Thursday, December 4, 2008

Remembering 9/11

I know this is quite long, but for those of you who are interested. I found it fascinating to read the words spoken by President Gordon B. Hinckley just after 9/11/2001. The full transcript is available here.

My beloved brethren and sisters, I accept this opportunity in humility. I pray that I may be guided by the Spirit of the Lord in that which I say.
I have just been handed a note that says that a U.S. missile attack is under way. I need not remind you that we live in perilous times. I desire to speak concerning these times and our circumstances as members of this Church.
You are acutely aware of the events of September 11, less than a month ago. Out of that vicious and ugly attack we are plunged into a state of war. It is the first war of the 21st century. The last century has been described as the most war-torn in human history. Now we are off on another dangerous undertaking, the unfolding of which and the end thereof we do not know. For the first time since we became a nation, the United States has been seriously attacked on its mainland soil. But this was not an attack on the United States alone. It was an attack on men and nations of goodwill everywhere. It was well planned, boldly executed, and the results were disastrous. It is estimated that more than 5,000 innocent people died. Among these were many from other nations. It was cruel and cunning, an act of consummate evil.
Recently, in company with a few national religious leaders, I was invited to the White House to meet with the president. In talking to us he was frank and straightforward.
That same evening he spoke to the Congress and the nation in unmistakable language concerning the resolve of America and its friends to hunt down the terrorists who were responsible for the planning of this terrible thing and any who harbored such.
Now we are at war. Great forces have been mobilized and will continue to be. Political alliances are being forged. We do not know how long this conflict will last. We do not know what it will cost in lives and treasure. We do not know the manner in which it will be carried out. It could impact the work of the Church in various ways.
Our national economy has been made to suffer. It was already in trouble, and this has compounded the problem. Many are losing their employment. Among our own people, this could affect welfare needs and also the tithing of the Church. It could affect our missionary program.
We are now a global organization. We have members in more than 150 nations. Administering this vast worldwide program could conceivably become more difficult.
Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the president of our nation. The terrible forces of evil must be confronted and held accountable for their actions. This is not a matter of Christian against Muslim. I am pleased that food is being dropped to the hungry people of a targeted nation. We value our Muslim neighbors across the world and hope that those who live by the tenets of their faith will not suffer. I ask particularly that our own people do not become a party in any way to the persecution of the innocent. Rather, let us be friendly and helpful, protective and supportive. It is the terrorist organizations that must be ferreted out and brought down.
We of this Church know something of such groups. The Book of Mormon speaks of the Gadianton robbers, a vicious, oath-bound, and secret organization bent on evil and destruction. In their day they did all in their power, by whatever means available, to bring down the Church, to woo the people with sophistry, and to take control of the society. We see the same thing in the present situation.
We are people of peace. We are followers of the Christ who was and is the Prince of Peace. But there are times when we must stand up for right and decency, for freedom and civilization, just as Moroni rallied his people in his day to the defense of their wives, their children, and the cause of liberty (see Alma 48:10).
On the Larry King television broadcast the other night, I was asked what I think of those who, in the name of their religion, carry out such infamous activities. I replied, “Religion offers no shield for wickedness, for evil, for those kinds of things. The God in whom I believe does not foster this kind of action. He is a God of mercy. He is a God of love. He is a God of peace and reassurance, and I look to Him in times such as this as a comfort and a source of strength.”
Members of the Church in this and other nations are now involved with many others in a great international undertaking. On television we see those of the military leaving their loved ones, knowing not whether they will return. It is affecting the homes of our people. Unitedly, as a Church, we must get on our knees and invoke the powers of the Almighty in behalf of those who will carry the burdens of this campaign.
No one knows how long it will last. No one knows precisely where it will be fought. No one knows what it may entail before it is over. We have launched an undertaking the size and nature of which we cannot see at this time.
Occasions of this kind pull us up sharply to a realization that life is fragile, peace is fragile, civilization itself is fragile. The economy is particularly vulnerable. We have been counseled again and again concerning self-reliance, concerning debt, concerning thrift. So many of our people are heavily in debt for things that are not entirely necessary. When I was a young man, my father counseled me to build a modest home, sufficient for the needs of my family, and make it beautiful and attractive and pleasant and secure. He counseled me to pay off the mortgage as quickly as I could so that, come what may, there would be a roof over the heads of my wife and children. I was reared on that kind of doctrine. I urge you as members of this Church to get free of debt where possible and to have a little laid aside against a rainy day.
We cannot provide against every contingency. But we can provide against many contingencies. Let the present situation remind us that this we should do.
As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and His Beloved Son.
Great are the promises concerning this land of America. We are told unequivocally that it “is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12). This is the crux of the entire matter—obedience to the commandments of God.
The Constitution under which we live, and which has not only blessed us but has become a model for other constitutions, is our God-inspired national safeguard ensuring freedom and liberty, justice and equality before the law.
I do not know what the future holds. I do not wish to sound negative, but I wish to remind you of the warnings of scripture and the teachings of the prophets which we have had constantly before us.
I cannot forget the great lesson of Pharaoh’s dream of the fat and lean kine and of the full and withered stalks of corn.
I cannot dismiss from my mind the grim warnings of the Lord as set forth in the 24th chapter of Matthew.
I am familiar, as are you, with the declarations of modern revelation that the time will come when the earth will be cleansed and there will be indescribable distress, with weeping and mourning and lamentation (see D&C 112:24).
Now, I do not wish to be an alarmist. I do not wish to be a prophet of doom. I am optimistic. I do not believe the time is here when an all-consuming calamity will overtake us. I earnestly pray that it may not. There is so much of the Lord’s work yet to be done. We, and our children after us, must do it.
How grateful I am for the law of tithing. It is the Lord’s law of finance. It is set forth in a few words in the 119th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. It comes of His wisdom. To every man and woman, to every boy and girl, to every child in this Church who pays an honest tithing, be it large or small, I express gratitude for the faith that is in your hearts. I remind you, and those who do not pay tithing but who should, that the Lord has promised marvelous blessings (see Mal. 3:10–12). He has also promised that “he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming” (D&C 64:23).
From the day of Cain to the present, the adversary has been the great mastermind of the terrible conflicts that have brought so much suffering.
Treachery and terrorism began with him. And they will continue until the Son of God returns to rule and reign with peace and righteousness among the sons and daughters of God.
Through centuries of time, men and women, so very, very many, have lived and died. Some may die in the conflict that lies ahead. To us, and we bear solemn testimony of this, death will not be the end. There is life beyond this as surely as there is life here. Through the great plan which became the very essence of the War in Heaven, men shall go on living.
Job asked, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). He replied: “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
“Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another” (Job 19:25–27).
Now, brothers and sisters, we must do our duty, whatever that duty might be. Peace may be denied for a season. Some of our liberties may be curtailed. We may be inconvenienced. We may even be called on to suffer in one way or another. But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to Him. He has declared, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God.
Let us be prayerful. Let us pray for righteousness. Let us pray for the forces of good. Let us reach out to help men and women of goodwill, whatever their religious persuasion and wherever they live. Let us stand firm against evil, both at home and abroad. Let us live worthy of the blessings of heaven, reforming our lives where necessary and looking to Him, the Father of us all. He has said, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10).
Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us.
May the God of heaven, the Almighty, bless us, help us, as we walk our various ways in the uncertain days that lie ahead. May we look to Him with unfailing faith. May we worthily place our reliance on His Beloved Son who is our great Redeemer, whether it be in life or in death, is my prayer in His holy name, even the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Is socialism really what we want?

