Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Victory in Defeat

Read a fascinating article this morning about a Republican defeat in NY that was actually a victory. Read it here.

In a nutshell - the GOP chose a candidate that was decidedly left of center and supported her throughout the whole cycle. Conservatives were unhappy with the GOP candidate so they supported an independent candidate. At the last minute, the Republicans pulled their support from their candidate and backed the independent.

The Republican party needs to understand that if they want to matter then they will need to matter to conservatives.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vote Today

I hope you had an opportunity to vote today - vote smart and keep informed. Be diligent and watchful.

"If America is destroyed, it may be by Americans who salute the flag, sing the national anthem, march in patriotic parades, cheer Fourth of July speakers – normally good Americans, but Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free, Americans who have been lulled away into a false security."

Ezra Taft Benson

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Saw an article today about Republicans plotting "revenge" against Democratic candidates for President Obama winning last November. They say that this is the blowback from all of the different policies that President Obama is trying to foist upon this country in his first 10 months in office.

I hate the idea of revenge and that the Republican party is considering the idea of victory in the polls this week as such.

We are not keeping score, this isn't sports. War is not a good analogy for politics. We are talking about the lives of the citizens of this nation. It can be a win-win situation, there doesn't have to be a winner and a loser when it comes to elections - the American people should be the winner of every election. When good men and women come together to properly govern themselves everybody is better. When personal agendas and greed govern men then they need to be replaced.

The Republicans are losers if they think that they win by defeating Obama-endorsed candidates this November.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Czars Are Not Good

The czars that the Obama administration has appointed are undertaking tasks that they are not Constitutionally able to enforce and it is troubling that this administration and Congress believe there is nothing wrong with the idea. Appointed advisers, or czars, are not new with President Obama, they were in place long before him. However, he has taken the position to new levels.

The problems with the czars? They are not approved, like other cabinet and administration appointments, by the Senate. So they are not vetted or is there investigation and discussion on their merits and their shortcomings before a panel. They are simply appointed.

This week, companies that received TARP funds were told by the "Pay Czar" Kenneth Feinberg that he was cutting executive compensation by an average of 50%. Read about it in the Wall Street Journal here.

Two different thoughts on this -
  1. If you are a company that accepted bailout TARP money then you know that you had just sold your soul to the devil. In an open market you would have folded but you effectively gave up your control to the federal government. You had to know that something like this would come. Brilliant PR strategy by the White House on this move but with a good chance at backfiring on them.
  2. This position of this czar is so ripe for corruption due to the large amounts of money involved not only in the compensation of these executives but the fortune of many mega companies that are affected when talent leaves the firm if they don't feel like they are being rewarded for their hard-work. You could be on the side of the affected company and watch your talented executives leave - so you do anything you can to stop that, including making donations to certain campaign funds. Or you could be on the side of the competition - you would love to see the brain drain from your competitor. So you make deals and contributions. This administration has shown a propensity for having more skeletons in their closet in the first year than the previous 6 administrations combined.
Nowhere is the idea of a czar considered Constitutionally sound, it is independent of any branch and has no oversight.

Get rid of the czars.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

So 13,000 people die last year from the regular flu and nothing is ever mentioned but 1,000 people die this year from "the swine flu" and the Obama administration feels like it needs to declare an emergency? 120 million vaccinations promised by mid-October but only 12 million (10%) delivered?

When a state of emergency, like war, is declared by a government then it gains extra powers that it would not normally be granted in times of peace to become the "protector" of the people. A prime example of this is the Patriot Act that is still around that a all-Democratic Congress renewed this year. The Patriot Act is perhaps the most un-Constitutional piece of legislation since the establishment of the Federal Reserve and the income tax. Why isn't this state of emergency being considered at the state level? A central government with this much power is so dangerous.

Two other notes, why don't the Obama children get the vaccination? It's not available to them? Come on, give me a break. (Update 10/29/2009 - the Obama girls did get their shot, thanks to Christina for the story link). And a Democratic Congress and Democratic President are cowards for attaching an incredibly short-sighted hate crimes bill to the Defense bill that was signed today. It couldn't stand on its own so these cowards put it with legislation that they knew would pass. These men and women do not deserve to represent their people and if they are representative of their constituency, so help us God.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Slave Currency

This is the Amero, it is the proposed monetary unit that will take the place of the dollar and the peso if President Obama and his friends have their way. There has been several mentions of a new global currency this week at the UN and the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. It is the same concept as the Euro, the currency of those countries that are part of the European Union.

So why is this so important? And why do we care?

If we lose the dollar, which we are currently in the process of doing as China continues to buy up American debt at an astounding rate, then we lose our national sovereignty. We lose our identity. We lose any independence we have and tie ourselves unwillingly to the fortunes of Mexico, Canada, and other Latin American countries that have nowhere near the economy, infrastructure, or freedoms that you and I enjoy here in America.

We may as well burn the Constitution as its rights will be superseded by those in some form of a union treaty. When the EU became a reality, all member countries agreed to be governed by EU laws that trumped those of the individual country. Now any law that is made in an EU country is subject to laws made by the EU. Court judgments that are made in the country can be overturned by the EU courts. Are our interests and situations the same as Mexico's? No, not at all.

The global currency is another step on the way to allowing the UN to be the world government and the US losing everything that it has. Please elect leaders this fall who will follow the Constitution.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Solutions to Health Care

I read the transcript of Ron Paul's comments to Congress yesterday and I loved them. They made so much sense in the health care debate.

Forget the public option. Forget the awful plans put forth by Max Baucus and my very own Bob Bennett. They don't solve the problem, they only further government control of aspects of our lives that should be left up to the patient and free market.

Like Congressman Paul states, health care is not a right, just as education is not a right nor is a job a right. Those things shouldn't be provided by the government but by the free market. The federal government needs to get out of the way.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama and the World Order

President Obama gave another 'historic' speech at the United Nations this morning and talked about how America cannot go it alone. The AP called the speech blunt in tone, although he said he wants "a new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect". Kind of like imposing those new high tariffs on Chinese products.

Through all of this talk he spoke about working together for the common good of the world but there was one very disturbing statement he made.

In an era where our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. That is the future America wants.

No, America does not want a new world order, we are firmly opposed to such a concept. That may be the socialist utopia that President Obama envisions but that is not what the Founding Fathers wanted nor what the American people want. Mr. President, you represent us, not the Saul Alinsky's and Noam Chomsky's of the world who think we can all band together in a la-la land of love and happiness. We love our national sovereignty, we fight for it and sacrifice for it. We will not give in to a world order that you spoke about.

