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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Obama Knows Nothing?

Get this: the IRS commissioner had more recorded visits to the White House than individual members of Obama's cabinet by almost a factor of two in comparison to the next most recorded visits.
Shulman’s extensive access to the White House first came to light during his testimony last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Shulman gave assorted answers when asked why he had visited the White House 118 times during the period that the IRS was targeting tea party and conservative nonprofits for extra scrutiny and delays on their tax-exempt applications.
By contrast, Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson only visited the White House once during four years of service in the George W. Bush administration and compared the IRS’s remoteness from the president to “Siberia.” But the scope of Shulman’s White House visits — which strongly suggests coordination by White House officials in the campaign against the president’s political opponents — is even more striking in comparison to the publicly recorded access of Cabinet members.


Read more here.

The Chicago Way.

I lived in Chicago surrounding the years of Obama's first campaign, election, and his first little bit as president (like Obamacare's passage, etc.) Chicago is notably corrupt. It's all Democrat-run. Illinois only votes Democrat overall because of the size of Chicago. These recent scandals, National Review now points out, are straight out of the Chicago Way.
The Daley machine, which evolved over 60 years from a patronage-rich army of worker bees into a corporate state in which political pull and public-employee unions dominate, has left its imprint on Obama. The machine’s core principle, laid out in an illuminating Chicago Independent Examiner primer on “the Chicago Way,” is that at all times elections are too important to be left to chance. John Kass, the muckraking columnist for theChicago Tribune who for years has warned that Obama was bringing “the Chicago way” to Washington, sums up his city like this: “Once there were old bosses. Now there are new bosses. And shopkeepers still keep their mouths shut. Tavern owners still keep their mouths shut. Even billionaires keep their mouths shut.” 
“We have a sick political culture, and that’s the environment Barack Obama came from,” Jay Stewart, the executive director of the Chicago Better Government Association, warned ABC News when Obama ran in 2008. He noted that Obama had “been noticeably silent on the issue of corruption here in his home state.”
Joel Kotkin, an urban expert who still considers himself a “Kennedy Democrat –– John F. Kennedy,” wrote at Forbes: “Most of us would put up with a bit of corruption and special dealing if the results were strong economic and employment growth. But the bare demographic and economic facts for both Chicago and Illinois reveal a stunning legacy of failure.” Since 2007, the Chicago region has lost more jobs than Detroit has, and more than twice as many as New York. The city’s murder rate is a national disgrace, and its teachers’ union is so powerful that a strike it called last year forced new mayor Rahm Emanuel to back down from his attempt to curb union power. 
It's really a wonderful article that I highly recommend you read in full. However, if you read nothing else, read this next paragraph.
For decades, Robling says, Mayor Daley “encouraged” contributions to his favorite charities, with the implicit understanding that the “encourager” controlled the city’s inspectors and regulators. “That sounds an awful lot like what Sebelius was doing to prop up Obamacare,” Robling notes. “Obama’s ideology may come from Saul Alinsky’s acolytes, but his political tactics come straight from the Daley playbook.” Indeed, friends of Bill Daley, Mayor Daley’s brother, say that one reason Bill left his post as Obama’s White House chief of staff after only one year was that even he thought Team Obama was too much “all politics, all of the time” and not enough about governance. 
Exactly what I've been telling you since I started this blog. Everything is politics to Obama. He doesn't care about American lives involved in Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the impact the IRS had on conservative people, or even victims of Hurricane Sandy except for what it means to him politically. We're all being used, with the help of the Obama-loving-and-defending media. The media blind to his failures in office.
That media failure continued throughout Obama’s first term. Perhaps now, as Obama’s “Chicago Way” is coming into focus, the media will want to redeem itself. With Obama, it’s become all too clear: You can take the politician away from the machine, but you can’t take the machine out of the politician.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mali update

