Monday, October 19, 2009

The Selfish Republican

A few posts ago I got on my soap box and didn't have time to fully address the issue of how being selfish is in all of our best interest.

I read an article where the author was rather perturbed by an article he read in Time magazine that basically said that because so many people lost money in their 401(k)s in 2008 that that investment engine was broke and we need to reach out to those people and find a new investment engine other than the stock market. This is just another case of someone passing the blame from themselves. It really isn't our place to judge who was smart (those who educated themselves on investing and diversified their investments, becoming more conservative as they approached retirement) and who wasn't (those who didn't take the time to get educated and as a result made poor decisions). A lot of people's losses could have been mitigated if they had a diversified investment portfolio (and just because I use this vocabulary doesn't mean I'm an expert). I just hope the government doesn't decide to create more taxes on the responsible to help the irresponsible.

All those who happened to be unfortunate "victims" of the recent recession are individuals who either have family or friends or churches to go to in the event that they need help (everyone does, but my focus is on those who think they are victims). The victim's first recourse should be to family, not to the government. Parents spend years upon years 100% devoted to the welfare of their children; it is not enough for their children to simply pass on their legacy by being good parents themselves, they need to be good children and support their parents in their old age, particularly in the event that their parents are affected by some late-life financial loss (regardless of the children feel about their parents' wisdom in investing).

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin (a prophet that lived in the Americas circa 100 BC) teaches that we shouldn't restrict our helping the poor because we believe that the reason they're in their situations is their own fault.
17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
This is wrong and sinful. We should be willing to give freely to all.

The church should be a way that the community one lives in has an opportunity to serve.  In our church we donate money monthly to our congregation to help out with any of their financial needs.  Money goes out to help with rent, utilities, food, medical expenses, counseling, etc.  We are not forced to and yet so many are so willing to help their spiritual brothers and sisters.

The government should never force us to give our money away to the less fortunate. According to the preamble of the U.S. Consititution, government exists
to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

Don't try to argue that "if the government doesn't force us to help our fellow beings all the less fortunate will be much worse off." Have a little faith in your fellowman! If we were taxed less because the government cuts back on taxes (taxes that basically redistributes the wealth of the better-off folks), it would find that the less fortunate would be much better-off because people are genuinely interested in the welfare of their neighbors and don't need to be forced to be charitable. Everyone would be happier because they are given the opportunity to exercise their God-given agency. Sure there would be those that would care less, but such is the purpose of this life: to choose liberty and eternal life or captivity and death.

Going back to the title of this post (forgive the stereotypes), Democrats tend to want the Government to expand to be able to help more people (e.g., FDR after the Great Depression, Obama with Health Care), Republicans want more freedom from government in order to choose for themselves how to help those around them and not be forced by some unconstitutional hand. I'm of the opinion that less government gives us more freedom, allowing us to make choices that will allow us greater happiness, and sadly also greater sorrow.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Vista Error Code 19: Where'd my disc drives go???

All of a sudden Vista said that both of my optical drives did not exist.  I could boot from a CD when restarting the computer, but once Vista loaded I couldn't access them.  They showed up in the Device Manager, but with little yellow warning signs.  The DM claimed the drivers were up to date, and the only info I got was this message in the drive properties:
"Windows cannot start this hardware device because its configuration information (in the registry) is incomplete or damaged. (Code 19)"
I tried System Restore, but was only able to restore it 3 days earlier, and it didn't help any.  I tried disabling and uninstalling the drivers to no avail.  I even unplugged the drives from the power source and moved them around then plugged them back in hoping to jar something into recognition.  I spent hours searching forums for an answer and finally came across this site which suggested deleting some entries in the registry.  Very Risky, but I thought it was worth a try.  So after exporting my registry I made the recommended deletions and restarted, and Voila! it worked!  Craziness.  Hopefully Windows 7 will be a little more reliable.

Here are the instructions I followed (Repeat them at your own risk!):
  1. Click MY COMPUTER at the top of the list, click FILE, then EXPORT
  2. Browse to a folder that is esy to access such as My Documents
  3. Type a filenme that is easy to remember, such as RegBackup
  4. Click SAVE to backup the registry.
  5. Click the small plus sign (+) next to each of the following folders
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    • SYSTEM
    • Select
  6. Double click the default key and note the value Data number. This value data is used in the next step.
  7. Click the small plus sign (+) next to each of the following folders
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    • SYSTEM
    • CONTROLSET001 (IF the default value data was 1) or Controlset002 (If the default value data was 2)
    • Control
    • Class
    • {4D36E965-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}
  8. Right click LOWERFILTERS from the right side of the window and click Delete
  9. Right click UPPERFILTERS from the right side of the window and click DELETE
  10. Exit registry editor and restart the computer.