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According to one columnist, I am.  You probably are too.

“Rush to retire early is selfish, unpatriotic” by Andrew L. Yarrow appeared in the Deseret News on Sunday.

According to Mr. Yarrow it is also “wrong, in general, with retiring at 55, 62 or even 65. I would go so far as to call it profoundly selfish and unpatriotic”.   The idea is for all of the working people of this country to continue working to older ages so that you are more productive, creating more tax revenue and taking less social security benefits to turn back the tide of the federal deficit.

From the article:

However, if Americans retired later, either staying in their current jobs or taking up “encore careers” — what Marc Freedman of Civic Ventures calls do-good, later-life jobs — we significantly could slow the growth of our multitrillion-dollar national debt, which largely is driven by rising Medicare and Social Security costs (as the latest Social Security trustees’ report makes abundantly clear). We also could keep more people in a labor force that no longer would be growing appreciably if not for immigrants. . .

However, since most Americans are much healthier at 60 or 65 than their grandparents were, we should be able to work longer. Few 62-year-olds in our youth-obsessed culture would want to be called “old.” Yet three-fourths of 62-year-olds draw benefits from Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance — otherwise known as Social Security. No wonder that the Urban Institute’s C. Eugene Steuerle calls Social Security a “middle-aged retirement program.”

For individuals, working longer can mean more income and savings and something to bequeath to one’s children. For the nation, if millions of us worked until 67 instead of 62, Americans’ wealth and consumption would increase appreciably, fueling stronger economic growth. That added income would provide about $800 billion in additional tax revenue and reduce government benefit costs by at least $100 billion in 2045, according to Urban Institute calculations. This alone would cut the projected deficit in 2045 by 159 percent.

Emphasis added.  One part that doesn’t make sense to me is, if you cut a deficit by more than 100% wouldn’t that make it a surplus?  Maybe I don’t get it.  Mr. Yarrow also has a new book out.

Is this a dark-side of the famous statement from President John F. Kennedy?  “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country“.

Mr. Yarrow looks with horror on people making decisions that make them happy because it won’t stop a projected train wreck more than 35 years in the future.  Some economists claim that our future obligations for Medicare and Social Security in 2050 have already bankrupted the country, that all of the land, buildings, and everything in the United States will not be sufficient to meet the financial obligations of the future.

When a socialist solution to societal problems has worked out so poorly already and has a terrible track record it makes no sense to continue down that path by asking for more socialist behavior and solutions.

How about we just stop spending so much?  It is difficult, but non-socialist solutions have worked in the past and can work well into the future as well.

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So I got elected to be a delegate to the State Convention this year.  It is an interesting experience to see how the party is run from the inside (sort of).  Without being One Of The Powers That Be, it is very hard to see just why the party does what it does.  I suspect some of the party bosses feel like this.

If you feel like getting involved in your choice of political party a good place to start is at the county and state conventions.  Here are just a few of them.  They are open to the public but if you are not a delegate you will not be able to vote.   Some of the listed locations are a little vague and were even slightly difficult to find on the political party’s web pages, almost as if the parties don’t want the public to attend them or something.

Salt Lake County Democratic Convention, Saturday April 26 @ 8:00 AM Jordan High School.

Utah State County Democratic Party Convention, Fri.-Sat. May 9-10 at the Cal Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center.

Other Democratic Party County Conventions are listed here.

Salt Lake County Republican Convention, Saturday, May 3, 2008 @ 8:00 AM South Towne Expo Center.

Utah State Republican Party Convention, Saturday May 10, at Utah Valley State College.

Other Republican Party County Conventions are listed here.

The Constitution Party has a State Convention on April 19 at the Salt Lake County Council Chambers.  More details about the event and county conventions are here.

The Libertarian Party has a four hour scheduled State Convention on April 19, at the Sandy Library.  Super Dell is also running for Governor for the Libertarian Party.

You may find them long and boring, but at least it is somewhat educational as far as explaining why more people are not involved in politics.  Most of them are on Saturdays and take a lot of time that most people don’t really have.

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Note: Murder is bad, worse than homosexual acts and worse than sexual harassment.

In the Deseret News Sunday:

Gay student’s killing sparks cries for tolerance programs

By Greg Risling
Associated Press
Published: March 30, 2008
OXNARD, Calif. — Larry King was a gay eighth-grader who used to come to school in makeup, high heels and earrings. And when the other boys made fun of him, he would boldly tease them right back by flirting with them.

Emphasis added. Larry King (no, not that one) is now dead. One of his classmates killed him.  From the story: “[p]olice would not discuss [Brandon] McInerney’s motive. But the day before the shooting, King told McInerney he liked him.”