You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the uneven division of blessings, while the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal division of misery.

Quotes by Sir Winston Churchill

We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty many mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor.

That some should be rich, shows that other may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.

Quotes by Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The President Elect and I agree on 1 thing...

I think this is it...
Pull your pants up guys... Nobody wants to see your undies.
(taken from an interview with MTV)

But while he does not favor legal prohibitions on low-riders, he said "brothers should pull up their pants."

"Having said that," he added, "brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What's wrong with that? Come on. There are some issues that we face, that you don't have to pass a law, but that doesn't mean folks can't have some sense and some respect for other people and, you know, some people might not want to see your underwear -- I'm one of them."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Connecticut Court Allows Gay Marriage...

See Reuters article HERE.

The Most Vital Issues On Election Day 2008

Fetus at 20 Weeks...

This is part of an e-mail that my dad sent out to our family this morning. I hope he won't mind if I share it:

"No matter how many billions of dollars are pledged to revitalize financial institutions, and no matter how many human and financial resources are allocated to prosecute the war on terror, we cannot expect the Heavens to bless and protect a nation that prostitutes the sacred institution of marriage and that tolerates many hundreds of thousands of abortions each year. Recently, the Catholic Church released the following video on this issue. I hope that each of you, and that every voter in the United States, will take the opportunity to see this brief video presentation, and to give careful, thoughtful notice to some of the supporting articles . . ."

Please take the time to view this beautiful video put together by our Catholic friends.

You can also visit HERE

and HERE

We have an aging court. The next president may choose 2 or possibly 3 of the next Supreme Court Justices. Those justices will define marriage and when life begins for this nation. There are no two more important issues on the national stage than these two. Make your vote count!

"I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side." ~Abraham Lincoln

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wall Street is Main Street Folksies...

It has been maddening to watch and listen to the media coverage of the Wall Street Bail Out/ Rescue or whatever you want to call it. Liquidity is something that our economy must have. In other words, banks must have monies to loan to folkies or the whole operation shuts down my friends. Apparently 95 percent of Americans don't get this.

While I agree with President Bush that Wall Street got drunk, the American public also has a lot to answer for. Americans have been asleep as legislators from almost every state have abused earmarks that have been tied to every piece of legislation passed including and even especially the monies that fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The public has looked the other way as their representatives have over-spent. It's a general problem. There are lots of us who buy much more house than we can pay for and more car and carry credit card debt we can't afford... all of which has contributed to this mess.

So, one way or the other WE as the general public have to bite the bullet and take the consequences. My strong preference is that we urge our legislators to get some kind of rescue package passed and fast. My congressman, Rob Bishop, voted against the bail out bill.. he will be hearing from us tonight and possibly in November.

How does it affect "Main Street" if we don't... (I swear I'm going to gag if I hear one m0re time about Wall Street and Main Street). If banks don't have money, then neither do you. If you want to get a car loan, a home loan, a home improvement loan, a small business loan, if your small or large businesses requires a line of credit to make payroll ... if congress doesn't do something fast.. we can forget about all of that. Think of how just the things I've mentioned can shut the economy down tight.

You may be thinking that YOU are one of those responsible people. You have protested in writing every time your representatives have over-spent. You have used credit responsibly and carry no debt. But, if you work for the car dealership, the real estate brokers, or the furniture retailer down the street and you would still like a pay check this weekend... I'd get my congressman to grow some chest hair and vote for some kind of rescue package. Is that "main street" enough people?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Military Leadership...

Posted 7/1/2008 1:07 PM CDT on
"As an officer serving in America’s uniformed services, I maintain a strict personal code of nonpartisan politics. Of course I have my opinions about politics and favorite local, state and national candidates, but only my immediate family knows my thoughts and opinions on politics. I do not openly or publically endorse nor campaign for any particular politician or political party, nor will I ever do so for as long as I wear the uniform. I firmly believe officers serving the nation must remain apolitical in all that we say, write and do. But I feel compelled to share with you gentle readers the simultaneous reaction of hundreds of military personnel yesterday when retired General Wes Clark—Senator Barak Obama’s military advisor—publically questioned Senator John McCain’s ability to make decisions and serve as Commander-in-Chief.
First, I will be upfront and candidly inform you I am equally indifferent toward the two candidates. This post isn't to compare or contrast either in a more or less favorable light; but I absolutely detest retired General Wes Clark. I have loathed him (as I suspect do most of his former subordinates) since I had the unfortunate experience of serving under his command in the Balkans in the 1990s. That being frankly disclosed, allow me to paint a picture for you. Imagine several hundred hungry men and women representing all the armed services, from new privates to crusty old Colonels, sitting in a dining facility about the size of a school gymnasium in hot, dusty Afghanistan. The big screen televisions in the corners are all tuned to CNN and retired General Wesley Clark appears on the screen.The text underneath read in bold red letters “Clark questions McCain’s ability to lead the military” The gist of Clark’s interview was that McCain is a war hero, but "hasn't held executive responsibility, and has no experience making tough military decisions". Surely retired General Clark can’t really expect the American people to buy the load of manure he’s shoveling, but he’s well-known throughout the military as one extremely accomplished and gifted manure-shoveling S.O.B. The only other time I’ve heard a military dining facility suddenly become so eerily quiet was at Camp Comanche, Bosnia on September 11, 2001 when we all watched the live CNN feed of the second airliner crashing into the WTC.
Within seconds the “He really didn’t just say what we all heard him just say, did he?” chuckles of disbelief became a roar of laughter. Even die hard Obama fans in the room were shaking their heads in disbelief someone would be foolish enough to compare John McCain’s military abilities or experience on any level with the first term Senator from Illinois.
McCain and Obama—the first name belongs to a decorated combat veteran with Silver Stars, Distinguished Fl ying Crosses, Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars…a War College graduate with a masters Degree in National Security Strategy…the guy who served 22 years in the military and declined promotion to Rear Admiral to retire as a disabled Navy Captain (Colonel), and who has since served over a quarter century in the U.S. Congress and Senate—including 21 years as a member on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The second name is a man with a sound education, an accomplished lawyer, a community leader and state legislator, and someone who has never served a single day in the U.S. military, and who has absolutely no working concept about how the military or national strategic policy works, and hasn’t even finished his first term as a U.S. Senator. I’m not saying either candidate is “better” than the other based just on those facts. I am merely pointing out that retired General Clark obviously thinks we Americans are either too stupid, or too lazy to bother thinking for ourselves. His vanity and pom posity remains just the same as a civilian as when he wore a uniform.
For retired General Clark to compare these two men using the words “military”, “leadership” and “experience” indicates one of two things: he’s suffering from a traumatic brain embolism and should seek immediate emergency attention by skilled doctors; or he feels toward the American people the same condescension and narcissistic intellectual superiority he did toward his subordinates and peers while he served on active duty. He sure looks healthy—it must be the latter."

