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Monday, April 29, 2013

Throw Them All Out Again

Over a year ago, a book by Peter Schweizer came out called Throw Them All Out, which led to a 60-Minutes interview, which led to Congress passing a law against insider trading (STOCK Act) with much popular support from both left and right after learning that both Republicans and Democrats participate in that unethical behavior known as insider trading. Mostly Democrats, if I recall, but either way the point stands that our political leadership needs to go. All of it. We need principled men and women to lead the country in its own interests rather than in their own interests.

What ever came of that? Congress is softening the law against themselves, naturally. And just as naturally, the liberal media isn't calling them out on it. However, given the popular support for the STOCK Act, talking heads on both left and right are trying to bring the issue to the forefront, as it was when the STOCK Act passed in the first place. And rightfully so.
Last week, Congress passed and the President signed a law striking the online public financial disclosure requirement from the STOCK Act. The decision to gut the bill came after federal employees fiercely opposed the transparency provision; they claimed putting documents that are already available to the public in an online format would create a “jackpot” for “enemies of the United States intent on finding security vulnerabilities they can exploit.” 
Government watchdog groups called such ominous warnings hyperbolic scaremongering. And last night on The Daily Show, Stewart mocked the rationale for striking down the transparency provision by highlighting quotes from four cyber security experts cited in a Columbia Journalism Review article who said “the national security bit is bulls—t.”
The only risk to federal officials, said Director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies James Lewis, “is the risk of going to jail for their insider trading.”
The rare fusion of conservative and progressive outrage over the STOCK Act’s gutting is one that may further stoke the public’s disdain for the fecklessness of America’s powerful Permanent Political Class, says Executive Chairman of Breitbart News Stephen K. Bannon.
"Nothing shows the real focus of the Permanent Political Class better than the shredding of the STOCK Act,” says Bannon. “It’s all about a shake down of the American people, not a fair shake."
Schweizer agrees.  
“Insider trading by members of Congress is no joke,” said Schweizer in a Wednesday interview with Breitbart News. “It’s a disgrace.” 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Grateful for "W"

With the dedication of Bush's presidential library came the opportunity to see five US presidents together - to compare them and their legacies. Here's the lead in, one reporter questioning another about White House coverage:
We reminisced about all the places we’d been, all the crazy days and wild nights, all the history we’d seen — first hand. Just before we said our goodbyes, I asked her if she’d miss covering President Obama
“Not at all. He’s an inch deep. Bush is a bottomless chasm, a deep, mysterious, emotional, profound man. Obama is all surface — shallow, obvious, robotic, and, frankly, not nearly as smart as he thinks. Bush was the one.” 
Her words, so succinct, have stuck with me ever since. By the way, she’s a hardcore Democrat.
But she was right. And that contrast was apparent to all who watched Thursday’s ceremonial event to open W’s new presidential library in Dallas. The class and grace and depth of America’s last president completely outshined that of his successor (who, coincidentally, or perhaps not, was the only one seated in the shade on a sunny Texas day).

As for the dedication program, I quote only the part about Bush himself - follow the link for the synopsis of the others.
He got right to the point: “For eight years, you gave me the honor of serving as your president. Today I’m proud to dedicate this center to the American people.” 
He gave a profound lesson to his successor and his predecessor: “In democracy, the purpose of public office is not to fulfill personal ambition. Elected officials must serve a cause greater than themselves. The political winds blow left and right, polls rise and fall, supporters come and go. But in the end, leaders are defined by the convictions they hold. 
“As president, I tried to act on these principles every day. It wasn’t always easy and it certainly wasn’t always popular … And when our freedom came under attack, we made the tough decisions required to keep the American people safe,” he said to loud applause. 
But it was the end that gave us the truest glimpse of the man. Like so many other times, the power of America got to him. With tears in his eyes, his voice breaking, he said: “It’s the honor of a lifetime to lead a country as brave and as noble as the United States. Whatever challenges come before us, I will always believe our nation’s best day lie ahead.” By the end he was in tears, barely able to creak out: “God bless.”
I revere this humble man - cut from the same cloth as Mitt Romney.  I don't entirely agree with his decisions and political stances, and I dislike that he increased federal spending enough that Obama could bash him for his own spending problems, but I completely respect that he is a man of principle and dignity. I loved him for it then, and I love him for it now- especially now when the opposite of principle guides the country.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Immigration Must Read