Just in case you were wondering how Mr. Risling felt about the sexual harassment of Brandon, he makes it clear one more time “Students at E.O. Green Junior High said the other kids used to taunt King, call him names and throw wet paper towels at him in the boys’ restroom, and he would bravely fire back by flirting with them and chasing them.”

Sexual Harassment is in part defined as “unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when [it] . . . creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment.”  If Brandon was contemplating the murder of Larry, it was a hostile or offensive learning environment.  It is hard to argue that Mr. Risling did not have an agenda in writing a news article and he chose his words accordingly.

“The shooting has galvanized Oxnard, a city of nearly 200,000 people about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Several vigils for King have been held, including a march that drew about 1,000 people to this strawberry-growing section of Ventura County.” It sounds as if the most attended event was the march where less than one-half of one percent of the city of nearly 200,000 showed up for it. “Galvanized” indeed.

Mr. Risling also compared the murder to the murders of Matthew Shepard and Brandon Teena.   Matthew Shepard was purposely targeted for a robbery because he was gay.  The perpetrators pretended to be gay and evidence indicates that Matthew did not approach either of his attackers in a sexual way.  The final lethal injuries were administered likely because Matthew was coherent enough to read the license plate on the getaway truck after the severe beating he had already received.  Brandon Teena was a pre-op transsexual woman (wanted to be a man) who was already happy in a relationship (with a woman) and made acquaintances with two ex-cons that learned her secret then raped her and after she filed a police report killed her.  Neither of these situations are much like Larry King’s.  Larry King was an eighth grader who was getting teased for dressing like a girl and one thing eighth grade boys do whether you are gay or not is call each other “fag”.  Larry King was flirting with the boys that teased him and one of them severely overreacted and killed him.  There was nothing brave or heroic about Larry King’s actions prior to his death.

A quote from Ellen DeGeneres was also used in the column “Comic Ellen DeGeneres, who is a lesbian, said on her talk show Feb. 28: ‘Larry was not a second-class citizen. I’m not a second-class citizen. It is OK if you are gay.'” Glad to have that cleared up.

It is sad that Larry King was killed, but matters were not helped by the environment of his school either. It appears that Larry liked to wear women’s accessories with his school uniform such as makeup, high heels, and earrings.  Somehow the administration of the school probably made things even worse. According to Jerry Dannenberg, superintendent of Hueneme School District “‘If girls are wearing jewelry, you can’t stop boys from wearing it, too,’ he said. ‘Each gender has the right to wear what the other does.'” This is lunacy and does nothing to preserve an orderly learning environment. The school has uniforms, but then the boys can wear makeup, high heels, and earrings? It really defeats the purpose of having a uniform if the boys can wear such disruptive things.

It is hard to imagine what Brandon McInerney thought the positive outcome of the shooting would be or why he chose to resolve the problem in this way. Brandon is now facing life in jail with an enhancement for a hate crime. While Brandon was in the wrong, there was nothing heroic or brave about Larry King sexually harassing in retaliation for teasing. It was stupid and wrong. Responding with murder was even worse.

This is a sad event for everyone involved, Brandon will probably go to jail for the murder and Larry is dead.  It was bad for this to happen but why can’t a NEWS agency at least write about it in a more dispassionate way?  Writing the story as advocacy for the gay agenda does two things: 1- it further disparages an accused murderer whose crime is bad enough on its’ own and 2- it tries to make a hero of an immature kid that was sexually harassing his classmates in retaliation for teasing.  As news consumers we definitely deserve better.

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It all started with this delightful cartoon.

Lemmings do not really run off a cliff and commit mass suicide. This false idea was perpetuated at least in part by a Disney film, “White Wilderness“. After much investigation it was determined that the lemmings were not jumping, but they were pushed. It was filmed over the space of three years and for some reason the film makers thought it would be a good idea to have them plunge to their doom where they would have to swim until they get too tired and die. “Due to their association with this odd behaviour, [sic] lemming suicide is a frequently-used metaphor in reference to people who go along unquestioningly with popular opinion, with potentially dangerous or fatal consequences.” Lemmings is also a sort of fun game too.

There are too many people who are not paying attention to politics and merely vote along party lines. The problem is that the parties don’t often represent what they say they represent. The Utah Republican Party has a good platform with many principles of freedom and liberty embedded within it. The problem is that too few of the elected officials actually follow the party platform. There are too many elected officials love their elected office more than they love doing the right thing.

The problem with all of this is that the voters still continue to follow the party blindly. It is very disappointing really. There are many Republicans that are not impressed that John McCain will be the nominee. It is sad that of all the talented and capable people who could run for elected office that John McCain is the best the Republican Party can come up with. Same thing goes for Obama and Clinton.

