Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action kind of hits right to the heart of how conservatives and liberals are different. Let me tell you right off the start that I definitely believe that many minorities are at a major disadvantage when it comes to their opportunity to get their piece of the American Dream. I also firmly believe that we need to do everything we reasonably can to create a level playing field for every American citizen. Having said that let me also firmly declare that I've never owned a slave, none of my ancestors ever owned a slave and being a Canadian we were actually on the side of those trying to free the slaves. Slavery was definitely a tragedy and it should never have happened. No human being has the right to own another human being. Not in America, not in Africa (where it still goes on), not in the middle east, not in ancient times, not in any time or any place. This is what I've always believed and no one can tell me that I need to pay restitution to anyone else for slavery.

I must admit that most Liberals I know have very sincere emotions and they really want everything to be fair. That is how "affirmative action" was born. These poor minorities didn't get a good education so we should just let them into college anyway, just to be fair. The problem with this is that they still don't have a good education because they weren't prepared for college so now when they go to get a job they're often not qualified so it is hard for them to get a job so we need to force companies to hire them anyway, even if they're not qualified. Now you have an under qualified employ working a job that may jeopardize other peoples lives.

The conservative looks at the kid who wants to graduate from High School and says, "you just failed the exit exam. You need some extra work". They then go way back to the elementary schools and improve the kids education. If they need extra resources to learn to speak proper English they give it to them. If they need tutoring they make it possible. If the only schools available to them are inferior they give them school vouchers so they can go to better schools. For the kid trying to pass high school they do the same thing. Give them the extra resources so they can pass the exam. This way they will actually be prepared for college when they get there.

If a minority graduates and can't get a job then you need to find out why. There are many cases where a minority is not hired because of their race. If this is the case then you need to enforce the laws already on the books that prevent that. Those employers need to be thrown in jail. Unfortunately what often happens is that employers are given a requirement that forces the ratio of minorities among their employees to match the ratio of minorities in the local population. What happens if they can't find enough qualified applicants? The employer is then forced to relax their qualifications. This means that they have unqualified people in jobs where they could endanger others or cause serious financial harm.

To keep this short, the conservative philosophy is to raise the quality of the person, don't lower the standards for the job. If it costs extra money to help qualify that person then it is money well spent and will make this great nation even greater.

In the last federal election there were more minority young voters than there were white young voters.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

National Defense

I bet you thought I had forgotten about my comparison between liberals and conservatives. Nope, I just took a break. For those who did not immediately click out of my blog let me continue.

When it comes to National Defense there is a huge difference between Liberals and Conservatives. Liberals believe that everyone should be equal. It just isn't fair that the United States has so much more fire power than other countries. They do everything they can to down size our military so that we aren't stronger than anyone else. This way they believe that no one will be mad at us and they will leave us alone.

Conservatives believe that the only way to have peace with bullies is to make sure you are convincingly stronger than the bully and that he knows you aren't afraid of a fight. For us in the US I believe this is not only a true principle but it is also the morally right thing to do. There are at least three other nations that are doing everything in their power to be the mightiest nation on earth. That would be China, Russia and Iran. History has shown that there will always be a super power, it is impossible for everyone to be equal. You tell me, who would you want to be the strongest nation on earth, the United States who has never taken land from another nation by force or Iran who has publicly declared that the Unites States is the great satan and who teaches that it is their duty to kill all infidels who will not convert to Islam?

Since 9/11/01 there have been 16,099 terrorist attacks that have resulted in the loss of human life. This number is certainly much higher since many terrorist attacks don't end up in international news. Terrorist attacks in military conflicts were not counted.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Carol and Glen

I feel bad that my blog is turning into a weekly update rather than daily as I had hoped. Oh well, life is just flying by so fast who has time to sit down and write for ten minutes?

Last week was basically just your normal exciting week of work. Intense fun and excitement for me but probably a bit boring for you. Friday however was quite exciting. Some time ago I blogged about a girl that I reconnected with her on facebook. Well her and her husband were in town and came by to see us. It was a thrill to see Carol after thirty years and to meet her husband.
We spent the evening catching up and learning all about each other kids. It was a lot of fun.

