Don’t Fall For The GOPe’s Stooge McMullin

Two must read articles I’m cross posting here and at Utah Rattles. Please, please read the articles in their entirety. Yeah, I know Ace’s language is a bit salty but they hit the nail on the head!

First, Ace succinctly sums up why no one should fall for helping Hillary win:

Crony Criminals: Department of Justice Blocked Any FBI Inquiry Into Clinton Foundation

This is why I just don’t get NeverTrump.

Do you want a country that is still recognizably America in four years, or do you want… something darker?

Yes, Trump is an obnoxious, ignorant, possibly crooked a–hole.

And what is Hillary? Hillary is all that plus the official and very illegal protection of the US federal bureaucracy.

Second, here’s the GOPe* latest gambit to ensure a Hillary victory and somehow pretend they had nothing to do with it. Don’t fall for this McMullin crap. It is nothing more than the GOP country clubbers having a hissy fit that they were rejected.

Will The Establishment’s Stalking Horse for Hillary Blow Up the Republican Party?

The Establishment’s plan is very simple. They’ve pretty much announced it. Bret Stephens, for example, does not hide the fact that his plan is to help Hillary into the presidency with a “blow out” against Trump. Then, he figures, the rebellious Untermenschen of the Lumpenproletariat will come grovelling to the Establishment for its super-successful and popular policy mix of unchastened neocon foreign adventurism, favors for corporate cronies, and official, explicit Open Borders policy…

…These guys, who fancy themselves smart, seem to miss the point that the way to “teach a lesson” to Trump supporters is to just sort of stay out of the election, and let Trump fail on his own. Then they would have the makings of a “See, I told you so” argument.

…You guys, having admitted you shivved the rest of the party in the back in order to scramble into a leadership position after the electoral debacle you admit you engineered —

why the f— wouldn’t the rest of us return the favor?

Remember the decades of their crappy nominees that conservatives were told to just shut up and eat the crap sandwich. Funny how they can’t take their own advice…especially when Trump is a product of their own making. They and their Utah McMullin stooge are nothing more than a bunch of hypocritical spoiled brats.

Again, click the links and read both articles.

UPDATE: Gov. Herbert is in bed with crony capitalists but even he isn’t falling for the McMullin scam.
*Note also that if Cruz was the nominee, I fully expect the GOPe elites would be pulling the same stunt on him.

Will We Accept God’s Help?

For years now, this blog has generally kept everything pretty secular to avoid distracting debates over ‘who’s religion is better’. I’ve seen those pointless debates drive commenters and readers with shared values and common morals away from blogs. All from doctrinal tiffs that had nothing to do with the blog/article focus in the first place.

This post will be necessarily religious in nature and I’m warning everyone right now that I’m not going to tolerate any dumping  on anyone’s “quirky beliefs” (everyone has ’em – deal with it). While religious, this post isn’t a forum for a comparative religion debate. Disclaimer over.

I’ve long written about an erosion of fundamental values in this nation. I’ve primarily discussed Constitutional values. Today, I’m referring to the underpinnings of the Constitution itself: the morality of this nation. As John Adams stated:

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.

This quote should shake us. Certainly, we all fall short of God’s perfection. However, the nation is well beyond that. We are now, and have long been, justifying clearly immoral acts that violate basic God-given tenets. Selfishness, envy of our neighbor, taking from neighbors (eg special interest taxes), gay marriage (and forced labor thereto), abortion heralded, out of wedlock births on the rise and sex after marriage is now considered odd…examples abound. Just look at the morality on TV as a reflection of society’s course (why do moral people consume and feed their children such destructive drivel they disagree with?).

God is a loving but just god. He is prepared to bless us as he clearly has in the past but we must accept such blessings and providence by our intents and deeds. To be blunt, as a nation we are not.

I pray that we (self included) will search to improve and repent of our wrong doings. We need to acknowledge these and return to our God-given moral principles and teach them to our children. As one calling in the wilderness: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Nothing escapes God’s law. God need not lift a finger – we will push His loving hand away and choose to be left to our own self-inflicted consequences. This will not end well. God help us.

Shurtleff Off The Hook For Now, Thanks To Obama’s DOJ?

Remember, Shurtleff was in with the Obama admin and rumor had it that he was angling for a job at Holder’s DOJ:

Judge dismisses criminal case against former Utah AG Mark Shurtleff

…and prosecution accusations that evidence from the federal government would not be provided.

All Shurtleff posts available here. Posts related to Shurtleff working with Obama admin and Holder/DOJ, in particular.

Gnashing Of Teeth Over Cruz At The GOP Convention

Not a fan of Ace’s salty language but these posts basically capture my thoughts on the Cruz kerfuffle:

Cruz Doubles Down at Texas Delegation Speech, Says He Can’t Support a Guy Who Insulted His Wife

Cruz tells Texas delegates: I won’t be a “servile puppy dog” to a man who attacked my wife and father

Be sure the watch where Trump renounced the pledge in the second link. Also, I remember Trump once said he would renounce it if the RNC was “nasty” to him yet his supporters want everyone else he’s been nasty to, to adhere to the pledge. Ace put it succinctly:

Trump picked the Rules of Engagement. He has to live with [them].

