Archive for December, 2007

As Usual, the Old Media Misses It

December 24, 2007

In an effort to try and hide the real successes and failures we’ve had as a country, the old media is trying desperately to hide any evidence of a war being fought in Iraq. Michelle Malkin does a wonderful job reminding us of what happened last year in the most important conflict of this decade. (link)

There’s nothing quote-worthy because all of it is so great. Get over to Michelle Malkin’s site, read it all, and remember how wonderful our troops are.

Mitt Romney: Simply Brilliant

December 23, 2007

Imagine Mitt Romney sitting with a bunch of reporters. He says, “You know, I have always been for civil rights, even back in the 60’s. I saw my father march with Martin Luther King, Jr.”

What would happen? Do you think the old media would trumpet this across the front pages?

Of course not. If the old media ran with that story, not only would it help Mitt, but it would help the Republican Party by demonstrating that in the 60’s, only the republicans were united behind the civil rights movement. The democrats were split. So since it would help republicans, the story was tanked, if it was ever started.

So what does Mitt do? He gives a speech on national TV, a speech that was supposed to be about his religion. (Note how every time Mitt came out and said it wasn’t about his religion that the media drummed it up even more.) In the speech he declares that he saw his father march with Dr. King. It was a minor statement, but an important one. It was a statement that everyone heard. But otherwise, it was a forgettable statement.

But it gets better. See, someone in the media uncovers that maybe this isn’t true. After all, the historical records don’t show that Dr. King ever marched in that area. When confronted, Mitt shows weakness, and starts to backpedal. “Aha!” the old media thinks. “We got him cornered–let’s go in for the kill.” The old media runs with the story, blaring it across the headlines: “Mitt is a liar. He didn’t see dad march with King.”

And then it gets better. See, Mitt did see his dad march with Dr. King. So did a whole lot of other people, people who marched as well. One by one, the real story comes out, piece by piece the lead story in the old media is thoroughly trashed.

Most importantly, the big issue that was supposed to take Mitt down–gets the message he wanted out in the first place. Now, when people think Mitt, they will think: “Wasn’t he the guy that claimed to see his dad march with Dr. King?” and then, “Oh yeah, and they thought he didn’t but he really did!”

Folks, Mitt is slick, and he is slicker than der Schlickmeister himself. He just used the old media to trumpet something he wanted to get out and publish far and wide. He just changed the discussion from “Didn’t mormons prohibit the blacks from getting the priesthood?” to “Didn’t Mitt march with Dr. King?”

This reminds me of how both Reagan and Bush would regularly make fools out of the media. It is so subtle you can easily miss it, but it is obviously there. It reminds me of Governor Romney telling a reporter, “No, I represent the people; you represent your newspaper.” He is that kind of guy, witty, smart, and brilliant.

This is why I support Mitt over Thompson. I have yet to see Thompson do anything like this. This is what you need beyond the issues and the principles: you need someone that can deliver.

Mitt Romney did more than Obama and Clinton–combined

December 23, 2007

Turns out, Mitt Romney wasn’t lying when he said he and his dad marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement. There are more than 1 person who were eye-witnesses to this. (link)

It turns out, apparently, that Mitt Romney has done more for civil rights than Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama–combined.

Come election time this October, I hope we will see ads with footage of Mitt Romney and Martin Luther King, Jr, along with a sea of faces from all walks of life, standing together to stop the discrimination once and for all. That will be a powerful image, one which will remind the people of America that it was the Republican Party that withstood the assaults from the Democratic Party, ended slavery, and brought equality for all in the sight of the law, and the people.

Once again, an assault from a socialist is filled with lies. Can anyone name any attack by the socialists of the world that had any semblance to the truth? Anyone?

Where Does Santa Get His Presents?

December 22, 2007

It’s a stupid question, but it has to be asked. Especially now that Hillary wants to “give” presents of her own. (link)

It brings up the question, though, where does Santa get his presents?

If you believe in the childish fairy tale of Santa Claus living at the North Pole, then you believe the presents come from the hard-working elves. What motivates the elves to spend their entire lives making presents for little children they will never meet, I don’t know.

