Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In Quest of EnergySolutions Tour

All those years before Larry Miller's death, I raised my eyebrow that he named the Jazz basketball court EnergySolutions Arena.

But, during the last year, the wave of news and broadcast advertisements has swayed me to believing EnergySolutions is not only safe, but is a key component of an industry to be lauded.

It's a tentative opinion, but for the moment it will do.

I am also aware EnergySolutions often contributes to political campaigns. That, I do not favor, seeing the company as someone who potentially could be before elected leaders for legislation. I realize my stand goes beyond what many probably hold, many not thinking it wrong that donator could later stand in line for legislation that will affect them.

At any rate, I received a voice message from EnergySolutions Aug. 11, congratulating me on my running for office, offering me a tour, and noting the tour would help me get information for my campaign.

I think it good of EnergySolutions that they are not ashamed of what they do, and are willing to open themselves to those running for office.

But, I also noticed the radio ads, also inviting people to take tours, and I opted to sign up for one of those, instead of going in as a candidate. Was I wrong in that? At any rate, that was my decision.

I called them up, and was told tours were done during business hours, but, yes, Saturdays were available, also. I scheduled a date. Then, they called back and had me reschedule. Finally, I was to have went on the tour this past Saturday.

I arrived at the elevator just on time, but not realizing the elevator was not working, I didn't bound up the stairs until just after 9.

So, I missed the tour.

I called them Tuesday to reschedule, this time telling them I am a candidate, and was told no Saturday openings remain in the next few weeks, but that they would try to fit me in late in the day if I could get off work just a little early. I told them Mondays and the two weeks before the election were out. They called back, offering dates on Mondays and during the two weeks before the election.

So, I guess there will be no tour. We agreed I could interview them over the phone.

DesNews Story Says Guv Told of Donation

The Deseret News this morning reported Gov. Gary Herbert received an email from a campaign worker reminding him the person he was scheduled to meet with was a $50,000 donor.

I'm watching the comment board on that Deseret News' lead story, hoping they will post the following. So far, no luck. They have a policy against abusive, offensive, off-topic, and misrepresentative posts. I don't see that in post, but you be the judge. My post to the DesNews:

When you are notified someone contributed $50,000, it would be better not to meet with them two days later. If the donor is saying he wants to talk about transportation issues, and he could potentially be a contractor for those issues which will be discussed, then there should be concern.

This is not the best of systems, candidates taking money from those who later ask for favors. Gov. Herbert is drawing all the discussion, but he is hardly alone
I am running for the House, District 41, which stretches from Sandy to Herriman. From the start, I did not feel comfortable taking such money. I am not taking any contributions, realizing the donor could approach me for a favor after the election. I'm hoping that means something to voters. My other views can be found at

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This, in Pledge to America, Good

Not everything in it is good, but there is much to be liked about that Pledge to America.

Like its calling for the repeal and replacement of the recent health bill. I do not know that the Pledge says where the replacement program should take us, but I do know where I would like it to take us.

Back to more of a free-market system.

As our health system has gotten more and more expensive, the voice of those suggesting a government system has grown louder. Your private enterprise system isn't working, they've said.

And, they are right.

But the reason it isn't working is because we have placed so many constraints on it, to the point of strangling the free market.

Then, we turn around and say, Get rid of it?!

Ambulance bills are $800 and more, and, yet we continue to allow ambulances to have exclusive contracts for certain areas? Let's do away with such monopolies and encourage competition. If bills are high and you can see there is no competition, you're overlooking the obvious by not trying a return to a competitive market.

Look around, we've stripped out the competition in other places, a well.

Our workplace, which for some time has been providing us insurance, often gives us but a choice of one.

And, this: Even though a medicine sometimes is nothing but extract from a single plant, there is no such thing as a person getting the plant, pulling out the extract, pressing it into a pill, and selling it.

Yes, it often should be as easy as that. You can make the person responsible for what he sells without making it impossible for him to sell it.

Part of health care reform should include making it possible for most anyone to sell such pharmaceuticals. (I repeat, I'm speaking of such one-ingredient pills, and allowing that the maker should be responsible for what he sells). If it is a simple product, why ever would we not allow most people to make and sell it?

When we started about health care reform a few years ago, I understood we were wanting to reduce outrageous medical bills. The real way to do that is to make the changes in places where we can see we are causing the expenses to be so high.

Some of the things we are doing wrong are obvious, so let's change them. Let's reinstate free enterprise. It's a simple fix, but one that probably will yield a great reduction in health care costs.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nay, This President an American!

By all seeming fair to me, our president was born on American soil.

I've seen a copy of the birth notice from the Honolulu newspaper, posted on There seems no indication it was forged, nor reason to believe it was forged. If something appeared in the newspaper, and is a matter of public record, why is it being questioned?

But, you want a birth certificate. That, too, we've seen online, albeit on posts by those who say it is forged. Officials he Hawaii, though, are saying it is real. Why should we not believe them?

I am not a fan of what Barack Obama has done to our economy. He inherited a recession, and I do not feel he did the country right, at all, in how he handled it. I am not at all a fan of the health care program. To me, we started out in quest of lowering costs, only to end up raising them. And, the buying of votes behind the bill, I shook my head at.

But, why people insist President Obama wasn't born an American, I do not understand. When Obama says the facts are the facts, I agree. If he was not born in America, why is there no real evidence of it? Just saying it ain't so, don't make it ain't so.

Yes, I've heard Michelle Obama refer to Kenya as Barack's home country. But, then, I refer to Paul, Idaho, as my hometown, even though I was born in Colorado.

I find it quite all right for Obama to refer to Kenya as his home country.

Born an American? Yes, for I am not finding any evidence he wasn't.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Each day, an Opinion

Although I miss some days, for the most part, I post a note on a news item accompanied with my opinion each day. Today, it is possible I will skip a news item and just comment on three questions I received in an email.
-- John Jackson, candidate for Utah House, District 41 (which stretches from Sandy to Herriman)

End Partisanship by Doing Away with Parties?

I appreciate the emailed I received this afternoon. Here's both the email, and my replies. After each question, I give my answer.

So, I've started doing some research on the election this year, and your name came up. I'll try to make this short, so I'll just write a list of questions that I'd like to hear your responses to.

1. Why do you identify yourself as a democrat? You said in one blog that we need to end our something for nothing welfare system, but it seems to me, lately, that this is what the democrats are all about.

Answer: Let a person be Democrat or Republican, they still should decide each issue on its merits, as opposed to just taking the stand their party takes. I am not fond of how we divide into Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, and come out fighting. I like it that Peter Corroon selected a Republican as his lieutenant governor running mate, and that Obama reached out to Republicans after his election, suggesting less partisan politics and considering Republicans for his cabinet.
I wonder if we haven't set up a system of hate, the way we do things, with every Republican or every Democrat becoming our enemy. Of all the problems our nation has -- the economy, health care, immigration, and so forth -- partisan politics is not the least, the rancor between ideologies is not the least, and the lack of civil dialogue between them is not the least of our problems. I only half jest when I suggest we ought to take an "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all" approach, and if the two parties can't get along, then do away with political parties. If people will not be more civil, maybe the only way to end partisan politics is to do away with political parties.

