Monday, April 27, 2015

We're Not Done Yet!

"I'm not dead yet . . . . I feel happy. . . .I feel happy."

[Clonk]

Yeah, I can cut and paste more email with Anonymous/D. As long as I don't have to address the Republican clown car with Romney waiting aside the road for it to crash.

Grant Vaughn 

to D
While still not blogging, and enjoying telework especially when I can't link to office computers, I note this for the record that there will at least be half a win for same-sex marriage.

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. US Cons. IV.1.

That's pretty clear and concise language from the Constitution even if there is nary a word in there about marriage. If same-sex marriage is legal in one state, it has to be recognized in all just like they have for Nevada and Maryland quickie weddings (there used to be blood tests, etc. in most states). So, it they have to be recognized in all, some states just won't allow it to happen in that state - the wedding, that is, not the state of marriage.

Simple and straight forward preserving both the right for whomever to marry, and states rights, to some degree, in a federal union (of states - not gays)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Is It Time Yet?

No. And it will never be. The coming presidential election fills me with dread. Hillary will be a fine president but the 47% (that voted for Romney not the 47% who . . . oh, never mind!) will make it shear misery for the nation and her. She may slip and commit an actual foul. And I sure don't want Bill in the White House again with too much time on his hands.

What pushes me to this cataclysmic decision as I go off to confer, converse, and otherwise hobnob with my fellow weirdos, was the vitriolic religious hatred for Senator Harry Reid for daring to confirm a new member of his church who happened to be a former Senator (Republican) and a friend. And that was from people in Harry's own church!

Anyway, I'm not ending the blog but it will see only sporadic posting from me as I just don't want to do it anymore. I'm tired. And my left arm hurts.

So, I leave you with this recent sparkling repartee between me and Anonymous D. I started out, for which I take full responsibility - but I may be closing comments on this:

Grant Vaughn 

Apr 2

to D
So when will it be OK to say that Obama was a fairly successful president - His only major failing was that a lot of white people hate him?

D

Apr 2

to me
I don't know Grant. This visit [of the President of the United States to Utah] has been so bizarre in so many ways. I can't read the news coverage of it, at least when I do I avoid the comments. So hateful. The deal [with Iran and other nations] looks good if the radicals on both sides don't screw it up, but especially our radicals.

He has been very successful President. If you look back at where we were I think it's going to take 20 years and some perspective. The Bush years were such a colossal failure. I have no personal animosity toward W. he was just bad at his job. He seems like a nice man personally, I'm not sure that nice guy is a necessary qualification. I just don't understand the depth of the hatred for the man. 

Perhaps it's just good old Freudian Projection, imagining in others all of your faults. I don't know. It troubles me. I've heard normally good, kind Latter-Day Saints, say spiteful things about the President and I don't get it. I'd like to think that it's not because he's Black, but that's probably a good portion of it. He seems like a good man to me and political differences don't seem to be enough to make one evil. 

I was playing around with some Book of Mormon Geography the other day. I understand why we are cautioned against geographic theories but the internal geography is fascinating. I've thought for a long time about making some maps which explain the Geo-political situation of the Nephites but have never really done it. I actually have a notebook of Book of Mormon relative geography, full of hand sketches and revisions as the geography becomes more clear. The one thing about the Book that is ignored is the the internal consistency of that geography. Joseph Smith makes no mistakes with it. It really is fascinating stuff and really ignored unless you're trying to make some sort of political point like Meldrum and the like who insist on a U.S. setting because the U.S. is obviously "The Promised Land"  It couldn't possibly be Guatemala according to them. 

D

Apr 3

to me
Grant, I just don't know what to say anymore. Dems when they don't like a Presidential policy tend to stage protests.  Conservatives tend to vent their spleen behind some alias on the internet. Given a comparison between the two methods I prefer the former. At least there is a face to go along with it. My fellow Utahans in the past few days have demonstrated themselves to be at the same time shallower, less charitable and meaner of spirit than even I had imagined.

Grant Vaughn 

Apr 3

to D
You say some heartfelt things. My be this is another dialogue that should go on the blog. . . .

D

Apr 3

to me
Yeah that's okay.  There are some sentence structure issues, incomplete thoughts because it was more of a cascade of thought than anything else.

I am deeply troubled by what I see, even more so than I was pre-9/11 and pre-2008. Both times when I sensed something bad in the future and was correct, although I didn't know what. I get the same sense. I was thinking of a letter I read from Hugh Nibley to his Grandmother. This, while on his mission [just before WWII]:
"Nobody [in Germany] believes in a God...And the suddenness of the thing is unbelievable. One feels a strange spirit like a cloud- a real thing, - that makes the people every week more testy and intolerant,- you feel the spirit closing in on the people; something mean & unpleasant seems to inhabit the average house. Not a spirit of uncertainty but of settled, determined indifference."
I feel that as a people we are angry, but we are not sure why we are angry or at what or whom. Even, or perhaps maybe even especially the Mormons I know feel this way. Perhaps it's the sense that they feel the culture is slipping away from them, I don't know.There seems to be an existential longing that the Gospel should fill. I can't speak for others obviously. I know what my problem is. I'm tempted to write many things that may not be fair to those around me, not knowing their individual situations. I feel my life is full of busy work as if furious activity in church is going to bring about the celestial order of things we say we want. One day we are going to have to come to the conclusion that the Gospel includes much more than furious church busy work.

D

Apr 3

to me
I'm really feeling frustrated at the lack of compassion and charity in the world. Left and right. The way to change things in a positive way is not to try to ruin people with whom you disagree (referring to the pizza place in Indiana). At the same time, why is it that you can't just make pizza for someone? How far do you take the refusal of business on Christian principles thing? My guess is that if they knew the real lives of people they serve pizza to on a daily basis they'd have to close up shop. Besides it seems like a decidedly unchristian thing to do. I thought the great command was to love God and your neighbor as yourself, to love your enemy and do good to them that they might no longer be your enemy. I say that to both sides.

How many threatening messages can you send to a business owner in the name of tolerance? Things are getting silly very quickly.  

check this out (really me - not a spam come on - even that caveat probably scares rather than comforts

Grant Vaughn 

Apr 16 (6 days ago)
to D
It's from a while back and I linked it once on the blog, but it kind of summarizes the cultural war tribes very well. I respect your claim that you "are for Zion" and neither of these tribes work for you (actually three, as the article points out: liberals, libertarians, and conservatives - all on a social scale. Reagan's genius was to unite the libertarian and conservative strain).
 

D

Apr 16 (6 days ago)

to me
Thinking of ideology as something sacred is a nice way to reframe the question. I guess I am doing the same thing when I say I'm for Zion. You know the thing is that as a philosophy, the concept of Zion encompasses all that is good in all religious as well as political (polis, the affairs of the city or community).  You don't have these silly culture war fights in Zion, not because we are all the same, but because we (if I ever get there) share one attribute, purity. Someone who is pure in heart doesn't ask another to say, bake a cake that is troubling to them. Someone who is asked to bake a cake that is troubling to them, bakes the cake because of concern for the others humanity. It doesn't come up, can't come up, if you're pure in heart. I don't see why we don't adopt Zion as the goal, at least as a church.

Grant Vaughn 

Apr 16 (6 days ago)

to D
Beautifully stated. I've got to collect and post these.

So, D and I are pulling up stakes and we're off to Zion to plant them there. (This is all metaphorical and yet very sincere).

Well, since I've already misappropriated the Wizard, I'll end with this:
Auntie Em: Help us out today and find yourself a place where you won't get into any trouble!  
Dorothy: A place where there isn't any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It's not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It's far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain... 

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Grandpa Worked for the Union Pacific

We knew that. It shows on the 1930 Census that his dad, George Robert Vaughn, worked as a Machinist for the U.P. and son George was a Machinist Helper. Technically, he was an intermittent laborer at the start of the Great Depression. Fifty cents an hour was pretty darn lucky. And I was thrilled to see some Union Pacific employment records pop-up to show all that on Ancestry.com.


Monday, April 13, 2015

When Family History and Law Come together

Found Uncle Samuel, one of Elinor's boys, in trouble with the law. He was up on Manslaughter and the criminal record had him not guilty. The full story is in the newspaper (thank you, National Library of Wales!):

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Cub Scout's Duty to Diversity

The new Cub Scout Handbooks are out!

This is really cool because my wife was on a national task force that re-wrote (simplified) the Cub Scout program. She has gone to BSA headquarters in Arlington, Texas (between Dallas and Ft. Worth) a few times. She's been on webcasts, provided training sessions at Philmont and any where else she gets asked. She explained the new program to a sell-out crowd (actually, no charge) at the old white church in Centerville (built 1879).

The main part my wife had to draft was the Bear requirements for religious participation. (BSA remains a faith-based organization). She worked hard to make sure it dove-tailed with the LDS Faith in God program, one of the more demanding religious awards, along with the awards of every other religion that works with Cub Scouting. While a faith-based organization, the BSA doesn't care what Faith or what God one worships. So, religious diversity is a big part of the training for boys and adults. As part of the diversity aspect of the religious portion of the Bear requirements is a family activity to discuss an important American religious figure.

My wife asked for my help on that one. So, putting on my thinking cap, my diverse knowledge of American History, and checking details with the internet (OK, yeah, a little bit of Wikipedia), I came up with the following in the attempt to simplify language for the understanding of a generic nine-year-old:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Live-Blogging LDS Conference - Easter Afternoon - 2015

Have more family here now.

Gifford Nielsen is going to give the prayer. When I went to BYU in 1975, he was the Quarterback.

President Uchtdorf conducting

Live-Blogging LDS General Conference - Easter Morning - 2015

Conference is always best when it comes at Easter. For live-broadcast and past conferences, go to LDS.org. Here I will take some notes and make a few comments for my own and to share with any who would like to read.

I re-posted on Facebook one of the Easter poems of my distant cousin, Henry Vaughan.