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Monday, September 30, 2013

Most Important

Obamacare is the issue of the day. The last few years, actually. If Obamacare does not change, it will instead change America in drastic ways. Pay attention to what's going on in the next few days. Here are some related Drudge headlines today:

T-MINUS 1 DAY: 'Duct tape and chicken wire' holding Obamacare together...

Health exchanges scramble as launch nears...

10 states where Obamacare wipes out existing plans...

Will 'change the fabric of American society in serious ways'...




Obama to sue NC on voting rules...
Will challenge ID rules...

NSA Gathers Data on Social Connections of Americans...
UPDATE: Analysts spied on love interests...
Greenwald to release new revelations...
'Assassination program'...
Race to Create Offshore Havens for Data Privacy...

Yes, this last bit is relevant to Obamacare too, because government operates the same way or in similar ways across many departments. If the NSA does it, Obamacare will too. If the federal government can challenge states for their state laws and further upset the precarious balance of state power versus federal power, then why do we even have states anymore? Everything will change. Just like with Obamacare - a rope to pull more power away from states among other things.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hypocrisy in action

I interrupt this busy weekend to note that here is more political hypocrisy from Congress (both houses and both parties) blatantly displayed. Wake up, fellow Americans. Our politicians are not in politics for our health, but their own. There is no "for the people, by the people, of the people" in evidence in this Obamacare/government funding debate.

But don't despair. The Liberty Amendments can give us hope that we can get rid of our current political class.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hold it right there

The liberal commenters on the NYT Raising Fiscal Stakes, GOP Set Terms to Lift Debt Limit
are utterly hypocritical. First of all, how do liberals think Democrats got what they wanted between 2000 and 2008 besides compromise? Compromise means both sides have to give a little, or even a lot! To all those who throw up their hands and say that the GOP has "hijacked' our country, that the "minority" of people are trying to run the show, and that this move constitutes blackmail I ask how is this any different from what we've seen in the past? This is how politics works. Every time.

We have a two-party system so that the majority doesn't set the laws for the people (though that is precisely how we got Obamacare rammed down our throats in the first place back in an all-Democrat-led government against popular support) - so that there must be compromise. Checks and balances. The party system provides additional checks and balances to the ones already written into the Constitution with branches of power. And now liberals are saying that compromise consists of doing solely what one party wants? Immature.

Are liberals so unwilling to accept that there are people who are every bit as committed to their ideology through both passion and reason as they are? That for this government to work at all we must acknowledge our differences and work through them rather than try to silence dissent or worse, call them names? Again, immature.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Defunding Obamacare?

The news site following the progression of Cruz's efforts most closely that I've found is Breitbart. Just FYI. In case you're as eager to see what happens as I am. If you're more eager than I, you may be beating down your senators' figurative doors. All day. And finding more people to join you. I left it at once apiece.

Meanwhile, I'll follow the last-ditch attempt to cripple a law that will cripple Americans with near doubling and even tripling premiums, longer wait times and fewer choices in medical care, and higher full-time unemployment rates and uninsured rates.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Religion and Politics

They go hand in hand, according to this. I follow and agree with their line of reasoning.
“Religion and politics are now and always have been inextricably linked. It could not be otherwise. Politics is not only concerned with how do you get and maintain power and how do you order the political community and how do you distribute the benefits of the community, but as Plato and Aristotle pointed out a very long time ago, politics must necessarily raise the question of justice--which is to say, what is proper for man? What are the ends or the objectives of man and therefore what are the objectives of the political community? Now once you begin to think about that, you’ve just entered the area of religion. …”
Much as we might wish to keep religion and politics completely separate, there is a simple reason they cannot be: both are bound up with fundamental moral principles and feelings. Morality is central to religion and, despite appearances and claims to the contrary, it is also central to politics. Superficially, politics seems to deal with sometimes unseemly horse-trading and the flattering of petty egos; but at a deeper level, and in the long run, it concerns our basic priorities as a community. Religion and politics overlap in the domain we call morality, where we locate and sometimes debate the rules and principles necessary to making us worthy to call ourselves human beings.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I love this

From this report:
Greg Burke, the Vatican's senior communications adviser, insisted Friday that Francis was by no means calling into question the papacies and priorities of his predecessors.
"The pope is not condemning his predecessors," Burke told The Associated Press. "What he is saying is 'We've spent a lot of time talking about the boundaries, we've spent a lot of time talking about what is sin and what's not. Now let's move on. Let's talk about mercy. Let's talk about love.'"
I love Pope Francis! He gets it. He gets that people are more important than which side of an issue they stand on whether political or religious or something else entirely. Christ came not to condemn but to teach and love. Churches are supposed to do the same thing. The pope gets that we are here to help each other and learn from each other and love each other, and that we change lives for the better by being merciful and forgiving. Like the LDS president and prophet Thomas S. Monson, Pope Francis calls for increased love and compassion.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Institutionalization

Ann Coulter, as usual, does her homework on what she writes about. In this case, it is Aaron Alexis and crimes committed by the mentally ill.
But Alexis couldn't be institutionalized because the left has officially certified the mentally ill as "victims," and once you're a victim, all that matters is that you not be "stigmatized." 

