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

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Arizona Corporation Commission

Election 2016

Primary Election 2016

Here is the Republican debate video from Aug 8.

"5 Republicans vie for 3 seats on utility regulation panel", Highlands Today

From Ballotpedia, "Incumbents Robert Burns (R) and Andy Tobin (R) are running for re-election in 2016. Commissioner Bob Stump (R) is ineligible for re-election due to term limits."

In addition Boyd Dunn, Rick Gray and Al Melvin are running.

Boyd Dunn
Attorney, city councilman, vice mayor of Chandler, former mayor of Chandler, Judge of Maricopa Superior court.
Ballotpedia page

Al Melvin
Arizona State Senate, District 26 in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Ran for governor in 2014, "dropped out of the race in June due to campaign financing issues"
Ballotpedia page

Rick Gray
Representative, Arizona State House of Representatives, 2010, 2012, 2014
Retired plumbing contractor.
Lives in Sun City
Ballotpedia page

Bob Burns
Corporation Commission 2012
Senator, Arizona State Senate, 2002-2010
Representative, Arizona State House of Representatives, 1989-2000
Ballotpedia page
VoteSmart page

Andy Tobin
Appointed by Doug Ducey to the Corporation Commission. Started serving after Susan Bitter Smith resigned in Jan 2016.
Ran against Ann Kirkpatrick for the U.S. House, Arizona District 1 in 2014. He lost.
Representative, Arizona State House of Representatives 2008, 2010, 2012
Ballotpedia page

From "Robb: Arizona Corporation Commission is now a circus, thanks to these clowns", Robert Robb AzCentral.
Two outside groups, Save Our Future Now and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, spent over $3 million in 2014 to help elect Commissioners Doug Little and Tom Forese. Arizona Public Service is widely believed to be the source of much of that spending. And APS has pointedly not denied it. 
The commission and individual commissioners have the right to inspect the records of regulated utilities. Burns wants to use that authority to try to determine whether APS or its parent, Pinnacle West, did contribute to those efforts and how much.
From "5 Republicans vie for 3 seats on utility regulation panel", Tampa Bay Times, 20 Aug 2016
The normally quiet race for Arizona Corporation Commission is anything but this year as two Republican incumbents and three GOP hopefuls battle over political spending that has embroiled the utility regulation panel in controversy.

This site (http://www.az-acc.com/) is promoting Tobin, Melvin and Gray as "your conservative team"

I am for the freedom of APS to

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Grow and Create the Beautiful and Inspiring

Last night we had many of our friends come to a house concert with Spencer Jones of Redhill and Rob Gardner. They are so talented and generous to travel so far. 

We live in a golden age because of the ability we have to connect to each other over the Internet. It makes possible for us to not only choose the entertainment we want, how we want it. It allows us to create the arts that feed our souls.

It is obvious that Rob and Spencer are creating the arts that feed their souls and many around them. Look for the beautiful and inspiring around you. Choose to support it by sharing and donating money. As Bill and Ted said,

Be excellent to each other.

Here is the band of Spencer Jones http://www.redhilltheband.com/

Here is a production by Rob Gardner featuring Spencer Jones http://www.cinematicpop.com/.
"Hallelujah - Live Symphony & Choir - Feat. 16 yr. old McKenna Breinholt"

Here is a song from Spencer Jones of the Redhill band.

Here is the sacred production company of Rob Gardner http://spiremusic.org/
Rob also wrote music for Blackbeard The Musical.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Best Way to Defend Religious Freedom

Religious freedom is rooted in property rights and the freedom of association. If we defend and strengthen these, we will strengthen religious rights.

If we fail to protect property rights and the freedom of association — the real “core” of religious freedom — then it will only be a matter of time we find ourselves guarding an empty building that has lost its value and purpose. ("Connor Boyack: How to lose the fight for religious freedom", Connor Boyack, 16 Jul 2016)

Is is Constitutional to Prevent the Immigration of Muslims or Certain Nationalities?

