"Spread the Word"

Evolution happened. Life on this Earth as we know it is here because it evolved to be here. The evidence is irrefutable.

There is a huge movement out "there" to stop teaching evolution in public schools. There is another huge movement to teach other "explanations" alongside evolution. These proposals are just plain wrong. They advocate teaching religious perspectives (and not very good ones) in a SCIENCE classroom. We cannot let this happen!

I have perspective on this issue that most do not. I deal with evolution on a daily basis. You see, I am a biochemist. I study DNA and proteins, including their sequences. I have to use evolution to bolster my arguments and to formulate my ideas. I have seen time and time again the subtle changes that occur from species to species, moving up the ladder. There are countless examples where the conserved protein sequence from a species of yeast matches that in a fish which matches the same thing in humans. We need to teach our children the scientific skills to recognize how life got where it is today in order to make it better tomorrow.

Teaching children in public schools about creationism or intelligent design would be detrimental to future discoveries, ideas, and scientific discussion. You will potentially turn off some of the best minds to considering a career in science. You will cause confusion between what is science and what is religion.

The National Academy of Sciences has put together a book that is mostly about why evolution is the only scientifically testable and the only scientifically accepted theory that addresses the formation of life as we know it. The book does discuss a little bit about why the other ideas are not science, too. Because they are nice people, they have also put out a seven (the eighth page doesn’t count) page pamphlet that summarizes the book. Give it a read. They are right.

The ideas of creationism and/or intelligent design have many, many holes in them that are inexplicable. We cannot teach these ideas to our children in public schools. Let’s teach religious ideas in church. A science classroom is a place for science. Evolution is tested and supported by science.

Am I way off base here? I'm really, honestly curious what people think. Please let me know.


I'll take 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a pool, please

I was all set to come on here and write a rant about stupid, greedy, thoughtless homeowners who bought more house than they could afford, and in doing so, screwed up the whole economy. I know it's not the sexiest topic, but it's one that really gets me all riled up, as someone who (wisely! there, I said it!) chose to stay out of the housing market when I couldn't really afford to get in, regardless of what lenders would have had me believe.

Then I saw the following video; be patient, it's five minutes and a little bit of a snoozer, but it's REALLY worth the watch. I think he's convinced me of something I never thought I'd believe - that the subprime crisis is as much the fault of lenders as it is the fault of homeowners.

The basic idea is this: as we all know, during the housing boom people were buying more house than they could afford. Using adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) or other, more exotic loan products, they were able to keep their payments low. To many, it seemed like buying as much house as possible was wise, since prices were going up, up, up, with no end in sight. They figured that when the loan adjusted - after a few years, ARMs reset to a higher interest rate and a higher payment - they'd be able to sell their house or refinance. The fact that they banked on their ability to sell the house is their own fault. They took a risk there, and it didn't pay off. I believe people were aware of this risk, but they saw their neighbors moving into their new, fancy houses, and wanted to jump on board, with no thought given to the consequences. A costly error; one that led to a lot of foreclosures because...

Homebuyers didn't realize they wouldn't be able to refinance their homes. As the video eloquently explains, mortgage lenders loosened their requirements for getting a loan, then tightened back up. That means you're screwed, Mr. I Bought A $400K House On My $50K Annual Salary! Does anyone think that homeowners were aware of THIS risk? No. I'd all but guarantee that lenders never said, "Now, just so you know, you might make the same amount of money and have the same credit rating when you go to refinance in five years, but we may not approve you and your payment will jump from $1,500 to $2,100. Is that cool?" That simple, true statement might have stopped many buyers in their tracks. To the buyers, it looked like free money, since they were operating under Bad Assumption #1: house prices will rise for ever and houses will always be in demand, and Bad Assumption #2: you can just refinance and your payment will never go up!

Homeowners screwed up, big time, and there's no question about that. When all is said and done, it's up to the individual to assess the risks of an investment. I now see, however, where lenders likely scammed people into taking a risk they weren't aware existed, and that's unacceptable. We're all paying for it now.