When it comes to election day, there is sometimes a strong urge to hold your nose and vote for your party because at least it is better than the alternative. Some people call it the lesser of two evils, but it is still choosing evil. Maybe another way of looking at it is calling it the evil of two lessers.

People need to quit settling for the choices we are given by our political parties. There is no requirement for people to vote for the two main candidates. There are third parties and other ways to improve the quality of the elected officials. As painful as it may be, people can vote against all of the incumbents on the ticket, or refuse to donate money to the party, or work from inside the party to change the system for the party.

Please don’t just continue to vote for candidates because you think your vote will be wasted, or because the other candidate will win, or because the party tells you to vote for them.  If people quit following the parties, they will lose power and influence.  Vote how you really feel about it.  Things will begin to change.

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About 11 days ago I wrote in defense of a convicted attempted murderer now charged with murder because his victim died forty years later.  Today I am writing in defense of an admitted adulterer.

First of all, adultery is a sin and will land a person in Hell if they don’t repent.   As a member of the LDS faith Adultery will often cost you your membership via ex-communication.  Adultery is a serious and a breach of a very sacred trust in marriage.  It is a crime against marriage and a sin, but not a crime against the state.  There are seven groups responsible for a propely ordered society.  Government, Religion, Family, Community, Education, Media and Business.  It is reasonable to split Government into State, Federal, and Local for this analysis.  The proper actors in handling Gov. Spitzer’s bad acts are the State Government, Family, Community, Media, and Religion.

Former Governor Elliot Spitzer resigned today after details of his use of prostitutes was made public.  Gov. Spitzer was under threat of impeachment and news of his announced resignation last week led to champagne popping in both Albany (by Republican politicians) and on Wall Street in NYC (by stock traders and executives who once faced scrutiny when Gov. Spitzer was Attorney General).

It appears that Gov. Spitzer went to a lot of trouble trying to keep his adultery a secret.  He had the prostitute meet him in Washington D.C., paid money to a shell front corporation for the services, and broke up the transactions into amounts of less than $10,000 to avoid the automatic notice of a large transaction to the IRS called a “currency transaction report”.  These actions violated Federal statutes known as the Mann Act (transporting across state lines for immoral purposes), money laundering (paying to a shall corporation to hide where the money was going) and structuring (by breaking up the transactions into amounts less than $10,000).

It turns out that Gov. Spitzer may have broke open the investigation into himself.  He had the money wired in separate transactions of less than $10,000 and then asked his bank to remove his name from the transactions.  The bank said no and then filed a “Suspicious Activity Report” because of the structured transactions.  The bank was apparently required to do this by law and according to a source for Newsday: “The bank did the right thing[.]”  The bank’s report was then noticed by the IRS and then was forwarded to the FBI for further investigation.  After 5,000 wiretapped phone conversations and 6,000 intercepted emails, it was determined that there was a prostitution ring.  In fairness, it is possible that the FBI may have uncovered corruption, bribery, drug dealing, blackmail, or any other number of activities these laws were designed to catch.  Once it was apparent that they found a guy cheating on his wife, criminal charges should not be filed.

Gov. Spitzer is already in trouble with his wife and family and he will have to handle that.  If he is religious, he will have to face sanctions from that group.  The media has already put pressure on him too.  The State Government has already acted to remove Gov. Spitzer by threatening to impeach him if he did not resign and Gov. Spitzer resigned.  Of course Gov. Spitzer should have resigned because as Governor it was a position of public trust and if he would violate the most important of promises to his wife he is not fit to be Governor of a state.

The party that should be out of the loop is the Federal Government.  Instead of staying out of it, they are currently working to put him in prison for a few years for violating laws that should not be illegal.  “Structuring”?!?  The laws required banks to disclose transactions of more than $10,000 to the IRS and if a person tries to get around that reporting requirement by having smaller transactions, it should not be a crime.  [Banking institutions should not be required to report transactions of $10,000 or more either.]  Money Laundering is generally for drug dealers and terrorists but it also should not be illegal.  There are so many problems with the criminal code in the United States.

The Mann Act is a little different.  There were concerns about possible prostitution rings and slavery related to the prostitutes and the interstate transfer of the women.  The flesh trade so to speak.  This law was designed to combat that.  The law would be greatly improved if the act that is illegal was the unwilling transport of a person across state lines for immoral purposes.  Oh wait, it appears that would already be covered under the Federal Kidnapping Act.  So the Mann Act is also unnecessary.

Gov. Spitzer is a victim too.  Victims can be victimized too.

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