Remember, this is coming from a man who also claimed that climate change was more important than economic recovery, that the days of America dragging its feet on this issue are over.

Yes, they are over, Mr. President. Climate change hoopla is NOT more important than several of the other issues we are working on.

One more thing- remember that promise last fall during the campaign to sit down and talk with President Ahmadinejad of Iran over the conflict? Hey, he was in the room with you? Did you guys sit down and have a beer together to talk about your differences? Shoot, it looked good when you tried to do it with that cop from Boston a couple of months ago . . .

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's Ovah! Isn't it?

The Obama administration announced last week that the economic depression is over! Based on what? That not as many people are losing their jobs as were last month? The national unemployment rate is still very high - 9.7% and is expected to top 10% in 2010. Congress will now extend unemployment benefits (for the third time) another 13 weeks.

Some kind of turnaround you are taking credit for, Mr. President.

Now President Obama has announced that he will impose high tariffs on some Chinese imports, sparking another preventable trade war. Only this time it isn't with Canada. It is with our biggest trading partner.

And the one who owns 1/3 of our national debt. China continues to buy up US national debt at an astounding rate.

So if the US starts the trade war, China will end it very quickly by devaluing the dollar and making our currency worth next to nothing.

Yeah, that is a great victory over the recession.

Ron Paul wrote an excellent article on this, read it here.

Mr. President, don't do this. Please reconsider this move. We should be able to trade freely with all but avoid entangling alliances. This is what happens when we don't.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Martial Law and the Threat of Quarantine

For decades there has always been the threat of suspending the Constitution and the declaration of martial law to impose the government's will on the people. We have seen several instances of that through the years, the latest being the suspension of law in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

When is the next opportunity to do something like this? The US faces the threat of quarantine over the perceived deadliness of the swine flu. If people are quarantined to their homes for a matter of weeks, this can be enforced through law enforcement/military involvement and the declaration of martial law because of a pandemic that would "threaten" to wipe out large swathes of the population.

Don't fall for this and be very careful as we move forward with the coming of winter. Please ensure that you have supplies to be self-sufficient for several weeks without access to food, water, fuel, power, and outside contact.

One Of His Own

President Obama must be tired of trying to control Congress, national media, and federal agencies so he has decided to try something new.

Controlling state politics.

Specifically the governor's race in New York.

And the incumbent Democratic governor, David Paterson, told President Obama to pound sand.

So President Obama, being the big man that he is, leaked the story to the media to try and put the pressure on Gov. Paterson. The White House would "prefer" Andrew Cuomo to run instead. The meeting happened on the same day that the President invited himself to give a speech on Wall Street this last week. David Paterson, despite failing numbers in all polls, told the President that he is still running for governor next year.

Wow. The a branch of the federal government trying to use the bully pulpit to influence state politics.

What an awful abuse of power and contempt for the Constitution's separation of federal and states' rights.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pigs Are Preparing For Takeoff

Barack Obama took a step yesterday that, on the surface, I applaud in principle. He has decided to cut back on the proposed US missile shield defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic. Instead he wants something more flexible and claims to be worried more about Iran than about Russia.

I do not agree with spending millions on putting up defenses in foreign countries and then saying that is protects US self-interest. I understand these are our allies, I understand that they are part of NATO. But the US is not an international police force. A pullout of all US troops from Europe is something I support, as well as a pullout of much of Asia. I don't support the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, we never should have entered them. If you would have asked me that several years ago I would have had a completely different answer.

Our interest is here at home, where we are attempting to rebuff the overtures of a legislature and executive office desperate to spend our way out of a recession and impose not only silly environmental programs (cap-and-trade) but socialized medicine (all of the proposed popular health-care plans - especially the Bob Bennett plan). Let's concentrate on domestic policy. How about we stop giving so much foreign aid to countries that are dependent on it and use the money here?

How about if we stop spending and start saving? How about some civility on both sides of the aisle? How about if we actually follow the Constitution and not use it as simply as a guideline?

Don't get me wrong here, I think there are much more nefarious reasons President Obama pulled that defense system out of Eastern Europe but it is a move of his that I finally agree with and I applaud him for it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hypocrite of the House

Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary, is one of my least favorite people. He is arrogant, disrespectful, condescending, and very much believes that he or the executive office are never mistaken.

He is a perfect fit for this presidency.

This morning he criticized, justly, CNN for causing a false panic in Washington DC with reports of an incident with the Coast Guard on the Potomac River. CNN failed to check with the Coast Guard before issuing warnings to the public that there was a terrorist incident between the Coast Guard and a suspicious boat. It caused the nearby Reagan National Airport to cancel flights. However, it turned out to be simply a routine exercise for the Coast Guard. Nice job to pick September 11 to do this sort exercise, guys. It couldn't have waited?

So what does Robert Gibbs have to do with this? He held a press conference criticizing CNN for not investigating the background of the story before bringing it on the air. He said they should have checked their facts. After all of the problems this White House has had with vetting their appointments (see Van Jones recently) isn't that like the pot calling the kettle black?

I miss Tony Snow, I felt like he was someone I could trust in that position even if I couldn't trust President Bush or Vice President Cheney. Where are the men and women of integrity in this administration? Adrift, whimsical, and sophomoric are good ways to describe this administration.

Always Cherish Freedom

On a day to remember freedom, please remember that you are indeed free to choose in so many different ways. Please don't choose the path that will limit that freedom for yourself and your neighbors.

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned -- this is the sum of good government.

Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Preview of This Fall's Commercials from the White House

Thought you might like to see a preview of the commercials that the White House will be pushing this Fall. Hey, haven't we gone through this before? Like in 1976? What? You don't remember the great Swine Flu epidemic of '76?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lifestyles of the Rich and Elected

Congress wants to add the cost of 8 new executive jets, at the cost of $550 million, to the Pentagon budget to ferry members of Congress to various parts of the world for trips. Why add it to the Pentagon budget? Because it can easily get lost and justified.

This is, of course, after they killed funding to build new F-22 fighter jets.

Perhaps we can have the jets full of Congress and their spouses intercept enemy fighters instead of the F-22's that were planned on. If they are shot down then the cost will certainly be justified . . .

Why do we need these new executive jets? So members of Congress can take global-warming research trips with their spouses to Australia and the South Pole. There, they can see the effects of global-warming up close while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, riding a cable car through an Australian rain forest, visiting a penguin rookery, and going to the South Pole.