The Bush administration has a couple of proposals to ease the suffering that I think are good. The economic stimulus package seems like a great idea; people will spend their checks, and it will stimulate the economy. Also, if I understand correctly (and I might be way off), he called for lenders to freeze ARMs from resetting for a short period of time. Again, it seems like a good idea, designed to provide some aid to those who were taken in. This will especially help if the housing market rebounds. I think it would be wise on lenders' parts to more closely evaluate who they foreclose on, but it would be a terrible idea to have a moratorium on foreclosure, as I've heard tossed around in the news. This simply puts off the inevitable; if people can't make payments AND their rates aren't resetting, then they've just bought too much house and they lose. In a free market, some people win and some people lose, and you hope there are more winners than losers, I guess. But I'm certainly not the economist around here, so I'll be off to watch the Florida returns.


Gordon B. Hinckley, 1910-2008

Gordon Bitner Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Sunday evening due to complications of his advanced age, while surrounded by family members. We at politicaLDS mourn the passing of President Hinckley and offer our prayers on behalf of his family.

“Believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, the Son of God, who came to earth and walked the dusty roads of Palestine-the Son of God-to teach us the way of truth and light and salvation, and who, in one great and glorious act offered an atonement for each of us. He opened the way of salvation and exaltation for each of us, under which we may go forward in the Church and kingdom of God. Be not faithless, but believe in the great and wonderful and marvelous blessings of the Atonement.” -Gordon B. Hinckley

Please feel free to use the comment thread to share your thoughts and feelings about the passing of this great man.


24-Hour TV News: Enemy of Democracy?

In the United States, the advent of the Cable News Network in 1980 delivered on the promise of a newly born information age to provide round-the-clock television news coverage. We have in 2008, by my count, four major full-time news networks: CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and BBC. There are a good number of other heavy-hitting news outlets like ABC and CBS that do not have 24-hour coverage. And then we have some that are more narrowly oriented such as C-SPAN.

We have so much to be grateful for with the miracle of technology in this widespread availability of news reporting, especially those of us in the “news junkie” demographic. But is there, as the title of this entry suggests, a danger inherent in the nature of such constant and unceasing information inundation? [Note: The construction of the title, with the second clause ending with interrogatory punctuation, is an homage to the many many CNN headlines I have observed over the years; start looking for this type of preemptive conflictization and you will find it everywhere in TV news.]

One of my favorite things on television is the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Although I disagree with the way they go after some of their targets, particularly the utter disrespect for almost every religious belief in existence, I feel that the writers of this show are fair in that they attack ridiculous people and things, regardless of where on the political spectrum they lie (or tell the truth…). I was watching the other night a segment on the Daily Show on the media’s coverage of some reportedly tense confrontations between politico-campaigners and the press (for the segment, click here). First shown were reports on all the major news networks—complete with clips from the newscasts of each—describing an exchange between Mitt Romney and a reporter who repeatedly asks him about the Washington lobbyists who are “running his campaign.” Words like “eruption” and “flared up” were tossed about quite liberally by the talking heads. Then the Daily Show did something quite remarkable: they played the entire encounter between Romney and the reporter. Jon Stewart made hay of the grossly exaggerated coverage of the mildly angry reaction of Romney, and I laughed. The follow-up was similar, only replacing one obnoxious reporter for another and Bill Clinton for Mitt Romney. When played in full, the video revealed a rather mild-mannered and diplomatic President Clinton saying “shame on you” to reporters after being unfairly harassed. And the pundits said he was “vitriolic” and “lashed out” at the poor defenseless press! I appreciated the Daily Show for once again putting into perspective the divisive, inaccurate, and confrontational comportment of TV news. [For the very funny follow-on segment, click here. For further information on the war between common sense and mass media, please see Jon Stewart’s legendary 2004 appearance on CNN’s Crossfire; the program was cancelled a short while later, in large part due to Stewart’s eloquent denunciations of the show’s hosts.]

The fact is, television news networks are not in the public service announcement line of work. They are in business! And, like the yellow journalists and muckrakers of old, they know what kind of product sells. They are so keenly aware of how to make a profit from news television that they are willing to compromise objective portrayal of reality. The examples given above are perfect in their illustration. No one at MSNBC benefits by downplaying Mitt Romney’s slightly heated rebuke of a “persistent” reporter. No one at CNN stands anything to gain by making Bill Clinton appear as decent as he actually was in his recent encounter with hostile reporters. What the people at MSNBC and CNN and FOX get from sensationalizing these sound-bytes is a Nielsen rating that exceeds that of their competitors. And yes, they feel it’s more important for you to listen to their commentary on a clip of video than for you to see the whole thing and judge for yourself. Any viewer that wanted to see the whole thing could just go to the internet, right? The value-add of these news networks is, quite literally, the conflict and drama that they can construct from reality, not the portrayal of reality itself.

