Friday, December 3, 2010

What's so bad about big government???

Great Article...

"“Big” isn’t usually a pejorative. There is nothing wrong with big airplanes, which can carry more people more safely and economically than can small airplanes. There is nothing wrong with a big serve in tennis, although I don’t like to see one coming at me. But there is no “right” size for airplanes or “right” speed for tennis serves, so we have no grounds for calling them “too big.” There is, however, a “right” size for government. The right size relates not to its budget or number of employees, but rather to its functions."

A must read!

What happened to the Thanksgiving Protest that never was??

"The TSA backed down on the day before Thanksgiving by roping off most of the scanners and ceasing the pat-downs in order to thwart the passenger backlog that National Opt-Out Day would have caused. TSA denied it of course, but passengers noticed the scanners were out of commission, and long lines never materialized because passengers had nothing to opt out of."

More here...

Is flying a right?

"Scanner proponents of all persuasions claim that "there is no right to fly" and sniff, "if you don't like it, don't fly." This argument self-collapses. If flying is not a right, then there is no derivative right to security-vetted airline travel. An appeal to principle--the argument that there is an obligation to save every life regardless of practical considerations--puts them on opponents' ground. The principle of individual rights should not be abrogated by any consideration of consequences, and national security does not justify the sexual violation of citizens, even if it were effective.
In order to exercise your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, you must be free to act on your own judgment in accordance with your own values. The right to pursue happiness necessarily includes the right to pursue personal or professional goals. These goals may require you to travel to another location to obtain them. Flying may be your only economically feasible means to do so.
The right to liberty includes your right to physically move about in the world in pursuit of your goals. In order to live, you must work. For many people, work requires travel by means of flying. The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness therefore include the right to be free of interference with flying.
It is not the case that the enhanced measures do interfere with the freedom to fly. Thoughts and values belong to the individual and cannot be imposed or changed by the fiat of society. Forcibly laying a breach between one set of a person's values and another is preventing that person from pursuing his goals, because it is preventing the person from acting on the entirety of his values and judgment. You cannot reach your flight destination if you are sitting in jail or prevented from flying, and being offered an alternative that you cannot accept because it goes against your values is not a "choice," but coercion."

On the first page of this article, the author demostrates the chances of being killed in a terrorist attack in the air... Take your chances of being struck by lightening and divide them in half.

More here...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Climate-Change Group needs REFORM???

Never was a newspaper headline so understated as this one from the WSJ today. Are we English now or something?
Here are some of the main points...

The IPCC also should establish an executive committee that includes people outside the climate-science community, and it should limit the term of its chairman to one term, the report said. The current limit of two six-year terms for the chairman "is too long," the press release about the report said.
Seems sound enough.

The reforms would aid in seeing that "due consideration was given to properly documented alternative views," according to a news release about the report issued Monday morning.
Ha! When Islamic Extremists stop blowing up stuff, when Mormons drink beef and when Jews take to ordering ham sandwiches.. In other words.. that would be renouncing their religion. It's not going to happen.
The earth is a religion to these Environmentalists who want humanity to give up the modern world and live in caves to "save the Earth" from mankind. Then, they will be able to control trillions in funds taxed away by fear mongering.

The 2007 IPCC report called climate change "unequivocal" and "very likely" caused by human activity. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore Jr. for its efforts on promulgating information about climate change.

Not to mention that NASA was getting its climate information from the IPCC. The critical points of Gore's film have been debunked. But, where is the apology? Where is the prize and the prize money? It should have been returned or demanded back. It's too late for the IPCC where I'm concerned. They have lost complete credibility. The IPCC doesn't need reform, it needs to be defunded and those responsible for lying to the public should be tried and prosecuted.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Amazing Grace & The War Against Organized Religion Part 1&2

Have you ever seen the movie Amazing Grace? If you haven’t, you ought. It is part of the life story of an exceptional man, William Wilberforce. For those of you who might not know his story, let me fill you in just a little. Wilberforce was an Englishman. He was a gentleman. He had money and had it maybe a bit too young. He made some of the mistakes a young man with money might make. He neglected his studies and stayed up late with friend playing cards. He was brilliant and talented and made friends easily. He became very close friends with William Pitt, the United Kingdom’s youngest Prime Minister at the age of 24. He was poised to have wealth and power and he was interested in both and in self-promotion. In 1785 (just 9 years after the signing of The Declaration of Independence), Wilberforce had some experiences that changed his life and helped him to dedicate himself to the service of God. He became an Evangelical Christian.

Through his study, he attained greater enlightenment, he came to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He wrote, "This [led] me to prayer and self-abasement – to penitential sorrow– to humble but earnest supplication for the promised aides of the Holy Spirit, for the sake of that Saviour who died upon the Cross to atone for our transgressions, in order to soften, to animate, to warm my dull heart." (Kevin Belmonte, Hero for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce pg. 84).

This led him to overcome his fear of losing social status, power and influence by reclaiming a childhood friendship with John Newton, former slave trader turned preacher and author of the beloved hymn Amazing Grace. John Newton advised and encouraged Wilberforce to remain in Parliament assuring him that he could serve God there.

