Washington Post And Readers Seize Opportunity to Show Their Colors

A Washington Post headline, on March 3, 2011, read “Frederick official’s comment that a woman’s place is in the home creates uproar.” I read the article, and some of the hundreds of comments on the article. What I found, and what I did not find, was very interesting. What I found was a lot of name calling (“hate speech” as the left likes to call it) directed towards Frederick County Commissioners Paul Smith and Kirby Delauter. But what I did not find was the quote from the Frederick officials where they said a woman’s place is in the home, nor exactly what Smith and Delauter said to set off the so-called controversy.

According to the Post, Mr. Smith “told a TV station and intimated at a public hearing before voting to slash half the funding for the county’s Head Start program, [that] a woman’s place is in the home” (emphasis added). So in stead of relying what what a Washington Post reporter thinks Mr. Smith implied, I decided to see what he told the TV station and I also dug up the transcript from the public hearing on Head Start to read exactly what Smith and Delauter said that started this uproar. I hope you find this as enlightening as I did.

Public Hearing on Head Start

According to the Frederick News Post, this is what Paul Smith said in a February 8, 2011 Commissioner’s meeting:

“I am very sensitive to the importance of the 3- and 4-year-old age for children … and there’s no question that our community needs to continue to be committed in this area and watch out for and help the families. I think it’s … very significant that we did make this … marriage week announcement today because that is the best long-term … way to help our children, as marriage is strengthened in our community … because, I mean, I know — as many of you know — I had a lot of kids … and my wife stayed home — a significant sacrifice — during those early years, because she knew she had to be with those kids at that critical age, and I know everybody isn’t able to survive doing that, but clearly … as we can strengthen marriage we can decrease the children that we [the governement] have to reach, and I think the best approach … ultimately, will be through the private sector, churches.”

Mr. Smith went on to talk about the electoral mandate from the fall of 2010 to get spending under control and to not raise taxes. He further talked about the need for the public to wean themselves from entitlement programs like Head Start and the need for families, churches, and the private sector to step up in their place. Read the full transcript from Feb. 8 Commissioner’s meeting on the Frederick News Post website. Mr. Delauter  agreed with Mr. Smith and added:

“I do think the private sector’s got to take up some of the slack. We … ran on the platform like Commissioner Smith said: no new taxes, no tax increases. That was a mandate. … We’ve been very clear that we take that seriously. Again, my wife, college-educated, could go out and get a very good job. She gave that up for 18 years so she could stay home with our kids. We gave up a lot to do that. … I agree again with Commissioner Smith: The marriage thing is very important. I mean, the education of your kids starts at home, OK. I never relied on anyone else to guarantee the education of my kids. … So, again, the (Head Start) program’s not going away. Will it be affected? That’s possible. Will the quality be affected? That’s possible, but with the budget that we’ve been dealt — and we knew that coming in; that’s what we ran on; that’s what we talked about all through the campaign — but the cards we’ve been dealt — we have to deal with that, and raising taxes on people that don’t have work is not an option. So we’ve got to start living more within our means.”

Nothing from Smith and Delauter’s seems as incendiary as The Washington Post makes it out to seem. And in fact, the bulk of Smith and Delauter’s comments were regarding fiscal responsibility, rather than women’s, mother’s, and family responsibilities. One thing is clear though, contrary to the Post’s assertion, Mr. Smith never said a woman’s place is in the home. According to ABC 7 News in the Washington D.C. area, Mr. Smith did say that a mother’s primary responsibility is the care and nurture of her children (see ABC 7’s video: Comments spark vigil in Frederick.) But, perhaps this distinction between a woman’s role and a mother’s role will do little to appease Mr. Smith’s detractors.

More Common Ground Than You Think

Few people would disagree that stronger marriages and families is one of the best thing we can do for children. Few people would disagree that a mother of small children has as her first and primary responsibility to care for those kids and provide the best home life possible. And I hope there would not be many people that would argue with the premise that a child’s mother, without discounting the role of the father, is the ideal person to provide that love, nurture, and education early in life. Of course that ideal will not always be achieved, due to various circumstances in life, but just because the ideal cannot always be achieved doesn’t change the fact that it is ideal.

Washington Post and Readers Show Their True Colors

Of course, rather than focusing on this common ground, the Washington Post and ABC 7, for the sake of sensational news and perhaps due to other motives, have portrayed the comments of Mr. Smith and Mr. Delauter as incendiary and provocative. Instead of quoting Mr. Smith and giving the story proper context, the Washington Post intimates and implies things that aren’t true in order to satisfy their own agenda, which appears to be to portray Republicans and Christians as backwards and evil.

