Thursday, November 27, 2008

Congratulations to President-elect Obama

Gratefully, President-elect Obama seems to have realized that to govern our great nation, he must do so from the center and not from the extreme left. Let's hope his selection of economic advisors is a precursor to what we might expect in other critical areas. To this end, he is to be congratulated. But before we get too far down the road, even if he governs from the center we will have our challenges. The cautionery thoughts arise when we look at what is staring back at us economically, fiscally, and socially. It isn't a pretty sight and any tendancy to move away from conservative economic principles, free market policies, principles of freedom and liberty upon which our nation was founded, and traditional family-centric social values, is another step closer to the demise of that which matters; a nation governed by the people, grounded in natural and moral law, and where the government is subordinate to the people. Our national budgets have only been worth the paper they are written on, which isn't much. We risk our nation with each step of more government largesse and intercession. Enough!

Mitt, our lonely eyes turn to you. Mitt's proposed course for the Big 3 domestic automakers is spot on, as is his suggested role for government in this crisis. May his wisdom prevail upon the hearts of the policy makers! It comes down to understanding the natural constants and principles that are unchangeable within our respective society, be it business, legislative, executive, communty, family and self, and living within the bounds thereof. Our capacity to do whatever is required is magnified when we abide by and apply these constants and/or principles.

Notwithstanding, may each of you enjoy a wonderful and fulfilling Thanksgiving. We are off on holiday for the next couple of weeks and look forward to future dialong.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 10, 2008

And So It Begins...

President-elect Obama's transition and policy teams are hard at work for America and the world. Already intimated, some of his first actions will be to repudiate the Bush Policy on USAID funds for family planning and global aid policies (see here). Rather than adhere to the moral standard of abstinence, President-elect Obama is sharing condoms with the world and abandoning Bush's policy of education and abstinence to qualify for USAID funding. On the Homeland Security front, President-elect Obama and his policy advisors are planning to transport the Gitmo detainees, many of whom are violent enemies of the US, to the US (our free land) for criminal trials (see here). I wonder who will represent them in our legal system? And with many federal judicial appointments in the offing, let's pray for the health of our judiciary. It hasn't even been a week and we are beginning to see the course of the next four years. I suppose that we shouldn't be surprised!

Hold on, as we slip down the slippery slope of undermining the moral fiber of our nation, the family and marriage; and then, the weakening of our homeland security, our military, and our freedoms for the sake of appeasement to the "entitled society." Let's hope his economic advisors exercise reason and market principles in seeking to restore our nation's economic health.

Although trying to remain without cynism, it is difficult. With Gordon Brown calling on the US (Barack Obama) to join with him and building a "Global Society," I am sincerely worried that we will become as Europe is, socially and economically. Not a pleasant thought! We are in for tough times as the will of the American electorate has chosen our course of Change!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ponderables of Democracy

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.

A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years.

During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. from dependence back into bondage

Many can substantiate that the United States is now somewhere between the 'complacency and apathy' phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent (40%) of the nation's population already having reached the 'governmental dependency' phase.

As has been stated, those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it. It is not too late for American Democracy. If we know the path we are on and the direction we are going, we can alter our course and return to fundamentals that will sustain our nation.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Commentary on Politics Today

It was expected that the divisive fallout from the Proposition 8 campaign would continue, both litigation and protests. Even so, it is a sad commentary on our political society when those whose positions were not validated by the majority seek to undermine the will of the people; either through litigation or malicious protest. As to litigation, the arguments proffered seek to recognize the privilege and sanctity of marriage as a constitutional civil right, when in fact it is not. The courts will be hard pressed to invalidate the will of the people on this matter. With respect to malicious protests targeted to the LDS Church, I am utterly amazed that there isn't a greater public outcry. If such were targeted to the Jewish community, the Catholics, the Muslims and others, the public outcry would be overwhelming. This malicious attempt to malign, intimidate and disenfranchise a religion is un-American and reflective of the bigoted and intolerant (disrespectful) attitudes of the same gender attraction community. Their proposed boycott of Utah and the Sundance Film Festival, and protests at the sacred edifices of the LDS Church are sad reflections on a community and are doing more harm to the same gender attraction community than anything else. Let the negative public perceptions from their actions condemn them accordingly. The first Prophet for the LDS Church penned the following when asked to address the tenants of the Church, which has great application in our current environs - "the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." (The Wentworth Letter)

As to Barack Obama, again, he is our President-elect and to be respected, as is the will of the people in electing him. Yes, we will hold him, Joe Biden and our Congressional Houses accountable, and do so with respect. That being said, Mitt Romney has offered some great and reasoned insight in his interview in Fortune Magazine (HERE). If only...

