious, Holder, and Obama this week and has added a lot of clarity to the whole thing. Here's an example, from yesterday. Background, a caller asked Rush about the independents, but he refers to Fast and Furious throughout.
I'm joking but I'm serious, Kevin. "We can't criticize Obama! It will irritate the independents!" We can listen to Pelosi, we can listen to Obama, we can listen to Democrats go after us -- me and Republican politicians -- all day long. That doesn't upset the independents. Have you ever noticed that hard-hitting criticism of Republicans never bothers the independents? Pursuing so-called Republican excesses -- going after Bush, trying to stop the Iraq war, trying to "frog march" Scooter Libby or Karl Rove into jail -- that never irritates the independents.
Why if you listen to the Democrats, the independents are nothing more than full-fledged, solid, 100% Democrats! Well if that's true, why are they independents? I'm sorry, I just don't buy this. We've got a constitutional violation. We've got an attorney general who is lying to the elected representatives of the people, and Issa is supposed to dial it back because that might irritate the independents?
This has been a trick that the Democrats and the media have been using my entire life to get Republicans to shut up and stop fighting for what they believe in. And the sad thing is that the moderate Republicans buy into it and believe it, along with a lot of Republican political consultants who get hired to run campaigns of Republican candidates. It is a noose around our neck that we willingly place and then we step to the tree limb.
So, no. It makes no intellectual sense whatever, Kevin. (...)
So, Kevin, are the Democrats really trying to help us when they warn us what the independents might do? Are the independents really people that don't care about the Constitution being violated? Are the independents perfectly fine with running American guns to drug cartels in Mexico with hundreds of people being killed? And the independents are gonna get mad if we try to get to the bottom of that? Is that what we're being told to believe? Don't swallow that stuff, Kev! Come on. Wake up.
He goes on an on about this: there's plenty more where this came from. Things like how Democrats have lost 10 points nationally. The independents are just as often if not more often disenchanted Republicans (tired of the Establishment) as they are moderates or disenchanted liberals. The Democrats seem fine and dandy with Watergate which was over a lesser cime than deliberately arming criminals across the border. And, some audio clips from Romney from the Latino Conference in Florida. Here's one of them:
ROMNEY: After three-and-a-half years of putting every issue, from loan guarantees, to his donors, to Cash for Clunkers, putting all those things before immigration, now the president has been seized by an overwhelming need to do what he could have done on day one, but didn't. I think you deserve better. Some people have asked if I will let stand the president's executive order. The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure. As president, I won't settle for stopgap measures. I'll work with Republicans and Democrats to build a long-term solution. 
I love that Romney takes it to Obama on the timing of his 'executive order amnesty.' 'Bout time someone did.


And even more Rush: a caller questioned what program existed similarly to Fast and Furious under Bush.
RUSH: The program that started under Bush was called Wide Receiver. It was run, to the best of my knowledge -- and we'll double-check this, of course. I've looked at it a little. But Wide Receiver was run out of Tucson. It was one-fourth the size of Fast and Furious. And the purpose of Operation Wide Receiver was to actually track the weapons to find out where they went so that this whole thing could be stopped. They tracked the weapons to find out where and which cartels got them and so forth. The motivation was to find a way to stop this stuff by finding out who was involved in all of it.
CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: Now, Fast and Furious was run out of 11 cities. They did not track the weapons. The purpose for Fast and Furious was to have guns flooded into Mexico. The news would then report the mayhem that was created: The latest crime, mayhem, assaults, deaths, chaos, whatever, that these drug cartels commit every day. And then the objective was that the news stories would say, "And American guns were used!"
And the end result was supposed to be that you and me and everybody else would get outraged that American guns were so easily available to Mexican drug cartels and that we would rise up in anger and demand an assault weapons ban. The Bush administration had no desire for any subterfuge. There was no attempt there to create crime. There was no attempt to have American weapons used en masse in crimes for the purpose of undermining America law at the time or shifting it.

In Wide Receiver, people were arrested.
The whole point was to catch people.

It was a plan that was devised ultimately to stop the trafficking. Fast and Furious increased the trafficking on purpose and nobody was arrested. Hundreds of people were killed with these guns. A border agent, Brian Terry, was killed. Operation Wide Receiver was shut down after its weapons dropped off the grid and the ATF realized that they'd made a mistake with it. They brought the operation to a screeching halt because they had determined that it didn't have the end resulted that they wanted.

Obama and Holder saw it and built on it for an entirely different purpose. That's the short version of it because we're really short on time here. But I'm glad you asked about it, and I'm gonna endeavor here to get more detail on this for all of you tomorrow. Because the Democrats are trying to make the claim that it all started under Bush. And it's a typical Democrat lie, folks. As far as I know, nobody was arrested in Fast and Furious. There were arrests made in Wide Receiver.
Please read all of this link. There's oh-so-much more. So much that news media leaves out but is absolutely important to understand if we're going to get to the bottom of this. Like why is Obama covering for Holder? What did he know and when did he know it? Is he impeachable? Why does he think he's above the law and even more importantly, can we remind him that he isn't?

*Friday Rush talked even more about Wide Reciever vs. Fast and Furious.
The Bush administration, as part of Wide Receiver, notified the Mexican government when arms and drug smugglers were crossing. When the guns were being walked across the border or when they had been purchased legally, being taken back to Mexico, the Mexican government was notified. At least 1,400 arrests were made as part of Wide Receiver. Now, once ATF found out the smugglers were disabling the tracking devices, the RFID tracking devices that were planted in the guns, they ripped them out and then the guns were lost. So the program was shut down in October of 2007. Once the bad guys discovered the tracking devices, the program was ended, in 2007. Ended.
Now, here's Fast and Furious by contrast. Fast and Furious began in October of 2009. Obama is in his tenth month. Wide Receiver doesn't exist. It'd been shut down for two years. Fast and Furious involved over 2,000 guns. Wide Receiver was 1,400 guns. 
Roughly. No tracking devices were planted in the Fast and Furious guns. The regime didn't care where they ended up. There were no tracking devices. No effort was made to track them. No helicopters. There was no on-the-ground surveillance of the straw purchasers. None of it. The guns were sold, they were walked across the border, and that was it. Four federal agencies were involved in maybe as many as 10 cities in five states.
In contrast to Wide Receiver, the Mexican government was not notified the program even existed. They did not use tracking devices or aircraft to try to find and track the smugglers. The local ATF field agents were ordered not to follow the straw purchasers. Fast and Furious is as bad as everything you have conjured it to be in your mind. Wide Receiver has nothing in common, other than guns crossing the border. That's it. Federal agents, furthermore -- are you following all this, Snerdley? -- federal agents were not allowed to interdict the guns and they even ran interference for the smugglers with local law enforcement on multiple occasions to make sure those guns made it across the border.

