Friday, April 25, 2014

American idiots

Cliven Bundy has become something of a folk hero to the disaffected tea party types who inhabit the wastelands of Southern Utah and Nevada. Bundy has managed to feed his cows on public land for about twenty years without paying the normal fees.

Many ranchers and farmers use federal land, but they also pay for the privilege of grazing on property owned by the taxpayers of the United States. Bundy doesn’t believe he has to pay. Federal authorities seized 400 head of Bundy’s stock to force Bundy into a payoff or showdown. They got the showdown. Some Second Amendment fellow travelers of Bundy’s showed up, waved their guns and did a bit of jostling with the Feds. The Feds backed down. I thought wiser heads amongst the Feds prevailed. No deadly force, no riot gas. I agree with that decision. The confrontation does not rise to a level that cannot be controlled by backing off and taking a breather, then letting the other side do the same.

Bundy’s buddies have been crowing over backing the government down. To say it was a victory for Bundy is not accurate. The U.S. government has learned from Ruby Ridge and Waco that sending in heavily armed troops and the FBI creates a really bad public image problem. Especially when, like Waco, they kill innocent women and children. After all, terrorists, foreign and domestic, also kill innocents and they are vilified (think al Qaeda, Timothy McVeigh or the Tsarnaev brothers). So if they act like terrorists why not assign the same standard to our own government?

But I get ahead of myself. The difference in the action of the government in moving against a rancher in this case is important. The Feds are using tactics to try to enforce laws, while the idiots are showing arms to threaten the United States government. During these occasional domestic “insurrections” the problem for the government  has been in how much force to use to solve a problem. If they are taking down an armed fugitive who has just robbed a bank and is shooting at police then deadly force is called for. If called to bring to a resolution someone owing the government a million dollars for grazing fees then the guns should be kept in their holsters and other less lethal techniques should be used.

We have amongst us people who use all the public services available to citizens but who do not believe in paying taxes or observing laws the rest of us live with. (They are usually the ones complaining about illegal aliens doing essentially doing what they themselves are doing.) Personally, if I could see tax returns from all these folks and they were paying their fair share I’d probably give them a little slack. Otherwise guys like Bundy and his gun-waving posse are just American idiots who call  themselves patriots.

In threatening the authorities with guns, have any of these armed-to-the-teeth yahoos thought of what the government of the United States could do by unleashing even part of its arsenal? Have they seen news clips from Afghanistan that show drones taking out targets with impunity? Do they think their popguns could overcome the massive firepower and unlimited resources the United States has to prosecute a war on foreign soil, and how easy it would be to put down any sort of armed insurrection with even a fraction of that firepower? Do the American idiots understand that soldiers, who include many patriots of the more traditional do-their-duty-without-questions types could quell any rebellion within minutes? The reason they don’t is because we are not Iran, nor China, nor Russia. The American government has limitless power. But it is always smarter to use the power only when it is absolutely necessary, and not just to show how muscular it is to a bunch of disaffected wimps — even wimps with their hands on their NRA-blessed assault rifles —  feeling more powerful than they really are.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Greeks have a word for a booty that is a beauty

Two days ago Sally and I walked out of a grocery store behind a woman whose backside was very large. Sally asked, “What is that word that means a big butt?”

I said, “Callipygian. But that word doesn’t describe this woman.” Her rear end was as big as the back half of a Volkswagen. “Callipygian means having beautifully proportioned buttocks.” The Greeks came up with that word. The model on the cover of this catalog is an example of callipygian.

Some very famous stars have callipygian attributes.



Jennifer Lopez played the late Tejano singer, Selena, in a biopic of the same name, and  like JLo, Selena had her own claim to booty immortality:

Those of you asking your husband, “Does this dress make my butt look too big?” should instead take pride in your callipygian caboose.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Same sex marriage: new clients for the divorce lawyers

I am still watching the process by which same sex marriages will inevitably become the law of the land. In the past couple of weeks the states of Utah and Oklahoma have presented their cases to the same panel of three judges of the Tenth Circuit Court. They will decide whether it is legal to withhold the status of marriage based on the constitutionality of both Utah and Oklahoma’s laws governing marriage. It is my opinion that both states will lose their appeals because they are based on religion, culture and bigotry toward homosexuals, not on law.

