Capitalism

You sure have a way of sending a good variety of subjects in your e-mails don’t you?  A couple of these I have to sit and think for a minute before I answer. 

Thought I would make a comment before I go on too much. Remember, it is not so much capitalism that is a bad thing, it is the lack of morals within a system.  We believe that an individual should not be inhibited by bondage, chains, or government, but only by their conscience and their own inner moral compass.  A man is to be able to choose their life and path in life and be amenable to God. The hard fisted, strong willed governments, who rule with iron force are those we are against.  Therefore, capitalism is the system to which we look. The thing is though, that we believe that a man should be restrained by morals, the will of God.  Obedience due to love and meekness, not by force. So that changes some of the face of what you wrote in your e-mail.

Alma 30:17
Korihor was teaching that since there was not a Christ, therefore no atonement, that there was not to be a curtailing or limiting of personal
action (freedom). We believe that men prosper by community, not by individual exertion. We are not for people profiting and gaining by using
their gifts (genius) and strength to the putting down of other men. They are to be used for the benefit of all.

Proverbs 16:25
The children of men are to follow the way of God, not what a man believes is right. We are to follow the commandments and way of God, not whatever a man things is right, for that is surely death.

Does that change the view and look on those scriptures? It completely changes the light of them.

Remember, the limits of men making money, also limits men who are doing good. Remember that government intervention itself takes time and money, and pulls resources away from those who are being regulated. Regardless of the laws of the land, a man cannot get away from crimes against God or humanity. They still have to answer to the great lawgiver of eternity. If we build a government, we should mimick his laws for anything more is to elevate ourselves above what God has determined. The classic saying, whatsoever is more or less is of the devil. I most surely believe there is a need for laws. Just for organization and management of a people there has to be law. Take for example the church’s law that a person must have been a member for a year before going to the temple. There are a host of laws, but there needs to be a purpose.

Anyhow, that is my thoughts on your e-mail. I will try and find your quote on bridled capitalism.

 

A good friend in a sad place, learn…

This is something I wanted to make more available for others to recognize what is going on.  I have taken out some of the personal parts of the e-mail.

Missin you as always and want to one day get together to have some more discussions about doctrine…
I am off to the Y in a month if I ever make it home from this adventure. Am writing from Sarajevo en route to Iran on a motorcycle.  Here is a copy and paste message about my last couple months but it is very sad so take a breath before you read on.
I have been doing an internship here in Brussels at Payoke (http://www.payoke.be/pages/eng/engindex.html its a small website as usually these organizations don’t even have websites; you don’t want to give the criminals too much info). I can only say that it has been one of the most eye opening, earth shattering, heart wrenching, and heart breaking experiences I have ever lived through. Trafficking in humans is such a sad phenomenon. Payoke guides the victims of trafficking down the road of recovery if such a thing is even possible after they have been found by the police. These victims are children, mothers, wives, teenage girls, and even men who have been sold for money and forced to work as prostitutes in either brothels under lock and key 24/7, work camps, or sweat shops right here in Brussels, Antwerp, Liege and smaller towns throughout Belgium. Bulgaria is a huge source country for girls right now as the trade has moved out of Albania and into Bulgaria. But the whole Eastern side of Europe, since the EU expanded, has been a major source for domestic labour and prostitution. Trafficking is a problem plaguing not only all of Europe but the rest of the world as well, though the problem is more well known here than it is in North America. We are about 5 years behind Europe. I can’t explain in an email just what a brutal and hopelessly sad story it is…You can’t help but almost cry at the end
of each day…These three cities have three major NGO’s that take all of the victims found throughout Belgium and tries to help them. As you can imagine, help is not always possible. Patsy, the founder of Payoke was once a member of the European parliament and was forced to go to work with 6 body guards, a bullet proof jacket, in a bullet proof car. I was in Strasbourg last week for the plenary and people still remember her and the entourage. She was making big waves in the community and cutting deep into the pockets of the traffickers. Living in precarious and dangerous circumstances is something that people in this line of work sometimes have to get used to. It’s crazy. The traffickers have no borders, only the bureaucrats and law enforcement trying to catch them do; which is, essentially, the good guys fighting the bad guys with their hands tied behind their back.
To give you an idea of just how current this phenomenon is…there is a girl in the shelter right now who only got lured into the despicable trade in April. She was at school in Romania and just finishing up high school. She is 18 and had a friend at her hair dressers tell her about making big money in the West. She followed the advice of the friend and followed the contact. When she crossed into Holland she had her passport confiscated by the pimp who bought her there where she was forced to have sex with him and his cousin within a week of leaving her home. That was in Amsterdam in May.  By June the brothel wasn’t making any money and she was forced to move to Brussels. Here she was found by accident in a police raid only two weeks ago.
It is a typical story. She is young, pretty, and naive. She thought gold hung on trees in the West. She was lucky. Some girls know they are going into prostitution but many don’t. People go missing and people turn up dead and when it comes to the victims…they are cheap property that can be easily eliminated.
Patsy, the head of Payoke, was the first person to tackle the problem of victims involved in the sex trade, starting her organization over 20 years ago. Society didn’t acknowledge the problem then and it took until 1994 for it to change when the King of Belgium personally came down to the shelter to endorse Patsy’s work and sign his full support behind Payoke. She has since been traveling to countries around the world explaining the problem of human trafficking to governments, law enforcement agencies, legal prosecutors, and NGO’s from America to Albania to Egypt.
She has given us free reign and access to her entire network of Judges, Police officials, prosecutors, politicians, NGO’s, and diplomats. She wanted our idealistic naive opinion as non experts in the field.
Call it fluke or call it something else that she got me and Anna (a girl from Montreal who thankfully speaks French) of the ten interns. Not too mention me and having my bike, I have access to places that most don’t. Anyways…I am preparing for a major conference on human trafficking next year at BYU so I am trying to learn all I can from the European perspective before I return home.
I’ll write more about this on the blog and give more information as to where you can learn about the problem. Suffice it to say that the world can be a nasty place and I am witnessing some of the worst of it. I will be off to some of the worst source countries for these girls in a couple days, Sofia, Bucharest etc. to see their red light districts and underground brothels for myself, I have some more NGO contacts to veer me in the right direction and hopefully keep me out of harms way. Tel Aviv is a major source country and destination country and so I am hoping to make
it there by mid August. Wish me luck .

