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)

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Owed People

I read Atlas Shrugged for the first time this last year. I do not agree with all of the philosophy it covers or inspired.

I do agree that there is something wrong with accepting and promoting the morality of "the owed people". Hugh Hewitt links to John Agresto's Party of Privilege ... Party of plumbers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Establish irreligion as the state religion"

From Neal A Maxwell, Oct 1978 BYU Devotional, "Meeting the Challenges of Today"

We are now entering a period of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: we shall see in our time a maximum if indirect effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism that uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of Western civilization to shrink freedom even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.
He continues.

Your discipleship may see the time come when religious convictions are heavily discounted. M. J. Sobran also observed, "A religious conviction is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of the secular bus, and not to get uppity about it" (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, p. 58). This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain of people's opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will soon be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.

In its mildest form, irreligion will merely be condescending toward those who hold to traditional Judeo-Christian values. In its more harsh forms, as is always the case with those whose dogmatism is blinding, the secular church will do what it can to reduce the influence of those who still worry over standards such as those in the Ten Commandments. It is always such an easy step from dogmatism to unfair play--especially so when the dogmatists believe themselves to be dealing with primitive people who do not know what is best for them. It is the secular bureaucrat's burden, you see.

Am I saying that the voting rights of the people of religion are in danger? Of course not! Am I saying, "It's back to the catacombs?" No! But there is occurring a discounting of religiously-based opinions. There may even be a covert and subtle disqualification of some for certain offices in some situations, in an ironic "irreligious test" for office.

However, if people are not permitted to advocate, to assert, and to bring to bear, in every legitimate way, the opinions and views they hold that grow out of their religious convictions, what manner of men and women would they be, anyway? Our founding fathers did not wish to have a state church established nor to have a particular religion favored by government. They wanted religion to be free to make its own way. But neither did they intend to have irreligion made into a favored state church. Notice the terrible irony if this trend were to continue. When the secular church goes after its heretics, where are the sanctuaries? To what landfalls and Plymouth Rocks can future pilgrims go?

If we let come into being a secular church shorn of traditional and divine values, where shall we go for inspiration in the crises of tomorrow? Can we appeal to the rightness of a specific regulation to sustain us in our hours of need? Will we be able to seek shelter under a First Amendment which by then may have been twisted to favor irreligion? Will we be able to rely for counterforce on value education in school systems that are increasingly secularized? And if our governments and schools were to fail us, would we be able to fall back upon the institution of the family, when so many secular movements seek to shred it?

It may well be, as our time comes to "suffer shame for his name" (Acts 5:41), that some of this special stress will grow out of that portion of discipleship which involves citizenship. Remember that, as Nephi and Jacob said, we must learn to endure "the crosses of the world" (2 Nephi 9:18) and yet to despise "the shame of [it]" (Jacob 1:8). To go on clinging to the iron rod in spite of the mockery and scorn that flow at us from the multitudes in that great and spacious building seen by Father Lehi, which is the "pride of the world," is to disregard the shame of the world (1 Nephi 8:26–27, 33; 11:35–36). Parenthetically, why--really why--do the disbelievers who line that spacious building watch so intently what the believers are doing? Surely there must be other things for the scorners to do--unless, deep within their seeming disinterest, there is interest.

If the challenge of the secular church becomes very real, let us, as in all other human relationships, be principled but pleasant. Let us be perceptive without being pompous. Let us have integrity and not write checks with our tongues which our conduct cannot cash.

Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even these, however, must leave a record so that the choices before the people are clear and let others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, that others will step forward, having been rallied to righteousness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds--a majority which was, till then, unconscious of itself.
Let us stand up for our religious and political liberty.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"hope, however audacious, will no longer be enough"

"The day is now upon us, and hope, however audacious, will no longer be enough"

That is my favorite line in a very long article that best describes Obama's Triumph, the GOP's Calamity (Found through Hugh Hewitt)

Monday, November 10, 2008

"389 years ago..."

A "typographic mashup of the history of slavery, racism, and the progress of African"

"What Now?"

One of my friends who happens to be a political Independent asked me recently, "What now?" What does the Republican Party do?

I just read "What Now?" by Clark Judge. I agree with all of this.

- I am a bit worried that we might reward those who think they can intimidate the USA.
- I am proud that this election marks a high point in our society against racism.
- Since 1992, Republican's have won the popular vote in only 1 of the 5 Presidential elections.

I believe that smaller government and less taxes will move us out of the recession. Increasing taxes will likely worsen or prolong a recession.

I believe that voluntary welfare systems work much better than those that collect their funds by compulsion. I also am wary of government involvement in these better systems.

I believe that establishing a stable democracy in the middle east is very important to stabilizing the world.

As our country unifies over developing renewable and cheaper energy sources, we will no longer need to rely or financially support government that do not support free peoples. It will take hard work. I know we are up to the challenge. Drilling at home is an important stop gap.

As we shine the light of day on government processes, we can reduce corruption in our systems.

We need new leadership to promote these and other important issues. To better communicate them. To elect leaders that stand with integrity for them.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Who I am Voting For

Here I will post some of the people I am voting for and why.

Here are some of the resources I used to come to my decisions. VoteSmartAz.org has a personalized guide for voting. They are funded by The Center for Arizona Policy. Here is my personalized guide. I will note any other sources below.

