How To Interview Mitt Romney About Racism


Ask: Was the Mormon Church wrong to deny priesthood to black members before 1978?

The official policy of the LDS Church is that the racist practice was commanded by God, and not a result of racism among its leadership.

The Church has never apologized for the practice nor specifically repudiated racist teachings by LDS prophets.

Mitt Romney is skilled at evading this point, aided by general misunderstanding of the LDS Church.

He should be able to unequivocally denounce the racism of his church and of his past. He hasn’t.

During his 2008 campaign, Mitt Romney appeared on Meet The Press with Tim Russert. This specific question arose, and Russert came close to getting it right. Watch the clip:

At the end of that section, Russert asked:

“But it was wrong for your faith to [deny priesthood to blacks]?”

Romney responded:

“I’ve told you exactly where I stand. My view is there’s no discrimination in the eyes of God and I could not have been more pleased than to see the change that occurred.”

What’s critical here is to note what Romney did not say; Russert asked “was it wrong?” Romney evaded. No apology. No repudiation of the Church or its racist practice.

Earlier in the interview, Romney states:

“I’m very proud of my faith, and of the faith of my fathers. And I certainly believe it is a faith, uh, well it’s True and I love my faith. And I’m not going to distance myself in any way from my faith.”

He will not separate his position and the position of the Church. The church has not apologized for the racist practice, nor will he.
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David Frum and the Failure of Conservatism


David Frum reversed his position on gay marriage. Conservatives would have you believe that the case for or against it requires a review of evidence.

In framing his reversal this way, he’s misrepresenting his previous position, and glossing over the deeper question: is conservatism capable of producing coherent policies in a nation whose foundational values include equality, justice, and union?

Conservatism has been wrong on the most fundamental questions of human rights. The questions of slavery, women’s right to vote and interracial marriage were not decided by weighing evidence, and neither is the question of gay marriage.

David Frum, a conservative columnist, recently admitted “I Was Wrong About Same-Sex Marriage.”

In linking to his article on my facebook page, I stated:

“Oops! David Frum tries to backpedal his previous opposition to gay marriage. What he doesn’t understand is that this is an indictment not just of his previous position, but of conservatism generally.”

A friend asked about my strategy of chastising a person who has come to agree with me on one of my core issues. “Why not just pat him on the back and welcome him into the tent?”

David Frum didn’t invent his opposition to gay marriage ex nihilo; his core principle, conservatism, predictably led him to make this fundamental mistake.

In his reversal, Mr. Frum states:

“…the case against same-sex marriage has been tested against reality. The case has not passed its test.”

Frum’s conservatism seems to suggest an evidence-based requirement of change, and yet his position is not now nor ever was informed by evidence.

In his former arguments, Mr. Frum wasn’t asking that gay marriage be tested; quite the opposite. He and most other conservatives have viciously fought any attempt to grant rights to homosexuals.

To claim now that gay marriage has been tested and found innocuous is to subtly, but importantly, misrepresent the prior position. What is more important, it’s an attempt to ignore the core problem, which is the philosophy of conservatism.

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Why I Choose To Be Progressive


My theory of Progressivism holds that knowledge improves over time, allowing us to better understand ourselves and our environment. Knowledge is advanced by individuals through both free and systemic inquiry. I encourage change through the application of better knowledge, resulting in a more perfect union.

My theory of Conservatism, by contrast, places value on past knowledge, emphasizing culture, history and authority (god, religion) as the source of knowledge. Conservatism suggests the status quo has been earned, and change should be resisted. It seeks to maintain our union as a function of what is or was, rather than what might be.

Human nature is both progressive and conservative. Ours is a story of incredible progress tempered by an appeal to conservation. We hope for that which can be, but hold tight to that which is.

We infrequently seek to understand the philosophical rationale for our actions, most often choosing positions based in a near-term calculus of that which we desire.

This article is meant to represent my current thinking on my own political philosophy. I recognize the choices I make, that my position is not mandated by facts, but rooted in desire.

