Ramblings…About the Past, and Present

Rambling:  that is what you all get in this post.

I notice that the culture and modern morals of the United States closely resemble the culture and morals of the ancient American culture and morals, as depicted in the Book of Mormon, when they were at their worst.  Lying, deceit, hatred, destruction of people and property and generally all those things which most societies and religions consider “evil” were prevalent then…and are now.

LYING

What is reported about for a majority of our elected officials is the abundance of lying.  Some of the foolish things said by people like Sheila Jackson Lee and Nancy Pelosi I no longer believe are the simple mistakes I use to give them credit for.  What they say now is so outrageously opposite from the truth I conclude they must be outright lying.

DECEIT

President Barack Obama, Speaker John Boehner, Senate Leader Harry Reid, some of our statewide elected officials (two past attorneys general), our local state senator say one thing in carefully selected words, describe it as something different,and  mean something completely opposite to deceive a public unwilling examine them.

HATRED

Racism, a subject which most people can’t even define, is perpetuated by elected and appointed officials, the media, and far to many people.   It is seen in our unnecessary “hate crime” legislation.  Such legislation, although promoted as an attempt to “protect” people, is in essence only legalized segregation or reverse apartheid.  From the US Attorney General down to our state attorney general refuse to enforce laws that may hurt their fund-raising efforts, even though enforcement would benefit all people.  Our state senator proposes legislation to protect classes of people rather than all the people, even though he proclaims it to be for equity.  The media from the ultra liberal MSNBC to the ultimate right-wing FOX drive wedges of intolerance among people.  But worst of all, too many, far too many people express all forms of hatred toward people seeking a better life here than in their own country.

DESTRUCTION OF PEOPLE AND PROPERTY

Our streets have too many gangs and unaccountable people punching each other, stranger, and the elderly in some acts of bravado masquerading as bravery.  We see husbands and boyfriend of popular celebrities beating of their partners.  Just the other day was a story about a man throwing a baby out the window of a moving car…because he was he was upset at the bay’s mother, his girlfriend.  I ask myself, “what led a mother of a child to even be with such a person, rather than with the child’s father?”  From pole to pole, as the saying goes, the norm is killing and destruction.  I am reminded of the final scenes from the Book of Mormon.  The people were so filled anger that they howled in despair, not because of their impending doom, but because they could not return fast enough to killing and mayhem.

All of those behaviors have been taught against for THOUSANDS of years by religions and social orders of every inclination.  Yet, I hear some people openly advocating the old cultures and norms are obsolete.

In reality all that is becoming obsolete is the humanity of humans.

That is The WAY I See It.

Answers needed, wanted.

I have a question and I hope I get some serious answers and/or comments.

At what point does someone have the authority to deprive one person of their rights and accomplishments to satisfy the desires of someone else?

I am a fussy person about words and their meaning.  I ask the above question but it frustrates me that I don’t have the words to express it more clearly.  Let me try to explain my dilemma.  “Point” is a terrible descriptive word.  By it I mean under what circumstances that may exist.  By authority I mean “control over”.    That probably does not clarify much, but I have tried.

I wanted to try to  keep the question short.  That was the best I could do at the moment.

The key, or most important aspect, to this question is what is not said outright.  What is the precise point or circumstance under which one person has right to control another?

Here is the development of the discussion.

  1. Do we or should we live in a society where there is equal protection under the law?  Let’s momentarily say “yes.”
  2. What is the precise point where I, you, or our elected officials have the authority to take money from one “rich” person and give  it to a poor person?  $50,000, $100,000, $1,000,000?  What is the precise point?
  3. Better still, who and how decides that point?

One answer I have received is “Do what is fair.”  What is fair?  Does a single 19-year-old, going to college, deserve more than a single 19 year old, not going to college?  Why?  Who sets that standard?

Does and elderly couple have an entitlement to less than a young couple?  Why?  Who sets that standard?

“There are basic human rights that everyone should have,”  is another answer I have received.  Then a list of issues like education, health care, a home, etc. follows.

Again my question is who decides what those basic human rights are?

Is it a high school education?

Is it one annual health check-up?

Is it an apartment, house, or mobile home?

Those questions are automatically followed by other equally serious questions.

What if someone does not want a high school, college, or advanced degree?  Yet, they want the benefits that come from whichever one meets their fancy, what then?

What if  someone wants a homeopathic check-up, instead of a medical certified one?  What about someone with chronic disease; should they be limited to one annual visit?

What about a family of two versus a family of six?

The question really is who gets to be judge and  jury to decide who gets what and at whose expense?

I want to know precisely.  Platitudes and lofty pontification are just dust in the wind.  Someone please give me the precise answer!

When a society, which in reality is nothing more than conglomerate of individual controllers, takes from one to give to another I would like to  know the standard it uses.

Why do I want to know that standard?  Because as the cliché’ says, “There ain’t no free lunches.”  When the individual, or a society, decides to gift something to one person…somebody pays the tab.  Who is the Master of Ceremonies, besides the thief?

I am serious when I say want someone to give me a cogent answer.  My views are pretty clear.  I seriously want others to opine.  This may appear frivolous and specious, but the truth is, it is the most relevant question that can be asked of our elected leaders.  Otherwise, they will thoughtlessly get the answer incorrect.

That Is the Way I See It.

Immigration Solution

There are thousands of people crossing the southern border into the United States.  Surprisingly, I don’t join in with those haters that want to crucify these people upon a cross of prejudice.  Yes, I said that know that I would be view as an Obama loving liberal, which I am not.  He is the worst leader in the history of the world.

Yet, I do classify myself in two other categories;  Humanitarian and Constitutionalist.

As a humanitarian I believe every person has a right to attempt to better their circumstances.  I also believe that each of us has a responsibility to assist each other in that quest, to the extent that we are able.  That should be an individual choice with compulsion or judgement.

People seeking to come here to America, for the most part, are people who view greater opportunities here than where they come from.  Yes, on the furry edge there are those that want to sneak in to the USA solely to be disruptive. maybe even create mayhem.  I choose to believe they are few.  We should individually and collectively be guard for them.  Yet, there is no need for us all to be consumed with their intents.

I am reminded of a poem I heard some years ago, one phrase says

“He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic , rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In !”

We talk of building wall and fences to shut people out.  We should at least talk also of bridges that welcome them in.

Am I so humanitarian that I would advocate open borders?  OF COURSE I AM NOT!  That has been, is now, and would be disastrous.  Only a fool would accuse me of such a premise.

Humanitarian does not mean carte blanche giving gifts and opening doors.  Humanitarian means first and foremost providing opportunity.  Those opportunities are no better nor any worse for one over another.  But, again, that is a choice and should not be a mandate.

Now, I move on to Constitutionalist.  This nation is a constitution of fifty states, not 49 nor 51.  Each state, despite illogical opposition, is a sovereign unto itself.  Each subscribes to a national government.  That government was never intended to rule over the states, but rather to provide equal protection to the whole of them.  That is what did and should again “constitute” this nation.

I have emphasized that this is 50 states.  I have emphasized that we ought not to be seeking to build fences, despite the wisdom of Robert Frost. In that light, and quite different from Jonathan Swift’s ideas, I too have a modest proposal.

The United States provides millions, yea, Billions of dollars annually to buy friends from around the world.  (Oh, that international affairs could be more like Facebook where the click of a key, without cost, can make you a “friend.”)  In fact one foreign president suggested a donation of a couple more billion to him could solve a problem for us.

Rather than building walls and fences, rather than trucking bullets to the border, perhaps we could simply tell foreign nations to our south an alarming thought. “The people coming here are fleeing from you there.  That implies you have an unsolved problem.  We have not created it, nor should we fund it.  You solve your problem, so that it does not create for us a problem…or all the money stops flowing toward you!”

In my naiveté I believe that shortly our borders would be “flowing with milk and honey” rather than immigrants.

Is that simplistic.  Oh, sure it is.  But the complex and convoluted ideas coming from the national elected elitist certainly are not working.

That Is The Way I See It.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics…and, Now Lawsuits

My initial reaction to a congressional lawsuit of the president was negative.  To me it was just so much nonsense.

With Speaker John Boehner and his pied piper followers come a high level of suspicion about motive.  However, when I watched the President’s rude, childish, and disrespectful response I acquiesced to give the whole thing another look-see.  I don’t think my mind has changed, but something has been solidified.

First, there is sufficient cause to impeach Obama.  That is no longer a matter of dispute.  Barack Obama should be impeached in the House of Representative and convicted by the Senate, and consequently removed from office.  That is a foregone conclusion beyond rational debate.  That is what I believe the House should do.

I also understand why the House has dillidallied around.  The US Senate, under the leadership of Harry Reid, would not do the correct thing of convicting Obama even if he were caught burning the original Declaration of Independence.  Reid and his renegades would explain it away as an accident.  Thus, a House impeachment achieves nothing when the character of the senate is also equivalent to nothing.

The House has been mildly patient in holding off with any impeach…at least until after the November elections when they will know if a bunch of Republican candidates have been able to avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  If Republicans take control of the senate, then the Republican  House could have impeachment completed and ready for the new senators to act on by their first day in office.  Joe Biden who has demonstrated mental unfitness for office could be gone by March 15, 2015.  I am not advocating that, because that would leave us with John Boehner, who would spend as much time in tanning salons as Obama spends golfing. 

But impeach is a good option to be rid of the American embarrassment called Barack Obama.

The lawsuit business is a different matter.

The lawsuit of the president is to place in the hands of Supreme Court the decision which Congress should be making.  The lawsuit is about an official declaration by the Supreme Court that the president’s powers are limited.  Congress, lacking the will to act as affirmatively as several presidents have,  is willing to place the Constitutional design of the federal government at risk.

Congress wants SCOTUS to say what they are unwilling to say, “Mr. President, stop the executive orders or we will stop the funding.”  It is not, has not, and never should be the place of the president to issues executive orders.  He should only take executive actionWITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF APPROVED LEGISLATION AND BUDGETS!

No lawsuit or decision by the Supreme Court will ever alter that basic reality.  Congress must act affirmatively to direct the president through legislation, or remove him from office.  No other body, not even the voters, can change that FACT of life.

That Is The Way I See It.

Presidential Culture Building

I have posted on this subject before.  I shall repeat myself.

The President of the United States is not an administrator!  He is the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”  Further, “he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices.”

Those are his duties in a nutshell.  Anything more is too much more.  Anything less is dereliction of duty.

The President of the United States is not an administrator!   For far too long, and excessively so under Barack Obama, the presidents have sought to be administrators.  To repeat, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”  That mean he shall execute the laws and go no further.  Accordingly, he should not deviate from the execution thereof.  Both are neither his responsibility, right, nor privilege.

The president is figure-head domestically, with eminent power internationally.  That translates to two serious roles.  I shall address the latter first.

The president should be representing the United States in all matters which affect the states in international affairs.  That does not include dalliances with nation building and the internal or even international affairs of other nations…up to the point that those affairs clearly and directly prove an eminent threat to the states.  Thus the president should be the best of diplomats which the nation can produce, not the poorest as we currently are experiencing.

Domestically the president is a culture builder.  That is about the sum and substance of it.  A lazy or inept Congress does not expand the president’s role.

As a culture builder each president has had their own style and capabilities.  Under John F. Kennedy American saw a vision of the future.  Beyond the cliché “the sky literally was the limit” of what and where we as a people could go.  Under Ronald Reagan America thrived with a culture of confidence.

Kennedy knew how to motivate people to believe in their future and hope in their heritage.  “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”  We all remember hearing those words directly from him, or from a teacher along the years.  Less often heard were these words,

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans – born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage – and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge – and more.

Ronald Reagan was no lesser a man of culture of confidence.  Boldly he faced the world and America’s greatest adversary, Russia, and said,

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Now we come to today’s America, with Barack Obama as President.  He has established a culture of corruption.

As maligned as Jimmy Carter was for his failed presidency even he had moments where he was a true executive.  Obama has had none.  Jimmy Carter gave a rousing speech  wherein he said “”I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy,…The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will.”  People were motivated.  Two days later he acted by dismissing his dismissive cabinet.

Yet, under Barack Obama there have been a multitude of failures.  It sounds like every department in the executive branch has found a way to offend, alienate, or deceive the American public.  The national government stinks of corruption.  That is the result of a culture perpetrated by this president.  Allow me to explain.

President don’t surround themselves with pansies.  They don’t sit in  the audience of wall flowers.  The men and women they surround themselves with are people of strong and dominating personalities.  They are the proverbial crowd that if given an inch they will take a mile.  Such powerful people must be led by an equally powerful person.  The presidency is no place for an apologist.  Barack Obama is an apologist.

Like most presidents Barack has gathered around him a gaggle of arrogant peacocks.  That may sound bad or maybe insulting.  It is seriously not meant to  sound that way.  Peacocks are fierce, protective, flamboyant, loud and proud.  They are arrogant.  By necessity the heads of departments in the executive branch MUST BE arrogant.  But they must be led.

President Obama has generated a culture of corruption by failing to lead.  He has failed to set the standards of conduct which he promised in his campaign speeches.  Those speeches were lofty and appealing to some.  However, they are now fading puffs of smoke.  And, this president’s response has been to whimper, snivel and insult.

Every department has been taken over by the person at the top (without any leadership), seeking arrogant acclaim and accolades.  Obama has permitted it to happen.  He has set no standards.  His role allows him to require of them regarding the duties of their office.  He hasn’t, and they have run amuck embarrassing both him and the nation.

He fears to offend Eric Holder, by insisting that the AG do his duty without fear or favor.  Just today he was used faint praise to defend the head of the CIA for violations of the law and lying.  He trembles at the idea that Hillary might reveal him for the incompetent person he is…if he confronts her about  Benghazi.  He has used executive orders to interfere with Congress, but no influence over the blatant lies of Lois Lerner.  He allows his flunkies to send guns into Mexico Cartels, allows hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to flood the border, and has no capacity to direct his Secretary of State to get a marine home from Mexico.

When confronted with a lying CIA Director he accepts the advice from self-inflated underlings to distract America with condemnation of Israel.

As much as I dislike repeating the old cliché Barack Obama is allowing the fox to guard the hen-house.  No, in reality, he is allowing foxes, wolves, and weasels to run the barnyard.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

Hate The Sin, Not The Sinner

In my particular faith association there is a phrase that is frequently used.

“Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner.”

That conveys the idea that we should possess an attitude of grace toward all people.  I, in fact, embrace that thought.

I recently received an extraordinarily vitriolic message from someone who “disagrees” with me  about Congressman Chris Stewart.  While praising him they called me everything but a white man.  I smiled through most of the note…until I got to the part where I was accused of hating the Congressman.  Then I became annoyed.

Because I criticize him for pandering to John Boehner and lying (or being astonishingly uninformed) to his constituents my latest fan believes I hate the man.  That is just so much silliness.

Just as we are to hate the sin, but not the sinner we can also hate the policies and conduct of elected officials with hating them.

I don’t know Congressman Stewart well enough to hate or love the man.  However, after over forty years of direct experience with candidates and politicians, and over half the time working directly with the policies imposed by them I do hate some of the actions.  Pandering is just one of those actions.

Since taking office the congressman has appeared to be ill-informed.  He also panders to whoever appears to be in minority power.  John Boehner is Speaker of the US House of Representatives.  Our Congressman show all the signs of worshiping him.  I hate that.

This congressman seems like a person that leads with his finger; his finger to the political winds.  That is pandering.

Utah is a state with scant influence in either presidential races or representation in Congress.  In the bigger scheme of things “bigger is better.”  California, Texas, New York, Florida all carry far more weight than Utah.  Let’s face reality.  Unless a presidential race is a sure thing nobody waits with baited breath how Utah is going to vote.  However, when the results in California or Florida (perpetually late in announcing results-intentionally by the way) are called, then the entire election is called.

In Congress, when Ohio, California, or New York votes people say “oh!”  When Utah votes people say “So.”

This is not meant to discredit Utah.  If anything , as you will see, it is meant as just the opposite.  Here is why.

Nearly since Utah became a state, and for most of its subsequent history, this state had fire brands for members of congress.  The have been men of stature who stood up and required themselves to be heard.  Fiesty, cantankerous, even bellicose?  Yes, when a voice required to be heard.