Yup, it's Ann Coulter again. She knows her stuff.
On CNN's "State of the Union" last weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham's response to the Boston Marathon bombers being worthless immigrants who hate America -- one of whom the FBI cleared even after being tipped off by Russia -- was to announce: "The fact that we could not track him has to be fixed." 

Track him? How about not admitting him as an immigrant? 

As if it's a defense, we're told Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (of the Back Bay Tsarnaevs) were disaffected "losers" -- the word used by their own uncle -- who couldn't make it in America. Their father had already returned to Russia. Tamerlan had dropped out of college, been arrested for domestic violence and said he had no American friends. Dzhokhar was failing most of his college courses. All of them were on welfare. 

(Dzhokhar was given everything America had to offer, and now he only has one thing in his future to look forward to ... a tenured professorship.) 

My thought is, maybe we should consider admitting immigrants who can succeed in America, rather than deadbeats. 

But we're not allowed to "discriminate" in favor of immigrants who would be good for America. Instead of helping America, our immigration policies are designed to help other countries solve their internal problems by shipping their losers to us. 

The problem isn't just illegal immigration. I would rather have doctors and engineers sneaking into the country than legally arriving ditch-diggers. 

Despite her caustic tone and satiric humor, this really is a must read. Please read it all.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Same old bad news


These are up on top at Drudge this morning. Sigh. This isn't getting any better for the taxpayer, but since when do politicians listen to their constituents? Since never. Government spending and taxes up even though taxes don't hardly begin to pay for their increased spending? When is the government going to figure out that they've become a burden so big that taxpayers have had to make serious budget cuts and it's time they did the same? Maybe never, unless we vote all the people voting for taxes like this and big spending bills out of office.
White House Endorses Internet Sales Tax...
'Simply About Leveling The Playing Field'...
Harry Reid Rushes Through Senate...
House Could Be Last Line of Defense...
EBAY CEO Enlists Users to Fight...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rubio Explaining Himself

* I'm trying to refrain from venting about liberals getting away with blaming right wing extremists as they always do - how many times do you ever hear them wonder if it's a left wing group? Never. It doesn't matter that we now know the bomber are Islamist militants and aren't right wing after all: people will remember that right wing extremism "is violent." As if! When a left wing group is guilty of some crime, the press studiously ignores them. Like this abortion doctor who killed breathing babies in Pennsylvania. Or like the anarchist who shot Gifford.

On to new topics.

Marco Rubio is rightfully getting a lot of flak about his involvement in immigration reform (for more links see previous pages on Drudge). He gave an interview to Rush Limbaugh yesterday, and while I don't think any conservative was satisfied as to his answers on immigration, his correlation to other things on Capitol Hill did make sense.
RUSH:  Why, why can't we just defeat it? Why do we have to address it because they raise it?
RUBIO:  If they raise the issue of immigration we can't just vote against it.  I think one of the things unfortunately that's happened in the past is, for example, Obamacare was raised. 
RUSH:  Well, we did gun control.  We just voted down gun control.
RUBIO:  Well, not only voting it down, we've offered very good alternatives.  For example, one of the things that was voted down yesterday was an amendment by Senator Cruz and Senator Grassley that actual is meaningful stuff that focuses on the real problem, which is not guns, the real problem is violence.  And we have an alternative that actually focuses -- of course, people didn't hear about this because the mainstream media won't report on it, but we actually offer some very good alternatives about increasing prosecutions for criminals that are violating the background check, existing background check laws, you know, how to strengthen our mental health systems, et cetera, and no one's reporting on that stuff. So it's important to have an alternative and, I think, unfortunately, on immigration, if it arises, we need to have an alternative, too, because we do have things that are wrong with the immigration system. 
Yet if all that he said about alternatives to gun control is true, they're not even utilizing conservative sites to get the word out because this is the first I've heard of it! On the other hand, Rubio is making a big push to get the word out directly to conservatives about immigration. Why not about gun control?