We hold the power to choose our path, or to have our path chosen for us. I choose to value progress over conservation.
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Foundational Values: A More Perfect Union


The United States has a single foundation: The Constitution. It outlines our legally shared values:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Any appeal to principles not contained herein are not shared values. For example, we are not a biblical nation. We are a Constitutional nation. Argumentation of law must only appeal to legally shared values.

During each political season, we are inundated with campaign slogans and rhetoric which appeal to foundational American values. We hear reference to our being a Judeo-Christian nation, appeals to biblical authority, nostalgic recounting of the founding fathers’ personal beliefs, or even the eulogizing of small-town American values. The values of some Americans are identified as real, while others are demonized as un-American.

From this basis of branding values, many attempt to both discredit the ideas of others and to lend authority to their own. Their position is necessary, they’ll argue, given the core values they’ve defined.

The problem? Frequently these defined foundational values are not legitimately shared. Agreeing to a shared set of values is fundamental to any productive argument. Discussion of a topic, absent agreement on the foundational values, is most often pointless.

Imagine a bicycle built for two; if the riders don’t agree on the purpose or direction of travel, their odds of arriving at a mutually acceptable place is unlikely. If one rider attempts to define his own values as universal, in this example by seizing the front seat of the bicycle, they’ll simply be imposing their non-shared value on the other. Their values, then, are no longer shared, they’re authoritarian; one party attempting to force their values on the other.

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Foundational Values: Personal

Anselm Kiefer, Stars

Anselm Kiefer, Stars

My Chosen Purpose

  • My primary purpose is joy.
  • My secondary purpose is pursuit of knowledge.

My Chosen Faith

  • I choose faith in free will, in my ability to transcend those forces that limit me.

My Chosen Community

  • I choose faith in humanity.
  • I choose faith in the equality of individuals
  • I choose faith in human rights which exist prior to and apart from communal law.
  • I choose faith in democratic pluralism.


I choose joy as the primary purpose of my life. I specifically choose the word joy instead of other similar words such as happiness. In my usage of joy, I mean something more enduring than simple pleasure.

My Definition of Joy: An enduring sense of contentment, measured not in each moment, but as a dynamic summation of experience. The constituent parts of joy include instances of happiness, sorrow, pleasure and pain, boredom, excitement, leisure and work. Joy is the result of life well-lived, adjusted by experience to achieve a net-positive sentiment. It is an expression of my desire.

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Racism and the LDS Church. The Mormons!

This is an issue that just won’t go away, darn it! That’s frustrating to those mormons who don’t like the implications of racism in past (and current!) prophets of the LDS church. The LDS Church, in 1978, became the last major religion to fully integrate all races into it’s priesthood (though, still, women are left out).

The tactic taken by the Church over the past few years has been to remain silent on the racist priesthood ban for black members. Liberal mormons think that this speaks well on the issue; that the silence equals some semblance of admission of wrongdoing. Silence rarely means that, in any context, and especially in matters of church doctrine and official positions. More popularly, silence equals complicity.

So, why bring this up now? Well, in 2003, I was involved in some online discussions concerning this topic, and in the course of my research, I wrote some letters to LDS Public Affairs, and received some interesting responses from the Church. Those letters have been circulated around the net since, and I get occasional requests for copies of the letters. To make it easy, I’m posting copies of the letters here, on my blog, for all to see, copy and distribute. I only ask that you reference this post if you use the letters.

So, here they are:

My Original Letter to LDS Public Affairs, Aug. 4, 2003
Response from LDS Public Affairs, Aug. 14, 2003
Response “Envelope” from LDS Public Affairs
My follow-up letter
The follow-up response
The follow-up envelope

The primary question that I was teasing out in these letters was the question of attribution of the source of the racist ban. Is it the position of the LDS Church that this racist policy has its origin with God or fallible men? The historical position of the LDS Church has always been that the source of the racist ban was with God. And, my 2003 letters show that the LDS Church, still, maintains that position.

As I was taught clearly in LDS Sunday School, the first step to repentance is confession of guilt. I’m still waiting for the LDS Church to begin the process of repenting. By remaining silent, by maintaining the position that God is the source of the racist ban, mormon’s are still teaching racist doctrines to their membership, still contributing in a material way to racism within the world.