Al Gore... Green off the cliff...

Lovely isn't it? Big too! I personally just love Al Gore's house. It's in perfect taste... well except for the miles high lies, hypocrisy and manure that his lovely lifestyle is built upon. Now, before you go judging him as harshly as I do... remember that his spokesperson said that you can't judge a man by his power bill alone.. even if it is an Inconvenient Truth.

"... think tank report cited figures from the Nashville Electric Service that showed Gore burned through 22,619 kilowatt-hours of electricity at his house last August, a rate that is twice the level used by an average U.S. household in an entire year."

Of course Al hates the bad publicity, but he's not going to be moving into a modest "Green" home. He's going to try and make this monster "Green". And, he's buying thousands of dollars worth of carbon offsets, which in my opinion is stupid in many ways. 1. Al expects you to drive an economy car that gets good mileage while he flies around in private jets and is transported via Escalade. If he uses a lot of power, it's OK because he's paying for it twice! 2. Al expects you to live in a small HoVEL with solar panels for the roof and wind mill to the side while he lives in this place paying in one month for power what what most American households paid in an entire year. This is just the sort of thing that starts the kind of class warfare we don't need in this country. The attitude that says, "I make the rules... and you have to live by them.. Oh, but I don't because I'm super rich."

Do you think that any of our nations liberal celebrities are going to move out of their giant homes because they BELIEVE in saving the planet? I know of only one that has... and I wish I could remember his name, because he is a crazy nut, but atleast his life has integrity to it. (He has a cool picket fence made out of recycled milk cartons.)

Don't get me wrong. I hate super consumption (I loathe Walmart) and waste and I do drive an economy car (36 MPG Freeway.. if there isn't gridlock). However, sneaking weasels of questionable parentage (SWQP's) like Al bother me most of all. He gets rich on the gullibility of the public, by taking advantage of fear tactics while no one holds him accountable. %40 of the "science" in his film has been called into serious question, but he's signed up so many Americans on his band wagon that the stories setting things straight (like: polar bears aren't really drowning because of ice melt you know).. get buried on that last page.

And, this "green" craze is really expensive. It's the reason you are paying $4.15 at the pump right now. Did you know that? Green liberals won't allow us to explore and drill and process oil on our own turf... and so we pay the Saudi royal family, the Iranians, and people like the lovely Hugo Chavez billions to turn around and hate us with. Last I heard we are almost %80 dependant on foreign oil. And we are sure dependent on the wrong foreigners if you ask me. Energy should be the biggest issue of this election, but isn't because even many conservatives don't have the courage to fight the green wave. But, ENERGY is the biggest issue to our economy and our national security.

It's the perfect time for the Iranians to pick a fight. They could send us into skyrocketing inflation and a serious depression. And, it will be our own fault for being so stupid. We need to get a clue. Stop the ethanol fiasco, which is costing us two gallons to make one and drill for OIL people. Drill offshore, drill in Alaska and do it fast. If congress would lift it's ban on off-shore drilling, it would lower the price of oil per barrel atleast $20 dollars, mark my words. If we did some actual drilling... you'd see real relief at the pump!

And, by the way, carbon offsets are pretty much considered crap even by the greenest of the green.. the kemits you might say "...More broadly, the proliferation of suspect RECs and offsets may persuade consumers and businesses that preventing climate change comes cheap, says Anja S. Kollmuss, outreach coordinator of the Tufts Climate Initiative, an advocacy group affiliated with Tufts University. "We cannot solve the climate crisis by buying offsets and claiming to be climate-neutral," she adds. "Nature does not fall for accounting schemes." (See the full Business Week article here.)

It would be fun to live like Al, but when we are picking leaders here. Let's not be lemmings and pick the biggest hypocrite in America to lead us off a cliff.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tony Snow...

Tony Snow was my favorite news commentator when I used to have cable and used to be addicted to Fox News (I cured my addiction by no longer having cable otherwise I'd still be glued). He died Saturday after a long struggle with colon cancer. He was a great man; good and kind and wise. He will be sorely missed. He is not replaceable. I wanted to post a piece of his best writing. I had this piece saved in a scrapbook since 9/11. His words here are words of wisdom, hope and comfort. These are the words I will remember him by. Goodbye to a great American.
Good and evil almost never express themselves as harshly and clearly as they did Tuesday morning. People we don't know slaughtered people we do, and they did it with contemptuous glee.
Yet, even as clouds of dust and smoke rose from the from the rubble, even as family members tortured by hope and doubt took to the streets with pictures and pleas; even as mobs celebrated in Gaza, Cairo and Bagdad something shook itself to life.
That something was a sense of ourselves. Kindness flourished amid the flames. A couple carried a disabled man down 68 flights of stairs. A priest crouched to give last rites as a mighty tower collapsed and the hand of God closed about him. A man and woman, their hope gone, held each other and leaped. A solitary candle, a flag, a tear. These are the tokens of our renewal.
The United States had a spirit even before it had a name-- one of faith and freedom; of ambition tempered by public piety. We once were a nation of neighbors and friends. We are again today. We were once a nation of hardship-tested dreamers. We are again today. We once were a nation under God. We are again today. Our enemies attacked one nation,. They will encounter another for they underestimated us.
Today, in our grief and rage; our determination and hope, we have summoned what is best and noblest in us; The kinship that awes our enemies and friends alike. We are again -- Americans.
Sunday, September 16, 2001 Tony Snow

