Thursday, March 08, 2018

Define the problem

Another bad commentary on guns:
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2018/03/05/commentary-guns-utahns-and-mormons/


My response - This is a short commentary but contains a lot of errors. The authors compare number of deaths using the vague description of “gun related violence” to the more specific “foreign-born terrorist attacks”. They fail to clarify that gun related violence includes suicide.  The authors use language that falsely represents the opposing view point. Example: “those that support unfettered gun ownership” Who is that exactly? Is there a group arguing that 6 year olds should have machine guns? No. Everyone believes in some restrictions on guns. The authors are arguing against a mythical group. They suggest that Utahns have lenient gun laws because of fears of terrorism. Never heard that. I had always guessed it was because Utah has a lot of conservatives that believe the 2nd Amendment is an important protection of their rights to keep and bear arms. (And most states in the west have a lot of hunters.) Lenient? The right to keep and bear arms is a right, no one has to ask a government to be lenient to grant it. Utah may be more free in this regard due to history. Their ancestors witnessed a government that did not defend them or their First Amendment right of free exercise of religion. They left the US to escape. The authors claim that Utah has more deaths from guns than from automobile accidents. True. In 2013 there were 220 people killed in car crashes and 295 suicides. They fail to mention there were only 33 homicides with a gun. So far more people die from car crashes than are murdered with guns. “Death from guns” is a misleading term at worst, vague at best and cannot be used to solve the problem. The writers describe the NRA falsely saying “which began as a gun club for hunters but is now a lobby for guns”. The NRA was founded after the Civil War to improve the marksmanship and proper use of guns so that the Guard would have better trained soldiers for war. It wasn’t a hunting club. The NRA isn’t a gun lobby, but a rights lobby. It is interested in defending rights, especially those of self defense against muggers and tyrannical government. Don’t forget the second amendment is the same as the other nine. The Bill of Rights is a restriction on government power to counter abuses that the British had recently imposed on their colonists and make sure their new government could never do the same. They claim that people are unwilling to pass “even the most commonsense measures.” These common sense measures are never defined and tend to fall apart under the most basic scrutiny. They are usually emotion based do-something responses to evil actions. The authors write that Dick’s stopped selling assault rifles. First, assault rifle is another meaningless term. It basically means scary-looking rifle and is too vague to use for legislation. The truth is that Dick’s stopped selling scary looking rifles after the Sandy Hook murders. They are also raising the age to purchase a gun to 21. That is a fair action for a retailer to take. Hopefully the experiment will provide evidence of the effectiveness of the idea before it is made into law. Some people love guns like those that shoot as sport. (Guns are even in the Olympics! ) Most people don’t love guns, we love freedom and until you are willing to deal with a problem honestly the answer is no. #goaway      

Friday, February 23, 2018

Guns in Japan

In response to the video on youtube about guns in Japan — 

That may be good policy for the Japanese. I hope it works for them. But we have a different culture, happily, and those rules for gun ownership will not work in the US. That would be a violation of everything American. 

The video says that the Japanese believe “that guns should not have a role in civilian society”. This is not an ideal that we hold to be true. Beyond just a difference in a variety of different cultures, I believe our system to be superior. 

Americans are independent and enjoy a lot more freedom than the Japanese. With that freedom comes responsibility to govern ourselves. Everything in our founding was designed to limit government powers. We divided government powers into three branches, then divided Congress again. Our written Constitution grants the government specific powers and withholds all others. The Bill of Rights was added to be clear that these rights cannot be violated. All 10 amendments are limitations on government to make sure rights are not violated. 

