How to become a Texas candidate, and how to make it grassroots freindly.

I set out on a journey this last week to learn more about what it takes to become a Candidate in a Texas election, and to hopefully provide myself with an opportunity to make a political statement.  What I learned further confirmed my opinion of the problems with our political system.  I've assisted with election campaigns before, but this is the first time I've looked into getting myself listed on a ballot.
Running for office today is no small feat.  It requires a great deal of resources to get people to even recognize you're name, and timing is also very important.  Money is also, unfortunately, a big factor these days, to a point were it's cost prohibitive for the average person who's already busy trying to make ends meet. For a very good and detailed description of what you might want to do if you are serious about running for office, you can check out the Texas Democratic Party's Candidate Resources web-page.
As for my experience, It started with contacting the Collin County Republican Party's Executive Director about what is needed to file to become a candidate.  I was told that all I would need was a drivers license so that the application could be notarized, so I spent my lunch break to go over to the CCGOP office to get an application.  What I learned was that I was in the wrong place for the position I was interested in, and also needed to pay an application fee.  Depending on the office it could be as much as $5,000, and since I wanted to run for an office that crossed county lines, I had to go the the capital city and apply at the Parties State Headquarters.  I was looking at running for a position as a U.S. Representative, but going to Austin, a 4 hour drive, to spend a little more then $3,000, around a months take home pay for the average person, just to get put on the Republican parties primary election ticket, just wasn't going to be practical for me.
For a serious person, this is just the beginning, as they will have to campaign to get other party members to back them in the primary elections on March 2nd.  If elected, they then have even more paperwork and campaigning to get done before the final elections in November.
After all this I though, maybe it would be cheaper to run as a Democrat, but after doing a little research on their web-page, they have the same filing fees; most likely mandated by law.  Even if I applied for a more local position, with a less expensive filing fee, many of these positions require too much time to allow continuing to work a regular full time job, and pay too little for the average person, without alternative means of income, from being able to afford to take the time off work to serve in such a position.  This means the majority of people in state offices in Texas are either in non-traditional jobs, are business owners that can afford to be away from the business, or are independently wealthy; none of whom are what I would consider to be average and thus likely do not understand how various laws might affect the average person.
Certainly it's important to make sure someone is serious about running for office before applying, and we don't want candidates running that are just in it for the money, but if we truly want a political environment were the government is of and by the people, we cannot make it so cost and time prohibitive for average people to get involved.  In other words, if the Tea Party's and Goooh truly want to make a difference, they will need to find ways to provide the needed funding to an average person, who understands what the average person goes threw day by day to make ends meet.  They are also quickly running out of time to get a candidate they can support into the Texas elections if they want to maximize the chances of having their candidate win.
Of course there are other options, such as getting ballot access threw petitioning, or getting involved in an "alternative" or "third" party that already has ballot access (currently in Texas that limits you to the Libertarian Party).  The Libertarian Party do have some officials serving in government, but they are still not likely to win.  Other parties have no ballot access in Texas and must rely on petitions.  The reality of this is that with today's mentality towards their parties, and deep party loyalties, it is unlikely to get elected without convincing the majority of voters that you are not only the better candidate, but that you also have a good chance at winning.  This requires a great deal of hard work and money, regardless of what party you represent.
So what's the solution? Personally I think we need real campaign finance reform, not more McCain-Feingold type reforms that only makes it more difficult for the average person, while favoring the incumbents who know how to play the game; I suggest baring anyone from contributing to a campaign for someone who does not represent them.  We need better representation, so that it's easier for the people to personally know the people that represent them; originally the U.S. Constitution suggested one representative per 30,000 people (Artical I, Section II), but unfortunately today it's around 20 times more then that making it impossible to have personal relationships between representatives and any decent portion of those being represented.  If it was lessened to even half as many people per representative, it would require less money and resources to get those being representative to know the candidates.
Doubling the size of congress many seem unmanageable to some, but with today's technologies, we could use any number of mass collaboration tools, along with secured internet connectivity to allow our representatives to remain living within their respective districts, so that lobbyists and special interest groups would have less access and influence on them to affect their decision making, then would those local to them, who could go visit them on their lunch breaks.

LDS Chruch Presidency gives Christmas Message

The 2009 Christmas Message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, was presented on Sunday to millions around the glob.

President Thomas S. Monson reminisced about Christmases past and urged those in attendance to remember the spirit of the season saying, "Finding the real joy of the season comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done or in the purchasing of obligatory gifts,” said President Monson. “Real joy comes as we show the love and compassion inspired by the Savior of the world, who said, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.’"

2010 Election dates released for Texas

December 3 : First day to apply for a place on the ballot.
January 4 : Last day to apply for a place on the ballot.
February 1 : Last day to register to vote in the March Primary.
February 16 : First day of early voting.
February 26 : Last day of early voting.
March 2 : Primary election day.
The full calendar is here : http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/2010dates.shtml
Keep in mind that it is common for the primary elections to be the true deciding factor. Highly Republican areas will vote for the republican candidate, and the same holds true for Democrats. If you are in one of these areas, then the primaries are usually when the real debates are had and candidates decided. Get involved early, or what you will be lift with in November, may leave you disappointed with your options.
If you know of an incumbent who richly deserves a solid challenger in the primary, but doesn't have a good one, you now have ONE MONTH to find a challenger and get that challenger on the ballot. If you are interested in running yourself, but you don't know the rules, you can find a list of qualifications and eligibility requirements at this link:
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/qualifications.shtml

Recent reactions to new scandal around Climate Change.

Recently e-mails were leaked from British climate science center, the climate unit at the University of East Anglia.

The University said it would investigate whether some of the data used to show global warming and climate change may have been manipulated. Reportedly certain bits of data have been left out or "modified".  Director Phil Jones has stepped down, pending the result of the investigation.
The head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Jane Lubchenco, said the e-mails don't address data from her agency or the U.S. space agency NASA, which both keep independent climate records that show dramatic global warming.
Yet this scandal has certainly given climate change skeptics some new firepower to discredit the whole idea of climate change being caused by man, but instead being a part of natural weather cycles.
While this certainly brings up big concerns about how affective things like Cap and Trade will truly be, skeptics of climate change certainly can't expect this scandal to be enough to discredit all global warming advocates.  I do believe this warrants a closer look into if this phenomenon is truly man made, or if it is simply one more great mystery of the planet that we have yet to fully understand; especially when the same scientists who will claim it's man made will also acknowledge that the earth was covered in ice and snow 10,000 years ago.  If that is true, then certainly global warming has been going on far longer then man has been industrialized.  Leaving one to wonder about the true agenda of climate change advocates.
Perhapse all the global "climage change" advocates would like to go back 100 years to a time when the skys were blakened by wood burning stoves, polutants from industrial plants filled the water ways, and London was coverd in coal ash all winter long.