See also, how I am voting on the Arizona Ballot Measures

Maricopa County Special Health Care District (District 4)
I vote for Gerald Cuendet.

I liked the way he answered the VoteSmartAZ questionaire. He seems respected by his peers. I am not convinced that Elbert "Bick" Bicknell is qualified for the position.

Maricopa County Community College (District 4)
I vote for Paul Srch (His site).

The site of Randolph Lumm is here. Maricopa Colleges Faculty PAC endorses him.

Dysart School District Board
Jennifer Tanner (ballotpedia, flyer I made)
April Allen (ballotpedia, flyer I made)
Anthony Piazza My wife went to the forum. She says that he was very enthusiastic, ready to work as team. He seemed very intelligent.

Prop 415 For home rule of City of El Mirage
My Vote is Yes.
The allows the city to spend a much greater amount than would otherwise be set by the set by the state (article about Buckeye).
City of EM Bond Question
My Vote is Yes.

It is a secondary property tax. I understand this to mean that it pays for specific things and then it expires. It will pay for Fire Fighting, Parks and Streets.

I am asking for you help in voting against judges. I found a review by the lighthouse blog. There are other resources from a search I did. Some of you have said there are certain judges you want to vote against. I want to know why. And why should I trust your sources?

Update: Below is from a person I trust. He trusts the lawyer source he has. I probably will vote this way.

As far as judges I had a long discussion with a lawyer that works at the court. He has some wonderful insights on the judges having worked for them or in the court rooms. He also has the advantage of direct information from his conservative collegues. There are a number of judges that are on the borderline of yea or nay because of liberal/conservative leanings or poor managment but following was his recommendations.
Bales, Scott - YES
Johnsen, Diane - YES
Scott-Timmer, Ann - NO
Orozco, Patricia - NO
Abrams - NO
Akers - NO
Araneta - NO
Arellano - NO
Baca - NO!!
Ballinger - YES
Blakey - YES
Buttrick - YES
Cohen - YES
Contes - NO
Davis - YES
Ditsworth - YES
Dunevant - YES
Flores - NO!!
Garcia - NO!!
Gentry-Lewis - YES
Gordon - YES
Hannah - YES
Harrison - NO
Hilliard - YES
Hoffman - YES
Katz - NO!!!
Kemp - NO
Klein - YES
Mahoney - YES
McClennen - YES
McMurdie - YES
McNally - YES
McVey - NO
Miles, Linda - NO
Miles, Robert - YES
Oberbillig - YES
Padilla - NO
Potts - NO
Ryan - YES
Sanders - NO
Steinle - YES
Stephens - YES
Trujillo - NO
Udall - YES
Whitten - YES

Hope this helps. After speaking with him over an hour about each judge and their strengths and weaknesses I decided to vote this way.
I look forward to hearing from you.

See also, how I am voting on the Arizona Ballot Measures

Friday, October 31, 2008

Why John McCain?

In that last days of the Presidential campaign, I just found this at McCain's site. I agree with every point.

We cannot tax ourselves out of a recession. The Tax Man Cometh
Do we want to trust our security to someone whose mettle has not yet been tested? Mark Biden's Words

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph..."

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". The narrator of the book War and Peace says this. Some have attributed this to Edmund Burke.

Difference between wrong and rotten

I just posted a comment on Emily's blog.

Some people are wrong. They do not believe in something that I believe would be wrong. I believe that McCain will be a better President that Obama. That he will lead us in a direction that will more likely bring prosperity, security and a more moral society.

Some people are rotten. They do evil things for fun. Enough said. Don't treat someone you think is wrong like they are rotten, if they are not.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Economic Policy: Ideal and Reality

I have a friend who does not seem as conservative as me when it comes to economic policy. She is considering voting for Obama. I emailed her Teach school children what spread the wealth means. I agree with her premise that many people are poor because of their lack of opportunity.

She looks forward to a civil implementation of the Law of Consecration. I also look forward to this. I see it being based on the principles taught by king Benjamin and those more fully practiced hundreds of years later.

One key principle in this economic policy is that they gave voluntarily. They were not compelled to give the poor their means. They did make covenants that they would be giving. So after a man made a covenant, he was held accountable.

This kind of economic policy is already available. There are many charities that promote self sufficiency and the dignity of work in the way they uplift those in need and want. There is the perpetual education fund. There are humanitarian charities. There are opportunities to serve with our own hands in the communities where each of us live.

Charitable welfare is possible as far as we are able to persuade those around us that it is a good thing for them to do personally. Compelling those around us to be charitable is not as effective as having them acknowledge their position before their Maker; that they might give of their means to provide relief and opportunity to those around us.

The above is the ideal. The reality is that very many of us are not charitable. Many don't care so much to help the less fortunate. We can do better in persuading others and ourselves to be more giving. I really like the focus both candidates gave for a day or two on promoting service.

Obama is the most liberal presidential candidate(1, 2) ever nominated by either of the two main parties. If he gets elected and is not checked by a Republican House or Senate, we may turn this recession into a depression like FDR did. You cannot tax your way out of a recession.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Teach school children what spread the wealth means

I thought this was an effective way to teach school aged children what spread the wealth means, Conversations with Molly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Absurd Customer Service

I just listened to a friend talk about the run around he is getting. His hard drive flaked out near the end of its warranty. The manufacturer gave him a refurb and it flaked out after 2 months. They kept saying that they could not send him a new one. They finally agreed to send a refurb and extend his warranty so he does not have to worry that it will give out a day after his originally warranty expires.

