Thursday, December 28, 2006

President Ford is dead.

What will be his legacy? Is it, as the media says, one of healing the nation after Watergate? Not being a big history buff, and certainly not being one who paid as much attention to Ford as I could have, I would have to say that certainly seems to be his legacy, at least according to the "liberal media".

However, I don't know if I agree with the assessment that he healed the nation, or at least helped heal the nation. A few things stick out in my mind when I think of this healing that apparently took place. One is a comment I read on a liberal blog, wherein the person commented that you can't heal something that hasn't been cleansed. The cleansing that never took place was Nixon accounting for his decisions, at least accounting for them by serving time.

When I was in Young Women's, I remember reciting the Young Women's values. One of which was choice and accountability. I don't think the Church, or Christ, intends for our accountability to be the most minimum we can get away with. I think accountability means accounting for it in the fullest possible way. This didn't occur because Ford pardoned Nixon. Which brings me to the next thing that crosses my mind when I think of Ford's legacy...

I was at my dad's house last night for dinner. Keep in mind my dad is a Republican. Solid Republican. He said Nixon belonged in prison and should've gone to prison. It was said in one article I read that Ford pardoning Nixon cost Ford the election.

Now before everyone gets to thinking that I despise Ford and Nixon, let me state that I wasn't alive during this difficult period in America's history. Let me also state that I do not possess any psychic abilities. I cannot say that had Ford not pardoned Nixon and Nixon went to prison if this country would have been better off. Perhaps pardoning Nixon was the best thing for this country. I don't know. Is any of this making any sense?!?

Let me end by saying that what President Ford did as President, aside from pardoning Nixon, was what this country needed. What was it exactly? It was not being Nixon! Though Nixon did some good things as President, which is a whole other topic for another post.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I wanted to post a link to my new blog. I hope everyone stops by and posts some comments. Any feedback is deeply appreciated!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

First Moves?

I posted my thoughts about the election results and a few people were surprised I was so horrified. Let me state again that I am more than pleased with how Democrats did nationally, but I am still sickened with the statewide results.

BYUI Dems blog commenter jamesp, wanted proof that Tom Luna was going to single handedly destroy public education in Idaho. I can't provide that proof and if I had that proof available, I would have shared it with everyone who would listen to ensure Luna wouldn't win the election. My opinion is still that Tom Luna will be a disaster for public schools and will seek to undermine public schools, but let me share some type of proof, in my opinion, that might lend credence to my opinion.

I would like to give thanks to the Royal Mountain Valice's blog for sharing some information about some of Luna's first moves as incoming Superintendent:

"The incoming superintendent, Tom Luna, has begun the process of restructuring the Department by firing 19 top level administrators, including key Bureau Chiefs and Coordinators. In addition to the 19, 8 more have resigned. Outgoing Superintendent Marilyn Howard identified the 27 in a memo sent out Monday to Idaho Superintendents, Principals, Business Managers, Charter School Directors, Title I Directors, Special Education Directors, Testing Coordinators and Technology Coordinators. According to Howard, this is just the 'first wave of firings.'"

Lastly, I would like to publicly announce my intentions to start my own personal blog that will be politically centered though not solely about politics. I still would like to blog here, if I am allowed, but would like the freedom to venture into other subjects. Thank you!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The state of things, part 1

It's been awhile since I've had anything to say. After November 7th, I had a lot of thinking to do and I so a took a personal sabbatical from the political world. I figured, if I want to say things intelligibly, I had better make sure that I've got things together before I say them.

I was both delighted and saddened by the events of Nov. 7. I was delighted that on the federal level, liberals were able to take control of congress. I was saddened to watch Idaho elect such strange candidates.

However, I see no point in anymore brooding -- it's time to move on.

Here are the state of things: the BYU-Idaho College Democrats are weak.

It pains me to to say it, but it's true. When I first started all of this, my intention was to usher in a new political utopia at BYU-I. Despite what my actions and mistakes may have said, my intention was to see what a two party system on a campus with BYU-I's demographic would be like. Here's what I was hoping:
  1. I hoped that at BYU-I, students would be able to be different than the world when approaching politics. It appears to me, that many view politics as useless, corrupt and dirty. I hoped that by virtue of the applied faith at BYU-I that it would be different. What I found was this: if it was different, it was manifested with apathy. Otherwise, it was politics as usual.
  2. I hoped to make friends of the BYU-I College Republicans. Through a series of mistakes by both groups, this hasn't happened. I envisioned friendly debate, I envisioned cooperation, I envisioned bi-partisanship, I wanted pure intelligence.
  3. I wanted to extinguish the apathy I believe was caused by the the lack of political diversity.
None of these things have happened to my satisfaction. Granted, we are only a little more than a year old, but our foundation is weak and I continue to see more and more cracks forming.

Here are the reasons I believe this has happened:
  1. While we are Democrats, and we are liberal, we are not gay baby killers. We have not convinced anyone of this.
  2. My strength of will has snuffed out potential leaders. Thus far, I have been the force keeping the College Democrats together. This isn't acceptable, and it shows just how weak we are. I wonder sometimes what would happen to the College Democrats if I disappeared. While this comment seems egotistical in nature, I have yet to see evidence of the same commitment from any other College Democrat, with the exception of a few, and I mean a few.
  3. We are lazy. I KNOW there are many like minded students on campus. Yet, we have been unable to inspire those students to participate. This is our greatest weakness. There is no point in having a political party without support from it's members.
I still have hope that these things will improve, but I will address solutions in another post. I'd like to change gears and address something different.

I believe both parties have failed America, both have deceived in a myriad of ways it's members, and that there is a changing tide.

