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)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

There isn’t a road to Rationalia


There isn’t a road to Rationalia. There are billions of them, negotiated by individuals and institutions dozens or hundreds of times a day, every time they make a significant choice. Government programs are, by their nature, centralized, unitary, and static attempts to impose a rational order on complexity beyond the understanding of the people who would claim to manage it. Obamacare is an excellent example of that: No one intended for premium prices to skyrocket and for millions of people to lose their policies or for the majority of the American public to be unhappy with the program and its results, but that is what happened. The architects of Obamacare weren’t stupid, but, being ordinary mortals (albeit reasonably bright ones), their intellectual capacity was insufficient to the problem at hand: Small brains, big problems. ("The Road to Rationalia", Kevin D. Williamson, 30 Jun 2016)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Wall of Separation

(Jefferson's Letter to the Danbury Baptists: The Final Letter, as Sent, Thomas Jefferson, Jan. 1. 1802)

From a post I made, I love this comment,
The wall is one-way. Government shouldn't control or affect religious practice, but our Founders believed that the churches and the morality of a righteous people absolutely MUST influence this government for it to survive. 
No intellectually honest person can look at how religious our government was (Issuing calls to prayer & fasting, and speaking of the Lord *CONSTANTLY*) and suggest our government was designed to be devoid of religious influence. (FB Comment, Timothy Allen, Jun 22, 2016)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds to the doctrine of the separation of church and state; the non-interference of church authority in political matters; and the absolute freedom and independence of the individual in the performance of his political duties. …
We declare that from principle and policy, we favor:
The absolute separation of church and state;
No domination of the state by the church;
No church interference with the functions of the state;
No state interference with the functions of the church, or with the free exercise of religion;
The absolute freedom of the individual from the domination of ecclesiastical authority in political affairs;
The equality of all churches before the law. (In Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 4:153, Quoted in "Section 134 Earthly Governments and Laws", Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, (2002), 344–347) 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Less Gun Free Zones are Better

"Advocates of gun control think it's a good idea to disarm victims and to advertise where you can find completely defenseless people" ("Gay Gun Rights Activist: Arm Yourselves. An important Supreme Court decision on the right to self-defense involved the fear of anti-LGBT violence.", Scott Shackford, Jun. 13, 2016)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Conservative Case for Trump

There are a few people I admire that are making the case to vote for Trump. I want to want to vote for Trump. I am considering their arguments.

Eric Mextaxas:
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: You write that “we need a culture of virtue, and our leaders have a vital role to play in that regard.” Is it really the role of our political leaders to model virtue?

ERIC METAXAS: Generally speaking, yes. How they behave affects how citizens think of the whole government and the whole nation. When one has a Washington in leadership, or a Lincoln, one knows that one can generally trust one’s government to do the right thing, even when it is very, very difficult to do the right thing. Virtuous leaders inspire virtue in the citizenry. They help us believe that the system is not rigged, but that it’s generally something that works and that needs our attention as citizens, that invites our attention.

KJL: Does that automatically suggest one cannot vote for one Donald J. Trump?

METAXAS: Not only can we vote for Trump, we must vote for Trump, because with all of his foibles, peccadilloes, and metaphorical warts, he is nonetheless the last best hope of keeping America from sliding into oblivion, the tank, the abyss, the dustbin of history, if you will. If you want to know how bad things are in America, and how far we have gone, read the previous sentence aloud over and over. ("Eric Metaxas on Virtue and...Donald Trump",  Jun 17, 2016)
Dennis Prager: Voting For Trump Is Like Dropping The Atomic Bomb On Japan — In A Good Way!
Conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager, who initially wasn't for Trump at all, sees Hillary Clinton as a far worse alternative.
"In life you don't always get a choice between wonderful and awful. You get between awful and more awful and I'll always take the awful over the more awful," Prager explained.

Prager believes the moral choice isn't about backing Trump or not - it's much greater.
"We dropped two atom bombs over Japan. Why? Because the context morally demanded it and the moral demand in our time in America is the defeat of the Left," Prager rationalized.
In the end, that may be Trump's saving grace. ("Moral Demand of Our Time Trump's Only Saving Grace?", cbn.com)
Dennis Prager again:
In the 2016 presidential race, I am not interested in moral purity. I am interested in defeating the left and its party, the Democratic Party. The notion (expressed by virtually every #NeverTrump advocate) that we can live with another four years of a Democratic president is, forgive me, mind-boggling. To that end, with at least one, and probably multiple, additional leftists on the Supreme Court, a Republican presidential victory in 2020 would mean little. All the left needs is the judicial branch, especially the Supreme Court. Left-wing judges pass so many left-wing laws that they render those who control Congress, and even the White House, almost irrelevant. 
Here, then, are nine reasons (there are more) why a conservative should prefer a Trump presidency to a Democrat presidency: 
• Prevent a left-wing Supreme Court.
• Increase the defense budget.
• Repeal, or at least modify, the Dodd-Frank act.
• Prevent Washington, D.C. from becoming a state and giving the Democrats another two permanent senators.
• Repeal Obamacare.
• Curtail illegal immigration, a goal that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with xenophobia or nativism (just look at Western Europe).
• Reduce job-killing regulations on large and small businesses.
• Lower the corporate income tax and bring back hundreds of billions of offshore dollars to the United States.
• Continue fracking, which the left, in its science-rejecting hysteria, opposes. 
For these reasons, I, unlike my friends, could not live with my conscience if I voted to help the America-destroying left win the presidency in any way. 
I just don't understand how anyone who understands the threat the left and the Democrats pose on America will refuse to vote for the only person who can stop them. ("A Response to My Conservative #NeverTrump Friends", Dennis Prager, May 24, 2016)

