Friday, February 29, 2008
I was listening to the Doug Wright show on KSL radio from Salt Lake City yesterday, and he was veritably salivating over the fact that British Prince Harry’s specific whereabouts in Afghanistan have been revealed, making him a security risk for the British military there.
Harry was not allowed by the British crown to serve in Iraq for the very reason that the specifics of his service would be divulged to the world. Then it was agreed by the British press that—for operational security—it would not be revealed that Prince Harry was actually in Afghanistan. The Brits kept their end of the bargain. It was a foreign source—perhaps Australian, but begun in the US very likely by the Drudge Report—that couldn’t keep the secret. It would have been better had it simply been a summer lightning strike in the western United States. It wouldn't have spread nearly so fast.
But no matter—right? We'd like to think that, wouldn't we? That’s the way it appears now after Prince Harry has been the leading headline of nearly every news program today. This is the stuff of grand American pulp media, nearly as important to them as the whereabouts and events surrounding Britney Spears.
What bothers me the most about this whole affair is how disingenuous many American media hounds seem to be as they chastise Drudge (or whoever it was) for revealing sensitive British military information—while appearing secretly jubilant that they have some salacious new material to trumpet ad nauseam. Hurray! We'd didn't reveal anything, but since you mentioned it...!
I don’t read the Drudge report. I didn’t find out about the security breach until I listened to KSL radio.
Most members of the Taliban don’t read the Drudge report, either. But they read the New York Times, and they watch CNN and Fox News. Now nearly everyone in the world knows where Prince Harry is. Thanks America!
Most members of the American media cannot resist a ‘sexy’ story. That’s because they’re information whores.
Are we, the consumers, whores too?
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Is graffiti okay? Some people think so. I think so as long as it is privately sponsored and controlled. But not when it’s not legal or privately allowed. The graffiti that I’m starting to see crop up everywhere is definitely not being encouraged or allowed—on the side of train cars, on overpasses, and on vacant buildings.
To make matters worse, now there are web sites that show the kinds of graffiti defacement that has occurred. Whoever is posting such images on these web sites may think they’re providing a public service, but actually, there’s no better encouragement—even for illegal activities—than publicity. The competition is ratcheting up now—the graffiti that is being cleaned up is now much more frequently being replaced within 24 hours.
Some kinds of graffiti are not illegal. These are the kinds of graffiti that should be encouraged. In the movie Freedom Writers, the story depicted a graffiti wall that was provided by the high school for legal graffiti production.
Illegal graffiti cannot be condoned. Law enforcement personnel cannot solve the increasing problem by themselves. Private individuals need to get involved. If graffiti occurs on private property without owners’ consent, property owners should have it cleaned off immediately, and all attempts should be made to punish the perpetrators. For public graffiti defacement, citizens should contact their local governments to find out how they can help eradicate a growing cancer.
Graffiti can be a very attractive form of artistic expression, but not when it’s produced on public property and/or without prior approval. Therefore, schools and private entities should provide an outlet for the desire to produce graffiti. The best example I can think of that facilitates artistic graffiti is the old building near the side of Interstate 15 at Brigham City, Utah. In other words, there probably aren't enough sanctioned graffiti walls in Utah.
Enforcement of and cooperation with the law, combined with outlets for sincere artistic expression, can help us solve this problem before it becomes very ugly.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I can tell when someone cares about honesty based on whether they care to report about both sides of an issue. Based on that factor, man-made global warming enthusiasts are largely snake-oil salesmen.
I haven't written about Global Warming much lately, because I've been so busy shoveling several tons of the stuff out of my driveway all winter. The previously snowiest winter her in northern Utah was 1993, and I'm pretty sure we just beat that in '08.
The winter of 2007-08 has not been very friendly to those who are sure that man is causing the earth to turn into a fireball. All kinds of evidence is cropping up that nature is perfectly capable of thwarting man's attempt to vaporize himself and his globe.
Average temperatures as of late have been much colder than normal. Arctic sea ice is increasing.
Canadian scientists are also noticing growing ice coverage in most areas of the Arctic, including the southern Davis Strait and the Beaufort Sea.That does not comport well with the theory that man is causing much warming. Even if we are having an effect, it appears that nature is more than up to the task of obliterating our futile
"The ice is about 10 to 20 centimetres thicker than last year, so that's a significant increase," he said.
Temperatures have stayed well in the -30s C and -40s C range since late January throughout the North, with the mercury dipping past -50 C in some areas.
Satellite images are showing that the cold spell is helping the sea ice expand in coverage by about 2 million square kilometres, compared to the average winter coverage in the previous three years.
The winter of 2007-08 has not been very friendly to those who are sure that man is causing the earth to turn into a fireball.attempts to raise the average temperature.
On the other end of the globe, Antarctica's ice is increasing as well.
Additionally, according to the US National Climatic Data Center, temperatures for January were lower than the average for the past 100 years. As National Post puts it:
...many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."
China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.
In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.
Does man have an effect on global warming? Sure. But do we have a significant effect on it? It certainly doesn't seem so.
So far, the great global warming swindle has been perpetrated on the citizens of earth by those who think it is their right to rule over us. If man really is causing the warming of the globe, then naturally, they think, someone must be anointed to correct the problem--by reducing the comforts of life for everyone but themselves. There is no other reason that someone would be so "sure" about something that is in reality so uncertain and unproven.
The problem is, there is no proof that man is causing significant warming. So next time you are tempted to think that global warming is significantly man-caused, ask yourself this question: who has the most to gain from the draconian laws that would have to be set up to even hope to begin to control average global temperature?