Utahans, possibly even unwittingly, do not want to be represented by milquetoast members of congress.  Senator Mike Lee is love and respected.  Chris Stewart is tolerated because we have a death wish to support anyone claiming to be a conservative Republican.

Utahans like the leaders to be leaders.  We object to House members that choose to be caddies for John Boehner.

Does that mean Chris Stewart will be replaced? Not likely!  When your name is followed by an “R” you can be re-elected until you go to jail.  Even then you might be re-elected if the judge let you out on the one day of the week that congress actually voted.  That is all unfortunate.  John Boehner does not need another caddy, nor does he need someone to carry around his excessive supply of taxpayer purchased sun tan lotion, or boxes of Kleenex.  Stewart is happy to do any of those duties if it will get him that much more of the teacher’s pet.

He is not the only choice this November.  neither is the Democrat.

It is time to get back having a spokesman for Utah rather than a mouthpiece for the oracle of Ohio.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

Are You Ready………………..?

It is time for radical political change in America.  It really is!

Since Obama has been elected president the federal government has become overwhelmingly despicable.  Character and accomplishment in Washington are at all time lows.  It is time for radical political change.

The Affordable Care Act (affectionately known as the Obamacarrot) was passed.  Then it has been proven that the president lied about it and his administration is too incompetent to even implement it.  The tech gurus don’t have the capacity to accomplish what many 12 year kids can do.

Drug dealers in Mexico were furnished with high-powered guns which were used to kill US Border Patrol agents.

Unemployment has remained at completely unacceptable levels.  Welfare and food stamps have escalated.  Economic hardship has never been more expansive…even during the Great Depression.

The president and thusly the entire nation has become the laughing-stock of the world.  Where we once led the world in production, we have now nearly become a third world country.

President Obama promised to close the issue on terrorist detainees, and failed to close the door.  In fact, slightly off topic, he couldn’t even manage to close the White House door to interlopers seeking paparazzi pictures of themselves at a state dinner.

Further, our very own Nero fiddled while a foreign embassy and ambassador burned.  Ok, that is overstatement.  He fiddled with his golf clubs.  I guess he was re-wrapping the grips, his only known skill.  That little venture cost four American lives.

That was the tip of the iceberg.  Hundreds have died in Afghanistan because he simply didn’t know how to get them out of that country, or in control of the situation.

All prestige the United States had in the land of the pharaohs has been lost due to this president’s buffoonery.

Thousands of lives were lost in Iraq.  Whether this nation should have ever been there will be a matter of talking head debates on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX for eons to come.  But the fact remains thousand of lives and billions of dollars in US treasure were expended in Iraq.  Just in the past few weeks all those lives and dollars were proven wasted, lost for naught, because this president would rather read the cartoon page than take the time to study national security briefings.  Another way to say that is to say, “this president is a cartoon.”

A jetliner vanishes, presumably hijacked and flown to a secluded location in the middle east to resurface again in a major attack on America or an ally.  Within a few months another plane is shot down, killing Americans in the Ukraine, as the Russian president smirks at Obama’s response.  That response was not even outrage.  It was another vacation.  One has to wonder how leaving the process of doing nothing…to do more nothing, qualifies as a vacation.

Thousand of illegal immigrants are flooding across the Southern US border, but this boy king (Obama) can’t get one decorated Marine across the border from Mexico.  That is quite surprising given the fact that he was able to trade five known terrorists for one suspected terrorist.  While Governor Perry is playing “Texas we’ll Hold’em” out, Obama is playing slapjack with Congress.  Which brings me to the real point of this post.

For all of Barack Obama’s obvious flaws as a leader, decision-maker, and human being (receiving hundreds of thank you notes from Jimmy Carter daily) he can be mildly excused.  What?

Congress, under the leadership of John Boehner and Harry Reid are even worse.  They allow congress to sit on their collective donkey posteriors passing gas to their constituents.  Congress, and specifically the House of Representatives have the power to immediately and irrevocably shut down Barack Obama’s reign of terror or reign of incompetence (whichever phrase you choose to use).  Sadly, just as Barack is preoccupied with fiddling while the nation burns, John Boehner is fiddling while he burns in a suntan parlor.

Folks it is time for the people to make the decisions that the “leaders” are incapable of making.  Three simple steps should be taken:

  1. Stop all purchasing.  Yes, all!  When the economy slows politicians take notice, because the only thing they understand is money and bribes.
  2. Use up whatever vacation and sick leave time you have by not working one day each week.
  3. Do not vote this November.  Yes, I know that sound counter productive and not in your best interest, but it is in your best interest and the nation’s best interest.  The one caveat is that you tell your congressional representative, EVERY DAY, that you intend on not voting.  Say it and mean it!

What do we demand? may be the question.

  1. Immediate accountability by all agencies of the federal government.  No more BS.  Just complete openness.  Lois Lerner has immunity from testifying against herself in a court of law, not before Congress.  She and hundred of other liars and incompetents should be fired without pension.
  2. Get into foreign affairs and finish them WITH POWER,… or get out.
  3. Immediate reduction in the federal bureaucracy, using every means available to make it happen.
  4. Demand that every member of Congress be impeached if they tell another lie.  Yes, I recognize that will leave only about three functioning members…for a while.

Either we can and will all take control, or we can continue to whine.  What is your choice?

That Is The Way I See It.

To Act, or, Not to Act. That is the question.

I tend to friend folks on Facebook that fit the category of people who describe themselves as “conservative.”  Of course I have friended others that have the opposite point of view.  It makes no difference, really.  Why?

Because in my experience most folks on Facebook simply like to repost cutesy “memes.”  The ones I see the most of are criticism of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.  Usually they are depicted lying in their native environment of ignorance.  Just pictures.

Yet, the people behind posting those pictures are at various levels of seriousness.  They truly dislike the excessive expansion of government control.

The role of the governments in the USA is to provide protection to its citizens as they (THE CITIZENS) hack their way through the jungle building paths of purpose and progress.  The popular cult of bureaucracy now views that role as obsolete.  They believe they must build the path, protect the people, keep the people off the paths, regulate how rapidly the people may, etc.

Over the years of unfettered practice the bureaucracy has come to design a mechanism of providing benefits with hidden controls over productivity.  Production is now power by the steam engine of corporate welfare.

Yet, the cartoons and complains go on, and on, and on.  As a society we are adept at howling at the moon…but wait for dinner to arrive on our doorstep.

It is frustrating to watch.  Too many people, far too many, bark from behind the safety of the closed front door and then cower when confronted with the opportunity to bite the mailman of bureaucracy and regulation.  Too often I have heard people say “I am doing my part.  See the meme I posted defaming Obama.”  The president of pandering chuckles behind his golf cart, “stick and stones; sticks and stones.”

Who is willing to actually live beyond their “sticky notes” of criticism?

I have presented this idea many times, and I will continue to do so.  “Actions speak louder than words.”

If a scant fourteen percent (14%) of the people of this nation, not a majority or even close to it, would embrace their inner voice they could change the misbehavior of the derelict domination of regulatory bureaucrats.  How?

Stop buying!  Yep, it’s that simple.  Stop buying.  Every non-essential could be left on the store shelves.  AND OH, there are so many non-essentials.

Yes, I know the weak-willed would argue about hurting the economy and local businesses.  I have heard all the arguments…at least a dozen times.  But the question remains; “Has waiting, hoping, and posting memes done ANY good, beyond assisting one to believe they are doing something?”

The answer is a resounding “NO.”

With a 14-18% decline in economic activity the Congress, even the most insane among them, would begin to tremble at the prospect.  As the old saying goes “money is the mother’s milk of politics.”  With a little spilled milk the hall of the capital would be flowing with tears.

The time is here now, not tomorrow, not November, not in 2016.  NOW!  Simply say no more buying until there is less regulation.  In the end the economy will be far stronger and the nation will be far more unified.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

Religious Hatred???

I have watched a friend with fascination.  He, Jimi Kestin, is the Sr. Pastor at the Foursquare Gospel congregation in St. George.  He and his wife have taken under their wings a young person in need of compassion and kindness.

Yesterday, I Dana and I had the opportunity to eat at a local restaurant.  There were several people from out of town that were attending a conference here.  I engaged one gentleman in a conversation about the conference, which was a gathering of Jehovah Witnesses.  I noticed that the man and his wife had clearly adopted two children ( of different race and nativity).

Another friend is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She and her husband had taken the opportunity to care for a young person from a alternate religious lifestyle.

All of these people are open, caring, supportive of others.  In conversations they each have interesting, if not provocative, viewpoint.  Yet, each is very receptive and cordial.

Their commonality is faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings.  What is particularly interesting to me is that they all seem to be making great effort to practice those teaching.

In the middle east most of the people have ancestry and/or religious orientations that date back to the times and teaching of Abraham.  In my naive viewpoint it would seem that those things which unite us, or them, should be stronger than those that divide us.

That Is The Way I See It.

The Law of Unintended Consequences, and such.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times;

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness;

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity;

it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness;

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair;

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us;

we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”

As in all times, those were the days of Robert K. Merton.  The year was 1936 and our friend had written a novel piece of non-fiction titled “The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action.”  Thus began the formalization of the theory of The Law of Unintended Consequences.
In short this law simply means that if you don’t think about  what might happen, or don’t know what might happen, there is a reasonable chance that what you didn’t think or didn’t know will happen.  Not is not essentially where the problem exists!
The far more serious problem exist when you don’t prepare for the unexpected to happen.  Unintended consequences have their greatest impact on those with that have unintended reactions.
We frequently observe this phenomena occur with zeal among government officials.  Government officials tend to be eagerly engaged in “setting thing right.”  These are the pandering potentates of populism that rush to reorganize the kitchen because a flash in the pan of social insult.  Stated differently a little spilled oil causes them to slide mercilessly into leaving skid marks on routine social events.
I make reference to one such faux pas; the unintended consequence of seeking even greater society wide applause for being in office.
Over the years politicians have talked, argued, and pontificates about voter turnout and participation.  I believe there is a couple of reasons for that discussion.  First, and maybe foremost is that it is a safe subject.  A politician can’t be made to look too much jackass by encouraging more people to vote.  Unless, of course, that jackass is a Democrat.
The second reason is because some politicians actually believe that any participation by the electorate is better than informed participation.  “Better a posse of galloping fools, than the man who knows the truth.”
So I have set the stage for my particular bias.  Not only is it unnecessary to encourage uninformed voters, it is detrimental.
Yet, the analysis goes further than that.  Unintended consequences.
As politicians have sought to make access to voting easier I doubt it has made voting more informed.  Some statistics support my assessment.  And, as we all know, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Online voting, mail-in voting, identification-less voting, etc. have been promoted and continued to be flaunted about by the vote buyers.  The unintended consequence has been a deterioration in the perceived merit of voting.  Generally, people are less inclined to vote because the value of voting has been diminished.
There is a saying I heard once those goes something like this.  Performance monitored, improves.  Performance monitored and measures improves dramatically.  The sentiment applies with easy voting.  When a person needs only put in minimal effort to vote the performance of voting will not ultimately improve.
Measuring and monitoring voting should have an element of required effort by the participant.  The intended consequence will be improved performance.
The years of unfettered and “make-easy” voting have had the unintended consequence of lessening the perceived value of voting.  Sadly, because one element that causes unintended consequences is as Sociologist Merton said;
“The two top reasons why the law of unintended consequences works, according to Merton, is that the framers of
a social change are either ignorant of possible far-reaching effects of the law or make errors when they develop a
change that don’t have the effects they desired.”
A person’s value system may also fail to make them look past their system when taking an action of any kind to evaluate how the law of unintended consequences might work.
Rather than perpetuating a theory that easier voting will improve voting, perhaps we ought to reverse course from that preconceived notion.  Make the merit of voting have a little touch of personal effort.
I suggest a modest proposal, hopefully suitable to at least Jonathan Swift.
1.  Get the government out of the partisan candidate selection process.
2.  All voting return to being required at a polling place; just dump all of the mail-in and online voting nonsense.  Both are unmonitorable and logistically measurable.
3.  National elections should be 24 hour events.  Every poll in every state opens at the same time and closes at the same time, regardless of time zone.
The emphasis on ease has failed us.  It is one of the unintended consequences.  However, the devastating outcome has been that our eager beavers of social restructuring (elected elitists) remain unprepared for the FACT that unintended consequences have occurred and thus continue spin their wheels while bogged down in the mud of self-importance.
That Is The Way I See It.

An Independence Day Message

The consummate battle in the history of the world has been to force people to do good.

This week we are celebrating battles.  We are parading about in honor of wars won.  Specifically, symbolically, we are pumping our collective fists in the air in honor of the victories won on US soil.

Today, celebrations and speeches are echoing over the hills and dales of Gettysburg. PA.  For several straight days 150 years ago The Union was driven back.  The Rebel cause was advancing.  Then the winds shifted.  The tide of freedom rolled in upon shoreline that divided liberty from servitude.  When that tide receded it was blood red…from the blood of good men.

Of that massacre of a miniscule measure of mankind Abraham Lincoln uttered these words, always to be remembered by every American, perhaps by all the literate world, “we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground“.

In three days we shall celebrate the 237th anniversary of another combination of immortal words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”.

It should not be lost to the eye, ear, heart or mind of the casual observer that both these events declared without flinching that “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty”.

There is a doctrine unknown to much of the world.  I call it the doctrine of “original pride”.  Poorly summarized in simplistic terms is says that Satan fell from grace with God because of his pride.  He had desire to force all men to be good.  Alternatively, Jesus Christ offered salvation not through force but through each person’s will.  Joshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus), of the Old Testament summed it up quite well when he said “choose ye this day whom thou will serve”.

Throughout history the consummate battle has been between choice and compulsion.

The well-known dictators; Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Alexander the Great, King George, et al, have all professed to act in goodness to provide for their people.  In the process they have trample that eternal right of choice.  In the interest of forcing upon the people what was good they waged war against that which is truly good, the freedom to choose.  Millions of lives have lain wasted in heaps through the ages of time because one man occasionally garnered the support to oppress all men into goodness, according to their narrow perspective of goodness.

The Declaration of Independence and the battle at Gettysburg, PA are but symbols of what mankind will do “for liberty” or “for force”.  Colonist having crossed a raging ocean to choose to begin a new life of liberty proclaimed “We will not be slaves again”.  Abraham Lincoln paid the utter most farthing to say to a group of people, most of whom he never met, nor would ever meet; you shall not be mastered, but rather shall be masters of your of choosing.

Throughout our various governments today there are thousand upon thousands of people overtly or subtly saying “I shall be your master…for your good!”  These people find it convenient to oppress some so that others may benefit.  Isn’t that good?

Indeed it is not at all good! At best it is sufficient.  At its worst it is the imposition of servitude…in the “false” name of good.

It has always been, and shall always be that those who would force good upon others will ultimately force dominion upon them also.

Once shackled by oppression there is but one means of escape.  It requires a hammer and chisel.  They will beat not solely upon the chains that incarcerate but also upon the oppressor.  When one is forced to be good, if not them than the generations that follow shall beat out their liberty upon anvil of oppression.

So, then, and now, the battle is really not about “good” at all.  The battle is about the liberty to choose.

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

When we ALL become willing to beat our chains into plowshares we may rest assured that our swords and spears shall quickly follow course.

The Choice

I begin with my best recollection of a quote by a highly educated man whom has spent many years in leadership.

“The choice in life in not between obscurity and fame, nor, between poverty and wealth.  The choice in life is between good and evil.”

I offer a modification of that premise for strictly social/political perspectives.

“The choice in social life is between individual liberty and servitude.”1044030_561607060544201_544391676_n

Individual liberty is present in a person that accepts authority, responsibility, and accountability for their life.  Individual libertarians profess and acknowledge that they have the sole authority to make decisions about their present and their future.  When faced with any choice, they claim that they and they alone possess the power and right to make a decision.

Further, an individual libertarian holds themself alone responsible for the outcome of the use of that authority.  When they take upon them a decision through their authority they acknowledge the they have a duty to follow through to the responsible end of that decision.  They do not have obligation to applaud others nor blame other for the outcome. They acknowledge that they and they alone hold the full weight of responsibility for the outcome.

