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)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

On Not Being an Object Lesson

I went on a 20 mile hike with our by scout troop last Saturday. I have become an object lesson of what not to do to prevent and care for blistering feet.

Here are some things that I thought of afterward that would have prevented and minimized the blisters I got.

- Ensure that my shoes were snugly tied to minimize friction on my feet.
- Wear nylons and then sock over the nylons
- Bring extra pair(s) of socks to keep my feet dry.
- Use medical tape to wrap the toes I that have gotten blisters in the past.






Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rand Paul vs. Marco Rubio on wasteful government spending


("Rand Paul vs. Marco Rubio on wasteful government spending: Fox Business GOP Debate", 10 Nov 2015, YouTube.com)

PAUL: Neil, there's a point I'd like to make here about the tax credits.

We have to decide what is conservative and what isn't conservative. Is it fiscally conservative to have a trillion-dollar expenditure? We're not talking about giving people back their tax money. He's talking about giving people money they didn't pay. It's a welfare transfer payment.

So here's what we have. Is it conservative to have $1 trillion in transfer payments -- a new welfare program that's a refundable tax credit? Add that to Marco's plan for $1 trillion in new military spending, and you get something that looks, to me, not very conservative. Thank you.

RUBIO: So let me begin with this. I actually believe -- first of all, this is their money. They do pay. It is refundable, not just against the taxes they pay to the government, but also the -- on their federal income tax, it's refundable against the payroll tax.

Everyone pays payroll tax. This is their money. This is not our money. And here's what I don't understand -- if you invest that money in a piece of equipment, if you invest that money in a business, you get to write it off your taxes.

But if you invest it in your children, in the future of America and strengthening your family, we're not going to recognize that in our tax code? The family is the most important institution in society. And, yes...

PAUL: Nevertheless, it's not very conservative, Marco.

RUBIO: ... I do want to rebuild the American military.

PAUL: How is it conservative?

RUBIO: I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I'm not. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place, when the United States is the strongest military power in the world.

PAUL: Yeah, but, Marco! Marco! How is it conservative, how is it conservative to add a trillion-dollar expenditure for the federal government that you're not paying for?

RUBIO: Because... PAUL: How is it conservative?

RUBIO: ...are you talking about the military, Rand?

PAUL How is it conservative to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures? You can not be a conservative if you're going to keep promoting new programs that you're not going to pay for.

RUBIO: We can't even have an economy if we're not safe. There are radical jihadist in the Middle East beheading people and crucifying Christians. A radical Shia cleric in Iran trying to get a nuclear weapon, the Chinese taking over the South China Sea...

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.

("The fourth Republican debate transcript, annotated", 10 Nov 2015, WashintonPost.com)


Closing Statement

PAUL: We're the richest, freest, most humanitarian nation in the history of mankind. But we also borrow a million dollars a minute. And the question I have for all Americans is, think about it, can you be a fiscal conservative if you don't conserve all of the money? If you're a profligate spender, you spend money in an unlimited fashion for the military, is that a conservative notion? We have to be conservative with all spending, domestic spending and welfare spending. I'm the only fiscal conservative on the stage.


From "How Rubio gave the most liberal answer of the debate", Jack Hunter, 11 Nov 2015, rare.us)

Paul agrees with Rubio that America needs to be the strongest military power in the world, but… 
With a $18 trillion national debt, how are we going to pay for it? 
Again, Rubio’s answer was the same as any liberal Democrat’s. 
When Republicans ask Democrats how they’re going to pay for Obamacare, Democrats accuse Republicans of not caring if people get sick
When Republicans ask Democrats how they’re going to pay for education, Democrats accuse Republicans of not caring about education
When Republicans ask Democrats how they’re going to keep paying for a broken Medicare system, Democrats accuse Republicans of wanting to push grandma off a cliff
When Republicans ask Democrats about how they’re going to pay for all of the big government programs Democrats are constantly promising, Democrats accuse Republicans of not caring about the poor, children, women, minorities and just about any other group you can imagine. 
Anytime Republicans want to cut spending anywhere, Democrats say Republicans don’t care. 
When Rand Paul asked Marco Rubio how he was going to pay for an additional trillion dollars in military spending, Rubio’s answer was to say Paul did not care about keeping the country safe. 
At no point in the exchange, did Paul say any such thing. Paul cares about keeping the country safe, but also cares how we pay for it. 
In fact, Paul said, “I want a strong national defense but I don’t want us to be bankrupt.” 
Rubio never answered how we would pay for a new trillion in military expenditures. He just kept repeating that Rand Paul doesn’t care about national security. 
Rubio tried to fear monger and scare people. That’s what liberals do. Conservatives ask how we’re going to pay for things. 
So congratulations, Marco Rubio, on giving the most liberal answer of the debate.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Do You Want To Be More Or Less Involved In Foreign Wars?


Rand Paul: Clinton & Rubio Are Like "The Same Person," Neoconservative Internationalists

45% of Repuplicans said they wanted to be more involved in foreign war
41% of Republicans said they wanted to be less involved

Where do you stand?

-
Rand Paul talking to President Obama:
When you ran for office, you said that no President can unilaterally go to war without the approval of Congress, unless there was an imminent danger. And he said, yeah there was, to Bengazi. I was horrified by the answer. You think that an imminent threat to a foreign country is enough for you to act unilaterally?

This is a big deal, our founding fathers never intended for a President to act unilaterally.

Friday, November 6, 2015

If you're pro-life, you've got to be pro-life for the whole life

Chris Christie Makes Emotional Plea To Rethink Drug Addiction ...


Chris Christie Makes Emotional Plea To Rethink Drug Addiction ...
"Somehow, if it's heroin or cocaine or alcohol, we say, 'They decided it, they're getting what they deserved.'"(Read more here: http://huff.to/1LQg27g)
Posted by HuffPost Politics on Friday, October 30, 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015

There’s No Such Thing as Excessive Profits

"To bemoan a capitalist earning high profits is like complaining about a surgeon saving too many lives." ("There’s No Such Thing as Excessive Profits", 22 Oct 2015, Robert P. Murphy)

Now to criticize what to do with those profits is fair game. With much profit comes much responsibility.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Locked doors, headaches, and intellectual need

I am seeing potential for upping my game as a father here.

Locked doors, headaches, and intellectual need

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Over 1000 Peer Reviewed Articles on Climate

From 'Book Review – “Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist”, by Steven L. Peck' by rameumptom

here is an Internet link that has over 1000 peer reviewed articles on climate, just so you can see that the truth is a little inconvenient, if you will not take the time to discuss it: 
http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html
From the link:
Preface: The following papers support skeptic arguments against Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC), Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) or Alarmism [Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) or Dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming (DAGW)].
I tend towards Rameumptom's view:
As for me, I am an agnostic in regards to global warming. I believe there probably is anthropogenic climate change going on. I’m just not certain how much it affects the over all, long term climate. My concern is that in most discussions I’ve seen, other issues are dismissed, such as solar activity, El Nino, etc., on how they affect climate.  And if things are growing warmer, whether that is a good or bad thing (previous warming periods have benefited many ecosystems and man).
--Update 2017-06-05
"Fox News’ Chris Wallace Confronts Al Gore With His Failed Global Warming Predictions [VIDEO]" http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/78739-2/



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Houston versus Chicago

Houston and Chicago are pretty similar demographically.

