What makes a great leader?

I had an opportunity to give a lesson in church last weekend to a group of Priesthood men known as the congregations "Elders Quorum". The lesson focused on priesthood leadership and the proper type of motivation required. This also reaffirmed a belief I have about our public servants, and even business managers and leaders, in that: the best leaders are the one's who serve.

An excellent example of this, which I shared, was that of King Benjamin; a Nephite king who lived in the Americas around ~170-121 B.C. Unlike many of our leaders today, who often act like authoritarians or dictators exercising their power with unrighteous dominion, King Benjamin was good to his people, serving them in ways unheard of in today's political realms.

King Benjamin worked hard to support himself instead taxing the people for his livelihood. Likewise, he did not seek for the riches of the people he ruled over, and instead served them. Nor did he allow his people to do likewise, but insured that they were free by teaching them to be good people.

He was also a philanthropist primarily through encouraging his people to serve one another. He was also able to foster a peaceful environment for his people to live in; however, when the time called for it, he was not a pacifist, and was even seen as worrier who successfully defended his people from being overrun by their enemies.

If it were possible that we could have good men like Kind Benjamin to be our kings, in the words of his son: "it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you".  Unfortunately we all know too well that we almost never have such a situation in the world today, nor have we throughout the majority if it's history.  That should not discourage us from seeking out good leaders who will serve us and actively seek preserve our liberty and abilities to peruse our own happiness.

Constitution Day: A forgotten holiday?

Did you know that September 17th is the U.S.A. Constitution Day? Most people don't. It is the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.

We should be mindful of the role the U.S. Constitution has played in the success of our own lives. We live some of the freest and most affluent lives of any people on the planet. 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.A.
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 actions. Despite many politicians wagging a continuous and somewhat successful assault on many attributes of our Constitution, the Constitution has continued to protect us as a very important contributor to our daily lives and personal freedoms.

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

Whenever governments have less power, and the people more freedom, affluence, security, and peace reign. And whenever 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.A. even our poorest citizens live more afluent lives then much of the rest of the world. A strong case can be made that the Constitution has a lot 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; although sometimes allowing encroachments on the same. A number of times Presidents have vetoed some over-reaching act of Congress, and 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 affects of the Bill of Rights.

The separation of powers works. The Bill of Rights works. The Constitution works.
What doesn't work are politicians and bureaucrats that have far overstepped their powers and the constitutional foundation of our country. A house that modifies 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. Encourage them to read it on this fine day.

Why have govenrment at all?

Government doesn't produce anything like a business, but it can help create an environment were entrepreneurs are safe to start and run successful businesses. I wouldn't say government produces nothing, it's more that government is really only good at producing a few basic things: everything else is wasteful when done through government.

 I wouldn't start a new business in a place like Somalia, or other countries that are currently experiencing civil unrest, or socialistic movements. The risks are too high that I would lose everything in a riot or government take over. This is also one of the reasons I see that economic growth in the USA has been slow in the last 5-6 years; and really much slower then it otherwise could have been for many decades if we hadn't had greedy people in government as well as large corporations who basically influence the government into doing what they want.

On the other hand, if I know I have a deterrent from someone stealing from or damaging my business, because there is an element of law and order, and citizen involvement in government to keep it from getting out of control, then these risks suddenly are no longer a consideration on whether to run the business or not.

The key is to keep the taxation as transparent and automatic as possible, while not intruding on peoples personal lives. Certainly an Income tax does not accomplish either of those, which is why I think we should dump the IRS, and get back to the business sales and tariff taxes that paid for government before 1913. Taxes that are collected should as close to and go directly to the things they are meant to help protect or produce, such as: gas and automobile taxes to go roads, sales and service taxes paid for by businesses going to pay for infrastructure and consumer protections, tariffs paying for national defense, etc., while privatizing basically everything else.

The way government should really work, is to keep the higher levels of government extremely limited, and the local levels - where the people are more familiar with each other - more socialistic in a way, but without mandating that anyone do anything; meaning a crime can only be committed if you actually take an action against someone or something else.

In this way government can be very good at producing things like liberty, freedom, and a common defense against oppression and tyranny. And yes I do agree that too much government, like most - if not all - governments today, causes the government itself to become the source of oppression and tyranny. The key is for government to not pay for everything, nor require participation in things like public schooling, but to encourage volunteers and donations for things like public libraries where parents can teach their children, or people can voluntarily go to learn if they can't afford a private school. Churches are also very good at providing free education through donations and volunteers. Even many universities are now providing there educational materials and lectures free on-line.

