Archive for category Mormon LDS

the UN, NATO, and the trip-wire

I’m so sorry to write this missive as a lead article (for 15 minutes) but I don’t remember how to find the comments and respond to them. The lonely little side-bar response to my article I’ve not seen, except for half a sentence. It seemed to be saying that the old days are gone now, and so we need NATO and the JN. I agree. With NATO, it is the trip-wire provision that we go to war, automatically if any NATO nation is attacked, regardless of who the attacker is. This takes not only the United States Congress, but the president, as Commander in Chief, from the decision to go to war. I support both the UN and, if handled correctly, NATO. But President J. Reuben Clark and I oppose the automatic going to war. Just like the fools, the ancient general staffs of all sides in WW I. No one wanted that war. There was no Adolph Hitler in that war that destroyed the entire 20th century. Better to have shot the general staffs, who came to deserve exactly that. What President Clark called for, and I, are what the United States has always done, before NATO. That is, to have treaties of peace and friendship with our allies and then, should hostilities commence, such treaties would call for all parties to go to war, or not, as their constitutions provide. In this way, we don’t declare war against a nation, and surely all the people, have not yet been born. How, pray tell, do we justify going to war against, and for, people not, or no longer, live on earth. With a few caveats, ditto for the UN. No provision of law allows the UN to overreach Congress in the decision for war or peace. For anyone interested, read my book with the late Francis Wormuth, To Cain the Dog of War. It is by odds the best book ever written on the way we go to war. Every single war we’ve ever fought, including our wars against the Indian tribes, is there analyzed. Francis did not live to see this book in print. I worked two years after his death to finish it. And I updated it 4 or 5 times, alone. I still put my dear friend’s name first, because I am honored to be linked, now, forever. Something like Mormon marriage through time and eternity. ed firmage xoxo

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The War Power, The Sergeant, the Senator: Treason or Heroism

The Sergeant who some years ago left his post in that unnecessary and unwinnable war in
Afghanistan is either a hero, a traitor, or just a terribly young man in the wrong war at the wrong time. He spent terrible years of torture and probably said things he didn’t really mean.

Some years ago in Vietnam, Senator McCain was shot down over Vietnam, another unconstitutional war, and equally unwinnable war, confessed repeatedly to things he later recanted, once safely in the United States, and is, quite rightly regarded, despite his confessions to American war crimes, a hero. The two cases are not quite completely on all fours, as we say in the law. But the similarity is sufficient to compare with each other and with the undergirding of law.

Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, who are visited by war, either their own or, like Obama, inherited from another (in Obama’s case two other) fools who preceded them, have always had this power. While not yet president, and without this act may well not have become president, Ronald Reagan communicated with Iran, telling them, in effect, just to refuse to deal with Carter on releasing our citizens from the U. S. Embassy in Iran, and await his presidency. Their deal (which killed Jimmie Carter’s hope for a second term and by the way was treason, meriting a firing squad.)

The 30, 60, 90 day notification of Congress is also unconstitutional, but not for the reasons the Republicans and Democrats alike, trumpet. Saint Paul, as I recall, said “this trumpet has an uncertain sound.” And I know he said that some leaders have “zeal without knowledge.” This is Republican and Democratic leaders on steroids, just like my former wife.

The reason the War Powers Act is unconstitutional is not what is now said by either Republicans or Democrats, as I told Joe Biden when he was both Minority Senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and when he was chair. I testified before his committee a few times, and he called me at the law school sometimes to chat about this. The reason is simple. Due to both a few but very senior Democrats and almost all Republicans, Congress forced the Demo’s to give the president 30, 60, or 90 days to play with Congress’ army while he picked his nose. War has not been officially declared since FDR did it in WW2. George Bush (the first) and Colin Powell, in my opinion, got it right, constitutionally, by voting 50-50 in the Senate, and then the Dark Lord, Vice President Cheney, broke the tie and we went to war in Iraq the right way by law; and they had the smarts to stop when their limited mission was accomplished. And until this time, the President, as Commander in Chief, has no constitutional power to use the United States armed forces, save self-defense.

