Thursday, April 28, 2011

What are the chances....

What are the chances of getting presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee to say something like this?

Finally! A Birth Certificate! But, it's not enough!

I had to show my birth certificate to get into kindergarten back in the mid '50s. I had to show it to get a Social Security number. I had to show it to get a driver's license. I had to show it to join the Air Force. I had to show it to get a security clearance. I had to show it to get a passport. I had to show it to get my current job. I had to show it again last year to renew my driver's license.

It took over 2 years and millions of dollars to get a man with significant gaps in his history, Barack Obama, to come up with a birth certificate to prove his eligibility to be President of the United States. When he finally produced an electronic copy (not an original or certified paper copy), instead of acknowledging that proof of eligibility is a legitimate constitutional issue, he arrogantly declared, "We do not have time for this kind of silliness." Then he jetted off to Chicago to appear on Oprah.

A PDF of Obama's birth certificate is finally posted on the website. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be anything shocking or embarrassing in it that would explain the reluctance to release it. However, it appears to me, and my untrained eye, that this certificate has been altered -- take a look at the inconsistent font of the document number, the mother's occupation, and the "accepted" dates. Opening the Whitehouse PDF file in Adobe Illustrator reveals layers that point to tampering. It appears to be an amateurish fake. Hmmm.

Obama needed a certified copy of his birth certificate to get though life. All he has produced has been recently-made copies. Where is the copy he used to get into school, to get a driver's license, to get his license to practice law, to get a passport? I, a commoner, am responsible to still have mine. Where is his? I think the so-called "birthers" may yet have the last laugh.

But, even if this birth certificate is as legitimate as my own, why was that simple, "silly" task of producing an un-tampered birth certificate so hard to do when we commoners easily perform that "silliness" just to get into kindergarten? What is he hiding? Remember, the president said, "Let me say it as simply as I can: transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency." How are we doing on that? It is truly a shame that the leader of the free world takes the eligibility to hold the office so lightly.

While the issue of eligibility (and a birth certificate to prove it) is an important constitutional detail, a far deeper concern is the the set of principles by which he (and every other politician) governs. During the 2008 campaign, Obama promised to "transform America." He's certainly doing that! That promised transformation is based on certain principles he and his handlers possess. The question is, how well do those principles match the principles of a thoughtful voter and the Constitution?