The Clean Slate Amendment

Pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution, stating:

". . . on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments . . . by Conventions in three fourths thereof . . . of Ratification may be proposed . . . and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

I call upon the Legislative bodies of the many States to demand a constitutional convention for the sole purpose of nullifying the following constitutional Amendments:

AMENDMENT XVII which states:
"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislatures. When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the Legislature of any State may empower the Executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the Legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution."
AMENDMENT XXII SECTION 1. which states:
"No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term."
And replace them with the following:
  • Allow the members the Senate to be appointed by their respective State Legislatures, or elected at large by the citizens of the respective state, as to be determined threw passage of law by the respective state legislators.
  • Disallowing the funds from any state, or citizen of one state, or entity of any state from funding or interfering with an election of any other state. Also preventing any Party, Faction, or Organization of any kind from one state from effecting the elections of another state threw funding, advertising, campaigning, or any other means to help insure those elected are elected solely by the efforts and funding of those they represent. It will be left up to the individual States to determine if such actions are also needed within their respective districts.
  • Increasing the number of Representatives in the House of Representatives for the United States congress to at least double it's current number, of not more, so that the people they represent will have increased access to and familiarity with their representatives.
  • Allow members of a Start Party to also be members of an unassociated National Party of their choosing without recourse or disadvantage.
Also, due to these constitutional changes, we must assume any and all laws passed in the last hundred years have not been done under a Congress with appropriate authority to represent the people of the United States that the Constitution clearly states are the true stewards of the government. Thus any Federal laws in affect or passed by congress, including bureaucratically created regulations and executive orders, before the passage of this amendment must be nullified four years following the ratification of this amendment, as would be demanded within the amendment (however, the enforcement of said laws shall not be affected for crimes committed while they were in affect). Also, said amendment must require that any new laws passed from that point forward must follow these guidelines:
  • Each Bill must reference the specific clause(s) of the United States Constitution that grants the power of the Federal government to enact it into law.
  • Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety before a quorum in both the House and Senate.
  • Every member of the House and Senate who votes in the affirmative for any bill will committed perjury if he or she has not attentively either personally read, or heard read, the complete bill to be voted on.
  • Every bill to be voted on must be published for public display at least 7 days before a vote, and Congress must give public notice of the date when a vote will be held on that bill. Exceptions must approved by both the Senate and House by a three fourths vote, and only in cases deemed a matter of national security.
  • No Bill or Joint Resolution shall embrace more than one subject at a time, and that shall be clearly and descriptively expressed in the Title.
  • A Bill amending or revising a statute shall identify the statute to be amended by its Title or Number of Public Law, or Chapter or Section of the United States Code, and shall set forth completely each section or subsection as it would read if the amendment or revision to that section or subsection were adopted, noting clearly the proposed insertions or deletions to the existing statutory text.
  • If an Act appropriating funds contains a provision outside of the jurisdiction of the relevant subcommittee of the House and Senate Appropriations committee, and therefore outside the subject of the bill, then such provision shall be void.
  • All executive orders given by the President shall only be applicable to matters of national security, the armed forces, and the cabinet members of the President.
  • Regulations produced by a regulatory body shall have no basis for criminal action if such regulations are not followed, unless they have been voted on an approved by the members of congress to make them official law.
  • Passage of a bill, regulation, or executive order, that does not abide by these provisions will render the measure null and void, and establish grounds for the law to be challenged in court. Any person aggrieved by the enforcement of, or attempt or threat of enforcement of, an Act passed without having complied, or any member of Congress aggrieved by the failure of the house of which he is a member to comply with these requirements, shall, regardless of the amount in controversy, have a cause of action against the United States to seek appropriate relief, including an injunction against the enforcement of any law, the passage of which did not conform.
To insure judges are also held accountable to the people, congress shall have the authority to impeach Federal judges by the same manner and requirements for which they would impeach the president; on the basis as set forth in the constitution of "Good Behavior".

My Extremist Demands

Just as Glenn Beck did last week, I too am going to make a list of my "extremist" demands:
  1. Pass a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced Budget, except in times of war.
    Then give Congress some incentives to follow it, since they seem to have such a hard time with current constitutional law.
  2. Revoke legal tender laws so that the treasury can once again coin real money, and give the Federal reserve the competition and incentive they need to control inflation.
  3. READ THE BILLS
    And give the rest of us some time to do it as well, and give you some feedback on our opinions. After all we are the real employees of our representatives.
  4. Stop trying to push socialized medicine down our throats - we cannot afford it, and don't want the government having that much control over our lives.
    Do we really want to reform Health Care, or is really about Insurance (or worse, is it really about control and power)?
    What we really need is for the Government to get out it's already heavy involvement in Health Insurance that artificially raises prices. Creating more government regulations will only make things worse.
  5. Term limits and no more lifetime benefits for career politicians.
    Of course for this to truly work, you also have to revoke the 17th amendment, and then pass true campaign/party finance reform (not this McCain/Feingold crap that just makes it harder for everyone else to get involved).
    By real, I mean, you cannot allow California, New York and other "rich" states to influence the elections of other states, otherwise it doesn't matter who's elected because they will just continue the national parties objectives and continue to ignore what real people want.
    The only real reason for a National party is for the presidential election, so how about we disallow national parties from being affiliated with State parties, so states can actually elect people that represent the State; not the national party.
  6. No New taxes! - this includes anything that will cause our energy, food, or other goods to go up in price (i.e. "Cap-and-Trade" and the hidden tax of inflation).
  7. Return to the principles embedded by our "radical, extremist" Founding Fathers!
    Yes I do believe founding our government on the constitution is still a good idea, that is vital to the continued survival of our nation as we know it; but some people are more concerned about "Hope" and "Change". The only Hope I have is that enough people will wake up and realize that all the political change we've put our country threw of the last hundered years or so is going to destory this contry as we know it. It's way past due time to reverse course.
  8. Stop the hand outs. If you work hard you should get reward for it, but if you're stupid with your reward, you deserve to fail and be poor so that you can benefit from learning from your own mistakes. The sooner we learn from our mistakes the sooner we can truly be prosperous once again.
  9. Poor people deserves to survive on basic necessities threw real charity (not social programs forced on us by taxes) from their local neighbors and communities, but to truly thrive one must do something for one's self. After all is it really charity if it's forced upon you?
  10. If someone does something criminal and destructive to society, they are NOT a good American, they are a criminal, and deserve to be treated as such.
    Why aren't they the one's rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure to "pay their debt to society"?
When will reality return to our nation, and allow realism to replace socialized fantasies of political correctness?

Who's the Real Extreamist?

I talked to an ex-marine about the recent Fort Hood tragedy, and we both agree that Major Nadal Malik Hasan would have been court-marshaled 10 years ago for some of the comments he made while in uniform and never would have had the chance to go on his killing spree; however, today, we are too politically correct to take care of these kinds of people before it get's to this point...



"I've heard him referred to as a "shooter" and a "gunman." He's been called "troubled" and "harassed." We know he didn't want to be deployed and his cousin called him a "good American." But extremist?

"No, we can't say that; we wouldn't want to offend anyone.

"Are we that politically correct? I guess so. But there is no hesitation by Barack Obama's political arm, Organizing for America, to send out an e-mail calling tea party goers extremists:

""Across the country, members of Congress who support reform are being shouted down, physically assaulted, hung in effigy, and receiving death threats. We can't let extremists hijack this debate, or confuse Congress about where the people stand."

"So, that's extremism, but killing 13 people isn't? . . .

"Did the guy snap? I don't know and I don't care. He murdered Americans in cold blood in an act of bald-faced, extremist terrorism. Maybe he acted alone, then again, maybe he didn't. What do you say we nurse him back to health, question him, have a non-government investigator look into this? Find out what happened. If he's guilty, execute him and move on America; one less dirtbag to deal with.

. . .

"Look at what they're doing to us. Look at how far the discussion has shifted . . .

"When did words and ideas replace fists and bullets as tools of violence? Read a little George Washington, it's called the battlefield of ideas: If you don't fight it there, it will be fought with guns. Don't you see what they are creating? They are leading us to a cemetery. Society cannot survive like this.