The answer to that question: not you.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I haven't agreed with everything Mike Huckabee has said in the 2008 presidential campaign, but here's something I agree with:
"Republicans have decided that elections are a messy thing, and anointings and coronations are much better,” Huckabee said on MSNBC. “It’s that kind of attitude that is going to be the death of the Republican Party in this country."I've heard some of the Utah minions of the Republican machine chastise Huckabee for staying in the US presidential race. Additionally, Doug Wright of KSL radio challenged the governor to stop thinking that he is God's gift to the world and get out of the race. "What could he possibly be thinking", Wright recently said on his show. What despicable attitudes. Mike Huckabee is in the race because the Republican party is not a monolith--or so I thought.
Mitt Romney is a sellout. Sure, he did just what his party wanted, but that's exactly what makes him a sellout--to the people who supported him, and to the country. To make matters worse, he offered all of his erstwhile delegates to John McCain, as down-payment et obsequium to the Republican kingmakers, in order to get the nod as Republican nominee in 2012. I, for one, will have a hard time voting for Mitt Romney under any circumstances now.
Many have called Mitt's actions the pragmatic thing to do. I call it the violation of principle. If Mitt Romney was so beholden to the Establishment and to his Party, I wish he would have never run. This would have given the more genuine candidates--Paul and Huckabee--a better chance. Now we're seemingly stuck, at best, with socialism lite.
So, as it stands, here is your presidential poll. Do you prefer:This was the sort of politics in which Rome engaged during the days of its last, dying gasps.
a) Socialism forced down your throat?
b) Socialism with a deceitful smile?
c) Socialism mixed with imperialism
That's it. You choices do not include "none of the above."
I applaud Mike Huckabee for staying in the presidential race. I am also very appreciative that Ron Paul continues to make a go of it, despite the fact that every Establishment media organ has been instructed to ignore him.
In the last 60 years, every presidential race has been the same--except for when Ronald Reagan snuck in there; John Hinckley almost corrected the mistake on behalf of the Establishment, though. People, voters, fellow Americans: it doesn't have to be this way. Romney proved his ineptness and untrustworthiness by trying to ensure that the stale status quo will continue for years to come.
The real heroes in this campaign season are those who refuse to bow to the party hacks of putrescence. Governor Huckabee and Congressman Paul--keep the faith!
“These are issues that keep us going 20 hours a day, because we care deeply about whether our party is going to stand for something — or if all we’re going to do is just a say, ‘We want to be elected and not those guys.’”The pragmatism of Mitt Romney and the majority of the Republican peasants has become a consistent exercise short-sightedness. If we knuckle under to the Establishment candidate, then that's what we're always going to get--the person they want, and never the one that we want or that is best for the country.
Huckabee argued that the Republicans “have lost touch in many cases with the common, ordinary people out there driving trucks, handling the freight, lifting heavy things.”
He noted that it is the members of the base who are the ones needed when it comes to the general election.
“You alienate that strong base of the party, and you’re going to find it very difficult to beat Democrats,” Huckabee said.
Someday we'll break the stranglehold monopoly that the Establishment has on our presidential (and other) elections. Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul may not win this time around, but they can be to our future as Barry Goldwater was the forerunner to Ronald Reagan.
Perhaps then we can throw the rascals out of both parties, and not just undergo a perpetual exchange of one set of court jesters for the other. When that day occurs, it will be refreshing to have cleaned up the cesspool that US politics has become.
Friday, February 22, 2008
In 2000, there were just over 54 million households in the United States that contained married couples, and there were about 5,500,000 households in where there were unmarried partners. The percentage of unmarried-partner households in 2000, then, was about 9 percent.
About 7 or 8 years ago, after a presentation on domestic violence, I asked the police officer who had given the presentation what percentage of domestic violence occurred in unmarried-partner households. He told me that they didn't keep those kind of statistics, but that if he had to estimate based on his experience, 70% of domestic violence occurs in unmarried-partner households. If that's true, it definitely pays to make a marriage commitment.
I suspect that the police officer is about right. But it's hard to know for sure. Is it because we're afraid of what we'll find if we start keeping those stats? So what? It's high time we start tracking. I may be wrong, but I would not be surprised at all if unmarried-partner households account for a far higher proportion of domestic violence than their proportion of the US population. Married-partner households are by no means immune from domestic violence, but I'll wager that the public commitment called marriage has a generally very positive effect on the domestic lives of those who choose that commitment.
I did some searching on the internet for comparative statistics on domestic violence. I found stuff like
Domestic violence is a learned pattern of behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other person. The partners may be married or not married, gay or lesbian, living together, separated or dating.That's true, but I think it's very misleading. By the way, I couldn't find actual married vs. unmarried statistics on domestic violence.
That's why I support Utah Senate Bill 242, Law Enforcement Tracking of Domestic Violence Statistics. This bill would require law enforcement to report, among other things, the "marital status of the parties involved". So far, this bill appears to be very uncontroversial, having passed the Senate by a vote of 27 - 0 - 2.
If we keep such statistics, I think we'll find that unmarried-partner households do commit a very disproportional amount of domestic violence. Domestic violence should never occur, but I suspect that one of the greatest curbs to domestic violence is marriage itself. I'd like to know if I'm right, and these statistics will help.
Either way, such statistics should be kept. If I'm wrong about my hunch, then it will be good to know. But if I'm right, it will be an indication of another very good reason for government to foster healthy families, especially including the encouragement of the most important individual commitment to society--marriage.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
China was roundly criticized--and the US secretly worries about the military implications of it all--when, just over a year ago, it shot down one of its older satellites.
