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.