Text of interview, if you choose not to hyperlink to Fortune:

Romney: Obama must be 'educator-in-chief'

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney offers his advice to Barack Obama, and his views on labor unions, federal bailouts, Detroit, protectionism, and America's debts.

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and co-founder of private equity firm Bain Capital, is often mentioned as a GOP contender for 2012. He spoke with Fortune's Jia Lynn Yang.

Any management advice for the next president? How does he rally a depressed nation to meet the challenges we face?

He should forget entirely about reelection and focus solely on helping the nation at a critical time. He should dismiss the people who helped him win the election and bring in people who are above politics and above party. He should surround himself with statesmen and economists, businesspeople and leaders. In some ways it would be beneficial if our presidency consisted of only one term. That way the President would think about his legacy and the future of the country rather than reelection and partisanship.

How likely do you think that's going to happen?

In his second term, President Clinton made an effort to govern more from the center than from the extreme wing of his party, and by doing so, found greater support and greater political success. Perhaps it's a paradox, the less political the agenda, the more political success one enjoys. But now is not the time for partisanship opportunism.

The unions have helped Barack Obama. They will hope to be paid back. I'm particularly concerned that organized labor would call on Barack Obama to pass the card check program. This removes from American workers the right to the secret ballot in deciding whether or not to accept a union. This legislation would do more to harm America's long-term competitiveness than almost anything I can imagine. It would be a partisan payback for organized labor but it would come with devastating consequences for the nation.

Do you have any concerns that the massive government intervention on Wall Street will have unintended consequences?

"The bailout of Wall Street" was a terrible choice of words. No one wants to bail out anything, especially Wall Street. The objective of the legislation, however, had a much broader purpose: to stabilize our financial system, to keep it from complete collapse. Sometimes that broad purpose may require saving individual companies, as with AIG (AIG, Fortune 500). But we just can't have government running around the nation looking to bail out companies in trouble.

Given your Michigan roots and what your father accomplished turning around the American Motors Corporation in the 1950s, what do you think is the future of the auto industry?

Right now, the auto industry is on life support, and its prospects look extremely dim. But they don't need to be. The industry could be turned around. There is no inherent reason why America can't build and sell cars to Americans at least as well as the transplants are doing. Any effort to help the auto industry has to be made as part of a comprehensive strategy. Before the government issues loans to the auto industry, as has been authorized by Congress, it should insist on seeing credible and independent strategies that will return the companies to long-term sustainability. Government should not finance ongoing losses and declining market shares.

What concerns you the most about the economy right now? Any dangers lurking in the global economy that we didn't hear much about during the campaigns?

Far too little attention was paid to America's long-term competitive position during the campaign. I see four major economic strategies at play in the world today: the first is ours. It combines freedom and free enterprise.

The second is China's. It combines free enterprise with authoritarianism.

The third is Russia's. No longer is Russia's plan for dominance based upon industrial capacity but rather upon controlling energy throughout the world. Hence Russia's cozy relationship with Iran and Venezuela as well as its belligerent entry into Georgia. Russia's strategy is based on energy and authoritarianism.

The fourth strategy is represented by radical violent jihad. The intent of the jihadists is to cause the collapse of the other three, such that the "hidden Imam" or the Caliphate remains the last man standing.

The real challenge for America is how to strengthen our competitive position so that our economy outperforms those of the other three. If we're successful, freedom will be preserved for the world. If we're unsuccessful, the results are unthinkable.

When you talk about making America more competitive, what do you have in mind?

First, America must substantially improve our education system. We've fallen behind, particularly in areas of math and science.

Second, we're going to have to remedy our disproportionate health care cost disadvantage. America spends far more than any other nation as a percent of GDP on health care. This effectively is an enormous tax on the economy and on our businesses.

Third, our national debt is excessive and our entitlement obligations pass a massive burden onto the next generation.

Fourth, tax and regulatory policies weigh down our ability to compete. Specifically, our products carry an embedded tax which makes American goods less competitive abroad and at home.

Fifth, America's apparent retrenchment from the concept of open, free and fair trade could put us further behind other nations that are aggressively seeking trade relations around the world.

Sixth, our lack of an effective energy policy drains our economy by approximately half a trillion dollars a year.

And, finally, the blow that Wall Street has taken may make us less competitive in financing entrepreneurship.

There's strong populist sentiment against free trade deals. Given that, how does an American president move forward on this?

