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It's Over

The Fall 2008 Semester is over. My last final was this morning at 8:30. I walked out feeling confident in my answers so we’ll see where that takes us. Grades will be posted when I get them.

This semester really flew by. Normally I hit a mid-term slump where my studying falls off and I miss a class or two. But that didn’t happen this semester. Maybe it’s because I’ve finished my generals and am actually working on my major. That’s probably it.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2008 in School

 

A Rebulic If You Can Keep It (Part 4)

November 20 was the last time that we addressed this talk by Ron Paul to the US House in February 2000. So let’s continue with the excerpts where we left off. Section 4: Social and Philosophical Changes.

America has not only changed technologically in the past hundred years, but our social attitudes and personal philosophies have changed as well. WE have less respect for life and less love for liberty. We are obsessed with material things, along with rowdy and raucous entertainment. Needs and wants have become rights for both rich and poor. The idea of instant gratification too often guides our actions, and when satisfaction is not forthcoming anger and violence break out. Road rage and airline passenger rage are seen more frequently. Regardless of fault, a bad outcome is almost anything, even if beyond human control will prompt a lawsuit. Too many believe they deserve to win the lottery, and a lawsuit helps the odds. Unfortunately the only winners too often are the lawyers hyping the litigation.

Lying and cheating are now acceptable by the majority. This was not true a hundred years ago when moral standards were higher. The October 1999 issue of US News and World Report reveals that 84% of college students believe cheating is necessary to get ahead in today’s world, and 90% are convinced there’s no price to pay for cheating. Nor surprisingly , 90% of college students believe that politicians often cheat. An equal percentage believe the media cheats as well. There’s no way to know if the problem is this bad in the general population, but these statistics indicate out young people do not trust our politicians or media. Trust has been replaced with a satisfaction in the materialism that a speculative stock market, borrowing money, and a spendthrift government can generate. But what happens to our society if the material abundance, which we enjoy, is ephemeral and human trust is lost?

Social disorder will surely result and there will be a clamor for a more authoritarian government. This scenario may indeed threaten the stability of our social order and significantly undermine all our constitutional protections. But there is no law or ethics committee that will solve this problem of diminishing trust and honesty – that is a problem of the heart, mind, and character to be dealt with by each individual citizen. The importance of the family unit today has been greatly diminished compared to the close of the 19th Century. Now, fewer people get married, more divorces occur, and the number of children born out of wedlock continues to rise. Tax penalties are placed on married couples; illegitimacy and single parenthood are rewarded by government subsidies, and we find many authoritarians arguing that the definition of marriage should change in order to allow non-husband and wife couples to qualify for welfare handouts. The welfare system has mocked the concept of marriage in the name of political correctness, economic egalitarianism, and hetero-phobia.

Freedom of speech is still cherished in America, but the political correctness movement has seriously undermined dissent on our university campuses…. It was commonplace in the Soviet system to incarcerate political dissenters in “mental” institutions. Those who received a Soviet government designation of “socially undesirable elements” were stripped of their rights. Will this be the way we treat political dissent in the future? We hear of people losing their jobs because of “socially undesirable” thoughts or for telling off-color jokes. Today sensitivity courses are routinely required in America to mold social thinking for the simplest of infractions. The thought-police are all around us. It’s a bad sign.

…”Free speech” is permitted in our universities for those who do not threaten the status quo of welfarism, globalism, corporatism, and a financial system that provides great benefits to powerful special interests. If a university professor does not follow the party line, he does not receive tenure.

We find ourselves at the close of this century realizing all our standards have been undermined. A monetary standard for our money is gone; the dollar is whatever the government tells us it is. There is no definition, and no promise to pay anything for the notes issued ad infinitum by the government.

Standards for education are continually lowered, de-emphasizing excellence. Relative ethics are promoted, and moral absolutes are ridiculed. The influence of religion on our standards is frowned upon and replaced by secular humanistic standards.

The work ethic has been replaced by a welfare ethic, based on need not effort. Strict standards required for an elite military force are gone, and our lack of readiness reflects this.

Standards of behavior of our professional athletes seem to reflect the rules followed in the ring by the professional wrestlers where anything goes.

Managed medical care, driven by government decrees, has reduced its quality and virtually ruined the doctor-patient relationship.