Well, based on the comments of the Washington Post readership (below), to a large extent, they have succeeded. But in the process, the Post and their friends on the liberal left, have shown their true colors. They are deceptive, mean-spirited, and intolerant of other people’s views. Here is a sampling of the things Washington Post readers are saying about Smith and Delauter. They…

  • Want women to be “household slaves”
  • Want “Sharia Law in the USA”
  • Are “like the Taliban”
  • “Should be put into a home”
  • “Pretend to be pro-family”
  • Are “anti-education”
  • Want a “theocracy like Iran”
  • Are “un-Christian”
  • “Never had to struggle for anything”
  • Should “leave the religion at home”
  • “Don’t belong holding public office”
  • Are “trashy”, “stupid”, “Rednecks”, “idiots”, “Crackpots”, “schmucks”, “morons”, “religious nutcakes”, “fools”, “religious extremists”, and “ignorant.”

All this comes from the kind-hearted, always tolerant left-wing liberals in this country. Perhaps with this additional light shed on subject, those people will reach out and apologize to Mr. Smith and Mr. Delauter. But I’m not holding my breath.

Protect Insurance Companies PSA: Hollywood Mocks, Jimmy Responds

psa There is a video making its way around the Internet in which Hollywood actors, including Will Ferrell, mock and ridicule those in opposition to President Obama’s health care reforms.  They take particular aim at private health insurance companies as they advocate a public, tax-dollar-subsidized, health insurance plan.  My wife came across this video and asked for my take on it, so I thought I’d share my opinion with all of you.

Check Your Sources

First of all, be aware of where the news is coming from.  This video is being distributed by MoveOn.org, an organization formed during Bill Clinton’s presidency.  Their organization’s main premise was that the country needed to “move on” and forget about the president having sex in the oval office with a 21 year old intern, that the president’s private behavior in cheating on his wife was not the concern of the American people.  MoveOn.org is also well know for calling General Petraeus General Betray Us in a 2007 full-page ad in the New York Times.  MoveOn.org is an extreme left-wing organization, and the mere fact that they are distributing this video ought to raise red flags.

Premise of Video Completely Wrong

The premise of the video is that private health insurance companies are evil and do not look out for the needs of their customers and only are out to try to make themselves wealthy.  While there are no doubt individuals in insurance companies, and all walks of business life, that are selfish and greedy, the indictment that all insurances are this way is patently false.  Insurance companies provide a service that most Americans find valuable.  And to criminalize private health insurance the way these Hollywood figures do and they way Canada has done, has proven to lead to fewer options, and poorer health care service.  See this story about a Canadian woman who was waiting for two years to have surgery before she finally drove across the border to Montana and got the surgery done in two days.

Most Americans Disagree with Hollywood Elites

The fact of the matter is that 80% Americans are happy with their current health insurance.  In fact, polls show that, in terms of healthcare coverage and in quality of healthcare received, Americans rate their private health insurance as superior to government run Medicare and Medicaid.  In polls throughout the summer, Americans has voiced their opposition to Obama’s reforms and disapproval of the President’s plan now stands at 56%(see Support for Health Care Plan Hits New Low).  As more people have come to understand his plan, more have stood up to oppose it.  Obama’s healthcare plan raises taxes and will reduce quality of care just like socialized medicine has done everywhere it has been tried.

Competition in Health Care

A point of emphasis in this ridiculous video is regarding competition, which everyone seems to agree is healthy and we need more of.  Yet Obama and the Hollywood elites are trying to stamp out competition with increased government intervention and fewer free market forces. It is clear, from Obama’s proposal, and from his past statements on his desire for a “single payer system”, that he many left-leaning Democrats and Socialist want to put private insurers out of business.  (see the video embedded below or Obama’s Hearth Care Deception from the Glenn Beck program.) The public option proposed is designed to eventually eliminate the private insurance business and it will do just that as no private business that has to meet a bottom line in order to survive can compete with a government entity that can run up as much debt as it wants.

Options for Health Care Competition

If Obama, the Democrat/Socialist, and the Hollywood elites want more competition in the health care industry, there are several proposals are out there that they may want to consider.  Why not let people buy health insurance across state lines (which is currently prohibited in the US)?  Why not let people get a tax credit on the cost of health insurance?  These are free market, incentive based solutions that will address the problem without growing the size and power of government.

Who died and made you king?

