"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." - Ronald Reagan, former U.S. President
"So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause." - Padmé Amidala, former Queen and Senator of Naboo
If you're not an American, read this first or directly afterward; whichever is more convenient.
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. To begin with, 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.
Second of all, 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" - 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 acknowledges controversial or awkward things when they're relevant. I'm also open-minded 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'm dabble a bit 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 constitute 95% of anti-Mormonism. (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. This is quite an interesting field but I warn my fellow Mormons that it can become a real time-suck and can sometimes make one lose sight of what's really important, i.e. living the gospel and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Even worse, it's easy to grow prideful and contemptuous and do it wrong.
I'm a fiscal conservative and social moderate. I don't hate the poor; I just think there are better ways of helping them 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 at all - 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, but what we have is a flipping hammock. Other methods which actually work would include, for instance, my church's Perpetual Education Fund which helps people all over the world improve their lives without handing things to them on a platter. The government has nothing analogous to that.
I strive to avoid unnecessary political correctness at all costs. Jesus Christ was never politically correct, and paid with His life for that, so who am I to ignore a role model like Him? (I'm not, unlike Jim Wallis and similar clowns, using Jesus to endorse my views, but merely drawing a comparison.) Sometimes I mock liberal beliefs, or at least caricatures of liberal beliefs, but that's only to keep what little sanity I have. Better to laugh than fume I say. Maybe no one else will laugh, but I can live with that.
Besides these things I'll tell you all about the challenges and problems I've had in life. They aren't the worst, not by a long shot, but they've been and sometimes continue to be very difficult. I share them not to complain (although a trace of bitterness may creep into my writing now and again) but to give others hope and support through their own trials, insofar as I can. God has told me that's one of my roles in life, and after the initial disgruntlement I've now gladly accepted it. If anything I have to share gives even one person a reason to carry on, it will have been worth it.
Sometimes I try not to be offensive and sometimes I don't care. You have no constitutional right to not be offended, but I don't use that to justify deliberately being a creep. Here's a good guideline: if you're upset because you don't agree with me, grow up. If you believe in abortion for convenience, grow up. If you hate Mormonism, reconsider your life and find something less futile to do (like these guys). Or validate me by sending hate mail. I'm sure some people I know will be alienated by this site, but I've already alienated dozens of "friends" by daring to express my opinions or just not being normal, so I don't care anymore. William F. Buckley Jr. was right when he said "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."
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 - so anyone worried about being offended should avoid whichever part of the website is likely to offend them. (Or they could just grow up, but I'm trying to be nice.) 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.