Thursday, March 31, 2016

Would You Buy a Used Constitution from this Man?

The challenge was to do a Google-Images search for "Ted Cruz smiling" and see if you could come up with a picture of Ted that didn't look creepy.

It can't be done. Please note that only one of those pics appears to be doctored. And the creepiest are the official photos (i.e., the ones with the flag). Can you trust a man who creeps you out when he smiles?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

"Fragments of Men, Rags of Anatomy" -Poetry of Henry Vaughan

Helmet from English Civil War
Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday has been a day of creeping dread, impatient expectation, and grasping at Hope. As Christ's body lie in the tomb and we believers, the Church, the Body of Christ, lie with Him. His Spirit yet lived and he journeyed in Spirit to proclaim liberty to the captive and set the prisoners free.

Death, war, pain, suffering; these are all things of this world. We share in them.

For this Saturday between Death and Life, I chose a poem of Cousin Henry Vaughan who as a doctor in the loyal Royalist forces of the English Civil War knew death, dismemberment, and suffering. It is a 17th Century Anti-War Poem.

Friday, March 25, 2016

In Which Senator Mike Lee (R. UT) Pushes My Button

Disappointed that my regular Friday-lunch, co-worker friend was not around today, I hoofed it up to Jimmy John's for my usual No. 5. Walking back to the Federal Building, I got in an elevator with some already aboard. I pushed No. 6 and it didn't light up so the man in the corner pushed it again, being nice, I guess. Had he spent more time in the Federal Building, he would know that Elevator No. 1 doesn't light up for floor No. 6 on the left of the door, but it does on the right. Maybe the guy will get a clue and raise an issue with GSA or stop defunding the government or . . . Wait! That's Senator Lee!

Dang! I can't believe there's a pic of Senator Lee with the same Skousenite Constitution held by the Malheur Occupiers!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Please note the line going clear out to the pines in the background, and even more kept coming!
Yes, it's a premature headline. And it's based on very amateurish "entrance/exit-polling." But also the fact that I have never seen a crowd at the Democratic Caucuses in Utah like the amazing crowds tonight. And It's all over my Facebook feed! If so many hundreds, no, thousands, are going to the Democratic Caucuses, it must be a big crowd for Bernie Sanders. The few people I saw with Hillary buttons looked a little worried. And I did have a friend from the neighborhood go with me to vote for Bernie. We met my daughter there along with some friends from our precinct.

Faithfully attending Democratic caucuses in Utah for several years, I have never had to wait in line! For some reason they sent our State Representative District to the far north of the district to caucus on the Kaysville/Layton boundary. And we didn't actually caucus with our precinct as it was all we could do to patiently wade through the crowd with the volunteers changing the line formations three times before I got up to have my ID checked and authenticate my presidential preference ballot.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fora Dilma!

Dilma e Lula
Current President of Brazil, Dilma Vana Rousseff, and former President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
I get it now. I've been following the Facebook posts of many friends in Brazil and have been cautious about interfering in their political discussions, not being a citizen of that great nation and all.

Ainda fico muito preocupado com muita fala a favor de golpe militar. Creio que o passo constitutional de "impeachment" será melhor rumo à salvação da nação brasileira. E não tenho problema com as grandes demonstações nas ruas. Esse é o direito de um povo livre.

Dilma Rouseff, Presidenta do Brasil, is under siege for the collapse of the economy - not all her fault, mind you, having failed to recover from the world recession of eight years ago caused by the bankers of North America and Europe and the collapse of Brazilian oil. I still think it was a wise move for Brazilian investment in Cuba before U.S. President Obama began a re-opening and a lifting of sanctions. That will put Brazil right in the middle of increased commerce through the Americas.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

President Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton (2017-  )
It really won't be so bad. Actually, it will be worse than Bill's eight-years. The turmoil of anti-Clintonism, Anti-Obama-ism, and anti-all-kinds-of-other-stuff will tear this country nearly apart. But its institutions and Constitution are secure and will survive.

The Republican Party won't though. It's done for. Either Trump is the nominee and tears the Party apart in November, or the Party destroys itself before then.