Lastly, an individual libertarian recognizes that they are account able for the outcome of their responsibility.  They own both failure and success.

Servitude is just the opposite of individual liberty.  The authority for decisions rest outside the person and with another.  The responsibility is defined by another.  Accountability is exacted by another.

Now, in the course of life an individual libertarian may choose at various times and circumstances when they subject themselves to the authority of other.  Yet, in doing so they are exercising their authority to choose to be subject to another.  The consequence of responsiblity and accountability flow therefrom.

Framers of the Constitution and other forefather of our nation recognized virtually every generation must reaffirm the authority they will retain and that which they will surrender.  That is the essence of willing subjection.

It is only when an ad hoc government perpetuates force of authority that a people enter servitude.

We live in a time when nearly all governments operate under the presumption perpetual authority.  Rather than recognizing every man’s individual liberty governments are overbearing.  Such governments have contempt for liberty.  Now, I use the government maybe too loosely.  Governments are inanimate object of social construct.  They simply mechanism, nothing more.  The real and absolute culprit in the theft of authority are in the elected and appointed representatives.  It rest in the hearts and minds of those that will recognize every individual as having liberty…or that every man should be in servitude.

The choice in social life for every man is this, “Am I entitled to liberty, or, shall I go gracefully into the night of servitude?”

Another poll

Here is a new poll for those who like to express their opinion anonymously.

More with the Sunbowl

It appears much has been decided about the Sunbowl.  I am hopeful that I am wrong.  It is possible that is just a perception which certain bureaucrats want conveyed.  Yet, the people of St. George will presumably have the last word, even if it comes in November.

It is all too frequent that people reach the decision that “you can’t fight city hall”.  When in fact what actually transpires is that people get worn down and give up.

One reason people give up is because “city hall” tends to spend far more time justifying their decisions than seriously seeking public input.  That may end up being the case here, with the Sunbowl.

I read the newspaper reasonably regularly, and don’t recall seeing anything about open discussion at regular city council meetings.  I’m not saying it hasn’t been there, just that I haven’t seen it…and many other people in the city also have not seen it.  There have been “work sessions” of the city council, but they are even generally less well attended by the public than regular business meetings.

In several states there are specific legislated procedures required of municipalities to dispose of public property.  I am researching Utah Law in an attempt to determine if Utah has such restrictions.  But whether they have those restrictions or not, when a historic facility in a city is going to be dumped there should be ample time and encouragement for public input from ALL interested parties, not just a few.

I strongly encourage readers to comment and let me know if I missed the public meetings where demolition of the Sunbowl was discussed at length.

The construction of the Sunbowl was a community project, led by the Lions Club.  It was not a government project.  If it is going to be demolished, than that too should be a community decision.

Being familiar with how government projects evolve I know that many many times a concept is formulated in someone’s mind.  Then, engineers are dispatched to design the concept on paper.  From there commitments are made to defend that design and proposal as the only viable alternative.  My impression is that is exactly what happened with this three-way wheeler-dealer trade to capture tax dollars from the state… to pay for a local project.

The idea being touted is that the win-win is for everyone (everyone meaning municipal, university, and school district officials; not necessarily the interested public) will result in Hansen Stadium being used for rodeos, and the Sunbowl being torn down to build a new elementary school.  I have no disrespect for the rodeo.  I love a good rodeo.  However, the Sunbowl is not simply about a rodeo.  It is about preservation of history.

Whether at the Sunbowl (which is fine) or elsewhere the rodeo ought to have its own venue.  If it is going to moved, which has questionable merit, another location downtown is not practical.  When it becomes essential to relocate a rodeo (again highly questionable here) most cities opt for new locations away from their central business district, not onto a growing university campus football field, costing thousands of dollars annually for maintenance.  The supposition is that the money will be spent to create more bleacher space at the stadium to accommodate the rodeo.  In reality, it is a scheme to generate more seating for the routine and “profit generating” events at the stadium, with the rodeo being secondary.  It may offend some, who may very well need the offending, but this scheme is not about rodeos or multi-use venues.  It is about free money.  As is often said in politics, “if you want to know what is really going on…follow the money trail.”

With reference to the elementary school I will ruffle more feathers.  The central city district is currently highly transition residential.  There are some long time families living there and I mean them no disrespect.  However, the bulk of families with elementary age children is highly transitional.  That in no way implies they are substandard, or that they don’t merit quality elementary schools.  They most certainly do.  However, the demand for classroom space will be in constant fluctuation. The millions in other people’s dollars, contributed by the state, could be be spent on quality upgrade of the existing elementary school.  What is actually happening with the three-way deal is that the school district is trading away an existing location for educating kindergarten graduates in order to give the university a party place for potential college graduates.  Every other higher education facility in Utah, except Utah Valley, is more disbursed than Dixie State.  They function well and graduate students on a regular basis.

Putting an elementary school at the location of the Sunbowl place young reactive children at one of the widest busiest intersections, from all directions, in the city.  It is an invitation for a crisis.  I hope those that are signing off on this three-way deal are as quick to say the demise of a child is as practical as the demise of the Sunbowl.

Now, I have “heard”, in the absence of public forum, the use of a city park will be shared.  “If it happens, the city and the school district would share playgrounds (Vernon Worthen Park) and sports recreation components of the new school.”  Really?  Seriously?  Given recent events across the nation (two incidents in Utah), the most egregious being Newtown, CT (home of my ancestors), do moms really want their children sharing a park with unknown adults with unknown motivations.  What actually will happen is a tall chain-link fence will be built around wherever the school district allows the children to play (supervised by a couple teachers and a part-time bus driver).  The school district attorneys, regardless of what might be professed by bureaucratic administrators, will insist on actions to protect the bureaucracy against lawsuits…even if it also mean protecting children.  The predicted response is that the park will only be accessible during non-school hours.  All the better opportunity for someone intent of harming children to leave some dangerous element on the playground for the next day.

The dangers I mention about a shared park facility will easily be dismissed as being manageable.  That is one of my main concerns.  Every aspect of this proposal can ultimately be “managed away” through talking points.  That is at the crux of the problem.  A public decision made in secret negotiations being defended at any cost against criticism.  Rather than trying to manage away inherent problem in a bad idea, how about “throwing away” the bad idea.

This whole concept of a three-way deal is personified by the glories of “working together” which I would wholeheartedly support, if that were really the situation.  When striped of its “talking points” this three-way theatric slams head-first into one reality.  The university is the one that really gains from it.  They get more seating for THEIR sports venue.  They get more property for THEIR purposes.  It is wonderful that the university is here.  I am personally happy about that.  In fact, scampering back a few years I was at the forefront of attempts to attract a university to a city I was managing.  Yet, city governments represent the whole city, not simply a wealthy prominent segment.

It is truly time to stop pretending that destruction of the Sunbowl is the best solution.  Let’s stop pretending that an elementary school is the highest and best use of a desecrated past.  Let’s cease pretending that football revenue is more valuable for the present than the revenue of memories cherished in a monument, built by a city of volunteers rather than by expedient politicians of today.

Sixty years ago St. George leaders shouted, “It’s a good idea, let’s do it.”  Yet, today the echo back is “Is it expedient?”

Utah stands at the forefront of all fifty states boldly professing “We will honor the founding fathers”.  Yet, on a whim our representatives whimper in the shadows, “Our owner predecessors would make the same mistakes we are making, if they knew all the facts.”

Many people have contacted me since I stuck my head into this particular public noose, saying they agree.  I hope that shall not find myself to be a majority of one, when the rationalization of presumed rational men begin their long winded explanation that “every alternative was looked at, and this is the best.”

Save The Sunbowl

Today, in St. George, I had a quaint experience.  I took my camera and went up to the 65 year city old landmark, The Sunbowl, located at approximately 150 South 400 East.

Dixie's Sunbowl 150 S. 400 East  St. George, Utah

Dixie’s Sunbowl
150 S. 400 East
St. George, Utah

Finding an open gate and no “no trespassing” sign I wandered down onto the grassy field.  There was another gentleman there, whose name I didn’t catch.  He was canvassing the terrain with a treasure hunter’s metal detector.  I’m no expert on such things, but it looked high quality.  I joked with him for a minute about finding some cowboys gold watch.

As I watched him for couple minutes I reminisced about the time I went gold panning at country carnival.

I wanted to tell him, ‘Raise your sights.  This entire place is the treasure!”  There is gold in that there bowl.

Along with my brief stint of couple of decades in municipal government management (less than a third of the lifetime of the Sunbowl) I also became a certified Main Street Manager.  What that means is I have a strong interest in historic preservation.  In fact, since I am boasting, I will confess to managing one of only four cities in Utah that received legislative set aside funding for historic preservation and facade restoration.  Additionally, in upstate New York I ran a grant program for restoration of historic buildings. In humility, I suggest that I know a little about what I am talking about.

Dixie's Sunbowl 150 S. 400 East  St. George, Utah

Dixie’s Sunbowl
150 S. 400 East
St. George, Utah

In the Sunday, June 16, 2013 Spectrum article, The Price of Preserving History, several structures were talked about being historic.  (I encourage you to read the article.)  The Sun Bowl was not listed among them.  The City of St. George owns many of the local historic structures, and preserves them.  That is laudable.  Others have been demolished over the years in favor of new stuff.

Last week I visited with mayoral candidate Jon Pike about the Sun Bowl.  In essence, I volunteered my time to assist in bringing venues to the Sun Bowl to raise funding for its necessary upgrades.  I was quite surprised when he mention that a three-way negotiation was under way to ultimately build an elementary school on the site.  According to him,

“I really think the Sunbowl is going to be replaced by a new elementary school. A three-way deal is well under way. Very difficult situation. Love to talk with you about it.”

It would be a shame to demolish a historic for another crowded elementary school site.  I oppose, for what it’s worth, such a prospect.  I hope that many residents oppose it also.

What surprises me is that none of the people I have spoken with have indicated knowledge of this “three-way deal”.  One issue that is surfacing in the St. George city council race is the need for greater transparency.  It appears that some folks believe too much is done behind closed doors.  I hope the future of The Sunbowl is not one of those situations.  The bull dozing of a landmark should have substantial public discussion. I hope candidates for city Council and mayor will agree.

Recently a project of interest to the mayor has received special presentation to the city council and, as I understand, funding in the future budget.  The project of which I speak in the corrective action necessary to restore the hill west of the city center.  For nearly half the lifetime of The Sunbowl that scar has been there.  It is now as much a landmark as it is a scar.  On one hand the city will spend resources to correct a problem it didn’t overtly create, but overlook preservation of a 65-year-old monument to the city’s past.  I believe that warrants much more open and “transparent” discussion than it has received.

Dixie's Sunbowl 150 S. 400 East  St. George, Utah

Dixie’s Sunbowl
150 S. 400 East
St. George, Utah

The Lion’s Club has focused attention on preservation of The Sunbowl.  They should be applauded.  Citizen’s are ready to step forward to assist.  I cannot speak for all but I have experience with grant writing and major event planning.  Whatever talents I may have gained from those experience are at the free disposal of the city.  There are many many other folks with far superior talents to my own that I believe would step forward if given a legitimate opportunity.

I look forward to reading your comments.

The following is an online conversation I said with Jon Pike, on Facebook.  It is intended to provide additional insight into what is transpiring with The Sunbowl.  Please do not consider it a criticism of Mr. Pike.  He graciously gave me an succinct update as to what is currently transpiring.  I wish to thank him for his openness, and cordial explanation.

“For starters, though, on the Sunbowl, the issues are several fold. DSU needs more land to expand. The school district needs to build a new elementary school in central St. George to replace an ailing East Elementary in a few years. The city likes the idea of attracting more families to central St. George. The Sunbowl, while an awesome part of our history, isn’t actually the right size for rodeo (too long), lacks sufficient parking for any large event, needs at least $2 million to do a relatively minor upgrade, and due to its outdoor nature, isn’t a good venue for concerts that get loud. So, the state has already agreed in principle to fund DSU’s purchase of East Elementary over the next two years. The school district is planning a bond election this November to enable them to build a number of new schools. Since they haven’t been able to identify any other property in central St. George, the Sunbowl is a possible location. If it happens, the city and the school district would share playgrounds (Vernon Worthen Park) and sports recreation components of the new school. The rodeo could then move to Hansen Stadium where new large portable bleachers would be purchased to turn the stadium into a better rodeo arena. The bleachers could also be used to make the stadium a better venue for high school football playoff games.

Anyway,lots of things being discussed by each of the parties involved, including the Lions Club.”

Father’s Day

I would like to redefine “father”.  If not redefine it, at least offer a little different perspective on what it means.  As a practicing Christian (I say “practicing”, because I am not an “accomplished” Christian like so many people I know) I want to appeal to a few phrases from the bible.

In John 1:12-13 we read “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Further in 1 John3;1-2 we see, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Now, I will grant that I might be making much ado about nothing.

Yet, elsewhere in holy writ we see reference to “offspring”, the “seed” of, and “begotten” when speaking of literal descendents.  For my purposes here I would like to champion the idea that being “sons and daughters” encompasses doing the will of and becoming like the father.  It reaches beyond discipleship, which embraces the teaching of another person.  It is all of that discipleship, yet, it is also the absolute intent to comprehend and emulate the behavior of another.

Jesus Christ proclaimed that he and the Father were one.  He was not only a disciple.  He was the perfect emulation of His Heavenly Father.  If I may, here is a quaint analogy.  Jesus Christ was the son of God because he was the sun that shined the Love of God on all mankind.  He and God the Father were one in bringing to pass the exaltation and eternal life of man.

At a personal level those that honor their earthly father are sons and daughters because they emulate their earthly father.  They do not obey out constraint, but rather out of love, trust, honor, and confidence.  In each them, their dads are seen by others.  They are sons and daughters of their dads, not simply by birth certificate, but rather because they are like their father.  When folks that knew their biological fathers see those children they likewise see the father in those children.  It comes out, because it cannot help coming out.

Many a year ago I remember an anti-smoking commercial that showed a little boy sitting under a tree pretending to smoke a cigarette.  Then it showed his dad doing the exact same thing, sitting under a tree.  Then the commercial made a clear and simple statement, “Like Father, Like Son”.

Because this is a political blog I guess I better say something about politics.

The framers of the Constitution, and George Washington in specific are frequently referred to as the Father(s) of our country.  The question I ask is “Are we the sons and daughters of that George Washington?”  He placed nobility in public conduct above all else.  Do we do the same?  He defended the ultimate right of each man to determine his own fate, without the intrusion of the government.  Do we do the same?

President Washington is purported to have said “I cannot tell a lie”.  Are any of our recent presidents “sons” of George Washington.  Are they willing to emulate him.  Are they, or members of Congress and state legislatures, willing to sacrifice all for their honor?

Just as Christ said, “All have fallen short of the glory of God”.  Thus, we ought not to expect perfection from ourselves as sons and daughters.  However, as the apostle John said “to them (us) gave he power to become the sons of God”.  Likewise, we have the power to become the sons and daughters of the patriarchs of our nation.

Today is Father’s Day.  A dozen generations of fathers have passed since George Washington.  Dozens of generations of fathers have passed since Jesus Christ proclaimed “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father, which is in Heaven is perfect”.  Thousands of generations have passed since God placed Adam in the garden of Eden and then asked “Is it good that man should be alone” and then instructed Adam and his wife to be fruitful and multiply.

Today is Father’s Day.  Many different values permeate society.  Moses delivered a message to the people of Israel, “honor your father that your days may be long…”

The serious question for our day is, “Whom shall we choose to be our father?”

Innocent until proven guilty?

Today I received an email from the Utah Eagle Forum, presented as an “Action Alert”.  I am usually and generally in agreement with the Eagle Forum.  They are not the extremist organization that hate mongers would make them out to be.

However, today’s Action Alert departs from the standard high credibility for which the Utah Eagle Forum is well-known.  It comes rushing to the defense of Attorney General John Swallow.  The logic behind that race-to-defense is as suspect as the allegation they pose against those who they claim have rushed to judgement against the embattled Attorney General.