Eric Metaxas says we should be willing to vote for Trump for the sakes of “the least of these” ("Should Christians Vote for Trump?", WSJ, 12 Oct 2016).  I disagree.

I prefer a future in which the conservative movement (e.g., pro life, pro traditional marriage, etc.) is besieged by the left, than a future in which it is corrupted by the right.(Jeffrey Thayne, FB Post, 23 Sep 2016) (My public FB Post referring to Jeffrey)

Update 2016-10-15

Hugh Hewitt has also been one that has been supporting Trump until the 2005 tape came out. I think out of a realistic look at the politics of it he has stopped supporting him.

"For the benefit of the country, the party and his family, and for his own good, @realDonaldTrump should withdraw. More and worse oppo coming" (Hugh Hewitt on twitter, 8 Oct 2016)
Hugh says that the 2005 tape of Trump is "an admission against interest" ("10/11/16 Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC w/Craig Melvin" at 4:23, YouTube) It was a tipping point for Hugh and many, many Republicans.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Trump Does Not Commit to Choosing from His Supreme Court List


Trump’s press release does not commit to choosing from this list. Rather, it states: “The following list of potential Supreme Court justices is representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value and, as President, I plan to use this list as a guide to nominate our next United States Supreme Court Justices.” So Trump has a “plan” to use the list as a “guide.” That’s nice, but it’s not a commitment to choosing from the list. ("The meaningless Donald Trump Supreme Court list" ,Orin Kerr , May 18 2016)

Competency is not an Overnight Thing

Competency is not an overnight thing. Competency is being willing to put yourself out there and fail and fail and fail, but having the passion to get back up and learn from each failure. To improve yourself. ("Understanding People" Terri Brady, LifeLeadership, LLR 635 )

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why I am Still Against Trump

26 Oct 2017

I think Jeff Flake has done more for the personal liberty of Americans than Trump ever has and probably ever will. Trump thinks that companies should be able to co-opt private property for "public good".

Trump spouts off crazy, inflammatory remarks as cover fire for his real agenda. I see his agenda as authoritarian and, in general, not for the best of the country.

He certainly is better than Hillary would have been. That does not mean I need to be in the circle of wagons defending him. (Me, FB Post, 26 Oct 2017)

14 Jun 2016

Here is a master list of why I am opposed to Trump.

In the most concise terms:
"I prefer a future in which the conservative movement (e.g., pro life, pro traditional marriage, etc.) is besieged by the left, than a future in which it is corrupted by the right. " Jeffrey Thayne

I believe:
He will put up trade barriers that will worsen our GDP.
He will antagonize foreign policy.
He will increase taxes.
He will spend more.
He will nominate people who will exacerbate the "just print more money" issues.
He will increase minimum wage.

Trump is not a Constitutionalist

He wanted to kill the family members of terrorists. It wasn't until he realized that the Military actually will follow the Constitution, that Trump backed down from this.

Trump wanted to shut down portions of the Internet to benefit him. He promised to deport illegal immigrants without due process of law. He wants to restrict the Second Amendment rights of those on the terror watch list, again without due process. He supported Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of American citizens. He thinks natural-born Americans can be deported against their will. He suggested that American Muslims be barred from reentering the country. He thinks that there should be no “public use” limitations for eminent domain. He has refused to rule out registering Americans on the basis of their faith.