Movie and TV standards are so low that our young people’s senses are totally numbed by them

Standards of courtesy on highways, airplanes, and shops are seriously compromised and at time lead to senseless violence.

With the acceptance of abortion, our standards for life have become totally arbitrary as they have become for liberty. Endorsing the arbitrary use of force by our government morally justifies the direct use of force by disgruntled groups not satisfied with the slower government process.

The standards for honesty and truth have certainly deteriorated during the pasat hundred years.

Property ownership has been undermined though environmental regulations and excessive taxation. True ownership of property no longer exists.

There has been a systematic undermining of legal and constitutional principles once respected an followed for the protection of individual liberty.

A society cannot continue in a state of moral anarchy. Moral anarchy will lead to political anarchy. A society without clearly understood standards of conduct cannot remain stable any more than an architect can design and build a sturdy skyscraper with measuring instruments that change in value each day. We recently lost a NASA space probe because someone failed to convert inches to centimeters – a simple but deadly mistake in measuring physical standards. If we as a people debase our moral standards, the American Republic will meet a similar fate.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2008 in History, Military, Movies, Politics, Rants, Religion, School

 

We Did It To Ourselves

A Keyboard and a .45 had this up. I thought I’d share too.

 

American Civil Literacy

The Munchkin Wrangler had this quiz linked so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I got 29 out of 33, missing #’s 7, 29, 30 and 33. Check it out and post your results in comments.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2008 in History, School

 

The Holy War


Well, the annual Holy War between the University of Utah and Brigham Young University was fought yesterday. This time, the Runnin’ Utes emerged victorious by pounding BYU 48-24. What does this mean? Well, not only does the U win the Mountain West Conference, it also means that we’re going to a BCS Bowl! Yes, we are the only non-BCS Conference team to go to two BCS Bowls.

Is this going to help our chances of getting into the Pac-10 Conference? Probably not. But I will say this, the Mtn West Conference had 3 teams in the top 15 at the end of the season and that’s pretty impressive.

Photo courtesy of KSL

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2008 in Life, Local, Really Excited, School, Sports

 

I Hope They Weren't Mine!

So, 2,500 random, average Americans were selected to be part of a survey/exam put on by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Apparently, the American citizens only averaged 49% (out of 33 questions that’s only 16 correct), but “self identified” public officials averaged 44% (about 14.5 out of 33).

So what were these questions about? “The exam questions covered American history, the workings of the US government and economics.”

Among the questions asked of some 2,500 people who were randomly selected to take the test, including “self-identified elected officials,” was one which asked respondents to “name two countries that were our enemies during World War II.”

Sixty-nine percent of respondents correctly identified Germany and Japan. Among the incorrect answers were Britain, China, Russia, Canada, Mexico and Spain.

Shock and Awe, but somehow not surprised. As the article states at the end, “Activities that dull Americans’ civic knowledge include talking on the phone and watching movies or television — even news shows and documentaries, ISI said.”

Maybe a law should be passed that, in order for a person’s name to be put onto a ballot for office, they have to take and pass this type of test with a MINIMUM 95%.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2008 in Eyes+Sharp Stick, Politics, School

 

Nothing… But Then Again

I’ve been coming the local news looking for something, anything of interest that I could put up here. Alas, nothing can be found. But if you’ve got nothing better to do:

White Powder Sent to Mormon Temples in Utah and LA

Gays Bashing Mormons Over Prop 8 Nationwide

And more of the same. In other news, guns sales are still up, up, up! And Obama is supposedly going to make Hillery such major part of his Administration that his Foreign Policy failures will be her foreign policy failures, making it more difficult for her to run against, and beat, him in 2012, after his agonizing first term.

On a bright note – I got into all of the classes that I wanted for the Spring ’09 Semester! OK, so that only interests me and the rest of you don’t care, but hey being on a tight budget and not being part of the gun rush I have to get my excitement somewhere.

This guy’s lucky he’s not seriously injured, or dead!

Modifying a Blackhawk Serpa to carry IWB. Interesting, but safe?

S&W’s making a Commie gun? Gotcha! But you should still check it out…

And a couple of things you can all go in on and get me for Christmas. One, Two, or if you want to get really crazy Three. (Remember, MSRP is high… actual in-store price is less.)

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2008 in Eyes+Sharp Stick, Guns, Local, Politics, Religion, School

 

Discussion

My recent discussion with an old fellow missionary who, after coming home, joined the dark side. That’s right, he’s a liberal. I have made no changes to his text. Here you go:

Me: So, you support a socialist for president, you applaud a supreme court who gives terrorists rights under the constitution, you applaud a supreme court who tells states that they can not execute child rapists, but you are disappointed when the supreme court actually upholds the constitution? I’m sorry, that’s just messed up.

Him: Wow. What happened to “be not quick to judge”? And, if I must clarify my opinions, I never mentioned anything about the case against specific instances of imposing the death penalty. And guess what! The man you call “socialist” actually disagreed with the Supreme Court on that one. Go figure! Wow, some people just don’t fit our biases and stereotypes, do they? And guess what, brother, you belong to a Church that advocates the Law of Consecration, which is more “socialist” than anything the Democrats have proposed, ever. Hmm… something to think about. And you know all those socialist countries in Scandinavia? Strangely, they’re doing better at taking care of their people than we are.
But what makes me most appalled is that you assume that all Guantanamo detainees, or “enemy combatants,” as named by the Bush administration in a blatant attempt to skirt the law, are “terrorists.” Have you read the news lately? I mean, other than watching Fox “News” and right-wing political “commentators”? Because many of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay have been cleared and sent home WITHOUT charges. It seems that any reasoning person would understand that you can’t be called a terrorist until it’s been shown that you committed a crime of some sort. Oops! I guess the army just gets to decide unilaterally who is guilty. Guess what! That’s against the Constitution AND international law, including treaties and conventions that WE have signed. Boy, am I glad that the army isn’t running our justice system. And you know, I’d bet that even you would be praying for a clear-headed and unbiased Supreme Court if you happened to be born in a different culture and were one of the unlucky ones thrown into the torture chambers without evidence or charges of any kind. How can you support such a tyrannical regime? Reminds me of King Noah.
You know, I’m sick of latter-day saints who think that you have to be a right-wing, apathetic, fatuous lemming in order to be a good Mormon. Neither party is perfect, that’s why I’m UNAFFILIATED. But I’m also informed, and I think Obama is the lesser of two evils.
And as for gun “rights,” if you read the second amendment, you’ll find that the right to bear arms falls in the same sentence as the words “well regulated” and “militia.” The Court was split 5-4 on this, because almost half of them were bright enough to realize that the right of individuals to own guns is not explicit in the text, as is often the case in the Constitution. I don’t feel like explaining four years of Political Science classes to you, but I will say this: guns might not “kill people,” but they sure do make it easier and more prevalent. Look at Europe. Safer gun laws, MUCH fewer gun deaths. And NO, not everyone simply reverts to kitchen knives, or whatever the right-wing NRA lobby claims.
I hope I answered all your accusations. Let me know if you have any more.

Me: Congratulations, Mr. Stout. You’ve just proven why some people, even those who have “four years of Political Science classes” are incapable of political debate. How comical that you lash out, claiming that I’m “quick to judge” and then you go on to presume that you are the only student of politics in this discussion. Your amazing four years of real life, in class study obviously makes you no more prepared to handle political debate than Ginsburg’s being the head of the ACLU did to prepare her to be an impartial Supreme Court Justice. But I digress, this is not about her and her political activism, her legislating from the bench. Her erroneous interpretation of the 14th Amendment to justify infanticide.

Let’s look at your argument one piece at a time. “[Y]ou belong to a Church that advocates the Law of Consecreatoin, which is more “socialist” than anything the Democrats have proposed, ever.” I disagree. First, I do not belong to the Church – it does not own me. I am a member of that church. And though the Law of Consecration may appear socialistic/communistic in nature, only a dull fool could actually compare the two. I have neither the time nor the energy to go through the history of communism with you. But I shouldn’t have too. After all, you are so well educated in the field of politics. Yet I must say that FORCED change and government control of everything, from news media to the way that people think, is not the Law of Consecration (Law). That is communism/socialism. The Law is voluntary. You do not have to accept it or participate in any way. Those who do, do it by choice not by government force. Big difference. As far as Scandinavia and them taking better care of their people. That may be true, but it is not a governments responsibility to take care of the citizenry. This is an evil lie that was introduced by FDR and the other progressives in the early 1900’s. The government is there to protect the people and uphold the law, not take from some to give to others because they will not do for themselves.

On to Guantanamo. In America, when someone is accused of a crime they are arrested and processed through the criminal justice system. This, we both know and understand. Enemy combatants, terrorists, detainees, whatever you want to call them, who are captured during war (yes, I know that war hasn’t been officially declared but it is still war. After all, do we refer to Vietnam as the Vietnam Police Action?) can be held as prisoners of war and questioned. A prisoner of war does not have rights under the US Constitution. The constitution is for citizens of this country. According to your logic, why not give US Constitutional rights to every person in this world? Along with Social Security and free (tax payer funded) health care? Oh wait, that is what Comrade Obama wants. We’ll get to that later. Military law and civil law are two different animals. I too am grateful that our military is not running the government because then we would be in a military dictatorship and not a Democratic Republic.

Treaties and conventions. The founders didn’t want us to enter into permanent treaties because it would weaken our ability to govern ourselves. Those who would bow to the rule of “international” law have no understanding of the great privileges that we as American’s enjoy. Privileges that are now being controlled by outside sources – our economy, what weapons we use in the military, what types of Federal laws we can and can’t pass.

Who gives a damn about Fox news? Oh wait, that is you assuming again. The Golfer, The Wall Banger and The Leprechaun can all screw themselves. For that matter, so can all of the clowns on ABC, CBS and NBC. NO news source is impartial. Fox is right, the three headed news dragon is left. Research must be done across the board on all topics independently to find the “truth,” whatever that may be.

I agree with your frustration of LDS church members who believe that Republican is the way to go. I would be interested to hear why you believe, or care, why people think you are a good/bad Mormon because of your political affiliation. I know that God doesn’t care what party you belong to, on
ly what policies you support. Congratulations on being an Independent. You are part of a growing movement that I believe will only continue. Please tell me how Obama is the lesser of two evils? He will exponentially expand the welfare state. He will take away rights on gun ownership, freedom of speech, he’ll continue to increase the current deficit as Bush so foolishly does. He’ll further sell America’s sovereignty to foreign nationals and entities. How is this better? Because he says hope and change a lot? I recently spoke with an Obamaniac. I asked, “why do you support him for president?”

The answer I received was, “because he has brought hope to America.”

“Hope for what,” I asked.

“Hope for change,” I was answered.

“What type of change?”

“The change of hope.”

I then stopped the conversation because I realized that the person I was speaking with was an apathetic, fatuous Obamaniac who could barely walk and chew gum at the same time. Thank God that the average citizenry of this country does not elect the president!!!

Gun rights. I know that you fear guns because you do not understand them. I do not understand why you want to legislate away my god-given right to defend myself and my family. Have you actually read the opinion and descent of the DC v. Heller case? If you had you would understand why the court upheld the constitution. Antonin Scalia, who wrote the opinion, is an originalist and a textualist. As for “the right to bear arms falls in the same sentence as the words “well regulated” and “militia.”” Have you actually studied the English language? If not, it’s OK. Justice Scalia gives you all of the tutoring you need on how this sentence is written. As for a student with “four years of Political Science classes” I thought that you would know that the Bill of Rights was implemented as a system of “individual” rights. That is why supporters of individual rights dating back to the colonial days expressed a desire not to solidify the constitution until they were promised a set of individual rights would be a proposed and approved. Also, Constitutional Law clearly states that the phrase “we the people” as found in the first, fourth, and ninth amendments supports individual rights. In all of those cases it implies individual rights, not state or collective rights. In which case “interpretation” must play a role, regardless of which side of the political fence you sit, right, left, or unaffiliated.

As for “Europe – safer gun laws, much fewer gun deaths. And NO, not everyone simply reverts to kitchen knives…,” explain to me why the British Parliament was considering passing a knife law that would outlaw certain types of knives and were considered “dangerous?” Because of the number of people that get knifed in muggings, robberies, etc.

Since we’re on the topic of the US Constitution, where does it say explicitly, as you prefer, anything about abortion, illegal immigration, welfare benefits, the great society, legislation from the bench, etc.? These are all positions that I’m sure you support. Back it up with the constitution. Please, please support it with the constitution.

I apologize that you felt my five sentence email was screaming with accusations. It is apparent that you are very sensitive when it comes to your political position. Usually sensitivity and surface emotion are only prevalent when people are insecure with their political position. And a student of politics should not be insecure. Best of luck in convincing the Electoral College to elect an elitist socialist to the US Presidency.

I’m looking forward to our continued correspondence, if you like.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2008 in History, Language, Life, Politics, Rants, Religion, School

 

Fall at the U

A few days ago, I wrote about being jerked around by the University of Utah’s University College. Well, the next Monday I went and met with a student adviser to see what all the hubbub was about. It turns out that, since I had only met with with my departmental adviser, that did not count as my meeting with “an adviser” to be able to register. After spending about 15 minutes with the correct person, and being way ahead of them the entire time, the hold was removed from my records and I was able to register for classes.

Funny thing, after I registered I realized that I will have the same professor for all three classes Fall semester. That is either going to be really good or really bad. But I’ll cross that road when I get there. The good news is that I have two classes left, then I’ll have my A.A. and I’ll be just that much closer to getting my B.A.!

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2008 in Apologies, School

 

Registration Woes

OK, so I got accepted into the University of Utah and I’ve met with my advisor and I finished Transfer Student Orientation today so now it’s time to register.

Error – you have a hold on your account, click here to read your hold. *Click* wait, wait, wait, wait, nothing comes up. Please contact the University College for more information.

*Contact the University College* “Um, we don’t know why there’s a hold on your account. It could be several things.”

“Well, I say, I was registered as a student during the Fall 2004 semester at the end of which I had an academic probation (don’t ask) placed on my account. However, I did the required online workshop and had the hold removed.”

“Hmmm, um, well, did you register for classes after that?”

“No, I couldn’t afford the tuition, so I transferred to SLCC to finish my generals, get my A.A. and now I’m transferring back up.”

“Oh, well, since you didn’t register for classes after you completed the workshop, you either forgot to click something to finish the workshop, or the system didn’t accept your workshop results because you stopped taking classes.”

“Well, I did the workshop, and you can’t even tell me what hold I have on my records or why it is that, and I got re-admitted just fine, with an A.A. from another institution, with a great GPA and you’re telling me that I have a two year old hold on my records that you can’t remove without action on my part?”

“Yes.”

“OK, what do I have to do?”

“Well, we can try to have you do the workshop again, but if you’ve already done it once then you can’t do it again, but since the system doesn’t show that you ever took it then there shouldn’t be a problem, and that will immediately remove the hold. So, If that doesn’t work you’ll need to meet with an advisor here in the student center and they can remove the hold. What would you like to do?”

“Sign me up for both! I want to meet with an advisor, the next available slot.”

“That’s Monday at 11:00.”

“Fine, Monday it is. In the mean time, put that workshop on my WebCT so that I can get it out of the way and register before the classes that I want fill up!”

“OK. Also, just so you know, if the online workshop does work, it can take up to 48 hours for the hold to clear. Anything else?”

“Um, immediately remove the hold mean up to 48 hours? Wow, I hope the same doesn’t hold true for Campus Security… never mind, have a nice day.”

Let me tell you why I was so upset. The University of Utah has approximately 27,000 students and classes fill up quickly, especially in the Communication Department. I completed the workshop two+ years ago and it “didn’t count because I wasn’t taking classes at the time”? The only reason I stopped taking classes was because I couldn’t afford it! I had been home from my mission four months and after purchasing a computer, car, and paying my tuition I was a little tapped out (not to mention about $6,000 or so in debt). The Community College was a better fit at the time because it was cheaper, plain and simple.

I know that there are snobs out there who will lift their noses and say *pompous Brit accent* “Oh, the Community College, you must be *gulp* poor. Either that or, ha ha, ha ha, stupid.” Guess what you trust-fund-inheritance-getting-never-had-to-work-for-a-damn-thing-in-your-life-a-hole!, I am poor and happy. Living paycheck to paycheck sucks but I’ve worked for EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE and that makes me feel pretty good.

Back to my main point, I have to jump through just a few more hoops before the liberals on the hill powers that be will allow me to officially become a member of their club pay their salary register for the Fall 2008 semester. Here’s hoping that the classes I want are still available…

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2008 in Rants, School

 
 
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