2. What, if elected, do you intend to do about illegal immigration? I agree that these people are downtrodden, and yes some are looking for a better life. But more and more are coming to this country looking to take advantage of the system. I am taxed to death by the government, and they turn around and give money to people that don't seem quite so deserving of it. I think that we need to: First, close the borders, securely. Second, like you said, put an end to the something for nothing welfare system. Third, as you also said, legalize more immigration, but how do we make sure the people coming here want to be Americans, not just Mexicans in America?

Answer: I'm with you, Brian, on securing the borders. We have a major crime problem spilling into our country. It is not something Arizona and the other southern border states, alone, experience. In the past month or two, Utah has seen at least two drug farms busted -- and Mexican nationals were suspects. Every person coming across the border should be searched. I am somewhat sure, from what I have read, that searches are only done at random. Whatever laws need to be changed to provide that everyone be searched, it should be done. And, for every person coming across, there should be a call made back to their native jurisdiction, to see if they are wanted on a crime. This, as best as I can tell, is not done, and my checking on it includes having called our immigration officials. I am not against a wall, if that's what it takes, but with the fencing we have and the number of agents we have, I confess I do not understand why we have such a problem. With the 18,000 agents, there should be a pair of them for every mile all the away across from the far side of Texas to the far side of California. Let's double or triple that, if that's what it takes, but let's secure our border against crime. (Before hiring more agents, I would want an explanation as to why the number we have are unable to cover the border.)
Legalizing immigration would help. When the migrant reaches the border, the gangs approach to help them across, pressing them into service either as human pack mules to haul the drugs across or to join their ranks and work with them as fellow criminals. No, I do not know if the Mexican nationals farming drugs here in Utah were from this category, being pressed into service, but I know that 72 migrants were massacred as they got close to crossing the border about two months ago -- and news reports indicated they had declined joining the mobs, so that is why they were killed. If we legalize immigration, the migrants will no longer be forced to join our enemy in the drug war, and there will be fewer of them sneaking across in between the border stations, smuggling drugs across, as they will be crossing at the border stations -- and knowing they can't cross with drugs. Fewer human pack mules and a whole lot less drugs. Why would we not want this? Why do we not, then, legalize more immigration? Legalizing more immigration makes sense, if it is crime you are fighting, not the immigration, itself. Legalizing immigration also would mean that when they arrive, they are playing under the same rules as you and I, as far as paying taxes for our social programs and for their education and getting jobs that are not under the table. Offering them citizenship would encourage them to want to be Americans, not just Mexicans living in America.

3. What is your position on gun rights?

Answer: The Constitution says Congress shall make no law infringing upon the right to keep and bear arms. Unless we want to amend the Constitution, we should not have any law that limits who has arms and whether they carry them with them. The Constitution also provides for property rights, and it, therefor, follows that property owners should be allowed to restrict guns being brought onto their property.

I hope you have the time to answer these questions, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Paperwork Without Cause is Tyranny

"No Taxation without representation," they said, and tossed the tea overboard. A variation of the slogan was, "Taxation without representation is tyranny."

Today, the cry should be, "Paperwork without good reason is tyranny." The government requires so much paperwork of us, especially of businesses, that it amounts to . . . well, tyranny.

I favored the E-Verify program, which helps track down undocumented workers, until I started thinking as I wrote this entry. I realized E-Verify, too, adds to the collection of paperwork required by the government.

So, I now oppose E-Verify.

My thoughts on paperwork come prompted by a release today from the Utah Taxpayers Association. The Utah Taxpayer Association release complained of new paperwork coming thanks to Obamacare. Every time a business spends more than $600 with a vendor, it has to file a 1099 -- a separate 1099 being required for each vendor.

That could add up to hundreds of 1099s -- and it adds up to a lttile bit of tyranny.

Where the idea came from and why, I do not know. How it got stuck in a health bill, I do not know.

But, I know I oppose it.

"Tell your congressman to support the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act to repeal the hidden 1099 burden on business," says the Utah Taxpayer Association release.

And, I will.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Would Corroon's $10,000 Cap Achieve?

Peter Corroon is suggesting to his opponent in the governor's race, Gary Herbert, that they both return all political contributions over $10,000.

One wonders what capping donations at $10,000 will do. Isn't the concern that the candidate is taking money knowing the person giving it is someone who might approach him after the election, asking for a favor? I hope that is the concern. How does capping donations at $10,000 remedy this? Is the elected official only going to be inclined to favor those giving at least $10,000? Political contributions are wrong, period, when they come from those who will be bringing matters before the public official.

Months ago, when I decided to run for House District 41 (which stretches from Sandy to Herriman), I decided I did not feel comfortable accepting any monetary donations, at all, as I do not know who will be approaching me for legislation after the election. I'm hoping that means something to voters. -- John Jackson

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Uninvited Migrant Nearest Thing We Have

Today is the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, prompting me to ask, What people today comes the closest to being as oppressed as the slaves were before the Civil War?

The undocumented migrants from Central and South America.

No, they are not nearly as oppressed. They certainly are not slaves.

But, they are oppressed, downtrodden. Of what remains oppressed and downtrodden, they are tops.

You may argue that they are law breakers, so they only are getting what they got coming.

Still, they are an oppressed bunch, and if we are looking at what group is the most oppressed in America today, I say it is them.

Some would argue it is the homosexuals, but I beg to differ. Not that the homosexual is not abused. Having people toss epithets against you is abuse. But it is the uninvited, unwelcome immigrants coming across our southern border who face a national outcry against them.

Equal rights? Every one who wants them gone may not feel this way, but some of those opposed to these immigrants suggest they have no rights at all.

Rights are for citizens, they say.

There are dissimilarities between the American slave and the undocumented resident. The slave came against his will, captured out of Africa, while the undocumented migrant comes of his own free choice.

But, there are also similarities. They both come for work, the slave being forced to work, and the migrant, oft-times, seeking to find work.

Both are inexpensive labor.

Both face families being torn apart, part of the family here, and the other part left in the homeland.

Both are common in our southern States.

And, it could be argued, both are denied citizenship, depending on how that term is used. The American slave was welcome here without full, same-as-everyone-else citizenship, whereas the undocumented resident is not welcome, at all.

The lack of citizenship is the reason they both are oppressed. Had the slave had full citizenship, he would have had all the rights and freedom of everyone else, and not have been a slave. If the undocumented migrant had citizenship, obviously, nobody could berate him for not having it.

(For those who read my mention of homosexuals, and wonder what my stand is, I do not agree with the practice of homosexuality, but I do not oppose people being allowed to practice it, and I believe homosexuals should be treated right.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We Never Know if We're in Recession

So, we never really know if we're in a recession.

With news Monday that the recession ended way back in the middle of last year -- 15 months ago -- and knowing that this is regular practice to not say whether a recession has started or ended until much after the fact . . .

. . . How do we know we haven't entered a new one, already?

Well, my thought on how we should save our economy?

Give everyone a job.

That may seem too simple an answer, but it is not simplistic, although it might appear so.

There is no reason, though, that every person willing and able to work cannot have a job -- without turning to the government to create all these jobs.

We have millionaires and billionaire among us. President Obama would turn to them to gather a little extra tax dollar. But, perhaps instead of turning on them, we should turn to them.

They can solve our problem.

Uncle Sam doesn't have money. He's broke. The millionaires and billionaires aren't. If we are going to turn to somebody to stimulate our economy, by pumping money into it, let's turn to those who have it.