Cruz didn’t say a single bad thing about Trump in his speech. Cruz simply didn’t explicitly endorse him, something well known to Trump weeks and days in advance…and Trump, by his own admission, signed off on the speech  (maybe Trump sycophants should be mad at Trump?). What Cruz delivered was a speech on core principles with a focus on protecting and restoring Constitutional freedoms and encouraged everyone to go out and vote their conscience in November. I guess Trump’s groupies were either freaked out that Trump may not qualify as a conscience/constitutional freedom vote or miffed that Cruz didn’t surgically attach his lips to Trump’s butt.

Suck it up, Trump cupcakes.

UPDATE: Worth viewing regarding this matter (via Legal Insurrection):

Meanwhile, Trump cries like a little girl about something he approved. Funny, I thought he was running against Hillary. Good luck winning when you are too busy being a boob to focus on your opponent.

Our Divine Constitution

I ran across this a little over a week ago and had posted it to the microblog but decided it should also be posted here.

I pray that the principles outlined haven’t vanished from our nation’s memory. Constitutional freedoms are under more intense assault and are dwindling. Pay close attention to the four crucial items required to preserve/restore the Constitution and, ultimately, our national freedoms.

Full text/video is available here: Our Divine Constitution – Ezra Taft Benson, October 1987

I’m including an excerpt of the four principles outlined but please read or listen carefully to the whole thing as this doesn’t capture the prior framing:

First and foremost, we must be righteous.

John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (The Works of John Adams, ed. C. F. Adams, Boston: Little, Brown Co., 1851, 4:31). If the Constitution is to have continuance, this American nation, and especially the Latter-day Saints, must be virtuous.

The Book of Mormon warns us relative to our living in this free land: “Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever” (2 Ne. 1:7).

“And now,” warned Moroni, “we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity” (Ether 2:9).

Two great American Christian civilizations—the Jaredites and the Nephites—were swept off this land because they did not “serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12). What will become of our civilization?

Second, we must learn the principles of the Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers.

Have we read The Federalist papers? Are we reading the Constitution and pondering it? Are we aware of its principles? Are we abiding by these principles and teaching them to others? Could we defend the Constitution? Can we recognize when a law is constitutionally unsound? Do we know what the prophets have said about the Constitution and the threats to it?

As Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be” (Letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, 6 Jan. 1816).

Third, we must become involved in civic affairs to see that we are properly represented.

The Lord said that “he holds men accountable for their acts in relation” to governments “both in making laws and administering them” (D&C 134:1). We must follow this counsel from the Lord: “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” (D&C 98:10).

Note the qualities that the Lord demands of those who are to represent us. They must be good, wise, and honest.

Fourth, we must make our influence felt by our vote, our letters, our teaching, and our advice.

We must become accurately informed and then let others know how we feel. The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. ‘Tis right, politically, for a man who has influence to use it. … From henceforth I will maintain all the influence I can get” (History of the Church, 5:286).

Never Stop: Bountiful City Council Continues Using City Hall As Wasteful Spending Spearhead

Bountiful City is making another foray into getting a new city hall. This marks the third time in about four years. See my posts on the city hall issue for their prior attempts and tactics. Evidently, again, city hall simply isn’t good enough and is considered “blighted” for their RDA scheme. By that standard, if you live in a 39+ year old home, time to demo that blight and rebuild, forget remodeling!

In a letter* penned by Councilman Pitt, he explains that they absolutely listened to citizens who asked that no new city hall be built. After they listened, they just chose to ignore citizens’ plea.

…The multi-city, multi-agency committee showed its approval and confidence in the proposal by voting to extend Bountiful’s Redevelopment Agency, thus investing $21.7 million of tax payer money in downtown over the next several years.

The letter lists off some additional non-core government pet projects that will be funded  including “Assistance with a future education center on site of the old city hall”. I believe this is code speak for the art center/museum that was rejected by citizens last time they tried this (EDIT: I re-read the faq and I think he’s referring to the UofU using the old building but that may still include the art/museum as well) . Back then, I ran the numbers and noted that the museum was supposed to cost $1.5 Million with half coming from the private sector…cost overruns indeed. Now, entire project costs are about $8 Million higher. They sure listened…

…The projected cost to build the new city hall is $13 million. Not $20 million as claimed by Better Bountiful. That represents a net cost of $6.5 million over what it would cost to remodel the current site as advocated by Better Bountiful.

In 2013, the new city hall cost was $9.5-10.5 million, now we’re up to $13 million**, an approximate 30% increase. Plus, add another $8.7 million for the other items they want to fund. So yeah, Better Bountiful has a point – this overall projected is being spearheaded by the city hall issue and has now ballooned from an initial $10 million to $21.7 million.

