Sunday, November 28, 2004

Congressman Jeff Flake breaks pledge to serve only three terms

Arizona LDS Congressman Jeff Flake pledged to voters that he would only to serve three terms in Congress and then call it quits. He was only kidding.

From The Arizona Republic, November 28, 2004, B8:

Eric Winter, a spokesman for U.S. Term Limits, an Illinois-based national lobbying group, says Flake's decision this month to break his pledge to serve just three terms and run again for his House seat in 2006 will come back to haunt him.

Winter said members of Congress who break such pledges are typically able to hang on to their seats. But they often find it more difficult when they set their minds to winning some other elected office."

He's broken faith with voters, and that's a problem he'll have hanging over him always," Winter said of Flake, 41. Flake joins more than a dozen other House members, five of them Democrats, who have reneged on term-limit pledges of varying lengths.

In announcing his decision, Flake said his term-limit pledge was "a mistake." He also said he knows breaking his word will be a legitimate issue in future campaigns, that "it ought to be," and that he expects to take his lumps. But Flake said he's comfortable "leaving it to the voters."

Don't worry Jeff, the voters in your district never expected you to keep your word and they really don't care. I'm sure you'll be in office as long as you want to be.

Matt Salmon to take helm of AZ GOP

Now, now GOP moderates, the religious right hasn't really taken over your party. It's just a bad dream. Even though Matt is a socially conservative true believing Mormon, I'm sure he'll make a place for you.

From the Arizona Republic, Nov. 28, 2004, B8:

Salmon, who loves to drive his Harley, is embarking on a new ride that could be bumpy at times. The stars are aligning for Salmon to be the next chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. It's a monumental task because every statewide office,including the governor's job, is up for grabs in 2006. Salmon would be the public face of a political party that has been its own worst enemy at times with bitter infighting between moderates and conservatives.

See, he's a Harley rider too. Isn't that kewl?

Chip Scaturi of The Arizona Republic interviews Matt:

Q. What kind of role will you have in picking candidates?

A. "There needs to be some frank talk. Rather than just allowing bloodbaths in primaries, the party needs to weigh in and pave the way for the folks who have the best chance of winning. Obviously, this is a free country and no party chairman can
tell people you can't be in a race. But I think the party can exert its influence."

Will the number of Mormon GOP candidates increase or decrease under Matt's leadership? He did take this oath in the Mormon Temple:

You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in this, the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion (meaning the Mormon Church).

Each of you bow your head and say "yes."


PETER: That will do. (All patrons sit down.)

Is the AZ GOP chairmanship a blessing from the Lord?

Can you be a Democrat and a good Mormon?

TBM Arizona State University Professor Marianne Moody Jennings says the Democratic party and the LDS faith are like oil and water and chastises a Mormon Democrat:

Mormon, shmormon
Democratic party and LDS faith like oil and water
by Marianne M. Jennings
Arizona Republic, Nov. 28, 2004, V3

Mr. Scott Higginson, confessed Democrat and Mormon, looks down from his lofty perch of inconvenient religiosity, spots an Arizona full of Mormon Republicans, and offers, "Ick!"

Mr. H is offended that folks assume he is Republican and frets, "Why can't more Mormons be Democrats?" Mr. H, political consultant extraordinaire, hasn't quite mastered the art of winning friends and influencing people via op-ed work.

I confess to being one of the knuckle-dragging Republican Mormons that Mr. H disdains. As oafish as I and my fellow cretins might be, we don't subscribe to the Higginson theory that we should be more like the open and tolerant Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D), who sojourned to Salt Lake City to understand the Mormon faith.

You don't need a sherpa, Nirvana, or apparently political consulting skills to figure out that the Dem Gov's trek to the mountains was about more than exploring the Family Home Evening program and taking in some Tabernacle Choir ditties.

The Gov sought funding from the Mormon Church for light rail and Mesa's revitalization. Church leaders did not convert the Gov, nor did she win them over entirely to ponying up the dough. The Gov also trekked to England, but I don't think she was converted to abandoning dental check-ups. She was courting more British Air flights to Phoenix.

Mr. Higginson is a perfect Democrat, to wit, "Being a Democrat does not mean I support every aspect of the Democratic Party's national platform. It's the party's platform, not my platform."

In the words of the Church Lady, "Isn't that special?" Spoken like a true focus group junkie. "I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it." "I don't own SUVs; my family does." "I oppose gay marriage personally, but believe in equal rights." "I oppose the war but support the troops."

I have grown weary of sophisticates like Mr. H. Such Range Rover Republicans, Limousine Liberals and Modern Mormons don't want the heavy lifting that comes with principle's baggage: sacrifice and ridicule. In the words of our prophet, Mr. H, et al.: Stand for something!

Mr. H reeks of the condescension that comes from skilled hoodwinking. Mr. H's candidate, Mr. Kerry, votes in favor of gun control, but dons duck-hunting gear and a rifle if that's what it takes to net Ohio's electoral votes. He waited for the Red Sox to win before donning a Red Sox cap; he carried it in hand until then.

Mr. H claims membership in the Mormon Church even as he embraces a party that howls about choice when Republicans propose just a compromise to ban the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. The judges, activists and members of Congress seeking to expand the definition of marriage to one of "between two persons" are of his party. That view is in direct contravention to the church's "Proclamation on the Family."

