Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Higher Standard

Every now and then, I get stuck in a comprehension rut. I find that certain cliches and weapon words (and expressions) befuddle my brain and temporarily stifle my ability to develop my counterpoint. I am - shall-we-say - decoyed by deceit.

I remember when Judge Walter Steed (at Tapestry's behest) was removed from his position as Judge.  The complaint was that he was a polygamist.  He had one legal spouse and two other mature lady partners who were not his legal spouses.  My guess is that he thought of them as "wives" and thus satisfied the standard of guilt under Utah's (joke of a) bigamy statute.

Around the time of his dismissal, the cry went up that he needed to be held to a "higher standard".  What does that mean?!  Was this just another "word-trick"?  Is a judge required to "obey more laws" than regular citizens?!!  In a post-Lawrence era, he was committing no crime.  I know of other judges who have had extra-marital dalliances - and they have not been removed.  Clearly, the offense was not his private unions with other partners, it was his RELIGIOUS involvement in the practice of RELIGIOUS polygamy.  The "higher standard" required of him was not that he eschew an involvement with multiple partners, but that he not engage in religious plural marriage as a fundamentalist Mormon (once the hater-nasties decided to target him [after his decades of exemplary service]).

Let's face it, folks, as fundamentalist Mormons and polygamists, we do hold OURSELVES to a significantly higher set of standards.  That is where we fall afoul of the enemy's scrutiny.  We embrace the "fullness of the Everlasting Gospel".  We aspire to the highest degree of glory in the Celestial Kingdom.  We seek to live - not by bread alone, but - by EVERY word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.  We strive to abide by higher law doctrines which the schoolmistress Church long ago jettisoned.  Though as imperfect as the other folks around us, we simply choose to strive for loftier attainments (like Lance Armstrong).  I think that is what gets us in trouble.

You see, the angry, bitter, shrill harpies who seek our eradication are gonna hold us to it, darn 'em.  In their tireless fault-finding crusade, they know we are trying hard to emulate the perfections of our Creator, and the best weapon they have against us is to trumpet our imperfections from the rooftops.

In last week's B.C. polygamy circus trial, the opposing lawyers (solicitors?) tried their darn'dest to find fault in the two sweet ladies who had prostrated themselves on a public altar in defense of true principle.  "Did you know Tom Green?"  "Did you write a defensive letter when you were young?" "Did you go on television?" (all capital offenses in an anti-polygamy universe . . . . ). Granted, those hostile lawyers were grasping for ANY possible wrinkle of imperfection in the two witnesses. No such luck.

So my conclusion is that there is simply a bizarre double-standard in this titanic contest.  We hold ourselves to a high standard of ethics and conduct, and the hater-nasties will make quite sure that they hold us to it, too.  Meanwhile, they hold themselves to no standard whatsoever.  Their vitriol, hyperbole and unbridled hysteria go unchecked - even prized and encouraged.  When they take the witness stand or deposition chair, they can prevaricate ad libitum.  They can curse like sailors and live lives of sordid promiscuity - all with impunity.  If we dare to criticize them for their delirious attacks on us, they accuse us of gross iniquity and injustice.  The playing field is just not level.  It reminds me somewhat of Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Weiner.  Perhaps their courage and swagger are reinforced by the fact that they know that we would never stoop so low as to start a campaign to eradicate them.

I am also reminded of Willie Jessop's experience of being ejected from many a courtroom simply because he wore dangerous facial expressions.  So, if you want to dodge the wrath of the anti-polygamy crowd, maintain the moral high ground, and keep sweet facial expressions, but don't count on it doing you any good.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I read a blog-post today from one of Canada's premiere polygamy-haters.  The writer oversees an entity called "Stop Polygamy In Canada". In her post, the writer reports:

"My observation: After seeing videos from those harmed by polygamy, hearing and reading about testimonies given in court, and having been personally attacked on various blogs by fundamentalist Mormon women and men, even having been compared to Hitler and Nazism because I was accused of saying I wanted polygamists eradicated when, in fact, I said I wanted the practice of polygamy eradicated in Canada, I just happened to run into Mary Bachelor [sic] at the foot of the stairs as I was leaving court and I told her how I felt. She denied having done or said any of the above, but she is part and parcel of a group of Alpha females who enjoy polygamy simply because of their privileged status in their marriages."