One other thing the video takes aim at is the profits of health insurance companies.  But my question is, who the heck are these people to say how much companies and individuals can and cannot make?  If you ask me, $40 million for acting in a movie is a bit excessive.  But I believe in freedom and if Hollywood movie companies want to pay Will Ferrell that much, that’s their right.  I have no right to tell these actors how much they can or cannot make, and they have no right to dictate the profit levels of anyone else.

Freedom and Rule of Law

We believe in the rule of law.  If Health insurance companies are committing crimes, then prosecute them and send them to jail.  Otherwise, if they are obeying the law, providing a service in exchange for health coverage, then they ought to be free to run their business as they see fit. If they are really so awful as these Hollywood actors make them out to be, then in a free market economy those companies will lose customers.

It Feels Good but Makes No Sense

It is a feel good position to support “free” healthcare for all.  But unfortunately, “free” healthcare will cost you your freedom, which is a price neither I, nor the majority of Americans, are willing to pay.  It may sound good in theory, but the only way to provide universal health care is to take, by force, from one group in order to give it to another.  America has the greatest health care in the world, and socializing it in the way Obama and these Hollywood actors want, is only sure to make health care worse for everyone.

Government Healthcare. What could possibly go wrong?

This is a great quote:

“Obama’s health care plan will be written by a committee whose head, John Conyers, says he doesn’t understand it. It’ll be passed by Congress that has not read it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a Treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that’s nearly broke.  What could possibly go wrong?”

-From Rush Limbaugh, Obamacare: What Can Go Wrong?, August 20, 2009

Sources:

The Morality of Cash for Clunkers

clunkerI received an email from a friend recently talking about how they traded in their old car for a brand new one and made use of the government’s cash for clunkers program to sweeten the deal by $4,500.  My first reaction was to sarcastically think to myself, “I’m glad my taxes could help you get a new car.”

This got me thinking about  the morality of cash for clunkers, and if I would have the fortitude to turn down such an offer if I had a car that qualified (which I don’t). Since then, I have been debating myself on the pros and cons of participating in the cash for clunkers program.  Below are my thought; I’d be interested to hear yours.

Argument Against Cash for Clunkers

Photo of the Constitution of the United States of America. A feather quill is included in the photo.The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America and is the oldest codified written national constitution still in force. It was completed on September 17, 1787. As a conservative, classic liberal, and constitutionalist, the cash for  clunkers program is nothing more than a re-distribution of wealth.  The only way for the government to have money to fund this program is by taking it from other Americans.  Cash for clunkers is an unnecessary expansion of the power, scope and reach of the federal government.  It is just one more step down the road to socialism our country has taken.

Argument in Favor of Cash for Clunkers

But while I would never enact for such a program and I would never support a politician who did, it would be very difficult not to participate in this program.  The program exists and will be utilized whether I participate or not.   They take my money, through taxes, without my permission, so I would feel justified in taking some of it back.

And besides, where do you draw the line?  Every government program is funded by tax payers (well, except the trillions in spending the China is funding, but we’ll get to that in a minute).  Is it immoral to receive any benefits from the government?  What about Pell Grants?  Those got me through college.  What about driving on publicly funded roads?  That would be silly not utilize those services that our tax dollars fund.

LineSand1 A Line Must be Drawn

But a line must be drawn somewhere, or our already out-of-control government will continue to grow larger and larger, and erode more and more of our freedoms.  This year’s federal deficit is projected to be $1,800,000,000,000 (yes, that’s 1.8 TRILLION dollars). President Obama’s pork-filled stimulus spending is one of the primary reasons for this tremendous debt being inflicted upon all Americas.  (see US deficit forecast to be four times last year’s record)

Experts say the poor economy and lower tax revenues is the other main reason for the shortfall, but if you ask me the two are linked.  Studies have shown that ill-conceived government programs prolonged the Great Depression and this is exactly what is happening again.

china_flag_map-sq180 Asian Countries Benefiting Most from Cash for Clunkers

The problems with cash for clunkers and other excessive government programs doesn’t end with power grabbing US politicians.  Just today I read this story by Stephen Manning of the Associated Press called Asian companies see Cash for Clunkers boost.  It turns out that when people turn in their clunkers, eight of the top-10 vehicles purchased in exchange are made by Japanese and South Korean companies.

This means that the money used to fund cash for clunkers, which was borrowed largely from China, is flowing right back out of America into Japan and Korea.  In other words, cash for clunkers isn’t jump starting the American economy, but it is helping China, Japan, and Korea.  It seems our country is committing suicide, and supporting evil Communist regimes like China in the process.