The millionaires and billionaires.

Many of them double as what we call philanthopists. They are already a giving bunch. Why not set it up so they get some of the same benefits they get for charitable giving, except this time it is for creating companies to employ those not qualifying
for jobs?

The millionaires and billionaires are our experts in job creation. Turn to the experts, when you have a problem.

And, should the company turn a profit, tax it. If it doesn't give them a write-off.

And give them public recognition, for what they do will be noble, creating jobs.

And, notice this: We will have 100 percent employment of those willing and able to be employed. By that measurement, there is no recession.

And, we don't need to wait a year or so to find it out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Superintendents Need Big Pay Cuts

Yesterdays news is the news for me, the news I want to comment on.

"IS SUPERINTENDENT PAY TOO SUPER?" reads the headline of the Salt Lake Tribune, and the article give the base salary plus perks of seven school district superintendents. Jordan School District's Barry Newbold is listed at a base-plus-perks pay of $230,387. Canyon's David Doty is at $195,750.

And, it is easy to say all seven superintendents are paid much too lavishly.

I, along with many readers, I'm sure, feel that way.

But turn to an accompanying article on Page A6. "Utah superintendent pay well below national average," it says.

Now, doesn't that make your jaw drop.

I would imagine we do have some good superintendents, almost assuredly. Good individuals, good in character, and good at administering.

But, the pay is too much.

I don't buy the argument that you have to pay that much to get quality. I don't buy into the philosophy that we need to make our pay competitive with the rest of the nation.

It's too much. Way too much.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Each day, an Opinion

Although I miss some days, for the most part, I post a note on a news item accompanied with my opinion each day.
-- John Jackson, candidate for Utah House, District 41 (which stretches from Sandy to Herriman)

Medicaid Part of 'Culture Crisis'

I had just put down the morning Trib, reading about this very topic of Medicaid, when I opened my Facebook to find a post about an emergency room worker having worked on a Medicaid patient he surmised to be living off the system.

The emergency room worker wrote President Obama, saying we have a "culture crisis" rather than a "healthcare crisis."

As a candidate for office, having people work for welfare is one of my stands. It is the issue, in fact, that got me to run. I wrote Sen. Orrin Hatch about work being provided for receiving benefits (don't remember if I mentioned a particular program, but it might have been unemployment insurance) and he wrote back saying it is a state issue. Much of the time, with these programs, who qualifies is the determination of the individual state. Well, shortly after the reply from Hatch, I heard it was filing deadline for running for the legislature, and decided to run and help change our state qualification process to get more people working for what they receive.

Judging from today's Trib article, maybe the issue will be taken care of quite well without me. (Thank you, I can hear them say.) It might even get taken care of without legislation. A week ago, Utah State Rep. Ronda Menlove, of Garland, said she plans to introduce legislation calling for a trial program in which some Medicaid workers do volunteer work in exchange for the Medicaid.

Well, state administrators are making a move without waiting for that. The Trib article says they have identified unemployed adults on Medicaid and are going to encourage them to get jobs.

While one legislator is quoted as saying he senses a hidden agenda of moving people off Medicaid, I don't know that this is being hidden, nor that it needs to be. From my read, the state administrators acknowledge the need of getting people off Medicaid and into jobs providing health insurance. It seems these are all positives, not negatives that need to be hid.

I also imagine somewhere, someone might be upset that state administrators are looking into personal files of Medicaid recipients and passing judgement as to who should be working.

But, it seems to me that is their job. If you are responsible for determining who gets benefits, having those who can work, do work can be a requirement you make, and looking in their files to see if they meet that then is part of the job.

Well, hats off to Utah Health Department Director David Sundwall and Department of Workforce Services Kristen Cox for moving us toward putting people to work. People, all of us, can easily slide into the entitlement mentality.

How dangerous that mentality is may never be much noticed, but it should be a grave concern to those watching our economy. First, if everyone qualifying for some kind of public assistance decided to take it, we would be in big trouble. Our public assistance rolls would have most of us on them. Thus, this entitlement culture is a danger.

Second, when you teach people to work, give them a work ethic, you end up with just that -- more people agreeing to go back to work. Ever notice how our unemployment rate is holding at 9-10 percent even when the rest of the economy at times has perked up just a little? Well, lag time may have something to do with it, but remember, also, this: We extended benefits and made it easier for others to get benefits. Blame it on Obama, if you will, but top economists nationwide said that should be part of the solution. Obama simply listened to the experts.

But, while taking care of people is good, encouraging them to get on welfare is not the answer. The real answer is to place them in jobs. I've blogged elsewhere on that, and will likely post something just below on it. There is no reason we cannot provide a job to every willing, able-bodied person.

Well, to end this post, here's the letter sent by the emergency room worker, Roger Starner Jones, to President Obama.

Dear Mr. President:

During my shift in the Emergency Room last night, I had the pleasure of evaluating a patient whose smile revealed an expensive shiny gold tooth, whose body was adorned with a wide assortment of elaborate and costly tattoos, who wore a very expensive brand of tennis shoes and who chatted on a new cellular telephone equipped with a popular R&B ringtone.

While glancing over her patient chart, I happened to notice that her payer status was listed as "Medicaid"! During my examination of her, the patient informed me that she smokes more than one pack of cigarettes every day, eats only at fast-food take-outs, and somehow still has money to buy pretzels and beer. And, you and our Congress expect me to pay for this woman's health care? I contend that our nation's "health care crisis" is not the result of a shortage of quality hospitals, doctors or nurses. Rather, it is the result of a "crisis of culture" a culture in which it is perfectly acceptable to spend money on luxuries and vices while refusing to take care of one's self or, heaven forbid, purchase health insurance. It is a culture based in the irresponsible credo that "I can do whatever I want to because someone else will always take care of me". Once you fix this "culture crisis" that rewards irresponsibility and dependency, you'll be amazed at how quickly our nation's health care difficulties will disappear.


The letter from Jones to the President was provided on the Internet by Richard Meckstroth, who encouraged that it be passed along.

Wish Declaration of Independence Included Work

Speaking of entitlements, there are somethings we all think we are entitled to.

Like an education.

And, perhaps health care. I saw a bumper poster saying, "Health care isn't a luxury" the other day.

But what about work? I never hear anybody complaining to the government that they have the right to a job. They might say they have the right to receive public assistance when they can't find a job, but they don't often demand the job, itself.

Wish they would. Now, it doesn't need to be the government giving them the job, but they should have a job, every last one of them who wants to work.

This is the 21st Century, you know, we are an advanced society. Surely, we have had enough time to figure out that we can put everyone to work. Surely, with all our technology and advancements, all our public assistance and all our programs that seem to cover everyone in need, surely we can give everyone a job.

Everyone who is willing and able, 100 percent employment. This is not an outlandish idea, it is an idea whose time has come, or should have come.

Now, I don't know that part of our "entitlement mentality" can't be traced right back to the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

All entitlement are not bad. Feeling entitled to life and liberty is not bad. Actually, feeling entitled to an education and to health care probably isn't bad.

And work. Work should be an entitlement.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are entitled to an education, to health care and to work." That's a sentiment I probably should consider more before fully endorsing, but it sounds good as I type at the moment.

And, work, for sure, I believe should be an entitlement.

