Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Salt Lake Photographic Print Society

Tree ShadowI crashed a meeting of the Salt Lake Photographic Print Society. This group promotes art photography. Their meetings feature a stream of the best photography in Salt Lake. This is the type of group that I like. It is filled with people intensely interested in the images around them. The meeting was in the Sugarhouse Park garden center. The speaker was a Mr. Tom Szalay who teaches at West High School and who has traveled the world as a photo journalist. I took a few shots of Highland High.

Exclamation PointPrior to the meeting, I pointed the camera at Coco and got a few shots of her playing frisbee. I wish I could move as fast as a dog.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood CanyonI finished labeling the pictures I took from Big Cottonwood canyon. I had had major problems with servers last month which pretty much prevented me from labeling or making improvements on the site. I will be out taking new pictures this week. Hopefully, it won't take half a year to label the bad boys.

I would appreciate input on whether or not the galleries have too many pictures. My original idea was to take about dozen picture of a subject. A place like Big Cottonwood is filled with some many interesting subjects that I go snapshot happy. Of course, having multiple angles of a subject does provide information. Comments from people are always appreciated. (Comments from spambots are never appreciated.)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Roots of Radicalism

The word “radical” means digging down to the roots. As such, there will be a large number of different interpretations of the meaning radical. I read a few other sites vying for the keyword “radical.”

Many of the sites keying in on this word seem to be applying derivatives of Marx’s Material Dialectic to respective avenues of thought. The basic idea is that you use clever little tools like redefined terms and paradoxes to drill down to core conflicts of a subject.

The various things I read on radical education theory seem to be about raising class and political conscious so that the students will be more violent when they get older. Radical theories of labor want the workforce to become more violent. Radical Islam wants to magnify divisions between Islam and the West, etc..

This is in sharp contrast to what I think needs to be done. I think societies need to look at the core assumptions of their body politic and make sure that they are well defined and logically consistent.

When radicals look at the roots of a system, they want to find flames to fan so that they can ride the hot air into power.

Our great problem is that this modern approach to radicalism only knows how to tear down. It does not know how to build. Even worse, since radicals are trained to attack at the root level (the foundations) one can never even build any thing of substance on an idea, as the millions of termites trained in our Universities will exercise their dialectical skills to tear it down. Half way through any project, radicals will jump in and change the meaning of the terms in the debate.

This modern radicalism is one of our major problem of the day. Currently our education system teach methods on how to tear things down. (They call this critical thinking). Seems to me that the better approach is to teach people how things work, so that they can build on the stuff in place. In my opinion critical thinking starts by taking the effort to understand the people and processes currently in place. The critical thinker should then work to define those things that lead to benefit and those that do not, and should then work to preserve things that lead to benefit and find ways to mitigate problems.

In the classical view, critical thinking should be leading toward improvement. The modern radical definition of critical thinking (with all its paradoxes and conflicts) leads only to destruction. It is incapable of building, for any system half constructed on a system of paradox will be torn to the ground by the next avant-garde troop of thinkers.

Anyway, by digging down to the roots of radicalism, we might gain some clue to this strange process that is currently tearing the world apart.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Radicalizing Kith and Kin

It seems to me that Radical Christians and Radical Muslims can be as bad as each other. I used to fall of the idea that since the radical forms of these ideologies are bad, that there must be something inherently wrong with both the Christian and Muslim religion.

Today, I realize that the problem is with radicalization.

Modern radicalization seems to come from the Kantian/Hegelian train of transcendental philosophies. This methodology digs down into a tradition or philosophy and brings out the core conflicts and paradoxes of the ideology. Demagogs inflame the conflicts and rise the storm to power.

The kicker is that you can use these revolutionary techniques to create division and violence in almost any field. For example, radical environmentalist are willing to kill loggers to appease the conflicts faced by gaia. Socialism and communism will produce armies of thugs willing to beat people up, kill and rob in the name of economic justice.

Radicalization is the process of digging up conflict and making conflict the center of existence.

To get around the great conflicts that are tearing apart our society, we have to get back to the place where we can engage in real meaningful discourse. Unfortunately, most of us have been taught foundational systems of reasoning that magnify division.

I was trying to light on this issue of foundational systems based on paradox in the Critique of the Diagonal Method. Of course, I realized that in writing that work, I have never learned proper discourse myself. Modern mathematics is based on paradoxes and conflict, but I have no way other that petty little jabs to point out the problem. The jabs fall on deaf ears.

In school, and the business world, I been taught that reasoning is futile. What you have to do is form alliances and take cheap shots at your enemies. Cheap shot discourse leads to nothing. It magnifies the conflicts of radicalism and does not lead to the optimum solutions that we would have if we had discourse. The cheap shot style of discourse that we engage in today leads to a situation where the worst people get in power. Even worse, those in power start to disengage from the people.

I agree that Muslim, Christian and other forms of radicals pose a threat. Unfortunately, the cheap shot style discourse of today that we think will wave off the radicalization simply feeds the process.
I understand the stink du jour is that Rosie O’Donnell noted that radical Christians can be as bad as radical Islam. Ms. O’Donnell is partially right with this statement; however, I suspect that she was putting the emphasis on the wrong word. If Ms. O’Donnell was educated in the same public school system as me, she probably learned that religion is the greatest threat to humankind. As such, she was probably repeating the left wing mantra that Christianity is as bad and that the only way to have prosperity is to wipe Christianity, Islam and other religions out of existence.

Now, I say that Ms. O’Donnell’s statement is also partially true. The key to her sentence is not Christianity or Islam, but radicalism. Anything that it radicalized poses a great threat to society.

Radicalization is not restricted to religion. The world has suffered from philosophies that have radicalized economic class, ethnic group, education systems and religion.

Different groups are more susceptible to radicalization. In this regard, it may be fair to say that Islam (at least in this point in time) is more susceptible to radicalization than Christianity. For example, when Pat Robertson suggested doing in Hugo Chavez, Christians were first in line to censure the idiot.

Sometimes the force that radicalizes a group comes from the outside of the group. In the case of Communism, workers were radicalized by “avant guard” members of the intelligentsia. That is, communists were trained in the Universities and other elite institutions, then they went into the workforce to raise people in revolution.

In the case of Nazism and Fascism, a core pagan cult managed to raise the nationalistic pride and religious pride to the point where a very large portion Italy and Germany were radicalized. Here it is important to note that not all Christians fell for the bull spouted by the intelligentsia. A great deal of the intellectual class fell for it.

There is a large number of people, some working in the university, some playing the role of pundits, etc.., who would love to be part of that catalyzing, revolutionary force. These are the people who I fear most.

It seems to me that the faddish side of American culture is that part of our country that is most susceptible to radicalization at this moment. Christian culture (with its strong emphasis on truth, tradition and individual morality) is a tad less susceptible. In WWII people from the Christian tradition were radicalized, however, I think that bad experience made they wary of other radicalization movements. I’ve met many people who claim to be Communists. They want to be the avant garde of the next revolution. They spend time trying to figure out ways to radicalize people to turn people away from Christianity. This leads me to think that, despite its many faults, Christianity might be a stabilizing force.

I admit, I’ve wonder if the bizarre logic of Mormonism and its hierarchical structure make it more susceptible to radicalization. However, I think the struggles of the last decades to stifle Mormon fundamentalism makes the group a little less susceptible to radicalization.

Ms. O’Donnell is right in saying that radical Christians can be as big and nasty a threat as radical Muslims. The radicalized Hutus killed Tutsis by the hundreds of thousands, radicalized immigrants could pose a threat to the US. A radicalized education system could pose a threat to the well being of this nation. Radicalization is the problem and not base stable philosophies or religions.

Dictionary.com lists two definitions for radical. The first means going back to its roots. A second definition means “marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional.” Radicalization generally has elements of both. Radicalization usually starts when a small group claiming to bringing an idea back to its roots. The radicals end up leading people in a completely different direction from their tradition. People wanting to maintain civil discourse and civil order do need to be wary or radicalization efforts.

Some philosophical ideologies have division at it core. A large number of the transcendental style of thinking that popped up in the post Kant world do just this. In most cases, however, the division is created by the process of radicalization.

I think I will expand this thought in a different post.

As for the case of Ms. O'Donnell, the furor over her comment highlights the dangers that exist when you attack people, as opposed to attacking the processes that turn people to extremism. We need ways to talk about the dangers that we see around us.

I am suddenly thinking back to Bush's use of the words "Islamic Fascist." This juxtaposition of the term Islam with the western term "fascist" does a great job of noting that the extremist philosophy held in the middle east is not uniquely Islam. Extremism is a danger faced by both the west and middle east.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Islamic Fascism

Russ Feingold attack is that that Bush should not use the term "Islamic Fascism". (MSNBC. Personally, I this adjective noun combination is extremely apropriate in context of modern debate.

The reason I like the terminology is that the adjective noun combination emphasizes that the problems happening in Iran are not coming from Islam. What is happening is that people are perverting the Islamic faith for a fascist end.

I think Saddam Hussein could accurately be called an "Islamic Stalinist". He had scores of books on Stalin. He idealized Stalin and he adapted Stalinistic techniques to an Islamic nation. Hussein even went as far as to have his security guards trained in East Germany.

Iran has a strong fascist element. During WWII, the Nazis had people in the country training them in fascist propaganda techniques. Allaytollah Khomeini learned revolutionary theory (Marxist Dialectic) in France. After his revolution, he set up a nationalistic nation state that used many of the same techniques as the communists and fascists of the west.

Apparently, what Bush is hoping to do in both Afghanistan and Iraq is to give these Arab nations an opportunity to set up Islamic democracies. Bush seems to understand that such democracies must be defined by the Islamic people. As a result, Bush has allowed for great leaway in the way that things are set up.

The theory behind using terms like "Islamic Fascism" is that the Islamic world is gripped in the same ideological struggles of the West. In my opinion, the use of adjective/noun combination does a great job of saying that the enemy we are facing is not Islam.

Feingold remark is that Muslims are too stupid to understand the use of modifiers. They read the adjectic/noun combination "Islamic Fascist" as the proposition "Islam is a Fascist religion" or that "Muslims are fascists."

Here is a quote from the MSNBC article: Feingold said: "We must avoid using misleading and offensive terms that link Islam with those who subvert this great religion or who distort its teachings to justify terrorist activities,"

That is exactly what the adjective/noun combination "Islamic Fascists" does. It is saying that the people spreading hate in the Islamic world are essentially fascists who are using Islam for evil purposes.

This was a very poor argument on the part of Feingold.

Webster defines fascism as: "a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."

The Islamic world has the problem that a group in their country are trying to establish an autocratic state by exalting their race and an idealized Islamic state over the individuals.

Much of the philosophy of the modern jihadist religion can be traced back to infiltration of Nazis. Many of the Islamic leaders

Politicizing 9/11

Apparently, the wanks way up in the Democratic Party have decided to try and increase the divisions in this nation by accusing the Bush Administration of politicizing 9/11. The argument is that 9/11 is a sacred thing, and that including words of support for the troops in Iraq in 9/11 sullies this sacred event. (Fox News. These are the words to which the Democrats object:

"Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone. They will not leave us alone. They will follow us. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad."

This Democrats claim that such words don't belong in a 9/11 address is bogus. Harry Reid and the wanks at the head of the Democratic party are trying to create division by projecting their intentions on the president.

"Bush's saying that we must stay unified in our efforts in Iraq is an attempt at maintaining." Harry Reid's babble is the disunifying speech.

The whole notion behind the Democratic argument is absurd. 9/11 is not a sacred event. Asking people to support American troops in times of war is not a divisive act.

For those who've studied progressive political theory (i.e., Marxism). The 9/11 attacks were a thing called a "praxis". A praxis is an action taken to precipitate a chain of political events. A praxis is an inherently political act. As a political act it calls for a political reaction.

The neocons in the Bush administration have studied Marxist theory along with the rest of us. They looked at the terrorist act. They knew that the worst possible reaction to a praxis is to let the praxis drag the nation into a mode of action and reaction.

The Bush Administration decided that any reaction to the praxis would be decisive. Above all, Bush had decided that he would not let the revolutionaries choose the battlefield.