No effort was ever made to arrest the straw purchasers, the smugglers, by local law enforcement or anybody else. And none were arrested. The program was closed down only after the deaths of at least 200 Mexican civilians and two federal agents, border agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, were linked to the smuggled weapons. Now, it is important to understand that Wide Receiver had been tried and it had clearly failed before Obama's team decided to undertake Fast and Furious.

Introducing Mormon American

There's a Mormon blog that RealClearReligion has picked up, called Mormon American. The author, Ryan Bell, is a Mormon, as you'd guess, and he adds a great voice to the discussion out there about our shared faith. I like him because his ideas are the same as mine! Just kidding, kind of. He explains the political climate and Mormonism well.
Bell points out media bias in coverage on Mormonism, like I do. He agrees that Romney should leave religion alone, like I do. Take this as an example:
By the same token, there’s also very little reason to believe that Romney would benefit politically from re-casting himself as a compassionate Mormon leader, as Dickerson (half-heartedly) suggests. If our political dialogue were more sensible, I believe the country would have a lot to gain from this sort of conversation, as would Mr. Romney. But in the current climate, there is no room at all for discussion of marginalia. A candidate is allowed two or three main messages, and any departure from the core themes of a campaign inevitably leads to distraction and sensationalized coverage. In a room of inquisitive, open-minded people, I have no doubt that Romney could use his religious biography to dramatically increase his sympathy quotient. But that is not the room we live in.   
Precisely. Then he talks about the recent Gallup results that 57% of Americans (at least of those polled) don't know that Romney is a Mormon, and 18% of respondents wouldn't vote for a Mormon. Political venues are making much of these numbers, while only pointing out as sidelines that liberals are the ones who most dislike Mormons by a significant margin, and they wouldn't be voting for Romney anyway. Presumably (you can't be certain they'd all want Obama again either).

Everyone in news media is talking about this poll as if it would be bad news for Romney, and leaving the other details further down, buried in the bottom of their articles. No surprise there. They're liberals.

CNN points out (towards the end of their column, and quoting the Gallup poll) that JFK won with 21% of Americans declaring they wouldn't vote for a Catholic. So these numbers might not significantly affect Romney's campaign, either way. And of course that previous study found that the more people learn about Mormons, the more comfortable they feel voting for one. The media isn't going to help Americans feel comfortable with Mormonism since they're in the tank for Obama, but there is enough new media responding to their extreme portraits that news media no longer solely controls public opinion. Conservatives and independents are often frequenting conservative venues, realizing that liberal media leaves stuff out they'd like to know about.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stained Glass Ceiling

I've not heard this term before, but Romney has broken it, the 'stained glass ceiling' that is overcoming evangelical voters' qualms regarding voting for a Mormon. Prior concerns are claimed to be imbedded in a fear that the candidate would be ruled by the LDS Church. The LA Times has a write-up all about it. With Harry Reid out there endorsing same-sex marriage behind Obama, which is against Church policy and doctrine, you may rest assured that the LDS Church won't endanger its political neutrality.
"Harry Reid and Orrin Hatch [the Republican senator from Utah] will both tell you that they've never received a phone call from Salt Lake telling them how to vote," Michael Otterson, the church's chief spokesman, told me this week.
As I and many other Mormons have assured you. Apparently evangelicals are supporting Romney at a level nearly as high as they supported John McCain. Cue the break of the stained glass ceiling.
I suspect Romney will continue to keep quiet about his faith - no sense in disturbing the apparent peace between himself and evangelicals - but there are plenty of transcripts available from his 2008 run which include religion. Also there are plenty of Mormons who contribute to the national discussion and elucidation of Mormonism. And we can continue to point to Harry Reid who doesn't contribute to the discussion and never has and we expect never will. Why should Romney be expected to talk about religion right now if Reid won't?
What is more telling (to me) is that Democratic opposition to Mormons continues long and loud. But they wouldn't be voting for Romney anyway. There are plenty of people on the right who are still predicting that the news media will try and beat Romney's Mormonism to (his political) death, even though Democrats continue to assure us that they would never do such a thing. Hah. I'll believe it when I see it.

What kind of ceiling should this one be called?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crony-capitalism

A couple years ago I could not have identified crony-capitalism if it hit me in the nose. No longer. This is a huge problem with Washington for the establishment of both parties, and it's only getting worse under Obama. Think about Solyndra and other green bankrupt companies, unionized companies, etc. Our federal deficits (meaning the taxpayer bills) are horrifically large and growing at an accelerated pace.
On Breitbart today, I found Cronyism Alive and Well in Washington.
According to Economic Policies for the 21st Century, the borrowers receive a subsidy of about 1% of the amount borrowed. In other words, Boeing benefitted by approximately $120 million. Was taxpayer largesse of that amount necessary for a company that last year reported $5.34 billion in net income, or were those loans examples of crony capitalism?
A cynic might argue that the outcome of the Senate vote was a foregone conclusion, implying Senator DeMint was able to make political hay by voting against it. But that doesn’t seem to have been the case; he led the opposition and -- keep in mind, Boeing has a major new plant in South Carolina (as does GE). In a speech to 400 Chamber of Commerce members, Mr. DeMint said he voted against the reauthorization because “we’ve created a culture in Washington that has almost every major business in the country with its nose in the trough.” It’s hard to disagree with that statement.
On the other hand, Senator Rubio caved to the sugar lobby, especially to Florida’s Fanjul family, the country’s largest sugar producers. Sugar has enjoyed price supports for years that effectively limit lower priced sugar from other countries. An amendment to the farm bill, sponsored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and a reform bill proposed by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) would have eliminated or reduced price supports for U.S.-grown beet and cane sugar. Shaheen’s amendment failed, and the Senate voted 50 to 46 to table Senator Toomey’s bill. Senator Rubio joined 15 Republicans and 34 Democrats in killing reform.
Sugar is used by virtually everybody, though Mayor Bloomberg is doing what he can to curtail its usage in New York City. By artificially inflating its price, the bill provides support of about $2 billion a year to 5000 sugar farmers, according to a 2000 study by the General Accounting Office. It acts as a regressive tax on the rest of us 306,995,000 Americans.
I recommend the entire article. This bill they're talking about had bipartisan support, and who shut it down? Bipartisan crony capitalists. These sorts of people are the problems in Washington. These are the people responsible for growing government and saddling taxpayers with the expenses. I'm growing quite disenchanted with Senator Marco Rubio. I haven't heard his specific reasons but I can think of not one good reason to continue the subsidy for sugar that has lasted unnecessarily for decades. Same for corn. Same for any other government subsidy.
The free market gives people cheaper, better products because manufacturers compete to provide products that people want to buy. Crony-capitalism preserves industries (that may not need help or may go bankrupt anyway) by forcing taxpayers to pay above market prices. Wisconsin got a break from some of that by Walker's reforms: school districts can now use better, cheaper products and services by not being forced to use union-preferred products and services which were also well above market prices. Instant savings for their state government!
No good. Americans have had enough. Americans are getting more involved and tracking their representatives votes more now than ever before. Only voters can hold politicians accountable, and only voters can force reform in Washington.

