Saturday, December 15, 2012

Great and Terrible Day

Yesterday was a miniature version of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord mentioned in the scriptures.  Often times I’ve read the coupling of words, great and terrible, and contemplated their curious juxtaposition; yesterday I was given another bit of information as to how these words are supposed to work.

And it came to pass that on the morrow they did go again to battle, and great and terrible was that day; nevertheless, they conquered not, and when the night came again they did rend the air with their cries, and their howlings, and their mournings, for the loss of the slain of their people. 
Ether 15:17

The scripture referenced had to do with an ongoing war, combatants on the field of battle, a war which seemed to never end.  Losses on both sides mounted to a degree and scope hard for the mind and heart to comprehend and yet the sun would rise each day and only those warriors with a resolve to come out on top would survive the next round. 

Isn’t that a fairly good definition of life in general, having enough resolve to come out on top and survive the next round?

We attended my daughter’s graduation from Texas A&M University yesterday.  Earning her degree with honors in Mechanical Engineering marked an important step in achieving her goals.  Proud parents sitting in attendance, we listened as the governing body of professors and administrators shared thoughts on the moment.

One in particular began with an odd comment, “Let us have a moment of silence for this morning’s tragedy”.   He said nothing else and everyone bowed in reverence to his suggestion, many to include myself, had no idea what had been referenced.

I quietly joked, “So Obama woke up this morning”.  The lady in front of me muffled her laugh before too many could hear it.  Clearly something had happened; but we were attending a graduation ceremony and what ever had happened would wait.

We later learned of a mass murder which included 20 kindergarten children, a senseless act of violence carried out by a sad excuse of a human being.  I won’t go into details, suffice to say it was horrific; the pain and suffering will last long after the headlines have changed to a different topic.

Following these all too frequent acts of random violence there are always two discussions to hit the public square.  If you think about it, they fall into the same areas we’ve been counseled to avoid, politics and religion; interesting how many dinner tables must remain silent, just an observation.

Progressives (those who hate the Constitution) among us use the opportunity to call for limiting the availability of guns of any type to individuals.  They start by calling for a ban on all semi-automatic pistols and assault weapons.  They won’t be happy until all weapons are confiscated and we live in a perfect Utopian state of peace; never mind that such a state of being is reserved for mankind only after this phase we call mortality.

The other discussions involve the basic question, “How can God permit such evil?”  If God really cared He wouldn’t let crazy people go about killing and hurting innocent folks; but to murder little children is more than we can fathom.  A few come to the conclusion that God is either dead, no longer cares since mankind has gone to hell in a hand basket or He never was to begin with; none of which are true, if you’re looking for an answer.

For what it’s worth; God didn’t permit or cause any of these acts of violence and the world is going to continue being a dangerous place.  Those who disregard eternal laws (*) will continue to disregard these laws, laws created before the world was made,

“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”  Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21

(*Substitute punishment for blessing to fit any scenario; the results are the same.)

When you consider mortality as a temporary state which permits individuals to learn about God’s laws, desires and His relationship with His children, then the hardships and heart aches caused by random acts of violence are a little more bearable.  Family members will consider how fragile life is, how important the bonds we form with one another are, and if we are paying attention, how unimportant our petty differences are in the grand scheme of things.  In other words, let’s all learn how to appreciate each other as we go about our daily lives.  

We can’t, by outlawing evil, eliminate those who choose to do evil.  We can; however, discipline our minds and hearts in such a way as to be better individuals.  We’ll still get our hearts broken and at times our dreams will lie smashed upon the rocks just short of our goals; but we can and must get up, continue moving in the direction our Father in Heaven intended, toward that eternal being He wants us to become.  

Maybe now you’ll have a better grasp how great and terrible work in unison.  May we resolve to be better individuals and do things the Lord’s way is my prayer; in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen 

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Bums Living Fat Off Their Neighbor’s Efforts

Oh my, someone has forgotten to use politically correct language; their not bums, they’re less fortunate.  There’s a headline article on Fox, Republicans Caught in Austerity Trap, trying to explain how it won’t matter how the GOP leadership approaches the Fiscal Cliff, any way they move they lose.

To a certain extent that’s true because the track record of the GOP serves only to remind folks that they are the Party of Stupid for permitting the opposition to define them.  Speaking of defining things; how about that word, Austerity? 

At one time it conjured up folks doing without necessities; but here in America it means folks might only be able to have one free cell phone for each person living in their taxpayer paid for Section 8 housing while driving to the unemployment line to pick up their check all the while sitting in a two year old piece of junk Lexus.  Austerity?  You’ve got to be kidding!

Austerity:  1.  Extreme plainness and simplicity of style or appearance.

2.      Sternness or severity of manner or attitude.

3.      A state of reduced spending and increased frugality in the financial sector.

Tyler Cowan asked the question What is austerity not too long ago as he tried to understand the rational that not increasing entitlements while raising taxes didn’t seem to meet the criteria, concluding:

In any case, austerity is a misleading and often misunderstood word.  It is better if we describe policies more concretely, and in fact that is not hard to do.  Furthermore, insisting on a clearer accounting should not be equated with “austerity denial.”’

The Republican Party has permitted progressives to once again set the table in their own favor by letting them define the meaning of words we once understood as meaning one thing; changing them to mean what ever suits their needs. 

Austerity now means that rich folks should feel bad for being successful, they should be ashamed for not paying enough in taxes so that every lazy good for nothing bum can’t live in a single family residence worth at least two hundred thousand dollars while driving an executive styled luxury sedan even though these bums are unwilling to put in the necessary effort.  If at any time these bums might have to settle for a cheaper version of a free cell phone, live in a less than palatial residence or settle for mass transit to pick up their unemployment check; well that’s the new meaning of austerity.

Here in my own house austerity is a way of life; we don’t buy it if we can’t pay for it.  We do without until we can pay for things like a new car, high definition television, granite counter tops in the kitchen, replacement flooring where the vinyl has chipped or worn thin in the kitchen, carpet for the upstairs that’s been shredded by one or more of our Hobo Kitties over the years, a modern more efficient air conditioning system and other items on our wants and desires list. 

We look in our wallet before going out to eat on date night; hamburgers and French Fries will cost half of a sit down meal at a reasonably priced Mexican food place and that’s half again as expensive as a nice steak dinner.  Things like that are what I call austerity in action; spending only what you can afford to spend; but we’re old fashioned and live within our means to begin with.

So don’t tell me the folks in Washington are considering halting our trip towards the Fiscal Cliff from which there is no return other than as slaves to those who have purchased our unfathomable debt.  Both parties are equally to blame for spending us into debt; more these past four years than all previous administrations combined since our nation won its independence. 

If we dropped back to a spending level equal to that of 2008, as opposed to what is currently up for grabs, even that wouldn’t be considered austere; not by any stretch of Noah Webster’s definition of the word.  The bums who were sucking off the taxpayer’s teat then were living high off the hog; they’ve found they can demand more and get it so they keep demanding more. 

Maybe when the entire economy comes crashing down, maybe then folks will learn the real meaning of austerity.  Until then these bums will continue living fat off their neighbor’s efforts, all the while complaining they don’t have enough.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Presumption of Guilt

It used to be that you were presumed innocent until proven guilty; at least that’s the way it was for most of my life.  Apparently that is no longer true, at least not in Texas. 

There’s an article by David Moye at the Huffington Post which explains that a locksmith in Kerrville, Texas had his locksmith license suspended; but he hasn’t even been to court or had a hearing in front of a judge regarding a bizarre set of circumstances.

Elvis Hernandez, a licensed locksmith, rescued a small dog with no collar or identifying tags that was in the middle of a busy roadway.  Hernandez left his contact information with the customer he’d serviced regarding where to find him but was not contacted by its owner that day.  He eventually gave the dog away because it didn’t get along with his own dogs. 

When the dog’s owner eventually came around to retrieve their pet it was too late since Hernandez didn’t even know who had the animal at the time.  

“The owner filed a police report, a warrant was issued and Hernandez was arrested and charged with theft of property.

While the case is pending, he’s legally unable to work as a locksmith.” 

Instead of thanking Hernandez for rescuing their pet from the possibility of getting run over, these folks got him arrested as if he’d stolen their dog, a dog which was running loose without a collar and without proper tags.  (Does a person who is stealing a dog leave his name and number; just thinking out loud)

Beyond that, Hernandez apparently had his locksmith license suspended by the State of Texas making it impossible for him to apply his skills to support his family.  The State of Texas didn’t wait for Hernandez’ case to go to trial; instead they acted quickly to safeguard the public from a person of dubious character, a person who shouldn’t be trusted because he….saved a puppy from getting run over?

I got a letter several years ago advising me my locksmith license had been suspended.  According to the letter I was to cease working immediately because the State of Texas had not received proof that I’d renewed my mandatory insurance policy. 

Interestingly, I had renewed my insurance policy as mandated by the State of Texas, had mailed them a copy of that renewal and had a signed United States Post Office form indicating the Department of Public Safety had received it prior to the deadline date.  It didn’t matter how inefficient the folks at the DPS were; no, I was found guilty of violating a mandate and my license was immediately suspended.  There was no hearing; you’re out of business until the State of Texas says otherwise.

It was almost rich hearing the folks stammer and stutter when confronted with the fact that I had a signed US Postal form showing they had received the required renewal of insurance.  They never apologized for suspending my locksmith license; instead they simply said to “disregard the letter of suspension” and said, “It happens some times”.

Do these…, I had to stop and change a word; both started with the letter B; do these Bureaucrats, that’s much better; do these Bureaucrats understand they hold a person’s livelihood in their hands and yet, “It happens some times”, is their way of saying it’s no big deal.

I’m here to tell you, it is a big deal!  When the State of Texas can presume you’re guilty of not following some arbitrary regulation and suspend your license without a hearing or a court’s adjudication; at that time the foundations of our society, foundations based on individual liberties and the rule of law have all been thrown away. 

This is a big deal and I’m hoping others feel the veins swelling in their necks and turn that frustration into action.  Guilty until proven innocent is not acceptable!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Gun Rights come from Veterans Administration

All this time we were under the delusion that individual rights were Naturally occurring or gifts from God; but apparently rights come from the Veterans Administration, at least the right to own and bear arms.  During a heated discussion over the defense budget bill some folks stated they believe veterans are not protected by the Constitution; why else would these individuals be held to a different standard than the rest of the citizenry?  The question recorded in an AP article:

“Should veterans deemed too mentally incompetent to handle their own financial affairs be prevented from buying a gun?”

I’m not sure that’s a good question to ask; after all, if we’re to use mental incompetence in handling financial affairs as our litmus test, wouldn’t that exempt Congress and the Executive Branch as well?  

In my best Arlo Guthrie tone of voice, “I mean…I meeeeaaaannnnn…”, as we’re headed for a financial cliff running full steam ahead toward national bankruptcy these folks have the audacity to use financial incompetence as a measuring stick for mental stability?

“Currently, the VA appoints fiduciaries, often family members, to manage the pensions and disability benefits of veterans who are declared incompetent. When that happens, the department automatically enters the veteran’s name in the Criminal Background Check System.”

I should point out that it is a VA doctor or management team who declares these veterans incompetent rather than a judge in a court of law to determine mental competency.   This is all done to protect the individual and society from dangers associated with firearms; so they are automatically denied the right to purchase any firearms since their name would appear on a background check even though these folks are not criminals.  Doesn’t that strike anyone else as warped?

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. has been trying to protect veteran’s gun ownership rights through an amendment to the defense budget bill; however, VA administrators see it differently.

“VA officials have told lawmakers they believe veterans deemed incompetent already have adequate protections.

For example, they said, veterans can appeal the finding of incompetency based on new evidence. And even if the VA maintains a veteran is incompetent, he can petition the agency to have his firearm rights restored on the basis of not posing a threat to public safety.”

Don’t blink or you’ll miss it, that part where a veteran who has lost his right to own and bear arms, having lost that right because a doctor or management team at the VA deemed him/her mentally incompetent to manage his/her financial affairs, not a judge in a court of law; that individual can petition the VA, an agency of government, to restore that right.

Rights don’t come from government; they existed prior to the formation of government, entitlements come from government.  If you don’t understand this then you don’t deserve to call yourself an American.

“Rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another… It is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man; it consequently follows that rights appertain to man in right of his existence, and must therefore be equal to every man.”  Thomas Paine

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?”  Thomas Jefferson

The foundation of America is set in our Republican Constitutional form of government which at its base uses reasoning acquired over the history of mankind; but summed up by John Locke,

“For nobody can transfer to another more power than he has in himself, and nobody has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another.”

Individual rights cannot be arbitrarily removed from any individual; by executive fiat, by legislation intended to make society a safer place, by a doctor treating a patient or management team intent on providing a safer environment for family members.  