Katrina

Things were really kind of crazy in the office today. The phones were so hot they I was put on them for a while. Preparation for the Roberts nominations I guess. But constituents were calling in madder than mad that we were not doing anything about Louisiana. They were literally yelling at us on the phones. It is a really hard position to be in. I mean, they did warn the people that they all needed to evacuate and this would be a very bad storm. They were aware they would be caught in the thick of it. They were warned that if things were as bad as predicted, it would not be easy to get in and help. However, people, disobedient and obstinate stayed. Now they are paying the consequences. However, now the question is, should we be stuck dropping everything for those who deliberately disobeyed? I don’t know. I do believe we should be charitable, but where do you draw the line. We could be working on restoring and fixing problems now if people would have listened. There were buses and ways made available, even for the poor.  They decided not to go. What if all these helicopters were dropping loads in damaged levees now rather than rescuing? Anyhow, what bothers me more is that people expect that it is the governments job to fix the situation.  They cannot of their own accord call the Red Cross and offer money or help.  They call their legislator to do it for them. Rather than saying, what can I do to help, it is why aren’t you helping? Even more sad were the phone calls coming in about why we are not fixing the fuel price problem. Isn’t it obvious why prices are rising at the moment? What are we going to do about the situation? I suppose we could set a price ceiling, but that would only cause horrible shortages. Then this all leads to the inevitable questions. Why do people continue to invest so much money and time into a city below sea level, where the inevitable will happen. That is like building your house on the sand, or the beach. At some point, nature will do a freak thing and damages will occur. If government had not been involved in the subsidizing of the pumping of New Orleans, business and others would have found it too expensive and moved elsewhere. This problem may have been alleviated altogether.
Oh well, now we should be saving those who are in need and dire situations. I don’t think they should return. Especially the poor. Ask people to take them in and incorporate them into society where they are at. Sadly, this will have destroyed the poor population. They will have the problem that Florida is having with having the lower paying jobs filled. May we find a quick and peaceful end to the situation. So much for having any rainy day funds sitting around. After all, we haven’t learned to live within our means. Another point of disobedience which could cost us dearly later on as well.  Watching the people suffer and struggle. Hopefully we see the importance and emphasis on keeping and maintaining food storage. If we have two years worth on hand, we could feed 4 families the same size as ours for 6 months.  That would be enough time to overcome most of the situation with Katrina.  Nevertheless, we don’t save up, we don’t prepare.

Where shall I work today?