Saturday, June 21, 2008

For Love or Country: The Auturo Sandoval Story

This is a political blog and not a blog about films. However, you should see this one if you haven't. I watched it again recently and there is such an interesting line in it where Arturo Sandoval makes the comment that Castro came to power by promising the people the things they were most desperate for.. something like that.
The recent political climate worries me. It seems that the man leading the pack right now is the person who will promise that the government will give the most to the people. I am not comparing Obama to Castro, (much) .. but I am comparing the attitudes of the people of the United States to the people of Cuba.
The government is not a self-filling magical cornucopia of goodness. It can only give to one what it takes from another. The sense of entitlement that we see in the people worries me. The news coverage of Katrina especially bothered me.. So many people waiting for something to be done for them rather than doing for themselves.
I believe in this country, but I am concerned that we are slowing giving away our liberties. As we allow government intervention to encroach more and more, we are risking our independence. It is so difficult already for a start-up business to make it. Less than half do. With more taxes and government regulation, with more people demanding less of themselves and more of the government, where are we going?
In Cuba, the people wanted Nationalized Health Care.. They got it! Now their best Doctors drive cabs in order to make a living wage.. along with their physicists and engineers.
We need to demand of ourselves, not of our government. What should people be demanding of themselves? Remember John F. Kennedy.. (a liberal) who said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." What happened to that attitude? What does our country need from us, an education, for one thing. There is no reason whatsoever that a person should not get a decent education in this country. It doesn't have to mean college. There are all kinds of great jobs that can be had with other types of training. We have Pell Grants and student loans and free public libraries. Nothing else is needed other than the will to do it. Instead, we entertain ourselves to death and expect to drive the cars and have the lifestyle of our favorite celebrities appearing in In Style Magazine on the basis of earning a GED.
Then, it is pathetic to me as well how many people go to the trouble of getting a college education and then figure they've learned it. Lifelong learning not only helps people to understand better what is happening in the public forum, but it makes you a more interesting person. Read... or be a bore.
People don't learn to manage their money. They don't get the concept of you must either make more or spend less.
I am also so tired of hearing about how hard it is to live on the minimum wage. I've made minimun wage... I know! But, no one is meant to spend their life working for minimum wage. You are meant to get through school earning minimum wage.. just to get started, but eventually you should be getting more training and education and be able to get a better job. We can't demand that small business pay benefits and high salaries for jobs that take little or no skill. We as a nation cannot afford the inflation. When you raise the minimum wage, you simply raise the cost of everything for everyone, including those who make minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage is an issue that Democrats love to get elected on, but in actuality it helps not a single soul and hurts many.
Everything should be done to get out of the way of business and help it prosper. This is how the individual succeeds. When more jobs, better jobs are created.. people have the opportunities they need to advance out of the menial and into a better life... and they do it in a way that doesn't teach their families to live on the dole for generations, they do it with pride and independence.
I've been interested to read recently a fascinating book about Paul Revere, which I will review in a few days on my other blog. From this book, I learned that Paul Revere charged his elderly mother rent to live in his home. Not that he was a jerk of a son or anything like that, the practice was very common. He charged his mother rent more out of respect for her, knowing that she had saved and prepared for her old age and was able to care for herself.. an independent woman. That independence, that financial liberty was so prized and respected people spent blood, sweat and tears to get it. We think a dollar is hard to come by these days. Revere would never have disrepected his mother by assuming that she could not care for herself.
We don't know what it is to save like that and I am concerned. Social Security (who wants to live on that measly amount anyway) is not going to be there for my generation. If it is, it will be because the government will have passed the bill a long to our children.
I hope that when this next election comes up.. the electorate will be smarter. Don't fall for the easy line. Don't fall for a Robin Hood. We are the government, when the government takes, we all give something up and in this election year, it could be a devastating amount.

Friday, June 13, 2008

FDR... A Declaration of War...

It's important to remember some bits of our history every occasionally..
FDR 1941

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.

The Court Disturbs a Hornet's Nest...

The issue of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has bothered me. I don't want people held there indefinitely. However, our nation, is in a real war. During every other conflict our nation has been involved in, we have held prisoners until the conclusion, until they could be safely dealt with. The prisoners are the enemy. I have never understood the criticism of President Bush on this issue. As Justice Scalia explains so well here, the President didn't make this stuff up.. he followed over two hundred years of legal precedent.

Dissent by Justice Scalia here:
Excerpts (again citations omitted) from Justice Scalia’s dissent (joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Thomas and Alito):

“Today, for the first time in our Nation’s history, the Court confers a constitutional right to habeas corpus on alien enemies detained abroad by our military forces in the course of an ongoing war . . . The writ of habeas corpus does not, and never has, run in favor of aliens abroad; the Suspension Clause thus has no application, and the Court’s intervention in this military matter is entirely ultra vires.

The game of bait-and-switch that today’s opinion plays upon the Nation’s Commander in Chief will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.

That consequence would be tolerable if necessary to preserve a time-honored legal principle vital to our constitutional Republic. But it is this Court’s blatant abandonment of such a principle that produces the decision today.

The President relied on our settled precedent in Johnson v. Eisentrager (1950), when he established the prison at Guantanamo Bay for enemy aliens.“[I]n response [to the Court’s 2006 ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld], Congress, at the President’s request, quickly enacted the Military Commissions Act, emphatically reasserting that it did not want these prisoners filing habeas petitions.

It is therefore clear that Congress and the Executive—both political branches—have determined that limiting the role of civilian courts in adjudicating whether prisoners captured abroad are properly detained is important to success in the war that some 190,000 of our men and women are now fighting . . . What competence does the Court have to second-guess the judgment of Congress and the President on such a point? None whatever. But the Court blunders in nonetheless. Henceforth, as today’s opinion makes unnervingly clear, how to handle enemy prisoners in this war will ultimately lie with the branch that knows least about the national security concerns that the subject entails.

“What drives today’s decision is neither the meaning of the Suspension Clause, nor the principles of our precedents, but rather an inflated notion of judicial supremacy. The Court says that if the extraterritorial applicability of the Suspension Clause turned on formal notions of sovereignty, ‘it would be possible for the political branches to govern without legal constraint’ in areas beyond the sovereign territory of the United States. That cannot be, the Court says, because it is the duty of this Court to say what the law is. It would be difficult to imagine a more question-begging analysis . . . Our power ‘to say what the law is’ is circumscribed by the limits of our statutorily and constitutionally conferred jurisdiction. And that is precisely the question in these cases: whether the Constitution confers habeas jurisdiction on federal courts to decide petitioners’ claims. It is both irrational and arrogant to say that the answer must be yes, because otherwise we would not be supreme.

“Putting aside the conclusive precedent of Eisentrager, it is clear that the original understanding of the Suspension Clause was that habeas corpus was not available to aliens abroad, as Judge Randolph’s thorough opinion for the court below detailed . . . It is entirely clear that, at English common law, the writ of habeas corpus did not extend beyond the sovereign territory of the Crown.

“Today the Court warps our Constitution in a way that goes beyond the narrow issue of the reach of the Suspension Clause, invoking judicially brain stormed separation-of-powers principles to establish a manipulable ‘functional’ test for the extraterritorial reach of habeas corpus (and, no doubt, for the extraterritorial reach of other constitutional protections as well). It blatantly misdescribes important precedents, most conspicuously Justice Jackson’s opinion for the Court in Johnson v. Eisentrager. It breaks a chain of precedent as old as the common law that prohibits judicial inquiry into detentions of aliens abroad absent statutory authorization. And, most tragically, it sets our military commanders the impossible task of proving to a civilian court, under whatever standards this Court devises in the future, that evidence supports the confinement of each and every enemy prisoner. The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today.”

