"Those who govern their thoughts and actions solely by the principles of liberalism or conservatism or intellectualism cannot be expected to agree with all of the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As for me, I find some wisdom in liberalism, some wisdom in conservatism, and much truth in intellectualism - but I find no salvation in any of them." - Elder Dallin H. Oaks, LDS Apostle
If you're not American, you may want to read this. Or you may not. It's a free country. Though technically that's irrelevant if you don't live here.
This is my little corner of the Internet where I'm free to rant about my beliefs and opinions while pretending to be articulate and witty. My web address is a matter of practicality, not pride. It saves the bother of trying to come up with something good and catchy, and at any rate the chances of someone else wanting to use it are slim. I know I'm no better than any of you - well, except maybe you and you there - but I just happened to create a website and name it after myself. No one's stopping you from doing the same. Well, I don't know, maybe they are. Tell them if they don't leave you alone they'll have to deal with me, and I have a green belt in tae kwon do. If they have a higher belt than that, you're on your own. Sorry.
(Before we go any further, if anyone has the issue of Crayola Kids magazine (now out of print) from the late nineties or 2000 that's all about space and aliens and stuff, please send me scans or sell me the magazine or something. I need it both for nostalgia purposes and my Alien Encyclopedia hobby. In other words, it's really important. Also if you were a purple-haired girl in the upper right corner of Michael Ballam's Creative Arts class at Utah State University in fall 2011 and I borrowed twenty cents from you to get a scantron sheet and never repaid you, get in touch with me.) I now return you to our regularly scheduled introduction.
The first thing you should know about me is that I'm blessed and proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormonism") and you can read my testimony here. I'm what some would call a "Liahona Mormon" (as opposed to an "Iron Rod Mormon") - I accept all the doctrines and principles of the Church and sustain all the General Authorities as God's chosen servants, but I'm also acutely aware of the imperfections that attend to any organization, however divine, and I have little patience with aspects of the culture that I deem ridiculous. I believe in an approach to our history that is faith-promoting but freely and fearlessly acknowledges controversial or awkward things without fear. I'm also open to the truths that are found outside the Church, in the fields of science and even in other religions. I try to embrace that which is good and true and reject that which is unnecessary and even harmful.
I dabble occasionally in apologetics, or defending the faith. I've read a lot about all the controversial issues in church history as well as the half-baked criticisms that can be found all over the Internet. (I created an entire page about the latter item.) I go into a few of both sorts of issues here, but usually I just link to the Foundation for Apologetics Information and Research (FairMormon) or some other such source. Apologetics has its pros and cons. It can be done well or done poorly. By definition it is not scientific, because its purpose is to give credibility to the truth claims of a certain religion, rather than seeking after any unbiased and unknown conclusion. And of course religion is not primarily based on evidence. But as long as its limitations are acknowledged, and apologists don't dismiss facts or logic in their zeal to make the Church look good, then it has its place in preserving and strengthening faith.
I'm a libertarian-ish fiscal conservative and social moderate. I believe there are usually better ways of helping the poor than having dozens of bankrupt government bureaucracies to support them indefinitely with other people's money whether they need it or not. That doesn't help most of them - it just traps them in poverty for generation after generation and motivates many people to be lazy since that's the easiest way to succeed. We need a safety net, not a hammock. Other methods which actually work would include, for instance, the Church's Perpetual Education Fund which helps people all over the world improve their lives without forcibly redistributing wealth or giving handouts. Incidentally, according to the book Who Really Cares by Arthur C. Brooks, greedy conservatives donate thirty percent more to charity than compassionate liberals, even though liberals make an average of six percent more. Oops.
And yet - one incident, with one of the first few people I actually showed this website to, gives me a sliver of hope for humanity. After browsing for a few minutes he said "Wow, you and I have very different beliefs."
I wasn't sure what to make of that. I said "Oh..."
He added quickly, "It's okay. I still like you."
What a novel concept!
Anyway, stuff here is divided by topic, as shown in the contents bar at the top of the page - politics and religion are separate (usually) and then there's just some other random stuff that I made, and then a bunch of articles about how messed up I am. To borrow a phrase from Stephen Colbert, you may not agree with everything I have to say, but at least you will come to understand that your differing opinion is wrong.
P.S. George Lucas gets a bad rap these days for messing around with his cherished classics, but I really empathize with his point of view*. Everything here is a work in progress and I've probably spent more time editing it than creating it, which include things such as changing two words on a page and then changing one of them back. It's also complicated by the fact that I've been creating this website over a span of years, so the pages can sometimes vary widely in terms of quality. (Insert your own quip about them all being equally low-quality here.) You can probably go to an Internet archive and see all the embarrassing and stupid stuff that I used to have written. (Insert your own quip about all of it being embarrassing and stupid here.)
*Except for making Greedo shoot first. He must have been senile and high when he did that. And he must still be senile and high because he supported Palpatine Obama.**
**Ironically, so did Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill. Oops, I get them mixed up sometimes because that's the only memorable role he's ever had.
If you want to stalk me, I'm on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, HubPages, StumbleUpon, Figment, Goodreads, Grooveshark, Soundclick, and LDS Match (don't judge me; I signed up at the beginning so it's free). I do virtually nothing on most of these platforms. If you add me on Facebook and we have no mutual friends and I have no idea who you are, I might say no, but you can still follow me. I'm good with that.