The short answer is,

"if you (like me) don’t want Trump to block Muslims from entering the United States, then stop him from getting elected president. Don’t depend on the Constitution, Congress, or the courts." ("But President Trump Couldn’T Exclude Muslims By Himself, Could He?", Eric Posner, 8 Dec 2015)
 It may be a good idea for a President to have the power to do this... maybe. When a President bans people solely based on their religion or their nationality, they are on thin ice.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof... (First Amendment)

If we do not stand up for the rights of those outside of our "tribe", we are opening up ourselves to being abused by that same government.

Americans are not possessed of more natural rights than non-Americans; rather, we enjoy more opportunities to exercise those rights because the government is theoretically restrained by the Constitution, which explicitly recognizes the natural law. That recognition is articulated in the Ninth Amendment, which declares that the enumeration of certain rights in the Constitution shall not be used by the government as an excuse to deny or disparage other unnamed and unnamable rights retained by the people. ("Immigration Is a Natural Right: Nativism is the arch-enemy of the freedom to travel", Andrew Napolitano, 31 Jan 2013)

George Washington sent a letter to the Hebrew congregation at Newport
May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid. 
May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy. ("Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport", George Washington, 21 Aug 1790)
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. ("Reply to the Governor", Benjamin Franklin, 11 Nov 1755)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Understanding Trump

In an effort to understand where Trump comes from, I read this article about the minister Trump and his parents used to attend in Brooklyn, Norman Vincent Peale.

Norman Vincent Peale popularized what came to be known as positive thinking. He took existing ideas from Christian Science and other inspirations, gave them a biblical veneer, integrated them with psychology, and packaged them for the masses, spreading his message through The Power of Positive Thinking and his other works. His foremost contribution to the world was this notion that thoughts are causative, that our thoughts can change our lives, our health, our destiny. Readers were thrilled with this notion that if they believed it, they could have it, or be it, or do it. ("The False Teachers: Norman Vincent Peale", Challies, 2 Apr 2014)
Norman was a universalist. He believed that truth came from many sources. I am similar in that belief. The author of this article, Challies, points out how he thinks this is not Biblical.
The Bible makes it clear that the troubles we experience in this life are not merely the result of negative thinking that can be overcome by tapping into our potential through positive thinking. They are the result of a deep-seated rebellion against God that involves not only the mind, but the will. We simply cannot overcome the evils of this world, or even the evil in our hearts, in our own strength. Apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). Apart from being born again, we are eternally dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). ("The False Teachers: Norman Vincent Peale", Challies, 2 Apr 2014)
I agree with Challies. I believe that positive thinking alone cannot lift us from our fallen state. Faith in Jesus, sorrow for our sins, covenants made before God and our fellows and sanctification through the ministration of the Spirit is the path to God and the fullest happiness.
I am not sure how much Trump was directly affected by the philosophy of Peale. It seems that it is central to his character. Trump does not feel the need to say sorry. He powers through with positive thinking about himself and attacks anyone that says the opposite.

Update 2016-08-09

From "'Hillbilly Elegy' Author On The White Working Class And America's Greatness", J.D. Vance, 4 Aug 2016.
when you think about Donald Trump, there are many things to say, of course, about Trump. But his slogan, make America great again - and the obvious implicit acknowledgement in that statement is that America isn't great right now. 
A really important trend that I think a lot of liberal elites miss is a recognition of the role of religion in these communities. You may recall that President Obama in 2007 or 2008 said that in the wake of the decline of the industrial economy, these people are clinging to their guns and their religion. 
And whatever might be said about guns, the fact is that people in these communities are actually going to church less and less. Church attendance rates among white Americans without a college education have dropped pretty significantly. People with college degrees are more likely to go to church than people without college degrees among the white working class. 
And importantly, when you go to church, you're fundamentally part of a community. And for people, I think, who don't have a lot of community left, we should keep in mind how important, I think, the church can be and indeed how important the church is for many folks.
Hugh Hewitt said that "everyone ought to read Hillbilly Elegy to understand Trump’s appeal"

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Who is Darrell Castle and the Constitution Party?

Darrell Castle is running for the President in the Constitution Party. He is 67 or 68 years old. His is currently on the ballot in 18 states.

Here is his YouTube Channel.