No one at the White House or The New York Times has referred to the beat downs issued by SEIU members recently as violent or extreme.

The SEIU thugs caught on video beating down the African-American tea-party goer haven't yet been charged . . .

"Let me be clear: The terrorist Muslim extremist murderer accused of shooting the Army recruiter dead in Arkansas last summer wasn't even discussed in the media, let alone called an extremist . . ."

- Glen Beck

Collin County Texas Election Results, Nov. 3rd 2009

The results are in for the Collin County Election precincts:
Farmersville Proposition passed by a 10% margin.
The Wylie ISD Bonds got mixed results with only one of the three propositions passing by a difference of only 126 votes, or about 1.5%.  The two that failed did so by much more significant amounts.  This may be due to the concerns with meeting future enrollment capacity estimates, which the passed proposition would help with, as apposed to the other two propositions that had more to do with renovating existing sporting facilities, and technology upgrades that I would agree are not necessary towards meeting the School Districts current needs.
The State wide constitutional amendments appear to be quite popular within Collin County, with all of them getting passing grades; keeping in-line with the rest of Texas.

What is a Mormon Chapel Like?


The LDS Newsroom recently revised a message about LDS Church Meeting houses. You can even take a virtual tour of a fairly typical meeting house of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the article, it also gives first hand accounts of people visiting an LDS meeting for the first time.

Having grown up in the church myself, I've not had many experience out side the church, so it interesting to get a perspective from someone visiting it for the first time.

The article also mentions the 151 LDS Temples that are currently in use, are undergoing construction or have been announced. LDS Temples are not to be confused with the over 17,000 meeting houses that can be found threw out the world, and are always open to visitors looking to join in on a Sunday worship service.

Climate Change Finally in Reach of its True Goal


SUMMARY OF THE BANGKOK CLIMATE CHANGE TALKS

According to the National Committee Against the U.N. Takeover & Citizens United for American Sovereignty & Freedom Alliance:

In the One-World Government the following will occur:

1. Our military will be under the UN control. Our military will be brought before UN judges and court system.
ICC...International Criminal Court. ICC consists of U.S. hating judges who meet in European courtrooms.
2. UN will tax our pension, travel, use of oil & electricity, phone calls overseas, and imported consumer goods or other words a World IRS
3. UN will control the ocean's resources. Through the Law of the Sea Treaty, UN will start taxing Americans for oil drilling and mineral extraction and even start telling the U.S Navy where it can & can't go.
4. UN will abolish the death penalty in America
5. UN will open up America's borders to illegal aliens & potential terrorists.
6. UN wants the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay freed and allowed to live in the USA.
7. The Global New Deal....as the UN international welfare program. It is modeled after the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt. The Global New Deal would provide the equivalent of food stamps & welfare checks to every Third World country. It would also establish a socialist health care plan for every person on the face of the earth.
8. An Environmental Regulation Agency....UN will "negotiate" a Climate Change Treaty in Copenhagen. China, India, Brazil and Pakistan will be exempted from the treaty, American industry will be at a huge disadvantage and will cost American workers their jobs.

I've also received information from a trusted source that:

On 12/6/08 CGS Obama transition team Meetings:

Eric Schwarts is in charge of the US/UN transition team & also handles multilateral issues for the National Security Policy team.

1st meeting was with a delegation from the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping (PEP) and the next was with members of the Washington Working Group on the International Criminal Court (WICC is a coordination group of the Washington base organizations committed to ICC) Citizens for Global Solutions play a lead role in both of these coalitions.

Our objective was to give the incoming administration pragmatic objectives that could be accomplished during a 4 yr. term on our issues.

For the PEP briefing 7 priorities were discussed:
1. Pay down nearly $1.6 billion in U.S. arrears to the UN & request Congress permanently lift the cap on U.S. dues to U.N. peacekeeping

2. Balance the inequity between UN Security Council mandates & the resources provided to support those mandates

3. Work with DPKO. Increase US peacekeeping participation & leadership by putting more blue helmets on US troops.

4. Include conflict prevention & civilian protection as fundamental pillars of the U.S. foreign policy

5. Voluntarily restrict the use of the U.S veto in the Security Council in situations involving genocide, major war crimes & major crimes against humanity.

6. Support the expansion of the UN Dept. of Political Affairs to enable it to more effectively respond to emerging crises.

7 Stand up the Civilian Response Corps with dedicated staffing & request funding for a Conflict Response Fund

For the WICC meeting we shared 3 priorities:

1. Reinstating the US signature to the ICC treaty (which was unsigned by Pres. Bush & John Bolton)

2. Constructive U.S. participation in the ICC's governing body, the Assembly of State Parties in preparation for the ICC's 2010 Review Conference.

3. Expanding, deeping & further formalizing the official channel of US cooperation with the Court so that we can help bring to justice the those responsible for atrocities in Darfur, the Congo, Uganda & other cases the ICC is involved in.

Texas elections, Nov. 3rd 2009

It's an off year for elections this November, meaning going out to vote may not seem significant to most; especially those who are already greatly focused on the 2010 candidates. However, there are a number of very interesting and heated elections happening in Collin County and Texas at large; coming up in just a couple of weeks.  These elections will have an especially large impact on property taxes.
In particular, Farmersville City voters will decide whether or not the sale of beer and wine for off-premises consumption will be allowed within the city, and Wylie ISD is once again pushing for a Bond election to pay for upgrades, improvements, additions, and renovations.  The biggest challenge bond elections may face are already high property taxes; especially during a time when people are concerned about cutting budgets during week economic times.
More relevant to Texan's at large, are the 11 purposed constitutional amendments being placed on the ballot. There have been rumors going around that some of these amendments would create a state wide property tax; something that is currently unconstitutional in Texas.  Others are saying the wording that will be placed on the ballots is unclear about this, including Texas State Representative Jodie Laubenberg.
As a constituent of Representative Laubenberg's, I received an e-mail from her stating that, "Proposition 2 will eliminate a type of appraisal called "highest and best use."" Basically changing the way appraisals are done to prevent properties being appraised for the highest possible value based on their potential, rather then based on the properties current use and real value. Jodie goes on to say, "Proposition 3 will allow the Comptroller to set uniform standards for how your home is appraised, no matter what county you live in." This is in contrast to today's methodologies that can vary greatly from one county to the next. Jodie claims that "This should result in a fairer appraisal process for everyone."

Cap-and-Trade not as affective as eating less meat

Based on an Article by Senator
 John Cornyn, "the oil-and-gas industry . . . [employs] More than 300,000 Texans . . . [generating] nearly 7 percent of the wages . . .".

He goes on to describe how new tax proposals would impose more then $30 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years, and claims that Texans would pay the biggest share of these new taxes.
The bill Senator Cornyn is most likely referring to is H.R.2454 - American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009. More commonly known as "Cap-and-Trade".  It passed the House by a narrow margin in June, and today is still waiting to be voted on by the Senate.
The bill is expected to reduce so called "Green-house" gasses by 17 percent, but in reality it only addresses carbon emissions, which is actually only a small percentage of the total global gasses believed to cause the earth become warmer.  Water vapor is by far the biggest contributor, but more recently the attention has been given to cows, thanks to their emissions of Methane Gasses.
Fao Newsroom reported: "According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport".
What does this mean?
We would produce significantly less "Green House Gases", and possibly improve our health, simply passing on the meat, and saving some money at the grocery store, then we would by significantly increasing taxes on energy; possibly crippling our already fragile economy.