The Forum uses the convenient number of ten to list the egregious attacks on John Swallow.  Some items on that list are shallow underminings of reason at best. Others are simply flawed understandings of popular, yet misguided phrases.  I speak of the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” sentiment.

Says the Eagle Forum’s Action Alert, “Under the law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, a concept apparently forgotten by the media.”  This is sound if properly understood, and not applied to a pending impeachment…which the Forum is applying it to.

Let’s begin with the obvious.  “Innocent until proven guilty” is not a phrase found in the Constitution.  The presumption that the government must prove guilt is certainly there.  It is just and sound doctrine.  But even then it applies to proving criminal accusations.  The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” was used by the courts to clarify the intent of the language of the Constitution.  Yet, even then the courts consistently have opined that a person tried must be proven guilty “beyond reasonable doubt”.  Reasonable doubt does not mean “beyond ANY doubt”.

The Free Legal Dictionary, which provides historical precedent in addition to simple definitions, states,

“The presumption of innocence, an ancient tenet of Criminal Law, is actually a misnomer. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the presumption of the innocence of a criminal defendant is best described as an assumption of innocence that is indulged in the absence of contrary evidence (Taylor v. Kentucky, 436 U.S. 478, 98 S. Ct. 1930, 56 L. Ed. 2d 468 [1978]). It is not considered evidence of the defendant’s innocence, and it does not require that a mandatory inference favorable to the defendant be drawn from any facts in evidence.”

With respect to the indulgence in financial dalliance, of which ample accusation has been proffered, there is no need to even consider “innocence until proven guilty” in an impeachment procedure.  Impeachment is not about determining criminal innocence or guilt.  It is about evaluating credibility and social fitness for office.  There are voices of special interest that would have us deceived into believing otherwise.  But, that just ain’t so.

Neither impeachment nor public sentiment must comply with the standard of reasonable doubt or innocence until proven guilty, in determining the merits of a public servant.  To suggest otherwise would lead to depriving all people of their right of conscience.

Those voices as represented by the presumption of the Eagle Forum’s list of essentially required blindspots which states,

THE most important reason for the legislature to NOT initiate impeachment proceedings at this time is because Attorney General John Swallow has done absolutely nothing since becoming the attorney general of Utah that would justify or even suggest impeachment. Read what the Utah Constitution says about impeachment; “The Governor and other State and Judicial officers shall be liable to impeachment for high crimes, misdemeanors, or malfeasance in office.” Note that it specifies “in office.”  (emphasis added) Allegations brought prior to John’s becoming attorney general are irrelevant to an impeachment and have not been substantiated or proved by any CREDIBLE source and are currently being investigated by the FBI.”

John Swallow is relying upon the fact that he was elected by a sizable majority of the electorate.  Fair argument, although without substance.

  1. The indiscretions which he has not denied, potentially led to his having one of the largest campaign war chests in Utah history for any statewide candidate.
  2. The allegations against him were strategically hidden from public scrutiny several weeks before the election.  The result of which, if they had not be sequestered, might very well have resulted in a justified alternate outcome in the race.
  3. His conduct was apparently undenied malfeasance, although denied by those with a narrow perspective of protecting their political interests ahead of the overall social interests.  The timing of his misconduct may elude the phrase “malfeasance in office“.  But, ask the serious and relevant question does it diminish his “malfeasance FOR THE office”?  I happen to think it does not excuse him.

Further the Eagle Forum Action Alert uses strawman arguments about the costliness of impeachment.  First, the millions which they presume is pure speculation.  Second, are we to conclude that collusion in high places and continuance of corruption is less costly than cleansing the public conscience ?  Again, I think not.

Lastly, the Eagle Forum has tossed all of their apples into the bottomless basket of the FBI investigation.  Is this the same FBI that has a director that does not even know the name of his chief investigator in the most prominent case before them in fifty years?  Is this the same FBI that has failed to contact any of the parties aggrieved by the recent unconstitutional actions of the federal government.  Well, Yes, come to think of it they are the same.  It is unreasonable to rely upon the skills of an inept overreaching federal agency.  But, at least we can expect them to have the private phone records of private citizen…or be able borrow those records from the president’s campaign committee.  Oh, wait, that was an unfair assertion, …I guess.

There would be no need for an impeachment, if.  There would be no need for an investigation, if.  There would be no need for the ongoing drama, if.

If what?

If John Swallow would resign.  Nobody, except John Swallow caused the public focus on this issue.  Nobody but John Swallow is hung-up on his public financial benefit.  Despite efforts to question the integrity of his accusers, he need only look at his own long-term ongoing agenda of deception to see the cause.

Why are you out of Jail?

I have posted this reference before, but it bears repeating.

In the play “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail” by Lawrence and Lee, Ralph Waldo Emerson is standing at the window of Henry David Thoreau’s jail cell asking him , “Henry, what are you doing in jail”?  In response the scene closes with Thoreau answering by way of a question, “Waldo, what are you doing out of jail”?

Over the past several months we have been inundated with story after story of the intrusiveness of the government into the lives of Americans.  They have imposed on the freedom of the press.  They have imposed on the rights of children to be children by casting them out of school for pointing their fingers like a gun.  The feds have imposed on your private communications.

Here in Utah a federal judge had the gall to believe he could require a man to control his wife like some cheap piece of chattel.  On one hand the federal government declares that women have equal rights to men in society.  Yet, a judge demands that a man subject his wife to the slavery of silence.  Marriages are falling apart faster than house of cards on a windy day.  Yet, the judge in the Jeremy Johnson legal case appallingly suggests that Mr. Johnson divorce his wife.

It was not sufficient that the judge demand silence from Mr. Johnson himself.  It was not sufficient that a bumbling federal attorney can’t build a case, the judge had to resort to approving the theft of Johnson’s assets and threaten the theft of his family’s assets also.  What is next?  Will the judge rule that since the good people of St. George did not organize a lynch mob the assets of everybody in town must be confiscated by the lords and masters of Washington.  Welcome to Zion, Roy Bean!

In St. George, Dixie Ambulance operated for over a quarter of a century.  Times were always tight, but they always made the system work.  As a result of their work the emergency response doctors at DRMC gave them repeated accolades for their service to the community.  At the end of the day, what mattered most, the saving of lives, Dixie Ambulance was recognized for accomplishing its mission.  Yet, some top-heavy bureaucracy in the Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services arbitrarily decided that some other company might do it better.  That same agency is causing concern from numerous other public and private emergency response providers across the State of Utah.

When I personally sent a letter to the state legislature outlining my justified concerns with what appeared to be “political insider trading” I was shocked by the response from one leader in the state senate. {as a sidenote, financial insider trading on Wall Street can earn a person significant jail time and fines.  Yet, political insider trading by bureaucrats and elected state officials earns them another plaque of accomplishment}.  Back to my point.  When my letter of concern was received by one state senator (whom I have been told, but have not verified, receives substantial campaign contributions from the successor of Dixie Ambulance) called me on the phone.  He was so angry that his voice was trembling like a little boy reporting to his dad he broke the neighbor’s window with a baseball.  Bless his tender backside, he never addressed anything in my letter.  His objective was to point out some law that he and one of his comrades had pushed through years ago.  When he realized I wouldn’t be bullied into pacification and acquiescence he terminated the call.  I gave you the long version explaining that another elected official wagged his finger rather than lending his ear.

The list goes on ad nauseam.  Our Attorney General has been playing loose with the purse strings that buy popularity.  He explains it away with excuses that he wasn’t the AG when he was engaged in the conduct.  His posse of apologists in elected office raise the hue and cry that he is entitled to innocence until proven guilty.  Yes, he is, in a court of law.  That stricture on public sentiment has never existed.  The people are fully capable of and justified in loosing faith and confidence in elected officials.  Besides, even in a court of law, there must be sufficient stench at the crime scene to produce an indictment.  All of his defender “in the know” must be smelling something if they want a full investigation.  As Shakespeare said “a rose by any other name smells the same”, and my daddy paraphrased “A skunk by any other name stinks the same”.

I return briefly to the national scene of the crime.  The government, and all of its minions of minutia, want to track down and publicly flog a guy by the name of Snowden.  They tell us it is because he has single-handedly compromised ALL OF American security for the next bazillion years.  All of the high-ranking talking heads in Congress have raced to the various microphone to brag  that “in the public’s best interest” they have spent their hard won looting of the citizens to buy the horses necessary to have Mr. Snowden drawn and quartered.  Yippy-Ki-Yeah!

Let me drift back in history for a moment.  I am a fan of Mr. John Brown, though he lays a moldering in his grave.  One reason for my enjoying the old boy is because a great-uncle of mine rode with him on many a mission to rescue the enslaved.  He is a folk hero today for a lot of folks in the north and the south.  However, following his execution at Harpers Ferry it would have been impossible to swing a dead cat without hitting a politician ready to besmirch his character.  Just like today politicians of the lowest of lower character raced for a podium or newspaper in order to profundicate about a man they were afraid to emulate.  And emulate him they should have.

History has proven John Brown’s, unrelenting and uncompromising as he was, being questionable in his methods and obedience to the law, image stands in monument to his intolerance to a government gone putrid.

Will Snowden, a hundred years from now, prove to be worthy of a monument.  I will never know, but my youngest grandchild might.  And, I am not advocating that a stone monument be built to him.

I am suggesting that a monument in the character of a free people be erected against the tyranny imposed upon us by our current crop of politicians and bureaucrats.  There was a time when Congress was filled with farmers that grew corn, peas, beans, potatoes, and melons.  The work and moral ethic of those men has been squashed.  Today, among those in high places, we find guardians of poison ivy defending corruption like “It’s what’s  for dinner”.

We can not rely upon the physicians of public power to heal themselves.  They have become addicted to their own drug of self-indulgence.  An indulgence that prescribes there is a law to cure every evil.  A healthcare law of a million pages would be insufficient to cure their addiction of arrogance.

The only way back to “free will” is to actively abandon their and our addiction to “free stuff”.

Government passed ten thousand laws to enforce the Ten Commandments.  Yet, they would not even stop there.  They progressed on to passing a million laws to rain down Manna in the wilderness of self-indulgence.

The problem of big government, domineering government, abusive government can not be solved by those in power now.  It can only be solved by every man changing his view-point.  You may look into the room and see the four barriers that confine you.  Or, you can look out the window and finally see the opportunities in a sunrise.

Injustice abounds.  We can complacently believe that it will end of its own accord.  We can complacently believe it shall not grow regardless of how much more it is fed.  However, to believe those complacent beliefs is lying to ourselves.  Experience has proven injustice always expands in the vacuum of complacency.  The only course back to liberty is through the brooding truth of absolute conviction.

Today, the question to us, the masses of the people, is “Why are you out of jail?”

 

 

 

You Deserve to Know…and decide.

Today the United States of America (actually the entire world) is fraught with controversy.

We are fighting over all kinds of issues.  The President spits on Congress.  Congress slaps the President.  Moralists attack homo-sexual rights activists and vice versus.  Attorney generals at both the federal and state level, acting as officers of the court…violate the rules of civility and then use the defense that they have not violated the law.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76CpZgOKHOQ

All of the squabbling really comes down to political pandering.  I am soundly convinced that most politicians, and people, simply subscribe to the idiocy of ideology rather than to principles they seriously understand.  Political partisanship is easily attained.  What is difficult to achieve is political principle.  Principle takes actually thinking through one’s behavior.  Partisanship only requires vocal affirmation of platitudes.

On one hand we see politicians swear on their sainted grandmother’s grave that they are conservatives.  Yet, daily they act out in the same bad behavior as those dreaded “leftists”.  One issue that fascinates me greatly is how one US Senator proudly boast his conservatism and opposition to big government.  Yet, he correspondingly proposes requiring certain people, based on the national origin, to be DNA labeled “for the record”.  This same senator likewise held, and I believe still does, the record for getting the most legislation passed at the federal level.  Really?  He opposes government growth and has contributed the most to its growth.

Another local state senator that I am aware of swears he is conservative.  He spit in his hand and shook vigorously with the Republican Party to uphold conservative values.  Carefully he groveled in mock humility before the voters on bended knee, shed a tear of sincerity, and begged that them to give him the opportunity to serve faithfully, righteously, and without bias.  Then, miraculously he was transformed into a man who went hell-bent after using his influence, AS A STATIST, to browbeat members of the public he swore to serve without bias.  He is a brilliant man, as far as he can shine the light of glory upon his self-deceit.  He turns to the internet to promote his goodness and wisdom.  Then, it appears, under assumed names he applauds himself for his goodness.  Fortunately, there is some excellent albeit expensive software that can evaluate writing style.  There are three people who have virtually the exact same writing style as this man of “character beyond reproach”.

But, my focal point here is not to dwell too long on attacking men drowning in the depth of their duplicity.

My greater objective is to ask a simple question of those both “in over their heads” and those that walk the earth in humble submission to those wiser men.

“Are you willing to give up your right to make decisions for your life to another person?”

There is not a correct nor incorrect answer to that question.  But it should be modified slightly.

“Are you willing to give up your right to make decisions for your life to another person, without understanding why you do so?”

Within the answer to that questions lies the essence of liberty.

We passively submit to politicians presuming they operate under the same premise as doctors to “Do No Harm”.  We accept them as being wiser, without questioning their conduct. Yet, in their zeal they in fact create much harm.

Please watch this video regarding the Holocaust?  Some years ago I visited the holocaust museum in Washington DC.  It struck me with emotion deep enough to bring tears to my eyes when I observed hundreds upon hundred of shoes piled in bins.  They were the shoes of those that walked to their slaughter, because a society ordained a master who knelt before them.  Then those same people within a short time were brought to kneel before him.  They chose to allow another to make choices for them.

However, we are more sophisticated today.  No such thing could happen.  Today we are better people and don’t tolerate such egregious treatment.  Except when we begin to think a solution to “illegal immigrants” is cataloging their DNA.  Or, maybe when a lowly state senator can drive a person out of business under the disguise of protecting the public from some “future” problem.  Or, maybe when a state attorney general defends his errant conduct with the excuse that “it wasn’t illegal at the time”, setting himself apart from the fact that it was unethical at all times.

I am reminded of the words of a poem that depicted Nazi Germany.  Here is one version:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Standing on the sidelines watching the parade march by is entertaining.  However, being in the parade watching the audience is even a greater thrill.  But, greater still, by far, is knowing that you are in the parade because you chose to be the one “to choose your course”.

So, we are back to the question

“Are you willing to give up your right to make decisions for your life to another person?”

There is no correct nor incorrect answer.  But, you deserve to know!

 

 

Is Ethical Behavior to Hard?

Is ethical behavior by elected officials too broad to ask for?

Elect means to “choose out from” among a group.  The clear implication is that one is chosen to represent the group.  It is anticipated that the group has such confidence that the one “chosen out from” among them will consistently act in their stead as though they were each standing there themselves.

It takes some thought to digest that concept.  One that is elected is not independent of the group from which he was chosen.  In fact he is a strict representative of that group.  Now, then, the group has a rightful expectation that the elected will represent them at their best, not at his best.  Both the elected and the elector should understand that given similar circumstances (whatever they may ultimately be) any members would act the same if guided by ethics.

Thus, what then is ethics?

It is the consummate expression of preserving life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for every man, without the initiation of coercion, force or dominion.

Ethics is not a matter of transient religious views, culture, or customs.  Ethics is a matter cooperative co-existence.

Religion, law, culture and even common decency says “do not kill”.  Yet, when violence invades life and liberty killing may in fact be the most ethical of choices.  Correspondingly, depriving a man of his right to pursue happiness may be met with extreme ethical force of resistance.

How does this relate to the initial question “Is ethical behavior by elected officials too broad to ask for?”

Ethical behavior would prevent an elected man from violating his obligation to the society which elected him to the extent he would chose never to be deceptive to his electors.  He would harbor no secrets and certainly would not invade one man’s pursuit of happiness to shower greater happiness upon another.

What is most significant is that any member of the electorate, given equal information and opportunity, to act with a full measure of ethical foundation would chose nearly precisely the same.