Conclusion

With every government program that spreads the wealth, as Obama admittedly wants to do, we become a little more addicted to big government.  Socialism and Communism have failed everywhere they have been tried, but that’s not stopping China and other countries from benefitting from our countries sharp turn left.  Obama, the Democrats, and Socialists that support his agenda are saddling Americans for generations to come with massive debt and government control that will be difficult to ever scale back.

I know it’s a hard choice to make, but let’s do everything we can to fight unnecessary expansions of federal government like the cash for clunkers program.

Ronald Reagan on Socialized Medicine

If you have ten minutes, please watch/listen to the following speech by Ronald Reagan on socialized medicine. The speech comes from a 1961 campaign against government run health care and was distributed via a long play (LP) record album called Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine. It’s amazing how prescient his comments were. And now, nearly 50 years later, his logic and reasoning are just as applicable to the political battle currently being waged on this same subject.

Here is the transcript:

My name is Ronald Reagan. I have been asked to talk on several subjects that have to do with the problems of the day. It must seem presumptuous to some of you that a member of my profession would stand here and attempt to talk to anyone on serious problems that face the nation and the world. It would be strange if it were otherwise.

Most of us in Hollywood are very well aware of the concept or the misconception that many people, our fellow citizens, have about people in show business. It was only a generation ago that people of my profession couldn’t be buried in the churchyard. Of course the world has improved since then, we can be buried now. As a matter of fact, the eagerness of somebody to perform that service gets frightening at times.

Now back in 1927 an American socialist, Norman Thomas, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, said the American people would never vote for socialism. But he said under the name of liberalism the American people will adopt every fragment of the socialist program.

There are many ways in which our government has invaded the precincts of private citizens, the method of earning a living. Our government is in business to the extent of owing more than 19,000 businesses covering 47 different lines of activity. This amounts to a fifth of the total industrial capacity of the United States.

But at the moment I’d like to talk about another way, because this threat is with us and at the moment is more imminent.

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.

Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it. We had an example of this. Under the Truman administration it was proposed that we have a compulsory health insurance program for all people in the United States, and, of course, the American people unhesitatingly rejected this.

So, with the American people on record as not wanting socialized medicine, Congressman Furan introduced the Furan Bill. This was the idea that all people of Social Security should be brought under a program of compulsory health insurance.

Now this would not only be our senior citizens, this would be the dependents and those who are disabled. This would be young people if they are dependents of someone eligible for Social Security.

Now Congressman Furan brought the program out on that idea of just for that particular group of people. But Congressman Furan was subscribing to this foot in the door philosophy because he said, “If we can only break through and get our foot inside the door, then we can expand the program after that.”

Walter Ruether said, “It’s no secret that the United Automobile Workers is officially on record as backing a program of national health insurance.” And by national health insurance he meant socialized medicine for every American.

Well let’s see what the Socialists themselves had to say about it. They say, “Once the Furan Bill is passed this nation will be provided with a mechanism for socialized medicine capable of indefinite expansion in every direction until it includes the entire population.” Well, we can’t say that we haven’t been warned.

Now Congressman Furan is no longer a Congressman of the United States Government. He has been replaced, not in his particular assignment but in his backing of such a bill by Congressman King of California.

It is presented in the idea of a great emergency that millions of our senior citizens are unable to provide needed medical care. But this ignores the fact that in the last decade 127 million of our citizens, in just ten years, have come under the protection of some kind of privately owned or hospital insurance.

Now the advocates of this bill when you try to oppose it challenge you on an emotional basis, they say what would you do, throw these poor old people out to die with no medical attention?

That’s ridiculous, and of course no one has advocated it. As a matter of fact, in the last session of Congress a bill was adopted known as the Kerr/Mills Bill. Now without even allowing this bill to be tried to see if it works they have introduced this King Bill, which is really the Furan Bill.

What is the Kerr/Mills Bill? It is a frank recognition of the medical need or problem of our senior citizens that I have mentioned. And it has provided from the federal government money to the states and local communities that can be used at the discretion of the state to help those people who need it.

Now what reason could the other people have for backing a bill which says we insist on compulsory health insurance for senior citizens on a basis of age alone, regardless of whether they are worth millions of dollars, whether they have an income, whether they’re protected by their own insurance, whether they have savings.

I think we can be excused for believing, that as ex-Congressman Furan said, “This was simply an excuse to bring about what they wanted all the time, socialized medicine.”

James Madison in 1788, speaking to the Virginia Convention said, “Since the general civilization of mankind I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

They want to attach this bill to Social Security, and they say here is a great insurance program now instituted now working.

