Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of an Ugly Partisan Year

It's the end of the year; So, I should write an end of the year post.

Unfortunately, that means thinking about a truly pathetic year.

My goal for the last six seven years has been to either attend or host a meeting in which people spoke about free market health care reform.

I consider health care to be the most important issue of our generation. Considering the importance of the issue; one would think there would be people interested in discussing it.

Unfortunately, I live in Utah which is the most conservative state west of Iran. Conservatives in Utah are so closed-minded and so oppressive that open discourse simply does not exist.

I spent time researching the history of conservatism and finally have a solid definition of the term.

Conservatism is simply the partisan ideology of the Conservative Party.

The Conservative Party was founded in 1831 from the remnants of the Tory Party.

During the US Revolution the Tories were the ones who stood shoulder to shoulder with the Red Coats and leveled their musket fire at the US Founders.

When Benjamin Franklin said: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately," the Tories were the one's holding ropes and fastening nooses.

The Tories changed their name to the Conservative Party in 1834.

The evolution of "modern liberalism" is even more bizarre.

The term "ideology" was coined by Antoine Destutt de Tracy in 1796 simply to refer to the study of ideas.

Napoleon Bonaparte rose to power simply by labeling those opposed to his empirial rule as "liberal ideologues."

The modern term "ideology" came from people who were using the term in the negative or as an insult.

Pundits and politicians who rise to power by denouncing ideology are part of a grand tradition started by Napoleon.

The term "Right" and "Left" comes from the French and English Parliaments.

In France, the Right sought to preserve the class structure of the ancient regime. The Left sought radical social change.

The division in England between the Tories and Whig party often had more to to with religion that ideology. The Whig Party officially changed its name to the Liberal Party in 1859.

Pundits who babble on about the division between Conservatives and Liberals are referring to a division of the English Parliament in the 1800s.

Both the Whigs and Tories were oligarchies. The primary political concern was the secession of the monarch. The King of England is also the head of the Church or England. The parties often mirrored religious divisions.

These divisions took a strange turn with the death of Queen Anne in 1714. Queen Anne was of the House or Stuart. Her fifty closest relatives were raised Catholic; So, in 1714 rule of the House of Stuart came to a close and King George the First from Hanover (now part of Germany) rose to power.

The Hanoverian Kings of England were German! King George II founded the University of Gottingen. The German Universities which produced the likes of Hegel, Schopenhauer, Feuerbach and Marx were funded by the Kings of England.

The new modern logic (aka Dialectics) was funded by England and became the rage in politics.

Both conservative ideology (aka the Tories) and liberal ideology (aka the Whigs).

The Liberals of 1859 had an alliance with the Radical Party which supported Catholic Emanicipation and universal male sufferage.

This led to a huge division in the 1880s about Irish Home Rule. In 1886, the Liberal Unionist Party split with the Liberal Party to form a coalition government with the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party merged with the Liberal Unionist Party in 1912 at which time the Conservative Party officiall changed its name to the "Conservative and Unionist Party."

After the defection of the Liberal Unionists, the Liberal Party began to switch from classical liberal views to the new social liberal views.

The party itself grew out of favor and was eventually supplanted by the Labour Party in the early 1900s.

Dialectics is just a method used by the ruling elite to divide and conquer the people. The partisan ideologies of Conservatism and Liberalism simply seek to divide the people and centralize power.

The great left/right divide in the early 1900s saw the Conservative Union Party supporting an ideology of National Union while the declining Liberal Party and emerging Labour Party were defining a new system of Social Union (also known as Socialism and Progressivism).

The same division appeared in other European nations. The Conservative Right would preach divisive rhetoric about national union with the Radical Left preaching Social Union.

The shrill partisan ideology on the right led from Toryism to Fascism while the shrill ideology on the left led to Stalinism.

After World War II, Conservatives found it difficult to push the message of National Union. Realizing that Modern Liberalism (aka progressivism, aka socialism) was an enemy of classical liberalism, Conservatives began infiltrating the Republican Party.

Conservatism is the ideology of the Tories rebranded. The American Republican Party was actually founded by Whigs who sought to stop the expansion of slavery in the West.

The watershed event for "conservatism" came during the Civil Rights Movement. Prior to Civil Rights, the Democrats were the party of Jim Crow. Democrats demanded government expansion and big government to keep the races separate.

A group called The Dixiecrats left the Democratic Party and became the base of the shrill conservative movement that now dominates the GOP.

By capturing the GOP; Conservatives found that they could rise to power by preaching free market economics. In power they would promote economic and political centralization.

/From the Civil Rights Movement onward one sees a steady stream of Conservatives rising to power on the issue of free market economics only to support centralization when in power. Some call this phenomena RINO (Republican In Name Only) but if you consider the history of Conservatism from Toryism to the party of National Union one realizes that the phenomena is inherent in Conservatism.

Remember, Conservatism is the ideology of the Tories. The primary goal of true conservatives is to establish a class society. Conservatives fought against the US Founders. Conservatives opposed free trade reforms in the 1800s. Conservatives opposed religious freedom in the UK. They opposed expansion of suffrage in Ireland and supported the cause of National Union up until WWII. The Conservative Party is still called The Conservative Union Party.

Anyway, I begin 2014 with the foolish hope that perhaps I could find a Conservative or Libertarian group interested in discussing free market health care reform to simply be rebuffed at every turn.

Trying to figure out why Conservatives are so adamantly hostile to free market economics, I decided to research the partisan ideology and simply became depressed as I watched the Fascist elements of the GOP take control of the party and am ending the year wondering why people are willing to follow such a hateful ideology as Conservatism.

I find myself staring at 2015 in a state of deep despair. I might take another stab at finding groups wanting to talk about free market health care reform. It is a fascinating topic.

The partisans on the Right and Left are rogues divorced or principle and reason. A partisan is driven a driven solely by a desire to increase the power of the party. Conservatives (ie the Tories) are every bit as bad the Liberals that they and Napoleon claim to detest.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Protests

The left is trying to build on the momentum it gained with the Ferguson Riots with Black Friday protests against targeted merchants.

The game is simple: The left targets a few select enemies to gain power over their enemies and to cow other merchants into submission.

Notice how very few merchants or business owners come out to speak their minds on local political issues?

The protests are about gaining power. There often is little rhyme nor reason to the chosen targets. The stores can be big or small like the Ferguson Market displayed after the Ferguson riots.

As for my Black Friday activity. For the last couple years I spent hundreds of hours infusing my sites with coupons with the hopes of raising enough funds to engage in some quality reporting. It hasn't worked. This year I just didn't have the heart to post the coupons. My coupon site is called You will see it is short on new coupons.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"People With Guns Kill!" Huh?

Mike Brown was a shoplifter who used his size to intimidate people.

When faced with arrest, Mike Brown started using his size to intimidate the officer.

The officer pulled out his gun to equalize the situation.

Mike Brown tried to take the gun from the officer.

The narrative of the prosecutor is: If Mike Brown took the gun, he would have immediately turned around and killed Officer Wilson.

The major premise of this narrative is: "People with guns kill."

Mike Brown had size on the officer. If he successfully took the gun, he would have humiliated the officer. Why would he shoot the person he just humiliated?

If you remove the premise "People with guns kill;" then you are left with the view that the officer's pride was a stake.

The premise behind the conservative narrative leaps out at me because I live in an area where one is not allowed to utter in any form the sentiment "People with guns kill" without being vilified.

I am not even allowed to say that people with guns shouldn't shoot across public roads and trails without attracting the venom of the right.

Yet this is the central argument in the conservative argument that Mike Brown deserved to be shot down.

If you are a member of the NRA; Please, answer this question: Does the possession of a gun warrant your being gunned down?

If Mike Brown successfully took Officer Wilson's gun; he would have humiliated the officer and established a local legend for himself. He had size on the officer. Why would he kill the disarmed officer?

Fortunately, the disarming did not happen. Officer Wilson shot Mike Brown in the hand and Mike Brown fled.

This first shooting was clearly justified. Officer Wilson was right to protect himself and to keep control of the weapon.

After this first justified action, Officer Wilson chose to pursue, on his own, a suspect who made it clear that he would resist arrest. Officer Wilson chose to pursue a person he could not restrain without lethal force.

This leads back to the argument in the last post. Officer Wilson is a professional hired by the public. A professional should be able to foresee the likely outcome of his actions.

Pursuing the suspect on his own would lead to a second shooting. Officer Wilson chose to pursue a course of action that would inevitably lead to shooting.

Officer Wilson was not the primary detective involved in the shoplifting case. There were other police resources near by. There was no compelling reason to continue the pursuit. There was simply high risk with low reward. Prudence would demand waiting for back up ... which was near by.

The decision to continue the pursuit, with pride on the table, led to a petty thief being gunned down over a handful of Cigarillos.