In the Framers’ mind that means only when the United States of America, not our allies, are attacked. For Utahns, the reason J. Reuben Clark, my hero and a great patriot, a rock-ribbed Republican who served under many Republican presidents, served variously as chief legal adviser to the Department of State (then, as an deputy Attorney General on loan from Justice to State,,,,,,now called Legal Adviser to the State Department; and Vice Secretary of State, and Ambassador to Mexico; and advised many presidents between world wars one and two, on all arms control treaties between those to dreadful wars) opposed NATO was because it delegated the war power to a generation not yet born and for the defense of people, and nations, not yet born. Neither the United Nations (Korean War) nor NATO (Ukraine?) can declare war for the United States of America. This is the statement of law, the War Clause, that makes this beyond debate. Remember, that it is also the sole right of Congress: not the President of the United States, nor NATO, nor the United Nations, that decides what constitutes International law, as well. So, both Constitutional Law and International Law, save an attack on the United States, inform us that Congress, not the president or these international bodies, who determines for war or peace.

So screw the people and the Congress and president now living. When the president, any president, has this army to use, that army will never return to Congress’ care. This is unconstitutional because it is an illegal attempt to delegate to the President a plenary power, given exclusively, textually, to the Congress. Like the power over interstate commerce (the road by which most civil rights legislation is constitutional), along with the equal protection and due process of law clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments. It’s as if Congress were to say to Obama, “Say, friend, we’re so damned tired of life in Washington, despite the cherry blossoms, we will do what the Supreme Court does, and reconvene when good weather returns. We’re going to go to Balboa Island, California, where it’s nice and sunny, in ocean or on the beach, and pick our nose and scratch our butts. And better yet, we have one in eight chances not to pick both with the same finger. Even though we’ve proven, time out of mind, that we in Congress cannot chew gum and pick our nose, simultaneously (a great blessing). So, pres., you now have the taxing and the spending power, and we’ll sweeten the loaf by throwing into the pot, since you do have to stick around in this shitty weather, and give you the power also to fund and provide for the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy. And don’t sweat it about financing things by the provision in the Constitution that spending bills begin in the House. Since you already have the taxing and spending power, do all this in the White House. P.S. please instruct the Treasury Department to deliver our checks, our salaries, and all the REALLY big bucks from the armaments industry and all those other lobbyists. We really have earned this right by selling our souls to the devil. Have a good life.

I say that both Senator and Soldier are bona fide heroes. Ed Firmage xoxox

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None of us should be surprised Wasatch High Officials are a bunch of sexist prudes

I suppose in all fairness, we should probably acknowledge that girls in small town Utah are all sluts. And in digitally altering their photos to make their clothing appear modest, school officials are actually doing them a favor so their slutdom won’t be memorialized. Right? Seriously? Amirite?

The contretemps over Wasatch High School’s decision to alter girls photos has gone national and as with many such stories out of Utah, has served to make the entire state look like a bunch of pearl-clutching prudes. Honestly, school officials should have known there was no way this would turn out well and have not done it in the first.

The free-range morons who run Wasatch High School have defended their decision to edit the photos. Their defense would be hilarious if it weren’t obvious that they’re serious about it. Their argument is that students were warned they should not violate dress code and photos might be edited – and that they feel bad it was inconsistently done. In other words, “Why won’t all you sluts shut up and stop causing trouble?”

The editing involved adding sleaves to sleeveless tops, removing tattoos and adding necklines that the bluenoses think are more fitting. Of course the whole sorry affair is about nothing more than slut-shaming and double standards. It’s about a religious culture that tries to convince girls to cover up lest they inflame male desire. It’s about a cult of modesty that distrusts women and disdains female sexuality. It’s about a double standard that says it’s women’s job to control male sexuality by not doing anything that might possibly make people think women are sexual beings.

That photos of boys weren’t edited at all is no surprise. Of course there’s a double standard at work. Of course it’s sexist. The problem with the girls’ outfits is entirely in the minds of school officials who deemed them too sexy, not in what the girls were wearing or what their tattoos said.

