Friday, October 29, 2010

To be Fair to Immigrants, Let's Deport Politicians

In fairness to our immigrants, perhaps we should deport our politicians, as well.

Of course I jest. But still, the same argument we use against the immigrant applies as well to our politicians. We make it so hard for our immigrants to come in legally, that they end up sneaking across the border and coming in illegally.

And, so it is with our politicians. We make it so hard for them to campaign legally, so they end up doing it illegally. I was just out driving around, looking for places to place my campaign signs, and noticing where all the other candidates' signs are.

Almost without exception, as far as the commercial corridors are concerned, they are posted where it appears they shouldn't be. Candidates need the property owner's permission. So, that being too much of a bother, instead they simply post on vacant lots, and in places where the landowner is absent from the site and isn't going to be driving by seeing someone has placed the signs on his property. The fences along canals are favorites spots. Those landowners are not likely to come calling.

Thus, the trick is not to live by the law, but to find the best way to get away without living by the law.

The parallel is almost exact: Immigrants come onto American property without permission, and politicians post their signs on property without permission. The immigrants sneak across in places where nobody will spot them, and the politicians place their signs in places where the landowners won't spot them.

So, since we deport immigrants for no more than not having paperwork, yelling at them for being illegal, and explaining that all we are asking is that they abide by our laws . . . maybe we should do the same with our politicians.

Deport them.

What part of the word "illegal" do they not understand?

Okay, I suppose the punishment needs to fit the crime, so I'll allow maybe we should just deport them off the ballot, instead of kicking them out of the country. But, I warn you, if we do that without any advance warning, we are going to have hardly any candidates to vote on come Tuesday -- and precious few to fill the offices.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Federal Law Cannot Overrule Constitution

Turned on my radio just in time to catch just one quick touch of the Sam Granato-Mike Lee debate on KSL. I hold differently than Lee on the 14th Amendment, which says all persons born in the U.S. and subject to its jurisdiction are citizens.

I suggest if you don't like what it says, it takes a constitutional amendment to change it. Mike says those being born in the U.S. of parents who are not citizens can be kept from having U.S. citizenship simply by passage of a federal law.

Statutes do not supersede the Constitution . If we are to respect the Constitution, we cannot do this.

Says 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. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Lee indicated that the phrase "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" places the children of undocumented immigrants outside outside the protection of the 14th Amendment. How so? Those who are subject to the laws of our land are those who are "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." They are subject to our laws. I suggest it is very clear children born of undocumented immigrants are protected by the 14th Amendment.

The 14th Amendment came as a result of the slave question. Interestingly, another section of the Constitution that I would guess came from the slave question, also could be argued as a protection to the immigrant. Says Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1:

"The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight." Note it says migration, as well as saying importation, so it applied not only to the slave question, as people were surely not migrating to the U.S. in order to become slaves.

Why do I mention this? I know there are those who would argue the 14th Amendment is not part of the original Constitution, and therefore not hold it in as high of regard. The migration/importation clause is part of the original, so, the original Constitution did have written into it a protection for the immigrant. True, the Constitution allows for statutes restricting migration come 1808, but so it is that the 14th Amendment came as a result of the Constitution allowing for amendments. We should not fear amending the Constitution when needed, but rather we should be wise and just in the changes we make.

I believe restricting the liberty and pursuit of happiness of those who are doing no wrong is not just. I believe most migrants come to pursue happiness, and many come because of their love of America. These, of all people (a people simply craving to be Americans), should not deprived of citizenship.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Citizenship Should be For All

I posted a comment at the bottom of a Deseret News story, which is about the deportation of Debora Zalazar and Claudio Correa. I wrote:

Ideal . . . citizens, then? To me, yes, they were. No crime in 10 years, yet hauled off in handcuffs, the "crime" being a desire to be an American? Seeking to be an American should not be a crime. Coming to America in the pursuit of happiness should not be a crime. If they committed no other crime other than not having paperwork, they should not be branded as "illegals." Crimes should be illegal, not people. They were considered "illegal" just for being here, just for existing, just for passing their time on earth on American soil. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Do we say that does not apply to them? Or that they can have it, it's just that they need to seek it elsewhere? If the freedoms that make America great, make it what it is, do not apply to everyone, then we are not as great as we should be. We post a sign at our border welcoming them, saying "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free" then we say, "Whoops, our mistake."
-- John Jackson, candidate for Utah House District 41 (stretching from Herriman to Sandy)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

They're Told to Seek Their Refuge Elsewhere

The Deseret News today runs a story on how the 3rd Congressional District race is interesting, but not close. In one part of the article, candidates Jason Chaffetz and Karen Hyer offer their opinions on immigration. At the bottom are the comments from the reader, and I offered my comment:

Lock down the border and demand visas, then, Jason. But, oh, I wish we would legalize more immigration, doing background checks at the border (which we are not doing but ought to if we really want to fight crime), but then letting these immigrants in. Not having paperwork is wrong, and should have consequence, but it is not worthy of such an outcry as we have. As a candidate myself, running for Utah House District 41, I argue the immigrant comes seeking refuge, and seeking happiness, only to be told to seek it elsewhere. At the entrance to our nation, we post a welcome sign. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free," we say. Then we turn around and say, "Whoops, sorry. Our mistake. You're not actually welcome here." Legalizing immigration would solve the very ills we accuse the immigrant of. All citizens are under the same obligation to pay taxes for social assistance and the same obligation to not lower wages by working under the table. Let's make it fair for us just by being fair to them, by giving them the right simply to exist on American soil. -- John Jackson

Monday, October 25, 2010

Let Those Huddled Masses In

Wish I would have put this in my campaign flyer:

Rather than opposing immigrants, arguing they are breaking the law, I so wish we would ask if those laws are just -- and change them. At our border, we post a welcome sign saying, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," then we turn around and say, "Whoops, sorry, our mistake. You're not really welcome here." Granting them citizenship would cure the ills we accuse them of. If they were citizens, they would have no less right to the social programs than us, they would have no more reason to work under the table than us, and, hopefully, they would no more be forced, at point of their lives, to smuggle drugs into our country.