*A site called Conservative Voting Records has established a Hall of Shame, telling you how GOP Congressman stack up in voting with conservatives or against them. It's telling, and useful. Check out how your representatives rank on the list, which does take into account the political lean of each district.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mia Love

In Utah, a young black conservative Mormon (Mia Love) is challenging Democratic incumbent Jim Matheson. She's got a lot of enthusiastic support, because she's a conservative much like Sarah Palin: fighting corruption as mayor of her Utah town, dedicated to fiscal responsibility, etc. Tea Party. She's got a real chance against Jim Matheson, in this anti-incumbent year and in a state where large turnout is expected with Mitt Romney on the ticket. Mia Love, if she wins, will be the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.
Politico's Arena posed the question Monday to various political operatives on how much this matters for black voters. Kind of a strange question, if you ask me, but liberals love to dwell on 'voting blocs' rather than idealogy. Most of the answers reflected the impression that race matters less than idealogy, though Democrats predictably are against her and say as much. Not this answer, from Democrat Jason Stanford, an opposition research consultant.
If an overwhelmingly white, Mormon, and Republican district elects Mia Love, a black Mormon conservative, all it will prove is that black politicians will prosper in the Republican Party as long as they cow tow [sic] to white conservatives.
She might sincerely share their values, but they won’t let Love rule even if she’s elected. And when you have white conservatives attacking the basic citizenship of the first black president, her election won’t change anything.
What a bunch of racist hooey! I'll break this down lie by lie, from the bottom up.
1) White conservatives are NOT attacking the first black president because of race. They are attacking him because of his idealogy and illegal power grabs like his executive order for amnesty for illegal aliens without Congressional legislation (according to the US Constititution which is still the law in this country even if Democrats want to change it). And most conservatives are not 'birthers,' and even if they were, it isn't about race either. It's about upholding the Constitution!
2) Conservatives would too let Love rule if she's elected- as much as any other member of the Tea Party in the House, that is. She will not get special treatment from the Establishment any more than the rest of them, and will be derided for sticking to her values by the GOP Establishment and Washington and all of liberal media, just like the rest of them. Nothing to do with race, only idealogy.
3) I hardly think that other black conservatives in politics are kow-towing to white conservatives. Clarence Thomas marches to the beat of his own conservative drum; bless his heart. Allen West is quite outspoken in his criticicm of Barack Obama, unlike his GOP leaders and I suspect directly against their wishes. He's another Tea Party guy. Michael Steele is part of the Establishment, but don't hold it against him. As the leader of the Republican Party it's not like he was taking orders from anyone any less than liberal politicians take orders from each other. Barack Obama issues plenty of marching orders on Capital Hill. No, the GOP is not racist. They're not the ones dwelling on race or other categorizations in this country. We've been over this before.
4) Mia Love won't be elected because she's Mormon in a Mormon state. Jim Matheson is also Mormon! It will come down to idealogy. Not religion. Not race. Just idealogy. If an overwhelmingly Republican district elected Jim Matheson in the past, you can't even blame partisanship. If you haven't noticed, Dems, the voter base in this country is enthusiastically embracing the message of the Tea Party: fiscal responsbility, balanced budgets, giving our children a future, and getting rid of corruption in Washington. Thank you, Wisconsin, for proving their point!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Newsweek: Mormon Church Scrambles in Romney Spotlight

Newsweek gave a decent assessment of the current situation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I've talked about this before, as have many other LDS bloggers: the LDS Church is politically neutral and is going out of its way to disassociate the religion from the candidate. Yes, most Mormons are self-identified conservatives, but the LDS Church does not endorse parties, candidates, or positions excepting gay marriage (which is a doctrinal matter in the LDS Church). The LDS Church does ask that its membership be civic minded and perform civic duties such as voting according to conscience and the available information about each candidate.

The Mormon moment is much bigger than Mitt Romney's candidacy, though the political arena and media seem unaware of that. The Mormon moment probably began in Romney's 2008 primary run, though it has lived on thanks to David Archuleta, "The Book of Mormon" musical, Stephanie Meyers, Harry Reid, the I'm a Mormon" campaign, etc. With 1.7% of the population of the United States (and counting) the Mormon moment will likely end up being a permanent phase. There are enough Mormons in the spotlight and in neighborhoods across the country that the issue isn't going to evaporate after the general election in 2012 regardless of the outcome. People in this country are going to run into Mormons more and more often, whether they expect to or not.

This is a tricky time for Latter-day Saints to get caught up with the media. As much as the media wants to divide America into classes like conservative, liberal, religious, Mormon, black, homosexual, etc.; the LDS people writing for the media need to be increasingly cautious that their words are not divisive. Why? Because that is not who we are or what we believe in, regardless of personal political beliefs.

As a case in point, remember the NYT last week. For those of you who recently read "I'm a Mormon, Not a Christian" in the NYT, my deepest condolences. Unsurprisingly for the NYT, the editorial is dismissive and divisive towards Christians in particular and conservatives by extension. The LDS author does not accurately represent Mormonism. He doesn't reflect the attitude of a converted Christian in his remarks, even though the most important objective for members of the LDS Church is to follow Jesus Christ and try to be like Him. A Mormon who is truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ acts in a spirit of love and unity rather than division or self-interest, and makes a promise to God to do so at baptism. With the spotlight on Mormons as it is, it is especially important that a Mormon be careful not to be contentious and misrepresent our faith.

Back to Newsweek. An interview with the head of the LDS Public Affairs Department yielded these statements:
With foreign and domestic media alike, a key church goal is to drive home “the fact of our political neutrality,” says Otterson. “We don’t want to be pulled into criticizing a particular party, candidate, or platform.” It’s no easy mission, especially since so many of the media requests these days come from political reporters. To help counter their single-mindedness, Otterson has adopted a few tactical tricks: for starters, he aggressively avoids saying Romney’s name, even when talking about “the candidate.” More broadly, he responds to inquiries about Romney with generic explanations of Mormonism’s tenets and practices. Thus, a question about the nominee’s service as a bishop serves to open a discussion of the church’s lay ministry.

Otterson sounds weary when asked to envision the next four to eight years with Romney in the White House. “There has to be a point of saturation where the media tire of this as a story,” he reasons. Still, he assumes the increased visibility will ultimately be good for the church. “I don’t think you’re ever going to see the kind of head scratching we saw 10, 20 years ago, when people hear the word ‘Mormon.’ We’ve moved to a different place.”
Exactly. Thanks, Newsweek, for not ridiculing, misrepresenting, or distorting the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

For all the wonderful men out there who provide for their families and play with, teach, support, be examples for, and listen to their children; I thank you. You make stronger families and a stronger nation.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Study on Mormonism

Misguided beliefs about Mormonism may influence the outcome of the 2012 general election, according to a new study. I have my doubts, but it's still worth knowing about.