Now, for those of you already pointing your fingers at me, starting to suggest I am a socialistic communist by wanting the government to provide everyone jobs . . . hold off. Of the three (education, health care and work), work is the least likely to need the government.

We can have 100 percent employment (of those willing and able) without too many jobs being of the government-created variety. We already have what we call philanthropists, rich people who give to charities. We just need to call their attention to the need we have for them to create jobs. Hey, over here, we need to say.

Tweak their thinking on what it is they are giving to.

And, give they do. America is loaded with rich people donating and giving and contributing and then giving some more. They are patriotic and civic minded. What makes you think they won't create a few companies to fill a civic need? I think that for the asking they'll do it. Set it up so they have the same incentives they have in giving to charities, and give them public recognition for what they do, lauding their names, and they'll do it. There would be a lot of them doing it without tax breaks and without recognition, but give them those to make sure it works.

Make it tax deductible -- unless they turn a profit. No need to give tax deductions to for-profit ventures.

Lest it go unnoticed, these are the people who are our experts in job creation. When you have a need -- any need -- it is always wise to turn to the experts in that field.

In this case (employment), that would be the rich. Let's solve our unemployment by having those who have the know-how provide the solution.

Let's appeal to our rich to be civic-minded in creating companies that may not necessarily turn a profit, companies geared not toward making money but providing jobs. Let's put a company at each pocket of unemployment, creating one for the beggars and panhandlers downtown, another for those on any Indian reservation lacking jobs, another for those on TANF (the common welfare program: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), another for those on Unemployment Insurance, and another for those in our homeless shelters.

Every time we find a pocket of unemployment, let's put a job there. Let's take the jobs to the unemployed.

Let's put America to work, or at least put Utah to work, and let's do it the American way, through free enterprise.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Constitution Divinely Inspired

The day just ushered home being Constitutional Day, I offer my thought on that document.

KSL radio invited its listeners to sit down and read it, so I did.

These days, the Constitution stands as a rallying point more than ever for voters. I haven't tagged my allegiance to it in my campaigning hardly at all so far, but I do stand squarely with it.

I do believe it divinely inspired. I do fear it is sometimes not followed.

It is said it was the first constitution ever, yet by the time 200 years had passed, only six nations were left without constitutions.

Talk about ushering in a new day. . . . And, speaking of ushering in a new day, I better make this a short post and go to bed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Let KSL Forever Change American Politics

One oft-used blogspot is being retooled. Or will it be eliminated altogether? KSL today paused availability of the comment boards at the end of its online news stories, noting posts tend to get inflammatory and disrespectful. It asked readers for input, and I suggested screening the posts the same as talk radio screens its calls.

I have started using the Salt Lake Tribune's comment board for campaigning, and was about to use the KSL boards. It hasn't done me much good, though, as my the pool of Tribune bloggers might not be those likely to vote for me. As I wrote KSL, by posting at the end of news stories, "I am campaigning among the belligerent."

Perhaps KSL could target its comment boards away from the disrespectful. And, by screening out so many blogs, maybe the blogs left would be better read -- as a soul can only read so much, anyway -- and you could leave the ones making good, salient points.

Then, I got thinking along the lines of a entirely new type of KSL comment board, one for us politicians.

And, I wrote them this:

Hmmm. Have an idea. And, I appeal to the innovator in you portrayed in the makeover of you and the Deseret News. For all our lives and longer, politicians have depended on the mighty dollar to let voters know they exist. Unfortunately, for long as elections have been around, those wanting favors have often been the ones contributing to the candidates. A snippet of corruption built right into the political system? And, it's America's political system, at that!? However can this be? Fortunately, as the age of the Internet dawned, it dawned on someone that campaigning could be moved from the commercials and billboards to a free, open-to-all-politicians-equally online forum.

And, as quick as that, the man with the dollar was no longer the man with the advantage in a political campaign. Poor men began to be elected with greater regularity throughout all the land.

The mighty dollar stubbed its toe, and special interests were banished from the land. And, America was America once more.

Well, maybe a little dramatic, and a little much, but there is more than just jesting in what I say. American society has long saw that our current system of financing campaigns is flawed. Otherwise, we would not be calling for campaign contribution limits and campaign disclosure statements. But, disclosure statements don't keep those who are giving from asking for favors after the election. They only make what they are doing more transparent. Rather than just making a wrong transparent, it sure would be nice if we came up with a way to remove the dollar from the ballot box, altogether.

KSL, this is an opportunity to do something good. It may not lead to the real election reform that I am imagining, but it would be a worthy undertaking.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blame it More on System than on Herbert

His innocence is fleeing, with me.

But, Gov. Gary Herbert may be no more guilty than many others.

Reading today's Salt Lake Tribune article, I come to something I think could have been its own story, rather than being buried 20 paragraphs deep. Last October, Merit Medical's Greg Fredde, according to records obtained by the Tribune through an open records request, asked for a meeting with the governor to discuss the status of Merit's application to the Industrial Assistance Fund.

A week later, Merit donated $25,000 to the Herbert campaign, and within weeks the application was approved.

Connecting the dots, Herbert took the money even though he must have at least wondered if Merit might be hoping for a political favor.

And, Merit's Fred Lampropoulos is now stumping for Herbert in commercials currently airing.

Do not fault Herbert and Lampropoulos too much. It is the system that is corrupt, not so much them. They are simply playing the game the way it has been played all these years.

When somebody decided the game was wrong, Herbert got caught in the spotlight. Could as easily have been someone else.

Other office holders take money even though the people offering it will be the very ones approaching them after election, hoping for legislation to help their industry. Most of these politicians are good souls. Most of the contributors are also good. Would any giver be considered in higher favor than the UEA? But, just because it is good people doing the act doesn't make it right.

Wrong is wrong regardless who hooks up to the favor.

Oh, that voters will accord me votes for committing not to accept any such money. I am not only nixing special-interest money, but to be sure I do not take money that ends up having a favor later down the line, I am not accepting any political contributions.

-- John Jackson, candidate for Utah House, District 41 (which stretches from northwestern Sandy to a part of Herriman).

Loser's Comment Serves as Reminder

Not from the winning, but from the losing contractor comes a word that should remind us of the dangers of they way we finance political campaigns.

Gov. Gary Herbert has been questioned for taking campaign contributions from those in line to receive political favors from the state, including taking $87,500 from members of a construction firm that won a $1.7 billion Utah roads project bid.

Herbert has said he had no sway in the contract's award. He said UDOT, not his office, decides who gets such contracts.

But, one of those who lost the bid offered a comment that reminds us of the danger of funding campaigns with special-interest money the way we do.

Bob French was asked if he were to also contribute to the governor's campaign if he thought that would help in obtaining bids.

The Deseret News reports French responded that the way things are done in Utah is not that much different than how they're done in any other state.

Considering he was being asked if a campaign contribution would help the cause of getting a favor, it is significant he didn't say, No, it wouldn't help if I were to make a contribution. UDOT awards those bids. Not the governor.

Instead, he more or less just said, Look, this is the way business is done.

And, I suggest, the way it should not be done.

Having a system where the very people pouring money into the campaigns are the same who will be coming asking for favors is not good. It leaves the candidates open to charges of influence peddling, at very least. And, worse, is that this system does, indeed, leave the candidates open to being influenced by the money.