Something has struck me as I have watched the process, and especially in my home state of Utah. In December the state, caught flat-footed by a federal judge’s ruling that Utah’s law on marriage was unconstitutional, did not have an appeal in place. Until they could get their act together 1,300 same sex couples were suddenly able to take out marriage licenses and get married. I noticed the age of many of the happy couples. They weren’t teens or twenty-somethings, but older people, some as old as me! (Damn, that is old.) Reading  news reports about some of their personal lives, in many cases they were couples who had been together for many years, even decades. The minute the opportunity presented itself they jumped at the chance to make their partnership legal.

Legal meaning they would have the same benefits I’ve taken for granted in my 45 years of marriage: filing joint tax returns, having clear rights of survivorship, end of life decisions, and those other things well established for generations. Benefits that come with a marriage license and a few words pronounced by a judge over two people.

It also struck me that the basis for discrimination and exclusion for same sex couples to that legal marriage was instigated by religions and churches whose members (those who were lawmakers or government bureaucrats) made sure that same sex couples could not share those benefits. A church is not a lawmaking body except in a spiritual sense. It does not have the authority of government. We are supposed to have a separation of church and state. So why are these folks allowed to force laws upon fellow citizens based on their beliefs?

I believe that the feds, as hated as they are by many groups with agendas formed by prejudice and sanctimony, will have to step in and make sure that those discriminatory laws are overruled. The courts often have to be the final say-so in what is strictly a legal and not emotional or religious issue.

And when that happens then many younger couples will want to be married. And when they are married they will be in the same circumstance as married traditional couples. At some point many of them will file for divorce.

It is not easy to get an accurate accounting of how many divorces there are in America, but from what I’ve been able to gather from some research (okay, I went to the Internet), a ballpark figure would be 40-50% for first time marriages, and for second and third marriages the statistics go up about 10% each time. For instance, if you’re married for a third time, your chances of getting a divorce are around 70%. Those statistics will then affect same sex marriages as well as traditional marriages.

In that way same sex couples, who will be sharing the benefits of legal marriage for the first time, will be also facing the grim realities of divorce. I’d like to see them do better than traditional married couples so in ten years or so they can boast that gay people have more solid marriages than straight people. If not the people who will be reaping the real benefits of same sex marriage will be divorce lawyers. I imagine many of them are rubbing their hands in glee in anticipation of picking up a whole lot of new clients.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

“Sooner kill you as look at you”

I wrote this post in 2008. With some changes and editing I am presenting it again.

In these days of contractors like Halliburton running parts of what used to be Army responsibilities, do soldiers even have KP anymore? When I was in training from December 1966 through April 1967 I got more than my share of that duty. KP stood for kitchen police, although no one could tell me why. Military Police were cops, and “policing the area” meant picking up cigarette butts and debris from the ground, but why there were kitchen police was a mystery.

Like most GIs I hated KP. It meant going to work at around 4:00 a.m., and not getting off until as late as 9:00 p.m., depending on how industrious we could be or how fastidious or prickish the cooks were. I saw all kinds. The cooks in our Artillery training unit at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma were some of the worst slave-driving sadists I encountered. We fixed them, though, by sending them Scout.

When I think of Scout I conjure up the image of Devil Anse Hatfield of the famous Hatfield-McCoy feud. He and Scout may not have been related by blood, but by attitude and meanness.

I don't remember Scout's real name. We called him Scout because he told us to, and Scout was a man to be reckoned with. He came from Montana. He didn't talk very much, but from what we learned from him he had been on federal probation for several years for moonshining, of all things. When his probation was over the draft board snapped him up. Scout was tall and lean, with a pinched face and perpetual scowl. His eyes were dark and his eyelids heavy, giving him a hooded look. I think of Scout as a survivalist or a militiaman, hiding out in the hills, living off the land. Often in the middle of the night I'd wake up in my bunk to see Scout walking the floor. He was an insomniac, so sometimes other guys paid him to take their fire guard shifts. We had two hour turns where we were up and walking the floor to make sure the place didn't burn down. Some guys just couldn't stay awake and crashed onto a bunk during their guard duties. I did that a couple of times, but Scout never did.