After today's solid wins for Hillary, Bernie Sanders has no chance to catch her. Hopefully his brand of progressive politics, along with that of Senator Elizabeth Warren, and a few others, nipping at President Clinton's heels will help some.

Rubio is out. Kasich won his favorite-son status in Ohio and will go all the way to the convention to hope for the blessing of the Republican Establishment in a party crack-up. Cruz will go all the way to the convention to hope for the divine intervention of his God-PAC in a party crack-up. However this goes, the Trump supporters will not rest happy and will be a negative force stirring turmoil in the nation. But as they are not the establishment of any party and the Republican Party will shred, there won't be much of an organized loyal opposition to President Clinton.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

My Old Friend with an Even Older Utah Connection

It was great reconnecting with a friend from when we were Scouts, say, 45 years ago! It was one of those where you can pick up a conversation left some forty years back and keep on going. A few circumstances and views have changed. And we still connect.

He's done some family history over the years. Even back before the internet made things so much easier. A picture of his 2nd-Great-Grandpa has a Utah connection:

Do you see what it says there on the back? "Camp Douglas, U.T. [Utah Territory] Jan 24th /66. Received Feb. the 17th."

Camp, now Fort Douglas, was established during the Civil War after the U.S. Troops abandoned Camp Floyd, in Utah County, as the Civil War approached. The principal military leader during Camp Douglas's early days was Colonel Patrick Connor of the 3rd California Volunteers sent to Utah to protect the overland trails and established Camp Douglas, uhm, maybe to keep a watch overlooking Brigham Young and the Mormons in the valley below. He is perhaps most famous, or infamous these days, for the Bear River Massacre against the Shoshone near the now Utah/Idaho border. But there was something about Utah than held him here if only as a thorn in Brigham's side to promote non-Mormon settlement and the mining industry. He also established a newspaper at Camp Douglas called the Union Vedette that was full of military, mining, and Mormon news. The latter, usually on the negative side. But it's still cool as an amazing, early historical source on the scene in Utah.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Broken-Hearted and Proud Son of Malheur

If only the FBI had left the whole thing to the Oregon State Police (OSP). As it is, the ongoing investigation into the procedural flaws of FBI agents does not at present appear to have had any effect on the tragic but justified outcome. Eight shots were fired, not hundreds. The OSP fired three shots into the careening vehicle that was directly threatening life. Then, after several commands to "Get down on the ground!" And too many to count screams of Finicum to go ahead and shoot him, OSP finally did after his third reach for his gun, a gift from his stepson, as the officer with the taser approached but wasn't quite in range while he was a clear target for Finicum's gun. "He had the drop on me at this point," the trooper said. Three shots and three hits to Finicum and he was down.

No, I'm still not happy that my old friend, LaVoy Finicum, was shot and killed on that snow bank. But I think he wanted it that way. And I'm not at all happy with the FBI. But my Oregon people make me proud.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Joseph Rising

A while back I saw this rather provocative posting from Wales on the Merthyr Rising Facebook Page:

8 years on and we're still paying for the greed, arrogance and incompetence of the bankers.
This should be a really interesting talk on alternatives to the banking system as it it.
Why don't we own the banks and make them work for us, instead of the other way around?

Now, that seems like a solidly Socialistic proposal. Imagine, the People in charge of the banks!

It also goes farther than any breaking-up of the banks and Wall Street power that U.S. Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders proposes. Pretty radical, some might say.

Then I read Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith's ideas about a National Bank for the U.S. set forth as he became a candidate for the Presidency in 1844:

Oh, Canada!

Why can't we have a nice, capable, young guy like this run for President? oh yeah.
I feel so disloyal.

I spent the day at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) National Training Center teaching public land managers how to reference the law in decision-making. We talked about the U.S. Constitution. I told my patriotic story of a public servant I know who did the right thing under the rule of law ignoring political threats from a Congressman. I sold them on the ideals of the More Perfect Union.

Then I sat in the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport watching loops of CNN political reporting on the delegate lead of the Republican front-runner. There was also the clip of Governor Christie standing behind him with the strangest look on his face as if he needed to get to a restroom really fast but didn't know how to make his exit.