Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
okay, i hope i can do this post justice. one of the current issues that's been bouncing around my head the last few years has to do with same sex marriage. it's definitely been a topic in the news. as a faithful latter-day-saint i adhere to the belief that marriage is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman and god. i do not want to make same sex marriage legal, but i also don't want to make an opposite law - i don't like the idea of laws related to something that to me has always been a spiritual or religious issue. i'd rather church and state stay separate - call me an american. so i've been concerned about the same sex marriage agenda that's going on in a few states, in particular, california. i don't really want a law that says marriage is just between man and woman, but i also don't think that marriages should be recognized as marriages between same sex partners. my sister lives in california and has been involved in canvassing the neighborhoods to discuss the issue and hopefully persuade people to vote for proposition 8. it's been a good experience for her, her husband, and her two teenage children. she shared a link with the rest of us so we could read more about the issue. it's published by the lds church, so it makes sense to me. it's kind of long, but i skimmed and scanned and came across this paragraph which i felt clearly expressed what i'd been struggling with in my head. i don't claim to have thought of this on my own, but when i read this it spoke truth to me and i realized it was the reasoning i was seeking:
"When a man and a woman marry with the intention of forming a new family, their success in that endeavor depends on their willingness to renounce the single-minded pursuit of self-fulfillment and to sacrifice their time and means to the nurturing and rearing of their children. Marriage is fundamentally an unselfish act: legally protected because only a male and female together can create new life, and because the rearing of children requires a life-long commitment, which marriage is intended to provide. Societal recognition of same-sex marriage cannot be justified simply on the grounds that it provides self-fulfillment to its partners, for it is not the purpose of government to provide legal protection to every possible way in which individuals may pursue fulfillment. By definition, all same-sex unions are infertile, and two individuals of the same gender, whatever their affections, can never form a marriage devoted to raising their own mutual offspring."
i think what i like best about this paragraph is how it defines the purpose of marriage. marriage is not designed to proclaim your love for another person. people can rent hotair balloons with "i love bob" plastered on the side if they want the world to know how much they care about somebody. marriage is to raise children in a healthy (the best you can) environment. sadly, the sanctity of home and family has been lost by much of society already, and that's probably why same sex marriages seem like a logical option. i also really like the point that government is not supposed to provide legal protection for every form of self fulfillment people might have. that would get crazy messy. anyway, it's also sort of sad that more people haven't discovered the self fulfillment that comes from true self sacrifice. aren't we all struggling with that one?
now that i've posted something possibly controvertial i can only hope that i spoke politely enough. the librarian at school says i'm a great diplomat - here's hoping she's not just being nice.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
by the way... i think school is making me way tired. last night in the temple, as i've been known to do way too often, i dozed off. but this time the dozing was so deep the lady next to me had to give me a knudge when it was one of those important times to be awake. it was some deep dozing, but luckily that was embarrassing enough to kick me mostly awake for the rest of the session!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
August 20, 2008
Russia Never Wanted a War
By MIKHAIL GORBACHEV
THE acute phase of the crisis provoked by the Georgian forces’ assault on Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, is now behind us. But how can one erase from memory the horrifying scenes of the nighttime rocket attack on a peaceful town, the razing of entire city blocks, the deaths of people taking cover in basements, the destruction of ancient monuments and ancestral graves?
Russia did not want this crisis. The Russian leadership is in a strong enough position domestically; it did not need a little victorious war. Russia was dragged into the fray by the recklessness of the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili. He would not have dared to attack without outside support. Once he did, Russia could not afford inaction.
The decision by the Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, to now cease hostilities was the right move by a responsible leader. The Russian president acted calmly, confidently and firmly. Anyone who expected confusion in Moscow was disappointed.
The planners of this campaign clearly wanted to make sure that, whatever the outcome, Russia would be blamed for worsening the situation. The West then mounted a propaganda attack against Russia, with the American news media leading the way.
The news coverage has been far from fair and balanced, especially during the first days of the crisis. Tskhinvali was in smoking ruins and thousands of people were fleeing — before any Russian troops arrived. Yet Russia was already being accused of aggression; news reports were often an embarrassing recitation of the Georgian leader’s deceptive statements.
