Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Longest Time

I swear, since I read Darwin's Black Box, by Michael Behe, I am perpetually reminded of the enduring
argument between the evolutionists and the proponents of Intelligent Design.  I am no expert.  I don't understand complex biochemistry.  I am not even familiar with all of the Darwinists' arguments.

I guess I have at least a cursory understanding of their ideas -

1.  Evolution is the result of infinitesimally small, gradual changes which occurred over an extremely long period of time (billions of years).
2.  Creatures and features that exhibited better qualities tended to survive, while organisms with less desirable or less enduring traits faced extinction (natural selection).

Please understand - I believe that BOTH of these premises are not confirmed by science.  True, if you put a tiger in Antarctica, he will freeze, but that doesn't confirm natural selection.

Here is an example of some thoughts I have had.  One of my wives is VERY sensitive about eyebrows.  She notices the eyebrows on everyone she meets - color, thickness, shape, etc.  She notices it all.  So, in the vast, epic process of evolution over billions of years, how did we end up with eyebrows?  Were they some vestigial artifact of our monkey ancestors who needed eye protection while they scampered through the jungle?  OR - did our ancestors who lacked eyebrows slowly die out in favor of the few aberrant hominids who were lucky enough to have them?  I can grasp this idea, but then there are so many other bodily features that seem to serve no real purpose (like pubic hair) - that would never really have come about by this "natural selection" process.  I have hair on my upper lip and on my lower cheeks and chin, but it doesn't grow around my eyes.  Thank God!  Imagine shaving one's temples!  What if you had eyelash hairs that grew all rogue and curly like my chest hair?  How many dead prototype homo sapiens had to go extinct to sort out all these very nuanced hair configurations?  I think the evolutionists get all giddy when some fur-clad corpse surfaces in northern Siberia and some scientist tries to say that the poor blighter lived ten million years ago.  Even when that does happen, they never find eyebrow hairs growing out of the guy's lips. 

I just don't buy it.  The other ridiculous flaw in the evolution argument is the assertion that DNA changes can be triggered by environmental pressures.  Some inquisitive walrus sees a bird soaring aloft and decides it would be fun to take flight, so she looks at her flippers and wills them to turn into wings - NAHH !!  OR she wills the eggs that are already in her ovaries to undergo DNA changes that eventually will result in her offspring being able to get airborne.  It's all stupid.  How can intelligent people spout that kind of lunacy?  I'll tell you how - they don't like God, or they wish He didn't exist.  They hope that He doesn't see their imperfections and that there will be no judgment for their conduct in a hereafter.

I didn't even begin to tackle the complicated stuff like cell division, color vision, blood-clotting and how anyone survived before the birth canal figured out how to stretch to 100 times its usual size to permit live births.

If evolution needed a very long time to accomplish all those things, I think this planet hasn't even been habitable for that long.


Sorry, Ukraine

Russia's recent occupation of the Crimea (in southern Ukraine) is all over the news right now.  Vladimir Putin has sent Russian troops to blockade and occupy every corner of the Crimea, ostensibly because the new regime in Kiev cannot yet be recognized as the legitimate government of the Ukraine.

Russia has broken treaties by invading in this way.  It obviously wants the natural resources of the Crimea.  Many Crimeans are Russian speakers.  Russia has significant interests in the Crimea and in eastern Ukraine.  Putin is smelling unchallenged victory.

American politicians are hand-wringing.  The last time this happened (in Georgia and Ossetia), Putin permanently annexed two provinces.  The world's leaders are not excited about imposing sanctions on Russia, and a military response is unthinkable.

Obama's impotence is legendary, and traditional U.S. allies like Germany seem to have no desire to participate in any measures aimed at punishing Putin.  Why?

Well, over the last decade, Russia has built dozens of natural gas pipelines between its vast reserves in Russia and eager customers in Germany, Belgium and other European nations, supplying up to 50% of the fuel used by several countries.  You have to believe that German politicians received bribes to not impede the construction of these pipelines, so . . . . .

Sorry, Ukraine, your European neighbors won't be making any efforts any time soon to protect your national sovereignty.