We are to govern ourselves. Part of that self-government means we are responsible for our own safety and security. Gun use for self defense is obvious. However, there are more reasons than that. The armed populace stands as a check against invasion and, perhaps more importantly, as a check against tyrannical government. The people must be armed to be free. There are plenty of quotes from people smarter than I to prove this idea. Example:

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
-- Alexander Hamilton

One specific way that we differ from the Japanese as shown in the video is that we do not ask for permission to own or bear weapons. The police do not grant us this right. The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. We do not beg for permission to buy a gun if they deem us fit. We are not limited to air rifles (because that isn’t even a real firearm) or shotguns. We recognize that we have that right to own weapons. We do not allow that right to be excluded to all those that cannot conform to their tedious process. We don’t rely on the police to protect us. Japans rules won't work in the US. 


Monday, January 01, 2018

Look Not Behind

This is the talk I wrote for church. The delivery was something similar.

Look not behind

It’s the last day of the year. A time to look ahead to the new year. I am not big on New Year’s resolutions, so you won’t get that talk. I can’t think of anything to start or fix just because of a date on the calendar. I try to fix things as a I see them. However, I like beginning again. Kicking off a new project at work is always exciting. Every new day is a chance to start again. Every new week we can take the sacrament, which gives us a chance to start over and try again. The plan of happiness is the ultimate do-over. The gospel of Jesus is about forgiveness and being born again. The purpose is to cleanse people and allow us to return to our Father. It is a beautiful message that we can take advantage of daily or strive to engage with new hope at the new year. The theme we were given was “Look not behind” This is a reference from Genesis 19 and the story of Lot’s escape. 

Story of Lot

The city that Lot lived in was evil and was going to be destroyed. God’s tolerance of that sinful place was over. After some negotiation Lot’s family was going to be saved, but given instructions not to look back. As they were leaving, Lot’s wife couldn’t resist and so she didn’t make it. 

When I hear a phrase like “don’t look back” or “look not behind thee” I think of the opposite, about things that we should look back to. There are some good things to look back to in our minds. There are lessons to be learned in the past. So the commandment requires some context.

What do we look back for?
1. the scriptures - they tell us how people had faith in the past
2. genealogy - we learn about our family and maybe how they overcame problems
3. history - we have to learn from the past

So what did Lot’s wife do wrong? What did she do that was different? What do we not look back for?
1. past sin - we must forgive and forget
2. lost possessions - we can’t take it with us
3. missed opportunities - we make new ones

I think this is the lesson of Lot’s wife. She had some attachment to the city of sin. Whatever it was, she wasn’t prepared to let it go. We look for the good and not the bad to put it simply. As Elder Holland put it, “The past is to be learned from, but not lived in.“

When we want to start again we have to change our heart and not long for the old sins. The message of the gospel is to go on, to move forward.  



So how do we do it? I think it helps to remember what we know about this life. We know that God has a plan of happiness for us. One unique aspect of latter day saint doctrine is that we know that we lived with our Father in Heaven before we were born. Although not entirely alone in the world in this belief, this is an idea that sets latter day saints apart and gives us a different perspective. Do you believe you were happy with God in heaven? Do you expect you will be happy when you return? Then why leave? What have gotten ourselves into? We believe that in order to be more like our Father and to experience the joy that he does that we had to come to earth. To be miserable? No, “Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy”. He has a plan for us. He has a plan for each of our lives and He had a plan to send a Savior to make it possible for all of us to make it back home.  

This life is meant for progression and experience. We have to have to faith in Jesus in order to move forward and forget the sorrows of the past. This life is a test, a time to prove if we will obey, so it is necessarily hard. Everyone fails. If part of life includes failing then we only need to go on and move to the next hurdle. 
There are several examples from the scriptures about going and moving forward. 
First, Nephi. He said “I will go and do”. 


When a woman was caught in sin and brought to Jesus for punishment he paused and wrote on the ground. The crowd wanted to stone her but he defused their anger and suggested they look to their own behavior. Jesus did not punish her. No one was left to condemn her. 

John 8:11 And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

To go requires looking forward. The woman would need to look not behind her. 
Jesus commanded her to be better. 

