Friday, September 26, 2008

One can dream

Considering the current state of the US economy, leadership, etc., etc., I found myself wishing for something more akin to this speech coming from the president. Below is the text of FDR's inaugural address:

“Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear … is fear itself … nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

In every dark hour of our national life, a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves, which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days. In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels: taxes have risen, our ability to pay has fallen, government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income, the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade, the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side, farmers find no markets for their produce, the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.

More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.

Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply.

Primarily, this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failures and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True, they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money.

Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored conditions. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers.

They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

The money changers have fled their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths.

The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money, it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.

Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be values only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit, and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing.

Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.

Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This nation asks for action, and action now.”

I'll forego the smarmy comments, as I think these words speak for themselves.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

No long up to BYU standards

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Sadly I've just found out that this blog has received a rating that would make it ineligible for consumption at BYU, or anyone wanting to go to the temple. So if either of those fits your description, delete me from your bookmarks before you're found out. And guess what things gave it an ignominious "R" on its chest, you ask? It used the following words: "sex" (3 times), "crap" (1 time), and.... wait for it, wait for it.... "MISSIONARY" (used 4 times)!!! I guess it assumes that I'm talking about missionary position, which of course I'm not. BORING! But speaking of missionary position, that reminds me one time when I was a missionary in Norway... oh, look at the time. Well, I'll tell you that story some other time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pumpkin bagels are back!!!

Margaret was ecstatic at the news that Noah's pumpkin bagels are FINALLY back in stock. Every year, when I see them, I think back on that very first Halloween, when the Israelites dressed up as Russian peasants the night before they fled Egypt for the Promised Land.... or something like that. I mean, why else would there be a traditional Jewish food in pumpkin?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Aaaa! Where's my mind bleach?

And here I thought that Mormonism couldn't get more commercialized and treacly. This book is the unholy union of the Book of Mormon and Anne Geddes! Because that's just what the world needs, pictures of cute kids reenacting scenes from the scriptures to make people believe in them even MORE! And I shudder to think of the poor kids posing for the photos of Bathsheba bathing, the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah, or the slaying of Abel by Cain scenes.

If, by some ironic need or head injury, you would like to get this book, it is of course available from that veritable purveyor of all things kitschy Mormon--Deseret Book (read about Margaret's last visit to one here)!

Monday, September 15, 2008


I don't want to get political on this blog, but I had to include this graph. I think it speaks for itself, which allows me to write absolutely nothing that would incite my Republican family. (Hey everyone!)

Friday, September 05, 2008


All fine, upstanding Mormon teens get an important rite of passage around the time their twelve. And I'm not talking about learning that most of what they're going to be feeling for the next 10-15 years is filthy, disgusting, immoral, and shameful you should only do with the one you love after marriage. No, I'm talking about when they trade in their Children's Friend subscription for the way more edgy, sexy, adolescent magazine The New Era. Well, one of the features of this magazine was a centerfold poster giving a spiritual message, and two of the most famous ones are below, albeit delightfully subverted. (Not that I condone such a thing. Uh, I'm just showing how the Devil makes people do wicked, wicked, hilarious things.)

This first one originally stated, "Be your own kind of beautiful." Although this poster is a little closer to the truth:

The caption on this next one was originally, "Get yourself into a tight squeeze." But I love this version, which reminds me of a friend who met someone on and after several dates, got an email from the guy's wife asking her why she's emailing her husband. Oops! (And no, it wasn't a polygamy thing or the wife would have been okay with it.)

Ah satire. My favorite genre! Which reminds me of an underground mission newsletter filled with satire and parody I used to write in Norway that almost got me in a LOT of trouble. But that's the stuff for a post on another day.