Wilberforce followed that advice. Over a period of 26 years and at great personal cost, he fought for the abolition of the Slave Trade. He was attacked and mocked. He was belittled and his relationships were strained. His patriotism was questioned. He said, "If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large." In the end without war and further bloodshed, Wilberforce won. Right won. Liberty won. God won. The Slave Trade Act was passed in 1807.

At his death a friend paid tribute to his memory, "he was great among the good and good among the great.... His disinterested, self-denying, laborious [and unceasing] efforts in [the] cause of justice and humanity... will call down the blessing of millions; and ages yet to come will glory in his memory" (Kevin Belmonte, Hero for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce pg. 327).
The story of William Wilberforce as depicted in the film Amazing Grace is almost singular in our time. How rarely we see the good that religion does in civic life portrayed in film. How rarely we see in film, theater or television, the influence of God, of faith, of religion acting in the life of a man or woman to the good of others. And yet, those stories are all around us.

Like William Wilberforce, Mother Theresa changed the world in a big way. But, how many people of faith do you know that quietly change their small part of the world every day? I know a great number of these anonymous servants of God. Many of their lives would make great films and yet when I turn on the television, I don’t see these people or their likeness.

Instead, I see characters like Bart Simpson whose prayer goes like this, "Dear God, we pay for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing." I see women without chastity or modesty, men who behave like boys without character or integrity and who copulate like dogs with anyone that breathes. These are the examples our media puts in front of our children. Do they see a good marriage, a happy family, an honorable father, a sweet and tender mother? Rarely.

In his famous and important speech, Popular Culture and the War Against Standards, given at Hillsdale College in 1991, Michael Medved said, "One of the symptoms of the corruption and collapse of our national culture is the insistence that we examine only the surface of any work of art. The politically correct, properly liberal notion is that we should never dig deeper—to consider whether a given work is true, or good, or spiritually nourishing—or to evaluate its impact on society at large. Contemporary culture is obsessed with superficial skill and slick salesmanship while ignoring the more important issues of soul and substance. This is one of the consequences of the war on standards—a war that is currently being waged on three fronts: the glorification of ugliness, the assault on the family, and the attempt to undermine organized religion."
To undermine organized religion in America is to undermine our collective conscience and our collective soul. It is the duty of organized religion to watch public policy and encourage its followers to take corrective action when public policy is at odds with God’s law. This was the intention of the builders of our nation. John Adams said, "Religion and Virtue are the only Foundations, not only of Republicanism and of all free Government, but of social felicity under all Governments and in all combinations of human Society." (John Adams to Benjamin Rush, August 28, 1811. Old Family Letters, 354.) And yet, the culture war on organized religion has achieved far too much success. That is something we must change.
End Part 1
Amazing Grace and the War Against Religion Part 2
Critics of organized religion are quick to point out instances in history like the Catholic inquisition, the bloody Protestant Reformation, the Salem Witch Trials, The Crusades and the like. The Founding Fathers were also well aware of these periods of great intolerance. However, any student of history knows that much terror and bloodshed has been committed by the intolerant and Godless. Intolerance from any singular vision can be dangerous. In his book, Knowledge & Decisions, author Thomas Sowell explains, "An ideological vision is more than belief in a principle. It is a belief that that principle is crucial or overriding, so that other principles or even empirical facts must give way when in conflict with it. The inquisition had to reject Galileo’s astronomical finding in the interests of a higher vision, as the Nazis had to reject Einstein in spite of any evidence about his theories or his individual abilities." (Thomas Sowell, Knowledge & Decisions pg.353).

Sowell explains how the Jacobins took an ideology and came to rule absolutely, "The brief rule of Jacobin intellectuals was not only despotic and bloody, but totalitarian in its pervasiveness. The very names of months and years were changed to correspond with their ideology, as were the names of streets, people, and even playing cards. Their regulations extended to friendship and marriage: each adult male had to publicly declare who his friends were, and any married couple who did not either have or adopt children within a specified time were to have their marriage dissolved and be separated by the government." (Thomas Sowell Knowledge & Decisions pg 351).

The Jacobins in their ideological tyranny murdered some 17,000 people just about two years after our Founders adopted The Bill of Rights. The First Amendment of the ten protects religion, religious diversity and diversity of ideological thought. It reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There are many that assert that this amendment is a protection for the people from religion. It is not. The founders were brilliant men of diverse religious practice and thought. They knew that religion and religious societies made for a strong nation, but that creating a state church meant factions and war. So, they protected the people not from religion, but gave us freedom OF Religion. They did not "separate church and state," but they protected the religious freedom of all Americans. Congress could not dictate what faith would be practiced by the country. In addition, the state could not dictate how religion would be practiced. The citizens were granted freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of assembly so that they could speak and write and assemble to worship. If they felt these rights were impeded, they were given the right to sue to reclaim those rights. Whatever, rights the First Amendment granted, it granted that Americans could worship after the dictates of their own conscious and not be stifled in their worship or belief by the majority or by some ideological tyranny.