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BYU-Idaho Anti-Fapping (Maybe) Video Goes Viral

You can view the view here on BYU Idaho’s student life youtube channel (most places you try to embed or play it, you get the message it’s been removed due to copyright claims by BYU Idaho).

The video was widely mocked online.

This morning, The Deseret News published an article discussing the video (which is why I included the “maybe” in my headline):

Time.com tried to clear up the misperception that the video was a “war on masturbation” by publishing a lengthy Q&A with BYU-Idaho President Kim Clark on Thursday. The piece includes a long description of LDS doctrine.

“Neither my talk nor the video has anything to do with masturbation,” Clark said. “There’s nothing in the video or in my talk about that. We were really focused on addictions, pornography, things that are really damaging spiritually to people.”

Between Clark’s “church voice” commentary, the imagery and the apparent anti-masturbation message, the video plays into widely held perceptions of Mormons as painfully earnest, prudish and a bit naive.  Of course it went viral.  It reinforces cultural stereotypes about Mormons and Mormonism.  The serious tone, the painfully earnest church voice commentary by Clark, the obsession with sexuality, even the clearly well meaning purpose of the video plays into stereotypes of Mormons.  It’s all there.

It’s also another example of the cultual chasm between the culture of the faithful in the Mormon corridor and the rest of America.

I’ll turn the floor over to the cult of Dusty so he can offer insightful and foul-mouthed commentary:

 

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This is a Real Facebook Post

I post this as a classic example of how the right-wing has hacks the most blunt, vulnerable minds.

John Edwin Jackson

An actual real FB post

John Edwin Jackson
Would you believe this: A movement rises to strip free speech from corporate America, to take the right to speak from PACs and churches and businesses and any other group that is an “artificial entity.”

They would take away free speech — one of the most basic of all human rights — and they would do this right here in America.

The startling thing, to me, is that the movement is winning in so many ways. The startling thing, to me, is that I run into so many people who agree with them. The startling thing, to me, is that while this issue has hardly caught the public’s eye, when it has, people are buying in with it.

The startling thing, to me, is that (if I’ve been told correctly) Montana’s voters have passed legislation calling on leaders to push for a constitutional amendment stripping free speech from corporate America. A citizen’s initiative also passed in Colorado, but it called only for corporate campaigning limits, not actually stripping free speech altogether from corporations. California is considering putting an initiative on the ballot. Voters in about 175 local entities have passed initiatives calling for amending the Constitution, and the governing bodies, themselves, of about 350 local entities have passed measures pushing for a constitutional amendment.
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Claiming Abstinence, LDS, Idaho, Republican Senator Mike Crapo Arrested for Drunk Driving

We are no longer surprised when a Republican politician who claims superior virtues and morality, fidelity or religious conviction turns out to be a hypocrite.

The steady parade of Republican hypocrites remind us of our differences. We pedestrian scum (Democrats) claim to hold no high ground in the realm of personal purity. In stark contrast, Republicans to the person, bathe in self-righteous claims of moral superiority.

Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) mug shot

Mike Crapo mug shot

No doubt, Republican apologists will invoke Lewinski or Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick in a feeble effort to distract us from the hypocrisy. Its all they’ve got. But neither Clinton nor Kennedy associated himself with the lofty moral high ground claimed by their Republican counterparts. Neither man was elected under such an absurd premise. And we Democrats cherish the Founders intention that we be free to elect “scumbags.” The Founding Fathers knew self-professed moral angels were likely to disappoint.

Ever since Karl Rove convinced the Republican Party to grab its collective ankles before the alter of the Evangelical Christian Right, Republican politicians have rushed to the public podium to loudly and publicly declare themselves proprietors of an impossibly high “moral” standard. The result is serial oneupsmanship among Republicans at every level of office and a predictable train wreck of hypocrisy.

For Mike Crapo, being a Republican AND a Mormon AND a drunk is a double whammy made all the worse coming on the heels of Mitt Romney’s ass whuppin’. No one will be surprised when we find Willard slumped by the side of the road soaked in his own urine. Such is the state of today’s Republican party a.k.a. The Clown Barkers’ Carnival.

The AP reported this story

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A Romney Supporter Reported Me To Facebook? I Am Blocked for 7 Days.

Anyone can report anyone on FaceBook for a violation of their ‘Community Standards.’Facebook gave me a 3-day timeout for suggesting to Tagg Romney that “Obama would pummel your pasty White trash face” had he elected to “take a swing at him.”  It could be fairly construed as over the top in the hypocritical world of LDS Republican Politeness Enforcement. But the 7-day time out I got for my comment on a Utah Clean Politics post suggests Facebook has a serious problem.

Facebook censorship or whiny Republicans or both?

 

To be clear, this action was initiated purposefully and without cause by the same sort of person who finds nothing wrong with the voter suppression going on across the red states with a vengeance. Republican behavior is shameful.

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Obama Is a Muslim and An Atheist or Why Repubicans Suck. This Should Scare You.

This one is a winner. This is why America is deteriorating. Republicans are uninformed, vacuous people.

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Is a candidate’s religion relevant?

And if so, in what ways?

In 2008, Republicans did everything they could to make Barack Obama’s religion an issue.  Fox had 30 seconds of Jeremiah Wright on endless loop for ages.  This year, with Mitt Romney’s candidacy we’re apparently not supposed to talk about religion at all.

There’s a video making the rounds which purports to have been secretly filmed inside a Mormon temple during the secret ceremonies.  I’ve watched the video and it seems entirely consistent with what I’ve heard about those ceremonies.  OTOH, I’ve never actually gone through Mormon temple ceremonies so I can’t vouch for its accuracy.  As a non-Mormon the rituals certainly seem daffy.  A hand comes through a veil, you grasp it a certain way and you answer a question, then grasp it another way and answer another question and so on.

Watching the video, the whole ritual seemed more than a bit daffy to me.  But then I’m an inveterate skeptic and am subject to the church giggles at almost given moment in almost any worship service.  I recognize that faithful Mormons take these rituals very seriously.  The formal language, the gradual initiation into spiritual mysteries, the process by which previous initiates welcome new comers are serious and profound to the faithful.  Mormon theology and mysticism seems structured around a similar pattern of advancing through a series of initiation, each leading into deeper knowledge of the spiritual mysteries.  On the site I first saw the video, the headline read “Mitt Romney Believes in This.”  Which brings me to the question I find myself pondering – is a candidate’s religion relevant?  And if so, in what ways?

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Black President Pulls Rope a Dope on Rich White Guy “Please Proceed Governor” or …Obama Punks Romney

Next time someone says to you, “Please proceed Governor,” check yourself. If you are Romney and that someone is a Black man, STFU.

Someone on Team Liar needs to be fired….after Romney.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The full transcript of the remarks is online, but of particular interest was the president’s vow of “justice” in Libya.

“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” Obama said. “Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

The president made no reference to the campaign, politics, or his domestic opponents.

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Except for Rush Limbaugh, ALL the Top Republicans Shills Have Broken Ranks With Mittens Rmoney

We are witnessing the end-days of the GOP. R.I.P.

The question becomes, who will win the final battle; the racist Religious extremists, the racist Tea Baggers or the tired old-guard racist Republicans?

Stay tuned…

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How Many Children Are Being Indoctrinated into Bigoted Christian Doctrine

Update: TMZ is reporting this took place in the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Greensburg, Indiana.  Sure looks like the same pastor.

I think this appalling video reflects just how ugly organized religion can get. We’ve seen it throughout history. No Judeo-Christian religion is immune.

 

That it is happening now in THIS country is very much motivated and inspired by the the GOP/Bush/Rove decade of an unrepentant appeal of God, Guns and Gays.

At this point, I see little difference between American Evangelism and Muslim extremism. Christians persecute gays in America still today, as they do in Muslim countries…and obedient crowds cheer.

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