About two months ago, 72 migrants from Central and South America, as they got about 100 miles from the U.S. border, where intercepted by the Mexican drug cartels and the drug cartels asked them for help. The migrants refused -- and were massacred. If they had got in, we would have screamed and yelled at them just because they didn't have paperwork. I say they would have been good citizens, and wish we could have issued them citizenship or paperwork right at the border.

Fight crime, not people.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Insurance Industry First Courts Dems, then GOP

Would it be wrong if the nation cried for health-care reform, but some of the changes were made just to please the health-care industry, after it had it had given money to senators and representatives?

An Associated Press story in today's Deseret News says the health-care industry gave money to Democrats and got a mandate that most Americans carry health insurance.

Now, the health-care industry is backing Republican candidates, hoping for friendlier regulations, the story says.

Wouldn't it be better if, when it came time to reform, the industry needing reformed wasn't influencing the decisions with money?

Our system is not so wicked that someone says, "Okay, I'll donate $10,000 if you'll get me the legislation I need. Have we got a deal?"

No deals are made, or, at least, I hope they are not. Instead, contributors simply hope, and have reason to expect, that the elected officials will treat them well, will remember the people who were kind enough to give them money, and will return the friendship.

But, I do not think it a good system that these same people who contribute to campaigns are often going to be approaching the elected officials, asking for favors. Public policy shouldn't be decided in this fashion.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Stand a Day, Some Not Politically Motivated

Most days, I post an opinion on a current issue. Sometimes, like the one two down, may or may not help me, politically.

Alas.

Some of the things I put in my flyer, which I start distributing tomorrow, also won't help my campaign. I am a friend of the undocumented immigrant, but would have done good to offer one thing in my campaign flyer that I didn't: If we make the immigrants legal, they will be on the same playing field as everyone else when it comes to using social programs. They will have the same obligation to pay taxes.

The immigrant issue might be the only significant issue on which I differ with many voters. I am deeply opposed to the federal deficit, I oppose abortion, I favor living by the Constitution, etc.

Two posts worth reading are

Wimmer's Bill in Place Just in Time

I repost this:

So, a federal judge has decided not to throw out a lawsuit by states wanting to block Obamacare.

There's an interesting story over at Carl Wimmer's Facebook page, suggesting Utah and Wimmer's legislation played a key role in Judge Vinson's decision.

Wimmer says Vinson, in making his ruling, looked to whether any of the states bringing the lawsuit had a law on their books against it before Obamacare was passed.

Utah did.

Earlier this year, Wimmer introduced the legislation, which requires Utah to reject any provisions of health care legislation deemed not in the state's interest.

In crafting the legislation, Wimmer chose not to go the constitutional amendment route, like many other states were doing, as that takes time and he wanted the law in place quicker.

He placed in his legislation a provision that if two-thirds of each house approved his bill, it would go into effect immediately.

That happened. And, Gov. Herbert signed the law into effect March 22. One day later, President Obama signed the national health care bill, Obamacare, as we call it.

So, Wimmer's bill was in place one day ahead of what became to be the deadline.

I understand Missouri also had a law in place in time.

Time for a Definitive Study on Gays

Not much time passed after I entered the campaign race before emails started arriving, supporting gay rights. Of all the issues I wished to study, or express an opinion on, this was not one.

Of late, though, I find myself captivated. Still, as I sit to write this tonight, I reflect on what is probably the common opinion of those in District 41, that same-sex attraction comes by choice.

Now, as of today, I wonder.

I believe marriage should be between a man and a women, not between two of the same sex. That is not changing.

But, is sexual orientation decided at birth, with some being born gay and lesbian?

I posted last night, thinking as I wrote, suggesting if I were to allow my urges to be applied to males, if I were to choose to be gay, I would be. I thought to write, but didn't, that I surely would retain an attraction toward females, but I would acquire one for males, as well. And, from then on, should I decide to discard my attraction to males, I might not be able to, same as a person who smokes a cigarette says that even after giving up smoking, a desire always remains.

But, what say the scientists? Some studies say you can practice being gay, even though you are heterosexual, but you never develop an attraction toward your own sex. And, this: They say no gay or lesbian ever has changed their orientation, not a one.

"The Kinsey Institute has had an open offer for nearly 40 years to report on a single case of a true change in sexual orientation, not just behavior," I read at lionking.org. "In 40 years there has not been a single scientifically documented case of changed sexual orientation."

Is the Kinsey Institute correct?

I also became aware, for the first time, of just how it is many scientists have concluded sexual orientation, including being gay or lesbian, is hereditary. Dean Hamer and Peter Copeland, in a 1993 study, found the groupings of chromosomes to be more common in gay brothers than is normal. At least one study supported the Hamer-Copeland study, and another failed to duplicate its results.

Oh, and they say there is biological evidence. Gays emit different underarm odors, the ratio of the index and ring fingers are different, and gay men have greater density in their fingerprints, it is said.

