Monday, October 6, 2014

This Is It

This is it.  This is the moment (one of them, anyway) that I have been waiting for.  Today the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal from Utah (and several other states) asking it to restore bans on same sex marriage.  Read this article.  Though it came as a surprise to some, the gesture upholds the earlier decisions from several Circuit Courts, and tells the appealing states that the argument is dead.  Technically, if a different Circuit Court later rules in favor of a gay marriage ban, then the matter may have to be adjudicated by the Supremes, but that is not a likely event.

You see - Sean Reyes, Utah's Attorney General, is stuck now.  He can do nothing.  His hands (and the Church's hands) are completely tied. Those gays who have already married can move on with their lives, and, presumably, those gays who now want to marry can move ahead with their legal nuptials.

Just last week, Sean Reyes notified the 10th Circuit Court of his intention to appeal the Brown decision (of 12/13/2013) which decriminalized Utah's polygamists. Reyes wants the Court to preserve a law that makes it a crime for polygamists to exist.  In light of today's Supreme Court action, I think he is wasting his time.

I mean, since Lawrence v. Texas (June 26, 2003), gay people have been permitted to exist and breathe air outside of prisons.  They eat, sleep, drink, walk, work, drive, gather, and share intimacy all without being incarcerated.  Now, not only are they permitted to exist, but they can get married like heterosexuals have done for decades.  If gay people, (whom many Mormons despise) can now marry, why cannot polygamists now exist without the threat of being sent to prison for their criminal religious thoughts?

I have said this before, but I always salivate at the prospect of reading the pleadings conjured up by those who want to imprison polygamists while absolving adulterers and fornicators.  I say that because the arguments they contrive are so laughable and stupid:

1. Polygamists threaten the sanctity of holy matrimony in Utah.
2. Polygamists hijack the official legal marriage system.
3. Polygamists are adulterous and sinful.
4. Polygamists burden the welfare system.
5. Polygamists have retarded and substandard children.
6. Polygamists monopolize the pool of available single women.

Seriously, though, there is not one single argument in favor of criminalizing plural relationships that makes any sense when a state is not willing to incarcerate all of its fornicators. You can't not eat your cake and not eat it too. 

I can't close this post without also commenting on Canada.  British Columbia has decided now to move ahead with the prosecutions of Winston Blackmore and Jimmy Oler for polygamy.  Justice Bauman's decision to uphold Canada's anti-polygamy law seems equally laughable in a country that legalized gay marriages in 2005 and recently permitted prostitution nationwide.  Blackmore and Oler should assert that they pay their women, and that the wives are serving as prostitutes.  I only wish Lewis Carroll had been able to include this stuff in his Alice In Wonderland story - it would have made a lot of sense.

Friday, October 3, 2014

STUPID, STUPID, STUPID !!!

Yes, I'm channeling John Grisham.  You know I hate what liberals stand for.  I'm reminded of recent news reports of people being cited for growing vegetables in their yards.  Liberals can screw up a good thing.

I read an article last week that reported that Seattle residents will now be fined if the contents of their garbage are more than ten percent food.

I have a some questions:

1.  Don't inspectors have to have probable cause that a crime is being committed before they have a right to examine your garbage?  Has Seattle heard of the Fourth Amendment and the Supreme Court's new privacy doctrines?

2.  Will Seattle now fine the Federal Government for disposing of surplus produce, and for paying farmers not to grow food?

3.  Will garbage inspectors evaluate the percentage of food content in domestic waste by volume or weight, and what special scales will garbage collectors need to bring to each garbage pickup to correctly detect violations that surpass the 10% threshold?

4.  What special education and certifications will garbage collectors need to possess in order to meet these exacting standards for food waste analysis and testing?  Is baby poop classified as food, and will it need to be removed from the disposable diaper before being weighed?

5.  Does Seattle have enough money to defend all of the lawsuits that this will provoke?

I'm sorry, but I think I just figured out that there are some really stupid liberal politicians.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Stuff of Movies

This is the stuff of a good John Grisham novel.  A few months ago, Sim Gill, the Salt Lake County district attorney decided to file formal charges against former Utah Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, and disgraced (former) Attorney General, John Swallow.  The charges, both felony and misdemeanor, were for various crimes:- accepting bribes, interfering with criminal investigations, and various other acts of corruption.  For a list of the charges go to this article.

I met Bishop Swallow once.  He seemed like a nice guy.  He said he came from polygamous stock and would never intentionally harm polygamists.  I guess it doesn't matter any more.  He's likely to go to prison.

Shurtleff is another proposition.  He has always seemed to me to be a bit imperious and self-serving.  You always want to assume the best of your political representatives (unless they are Harry Reid [a relative of mine] or Nancy Pelosi).  I guess when you are an ambitious Mormon attorney and politician, it is easy to get tempted into corruption.  Shurtleff has had his share of adversity - months in an Ilizarov frame, colon cancer, heart attacks, a troubled daughter, and more.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but I am wondering what the mystical meaning is in this grand story.

Shurtleff was the one who, in 2005, executed the takeover of the (FLDS's) UEP trust, handing over day-to-day control of the trust to his corrupt crony, Bruce Wisan.  Wisan has recently quit his law firm job and his role as UEP Trust fiduciary in the wake of his public shaming for getting caught with a prostitute and lying about it. 

This is the stuff of movies.  I would cast Russell Crowe and Alec Baldwin.

I think the irony of it is the hypocrisy - the fact that Shurtleff championed his holy war on the Fundamentalist Mormons (for their alleged criminality), shopping Utah's stupid anti-bigamy statute to Texas, feigning good will towards us, all the while thinking only of his own personal advancement and political career.  Now, as I predicted, Shurtleff's is the fate of Governor Pyle, only worse.  He is likely to go to prison, hopefully among the felons he put away.

One of Shurtleff's errands for the blue suits at 50 E. North Temple was to keep the polygamists under control.  Thankfully the Church has no use for him any more.

Shurtleff's and Swallow's successor, AG Sean Reyes, has a few more days left to announce whether he intends to appeal Judge Waddoups' recent final ruling in favor of the Kody Brown family and the voiding of Utah's bigamy statute's unenforceable anti-cohabitation clause.  Let's hope that Reyes has some political corruption skeletons in his closet so that he too can be shamed for making war on the saints.

The drama continues.



Friday, August 1, 2014

Hypocrite

BRUCE WISAN
So, last year Brute Wisass got caught by Taylorsville police in a motel with a prostitute.  He at first said they did not have sex.  She said they did.  He said he was just giving her financial help until she "got on her feet" - (read: "till she got up from the bed"). He admitted that he had been showering with her.

This is a former Mormon Stake President - a paragon of religious virtue and integrity.  The one hand-picked by Shurtleff to bring salvation to the FLDS.

VOMIT !!!       Here is a chunk of the police report:
 

See also this article from the Salt Lake Tribune:
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home3/58242242-200/wisan-woman-officer-court.html.csp

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 your 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.

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