In other words, according to them, mormons aren’t racist, God is!

22 Years, 9 Months, and 28 Days…

That’s how much time passed between Rosa Park’s refusal to give up her seat and the LDS Church’s decision to allow Blacks (men only, still) to hold the priesthood.

Lest we forget what the fruits really are.

What is an LDS Feminist?

In relation to my recent entry LDS Male Feminists? Where your heart lies… I have been asked to define what a feminist is.

A person whose beliefs and behavior are based on feminism.

Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
The movement organized around this belief.

The relevant question is “can an active Mormon (Latter-day Saint) consider themselves a feminist?” In most cases, I believe the answer is no; at the very least, such a label would be disingenuous. I think it is possible to simultaneously be a feminist and a member of the LDS Church, but I have never met anyone who I think fits the definition as I have it in mind. What’s more, I’m confident that such a person would find their membership quickly revoked if they held true to their professed beliefs in feminism and, more importantly, acted upon those beliefs.

In short, I think a feminist is defined by their actions more than their stated beliefs. This follows from the mantra “if you want to know what a person believes, watch what they do.”

In the LDS Temple Recommend Interview, members are asked the following question:

Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

In essence, the LDS Church wants to know whether one supports causes or groups whose aims run counter to LDS Mormonism. Fair enough. I think that calling oneself a “feminist” requires a similar level of commitment to the ideals of feminism, and one measure of that commitment would be a denunciation of organizations that are actively fighting against feminist ideals.

The LDS Church is near the top of the list of organizations that are at war with feminist ideals. There aren’t many organizations still in existence that so obviously place women into a role of inferiority. What’s more, the LDS Church has been actively working against feminism and feminist ideals for decades.

To sum up, if one has dedicated their time, talents and energies to the furtherance of the LDS Church, then I think it disingenous to call oneself a feminist.

However, as I stated, I think it might be possible, and here are the minimum steps that I think one would need to take to qualify.

1) Stop paying tithing to the LDS Church.

The LDS Church has become a political organization that spends money to influence in the political arena. Specifically, the LDS Church has been fighting the rights of individuals, including the feminist movement and the gay-rights movement. Tithing money goes directly to support these causes, both directly and indirectly, and I think it inconsistent to financially support such an effort. At the very least, if one found this step too difficult, then one should donate at least as much money to causes of feminism as one donates to the LDS Church.

2) Don’t Participate in Patriarchal and Authoritarian Rituals

…such as the Temple ceremony. Can one claim to hold feminist ideals and yet further the acts and actions of patriarchal oppression? The two are incompatible. Specifically in the LDS Temple Ceremony, participants are asked to donate all of their time and talents to support the anti-feminist authoritarian regime. Additionally, in this ritual, men are placed in positions of superiority above women. It is inconsistent to take such an oath and yet to call oneself a feminist.

3) Renouce membership in the Priesthood

If one is male, then they should renounce membership in the Patriarchal Priesthood. That one would recognize the exclusiveness of the Club of the all-male LDS Leadership and privilege, and yet still participate in it, reveals the nature of one’s commitment to feminist ideals. It is inconsistent with feminist ideals to knowingly benefit from the very structure that subjugates women.

4) Openly espouse Feminist ideals and denounce anti-feminist ideals

In sacrament meeting talks, in bearing one’s testimony, in leading and participating in sunday school lessons, in teaching children. The feminist should speak openly and boldly for ideals of feminism, and be willing to renounce those teachings and leaders that support anti-feminist ideals. This transcends a mere statement of “doubts” towards the anti-feminist leanings of the organization, and becomes an affirmative defense of feminist ideals.

5) Spend more time arguing with Anti-feminists than with feminists

If one finds themselves engaged in battle more often with those who are fighting the anti-feminism of the LDS Church than with the authoritarian and anti-feminist movements within the Church, then the commitment to feminist ideals is suspect. If these argumenst tend to cause one to be more angry at the critics of the Church than with the actions of the Church itself, then this reveals, to me, where the fundamental commitment lies.