I have been thinking about one thing as of late.  So many people consider pornography to be free speech, or freedom of expression.  I have thought about that and do not find it to be expression or speech.  What are they saying?  What could they possibly think they are telling us?  What, buy more, get addicted, so they can make money.  That only reminds me of Babylon.  Song, however explicit, I can understand as saying something.  Art, however clear, I do not find has any expression or speech to it.  Even print media, without words is simply open for interpretation.  This only opens a new bag though, different from some of the common political discourse of the day.For example, the right to desecrate the flag as freedom of speech.  I don’t believe they have any standing at all.  What does burning have to do with speech?  Some take it to be desecration, some take it to be offensive, yet we burn the flag in ceremony for decommissioning or destruction.  Talking is one thing, or “written talk” I can see, or even gagging someone so they cannot speak.  But to print pictures or symbolic speech I do not see.  On the other hand, while it is not speech as far as I can see, I believe we can limit the burning of anything on property.  If they purchased the flag, burn it where they want.  But if they do it on public property, then they are in violation of fire burning laws and code and should be punished accordingly (the same for burning crosses).  If it was not their flag, then prosecute them for that as well.  Why does public property grant the right to be obnoxious?  Who knows if our laws will ever make sense.

As for what we will do to make the world a better place.  Who knows.  Sometimes I think I am so different from the present state of things that not a soul would listen to me.  Most seem to be far too caught up in the emotional side of things.  What happened to both reason and emotion.  Nevertheless, zeal without knowledge seems to rule the day.  I don’t believe in “running” for office.  I think like ol’ Thomas Jefferson and that good people should be sought out and placed in elected office.  I find it terribly prideful to say I am your man and run on my laurels to be elected.  It removes the elector from the process.  Somehow we stand idly by and allow the current system to continue.  Well, we will reap our harvest of those decisions as well someday.  I write my elected officials, but I have learned the sad truth that they do not listen much unless you contribute to their campaign, and then you are only hoping.  Which only takes us back to the first bag.  Somehow it is not that they represent us, but we have to pay them to represent us.  Sounds pretty priestcraft-like to me.

Next, I have never been much of a suck-up.  While I like to make friends, and that with all people, I am who I am, and you are who you are, and I will tell it like I see it from my perspective and as I see myself and you.  Unless an elected official sees your actions and likes what they see, the chances of appointment are pretty slim.  I am not saying that all appointed people are suck-ups.  But I would have to say divine appointment would have to play a pretty big part for me to ever get appointed to any position to really be heard.

So now, we come full circle.  I will not run for office and will likely never be elected!  Only if a good person is then elected or appointed, and notices me, and likes me, will I ever get appointment.  Which seems just as unlikely to me.  So therefore, what will I do.  Well, I will continue to make sure I know what I think.  I will continue to write to those who I think might listen and to those who ask questions.  Hopefully I may be somewhat of a catalyst for others to think and maybe require something more of government.  As for what else, who knows.  My comments on social commentary might be all the State of Idaho (or any state) or the US will ever see of me.  Who knows, I may write a book someday, but that seems like a total bore.  While it may bring in some income, that would not be the reason I would write it.  Don’t think I would ever teach as I would not have the certification to do so (I will save the whole licensing topic for another time).  Who knows what the future holds for me.  I do plan on law school and going into law.  Perhaps that will put me into a position to help a community be straightened out, if they will listen.  I may be one of those extremist lawyers who barely can put a meal on the table.  Who knows.  One thing is for sure, I hope to be known as a man without guile, honest, and known for his word.  I try and believe I can succeed at being those things.  Where they will take me, I don’t know.  So that is what I will do for a brighter future.  Be the best I can be and see if providence places me anywhere.  I do admit, I have ambition, but so does everybody else.  I will take the spot I am given and serve to the best of my ability there.  If that be a father, then so be it.  If it be a street sweeper, I will be the best there ever was!  I only hope that my gifts and talents which God has seen to give me might be used as he would.  Sometimes though, I think gifts are given and not used allowed to be used, to see if we will be humble enough to do so, but then recognizing they are there with faith, not despair.

“ ‘Father, where shall I work today?’

And my love flowed warm and free.

Then he pointed out a tiny spot

And said, ‘Tend that for me.’

I answered quickly, ‘Oh no, not that!

Why, no one would ever see,

No matter how well my work was done.

Not that little place for me.’

And the word he spoke, it was not stern;

He answered me tenderly:

‘Ah, little one, search that heart of thine;

Art thou working for them or for me?

‘Nazareth was a little place,

And so was Galilee.’ ”

—Meade MacGuire

Entering August

The month of August has finally began and the countdown continues to approach the day I leave Boise to head to DC.  I fly out officially on the 23rd.  My last day of work being the Friday before.  It is approaching quickly and I am anticipating yet dreading that day.  It will start another wonderful learning opportunity.  On the other hand, it removes me far from Amanda.  It is also a date that I have to have finished all my online classes from the summer.  I am mostly up to date on the homework and writing, but I could speed things up a bit so I don’t have anything at the last minute.  I will surely miss the Gallatin Group here in Boise.  It has been a learning experience.  I have caught a glimpse into many fascinating areas of life.  I appreciate the level of independence they have allowed me and the responsibility they have given.  While it has not necessarily taught me much more about government or theory, I did get to learn about some of our clients and their situations.  I wish I could have worked on the day to day information on at least one client and learned what they really do here than just their marketing and some of their research.  Oh well.  Perhaps that day will come in the future.
The month is brought in with a wonderful weekend preceding in Utah.  I was able to sneak down and surprise Miss Hemsley on Thursday rather than Friday.  It also gave me the opportunity to recoup some from the trip down before coming back up.  That was greatly appreciated, even though I did not get as much sleep as I would have liked.  We got to spend some good time together.  A highlight was our date to Murray to see “Harry Podder, Dude where’s my Wand?”  It was very good and I enjoyed it.  More so, I enjoyed the company of the most beautiful girl in the whole world.
Another bit of exciting news, I have the privilege of going to Portland on the 12th to see an Ambassador sworn in.  This will be a very fascinating thing.  I will hopefully get to see my sister as well and spend the weekend with her.  If not, I will just come back the morning after.  I think that is exciting.
I have to comment on what such wonderful friends I have in my life.  I was able to visit with a few people over the weekend in person and on the phone.  My life is truly blessed by such wonderful individuals.  Some of them have been there for decades now, and that I think is nothing short of miraculous.  Especially how I am such a bear to put up with at times.  I thank heaven for them and hope I will find many more such friends.  I hope I may be able to add something to their lives for the better as well.
Think I better close out.  Much to do yet today!

CAFTA Passed

Well, it looks like things are going to get even more competitive here in Idaho.  CAFTA passed the house last night.  It came down to one vote.  If one person would have changed their vote, then the whole thing would have tied and died.  The sugar industry in Idaho, and the US for that matter have some serious efficiency to work out.  While in the short run, this will probably not influence much, the long run it could have big effects.  Especially as these central american governments become stronger as does their markets.  Production will increase, while costs will remain lower than ours, and then we will be fighting.  This could be the beginning of the end for sugar in Idaho.  We will just have to see.  As I commented before, I am still for the expansion of markets.  It still hurts though, to see the lives of so many friends so affected by the decisions of others.  Congressmen Walden probably had no clue he could have such an influence.  Oregon is hit by this as well and so the push was for Oregon Congress members to not support CAFTA.  Smith and Wyden went for CAFTA as well.  Fascinating how much theory and rubber hitting the road appear to be different.  We all have to make sacrifices.  Today it is the farmer and the sugar industry, all for the benefit of the long term for America.  Will they see the broader vision, or will they see a brighter day.  Prepare for it today and it will be much better than being forced to do it later.  I cannot remember the term, I think it is constructive deconstruction.  May we prepare for the changes that will be coming to the sugar industry.  I don’t want to sound a pessimist.  It is just that there will have to be changes made for the sugar industry to continue to compete in such a field.  There is still hope, but they definitely should not be putting all eggs in one basket.

Lunch with History

Out to lunch.  What an amazing lunch.  Just had lunch with a man who worked as a personal associate to a former Governor of Idaho, Cecil D Andrus.  Marc Johnson was the Press Secretary and Chief of Staff to Governor Andrus.  What a fascinating lunch.  Marc is currently writing a book on Senator Wheeler of Montana.  Wat a great discussion.  We discussed Senator Borah, Senator R Smoot, Senator Thomas, Senator Church, Governor Kempthorne, President Wilson, President F Roosevelt, Governor Steunenberg, Governor Ross and more.  We discussed politics in Idaho, Utah, Montana, and the US.  Chatted about the current Supreme Court appointment and the state of the court.  It was all fascinating.  He let me borrow a book on Idaho Governors.  Also a newspaper clipping on the 1936 race of Borah and Ross.  There is so much to learn and so much to gain.  What a history in the specifics of individual lives.  The assassination of Governor Steunenberg.  The political debate in seating Senator Reed Smoot of Utah.  There is so much to learn and do.  Marc also told me of his life and how he came to Boise.  Born in Nebraska and raised in South Dakota.  He came to Boise to work in journalism after his boss transferred from South Dakota to here.  Met his wife here as well.  Interesting how each and every life have their own story.  So much to learn, so little time to do it in.  I have so much to learn.