It took many many emails back and forth to convince them to apply an exception to their warranty policies. This reminded me of the post by Erik Sink (Absurd Customer Service) on the differences of large companies versus smaller ones.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Arizona Ballot Measures

I will post here what I think about the Arizona Ballot measures. Respond if you do or do not agree.

The two main sources I am using to decide are the pamphlet the AZ Secretary of State publishes and Arizona 2008 ballot measures at ballotpedia.org

See also who I am voting for.

Prop 100 known by its supporters as the Protect Our Homes Act.
My Vote is Yes.

The sponsor's statement describes the measure this way: "this Initiative prohibits the government from charging any new tax on the sale or transfer of real property in Arizona. Currently, there are no real property sales or transfer taxes in Arizona. However, the government could enact a real property sale or transfer tax at any time. This Initiative would prohibit the enactment of any new real property sales or transfer tax by a constitutional amendment."

I agree with the supporting arguments. I am a little wary of putting this in the State Constitution. This is my only reservation at this point.

Prop 101 Medical Choice for Arizona or the Freedom to Choose Act
My Vote is No.

We should allow people to choose to pay their own medical costs. It prevents a mandatory health care system for the state of Arizona (see 101 Q&A). This video gives arguments for. See also yeson101.com.

I am a little wary of the murky language that is argued by the opposition. Perhaps it is not worded well. I am again wary of putting this in the constitution. Sounds like it belongs in the law instead.

How could those who rely on Medicaid and Medicare could lose coverage? The video argument says it will jeopardize AHCCCS, how?

Update: I received some feedback from a Doctor. I have changed my vote to No. I may support something like it but it seems it is too geared towards helping insurance companies than individuals.

The reason I initially was for this was that it allowed individuals to opt out of a AZ State run mandatory health ins system. Our medical cost are more than many other nation's. We also have many more treatments and innovations as a result. I think it is important to make reasonable access to health care to all who want health care.

I generally like the premise of the system Mitt Romney did in Massachusetts. It required everyone who could afford insurance to get it. Like liability insurance for autos. Those who could not afford it, would get assistance to buy their own. It left it up to each family where to get it. It allowed for lower rates because everyone was in it. It also allowed for competition of Ins companies.

I don't want a government run health care system.

Here is the quote from the Doctor:

This is a very politically mediated proposition. This proposition is written and backed by the insurance companies and gives them an advantage. Passing of this will not affect Medicaid.

My concern is that we are further legislating Insurance Companies rights over the rights of the consumer and most of the medical societies initially took a "no" position, however, after they all received subtle threats from the insurance companies attorneys, these societies back pedaled and last week have taken a "neutral" position on this which means that this proposition, vague in its wording, gives leverage to insurance companies many times placing the consumer at further risk.

Vote your conscience.

My vote is "no."

Prop 102 Yes for Marriage
My vote is Yes
"Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state"

Simple. That is marriage.

Prop 105 known by its supporters as the Majority Rules Initiative.
My vote is No.

Their definition of majority is 50% +1 votes of all registered voters. That means someone who doesn't even vote gets counted as a no. This is not a principle of a democratic republic.

Prop 200 known by its supporters as the Majority Rules Initiative.
My vote is No.

"the real reform comes in July of 2010, when the consumer loan act is reinstated and 36% interest rates become the law of the land again." Video Arguments against 200.

Prop 201 known by its supporters as the Homeowners Bill of Rights.
My vote is No.

201 "will forbid the defendants from recovering any attorney's fees, even if the case was frivolous or if they win". From arguments against. I agree with the others too.

Prop 202 Immigration. Illegal Hiring.
My vote is No.

This seems like a misrepresentation. From what I can see it weakens the illegal hiring laws. I think we should allow more legal immigration. We need to enforce the laws on our books.

Republican officials come out strong against Prop. 202

Prop 300 increase the salary of legislators from $24,000 a year to $30,000 annually
My vote is Yes.
This is not a very big increase. It will allow more people to be able to afford to serve.

See also who I am voting for.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life, Faith and Family

What a moving video!  I transcribed it here
This November, America's future hangs in the balance.  Catholics across the nation will have the responsibility to make their voices heard. Many issues are at stake. Some are more important than others.  No issue can be ignored, but none are more crucial to the foundation of our country than Life and Family.  The family must be strengthened not redefined. Human life is paramount and must be protected from conception to natural death.

Catholics have been integral to the success of America. Since the beginning, Catholic immigrants helped build this country and their children fought to preserve it. Now, more than any other time in history, a new generation must stand for truth. The strength of our nation is not only in its military or economic power, but in our commitment to moral values.  For the good of the world, 67 million catholics in America, working alongside countless others, can protect the values this great nation was built upon: Life, Faith and Family.

This election day, everything you hold sacred will need your vote. Vote your conscience.
This message will touch many more people of faith than just Cathloics.  Stand up and be counted.  Fear not the shame of the world.  Fight for the good and honest.  In every place there are good people running for office, seek them out.  Find someone you trust and ask their opinion.