An Australian researcher in the United States Study Centre in Sydney, David Smith, has released a report, "The Mormon Dilemma: Causes and Consequences of Anti-Mormonism in the 2012 Elections." His lengthy and careful study includes pages and pages of data, analysis, etc. I won't bore you with those. The crux of his findings is this:

Increasingly, liberals and religious non-traditionalists see Mormons as a part of the orthodox coalition with evangelicals and conservative Catholics. They believe Mormon politicians harbor authoritarian social agendas and an irrational hostility to science and reason. Mormons are in a uniquely awkward position, regarded by secular liberals as hardcore religious conservatives but seen as possible heretics by other religious conservatives. Romney’s Mormonism could have the effect of arousing the anger of liberal Democrats while suppressing the enthusiasm of conservative Republicans.
How people view the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) most directly correlates to how they view Romney. The effect is larger than for any other correlation such as political affliation.
Taken together, this evidence suggests that overall perceptions of Mormons are very important to perceptions of Romney. ... However, it is difficult to isolate any single source of negative (or positive) perceptions of Mormons that on its own has a large effect on how people see Romney. This might mean that negative perceptions of Mormons may be difficult for any Mormon politician (or for the church itself) to change, because opinions about Mormons are drawn from many different sources, many of which are not easily accessible to opinion leaders.
Put another way, people who know Mormons personally or have heard good things about them have good opinions of them. People who don't know any Mormons personally and get their information from anti-Mormon sources don't much like Mormons and are less likely to view Romney favorably, and are less likely to vote for him. Simple as that.

Given that the effect that Romney's religion has for some conservative voters - depressing voter turnout by about 10% in swing states according to the study - this is significant. This will likely be a close election and a depressed turnout isn't what the GOP is after.

Now, this data was gathered at the end of February into early March. Romney had not yet secured the nomination. Obama hadn't yet 'come out.' Romney had not yet reassured conservatives of his opposition to gay marriage. Wisconsin hadn't yet voted for Walker and his reforms. Obama had not said the private sector is "doing fine" nor had Romney yet appeared at Solyndra. Romney's favorability is up in many polls across the country compared to those in March. Were this study to be repeated right now I doubt that we'd see exactly the same results. Then again, who is to say that it the prevailing sentiments about Romney might not change again for better or worse before the general election?

So will Romney's religion matter come November? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, information about the Mormons - for and against - is flooding the internet. A different study found that the more people learn about Mormonism the more comfortable they are voting for a Mormon. Rather than coming from the GOP or Romney, however, expect to see more and more regular Mormons stepping forward to show the nation who they are and defend their religion against faulty reports. We're fighting the tide of misinformation and prejudice.Visit Deseret News on just about any day and you'll see what I mean.

Friday, June 15, 2012

"I'm a Mormon, Not a Christian"

Have you seen this? If you have, I'm sorry. This Mormon author doesn't express a fundamental element of our faith, and that is respect and a spirit of love instead of contention.

While I appreciate his point that if Christians don't want to accept Mormons as Christians then that's fine because it's not worth a fight; he makes his point in a combative, belittling, and disrespectful way. This doesn't measure up to following Jesus Christ, which Mormons try to do.

Abe Lincoln

I received a rare forward. And I liked it! Words from Abraham Lincoln, who Barack Obama is nothing like.


You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the s
trong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
... Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Please Hold

We are experiencing technical difficulties. It may take awhile for regular posting to resume.

In the meantime, please read Ann Coulter this week- great article! She adds to my previous discussion of what is wrong with health care in the United States of America.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Fine"

Obama's comment "the private sector is doing fine" has been analyzed and criticized and excused and otherwise been made much of by both sides, and rightly so. In my opinion, it all boils down to this: The public sector (local and state governments) are not doing fine because they're getting less revenue than in the past (on average) and that is because the private sector is NOT doing fine! Fewer people are paying taxes at all, fewer people are paying more taxes than previous years, fewer people are spending as much and paying as much in sales taxes. Even property taxes have probably come down overall because of the burst of the housing markets.
The big exemption to these public sector losses in revenue is North Dakota. They voted on eliminating the property tax because the oil boom has brought so much money into state coffers that they have far more than they need. Sales tax revenue jumped 83% just because people have more money to spend! I'd easily be spending more in my own liberal state if I weren't paying my liberal state probably $500 more in taxes of various kinds each month than I would in a more conservative state. I'd happily move away from here and we're planning to do so in due course. North Dakotans should have recognized the opportunity they have to set the example for the nation on how to achieve economic prosperity! But they didn't, and voted to keep their property tax. Ridiculous. It's not like they couldn't have voted to reinstate it later if the state ran out of funds again.
The federal government seems immune from the loss of revenue, because they are allowed to go into as much debt as they want. Apparently. Not that they should. (Downgrades, anyone? Higher taxes? Loss of economic prosperity? Count me out if we don't get sensible fiscal conservatives to turn things around in 2012).  Federal government employment has increased 11.4% under Obama, according to the BLS.
Rush Limbaugh had a slightly different perspective to add to the mix of analyses: unions. Obama wants more union jobs. He's calling for an increase in teaches, policemen, firemen, etc. which are all union jobs tied to the public sector though their pay comes at the local level - more directly tied to the private sector. Obama loves unions because unions donate to Democrats, who in turn funnel government money back to unions (stimulus, his JOBS act, various contracts on state and local levels, etc.).
Obama must not have gotten the message from Wisconsin: nearly 40% of public union members voted for Walker and Romney has about that much support from public union members across the country. Just because unions - the beaurocratic, power and money hungry end of unions - sway Democrat doesn't mean that their constituents wouldn't bow out if given the chance, as they were in Wisconsin. Down with mandatory union participation! Down with union-approved contracts instead of free market competition! Get rid of those in every state a la Wisconsin, and the private sector really will be doing fine, just like it is in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Scientific Study Continued

National Review Online delved deeper into the study than Deseret News, which I discussed yesterday. I remind you that the previous studies on this topic were flawed, neither using representative populations of either homosexual couples raising children nor a representative population of heterosexual couples raising children as the control.  Is Gay Parenting Bad for the Kids? takes a deeper look at some of the results of the research which included 175 children raised by a mother in a lesbian relationship for at least some of their childhood, and 73 people raised by a father in a gay relationship for at least some of their childhood.
Regnerus found that children in the study rarely spent their entire childhoods in the households of their gay parent and partner. Only two of the 175 subjects who reported having a mother in a lesbian relationship spent their whole childhood with the couple, and no children studied spent their entire childhood with two gay males. The numbers drop off pretty sharply as time progressed, too: For example, 57 percent of children spent more than four months with lesbian parents, but only 23 percent spent more than three years.
In short, great unstability. We already know from other research that children don't often turn out as healthy and successful when given a tumultuous childhood. The results:
Children with a parent in a same-sex relationship “underperform” in almost every category. Some of these differences may be relatively benign — whether one voted in the last presidential election, for example — but most are decidedly not. One deficit is particularly worrying: Less than 2 percent of children from intact, biological families reported experiencing sexual abuse of some nature, but that figure for children of same-sex couples is 23 percent. Similarly disturbing is that 14 percent of children from same-sex couples have spent some time in foster care, compared with around 2 percent of the American population at large. Arrest, drug experimentation, and unemployment rates were all higher among children from same-sex families.
This doesn't identify cause and effect. The instability is obviously a problem, but the homosexual relationships of parents may be only a part of that instability. For example, how do these children raised by homosexuals compare to children raised by only single parents in and out of relationships? How do these children compare to those who are adopted or raised in foster care? There are those who would argue (as noted in this article) that these results may be an argument for homosexual marriage to increase stability for children raised by homosexuals, but the divorce rate is higher among homosexuals than for divorces from hetersexual marriage. The concluding sentence:
Put simply, if you want to give your children the best start in life, you should have children inside of wedlock and stay together for the duration. But then, we already knew that.
 Yes, we do already know that. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in particular know this. The doctrine of the family is fundamental in our religion.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Scientific Study