What about healthcare? Doesn't everyone deserve healthcare? We'll sure, but not at the expense of the doctor or businesses that run the hospitals. In fact learning to take care of one's self (not expecting the government to do it for you) is the best way to obtain healthcare, or should I say health-maintenance. Still there are and always have been many doctors and nurses out there that provide free clinics and supplies to those who can't afford them. In fact I would say that getting government dis-involved in health care would do more to make it more affordable and accessible then anything else.

One of the biggest reasons for government is that most peoples belief in authority is very strong because it is a natural law. These natural laws are usually expressed in terms such as "alpha male" in dogs, or "pack leaders" in other animals. In ancient times humans had patriarchs, tribe leaders, etc.  It's all part of our natural instincts to have leaders, because otherwise we have chaos and unrest. Of course there are always those that prefer to be loaners and be left alone, just as there are those who seek after power for greed and other selfish reasons.

How to defuse the racial paradigm

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You Keep Me Grounded

Thank you my love for keeping me grounded
just like the control tower that won't clear me for take-off.

Your my boat anchor that keeps me in the harbor
away from the stormy seas and from exploring the world.

Your my cement shoes that keep my feet grounded
my head out of the clouds and from reaching for the stars.

Your my roots that keep me planted in one spot
so well that even when you knock me down I have no choice but to bounce right back for more.

Your my ball and chain that prevents me from running free
so I don't get lost and end up finding my self esteem.

Your my dominatrix so that I can give you exactly what you want
so I don't get too excited and enjoy our time together to much.

Your my master planner making sure we do exactly what "needs" to be done
and nothing unnecessary like all of my stupid idea I can't seem to stop coming up with.

Your my confidant that I can tell my feelings and desires to
and then help me see how stupid and foolish they really are.

Thank you my love for being my rock
you know the one that is laying on my chest crushing the life out of me.

I'd ask you for more help my love
but I'm too afraid of what else it might bring.

- S.J. Hollist

Perception is often not reality

 Are you the center of the Universe? Certainly that notion is ridiculous to anyone who has a basic understanding of the world we live in and even more so if you understand the Solar System, Galaxy or even what little we know so far about the Universe. However, let’s say the Universe is infinitely big, and that no matter where you are standing there is an equal amount of Universe to all sides of you, putting you squarely in the middle. More importantly, the sub-conscious mind from day-one only knows what it’s able to perceive (more on that later), and thus by default perceives us as being at the center of our own made up universe.

 What we perceive from our own point-of-view is often all we have available to define our reality; thus the notion that “perception is reality”, but all too often this simply is not the case. Ever heard the saying, “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes”? In other words, you really don’t have any way to know what someone else is going through until you’ve experienced it for yourself – otherwise known as empathy. Until then you have a choice: Use your default setting of judging others based on your own feelings and point-of-view; or give them the benefit of the doubt and actively take on a more positive and empathetic attitude.

 When we allow our default viewpoint – which is very much self-centered by default – to define us and our world, everyone else starts to appear as if they are in our way. They are causing us an inconvenience. They are at fault for the way we are feeling. The reality, however, is most often very different as we don’t know if that person who cut us off, while driving in heavy traffic, legitimately has a better reason to be in a hurry then we do. We don’t know if the mother who just screamed at her child in the checkout line is having the worst day of her life. We don’t know what the person who just sneered at us is feeling, or if maybe we are actually in their way.

Marriage equality or tyranny?

The debate over the so called “marriage equality” – otherwise known as same sex marriage, or gay marriage – is currently on stage with the U.S. Supreme court, while less than a year ago gays in Denmark “won the right” to get married in any church they please. Some would call these victories for civil rights, but the reality here is actually not an issue of equality, but one of tyranny that rose up about two centuries ago when governments started requiring licenses for people to get married.
Did Enough Poeple Change Their Facebook Profile Picture?!
Did Enough Poeple Change Their Facebook Profile Picture?!
Found on Morgan Philpot's FaceBook Page - facebook.com/morganphilpot