Religious Freedom Being Threatened


Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said religious freedom is being threatened by societal forces intimidating those with religious points of view from having a voice in the public square.

Elder Oaks made the comments while addressing to Brigham Young University-Idaho students on the importance of preserving the religious freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

He said we should not be deterred or coerced into silence by threats. “We must insist on our constitutional right and duty to exercise our religion, to vote our consciences on public issues, and to participate in elections and debates in the public square and the halls of justice.” He also offered five suggestions:
  • Speak with love and show patience, understanding and compassion to those with differing viewpoints.
  • Do not be deterred or coerced into silence by intimidation from opponents, insisting that churches and their members be able to speak out on issues without retaliation.
  • Insist on the freedom to preach the doctrines of their faith.
  • Be wise in political participation, remaining respectful of those who do not share their religious beliefs and contributing to reasonable discussion.
  • Be careful to never support or act on the idea that a person must subscribe to a specific set of religious beliefs in order to qualify for public office.
“Religious values and political realities are so interlinked in the origin and perpetuation of this nation that we cannot lose the influence of Christianity in the public square without seriously jeopardizing our freedoms,” Elder Oaks concluded. “I maintain that this is a political fact, well qualified for argument in the public square by religious people whose freedom to believe and act must always be protected by what is properly called our ‘First Freedom,’ the free exercise of religion.”

This message is particularly important today as 2009 elections are right around the corner, and many are already in full campaign mode for the 2010 elections.

Conservative vs. Liberal Mentality.

If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn`t buy one, but recognizes the constitutional right of others to own them.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed; followed by knives.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn`t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how best to defend against his enemies.
A liberal tries to talk their way out of it, or wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative practices homosexuality, he quietly leads his personal life.
If a liberal flaunts it in front of everyone while demanding legislated respect.

A conservative understands that sex is a private adult matter.
A liberal thinks young kids need to explore their sexuality.

If a person of color is conservative, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation; turning to his friends and local community for temporary support.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him, and thinks he deserves a bailout from the Federal government.

If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it’s a foreign religion, of course!)

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his and all the other poor people who can't or won't pay for it.

If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he's in labor and then sues.

If a conservative reads this, he'll send the link to his friends so they can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he's "offended".

TacoMaria - 2000 Tacoma v6 4x4


After selling the 2007 FJC (Negro) I bought a 2000 Tacoma v6, SR5, 4x4, manual hubs, automatic, and in great need of some TLC. The plan is to use it as my daily driver (a lot cheaper then the FJC was, or so I though it would be at first got it for about half of the listed NADA value at the time), but I also plan to take it off-road a few times a year on some moderate trails.

I knew from my initial inspection that the suspension need to be replaced, the tires were cheap but appeared usable, the windshield had to be replaced, the engine needed a tune up, and the exhaust was a bit rusty (and missing the cat).

I didn't take long before realizing that the engine was bad; it kept consuming coolant and over heating after about 30 minutes of driving. It turned out that one of the cylinder walls was cracked, so about $3k latter for fix up, and another $3k for suspension, wheels and tires, I was finally ready to start building up the truck during the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday.

Things I've done:
  • Suspension - Toytec coilovers, Blistin rear shocks, Wheelers Off-road Leaf Springs and accessories, Downey Shackles, new break lines, and some other miscellaneous accessories.
  • Electrical - Aftermarket Taillights, Stereo, HAM & CB radios, and wiring for an extra fuse box to run all the extra electrical add-ons.
  • Wheels & tires - Wheelers off-road black steal wheels, and some slightly used Goodyear MTR's 285/75/16.
  • Got an alignment, finished Hooking up the CB and HAM radios, Hooked up the GPS mount, and re-attached the factory skid plate. All just before heading out to the 2010 Lonestar Toyota Jamboree.
  • Got it another tune-up and a bunch of maintenance done on the replacement engine.
  • Trimmed the front Bumper.
  • Flattened the Pinch Weld
  • Installed a Carsound/Magnaflow Cat I purchased from 4wheel Parts, thanks to their Blue Ribbon Coalition membership gift card I got. Then replaced the missing "Check Engine" light. The Cat only lasted about 4 months.
  • Spend a bunch more money getting things fixed so I could pass inspection after owning it 1 year (don't ask me how it passed when I first bought it - I'm sure the guys who sold it to me didn't get it done legally).  Turned out the fuel system was rather dirty - almost as if someone had put dirt in the gas tank.
  • Replaced one of the inner tie-rod-ends.
  • The drive shaft fell out of the truck, and had to be "re-threaded", what ever that means.
  • Replaced Front Brakes with 2002 Sequoia Brakes.
What it needs soon:
  • Fix the Heater.  I think it's leaking, and the temperature selection knob wont turn.
  • New Catalytic converter to get the Check Engine light to turn off.
  • The seats are torn up and hard on the back, so I've been keeping my eyes open for options - probably end up pulling something out of a sporty luxury type car to give myself some nice comfortable seats.  Of course I'll probably need to get some assistance with customizing the mounting brackets.
  • The steering and front end might still need a little more fixing up, but it seems to be working well enough for now. It could probably use a full set of new bushings, and a proper alignment.  I'll get around to some day.
  • The HAM radio still isn't functioning properly. I may need to relocate the antenna and make sure it's grounded properly.
  • Finish the install on the cheap Alarm system I bought with Keyless entry (I'm not used to having manual locks) just need to purchase and install the power lock modules.
Here's my current wish list:
  • Replace the rear bumper and tow hitch as they are really quite worthless as they are right now anyway.
  • Secondary battery so i don't run down the primary with all the extras lights and stuff I want to put on it (and maybe a winch some day).
  • Rock-rails, tube bumpers, and in-bed (or tail gate replacement) tire carrier (maybe a tool box in the bed as well).
  • Off-road Lights
  • Re-gear & re-build the axles (4.56s, limited slip in the rear, selectable locker in front, wheel bearings, armor, etc).
  • Someday I'd like to supercharge it if I ever find myself with a bunch of extra money to wast. Or just drop in a newer bigger and more efficient engine and tranny in it.
  • Hopefully the transmission will hold up for a while, though it was way way over due for a fluid change when I first got it. It seems to occupational have problems downshifting when I come to a complete stop. It probably needs a power flush.  We'll see.
  • Maybe a gear reduction box some day.
  • More stuff as I think of it....