Also very exciting on Friday was that Ben chose to come down and visit for the weekend. Sharley went to her future sister-in-laws bridal shower so Ben was alone for the weekend so he decided to come down. It was good to see him. Of course if Ben is in town that means that we will almost certainly have a good game of Settlers with Pat. Sure enough Pat and Derrick came over Saturday night and had a couple of games.

Saturday early afternoon Sarah had another cross-country meet. This was the Mt Carmel invitational and is pretty much the largest meet in the county. It wasn't her best time but she still did well. In the series of pictures that I have you can see she got bogged down behind a bunch of other slower runners. She jumped out of the pack and ran around them on an outside turn. If she had jumped out early and got ahead of the pack she probably would have done better but she's always been a bit slow at the start and passes up tons of people at the finish.

Saturday was also Isaac Lew's home coming. He was in Toronto on his mission. They had an open house at McMullens and it was fun talking to him about Canadian food and candy. He loves pirogies. Who doesn't love pirogies?

Sunday morning we got up early to attend second ward so we could hear Isaac's home coming talk. He did a good job. We then went to our ward choir practice and then after church we went to another choir practice for a fireside for all the temple workers. We're going to that one so we can get a good seat. We always seem to end up way back in the cultural hall. Sunday night we also drove Ben to the train station so he could head home. It was a great weekend, busy but fun. This week is already looking like it's going to be another great week.

An average American eats less than 50 lbs of corn in a year that actually looks like corn, corn flour or corn meal but we eat over a ton of corn a year that doesn't resemble corn in any way.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Hayley

My weeks get so busy that I seem to be able to only make posts on the weekends. This has been a great week. I've made amazing progress on my project and our investors have been in town all week and they are quite happy to see the progress I've made. I made a presentation to them and I could tell they're getting quite excited.

Friday night we went to the high school football game. We sat by a guy we know and he leaned over and asked me, "so how many years have you guys been coming to these games?"
I had to think about it but the answer is, fourteen years. Basically since Kira was a freshman. She played in the band and so she had to be to every football game. Wow, we don't have anyone who needs to be at the football games now but we're so used to it we still plan on going to a few of them. I have to admit it was fun watching Sarah. She could care less about the game but she was flitting around the stadium going from friend to friend like a little butterfly going from flower to flower. She has a lot of friends and there always seemed to be a boy following her around.

Saturday morning Sarah had another meet. At least this one was not to early and not too far away. I still had to get up at 7:30 and that was a bit annoying but not too bad. She did well at her race. She started out a bit too fast and started falling back but did have a great finish. There was this girl right neck and neck with her so as they hit the finish line Sarah instinctively leaned forward to try and cross the line before the other girl. She leaned so far forward however that she was unable to recover her balance and fell flat on her belly and slid down the shut on the grass. The guy at the finish line helped pick her up and
made sure he placed her in the line ahead of the other girl. That made Sarah happy.

After the meet we quickly got cleaned up and headed to Malibu for Hayley's first birthday party. It was good to see Brandon again. We saw Serene and the girls for Sarah's birthday but we haven't seen Brandon since July. It was even better because Ben and Sharley came also. We all ate more junk food than I've eaten in the last three months. It was great. The little girls just love Uncle Ben. Serenes mother and sister also came by and we had a good visit. Eventually everyone left except for Mom, Sarah and I and Brandon decided he wanted Sarah to go for a run with him. Since I finished the book, "Born to Run", I've really wanted to get back into running. The book isn't exactly all about bare foot running but it is completely about running the way our bodies were designed to run. When you run barefoot you're forced to run properly but with shoes on it is easiest to run landing on your heals. When you land on your heals it puts major shock (and stress) on your knees and hip joints. If you land on the balls of your feet then your muscles take the shock and protects your joints. In addition if you have expensive fancy shoes they support your foot better and allow the muscles in your feet to get very weak and that makes your feet more susceptible to injury. Lately I've been running by landing on the balls of my feet. It sure is hard on the calves. There are a whole lot of muscles down there that I'm not used to using. I've only been able to go a couple of miles so far. Today when Brandon and Sarah went running I decided to go with them. I didn't take my running shoes but I figured this would be a good time to go barefoot. Really barefoot. They were running on the track so I figured it would be OK. They were nice and stayed with me but after running three miles barefoot I was hurting. When we were heading back to the house I thought I had a pebble stuck in the bottom of my foot but by the time I got home I was thinking that perhaps I'd cut my foot. I had Lisa take a look at my foot when I got home and apparently I have blisters on my feet. Now that I've had time to let my heart calm down my feet are really killing me. I can hardly walk. It does feel good though and the best part is that there is no pain in my knee at all. Not even the slightest bit. My back is also pain free. I love it. I think I'm going to keep this up.

