Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Declaration of Opposition to Trump

States Rights has given us Slavery along with the 3/5 Compromise, the Electoral College, and Two Senators for every State. This resulted in the Civil War, Jim Crow, Segregation, and now, Donald Trump. As Joseph Smith said [paraphrased] States Rights Stink!

Slavery and the 3/5 Compromise have been banned and repealed by Amendments to the Constitution. Since the 17th Amendment, Senators are at least directly elected by the people of the states rather than the State Legislatures (thank Heavens!) The Electoral College serves no purpose if not needed to protect Slavery [thank Heavens again!]. There was some talk by the Founders that it would serve as a check to the election of a demagogue. 2016 establishes the failure of that idea with the irrationality of the faithless electors of 2016 who demonstrated no coherent plan to stop a demagogue.

Trump lost the popular vote by 2.8 million votes. That is significant. He is to be sworn in as president because of a modest win in the Electoral College after a huge loss in the popular vote. He is not our first president to do so. But the popular vote loss is embarrassing to him as no strong third or fourth party made him a plurality winner as happened in 1992 with Bill Clinton or in 1860 with Lincoln among numerous candidates receiving electoral votes. Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. I'm no big fan of Hillary, but her indiscretions pale in comparison to Trump.

And let's not forget why a President Trump would be such a problem:

Friday, December 23, 2016

It's Time for Peace on Earth, Good Will to All

It's been a long, cold, lonely Winter. And it only started a couple of days ago!

The problem was that the Fall was pretty tough. The Malheur defendants were sent free (well, some went back to jail awaiting trial in Nevada); there was an active-shooter incident at the school where my wife teaches (the Science Teacher hero was in our home the other night as my wife is Science supervisor and we hosted the Holiday dinner); and, then there was that horrible man elected president. That caused some serious trauma for some.

So, I return to the events of summer to catch a bright light for Christmas.

In our wandering of the National Gallery in London, we came across the original of one of my favorite Nativities.

There it was in all its Glory! And I mean Glory! The Christ Child glows for all the world to behold, especially the poor shepherds.

I love this one as it is contemporary to my distant Cousin Poet, Henry Vaughan, and his twin, Thomas, the highly religious Alchemist married to Rebecca.

Here is my photo of the entire piece:

It is floor-to-ceiling huge, larger than life, as it should be.

May God bless us everyone!

And my wish to all is a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for all who seek joy and peace!

And speaking of Peace, I leave you with another Christmas Poem of Henry Vaughan:

The Nativity

Peace? and to all the world? sure, One
And He the Prince of Peace, hath none.
He travels to be born, and then
Is born to travel more again.
Poor Galilee! thou canst not be
The place for His nativity.
His restless mother's called away,
And not delivered till she pay.
     A tax? 'tis so still! we can see
The church thrive in her misery;
And like her Head at Bethlem, rise
When she, oppressed with troubles, lies.
Rise? should all fall, we cannot be
In more extremities than He.
Great Type of passions! come what will,
Thy grief exceeds all copies still.
Thou cam'st from heaven to earth, that we
Might go from earth to heaven with Thee.
And though Thou foundest no welcome here,
Thou didst provide us mansions there.
A stable was Thy court, and when
Men turned to beasts, beasts would be men.
They were Thy courtiers, others none;
And their poor manger was Thy throne.
No swaddling silks Thy limbs did fold,
Though Thou couldst turn Thy rays to gold.
No rockers waited on Thy birth,
No cradles stirred, nor songs of mirth;
But her chaste lap and sacred breast
Which lodged Thee first did give Thee rest.
     But stay: what light is that doth stream,
And drop here in a gilded beam?
It is Thy star runs page, and brings
Thy tributary Eastern kings.
Lord! grant some light to us, that we
May with them find the way to Thee.
Behold what mists eclipse the day:
How dark it is! shed down one ray
To guide us out of this sad night,
And say once more, "Let there be light."

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Should NOT Sing at Trump Inauguration!

This beautiful sight:

Is tarnished by association with this man whatever his government title may be:

Will he want to be photographed in similar poses with the Sisters of the Choir? Will he want to grab any inappropriate parts of their bodies?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Universal Salvation by Christ's Grace After All We Can Do Together

LDS Temple Baptistry with Window "into the World of Light"
My eyes are opening to a new concept of religious faith that is wonderful!

