Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Health Insurance Debate

I’ve been listening to the Health Care debate (and not just passively listening) for months now. The "problems" that our leaders say they are attempting to fix are simply smoke screens. They say they are pushing to lower costs. This plan, if you look at any of the independent studies, will NOT reduce costs, but rather INCREASE them. Why are they purporting to lower costs then? It is an outright lie so that enough of us will buy into the plan to get it passed. They're telling us what we want to hear. If you listen to their words it sounds great. If you look behind the rhetoric and dig down to the substance of this debate you realize that cost was NEVER the issue. They simply want to make decisions FOR you, the American Citizen (and non-citizens for that matter, but that’s another debate…). It is another step towards tyranny; an all powerful central government making the decisions, not just about insurance, but about health care itself. Once they dictate coverage, they can deny payment to a cancer patient because the cost is too high for the mortality rate. Or they can mandate an abortion because the child will be born with severe birth defects or disease. Or they can refuse to give care to seniors because they have already passed their life expectancy and are no longer “productive members of society”; . This is exactly the thing that happens in other countries where a central government power makes the health care decisions on behalf of its people.

I’ve said it before. Anyone who believes that government controlled healthcare will be cheaper is either a fool, or has an agenda. These people most definitely have an agenda.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Grandpa

This week has caused me to pause and reflect on things more than I usually do. I find that so often I go about my day so caught up in what is going on that I don't stop to ponder. I think to a degree I've always been that way. It just seems that life can go a million miles an hour when you are working and raising a young family. Things come at you so fast that you don't take time to stop and ponder.

Since Grandpa Willis died this week I have made a greater effort to ponder. I have pondered on the memories that I have of him. There are so many things that I remember about my Grandpa, but probably the most potent memory is of his happy pleasant character. I don't think that I ever, in 26 years, saw my Grandpa upset or angry. He always had a smile on his face. I think I inherited much of that trait from him. I also inherited his unique laugh. If you knew Grandpa, you know what laugh I'm talking about. It is a very distinct chuckle, and he did it often. He would tell a joke, or see a grand baby do something silly and you'd hear his distinct "eheh, eheh". It wasn't roaring laughter, just a light chuckle, but it would always bring a smile to your face to hear him laugh.

Grandpa enjoyed life to the fullest. He enjoyed playing his harmonica, especially when grand kids were there to dance and play along. (and he was good at it...) He enjoyed his wood shop. I have a little wooden rocking horse (well, actually my mom has it now...) that he made for me when I was a little kid. He enjoyed serving the Lord. Grandpa and Grandma served several Full Time Missions. When I was thinking back on my memories of Grandpa, I realized that much of my younger "memory years" were when Grandpa and Grandma were on their missions. I remember looking forward to when they came home. They always had fun stories (and fun souvenirs) to share with us. He enjoyed good visits with family. I remember how as I kid when we'd go to Grandpa's house the boring adults would sit in the living room and talk. It was often a Gospel related discussion. They were boring and we'd go out in the woods and play. Then I remember a transition to when I looked forward to those living room chats. It was fun to sit and listen. Grandpa had a great understanding of and love for the Gospel. You could tell that he truly enjoyed the Gospel of Christ.

I hope I can enjoy life the way my Grandpa did. I'll always remember him with a smile on his face and with a smile on mine.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My new MAN toys...

Lately my wife and I have been talking about owning a gun. It is something we had decided was a good idea. We want our kids to be familiar with guns so they have a healthy respect for them. We've decided that it would also be a good preparedness item to have in the home. We looked at different calibers and makes and models, and finally decided on one. We'd gone down the the local sports store and held them and the one we liked the best is the Taurus 24/7 Pro in 9mm. They make the same gun in S&W .40 and in .45ACP, but we decided on the 9mm so that S~ is more comfortable shooting it (and she will have you know that the ammo is also cheaper...).

Well we found a website that was selling all of their guns at cost last week and when we realized that our gun was going to be about $150 under MSRP if we got it then, we jumped on it. Originally it was going to be a "later in the year" purchase. Like for my birthday or Christmas. You know how I am, though. I can't wait. Once I've decided that I want something, and the wife gives her approval on that certain something, I've gotta have it. (Of course it didn't help matters that we found a SCREAMIN' deal online.)