While the idea of indicting Officer Wilson is absurd, his decision to continue the confrontation shows lack of the sound professional judgment.

Officer Wilson is a public servant hired by the people. He is not entitled to his job any more than I am entitled to a job. I lost a job because a client didn't like the colors used in a graph. It is completely appropriate to dismiss Officer Wilson.

The conservatives who are jumping up and down yelling schreeching that the Ferguson shooting was a just kill and we should be slapping medals on the brave hero who shot the vicious shoplifter in Ferguson are a bit off base.

NOTE: If Officer Wilson were fired, he could always go into journalism and would be immediately welcomed as a paid news contributor on Fox News. Fox News is an outfit that rejects the premise: "People with guns kill" when it suits their political desires, but waves the premise when it fits their desired narrative.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Fatal Decision

We should learn to judge actions and not people. It is easy to change policies and actions but difficult to change people.

The Ferguson shooting shows how the impulse to judge one's neighbors leads to ruin.

Activists on the Left decided that the shooting of Mike Brown was a wrong. So they played the narrative that the shooting resulted from racism. They heaped accusations of racism on the officer involved in the shooting. Agitators worked people into such a frenzy that they set Ferguson on fire in their riots.

The right was equally ugly. The right responded by heaping derision on Mike Brown. They loudly proclaimed the shooting a just kill and that Mike Brown's shop lifting Cigarellos was such a heinous crime that he deserved to be gunned down in the street like a rabid dog.

Now that the inquest is through, we have the sequence of events.

The confrontation started when Officer Brown responded to a call about a robbery. He saw Mike Brown and friend walking cockedly down the middle of the street with the loot in hand.

He stops the suspects. The 6'4" Mike Brown assaulted the officer in his vehicle. It is likely that Mike Brown was trying to take the officer's gun away. Officer Wilson shot Mike Brown in the hand. This first shooting is evidenced by blood spatter in the vehicle.

Mike Brown fled the scene.

Officer Wilson called in for back up then made the decision to pursue Mike Brown.

In the second confrontation, Mike Brown charged Officer Wilson. The officer fatally shot Mike Brown in self defense.

The deliberate actions in this event were the shoplifting and Officer Wilson's decision to pursue Mike Brown before back up arrived.

Both decisions were wrong.

Officer Wilson's decision was wrong because he chose to pursue a suspect when he had inadequate resources to detain the suspect peacefully.

Both actors engaged in flawed actions. There is one big difference:

Mike Brown was an amateur crook. Officer Wilson is a professional law enforcement officer. One should expect more from trained professionals employed by the state than from amateur crooks out for personal gain.

A professional should be able to foresee the outcome of his actions. Officer Wilson chose to pursue a suspect who he could not contain. This is evidenced by the fact that he had to shoot Mike Brown.

Officer Wilson claimed that he was doing as he was trained. If so, then the training was at fault.

We live in a day when there is so much surveillance going on and identification procedures are so strong that it would have been easy to track Mike Brown after the first confrontation. Mike Brown had a shot up hand and could easily be identified by the blood spatter in the squad car. The video at the store clearly showed Mike Brown as the shoplifter.

The risk that the pursuit would result in a fatal shooting was very high. Mike Brown had already tried taking the officer's gun. A pursuit by a lone officer was all but guaranteed to result in the fatality of either the officer or suspect.

We can see the question of risk and reward in a closely related subject of high speed pursuits.

For decades the thinking was that the police needed to pursue perpetrators in high speed car chases until the inevitable spectacular high speed crash.

This idea led to a great deal of property damage and loss of life including many innocent lives.

People later realized that if you can get a proper description of the car and a good picture of the driver; the police are likely to catch the perpetrator without the high risk of the pursuit.

I just watched a video for the StarChase Pursuit Management which tracks vehicles allowing officers to back off from a fleeing suspect and reduce the risks associated with a chase.

Professional Law Enforcement is a matter of risk management. Risk Management plays a central role in most professions.

Risk Management is central to investing. Investor should fire and sue financial advisors who take an undue risks and lose their money.

Office Wilson claimed that he was trained to pursue the perpetrator after the initial confrontation. If the training is not teaching proper risk assessment; then the training needs to be reviewed and revamped.

Personally, I was upset that the official report on the incident casually glanced over the officer's decision to engage in a high risk pursuit and concentrated on Mike Brown's behavior instead. Mike Brown was a small time amateur crook. Vilifying an amateur for being amateur is redundant.

Officer Wilson is a professional police officer. We should have higher expectations of professional police officers than for amateur crooks.

That said. Police officers put themselves in harm's way to protect the public. The idea of issuing a criminal indictment against an officer for doing this job is absurd.

The decision to risk the loss of life by pursuing the suspect before back up arrived was a poor professional decision.

Just as you would be correct for firing a portfolio manager who invested your money with Berny Madoff, the people are in their rights for dismissing an officer who made a bad professional decision that led to a the shooting of a teenage shoplifter.

By rationally analyzing the events that led to the shooting, we find a bad risk management decision. Figuring out how to avoid pursuits with a high likelihood of a fatal shooting should be a priority of the police.

Regardless, the game of vilifying the actors in a tragedy leads to bad ends.

Rather than vilifying the police officer in the Ferguson shooting, as was done on the left, or attacking the victim as was done on the right, our attention should look at the actions that led to the shooting and find out ways to reduce that problem.

Contrary to what Sean Hannity says, Mike Brown did not deserve to be gunned down for shoplifting. The bold declaration that Ferguson shooting was a just kill is also absurd.

Bad decision making led to a horrible result. We should use this horrible event to find ways to improve decision making.

Officer Wilson was not the only police officer in Ferguson on August 9, 2014. Officer Wilson, himself, was back up for the primary officers in the shoplifting case. Officer Wilson's decision to pursue a suspect that he could not restrain was imprudent. The decision to a confrontation that was likely to lead to a fatality. In this day of networked system, pursuing felons should not be seen as the act of an individual officer but as a professionally managed activity of a professional police force. On seeing a perpetrator shot for shoplifting, the Ferguson Community is right to be outraged and to demand dismissal of the officer for what was clearly a bad decision.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Just Kill

The American Legal system is premised on the idea that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

This idea applies to all Americans including police officers.

The idea of presumed innocence includes officers involved in shootings.

Giving the officer the benefit of doubt has one important ramification:

Because we gave the officer the benefit of doubt; the decision not to indict the officer does not mean the shooting was just.

The decision not to indict Officer Wilson does not mean that shooting Mike Brown was a just kill.

The decision not to indict Officer Wilson simply means that a jury found no reason to believe the actual shooting was more than self defense.

Police are hired by the public to stand in harm's way and defend the public. Officers step into harm's way on our behalf. The nature of their jobs puts police officers in intense situations where shootings might occur. Because they are working on our behalf; It should be rare that we indict officers involved in shooting while doing their job.

However, the fallout after a shooting should not stop with a decision not to indictment. Since officers are employed by the state, officer involved shootings bring up a second important issue: Should we retain the officer after a shooting?

Police officers do not have a right to their job. It is perfectly legitimate for a community to decide to dismiss an officer who was involved in a shooting.

Most communities do not want gun happy police. It is perfectly legitimate for a community to ask for an officer involved in a shooting to step down.

The decision to retain or dismiss an officer after a shooting is a purely political decision.

I need to repeat the logic here: Police officers are public servants. The police are not entitled to their job. If the public feels uncomfortable with an officer then it is legitimate for the community dismiss the officer.

The tradition that police serve the people is witnessed by the periodic elections for county sheriff. The people should have say in who protects them.

The caveat is that since dismissal is political decision, it should be understood as political.

Politics is neither rational nor just. Politics weighs innuendo over fact. Politics factors in opinion makers and emotion.

I'd love to live in a world with no politics, but politics is inherent in a democracy. The question is not how to eliminate politics but how to treat politics so that it minimizes the impact on the courts. The best system has a combination of court decisions that focus on facts and political decisions where emotions rule.

IMHO, the public show about the Ferguson shooting should have been about the political decision: Should we retain or dismiss the officer. This could have helped shield the court decision about indicting the officer from politics. The indictment after all is a case to decide if the officer should be sent to prison. It is not a judgment on whether or not the shooting was just.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ecclesiastical References for Health Care

My last post touched on the Ecclesiastical References used at BYU.

BYU is a university system with some 30,000 students and several thousand employees. Students are required to obtain and sustain their ecclesiastical references throughout their course of studies. If a student sours on the LDS Church, the student is summarily expelled.

I was summarily expelled from the education department of the University of Utah for supporting school choice. My sympathies fall to students who are expelled for well reasoned beliefs. Being flunked out of school for regressive ideological reasons is devastating.

Anyway, BYU has some 30,000 students. Maintaining ecclesiastical references for this many students implies that there is a system for ecclesiastical references.