 I am a scientist by training. The average non-scientist is not aware that science is largely politicized in our country (and elsewhere). It is biased almost by definition, because the federal government is the largest funder of scientific research. For example, the government invests in climate scientists who believe/seek to prove the existence of global warming, but not those who don't. This despite plenty of data showing the exact opposite of what the government and climate scientists want everyone to accept. That data is ignored.
The same is true for previous studies on same-gender couples who raise children. A new study addresses the flaws in the previous studies and corrects them, with substantially different findings. The quotes here come from a write-up in the Deseret News.
The oft-cited assertion that there are "no differences" in outcomes between children of same-sex parent households and those of intact biological families may not be accurate, according to a new study published Sunday in the journal Social Science Research.

Adult children of parents who have been in same-sex relationships are different than children raised in intact biological families on a number of social, emotional and relationship measures, according to research from the University of Texas at Austin.

Among other things, they reported lower income levels, poorer mental and physical health and more troubled current romantic relationships. The study found 25 differences across 40 measures.
The study doesn't note particular conclusions, but does point out that this area needs more accurate and detailed research before anyone will truly be able to make broad conclusions as to whether heterosexual or homosexual couples are more successful in raising children.
I want to talk specifically about the flawed studies for a second. As pointed out in the article, the former studies did not use representative populations, instead relying on people all in similar circumstances to each other. Former studies didn't ask the children raised by homosexuals anything about their feelings, or successes and failures, but instead relied on reports from the homosexual parents themselves. These studies were also not using a true comparison to the general population, meaning the results of the study were falsely inflated.
A separate analysis in the same journal edition by Loren Marks, associate professor at Louisiana State University, more directly challenges previous same-sex parenting studies as inadequate, biased and unreliable. He lists seven concerns with the science, including the fact that "well-educated, relatively wealthy lesbian couples have been repeatedly compared to single-parent heterosexual families instead of two-parent marriage-based families." Single-parent families typically have poorer child outcomes across several measures, so it's easier to look better against them, he said.
The research published Sunday is certain to be controversial, Marks said, adding he is not affiliated with either political party. "I never wanted to be co-opted on either side as someone to hate or as a campaign manager for anybody."
It's sad that we all know that he's going to be labeled as a hater just because of some unbiased scientific research showing a need for further research in this area. Here are some other experts weighing in on the subject:
Studies consistently say kids in a biological married family with both parents "are advantaged compared to any other kind of family," Osborne said. That alone raises a "conundrum" with the previous finding that same-sex couples have equal outcomes, "since that almost always implies a step-parent, a cohabiting partner — what we call a social father or social mother — divorce, adoption, at least one of those things." Some studies say those things don't disadvantage same-sex parent families.
But she also is bothered that some would use differences to bar same-sex couples from having kids without understanding what causes those differences.
"I hope people will take it on and look at related and more complex statistical questions," said Eggebeen. If Regnerus' findings don't hold up, why? I would see this as the beginning. The provocative findings get us to look at this."
 I recommend the entire article.

*As an aside, here is a post written by a faithful gay Mormon, who got married (to a woman) and has children and feels completely happy and fulfilled. His is a seemingly incredible story - please read it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lessons from the Book of Mormon

In the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon, there is an account of a man named Korihor who went around teaching that there would be no Christ (before Christ's birth), that prophets couldn't know the future, that their prophecies are false, that Church leaders 'glutted' themselves off the people and kept them ignorant by teaching the gospel, that these people were 'slaves' to their religion, that people could do whatever they wanted because there was no sin. Etc, etc. Sound familiar? It should. Secularists, I'm talking about you.

These are all lies. Then, as now, Church leaders are not paid for their work. They teach and preach Christ because only through Christ may we, God's children, find lasting joy and inner peace. By exercising faith we can gain a testimony of things we can't see.

This man Korihor was taken before the high priest of the land (equivalent of the LDS prophet) where he repeatedly denied the existence of God and said he wouldn't believe unless God showed him a sign. He wanted physical proof. Sound familiar again? The prophet answered him with a question, what proves to you that God doesn't exist, or that Jesus Christ will come? The prophet told Korihor that he already had had plenty of signs such as the existence of the world, of the people on it, the scriptures, etc. But, he said, God will smite you as a sign of His existence to prevent you from leading people away from the gospel of Jesus Christ. And He did. Korihor was struck dumb, couldn't talk ever again, had to go begging for food and was trampled to death in a far away, irreligious land. The people in the Church who had believed Korihor repented and came back into full faith.

Even though not everyone who goes around spreading lies and rumors will suffer a like fate, the principles are the same today. Faithful people the world over know that spiritual proof is different than physical proof, but just as valid. These people aren't going to be swayed by secularist voices denying what they know to be true. These people aren't going to become slaves to sin, choosing instead the freedom of a clear conscience before God.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Advice

There's an old saying in the LDS Church that the early pioneering Saints lived by, taught more recently a former prophet and president of the Church, Gordon B. Hinkley in 1992.
Fix it up
Wear it out
Make it do
Or do without.
People all over the United States - and the world - have been relearning this lesson of necessity. Isn't it time for our governments and representatives to do the same? It's time to teach them we take the deficits on all levels seriously even if they don't.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Debunking Obama's lies

Our economy is struggling. We know this. Obama likes to pretend it's doing better and he's the reason, which his faithful followers eat up with a spoon. Conservatives have a LOT to say on that subject and give a LOT of numbers/records to back themselves up. Three examples. You can find more at every conservative site. In short, Americans are tired of being fed lies and taxes - look at what happened in Wisconsin!

Washington Times: HURT: The only thing worse than the economy is Obama talking about it
..Mr. Obama attacks Mr. Romney for job losses in the manufacturing sector while he was governor. He also claims that Massachusetts “fell to 47th in job creation. Fourth from the bottom.”

