Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America

From "How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America: The foreward to a new history of our controversial Founder written by Ron Paul." 18 Sep 2017

Having now endured a more than two-year orgy of adoration for the Broadway hip-hop musical, Hamilton, the public surely deserves a historical corrective. Historian Brion McClanahan's latest work on the Revolutionary period, How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America, is being released Monday. 
Ron Paul, the Libertarian and Republican candidate for president and longtime U.S. Representative from Texas, has written the foreward, which he graciously shared in advance with Reason.
"The central government has always been the greatest threat to liberty in America, but most Americans don't understand how modern America became the warfare state. How did the president acquire so much unconstitutional power? How did the federal judiciary become, at times, the most powerful branch of government? How were the states reduced to mere corporations of the general government? Why is every issue, from abortion to bathrooms to crime to education, a "national" problem? The people have very little input into public policy. They vote, they rally, they attend "town hall" meetings, but it does very little to stop the avalanche of federal laws, regulations, and rules that affect every aspect of American life. We have a federal leviathan that can't be tamed, and Americans are angry about it. They want answers."

Friday, September 8, 2017

Why the Arguments of “New Atheism” May Sound Familiar

While it’s common today to use the term “information,” LDS scriptures (prophetic as always) have long called this property of reality “intelligence.”5 In every realm, ordering intelligence precedes and defines the matter that is ordered. A spiritual creation precedes a physical one (Moses 3:5) and order presupposes an “orderer”—a mind that comprehends and creates the order upon which material reality is based. The scriptures refer to both the information that inheres in reality and the mind that understands or creates it as “intelligence.” This is why we often speak of all matter having “intelligence” but also refer to God’s spirit children as having been created out of eternal “intelligences.” God, like the humans created in His image, is a creative force—one who can comprehend and create order/information.
(Why the Arguments of “New Atheism” May Sound Familiar, By Hyrum Lewis · September 5, 2017)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

We're Going to Hire our Own Bully

Part of the reason we have the President that we have is because people got so tired of this stifling, weaponized political correctness from the left, that eventually, a lot of people on the right said. 'We've had enough. If they're going to bully us culturally endlessly, we're going to hire our own bully.'
(Guy Benson, "Gay and Conservative (Guy Benson Pt. 1)", The Rubin Report, YouTube, 30 Aug 2017, circa 16:02)

What the Alt-Right Gets Wrong

What the Alt-Right Gets Wrong
The alt-right ultimately amounts to an oppressive, backwards-looking movement. It's the opposite of libertarianism.
Posted by Reason Magazine on Thursday, August 31, 2017

From Reason.com

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Great American Eclipse path over the Rexburg Idaho Temple

"The Great American Eclipse path over the Rexburg Idaho Temple on August 21, 2017. This composite accurately illustrates the starting and ending points of where the eclipse started its phases into totality and back to normal." (FB Post, Alan Fullmer Temple Photography, Can be purchased at: http://www.alanfullmer.com/LDS-Temples/Temple/Rexburg-Idaho/i-JNRdg4d)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Depth of the Kindness Hormone Appears to Know Some Bounds

There may be a chemical reason for tribalism.

From "Depth of the Kindness Hormone Appears to Know Some Bounds", Nicholas Wade.

"Oxytocin has been described as the hormone of love. This tiny chemical, released from the hypothalamus region of the brain, gives rat mothers the urge to nurse their pups, keeps male prairie voles monogamous and, even more remarkable, makes people trust each other more.

Yes, you knew there had to be a catch. As oxytocin comes into sharper focus, its social radius of action turns out to have definite limits. The love and trust it promotes are not toward the world in general, just toward a person’s in-group. Oxytocin turns out to be the hormone of the clan, not of universal brotherhood. Psychologists trying to specify its role have now concluded it is the agent of ethnocentrism."