Remember my fascination with Mali? Well, they still haven't held the election (scheduled for July) but the Mormon Malian presidential candidate that I knew back in college days that has made such a difference in his hometown as mayor has a shot at winning.
In 2009 Yeah Samaké was running a successful Utah-based charity when he decided to run for mayor in Ouéléssébougou, a town of some 12,000 residents in the southwest corner of Mali.
“When I saw my hometown was failing, just as Mali is now, it came to me I should run for mayor. I could not fail my people then, just as I can’t fail Mali now, when the country finds itself in the worst situation imaginable,” he says about the decision to return to the farming community where he grew up.
If you're new here, you are likely unaware that radical Islamists have taken over parts of Mali, and the United States refused to intervene despite requests for aid. France did come to their aid though I am not aware whether or not their troops in their former colony are still in the country.
Mali, once seen as a model for democracy in West Africa, has become a synonym for a dysfunctional and corrupt state.
“The government did not have the people’s best interest in mind, so the people turned to the religious groups,” Samaké offers. “The old leaders were more interested in serving themselves. If I’m elected president I want to serve my people.”
Also, if you've missed past references to Samake and his candidacy, he wrote to Mitt Romney thanking him for mentioning the plight of his countrymen in the third US presidential debate, thus bringing some much needed international attention to a country in dire straights. Samake, like Romney, is other-minded and unselfish. He genuinely wants to help his country by bringing stability and prosperity to the people living in it.
The 44-year-old social entrepreneur has a fair chance. He comes from a well-known political family. His time abroad has caused some voters to frown, but supporters say Samake’s willingness to leave a comfortable life in the US to come home and rebuild his country shows care and mettle.
When elected mayor Samaké quickly set out to transform Ouéléssébougou, transforming it from one of the most mismanaged and politically corrupt villages in Mali to one of relative social reform.
His charity, a $500,000-a-year foundation called “Empower Mali,” brought education programs, health improvements and even solar energy panels to Ouéléssébougou.
The charity also gave him national recognition – a reputation as a doer.
“When others talk about politics, I act,” Samaké says.
Will a can-do reputation make up for a lack of a broader political base?
Samake isn't concerned, and prefers to just plow ahead: “Mali now has the opportunity to change the old leadership, [that is] stalled by corruption, and [together we can] show the world that Mali is a secular nation that embraces all religions,” adding, “And what better way to do that than by electing a Mormon?”

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Law and Liberty

Here is the introduction of my recommended read of the day, Tyranny around the corner.
A few weeks ago, President Obama advised graduates at Ohio State University that they need not listen to voices warning about tyranny around the corner, because we have self-government in America. He argued that self-government is in and of itself an adequate safeguard against tyranny, because voters can be counted upon to elect democrats (lowercase “d”) not tyrants. 
His argument defies logic and 20th-century history. It reveals an ignorance of the tyranny of the majority, which believes it can write any law, regulate any behavior, alter any procedure and tax any event so long as it can get away with it. 
History has shown that the majority will not permit any higher law or logic or value -- like fidelity to the natural law, a belief in the primacy of the individual or an acceptance of the supremacy of the Constitution -- that prevents it from doing as it wishes.
My husband rereads the Constitution each year on the 4th of July. Memorial Day also is an appropriate time to read the document which defines the law and government in our country, which our veterans fought to defend. Take a few minutes to recognize and be grateful for  freedoms protected by the Constitution this weekend, beyond the barbecues.

You can't appreciate what you aren't familiar with. Neither can you understand in what ways the Constitution is attacked today if you don't know what it includes.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A chip off the old block

I'm delighted that Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal dug up Obama's history regarding intimidation of political opponents. As much as he says "I don't know anything about it" to all these scandals, the tactics are a common thread.
The White House insists President Obama is "outraged" by the "inappropriate" targeting and harassment of conservative groups. If true, it's a remarkable turnaround for a man who helped pioneer those tactics.