The rumor was that Scout was more than a moonshiner, that he had killed some men in Montana but that the law couldn't prove it. It was probably a legend grown up around his mysterious personage, but to a bunch of 19 and 20-year-old soldiers it seemed real enough. Scout was probably not more than five or six years older than us,  but to us he looked much older. We could see he'd had a hard life. Scout didn't plan on staying in the Army. He told us if they gave him orders for Vietnam he would not go no matter what. Soldiers deployed to Vietnam got an automatic one-week leave to go home. We figured when we got our orders at the end of our training he was planning to go over the hill to Canada or disappear into the wilds of Montana. To that end Scout was saving money. He'd charge people $5.00 or $10.00 to take their fire guard shift,  and he charged between $15 to $25 for a KP shift, depending on whether it was a weekday or on a Sunday. Everybody wanted Sundays off. I paid Scout $25.00 once so I wouldn't have to do Sunday KP because my parents said they were driving to Oklahoma to see me. They canceled out, but I didn't dare tell Scout, so I gave him the $25 and that Sunday I went to a movie.

The sergeants were probably listening to the same scuttlebutt and rumors as us trainees. They might have believed that Scout was a dangerous person. They didn't stop him from taking those KP shifts even though it meant he missed training. He wasn't lazy. He did his work in the mess hall but the cooks didn't treat him like they treated the rest of us. In a place like the Army it pays to cause fear in people.

I never found out what happened to Scout. When the orders were read out at the end of our training his name was called for Vietnam. I looked at him but his face looked like it always did, like he'd as soon kill you as look at you. Whether Scout ended up in Canada as a deserter or somewhere hidden in America I don’t know. If his threat to desert was empty, and if he actually went to Vietnam as a soldier there were probably people who ended up dead. And not all of them would have been the enemy.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Past lives and parking spaces

I wrote this post originally in 2011. With minor edits I am presenting it again.

Do you want to know who you were in a past life? This ad from a 1946 magazine supposes you do.

In the 1970s my wife took a night school class in the paranormal. I was dubious about it, but she told me how her teacher explained a technique for finding out what we were in our past lives. We were to sit in the dark in front of a full-length mirror with a lighted candle between us and the mirror, and our past lives would be revealed.

Even though I didn’t believe it would work, I was still a little spooky about it. I never tried it. That's because something else her teacher told her appeared to actually work. At the time we were going into busy downtown Salt Lake City once or twice a week and we usually had trouble finding a parking space. The teacher told Sally that by concentrating on a parking space while traveling into a city you would find one easily. I tried it, and it worked so many times it got me thinking of what happened when I thought “parking space” while driving. Did someone who was already parked receive a sudden strong mental prod to leave the space so I could find it? The mind boggled.

Because that mind trick seemed to be working it made me more reticent about actually seeing a past life in a full-length mirror. There was enough to upset me in my current lifetime that I did not care to see some miserable past life.

The Search For Bridey Murphy, by Morey Bernstein, is about using hypnotic regression on a contemporary American woman. It supposedly revealed a past lifetime in 19th Century Ireland. It was a best seller in the mid-1950s. I found this copy in a thrift store recently, and was initially curious, but after reading the dust jacket flaps and this Wikipedia entry about the book I decided it was just more mumbo-jumbo.

I've read a lot of books in my life that attempted to convince me of something: spirit photography, Bigfoot, astral projection or flying saucers. If I had an open mind when I first read all these claims of the paranormal, Loch Ness monster, giant creatures hiding in the woods, or visitors from space, after awhile I just stopped believing any of it. Truth is in the mind of the truth-seeker. You can create “truth” in your own head, whether it is in fact true to the outside world or not. Some of the books I read were very earnest, and spot-reading Bridey Murphy it appears the author believed what he wrote. But it doesn’t make it true.

Forty years ago I didn’t know what would have happened if I sat in front of the mirror, trying to see a past life. I believe nothing would have happened. I was only reminded because I found the book.

I’m still wondering about the parking space phenomenon. But I need to shake it off. That stuff can make you crazy if you think about it too much.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Keri Russell has a beautiful bum


I follow The Americans on FX Network. In the show Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell play KGB agents working in Washington D.C. during the Reagan '80s. Russell and Rhys play a couple who were trained in Russia. Their marriage began as a cover. Over time it has evolved into a real marriage with children. Mom and Dad go to work, kids go to school. Mom and Dad also kill people, steal secrets, even have sex with other people in order to achieve their goals as good spies.

Now I read in People magazine that Russell and Rhys are “dating.” Russell has split with her husband and she and Rhys have been spotted on the town as a couple.

These photos I took off my television during the showing of The Americans episode that originally aired April 11, 2014. A sexy scene, although Rhys is moving around fully clothed and Russell’s nude body appears glued in place on the bed. If that’s indeed Russell’s body, and not some CGI magic or a body model wearing a Keri Russell mask, then the two probably enjoyed filming it for reasons of more than professional accomplishment. Perhaps that bulge in Rhys’ pants in the top picture tells us how much it was enjoyed.


