Friday, November 30, 2012

Should Congress Delegate Its Authority to Increase the National Debt Ceiling?

John MarshallThere are Supreme court rulings that support as well as oppose allowing Congress to delegate a broad range of its law-making power to bureaucracies within the Executive branch. The Supreme Court stated in US v. Shreveport Grain and Elevator Co., “That the legislative power of Congress cannot be delegated is, of course, clear. But Congress may declare its will, and, after fixing a primary standard, devolve upon administrative officers the "power to fill up the details" by prescribing administrative rules and regulations.” In 1825 Chief Justice John Marshall stated in his opinion in Wayman v. Southard, that Congress may not delegate powers that “are strictly and exclusively legislative.

Monday, November 26, 2012

William George Jordan Shares His Secret for Creating Analogies

William George Jordan created a lecture series entitled Mental Training: By Analysis, Law, & Analogy in the early 1890’s. The objective of these was to improve the ability of students to digest and utilize information.

In 1907 he published a pamphlet entitled Mental Training: A Remedy for “Education” which included a list of his twelve lectures along with a short summary of each. His view on education can be summed up in one short sentence; rather than simply feed children facts we should focus on teaching them how to think. In Mental Training shares his proposed methods for giving students the tools the need to digest and use information.

I’ve always been amazed by Jordan’s ability to teach using analogies drawn from a vast array of historical events, everyday objects, machinery … . He shares the “secret” to developing this skill as he describes an experience with a student of his lectures:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

"If God be for us who can be against us." The Miracle of 1746

We read in the Old Testament of the many times God intervened in the affairs of man. From the escape of the Israelites from Egypt to the fall of Jericho, miracles seem to have been almost a daily occurrence. Why then did the Israelites repeatedly turn their back on the Lord? Good question, perhaps they simply forgot or were able to rationalize the miracles away. Many were the miracles associated with the founding of our country. These have been largely lost and are no longer to be found in today’s history books. On a day which we celebrate gratitude I would like to share one of my favorite “miracles”. One that that was celebrated for years and for which Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a ballad about over 130 years after the incident.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Favorite William George Jordan Quotes

William George Jordan - 1910-08 - Americana One of my favorite authors is William George Jordan. What I love about his writing is his ability to paint pictures with words and then use them to teach principles. You can find a quotable quote in nearly every paragraph he writes. Below are some of my favorites (I’ll be adding to this list over time).  If you are preparing a speech and are looking for insightful quotes on human nature Jordan has some great ones. Links to all of WGJ’s books can be found in my post “Books by William George Jordan.”

The Majesty of Calmness, 1900

  • Content makes the world more comfortable for the individual, but it is the death-knell of progress. Man should be content with each step of progress merely as a station, discontented with it as a destination; contented with it as a step; discontented with it as a finality. There are times when a man should be content with what he has, but never with what he is.

  • Everything that is great in life is the product of slow growth; the newer, and greater, and higher, and nobler the work, the slower is its growth, the surer is its lasting success. Mushrooms attain their full power in a night; oaks require decades. A fad lives its life in a few weeks; a philosophy lives through generations and centuries.

  • Man’s conscious influence, when he is on dress-parade, when he is posing to impress those around him,—is woefully small. But his unconscious influence, the silent, subtle radiation of his personality, the effect of his words and acts, the trifles he never considers,—is tremendous.

  • Man can develop his self-reliance by seeking constantly to surpass himself. We try too much to surpass others. If we seek ever to surpass ourselves, we are moving on a uniform line of progress, that gives a harmonious unifying to our growth in all its parts.

  • Life is not really what comes to us, but what we get from it.

  • The man who has a pessimist’s doubt of all things; who demands a certified guarantee of his future; who ever fears his work will not be recognized or appreciated; or that after all, it is really not worthwhile, will never live his best. He is dulling his capacity for real progress by his hypnotic course of excuses for inactivity, instead of a strong tonic of reasons for action.

