Friday, December 14, 2012

As Assad Regime Totters, Obama Can't Resist Embroiling the US

The UN envoy to Syria is asking Bashar al Assad to step down. A Russian deputy foreign minister said that Assad's control over Syria is weakening. So what does the Obama Administration do? It riles up the situation by sending US troops into the fray.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Seeing the Glass Half Full--and Filling It--With God's Help

If you see the glass as half empty, you are a pessimist.  If you see it as half full, you are an optimist.  If you learn to expect that God can help you fill your glass to overflowing, you are a synergist.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

LDS Doctrine is Established by the Church and Not by Its Detractors

Anti-Mormon critics often set up as a straw man the claim that the LDS Church  teaches that prophets are infallible. It does not. Antagonists cite, for example, the talk "14 Fundamentals in Following the Prophet" as well as the song primary children are taught called "Follow the Prophet".  It is not fair to take such things out of the context of how LDS Doctrine is really established. Detractors from the Church do not make LDS doctrine. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Notes on the Protests in Egypt

With the fall of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, many Americans bemoaned the imminent takeover of Egyptian public life by the Muslim Brotherhood.  Clearly the MB dominates the legislature, because they were more organized than other parties in the first ever free elections, but events that have unfolded in the past few days indicate that it will not be nearly so easy to dominate the rest of Egyptian life.  Freedom of speech and association are alive and fairly healthy in Egypt today.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What's it Really Like to Live in Gaza?

What's it really like to live in Gaza? It really sucks. Even Israeli Arab citizens don't have all of the freedoms that Israeli Jewish citizens do.  And it is much worse in the West Bank and Gaza.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saving the Gaza: The Only Way Israel Can Get Rid of Hamas

The primary problem in the Gaza is Hamas.  Hamas is rightly designated by most of the world as a terrorist organization, and it is rightly hated by Israelis, because Hamas regularly commits terrorist acts against Israel.  Ironically, though, Hamas is revered by most Palestinians, because most of what Hamas does in the Gaza is provide humanitarian services to destitute Palestinians.

Israel will never beat Hamas in the game of war, which is guaranteed to only create more Palestinian enemies for Israel.  The only way Israel can decimate Hamas is to do a better job of doing what Hamas does best--providing the services that Palestinians need.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Living in Hell: Life in Iran

I'm sure there are worse places to live than Iran, but there can't be too many. It is a living hell for many. Its government has usurped religion to wreak on its people things that religion was never meant for. Below I describe a small part of the desecrations that are going on in that country.  The Iranian people deserve much better.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Islam, Free Markets, and Democracy: What Most Americans Don't Understand About Islam

Islam IS compatible with democracy.  Islam IS compatible with the free market.  Islam is the only religion that I know that was founded by a businessman! How did we Americans get so many misconceptions about Islam? The answer lies in falsely thinking we can explain modern Islamic violence by ancient Islamic history. The answer lies in the fact that we DON'T UNDERSTAND much more recent history--that of the last 100 years.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Top Ten List of Advice to My Missionary Son

Here are some things that, in retrospect, I wish I had known when I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ or Latter-day Saints.  Since my son is leaving for his mission in the next few days, I thought I'd share those ideas with him, so that he can be more successful than I was.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

If You Really Want to Understand Islam, Read These Books

"Seek first to understand," goes the wise saying. Westerners, and particularly Americans, and more particularly American evangelical Christians, have done a very poor job of seeking to understand what Islam really is.  Like anything else, Islam cannot be captured in a sound bite or even a series of sound bites.  Islam is much more variegated than the average Westerner currently comprehends, and an understanding of Islam requires dozens of hours of study, along with opening one's self up to the possibility that a lot of the sound bites informing what we think we know about Islam just might be wrong.

Here is a list of books that one would do better to read to get a much broader and more accurate view of the religion of Islam.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Non-Mormons are NOT Going to Hell. In Fact, It's the Opposite.