Marco Rubio is a politician to his core. I don't take anything he says at face value any more than I do for Obama or Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi, whether or not Marco Rubio actually believes what he says.

Rush Limbaugh took the time to say after the interview that he doesn't understand how Rubio can be involved in this at all, any more than Ann Coulter or a number of other conservatives.
If the objective is to make Hispanics like you and you turn yourself into Santa Claus, then how do you turn yourself into Scrooge someday when you have to? You can't. Also, the idea that the 11 million or whatever the number is will be quote/unquote legalized, but they won't be able to vote for a while? We all know what Senator Schumer and the Democrats are going to do. Let's say that this happens exactly as Senator Rubio spells it out.
Within two months, Senator Schumer and the Democrats are gonna run to the microphones and cameras and they're gonna start tugging at people's heartstrings by saying, "How in the world can we be so cruel as to not let them vote? We've just legalized them. We've just welcomed them to our country. We've just created a pathway to citizenship for them. They are paying taxes, and they're working. It's unconscionable that they can't vote." And -- voila! -- they'll be able to vote.
Then, the fact that 70% of them vote Democrat becomes relevant. The fact that after the '86 amnesty... There's no doubt. There's a correlation. We passed the '86 amnesty, and the Republican Party lost California. Some of you are not old enough to recall it. The Republican Party used to own California. The Republican Party used to define it. Politically they used to own it, very close to it. The '86 amnesty was the beginning of the end, and it's gone now. It's literally gone.
...
It goes to the thing I was asking him about. When Democrats propose something, why do we have to accept it and then offer alternatives? Why can't we just say, no? Why can't we just opposed it? What would have happened if we'd really tried to oppose Obamacare? I mean, we opposed their gun control efforts. The NRA does that, not the Republican Party. The NRA does that. But we get to the point that, after all the efforts they make, only 4% of the American people support Obama and Obama wants.
Only 4% support immigration the way Obama wants. I mean, the Republican Party is sitting on two gold mines here. They're sitting on two great, tremendous opportunities. Ninety-five to 96% of the American people oppose "path to citizenship," amnesty, or what have you. The Republican Party is sitting on a golden opportunity to define itself, to demark itself, to contrast itself with the Democrat Party -- with 96% of the people already on their side before they do anything! 
All good points. He goes on. Did you know, for example, that a path of citizenship would be open to those who have been deported? Overstayed their visas?

Consider the amount of crime that comes from these sorts of people already why should we want them to be legal citizens? Why would we believe that a government background check would be adequate? I don't trust the federal government to act in the best interest of the American people any longer. Only political party operatives to act in their own best interest whether real or misguided.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

North Korean people in the news

The news is an escaped North Korean defector reveals cannibalism is common in starving state.  I actually would put a warning on reading the article because the mental images it creates are disturbing to say the least. Considering that their "socialist" government stopped supplying food and other necessities to those outside Pyongyang two decades ago it isn't surprising. Even the NK army isn't well fed at this point, though they're much better off than many others.

If you aren't familiar with the dire need of people trapped in North Korea consider watching documentaries made about them, often with the help of defectors or people who secretly tape medical missions to the area. Netflix has quite a few.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hmmm...

Considering there are many reports (including from DHS head Napolitano) that the Boston tragedy is most likely a lone event, I wonder why Washington D.C. is going to the trouble of heightening security so drastically in its aftermath? In my mind there are a few possible reasons the government would say one thing and do another.

Either a) the government wants to soothe any troubled minds out there that they are doing their job to protect American citizens to the best of their ability whether or not they actually are
or b) they just say that to dupe Americans because of a UK report that Obama cut the domestic anti-terrorism budget nearly in half!
or c) the lone Boston act might trigger others terrorists to follow suit, targeting other unwatchful American cities
or d) the government officials in D.C. aren't telling us everything they know
or e) the liberals in Washington D.C, being the decisive majority at present, actually think that this was a right wing job instead of an Islamic anti-America terrorist job despite the similarities in IED between those used in the Boston attack and those used in wars across the Middle East.