In the election of 2008, far too many votes were based primarily on skin color rather than character. Many voted only for a political party label. I, on the other hand, voted based on principles (which was mighty hard to do considering the quality of the candidates on the ballot). My principles include the following:
• We are sons and daughters of God and are created in His image. (Gen 1:26-27, Mal 2:10, Matt 5:48, Eph 4:6, Heb 12:9)
• All that has been revealed, all that is now revealed, and all that will be revealed from God is truth. Man may discover truth from time to time -- especially when he is inspired by God -- but he also conjures up a lot of baloney, too! Truth is real. Truth is eternal. Right and wrong as moral principles do not change. Truth does not change -- it is never relative! We are freest when we have and live truth. Truth is often unpleasant to the unrepentant and especially to evil people. This seems especially true in politics and in government affairs. Got wants us to seek, recognize, have, live, and govern by truth -- not the depravity of moral relativism and so-called progressivism. (John 8:32, 1 John 2:21, 2 Corinthians 13:8, LDS 9th Article of Faith)
• As children of God, we "are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights." This concept of God-given rights differs from how other nations and ill-informed Americans view rights. They believe that rights are limited to what the government allows them to have and do. (Declaration of Independence)
• A few of those inherited rights are listed in the Bill of Rights and other Amendments to the Constitution. "We the people" made it clear that we retain our rights, including all those that are not listed (ie the right to privacy). Many of the nation's founders felt the Bill of Rights was not necessary since it was clear to them that our rights come from our Creator -- not from any government. (9th Amendment to the Constitution)
• "To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." (Declaration of Independence)
• Through the US Constitution, "we the people" formed the government of the United States and delegated to it specific responsibilities and powers. The government has no legitimate power except that which we delegate to it. Whatever illegitimate power government usurps can be traced to the neglect and poor judgment of voters -- "we the people." (Constitution, Article I, Section 8)
• I hold the US Constitution to be divinely inspired. I believe God will hold us just as accountable for corrupting the Constitution as He would for our defiling any other gift He has given us. (Doctrine & Covenants 101:80)
• "We the people" identified the US Constitution as "the supreme Law of the Land." All agencies, laws, rules, policies, treaties, and judicial rulings that conflict with the US Constitution are invalid and must be purged. (Constitution, Article VI)
• "We the people" established a representative (republican) form of government that includes separation of powers. At the national level, those powers are separated between the legislative, administrative, and judicial branches. "We the people" also established a separation of powers between the national, state, and local governments -- all of which are to be representative (republican). (Constitution, Articles I, II and III, 10th Amendment, Marbury vs. Madison)
• "We the people" made it clear that all "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. (10th Amendment to the Constitution)
• "We the people" directed all national, state, and local public officials take an oath to the Constitution -- not to any political leader, party, or even to the flag. (Constitution Article II, Section 1)
• While "we the people" require our politicians, judges, and politicians to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," "we the people" carry the ultimate responsibility to protect the Constitution. "We the people" can only do this though informed and wise voting. Over the past 100 years, "we the people" have failed to protect our Constitution by electing politicians who promise to "transform America" in ways that violate the Constitution and the God-given rights it was designed to protect.
• The concept of a "living constitution" is flawed and dangerous. The US Constitution has a defined amendment process. When "we the people" determine that the Constitution needs updating, our representatives in the national and state legislatures follow prescribed amendment steps in a manner that makes them accountable to the people. The "living constitution" concept is based on the progressive idea that statist elites are wiser than us commoners and are free to misuse, misinterpret, or ignore the Constitution at will. This inevitably shifts power from the people to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats and judges. A "living constitution" is a dead constitution!
Bottom line: I have been among those who cherish the Constitution enough to demand that only constitutionally-qualified individuals serve in public office. It is, after all, "we the people" who must ultimately enforce the Constitution because we can't always trust presidents, congressmen, or judges of any political party to do it for us.

Those who focus primarily on Obama's birth certificate believe that the efforts spent trying to get Obama out of office, will make a difference. They do not focus on the evil he and his fellow anti-Americans have done and the need to overcome the big-government movement (ObamaCare, etc.). Instead we must go after the man and his agenda himself. If we intend to defeat Obama, we must work to neuter him and his policies directly -- not focus on a piece of paper.

The cry for Obama's birth certificate has been a diversion from other essential issues -- a diversion which I believe Obama exploited as long as he could. As Rush Limbaugh said yesterday,
We need to put this in perspective: Barack Obama never had a birth certificate problem. He has a spending problem. He has a redistribution-of-wealth problem. He has a socialism problem.
and, Mark Steyn today:
I don't want this presidency to end on the technicality of whether Barack Obama was born in Hawaii or on the Planet Krypton. I want the ideas on which he got elected to die. These ideas are killing your country.
I agree. "We the people" must focus on enforcing the Constitution to bring our ever more tyrannical and expensive government under control. Vote principles! Demand your representatives do likewise!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Do-gooders in government

In the video clip below, Senator Rand Paul speaks for all Americans with the capacity for rational thought. However, he missed a great opportunity when Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Kathleen Hogan said, "I can help you find a toilet that works." He should have responded with, "That's just the point, we need the government to get out of our lives - to stop micromanaging everything we do! We don't need a federal bureaucrat to 'help us find a toilet that works'! We need Congress and bureaucrats to stop banning 'a toilet that works'!"

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed." — Ayn Rand, 1905-1982 (Atlas Shrugged)
The bottom line, however, it the voters are idiots because it is the ignorant, selfish, and irrational voters put these people in power.