If a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tells you, a "non-member" that you are going to a place called hell if you don't get baptized into our church, they are wrong.  Here's what we really teach about heaven, and it's actually not so much different than what other religions teach, except that there's more to it--if you want it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Notes About the Banking Crisis and the Glass Steagall Act of 1933

Much of the solution that government was trying to provide during the Banking Crisis of the Great Depression was for a problem that government itself created. Emergency banking procedures were begun during the Republican administration of Herbert Hoover and enlarged by his successor, Democrat Franklin D Roosevelt.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Clothed In and Covered By the Grace of Christ

Those who serve temples of God put on white clothing, signifying purity. The only way each of us can become pure is through regularly availing ourselves of the grace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Thus, that white clothing also reminds us how Christ covers--or forgives--our sins.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Muhammad Cartoons: An Ethnocentric Double Standard

We all thought, didn't we, that the Muslims were somehow crazy to be so incensed that a Dutch newspaper would publish cartoons in 2005 that portrayed the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in a negative light? Well, we were wrong. Let's look at what the same newspaper didn't publish because of its offensiveness to readers.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Everything I Learned About God, I Learned in Sunday School

There are many ways that we can learn about important spiritual things. In this episode I'll describe many of the options that are open to me as a Latter-Day Saint. And then I'll explain how, for me, Sunday School is one of the best options for learning. Although, I must admit that I'm not sure why this is the case...  Has anyone else had the same experience?

Friday, June 08, 2012

The Ant and the Grasshopper: A European Tale

Remember the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper, where the ant worked hard all summer and the grasshopper played around the whole time, but when it became winter he begged the ant to give him something to eat?  It's easy to find examples of individual people who act like ants and those who act like grasshoppers.  More recently, it's also become easy to find examples of entire countries.  Let's look at Germany and the PIGS countries.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

How the Apocrypha Confirms LDS Teachings on the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel

The prophet Esdras works hand in hand with Mormon scripture to give us an idea of where the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel went to.  These two sets of scripture also compliment each other in describing what conditions will be like when the Tribes "return"--or when we become aware of their existence. It sounds like it might happen pretty soon.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Paul vs Paul: Do You Support Libertarian Ron or Progressive Krugman?

Bloomberg TV had a fascinating interview face-off with economist and New York Times writer Paul Krugman vs Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. I've listed the ways they disagree. Which one do you more closely identify with?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Why is America So Ignorant of Other Nations?

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville, during his tour of America, was surprised by Americans' lack of interest in other nations and cultures. This is still the case today. Why is it so? There are some good reasons, and there are some embarrassing ones.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Great Leaders Abhor War and Bloodshed

"Based on the teachings on war in The Book of Mormon, there is only one US presidential candidate that I can support." Those aren't my words. They are the words of my 18-year-old son.  And you know what?  He's right.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Europe is to Iran as the United States was to ________?

The European Union, with its tight sanctions on Iran, may be pushing a wounded tiger into a corner just as the United States did to another country a few years ago.  I'm sure you remember what happened then...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Does Socialism Work? Just Ask France

If you're careful as a national government, you can pretend that socialism works, and you can hide for a long time the fact that it doesn't.  It's still sort of working in Germany.  But if you're not careful, soon you'll be France, the new socialist "sick man of Europe".

War, Peace, and the Parable of the Ten Virgins: Trimming Our Lamps with Love

If we expect to live in peace when Jesus Christ comes again to earth in clouds of glory, then we'd best be preparing now by advocating peace and peaceful solutions to the problems in our communities, our nations, and the world.

"Beyond Vietnam": Martin Luther King Was Prophetic

The American national maladies of which Dr. King spoke in his "Beyond Vietnam" speech in April of 1967 have only gotten worse. Imagine how much more the shining city on a hill the United States could and would have been today if we had followed Dr. King's prophetic advice.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

US "Terrorism" Against Iran: Are We Already at War?

Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan
The other day another Iranian nuclear scientist was murdered in Iran.  Did the Iranian government do it and blame it on the west for propaganda value?  It doesn't matter, per se. What matters is the ever increasing likelihood that the West is already or soon will be at war with Iran.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Sanctions Killed Innocent Iraqis, and It Looks Like Innocent Iranians are Next

How should we deal with the dangerous "mullocracy" in Iran? Will general sanctions work? No. They didn't harm Saddam in the least, but tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens perished for want of food and medicines. Trying the same thing by blocking Iranian oil sales is an excellent case of those not understanding history being doomed to repeat it. Or maybe they are just ignoring the history...

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Ron Paul Treachery in Iowa?

A friend of mine asked me this morning, knowing that I am committed to Ron Paul for president, what I thought about the Iowa caucus results from a couple of nights ago. In a way, I am surprised at how well he did, based on the regular undermining that he received at the hands of the Establishment media. But in a way, I'm also surprised that he didn't do better. There might be a reason for that--one that involves more underhandedness.