The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing is coming up.

Last year Rolling Stone ran a cover of Boston Marathon bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and the magazine was immediately criticized for giving a terrorist “rock star treatment.” RS denied it. The article by Janet Reitman doesn’t treat Tsarnaev as a rock star, but looking at the cover photo you can probably guess why people thought what they did.

I, who was willing to give Rolling Stone a pass on the rock star criticism, noticed the similarities to the Dylan cover RS ran three issues later.

Rolling Stone is a serious magazine that features insightful and in-depth articles on a variety of subjects, but it began as a rock magazine. It has followed the cover formula for its entire history, but Tsarnaev carried a backpack with a bomb, not a guitar.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Memoirs of an Invisible Man

I’ve just re-read Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H. F. Saint. I read it first in 1987, the year it was published. After my initial reading I had high hopes for the movie version starring Chevy Chase, but was disappointed. The book was not written as a comedy. For movie purposes, it probably worked best as humor.

As written, Saint’s novel would have been hard to film. The story, told in first person by Nick Halloway, is a tale of escape and evasion. And a story of paranoia.

In the novel, Nick, following a beautiful female reporter he’s hot for, is in a building where some secret work is being conducted. There is an industrial accident. After losing consciousness Nick wakes up to find himself lying on what appears to him to be thin air over a huge hole in the ground. A most disconcerting sight. When realization sets in Nick realizes that he, the building and everything in it, has been rendered completely invisible. From that point on Nick, a survivor if ever there was one, decides that whatever it takes he will stay away from the government agents who have quickly taken over the site. The agents have a team feeling their way through their invisible surroundings, wrapping tape around desks and furniture, bringing the building eerily back to life by way of indication. The team is directed by a no nonsense man who, when he finds out there is an invisible man in the area, attempts to talk Nick into accepting his “help.”

Nick wisely gathers up what invisible supplies he can find. Without divulging his identity to the government man, he gets over the fence and back to his Manhattan apartment.

What Saint does in Nick’s narrative is follow in detail each move Nick makes. I won’t try to duplicate or quote Saint. It can start bogging down a reader just going step-by-step through everything the invisible man does. For example, Nick has to figure out how to get food, even how to eat. He notices he can see the food going down his esophagus into his stomach. He needs foods that digest easily, and eventually finds out if he uses a sunlamp while eating the food disappears quickly. Each problem solved adds verisimilitude to the narrative.

Nick gets complacent, but shouldn't. Unknown to him those sinister government agents have been hard at work. They figure out that Nick is the invisible man and they raid his apartment. He barely escapes. The rest of the book details Nick's attempts to stay one step ahead of those agents: where he lives and what he does to survive.

There was one thing I thought was a glaring omission. When cornered by government men I wondered why the pursuers didn't use thermal imaging to “see” Nick’s body heat. That technique was used in another invisible man story, the movie Hollow Man.

My review of Hollow Man is here.

So I did some reading on thermal imaging online. I saw the technology had been in use since the 1970s, but was expensive and because of its secret military applications not widely utilized. By the late 1980s funding was provided so manufacturers could come out with affordable technology to be used in security and fire-fighting, where it has become an invaluable tool. The technology was not commonly used when Saint wrote his book. If he wrote it today he’d undoubtedly have to figure it into the storyline.

Being invisible is a great fantasy. I remember many times in my life wishing I could turn invisible. Then it started happening to me in real life. When a person ages he begins to become invisible to people around him. A store clerk may overlook an older person who steps up to a counter. People may talk about an older person as if he wasn’t right there, able to hear them. So much for the fantasy of being invisible.

As for author H.F.(Harry) Saint, with this book he hit the jackpot. Bidding wars for a first novel are rare, but it happened for this book. He also made a goodly sum for the movie that did the book no justice, but added to his fortunes. Versions of Saint’s career moves after he got money vary, but he is said to have relocated with his family to Europe and retired. And despite the promise shown by the success of this first novel he has not written another book. And who is to say he needs to? Saint kind of vanished to the world of literature, in essence creating his own kind of invisibility.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Mac won't back down

Today I ran into Ralph, an old Army buddy of mine. We swapped a few stories, and caught up on those mutual friends of ours who had died since we last talked. I told him Wally T. had died and Ralph was shocked, and then he told me Mac had died and it was my turn to be shocked.

This is a post I first ran in 2008. It's about Mac and the time he told me he would never back down from a fight, that he would rather be killed than be called a coward. I have never forgotten Mac.