The ecclesiastical reference system is a stasi-like system that sits on the peripheral of the public education system here in Utah that tracks the activities of members of the community.

The ecclesiastical reference system is also handy for things like employee references. The LDS Church has a well established employment system to help local businesses be assured that their new hires are members of the church in good standing.

I also encountered this system while working for a local insurance company.

A policyholder would file a claim with the company. The claims adjuster would call telephone numbers owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The conversation would not be recorded but appeared weigh heavily in the decision to approve or deny claims.

Management claimed that calling people with local knowledge of claimants was a good fraud prevention technique. I argued if that if ever a lawyer subpenaed the insurance company's phone records that the insurance company would be sued into submission.

(Yes, I tend to have rocky relationships with employers. Personally, I think I did the company a favor by telling them to stop making the calls on the company's phone records.)

Now, fraud is a big problem in insurance. Local knowledge is a great way to cut down on fraud.

As for the charitable aspects of health care, I have no objection to the church or politicians weighing in on who should receive charity or how much they receive.

If a person decides to leave the church and become an apostate, then that person has no claim on charity from the church.

Problems arise because insurance confuses the charitable and basic aspects of health care.

In our confused insurance company, people pay into crazy insurance pool.  If they are denied basic care because of the same system that would deny charitable care, then we are doing the people a disservice.

I don't care if a person is Mormon, Gentile or Jack-Mormon. (In Utah, the term "gentile" refers to anyone outside the LDS Faith. So, if you are say Jewish; you are a gentile). I want a health care system that first secures basic care for people, then starts providing advanced and charitable care for people.

Utahans are a regressive lot. I suspect that few members of the LDS Church have a problem with denying apostates and gentiles the basic care they paid for. But, to me a system where people are denied care because of a covert stasi-like monitoring system is a broken system.

But this might make for a interesting debate: Should the same system used to deny students education at BYU  be used to deny health care?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ecclesiastical Endorsement and Expelled Students

This is telling. Students at BYU must obtain an ecclesiastical endorsement from their local bishop each year. Apparently, if a student loses their ecclesiastical endorsement they are summarily expelled. Here is the stated policy.

Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement Students are required to be in good Honor Code standing to be admitted to, continue enrollment at, and graduate from BYU. In conjunction with this requirement, all enrolled continuing undergraduate, graduate, intern, and Study Abroad students are required to obtain a Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement for each new academic year. Students begin the Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement process online at
I've been reading stories claiming that BYU students who are caught associating with apostates (ex-Mormons), researching Mormonism from non-official sources or who question the veracity of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith are getting expelled. Such students lose their housing, lose their jobs and are simply put out.

A group called "FreeBYU" advocates ending the policy of excommunicating students who engage in open inquiry. The mainstream Utah view seems to be that these students are apostates who should be expelled from school and forced to live as second class citizens.

The fact that BYU expels students who talk with people outside of their religion helps explain why I've been unable to find people in Utah willing to talk about Free Market Health Care Reform. People who are banned from engaging in open inquiry in College are loath to engage in open inquiry outside college.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Racism Place in a Reflexive Paradox

Raymond Davies of Payson, Utah provides an interesting example of the reflexive paradox in this tweet:

"@yintercept Any reference to a person's race is racist. Your noting the officer's and the person shot in this incident is blatant racism."

Racism is considered a negative.

Mr. Davies applies an absolute to a premise to create a self-reference to cast a negative.

In this logic one cannot ask if an incident, such as the shooting of Darrien Hunt, involved racism without being labeled a racist.

His statement is absurd. Racism refers to systematic judgments based on race and not on the existence of race. Aristotelian rejected all of the conclusions one draws from the reflexive paradox. Hegelian dialectics relishes in the reflexive paradox. You can inject the reflexive paradox in most arguments. Skillful dialecticians are able to use the paradox obfuscate and deflect arguments.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Scrutinizing the Lack of Scrutiny

Back in September a Saratoga Springs police officer was involved in a questionable shooting. The officer shot a young black man who was wearing a Samurai costume six times in the back because the costume included a replica samurai sword.

Officer Mark Schauerhamer wrote an article in Crossroads Journal advocating that we judge people on image. The article said that if you see a person listening to country music wearing a cowboy hat that the person is likely righteous, but if you see a person in Rastafarian colors that the person is likely a drug crazed menace to society.

Utah is an open carry state. In Schauerhamer's logic, if a police sees a person with a cowboy hat, listening to George Strait and carrying an AR 15; that guy is probably righteous and shouldn't be hassled. A black guy dressed as a Samurai with a bright shirt needs to be confronted.

In light of Mark Schauerhamer's public comments and the shooting of Darrien Hunt, I believe that Schauerhamer's career should be highly scrutinized.

On October 26th, a family reported that they believed that Schauerhamer used excessive force when he and fellow officers broke up a teenage party back in February.

If not for the shooting, breaking up a party would be non-news.

What is interesting about this story are the comments by Utahans in reaction to the party story. The self-righteous of Utah immediately turn and begin attacking the teens and their parents. These comments are from the Deseret News:

skibird from Spanish Fork said: "From what it sounds to me a bunch of high school kids got caught smoking dope and drinking and are playing 'the mean cops scared me' card to try to get out of trouble from their parents."

The article is scrutinizing the record of an officer involved in a shooting. Skibird reacts by attacking the motive of the family involved in the party.

Kora of Cedar Hills deflects scrutiny of the officers by attacking the parents: "I don't see misconduct here. What I see is parents who have quit disciplining their children because they want them to like them. Your job as a parent is not to make your kids like you, but teach them to be responsible adults."

The context of the article is the shooting. The party took place in February. We don't know how or if the parent's disciplined their kids. BTW, the party took place at a house of a Utah County police officer.

Hey It's Me of Salt Lake City has some twisted logic saying: "if a policeman tell you to move you better do it and if not you get taken to the floor with handcuffs and dragged to a room. You wouldn't have been in that situation at all if you weren't doing something wrong."

We have a better police force in the United States specifically because we scrutinize what they do.

DN Subscriber of Cottonwood Heights attacks the teens parents in a condescending manner: "Lots of teenagers are not the well behave angels their parents think they are. Sorry, parents, your judgment is badly skewed by the involvement of your sweet innocent children who were doing nothing wrong, or so you think. Did you know or care about what your kids were doing before the cops arrived to use 'excessive force?'"

The article is not about the party in February. It is an effort to scrutinize an officer involved in an actual killing.

Say No to BO of Mapleton demonstrates an advanced degree of cluelessness by saying: "This was news back in February. Now it's just jury coaching. S[h]ame [sp] on the Deseret News for participating in this defense strategy. Lawyers for the Hunt family must have a great deal of influence.."

I should repeat here: There was an officer involved shooting. KSL and Deseret News were investigating the officer involved in the shooting. These news sources have an obligation to investigate such news. Breaking up a party wasn't even news back in February. It is news only because it might show a pattern. Say No to BO claims the article was created by Hunt's attorney. Nkoyo Iyamba of the Deseret News said: "The Deseret News reached out to Schauerhamer's attorney for response and was told he was unavailable."

Say No to BO claims the article must be part of a "defense strategy" on part of the Hunts. That statement makes absolutely no sense because there is not a case being made against the Hunt family.

This next statement has to be read in light of the article. The Deseret News Article reads: "Kent [one of the parents] noted that despite this experience, he and other parents continue to teach their kids to respect authority."

Legal? of Saint George launched in saying: "One parent states that they teach their children to respect authority. Authority should also include the laws. These young people were smoking marijuana and some were drinking. They were underage at a home where there was no adult supervision. They (and their parents) need to go back to authority class. :)"

Legal needs to go back to elementary school to learn to read. The person in the article essentially said that even though you feel abused by authority, you should still respect authority. The commenter from Saint George attacks Kent for something Kent did not say.

In this article, which is about an officer who shot and killed a young black man, hockeymom of Highland says: "Sounds like police officers doing their job. Thank You Saratoga Springs PD."

Personally, I would like to thank the families who came out and reported what they believed to be excessive force used to break up a party. When you live in a society that is as mean and judgmental as Utah, coming out and standing up for others takes great courage.

The US Founders fought against the police state that was being imposed on them by Britain. To preserve our liberty, we must scrutinize apparent excesses of governing authorities like the local police.

I am appalled that the Utah County Attorney chose to release the official report of the shooting during election week so that the news would be overshadowed by the election. I am dismayed to see Utahans lining up to attack those who are investigating the shooting of Darrien Hunt. To maintain a free society, it is critical that the public scrutinize events like this shooting.

A Shameful Act on the Part of Utah County

On September 10th a 22 year-old black kid named Darrien Hunt was out playing alone in a Samurai costume with a replica sword. A calm 911 call informed the police that a person was dressed strangely. Officers confronted Mr. Hunt. The confrontation ended with officers Matt Schauerhamer and Nicholas Judson shooting Darrien Hunt six times in the back.