How do we account for the difference in the murder rate in the two? In 2012 Chicago had 500, in Houston, 216.

Might it be that there are more guns? Or that there guns being carried legally concealed?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wisdom in Advocating Change



As true now as it was then and as it will be in 20 years time.Disturb Reality
Posted by Disturb Reality on Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wisdom from the old Dragnet TV show.

Honor Both Life and the Second Amendment

I believe that we can honor life and the second amendment. I don’t think the way Australia has handled gun rights gives adequate protection for our rights to defend ourselves from other citizens or the government. I see the 2nd amendment like the seat belt I wear every time I get into the car. I do not expect to need it, but would never give it up.

I see another path to reducing and eliminating gun crimes. I remember a story of a teacher that was at Columbine that started taking interviews of her student to see if she might be able to see ahead of time the issues that festered before the tragedy.

I am not sure how that might be implemented in general society maybe something along the lines of R U OK?


Not just a program but a light lit from heart to heart. The root of the problem is the lack of connection. We isolate, we put up barriers. We must be willing to open up. Love is the answer. What that might look like is one, ten, a thousand, then millions transforming their lives. To reach out responsibly to the humans around them. When we all see that there is no difference between you and I, mass shootings will disappear. Just as an arm would not think of destroying its own leg.

I have a friend that held up Australia as an example of how to reduce gun violence. This article shares that there is a great cost to achieving what Australia achieved. I am not willing to pay that price.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Rand Paul Middle East Foreign Policy



Rand Paul Middle East Foreign Policy #StandWithRand #JusticeNeverSleeps #PeaceThroughStrength
Posted by Rand Paul Revolution on Monday, October 5, 2015


I fully support this foreign policy.
The world does not have an Islam problem, the world has a dignity problem...
You cannot solve a dignity problem with a war.
...
Hippocratic Oath: First do no harm
The same question, should we depose Assad?  ...  We're still back there fighting our own weapons. 
-

Saturday, October 3, 2015

One Year of Solar

In January we will have had solar panels for one year. In this article I will tell you what I learned and update it as the year closes.


The first lesson to learn is that there are two buckets APS uses, peak and non-peak. Any electricity generated in one bucket does not get transferred to the other.

The second lesson is that I misunderstood the APS bill. I thought I was going to generate way more than I needed in the peak bucket. To counterbalance this, I did the opposite of super-cooling once we started using our A/C in the spring. On Jul 23, I talked to APS and corrected my misunderstanding. This is why you see an increase of my bill starting in July.

I expect that next year will see a rise in the summer, but not nearly enough.


This graph makes sense if it is showing all the electricity I used, whether from the panels or from APS. If it does not, it seems that Sep is pretty high. 

This graph is from the Sunpower monitoring web app. The reason May is so much lower is my system was offline for 12 days because of a card that was meant for a smaller inverter. When I was generating a lot, it thought it was going to overload. This should be fixed in the next month or so. In Jul I missed 4 days, Aug 1 day, Sep 2 days.

I pay about $200 to lease the solar panels. In 2014, paid an average of $260 a month for electricity. I hope to at least break even, we will see.

Here is a spreadsheet where I have been keeping track of stats and conclusions based on data.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Why Do You Support Trump?


I have a good friend, Jim McPhetres, who supports Donald Trump for President.  Here is his answer.

What I like about Trump is his non political approach. He is a good business man and he has a strong financial education that is different that our politicians today. Unlike them he understands the cost of something whether it's a commodity or a person and how that relates to the bottom line. Currently we have to many in government that only understand how to spend without regard to how they receive the money the use. I believe he will change the philosophy in government to be prudent and smart when they use taxpayer money. I also am very happy to get some of the political correctness out of the way of running our country and staying on track with our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Now I do think he is very full of himself but I also believe that because of that he will not wavier from his promises to Americans. Trump is also the only one who does not support Agenda 21 which in my opinion is a movement that will destroy our nations sovereignty. Trump I believe will bring back industry to America which will put people back to work and with all hope that Americans start feel proud again that they live in a country that provides the American Dreams to be fulfilled. Outside of Cruz and Paul I don't have any hope in the other candidates as I believe they are bought and paid for by the establishment that desires a world government with a global economy which on the grand scale of things does not benefit America. I have many more reasons for supporting him and if you ever like we can meet some time and chat. Hope your having a great week, and thank you Richard for asking my opinion.
My bottom line is that I don't trust him. I support Rand Paul above Trump. I ask you to consider moving your support to Rand from Trump.

He may not be "bought and paid for by the establishment". It also means that he will do whatever he wants. He is used to being the king of his empire. I don't want a king. Rand Paul is libertarian Republican. He certainly is not an establishment candidate.

"He is a good business man and he has a strong financial education" I have my doubts about how good a businessman he is. He strikes me as a man without aversion to risk in his business dealings. And has done about as well as what another could have achieved with less risky investments.
Donald Trump inherited a lot of money and the growth of his wealth has been in line with that of the S&P 500.
Donald Trump's self-described net worth was $200 million in 1982.
If he invested that money in the S&P 500, he'd be worth about $8.3 billion today.
Today he claims his net worth is $8.7 billion. So based on his own claims, he has barely outperformed the S&P since 1982. (quora, See also NewsMax)
"Currently we have to many in government that only understand how to spend without regard to how they receive the money the use." I do not trust him not to spend as much or nearly as much as any other candidate other than Rand Paul.

I am not sure what part of the Constitution Donald Trump advocates for specifically. I hear that he wants to deport anyone from born within the US from foreign nationals. That seems like it is against the 14th Amendment. I am for allowing for more legal immigration.

I am not sure why Agenda 21 is an issue. It was a voluntary, non-binding agreement from 1992. How is this affecting us today?

How will Trump bring industry back to America? Trump supports protectionist policies. They will hurt the economy not help. (See CNBC).

