Wednesday, September 30, 2015

No Shutdown Update 2015

Told ya.

Storms still flash over the Capitol
[public domain from the Architect of the Capitol showing dome repair scaffolding]

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Brief History of the Welsh Language

Just having finished my homework for my Welsh 101 Audit, I thought I might post it here. I had a little fun with it. It's nice to be free in an audit and 58-years-old in a class of mostly freshmen.

A rather more complex map of Celtic Migrations than is necessary for our purposes, but it's kinda cool.
Welsh 101
Brief History of the Welsh Language
Grant L. Vaughn
Sept. 28, 2015

Welsh, the language of the foreigners. But only if you’re Saxon and what do they know? Johnny-come-latelies to the British Isles as they are. And that current Queen is a Saxon from the family of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha having to change their name during WWI to “Windsor” for the War PR so their subjects would forget they were pretty much real Saxons. But I digress. Forget the Saxons, they didn’t add much to the language. (Well, a lot of the fake Welsh words that end in “io,” sort of like the British version of Tex-Mex).

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Reconciling the Impossible - The At One Ment

As part of an ongoing dialogue between Anonymous D and me, I leave here a challenge with a simple answer but which requires some serious thought and self-awareness if you are prepared. Some may just call it trite or silly religious babble. I lovingly call it hope because of my faith in Christ.

Many things constantly before us seem to be in irreconcilable conflict:

Political, social or philosophical Right versus Left or Conservative versus Liberal.

The religious concepts of Justice and Mercy, Grace and Works, and Good versus Evil.

All gaps in knowledge regarding Science and Religion.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Personal History Confirmation from Down in the South of Brazil

I have a really good friend who happens to be my Home Teacher. He is assigned in our Priesthood Quorum, with our Bishop's approval and encouragement, to visit our family monthly with a teenage companion from the Teachers' Quorum They provide a brief, spiritual message and report back to our lay priesthood group as to how we're doing. He's available for spiritual needs, furniture moving, and other friendly services. My wife likes to give him cookies. We have him over for dinner and holidays now and then.

I've known him for quite a few years as we met him in our youth most likely in the Language Training Mission in Provo, Utah. But I got to know his good soul on our mission out on the Gaúcho Frontier in Rio Grande do Sul.

I was a zone leader in the São Borja District of members. We lived in Alegrete which was most central and my companion and I traveled by bus, to the cities of São Borja, Uruguiana, and Rosário do Sul to help the two missionaries in each of those cities and interview their candidates for baptism. It was in Rosário where my friend worked. For some reason, probably to save daylight hours for missionary work, we often traveled at night. Those rides were miserable sometimes having to stand in the blue haze of cigarette smoke for the two or three-hours they took.

Rio Grande do Sul State in Brazil
São Borja Zone, Porto Alegre Mission, 1977. The center, however is Alegrete, the heart of Gaúcho Brazil.
Alegrete and Uruguaiana are now Stakes. São Borja remains a Mission District. And there's a Temple in Porto Alegre!
Alegrete-Rosário do Sul, 107 Km. Alegrete-São Borja, 189 Km. Alegrete-Uruguaiana, 145 Km. Uruguaiana-Porto Alegre, 631 Km.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Magnets and Fevered End-Time Dreams of the Extreme Right Wing

First of all, both Anonymous D and I believe in some things that others find absolutely foolish. Our spiritual life experiences are unique to each of us even if we do have some common ground and understanding. There may be a follow-up post on some spiritual epistemology and religious oneness that we have been discussing. For now, I wish to draw attention to a matter that has fascinated us both and upon which we do not call "fraud" but urge extreme caution and a strong dose of common sense.

We've been nearly obsessed with the recent end-times prophecies of an LDS woman, Julie Rowe, who claims a near-death-experience vision and has been writing books and giving seminars. The upcoming blood moon this weekend figures into it as does some really weird right-wing fears of UN troops coming to America to help restore order after major disasters (beginning next week) because our troops will be over-extended overseas. The UN, of course, will send troops from North Korea, Russia, and probably Iran because the Canadians and Mexicans, even the Brits, are somehow too busy. And, of course, it almost writes itself that the UN Troops will turn on us true Americans and we will have to go hide in the hills in tent "cities of light."

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Greatest Threat to Freedom of Religion

No, it's not any "sinning" that threatens Constitutional order. It's people who classify who is and who is not "religiously qualified" under our Constitutional system. Hint: Read the Constitution, Article VI, Clause 3:
no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Republican Presidential Candidate Ben Carson just blew that test. He doesn't think a Muslim would qualify to be President under the Constitution:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Back to Trump's Future


There is a great "Back to the Future II" meme floating through the interwebs:

While the resemblance of Uncle Bernie and Doc Brown is pure-- if entertaining coincidence. I now realize that it was no coincidence that the movie-makers based the future (now past) evil Biff of 2015 on a figure who in 1985 was destined to become the bully Biff of the Republican base in the very same year as future Biff!!

OK, I realize that's a heavy shift of weight in the time/space continuum. But just look at the hair

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I Will NOT Vote for Hillary!

I know I've sworn off political blogging for a while. But this actually helps explain one of the reasons. It may even win me some love back with many friends and family. But then, probably not. Because I'm not voting for any of the Republican clowns who are even worse than 2012 which I didn't think could even be possible. And not that it makes much difference in Utah anyway.

No, my reason is simple.

The Iraq War was wrong.

It was wrong before it started. It was wrong while it was going - except that we did need to support our troops while it was going which we failed pretty miserably thanks to Rumsfeld, Cheney, and W who wanted war on the cheap. And the Iraq war was wrong now as almost everybody admits.

And I knew it was wrong long before it started and throughout. I think Hillary did too and that's one reason why I oppose her and will forever. And dang it, Joe Biden voted for the war too. Hillary admits it was wrong now as she goes all tough on Iran even with grudging support of the President's negotiated agreement.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Life History of my 4th Great Grandmother, Elinor Jenkins Vaughan

Elinor's possible birthplace, Stowe, Whitney-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England - just a stone's throw from Wales.
Elinor Jenkins Vaughan
Mormon Handcart Pioneer of 1856
 Born 25 December 1789, Died about 1861
©by Grant L. Vaughn, 4th Great Grandson, based on Collaborative
Research with Judy Vaughn Atwood, 3rd Great Granddaughter

December 25th is Christmas. No one ever forgets their birthday if it falls on that sacred celebration. Elinor[1] was a Christmas baby. The problem is that the year is not completely certain. At various times in her life, Elinor gave her age indicating birth as early as 1777. However, we have the record of her Christening as 7 February 1790[2] and it is most likely that she was born in 1789.

Her parents were William Jenkins and Jane Apperley. The place was Stowe [also “Stow”], Whitney, Herefordshire just across the border from Radnorshire, Wales, on the north side of the Wye River as it flows from the green Welsh hills onto the rich, broad, and green farmlands of Herefordshire.

Jenkins is a solid Welsh name while Apperley is not. Her mother Jane’s family name originated in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire and is of Anglo-Saxon origin.[3] The Jenkins name is very common on the Welsh border. We do not have much information on Elinor’s parents. However, she gave their names and her birthplace herself when she received her own LDS Temple Endowment in 1856 in Salt Lake City, Utah.[4]