On Aug. 21, 2008, the conservative American Issues Project ran an ad highlighting ties between candidate Obama and Bill Ayers, formerly of the Weather Underground. The Obama campaign and supporters were furious, and they pressured TV stations to pull the ad—a common-enough tactic in such ad spats.
What came next was not common. Bob Bauer, general counsel for the campaign (and later general counsel for the White House), on the same day wrote to the criminal division of the Justice Department, demanding an investigation into AIP, "its officers and directors," and its "anonymous donors." Mr. Bauer claimed that the nonprofit, as a 501(c)(4), was committing a "knowing and willful violation" of election law, and wanted "action to enforce against criminal violations."
Obama succeeding in getting anti-Obama ads off the air, even scaring away similar organizations supporting Hillary Clinton and John Edwards during his 2008 Primary.
American Leadership head (and Democrat) Jason Kinney would rail that Mr. Bauer had gone from "credible legal authority" to "political hatchet man"—but the damage was done. As Politico reported in August 2008, Mr. Bauer's words had "the effect of scaring [Clinton and Edwards] donors and consultants," even if they hadn't yet "result[ed] in any prosecution."
As general counsel to the Obama re-election campaign, Mr. Bauer used the same tactics on pro-Romney groups. The Obama campaign targeted private citizens who had donated to Romney groups. Democratic senators demanded that the IRS investigate these organizations.

None of this proves that Mr. Obama was involved in the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits. But it does help explain how we got an environment in which the IRS thought this was acceptable.
The rise of conservative organizations (to match liberal groups that had long played in politics), and their effectiveness in the 2004 election (derided broadly by liberals as "swift boating"), led to a new and organized campaign in 2008 to chill conservative donors and groups via the threat of government investigation and prosecution. The tone in any organization—a charity, a corporation, the U.S. government—is set at the top. 
Sad. Sad that politics infuse even the free speech protected by our laws. Sadder that the president of our country is a Chicago politician to his core and was reelected. Saddest that he bullied his opponents so shamefully, so we can't even know if he would have won in 2008 or 2012 without it.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Good questions about the IRS scandal

Craig Shirley, a best-selling author, writes at Breitbart concerning the IRS scandal:
The unspoken 600-pound gorilla in the room is that the IRS did not go after Republican Party groups. There has been some noise made in that direction, but it is just that--noise. The real IRS vendetta was aimed at the Tea Party movement and not at the myriad GOP inside-the-beltway groups like American Crossroads or Americans for Job Security or any of the other interlocking GOP seen as front groups for corporate America.
As I stated elsewhere recently, The Republican Establishment is pea green with envy but also embarrassment "that the IRS did not think them worthy of harassing, or even worse, on the same side as the IRS. In other words, the IRS saw the GOP as too feckless to worry about. Either explanation is not very appealing for the national Republicans.”
I wouldn't expect the IRS to target GOP establishment types because they're in favor of big government too and similarly against the Tea Party movement. However, I had not considered even remotely what this scandal means to them.

More important questions Shirley raises:
Many questions are begged. Did outside liberal groups conspire with the IRS against the Tea Party? Did Republican Establishment types conspire with the IRS to censor the Tea Party? If so, how high up did the conspiracy go inside the two major parties, both of which had something to gain with the marginalization and/or destruction of the Tea Party movement?
As far as the Tea Party and it sympathizers are concerned, nearly everybody in Washington is a suspect. The Tea Party has found the enemy, and it is the Washington Establishment.
Isn’t it ironic that the Tea Party now stands for the rule of law and that elements of the United States government and the Washington establishment have become the rogue, criminal element in America?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Obama and Nixon