Elected officials should perpetually ask themselves that very question.  “IF another were given my authority and power, with an intact ethical mindset, would he do as I am presuming to do?”  The only safe and reliable answer to that question is a sincere “YES!”  Any other answer acknowledges that personal persuasions are playing a stronger role than ethical choices.

That self assessment is only “too broad to ask for” if the elected official has weakened his moral fiber to the point that ethics is a burden rather than a blessing.

Now, above I mentioned a justification of actions which are normally, and ought to be, reprehensible.  However, great men have revealed to us the idea that it is the nature and disposition of just about all men once they gain a little authority, as they presume, they begin to exercise unthical behavior.  They will seek to bear down upon other men with dominion.

When that happens they loose their strength in leadership and of being elected.  For their own sakes, as well as for the community, the society must call into question their ethics.  And, if justified they ought to be striped of authority.

Men of ethics would not oppose such sanction and course of questioning.  How do we know that to be true?  By asking that question “IF another were given my authority and power, with an intact ethical mindset, would he do as I am presuming to do?”  Making poor choices is not an essential flaw in mankind.  In fact, in some circles, men rejoice over making mistakes because it leads them to better correct their inclinations in future endeavors.

Seeking to hide the existence of poor choices is a fundamental flaw of mankind.  Not only have they erred in their ethical decisions, but violate the trust of their fellow beings far more deeply by choosing to hide their mistake in the sackcloth of intentional deceit.

Far more important in life than winning the victory is “winning the choice between being ethical and unethical” behavior.  A kind society will establish a means whereby the society may respond to the inevitable ethical flaws of its leaders.  The leaders, more than any man unelected, should desire such a corrective process.  The entire society should seek diligently for the day that such a process is no longer needed, rather than a time when it is no longer wanted.

An Interpretation of the Intent of the Founders of the Constitution

Bear with me in a brief history of the founding of the US Constitution.  The New World, as it was known, was settled by people seeking opportunity for broader liberty and wealth.  Ultimately it was peopled by those which fell under the governorship of the English monarch, the king.  Eventually many of the settlers began to feel that king was becoming more a dictator than a benevolent protector.  After years of effort to reach equality, of treatment by the king, with their counterparts in Europe leaders such as Thomas Jefferson wrote a document called the Declaration of Independence.

In the natural course of human events the king sought to re-establish the subservience of the Colonies under his scepter of authority.  The War of Independence ensued, with the colonies being victorious.  The colonies became independent states under an agreement or pact known as the Article of Confederation.  Those articles proved to be substantially ineffective for a nation of sovereigns (individuals and states).

Presumably the best minds of the day gathered together in convention and wrote the document which preserved individual sovereignty for persons and states, while granting the nation a government strong enough to adequately protect the Union.  That document, The Constitution of The United States of America, has been deemed by many as nearly sacred, and by some as inspired by God.

In the course of time scholars and their students have perpetuated the idea that the Constitution established three distinct and equal branches of the federal government; Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.  That theory is an erroneous teaching.

The Constitution was not, and should not be considered, a solely comprehensive document.  Rather it is a progressive document.  Lest, the current anti-progressives get an immediate insult to their sensitivities clarification is in order.

By progressive it is intended to mean that the Constitution addresses issues in relative importance.  The preamble of the Constitution identifies the intent of the document and co-incidentally that of the convention: To create a stronger union of the sovereign people and states.  That is what was and is of greatest importance.  Following thereon are the definitions of the powers of that central government and its limitations.  One section progresses from the previous.

First, the intent.  Second, legislative power.  Third, executive power. Et cetera.

Just a brief clarification is needed.  This requires a quote from the Constitution.  “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” Conversely, “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”  Note that the president is secondary to the Congress, and, that the executive is not given legislative authority.

Now, here is a brief word about legislation.  Legislation is not law.  Congress passes legislation in the form of “Bills”.  The Founders were far more literate than much of today’s American society.  Each word was written with specific understanding, intent, and order.  They wrote with purpose, and for effect.  In today’s society we lack much of that precision of voice and meaning.  Therefore, when the Constitution uses the phrase “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress” there is meaning which the Founders comprehended, and which current society overlooks.  Legislation comes from a Latin root “legis latio”,-proposing (literally ‘bearing’) of a law. It is therefore Congress that proposes law in the form of Bills.  The President does not and should not.

For a significant portion of the history of the Colonies the King of England was viewed as a tyrant.  He enacted laws which were punitive to the interests, safety, liberty, and prosperity of the colonists.  The Declaration of Independence was the culminating expression of the colonist’s dissent and objection to that abuse.

The Articles of Confederation, and consequently the US Constitution, profoundly expressed the reasonable mistrust the people had with kings.  The founders recognized and even embraced that mistrust.  In consequence they segregated the chief executive from “legis latio” power.

In protecting people and states under the new, and now more powerful, national government the Founders diminished the power of a necessary chief executive.  They declined all forms of royalty titles and inherency to the presidency by subjecting the election of a president to a wise body of electors.

They recognized through experience, both historic and personal, that entitlements to executive power would corrupt not just the president but the people as well.  They realized that a man possessed of a personality trait of entitlement to govern would ultimately lead to anger, hatred, and potentially bloodshed.  This would be brought about by the assertion of opposing forces persuading the masses of people to contend. In those contentions the laws would be perverted and many people would be corrupted.

Through careful consideration of history and known propensities of most men the Founders created a system to combat those eventualities.  They established a comprehensive, although not complex, system of establishing laws and governance.  It was initiated by wise legislators and executed by a president with a clearly restrained role.

The president’s role is limited in the Constitution.  Those limitations were intended to prevent the chief executive from corrupting either the people or the laws.  To the extent warranted, precisely, within the Constitution the president is tasked with preserving the unity of the nation.

The Founders were extraordinarily aware of the havoc that kings, presidents; dictators (et al) could create when they had the power and authority to implement laws and means of mastery over people.  Further, they knew from their experience that such a person in power could and likely would be difficult to remove from power.

They also knew that such a person would have his friends in position to keep him in power; and that he may or would disregard the role of those who had the right to propose laws.  Such a man, if given great power, in an interest in preserving himself in control, would create laws, and impose them upon the people.  Those laws would be to preserve his own interests and those of his friends.

The founder, in their wisdom, knew that those who opposed these dictates and refused to obey them would be hounded by such a president until he caused their will and liberty to be destroyed. Anyone that opposes and speaks out against him will be chased down, and, he will seek every means at his disposal to destroy them, even to the extent of killing them if he and his friends deem it necessary.

Those descriptions sound extreme, yet history has repeated itself over and over.  There has never been a generation of people where there has not been a leader with such propensities.  Mankind would be entirely foolish to contend otherwise.  Dictators have and will always be among us.  The only means of avoiding them is through diligent efforts in preventing them.

As the founders established, the people should choose legislators which are conscientious in maintaining liberty for all the people, without restraint.  Although there are always those who seek power and control over others it is not common that the majority of the people want anything injurious to others.  Yet, in all societies small groups of people do, in fact, want to have dominance and power over others. It is therefore essential that the whole population of the people engage in the electoral process.

The founders knew that an entitled royalty or a chief executive strong enough to create laws of their own accord would be detriment to the sovereignty of the people and the states.  In establishing the Constitution their debate was in how to protect the liberty of the people against the inevitability of a government that could become corrupted.  One of their primary concerns was to restrict a president that would tear the nation apart by his partisanship (placing himself and his friends above the interests of the whole nation).

Many say that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional government of the United States of America was an experiment in liberty.  Nothing could be further from the actual.  It was not an experiment.  American self-governance was an act of faith by wise and prudent men.

The Founders trusted the people, acting in their best interests rather than in selfish interests, to choose leaders that would be wise and prudent.  Yet, they also recognized that in the course of time the people might become momentarily swayed by the sentiment for unwarranted gain.  To that end they fashioned a government that would be complex enough to require the people to thoughtfully consider the ramifications of the proposals of men inclined to their own popularity.

Now, some two centuries and two score years later the origins of their wisdom have been squandered.  A government intended to be legislated by representatives of the people and the states has degenerated into a system of partisan quarreling.  A central government intended to minimize the power of a chief executive, without legislative authority, is now subject to the whims of a president surrounded with his hirelings in fraud.  A national government intended to have a judicial system entrusted with protecting the federalism of The Constitution has been politicized to the level of pandering to a president, while a shorted-sighted legislature, tasked with oversight, is busied being neglectful of their duty.

Not to sound like an advertisement for Fox News, but America was founded in the principle of a fair and balanced society. In reality we were not designed to be governed by a government.  Rather, we were intended to be a society governed by each man doing that which was right for all, while pursuing that which was best for them.

There is an old cliché which says “That government governs best, which governs least”.  May I boldly amend that sentiment to read “That government governs best…which needs not govern at all”?

As a people we must return to be our better selves; unselfish, serving, charitable, hard working.  Elected representative officials must return to the notion that they do not master the people, but rather simply propose necessary and essential legislation.  The President must return to understand his role is not of a legislator, but that of a leader sacrificing all else to his country.

We have turned aside from what America was by experimenting in the “sorcery of power over others”.

The watchword of our current time is and ought to be “return”.

Foreign to our nature, as it has become, we must return to the course set by the Founders.  If we fail to do so, we will fulfill the greatest fears of our Europeans ancestors.  We shall sail forward into an unknown ocean of oppression, and, surely fall off the edge of the world of opportunity.

Guns vs Gums

Guess what?  There is a debate about gun control.  It is going on right now.  Pro-gun folks are saying “You let me have my guns, or I’ll shoot you.”  Anti-gun folks are saying “Surrender your right to guns or I’ll stab you with a knife”.

Today the President dove straight into the group of gum-flappers with his proposed edicts about gun control.  Of course, as usual, the President was speaking out on an issue without concern for its impact or relevance in the future.

President Obama has fallen on his face several time in the past four years when the issue of gun control came up.  He has had many opportunities to share his views of the importance of this issue.  Yet, for all intents and purposes he shied away from the issue.  Yet, today it is a serious and significant issue for this president.  Why?

Because it is an opportunity to be personally popular while showing no personal substance as a human being.  If this is an issue today…it was an issue last year,…and ten years ago.  Yet, he and many others in Washington DC suddenly decide that today is the day to make a stand.  Or, in other words, today is the day to flap their gums.  And, whether readers agree or not the FACT is that they are grandstanding.

Let’s examine a limited list of serious issues about gun control, beyond the significant one noted above.

Years ago, when I was young and getting started, some slob (no exaggeration-she was a true blubber butt) walked into an all-night market I was working at.  She fired her 22 caliber rifle directly at me.  Fortunately for me, she left a hole the size of the Grand Canyon in the wall behind me…rather than in me.  There was a German-made Luger under the counter.  The Luger is a semi-automatic weapon.  I was able to place my hand on the pistol and aim it directly at the robber, that without provocation fired at me first.  Now, why am I bringing this personal survival story to light?

Is a 22 caliber rifle an assault weapon?  Not in the eyes of anyone that really knows anything about guns.

I share with you the perspective of one who has stared into the hole, two inches beside his ear, in the wall that results from such a rifle.  It IS an assault weapon.  It is a damn scary assault weapon.

Here is the point.  It is impossible to define an assault weapon.  The fact is that the German Luger, by presidential definition, was more of an assault weapon than the one fired at me.  Somewhere, in some realm, the assailant understands that her aggression was the assault weapon, which just wasn’t smart to use.

It is the circumstances that define the weapon as an assault weapon.  The punk that threatened me with a knife a hundred years ago, somewhere near Baltimore, when I was a teenager understands, just as I do, that circumstances define what an assault weapon is.  I am not a tough guy, and never have been one, but I sometimes wonder if that punk grandfather ever explains to his punk grandchildren how he got that scar across his face.

Ok, enough on that point.  Suffice it to say, any weapon is an assault weapon…in the wrong circumstances.

Now onward to my second point.

I stand firmly on my protections under the 18th amendment to the Constitution.  This amendment was ratified in only one year and one month.  However, the 21st amendment repealed the 18th amendment…in less time than it took to pass the 18th (288 days).

A group of alarmists, similar to Barack Obama, persuaded several states to support the 18th amendments in stomping on the liberties of people who sinned differently than they did.  If you are not aware of what happened the 18th restricted the legal sale of intoxicating drinks  (similar to Michelle Obama’s efforts to restrict the sale of non-intoxicating soft drinks).  The 21st amendment repealed this restriction on civil liberties. Why?

The major reason is because so many people enjoyed drinking intoxicating drinks.  Ultimately, the silly 18th amendment led to substantial increases in the use of intoxicating drinks on the “black market”.  The black market led to an unprecedented increase and growth rate in organized crime.  It led to a substantial increase in alcohol poisoning through use of “moonshine” manufactured intoxicating drinks.

Here is the conclusion.  Is anyone, other than Barack Obama and his fools in Congress, actually convinced that illegal usage of “assault weapons” will go away?  The right to own guns is an American institution that no degree of legislation will ever altar.  The only thing this silliness by the president will foster is a larger “black market” for guns.  History is the proof.

Now, going beyond simple historic evidence there is another reality that exists here.  There are so many weapons already in society, including “assault weapons”, that those guns will be available for several decades, maybe even centuries.  The only difference is the price will go up and the most violent will have access to these weapons.

Barack Obama and is gang in the senate need to come into the real world.  The more he tightens his grip on the throats of good people in America, the more violent people will slip through his finger and assault the innocent.

Crucified upon a Cross of Taxation

In 1896 William Jennings Bryan declared to the Democratic Convention “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

There is no tax that does not affect every member of society.  The rich cannot be taxed without the poor and middle class seeing unknown fingerprints on their thin wallets.  Eventually the dollar in a wealthy man’s hand that has had a corner torn away by government will find it way into the fingers of the poor…equally of less value.  Only the foolish believe that they can give the rich a smaller glass, with which to give the poor a larger drink of water.

Before the nation today there is a fiscal fiasco.  It is an affair run by (wo)men who line their living from thinning the wallets of the wealthy.  They govern by mandating that every person’s purse have an opening at both the top and the bottom.  Unfortunately, eyesight is a nimble narrow thing.  They have neither ability nor will to see both the top and bottom at the same time.  Thus, perpetually, such men will tear the hole below wider and wider until it dwarfs the entrance above.

That is the plain and simple premise of taxation.  Drain the pond until it empties faster than it fills.

Theft by taxation is not some noble venture of those in elected office.  It not like keeping a penny found in the gutter and dishonorably kept.  It is the nature and disposition of almost every official that promotes theft by taxation to shake a man senseless until a penny falls to the gutter.  Then the man of government, believing himself to be a man of God, snatches the penny from the gutter saying “This piece of copper is my rightful property.”  Then to compound their flawed appraisal boldly declare “This tarnished copper piece shall become a silver dime when I have finished polishing it.”

Alas, they take the shiny coin and hold it high above the heads of people, boasting in their pride.  Presuming themselves to be wise beyond their reason they declare the one cent dime should be invested in worthless efforts to spend future pennies they hope to shake free of every man’s pocket but their own.  They press down upon the heads of every person, rich and poor, a false sense of value.  It is nothing more than a mockery of advantages of nobility.  Yet, in the end, long after the legislator has passed away in comfort, mankind suffers the scars of taxation.

Today I say to the Senate and the House “You shall not press down upon the brow of America this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon the cross of taxation.”

The White House Rapper

For about two years now I have been accusing President Obama of having a “ghetto mentality”.  Of course there are some public spectacles, like Chris Mathews, that come off their rails when I use language like that.  Simply because I use the terms “Obama” and “ghetto” in the same sentence than I must be a self-righteous racist intent on driving everyone back into slavery.  Of course such a suggestion comes only from those that are in over their depth in a kiddie pool.

Suffice it to say Barack Obama has a ghetto mentality.  Whether that comes from poor upbringing, his neighborhood, or his race is really quite irrelevant.  What remains at the end of the day is a president with a ghetto mentality.

Ghettos have existed nearly as long as mankind.  They became popular, as the phrase “ghetto” , in Europe a couple of centuries back.  The ghetto was where certain nationalities or ethnic groups lived within  cities spread across the old continent.  All too frequently they housed the poorest of the poor.  They also represented those groups of people who were generally disfavored by society because of their unique status as a racial or cultural community.