Moroni was a prophet and a captain in an army to defend the liberty of an ancient people.  This is what he did to rouse the people to fight for the truth.
He rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. 

And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren Alma 46:12-13
Our democratic republic will only stand as long as there are many good people willing to act.  Be willing to spend some time and energy to find out what is being decided this election.  Help a friend register to vote.  Choose wise people to represent you.

If not now, when?  If not you, then who?  

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Why I am voting for April Allen

April Allen is running for the Dysart School District board (There are three 4 year terms open on the board). Here is a flyer I created that summarizes my reasons for voting for her. If you also agree, print out copies and let your friends, family and neighbors know. Encourage them to get registered and vote.

I have know April Allen for many years. She is responsible and a go getter. She is organized. I trust her to make decisions that will continue to improve the district.

Do what you can to help her get elected.

Voter Registration Resources

Here are some resources for getting registered to vote in AZ and early ballot requests in Maricopa County

https://recorder.maricopa.gov/earlyvoteballotnet/permanentevlist.aspx Permanent Early Voting List. "All early ballots must be received in the Office of the County Recorder, other officer in charge of elections or deposited at any polling place in the county of residence, no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why I am voting for Jen Tanner

Jennifer Tanner is running for the Dysart School District board (northwest part of Phx metro area). Here is a flyer I created that summarizes my reasons for voting for her. If you also agree, print out copies and let your friends, family and neighbors know. Encourage them to get registered and vote.

In the last seven years, I have had many opportunities to see her leadership. She has a level head. She is passionate about doing the right thing. She is compassionate with those she serves with. She is a hard worker. She will greatly benefit the students of the district.

Get out to vote on Tues Nov 4. Help Jen and other good, wise and honest leaders get elected too.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Charlie Gibson Interviews Sarah Palin

Here is part one of Charlie Gibson's interview with Sarah Palin.

Part 2
Part 4

Here is Hugh Hewitt's commentary on it.  Some quotes:
Charles Gibson threw fastballs --fair, but hard fastballs-- and Sarah Palin connected on every one save the Bush Doctrine and even there she recovered nicely, demonstrating a poise that will serve her very well in the next 54 days.

My mail shows a lot of hostility to Gibson, but I think that is misplaced.  We want tough interviews of all four candidates.  We just want them of both tickets, with the same abruptness when Obama filibusters and stammers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Two Axis on a Political Compass

I have some friends who are newer to the political world. A while ago I took the political compass survey. It was interesting. According to it I am right of center. I am also in the middle according to a authoritarian/libertarian scale (Sep 2008).

Take the survey and find out where you stand. Are the people you vote for in line with your standards?

Update 2013-12-19

Here is the result of my answers to this survey

More on political spectrum.

Update 2015-07-16

I took the political compass survey again. I haven't moved in the left/right axis but have moved towards libertarian (Economic Left/Right: 3.0, Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.15)

Here is my chart in relation to the 2008 primaries.

Update 2016-07-30

I took a political quiz at isidewith.com. Here are the results. 

Here is how I line up in different areas of policy. 

Here is me on a two axis graph

Update 2016-02-10

Funny labels for the original graph

Update 2020-02-25

"The Double Standard and The Great Divide"

A great post on how differently the mainstream media treats Palin and Obama.

Watching the Polls

I have a friend who is excited at the results of the recent Presidential election polls.  Each party traditionally has had a bump in the poll after their convention.  I like the Real Clear Politics poll average.  They average out the results of several polls.  Their is margin of error in any poll.  They try to stay consistent with their methodology.  Sometimes looking at the trend of the poll is more important than the actual numbers.

It is promising to see these polls.  Another week or two will show us if this really has been a turning point in the Presidential campaign.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Words They Used

The NY Times has an interesting graphic that shows the frequency of certain words the speakers of the two parties used in the Republican and Democrat conventions.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sarah "Baracuda" Quotes

Collected by Hugh Hewitt, here are some awesome Palin lines from her speech at the convention:

"Some candidates use change to promote their careers. John McCain has used his career to promote change. "

"The presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery.."

"There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you."

"The special confidence of those who have seen evil and have seen how evil is overcome."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How I am Voting

For the Republican Primary today following is how I am voting for the offices that are contested.

AZ State Representative District 12
Steve Montenegro
Jerry Weiers

Voting record of Robert Blendu on votesmart.org
Voting record of Jerry Weiers on votesmart.org
Email response of Steve Montenegro
I think it would be good to have someone new that also has my values in the state leg.

AZ Corporation Commission
Rick Fowlkes
Joseph Hobbs
Keith Swapp

Links the candidate's websites
AZ Republic Reviews of the Candidates (see the links on the right)

I like having engineers and experts being in charge of this commission. I also think that incentives work better than mandates for developing new energy sources. Site for Fowlkes, Swapp and Hobbs.

Board of Supervisors

Writing in Liegh Strickman because she better supports the protection of Luke Air Force Base.

County Assessor
Kevin Ross

I think he was wrongly accused in the last election. He is for a smaller budget for his office.

Maricopa County Sheriff
Writing in "Please anyone else resonable" for the republican primary

City of El Mirage Council Member
James McPhetres
Bill Conner
Roy Delgado

Blog of Roy Delgado

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

AZ State House District 12 Primary

Based on the response to my email below and my research, I plan on voting for Steve Montenegro and Jerry Weirs on Tues Sep 2.