Remember the story where Jesus was met by ten lepers who appealed to him for relief. Recall one leper came back to give thanks. in Luke chapter 17 verse
14. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

Again, Jesus commanded them to go. The miracle occurred as they went. They certainly didn’t want to dwell in their past environment. 

Can people that do terrible things also “go and not look back”? There are several examples from the scriptures. Paul and Alma come to mind, two of the worst that became the best. 

Saul was a witness to the execution of Stephen. 
in Acts 22:20
20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. 

Paul was reprimanded for playing on the wrong side. He was stopped in the way by a vision. in verse 10 of the same chapter Paul said
10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

Paul never looked back. He became a great missionary. There is hope for those that are doing wrong. Paul was on the wrong side and became a great preacher. 

Alma the Younger rebelled against his father, the leader of the church. He not only didn’t obey but actively sought to drag people away from the truth. An angel came to stop him. The angel said Alma could destroy himself but would not be allowed to destroy others. The Lord would take him out first. Alma had to learn the painful lesson and then taught it to his sons later. Alma shared the painful lessons of his past but did not linger in them or look back on those day with fondness. It terrified him. He didn’t have an attachment like Lot’s wife. The sweetness of the forgiveness outweighed it all. 

Alma 36
A little long but so clear on this point that I think it is worth it.

17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

That exquisite joy is certainly the condition that all us will experience when are all in the celestial kingdom together. I believe we can enjoy that healing now. More often than New Year, we can start over and be reborn, as Alma says. The price of sin, sorrow, pain and illness has already been paid by Jesus and he only waits for us to follow him. 
Alma 7:11
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.


When we are healed we don’t look back. The Healer’s hand removes all wounds. I think recollections of all our mortal troubles will be nothing after we are resurrected. 


For me, when I think of the times when I was in despair it is when I think of only the problem in front of me and can’t see anything else. It is like a stubbed toe that consumes all of my thought with throbbing pain. On days when I am open minded and thinking of eternal goals then most problems seem much smaller. When the spirit of the Lord came to teach Nephi he was taken into a high mountain. Mountains are a symbol of temples. They are a high place where our view is changed and we can taught holy things and comprehend them. We have a chance to look out and see things as they are, avoiding the blinders of the world and its problems. I require a frequent reset in this regard so a trip to the Gilbert temple is a good way to get it. This is another way of looking forward and not looking back. 

Another way of looking forward and not looking back is to focus on others. Many times when we are looking back, it is looking at ourselves and our problems. If we seek to help others and to offer them relief and assistance then we are looking forward and forget ourselves and our own problems. Looking forward gives us a much larger perspective and we can see our proper place in God’s plan for us. 


Another way to look forward is to allow others to change.  We have to forgive them. We can’t hold grudges and be looking forward in faith. We want to change and we have to allow that in others. Everyone thinks they are wiser now than were 5 years ago. Sometimes we remember people as they were years ago. As Elder Holland said “Forget. And when it comes to mind again, forget it again.”
We have to allow people to be better. 

Showing faith and having perspective are all ways of looking forward. I think it shows the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Having faith in him means looking forward. We allows his love to work in our lives and remember him always. We have faith in his ability to make things better every time we are willing to start over. 


Testimony:




Saturday, March 25, 2017

3rd Declaration?