Yep, that ought to provide conclusive evidence that global warming exists.

As a taxpayer, I am always happy to pay for you and your spouse to go on these trips, especially when you need to take a specially equipped rocket and ski Air Force plane to land at the South Pole. What did you see there? I saw lots and lots of snow and ice when I watched the Discovery Channel show on the South Pole. How was your experience any different.

You had better be glad you were not representing my district or my state, I would vote you out in a heartbeat for crap like that.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Don't Try This At Home

Hey, want to allow the government access to anything and everything on your computer at home? Well then go click on to check out the "Cash for Clunkers" program. After agreeing to the privacy act and security agreement you are given a warning message that your computer will now become part of the Federal computer system and is property of the United States government. Any files can be inspected or checked by officials both domestic and foreign.

So you have just given permission to the federal government to check your computer at any time and track anything you have on there at any time.

Scary, scary stuff.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Your Freedom of Speech - Going, Going, . . .

The Obama administration has a new directive for the American people in trying to fight the disinformation against universal health care. If you hear something 'fishy' in the healthcare debate then you are to contact the White House with the source of that information. They will then store it in a database and track all of this 'disinformation.' The FOX News story about it is here.

Whoa. I thought I was reading Pravda again. Yes, comrade. Glory to Mother Russia. Shoplifters of the World, Unite and Take Over.

OK, so that last one wasn't ever in Pravda. Lyrics from bygone days . . .

This is a direct threat to the freedom of speech. If you are not allowed to voice an opposing view or face repercussions if you do so then there is no free speech. President Obama claimed that this was going to be the most transparent administration ever, there would be nothing to hide. They were right in one sense - they no longer have to hide when they take away freedoms.

Here is the text of the message -

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there. Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to

Remember that liberty's best friend, Nancy Pelosi, has reported people showing up to healthcare debates and town hall meetings with swastikas. Oh my. Still not as scary as the people in your district Nancy. Harry Reid called dissenting views on healthcare "loud, shrill voices."

We are losing freedom and Big Brother is becoming much more bold than he was in the Bush administration. All in the name of insuring the children and the poor.

Just be glad you are not the poor guy who has to administer and monitor :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Book Review: Samuel Adams, A Life by Ira Stoll

Just finished reading this book and absolutely loved it. I was familiar with the biographies of most of the founding fathers but Samuel Adams was a name that appeared in fabric of the revolution but has now been cosigned to beer commercials.

How sad, what a fearless and pious humble revolutionary.

Samuel Adams was not as well known as his cousin, John Adams, nor as famous as the governor of post-revolutionary Mass., John Hancock, but he could definitely be called the catalyst of the American Revolution.

One thing that impressed me about Samuel Adams was his belief that God wanted a free people and that this nation could only remain free if it adhered to upright moral values. Here is a sample -

Luxury & Extravagance are in my opinion totally destructive of those Virtues which are necessary for the Preservation of the Liberty and Happiness of the People. Piety, Justice, Moderation, Temperance, Industry, and Frugality are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty . . . We cannot too warmly express our gratitude to Almighty God, who hath smiled on the virtuous struggles of the United States, and crowned the conflict with so happy a conclusion, Our Independence is confirmed.

From his creation of the Mass. Constitution to his initial reluctance of the Constitution (the Federalist Papers were written partially as an answer to the arguments of Samuel Adams against a strong central government), this man served his country with all that he had. Three cheers to Samuel Adams and encouragement to all to discover who he was.

5 out of 5 stars * * * * *

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Clunker for Those Wanting Cash

The Obama administration, with great fanfare and the acclaim of carmakers and environmental activists, announced earlier this year the wonderful 'Cash for Clunkers' program. Trade in your old car and get up to $4500 in credit towards a new car. A win-win right?

Today the Department of Transportation has suspended the program for fear of running out of money.

It has only been in operation since July 1. The online application that dealers use to get reimbursed for their $4500 for each customer they handed the deal to came online just last Friday. And hardly any dealer has actually received the reimbursement.

So the dealers are giving out the discounts of $4500, like they were requested to do, then they go to the website to be reimbursed by the federal government, like they were requested to do, and they don't get any money due to the backlog. Now the federal government is shutting down the program. Will they ever be reimbursed for the $4500 they have handed out?

Wow. A simple program like this should be fairly simple to administer. But they can't get it right. It hasn't even been in operation a month before the feds figured out they would go bankrupt from it.

And we want to hand them the keys to universal healthcare by August?

No way. I smell a lemon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Bigger Picture

Incidents this weekend have reminded me how little I understand about what I know and how it fits into the bigger picture. I love this quote -

Man has, through the richness of the intellectual quest, become more knowing, more clever, and more skeptical. But we have not become more profound or more reverent. Nor have we found a way to put our learning in the context of the eternal.

Josiah Royce

For all that we argue about, think we understand, proclaim that others just don't get it - do we get it ourselves? Has our presence moved the thoughts of those around us forward? Backward? Nowhere? I think it has more to do with humility than it does in realizing what we don't know. I find that when I am humble I am more teachable. As I am reading my biography of Samual Adams I consistently note the humility found in the Founding Fathers of our nation. I hope that I too can be humble enough to receive the counsel God would have me heed. Thank our God for second, third, and an infinity of chances to get it right.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Here is the organization chart for the new Democrat sponsored healthcare plan that they, and the president, are trying to ram through Congress.

Holy smokes.

Yeah, that ought to work seeing as how we are so good at eliminating bureaucracy and cutting the red-tape.

If you understand this chart then you need to run for office apparently . . .

Or you are just a big geeky nerd.

I Vant To Count the Uninsured!

To boost his plea for a rush on this Healthcare package he is ramming through Congress, the president told all 12 viewers of his infomercial last night that there are now 47,000,000 uninsured Americans.

Except he was wrong. Way off.

According to this Census Bureau report in August 2008, there were 46,000,000 uninsured Americans in United States at the end of 2007. However, nearly 10,000,000 of them were uninsured foreigners or illegals and another 9,000,000 were those who make over $75,000 annually and chose not to carry health insurance.

Remember that these are not off-the-cuff remarks, this is a prepared speech before a national television audience (albeit an unwilling audience) with facts that should be vetted and cited by source. Then again, this administration has shown a lack of consideration for the vetting process as evidence by its numerous Cabinet nominees that were discovered to have some ugly skeletons in the closet.