I disagreed with the decision to invade Iraq. I felt both in 2003 and today that the invasion was a mistake. However, I also understand the logic. In 2003, Bush chose to make Iraq the battlefield. When Bush chose the battlefield, it became the battlefield. That is the way the world works. Our political system puts the decision to chose the battlefield in the president's hands.

The ongoing effort by Democratics intellectuals to deny that Iraq is the battlefield is an act to undermine our nation in a time of war.

I felt in the invasion was a mistake. I have openly said this hundreds of times. The fact that Bush did something that I disagreed with does not mean that I should actively work to sabbotage the efforts undertaken by Bush. We are but three years into a process that really requires a decade. The Bush Adminstration has done a superb job of accelerating the development of a democracy in Iraq. We are doing things right like training Iraq troops and security officials before putting them in action. Bush is smart for avoiding deadlines, while maintaining an accelerated pace for transitioning control to the Iraqis.

The biggest problems is that political concerns outside Iraq have been pushing for sectarian division to make the American efforts a failure.

I don't like Bush and Rumsfeld makes my stomach crawl, regardless, I think Bush is correct to call for support of American troops during a 9/11 speech. 9/11 was a praxis. By both definition and intent the event was a political act. The destruction of the world trade center was not a sacred event as Democratic leadership contends. It was an act of thugs who've studied progressive revolutionary theory and killed people in a quest for power. The fact that a president is trying to use the anniversary of this praxis to support the troops fighting against the adherents of the ideology that committed the praxis is well and good in my book.

The world's struggle with radical Islam is far from over. The best path to win war is to find ways to support moderate Islamic regimes. I disagreed with the Iraq invasion. I agree 100% with the statement that, now that we are in Iraq, we have a moral obligation to support the new representative government that we've been working to establish.

Bush chose to make Iraq the battlefield. This spittle dribbling out of the mouths of Harry Reid and cronies is plain wrong. It undermines this country. It undermines our military, it is helping fan the sectarian violence in Iraq. The thugs of the middle east read the western press, just like our leaders read the arab press. Hell, half the leaders of the radical islamic movement learned revolutionary theory at American and French universities.

Dammit. I don't like Bush! I agree that we need an opposition party. The monstrosity that the Democrats are putting together ain't it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Post

All blogs need a 9/11 post.

Here is pretty much the summary of where I sit on post 9/11 politics.

In 2003, I disagreed with President George Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. I did not protest, because, quite frankly, the Constitution puts such powers in the hands of the president and Congress. My big hope in 2003 was that Congress would authorize Bush to use force, and that Bush would have used that threat to stop Saddam Hussein from arming terrorists in Lebanon, and funding Palestinian suicide bombers. Above all, I had hope that Bush would have pushed for reform of the UN (especially in light of the corruption of the oil for food program).

Saddam, of course, was premiere thug of the third world. He had committed genocide. He had used WMDs on his own people. His game in the WMD inspections was to give the first world enough data to prove he didn’t have WMDs, but he also worked to maintain the illusion that he was flagrantly skirting the UN resolution. As I understand post war inspectors found caches of old WMDs and they found a great deal of capacity to produce WMDs, but they did not find the WMDs. Regardless, Hussein had set out to make his compliance appear grey.

Bush invaded Iraq on a medium grey, when I wish it was a dark grey.

I will give Bush this credit. Pick up a map of the Middle East. If there was a democracy in Iraq (It doesn’t even have to be all that pro West). If there was a stable democracy in Iraq, the battle for the heart of the Mid East would pretty much be won.

The big problem I saw was that setting up such a democracy takes several years. It would probably take a decade or more.

We made a commitment to Iraqi people when we invaded. Our commitment was that we would leave the nation with a properly elected government and stable security infrastructure. Abandoning the country before their army and security forces are trained in a failure.

The second big problem is that the American Left. The American Left loves dictatorships like Iran. Invading Iraq without clear provocation means that the far left has the opportunity to rip this nation apart ... which they are doing and they are doing quite well. We in the western world fail to understand the extent to which Leftists in America and Europe both influence and support the dictatorships of the world. I had professors who praised Ayatollah Khomeini during the embassy hostage crisis. Many of the Mideast Studies programs in American Universities are very anti-West and anti-democracy.

The left is extremely adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The left has done everything possible to encourage the sectarian violence in Iraq. It is possible that they will create a situation where the US won all the battles, but lost the war. They’ve won this type of game in the past.

Bush thoroughly and totally underestimated the difficulties of the propaganda war. The Democratic Party has taken a massive jump to the left. America’s youth are radicalized, the immigration community is radicalized. At a time that the US could use a opposition party, the party has flipped out.

There is still hope. I was listening to a panel of Democratic pundits. Their assessment was that if the Democratic party fails to win big in 2006; It would be time to go back to the drawing boards and rethink strategy.

I would support an opposition party. This monstrosity run by Howard Dean and John Kerry is a disaster in waiting.

Anyway, my worst post 9/11 moment was the Shock and Awe bombing of Baghdad. Today is a the day that I am extremely proud of those Americans fighting for an independent Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if Bush was not justified in his actions, his decision to invade Iraq made a commitment. The best men are those that stand up to fulfill such commitments when the times are down and the future looks bleak.

BTW, isn’t it odd that I am sitting here thinking of a bleak, bleak future when the economy of the world is humming as never before? It is a time that our worst problem ist that the booming economy has pushed up the price of gas. Our second worst problem is that there are so many jobs in the American economy that people are streaming across the borders and we don’t have a way to stop them!

The economy is not bleak. The reason the future is bleak is because, despite our prosperity, Bush lost the propaganda war. When the winners of the propaganda war (Howard Dean, Hugo Chavez, John Kerry, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and ilk) get into power. It is then that things will turn bad.

Monday, September 04, 2006

A State of Debate

After that last excessively long post, I read a article on The Salt Lake Tribune about an online discussion on LDS.org about the troubling issue of Same Gender Attraction and LDS Church. The discussion seems to involve a guys PUBLIC AFFAIRS, ELDER WICKMAN and ELDER OAKS.

My long rant was about the fact that, in a culture that stifles open discourse, I feel compelled to lob on occasional incendiary comment into the blogosphere. After composing the long rant, I see an article about how the LDS Church is apparently trying to open debate about an issue they've traditionally have kept swept under the carpet.

My understanding of this issue is that LDS Church has been under a steady attack about its policies towards gays. Apparently, the LDS Church has a reputation for simply casting its gay sons and daughters to the wind. Either that, or they would coerce them into marriages where they would proceed to make themselves and their unfortunate partner miserable. Neither option is all that Christian. It is interesting that both the LDS and FLDS have a history of casting people out of the fold.

Apparently this discussion is an attempt to find a better way to handle the issue. The new idea appears to be to stop denying that gays exist and to stop casting gay people out of the community. Apparently the new policy is to welcome gays in the community with the admonishment that they keep it in their pants.

The specifics of the LDS/Gay issue is really not something I follow. What I do find interesting is the use of the internet for informal policy discussions and the fact that the LDS church apparently is trying to start a discussion about an issue rather than dictating policy by calling it a "revelation."

I don't think this article did that great of a job establishing the beginning of a debate. Elder Wickman and Elder Oaks still seem to have a stuffy us v. them view of the world, and they really haven't established enough definitions for their oponents to define their position. The post might be a good beginning of a debate, but is insufficient to serve as the overall framework for a debate.

This is how I would frame the debate:

Conservative religious communities are at odds with the modern progressive community. Christian communities tend to think that respect for life and raising families should be the primary concern of a society. Modern progressives consider sexual expression to be the overriding concern of the day. Religious conservatives appears always appear a bit repressed. Viewing procreation as the only purpose of sex, the philosophy either ends up with excessively large families or with people being asked to stifle instinct. Progressive view is equally heartless in that they advocate flushing life produced from sex. The Mormon philosophy doesn't really leave a very nice role for gays or hetrosexuals who don't want to have children.

The world cannot support man producing at the maximum rate of his reproductive capacity. Conversely, progressives way over emphasize that people only receive fulfillment in pursing their sexual identity.

It is an area of debate where both sides have merit and faults in their beliefs.

The article is long, and this really is not an issue that I find interesting. Apparently, LDS discussion groups on the net are a buzz with the issue and that people are trying to be civil. I like civil discourse.

I was not happy with the Intelligent Design thesis that came up last year. However, it is the type of discussion that should take place. I suspect that some people were drawn into studying real science after examining the fake science put forward by the proponents of ID. The debate had value despite the fact that ID began with a bad thesis.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lobbying Incendiary Comments

Natalie Collins, an ex-Mormon, just posted an interesting piece on why she writes about the culture in which she lives. She does this despite the fact her writings earn ugly labels and attacks from the LDS faitful.

Not surprisingly the primary reason that Natalie writes about the culture where she lives is because that is what good writers are supposed to do. A good writer will write about the world they know opposed to one they don't. We increase our knowledge by people telling us their stories. We don't increase knowledge when people blabber about what they don't know. For example, the idle chatter over the false JonBenet Ramsey confession did nothing to advance our society.

It appears that Natalie's view is that most Mormons very good people, but she sees problems with polygamy and sexism which undermines the good efforts of these good people.

As a gentile (non-Mormon) living in Utah, I find myself asking the same questions. I wonder why I keep lobbing incendiary comments into this blog and other places about the dominant religion in Utah.

The reason that I have a blog is because blogging is supposed to be the great cultural fad of the interet; so, as a dedicated internet afficiando, I blog. Starting a blog has everything to do with the internet, it was not driven by a desire to promote or attack any particular cause.

Again, I find it best to write about the things around me.

I am in an LDS dominated section of the world. Like Natalie, I see the Mormon culture as people who are trying their hardest to be good people. Most Mormon converts were attracted to the religion by the emphasis on family and strict moral code. I think this part of the religion is great. This is people exercising an authentic desire to be good moral people. I know people who have used their faith to become the good honeset person that they want to be.

Like Natalie, I see something underlying the authentic desires of the people who join the church which is terribly, terribly wrong. The problems are most pronounced in the Polygamist cults. However, the same problems exist in the heirarchy of the main LDS Church.

What seems to have happened is that both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young worked tirelessly to create a political structure to focus and and accumulate power into the central hierachy.

They did this primarily by imposing an "us-v-them" philosophy on their adherents. The group used various tricks to undermined the ability of their followers to engage in civil discourse outside their religion. They are taught to value revelation over reason. When it comes down to a crunch, LDS followers will discard evidence that does not strengthen their power base. For example adherents are taught to ignore DNA evidence that Native Americans are not a lost tribe of Israel. The DNA does not make the Mormon church stronger, therefore it must be shunned.

I've been in several businesses that failed because LDS workers suddenly stopped looking at the financial, engineering or marketing data showing that the company was on a wrong path. Rather than making corrections to keep a company afloat, the LDS bishops in a company would suddendly start irrationally supporting the failing path.

This is a bizarre place. I've seen the wall fall off a house because the LDS contractor thought three nails and the holy spirit was enough to keep it attached to the building. Spirit nails are not an adequate replacement for galvanized steel in material constructions.

I've seen too many cases where LDS decision makers simply would not listen to a gentile trying to explain why a business project would or would not work. The combination of the us-v-them mentality and preference for revelation over reason might make the hierarchy of the LDS church powerful; however this denial of reason undermines the ability to communicate and it causes the failure of the efforts of the adherents.

Of course, the LDS Church isn't the only group that uses "The Big Lie" as the path to power. If you follow the progressive movement, you will see the progressive movement works by randomly tossing out barbs against their hated enemy ... the open society. The vast majority of the barbs simply languish. For example, in the 70s several progressives tossed out the barb that civilization would be destroyed by global cooling. Global cooling failed to hook, evidence seemed to indicate that the earth was warming. A big lie has to contain some truth.

The cause of global cooling failed. Back to the drawing board and radical environmentalists were back with global warming.

For a good lie to work, there must be an element of truth. Look at the geological history of this blue sphere. Geology happens. The actions of man clearly has an affect on climate. The big lie is not that climate changes. The big lie is that the radical left is in tune with the cosmic oneness and can stop climate change.

Since big lies generally contain some truth, there is always a problem of separating truth from the lie. There is global climate change. Actions of mankind do accelerate this process.

The big lie is not that climate change happens. The big lie is that giving the progressives the power they lust after will stop climate change.

In Iraq, I concur with the assessment that, in 2003, George Bush's justification for invading Iraq was weak. He manipulated both the people and Congress. I hated the fact that this happened. The president used his authority and political power to get us into a war that we simply have to win. The big lie of the progressives is that since the justification for the invasion was grey, that we should withdraw our troops and hand Iraq to Iran. The truth is that Bush committed this nation to a path and that we must continue this process of gradually turning security over to Iraqis as the troops end their training.

Bin Ladin, that wank in Iran, Hezbollah and others have been pulling their own big lies. The lie is that their jihad will lead to world Islamic domination.

As you see, the problem is that large sections of the world are under the spell of various lies.

In Salt Lake we have a large LDS community and a loud "progressive" community. Both are pushing a philosophy of big lies. What happens from time to time is the leftists of the state occasionally lob an incidiary attack at the Mormons and it bursts into flames in the community at large. A good example here is the protests to Michael Moore's visit to UVSC.

There has been several books and DVDs made on this subject. The books are resonating in the progressive communities throughout the US because the protest against Michael Moore feeds their big lie that the Republican are opposed to freedom of expression.

The far left uses things like the UVSC/Micheal Moore protest to bulster there big lie that the right is a greater danger to the open society than the left. The truth is that the both groups are a danger. Fools like me drawn into the same fray end up helping those who seek to divide and conquer.

Quite frankly, the supposed division between Mormons and progressive is really quite amusing. Mormonism was born from the same desires as modern progressives. I suspect both Smith and Young considered themselves 19th century progressives. Early Mormon polygamy was a mini sexual revolution. Rich powerful men wanted to sleep with young women. Young women were willing to share rich powerful men. Early Mormons lived in collectives. The leaders taught the faithful to scorn private property, while the centers grew exceedingly rich. The Mormons even disliked the United States so much that they left the United States to establish a populist tolalitarian regime similar in structure to the totalitarian regimes progressives admire.

Fortunately, the United States invaded the Empire of Deseret. The United States and moderate members of the LDS Church have helped temper the progressive excesses of the LDS Church.

The claim of many LDS members is that they have rid themselves of the excesses of their past. This is a claim that may be true and should not be dismissed. The wholesale disdain for those continuing to practice "the principle" is supposed to be signs of a tempered religion. I worry about that the underlying philosophy might continue to undermine the society.

Anyway, back to the subject of this long rant. Why did I make the stupid decision to engage in the same game? The first reason is that I decided to join the blog fad, but had nothing to say. The second is that I had received a "progressive" education that taught me the same thing they taught Utah's famous radical cheerleaders. The way you communicate is by lobbing incendiary remarks.

I know this method of communication fails. I want the katusha-rocket-style comments that I lob into the land of Zion to awaken people to the divisiveness of LDS philosophy. Of course, the style of discourse is itself an act of divisivness.

The better approach is to promote rational authentic discourse. Unfortunately, my education didn't include information on how to engage in such rational discourse.

Anyway, I have followed the Utah blogosphere for the last several years. It appears to me that, at this point, internet communications are driving us further apart. While radical cheerleaders revel in the hatred that their sloganeering spawns, the dreams for a better society that drove them into the radical cheerleading position in the first place dims.

Sadly, I fear that, for our society to regain our ability to engage in quality discourse, we have to learn that the methods of discourse that we are taught in our progressive education system fail.

We need to able to recognized big lies when big lies are told. However, lobbing incidiary comments back at the liars doesn't do anything but add to division that liars intended to create.

I don't know the answers to the troubling questions of the universe. I see our country on a spiral of hatred fed by the division of left and right. I see that the problem is not the result of one side being good and the other evil, but a result of fiendish methods that undermine discourse. The left is pulling out every punch and jab, while the right entrenches.

I know in my heart that the only through the troubled times is open communications. We have try communicate even though it seems like our efforts fail. The incendiary comment style that I have been trained to use, does not work. Calmly pointing out big lies doesn't work. I believe that the open society that the Founders of the US advocated could work, and that we need to continue trying to communicate. I still have faith that blogging, forums and web sites can be a force for good.