New campaign slogan: "If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you're not a racist, you'll have to vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you're not an idiot."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mother Earth News vs Science

I am insulted by an online article posted byThe Mother Earth News (TMEN). It uses a photo of the steam coming from power plant cooling towers (the story implies that the photo is of a coal-fired plant but it could also be a nuke but that is immaterial) to illustrate CO2 emissions.

As any science-aware person knows, the steam (H2O) shown in the photo is not CO2! TMEN had to use a photo of steam because a photo of modern smoke stacks would dramatically show nothing that would be editorially useful!

Since TMEN apparently assumes its readers are scientifically illiterate, a misleading photo is apparently justified. TMEN's egregious misuse of such a photo highlights:
• Profound editorial laziness
• Profound ignorance of basic science
• An assumption that TMEN readers are idiots
• A deliberate intent to mislead its readers into the false belief that one of the cleanest sources of energy (nuclear) is evil or
• All the above.
The web page also proudly mentions a Sierra Club announcement of the 100th cancellation of a proposed coal-fired power plant since 2001. There is no mention of a cost-effective and reliable replacement for the loss of 100 coal-fired power plants.

The real direction this anti-energy campaign is taking is back to the stone age when our ancestors did not have the technology we enjoy today which relies totally on reliable, abundant, and cheap fossil-fuel and nuclear energy.

TMEN and the Sierra Club should consider the simple fact that, without cheap and reliable energy from energy sources such as coal and nuclear to build and install them, there will be no electric or hybrid cars or solar panels or wind-powered generators. No solar panel or wind turbine is capable of generating the energy necessary to build its own replacement at a reasonable cost. It takes carbon or nukes to do that kind of real work.

It takes thousands of acres of wind turbines and/or solar panels to produce sporadic energy equal to the capacity of the steady and reliable output of one coal-fired power plant or one nuke. What is a bigger eyesore -- a thousand windmills or steam coming out of 5 cooling stacks? Which process is honestly more environmentally friendly -- gas and coal or solar and wind?

Here's another dirty little secret the alternative energy advocates aren't talking about: To avoid spoiling the food in your refrigerator, every solar/wind farm must be backed up by batteries (impractical for large-scale installations and an environmental nightmare for even small installations) or conventional power sources. No matter how much we invest in so-called "green" energy, we must also build conventional-energy facilities of equal capacity as backups and keep them online or the electricity will not be there when you need it!

Still another dirty little secret: So-called "green" energy exists only when it is involuntarily and heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

If TMEN and their allies are really worried about CO2 emissions (which, according to geological history, legitimate science, and common sense, does not cause earth's natural climate changes), TMEN should be pushing for nukes -- their CO2 output is zero!

The real direction this anti-energy campaign is taking is back to the stone age when our ancestors did not have the technology we enjoy today. Modern technology and comforts rely totally on reliable, abundant, and cheap fossil-fuel and nuclear energy. Self-proclaimed environmentalists generally seem to be people who don't know about science, don't understand economics, and won't do the math.

TMEN editors and writers, please stop listening to that buffoon and science midget Al Gore and do your homework!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Progressivism is a political movement favoring or advocating changes or reform through governmental action.

Who can possibly be against progress? Well, progressivism and progress are not even close to the same. The spelling is very similar by design: to deceive. They are not even remotely similar in meaning.
Progressives, taking their values from Europe, came to regard the state as the vehicle to a nearly utopian society. Gradually it displaces individual responsibility, parental authority and communal institutions. — Dennis Prager
I stand for personal progress. Personal progress means personal growth, personal opportunity, personal responsibility, personal accountability, personal service to others, personal charity (not to be confused with social justice), individual rights, and the objective to perfect ourselves.

Progressives, on the other hand, push for government progress. When government progresses, all the above personal characteristics are stifled and even prohibited. While progressives profess to help those who need help, in reality, progressivism demands government regulation and taxation to tear down the most successful (except, of course, for the political elite in the progressive movement). When they seek to impose their agenda on the people, they become fascists.