Let’s take a look at social security itself. Again, very few of us disagree with the original premise that there should be some form of savings that would keep destitution from following unemployment by reason of death, disability or old age. And to this end, social security was adopted, but it was never intended to supplant private savings, private insurance, pension programs of unions and industries.

Now in our country under our free enterprise system we have seen medicine reach the greatest heights that it has in any country in the world. Today, the relationship between patient and doctor in this country is something to be envied any place. The privacy, the care that is given to a person, the right to chose a doctor, the right to go from one doctor to the other.

But let’s also look from the other side, at the freedom the doctor loses. A doctor would be reluctant to say this. Well, like you, I am only a patient, so I can say it in his behalf. The doctor begins to lose freedoms; it’s like telling a lie, and one leads to another. First you decide that the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government. But then the doctors aren’t equally divided geographically, so a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him you can’t live in that town, they already have enough doctors. You have to go some place else. And from here it is only a short step to dictating where he will go.

This is a freedom that I wonder whether any of us have the right to take from any human being. I know how I’d feel if you fellow citizens decided that to be an actor I had to become a government employee and work in a national theater.

Take it into your own occupation or that of your husband. All of us can see what happens once you establish the precedent that the government can determine a man’s working place and his working methods, determine his employment. From here it is a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay and pretty soon your son won’t decide when he’s in school where he will go or what he will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him where he will go to work and what he will do.

In this country of ours took place the greatest revolution that has ever taken place in worlds history, the only true revolution. Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another.

But here for the first time in all the thousands of years of man’s relation to man, a little group of men, the founding fathers, for the first time established the idea that you and I had within ourselves the God-given right and ability to determine our own destiny. This freedom was built into our government with safeguards.

We talk democracy today, and strangely we let democracy begin to assume the aspect of majority rule is all that is needed. Well majority rule is a fine aspect of democracy provided there are guarantees written in to our government concerning the rights of the individual and of the minorities.

What can we do about this? Well, you and I can do a great deal. We can write to our congressmen and our senators. We can say right now that we want no further encroachment on these individual liberties and freedoms. And at the moment, the key issue is, we do not want socialized medicine.

Now you may think that when I say write to the Congressman or Senator that this is like writing fan mail to a television program, it isn’t. In Washington today 40,000 letters, less than one hundred per Congressman are evidence of a trend in public thinking.

Former Representative Halleck of Indiana has said, “When the American people want something from Congress, regardless of its political complexion, if they make their wants known, Congress does what the people want.”

So write, it’s as simple as finding just the name of your Congressman, or your Senator. Then you address your letter to that individuals name, if he’s a Congressman, to the House Office Building, Washington D.C. If he’s a Senator, to the Senate Office Building, Washington D.C.

And if this man writes back to you and tells you that he or she too is for free enterprise, that we have these great services and so forth, that must be performed by government, don’t let them get away with it. Show that you have not been convinced. Write a letter right back and tell them that you believe in government economy and fiscal responsibility; that you know that governments don’t tax to get the money the need; governments will always find a need for the money they get and that you demand the continuation of our traditional free enterprise system. You and I can do this. The only way we can do it is by writing to our congressmen even we believe that he is on our side to begin with. Write to strengthen his hand. Give him the ability to stand before his colleagues in Congress and say “I have heard from my constituents and this is what they want.”

Write those letters now; call your friends and them to write them. If you don’t, this program I promise you, will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow, and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country. Until, one day, as Normal Thomas said we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.

Source: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum

Mozy Review: Two Thumbs Down

Avoid Mozy, Use an External Hard Drive for Backup

My wife and I have had a miserable experience with Mozy over the last month since our hard drive crashed.  Their customer and technical support is awful, but the real disappointment is that some of our files were not available  to restore.  My advice: go with an external hard drive to back up your computer, and save yourself the wasted time, money, headaches and heartaches when Mozy fails to meet your expectations.

Sorry for using my political blog for a personal issue, but I wanted to get the word out to as many people as possible to have a backup for your backup if you are using Mozy.  For those who don’t know, Mozy is an online hard drive backup service.  For $5 a month, Mozy will backup the files on your computer and have them available to re-download in case your hard drive crashes. We starting using Mozy’s services at the beginning of the year, and it initially gave us great comfort to know that everything was backed up.  But when we really needed Mozy, they completely failed us, they admit no wrong, and do nothing to try to make up for our loss.

From the Beginning Mozy was Slow

Mozy is slow in two ways.  One, the backup process takes an inordinate amount of time.  Our 250 GB hard drive took over a month to back up, and that was with us leaving our computer running 24/7.  And the problem was not our internet connection.  We have a cable modem with service through Comcast; it is about as fast an internet connection as a residence can get.  We also had a 100 GB external hard drive, and combined it took nearly two months, with our computer turned on all day and all night, to complete the backup.