But if you believe in the real Santa Claus, the one that obtains Christmas gifts and signs his name on the cards before putting them under the Christmas tree, then you probably won’t understand where the gifts really come from until you are old enough to find your second job.

Hillary, as well as all communists, do not understand what creates Christmas gifts, or for that matter, wealth. Go ahead and ask them. They think that wealth is something the rich have control over and that can only be obtained from the rich. Well, being the fools that they are, how do they explain that the rich got wealthy? Why, the rich took the wealth from everyone else. So the magical wealth that communism wants to spread starts in the hands of the people and end up in the hands of the rich. But where did the people get it from? To that, they have no answer.

Meanwhile, over in reality-ville, brave capitalists know exactly what wealth is and exactly what process creates it. It isn’t a mystical fairy tale filled with imaginary things that never existed. It can be tracked down to exact moments in time, exact actions made by real people, and it is written down in thousands of books so the creation of the wealth can be remembered and recalled.

See, wealth comes from free trade. That is, when two people get together, decide that they would rather have what the other guy wants more than what they have, and exchange it, they have created wealth. It appears out of nowhere to the communist because they can’t understand that the same item in possession of different people has a different value.

That is, if Mr. Smith down the street owns a lawnmower, that is pretty valuable. But the same lawnmower sitting in a factory in Kentucky is all but worthless. It’s only value is whatever the owner of that lawnmower thinks he can get people to Mr. Smith to give him for it.

Whence comes Christmas gifts? It comes from the free enterprise system we have. Because we are allowed to freely buy and sell and trade, we create enough excess wealth that we can waste it on trinkets and toys to put under the Christmas tree. Or, in the eyes of the parents and uncles and grandparents and everyone else who buys these gifts, we can spend it on making Christmas magical for our little ones.

Hillary’s plans, along with all the other democrats, will have only one effect, universally: It will destroy wealth because it limits our freedom to buy and sell and trade. Her medical program will make it illegal to see the doctor I want, receive the treatment I want, and pay for it. Her entitlement programs takes the wealth that we created and hands it out like Christmas candies to those who, through subjection of the entitlement programs, will never be motivated to create wealth of their own.

Her Christmas gifts are simply curses on the American people, and she is no Santa Claus for trying to “give” them to us.

Huck’s Motto: What Would Kerry Do?

December 22, 2007

This is getting hilarious, in the really not-funny way. Mike Huckabee, who is apparently running for the republican nomination, attacks one of the most influential voices in the Republican Party: Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh has yet to back down from one attack from anyone on any side of the aisle. Even President Bush’s top people who cross him haven’t escaped his guns. (link)

I don’t think Huckabee is taking the whole “WWJD” thing part of Christianity seriously. He seems to have adopted “WWKD”: What would Kerry Do?

Huckabee has also ticked off a major component of the religious right, the only people who support his campaign. Not the mormons–that was last week. This week he is ticking off the catholics.

I’m wondering, what more harm can he possibly do to his campaign? There are only a few short weeks until the votes are cast, but still, Huck’s been a man of many surprises.

Why Huckabee is Going to Lose

December 21, 2007

See, when you’re running for president, you have to leave all the baggage and divisiveness of your religion behind and embrace the American religion–the common religion all people in the United States share. You don’t have to disavow your beliefs, no matter how weird they are to others (everyone’s beliefs are weird to everyone else, after all). You do have to say, “The government is not the place for this discussion, and frankly, I am not going to hold anyone’s religion as a plus or minus in my considerations.”

Huckabee hasn’t done that. He hasn’t sent the word out to anyone among his opponents or supporters that he intends to do that. Everything he says and does points to him running the government the same way he ran his church.

So when a catholic supporter of his find out he is going to go do obeisance to a vehement anti-catholic preacher, he is troubled because it spells trouble for his religion. (link)

We don’t want our presidents or politicians to play preference based on religion, do we? We want to keep sectarian differences outside of government, don’t we?

Or would you rather have a future President Romney only appoint mormons to his cabinet, or a future President Giuliani only appoint catholics?