  • Happiness consists not of having, but of being; not of possessing, but of enjoying. It is the warm glow of a heart at peace with itself.

  • Unhappiness is hunger to get; happiness is hunger to give.”

  • "Calmness comes ever from within. It is the peace and restfulness of the depths of our nature. The fury of storm and of wind agitate only the surface of the sea; they can penetrate only two or three hundred feet; below that is the calm, unruffled deep. To be ready for the great crises of life we must learn serenity in our daily living. Calmness is the crown of self-control."

The Power of Truth, 1902

  • "Let us conceive of gratitude in its largest, most beautiful sense, that if we receive any kindness we are debtor, not merely to one man, but to the whole world. As we are each day indebted to thousands for the comforts, joys, consolations, and blessings of life, let us realize that it is only by kindness to all that we can begin to repay the debt to one [and] begin to make gratitude the atmosphere of all our living and a constant expression in outward acts, rather than in mere thoughts."

  • Truth can stand alone, for it needs no chaperone or escort. Lies are cowardly, fearsome things that must travel in battalions. They are like a lot of drunken men, one vainly seeking to support another.”

  • A lie may live for a time, truth for all time. A lie never lives by its own vitality; it merely continues to exist because it simulates truth. When it is unmasked, it dies."

  • “Reputation is what the world thinks a man is; character is what he really is … Reputation is the shell a man discards when he leaves life for immortality. His character he takes with him.

  • Tolerance makes the individual regard truth as higher than personal opinion; it teaches him to live with the windows of his life open towards the east to catch the first rays of the sunlight of truth no matter from whom it comes, and to realize that the faith that he so harshly condemns may have the truth he desires if he would only look into it and test it before he repudiates it so cavalierly

  • It takes over thirty years for the light of some of the stars to reach the earth, some a hundred, some a thousand years. Those stars do not become visible till their light reaches and reacts on human vision. It takes an almost equal time for the light of some of the world's great geniuses to meet real, seeing eyes. Then we see these men as the brilliant stars in the world's gallery of immortal great ones. This is why contemporary reputation rarely indicates lasting fame. We are constantly mistaking fireflies of cleverness for stars of genius.

The Crown of Individuality

  • Gossip … has caused infinitely more sorrow in life than murder. It is drunkenness of the tongue; it is assassination of reputations. It runs the cowardly gamut from mere ignorant, impertinent intrusion into the lives of others to malicious slander ... He who listens to this crime of respectability without protest is as evil as he who speaks. One strong, manly voice of protest, of appeal to justice, of calling halt in the name of charity—could fumigate a room from gossip as a clear, sharp winter wind kills a pestilence.

House of Governors

  • We need in our country today less politics and more statesmanship, less party and more patriotism. We need an awakening to higher ideals. We need a higher conception of America's place and destiny in the evolution of the world. We need something nobler as a purpose than our self-satisfied complacency at the material prosperity of the nation,  …. We need the scourging of the money changers out of the temple of legislation—State and national. ... We need the clear clarion voice a great inspiration to rouse the States to their duty—not the gilded phrases of mere rhetoric, but the honest eloquence of a high and exalted purpose

  • As the wealth of the nation is concentrating in the hands of the few, so is the guidance of the destinies of the American people becoming vested in the firm, tense fingers of a small legislative syndicate. The nation soon will be no longer a solid impregnable pyramid, standing on the broad, firm safe base of the united action of a united people, but a pyramid dangerously balanced on its apex—the uncertain wisdom of a few.”

Little Problems of Married Life

  • Courtship is the joyous, sunshine launching of the craft of hope; marriage is the long cruise across uncharted seas

  • There are more people on this great, big, rolling earth hungering for sweetness, tenderness, and words of gentle appreciation, genial confidence and generous affection than are starving for bread.”

  • Those who wisely live within an income rarely have to face the problem of trying to live without one.