They are running for the Republican primary for Arizona State House District 12. Here are the three choices on my ballot.

Steve Montenegro

Jerry P. Weiers

Robert Blendu

If any one know a reason to vote for a AZ Corporation Commision candidate, let me know.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rich Alger
Date: Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 8:28 AM
Subject: Re: Lack of Internet Zoning Laws
To: Jerry Weiers , "John B. Nelson" , Robert Blendu , Steve Montenegro

I never got a response that I remember from any of my elected representatives to my email [Nov 19, 2007] on the CP80 Internet Zoning Initiative. I would like to hear your position on this and other topics.

What is your position on Ballot Proposition 102 which will put in the state constitution, "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state"?

What do you think of implementing something like this to increase transparency on the state house?http://wisegoodhonest.blogspot.com/2008/05/increase-government-transparency.html

Why are you better than the alternatives in the primary to help support and develop the state economy?

Why are you better than the alternatives in the primary to help support and develop alternatives for energy. How will you help or stay out of the way for private sector solutions for better energy security?

Why are you better than the alternatives in the primary to prevent necessary spending, to keep taxes low and ensure the state budget is solvent for years to come?

How will you keep us safe from security threats within our state?

Why should I contribute my time and money to help you get elected over the other primary election options?

Rich Alger

Here is the response of Steve Montenegro.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Steve Montenegro
Date: Sun, Aug 24, 2008 at 12:23 AM
Subject: Re: Lack of Internet Zoning Laws
To: Rich Alger

Dear Sir:

I'm sorry for the delay in responding. With the campaign in full mode I am spending most of my time knocking on doors and phoning voters to talk with them about the issues. Its very nice to have someone care enough to contact me instead!

In quick order here:

Yes, I do support protecting marriage. I know that opponents of the ballot proposition claim that we already have laws that do that, but they do not make that argument honestly. They know that mere laws are what were overturned in CA and Mass. and they would like the same to occur here. Only a constitutional amendment will offer real protection.

I support transparency efforts and believe it should all be available online. I would also like to see transparency extended to local governments as well.

I am a big admirer of Rep. Weiers and he and I are campaigning together for the two house seats. Rep. Weiers was just named "Champion of the Taxpayer"by the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers and he does an excellent job of protecting our vital interests while still looking out for the taxpayers.He is also excellent on issues of illegal immigration, transportation, and is widely considered the legislature's expert on issues relating to sportsmen and the outdoors.

Mr. Blendu's record is very much the opposite of Mr. Weiers'. He was just named "Friend of Big Government" by the same taxpayer group, he voted for last year's budget that put us into our current deficit, and he didn't even show up to vote on this year's budget. He is campaigning largely on the basis that he deserves the credit for I-10 getting one more lane of highway when credit goes to a much larger group of people, and he ignores the fact that he voted for $2.3 Billion for the light rail system for Phoenix and Tempe when Mr. Weiers was advocating for that money to be spent on additional freeways and busses that would actually help to relieve congestion. There are more areas of disagreement, but I don't want to turn this email into a barrage of complaints. Suffice it to say that Mr. Weiers and Mr. Blendu regularly end up on the opposite sides of these votes and they cancel each other out. That makes no sense to me and I don't believe it benefits the district or the state.

Alternative energy is not yet a topic that I am overly familiar with,although I know that I will be spending a fair amount of time on it between the election and the start of the session (should I be fortunate enough to win). In general, I support alternate energy sources, clean energy sources,and especially domestic energy sources. Where I get concerned is when government uses mandates and often brute force to dictate winners and losers, often disregarding market forces. This results in inefficiency that manifests itself in higher rates for ratepayers, usually without producing the results that we were promised. I favor limited government and freemarkets.

Regarding taxes and the budget, I would refer you to my earlier answer regarding my opinions of the rest of the field. On these issues Mr. Weiers is rock-solid and Mr. Blendu is not. I see eye to eye with Mr. Weiers on these issues.

As far as security threats go, much of what I've learned comes from my work for Congressman Trent Franks. Our focus tends to be more on national security threats than Arizona-specific threats, but I think that my knowledge would be a compliment to the knowledge already present at the Capitol. Secure borders remains a focus for both Mr. Weiers and myself,while Mr. Blendu's proposal for a brand new guest worker plan that allows unlimited "guests" into our state makes little sense until the border is secured and we can track and account for those in our country.

Regarding contributions, I am maxed out on contributions, but Mr. Weiers may still take additional contributions. We would both be very grateful for anytime you could contribute, especially on Election Day where we will have volunteers manning the polling locations. As to why you might help? I hope that my responses indicate that Weiers and Montenegro are solid conservative Republicans who will do what is best for the district and the state.
Thanks again for taking the time to write!

~Steve Montenegro

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Campaining for John McCain

For several months I have felt blase about politics. I felt different after listening to John McCain late Saturday night. He will make a fine President. I fully support him and have decided to do what I can to help him get elected. Today I am donating to http://www.johnmccain.com, http://yesformarriage.com/ and http://protectmarriage.com/.

I am also going to research some candidates for local and state office as well as propositions. I will post the result of my research here on this site. I would love your input so I make the best choices this election season.

We must be informed on what we vote for. Don't forget to register to vote.

Update 2008-08-22

On Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 10:57 AM, [a friend of mine] wrote:
I am not really sure if he will make a fine president. Some of his stands are really far left for a conservative Republican. But the more I learn about Barack Hussein Obama, GO MCCAIN!!!!!

Maybe I meant that he will be "fine" or good enough as president. I do believe McCain will do everything in his power to keep our country secure.

I also like what I believe is his sentiment behind campaign finance reform. I do NOT like McCain-Feingold. We should not hog tie ourselves when it comes to campaign finance. I do support increasing transparency in government. We should know as much as is possible exactly who supports what campaign.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"church and state on a collision course"

I have found some answers to the question I posted Sunday.

Those seeking to redefine marriage to include same-sex marriage are seeking the collective acceptance of its citizens. Once same-sex marriage is codified in law, more measures will be taken to force the acceptance of same-sex relationships.

From The Divine Institution of Marriage:

One case I found today is the California Supreme Court saying that doctors cannot refuse treatment of gays on religious grounds. A doctor did not want to help a lesbian get pregnant with donated sperm.

Another case in 2006:
Catholic Charities of Boston made the announcement on March 10: It was getting out of the adoption business. "We have encountered a dilemma we cannot resolve. . . . The issue is adoption to same-sex couples."
There are many more instances like this. There is no inherent right to acceptance. I do "not object to rights ... regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference. " Divine. Thomas Sowell said:
Homosexuals were on their strongest ground when they said that the law had no business interfering with relations between consenting adults. Now they want the law to put a seal of approval on their behavior. But no one is entitled to anyone else's approval.
Here are some other sources I have found with reasonable arguments for traditional marriage.




Sunday, August 17, 2008

Persuade Someone without a Reference to Religious Belief

Do you have any insight as to how I could persuade someone without a reference to religious belief that "only marriage between a man and a woman [should be] valid or recognized" by the state (CA Prop 8).

A month ago, I asked a question like the above of some friends. I strongly believe that "The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity." (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

This morning I found. A document "to explain [the LDS church's] reasons for defending marriage between a man and a woman as an issue of moral imperative" I have not read it all yet. It has given me some points of reason that might persuade voters to constitutionally define traditional marriage.

The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.
I agree with this. Defining traditional marriage is not about taking away civil rights.
Marriage is not primarily a contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations. Rather, marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. While governments did not invent marriage, throughout the ages governments of all types have recognized and affirmed marriage as an essential institution in preserving social stability and perpetuating life itself. Hence, regardless of whether marriages were performed as a religious rite or a civil ceremony, married couples in almost every culture have been granted special privileges aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. A husband and a wife do not receive these privileges to elevate them above any other two people who may share a residence or social tie, but rather in order to preserve, protect, and defend the all-important institutions of marriage and family.
I will probably post more as I read through this and gather other sources to support these propositions.

Here is a list of some of the public statements the LDS church has taken on Same Sex Marriage:

20 October 2004. "The Church accordingly favors measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and that do not confer legal status on any other sexual relationship"

Last date noted: March 2005. Church Joins Other Faith Groups in Defense of Traditional Marriage

24 February 2008. Care for the Flock. "On 23 February 2008 The Salt Lake Tribune posted an article about [Peter] Danzig who was a member of the Church’s Orchestra at Temple Square. According to the story, in June of 2006 Mr. Danzig published a letter-to-the-editor in the Tribune (and letters in other local newspapers) encouraging members to oppose Church leaders on the issue of same gender marriage."

California and Same-Sex Marriage. "The following letter was sent from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008"
"We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman."

The California Supreme Court recently ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in California

Friday, May 9, 2008

Increase Government Transparency

Bills like this are a good reason to increase government transparency. Perhaps reform like the following are in order.

"ReadtheBill.org believes bills should be posted online for 72 hours for anyone to read before Congress debates them."

"Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety before a quorum in both the House and Senate."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"We chose you because we trust you"

The check engine light went on in one of our cars yesterday. A few months ago I was toying with the idea of finding a mechanic nearer our home we could trust. I have used this closer one for a couple of oil changes. With the input of my wife, we decided to use the one we used for years before. The one that is further from our house.

This morning Progressive Tire & Auto Center called me. They said that our car did not need a tune up since it had one 2 years ago. "I would be happy to take your money, but you probably don't need it", he said. They said they would check the cause of the engine light and let us know if there was work that needed to be done.

One phrase I said stood out to me and prompted me to post praise of this shop, "We chose you because we trust you". It is difficult to gain the trust of an expert you must depend on. Here is a map to their location. I recommend them.

Monday, March 3, 2008


If this is the kind of change Barack Obama want us to make, the world better watch out for a revolution of good.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Send your message of support to Mitt Romney

At the bottom of this post is my response to a confirmation email from the MittRomney.com. They sent it after I donated again to his campaign. Here is a link to the contribution page. How much do you support Mitt? Are you willing to offset the money of his own he has committed?

I am committed to the principles that attracted me to his campaign over a year ago. Regardless of the outcome of this nomination, I believe he is the best choice. There are still at least 20 states that have yet to decide. They deserve the best choice to stay in the race.

Hugh Hewitt gave Seven Reasons To Support The GOP's Nominee: "The war and six Supreme Court justices over the age of 68".