“I will be meeting with the NRA, who has endorsed me, about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns,” - Donald Trump ("Trump to meet with NRA about banning gun sales for terror watch list", Nolan D. Mccaskill, Seung Min Kim and Nick Gass
15 Jun 2016, politico.com) The list had an 8 year old on the list. We can not surrender our rights to due process protected by the Constitution. ("Meet Mikey, 8: U.S. Has Him on Watch List", Lizette Alvarez, Jan. 13, 2010)

"I searched the transcripts of 50 of Trump’s campaign speeches. He (almost) never mentions the Constitution, Liberty or Freedom" (PoorRichardsNews.com, Mar 7, 2016)
A pure, Trump-style populism is inherently in tension with constitutional conservatism. The Constitution is a device for frustrating popular enthusiasms, as are federalism, checks and balances, and the rule of law. It’s why impassioned factions usually have very little patience for these things, and why they are so central to checking government and protecting individual rights. ("Just because Obama disregards the Constitution doesn’t mean conservatives should", Rich Lowry, Dec 23, 2015)
I respect George Will. I agree with him here.
The Court’s two most important decisions in this century are Kelo and Citizens United. Conservatives loathe Kelo; Trump loves it. Conservatives celebrate Citizens United; Trump repeats the strident rhetoric of its liberal detractors. ("Where Is the Evidence That Trump Would Defend the Constitution? : The strained logic of Trump’s supporters", George Will, 6 Aug 2016)
Despite their ideological disagreements, justices are far more united than divided on the law. And presidents, by and large, have respected the independence of the judiciary and left the court alone to settle cases as it sees fit—with some notorious exceptions like FDR. He famously threatened to force justices who struck down the New Deal into retirement and "pack the court" with more pliant ones. 
Trump would be FDR on steroids. He savaged Judge Gonzalo Curiel's "Mexican" heritage because the judge didn't dismiss the case against Trump University. If something as low stakes as this can set Trump off, imagine what he'll do if the Supreme Court takes up a challenge to a signature issue of his presidency? A Trump presidency is likely to be a rolling wave of one manufactured constitutional crisis after another. ("Trump Will Torch the Supreme Court", Shikha Dalmia, 12 Oct 2016)
although it speaks volumes about sexual morality, it goes to the heart of all ethical behavior. Trump’s banter belies a willingness to use and discard other human beings at will. That characteristic is the essence of a despot. ("In our opinion: Donald Trump should resign his candidacy", Deseret News editorial, 11 Oct 2016)

Trump is Associated Falsely with Free Market Capitalism

We're also due for a recession in coming years. A Trump presidency would only accelerate it with his protectionist trade policies--the Smoot-Hawley tariffs and the following retaliation by other countries clearly exacerbated the Great Depression. It's one of the few things economists of all stripes agree with--that free trade benefits both partners in the process (just as ALL trade does--it doesn't take place unless there is mutual benefit). I'd prefer any recession be blamed on those who actually cause them: those responsible for high regulatory, trade-restricting government regimes. (FB Post, John Miles, May 10, 2016)
"Donald Trump's big-government economic nationalism is just another form of socialism, which rolls over human freedom in the name of growing the State."
Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton agree on a lot, especially on the need to protect and enlarge state power. None of them accepts any principled limits on what the state may rightfully do to the individual. Even on big issues where one might think they disagree — healthcare, immigration, and control of lands by the federal government — their positions are more alike than different. And yet they and their supporters loathe each other. Each considers the other an enemy to be destroyed. This is not a fight about power as such but about in whose service it will be used. ("Donald Trump’s Economic Nationalism is Just Another Form of Socialism", Jeffrey Tucker, 15 Jul 2016)
If [Trump] wins the election, he will have to succeed in convincing them that he offers an alternative to permanent government assistance and identity politics consciousness-raising that, in the end, does them little good; and that through the alternative he offers there is a hope of assimilation into the middle class. A tall order, to be sure. ("Donald Trump Does Have Ideas—and We’d Better Pay Attention to Them", Joshua Mitchell, 15 Sep 2016)
"Trump’s Economic Plan: Higher Taxes, Higher Inflation, and Higher Minimum Wage", Jeffrey Tucker, 9 May, 2016
The man has offered a one trillion dollar stimulus plan. One trillion dollars. That’s basically Obama’s stimulus PLUS Hillary’s stimulus and none of them are even politely disagreeing. But, we’re supposed to believe that when he’s sitting at the Resolute Desk this guy is suddenly going to find value in the virtue of competing [Republican] opinions?
("I voted. Here is who I voted for, and why you should do exactly the same thing.", Stu Burguiere - Host, The Wonderful World of Stu & Pat and Stu EP / Head Writer, Glenn Beck Program, 7 Nov 2016)

Trump Will be Dangerous in Foreign Policy

"Trump: I'll Force Mexico To Pay for Wall by Threatening To Cut Off Remittances: That money U.S. residents send to the old country? They didn't earn that, it turns out" (Reason.com, 5 Apr 2016)
This story highlights what I think is a dangerous approach to public policy. Trump is combative and contentious. He threatens his business partners. Instead of approaching Mexico with a way to work out a way both of us can win, he sees only one winning and the other must lose.

He is doing the same with China. It is a dangerous path many military wars first started as trade wars.

In addition to his penchant for war, he is a loose cannon. He shoots first then looks to see what he shot. He has less thought as to what he might destroy on the way to getting what he wants. It is a raw grab for power and even his most ardent supporters don't seems to care that he has flip-flopped on the issues they care about most.