Very similar criticism of the US came from the former Soviet Union last night, when America shot down one of its satellites, officially as a safety precaution.
The satellite was traveling at upwards of 17,000 mph with 1,000 pounds of hydrazine--that's "a hazardous fuel which could pose a danger to people on Earth," as the Department of Defense explained in a release.Are the Russians right? In this case, I don't think so, because the satellite contained hydrazine as a fuel, which is dangerously unstable, and which can cause serious symptoms in humans.
U.S. plans [for] destroy[ing] the satellite sparked an outcry from Russia, which accused the United States of using the incident as a thinly veiled excuse to test its missile defense systems. The Russian Defense Ministry argued that the Pentagon had failed to provide "enough arguments" for the operation.
It didn't help anything that a senior, unnamed US Defense official exclaimed that
"It was like something out of Star Wars!"In the long term, maybe the Russians are right.
When Ronald Reagan envisioned the Strategic Defense Initiative, he clearly saw it as a defensive endeavor. Now that China can shoot down satellites, perhaps we need that kind of defense in space. But one thing I never thought of, although it's pretty obvious (I'm very naive at times...): I always imagined America's Strategic Defense to be America based.
Well, that's not how it's turning out.
Instead of reducing American dominion throughout the world, we are using the "War on Terror" to vastly increase it. Infoshop News reports that
Over the past forty five years, the US has been developing various missile defense systems... The basic idea is to combine satellite technology with the use of anti-ballistics missiles (ABMs)which would counter first strike missile attacks. The most famous of the US projects was SDI, Reagan's infamous "Star Wars" program. Its current incarnation, the US National Missile Defense Program, is being sold to the world as a necessary element in the "war against terror". The US claims that, in order to protect itself from missile attacks from such "rogue states" like Iran, it needs to install elements of its anti-missile defense system on bases in Europe. Most notably, it wants to build two bases in Central Europe, one in the Czech Republic to house radars, and another in Poland to house missiles with nuclear warheads.Ah, the bogey monster! It solveth a multitude of Orwellian problems!
I am convinced that if Ronald Reagan were still alive and politically active that he would be appalled at current American imperial military overstretch. That's not what Reagan had in mind at all. But, unfortunately, that's the monster that he helped to unleash.
Perhaps "Star Wars" is the right term after all. Perhaps the Russians are right as well.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Fidel Castro lived less than a cipher's life, yet he has been romanticized unceasingly by the Robert Redfords of America, aided by a largely misguided U.S. embargo of his crumbling fiefdom. He could have amounted to a pretty good baseball player, and with God's grace, I wish he would have. He would have done much less damage. Too little, too late, he announced that he will not "run" for President for an unprecedented second 50-year term. As it stands, the world would have been better off if Fidel Castro had never been born.
An ailing Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba's president Tuesday after nearly a half-century in power, saying he was retiring and will not accept a new term when the new parliament meets Sunday.One thing that I can compliment him on--he was not as petty a tyrant as Mao Tse Tung. But with compliments like these, who needs criticism? Oh well, I am rife on this momentous day with criticism for the Monster of the Caribbean.
Fidel Castro is a torturer-par-excellence. Of course he had quite a bit of help from his brother Raul and "Human Rights paragon", Che Guevara. Just ask the thousands of people who lived in the Castro gulag.
He jailed and tortured at a rate higher than Stalin and refuses (unlike Apartheid South Africa, Pinochet's Chile and Somoza's Nicaragua) toFidel Castro is a murderer. Okay, fine, he let Che do most of that while Che was still around, but murders still occur at the direction of the tyrant who would have made Josef Stalin proud.
Lovers of freedom everywhere bid you a very unfond adieu as you ride off into the direction of hell's sunset.allow Amnesty International or the Red Cross to inspect his prisons.
Fidel Castro is the consummate propagandist. As evidence, ask yourself how many Americans really think Fidel Castro ever gave a crap about Elian Gonzales and his family.
Fidel Castro is a controller of the mind.
Fidel Castro's influence over the Western "intelligentsia" can only be described as magical, and renders any public evaluation of his regime among the smart set completely devoid of logic....Fidel Castro is a whoremongering gluttonous beast. The pleasures--and even the normalcies--of life that Fidel's government prohibited to his subjects were for him a daily fare. Women, food, movies, fast cars--he had it all--all the time.
His legal code mandates 2 years in prison for anyone overheard cracking a joke about him. Yet Jack Nicholson and Chevy Chase sing his praises.
Fidel contributed to the attempted destruction of the United States by allowing Nikita Khrushchev and the Soviet Union to plant nuclear missiles on Cuban soil.
Fidel--God loves you (because He is perfect), but I don't. You will answer for the blood of thousands of martyrs to the cause of freedom. I hope someday to be able to forgive you for heinous "contribution" to the world, but don't expect that forgiveness to be anytime soon in coming.
Your riddance is great and greatly appreciated. Please...don't change your mind. Lovers of freedom everywhere bid you a very unfond adieu as you ride off into the direction of hell's sunset.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
It's easy to live vicariously through our kids. Usually that vicariousness is through sports, but it can also be through anything that they excel at. More important than expecting them to excel at anything, however, is to give them the tools to excel in whatever way they choose. Here are a few of those tools as I see it.
1. Learn how to manage money wisely.
My parents always gave me an allowance when I was growing up. I spent it on some foolish things, but they let me make those choices and learn their lessons. We do the same things with our children. Sometimes they think they should get money for every chore they do around the house, but if we carefully delineate what is a paid task, they learn a lot from the experience of work, as well as the acquaintance with money and how to use or lose it. Some of our kids are spenders. Some are profligate with their money, and others are savers. But in each of their unique ways, they learn economic consequences that will prepare them for adulthood.