I read that some gay Mormons expect an Official Declaration 3. I am curious what that would look like. What would have to change to make gay people happy with the church? Is some truth missing? What doctrine is incorrect? What cultural change must be accepted.
The Official Declarations of the church changed practices, and not doctrine. Although larger in scope, they are similar to changing the age of missionaries. I don't see a practice or a doctrine that needs to change. But I will try to think of some options.
The first official declaration was about plural marriage. No doctrinal change was made with the declaration, but rather it was an affirmation that the church was complying with the law. The Republican Party was founded,  "prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism — Polygamy, and Slavery."  The prophet saw what would happen to the church if they fought this law and shift in culture. Plural marriage wasn't required so it was ended in favor of benefits to the members of continued use of the temple for other purposes.
Second Official Declaration gave all worthy the priesthood. This change ended the ban on blacks. Interesting to me is that no justification for the ban or the lifting of the ban was given. President Young started the ban and promised it would be removed. It was. No doctrinal change was made, only a practice of the church was altered.
So the first was a halt to plural marriage in order to comply with the law. The second ended a practice that had no apparent purpose, but may have been tradition only.
I don't see it going so easy for number 3. What needs to change? What doctrine is wrong? What principle is the church getting wrong? What scripture is read wrong? What part of The Family: A Proclamation is in error? The importance of family in God's plan is pretty clear. This isn't like complying with a law for cultural acceptance or ending a practice that no understood or could justify. This is pretty basic. Homosexuality is sin and only men and women can marry.
One blogger wrote that she found peace knowing that her son would just continue to be gay in heaven. Would that change in a declaration make people happy? I don't think it will happen. We all have to give up all of our sins to go to Heaven. Jesus will take them away. He will heal all. We don't get to keep them as souvenirs. Being gay is no exception to that rule.
Do people expect the Church to recognize same sex marriage? That isn't possible. Marriage is between a man and women. Should gender be ignored? Just kinda look the other way and let two men get married, without actually saying what sex they are? The proclamation on the family declares that gender is essential and eternal. We have to rely on that because no other prophet was asked this question. Apparently same sex marriage was never tried in Nephi or Isaiah's day. This appears to be a new invention. Modern prophets have declared that it is false and not compatible with the plan of God.
Could all that be ignored and allow gays to marry now and wait until the next life to sort things out? This isn't like waiting for the blacks to eventually get the priesthood as was promised? What prophet suggested that two men could be married? Who said eventually people could be sealed to whoever they wanted, regardless of gender?

Marriage is the union of complementary sexes, anything else is just pretend. Same sex marriage cannot be sealed by the power of the priesthood and the Holy Ghost and therefore all such unions will end in the grave. Two men cannot be joined in the next life. Only a married couple can enter the new and everlasting covenant and obtain the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom. That is the plan. Unless Declaration 3 will say that Joseph Smith got that wrong. Men in a legal union here will be single in heaven. Without accepting the true definition of marriage and participating in it, they can have no increase. Those that practice homosexuality are sinning in this life and will be limited in the next.
Do gay Mormons expect the plan to change, or be clarified in some way, and that somehow they will be accepted as a pair capable of producing life in the next world, even though it appears to be in violation of God's plan and the rules of nature He established? Will Official Declaration 3 claim that they can have successful and lasting relationship outside the plan of happiness established by their Creator?
My question is just what doctrine is expected to change? The family proclamation provides a great summary of Hesse issues. I don't understand what part gay Mormons expect will change. Gay Mormons or those that sympathize with them, I should say. Speaking of which, I believe we must love all. All are welcome in the church as we share this mortal experience and learn to avoid the snares of the Adversary. I hope people can find clarity on this issue and trust that our Heavenly Father wants what is best for His children. Jesus loved and made God's plan real. Jesus died for all pains and sins. He can heal all hurts. I don't think there will a third Declaration on this issue. The correction isn't required for the church but rather, must be made in individuals and in our society that perpetuates this evil.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Memories of Conrad Huss

My family was introduced to the Huss's when we moved to Tucson and joined 6th ward. Mercy taught Sunday School and influenced a whole generation with knowledge, enthusiasm, sincerity and unique insight. Conrad enjoyed working with the little ones in the nursery. Their faith and love was evident to me.

