Thursday, November 29, 2012

The 4 Most (Least) Likely Candidates for Secretary of State

With Secretary Hilary Clinton stepping down as Secretary of State in January, the Obama administration is looking at possible replacements. I understand this process can be difficult, so, I am going to help them out. I ask nothing in return except for a brief mention in a newsroom speech and a personal fleet of Predator drones.

Candidate #1: Enraged Elderly Conservative Internet Comment Writer
"What do you think, Mabel?"
"It needs more expletives, Gerald."
Pros: If we're going to heal this nation, we need our officials to begin reaching across the aisle. What better way to do that than to reach waaaaay across the aisle? I can almost see the state department press releases now: "On behaalf of "president" Barrack HUSSEIN Obummer..."
Cons: I'm almost certain there's some prophecy in the Revelation of St. John about this exact situation.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff: A Semiserious Summation

Those of you who follow the news have probably heard about the impending arrival of the so-called "Fiscal Cliff", a series of automatic budget adjustments scheduled to go into effect in January barring preventative action by Congress and the President. Economists predict that the consequences of the cliff could include a renewed recession, increased unemployment, and other potentially harmful short and medium-term economic effects, and as a result congressional leaders from both sides are putting aside their differences to resolve the issue in a typically expeditious and decisive fashion.

Pictured: Democracy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

On Facial Hair, or Shaving Ordinances

(Disclaimer: I started writing this post before I saw BCC's similarish post, so please don't get after me for intellectual infringement or anything. kthanx)

Well, it's that time of year when some guys grow out mustaches to raise money for testicular cancer (Movember), some guys finally get that rugged mountain man look they've been going for (Novembeard), and some just realize that they can skip shaving for the month in order to devote more time to studies, Netflix, etc. (No Shave November/Noshember).

As I pondered the power of November on shaving, I was thinking how great it is that any and all church leaders as well as male students here on the BYU-Idaho campus are so clean shaven. After all, a clean shave is the height of professionalism.

Right, Don?

Oh wait, what I meant to say was that a clean shave was the height of professionalism in the 1960s. Looking over the commonly shown pictures of all the LDS Presidents of the Church, you can see that David O. McKay was the first after seven presidents in a row to ditch facial hair. He became president in 1951 and held the office until his death in 1970. His change was perhaps the catalyst for the beardless LDS congregations so prevalent today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Election Reactions Explained by GIFs

Well it's over, and by now everybody's had time to digest the election results. Liberals are satisfied but not overly confident following a narrow but solid electoral victory. Conservatives are calmly and stoically assessing how to best put forth their ideas as a loyal opposition party...haha, just kidding, everybody's losing their minds on the cusp of four more years under a centrist Democrat /Muslim communist radical president (depending on your perspective). Mine is not to judge whether the more jubilant or apocalyptic election reactions are correct; instead, I seek to describe what I've seen in the most informative and succinct manor I know: animated GIFs. So here it is, my list of of the whos and hows of the 2012 election! For best results, give it a minute to load before scrolling further.

My reaction

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Welfare and Charity, God and Government

I want to respond to line of argument I've read many times, most recently here (note: the author was good enough to comment below), about the relationship between charity and welfare, and how that ties in with the role of religion in government. Many conservatives and libertarians oppose government run welfare programs on the grounds that they force individuals to engage in "charitable" giving against their will, thus undermining the entire purpose of charity. The implication is often that supporters of government "charity" do so in lieu of their own actions, forcing a counterfeit charity on the unwilling and congratulating themselves for it. Not only does this undermine agency, the argument goes, it's downright hypocritical!

That type of argument, while cogent, misunderstands the purpose of social welfare as I see it, and also relies on potentially troublesome assumptions about the roles of God and government--assumptions that liberals are often guilty of making as well. I take seriously the injunction to "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's," which I take to mean that earthly affairs of government are separate from the affairs of God. The conflict arises from confusing or mixing the two.

Sometimes the conflict is awesome.