6) Be willing to pay a price for your convictions *

The summation of all of this is that the LDS Feminist must value feminism more than they value the perpetuation of the very institutional organization that devalues women. If one professes feminist values, and yet is unwilling to pay the price that may be required to fight for those values, then the label of “feminist” is meaningless.
This list is not exhaustive.

LDS Male Feminists; Where your heart lies…

I recently attended the Sunstone conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. This conference is focused on Mormon philosophy and culture. Sunstone has become the sole alternative voice in LDS Mormonism. Amazingly, in a Church that boasts 12 million members, the largest alternate-voice-publication has a subscription base of less than 5000. The Church, obviously, has done a masterful job at squelching dissent, going so far as to state that there is no such thing as a “loyal opposition.”

As a result, those who have real and sincere questions about their faith, about the Church, must do a delicate dance to both remain loyal to the church, and yet answer their own natural and justified questions of doubt, all without appearing to oppose the church.

As an example of this, I attended a symposium panel discussion at Sunstone of so-called “male feminists” in the LDS Church, wherein they discussed their efforts to support the cause of feminism from within the Church. This is a church that openly discriminates against women, that is blatantly sexist, and that not only does not apologize for this position, but rather, lays the charge of their sexist attitudes and behavior on the shoulders of God. That’s right; the Church is not sexist, many members will respond, they are just following God’s will. Or, in my parlance, the Church is not sexist, God is.

Imagine for a moment that you were a mormon male. You are granted power and status that is denied to your wife. Imagine that your wife perceived real harm being done to her, was sincerely troubled by the actions of the Church, and confided with you regarding her discomfort.

The men on this panel, I have no doubt, are trying very hard to do the right thing, the ethical thing, the just thing. But, in the end, the overriding principle, for them, was to support the church, to remain within the fold, no matter the harm being caused to their wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, and others.

In an oligarchical organization, where all policy comes from above, where there is no formal recognition of the desires of the membership, where nobody has recourse to petition for change, the only option left, if one desires to oppose the policies of the Church, is to leave.

And yet, despite the injustice being done to the women in their lives, these men value membership in this exclusive club to a greater degree than they value justice for women. Feminists? I think these men, though of good intention and in many ways equal victims of an oppressive organization, need to reanalyze their value system, and for now, drop any pretense of calling themselves feminists.

To them I ask: what is it that you value more than justice? Fairness? Equality? What god do you worship that would have you place these ideals behind others? What are the ideals that trump these things? What message do you send to your wife, daughters, and other women when you tell them, by your actions, that you value your membership in this male-centric social club more than you value their status and the injustice that this club is perpetuating upon them?

Where is your heart? There is your treasure.

Gay Rights and Right-wing Wrongs

Right-wing histrionics blog Sound Politics continues its never-ending screed against all things not-republican…but in particular, I want to point out the potential hypocrisy of their rants against the new gay rights legislation passed in Washington State.

The new law adds “sexual orientation” to the list of protected classes that can’t be discriminated against in areas such as employment and housing. So, I’d like to send out a bit of a challenge to those opposed to making sexual orientation a protected class: for all of your arguments, substitute “religion” and see how well they hold. If you don’t experience the same outrage or discomfort with the law, then you’re likely a hypocrite, and probably a bigot.

Now, to be sure, there are those who will answer that they don’t believe that there should be any laws creating protected classes. Fine. I can respect such a position from a libertarian viewpoint, though I think the position a bit naive. If that is your argument, then why focus on the issue of sexual orientation and gay rights at all? Shouldn’t you, in the same breath with which you decry this right, decry the granted right of religionists to be free from discrimination as well? And, if that is your position, then your arguments fail when you go on to rant against any and all things homosexual, because your argument is not about the class of identified homosexuals at all, but based in a hands-off approach to government, which ironically, would put you more squarely in the camp of allowing homosexuals the freedom to live as they choose.