Today many states, including Texas, have constitutional restrictions on, or definitions of, marriage as being between a man and a woman. Just as a half a century ago there were many restrictions or definitions of the differences between black people and white people; including restrictions on interracial marriage (thanks to marriage laws that showed up in the U.S.A. after the civil war). Many today use this and similar analogies to paint “marriage equality” as today’s civil rights issue, but just as with the racism issues of the past, simply allowing the law to be equal by repealing the “Jim Crow” laws is not considered sufficient to many activists. Instead the solutions being purposed only impose forced “equality” similar to, the racist by definition, Affirmative Action; as can be seen with the recent Danish ruling that hastraditional religious leaders deeply concerned about their rights to religious freedom.
If today’s activists cared about stopping government corruption as much as they do about “marriage equality”, governments would soon no longer be involved in marriage. The problem with government sanctioned marriage is not that it’s unequal, but that we have allowed the government to take away rights and freedoms from us all, and then say, “But if you pay a fee to get a license (I.E. a marriage license) we'll give you back some of your freedoms.” This creates the illusion of inequality, when the real problem is tyranny. The best to this is to get governments out of marriage altogether, before more churches in more countries are forced by governments to do things they don't believe in. Letting the churches and individuals decide what's right for them – not the government – will result in a less confrontational solution then the current movement for “marriage equality” is creating.
Instead we could allow anyone who wants to be legally bound, to go to their private lawyer’s office – or fill out a form on legalzoom.com – to say they want to be civilly united with another person, based on mutually agreeable terms; up to and including the sharing of any part or all of their finances, medical decisions, etc.; regardless of the romantic or sexual nature of the relationship, which should be a moral and social issue, not a legal one.
For example, if my aging parents were relaying on me for financial support, I could have them civilly united to me so that I now have a legal justification to put them on my insurance; of course I’d likely pay a premium for this, but it would still be more affordable then paying out of pocket with today’s Medical Insurance scams; however, that’s a whole other topic.

Creamy Chicken Stew


1 box Tuna Helper.
3 cups water + 2 half cans to clean out "soup cans".
1 12.5 oz can of shredded chicken
1.5 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 soup can of Cream of Chicken
1 soup can of Cream of Mushroom.
2 12 oz bags of frozen vegetables. (Cut cream beans and chopped broccoli works great)

Cooking instructions:

Put everything but vegetables into a large skillet or pot. Stir thoroughly while bringing to boil. once boiling reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Stir occationly to keep cheese and pasta from sticking to the bottom.

Add in vegitables at the end, stirring them in until thourally mixed and heated.

Let cool slightly so you don't burn yourself when eating.

To make it healthier:

Substitute the Tuna Helper with a healthier non-wheat based pasta and you own seasonings (a tablespoon of season salt would like work)
You can also use fresh, organic or home grown vegitables as well.

Can Obama be impeached?

The last president to be impeached was done on the grounds of lying under oath. However, former President Clinton, nor any other president for that matter, has actually had an impeachment make it all the way through congress. In President Clinton's case, many believe the following congressional elections being dominated by democrats was due to a national backlash against this impeachment attempt.
When I attended a town hall meeting for Pete Sessions, in Garland, TX earlier last year, Pete himself claimed he was the reason why the GOP controlled house was not pursuing impeachment of Obama stating, "I want to win the election". However, even after the election and more controversy over Obama's executive orders targeted at guns, only unrealized threats of impeachment have been seen.
Once again today, we are in much of the same situation. While the house very likely could be convinced to impeach Obama, they likely won't because it would be seen as a futile attempt, knowing the votes simply aren't there in the Senate to confirm the guilt of President Obama. Maybe in a couple of years there will be, but by then Obama's tenure as President will be quickly coming to an end; or at least many of us hope so.

David vs. the Straus-phere - the fight for a conservative Texas House Speaker

David Simpson
David Simpson
Speaker Straus has long held the position largely thanks to support from Democrats and many Republicans who seem to like the status-quo of this more moderate state representative.
This year David Simpson put his hat into the race to challenge Straus, but unlike the biblical story of a young boy and a giant, this Texas stratosphere of a giant was not defeated. When entering the race David had promised he would recant his candidacy if it appeared he did not have the votes to save his supporters from possible backlash that has been seen in the past.
Simpson made a statement, as reported by the Grassroots Texans Network while seeking endorsements for David, saying,
I respect Speaker Straus as a fellow legislator; however, we differ on the way that the House should be led. And I am not alone in that opinion.
The culture of ‘go along to get along’ politics, where members face intimidation and retribution should they disagree with a leadership decision, stifles representative government.
Moreover, the rules have been considered advisory rather than mandatory and applied disparately. I believe, however, the rules should be enforced without regard to party, personality, or seniority.
The responsibility for the solution lies with the current members. I invite my fellow legislators to join me in transforming the way the House operates. Now is the time to change the spirit of our Legislature and put the principles of liberty and open government above the politics of intimidation.
RedState.com also released an article claiming to have a number of private e-mails form Straus where 'Tea party activists are called "idiots".'
Despite all this it appears that once again, the challenger did not have the needed support to unseat Straus, likely due to the support he still gets from many conservative republicans, and business leaders in Texas.