30 May 2008

Happy Miracle Baby!

A baby was just born - completely healthy - to a mother. Normally not news, right? Except that this baby developed in her ovary, not her womb - where it's a lot safer for mom and baby!

What a blessing for that happy family!

(I'd suggest picking up a lottery ticket on the way home, but it's an "idiot tax," and I know how tight budgets are with newborns in the house!)

27 May 2008

More Prayers for Those Suffering

Since we've been inundated with disasters of every kind over the last two weeks, from cyclones and earthquakes to tornadoes and fires, all I can really think of is to send more prayers and relief... China's now looking at a secondary crisis - flooding caused by the earthquake-caused landslides backing up riverflow.

At any rate, let's do what we can to help our brothers and sisters around the world!!!

23 May 2008

Daughter, Arise?

This is an interesting story: a woman who was completely (?) dead - meaning no pulse, no brain activity, etc. - and whose body had already entered rigor mortis - came back to life.

There's a "wow" moment!

She says God has another purpose for her (which she'll find out later) - and I'd have to agree!!!

I also think it says something about her character and the value of our life here with others that she's happy to be "back." Very cool!

19 May 2008

Sorry, No Sharia Here...

A group in Iraq is calling for "the severest of punishments" to be visited upon the idiot who shot up a Koran.


Sorry, guys, killing (or lashing) people for showing disrespect and unbelievably poor judgment isn't cool in our value system.

We're more likely to exhibit offensive material as art. Or wait... maybe that only applies if it's disrespecting Christian symbols...

15 May 2008

Mistress with a Conscience

This is one of those stories I'd expect to see on TV, but on like, Bones, Murder She Wrote, Matlock, CSI, or something else.

But this was on the TV NEWS. It happened in Boise.

This guy pushed his wife off a cliff to get rid of her. (Yeah, since divorces are just SO hard nowadays...) There'll never be a trial, since he killed himself when the police came to serve a warrant. (So technically, I'm making a well-founded accusation - our system hasn't convicted him.)

Not that this area doesn't have any other crimes, (even big ones), but the whole thing is just creepy.

The good news? His mistress (who says she didn't know he was married, and we'll give her the benefit of the doubt there, considering his character...) turned him in.

Kudos and thanks to her!!!

14 May 2008

...And I mean that in the best possible way!

I thought this article from MSNBC was pretty cute.

The author, Alfonso Durante - evidently fairly liberal - writes of his surprise at his genuine appreciation for Walden Media movies. To quote: "...how is it that I’ve become such a fan of Walden Media’s films?"

The reason I found it amusing was that he was so surprised that a conservative (who's supported causes that the author finds wrong at best) would make movies with strong female characters; with morals but not condemnations; and with heart and faith, but not prescriptive preaching.

I'd like to express my genuine appreciation for Mr. Durante's candid (and complimentary, the way I take them) observations! It's nice when people take an honest look at "the other side" - after all, we "normal people" are all (generally) trying to do the best we can.

12 May 2008

Prayers for Those Suffering

...after the cyclone in Burma/Myanmar;
...after an aid shipment to the oppressed people of Burma/Myanmar SINKS;
...after a massive earthquake in China (and the rest of SE Asia);
...after multiple tornadoes on multiple days in the US;

- please send thoughts, prayers, and whatever helpful things you can think of, their way.

09 May 2008

And Something Funny for the Weekend

News anchors with a sense of humor - check out the video!

08 May 2008

Something Gracious for the Weekend

Protesters are suspending their chants and signs while Jenna Bush is getting married this weekend.

That is really, truly nice of them! Thanks, guys & gals!

A Better Reason for "Why Conservatives Are Happier Than Liberals"

A recent study has concluded that conservatives are happier than liberals because their beliefs lead them to just dismiss inequalities. In other words, they are happier because they just don't care (as much).

I have a much better (in my own view) interpretation of that connection between "rationalization" and happiness, and it is NOT nonchalance and indifference toward their fellow human beings' struggles.