Still, while studies are showing evidence, perhaps it isn't a definite thing. I don't know how old the post at about.com is, but it says, "The honest answer is, we think being gay is not a choice, but there hasn't been any conclusive studies to prove it."

For my part, I wish a definitive study would be launched. I hold with what the Bible says, but I would like science to do a definitive study, determining without any reservation where science stands on the issue.

Standing on the Issues

Most days, I offer a political stand on this website. Often, I comment on a news item, then offer an opinion on a general issue related to it.

Gay marriage? And, is a person born into their sexual orientation? I studied that today, and might weigh in on it late this night, or tomorrow, adding to what is in the current post just below.

Ahh, but in the meantime, we have the offerings below. There's the one on domestic partners, then "May Ours be a Christian Nation," "Train Criminals Like We Train Children," "Return Right to Vote to Convicted Utah Felons," and "Wimmer's Bill in Place Just in Time."

-- John Jackson

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On Domestic Partners Getting Insurance

Intermountain Healthcare today announced it will provide insurance benefits to the domestic partners of those insured with them. The benefits are to apply to both those who are lesbian and gay, as well as those who are heterosexual but unmarried.
How to I feel on this? I do not yet have an opinion. But I can tell you of the wrestle in my mind as I strive to come up with an opinion.

I first consider to tentatively have an opinion in favor of the move. While I believe marriage to be between a man and a wife, I consider that that does not necessarily mean domestic partners cannot have some of the rights and benefits as those who are married -- just as long as they are not considered a marriage.

Then, I think otherwise. If the reason for opposing marriages between those of same-sex attraction is that marriage is the bedrock of society, and we want to engender and encourage marriage to be be between a man and a wife, then this move encourages the domestic-partner relationships, as opposed to marriages between men and women.

My third swing it to think that gays and lesbians are not going to change their sexual orientation just to get the benefits, so why withhold the benefits from they for that reason? If the idea is to encourage marriage between men and women, will withholding benefits from them prompt them to become heterosexual, and thus marry someone of the opposite sex?

I will venture this: Although I'm told science says sexual orientation does not change, I wonder. I wish I could ask the experts if they have ever seen it change. I seem to think they have said, No, there is not a single case we are aware of where a person has changed their sexual orientation. I still wonder. I wonder if I were to open my urges to those of my own sex, would I become gay? I think I would. I think it would follow as night follows day, that if I chose to do it, I would become gay, thus having altered my sexual orientation, which I am told does not happen. Also, I do doubt there has never been a case where someone who was lesbian or gay went on to find themselves attracted to someone of the opposite sex. Has there never been a lesbian or gay who married the opposite sex, and felt attracted to the person they married? If so, even if they still found themselves also attracted to those of their own gender, it would mean it is something that can be altered. Everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, has to -- or should -- resist attractions. The question is not whether attractions are before them, but whether they can be attracted to someone of the opposite sex.

May Ours Be A Christian Nation

So, Delaware's U.S. Senate candidates sparred over whether separating church from state is in the Constitution? What, then, do I think of mixing religion and politics?

On the coin, it says, "In God We Trust." In the Pledge of Allegiance, we say, "one nation, under God." When taking an oath of office, the office holder often places a hand on the Bible and says, "So help me God."

These are not mistakes that have crept in. They are not items requiring correction. Oh, if the day comes when the majority wants them removed, it will be right to remove them, but I hope that day never comes.

George Washington, in his inaugural address, said, "It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe."

Perhaps, then, when we wrestle with what separation of church and state should be, we shouldn't separate God from state. It is wise to ensure that no one religious faction controls the government, and that no single church is pronounced the official church and that the rights of all denominations -- Christian and non-Christian -- are protected.

I would even say it is right that no elected official should have to place his (or her) hand on the Bible and say, "So help me God."

But, may he forever have that option, and my personal hope is that he chooses to include God in his oath.

May everyone have the right to worship as they see fit. May Muslims and Buddhists and Jews have the same civil rights as Christians. When Muslims, or Buddhists, or Jews, or Wiccians are elected or appointed, let's not require them to observe any Christian oath or observance. If it is a city council's practice to hold a prayer at the beginning of a meeting and if a person is elected who does not believe in God, let him excuse himself from the prayer, or join the group after the prayer, or stand by with his eyes open and arms unfolded -- whatever he will -- and let us not think it wrong or hold ill will toward him.

But, let us not mandate God out of our government. When public officials want to turn to God, they should be allowed to do so. When they want to acknowledge Him, pray to Him, or honor Him, they should be allowed to do so.

Even more, it is my personal hope that they do. I hope ours remains a Christian nation. I hope our leaders are Christians, God fearing and God abiding, and I believe they should have the right to seek God as they carry out their official duties.

That, too, is freedom of religion.

Freedom of religion, to me, includes being able to practice religion in all settings and in all places, including in the public arena. Freedom of religion, to me, means not being forced to check it at the door. It doesn't mean religion is taboo. It means it is allowed. Simply said, freedom of religion is being able to include religion in all you do, rather than having to exclude it in certain settings.

What, then, of the Constitution, the First Amendment, which says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"? Well, to me, this only backs what I have already said. The Constitution doesn't mandate that religion leave government. It mandates that government leave religion alone.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Train Criminals Like We Train Children

Could we do better with our criminal system, I mean really better?

I thought about that last night, as I blogged. And I do think there are things we're not doing that could make a big difference. The idea is to reform the convict and we know that it is important for people to surround themselves with good influences.

