Seeking out the wise, good and honest

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fundamental to Democracy and Capitalism is a Religious Life

A couple of quotes from Jeffrey R. Holland from his interview with Hugh Hewitt.

nothing could combine us better, nothing calls for our service more, nothing, there’s almost nothing on which we could stand shoulder to shoulder given circumstances of today than this matter of religious freedom and the chance for every man or woman of whatever religious conviction to have the freedom to say what they want to say and believe what they want to believe.
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fundamental to democracy, and fundamental to capitalism is a religious sense, is a religious life. And out of that grew this idea that what we have to enforce is the unenforceable. You have to voluntarily choose to be honest. You have to voluntarily honor a contract. You have to voluntarily care about what the course of your community is, or the integrity of your leaders. We can’t hire enough policemen to do that. You can’t get a government oppressive enough or large enough to manage all of that. That has to be something from the human heart. That has to be something from the soul. And that’s what a morally honest and a religiously oriented people do for democracy. 

Picture of Jeffrey R. Holland


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Republic Wireless or Ooma?

A friend of mine asked what I would recommend, either an Ooma Telo or Republic Wireless $5 wifi plan? Here is what I sent him.

Pros for Moto E with Republic Wireless

- Your child can take it with them if they go to someone else's house, as long as they can use the wifi.

- You have another device for useful apps like Gospel Library etc.

- You can lock the phone using AppLock and still allow some browser access with Qustodio. Qustodio also sends a daily email with detail about what apps have been used and how much.

Cons for Moto E with Republic Wireless

- If your wifi is bad your service will be bad. You need to ensure you have good coverage throughout your house and that your Internet service is fast and clean enough. I added a second Wifi Router connected by wire to our primary one. It has help us so much.

- There is only one of them. With Ooma you can hook up your whole house so all your house phones ring. I think our cordless phone system allows Bluetooth pairing. This means that you can plug in the Moto E next to the Cordless base and when a call comes in, the house phones ring. I have tried it with our cell phones but it never seemed practical. Nor did I want my cell phone calls going to the house where everyone might answer. With a device designated as the family phone, this makes more sense. Here are the cordless phones we use, Vtech DECT 6.0 Five Handset Cordless Phone Bundle. Costco has the best return policy I have ever known.

- There Are some annoying things about the Moto E. It only has 4GB of native memory. We bought 32GB SD cards. We have been managing it by moving apps to the SD card and configuring app to store data on the SD card, but it is a pain. If I had to do it again, I would get a phone with more memory. Maybe the Moto G, though it is not expandable with an SD card. I think a 2nd Generation G will come out soon.

- The Moto E also has a sub standard camera. It does not auto focus and has no flash. I understand the Moto G has a much better camera.

- The voice quality is not as good and consistent as Ooma. Maybe this would improve if your cordless phone base is near your wifi router and you use the blue tooth pairing. This might be because you would be using the DECT signal for the cordless rather than trying to get a signal from the WiFi.

- Here are some cons listed by a poster on Republic Wireless.

Phones available for Republic Wireless

Pros for Ooma

- It has an email service for when someone calls 911. It will send an email to you letting you know someone called it. I know it works because Daniel, our son, mistakenly called 611. That is set for testing the emails.

- It will work with whatever phones you have and be able to ring all the phones in your house.

- It has better voice quality and consistency. Maybe it would be more similar with Bluetooth connection to the phone base.

Cons for Ooma 

- It is not easy for you to take somewhere else.

- It is not smart phone with all its benefits.

Ooma Telo VoIP Free Home Phone Service with Linx Wireless DECT Remote Phone Jack
Ooma Telo HD Bundle

Conclusion

They are both about the same cost each month. I pay less than $4 a month in taxes for Ooma. Home service for Republic Wireless is a little more than $5 with taxes.

I should also mention the biggest disadvantage for anyone considering either option as an alternative to a traditional land line. They both go out with power or Internet outages. If you used the $10 a month service with RW, you would have a Sprint cell network back up.

All said, I probably would get a Moto E instead of a Ooma if I had to buy it today. Since I already have one, I will just keep the Ooma.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What is the best strategy for the lowest solar bill?

In Dec 2014, our solar panels started generating electricity. My billing cycle started Dec 16. My meter was switched on Dec 19. My monitoring system was finally set up on Jan 4. I think there was some time between Dec 19 and the beginning of Jan that something was not quite right and maybe I wasn't producing electricity or it wasn't being used or sent back.


You can see in the screen shot that used a total of 811 kWh from Dec 19 to Jan 15.

I was credited a total of 673 kWh.

On peak, I generated 166 more kWh than I used. My understanding is that this will carry over to the next month up until the end of the calendar year. At that time, they will credit my account a dollar amount. Maybe that will be at a wholesale price?

Off peak, I used 304 kWh more than I generated. I am sure that a lot of this is because over 12 hours is at night.

My instinct is that I should remain on the Time Adv 7pm-Noon plan. I will continue to bank peak kWh until I start using my A/C. I know that last summer and fall we significantly reduced our payment by super-cooling. We used more electricity as a whole but much less between noon and 7 pm.

I wonder if I should continue this same strategy once we start to use A/C.

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key words: Super cool, supercool, super-cool, super-cooling

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fairness for All

The church announced a clarification of is position on the balancing of religious rights and LGBT rights.



I like this quote from Sister Neill Marriott of the YW Presidency.

The debate we speak of today is about how to affirm rights for some without taking away from the rights of others. On one side of the debate we have advocates of LGBT rights. This movement arose after centuries of ridicule, persecution and even violence against homosexuals. Ultimately, most of society recognized that such treatment was simply wrong, and that such basic human rights as securing a job or a place to live should not depend on a person’s sexual orientation.   
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes that sexual relations other than between a man and a woman who are married are contrary to the laws of God.
This commandment and doctrine comes from sacred scripture and we are not at liberty to change it. But, God is loving and merciful. 
His heart reaches out to all of His children equally and He expects us to treat each other with love and fairness. There's ample evidence in the life of Jesus Christ to demonstrate that He stood firm for living the laws of God, yet reached out to those who had been marginalized even though He was criticized for doing so. Racial minorities, women, the elderly, people with physical or mental disabilities, and those with unpopular occupations all found empathy from the Savior of mankind 
It's for this reason that the Church has publicly favored laws and ordinances that protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing and employment. 
I am glad that Elder Oaks listed some example of attacks on religious freedom.
- In the state of California, two-dozen Christian student groups have been denied recognition because they require their own leaders to share their Christian beliefs. The university system is forcing these groups to compromise their religious conscience if they want recognition for their clubs.  
- Recently in one of America’s largest cities, government lawyers subpoenaed the sermons and notes of pastors who opposed parts of a new law on religious grounds. These pastors faced not only intimidation, but also criminal prosecution for insisting that a new gay rights ordinance should be put to a vote of the people. 
- Several years ago, an Olympic gold-medal gymnast—a Latter-day Saint, as it happened—had been selected to lead the American delegation to the Olympic Games. He was pressured to resign as the symbolic head of the team because gay rights advocates protested that he had supported Proposition 8 in California. Ironically, he was denied the same freedom of conscience that commentators demanded for the gay athletes he would symbolically represent.    
- More recently, the head of a large American corporation was forced to resign from his position in a similar well-publicized backlash to his personal beliefs. 
Finally, I like the way Elder Holland closed the conference.
We must find ways to show respect for others whose beliefs, values and behaviors differ from ours while never being forced to deny or abandon our own beliefs, values and behaviors in the process. Every citizen’s rights are best guarded when each person and group guards for others those rights they wish guarded for themselves.



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Here is a summary of key points from the religious freedom announcement.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rand Paul's Response to Obama's 2015 State of the Union



"The President is intent on redistributing the pie but not growing it. He misunderstands that the bulk of America wants a bigger pie. They want to work and don’t want a handout—but a hand up." ("Rand Paul's Response to Obama's 2015 State of the Union", Breitbart.com, Jan 20, 2015)