However, in our time, those that would spread ideological tyranny have found a way around The First Amendment. Culture. Through art, literature, television and film, they have created a constant barrage of negativity towards organized religion and people of faith.
In 1992, Elder M. Russell Ballard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints warned, "I believe he [George Washington] would have been troubled to see a time when citizens are forbidden to pray in public meetings; when people claim that "you can’t legislate morality," as if any law ever passed did not have at is heart some notion of right and wrong; when churches are called intruders when they speak out against public policy that is contrary to the laws of God; when many people reject the correcting influence of churches if it infringes on daily living ; when religion is accepted as a social organization but not as an integral part of national culture; when people bristle if churches speak in any forum except from the pulpit.
Indeed, some people now claim that the founding fathers’ worst fear in connection with religion has been realized; that we have in fact, a state-sponsored religion in America today. This new religion, adopted by many, does not have an identifiable name, but it operates just like a church. It exists in the form of doctrines and beliefs, where morality is whatever a person wants it to be, and where freedom is derived from the ideas of man and not from the laws of God. Many people adhere to this concept of morality with religious zeal and fervor, and courts and legislatures tend to support it"
(Elder M. Russell Ballard, Religion in a Free Society address given 5 July 1992).

In the recent battle over Proposition 8 in California, Catholics, Mormons and other people of faith voted together twice in order to protect the traditional definition of marriage. Many, many said that the faithful had no right to speak, that organized religion has no business in the public forum. In fact, in his decision to overturn the vote of the people, Judge Walker said, "Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that... same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples..." If Judge Walker is right, then nothing can be considered immoral, everything must be morally subjective. If everything is morally subjective, how can any law stand at all?

Even if one takes extraordinary measures, it is impossible to fully protect ones family from the destructive filth in the prevailing culture. Our children must go to school, they may go with children whose parents are less careful about what their kids watch and listen to. Children are sure to hear foul language and be subjected to pornographic images and so their education at home must be more influential than their education outside the home. Those who know and love God must stand for morality and character and challenge, kindly, but challenge those who would make organized religion mute and everything morally subjective. As religious people, we need to be more active in our faith and our private charity. William Wilberforce once said, "Can you tell a plain man the road to Heaven? Certainly, turn once at once to the right and go straight forward." America has been heaven on earth, a place where we have had relative peace and great prosperity and greatest of all liberty to pursue our own happiness. Where will be if religion is banned from reminding us of the commandments and our obligations, impelling the citizens toward the greater good in society. Our Founders felt that we would only survive as a nation if we kept God’s laws. If that is so, our liberty is on the line.

Monday, July 5, 2010

To Legalize or Not...