Mr. President, you seem to have a problem telling the truth when your cause is at stake. You will get farther with the American people if you don't lie to them. Ask Bill Clinton about that - I am sure your Secretary of State has his number.

In light of the numbers problems and your wish to create a czar (this term drives me nuts, it should be tsar) for everything, I would hope that you will nominate Count VonCount from Sesame Street as your new Counting Czar (Tsar). Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Run Forrest!

What is the huge push by President Obama to get this Healthcare bill passed before Congress leaves for their August recess? He is going on primetime tv tonight to explain his Healthcare Plan to the American people.

Like that is going to go over well. Remember the last primetime news conference he made the networks run? Yeah, June 24. ABC begrudgingly showed it and finished 9th out of 12 in that time slot.

So what is the rush? Could it be because he is slipping in the public opinion polls? That the cost of his healthcare is skyrocketing?

Slow down Mr. President!

The next president is saying the same thing - slow down! Mitt Romney on Obamacare.

Congress rushed the first two stimulus packages through because it was absolutely necessary to save our economy. How is that working? It isn't.

Yet, the promised report on Gitmo closing and the spending cuts report - the ones that were promised with hard deadlines - have not yet been produced. No rush on those apparently.

Forrest Gump kept going fast but didn't know why he was going fast and running. President Obama knows why he is going fast, because he doesn't want you or Congress to understand what he is trying to implement. He is all about the victories in planning and legislation but when the rubber meets the road and it is time for physical implementation of the proposals he falls flat on his face.

Slow down Mr. President. Please.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Government Healthcare As A "Right", Not A "Good"

I read an excellent article today by Ron Paul about universal healthcare becoming a "right" instead of being classified as a "good." Read it here. Dr. Paul does an excellent job of explaining why healthcare should be be changed but not in the way the current administration is proposing. Since when was healthcare a right? Did it say something about it in the Constitution?

I must have missed that part. Maybe it is next to the section on gay marriage.

I agree that there are problems with healthcare in this country but government-owned universal healthcare, like universal education and universal employment for all, is not a right but a commodity and should be treated as such.

The more the government controls, the less you do and what type of decisions will they make? Decisions in your best interest or theirs?

Heh. Right.

Friday, July 17, 2009

So When Are Those Jobs Being Created?

When President Obama rammed the stimulus package through Congress in April 2009 it was with the promise that this would create jobs immediately because that is what the American people needed.

Many people didn't believe him then and less are believing him now.

9.25% unemployment last month.

No end in sight.

Where are those jobs Mr. President?

You have lost any credibility you previously had from the American people.

This is what happens when we elect a community organizer to the highest office in the land.

It's not the government's responsibility to bail out people and businesses who make bad decisions. Who is going to bail out the government now?

Thomas Jefferson would have been devastated.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't Save, SPEND Your Way Out of Bankruptcy

Joe Biden was in front of an AARP group in VA and told the audience that "we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt."

Really? Has that been my problem all along? Dang.

He also said "We are going to bankrupt as a nation."

Does Joe Biden think that being $1,000,000,000,000+ (trillion) in debt is not bankruptcy yet? So what is his threshold for being considered bankrupt? Read the article here.

Not only are we financially bankrupt but we are morally/ethically bankrupt as well and election of Barack Obama is proof of that.

As a Delawarean, I am ashamed that Joe Biden used to represent my home state. Joe, you are an imbecile.

All of you who voted for Obama/Biden, are you proud of your vote? Is this country better off than it was 6 months ago? All the warm fuzzies and the shivers up your leg gone?

Good. Welcome back to reality.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Democrats Own Everything Now

The Democrats own the White House.

The Democrats own the Senate.

The Democrats own the House.

No more excuses about debate or opposition, they have a super majority in the Senate and can pass anything they want through brute force.

No checks or balances. This is the scariest part of the equation - there is nothing the opposition can do short of convincing Democrats to change their vote. You and I can do that by contacting our members of Congress often. We put them in there and we can throw them out.

Problems with the economy? They are in charge, they own it. Our grandchildren will reap the most trouble from the latest spending spree.

Problems with terrorists? They own those problems. Closing Guantanamo isn't that easy, is it Mr. President?

Problems with the green movement, Al Gore, the Cap and Trade Act? They own that too.

Problems with the homosexual agenda? They own that, but Pandora's box has already been opened.

Healthcare issues? They will attempt to solve it with socialized health care, while charging you an arm and a leg to do it. You pay for the system but you don't reap any benefits - that is how socialism works. Ask Britain how wonderful their healthcare system is. Remember Hillarycare in 1993? Yup, same thing.

They are in charge and they will be held accountable in 2010 and 2012.

Republicans will also be held accountable for all that they try to do during this time, I hope they don't sit back and whine but get out there and fight.

How is it going so far?

You tell me.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Two New Causes To Investigate

I had a fantastic evening with a former missionary companion last night, just the two of us had an opportunity to go out to dinner and talk about things that were going on in our lives. He spoke passionately about his country, his love for American and her freedoms, how he was involved with Mitt Romney's campaign and his future involvement with conservative causes. I love him and admire him for all of the many things he has accomplished in his life, on top of which he is an amazing husband and father. He inspires me to be committed to things that I believe in and that is why I share these next two causes with you -

The first is the Patrick Henry Caucus. Patrick Henry reminds me of Nathan in the New Testament - a man without guile. Patrick Henry was not afraid to say what he believed in, no matter who he might offend or who might agree/disagree with him. He disagreed with the Founding Fathers at times but he always remained true to the cause of freedom and liberty. There is a movement afoot that encapsulates the ideals of Patrick Henry and promotes freedom and liberty no matter what the price that needs to be paid to return us to those. Please investigate the Patrick Henry Caucus here, I believe you will find it well worth your time. Thanks to my father-in-law, Bob Norman, for giving me the heads up for the Patrick Henry Caucus.

The second is the 9.12 project, headed by Glenn Beck. In the Independence Day parade here in Tooele we had a float that had the 9.12 project on it. I didn't know what it was and neither did my brother-in-law sitting next to me. I looked it up today and was surprised to find it was related to Glenn Beck. I have read many of Glenn Beck's books and although I don't like his move to FOX from CNN, he and I see eye to eye on many things. His 9.12 project mission statement is as follows -

This is a non-political movement. The 9-12 Project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with Red States, Blue States or political parties. We were united as Americans, standing together to protect the greatest nation ever created.