A stimulating letter to Senator Cornyn

I got an e-mail from one of my Senators this week asking me to reply to the question, "How do you think the "stimulus" package has fallen short?"
Here was my reply:
Senator Cornyn, Thank you for you're question about the so called "stimulus bill and other failed initiatives that have passed threw congress recently. I hope you will take the time to personally read my thorough response.
It seems to me that you voted for a "stimulus" bill late last year. I urged you not to. Not because I didn't think there was a problem (there obviously was/is), not because I didn't think something needed to be done (I still think something does need to be done that isn't even being considered currently), but because I know it isn't wise to give people billions of dollars who mishandled a great deal of money in the first place. As we have since seen the money has not even gone to the very purpose it was meant to, but instead as gone to fill to coffers of those who came asking for the handout in the first place!
Now that you've sent this request for comments, I can't help but say "I told you so", but you didn't listen. Apparently you are listening now, so let me tell you what should be happening. And I hope you can see it as I do, not as an opinion, but as a matter of constitutional law and authority.
I believe every single member of congress has violated his or her oath of office to uphold and defend The Constitution. I would love to get elected to congress myself so that I could start presenting cases as to why all of you (including President Obama, all of his zars, and at least half of the supreme court justices) should be removed from office, but as it is right now, I'm too busy working hard to do the right thing, and support my family; including my two 10 month old twins. Not to mention that the current election laws just make it too time consuming, expensive, and right down impossible to do so with out an army of bureaucrats and lobbyists assisting you. Perhaps you could pass a new "stimulus" bill to help "stimulate" more direct participation in government from you're constituents that employ you.
I would exhort you to spend some time reading and studying The Constitution as I have and especially pay attention to the 9th and 10th amendments. They used to be a valued part of the constitution, but today they might as well not exist. Also, try to find anything in The Constitution that authorizes federal bailouts or social programs of any kind.
I understand there are a lot of tough battles to be fought in Washington right now, which is all the more reason why we need strong people who will stand up to those who are violating our constitutional and God given rights (see the Declaration of Independence while you're at it, and pay attention to the part about our "Creator" and the rights he gave us). People of the highest integirty who will NOT compromise on doing what is best for their constituents, within the bounds set forth by The Constitution. Keep in mind, we are not a Democracy, and the majority cannot do anything they want just because they have the largest voice, rather they must follow the rules and laws as they are, and the foundation of those laws in this contry is The Constitution.
Please start fighting for a return to our core Constitutional foundations an give the people of this country and opportunity to make us a great nation once again.

WISD Bond - Is the third time the charm?

Coming up in November the Wylie Independent School District is once again asking voters to support a bond proposition to upgrade existing schools and build some additional structures.  This would be the third straight year in a row that they have asked for additional fund in a city already marred with high property taxes.
            In 2000 the tax rate was: 2.4% vs. 1.8% average for Texas.
            Today taxes are slightly more then that thanks to a more recent bond issuance to build a new city hall and library.
            It's expected to be even higher next year.
Most people I've personally talked to about the upcoming bond vote have complained that voters have said no the last two times, even though by a small margin, so why are they asking a third time?  After all it does cost the taxpayers money ever time they put the issue onto the ballot.  Maybe they believe that the "3rd times the charm"?
Actually, I've been told that WISD still has money left over from previous bond issuance to the tune of about $5 million.  Certainly enough to take care of some of the more essential needs.  Most of all I hear people say they are tightening their belts, and most of them want to see our governments at all levels do the same.  My prediction based on this would be that these bond requests will once again fail to pass by the voters.  On the other hand, WISD teachers are rumored to have been told that they will not receive a raise if the bonds fail.
The big difference this time will be that the bond vote will be split into three different propositions. Here's a breakdown of Bond Propositions:

Proposition 1 Total $7,775,000
$3,612,100 Fiber optic ring, security cameras & upgrades all campuses
$3,612,100 Improve Pirate Stadium, track resurface, turf replace (new turf to replace fairly new turf?). $1,481,600 Improve Shaffer Stadium, turf installation (from Pirate Stadium)

Proposition 2 Total $24,940,000
$8,477,700 Burnett renovate, roof, PA system, marker boards.
$2,586,100 Harrison renovate, additions, roof, remodel, marker boards, carpet and gym.
$4,009,300 Birmingham Elementary
Kitchen renovation, gym floor, marker boards, A/C unit.
$1,023,000 Aikin Elementary kitchen renovation.
$4,043,000 Achieve Academy

Proposition 3 Total $44,250,000
$37,683,000 Wylie East new sports complex construction, IMPAC bldg, Fencing, turf installation, finish out "shell", kitchen remodel, greenhouse construction, band hall construction, band hall construction, additional parking.
$4,567,000 Wylie High floor replacement, theater upgrades,
kitchen renovations/additions, science lab upgrades, additional parking and traffic flow improvements, cooling tower replacement, roof, drainage, sports complex upgrades.

The Wylie ISD recently sent out a newsletter explaining their reasons for splitting the bond election into three separate proposals saying, "The Wylie ISD Board of Trustees has listened to the community and responded with a reduced bond proposal that is presented in three propositions.  In this referendum many of the projects included in the two unsuccessful bonds have been modified and/or postponed until a later bond to respond to the Wylie community while still meeting the educational needs to Wylie students."
The description each proposition as follows:
1: "Infrastructure for fiber optics and security upgrades at all campuses; improvements to the Wylie stadiums." - $7.775 Million
2: "Additions and renovations to the Burnett Junior High School, Harrison Intermediate School, Hartman, Birmingham and Akin Elementary Schools; construction of the Achieve Academy." - $24.940 Million
3: "Additions, conversions and athletic improvements to the Wylie High School and Wylie East High School."  - $44.250 Million

Not Commanded to Save the Constitution?

"Should it be of concern to us when the mouthpiece of the Lord keeps constantly and consistently raising his voice of warning about the loss of our freedom as he has over the years? There are two unrighteous ways to deal with his prophetic words of warning: you can fight them or you can ignore them. Either course will bring you disaster in the long run.

Hear his words: “No greater immediate responsibility rests upon members of the Church, upon all citizens of this Republic and of neighboring Republics than to protect the freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution of the United States.” (Cited in Jerreld L. Newquist, Prophets, Principles and National Survival [SLC: Publishers Press, 1964], p. 157.) As important as are all other principles of the gospel, it was the freedom issue which determined whether you received a body. To have been on the wrong side of the freedom issue during the war in heaven meant eternal damnation. How then can Latter-day Saints expect to be on the wrong side in this life and escape the eternal consequences? The war in heaven is raging on earth today. The issues are the same: “Shall men be compelled to do what others claim is for their best welfare” or will they heed the counsel of the prophet and preserve their freedom?

Satan argued that men given their freedom would not choose correctly therefore he would compel them to do right and save us all. Today Satan argues that men given their freedom do not choose wisely; therefore a so-called brilliant, benevolent few must establish the welfare government and force us into a greater socialistic society. We are assured of being led into the promised land as long as we let them put a golden ring in our nose. In the end we lose our freedom and the promised land also. No matter what you call it—communism, socialism, or the welfare state—our freedom is sacrificed. We believe the gospel is the greatest thing in the world; why then do we not force people to join the Church if they are not smart enough to see it on their own? Because this is Satan's way not the Lord's plan. The Lord uses persuasion and love."

. . .

The devil knows that if the elders of Israel should ever wake up, they could step forth and help preserve freedom and extend the gospel. Therefore the devil has concentrated, and to a large extent successfully, in neutralizing much of the priesthood. He has reduced them to sleeping giants. His arguments are clever.

Here are a few samples:

First: “We really haven't received much instruction about freedom,” the devil says . . .

Second: “You're too involved in other church work,” says the devil . . .

Third: “You want to be loved by everyone,” says the devil, “and this freedom battle is so controversial you might be accused of engaging in politics.” . . .

Fourth: “Wait until it becomes popular to do,” says the devil, “or, at least until everybody in the Church agrees on what should be done.” . . .

Fifth: “It might hurt your business or your family,” says the devil . . .

Sixth: “Don't worry,” says the devil “the Lord will protect you, and besides the world is so corrupt and heading toward destruction at such a pace that you can't stop it, so why try.” . . .