I can only hope the President abandons the populist current, which seems to be growing in our country. An effort to block foreign trade will only hurt America. Ultimately products in this country would become uncompetitive. Look what happened to the Soviet Union. Its cars, its watches, its goods became a joke.

The only way to remain the leading economy in the world is to be successful on a level playing field around the world. Some individuals, at the behest of special interests, seek to prevent trade with other nations by imposing America's labor requirements and other peculiarities. That is a disguised form of protectionism.

Do Americans need to save more and adjust to a lower standard of living? In other words, should be buying houses we can actually afford?

I think a President has to be an educator- in-chief as well as a commander-in-chief. The American people need to understand the challenges we face. And the American people need to understand that they, like the nation, need to live within their means. Both have been spending more than they have been taking in. It puts the nation at risk. And it puts families at risk.

There's a period of adjustment that's occurring right now as American families deleverage and employers deleverage. It's time for the government to finally address our severe debt burden, before it leads to even more severe consequences. I'm referring not only to our annual deficit and national debt but also to our obligations under entitlement programs like Social Security. To top of page

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Done, what next?

It seems that those in the know have called the Proposition 8 election for the Yes vote. Finally. What next? Apparently, Gloria Allred has stated she will file suit in protest of the passage of Proposition 8 using a different argument than what she used in the last legal suit that caused the California Supreme Court to approve same sex marriages. We will eventually pass through this period of denial by those opposed to Proposition 8, but the courts will be hard pressed to act contrary to the will of the people, again. The opposition may well seek to ballot the issue again. As noted previously, we need to find a common ground of understanding. Patience and perseverance.

Hats off to Barack Obama for running an amazing campaign - it speaks to great organizational and inspirational skill sets and capacities. He has accomplished and met an amazing measure. He will be our 44th President and is to be congratulated and respected. Even so, it doesn't change the fact that we are in for a ride and will suffer the consequences foretold. Our nation will be more diluted in the world, we may well suffer on several fronts from a weakend and diluted military, the war on terror will be more difficult, our economy will continue to slide and suffer with a plan of wealth re-distribution and taxation, our health care system will suffer from further government intervention, the entitlement programs will expand, our judicial system will step further on the slippery slope of secularism and subordination of our freedoms and liberties, climate change (global warming) will rise to the top, and on and on. Yes, it will be the Carter years, again, only more expansive and expensive. It is not a pleasant prospect, but there will always be Hope, and of course Change! Once the euphoria wears thin, reality will set in.

And so it begins...

We will persist in fighting the good fight, hopefully in our continued striving to overcome the contrary social winds and disturbing policies of our newly minted administration and liberal Congress. We will continue to raise the issues and hold Barack, Harry and Nancy accountable. We will seek to rebuild and re-energize the Republican Party. And we will look to the mid-terms in 2010 and the Presidential election in 2012. We will lay foundations to take back the country and redirect what comes in the next 4 years to the center-right nation that we are (at least I hope we are). We will prepare a fertile ground for Mitt's next run by building grass roots networks nation wide through The Eagle Foundation. We will seek to elevate the political discourse from the bigotry of 2007-2008 to experience and capacity (no more Mike Huckabee bigotry, hopefully). We have a lot to accomplish! As the calls for help and support go out, please stand with us. We begin in earnest January 2009 - Go Mitt. If there is every a time we will need you it is 2012. Stay close.

Thanks again to all who have been so supportive and involved in Mitt's campaign and in the successful passage of Proposition 8. Thanks for your political activism and for caring. We live in the greatest nation on the earth and can sustain amazing transitions, thankfully.

Prop 8 - Still Close But Leading

With 92.3% of the vote in, Yes on Prop 8 is leading 51.9% to 48.1%. Still holding; a 3.8% margin is still sufficient to weather the uncounted votes. What is an interesting view is to see the county by county breakdown, see here. A predictable dissection of the State demographics. With critical wins in Florida and Arizona, and a likely and hoped for win in California, perhaps we can begin to heal the wounds that became very evident in this campaign. To do so we need to find open and honest common ground for the arguments, without the unbridled passions that tend to inflame and cloud the issues. We need to better communicate the real substance of the issue at hand and the likely compromises to our freedoms if we succumb to temptation to adopt the civil rights argument. As much as we would hope, it will not likely end here. The unfortunate and bitter divisiveness arising from the opposition to Proposition 8 is of serious concern. Many is this election were confused and I believe the vote would have been stronger in favor of Proposition 8 had the extremes in the opposition not clouded the issue as they did.