Two more anecdotes will show how these tendencies of our dear, TV news producer friends are not just something to be aware of when evaluating their coverage. Their methods are actually harmful to the United States and democracy write large.

#1: Opinion force-feeding. A truly democratic society must have a citizenry who think for themselves. People who understand the issues and vote based on the positions of candidates and parties are the core of a functioning democracy or representative republic. [I have a whole separate diatribe on the failures of the two-party system in America that perhaps I will share at another time.] However, TV news, and particularly those networks that have to fill every minute of every day with something, has been telling Americans what to think. In their lust for conflict-induced ratings, newsmen play right into the hands of politicians who wish to shore up their bases with divisive tactics (see the Crossfire clip above). What about being spoon-fed opinions of others (also known as polls)? A presidential debate doesn’t even make it to a commercial break before the sponsoring network displays polls on who is winning on its scrolling marquee. The legions of pundits start in as soon as the debate ends, and “spin alley” interviews with politicians and their minions abound. I find every aspect of these demagogic, post-game rituals utterly repulsive. I believe viewers deserve to not be told how they will respond, and they deserve time to respond, analyze arguments and performances, and formulate opinions on their own. And yet I watch. I choose to watch on TV instead of on the Web. So maybe I am to blame here. My next argument is better.

#2: Economic and other types of self-fulfilling prophecies. “Fed Rate Cuts: Recession Averted?” This headline from last week is one of literally thousands like it that appear every hour, on the hour on all the major news networks. What’s wrong with reporting on economic news? Nothing. What’s wrong with reporting on economic speculation? Lots. The news would be that a recession is actually going on, but that is certainly something beyond the scope of a couple consecutive bad days at the stock market and a gut feeling that we surely must have a recession sooner or later. One thing that everyone should understand right now about recessions: they are the prime example in the world of self-fulfilling prophecies. In a country where two-thirds of the economy is consumer-driven (as Mitt Romney pointed out in Thursday’s debate), the confidence of consumers is everything when it comes to the economy. So what happens when CNN issues a recession alert at noon, two, four, five, six, and seven o’clock on Tuesday afternoon? Consumers see the word “recession” appear on their TV screens 6 times before supper, and come Wednesday morning are in no mood to spend. Save becomes the watchword. Pull out all your investments and stop spending. This mentality is the number one cause of recessions in the United States, and it is fueled, if not created, by the mass media. I don’t want to single out CNN on this one; all are equally guilty, including local news stations that sensationalize stock losses in their evening report. But the full-time news programming of CNN and others like it exacerbate the problem greatly. And they do it because it is good for ratings.

I have not made any personal attacks on those in the news media, because that is not what this post is about. I would like to say now that I believe there are sincere reporters with journalistic integrity at every network. I hope that their efforts at objectivity may prevail over those simply out for lucre.

My bottom line: We as citizens must demand more from our video journalists. Let’s support those with integrity and denounce those without. The end.


GOP Debate Rxn

Last night's GOP debate on MSNBC was nothing less then thrilling must see TV. With Fred Thompson now out of the picture, we were left with our five remaining candidates: Mitt Romney, John McCain, Rudy Guliani, Ron Paul, and Mike Huckabee. Of course nobody said anything novel or that we hadn't heard before from them, but it was entertaining none-the-less.

As much as I think that Ron Paul is a whackjob with terrible ideas on the majority of the issues, he was the only candidate with the cojones to stand up and say that the Iraq war was a bad idea and that is has not been worth the cost, both in blood and money. Perhaps the other four candidates really, truly, deep down inside, believe that the war was a good idea. Perhaps they are just pandering to what they think the base believes. I think that the base believes that the war was a stupid idea not worth ANY lives nor ANY money. But I may just be cynical. At any rate, Paul was right there and nowhere else.

Romney solidified his gun control position in my eyes. "I am not in favor of any new legislation." Good. That's the way is should be. He also scared many of us by pointing out that a Hilary victory means a Bill in the White House "with nothing to do." Think of the damage that could be done and the havoc that could be reeked. It was pretty funny, too.