But here's the problem: Coddling the mentally ill isn't even helping the mentally ill. Ask the sisters of crazy homeless woman "Billie Boggs" how grateful they were to the ACLU for keeping Boggs living on the streets of New York City. Ask the parents of Aaron Alexis, James Holmes (Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooter), Jared Loughner (Tucson, Ariz., mall shooter) or Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech shooter) how happy they are that their sons weren't institutionalized. 
Tellingly, throughout the last three decades, the overall homicide rate has been in free fall, thanks to Republican crime policies, from 10 per 100,000 in 1980 to 4 per 100,00 today. (You might even call them "common sense" crime policies.) But the number of mass shootings has skyrocketed from 4 per year, between 1900 and 1970, to 29 per year since then. 
Something seems to have gone horribly wrong right around 1970. What could it be? Was it the introduction of bell-bottoms? 
That date happens to correlate precisely with when the country began throwing the mentally ill out of institutions in 1969. Your memory of there not being as many mass murders a few decades ago is correct. Your memory of there not being as many homeless people a few decades ago is also correct. 
But liberals won't allow the dangerous mentally ill to be committed to institutions against their will. (The threat of commitment is very persuasive in getting disturbed individuals to take their medicine.) Something in liberals' genetic makeup compels them to attack civilization, for example, by defending the right of dangerous psychotics to refuse treatment and then representing them in court after they commit murder.  
Like I said a couple days ago. There's more, and more examples. Check it out.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Politicians must think we're stupid

Why else would they say what they do? I'm including all politicians, here - no distinction between partisanship when their lies are all the same. Either they think we're stupid, or they are so arrogant and out of touch that they honestly think their hypocrisy and break of trust is invisible to the public. Or they're stupid. Although, if someone is smart enough to get elected it's not likely the latter.

Look at these Drudge headlines both a few days past and present as an illustration of what I mean.

'RAISING DEBT CEILING DOES NOT INCREASE OUR DEBT'...



President Finds Pen Pal in Iran Leader...

Iran president blames Israel for 'instability'...


Obama: Americans Wrong About Obamacare...

Census: No sign of economic rebound for many...

CIA Employee Who Refused to Sign Non-Disclosure on Benghazi Suspended...

Angry House Republicans demand better communication from their leaders...

White House gathers in 'war room' to plot Obamacare...

Congress gets sneaky exemption from ObamaCare, Punishes Senator Who Tries to Stop It...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No surprise

It should be all quite familiar to us now that people with some forms of mental illness - the kinds who are obsessed with violent video games - are a threat to the public. Such as in Newtown, CT. We've actually seen this pattern since Springfied, OR back in the '90s before Columbine. At times - probably much more frequently than killings though I don't have proof beyond what I know of mental hospitals - their psychiatrists or other mental health professionals recognize people who are dangerous to the public before killings happen and they are shipped off to state hospitals.

Sadly, sometimes laws are written such that mental health professionals' hands are tied and they can do nothing truly preventative until after a crime is committed. This varies by location. Since the days of long-term psychiatric hospitals have ended, there is no where to treat people who really need that level of care. It is very difficult for both the mental health provider community and the state to work together on this, and the awareness and involvement of the community would be helpful in this process: excepting in inpatient circumstances, professionals are not continually aware of patients' current state. Meanwhile we can thank the civil rights movement for protecting the rights of killers to kill (sarcasm). Actually, some progress is being made in this area. At least in some places.

Politicians blame guns instead of inadequate treatment of mental illnesses, but why not the still absurd but probably more effective regulation of violent video games? Guns are what stop these people from shooting even more people. Every time. It really doesn't matter in what way guns are illegal or legal for someone determined to kill to find a weapon. It does matter that people who can protect themselves and others prevent additional injury and murder. I talked more about that here.

Mass murders are not the norm, nor are they on the rise according to at least one researcher. The difference is in our media. Now with Twitter, FB, the Internet, etc. people hear about these stories more quickly and more often. It's also no surprise that a sensationalist media is eager to tell the most horrific stories.