Only a judge sitting in a proper court of law can limit an individual’s use of rights. 

In August a former Marine was arrested, “after authorities deemed his Facebook posts threatening”.  According to the original article printed in the Washington Times”

“Without a warrant or recitation of his Miranda rights, (Brandon) Raub was handcuffed and taken into custody. After a quick hearing, government officials confirmed that Raub’s Facebook posts necessitated his detention, refusing to acknowledge legal objections that the words were wrongly interpreted. The former Marine will undergo 30 days of evaluation at Salem VA Medical Center.”

Raub was held against his will; but considerable attention and pressure was brought to bear after news of this incident got around the internet.

“After a special hearing today (August 23, 2012), Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharret declared the commitment order granted to federal authorities for Brandon Raub’s arrest and detainment was invalid.”

It wouldn’t be so bad if this were an isolated incident; but I’m hearing from many who are currently serving in the military that upon leaving the service they are being advised to be very careful in answering questions which relate to firearms ownership because the VA medical personnel are flagging folks who “raise any red flags or concerns” and that these individuals names are automatically added to the
Criminal Background Check System effectively preventing them from gun ownership.

If all of Congress decided to limit the rights of individuals to own and bear arms through legislation, to include the UN Treaty currently being considered, that legislation would not meet the requirements of our Constitution under our form of government because rights of individuals existed and continue to exist with or without government’s approval, with or without your neighbor’s approval or even your own family’s approval. 

That’s the beauty of Constitutional protections; they don’t limit individuals, they limit government.  No, veterans don’t have to ask the VA for the right to own and bear arms, not now, not ever; it’s a Right, not an entitlement.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal , a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

It’s Bush’s Fault; I mean, Nixon

When it comes to smoke and mirrors the Obama administration takes the word Transparent to levels never dreamed of.  Take for instance the most recent disclosure as found in Stephen Braun’s AP article; “US government releases once-secret Watergate files”.

“The government released more than 850 pages from the Watergate political scandal, providing new insights on privileged legal conversations and prison evaluations of several of the burglars in the case. A federal judge had decided earlier this month to unseal some material, but other records still remain off limits.”

Richard Nixon became the poster boy for American’s hatred for dishonesty in government, “I am not a crook”; but that poster has also served as a shield for those who’ve followed, as long as they were Democrats.  Politics isn’t fair, now is it!

Nixon left the presidency; not because he had folks break into the offices at the Watergate hotel; but because he lied about his knowledge of the incident.  The presidency is about a man’s character; but only if you have the (R) as your political affiliation, or so it seems.

Bill Clinton wasn’t a liar when he said he didn’t have sex with that woman; he needed to define the word “is”, a simple matter of defining a sexual act rather than lying to the public.  Clinton wasn’t forced out of office because the media was willing to give Clinton a free pass.

Barrack Obama, on the other hand, has more baggage handlers than Delta Airlines; stuffing things like Fast and Furious into one corner only to be followed closely with the Benghazi mess.  The Obama administration refuses to cooperate with Congress or the American public on releasing pertinent information, information which would likely prove involvement in these activities went all the way to the Oval Office; but the press is willing to give Obama a free pass.

Getting back to the recent release of Watergate papers, why bother to bring up an unsavory incident which happened forty years ago? 

“The files do not appear to provide any significant new revelations in the 40-year-old case that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon and criminal prosecutions of many of his top White House and political aides. But the files provide useful context for historians, revealing behind-the-scenes deliberations by Sirica, the U.S. District Court judge in charge of the case, along with prosecutors and defense lawyers.”  

Releasing information about former President Nixon takes the American public’s attention away from Obamas lies involving his knowledge of Fast and Furious which are directly or indirectly linked to the deaths of at least 2 Americans and perhaps as many as 200 Mexican nationals. 

Releasing information on Nixon lets Obama slide for lying about his knowledge on what really happened in Benghazi; the fact that he probably watched a live video feed of 4 Americans being slaughtered at the hands of Islamic terrorists and did nothing.  Obama’s lack of character isn’t being questioned by the news media because he’s been given yet another free pass.

Obama has been blaming former President Bush for all the problems with today’s economy and getting away with it, at least among the ignorant useful idiots who put him back in the Oval Office.  Isn’t it just as convenient to let the public re-examine their loathing for Nixon instead of finding out what a liar and a crook Obama is?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.