Progressivism has given us a Nanny State, which purports to take care of all citizens. It must, in the process, impose of volumes of regulations, restrictions and arbitrary rules.
An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public. — French diplomat Talleyrand (1754-1838)
Progressivism evolved during the period from the 1880s to the 1930s (coinciding with the establishment of secular land-grand colleges* and the elevation to sainthood in the Atheist religion of the recently deceased Darwin and Marx) as the courts, political leaders, news editors/reporters/commentators, educators, and some religious leaders adopted five general ideas:
Rights are permissions and gifts from the government -- not God-given inborn characteristics of children of God.
▪ Government exists to make everything "fair" and nice by redistributing wealth and by controlling a variety of aspects of life -- not protecting rights "endowed by our Creator."
▪ Courts must exercise judicial restraint and not get involved when legislatures, presidents, and bureaucrats decide to violate rights. Presidents must exercise executive restraint and not get involved when legislatures, judges, and bureaucrats decide to violate rights. Legislatures must exercise legislative restraint and not get involved when judges, presidents, and bureaucrats decide to violate rights. Bureaucrats do whatever they please.
▪ The concept of a "living" Constitution which can and should be reinterpreted or ignored with the passage of time without going through the formal amendment process defined in the Constitution itself.
▪ The virtue once called truth and the old-fashioned sense of right and wrong has evolved into moral relativism. Progressives reject the concept of God-given truth. Instead, whatever man conjures up is "his reality" and is therefore his "truth"! Truth is temporary, vague, and changeable. This degradation of truth allows judges and politicians to ignore moral absolutes and natural law to impose their own will or the will of others upon the people.

The parallel establishment of land-grant colleges is significant because previously, higher education was generally affiliated with religion. This secular higher education system established an educational environment where God-given truths and the time-tested moral absolutes of religion are replaced with moral relativism -- the idea that there is no absolute truth, that truth evolves or changes with the circumstances or the whims of man. This supersedure of society's religion-based moral compass provided the conditions where progressivism could flourish (fester).

Progressivism dominated the political discourse in the early decades of the twentieth century. This movement inspired the growth of the regulatory state bureaucratic bloat. This era put us on the path to the overgrown, inefficient, intrusive, and expensive government that we have today.

While progressives may think and claim that the nation's founders were progressives as defined over the past 100+ years, they were not. Instead of "favoring or advocating changes or reform through governmental action," they rejected a burdensome government. They designed a new government with minimal intrusion into personal lives. The established a government to protect rights, not redefine rights or to change rights into privileges or to change privileges into rights. They wrote into the Constitution very specific and long-ignored restrictions on the government to preserve and enable personal progress.

We progress best when we have personal opportunity and motivation. Opportunity exists when individual rights are protected (a proper and major role of government). Motivation comes only from within -- not from some government bureaucracy.

We do not progress personally when we allow or expect the government to do for us what we should do ourselves. At best, we lie fallow. Most likely, our lot in life only worsens. Most importantly, we all pay a huge spiritual cost when we allow progressivism rule our lives and usurp our privilege and duty to serve each other.

Progressives appear to seek to do good. But, they do it with other people's money and labor. They define "good" to fit their own statist ends. That is not progress. It is tyranny.

In medicine, some diseases are referred to as "progressive." In government and politics, progressivism is a disease.

Recommended books:
Progressivism: Our Road to Serfdom
Progressivism: Our Road to Serfdom

How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution
How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution

American Progressivism: A Reader
American Progressivism: A Reader

Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism
Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The "natural-born citizen" clause

Jon Meacham wants to repeal the natural-born citizen clause of the US Constitution (see video below). The fact that he wants to do so indicates that he hides his lack of confidence in the legitimacy of Obama's presidency. Probably correctly, he argues that the restriction was written into the Constitution because the founders feared a foreigner of immense wealth buying power in the United States (such as Obama backer, George Soros). Meacham somehow believes that this allegedly antiquated fear is no longer valid!