I love the concept of not considering who belongs to what party but considering what our freedoms are and how we can protect and preserve them. Please check out the 9.12 project here and get involved.

Have a wonderful Independence Day, thank the Lord for all of the blessings you enjoy as a citizen of this country, and please be careful out on the roads as you travel tonight. 4th of July accidents are a terrible thing. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

We Must Fight

If we believe that our freedom is eroding, if we believe that those whom we have elected are not representing our interests, if we are afraid of the world our children will inherit - we need to do something about it.

Stand up and call out injustice when you see it.

Don't be cowered by political correctness or the brayings of special interest groups.

Just because the majority believe it or do it will never make it right.

Do something.

Do anything.

Just do it.

If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained _ we must fight!

Patrick Henry

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kings of America

I was reading in Common Sense by Thomas Paine when I came across this passage-

There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required. The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly; wherefore the different parts, by unnaturally opposing and destroying each other, prove the whole character to be absurd and useless.

This inspired two thoughts for me - we don't have kings in American politics, or do we? Is the king, or politician, so wrapped up in his own agenda or himself that he has little time to spend among the people?

My belief is that we do have kings in politics today and it is not necessarily by choice that some kings are made. Huge amounts of funding are required currently to run a political race, even at a local level like a seat on the city council or school board. The average person cannot afford such costs by himself and is thus dependent on donors and organizations for funds. Rarely do we see a campaign in the last 30 years that does not have the endorsements of powerful organizations. Usually only the wealthy or well-connected are able to be in a position to run for office. They are the kings, and queens, of American politics.

This leads to the next belief- are they so wrapped up in fundraising, especially if the position only lasts a short time like a US House seat every two years, that they don't understand the issues? If you are in financial survival mode continually, how are you able to get the proper understanding of what is happening with the rest of your constituents? The politician will frequently make the decision based on his staff recommendations or the promptings of his largest donors.

How to change this? I don't know. My best friend ran for office several years ago and gave it everything he had, but still lost due to special interests for his opponent. We have moved back full circle to what Thomas Paine and the colonists were concerned about in the 1770's - a monarchy, or ruling class, who do not represent their constituents.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Some Different Views of Illegal Immigration

I have always been opposed to illegal immigration. That doesn't mean I am xenophobic, that I hate Hispanics, that I don't love my fellow man, etc. . . . I am not opposed to people immigrating here legally like many of my Eastern European friends have done. They traveled, and continue to travel, a hard path of adjustment and trial to secure their place in America the right way. It is those who flaunt the law and come here by illegal means, then prey upon the taxpayer and demand equal rights when they don't have any to begin with that makes me upset.
I found a series of videos that present some different points of views on illegal immigration. I really like the point of view that the United States needs to "encourage" countries like Mexico and Guatemala to give their people incentive to stay by boosting their economies. Cut off their aid if they don't, they both take billions in US foreign aid each year. The US also needs to stop looking at the bottom line inside the states when it comes to illegal immigration. Want to know why California is financially bankrupt? Providing state benefits to illegals and their dependents who pay very little in taxes is part of that problem.

Here is the website with the video links.

And here is the first video as a sample. I think it will help broaden your perspective.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Response to North Korean Nuclear Tests

So, North Korea sets off 5 nuclear missiles on Sunday, endangering the lives of billions of people in that region and thumbing their nose at the United Nations Security Council. This administration's response to the provocation?

By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council, North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community. North Korea’s behavior increases tensions and undermines stability in Northeast Asia. Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea’s isolation.

Heh, forceful that President Obama is. So how are we going to stop them from doing this again? Are we going to stop them from doing this again? New sanctions from the UN? Is the UN going to respond? Is this the crisis Joe Biden talked about before the election that was going to test this new presidency?


Is this thing on?

Oh wait, we have a new Supreme Court justice nomination, that ought to keep them distracted for a while. And the Prop 8 decision in CA.

Thank goodness for Kobe and LeBron in tight NBA playoff battles.

Good article here.

Sonya Sotomayor - New Supreme Court Justice

President Obama is playing identity politics again and nominating U.S. Court of Appeals Second Circuit judge Sonya Sotomayor as the replacement for the retiring David Souter. The President will claim she is the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, which is incorrect, and that she will emphathize with the downtrodden and poor - essentially that her decisions will be based on empathy and not on the Constitution. Here is an example of that "empathy" -

In another example of her radical judicial philosophy, Sotomayor stated in a 2002 speech at Berkeley that she believes it is appropriate for a judge to consider their “experiences as women and people of color,” which she believes should “affect our decisions.” In the same speech, Sotomayor went on to say, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” She restated her commitment to that unlawful judicial philosophy at a speech she gave in 2005 at Duke Law School when she reiterated that the “Court of Appeals is where policy is made.”

Read a preliminary article here. I think she will pass the Senate confirmation hearing and be sitting on the bench come the end of summer when the Supreme Court resumes. Activist judges who don't interpret the law according to the Constitution but instead try to make the law themselves are becoming more and more prevelant. Look for President Obama to replace Justice Ginsburg soon as well as her health is declining rapidly.

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Supreme Court Justice and the Expansion of the Executive Branch

Interesting thoughts from Daphne Eviatar of the Washington Independent on why President Obama might not pick a hard-core liberal but a justice who would favor the expansion of power of the executive branch of government. That would be in line with what President Obama and his predecessors (Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II) have attempted to do with varying results. With a pick like that he would satisfy both conservatives and liberals - because he didn't pick one or the other and settled for somebody who might be more "down the middle." Ms. Eviatar suggests that Solicitor General Elana Kagan might be the leading candidate for the position. If that happens then he has made a much more dangerous pick than a justice who would support common liberal causes - it would upset the greater balance of power within the government and would give the president the opportunity to make decisions without the checks and balances prescribed by the Constitution. Could be a very interesting couple of days to watch.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hunstman, Obama, and China

I waited for a couple days to write this post because I found myself initially thinking what a dupe John Huntsman Jr. was for accepting the post as ambassador to China. But due to waiting and thinking this one I have come to a different conclusion.

I think it is a smart move by Huntsman and an interesting move by President Obama.

President Obama gets to trump this move as a bipartisan appointment to an important post for a prominent and rising Republican star. Huntsman backed Obama's opponent John McCain during the presidential campaign, not Romney as I had expected before he made the announcement. Democratic pundits will now point to this as an example of the President attempting to reach out and give an equal hand to Republicans.