Any way you slice it, words and deeds aren't quite matching up and we need more explanation. Either we're safe or we're not. I don't trust politicians who think so much of themselves and their own backsides - political or literal.

Seriously though, if liberals can get away with targeting "right wing extremists" so easily with so little evidence past or present (use the link in quotes), why would they care to point out that this Bostonian terrorist wasn't acting in Washington D.C. on tax day? (Which date might turn out to be merely coincidental, given any terrorist's penchant for attacking large gatherings - such as the Boston marathon.)  I can conjecture right along with those liberals. I conjecture that people saying things without evidence are doing it for political reasons. Why waste a good opportunity to smear the opposing ideology even though politics probably had as much to do with this attack as it does with Swiss cheese?

What is Washington D. C. really hiding from us?

The suspect now being arrested, no name given (why not - would it lend it self to Islamic profiling, thus proving the right wing is innocent as is usually the case?), means we'll be finding out more soon.

Yes, I'm full of conjecture myself. I'm trying to provide some sort of counter-narrative to the partisan one flooding the news.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Government Response

In the wake of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, I remain disappointed in the federal government just as I am following any national disaster. The oil spill, Hurricane Sandy, 9-11, the Fort Hood terrorist - all are politicized, and never more so than under President Obama, aided cheerfully by the liberal media. The government stands in the way of recovery when they turn disaster into something political. Not that I would expect any less from the Obama administration.

I'm proud of those in Boston who rise to the occasion and help each other at this time of great need, including the local officials. Proud and grateful that there are still so many good people in this country who are willing to give from their hearts without preconditions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Nevada's mental health care

The Sacramento Bee reports that the state of Nevada, unable to handle the number of mentally ill patients entrusted to its care, buses those patients to any and all states via Greyhound - just to get rid of the burden. California receives most of these patients, not that they are warned ahead of time. This is my favorite paragraph:
Nevada's approach to dispatching mentally ill patients has come under scrutiny since one of its clients turned up suicidal and confused at a Sacramento homeless services complex. James Flavy Coy Brown, who is 48 and suffers from a variety of mood disorders including schizophrenia, was discharged in February from Rawson-Neal to a Greyhound bus for Sacramento, a place he had never visited and where he knew no one.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/04/14/5340078/nevada-buses-hundreds-of-mentally.html#storylink=cpy
Ya think? For more of his story and others, see the report. Nevada claims that they are usually shipped to family or even home after being hospitalized on vacation.

If this is what passes as mental health care in the United States, it is even worse than I had thought. I knew it is difficult to get mental health coverage, to get adequate long term care, and that institutionalization isn't an option until AFTER a crime is committed, but shipping sick people away for other people to deal with because you don't have the money for it? Irresponsible. That's government for you.

Sidenote: I told my husband about this story and he said, "Yeah, they shipped Harry Reid to D.C. years ago!"

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Contrast to PC

In the middle of the Book of Mormon is described a war between the Nephites, the mostly god-fearing Christian people led by a popularly elected judge, and the Lamanites, who have a king and little in way of religion. Additionally, the Lamanites were spurred to war by dissenters from the Nephites, so they began to steal lands and cities from the Nephites. The Nephites were nearly destroyed from within by king-men - Nephite people who wished to return to a monarchic system of government and who refused to fight for their country, as well as supporting the Lamanites behind the Nephites' backs. When the Nephites were mostly righteoous, they won battles in this war. When they were not (when the kingmen took over in the capital) they lost ground, not only because of lack of supplies and forces.

Some of the letters between the leader of the Nephite armies named Moroni and the deposed elected judge named Pahoran show great bluntness, to say the least - especially in comparison to the policial jargon we're subjected to today. They join forces to battle the capital and kill all kingmen to refuse to fight for their country rather risk losing the war to the Lamanites. They did not take treason lightly in this country.