So, why shouldn't surrounding inmates with good associations be part of their reform? Establish programs where church groups and charities send visitors to the jail. Of course, influence can go both ways, so I am not sure I want the visitors to become regulars, but rather suggest they rotate into the prisoner's life, then right out.

Yes, a person needs steady friends. That would be the role of those the convict is going to return to once he or she leaves prison. I do not think it wrong that some of these friends are culled out. Let's not allow them to visit if we judge them to be bad influences. If we do not want the convict to see them after prison, then remove them from the convict's life during prison, which is the time frame for which we have authority to do so.

In most situations, family should not be restricted from visiting, even when there is fear the family members are bad influences. Instead, the visits from the family members should be directed so visitors and family members are doing positive things, perhaps studying on the lives of positive role models, such as, say, George Washington, or perhaps studying a list of good quotes, or reading the Bible or doing whatever good thing. Conversation between the prisoner and visitors should be monitored and they should be required to treat each other respectfully. The hope, of course, is that good habits will be established that will carry on after the convict is released.

Okay, you say, forcing them to speak good of each other, and kindly to each other is not freedom of speech. True, but there are times in life where training takes precedence over such freedom. A child isn't allowed to do or say many things, but rather is required to be good. Sometimes, when people don't turn out good, they need retraining. It occurs to me that if we really believe people can change, if we really believe they can reform, then they should be retrained. If the process for training children is tried and true, and works, why would we not consider using it? Since children are restricted in speech and conduct toward other people, why shouldn't prisoners be?

I've occasionally thought on how we throw the prisoners in with other prisoners and how they become bad influences on each other. And, I've thought how they understandably might fear each other. I do not think it good. The training, or retraining mentioned above can be part of the solution, monitoring conversations and conduct between the inmates and requiring them to treat each other right and good. Yes, that limits their freedom of speech, but we limit the freedom of speech of children. So, again, if we are really going to retrain them, is there any other way as effective as how we train children, that is by monitoring them and requiring that they do right?

The downside of such a retraining system, I'm sure, is the expense of having more supervision, in order for all conversations to be monitored. One way to limit this is to have less time when the inmates see each other. Restrict them to solitary confinement more, and then you do not need one prison guard for every two inmates in order to monitor them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Return Right to Vote to Convicted Utah Felons

Tonight, caught just a bit of The Nightside Project. I think it was Ethan who said he doesn't see a compelling reason for not giving those guilty of felonies the right to vote.

Later, I web searched and read how Utah, about a dozen years ago, was one of four states that did allow felons the right to vote. Reading at www.hrw.org/reports98/vote/usvot98o.htm, it said Utah was one of four states. Alas, that post was ancient, as the same web site, sentencingproject.org, different page, noted that in 1998, Utah disinfranchised its incarcerated felons.

This is from the first web page, the out-of-date one, and although (unless part of the page has been update) the figures are out of date, it does lend a persuasive feel against outlawing voting by felons. "Today," it says, "all mentally competent adults have the right to vote with only one exception: convicted criminal offenders. . . . While felony disenfranchisement laws should be of concern in any democracy, the scale of their impact in the United States is unparalleled: an estimated 3.9 million U.S. citizens are disenfranchised."

I join Ethan, the Human Rights Watch and the Utah of our past in saying felons should be allowed to vote. Everyone should have the right to vote, not just those determined to be of high enough moral standing. Is it that we do not think they deserve the right to vote? I think they should. Is it that we do not want government influenced by them? I think that should be allowed, whether they influence it for good or bad. It is the right of society to reflect either good or bad at the ballot box. If the voice of the people chooses bad, so be it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wimmer's Bill in Place Just in Time

So, a federal judge has decided not to throw out a lawsuit by states wanting to block Obamacare.

There's an interesting story over at Carl Wimmer's Facebook page, suggesting Utah and Wimmer's legislation played a key role in Judge Vinson's decision.

Wimmer says Vinson, in making his ruling, looked to whether any of the states bringing the lawsuit had a law on their books against it before Obamacare was passed.

Utah did.

Earlier this year, Wimmer introduced the legislation, which requires Utah to reject any provisions of health care legislation deemed not in the state's interest.

In crafting the legislation, Wimmer chose not to go the constitutional amendment route, like many other states were doing, as that takes time and he wanted the law in place quicker.

He placed in his legislation a provision that if two-thirds of each house approved his bill, it would go into effect immediately.

That happened. And, Gov. Herbert signed the law into effect March 22. One day later, President Obama signed the national health care bill, Obamacare, as we call it.

So, Wimmer's bill was in place one day ahead of what became to be the deadline.

I understand Missouri also had a law in place in time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Contributions Should be Allowed to be Issue

Is the public even casting much of an eye at this?

Gov. Gary Herbert continues to roll towards what might be a smashing victory in early November, unless momentum soon changes.

And this despite news stories discussing the alignment, time-wise, of his taking campaign contributions to the contributors winning benefits from the state.

More than once.

Why are voters not reacting? Is it apathy, lack of attention to the news stories -- or is it approval?

Is it just that voters are shying from what they view as negative campaigning?

All this has an interesting twist. It comes at a time KSL and the Deseret News are calling for civility. That is a wonderful thing. We live too much in a world where so many are fault-finders.

But, is civility chilling valid concern? It is good to consider whether candidates should accept money when they know the people giving the money are also approaching them for contracts and legislation. We should want to change such a system. It would be good to be allowed to see that it is wrong, and discuss it as being wrong, without being classed as negative mudslingers.

Just as much as health care, abortion and gun control, this is a valid political issue.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Here's My Stand of Four Issues

You would not have imagined Democrats have any advantage running for office in Utah, but Jeremy Votaw, the challenger for Utah County clerk, noted they do. Votaw's thoughts came tonight at a political forum I attended.

Votaw noted Democrats are listed first of the ballots, and it has been shown the person listed first has an advantage, the voter being more likely to select that person.

So, I agree with Votaw, the names should be altered on half the ballots.

Next issue: Trish Beck, a candidate for the Utah Legislature, brought up prescription drugs, as well as spice, during the candidates forum sponsored by the Association of Community Councils.

I tentatively favor illegalization of spice -- the drug, not the spice used in cooking. If it is a drug that alters behavior enough to affect a person's ability to function, it should go.

A Libertarian Party candidate proposed using private funding to help education. I'll tell you why I like that idea: Education is underfunded, and often the argument is that there just isn't any money left, no government money left to throw in the pot for education.

Why not then, appeal to the public? Why not have a fund-raising entity to raise private funds for education? This Libertarian, whoever he is, is right. We are screaming for more money for education, so why would we not do this?

And, I weigh in on a fourth issue, garnered from tonight's forum. One person raised his hand, and asked about a lottery to fund education. I do not favor that. I feel the affect on people weighs heavier in the balance than the benefit. I do not believe gambling a good influence on people, and having a state lottery certainly would influence a lot of people to gamble who currently are not.

Townships & Small Government Better than Cities?

Questions for the candidate, from the candidate, to help him determine his stand on whether townships should be a preferred system of government:

Are the elected officials voluntary? Anything that keeps the cost of government down is a benefit.

Do they not have the power to tax? If they don't, perhaps that, too, is a plus -- one less taxing entity.

Those shouldn't be the only questions asked, but they are worthy considerations.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Question 5 is My Favorite

For today's post, I answer a questionnaire received from the Utah Grassroots Advocacy Partnership.

1. What is the state and federal government’s responsibility to assist people with disabilities in becoming contributing members of their community and living as independently as possible?

I believe most of the current work, being done to assist people with disabilities, is coming from government. Although I am not a fan of big government, perhaps it can remain this way. If we do not have more private groups, charities, stepping in to fill the role, then we can continue with government doing the work. If charities did step up more, though, that would be wonderful and it would be great if they did so much that government could pull out.

2. To what extent do you believe that people with disabilities should be the primary decision makers in their lives?

If they are capable of making those decisions, then they should be the ones making them.

3. What policies would you support to help Utahans with disabilities live in their own homes and communities instead of in institutions?

I do not know that I have a ready answer to that. I can see the advantage of them living in their own homes, and imagine funding is the reason more of the do not live in their own homes instead of in institutions.

4. What would you do to eliminate waiting lists for home and community-based waivers?

I would imagine that, again, this would depend on funding. If more homes -- does that equate to institutions? -- were built, that would cut down on the waiting lists, obviously. I would think if we are going to expand our care, it would be good to first look for private, charitable funding. I would also look at the waiting lists, and how people are being affected. At that point, I would be in position to know if more tax dollars are required.

5. What steps would you take to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Utah?

This is an issue I have campaigned on. I believe everybody should be given the right to work, the opportunity to work. I do not believe the work should be oppressive, but rather should fit the abilities of the person. We already have what we call philanthropists, wealthy individuals who give abundantly to charity. Why not give them the same tax incentives, and the same recognition to create jobs? They are dominantly our employers, already, and are the experts in job creation. Let them create small companies to fit the needs of the unemployed. Sometimes the company will be no more than someone selling paper flowers on a street corner. Let's attach these companies to each pocket of unemployment, one to the homeless shelters, one to those who beg for money downtown, one to those who receive Food Stamps, and so forth. These companies would not always turn a profit, but they would help turn peoples lives around. I believe everybody who is willing to work should be given the opportunity to work.

6. What would you do to expand access to affordable and accessible transportation for people with disabilities, especially in rural areas?

I would first want to know what the needs are, same as with question 4.


7. How would you go about reducing the number of Utahans with mental illness in jail or prison?

It would seem there would be only two alternatives. 1. Work better with those with mental illness before crimes are committed, so fewer of them commit crimes. 2. Let more of them free. I do not believe we should do that. The tendency to commit crime still exists.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wish Dollar Could be Taken Out of Politics

My opponent and I spoke to a combined two voters from our district tonight at a candidates night put on by the PTA at Jordan High School.

And, the the voter I spoke with, I didn't run into until the evening was officially over and the tables were being put away. (It was a PTA worker.)

But, I tell you this, I still like such things as candidate forums. I wish it could be said they represented what the future of campaigning will be.

Because, I do not like the way campaigning is done now, money being poured into advertising. The problem with this is that candidates such as myself have little chance of being elected.

I'm not accepting political contributions, and I have little money of my own. I'm quickly outspent, a pour boy in a rich-man's game.

Yes, I wish we could take the dollar out of politics. I wish instead of the race going to the person with the pocketbook, it went to the the one who presented the better ideas, who argued the issues better.

So, as tonight's PTA event was winding down, I asked Todd Kiser, if he would be willing to debate. He said he would.