Supposing Herbert had no part in the $1.7 billion roads decision, and supposing UDOT wasn't even aware of the contribution to be tainted by that knowledge, then Herbert doesn't look too bad.

But, we can see how such a system leaves both him as a candidate, and us as the public, in harm's way. Such money surely does taint elected officials' decisions.

This issue is what I've campaigned on. I do not feel comfortable accepting such money. To be safe, I have decided not to take any political contributions at all in running for the Utah Legislature, House District 41 (which stretches from Sandy to Herriman). I can only hope that means something to you as a voter.

-- John Jackson

-- John Jackson

Monday, September 13, 2010

This Time, Voters Can Right the Wrong

Today's news that the State paid out $13 million in a settlement to a contractor saying it was not treated fairly might not show the governor had any involvement in the awarding of the contract.

But it does underscore how we need to have a better system of campaign contributions.

The winning contractor contributed to the Herbert campaign. The governor says he had no say or sway in the decision to award the contract to that firm.

I do not like the way candidates running for office take money from the very people they know will be coming before them once they are elected. Special interest money, we call it, and we can see it is wrong, yet we never outlaw it.

If the public doesn't like it, I know one thing they can do. If a candidate runs for office pledging they are not going to take that money, then voters vote for him, it will send a message the public wants the system changed.

Power at the ballot box.

I am not going to accept any monetary political contributions from anyone, special interest or not, and I hope that means something to you come November.

-- John Jackson, candidate, House Distrcit 41

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Menlove is Right: Medicaid Patients can Work

Don't toss Rhonda Menlove's idea out so quickly.

Menlove, a Utah House member from Garland, is introducing legislation calling for some of Utah's Medicaid recipients to enter a trial program, doing community service in exchange for the benefits they receive.

Menlove is right. But, oh will we need to adjust our way of thinking.

Working in exchange for benefits does not need to be oppressive. It does not need to be an even trade off in value of work for value of benefit. It does not need to be work, work. If we make this effort only with Medicaid, there probably won't be much benefit to the economy. But, if taken across our entire social aid program, this will benefit the economy. If for no other reason than helping instill a work ethic in our people.

On of the cornerstones of my campaign has been that we should allow people to work for what they receive.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Social Security Act of 1935, the bill that brought forward much of our social aid efforts. Welfare is good. Helping others is good. Taking care of our needy is the right thing to do.

But, something offered for something received is also a good thing. Sometimes it might be full value. Other times, they recompense with but token work.

With the Social Security Act having just past its 75th anniversary, now would be an opportune time to say enough is enough of no work for benefits. Not only Medicaid, but other social programs should have work attached to them, as well.

And, not on a trial basis, but permanently.

Menlove's idea isn't going over too well with Lincoln Nehring, policy analyst at the Utah Health Policy Project. Nehring told the Tribune children shouldn't be expected to sweat to earn their health care, nor should elderly with serious health problems be required to work.

Three things should be noted with regard to this. First, the program does not need to require hard labor, or any kind of oppressive work. The work they do can be easy, not overly laborious at all. Whatever work they do, it should be something they can do. It can be pushing papers instead of pushing a broom.

Second, children's parents can do work for them.

Third, while I respect Lincoln Nehring for not wanting to overburden those on disabilities and those with children, when we say someone should not be expected to any work at all for benefits, we err.

(This was rewritten Sept. 13th.)

Legalize Immigration to Help Secure Border

Legalizing immigration, or legalizing more of it, that is, would erase and ease the very problems associated with illegal immigration.

More immigrants would become taxpayers, no longer receiving social aid without paying into it.

No longer would there be any more reason to pay immigrants under the table than there is to pay anyone else under the table.

Legalizing more immigration levels the playing field. Why would we not want to do this?

But, the biggest benefit might be what it would do to fight crime. Crime coming in from Mexico should be a major concern, the drug cartels moving both drugs and drug runners into our country.

Legalizing more immigration would help fight this problem. Currently, the Mexico cartels seek out those about to cross the the U.S. border. They extort money from them, they press them into joining in as operatives right in Mexico, and they force them to smuggle drugs across the border into the U.S.

As testament, the 72 slain migrant workers a few weeks ago. They were coming from Central and South American countries, venturing through Mexico, and were within just about 100 miles of the U.S. border when a large drug gang came upon them. As the story goes, he hoodians pressed the migrants to join them in crime. The migrants were honorable and said, No, we won't do that -- and so the gangsters massacred them.

Most migrants, though, are saying, Yes. Most of them are seeing the need for help to cross the border in the first place, and if the gangsters are both willing to provide that assistance and spare their lives, then they are quick to sign on.

We are pushing the migrants right into the hands of the enemy. Wouldn't it be better to have them on our side? Wouldn't it be better to have them coming into the U.S. legally, thus not having to join in with the gangs in order to get here?

Wouldn't it be better to spare them from a life of crime, or even a few days of crime (depending on which agreement they make with the cartels)? Wouldn't it be better if instead of sneaking across with drugs, they came right up to the border stations and were checked for drugs and passed into the U.S. without bringing drugs?

The drug cartels would then be forced to do their own drug running, they would be robbed of their "human pack mules."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Humanitarians are for 'Criminals,' Too

Now, a humanitarian effort designed to help those in the process of committing a crime.

And, it truly is humanitarian, truly is a good thing.

Take Daniel Millis, of Tucson, Arizona. He leaves water bottles in the desert for those crossing the the border from Mexico. I believe the group he volunteers with is called No More Deaths, and No More Deaths literally saves lives.

Of those in the act of committing a crime.

There's a high mortality rate associated with seeking to live on American soil without permission to do so. Hundreds of people a year die crossing the parched desert into the U.S. No More Deaths and other like-minded humanitarian groups seek to put an end to the deaths, placing water bottles and food and medical supplies along known trails.

Millis got into trouble for his efforts. He left the water bottles and was arrested for littering. Leaving garbage in a national wildlife refuge is a crime, and water bottles, even with the water still in them, were considered garbage by those who arrested him. Millis was convicted, but last week got a break. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his conviction.

This marked the second significant legal victory No More Deaths has had, according to a defense lawyer for the group. (This per a San Francisco Chronicle story posted a week ago.) The lawyer said several years ago, two volunteers found three very ill migrants and transported them to a medical clinic -- only to be charged with transporting illegal immigrants. The charges were dismissed.

Reading the story left me wondering if there are really those who say, "Let them die. They are committing a crime and don't deserve any assistance."

Immigrant is Most Oppressed of All

They perhaps are the most-oppressed people in all of our land.

They are oppressed even before they come here. Living in Central and South America, so oppressed are they that they seek a way out, seeking to come to the United States, the land of opportunity, and the land of prosperity.

To get here, they cross one of the most crime-invested domains on earth, Mexico, gangs seeking them out, urging them at point of life to throw in with them as fellow hoodians. "We will make this simple for you," the drug cartels say, "Give us your money, give us your service, or give us your lives."

There is a mortality rate at this point.

Then, they face the ravages of the border. No rest stops here. No coffee shops. No stores. No hotels. Just the wind and the sun and the elements.

There is a second mortality rate here, at this point.

And, finally when they reach their haven, the U.S., is there a warm and fuzzy welcome? No. "What part of the word 'illegal' don't you understand," they are told. "Go on back to where you came from. You are not wanted here."

