Friday, March 16, 2007


From the early days of Apple, I have been a great admirer of the genius of entrepreneur Steve Jobs. Until now...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Prehistoric Shark

The Japanese and the ocean. They go together. Japan was the only country able to keep whale sharks in a public aquarium for a decade or so. My girls saw the sharks in Hiroshima when they were small. Atlanta, GA tried recently but failed when the whale shark died a few weeks ago in the new exhibit. A team of Japanese marine biologist capture the mythical giant squid on camera through research, technology and luck.

Now a Japanese team of marine biologists capture a rare Deep Sea Frill Shark, a prehistoric shark never seen before. See it on video.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Which Party Do You Lean?

Saw this on a blog and couldn't resist taking it, even though it is 10-years old. I'm talking about the Kamber / O'Leary political quiz to see what part of the political fence one leans. I scored pretty close to what I figured - 26, with 0 being pinko liberal and 40 being caveman conservative. My score of 26 is a moderate conservative. According to the testers, it is right there by the president that I voted for and liked - Papa Bush.

I disagree with their picturing Reagan as a 40 though. 40 is for Pat Robertson.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Twin Hands of God

Here's a news story from the SL Tribune about a father in Cedar Hills, UT who lost eight of 11 in his immediate family, with his wife and two children the most recent to die on Christmas Eve, of all days. They were killed by a drunk driver. Talk about a Christmas rapture turned to sudden horror. I would be cursing Heaven. But not this father. And what incredibly profound thoughts slip out of this LDS father's lips in his moment of grief.
CEDAR HILLS - Three hearses paused outside an LDS chapel here, their presence all too familiar for a family that now had lost eight of its 11 members. The father, Gary Ceran, said he would not shake his fist at heaven, even as he mourned the loss of his wife and two children, who died when an alleged drunken driver plowed into their car on Christmas Eve. Ceran already had lost five other children - three to brain tumors and two to a premature birth. "Only the soul that knows the greatest grief can know the greatest rapture," the father said, his voice quivering as he praised God and testified to a funeral congregation of more than 600 people that his family would reunite after death. Still, the tears fell. "The only way to take grief out of death is to take love out of life," he said.
The concept of an eternal family unit seems to be of tremendous comfort to this Job-like saint. My prayer is that this father gets some of that rapture he speaks about sometime in this life, and not given right before the rug is pulled out or in the next life. It just may take a miracle dealt from the other hand of God.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

When Stubbornness in the Right Is Wrong

Some friends of mine think sticking to one's guns is the essence of great leadership in politics. I disagree.

The Vice President seems to think it is. Cheney told ABC's George Stephanopoulis that the election and public sentiment will not affect the administration's war policy; in other words, stubbornness in the "right". In an interview to be broadcast Sunday on "This Week", the VP said:
"It may not be popular with the public — it doesn't matter in the sense that we have to continue the mission and do what we think is right. And that's exactly what we're doing," Cheney said. "We're not running for office. We're doing what we think is right."
Cheney's headstrong full steam ahead no matter what happens does not exhibit good leadership qualities.

Even God bent to the political will of the people. Remember when the Israelites wanted the hip world of kings instead of judges? Wallah! After a political science lecture by God on why kings were bad, the people's wish was not only granted but also supported. Enter King Saul, who in turn was followed by the heavenly anointed King David.

Of course, the brilliance of our system is that our politicians are set up to be responsive to the American people. God cherishes our freedoms and liberties to choose. But even if it were conceivable that He did not, we'd still want our current system that is of the people, by the people and for the people.

A new congress may have to remind the Vice President how little a presidency can do without Congressional approval. At a minimum, congress has the purse strings and can literally stop the cogs of government from turning. Stubbornness in following what they think is right above what the American people might think ultimately has dire consequences for those in power. It's the beauty of the American system and its check on elitist thinking.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Well, we know this president did not invent the Internet or Google, although he may have invented the word "The Internets" and "The Google".

p.s. The prez doesn't use email either. He doesn't want the liability of a written email record telling him he was supposed to know something. But the rest of this video where he states that has now been pulled from all the sites some 2 months later. Shucks!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Tabernacle Pews Are Casualty of Facelift

I'm a history buff; and this quote about recent rennovations of the Tabernacle just caught my attention.

For Robert Charles Mitchell, a retired newspaper editor from Salt Lake
City who lives in Logan, the fate of the pews and the bank tower hit the “same
vein.” "It’s an issue of values,” he said. “We glorify our pioneers. We talk about their travails and bless their devilishly hard work. We laud them on the one hand and run roughshod over them on the other. We’re dishing up ersatz history and throwing away the real thing.”

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Corpse of Habeas Corpus

"All we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
The ease in which habeas corpus has been compromised is alarming. As the dear reader knows, habeas corpus is a concept that precedes our system of government by centuries, thanks to the British.

Habeas Corpus looking more like a corpse.

The Geneva Convention seems convened.

And Olbermann waxes poetic on both (Video - 8:42 min).

Christians Conned by GOP

"Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." - Matt 16:6
I don't trust the government to govern religion or to work with it. I want them to be hands off because I think they will just stir up a mess.

Part of my thinking might have to do with my own LDS background in which state governments and the federal government invariably got it wrong when it came to working with their Saint minority. From my viewpoint, they just didn't understand us.

And the fruits of their misunderstandings? Well, Missouri had its Extermination Order against the Saints; Illinois, its lack of civil protection and persecution; and later when the Saints fled to the West, the expanding Federal government was finally moved not to protect but to war against the Saints, enraged by the practice of polygamy and the fear that their new federally appointed civic leaders weren't being paid enough attention to. With religious help like that, who needs friends?

It is interesting to see how manipulative such seemingly religious-minded leaders can actually be -- or so says special assistant to the president David Kuo. Things are not always what they seem at the surface. This administration's faith-based iniatitives have felt and smelt to me like an elite group of political thinkers using religious leaders, who were so willing to be used. Now comes the latest revelations from Bush's #2 man in charge of faith-based initiatives on CBS' 60 Minutes.
Observes Kuo, "He [President Bush] wanted it [faith initiatives] to look good. He cared less about it being good."

Show with no intention of substance. Hmm, where have we heard of this before in the New Testament? It sounds so familiar.

While the administration wrapped themselves up in evangelical clothes and courted their leaders, secretly they were calling evangelical leaders nut-cases. These initiatives were all for show with subtle winks to get the religious voter base out for power -- "wonder working power" -- the evangelical ear-candy equivalent to "Come, Come Ye Saints".

What was it that P.T. Barnum supposedly said? Oh yea. "There's a sucker born every minute."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Nuclear Test in North Korea

North Korea finally tests nuclear bomb Sunday night while U.S. President sleeps
  1. U.S. continues 6 country negotiations, economic sanctions tightened but generally N. Korea continues on as a nuclear power
  2. As a result, regional nuclear arms race in the Far East among Japan, China, S. Korea and N. Korea heats up big time and fast! North Korean nuclear technology eventually leak to weapons buyers
  3. Or China steps in to end current N. Korean regime and establishes a friendlier communist government. In which case they position themselves as the military leader and power broker in Asia
  4. Or the U.S. steps in militarily in N. Korea with some help from its alliance with other countries - Japan, S. Korea, China, Russia - in order to stop the nuclear arms race in Asia, keep the balance of power and America's leadership position in Asia. (Bogged down in a land war in Iraq, the U.S. implements a draft to meet the needs of a new war?)
Prediction: Watch for a Republican bounce in the polls with the N. Korean threat heating up. Sorry Democrats. Americans will desire stability.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What Are We Willing To Become To Feel Safe?

Here's a YouTube video of the day on the practice of water boarding. The Wall Street Journal editorial board has declared that what we are watching below isn't even "close to torture." The SS were just deploying "alternative interrogation techniques."

Most of the interrogation techniques are top secret. Waterboarding is one of the few we know about.

Majority of Iraqis Now Approve of Killing Americans

  • 6 in 10 Iraqis Approve of Killing Americans
  • 7 in 10 Iraqis Want the U.S. Gone From Iraq Within a Year

Source: PIPA / University of Maryland Poll conducted by D3 Systems, Inc. Polling was conducted September 1-4 with a nationwide representative sample of 1,150 Iraqi adults.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Economist: Europeans Were Spectacularly Wrong

"A DECADE ago, Americans began a bold social experiment. In August 1996, Bill Clinton signed into law the bill that introduced “welfare to work”. From that point, poor families could no longer claim welfare indefinitely as an entitlement. Instead, parents had to find a job. The reform, controversial enough in America, was reviled in many parts of Europe. Its opponents said that welfare claimants, most of them single mothers, would be unable to find work. They and their families, it was argued, were being condemned to destitution. Ten years on, such dire warnings have been proved spectacularly wrong. America's welfare rolls have fallen by over half as existing claimants have found work and fewer people have gone on benefit in the first place."

ANALYSIS: Whatever Happens, Iran Wins

“Every obscene statement on the Holocaust, every suggestion that Israel will be eradicated, every assertion of the Natural Right to Nuclear Capability, every jab at the Great Satan, only cements his status as the megastar of restive, miserable, messianic Muslims.” -- Israel's Haaretz Newspaper

Monday, July 10, 2006

Temple Square is still top tourist draw in Utah

It looks like Temple Square is still the top tourist driver for Utah -- and it's not just Mormons coming here. People are genuinely curious about Mormonism.

That doesn't surprise me as much as this very candid comment about Temple Square from Deseret News, the church friendly newspaper owned by a corporation of the Church.

Like visitors to St. Peter's Square in Rome, people touring Temple Square should expect to find a church-sanctioned version of history. Don't come looking for a lengthy discussion of polygamy or a detailed explanation of the "Utah War" of 1857, when Mormon militia and federal troops engaged in a tense standoff.