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hugo Chavez..

Mr. Chavez, the Hitler of Venezuela, recently put forward a kind of inform on your neighbors type of policy.. which he says that he is now repealing. The man is a lying snake.
I feel so sorry for the people of Venezuela.. those who want to build something in this nation will not be able to under this dictator.. and the poor and un-educated will follow the path that so many do when ruled by those who slowly but surely take away their liberties. Wake up Venezuela and smell the coffee! Check out a book on the occupation of Hungary, the reign of Hitler, the presidency of Joseph Stalin... Wake up! Demand your liberties back!! It's almost.. if not.. too late..

What will the U.S. do when he invades Columbia? The Colombians are just getting on their feet.. what will they do?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Envrionment...

Shall we bankrupt our nation based on popular science?
This... is pretty close to my view on Environmental issues..

Sunday, June 1, 2008


In addition to Walter Mondale, there are many Americans who don't see the benefit to funding NASA. Like, Mondale many see the millions that go to scientific research in the area of defense of which space is an arm and see waste. Mondale, a Robin Hood character who ran a presidential campaign based on a promise to raise taxes, was just the sort of take from the rich and give to the poor type that drives me crazy. We have seen this sort of short sited politician before and we are seeing him again.

Let me just list a few ways that NASA spending has affected the global community...

Image processing used in CAT Scanners and MRI technology in hospitals worldwide came from technology developed to computer-enhanced pictures of the Moon for the Apollo programs.
Kidney dialysis machines were developed as a result of a NASA-developed chemical process, and insulin pumps were based on technology used on the Mars Viking spacecraft.
Programmable Heart Pacemakers were first developed in the 1970s using NASA satellite electrical systems.
Fetal heart monitors were developed from technology originally used to measure airflow over aircraft wings.
Surgical probes used to treat brain tumors in children resulted from special lighting technology developed for plant growth experiments on Space Shuttle missions.
Infrared hand-held cameras used to observe blazing plumes from the Shuttle have helped firefighters point out hot spots in brush fires.
Satellite communications allow news organizations to provide live, on-the-spot broadcasting from anywhere in the world; families and businesses to stay in touch using cellphone networks; and the simple pleasures of satellite TV and radio, and the convenience of ATMs across the country and around the world.

In my own home I sleep foam topper that saves my back and was initially developed for use in the space shuttle.

And what Mr. Mondale about feeding children... ALL of these technologies have turned into industries that supply good jobs and feed families with children across the entire globe and not only that, they keep us healthier and safer. Money spent on defense including space is the ONLY money the goverment spends that shows a real return in the economy. There are some government entitlement programs that are absolutely necessary in civilized society, but they should always be a hand up... and a subject for another day.

Obama proposes to cut NASA funding.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mr. Lincoln...

Last summer, I read the book Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I think that it will remain a favorite book for the rest of my life. There was a majesty to this man who rose from very modest beginnings to lead a nation at a crossroads that made all the difference. Recently a friend returned from a trip where she visited some of the sites of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.. She brought me a little book of Lincoln's words..

"I intend no modification of my often expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free."

"The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just."

"In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free-- honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last, best hope of earth."

It is my belief that freedom everywhere is the best protection against oppression anywhere. I have been thinking this past week of the soldiers who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wish them well. I wish for peace and I wish them a quick and safe return. I pray for all of these things.. But, I also wish them success.

We recently lost a soldier with ties to our home state. Lt. Jeffrey A. Ammon was a very smart and talented man who loved the people of Afghanistan and was achieving success. He organized drives to get school supplies to children. He fasted during Ramadan with the local people. He could have come home, but he extended his tour because he loved what he was doing and he knew he was making a difference. I believe that he, like so many others, is a hero who gave his life in an effort to secure liberty for others. May God bless his family with peace and comfort and may all of us remember the cost of liberty, the last, best hope of earth.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Coal Mining...

In August of 2007 Utah suffered a terrible disaster, the collapse of the Crandall Canyon Mine in Emery County. Six miners were trapped inside the mine. There was a search that went on for over a month to recover the miners. Attempting to rescue those six, three rescuers were killed, a tragedy for the families of the miners and rescue workers, for the employees of Crandall Canyon Mine, for the close knit community around the mine and for the whole state. It was and is a terrible thing. Mining is a dangerous job.

However, the reaction of many in the community and the state bothers me a lot. The reaction is something like, "Coal mining is too dangerous. These mine owners are horrible jerks who exploit their workers. Mining is not an industry that we should have in this country."

The United States is a country rich in coal. It should be considered a blessing. It should be a resource we use to make us less dependent on foreign energy. Miners should be thought of like other public servants. The work they do is heroic and it keeps this country moving. Miners contribute to the wealth and richness that all of us enjoy. And, if environmentalists and government would scooch out of the way a bit, just a bit.. miners could contribute a lot more.

We have too great a habit in this country of tying our own hands. Yes. Make it as safe as possible. Yes. Make clean coal burning a must. Yes. Make mine owners put the land back the way they found it as much as possible... but don't take one of our greatest resources as a nation off the table as an option.. There are people who think that our coal resources could make us energy independent from the Middle East.

And since a lot of the oil money in the Middle East.. which could educate whole nations and provide hope, health and happiness for millions is instead funding terrorism, upholding selfish monarchies, and oppressing millions ... maybe we should stop paying those people so they can turn around and hate us with it.

And, as far as safety goes. I think there are miners in this country who may wonder rightly how safe my job is.. sitting on my behind all day or of many other Americans whose jobs keep them tied to a desk and a computer screen.. whose only exercise is to get up for a candy bar from the vending machine and whose behinds spread across the chair and then cascade over the sides after a while. Statistically, that kind of job is highly dangerous. And then, there are those Americans who commute in cars on the freeways. Many of those Americans die everyday, their professions un-protested. I used to have a job where I spent a lot of time in a kitchen with raw meat, wet floors, sharp knives.. you get the idea.

Mining is important. It is heroic. I've made a little bit of fun here, but the truth is that the greatness of our nation is built on the backs of all of the everyday people who have the courage to get out of bed everyday and make a contribution through their labor. Miners in this country provide a great service to our country and all our lives. If we would get our government out of their way just a little, there is no telling what they could accomplish for the greater good of this nation, this economy and even possibly the peace of the planet... no kidding at all.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Remember Parker Jensen...

Do you all remember the story of Parker Jensen.. the kid that supposedly had an aggressive form of Ewings Sarcoma (he was supposed to be dead in 6 months) and was to be taken away from his parents because of medical neglect to undergo chemo.. His parents said they were not convinced he had this cancer and would not consent.. and ended up having to take their boy on the lam. This bugged me and I think it's interesting to know that 5 years later Parker is healthy. His parents have gone through hell and are now suing. I hope they win.
Read the full story here...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Global Warming.. I mean Climate Change...