Just a small test to determine consistency…

Brokeback Families…

family treeI‘ve heard several comments by conservatives, seemingly unable to directly criticize the love story that exists in the movie Brokeback Mountain, railing about the injustice of how these two men treat their undeserving wives. The pain caused to Michelle William’s character (Alma) is unmistakable, and many conservatives point the finger at Heath Ledger’s character (Ennis), and by inference, indict the entire gay community for the harm they’ve caused to the broken families they leave behind.

This, as I read between the lines, is another attempt to demonize the gay community, to blame them for the problems that exist when their relationships fall apart. The criticism isn’t without some merit, and therefore, can’t easily be dismissed. The irony, however, is that equal criticism should be aimed directly at the conservative community which has worked to demonize and dehumanize gay individuals, making it difficult for them to understand their own sexuality, and ignorantly promoting the idea that if you just act straight, you will be straight. Read more

Religion and Meaning

As science continues to erode the viable realm of religion, apologists for religion seem to cling to the life-vest of “meaning” as the last stand for the value of religion.

In other words, religionists claim that science is unable to answer the “why’s” of an issue (which, I think is a tenuous claim, but which I’ll put on hold for now), and that these questions are best left in the hands of religion.

OK. If this is the case, then let’s discuss it directly. This posting is meant to solicit responses and ideas.

Can anyone give me some examples of “why” answers that religion does well? If this is the realm in which religion excels, then let’s have a listing of those answers it provides.


On Determinism…

The majority of humans will get caught into basic routines of social expectations; the brave may escape the monotony of scripted existence, the worship of the status quo.

A President In Denial

In his weekly radio address, President Bush, today, stated the following:

“Like our own nation’s founders over two centuries ago, the Iraqis are grappling with difficult issues, such as the role of the federal government,” he said. “What is important is that Iraqis are now addressing these issues through debate and discussion — not at the barrel of a gun.”


Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

I guess the last 2.5 years of bloody conflict throughout Iraq, the ongoing insurgency, and the almost 150,000 American troops on the ground, most of whom carry guns, don’t count as “at the barrel of a gun.”

This President is ridiculous, and those who support him are in just as much denial as he is.

The Magdalene Laundries; A Study in Authoritarian Idealist Regimes

So, I’m late in viewing the movie The Magdalene Sisters. I had a sense of the topic of the film, and I think I just wondered why on earth we needed more films to tell us that authoritarian idealist regimes do bad things?

After viewing the film, I read a review written by Steven D. Greydanus for the web site Decent Films.

Though Mr. Greydanus, an apparent apologist for the Catholic Church, admits to some wrongdoing on the part of the Church and some nuns who were involved in the Magdalene Laundries, he saves his real shot for film director Peter Mullan.

Mullan claims that his film isn’t meant to be anti-Catholic, but is meant to expose the victimization of young women by a certain phenomenon in the Church. Nevertheless, he freely acknowledges his animosity toward his Catholic upbringing, and admits that he brought his prejudices and sympathies to this project.

Perhaps he didn’t consciously set out to make an anti-Catholic film. D. W. Griffith didn’t set out to make a racist film, but it doesn’t make Birth of a Nation any less racist.

Whatever value the film might have had as an exposé of social sin is undermined, not enhanced, by its prejudicial stereotyping of every individual nun and priest. Instead of being a morally serious film about a corrupt institution in a flawed society, The Magdalene Sisters becomes mere agitprop about how evil and terrible Irish Catholic nuns, priests, and parents are.

To repeat a theme, human history has taught us that authoritarian idealistic regimes do bad things to people. These regimes are perpetuated by seemingly nice, normal people, who just happen to be participants in the abuse of their fellow humans.

Are there nice priests and nuns in the Catholic Church? I’ve no doubt that there are. But, in the end, fundamentally, they are working to further the cause of and giving their life’s energy to support an authoritarian idealist regime. As such, they are contributing to the devaluation of human rights and individual dignity.

Mr. Greydanus thinks that we should temper our criticism of nuns and priests who imprisoned a slave population of women, punishing them for minor sexual conduct, at times for years, for the mere possibility that some of them may have been conflicted about their role, or may have had other complex motivations for doing what they did.