Once upon a time, private donations were to help pay for the museum etc. Now that’s not the case and costs continue to climb. I wish interest groups and politicians would stop to consider people aren’t interested in paying for their pet projects and these things take money by governmental force from young families, fixed income elderly, and public schools (RDA funding = forgone tax revenue). It would be courteous if they would stick to their original (partial) plan to raise private funds for some of this stuff instead of defaulting to forcing others to pay.

Finally, remember how desperate our roads needed help so local politicians and city councils passed resolutions in support of a tax increase (which gave them a kickback for bailing out UTA)? The Bountiful City Council passed the resolution on June 23, 2015. Taxes were increased but as one Clipper commenter noted, the city council seems to have other priorities:

It would seem that the council would rather build an edifice to themselves rather than make due with what they have, and get the roads fixed…

*As an aside: note the humorous title of the letter…gotta love thinly veiled attempts at localized propaganda.
** On Mr. Pitt’s confusing numbers: renovations are an already expensive $6.5 million, new building is $13 million – a net increase in project cost of $6.5 million. The way he phrased this may lead folks to think the new building is $6.5 million when it is actually $13 million. I have no idea if that is intentional salesman spin or poor clarity in writing on his part but if he penned the city’s faq (see Bountiful City website), then it may be the former:
In the faq, the author attempts to justify a new city hall as an economic driver for Main Street. I’m sorry, a new city hall is not a tourist attraction. The same clients coming for permits are not going to all-of-a-sudden start burning cash on Main St. because city hall has a new car smell. Private business is an economic driver, not pretty new government buildings with no additional service.
Other justifications for the spending include a plaza for chalk art and a car show. Both of these already have perfectly adequate venues and interest groups are welcome to fund improvements (if they actually even want any in the first place) rather than tapping taxpayers/schools.

Our Forgotten Constitution, Our Waning Freedoms

I have scant time to write here anymore but this one is important to me.

I heard people talking about the Constitution and saying it was “old” along with the Bill of Rights. From the conversation, it was evident that they didn’t have much depth of knowledge on the Constitution other than it was an old document that established government operations and specified some rights (the Bill of Rights).

The conversations was disheartening as it exemplified a pitfall Madison and Hamilton warned everyone of in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere: including a Bill of Rights in the Constitution could imply the federal government had the ability to regulate those rights and only those specified rights have some form of protection (an other right must be specified or it could be denied/regulated).

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Constitution, by design, only provides powers to the federal government – if a power isn’t specified, they do not have it. Period. By so constructing the US government’s underpinnings, the Constitution is inherently exceptionally limiting of what government can do…if we and our lawmakers have the integrity to be loyal to this.

Both Madison and Hamilton opposed including a bill of rights as it was pointless and could be dangerous: it attempts to take away rights/powers the federal government never had first place. They feared this would result in confusion (remember, the Constitution only gives powers) and tempt ‘interpretations’ of these enumerated rights. As Hamilton wrote in Federalist 84:

I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power…

…the Constitution is itself, in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS.

Clearly, arguing any limitation, interpretation, or regulation on a right specified in the first ten amendments should be laughable. They never were anything the federal government had any control over in the first place.

We are failing as a nation to learn of our protective underpinnings. That is both a lapse by individuals (parents), educators, and our educational system. It is why we see politicians re-interpret rights and powers they want to limit or seek to invent to enforce their goals; it is why they get away with it.

This ignorance is dangerous. Those who understand the Constitution, know that if a part appears outdated and ‘modernized’, an amendment process is provided for (which has indeed been used in the past!). The Constitution’s framers wisely provided for this because they knew they themselves were imperfect. Now, people don’t consider this at all and simply want the old document ‘re-interpreted’ on-the-fly, unwittingly bypassing the debate and vetting provided for by the amendment process. Here’s the danger: if you can just “interpret” anything to suit your desired outcome or entirely disregard something for the same reason, then you have no Constitution at all. There is nothing to constrain government at all, aside rebellion, for the constraints to be ‘interpreted away’.

The founders had been through a bloody rebellion to gain their freedoms and wanted to avoid such in the future. They also knew where the most crucial guardian of these freedoms and the governmental constraints could be found: in the home. As Benjamin Franklin stated at the end of the Constitutional Convention:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Please note who is to keep it. Not government, not politicians, elites, or a special panel. You!

On this Fourth of July please consider making a resolution to study our Constitution and pass that knowledge on to others. Read the Federalist Papers (I recommend the Signet Classic Kesler/Rossiter edition* as it contains very helpful background notes). Your freedoms, you children’s freedoms, the future’s freedoms rest on your shoulders.

Happy Fourth of July, thank God for our Constitution and may He continue to bless this land.

*If you want a simplified, shorter version consider this edition: The Original Argument: The Federalists’ Case for the Constitution, Adapted for the 21st Century. Note: no politics are involved in it but it only contains the key subset of all the papers.