In his ad, Mr. Obama fails to mention that when Mr. Romney became governor, Massachusetts was dead last in job creation nationwide. But, yes, it did hit 47th on its way to ranking 30th in the nation by the time Mr. Romney left office — a considerable improvement.

But while we are talking about jobs — or the lack of them — consider this: When Mr. Obama took office in 2009, there were 11.6 million people unemployed in this country. Today, after all of Mr. Obama’s economic voodoo, there 12.7 million unemployed.
Of course, it goes on. Deficit explosion, etc.

Breitbart: Obama Caught Lying Again: He WAS Member of 'New Party' Says Kurtz
The 'New Party' being a socialist party, of which Obama was a member according to records. Despite all his denials in 2008. Also maintained friendship with Bill Ayers despite all claims to the contrary.

The Economic Collapse Blog: The U.S. Economy By The Numbers: 70 Facts That Barack Obama Doesn't Want You To See:
This blog is a little doom and gloom for me, plus its author buys readily into Obama's class warfare. But, he consistently uses numbers. Here are a few.
The amount of money that the federal government gives directly to Americans has increased by 32 percent since Barack Obama entered the White House. 
Last year, an astounding 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.
At this point the Federal Reserve is essentially monetizing much of the U.S. national debt. For example, the Federal Reserve bought up approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department during 2011.
Each year, the average American must work 107 days just to make enough money to pay local, state and federal taxes.
 You get the picture, yes? Obama is a liar. Democrats and the liberal press are liars too. The end.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Romney's non-veteran status

The AP published a non-story today. They point out, accurately, that neither Romney nor Obama have served in the military but that since Romney deferred his draft through academic pursuits and religious pursuits (an LDS mission) and Obama wasn't of age during a US war, that somehow Romney's lack of military service matters even more than Obama's, even with Obama not signing up for the draft. Which I thought was illegal? It is. But it's just fine to be a draft dodger as a liberal, because it's 'cool' for them. Nothing any Republican does is ever painted as 'cool' in our news media.
Here's another part that doesn't make sense. First, a quote by Romney:
"Greatness in a people, I believe, is measured by the extent to which they will give themselves to something bigger than themselves," Romney said in San Diego last week to a Memorial Day crowd of thousands, flush with military veterans of all ages.

He did not address his own Vietnam history that day. And his campaign has refused to comment publicly on the subject over the past week.
The AP is seriously considering that only military service can count as giving to "something bigger than themselves?" I seriously doubt it. Bill Clinton didn't serve in Vietnam either and evidently that didn't hurt him too much with voters, despite being a "draft dodger." Bill Clinton didn't serve anything higher than himself, unlike Romney who devoted 2 1/2 years to a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. George W. Bush didn't serve in the military either, and that didn't seem to hurt him with veterans. Nor did Obama ever serve anything higher than himself. So to take Romney to task on his lack of military service is absurd and hypocritical.
The AP masks their hypocrisy by saying that it matters to some veterans that Romney never served in the military yet supports a large military presence. Yeah, well neither did Obama and he presided over a big surge in Afghanistan before any promise of withdrawing troops happened in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Nor did Bush. Clinton had our military involved in a bunch of places too like Somalia and the Balkans. Let's not skip over history, journalists. What is detrimental to one must damage the other in similar circumstances. You're blowing your "unbiased" cover.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Why I Believe

There comes a point in life when we all question what we've been taught. What we really believe to be true, religious or otherwise. I've seen all sorts of chatter online regarding LDS Church policies, past practices of Church leaders, rumors of changes, etc. Some of these rumors may be true, others probably aren't. How can anyone navigate this flood of contradictory information?

With faith.

Faith is a real power. It is turning to God instead of man. Faith is knowing that God does what He says He does, such as knowing that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins so we don't have to. If you have faith, you receive revelation: answers to prayer. If you have faith, you recognize miracles in your life. If you have faith, you have accompanying peace. If you have faith, you can either choose to keep that faith by nourishing it, or to starve it in which case it dies.  I've seen the results of both actions in the people around me.

To grow faith you read scriptures, think about them, apply them to your life, pray for answers to questions, and listen to the the Holy Ghost. This may include praying about the counsel of LDS Church leaders. This may include praying about any question you have in your life. Similarly, attending LDS temples fuels faith for those worthy to enter a temple.

On the other hand, it is impossible to keep faith if you aren't feeding it. Our spirits need nourishment just as much as our physical bodies.

This process of developing faith is similar to the scientific method for physical truth, but it is not the same. They should not be taken as such. Secularists and atheists think that reason (scientific method) is the only process for learning truth that there is. In this they limit themselves.

I've noticed on the web a variety of LDS Church members losing faith and blaming the Church because of problems with X, Y, or Z. In reality, they have only themselves to blame: they didn't feed their faith. Maybe they didn't pray about X, Y, or Z and receive some assurance from God about it. It's oh-so-easy to blame others. It's much harder to accept responsibility for our actions, thoughts, and words. It's easy to get distracted and doubt when listening to worldly voics, particularly right now with this focus on Mormons.

I've never one heard these former members say that they left the Church in answer to prayer. Sadly, I'm guessing that these people never internalized the faith-building habits of studying the scriptures, praying, and seeking guidance and revelation from the Holy Ghost.

But I believe.

Walker Recall

I think the emotions of this truly historic event can be summed up in a series of headlines. These are instructive. Instructive because they show conservatives for who they are, and who liberals are. Conservatives are beyond relieved that Walker's victory wasn't small enough for Dems' cheating to make a difference like it did in a past gubnatorial race in WA and a Minnesota Senate seat (to name two). Liberals sound like whiny spoiled brats used to having their own way by hook or by crook.

These headlines are taken from Breitbart, The Blaze, Politico, and Drudge Report. Drudge Report in turn is referencing articles around the web.

How They GOTV vs How We GOTV (get out the vote)
Exclusive Interview: Thug Threatens [GOP] WI Poll Watcher That He'll 'Bang Her Head Against the Floor'

'We're On Our Way to Wisconsin:' Radio Caller Claims Unions Are Busing People Into Wisconsin To Vote For Democrats (from out of state)
Report: 119% Voter Turn Out in Madison, WI
Wisconsin recall turnout: 119%? Not exactly

Recall Protester Threatens Kleefisch, Hopes Colon Cancer Kills Her
Wisconsin Senator: GOP Tried to Rig Recall
Walker Wins [Again]
Weeping Anti-Walker Protester 'Democracy Died Tonight'
Kleefisch: 'This is What Democracy Looks Like'
Recall Defeat Spells Doom for Public Sector Unions
MSNBC Host Reacts to Walker Win: He Could Be Indicted In Next Few Days
'Kill Scott Walker:' Angry libs flood Twitter with death threats after recall defeat
Only one takeaway from Wisconsin: Money Shouts

Walker Walks the Talk; Obama Talks
Obama Campaign Spins: Wisconsin 'Won't Tell Us Much' About November Election
Palin: 'Obama's Goose is Cooked'

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hating Breitbart

The buzz about a conference of conservatives called Right Online, this year in Las Vegas with keynote speaker Sarah Palin, largely centers around Breitbart's legacy. In fact, a movie is coming out soon, which will be shown early to conference goers: Hating Breitbart. I watched the trailer. It's awesome.