The U.S. State Department is threatening sanctions and restrictions on Russia, so Putin is threatening to impose sanctions on U.S. interests in retaliation.  Putin even said Russia might stop using the dollar as its reserve currency in international trade.  Look out !!!  Money talks louder than bullets.  Sorry, Ukraine.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

80,000 Blogs

I have a blog.  You are reading it right now.  If you are reading it, you are rare. I probably have a readership that numbers in the tens.  Not that I mind.  My message is shrill.  Only a few could appreciate my carping about this and that.  I'm sure that there are blogs that enjoy a far larger readership.

Recently, the LDS Church has concluded that its customary missionary proselyting tool - tracting - is less than effective.  Maybe people don't want missionaries showing up at their door asking to come in and teach them about honesty and caffeine. With more two-income families than ever, not too many folks are at home during the daytime hours anyway.

So what is to be done?  Well, in an era of pervasive social media, the Church has realized that people are online.  If people want to learn about true Church history, the information is now freely available.  If anti-Mormon views are what you crave, they are there in abundance.  It is not nearly so easy for the Church to pull the wool over people's eyes any more.

News articles are reporting that missionaries are being told to place less emphasis on tracting, and more emphasis on creating blogs to entice new members.  Maybe I should try that.  Through my splendid blog, followers can join the -

CHURCH OF THE DAILY WORD AS RENN SEES IT

You decide.

I'm sorry, I just wonder how fruitful it will be to have 80,000 missionaries sitting in front of computers writing blogposts to get converts.  Silly !!!!!

Another approach fostered by the Church is the "Service" approach.  Two young missionaries came to my door last week, and, after I introduced them to my wives, they asked if they could perform some kind of service for me.  I said they could help me move some heavy furniture, so they agreed to come back later.  They didn't come back.  I think this approach is designed to insinuate the missionaries into the family environment, until such time as they can apply pressure to family members to come to church and learn about caffeine and family home evening.

I went to a protestant church meeting a few months ago.  It was fascinating - a lot of friendly people, loud Christian rock music, and a pastor with a charismatic ego.  His sermon was about two things: 1. Getting more friends to come to the church and join, and: 2. Putting big donations in the collection plate.

I started to see some parallels.

Railway to Heaven

I have struggled for some time now over the LDS Church.  Since it is/was the primary church of the Restoration, I have some bittersweet feelings about it.  I had more of an association with it during my childhood, and it was quite different then.  I often wonder what all of its members will do when the tribulations commence, and they discover that their leaders have been quite fallible.

You often meet people who have given up on organized religion.  Often it is because the parish priest was a jerk or he molested the little girl down the street.  Sometimes it is because the church solicits money, and doesn't necessarily give much in return.  One problem with organized religion is that the organizers thereof are men, and men are often greedy, lecherous and vicious.  I met a guy once whose landlady was asked to evict him and his family by a bishop who had discovered that the guy was a polygamist.  Big corporate religions often have fangs and will brutalize anyone who stands in their way or who voices dissent.

What makes me the most nervous about the Mormon Church now is the self-preservation-at-all-costs approach.  In the early days, the Church bore revolutionary doctrines to the world.  Joseph Smith seemed to many to be a lunatic.  His polygamy must have contributed to his assassination.  He preached utopia, blood atonement, sanctification and a pre-existence.  He produced an ancient book of scripture.  He changed the world.

Nowadays the Church teaches people to build families, to be good, honest and chaste, and not to drink coffee.  It teaches people to embrace all races and creeds (except Fundamentalist Mormons).  It sends 80,000 missionaries into the world to spread the same message - a message that THIS is the church of the restoration, and that 75% of the original doctrines of that restoration were a mistake on the part of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.  Don't let that worry you - those old, obscure, mysterious doctrines were a fleeting aberration, a product of colonial times when men were barbaric.  It teaches the Taiwanese, the Argentines and the Finns to build Zion in their own homelands - to board a train that is going straight to the Celestial Kingdom.

Yes, get baptized, pay your tithing, answer the temple recommend interview questions the right way, get a mortgage and a three-bedroom, two-bath house, send your kids on missions and train them to marry only in the temple, and follow "the Prophet" at all costs and you will go directly to the Celestial Kingdom.