It is still not quite clear whether the West was aware of Mr. Saakashvili’s plans to invade South Ossetia, and this is a serious matter. What is clear is that Western assistance in training Georgian troops and shipping large supplies of arms had been pushing the region toward war rather than peace.
If this military misadventure was a surprise for the Georgian leader’s foreign patrons, so much the worse. It looks like a classic wag-the-dog story.
Mr. Saakashvili had been lavished with praise for being a staunch American ally and a real democrat — and for helping out in Iraq. Now America’s friend has wrought disorder, and all of us — the Europeans and, most important, the region’s innocent civilians — must pick up the pieces.
Those who rush to judgment on what’s happening in the Caucasus, or those who seek influence there, should first have at least some idea of this region’s complexities. The Ossetians live both in Georgia and in Russia. The region is a patchwork of ethnic groups living in close proximity. Therefore, all talk of “this is our land,” “we are liberating our land,” is meaningless. We must think about the people who live on the land.
The problems of the Caucasus region cannot be solved by force. That has been tried more than once in the past two decades, and it has always boomeranged.
What is needed is a legally binding agreement not to use force. Mr. Saakashvili has repeatedly refused to sign such an agreement, for reasons that have now become abundantly clear.
The West would be wise to help achieve such an agreement now. If, instead, it chooses to blame Russia and re-arm Georgia, as American officials are suggesting, a new crisis will be inevitable. In that case, expect the worst.
In recent days, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President Bush have been promising to isolate Russia. Some American politicians have threatened to expel it from the Group of 8 industrialized nations, to abolish the NATO-Russia Council and to keep Russia out of the World Trade Organization.
These are empty threats. For some time now, Russians have been wondering: If our opinion counts for nothing in those institutions, do we really need them? Just to sit at the nicely set dinner table and listen to lectures?
Indeed, Russia has long been told to simply accept the facts. Here’s the independence of Kosovo for you. Here’s the abrogation of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, and the American decision to place missile defenses in neighboring countries. Here’s the unending expansion of NATO. All of these moves have been set against the backdrop of sweet talk about partnership. Why would anyone put up with such a charade?
There is much talk now in the United States about rethinking relations with Russia. One thing that should definitely be rethought: the habit of talking to Russia in a condescending way, without regard for its positions and interests.
Our two countries could develop a serious agenda for genuine, rather than token, cooperation. Many Americans, as well as Russians, understand the need for this. But is the same true of the political leaders?
A bipartisan commission led by Senator Chuck Hagel and former Senator Gary Hart has recently been established at Harvard to report on American-Russian relations to Congress and the next president. It includes serious people, and, judging by the commission’s early statements, its members understand the importance of Russia and the importance of constructive bilateral relations.
But the members of this commission should be careful. Their mandate is to present “policy recommendations for a new administration to advance America’s national interests in relations with Russia.” If that alone is the goal, then I doubt that much good will come out of it. If, however, the commission is ready to also consider the interests of the other side and of common security, it may actually help rebuild trust between Russia and the United States and allow them to start doing useful work together.
Mikhail Gorbachev is the former president of the Soviet Union. This article was translated by Pavel Palazhchenko from the Russian.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The photo below features tatting. I'm a tatter - I was impressed.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
it was a spectacular party. how blessed i am in every way shape and form.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
okay, danielle may mock me for my version of "family history," but i'm excited to have discovered an answer to a long standing question about my heritage. granted, i just did some googling and came up with it, but i have no reason to doubt its authenticity.
when i was a child and filling in my pedigree charts on sunday afternoons (yes, this was one of the approved sabbath activities in my home) i was excited by my relation to a sarah ward. although i wasn't named for her, i liked to believe i was. the cool thing about her is that she had one son, james, that took her last name. the other cool thing was that from all i could tell she had had two different husbands, william spanswick and a william spackman. i always wondered if it was the same guy - their names being so similar - but why didn't james have one of those last names? why did he go with ward? my father always said i should ask my uncle platt, i guess he was the record keeper of the family - my grandfather was the youngest of nine in his family and i'm guessing platt was the oldest boy at least. anyway, i do remember visiting platt in a nursing home once, but my family was never that big on bonding with the extended family so i never did ask uncle platt about good old sarah and her son james.