I'm confused about a couple of things.  First, an observant bystander told me yesterday that the writer actually stormed over to Ms. Batchelor and called her out and accused her of claiming that she (the writer) was endeavoring to eradicate polygamists.  Whether or not the witness actually ever alleged such a thing, I am struggling to see the difference between eradicating polygamy (cultural genocide) and eradicating polygamists (genocide).

You see, if Ms. Marisca were to have been successful in eradicating MY polygamy, she would have been able to eradicate the 19 offspring from three of my plural wives.  They would not have been around to play softball, piano, guitar, XBox - or even to marry and have children of their own. 

I would like to "eradicate" abortion but, in order to accomplish it, I would have to eradicate abortion doctors.  I would have to "get in the face" of every girl or woman who is contemplating abortion.  I would have to use force and impede the free agency of other people - all things which I would not do, because curtailing the free agency of others is devilish and wrong.

Ms. Malishka can say all she wants about not wanting to "eradicate polygamists", but she clearly wants them to stop or go away.  Another bitter, craven hater once said, "I cannot rest until they stop doing polygamy."  My guess is that she, too, is missing out on a lot of rest.  God has a way of righting all wrongs, but perhaps not until the next phase of life.  It is His job to balance the scales of justice and exact vengeance - not ours.

One more thing - Ms. Maschlitska has floated the rather novel idea that the two independent fundamentalist Mormon witnesses (at the BC trial this week) are actually "Alpha-Females".  Does this mean that, rather than being subjugated, downtrodden, enslaved, beleaguered, marginalized, suppressed, demeaned and cowed, these two evidently sweet and beautiful women are empowered, capable, forthright, independent, self-assured, confident, free-thinking, emancipated and strong ??? - - - because, if Ms. Mischlockska is right, then this whole phony manufactured myth about all polygamous women being disenfranchised, human-rights victims is a big bucket of horse doo-doo.  That's the thing - when you fall prey to the polygamy-hating-eradicating-delirium, it can sometimes get too hard to keep your story straight.

I just wish I had a couple more Alpha-Female-Chicks like that in my family.  I'm already outnumbered and out-voted, so what's the big deal?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Two Chicks From Utah

So, apparently, yesterday and today, two independent Fundamentalist Mormon women surfaced in Canada and testified at the British Columbia polygamy reference trial.  What is the relevance of these two chicks from Utah (Alina Batchelor and Mary Darger)?

Over the last few weeks, the Court has had to listen to a litany of misery stories about the FLDS people.  If the FLDS people were truly as evil as the disaffected ex-members claim, then all FLDS would need to be banished to the North Pole to freeze and die.  Maybe Canada should make a new law that it is a first-degree-felony, capital offense to join the FLDS church.  It is almost as if this (stupid) trial is less about polygamy and more about FLDS leaders.  Heck, it's so simple - if the simple fact of being an FLDS member is so evil, then it should be a capital crime to be FLDS.  That way, Canada could rid itself of these devout religious people and let other polygamists, polyamorists and recreational copulators go free.

So what is the relevance of these latest two witnesses? - Well, it is that the AGs have spent so much energy demonizing the criminal FLDS, that they forgot that the FLDS are a small fraction of the world's (and Canada's) polygamous population.  So what can the judge do?  The allegations he has heard sound like this:

"If a person is FLDS or a polygamist, he or she is automatically triggered to commit felonies - rape, incest, murder, child-abuse, and domestic violence (even though we don't have any evidence to prove it)."

Problem is - if this logic is sound, then it can be said that there is (are ??) far more empirical, historical data to support the argument that being a monogamist triggers domestic violence and rape.  I would bet that at least 99.99% of the spouse abuse in the world is perpetrated by monogamists - NOT polygamists.  So where does the evidence point?

So these two Utah chicks courageously risked their own well-being, and their family privacy and peace-of-mind to stand up for a simple true principle - that there are dozens of different types of polygamists, and at least one is happy.  I imagine that the words they spoke were far less potent than just their mere presence.  The angry opposing witnesses and inquisitors have either intentionally or unintentionally trumpeted the following spoken and unspoken message:

"I had a bad personal experience in an FLDS community, so -
 All FLDS people are evil, so - 
 All FLDS people should be eradicated, and - 
 All FLDS people are polygamists, and -
 All polygamists are FLDS, so -
 All polygamists must be eradicated."