Their crime? Wanting to be Americans. Or at least, wanting to live among Americans and on American soil. That is their crime. Should it be? Well, without an invite -- without permission from the people who arrived here ahead of them -- living here is a crime, living and existing on American soil is a crime.

Oppressed? They arrive in a new land, a land they have honored, wanting little more than to live amongst a people they have looked up to, and if they are not anxious about how they will be greeted, they should be. Their new countrymen, these Americans, treat them as if they are the reason for most all the crime, and tell them they are taking their jobs, and swear at them for using the same social programs that they, themselves, use.

Consider how you would feel. How would you feel, if after such a journey to get here, such a hope of living in the noblest of all nations, you finally arrived only to be greeted with,  "Go home, you illegal alien." Now, these Americans rightly consider it quite wrong to toss racial epithets, but they think nothing of calling you an "alien." It is a term cast upon you by their law books. If it is an epithet, it is a government-sanctioned epithet.

And, this in America?

And, you aren't called "illegal" for robbing a bank, or committing a murder, or arsoning a house. No, it is because you, yourself, are illegal, just for being, just for existing on American soil without permission to be here.

The phrase, "Excuse me for living," it takes on real meaning.

If you are guilty of a crime, it is that you do not have paperwork. For this, they have a police force to hunt you down. Oppressed? How many racial groups or social groups have ever had a police force created just for them, to seek them out, and them alone, and no one else?

Bless the immigrant. He is the most oppressed of all.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Each day, an Opinion

Although I miss some days each week, for the most part, I post a note on a news item and then follow it with an opinion on a related issue. Would that I had time to write about immigration, but the economy is quicker to write about and I must hurry tonight.
-- John Jackson, candidate for Utah House, District 41

Obama, Hatch Wrangle Over Economy

And, so we have a struggle over the economy, with not only the economy resting in the balance, but November's elections.

On one side, we have President Barack Obama, stumping for his plan of pouring more than $50 billion into the infrastructure and such to stimulate the economy. The President would let those tax cuts expire that our last president, George Bush, gave to the wealthy. But Obama would leave those tax cuts -- make them permanent -- for the middle class.

Obama would also give businesses 100-percent tax write offs on any plants built and any new equipment installed through 2011, as opposed to having them amortize.

And, Obama would increase tax cuts for research and development. No, not that alone, he would permanentize those tax cuts.

Obama's biggest opponent (so far) in the economic wrangling is Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader. Obama named Boehner seven times in a speech yesterday in Cleveland.

But, Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch is also part of the debate, of course siding with the Republicans.

"I don't think anyone believes an Administration that created these problems is going to be able to come up with effective solutions to get us out of them," Hatch

And, voices all around quickly remind him the economy was in trouble before Obama made his way into the White House.

"There is a better way," Hatch said. "We should focus on getting the government out of the way, lowering government spending and stopping massive tax hikes that threaten an economic recovery."

And, on that, Hatch is on the mark.

Save Our Economy, Save Our Land

There is a way to save the economy. I do not favor Obama's solution, as it calls for massive federal spending and we are too much the debtor nation already. But there is a simple, untried but sure-fire way to save the economy.

I say sure-fire, because it seems to me nothing would prevent it from working, but you decide for yourself.

Obama is calling for making the old Bush tax cuts for the middle class permanent, but letting Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy expire.

I say, we don't need to tax the wealthy anymore than anyone else.

But, it is them we should look to for a solution. And, if we go about this right, they will stand in line to volunteer to help.

Injecting money into the economy is a good idea. But whose money should we use? So far, the party being called upon is Uncle Sam. But, he's broke. Let's not turn to someone who doesn't have money to be our big spender.

Let's turn to the rich. They are the ones with the money. And, these are the people responsible for prividing a large share of our jobs already. They are the experts in what needs to be done. Turning to them is turning to our experts.

Ours is a nation full of "millionaires and billionaires," most of them being good, solid citizens. And -- here's the thing to notice -- many of them double as what we call philanthropists, giving large sums to charity.

We may need to tweak their concept of charity a little, but I would think that for the asking, they would start a few new businesses. Starting and running businesses is what they do best. They are already giving to charity. Why would they not do this?

Let's appeal to the civic-mindedness in our wealthy, asking them to create companies that might not necessarily turn profits, companies geared not toward making money but providing jobs.

And, while were at it, let's create jobs for everyone.

I don't know how many times in world history its been done, but there really is no reason it cannot be done. Let's put a company at each pocket of unemployment, creating a company for the beggars and panhandlers, another for those on any Indian reservation where jobs are scarce, another for those on TANF (the common welfare program: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), another for those on Unemployment Insurance, and another for those at the homeless shelters.

And, so forth.

Let's take the jobs to the unemployed. There is no reason we cannot have 100 percent employment, 100 percent of those who are willing and able.

Government doesn't have to fix every problem. With this one, let's let our rich fix it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hate, in the Name of Love

My mind drifts to old U2 song, Pride (In the Name of Love) as I read today's news about the pastor in Florida who wants to burn a copy of the Quran in observance of 9/11, and the words come screaming through my head, ". . . in the name of love."

"One man come in the name of love,
"One man come and go.
"One man come he to justify,
"One man to overthrow.
"In the name of love,
"What more, in the name of love?"

Oh, the things we do in the name of love. A pastor, in the name of loving God, plans to burn the most sacred book of the Muslims. And, how do people respond to the poor pastor? Well, he says he has received more than 100 death threats.

Hate, in the name of love? So much around us these last few month, so much of what has been in the news, reflects hate, in the name of love.

The Rev. Terry Jones in Gainesville, Florida, if he doesn't change his mind, will stage "International Burn-A-Quran Day" Saturday. A host of government officials, from Gen. David Petraeus to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, have rebuked Jones for his plans.

Rebuking is in order. Death threats are way overboard, but trying to talk Jones out of it is not.

The words of another old song come to my mind. You might remember them:
"Go ahead and hate a neighbor,
"Go ahead and hate a friend.
"Do it in the name of heaven,
"You can justify it in the end.
"But there won't be any soldiers standing,
"Come the judgement day.
"The bloody morning after,
"One tin soldier, rides away."

Regardless Their Motive, Let Mosque be Built

Let the mosque be built.

This, even though one wonders if it is intended as a victory mosque, celebrating the great conquest of 9/11. Mosques built in tribute to great conquests are scattered throughout Islamic history. It is the Great Mosque of Cordoba that has been so much considered in news coverage of the Ground Zero mosque.

Cordoba, Spain, stood as one of the singular great cities of the world in ancient times.

Even as New York City is one of the greatest cities in the world today.

A Christian cathedral stood at that spot in Cordoba before the mosque. It was a magnificent building in its own right, before it was reworked into a Muslim mosque. So stunning the mosque was, it become known in medieval times as one of the wonders of the world. Even today, with the forest effect of hundreds of columns supporting its interior, the building is still considered by some to be a wonder of the world. A Catholic cathedral is now situated in the in middle of the building, so I assume the Catholics may own it.

The mosque/cultural center at Ground Zero, by comparison, for all we know will be but just another building along the Manhattan skyline. Still, as a $100-million, 13 story edifice, it will not exactly be a small, modest structure.

It is the name the Ground Zero mosque might take -- the Cordoba House -- that of course has drawn it to be compared to the Great Mosque of Cordoba, Spain.