When activist judges are more than willing to rewrite rules of long-standing, periods of exile should never be self-imposed "for the good of the party." Exiles can go on a very long time indeed. Ask the Whigs.
Emphasis added.
The GOP as well is the party committed to victory in Iraq and the wider war. A four year time-out would be a disaster, a period of time in which al Qaeda and its jihadist off-shoots would regroup in some places and continue to spread in others. Iran, even if punished in the months before November, would certainly continue and accelerate its plans under the soft pleadings of a President Obama or Clinton 2.0.

These aren't the years to wish a pox on your primary opponents' heads beyond June.
I will support the GOP's nominee. The remaining Republicans also deserve to have a conservative choice.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rich Alger
Date: Feb 6, 2008 9:17 AM
Subject: Re: Thank You for Your Contribution!
To: Romney for President <info1@mittromney.com>

I want you to know that I continue to support you. Keep going! Stand up and fight hard!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

McCain Is My Third Choice

John McCain is my third choice for President behind Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. I agree with Hugh Hewitt's short list for why.

There's a reason why Senator McCain never brings [the gang of 14] up when asked to discuss his qualifications for the presidency. It is on the list with the votes against the Bush tax cuts, the McCain-Kennedy immigration "reform," McCain-Feingold, ANWR and many other things.

The Gang of 14 is short hand for why John McCain should not be the nominee of the GOP.
"The Gang of 14 was a term coined to describe the bipartisan group of moderate Senators in the 109th United States Congress who successfully negotiated a compromise in the spring of 2005 to avoid the deployment of the so-called [constitutional] option" Wikipedia. The constitutional option was a Republican plan to change the rules of the Senate so as to not allow filibustering of judicial nominees.

"Senator McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts. Now he's for them." Mitt Romney on Thursday, April 26th, 2007 in Stratham, N.H. Found at PolitiFact.com. See also, MediaMatters.org view on this PolitiFact article.

I will support whoever is the Republican nominee. I am convinced that Mitt Romney is the best choice.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Fredheads: It Is Time To Support Mitt"

"Fredheads: It Is Time To Support Mitt", The Jawa Report is a blog by a long time Fred Thompson supporter. Hugh Hewitt links to him,

The Jawa Report's Dr. Rusty Shackleford endorses Romney after Fred's exit. Conservosphere bloggers know that RS is a leader among online Fredheads.

UPDATE: From the comment thread at My Pet Jawa, the most succinct defense of Romney's record as a conservative governor in a deep blue state:
Gravatar Here is Romney's actual conservative record:

---In the four balanced budgets he signed into law, Governor Romney used the line-item veto or program reduction power to cut spending by nearly $1 Billion. Over the course of four budgets, Governor Romney made over 300 line-item reductions, 350 line-item eliminations and struck language 150 times.

--- When Gov Romney took office in Massachusetts, he inherited a $2 billion deficit. While in office, he turned the $2 billion into a surplus----WITHOUT raising taxes.

---Gov Romney solved the health care crisis in Massachusetts----and his plans are still used today. He did this by using the free market and competition---and without raising taxes.

--- Gov. Romney was instrumental in passing a bill abolishing a retroactive capital gains tax in the state that would have forced nearly 50,000 taxpayers to pay an additional $200 million in state taxes and fees

--- 4 years ago --- before the illegals marched in our streets --- Romney opposed a bill that would have allowed illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses. "Those who are here illegally should not receive tacit support from our government that gives an indication of legitimacy," the governor said. (Scott S. Greenberger, "Romney Stand Dims Chances Of License For Undocumented," The Boston Globe, 10/28/03)

--- Romney vetoed a bill in 2004 that would have permitted illegal aliens to pay the same in-state tuition rate paid by citizens at public colleges and universities in Massachusetts.

--- Romney vetoed the bill providing state funding for human embryonic stem cell research

--- Romney vetoed a bill that provided for the "morning after pill" without a prescription because it is an abortifacient and would have been available to minors without parental notification and consent

--- He vetoed legislation which would have redefined Massachusetts longstanding definition of the beginning of human life from fertilization to implantation
Bren | 01.22.08 - 6:56 pm |

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Huckabee is my fourth choice

Out of the candidates that have gotten the most votes in the last few weeks, Mike Huckabee is my fourth choice. My ranking is

1. Mitt Romney
2. Rudy Giuliani
3. John McCain
4. Mike Huckabee

One reason is that he is not as fiscally conservative.
Huckabee---Whatever Tax You Pass, "You Will Have Nothing But My Profound Thanks"

Another reason is his position on the war in Iraq. From the Jan/Feb 2008 Edition of Foreign Affairs, Huckabee said, "The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. "

Mitt Romney could not believe a Republican said this, "I can't believe he'd say that. I'm afraid he's running for the wrong party. The truth of the matter is this president's kept us safe these last six years."

Victor Davis Hanson has more to say on this as quoted by Hugh Hewitt.

I want to be clear. I will support whoever is the Republican nominee. Mitt Romney is the best choice.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Why I Like Mitt Romney

Last night my wife and I watched an "Ask Mitt Anything" meeting in New Hampshire that took place Friday Jan 4. After watching it we discussed how much we liked it. My wife expressed frustration that everyone doesn't see how great he would be as President. Following are some of the reasons why I like Mitt.