On Monday Afternoon, November 3rd, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman released the official report claiming the shooting was justified.

Costume Play In Utah

Costume Play is common in Utah. The event happened days after a huge Comic Con Festival 50 miles to the north. "The World's Largest" scavenger hunt took place in the same week. The neighboring town just opened a thing called "Castle Park" to host the "Fairy Princess Festival" and other costume themed events.

There was a half dozen costume runs in the county between the shooting and official report. The only strange thing about Darrien Hunt's situation was the color of his skin.

The report claimed that officers were justified in the shooting because Mr. Hunt was openly carrying a weapon. This is in a state where open carry is legal and one routinely encounters people openly carrying guns (which are much more dangerous than replica swords).

Saratoga Springs spokesman Owen Jackson all but broke out in praise of the shooting claiming that the officers "performed their duties as police officers with fidelity and professionalism."

While it is impossible to know exactly what took place during the shooting. I believe can and should judge the administrators of Utah County for their conduct during the investigation.

The release of this report was timed to coincide with the fog of the national election. The release of this report took place a full two months after the shooting. The one and only reason that County administers would release the report on Election Day was to avoid scrutiny.

The shooting happened in the heat of a moment. The decision to release the report during the election was a collective deliberate act on the part of Utah County. The decision to release the report under the shadow of the election should receive sharp and severe criticism from all quarters.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Worst of the GOP Is Ascending to Power

The GOP spent the last six years engaged in base reaction to the Obama Administration. The unfortunate outcome of base reaction is that GOP has become significantly worse during these years.

The same thing happened during the Bush years. For the first six years of the Bush Administration, the Democratic political machine engaged in rank base reaction to Bush and by the time of the second midterm, the worst elements of the Democratic Party had ascended to power.

Unfortunately, this 2014 election appears to be a repeat of the 2006 election with the worst of the GOP rising with the best of the GOP being shoved to the side.

It is the nature of partisan politics that parties are at their best when in the minority and at their worst when they ascend to power.

I looked at the ballot. I do not see a single positive thing. All I see are partisans grubbing for power though the use of disinformation. How can one vote when there is not a single positive thing on the ballot? There is simply a choice between evils.

Which form of evil do I want to see destroy America? Do I want to see it destroyed by the zealot radicals of the left or the reactionary conservatives on the right?

I do not want to see America destroyed by either of the parties.

I am so discouraged by what I see in the GOP that I am secretly hoping that they fail to gain a majority in the Senate. If the GOP of 2014 rises to power, we will see 2 years of partisan discorded in Washington followed by a Democratic majority and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

If the GOP loses, Republicans might return to the drawing board and actually bring ideas to the table for the 2016 election.

As for my vote, I am simply staring at the polling place in abject horror. There is not a single positive thing on the ballot.

The lack of positive choices on the ballot is a direct result of the way that Conservatives engage in politics.

The Conservative Party, as you may recall, rose from the Tory Party in the 1830s. Tories, of course, were the people who leveled their muskets at the US Founders during the Revolutionary War.  The goal of conservatism from the 1830s onward has been to restore the class society of the monarchy.

Conservatism is a Machiavellian philosophy in which one uses free market rhetoric to gain power then push economic centralization and crony capitalism once in power.

Conservatism works at the political realm by presenting issues in the negative which is why conservatives systematically fail to present positive choices on the ballot.

The Left/Right paradigm gives us a choice each year of directly destroying our freedoms by voting for the Left or undermining our freedoms by voting for the right.

What type of choice is that?

To restore freedom we need to find a way of rejecting the Left/Right dichotomy altogether, but that issue is never on the ballot. There is only a choice between evils.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Utah Halloween

I'm a native of Denver. As a kid I could remember throngs of kids moving from door to door in the annual Halloween Trick or Treat. I also lived in Oklahoma and California.

Here in Utah, there are very few kids.

Apparently, local LDS Churches have huge Halloween events. There was a flyer on our door discouraging kids from door to door trick or treating and ushering them to the local ward.*

I assume this is because parents think door to door trick or treating is dangerous. After all, you never know what gentiles* might put in the candy they give kids.

Anyway, I turned the TV on yesterday and ended up watching an anti-polygamy show. The show featured an ex-polygamist who was discussing the occult practices of her particular polygamist clan. She also discussed the many indications that Joseph Smith was actively engaged in the occult.

It is generally accepted that early Mormons, like the good people of Salem two generations before, held a magical world view and that Joseph Smith was a treasure hunter and that LDS Temples are adorned with bizarre occult symbols from a wide range of sources and that Temple ceremonies are largely based on Masonic and Occult ceremonies.

But to actually hear an ex-polygamist talk about being negatively affected by occult practices in contemporary America was kind of a wake up call.

Anyway, there are very few trick-or-treaters out tonight; so I am sitting here, munching on Halloween Candy, thinking about how a church that has origins in the occult is using candy to lure kids up to some big event at the ward house.

hmmmmm......this could be a good start to a Grimm Fairy Tale or modern horror flick.

I am not LDS. I dislike both the theology and ideology behind the LDS Church. For challenging this ideology, I've been called a "Servant of Satan."

I put the words "Servants of Satan" in quotes because I've heard neighbors and coworkers use those exact words to describe me.

So, on this All Soul's Eve, I am left wondering about the huge Halloween event hosted by a group that has strong occult ties.

Anyway, if you want to scare yourself, you can Google "Joseph Smith and the Occult." You will find many interesting things. There are not just anti-Mormon articles. Mormon Apologists are chiming in acknowledging the occult and magical world view.

*The LDS call their churches "wards." They call people who are not LDS (including Jewish people) "gentiles." LDS doctrine teaches that people who are not LDS are Servants of Satan.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Is Marriage an Institution of Hatred?

I just read an blog post that matter-of-factly stated that the Christian tradition of Marriage was all about hatred and that the sacrament of matrimony was contrived by evil people with the single minded purpose of oppressing women.

The line that marriage is all about oppressing women is not new. It was what they were teaching when I was in school. I am not married and I never really considered getting married because I do not want to be that horrible person who is oppressing a woman simply by existing. I never once considered having children because children exhale carbon when they breath.

Back in the 1980s, before it was the cool thing to do, I was a big supporter of Gay-Marriage.

Quite frankly, I still have no problem with people in same sex unions and believe that secular laws about monogamous civil unions should apply to same-sex marriage.

Having seen the terrible things happen to people in Utah because of polygamy, I am hesitant to say laws applying to monogamous relations should apply to groups.

Anyway, I want to repeat why I am opposed to the Marriage Equality Movement.

I was a supporter of gay-marriage back before it was the cool thing to do. I had some progressive friends who were opposed to all forms of marriage as artificial. We went to a lecture by a progressive lawyer.

The progressive lawyer then explained that by reframing the campaign for "gay-marriage" to "marriage-equality" that they could use the movement to attack the church.

A gay-marriage is not equal if it is not recognized by all churches.

I suspect that most most supporters of gay-marriage feel like I felt back in the 1980s and are simply seeking recognition of a civil union, but the title of the movement is now marriage equality.

Gay-Marriage is not equal to hetero-sexual marriage until the Catholic Church has been sued and is either forced out of business or forced to submit to progressive dictates.

The sacrament of marriage, of course, is not about sex, it is about the children produced by sex.

The marriage equality movement flies squarely against the fact that heterosexual couplings naturally produce children and homosexual couplings do not.

That natural inequality is not the contrivance of some evil pope in the third century.

Sexual reproduction is the basis of evolution of most multicellular forms of live on this planet including all the creatures in the Mammalia Class along with most fish and trees.

The claim that hetero-sexual couplings are equal to homosexual couplings goes against basic biology and the fundamentals of evolution.

My direct personal experience involves being in a room with people who were opposed to gay-marriage then started supporting it when they realized a marriage equality movement would provide a legal means to attack churches.

As for claims that the Christian tradition of marriage was contrived in the third century by evil popes who hated women, I want to start by pointing out that neither I nor most* of the the people involved in the current debate were living in the third century.

I counter this claim because there is a solid logical argument for the Christian tradition of marriage. Hetero-sexual couplings produce children. Same sex couplings do not.

This is basic biology. When there is a clearly logically statement for a position, I will take the logical statement over psychic claims about the ability to see into the minds of others.

I have met married women who claim that they favor monogamous marriage because it provides a stable basis for raising their children. I have met multiple women escaping from polygamous situations who were in dire straits and single moms who were struggling and having a hard time lacking support.

Looking at churches, my observation is that women tend to be more actively involved in the church than men.

From grade school to present day, I've heard progressives repeating the talking point that marriage is all about evil popes who hate women conspiring with with evil men who want to oppress women, but I really have never seen it.

Progressives claim to be intellectually and morally superior to their neighbors, but my direct experience with people living in different situations keep telling me that the progressives are wing nuts.

When I look at the marriage equality movement, I don't see a movement driven by love. I see a movement of movement led by power mongers seeking to force their opposition into submission.

I do not have the ability to see into the minds of others, but if I were forced to identify which group was driven by hate: (The Christians who supported the Sacrament of Marriage) or  (Progressives demanding marriage equality); I would point to the progressives.

In this case the Christians appear to be driven by reason and science, while those demanding marriage equality seem to be driven by a desire to force others into submission. BTW: the name for efforts to force others into submission is called oppression. The Marriage Equality Movement is a movement is an anti-science movement driven by a desire to oppress an opposition.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Formation of the Republican Party

Conservatism traces to the Tories. The Tories are the people who fought against the US Founders. Conservative intellectuals tend to trace their partisan ideology to Edmund Burke or to Machiavelli.

Machiavelli preached that the prince must appear religious without actually being religious. When the words that flow through your lips are lies, you can puff out all sorts of sanctimonious spittle while playing the political game of rewarding friends and punishing enemies friend.

The people who believe the rhetoric that loosely flies from conservative lips are considered useful idiots who simply find themselves holding an empty bag of promises when the dust of politics settles. For over over a half century, the GOP has been electing "Conservatives" who promise to decentralize government. Instead they find the Right side of the aisle lined with people aptly described as "Republican in Name Only" (RINO).

This happens because of the Machiavellian nature of Conservatism.

To recap the previous post. The Conservative Party was established in England in the 1830s from the Tory Party. Tories, you may recall, were the people who fought against the US Founders.

The people who founded the Republican Party would be shocked to find that their party adopted the conservative view. Both in 1830 and today, Conservatives are Machiavellians set on preserving the class society of the ancient regime. If you call yourself a conservative you are standing with the Tories who leveled their musket rounds at the US Founders and who immediately set in on undermining the American Experiment in Self Rule.

The Republican Party of the United States, in contrast, was founded in 1854 by members of the Whig Party. The primary concern of the Republican Party of 1854 was to stop to spread of slavery and the plantation model in the West. The plantation model of society is one with a very small number of aristocrats who control society with the bulk of humanity impressed as wage labor or slaves. On nominating Abraham Lincoln, the GOP set its focus on preserving the Union.

The founders of the Republican Party were adamant defenders of the world view of the US Founders. They chose the name "Republican," because the US Founders loved the name.

The US Founders had a liberal arts education based on classical logic and steeped in Christian Ethics. They fought in a Revolutionary War with the banner of liberty. The founders created a Constitutionally limited central government whose primary focus was the protection of liberty.

The founders lived before the age of ideology, but I like to call their approach to society and governance "Classical Liberal." Modern Liberalism is a paradoxical approach to governance that appears to have accepted Hegel's modern logic as its foundation. Hegel believed freedom was slavery and slavery freedom. The Democratic Party was formed in the South with the bizarre belief that a plantation based society with a few phenomenally wealthy individuals and the bulk of humanity held in slavery or wage labor positions was a higher form of society. The plantation mentality (aka Progressivism) is still the driving fantasy of the Democratic Party in many urban areas.

The Liberal Party of England was founded in 1859. The Liberal Party of England pushed a radicalized definition of Liberal derived from modern logic (Hegel) which saw freedom as slavery and slavery freedom. In the English Parliament, the Conservatives defended the social structure of the ancient regime while the Liberals advocated social change through political and economic centralization.

In 1867, a German Philosopher living in England wrote a tome called "Das Kapital." Das Kapital described a society in which a ruling elite use control of the banking system to create a class society. Marx's capitalism is not a free market as envisioned by the Adam Smith, the US Founders and the classical liberals that established the GOP. Marx's capitalism is distortion of a market created by centralized banks and centralized financial exchanges.

Conservatives fell head-over-heels in love with Marx's Capitalism as Marx defines a direct path of re-establishing class rule in an age of revolution. To this day, Conservatives blindly defend Marx's Capitalism despite the fact that Marx's Capitalism is one of the greatest threats to freedom ever devised.

If you call yourself a "conservative," I beg you to please tell me why you blindly defend capitalism (Marx's distortion of the free market)? Why do you stand shoulder to shoulder with the Tories who leveled their muskets at the US Founders?

Are you really so stupid as to think that we can restore the greatness of America by blindly following the enemies of liberty?

I beg you to read the history of Conservatism. It is an ideology that flows from Machiavelli. It holds Edmund Burke in esteem and belittles the US Founders as neophytes. Conservatism pushes the economic theories of "Das Kapital" to the detriment of the honest free market envisioned by the founders and Classical Liberals such as Von Mises and Hayek.

In every election for the last fifty years, the GOP screamed the words conservatism. Every single conservative administration has favored economic and political centralization over the principles of freedom.

The Party of Lincoln was founded on the same solid principles as the US Founders. The Founders had a liberal arts education based on classical logic and steeped in Christian Ethics. I like to call this approach "classical liberalism."

IMHO, Abraham Lincoln and the US Founders were among the greatest political thinkers who ever lived. Look at the great things the founders and Lincoln did!

Conservatives, in contrast, wallow on the ground before Machiavelli. Modern Conservatives accepted the perverted system of thinking called "modern logic" by Hegel and support the economics described by Karl Marx in "Das Kapital"?

If you are a conservative; Please, I am on my knees begging, tell me why you think we should turn our backs on the US Founders and Lincoln to follow the ravings of Machiavelli, Hegel and Marx?

If you are one of the blind idiots who follow Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck without bothering to research the history of Conservatism; then you have no right to complain about the RINOs because the RINOs that control the modern GOP are a direct product of conservative thought.

The Party of Lincoln was established by people who truly believed in the ideals of the US Founders (classical liberalism). Conservatives (the Tories) are a traditional enemy of these ideals. Conservative Republicans who are true to the conservative ideology (Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, Hegel, etc) are inherently Republican In Name Only. To expect conservatives to be something outside the nature of conservatism is naive in the severest form of the term.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Roots of Partisan Conservatism

Here in the former colonies (ie The United States), there is a large group of people called "conservatives" who use free market rhetoric and the image of the US Founders but who systematically fail to discuss free market solutions for our nation's problem and systematically undermine the American Experiment in self rule.

I believe strongly in the ideals of the US Founders and the direction set by their Experiment in Self Rule. As conservatives systematically undermine this experiment, I've set into exploring the origins of this strange partisan ideology.

A likely source of the partisan ideology called "Conservatism" is the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom. This Wikipedia Article claims that the Conservative Party was established in 1834, preceded by The Tories. The Tories, as you might recall, were the people aligned against the US Founders in the US Revolution.

The Conservative Party evolved directly from the group aligned against the US Founders.

This strange partisan ideology of Conservatism is the ideology that evolved within this Conservative Party.

In the UK, the Liberal Party was established in 1859 from the Whig Party. The UK Liberal Party was the primary opposition of the Conservative Party from 1859 to 1988 when it was replaced by a leftist party called the Labour Party. The Liberal Party of the UK developed a partisan ideology called "modern liberalism" which is fundamentally at odds with the ideals of the US Founders and with common sense and reason. The Labour Party has abandoned all pretense of defending liberty and is out in left field.

Truthfully, I don't care a lick about English politics. England is the concern of the English. I love the US Founders and the American Experiment in self rule.

The greatest threat to the American Experiment are the loud people who've committed themselves to the struggle between Liberals and Conservatives. This partisan dichotomy is an import from the old world. The false dichotomy itself is antithetical to liberty. One does not find truth on any part of the spectrum of a false dichotomy. A moderate committed to a false dichotomy is as false as the extremes. The only defense against false dichotomies is to call out and reject the dichotomy.

This false dichotomy that dominates all aspects of American politics came from outside the United States.

The US Founders despised the factions of Europe. Conservatives, who've carte-blanche accepted the partisan ideology of conservatism haven't a clue about what they are doing.

Conservatives are not defending the ideals of the US Founders. Conservatives are simply using free market rhetoric and the image of the founders to advance a partisan cause that is harmful to American freedoms.

I have to repeat this about the US Founders: The US Founders had a liberal arts education based on classical logic and steeped in Christian Ethics. They applied their liberal arts education to the question of liberty and came up with a Constitutionally Limited Government whose primary objective was to protect the liberty of the people. I like to call this approach to governance "classical liberalism."

Wikipedia defines classical liberalism as: "a political philosophy and ideology belonging to liberalism in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government. "

Now, the US Founders predate the age of ideology. I personally find it problematic to call the founders' ideals an "ideology" when ideology is a construct of the French Revolution. But we must have a name for the Founder's approach to governance. Trying to call the US Founders "conservative" makes no sense as they were in direct conflict with the Tories. Calling them "liberal" makes no sense either as modern liberalism is a partisan ideology that came after the founders.

The best defense for the ideals of the US Founders is for people to understand the perversion of political ideas that took place in the early 1800s that led to the Conservative/Liberal partisan dichotomy.

The US Founders had a liberal arts education based on classical logic. The generation after the founders adopted a new style of think often called "modern logic." Yes, I know, modern logic came from the German University System. The Hanoverian Kings of England were German and funded the universities that conceived modern logic. The Hanoverian Kings charged the universities with the cause of making the monarchy look progressive. Modern progressivism is a belief that society progresses through economic and political centralization and the suppression of individual liberty.

This modern logic is often associated with Hegel. Hegel's modern logic places paradox at the foundation of reason and conflict at its surface (dialectics). Marx used the term "material dialectics" for his base philosophy. Marx was interested in fomenting revolution. To foment revolution, he used dialectics to create a false dichotomy to divide the people. In the tome Das Kapital, Marx (who moved to England in 1945) created a perversion of the free market called "Capitalism" in which corrupt financial system cornered the means of productions and created a class society. Marx then wrote "The Manifesto" to rally people against the system he created in Das Kapital.

The Conservative Party loves the idea of a class society and began arguing for Marx's Capitalism.

In the United States, we have a large number of people called Conservatives screaming at the top of their lungs a hatred for liberalism and a defense for Marx's Capitalism while wondering what is going wrong with the United States.

If you are an American Conservative wondering what is going wrong in America; you can find the answer by looking the mirror. That person who screams a hatred for "liberalism" and defending Marx's Das Kapital is an ignoramus who hasn't researched the origins of these ideologies.

If you are a partisan waving the Constitution; you need to sit down and read the Constitution asking the basic question: What does the Constitution have to say about the parties.

The parties that dominate politics are not in the Constitution. Read the Federalist Papers and you will find that the US Founders disliked partisanship.

Liberalism is not the problem and conservatism is not the solution, or visa-versa. The Left/Right dichotomy and partisan ideology is the problem. The solution is to reject the false dichotomy and to launch head first into a substantive debate about ways for a free society to move forward.

Plain and simple: The answers will not be found in modern conservatism, modern liberalism, modern progressivism, Marx's Capitalism, Communism, Socialism or any of the off shoots of modern logic. This modern system of thought has proven corrupt and failed at every turn.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Justified Lethal Force

In the same week as the Darrien Hunt shooting, police in Louisiana shot a man with a weapon that was first described as a machete then as a Samurai sword.

Earlier today, Mark Vaughan shot and killed a black man (Alton Nolen) who had just beheaded one of his coworkers with a knife at the food processing plant where Nolen had recently been fired. Reports claim that Nolen had tried to convert his coworkers to Islam bringing up the possibility that event in Moore, Oklahoma was a lone wolf terrorist attack.

Mark Vaughan, CEO of Vaughan Foods and a reserve deputy sheriff, is quite clearly a hero for stepping in and stopping a murder spree.

Had Mark Vaughan shot Alton Nolen as he was attacking his first victim, Vaughan would still be a hero but social media would be abuzz with another white on black killing.

Do people actually have to die before we can separate just police actions from the unjust?

We want to live in a society where police protect us. Personally, I tend to side with the police in most matters.

This brings up the big question of how one can separate true actions of defense from police brutality.

Pineville, Louisiana Incident

Reports claim that on September 8, 2014 there was an officer involved shooting involving a man in underwear with a sharp samurai style sword. The reports claim that officers were responding to a man who threatened people with the sword and that the witnesses in the event clearly heard the officers asking the alleged assailant to drop the weapon. Apparently, the man was shot in the front.

The site The Town Talk has an interview with Joe Morris, head of the Criminal Justice Department at Northwestern State University, about the continuum of force. It has the bizarre statement: "You start where the other person forces you to start. If a suspect is within 21 feet of an officer, deadly force is justified."

This statement "If a suspect is within 21 feet of an officer, deadly force is justified" really seems off to me.

The idea that being within 21 feet of a police officer puts one in a "justified kill zone" is strange. Likewise, a person with a gun over twenty one feet with a gun is a big if not bigger danger than a person with a blade within 21 feet.

I do not think there is an objective measurement that can separate justified shootings from unjustified ones and that we have to look at the situation surrounding the event. For example, in the Louisiana shooting, reports from witnesses claim to have heard the officers tell the suspect to drop the weapon and that the suspect charge the police seem to justify defensive actions on the part of the officers.

On counterpoint, the relatives of the slain man say he was actually quite small ... under 125 lbs. In the Ferguson shooting, Mike Brown weighed over 300 lbs and was much more intimidating. IMHO, the relative size of the officer and suspect matter.

The police have a duty to protect the public. The public is correct in scrutinize any use of deadly force. The public is right to call out oddities in officer involved shootings. For example, the witnesses in the Darrien Hunt shooting claim to have heard people talking in normal voices and Mr. Hunt was shot in the back.

External facts such as race, size of the victim, and radical beliefs should play a role. Alton Nolen changed his name to Jah'Keem Yisrael. His facebook page shows images of beheadings which he believed were sanctified by the prophet. Alton Nolen's religious beliefs are involved in the Oklahoma shooting. The primary cause of the Louisiana shooting appears to be alcohol.

These two different blade related incident shows that blade wielding victims pose a great challenge for police. Personally, I think play acting with swords is foolish. That said, when one can't find circumstances outside the shooting, the public needs to scrutinize the shooting and the Darrien Hunt shooting still seems off to me.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Highly High

Matt Schauerhamer, one of the police officers involved in the Darrien Hunt shooting, wrote a strange article in the Crossroads Journal equating the Rastafarian Movement with the drug culture and consequently with evil.

Schauerhamer's article contrasts people who dress like cowboys, a thing he sees as a good image, with those dressing like Bob Marley, a thing Schauerhamer sees as a bad image. The juicy meat of the article is the following:

Having George Strait’s greatest hits on your iPod doesn’t mean you’re a cowboy. However, if your child is listening to Bob Marley’s "Kaya," is wearing a Bob Marley shirt with Bob Marley on it smoking a joint, has a Bob Marley poster in his room, and is wearing a Rasta hat (red, yellow and green), it is highly likely your child is highly high. If they have Rasta colored anything, it is a good bet your child uses or hangs out with drug users.

The article brought up an interesting point. Living here in Utah, I know very little of Rastafarian beliefs beyond the popular image in the media. Rather than ragging on the Saratoga Springs PD, I decided to spend the day researching this belief.

This quote comes from a BBC piece on the Rastafarian beliefs:
Rastafarians believe that God makes himself known through humanity. According to Jagessar "there must be one man in whom he exists most eminently and completely, and that is the supreme man, Rastafari, Selassie I."

This idea is quite Platonic. Plato's theory of forms would imply that there is a man who best represents the ideal form of humanity. There have been branches of Christianity that held that Jesus was the ideal form of man.

Rastafarian beliefs, like many other belief systems, runs back to ancient Israel but are manifest through the modern figure: Haile Selassie I.

Haile Selassie I was born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikal. He became "Emperor of Ethiopia" in 1930 with claims to be part of a dynasty reaching back to King Solomon and Queen Makeda (the Queen of Sheba). The term "Rastafari" is derived from the title Ras and Haile Selassie's first name "Tafari."

Haile Selassie, himself, was a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church which is a branch of the Coptic Christian Church.
Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia in December 1934. The smaller and poorly equipped Ethiopia maintained a strong defence but eventually fell in 1936 after which Selassie became a strong leader against fascism and the use of chemical weapons. Haile Selassie was immensely among African Americans in the United States.
Haile Selassie returned to Ethiopia in 1941 marching under the banner of The Lion of Judah after which he set forth on a variety of progressive reforms such as the end of slavery. Haile Selassie was an advocate of collective defense and sent troops to aid the allies in the Korean War, but was also both anti-colonialist and a leader in the Non-Aligned Movement.

Attempts at land reformed and progressive taxation failed. In the 1970s, famine took the lives of 40,000 and Haile's Selassie's regime soon fell to a Marxist revolution in 1974. In an event called "Black Saturday" a radical group called The Derg executed 60 members of Ethiopia's imperial government and declared the end of the Solomonic Dynasty. Haile Selassie died a year later after a prostate operation. The Soviet backed Derg ruled Ethiopia until 1991.

In the various articles I've read bout Ras Tafari, he sounds like a great man who stood against slavery, who stood against fascism, who stood against colonialism, and who stood against communism. The people who admire Ras Tafari have a great role model.

The Rastafarian Movement took hold in Jamaica a half world away from Ethopia, but I could see a people watching Haile Selassi thrilled with a fairly consistent campaign for human compassion and social justice.

To hear the highly bigoted Matt Schauerhamer from Saratoga Springs, Utah labelling the admirers of Ras Tafari as drug dealers make my skin crawl.

Ras Tafari clearly played a central role in defeating Fascism and in the stand against Communism. Living in intellectual backwash of Utah, I am left wondering why I haven't heard Haile Selassie held up as one of the great leaders of the last generation.

Now, my progressive professors were for the Communists of Ethiopia. So they would despise Haile Selassie. He was a member of the Coptic Christian Church which is reviled by the Western Churches. They would ignore the man. My Mormon professors held that people with black skin bear the Mark of Cain and should be reviled. The mainstream media and Hollywood generally associate Rastafarian with reggae music and drugs.

Personally, I dislike the monarchy and I am suspect of anyone who holds titles, especially titles like Duke, Ras or Emperor. Beyond that, the history of Haile Selassia shows a person who played a vital role in standing against tyranny. I have a very strong admiration of members of the Coptic Church who've stood against some of the worst tyrannies of the modern age. If you are a Rastafarian; I applaud you for having a great role model. Wear your colors proud. I would hold your role model over the polygamists Joseph Smith and Brigham Young any day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Up until Ron Paul's disastrous run for the presidency in 2012, The Campaign for Liberty was one of the brightest stars in the liberty movement. C4L threw all of its political clout into Ron Paul campaign and completely fell apart during the GOP primary.

I kept following the group and was delighted to find that there was a C4L Meeting in Salt Lake last week.

The meeting was one of the most pathetic events I've attended and a week later I am still depressed by what I saw.

One guy in the group kept repeating that "we need to kill them." Another loud voice kept saying "no, we need to castrate them."

There was a loud argument about who hated the police more. Three people in the room were really upset about police for three different reasons and launched into informal shouting to see who could display the most anger.

Personally, I have nothing against passion, but I tend to prefer reason.
I believe that, if there was a group that discussed free market solutions to the problems of the day, that group might have an impact.

The closest that the meeting came to reason was a soft spoken women who was upset about legislatures veering from the Constitution and wondered why the mainstream media never talks about free agency as it appears in the Constitution.

Well, umm, err, uh ...

The reason you rarely hear people outside Utah talk about Free Agency in the Constitution is because Free Agency is not from the Constitution.

Free Agency is a dialectical trick created by Joseph Smith.  The idea of Free Agency is similar to the dialectical tricks used by Hegel (1770-1831) a generation before Joseph Smith (1805-1844).

Because I'm depressed, I will repeat the evolution of Free Agency.

The Constitution was written by the US Founders in 1787. The founds had a Liberal Arts education steeped in classical logic and Christian Ethics. They applied classical logic to the question of liberty and created a Republic with a Constitutionally Limited Government. I like to call the application of classical logic to the question of liberty "Classical Liberalism."

The conservatives of 1776 supported the monarchy. Conservatives stood shoulder to shoulder with the British and leveled their musket fire at the US Founders.

The Hanoverian Kings of England (King George I, II, III ...) were from Germany. They funded the Germany University system. After the American Revolution, they task the German University system with making the monarchy appear progressive. Hegel provides the example of the thought produced by this reactionary movement.

Hegel invented a new paradox ridden way of thought called "modern logic."

A primary difference between classical and modern logic is the role of paradox. Classical thinkers sought to limit paradoxes.

Most concepts create paradoxes. For example, if I united one half of a community against the other half then I used the language of unity to create division.

Freedom leads to multiple paradoxes. Simply ask the question: "Does my freedom entitle me to take others as slaves?"

Republics have a paradox: What if a Republic votes in a dictator seeking to end the Republic?

Hegel loved word games that presented freedom as slavery and slavery freedom. For example Hegel might argue that the slave owner might become a slave to the plantation while the slaves were able to live carefree lives. (IMHO both Hegel and his followers and foolish).

Classical liberals disliked paradoxes. They realized that there best hope at nurturing a free society would be to created a Constitutionally limited government whose primary charge was to protect the liberty of the people. (They failed to address the horrific institution of slavery).

A group applied Hegelian Dialectics to the term liberal. They concluded that if freedom is slavery and slavery freedom, then people would somehow achieve a greater liberty if they sought economic and political centralization. (Did I mention that I think Hegel and his followers are foolish?).

Hegel, and his paradoxical thinking, was the absolute rage a decade before Joseph Smith did his thing.

The Mormon idea of Free Agency took its form in the years after Joseph Smith wrote "The Book of Commandments" and attempted to create an institution called "The United Order of Enoch." The Book of Commandments instructed LDS followers to surrender all of their property to the LDS Church. The church would then give people resources as the church sought fit.

Smith's followers rebelled. Joseph Smith retreated and really started pushing an idea called "Free Agency."

The principle of Free Agency states that there is a great war taking place in the Heavenly Kingdom between the followers of the Heavenly Father and Servants of Satan. In the divine plan of the Heavenly Father, people are given "Free Agency" to see if they will join the ranks of the righteous and follow the dictates of the LDS Church or if they join the ranks of the dark skinned Lamanites and become Servants of Satan.

Servants of Satan are to be cast out and vilified.

Free Agency is a paradox. It is exactly like the paradoxes of freedom that Hegel popularized a decade before Joseph Smith.

Free Agency states that you are free to do as you are told. If you don't do as you are told you are a Servant of Satan to be cast out and vilified.

Free Agency is tied up with another idea called "The Covenant." LDS Thoughts on The Covenant appear to come from The Divine Right of Kings. The Divine Right of Kings claims that the authority of the monarchy comes from Covenants that God made with the patriarchs of the Hebraic Bible. This Covenant with God gave kings Divine Rights. To rebel against the King was a sin.

Covenant Theology in the Mormon Church holds that the US Founders were actually hapless fools. The Heavenly Father won the Revolution for the Founders then revealed The Constitution to the Founders for the express purpose of creating the conditions necessary for the Restoration of the Church.

Yes, here in Utah, The LDS Church teaches that that both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution are scripture revealed by The Heavenly Father for the purpose of creating the conditions necessary for the Restoration of the Church.

The Restoration of the Church came with the revelation of The Book of Mormon followed by the revelation of the Book of Commandments later renamed "The Doctrine and Covenant."

The Divine Plan of the Heavenly Father was to give people free agency in the Latter Days to see who would willingly submit to the authority of the Church and who would not. Those who do not are to be cast out, isolated and vilified.

It's a paradox. The Mormon doctrine of Free Agency says that people who exercise freedom are to be cast out and vilified. If you love something: Set if free. If it doesn't come back on its own accord, hunt it down and kill it.

I am not LDS. It seems to me that the Free Agency argument is actually a negation of the ideals of the US Founders and the US Constitution. When I hear people trying to apply the Mormon doctrine of Free Agency to the Constitution, I feel that they are just trying to spin the Constitutional tradition to their political favor.

So, I sat in the C4L meeting hoping to bring up the issue of free market health care reform. Instead I was left shaking my head. I reject the idea that we need to kill people. I reject the idea that we need to castrate people.

In my opinion Free Agency is useless paradox like most of the ideas from the Hegelian tradition.

A private conversation at the C4L meeting brought up the belief that Obama was the Anti-Christ.

I'm sorry, but Conservatives are as bad if not worse than Progressivism.

All that said. I can remember the great work the Campaign for Liberty was doing prior to the Ron Paul campaign. It would be wonderful to see a revival of this organization. But if it simply becomes a platform for lunatics; then I am content to see it flounder.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Held in Abeyance

When local governments protect the people from Federal overreach, the local government shines. Likewise, when the Federal Government protects people from excesses of the state, the Federal Government shines.

Darrien Hunt died at the hands of local police and there is sufficient cause to suspect race played a role in the shooting. This is a case that the FBI and Justice Department should investigate.

News reports indicate that the fatal shooting was Darrien't second run in with the Saratoga Springs police. I suspect that the key to the shooting lies with the first run in.

What has been reported is that Darrien was at a party with under-aged drinking and marijuana. There was a fight. Darrien was the only one arrested. The mug shot shows that Darrien has bruises and a large bandage.

Darrien pled guilty to child abuse in abeyance. The "in abeyance" plea means that it would be removed from his record if he went a year without being arrested.

Darrien's aunt claims that Darrien was jumped at the party. So, imagine a situation where you are invited to a party. You are jumped at the party. You are the only one arrested and are charged with child abuse for attending the party. You would not feel good about the police.

From a racial perspective, this first arrest looks suspect. There was a fight. The police arrest the black guy. The mug shot shows the black guy had bruises and lacerations.

Later in the year, Darrien is out doing costume play. This is not uncommon in Utah Valley. Utah Valley [aka Happy Valley] sports multiple costume runs. It is home to the world's largest princess festival. It hosts multiple costume fun runs. The community held a record breaking scavenger hunt in the week of the shooting.