I give links to the chapters in question with a chapter summary from the LDS Scriptures. To see the strong language directed against a head of state (who is not offended) read Chapter 60 in entirety. Also worthy of note is that men's word was as good as his deed in this civilization. Were it so today.


Chapter 59

Moroni asks Pahoran to strengthen the forces of Helaman—The Lamanites take the city of Nephihah—Moroni is angry with the government. About 62 B.C.

Chapter 60

Moroni complains to Pahoran of the government’s neglect of the armies—The Lord suffers the righteous to be slain—The Nephites must use all of their power and means to deliver themselves from their enemies—Moroni threatens to fight against the government unless help is supplied to his armies. About 62 B.C.

Chapter 61

Pahoran tells Moroni of the insurrection and rebellion against the government—The king-men take Zarahemla and are in league with the Lamanites—Pahoran asks for military aid against the rebels. About 62 B.C.

Chapter 62

Moroni marches to the aid of Pahoran in the land of Gideon—The king-men who refuse to defend their country are put to death—Pahoran and Moroni retake Nephihah—Many Lamanites join the people of Ammon—Teancum slays Ammoron and is in turn slain—The Lamanites are driven from the land, and peace is established—Helaman returns to the ministry and builds up the Church. About 62–57 B.C.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Gun laws revisited

Ann Coulter is good at research, and always presents the data to back up her claims. Not so the Democrats who oppose her and Republicans in general. Take this from Coulter's weekly article:
For most of the 20th century, from 1900 to 1970, there was an average of four mass public shootings per decade. Throughout the '70s, as the loony bins were being emptied, the average number of mass shootings suddenly shot up to 13. In the 3.3 decades since 1980, after all the mental institutions had been turned into condos, mass shootings skyrocketed to 36 on average per decade. 

Mass shootings don't correlate with gun ownership; they correlate with not locking up schizophrenics. 

Mental illness was blindingly clear in the case of Seung-Hui Cho, who committed mass murder at Virginia Tech. Jared Loughner showed signs of schizophrenia for at least five years before he shot up the Tucson shopping mall. James Holmes was being treated for mental illness long before his massacre at the Aurora movie theater. It was clear to Adam Lanza's mother -- nearly the only person who had contact with him -- that he was mentally disturbed and had violent fantasies. (Three-quarters of matricides are committed by the mentally ill.) 

We can add paranoid schizophrenic One L. Goh, who committed a mass murder at a Christian college in California last year, and the Muslim Army major, Nidal Hasan, known to be crazier than an MSNBC host, who killed 13 and injured 30 in a "gun-free" area of the Fort Hood Army base a couple years ago. For hundreds more examples of the mentally ill committing murder, read E. Fuller Torrey's book, The Insanity Offense: How America's Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens

But Democrats simply will not address the one thing that is screaming out from all of these mass murders, which is that they were committed by crazy people. 
Why? Because they don't want to stigmatize the mentally ill. I can respect that, but they go too far if they all they actually accomplish is to stigmatize them further by refusing to distinguish between different kinds of mental illnesses. Most of them are harmless to the public. Some kinds are most definitely not, and the public should be aware of that - and they're not. Political correctness is a disease in cases like this.

The real, existing stigma (aided by Democrats) is to not talk about any mental illness at all. Ignorance doesn't help anyone here. I am willing to bet that the public is also ignorant that the liberal ACLU loves to free the criminally insane so that they can terrorize the streets before being slapped back into prison. Talk about a waste of taxpayer dollars, human life, and energy. There is a reason mental institutions existed before the 70's, and it wasn't because of any stigma: it was for public safety!

I grant you that more people were committed to them than were dangerous to the public because the burden of caring for the mentally ill can be heavy for families depending on the nature of the illness. But is that a bad thing? Democrats' policies always support taking children away from abusive or otherwise inadequate families. I don't see that this is so different if the family wills it and can pay for it, with the state helping pick up the cost of institutionalization as necessary.

Let's face it: some of the criminally insane are especially dangerous to the people they're supposed to be the closest to. Adam Lanza is merely one example. I'd much prefer that the state care for the criminally insane to prevent them from committing crimes rather than waiting for them to be arrested having already cost human lives, and then let them out of the system to do it all over again.

