Kelly is the mother of 5 adorable kids--4 boys and a girl. The girl came in a package with a boy (twins).
Kelly is married to a charming young man who lives and breathes computers. They are also guardians for three nieces and a nephew.
She is active in the community having served as PTA President of a local elementary school,
on the board of the Salt Lake Mothers of Twins, as a district round-table trainer with the Cub Scouts, as a volunteer for Sidelines (a support network for Women on bed rest during pregnancy) and she and her husband are active in the LDS Church.
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer,
who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea,
his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to
drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation,
a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
[Disclaimer: this interview does not constitute an endorsement of this candidate.]
I have here my good friend, James Baird, who is currently running as the Libertarian Candidate for the Texas House District 105. Upon learning that he was running I asked if I could interview him for my blog. He graciously accepted my request.
Kelly:James, tell my readers a little about yourself and how you got involved in the Libertarian Party in Texas.
James: I am a stay-at-home father with two sons. One is 16 and the other is 20 years of age. I currently home school my youngest. I have been a professional for most of my life, however, with 15 plus years experience working in college admissions, and much more than that working in databases and in the computing field. I am married to a wonderful lady who is also a professional, and we make a great team as well as being a great couple.
My first exposure to a serious Libertarian occurred while I was working at the University. I had long been dissatisfied with the Republican party of the 90's since they had dropped most of what Reagan had built while at the same time calling themselves conservatives.
This gentleman was, himself, not a contributing member of the LP at the time, but he talked a great game for what the LP stood for and how they were actually a serious party. I did more research, and I discovered that I identified with a great deal of the National LP Platform. I have been a contributing member of the party for many years now in both the National LP and the Texas LP.
Kelly: What do Libertarians stand for? What is their platform?
James: The LP stands for freedom. It stands by the by-line that it is the party of principle, and indeed it is. The LP believes that the role of the federal government is carefully described in the Constitution, and that it therefore has no role in monitoring and controlling our private lives. I cannot go into every detail of the platform here, but anyone that is interested can go to http://www.lp.org/ for a more involved reading. Let me start here, though.
The preamble of the LP platform states:
"As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.
We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power."
Economically, the LP believes in free trade and the removal of government restrictions on free trade. It is not through the might of the military that freedom gains ground, it is through allowing open markets that oppressed peoples learn about freedom, and open markets are the tool that raises the standard of living. Tariffs and high taxes are currently hindering our own economy, and those things only serve to increase the power of the federal government and nothing for the average business that desires to increase demand for its goods or services. The current trend of the government spending your dollars to bail out those that have made bad decisions can sound like a good thing until you really look at it.
I hate it that people make stupid decisions, but at the same time, the money that my wife and I have earned through the sweat of our brow is ours, and it belongs to nobody else. If your neighbor makes a bad decision in the stock market, or he buys a car that does not run, or she makes an investment in property that resides in a flood plain, why should my money go to that end when we have been careful to avoid bad decisions ourselves? We are not a collective.
What we are is a society of free people that can make decisions for good or for ill. I do not want to live in a country where I have a Big Brother breathing over my shoulder to make sure that I do not make a bad decision. By nature that means that I have a more limited set of decisions that I can make as a free person.
The platform states:
"Individuals must be free to be aggressive competitors and form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association in the market place, and must enjoy no state-sponsored advantage. Those who best supply a good or service in the market will enjoy natural dominance only as long as they continue to benefit consumers. Subsidies and government-granted monopolies protect the non-competitive from market forces."
Along those same lines, the LP believes that we are a free people and have the right to live as we desire. The platform [further] states:
"Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. We must accept the right of others to choose for themselves if we are to have the same right. Our support of an individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. We believe people must accept personal responsibility for the consequences of their actions."
