Friday, October 29, 2010

Daniel Washburn for Superior Court Judge in Pinal County, Arizona, Division 1!

Dear Readers,

You know how on the voting ballot, there's always those judges at the end of the list that nobody really talks about or knows about? I've left those blank when voting, and I was thinking about leaving them blank this election.

But then Daniel Washburn, a candidate for Superior Court Judge in Pinal County, Division 1, sent me an email that said something like, "Hey, Telemoonfa, you should help me with my campagin. I'm friends with Jeff Smith!"

That e-mail, to me, was the bat signal. I donned my bat-suit and sprung into action! (Actually I just e-mailed him back and said "Sure, I'll help, because a friend of Jeff Smith is a friend of mine." But that's the more boring version.)

Short story shorter, I am now proudly wearing his T-Shirt and displaying his sign in my front yard.

First I liked Daniel Washburn because he seemed conservative and Mormony. But then I looked at his website and his competitor's (Delana Fuller) website, and Daniel Washburn's website totally blew the other one out of the water!

Daniel is the only candidate with experience as a judge. He has a very impressive resume.

But my new favorite thing about Daniel Washburn is that he wrote this wonderful article about student-initiated religious speech in public schools. I read the whole thing, and it was great.

He talks about the sort-of conflict between the Establishment Clause and the Free Speech Clause in the First Ammendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Establishment Clause states that Government can't establish a state church. But the Free Speech Clause guaruntees that religous views can be expressed. So what happens when a bunch of Christian students want to pray in public school? One could argue that letting the students pray, say around the flag pole at lunch time, is using state land, money, and facilities to promote Christianity, and therefore it violates the Establishment clause. On the other hand, you could argue that forbidding the Christian students from praying around the flag pole at lunchtime is a violation of the Free Speech Clause.

Daniel writes that court precedent has made clear that teacher or adminstrative-initiated religous speech, such as a teacher-led prayer, violates the Constitution. But the Supreme Court has not reviewed the issue of student-initiated religous speech. Practically speaking, we're talking about student led prayers at football games and graduation ceremonies, etc.

Daniel Washburn reviews a lot of court cases dealing with the issue of student-initiated religous speech in public schools, and then he eloquently writes in the conclusion, "Student-initiated religious speech is private speech and, as such, does not violate the Establishment Clause. Conversely, this type of speech is protected by the Free Speech Clause. Hence, schools should allow religious and secular speech that does not disrupt the school's administration of education. Religion has long been a part of American history. Students cannot be expected to divorce themselves of their religious beliefs when attending a public school. The Court, in Chandler, is not giving religious speech special treatment rather it is asserting that student-initiated religious and secular speech must be treated equally."

Dang, that conclusion is dynamite! Doesn't Washburn write well and think clearly?

I'm reminded of an incident that happened on a school bus in Mesa not too long ago. It was in the news. There's a few different versions of the story.

Version 1: Some LDS students were riding home on the school bus when they all decided to sing some LDS Church hymns. The bus driver said, "Hey, quit singing church music. You're violating the Seperation of Church and State, and that's in the Constitution!"

Version 2: The students on the bus were being rowdy and vulgar, (which is typical) and the bus driver said, "Hey, aren't a lot of you kids Mormon? You ought to sing some Mormon songs." The Mormon kids started singing Joseph Smith's First Prayer or something.

Version 3: Some LDS students on the bus started singing LDS songs, and the bus driver didn't say anything. He didn't tell them to keep singing, or stop singing. Half of the kids on the bus were filled with the Spirit, and beheld heavenly visions. And half of the kids on the bus were offended.

In version 1, one could argue that the bus driver violated the student's free speech.

In version 2, one could argue that the bus driver violated the Establishment Clause, because he's a government bus driver, on the job, and he promoted Mormonism.

In version 3, one could argue that the bus driver violated the Establishment Clause because he let the Mormon kids take over and spread their religion throughout the public school bus. And if he smiled when he heard the singing, well, that smile would practically be an endorsement of Mormonism, and an endorsement of Mormonism could be interpreted as hate speech. The bus driver, just by smiling, could have made all the gay kids on the bus suicidal! And that's gotta be a really really serious crime!