Only trouble is, will any one show?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Many Faces of Hatred

Well, then, just who are the most-hated members of our society?
Is it the gays and transgenders, a people killed, beaten, mocked, and spat upon?
Or, is it the undocumented residents, they of a national outcry against them?
I would submit that one of the very most-hated of all, certainly, would be the rapists. And, the child-abusers. Yes, the rapists and child-abusers ahead of even the murderers. And wife-beaters are very hated.
Any time one group of people hates another . . . hmmm . . . Democrats hate Republicans and Republicans hate Democrats. Those two each have, in rough terms (and depending on how loosely the term "hate" is used), almost half of all Americans hating them. So, they may be the two largest hated groups of all.
Politicians are hated. Lawyers are hated.
Mormons. Or, as I prefer not to call them that, then the LDS. They are still hated, after all these years. And, they are probably hated more in Utah than any other place.
Those who are not LDS are among the hated. Some LDS show hatred toward them.
Christians, Jews, and Muslims. They all attract some hatred.
Wiccans and devil worshippers.
Smokers, drinkers, drug addicts.
Idiots, or those we perceive to be idiots.
Those who don't keep themselves clean, who smell, who lack good hygiene.
Those on food stamps. Those on welfare.
Panhandlers.
Fellow workers, who we perceive to be in the way of getting the job done right.
Bosses who make us work too hard.
Bill collectors. Telemarketers.
Landlords. policemen. . . .
There are plenty of options, for the title of most-hated. Too much do we hate each other, pick at each other, find fault, belittle and berate.
And, what does all this have to do with stating an opinion on an issue, as I try to post on an issue most every day?
Not sure. I got off on this as I thought on hatred towards the gay and transgender community, which is certainly a political issue. I left the political arena, though, when I let off talking about gays and lesbians and undocumented workers and started thinking of all the other ways we hate each other. Now that it's bedtime, this will have to do.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Religion a Positive Influence

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a much-believing member, and also a candidate for public office. I post my position on issues, political issues. The church takes stands on issues, moral issues. Sometimes the two are the same.

I so much doubt you will ever find me differing from a moral position the church takes.

Every person in politics brings their values with them. Mine includes belief in a modern-day prophet, and modern-day apostles. Of course, now, if they are truly prophets and apostles, I will want to follow them, and I do.

Many of you are members of the other churches and followers of other beliefs. Oftentimes, though, you are as influenced by your religions and by your beliefs as I am by mine. No person can be expected to be without influences. Not all things are good influences, but religion is.

There will be times I take stands you disagree with, whether they be issues I side with church positions or not. Candidates cannot agree with each and all their voters all the time.

Here's hoping I agree with you on most issues, on enough to persuade you to vote for me.

Preset Temptations, Then, Can Be Overcome

Yes, I do have feelings of concern, tonight, for one of the foremost leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

President Boyd K. Packer, the senior apostle, the man next in line to be prophet of the church.

I do not know what thoughts have gone through his mind, as he has reflected on the talk he gave Sunday, and on the storm of protest raised against it. But, I judge him to be right in whatever he says or does on this issue.

That does not mean it hasn't been a trial for him. Although I am not in position to know, I imagine it has been.

There was the protest Thursday, thousands walking around the temple. There remains the Human Rights Campaign, and others, saying what changes President Packer made in his Sunday talk are not enough.

Church leaders are allowed to edit their talks before the written versions are released. President Packer's talk had him say that "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" is revelation. In the written version, President Packer refers to the Proclamation as a guide. I do not know that that means the Proclamation is not a revelation, it only means that in his written version, President Packer chose to refer to it as a guide.

After a portion in the talk in which he alluded to the idea same-sex attractions are born-in, President Packer omitted the line, "Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?" Is that change a nod to those in the scientific community who say it is scientific fact that some people are born with same-sex feelings? I do not know. I do not know whether "Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?" means God would not make them that way or means, instead, God would not make it so they could not overcome those feelings.

And, President Packer, in alluding to the notion of same-sex attractions being born in, chose the word "tendencies" in the talk, but chose "temptations" for the written version.

Here's how the spoken and written version differ, in the two key changes. I do not know that the changes mean what was spoken is not correct. I only know President Packer chose to make the changes for the written version. These are the changes as posted at the website http://mormonsformarriage.com/?p=299

Spoken version: "Fifteen years ago, with the world in turmoil, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the fifth proclamation in the history of the Church. It qualifies according to the definition as a revelation and would do well that members of the church to read and follow it."

Written version: "Fifteen years ago, with the world in turmoil, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the fifth proclamation in the history of the Church. It is a guide that members of the Church would do well to read and to follow."

Spoken version: "Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, God He is our Heavenly Father."

Written version: "Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, God is our Heavenly Father."

Perhaps of note in understanding what President Packer was saying is the scripture he then quoted, 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says, God . . . will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

There are temptations I have that maybe will, but perhaps will not go away as long as I live. But, I have learned I can put them off, not acting on them. I do not know what the scientific community believes as to whether a person can overcome same-sex attraction, by not acting upon it. But, my own experience being a form of scientific study, I know it true. No, my experience has not been with same-sex attraction, but I cannot see why it would not apply.

Organizing for America Makes Appeal

I receive emails from Organizing for America. This one of interest just came across. Some of what Organizing for America does can be good, and I laud the insinuation we'd be better not influenced by out-of-country money. The email also includes a call against special interests, and that is the core of my campaign. I do not think it well that the very people contributing to campaigns often are the same who, after the election, come calling for legislation favors.

I am not taking any political contributions.

I don't know what President Obama said today about Medicare and Social Security and the minimum wage. I don't even know how extensive an effort is being made against them.