To make a long story short, we purchased the gun online and had it shipped to a local dealer. I didn't know that guns had to be shipped to a dealer. Well, it worked out pretty well. The local dealer only charged $10 to have the gun shipped to them and we pick it up there. (Most other places charge $20 or $25.) And, since it was an out of state purchase, there was no sales tax. That saved us some money too. All in all, after the gun purchase itself, the transfer fee, shipping, and the $7.50 for the Utah background check (which, by the way, is SUPER easy to deal with. You give them your driver's license and they call a number and your background check is done instantaneously over the phone. No waiting period. If you don't have any felonies or warrants our for your arrest, the gun is yours...) we ended up spending just shy of $350. (The purchase price of the gun was $307, normally $450. Not too shabby if you ask me!)

Well, my gun showed up on Friday and I got a chance to shoot it for the first time yesterday. It's BEAUTIFUL! I love it! It's got a rubber grip that's very comfortable to hold. It's pretty lightweight for a full 4" barrel, but still heavy enough to absorb most of the kick. I shot a full box of 100 rounds through it without a single failure to load or failure to eject. It handled wonderfully. Today my father-in-law helped me clean and oil it so it looks great too. I got a picture of it after we were all done. Isn't she pretty?

That's not all that I got this week, though. My father-in-law has an old Yamaha XT350 dirtbike that hasn't been ridden in years. It's been on the side of his house almost ever since I moved out here. I've ridden it once, but that was about 3 years ago. Well, I was talking to him last week and asked him what it would take to get it going. He hesitated and gave the impression that it was may not be worth fixing up. It has a couple of problems and he didn't want to put much money into it. He indicated that it should still run, though, and we proceeded to pull it out of the weeds and tried to fire it up.

Amazingly, it actually started (after some trouble). The battery was dead, so we jumped it with one of the cars. He had to kick the starter for about 15 minutes before it would do anything. When it did finally start we found that some critters had made their homes in it. There was D-con in the air filter box. After giving it some throttle a black thing shot out of the tailpipe. No, it wasn't a mouse, but it was a hornet's nest. It looked like it was probably from last year or so. At any rate, whatever was once there is gone now. I put a new battery in it and changed the oil and she runs pretty well. There's still one little issue that it has always had and we're going to see if we can fix it. When the bike gets up to 5 or 6000 RPMs it starts to stutter. It seems as though there isn't enough fuel getting into the carb. We're going to replace the spark plugs and do a couple of other routing maintenance things to it that have been neglected for a while and we'll see how she runs after that. Having a teenage son at home wasn't particularly good for this bike. It didn't get taken care of as well as it could have been. I haven't got a picture of my bike yet, but I do have a picture of someone else's from the net. Want to see it?

Mine doesn't look that cleaned up, but it will soon. The seat is cracking, but we're going to re-cover it. S~ is really good with that kind of stuff and we'll make it look pretty again.

I'm excited to have a bike. I've taken it out a couple of times this week, but today I brought it home. I've got some good trails out by the house, and I'll have more time to ride if I have it here, than when it was out at his house. It takes about 20 minutes to get there, so by the time you factor travel both ways, that's 40 minutes of riding time that is gone because you have to get to the bike. Now that it's here, I can ride whenever I want to.

I'll post some updates later on how I do with the gun and the bike. I'll do some target shooting this week and post the results. I'll also let you know how I fare on the trails. I know you are all DYING to know. ;) Mostly I just can't wait to enjoy my new-found MAN toys. It's nice to be grown up and have the fun things you've always wanted.

And thanks S~ for letting me play with my fun toys. I know I spend more time than you'd probably like, but you are so sweet about it. I love you!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Cute Baby

So I thought this was super funny. Both of my babies did this, but we just got a video of it today. Whenever I run baby's hands down my face, she giggles un-controllably. It's almost as if she's trying NOT to giggle, but something inside of her just can't stop. Cute stuff.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Holy Grail of Breakfast Cereals...

Yeah, yeah, I know it's been 2 months since my first post. So I'm a new blogger, so I never blog, so what? I'll be better, you'll see... Next time it will only be two weeks between posts... Or maybe not.

Anyway, we were walking down the grocery aisle last night when I saw it... The Holy Grail of Breakfast Cereals! Sweet marshmallowey goodness surrounded in scrumptous chocolate. How can you get better than Chololate Marshmallow Mateys!? They've got all the delicousness of cholate cocoa puffs, with the only part of marshmallow mateys that you actually eat... the Marshmallows! That's the two kings of the breakfast cereal world, rolled into one yummy bowl.