On a final note, I find Trump unnecessarily rude and insulting. "Look at that face" comment of Fiorina. Rand Paul said,
"I kinda have to laugh when I think.. hmm, kind of a non-sequitur. [Trump] was asked whether  he would be capable and it would be in good hands to be in charge of the nuclear weapons, and all of a sudden there's a side ways attack at me. I think that really goes to the judgement. Do we want someone with that kind of character, that kind of careless language to be negotiating with Putin? Do we want someone like that to be negotiating with Iran?  
I think, really, that there is a sophomoric quality that is entertaining about Mr. Trump. But I am worried, I am very concerned about having him in charge of the nuclear weapons, because I think his response, his visceral response to attack people on their appearance, short, tall, fat, ugly. My goodness, that happened in junior high.  Are we not way above that? Would not we all be worried to have someone like that." (Rand Paul, Sep 16, 2015 Debate, YouTube 11:06)

A Government So Small There Is No Influence To Be Sold

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says that Donald J. Trump is a "fake conservative. cnnpolitics.com on FB

"He's a person who promises to be conservative ... but then when you ask him why he gives money to Harry Reid, why he gives money to Charlie Rangel, he says 'well, it's because I want them to do whatever the hell I tell them to do.' That's what's wrong with government ... I want government to be so small there's no influence to be sold."


Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says that Donald J. Trump is a "fake conservative. cnnpolitics.com "He's a person who promises to be conservative ... but then when you ask him why he gives money to Harry Reid, why he gives money to Charlie Rangel, he says 'well, it's because I want them to do whatever the hell I tell them to do.' That's what's wrong with government ... I want government to be so small there's no influence to be sold."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cyber Chip

The Cyber Chip is a card used by the Boy Scouts of America in the tradition of the Totin' Chip and Fire Chip

Programming Merit Badge

I am a counselor for the Boy Scouts of America Programming merit badge. I provide an opportunity to others to be inspired by the possibility of programming in their lives.

Programming merit badge requirements (From meritbadge.org and the PDF)

Here are more notes that I have taken as I prepared to share with the Boy Scouts.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Transforming the Election System

I think our voters would be better represented if our election system was a combination of a jungle primary and an instant-runnoff.

This way the best candidate would win regardless of how many from each party run. The instant-runoff would ensure that only one election is required instead of 2. It would eliminate the ability to game the primary voters and then run as a seemingly different candidate in the general election.

Contribute to What You Love

I love music, I love talk. I chose this morning to donate monetarily to 89.5 KBAQ and 91.5 KJZZ. Following are the reasons I gave to contribute.

KBAQUse Amazon to donate while you shop
It wakes me up in the morning. It soothes me on my way to church. It calms me and invigorates me almost wherever I am.

KJZZUse Amazon to donate while you shop
It is a calm way to get up to date. It gives me a perspective I may not agree with. I welcome it. In it, I seek and find balance in my input biases.

What do you love? Does it inspire a gift from you?

The Form of Government That Inspires the Most Trust

ti·moc·ra·cy
təˈmäkrəsē/
noun
PHILOSOPHY
  1. 1.
    a form of government in which possession of property is required in order to hold office.
  2. 2.
    a form of government in which rulers are motivated by ambition or love of honor.

I had a friend share that she wanted the timocracy form of government. The first image I thought of was of diving war planes into navy ships. The kamikaze of Japan in WWII.

The form of government that inspires the most trust from me is one where correct principles are taught and the people then govern themselves.

The question comes, "How do you know that correct principles are being taught?" or "Who decides what thee correct principles are?"

My answer is that there is a marketplace of ideas protected by the primacy of freedom of expression. That there is no authority able to suppress any idea or system of ideas. Neither an authority to promote one set of ideas above another.

This is enshrined in the USA as the first amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

-

Saturday, September 19, 2015

To Persuade Ourselves Against Recreational Drugs

What is the best way to persuade ourselves, our family and friends and the rest of our communities to not use recreational drugs?

This is the question I would love to know. J. Max Wilson wrote, Reasons to Oppose the Legalization of Recreational Drugs. Following are some comments from a FB post he made that resonate with me.

One of the dangers of implied consent in regards to recreational use of drugs is that there are always those on the margin who will experiment and become addicts who might otherwise not have done so had the implied consent not been given.
I support reformation of punishments for drug abuse, but not necessarily legalization.
A danger of pushing drug legalization in the name of "freedom" is the failure to recognize that drug addiction inherently means a loss of personal freedom as well as collateral damage to loved ones and neighbors. (Brent Douglas Aaron, link)
-
To me, this issue presents like the two lovers or the vase, or the young woman or the old hag, or any other illusion — I can see strong, reasonable arguments on both sides. I lean towards decriminalization primarily to mitigate the police state and other enforcement overreaches, but have never strongly advocated for decriminalization as the solution, because I would be just as happy with laws that bind the police state (but which do not lead to decriminalization altogether). 
My suspicion is that our present legal system is simply not equipped to assuage the concerns of all interested parties. Perhaps a common law system might be able to address the concerns of both sides: (1) specific wrongs brought about by drug use can be redressed (brought against the defendant by the persons harmed, or the state acting on behalf of named victims), (2) a person could still smoke weed alone in a cabin in the woods on his two-month vacation without fearing police action.  
The idea being that recreational drug use could still trigger legal action, but does not *have* to — a common law system can take relevant contexts into account in a way that our present legal system cannot. (Jeffrey Thayne, link)
-
Richard, there are two main differences between drug prohibition and alcohol prohibition that make them not parallel: 
1. As Dalrymple explains in the article I linked, alcohol prohibition attempted to prohibit something that a vast majority of Americans consumed regularly or even daily, and had been culturally acceptable and widespread for millennia. Other recreational drugs have never been similarly acceptable or widely used.
2. Alcohol Prohibition only criminalized the manufacture and sale of alcohol, not possession or consumption. So it curtailed supply but not demand. Drug prohibition makes both illegal. So the dynamics are not the same. 
Attempts to make them parallel conveniently ignore these important differences. (Jonathan Max Wilson, link)
-

Why Our Budget is Racing Out of Control

Farm subsidies are useful to our national budget or they are not, but that is beside the point. They keep getting funded because it costs each taxpayer only a few dollars to fund them and they get millions. They then use a portion of those millions to ensure that their congressperson keeps the money coming.

The only way out of this unhealthy cycle is to cut the government off at the knees. We need to truncate its police power. And slice off huge portions of its budget. And cut our taxes. All at the same time.

I love Rand Paul's approach:
- Eliminate FICA workers tax
- End Corporate Welfare
- Eliminate Lobbyists and Tax Lawyers
- No Special Tax Breaks
- One low 14.5% tax break

Benefits are
- Grow our economy, create 2 million jobs
- Simple tax filing, get the IRS out of our lives.
- A tax cut for every American

Friday, September 18, 2015

Free College?

Bernie Sanders wants to make public university free. I do admire his intention. I also want more people to have access to education. I just think that student loan subsidies drive up the costs of education. When there is more money in the market for education, the cost goes up. That is econ 101.

Making it free is the ultimate subsidy. Students may not pay for it but those who do will pay much more dearly.

His plan does not consider the principle of contribution. In order for the education to have full power, the participants must be willing to sacrifice.

