Showing posts from April, 2009

Was the Nation of Israel Created by an Act of God?

There exists a surprisingly large number of Christians, including a lot of Mormons, who think that the modern nation of Israel was created by an act of God. I happen to think that it was created by intrigue, something with which God does not involve himself. Even if Israel had been created by an act of God, it is safe to say that God would hide his face in shame at what Israel has become today. The Nation of Israel was conceived in war. It's my opinion that the world would be a much better place today had the nation of Israel never been born.

The Jews have been persecuted like no other people in the history of the world. Hitler didn't start the torturings and killings--he just perfected Before the creation of modern Israel, Arabs and Jews had lived together in relative peace for many years. Since then, it seems, "peace" is no longer even an entry in the Middle Eastern lexicon.and systematized them. It's not surprising, then, that many Jews would want to lea…

How to Get Torture Memos Off the Front Page: It's Spelled S-W-I-N-E F-L-U

I just did a check on about ten different national news sites. Not one of them any longer has anything about the torture memos on its front page. Rather, the top item on the list is now swine flu hysteria. Swine flu is affecting thousands, but still you'd think that the American news media could juggle more than one important ball at one time. If this weren't the same news media that thinks anything that, for example, Angelina Jolie does is news of the utmost importance, you'd also think that the media could put the swine flu problems in their proper perspective.

Have you heard very much in the news about the Obama's release of Bush torture memos lately? Did you know that, due to the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico City, the Mexican economy may be on the verge Not even a swine flu outbreak should be seen as a warrant for a cover-up of the realities of Bush-era torture.of collapse? Did you know that it was recently discovered that virus samples have may gone missing…

The Inhumanity of Bob Lonsberry: Waterboarding, Concentration Camps, and the the Bataan Death March

KNRS 570 radio talk show host Bob Lonsberry advocated waterboarding and other forms of torture during his show on April 21, 2009. More grotesquely, he was beaming with pride about his advocacy campaign. It's difficult to imagine then, that, by the same rationale, had Lonsberry been a German at the time of Hitler, or a Japanese during the Bataan Death March, that he would not have advocated torture of Jews in the concentration camps or the bayoneting and shooting of American soldiers on the Bataan trail.

Torture, Torture, Everywhere! Nearly 80,000 American soldiers were captured by the Japanese in the To contemplate a discussion about whether or not torture is legal or whether it even works, it is first required to come to the conclusion that 'I am a child of God, but my adversary is a monkey'.Phillipines in 1942 and forced to march with no food and very little water for six days. If a man stumbled, if he didn't respond quickly to a command, or if he tried to get water…

Obama In League with Bush, Gives Pass on Torture, Further Endangers America

I applaud the Obama Administration's recent release of torture memos that were the primary legacy of the Bush administration. The release of the memos rings hollow, however, since Obama indicated that no further investigation would occur into the matter, let alone any punishment being meted out for this embarrassment to America. People around the world are outraged. I hope you're one of them.

America's worst nemesis is its lack of integrity vis-a-vis the rest of the world. Unfortunately, Obama's recent determination
Obama has made some good moves. Opening relations with Cuba is one of them. But in the things that really matter--that involve the restoration of America's integrity--he might as well be Dick Cheney. that the tortured interpretations and implementations of Bush era torture will not be investigated dilutes our integrity even further. The rest of the world was expecting a lot to change when Obama took office. They're starting to see that not much…

Why is LDS Church Growth So Flat? Because We're No Longer Unique.

In 1996, the number of LDS converts was just over 321,000. In 2004, 80,000 fewer people were converted to the Church. I was surprised to learn that in 2008, the numbers were only about 265,000--still a far cry from the trends of previous decades. What gives? There are many reasons. But I have a theory that most people probably haven't thought about. It's called "we don't live our religion very well anymore."

Various estimates in the last few decades projected that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would have between 75 million and 175 million members by the year 2030. At previous growth rates, That's our biggest problem. It's not that it's hard to be a Mormon. It's not that people are spreading lies about our doctrine. It's that we don't have anything unique to offer. Mormons have become just like everyone else, and in doing so, we have become our own worst enemy.this goal would still seem probable. At the current …

Of Pirates and Financiers : Whom Should We Hate Worse?

Why are pirates attacking ships off the coast of Somalia? Because it's very profitable! You'll be surprised just how profitable. This got me profitability the same reason that most bankers want to be bankers?

In the past year, pirates in the area of the Gulf of Aden have accrued "tens of millions of dollars" in ransoms. I'd say that's a pretty profitable business.

Yet still the owners of the ships that are being attacked balk at carrying weapons to defend themselves.

Wouldn't that make you angry if you found out that pirates were stealing tens of millions of dollars from you?

They are.

How about if they were stealing thousands of times that much?

They are.

It's ironic that the Somali pirates are receiving hours and hours of news time for stealing from cargo ships during the same period of time in which global economic pirates are stealing far more from you.