As a result, the LP strongly opposes the federal government controlling intoxicating substances, as long as those are not used to the detriment of one's neighbors or the harming of any other individual. We oppose the use of "sin taxes" for those that wish to consume alcohol or tobacco, for example. We oppose the prohibition of marijuana, also, as it has filled our prisons to the breaking point with non-violent offenders, and has promoted a multi-billion dollar industry in the US of incarcerating people. We now have more prisoners than Communist China, and lead the world in per-capita incarceration. Yet the demand has only grown, and street crime and organized crime have grown to epic proportions.
The question frequently arises that if the federal government will not take care of the indigent and the impaired, then who will take care of them? *I would point out that those that are taken care of by private charities and by relatives fare much better than those that are dependent on government establishments There are children that I know of personally that are being cared for in a loving environment in a much better way than they could hope for in a government institution. We as a free people have to be ready to assume the responsibilities of being free people.
There are other issues that the LP feels strongly about, but these serve to illustrate the general principles of the LP.
Kelly:How do you feel about those who do not take personal responsibility for their actions?
James: Freedom is a precious commodity, and at the same time, it is a dangerous commodity. Benjamin Franklin once observed that "those that would surrender their freedom for security deserve neither." Those that do not take personal responsibility to the extent that they violate the rights of others are breaking the law, and that is the territory of the police and the courts.
Those that otherwise harm no one else have the ability to choose how to live. If they live recklessly, then they have chaotic and uncomfortable results. If, on the other hand, they choose to live wisely and take care of themselves and their families, then they will have better lives.
For example, do I really need the government to tell me that I must wear a seat-belt? I do that on my own, but I know the consequences if I get into an accident and I do not have mine on. Similarly, do we really need the government to tell local businesses who can have a smoking establishment and who cannot? Interfering with the free market disallows businesses and individuals to make personal choices that otherwise harm nobody.
Kelly:Now, for the easy ones....
Kelly:A few months ago you were asked to represent the TX LP party as one of their candidates. What went through your mind when the idea was presented to you?
James: That was a funny thing. We had company that night, and I received a phone call from the chairman of the Texas LP asking me to run. I thought to myself "why not?" MY Uncle thought it was a great idea as "long as they could still speak to me after my head grew three hat sizes." In all actuality, I took it very seriously, and it is a daunting task. However, having the opportunity to talk to people about the LP and tell what it really stands for is a great opportunity. The two major parties have painted us as "kooks and weirdoes" at every opportunity. In reality we are calling a type of government that made this country grow into the greatest country that has ever been.
Kelly:Did you have any reservations about running?
James: I had several, of course, and not the least of which is that I do not have a big money-machine party supporting my candidacy. The LP has a weakness in that we have not been around long enough that we monetarily support candidates. I am not a rich man, after all. Another consideration is that you open yourself to personal attacks, and you have to be willing to take those. I have no problems with that. I can fight with the best of them, but I do not want my family to be unjustly scrutinized. Thirdly, the Republican incumbent is well entrenched here, and that is going to be an up-hill battle even if I had a huge war-chest.
Kelly:What does one have to do to run for office?
James: In the LP you have to first file with the State of Texas, and you have to fill out a form that examines your finances for possible conflicts of interest. That was, naturally, not a problem for me, as our finances are very pedestrian. The next step is that you have to go through a "vetting" process at the County LP Convention. That was actually a lot of fun. As you can tell from this interview, I do not mind talking. The Convention either then votes you in as an official candidate, or it does not. In my case I received a 'unanimous' positive vote. The next step is to talk to as many people as possible. I am building a web site for this and I plan on getting some flyers out and do some door-to-door advertising.
Kelly:What was it like going to the LP convention as a candidate? Were you nervous?
James: I was nervous, of course, because I knew I was going to have to go up before a camera and answer some tough questions. But I have a lot of experience as a teacher and as a college recruiter in talking in front of people. I was at ease once I got the microphone, though, and could have talked longer if we had had the time.
Kelly: How supportive has your family been?