I read an article once that imagined the words of a Soviet-era Russian official.  He insisted that the Soviet Union erred in banishing all religions.  The Soviet Union should have welcomed the Mormon Church - after all, it taught its members to be unquestioningly obedient; to trust in the organization and not so much in God; to turn over their goods to the collective without question; to shun and tattle on defectors in their midst; to scramble for position and favor among the leading elite.  Yes, the Mormon Church fits well in a totalitarian environment.

The Church wants you to think that membership in it is a virtual guarantee of divine glory.  Jump aboard this train and you are on your way.  Stay on this railway to heaven at any cost and you will become a god, despite whatever may happen to others on the outside.  You will be given seven hot wives in the hereafter, so keep you mouth shut, pay your tithing and comply with everything you are instructed, and all will be well in Zion.

Look out!




Friday, January 3, 2014

Two Observations

I have made no secret of my distaste for Barack Obama and his push for socialized medicine.  I have mocked Obaminacare too.

We are in the "honeymoon" phase of Obamacare - the phase where you find out how badly you are getting screwed.

Recent news reports are revealing that Obama has made several "tweaks" to the "law".  He has single-handedly postponed deadlines, suspended implementations, and reversed mandates originally imposed by the "law" on insurance companies and employers.

Ordinarily, a law is a statement of "thou shalts" or "thou shalt nots" -- maybe a few pages.  Obaminacare is not like a typical "law", rather it is a huge, 14,000-page, administrative machine.  As such, it can be rather easily tweaked by an autocratic executive branch.  The problem is - whether the congressmen read it or not (NOT!!), it was still (technically) passed into law (and upheld by the SCOTUS).

What has some people's knickers in a twist is the fact that, since it is a "law", Obama must not capriciously "tweak" parts of it without violating the Constitution.  Congress is the only body that can lawfully "amend" the law.  Obama is a crook.

From a bigger picture viewpoint, I have this second observation.  A prominent U.S. economist reported in this week's news that he and his colleagues have been conducting a 25-year study of the income trends among the middle class.  The study shows that middle-class families' incomes have remained "flat" for 25 years (while the affluent have become significantly richer).  This bolsters Obama's lament over "income inequality".  It also contradicts the theories of "trickle-down" economics.  The economist didn't really try to answer the question of whether private industries or government should do the heavy-lifting to bring about change and a better outlook for the the middle class.  He did say that the government should still try to do something.  I agree in some ways - I think it should STOP doing things.

So when I look at Obaminacare, I see this - millions more poor people have been added to the Medicaid rolls.  The rich will presumably still be able to get the health care to which they have grown accustomed.  Insurance companies will have to pay out more money, and now that they have individual state market monopolies (and the promise of a federal bailout if they lose money), they have the green light to jack up premiums ad libitum. What does this mean for you and me?  It means that the $750 I pay each month for family health insurance will probably double in the next two years.  This huge (virtually unbearable) increase will affect whom the worst? 

THE MIDDLE CLASS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's an Obacle.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Slippery Slope

Sexiest Girl Alive
Who started it ???  Was it Antonin Scalia or Sick Rantorum?  Somebody started it.  Scalia told us (in Romer v. Evans) that we should harbor spiteful feelings against polygamists because they are comparable to murderers or animal abusers.  Rick Scrotorum (then Pennsylvania senator) carried on the slippery slope lament perpetuated by James Dobson in 2004 (read here).

Dobson premonished the day when, as a result of Lawrence v. Texas, "daddies" would freely molest their little girls, and men will copulate with their donkeys.  One thing would lead to another. 

This argument is at best confused.  Lawrence simply made it no longer criminal for gays to breathe and walk free.  Remember that some states (post-Bowers) required people who discovered themselves to be gay to go the police station and register themselves as sex offenders.

Remember that, until last week, Utah's polygamists were de facto felons, criminal for their mere existence.  So, if you follow the Santorum slope, we will devolve irreversibly into bEstiality (NOT BEASTiality !!) as soon as gays can wed, and polygs can avoid prison. 