Have you noticed that the term Global Warming is out the window these days and Climate Change is in. That's because the climate changed. It was a freezing cold winter this year.. very freezing cold. Climate Change is the new hip way of saying that we should spend a bazillion dollars to do what?? Build obscenely large homes and drive huge SUVs and then buy carbon offsets so that our carbon footprints can be decreased. Al is fooling many of the folks most of the time, but he is not fooling me.

In Utah, we have a problem. We all live in this small little area along the Wasatch Mountain range. And, we all want to drive our cars up and down this corridor, which causes air pollution. We need to not do that so much. I hope that our community will really use the trains when they are made available. We need to live in moderate homes that we can pay for and demand that our vehicles be made more fuel efficient. We need to recycle and not to create so much waste and we need to be careful with water.

I believe in doing all those things, but I don't believe in Climate Change.. I just don't. I believe that we need to be careful with air quality because we pollute the air we are also trying to breath. My neighbor reminded me Sunday of something.. although he was making a completely different point. Take an ride in an airplane at night and fly across this great land of ours. When you look down, the largest of our cities become the tiniest points of light.. our tallest skyscrapers are dwarfed by mountains. You can fly for quite a while at 500 miles per hour and see almost nothing out there. It makes you feel small.

So Al.. my guess is those glaciers you've been so sad about.. have been freezing up quite nicely this past winter. Don't worry Al.. it will be OK.

John Coleman, founder of The Weather Channel, wants to sue Al Gore for fraud, "As you look at the atmosphere over the last 25 years, there's been perhaps a degree of warming, perhaps... probably a whole lot less than that, and the last year has been so cold that that's been erased," he said.

"I think if we continue the cooling trend a couple of more years, the general public will at last begin to realize that they've been scammed on this global-warming thing."
Climate change Mr. Coleman.. we're calling it Climate change now. It was too dang cold to call it global warming anymore.

See the rest of the article here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oil.. Supply and Demand..

The other day I was listening to some anti-war protesters on public radio, "No War for OIL!" they were chanting. I always wonder if those protesters really understand what they are saying and I just want to talk about the oil issue for one minute.

If we pull out of Iraq prematurely and leave it to... come what may... that oil will be prayed upon by several other groups. Some want to destroy that resource and have tried by various means. I think there is legitimate concern that Iran will/is trying to take and control that resource. Just imagine billions of dollars worth of oil in the wrong hands providing funding for mischief.

The U.S. doesn't currently get much of its oil from Iraq.. we get it from other places, less and less from Venezuela. Oil has recently reached $100 a barrel on the open market with the potential of rising much higher. With emerging economies in both India and China requiring and willing to pay for oil, we have an increasing demand with an increasingly tight supply.

We have made some mistakes in the United States. We have moved from shipping goods by rail to shipping by truck. We have imposed "the death tax" until just recently which has all but made the family farm extinct and we have changed our good orchards and farm land into malls, condos and movieplexes. Finally, we have allowed the environmental lobbies to stop our nation from producing it's own energy.

I think if we don't make some changes, we are going to have a situation where the cost of energy and subsequently the cost of food will be beyond the means of many Americans.

I like to have a banana for breakfast in the morning. My Chiquita banana came all the way from Guatemala. My grapes, if I have those, come from Chile. The butter on my toast came from Wisconsin. Those things didn't just hop over here. They came using fuel.

I sometimes wonder when protesters chant, "NO War for OIL!" if they understand that oil really is: driving SUVs, larger homes, a less expensive food supply, a larger middle class, vacations using air travel . It's all those things and more. But, if someone recognizes that and they still don't want to fight over oil, their protest has integrity and they should continue.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why some politicians feel that generosity must be legislated...

"In 2002, the year before Obama launched his campaign for U.S. Senate, the Obamas reported income of $259,394, ranking them in the top 2 percent of U.S. households, according to Census Bureau statistics. That year the Obamas claimed $1,050 in deductions for gifts to charity, or 0.4 percent of their income. The average U.S. household totaled $1,872 in gifts to charity in 2002, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.The national average for charitable giving has long hovered at 2.2 percent of household income, according to the Glenview-based Giving USA Foundation, which tracks trends in philanthropy. Obama tax returns dating to 1997 show he fell well below that benchmark until 2005, the year he arrived in Washington."

See the full article in the Chicago Tribune..

Friday, February 15, 2008

Building the #@*! Fence...

Building the border fence has become a problem. Like many industries, the fence building industry has faced a labor shortage. The irony here is pretty thick..
See this NPR article here.

Now I'm just asking.. if the Mexican guys who are working on the fence, just stay on their side of the line... would that be ok??? No, I think it would still be breaking all kinds of laws that need serious reform. Again, can we say Guest Worker Program?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

In which case... change might suck..

My mom does not like me to use that bad word. And, since I heard my daughter use it once.. I have mostly repented... But, this here is a quote.. see.

“Change is good unless of course it fails to have the desired impact or screws up programs or policies that were okay to begin with… in which case change might suck.”

That was one of my favorite quotes from this funny article, which you should read because no matter who you like or don't like.. you'll think it's fun! And, a little fun after such a seriously serious Super Day!... is a good thing. Read it all.. you won't be sorry when you've had a good laugh at the end.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I voted..

I enjoy voting. I'm happy that I get to have a say in things. It makes me feel so grateful. Have a great Primary Election day. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More time on my soap box..

We do need to remember that we are dealing with actual people. Many of whom have very difficult circumstances that they are dealing with. A little Christian goodwill here and there would be nice.

