Tuesday, May 29

Trickle Down Health Care

It’s not working. Republicans don’t want government intervention in health care—only market solutions are biblical(?) enough for them. The problem is that these tax cuts on the mega rich are not working. Why? Because we’re all greedy, that’s why! Aaaarrrrgggghh! And I’m afraid that if most of the poor suddenly became mega rich they would be greedy too!

We need better health care. Barack Obama has some interesting ideas about health care, and how to provide it without the government running it entirely. He even said we shouldn’t be refused coverage based on existing conditions, and that people should receive assistance based on their income! Preposterous! All this will require the rich to give up one of their 13 yachts! Wow, it really stinks to be them.

Friday, May 18

Global Warming or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Slow Driving

There seems to be at least three groups of opinions on global warming. The first group says that it isn’t happening at all. The second group says it is happening, but most of it is due to the natural cycles of the earth. The third group says that a lot of it is due to human impact on the earth. So, who is right? Does it matter who is right? Does it matter who we believe?

We know the first group is wrong. All reputable scientists know that the earth has natural climate change. So the debate is between the next two, which comes down to the question, what is the cause of global warming? The second group believes the scientists who say at least 95% of global warming is due to natural cycles, and only a meager 5% or less is due to humans. The third group believes the scientists who say that humans are a much bigger cause, and that if we change our light bulbs, driving habits, air conditioning use, etc. then we can positively impact the earth. Both groups say the other side’s scientists are paid to confirm their theories. SCANDALOUS! LIBERAL CONSPIRACY! CONSERVATIVE HATE-MONGERING!

So let’s say, for instance, that the second group is more correct. We little earthlings have very little to do with global warming. Let’s also say that most of us decide to buy into group three’s ideas, despite the fact that group two is right. WHAT IS THE OUTCOME OF THIS? Even though we may have very little to do with global warming, we think we do so we buy hybrid cars, use less energy, pollute our precious breathing air less, watch “An Inconvenient Truth” once a month for family home evening, and buy fancy light bulbs. All this means is we will get better mileage in our cars, decrease the demand for oil (which would lower the price of gas and indirectly decrease our support of terrorism), have cleaner air to breath, and inflate Al Gore’s ego.

I am not worried about global warming or cooling or freezing or whatever. Well, actually I don’t like global warming in the summer but I like it in the winter, unless of course, I’m snowboarding… I do feel like the parade Gore and his cronies are on is good, however. And I think they sincerely believe in their cause. Whether or not they are right is not an issue for me. It’s what they inspire people (including myself) to do. I am now trying to drive slower on the freeway, trying not to run the air conditioning when I don’t need it, and pondering the thought that someday, I may be able to afford those twisty light bulbs.

And for all those people getting irked behind me in the right lane because I’m driving ONLY 60 mph, just remember that I’m lowering the price of YOUR gas.

Tuesday, May 8

Happy Dogs Give Us All A Reason To Smile

In the paper today there was an article about a skateboarding bulldog. It made me happy to think about a dog enjoying himself on a skateboard in the driveway. Incidentally, this dog was not the first to trade in his paws for some wheels. I found another skateboarding bulldog, who is somewhat more famous. Check out the sweet videos.

Monday, May 7

Mormon Doctrine

A personal religious conundrum I have had the last few years is what constitutes official Mormon doctrine. Mormons do not have a book like the Catechism of the Catholic Church to clearly lay out all doctrines. At the same time, we are taught to follow our leaders, and most notably the counsel of the current prophet, Gordon Hinckley. Is everything he says doctrine? What do we do when two leaders or even prophets contradict each other? Some might say that current conditions call for current teachings. Others try some mental gymnastics to apologetically explain how all the teachings fit together. Some get disillusioned. Some (like me) get a little confused. Recently the church released a statement on their official website on what constitutes church doctrine. It has greatly simplified my religious life. Here is a little bit from the statement (for the whole text, click here).

“Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith.”

Many people have told me that Mormonism is restrictive in its doctrine, but I find it to be a source of freedom to my spirit and mind. This statement has cleared up a lot of questions for me regarding my faith, and it exemplifies to me the agency of thought the church gives to its members.