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Politics for Mormons
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2nd-Sep-2008 10:28 am - Proposition 8
blue
I'm uncertain as to how I feel about this, and I'm curious to get more information and opinions.

Background information: if you live in California, you've probably already heard all about this, but just in case you haven't, here it is. Proposition 8 is a proposition to amend the constitution of California, so that it specifically states marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

The First Presidency wrote a letter to be read in Sacrament meeting statewide about this issue, asking us to donate our time and means to passing this proposition.

My own ward has had several meetings about this issue and many members have gone around passing out pamphlets around town urging voters to vote Yes on Proposition 8. The First Presidency has also written this page about the issue, which I found to be very informative.

Thoughts?
Samurai in profile
Dear Utah Highway Patrol,

I have just reviewed an officer's own dash-cam footage of Utah man being tasered, after refusing to sign a speeding ticket. I am exceedingly disturbed after watching this... even to the point that I can't be happy at my family's Thanksgiving dinner until I have had my say. Some salient points, as the situation seems to me, after my first viewing:

The officer is stating that the driver is being placed under arrest... but he did not use the words, "I am placing you under arrest," or anything similar, until after he had first assaulted this civilian with a taser! He hadn't been charged with anything. And with good reason...

It is not a crime, under Utah law, to refuse to sign a speeding ticket. This is a clear-cut case of False Arrest.

The man was gesturing at the speed-limit sign, and was disagreeing more vehemently about the citation, but he was doing so only after the officer ordered him out of the car. Why was he being ordered out of the car? At the moment that he was ordered out of the car, he was being detained. And he was being detained without Probable Cause.

Your own UHP Spokesperson's assertion that a refusal to sign a ticket is a refusal to appear in court, has little or no legal basis. Moreover, it appears to be a misdemeanor to fail to appear, only if one DOES sign a ticket. And, signing the ticket only removes the necessity that the citing officer appear in court to testify to the speeding charge, against the driver. But! The US Constitution guarantees the right to face your accuser. So technically, we motorists would all be better served if we refuse to sign our speeding tickets.

I am a true-believer in the taser, as a good middle-ground option between guns, nightsticks and hands-on-body force. I believe they are capable (with caveats for intelligent application of tasers!) of producing better outcomes in truly violent or violence-threatening situations (which this instance was NOT) even though there is an extremely minor risk of death in tasering some individuals with medical conditions. It's still safer than putting a bullet in someone. But, like any other weapon, Officers DO need to be properly educated on how to appropriately use them.

You are on notice: the next time I get a speeding ticket, I plan to REFUSE TO SIGN IT. I maintain my adherence to civic duty. But in the spirit of Thoreau, I believe it most just to resist unjust policies by the Utah Highway Patrol.

I hope that others will feel the same as I do. I hope that this situation places a strain upon your public relations, and that the response of concerned citizens like myself will place an additional strain upon your resources. At best, this will alter policy. At worst, it would theoretically reduce your officers' capability to pull over as many motorists. (And, thus, to threaten this sort of attack again) This, until I am satisfied with a change to UHP policy and education of its officers.

Justice requires that officers administer the law with a firm but fair hand... and that they avoid harm to anyone (including themselves, but also including nonviolent civilians!) as much as possible. Shame on you, Utah Highway Patrol.
4th-Jul-2007 03:17 pm - Let Freedom Ring
Gadsden
Last Sunday, one of the older gentlemen in my ward spoke up about what he sees as a threat to our freedom. There is a movement, he thinks, to remove "In God We Trust" from our coinage. I didn't have the heart to tell him that Madalyn Murray O'Hair has been dead for more than ten years. At any rate, it got me thinking. If people who are concerned about American liberty spend their time sweating irrelevant crap like the motto on the coinage while at the same time we're being sold down the river by an ever-growing number of regulations, laws, and real limits on personal exercise of freedom, we deserve what we get.

The US is not one whit more a religious, God-fearing nation with that motto on our coinage than without. God is not so stupid that he can be fooled by what he reads on the back of a quarter. But I believe that he is, and we should be, concerned by the real erosion of individual liberties in this country. That process of erosion began about ten minutes after the Constitution was ratified, because there is always someone who, given a little bit of power, wants to use it to lord it over others (see D&C 121). That process has been accelerated by the War to Extend Federal Domination (or "Civil War" [sic]) in the 19th century, by the Cold War paranoia in the last century, and especially by so-called "national security" concerns in this century post-9/11.

People in this country do not own their real property (it can be forfeited for nonpayment of property taxes or taken away when the city decides it can make more money on it by giving it to someone else), or their labor (the government decides what hours they can work and what price they can charge for their services and in some cases whether they can work at all).

Most of these restrictions do not affect most Americans on a day-to-day basis. But a country is only free when everyone is free; if this stuff doesn't affect you, it just means you're one of the relatively-privileged (thus far). Your ox may not have been gored yet, but as Pastor Niemoller put it (in one version):

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.


Will you speak up?

From 9thmoon, some food for thought:

Today, [my friend] and I are going to celebrate our freedom by exercising our Second Amendment rights. We're going to drive my (licensed, inspected, registered) car on (inspected, taxed) public roads to the (licensed, inspected, insured) private indoor range, shoot some (registered, inspected, taxed) ammunition, and then go enjoy some third-world cuisine and (taxed, regulated, controlled) booze at a local, privately-owned (licensed, inspected, registered, insured, taxed) restaurant.
Freedom is great!
Joe Puente Portrait
The Salt Lake City Weekly published this very interesting article this week:

http://www.slweekly.com/article.cfm/thetencommandments
13th-Sep-2006 08:33 pm - Feedback
Joe Puente Portrait
Hey, I'm Joe.