Change the Constitution when there is a good reason. Accommodating the political agenda of a Kenyan (Obama) or an Austrian (Schwarzenegger) or their supporters or their puppeteers or Zombies is not a good reason.

Here are a couple of badly needed changes to the Constitution:
● Repeal the 16th Amendment!
● Repeal the 17th Amendment!
● Restrict all political contributions to be only from individuals who can legally vote.
● Restrict all lobbying to be only from individuals who can legally vote and from the States.(The Bill of Rights was written to protect individual rights -- and in certain specific cases State rights. The guarantee of free speech was intended to protect the political and religious speech of individuals -- not the unions or "artists" with no talent or vandals or millionaire farmers and alternative energy manufacturers who want subsidies or even the NRA.)
Other than those few desperately needed changes, all we need to do is elect a Congress and a President who will adhere to the Constitution by repealing and phasing out all federal laws, rules, policies, agencies, and judicial rulings that don't comply with the restrictions imposed by the Constitution.

Our founders said it best in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...." Just because we don't follow the Constitution doesn't mean it's outdated.

What is outdated about individual liberty and having a government that does little more than protect that liberty?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stop yer whinin'. Get involved!

For decades, I've listened to people propagate conspiracy theories. They have no idea what's going on in their local school board or city council. Yet, they know all about the New World Order, the evils of the Federal Reserve, the Council on Foreign Relations, the UN plan to confiscate guns, the Trilateral Commission, UN and other foreign armys positioned to subdue rebellious Americans, the Bilderberg Group, the imminent collapse of the US Dollar and the global economy, and Biblical prophecies of the end of the world. They even believe countless prophesies that have been attributed to God's emissaries, but for which there is absolutely no reliable documentation.

They accept all these catastrophes as inevitable -- that nobody has power to stop them. They don't believe that good people can control the outcome, yet they assume that evil forces can. They are resigned to inevitable fate. This resignation does nothing but empower every selfish, evil, power-hungry, and greedy individual and organization in the family, the community, the nation, and the world. (I wonder if any of the evil powers in the world are resigned to inevitable fate.)

I've listened to people complain about the government. (Oddly, liberals, conservatives, moderates, Democrats, Libertarians, Republicans, constitutionalists, and anarchists all share many of the same concerns and issues.) I ask them how they voted in the last election. Many didn't vote. Many of those who did vote elected the very people who caused, endorsed, or perpetuated the problems we have!

People say it doesn't matter whether they vote. So, they don't. If they do vote, they rarely put more than 10 minutes of research and thought into the decision. Far too many even walk into the voting booth completely clueless and offer a silent prayer that God will guide their hand. I've complained in the past about America's voters: One-third carefully study the issues and candidates before voting; one-third get their news and information from Oprah and Jay Leno monologues; and one-third are completely clueless. The two-thirds of the voters who are idiots are out-voting the rest of us! No wonder things are so so screwed up!

I ask them if they know what the US Constitution says and does. They either have no idea or their idea is completely wrong. They have no clue that most of what the federal government does, and what they expect the federal government to do, violates the limits placed on the federal government by Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution and that, according to the 10th amendment, every other right, power, and responsibility belongs to the people and the States.

I ask them where their rights come from. They think rights come from the Bill of Rights (ie, by government decree). This belief contradicts the understanding of the nation's founders expressed in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...." The Tenth Amendment further clarifies that our rights are not limited to whatever rights are listed in any document, including the Bill of Rights. In reality, we only have whatever rights we are willing to defend -- no matter what our Creater gives us.

I ask people when they last read the editorial page of any newspaper. An awful lot of people don't know what or where that is.

I ask when they last wrote a letter to the editor or to a congressman or a county commissioner or to a school board member. In response, I get a blank stare.

I ask when they last attended their precinct caucus meeting. They've never heard of it.