Sorry, I get absurd sometimes. But then again, practicing law is absurd sometimes.

I'm not sure which version of the incident is real. Public school busses have video cameras now, so I'm sure some government worker reviewed the tape to determine what really happened on the bus.

Whatever version of the story really happened, the bus driver got suspended for a few days and reassigned to a different bus route for misbehaving. Or maybe I'm confusing that with another story. I don't know.

I tried googling this story but I couldn't find it. I promise I read it in the news a few months or years back.

Have I ever told you that sometimes I think it would be cool to be a lawyer? If law school wasn't so long and hard and expensive, I might go. Basically my career story is...

I was going to be a teacher.

I went to college for six years to become a teacher.

I became a teacher.

I hated being a teacher.

I stopped being a teacher.

I have a wife and a kid and a house, so I got a job making movie screens at a factory in Mesa. I like the job pretty well, and maybe I'll do it for the rest of my life. It's secure, and the people there are just great people.

Gosh, how did a post about Daniel Washburn turn into a post about me?

Hey, that reminds me of a joke. What does the self-centered opera singer do to warm up? He goes, "Me me me me me!"

(You have to sing the me me me me me to make that joke funny. And now that I explained it, the joke is less funny.)

Vote for Daniel Washburn on November 2nd!

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Monday, October 25, 2010

My November 2010 Sample Ballot

Dear Readers,

The people I'm voting for are in bold.

United States Senator

Glassman, Rodney (DEM)
McCain, John (REP)
Nolan, David F. (LBT)
Joslyn, Jerry (GRN)

You'll notice that Democrats are listed first on the ballot. I wonder if more people are likely to vote for the person at the top of the list of names. I think they are. And who decides which party appears at the top of the list? Does the Secretary of State flip a coin?

I voted for J.D. Hayworth in the primary election. I just have to say that. John McCain is better than the Democrat, and I kind of like the libertarian guy, but he doesn't have a chance of winning. And Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney endorse John McCain, and I love both Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney.

U.S. Representative in Congress Dist. 6

Schneider, Rebecca (DEM)
Flake, Jeff (REP)
Tapp, Darell (LBT)
Grayson, Richard (GRN)

I voted for Jeff Smith in the primary election. I just have to say that. Rebecca Schneider is a librarian. I would never want a librarian as a representative. Have you noticed how libraries are different these days? They're more enviornmentally friendly, and they have lots of liberal social programs for teens. Richard Grayson is a wack-job college professor and author, hmmm... kind of like Barack Obama!

Governor

Goddard, Terry (DEM)
Brewer, Jan (REP)
Hess, Barry J. (LBT)
Gist, Larry (GRN)

I really do like Barry Hess, but he's a libertarian and has no chance of winning. I don't think Jan Brewer is a conservative deep down inside, but it seems like she can be swayed toward conservative-ness. I don't like the way Brewer pushed for Proposition 100, the 1 % sales tax. But I like her actions relating to SB 1070.

State Senator Dist. 23

Rios, Rebecca (DEM)
Smith, Steve (REP)

I'm really excited about this race. It's going to be a close one. I think Steve Smith will win, and he definitely should win. He's the better candidate. I should have called more people or knocked on doors or put a sign in my yard for Steve Smith, but I work 50 hours a week now and I'm a sleepy guy, and it seems like the little things I do don't make much of a difference but I know if everybody believed that then America would dissolve and blah blah blah. Vote Steve Smith!

State Representative
vote for not more than 2

Bustamante, Ernest (DEM)
McGuire, Barbara (DEM)
Fillmore, John (REP)
Pratt, Frank (REP)

I'm voting for the two Republicans. I really like John Fillmore. He's got a down-to-earth Grandpa type of attitude. When asked where he got his education, he said that he had a Master's degree from the School of Hard Knocks. Ha ha ha. He runs a wood-burning stove business in Apache Junction or something. I really think Fillmore is a common sense conservative. As for Frank Pratt, well, he seems like a country-club Republican, but whatever. He's better than the Democrats.