2. Understand Human Intimacy.
Admittedly, my wife has done the lion's share of the work in this category. She's naturally better at explaining what's important for our kids to learn in an age-appropriate manner. Sexuality is a very important and non-dirty part of life, so it's important that we share this with our children.
A basic understanding of modesty as a tot, followed by understanding feelings that accompany courtship, and, finally, the mechanics of reproduction, help kids develop a healthy respect for sexuality, as well as a recognition of when its sacredness is cheapened by such things as salacious movies, books, and magazines.
A healthy understanding of one's own sexuality contributes to a healthy, whole person.
3. Develop Your Own Opinion About Religion.
I believe that my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is the only true church on earth, but I also encourage my children to develop their own opinions about religion. Naturally they go to church with us nearly every week, and they have even found ways to enjoy LDS sacrament meeting, but we won't disown them if they don't follow our path. What happens if they decide to belong to a different church--or to not belong to any church at all? I'll respect that choice. There are far too many people in the world who have incorporated only their parents' opinions about religion--and about many other things. There are a lot of people in the world as well who practice their religion better than I do.
4. Be Part of a Performing Group or Athletic Club
Or both! A couple of our kids are fantastic athletes, a couple are pretty good, and one had to be reminded that she had to take at least one PE class to graduate high school. They're all different, and that's to celebrate! One thing they have in common is that they're all in the Utah Valley Children's Choir, which is one of the most positive influences in their lives. It might be unusual, but everyone in our family has developed a great singing voice. While our oldest daughter is likely to become a concert violinist, and a couple of them might have athletic careers into high school and beyond, the fact they all participate is good.
5. Understand the Value of Service.
It's easy to find titillation in the world, but that's not what makes it go around. If, by the age of 18, kids haven't learned that the world revolves around a much larger group of people than it did when they were an infant, they probably won't ever learn this key fact and pass it on to their children. Not only should we let our kids see us donating regularly to our favorite charities, but we should spend some time with them sorting cans at the community food kitchen, cleaning up the cemetery for Memorial Day, and working on their Eagle Scout projects.
6. Develop a Zest for Reading.
Our home is busting with books. We need to get some new bookcases...or...we sometimes donate to the city library or the thrift store. My wife has hardly missed a night reading to our younger children in over sixteen years. Mainly because of this, but also because they regularly see us reading, our kids love to read. Some it has taken longer to develop that enjoyment than others, but they have all arrived. We get the daily newspaper, so that everyone has a reminder to become more aware of the world around them. Newspaper reading commences at younger ages with the comics, and then the perhaps the sports or lifestyle pages. Occasionally they find something interesting in the business and science section, and as they become older, they like to read the news.
Is that six accomplishments? Well, I can't resist another.
7. Develop and Celebrate Family Traditions.
Whether your family is of the nuclear variety--a father, a mother, and one or more blood-related children--or of any other type, the family is your fundamental unit of society. Family members see each others' warts, we smell each others' farts, and we fight most passionately on occasion about the silliest things. But that's how we prepare for the University of Life. Since we're going it together forever, we might as well establish traditions that engender fond memories. It was interesting in our case that we had gone to Disneyland several times together, yet since we visited Arches National Park in eastern Utah last spring, it's been determined that we'd like to go someplace like Arches again. Perhaps Mesa Verde (again), Yellowstone (again for most of us), or the Grand Canyon (for the first time), these are traditions that glue our family together. Going to the movies, cultural performances, or athletic events are some other things our family enjoys.
Okay. There are my
- Jeremy at Jeremy's Jeremiad
- The Urban Koda
- JM Bell and Friends
- Jesse at The Coolest Family Ever
- Chad Nichols at Utah Opinions, and
- The Daily Kos
Friday, February 15, 2008
Do I think Buttars should resign from the Utah Senate? No. Let's let his constituents decide that one in the next election.
I have no proof that Chris Buttars is a racist. But how in the world could he come up with a statement like the one he uttered, and not be at least a racist of the closet variety? So I'm pretty sure he is.
In days gone by, it was fairly common for Utahns to be racist. I think it was more out of ignorance and lack of association with people of other races, more than anything. Chris Buttars, however, seems to be a throwback to that otherwise hopefully forgotten era. We know very well now, that when got created all men equal that he included people of all races. I encourage Senator Buttars to jump in his time machine and chart a course for 2008.
On the other hand, I am a bit put off by the Utah NAACP's Jeanetta Williams' call for his resignation. She has a right to hope he would resign, but it would show much more class on her part for her to simply express
Chris Buttars, in attempting to put principle above people, violates principle on a regular basis.her displeasure toward his comments, and then wait for the next election to solve the problem. Besides his subliminally derived racist comments, I can't imagine that (1) the things that Chris Buttars has said about homosexuals, and (2) the ways he has used his campaign funds are appealing to his constituents.
What he said about blacks makes him a first class dolt. It also classifies him as a racist in my book.
Chris Buttars, in attempting to put principle above people, violates principle on a regular basis. He is a discredit to the Utah legislature.
I can only hope that the people in his district agree with me come election time.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Now, with the Clinton campaign in apparent disarray like nothing we've ever seen before, people are freaking out again. But don't worry (well, actually I am worried). Hillary will still win. It's all in the cards of a Clinton-McCain showdown--a repeat of the Clinton-Dole "showdown" of 12 years ago. And Hillary will be our next president.