The debate over whether or not to legalize drugs is very personal to me. My husband and I owned a condo in Salt Lake City just north of the L.D.S. Temple there. It had a big balcony and a view of the sunset. In 1995 we paid $72,000 for a fixer upper and put a lot of money and sweat equity into making it very nice inside. It was our first home.
We lived there very peacefully for about 18 months until after one Christmas I noticed that the traffic of Christmas visitors seemed to still be there, the parking lot was always full. This was different. Then, a few weeks later, my husband who was serving as a member of the condo association was called into a meeting where a state official from the Drug Enforcement Agency notified my husband that we had a major drug ring operating in our building.
I was away at a family function that evening and returned to find the building evacuated, two fire engines, and many police cars. There had been a fire, the first of what would be three serious fires. Several people were arrested on possession of drug paraphernalia and some other things. I thought that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t. That night began a battle that over several years was like a part time job that cost rather than paid almost $100,000. Eight years later, we are still paying for it.
How did living in a drug house affect my life? In every way you can imagine. During the worst of it, I didn’t really live there. My husband escorted me out of the building with my new baby in the morning and I returned when he came home. He did the laundry when I couldn’t take it to my mothers to wash there because there was only one way out of the laundry room. Going to the grocery store was frightening, but during the worst of it, when 4 units of the building were being used to cook methamphetamine, the building was full of criminals and prostitutes dangerous and armed. When arrested, the guns they had were not the kind that put a bullet in a person and if they happened to miss or hit you just right you might survive, they were the kinds of guns that would blow away a brick wall. All of the guns they had were stolen property. None of them had a permit to carry.
These people were well aware that we were watching their every move and calling the police and had hired an attorney to remove them from our building and our lives. Some would say that right there was my problem, if I wasn’t trying to put them out of their homes and separate them from their drugs all would have been well.
Not so. How is a legal burnout any better than an illegal burnout? There is no difference. Both are a drain on society. Both pose a danger to their neighbors. My daughter was 6 months old when our battle with Meth began. She was almost 4 when it ended. During the worst year, we slept in our sweats with our sneakers to either side of the bed and our daughter in between so that we could leave quickly when the next fire happened. We inhaled toxic fumes that burned in our throats and our lungs. When Methamphetamine is being cooked, it smells like an old unchanged cat’s litter box. Our building smelled like that for three years. We were never safe from fire or violence, ever.
Why weren’t these criminals simply arrested? Well, we all pay a price for liberty. And, we’ve paid some too. We can’t just say to the police, "Look the place smells like a litter box and we have scary looking people living in these 4 apartments in the building." You must have evidence and lots of it. When we were sure meth was being made, we called the police, when we saw drugs changing hands we called the police, when there were fires, we called the fire department. We organized a neighborhood watch. We hired an attorney. We went to court. Sometimes there would be arrests, but most of the time the system puts drug offenders back on the streets pretty quickly even though police literally risk their lives to make these arrests. (I would love to see a three strikes law.)
We tried to keep the flower beds and lawn nice in order to clean the place up. As soon as I planted the flowers, they would drive their trucks through the flower beds. I was threatened by prostitutes I could barely understand they were so high and so angry. My baby and I were cornered by an angry, poorly fed and wild German Shepherd that belonged to one of them because they had kick in the glass all around our mail room making it accessible to outside. It was terrifying. They broke locks constantly so that doors would remain open and when they couldn’t break the locks, they broke the doors. There was graffiti and other damage sometimes to the tune of a thousand dollars a day. Most of these criminals collected welfare and or unemployment.
They had children with them too. It was heartbreaking. A girl about two with what would have been curly golden locks were matted by cradle cap and filth always dressed in a only a diaper that was never changed. And a boy about 9, already using. I called the state, but was told that the child had to have an actual address for a social worker visit. Not that it was safe for a social worker to visit because it wasn’t. They told me that a cop could give what they called a "wild child" assessment, but the adults and the children were very good at avoiding the police, that was part of the problem.
One of the users came to our door and tried to get my husband to come to his apartment to "talk". We took it as a threat. One neighbor heard two men say outside her door that they were going to cut her body into a thousand pieces and she would be found in a black trash bag. Another single woman received threatening calls.
We became friends with some of the police officers and firefighters. They were good men and we cared about them and we saw them in very dangerous situations. We almost saw a drug dealer/user shot. It was like living in a war zone.
I am well aware than my story is not unique. In fact, it’s pretty tame compared to what people deal with in many neighborhoods, but it was and still is a personal and financial tragedy to my family. We live in a wonderful neighborhood now, in a comfortable home and I am more than grateful that we were able to clean up the building and sell our apartment with our integrity intact. I have great compassion for those who live in the shadow of drug abuse. However, my life would be a little easier if I were $100,000 richer with interest. I will never recover that money or the time stolen from us, or the happiness. We were robbed.
It is easy to say that drugs are a problem confronted by other people, by other races. But in my situation. I did not see one Hispanic and not a single Black. Most of the people we saw were White males. Some I knew to be former members of the L.D.S. Church. In another neighborhood, the racial makeup could be different I know, but I’m just telling you what I saw.
Some want to make drugs legal, claiming the war on drugs is too expensive and ineffective. Maybe there things that will make it more effective. But, I know one thing for certain, when a person uses or makes or distributes drugs, they are doing more than hurting themselves. My husband said the other night, "Peace, prosperity and wealth are just the natural consequences of honesty, integrity and industry." When we do harm to ourselves, we harm our peace our industry and our honesty greatly and we can’t help but harm our neighbors. We need to recognize the damage drugs does to our society, take them seriously and teach our children to "just say NO!"

Monday, May 24, 2010

The New Deal Repeated...

