Monday, July 31, 2006

Conversations on the Constitution

I helped someone I work with setup a website for discussing the constitution. It's called Conversations on the Constitution. I think it's nice to have a place to discuss constitutional issues. Reading some of my other posts will show I am very concerned about the constitution. I'll be participating just as soon as I order the book many of the discussions will include.

I hope you will take some time to look at the site. It should be interesting once things really get underway.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Democratic family reunion

Today I'm going to the Democratic party family reunion. It should be interesting. Those who follow my blog will recall that I am less impressed with any groups of late. All I really want is constitutional government, but that seems to be just a little too much to ask. This makes me unsuitable for most polite conversation in either the republican or democratic parties.

One issue still on my mind is that I still want to sue the state of utah over their selection of diebold voting machines. It's hard to have confidence that your vote is going to count if the systems involved are known to have vulnerabilites. It's just too bad that the people in charge of selecting the equipment were more interested in listening to their vendors than to the citizens. Last year there was a meeting for people to give public input on the matter. I didn't hear anyone speak in support of Diebold who wasn't on their payrol. It makes me sad that vendors have the ability to wine and dine our officials to the point of ignoring public input.

These days it seems that if you care enough to say something you are labeled an extreemist. Pretty dangerous since we're soon going to see a day where extreemist=terrorist. That's right, people are likely to be terrorists just for questioning their government.

I can only imagine that some day in a bout of irony we'll submit the declaration of independance to the US Government as they turn into the same opressors that the British were in 1776.


Thursday, July 27, 2006


I always enjoy a good shindig. A few weeks ago I had a birthday shindig. Tonight was a shindig Bob put together. Everyone got together and watched Arsenic and old lace. That's a great film.

Now the only thing we need is more women at these parties. I think it's because there are too many ward things getting in the way.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New: Bi Weekly Posts!

So I'm a little busy... I'm not sure how it happened. I now try to find nights to get together with some of my friends. Though, I'm definitely going upstairs for Bob's shindig on Thursday. If I recall correctly he's celebrating his 10,025th day of life. If that isn't a good reason for a party I think you have way too high of standards for reasons to have parties.

At my job I'm leaving I'm getting hylafax setup to do serious incoming fax serving. It's a nice piece of software. At my other job I was able to order LispWorks. Lisp is officially my favorite language. Every day I learn more about it and it just keeps getting better.

I also spent time with iTunes again. I got some more music from The Hush Sound, We Are Scientists, The Strokes, and Arctic Monkeys. I love the "People who bought this also bought these..." part of iTunes. I never knew who the hush sound and we are scientists were until the other day.

I think I'll grow a beard.

I never thought I would start to neglect my blog because I started getting more of a life. Heck, I may even do some more dating! Now just to ask out women I can have conversations with. It would help if I had more to talk about.

Last weekend I went to the Spiritual Summit my singles ward was having. I drove up with this girl I had gone to highschool with. There wasn't much conversation. Granted, I was guilty of not having much to say. I have what I like to call my DDS (droning defense system). It kicks in right after I say that work is going well and that I like it. I've developed it to save the people I talk to from hearing too much about how great lisp is and how nice it is compared to things they know nothing about. Once I get that out of the conversational options I'm left with my political views. Goodness knows that's something else that doesn't make me any friends...

Last week I told someone that I believe that our nation is going to crumble just like the nephite nation did before christ's coming in the book of mormon. I also cited the sources of why I believed this. I'm starting to think that latter day saints are looking for the signs of christ's return and all the mormons are sitting around saying all is well in Zion.

Now, I've gone and said something unpopular. I'll run with it. I've got plenty of unpopular things I believe. I was commenting on Al Gore's "An inconvenient truth" one day. I called it "An even more inconvenient truth". Global warming is part of the signs of upheaval that are to come before christ comes. We'll have famine, pestilence, plague, and murder. Most of all, christ is going to come back before global warming has a chance to kill us off.

For those of you still reading... I have the most unpopular thought of all. We have departed from the lord's ways in our country. The constitution was set up to keep the government out of as much stuff as possible. The Lord's plan is that of agency and free choice. The proper place of government is that of maintaining order and providing for the common defense of people. Our government is running away from us. Now our government wants to watch us and make sure it's safe from the very people it ostensibly is there to protect. If a government ever has to worry about its own citizens trying to remove it then it is no longer worthy of its stewardship over those people. Today's invasive security for our protection is too similar to Lucifer's plan. Lucifer states, "I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost". How is his plan accomplished? By watching everyone and making sure they behave. The Gestapo and stasi followed this tradition. Now homeland security is in the same position. Will they behave and be constrained by the rule of law? Or will they become the new oppressors? Any bets on whether I'm working my way onto their watch lists by making these comments?