And now as to the last neutralizer that the devil uses most effectively—it is simply this: “Don't do anything in the fight for freedom until the Church sets up its own specific program to save the Constitution.” This brings us right back to the scripture I opened with today—to those slothful servants who will not do anything until they are “compelled in all things.” [D&C 58:26] Maybe the Lord will never set up a specific church program for the purpose of saving the Constitution. Perhaps if he set one up at this time it might split the Church asunder, and perhaps he does not want that to happen yet for not all the wheat and tares are fully ripe.

The Prophet Joseph Smith declared it will be the elders of Israel who will step forward to help save the Constitution, not the Church. And have we elders been warned? Yes, we have. And have we elders been given the guide lines? Yes indeed, we have. And besides, if the Church should ever inaugurate a program, who do you think would be in the forefront to get it moving? It would not be those who were sitting on the sidelines prior to that time or those who were appeasing the enemy. It would be those choice spirits who, not waiting to be “commanded in all things,” [D&C 58:26] used their own free will, the counsel of the prophets and the Spirit of the Lord as guidelines and who entered the battle “in a good cause” [D&C 58:27] and brought to pass much righteousness in freedom's cause.

. . .

Brethren, if we had done our homework and were faithful, we could step forward at this time and help save this country. The fact that most of us are unprepared to do it is an indictment we will have to bear. The longer we wait, the heavier the chains, the deeper the blood, the more the persecution and the less we can carry out our God-given mandate and world-wide mission. The war in heaven is raging on earth today. Are you being neutralized in the battle?"

- Ezra Taft Benson (Not Commanded in All Things; General Conference, Tuesday Afternoon Session, April 1965)


- From Keith

Running for political office in Texas? Here's what you need to know

Many people who vote on a regular basis are probably only starting to focus right now on who and what will be on the ballot this November. Yet with all the Tea Parties, 9/12 project groups, and other political commentators talking about getting our neighbors elected - to give Washington back to the people of this country - I wonder how many of those involved in such movements are truly aware that if they want good candidates to vote for next year in November, they should have started planning already. In fact, if you want to run for office in 2010, and haven’t gotten started already, it may be too late.
If you are suddenly feeling a sense of despair, you should know that there is still hope. Many organizations, like those mentioned above, as well as a group called Get Out of Our House!, are already working hard to find good candidates to run for office.
If you want to run yourself, you first have to decide if you are going to be part of one of the few officially recognized parties in Texas that will actually hold caucuses in March 2, 2010; namely either the Republicans or the Democrats. If you chose to join up with them, you’ll want to get with your party leaders to see what specific processes and rules that particular party has to become a candidate; and do it quickly.
If you want to run as an independent or a with a party that currently does not have automatic ballot access, you’ll need to be sure that once the primary vote in March comes around that you do not attend. It may seem a bit backwards to not go and vote, but the way Texas does it’s primaries, you are essentially limited to helping only one party select who it’s candidates will be. In other words, if you want to support he Libertarians, the Constitution Party or some other alternative, you need to wait until after the primary elects to start doing the official work they will need you to help them with; however, you should probably still get with them now to help with organizing efforts.
In order for a party, or an independent candidate, to get on a Texas ballot in November of 2010, the party or person has to collection tens of thousands of signatures during a 75-day time window that comes after primary elections are complete. Again, get with the party you are interested in helping to get details on what they need done.
I’ve assisted a few candidates with their campaigns over the years, and it’s hard work. It takes lots of time and money to get the tens or even hundreds of thousands of people you’ll need to recognize your name; let along listen to what you have to say. There’s also a great deal of paper work to be done; especially since the "McCain-Feingold" Campaign Reform bill that was past in 2002. It can be overwhelming to the uninitiated, but it is very much a doing able task if you have the support of friends, family, and lots of your fellow neighbors; or those with deep pockets.

Universal Health Care Points to Consider.

This is a bit late, but I needed some time to think about it and compose it.... Here's my comments on what another political commentator provided to me as points for Government Run Health Care:



"1. No gov't control or gov't run health care system. I haven't seen the gov't run anything efficiently...including themselves for years now."
I totally agree. In fact we should lessen the amount of government involvement we already have in health care (and many other things). The Federal government already pays for the majority of all health care provided in this nation. This is the primary reason so many people want a reform, because it's getting increasingly more expensive for Government to continue paying for it. What the current proposals basically do, is take all the money insurance companies currently make to pay for a huge budget short fall that will happen in Medicare and Social Security over the next few decades.
From Dailykos.com:
"The old get Medicare, paid for by taxes. Those in the riskiest line of work, war, get the Veteran's Administration, paid for by taxes. The poor get Medicaid, paid for by taxes. Then we have those who are employed by the Federal Government, the States, the County, the towns. Their health insurance too, is paid for by taxes, although the tax money mostly goes towards the profits of the private health insurance companies. So tax money directly pays for medical care of the highest risk categories. We pay high profit to the insurance companies for the prime, low health risks of public employees. Put all the people together whose health care is paid by tax dollars already and we've got about 60% of the population covered."


"2. Fed'l gov't eliminate the fraud that is in Medicare & Medicaid."
How? I agree, but it's not always that easy. From what I've heard it has been tried many times already, and I suspect it fails each time because of people playing politics. In fact my opinion is that a free society like ours will only survive so long as the majority of it's people are moral and honest, so I guess my answer would be more of a spiritual one then a secular or police state kind of answer. Having "leaders" in congress that don't show us good examples to follow certainly doesn't help.

"3. Tort reform. Put a cap on lawsuits, unless it is gross negligence by the doctor or hospital. Example, the soldier that went in to have his gall bladder remove and the surgeon removed his leg. Unfortunately, the soldier can't sue because his operation happen at a VA hospital.
4. Hold attorney (s) accountable for filing frivolous lawsuits. Disbar them after 2 frivolous lawsuits."
I think caps shouldn't be a set amount, but based on something like how the persons loss will affect their lively hood, or the livelihood of their family, plus reasonable lawyer fees.
Better yet, what I'd like to see is a broader reform of how lawsuits work in general. I've researched many situations (particularly around land usage - you know those dang ATV's, 4x4's, and speed boats. ;) ) were the plaintiff creates the situation that they then sue over, and since they have nothing to loose (especially when their lawyers are already paid for by the ACLU or the Sierra Club) they have no reservations about creating frivolous law suites. I'd like to see the defendants have a right to have a counter suit automatically entered as part of the same court hearings to pay for lawyer fees and time losses if the suite is shown to be frivolous, unwarranted, or possibly even for no other reason then the defendants win the case. It's easy to falsely blame someone else for something if you have nothing to loose yourself.

"5. Umbrella or co-op programs. There should be a regional, or on a national level a health insurance policy for Real-estate brokers, accounting field, retail, construction, IT, car repair shops, etc. It is getting to expensive for small businesses, to afford to provide health insurance for their employees."
Some would say co-ops are just another word for "government take-over". I need to understand them better myself, but I think the real answer is to get insurance for major medical, and then have a tax free health care savings account (similar to a 401k) that rolls over year after year, that your kids can inherit, to pay for everything else (and I'd use a broad definition of "medical use" that includes natural or alternative medicine if the person so chooses). Employers could simply be required to offer to contribute to the savings account in place of any other heath insurance they may offer (it's as simple as doing a direct deposit). It creates the same kind of competition that consumer driven spending has done for everything else to help keep costs down. If you decide to withdraw from it for non-medical use, you just have to pay taxes on it, and maybe some tax related fees.

"6. Allow insurance companies to cross state lines."
This is were the Federal government actually has power to get involved. If it stays within state borders, constitutionally it's NOT under Federal jurisdiction, but as soon as it crosses those invisible lines, it become inter-state commerce and is now up to congress to regulate and control it. Is that really what we want? More government involvement? This might be a good idea, but then again, it may no be.