Jews were among the most prominent of Ghetto communities.  They were religiously and socially isolated because of their beliefs.  In many cases they were lower on the scale of humanity than were Negroes.  They lived in abject poverty, for the most part, being looked down on by their fellow-men.  Another group of transients, affectionately referred to as gypsies, were members of “traveling” (or more appropriate described as “chased”) ghettos.

These ghetto dwellers established their own cultural norms, laws, and even languages.  They depicted their status via their music, dance and art.

Through the course of time various ghetto cultures rose and faded away.  For example for many hundreds of years Jews were a predominantly ghetto society.  In the mid to late 1800s the perspective of Jews began to change.  Religious revivalism openned the viewpoint among many Christian groups that Judaism was in fact their theological parent.  The disdain for Jews began to melt away.  Among Eastern Europeans cultures it came slowly but into the twentieth century Jews had begun rising from their millennial dispersion to become a respected culture force.  Today they are an honored people among most nations of the world, except the Arab gypsy tribes.

During this time other ghetto societies all but vanished, including the gypsies, while other classes of people were driven into ghettos.  Economic station was the general cause of the perpetuation of ghettos.  Yet, these ghettos, like their predecessors, established their own “order”.

What is common among ghettos, old or new, is a prevailing attitude of protectionism against the outside world’s perceived abuses.  Gypsies adopted cultish mysticism as one of several means of defense.  Jews relied heavily upon the idea of being “God’s Promised People” that would one day rise to their full stature and glory.  In the modern ghettos the defense mechanisms were and are now far more militaristic.  They culturally govern by rules of violence.

In short the ghettos were then owned and now are owned by the rulers of its culture.  Even though in many cases, if not most, that which is owned is little more than decayed ruins.  The current, like the past, attitude is protection against a perceived enemy.  This protectionist ideal is still depicted via their music, dance and art.

One of the things which we see very prevalent today is that silly little thing called “rap music”.  Rap is the portrait of ghetto protectionism.  By listening to the earliest rap music there is a very common, almost obligatory, theme to the music.  That theme, for lack of a better descriptor, is “trash-talk”.  One can listen to the origins of the music style and see that the best rewarded and recognized rappers are those that trash-talk the best and most consistently about other cultures.  Trash-talk is the protectionist mentality of the ghetto.

This trash-talk is weaving its way into society in general, just as former ghetto cultures wove their way into the greater society.  In our sports, entertainment, news, writing, and politics we see trash-talk becoming more prevalent.  Nobody with any modicum of self-awareness, or awareness of our current times will deny that trash-talk is the preferred method of communicating.  Our social media systems (Twitter and Facebook, as examples) are powerful symbols of a society that has turned to trash-talk as a matter of routine communication.

Our current president is one of the most adept trash-talking personalities in the nation today.  President Barack Obama is petulant and unrefined in his use of trash-talk.  When challenged on his policies he instinctively reverts to personal salacious oratory about those questioning him.  He cannot seem to be able to deliver any message that is not about his superiority over others.  In short President Obama disrespects anything and anyone that does not defend and hold his vision and habits as sacrosanct.

Our president has a ghetto mentality.  Whether his mentality comes from adapting to a culture being swayed by universalizing of the ghetto culture, or whether it comes from his clearly poor upbringing that deprived him of interaction with multiple cultures, it is apparent in virtually all of his interactions on the national and world stage:  he lacks judgement and decorum.  President Barack Obama cannot separate himself from his ghetto mentality.

Those that call me racist for my comments would desire that I be more diverse in my thinking.  I respond by suggesting that I would desire the same from the president; someone capable of being diverse in his thinking.  As grand as it is to work ones way out of the ghetto, it is grander still to work the ghetto out of one’s way of dealing with others.  If Barack Obama wants a legacy of achievement he needs to make the personal change of ridding himself of the ghetto.

Years ago Jessie Jackson joked that if he walked on water people would say that he couldn’t swim.  Years from now the twilight of Barack Obama’s legacy will have a boomerang appearance.  No matter what he may actually accomplish, he will always be mostly known as an untrained child in the ways of mankind.

Seeking to establish the importance of Irrelevance

Some folks believe that I am cynical towards government.  In that presumption they are mistaken.

I am a strong advocate of government doing what only governments can do in the most efficient and effective manner possible.  In fact I believe in liberal support for a government doing its duty.  A society should support and adequately fund and protect a government doing its duty to all the citizens uniformly.

However, what those folks, I referred to above, frequently focus on is that I equally chastise a government-run by people who would divide such a society into classes.  Then to make matter worse they seek to advocate violence between those classes through inequitable distribution of its protection.  Stated more succinctly elected officials classify certain people as the “haves” and the “have-nots”, then pit them against each other.

The Romans did this with the gladiators in the coliseums.  At least they had the honesty to make sport of their indignity before the masses.  What I observe is incessant lies and finger-pointing by our legislative largess in an effort to avoid their own sanctimonious salaciousness.

I have spent the tenure of my career in working with governments.  I have witnessed first hand their drive to establish personal significance by abandoning nearly any form of rationale analysis of their behavior.  I offer some examples.

In one city it was fashionable to pander to the interest of a few in order to appear open-minded.  Those advocates of mediocrity and separatist inclinations pushed responsible legislative matters, that would have served the entire community forward, into the background.  The city was strong with an effective police presence.  It neither intimidated the general public, nor tolerated deviants from festering.  Yet, today, a decade later drugs, gangs, murder, child abuse, theft, and the list goes on, have become common place.  The elected elite refused to see the course they had set out on, and they fail to see now how THEIR divisiveness of the community into special interests has produced the onslaught of these insults to the community as a whole.  They lacked vision, while pandering to their focus on viewpoints.  And, now they are reaping the whirlwind.  The police have not become worse, they have been forced aside from serving the whole, and the segments of corruption have entered into the city.

At the national level we see the same thing.  Presidents, Representatives, Senators and most recently even Supreme Court Justices have made it their mantra to worship the few at the expense of serving the whole.  Saith the Apostle Paul “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.”  Yet, onward trudges a crazy congress and a pejorative president endlessly defending their failed frolics into separatism.  We have a president insisting that one class must be punished so that another class may be blessed.  Congress is no better.  They also promote the convoluted contrivance that somehow they and they alone can solve the maladies that exist in society.

Such an embarrassment of philandering should be scoffed at by any reasonable person.  Neither the president nor the congress can repair what they clumsily broke by their awkward interference.  Fully 60% of the business which the federal government has audaciously assumed to itself is, by the most conservative descriptive, simple pandering.  If the government as a whole or any elected representative thereof suggest that some segment of society should be treated grandly while any other is not equally so treated should be dishonorably dismissed from their role.  They fail to comprehend the nature of useful societies.

 

A New “old” Approach

Over the past several day I have read a variety of news articles, commentaries and of course the ever-present opinions expressed on Facebook.  I have been reading about the killing of children and adults in Newtown, Ct.

Replete, abundantly, is the discussion of gun control.  That discussion is followed by accusations and assumptions about mental health.  Behind that is the argument about God not being allowed into schools.  The alternate views are praised and defamed.  Blame is laid at the feet of every special interest and cause imaginable.  In some cases it is mild.  In other cases it is severe to the point of possibly needing investigation by authorities…before another incident erupts.

As I said in a previous post it appears to me that there is a lot of hacking at the branches, and little attack on the root cause.  I will address this in a manner offensive to some, naive to others, and laudatory to a few.

To begin with the argument for gun control is understandable.  Take away the guns and the weapon of choice is eliminated, thus subverting the ability of a potential assailant to commit such heinous acts.  Seems logical, except for the fact that it will not prevent these acts from reoccurring.  In fact, when these acts do occur they will be that much more astonishing because we will have presumed safety where it did not exist.

Contrary to the argument for gun control is the argument against it.  A heavily armed and trained teacher in the kindergarten class could have and would have “made short work” of the scoundrel.  Their successful prosecution of preventive measures would be a clear message to all future assailants that they would be shot clean through.  Thus nobody would ever attempt such a dastardly deed again.  Weapons of self-defense have been successfully used for thousands of years.  Yet sadly, violence continues.  Besides, the prospect of an armed defender being in the right place at the right time is extraordinarily remote.

I shall not take quite as much time on the mental health issue.  In short it comes down to this.  One person pridefully says, ‘Because I have been trained, read a book, have experience with someone close to me that suffers for a mental health problem,  I am therefore an expert.  Listen to me…This must be a mental health problem.”  Further, they, and a host of others with even less (if possible) understanding pontificate about the need for more mental health resources.  The long and short of the “it must be a mental health problem” simply are choosing to believe that such heinous acts can only come from derangement.  They quickly reject that anyone differently motivated than themselves must “have something wrong with them”.  To me that is quite an extraordinarily prideful conclusion.

So, OK, what do I suggest?  Certainly not an all-encompassing solution to the self-centered behavior of assault.  I do offer what I believe is viable for a society steeped in a genuine desire to “fix” the problem.  Kindness!

Remember that story of the leprous general  in the bible.  He went to the prophet and said he wanted to be cured.  In short, with a touch of irony, the prophet said “go take a bath”.  The general was incensed.  Afterall, he was important.  The nerve of a prophet telling him to cleanup his act.  Fortunately, the general had a servant, more accustomed to being humble, who suggested to the big man that if the prophet had instructed him to do some “great thing” than wouldn’t he have done it readily.  Then the servant suggested that the general just go and do what he was told.  To the general’s credit he “humbled up” and was cured.

In that story lies the fundamental cause of human frailties; Pride.  It is the cause of all enmity between men.  It is the cause of all enmity between man and God.

Among the complexities of charity, which is commanded in the scriptures, exists the dimension of kindness.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

I offer a solemn thought which could lead to a broader scope of repair to the fissures, cracks, and breaks in society.  Have we “tried the word of God”.  I don’t mean the try which says “God, yeah I think He is real.”  I mean the try which says “Yes, His advice makes complete sense and I AM going to do it!”

I don’t know the circumstances that led to any of the recent public displays of unreserved acts of violence.  I serious doubt anyone does or ever really will.  Yet, I am naive enough to believe that simple acts of kindness would have altered the behaviors.

Maybe it happened, I certainly don’t know, but here is what I imagine could have occurred.  A despondent person. contemplating some vile act at a mall, a theater, or an elementary school may have been walking the street the evening before or the morning of such acts.  Then, to their surprise a stranger offered a kind word, held a door, said thank you, let the person “go first” in line.  Such simple acts may have delayed their “acting out” their self-contained solutions to their despondency.  Maybe, just maybe, a caring kind gesture would give them confidence in their Godly humanity.

Now, imagine the effect upon that person, if each day for many weeks, months or years some random act of kindness was extended in their behalf.  I am sufficiently naive to believe those acts of kindness would, in fact, alter their behavior.

Now, who is willing to have the courage to extend such acts of courtesy, generosity, charity, or kindness?  This message is not new.  It is as old as God communicating His desires to mankind.  Hmmmm.  There are those words again; “man” and “kind”.  They fit together as naturally as “Please” and “Thank you”.

Ahhh.  But in my suggestion I err gravely.  Perpetual kindness in all places and in all circumstance is “no great thing”  for which a person can be recognized.

Permissiveness of Exclusivity – The Cause of Social Slaughter

Henry David Thoreau said ” For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.”

On Friday December 14, 2012 a man carrying a gun killed 27 people at an elementary school in Connecticut.  You all have heard about.  On December 11 a gunman killed two people and critically wounded one at this mall near Portland, Ore.  In July, a gunman killed 12 people and wounded 58 others in Aurora Colorado.  We all still recall the tragic news of the thirteen people murdered in Columbine.

Fifty-five people murdered, hundreds personally and immediately terrorized, thousands of family members and friends devastated for the rest of their lives, millions across the nation wondering “How did this happen?  What’s wrong with society?”

And of course the battle over gun control rages on among political elites and pseudo-sophisticates on Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the “your wrong and I will prove it” social media websites.  “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!”  Wahoo, we are all that much better informed now that we have been told that for the 27,000th time.

Not unaccustomed to setting myself up as an authority of things I know nothing about I will offer my opinion…as humble as it can be presented.  Keep in mind I intensely disagree with the liberality with which guns are sanctioned in our society.  It makes no sense to me, in light of all the specious arguments, that we justify slaughter in the name sport hunting.  Worse yet is the silly person that justifies hunting with the comment “I do it for the meat” or “I do it to feed my family”.  Yet, as a constitutional libertarian I whole-heartedly defend a person’s right to own, and when necessary, use their guns.  For me there is no distinction regarding the make and model.

These terrorist acts are public expressions of private assumptions about the gunman’s right to have power over others.  It comes from the permissiveness of exclusivity (pride, in laymen’s terms) in man’s constant pursuit of an expanded dominion.

In all of our social functions (politics, national origin, religion, education, business practices, entertainment, news reporting, ad infinitum) exclusivity is pandered to and promoted.  In national politics any lie is acceptable to advance a private agenda.  In entertainment (movies, books, and games) anything goes in order for the one to dominate the many, usually over something as silly as “I am angry at that person.”  Two people of faith in the same savior will come to blows over their opinion that “My God’s better than your God, My God’s better than yours.”  How about this one, that’s popular in the West and South, “This is my country, get the hell out!”

Some women may get irate at this comment, but the fall of the Roman Empire has been attributed to women getting equal rights/status.  That is insufficient.  The fall came from some members of society believing they had insufficient rights to dominate others, and those societies believed they had a duty to defend and protect such baseless assertions, just as we also now do as a nation.

Until we choose a different course, until we demand better of ourselves, our political, entertainment, media, and business leaders we can rest assured that those with legitimate universal rights will use those rights to terrorize others, assuming those rights are exclusive to themselves.

Thus, we are back again at the discussion of roots and branches.

Brock Belnap; Washington County Attorney

Said James Madison, often referenced as  the Father of the Constitution, “Experience is the oracle of truth and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred“.

Tonight I had the opportunity to attend an open house meeting with Brock Belnap who is running for re-election as Washington County County Attorney.  The meeting was sponsored in part by four of the St. George City Council members, along with several other including Stephen Wade who introduced County Attorney Belnap.

I don’t know why I attended since I cannot vote in next week’s Republican primary election.  I am the chairman of the Washington County Constitution Party.  Whereas our party is not fielding a county attorney candidate it is appropriate to know who the other party candidates are.

Throughout this primary race one of the issues that has repeatedly surfaced is the idea of the county attorney being supportive of the US Constitution.  That is an issue which members of the Constitution Party take seriously.  It behoove each of us to know the views of candidates with respect to the US Constitution generally.

I can’t conceive of many candidates for any office, especially in Utah, openly being opposed to the Constitution.  Can you?

Yet, when one reads a phrase like “return to the Constitution” it is difficult to imagine the comment is intended to convey any other meaning than that the opponent has a general disregard for the Constitution.  “Return” certainly implies that the current situation suggests that a distance has been created.

Tonight, in the words of Brock Belnap, I distinctly heard and felt “unequivocal” commitment to the US Constitution.  PERIOD.

The second aspect of this race addresses the issue of experience.  Brock Belnap has several years as the Washington County Attorney.  Beyond that he also has several more years as a highly competent litigator and attorney.

However, there is more to experience than years on the job.  One of my occasionally used phrases to cynically describe someone with little competence is, “He does not have twenty years experience.  He has one year’s experience, twenty times.”  What then is experience besides tenure?  Experience is wisdom gained from tenure.  Brock Belnap has experience.

Examples

Brock Belnap, through his tenure on the job, realizes that a significant aspect of his job is administrative.  Administering the office of a couple dozen professional attorneys and essential staff members is not about Constitutional or even legal principles.  It is about knowing how to motivation, organization, and delegation.

My very successful coach, many years ago by the way, said the secret of success was finding the strength of his players and then placing them where they could and would achieve.  Given that Brock’s entire team supports him for re-election suggests that he know how to discover the strength of players under his leadership.  Who is his team?  The people in his office, the County Commission, all the law enforcement chiefs in the county, numerous city council members from around the county, and citizens far and wide. 