This is silly. It is hypocritical to simultaneously decry the bad that is done by authoritarian idealist regimes, and then to also demand fair treatment of them. Authoritarian Idealist Regimes (Cathoicism, Mormonism, Communism, etc) afford no fundamental rights to individuals, provide no checks and balances for fair treatment, give too much authority to their leaders, and give too little assistance to adherents. “Just following orders” went out the window centuries ago as a moral justification for bad acts.

Even if you were a nice nun who worked in a Magdalene Laundry, you were still participating in the unjust imprisonment and forced slavery of young, innocent women. It doesn’t matter if you consoled a few of the girls along the way; in the end, you were still committing an abhorrent crime against human dignity, and committing a terrible injustice to these very girls.

Shame on you, and shame on any who seek to apologize for organizations that, by their very nature, will continue to commit grievous sins against humanity.

A Restrospective on an Experience

“Let us lay aside both the guns and the roses of idealism.”

I travelled to Venice and Prague this Summer. Both destinations were important to me for different reasons.

While in Prague, I had an experience while touring the Prague Castle and simultaneously listening to my iPod. I’ve created this short video in an attempt to capture the experience and the thoughts and feelings I had while walking through this city.

Note To Self…if ever "on-the-lam"

If I’m ever a fugitive from justice, and if I ever use the alias of being an Amway Salesman, I better be ready to play the part. To wit…

In the recent bold escape from prison and life-on-the-lam orchestrated by married couple Jennifer Forsyth Hyatte and George Hyatte, their eventual capture was due a tip given by a cab driver in Columbus, Ohio, who, when asked what tipped him off, stated the following:

Wagers, 33, said he didn’t realize he had picked up the fugitives until he was alerted to TV reports later that evening.

He said his suspicions weren’t aroused by anything the couple said, except that they didn’t try to aggressively recruit him after telling him they were Amway salespeople.

“You know, Amway people are all about Amway, and when they didn’t — when they didn’t try any conversation further about it, that’s when I pretty much thought, well, they’re not with Amway,” Wagers said. — Source: CNN

In my list of “Job’s I’d hate to have” I’ll now add “Public Relations Executive” for Amway. 🙂

Manufacturing Votes in King County?

As Republicans are trying any and every argument that they can create to help salve their pain of losing the race for Governor, they seem to keep landing on the idea that the big, bad and corrupt King County Elections Division just kept “finding votes,” padding the totals, until finally, they had enough to “coronate” Christine Gregoire as Governor.

Listening to this screed all day made me wonder: Did King County add more votes to their final tally than did other counties? If I just accept the wailing from Republicans, I’d be left with the impression that King County must have, by magnitudes, found more votes than any other county.

Well…I decided to run the numbers. And guess what? King County wasn’t the lead vote finder. Nor were they second. Or third. Or even fourth, fifth or sixth. Nope. The top six counties to add votes to their final tallies were counties that Dino Rossi won.

King County tied for 7th place in percentage of total votes added to their final tally. Here are the top 10 Counties, listed in order of percentage of votes added to the final tally compared to the original count in each of these counties:

County First Count Third Count Difference % Difference
1 Adams 5,055 5,091 36 0.71%
2 Walla Walla 22,563 22,676 113 0.50%
3 Pierce 309,630 310,591 961 0.31%
4 Kittitas 15,922 15,969 47 0.30%
5 Skagit 51,590 51,733 143 0.28%
6 Grant 25,719 25,787 68 0.26%
7 King 874,928 876,452 1,524 0.17%
8 Asotin 8,622 8,637 15 0.17%
9 Franklin 15,812 15,838 26 0.16%
10 Pend Oreille 6,104 6,114 10 0.16%

If the Republicans have evidence of fraud, then let them make their case. But, if they don’t, then this not-so-veiled charge of fraud should cease.

King County was not manufacturing votes. The votes that the Republicans are clamoring about were legitimately cast, legal votes. To argue that King County should not have counted them is odd in a democratic election where legal votes are ALL that matters.

Is that what we’ve come to? In an effort to win at any cost, the Republicans are going to argue that King County shouldn’t have counted legal votes?


