Sunday, October 28, 2012

Seeking for Signs?


This is from the blog legal insurrection, talking about signs showing that Romney's gaining momentum. The best one is quite surprising: 

======================================
And the ultimate sign, from Tom:
I snapped this photo this afternoon from my office window in Chevy Chase, MD.
What you see at the end of the rainbow is the Mormon Temple in Kensington, MD.  Could this be a sign?
 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

What Are Those Ideals?

ABC has a story about how young Mormons are less likely to support Mitt Romney than they are Barack Obama.
 At first glance, Jenna Christensen is hardly unique: a recent college graduate, a 20-somethiing (sic) eager to vote for President Obama – and against Mitt Romney. "He doesn't share the same ideals that I do," Christensen says of the Republican presidential nominee.
The LDS hierarchy's neutrality during this and other elections (at least since the 1930's or so) has had a tendency to squelch efforts of individual Mormons to question the perspectives of their fellow religionists--with regard to party affiliation. Although it hasn't dampened Harry Reid's willingness to throw mud at fellow Mormon Mitt's religious bona fides. However, this comment attributed to Jenna Christensen really stumps me. I had contacted one of Mitt Romney's relatives with what I thought was a fantastic idea, hoping that he had contacts within the campaign.

He explained that he wasn't supporting his namesake and was rooting for Obama instead.  Since we are both devout Mormons, I asked him if he felt any discomfort with what appeared to me to be hostility to western religion coming from the Obama administration.

He said, "Alma, "I'm a Democrat because I am a Mormon."

Having recently read Thomas Sowell's A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles,  I concluded that he was neither evil nor ignorant--he just perceives things differently than I do. He believes that laws against robbing banks and laws confiscating the money of the rich shared the same spirit; and were not only consistent with his view of the gospel but required by his view. While he and I both agree that bank robbing is morally wrong, I think that confiscating someone else's bounty because he has more than someone else isn't that far removed from a bank heist. It's still theft and the end doesn't justify the means.

Which brings me back to the reason for this post.  What is it in Obama's ideals that she finds preferable to Romney's? Is it the idea that people enrolled in law school should be provided birth control products at no cost? Is it that millionaires like Big Bird should still be on welfare? Is it the culture of corruption that confiscates billions from taxpayers to be gifted to green industries that are destined for the dustbin of history? I'd  be interested to know what those ideals are.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Wow

I had not thought that the highly touted 2007 "race speech" by then senator Obama would be that interesting--even after I watched it. Several of the talk shows and web sites have mentioned it today; but the Neo-Neocon Blog has provided a stunner:  In his speech, Obama claimed racist Americans weren't as willing to help victims of Katrina because they were largely black. He falsely said that the Stafford Act required a 10% local match in order for people to receive federal aid--a provision that had been waived for victims of disasters in Florida and New York.  In reality, weeks before, the Senate waived the 10% requirement for Katrina victims--although 14 senators voted against the act. Who were these elected officials who didn't care about black people? One name is all too familiar: Senator Barack Obama.  He voted against it. It passed. Three weeks later he falsely cited the Stafford Act to manufacture racial outrage.


Romney - Great Leader, Stupid Politician

Conservatives have high hopes that this evening's debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney will change the landscape of the campaign. I doubt that's going to happen. Why? Because even though Mitt Romney is an incredibly intelligent and capable leader; he does and says really stupid things as a politician.

I'm not referring to supposed gaffes manufactured by the media--but rather to instances when he has a perfect opportunity to move ahead of Obama and he blows it by saying something incredibly stupid.  Some of his great lines turn into duds when he continues to speak. For example, when he was interrupted by a very rude protester in Iowa earlier this year, the cameras were all trained on him for a response. He said, "Isn't America a great place to live where we all have the freedom to disagree?"  What a great message! Unfortunately, his next line was, "I just hope somebody gives Obama the same treatment when he comes here." Face palm. 


