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)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Religion is Critical to the Functioning of Democracy

"I had no idea how critical religion is to the functioning of democracy. The reason why democracy works is not because the government was designed to oversee what everybody does. But rather democracy works because most people, most of the time voluntarily choose to do obey the law." - A Marxist economist from China

"If you take away religion, you can't hire enough police." Clay Christensen

Here is a FB link to this video.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Why We're Losing Liberty

Our federal government only exists legally with enumerated and delegated powers. Who enumerated and delegated these powers? The individual states and the people did.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. (9th Amendment to the US Constitution)
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. (10th Amendment to the US Constitution)
"The Constitution does simply does not empower the national government to impose a mandate on the people to purchase products." ("Why We're Losing Liberty", 7 Sep 2015, Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University)

Some transcription of the video.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hillary, Trump, and an Almighty God

(faithtrumpsfear.com, 26 Oct 2016)

I like this message. Send a message to both parties that neither of the two leading candidates are acceptable. Reject the call to speculate on which of these two is the least worst.

God has a higher calling for us than to vote for a candidate who is hostile to Him and His commands.
Vote for someone.

Friday, October 14, 2016

LDS leaders ask Mormons to oppose legalization of assisted suicide, recreational marijuana

I have several libertarian friends that are LDS. I was wondering how they reconciled their position with this letter, First Presidency Letter About Recreational Marijuana.pdf ("LDS leaders ask Mormons to oppose legalization of assisted suicide, recreational marijuana", Deseret News, 13 Oct 2016)

I asked them about their feelings on it from Facebook. This were their responses.

I was already going to vote no on Prop 106, so that is an easy one. I am in favor of marijuana legalization, but because the Church apparently opposes it, I will remain quiet about it and try to bring my will in line with the prophets instead of the other way around. (Geoff Biddulph)
I think that if prophets are only "right" when they happen to agree with our philosophical and political predilections, they are ultimately redundant, and our real faith lies in personal reason and ideology. 
In a world without prophets, I would probably support legalization. But I believe that prophets are watchmen on a tower (to use a scriptural metaphor) precisely because they can see what we sometimes cannot. If I only heed their warnings when I can see too, then what purpose do they serve? 
I have many, ongoing spiritual witnesses that these men are prophets and apostles of God, and I will give heed to their teachings and warnings, even when it contradicts my personal ideological predispositions. (Jeffrey Thayne)

I don't believe that God wants me to use violence against others who ingest cannabis. I therefore cannot ask the government to do it on my behalf. (Connor Boyack)
While I see the logic of Connor's response, I agree with Geoff and Jeffrey. I believe that our prophets are watchmen. I trust them. I believe that they are called of God to lead the LDS church, the only church authorized to administer in the saving ordinances God.

For further study,
"The difference between legalisation and decriminalisation", The Economist, 18 Jul 2014)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The 1954 Johnson Amendment

Should churches be able to endorse candidates without their tax exemption status be in question?

Here is a video from the Alliance Defending Freedom on the history of the 1954 Johnson debate. They have a web site, pulpit freedom, dedicated to repealing it. Here is more info on the amendment.

What is the principle that the LDS church is following with their policy that they will not endorse candidates in elections?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Vote Responsibily

I agree with Mike Rowe

Jessica Kenney writes... 
A friend shared this article on my page and I couldn't find the original interview...just wondering if it was real. http://qpolitical.com/24-hours-after-last-nights-debate-mi…/ 
Hi Jessica 
As a rule, I try not to repeat myself. I find it both redundant and repetitive. Yesterday though, a piece I wrote back in August was reposted on a site called qpolitical. It now appears to have gone viral. I’m glad, because for once, the words are in fact my own – reprinted exactly as they first appeared on this very page. https://www.facebook.com/TheRealMikeRowe/posts/1254500967893377 
The only mistake is the headline. I didn't write this in the wake of Sunday's debate; I wrote it back in August. My original post was an explanation to a fan as to why I would never use my celebrity - such as it is - to persuade people I’ve never met to cast a ballot. I’m re-sharing today for several reasons. 
1.Everyday, someone asks me to encourage the electorate to vote. I won't do that, and the attached article explains why. 
2. Since my original post, social media has become flooded with celebrities who seem determined – absolutely determined – to do everything in their power to persuade their fans to cast a ballot in November. Neil Patrick Harris, James Franco, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Stanley Tucci, Martin Sheen…there are too many to count. 
3. None of these celebrities encourage their fans to get informed – only to vote. And all of them seem to believe it’s your civic duty to cast a ballot. It’s not. Voting is a right, not a duty. The difference is important to understand. 
4. I’m flattered. qpolitical has interspersed my original words with images of me addressing various crowds from various stages, and strolling down random streets with purpose. All this imagery creates the impression I’m presenting my thoughts to a variety of different audiences. A man on the move! It's a much more interesting dynamic than static shots of my kitchen table, where the article was actually written, and where most of my deep thinking occurs... 
Mike (FB Post, 12 Oct)

What about Evan McMullin?

A poll recently placed Evan McMullin in a close third to tied Hillary and Trump. ("Poll: Trump falls into tie with Clinton among Utah voters", Deseret News, 12 Oct 2016)

Following are bullet points of a respected friend of mine on McMullin. I agree with him largely. Except that I hope any electoral college loss by either of the leading candidates might be a win worth working for.

- Evan McMullin has no executive experience of any kind.
- Evan McMullin’s presidential run is the creation of the same people who crafted and supported George W Bush’s failed foreign policy.
- Mormons are being taken for granted — again.
- Face it:  most people who favor McMullin know very little about him except that he is Mormon and he appears to have traditional Republican positions.
("Why I am #neverMcMullin", Geoff B., 12 Oct 2016)
I largely agree with this. I support Gary Johnson's foreign policy. It is what I hear in this paragraph from Geoff.
My vision of the United States is one where we trade and are at peace with the world. It is one where we vigorously respond to attacks and defend our borders but remain neutral in conflicts that are none of our business. We should spend much more on intelligence — trying to spot potential enemies before they get to our country — and much less on troops and armament. We should close most of our foreign military bases and concentrate on threats to those countries that are essential to the U.S. national interest. ("Why I am #neverMcMullin", Geoff B., 12 Oct 2016)
While I largely agree with Geoff, I hope any electoral college loss by either of the leading candidates might be a win worth working for.

McMullin is more of a war hawk than I like, but not nearly as much as Hillary is. I am excited to send a clear message that the two leading candidates are unacceptable choices for the Presidency. If there was a chance McMullin might win in AZ, I think would vote for him.


From my friend Jeffrey Thayne

I've heard people say that if Utah votes for a third party, it may help Clinton get elected; or that if Utah votes for a third party, it may help Trump get elected. 
The fascinating thing -- and most don't realize this -- is that this literally cannot be the case (the way the electoral college is set up). If Utah's electoral votes go to a third party candidate, it literally cannot help or hurt either of the two main candidates. That's because a candidate needs a majority of electoral votes to win outright (which, right now, means 270 electoral votes). 
If Hillary gets more than 270 electoral votes, she wins. This is the case no matter whether Utah votes for Trump or a third party. Utah's votes going to Trump won't have stopped her from getting 270. 
If Trump gets more than 270 electoral votes, he wins. This is the case no matter whether Utah's votes for Hillary or a third party. Utah's votes going to Hillary won't have stopped him from getting 270. 
If Utah's votes going to a third party is what keeps either of them from getting 270 electoral votes, then it by definition keeps both of them from getting to 270. 
In short, if Utah votes third party, it literally, mathematically cannot help or hurt either Hillary or Trump; it has a small, small chance of preventing both of them from winning outright, but no chance of helping either of them win. 
If either Trump or Hillary win, it will not have been because Utah voted third party. (FB Post, Jeffrey Thayne, 12 Oct 2016)

Mandy Patinkin Sings You've Got to be Carefully Taught; Children Will Listen Medley

(FB Link)


You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate


Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful the things you do
Children will see and learn
Children may not obey, but children will listen
Children will look to you for which way to turn

To learn what to be
Careful before you say "Listen to me"
Children will listen

How do you say to your child in the night?
Nothing's all black, but then nothing's all white
How do you say it will all be all right
When you know that it mightn't be true?
What do you do?

Careful the wish you make
Wishes are children
Careful the path they take
Wishes come true, not free

Careful the spell you cast
Not just on children
Sometimes a spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you
Careful the tale you tell
That is the spell
Children will listen

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Does Terrorism respond to intervention?

I just watched Nova's "15 Years of Terror: From 9/11 to today’s crowd-sourced violence, trace how terrorists’ strategies have evolved".

I am interested in where it left off. That we are not going to be able to eliminate radicalized Islam through killing. We must offer those who are radicalized and who are likely to be a new hope a new understanding of their own religion in a peaceful view.

I was moved by the story of Mubin Shaikh. Starting at 44:30 Nova tells his story. He went to Syria to study the Quran. He met an Imam that decided to show him the peaceful teachings of Islam. Mubin Shaikh soon saw the Quran in a whole new light.

Mubin gives the example of chapter 9 verse 5 where it says "kill the unbeliever wherever you find them". The Imam asked him, do you normally start with verse five or do you start with verse one? Let's start with verse one. Then you get the context. This chapter is about the treaty the Muslims had with the pagans at that time. In verse four, it says this does not apply to the polytheists who did not break the treaty.

He learned after two years that he had it all wrong. The Imam told him to go back and teach the people that this is not our way [terrorism].