Other great Muslim mosques built where Christian edifices previously stood, signifying conquest? I am told of these: Where once stood the Temple Mount, Judaism's most holy shrine, there came the Dome of the Rock -- and it became one of Islam's most holy shrines. Nor was that enough, a second mosque, the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built on the southern end of the Temple Mount, over the Basilica of St. Mary of Justinian. The Grand Mosque of Damascus was built where the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist had stood.

Take a Christian site, and built over it, stamping yourself as a conqueror. Those behind the mosque near Ground Zero might not be able to built right on top of where the World Trade Center was, but they are within nudging distance.

Of course we are going to wonder if the Ground Zero mosque will be a victory mosque. Mark Silverberg added to my wondering when he, in a Sept. 3 web post in the Hudson New York, said the Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf intends to raise funds for the cultural center/mosque by raising the funds from "the most authoritarian, least religiously tolerant Arab regimes in the Middle East."

Silverberg also reports that Rauf claims U.S. policy was responsible for the 9/11 attack.

Is he accurate on these two points? For, if he is, it leaves me wishing the mosque would not be built so near Ground Zero.

But, least we jump too quick to assume this is a victory mosque a-coming, read what Dwight Fine has to say on the the website. Fine says the Cordoba House is not a reminder of conquest, but rather of when Islam was at its best. He says the Islamic conquerors back then were tolerant of Christians, and tolerant of Jews. "The name can serve as a message to Muslims and non-Muslims alike not to drift into the religious fundamentalism that destroyed a great civilization," he writes.

Well, while I may lament that the mosque is coming, wondering if the same folks who brought us 9/11 are also behind the mosque and planning it as a victory lap, I say, let them built it. (If it is but another Muslim mosque, with no ties to terrorists, then without reservation, definitely let it be built.)

Let their religious rights and property rights be respected. Let them build, to be turning our other cheek. Let them build to be forgiving. Let them build because it really doesn't matter if they have a conquest shrine. Let them build because we should not judge, and don't know for certain what their motive is.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Obama Calling for More Stimulus Money

President Barack Obama, according to an Associated Press story I read as I rolled out of bed this morning, is proposing more than $50 billion be spent on roads, railways and runways, in the name of stimulating the economy.

The infrastructure spending is part of a larger package the Obama Administration announced this morning. Obama is set to discuss his proposal later today at a Labor Day event in Milwaukee.

Turn To The Rich For Spending

Part of President Obama's solution is correct: Money should be infused into the economy.

He is wrong, though, about who should be called on to spend the large sums of money. Uncle Sam is broke. The national debt, too, is a threat to the economy. So why try fixing the economy by threatening it further?

Let those who have the money be the spenders.

Ours is a nation full of billionaires, most of them being good, solid citizens. Many of them double as what we call philanthropists, giving large sums to charity.

I would think that for the asking, they would start a few new businesses. That, too, is injecting money into the economy -- and its letting those who have the money do the spending.

It's getting the rich to pay for the fix without taxing them.

It's letting the private enterprise system solve the problem instead of the government.

Let's appeal to our rich to be civic-minded in creating companies that may not necessarily turn a profit, companies geared not toward making money but providing jobs. Let's put a company at each pocket of unemployment, creating one for the beggars and panhandlers downtown, another for those on any Indian reservation where jobs are lacking, another for those on TANF (the common welfare program: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), another for those on Unemployment Insurance, and another for those at the homeless shelters.

Let's take the jobs to the unemployed. Let's offer them jobs wherever we find them. Let's solve our economy by having those who have the money do the investing, on their own and without being taxed.

Government doesn't need to solve all our problems. We, as the people, can be the solution.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Vote for Jackson is Vote for Unpopular Stand

Every day or so, I refer to a news story and then follow with my stand on a related issue, or on the story itself. Today, I pick the lead story from the Tribune to talk about, and I follow it with my opinion on immigration. I have long been in favor of giving immigrants citizenship right at the border, but today I take the strongest stand I have yet championing the illegal resident.

I am a candidate for the Utah Legislature, House District 41.
-- John Jackson

14th Amendment Defended, Debated

They gathered at the This Is The Place Monument Friday, some folks who don't want to see the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment done away with.

"It's so sad to think that we now will be creating a second class . . . of citizens," Luz Robles, a state senator, was quoted as saying in the Salt Lake Tribune.

The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to all born on American soil, which includes children of illegal immigrants.

The Tribune article also reported the stands of Senator Orrin Hatch, candidate for Senate Mike Lee, and Congressman Jason Chaffetz.

Hatch doesn't see the need to change the Constitution, but he backs legislation to require a parent to be a citizen in order for the child to have citizenship.

The Tribune article said Lee also supports the legislation, and said Chaffetz is co-sponsor to the House bill that would make the change. The Tribune said both Hatch and Chaffetz back a Constitutional Amendment if the proposed legislation does not bring about the change.

My thought? I say it would take an amendment to make the change. Otherwise you are breaking the Constitution. Says the citizenship clause in the 14th Amendment, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."

Leave 14th Amendment Alone

Let's leave the 14th Amendment alone. Regardless whether their parents were papered allowing them to be in the U.S., still the millions who are growing up or have grown up in the U.S. are as good and deserving as the rest of us.

Let's not disenfranchise them. Let's not, as State Senator Luz Rubles warned, relegate them to second-class citizens.

Someone would argue that if they are not citizens, they cannot be "second-class citizens," but the point is we should not be making them second-class members of our society.

Nor, for that matter, do I like us relegating their parents to second class. Do I favor amnesty, then? I favor citizenship for those who would immigrate to the U.S.

By making it so hard for them to come live in the U.S., forcing them to wait years, we are saying immigration to this country is to some extent illegal.

I suppose that is evident in the term "Illegal immigrant."

Rather than amending the Constitution to make yet more people "illegal," I believe we should change our border policies to allow more people to immigrate. There is nothing inherently wrong with an immigrant. Let's screen out the criminals, but let's not screen out the immigrants just for being an immigrants.

Consider the 72 migrants in Mexico massacred 100 miles from the U.S. border a week or so ago. Coming from Central and South American countries, they were forced to come through the drug-gang invested territory of Mexico in order to reach the U.S. The drug runners, laying in wait to "assist" people across the U.S. border, found them, and tried to press them into their service. They declined to join the gangsters, and were shot.

Our policies against immigration force the innocent into the hands of the lawless. Although this time, the migrants refused to bend, many times the migrants join in with the drug cartels.

Our immigration policies are swelling the ranks of the gangsters.

Legalize more immigration, legalize more people . . . and leave the 14th Amendment alone.

Crimes Should be Illegal, Not People

What are we saying when we say those who are here without their paperwork are illegal, and in our country of laws, they should obey?

Well, consider what they are illegal for. They are illegal simply for being here on our soil, simply for being here without paperwork.

Check in on this make-believe conversation between someone who opposes illegal residents and the a person who doesn't have his paperwork:

"You know you are illegal, don't you? You are breaking the law."

"Why am I illegal. What have I done to break the law?"

"You are illegal because you don't have your paperwork. You have broken the law by not applying for citizenship or a visa or a passport."

"Oh, so I am an illegal person?"


"Well, do you know why I don't have my paperwork?"


"Because you won't give it too me."

"Well, what does that tell you? Maybe we don't want you here."