The other way in which Mozy is slow is in regard to the responsiveness of their software.  Once their software was installed on our computer, to get into the configuration and setup area took way too long.  It just sits their and churns 5 to 10 minutes while the dialog box opens up.  And again, it’s not as if our computer is a dinosaur.  The computer is only two years old and has a 2GHz processor and plenty of memory.

Mozy’s Confusing Restore Process

When our hard drive crashed last month, the first thing I did, after getting the computer back up and running, was to visit Mozy.com to figure out how to restore my hard drive.  The only documentation was lengthy and confusing; I could find no simple steps to begin restoring my files in a similar manner (set-it-and-forget-it) as they had been backed up.  The online documentation mentioned a “restore” tab in the Mozy client, so I downloaded the software.  But when I opened the Mozy client, there was no “restore” tab.  At this point, I initiated an online chat with a technical support person from Mozy.

Mozy’s Unhelpful Help

The support person I chatted with that night did little to help me and actually contributed to the frustrations.  He told me that the “restore” option in the client wasn’t available to me and that I would have to use the “web restore.”  For a week, my wife and I struggled to use the web restore service which requires you to download the data file by file and folder by folder.  This process was excruciatingly slow and confusing due to the list of zip files(which Mozy generates) changing order each time I came back to the download page.  This put a major burden on us and still it was nearly impossible to keep track of what files and folders had been restored and what had not been.

After a week of trying to use the Web Restore process, we reported some of these issues, when the Mozy support person asked us why we weren’t using the client restore tab.  I re-checked the client and discovered that the “restore” tab had appeared.  No explanation was given as to why that tab was not present and usable a week earlier, and we didn’t ask (by this point we had no hope of getting a straight answer from Mozy support).

At that point we were finally able to use the the client restore and set-it-and-forget-it method of having Mozy simple go to work restoring our entire computer.  We let that run about a week and then Mozy said that our entire computer had been backed up.  The relative speed of the restore was a major surprise to us given how long it took to back up the computer.  But then we discovered one reason why the restore process was so fast, a huge folder was missing.

Surprise! A Major Folder is Missing

My wife has a small business where she designs and prints photo cards.  Therefore she has hundreds, even thousands, of Photoshop files, including templates and the final product.  These files were located in a folder called “C:\users\Heather\simplyfreshdesigns”  After the restore was complete, we realized that this folder was missing.  We went and doubled checked our online Mozy account, and sure enough, it was not listed as a folder that had been backed up.  At this point we re-engaged Mozy’s support team which, true to form, ended up being no help at all.

We explained that we had every indication that this folder had been backed up.

  • In the initial backup configuration, we had told Mozy to back up all PhotoShop file types.
  • The ultimate back up size was confirmed by Mozy to be 346 BG.  This, we thought, was consistent with our 250 GB hard drive plus 100 GB external drive.
  • Other folders located under “C:\users\Heather\” had been backed up and were present and available to restore.

Yet none of these facts phased Mozy.  Again and again they came back to us and said that the folder in question had not been selected by us to be backed up, therefore Mozy had not backed it up.  And of course with a fried hard drive, at this point, it was impossible to prove that Mozy was wrong.

Slow Responses, No Efforts to Make Amends, and Insults

During the past two weeks of trying to figure out what happened to the missing folder, Mozy has been extremely slow to respond to our emails.  We average less than one email a day from Mozy, which makes it very difficult to carry on a good conversation.  I would send an email to Mozy and it would be 24 hours before I would get a response back.  Once they did reply, I would respond again within minutes, yet it would still be a day or two before I would hear back.

And after nearly a month now, I have lost all hope of recovering this missing folder.  And all the while, no one at Mozy has made any offer to make this up to us. No offer of a refund.  No offer to try to recover our hard drive. In fact, in the middle of this whole situation, Mozy billed us for another month of service.  What an insult!

In the most recent email I received from Mozy (7/22/09), the Mozy support person acknowledged no wrong doing on the part of Mozy and has even gone so far as to begin mocking me. In response to my statement that I had all indications that the folder had been backed up, he said, “all indications are the folder was never backed up.” And he continued, “it looks like Mozy was working fine.”

If the experience we have had was “Mozy working fine,” you’ll definitely want to avoid ever using their services.

