Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Obama on Daily Show

I suppose this just goes to show how much self-control I have, but I couldn't help myself. Here it is:

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The poop is flying, will it hit the fan?

A CNN story reports that Hillary Clinton has announced her bid for the Presidency.

Let me admit from the start that I do not know a thing about Hillary Clinton. Let me also begin with the premise that I do not believe that her husband's presidency should be an automatic, overshadowing factor in determining her own merit.

However, I do know this: if she is nominated, she will be a lightening rod for all that is considered by conservatives as ultra-liberal — whether it is true or not. In my mind, Hillary, is less likely to receive conservative votes than any other democratic presidential candidate.

My main concern is another Florida 2000. I'm happy that the nation overwhelmingly elected a democratic congress. One of the reasons is because it was a "clear win". The nation wanted to move left and we did. But, the last two presidential elections have been less decisive. I trust the people, and I want a unified nation who clearly selects one person. No more of this 51 - 49 stuff. I'd like to see a clear presidential win, like during the Bill Clinton years and the Reagan years. I think it will be good for the country.

I'll keep an open mind to Hillary, although, my heart goes to Obama, John Edwards and Mitt Romney. I love these three candidates. They rock my world. I'm equally split between them. I'm excited to see what will happen.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

100 Hours Update

During the past election House Democrats advertised a "100 hour" laundry list of legislation they intended to enact as soon as they took office. Now, with 57 hours left on the clock (I had thought they meant 100 hours total, but apparently they meant 100 working hours) they are announcing the fulfillment of their promise.

However the Legislation still needs to make its way through the Senate. How long it will take and in what form they will emerge is still up for debate (get it? Debate? Ahh... my jokes are lame). I must admit though, I wasn't sure if it was going to fully come through, and certainly not in the amount of time it took them.

Fox news (a seven letter "four letter" word for many, yet I read it none the less) has an article about it, as well as some criticism about how things are being handled. It can be found here.

Living together

As a member of the Church in good standing I do not believe that unmarried couples should be doing anything that would lead them to breaking God's law of chastity. President and Sister Clark's inspiring devotional spelled it out simply. I felt the Spirit's touch as I read their talk (I'm currently in Portland and I was unable to attend).

However the following story has me conflicted. In this situation, I do not believe government should be telling folks how to live, yet, I believe EVERYBODY, Latter-day Saint or not, should be chaste.

On the other hand, I believe N. Dakota has a right to do what they want. If they don't want unmarried couples living together than they can enact a law — I would hope that it goes to a general vote however. In this case, the citizens of that state definitely need a chance to weigh in.

Any thoughts?

At heart, I feel this law infringes on a person's basic right to make decisions about their own life. Also, I believe marriage is a purely religious institution and the secularization of it takes away from its importance. People shouldn't get married just because the law tells them they should. They should get married because of their love for each other and their love for God. I don't think God cares for a couple who gets married just to legally live together and then get divorced when they're done.

Perhaps the ideal situation is to have government stay out of things, and to have individual citizens, churches and communities work with each other to create societal contracts.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Apparently we're cowards.

I found an interesting comment made by an anonymous source here.

I'm going to make a huge leap and assume this anonymous comment was made by a BYU-Idaho student. I'm going to make an even bigger leap and say it was made by a College Republican. If those two leaps are true, my assertion is this: it is this sentiment that causes needless friction and unkindness in society — and it can be seen everywhere.

On a different, yet related note: debates.

No, the BYU-Idaho College Democrats have not debated the BYU-Idaho College Republicans. We've received one invitation from the CR's more than a year ago for a debate which we refused and have not received one since. The Scroll attempted to host a debate, but was unable to put together the logistics of one in time.

I have mixed feelings about having a debate. More than anything, I do not want to deter from the stated mission of BYU-Idaho. I feel an obviously partisan debate at an unofficially partisan university has a higher possibility of deterring from its' mission. Of course, under ideal circumstances, this would not happen, ideally it would be an educational discussion worthy of an audience seeking an academic experience. However, and correct me if I'm wrong, I believe the more likely outcome is that it could become a contentious argument. I don't like that.

Nearly a year ago, I would have been completely against a debate. Today, under certain circumstances, I would be completely for a debate. But then again, it's not really up to me anymore.

To me, BYU-Idaho, with it's moral atmosphere and friendly spirit, has always been an ideal testing ground — to see if two fundamentally different political ideals can work together to produce something great. I'm not certain a debate could move us in this direction.

FISA takes action

As reported in 2006, the Bush administration secretly began monitoring both domestic and international phone calls under the terrorist threat rationale. This monitoring has been taking place, until recently, without warrants issued or court approval.

The Associated Press reported today that phone monitoring will now be monitored by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

What disturbs me is that the Bush Administration "gave" the power to the courts. Does this mean the Executive Branch can also "take away" that power? Can anyone shed some light on this?

I understand that in a democracy, there must be an inherent amount of trust — but to what extent? To me, the checks and balances created be the framers of the constitution, is a principle that must be preserved at all cost. Is this phone monitoring business another example of the Executive and Judicial branches becoming close bedfellows? Thoughts?

Monday, January 08, 2007

The state of things, part: 2

Previously, I wrote about a select few problems that the BYU-Idaho College Democrats need to overcome. Now, I offer a few solutions.

First, I believe the College Dems MUST be more bold. That is, they must be more forward and proactive about creating and advertising their solutions to the state's and country's problems.

Thus far, we have struggled to exist and be accepted. Now, forget about being accepted and simply show that we have a REASON to exist. I believe the BYU-I populace has just accepted and forgotten our existence, now we need to make sure that we are visible at all times. I suggest a week by week issue campaign. A different issue for every week. We should be so consistent that people begin to ask, "I wonder what the Dems are advertising this week."

I'm talking posters, flyers, discussions etc. Every week until the end of the semester should have a theme, and that theme should be executed to its fullest. We must be bold.

Second, I think we should bring things down a notch. We need to educate students and tell them why things are the way they are, how things will be and how things should be. Talk of national politics and world affairs is important, but if it doesn't mean anything to the casual voter it won't stick with them. Students have plenty to worry about, when we deliver a message, it needs to be simple, it needs to have urgency and it needs to encourage an action.

Lastly, I think it's time to start charging dues. I don't want to get into the details of how to do it, but I will say why:
  1. We need to put value on being a Democrat.
  2. It could cause members to feel that they are contributing to something good.
  3. It will help pay for expenses.
  4. It could increase commitment.
These are just a few solutions I had. What are your thoughts? Good spirited comments only please.

First Meeting of the Year!

The first meeting of the Winter Semester will be this Wednesday, 7:00 in the MC 320!

We will be conducting some minor business issues, and then be having an ideological compass activity. Bring yourself and a friend!