Huckabee kinda faded into the background in this one. I don't think that he is gonna manage to pull out Florida, and he'll flop on Super Tuesday. Good bye, Mike. Not so nice knowin' ya. Chuck Norris did say (not in the debate, but it was brought up here...) that McCain would die in office because he is so old. hehehe :)

McCain stood right next to Guliani and started to steal his supporters. Talking about how good of a man he is and how good of friends they are and how he lead the country through 9/11 and blah, blah, blah. Translation: This guy's gonna loose; jump on my bandwagon. Standing right next to him... Mean.

Guliani actually did okay in my opinion. Nothing really sticks out in my mind, though. That means he wasn't memorable. He wasn't memorable good nor memorable bad. So he likely didn't loose votes, but he likely didn't pick any up, either.

The big winner was obviously Romney. He dominates on the economic issues if for no other reason than people believe that his background and training makes him the guy who knows and understands the most about what is going on and how to fix it. The man made millions for himself. Not everybody can do that. He obviously has some understanding the economy that most of the rest of us lack. Including the other candidates.

So here I sit. My vote has already been cast. Nothing more I can do. Waiting for Tuesday night to come. Waiting to see who gets the bump before Super Tuesday. Just waiting....


Immigration and the problem of Legality

This is an issue that people seem to either care about A LOT or else feel entirely passive towards.

Let me start out by introducing myself. Graduated MHS in 2000, 4th generation jackrabbit:Go, Fight, Win, yaddayadda... I have both republicans and democrats as well as independents in my family so I get to hear a lot from both sides of the fence. And listen I do often. Speak I do rarely. So we'll see what happens on here. Personally, I think that if you get too extreme on either side of the fence it simply isn't good. Extremism isn't helpful to the majority.

Ok, immigration: some of my favorite neighbors in the world are illegal. How do I know this? Because they can't go home to visit their grandparents in Mexico because they won't be allowed back across. Also, they came pregnant for the purpose of having their children in America. Also, they have a fake social. Also, they don't pay taxes. Also, they....

So not to point fingers, but illegal immigration has caused a lot of problems. We know this. We see it everywhere. There are too many schoolchildren and not enough parents paying taxes into the school system so its off balance. Too many people need healthcare or take advantage of the government programs without paying taxes which pay for these programs. The programs to help people, beit Welfare or Medicare or No Child Left Behind...are paid for with tax money. Which is our money. And if there are more people benefiting than supporting financially these programs, well, the result is more debt, not enough money to pay teachers, not enough resources to....you name it.

However, I don't like the idea of telling people they can't scrimp and save to pay for their way to America. I believe that this country is a type of Promised Land in many ways. Who am I to deny the blessings that come from living in this country to those in countries that can't offer so many unique experiences and opportunities?

What I do have a problem with is people who scrimp and save to come and then get denied because there are too many illegal immigrants screwing up the system. Correct me if I'm wrong, but our country has been designed to let people in through a certain process, and if you skip the system you are really hurting everyone here. Not just financially.

My sister-in-law is an immigrant. She came here legally, stayed after her visa had expired, married my brother-in-law, is now legal. I love her. She's awesome. But I don't think what she did was technically legal, or technically honest. However, I'm so glad she's here and so happy to have her as a sister. I love her. Can you see the moral dilemma I'm facing? Trying to reconcile both sides of my conscience like this?

The reason I share the personal aspect is because I believe a lot of people, maybe even the other people who check this site, have personal experiences with this dilemma. Is there really a way to take care of those who have lived in this country undetected for years while providing a way to ensure future immigrants come through the lawful legal process we have set up?

On the side, I don't believe you can have adequate border control without secure borders. Good for Pres Clinton for starting the wall, but hello. 300 feet isn't much of a dent in the insecurity.


A laugh for the conservative bloggers

Ok, since this is both a blog for political chatters as well as those of the LDS culture and faith, I have to post this video. Can we scream Napolean Dynamite? Sorry for those of you who aren't into it. I just look at it and laugh. I'm also expecting a dry, slightly sour paragraph comment from Rick on how this isn't a real post...so in a bit I'll post on Illegal Immigration.


The Feminine Mystique

OK, this is the lady of the house speaking here.

Just thought I'd introduce myself a little, seeing as I finally figured out how do it! It would be much easier if I felt comfortable just doing a bulleted list of my viewpoints like my counterpart Joel, but that just ain't my style. My blessing and my curse is to always consider my beliefs up for revision should new information present itself. (Guess I'd make one hell of a flip-flopping politician!) And let's face it - I'm not an expert on health care, immigration, taxation with or without representation, JFK, Ronald Reagan, the liberal media or the Christian Right.

