Monday, June 30

10,000 Hits!

I would like thank my readers (and the hordes of people who have searched Google looking to remedy their shenpa but not found it here, lol sorry about that) who have contributed to my snobbery. Self high-five!

In recognition of this scintilla of an achievement, I have added a third column (to the left) containing all sorts of interesting political, tech, movie, and science links.  Please leave a comment if there are any sites or blogs that I could add to it, or any that you like.

Saturday, June 28

Mormon Matters: A letter from my sister...

Perhaps our feelings about tomorrow’s letter were abreacted in last week’s [on Mormon Matters] diverse and sporadically acerbic discussion. My purpose in this post is to highlight some of the feelings and views of one who is connected to many aspects of the Church’s political action regarding gay marriage. My sister Emily is a lawyer in California, and gay (also kind, witty, and sagacious, but that is beside the point). Her journey through life has had a positive and profound impact on my family and I. I have learned a lot from her, but this issue specifically has inspired me to be more thoughtful and considerate of those who are different from my straight white male middle-class American self (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

I have often contemplated on the thought that members with gay friends or family often seem to feel differently than those who do not (or who are not aware of it). The following is from an email regarding this topic she recently sent to the rest of our family and some friends.  Continue reading...

Friday, June 27

Glenn Beck's Conservatism or: Am I Really a Moderate?

As a former democrat, current so-called "conservatively liberal moderate," and member of the "Vague Center" on the Bloghive, I have often wondered if I'm not really just a wolf (or donkey) in sheep's clothing (what is the animal for moderates anyway?)  A church-going, ban-prayers-in-school believing, birth-control supporting political fugazi. I recently read this article by everyone's favorite (lol) Glenn Beck, on what conservatives believe. I decided to put some of my thoughts next to his to see just how moderate (conservative?) I really am...
1. "A conservative believes that our inalienable rights do not include housing, healthcare or Hummers."
I believe that there should be no poor among us, that government should not have to step in with their flawed programs (like Medicaid), that we should all be picking up our neighbor when they fall. However, this is obviously not happening. Too many of us are selfish, and too many are lazy. I do think we all have a right to a new Prius, however. Or maybe just a Segway.
2. "A conservative believes that our inalienable rights DO include the pursuit of happiness. That means it is guaranteed to no one."
I agree with this, sort of. I believe happiness is not a right, and is developed in the mind once one's basic needs are met. I think basic needs are a right, according to one's ability.
3. "A conservative believes that those who pursue happiness and find it have a right to not be penalized for that success."
I do not believe that wealth = success. And those who follow this Epicurean mantra will never be satisfied (just ask my wife about my DVD collection). Also, if the wealthy are not sharing willingly with the poor and the widows and the orphans, I have no problem with some of their wealth being taken from them.
4. "A conservative believes that there are no protections against the hardship and heartache of failure. We believe that the right to fail is just as important as the chance to succeed and that those who do fail learn essential lessons that will help them the next time around."
I agree, to an extent. We must have the freedom to fail. We must not take away life lessons from our children, or anyone else, for that matter. However, when does failure become a destruction of one's life?
5. "A conservative believes in personal responsibility and accepts the consequences for his or her words and actions."
Me too.
6. "A conservative believes that each of us has a duty to take care of our neighbors. It was private individuals, companies and congregations that sent water, blankets and supplies to New Orleans far before the government ever set foot there."
YES!!!! The only problem is, many do not have decent neighbors. Or their neighbors are in the same condition they are.
7. "A conservative believes that debt creates unhealthy relationships. Everyone, from the government on down, should live within their means and strive for financial independence."
YES! Anyone listen to Dave Ramsey?

Lastly, if anyone has any sort of "Liberal" or "Progressive" creed that I could do a similar exercise with, please let me know.

Monday, June 23

Some research on gay fathers...

...with no religious credo, political bent, or personal elucidation attached:
  1. Children of gay parents are not more likely to be gay themselves.
  2. They may have a more difficult time being judged by their peers.
  3. They tend to develop a less prejudicial view of the world.
  4. Gay fathers place greater emphasis on verbal communication.
  5. They show more consistency in enforcing limits.
  6. They respond more reliably to the perceived needs of their children. 
(From Fatherneed, by Kyle Pruett, M.D, and The Value of Children to Gay and Heterosexual Fathers by Bigner & Jacobsen.)

Do you have any research (cogent conjectures and scurvy rejoinders are also welcome) to add to this?  I am interested.

Wednesday, June 11

When Moral Issues Become Political Issues

My erudite and witty friend Ray wrote a great post today on political vs. moral issues, and what happens when they are merged.

From the post: "Given that I can’t support outlawing all abortions, and that I can’t support outlawing all abortions with the exceptions of rape, health of the mother and viability of the baby, all that is left for me is to leave the decision in the hands of the individual mother (and father, where applicable) and let them deal with the moral consequences of their decisions."

Check it out! It is particularly relevant for Mormons and others who are concerned about moral issues in politics, on either side of the fence.