In an effort to legitimize lifestyle, the extremes in the No on 8 campaign found a thread to bring others to their side, which will bode for more challenges going forward. To consider the same gender attraction issue as a "civil rights" issue is a flawed and veiled argument proffered by the extremes in that society. Sexual preference or lifestyle is not a civil rights issue. It was revealed what was really at the heart of this argument by the extremes, as illustrated in a recent debate on Prop 8 at Chapman University. When challenged by a sociologist on why the same gender attraction community sought for marriage, a covenant of fidelity, when in fact it is accepted that 25% of the same gender attraction community have 100 or less sexual partners, leaving 75% with 100 or more? The response was stated was shocking because of the public protestation. It was stated by an advocate for same sex marriage, "the problem in our society is that we deem promiscuity as immoral, a perception that needs to be changed." Whether heterosexual or homosexual, promiscuity is not moral to any degree. To the fringe, this hasn't been as much about marriage as it has about legitimization and societal acceptance and validation of an immoral lifestyle under the veil of civil rights. The concerns are evident in this destructive effort to diminish the sanctity of marriage for the sake of alternate lifestyles, alter the educational landscape of our children by numbing them to the extremes, and subordinate religious freedom, each of which sets us on an irreconcilable course. To heal the wounds and resolve the conflict we need to have an honest dialog without the proffering of the extremes. We need to honestly and openly discuss the agenda's at hand. As much as we might hope for such, I doubt we will come to a meeting of the minds. Even so, hope demands that we try. The alternative is not pretty.

The broader argument remains and change demands that we stray from our current societal trends of entitlement; I am entitled to do and have whatever I will. We pay a price and are accountable in all things! Unfortunately, we are trending in society to a day when those without and who advocate entitlement are greater in number than those who have to ultimately pay the price.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prop 8 Updated

With 33.1% in, Yes on 8 is up 52.5% to 47.5% (a margin of 5%). Although tight, Orange County, San Diego County, Riverside County, Ventura County, Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County, each of which are strong supporters of the Yes vote with large populations have only reported 10.6%, 28.6%, 48.6%, 39.4%, 16.2% and 18.5%, respectively. I don't expect a call on the vote until tomorrow, which should be in our favor. Good night!

Prop 8 Race is Tightening - Still Good Margins

27.9% of the vote is in and the Yes vote is leading by a margin of 52.4% to 47.6% (margin 4.8%). The race is tightening and it will continue to be close - in the end, we should eek out a victory for traditional marriage.

Prop 8 Update

With 23.5% of the vote in, Yes on Prop 8 is leading 54.9% to 45.1%.

Following Prop 8 Results - HOPE

If you are anxious about the Prop 8 vote in California, the Secretary of State is updating the vote count on a timely basis, here. With 11% in the Yes vote is up 55.8% to 44.2%. Traditional Marriage may well win big tonight in Florida, Arizona and California, thankfully!

Hope Remains - Nation, California, Arizona and Florida

In spite of the disappointments of the evening - we are a nation that advocates freedom, hope and liberty! May our sincere prayers be with those elected to lead! And, may we as a nation stand firm on eternal principles and hold those who lead us accountable. Let's hope and pray for the best!

With regard to the hope in preserving traditional marriage - hope remains!
In Arizona, the current vote shows traditional marriage leading 56% to 43%
In Florida, traditional marriage needed a 60% majority and the current vote count is 62% to 38%
In California we have hope, with 9.5% in Prop 8 is leading is 53% to 47% ( it will be a nail biter)

A Difficult and Defining Moment

With Ohio having gone to Obama, it is nigh unto impossible for McCain to pull of his come from behind victory. It is time for reconciliation as challenging as it may be - all hail the reign of King Obama. We are facing some difficult times ahead, not only economically, but socially. Sensing what is on the horizon in his glorious reign, our only hope is that America comes to its senses by 2012. Hopefully, America turns it lonely eyes to Mitt Romney!

After three years of active involvement both in front and behind the scenes, and as enlightening as this experience has been, it has born its share of frustrations. Our nation has failed in its sifting of Presidential candidates. Neither Obama or McCain reflected the best of our nation; as stated before, the lesser of two evils. In this Presidential election, whether Democrat or Republican, it was always about the personal interests and egos of Barack and McCain. As much as John McCain proffered Country First, it has always been about John McCain; and Barack is no different. Even so, in spite of honoring John McCain for his service to our nation, he has been one of the more flawed candidates to run from the Republican Party, by his own acknowledgement of his ignorance about the economy. And this was an economic election! His campaign has been a travesty for the nation and the Republican Party. Yes, it has been a difficult climate for the Republican Party given the squandering of opportunity by the Republican members of the House and Senate, and the Executive Branch. Notwithstanding this climate, John McCain's poor campaign management, strategic judgments and opportunistic decisions without substance, has born the consequences - America has lost. The thought of Barack, Harry and Nancy without imbedded checks and balances, oh my!

It now demands our hunkering down, and continuing to stand for what is right. Now is the time to hold the Democrats accountable, a frightening thought. In spite of accountability, we will suffer significant economic consequence and even greater social consequence! May we hold fast in our homes to what is right.

Time to work for 2010 and 2012!

The consolation this night is the hope for the passage of Proposition 8 in California and the resolve of the nation to not let Barack, Harry and Nancy undermine families and marriage. May we stand firm on retaining the Defense of Marriage Act passed by Congress!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Proposition 8 - Discrimination? A Great Closing Argument

Hugh Hewitt has posted the closing argument for Proposition 8 by John Mark Reynolds. Thank you Hugh and John Mark Reynolds.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Proposition 8 - A Sensitive and Thoughtful Perspective

A very dear friend of mine sent a personal email to his friends explaining, with personal insight and sensitivity, why he is supporting Proposition 8. With his permission, I publish the text of the email below. Thank you Steve for your thoughts, your advocacy and the loving manner that you have addressed what has become a very volatile and heated debate.

Dear Family and Friends,

As many of you know, I have been involved in the California Proposition to re-establish the definition of Marriage between one man and one woman. This issue was overwhelmingly supported in 2000 with Prop 22, which passed by 61%. Last year 4 activist Judges overturned the will of the people and legalized same sex marriage. My original involvement came in response to a request from my ecclesiastical leaders to do everything within our power to support Prop 8. These kinds of requests rarely come, I responded by supporting people I have come to trust and respect.

At first, I did not fully understanding all of the issues related to proposition 8. The subject of homosexuality is a sensitive one and comes very close to home for me. I have many wonderful employees, co-workers, friends, and family who live this lifestyle. I have deep respect for many of them, their hard work, exceptional talent, their kindness and empathy for others, and the courage it must take to live their lives. One of the most important beliefs we have and have tried to teach our children is to treat everyone with respect. We feel it a great blessing that at least this one lesson was learned by each of them. I would also say that I generally believe in the philosophy of live and let live. There are many issues on many levels that Prop 8 deals with. Disagreements on these issues have unfortunately caused many hurt feelings, strained friendships and damaged relationships.

My close involvement has given me a very clear view of both sides. I have been able to study the issues in such a way as to see things as I believe they really are. I have been able to see the people and motivation of both sides. For me, it is all about children. If you know me, you know that I am Baby Crazy. I have been all my life, and now with grandchildren it has joyfully started all over again.

Prop 8 at its core, is not about the rights of same sex couples or discrimination. These incendiary issues are what have been used by extreme activists to disguise their true motive. They have been very divisive and very successful in their actions. So divisive that I wonder if things will ever be the same again. Unfortunately, it is evident that the agenda for same sex issues have been led by a FEW EXTREMISTS. These few, demand the status of a third gender or new race. The true goal of these few extremists is to indoctrinate, confuse, and eventually lead away our purest and most precious minds and souls, at their most impressionable age. It has been shamefully stated publicly by government and education leaders that this claim is simply ridiculous. The actions however of these FEW extremists are louder than the words of their carefully scripted, heterosexual spokespeople. Make no mistake about the smoke screen of issues and crafted confusion of their message. Their goal is to raise a Godless, genderless generation that looks at God and his teachings as bigotry. These children will be taught in the perfect moments of their lives that homosexuality, transgender, and bisexuality are normal and natural behavior. They will also be taught to NOT TOLERATE those that believe otherwise. At some point in their lives, they will face a situation or be encouraged to make a decision of who and what they are going to be when they grow up. For me in the 60's, it was a fireman or a construction worker. For them it will be gay or straight. They will have been taught over and over that either choice is OK and will carry NO consequences. This is a lie, There ARE very serious consequences to such decisions not only for individuals but family's and Nations.

I personally believe that parents have the rights and obligations to teach their children moral and social, behaviors and beliefs. If Prop 8 fails, parents will lose such freedom. Just during the past month of this campaign my point has been proven over and over. There have been ongoing events aimed at precious children in California schools. I have attached a link to just one of the latest examples of showing their hand as to the core issue of Prop 8. Note that this is a kindergarten class being subjected to concepts and commitments that I never dreamed possible. My hope is that we will be a blessing in the lives of our children and grandchildren. I hope we can all move forward after this ugly time and not be permanently scarred by the divisive confusion of issues perpetuated by the FEW

click here:,2933,445865,00.html


Steve S