I ask when they've last attended a meeting of their elected officials (school board meeting, city council, county commission, or even state legislature). Such a person is extremely rare. Our lack of engagement with even politicians, even local politicians, gives them immense, unaccountable power.

I ask if they've ever attended a rally for a political candidate or a political issue. They don't have the time and even scoff at those who do.

I ask if they've been to any website related to a political party or political issue. No, but they've googled the hundreds of secret concentration camps that are known to be scattered across the US. They know about all the sundry government conspiracies against the people. They believe in, and trust, the Maya calendar which allegedly promises the end of the world in 2012. The people who start Internet hoaxes dressed as prophecies and government conspiracies must surely be having a belly laugh.

All these people have all the time in the world conjure or perpetuate conspiracies and sensational prophecies. They seem to assume that since God's prophets have predicted certain events, God must want those events to happen and we must therefore allow them to happen. Yet, they have given no thought that all these conspiracies and doomsday scenarios can be stopped cold if they'd simply educate themselves with facts and get involved in the political process and cast wise, informed votes. I believe that this is what God wants -- not doom, anarchy, and destruction.

People clammor for term limits, as if that would somehow eliminate all evil from politics. They fail to grasp the simple, yet obvious fact that even if we "throw the bums out" on election day or through term limits, the political staffers remain, as do all the bureaucrats and most of the judges! They fail to understand that if term limits "throw the bums out," they also throw out the true, selfless statesmen. "We the people" are the "term limits." This responsibility demands informed and wise voters -- not conspiracy buffs!
Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. — Samuel Adams
Like many Americans, I believe the US Constitution is inspired. As with personal sin, I believe God will, one day, hold us accountable for our own sins as well as for how valiantly we fought for the truths found in the Scriptures and in the Constitution. He will say something like, "I gave you the Constitution to protect your rights and to be a light of freedom to the world. What did you do to protect the Constitution?"

Article Six of the US Constitution requires that "[t]he Senators and Representatives...and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution...." When I write to my political representatives, I remind them of that oath. We know, from history, that our elected and appointed officials often do not even consult the Constitution, let alone support it. We think that the courts, when they rule on the constitutionality of a law, are defending the Constitution. Yet the courts, like politicians and bureaucrats rarely even consult the Constitution when making their decisions. So who is the ultimate protector of the Constitution? The people. It is "we the people" who created the Constitution. It is "we the people" who must defend it! Nobody else will!

If good men and women would study the nation's founding documents (including the Scriptures), and the writings of the founders, then compare the principles therein with the positions and actions of current local, state, and national politicians, they would make wise and informed votes. All the conspiracies and doom would be stopped cold. We would protect the constitution, the nation, and our God-given rights and liberty. Simply yakking about prophecies, conspiracies, and doom only ensure their fulfillment. Inaction, resignation, and apathy do not help God's plan in any way whatsoever.

Don't we have enough real problems right now that need our attention right now without spending our time and energies on things that might happen in the future -- especially when fixing today's political and moral problems could prevent future man-made catastrophes?

How will you answer when God asks you what you did to stop the fulfillment of His prophecies of evil and destruction?

The government pushed the sale of guns to Mexican drug cartels!

Except for a bit of CBS reporting on the issue, it seems that only the gun community is concerned about the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) encouraging the trafficking of firearms to drug gangs in Mexico. Thousands of firearms have reportedly been smuggled to Mexico with the approval of the ATF through "Project Gunrunner" / "Fast and Furious"!

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa and Representative Darrell Issa of California are virtually alone in Congress in the effort to get to the bottom of this egregious scandal. Because they do not have the support of their fellow Congressmen, this effort to get information from the ATF and the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been consistently stonewalled.

I am outraged that the ATF and the DOJ engaged in this trafficking of arms to Mexican drug cartels. I am outraged that the ATF and the DOJ (including Attorney General Eric "My People" Holder, whom I warned Congress was an enemy of the Constitution during his confirmation process) are covering up this scandal. I am outraged that the DOJ and the ATF are defying Congress on this issue. But most of all, I am outraged that most in Congress are not also outraged that the ATF and the DOJ are defying Congress!