His party's NEA has indoctrinated children in public schools with godlessness, banishing prayer and then even the mention of terms such as Christmas and Easter. His party, with its "Great Society," enslaved generations in a welfare system that robbed them of their dignity. Such a welfare system runs contra to church principles of self-sufficiency.

He ignores the superior welfare system of the Mormon Church, which thrives because it employs embarrassing Republican principles of work and private - yea, private - not public, funding.

Mr. Higginson and other Mormon Democrats cannot serve two masters. They will hate the one and love the other. How convenient to enjoy the world's acceptance with the trite, "Life begins at conception, but I believe in a woman's right to choose."

Such intellectual inconsistency dismisses the eternal truths of the church in glib fashion and surrenders the battle as it sentences our children to a lesser and certainly more cruel world.

It is true, as Mr. H notes, that the Mormon Church does not take political positions, and wisely so. It teaches correct principles and relies confidently on its members to govern themselves. We Republican Mormon dolts can support our party AND its platform. Mr. Higginson ignores correct principles and has joined with the Dems' band of merry do-gooders.

And what a band they are. We know men by the company they keep. The party Mr. H aligns himself with is no longer that of Truman or Adlai Stevenson or even Zell Miller. His sterilized picture of idyllic Dems belies the reality of his political kin. Whoopi Goldberg, a fellow Democrat, used language more foul than Howard Stern's at a presidential fund-raiser with no rebuke. His party can boast of having the only president to befoul the Oval Office. One can understand why, as Mr. H notes, Mormon Democrats are reticent. This is not exactly Primary Program material.

Mr. H wants it all: our church, but the world's accolades for sophisication. You Mormon girlie-man! Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. But you can't have it both ways. You are free to choose the Dems, but don't expect us to appease your conscience by joining with you. Absolute truths and eternal principles are not just for Sundays. They matter in life. They matter more in politics.

Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. She is the author of "A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success (and a Very Large Rabbit)."

And this, gentle readers, is why Governor Napolitano is largely wasting her time trying to suck up to Mormon voters in Arizona. Many of them believe, as was taught by the now deceased Mormon Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, that you cannot be a Democrat and a good Mormon. And they are certainly not going to vote for an unmarried female Democrat who is reputed among Mormons, rightly or wrongly, to be of the lesbian persuasion. I don't honestly care one way or the other about the Governor's sexual proclivities, but Mormon voters surely do, and they are distrustful of a woman in her late forties who has never been married. It's all about family!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Comments on "BYU South" from an ASU alum

Recieved via email:

Actually, I see nothing wrong with a "BYU" dorm because *some* students may want such a dorm. I don't even see anything wrong with Fulton's condemnation of the boob on the front of the ASU paper.

However, I find the cancellation of the play by the gay ex-Mormon and the usurping of an academic facility (the child psych. lab) for an LDS parking lot to be immoral power politics at its worst.

Although Mormons are a distinct minority both in Arizona and at ASU, they see no moral dilemma in using campus facilities to promote their religion at the expense of a legitimate academic department. We all know that, thanks to Ashcroft, there is no longer separation of Church and State. Now there is no separation of academia from dogma "bought"by Mr. Fulton's donation.

I'm quite glad that I have refused all requests for Alumni donations. ASU's Nobel Laureate used the imprimatur of his Nobel Prize in Economics to promote the Bush campaign for the Presidency. Now we have the tragi-comical specter of a cult religion trying to dominate both social and academic life at a public institution for higher education.

As you know, there are many ways in which I am a Conservative. I work at a very "politically correct" school full of left wing bureaucracy and goofy "diversity world" values that I detest. Constitutional Conservatives, who believe in the rights of individuals to seek their pleasure in whatever way they please short of murder and mayhem, seem to be [as] asleep at the helm as [the] autocrats of the Right. However, the new autocrats of the Right violate every intention of the Founding Fathers by using privately-held religious beliefs to establish a de facto "papacy" in public life.

This New Right would have you believe that we should sacrifice all our freedoms to prevent an occasional exposed boob. If an exposed boob was the danger it was cracked up to be, countries like Italy, France, and Greece would all be like Sodom and Gomorrah. In fact, their divorce rates and teen pregnancy rates are far, far lower than ours even though their cultures are more overtly sexual and even have a lighthearted approach to it.

The Papacy of the New Right has lost its sense of proportion about what is truly dangerous to society and what is just a minor indiscretion. That's why Ashcroft put 5,000 people in prison under the Patriot Act and got precisely ZERO convictions. He, like his look-alikes, don't have a clue where the real dangers lie.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Will Arizona State University become BYU South

Local TBM homebuilder Ira Fulton is ASU's most generous donor. He gave $50 million to ASU's School of Engineering which was renamed the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering.

ASU President Michael Crow is willing to bend over backwards to keep Ira happy. The State Press has been threatened with loss of school support if they don't clean up their act (Ira was upset by a cover which showed a nude female breast). A play by a gay ex-Mormon has been cancelled. A land swap with the school's department of psychology has been proposed to build parking for the LDS Institute in the middle of campus which may result in the loss of the department's child study lab. One dorm on the ASU campus has adopted BYU standards.

Interesting article in last week's Phoenix New Times.