Friday, March 27, 2009

Newspaper Revitalization Act

Certainly the newspapers industry is struggling to survive, but that is no reason to have tax payers bail out some of these papers.

Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, not surprising a Democratic, introduced a bill to help newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks. Off course he says "the intention is to save local and community newspapers, not media conglomerates such as the New York Times."

Prior to this, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asked the Justice Department to help save her local paper, The San Francisco Chronicle.

Who's to say which papers get baled out?

I no longer receive a local newspaper. There is little value in it given the other options at this time.

Saving something the market is de-selecting is not the role of the federal government. Newspapers will stand or fail on their own merits. If the people elect to obtain their news elsewhere, so be it. Do not force taxpayers to bailout a failing industry.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

GIVE Act -- Mandatory or Volunteer Youth Program?

HR 1388: The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, aka, the "GIVE Act," has passed the House 321-105. On Tuesday, the Senate voted closure on the motion to proceed by a margin of 74-14. Looking like this bill will pass.
The GIVE Act amends the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NSCA) and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (DVSA) to revise the programs under such Acts and reauthorize appropriations for such programs through FY2014.

Revises under NSCA: (1) the School-Based and Community-Based Service-Learning programs and Higher Education Innovative Programs for Community Service (Learn and Serve programs); (2) National Service Trust programs (AmeriCorps); (3) the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC); and (4) the Investment for Quality and Innovation program.

Eliminates the current Community-Based Learn and Serve programs.

Establishes two new Learn and Serve programs: (1) Campuses of Service, which provides funds to institutions of higher education to develop or disseminate exemplary service-learning programs that assist their students' pursuit of public service careers; and (2) Innovative Service-Learning Programs and Research, which funds community service-learning opportunities for elementary and secondary, college, and graduate students as well as research into service-learning.

Includes among eligible AmeriCorps programs: (1) an Education Corps to address unmet educational needs; (2) a Healthy Futures Corps to address unmet health needs; (3) a Clean Energy Corps to address unmet environmental needs; and (4) a Veterans Corps to address the unmet needs of veterans and their families.

Creates AmeriCorps Opportunity Corps programs that include certain existing programs and new programs to: (1) increase community access to technology; (2) engage citizens in public safety, health, and emergency preparedness services; (3) mentor youth; (4) reduce recidivism by re-engaging court-involved youth; and (5) support the needs of veterans or active duty service members and their families.
Like almost every liberal program -- and this is pure liberalism -- they appear to be kind, compassionate, and good for everyone. But like most social programs, they benefit the Democrat Party more than anything else.

Participates will be limited on what they can do and who they can do it for -- not a true volunteer program. As the Democrats control the bill's wording, they will perpetuate their agenda. The participates will be engaging with liberal social entities like Planned Parenthood and ACORN.

This Act is nothing more than a political advocacy activity. The Obama/Biden campaign website proclaims to want to "expand AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps with "a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year, and will establish a new tax credit that is worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year."

This program appears to lead us down the road towards Obama's "National Civilian Security Force." It is interesting that his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel called for three months of compulsory civil service for all Americans aged 18 to 25 in his coauthored "The Plan: Big Ideas for America" book.

The liberal plan continues to unfold and enslave. Every liberal step takes away a little more freedom. In my mind, not only is liberalism a mental disorder, it is evil. Why is it evil? Because it saps personal freedom.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Self-Reliance Never Grows Old

I love reading the "Gospel Classics" in the Ensign. Some are decades old. But I cannot think of one instance where what was written or spoken years ago was not apt today.

Back in 1984 (does not seem that long ago, but is is going on 25 years), President Marion G. Romney spoke during General Conference about "The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance." It was republished this month in the Ensign. Some highlights:
-- Many programs have been set up by well-meaning individuals to aid those who are in need. However, many of these programs are designed with the shortsighted objective of "helping people," as opposed to "helping people help themselves." Our efforts must always be directed toward making able-bodied people self-reliant.

-- people ... see nothing wrong in picking delectable scraps from the tax nets of the U.S. Government's "shrimp fleet." But what will happen when the Government runs out of goods? What about our children of generations to come?

-- We cannot afford to become wards of the government, even if we have a legal right to do so. It requires too great a sacrifice of self-respect and political, temporal, and spiritual independence.

-- This great principle does not deny to the needy nor to the poor the assistance they should have. The wholly incapacitated, the aged, the sickly are cared for with all tenderness, but every able-bodied person is enjoined to do his utmost for himself to avoid dependence, if his own efforts can make such a course possible; to look upon adversity as temporary; to combine his faith in his own ability with honest toil.

-- We believe [that] seldom [do circumstances arise in which] men of rigorous faith, genuine courage, and unfaltering determination, with the love of independence burning in their hearts, and pride in their own accomplishments, cannot surmount the obstacles that lie in their paths.

-- The key to making self-reliance spiritual is in using the freedom to comply with God’s commandments. The scriptures are very clear in their command that it is the duty of those who have, to give to those who are in need.
Compassion is defined differently by different people. One group will give as they see fit, as their means allows. Others will give provided it is some one else's money or goods.

Those of the conservative persuasion give more to charity than those of the more liberal persuasion. A conservative prefers to give out of the goodness of his heart or as the need arises, the liberal prefers the compelling mandate.

We will always disagree on this but conservative believe that less government is better and man need not be compelled in all things, that he will do many things of his own freewill. The liberal prefers to legislate and force.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Public-Private Investment Program

On Monday, Geitner and Oobama announced the Treasury's plan to buy US banks’ troubled assets. According to Treasury's press release, they plan on using $75 to $100 billion in TARP capital and capital from private investors to buy legacy assets. They state that this can expand to $1 trillion over time.

The plan is to buy up to $2 trillion in real estate assets that have been weighing down banks, paralyzing credit markets and delaying the economic recovery.

The so-called Public-Private Investment Program is designed around three basic principles:
-- Maximizing the Impact of Each Taxpayer Dollar: First, by using government financing in partnership with the FDIC and Federal Reserve and co-investment with private sector investors, substantial purchasing power will be created, making the most of taxpayer resources.

-- Shared Risk and Profits With Private Sector Participants: Second, the Public-Private Investment Program ensures that private sector participants invest alongside the taxpayer, with the private sector investors standing to lose their entire investment in a downside scenario and the taxpayer sharing in profitable returns.

-- Private Sector Price Discovery: Third, to reduce the likelihood that the government will overpay for these assets, private sector investors competing with one another will establish the price of the loans and securities purchased under the program.
It seems the program is about the same as before, only they use the "private" sector term to spin it. The government lends them the money and they don't have to pay it back. But they can keep the profits. I wonder where they will cap any profits?

It seems to be prudent for the "investors" to get in writting that they will not be taxed beyond normal corporate taxes or capital gains on any profits. If these investments turn out to show great returns, they government has a reputation for passing a law and taxing the beneficiaries at 90-100 percent level.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Draper Utah LDS Temple

Yesterday, President Thomas S. Monson dedicated the new Draper Utah LDS Temple, the 129th temple in the world, the 12th in Utah.

The temple was open for any one to visit for the past two months. Sunday afternoon, after a three-day series of 12 dedication sessions, the final session was broadcast live to all the LDS stake centers throughout Utah. It was open to temple-worthy members 8 and older.

My wife and I attend with our youngest daughter, while our oldest son attended in Orem, and youngest son attended at the MTC.

I have been to other dedications, and like those, the talks were short, focusing on the benefits of temples and regular attendance. The dedicatory prayer was to the point.

Now, as a dedicated temple, only members with a current temple recommend can enter and participate in the ordinances therein (not secretive but sacred).

As members of the Church, we are blessed to have so many temples so close to so many. Growing up in Ohio, the nearest one at the time was in Salt Lake City (now there is one in my home town). For many, the cost and distances were so great that attending was financially prohibitive. Where that is still a problem is some places of the world, much less so today.

Nothing secretive happens in a temple dedication, but it is sacred to us. You can read about temples from third parties and from the Church.

It was a an enjoyable and uplifting experience for all involved.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Federal Reserve's Last Grasp Efforts

The Fed is down to its last arrow. On Wednesday, it announced it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the financial system by purchasing Treasury bonds and mortgage securities.

That means print money in order to pay for things we don't need, and hope that things turn around.

The last time this occurred was nearly 50 years ago, under very difference circumstances.

This should cause an immediate decrease the power of the already weak dollar. People will be running from the dollar; to where though? Gold? Got to be something tangible, as there is no other currency with the necessary allure.

As we all get into the uproar over AIG $165 million, the Fed is creating out of nothing and spending $1 trillion. That's the real wag-the-dog going on now. Glenn Beck's Last Line of Defense is a good commentary on this and worth the five minutes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AIG & Obama Administration: Complete Incompetence

The AIG debacle has gotten beyond comical.

Back in Sept 08, the US government said AIG was too big to fail. The US government took a majority ownership and began handing out some $85 billion.

Here's a company with over 100,000 employees in 130 countries that lost almost a $100 billion in one year ($65 billion in one quarter). What a prize for us taxpayers.

How a bonus plan was created for executives responsible for the lose is beyond any reasonable person. In the big picture, $165 million in paid out bonus is a pittance. Greed gone amok? Certainly. How does anyone even get paid, little own get a bonus when you lose $100 billion? Given the management team's failure, this is a PR debacle for the ages. Why would any one buy anything from this company now?

That'd be bad enough but enter the Obama children, aka, administration. President Teleprompter Obama, the college-boy, tax-cheat Geitner Treasury Secretary, and the blathering fool from MA, Rep. Barney Frank put on this "I'm appalled" and "we did not know" attitude.

They thought they could get away with it. It is just too good for the MSM to not make fun of them and run with the stories. What media personality does not love catching high-level politicians in these outright lies? The Democrats can't backpedal fast enough. There must be a wag-the-dog in the works from the Obama spinmasters.

The incompetence at so many levels is staggering.

Marty Brodeur - 552

One needs to play a lot of hockey to win 552 games as a professional hockey goalie. Devil Marty Brodeur has been a constant in the net, surpassing one of hockey's other iron man in the net, Patrick Roy.

"It's kind of hard for any athlete to think that he's going to be able to get a record like that, especially for goaltending. I think this is what the ultimate record is, I think in my mind with having the most wins. I never thought that it was going to be possible, but definitely along the way, getting closer and closer, I knew it was going to happen eventually." -- Martin Brodeur

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Liverpool Take It to ManU at Old Trafford

A huge victory today at Old Trafford for Liverpool. They have beat ManU both times this year. They have beat Chelsea twice also. Tied with Arsenal, with one to play (at Anfield).

We have a three-way race for the EPL title this year: Liverpool, ManU and Chelsea.

A great day for a Liverpool fan.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Love and the LDS Temple

HBO will depict a traditional Mormon temple ceremony in an upcoming episode of Big Love. HBO stated "obviously, it was not our intention to do anything disrespectful to the church, but to those who may be offended, we offer our sincere apology." Well, it did.

HBO does everything it does for money and political posturing. They could care less about accuracy. They still try to make people think Mormons practice polygamy, after abolishing it in the 19th Century. If anything it is closer to the Fundamentalist LDS lifestyle than LDS. That group is so small that HBO would rather make fun of a large group (that just happens to have a policy against gay marriage).

Most religions have sacred elements, practices and beliefs not suited for "outsiders." The media makes fun of religions and religious people all the time, namely the Christian religious. Some noteworthy Mormon media misrepresentations:

-- Commentator Lawrence O’Donnell hurled abuse at the Church in a television moment during the Romney campaign
-- South Park produced a gross portrayal of Church history in one episode and mocked the practice of Family Home Evening in another.
-- An independent film grossly distorted version of the Mountain Meadows Massacre two years ago
-- Some gay activists have barraged the media with accusations about "hateful" attitudes of LDSs in supporting Proposition 8 in California and across the USA.
-- Cold Case presented an inaccurate depiction of LDS people.

Some Latter-Day Saints will cancel HBO subscriptions, go through a massive email, phone and letter writing campaigns. That's fine if they want to do that; bless them for their efforts.

The Church made an excellent statement on this topic on its web site: The Publicity Dilemma. Critics abound. If people want to spend their time arguing, that's their option. I won't. I am one that espouses the belief that all publicity is good publicity. Perhaps the issue can be discussed more openly between members and non-members. As Seth Godin wrote today: if you want to not be hated, open up. Let people in. Engage. Interact.

Lucky for the HBO producers, directors and actors that Mormons do not have an extreme arm like another large global religion, because there might be some vendetta realizations with violent outcomes.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Family Values Have A Place In Russian Society

An article in the 12 March issue of the Moscow Times caught my attention: "Family Values Take Over Empty Billboards."

Pre-Lenin and Communist Russia was a very family-oriented culture. The agrarian and working class treasured their family relationship, from the youngest to the oldest.

Lenin's mistress, a fellow socialist revolutionary, organized an all-woman's conference. It was her hope that the female masses would embrace their new destiny, turn the raising of their children over to the state, and contribute to the revolutionary as "real workers" not mothers and homemakers.

The socialist revolutionaries knew that a key to their success required the destruction of the traditional family. The community would provide all that was required.

We all know that Lenin's revolution was "successful" for 75 years. All socialist governmental systems have at their root the traditional family destruction. Obama, Pelosi and Reid no different.

Isn't it ironic that after all this time, we hear Putin advising Obama not to do down the socialist path and we see billboards in Moscow touting family value? Talk about full circle.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Federal Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Bad Policy

This Obama moves fast. His decision to lift restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research is pure liberal policy-pushing at the federal level.

The federal government should have no roll in funding stem cell research -- embryonic or adult. We have so much excess money that it makes perfect sense to throw taxpayer money at embryonic stem cell research. Right. If embryonic stem cell research is so promising, why does the government need to get involved?

It appears that there was limited interests by the private sector to make the investment, but now with the federal government subsiding it, the researchers have their hands out, hoping to get some free money. It was not a good investment for the free market but is for the federal government?

The great hypocrite that is our president states that this "promoting science." That it is "about letting scientists … do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion … It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda -- and that we would make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology." Obama is nothing but an ideologue.

There are three main sources for obtaining stem cells - adult cells, cord cells, and embryonic cells. Little controversy exists on the first two; the issue is with embryonic stem cells.

A human embryo contains human life and no one can insure we will find the treatments and cures that our sought. Pro-abortion people have no problem with this; pro-lifers (like me) do. There is hope that the research could lead to cures...could, may, might lead us closer to cure for various diseases.

The pros include comments like "if someone is going to have an abortion, isn’t it better that we use it for something useful?" When this is a starting point, it is almost useless trying present an opposing opinion.

In a society that considers abortion normal and a perfectly acceptable form of birth control, sadly, this stem cell debates seems trivial.

Monday, March 09, 2009

This Blogger Is Pro-Limbaugh

For those that have read this blog for the past five years know that I am pro-Rush Limbaugh. That has not changed with all of the negativity associated with Rush, even with some of the comments expressed by some of the conservative bloggers.

The reason people dislike Rush is because he is right. They fear him.

There is no real Republican leadership. There are certainly no political leaders representing the conservative agenda. Rush has become the spokesman de facto (no interest in becoming the spokesman de jure.)

The liberal bloggers think he is arrogant and beating a losing agenda. Rush certainly has an ego. He is a very selfish person. So what? Aren't most political and media personalities selfish? His agenda is not a losing agenda because it has never been implemented.

The last conservative leader was Reagan. G.H.W. Bush and G.W. Bush were not conservatives. Bob Dole and John McCain were not conservatives. There are no conservative "leaders" in congress. There are certainly some conservative Representatives in the House (there are no conservative Senators that I am aware of -- neither Utah Senators are) but they are not leaders...yet.

The conservative agenda is not dead. It is the Republican agenda that is dead. The Republicans have spent too much time trying to be centrists. There has been little difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. What we have seen is the liberal side of the Democrat Party assuming its agenda and leadership roles.

Rush's message has always been clear: lower taxes for all, smaller government, strong military, capitalism works (if the government gets out of the way), and trust in the American people.

Rush is right, that's why he succeeds in his craft.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Obama, Chavez ... Proletariats Unite!

At least it is official now...according to Drudge Report on Friday (3/6/09)...
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday called upon US President Barack Obama to follow the path to socialism, which he termed as the "only" way out of the global recession. "Come with us, align yourself, come with us on the road to socialism. This is the only path. Imagine a socialist revolution in the United States," Chavez told a group of workers in the southern Venezuelan state of Bolivar.

The controversial Venezuelan leader, who taunted the United States as a source of capitalistic evil under former president George W Bush, added that the United States needs a leader who can take it to a "higher" destiny and bring it out of "the sad role that it has been given, as a murderous, attacking power that is hated all around the world."

Chavez said that people are calling Obama a "socialist" for the measures of state intervention he is taking to counter the crisis, so it would not be too far-fetched to suggest that he might join the project of "21st century socialism" that the Venezuelan leader is heading.

"Nothing is impossible. Who would have thought in the 1980s that the Soviet Union would disappear? No one," he said.

"That murderous, genocidal empire has to end, and some day there has to come a leader ... who interprets the best of a people who also include human beings who suffer, endure, weep and laugh," the outspoken Chavez said.
Obama, just admit it and quite hiding behind your arrogant diatribe and teleprompter. You are a socialist and communist.

You believe the government is the cure to all of society's social and economic problems (despite its incompetence in most activities); that wealth is best if distributed equally (except for you and your cronies who get a much larger share); and that it is our patriotic duty to want to pay taxes (except you and your cronies who are administrators and overseers).

We know your true colors, now show them to us all and to your fellow socialists the world over. "Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains," right?

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Federal Government...the Ultimate Money Pit

Is there no end in site to this bailout lunacy? Every entity the federal government has stated it is too big and important to fail, continues to hemorrhage.

-- Citibank is worthless -- you can buy a share of stock for less than one of their ATM fees.
-- GM's stock price is $1.80 -- there's not a single car part you could buy at a GM dealership that cost less.
-- FDIC is looking at insolvency this year.
-- AIG is on its fourth round of federal funding, with no end in sight.
-- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to loose billions and are asking for billions more.
-- Bank of American is still standing but it on the ropes and getting pummeled.

There is absolutely no confidence in this Obama administration and this Congress. Why would anyone invest in the stock market? There is no bottom in sight as it continues to hemorrhage. 7000 was surpassed last week; 5000 is around the corner.

The great lie of Obama is manifesting itself in the realization that there is no hope in him or his ideology. Lawyer turned community activist, turned politician, turned president, under the tutelage of America-hating Rev. Jeremiah Wright and communist-worshiping Bill Ayers. The script could not have been any better...more ridiculous.

The insanity will continue as Obama and his cronies operate over their pay grade. This financial mess was not his to begin with but he has perfected it. In six short weeks he has made it 10x worse, with no end in sight.

Government is not the answer B.O., it is the problem.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Missionaries Are Great

Having just sent a daughter off on a mission in January for 18 months and today seeing our second son off for 24 months, my wife and I could not ask for anything better. Sure it is hard to see them go but they could not be doing anything more important.

A mission is a selfless act but as it turns out, the missionaries are probably the ones that will benefit the most. They will touch people's live while allowing others to touch theirs.

In the process of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, they gain a greater understanding of it, learn to teach by the Spirit, and see how it changes peoples' lives.

I have many friends and family members that are not members of the LDS Church. Nevertheless, many of them are very active in their churches. They are doing the Lord's work as they see fit. I respect and honor that.

As it states in D&C 58:27-28:
Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.
I truly believe that missionary service epitomizes the what it means to be "anxiously engaged in a good cause." My wife and I love our children very much and hope and pray for the success and well-being.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Daily Kos...Liberal Opinions, Not Necessaily Accurate

In my Reader (I use Google), I subscribe to twenty or so information/news sources, including blogs. I read sports, finance, international news, US news, syndicated opinion writers and blogs. I am on the conservative side, obviously, but do read some liberal ones. One in particular is the Daily Kos (pronounced cause).

I have no problem with agreeing to disagree. One posting came up over the weekend that did not sit well with me. A blogger that goes by 'mofembot' posted a blog entitled "Learning about Sex... the Mormon way!."

Blogs are web logs, more often opinions than scientific fact (mine included). People can write what ever they want. Case in point, 'mofembot' has voiced her experience with Mormons and how they view sex -- she was involved with the Chruch as a youth so has a first hand account. What I take exception with is that she is claiming that is the norm - that Mormons have a weird take on sex.

Spin it how you chose but the church's stance on sex is detailed on the church's web site:
The law of chastity is the Lord’s law of personal purity. This commandment states that there must be no sexual intimacy, except between a man and a woman who have been legally and lawfully married. God knows that by following this law, we will have greater happiness and blessings and find deeper marital love in our families.
How this is taught to our youth, especially given the world in which we live in, is a challenge. In my experience, the more frank and open, the better.

Parents who have a good relationship more often than not also have a good sexual relationship. It is to be commended. Fidelity within marriage is a splendid thing.

There are great blessings for those who abstain prior to marriage. Personal commitment and integrity are core to a marriage founded on honorable principles.

One reason most Mormons who get married in the temple have short engagements is because they want to have sex. They have respect enough for one another and are willing to wait until the the wedding day. Hormones work in Mormons just like they do in Catholics, Baptists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and agnostics.

I have never seen written nor have I heard specifics about the sex act between a husband and wife. That does not mean people don't have and don't voice their opinions. About the best advise I have heard in this area is not to do something either party is not comfortable with. Pretty simple.

Many LDS people have not keep the law of chastity. That does not mean the Church is about to change is doctrinal stance. Sexually active teenagers is not a good thing (despite what some of them might claim). Sexual promiscuity has never been deemed a desirable trait, despite what Hollywood and the TV networks claim. Unmarried pregnancy, be it teen or other, has many negatives. Few would think group sex or spouse-swapping is a way to build a meaningful marriage.

It sounds like 'mofembot' has overcame her sheltered upbringing. There are plenty of LDS people that were not virgins prior to marriage that are doing okay today with respect to the Church. There are others that are not doing so good.

The best course is still abstinence prior to marriage and complete fidelity within. The Church has plenty of statistics to back this up.

'mofembot', thanks for posting. Others, realize this is one experience. Mine, as well as my wife's, is quite the opposite.