As a Romney supporter, I have all kinds of confidence that Romney is a great leader. His whole life is a demonstration of his ability to lead; and serves as a stark contrast to Obama--the antithesis of leadership--manifest plainly as a mere manager. Thirty years ago, Professor Hugh Nibley provided a masterful essay on the differences between leaders and managers. The title of the essay,  Leaders to Managers: The Fatal Shift, foreshadows just how devastating a manager's effect can be upon a nation. Unfortunately, since his audience was largely a Mormon audience, his examples were drawn from the Book of Mormon--and that doesn't carry much weight in the secular world. However, Nibley's insight helps us see how leaders like Reagan, Thatcher, Churchill, and Washington compare to managers like Wilson, Carter, Martin Van Buren and Obama. Eventually, citizens realize that managers fail because their inability to lead overwhelms their ability to manage. 

It appears that Romney's inability to manage may not allow him to rise to lead the nation. So many unforced errors, so many instances showing a flash of leadership only to be dashed by timidity. Romney was right to quickly condemn the State Department's response to the Egyptian riots on September 11th; but in the face of withering criticism from the media he backed down.  Two weeks later he pens essay in the WSJ that Byron York called "weak" on the Laura Ingraham show. Romney's ideas were thoughtful, rational and far better than anything Obama has articulated; but his presentation was so astonishingly tepid I would be surprised if anyone who wasn't already on his side could have waded through it.  Conservatives have called for Romney aides to be fired for their incompetence:  Eric Fehrnstrom for his etch-a-sketch gaffe, Andrea Saul's idiotic response to the "Romney killed my wife" ad, and lots of other unforced, stupid, gifts to a hostile media.  But really, it's long past time for someone with political sense to oversee what's coming out of that campaign.

The WSJ essay should never have gone out in its printed form. Surely someone in his campaign can get Romney to replace some passive verb constructions with phrasing less likely to drive readers to the arms of Morpheus.  His essay is the language of academia--committee speak--where no action takes place and consequently no one can be blamed for the behavior:

"...developments are sweeping across the Middle East" needs an action verb. It isn't the "developments" that "are sweeping." 

"Thousands are slaughtered" suggests that these things are just happening and no one in particular is responsible. Such language provokes no emotion. How much better to say, "An evil dictator in Syria slaughters thousands of innocent people while this administration does nothing. Waves of anti-American fervor sweep across the Middle East while our feckless State Department wonders what to do and lies to the American people about its cause." 

"In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has come to power." They just "came to power?" No indictment for Obama's naive assumptions that brought about the catastrophe?  Consider further:

"They are major issues that put our security at risk" has to be said forcefully without the 'to be" verb:  "These major issues endanger our security." 

"...security is compromisedis stuck, is facing, Our national debt has risen..."---Good grief, could these phrases be any weaker?  How about assigning a little blame where it's appropriate? Couldn't he say, "Irresponsible and profligate spending by the Obama administration has driven our debt to unimaginable levels?

If that essay is any demonstration of the competence of the Romney campaign, he is in deep trouble tonight.
  
H/T to Powerline:
 

Saturday, September 22, 2012


David Twede, future former Mormon, manufactures a cause célèbre announcing his pending disciplinary hearing before LDS Church leaders. Much like the hysterical Muslims protesting a film nobody has seen, his grab for headlines is the real story and his position is simply dishonest—as is Jamie Reno’s opinion piece in the yesterday’s The Daily Beast.

 

To know if a news story isn’t really news but is instead an opinion dressed up like news, look at the headline. This laugher is “Mormons Want to Excommunicate Romney Critic.” It tells how Twede is a “Mormon in good standing” and how his Church leaders “brought him into …church offices.. and interrogated him.”

 

Twede and the left wing media are making headlines and writing lies as part of the “shiny object,” or “squirrel!” campaign of Barack Obama. When I started this post, I thought I would only comment on Twede’s dishonesty; but reading this garbage in the Huffington Post and The Daily Beast prompts me to expand a little.

 

I know a lot about former Mormons and how and why the Church facilitates their transition into non-Mormon status. Here is a brief explanation of how it works.

 

A Church—and the LDS Church specifically—is a group of believers. Some people like Mr. Twede would like to change that perspective into something of a cultural club rather than a church. There is, however, something paradoxical about the LDS perspective of belief. While the members of the Church generally belong to the Church as a result of sharing common beliefs, they’re not required to maintain those beliefs in order to retain their membership. The Church does however, have standards of behavior regarding those beliefs. Any Mormon can believe whatever he wants; but he cannot promulgate beliefs that are inimical to the Church or its members while at the same time claiming to be a member in good standing.

It’s utter nonsense that Twede’s difficulties have anything to do with Mitt Romney or any of Twede’s comments about him. That fact is painfully obvious given Mormon Harry Reid’s dishonest charges that Romney didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years. Twede’s problem is his attempt to paint himself as a Mormon in good standing while publishing screeds critical of LDS doctrines. Lots of people leave the Church as apostates who don’t get excommunicated. Excommunication does not generally take place unless they try to affirm a public connection with the Church as David Twede is doing now.

For example: several of my uncles left the LDS Church to pursue polygamous fundamentalism. Two of them were very public about their opposition to the Church and their insistence on violating the Church’s prohibition against polygamy. They were excommunicated. Another uncle quietly left the Church over the same subjects but never presented himself as a Mormon in good standing in the Church. He was ignored by the Church. Twede had the same option.


Monday, September 17, 2012

First Amendment Freedom

Did you see where Sheriff's Deputies asked Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, to come to the office for interrogation a little after midnight last Saturday?  He's the alleged filmmaker of the anti-Mohammed film being protested in Arab countries and condemned by the Cairo embassy, Hillary Clinton, and others of the Obama administration. Don't blame the deputies (the brown shirts are a nice touch, though); they were only following orders.

So, rather than have him come down for questioning at a reasonable, daylight hour, he gets frog marched in the middle of the night. But that's what happens in America when someone mocks the sacred beliefs of others. Surely you remember when they hauled Bill Maher in for his film Religulous? No? 

How about when they came to get Matt Stone and Trey Parker for their smash hit mocking Mormonism? Missed that too?  

Well, certainly you read the current administration's statement that "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Mormons--as we condemn the efforts to offend believers of all religions." No? Hmmmm.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Biden's speech last night to his party's convention once again made me wonder about the intellectual capacity of the people who cheer for him. He has to be one of the dimmest intellects ever to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. There on Thursday evening, the third night of the convention he refers to Michelle Obama's speech:
Folks, tonight what I really want to do is tell you about my friend Barack Obama. No one could tell it as well or as eloquently as Michelle — as you did last night, Michelle — Monday night.
He realizes as soon as he refers to her talk that it wasn't last night, so he pauses for a second and gets it wrong again: Monday. He didn't know that the convention started on Tuesday? I'll bet none of the media mentioned it. OK, so that wasn't a fatal gaffe; but consider the trope that followed:
Day after day, night after night I sat beside him as he made one gutsy decision after the other to stop the slide and reverse it. I watched him. (Applause.) I watched him stand up. I watched him stand up to intense pressure and stare down enormous, enormous challenges, the consequences of which were awesome.
 What gutsy decisions? To give the order to kill Osama bin Laden? Decisions are gutsy when the leader  has to face intense pressure from his detractors. Even his most vocal critics applauded that decision. What decisions--gusty or otherwise--did he make once he lost his veto proof congress? I do remember that some decisions he made in the face of intense pressure: he golfed more times in 4 years than Bush did in 8--for which Bush was condemned by the feckless media.

Then he told a story about how his dad had to go to work in another town and how he explained that he'd send for Joe and siblings as soon as he was able. And what did our vice president learn from that rather ordinary experience?
For the rest of our life, my sister and my brothers, for the rest of our life, dad never failed to remind us that a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about — it's about your dignity. It's about respect. It's about your place in the community. It's about being able to look your child in the eye and say, honey, it's going to be OK, and mean it, and know it's true. (Cheers, applause.)
 Going out of town for work to support your family is about: 1) dignity, 2) respect, 3) your place in the community; and it's about being able to look your child in the eye and say "It's going to be OK?" Does that really warrant applause and cheers? What does it say about our country when a man of such limited intellectual acumen generates adoring applause with such bromides? Give him a participation trophy and a snow cone and hope he can go home next January.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Lies, Damned Lies, and the Mainstream Media’s Democratic Talking Points



Who are you going to believe—the mainstream media or your own lying eyes?

On Wednesday evening last week, Paul Ryan noted in his convention speech that though Obama had campaigned in 2008 that his administration would keep Ryan’s hometown GM plant open for a century to come—his administration allowed it close. The day following, lots of media outlets howled that this was a lie; and that the plant actually closed during Bush’s final days. In response to this nearly united outcry against Ryan’s comments, conservative websites posted links to contemporary newspapers that demonstrated that Ryan’s assertions were accurate. The next day, leftist media people were doubling down that Ryan had lied.  Radar Online claimed, “However, Ryan's speech was criticized because he inaccurately said that a General Motors auto plant in Janesville, Wisconsin closed under President Obama's watch, however, the plant actually closed in 2008 when Bush was in office.” I posted a comment on the Radaronline site that they were mistaken and should check their facts.  In response, a Millania Duprete defended the site by writing: “ALMA U R WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

And thus we see the state of leftist political conversation. When confronted with facts, they respond by hyperventilating, accusing, and emphasizing with gazillions of exclamation points. It’s really a predictable response from those whose positions are factually or morally bankrupt.  The other response is to distort someone’s argument and hope for an indignant audience’s condemnation.   That was Michael Moore’s strategy in attempting to counter Clint Eastwood’s empty chair routine. On the Daily Beast,  Michael Moore, wrote, “They will know about the night a crazy old man hijacked a national party's most important gathering so he could literally tell the president to go do something to himself (i.e. f***  himself)”  Clearly, Michael Moore doesn’t quite understand what the word literally means; and equally clearly, he either did not witness Eastwood’s presentation or was all too willing to lie about it. Similarly, Politico’s first version of its report on the Eastwood affair claimed Eastwood told the President to “shut up”--as Fox News also falsely claimed.  Eastwood simply did not tell the President to either literally or figuratively do anything to himself; and anyone who watched the speech recognizes that fact.

This brings me to the point that should have been obvious to anyone who watched the GOP convention. The media bent over backwards to suppress and misrepresent the GOP message.  The Wednesday lineup of speakers included articulate and accomplished women and minorities whose remarks rarely or only briefly found their way to broadcast audiences. Condi Rice got 5 minutes on CBS, N.M. Latina Governor Susana Martinez, and African American Mayor Mia Love’s comments were effectively suppressed by the media.  Unless people searched for these speeches after the fact on youtube, they would hardly notice how many first generation American minorities had become leaders in the Republican Party. I’ll be you didn’t hear that Mia Love  got a standing ovation. You probably did hear that an African American CNN camerawoman was insulted by a couple of racists at the convention, though.  I’ll bet the insult story is entirely bogus. Listen to Susana Martinez—a woman who was on Romney’s short list for VP.  Of course, compare and contrast the former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice’s with any of those offered this week at the Dem’s soiree this week.

In addition to the media’s efforts to suppress the presence of immigrant minorities in the leadership of the GOP, viewers were feted with pundits who couldn’t help but reiterate Democratic talking points as Obama’s most inveterate apologists. NBC’s Tom Brokaw’s angry accusations following Rice’s comments were something to behold.

Brokaw, however, was mild compared to the buffoons at MSNBC. Honestly, how those morons manage to keep getting a paycheck is beyond me.  Much like Ms. Duprete above, Matthews, O’Donnell and others have had to retreat to distortion and nonsense for whoever is dim enough to pay attention to their hysteria. If Republicans mention anything against Obama or his administration—Chicago, golf, or broccoli, they’re racists. Clearly, the only responses available to people who have no facts or morals at hand.