I do know the reason I decided to run is that I believe many on our various welfare programs could be offered work for what they receive. I feel it would benefit both them, and in some measure, the economy. It has been 75 years since the Social Security Act of 1935, and we have spoken year after year of having people work for what they receive.

It is time to end the talk, and make the change.

Well, here's the email:

"This is a threat to our democracy...And if we just stand by and allow the special interests to silence anybody who's got the guts to stand up to them, our country's going to be a very different place."

That's what the President just said about the Chamber of Commerce, a right-wing group spending $75 million to beat Democrats this fall, and reportedly taking money from foreign corporations -- some even owned by foreign governments.

These groups are trying to buy our elections, backing candidates who want to tear down everything that makes the middle class strong in this country: things like Medicare, Social Security, even the minimum wage.

Donations are pouring in from the President's and First Lady's notes this week, but we all need to do what we can to stop this threat to our democracy.

Will you chip in $3 right now? Your gift will be matched by a fellow supporter who is just as dedicated as you are.

There's no cavalry to help fight against this -- just you.

You knock the doors, make the phone calls, and talk to one voter at a time to sway this election. And yes, every clipboard, every office, every piece of mail reminding a voter where to cast her ballot, and every pizza for weary volunteers gets paid for by you. Not by PACs, not by lobbyists -- you.

There's another grassroots supporter who knows this, and has offered to match your contribution.

Donate $3 or more now to double your impact today:

https://donate.barackobama.com/OctoberMatch

Let's do this,

Mitch

Match Stewart
Director

Friday, October 8, 2010

Toooo Many Judgeships on Upcoming Ballot

Watch out when you see your ballot in this upcoming election.

It will be a long one, a very, very long one. I learned this while down at the Democratic Party headquarters today.

The new, enlongateted ballot comes thanks to more judgeships, many more judgeships, being added to the ballot. Until this election, municipalities appointed and dismissed the judgeships that are being added. Now voters have the call as to whether these judges should be retained after city officials appoint them.

Now, sometimes when people call for a return to a more Republican form of government, I tend to think where we are is okay. Some would have the U.S. Senators elected by state legislators, instead of by the public, as that is the way the original Constitution called for it to be done.

But, in that, I quite like the shift away from the more Republican form, which was made by the 17th Amendment.

But I believe one of the virtues of a Republican form of government is that it acknowledges the people cannot keep up with all the issues, nor be aware of every public official.

Voters will have more than enough to study up on without having to conjure up opinions on whether judges they have never heard of should be retained.

The ballot this year serves as an argument for a Republican form of government. We neither need nor want to decide whether so many judges should be retained.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

'Unalienable Rights' for 'Illegal Aliens'

Irony is to be found, perhaps, in the Declaration of independence suggesting all men are endowed with "certain unalienable Rights," and then for a group who are deprived of liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- deprived from having those things in the United States, anyway -- to be called "illegal aliens."
I wish that instead of treating them as illegal aliens, we treated them as unalienable, as unaliens.

Each Day, an Opinion

Running for the Utah House, District 41, I post a viewpoint on a current issue most every day. House District 41 stretches from Sandy to Herriman. -- John Jackson

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Latinos Should Go to the Polls

It won't help my campaign much, as not a large share in my district are Latinos, but I hope Hispanics do turn out to the polls.

The New York Times News Service, in a story carried in today's Deseret News, says that rather than protesting by voting, Latinos might simply not vote at all. They might simply sit the election out.

Better to vote, and I hope they do.

A Kick Out of Country is Not Liberty

They can claim a friend in 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."
Getting kicked out of the country is not liberty. And when the reason for coming to America is to pursue happiness, and then you get kicked out, then, in my way of thinking, that is being deprived of the pursuit of happiness.
So, undocumented residents have a friend in the Declaration of Independence. That document speaks for them and on their behalf.
And, that is well before you get to the part in the Declaration where the grievances against the king are listed, and this one comes up:
"He (meaning, the king) has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands."

But, Should Immigrants Have Claim to This?

I sit and wonder, reflecting on the above blog, what an advocate of getting rid of undocumented residents would say. Most of them are very Constitutional minded, and lovers of the Declaration of Independence.

I mean them no ill will. Certainly, their view is that the Declaration does not at all call for turning illegal immigrants free. To them, a person who is breaking the law simply is not going to have the same liberties and rights as those who are keeping the law.

It's as simple as that.

Those who feel this way have as much right to believe they are correct as I have for holding to my opinion.

My reply to them, though, is to point out what the "illegal immigrant" is guilty of. He simply doesn't have paperwork -- and the reason he doesn't have it, is because we choose not to give it to him, or make it a years-long process to obtain it.

That is not right. A person wants to be an American, wants to pursue happiness and liberty here, and we say, "No, I don't think so. We really don't want you here"? That is denying them the pursuit of happiness. It is denying them the liberties that come with living in the United States, and denying them without cause. Keep out the law breakers, I say, but let the immigrants not guilty of breaking laws come on in.

"Certain unalienable rights"? Everyone, that tells me, should have these rights.

I do realize what I am saying. This means no one should be deprived of citizenship, should they want to immigrate to the United States. They can be punished for their crimes, and they can be returned to jurisdictions they leave behind for that punishment. Nor would I be against prosecuting them here for crimes they committed abroad, if evidence can be gathered. But, a man without crime should be a welcome soul.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Donkeys & Elephants & Fighting Just to Fight

I wonder if we haven't set up a system of hate, with our political parties. There are Republicans who have nothing nice to say about Democrats, and Democrats who have nothing kind to say about Republicans.