The New Deal Repeated...
My grandfather told me of a time when an agency of the federal government came into his small northern Utah town and slaughtered all the yearlings in order to prop up the price of beef cattle. He said, "some of my friends hadn’t had meat in over a year." The yearlings were not only slaughtered, but they were wasted when people were hungry. The idea that The New Deal was a good deal has gone on too long.
When we are facing trouble, we are afraid and anxious for someone to do something. But that isn’t always the best thing. G.K. Chesterton once wrote, "We are perpetually being told that what is wanted is a strong man who will do things. What is really wanted is a strong man who will undo things; and that will be the real test of strength."
Several scholars in three different articles in the Wall Street Journal school us on the real facts of the New Deal. For starters here is one point, "Roosevelt did famously well by one measure, the political poll. He flunked by two other meters that we today know are critically important: the unemployment rate and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In his first inaugural address, Roosevelt spoke of a primary goal: "to put people to work." Unemployment stood at 20% in 1937, five years into the New Deal. As for the Dow, it did not come back to its 1929 level until the 1950s. International factors and monetary errors cannot entirely account for these abysmal showings." The Great Depression is said to have lasted about 10 years, but the poor affects to the markets did not correct until the 1950's. That is a high price to pay for experimentation.
We are now 2-3 years into a deep recession and repeating bad history. Really, I believe that is the love affair with socialism that almost every generation wants to try like an experimental drug. And yet, like drugs, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
In Roosevelt’s time, people felt that private industry was incapable of getting power to people in out of the way places, and so the government must do it. But, government does not have the ability to add value to the economy. It cannot give anything that it first does not take from the people. And so, nationalizing industry has always been a disaster.
Today there is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP is having a heck of a time stopping the leak since they are required by law to drill so far from shore that the leak, almost a mile under water, is pretty difficult to stop. So, whose fault is it that the spill continues? Banks were required by government to lend to those whose credit was less than stellar. Whose fault is it that the housing market went bust? President Obama and the current congress propose more government involvement and more government solutions. They will, as they did in the 1930's further and deepen the disaster.
We have people in power who reverence The New Deal. And now, as we look at the fixes for this recession that started with President Bush and have been accelerated by President Obama, we can see that history is being repeated. Unemployment has not been reduced at all, but has risen. There are those that say unemployment numbers are much higher than being reported. Unemployment numbers don’t take into account those who have severance, those who have used up unemployment benefits, those who are under employed, or those who have given up looking.
And during this time of hardship, those who reverence The New Deal seek to expand government programs. Health care is a human right. Welfare recipients who already receive land lines via government assistance now are eligible for cell phones in 20 states. If you want to update your car, your furnace, your kitchen appliances, you just apply to a government program and the Government will fix you up.
While these programs have never been so all encompassing, they have always failed and so on a bigger scale, we know they will fail on an unprecedented scale. More importantly, they are morally wrong. " the argument of markets has its own powerful morality. It is immoral to cause unemployment by pretending that a big government policy is morally necessary. When Andrew Mellon and Calvin Coolidge put through their tax cuts in the 1920s, they made the efficiency argument that supply-siders make today: lower rates could yield, they posited, higher revenues. But they also had a moral argument: high taxes were wrong, confiscatory and illiberal, in the classical sense."
What happened after Roosevelt died having literally being elected four terms, "President for life"? "Roosevelt died before the war ended and before he could implement his New Deal revival. His successor, Harry Truman, in a 16,000 word message on Sept. 6, 1945, urged Congress to enact FDR's ideas as the best way to achieve full employment after the war. Congress—both chambers with Democratic majorities—responded by just saying "no." No to the whole New Deal revival: no federal program for health care, no full-employment act, only limited federal housing, and no increase in minimum wage or Social Security benefits. Instead, Congress reduced taxes. Income tax rates were cut across the board."
In addition to all that, a constitutional amendment (the 22nd) was ratified in 1951 that states, "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice..." To me that says that FDR was not so revered by those who knew him best.
"The main lesson we have learned from the New Deal is that wholesale government intervention can -- and does -- deliver the most unintended of consequences. This was true in the 1930s, when artificially high wages and prices kept us depressed for more than a decade, it was true in the 1970s when price controls were used to combat inflation but just produced shortages. It is true today, when poorly designed regulation produced a banking system that took on too much risk."
I hope our countrymen will very soon decide that The New Deal was a bad deal and leave off it’s destructive policies and ideas once and for all.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Private Property Rights...

My Weekly Column for Utah Homemakers for America... Private Property Rights...
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is about more than keeping mum and not being compelled to testify against oneself, it’s also about property rights. It states, "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
In his very interesting paper Property Rights in American history, James W. Ely writes, "...stable property rights are a powerful inducement for the creation of wealth and prosperity, prerequisites for successful self-government. Conversely, as the English politician and author Edmund Burke declared: ‘ A law against property is a law against industry.’" However, the paper makes a compelling argument that property rights have been diminishing since FDR and The New Deal. Why does this matter?
In his book Economic Facts and Fallacies, Thomas Sowell explains that the easiest way to see the importance of property rights is to look at societies where they don’t exist. These are not free people. And, in addition to a lack of freedom, they may really scramble and work very hard, but remain in poverty. Sowell writes, "The Economist magazine has estimated that, in Africa, only about one person in ten works in a legally recognized enterprise or lives in a house that has legally recognized property rights... Such lack of legal recognition is not a mere formality. It is a crippling handicap for those seeking to rise from poverty to prosperity, whether as individuals or as nations." A void in property rights literally means that whatever you are willing and able to obtain through your effort or labor may not actually remain yours. It may be taxed away or simply taken.
Property rights have been facing increasing infringements from many fronts here in the United States. Maybe the most subtle, but the most damaging is the current government bailout mania. The ten thousand little dishonesties from Wall Street to Main Street that have given us a climate where contracts are no longer inviolate, where someone’s word is not their bond and where government/taxpayers are expected to "bail out" Wall Street banks who did not fight legislation making it possible for people to buy homes well beyond their means and the people on Main Street who signed those loans. The bail out mentality sent us over a waterfall of trouble where we now hear radio ads pronouncing that we should look to the government to help us out of credit card debt. In order for The Fifth Amendment to remain a protection to the people, they must be honest and watchful.
Watchful because property rights have many challengers. Environmental law has become an encroachment on property rights. The Central Valley of California, a 400 mile long fertile garden, produces almost one quarter of America’s food supply, but there is a little minnow called the Delta Smelt on the endangered species list and that minnow gets stuck in irrigation pipes so the farmer’s water has been shut down. Beautiful almond groves that take years and years to nurture have dried up, died and been bulldozed. Millions in jobs and profits have been wiped out along with private property and the rights of owners.
In a landmark case, Kelo v. City of New London, The Supreme Court ruled that through eminent domain law, property can be taken and sold to the highest bidder. In his article, "Don’t Liberate me," Thomas Sowell wrote, "Through legislation and judicial rulings, property rights have been eroded with rent control laws, expansive concepts of eminent domain, and all sorts of environmental restrictions. Some of the biggest losers have been people of very modest incomes and some of the biggest winners have been fat cats who are able to use political muscle and activist judges to violate other people’s property rights. Politicians in cities around the country violate property rights regularly by seizing homes in working-class neighborhoods and demolishing whole sectors of the city, in order to turn the land over to people who will build shopping malls, gambling casinos, and other things that will pay more taxes than the homeowners are paying. That’s why property rights were put in the Constitution in the first place, to keep politicians from doing things like that."
If all that weren’t assault enough, property taxes have made it almost impossible to own or buy property in many states. In Rhode Island and many eastern states, property taxes are more than a thousand dollars per month on a modest family home making the dream of home ownership impossible for most. Here in Davis County, Utah, my property taxes have nearly tripled in seven years. I wonder if our county government is anxious to catch up with those eastern states. I also wonder how home ownership/property rights are really possible when those taxes are equal to rising lease payments to the government. Do you really own property that you must pay so much to the government to keep? In the United States, a little elderly widow on a fixed income ought not be put out of a home she purchased because of property tax.. and yet that can happen.
The answer is for our nation to be more honest and more responsible, know and understand The Constitution and work toward more limited government.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tax Impact...