They seem to think that even if he is reckless and dangerous, he is on "their side". I am not even sure if Trump knows where he stands on some important issues. He just has not thought them through.

Instead of one who inspires what is possible though voluntary collaboration, he is more like a bull in a china shop.

Why has the land of “all men are created equal” forged countless ghettoes and intricate networks of social exclusion? Why the signs reading “No Irish Need Apply”? And why has each new generation of immigrants had to face down a rich glossary of now unmentionable epithets? Disdain for what is foreign is, sad to say, as American as apple pie, slavery and lynching. 
That fence along the Mexican border now being contemplated by Congress is just the latest vestige of a venerable tradition, at least as old as John Jay’s “wall of brass.” “Don’t fence me in” might be America’s unofficial anthem of unfettered freedom, but too often the subtext is, “Fence everyone else out.” ("The Founding Immigrants", Kenneth C. Davis, 3 Jul 2007, New York Times)

He is a Bully and a Jerk

I still feel the same as Scott Rigell, “Not only could I not vote for [Trump], but I couldn’t sit and be silent as I watched him advance, he is the antithesis of what I would want my son and grandson to be, and I will not associate myself with him.” (NY Times Mar 2016)

"Donald Trump's Disrespect for Female Reporters Goes Way Beyond His Feud With Megyn Kelly" (Elizabeth Plank, mic.com, Aug 26, 2015)

"18 Real Things Donald Trump Has Actually Said About Women" (Nina Bahadur, huffingtonpost.com,  08/19/2015)

"Trump’s history of flippant misogyny" (Karen Tumulty, Aug 8, 2015)

If you don't ever ask for forgiveness, you are a jerk. Everyone makes mistakes. It takes a man to take responsibility for them and ask for forgivness. ("Trump on God: 'I don't like to have to ask for forgiveness'", Maxwell Tani, businessinsider.com, Jan 17, 2016)

There are many places in which Trump may agree with say Mitt Romney. His character is far from Romney. ("Taking President Trump seriously", Geoff B, May 27, 2016)

Trump is petty, thin-skinned and volatile. See "Penn Jillette reveals what it was like to work with Donald Trump on 'Celebrity Apprentice' ", Graham Flanagan, 5 Aug 2016.
The notion that strength emanates from harsh, divisive and unbending rhetorical flourish mistakenly equates leadership with craven intimidation. ("In our opinion: Donald Trump should resign his candidacy", Deseret News editorial, 11 Oct 2016)
So let me get this straight: I, a conservative female, have spent years defending the Republican Party against claims of sexism. When I saw Republican men getting attacked I stood up for them. I came to their defense. I fought on their behalf. I fought on behalf of a movement I believed in. 
I fought on behalf of my principles while other women told me I hated my own sex. Not only charges of sexism, but I defended @marcorubio during Go8, I fought in my state to stop the @ScottWalker recall, etc… Now some Trojan horse nationalist sexual predator invades the @GOP, eating it alive, and you cowards sit this one out? He treats women like dogs, and you go against everything I – and other female conservatives – said you were & back down like cowards. 
Get this straight: We don’t need you to stand up for us, YOU needed to stand up for us for YOU. For YOUR dignity. For YOUR reputation. (Marybeth Glenn, accessed 15 Oct 2016)
"I will not vote for a narcissist, egotistical, authoritarian sex offender. If the GOP wants my vote, they have to do better than that. Waaaay better."(FB Comment, Jeffrey Thayne 3 Nov 2016)

I saw images of my daughter’s face in gas chambers, with a smiling Trump in a Nazi uniform preparing to press a button and kill her. I saw her face photo-shopped into images of slaves. She was called a “niglet” and a “dindu.
("The Price I’ve Paid for Opposing Donald Trump", David French, 21 Oct 2016)

I Can't Trust What He Says

"Donald Trump Can’T Explain Why He Supported An Assault Weapons Ban" (Brian Anderson, Downtrend.com, Mar 4, 2016)

He says is is pro-life and then say this. "Trump Praises His Sister, a Pro-Abortion Extremist Judge", (Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, Aug 27, 2015)

Many other cases in which he is inconsistent. Abortion, Guns, Healthcare, Party Affiliation, Jeb Bush ("The Many Ways in Which Donald Trump Was Once a Liberal’s Liberal", Hunter Schwarz, Jul 2015)

"Donald Trump Says He Supports The ObamaCare Mandate" (streiff, RedState.com, Feb 19, 2016)