RealClearPolitics has an insightful editorial comparing Obama and Nixon. There are few hints of this comparison elsewhere in the news media.
Richard Milhous Nixon was thin-skinned, felt persecuted by the opposition party, had a penchant for classifying political adversaries -- and journalists -- as “enemies,” and tried to control his image so fiercely that, ultimately, zealous aides committed illegal acts to further his re-election. 
But even before that had happened -- and before Nixon himself began directing a coverup -- truth had become a casualty of his administration. This is the parallel between Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.
Sound familiar? And more comparison between the two:
And though the current administration’s evasions about last September’s attacks in Benghazi, the partisan 2010-2012 activities by IRS, and the unprecedented scope of the Justice Department’s snooping into Associated Press phone records are all unrelated controversies, there is a common thread. 
Those who work for this president have a fetish for stage managing the news. They never simply trust the facts; or maybe a better way of saying it is that they don’t trust the American people to be able to handle the facts. Washington has been consumed in recent weeks about who, exactly, massaged the administration’s “talking points” on Benghazi. 
One more:
Obama is never content to simply say he thinks he can show how wrong-headed Republicans are about the federal budget. No, he says they should put “country ahead of party,” thereby suggesting they are deliberately hurting the economy to hurt him.
This, too, is Nixonland.
But here is where the similarities between Nixon and Obama end: the media. At least to my own mind. Nixon had the media against him, and they forced his hand. Obama has the media in his back pocket because their politics are his politics and they want to get all the scandals behind him as fast as possible and are more than happy to go along with "I didn't know!" as an acceptable presidential answer.

From Rush:
...here is the kind of reporting that we're getting from our so-called news media.  This is the Associated Pres: "Obama Agenda Marches on Despite Controversies."
Of course it does.  "Despite Democratic fears, predictions of the demise of President Barack Obama's agenda appear exaggerated after a week of cascading controversies, political triage by the administration and party leaders in Congress and lack of evidence to date of wrongdoing close to the Oval Office."
Now, that's not journalism.  That's cheerleading.  They're all excited.  This is the AP excited that none of this is attaching itself to Obama.  This is the AP thrilled to be able to report that the agenda marches on despite the controversies, despite fears in the Democrat Party, despite predictions of the demise of Obama's agenda, all that's exaggerated after a week of cascading controversies.  Remember, these are the same people, folks, who constantly tell us not to jump to conclusions.  But now the news media are proclaiming the scandals are all behind us now and that Obama's emerged unscathed and that his wonderful agenda marches on.  There it is right there in the AP.  And, unfortunately, that last part about his agenda marching on is true.  But that's only because it takes two to tango. 
Scandals never stop an administration unless the media wants them to stop an administration, which means that no scandal is ever gonna stop Obama.  I can remember people here last week, "Rush, this IRS thing, this is really gonna get Obama."  No, it's not.  It's not gonna get Obama.  We continue to learn that the regime was totally behind it.  
I wish Rush wasn't right on this, but he is.

Obama will keep getting away with murder, etc (in the case of Fast and Furious, and likely Libya) and no one will do a thing about it because he's distanced himself enough from his cronies and claimed ignorance the media is more than happy not to investigate any of this further. Leaving Americans' questions unanswered, despite popular support for further inquiries.

For more context in this discussion, go here. I can't resist including this projection and explanation, also by Rush.  By the way, he always includes his sources at the bottom of the transcript pages, so feel free to check those out.
 The IRS could end up getting bigger.  Which is not what we want.  But that could be, when nobody's looking a few months from now, the supposed solution to this.  It was just a coincidence, you see, and general incompetence that kept 500 conservative organizations from being granted tax-exempt status for more than 27 months.  By the way, during that entire period, every liberal group sailed through.  You know, there's another question I have where I think the regime's dropped the ball.  If they were really on their -- and they are on their game -- this is just a side illustration.  But if the in the middle of all this if some left-wing group of people had popped up and said, "We were denied or tax-exempt status, too, the IRS was asking us all kinds of questions." Can you imagine how that could have been played in the media? 
"It wasn't just conservative Tea Party groups. The National Association of Bald Condors over here, they didn't get their tax-exempt status, either."  If the regime had come up with some left-wing organization also denied, but that didn't happen.  Every left-wing group seeking tax-exempt status got it.  Every one.  Over 500 Tea Party groups did not, in a 27-month period.  And Obama had nothing to do with it, folks, and the employees in Cincinnati are not political.  Washington Post, New York Times, trying to convince us these IRS workers weren't political, just incompetent.  And a member of Congress said, "You know, that's really cool.  Let a taxpayer try saying he didn't know what he was doing when you guys come calling and see how that works for you.  But you guys come before our committee and you want to say this happened because you're incompetent?"  
Rush is also right that this delay for conservative groups cost Republicans and the Tea Party a lot of enthusiasm and thus lent to conservative voter suppression- not that we can do a thing about it at this point. And Obama will not have the good grace to resign a la Nixon. Not with the media and his gullible voters still behind him thinking that his lack of responsibility or supposed ignorance of events are good things.

Lest any of you Democrats pooh-pooh these ideas, I beg you to switch all the "conservatives" with "liberals" and see how you feel. Whether or not you are liberal, surely you can see sense in condemning illegal actions if only because you wouldn't want to have these things happen to you if the tables were turned. If the United States is better off without President Nixon (and it is), it most certainly would be better off without President Obama.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Things are not getting any better for Obama

Unless you consider the comparative lack of attention on Benghazi over the IRS a good thing. It may be, for that matter. We know little enough about Benghazi that diving deeper into Benghazi could well be worse for Obama, say if he really did pass along the order to "stand down" or even if he directed the editing of talking points. Time will tell. So far, all that time has told us about Obama is that he acts politically in every decision he makes.

Meanwhile, what we keep learning about the IRS scandal boggles the mind. Again, the building Drudge headlines, which give a great snapshot to the many facets of this situation.

Chief IRS counsel bailed Jeremiah Wright's church out of IRS probe in 2008...

The Smoking Gun on IRS Scandal?

Dem Allies of Obama Call for Special Prosecutor... 


WHITE HOUSE STANDS BY SARAH...

Anonymous IRS official -- everything comes from top...

McConnell: 'Culture of intimidation throughout administration'...

Portman: Need special counsel...



Friday, May 17, 2013

They knew and hid it

The more we find out about this IRS business the worse it looks. For us, Americans. These headlines have been building today on Drudge:



Elder Dallin H. Oaks receives the Canterbury Medal

An apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, received the highest honor from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Before he served as an apostle, he was a lawyer, a judge in the Utah Supreme Court, and the president of Brigham Young University. He consistently teaches members and whoever else is in his path about things related to both law and religion, such as protecting children as the voiceless victims in our societies across the world. Here is an excerpt from Deseret News about his speech about religious freedom given in accepting the Canterbury Medal.

Elder Oaks said scholars have observed that for about 50 years the role of religion in American life has been declining and the guarantee of free exercise of religion seems to be weakening in public esteem and "is under siege by the forces of political correctness, which would replace it with other priorities."
He quoted legal commentator Hugh Hewitt, who described a threat to religious freedom that is new in U.S. history and tradition: " 'For three decades people of faith have watched a systematic and very effective effort waged in the courts and the media to drive them from the public square and to delegitimize their participation in politics as somehow threatening.' "
Elder Oaks said powerful secular interests are challenging the way religious beliefs and the practices of faith-based organizations stand in the way of their secular aims. "We are alarmed at the many — and increasing — circumstances in which actions based on the free exercise of religion are sought to be swept aside or subordinated to the asserted 'civil rights' of officially favored classes," he said.
In the long run, he noted, the vitality of religious freedom must rely on public understanding and support. He referred to a recent survey's finding that the population least concerned about religious liberty in America are adults under 30, only 20 percent of whom believe that restrictions on religious freedom will increase in the next five years.
Elder Oaks said that even though about 80 percent of U.S. citizens report that they believe in God, the percent who have no denominational affiliation — the so-called "nones" — is large and growing larger, especially among the young. He said about 33 percent of young adults are among the "nones," and an increasing proportion of Americans who have no denominational affiliation have what some scholars describe as "a genuine antipathy toward organized religion."
"We must enlist the support of persons who have what is called 'spirituality' but who lack denominational affiliation," Elder Oaks declared. "Religious freedom must not be seen as something serving only the interests of churches and synagogues. It must be understood as a protection for religious people, whether or not their beliefs involve membership or behavior. Support for the First Amendment free exercise of religion should not be limited to those who intend to exercise it, individually or through denominational affiliation."
This is important. Every bit as important as protecting the freedoms guaranteed in other Amendments or the Constitution itself. As always, I invite you to read more of his speech or at least the summary of it here.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Interesting...

Amidst frequent liberal media defenses of Obama and his cronies with Benghazi and the IRS flap - and occasional insistence that Americans deserve to have the answers to their questions - I found that Obama is considering replacing DOJ Eric Holder with Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick after the hullabaloo about these scandals dies down. Eric Holder is only slightly damaged from Fast and Furious investigations last year, because the media ignored that scandal. The IRS head is slated for departure as well, though he says it was planned.

The problem for Obama is that cutting down his cronies still doesn't deflect blame away from himself, no matter how much he insists he knows absolutely nothing about any of these problems in his administration. Either he's covering something up or he's doing a bad job as president by not knowing these things in his own administration, and either way he's failing America.

I'm inclined to believe his cronies are doing exactly what he wants them to do, whether or not the paper trail leads directly to Obama. He is from Chicago, after all. It probably does lead to him in each case, since released emails concerning Benghazi, for example, omit the first 67 hours, yet still contradict the WH story. And he has not yet answered questions related to the IRS targeting his political enemies.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Keen

I'm intrigued as to how far this "Scandal" will go. Yes, Benghazi most definitely deserves the name, from all we know. From all that conservatives have known within the first 48 hours but that Democrats covered up with the help of the liberal media until now. Today's Drudge headlines:
'Son of Watergate?'

40 years later -- to the week...

Top Dem calls for public testimony on Benghazi...

WASHPOST: Obama's claim he called 'act of terrorism' -- Four Pinocchios...

CHENEY: Cover-up 'still ongoing'...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

As hard as being a mother is or can be, it is motherhood - even mothering others' children for those without their own - that refines us women, and makes us our best selves, if we let it. In the LDS Church, the women don't have the priesthood but those who understand the purpose of the priesthood know that motherhood teaches women the same character traits that priesthood teaches men: to selflessly serve others, love, be patient, be humble, prayerful, etc. We women don't need the priesthood to teach us those. All is designed and set up to further our eternal progression as it is. We are equal partners with the men. The blessings of the priesthood such as eternal families are available to all, and it doesn't matter than women don't hold the priesthood.

I've heard discontent by those who don't understand this. LDS families aren't asked to "multiply and replenish the earth" because they think that our worth as women is in childbearing. That's not why. It's because not only do God's spirit children need good families to learn about Him on earth, we learn and become like Him as we parent.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Faith continued

This is the subheading to the words of the apostle Jeffrey R. Holland in the most recent LDS General Conference in "Lord, I Believe."
Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.
I know that is true. Faith truly is power to make all things possible that God wills. Without it, our souls starve. Faith is the key to spirituality and keeping the Spirit of God with you to guide you.