Before there was insurance, it was up to the local towns to provide a doctor for the town. The doctors often didn't get paid much, but people who went to see them would often try to give them something to supplement their income. Hospitals were originally run by states, counties or private endowments, and today we still see hospitals that fall under those categories (all of which are considered to be non-prophet).  I don't have a problem with private doctors and hospitals, but for those who don't have health insurance for what ever reason, can still get health care from these state and county run facilities that we still have today. The only thing I would say is that if they can afford health insurance based on their income, but don't have it, they should get charged for the care or be given the option to not be treated.

"7. Hold insurance companies accountable for honoring their insurance policy. If the insurance company has been caught not honoring their policy 100 (or a percentage) times, place a big fine on them and put that money back into Medicare."
I've never had this problem, but I guess a lot of people do? It seems like it would be a breach of contract if they didn't honor their end of the policy, which is already illegal. Do we really need more laws in the area, or better enforcement?

"8. Do not tax health benefits that an employer provide for their employees."
I agree, No New Taxes... didn't Obama say that already??? or did I misunderstand...

"9. For a family that makes below X amount, give them a credit on their income tax of X amount for them to purchase health insurance in a co-op program. I don't think giving a person money to purchase health insurance is a good idea, because it does not guarentee that the individual will use that money to purchase health insurance.. example. 1 in 4 motorist in Texas does not have car insurance."
How about we just overhaul the income tax code. Simplify it. Give everyone a bigger standard deduction, put everyone into the same tax bracket or tax them at the same percentage (anything more is arguably unconstitutional due to Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 that says ". . .all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States"), and a few basic other deductions for things that truly require someone to need to keep more of their own money to pay for basic bills and necessities (like have kids/dependents, or for rent or taxes on a primary residence so long as the residence isn't excessive beyond the average home).

"10. Increase payment to doctors that take Medicare patients."
I though this was the problem.. Health care is getting too expensive. If you ask me Medicare, and other government payouts for medical bills are half the problem as to why it's getting more expensive. Do we really want the Federal Government having anything to do with setting prices; especially on Health Care, which is arguably one of the reasons heath care costs are going up.

"11. All hospitals require proof of citizenship before they can treat a patient."
Personally I don't think we want people dyeing in the streets for any reason. I'd rather see them get treated or at least stabilized to a point were they can be deported/transported to a hospital in their own country. Then send them the bill, or send the bill to their country. Not that it'll get paid, but you never know. If they ever try to return, or even think about trying to get citizenship, make them pay their bill first. Of course for this to work, we'd have to improve our boarder security, and relax immigration laws.

"12. Pharmaceutical companies need to be held accountable."
Sounds good, but do we have any good ideas on how this should be done, or were the real problems are to begin with? Personally I think a lot of drugs out there are unnecessary due to much simpler solutions your doctor probably doesn't even know about, but I'm not a physician so don't take my word for it. I do believe that a lot of our aliments could be avoided in the first place by taking care of our selves, but for those who choose not to, and want the drugs instead, who are we to judge?

"13. A pool for individuals with pre-existing conditions."
If we change the way we pay for heath care or how we obtain our health insurance, as I've commented on already, this will no longer be an issue.  Besides, isn't this what insurance is supposed to be anyway?  A Pool we all put money into, to be paid out of when problems arise?

"14. Have your doctor discuss with you and your family members about quality of life and your wishes. This should be up to each individual and not the gov't to decide if you should live or not or what the gov't will or will not pay for."
We all die, sooner or later, it's just a matter of when. (and no I don't think death is the end of existence). I do think that it's important to have health care available to a person if they chose to fight off a disease, but it should be the patients choice to decide if they want to go threw the treatment, especially if it has horrible side affects, or if they just want to treat the symptoms and make the best of what time they have left.

"15. Is health care an entitlement?"
No more then health Insurance is. It's not up to the government to make sure we are all caring for one another. It's up to us, and our local communities to do that. This has religious beliefs tangled in with it for me. Personally I do not believe that forcing charity on us threw taxes is really charity. True charity is done out of love for our fellow humans, not threw laws and governance.
If we want to make Health Care into an entitlement (just as it is with Medicare and Social Security today) then we need to be talking about a constitutional amendment, not a 1000+ page bill. In fact, I would say that Medicare and Social Security need the same thing, as I cannot find anywhere in the U.S. Constitution that authorized the Federal Government to administer such programs. According to the 9th and 10th Amendments, it becomes a State issue, not a Federal issue.

"16. Allow a person to take their health insurance policy to another state, or to another job."
See comments to number 5.

"17. Fine a person if they don't purchase a health insurance policy?"
Isn't tens of thousands of dollars of debt, and interest charges on top of that, for not having insurance for an emergency room visit, a big enough fine? If someone doesn't have insurance, or can't pay for a life saving procedure, that's unfortunate, but that doesn't meant they have to be treated anyway. As I've already said, we all have to die sooner or latter anyway, right? That doesn't mean we can't help them be as conformable as possible until they are gone.

"18. Define what essential care is. There should be different age groups. Like anyone from 0 to 21 years old, 22 to 40 years old, 41 to 60 years old, 60 to 100 years old."
This sounds like rationing to me. The only rationing I want to see is if the patient can pay for it or not (or someone can pay for it for them), and if they want it or not. It should be the patients choice, with their doctors advice, and what their choice of insurance coverage that decides what gets paid for or not, not their age, or some arbitrary definition of "essential care".

If we really want to go down this road of the Federal Government guaranteeing "essential care" as an entitlement, then we need a Constitutional Amendment stating what essential care is, and how the Federal, State, and Local governments are to work together to provide it.
Personally, I'd say that State governments should provide essential health care services for things like emergency room visits, child birth, hospice care for those in the late stages of a disease that is believed to take their life, and possibly a couple other things. Preventative care, diagnosis, and other such things are not what I would consider essential, and nothing under this new amendment should be considered as compulsory nor should the quality of the care be guaranteed. If people want high quality care, or preventative care, they should expect to pay a premium for it.

"19. If an individual is 65 years old and is still working, don't force them to drop their private health insurance policy to be on Medicare. Let the individual choose. John McCain said that if 3% of individuals that were on Medicare opt out of this policy, the gov't could save a tremendous amount of money."
Agreed... Personal choice and responsibility is the key to solving this mess, not relying more and more on the government. It's called being self reliant, but those in Washington who are drunk with power, know that the more the people rely on the government, the more power they gain over the citizens of this country. It's way past due time that we took back some of our own self reliance, and took away a great deal of the power of the Federal government.

Listen to a Prophet's Councel.

How would you like to go back in time and talk to one of the Prophets mentioned in the Bible? Which prophet would you want to talk to, and what would you ask him? What kind of advice could he give you today to help us with our troubled world?

Well, your in luck. In just a couple of weeks, you can have such an opportunity when the prophet of our time will address the world along with his two counselors, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other church leaders.

Prophet Monson

Direct from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah: it's the 179th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sessions start Saturday morning, October 4th, 11am Central Daylight Time.
Saturday Afternoon - 3pm CDT
Sunday Morning - 11am CDT
Sunday Afternoon - 3pm CDT

Sessions can be watched on the following channels:
Dish Network - 9403
Verizon FIOS - 265
Direct TV - 374
Any Cable provide that offers BYU TV

Also available via the Internet at http://www.byu.tv/ or www.lds.org.