Unfortunately they only had the "Super Mega Humungus Gigantic (and extremely cost effective) Motherload Family Size". I picked it up and said, "Honey, if they have this in any sort of size that isn't rediculous, I'm getting it!" She laughed at me like, "Whatever," and I proceded to search the aisle for a smaller, less gargantuan, bag of my new favorite cereal (which I still had yet to taste). Well, like I said, (quoting above...) "they only had the "Super Mega Humungus Gigantic (and extremely cost effective) Motherload Family Size"." and I really wanted that stuff. Little did my wife know that my term for "rediculous" was a little different than hers. You see, my wife doesn't share the same passion for sugar in the morning as I do. Don't get me wrong, she can appreciate a good bowl of sugar coated sweetness, but she wansn't as mesmerized with this new purple bag as I was. I decided to just get the (here it comes again...) Super Mega Humungus Gigantic (and extremely cost effective) Motherload Family Size" bag.

Now here I am with a bag the size of California and the exciting job of being the sole individual who has to eat it in it's entirety. If i'm still eating Chocolate Marshmallow Mateys at Christmas, you'll all know why.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Religion & Politics...

With the upcoming election I've been listening a lot to Talk Radio lately. I don't know how many of you are ElRushbo listeners, but I've been thinking about something he said the other day. He had a caller on the program and they made reference to one of his previous comments. Rush believes, and often says, that Conservatism will always triumph when tried. The caller was asking why it appears that Conservatism isn't making much of a stand this election year. We have Hillary and Obama on one side, and McCain on the other. (Who many critisize of being way too far left wing.) There was Romney, but he closed his campaign, and then there is Huckabee but really, does he stand a chance at all? Especially now that Romney has endorsed McCain. Rush's reply was that there isn't a candidate on the ballot who can unite conservatives. He said that if there were a person who could unite all 3 facets of the conservative base, he would take the race... but we don't. So here we are, most of the way through the primaries and we have two strong left wingers on one side, and one moderate left winger on the other. Not looking too good for the conservative Republican base out there. Now there are arguments to McCain's conservativism, but mostly I wanted to use this to make a point.

As I have thought about the idea that Conservatism will always triumph when tried, another thought came to mind. I thought of what another wise conservative leader said. (Except this conservative leader happened to be a Prophet of God...) Joseph Smith said, "I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves." Take this on contrast to what Rush said. Rush believes that inherently Conservatism will always win. Now there is some truth to this. Good will ultimately win overall, but not in every battle in every society. We see many societies through the history of the world who have destroyed themselves because they strayed away from the principles of the Savior, Jesus Christ. You could say that they became too "liberal" in their view of the world, and the principles of the Gospel. They took the wisdom of men over the teachings of their Prophet of God. They strayed from the "conservative" principles of honesty, integrity, morality, etc... Once their society became so overcome with these "liberal" ideas that morality and honesty weren't that important, that whatever you want to do is ok, these ideas became their ultimate downfall. Their government crumbled because it was no longer held up on principles of righteousness, but rather, it was corrupted. Men who would seek power could change the government to suit their desires. Officials would look the other way when a crime was comitted if it was in their "best interests" in terms of staying in power. No longer was their government ruled by truth, honesty, integrity, and morality, but by deceit, greed, and lust for power. In other words, the people strayed from those "correct principles" needed to properly "govern themselves". Righteousness and "Conservatism" did not triumph in those societies because they did not allow it to do so. They abandoned principles of righteousness and did not teach their children to live righteously.

Our nation is in a very similar situation these days. We have many, even in our government, who would abandon those principles of honesty, interity, and especially morality, because it is in their "best interests". We aren't being politicaly correct if we disagree with a person's "sexual orientation" or decision to "live together" out of wedlock. These are personal choices and have nothing to do with "right and wrong". On the contrary, that's EXACTLY what they are. They are issues of right and wrong. We need to teach our children that Government should be and is founded on principles of righteousness. Morality isn't something to be taken lightly. It is not just a " good thing", but is absolutely critical to the survival of our government. What most of these "liberals" fail to recognize, is that our own constitution was founded on these same principles. If we abandon them, there is nothing left to hold up our government and it will crumble just like civilizaitons of old. Righteousness isn't optional, it isn't even just preferred, it is absolutely essential. We as a people need to make a stand for what we know is right. We, most of all, need to teach our children to be governed by principles of righteousness and not by the lusts of the flesh. The future of our nation, and our world, depends on it.