What these slippery slope exponents forget is that if there truly are people out there who ardently crave sex with their donkey or pet goat, they have probably been steaming up the barn for years already, irrespective of obscure SCOTUS decisions (e.g. DOMA, Prop' 8).  Understanding this, Santorum had better join the farm vice squad and focus on rigorous enforcement of man/beast chastity.

The "slippery slope" argument appeals to the low IQ voter - the person who thinks that if a gay person gets a marriage license, his neighbors will conduct orgies in their basements, and naive Christians will start dating ewes.

The LDS Church spent millions (of its members' contributions) on preventing gay marriage licenses in Hawaii and California - - petrified of the slippery slope.  Its ensuing, ill-fated victories are now coming back to haunt the Mormons.  The Church's PR machine has the foresight of a small goldfish or Chicken Little.

Rest assured, at least 76 countries criminalize homosexuality.  In Iran, it will cost you your life.  If that feels better for you, go live there!  In Iran, prostitution is a crime, so johns "marry" the hookers for the duration of the trick, and then get a "divorce" on the way out of the brothel. Legislating morality is at best a waste of energy and at worst a political deception.

For more on the slippery mind of Santorum, read this.

Newsflashes: - the New Mexico supreme court just ruled in favor of gay marriage, and Canada just legalized prostitution nationwide.  If you want to fix a country's problems, focus on outlawing usury banking.  That way, people will be free and rich and mind their own business.


Friday, December 20, 2013

It's an IQ thing

Today, a federal district court judge struck down Utah's Amendment 3 (the one that declared nothing but a marriage between a man and a woman to be legally admissible).  Christmas came early this year for both the gays and the polygs.

This is big news.  The judge (Robert Shelby) effectively legalized gay marriages in Utah.  By now, (late evening 12/20/2013) already hundreds of gay Utahns have tied the knot (legally).  Read this Salt Lake Tribune article.

Already opponents of gay marriage have cried out in protest - many of them LDS or Christian believers who see this ruling as the virtual end of the world as we know it.  How could an activist judge trample on the state's rights like this?  Don't these judges understand that marriage has always been between "a man and a woman" and that the Bible condemns homosexuality?  Surely the courts should agree that children are best raised in a home with a mommy and a daddy?

These questions expose a deep IQ deficiency.  These people seem to have damaged brains - perhaps from sniffing too much glue or paint brush solvent.  Why are people so stupid?

Legal marriages are a modern innovation.  Religious nuptials go back as far as Adam and Eve.  Adam and Eve didn't go and apply for a marriage license.  When state governments started issuing licenses to prospective spouses, they created a secular scheme of taxation and control, independent of churches.  A government marriage is no more religious than a hunting license.  You wouldn't dare deny a hunting license to a gay guy, so why would you deny him a government marriage license?  Churches can marry whom they want.  They cannot issue work visas to immigrants.  People seem utterly incapable of distinguishing between a religious rite and a government license.

I have listened to the opponents of gay marriage.  They worry that America's children won't grow up in a two-gender-parent home, and that this will ruin them.  Of all the anti-gay-marriage arguments, this one is the most compelling.  However, it is a worthless argument.  If a lesbian couple has an eight-year-old child (from one of the two women), what will be the harm to that child if the women are granted a state marriage license? NONE !!!

The trend is inexorable. The courts are acknowledging over and over that the 14th Amendment demands "equal protection" (or application) of laws for EVERYONE.  Whether or not you like what the 14th Amendment did to this country (turned it into a corporation), we are stuck with it. Gay marriage is soon to be legal nationwide.   Utah is the last place one might expect to embrace gay marriages, but that ship has now sailed.  The state's chief legal officials are appealing frantically.  The Mormon Church is apoplectic.  The sky has fallen. 

They are wasting their time.  Resisting the inevitable is stupid.  It's an IQ thing.  Some people just have really low IQs, and there's nothing you can do about it.  Perhaps if they wait a couple of months, they might just realize that nothing bad will happen.

Quitcherbitchin !!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wait, You Forgot Something !!

I don't know how we missed this. I mean - there's no mention of it in the Brown decision.  Everybody seems to have forgotten about it. 