It should also come as no surprise that the media isn't talking about how we can better care for those mentally unstable people with violent tendencies - just spouting whatever the liberal politicians are saying about gun control. At least, this is no surprise to me. I'm guessing the people who study these topics are frustrated by the media's lack of interest in effective care and prevention.  Sorry, folks, effective prevention isn't part of the political agenda.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Natural Disaster

My thoughts and prayers are with many experiencing flash flooding in Colorado yesterday and today. Utah Valley last week. Various places in New England at various times in the past year. Nature is powerful.

As a scientist, I love this stuff! I love seeing the forces of nature at work. Maybe I should have been a geologist instead of a science teacher by training.

Exciting as it is to see geology in action, I know it's not fun and games for the people nearby. Hang tight! After the ordeals are over, you've got stories to tell the rest of your lives. And probably lessons for a life time to boot as communities reach out and help each other.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fatigue

Putin is laughing at us, taking advantage of us, and Obama seems to think that is as it should be for all we hear. Meanwhile Congress and Obama are bent on ignoring what Americans want and need domestically and pushing their own agendas.

I'm tired of politicians. I'm tired of the media spinning what politicians do and say into something good for the politician as if it would also be good for America. I'm not alone.

A liberal friend of mine hailed an recent Onion article saying that a majority of Americans support sending Congress to Syria! Right on.

Given our lack of enthusiasm for our current political leaders - most of whom ignore the very people who sent them to Washington - we oughtta start talking more seriously about The Liberty Amendments. Rightist or leftist, doesn't matter. No one is happy with this Big Government except the ones who ignore them entirely. Let's take back the country by overriding Congress - legally. Check out the link if you haven't before.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bungling Foreign Policy

There are some really good questions about Syria that are just not getting answered. Some people are beginning to question Obama's motives over his lack of experience. From Rush yesterday (and I recommend that transcript in full because there are many valid points):
Summing up the net effect of all this, Conrad Black (whose piece I also mentioned to you). I have it here, Conrad Black in the New York Sun yesterday. Listen to this paragraph, folks. "Not since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, and prior to that the fall of France in 1940, has there been so swift an erosion of the world influence of a Great Power as we are witnessing with the United States." Bingo! Right on the money.  Does anybody really think it's due to incompetence? 
Five years of incompetence?  Five years of incoherence, five years of bungling, feckless, amateurish, in-over-his-head behavior? It's been five years of it, almost, a little over four and a half.  Really?  All this is being done on purpose?  I mean all of this is just happening accidentally?  Obama really wants this to be strongest country in the world? He really does, really, really -- just like he really, really wants to create jobs?  You know what that number is, by the way?  
Especially in light of today's news that Syria will willingly consent to chemical weapons monitoring - lending more and more weight to the claims that they never used chemical weapons in the first place and that it was the rebels unwilling to be monitored -  I wonder what is spin and what is real?
Russia and Syria embraced Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s suggestion Monday that the Syrian government could avert a U.S. attack by placing its chemical weapons under international control, upending the Obama administration’s efforts to sharpen its case for military action. 
U.S. officials said Kerry’s comment, made in response to a question at a news conference in London, was not intended to be a diplomatic opening. But Kerry’s Russian and Syrian counterparts quickly followed up, and the idea drew immediate interest internationally and from top Democrats in Washington. 
By the end of the day, President Obama conceded that the idea of monitoring and ultimately destroying Syria’s arsenal “could potentially be a significant breakthrough.” The Senate postponed a vote scheduled for Wednesday on whether to back a proposed punitive strike.
UPDATE: Today Rush talked about Kerry's then-gaffe becoming a "great idea" celebrated by American media.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Obamacare is coming

While this information is curiously lacking in the news, October 1st is a day of note for Americans across the country. From Redstate:
Washington is a strange place.  If you only spent your time inside the D.C. beltway you would come away with the impression that the most important policy issues are amnesty for illegals and air strikes for Al-Qaeda in Syria.  Yet in the real world, Americans are concerned about the lethargic economy and the destruction of the healthcare system at the hands of Obamacare.  Only in Washington can the focus be shifted to foreign interests just three weeks before implementation of the worst domestic program in American history.
On October 1, the Obamacare exchanges will officially open their doors, bringing us one step closer to the immutable dependency on government and the inexorable unsustainability of the private healthcare sector.  Employers are cutting health benefits, jobs – or both.  Healthy individuals who purchase their own health insurance will no longer be able to afford their own plan.  Doctors with decades of experience plan to retire due to the cumbersome mandates, restrictions, and paperwork.  Even many Democrats believe this plan is unworkable and are looking for leadership to stop this travesty from taking root.
So why isn't Obamacare bigger in the headlines, given its continued unpopularity with the American public? You're smart - you know that attention on Obamacare may provoke people to cry out against it before it is too late to do anything about it. Fight back against the government and complicit media by doing it anyway. Contact your elected representatives. Go ahead - it only takes a few minutes. It is time to remind our political ruling class who gave them power to rule, and who can take it away.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ick!