I'm no theologian and certainly no official spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, my deep dives into family history work and temple ordinances and sealings for those beyond the grave who have gone into the world of light are opening my eyes to that light.

It is a unique form of Universalism that the Prophet Joseph Smith preached for it required hard work on our part, not for our own salvation so much as for the benefit of others and all of humanity as a family.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Big Fantastic Goodness - The BFG from Roald Dahl, Disney, and Spielberg

I needed that.

And I've been trying to see it since last summer. Fortunately, the magic from Cardiff where Roald Dahl was born 100 years ago continues.

A Bookshop in Cardiff, Wales last July
Without knowing the book, the movie stood on its own. It had the slower pace of a good story and the whimsical and irreverent childhood magic of Roald Dahl. The mystical aspects of dream-catching were beautifully portrayed. But this was no dream. It was the reality of fantasy from a child's world. The child is named Sophie, a wise and brave young girl played wonderfully by Ruby Barnhill

No spoilers here, but the breakfast with the Queen was worth the price of admission (or purchase of the DVD) alone. I haven't laughed so fully as a needed healing balm for a long time. And if Queens were more like portrayed here from a child's sense of wonder, I could be a monarchist myself! This indicates how well the film captures the child's point of view. My inner one was awakened last night.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Why I Rise

Resolfen [Resolven] 1900
From Song of the Earth by Alexander Cordell. It's about 1850 on Lyon Street in Resolven, Vale of Neath, Wales. The father, Mostyn, comes home from the coal mine to find Redcoats in his house looking for his son:
The Redcoat smiled and shifted his feet. There was about him a quiet authority more usually found in their officers, and he was not without charm. He could have handled this in a much more brutal way for he held the power of life and death over the Welsh workers. In the Top Towns, where the owners called in the military to break a strike, I have seen the Welsh flung out of their homes, their women man-handled. Time was, In Crawshay's Merthyr, when a troop had only to cut a dog in half to get obedience, or hang an innocent Dic Penderyn, but he Bread or Blood riots of '31, and the rise of the Welsh Chartists in '39 had changed the face of their authority. Yet they still demanded instant loyalty to their puppet Queen, and this, usually, was the test of Welsh fidelity. The sergeant said now, 'You are aware that your son is a member of illegal organisations?' [unions]
'if he is, then he is responsible.'

Saturday, December 10, 2016

We're . . . Trumped

The temptation is great is to start making up "fake" news on my own. I just wouldn't know where to begin. Truth is stranger than fictional news anyway even if a bit harder to get at.

On December 19, the Electoral College will meet in their respective locations and cast ballots most likely for Trump. As most of my predictions have been off this year, that is our best hope for magical thinking that maybe he won't be our president. Still, I would hate to see the consequences around the country should the Electoral College do something that does not result in a President Trump.

Eew, I still can't get to the acceptance stage. I've had plenty of anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and all the rest. I just can't believe this.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Miracles Great and Small

The back entrance to Mueller Park Jr. High that my wife uses the morning after the shotgun blast.
My wife heard that the neighboring LDS Stake President initiated this effort.
There have been a series of bruises to this liberal heart since returning from the Land of my Fathers (Cymru) last summer. First, the Malheur Armed Occupiers were found not guilty. Then, somehow, America elected the most despicable woman-abusing, self-aggrandizing, klepto-capitalist to be President. And finally, a troubled kid with a shotgun blasted a hole in the ceiling of a classroom in the school where my wife teaches.

The first miracle is that in spite of significant emotional trauma to that school community (yours truly included), no blood was shed. The Washington Post noted this is in a fairly accurate article revealing some of the difficult details of he incident that I wasn't going to share, but that 's the press for you. Locally, KSL also had good coverage of the aftermath. Those details do, however, reveal how close this was to becoming a horrific tragedy. Thank Heavens and all involved who acted with good training, smarts, and compassion. No one had to shoot the poor kid down and he was unsuccessful in whatever he was attempting except that first blast.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Second Amendment says "WELL REGULATED," You D*** Fools!

This morning my eldest daughter, a school teacher, called me in obvious distress asking if I had heard the news. She asked me to check if her mom, also a school teacher, was OK because she was afraid to do so. So I quickly checked:


Police responded to Mueller Park Junior High School Thursday morning on reports…