There is another aspect to the job.  As a former city manager I am well aware of this dual role.  The county attorney must act as both litigator and legal counsel for the County Commission.  That is a challenge.  On one hand his role is to prosecute.  On the other hand he is to advise the commission (and presumably all departments) on how to stay out of hot water, the deep end of the pool, or in other words keep their heads when all others are loosing theirs.

Achieving that balance comes only through experience (wisdom gained  through tenure).  That experience is convincing in the level of respect and support County Attorney Belnap has from many sectors.

Yet another aspect of the job is an ability to seek out justice.  Justice, not readily acknowledged by most people, is not in the final verdict of a jury and subsequent sentencing by a judge.  Conviction and sentencing are the exacting of accountability for misdeeds.  Justice is when a victim or surviving victims of violence feel that fairness and equilibrium of life to some degree has been restored.  From the testimony, including an emotional response from one of County Attorney’s litigators, of people in attendance tonight Brock Belnap is a man of discernment and justice.

Subjective Assessment

I decided to give Mr. Belnap a little test tonight (as though I am qualified to do so).  I asked him a question about immigration.  A lot of sensationalism floats around about illegal immigration, and many folks tend to get it wrong.  I wanted to hear Mr. Belnap’s response so that I could gauge, at least for my benefit, his reign on the issue.

I was more than pleased by his response.  County Attorney Belnap clearly understands what his role is in the Washington County.  His response was spot-on.  He demonstrated that his experience was far more than simply tenure.

What I heard tonight, as one with an exceptional interest in the US Constitution, was that Brock Belnap is a man fully competent and experienced, not give to verbosity.  He is respected by many.  He is a man who in all aspects of the county attorney role is fitly qualified if not exceeding expectations.

I am hopeful that we will retain Brock Belnap as County Attorney.

That Is The Way I See It.

Stephanie Stone Williams

Following is a commentary by Stephanie Stone Williams, which I took in its entirety from a Facebook post which she made.  Stephanie neither requested, nor gave permission for me to repost this comment.  This is solely and completely of my own initiative.  I present ti here because it is important.

Dear State Delegate,

I’ve been a State Delegate in the past, so I know that  receiving emails the day before the convention can be annoying.  But I need to clarify a couple of things  that I’ve been unfairly accused of by the Chris Stewart  campaign.

I  authored, paid for, stamped and stuffed, and mailed over 800 letters to State  Delegates in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District.  Sending the  letter was based on my own initiative because of my long-time friendship with  one of the candidates running, not politically motivated by my husband as  Stewart’s campaign implies.  I’m a  big girl, and can make my own decisions.

 

No candidate was involved in the creation or cost of my  letter.  I take full  responsibility.  I can also back up  my claims about Chris Stewart’s voting record, the 2012 Convention shenanigans,  and his exaggerations.  I wrote my  letter carefully and thoughtfully, and only included things that I can actually  verify.

 

I should note that Stewart’s campaign did not refute or  disprove any of the  information presented in my letter.  Instead, their emailed response  resorts to slander, and mischaracterizes my motives and integrity.  The response also seriously distorts  Stewart’s voting record.

 

While claiming my letter is “full of the grossest  distortions of truth possible,” they don’t explain how I supposedly distorted  the truth.  That’s an ad hominem tactic that reasonable  conservatives usually reject.

 

Let me stress that I didn’t attack Stewart’s military  record, as his campaign states.  I  simply pointed out his verifiable  exaggerations about what he did while in the U.S. Air Force—to show a  pattern of serious dishonesty.  If  he’d made such exaggerations while on active duty, he could have been severely  reprimanded.  (See: http://www.scribd.com/doc/220321658/Scan?secret_password=1e9851ekf5znrcstjxrr)

 

But Stewart’s campaign is apparently having a “truth  squad” at the convention designed to discredit my letter.  Don’t believe their claims without first  looking at the facts presented in my links.  It isn’t “dirty politics” to tell the  truth, and I believe delegates and voters have the right to know the  truth.

 

In addition, Stewart will probably claim on Saturday that  he has been cleared by the FEC for any wrongdoing in the 2012 convention shenanigans.   The FEC did not clear him of  wrongdoing.  The case against  Stewart was dismissed based on a technicality beyond the control of the  complainants—a technicality that did not challenge the proven facts.  (See:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/97490068/Stewart-Complaint and http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/2249-utah-gop-looks-to-prevent-convention-speech-shenanigans)

 

The fact remains, Stewart won the nomination in 2012 as a  direct result of the last-second slandering of four candidates at the convention  just before the voting, and there is valid evidence that he had a hand in that  scheme.

 

Below is a copy of my letter, with the addition of  supporting links.  Please feel free  to contact me if you have questions.

 

Sincerely,

 

Stefani Stone Williams

ss123williams@yahoo.com

 

———————————————————————————————————-

 

 

Stefani Stone  Williams

Dear State Republican Delegate,

 

My friend Larry Meyers is running for Congress against incumbent Chris Stewart, and  you have the opportunity to vote for Larry in this race on April 26th at the  Utah Republican Convention.

 

I’ve known Larry since 2000, when I ran the Utah campaign for the Alan Keyes for  President effort and Larry was our campaign coordinator for Washington  County.  I learned that he loves the  Constitution and isn’t afraid to stand alone for his beliefs and  principles.  Larry doesn’t just  talk, he has devoted countless hours and years to community and civic service.

 

“Talk  is cheap,” as the saying goes, and far too many of our representatives in DC  vigorously talk the conservative line to get  elected, but once in office they either buckle under pressure or show they were  never really committed to conservative principles in the first place.  Aren’t you tired of sending this kind of  politician to Washington?   Thankfully, we don’t have to in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District  race.

 

Larry  won’t fall for the “go along to get along” mentality of Washington, DC, but will  take seriously his oath to uphold the Constitution.  You can vote for someone with integrity  and convictions like Larry Meyers, or you can vote for a  less principled politician like Chris Stewart.  The choice is yours.

 

Here are facts  about Larry from www.LarryMeyers.com

 

  • Larry’s top   priorities in Congress will be to work for a return to limited, constitutional   government; to stop illegal immigration and amnesty for illegal aliens; to   protect American citizens’ God-given liberties, including religious freedom,   protecting the unborn, privacy, and the right to bear arms; and to return   Utah’s public lands to state and private ownership.
  • He is a former prosecuting attorney for Washington   County and St. George City, and a cum laude graduate of BYU’s J. Reuben Clark   Law School.
  • He is a leading conservative activist, helping to   organize the Southern Utah Coalition for Life,   the Citizens Council on Illegal   Immigration, the Dixie Republican Forum, and the Washington County Tea Party   Coalition.
  • Larry is a long-time Republican Party volunteer, having   served as a precinct officer, county, state, and national delegate, county   party officer, and State Central Committee member.

 

By contrast,  here are some of Rep. Stewart’s appalling votes and positions:

 

  • Congressman Stewart voted for the fiscally   irresponsible Ryan-Murray budget deal, which the conservative think-tank   Heritage Foundation called “just   another Washington gimmick.”
  • Rep. Stewart supported Obama’s Comprehensive   Immigration Reform bill that would have granted amnesty to millions of illegal   immigrants, thereby rewarding law-breaking and ultimately leading to a permanent Democrat majority.
  • He also voted for the disastrous and wasteful “2014   FARM bill.”  This bill has been   described as “multi-billion   dollar legislation of welfare payments.”  80% of this bill was actually for   increased spending in food stamp subsidies.  More big government giveaways of your money.
  • In addition, two months after Stewart was elected and   soon after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, he came out against a   National Rifle Association proposal to post armed security personnel at every   school—calling such a move to protect our children “a   bad idea.”  (See:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/chris-stewart-utah_n_2376151.html)

As a  result of his voting record, Stewart earned a weak  72% from the Heritage Action watchdog group. (See: http://www.heritageactionscorecard.com/members/member/S001192)

 

On  various congressional scorecards, Stewart is listed as being an “average  Republican.”  We can settle for  average I guess, but if you’re like me, average in today’s political landscape  isn’t particularly appealing.  In  fact, “average” is what got us into the mess we now face.

 

We  need a Congressman who will vote to cut government back, not keep it  growing.  Stewart has voted for more  spending and more debt, instead of standing firm with Senators Mike Lee and Ted  Cruz.  We need a real constitutional  conservative representing Utah in DC, not a moderate John Boehner supporter /  Obama enabler.

 

A word about  Stewart’s exaggerations and questionable campaign tactics:

 

During the 2012 election, Stewart  and another candidate in the same race (who conceded he was a supporter of  Stewart) allegedly engaged in a scheme to defame four other  candidates running.  After hundreds of delegates received an anonymous  “anti-Stewart” letter a few days prior to the convention, the candidate who  supported Stewart devoted his entire convention speech, just before the voting,  to slandering these four candidates and falsely blaming them for sending the  letter and conspiring unfairly against Stewart—thus throwing the election and  propelling Stewart to victory.  There were reports of many delegates who’d  already marked their ballots asking for new ones and changing their votes  following the scandalous speech.  Legitimate questions remain about  Stewart’s role in the scheme, since there is ample evidence pointing to his  involvement.  (See: http://www.scribd.com/doc/97490068/Stewart-Complaint)

 

Additionally, Stewart has also exaggerated his military record in the  U.S. Air Force, even repeatedly stating in his 2012 campaign speeches that he  “flew in wartime, flew combat aircraft, and flew fighters”—thus implying he’s  had actual combat experience, when he’s  had none!  There’s nothing quite  as dishonorable as a former military officer claiming or implying that he’s  fought in combat when he hasn’t.  Stewart has also claimed for years that he led the B-1 Bomber Cornet Bat  mission that set a world speed record, and he was the “Mission Commander” and  “aircraft commander.”  Actual  military records don’t back up these claims.  When confronted about these misleading  statements during the 2012 campaign, Stewart belligerently replied “why can’t I  say that?” and stormed off.  The  obvious answer is “because it isn’t true.”  (See: http://www.scribd.com/doc/220321658/Scan?secret_password=1e9851ekf5znrcstjxrr)

 

On  April 3rd, Stewart stated on his website that he was named “Top  Conservative of the Year” by the American Conservative Union, when in  reality this award was given to 122 GOP congressmen.  In fact, Stewart just barely made the  ACU’s 80% voting threshold.    By comparison, Utah Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz both scored  94% (and received the award as well).  (See: http://stewart.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/stewart-named-top-conservative-by-american-conservative-union)

 

At  this perilous and uncertain time, when the White House and Democrat Party have  displayed utter contempt for the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law, and when  so many within the Republican leadership in DC have waffled and lacked the  integrity to rein in this lawlessness and corruption, we need people like Larry  Meyers in Congress, not status quo (or average), dishonest politicians.

 

So  there you have it.  You can send  someone you can be proud of to Washington, or just more of the same old club of  pretenders.  To paraphrase President  Reagan:  We need bold colors, not pale  pastels!

 

I  wholeheartedly support Larry and ask you to vote for him on April 26th at the  GOP Convention.

 

<p>Sincerely,</p>

   Stefani Stone Williams

Stefani Stone Williams

Former Deputy Chief of Staff, Alan Keyes

Utah Young Republicans Chair, 2002-2003

Former Utah Republican State Central & Executive  Committee member

Homeschooling mother of five

 

 

 

Paid for by  Stefani Stone Williams.   Not authorized or paid for by any candidate or candidate  committee

Glenn Beck

I cannot and do not speak for Glenn Beck.  Nor should I without his consent and instruction.

I suggest the same approach be conceded by others as well.

Most of my recent posts on this blog have been around the issue of the unjust and un-constitutionally sanctioned actions of the BLM.  Without reservation I have sided with the Bundy family.  That “siding” was not due to the Bundy family directly, but rather due to the wrongful acts of the Bureau of Land Management.  The BLM atrocious oppression of the Bundy family is in actuality oppression of all American citizens.  Of that I am certain.

The following comments with regards to the commentary of Glenn Beck are coached in language which would be most familiar to him; mormonese, if you will.  I have no expectation that Glenn Beck would do me the honor of hearing and agreeing with my views, but here is what I would say to Glenn if he were to read my words and mind.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) there is a doctrinal statement that says;

We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
(Doctrine and Covenants 121:39)

This verse of scripture is spoken in reference to priesthood authority within the LDS Church.  The principle is clearly applicable to all forms of authority.  That includes political authority.  Even political authority presumed to be a derivative of the US Constitution.  The BLM is established, unjustly under the US Constitution, by a national elected leadership over the years which exercised unrightful dominion.  Ultimately, despite best efforts and best intentions, the BLM began…and continues to exercise authority which they suppose themselves to have.

From Glenn Beck’s mesage he said ;

“It is so easy to be consumed by hate.  I have seen it happen with my friends.  I have.  Please, get the poison out of you, please, please, please.  You will regret this.  Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”

Too many took offense at Glenn for what appeared to be a waffling by him.  As he declared, that would be us misinterpreting him for many years.  I heard many comments about Beck’s oratory that were derogative.  Being one who admittedly has agreed with Beck frequently I was at first reluctant to read what he had said.  I was persuaded that maybe he had deep-ended.  But, I gather my resolve around me like a woolen blanket, hoping that his actual words would not turn it to a wet blanket, and read what he said.

Now again from LDS scripture;

“42 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.”
(Doctrine and Covenants 121:41–44)

I would ask that we temporarily substitute “priesthood” with the “office” or “perspective”.

What Glenn Beck proscribed was not that wrong should be overlooked, but rather that wrong should be overshadowed by love unfeigned.

I see no flaw in his reasoning on that point.

Now, although Beck taught the higher principle of love instead of anger his tome slightly betrayed him.

“In Nevada, one of the guys, he was a former sheriff, he was on television, and he was actually talking about how they were going to put women in front of the protests so in case somebody shot anybody, it would be the image of a dying woman on television, and that would help their cause.

I don’t think appalling even begins to describe that.  Do the ends justify the means?  If there is violence, well, as long as it’s violence with them shooting women and kids, then it will be good for the cause.  They’re not saying they want to get them to shoot them, but if they’re going to shoot, let them shoot women and children.  It is evil.”

Do you sense as do I that perhaps there was a slight touch of anger in Glenn’s tone?  Again, from LDS scripture we read;

“13 Behold, I am in my anger, and also my people; ye have sought to murder us, and we have only sought to defend ourselves. But behold, if ye seek to destroy us more we will seek to destroy you; yea, and we will seek our land, the land of our first inheritance.
14 Now I close my epistle. I am Moroni; I am a leader of the people of the Nephites.
(Alma 54:13–14)”

I do not point that out to suggest an hypocrisy in Beck.  In fact he, with equal vehemence,  then proceeds to say that those who align with such attitudes of hate and anger are not welcome to influence him or those within the range of his voice.

The consummate blessing of God is that every person has the freedom of will.  They are free to choose persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned.  Likewise, they are free to choose force, intolerance, oppression, vanity, and hatred.  Yet, the distinctiveness is that they are free to choose.  Glenn Beck was pointing that principle out…clearly, and where he stands and has stood.

The issue which Glenn became a little animated about was using women and children as fodder in a war of wills.  For those familiar with LDS scripture, as is Beck, there is an incident in which “the people pf Ammon” prostrated themselves before an advancing army.  They literally, for their own just causes, subjected themselves to be killed rather than commit murder even in defense of their own lives and families.

Too many this will sound harsh.  However, it comes back to the principle of free will.  Those people chose.  But that is not then end.

The subsequent chapter to that particular group of people is in their children.  Their sons became the greatest among the great warriors of their day. “And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.”
(Alma 53:20)

It is not for us to determine the just cause of any man when exercising free will that does not place anyone in violence at the his whim.  To do so would be to exercise unrightful dominion.  Likewise to stand as the bulwark of defense against an aggressor is not evil in and of itself.  Nearly since the first days of human life on Earth there have been wars.  Some of those wars have been in the act of oppression, while others have been in acts of defense.

When Glenn Beck says that waging war in anger, or to use my word “enmity”, it is most frequently that the war is fought for the purpose of oppression.

For my limited understanding Glenn Beck was not suggesting opposition was wrong.  What I drew away from his words is that oppression, covert or overt, was the wrong means.