“In the ancestral environment it was very important for people to detect in others whether they had a long-term commitment to the group,”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Renounce War and Proclaim Peace

Now, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what does the Lord expect of us? As a Church, we must “renounce war and proclaim peace.” (D&C 98:16) As individuals, we should “follow after the things which make for peace.” (Rom 14:19) We should be personal peacemakers. We should live peacefully—as couples, families, and neighbors. We should live by the Golden Rule. We have writings of the descendants of Judah as now merged with writings of the descendants of Ephraim. (See Ezek. 37:16–19; 2 Ne. 3:12) We should employ them and expand our circle of love to embrace the whole human family. We should bring divine love and revealed doctrines of restored religion to our neighbors and friends. We should serve them according to our abilities and opportunities. We should keep our principles on a high level and stand for the right. We should continue to gather scattered Israel from the four corners of the earth and offer the ordinances and covenants that seal families together forever. These blessings we are to bring to people of all nations.
("'Blessed Are the Peacemakers'", Russell M. Nelson, Oct 2002)

The Pros and Cons of Rivalries

From "How Rivalries Bring Out Our Best — and Worst" by Matthew Hutson, NY Magazinne, 26 Jun 2014

"rivalry increases both effort and performance"

"It increases motivation"

"Rivalry also increases group cohesion"

"rivalry springs up quite easily"

" the greater the level of friendship with the recalled competitor, the more likely subjects were to cheat. We don’t play dirty against rivals because we hate them. (At least, not always.) We do it because they remind us of ourselves. You don’t want someone beating you at being you."

"Rivalry can also make us overlook non-rivals, which may have allowed Japan to surpass U.S. automakers in the 1980s."

"In an analysis of nearly 3,000 matches in Italy’s top soccer league, Kilduff and colleagues found that when playing against a team based in the same city as their own, athletes were nearly twice as likely to earn a yellow or red card. "

From "The Dark Side of The Sport: College Tribalism
by  Chris Dierkes, Jul 2012

"Tribal societies were racked by constant skirmishes and intermittint warfare--the kind seen in a much smaller scale in the brawl above (a few punches thrown and landed, some pushing and shoving, then a scattering of the makeshift armies). The enemey is a great Other. They become a blank canvas upon which we can project our worst fears, prejudices, and hatreds. In the worst case, the other tribe becomes subhuman, degenerate, and able to be killed, tortured, raped, or pillaged."
"if you cross the tribe, if you are seen as a traitor, you are ostracized from the tribe. Doesn't even matter if you were being ethical or wise--you're dead to us"
"When someone becomes a chief, a lord in that system they begin to buy into their own image. They can easily believe they are above the law and justify immoral and/or illegal acts. And their die hard supporters will never accept their flaws and unjust actions (or inactions as the case may be). "

"How Tribalism Hurts Companies, and What to Do About It", Robert Kovach, Harvard Business Review, 26 Jul 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

“All Are Alike unto God”

he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile. (2 Nephi 26:33)
"I don't know a single Mormon who is alt-right, but if there are any, modern-day prophets have clearly spoken out against any kind of racial prejudice." -Geoff Biddulph
See "Op-ed: Why Mormons who are alt-right are not right", Russell Stevenson, Deseret News, 14 Aug 2017

"Church Issues Statement on Situation in Charlottesville, Virginia" Mormon Newsroom, 13 Aug 2017

"I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ." ("The Need for Greater Kindness",  Gordon B. Hinckley, Apr 2006)

“We do wish that there would be no racial prejudice. … Racial prejudice is of the devil. … There is no place for it in the gospel of Jesus Christ”  ("The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball", ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 236–37)

No More Strangers”, Alexander B. Morrison, Sep 2000, Ensign
Racism is an offense against God and a tool in the devil’s hands.

“It has been called to our attention that there are some among the various pro-white and white supremacy communities who assert that the Church is neutral toward or in support of their views. Nothing could be further from the truth," Tuesday's church statement begins. 
"In the New Testament, Jesus said, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' (Matthew 22:37-39) The Book of Mormon teaches 'all are alike unto God' (2 Nephi 26:33). 
"White supremacist attitudes are morally wrong and sinful, and we condemn them. Church members who promote or pursue a 'white culture' or white supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.” ("LDS Church issues statement condemning 'white supremacist attitudes", Scott Taylor, Deseret News, 15 Aug 2017) 

Friday, August 11, 2017

James Damore and the Google Diversity Memo

Here is the memo that got James Damore Fired

Here is an interview of James Damore by Jordan B Peterson on Aug 8 2017.

Something a friend of mine referred me to.