Or is it an attempt to stifle the competition in 2012?

Huntsman name has come up several times in discussions about 2012 Republican candidates along with Charlie Crist, Bobby Jindal, Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney. I believe he is a viable candidate for President in 2012, but now even more so in 2016 and let me explain why. What are the qualifications the public wants to see in a president?
  • He is charismatic. Bill Clinton is charismatic, George Bush Jr. is charismatic, Barack Obama is charismatic, Ronald Reagan was charismatic. I don't know what happened to Carter or George Bush Sr. Dole is not, Kerry is not, Gore is not, McCain is not. John Huntsman is charismatic.
  • He doesn't come across as too far left or right, more in the center. Huntsman is far right enough for the mainstream to believe in his conservative values but enough in the center to capture the moderate and center-leaning left votes as well. He is conservative enough for the South (wrong religion though) but liberal enough for the cities on the East Coast and the Left Coast. He appeals to that middle section that determines the presidency. His support of civil unions in Utah has gone a long way to forming that belief.
  • He has executive level experience. Clinton, Reagan, and Bush were governors. Obama served in the Senate and was a community organizer :). Huntsman was a governor, a fairly good one at that.
  • He makes people believe that he can do what he promises. Clinton, Reagan, both Bushes, and Obama have made people believe those campaign promises. Did you ever think John Kerry, Walter Mondale, Al Gore, or Michael Dukakis could be tough with countries like Russia, China, or Iran? Nope. Huntsman gives the air of honesty and trust, he has energy and he never seems to get ruffled. I believe what he says.
So what does he lack? Foreign experience.

Then again, neither did Barack Obama or George Bush.

So how does this work out? He goes to China and visibly deals with a world superpower. He gains that experience that would put him at the forefront of the GOP primary in 2016. Maybe in 2012 but I think his best chance is in 2016.

Now, I have no doubt that Obama did this for ulterior reasons as well. One of his biggest challengers for 2012 is out-of-sight-out-of-mind. If Hunstman does well, it reflects well on President Obama. If he does poorly then it doesn't necessarily come back to President Obama, this adminstration is very good at blaming somebody else when problems come up. President Obama did the same thing with his biggest Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Any success she has reflects well on the President, she owns the failures.

But could this backfire for the President? Absolutely, and in 2012. More likely he has set up the Democratic party to fall in the 2016 presidential election by affording the opportunity to Huntsman to gain important foreign experience. But why should Barack Obama worry? In 2016 he will be safely ensconced in a pantheon of his own making, kind of like Bill Clinton.

Another reason I like this move is the opportunity for a recognized member of the LDS church to be in China and be at the forefront. As one of the first 50 missionaries to the Soviet Union in 1991 I know what working on the frontier is like. I think this bodes well for LDS recognition in China and is something else in softening the hearts of Chinese leader.

Hang on for a wild ride in the next 7 years!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Greg Book Review - How Starbucks Saved My Life / Michael Gates Gill

Loved this book, perhaps the best book I have read in a long time. This is a story of a man who had everything in life - a great family, a privilege upbringing, a fantastic education, and a job that paid him in six-figures each year. Through a series of circumstances and bad choices (an affair at an older age that resulted in the birth of a child out of wedlock) he lost everything and ended up in his neighborhood Starbucks shop. A manager there offered him a job and he took it, thinking that the service industry was not going to be the right place for him but he needed to pay the rent and eat.

It turned out to be life-changing.

He started to interact with people that he never would have given a second glance to in his previous elite life. He started to serve people instead of being served. He saw people that were different but were the same.

And he loved it.

It made me think about what I do for a living and how I interact with people. It is no secret that I don't love what I do (data warehouse manager) but I do it for my family and because that is where the Lord needs me. I know that in time I will be in a position that I enjoy and I am where I am supposed to be. In the meantime . . . doing what is asked. But that doesn't mean I can't show love and respect, that I can't serve, that I can't see the good in all that I interact with at work.

Too bad I don't drink coffee or I would frequent Starbucks because of this book.

Two thumbs up, highly recommended.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Math You Can Believe In

Quotes coming from President Barack Obama as he lectures the country on being fiscally conservative -

"We can no longer afford to spend as if deficits don't matter and waste is not our problem. We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration -- or the next generation."

Oh really? President Obama released his budget today of $3.4 TRILLION dollars.

That wasn't the big news though, it was that President Obama cut a whopping $17 billion out of the budget. This is his sacrifice, telling us we must tighten our belts and do without.

Let's do the math.

17,000,000,000 (17 billion) is what percentage of 3,400,000,000,000 (3.4 trillion) ? .5 %

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the president has sacrificed .5% of his proposed federal budget and tells us that he is not wasting your money.

This is fiscal restraint?

Unbelievable. He must think we are using Monopoly money and we just landed on his 4 hotel Boardwalk property.

Prepare to have your taxes raised - where else is the money going to come from? Are they going to print more? If so then your dollar won't be worth anything in the coming years. And you thought this recession was bad.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Christian Nation? Yes, Absolutely

So why won't President Obama host an event for the National Prayer Day?

Perhaps he doesn't want to offend our Muslim brothers.

Perhaps he believes that we are at a sensitive time in negotiations with Pakistan and the war on Iraq.

No, I don't believe that for a second. I believe that he is only as Christian as polling numbers says he should be to win votes and get high approval ratings. He is showing his true colors.

For a bit of a course correction, President Obama did not say that we are "not a Christian nation" in his press conference in Turkey. You might see emails from conservative groups claiming he said that, but here is what he said-

"One of the great strengths of the United States is ... we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."
President Barack Obama, Turkey, April 19, 2009

I respect and honor those other religious traditions that uphold truth and values in America, they have all made important contributions to the fabric of our society. But to imply or deny that our Founding Fathers were Christian and this nation was not built upon a Christian foundation is wrong. Here are some quotes that prove otherwise -

The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.
John Adams

In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?
Ben Franklin at the Constitutional Convention, June 1787

For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.
Alexander Hamilton after the Constitutional Convention 1787

God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.
Thomas Jefferson

To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian
George Washington at Valley Forge, 1778

Now is there any question our Founding Fathers were Christians and this strong nation was built as a Christian nation? Honoring and respecting the covenants God makes with us is paramount to our success as a nation.

To deny that is foolish and dangerous.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More, More, More!