That Is The Way I See It.

 

Guest Comments and Observations by Jodi Thornley

The following is a guest spot on this blog, as written by Jodi Thornley.  Jodi lives near the Bundy Ranch in Nevada and offers her unique perspective.  This is posted with her permission.

My experience with the BLM and the Bundy Ranch,

By Jodi Thornley
Mesquite Nevada

I began to notice many many BLM vehicles in the area early last week so I started asking questions and quickly found out that the BLM was here to rustle up Cliven Bundy’s cattle who they say are trespassing on Federal land. I heard about and saw pictures of snipers on the mesa and surrounding hills, I saw the BLM compound along I-15. I was sent by a close friend a picture of the “first amendment zone” the BLM had set up for the public to protest in. I immediately drove to the site to see it for myself and could not believe my eyes! It was literally a corral made out of plastic orange fencing. I got out of the car to look and snap a photo. I quickly realized that my daughter who happens to use a wheelchair for mobility would not be able to access this area even if our family chose to exercise our rights in this way. We also learned that Davey Bundy had been violently arrested for taking pictures with his I-pad along SR 170 and taken to the BLM compound for a few hours and then transported to Henderson Police Department. He was booked there and spent the night. I learned of a protest happening at the Bundy ranch and quickly gathered my entire family and headed to the Bundy Ranch. Reporters interviewed my children, we met up with friends and neighbors and began to speak about our concerns. On our drive from Mesquite to Bunkerville we saw armed personnel stationed at EVERY dirt road that exited off of the main highway (SR 170) we saw armed personnel on the surrounding hills as well. I felt scared and unsecure on the road I had driven on for years, its was so strange and frightening to say the least! After some time had passed we gathered and decided to go out closer to the main road on some private property so we loaded up our family and a friend and headed out, we stopped at the blue barn like we were told and got out of our vehicle. We could hear shots being fired in close proximity and for the life of me I could not figure out why shots were being fired this close to a home and a gathering of men, women, children and service dogs, I thought they were just there rounding up cattle? We then learned from other supporters that we were to continue on to the old motel site located right off of (SR 170) just up the road from Bundy Ranch. The owner had given permission to gather there on his private property. There we had a rally of sorts to get all the pertinent information on the situation. As a group we erected two 50foot flag poles at the protest site, on the top of the poles it says WE THE PEOPLE and a huge banner was place in between the two poles. This became the official protest site. I continued to support the Bundys at the protest site and also I started a petition on change.org that was sent to our sheriff, our county commissioner, our attorney general and our Governor to try and get the word to our officials in that way and I made many many calls as well. I was there at the protest site with my signs on Wednesday April 9th 2014. We watched as a convoy of BLM vehicles left the highway and headed up the hill in a cloud of dust, we watched them meet up with another convoy of vehicles approximately 15 in all including a dump truck and backhoe. We got thinking…why are they moving dirt up there in the mountains? We surmised that they must be burying the dead cattle they have killed during the roundup. We went down for a closer look. I was a little bit behind some of the others but when I arrived I couldn’t understand why the convoy didn’t just keep moving up the road in the direction they were going? Some officers got out of their vehicles, (two with dogs) and approached the crowd of protesters who were yelling “go home” to the convoy. I think it is important to note at this time the protesters present were local friends and family of the Bundy’s no “militia” were there and not one protester had a weapon.) we were in close proximity to the vehicles and yelling at them but I saw no reason why at this time I witnessed a BLM officer hold down one of Margaret’s arms, wrap his other arm around her body from behind, lift her up and body slam her to the ground and then just walk away as looked down at her as she lay there trying to understand what had just happened? This is not how Law enforcement are trained to respond!!! No policy, training, code or precedent justified this act of violence under the color of law. After we witnessed this, the crowd got upset! Nobody treats a woman like that! This action made the situation worse and incited the crowd. Another officer told another lady to watch out or she would get bit as his dog lunged toward her, which then upset other women close by, you don’t threaten a lady in that way because she is yelling! An officer gave the command to his dog to attack Ammon Bundy, to which his reaction was to raise his leg and kick at the dog that was attacking him. Right after that Ammon was tased a few times in succession, he and others close by him kept ripping the probes off of him as he was shot again but he never did go down. We were finally able to see inside of the dump truck and were completely shocked by what we saw. Inside the dump truck was water pipes and paraphernalia from the infrastructure of the range that had been built over more than 100 years. For the life of me I can’t understand why the government would senselessly ripped out improvements made to this land other than for spiteful ulterior motives. Why are they wasting our time and resources? I thought they were gathering cattle? Were they trying to thirst the cattle out? These and many other questions came to my mind as this incident progressed. I just don’t understand their motives? Once the officers gathered themselves, calmed down and actually started talking they asked us to back up so they could get to their vehicles. We complied and they left. Had they conducted themselves professionally in the first place, it might not have escalated like it did but with the complete brute force and lack of professionalism that I witnessed, I was very disappointed. Behavior like this gives all law enforcement a bad name. Law enforcement are yelled at all the time and they are taught how to handle themselves professionally and handle the situation correctly which is not what I witnessed at all.

As video surfaced of this event, people all over the world became upset and started to make their way here in support of the Bundy family. People from every walk of life responded for many reasons. Some had different agendas than the Bundy family did and had the potential of hijacking the whole cause in my opinion. As we gathered Saturday to hear what our county sheriff, Doug Gillespie had to say to us I was a bit nervous. He announced that the BLM was going to cease their operation, reopen the Bunkerville allotment to the public and the BLM would be gathering their assets and vacate the area. The crowd went crazy, we were all so pleased! When Cliven Bundy got the microphone he said “We the people want a few more things.” He wanted the BLM and the Park service disarmed and the gates to public lands torn down today in one hour. He asked the media to follow up and report back in that hour. We waited for an hour and twenty minutes approximately and no media had a report to deliver so we decided to go see for ourselves if the BLM looked like they were packing up. The cowboys on horseback led the way as the rest of us made it to our vehicles and headed to the compound. WE gathered along I-15 and started walking down to Toquop wash. As we made it to the bottom of the dirt road under the bridge, Ammon Bundy gathered us together and we knelt in a prayer to our God for our safety and to find a peaceful resolution to this situation. Ammon also informed the crown that they were not to raise their weapons, they were to keep their weapons trained at the ground or in the air. He told us not to give them a reason to get escalate their response against us and we needed to stay calm. He said “we can stand here for as long as it takes, we will get food and water to you but we will not resort to violence.” As we met up with the cowboys on horseback we all lined up behind them and started walking towards the gate. I looked around and saw some really upset people who had weapons and couldn’t help but think that all it would take is one crazy person to start something really bad. I personally kept some protesters calm as we were being told we would be shot by the BLM repeatedly over the loudspeaker. I could not understand why they were not abiding by the law and not backing down and leaving since the sheriff who is the highest law in this county told us they would. My mind was racing thinking who will take care of my kids if I die here today? I don’t have a weapon to defend myself either. Each time these thoughts entered into my mind a peace came over me and I knew it was the right thing to do and I was in the right place doing what I needed to be doing and everything would be ok. I kept hearing myself telling people to calm down and take a deep breath and let things work themselves out. My husband who is a law enforcement officer and works with individuals with problems day in and day out was also a calming voice in the crowd and reminding people we were here for a peaceful end to this and reminding people what Ammon had told us that we would stand here for as long as it takes but we would not resort to violence and we would not give them a reason to resort to violence either. As I witnessed the BLM trucks backing away from the gate I felt so proud and so happy to have been there and done my part as an American citizen. To help keep the peace and see this end well. I am here to tell you that it is nothing short of a miracle what happened under that bridge that day, something I may never witness again in my lifetime. There is a reason why all the hotheaded individuals interspersed through the crowd did not act on their gut instincts. There was a Higher Power present that we had invoked that kept things calm. There is more to this story here than meets the eye. There are a lot of mistruths out there in the media and I wanted to give you all my true perspective from the “front lines” if you will, of what truly happened and what did not happen. There is evil at work all around this situation and hidden motives why the federal government wants the cattle off of this land. It is much bigger than unpaid grazing fees! It will all come out later but I would rather be a part of stopping it than standing by watching it happen and then saying “whoops, I guess I should have stood up to the feds back then when I had a chance.” We could not control who showed up and some people with negative intentions become involved but I can tell you that I knew who was there for the right reasons and had a good heart and who wasn’t. It took all of us who were there for the right reasons to calm down those who were not or who had another agenda to suit their own purposes. I am proud to be an American and will always stand up for my rights that I hold so dear. I love you all and hope this will help clear up some of the lies and rumors being spread out there in the media. I am 100% convinced that each of these huge events that happened (the arrest, the altercation over the dump truck and backhoe and the standoff on Saturday) happened exactly the way they were supposed to happen and we were protected by a higher power for the right reasons. This experience will be something I will tell my grandchildren and great grandchildren about and be glad that I was a small part of it.
This whole operation went wrong from the very beginning planning stage and behind the scenes with the BLM management. I’m not sure what ancient rule book they were getting their tactics from but we no longer function in this way in this country! At every step of this event, they escalated the situation to a new ridiculous level. They very nearly initiated a deadly conflict over cattle! The complete arrogance and brute force they came in here with, complete with snipers, dogs and an army of incompetent, cocky officers is just appalling. How they could have expected any other response from “The People” than what they received is irresponsible and unreasonable. It is only by the assistance of God that this worked out peacefully like it did. Or perhaps these “extremists” were not that extreme at all. Who showed restraint when being threatened with bodily harm? It wasn’t the BLM! They kept coming back with more ridiculous actions like closing airspace to all Americans? That can only lead one to believe they have something to hide and excite more tensions.
I hope whomever reads this understands that this is a point of view from someone who was there the whole time. I am a conservative mother of four children (two with an extremely rare progressive neuromuscular disorder) I’m just the average, mostly stay at home mother, who will stand up for injustices when I need to. I volunteer to help in many capacities in my city, other larger cities, and state of Nevada. I’m an advocate through and through. Especially for those who do not have a voice. Please do not believe all the rhetoric that is out there in the media and on the world wide web, most of it is unfounded and nothing more than rumors, please ask others who were there first before forming your opinion. I am not anti-government! I am in favor of a smaller government and one that is governed with moral fiber and is of the people by the people and for the people! WE need to keep our government in check and make sure they are not overreaching into things they have no business being in, that’s when corruption and horrible things happen, just check throughout history!
I love all people. Have a fabulous day and hug somebody today and always smile, you never know who needs one! Tell your family how much you love and appreciate them! Much love being sent out from the Thornley household in Mesquite Nevada.

Jodi Thornley

Changing Times, Changing Places

I hope this post stirs some of you to discomfort. It will be one of the top twenty, maybe top ten, things you will ever read.

We live in an age of enlightenment, at least from what I hear from the young and the old that seek attention from saying rash yet meaningless words. “Words without actions are like a ship without an ocean.”

A popular movie according to commentary, although in reality it was poorly written, poorly produced, and for the most part poorly perform, is the fictionalized modern interpretation of the story of Noah. In light of the quote above I wonder if the tale of Noah would have gotten any long-term traction in the minds of men…if the ocean had never risen. Modern chatter about the film would not exist because the movie would never have been produced.

Words are at the foundation of every social movement…unless there is no social movement. Then words are only words. I use to frequently use a phrase to demonstrate how clever I was, until I ceased needing to be clever. “Did God create talking so men could communicate, or, did women create communication so they could talk?” Give a brief pause to those who choose to not be immediately offended.

This post, however, is not exclusively about words. It goes to a deeper depth than that.

As alluded to above our modern society portends to segregate us from the past by implying we are more advanced. I bristle at the notion. We are not more socially advanced (whatever that word may mean). We simply have different words and phrases to express our nearly endless depravity.

If I were to suggest that the 1940s and 1950s were a better era some would agree with me. But the bulk of mankind would howl at the moon and stars that I was crazy.

They would profess that we have become far more enlightened. They would parade across the stage of consciousness that such things as civil equality, gender equality, voting rights, and limitless sexual preferences are advances for mankind. They would form some form of arguments that our day is more equitable and fair than ever before.

I am quite sure that they would open the tent flaps and bid me to gaze on the circus of the past. They would use the extreme examples of men beating wives to prove their point. (I, by the way, more energetically then any of my would-be detractors find such behaviors as wife beating to be astonishingly bad behavior). They would speak of the barbaric acts of children being beat for disobedience. They would highlight the crassness of blacks, Hispanics, Orientals, and even the Poles being sent to the back of the bus to make room for whites. Then after the consummate lecture I would be told “We are better than that… now!”

I would not argue against the valid points which they would make. Yet, I would raise my eyebrows and with curiosity ask “REALLY?”

In those days gentlemen boldly walked among those that prowled in contempt for family and society.

I recall a story I heard about a family grandfather. The story goes to this effect. One day he was walking down the Main Street of the village. People came and went from store entrances. Then to the “quickly cast away eyes of many” a man on the far side of the street began to slap his wife. As the crowd whispered in discontent grandpa excused himself from his companions. Calmly he walked across the street. Then with the sudden burst of energy he rose in full stature and began to cuff the abuser about the head and back. Without raising his voice by a decibel he then inquired, “Do you enjoy that?”
Now, perhaps some are interpreting my rendering of that story to suppose that I subscribe to the idea that the only course with bullies is the age old corporal idea of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”. You could not be farther from accurate.

The story is to demonstrate that in that particular era men stood up to bullies.

Our modern advanced and enlightened society would condemn us for such interfering provocations. It is far better to coddle a child in his youth.

The problem is that we are seeing more and more instances of overt aggression against society IN THIS ERA. Don’t be foolish enough to presume that I am suggesting they did not happen in other eras, they most certainly did. But, for all of our enlightened rhetoric, social aggression is expanding not subsiding. Mass killing sprees at schools, at military centers, and crowded theaters are on the rise, not the decline. Violence in our cities, particularly those that have the greatest social controls over people like grandpa, is escalating at an alarming rate. Crimes that were once isolated to retribution in ganglands have broadened to widespread nihilism toward all of society, IN OUR ENLIGHTENED AGE.

The point in all of my verbosity is that mankind turns to a vindictive nature to satisfy discontent with circumstances. To suggest that one era is more enlightened that another because words condemn acts of violence is foolishness. Acts of rage play out in every era.

Whether grandpa knocking a selfish man to his senses, or an elected elite pontificating about a “great Society”, abusers will be manifest. To hope or think otherwise is akin to trying to see a glorious sunrise with our eyes closed.
Now, I began this post talking about words being the foundation of society. And they are indeed that.

Yet, too often we think of foundations as the most and only critical element of construction. Not so!

Foundations must be built upon a bedrock. The best foundation built on an unsupported sandy soil will cause the smallest shack and greatest mansion to be equal over time…neither fit for habitation.

My posts are principally about politics, as is this also.

In the United States of America we have a foundation for government in the Constitution. That is a firm foundation. To look to that Constitutional foundation to evaluate the stability of the whole structure is justified.

Yet, we ought to look even beyond that foundation. The bedrock on which that foundation securely stands are the principle of nature and nature’s God, that all men are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness secure from the aggression and violence of others.

Every man, good or bad, honest or evil, is entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without violation from other. Yet, in that bedrock of liberty is the golden vein of responsibility and accountability. NO man acting in liberty, has the right to claim ownership and mastery of that bedrock, which would entitle him to violate any other man.
Equity is not the bedrock, law is not the bedrock, un-lived principles of religions are not the bedrock. The dignity of shared liberty…That is the bedrock!

The foundation which is built upon that bedrock consists of constitutions and justly derived laws. We would do well to look and teach more of that bedrock.

Said the “other” great William,

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”

If I may add my own altered rendition,

Neither an offender nor an offended be,
For offending oft loses both itself and friend,
And offended dulls the edge of liberty.
This above all: to thine own justice be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be unjust to any man.

When any society, in any age, comes to rely upon that bedrock both mankind and God smile.
By way of example: The man that says, at any time, “I have no justice in violating another” has no need of constitutions, laws, armies and navies for he has become a just governor unto himself.
That Is The Way I See IT.

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