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)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

America’s New Religions

From "America’s New Religions" by Andrew Sullivan

Everyone has a religion. It is, in fact, impossible not to have a religion if you are a human being. It’s in our genes and has expressed itself in every culture, in every age, including our own secularized husk of a society. 
By religion, I mean something quite specific: a practice not a theory; a way of life that gives meaning, a meaning that cannot really be defended without recourse to some transcendent value, undying “Truth” or God (or gods).

Monday, September 3, 2018

Why obvious lies make great propaganda

I recognize that Vox has a strong bias from the left.

There does seems to be something to this, though.

"Why obvious lies make great propaganda"
"Firehose of Falsehood"

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Utah's Medical Marijuana Initiative

The church is part of a coalition to oppose the initiative on the ballot to allow Medical Marijuana in Utah.

“The Church does not object to the medicinal use of marijuana, if doctor-prescribed, in dosage form, through a licensed pharmacy,” said Elder Jack N. Gerard of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a member of the coalition. “We are deeply concerned by the history of other states that have allowed for medical or recreational use of this drug without the proper controls and have experienced serious consequences to the health and safety of their citizens.” (Coalition Seeks Safe and Compassionate Alternative to Utah’s Medical Marijuana Initiative, MormonNewsroom,  23 Aug 2018)
Here is a link to what the proposition is.

This makes sense to me.
I don’t actually disagree with the Church’s stance regarding the need for a doctor and a prescription being involved and all that. Unfortunately, because of federal law, that simply is not possible at this time. Pharmacies can’t dispense it, making the Church’s proposal of finding a “better” solution a literal impossibility. (Comment by Firebyrd on August 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm on “Church doubles down on opposition to medical marijuana initiative in Utah”)

From what I understand, marijuana  would have to be removed from Schedule I of the controlled substances act in order to make it prescribe-able in a pharmacy. The advocates for the initiative say that this is not going to happen any time soon.

I relate to this comment 
I acknowledge what General Authorities said about this issue. I also acknowledge that they also said that every church member (and everybody else as well) should carefully study the preposition and learn about its potential consequences and then make an informed decision. 
That being said I don’t really see any consistency here by the opponents (not necessarily the church). Tobacco causes tens of thousands of deaths every single year in Utah. But tobacco can be bought in every grocery store. We try to protect youths by setting a minimum age. The same is true for alcohol regarding deaths, availability and protection of youths. However with marijuana we act like it would be more poisonous than tobacco or alcohol. 
Prohibition will always create the need for more laws, more police, more gangs, mobsters and violence. But prohibitional mandates will never eradicate the use of any prohibited substance. 
Every pharmacy carry tons of drugs with potential harmful or addictive effects. We try to protect against abuse by requiring a prescription. And of course still a lot of abuse will happen. But we do not ban all those drugs.
I also relate to this comment.
To my conservative friends: the Church is correct on its position on immigration. 
To my liberal/progressive friends: the Church is correct on its position on same-sex attraction and gender. 
To my libertarian friends: the Church is correct on its position on marijuana. 
The Church is always correct.
And to this one,
I will give you a key that will never rust, if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.  
(Joseph Smith, quoted by "The Keys That Never Rust", James E. Faust, Oct 1994. As reported by Orson Hyde Hyde, Deseret News: Semi-Weekly, June 21, 1870, p. 3. "Beware the Bitter Fruits of Apostasy" Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2011), 315–26)
I have mixed feelings about legalizing substances that can be abused. "Prohibition will always create the need for more laws, more police, more gangs, mobsters and violence." There are also those who become addicted to them because "it is legal" who would not have if it were illegal.

I get where the church is coming from. They are stating the best practice. That it should be prescribed and made available from a pharmacy. Federal law would have to change for that to happen.

I also see the frustration of those who seem to gain benefit from a herb. They seem to be using good judgement and gaining benefit from it. I would not want to make it illegal for this.

One thing that I was not aware of is that cannabidiol (CBD) oil is legally available by mail anywhere in the US.

Connor Boyack posted a FAQ in support of Utah's Prop 2

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Which Candidate is most likely to #StopWar ?

Which Candidate is most likely to #StopWar ?
Find out who is on your ballot.

Does ISIS make the world safer?
Does ISIS make the world safer? Take action at spellchek.com/war
Posted by SPELLCHEk on Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Friday, July 20, 2018

The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements

I have really enjoyed this series of Amazon Prime Video. It goes from us believing in fire, water, air and Earth as elemental parts of existence to subatomic particals. It uses actors to play the parts of the scientists who make the discoveries. It shows the devices they came up with to make them.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Do you want to minimize human impact or maximize human flourishing?

"Are you against climate change because it's bad for humans or because it's caused by humans? ... My standard of value, my way of measuring good and bad is human. I don't want to minimize human impact, I want to maximize human flourishing. "
("Alex Epstein - Harvard Business School Fireside Chat", YouTube, 21 Oct 2017)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

When the Talking Ceases the Ground Becomes Fertile for Violence

This is why I have been loving the talks between Eric Weinstein, Dave Rubin,  Jordan Peterson, and Ben Shapiro.


Respect is the key. Sitting down and talking; not necessarily agreeing, but respecting each other to air their points of view. Because of that respect, and my willingness to listen and his willingness to listen to me, he ended up leaving the Klan and there is his robe right there.
I am a musician, not a psychologist or a sociologist. If I can do that, anybody in here can do that. Take the time to sit down and talk with your adversaries. You will learn something and they will learn something from you. When two enemies are talking, they are not fighting. It's when the talking ceases that the ground becomes fertile for violence. So keep the conversation going. (Daryl Davis, "Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies")

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Gradual and Silent Encroachments

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations."

- James Madison, Speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

WiFi Calling not Offered by Total Wireless

I am a new Total Wireless customer. I switched from a Republic Wireless. They are a WiFi calling service supplemented by cell coverage.

I wanted to know if I could enable wifi calling in case the coverage at home was not so great. I found out that my phone does not support WiFi calling through the T-Mobile service. I chatted with a customer service person at Total Wireless. They said that they do not offer WiFi calling.

Cross posted at https://cellphoneforums.net/general-service-provider-forum/t457350-wifi-calling-not-offered-total-wireless.html#axzz5KKUndG2z

How Neutrons Changed Everything

Or The Mechanics of a Nuclear Explosion


Monday, July 2, 2018

The Conducting of Proper Political Discourse

Or "A Meta-Political Discussion"

I have been fascinated by the discussions of  Eric Weinstein, Dave Rubin,  Jordan Peterson, and Ben Shapiro.

Here is a round table with three of them. https://youtu.be/Li2J4GxZ6iM?t=1h51m57s

I like the question at the end Dave asks: "Is this a political movement? Is this the beginnings of a political movement?" (1:53:05)


No...it's the conducting of proper political discourse.  ... A political movement to foster the conducting of proper political discourse... I political movement that is focusing on process rather than content. ...
Our constitutional principles in the political domain, no...a meta-political discussion.
Turning Point USA..(Candice Own, Charlie Kirk) in Dallas. I recommended that instead of concentrating on the content of their ideology, (they are branding themselves as a conservative movement) that they devote themselves to educating themselves as much as they possibly can. They are going to produce a much bigger impact by becoming better individuals than by promoting conservative doctrine...
I don't think that the fundamental movement necessarily is political. Because the political is part of the problem.

I think we are the advance group sent to take a hill for the healthy political discourse that follows us.
Turning point USA. I was shocked to be invited by them. I said, "you do understand who I am?" I am very confused by it. I find that a lot of the rhetoric that comes out of that to be absolutely unpalatable. And the private discourse is much more sympathetic, much more understanding. 


I think we can move those guys. Just for the record, we they invite me to speaking gigs, Charlie said to me from day one, "I disagree with you on a ton of stuff, but I want to invite you here to speak." I go up there and I talk about being gay married and pro-choice and anti death penalty and all these things and they give me a standing ovation. 

Then the problem is that no one can figure out why I am talking to Candice Owens because she's going in read meat conservative mode [after the interview]

I don't think it is the same person, exactly. There is a fractionation there. 

There is not yet a niche. This came up with Douglas Murray. It is a very important point. In general, people are in a restrictionist mood on immigration. They want more protection in respect to trade.
Why does no politician take up immigration without going real far right or completely open borders? Either it is ethno-nationalism or it's "all people are equal. why should we discriminate people from other countries?"
The sensible positions are uninhabitable. The question is why?
We have to take the ground for the middle. Get rid of the crazies at both ends. 

At least stop the crazies from taking out the reasonable people. 
I have learned that I have more in common with what would now be called center-right than I do with radical left. Reach across the aisle and say, "you take out your trash, I'll take out mine."

What I love about this group (or movement) is that they are independent of any other group. They are funded by their followers. They are free to speak clearly. And they are not looking for ratings they want a society that works, even with all the infinite range of opinions.

The only place that they seem to all agree on is that they should approach each other based on the strongest form of the argument from the other side (steel-man) and that you give all opportunity to clarify a mis-interpretation of a position. (even if it take 3 hours or 9 three hour sessions to do it)

What excites me most is the medium of the long form (interview), the willingness to do it. The willingness to watch it and willingness to donate money to ensure it continues.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Why Obese People Can't Lose Weight

Peter Attia breaksdown the difference between an how an obese person processes food, and how a normal person does.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sapience versus Sentience

I used to think sentient meant what sapient means. I am not sure have heard sapient before today.
"Sentience," the noun form of "sentient," frequently heard in science fiction and fantasy, means the ability to perceive individual experiences. According to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, the exact definition is: 
sentient: 1: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions 2: AWARE 3: finely 
sensitive in perception or feeling 
"Sapience," noun of sapient, is the ability to think, and to reason.
It may not seem like much a difference, but the ability to reason is tied more closely to sapience than to sentience. Most animals are sentient, (yes, you can correctly say your dog is sentient!) but only humans are sapient.
For further reading on the difference, check out these articles:
Wikipedia SapienceWikipedia SentienceAskDefine Sentience (of particular interest is the user-contributed dictionary)
AskDefine Sapience 
("The Word Box: Sapience vs. Sentience", Rebekkah Niles)

Why are Tariff's Are Bad for Economies

Tariffs are a sales tax. The more expensive steel is the more expensive are any of the things made from it. Pretty simple.

See "Steel Yourselves" by The Editors, National Review

Roosevelt slapped an embargo, effective October 16, “on all exports of scrap iron and steel to destinations other than Britain and the nations of the Western Hemisphere.” ("How U.S. Economic Warfare Provoked Japan’s Attack on Pearl Harbor" By Robert Higgs)
An embargo is like a super high tariff.


[Trump's] decision may put regions and states at an economic disadvantage, in at least two additional ways.
retaliatory tariffs from other countries on key American export industries
ripple effects of higher prices for steel and aluminum imports
("How Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs could affect state economies", Max Bouchet and Joseph ParillaTuesday, March 6, 2018)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Putting Mass Shootings in Perspective

How likely are you to be killed by a mass shooting? You are more likely to die choking on food.

("The Puzzling Media Obsession With Mass Shootings" Forbes, 22 Nov 2017)

"The rate of violent crime in schools dropped significantly over a recent 18 year stretch ending in 2010" ("The U.S School Shooting Statistics Everyone Should Know", Campus Safety Magazine, 6 Dec 2017)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Most Effective Machine for Eliminating Poverty

"Milton Friedman - Poverty and Equality", https://youtu.be/fKc6esIi0_U

Partial transcript from "Milton Friedman: Government's Responsibility to the Poor", Jadranko Brkic


In reference to your own talking about government's role in a free society you mentioned some of the market failures, and I think that you may have just passed over one that is of utmost importance and that is in poverty. I would like to refer to what president Kennedy said that if a free society cannot help the many why are poor, you canot save a few more who are rich. And to say that well we are the government of the people and when there is a large sector of the people who are hurting, perhaps it is responsibility of this government of the people to help out. My question is regarding how free are the poor, how free are the unemployed, and how free are those people who are disadvantaged, and so in reference to that, what is government's role?

Milton Friedman:

First of all... I'm glad to see one vote for the poor. First of all, the government doesn’t have any responsibility. People have responsibility. This building doesn’t have responsibility. You and I have responsibility. People have responsibility.

Second, the question is how can we as people excersice our responsibility to our fellow man most effectively? That is the problem. SO far as poverty is concerned, there has never in history been a more effective machine for eliminating poverty than the free enterprise system and the free-market.

The period in which you've had the greatest improvement in the lot of the ordinary men was the period of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Those of us in this room are the heirs of that. We benefited from the way in which our parents and our grandparents were able to come here, and by virtue of the freedom that was offered they were able to make a better lives for themselves and us.

But next, if you look at the real problems of poverty and denial of freedom to people of this country, almost every single one of them is the result of government action, and would be eliminated if you eliminated the bad government failures. Let me be precise and specific: Why do we have so high unemployment rate among black teenagers? It's a disgrace and a scandal. Why do we have so high unemployment rate? First of all, because we give them lousy schooling through governmental schools, which make them unqualified to hold decent jobs.

And second of all, we require employers to discriminate against them, by not hiring them unless their productivity is enough to justify a minimum wage. The minimum wage rate is the most anti-negro law on the books. And it's an anti-negro law because it precisely having first not enabled the young blacks to have a decent schooling so that they can have productivity, we next deny them the onto job training that they might get if you could induce employers by being able to hire them for relative low wages to give them on the job training that would make them qualify for a higher payment and higher productivity.

And in the third place, we have constructed a governmental welfare scheme which has been a machine for producing poor people. We have induced people to come under control of welfare, we've..., I'm not blaming the people, don't misunderstand me, it's our fault for constructing so perversed and so ill shaped a monster as a whole set of welfare programs we have under which we encourage people, families to break up, we encourage people from one part of the country and come to another, under which we have in effect made many people poor. And yet when all this is said and done... have I ever been where?

Crowd: Have you ever been poor?

Milton Friedman:

Ofcourse. Ofcourse, more so than most of the people in this room. How many of you have worked a twelve hour a day and goten paid 78 cents? But let me go back to the...but you know that's all irrelevant. Is there one of you who's going to say that you don't want a doctor to treat you for cancer unless he himself has had cancer? I could go down the line, but when all is said and done, while there are people in this country who are worse off than other people, by an large even the poorest people in this country are relatively well-off compared to the conditions in many other countries in the world.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Is Our Military Budget too Small, or Is Our Mission too Large?

"EXCLUSIVE–Rand Paul: Is Our Military Budget too Small, or Is Our Mission too Large?"

Is our military budget too small, or is our mission too large?  Since 2001, the U.S. military budget has more than doubled in nominal terms and grown over 37% accounting for inflation.  The U.S. spends more than the next eight countries combined.

Friday, February 16, 2018

There's a way to stop mass shooting, and you won't like it

What is the solution for all the mass shootings?

What is the cause?
Loneliness is what causes these shooters to lash out

This article makes so much sense to me. It reminds me of Moroni 7:45-48.

The pure love of Christ never fails.

“When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind.”
Joseph Smith Jr.

Also this article "One Teacher’s Brilliant Strategy to Stop Future School Shootings—And It’s Not About Guns" By Glennon Doyle Melton

What can I do to reduce, "The idea that shooting a bunch of people with a gun would be an effective way to show how the world how much you hate it"? ("An Unpopular Opinion on What Causes School Shootings", James Goldberg)

"A Gun-Control Measure Conservatives Should Consider", David French, Feb 16, 2018, National Review

From Fox 13 SLC:

The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints weighed-in on the national gun control debate last weekend during remarks to youth in Las Vegas.
Video posted on YouTube shows a portion of President Russell M. Nelson’s remarks on February 17,  in which he says that God gave humanity free agency, and that free agency has been used to pass laws that let people who should not have guns obtain them.
Nelson says in part:

“I know your hearts are heavy as is mine as we contemplate those ruthless killings in Florida this last week. I think of Alaina Petty, 14-year-old Latter-day Saint, her life snuffed out by that sniper’s bullet…. you and others to say, ‘how could God allow things like that to happen?’ Well, God allows us to have our agency, and men have passed laws that allow guns to go to people who shouldn’t have them.” 
("LDS Church President on Parkland shooting: ‘Men have passed laws that allow guns to go to people who shouldn’t have them’", YouTube Video)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Conservative Kentucky congressman powers entire home with a Tesla car battery

This is a great story. As soon as it is cheaper to love off the grid a revolution will happen.

"Conservative Kentucky congressman powers entire home with a Tesla car battery"

“Constitutional Conservative with an MIT Pedigree” congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) posted a YouTube video over the weekend illustrating how he recently experimented with powering his entire home off of a used Tesla car battery.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Who should replace Trent Franks?


Here are the list of candidates that say they would vote against the spending bill that passed.
Steve Montenegro, Mark Yates, Clair VAN Steenwyk (I am presuming) (See My FB Post)

Who are you voting for to replace Trent Franks?


My initial gut feeling is for Steve Montenegro. I have voted for him for the state legislature.

Voting Record https://votesmart.org/candidate/106507/steve-montenegro

On Immigration:
"Montenegro said if elected to Congress, he will fight for the Constitution and personal liberties and will work with like-minded Republicans to end illegal immigration.

Asked by a Facebook viewer if he can “handle the liberal media and the fake news," Montenegro said he he has been the subject of false reporting.

“I’m public enemy No. 1 with Spanish-language media because I don’t fit the characteristic they want me to fit,” he said. Montenegro supported controversial religious-freedom legislation in 2014, as well as anti-illegal immigration measures seen as an affront to the immigrant community.

“I will continue to stand for legal immigration, and I will continue to stand against illegal immigration,” said Montenegro, adding his family came to the U.S. legally."

I disagree with Steve Montenegro's vote for HB 2556 of 2016

If the bill becomes in force, the electoral college system would effectively become a popular vote. So while it is technically not against the electoral college. It would turn the electoral college system into a popular vote system.

I do not have strong feeling about the electoral college. It was initially created to keep the large states from overpowering the small ones.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Arizona's 8th congressional district

The Wikipedia article for Arizona's 8th congressional district
Here is a map of District 8

Feb 2018
"5 Arizona Republicans running for Congress debate at azcentral.com"
My FB post trying to figure out who I should vote for.
My gut pointed me to Steve Montenegro

Saturday, February 3, 2018

A pretty good summary of the true state of the science on climate change

"This is a pretty good summary of the true state of the science on climate change." Geoff Biddulph


"Can Climate Models Predict Climate Change" PragerU

Friday, January 19, 2018

Jordan Peterson on the meaning of life for men

He uses language that I don't like. Yet his message is compelling.
Men long to be useful and honored. To pull their load.