They have come back for more because the $3,000,000,000,000 (trillion) they asked for previously (and received) wasn't enough. Barack Obama has asked Congress to give him another $85,000,000,000 (billion) for more things this year, especially to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and start phasing out troops in Iraq only to ship them to Afghanistan.

So Congress wants to give him $95,000,000,000 (billion) instead, including $2,000,000,000 (billion) for the possibility of an influenza epidemic.

You know, swine flu.

See, Rahm Emmanuel (White House Chief of Staff) told you that he wouldn't let a crisis go to waste.

This money does not include the funding for the following-
  • closing Guantanomo and shipping those prisoners somewhere else
  • the foundation for national health care
  • funding to start the cap-and-trade policy
  • middle class tax cuts
  • Michelle's new shoes
So where does this money come from? You.

Or they just print more, which ultimately means that the value of those dollars that you have has just become much less. I remember that very well - when I started my mission in Russia in 1991, the value of the ruble was 33 rubles for a dollar. When I ended in 1993 it was nearly 5,000 rubles for a dollar.

You do the math.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Kicking It With The President

Barry and I chill-axing at the Tooele County Democratic Convention on Saturday evening. He tried to sing 2nd tenor with me in the choir that evening but he was a little flat.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Culture of Fear Case Study - Swine Flu

"Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste."
-Rahm Emanuel, Obama White House Chief of Staff
Nov 10, 2008

In the first 100 days of the Obama presidency, no crisis (real or imagined) has passed without being exploited by those in power whether it be the furthering of the financial meltdown or the shift of power from the people to the government for control of freedoms guarenteed in the Constitution. These crisis events that lead to more governmental control did not originate with this administration but go as far back as the early 1900's with the establishment of the Federal Reserve and the 16th Amendment that instituted an income tax. With each new crisis (World War I and II, the Great Depression, Korean and Vietnam wars, fall of the Soviet Union, incidents at Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City, 9/11 and the War on Terror) the government has thrust itself into the lives of American citizens and continues to erode freedoms granted in the Constitution. Fear has played a huge part in helping the three branches of the government to pass temporary stopgap measures that soon become permanent and irrevocable.

The outbreak of swine flu is another opportunity for government control.

There is no questioning that swine flu is more than likely a contagious and deadly sickness that will directly and indirectly affect the lives of millions of people. What do we know about swine flu? What are the origins of the sickness? How is it spread? What can we do to prevent the spread and contain it? There are a lot of questions to be answered but very few answers right now.

Which is why the advice and reaction of government officials around the world is so troubling. The media and governments love fear. Egypt and Jordan are slaughtering their pigs as an excuse, even thought it can't be confirmed that contact with a pig will give a person swine flu. These are Muslim countries that forbid contact with pigs anyways and they see this as a way to get rid of something that benefits the Christian minorities.

Here is Joe Biden, always known for his honesty, integrity, and dealing in straight facts (just a hint of sarcasm there) telling Americans that they should not be using mass transit systems or be in school because they might catch swine flu from somebody. The WHO (World Health Organization) claims that "all humanity is under threat" and is calling for "global solidarity" to fight this battle. I have heard that term "global solidarity" WAY too much in the past 4 months.

Remember the avian, or bird, flu? Huge scare worldwide and mass panic, especially in the financial markets. What was the result? 421 cases and 257 deaths worldwide from 2003 to 2009, per this report, about a 60% mortality rate. Regular flu, influenza, mortality rates are 0.1%. So far there are nearly 3,000 reported cases of swine flu worldwide, with 151 deaths (150 of them in Mexico) for a raw mortality rate of about 5% - hard to say right now.

Let's be rational here and not do something that will give up our freedoms. The answer is not to get the "swine flu" vaccine when it comes out, you have no idea what it contains or doesn't contain. Will it actually help? How much testing has been done on the vaccine? Lot's of questions that still need to be answered. Tthis doesn't mean we should be unprepared however, here is an article from Meridian Magazine on the differences between an epidemic and a pandemic and preparing for them.

You make the call for you and your family but be careful of other consequences here.

"In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way. "
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Polls Reflect the Common Man, Right?

Interesting article about the popularity of President Barack Obama and his high popularity poll number 100 days into his presidency. I admire President Obama like I admire President Clinton (Bill, not Hillary) in that they have a charisma that draws people to them, that allows people to trust them.

And then the people find out the truth.

Dick Morris, an advisor to President Clinton, writes that President Obama is planting seeds that will lead an absolute disaster in a matter of 6-12 months-
  • He hasn't raised taxes yet, which is inevitable under Democratic leadership and his free-wheeling government spending.
  • He hasn't set up his healthcare plan in which the government will tell you which doctors you can go to, that your medication is unnecessary, and your treatment is not covered or there are unbearable delays to receive it. Your doctor will not have any incentive to treat you as he will be reimbursed by the government at a flat cost.
  • He hasn't granted amnesty for illegal aliens, making those who came here legally a punch-line in a joke. If you think that granting amnesty for aliens who are currently in the country is a cure for the immigration problem then think again. How soon will it happen again?
  • He hasn't closed any of the car companies or banks that he now owns under the guise of the TARP program.
As long as President Obama continues to look good on magazine covers and in photo-ops and the media continues to fawn over him then the numbers will stay up. Watch out this fall though.

A Mishmash of Mixups

Arlen Specter defects to the Russians, sorry I mean Democrats.

The Obama administration has made embarrassing bungles at home and abroad in his first 100 days and the Republicans can barely muster a response.

A Democratic Congress and White House have saddled our children and grandchildren with more debt than they will ever be able to repay and the White House calls upon all American to practice fiscal responsibility. The Republican response? No alternatives.

Republicans have lost several election fights in the past 6 months (House race in NY, Franken recount disaster in MN).

The RNC has fought a huge battle over the chairmanship, eventually settling on Michael Steele. I never believed he was the right person to lead the party.

Now this.

Is it any wonder why Republicans are losing ground and the faith of the American people?


“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” — Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't Look At Me! It's Only My Plane!

So what's dumber than having Air Force One, with trailing military fighters, buzz Lower Manhattan to get a photo-op in front of the Statue of Liberty?

Let's launch an investigation to place the blame somewhere other than where it belongs! Like the Oval Office!

So, not only did the federal government (read WHITE HOUSE) spend your tax dollars for an updated photo-op of Air Force One, scaring millions of New Yorkers who remembered the last time a low-flying jet plane came screaming through the city, but now we are going to launch an internal investigation (funded again by your tax dollars) to see who authorized the decision to do such a stupid thing? And the FAA ordered everybody to keep silent about it even though they KNEW it would induce panic?