You heard it here first. If I'm wrong, I'll stop manufacturing conspiracy theories. And I wish I could say I will have been glad that I was wrong, but there are no other apparent good options at this point. So the chances that there will be joy in my Mudville at that point are virtually nil.
Hillary's campaign manager quit recently. The deputy campaign manager resigned a day or two ago. Obama kicked Hillary's trash in D.C., Virginia, and Delaware. And the Clinton campaign is in total disarray...
Or is it?
James Carville says he thinks so.
Even longtime Clinton ally James Carville is acknowledging that Hillary is in trouble, saying that if she loses the March 4 primary in either Texas or Ohio, her campaign is doomed.I would that it were true. She is clearly the disaster of three disasters (to include McCain and Obama) that would occur most quickly to America.
Speaking at the International Builders Show in Florida on Wednesday, Carville, a top adviser to Bill Clinton in the 1990s, declared:
"She's behind. Make no mistake. If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done."
But the carefully placed rumors and events indicate nothing of a potential Clinton meltdown. She will be president. It's all in the cards. Establishment cards, that is. Another "against-all-odds" victory, and Hillary will become invincible. She will be made to look like the savior--that she isn't--when it comes to all varieties of socialistic reform, and health care will be her first offering.
This presidential campaign serial makes for absolutely awesome theatrics--at least for those who want to be so titillated. And it seems to have been planned just in time before the writer's "un-strike" can have its counter-effect on millions of American minds full of mush.
For me though in this "presidential-campaign-like-nearly-all-others", I remain once again frustrated and irritated beyond imagination. Bush, the erstwhile savior/now-turned rascal bum, will be thrown out, and Hillary, the new savior will be showered with accolades as she rides into Washington on her trusty charger.
But you know what?
Look! The queen is wearing no clothes!!
Update 6-4-2008: Everyone says that Obama is the nominee, but that's only "technically". Meanwhile, Hillary presses on.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It's not too late...
Most Americans don't think that Federal Debt is bad. They think it is just "funny money", and that because America's economic prowess has always been respected, that it will always be respected.
Because they're wrong. Ron Paul is explaining very clearly why we cannot afford to steep ourselves any further in debt, but only about 10% of Republicans are voting for him. I'm sadly sure that there are several others who think that he would make a great president, but they won't vote for him because (a) he can't win, or (b) he's against the war on terror, or (c) both.
In reality he can win, and he's not against the war on terror. And we need him desperately.
Because the Founding Fathers (The Founding Who?) thought that debt was such a bad thing, they required the United States to pay off all of its debts. The current debt of the United States would stagger George Washington or Thomas Jefferson.
The US' current debt is $7 trillion. That is 7 MILLION MILLION dollars. The additional, unfunded debt (not on the books) is over $50 trillion. We must reduce our debt somehow. If we don't, we won't be able to pay for health care for anybody.
Hell, we won't have health care for anybody.
There is only one person who would attempt to reduce the debt if elected. Ron Paul. Glenn Beck has illustrated the problem and what I think is the only solution.
TotalsIt is a late hour. The pundits and the punters have declared John McCain the Republican nominee. I'm not willing to give up just yet. Neither should you be.
$286.999 BILLION - Projected annual spending for Obama’s proposals
$218 BILLION - Projected annual spending for Clinton’s proposals
$7 BILLION - Projected annual spending for McCain’s proposals
$54 BILLION - Projected annual spending for Huckabee’s proposals
$150 BILLION (in savings) - Projected savings after Ron Paul eliminates most of the Government.
What this spending does
1. Push us deeper and further into debt at a time when we absolutely can’t afford it;
2. Reflect a particular paternalistic approach to governing—a true NANY STATE
3. Each proposal increases the absolute RAW power of government
For your future... For the future of your posterity... Vote for Ron Paul for President. Because the federal debt is not funny money.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
You'd think the illegal immigration problem would have been solved by now. And then you realize just how complex it is. It can be solved, but not as easy as we might think. Nonetheless, we need to get off of high-center solve what is becoming a crisis. It's easy to become frustrated the longer the problem remains unsolved, but throwing around overweening legal prescriptions like a frustrated parent spits out epithets at unruly children is an immature way to handle the situation.
"Raid" is the correct word for what happened at Universal Industrial Sales Inc. in Lindon yesterday. Those arrested were fearful for their families. Some were in tears. Family members, congregated later that day in a local church, were very worried about what comes next.
"They (ICE officials) entered running. We thought there was a fire or something."ICE must train its employees using CSI re-runs or something. It doesn't need to be that way. The illegal immigration problem can be solved without tearing families apart, and especially without taking primary breadwinners away from the children they shelter and support.
What is the number one problem specific to Utah with regard to illegal immigration? That no one really knows what the law is.
The reason for the trepidation [following the Lindon raid] is there is no system in place that farmers and other business owners can really rely upon to catch job applicants who may be using false papers or are in the country illegally.Admittedly, there are portions of his bill (Senate Bill 81) that I like, but Senator Bill Hickman's current legislation in the Utah Legislature has far more problems than it has solutions. It is largely putting the cart before the horse. It has such draconian measures as
"A business owner is only allowed to delve into a person's background so far. If they delve beyond that, then they could get in trouble for going too far," [Utah Farm Bureau President Leland] Hogan said. "We're dealing with a horrible system that needs to be fixed..."
- Withholding income tax at the highest rate possible for independent contractors who fail to provide documentation of legal status of employees
- Severely limiting those who can qualify for in-state tuition
- Creating an entirely new set of documentation that can only be issued to US citizens
- Penalizing those who provide assistance to someone with "knowing or reckless disregard" for the fact that the person is an illegal alien
It's not hard to understand why illegal immigration exists in large quantities.
Governmental Corruption. The largest reason for illegal immigration is the corruption of the Mexican government. The second largest reason for illegal immigration is the US government's patronization of that corruption.
Labyrinthine US Naturalization Laws. A major reason that many immigrants are illegal is because of nearly useless US naturalization laws. Lawyers, by often dragging out the process so that they can augment their already prodigious income, don't help too much, either.
The solutions to the problem amount to an improvement in the proper role of government--on both sides of the border.
Build a Border Wall. The primary way to get the Mexican government to reform itself is to get Mexicans to stay home and demand it. For this reason alone, building a border fence/wall is paramount. If we don't, over time it will become clear that the social costs of open borders far outweigh the cost it would have taken to build a fence. If we continue to let Mexicans flee the travesty that is Mexico, we will encourage a socialistic cancer to further infect Americans and America.
Evangelize for Less Corrupt Government. The President of the United States, the Governors of the several states, and anyone else who gets a chance, should use a significant portion of their 'bully pulpit' time encouraging the people of Mexico to rise up and demand good government--which would lead to a dramatic improvement in the Mexican economy and set an example for other Central- and South American nations. (Of course that would simultaneously encourage lazy Americans to demand the same integrity out of theirs!) Additionally, the United States should dramatically improve its ability to serve immigrants from any country who desire to legally experience the blessings of being an American. This includes hiring US immigration employees who sympathize with--rather than condescend to--immigrants.
Favor Families. Individuals are often prone to crime. Families seldom are. I am fully in favor of law enforcement apprehension, incarceration, and deportation of criminal aliens. A small percentage of illegal immigrants practice drug distribution and other crimes. But I am not in favor of the destruction of families. When a family is involved, and when no other crimes have been committed, rather than potentially destroying these families --as the Lindon raid yesterday might have done--let's help families become citizens and part of the United States community.
Getting government to perform its proper role. Strengthening families. Sounds good to me. That can only make America stronger.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Are We Really Fighting the War on Terror? Or Are We Carefully Capitulating to the Perfect Political Paradox?
Is there a terror in the world today? Yes, there is. But not the kind the Establishment would have you believe by getting you hooked by their deadly hypnotic spell.
It's critical to discover--if someone hates you--what motivates that hatred. If you come up with the wrong answer (or if someone conditions your mind perpetually with the wrong answer), chances are you're fighting the wrong war.
I was reminded in the comments to my previous article here on SUMP why I really was mad at Mitt Romney for quitting. It was partially that he quit at the most inopportune time, but that was not so much it as the crap that came out of his mouth when he announced his personal surrender.
Here's what frosted my cookie:
I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.We all know what terror he is referring to, and what that means. It means, in Mittwellian doublespeak, that we must stay the course in Iraq. Not just until Iraq can take care of itself. You scarcely hear that even talked about anymore. Not that he would have been much better, but Mitt Romney just handed the Republican presidential nomination over to a bloke who said that we should stay in Iraq for 100 years or more if 'necessary'.
It also means that it must be okay for America to do anything to any other country, because whatever we do is noble, and after all, we are the world's policeman, trying to make the world safer for everyone.
Mitt Romney, you make me sick.
Mitt Romney's careful capitulation has left with a perfect political paradox.
Folks, there is a war on terror. But Iraq was never part of it. Yet there we stay, while the real war goes on all around us--the war to take away the freedom of anyone lazy enough or afraid enough to give it up. Mitt Romney wouldn't have done much better than John McCain as Risk-Piece-Mover-in-Chief, but nonetheless, it will be a travesty if we hand the reins of the Executive Branch over to a person who still thinks--even more fervently than George W. Bush--that Iraq was ever a part of the war on terror.
James Dobson said recently on the radio that if you took even 4% of all the Muslims in the world as terrorists, that means there are about 48 million Muslims that want to kill Americans. And that there is probably a higher percentage than that!! If he thinks that's true, he ought to be John McCain's biggest cheerleader.
The only problem with what Mitt Romney said, and what James Dobson said, is that neither statement is remotely true. They are crap statements. And the people who made them are brazenly condescending to people of different races and religions. Mr. Romney, and Mr. Dobson, I have met them, and they are NOT "little brown people". They are children of God just like you. There, but for God's grace, could you have gone.
There are definitely a lot of people that hate us. But not many of them want to kill us. The ones that want to kill us are the ones on whose land we squat with our military. You can tell how many people hate us by watching how many countries are with us in Iraq.
You can tell how many people look at us askance by how many countries we occupy with our military. It may not be that we've "taken" their land outright, but tell that to the hundreds of Japanese on Okinawa who feel like strangers in their own land. Occupation is still empire. Occupation is still imperialism.
Yes, there is a war on terror. But we've pissed the world off so bad, that when it really counts, there's going to be no one there to help us.
In reality, there are probably far more than 48 million people who hate us, Mr. Dobson. But they're not all Muslims by any stretch of the imagination. We give them a plethora of reasons to hate our guts. American domination in fast food, video games, and entertainment. American cramming of cesspools of Hollywood filth down the throats of their children. But worst of all, American occupation. Because, of course, we know what's best for them.
Real terror struck us once--on 9/11. Luckily, it hasn't struck us again. Because our borders are as wide open as a Oklahoma dirt field. We've left the yard, and the gate is wide open.