I spurn anyone who has blind allegiance to their party. I personally could never be a zealot for the Democratic party. I am a free thinker, I don't believe either party has all of the answers or the resources to come up with those answers. I don't believe the barrage of rhetoric and promises that come from both parties and I'm amazed at how many people fall for either party's propaganda -- myself included to some extent.

Blake, if you believe that the Democratic Party could use someone of your conservative persuasion, I hope they don't kick you out. While I'm confident that the BYU-I College Democrats will fully accept you and listen to you, I'm not certain of your future on the national scale -- if you seek that. You are a true conservative and I respect that. I believe and hope that you can have great positive influence on the Democratic Party, I just hope the Democratic Party can deal with you.

With my experience in this past campaign, my conservative leanings were met with intelligent consideration from the Brady for Idaho campaign. I hope that this attitude is being infused into the National Party. In this past election period, a whole slew of "conservative Democrats" were elected to Congress. This tells me that perhaps the National Party has realized that they cannot hope to have influence while also exclusively catering to the far-left. I wish the Republican Party would quit wooing the neocons.

Let me wrap up this boring blog. Blake, you have a great mind. You are moral and you are realistic. In my opinion, if you want a safe political career, you should follow Joe's advice. But be prepared to be passed over as many paleocons have been.

I'm not saying that you have an opportunity to make the Democratic Party conservative. I don't want you to. But, there are a variety of issues where the Dems could be more effective by being more conservative one those issues. Lastly, I now believe that one of the biggest myths is that issues are either left or right. The truth is, the vast majority of issues are neither liberal nor conservative.

Just food for thought... could be junk food though.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Random Sampling From My Brain

First I must apologize for the long delay in my posting but I've been overwhelmed with personal things, work, and school. While politics hasn't been in the forefront of my mind, it has certainly been on my mind. It just wouldn't be a normal day if I didn't visit some of my favorite liberal Idaho blogs and visit DU. With that in mind I present a random sampling of what's been on my mind!

I did a class presentation on presidential scandals. I chose the topic, so does my topic choice mean I am just a dumb American who is too intrigued by the scandalous behavior of our elected leaders and not concerned enough with really important matters? Nah. The topic was more than the details of Watergate, Whitewater, Iran-Contra, and Monica Lewinsky. It included some statistical tests that predicted the chance of a presidential scandal occuring and what conditions need to be present for it to occur. It was fascinating!

I think many of us are waiting to see how the situation with Senator Johnson's health plays out. My best goes out to him and his family. The situation certainly brings to light the idea of a Governor choosing a replacement when a Senator, or other elected official, has to resign. To me it can fly in the face of the will of the people, but I am not just saying this because the Governor of South Dakota is a Republican. I don't know that there are many other options that would seek to fulfill the will of the people in a timely and fair fashion.

I was born and raised in the Seattle area and my hometown is currently without power. All 90,000+ citizens in the entire city, plus approximately 1,000,000 more. My mom had to call me to pay her house payments earlier today and had me check a few websites to see when they will get their power back. While perusing the Seattle Times website I came across a story about the Governor of Washington, Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, seeking to put a cap on the tuition increases at Washington colleges. Living in Idaho, I forget that some states are fortunate enough to have Governor's who do something about the increasing costs of attending college. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a quote from a Washington Republican legislator who said Governor Gregoire wasn't doing enough to keep college affordable for Washingtonians. WOW!

Which reminds me of a program Washington has that every state should have, Running Start. In Washington, you can attend a participating community college for free as a high school junior and/or senior. I say "participating" because I can't be sure every community college participates. You basically pay for a parking permit, if needed, and books and supplies, if needed. You pay no tuition, no fees, nothing. I knew a few classmates who graduated with their Associate's degree while simulaneously graduating with their high school diploma. I only took a few courses as a senior but it was a worthwhile experience that gave me a head start when I started at Ricks College. Certainly Idaho could benefit from such a program, though there is no statewide community college system, the state could send students to ISU, BSU, EITC, UofI, etc...

Tom Luna, the recently elected State Superintendent of Public Schools in Idaho, has gotten into trouble for lying on his resume. He will also fire 20 employees at the State Department of Education. No comment!

Lastly, I was again pleasantly surprised to see Nancy Pelosi selected as the most fascinating person of 2006. You may disagree with her politics, but you must admit that what she has accomplished and will accomplish is noteworthy and fascinating.

Wait, I can't end without admitting something. I recently discovered Arrested Development, the genius show that was cancelled by Fox. If you have satellite tv, you can catch daily reruns of this brilliant show on the G4 channel.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Still My Hero

One of the candidates who ran this year is a personal and professional hero of mine. Personal because she exudes so many of the qualities I desire to have as a woman and human being, and professional because she has not only been successful in her career, but has made things better through her actions. I don't just want a career, I want to leave the world better because of what I have been able to do in my career and personal life-I want to leave my mark in this world.

I saw my hero yesterday (the first time since the election) and she looked positively amazing. I don't know why this surprised me, she is the type of person who, when she falls, gets back up and keeps pressing forward. But let me state that I don't believe she fell, she was pushed down because voters chose a lesser candidate. But still, she had clearly brushed herself off and continued her ways. I also learned that I was right when I assumed that the type of person she was on the campaign trail was the type of person she was all of the time; kind, concerned for others, selfless, intelligent, and so many other great things. She leaves me in awe that one person possesses all that is good in society!

I guess what I might be trying to say is that sometimes we focus on the negatives in politics and in politicians. We, often times, only remember the Tom Delay's, the Watergate's, etc...and forget there are people, like Jana Jones, who represent traits and demonstrate actions that are not only admirable but desperately needed in this world.

You are still my hero, Jana.