Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Response to Deseret News article on Romneycare

I agree with Mr. Romney that health care is a State and local issue, not the domain of the Federal government. I do not agree with ANY government (including Massachusetts) mandating that I purchase anything. If I am a person who chooses not to use traditional medicine, then I receive no benefit from mandated insurance even though I end up having to pay for it or pay a fine. People use the example of auto insurance. Good example. If I choose not to drive, I don't have to purchase it. States can (and have) made the decision to provide (or require that providers do so) certain types of care such as emergency services regardless of ability to pay. That is where this debate needs to go. How much and what types of care should be provided either by state taxation of its citizens or by paying clients of hospitals and health care providers or by purchasers of health insurance? One or more of those will pay for it - whether they like it or not. We need to decide as communities what is fair and responsible. The Federal government should not be involved.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Applying Principles to Problems #1 - Illegal Immigration

I am starting with admittedly the most divisive and difficult policy question we face. The solution is complex but easily understood when the principles relating to it are clear.
Here are the principles that I believe apply to this problem.

1. This is a problem that is the responsibility of the Federal Government. If they refuse to take that responsibility, it creates severe problems for the states and the citizens of our country.
2. Every country has the right to protect its borders and determine who to allow to visit, for how long and who should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship
3. People have a right to seek to improve the health and well-being of their families - even if that means moving to a new area or country (unalienable rights to life and the pursuit of happiness)
4. People who demonstrate willingness to reform/repent should be forgiven and be given assistance and opportunity - they shouldn't, however, be given more than those who continue to live in integrity.
5. A Citizen should always have more rights, freedoms and opportunities than illegal aliens and other non-citizens.
6. Economic status and education should not be deciding factors for those applying to enter the country legally. Our country was built by those who had neither, but came here to build a better life through hard work and determination. (Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.)

The Solution

1. Arbitrary quotas on legal immigration must be removed or greatly expanded for a time as we provide an adjustment to the broken system we have been living under. We can no longer state that the country cannot assimilate the 12-20 million illegals living here, because we are doing it now. People wading through the system to immigrate legally are waiting as many as 15 years to complete the process. This makes it impossible for those who need to feed their families now to go through the process legally.

2. Deportation should cease for a period of one year while the changes below are instituted. This does not apply to those who break our laws, especially driving without a license or insurance, violence, theft and other serious crimes.

3. During that year, those who are here illegally can present themselves for expedited processing. No penalties will be invoked unless they are guilty of serious crimes. We will assist them to return to their country of origin and work with their government to bring them back legally as quickly as is possible, after criminal and background checks are completed.

4. Those in this program will not be placed in line ahead of those who have already applied to come here legally.

5. At the end of the deportation moratorium (1 year), those who have not taken advantage of the program will be considered criminals and treated as such. They will be deported. If they are found in our country again, they will be incarcerated and work at hard labor or domestic/institutional service/maintenance in government institutions such as prisons or to rebuild our roads, bridges and other public works until such time as they choose to return to their country of origin. This will provide them with the room and board they need to survive while acknowledging their status as illegal aliens with no rights except those that other criminals receive.

6. Those who take advantage of this program will be forgiven only for entering the country illegally. For them only, there will be a possible path to citizenship if they are not guilty of other crimes.

This is an example of how applying true principles to problems can help us to arrive at solutions that are creative, sensitive to peoples situations and have moral integrity. I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

AmeriCANs Can! Don’t be an AmeriCAN’T

I just finished watching two of the most remarkable comebacks in sporting history. There have been bigger turnarounds, but never in the NCAA basketball tournament. With less than 5 minutes to play, Western Kentucky University trailed by 16 points. Over those last 4 minutes plus, they outscored their opponent 22-5 to win the game.