Click here for additional broadcast information and world wide broadcast information.

It will also be broadcast via satellite to all LDS Stake Centers world wide that have satellite feeds.

Come join us, or tune in to any or all of the sessions.

- Posted By S.J. Hollist

Who's the real Racist?

Shortly after Obama was in office there was a few angry people who acted in some very despicable and racist ways. I even witnessed some Black people making some racist comments towards white folks. Fortunately all this was very limited and short lived, or was it? There is another side to this story. One I feel has not been told very well until more recently, because it was hard to prove one's point without being labeled a racist your self; however, I think more and more people are starting to get it, and seeing how race has been used as a tool to help further political agendas.

I've always felt that Racism will never go away, until race is no longer made to be an issue. This includes things like Affirmative Action, groups specifically formulated to focus on "Black" people in any way shape or form, and even those who praised Obama's victory as a victory for the "Black" community. I'm not saying these people or groups are racist, but that their efforts today are now backfiring and only drawing further attention to an issue that has been a very big issue throughout the history of the world; and yes with in the U.S.A. as well. However, it's an issue that most Americans today did not grow up with, or at least not the vast majority of people that I know.

Personally, I've never had hard feelings or concerns towards anyone simply because of the color of there skin. Certainly there have been those whom I disagreed with, and other that seemed rather different to me at times, having grown up in an environment predominately made up of people with the same color skin as myself; however, I've seen people of all colors who have been rather odd looking or even right down scary for one reason or another. I'm sure plenty of people have thought the same thing about me, but you don't see me calling them racist or getting all up in arms over it; do you?

Regardless, to my point, and the best way I know how to make it, is to quote those who've already been commenting on it:



According to an e-mail forwarded to me, originating from Lloyd himself, After this interview Lloyd was "threatened physical . . . called me a “Toxic Negro”. . . a sell out . . . a minstrel" gotten e-mails "express[ing] their outrage towards [him] by using the typical “F” and “N” bombs every other word".

Certainly these comments wouldn't be coming from White supremacists, or KKK members, would they? More likely they come from those who have been thought that they must fight for equal rights because of their skin color. They have been told that because of an unchangeable feature they were born with, they must have assistance and special privileges to over come something that happened to their ancestors over a hundred years ago. They may even have been told that white people are the enemy, and in doing so have been thought to be racist.

Lloyd said it even better himself, "I received angry emails from blacks who said I should be ashamed of myself. Apparently, they believe my not resenting whites and America is a betrayal of my blackness. I no longer feel the need to be patient with racist blacks. Just as we do not tolerate the KKK and white supremacists, we should not give a pass to racist blacks. Racism is evil...period."



You can Support Lloyd by visiting his website



I came across this interesting video on racism the day after posting this...

Are you a Racist? A Frank Conversation

A Forgotten Holiday

Did you know that today is U.S. Constitution Day? Most people don't. No banks or government offices will be closed today, and most of us will spend nearly half our time laboring to pay taxes to the various levels of government. Even our politicians likely won't take notice of the day. Shouldn't we do something meaningful with this day?

We should be mindful of the role the U.S. Constitution has played in the success of our own lives. We live the freest and most affluent lives of any people on the planet, and possibly in history. The U.S. Constitution is now the oldest governing document in continuous use anywhere, and has been crucial to the success of the U.S.

The U.S. Constitution gives us a system of government with divided and explicitly defined powers. It allowed for a Bill of Rights with strong limits on government action. The politicians have waged a continuous and largely successful assault on these attributes of our Constitution, but even so, the Constitution has continued to protect us often enough to make it a very important, if unappreciated, contributor to our daily lives and personal well-being.

Most importantly it helped solidify the religious freedoms that the original anglo settlers came to the great land to find. This religious freedom allow many Christian religions to flourish that had otherwise been persecuted and oppressed by government sponsored and intolerant religious sects, and eventually provided a spring board for them to reach back into the rest of the world.

Wherever governments have less power, and the people more freedom, affluence, security, and peace reign. And wherever governments have more power, and the people less freedom, misery flourishes. The scriptures are full of examples of God blessing those who able to freely worship him. In the U.S. even our poorest citizens live as kings compared to much of the rest of the world. A strong case can be made that only the Constitution has very much to do with this.

The Supreme Court has many times declared some act of Congress or the President as un-constitutional, preserving our freedom and prosperity. A number of times Presidents have vetoed some over-reaching act of Congress, or when Congress has acted to curtail the power of the Executive. Likewise, the Senate has often blocked actions of the House, and vice versa. In this we see not only the genius of the separation of powers, but also the continuing efficacy of the Bill of Rights.

The separation of powers works. The Bill of Rights works. The Constitution works.

What doesn't work is a Federal government that has far overstepped it constitutional foundation. A house that ignores it's original design, without updating or re-enforcing it's foundation, will not stand when the rain descended, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon that house; and great will the fall of it be.

Ask not what the Constitution can do for you, for its gifts have already been conferred upon you in great abundance. Instead, ask what you can do for the Constitution. Speak up strongly on behalf of the Constitution's preservation and adherence. Please remind your Congressional representative that today is Constitution Day, and that they swore an oath to serve, protect, and defend the Constitution.

Enumerated Powers




DC Downsizer Michael Mitchell of Alaska compiled this list from Article I of the U.S. Constitution. These are all the powers that the Congress has.
  1. Borrow money
  2. Regulate commerce among the states
  3. Regulate naturalization
  4. Regulate bankruptcies
  5. Coin money
  6. Fix weights and standards
  7. Punish counterfeiters
  8. Establish post offices
  9. Establish post roads
  10. Record patents
  11. Protect copyrights
  12. Create federal courts
  13. Punish pirates
  14. Declare war
  15. Raise an army
  16. Provide a navy
  17. Call up the militia
  18. Organize the militia
  19. Makes laws for Washington, DC
  20. Make rules for the Army and Navy
And that's it! Mitchell continues, "According to the 10th Amendment, all else is controlled by the states or the people."

Go to DownsizeDC.org's Enumerated Powers Act campaign.




According to Judge Andrew Napolitano that number is only 17 (I wonder what three he missed or combined). According to Mr. Napolitano:

"Congresses used that power to control the conditions for production and sale of goods that eventually made their way into interstate commerce. And modern Congresses have used that power to regulate any human behavior they wish, so long as the behavior, when combined with other similar behavior, might conceivably affect the movement of goods or persons in interstate commerce. Thus, today, the water you drink, the air you breathe, the size of the toilet bowl in your bathroom, the number of legs on your desk chair, the strength of the water pressure in your shower in your home, the amount of wheat you can grow in your yard, the amount of sugar manufacturers can put into ketchup, the words you can utter in public or private, are all regulated by the Congress, claiming power under the Commerce Clause."

He also points out that: it would take the "state legislatures of 34 states to enact a resolution by a simple majority vote of each house of the states’ legislatures [to instruct] Congress to convene a constitutional convention. . ."

But as Glen Beck points out, "when the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia for their constitutional convention their orders were to do nothing more than “amend the Articles of Confederation.” By day three they had unofficially agreed to abolish the Articles and create a new form of government". I think Glen has a point here. Without elected officials that truly believe in doing what's right for the people, instead of making themselves more powerful, a constitutional convention would likely lead to the end of our government as we know (or even knew) it. What we truly need are good people to stand up for what's right in the face of almost certain death; something the founding fathers themselves actually did.