Problem is, these two Utah chicks are not FLDS, so what will the judge do?  Here's what I believe the judge will do.  He will acknowledge that harms and imperfections exist in all walks of society.  He will remember that Canada has legalized same-sex marriage and prostitution. He will remember that the stupid polygamy law is so overbroad, that defendants are guilty if merely accused (no evidence or witnesses are even needed for a conviction).  He will realize that the statute's language is so flawed, that his only option (and the best way to get the monkey off his own back) is to punt it all back to Parliament to re-write the law.

So, I can see it now - a crack Parliamentary legislative team will sit behind closed doors and start to write a new masterpiece of anti-polygamy code:





As I have said at least once before, if the judge has the temerity to uphold Canada's polygamy law, it will be because he will have ignored the s#!tstorm of unintended consequences that will afflict Canada for years to come.  This is a tar baby.  What will they do? - play the Shurtleffian game of picking off the outspoken ones like Tom Green, then hope that the rest of the polygamists will disappear quietly back into their holes, to save the expense of protracted circus polygamy trials?  The very first prosecution will turn into yet another test case.  You'd have an easier time prosecuting blasphemy or bad thoughts.

Canada should go back to following Utah's latest example - ignore even a public, taped confession of guilt (like Kody Brown's to 10,000,000 squirming and cheering viewers) and live and let live.

A thank-you to you two chicks from Utah.  I envy the guy you to whom you are both married.  Maybe, when all polygamists are arrested, you'll be spared.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

No Comment


Word has it that the Brown family of 'TLC - Sister Wives' fame is moving to Nevada. Surely TLC is not promoting the family for a nightly Vegas-style show on the strip - - - ???

There will be the inevitable questions:

1. Are they fleeing Utah to escape imminent prosecution by Lehi's Keystone Kops?
2. Will the Utah County prosecutor seek to extradite the guy and four gals back to Provo for another Tom-Green-style trial circus?
3. Does Utah have the public funds for a protracted $10 million dollar war in three courts?
4. Will our compassionate, half-LDS society have the stomach for wrenching 16 kids from their loving parents (like it did with Heidi Mattingly)?
5. Is Utah's A.G. (and his Church-handlers) sighing an immense sigh of relief because this embarrassing, non-starter of an investigation can now be swept back under the carpet?
6. Has anyone read Nevada's bigamy statute, which can be used to prosecute bigamous cohabiters much like Utah's?
7. Are the Lehi Kops still scratching their heads over whether they have enough evidence of crimes in the Browns' home - or is all the evidence gone now?
8. Did someone call Jonathan Turley and offer to drop the prosecution in exchange for the Browns getting "out of Dodge"?

Methinks there will be more interesting developments as this story unfolds. Utah has simply become allergic to polygamists, but Claritin and Benadryl aren't helpful. One zit popped, 38,000 more to go.
Just one more thing -  if the Utah County prosecutor thinks he's going to dawdle and drag his feet forever,  hand-wringing ad infinitum whether to prosecute or not, won't the pretty, great people of this pretty, great State start to wonder if polyga-bigamy prosecutions are all about politics?

If polygamy is so HEINOUS, REPREHENSIBLE, DESPICABLE, HORRIFIC, INTOLERABLE, ODIOUS, WRETCHED and VILE, then why the HELL is it okay for a public servant to putz around interminably, and to sit on his thumbs puzzling over whether to prosecute in the face of OVERWHELMING evidence?  If it were a murder or child-kidnapping case, would you sit around for months, punting the ball back and forth with the Attorney General, making public statements that reveal that you are completely incapable of making up your mind?

Utah law enforcement has three options:

1.  Arrest the Browns and start a polygamy test case.
2.  Announce that Utah permanently refuses to enforce a law that Lawrence v. Texas clearly overturned.
3.  Waffle around endlessly and hope that the suspects and the news all go away.

You tell me which option you think they picked!  Tell me if you think that religion and politics are involved.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Only in America

San Francisco city officials are frustrated.  Parking ticket revenues are down over the last year.  Officials are trying to figure out ways to coax people to do more bad things so that they can fine them for stuff and collect more revenue.