"Donald Trump: Replace Obamacare with Universal Health Care" (CBS Interview, Accessed Jun 14, 2016)
Consider his flip-flopping on abortion and on gay marriage.  His position on socially conservative issues sure seems to follow what Trump needs to be popular.  Has Trump even articulated a serious critic of Abortionism or gay marriage?  He may, in fact, have changed his position on those issues, but the reasons why look like political expediency. ("Why Trust Trump?", Bruce Walker,  29 Jul 2015)
Trump has been consistent for decades in his practice of making an aggressive first offer and negotiating down to something reasonable. He talks about it in his book, The Art of the Deal. So when Trump announced he would deport 11 million people, I saw that as an aggressive opening offer, consistent with his history, and nothing worthy of fear. Most of the world saw it as a final offer. 
It wasn’t. 
Recently we learned that my interpretation from last year was accurate. Trump is now focusing on the “criminal” aliens who committed additional offenses after entering the country illegally. He plans to “prioritize” that group and get around to the rest at some future date, when circumstances might be different." (Warning: this article has swear words, though he is making a real point with them, "Why Trump Doesn’t Scare Me", Scott Adams, 5 Sep 2016) 
Trump always takes the extreme position on matters of safety and security for the country, even if those positions are unconstitutional, impractical, evil, or something that the military would refuse to do. Normal people see this as a dangerous situation. Trained persuaders like me see this as something called pacing and leading. Trump “paces” the public – meaning he matches them in their emotional state, and then some. He does that with his extreme responses on immigration, fighting ISIS, stop-and-frisk, etc. Once Trump has established himself as the biggest bad-ass on the topic, he is free to “lead,” which we see him do by softening his deportation stand, limiting his stop-and-frisk comment to Chicago, reversing his first answer on penalties for abortion, and so on. If you are not trained in persuasion, Trump look scary. If you understand pacing and leading, you might see him as the safest candidate who has ever gotten this close to the presidency. That’s how I see him. 
So when Clinton supporters ask me how I could support a “fascist,” the answer is that he isn’t one. Clinton’s team, with the help of Godzilla, have effectively persuaded the public to see Trump as scary. The persuasion works because Trump’s “pacing” system is not obvious to the public. They see his “first offers” as evidence of evil. They are not. They are technique. ("Why I Switched My Endorsement from Clinton to Trump", Scott Adams, 25 Sep 2016)
Scott Adams gives this as a reason why Donald is a master persuader, as a reason why he does not scare him. I take it as a reason not to believe what he says.

When Donald Trump says he is for marriage as a man and a woman I take it like his promise to deport 11 million immigrants. It is just his first, strongest offer. He will walk it back later and not feel like he lied. It is only a negotiation tactic. The same with abortion. Really with anything he says.

My best gauge for knowing what Trump really thinks is when he said something years ago before he was campaigning. Even then, I have to take into account who he was talking to and about what.

The immigration pivot matches what I think he will do in other cases.

Here is my list of what I believe Trump will and will not fight for.

It's a Binary Choice

There are two ways to look at a tax cut.
The left argues that a tax cut is a cost to the government. It’s the governments money, and it is giving it to you through tax cuts. Conservatives say, no, it’s not costing the government a thing. They’re just taking less of my money.
It’s the same thing with your vote. People who tell me that I am “costing” Donald Trump a vote, act as if it was his to lose. I can’t take my vote away from him because he never had it.
The fact that Republicans think they are entitled to our votes is what brought us to the bottom of the crap heap where we currently reside. I don’t owe Donald Trump my vote or anything else. It is his job to earn that vote.
Character. Policy. Temperament. Knowledge. By any standard he has failed miserably.
("I voted. Here is who I voted for, and why you should do exactly the same thing.", Stu Burguiere - Host, The Wonderful World of Stu & Pat and Stu EP / Head Writer, Glenn Beck Program, 7 Nov 2016)

Called to Resist

Here are some points from a signed statement from more than 50 faith leaders from across the political spectrum in April 2016.
* He began his political career by challenging the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president as not a real American, offered or passed along degrading comments, images, and lies related to African Americans, and refused to quickly and clearly disavow the support of the KKK and other white supremacists for his candidacy. 
* He began his candidacy and has deployed his national platform with false, incendiary, insulting, and racist attacks on Mexicans and other immigrants, thereby endangering not only all Latinos in America but other people of color now targeted even by bullying school children. Along with others, he has proposed a cruel mass deportation of every undocumented immigrant in the United States, which would separate and destroy millions of families. 
* He has offered a blanket condemnation of Islam as a religion and has proposed an unprecedented and unconstitutional ban on all immigration of Muslims to the United States; he has falsely accused U.S. Muslims of many things, including supposedly cheering the attacks of Sept. 11, thus impugning the national loyalty of millions of our fellow citizens – which undermines our national security by alienating and marginalizing our Muslim neighbors. 
* He has made numerous objectifying and degrading comments about women, disrespecting both their dignity and equality – including mocking the appearances of female candidates and the wives of candidates who opposed him and issuing sexist attacks on female reporters who challenge him. His own sexual boasting and cheating on multiple wives offend both men and women and serve as a negative role model for our children. 
* He mocked a disabled reporter, creating an environment that leads to further mockery of disabled persons. 
* He has threatened to “open up” libel laws in order to punish those who criticize him, a chilling threat to free speech and freedom of the press, and, along with his continuous hostile words and actions against the media, he has created a threatening environment for reporters covering his campaign. Trump’s harshly negative statements and actions toward a free and critical press is discomforting for many of us. Without apology, he has expressed his support for strong dictators and their crackdowns on dissent, thus sending a signal. 
* His rallies have become frightening settings that both threaten and at times enact violence in word and deed. By implicitly and explicitly encouraging violence and physical attacks on those protesting at his rallies, he has endangered public discussion, and even exploited such incidents for his political advantage. Not only has he failed to clearly and emphatically denounce his supporters for violent behavior, he has actually called for such practices and, when people engage in them, has offered to subsidize their legal expenses. 
* He has several times threatened to deploy torture techniques “far worse” than waterboarding against national enemies, and has threatened to kill “family members,” including the children, of suspected terrorists – all in contradiction to U.S. and international law. 
* He has coarsened political discourse through threats, vulgarity, and vile personal attacks on his opponents – giving justification for many of his followers to engage in similar vitriol. He has lied repeatedly, seemingly pathologically, about many matters when directly questioned about the facts. Instead of deepening civil discussion, he inflames angry feelings at home and has already worsened relations with other nations who have become targets of his verbal attacks. 
* He defines leadership only in terms of strength, toughness, “winning,” and “making deals,” rather than the ethic of public “service,” finding common ground, or serving the common good. With him, politics is reduced to win/lose battles, with leaders as the winners against the losers. He offers to be the authoritarian strong man, instead of the servant leader, and in his distorted definition of leadership, the Christian virtues of humility, compassion, empathy, mutuality, and integrity disappear.
Albert Mohler and Russell Moore explain why they can’t support Trump.
I could not possibly be consistent and somehow vote for someone whose character I believe eclipses Bill Clinton on so many of those very same concerns. Someone who has bragged about his adulterous affairs, someone who has given himself to the pornographic industry, basically to a form of the sex trade, and let’s just go on. ("Albert Mohler and Russell Moore Explain Why They Can’t Support Trump", Albert Mohler, June 2016)

If you lose an election you can live to fight another day and move on, but if you lose an election while giving up your very soul then you have really lost it all, and so I think the stakes are really high. ("Albert Mohler and Russell Moore Explain Why They Can’t Support Trump", Russell Moore, June 2016)

Character and Political Office from Baptist21 on Vimeo.

John the Baptist could have made a powerful political alliance with King Herod; instead, he was relentless in his criticism of Herod’s immoral marriage choices, to the point of it costing him his life — funny how “Herod isn’t running for pastor” never occurred to him.
("Time for the religious to divorce the right", The Hill, Bridget Jack Jeffries, 14 Oct 2016)
[W]hen the wicked rule the people mourn.
Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.
And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God. (D&C 98:9-11)
Citizens of every land, where permitted, should vigorously cherish their right to vote and should act upon that privilege at every opportunity by supporting wise and honorable candidates. Good and wise leaders elected by and working cooperatively with responsible citizens will seek to protect their freedoms. Failure to actively support such candidates with one’s vote may result in leaders who are elected, as Mosiah said, by 'the lesser part of the people' who may 'desire that which is not right' (Mosiah 29:26). What a sacred privilege and responsibility is ours to participate with other like-minded people to ensure that basic freedoms are preserved wherever we reside. (Shirley D. Christensen, “‘I, the Lord God, Make You Free’,” Ensign, Feb 2006, 26–29)



Which major-party candidate do you find most alarming? Donald Trump. On policy alone, he wants a bigger infrastructure stimulus/boondoggle than Hillary Clinton, wants to do a considerably more thorough job of dismantling the global tariff-reduction system, is much more explicit about punishing American companies who would dare to move their businesses overseas, and would mount up an even larger and more dangerous pile of national debt. He also has supported deporting an estimated 4 million U.S. citizens, ripping up the international visa/travel system, and establishing a religious test for travel to America. He's an ignoramus about basic policy facts, lies even more readily than Clinton (and that's saying something), and has introduced a National Front-style politics that I naively thought would never stick on U.S. soil. ("Who Will Get Our Votes? : reason's 2016 presidential poll", Matt Welch, 9 Oct 2016)
Once folks realize McMullin is viable in Utah, expect McMullin's number to go up. More than any particular 3rd party, I want people to wake up to the fact that you can make a difference voting outside the top two parties.
This is from one of my friends that I have come to respect over the last several years.

To all my Utah friends: This is important. I'm about to do something I never expected myself to do. 
Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton do not deserve our vote. Utah needs to give both the middle finger by sending its electoral votes to a third party candidate. 
Most recent poll has Trump and Clinton at 26% with Evan McMullin at 22%, and Gary Johnson at 14%. Once folks realize McMullin is viable in Utah, expect McMullin's number to go up. 
McMullin is a generic "Republican" in his policy positions, but I also think that he is likely a far better human being than either Clinton or Trump. While not as libertarian as I would like, he's less hawkish than Hillary and less authoritarian than Donald. 
I'd rather see him win in Utah than Donald or Hillary. I urge my Utah friends to vote for him, and to encourage their friends and neighbors to do the same. (FB Post, Jeffrey Thayne, 12 Oct 2016)


I think the best, realistic outcome of the election is that Clinton gets 40.1% of the popular vote and Trump gets 40%. Hillary barely gets enough electoral votes to win but enters with the clear opposite of a mandate.

Trump's co-opting of the Republican party is soundly denounced. The Republicans take the next 4 years and consider taking on more libertarian policies.

The second best, realistic outcome is the opposite where Trump squeaks in.

Trump is an authoritarian, protectionist, saber-rattling bully. I think his permanent capture of the Republican party might be worse than 4 years of Hillary. (My FB Comment, 9 Sep 2016)

"The Comprehensive Case Against Donald Trump", Peter Wehner, 11 Sep 2016.

"Link Dump – The Most Interesting Articles Regarding Donald Trump & His Campaign", J. Max Wilson, 14 Sep 2016

I do not support either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Both hold positions that are intolerable to me. But IF one has to win, I would prefer it be Hillary Clinton. 
Why? Because I prefer a future in which the conservative movement (e.g., pro life, pro traditional marriage, etc.) is besieged by the left, than a future in which it is corrupted by the right. 
We can survive the conservative movement living under continual siege. I dont think we can survive the conservative movement being corrupted by racism, sexism, authoritarianism, nativism, and bigotry from within. 
In the first scenario, I think we come out the other end injured but alive. In the second scenario, we simply hand our enemies the ammunition to destroy us once and for all. 
The left has for a long time been trying to paint conservatives as bigoted monsters. Our job is to reject that label by rejecting bigotry in all its forms. By allying ourselves with nativistic ugliness with an indisputably sexist figurehead, we will all but permanently destroy our ability to shake off those accusations. 
There's no need to remind me that Clinton is intolerable as a candidate; I believe she is corrupt and that a number of her positions are morally repugnant. 
While I understand the Supreme Court argument, I don't buy into it. Trump can't actually be trusted to appoint conservative judges. And I think that the overall cultural zeitgeist has more influence on judicial decisions than we think. I think our battle is ultimately one of culture, not courts. A Trump victory will contribute to an ultimate cultural loss, even if it does lead to a few court wins. (Jeffrey Thayne, FB Post, 23 Sep 2016) (My public FB Post referring to Jeffrey)
Update 2016-10-28

In answer to  "where Trump is corrupt?"
I see Trump corrupting the free market message of the Republican party with one of trade barriers in the form of tariffs and threatening our could be allies and economic partners.  
I see Trump further corrupting the Republican party's message of fiscal responsibility. Printing more money is not a sustainable strategy.   
I do not see Trump defending the Constitution except when forced to do so by others within and outside the party.  
I see Trump adding to a culture of bullying and intimidation. He will unnecessarily antagonize our could be foreign and domestic allies.   
I see him helping us jump off the cliff of being able to believe what people say. We always have to watch what politicians say and promise. Trump is ten times worse. 
I see Trump as a narcissist, egotistical, authoritarian sex offender.
(My FB Comment, 4 Nov 2016)
Another attempt of mine to putting my opposition in a short form.

I will not vote for a candidate that thinks putting up trade barriers will somehow protect American workers from the reality of a global workforce.  
I will not vote for a candidate that views the Constitution as a barrier to getting what he wants. 
I will not vote for a candidate that will aggravate our could be friends and trading partners into enemies of war.  
I will not vote for a candidate that intimidates his opponents by threatening them with personal harm. 


I do not plan on voting for Trump. I do agree with Geoff.
I predict Trump will be the next president. And I predict he will do some good things (change our warmongering foreign policy, tax reform, protect the 2nd amendment, mostly good federal judicial appointments, repeal Obamacare) and some very bad things (raise the minimum wage, compromise too much with Congress, insult foreign leaders, unnecessarily provoke Mexico, spend too much money, not cut government enough). So it will be a mixed bag. Just like it would have been with any of the other candidates, including Mitt Romney. ("Taking President Trump seriously", Geoff B., May 27, 2016)
... some broad outlines of what a Trump administration would be like that are pretty clear. 1)More nationalism. Stronger immigration restrictions and more attention to American interest in trade deals. This is mostly bad (imho). 2)More modest foreign policy with a lot of bluster but not as much actual fighting. This is mostly good. 3)More government spending, more government programs and talk about how bad the deficit is but no actual action on the deficit. Obviously horrible. 4)Social issues. Trump will say he is against abortion and in favor of traditional values, but in the end he will be a liberal on these issues. There are a million reasons to oppose Trump, but all of the rhetoric about how he is a fascist reminds me a lot of what some people were saying in 2008 about Obama being a Communist. So, I don't take it very seriously, and a Trump administration will be bad but not nearly as bad as most of my friends seem to think. (FB Comment, Geoff Biddulph, 20 Sep 2016)

This is an interesting approach by Scott Adams.
The best choice for president depends on the types of challenges ahead. And the future has a habit of surprising us. We have no way to predict whether Clinton or Trump would end up being the right match for an unpredictable future. 
That said, let’s talk about assessing the risk – to the country – of Trump versus Clinton. My observation of their histories and their personalities suggests that Trump offers America an entrepreneur’s profile of risk, whereas Clinton would be more like investing in a CD at your bank. Which is better? The answer for you probably depends on how old you are, how selfish you are, and how much money you have. 
If things are going well for you and your family, you probably don’t want to rock the boat. In that case, Clinton is a good choice for you. But if you are young, or things are not working out well for you and your family, it would be rational to accept higher risk with the hope of getting a bigger/faster improvement. ("Assessing the Risk of Trump", Scott Adams, 18 Sep 2016)

Hillary Clinton embodies everything that's wrong with US Government, and Donald Trump embodies everything that's wrong with US Culture. (FB Post, Drex Davis, 1 Oct 2016)

 I don't think that choosing one of the two top candidates for President will end our Republic or mortally wound it.

I had been resolved to vote for Gary Johnson. I do not agree with him on abortion. I do not believe Trump would do any better on it. I do not agree with Gary on marriage. I do not believe Trump would do much or any better on it.

I am considering voting for Darrell Castle.

Should Clinton prevail in this presidential contest, we trust she — and those in the Congress that hold the presidency in check — will recognize that her likely victory against a self-wounded candidate is not a mandate for her specific platform, but rather a repudiation of Trump’s flaws. ("In our opinion: Donald Trump should resign his candidacy", Deseret News editorial, 11 Oct 2016)

We Are Cousins

Everytime your racist genes try to win the race, show them this.

Donald Trump’s Mormon Problem

It’s easy to see how Mormons might get spooked by a presidential contender bashing a religious minority. Early Latter-day Saints spent much of the mid-19th century being chased into the desert by bigots and demagogues. Elected officials tried to “exterminate” them. Propagandists painted them as a nefarious foreign race (defined, according to a report printed in multiple medical journals, by their “yellow, sunken, cadaverous visage” and “thick, protuberant lips”). In an eerie bit of foreshadowing, the United States secretary of state sought in 1879 to restrict the flow of Mormon immigrants from overseas, arguing that America must be protected from these “prospective lawbreakers.” 
Mormon leaders have not forgotten this history. As Elder Patrick Kearon said in April while announcing a new churchwide relief effort for refugees, “Their story is our story, not that many years ago.” ("Donald Trump’s Mormon Problem", Mckay Coppins, New York Times, Jun 13, 2016)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Is gun violence actually going down?

"We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why." (Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post, Dec 3, 2015)

"Australia’s 1996 Gun Confiscation Didn’t Work – And it Wouldn’t Work in America"

"Gun homicides steady after decline in ’90s; suicide rate edges up" (Jens Manuel Krogstad, Oct 2015, pewresearch.org)

From "The World Is Not Falling Apart: Never mind the headlines. We’ve never lived in such peaceful times.",  Steven Pinker and Andrew Mack, slate.com Dec 2014.

Limited Government versus Omnipotent Government

The very nature and purpose of government has changed. We no longer has consensus about that; and that means that we no longer has a consensus that government ought to be limited. Some people think that government only does good and therefore we need more of it; and in fact, if we can have it all-encompassing, to take of us from cradle to grave; that would be so much more good that it would be utopia on earth.  
They forget that in our human nature, if you give people power, they tend to abuse it for their own purposes rather for the common good. That's why we have a limited government. That basic fight: whether we are going to continue to have a limited government, or we are going to have an omnipotent government is what we are in now. An omnipotent government can't exist with a constitution that sets out a limited government structure. ("The Constitution Under Attack",  John Eastman, YouTube video,  Oct 31, 2013)

What is the rule of law?

I have a friend who thinks that gun ownership should be a privilege like a driver's license is.  I said,
I have no issue if you want to treat gun ownership as a privilege. Just amend the constitution according the the rules within the constitution to do so. 
If we fail to treat the 2nd amendment like we do the right to free speech, will be be in serious trouble. 
The rule of law is a principle that has led to freedom and prosperity. Let's not discard it.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Print Up Toten Chip Cards

Here is a document I created from this image. That way I have plenty of cards for scout camp.