Secretary of State

Deschene, Chris (DEM)
Bennett, Ken (REP)

I'll be honest. I have not taken the time to look into these guys. Maybe I should. I'm voting for Ken Bennett because he's a Republican. Is that bad?

Attorney General

Rotellini, Felecia (DEM)
Horne, Tom (REP)

Tom Horne's cool.

State Treasurer - I'm voting for the Republican

Superintendent of Public Instruction - I'm voting for the Republican

State Mine Inspector - I'm voting for the Republican

Corporation Comissioner - I'm voting for the Republican

Clerk of the Superior Court - I'm voting for the Republican

Justice of the Peace

Pfeifer, James (DEM)
Babeu, Shaun (REP)

Yes, you saw that right! I'm voting for a Democrat! I looked at James Pfeifer's website and he looks really qualified. But mostly I'm voting against Shaun Babeu. See, if Shaun Babeu gets elected, about two-thirds of the cases will be messed-up because of a conflict-of-interest. Shuan's brother is the Sherrif of Pinal County. So the tax-payers will have to pay for a substitute Justice of the Peace for a ton of the cases. I'm not sure how it all works, but I've read enough about this race to be confident that I'll vote for James Pfeifer. Although, I do think that Shaun Babeu will win, just because this is a Republican area and a Republican year.

I also want to say that in the August primary, I voted for Dennis Lusk, who I think would have been even better than James Pfeifer.

Constable - I'm voting for the Republican

Apache Junction Unified School District No. 43

Budget Increase, Yes

Budget Increase, No

I had no idea that I was in the Apache Junction School District. I just moved here to San Tan Valley a year ago. And I'm voting no on the budget increase. Ha! I can see the crowded classrooms and stressed-out teachers now! I am so cruel!

Board Member for the Apache Juntion School District.

Harte, Jo
Kimble, Dena
Leeb, Judith
Skinner, Debbie C. "Deborah"
Van Soest, Krista
Young, Lucy

How am I supposed to decide if they don't have a (DEM) or (REP) next to their name? Ha ha ha. I'm joking, but not really. I have no idea who I'm going to vote for. I need to look into that, or I might just leave it blank. (You know, it's probably better to leave something blank rather than just fill in a random bubble.)

As for the Propositions, I have to get going but I'll just briefly list how I'm going to vote, and add a few catchy slogans.

(I've sort of already talked about how I'm going to vote on the propositions in a previous post, but I want to write about it again, because I might have changed my mind on a few, and I've learned a few new insights on some of them since the last time I wrote.)

106 - Yes - Obliterate Obamacare!

107 - Yes - Discriminate against Discrimination!

109 - Yes - Huntin' - n - fishin' is good country livin' - put it in the Constitution!

110 - No - Reform state trust lands stuff, in general! No on 110!

111 - No - Lieutenant Governor? Lieutenant Governor? We don't need no stinkin' Lieutanant Governor!

112 - Yes - Super-Size Signature Scrutiny!

113 - Yes - Un-thuggerize Union thugs! Keep Secret Ballots Secret!

203 - No - Poo-poo on the Pot-heads!

301 - Yes - I'd rather conserve my wallet than conserve the land!

302 - Yes - First Things First = Worst Things Worst-er! Eradicate Early Education!


Remember that Tuesday, November 2nd is Election Day! Be sure to vote!

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Friday, October 8, 2010

Federal Judges Strike Again!

Dear Readers,

This last August, Missouri voters rejected Obamacare by an overwhelming 75 %. That’s good news.

This upcoming November, voters from Arizona and lots of other states will pass propositions rejecting Obamacare. That’s more good news.

But…

Passing propositions, making new state laws and even amending state constitutions might not make a bit of difference. Federal Judge Vaughn Walker recently showed Californians that Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution. Federal Judge Susan Bolton recently showed Arizonans that she could stop SB 1070 from taking full effect. And now a federal judge in Michigan ruled that the individual mandate part of Obamacare (where the government forces everyone to buy health insurance) is constitutional.