I like the approach of Mike Rowe.
http://profoundlydisconnected.com/

Study: Yes, Student Loans Are Making College More Expensive

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What Are the Most Effective Ways to Reduce Abortions.

I am not convinced that the best ways to reduce the number of abortions are education and easy access to contraception. Following are my reasons to believe this.

"In many populations, rising levels of contraceptive prevalence are not associated over time with falling levels of abortion." (Relationships Between Contraception and Abortion: A Review of the Evidence, Cicely Marston and John Cleland, Volume 29, Number 1, March 2003)

-

The big question outside of a policy that is most effective in reducing abortions is the ethics of abortion.

At what point is a fetus a human with the same human rights as any other. Birth? moments before birth? 3 months, 6 months? Conception?

Whenever is that magic time in development is. Once they have reached it, it is not about a stats game. It is murder.

-

I don't trust the stats that say that education contraception are always the most effective way to reduce abortions.

I imagine that it is somewhat like a bell curve. Education and contraception are effective up to a point. After that point, people will get abortions because it is easier and/or the ethics of it generally are that it is only clumps of flesh and not a human being worth defending.

-
It is easy for some to recommend the advisable thing based on the evidence of the results reducing the amount of abortions.

There is a sickness in my stomach when I think of doing the advisable thing. Clumps of flesh they are NOT. They are human or at the very least the seeds of humanity.

They are worth more than rational advisement.

-
FB Post that inspired these notes.
-

I do trust that all will work out. Either God is or He or She or It isn't.
Either we have all eternity to work everything out or we don't.
... I could go on forever.

In the end the most effective way to transform humans to be higher evolved, it is probably not going to happen because of the President we happen to choose.

The sitting President is not the cause of most Good or Bad in the world. He or She is more a collective result of the Good and Bad in the people.

What Do You Want in a Phone?

My dad is looking for a cell phone. Following is my way of showing him the options so he gets the best phone for the money. There is a spectrum of phones and services that go from inexpensive to not. So what do you get for your money?

From what I understand, my dad wants a phone
1) That is easy to use
2) That he will be able to use in an emergency
  a) He can hear the other voice and they him
  b) He can use maps to get around
3) That he can do other fun and useful stuff with

Republic Wireless

For less than $20 a month you get free talking and texting and a limited amount of data. From my experience, using maps several times a month. Looking occasionally at web sites and other apps that are not music or video streaming apps. You also get voices that are sometimes choppy and hard to hear. You can buy more data at $7.50 per 500 MB. Whatever you do not use, you don't pay for.

This is the service I use. I bought a Moto E (1st gen) with a 32 GB SD card for about $120. It is a low end phone. It is slow for me. I drop calls now and then. The apps and phone can get bogged down. I think a lot of this is because the machine is under-powered. For a user that will not install a lot of apps, it may be satisfactory.

My wife has a Moto X (2nd gen) and 32 GB of memory for $350. She has a much better experience than I. It is about 10 times as fast. I am not sure what her experience is with dropped calls and voice quality.

Sprint

$45 Unlimited talk and text, 1GB.
$22/month lease
$22.92 installment billing 0% apr. $550
Can upgrade anytime in the cost of the plan.

T-Mobile

$50 a month, 1GB of high speed
Certified pre-owned 5S. $7 a month, $279 outright.
iPhone 6. $27 a month, $649 outright.

Verizon

We switched from Verizon to Republic Wireless in Nov 2014. We went from paying $85 a month sharing a plan with my in-laws. That is with feature phones and some texting between the both of us.  Republic wireless is less than $40 a month for two android phones. Unlimited talk and text, and some data.

For my dad I think he would have the best experience with an iPhone. He already has an iPad. He won't have to learn a new OS.

No Service contract, pay off the remainder

$50 a month, 1GB
iPhone 6 plus: $649 or $27/month
iPhone 6: $549 or $23/month




My Thoughts on the Sep 16 Debate

Here are my thoughts about the Republican debate on Sep 16, 2015.

Rand Paul
"I kinda have to laugh when I think.. hmm, kind of a non-sequitur. [Trump] was asked whether  he would be capable and it would be in good hands to be in charge of the nuclear weapons, and all of a sudden there's a side ways attack at me. I think that really goes to the judgement. Do we want someone with that kind of character, that kind of careless language to be negotiating with Putin? Do we want someone like that to be negotiating with Iran?

I think, really, that there is a sophomoric quality that is entertaining about Mr. Trump. But I am worried, I am very concerned about having him in charge of the nuclear weapons, because I think his response, his visceral response to attack people on their appearance, short, tall, fat, ugly. My goodness, that happened in junior high.  Are we not way above that? Would not we all be worried to have someone like that.
" (11:06)

Mike Huckabee
Mr T comment "You're a fool" comment was funny in more than one way.

Marco Rubio
-

Ted Cruz
-

Ben Carson
-

Donald Trump
"Not in a Braggadocio" I don't believe it.
"A great life altogether" Not eloquent.

"First of all, Rand Paul shouldn't even be on this stage..." What? He is trying to winnow down the field? Why?

Jeb Bush
"A dedicated reformer" I don't believe it

Scott Walker
"Go big and go bold" I want to believe it. I am skeptical

Carly Fiorina
"Donald Trump is a wonderful entertainer. He's been terrific at that business." (8:57)
"One of the benefits of a Presidential campaign is character, capability, judgement and temperament of every single one of us is revealed, over time and under pressure.  All of us will be revealed over time and under pressure. I look forward to a long race. " (9:27)
"From secretary to CEO" is inspiring.
"A government so big..." my vision.


John Kasich
-

Chris Christie
-

FULL CNN GOP Debate: 2nd CNN Republican Presidential Debate Part 1/5 Sept. 16, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Serious Candidate?

I have a hard time taking a Donald Trump seriously when
- He insults the face of a fellow candidate
- He has a history of speaking about women without respect.
- He seems to have no discipline for what comes out of his mouth.
- Maybe he

I do not support a candidate that is 80% bluster and 20% policy content. He has all of one issue on his position page of his web site. Really? I do not support his protectionist economic policies. He does not seem to know what he is talking about in foreign policy.

Please, Trump supporters tell me why I should take him seriously.

Other questions: University Fraud?,

Friday, September 4, 2015

Donald Trump is a Protectionist

Donald Trump is more about protecting the American economy rather than getting out of its way so it can compete globally on a level playing field. I do not support him.

"Mr. Trump’s proposal to increase taxes on companies such as Ford when they source parts or make cars in countries like Mexico. The billionaire real estate developer suggested imposing a 35 percent tax on the carmaker as a penalty for such behavior." ("Business Group Assails Donald Trump for Urging Higher Taxes on Some Companies", Alan Rappeport, 26 Aug 15, New York Times)

Upholding the Law and Supporting Conscientious Objectors

There are possible win-win solutions to upholding the law and allowing for conscientious objectors to same sex marriage.

