Monday, December 03, 2007

Is anyone still alive out there?

Post a comment if you want this blog updated regularly? If so, I'll make an effort to do so, though I don't attend BYU-Idaho anymore and I don't even live in Idaho. I do live in New Hampshire and am on the front lines, so to speak.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

So long!

It's been fun, but I've decided that it is time for me to bring my involvement with this blog to an end. I'm grateful to all those who so kindly reminded me when my spelling and grammar got away from me, and to the College Dem's for giving me a chance to speak my mind.

My decision started sometime around March, and gradually grew until I knew for sure it was time. I wish the club the best, and I hope that they do well. I'll see you all around campus!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Why I support Mitt.

This is in response to the rather immature comment made to one of my previous posts.

Billy G. asserted that I was a flip-flopper. I am. I am a flip-flopper. I've stated it in other posts, I'll state it again. If I am presented with compelling evidence, I am completely open to be convinced and persuaded to change my mind.

With that flip-flopping, I'm also accustomed to saying that I'm probably wrong about a lot of things. I really don't have any qualms with admitting things when I'm wrong and then immediately moving forward to make things right.

So, that's that. But, that still doesn't answer the question of why I openly support Mitt Romney, especially considering that I'm a Democrat.

I support Mitt in the context of: If I were voting in the Republican presidential primary (which I am not), I would vote for Mitt. So here are the reasons, in no particular order:

1. I know people who know Mitt personally. The personal stories they have told me about him have engendered me to him.
2. Religious bias. I'm a Mormon, as far as I know, Mitt is a Mormon in good-standing, I think he is a positive role model for my faith.
3. He's flexible. Mitt Romney has shown throughout his professional and educational career that he is keen, innovative and amiable. He's a very smart guy and Republicans should be proud to have such a strong candidate. His universal health care plan in Massachusetts is one great example of his ability to innovate and compromise.

So, that's that for now.

BTW, does anyone know who the new BYU-I College Dems Prez is? I'm in Portland and I would be back in the Burg till August.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

O'Reilly debunked again.

The following is a MUST READ link.

It's a study by Indiana University about Bill O'Reilly: "BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Bill O'Reilly may proclaim at the beginning of his program that viewers are entering the 'No Spin Zone,' but a new study by Indiana University media researchers found that the Fox News personality consistently paints certain people and groups as villains and others as victims to present the world, as he sees it, through political rhetoric.

The IU researchers found that O'Reilly called a person or a group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds, on average, or nearly nine times every minute during the editorials that open his program each night."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Editorial by business school professor

The following is a link to an interesting article by Warner P. Woodworth, a professor in the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University.

I think the following quote from the article expresses an important sentiment: "BYU is not — nor should it ever become — an LDS seminary experience. BYU is a facility for higher learning and the receiving of a genuine liberal education. Many Mormons who are pro-Cheney would prefer that no Democrats ever be allowed to speak at BYU. They have largely had their way when one reviews the disproportionate number of conservatives who have dominated campuswide speeches over the decades."

More evidence

Former CIA director George J. Tenet is about to publish a book that claims the Bush administration was looking for a fight in Iraq. Here's the story.

Why do I bring this up? Because I am suspicious as to whether the Executive Branch, the sole provider of pre-Iraq war intelligence, purposefully pushed to convince Congress to go to war.

Here is a site I found that has interesting information. While I fully acknowledge that the site is biased, the information provided can easily be corroborated with reliable, and less biased sources.

So, the question is: Does Mr. Tenet's word mean anything? If so, what will be the impact, if any? If not, why not?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The eye on Rove

I think it's important that media of all brands, even partisan media, show restraint in reporting and making comments regarding ongoing investigations. Most of us are aware of the potential impact media can have on criminal investigations.

Here is a story about the special investigations on Karl Rove and the current White House Administration.

I think this investigation is great! It will either exonerate Rove and the administration, or it will clearly show that the current White House has engaged in dishonorable political practices.

If it's the latter, as I suspect, I wonder how many will admit that they had misplaced their trust. It's really not important to me to hear those confessions, that would be prideful, but I would hope that it serves to create a more humble political atmosphere.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A dark day for America

I would like to encourage all members of the College Democrats, as well as all visitors to this website, to keep those involved in the Virginia shootings in your thoughts and prayers. May the Lord comfort the victims of this tragedy, be they students, faculty, family, friends, or the millions of sorrow filled hearts around the world.

Friday, April 13, 2007

All politicians smell fishy v. 2

The following is a portion of a story put out by CNN:
Here's an update on the story.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The White House "screwed up" by not requiring e-mails from Republican Party and campaign accounts to be saved and is trying to recover any documents that may have been deleted, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

The admission came after the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee accused the White House of trying to hide messages related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, which has stirred up a hornet's nest on Capitol Hill.

Congressional investigators have questioned whether White House aides used e-mail accounts from the Republican Party and President Bush's re-election campaign for official government business to avoid scrutiny of those dealings.

"You can't erase e-mails, not today," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. "They've gone through too many servers. They can't say they've been lost. That's like saying, 'The dog ate my homework.' " (Watch Leahy compare e-mails to Nixon tapes Video)

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters that the e-mails from those accounts should have been saved, but said policy has not kept pace with technology. She said computer experts were trying to retrieve any records that have been deleted.

"We screwed up, and we're trying to fix it," she told reporters.

For those unfamiliar with the context of this story visit this link which gives a brief summary on the controversy revolving around the firing of 8 republican U.S. attorneys.

I mention this issue as one example to contradict the occasions I've had to speak with those who believe the Bush administration to be a strong moral authority. While these conversations have been primarily with Latter-day Saints, there is a continuing propaganda republicans to appear to be on a high moral ground.

Luckily, six years of republican governance has disproved this pseudo-moral authority to nearly all except the 90% of LDS who voted to re-elect President Bush.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A level of gentleness

The New York Times has an interesting article about a former Bush confidant. It should be noted that while I am not a Bush supporter, I am not a Bush-hater which brings me to the title of this particular post.

The article is a puff piece about Matthew Dowd who, in 2004, was the President's chief campaign strategist. Who he is, and how he feels about issues is not the reason I reference him and the article. I bring him up because of his thoughts about "a level of gentleness" in American politics.

Anyone who has met me knows that I am always available for a good debate. There's certainly nothing wrong about being passionate about issues that affect the nation and society. However, time after time, I find that it's all too easy to become victim to the sin of pride, hubris. And, when this hubris is combined with politics we all suddenly seem to become less saintly.

Case in point, I think Jessica's most recent post to this blog was not taken in the spirit in which it was given. To me, the post seemed clear: She, like many of us, fell accustomed to the habit of stereotyping, and her post indicated a change of heart.

I also couldn't help but nod my head in agreement with JamesP's reply to Jessica's post about labeling. Enemies of the Church us the moniker "Mormon" to deride it. On the other hand many, including myself, wear that name with pride. But, regardless of the usage, that name cannot explain the deeply intricate details of a person's testimony.

Yes, I am a liberal, but I am much more. Blake is conservative, but he is much more.

Labels, as useful as they are, are probably best left to differentiate canned goods and food storage.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who maintains a gentle tone of voice on this blogsite. To those who continue to spread inane and hateful rhetoric: I'LL GET YOU! AND YOU'RE LITTLE DOG TOO!

Thoughts? Comments? Share.

Don't stop thinking about tommorow...

I would like to take this opportunity to say that I have had a complete ideological change of heart. Having examined the issues and candidates running in the 2008 Presidential election, I have come to the realization that there is only one choice in who will lead our country next.

I feel that the only rational choice for President would be Senator Hillary Clinton. Some may say that she is power hungry, verbally abusive to friends, family, and security details, and a southern carpet bagger who’s only interest in New York was establishing a Presidential springboard. But if they are willing to look beyond such trivial details, they would find something very special; a true 21st century woman with a heart of gold and a smile that could rain sunshine on a cloudy day.

Bringing the compassion that only a mother knows, she can lead our country through these difficult times of partisan division. Remember, anyone can care, but not everyone can Hillarycare.

Eight more years in '08!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Of Liberals and Conservatives

--cross-posted at my personal blog--

Does this blog title make any sense? Anyhow, for the past few weeks I have spent more time than usual with some Republicans. Though I live in Idaho, most of my friends and acquaintances are Democrats, a few are Socialists, and a few are independents. Unfortunately, this has made it far too easy to demonize Republicans. Without having multiple human faces to attach to the Republican ideology, I've caught myself, far too often, strongly disliking Republicans (except for family members and a few friends who I love and adore). I have forgotten that there are Republicans who care about the poor, who don't advocate torture, who are concerned that the War in Iraq was a big mistake, who aren't happy with George W. Bush, etc...and many of these Republicans I've spent time with even voted for some Democrats in November!

I've been thinking lately about a small transformation that has taken place the last few weeks as I've spent more and more time with some great Republicans. I've found myself less hardened-meaning when someone tells me they are a Republican, I won't automatically write them off as stupid, because many Republicans aren't stupid. Hell, I was a Republican for 21 years and while I feel that I am more informed, more mature, and more educated than I was as a Republican, many Republicans are far more informed than I, their maturity exceeds mine by leaps and bounds, and I can't even begin to approach their intelligence and education.

I guess what I've learned is that it is important that we try to surround ourselves with diversity. Not just a diversity of race/ethnicity, sex and gender, religious preference, sexual orientation, educational levels, socioeconomic status, and anything else we can imagine, but political beliefs.I've found this keeps me more honest, more focused and in a place where I continually analyze what I believe and why I believe it.

So, my Republican friends, I thank you.

"Mankind will endure when the world appreciates the logic of diversity."
Indira Gandhi

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lessons Learned While Fleeing Utah

First of all, to all those who love to make fun of my poor spelling and grammar, I again offer you a chance to contribute to the blog. Enjoy!

Second, this will be a fairly conservative post. To all the Democrats on this site, I try to not turn this into my personal conservative forum. But, from time to time I reserve the liberty to indulge.

I spent the weekend at a friends wedding, and due to the extended periods of driving involved, I had the opportunity to take a break from my daily routine and think about other things. I decided that (as Joe pointed out) since I haven’t written anything for sometime, I would give a few highlights here.

First, I don't think that Nancy Pelosi was a wise choice for Speaker of the House. When the Republicans won control of Congress, Newt Gingrich demonstrated effective leadership of the Party while in the minority does not necessarily translate to effective leadership when in the majority. While the Democrats had some success during their "first 100 hours", their recent actions are showing significantly less coordination and, quite frankly, leadership.

Last Friday the Washington Times published this article, detailing the internal confusion about the most recent piece of legislation concerning Iraq. Of course people make mistakes, not every Congressman can always remember every detail of a particular piece of Legislation. But this is a major piece of legislation with major policy implications, one would think that the Democratic leadership would have made sure that their members were both informed, and supportive of the Legislation. This little tirade raises the question: if they couldn't get a nonbinding resolution passed, how do they expect to pass the current bill to force a troop withdrawal?

I personally think that the Democrats in Congress are falling apart. Now that their campaign promises are out of the way, they are beginning to factionalize, and their majority is only significant if they vote as a block. With minimal effort the Republican's can block most of their legislation, and will continue to do so until the Democrats prove that they can function as a group. All of the conservative accusations that the liberals had no alternative plan, but were demanding change simply to demand it are being proven right. For some of us this is a good thing, but if the Democrats want to maintain their hold, they had better get their act together.

I was overjoyed to hear the news from Washington D.C. While the issue will be appealed, I was happy to hear of this victory for responsible citizens everywhere. I am of the personal opinion that any weapon short of landmines, rocket launchers, and chemical/biological/nuclear weapons should be legal for law abiding citizens to own and use. I hope the higher courts will uphold this preservation of rights, and strike down similar laws in other parts of the country (I'm looking at you San Francisco). Hopefully the aforementioned disorganization by the Democratic Congress will bring about a swift end to this little number.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Causes and effects of global climate change

There has been a change in this weeks meeting format. Bro. Holyoak will be speaking at 7:30 p.m. instead of 7:00. We will be meeting in the TAYLOR BUILDING room 130, rather than the MC.

This will be a great presentation. Please invite as many of your friends as possible!

Friday, February 23, 2007


Disregard my last post. I had googled this site to get to it, and for some reason it kicked up an old page with a bunch of peoples comments from last year. This is why I have Scott and Blake around, so that I don't make a fool of myself. The comments are fine; keep posting.

Again, check out the Darfur link.

The Intent of this Blog

About once a week, I try to log on to this site to see what individuals have been posting. Today, I saw what seemed to be a conversation in a chat room between a few fourth graders. Let me remind the few who sign in here that every effort is being made to increase our public image this semester. I and the rest of the BYU-I College Dems presidency are working overtime to try and get quality speakers, organized meetings, and good PR so that as the semesters roll on we will further the work of our group. If you don't have something to contribute to this effort, then, please, don't add impertinent, or, worse, regressive, commentary to this site. We are an organization for college students interested in intelligent politically debate. Let's act that way.

Now, to other things. I encourage everyone to go to the link above and check out what it has to say. We may be dedicating a meeting to this subject.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I received an email the other day from BYU-Idaho which stated that a Gay and Lesbian political organization would be staging an event at the university.

This is just silly.

The group's name is Soulforce and they made a similar visit to BYU in Provo last year. Suffice it to say, the news media reported that it was they, Soulforce, who caused a disturbance, NOT BYU. The following statement is from a recent edition of the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah's "liberal" newspaper:

Soulforce Equality Riders were allowed on BYU's campus last year to speak with students individually, but administrators warned they would be escorted away if they attempted to assemble and use the campus as a public forum.

Several Equality Riders let administrators know they intended to break school policies and subsequently were arrested for civil disobedience.

BYU administrators said Monday they will not allow a repeat performance.
I think it's incredibly disrespectful for them to set aside BYU's courtesy in allowing them to come onto campus. I think that their attempt at "civil disobedience" probably lost them ground instead of moving them forward. What are they trying to do?

As far as I know, neither BYU nor BYU-I holds anti-gay rallies. They don't teach hate or discrimination.

While I have some respect for the gay movement, the respect comes from the American mantra that people should be allowed to live their lives according to their own desires without fear of retribution. If the gay movement is asking for tolerance, why then, are they intolerant of religion? Soulforce's mission, according to their website, is:

[T]o open a dialogue about the painful consequences of discrimination and the religion-based prejudice that sustains it.
To me, this basically says, "To force a dialogue, by flouting rules and showing no respect, about how religionists are bigots." How can the gay and lesbian community ask for tolerance, while at the same time showing no respect for the way the way in which the religious community wishes to live? Plus, as a liberal Mormon, I'm offended at being called a bigot.

I'm a convert, and at no point has anyone asked me to be homophobic, bigoted, or discriminatory. In fact, I've been taught the opposite: I've been taught to love, to feel compassion for, and to treat all people the way I want to be treated. So, if this ethic is inherent in the Church, why is Soulforce coming? They are coming because we teach that homosexuality is a violation of God's plan for His children. We teach religious doctrine, not political activism. We teach people, that, if they believe the principles of our Church are true, then they have the choice to follow those principles — one of which is to live a heterosexual lifestyle.

I've been attending BYU-I for a while now, and it has been my experience that the vast majority of religion professors teach religious principles, not discrimination, hate or bigotry. Any experiences contrary are surely to be rare and in the minority.

Let me conclude this tirade: I'm not asking Soulforce to tolerate inequality, discrimination or hate. But, I do ask Soulforce to allow me to live my religion. Just as homosexuals feel that their sexual orientation is not something they practice — it is something inherent within them; my faith is who I am.

I won't trade my faith for their sexuality. I will gays and lesbians just as I treat hetero's, with a little 'bit of sarcasm and spite.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Slight Schedule Change

On Wednesday the 21st, we will be meeting in MC 375 instead of MC 320. We apologize for any inconvenience, but due to some scheduling issues and the extra time needed to show the film, our hands are tied in the matter. After the 21st we will be back to our normal meeting location in MC320.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Upcoming Meetings

Okay, I have some great news for the next couple of weeks. First of all, there is no meeting this coming Wed. (14th). That's not the good news. The good news is on Feb. 21st we'll be watching "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's documentary and on Feb. 28th Bro. Alan Holyoak will be coming to present "Current Effects of Global Warming." Bro. Holyoak is a member of the biology department and was the director for environmental studies at Manchester College for 10 years. Then, on March 7th, Bro. Stuart from the English department will present the topic of "Trends in Europe," a discussion about the direction in which Eurpoean politics is going. And on March 14th, Bro. Gerald Hanson from the PoliSci and Religion departments will host a discussion entitled "Geopolitics and Iran." So, mark your calendars, invite your friends, and we'll see you all at the College Dems!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Obama on Daily Show

I suppose this just goes to show how much self-control I have, but I couldn't help myself. Here it is:

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The poop is flying, will it hit the fan?

A CNN story reports that Hillary Clinton has announced her bid for the Presidency.

Let me admit from the start that I do not know a thing about Hillary Clinton. Let me also begin with the premise that I do not believe that her husband's presidency should be an automatic, overshadowing factor in determining her own merit.

However, I do know this: if she is nominated, she will be a lightening rod for all that is considered by conservatives as ultra-liberal — whether it is true or not. In my mind, Hillary, is less likely to receive conservative votes than any other democratic presidential candidate.

My main concern is another Florida 2000. I'm happy that the nation overwhelmingly elected a democratic congress. One of the reasons is because it was a "clear win". The nation wanted to move left and we did. But, the last two presidential elections have been less decisive. I trust the people, and I want a unified nation who clearly selects one person. No more of this 51 - 49 stuff. I'd like to see a clear presidential win, like during the Bill Clinton years and the Reagan years. I think it will be good for the country.

I'll keep an open mind to Hillary, although, my heart goes to Obama, John Edwards and Mitt Romney. I love these three candidates. They rock my world. I'm equally split between them. I'm excited to see what will happen.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

100 Hours Update

During the past election House Democrats advertised a "100 hour" laundry list of legislation they intended to enact as soon as they took office. Now, with 57 hours left on the clock (I had thought they meant 100 hours total, but apparently they meant 100 working hours) they are announcing the fulfillment of their promise.

However the Legislation still needs to make its way through the Senate. How long it will take and in what form they will emerge is still up for debate (get it? Debate? Ahh... my jokes are lame). I must admit though, I wasn't sure if it was going to fully come through, and certainly not in the amount of time it took them.

Fox news (a seven letter "four letter" word for many, yet I read it none the less) has an article about it, as well as some criticism about how things are being handled. It can be found here.

Living together

As a member of the Church in good standing I do not believe that unmarried couples should be doing anything that would lead them to breaking God's law of chastity. President and Sister Clark's inspiring devotional spelled it out simply. I felt the Spirit's touch as I read their talk (I'm currently in Portland and I was unable to attend).

However the following story has me conflicted. In this situation, I do not believe government should be telling folks how to live, yet, I believe EVERYBODY, Latter-day Saint or not, should be chaste.

On the other hand, I believe N. Dakota has a right to do what they want. If they don't want unmarried couples living together than they can enact a law — I would hope that it goes to a general vote however. In this case, the citizens of that state definitely need a chance to weigh in.

Any thoughts?

At heart, I feel this law infringes on a person's basic right to make decisions about their own life. Also, I believe marriage is a purely religious institution and the secularization of it takes away from its importance. People shouldn't get married just because the law tells them they should. They should get married because of their love for each other and their love for God. I don't think God cares for a couple who gets married just to legally live together and then get divorced when they're done.

Perhaps the ideal situation is to have government stay out of things, and to have individual citizens, churches and communities work with each other to create societal contracts.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Apparently we're cowards.

I found an interesting comment made by an anonymous source here.

I'm going to make a huge leap and assume this anonymous comment was made by a BYU-Idaho student. I'm going to make an even bigger leap and say it was made by a College Republican. If those two leaps are true, my assertion is this: it is this sentiment that causes needless friction and unkindness in society — and it can be seen everywhere.

On a different, yet related note: debates.

No, the BYU-Idaho College Democrats have not debated the BYU-Idaho College Republicans. We've received one invitation from the CR's more than a year ago for a debate which we refused and have not received one since. The Scroll attempted to host a debate, but was unable to put together the logistics of one in time.

I have mixed feelings about having a debate. More than anything, I do not want to deter from the stated mission of BYU-Idaho. I feel an obviously partisan debate at an unofficially partisan university has a higher possibility of deterring from its' mission. Of course, under ideal circumstances, this would not happen, ideally it would be an educational discussion worthy of an audience seeking an academic experience. However, and correct me if I'm wrong, I believe the more likely outcome is that it could become a contentious argument. I don't like that.

Nearly a year ago, I would have been completely against a debate. Today, under certain circumstances, I would be completely for a debate. But then again, it's not really up to me anymore.

To me, BYU-Idaho, with it's moral atmosphere and friendly spirit, has always been an ideal testing ground — to see if two fundamentally different political ideals can work together to produce something great. I'm not certain a debate could move us in this direction.

FISA takes action

As reported in 2006, the Bush administration secretly began monitoring both domestic and international phone calls under the terrorist threat rationale. This monitoring has been taking place, until recently, without warrants issued or court approval.

The Associated Press reported today that phone monitoring will now be monitored by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

What disturbs me is that the Bush Administration "gave" the power to the courts. Does this mean the Executive Branch can also "take away" that power? Can anyone shed some light on this?

I understand that in a democracy, there must be an inherent amount of trust — but to what extent? To me, the checks and balances created be the framers of the constitution, is a principle that must be preserved at all cost. Is this phone monitoring business another example of the Executive and Judicial branches becoming close bedfellows? Thoughts?

Monday, January 08, 2007

The state of things, part: 2

Previously, I wrote about a select few problems that the BYU-Idaho College Democrats need to overcome. Now, I offer a few solutions.

First, I believe the College Dems MUST be more bold. That is, they must be more forward and proactive about creating and advertising their solutions to the state's and country's problems.

Thus far, we have struggled to exist and be accepted. Now, forget about being accepted and simply show that we have a REASON to exist. I believe the BYU-I populace has just accepted and forgotten our existence, now we need to make sure that we are visible at all times. I suggest a week by week issue campaign. A different issue for every week. We should be so consistent that people begin to ask, "I wonder what the Dems are advertising this week."

I'm talking posters, flyers, discussions etc. Every week until the end of the semester should have a theme, and that theme should be executed to its fullest. We must be bold.

Second, I think we should bring things down a notch. We need to educate students and tell them why things are the way they are, how things will be and how things should be. Talk of national politics and world affairs is important, but if it doesn't mean anything to the casual voter it won't stick with them. Students have plenty to worry about, when we deliver a message, it needs to be simple, it needs to have urgency and it needs to encourage an action.

Lastly, I think it's time to start charging dues. I don't want to get into the details of how to do it, but I will say why:
  1. We need to put value on being a Democrat.
  2. It could cause members to feel that they are contributing to something good.
  3. It will help pay for expenses.
  4. It could increase commitment.
These are just a few solutions I had. What are your thoughts? Good spirited comments only please.

First Meeting of the Year!

The first meeting of the Winter Semester will be this Wednesday, 7:00 in the MC 320!

We will be conducting some minor business issues, and then be having an ideological compass activity. Bring yourself and a friend!