My dad always had the highest respect for Conrad and spoke of his excellent reputation in the mining community. I was first introduced to M3 when Conrad took us as part of the career night activity. I think it was for scouts in 1987. He walked us through the building on Ruthrauff and demonstrated the cad stations, which I thought was fascinating. My father, grandfather and uncles were engineers so I was very interested. Conrad showed another path how that could be done. I spoke with about various engineering degrees, trying to decide between chemical/materials like my dad or environmental, which was my interest at the time. He convinced me that I could do both- or anything that I wanted - as a mechanical engineer. I went with it. His influence in that decision had a great impact on my life.
I started working at M3 as a student, after my mission to Germany, while I was trying to finish my degree. I got to see a lot of different projects and disciplines while there. His opportunity taught me many skills I still use and made it possible to finish school with a young family.

Conrad gave good advice. He said not to waste money on expensive cars. He suggested stretching on a mortgage payment because it was a good investment. He was an excellent mentor who stressed the importance of hard work, education and quality work. He was clearly proud of his heritage and his family. He had an excellent memory, which was scary at times because I knew he would also remember my mistakes. However, he was forgiving and had a good perspective. I made a costly design mistake at work, so bad I thought my employment would be in jeopardy. He told me to learn from it and move on. It was a great relief but also a good lesson on how to live.

It was an honor to be invited into his home and eat with him and his family. I joined him as we visited some people in need and then he had me speak to some young scouts about careers and engineering. I explained the lesson that Conrad had taught me, that education and hard work will pay off. It was fun to complete that circle and try to lead another generation into the field of engineering.

Conrad was a great man, and helped to guide and influence my life. I valued his wisdom and good counsel second only to my father. I will miss him.

Father's funeral

I shared these thoughts at my father's funeral:

I am sad because my dad liked to teach and I still have so much to learn. He offered wisdom, without judgement. He gave an example of love and service that is tough to follow. We would talk about things we had learned learned and he would often look for the principle. I would get lost in expressing some crazy engineering idea and he would simply listen. 

We would have liked to keep him here longer. But that isn’t really the point. We would have liked that he attend more baptisms and blessings and ballgames. We desire endless association with family. That is the deepest longing of our soul, to be together with family. Living together with our eternal Father in Heaven is eternal life. Our emotions sometimes get confused on that issue of association, we want here what can truly only be perfected in Heaven. It will come in time. 

Jesus broke the bands of death and the grave has no victory. As Elder Nelson said in April 2012 conference, it is part of God’s work that we live and die and that the Savior prepared the way. 

“If the body’s capacity for normal function, defense, repair, regulation and regeneration were to prevail without limit, life here would continue in perpetuity. Yes, we would be stranded here on earth! Mercifully for us, our Creator provided for aging and other processes that would ultimately result in our physical death.”

Each pain, wound and illness is a reminder that our loving Father wants us home for his glory. There we will enjoy the association that we yearn for today. Elder Nelson quoted dad’s favorite scripture. My dad knew this.