I'm new in this particular community and thought I'd say hi. I try to keep myself informed on politics and whatnot and I have a real softspot for political satire.

Knowing that, I'd like to get some feedback on a little satire I recently put together.

Tell me what you think- http://www.joepuente.org/elephant
12th-May-2006 05:38 pm - CNN Report
I've been quiet for too long. Howbout a nice rant?

FIRST OF ALL, IT'S POLYGYNY! Can we say, dictionary?

Read more...Collapse )
maeser byu y
I have been hearing a lot of rumblings lately about this issue, which I have not been closely following. So I went to dig up the relevant facts and inform myself. In the interest of allowing others to do the same, rather than be informed by rumor, I reproduce what I can here.

Taking things in order, here is Todd Hendricks' Letter to the Editor of Mar 10, 2006.

Next, the article discussing his termination, including the BYUSA representative responsible stating that there are 'other issues involved' that led to the termination. Todd Hendricks is quoted as saying that his letter and the 'disloyal' act that it was is the only reason he was given.

Subsequent letters to the editor have of course made an issue of the matter: Mar 27th, Mar 29th.

A satirization of the situation also made BYU print in addition to a discussion of those students who are lending their voice to the issue.

More letters to the editor have, and undoubtably will continue to follow.

I've begun to develop my opinion of the issue, which I won't articulate until I've given it a day or to to crystallize. Whatever your opinion though, I think that this is shaping up to be the most serious and perhaps indicative debate ever on what BYUSA is and actually represents and how much it can address the concerns and issues that students have.

I am quite interested to see how the paper will report on the protest and whether BYUSA will take the time to make an official response or further explanation in light of the continued interest of students in the circumstances surrounding their actions.

x-posted to byupeople.
homer: the scream
How many of you are excited about nuclear waste? (Whoopee!) You would have to be living in a hole in the ground, to not know about the recent controversey. Basically, if you don't get any of the energy it generates while it's being used, and don't get any of the money for it being stored here, what possible reason would you have for allowing them to put it here? That's like your next-door neighbor, or even someone all the way on the other side of the city, bringing bags of trash to your house. Why allow it?

One critical problem in this matter is that, there is a big disagreement between the Federal Government and Utah State Government on the issue. The Feds for the most part want to bypass ourselves and our state to put the waste dump INTO OUR STATE, adjacent to a major freeway and in the flight path of jet fighters training with live bombs. Not really the smartest place to put something like this, right?

Recently, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has opened up discussion on the matter, and this will be one of your last opportunities to be heard. Senator Hatch and other officials have been fighting for us, and are now asking for us to do what we can to convince the Feds this is a bad idea. You, and anyone else you know who cares about this issue, should send a letter, a fax or an e-mail to this person:

Pam Shuller
Bureau of Land Management
Salt Lake Field Office
2370 South 2300 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84119

Fax: (801) 977-4397 (ATTN: Pam Shuller)
E-mail: pam_schuller@blm.gov


The deadline for submissions is May 8th, but don't procrastinate! We have to move now. For more information, see this info at Senator Hatch's website.

Someone wrote in the salt lake tribune saying church said avoid extremism either left or right. That was during the cold war. Ezra Taft Benson never joined the John Birch Society but family did. he was adamantly against communist.
Church was too. This person is using his personal beliefs in this article to tell the church what to do or what he thinks they should do. Then brings Jesus into it saying would he want to saddle grandchildren in debt and talks about terror and such and impoverishng the poor giving rich more.

Jesus;s image was marred more than anyother man it is easy to use what would he do for your own agenda. That;s why I dont like using him.

The church won't issue a stand on how we fight terrorism. If people are enslaved and tortured such as nazi death camps we need to fight them. Fighting communism and terrorism is not extreme like this article says.

http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_3524168 The church for the most part will stay out of things he wants them to get into and is neutral I think on his political beleifs. the church is he wants them to have his political beliefs.
3rd-Mar-2006 06:48 pm - Human Rights Campaign my @$%
Samurai in profile
I keep getting e-mails from the Human Rights Campaign. They're all about gay, bisexual and transgender (sex-change) "equal rights". (I call some of them "extra rights")

Quick segue on gay issuesCollapse )

Somehow, the Human Rights Campaign got a hold of a very special address which I only give out to family and close friends. I don't even post it here, so I can avoid robot programs sniffing it out and stealing it. I've been getting spam from their campaign for months now.

Because they feel that such an underhanded tactic is okay to use, I'm starting to feel like I want to start working against their cause, as a form of punitive justice. Probably not an entirely rational response, but forceful marketing practices just piss me off. I feel like it's as much a human right to not have crap blasted in your face all of the time, without your consent. Like I said: they're obnoxious about how they go about it, and I'm getting to the redline threshold of my irritation on this matter.

And if you want to smack me for my position on gayness? First, please tell your GBLT friends to get the **** out of my e-mail. Tactics like these piss off fence-sitters like myself. In other words: they're only hurting themselves.

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