For many Utahns, "Tax Freedom Day" arrives on April 11th. Whew! We are almost there! This, according to The Tax Foundation is, "the day is the day when Americans finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year. In 2010, Utah taxpayers work until April 11 to pay their total tax bill." However, the Tax Foundation’s figures are just including state, federal and local tax figures, those are just the obvious taxes. There are many more hidden taxes. In addition, this year we now have the national healthcare reform bill and the Bush tax cuts expiring, who knows where we will be.
I would like to know what my total tax bill actually is, but it’s difficult thing to figure out because they get you coming and going. In Utah we pay a five percent flat tax on all personal income and if it ended there, we would be doing great, but it doesn’t.
For example, in Utah we pay 24.5 cents per gallon of fuel we purchase, but then there is an added federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon making it 42.9 cents per gallon. My husband and I both drive cars that are very fuel efficient getting around 36 miles to the gallon. I fill up my tank, buying about 12 gallons each time, about twice per month. So for both cars, we spend at least $247.10 per year in just gas tax. Now if you drive an SUV or a Van, you can blow that figure to bits. There are also state tax and licensing fees. It was impossible to figure out what that number might be from the DMV web site. If you purchase a new car, the taxes can be thousands, but we don’t notice because those taxes are built into the car loan.
Utahns pay 3% tax on food. How much is that per year for your family? We pay 6.6 percent sales tax for items other than food. So if for example if you spent another $500 per month on other items like paper towels and clothes for your kids or new tires, you would pay another $400 to the state per year.
We are not even half done and we are getting into some real money here. There are taxes on all the utilities we use. If you live in Salt Lake County, you will find a $2.56 cent franchise fee tax on your Comcast cable bill. You pay a tax on you cell phone bill every month.
There are taxes we don’t even really see. There are payroll taxes that employers pay to employ us. Our doctors, hospitals and dentists pay taxes and those taxes are passed on to us, but I couldn’t find a bill when the taxes were itemized so I have no idea how much tax I’m paying there.
Even those Americans (about 50 percent of us) who don’t pay state and federal tax and also qualify for "earned income credit" (a government effort at wealth redistribution) pay most of these hidden taxes.
One great concern we have is that our property taxes have almost tripled since we moved to Davis County eight years ago. Tripled. What is government doing? My brother lives in Rhode Island and he makes a good living, but cannot afford a modest family home because the taxes are over $1,000 per month. And, in Rhode Island, the roads are horrible and the schools leave much to be desired.
The way tax monies are handled is a national disaster ripe for fraud and waste. Monies are taxed away from the states in federal tax and filtered through bureaucracy after bureaucracy until the value of the monies initially taxed away has greatly diminished. Government does not and can not add any value to the dollar.
In Davis County Utah, we recently had a stark example of this when $4.3 million federal tax dollars were embezzled away from the school district. Read here...
If you happen to own a business, you can spend more time dealing with taxes than working to earn money. It is no wonder that more than half of new businesses fail in the first year. Truly the power to tax is the power to destroy.
I often wonder if instead of hiding these taxes in all the little purchases we make, what would happen if we had to write out a tax check every month to the government for the entire amount for the month? Would we be warming the tar and shaking the feathers out of our pillows and sharpening the pitchforks to march on Washington? Benjamin Franklin wrote, "It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part." We are far beyond that tenth.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

NASA Admits Climate Data Flawed...

Read here...

NASA was able to put a man on the moon, but the space agency can't tell you what the temperature was when it did. By its own admission, NASA's temperature records are in even worse shape than the besmirched Climate-gate data.
E-mail messages obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that NASA concluded that its own climate findings were inferior to those maintained by both the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) -- the scandalized source of the leaked Climate-gate e-mails -- and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center.
The e-mails from 2007 reveal that when a USA Today reporter asked if NASA's data "was more accurate" than other climate-change data sets, NASA's Dr. Reto A. Ruedy replied with an unequivocal no. He said "the National Climatic Data Center's procedure of only using the best stations is more accurate," admitting that some of his own procedures led to less accurate readings.
"My recommendation to you is to continue using NCDC's data for the U.S. means and [East Anglia] data for the global means," Ruedy told the reporter.
"NASA's temperature data is worse than the Climate-gate temperature data. According to NASA," wrote Christopher Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who uncovered the e-mails. Horner is skeptical of NCDC's data as well, stating plainly: "Three out of the four temperature data sets stink."
related links
Global warming critics call this a crucial blow to advocates' arguments that minor flaws in the "Climate-gate" data are unimportant, since all the major data sets arrive at the same conclusion -- that the Earth is getting warmer. But there's a good reason for that, the skeptics say: They all use the same data.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bennett's Voting Record...