Deseret Morning News Jan. 19, 2008
Read the full article here..
LDS Church officials "used the word 'call,' they made a call for humanity in immigration" debates and legislation, Litvack said. "We should not demonize" illegal immigrants. "In some cases, the debate has become so ugly, I heard, so hateful and dehumanizing. Let's bring back the element of humanity."
The worldwide church has many Hispanic and Latino members, and the church's missionaries in Latin America are some of the most successful in getting new converts to the church.
Across America, but especially in the West, the tone of immigration debates has, at times, turned harshfully critical of immigrants and of the politicians arguing for what they term reasonable immigration laws.
Especially in the Republican presidential contest, immigration hard-liners have been pushing for tough new laws and policies.
While LDS Church leaders did not support or oppose any specific piece of legislation that may come up in the 2008 Legislature, which convenes Monday for its 45-day general session, Litvack said they did say: "Take a step back, remember that human beings are involved here. As faith leaders in our community they have a concern for all human beings.
LDS Church officials "used the word 'call,' they made a call for humanity in immigration" debates and legislation, Litvack said. "We should not demonize" illegal immigrants. "In some cases, the debate has become so ugly, I heard, so hateful and dehumanizing. Let's bring back the element of humanity."
The worldwide church has many Hispanic and Latino members, and the church's missionaries in Latin America are some of the most successful in getting new converts to the church.
Across America, but especially in the West, the tone of immigration debates has, at times, turned harshfully critical of immigrants and of the politicians arguing for what they term reasonable immigration laws.
Especially in the Republican presidential contest, immigration hard-liners have been pushing for tough new laws and policies.
While LDS Church leaders did not support or oppose any specific piece of legislation that may come up in the 2008 Legislature, which convenes Monday for its 45-day general session, Litvack said they did say: "Take a step back, remember that human beings are involved here. As faith leaders in our community they have a concern for all human beings.LDS Church officials "used the word 'call,' they made a call for humanity in immigration" debates and legislation, Litvack said. "We should not demonize" illegal immigrants. "In some cases, the debate has become so ugly, I heard, so hateful and dehumanizing. Let's bring back the element of humanity."
The worldwide church has many Hispanic and Latino members, and the church's missionaries in Latin America are some of the most successful in getting new converts to the church.
Across America, but especially in the West, the tone of immigration debates has, at times, turned harshfully critical of immigrants and of the politicians arguing for what they term reasonable immigration laws.
Especially in the Republican presidential contest, immigration hard-liners have been pushing for tough new laws and policies.
While LDS Church leaders did not support or oppose any specific piece of legislation that may come up in the 2008 Legislature, which convenes Monday for its 45-day general session, Litvack said they did say: "Take a step back, remember that human beings are involved here. As faith leaders in our community they have a concern for all human beings.LDS Church officials "used the word 'call,' they made a call for humanity in immigration" debates and legislation, Litvack said. "We should not demonize" illegal immigrants. "In some cases, the debate has become so ugly, I heard, so hateful and dehumanizing. Let's bring back the element of humanity."
The worldwide church has many Hispanic and Latino members, and the church's missionaries in Latin America are some of the most successful in getting new converts to the church.
Across America, but especially in the West, the tone of immigration debates has, at times, turned harshfully critical of immigrants and of the politicians arguing for what they term reasonable immigration laws.
Especially in the Republican presidential contest, immigration hard-liners have been pushing for tough new laws and policies.
While LDS Church leaders did not support or oppose any specific piece of legislation that may come up in the 2008 Legislature, which convenes Monday for its 45-day general session, Litvack said they did say: "Take a step back, remember that human beings are involved here. As faith leaders in our community they have a concern for all human beings.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Jewish Americans...

The Jewish Americans is a PBS documentary that chronicles 350 years of Jews in America. It has been fascinating to watch. It is always inspiring to see the great challenges that immigrants must and do overcome in order to make a life in this country. With no more than a dream in their pockets, they can achieve liberty, education and wealth. It is sad however, to see the prejudice, unkindness and suspicion that immigrants many times encounter. Unfortunately, as so often happens when we study history, we find ourselves repeating it.

As a culture we seem to worry about every new and different group of people who try to come and make a home in this country even though each of our ancestors were part of a goup considered different and suspicious at one time. And, even though, the fabric of our nation would be less rich and I believe less strong without every one of these groups.

The people who are attracted to this country, no matter where they originate, often have a thirst for freedom and for opportunity. They must overcome great odds to get here. The first generation most often does not really benefit; the sacrifice is made for their children who do benefit and their grandchildren who benefit greatly.

Two years ago, I read one of the best books I've ever read called Benjamin Franklin An American Life by Walter Isaacson. I wish that I could find the direct quote, but in that book there is a quote by Franklin where he says that America's wealth and greatness does not come from her gold or collective resources, but from her industry. Could anything be more true? Our wealth is truly the collective greatness of our people, of their creativity, and their collective labor. Our wealth is in the minds and hands of our artists and scientists, our laborers and farmers. In my neighborhood, I know the people in each home and can be amazed when I begin to think of what each person contributes to make our society, our neighborhood and our nation so much greater.

When we as a nation, and our politicians especially, finally understand that our wealth is in our people, our people of every variety, then we will finally and truly be, "One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty & Justice for All."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Something you should know about illegal immigration...

This Story was originally broadcast by Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes Dec. 11, 2005

My note: We must create a way for Mexican Nationals and others to work in our country in a legal capacity. Is is imperative for humanitarian and economic reasons. Green cards and other methods are not enough and do not serve the numbers of people that we need to have here. Please write your representatives supporting a Guest Worker Program.

Excerpt from 60 Minutes:
"The University of California’s Wayne Cornelius, a national authority on immigration, predicted ten years ago that no matter what the government does to fortify the border, Mexican workers will still keep coming as long as there are jobs here for them. "They can earn more in an hour of work in the United States than they could in an entire day in Mexico – if they had a job," says Cornelius. The government says crossing the border through the desert is breaking the law, but Cornelius says the U.S. is sending a very mixed message. "The message that we’re sending them is if you can get past the obstacle course at the border, you’re essentially home free. You have pretty much unrestricted access to our labor market and there are employers out there eager for your labor," he says.

About six million illegal migrants are now working in the U.S. The meatpacking industry is one of the many that rely on illegal immigrant labor. Seven years ago, the Immigration Service cracked down on illegal migrants in plants in Nebraska and Iowa. Mark Reed was in charge of the operation. "What we did is we pulled together the meatpacking industry in the states of Nebraska and Iowa and brought them into Washington and told them that we were not going to allow them to hire any more unauthorized workers. Within 30 days over 3,500 people fled the meatpacking industry in Nebraska," says Reed. "We proved that the government without doubt had the capacity to deny employment to unauthorized workers," says Reed. What happened next? "We were invited to leave Nebraska by the same delegation that invited us in. The bottom line issue was, please leave our state before you ruin our economy," says Reed. "The reason is that by putting that factory out of business, not only do we put the unauthorized workers out of business, but we’ve put United States citizens out of business and we destroy, we have the potential to destroy, an entire community," says Reed. Reed says that this illegal work force is "essential" to our economy. So what are taxpayers getting for the billions of dollars spent on border security? "Getting a good story," says Reed. But not a secure border. "

Please read the full story here..

Monday, January 7, 2008

The New Hamshire Debates Part 3...

I learned a new word from Gov. Bill Richardson.. I also thought his solution for Pakistan was very polite.

Technocracy ("techno" from the Greek tekhne for skill, "cracy" from the Greek kratos for "power") is a governmental or organizational system where decision makers are selected based upon how highly skilled and qualified they are, rather than how much political capital they hold.
Technocrats are individuals with technical training and occupations who perceive many important societal problems as being solvable, often while proposing technology-focused solutions.

MR. GIBSON: Well, you led me right up to the point of what you'd do if the Islamic radicals actually took control of the Pakistani government and therefore were in control of nuclear weapons, and then you went away from there. But I'll come back to that in a moment.
Governor Richardson.

Me: Really, diplomacy first. Islamic radicals take control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and we are going to use diplomacy first. That doesn't sound right to me.