White people walk around in this state with huge survivalist knives and with assault style weapons strapped to their back.

Darrien is off playing by himself. While none of the white people in the world's largest scavenger hunt or at the world's largest princess party were reported as suspicious, Darrien was. Because of the abeyance ruling, Darrien was confronted with the reality that he would be in jail for the very serious crime of child abuse if the police arrested him.

This brings me back to the first arrest. Darrien went to a party where he claims to have been jumped. He was the person arrested. The mug shot shows bruises and lacerations. A person who was beat up and arrested; he may have felt that running from police was his only option.

I agree that the Justice Department should investigate this crime. The Justice Department should focus its attention on the first arrest and the court ruling that was holding Darrien in abeyance for child abuse at a party where he arguably was jumped and beaten.

The fact that someone called the police on Darrien in a community where it is not unusual for white people to carry weapons or engage in costume play is a bit suspicious, but the area that needs investigation is the first arrest and the court ruling that held Darrien in abeyance of child abuse because marijuana was present at a party he attended.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Whisper Campaigns

In my senior year two kids (Ted Fields and David Martin) were gunned down in Liberty Park because they were black. David Martin graduated the year before me.

The political machine in Utah launched a whisper campaign about drug and gang involvement in the shootings while gentiles were admonished to keep things quite until after the official investigation. I admit, I took the drug angle seriously as it seemed the most likely explanation. People in Salt Lake cast dispersions at the girls jogging with Fields and Martin. Personally, I believed that the group was jogging in Liberty Park for exercise, but who really cares if they were dating?

There was a collective sigh of relief in Salt Lake when it turned out that the shooter, Joseph Paul Franklin, was just a convert to Mormonism and not born and bred Mormon. The church busily erased and hid information about his membership and the political machine focused on Franklin's membership in the KKK and American Nazi Party. The KKK is anti-Mormon. Although Franklin had joined the LDS Church, one can use the KKK relation to frame the shootings as anti-Mormon.

Franklin Claims to have joined the LDS Church in 1974, but became disenchanted with a church that did not share his overt racist views. He was livid when the LDS Church ended its ban on admitting blacks into the priesthood in 1978. The Aaronic Priesthood is usually given to boys 12-18 and necessary for anyone seeking a leadership role in the LDS Church or LDS owned business. Banning blacks from the priesthood effectively forced blacks into a second class status.

The whisper campaign and fact that Franklin was in the KKK effectively allowed the shooting to be buried. So, two kids associated with my school were gunned down. I never heard anyone talk about it in a voice louder than a whisper and I really don't think anyone outside the family cared.

Racism in Utah

Utah is not an overtly racist state. The problem in Utah is that the racism that does exist is tied to religion. For example the question "Why did the LDS Church bar blacks from the priesthood?" is a religious question. One cannot explain the priesthood ban without examining Mormon theology.

In the state of religion today, people are uncomfortable talking about religion. The president of the United States is uncomfortable in discussing any possible connections between an entity that calls itself the "Islamic State" and the Islamic Religion.

The LDS Church was created in the 1830s. Naturally, the church incorporated much of the thought of the 1830s. During this period the abolitionists in the North were opposed to slavery and the South sought means to justify the institution. Mormonism came from the North and was anti-slavery, but there was also a great deal of racially-based thought floating around in the intellectual community of the day.

Specifically, many scholars of the 1830s sought to derive histories of the human race based on the Bible.

Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain was jealous and killed Abel.To account for racial differences, Biblical scholars speculated that the Heavenly Father turned the descendants of Cain black in punishment of Cain's sin.

As for the priesthood ban, In a speech to the Utah Territorial Legislature Brigham Young explained: "any man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] ... in him cannot hold the priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ I know it is true and others know it."

Things go deeper. Biblical scholars sought to explain the Native Americans. In their world view, the American Indians had to come from the Bible. Some began to speculate they were the Lost Tribes of Israel. Books that were available to Joseph Smith gave versions of this theory.

The plot behind the Book of Mormon is that the Lost Tribes of Israel came to the New World in a submarine designed by the Heavenly Father. The tribes split into two groups: The Nephites were white and delightsome. The Lamanites were dark and loathsome and prone to follow Satan. One day the ruler King Benjamin decided to give people and election. The Lamanites rigged the election and took power. They then entered an Extermination War against the Nephites. The killed the Nephites, all their horses and destroyed all of their technology. This is why Native Americans have darker skin than European settlers and why they had only primitive technology.

Quoting Brigham Young from the Journal of Discourses:

"You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation ...When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a white and delightsome people"
The driving theme of the Latter Day Saints is a righteous group that is white and delightsome that is pitted in eternal conflict with Servants of Satan who are dark and loathsome.

While Mormons are not overtly racist and are diligently working to purge their religion of its racist past, the problem persists that the racial attitudes of the 1830s play a fundamental role in theology.

The unfortunate result of this situation is that the knee jerk reaction in this state in situations like the shooting of Darrien Hunt is to begin attacking the black guy.

I became interested in the Darrien Hunt issue because I encountered the whisper campaign against Mr. Hunt two days after the shooting. I heard comments about a crazy black man attacking police with a sword in Utah County, then heard attacks on Hunt's character and finally a very strange conversation about how Cosplay is uncommon in Utah County.

The whisper campaign reminded me of the whisper campaign launched against Ted Fields and David Martin when they were gunned down in Liberty Park.

The reason that I started posting about Darrien Hunt was because I encountered the whisper campaign before I heard the news. The shooting of Darrien, as terrible as it is, is still just a single incident. That people responded to the news of the shooting by launching a whisper campaign against the victim is a troublesome indicator for the community. (More on Utah's reaction to Darrien Hunt.)

But of course the shooting of a kid in a Samurai costume is already old news here in fast-paced Utah. Today's headline is that two sister wives dressed in Ninja costumes robbed a West Valley home. Just what we need: polygamist ninjas.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Utah's Attitude Toward Darien Hunt

On June 18th of this year, Salt Lake Police were engaged in a search for a missing boy. During the search an officer shot a Weimaraner that was in a person's backyard.

There was a huge outpouring of rage over the shooting followed by support and demands for a change in the callous policies police have towards dogs. The site Justice for Geist is campaigning for change.

When Darrien Hunt was shot in Saratoga Springs, I was expecting a similar response. Instead I've encountered really strange reactions. So, I've spent a good part of the last two days following Utah social media and talking to people about the shooting.

Outside immediate friends and relatives, I've discovered that most people have not heard about the shooting. Those that have heard of the shooting generally repeat the official talking points with statements such as: "Darrien Hunt? is he the black guy who attacked police officers in Provo?

Utahans who've started researching the issue seem to be concluding that the shooting was justified.

I don't like recounting private conversations. Here is a public post by Semperfivirens made on on The Guardian which seems to reflect Utah sentiment.
They guy [Darrien Hunt] obviously should have been committed to a facility by his family. They didn't and instead chose to cherish his child-like nature. A child-like nature that involved threatening people with a samurai sword.

The general opinion appears to be that Darrien deserved what happened. Semperfivirens is saying that the shooting is the fault of the mother.

Other Utahans are trying to counter the idea that Darrien was engaged in Cosplay or are pushing the idea that his replica sword was a real sword and not a costume play sword. (The term "cosplay" is short for "costume play." It means playing a game in costume.)

I agree with the statement that we should wait until after the official investigation before making any judgments about the police officers in the case; However, comments about the reporting of the event, the fantasy role playing culture in Utah, and about the direction of the investigation are appropriate.

For example, I've been trying to point out that a large number of people engage in costume play in Utah County. Others are discussing Utah's lax open carry laws. If many are engaged in open carry and many people are engaged in costume play without being confronted by police, then this information is relevant.

Much of the conversation in Utah is focusing on the fact that Darrien had been arrested earlier this year. The Guardian was displaying this mugshot. The Guardian cites Darrien's aunt Cindy Moss who claimed that Darrien was jumped at a drinking party and that he was the only one arrested at the event reportedly because he was the only one over 21. The mugshot shows a bandage and Darrien's face appears roughed up. Hopefully the police have photos of the other kids in the fight.

But back to my original sentiment. There appears to have been more outrage in Salt Lake over the shooting of a dog than the shooting of Darrien Hunt.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cosplay in Happy Valley

Darrien Hunt was shot by police in Utah County. The police want us to believe that young men engaged in cosplay is so unusually as to warrant extreme measures.

Utah County, known locally as Happy Valley, is home of numerous cosplay events. For Example, Happy Valley claims to be home of the world's largest Princess Festival. Below is an advertisement for the 2014 event that took place at the Castle Park Event. (Yes, there is an events center a few miles from the shooting designed like a castle for costumed events.)

There appears to be two young men wearing costumes with toy swords in this publicized event not far from Saratoga Springs.