"I guess not. So, it would seem I'm illegal just for being, just for existing, just for being here when you don't want me to be here. I haven't shot anyone, stole from anyone, or commited any other offense against anyone, but I'm illegal for just standing here in front of you, on your American soil."

"You're not understanding. You're illegal because you didn't go through the process. We have millions of people here who have applied and gotten permission to be here legally, but you haven't."

"You charged some of them a lot of money for their visas, thousands of dollars. I came looking for a job. If I had thousands of dollars, I wouldn't be a poor farm worker looking for a job. Your visas might help a person with more money, but not the poor and downtrotten."

"Just do it legally. That's all I'm asking."

It is not an idle thought that illegal immigrants are discriminated against. If they are illegal just for being here without paperwork, and if we refuse to give them that paperwork, then we are making it illegal for them to be here, period. If there is no real reason not to give them paperwork, why don't we just give it to them?

What's the phrase, "Forgive me for living"?

Existing should not be a crime. Existing on American soil should not be a crime. Screening out terrorists and drug-traffickers and criminals is one thing, but making it a crime for the typical immigrant to be here is not necessary.

Let's not make people illegal. Crimes should be illegal, not people. Let's legalize more people simply by giving them their paperwork.

Obama, along with Springsteen, Born in USA

More than 25 years ago, Bruce Springsteen sang his famous song about being born in the the USA. And, almost twice that long ago, Barack Hussein Obama II was born in the USA -- State of Hawaii, city of Honolulu, to be exact.

Now, there continues to be controversy about whether Obama was born here in the U.S. or over in Kenya. But there shouldn't be. It's been documented. And, a witness has stepped forth to say she remembers the birth.

"Well, the first kick I took is when I hit the ground, . . . Till you spent half your life just a-covering up," so sang Springsteen in 1984. And, true to the song, Obama may have had points of poverty in his early life.

But, he was Born in the USA. satisfies me of this. In a post last updated Aug. 3, 2009, Snopes notes Obama's U.S birth is attested by a certification of live birth that was posted on the Internet, accounted for in newspaper listings of births for that day, and attested to by a lady who remembers hearing of the birth.

That's enough for me. Others may argue the certificate of live birth is a forgery. Argue that if you must, but its markings have been found consistent with others issued at the time, and would Obama forge a document with his political career surely ruined should state of Hawaii officials be unable to find record of the certificate of live birth?

Then, how about the newspaper records?

They show he was born Aug. 4, 1961. Both the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin reportedly reported the birth, Snopes reproduced one, not saying which of the two it was. "Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, 6055 Kalanianaole Hwy., son. Aug. 4."

The story from the lady who remembers? Barbara Nelson is her name, and, as a friend of the daughter of the the doctor who delivered, she remembers being at dinner with the doctor. Someone asked the doctor if anything interesting had happened that day and he replied, "Well, today, Stanley had a baby. Now that's something to write home about." Stanley was the name of Nelson's father, but it was also the name of Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.

Snopes also dealt with the allegation that a birth certificate from Kenya has been found, noting it is the birth certificate found to be a fogergy.

The notion Obama was not born in the U.S. should be put to rest. Opposing Obama for his spending, for the health care bill, and for his politics can be done without turning to attacks that are so unjustified.

The Snopes post can be found at

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mosque Financier Also Gave to HLFRD

So, we've wondered who the financiers are of the Islamic mosque to be built near Ground Zero. Today, news came that one also donated to a foundation that was subsequently shut down for links to the terrorist anti-Israel group Hamas.

The lead partner in the building of the mosque, Sharif El-Gamal, said money from terrorists will not be used for the mosque. An Associated Press story quoted El-Gamal as saying, "All of these investors are committed, as I am, not to receive funding from any organization that supports terrorism or is hostile to America."

While the identity of that one investor was found out, El-Gamal has thus far declined to say who the other financial backers are.

The Associated Press said tax records show that the investor, Hisham Elzanaty, gave $6,050 to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in 1999. At that time, the foundation was the largest Islamic charity in the U.S., telling donors the money was going to schools, orphanages and welfare programs.
Two years later, the U.S. government froze the assets of the foundation's assets, saying it was fundraising organ for Hamas.

Let the Mosque be Built

Let the mosque at be built.

Freedom of religion and property rights trump concern terrorists might be building the mosque as a victory monument to 9/11. Islamic mosques have at times been built to celebrate conquests.

One such celebration being the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain in the 10th century. Cordova was at that time one of the great cities of the world. A Christian cathedral had just been built when the Muslims conquered Spain. The Great Mosque of Cordoba was built in its place, and was hailed as one of the wonders of the world at that time.

The Imam behind the mosque to be built near Ground Zero has an effort he dubs the Cordoba Initiative, which builds interfaith relations between Muslims and others.
Did the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf select an unfortunate choice of names for his initiative, not realizing people would connect the mosque at Ground Zero to the Great Mosque of Cordoba, saying that since the Great Mosque was a victory monument, so the Ground Zero mosque will be?

Or, did the Rauf choose "Cordoba" because it reflects the conquering of a Christian people?

I don't know, but he must known the significance of the Mosque of Cordoba, and that it was one of the great conquest mosques. Even as Cordoba was one of the great cities, then, so is New York one of the great cities, now. Still, while we sure must wonder if selecting "Cordoba" is a way of celebrating a conquest in 9/11, we do not know. It is only conjecture.

It has also been pointed out that the Rauf is officed next to an office of the organization representing Hamas in the United States. That, too, is circumstantial evidence. It is what it is, a bit of evidence, but not a strong connection to terrorism.

And, today's news on a mosque investor who donated to what turned out to be called a terroristic organization hardly draws a connection at all, to terrorism. The investor, himself, is not being said to be a terrorist. Those attacking him for giving to a terrorist group are going back more than a decade to find his giving to a terroristic organization, and even then they only come up with an organization he may have thought was just a legitimate charity for schools, orphanages and social welfare.

Even without bringing up freedom of religion and property rights, the case for a connection between the mosque and terrorists just isn't strong enough to justify standing in the way of the mosque being built. There are connections, yes, but they are not strong enough.

Let them build. Let them built because it is their right to build, even though we might not like what they are doing, and let them build because we don't have enough evidence to support us in not liking what they are doing.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Reggie Could do Life

Reggie Campos of Bluffdale received three years to life today for shooting David Serbeck, paralyzing him.

Serbeck says he was on an unofficial community watch. Serbeck's daughter, feeling Serbeck was following her, notified her dad and the dad went out searching for Serbeck.

And, found him. And ended up shooting him.

Gun Control Not Constitutional

Both Reginald Campos and David Serbeck bore guns the night Campos shot Serbeck. Where do I stand on gun control?

I believe it should take a Constitutional amendment before we have any gun control. The Second Amendment does not allow any curtailment of the right to carry weapons.

That amendment, in its entirety, reads, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

I also believe in property rights. When churches and schools (or stores or anyone) say, "That's fine, your right to bear arms, but you can't bring them in here," they are within their rights, just as much as you and I have the right not to let someone enter our homes if they are carrying a gun.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

For Better Economy, Elect John Jackson

Although this blog site has hardly caught on, I continue to post a news item every day or so, accompanied with a stand on an issue. So, I offer you below a review of a USA Today news story and I follow it with a stand on what should be done to save our economy.
-- John Jackson, candidate for Utah House District 41