Monday, August 3, 2015

To Get a Favor from a Public Body, Lobbyists Should Make it Public

  I like the dividing line I found the other day on which government records should be public, and which should be allowed to be kept private. If an email, or phone call, or document concerns an official action by the governing body -- if it announces it, or proposes it, or weighs in on it -- then, it should be open to the public.
  But, if it does not, it becomes of the domain of things the government official need not make open to the public.
  Public security matters excepted, of course -- but I mean things that really would compromise our security.
  I realize this would open a lot of things to the public. Think of it, suddenly even visits from lobbyists would be public information. You would have to record and release the parts in which proposals for legislation occurred.
   But, why should such conversations be private? If the lobbyist is asking for legislation, should that not be a matter open to the public? I don't think you should expect to be able to ask a "public" body for something, unless you are willing to make the petition public. If you want a favor from the public body, you should have to go public to get it.

Cookie Cutter Creatures

   Whatever it is in DNA that does not allow a lion to produce offspring with a bear, we could liken it to a cookie cutter. Well, an open-ended cookie cutter, one that you could pass things through without hitting the roof of the cookie cutter, since it has no roof in this case.
   So, you take a cookie cutter shaped like a star and try to pass through it something shaped like a rectangle, and it will not work. Only a star can pass through. Nothing else of the same size will fit.
  So, it seems to be with creatures at conception. If one of the parents has claws, and the other does not, when the image tries to pass through the "cookie cutter," it cannot, for it is of a different image. If one parent is a lion, the features of a bear will not fit through.
   Of course, this theory presupposes that the problem is not that the two species never will be attracted to each other, never will be interested in each other.
   Look at the human in all its races. All fit through the same mold or cookie cutter. Same, perhaps it might be of dogs. Their various breeds, for the most part, fit through the same mold or cookie cutter. But, a lion and a bear? Not going to happen.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Should We Ever Want to Thank Him, What Would We Thank Him for?

   Should we ever want to thank Him, what would we thank our Father for?
 For being, for He created our spirits.
   For immortality, for we shall travel the heavens forever.
 For freedom to choose, for He gave us agency.
   For opportunity, for He allows us to pursue many a great endeavor.
For mortality, for He gave us the opportunity to come to earth.
  For death, for He gives us the opportunity to return to Him
For breath, for He gives us the air we breathe.
  For legs, for He gives us the ability to run, and chase the farthest sun.
For sun light, for He casts it in our sky
   For arms and hands and the ability to hold things and handle things and carry and grasp.
For water, for we cannot go a day without it, and find it free and all around.
  For food, for it is His providence that gives it.
For a beating heart, and a liver that works.
  For health.
For family.
  For the love of others and others to love.
For the chance to sin, that we can overcome sin.
  For the chance to repent.
For His Son's sacrifice, His atonement, His example.
  Should we ever want to thank Him, what would we thank our Father for?
For being and purpose and all that we are.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Let Personal Communications be Private, But Public Decisions Be Public

  Where do we draw the line on Hillary Clinton and her emails? Do we say that if she is communicating as a government official, all her emails should be public?
   I say, some should, some shouldn't. And, we need to consider where to draw the line.
   Going into this consideration of where to draw the line, I'm thinking any communication that binds a government decision or action should be open to the public, for any time the government acts, the action should be the public's business.
   But, if the communication carries no action, and is not part of the process of coming to a decision on a pending action, if it is just the public official's opinion or thoughts or even knowledge on a non-pending matter, then let it be private, regardless whether it is communicated during working hours.
   So, as to whether I'm against Hillary using her personal email instead of a Department of State email account, it depends what she put in the emails. Some I would be against, and some I would condone.
   She should release any emails that resulted in, or reported of, actions being taken.
   I am against how many things we classify. I, along with many, am against the government classifying so many things. Hillary's emails included many things that came to be classified, and now she is under attack for that.
    If a true government secret -- something that truly endangers national security  -- was released, that is one thing. But, I'm guessing by far the lion's share, at least, of the classified information in Hillary's emails, shouldn't have been classified, and Hillary's free speech rights are being violated by the notion she should not have emailed what she emailed.
   And, taking this conversation to a matter I have for some time been concerned about, I am against how we have to file Freedom of Information requests to get bonafide public documents and information. We shouldn't need to submit to the FOIA process in order to get information. If it is government information, we should be able to walk into the building, ask for the information, and walk out with it.
   Better yet, place everything on line. Everything that does not have legitimate reason to be kept from the public ought to be available at the snap of the fingers.
  A government's actions and proceedings should almost always be open to the public. But, a government official should be allowed to express opinions without having every word he or she says being placed in the public domain.


It Takes a Village to Raise a Village

   It takes a village to raise a village. You won't have the best of neighborhoods if some of its members are going astray. If you don't foster and love and teach each other, some will surely bend the wrong direction.
   Correction is needed not just for the child, but for the adult.
   Some will go astray, regardless, of course. But, more will be good if you have the courage and take the time to correct them. Correcting fellow adults, though, is not a common thing. Usually,when someone sees a friend doing something wrong, they say nothing. They simply let it slide.
   If there is someone needing correcting, and the others do not do that correcting, the correcting will not get done. And, nothing taught, is nothing learned.
   Society is no better than the values it teaches. So, it becomes important that those members who have the values are courageous enough to do the teaching. What is it the scripture says? "Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." When you have good values, you should share them -- put them on a candlestick, so to speak.
   What would a child grow up to be like if the parents shied from the teaching? What if they were afraid to correct the child? Even so, it is with adults. If the others in the village shy from doing the correcting, the delinquent adult will be minus an impetus necessary for change.  Change is more is more likely when there is someone to advocate it. Without the help, the delinquent is often blind to his fault. Not wanting to see the error of his ways, he remains in it unless someone points it out.
   This principle also applies when there is a general fault in the community. If the group, as a whole, is wandering in to false paths, and adopting poor values, someone must have the courage to speak up.
  If society does not correct its own, it will never overcome its faults. If we are to be a good society, as a whole, we must reach out to our component members. We must not say, "Am I my neighbor's keeper?" Usually, we verbalize that with the different words, but words which mean the same thing. "It is none of my business," we say.
   It is our business. If a good neighborhood is to exist, it must bring up it's members. It takes a village to raise a village.