I expect every congressman to immediately join Senator Grassley and Representative Issa in holding the ATF and the DOJ fully accountable. I expect every congressman to immediately join Senator Grassley and Representative Issa in identifying every bureaucrat, political appointee, and elected official who knew about and/or approved this program. I expect every congressman to immediately join Senator Grassley and Representative Issa in removing from office and prosecuting every bureaucrat, political appointee, and elected official who knew about and/or approved this program. There must be no partisanship or scapegoating of low-level government employees, concerned gun dealers, or law-abiding gun owners!

This bureaucratic defiance of the people and the people's elected representatives must not be tolerated! If every congressman does not immediately and aggressively join this fight, I must assume that Congress approves the egregious actions of the ATF and the DOJ.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Art vs Sports in Cedar City

Southern Utah University (SUU) is planning a lavish new $12.5 million Museum of Art. This 28,000 square-foot museum would feature frequently changing exhibits along with at least one permanent exhibit. The people behind this project seem to believe that art lovers will travel from all over the globe to see SUU's art collection and that the museum will be "full and busy all day long."

The two-story museum allegedly will be funded only by private donations. University President Michael T. Benson (who does not pay property taxes on his university-owned mansion and therefore would not be taxed to fund this project) is so confident of the success of this venture and fund-raising that he apparently is seeking financial support from the county (he's short about half the cost of the project). And, "SUU student body president Cody Alderson said students will be charged a fee of $15 per semester to help cover the cost of the museum" -- that is not a private donation!

It is my opinion that this art museum would join Cedar City's underutilized Heritage Center, underutilized $47 million hot tub (I was the only swimmer in the aquatics center this morning. Again.), and underutilized parks as an egregious waste of the taxpayers' hard-earned money.

Politicians at all levels seem to have absolutely no restraint when it comes to spending money that isn't theirs. Among other wild ideas our local Cedar City and Iron County politicians want to spend tax money on are a farmers' market (to compete with an already established farmers' market as well as our local grocery stores) and so-called alternative energy.

Well, as long as our local politicians have lofty dreams, I suggest they consider bringing a major-league sports team to Cedar City or maybe even to the wide-open market of Beryl Junction. If people would flock from all over the world to see the US Army Band and Soldiers Chorus (April 23) in the Heritage Center or to see Jim Jones' work in SUU's new art museum, surely we can attract enough football fans to pull the Steelers away from Pittsburgh. (Cedar City produced the first iron west of the Mississippi, after all.)

My point is, doesn't anyone do any market analysis before barging into these projects? And, doesn't anyone consider the already excessive tax burden and budget deficits that plague our nation, States, and communities? The informed minority of Americans are finally fussing about the runaway national debt and the runaway debt of some jurisdictions such as California. Yet, there are many local jurisdictions that also have unsustainable debt, too. Cedar City is on that path and nobody seems to care!

If President Benson really wants an art museum on his campus, I suggest he seek funds only from voluntary private donors. All tax money and student fees that go into SUU must be for education and lowering the cost of, and improving the quality of, education for SUU students. Absolutely no taxpayer money must be used to fund a lavish art museum as a memorial to Benson's extravagant dreams. And, politicians at all levels must reject any idea of subsidizing the Michael T. Benson Memorial Art Museum, Cafe, and Souvenir Shop with public money.

Now, about that new Steelers Stadium in Beryl Junction....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Congress just doesn't get it!

