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Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Facts of the Immigration Debate

Unless you've been living under a rock on the forest moon of Endor for the last couple of weeks, you're probably aware that Donald Trump, in his campaign for the Presidency of the United States, has once again inflamed the political elites from all sides of the spectrum. In a press release on pausing Muslim immigration to the US, we learned, "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Wait, what?! You can't do that! You can't shut out an entire religion!

That's right. Donald Trump has proposed closing the border to immigrants professing a specific religion: Islam, and the political world is in turmoil.

Trump's problem isn't that he's announced plans to suspend immigration; it's that he's based the suspension on the religious affiliation of a given set of immigrants.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

The Downfall of Reason

On Friday, November 6th, 2015, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it had made a change to its general handbook of instructions. The change? Children of homosexual parents cannot be baptized.
In the following clip, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and a leader of the Church, explains the reasoning behind the change made by the church.

The world's reaction? Terror and disgust. How could you deny the children of gay parents the saving ordinances of the gospel? How could you?! That's not very Christlike of you! And, then they go off with a litany of derogatory names that can't be repeated here.

Never mind that the children of gay parents would be expected not only to go to church every Sunday to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the tenets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they would also be expected to recognize sin for what it is. This includes homosexuality. Never mind that most of the parents of the children in question have an animosity toward The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of its role in California's Prop 8 and similar ballot measures in other states, and will not likely condone their children having a religious influence in their lives let alone one that has remained adamant that homosexuality is a sin in God's eyes. Never mind that within this video clip, Elder Christofferson makes statements that convey the Church's understanding that Gay Marriage is now legal and that homosexuals are and can be good parents. Never mind that since Joseph Smith restored the Church in 1830, no traditional family has been extended this consideration. There are many, many converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were disowned by their families because it was perceived they were joining a Satanic Cult. They, of all people, would have a right to be indignant about the Church's change in policy. Never mind all of that because the Church's change only addresses the children of homosexual couples.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the US, we're anxiously teaching pre-pubescent and pubescent children that nature may have made a mistake with their bodies. The following links illustrate a moral depravity that has overcome the US and other parts of the world.

What has happened to America?!

Are we so far down the path of moral depravity that we can't recognize where the abuse really is? Each of the previous links is to a story that should instill fear and no small degree of disgust within each of us. Yet, instead of expressing outrage at the perversion of children, we get upset when a church raises the age of baptism for a specific set of children who are unlikely to seek out baptism in the first place.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why You Should Vote "NO" on the Constitutional Amendment in Idaho

Like many Idahoans who are reading this, I recently received a copy of the “Idaho Voter's Pamphlet: Concerning Proposed Constitutional Amendment H. J. R. 2.”

Upon reading it, I was immediately reminded of the interlude between Boromir, the son of the Steward of Gondor, and Frodo, a hobbit, in Peter Jackson's film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

During this exchange, Boromir uses sympathy, reason, and logic with Frodo in an effort to secure the One Ring from Frodo in a vain attempt to use it to defend Gondor from the evil Lord Sauron, who made the ring and who is the only one able to control it.

Before Boromir can complete his argument, though, Frodo says, “I know what you would say, [and] it would seem like wisdom but for the warning in my heart.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

From Death to Debt

In light of the Republican Leadership's recent cave-in in passing a "clean" debt ceiling bill, I was reminded of Patrick Henry's rally, "Give me liberty or give me death," and conjured up this meme as a result:

Saturday, March 09, 2013

A Letter to the Idaho Legislature about Health Exchanges

Ladies and gentlemen of the Idaho House Health & Welfare committee:

I have the greatest respect for the work in which you and other legislators and the Governor are engaged. Though I do not apologize for the tone or the content of this email, please allow me to apologize in advance for its length.

I would have been there Thursday to present my case in person; however, I do not have the funds to travel even to Boise, and I place the needs of my family over nearly everything else.

Still, I just learned from the Idaho Statesman that you passed H248 with a “do pass” recommendation out of the committee with a 10-1 vote. While I’m grateful to know I didn’t waste my fuel and my breath on a personal appeal for liberty, state sovereignty, and plain old human decency, I’d like to express my disappointment at your behavior. Consider why you are in the state legislature. Is it to help special interests accomplish their goals of making competition scarce? Is it to craft laws imposing your will on the people of Idaho? Or, is it to serve the people of Idaho?

I watched the public comment and testimony on H248 and noted that the vast majority of supporters of the bill were lobbyists for the insurance, medical and dental industries—people whose pocket will theoretically get fatter as a result of the Insurance Exchange and Obamacare. At the same time, the vast majority of opponents were everyday citizens fighting the growth of government. A conclusion here is obvious: with the exception of the 1 no vote, you, like every other corrupt scallywag in a self-serving ruling class, listen to money more than reason and conscience. It amounts to a narcissistic type of cronyism. How very disappointing indeed! While I don’t mean to be rude, I do mean to harshly chastise you.

Ladies and gentlemen, cronyism will destroy Idaho and the US. Yes, that’s an accusation, and if the shoe fits, wear it because 10 of you and 23 in the Senate totally ignored those people who will be responsible for paying the bill the Health Insurance Exchange will generate. 10 of you and 23 in the Senate ignored reason for a false notion of a modicum of control for Idaho.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stan Lee's Rant on Pennies

While I can't say that I agree that the US needs to simply abolish the penny (how would odd change be made--anything not a multiple of 5?), if it actually costs the US 2 cents for every 1 cent minted, the comic book master has a point. It's problematic too. Perhaps instead of eliminating the penny, we mint it with a metal that equals its value? I know with the out of control debt-based currency the US has, we may not find a cheap enough material out of which the penny can be minted. Still, better that than making shopping math that much more confusing.

Have you ever noticed that little 9 next to the price of gas at a gas station? It's 9/10 of 1 penny automatically rounding your purchase by 1 cent. The same happens at the grocery store and with ever kind of merchandise conceivable. Consider that without the penny, gas prices will automatically be rounded up not by $.01 but by $.05 because there would be no way to collect the any amount not a multiple of 5. The elimination of the penny will create just such a mathematical dilemma.

So, find something more suitable, but do not get rid of the penny.