GOV. RICHARDSON: In any foreign policy decision, I would use diplomacy first, in response to your question. And that basically means that the last thing we need in the Muslim world is another action like Iraq which is going to enflame the Muslim world in a horrendous way.
Now, here's what I would do. First, with Pakistan, here's an example of a country, a potentially failed nation-state with nuclear weapons. What a president must do is have a foreign policy of principles and realism. And the Bush foreign policy, with Musharraf, we get the worst of all worlds. We have a situation where he has not gone after al Qaeda in his own country, despite the fact that we've given him $11 billion. And he's also severely damaged the constitution. He's basically said that he is the supreme dictator. So we have the worst of all worlds.
What I would specifically do as president is I would ask Musharraf to step aside. There is a provision in the Pakistani constitution --

Me: While you are asking supreme dictators to step aside. Would you please ask Hugo Chavez to step aside as well and Kim Jong-il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? That would be lovely!

MR. GIBSON: Ask him to step aside?

GOV. RICHARDSON: Yes, for a caretaker --

MR. GIBSON: And what -- (inaudible)?

GOV. RICHARDSON: Because we have the leverage to do that.

MR. GIBSON: Hasn't worked so far.

GOV. RICHARDSON: We have the leverage to do that, and I -- I would send a high-level envoy to ask him to step aside. There's a provision in the Pakistani constitution for a caretaker government of technocrats. This happened when a previous prime minister died. And I would make it unmistakably clear that he had to have elections.
Now, elections are scheduled tentatively for February. A broadly based government, it's what's best for the United States.

Me: I didn't know that dictators with nuclear weapons would just "step aside" if you ask nicely. Please.

MR. GIBSON: I understand your point about diplomacy. But Senator Obama's postulate was, we have actionable intelligence, the Musharraf government won't move; do we, should we, go in to western Pakistan and essentially try to take him out?

GOV. RICHARDSON: If we have actionable intelligence that is real, and if Musharraf is incapable -- which he is, because here's a man who has not stood up for his democracy, he is virtually in a situation where he's losing control -- then you do take that action. However, Charlie, first you use diplomacy. And diplomacy is to try to get what is best for the United States. And that is, a democratic Pakistan with free and fair elections and a concerted effort on the part of Musharraf or whoever is in the leadership in Pakistan to go after terrorists in those safe havens, which they have not done.

Me: WHeeeew! And, I thought it was going to be much more difficult than that. I bet President Bush hasn't thought of just asking Mr. Musharraf to "step aside". (this is me being hugely sarcastic)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The New Hampshire Debates Part 2...

These are my impressions in no particular order, so please forgive. Barack Obama, likable.. you just can't deny it. He looks Presidential and wouldn't it be cool to have the first African American in the White House. Yes, but please not Senator Obama. He's confused about a few things and Charlie Gibson did a great job pointing that out plainly so that we all could see.

Mr. Gibson:...Osama bin Laden, as he pointed out, has said it is his duty to try to get nuclear weapons. Al Qaeda has been reconstituted and re-energized in the western part of Pakistan. And so my general question is: How aggressively would you go after al Qaeda leadership there? And let me start with you, Senator Obama, because it was you who said in your foreign policy speech that you would go into western Pakistan if you had actionable intelligence to go after him whether or not the Pakistani government agreed. Do you stand by that?

SEN. OBAMA: I absolutely do stand by it, Charlie. What I said was that we should do everything in our power to push and cooperate with the Pakistani government in taking on al Qaeda, which is now based in northwest Pakistan. And what we know from our National Intelligence Estimates is that al Qaeda is stronger now than at any time since 2001, and so back in August I said we should work with the Pakistani government. First of all, they encourage democracy in Pakistan, so you've got a legitimate government that we're working with, and secondly, that we have to press them to do more to take on al Qaeda in their territory.
What I said was if they could not or would not do so, and we had actionable intelligence, then I would strike. And I should add that Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean, the heads of the 9/11 commission, a few months later wrote an editorial saying the exact same thing. I think it's indisputable that that should be our course.

Let me just add one thing, though, on the broader issue of nuclear proliferation. This is something that I've worked on since I've been in the Senate. I worked with Richard Lugar, then the Republican head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to pass the next stage of what was Nunn-Lugar, so that we would have improved interdiction of potentially nuclear materials. And it is important for us to rebuild a nuclear nonproliferant -- proliferation strategy -- something that this administration, frankly, has ignored, and has made us less safe as a consequence. It would not cost us that much, for example, and it would take about four years for us to lock down the loose nuclear weapons that are still floating out there, and we have not done the job.

Me: Senator Obama if you think that President Bush has not been working hard with the Pakistani Government, you must never watch the news. So tell me please, what specifically you would do that President Bush has not done to "work with the Pakistani government"?

MR. GIBSON: I'm going to go to the others in a moment, but what you just outlined is essentially the Bush doctrine: we can attack if we want to, no matter the sovereignty of the Pakistanis.

Me: Exactly Charlie. What about that Senator?

SEN. OBAMA: No, that -- that is not the same thing because here we have a situation where al Qaeda, a sworn enemy of the United States that killed 3,000 Americans and is currently plotting to do the same, is in the territory of Pakistan. We know that. And you know, this is not speculation. This is not a situation where we anticipate a possible threat in the future. And my job as commander in chief will be to make sure that we strike anybody who would do America harm when we have actionable intelligence to do so.

Me: No um.. that still sounds exactly the same. Since if you recall the government of Iraq claimed to have nuclear weapons at one time, they also claimed to have biological weapons and chemical weapons (and they did have chemical weapons at one time with which Saddam Hussein killed atleast 100,000 of his own people). Then, when U.N. Inspectors tried time and time and time again to get into the country to verify this information, they were blocked. Iraq was given warning after warning which they ignored. And, like Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein made many threatening speeches. Most democrats, even Senator Clinton (this is a very good article on her record) voted to go to war. I guess the difference is possibly how we define "actionable intelligence". You think waiting until a madman has killed 3,000 of our own people is enough intelligence to say that he is probably dangerous, and I think that when a madman has killed 100,000 of his own, he most likely can't be trusted either.

The New Hampshire Debates in several parts... 1

Every so often I hear the "good news" that more and more young people are becoming part of the political process. We hear about "Get Out The Vote" & "Rock the Vote" (please) rock concerts and blah, blah, blah. I'm not convinced. It's great to hear that young people are so interested in the poltical process and are spending their time watching debates and educating themselves about the candidates. Right? NO! No, they are not. Advertisers know their demographic. They do. It's their business to know and they spend millions to do it. What type of advertising was viewed during the New Hampshire Debates? If you were also watching, you know advertisers were pushing sexual performance drugs and adult diapers. That tells me if young people are going out to the polls, they must be going uninformed. This does not excite me. Youth and inexperience + uninformed = Please, do me a favor. Don't vote.