The real war on terror would be to show the rest of the world how great freedom really can be. In infinitesimally small percentage of the world has ever known true freedom. A huge portion of those are Americans. Yet, not only are we willing to mock when America dominates and dictates to nations and peoples around the globe, we are also willing to give away something we don't even realize anymore that we have.
That is the essence of the real war on terror. But almost no one is fighting it.
Mitt Romney's careful capitulation has left Americans with nearly a perfect political paradox. Do we vote for someone who would take away the freedoms of Americans? Or do we vote for someone who scares the crap out of Americans every chance they get so that they can continue to take away the freedoms of just about everyone else on earth?
Two choices--loss of freedom, or loss of freedom.
How is that a choice?
How do we let ourselves get shanghaied--every time?
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Is John McCain the all-but-assured republican nominee for president? I hope not. But it's not looking good now that Quitt Romney just threw in the towel.
John McCain effectively sealed the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday as chief rival Mitt Romney suspended his faltering presidential campaign. "I must now stand aside, for our party and our country," Romney prepared to tell conservatives at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.Any of the other Republican candidates would make a much better President than John McCain. Romney's giving up is all but assuring that that worst candidate to succeed.
Before now, anything could have happened between now and the Republican National Convention. Now it seems like it's pretty well sewed up.
How do you feel now if you're one of the 90% of Utahns who voted for Mitt Romney last Tuesday. Betrayed? I don't, because I voted for Ron Paul, but I think the situation still stinks. Do you Romney supporters wish you had voted for Ron Paul in the first place, because in your heart of hearts you knew he was a better candidate but dammit you wanted a Mormon in the White House?
Why didn't Mitt quit six months ago?
Utahns with a political hangover: stop putting your religion in front of your politics. Do you see where it has gotten us now?
If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror," Romney was set to say, according to his prepared remarks.Horse crap!
The candidate least likely to beat either Obama or Clinton is McCain. Who wants the ugly socialist stepsister when you can have the real thing?
Huckabee has a better chance of beating either of the Democrats. So does Paul. And so did Romney. But just in the nick of time, Romney essentially handed all of his delegates to McCain, took his ball, and went home.
What a quitter.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Some have said that the word Nazi is used too cavalierly. But even Nazism started with relatively innocuous ideas that many people supported.
Senate Bill 84 in 2007 ("CONFIDENTIALITY OF REPORTS TO DRIVER LICENSE DIVISION") was sponsored by Senator Allen Christensen. In 2008, a bill (SB 34 this time) with the same title is being sponsored by the same Senator. It failed last year in the Senate by a vote of 10-18 with 1 senator absent.
Admittedly, Senate Bill 34 is an improvement over last year, because it no longer allows anonymous notification and it clarifies that the person notifying the driver license division must request that the notification be treated as confidential:
50 (3) (a) A person making a notification under Subsection (1) may request that theBut the following paragraph exists in SB 34 verbatim from last year's SB 84, which makes it bad law.
51 notification be confidential.
56 (c) The division may not accept an anonymous notification under this section.
52 (b) If requested by the person notifying the division, the notification provided underI made the following comment last year about the proposed new law, but after further study, I no longer think it's an issue.
53 this section relating to a physical, mental, or emotional impairment is classified as a protected
54 record under Title 63, Chapter 2, Government Records Access and Management Act, and the
55 identity of the person notifying the division may not be disclosed by the division.
Even though those who report bad drivers will have to sign an affidavit, the fact that they can remain anonymous raises the likelihood that erroneous and harassing reports of bad driving will significantly increase.I also stated last year that
Such a law, designed to protect family members from hurting each other's feelings would be worse than a waste of time. It is the responsibility of family members to take care of each other, even to the extent that they keep other family members off the road if they are not capable of driving safely.I still stand by that opinion. Family members should first approach their bad drivers and tell them about their concern. If the bad driver doesn't agree, and the family member thinks his or her driving is bad enough, the family member should contact the driver's license division.
Just as in a court of law, where a defendant is allowed to know who his accusers are, bad drivers should be allowed to know who reported their bad driving.
Families should not pass the buck to the government on such a simple issue.
But the bad driver should know that the report was made. That would be the safest thing that could happen--and the fairest--and the most loving. Hard, yes, but that's how it should be done.
I think Senate Bill 34 should be defeated.
Monday, February 04, 2008
I'm not impugning Senator McCain's integrity. I think he sincerely believes in the positions he has taken. In a handful of cases, I agree with him. For example, I believe he is correct in his call for the closure of US military prisons at Guantanamo Bay. I appreciate that he has changed his mind on reducing taxes. But it's important to remember that John McCain is NO conservative. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. He is a blowhard who tries to cow other people into doing what he wants. Rudi Giuliani will tell you that John McCain is a great guy, but that's just because Rudi is angling for the Vice Presidency. I wouldn't be surprised if many people are voting for McCain in the primaries because he seems to have the upper hand, and they don't want to be seen as voting for a loser.
It is critical that Rudy Giuliani doesn't get the Republican vice-presidential nod, because it is more critical that John McCain not become the next president of the United States. The only thing worse would be Hillary Clinton as president. That means it is paramount that John McCain NOT receive the Republican nomination. Otherwise, the once-in-four-years "lesser of two evils" will reach an all-time low. John McCain is the candidate least likely to beat Hillary Clinton, because he is almost her twin ideological brother.
John McCain has done a grave disservice to his country in the following areas:
- The Iraq War
- Global Warming
- Energy Independence
After his legislation was soundly defeated last year, Senator McCain stated that he has gotten the message, that Americans demand that our borders be secured. Interestingly, however, he has appointed as his campaign director for Hispanic Outreach, Mr. Juan Hernandez, whose statements about amnesty and "Mexico first" are more than troubling.
In an appearance on ABC's Nightline in 2001, Hernandez said, referring to Mexican immigrants in the U.S., "I want the third generation, the seventh generation, I want them all to think 'Mexico first.'"Maybe I should question McCain's integrity when he now claims to be in favor of border security.
Hernandez told the Associated Press the same year, "I never knew the border as a limitation. I'd be delighted if all of us could come and go between these two marvelous countries."
The Iraq War
Many people are on both sides of the issue of whether we should have attacked Iraq. I happen to think we shouldn't have. I'll forgo my questions of how McCain could have seriously studied the issues and come to the conclusion to attack, because Hillary Clinton came to the same conclusion. What I can't overlook, however, are McCain's apparent imperial ambitions in thinking that it might likely be appropriate to occupy Iraq for one hundred years.
Augustus Caesar would have been proud. That however,
During a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire last night, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told a crowd of roughly two hundred people that it “would be fine with” him if the U.S. military stayed in Iraq for “a hundred years”:
Q: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years — (cut off by McCain)
McCAIN: Make it a hundred.
Q: Is that … (cut off)McCAIN: We’ve been in South Korea … we’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me.
John McCain is the candidate least likely to beat Hillary Clinton, because he is almost her ideological twin brother.is not the genius of America, despite 60 or so years of inept foreign policy that attempts to indicate otherwise.
From JohnMcCain.com, we read the following:
John McCain has a proud record of common sense stewardship. Along with his commitment to clean air and water, and to conserving open space, he has been a leader on the issue of global warming with the courage to call the nation to action on an issue we can no longer afford to ignore.Yes, we can ignore it, although it is getting much more difficult to do so with such bombastic statements by the Senator and the media. In actuality, we must 'ignore' "the issue of global warming" because its occurrence is a natural phenomenon. People like John McCain crave the power that would accrue to himself and his elite friends were the government to become the arbiter of global warming policy.
Perhaps in keeping with his determination to keep the United States military in Iraq forever, Senator McCain does not want the US to become energy independent. That, you see, would give the United States less reason to be the colossus of empire. His opinion that man is the major cause of global warming obfuscates the clarity of the issue as well. The first step to energy independence must be greater domestic production of the as-yet most efficient source of energy-oil. McCain is less than clear when it comes to his opinion on energy independence.
Mr. McCain says he´s for energy independence. Yet he was staunchly against drilling for oil in Anwar, Alaska. The location of the acreage where the drilling would have occurred is small (2000 acres) in comparison to its surroundings (317 million acres) and the region is so remote and cold that impact to the environment and wildlife is minimal.
Open borders immigration, man-made global warming, and energy dependence are tools of the establishment to keep themselves in the ascendancy of wealth and power, and to keep the rest of America from being the example to the world that we could otherwise be. Establishmentarians also support staying in Iraq for as long as we've stayed in Germany, Korea, and Japan.
This is NOT the America that I'm familiar with. America is a beacon of hope, NOT a gigantic jackboot stomping on the face of the rest of the world forever.
John McCain enjoys wielding the jackboot of American empire. It's time to put a stop to American establishment politics. It is time to become a friend to the world instead of their would-be master. If you intend to vote for a Republican candidate, please make it anyone except for John McCain. If McCain goes up against Obama in the Presidential election, Obama is much more palatable to me, especially because of his stance on the Iraq war. If he faces Clinton in the final, that makes my choice easy--I'll vote for a third-party candidate.
You thought eight years of George W. Bush was bad? If McCain makes it into the White House, we are headed for a monumental American disaster. As if 20 years of Establishment rule aren't enough destruction already.
Friday, February 01, 2008
The Westboro Baptist Church, who has belittled US soldiers who have been injured and killed in Iraq, had some not-so-nice things to say about LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley recently, following his death.
WBC will picket the funeral of this old cozener* - *(a cozener is one who deceives others by means of petty tricks, a trickster; one who persuades or induces others to do something - like joining the Mormon enterprise,or dedicating two years spreading the Mormon poison as so-called missionaries abroad - by cajoling or wheedling) - as soon as we know the time, date, and place of the funeral;God only loves those who are straight, according to WBC:
In religious protest and warning; to wit: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked." Gal. 6:7. God Hates Fags! & Fag-Enablers. Ergo, God hates Hinckley and the Mormon hierarchy and all Mormons without exception. All such go to Hell.Also, they are positive that Gordon B. Hinckley is in hell, and that's allegedly where most Mormons are going, too. So there!
In religious protest and warning; to wit: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked." Gal. 6:7. God Hates Fags! & Fag-Enablers. Ergo, God hates Hinckley and the Mormon hierarchy and all Mormons without exception. All such go to Hell.I am warmed by their Christian love and example.
Members of the GHF&FE coalition will be on hand this Saturday at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City to provoke attendees of President Hinckley's funeral. I hope the most incensed of them--LDS church members, that is--can keep their cool. President Hinckley would want it that way.
The Westboro boys had better hope that the self-styled Helaman's warriors are not on hand this Saturday who were present to subdue Cody Judy at BYU in 1993 when LDS Church President Howard W. Hunter was speaking there.
If they are on hand, some Westboro-types might get their butts kicked! But let's hope that we can take this sourest bunch of lemons and make some real lemonade out of it. Gordon B. Hinckley was among the kindest and gentlest of men.
So, as we're provoked by signs, verbal abuse, and perhaps even spit, let's follow President Hinckley's example.
That will really make the Westboro Baptist Church mad!!!