I guess the beauty (?) of this system is that I don't have to be an expert to be in charge, at least of my personal contributions to this blog and the nation as a whole.

The short version is: I'm Rachel, mama of 2 little people and husband to one big bald high school sweetheart since 2001. I live in Arizona, and I'm a stay-at-home mom (except when I'm a breastfeeding counselor or professional musician). I'm what you might call a tree-huggin' hippie, of the libertarian left persuasion. I am interested in politics, although I can't figure out why because I find the whole process intensely frustrating. (People with new and different ideas? Unelectable. People with boatloads of money and thus beholden to all the same interests as those currently in charge, and all the people before them? Perfect!)

Nevertheless, here I am, the Reluctant Democrat. Should be interesting!


(some) things are getting interesting

After Edwards' terrible showing in Nevada today (4%), the Democratic primary battle appears to be a two-contender race (sorry, Kucinich). Obama v. Clinton should wrap itself up nicely by Super Tuesday. Yawwwwn. The real excitement is in the wide-open Republican race.

Today Mitt Romney won Nevada and John McCain won South Carolina. There are really four viable candidates remaining to the Republicans, if you include Mike Huckabee, who has a win in Iowa and a strong second-place showing today in SC, and Rudy Giuliani, who has pinned all his hopes on a win in Florida. Florida is winner-take-all, and a Rudy win would put him right back in contention, even though he's been totally invisible up to this point. Notice I don't list Fred Thompson, who needed to win in South Carolina (he placed 3rd), or Ron Paul.

Let's look at Romney's Nevada win. Mitt won the state with 50% of the vote, followed by Paul and McCain with 14 and 13 percent, respectively. Entrance polling at CNN show that a quarter of today's voters were LDS, and 95% of them voted for Romney; incredible! This partially explains why he only came in fourth in South Carolina. I think the Mormon bump is going to be a major factor for Mitt on Super Tuesday, and I expect him to handily win Utah, Arizona, and compete strongly in California.

Romney is the candidate who best exemplifies the conservative core values (at least he does today), but he's got this little problem: Fred Thompson. McCain took South Carolina with 33% today, Mitt had 15%... and Thompson had 16%. Thompson has the strongest conservative credentials, and his voters, I would guess, will swing largely to Mitt when he drops out. I don't think the Mormonism is a real problem. The percentage of people who wouldn't vote for him because he's LDS are largely evangelical Christians, and they've got their guy in Huckabee. Huckabee is totally unelectable; he's a nutjob. McCain and Thompson are old friends; Thompson endorsed McCain in 2000, even though Bush was more conservative. Keep in mind that John McCain has been preparing for this for eight years. I think the Thompson candidacy is, in part, a ploy on McCain's part to divide up the more conservative contingent of the Republican party. South Carolina is MAJORLY conservative, and for McCain to win there... it's interesting. Think Perot elevating Bill Clinton over Bush Classic. I would not be surprised one bit to see Thompson get a nice cushy Cabinet post in a McCain presidency - or even act as running mate. As VP he'd legitimize the McCain candidacy in the eyes of the hardcore conservatives, who really can't stand McCain for some of his perceived nonconservative positions -- illegal immigration, campaign finance reform, etc. The drawing card on McCain is that's he's electable - he appeals to moderates and some Democrats. I think Romney's more electable than people think, though. Moderates and Democrats are not going to pass on him because he's LDS, and those who would are still going to vote for him before they vote for Hillary!

Forget Huckabee, if he couldn't pull out South Carolina, he's dead in the water. Giuliani's strategy of ignoring all these early primaries just seems stupid to me. I don't see him winning Florida, and that'll be that. That's my opinion; others will tell you differently. One thing's likely: there will still be four viable candidates for the twenty or so primaries of Feb. 5, and that's just fascinating.

Fortunately, I think Clinton or Obama will beat any of them. :)


What's Up Marriage Legislation?

Hi - I'll withold the introduction - If you want to see it, I have previously filled it all out in my profile, and you can and SHOULD go there - man, it's exciting stuff. First off, let me appolagize for my atrocious spelling. It's always been my weak point and won't change, so I'm sorry - I really am smart and well read, I just can't spell to save my life - so don't judge me! I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I am probably the Far-Lefty of the group, so...that's about all that can be said about that -

So, with no further ado, I have a BURNING question that I just can't figure out: WHY in the world would Mormons be opposed to gay marriage?

Let me restate the question. Of all churches out there, ours is a church intimately acquainted with the negative and destructive effects that governmental legislation of marriage can have - I mean, Polygamy went from being the New and Everlasting Covenant that man must abide by to inherit the Celestial Kingdom to being a hiss and a byword among the Saints. I think we forget our heritage when we speak out in favor of the government legislating marriage in ANY of it's forms. I mean, who are we to make the claim to the country that "our socially deviant form of marriage is inspired by God, therefore should never have been outlawed in the first place, but THAT other socially deviant form of marriage is evil and will destroy the nation." Now, I'm not necessarily defending Gay Marriage - You can be for it or against it- I don't care - I just don't see how we can justify legislating it with our history, background and doctrine (sorry, folks, though it's not practiced, the doctrine was never repealed). However, This practice seems to be the norm in the church. In fact, I'd say that many people might feel like an active Mormon could "never vote for someone who supports that." We make this a moral issue, and one that is of prime importance to us. I just don't get it - when there are other moral issues (See my post on Health Insurance on my personal blog) that we don't even identify as a moral issue. So, there's some food for thought. Peace - Rick


Meet Joel

I want to thank Mike for setting this up. I think that it will be a good outlet for those of us who need such things. Allow myself to introduce... myself:

I'm Joel. I live in the very liberal Ann Arbor, MI. I am very conservative on the vast majority of issues. I have been married 3 1/2 years as well. Graduate of Arizona State University in Biochemistry and currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from the University of Michigan. I was baptized into the Church in March of 2003.

I think that's enough non-politcal talk. Here's where I stand (in no particular order):

Pro gun
Pro life
Pro business
Anti illegal immigration
Anti amnesty
Anti discrimination
Anti affirmative action
Pro environment (to a point)
Pro animal research (if conducted properly)
Pro evolution (this may touch some nerves...)
Pro equal opportunity
Anti government handouts
Pro personal responsibilty
Anti big government
Anti Bush
Anti War in Iraq
Pro war on terror (i.e. Afganistan/Pakistan)

And the list I'm sure will go on. I will generally not apologize for any postions that I take. I enjoy reseraching and coming to my own conclusions about any given subject. I get way more excited about domestic issues and much less excited about international issues. I am willing to listen to other perspectives; just don't expect me to accept them. If I'm wrong, I'll tell you that too with an apology.


first post!

Dear Visitors:

Run. Get out while you still can.

Last chance. Seriously, go.

OK, you're still here... in that case, welcome! Hope you like politics!

This is a new blog dedicated to the discussion of all things political, from the perspective of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- whose members are commonly referred to as Mormons, or Latter-day Saints (LDS). There are five contributing bloggers (someday, six -- more on that later) from across the political spectrum. Mormons have been prominent in the news lately, thanks largely to the presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney, a former stake president (a stake is the Mormon equivalent of a Catholic diocese). One of the purposes of this blog is to dispel the myth that the Church requires its members to be politically conservative, as here explained by Elder M. Russell Ballard:

In other words, we come in all (political) shapes and sizes, just like everyone else. Another misconception about Mormons is that, since the Church's membership is mostly conservative, the people put little thought into their politics. In reality, Mormons have the same varied level of interest in politics as everyone else: some don't particularly care, but many are thoughtfully considering issues, policies, and candidates, and are active in local or national political spheres.

Therefore, we try politicaLDS, which is really an experiment. Like all experiments, we won't know the results until the experiment is over (or, at least, started), so be patient as we evolve.

What this is:

  • A place for information;
  • A place for strong opinions;
  • A place for lively discussion and interaction;
  • A place for respect.
What this isn't:
  • A place for bickering;
  • A place for bashing of any religion;
  • A place for personal attacks.
I'm Mike, a Democrat hailing from Chandler, AZ. I'm 24, work in pension planning, have been married for 3.5 years. I'll let Joel, Kevin, Rachel and Rick introduce themselves. And we are looking for a third conservative blogger. There are really very few qualifications: LDS, interested in politics, enjoys writing and would be willing to post every 7-10 days or so. E-mail me if you're interested. EDIT, 1/22/08: We found one. :)

That's it! Comments, suggestions, anything: let somebody know. Otherwise, start your engines!