"Ryan Anderson talks some sense on Kim Davis case"

(http://www.cbn.com/tv/embedplayernews.aspx?bcid=4462155465001)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Is Edward Snowden more Noble or Treasonous?


Is Edward Snowden more noble in that he revealed practices the government unduly kept secret? Or was he more treasonous in that he revealed sensitive information that unduly put our protectors at risk? I do not have enough information to conclude definitively. I do believe that, in the long term, he has caused us more benefit than harm.

On May 13 & May 20, 2014 Frontline aired "United States of Secrets". It ends with the many and detailed secrets about how the US government violated privacy measures in law and in the constitution. Whatever security problems that may have come from the secrets he revealed is outweighed by the light he is shining on our own government. It is currently available to watch on Netflix.

One of the principles that makes the USA great is that "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed". If the government unduly keep practices and policies from the people, they cannot consent to them. It seems that Dick Cheney prompted and approved breaches in the boundaries set after Watergate. The NSA has been gathering data from the Internet and elsewhere on a wholesale level, starting sometime after 9/11/2001. Edward Snowden revealed this secret and has done us a service in doing so.

Principles That Have Made America Great

America was and is great not because of our birthright or the land we live on. We are great as far as we live by the principles that make us great. Following is a list of some of those principles.

From the Declaration of Independence:


There are truths that are generally evident to humans 

We hold these truths to be self-evident
[Humans] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

All men are created equal

All humans are created with equal potential for greatness.

Unalienable Rights

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed

If the government unduly keep practices and policies from the people, they cannot consent to them.

People have a right to alter, abolish and institute new Government

"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"

Bullard Road Diet

In Aug 2015, the city of Surprise put Bullard Avenue on a road diet. It was narrowed from 4 lanes to 2 lane of auto traffic. A glof cart lane was added and the bike lane was expanded. In this article, I am listing the for and against argument for keeping this arrangement.

Against

Two lanes cannot possibly be better at moving traffic faster than four lanes. During the school peak times, the right lanes will be used as ad-hoc right turn lanes because through traffic will tend to stay in the left lane.

Two lanes are not safer than 4. Impatient drivers may choose to drive in the golf cart and bike lanes to get around those going the speed limit. This may put at risk vehicles in the right lanes.


For

It may encourage more people to use the bike lanes, as long as they feel they are safe to use. Instead of waiting in car lines to drop off or pick up kids, children may bike to and from school.

The gold cart lane may be usable by small cars. It may encourage the use of these.

If the community accepts the road diet, the culture of living at a balanced rate may develop. We may just enjoy our drives rather than racing to get to point B.

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FB Post in Surprise Matters Group
FB Post

Friday, August 28, 2015

Snowden and United States of Secrets

On May 13 & May 20, 2014 Frontline aired United States of Secrets. It ends with the many and detailed secrets about how the US government violated privacy measures in law and in the constitution. Whatever security problems that may have come from the secrets he revealed is outweighed by the light he is shining on our own government.

It is currently available to watch on Netflix.

AirDroid vs. Google Voice

AirDroid seems to have everything I ever wanted Google Voice to give me. And I get to use my actual number instead of another one forwarding to my real number.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Concentrated Benefits and Dispersed Costs



See also public choice theory

Centralized Planning vs. Emergent Order



The Economics of The LEGO Movie, Centralized Planning vs. Emergent Order

Keynes Vs Hayek



No one would be trying to buy government



Rand Paul in Peterborough, NH 8/11/2015 #StandWithRand #DumpTrump
Posted by Rand Paul Revolution on Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Asked about a plan to reduce the need for candidates to keep scrounging for money.
"If Government were a lot smaller, and if government were not passing out so many favors, then no one would be trying to buy government."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How My City Government Works

My city councilman Todd Tande posted this in NextDoor.com. I am copying it here as a concise, common language, description of how my city government works. I am sure that we have an exceptional councilman.

I gather and post on social media, the factual information and/or additional factual clarifications of the information hoping that it will be helpful to citizens that want to be engaged. I try to include links to the source data so that those who are interested can research the issue being posted in more detail if they wish.  
There are many methods that residents contact me besides Nextdoor.com, and as with most all issues including this one, I receive both positive and negative responses as it would be highly unusual for everyone to have the exact same opinion. Even those who have the same general opinion often disagree on details of a solution. 
Due to Open Meeting Laws, I do not debate issues in a public forum such as this.
The Mayor and City Council Members must comply with the State of Arizona Open Meeting Laws. It would be inappropriate and perhaps illegal for me to share how I would vote on any upcoming issue. If you receive an e-mail from a member of City Council that expresses the member's opinion on an upcoming issue, you are also likely to see the following statement at the bottom of the email: -- 
" This e-mail is being transmitted to or by a member of the Surprise City Council. A recipient of this e-mail who wishes to retransmit this e-mail should be careful that the e-mail is not transmitted to a quorum of a public body upon which the recipient sits."  
I also saw many posts asking how our government works, so I will attempt to briefly clarify how our local government works here, so that you can better help me advocate your ideas. As a City Council Member, I am your representative. I also am the representative for those who disagree with you on any and all issues. I strive to not take sides of one person over another person. I strive to decide issues based upon the facts and goals of an issue. 
Surprise has a Council Manager form of government. The Mayor and City Council Members do not run the day to day operations of the City. This form of government came about in the early 1900's partially to attempt to limit political influence in favor of striving for excellence in operations, which should provide for better overall outcomes... you would not want your City Council Member to design, manage, or police a street for example, so instead, a City Manager is appointed by a vote of the entire City Council and the City Manager is responsible for day to day decisions including hiring a professionally educated and experienced staff that do run the day to day operations of the City.  
Here is just one of the rules that City Council must comply with:
Rule 9. Policy Role of Members
The Role of each Member, as an individual, is to represent the community and to share their ideas, recommendations, and point of view forward during consideration of matters before the body.
Members must respect and adhere to the Council‐Manager structure of the Surprise City government as outlined in City Code. In this structure, the City Council determines the policies of the City with the advice, information and analysis provided by the public, boards, commissions, committees and City staff.
Members therefore may not interfere with the administrative functions of the City or the professional duties of City staff; nor impair the ability of staff to implement Council policy decisions.  
I am looking forward to the meeting on Monday where we can hear a brief explanation about the purpose of the changes on Bullard, a few of the results the City staff are seeing, and mostly, for staff to hear from residents.  
I will also have a signup sheet for those of you that would like to attend District 6 meetings to discuss items and advise me prior to my voting on items at a City Council Meeting. I believe that it is very good thing for our residents to be engaged and interested in our City. You can also signup for the District 6 Newsletter and announcements by visiting our District 6 webpage below. 
Todd Tande
City Council Member - District 6
D6.SurpriseAZ.gov

Monday, August 17, 2015

Is Abortion Ethical?