Global financiers are gaming you and me, and they're not even asking for a ransom.…

Obama on Wiretapping, Rendition, and War: It's Time to Start Admitting that Ron Paul Was the Better Choice

I've already documented how Obama is still using mercenaries, just like the Bush administration. I documented how Obama hires the same Establishment schmucks for his administration and how he's equally in bed with Wall Street as Bush was.

But it gets worse. I told you it would.
Now, with the Obama administration's stances on wiretapping, war in the Middle East, and secret and indefinite detention of enemy combatants, there's virtually no difference in Obama's stance from Bush's.

If you are surprised, you haven't been reading Simple Utah Mormon Politics. The election is over, but it's still not too late to remind you that if Ron Paul were president, these same problems would be well on the way to not being problems anymore. With Obama, they're just about as big as they ever were.

One thing that I appreciate about progressives: they are much better than I just didn't think Olbermann could get fit to be tied over something that involved a Democrat pr…

Obama's Blackwater? The More U.S. Foreign Policy "Change"s The More it Stays the Same

How I wish that mercenary armies had been just an aberration of the Bush/Cheney Administration. It would have convinced me that Barack Obama had at least some sort of significant change that I could believe in. But instead of my predictions being wrong, they are now haunting me.

When I served in Iraq in 2005-06, I took a fairly hefty pay cut from my civilian job. Not a big deal, I thought, because I expected it. What I didn't know was that I could do the same military-like stuff for a civilian firm and get paid more (a lot more). While in Iraq, I met some guys from one of the "mercenary groups" that were providing security for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I don't know for sure if they The places may have changed, and even the company name, but the activities of the corporate soldiers of fortune continue apace under the Obama administration.were Blackwater employees, but they were making almost three times as much money as I was making. Even the private firefighters…

Discussion on the "Twelve Apostates": How Should LDS Leaders React to Newspaper Mistake?

If I had been the one to make the mistake, I would have been mortified. But if I'd been a member of the LDS First Presidency or the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, I'd have laughed about it. I haven't heard anything about their reactions yet, but I hope I'm right.

It's a joke that should probably only be told once or twice, because it would become disrespectful over time, but man this one was funny. Yesterday, the BYU Daily Universe published a front page picture with a caption referring to the "Twelve Apostates" (click here, then scroll down for article updates) instead of the "Twelve Apostles". As soon as the error was discovered, all newspapers (several thousand) were removed from the racks on BYU campus. A reprint of the edition appeared late yesterday afternoon.

I had an interesting conversation with a few of my BYU co-workers today. I was surprised by their reactions to the mistake.

First of all, this isn't the first time that mistake ha…

Is It Bad that LDS Quorum of Twelve is Still a Bunch of White Guys?

I predicted that someone from South or Central America--a hispanic--would be the next member of the Quorum of 12 Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Instead, it was Neil L. Andersen, another caucasian Brigham Young University graduate. Some people have intimated that Andersen was a poor choice, because it perpetuated the image of an exclusive white-man's club. What do you think?

Update 4/6/09 - Twelve "Apostates"? Was it just a faux pas at BYU's Daily Universe?

Update 2:Yes it was. ;-)

During President Thomas S. Monson's inaugural press conference following the death of Gordon B. Hinckley in early 2008,Does it matter that 12 white guys, 11 of which graduated from Utah universities, comprise the Quorum of the Twelve? It shouldn't.a member of the press asked what the leadership would do to change the perspective that Church leaders are just a bunch of white men from Utah.

The choice of Neil Anderson to the Quorum of Twelve did nothing to…

Is the LDS Church Succumbing to Global Warming Hysteria?

On March 28th, the LDS Church participated in Earth Hour by dimming the lights of the Salt Lake temple for one hour. On April 2nd, church leaders met with globalist global warming crusader Al Gore. Rumor has it that the LDS church leadership will make a statement on global warming in General Conference this weekend. Do you think that LDS Church leaders have lost their marbles?

The Earth Hour web site says

This year, Earth Hour was transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008...50 million people switch[ed] off their lights.

In 2009, Earth Hour was taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people casting their vote for Earth.

[We urge you] to VOTE EARTH [by dimming your lights] and reach the target of 1 billion votes by the time world leaders meet in Copenhagen for the Global Climate Chang…

A Good Latter-day Saint AND a Democrat? Isn't That Stretching Things a Bit?

Mormons, if they really looked, could find more areas where practices of the Republican party clash with their faith than do those of the Democrat party. The self-righteous arrogance of Utah Mormon Republicans, then, is much more than ironic. In some ways Utah Mormon Democrats are light years ahead of Republicans when it comes to Christlike (read: Latter-day Saint) virtues. It's time for Utah Mormon Republicans to step down off that phony pedestal that they've created for themselves and realize that they might just have some catching up to do.

According to the bent philosophies that some Republican Mormons mix with their scripture, their version of Alma Chapter 46 (beginning with verse 19) in the Book of Mormon must go something like this
19 And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among [his fellow Republicans], waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that [his party members] might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part, and crying with a l…