  • Plants grow most in the darkest hours preceding dawn; so do human souls. Nature always pays for a brave fight. Sometimes she pays in strengthened moral muscle, sometimes in deepened spiritual insight, sometimes in a broadening, mellowing, sweetening of the fibres of character,—but she always pays.”

  • If there is a little sand in the sugar of home happiness, it really seems better to concentrate on the sweetness that remains than to carry around samples of the grit in envelopes of conversational confidence.

  • The opening words of the world’s greatest book are “In the beginning,” and they are the most important words of married life; they open its chapters of greatest joy and keenest sorrows. All its problems are most easily mastered “in the beginning

  • Jealousy stifles faith, which is the soul of love. It is emotional suicide. It is a peculiar form of fear which seeks constantly to discover what it does not want to find. Jealousy is the chloroform of confidence. It requires faith to keep faith, trust to retain trust, love to cherish love.

Mental Training: A Remedy for “Education”

  • “When man fails he … says, ‘I am as God made me;’ but when he succeeds, he proudly proclaims himself a ‘self-made man.’”

  • any system which does not train man’s mind, make him an individual, and teach him to think, whether in the village schoolhouse on the plains, or in the university with its endowment of millions, is unequal to its possibilities and is cruelly unfair and unjust to the individual.

“What’s the Matter with Education”, The Forum, Mar 1923

  • Suppose a gardener were to take a plot of ground, and, without turning up the soil, preparing it or fertilizing it or doing anything to put it in good condition he were to plant it with seed of all kinds, covering every inch of the plot. Suppose that he then said: ‘This process will of itself enrich the soil and will produce beautiful flowers,’ we should think he had suddenly lost his reason. Because he did not first care for the soil and prepare it for the seed we would know that because of his wrong method he would accomplish neither of his claims, he would neither enrich the soil nor produce fine flowers, the soil would be unimproved and the plants poor, stunted, scrawny failures. Such a theory is not a whit more senseless and imbecile than the theory of our educational system.”

“Educating for Seven Lives”, The Forum, Apr 1923

  • Man is not put into the world as a finished product, of a predetermined limitation of capacity and development. He is not branded or stamped like a jug with its limit, as ‘one-gallon’ or ‘five-gallon.’ There are no men thus predetermined as ‘one-talent’ men or ‘two-talent” or ‘five-talent.’ If man wishes to thus limit himself it is he who does it, not Nature. We know the potentialities of no child that was ever born. We arrogate much to our own ignorance when we thus seek to fix individual limits.”

“Modeling Education on Genius”, The Forum, May 1923

  • We need men and women trained to think, not merely to think they think.

  • Education fails with the average human being; it fails even more with the exceptional. The geniuses and the men of talent or of signal ability, have a strength of mind, a fineness and an individuality that refuses to be pressed, like soft pulp, into an artificial mould. A whole book could be written on the great ones who were failures, dolts, dunces, or rebels at school. Among them may be mentioned: Milton, Wordsworth, Hawthorne, Darwin, Spencer, Huxley, Newton, Dryden, Byron, Thackeray, Heine, Balzac, Keats, Shelley, Napoleon, Lowell, Wellington, Longfellow, Voltaire, Mark Twain, Scott, James Fennimore Cooper, Henry Ward Beecher, Bacon, Locke, Hobbes, Gray, Goldsmith, Dr. Johnson, Gibbon, George Bernard Shaw, Stevenson and a host of others.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

Can Communities Enact Sunday Closing Ordinances? A Postscript.

First of all I want to thank those of my friends who supported changing our Sunday closing policy, because it challenged me to research my initial position. I would also like to thank those who referred to me and other supporters as “idiotic fairy tale worshippers”, “blatant hypocrites”, “tyrants”, “religious bullies”, “liars”, having “libido dominandi [the will to power, the desire to dominate, the lust for government] … for providing the ongoing motivation to continue my research and study the issue.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bright Spots

Switch by Chip and Dan HeathIn Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, authors Chip and Dan Heath share the story of Jerry Sternin (1938-2008) who in 1990, while working for Save the Children, was asked to open an office in Vietnam and fight malnutrition. He was told by the Vietnamese government that he had six months to make a difference. Note, in 1990 about 65 percent of all Vietnamese children under the age of five suffered from malnutrition.

