Wise, Good and Honest

Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Free Speech

People and their free associations have the natural right to freedom of speech. This is true whether people express themselves through their own means or if they pay others to express for themselves.

"Corporate Influence over Government Is Bad...Unless They Hold the Correct Positions"

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How do I reduce my echo chamber effect?

The simplest answer is to allow into my sphere of influence, people of many different biases. Engage with them and try to understand where they are coming from. Compare the best my perspective has to offer with theirs. I want to be able to express their point of view to a third party such that they would approve of how I have advocated for them.

A video that points out how Facebook can create and deepen our echo chambers.

"A stunning visualization of our divided Congress", Christopher Ingraham April 23, 2015

"5 Super Easy Ways to Eliminate Your Echo Chamber", Courtney Jones

"Facebook 'echo chamber' makes people more narrow-minded – study", RT News, 7 Jan 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Why I am for Gary Johnson

I have been weighing my options in the Presidential election this year. I have outlined why I am
against Donald Trump. I have said for quite a while that if the election were tomorrow I would vote for Gary Johnson. This article has clinched it for me, at least for today.

Look at what each of them were doing 20 years ago:
As First Lady, Hillary Clinton was working hard to silence the victims of her pervert husband and yelling vulgarities at our Secret Service agents who were risking their lives to protect her.
Her crony friend Donald Trump was bankrupting casinos and shoveling massive amounts cash into the campaign coffers of shady liberals. Up until 2010 the overwhelming majority of Trump’s political donations went to Democrats. His shills and surrogates like Eric Bolling are quick to defend with lame excuses like “he’s a businessman so that’s okay”. No it’s not. Being a real estate tycoon shouldn’t give him a free pass for helping elect socialist politicians because it was financially beneficial to him. That just shows how selfish he is.
Gary Johnson was the owner of Big J Enterprises (which he sold in 1999), a multimillion-dollar mechanical contracting company that he started from nothing, and earning his nickname “Governor Veto”. His spending record isn’t perfect; but it’s decent, especially considering the circumstances of his tenure. He vetoed over 700 bills from a legislature that was heavily controlled by Democrats for most of his 8 years in office. ("Why Gary Johnson Is Obviously Our Best Option This Year", 16 Jul 2016)
I do not agree with some of  his policies on religious liberties but I am sure that a Congress would check him on that.
I wouldn’t smoke crystal meth because it’s not rat poison, and I won’t vote for Trump just because he’s not Hillary. 
I love this as a rebuttal against those that a vote not for Trump is a vote for Hillary.

Recent polling data shows that Gary Johnson takes away equally from Trump and Clinton. The CBS News/New York Times poll shows Trump and Hillary tied at 40%. When Johnson is added to the mix they are still tied at 36%, with the Libertarian candidate receiving 12%.  
UPDATE 2016-07-26

From a FB Comment
May Bo Hubbard Also... isn't voting for a 3rd party like voting for Clinton?..... Also.. not voting a vote for Clinton?.... IDK... all these questions came up yesterday. 
Jeffrey Thayne May Bo Hubbard, Good questions. I have a few thoughts:  
(1) First of all -- as a deeply social conservative, I honestly believe that Hillary Clinton will be better than Donald Trump.  
Hillary Clinton will bring us 4 more years of the same policy priorities as Barack Obama. I strongly disagree with those policy priorities. But it's basically going to be, "More of the same." Social conservatives will continue to rally, and will continue to refine their arguments -- we can survive a corrupt government. 
Donald Trump, in contrast, is going to use the flag of social conservatism to advance bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, and authoritarianism. He will destroy the conservative movement by allying it with an authoritarian worldview. The social conservative movement cannot survive this sort of corruption from *within.* 
A Hillary Clinton victory will postpone the conservative resurgence, and in the meantime, we can still seek control of the Senate and the House, where most of the power is anyways. A Donald Trump victory will implode the conservative movement, taint us with evils that have nothing to do with conservatism, and the national backlash against him will lose us the House and the Senate as well. 
In short, those who cannot imagine anything worse than a Hillary Clinton presidency aren't really *listening* to what Donald Trump is saying, and aren't realizing how deeply he will corrupt the conservative movement from within. 
(2) Second of all -- I don't think that voting for Gary Johnson will help Hillary win. Polls show that Gary Johnson is taking exactly as many votes from Hillary Clinton as he is from Donald Trump. There's just as many liberals who hate Hillary and are OK with Johnson as there are conservatives who hate Trump and are OK with Johnson. 
(3) As Jacob Ross said above, the Republican party has given us a trashy candidate -- the trashiest in known history. If they can't even lose our vote *then*, then there's no way to signal that they need to do better than this. If we are so loyal to the Republican party, and view the Democratic candidates with such disdain, that we are literally willing to vote for ANYONE the Republicans put on the ballot, then we're part of the problem. That's just jersey politics (voting for whoever is wearing our team jersey). 
(4) Gary Johnson personally believes that abortion should be legal, but has said in the past that he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue to the states. That's a huge deal, and the most we can ask of a president.  
Gary Johnson believes that we should take government out of marriage. I disagree with him. But I can't let perfect be the enemy of the good. I disagree with Gary Johnson on a lot of things, actually. But he's (1) not corrupt, like Hillary Clinton, and (2) he's not out to aggrandize himself, and he's not a bigoted authoritarian, like Donald Trump. So there's that.  
There's many, many different strands of libertarianism. I consider myself libertarian, but I don't believe in taking government out of marriage (in large part because I believe that marriage is part of the common law).

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"As we go further, and further into debt, we become less, and less safe."

RUBIO: ...Yes, I believe the world is a safer -- no, no, I don't believe, I know that the world is a safer place when America is the strongest military power in the world. 
PAUL: No. I don't think we're any safer -- I do not think we are any safer from bankruptcy court. As we go further, and further into debt, we become less, and less safe. This is the most important thing we're going to talk about tonight. Can you be a conservative, and be liberal on military spending? Can you be for unlimited military spending, and say, Oh, I'm going to make the country safe? No, we need a safe country, but, you know, we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined?
I want a strong national defense, but I don't want us to be bankrupt. 
(RealClearPolitics, 11 Nov 2015)


Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Lesser of Two Evils Might be Too "Evil"

This post of a friend of mine, John, captures how I feel about the election.

Well, at least we learned nothing new about Hillary Clinton's ability to tell the truth. On the other hand, FBI director Comey changed the requirements of the law in order not to recommend a grand jury investigation which requires only gross negligence (not intent), which he specifically stated had taken place in describing Clinton's actions as "extremely careless"--the very definition of gross negligence. 
Not that Trump would fare much better in his political statements, but at least he didn't break the law regarding our nation's national security secrets. 
There's clearly a greater of two evils, but Trump leaves me in limbo, as I won't vote for someone whose real positions I do not know. 
I suspect, in the end, that Clinton will succeed regardless. I'm pretty sure the corruption of our officials no longer matters for a large portion of our electorate, and even a majority. 
The Republican party never wastes an opportunity to lose an election. We'll see (I'm still in limbo as to whom I'll vote for--I'd only vote for Trump if I knew whom he'd choose as his Supreme court appointments. He came out with a "short list," but immediately backed away from it by saying he didn't feel obligated to choose someone from the list, which makes it a political statement, nothing else. 
At this point, even the lesser of two evils might be too "evil" for good governance and adherence to constitutional principles. Any vote for Trump would be based solely on an ephemeral hope he'd actually govern better, something I've not yet seen. I keep wishing he'd say something to convince me he had actual principles that guide his thinking, but he never gives one-- just the normal platitudes regarding very generic statements that don't say much.