You have to wonder if we live in a country or in a corporation. Is the goal liberty or revenues?  When you get a speeding ticket, you pay it to the city corporation.  The corporation orders you into court. Corporations have no lawful power over living, fleshly human beings, so why do we cooperate with them?  We practically have to allow the corporation to create a fictitious "version" of ourselves - almost like a full-size, cardboard cutout with our picture on it, then drag it into court.  The corporation can then litigate with our fake fiction person, as if it were a one-member corporation (with name spelled in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS) .  We have to admit that we "broke the contract" and pay a penalty under the maritime laws of equity.  In the world today, there is hardly a common law system of government.  Banks have loaned to (almost) all the countries.  The corporation/nations are all in such deep debt to the banker families (with the banks being the nations' new landlords), that nothing short of a global uprising would upset the status quo.  This will not happen, because the bankers deceive and bribe the rulers, for they "drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornications".  Actually, in 1933, most of the key western nations signed up almost simultaneously for the same scam.  Why?

Remember -

Under common law (de jure) law, "land plus labor equals substance".

Maritime, admiralty (de facto) law is "contract over time for profit".

In New York, Representative Peter King (D) is calling for a strict new gun law so that people cannot carry a gun within 1000 feet of a Federal politician. That way, when another lunatic like Jared Loughner charges up to a Federal official with an automatic weapon and shoots, there won't be any armed citizen who can shoot the guy before he kills innocent people.

Go figure!

Just a Comment

This is just a comment - an observation. Yesterday, in the Canada polygamy reference case. Carolyn Jessop spent the day testifying about her experiences in plural marriage and in the Short Creek community. I have made remarks in the past about Carolyn's tendency to bend the truth, to embellish her horror stories, to fabricate events. That would be truly tempting when your very livelihood hinges on regularly generating narratives for the hungry public audience and the voracious tabloid media. To the detriment of the A.G.s, it appears that, yesterday, Carolyn went off script and called for the decriminalization of polygamy.  Carolyn was not alone.  A few weeks back, another disaffected "ex", Ruth Lane, also testified that polygamy should be decriminalized.

An intelligent observer commented a while back that polygamy is today's "civil rights" battle. I think back to Jimmy the "Greek" and Fuzzy Zoeller. Both made comments that were widely criticized as racist. Don Imus and Dr. Laura Schlessinger have both fallen into that same pit. It just is not acceptable any more to denigrate colored people. Before Ellen Degeneres, it was politically correct to disparage homosexuals. Do it today, and you will find yourself in a world of hurt.

In each of these last two scenarios, the delay in according "equality" to the respective minority was that an overwhelming majority of the populace wanted to keep that minority class in a disfavorable condition. Eventually, when the momentum crested, the public dialogue shifted, and you became the bad guy if you didn't get in "PC" step with the masses and call for emancipation. Often, the tenor of media messages is the element that adds to the impetus for change.

I am as far to the right end of the conservative political spectrum as a person could be. I champion orthodoxy and the preservation of true principles. If you think about it, polygamy has been around and approved by God at least as long as colored skin and homosexuality have been around.

Thank you, Carolyn, for saying what almost shouldn't need to be said - prosecuting polygamy is as non-viable as prosecuting flatulence. You can corral it into tight places; you can complain about it; you can despise it; you can try to stifle it; you can be embarrassed by it; but you can never eradicate it, short of death. When people from all sides of the dialogue are calling for reason and conciliation, the finish line cannot be far off.

Just a comment.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

National Knife Ban



Vancouver Clarion (
by staff reporter Fartu Sharpe, Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In a stunning announcement in Ottawa today, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its ruling in the long-running legal controversy over the criminalization of knives.  Several Canadian provinces have had prohibitions against knives dating back two centuries (since thousands of innocent Canadian settlers were massacred by knife-wielding savages).  These laws have generally been seldom enforced, thus allowing millions to prepare meals and perform important medical procedures.

In its 4-to-3 decision the Court upheld British Columbia's ban on knives and ordered all Canadian subjects to bring all of their knives to local government collection centers within 10 days, or face a $10,000.00 penalty and a five-year prison term.

Chief Justice Hadabad Papercut, writing for the majority, reasoned,

" . . . if it can be shown [and it has been amply demonstrated] that knives are sharp and can kill people, then it is the opinion of this Court that they represent too great a danger to life as we know it.  Thousands of innocent Canadians have died or been permanently disfigured by knives.  Knives are inherently evil.  Knives have almost assumed a life of their own.  It is not beyond the realm of logic to conclude that some knives lie awake at night plotting to maim or kill their next victim.  We celebrate this opportunity to bring justice to our great land and we now encourage the RCMP to arrest knives and anyone possessing them whenever they are discovered."

In a vehement reaction to the ruling, lawyers for the Canadian Civil Liberties Union protested that knives are no more guilty of harming people than automobiles.  Speaking on behalf or the CCLU, chief litigator, Eli O'Reilly, complained,

"How are people going to be able to cook?  How will people be able to cut their food? It seems to me that the size of government will have to grow exponentially just to provide sufficient police officers to watch every Canadian.  Surely it is not realistic to hunt down every knife in the country?  I can see the provinces stationing a Mountie in every home just to watch people to see if they own or use a knife. It is PEOPLE who do bad things - NOT inanimate objects like knives and broccoli. Where will it stop?  Pretty soon, they will outlaw automobiles, because far more people have been killed or injured by cars than by knives. Plus, cars can be downright mean when they want to be!"

Canadian teen singing sensation, Justin Bieber (shown above in a threatening pose), who was recently outed as being a knife-lover, was visibly shaken when he heard the news at his California home today.  Bieber expressed fear that what he perceived to be an "insane" ruling from the Canadian Court would gain traction in the States, where the Obama/Bernanke administration already plans to take away people's guns and home-grown vegetables.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Weapon Words

We Americans have grown partial to what I call weapon words. The definition of a cliché is - a word or expression that has become trite and meaningless through over-use. Examples of clichés include:

Life as we know it
For the life of me
Off the top of my head
The time of my life
Little did I know

These expressions are virtually meaningless and carry little weight. We know what they mean, but we pay no attention to the meaning. Weapon words are different. Weapon words have extra built-in barbs. They are used to add potency to an assertion. I submit that their use is a form of DISHONESTY. Perhaps the traditional term for them is "loaded language".

Let me demonstrate. The twin towns of Hildale and Colorado city are home to a fundamentalist Mormon community. The media dubs it a "polygamist sect". This is dishonest because PEOPLE can be polygamous, but a sect cannot, right? Besides, it makes the community sound like a pack of crazies about to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. It is also dishonest because, no matter how much the Mother Church wants to demonize its own offspring, it cannot argue that their religion is a departure from its own origins.

Families in 14th-century Scotland formed clans (like tribes). The term "clan" is (and should be) emotionally neutral. The media talks of the Kingston "CLAN". This is now meant to be pejorative (see Brent Hunsaker). It evokes thoughts of weapons caches, fenced compounds, and antipathy for government. It feeds the public's appetite for disdain - for villainizing different communities so that it can feel guiltless when persecuting them. "Clan" has thus become a weapon word. I look back at the 2008 raid on the Yearning For Zion ranch. Many of the participating law-enforcement officers showed hubris and cynicism towards the peaceful residents. They forced young men to the ground and stood on their necks. Thankfully, weeks later, mental health workers wrote indignant, angry letters decrying the horrible abuses perpetrated by law enforcement against the mothers and children of the YFZ ranch.

Whether consciously or unconsciously, people often use weapon words to reinforce an argument. I just read a Canadian article titled, Polygamy Hearing: Evidence So Far Shows Polygamy Inherently Harmful. I can't help but think that "INHERENTLY" is a weapon word. Why? Because it is designed to summarily condemn. You could say, "Polygamy is harmful", but then you'd have to show evidence. If you say, "Polygamy is INHERENTLY harmful", you add a special dose of argumentative legitimacy. But what does it mean?

Arguing that polygamy is "inherently" harmful is fallacious. "INHERENTLY" is now a weapon word. I remember Flora Jessop ever chanting, "Polygamy is INHERENTLY abusive." What, exactly, does "inherently" mean in this context? It SOUNDS potent. Does it mean that, from the moment a man and a woman decide to enter a polygamous relationship, they have INHERENTLY plotted and inflicted harm? INHERENTLY because it is an INHERENT sin (in the eyes of a church)? - or INHERENTLY because it is an INHERENT crime (in the eyes of a politician)? - or INHERENTLY, because antagonist "experts" have carefully selected a set of grim anecdotes to catalog instances of harm perpetrated by rogue humans, then, when discovering that those humans happened to be polygamous, made the extrapolation that polygamy directly caused those humans to act like rogues? By that logic, BIN LADEN, the terrorist, is an ARAB HUMAN, so therefore all ARAB HUMANS are terrorists and must be killed !???!!

Using the word "inherently" in this way is an attempt to arrogate authoritativeness to a weak argument and intellectual dishonesty. I shall prove how disingenuous this is. If that broken logic is so scientific, then we should apply it to the human practice of divorce. DIVORCE is demonstrably harmful - INHERENTLY harmful, if you like. DIVORCE causes VAST devastation in all countries. Divorce NEVER fails to cause harm. Perhaps, if Canada is so deeply committed to international busy-body treaties calculated to minimize social harms, maybe it should blaze the U.N. trail and lead out with a law prohibiting/abolishing all DIVORCE. After all, isn't divorce inherently harmful?

The problem is - you could enact legislation to force legally married people not to divorce, and you could even try to force non-legally-married couples never to split, but:

a.) In practical application you won't succeed, and:
b.) that is way too much impermissible interference in people's INHERENT civil liberties. It will always BACKFIRE !!!

In truth, divorce is merely an abstract concept. It cannot commit a crime or injure someone. It is the DIVORCING spouses who perpetrate the harm (perhaps a harm whose genesis began on the day they committed monogamous marriage!).

I agree that some communities develop practices which are reprehensible. In India, some men have murdered their wives for sleeping (voluntarily or involuntarily) with another man. I disagree with such behavior, but should we abolish India or Hinduism to fix this problem?

I am sincerely baffled at the sheer volume of horse-pucky being shoveled out in the polygamy reference case. I would chalk it up to weird, liberal Canadians if it weren't just as rampant here in Arizona and Utah (forgive the clichés).

Friday, January 7, 2011


Our American society is riddled with myths and false traditions. We ingest and regurgitate lies. We say, "Declaration of Independence", when it should be "Unanimous Declaration". We pronounce 'Congratulations' as if it had a "D" in it. We think that America is supposed to be a DEMOCRACY. We are oblivious to the fact that our cities are corporations, and that, as such, they are not entitled to charge us with crimes (like speeding) and drag us into court. We forget that America has filed bankruptcy three times (1787, 1933, and 1989). We are oblivious to the fact that Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is not an employee of our country. We are led to believe that Winston Churchill was a wonderful guy. We forget that the Bush family is almost a monarchic dynasty. We think there is a word "inalienable" when there is not. We think that the yellow fringe around the Stars and Stripes is not a problem. We no longer wonder where the water is when we see a sign at the stateline which reads, "PORT OF ENTRY". We think that "between you and I" is good grammar! We accept the idea that this nation was not founded as a CHRISTIAN nation. We are oblivious to the fact that the 13th and 14th Amendments were NEVER properly ratified (by three-fourths of the States). We forget that U.S. dollars (Federal Reserve "Notes") are actually bounced checks. We think that the Constitution is still in force. We think that Barack Obama's position is more powerful than Ben Bernanke's. We think the U.S. gained independence from Great Britain. We think that the territory of Utah gained statehood.

Our Mormon society is not much better. In it, we believe that revelations to the Church continued after 1889. We are told that Joseph Smith had just one wife. We are taught that Jesus Christ is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. We believe that all hands were raised in support at the announcement of the 1890 Manifesto. We think that Jesus Christ was a single man. We think that Joseph Smith penned 13 Articles of Faith, when it was actually 14. We think God spoke to Spencer W. Kimball, when He did not. We think that the fastest route to the Celestial Kingdom is a two-year mission, a temple wedding, a four-bedroom, three-bath house, and a once-a-month temple trip. We swallow the lie that abortion is acceptable to God with the approval of competent medical authority. We accept the fable that the ten lost tribes of Israel are hiding at the North Pole. We are told that the Savior was a Jewish carpenter. We are taught that the priesthood is subordinate to the church, even though, in June of 1829 (when the priesthood was restored) there was no church. We are taught to "Follow the Brethren" rather than Jesus. We think that tithing was supposed to replace consecration.

We have much confusion over what "RIGHTS" are. We hear of God-given rights, Natural rights, Constitutional rights, civil rights, and human rights. Let's look at each. First, we need to understand what a "right" is. If you think about it, in a universe where there is no God, there is no such thing as a right. Without God to uphold it, you wouldn't have a right to anything. I guess you could fight for stuff.

Citizens of a free, complex constitutional republic have rights and duties inherent in life as a fleshly, living, breathing human in society with other people. You are BORN with rights and duties. Any discussion of "privileges" and "immunities" must include the notion that there is a monarch or government official who grants you those privileges and immunities as part of a title of nobility (which is forbidden in the Constitution). See this articulate discussion. He could just as quickly revoke your privileges and immunities (like the "driving" privilege - as contrasted with the Natural right to "travel" the highways).

Without God, people can claim no rights. That is perhaps why our godless, corporate government repudiates and oppresses our rights. Our Natural rights are UN-A-LIEN-ABLE, meaning they cannot be liened away. Try bartering away your right to breathe or to love or to pray. Natural rights are sustained by God. Governments are not entitled to take them from us. There is no such thing as a "Constitutional Right". The Constitution DID NOT BESTOW rights upon us. The Constitution listed a host of restrictions on government. The "Bill of Rights" (the first ten Amendments) simply enumerated more of our Natural (God-honored) rights which the government would not be permitted to abridge.

What are "Civil Rights"? Are they some special, new-fangled, overlooked liberty which we didn't realize we didn't have before? Were they rights that only a "civil" government could bestow? We hear a lot about civil rights from organizations such as the ACLU. Like the "Three-Tiered Framework" of judicial scrutiny, civil rights are a 20th century innovation - a creation of the government. They are not discussed in the Constitution. Can the government "create" rights for us - or can it only create laws to control us more? The development of "modern" civil rights was driven by a desire to take extra precautions, through statutes, to ensure that certain minority classes would not be disadvantaged by the majority class.

What are human rights? We hear a lot about human rights from organizations like Amnesty International. Simply put, human rights encompass the right not to be tortured. If you are fighting for your human rights - things are already pretty bad for you.

Which of these different types of rights are we willing to fight and die for? Is the right to choose a spouse a Natural, God-sustained right?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

No Fence

A discussion is brewing in Utah not unlike the Canadian discussion. Polygamy (though not mentioned in Utah statutes) is perceived (like in Canada) to be a crime. Of course, the Emperor was "perceived" to be clothed.

The discussion is about whether it is appropriate to continue to criminalize polygamy. Let me make a silly analogy. Light on, light off. When my wives are trying to sleep, and I am trying to read, there is often a tussle. I want the light on - she wants it off. No middle ground, no compromise. I can either see to read or I can't. She can either fall asleep or she cannot. The light is not "partially" on. ON or OFF - there's just no middle ground.

In Utah, there are words crafted into the "bigamy" statute that are designed to ensnare polygs. Do you cohabit with extra people? Do you think of yourself as a polygamist? Clever stuff! Good old Hugh and Reuben knew how to write that stuff so as to catch even the most wily polyg.

Everybody agrees that, until the stupid "cohabit" and "purport" prongs of the bigamy statute are repealed, polygamy is still sort-of technically a "crime" in Utah (although it goes blatantly unenforced). So, it boils down to this - some people want it DE-criminalized, while others DON'T want it DE-criminalized. If California's polarizing Prop' 8 was any indication, the vast majority of right-thinking Utahns want to keep it criminal (even if they aren't sure why).

There's no neutral ground, no compromise - like light or dark - there's no middle of the road - no "fence" to sit on (like being pregnant or not-pregnant). So in today's combative political climate, if you are not FOR the DE-criminalization of polygamy, you must AUTOMATICALLY be FOR the CRIMINALIZATION of polygamy and polygamists -

You must be FOR treating them as criminals
You must be FOR denying them full citizenship
You must be FOR creating patronizing programs for them
You must be FOR depriving them of social benefits
You must be FOR removing their children
You must be FOR trivializing their religion and its founder
You must be FOR evil judges who trample on their rights
You must be FOR prosecuting them
You must be FOR confiscating their property
You must be FOR mocking them in the media and in educational settings
You must be FOR putting them in prison and throwing away the key
You must be FOR running political campaigns based on your success oppressing them
You must be FOR tapping their phones and emails to build criminal cases against them

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16)

Sorry, there's no fence in sight for you to sit on.

A Bigger Truck

In the not too distant past, there was an Idaho family whose longtime family business involved growing and selling potatoes. The Shumway brothers harvested the potatoes every summer and packaged the potatoes in 20-pound sacks. The potatoes would sell better in Utah so, on many a weekend, they would drive the three-hour trip to Salt Lake City and sell the potatoes at the farmers' market.

On one trip, the Shumway brothers did some quick calculations and figured that it cost them six dollars per sack to produce the potatoes. They had made some poor buying decisions over the years, so their costs were high. When they got their produce displayed on the tables at the market, they found that they were able to sell the potatoes for five dollars per sack.

On the drive back to Idaho late one night, they grappled with the challenge facing them. They couldn't demand more from their customers. Fuel costs were not likely to drop. They had mortgaged the family farm as far as it could be mortgaged. They had long since flouted the land-sabbath and farmed every field every year.

No matter which way they looked at it, the business was losing money - at $1.00 per sack. Suddenly, the younger of the two brothers hit upon a solution. His older brother was almost jealous that he had not come up with so brilliant an idea.

On the next Monday morning they excitedly raced into town to carry out their plan. This would finally resolve the problem that had dogged them for years.

They bought a bigger truck.

A Predictor

It has often been said that a powerful predictor of FUTURE conduct or outcomes is the conduct evidenced in the PAST.

In the Canada Polygamy Reference case, much has been said about the ills and harms of polygamy. For example:

Polygamy deprives many single men of a chance to mate
Polygamy makes men marry 13-year-old girls
Polygamy oppresses women
Polygamy causes incest
Polygamy drains welfare program funds
Polygamy is patriarchal and religious
Polygamy harms children
Polygamy is secretive
Polygamy hurts the government
Polygamy deprives its practitioners of education
Polygamy is inherently abusive
Polygamy is sinful
Polygamy threatens promiscuous people
Polygamy causes over-population
Polygamy causes wars
Polygamy makes men rape women
Polygamy makes men commit domestic violence and murder
Polygamy causes earthquakes . . . .
- - ????

WAIT !! NO, I think that last one was added in error - sorry!

I think Canada is petrified. If Canada were to allow polygamy (like it has already done for the last 100 years), then it can surely expect the above harms to immediately erupt on a catastrophic scale. Not to mention the fact that hundreds of thousands of aspiring polygamists will storm across our northern border and practice polygamy brazenly. Life (as we know it) in Canada will grind to a halt, eh?

I just want to ask one question, though. If all these dreadful harms can be expected to occur imminently, wouldn't we base that assumption - that prediction - on previous crime statistics in the U.S., where some 38,000 believers still embrace biblical polygamy, and an estimated 50 million Americans openly practice recreational polygamy (thanks to the Lawrence v. Texas decision)?

If the most horrible kind of polygamy is the FUNDAMENTALIST MORMON kind, then let's look honestly at the statistics. Let's ask and tabulate the following (over the last 100 years):

How many polygamous men have been incarcerated for domestic violence?
How many polygamous men have been incarcerated for rape?
How many polygamous men have been incarcerated for incest?
How many polygamous men have been incarcerated for murder?
How many polygamous men have been incarcerated for sexual abuse of a child
(and I'm not talking about "marriages" with 15-year-olds - which were acceptable in the Americas [for centuries] until the Shurtleffozoic era)?

I'm actually scratching my (very bald) head to think of more than even one or two such incarcerations in the last hundred years. Maybe you can think of one or two more . . .

I'm sincerely hoping that poor judge Robert Bauman won't pass out from all the fumes in the courtroom from all the glue that the anti-polygamy experts have been sniffing. I want him to be alert enough to see through the snow-job being foisted upon him.


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