I Trust Him

I first heard about Mitt Romney late in 2006. I was impressed with his determination in fighting for a traditional definition of marriage. I bought Hugh Hewitt's book A Mormon in the White House?: 10 Things Every American Should Know about Mitt Romney. The more I read, the better I liked him. I have followed his campaign for the last year. I have studied his position on the issues. I have found evidence that his character lines up with what he says.

I Agree With Him

I cannot find a policy of his that I strongly disagree with. My ranking of the issues are :

War on Terror
We must defeat jihadists. These are the far extreme of Islam. They do not represent the mainstream. Their ability to wage war must be truncated. We must also persuade more and more Muslims that "religious freedom, separation of religious and political authority in a state, civility, tolerance, democratic persuasion rather than coercion" is morally superior. (George Weigel)

We cannot continue to spend beyond our means. Perhaps a practical solution like a "72 Hours of Online Sunshine Rule" would help.

We must become energy independent. It is better to be independent from countries of energy supply like, Venezuela, Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Mitt has the energy and vision to rally the country like we did to get a man to the moon. He can inspire the younger generations to study science, math and engineering. He will get us to invest in the best technologies for energy sources and increased efficiencies.

Social Issues
Guarding Our Children on Their Computers
A Record of Protecting Traditional Marriage
A Record of Protecting Life

More sources of Mitt Romney on the issues:
Fox News profile on Mitt Romney. At the bottom there is a section with a issues tab. EvangelicalsForMitt.org: On the Issues, "Why We Support Governor Romney". Top Ten Issues of MyManMitt.com

He Can Win

"As a fiscal and social conservative, he's the only candidate who can hold the Reagan coalition together. Plus, he has already put together a strong, well-organized campaign with the firepower to win. Every single other GOP candidate either alienates a key part of the coalition or has weak a operation incapable of defeating a well-funded, ruthless, counter-to-our-values opponent in the general election." ("Why We Support Governor Romney". EvangelicalsForMitt.org)

He Can Get It Done

Not since Ronald Reagan has someone inspired the same optimism and energy from me. Reagan effectively addressed the public directly. Romney did the same in Massachusetts. The legislature was going to pass a bill that would raise taxes. Romney mailed each household the bill that they would individually have to pay. The bill was defeated.

He has turned around many businesses. He turned the Salt Lake Olympics into a success. He got major health care reform passed in the liberal state of Massachusetts. He did it using private sector providers that are cheaper to administrate.


My wife would have liked if all her family had cable, she would have asked them to watch. Mitt was very relaxed in this kind of environment. As voters learn more about him the more they will like. I hope this article provides you with some information to make an informed choice.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Freedom and Religion

These two quotes from Mitt Romney's "Faith in America" speech point out important connections between freedom and religion.

Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.
We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning.

Today's generations of Americans have always known religious liberty. Perhaps we forget the long and arduous path our nation's forbearers took to achieve it. They came here from England to seek freedom of religion. But upon finding it for themselves, they at first denied it to others. Because of their diverse beliefs, Ann Hutchinson was exiled from Massachusetts Bay, a banished Roger Williams founded Rhode Island, and two centuries later, Brigham Young set out for the West. Americans were unable to accommodate their commitment to their own faith with an appreciation for the convictions of others to different faiths. In this, they were very much like those of the European nations they had left.
It reminds me of the story of Captain Moroni and his call to defend their rights and religion, if necessary by the sword. "Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them" (Alma 46:20).

There is a proper balance of spirituality in public life. It is between two extremes. "Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God." (Mitt Romney). Freedom also allows the person who does not believe in spirituality. No man should be forced to join a religion. In contrast faith should not be forced from the public square. The freedom to chose these things should be defended with our might.

"The Twinned Threats of Faith"

From George Weigel about his new book, Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism: A Call to Action. (edited and numbered by me)

The Pope accurately described the twinned threats of faith detached from reason,

[1] so that you can believe that God commands you to do the irrational, like blow up the World Trade Center, and reason having lost faith in itself,

[2] so that the West no longer has the capacity to say here is why religious freedom, separation of religious and political authority in a state, civility, tolerance, democratic persuasion rather than coercion, here is why these things are morally superior.

Those are the two sides of the great culture war in the world today, and the Pope hit it right on the head.
Mitt Romney touched on this theme in his Dec 6, 07 "Faith in America" speech.
I have visited many of the magnificent cathedrals in Europe. They are so inspired . so grand . so empty. Raised up over generations, long ago, so many of the cathedrals now stand as the postcard backdrop to societies just too busy or too 'enlightened' to venture inside and kneel in prayer. The establishment of state religions in Europe did no favor to Europe's churches. And though you will find many people of strong faith there, the churches themselves seem to be withering away.

Infinitely worse is the other extreme, the creed of conversion by conquest: violent Jihad, murder as martyrdom... killing Christians, Jews, and Muslims with equal indifference. These radical Islamists do their preaching not by reason or example, but in the coercion of minds and the shedding of blood. We face no greater danger today than theocratic tyranny, and the boundless suffering these states and groups could inflict if given the chance.

National Fast for Guidance

Abraham Lincoln appointed a National Fast Day for March 30 1863. I did not realize that our country has a history 2 3 of declaring fast days. As our country decides our next President, let each of us set a time to fast and pray for guidance. That we may collectively choose the best of the wise, good and honest.