Jerry had researched malnutrition in Vietnam. The conventional wisdom was that the causes were poor sanitation, lack of access to clean water, and ignorance of the rural villagers. From Jerry's point of view this information was “True But Useless”, as there was little he could do in six months to remedy those issues, especially with almost no budget.

Monday, November 12, 2012

If thy brother hast ought against thee

Sermon on the MountWe covered Christ’s teaching of the “Sermon on the Mount” in Sunday School last week. As I was preparing the lesson I kept being drawn to two verses in particular—Matt 5:23-24  which read:

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought [anything] against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Highland Prop 6 Results and Comments

Here are the results as Tuesday night November 6, 2012:

  • For 2,993 (45.94%)
  • Against 3,522 (54.06%)

Although there may be additional adjustments due to absentee and/or provisional ballots we can be fairly sure that the end result will stand.

Note, here’s the final count dated 20 November 2012. To see a signed copy of the Official Certification of the Highland City Municipal Election of November 8, 2012 click here.

Highland Prop 6 Final Results - Click to go to Utah County site

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Why I drive PAST the stores in my city to shop in Highland

Here’s an email that was sent last night by a resident of Cedar Hills who shops in Highland because of our Sunday closing policy and she is evidently not the only one.

Dear friends,

vote against prop 6I cannot vote on Prop 6 because I do not live in Highland but I wish that I could because I am certainly in favor of SUNDAY CLOSURE and would vote AGAINST proposition 6.  Whenever possible I drive past the McDonalds, Harts and Wal-Mart in Cedar Hills to shop in Highland because I love to support stores that are closed on Sundays.   I also go to Highland instead of American Fork or Pleasant Grove.  I would rather have my money go to your city even more than my own.  I also know that I am not the only one who feels this way.  So this is another issue to consider when thinking about your tax dollars--mine and others will stay in Cedar Hills/AF/PG if your stores open on Sundays.  

Thank you for your consideration.  Feel free to forward onto others,

Julie Sessions

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday Closing: My Final Thoughts

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time since March of this year researching “Blue Laws”, dialoging with supporters and detractors. I’ve found clear and overwhelming support for Sunday closure laws from any virtually any perspective you wish do choose. No need for logical gymnastics, no need to parse words and stretch points, simple clear common sense support from many, many sources.

Residents of Highland can freely choose to support or oppose the change to Sunday opening based on what they feel will be best for the community. We have the freedom to make that choice. Business rights do not trump the rights of residents. The claim if you don’t support Sunday opening you oppose “liberty” is not supported well by the Constitution, the Founders, or the sources they used in framing the Constitution.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fiscal Conservatives should vote AGAINST Prop 6 in Highland by Tara Tarbet

The other side notes that Smith's Marketplace generates over $400K in annual sales tax revenue, Wal-Mart produces over $300K. What they choose NOT to mention is that Lehi and Cedar Hills only receive 50% of that revenue. The rest is redistributed by the state to municipalities based on each municipality's population. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

“Blue Law” Gold by Mark Beesley

highland-utahMark Beesley submitted the a letter to the SL Tribune and then recorded a message regarding proposition 6. Mark is one of many non-LDS members of our community who share the view that we should maintain our current Sunday closing policy. He said in an email that “changing the policy is simply bad economics for the vast majority of residents. If Highland homogenizes itself into another Lehi, American Fork or Orem our community will be less attractive and property values will decrease. The introduction of more tired national chains that can only survive on a 7-day model will eliminate the diversity, charm and value of locally-owned businesses that truly cater to local tastes. I believe it makes sense to reject Proposition 6.”

Here is his recording and a copy of the letter he submitted to the Tribune: