Rep. Mike Kennedy on Medicaid Expansion

Rep. Mike Kennedy recently spoke with his county delegates about Medicaid expansion. I thought his comments were valuable to the discussion and asked him to put something in writing which I could share with others. These are his thoughts. Thank you Rep. Kennedy.

Mike KennedyThe State of Utah has been debating for years now about what to do with the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare (ACA) Medicaid expansion.  An estimated sixty to one hundred thousand adults between the ages of 27 and 64 currently have no health insurance. These individuals are not disabled and do not make enough money to qualify for federal subsidies to buy their own insurance.

The problem is complex.  There are many ways to analyze this issue in favor of and against the concept.  I have boiled the issue down to what I consider to be the most important aspects of the debate.

Medicaid expansion is about control.  It is not about health insurance, and it is not about health care.  I have two reasons for believing this.

  1. If it were about health insurance and health care, the Federal government would take our estimated $800 million/year in Utah taxes, put it in a grand health savings account, and instruct the state of Utah to use this money in whatever way we saw fit to provide health insurance for our people.  Instead, the Federal government has taken our money, and promised to give it back if we use it in their prescribed way to provide insurance for our people.  At first, they will allow us to use this money to aid people in obtaining private health insurance.  I believe, however, at some point in the near future, the private insurance option will be discontinued, and all of the individuals will be shunted into our traditional Medicaid system.  Why do I believe that?  Because that was how the original 2010 ACA was written.  The Federal government wants our citizens in Medicaid because that is the system it controls.
  2. If it were about anything but control, we wouldn’t have to ask for permission from the Federal government to craft a plan to their approval.  As noted earlier, it is our money being taken.  Why do we need permission from the Federal government for any plan we create to provide health insurance for some of our most vulnerable citizens?  The answer is control.

If we as a state choose to expand Medicaid, we give up state autonomy.  We more deeply commit ourselves to Federal benefits and Federal obligations.  Once these commitments are made, we can never turn back from them.

More disturbingly, we encourage more of our citizens to give up their own autonomy.  Another Federal entitlement program expansion means more of our people will be dependent on the Federal government for their personal daily needs.

In order to maintain the independence of our state and our people, I say no to Medicaid expansion.  In doing so, I understand that Utah is losing money to the Federal government.  We should work to get the $800 million/year in taxes repealed rather than accept that money back with never-ending Federal obligations that will become more onerous as time progresses.

Freedom is costly.  Together, we should be willing to pay the price of it by saying “no” to Medicaid expansion.

Rep. Mike Kennedy

Lowell Nelson’s letter to the Governor

After same-sex marriages were being performed in Utah and before the governor had taken a stand on the issue, many Utahns emailed the governor asking him to intercede. Below is a short and sweet letter Lowell Nelson sent in and gave permission for me to post here.


Dear Governor,

Utah is (supposed to be) a sovereign state. And we should act sovereign.

Utah defined marriage as the traditional union between one man and one woman. And enshrined this in its constitution. REGARDLESS of what some federal judge says. Yes, REGARDLESS.

The feds have NO authority to tell Utah what to do in this (domestic) matter. NONE. Do NOT fall for the mistaken notion that federal authority trumps state authority.

The states ratified the US Constitution, which vests specific, enumerated, limited authority in a central government. NO WAY does the constitution authorize the central government to trump state authority in this matter. NO WAY.

County clerks throughout Utah should obey the Utah Constitution. They may NOT issue marriage licenses to couples of the same sex. And doing so should subject them to civil and/or criminal penalties. We have a constitution for a reason. And to IT the officers of government should adhere.

Please reach out to county clerks throughout the state and admonish them to obey the constitution!

Lowell Nelson

Democratic Republic or Constitutional Republic

In the past I’ve had a couple of email or site discussions with people on the difference between these terms. It seemed significant enough to warrant taking a position. To me, a Constitutional Republic means that we are a republic with a written constitution thus making the document the supreme law of the land. A Democratic Republic (DR) on the other hand is a republic where the laws are democratically dealt with, in other words, by the sustaining of the majority.

Some people have argued that America is a DR because we have democratically elected representatives who do the will of the people. Some of these same people believe the constitution is the supreme law of the land and that there is no problem calling us a DR.

Last week someone forwarded me an email from Tim Irwin in Highland, Utah. He’d been asked a similar question and in his response drew from a book by Scott Bradley, former senatorial candidate for Utah. With Tim’s permission, here is his email which I found very helpful on this subject.


As I finished my response to you I felt I should do a little more research and I think the answer that follows is much better and more detailed.  Thanks to my constitutional mentor Scott Bradley.