A few years back, in his relentless campaign against our culture, Snortleff cooked up this cunning idea to target us further.  His battle cry was always about "the children" and the abuse he believed was rampant in our communities.  Well, he wasn't wrong about Warren Jeffs.  Warren Jeffs was having group sex with young tweens and teens. He should be killed.

Convictions of Tom Green and Rodney Holm demonstrated the State's ability to target adult polygamists, but their partners were (in some cases) minors. The "adult" bigamy statute (merely a third-degree felony) didn't give Sharkleff all the teeth he wanted.  He hit upon the idea of a "Child Bigamy" statute.  He convinced the Utah state legislature to go along with the plan.  With little resistance the bill passed, and it is now law.  Here is the language of the statute:


76-7-101.5. Child bigamy -- Penalty.
(1) An actor 18 years of age or older is guilty of child bigamy when, knowing he or she has a wife or husband, or knowing that a person under 18 years of age has a wife or husband, the actor carries out the following with the person who is under 18 years of age:
(a) purports to marry the person who is under 18 years of age; or
(b) cohabits with the person who is under 18 years of age.
(2) A violation of Subsection (1) is a second degree felony


I always had problems with this move.  The "adult" bigamy statute was broad and vague enough to ensnare any polygamist, but Sharkleff had to have more. 

The first problem is that the statute singles out a religious minority for disfavorable treatment.  Why? - because if a 20-year-old guy with a wife takes a 17-year-old as a second "wife", he will serve 15 years in prison, whereas if it's just a "girl-friend"(/adultery) situation, the law must look the other way.  What determines whether the guy walks free or does 15 years is his religion.  If he is a Fundamentalist Mormon, he's done for!

The second problem is that paragraph (b) would make me a second-degree felon if my family lived in Utah.  I "cohabit" with my kids who are minors. They live in my houses.  "Cohabit" is too vague and ill-defined.  You'd have to put half the state in prison.

The fourth problem is that, despite having opportunities to use the statute on some of Utah's truly bad polygamists, law enforcement never used it.

The fourth and BIGGEST problem is that Waddoups just struck down the "cohabits" language from Utah's (dumb) adult bigamy statute, so this one is therefore equally doomed.

Maybe it won't matter.  Maybe the voiding of one statute will result in the voiding of the other one(s) spawned by it.  We'll see.
76-7-101.5. Child bigamy -- Penalty.
(1) An actor 18 years of age or older is guilty of child bigamy when, knowing he or shehas a wife or husband, or knowing that a person under 18 years of age has a wife or husband, theactor carries out the following with the person who is under 18 years of age:
(a) purports to marry the person who is under 18 years of age; or
(b) cohabits with the person who is under 18 years of age.
(2) A violation of Subsection (1) is a second degree felony. - See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/utah/title-76/chapter-07/76-7-101-5#sthash.KkpWJRxE.dpuf
76-7-101.5. Child bigamy -- Penalty.
(1) An actor 18 years of age or older is guilty of child bigamy when, knowing he or shehas a wife or husband, or knowing that a person under 18 years of age has a wife or husband, theactor carries out the following with the person who is under 18 years of age:
(a) purports to marry the person who is under 18 years of age; or
(b) cohabits with the person who is under 18 years of age.
(2) A violation of Subsection (1) is a second degree felony. - See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/utah/title-76/chapter-07/76-7-101-5#sthash.KkpWJRxE.dpuf
76-7-101.5. Child bigamy -- Penalty.
(1) An actor 18 years of age or older is guilty of child bigamy when, knowing he or shehas a wife or husband, or knowing that a person under 18 years of age has a wife or husband, theactor carries out the following with the person who is under 18 years of age:
(a) purports to marry the person who is under 18 years of age; or
(b) cohabits with the person who is under 18 years of age.
(2) A violation of Subsection (1) is a second degree felony. - See more at: http://statutes.laws.com/utah/title-76/chapter-07/76-7-101-5#sthash.KkpWJRxE.dpuf

To Appeal Or Not To Appeal

Utah Governor Gary Herbert
I'm not a lawyer, though I play one in my dreams.  I'm also not a politician, so I won't be going to hell.  Nevertheless, I want to look more closely at the question of whether the future Attorney General of the pretty, great state of Utah should or will appeal the decision in Brown v. Buhman which decriminalizes my polygamous brethren in Utah.