Americans Are Destroying America

In the LDS Church General Conference of April 1968, Ezra Taft Benson, a member of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and former Secretary of Agriculture in the Eisenhower administration, gave a talk called Americans Are Destroying America.  The full text of the talk can be found in a couple of places online, http://rogmo.com/98.html, and http://www.ldsinfobase.net/liberty/ETB_68apr.html.

My friend Greg McMurdie shared the article with me recently, and I found it to be a fascinating read.  I guess what amazes me most is that if the situation was bad when President Benson gave this speech 40 years ago, how bad must the situation be now!

The first source mentioned above even says that the talk was entered in the Congressional Record by Senator John McClellan of Arkansas with the following  introduction on the Senate floor:

“Mr. Benson’s speech . . . should be read by every American citizen, and I hope the central truth it conveys that Americans, by their lack of self-discipline, by their apathy and indifference, and by their lack of will and resolve, can succeed in destroying America.”
(See Congressional Record, April 22, 1968)

President Benson’s main point is that no outside force can or will destroy America.  The United States of America was conceived and built by men that God raised up for this very purpose.  And it is only by Americans turning their back on God and the founding principles of the US Constitution that America can be destroyed.  Unfortunately that is happening; the moral fabric of America is eroding at an alarming rate, and the Constitution is being trampled by scheming politicians.  All the while, average everyday Americans are frequently blind to these changes, being lulled to sleep by a culture of entertainment and entitlement.

All Is Not Lost: A Plan of Action

Though America is in dire straights, all is not lost.  As President Benson points out in his talk, there are things we can do to save America and preserve it as a great nation.  Here are some of his suggestions:

  • Stand up now for freedom. It is a celestial gift bestowed by the God of Heaven. Don’t allow yourself to be an idle onlooker while our freedom and nation are destroyed.
  • Return to a nation of morals. Honesty and integrity.  Law and order.  Allow police and law enforcement to do their jobs.
  • Educate yourself on the Constitution. Acquaint yourself with our nation’s history and founding principles. And do not support the world’s greatest evil: the Godless, Socialist-Communist conspiracy.
  • Reign in an out of control Federal government. Return power to the people and their communities. Reduce taxes and dependency on government.
  • Elect good leaders. Put politicians in office who will abandon the self-destructing course, and return to the Constitutional, founding principles of this country: life, liberty and property.

The bullet points above are my summary of President Benson’s main points.  Here are just some of the many highlights from the talk, in his own words:

  • “No government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.”
  • “No people can maintain freedom unless their political institutions are founded upon faith in God and belief in the existence of moral law.”
  • “The function of government is to protect life, liberty, and property, and anything more or less than this is usurpation and oppression.”

Breakdown of Law and Order

  • “Through the exercise of political expediency, the government is condoning the breakdown of law and order.”

Qualifications for Liberty

  • From Edmund Burke: “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.”

Greatest Threat

  • “I do not believe the greatest threat to our future is from bombs or guided missiles…I think it will die when we no longer care, when the spiritual forces that make us wish to be right and noble die in the hearts of men.”
  • Abraham Lincoln said: “As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide.”
  • “If America is destroyed [it will be by] Americans who fail to comprehend what is required to keep our country strong and free—Americans who have been lulled away into a false security.”

Erosion of National Morality

  • “Great nations are never conquered from outside unless they are rotten inside. Our greatest national problem today is erosion, not the erosion of the soil, but erosion of the national morality.”
  • Teddy Roosevelt said: “The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first.”
  • “I mention only a few of the reported startling evidences of our national illness, our moral erosion…We continue to move in the direction of more federal intervention, more concentration of power, more spending, more taxing, more paternalism, more state-ism.”

Our Responsibility

  • Babson’s Washington Forecast Letter said: “Unless those in authority in the United States can be influenced to abandon the suicidal course on which they have embarked—or unless they can be replaced by men who will—we cannot hope to restore in our nation the kind of domestic peace and order which has made our many generations proud to be Americans . . . living in a land of freedom, security, opportunity, and justice under law.”

Gradual Encroachments

  • James Madison said: “There are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
  • “If America is to withstand these influences and trends, there must be a renewal of the spirit of our forefathers.”
  • “National character is the core of national defense.”

Appreciation for the American System

  • Americans have “grown up to believe in politics without principle, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without effort, wealth without work, business without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice.”
  • “We can never survive unless our young people understand and appreciate our American system.”

Heritage Threatened

  • “Those of us conscious of the seriousness of the situation must act, and act now.”
  • Alexander Hamilton warned that “nothing is more common than for a free people, in times of heat and violence, to gratify momentary passions, by letting into the government, principles and precedents which afterwards prove fatal to themselves.”

The Way to Safety

  • “Can we cope with these threatening realities? Yes, we can; if we would allow the local police to do their job… if we have the courage and wisdom to return to basic concepts, to recall the spirit of the founding fathers.”
  • “With an aroused citizenry and the help of Almighty God it can be accomplished.”

Thomas Paine’s Common Sense

20090128-thomas_paine Common Sense was the name of a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine and published in January of 1776, just prior to the American Revolution. Common Sense presented the American colonists with a powerful argument for independence from British rule and was written in a style that common people understood.  The pamphlet became an immediate success; at the time, it was the best selling book in American history.

Though not a signer of the Declaration of Independence or a participant in the Constitutional Convention, Thomas Paine is considered one of our country’s founding fathers for the influence he had on those men.  Paine’s great contribution was in initiating an open public debate about independence, which had previously been rather muted. Due to his influence on the revolutionary generation through the Common Sense pamphlet and other writings, Thomas Paine rightly claims the title of Father of the American Revolution.

Thomas Paine is also the author of these famous lines, read by General George Washington to his inspire his troops:

“These are the times that try men’s souls…Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.” –Thomas Paine, The Crisis

Here are some of the Common Sense principles set forth by Thomas Paine:

  • “Small islands not capable of protecting themselves are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something very absurd in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.”
  • “Government by kings was first introduced into the world by the Heathens…It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot.”
  • “For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever.”
  • “Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness…Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.”
  • “O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe.”
  • The American colonists “have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest purest constitution on the face of the earth.”
  • “Wherefore, since nothing but blows will do, for God’s sake let us come to a final separation.”

Now, 230 years later, we have another man, inspired by Thomas Paine, who is advocating similar Common Sense principles. It is Glenn Beck in his new book Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government.  Some of the common sense principles that Glenn Beck is advocating are:

  • Reduce the National Debt. The government has spent way too much money over the last decade.  Paying it back will be difficult or impossible and it will create a huge burden on future generations.
  • Reduce the Size of Government. The vast expansion of government has taken away the voice of the people, and has put power instead in the hands of an elite few.
  • Reform the Tax Code. The tax code is way too large and complex. The Internal Revenue Code is more than 10,000 pages in length.  Such convoluted, lengthy legislation invites manipulation and corruption.  Even Obama’s Secretary of Treasury can’t figure out how to pay his taxes.
  • Self-serving Politicians Need to Be Reigned In. Politicians  look out for themselves, their special interests and their re-election first and foremost.  This must change.
  • Eminent Domain Has Gotten Out of Hand. The government should not be allowed to seize your house in order to build a shopping mall.

Says Glenn about the book, “if you believe it’s time to put principles above parties, character above campaign promises, and Common Sense above all — then I ask you to read this book.”  The purpose of the book is “to galvanize Americans to see past government’s easy solutions, two-part monopoly, and illogical methods and take back our great country. ”

The book is non-partisan, though liberals who hate Glenn Beck may not believe it.  But to prove that the principles of the book transcend party lines, please watch the video below.  The book’s principles really are in line with common sense, whether you are Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal.  Though it is very funny to see the reaction of liberals in the video below when they find out they agree with Fox News commentator Glenn Beck.

Eisenhower’s D-Day Message

Today marks 65 years since the D-Day invasion of Normandy by the US and Allied troops, and 65 years and one day since Eisenhower’s D-Day Message to his troops. “June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded — but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.” (from the D-Day memorial page on the US Army official site, army.mil)

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, wrote a letter to the troops had had it read to them just prior to the D-Day invasion. In the letter he invokes the blessing of God and tells the troop that the hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere rest upon them. Below is a YouTube video of Eisenhower reading it, and below that is the transcript the letter.

“Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have in­flicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Al­mighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

Signed Dwight D. Eisenhower (Source: General Eisenhower’s Message Sent Just Prior to the Invasion)

Conclusion

I am grateful, especially this day, for these troops who so bravely stood up to fight the forces of evil brought upon the world by National Socialism (Hitler’s Nazi Germany). I have heard a lot in the news this weekend about ‘Never Again’ referring to the Holocaust and the other horrors of fascist Germany in the 30s and 40s. And I pray that such evil does never again come upon us, and I pray that the Americans and people all over the world will recognize such evil regimes and remove them from power before they get strong enough to commit such acts like that again. I hope the day never comes that the freedom-loving people have to again stand up to tyranny. But if that day does come, I hope that generation has the fortitude of character and the faith in God to do what America’s Greatest Generation accomplished.