Archive for November, 2018

When Mormons Rule the Earth

November 15, 2018

First off, we don’t call ourselves mormon. We’re members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or saints for short. “Mormon” was an epithet used by our enemies to describe us.

Regardless, one of the earliest charges laid at the feet of Joseph Smith, the first leader of our church, is that he was trying to setup a theocratic kingdom, akin to what Mohammed had done. I have often wondered what Joseph Smith would’ve done had millions of people flocked to the newly restored church.

We don’t have to wonder much because that’s pretty much what did happen. Very early in the church’s history, an entire population of a town converted and accepted Joseph Smith as their leader. This was Sidney Rigdon’s congregation in the frontier settlement of Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith called the saints to gather there, and soon, what used to be a few houses was a bustling city. (You can read more about the early history of the church in the new history book called Saints: https://history.lds.org/saints?lang=eng

The first thing Joseph Smith did was he put the town in order. At the time, people were exhibiting all sorts of strange behavior they attributed to the Holy Ghost. Joseph taught a simple system for identifying and dispelling evil spirits, and pretty soon the town was behaving civilized.

The next thing Joseph Smith did was he established local leadership. He called a bishop to oversee the welfare of the poor and needy. The bishop would solicit free-will donations and distribute them as well as he could. Rather than handing out free food and shelter, the bishop gave people land and handed them an axe to build their own house and plow their own fields. Self-sufficiency was and is still the primary goal of the welfare program of the church.

The government of Kirtland was established the same as any other government of the time, with elected leaders, a city council, and a mayor.

Joseph Smith soon received revelation that the saints should settle in Missouri, where they began the same process of purchasing land, building homes, and building towns and cities. Joseph laid out the ideal form of a city, with each city of a population of about 10,000 or so, and if that was to be exceeded, a new city to be built nearby until the whole earth was covered with cities of that simple design.

In Missouri, they faced persecution both from the locals and the state government. A “war” of sorts broke out, with the saints acquiescing when it was clear they could not win and God commanded them not to. They left to found another colony with the central city being Nauvoo, Illinois. There, they built their temple and laid out the roads and property just as they had intended in Missouri. (By this time, Kirtland was in rebellion to Joseph’s authority and all the saints loyal to Smith had left.)

In Nauvoo, Joseph was elected the mayor after the former mayor was charged with adultery. Joseph was also appointed the head of the Nauvoo Legion, the militia that trained regularly to ensure that the locals couldn’t persecute them and the state would think twice before sending an army to drive them out of their homes.

The laws in Nauvoo weren’t much different from laws you would expect to see at the time. If anything, they were considerably more liberal, meaning, people had more freedom in Nauvoo than they did in other places. Church membership wasn’t a requirement for living there nor did it affect your standing in the city. Joseph had appointed a Council of Fifty from local church leaders and others who were not members of our church specifically with the intention of figuring out what sort of laws and constitutions should be established to maximize freedom by the time he was slaughtered by a mob.

Brigham Young intended to stay at Nauvoo, but the Lord had other plans and sent them out West to settle the Salt Lake area. Today, the vast majority of land in the West, aside from the coastal areas, are founded by saints who were sent by Brigham Young to build towns. Our towns are found all the way up in Canada and all the way south in Mexico.

Where did Brigham Young get all these people to settle the West? They came from all over the world, especially England and other European countries. As people converted to our church, they were asked to move to Zion, the kingdom that Brigham Young had built. Millions fled Europe and came to the Utah area to be assigned by Brigham Young a place to live.

So what would it look like if mormons took over the world?

The Western United States.

Demographics or Ideology?

November 15, 2018

Over at the Red Elephant on YouTube, he’s making a prediction that Texas will become blue and stay blue after 2020.

What he’s saying is basically that since Hispanics and blacks vote overwhelmingly for democrats, and whites only marginally vote republican, that since the Hispanic population is increasing, Texas will vote democrat for the foreseeable future.

His suggestion seems to be to convince more white voters to vote republican, since blacks and Hispanics are never going to change how they vote.

That’s a pretty terrible suggestion, and it doesn’t leave much hope. Unless whites vote 90% republican, it’s still not going to be enough.

He also commented that illegal voting doesn’t really matter, and when democrats are winning by large enough margins no one will even think to look at voter fraud as it won’t make a difference if you found 10% of the votes were fraud or whatnot.

I wonder if he’d feel the same if Hispanics voted 70% republican and 30% democrat. Or would he say we need to import more Hispanics into Texas?

The reality is that the way our country is set up, we don’t get to control how populations move within our country. We can control who we allow into our country, and over the past 50+ years we have allowed large numbers of Hispanics into our country, but we can’t control people once they get into our country, legally.

Now, this is the key area where I disagree. While I admit that there is a voting habit for people based on their skin color, I say that is true only because there is a correlation between ideology and skin color and other demographic measures.

When you find a correlation in science, you have to ask if there is causation. Logically speaking, if A and B are correlated, there are several possible reasons for this:

  • A causes B or B causes A.
  • A and B are really the same thing.
  • There is a third thing, C, that causes A and B.
  • You just got really unlucky and found correlation where none really exists.

It’s absurd to think that changing your ideology can change your skin color, because skin color isn’t really something that changes. Nor can you change your heritage. We can look at other demographic variables as well such as age or sex, and we know that those aren’t something that are caused by ideology either. Economic status might be, but definitely theĀ  idea that demographics aside from life choices are determined by ideology is just absurd.

It’s reasonable, at least at first glance, that demographics determines ideology, but we must consider that there is a third cause or that we are just unlucky. I think we can rule out unluckiness as we have collected this data in so many different ways and in so many different times and it is remarkably consistent.

What could be the third cause? I think the answer is that ideology and demographics (in terms of race or ethnicity) are determined by your parents. By and large, you’re not going to change your ideology much from what your parents raised you with.

That’s not to say it won’t change. After all, Christians are famous for converting people to their faith, and the history of Christianity is a history of entire civilizations changing their ideology. No one worships Jupiter in Rome anymore, after all, and it’s not because the barbarians stopped the practice.

The direction of nature is clear: Over time, populations grow weak and lazy, and begin choosing greedy leaders and corrupt their own country. Everyone knows this. The Chinese have a saying: “Head of a dragon, tail of a snake”. One interpretation of that saying is that things which start out great (like the American Revolution) end up being undesirable.

The problem is that in today’s world, nature isn’t the only factor at work. We have seen in history periods of time where entire populations have shifted to the right. It happened here in the US, several times. It’s happening in Brazil as we speak. It’s happened in England several times.

While we don’t know how to control shifts in ideology, and we barely understand why it happens, the truth is that no matter what your skin color or ethnic heritage, you are human and you are prone to change your behavior, oftentimes due to environmental pressure but sometimes out of your own free will.

When I pray at night and in the morning, I’m not just asking that God exerts his influence on the world: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” I’m praying to know what I should be doing to bring that change about, and to recognize it when it is happening.

Right now, President Trump is the best we’ve got. He’s not very good (and I’m not talking about what democrats point out as flaws) but he’s good enough. Maybe one day we’ll have our Julius Caesar, our Caesar Augustus, our Constantine or Charlemagne, or Henry V or whatnot. Maybe some day we’ll be graced with our own David and Solomon. Maybe President Trump is it and I just need a little more patience. Maybe one day we’ll be thrust into civil war again where we have to sort through who to kill and who to spare and re-think what it is to be American all over again. Maybe disease will rip through our country as it did through the Aztec empire, or maybe our crops will fail and we’ll have massive famine. I don’t know, but I do know that we have our President Trump right now, and we have a lot of work to do to shore up our republic, with the anticipation that things won’t get better but the hope that maybe they will.

As it is, I wouldn’t write off the Hispanic or black voting bloc. Ideology isn’t determined by skin color or ethnicity, and we know from history that it isn’t inherited either. Keep doing what is right, things will go as well as they can. That’s all we can do.

How to End This Civil War

November 11, 2018

Wars start when one group of people feels like they can do whatever they please to injure another group of people. We are certainly at that state in the United States.

Wars end when one of the sides completely surrenders to the other.

How do we end this civil war?

The last civil war we fought wasn’t won. While the military of the southern states was disbanded, the political leaders were not. They continued attacking the country and today their descendants inhabit the Democratic Party. What their goals are is not entirely clear, but they are unified in their hatred of America and our institutions.

How do we win? In short, they must surrender. They must be imprisoned if they don’t surrender. They must be held to account for their crimes against our country. Nothing short of this will be enough.

I am doubtful that the American people have the stomach to do what needs to be done. We are very good at fighting wars, but we don’t understand what victory means and what that entails. We have been lucky in that the Japanese and German people did fully lay down their arms and acquiesce, but I doubt we will ever see the democratic and socialist elements of our country do the same.

We balk when we see what it takes to end the wars that have ravaged other countries.

Whether or not the fighting starts, when it comes to winning this war, it must be complete and total victory. We must humiliate and even execute the losers. We must destroy their movement and everything that went along with it. We must write history books detailing the crimes of their movement and presenting them for what they truly are and were.

Until the day comes that the world thinks of Nazis as a lesser evil than socialism or the American Democratic Party, we will not have won this war.

Some thoughts after the election…

November 10, 2018

This election season both new republican leaders like President Trump and the old guard conservatives like Sen. Graham came out swinging against the Democratic Party. Most of you may not remember this but back in the early 2000s, it was an epithet to call someone a “democrat”. This was because of the nonsense that persisted throughout the Clinton years and then the way they tried to steal the election in Florida. (Wouldn’t you know it, it was Broward County that was the center of the controversy.)

The Democratic Party is the party of evil. This is inarguable. The origin of the party can be traced back to evil, conspiring men trying to seek power during the Era of Good Feelings. They started what is called the Spoils System: If you vote for me, I will give you good paying jobs in the government. The first democratic president was President Andrew Jackson, who, despite common beliefs, did nothing for America and everything for President Jackson and his supporters. Even his attacks on the Bank of the United States wasn’t inspired out of some sort of charity towards the American people and the plight that national banks bring upon a nation, but the fact that he could not get his man appointed as the head of that bank. He shut it down so it could be reopened under new management — his management.

Fast forward a few decades, and you’re looking at the first serious signs that the Democratic Party, when it cannot get its way, is more than happy to set the country on fire and watch it burn. The Civil War was the result of violent and extremist abolitionists, to be sure, but until the Democratic Party started chanting war slogans they were only a few terrorists here and there that were roundly condemned on all sides of the political spectrum. They turned a fringe movement into a casus belli — a cause for war. Then, associating the newly formed Republican Party and the newly elected President Lincoln with those terrorists, they declared war on the United States. No, they did not just secede, another lie told to rewrite the history of the Civil War — they opened fire on Fort Sumter after seizing federal property and federal troops. A peaceful secession would’ve negotiated terms for withdrawal, even tolerating the presence of powerless troops for decades, rather than ignite the flames of war.

Well, it was war they wanted, and it was war they got. The North, and many Southern States, properly incensed at their short-sightedness and violence, rightly declared war right back, and fought a long and vicious war such as the world has never seen before. It took someone like General Sherman, marching through the countryside, burning plantations and destroying cities left undefended, to convince General Lee that there was no possible way to win, and that complete and total surrender to the North and the Republican Party was inevitable.

What followed is called “Reconstruction.” Thanks to what in hindsight was a bad move on the part of President Lincoln, pardoning the South, we could not make just recompense to the former slaves nor hold the violent elements of the Democratic Party accountable. The black population was left to roam the South, subject to an antagonistic majority that sought to do them harm. The few federal troops were powerless to stop the lynchings, the beatings, the suppression of rights. The few times the republicans got it right, they refused to seat senators and representatives until southern states admitted on paper that blacks had rights and that they pinky-promised never to hold KKK rallies and burn crosses in their yards or lynch them in the middle of the night.

The American people are fierce in war, preferring a hot, short war to a long, cold one. But we really stick when it comes to governing the losers. We are too gracious in victory, to proud to admit that maybe, just maybe, the Romans knew what they were doing when they decimated rebellious populations — killing one in ten adult males randomly, or any host of other unpalatable things. Had we used the same righteous fury that we had used during the war on the Democratic Party after the war, we would talk about them the same way we talk about Nazis today. It would be a stain on our history, a reminder that the pursuit of power is evil in and of itself, and that power can be trusted to no mortal man.

Instead, half of our country wakes up in the morning grateful to be subject to their masters, wishing ill on those who protect them, and wondering why “evil” republicans are allowed to protect the rights of all people, regardless of race or religion.

Someday, the Democratic Party will be exposed for what it is. Its history will be written by people who don’t like them and want to encourage no sympathy for what they did. Someday, but not yet, not today.

The Republican Party, on the other hand, is not free of guilt. The problem of the Republican Party is that it is properly termed the “Anti-Democratic Party”. It formed as a reaction to the Democratic Party. To understand the background, you have to understand what Whiggism is and what the Whig Party stood for. From the founding of our country until today, Whigs ran everything. They bifurcated into various branches based on subtle differences in political ideology, but they remained true to their core essence and principles.

The Whig Principles are the American Principles of our Founding Fathers. Summarized shortly:

  • Power can only be entrusted with the moral elite, and even then, we must have checks and balances.
  • Moderation is the principle of good government, neither too hot nor too cold, but a middle ground where polar opposites can come to find common ground.
  • You don’t support your faction for power’s sake, you support individuals and you support ideologies.
  • Above all else, individual rights are paramount and the only concern of the government. Nothing else matters.

The Whigs bifurcated in our history twice. Once, when the Constitution was written. Again, when we determined whether the Federal Government had enough power and what to do when it wasn’t clear which government had power. The famous debates in the Constitutional Convention and the long-lasting feud between Jefferson and Hamilton summarize these issues. Of note, Jefferson was a minimalist, but he ended up expanding the federal power more than any other president of his time. While people remained true to ideologies, they were not so inflexible to ignore an opportune time to ignore those principles for the sake of the country.

Republicans appeared in this backdrop. The Whigs were powerless to stand up to the Democratic Party machine. Little by little, people stopped supporting whiggism and started participating in the Spoils System. The trend towards democracy and universal suffrage was the cause. When you give a poor person power in the government, they are going to vote themselves money. A rich person seeks nothing from government except protection, and so they go not to collect, but to provide. The Whigs were all wealthy landowners, committed to maintaining a free state even if it meant losing a little bit in profits here and there.

Republicans gained power by showing how incompetent the whigs were. In effect, the whigs had given away the keys to the country, handing them over to people incompetent to govern. Republicans sought to remedy that not by returning to whiggism, but by beating up Democrats. Thus, the two parties are locked in eternal struggle, both engaging in the Spoils System, both in a desperate battle to maintain their power, their jobs, and their income.

How will it end? I don’t know, but I doubt we’ll ever pass a bill in congress or any state legislature that removes the power to vote from people. Perhaps it will take a civil war, a bold and intelligent leader to show us the way.