And now Coulter's conclusion:
Meanwhile, the only target of Democrats' gun proposals -- legal gun owners -- are less likely to commit violent crimes than others. To the contrary, armed civilians justifiably kill about 1,500-2,800 felons a year, compared to 300-600 legal killings by the police. Responsible armed citizens protecting us from violent criminals should be subsidized rather than taxed and harassed. 

After five mass shootings by deranged lunatics, even liberals know that the only policy -- apart from concealed-carry laws -- that might have stopped these shootings are laws permitting the institutionalization of the mentally ill. 

That's why they keep claiming their gun bills address mental illness. Warning: Read the bill. You will find nothing in any of the Democrats' "gun safety" proposals that will make it easier to commit a crazy person or to prevent him from buying a gun. 

The Democrats' argument for doing absolutely nothing about the dangerously mentally ill, while disarming crime-preventing armed citizens is: Tell it to this weeping mother. If the Democrats' "gun safety" bill passes, there'll be plenty more weeping mothers to tell it to. 

Get on your Congressmans' cases.  They go too far if they want to endanger more human life by cause or by effect.

Obama: serial liar

I found this on NewsMax: The Man Obama Fears the Most. It's Roger Ailes (according to them) - the owner of FoxNews. Quoting the article about Ailes:
He doesn’t mince words, saying the president lied to him at their first meeting, which took place in 2008 at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel with News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch in the room.

Ailes also called the president “lazy,” based on the president’s own evaluation of himself to Barbara Walters. Chafets recounts the private meeting between Ailes, Obama, and Murdoch. The author gives a blow-by-blow account of the tense confrontation that ensued. 

As Chafets recounts, when Ailes confronted Obama about his plans for unilateral arms cuts, Obama denied he ever made such a statement. Ailes described Obama’s response this way: “He said this looking me right in the eyes. He never dropped his gaze, which is the usual tell. It was as good a lie as anyone ever told me.” Obama became icy and his press secretary jumped up to end the meeting. 
What is significant about these exchanges? The psychology. A pathological liar is able to lie as Obama lies. They're most commonly found in politics, in business, etc. Comforting, isn't it? To know that we're in the hands of power-hungry mad men, at least mad to some degree.

I'm hearing a lot about a new biography, "Roger Ailes: Off Camera" written by Zev Chafetz, not a conservative himself. It's the source for this article linked at the top of the page.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lies, his budget is all lies

Obama's budget is ridiculous and doesn't deserve to share a name with the household kinds that people follow to live within their means.

Here are some bulleted points, explained in detail at the source.

  • It boosts spending and deficits the next two years (at least)
  • It vastly exaggerates spending cuts which are actually next to nonexistent
  • It relies almost entirely on tax hikes
  • It cuts the annual deficit far less than claimed (doesn't even begin to address the total debt)
  • It creates a new entitlement without adequate means to pay for it (though they ignore that Obamacare also fits that bill in spades, the one referred to is public preschool)
  • Boosts taxes on the middle class, at a time the middle class are cutting expenses left and right

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Margaret Thatcher

I found some little known but insightful stories about her here. Just FYI.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The people who bleed us dry

It's all the BIG people. Big government, big party, big whatever. This article at RedState by Erick Erickson explains how the "consultant class" of the GOP are taking advantage of conservatives (those still affiliated with the GOP) in particular. He should know. He worked on Capital Hill in the past and knows all the movers and the shakers.