since i've been doing some scrapbooking lately i got online and googled "sarah ward" with utah. mostly i was looking to see if you could come up with anything about me online - nope. but i did discover this great ancestor of mine. let's see... she would be my father's father's father's father's mother. so is that my great great great grandmother? i found this story about her that said she was married to william spackman, to whom she was later sealed in the logan temple, but she already had a son named james spanswick whose father died when he was two. i'm guessing james later just kept his mother's maiden name - unfortunately the site didn't tell me why. but at least i figured out the order of the men and how james fits into it. spanswick is basically forgotten since the sealed line is with spackman. man, those sealings can be confusing. another cool thing i discovered about sarah is that her second husband (he's the only one i found real info on) was nine years her junior! i always thought it was cool that my grandmother was six years older than grandfather - but i guess that wasn't so abnormal afterall.
i love the internet.
Sheesh - seems like for my bday I should have a better post than this. I'll keep the eyes open - I bet I can get something else.
Party at 7 at liberty park if you want to join the fun!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
In case you're wondering... I left out the picture (visible proof) out of respect for the weaker stomachs that are reading this. Over the weekend I heard from two totally different sources that they've found my blog. I better be more careful in my blabbings. And photo posting. Trust me - the swelling is down. I'm going to try walking again tomorrow - seems like a festive thing to do for the bday.
anyway - i MEANT to say that this is a really good book. i can't remember the last book that made me smile big and cry hard. i find myself wishing hard i could be one of the female characters, i even try to imagine in my head how i could behave or speak differently so i could be more like them. now, in case you've read the book, don't get me wrong - the women in this book are generally whores - but i don't want to be like them in that sense but more in the sense of self awareness and courage. yes, i want to be tough and strong and brave and independent, at least in spirit. anyway, i guess i should say they're inspiring - i don't REALLY want to be like them, i just find myself being a bit inspired. if you haven't read it, make sure you have about a week of your life to kill. it's thicker and more intense than any measly harry potter.
okay, back to my book.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Understand Your Priorities
If someone were to ask you who we are as a people, what would you say? Who are we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
The answer, I believe, is a simple one given to us by the Savior Himself. We are a people who love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds. And we are a people who love our neighbor as ourselves. (See Matthew 22:37–39.)
This answer satisfies many of the questions asked about why we do what we do. Why does the Church ask so much of its members? Because we love the Lord, and we love our neighbor. Why do we do temple work? Missionary work? Welfare work? Because we love the Lord, and we love our neighbor.
These are the roots of all that we do. We do not send our missionaries out into the world to collect statistics. We send them into the world because we love our Heavenly Father, and we love our fellowmen.
That is who we are as a people. That is why we do what we do.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Would-be robbers walk away empty-handed
April 11, 2008
Marc Giauque and Mary Richards reporting
A frustrating night for some would-be robbers in Salt Lake City, especially for one whose demand for cash went way wrong.
In Utah it may be a difficult deal to tell the difference between the words "fill" and "feel." Last night when a robber presented a bag at the Cafe Treo, he told the server to "fill" it.
"The employee thought the suspect said ‘feel' the bag, so the employee reached over and felt the bag," said Detective Jeff Bedard, spokesman for the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Bedard says the suspect replied, "You've gotta be kidding" and fled the store empty-handed. "Maybe he had a chance rethink his life of crime," Bedard said.
Police are also looking for someone who tried to hold up two Salt Lake businesses with a hypodermic needle. They say the would-be robber came into the Starbucks store near 900 East and 900 South, pointed a hypodermic syringe at employees and demanded money. The employees told him they couldn't open the safe, so he left.
Officers say just 15 minutes earlier he tried to rob a salon in Sugar House with a needle as well, but he left when they told him they had no money.
Witnesses say he was wearing brown gloves. Apparently he didn't want to get stuck with the needle but didn't care about the others.