Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Starting to Bern

Rolling Stone has a great interview with Bernie Sanders. I encourage you to read the whole thing. And for you Conservatives out there, I want to make special note of a few passages that might even help you.

First of all, how long has it been since we had a Boy Scout as President? Gerald Ford? Bernie was a Boy Scout:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Guest Post: My Son-in-Law is a Star Wars Geek (but in a good way)

My son-in-law, who helped mow up the last of the leaves in the yard today, also shines with today's Guest Post. He is a Star Wars fanatic. He has a great job while pursuing a Masters in Electrical & Computer Engineering and takes good care of our daughter and one of our grandsons. Even if the Gandson grows up to be a Star Wars Geek, that's fine by us. Take it away!:

The Force Awakens Wish List

As soon as the announcement was made for new Star Wars films, I started making lists of things I wanted to see in them.  I could probably talk about Star Wars for days on end, but here’s a few of the most important or most under-recognized things that made Star Wars great that I hope to see in Force Awakens. Disclaimer: I try to focus on things that apply at least somewhat to all six films and tie them all together, but the focus is really on A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, so don’t tell me I’m wrong because of Jar Jar... Also, this list relies purely on the original six films—these items stand regardless of what we may already know about The Force Awakens from trailers, merchandise, etc.  

Star Wars Feels Real

As much as filmmakers try to make it not so, most movies don’t feel real—especially when they involve magic, space travel, and science fiction.  A variety of plot holes, violations of science, and other things constantly remind us what we’re watching is just a movie.  Here are some ways Star Wars avoids a lot of that:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Difficult Family Disputes

I won't reveal any confidences here or name names. I just thought it might be interesting to share some of what I get from extended family with regard to who I am and what I believe. It does make my life a bit of a challenge. But I try hard not to make it any worse. This individual claims not to read my blog so they will likely never see it. If they do, we'll see how that goes down. Following are the text messages about our events yesterday in the Federal Building where I work:
Just FYI I'm OK. Federal building evacuated yesterday and bomb squad took suspected explosive device.
Family Member: 
Good news. Glad you're all ok. It's not right that it's not safe to go to work. Restaurants, stadiums, airliners, malls, hotels, vacations, concerts and office towers are not safe either.
Federal buildings (like Oklahoma City) seem to be a particular target for some.

Republicans, Please, Please, Reign In Your Fear Mongers!

I don't know what else to say! Republican presidential poll leaders are making outrageous statements to spread fear about Syrian Refugees.

I'll just have to let them speak for themselves:

And this:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Blessed Are the Peacemakers"

There is an LDS conference talk that never got the attention it deserved. It was delivered by now President of the Quorum of the Twelve, Russel M. Nelson in October, 2002. I had finished my first ever marathon that morning in St. George and my grandmother and I were watching conference. She was then 92 years old. I remember her saying, "My! I've never heard them speak so directly about current issues!"

For a reminder, October 2002 was the big lead-up to the mid-term elections and Congressional authorization to go to war in Iraq. It was wrong then and few people saw it. My Grandma did and so did I, not just because of this talk, but the talk sure helped.

Elder Nelson's talk was soon overtaken by events and President Hinkley's address of April, 2003 after the war had exploded on the world and some obligation to our troops engaged in battle and civic duty were required. That talk still broke my heart. I think that it is time to share Elder Nelson's talk. We didn't have the same ready access to share thoughts with the world so easily in that day which seems to be freshly relevant.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


From the turmoil across the world arising from the Middle East, somewhere near Syria:

Three knocks are heard on a heavy, wooden door.

"Go away! We're full up!"

"But we have traveled such a long way and my wife is in her time."

The door opens a crack. "Where are you from?"

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dick Cheney's Illegitimate Child - DAESH

It probably isn't helpful to cast blame, but I had to get your attention.

The Second Iraq War (as opposed to the justified and true-coalition sanctioned, First Gulf War) will go down in history as one of the worst blunders of US History. The buck stops at George W. Bush, but his dad, George H.W. Bush, now blames "Iron-butt" Cheney and former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield. Although there is blame also to the Congress, including later Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry who voted to authorize the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. And, yes, the American public share blame who were whipped into a frenzy by false intelligence of the Bush Administration and the media, led by the New York Times (Judith Miller). So there's plenty of blame to go around (oh, yeah, Tony Blair). And, of course, the buck is now with President Obama and his opponents can blame him all they want. And he hasn't done everything right, but he's trying.

So, why DAESH instead of ISIS or ISIL or Al Queda in Iraq? For a very good explanation of that and the history of the latest terrorist group now claiming to be the restoration of the Islamic Caliphate, see this great article at Vox, Why John Kerry and the French President Are Calling ISIS "Daesh."

ISIS, or Daesh controlled areas as of October 22, 2015, from the New York Times.