James: My family, my friends, and business acquaintances have all been very supporting. My oldest son has been out talking to all of his friends of voting age to get out there and vote for the LP. It amazes me still how many young people are not just dumb participants. Many of them are distrustful of the government and they see through the lies and misinformation put out there by mainstream media and the main political parties. It has been this show of support that has made me believe that the LP has a great future ahead of it.
Kelly: Why do you think someone in your area ought to vote for you?
James: Let me put it this way: if you are satisfied with the way that the Texas legislature has handled issues like education, taxation, the Trans-Corridor Highway, and the prison system, then you should most definitely NOT vote for me. If you would like a change that is real and has substance, then you should not only vote for me, but you should also support and vote for the Libertarian Party.
Kelly:Is there anything else you would like to add?
James: Well, first let me thank you for giving me an opportunity to present the LP in my own words. There are a great many people that are becoming disenfranchised with both major political parties. The Republicans have done everything besides control spending and reduce the size of the federal government. We also have a Democratic Party that desires to create what would be a socialist state. The LP is fiscally conservative, and it is socially liberal. The old meaning of liberal was one of a person that believed in the rights of the individual to worship in freedom, to conduct business in freedom, and to live without the fear of government intrusion into their bedrooms, their living rooms, into their businesses and finances, into their children's education, and most importantly into the very thoughts that we are allowed to express. The LP is a call to return to a better, and more humane, government. Vote LP!
Kelly:James, thank you for the interview. It has been a pleasure to have you here today. Good luck on the campaign trail.
James: I am more than happy.
* Correction (previously said, "I would point out that those that are taken care of by government agencies and those that are taken care of by relatives and charitable organizations fare much better than those that are ‘incarcerated’ in government establishments.")
Thanks to some neighbors we are now the proud owners of two fiesty male Betta fish. The neighbor who gave them to us gave them with very little instructions for their care.
We had a naming vote to decide what to call them. The names of Pinky and the Brain won out.
Luckily, I have a good friend who knows a thing or two about taking care of pet fish...particularly bettas. He was able to give me some very valuable instructions on their care.
When we got them they were in two separate tanks. This, btw, is a very good thing. Male bettas will try and likely succeed at killing one or the other. The tanks came with an aeration pump, but had yet been inserted into the tanks.
Another neighbor had some extra betta food to tie us over until I could get to the closest pet store. It took me over a week to get the necessary supplies to properly clean out the tanks and add the aerator pumps. I also bought some small rocks and some scenery for the tanks.
Finally, this last Saturday, I got the chance to clean out the tanks and get things in place with the aeration, rocks and scenery. At first Pinky was not sure about his new surroundings. The Brain, however, thought it was cool to swim about the plants and loved being able to hide among them.
By the next day Pinky had decided that his tank was okay and has been more lively since.
ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain today issued the following statement on District of Columbia v. Heller:
"Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on District of Columbia v. Heller, a landmark case for all Americans who believe as I do that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. I am proud to have joined in an amicus brief to the Court calling for a ruling in keeping with the clear intent of our Founding Fathers, which ensures the Second Amendment rights of the residents of District of Columbia are reaffirmed."
I had read about this case last evening. As a long avid supporter of the Second Amendment, I find McCain's statement as yet another reason for giving my support to him.
Liberty is not 'given' by the rulers of the people, but protected by the people. If the people are not able to protect themselves...there is NO ONE to give them liberty.
A few weeks ago my husband convinced me that I ought to play City of Heroes. I have resisted the idea of playing any MMORPGs. For those who don't know, an MMORPG is an online game where you get to wander around with a bunch of other people, interacting, and beating the snot out of creatures and bad guys...or rather getting the snot beat out of your character.
Along comes this invitation/arm twisting/gentle prodding to play the game. Before the week was over I was hooked. I have to play the game on my kids computer, however, because mine....ahem...does not have the wherewithall to run the game.
Well, since that time, my computer has been upgraded and I can run the game on my own system. This has allowed me a bit more flexibility in when I can play. Because of this I have now advanced one of my characters (heroes) to the final level (50).