Here is the introduction to the sermon, about the New Testament account of Jesus healing a sick boy.
On one occasion Jesus came upon a group arguing vehemently with His disciples. When the Savior inquired as to the cause of this contention, the father of an afflicted child stepped forward, saying he had approached Jesus’s disciples for a blessing for his son, but they were not able to provide it. With the boy still gnashing his teeth, foaming from the mouth, and thrashing on the ground in front of them, the father appealed to Jesus with what must have been last-resort desperation in his voice:
“If thou canst do any thing,” he said, “have compassion on us, and help us.
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”1
This man’s initial conviction, by his own admission, is limited. But he has an urgent, emphatic desire in behalf of his only child. We are told that is good enough for a beginning. “Even if ye can no more than desire to believe,” Alma declares, “let this desire work in you, even until ye believe.”2 With no other hope remaining, this father asserts what faith he has and pleads with the Savior of the world, “If thou canst do any thing,have compassion on us, and help us.3 I can hardly read those words without weeping. The plural pronoun us is obviously used intentionally. This man is saying, in effect, “Our whole family is pleading. Our struggle never ceases. We are exhausted. Our son falls into the water. He falls into the fire. He is continually in danger, and we are continually afraid. We don’t know where else to turn. Can you help us? We will be grateful foranything—a partial blessing, a glimmer of hope, some small lifting of the burden carried by this boy’s mother every day of her life.”
“If thou canst do any thing,” spoken by the father, comes back to him “Ifthou canst believe,” spoken by the Master.4
“Straightway,” the scripture says—not slowly nor skeptically nor cynically but “straightway”—the father cries out in his unvarnished parental pain, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” In response to new and still partial faith, Jesus heals the boy, almost literally raising him from the dead, as Mark describes the incident.5
To understand more of how this applies to you, consider reading the whole thing.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reflections on Faith

There are people I know or know of who have left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am invariably saddened when they do this, because these people lost their faith. How does any religious person safeguard against that?

Let me tell you what I know.

First, I know that faith can't be "understood" with the rational mind. Secularists invariably confuse physical knowledge which they can reason out, with spiritual knowledge which is gained in a different method taught in all religions' books, at least that I know of. That spiritual method of acquiring knowledge is that first you seek, then you find. Faith is like a little seed; if planted, it will grow. In other words, to build faith, you must first take a leap of faith. Try it and see for yourself.

I am a scientist, but I do not "analyze" my religion because spiritual knowledge doesn't come from the scientific method. I can be a scientist and religious with no contradiction whatsoever.

Because I have faith, I know from my own experience and through the power of the Holy Ghost that God loves me, that Jesus Christ loves me and suffered for me and that through his grace and power I can live with God again. I know that God is good and loves all His children and that He wants us to be happy and that we can be truly happy as we follow Him. I know that scriptures and church and service all bring me closer to God - they invite His Holy Spirit into my life and bring me great joy and the peace that surpasses all understanding. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that families can be together forever because of the sealing ordinances available to worthy members in holy temples of God through the Holy Priesthood of God.

This is not to say that I don't understand that people aren't perfect, including those in positions of religious leadership. There are strange stories that don't make a lot of sense behind every single religion I know of. My faith is not in people; it is in God. Yet I support the people, flawed though they are, because I am human too. It's been said that "to err is human; to forgive divine."



By the way, I have the opportunity to hook all of you up with a free copy of the Book of Mormon and copies of testimonies from other Mormon bloggers. If you are interested, please tell me. I'm supposed to be able to upload a link/button for this purpose but I have not been successful at doing so at this point.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Yes, I'm a slacker

I apologize. It's allergy season and moving/packing season and good weather so I take my kids out more than winter and in short, you get the shaft. Catch ya later!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Best headline of the day

At least, in my book. You know, since I'm a Mormon. What does this mean? It means that even though the musical is an irreverent portrayal of my faith and its members, it still brings attention to the LDS Church and its members and sometimes people want to find out more about us for real! Right on. That's why the LDS Church standpoint on the musical is that the musical may entertain for an evening but the Book of Mormon can enrich your entire life (paraphrasing) and it's also why they bought ad space within the programs of the musical. There really is much more to us than you might think.

From 'Book of Mormon' musical to Mormon convert

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Economics

This from Ann Coulter this week: I find it too good to pass up!
You can tell the conservatives liberals fear most because they start being automatically referred to as "discredited." Ask Sen. Ted Cruz. But no one is called "discredited" by liberals more often than the inestimable economist John Lott, author of the groundbreaking book More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws
Yes, there are plenty of politics in every field of study. Every single one. Political correctness insists that only answers that liberals can agree with can be true. Read it all!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pigford

I've been wondering what to write about next with so many interesting things going on right now. Then I saw this headline: Wed. May 1st is 'Everybody Blog About Pigford Day.' That's certainly appropriate as any.

In the spirit of citizen journalism overriding mainstream media filters, Wednesday, May 1 will be "Everybody Blog About #Pigford" Day. All journalists, bloggers, and inspired writers are invited to contribute their thoughts about the Pigford scandal--one of Andrew Breitbart's most important and passionate journalistic causes.

Not familiar with Pigford? Not too surprising unless you read conservative media regularly. Back in early 2010 Andrew Breitbart uncovered that the US Department of Agriculture was engaged in rampant fraud with the blessing of Barack Obama, essentially handing out money to any Native American or African American who claimed - however dishonestly - to be a farmer. A summary states:
"To establish oneself as a farmer for the purposes of Pigford," the authors assert, "it would all but do to establish that you had once bought a seed and passed within a country mile of a USDA office. And to establish that you were discriminated against there, it would all but do to affirm on a form that you found that experience less than satisfactory--and to have your second cousin affirm that you told him as much at the time."
NR goes on to note that the Pigford payout scheme spawned a "cottage industry," as groups sprang to life aimed at getting as many applicants as possible, whether they were farmers or not. The fraud endemic to this rush to sign people up is shocking.
"Basically, it was a rip-off of the American taxpayers," the magazine quotes one participant as saying.
All of this started before President Obama came to office, to be sure. But did he ride in on his "transparency" horse to fix the mess? Not in the least, NR says.
But as the Times reports in great depth, instead of closing the spigot, in 2010 the Obama administration did not just acquiesce to, it spearheaded the expansion of, the Pigford con on the taxpayer’s dime, and saw to it that not just black Americans, but any woman, Hispanic, or Native American who could so much as gesture at discrimination had access to a billion-dollar pool of easy money.
Worse, NR points out that Obama expanded the payouts even over the objections of the Justice Department's own lawyers.

This is old news, really, but it is just now receiving national reattention because the NYT finally reported on it - now that Obama's reelection is over and well before the 2014 midterms, doing a 180 from their pro-Pigford stance in Feburary of 2010. Breitbart hired a liberal reporter to investigate further a long time ago. That reporter says:
Andrew knew that the Pigford scandal was something that was too big to just be covered by conservative media so when I suggested going on the road to do interviews with some key figures in the story, Breitbart took a leap of faith that a guy he'd just met who wrote for HuffPo and had done work for MoveOn would report the story honestly. Andrew had checked out the work I'd done on the John Edwards affair and could see I placed a higher value on truth than staying in lockstep with liberal messaging but still, it was a risk on his part and an example of his dedication to the truth.
A funny thing happened on the road, though; I stopped being a liberal.
Such is the transformative power of the farmers' settlement story, which lays bare the moral bankruptcy of the left by showing their pretense of altruistic concern on race issues is really just a way to buy votes and line the pockets of lawyers and fraudsters. Knowing what I knew about Pigford, it was impossible to maintain any respect for President Barack Obama and his cohorts in corruption.
Fraud and abuse of government programs doesn't stop with Pigford, naturally. It's rampant with food stamps, Obamaphones, "green" energy and transportation, etc. Your tax dollars at work, folks. It shouldn't be news any more than government wastes our money and wants even more taxes hauled in so they can waste even more of it. But it is news, because "the news" won't do something so balanced and nonpartisan as to cover it.