Tuesday, November 22, 2011

In Memory of one of the Greats: Brent G. Bills

Today, I attended a memorial service for Brent Bills.  His influence on me was profound. He was a man who loved liberty and worked tirelessly to support and promote it.   Few people, if any, have had a greater impact on my political thinking and thirst for education as he had. He was a driving force behind my desire to learn and teach Social Studies.  I am blessed to teach what I teach where I teach, because I have no greater way to carry on his legacy than to pass on the knowledge he gave me to other people. 

Every year, he worked tirelessly to put together the best fireworks show in the country.  The show was put on in only a small part because he liked fireworks.  The large motivator behind the show has always been his desire to teach and share true principles with those who would listen.  What made the show great was that the thousands who attended learned truths about how liberty works, and about the principles that founded the country that they wouldn’t learn anywhere else.
He had a profound love and respect for the founders of the United States.  He was a Constitutional scholar. He had an extensive library of learning and never stopped adding to it. Last I knew, he was reading the collected writings Thomas Jefferson.  These writings are collected in a set of at least a dozen volumes.  The particular set that Brent had was being read for the first time, and he had to cut open the pages as he read them.  He wholeheartedly believed that America is great because America is good, and was as good a person as anybody could hope to be.  He truly led by example.
He worked to pass his learning on from all who would listen, and to learn from those who would talk.  I was blessed to have many conversations with Brent, and I never felt that my time spent talking with him could have been better spent on anything else.  His life was a life of love, service, integrity, and hard work.  He did more in his short life than most ever accomplish.  Nobody can say that he should have done more with his time.  I knew and respected him as a religious leader, an orthodontist, a Scout leader, and a friend.

His loss is a huge loss to those who knew him, and to those who love liberty.  He is undoubtedly working on the other side of the veil with the same passion and energy as he worked here.  Even though I am blessed to have a knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, and to know that the end of this earth life is not the end,  I will still feel the huge void that his passing left, and I look forward to seeing him again, on the other side.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

If you liked Bush, you should love Obama.

Nearly three years ago, America elected a president whose sole qualifications were that he was handsome, well spoken, and who looked presidential. This man promised hope and change, but delivered neither. His policies, both domestic and foreign, are the exact policies of his predecessor, and only the rhetoric has shifted. For example:
  • George W. Bush “abandoned capitalism to save capitalism.” He ignored (or was ignorant of) the fact that the economic collapse was caused by government and Federal Reserve action, and relied on his faith in central economic planning to rescue the economy, without understanding the underlying problems. He did this twice: once around 2001 when the .com bubble collapsed, and again in 2009. During his tenure, he doubled the national deficit, and spent more than ALL prior presidents combined. His successor has continued with this reckless policy of spending, bailing out, and central planning.
  • George W. Bush ran his 2000 campaign on a humble foreign policy – one that would stop the senseless overseas intervention of the Clinton era. Then he involved us in our longest war in history in Afghanistan. He also invaded Iraq on false pretenses, and only sought to expand American hegemony overseas. His successor promised to close the illegal prison that is Guantanamo Bay, and end the wars, but is just now winding down Iraq.  He expanded our role in Afghanistan, Bombed Libya so that Ghadaffi could be replaced by Al-Queda, and extended use of remote controlled aircraft to assassinate anybody he wants at will, even American citizens, regardless of if they have even been accused of a crime. Gitmo is still open, and and our involvement in bombing the world is only more entrenched.
  • George W. Bush passed the USA PATRIOT act, which strips away the important protections of the Fourth Amendment, and allows the federal government to listen to our phone calls, read our emails, track us with GPS equipment, and spy on us without a warrant, and without probable cause. It also allows government agents to write its own search warrants, called National Security Letters, without approval from a neutral judge and without any evidence. They can arrest a person who receives one of these warrants if he tells anybody that he received one: a religious leader in a confession, a spouse, even a judge under oath! His successor, despite his rhetoric and his votes against this act as a senator, has, as a president, expanded the use of this monstrosity, and fought against its repeal. He even authorized the use of an autopen to re-authorize this act when it would have expired while he was overseas.
  • George W. Bush called himself a compassionate conservative who believed that the federal government should be used to provide healthcare benefits to seniors in the form of a massive, underfunded prescription drug program. This was passed easily through a Republican congress and signed with great fanfare by Mr. Bush. His successor has continued the federal takeover of medicine, pushing through an even bigger underfunded program that requires everybody to purchase a good that fits the government's approval, as well as numerous other horrible things.
  • George W. Bush, lacking the basic economic understanding that prohibition creates black markets, continued and even expanded the idiotic war on drugs, which does only makes drug running more profitable and increases the power of drug cartels. Despite libertarians' hope that this senseless policy would end with his successor, it hasn't. Despite the fact that there is no constitutional authority to control drugs, and that it is absolutely a state matter, Obama's DEA agents have continued illegal raids on legal dispensaries in states that have legalized medicinal cannabis, and on peoples homes.
Both of these men have pursued a policy that strips away our basic freedoms in the name of keeping us safe, and in so doing have made us less safe, less free, and more dependent on their handouts and bailouts. In the upcoming election, most of the Republican candidates would not significantly change any of these policies. Michelle Bachmann talks about repealing Obamacare, but replacing it with a Republican version of government-controlled healthcare. Mitt Romney has no significant opposition to any of the above-mentioned policies, and was the founder of State-level government healthcare. He says whatever he thinks the people he is talking to want to hear. His positions on any given issue change more frequently than I change my underwear. In 2002, he promised to protect a woman's right to choose, and in 2007 claimed that everything he had as governor had been pro-life. Rick Santorum believes that a nation's greatness lies in its ability and willingness to bomb the hell out of anybody they want, and would probably not be opposed to going to war with Iran, Venezuela, and even Mexico if given half-a-chance. Rick Perry is a know-nothing empty plastic man who tried to use his executive power to vaccinate teenage girls against STDs. He said that he will do whatever he thinks will save lives, which places no limit on the role of government. Herman Cain wrote an op-ed literally one week before the 2009 collapse, giving the economy a clean bill of health, and stating that any talk of recession was just the Democrats trying to make something out of nothing. His 9-9-9 plan is nothing more than a pathetic attempt at a tweak to how the government loots and exploits us that does not deal with the root of the problem, namely, why the loot and exploit us.

Ron Paul is the only serious candidate. He is the only candidate who has any understanding of economics. He predicted the housing bubble collapse at least as early as 2002. He has been educating on the dangers of the Federal Reserve and Fiat currency since 1975. He has been a stalwart defender of civil rights, of the kind of non-intervention foreign policy we need, and of sound economic principles. He is the only candidate who has put forth a real plan to cut government spending in any real way. His plan would balance the budget in just 3 years. He is the only person running who doesn't just say what he thinks you want to hear.  What he says is what he actually believes and what he will actually do.  He is the only logical choice for any person who opposes the stupid policies of every president since at least George H.W. Bush. In short, Ron Paul is the Thomas Jefferson in a field of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt wannabes.