5 People I’d like to Meet…

Leonardo da Vinci

mp_davincida Vinci transcended the normal constraints of the human experience. The ability to talk art, politics, science, religion, sexuality…and all the while, doing it with style. If I could give him a gift, it would be an Apple iPod. Quote: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”


mp_herodotusHe was asking all the right questions at a time when most others were looking in entirely different directions regarding life, humanity and nature. The ability to ask the right questions is what makes for interesting conversation, and I think he’d provide that in buckets. Quote: “Circumstances rule men; men do not rule circumstances.”

Steve Jobs

mp_jobsThis man has so affected my life and shares such a compatible vision of technology and how we interact with it. Mostly, I’d spend much of my time trying to convince him to bring back the Apple Newton. Quote: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Sade Adu

mp_sadeI can’t explain it. But, I’d want her band to be involved as well. I envision a weekend in Monte Carlo, or in Spain. Good food, great music, passion, tears, and heartbreak. Oh, and we’d have to ride horses as well. Quote: “I know the end before the story’s been told, it’s not that complicated, but you’re gonna need a bullet proof soul.” [NOTE: I got to meet Sade. I write about it here: My Life With Sade]

Somerset Maugham

mp_maughmOf Human Bondage is one of my favorite books. I so identify with Phillip Carey, the lead character, that I think I would likely connect with Somerset Maugham as well. There is a kinship there that I’d like to explore and better understand. And then, I’d like to explore the ideas of human bondage that he wrote about. Quote: “It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched, for they are full of the truthless ideals which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real they are bruised and wounded.”

Other candidates: Carl Sagan, Aristotle, Joseph Smith, Frida Kahlo, Anne Rice, Joseph Campbell, D. Michael Quinn, Kurt Cobain, Jeff Buckley, Karl Popper, Low

My Articles of Faith

NOTE: This is an old version of my values. There are two newer versions published here:

Life’s Purpose:

The primary purpose of my life is the pursuit of Joy.

Secondary to that is the pursuit of truth, by which I have faith that I’ll be better able to control the environment of my life, affording me greater opportunity to achieve my primary purpose.

My faith:

I have great faith in humanity. In sum, I see the world as a positive place, and am happy that I am a part of it. I believe that humanity is a positive force in this world.

It is my belief that all great human achievements are rooted entirely in the greatness of humankind. I do not look to sources external to humanity to explain or understand its value.

I have faith that humankind will continue to gain increased knowledge relative to the nature of our existence, the nature of nature, and the means by which we will gain increased power over nature to improve our lives. Science is generally the object of this faith.

I have faith in my ability to shape the contours of my life, as well as to contribute to the makeup of the communities of which I am a part.

I have faith in the ability of pluralistic democracies to provide the greatest foundation for the pursuit of joy. My faith is that through continued work and human capital, we can build a more perfect union. To this end, I am faithfully involved in the political process.

I have faith in the equality of humanity, that all should be equal and that all deserve rights which are endowed upon them naturally. All should have equal opportunity to create the shape and contour of their lives.

I don’t believe that the ends or goals of humanity are guaranteed; I believe in the real possibility of failure. I believe that we are in a race against time to avoid failure, and this motivates my faith.

My communities:
Individuals preside over communities, which are created to serve the needs of individuals. Though symbiotic, we must never elevate “community” to the ontological status of “individual;” they are fundamentally different things.

My first and most important communal tie is to my wife, Mary, and to my two children, Cien and Aris.

I am a member of the entire human family, whom I consider to be brothers and sisters.

Additional communities of which I am a part: family, friends, neighborhood, City, County, State, and Country.

I identify with the struggles of specific communities, such as the gay-lesbian community. I identify with the struggle for equality waged by women. I identify with the struggle for equality waged by the minority communities.

I don’t consider myself detached from the struggles faced by these communities, as I feel that fundamentally, the struggle for equality is a struggle faced by all of us. That my current demographic is at the top of the hill does not mean that it will always be so, and to that end, I work hard to ensure equality for all.