First, an appeal would require a good attorney.  When Laura DuPaix defended the state in the Holm case, she blubberingly argued with Chief Justice Christine Durham that Rodney Holm was in fact married to Ruth Stubbs, even though there was no legal marriage in place between them.  If the state cannot find anyone smarter than her or Jerrold Jensen to plead before the 10th Circuit, it should quit while it is behind.

Secondly, an appeal would, in this case, be a bizarre legal anomaly, because the gist of it would be as follows:

 "Dear 10th Circuit justices, Judge Clark Waddoups recently decriminalized polygamy in Utah.  Utah vehemently disagrees with the ruling and wants the polyga-bigamy statute reaffirmed.  These evil, criminal polygamist outlaws must not be permitted in our State.  We have said before that we have ABSOLUTELY no intention of EVER prosecuting any of them, we just desperately want you to restore the law so that we can go back to calling them criminals and so that we can feel better." 

Thirdly, Waddoups spent many pages of his published Brown ruling demonstrating how racist and reprehensible the Reynolds decision was.  For the 10th Circuit to reverse him in Brown, it will have to come out in full support of Reynolds, an opinion which should have died 100 years ago along with Davis v. Beason (1890) ( - denied Mormons' voting rights) and Late Corp. (also 1890) - in which the court said: 

"The organization of a community for the spread and practice of polygamy is, in a measure, a return to barbarism. It is contrary to the spirit of Christianity, and of the civilization which Christianity has produced in the western world."  [to hell with Church/State separation! {R.O.}]

Those two odious rulings faded into ignominy without ever needing to be overturned.

Fourthly, the new AG may perhaps not win on appeal.  Yesterday's evisceration of Utah's bigamy/polgamy ban, applies ONLY to Utah.  If a 10th Circuit appeal were to fail, then the decision would reach at least many of the other western states that have also somewhat half-heartedly prohibited polygamy. A subsequent appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court could result in the voiding of Reynolds nationwide and the end of all anti-polygamy laws.  I wonder if the LDS Church(/Gary Herbert) really wants to take such a risk.

Fifthly, if a 10th Circuit appeal resulted in the reversal of Waddoups, Utah would find itself in the same asinine situation in which the province of British Columbia, Canada, now finds itself.  Chief Justice Robert Bauman issued hundreds of pages of contortions in his ruling that polygamy must continue to be criminalized in Canada - the main argument of which was that polygamy is "inherently" harmful - - it hurts Canadians - just like knives and automobiles do.  I semi-sincerely expected the RCMP to raid Winston Blackmore's and Jimmy Oler's homes the next day and incarcerate them.  On the contrary, the reaffirmation of the law (SB-293) has not resulted in any indictments - so the the whole thing was a joke.  I'm sure that B.C. realizes that if it goes after a polygamist, the whole appeal process will likely start all over again.  

If Utah won a reversal of Brown on appeal, it would face the same absurd dilemma.  If it were to flex the claws of the reaffirmed statute (and its anti-cohabitation prong), it would be obligated to go straightway over to Joe Darger's house in Herriman and arrest Joe, Alina, Vicki and Valerie Darger (not to mention the Brown tribe in Las Vegas).  After all, Joe has confessed numerous times to felony bigamy on television and in his book, Love Times Three.

There is the $39,000 question - would Utah still doggedly refrain from prosecuting polygamists, or would it start a new round of convictions, imprisoning ten thousand religious cohabiters?  How would that go over with the liberal public?  Is there enough prison space?  Are there enough foster families?  Or would Javert lose his bloodlust and jump off a bridge into the Seine?

If I were Jonathan Turley, I would be champing at the bit to go to Denver and take a second whack at Utah's corrupt Attorneys General before the 10th Circuit.

Again, this is an exquisite dilemma for the governor, the Church, and the next A.G.  I trust they will approach it with a minimum of wisdom, compassion and inspiration.


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