Divide up, and come out fighting. The enemy is on the other side.

Maybe the two-party system is good, but I certainly am not sold on it. For those of you who are Constitutionalists, who yearn for government closer to the Constitution, note that when the founding fathers drafted that document, they made no mention of political parties.

George Washington, in fact, had reservations about them.

Of all the problems our nation has -- the economy, health care, immigration, and so forth -- partisan politics is not the least of them. Consider the rancor and tell me if it is good. Consider that many take stands on issues simply on basis of whether the postion is that of the Democrats or that of the Republicans. Tell me if that is a good way to decide issues. Instead of thinking things through, simply siding with your team.

Well, I don't guess political parties are about to be done away with, but it wouldn't bother me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It is Loving to Offer Gays Hope

Feelings of attraction toward those of the same sex can be overcome, then. President Boyd K. Packer (president of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, that is) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is under attack for what he said in the church's General Conference, with one group calling for him to correct his stand, and with a protest being scheduled for Thursday at City Creek Park.
Oh, that those with same-sex attractions will recognize the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ love them. The Church issued a statement on President Packet's talk which noted the love and said there is no room for hatred or mistreatment of anyone. It said the Church's position on marriage is very clear and based on principles of truth.
Suggesting a person can overcome same-sex feelings is not a negative, but a positive thing to me. It offers hope that such feelings can be overcome. Those who feel it is a negative do so because they do not feel such feelings of attraction are wrong.
My view, as a candidate for office, is that such feelings can be overcome, and effort should be made to do so. I do not agree with those who call on President Packer to correct his position. If President Packer represents God -- and I am among those who say he does -- then asking him to correct his position is the same as asking God to correct his stand.
I do hope those who are gay will consider President Packer's comments, and perhaps conclude to try to overcome their same-sex feelings, and realize it is a loving thing to offer them that hope.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Supreme Court Friendlier to Religion

A little learning can do a man good, make him happy.

Tonight, learned the Supreme Court just these last few years has been more inclined to say, No, the Constitution doesn't say religion should be stripped from government, only that one religion should not be favored above another.

Now, in a world where some believe it wrong to pray in public, wrong to attach Christ to Christmas in public, and wrong to post the 10 Commandments in public parks . . . this is big, learning that the Supreme Court might be shifting the other way.

Was it just less than two months ago a circuit court rules those crosses along Utah highways, honoring fallen state troopers, needed to be taken off public property?

The Constitution doesn't come right out and say church and state shall be separate. It says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." To me, that has meant Congress is not to make laws on religion, but rather it is to take a hands-off approach.

But, it can be argued if that is what was meant, it should have said, "Congress shall make no law regarding" instead of "no law respecting." "Respecting" does leave it open for someone to say government shall not respect religion, shall not give an ear to religion, shall not consider the wants of religion.

But, the word "respecting" can be the same as "concerning," as in, "With respect to that, I would say . . ."

Well, from what I know, I don't think the word "respecting" is what has led to the confusion. I understand it is the word "establishment." "No law respecting an establishment of religion," is interpreted to mean religion shall not be established in any way or any form in our government, and thus it is not to have any part in our government, but is to be separated from it.

Those who feel this the correct interpretation could argue that if the Founding Fathers meant to keep Congress from passing any law affecting religion, they should have said, "Congress shall make no law respecting religion" instead of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

I believe perhaps when they wrote "an establishment of religion," the Founders were simply suggesting no law shall be passed picking on any individual denomination. This would not much change the meaning from what I suggested earlier, that Congress is to have a hands-off approach, for if you can't pick on one, you can't pick on the whole. You might be able to pass legislation about religion, but none of it could negatively affect religion.

And, it could also be argued the Founding Fathers should have written, "Congress shall make no law establishing religion" instead of "no law respecting an establishment of religion" if they meant to keep religion out.

To break the tie, if there even still be one, I would suggest considering the background of the Founders to understand what they meant to say. I do find it hard, knowing there were those of them who brought religion into government that they would be saying God was to be locked out.

George Washington, for example, said in his inauguration address something to the effect that he would be remiss to not acknowledge God.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Oppose Abortion and Euthanasia

Got an email from a person wanting my stand on five issues.

Abortion: I oppose abortion, save for when the life of the mother is in jeopardy or a competent doctor determines the baby would die, anyway. I haven't fully come to a conclusion on whether I think abortions should be allowed in cases of rape and incest, but tend towards allowing abortion in those situations.

Euthanasia: I oppose bringing death upon someone, even though that person may be suffering an incurable disease. So, I oppose euthanasia. I believe family members should make the decision on whether life support systems are removed, and a person is allowed to die from natural causes.

Stem-cell research: I am not versed enough in what stem cells are to come to a definite opinion. I am against anything that ends the possibility of something becoming life. So, if we allow the stem cell to continue onward, and it becomes a living thing, then I do not favor ending it, whether that is called killing or pre-killing or whatever. The argument we hear in favor of stem-cell research is that these are stem cells that are going to be discarded in labs anyway, and, yes, I agree with the line of reasoning that, then, it is better to use the stem cell for research than to just throw it away. I find myself wondering why the stem cell is being taken from the mother to begin with, why it is that it is even becoming available for research.

Human cloning: I am not prepared to take a stand on cloning.

Same-sex marriage: I oppose it. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. While homosexual relations are against what I believe, however, I believe in respecting the beliefs of those in these relations. I believe in treating them fairly and justly.