What else have they ordered people to keep silent about?

Let me save the feds some money. See the guy sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office? Yeah, he is the one. HINT: He goes by the name of Barry, like he did in high school. Now, the president wasn't on board but it's his plane and the plan originated in a White House office.

You will hear about how mad he is, how it will never happen again, how sensitive he is to the needs of New Yorkers and another attack possibility that Joe Biden spoke so confidently about happening during the election campaign . . . (the last comment might have an interesting connection to this whole "event").

I am sure George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the other Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves. This is exactly what they envisioned 200+ years from writing the Constitution.

A Traitor Among Us

Arlen Specter, I don't believe you and I suspect that the people who voted for you won't either. You sold out all those who supported you and fought for your cause. You are a traitor to those who donated to your campaign because they believed in you.

Today Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) switched parties from Republican to Democrat. This is like what Jim Jeffords (I-VT) did when he switched from Republican to Independent several years ago. Jeffords is, really, a Democrat and not an Independent. When he switched it gave control to the Democrats. Now the Democrats only need 1 more vote to make any piece of legislation filibuster-proof. Meaning - whatever they want, goes.

This is crass and low. His reasons for switching are not about idea or ideals. This is a man who has voted Democrat many times, much like John McCain did.

Here is a quote from RedState -

Just over a month ago, Specter told The Hill “I am staying a Republican because I think I have an important role — a more important role — to play there. I think the United States desparately needs a two party system. It is the basis of politics in America. I think each of the 41 Republican Senators, in a sense, and I don’t want to overstate this, is a national asset, because if one was gone you would only have 40. The Democrats would have 60 and they would control all of the mechanisms of government.”

Arlen Specter chose to become a Democrat because he was afraid that he couldn't win the Republican primary in 2010 against Pat Toomey, let alone the general election. In his statement he claims that the Republican party has left him.

I understand that. I left the Republican party as well because I didn't feel like they were following the mandates and instructions of the Constitution. Not because I didn't think I could win the next election as a Republican so I switched parties.

Specter just knew he couldn't win in the Republican party with his ideas. Because he has no ideas. He is the epitome of what is wrong with Washington.

I hope the good people of PA see through this garbage and vote him right out of office next year.

Of course President Barack Obama has called to welcome him to the party. Hopefully he won't offer him a ride in Air Force One as it flies past the Statue of Liberty for an updated photo shoot.

Goodbye Sen. Specter, don't let the door hit you in the rear.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Greg Book Review - The Associate / John Grisham

I couldn't believe my luck when I found this book in the library last week. I really enjoy the early Grisham novels and I was expecting this one to be better than the last one I read from him (The Appeal).

Disappointed was a good start.

This one was about a poor schmuck, Kyle, who was blackmailed to steal secrets from a big law firm that he was beginning to work at. His handler, known as Benny, had a compromising video of Kyle from his undergraduate days, Benny uses that to get Kyle to obtain information on an upcoming lawsuit between two big defense contractors. Well, Kyle is a poor first-year employee at the firm and he is working horrific hours, having to do menial chores, but of course gets put on the top-secret lawsuit - just right for Benny to steal secrets. Kyle finally tells the FBI and they go after Benny, but Benny escapes and disappears into the night. The novel ends with Kyle walking out of the big law firm and going to join his Dad in practice in Scranton, PA.

Lame. They never find Benny nor do we know who he really is. There is never closure in this story, so many open ends that need to be tied up. Kind of like one of those Law and Orders that just abruptly ends.

The writing was not well done, it seemed to be a mixture of earlier books - copy and paste at its best. Lazy writing.

Two thumbs down and let's hope they don't make a movie out of this one.

Greg Book Review - Blink / Malcom Gladwell

I picked this book up by Malcom Gladwell because I couldn't find his new book, The Outliers, in the library. A friend had recommended his recent book but since it wasn't available I found this one.

And I am glad I did. It was fantastic and fascinating.

Blink is about the judgements and perception we instantly create when we experience it for the first time. Have you ever saw something and known that something just wasn't right - it wasn't what it was purported to be? Gladwell opens up with the story of the Kouros (statues representing male youth in ancient Greece) that were offered to a large museum in New York. As the museum contemplated buying the collection they had many scientists come and test the statues for authenticity. All of the test came up positive as there had been some questions if the collection was of real kouroi. After all of the scientific tests had been run and the museum was on the cusp of buying the collection, they showed it to certain Greek art experts and all of them immediately said there was something wrong with the statues. They couldn't exactly put their finger on it but there were instant feelings that these were not real kouros statues.

Have you ever had that same feeling? That something wasn't quite right? The author goes through some fascinating ideas on why this occurs and comes up with some interesting theories on not only why it happens but how we can overcome preconceived notions.

One of the more interesting theories is his last chapter about situational autism. He explains that in high stress situations, we tend to blank out reason and go with base instincts and beliefs. Those who have not trained extensively in the right situations, like police officers, will fall back on thought processes that can lead to disastrous results. The idea is to train yourself to respond correctly in such situations by simulating those situations and evaluating them afterwards for responses.

2 thumbs up, can't wait to read The Outliers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Greg Book Review - Bruce R. McConkie - Highlights From His Life and Teachings

This was the second biography I had read about Bruce R. McConkie, the first being written by his son entitled The Bruce R. McConkie Story: Reflections of a Son. They are different books as the book by Horne does a decent job of chronicling the life of Elder McConkie from public and semi-private sources for the first half while the second half is devoted to some of the unpublished manuscripts and teachings of Elder McConkie that you won't find in many other places. The Joseph McConkie biography is much better with regards to his life, and that is well expected as he has access and experiences with Elder McConkie that nobody else could possibly have had. There is an extensive section on Elder McConkie and the revelation on the priesthood, which he was present for, that is fairly detailed.
I liked this book but it became a bit monotonous after a while. The teaching/doctrine section of the book was grouped by subject and it was a habit of Elder McConkie to repeat many of the main points of his talk so by the time you finished reading several different talks in each section you had probably heard the same point several times over. I think the whole book could have been reduced in the amount of material it offered and not suffered. If you are looking for a good Elder McConkie biography then I would recommend his son's book. If you are looking for a smattering of Elder McConkie's teachings on various subjects that come from unpublished or difficult to find sources then this book would be the one to choose.

1 thumb up, 1 thumb down