Do you see the water shooting out of Bens mouth?

In distance running (50 miles or more) with everything else being equal a 60 year old man can outrun a 19 year old man.

Sydney thinks that all these clothes are for her. Every time Hayley would open a present Sydney would take the stuff away from her.

Serene made the cake look like a little farm yard with a barn and pond and all the animals.

Serene is really good about not feeding her kids junk food so when Hayley got to eat this little chick she got her first real taste of sugar. As you might expect, she loves it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

A Relaxing Weekend

What a nice relaxing weekend. Friday night we just sat around and watched a movie here at home. Sarah went out with a friend and I suggested to Lisa that we actually go on a date but she wasn't up to it so we just ordered some Chinese food, rented a movie and had our date here at home. It was nice. Saturday I wasn't able to sleep in because Sarah had her first cross-country meet of the season. It was at a beautiful park out at El Cahon. When she works out her IBS always starts to act up a bit plus I think she had a touch of the flu so this has been a tough week for her. In spite of her rough week she did very well in her race. I think she was either 3rd of 4th in for the team and she was ahead of most of the pack of runners. We were all very pleased with her performance especially in light of the week she's had. Saturday afternoon Lisa, Sarah and I went and helped a new family move into the ward. This guy actually was in law school with Brandon in Malibu. He graduated in the spring but he hasn't been able to land a job so he's going to attend another year of school here at USD. After the move in I did some more odd jobs around the house and then we watched another movie.

Sunday was another relaxing day. I had to teach the adult gospel doctrine class so I always stress that a little bit but I think everything went well. Sunday evening Sarah once again went to another friends house and once again Lisa and I were alone. I've said it before but it certainly feels like we're already empty nesters.

Today was a holiday and once again Sarah was gone. In the morning I went for a two mile run. I'm all inspired by that book Kira got me for my birthday. "Born to Run". You really need to read it. After my run Lisa and I decided to take advantage of a beautiful San Diego day and head for the beach. I was expecting it to be wall to wall people but there was actually plenty of parking and plenty of room on the beach. It was a wonderful beach day. As we were setting up our chairs Carsten Kooyman and his daughter Abbie walked by with surf boards under their arms. They are both entered in a surfing competition on Saturday and they were squeezing in a few minutes of practice. Lisa and went and watched them. Abbie is only nine years old (or there abouts) but she's already a pretty good surfer. It was a lot of fun watching them. It was also pretty sad because washed up on the beach not far from where we were was a dead Sea Lion. I've never seen something like that before. It looked like it had been dead for a while. On our way home from the beach we stopped at Roberto's and I ordered a Carnita's Burrito. Lisa ordered a Carne Asada burrito but didn't like it so I ate a Carne Asada Buritto and Lisa ate a Carnitas Burrito. They were both very good.

So that was pretty much my weekend. I was able to get well relaxed and now I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow. I love my life.

A lizard can't run and breath at the same time. It has to hold it's breath while it's running.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


Immigration is the one area where nothing makes sense. I don't think the governments policies on immigration has anything to do with Liberalism or Conservatism but probably much more to do with Democrats and Republicans. I think that immigration is the one area where both conservatives and liberals would agree but for very different reasons.

Liberals would probably be in favor of making immigration into the US very simple because they would want to share our wealth with the whole world.

Conservatives would be in favor of a greatly simplified immigration because it would enhance our economy and encourage trade and industry.