Some orchestras now conduct blind auditions — the musician plays from behind a screen, so that those making the appointment do not know if they are listening to a man or a woman. That has led to a dramatic increase in the number of women in orchestras. More businesses should look at the possibilities of similarly blinding themselves, when hiring, to the gender of applicants. ("Why Google was wrong: Did James Damore really deserve to be fired for what he wrote?", Peter Singer, 10 Aug 2017)
Here are some findings when someone built voice modulation to mask gender in technical interviews.
in these findings, it’s not about systemic bias against women or women being bad at computers or whatever. Rather, it’s about women being bad at dusting themselves off after failing, which, despite everything, is probably a lot easier to fix. ("We built voice modulation to mask gender in technical interviews. Here’s what happened", Aline Lerner, 29 Jun 2016)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

For a New Libertarian

A friend recommended this article to me. "For a New Libertarian", 28 Jul 2017 by Jeff Deist

I. Recognize that Liberty Comports with Human Nature.
" liberty as a deeply pragmatic approach to organizing society, one that solves problems and conflicts by muddling through with the best available private, voluntary solutions. Let’s reject the grand visions and utopias for what will always be a messy and imperfect world. Better, not perfect, ought to be our motto."

II. Embrace Rather than Reject the Institutions of Civil Society
"There is a word for people who believe in nothing: not government, family, God, society, morality, or civilization. And that word is nihilist, not libertarian."

III. Political Universalism is Not the Goal
"Federalism and states’ rights are suddenly popular with progressives in the US. The world desperately wants to turn its back on Washington and Brussels and the UN and the IMF and all of the globalist institutions. Average people smell a rat.

We should seize on this."


"In other words, self-determination is the ultimate political goal. It is the path to iberty, however imperfect. A world of seven billion self-governing individuals is the ideal, but short of that we should prefer the Liechtensteins to the Germanys and the Luxembourgs to the Englands. We should prefer states’ rights to federalization in the US, and cheer for the breakup of EU. We should support breakaway movements in places like Catalonia and Scotland and California. We should favor local control over faraway legislatures and administrative bodies, and thus reject multilateral trade deals. We should, in sum, prefer small to large when it comes to government."

Debt Record of Donald Trump

From https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt

The savings between Jan 31, 2017 and Jun 30, 2017 is over $92 billion

See https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/mspd/2017/opds012017.pdf

You can see more reports at Monthly Statement of the Public Debt (MSPD) (treasurydirect.gov)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Repeal the Death Spiral of Obamacare

Great explanations of
- Why the last bill did not repeal Obamacare
- Why Health Savings Accounts are a good idea and regulations on them should be loosened.
- Why group association insurance should be legalized.


8 Easy Physics Tricks To Try At Home


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Avoid Third Party Purchases

Here is a great that describes why government can't fix healthcare.

Here is another video describing the same problem.

There are four ways in which you can spend money.
[1] You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you're doing, and you try to get the most for your money.
[2] Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I'm not so careful about the content of the present, but I'm very careful about the cost.
[3] Then, I can spend somebody else's money on myself. And if I spend somebody else's money on myself, then I'm sure going to have a good lunch!
[4] Finally, I can spend somebody else's money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else's money on somebody else, I'm not concerned about how much it is, and I'm not concerned about what I get.

Setting the Record Straight Concerning Disney’s False Claims About VidAngel and ClearPlay

"In summary, Disney is for filtering, as long as it doesn't really work"

See also "Why Can’t I Filter Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros on the NEW VidAngel?", (VidAngel Blog 13 Jul 2017)

How Long to Nap


See also "Napping: the expert's guide" from The Guardian.

Monday, July 17, 2017

He Fights


I also relate to this

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cox expands its 1TB data caps to Arizona

"Cox expands its 1TB data caps to more territories" 29 Jun 2017, Engadget. Customers in Arizona, Louisiana, Las Vegas, and Oklahoma will be charged for using more than 1TB a month.

Log into https://www.cox.com/internet/mydatausage.cox to see your usage history.

See also "Google Fiber Halts Operations In Phoenix", 4 Nov 2016, Jimmy Jenkins, KJZZ.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"We've spawned a new race here Mr. Dickenson"

"We've spawned a new race here Mr. Dickenson, rougher, simpler, more violent, more enterprising, less refined. We're a new nationality. We require a new nation." (Character of Benjamin Franklin from the Movie 1776 (1772) )

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Milton Friedman: Capitialism Fosters Harmony & Peace

An example of a pencil and how the price system causes thousands to cooperated to make a pencil available to you for a trifling sum.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mormon Consecration was and is Voluntary

In a friend's post online, a mutual friend said, "Please stop saying that the Law of Consecration was wholly voluntary." He said that you either lived the law or were excommunicated. I had never heard of anyone being excommunicated for not living consecration. So I asked for a couple of examples. He named Leman Copley.