“Elected representatives create legislation within the scope and limits of government power that had been previously defined within the constitution.  It is government by law.  The legislature, indeed, the entire government, is constrained to act within constitutionally delegated authority and may not encroach into areas that are not authorized.  Elected officials are allowed to operate only within their defined boundaries and are not allowed to act on matters outside those boundaries.  These limits are designed to protect the rights of all citizens, whether in the majority or in the minority.  This is the type of government that was created for the United States by the United States Constitution.”  Scott Bradley

What I did not know was NONE of the men we consider to be the principle founders of the American Republic EVER used the term Democratic-Republic to describe the form of government they created under the United States Constitution.  The term came into use AFTER the days of the American Founders, and is attributed in the modern writings to the FOLLOWERS of Thomas Jefferson as I indicated to you in my first response.

The American Founders were adamantly opposed to ANY linking of the nation to ANY form of democracy.  In Scott’s book, “To Preserve the Nation,” (pages 51-74) he addresses the Democracy Deception at length.

Of interest is the fact that when the French Ambassador, Edmund Genet, came to America during the administration of President George Washington, Genet established “Democratic-Republic” Clubs throughout the nation.  Both President Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson were appalled and incensed, and denounced the clubs and the philosophy that was fostered in the name.  The nation quickly saw the error they had stumbled into, and all of the clubs were disbanded.  The term, Democratic-Republic, is closely associated with the debauched and perverted government that metastasized during the French Revolution and in subsequent revolutions (see chapter 14, pages 289-307 of Scott’s book).

EVERYTHING that was done during the founding era of this nation was republican in nature.  The nation NEVER followed a democratic process during the monumental founding events: Trusted representatives brought forth the Declaration of Independence; The acceptance of the Declaration of Independence was never put before the people for a vote of ratification; The trusted representatives of the people in congress called for a Constitutional Convention in 1787; The trusted representatives of the people in the respective States appointed trusted representatives to attend the Constitution Convention of 1787 (the people never appointed or ratified those individuals called as representatives of the States); The new Constitution created by the trusted representatives in the convention was submitted by the Convention back to the trusted representatives in the national congress with the direction that it be forwarded back to the States to be ratified by trusted representatives of the people within the States; Ratification of the ratification by the state conventions of the Constitution was never placed before the people of the States for a democratic vote (a la the process followed in Iraq when the people democratically “ratified” the communist-style constitution the United States helped them write a few years ago); Once the Constitution was ratified by trusted representatives in the state conventions, the people chose trusted representatives to go to congress, and the trusted representatives of the people in the State legislatures chose the new senators as trusted representatives to serve in the senate at the national level; Trusted representatives were chosen by the people and the States to serve as a “electors” in the Electoral College as a single purpose representative body of trusted representatives with the responsibility to select the president as another trusted representative in an assignment as the “executive” at the national level.  At no point was this nation a democracy, or even (as the modern revisionists would have us believe) a democratic-republic.

After doing more research, I now I believe it to be a grave error to foster the idea of a democratic-republic.  Reading in Scott’s book:

“Thus, we see that the evidence presented throughout the Federalist Papers, as well as countless other impeccable sources, is overwhelming and unimpeachable: The United States of America was established as a constitutional republic,  not a democracy.  By recognizing that great fact and seeking to preserve the foundation principles upon which this nation was founded, we may preserve the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.  Those who have received knowledge of the “original intent” of those who founded this nation have a duty, a responsibility, even an obligation, to foster wider understanding of the truth in this matter.  We must seek to make popular the sound and good principles that were ordained as this nation was established.  We diminish our value in the cause of liberty if we adopt the lexicon of those who foster global democracy on the pathway to socialism.  We allow our worth to be debauched if we become co-opted into unwitting shills for the cause of democracy (even if it is simply in the usage of the terms associated with that destructive movement) in order to obtain the praise of men and women who are not worthy to stand in the light of those who laid the foundation of this nation.”

Thanks for driving me to do more research.   I did a piece on the electoral college several months ago and it was clear to me the founders never intended for the populous to elect our president.  As Ben Franklin clearly said when asked what type of government did you give us….” A republic if you can keep it”.

Thanks again,




Boy Scouts of America’s Sustainability Merit Badge

Over the weekend someone sent me news that the Boy Scouts are adding two merit badges to the list of badges required for Eagle. One is the Cooking badge which I thought was already on the list. The second is the new Sustainability merit badge which scouts will have to earn, OR continue to earn the environmental science badge which is currently required for Eagle. It’s a choice between those two. The new Sustainability badge requirements aren’t public yet, but on the BSA blog (at least this looks like their official blog), “Bryan on Scouting” posts this:

Sustainability merit badge FAQs

Upon its release during the summer of 2013, Sustainability becomes available as an option with Environmental Science as an Eagle-required merit badge. At that time Scouts may choose to earn Sustainability in place of the currently required Environmental Science.

  • If a Scout earns Sustainability and Environmental Science, do both count toward Eagle?
    • Scouts who have already earned Environmental Science may also earn Sustainability, but only one of the two merit badges would count as “Eagle-required.” The other, however, may count as one of the electives necessary to reach the total of 21 required merit badges.
  • Can you give me a general description of what Sustainability MB will cover?
    • The Sustainability merit badge, in essence, takes conservation and environmental science to another level. The protection, preservation, and management of wildlife and natural resources involved in conservation provide a foundation for what we call environmental science. The latter integrates physical and biological sciences such as ecology, biology, soil science, atmospheric science, and others in order to generate solutions to environmental issues. Sustainability takes off from there by taking responsibility for balancing long-term environmental, social, health, and economic needs with progress and development. It further suggests that development, while meeting the needs of the present, cannot compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
  • What subject areas will Scouts be studying?
    • Ecology
    • Air pollution
    • Water pollution
    • Land pollution
    • Endangered species
    • Pollution prevention, resource recovery, and conservation
    • Ecosystem—living and nonliving
    • Environmental impact
  • What are the requirements for the merit badge?
    • The requirements for Sustainability have not yet been finalized, but initial discussions include the following topics:
      • What is sustainability?
      • Examining our current needs and our choices in meeting them, with attention to extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal
      • Impact on our natural resources
      • Problems we must address, including plastic, electronic, and medical waste; species extinction, and climate change
      • New habits to adopt, including green chemistry, recycling, zero waste, and sustainability-conscious citizens
      • Careers related to sustainability

On another of Bryan’s blog posts he says this about the change in Eagle requirements:

“Why the change? The goal is to “reflect a better balance of the needs of youth and our nation today and in the future,” according to the BSA’s resolution. Personally, I like it. Keeping up with the ever-changing world means questioning the way things have always been done.

Sustainability becomes more important as our population increases while resources decrease. And a boy who reaches Eagle without skills in cooking and healthy eating habits hasn’t become fully “Prepared. For Life.” in my opinion. I think the BSA’s board got it right on here.”

I wonder if careers related to sustainability will include jobs at the U.N. and in government where you can force people to change their lifestyles. From the LDS Doctrine and Covenants, we read this verse in section 104 which is a contradiction of the sustainability movement.

“17 For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.”

I would rather have seen the merit badge called Stewardship and have it just discuss the role of individuals in taking care of our resources that we have a role in, rather than have requirements fitted to a known global agenda and how you can potentially impact other people’s lives. We are agents unto ourselves and there are enough resources to provide for everyone on this planet and more. Others need to learn to be agents and good stewards by being given freedom to learn, not the dictates of anothers conscience.

If you don’t know much about the sustainability movement, read this:

Hilarious Videos from the DNC

These videos were all on but I thought I’d aggregate them here.

Peter Schiff went to the Democratic National Convention and asked some attendees about what they thought of banning corporate profits altogether. It’s not like everyone there would support this position, but these people are funny.

Jon Stewart (somewhat left of center) did this hilarious video asking Democrats about their tolerance and being the inclusive party.

Reason TV did this one on being pro-choice. Get ready for some funny mental gymnastics.

Former marine put in mental hospital for Facebook posts

Have you heard of Brandon Raub yet? He’s a former marine that appears to have been arrested and put into a mental hospital by the FBI and Secret Service because of his Facebook posts which included questioning the events of 9/11. It doesn’t matter what side of the 9/11 events you subscribe to, this is simply wrong. Brandon didn’t violate the law by expressing his views and didn’t violate anyone else’s rights. The people who authorized and carried out this arrest have violated this man’s constitutional right to free speech and should be punished.

See Brandon’s Facebook posts that got him arrested here:

Watch the arrest video here:

Listen to Brandon’s mom explain what happened on a radio interview:

Black List and State Surveillance

As a kid I read a couple Tom Clancy novels because they were really intense action thrillers. Then I started avoiding them because of the language in them. However, I recently decided to read Brad Thor’s new book Black List because it combines real surveillance-state stuff with a fiction story. The author’s note before the story starts states, “All of the technology contained in this novel is based on systems currently deployed, or in the final stages of deployment, by the United States government and its partners.” Brad has been privy to a lot of tech sort of like Clancy was on military systems back in the day (well, probably still is).

Last week, this article appeared on showing the new U.S. Army surveillance blimp.

There is no way U.S. Army is going to deploy this to a conflict in a foreign country. Slow moving, low flying aerial targets don’t do so well in real combat zones. The only safe place for this blimp is in America.

One of the things mentioned in Brad’s book is the tracking of RFID tags on people. We previously reported on this happening right now in one Texas school district of 100,000 children.

Wikileaks has also just uncovered a massive program spying on Americans called “Trapwire.” Check out the camera picture and story here:

I do not want to misconstrue this post as to believe that I think our government is a totalitarian regime, but when citizens allow the surveillance state to be set up around them as if everything is normal and life will just go on, those in power feel like they can just keep going further. Unchecked power is dangerous in any person’s hands and knowledge of our activities is power. I encourage you to write your congressional leaders and ask that this Army project and tracking system be investigated and to move toward freedom in America, not Orwell’s vision from his book “1984.”

Contact your senator and representative here and send them the links to the articles above. Ask them to shut down these programs spying on Americans. We need to value freedom over safety or we will have neither.

ACT Career Testing for Kindergarteners

You might be thinking this heading is a joke. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be.

Can’t you just wait for your kindergartener to pick a career and get tracked for it to reach his or her potential? I haven’t seen many job listings for princesses or pirates (maybe Somalia is hiring?).

Here’s some excellent analysis including a fascinating flashback to a kindergarten report card from the 60’s.

Here’s a snip from that report card. CAPS were on the original report card. Note the spiritual attributes being included in education. What a concept. No need to educate the whole child when the government just needs an obedient workforce.


Because a child is composed of a body and a soul he is a PERSON. As a PERSON he has special attributes to be developed. These are intellectual and emotional, physical, social, artistic and spiritual. These different aspects of life are not nicely cut off from each other, but inter-penetrate to form one’s complete personality. The best education is that which aims to develop the WHOLE MAN.

We should all make sure that no aspect of the child’s personality is under-developed.


Tim Ballard on the American Covenant

I have one of Tim Ballard’s books he wrote called “the American Covenant” sitting on my floor by my bed with a few dozen other books I want to read. While chatting with Susie Schnell today she mentioned Tim had been on Glenn Beck’s radio and TV show this past week and it was really interesting. So I looked it up and was totally fascinated by what Tim had to share. His new book sounds really incredible and it’s more of that great stuff we never hear about any more. I wonder where our country would be if we had all been raised with a proper understanding of the founding of our country? Certainly not where we are today.

There is some overlap between the radio and TV segment but I’m posting both because each has some unique content. The radio segment is longer so if you only listen to one, listen to it. Then get the book on Amazon. Washington entered into a covenant with God patterned after the ancient Israelite covenant that we would be God’s people if he would protect and prosper us. Washington called on the people to repent by fasting and prayer. Then God delivered us over and over again.

Here’s two links that contain more information and then a link to the book on Amazon.

Link to the book:

The Covenant: One Nation Under God – America’s Sacred and Immutable Connection to Ancient Israel
Glenn Beck radio show

GBTV show

The Real Jefferson Bible Story

Addendum: Summarizing all the comments below this post, it appears some of the “facts” that David Barton presents here are in question. One link on the third page of comments led to a page which says Barton took some of his comments from the work of someone else without going to the appropriate source document. That said, I did find evidence in an online copy of the Jefferson Bible ( of some of what Barton refers to. On pages 5 and 40 of the book there are verses that refer to Jesus healing on the Sabbath so it appears the record isn’t devoid of miracles and solely about the life and morals of Jesus. Page 67 also includes the second coming of the Son of Man which is clearly going far beyond merely talking about the morals of Jesus and into the supernatural aspects of Christ’s teachings. It does appear that Barton goofed on this, but looking at the actual record leads me to believe Jefferson must have had a level of belief beyond basic moral teachings of Jesus.

Second addendum: Someone emailed me this: “I think there may be some confusion about the fact that David Barton was speaking about several compilations that Thomas Jefferson did throughout his life.  I do not know if the version that he compiled for the missionaries to the Indians is available online.  I also noted one compiled in the mid 1700s and the one for Congress in 1802.  David did not claim that there were any miracles noted in that one, because its purpose was very specific to moral living.”

It would be interesting to have all versions and perhaps David Barton was referring to a different version.

Original post:

Perhaps you’ve heard about the Jefferson Bible, the one people say he took out the miracles of Jesus because he didn’t believe in that stuff. Glenn Beck interviewed David Barton this past week in one of the most fascinating segments I’ve heard. Here’s the video clip of the amazing true story about Jefferson’s belief in God and spending federal money to promote Christianity.

In a previous article I wrote entitled “Jefferson’s Jericho Wall of Separation,” I tried to show what I believe Jefferson’s real explanation was for the “wall of separation” letter he wrote to his Danbury Baptist friends. He respected the states so much that he didn’t interfere with them as president (the wall), yet at the federal level he recognized we had to have a moral people and he also wanted to bring Christianity to the Indians (perhaps in a way like national diplomacy). Printing full Bibles for distribution was a little expensive so he created a gospel harmony to shorten the Bible and provide a book which included the miracles, morals, and teachings of Jesus, and printed it up for distribution to the Indians. He built them a church and provided them with a preacher, from federal money. This video is a fascinating look at the real Thomas Jefferson and not the one we hear was some type of deist.