From my understanding, the federal judge in Michigan uses the Commerce Clause to justify the individual mandate in Obamacare. The Commerce Clause says that Congress has the power to make laws regulating interstate commerce. The judge from Michigan explained that since everyone uses health care services at some time in their lives, everyone is always engaging in health care related commerce. And practically everyone travels outside their state of birth at some time in their lives, and many times people go out of state for health care services, so that makes the commerce “interstate.” So Congress can regulate it. And they can force you to buy health care insurance.

So, does that mean that the Government can eventually force you to eat healthy and exercise? After all, diet and exercise has to do with health-related interstate commerce. I wouldn’t doubt it. I wouldn’t doubt it if some Congressperson is hatching up a new law forcing all Americans to join a gym. I can hear the communist rationalizing the law now, “If every American joined a gym, health care costs would be astronomically lessened! Think about what a healthier populace would do for our economy! Think about what a healthier populace would do for our national security! We need the American Gym-Joining Investment Act of 2011. We need it for the future. We need it for our children.”

Whether we like it or not, the U.S. Constitution trumps state constitutions. Whether we like or not, federal law trumps state law. That pretty much means that the current power-hungry Congress and White House can pass any law they want, and the power-hungry judicial branch of the government will let them get away with it. The new definition of “Constitutional” seems to be, “anything the courts will allow.”

So, we need to elect tea-party conservatives this November. Hopefully they can appoint some conservative people in all levels of the judicial branch of the government. And hopefully this new crop of conservative politicians can repeal or at least dramatically alter Obamacare.

Hopefully the voice of the people won't be squelched.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cute Pictures of My Daughter

Dear Readers,

Here are some adorable pictures of my daughter!

This is from her first birthday party. By the time she got to eating her birthday muffin, she was tuckered out. I can't believe I've been a father for a whole year now. Isn't she just adorable?

There she is in her birthday hat!!!!

Oh, and this is one of the cutest pictures of all. My wife and my daughter and I had a wonderful morning at the park. My daughter likes to play in the grass.
Sincerely,
Telemoonfa








Arizona’s Upcoming Propositions, Part Two

Dear Readers,

Remember my post about Arizona’s upcoming propositions? Well, I just found out that State Senator Russell Pearce’s opinions on the propositions are EXACTLY THE SAME AS MINE!!!! Think about that! Russell Pearce and Telemoonfa, both working independently, came up with the same conservative decisions. I feel great about myself, and I feel great about Russell Pearce!

State Senator Russell Pearce is one of the most fiscally and socially conservative politicians around. He’s running for re-election, and I’m nearly positive he’ll win. I wish we could get more folks like him into office.

Russell Pearce got a 92.5 from the Pachyderm Coalition. Americans For Prosperity gave him the Barry Goldwater Legislator of the Year Award. Plenty of conservative think tanks that rank politicians always put him at the top of the really really conservative list. Need I say more?

But here’s something that Russell Pearce brought to my attention. One of the most controversial propositions this November is Prop 203, the proposition about legalizing marijuana in Arizona. Russell writes, “NO!!!!! THE WAY IT IS WRITTEN IT REALLY LEGALIZES MARIJUANA USE FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS TO USE IT”

I am going to vote to keep it illegal. Here’s a few reasons why:

1 - I think legalizing marijuana would increase the amount of people using marijuana (and that would be a bad thing).

2 - It’s bad for your health.

3 - It’s addictive.

4 - It’s a gateway drug.

5 - It turns a lot of people into Afroman.

6 - It’s against the Lord’s law of health, the Word of Wisdom, found in Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (OK, so marijuana isn't specifically mentioned by name in section 89, but if the Supreme Court can find the right to an abortion in the Constitution, I can find a marijuana ban in Section 89. Plus, it's been made very clear by modern day prophets that God does not want us smoking pot.)

It’s funny, though, I don’t like how Mayor Bloomberg is micromanaging the menus of New York City restaruants. So I may be a bit hypocritical when I vote to keep marijuana illegal this November, but I really like the Heart Attack Grill. I've never been there, but I want to go someday.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa