The Great Leveler

Everybody, in the end, gets roughly the same amount of space.

  I was sometimes very happy with Senator Arlen Specter (D and R and D-Pennsylvania), but, much more often, quite displeased.  And, while I've admired his serious involvement with the fight against world hunger over the past couple of decades, I opposed Senator George McGovern (D-South Dakota) when he ran for the presidency and strongly disagreed with him on many issues. But the news that Senator Specter died the other day of cancer, and that Senator McGovern … [Read more...]

A Website Devoted to John L. Sorenson

Professor John L. Sorenson

   I'm delighted to see that a new website has been launched -- the contents are fairly minimal at this point, but will apparently grow substantially -- that's dedicated to the life and work of Dr. John L. Sorenson, a good friend and one of the foremost students of the Book of Mormon that the Church has ever produced: Those of you who are interested in his work on archaeology and the Book of Mormon, and … [Read more...]

The Nobel Peace Prize. Ya Want Fries with That?

Available at a fast food shop near you!

  In view of the Nobel Peace Prize that was just given to the European Union (the appropriately named EU), coupled with others given in past years to Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho, Rigoberta Menchú, Al Gore, and the then-just-barely-elected-but-already-infinitely-deserving-for-simply-being-himself Barack Obama, the development above (brought to my attention by Mike Parker) is unsurprising. My favorite comment, so far, about the Prize going to the EU is an … [Read more...]

Autumn Day

Unfortunately, winter is coming.

  Although I'm also very fond of spring, with its exhilarating weather, this is my favorite time of the year along the Wasatch Front in Utah.  The fall colors are fading now, but they've been glorious.  The air is crisp and clear. And I have a favorite poem that fits the season, Rainer Maria Rilke's lovely "Herbsttag" or "Autumn Day."  I wish there were a translation that did it justice: Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr groß. Leg deinen Sch … [Read more...]

Obamacare Summed Up in One Sentence

Dr. Obama will see you now, or maybe in a few hours, or perhaps in a month.  Or how about never?  Will never work for you?

   Barbara Bellar is a physician and lawyer who is running for election to the Illinois state senate: Really.  It's a single sentence.  A long one, though.  And very funny. But true.   … [Read more...]

Were His Lips Moving?

Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

 He always says what he means.  A general account of his mendacity: "Biden's Private Reality."  A video montage of his forced, contemptuous hilarity: "Laughing at the Issues"  On his curious relationship with the facts about our international challenges: "Biden's Intelligence"  On his dismissal of his administration's threats against … [Read more...]

Considering Recent Films

What about recent movies? Inquiring minds want to know.

   He hasn't been keeping me regularly posted on what he's published in the Deseret News, but here are several recent movie-related articles from Jeffrey Peterson, the now-Florida-based young writer whose last name is -- I assure you! -- only coincidentally the same as mine: "Is the G Rating Dying Out in Movie Theaters?" "Theatrical Re-Release of Film Classics Can Be a Win-Win" "Quarterly Movie Review: A Look Back at the Past … [Read more...]

Strolling through History with Gadianton’s Robbers and Murderers


  I got home very late from the opera last night, having not yet read the passages that I was to teach this morning for Gospel Doctrine class.  (I didn't plan things to be that way, but so they were.)  Unfortunately, confused by a lot of travel and a host of recent deadlines and distractions as well as by recent  interruptions for stake conference and general conference and the dedication of the Brigham City Utah Temple -- very good things, all of them -- I settled on the wr … [Read more...]