Mormons and Race

December 21, 2007

The Wall Street Journal tries to clear up the history of the LDS church’s stance on race. (link) They do a terrible job. I can’t agree with most of what they wrote.

There are two mormon churches out there, apparently. There’s the one that everyone else imagines to be the church I attend. Then there’s the church that I attend.

The issue of race in the church that I attend is really quite simple. Let me boil it down for you.

Remember the story of Noah and Ham? It’s in Genesis 9:22-27. This story is significant. It declared that the descendents of Canaan would not be able to lead in the priesthood. Up until President Kimball received the famous revelation in 1978, this was the case. The Lord can give, and the Lord can take away. Who are we to question the Lord?

That is the end of the discussion in LDS circles. We may speculate and try to understand why the Lord did this. We can try to draw additional spiritual insight. But in my experience, this is usually done in vain. That is, there is nothing more to it that can enlighten my soul and draw me closer to Christ, and that is all that is important to me. Speculation is discouraged in our church, and we certainly don’t teach speculation in our classes.

Those of you who suggest that Mitt Romney or anyone else could’ve changed church doctrine have a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the church is. At no point was this doctrine, or any doctrine, up for discussion by the membership of the church. The members do not create, interpret, or modify doctrine, nor do the leaders. Doctrine comes direct from the Lord, through his prophets, and is confirmed by the Holy Ghost in the hearts of those who practice it. This is a fundamental difference between the LDS church and all other churches in the world.

Now, given the above, and given that the above verses were used to justify slavery in Europe and America, what do mormons actually believe about race and equality?

Do we believe that it is justified to enslave a person by force? No, we never have nor will we ever. Slavery is and always was wrong, and was never a part of the gospel. In fact, the Law of Moses was quite specific, going so far as to free people who enslaved themselves. Those who practiced slavery in the past (or today) must free their slaves if they ever hope to obtain any kind of salvation. It is fundamentally opposed to the principles of the gospel.

What about how we treat others? Are we ever justified in being cruel or mean to another for any reason? No, not ever. We are commanded to love our neighbors (meaning, everyone else) as Christ loves us, to be filled with charity, the pure love of Christ. We will be judged how we treated the least among us, which includes  those who are subject to discrimination of others.

What about the black race? Do we believe they are in any way inferior to the white race? No. Though differences do exist, we are all equal and are all entitled to the same blessings that the Lord has promised anyone. Although different people are called upon to play different roles in the great history of the earth, all who are faithful will inherit the same glory in the afterlife, regardless of what position or role they were born into.

Well, while our actions might be limited, are mormons allowed to think racist thoughts? This is perhaps the most important consideration. One of our doctrines is that our actions, words, and thoughts will condemn us at the last day. Members of the church are explicitly commanded to watch their thoughts. We can no more think a racist thought than think an immorally impure thought and count ourselves worthy.

Now, from the outside looking in, this is all a fairy tale to you, or perhaps it will sound too simple. I understand that. But to us within the church, these are heart-felt, personal, and emotional things. This is what we really believe. This is what we preach. This is what uplifts and inspires us.

So you can judge me and my religion based on what other people tell you it is. But I would rather you judged me based on what I really believed and really thought, because I don’t go to that church that they are describing. My church is quite different.

Mormons are Liars?

December 20, 2007

Bob Burney asks, What has happened to the simple principle of telling the truth?” He claims that the LDS church has changed its positions on a number of things, and is trying to hide their history.

No, Mr. Burney, we aren’t trying to hide anything but ignorance and misrepresentation.

Rather than make statements that are misinterpreted and misrepresented by the rest of the world, the LDS church has been trying to convey a correct idea of what it believes to the world. That’s why we don’t focus on the bits of doctrine that, while important, don’t help people understand our faith any better. That’s why we have focused more on statements that do convey a correct idea of what we believe.

The central tenets of our faith are simply a belief in God and faith in Christ, that He lives, and that He is still speaking to us today, and that his redemption is free for any willing to open their hearts and receive it.

Let me close with a response to this paragraph from your article:

I just wish the Mormons, including Mitt Romney, would simply be more candid and tell us the straight truth about their religion. Is that too much to ask?

Let me be perfectly candid: To any and all who want the “straight truth” about our religion, we send out tens of thousands of missionaries every year. We send out millions of free copies of the Book of Mormon and Bible. We provide websites and literature freely to any who care to read it. Simply open your ears and hearts and hear and feel for yourself, first-hand, about what we truly believe. Those who cannot hear simply refuse to listen.

A Look Under Romney’s Veneer

December 20, 2007

Those running for national office have to wear a polished veneer at every official event or function. Let’s remember why they have to do this: The slightest mistake (“macaca”) can explode into your worst nightmare, thanks to the modern liberal press willing to blow things way out of proportion. They will make you an offender for a word, and will never allow you to clarify or apologize.

But sometimes we get to see under that veneer and see the real person. These moments are special, because they say a whole lot more about the person than their policies.

It is just such a look into Romney’s real self that is inspiring conservative bloggers everwhere: Glenn Beck’s interview of Mitt Romney.

GLENN: Give me your thought on Petraeus not being Time magazine’s man of the year but instead Vladimir Putin.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Oh, you are kidding. Did they put Vladimir Putin on the cover?

GLENN: Yeah, Time magazine.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: That really, that’s disgusting. I’m absolutely — I mean, are you — I mean, I haven’t seen Time. Are you serious?

It gets better than there, with Romney calling Putin a dictator, murderer, and opponent of all that is free.

Tell me, is Romney, at his core, a conservative or liberal? Would you expect Ronald Reagan to say this, or Harry Reid?

Here’s some reactions:

Mormon Leaders “Command” the Members?

December 19, 2007

I can’t let this one pass by: (link)

But this diatribe from a left-leaning Evangelical in a local Georgia newspaper takes the cake.

As stake president, Mitt Romney commanded hundreds –maybe thousands — of Mormons under his charge. (No one really knows, since this information has been kept from public view, as have Huckabee’s sermons.) [Emphasis added.]

Oh dear me, all this time, I never knew – the CJCLDS is organized as an army, with commanders poised to strike at the very heart of the nation. This rhetoric is so over-the-top as to be self-parody. But jeez, the long knives came out yesterday.

Where to start with this?

I do believe there are people out there who see the organization of the church, it’s effectiveness, and the cohesiveness of the members and think that this can only be achieved in a command-control church.

First, let me describe some of the underlying attributes, the basic tenets of mormon leadership.

  1. Leaders who have authority cannot exercise that authority in unrighteousness or they lose the power connected with that authority and are no better than anyone else.
  2. Leaders never command. They persuade.
  3. Leaders show love. When they do rebuke, it is precise and done in a spirit of love and followed by an increase of love.
  4. Leaders lead by example.

If you want to read probably the best description of mormon leadership in scripture, D&C 121:34-46 is the best place to start. But attend any church meeting and see how it is led. Spend some time around our church and see how the bishop and stake president operate.

This is probably 180 degrees from what you have heard about our church.

Now, the reason why we look like a command-control church is because we have all the supposed benefits of a command-control church. Except your idea of how to build a cohesive, well-organized, effective organization are wrong. Almost every management course in the business world will tell you that.

It’s like walking into a prosperous country and saying, “Aha! These people are communists! I can tell because everyone is rich and only communism makes people rich!”

When people say that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looks like a corporation, this is one of the things they are talking about. Our leaders seem like middle-managers who have taken one too many courses on effective middle management. But I want you to look at it the other way: The modern perception of management has been influenced, at least in a mild way (but perhaps in a major way), by the way the LDS church is managed. In other words, I don’t believe corporate America has influenced my church, but the church has influenced corporate America.

Joseph Smith knew these principles back in the middle 1800’s when asked how he kept the members of the church so well-organized. He said (roughly), “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”

Summary: Our leaders do not command, and should they try, they will be disappointed with the results. Our church is well-organized but that is precisely because we don’t follow the world’s ideas of management but the Lord’s, and that happens to resemble a bit what modern corporate America is doing.