With a little more than 6 minutes left in the first half, Brigham Young University found themselves down by 25 points. Worse, they had been outplayed, out-hustled and out-defended at every turn. Iona College (their opponent) was on track to score nearly 150 points. Instead, in the remaining 26 minutes of the game, they only scored 23 points while BYU scored 54 to win. What happened? Did a star player for Iona fall to an injury? Did BYU bring a superstar off the bench to save the day? No. Coach Dave Rose saw that what they were doing wasn’t working and decided to make a change. Instead of trying to outrun the very talented Iona team, he decided to turn things around by focusing on defending and disrupting - a total change of direction. It worked. Not only did they stop the onslaught from the other team, they gained confidence and exhibited more teamwork. Coach Rose said "The look in our players' eyes at that time was, 'Game on. We've got a chance here,' “ What he didn’t mention was that he helped them to believe they could do it.

I know that basketball is not life and that metaphors always have limits, but I see truths in all kinds of things. In these contests I see a similarity to the situation we find our nation in today. Over the last 100 years, we have chosen to let our government grow far beyond its founder’s intent. We are letting our representatives in government "run up and down the court" spending our money and taking our freedoms without restraint. As a people, we have thought that, if we give government enough power and enough of our money, they could solve our problems, take care of the less-fortunate and make us safe. What we see today is that we have more problems, more of us fall into the less-fortunate category and we are definitely less safe than we were even 20 years ago. Asking the government to manage our lives has created immense debt. Our current course will make it even worse. We need to defend and disrupt. We need a total change of direction.

We are driving toward a cliff at high speed. The Democrats want to step on the gas and go faster. The Republicans (most of them) just want to go a little slower. I am asking, "Wait a minute. Shouldn't we turn the car around? You people are still driving us off the cliff."

Are we wise enough to determine, as coach Rose did, that what we are doing is not working? Are we courageous enough, as his players were, to believe that our best effort in a new direction can bring us to a better outcome, one that no one else might even believe is possible? I believe that we can save our nation from descending into mediocrity and weakness. I do know that, if we don’t change course soon and put forth out best effort to move our nation in a new direction, it will be too late. Let us all choose to believe we can make a difference. The motto “Yes we can!” is a great one - but only if it is coupled with the principles of truth, liberty and personal responsibility that echo “Yes we should!” Once we have a direction we can believe in, each of us must decide if we are willing to say “Yes I will!”

Be an AmeriCAN. Don’t be an AmeriCAN’T.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Announcing My Intention to Run for the US Senate as a Constitution Party Candidate from Utah

I have frankly tried to find a way to avoid running. It really takes too much time, money and emotion. Especially when I know there is an incredibly small chance of winning or even making a large difference. However, I believe that it is our responsibility to stand up for what we believe in and I am fairly certain that no one else is going to do that in this election. There are those opposing Mr. Hatch in the Republican Party, but their chances of unseating him are not as good as those who opposed Mr. Bennett two years ago. While Mr. Hatch speaks like a conservative, his voting record does not square with the Constitutional imperatives that I believe should be protected and defended.

I do not see myself as conservative or liberal, left-wing or right-wing. I simply attempt to be a principled, pragmatic Constitutionalist. That puts me at odds with some conservatives and many liberals. My thoughts on illegal immigration seem to offend extremists in both camps. It is similar with many other of my stands. I believe that, when we consider our unalienable rights, our duty to consider the rights of others to pursue happiness as well as their rights to life, liberty and property, we can usually find the right approach to legislate compassionately and minimally. We always need to try to serve the dual goals of justice and mercy. If we deny either, we either destroy the rule of law or ignore the growth and peace of our own souls and the souls of the citizenry.

I will post positions here over the next few weeks so people can see what I stand for. I reserve the right to alter or improve my statements if I can be shown the errors of my ways. I am not a politician and do not want to be. If I am wrong, I will find a better way. If I am unclear I will improve how I state what I believe. I want your input and your criticism. Even if I can't find a way to agree with you, your thoughts will challenge me to consider things and clarify what I think. Thank you for your input.

If you would like to help with my campaign or donate to the effort, please contact me at 435-668-7118.