The professional right has turned a mailing list habit into a mailing list addiction. Like drug addicts wanting one more hit before going straight, they send out one last mail piece demanding money to help Allen West. But now, like going from cocaine to crack, they spam your email inbox too demanding your immediate defense of Allen West, Rand Paul, etc.
Never you mind that Allen West will never see one penny of the money. “We’re building his name identification,” the mailhouse tells you. Yes, in the days of Rush Limbaugh’s 20 million listener audience, Fox News’s domination of the news airwaves, and Allen West’s own efforts, I’m sure he needs some crappy little group no one has ever heard of using his name so that they themselves get money.
...
The professional right bled Mitt Romney dry, scammed millions of conservatives out of their hard earned money so that consultants could fly on Gulfstream jets, and sent kids to bars in Wisconsin to get drunk while actual grassroots groups went door to door only to see the professional groups take credit for work they did not do. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Report from General Conference

I ran across this Salt Lake Tribune write-up of the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this past weekend. As previously mentioned, all speakers invite listeners to come to Christ and become better people, though they focus on different aspects of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And also as I mentioned, they warn listeners to avoid sin taught as good by some our cultures in the world.

Now, of all the many "talks" or sermons given, the Salt Lake Tribune focuses mainly on two out of more than twenty, which touch upon the issue of gay marriage.
"Tolerance is a virtue, but, like all virtues, when exaggerated it transforms itself into a vice," said the 88-year-old Packer, speaking from his chair rather than from the pulpit. "We need to be careful of the ‘tolerance trap’ so that we are not swallowed up in it."
His sermon also came amid a softening tone from LDS leaders toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. In December, the church unveiled a new website — mormonsandgays.org — that calls for compassion and understanding toward LGBT people.
Same-sex attraction is not a sin," the website emphasizes, "but acting on it is." At the same time, Mormon teachings decree that sex should be between only a husband and a wife — something apostle David A. Bednar further highlighted during his speech Saturday afternoon.
"The commandment to multiply and replenish the Earth remains in force today," Bednar said. "Thus, marriage between a man and a woman is the authorized channel through which premortal spirits enter mortality. Complete sexual abstinence before marriage and total fidelity within marriage protect the sanctity of this sacred channel."
He promised that obedience to the law of chastity would lead to greater happiness in life and make possible progress in eternity.
You can find more of that write-up here venturing on to the topics of separate but equally important roles of men and women (and two more Conference talks referenced), but I recommend reading the sermons themselves to get the context and to know the other topics of which the Salt Lake Tribune (liberal-leaning as it is) makes no mention such as faith and obedience and love and hope, etc.

I only add that the doctrine of the family is eternal truth and will not change. Church policies change over time, Church leaders change over time, cultures change over time, and humans in the LDS Church mess up as much as the next human; but the doctrine - the gospel of Jesus Christ - does not change.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

General Conference

This blog is terribly lame this week and I apologize. Much traveling. Some illness. Limited time online.

And now, it's time for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Semiannual General Conference. This is a gathering of all members of the Church worldwide as well as anyone else who wants to learn more about us, and the prophet and apostles and other general Church leaders give counsel for our day by applying principles taught in the scriptures. They all teach and testify of Jesus Christ, His divinity and love, and how we can become more like Him - more Christian, if you will.

Feel free to check it out. At this point two more sessions remain: Sunday morning from 12-2 ET and 4-6 ET. You can catch what you missed here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Americans on disability

It's been sharply on the rise but I didn't know how bad it has gotten: we are now to just 16 working Americans to every person on disability, and boy is it easy to get on disability, at least if you don't have a conscience.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

States' Freedom Rankings

The Mercatus Center with George Mason University releases annual state freedom rankings based on personal and economic freedoms according to state laws. This years' list is similar to previous lists, but since I hadn't heard of it before this year I thought maybe you hadn't either. The state of New York ranks dead last, with California preceding it. The top two are the Dakotas. Check your state's rank using the link.

The reaction of New Yorkers to this ranking is no surprise either! Talk about defensive. They think the big expensive, wasteful and inefficient nanny state is a good thing.


I live in New York at least for another month or two, and this is no surprise - neither the ranking nor the reaction. My family will be moving to a state with much higher economic freedom, which we are greatly looking forward to. Goodbye, New York, the land of big government and high taxes and heavy government oversight and endless paperwork. Goodbye, and good riddance.

We're not the only ones eager to leave. Some 1.7 million have fled New York over between 2000 and 2010. We haven't lived in NY long, but long enough to never want to live in a nanny state again if we can help it (which we couldn't at the time).