I see the country so many have sacrificed for dying and it's taboo to say so. I see people ignoring prophecy as in the days of noah. Our fiction is full of people struggling through dark times, yet we ignore the ominous clouds of our real world we live in. May we see how much our situation is like that of those that have gone before us.


Monday, July 03, 2006

The Constitution (use as directed)

I, Shaun Kruger now declare myself a full fleged political heretic. Why am I a heretic? Because I believe we should be using the Constitution as it was designed.

How many issues could be resolved if the congress stayed within its bounds?
I will suggest a list of things that the congress did not have authority to setup or do. In question is not whether or not they are good things. In question is whether or not the congress had authority.
For each of these I ask you to find an entry in Article I Section 8 of the constitution that grants the authority to the congress to make such a law or create such a department.

1. Department of education
I consider legislation like No Child Left Behind to be a mistake. However, that is beside the point. Dealing with education was not mentioned in the powers of congress.

2. War in Iraq
I heard congressmen Ron Paul of Texas speak a few years ago. He put forward and amendment to the Iraq war funding bill. This amendment would have made the bill a formal declaration of war in addition to being a budget allocation. It was voted down. Only the congress has authority to declare war. As such the president is acting outside of the bounds of the constitution.
Note: I have heard the argument that voting for funding was an implicit declaration of war. This is a very dangerous line of thinking. It's one that allows the president to attack another nation without holding the congress accountable for declaring said war.

3. Social security
I talked to Pete Ashdown on Saturday. He stated his disagreement with many constitutionalists about social programs. Presently they are not constitutional. Quite simply, the congress was not given authority to appropriate money for social/welfare programs.

4. FCC, FAA, and other regulatory bodies.
While regulatory bodies to have a place in the operation of our nation at this time I still do not believe that the congress had authority to create them. If a regulation is to be enforced as if it were law then it has to be voted on by the congress and enforced by the executive. There is not authority given to delegate the legislative power of creating law, or the executive power of enforcing law in the Constitution. Lets take for an example the FAA. The Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR's) are a body of regulations that are not directly voted on by the congress. These regulations still have requirements and penalties just as real as any law voted into existence by the congress. This means we now have laws that are created by people we did not vote into office. This removes all accountability. Are regulators afraid of not having a job next election cycle if people didn't like the regulations they came up with?

Remember, the problem with these four programs and bodies is that there is not authority granted to the federal government to handle things the way they are being handled. In talking to Pete on Saturday he suggested that the constitution wasn't able to cover all cases so a liberal interpretation is needed.

Mr. Ashdown, you are wrong. The constitution is designed to be able to meet any of these needs. As proof I submit to you Article V.

All four of these things I have mentioned can be made constitutional simply by through the amendment process. Granted, that does involve admitting that the congress had been acting unconstitutionally previously by voting them into existence. It also means they will have some changes to make if amendments don't pass. The congress can't just continue letting programs exist once they have admitted they needed constitutional support.

Pete's example that he used to support a liberal reading of the constitution was the existence of the Air Force. It was not listed in the original constitution because manned flight was still over 100 years away. However, the Airforce can be organized under the Army, the Navy, or an amendment to add a clause to Article I Section 8 can be put forward thus allowing it to be its own branch of the military.

Yes, the writers of the constitution knew that things would change. They knew it wouldn't cover everything. That is why they made it amendable.

This being said. I hope all the good democrats and good replublicans I know can forgive me for not supporting their entire platforms. I love my country and see bad things happening to it. My one wish is that every person who waves the flag would also read the constitution. Many of us will be having parties tomorrow, but how many will think about the great minds that produced the constitution and the sacrifices made to really become independent of the British?

Shaun Kruger

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Always another way...

I finally gave the LOOP for Black Belts chapter in Practical Common Lisp a read. As such I started playing with loops.

I decided to do a quick test. One using mapcar and one using loop. The goal was to turn numeric values from 1-6 into string values containing the numbers 1-6.
'(1 2 3 4 5 6)
'("1" "2" "3" "4" "5" "6")

I first tried with mapcar:
(mapcar (lambda (x) (format nil "~a" x)) '(1 2 3 4 5 6))

Then with loop:
(loop for i in '(1 2 3 4 5 6) collect (format nil "~a" i))

Both get the exact same thing done, but there is a difference. Mapcar doesn't expand with macroexpand-1. However, when you try to expand the loop you get this:
(LET ((#:G13088 '(1 2 3 4 5 6)))
(LET ((I NIL))
(SETQ I (CAR #:G13088))
(PSETQ #:G13088 (CDR #:G13088)) (GO SYSTEM::BEGIN-LOOP)

Loop may be easier to read, but mapcar probably executes less code to get it done. One other difference is that loop doesn't need to use a lambda. I'll have to think about that next time I just want to iterate through a list.