Breitbart is hated, the person and the website, because of what they do: Provide an alternative to the leftist worldview. Breitbart broke and breaks stories that cut the left to the core, such as The Vetting series. For example, yesterday Breitbart wrote about Obama's unreported (by the left) friendship with Bill Ayers. And today Breitbart pursues that topic further and takes liberal media to task:
It's easy to claim that Obama and Ayers weren't "close." How does one measure "close" in the absence of detailed personal history that isn't available in this case. It's much harder to deny the connection implied by the nearly $3 million dollars Obama helped direct to Bill Ayers and his brother. Why didn't Shane Scott see fit to mention any of this?
 There's more, of course. You can read it yourself.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Civil Discourse

I've noticed something about comment sections on news sites. Liberals (on the whole, not in entirety) are rude, judgemental, name-calling, lying, labeling cussers. Usually inaccurate labelers, at that. They don't engage in a discussion of ideas, they just call names. Conservatives (again, on the whole) show a little more thought behind their comments, and are less rude. They're willing to engage the left in ideas, though they're not often taken up on their offers. Sometimes conservatives will be very polite and considerate in their comments. Much less so liberals, but it still happens occasionally. Classiness and basic civility still exist in some people, at least.
Civility goes a long way in getting the other side to listen to you. So does answering questions in the realm of ideas. Debating, instead of shouting insults. Explaining, instead of name-calling. Reasoning, instead of hurling epithets. Using real data instead of 'manipulated' data a la Nancy Pelosi.
Case in point: Axelrod said to the Republican "hecklers," "You can't handle the truth!" That's insulting and unenlightening. At least Romney lets his liberal hecklers have their say and grants them their freedom of speech and makes jokes about the situation. OK, enlighten us, Axelrod, as to why we should reelect Obama for shrinking the labor force and still having high unemployment despite the number of people who left the labor force and shrinking the economy and a poor stock market and skyrocketing federal deficit and for bad government loans to Solyndra and others like it and out of control Congressional spending that Obama doesn't find fault with. Enlighten us as to why the jobs report are always revised upwards the next week and why it's OK for Obama to say he's above the fray for not personally attacking his opponent but the media does the dirty work for him and doesn't say a word in rebuke, yet Romney is expected to rebuke any follower out of line in Obama's book. Or how can Obama not be able to do anything about the economy but blame it on Bush anyway, another president who, using Obama's logic, couldn't do anything about the economy either? Let's have this discussion. A real discussion.
The same goes for editorials and news reports. I'm getting tired of the bias. Especially the ridiculous anti-Mormon bias that only exists right now because we have a Mormon Republican nominee Mitt Romney as opposed to a Mormon Democrat nominee, say Harry Reid. But really I'm tired of all of it. The "war on women" and whatever else. Let's have more substance and less opinion. More evidence and less comments and judgements passing for evidence.

Government is a Business: An Analogy

Imagine, for a moment, that every citizen our country was investing in the same business. Instead of having all of us squeeze into the same boardrooms to discuss the business we'd send representatives to attend the meetings, and report to us on the business plans, decisions and results. We'd tell the representatives what we wanted them to change to make the business more profitable, etc. Naturally, we'd like to see a return on our investments. But also naturally, we're happy to invest as much as necessary to keep the business afloat and from going bankrupt.

Now imagine that these representatives started collectively lying to us about the business. They started reporting that the business is providing more services than ever before but that they needed more money to keep it all up. We'd see a return on the investments later. Some of us started working extremely hard and investing more than others in the business. Some of us (instead of investing) started seeing the 'returns' of other people's investments. A division arose. The takers started demanding more and more from the givers, who started really struggling to come up with enough money to keep the business going. It was getting deeper and deeper in debt, and the representatives could no longer hide the truth from the investors, who were becoming disenchanted with the whole thing. This business was going bankrupt, and needed some major reforms if it was going to survive at all. The representatives refused to reform. Chaos ensued.

Yes, this is America. Not a perfect analogy, of course, but you get the idea. Ever since the 1974 Budget Reform Act, federal budgets have increased 10% annually, ballooning into massive bloated deficits. Federal revenue certain hasn't kept pace with the growing expenses in the 'budget.'  And our lawmakers and president seem little inclined to do anything about it. When Bush left office, the difference between spending and budget (budget deficit) was $167 billion. And every year since, Obama's budget deficit has been $1 Trillion. This despite the fact that the budgets were larger than each preceding year. This despite the fact that revenue has shrunk over time. Is it any wonder than in a little over three years Obama added $5T to the deficit? Now it's up around 15.5 Trillion, total? 5 Trillion was Bush's in 8 years, then the next $5T happened in only three years. THIS IS A PROBLEM.

Every year the federal budget gets bigger. Every year the government spends 10% more defacto than the year before. Every year the spenders in Washington spend over the budget amounts, which means the next year that any departments permitted more than their 'normal' 10% increase gets 10% more of the total given them the year before. This problem is a compounding problem. And Obamacare hasn't yet been added to the mix.

We need baseline budgeting back in Washington, like any household or any small business or even any large business needs baseline budgeting. We need responsible representatives ready to tackle the spending and deficit and return fiscal sanity to Washington. We need more American citizens to realize the pickle we've let the government get us into by them taking advantage of the citizens' "wants" for benefits and the "turnoff" of budget talk. We need politicians who are not willing to mortgage our children's and grandchildren's futures just for a vote. We need politicians serious about learning to "do without" in federal budgets and protecting taxpayer money by using it as if it were their own. We need national media more concerned about their journalistic integrity instead of worrying about how to protect their chosen political party (Democrat) and hurt the opposing side.

We already know about the fraud committed in Medicare (doesn't happen in private insurance). We already know about wasteful spending by the GSA in "conference" expenses, travel expenses for people who work at home, etc. We already know about the overlapping government agencies that should be merged. We already know about government workers who can't be fired (on the taxpayer dime) for watching porn on the job. We already know that government makes bad investments all in the name of their energy policy. We already know that unions donate to Democrats and RINO Republicans so that these politicians will continue to funnel taxpayer money their way in the form of projects and protections and benefits far beyond their peers in the private sector. We already know that Obama isn't serious when he talks about solving any of these problems because he's had three and a half years and hasn't done anything except add insult to injury in every case. We need Mitt Romney.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

LDS Church and Homosexuality

There seems to be a general lack of understanding about the LDS position on homosexuality. This is the official statement about it, which is an interview between the Public Affairs Department of the LDS Church and two General Authorities. In essence, God ordained marriage between a man and a woman. Breitbart has a Mormon writing for them now who discussed this topic also. The conclusion:
The progressive goal of legal marriage for the LGBT community among liberal Mormons is not in agreement with the doctrine of the LDS Church. Perhaps these members confuse the doctrine -- which never changes -- with culture or Church policy, which does change from time to time. Do not expect this position to change, especially since the Church considers this doctrinal issue of sufficient importance to seek a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
This touches back on what I said a week ago about there being a difference between the gospel (or doctrine), the Church and its leadership, and Mormon culture.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Inside Socialism

Rush Limbaugh had a conversation with a caller from the former Soviet Union on Friday. What he shared is important to understand, in light of the Democrats' attacks on private equity in particular and capitalism and various freedoms like free speech, religious freedom, etc. I've talked with, read about, and watched documentaries about other people who shared similar information about life inside socialism. This is by no means a stand-alone experience with socialism.
CALLER: While I was on hold here I wrote something in my book here on my white piece of paper that the private equity is probably the spine of capitalism. And I wanted to connect that to my history. I come from a former Soviet Union. I grew up and left the country right around the Berlin Wall falling down. And I wanted to tell the audience that back in the Soviet Union, you could not go and borrow money from the government, you could not go and borrow money in the bank because the government and the bank didn't allow you to have anything private. You have to have a special permission from the Politburo, from the secretary of the party for you to buy a TV, to buy a refrigerator, you have to wait 20 minutes to get a --
RUSH: Who had those kind of connections? The average citizen didn't have a connection to the Politburo or the secretary of the party to buy a fridge, so nobody had them?
CALLER: The local, local party --
RUSH: Local.
CALLER: -- commissioner.
RUSH: So you had to go to local commissar, in other words?
CALLER: Commissar, yeah, and he is the one that's gonna sign off on a piece of paper so he can put your name on the line so you can get six or eight or 12 months later a refrigerator or a TV. They did not want you to have anything private because everything was a commune, and the Congress decided every five years, and they put this plan what's gonna happen in the next five years and how much rice and how much steel and how much corn we'll produce, and then if this doesn't happen, we blame someone.
RUSH: Right. So capital was outlawed. The only way you could have money is if you go to the government to get it and they wanted you realizing that you only had anything because of them. No other source provided you anything but the government.
CALLER: But the reason I called and they put me through is the fact that we're experiencing something very unique. Back as far as media and as far as propaganda is concerned. You know, there was Joseph Goebbels and Molotovs and Gorkys of the world back in Russia and Nazi Germany, there was one guy running the entire propaganda machine. Here we have something unique. We have all those cohorts of CNBC's and TVs and radios and NPRs and Oliver Stones and Spielberg and Bloomberg and everybody running in sync, and they're throwing all those numbers and they speculate, and all of a sudden when everything tumbles down then they come and revise the numbers. They're throwing all kinds of information at us subliminally. Sometimes they show a little commercial, oh, this is happening so subliminally they put their message so calculating, using terms like "education" and "information" and "public relations." But this is a very calculated way of delivering information, because people going by their day, driving in their car and listening to this message after message after message, they all of a sudden start believing that this is the greatest thing ever --
RUSH: Institutional propaganda, is what it is.
CALLER: Institutional propaganda, right.
RUSH: Not just one guy, but an entire media network.
CALLER: And it's unique that back in the day, during the Soviet days, the government owned one paper, the government owned one TV station and one radio station. And over the seven or eight or nine time zones, all that information was delivered over and over and over again. They put those big pictures of Lenin and big pictures of Stalin and big Gorbachev in our schools, in our restrooms, in our libraries and we sang the songs --
RUSH: Toilet lids, too. I saw 'em there.
CALLER: And that's how they were able to achieve that. Here we have millions of small networks like wasps, they fly in sync. This is what's very unique. How these people hate capitalism, how they hate the very principle of this country was found --
RUSH: This is an interesting point. Dmitry, I'm up against it on time here, but I really appreciate your call. He's making an interesting point here. The Soviets had one TV station in every time zone. They had one newspaper, and they were still able -- TV station was seen everywhere and nothing else, same with the newspaper. He said what's unique here is we have an entire industry of propagandists that are linked. He's right, too. Obama wants you thinking everything you have comes from government. No question about it. Thanks, Dmitry. Excellent.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Romney's Offensive

The Obama campaign Battle of Bain is over, and Romney one. Yesterday, after refusing to apologize for any jobs lost in his time as a 'vulture capitalist' and amid reminders from Romney supporters in private equity that an 80% success rate in turning businesses around is actually hard to do, Romney organized a presser at Solyndra. Grand slam! From the Note:
The Romney campaign earlier this week released a video, “Not Even Half,” which highlighted the Obama administration’s investment in the now-failed Fremont, Calif., manufacturer. At the time of the federal investment, Solyndra was the nation’s largest solar energy plant and was touted as an example of the president’s commitment to government subsidies that would promote clean energy technology and so-called green jobs.

Solyndra went bankrupt in 2011, laying off more than 1,000 employees, after receiving $535 million in federal loan guarantees through a ‘s Act program. The investment has been slammed by Republicans who believe the Obama administration chose the plant because of its ties to major donors. It has been the subject of an ongoing congressional investigation.

When the company went bankrupt, taxpayers were left to pay off the loans associated with the grant and Republicans seized on the investment as an example of the administration’s, as Romney says, trying to pick “winners and losers” in the free market that would benefit high dollar donors.
In other words: Obama, your record at investment stinks, and you used public money for your investments. You're not a businessman, you're in over your head, and further, you're corrupt and practicing crony capitalism. Next!

'Next' already started. It's the attack on Romney's record as Governor of Massachusetts. As hard as the Democrats will try to compare apples to oranges, I don't think they'll be any more successful in convincing Romney to play by their rules as they did during Battle of Bain. Unlike McCain, we've now got a GOP candidate not willing to lay down and roll over just because the media tells him to. Romney is playing to win.

The cards are still stacked in Obama's favor, because he controls the press and thus the tenor of national conversation. What, you didn't notice that the Washington Post miraculously had a front-page ad attacking Governor Romney on the same day that Obama's campaign announced it would attack Romney's record as governor? Conservative media sure did. (That's three links as three examples of many.) Just like they noticed when Obama announced his 'evolving' support for gay marriage and the Washington Post in mere days threw up a front-page story of Romney's 'bullying.'

The good news for the GOP is that with Romney playing to win, he's correcting the bad math and bad historians of the left. Some of this is trickling down into standard media, and more and more people are checking out conservative media all the time, no doubt wondering why the standard media attacks them so much unless they've got something to hide.

* You know Obama's case is desperate when his DOJ Eric Holder is demanding that Florida stop cleaning up its voter rolls, or stopping them from trying to prevent fraud and illegal voting. Holder wouldn't demand this if he didn't know it would hurt Democrats. You'll not see this news on the left. But it's all over conservative sites. This shows liberals for what they are: Cheaters, law-breakers, dictators who value their own rights but not anyone else's.