This is no small task, mind you. In July 2007 I started a new character that I named Cho Leigh. Cho is a martial arts kick and punch type of hero. It is Cho who took me along from one adventure to another and from one team to another as she advanced in abilities and levels to reach this final capstone.
Though I resisted the idea of playing this game, initially, I must say that this is ONE FUN GAME!! And now my friends are ribbing me about how much I play. Ah, but tis such great entertainment.
Now, to pull myself away from my game to clean the house....sigh...
My daughter and my niece (who lives with us) were complaining that their pants were gettig a bit too short. The two of them are 11 years old. The niece had grown a good 3 inches (my guess) since Christmas. She is officially taller than me and VERY thin.
Needless to say, her pants had become too short on her, but still fit around the waist. I took her to buy a couple pairs of new pants and, while we were successful in getting two pair, it was not an easy task. You try finding size 5 juniors in a tall length. Most kids who are as tall as her aren't as thin as she is. Most kids who are as tall as her aren't still 11 years old.
After I bought the new pants for her, my daughter decided to take matters into her own hands. She has discovered my sewing machine and my fabric closet. All on her own, without talking to me about it before hand, she added extensions to two pair of her own pants and one pair of her cousin's pants.
Though she has a few things to learn about sewing, I must give her credit for taking the initiative to tackle this job on her own.
The next day they proudly wore these altered pants to school.
My dear schweetie sent this in a group email this morning. I told him it was begging to be used in a blog. So, I took matters into my own hands.
"On the way to work today I heard "Amazing Grace" sung to the tune "House of the Rising Sun." Do you know what this means? Based on the usual method of getting a song unstuck from your head (singing Gilligan's Island to Amazing Grace's tune or vice versa) you can now add House of the Rising Sun into the mix.
"Between the three originals and the now TWO alternate tunes for each, you have a total of 9 combinations, six of which can purge any normal song from your mind with ease! (I make no claim about the emotional scarring caused by singing Gilligan's Island to House of the Rising Sun.) I knew those combinatorics math classes from college would come in handy some day."
This is another one of those personality tests. Some have attributed it to Dr. Phil. That is not true. However, I found it rather telling. Some of my friends would agree. I wrote my responses on a piece of paper and then at the bottom I looked to see what score each response gave. My score was 37.
31 TO 40 POINTS : Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful and practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.
Here is the test. Let me know what you got.
1 When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning b) during the afternoon and early evening c) late at night
2. You usually walk...
a) fairly fast, with long steps b) fairly fast, with little steps c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face d) less fast, head down e) very slowly
3. When talking to people you...
a) stand with your arms folded b) have your hands clasped c) have one or both your hands on your hips d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair .
4. When relaxing, you sit with. .
a) your knees bent and with your legs neatly side by side b) your legs crossed c) your legs stretched out or straight d) one leg curled under you
5. When something really amuses you, you react with...
a) big appreciated laugh b) a laugh, but not a loud one c) a quiet chuckle d) a sheepish smile
6. When you go to a party or social gathering you .. .
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed
7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted...
a) welcome the break b) feel extremely irritated c) vary between these two extremes
8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
a) red or orange b) black c) yellow or light blue d) green e) dark blue or purple f) white g) brown or gray
9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep you are...
a) stretched out on your back b) stretched out face down on your stomach c) on your side, slightly curled d) with your head on one arm e) with your head under the covers
10. You often dream that you are...
a) falling b) fighting or struggling c) searching for something or somebody d) flying or floating e) you usually have dreamless sleep f) your dreams are always pleasant
OVER 60 POINTS : Others see you as someone they should 'handle with care.' You're seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.
51 T 60 POINTS : Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.
41 TO 50 POINTS : Others see you as fresh, live ly, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.
31 TO 40 POINTS : Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.
21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise t hem if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then , usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.
UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions & who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you' re boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.