I'll try to explain some of it in under 500,000 words.

It's absolutely NOT that conservatives (at least speaking for myself and those I know) don't care or are trying to "explain away" inequalities. Here's my analysis - not having participated in the study - of why conservatives are happier:
  • We don't choose to let our disadvantages (or advantages) define us; this could be summed up (albeit crudely) as "get over it."
  • We believe you can - and are responsible to - make the best of your life, in your estimation, however it might compare to someone else's.
  • We believe we're not all the same, and everyone doesn't have to be the same to be happy.
  • We're generally religious, which means:
    • We believe human beings are special, created in the image of God, (through whatever processes we don't fully understand yet...), and that He loves us all.
    • We're one of those human beings - so we're more than the sum of our circumstances.
    • We believe in right and wrong, and that doing right leads to greater happiness.
    • We believe it's right to help people, and that we have the power to help.
    • We have the security of trusting a loving God, which makes us less threatened by, and potentially less miserable about, what we consider "mortal" challenges.
  • And there's always the knowledge that whatever happens to us, we all choose how to react to it.
Of course there are HUGE problems in the world. Of course some people's lives are really supremely horrible. But we're supposed to help them ourselves, not whine and worry and wait for the government to force everyone else to do the same thing.

For example, not that money is the only gauge of help, but if we use red-state/blue-state giving as a guide, conservatives (red states) donate more (percentage-wise and dollar-wise) to charitable causes. So they may be rightly less-troubled by inequalities, since they're actually doing something (besides worrying) about it, and their contributions are not forced or limited by others.

And then there's this:
Our research suggests that inequality takes a greater psychological toll on liberals than on conservatives," the researchers write in the June issue of the journal Psychological Science, "apparently because liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light.

You mean, like evolution? Survival of the fittest? Wouldn't a solid belief in natural evolutionary tendencies, with no other outside influence or source of moral judgment, provide that "neutral" light?

Try this instead: "All men are created equal."

[And please don't start with the "they only meant white men..." argument - our founding fathers built the END of slavery into the Constitution, not the preservation of it; and it would've countered the point to separate men & women, wouldn't it?]

It doesn't say "identical." We don't have to have the same hair color, genitalia, skin color, daily occupation, choice in music, or brain function to be of equal worth as human beings.

And being worthwhile - both to our God, by virtue of our existence, and to other human beings, by virtue of our choice to help - is a huge source of happiness.

06 May 2008

Our Apologies, Gentlemen

Turns out the two men who were taking pictures of ferry workings weren't terrorists.

The FBI has verified their information, now that they've contacted a US embassy over in the EU, and everything's copacetic. (Not sure why it took almost a year for them to get this straightened out...maybe news doesn't travel as quickly in the EU?)

Our apologies!

05 May 2008

Harry Reid - *barf*

Here's an article about Harry Reid, and how his faith - he's LDS - "is part of who [he is]."

Oh, really?

Which part? The slandering? Or the outright lying? Or the blatant, willful ignorance? Or the shady land deals? Or the power-motivated hackjobs? Or the whining? Or the Blame-America-First complex?

Whichever part it is, (and I suspect it's his pinky toenail), he may say it's there, but his conduct - especially in a leadership position - belies it.

Latter-day Saints can be liberal (or conservative) in good faith, but they can't lie and slander in good faith.

The article states, "While Americans may know Mitt Romney is a Mormon, few know that about Reid."

Umm, yeah. Couldn't possibly be the squeaky-clean Donny & Marie image of one, and the utter ignorance (or dishonesty) of the other, could it?

And it couldn't possibly be that the media has never harangued Reid about it (to my knowledge) - although they've grilled Romney about it, both in person and in absentia...

Nah, it's just because Reid "doesn't wear [his] religion on [his] sleeve..."

On the other hand, this article is from the Salt Lake Tribune, so there ya go - with roughly a golf-ball-sized grain of salt.