*Links to Articles and Information about Senator Bennett:* "Bend it Like Bennett" - a short video exposing the money trails between Senator Bennett and the "Big Money" special interest groups who keep funding his perpetual re-election campaigns.:*
Ten Reasons to be Concerned about Senator Bennett's Voting Record:
1. Hailed as a “key Republican negotiator,” Senator Bob Bennett supported and voted for the massive $700 billion Wall Street bailout. (Roll Call Vote #213, 10/01/08)
2. “Few politicians have more ties to Freddie and Fannie than Utah Senator Bob Bennett, who topped all Republicans in campaign contributions from the mortgage duo since 1989.” (Salt Lake Tribune, 09/12/08)
3. Senator Bob Bennett sponsored and supported the so-called “Healthy Americans Act,” a trillion-dollar government takeover of healthcare that rivals ObamaCare for being a massive big government proposal. It would increase job-killing taxes, impose an individual mandate, increase health care costs, and would give Washington the authority to regulate every health care plan in the country.
4. Senator Bob Bennett broke his term limits pledge when he ran for re-election in 2004. Bennett has now been in the Senate for 18 years. (Deseret News, 10/07/98)
5. Bennett voted against an amendment that recommended eliminating free parking privileges at Washington airports for members of Congress. (Roll Call Vote #94, 04/20/94)
6. Bennett voted against an amendment that would defund the “Bridge to Nowhere” pork project. Over the course of his career, he has supported countless earmarks like $200,000 for a museum in Omaha, Nebraska, and $3.7 million for the AFL-CIO. He also voted against a one-year earmark moratorium. (Roll Call Vote #262, 10/20/05; #215, 07/06/09; #385, 10/23/07; #75, 03/13/08)
7. “Utah Republican Sen. Bob Bennett said he erred in voting three times in the 1990s for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, and today the public need not be overly concerned with the $7 trillion federal deficit.” (Salt Lake Tribune, 02/20/04)
8. Bennett voted against an amendment that recommended that the Senate had a “moral obligation” to offset the cost of new government programs and authorizations, in order to reduce deficit spending and the national debt. (Roll Call Vote #140, 04/24/07)
9. Senator Bob Bennett was named “Porker of the Month” in February, 2002, by the anti-earmark group Citizens Against Government Waste (
10. Senator Bob Bennett voted against an amendment that would prohibit Social Security surplus funds from being spent on other government programs. (Roll Call Vote #65, 03/13/08)*

Other Key Points of Senator Bennett's Voting Record:
Voted to approve Cass Sunstein to the Regulation Commission (You can read more about Cass Sunstein here: ).o H.R. 1105
– Fairness Doctrine - Voted to allow funding to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine (This required radio and television broadcasters to air opposing viewpoints on controversial issues. The rule encouraged broadcasters to minimize controversial programming so as to avoid providing free air time for opposing viewpoints.)o H.R. 2997 \
– Voted for Agriculture Appropriations (Federal food subsidies are not within the proper role of government.)...o H.R. 5140
– Economic Stimulus (Voted for rebate checks that basically "created money out of thin air")o H.R. 3221
– Mortgage Relief –Voted for the bail out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (It is not within the proper role of government to be an insurer and wealth redistributor.)o H.R. 5501 – Voted for the Global HIV/AIDS Program. (Private charities, not tax dollars, should be used to provide foreign aid.)o H.R. 1424
– Voted for the Bailout Bill (This bill greatly increased the national debt and forced taxpayers to pay the price for the failures of private financial institutions.)o S.1927
– Voted for foreign-aid contributions – (Private charities, not tax dollars, should be used to provide foreign aid.)o House Joint Resolution 43
– Voted for a Debt Limit Increase (Raising the public debt limit by $850 billion facilitates continued, gross fiscal irresponsibility.)o H.R. 3043
– Voted for Labor-HHS Education Appropriations (Social-welfare programs and education are not part of the proper role of the Federal government.)o H.R. 2205
– Voted for Amtrak Reauthorization (Subsidizing a railroad)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Homemakers Newsletter 2.16.2010


Spot on opinion.. WSJ

Spot ON opinion in the WSJ

"Democrats have responded by blaming "obstructionist" Republicans, who lack the votes to block anything by themselves; or a failure to communicate the right message, though President Obama is a master communicator; or even Madison's framework of checks and balances, though this system has worked better than all others for some 225 years. "

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More Climategate...

Holly on the Hill

On the heels of the recent damaging emails about falsified climate data, we have another study that shows that NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) started taking climate measuring stations off-line in areas that showed cooler temperatures.