I just read that Biden wants Napolitano on the Supreme Court. Still shuddering. Politics is ruling our country, not sensible ideas. She's never even been a judge, for crying out loud!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Time to surpass Obama in understanding foreign policy

Ann Coulter has done it again: explained with compelling logic and evidence that a policy or plan of the Obama administration is horrible for America. This week, Syria is the case in point. Here is some, but you don't want to miss the rest of it:
It would be completely different if we knew with absolute certainty that Assad was responsible for chemical attacks on his own people. (I'm still waiting to see if it was a Syrian upset about a YouTube video.)

It would be different if instead of killing a few hundred civilians, Assad had killed 5,000 civilians with poison gas in a single day, as well as tens of thousands more with chemical weapons in the past few decades.

It would be different if Assad were known to torture his own people, administer summary executions, rapes, burnings and electric shocks, often in front of the victim's wife or children.

It would be different if Assad had acted aggressively toward the United States itself, perhaps attempting to assassinate a former U.S. president or giving shelter to terrorists who had struck within the U.S. -- someone like Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood terrorist.

It would be different if Assad were stirring up trouble in the entire Middle East by, for example, paying bounties to the families of suicide bombers in other countries.

It would also be different if we could be sure that intervention in Syria would not lead to a multi-nation conflagration.

It would be different if we knew that any action against Syria would not put al-Qaida or the Muslim Brotherhood in power, but rather would result in a functioning, peaceful democracy.

And it would be different if an attack on Syria would so terrify other dictators in the region that they would instantly give up their WMDs -- say, Iran abandoning its nuclear program.

If all of that were true, this would be a military intervention worth supporting!

All of that was true about Iraq, but the Democrats hysterically opposed that war. They opposed it even after all this was known to be true -- indeed, especially after it was known to be true! The loudest opponent was Barack Obama. 
Read it all! Seriously, this is a quick way to be more familiar with some relevant facts that are currently being ignored by Obama-supporting media. Their hypocrisy is sickening when compared to Bush's treatment by the same media for a more clear-cut engagement.

Why Syria, Obama? Why spill more American blood when there is no clear plan of attack, reason for attack, or even desirable end results? We can't win this. Methinks Americans had better understand that blindness and possibly anti-American motives in Washington are digging us into a hole so deep that bad policies are the only possible outcome. Attempting to leave a legacy or improve public opinion by waging an unnecessary war is the height of folly. This move is more damaging to the United States than the ones we have already been seeing domestically, since this one would be paid for in both federal dollars and lives.

Reminder: last week I summarized a blog post surmising that the only winner of this probable war is Saudi Arabia, because most of the Shias could be killed off without direct involvement by predominantly Sunni nations. Such as Saudi Arabia, who has been funding this Syrian war.

What does gaining understanding do for American citizens? We can call out the media and politicians for their stupidity and/or deception. Nothing forces a politician to be more agreeable to his constituents than a little pressure that he won't get reelected. Meanwhile, keep a weather eye out for candidates who know more about foreign policy than our current crop or at least are more willing to do the right thing for America. Don't forget The Liberty Amendments as another superb manner to reclaim Washington.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

LDS Church: Then and Now

Chris Jones at The Chicago Tribune writes that the LDS Church has taken the jibes from The Book of Mormon musical quite well, compared to the more defensive posture taken nearly two centuries ago in Nauvoo, Illinois prior to the killing of Joseph Smith by an angry mob. That is true.

The early Latter-day Saints had been kicked out of so many places and been illegally targeted by violent mobs so many times in such a short period time with so little protection from the government which promises equity and justice for all that one can understand their defensiveness. The problem is that some of the their actions were not in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ taught to turn the other cheek.

The LDS Church as an entity is better at that now. Besides, people are more likely to listen to you and/or respect you if you keep your cool even when faced by deliberate and despicable provocation (thinking of the early Saints there, not the musical). Proverbs 15:1 in the KJV reads "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." Thus the official LDS Church response in the each Book of Mormon program is, "You've seen the play, now read the book."