"The Most Important Question About Abortion" Prager University, Dennis Prager Aug 17, 2015

Transcript:
Let's talk about one of the most emotionally charged subjects there is -- abortion -- but in an unemotional way. Also, let's not touch on the question that most preoccupies discussion of the subject -- whether abortion should be legal or illegal. The only question here is the moral one: Is ending the life of a human fetus, moral? 
Let's begin with this question: Does the human fetus have any value and or rights? Now it's a scientific fact that a human fetus is human life. Those who argue that the human fetus has no rights say that a fetus is not a person. But even if you believe that, it doesn't mean the fetus has no intrinsic value or no rights.There are many living beings that are not persons that have both value and rights: Dogs and other animals, for example.  
And that's Moral Argument Number One: A living being doesn't have to be a person in order to have intrinsic moral value and rights. When challenged with this argument, people usually change the subject to the rights of the mother - meaning the right of a mother to end her fetus's life under any circumstance, for any reason, and at any time in her pregnancy. Is that moral? It is only if we believe that the human fetus has no intrinsic worth. But in most cases, nearly everyone believes that the human fetus has essentially infinite worth and an almost absolute right to live. When? When a pregnant woman wants to give birth. Then, society - and its laws - regard the fetus as so valuable that if someone were to kill that fetus, that person could be prosecuted for homicide. Only if a pregnant woman doesn't want to give birth, do many people regard the fvetus as worthless. Now, does that make sense? It doesn't seem to.  
And this is Moral Argument Number Two: On what moral grounds does the mother alone decide a fetus's worth? We certainly don't do that with regard to a newborn child. It is society, not the mother - or the father - that determines whether a newborn child has worth and a right to live.  
So, the question is: Why should that be different before the human being is born? Why does one person, a mother, get to determine whether that being has any right to live? People respond by saying that a woman has the right to "control her body." Now, that is entirely correct. The problem here, however, is that the fetus is not "her body;" it is in her body. It is a separate body. 

And that is Moral Arguement Number Three. No one ever asks a pregnant woman, "How's your body? when asking about the fetus. People ask, "who's the baby?"
Moral Argument Number Four: Virtually everyone agrees that the moment the baby comes out of the womb, killing the baby is murder. But deliberately killing it a few months before birth is considered no more problematic than extracting a tooth. How does that make sense?  
And finally, Moral Argument Number Five: Aren't there instances in which just about everyone - even among those who are pro-choice - would acknowledge that an abortion might not be moral? 
For example, would it be moral to abort a female fetus solely because the mother prefers boys to girls - as has happened millions of times in China and elsewhere? And one more example: Let's say science develops a method of determining whether a child in the womb is gay or straight. WOuld it be moral to kill a gay fetus because the mother didn't want a gay child? 
People may offer practical reasons not to criminalize all abortions. People may differ about when personhood begins; and about the morality of abortion after rape or incest. But with regard to the vast majority of abortions - those of healhty women aborting a healthy fetus - let's be clear. Most of these abortions just aren't moral.  
Good societies can survive people doing immoral things. But a good socirty cannot survive if it calls immoral things moral. 





Either a human fetus has worth or it doesn't.



Friday, August 14, 2015

Every child has a right to a mother and a father; no one has a right to a child

Our 5 principles represent what we stand for. Passion for these principles is what unites us and motivate us.   
1. Marriage is a permanent, exclusive union between one man and one woman  
2. Every child has a right to a mother and a father; no one has a right to a child. 
3. Every human being has a right to life from conception until natural death.   
4. Every person possesses a unique dignity and is worthy of respect, regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, sexual feelings, race, educational level, religious or political ideas.  
5. Every person has a right to freedom of conscience, thought, and religion, which includes the freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs in a public or private way so long as these beliefs and practices do not harm others. (The principles of CanaVox)

I believe that "Every child has a right to a mother and a father; no one has a right to a child."

That means a woman does not have a right to the sperm of a man to get pregnant. That it is irresponsible for a man and a woman to purposely get pregnant with the intention of not raising the child together. That if a man and a woman should not have sex unless they are married.

It just is not responsible with respect to the child they may create. The child or possible child that is created has rights. We have an ethical obligation to persuade others in our communities to be responsible with our reproductive power.

I believe that same sex couples should not create children with the intention of separating the child from their biological parents. I think that gay couples willing to adopt is a great for children outside the ideal and that married men women are a better situation all other things being equal.

What Does it Take to have a Polite and Civil Society?

From one of my FB Friends,
if we are going to have a polite and civil society, we cannot force our views on other people, no matter what those views are. We can invite, we can try to persuade, we can even peacefully boycott. But we cannot force. The gay couple involved wants to FORCE another person to do something for them. This is the crux of the matter, in my opinion. The moment you begin to use force, i.e., coercion from government, which will either fine the people involved or put them in jail, you are nothing more than a bully.
And in relation to this story,
he is not refusing to conduct business with a defined segment of society. He is more than happy to bake cakes for gay people. The issue is that he does not want to participate in an event he disagrees with, which is a first amendment freedom of expression issue. (There is actually a Supreme Court precedent on this). In addition, there are no public accommodation issues involved because there are plenty of other bakers who would be happy to take his business. As a Mormon, if an evangelical didn't want to bake a cake for my temple wedding, I would happily say "thank you for letting me know you are a bigot -- I will take my business elsewhere." This is what the gay couple should have done.
I have a different FB friend that took issue with my post.
So the black child who forced the elementary school to let her attend was a bully? 
The accused who forces the government to give him access to the tools necessary for defending himself is a bully? 
The woman who forces her employer to stop harassing her is a bully? 
Your friend is wrong. Government force, used by the weaker party to level the unfair playing field that is imposed by the powerful is not a bully. The bully is the one who used a position of social advantage to keep another person down.
Here is my response,
I think the general principle is outlined in D&C 121. It is possible to do otherwise but it is not the most effective way of making change, especially transformational change.  
Gahndi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Nelson Mandela did more than the US government ever could have done by the force of law.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Sea Change in the Relationships of Gays and Mormons

I am open to the possibility of a sea change in my reality. I had a conversation with a good friend on Saturday. A new, good friend.

He is gay.

This is what I wrote after talking to him.

I pretend I know the truth about being gay when I don't. The result is that I don't have anyone close to me that is gay. I am keeping myself from the access of one way I can find out what is real about being gay. About what the word marriage means in connection to those that are gay.

Wow. This floored me. I am not yet willing to accept this statement. I am willing to try it on. Consider it. Investigate such that my tests for truth will bear out if it is true or not.

Cross posted from http://richalger.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-sea-change-in-relationships-of-gays.html

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bear Witness to Provide Evidence of the Truth

The phrase "bear witness to the truth" has always been confusing to me. Shouldn't it be bare witness of the truth? Meaning exposing my witness of the truth?