Marlin K Green obituary

Marlin K Green was born 26 January 1939 in Logan, UT to Marlin R Green and Iva May Rollins. He passed away on 2 September 2016 in Provo, UT. He was married to the love of his life, Judy A (Daniell), 27 Aug 1960 and sealed in SLC Temple June 1962. He would light up when she walked in the room.
He is survived by his wife and 7 children:Marlin K Green was born 26 January 1939 in Logan, UT to Marlin R Green and Iva May Rollins. He passed away on 2 September 2016 in Provo, UT. He was married to the love of his life, Judy A (Daniell), 27 Aug 1960 and sealed in SLC Temple June 1962. He would light up when she walked in the room.
He is survived by his wife and 7 children:
Danette (Kelly) Hillman of Tucson, AZ
Whitney (Harry) Belliston of San Antonio, TX
Marlin (Lisa) Green of Queen Creek, AZ
Sorena (Chris) Marble of Salem, UT
Jeanene (Dan) Snell of Tucson, AZ
Michael (Linette) Green of Queen Creek, AZ
Jared (Melanie) Green of Cedar City, UT
Marlin leaves a beautiful legacy of 38 faithful grandchildren and 5 great grand-children and is believed to be counseling with more great grands. The oldest of his siblings, he is survived by a brother and 4 sisters:
Phil (Margie) Green of Billings, MT
Karen (Norm) Bennett of Hayden Lake, ID
Judy Pafford of Noxon, MT
Marlene (Mike) Lauritzen of Woodland Hills, UT
Janet (Craig) Christian of Richland, WA
Marlin earned a BS, Ceramic Engineering (Material Science) from the University of Washington in 1966. Later he earned an MBA from Western New Mexico University in 2001.
Through his work, Marlin had the privilege of living in many places and worked for many engineering and mining companies, specializing in ceramics, oil and copper mining. He travelled the world helping to document processes and improve quality. Travel included Canada, Mexico, South America, South Africa, Scandinavia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, China.
Marlin was a collector. His family teased him often about his “things.”  He enjoyed a variety of interests including water skiing and hunting when he was younger and, more recently, gardening and ham radio. He had a wide array of skills that were useful for everyone’s projects: concrete, carpentry, plumbing, tile, fixing computers and cars, for example. He loved learning and enjoyed teaching.
Marlin was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He found great joy in serving and was a great example as he served in a variety of  callings, such as Young Men president, Sunday School president, Sunday school teacher. He taught as a seminary teacher in Jackson, CA and Eagle River, AK. He served as a branch president in Ione, CA and as a bishop in Great Falls, MT and Silver City, NM.  He also served as High Priest group leader in San Manuel, AZ. He served on the high council in Columbine, CO and Silver City, NM. He served in the first stake presidency in Wasilla, AK. He served a mission in 2009-2010 with his wife in Tucson, AZ.  He was currently serving in the Payson temple. In his retirement, this gave him much joy. Marlin was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Chick.
Funeral services will be Thursday, September 8, 2016, 1:00 p.m., in the Salem, Utah 7th Ward Chapel, 25 West Appleblossom Way. Friends may call at the Walker Mortuary, 187 South Main Street, Spanish Fork, Wednesday, 6-8:00 p.m. or at the church Thursday, 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Burial will be in the Salem City Cemetery.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

How to make the bathroom issue worse

A copy of my Facebook comments in opposition to this article on Patheos about bathroom issue.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/the-disgusting-hypocrisy-of-the-anti-trans-bathroom-movement/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=FBCP-PATH&utm_content=formerlyfundie

This article is so poor. First line is false. Last line is a lie. Is it intentionally bad? Yes, I think so. A silly attempt to make an emotional appeal and cloud the situation, not provide insight. The argument for safety is consistent. This is pretty simple. Use the bathroom that matches your plumbing and stop dressing like the opposite sex.

1. There is no movement to make peeing while trans illegal. False.
2.People could always use the bathroom of their gender. Charlotte wanted to change that.
3.Forces on the right are not working tirelessly to make it illegal for trans to use the bathroom of their gender. False. Charlotte city council was trying to create a new protected class and it was poorly written, which would invite abuse of the rule. The state stepped in to correct it.
4.There is no issue of male violence. False. This is not the source of the bathroom issue.
5.It is possible that people would abuse the rule and enter the wrong bathroom. This is being reported where ever the rule is changed and the behavior allowed. This is not a fear but reality.
6.People should be safe in bathrooms. However, that is rarely a problem. This is as much about modesty. It isn’t too much to ask to ask men to use the men’s room. No one on the right said there is not a price too high to pay for safety of our families in the bathroom. It is false to equate this imaginary radical position to the left saying we need common sense gun regulations.
7.It is true that criminals don’t obey gun laws.
8.We should promote safety, both in the bathrooms and with guns. This isn’t a selfish protection of my rights over someone else’s rights. Men should use the men’s room and most gun owners are not a threat to anyone.
9.No one knew or cared about transgender using the bathroom until Charlotte city council got involved and created a mess.
10.Everyone believes that we should protect children. I even grant this to the left, even though the author says that the right doesn’t actually believe in protecting children. (which is absurd) The idea that all good is on the left, and no good is on the right is hardly worth countering. And people say that the right see things in black and white? This declaration of absolute moral superiority is the nuanced position. Just to be clear, I think there are good people on the right and left, and I assume that all adults are interested in the care of children. Hopefully rational people can agree on this position.
11.Recall it was the left on the Charlotte council that started this mess, not the state. They promoted this nonexistent problem.
“... ignoring the growing pile of dead children we seem to amass on a weekly basis from gun violence.” False - and yes that is a quote from the author. Just to be clear, no one, on right or left, would ignore a growing pile of dead children. But also there is NO growing pile of dead children we seem to amass on a weekly basis from gun violence. Obviously, claiming that the author is exaggerating is at the risk of verifying the claim that I am ignoring it. No, I realize that children have been killed. But it doesn’t happen weekly. And no one ignores it when it happens.
12.No one claimed transgenders will snap and assault people while washing hands.
13. “If these folks actually cared about the safety of our children, they’d be focused on what’s killing them on a daily basis” False. Another great quote. Both right and left care about the safety of children. This is a silly argument. Remember that the leading cause of death for children is traffic accidents. Following the example of the author one might accuse the country of ignoring the clear risk of not banning cars. 
14.The right is not transphobic. That is another made up word with a fabricated problem to match. Phobia is an irrational fear. We do not fear transgender people. We just don’t want men in the girl’s room and that is not irrational.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Don't nationalize party elections

In reply to some questions about fixing the problems with the party elections…..

I do not want a standardized national primary nomination process. This is entirely a matter for the political parties. It requires no government involvement. Americans may have lost faith in government but the solution isn’t regulating parties. Perhaps a better solution would be ignoring them. But the fix is likely to be involvement in political parties to make them more effective. The founders didn’t want parties but I think it is just human nature. Parties have power because concentrated votes can make a difference. They were entrenched with our second president and won’t go away. So we need to make them work. This is a societal function in my view, not a governmental one. The party isn’t the government, we aren’t Chinese communists.

There are two problems with nationalization. My greatest apprehension of more regulation is an attack on sovereignty of states.  This attack is continuing to erode an important constitutional check and balance, which is the power of the states that create the federal government. First, I don’t want national anything. States need to be strong. I don’t want a national nomination process at all that ignores them, treating them perhaps as districts. When that happens then local involvement is not required. Second, I think it is just a setup to attack the Electoral College.  The Electoral College is designed to protect liberty. Don’t mess with it. If the parties are standardized then I think the Electoral College will be next. It will be attacked as archaic, undemocratic, unnecessary etc. None of these are true but ignorant attacks must still be rebutted.

I have zero desire to make all the states the same. What is the benefit? I prefer that they are different.  This isn’t corruption, it is variety and diversity. (The good kind of diversity.) Running 50 different campaigns appears to be a decent test of organizational skills required to run the executive and a trail run of people that will assist in the organization.

The parties may pick their candidates however they choose. The voters are not required. A district choice or caucus works. This year Arizona changed the name to preference election to clarify that the election is not a primary. I don’t think the delegates to the convention are even selected yet. We don’t know will go to Ohio to represent the state. Anything in the process viewed as abnormalities must be corrected by members of the party. Complaints from outside are silly. Journalists complaining about a lack of vote in Colorado is as relevant as them trying to give direction to the Camry design team on changes to the length of the vehicle. They don’t care what you think. Why do even bother? If you don’t like it, then don’t buy. It happens to work for they want to accomplish. Nothing wrong or illegal happened in Colorado. The delegates were selected by committee as the party agree to. Each precinct and district made their choice. The best way to fight the power of political parties is to keep it local. Make each delegate matter by forcing the candidates to deal with every single district chairman. 
The process isn't broken so don't fix it.