The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife. — Thomas Jefferson (letter to Spencer Roane, 1821)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Reject S.679 - The Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act

One of the fiercest enemies of the US Constitution, Senator Charles Schumer, has introduced legislation to surrender Senate authority to ensure the fitness of presidential appointees. S.679 would sharply reduce the number of appointees who must be confirmed by the Senate. For example, tt would give the presidient the ability to fill major gun-related Department of Justice slots with anti-gun partisans, without the pesky inconvenience of having to comply with the Constitution's requirements for Senate confirmation. All constitutionally-protected rights are at grave risk (as if they aren't already) if this bill passes

Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution provides that the President:
...shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Why did the founders include such a provision in the Constitution? It's really quite simple: They knew that without such Senate oversight, a corrupt president could fill the courts and government agencies with sycophants and operatives who would support that president's tyrannical power grab and/or corrupt policies. That provision is in the Constitution to protect the Constitution!

Clearly, the Senate confirmation process is broken -- especially in the hands of Senators who do not subscribe to the principle of limited government written into the Constitution. Schumer simply has proposed the wrong fix. He knows it. Every Senator knows it. The question is, how many Senators will fight this latest attack on the Constitution?

It seems to me that the correct way to fix the broken confirmation process is to consistently and expeditiously:
1 - Assess the nominee's professional skills for the position.
2 - Thoroughly evaluate the nominee's moral fitness. (Does he obey the law?)
3 - Eliminate political leanings as a criterion -- except as it applies to strict faithfulness to the Constitution.
4 - Thoroughly examine the nominee's knowledge, understanding, and demonstrated faithfulness to the Constitution.
On taking office, every Senator takes the following oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Congressmen (as far as has been disclosed to the public) do not take an oath to any political ideology, political party, party leader, king, or president. They take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." S.679 is contrary to that oath and sacred trust. S.679 must be defeated at all costs!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Social justice vs charity

Commentator and comedian Glenn Beck began a dialog over the differences between "social justice" and "charity." On the surface, both terms would seem to refer to the same concept. A bit of study shows otherwise.

Social justice is man's (and Satan's) law -- forcefully imposing somebody's sense of "fairness" upon the people in accord with Marx's vision:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
Social justice is always managed by an entity outside the individual. That is not charity! When social justice is effect, the recipient increases in selfishness, the person from whom wealth is taken increases in bitterness, and the entity managing social justice increases in power over both the recipient and the person who is taxed. Social justice suppresses man's spirit.

Charity, on the other hand, is God's commandment to believers to freely, selflessly, and privately give of one's time, talent, and wealth to those in need -- with the principle of individual free-agency in full effect. When charity is in effect, both the giver and the recipient grow and benefit. Charity feeds man's spirit.

Charity usually involves groups (churches and other charitable organizations), but the foundation remains the free-will giving of the individual's time, talent, and wealth. The concentrated power of charitable organizations can be more effective in many cases than the lone efforts of the individual. This concentrated and organized power of charity is a good thing -- as long as the individual giving remains a personal and private choice and no one in the organization exploits the individual's charity or need to enrich himself or to gain power over others -- something which invariably happens when social justice rules.

As far I can tell from the Scriptures, God never commanded any government or collective entity to ensure everyone has a fair portion of society's wealth. His commandment to care for those in need was, is, and always will be directed to individuals.
Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment (D&C 104:17–18)
How in the world did we arrive at the point where we self-described Christians believe that charity originates from the tax collector?

Progressives and politicians hate charity. Why? because they have no control over how you give. Oh, how much they crave to control you and your money! They can only control your money after it is extracted from you in the form of taxes -- they lose power.

They gain power building notoriously unconstitutional, inefficient, corrupt, wasteful, and ineffective government bureaucracies staffed largely with like-minded progressives who will vote to keep them in office.

They gain power by making the beneficiaries of government largess (or whatever is left over after bureaucratic overhead is skimmed off) permanently dependent of that largess. These dependents also vote to keep the gravy train running.

Progressives and politicians hate charity because private charitable institutions typically teach and inspire ideas of self-reliance and concern for one's neighbors that undermine the liberal welfare state.

Finally, progressives also hate charity because people who give to charity tend to be selfless and cheerful people -- unlike the tiny little miserable souls that they and their chronic dependents tend to be.

Note: If you haven't already, I urge you to read all the articles to which I have linked above.