See the rest of the story on the link above.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Utah Homemakers for America... 1.25.2010

Utah Homemakers for America Weekly Newsletter Jan 25th 2008...

This Week in Politics by Tiffany Hess
The Law of Unintended Consequences
Something I wish our representatives would consider more often is the law of unintended consequences. When our Founding Fathers wrote our Constitution, they limited government to keep us free and to keep government out of our way. Our government was meant to do some very simple things. In his First Inaugural Address in 1801, Thomas Jefferson said, "A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement."
The Constitution does not mention anything about the social welfare programs that cost not just in tax dollars, but in real liberty. There is no mention of health care, D.A.R.E., or providing for the poor, not that the Founders didn't believe in social welfare, they just didn't believe in Federal or even State level social programs, but felt that those things were best handled by private citizens at the local level.
Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. ... Six days shalt thou labor, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them." (On the Price of Corn, and Management of the Poor, London Chronicle, November 29, 1766)
The social programs of today have enslaved the poor by providing them just enough to keep them chained to poverty and claimed so
many that the heavy chains of the poor are dragging down the middle classes as well.
Liberals are long criticized for their social spending, but conservatives have spent a fair bit as well. One way they spend is by involving government where government does not belong. An example is the newly established health care program in Massachusetts. In a re-cent Wall Street Journal Editorial (RomneyCare Revisited: What Massachusetts voters knew about health reform., the journal reports that, "In 2006, then GOP Governor Mitt Romney brought about a universal insurance plan that bears an uncanny resemblance to ObamaCare—and a meticulous new study confirms that the result has been high costs in return for minimal benefits..." and that, "...although Mr. Romney promised that his plan would lower costs, the liberal Commonwealth Fund reports that Massachusetts insurance costs have climbed anywhere from 21% to 46% faster than the U.S. average since 2005. Employer-sponsored premiums are now the highest in the nation." The costs are crippling.
Our Founders wrestled with the same problems. In a Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote, "We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring our-selves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers...
And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression."
No matter the good that government may intend to do, the voters must not allow government to "assist" in selling cars or homes, to regulate the use of energy in a private residences, to break contracts, to determine pay. The government does this badly and in a costly fashion further enslaving the tax payer. Legislators need to consider not just the ideal outcome of a piece of legislation, they must square it with The Constitution, then they must not just look at the good, but what is the worst consequence of a pro-posed law. Can it further burden the tax payer, can it further deteriorate personal freedom?

Founder’s Corner: Benjamin Franklin
" .. as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly in-creasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever... ~Benjamin Franklin before the Constitutional Convention, (June 2, 1787)

Monday, January 25, 2010


"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." ~Jefferson

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Utah Homemaker's For America... Madame Defarge...

Madame Defarge is Knitting Again..
Do you remember Madame Defarge, one of Dickens’ most frightening villains? She was a tricoteuse, one of the old women who would sit around the guillotine knitting during the reign of terror. Her knitting was not a pair of Christmas socks for a nephew, but instead a denunciation that meant death for the accused. There was no court, no judge, no trial, no jury. The denounced were condemned by their accusers and by a desperate and blood thirsty public.
In our day amazing judgments have been made in the court of public opinion using more emotional than rational and logical thought. Both political parties have been guilty of feeding the frenzy.
Many of us depend everyday on prescription drugs. ("The vast majority of drug development takes place within the private sector and not, as some claim, in government-funded laboratories..." Yet, as much good as they do for many people, the entire pharmaceutical industry has been denounced and become a target of crippling regulation.
The oil industry makes so many things possible in our society. It warms our homes, provides us with transportation, brings our food, clothing and medicines to us and yet oil companies have been denounced and drilling stopped or not allowed in many places.
The coal industry brings us the electricity to light, cool and heat our homes and cook our food, but coal has been denounced. "So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that green house gas that's being emitted." (Barack Obama January 17, 2008 San Francisco Chronicle)
Small business has been denounced for its lack of ability to pay health coverage for employees.
Big banks are being denounced. "President Barack Obama told banks Thursday they should pay a new tax to recoup the cost of bailing out foundering firms at the height of the financial crisis. "We want our money back," he said. And, those banks "... would have to pay up even though many did not accept any taxpayer assistance and most that did have repaid the infusions."
Of course there is dishonesty, corruption and deceit in every industry, but we have laws and we have courts to punish those whose actions are illegal. I believe it is wrong, harmful and un-American to denounce and condemn an entire industry with out court, judge, trial or jury.
Now in Utah, ethics reform is being considered, Utah Ethics Commission Initiative,
where a 3 member panel (a lifetime appointment) would be able to anonymously point a finger of denouncement at any elected representative.
Who is going to run for public office under this kind of pressure? The proposal is not going through normal legislative processes, but rather through ballot initiative. It will get on the ballot because someone will be at the local mall and they will ask if you are interested in ethics reform in government. Rather than read the twenty one pages of legalese, many will just sign the petition to get this on the ballot and many will vote for it with out ever reading it simply because our public servants have been denounced.
This is mob rule, this is ignorant and blood thirsty. This is not republican government. Before we denounce our entire economy and our republic into the dark ages, we need to send the ideologies of Madame Defarge to the guillotine.