I was not familiar with him so I read up on him "Leman Copley and the Shakers" from history.lds.org details his relation to the Shaker movement. Also from BYU Religious Studies Center,
In May 1831, the Colesville Saints, led by Newel Knight, began to arrive in the Kirtland area. Bishop Edward Partridge approached Joseph Smith and asked how to organize the group in light of the principles outlined in Doctrine and Covenants 42. In Doctrine and Covenants 51, the Lord commanded Bishop Partridge to organize the Colesville Saints “according to my laws,” appointing to each family an equal stewardship “according to his circumstances and his wants and needs” (D&C 51:3). Furthermore, the Lord explained that it was a great “privilege” to be thus organized according to the laws of the Lord (D&C 51:15).[21] Following these directions, Bishop Partridge approached a recent convert to the Church named Leman Copley. Copley was formerly a Shaker (another Christian sect involved in communal living in Ohio) and one who owned a considerable tract of farmland (759 acres in Thompson).[22] The law of consecration and stewardship was never fully practiced in Ohio. Nevertheless, at the invitation of Bishop Partridge, Copley agreed to enter into an introductory phase of the law of consecration and stewardship with the newly arrived Colesville Saints (see D&C 48:2–3). Soon thereafter, the Colesville Saints moved onto part of the Copley farm and began building cabins and working the land. 
In early June 1831, Copley broke his covenant, turned from the faith, and evicted the Colesville Saints from his land. Newell Knight traveled to Kirtland to receive directions from Joseph Smith. The Prophet inquired of the Lord. In the ensuing revelation, the Lord explained that the law of consecration and stewardship among the Colesville Saints had become “void and of none effect” (D&C 54:4). Furthermore, the Lord condemned Leman Copley for breaking his covenant (see D&C 54:5) and commended the Colesville Saints for keeping theirs (see D&C 54:6). Finally, the Colesville Saints were commanded to travel to western Missouri “unto the borders of the Lamanites” (D&C 54:8). This ended the limited practice of the law of consecration and stewardship in Ohio. It was determined that the Ohio Saints were too spread out geographically to make another attempt at that time.[23]
("Conquest of the Heart: Implementing the Law of Consecration in Missouri and Ohio", 2002, Blair G. Van Dyke )
 From The Joseph Smith Papers, it says that Leman Copley "Allowed Latter-day Saints from Colesville, Broome Co., New York, to settle on his land under law of consecration; rescinded his agreement, by June 1831." D&C 54 says the same thing.

Agreeing to live the law of Consecration is voluntary. Leman agreed to it and then he backed out of it. I do not know of other cases like this. I am guessing that they are few and far between. Being excommunicated for not agreeing to live the law of consecration let alone agreeing to it and backing out is way less common than having your wages garnished for unpaid taxes.

I would expect that there are no cases of excommunication for even backing out of consecration in the last 100 years plus.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Be Aware of the Language I Use

I shared this video on my FB wall. I got a lot of push back from my friends. I wrote the following comment clarifying why I posted it.

My point is to be aware of the language we use. It may have meanings and consequences we are unaware of. That we have inherited. 
Using 'girl' or 'boy' in some contexts might be fine. In others it may indicate an imbalance of power that would be served being addressed. 
In a occupational context if you would use men for males and girls for women, it might mean that you are (unintentionally) perpetuating power structures that do not serve us.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Market is Almost Always a Better Solution

From a post of a FB friend

I find this absolutely infuriating. 
"Of course they’re going to say if we stop forcing people to buy something they don’t want to buy they’re not going to buy it," Ryan said. "That’s why you have these uninsured numbers, which we all expected." 
No. Just no. The drop in coverage is not because people are no longer "forced" to buy health insurance. Yes, there are some, but a much larger reason you are conveniently ignoring is because they can't afford it under your dumb plan! Millions of people are covered under the Medicaid expansion who would no longer be covered, just for a start.
My comment was "The market is almost always a better solution"

From 'No, Capitalism Will Not “Starve Humanity”' by 2050, Human Progress 17 Feb 2015, by Chelsea German and Marian L. Tupy
Capitalism has proven results. You just have to be willing to let it.