I think I found where it came from. Sterling Dictionary of Idioms lists this.

bear witness to provide evidence of the truth
His evidence bore witness to my case.
It seems to me that "bear witness to the truth" is just a shortening of this phrase. That makes so much more sense.



Take heart from the pro-life movement



Notes/Partial transcript:

Types of consequences
- Marriage itself. It will be hard to say that fathers are essential when Justice Kennedy has redefined marriage to make fathers optional... [Same sex marriage] is both a symptom and a cause. Societies that have depreciated marriage tend to redefine marriage; which in turn accelerated the depreciation of marriage.

Same-sex marriage institutionalizes missing parents.
Children who were raised in a divorced family, divorced and remarried, adoptive families, single parent families. Those children were all allowed to say, "Hey I'm struggling because my dad's missing or my mom's missing". Same-sex marriage will make it so that children being raised by same-sex couples will be told, "The problem is not with objective reality. The problem's with you. You are interpreting your reality falsly."

- Unborn human life. Redefining marriage redefines parenthood. It redefines the obligations that adults have to children. It will also increase the use of assisted reproductive technologies. Which leave in their wake many frozen embryos and embryos that will never be implanted.

- Religious Liberty. We've seen the cases of the bakers, the florists, the photographers, adoption agencies, Christian schools and Universities, have all come under threat or even government fines and penalties because of their belief about marriage.
...
The free exercise of religion is not just the freedom of worship. So, there's a chapter in the book that talks about religious  liberty as a natural human right. It's not what the Obama administration has been saying, "freedom inside your chapel to do what you want to do", it's freedom Monday through Saturday as well; to live out your faith in the public square.

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Take heart from the pro-life movement. "My parent's generation did the hard work of bearing witness to the truth. And now, today, we get to reap those fruits. The same thing needs to take place in the marriage issue."

Three particular lessons from the pro-life movement:
- Rejected Roe v Wade: Roe v Wade is a wrong court ruling. It got the constitution wrong and it got unborn children wrong. It told a lie about the constitution. It told a lie about unborn children.
- Protected its freedom: It made sure that no pro-life American would ever have to pay for or perform an abortion.
Make sure that no pro-marriage American will ever be forced to violate their beliefs about marriage.
- Committed themselves to the long haul of bearing witness to the truth:

I am committed to the long haul for both life and marriage.




Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Myth of the Population Bomb

The Population Bomb is a book written by Paul R. Ehrlich in 1968. "It warned of the mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth." (Wikipedia Page)

There are many criticisms of the predictions of this book.

What Ehrlich famously got wrong was the planet’s carrying capacity. Sure, global population doubled. But thanks to the Green Revolution, per-acre grain yields went up much faster than that. The inflection point in global agricultural productivity, in fact, came just as Ehrlich was finishing his book. ("Why 'The Population Bomb' Bombed", Justin Fox, Jun 1, 2015)

We all have the inherit right to produce life. Technology has proven that we, as a whole, will be able to take care of them. Parents also have the responsibility to care for their children physically, emotionally and socially.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

April Generates more than June

I generated more electricity with my sunpower.com panels in April than I did in June.


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I am not sure why. I think we must have had more cloudy days in June than in April. I was expecting more in June than April because the sun is up longer and is more directly overhead. It is also possible that the panels are getting dirty from the dust storms.

May does not help much because the system went offline on May 18 and did not come back on until part way through June 1. I look forward to the promised email notification system they have promised will come.


Monday, June 1, 2015

State Polygamy

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Will we honor marriage or will we create a “kind of ‘state polygamy’ where women congregate around the major source of wealth — the government — while men slink off into their separate quarters to pursue a fading warrior culture — played out this time on video games”? ...
In short, will we insist on the ideal of a girl for every boy, a boy for every girl — and a mother and father for every child?

(Marriage and Civilization: How Monogamy Made Us Human, William Tucker, Quoted in The Evolution of Marriage, Ryan Anderson, May 2014)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Birth Control, Abortion and Health Insurance

I don't think there is an inherent right to have sex without consequences. Modern advances have made it easier to avoid getting pregnant or a venereal disease. But that does not mean you have a right to sex without negative consequences.

I don't think there is an inherent right to tell other people what to do with their sexuality or the consequences of it.

The conflict comes when you mix up health insurance between employees and employers. That started happening decades ago for reasons I don't yet understand. If we had kept them separate, then there would never had been a conflict.

If you want birth control then, buy it or buy insurance that covers it. Just don't ask me to pay for it or ask me to be involved in your decision.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Stop Asking Kids to be Adults



Katy Faust is a traditional marriage advocate that was raised by a lesbian couple. I find her reasons for supporting traditional marriage compelling.

I love this post from her. I love it because she is not trying to beat her arguments into the opposing side. She is trying hard not to talk past them but to them. To feel what they feel. Her interaction with a supporter of gay marriage shows this.
Her: “Are you fighting against equality?!?” she said edgily, invading my personal bubble. 
Me: “No, I’m fighting for the rights of children to be in relationship with both their mother and father.” 
Her: “But you’re against gay marriage, right?” 
Me: “Yes, because it promotes fatherless and motherless households.” 
Her: “Lots of kids don’t have that.  I grew up without a dad and I did fine.” 
Me: (Full stop. Mentally on my knees – Oh Lord, help me be sensitive to this woman. What do you want me to say to that?) 
“How did that go for you?” I asked, with as much softness as I could muster and still be heard.  “Most kids long for their missing father.”
Her conversation ended up like this.
“So what are you trying to accomplish?  I mean, what do you ultimately want to have happen?” 
Me: “Basically, I want us to stop expecting children to act like adults and sacrifice their rights and needs.  And I want us to start expecting adults, heterosexual and homosexual, to sacrifice so children don’t have to.”
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Kids are so often asked to act like adults. It should not be so. Whether it is because of divorce, or death or same-sex marriage; all children lose out on a bond with their biological parents.

This does not mean we are to mandate child-bearing. Or outlaw adoption. Tragedy happens. We all have the short end of some stick. When same-sex marriage becomes law, we are now saying that this is something a child should grow up in. It is different than accommodating for less than ideal circumstances.  There is something about the bond between a child and a mother and a child and a father that is worth defending.

I think if any person who has grown up without either of these strong bonds, in an honest moment, when we know we would not hurt those who did raise us, we would say that something was missing. None of us have an ideal situation. That does not mean we should stop promoting it by a conjugal definition of marriage.

I love the principles of CanaVox
Our 5 principles represent what we stand for. Passion for these principles is what unites us and motivate us.  
1. Marriage is a permanent, exclusive union between one man and one woman 
2. Every child has a right to a mother and a father; no one has a right to a child. 
3. Every human being has a right to life from conception until natural death.  
4. Every person possesses a unique dignity and is worthy of respect, regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, sexual feelings, race, educational level, religious or political ideas. 
5. Every person has a right to freedom of conscience, thought, and religion, which includes the freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs in a public or private way so long as these beliefs and practices do not harm others.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Religious Freedom and Fairness for All

From the Amicus Brief of Major Religious Organizations, Apr 2015

Recognizing a new right to same-sex marriage would harm religious liberty. That harm is avoidable because neither the Constitution nor this Court’s precedents dictates a single definition of marriage for the Nation. Preserving religious liberty is a compelling reason not to give the Fourteenth Amendment a novel reading that would require every State to license and recognize marriage between persons of the same sex. At a minimum, the Court should carefully consider how a ruling mandating same-sex marriage would adversely affect religious liberty.
Also see the news release of the LDS church, "Religious Freedom and Fairness for All"

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Will this become a question for future Presidential candidates?
Do you support a constitutional amendment restoring natural marriage? If not, then what exactly will you do to protect my religious freedom? If nothing, why should I support you? ("If the Supreme Court Imposes Same Sex Marriage, You Could Lose Your Church", John Zmirak, Apr 30, 2015)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Apple, Android or Microsoft

Since 2008, in my house, we have bought seven iPod touches. Since Nov 2014 we have bought 4 android phones. It was the first time my wife and I bought smart phones. Our first child ever has decided to pay for his own phone service, because my wife and I have not paid for them. But he was able to do it because it is only $10 a month.

We have only one tablet in our house, it is an iPad. I think we bought it in 2012. Our next tablet/laptop may be a MS Surface 3. It is cheaper than an iPad and the full version of windows.

iDevices will probably never go away, but the times they are a changin’

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Defend What Marriage Used to Mean

A FB friend of mine posted this concerning my opposition to gay marriage.

What is the problem with saying and thinking, I am happy that you are happy. Not everyone in this life is going to choose to live their life in the same manner, that is one of complexities of free agency. I happen to agree that should you choose to reject customers due to their life style then you are in the wrong, unless they are attempting to engage you to commit a crime, sux it up and respect your customers right to choose, should you not wish to practice business as such then build yourself a commune and move there.

This was my response.
 I don't know that I would have the stomach to deny a wedding cake for a gay wedding. In real life, I might just avoid the controversy. I will defend the right of others to do so. 
It is possible to say, "I am happy you are happy" 
And also say to your own conscience and possibly your family or co-workers, "Conjugal marriage is the ideal arrangement to raising healthy, productive, responsible, capable children. Children have an inherit right to be raised by the parents who created them. For their parents to model love towards each others and for them to create an environment of respect, love and growth." 
Just because the ideal does not happen does not mean it does not exist. That it should not be sought. Gay marriage is just another development in the redefinition of marriage over the last half century or so. Birth control has allowed us to more easily separate conjugal relations with conception. That there is a natural relationship between romantic love, marriage, sex and creating and raising children. One of the main reasons for marriage is help create a bond between a man and his offspring. For him to commit to and follow through on continuing to love and support his wife and the children he creates.  
Just because birth control, no fault divorce and now gay marriage are seeking to change marriage to only one component of what marriage used to mean, does not mean that we should not try to remember what it used to mean. That by abandoning some of the crucial components of what marriage used to mean generally, has dramatic consequences for our society.
See also discussingmarriage.org

Here is a FB thread for and against conjugal marriage as the only valid definition of marriage.

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The freakout isn’t about homosexuality per se, it’s about the secular world shoving its idea of sexual morality down the throats of orthodox Christians. If you haven’t read Rod’s piece Sex After Christianity, you really should, and if you haven’t, I think you should be able to connect the dots between the Christian cosmology of sex and the Christian opposition to same-sex marriage as a “condensed symbol” of Christian resistance to secularism writ large. ("Burnt by the Sol", Rod Dreher, Apr 2, 2015)
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Our post-Christian culture, then, is an “anti-culture.” We are compelled by the logic of modernity and the myth of individual freedom to continue tearing away the last vestiges of the old order, convinced that true happiness and harmony will be ours once all limits have been nullified. 
Gay marriage signifies the final triumph of the Sexual Revolution and the dethroning of Christianity because it denies the core concept of Christian anthropology. In classical Christian teaching, the divinely sanctioned union of male and female is an icon of the relationship of Christ to His church and ultimately of God to His creation. This is why gay marriage negates Christian cosmology, from which we derive our modern concept of human rights and other fundamental goods of modernity. Whether we can keep them in the post-Christian epoch remains to be seen. ("Sex After Christianity: Gay marriage is not just a social revolution but a cosmological one", Rod Dreher, Apr 2, 2015)
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'... Gold told me that church leaders must be made “to take homosexuality off the sin list.” 
His commandment is worthy — and warranted.' 
Not “must be persuaded,” but “must be made.” Compelled. Forced. And not forced to change our behavior, but forced to change what we believe. Because You Must Approve.

...

Can you imagine the outcry if Ross Douthat, an orthodox Catholic colleague of Bruni’s, writing a piece endorsing as “worthy — and warranted” the idea that pro-LGBT Christians and others “must be made to put homosexuality back on the sin list”? I’m a conservative Christian who believes the traditional teaching, and I would find such a coercive statement appalling. But of course nobody on that side seems to have the slightest doubt about their cause, their motives, or their methods. None. In a holy war, there is no room for doubt.

Can you imagine the outcry if the Times published a column saying that Jews or Muslims must be “made” to quit believing a tenet of their religion? If socialists must be “made” to disavow any of their political convictions?

But not when the target is conservative Christians who persist in their heresy. ("Christians ‘Must Be Made’ to Bow", Rod Dreher, Apr 4, 2015)
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A critical mass of families built on such marriages

A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God’s plan to thrive—the setting for the birth of children, who come in purity and innocence from God, and the environment for the learning and preparation they will need for a successful mortal life and eternal life in the world to come. A critical mass of families built on such marriages is vital for societies to survive and flourish. That is why communities and nations generally have encouraged and protected marriage and the family as privileged institutions. It has never been just about the love and happiness of adults. (General Conference Apr 2015, D. Todd Christofferson)
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

According to the Dictates of their Consciences

"every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the deity according the dictates of his own conscience"

George Washington, May, 1789, Reply to an Address Sent by the General Committee of the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, "A Documentary History of Religion in America to 1877" p 247, edited by Edwin S. Gaustad, Mark A. Noll, published 2003 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)


"all men within our territories are protected in worshipping the Deity according the dictates of their consciences"

George Washington, May 26, 1789, Reply to an Address Sent by the General Assembly of Prebyterian Churches in the United States, "A Documentary History of Religion in America to 1877" p 247, edited by Edwin S. Gaustad, Mark A. Noll, published 2003 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)

Similar quotes are here to the Quakers, Catholics, and Jews.