President Kennedy from Temple Square: September 26, 1963

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Less than two months before he was assassinated, President John F. Kennedy spoke in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Salt Lake Tabernacle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.It was September 26, 1963. LDS Church President David O. McKay was a host of the event."Of all the stories of American pioneers and settlers, none is more inspiring than the Mormon trail," said Kennedy. He goes on to point out that Mormons are an American success story, the story of a persecuted group the … [Read more...]

Nothing Romantic About It: A History of the Filibuster

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The United States Senate is grossly undemocratic...even without the filibuster.Today, the Senate moved to limit the use of the filibuster when it comes to certain presidential appointments.The filibuster is a mechanism within the United States Senate which allows a minority of Senators to continue the debate and, as a result, prevent a bill from being voted on. Like the Electoral College, I am fascinated by the filibuster as a political scientist. It is part of the twisted chess-like … [Read more...]

Las Vegas Vs. Online Gambling

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Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson is organizing (and funding) a large-scale lobbying push against online gambling. Adelson, the head of Las Vegas Sands which owns high end Las Vegas Strip properties including The Venetian and The Palazzo, is well known for being a major financial backer of Republicans and conservative causes.While Adelson is claiming that online gambling will be bad for families and communities (I agree with him on that), why would somebody who makes billions from gambling … [Read more...]

Lincoln and the Easter of Democracy: 150 Years Ago Today

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.Few words are more well known. I love the speeches of Lincoln. While this speech may not be his greatest, I think that in many ways encapsulates what made Lincoln great.Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.This … [Read more...]

Seven Things You Might Not Know About Me

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There is a Facebook prompt going around. If you like a status where somebody is sharing a number of things you might not know about them...they will assign you a number of things to share.Ardis at Keepapitchinin´╗┐ gave me the assignment of sharing seven things you might not know about me. Since I am turning 37 tomorrow, I will focus on some ways in which I have changed since my youth.1. I was a Dallas Cowboys fan until I was 11. My parents point to this as an example of how I have allows b … [Read more...]

“My religion is of interest only to me…”

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"My religion is of interest only to me, as its various phases and how they followed one another are not unusual or especially instructive." (Rawls 2010, 261)The above sentence is how John Rawls begins his rather informal note titled "On My Religion." I have been thinking about this sentence lately and mostly laughing to myself about it.On one hand, this is an example of his humility. Afterall, who would care about musings on religion by some obscure philosopher. Rawls had similar … [Read more...]

Emanuel Swedenborg and Life After Death

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Emanuel Swedenborg is an 18th century scientist, thinker, and theologian. His name is one that I have heard of, but I have only recently read from his works.In Our Life After Death: A Firsthand Account from an 18th-Century and Seer, we find Swedenborg's story and argument about the afterlife. Swedenborg grounds his case in both his own near-death experiences and those of others.Swedenborg (1688-1772) takes very seriously the dichotomy of the body and the spirit. It is our spiritual … [Read more...]


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