The USA is the most generous country in the world. There are real needs that need to be addressed. There is much suffering and sorrow. We must do more. Economic freedom allows the best path to give more.

From "Which Governments Are The Most Generous, Charitable? [CHART]", International Business Times, 22 Nov 2013, By Lisa Mahapatra

I also want to say that there are cases of extreme greed in capitalism. I think that is one of the ways that humans "grind the faces of the poor" (Isaiah 3:15)

In addition, providing money or benefits to people without requiring work lowers the sights of the receivers. There is only one way out of poverty.

So many good graphs and charts here.
"Why Single-Payer Health Care Delivers Poor Quality at High Cost" Foundation for Economic Freedom, 18 Mar 2017.

From a FB post by American Enterprise Institute. I can easily put all items that have increased in cost into the "caused by government intervention" category except for Food and Beverage and Child Care

Friday, March 3, 2017

Nearly Half of Everything They Earn

"One thing is clear: The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government." - Ron Paul

Friday, February 10, 2017

Marriage and Family Ideals

The best environment for a child is the one where he is raised by his biological mother and father who are joined together in marriage. 
When a couple adopts, they give the best alternative to an already broken household where a child can't be raised by his biological parents. When a couple with an infertile man goes to a sperm bank, they create a broken household because they are, by design, taking a child away from his biological father. 
Adoption endeavors to fix brokenness. Sperm donation creates it. 
-Hans Fiene

Monday, February 6, 2017

Why the ObamaCare Replacement Act, S. 222 is better than ObamaCare

I posted "Support the ObamaCare Replacement Act, S. 222" on FB. One of my FB friends asked me, why I thought it was better than ObamaCare.

Here was my response:

I believe that allowing a marketplace is the best option for all people. One thing Rand mentions in this video is changing the part of Obamacare that does not allow inexpensive plans . It also does not allow large contributions to HSA accounts.


Here are some changes that did not exist before Obamacare.

1 - Allowing insurance to be sold across state lines will increase competition.
2 - Making it easier to allow individuals to associate and buy insurance as a group. Insurance was connected as an employer benefit to get around salary and wage restrictions the government created around WWII. As we break this association, more individuals will be able to get insurance. Insuring as a group will reduce the risk of insurers.
3 - Allowing much larger contributions to HSAs will allow the selling of plans with much larger deductibles. If you have $5,000 in an HSA, then you can afford a plan with at least a $5,000 deductible. As more people do this, there becomes a market force on the costs of health care providers. Consumers will know the true cost of their care and will be able to shop for what they need.

Some other details from the plan. ("Rand Paul pushes GOP to act on Obamacare by unveiling a replacement plan", CNN, 25 Jan 2017, YouTube)
- "tax credit of up to $5,000 per person to use toward the establishment of a Health Savings Account"

Details from Rand Paul
- Allow individuals to exclude their premiums just like those who get their insurance from their employers
- "Removes the maximum allowable annual contribution, so that individuals may make
unlimited contributions to an HSA."

UPDATE 2017-05-10

Rand does not particularly like the bill passed by the house.
"Rand Paul seems to lean “no” on the health care bill unless these major changes happen", Rare.us, 5 May 2017

A big part of our existing system began around WWII when the government set a price limit on wages. Employers got around it by giving employees health care benefits. I think making it easier to have health savings accounts is a way out of that. It will connect the patient with the actual costs of the health care they are using. ("The History of U.S. Employer-Provided Health Insurance - Post-World War II", zanebenefits.com, 4 Jun 2014)

Questions that truly reveal someone’s personality and capabilities

"Questions that truly reveal someone’s personality and capabilities", The Coffeelicious

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Music of a People Who will not be Slaves Again

"Do You Hear The People Sing?"

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?

Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes

Monday, January 9, 2017

Year Two of Solar

2016 was our second year having our solar panels. The main reason we generated more this year was our inverters would shut off if we generated too much electricity at a time. We got new inverters before the summer of 2016.

The amount of 2015 was 20,996.14 kWh

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Stop Porn Accounts from Following You on Instagram

I got a new phone recently and thought that it might be worth trying Instagram. Last night I had a porn spam account follow me. As far as I can tell, there are a couple things I can do.

- report and block the account
- make my Instagram Account private

I have done both. I don't need yet another social media account where I am a target.