What I don't really get is illegal immigration. I am all for a greatly simplified immigration because I think an influx of hard working people is a good thing but it must be controlled and above all, the border must be strictly controlled. If it were up to me I think I would let just about anyone immigrate into the states as long as they had no criminal record, they had no nasty diseases and they had a job to come to. I wouldn't give them access to any social services (such as welfare etc) unless they actually became citizens.

By not enforcing our borders on the other hand we let in the drug cartels, human trafficking and we force the good people who just want a job to cross the deadly desserts and subject themselves to the coyotes (thats what they call the human traffickers). On top of all that, there is no control over some of the nasty diseases that used to be all but eliminated from our society such as hepatitis and tuberculosis.

Perhaps worse than any of that however are the OTM's (other than Mexicans) that are caught every year. There are a growing number of people illegally crossing our borders who are from the middle east. I wonder why they want in States? I tried to figure out for the longest time why neither political party had any interest in leaving our borders unguarded. I finally decided that the democrats want to let in the illegals because they want more votes (most Mexicans vote democrat) and the Republicans want to let in illegals so that big business has cheap labor. I think they both should be shot for treason because sloppy border control is in my mind our biggest threat to national security. Close the border tighter than a drum and streamline immigration to let in all the good people and keep out the drug dealers and terrorists.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


How liberals and conservatives deal with welfare probably illustrates the most obvious differences between the two. I think even the most hardened conservative would agree that in a country with the wealth and abundance that America has there is no need to let anyone starve. It is how we give the necessary aid to the needy where the differences show up.

Liberals claim that it is humiliating and demeaning to make a person work for the welfare that he receives.

Conservatives believe that the opposite is true, if a person performs some sort of service for the help he receives then he maintains his dignity by knowing that he has actually earned his assistance by rendering a service.

A half century of "The Great Society" enacted by Lyndon B Johnson" has demonstrated that hand outs to the poor will not eliminate poverty as was promised but actually encourages people to go on welfare. After all, why would anyone want to go to a 9 to 5 job when he can sit at home and watch his fancy flat panel big screen TV instead?

From the 1950s when Lydon B Johnson enacted welfare it has grown from $38 billion to $551 billion per year in 2000. That is after accounting for inflation. You would think that this would have helped reduce poverty but the number of people in poverty has remained mostly unchanged.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Health Care

A true conservative would say that we should let the free market drive the health care system and if we were to actually do that we would see health care cost decline dramatically. Left to the free market the health care system would become very efficient and very effective.

A liberal of course would say that it just isn't fair that rich people can get all of the health care they need and poor people might die because they can't afford the treatments necessary to save their lives. The problem is that a health care system like what Obama has put in place is doomed to failure. If health care is free to everyone then there is nothing to encourage the system to become efficient and it is ripe for abuse. If a person needs a very expensive treatment why would he shop around to find who has the less expensive treatment when it costs him nothing? He will just go where it is most convenient even though it may be thousands of dollars more expensive. Studies have shown that the less expensive option is often the better treatment.

On this issue I actually lean towards the liberals a bit for two reasons. First of all it doesn't seem right that some one who has been financially responsible his entire life should lose it all because he (or someone he loves) contracts cancer or some other very expensive ailment. The other reason is because it is to everyones advantage if poor people get proper preventative care such as vaccinations, regular physicals, proper treatments and prenatal care. Poor health can trap these people into a cycle of poverty and make it difficult for them to get a good education and job. It makes sense to minimize the risk and to share the burden on this one. The problem is, how can we offer this care and still maintain the free market system to keep it efficient, inexpensive and of a high quality. I believe the way to do it is with a government funded health savings account. I've talked in more detail on this topic in an earlier post which you can read about here if you're interested but in short, every month the government would deposit $100 - $200 into an account for every legal citizen in the US. This money could only be used for health care costs. The idea is that the majority of people would use very little of this money while they're young and then would have up to a million dollars in the account for when they're older. If you're spending money out of your own account then you're more likely to spend it wisely.

From 2000 to 2006, overall inflation has increased 3.5%, wages have increased 3.8%, and health care premiums have increased 87%.