Mac was a guy I met on the first day we were in the Army. We went through basic training together, were in the same artillery unit in Germany, and we were discharged on the same day.

When I met Mac he was looking glum, sitting in his seat on the train taking us to Fort Lewis, Washington. Mac quickly got into his particulars. He was older than us other guys; we were all 19 and 20, and he was 26, just about to turn 27. He’d gotten a divorce from his wife, and since they had a child he’d had a married father deferment. As soon as he was divorced his ex-wife called the draft board and they scooped him up. It happened to guys all the time.

The first thing I noticed about Mac is that while he was a very handsome man, he was also short. He could not have been taller than 5’2”. I found out later Mac had talents, and could fix anything. He’d worked as a mechanic all his life. When we were in Germany his job was as a mechanic for our artillery battery, working on our big guns.

Mac was basically illiterate. He’d dropped out of school, and I’m sure now he had a learning disability, maybe dyslexia. Beyond some very simple things he couldn’t read or write. He could never sit down and read a newspaper, for example, but he could read a street sign. When we were in basic training we had a trade-off: he’d clean my rifle and I’d write his letters home.

Mac was also a loan shark. He had cash. If a guy needed $10 Mac was there with a ten-spot. On payday the guy paid him $15. Mac had no problems at all with that sort of math. Throughout his time in the Army he kept a small notebook with the transactions listed in whatever notations he was able to use. He was always there on payday to get his payback. That sort of thing was illegal under military law, but it went on all the time. Since Mac didn’t have a lot of expenses and wasn’t a spendthrift his usurious earnings went home with him after our hitches were up. He had a bundle.

Mac was small but tough. He'd gone to tough schools, he’d grown up poor from a bad part of town. One day he had a dispute with a guy in our artillery unit. The man’s name was Gross; he was from the group ahead of us and was set to rotate back to the States in January 1968. In German Gross means large, and Gross was large. He was at least 6’2”, lanky and solidly muscled. When he had borrowed money from Mac, about $50 as I recall, he had agreed to the terms, but on payday he objected to paying back $75. This was always a time when Mac, in the best tradition of loan sharks everywhere, had to show he meant business. He challenged Gross to a fight, to be held after work behind the barracks. Gross agreed, figuring there would be no fight because no way, no how, could this shorty ever really fight a big guy like Gross. He didn't count on Mac and his tough upbringing. Mac had told me when he was growing up he had fought every day of his life. As an adult he’d fought in bars, in alleys, at work.

Mac looked at it this way: a guy does not back down. If he says he’s going to fight, then he fights. Mac said, “I don't care if Gross kills me, I won't back down.” So what happened was there was no fight because Gross backed down. I guess he didn't want to be guilty of manslaughter and hold up his discharge. He handed Mac the $75 and that was that. For Mac there was no gloating, it was just another day’s business.

A few weeks after we were discharged I talked to another of my friends, Ralph, who along with Mac, had been with me the whole two years. Ralph told me that the day Mac got home from the Army he called his ex-wife. She worked at a bar. He picked her up when she got off at 2:00 a.m. and they had sex on the seat of his pick-up truck. As I told Ralph, “She screwed him with the draft board, then he screwed her.”

In memory of Mac, here's Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers doing “Won't Back Down”:

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Having its day in court: Utah’s argument against same sex marriage to be heard

On the road to its goal of retracting the decision of Judge Robert Shelby, who struck down Utah’s ban on same sex marriage just before Christmas, Utah will finally have its chance on April 10. That’s the day the state sends its “experts” to try persuading appeals court judges that same sex marriage must be banned...and the basis of their argument is because of children.

That’s the idea, anyway, to present to three learned judges of the 10th Circuit Court studies they claim show kids growing up in same sex households turn out worse than kids of hetero couples. The problem with that argument, and what is undoubtedly causing heartburn amongst the Utah legal team heading for court is that one of their experts has been found “unbelievable” by Judge Bernard Friedman in Michigan on March 21, 2014.

Judge Friedman found a witness unbelievable.

Judge Friedman heard and dismissed those arguments from Mark D. Regnerus. Regnerus is counted on by Utah to be seen by the courts as an expert on the subject of children of same sex couples.* Will having Regnerus’ dubious “study”* thrown out by a federal judge in Michigan damage Utah’s case? It remains to be seen, but how can it not hurt?

 Mark Regnerus. It’s gotta hurt.

I believe that Utah’s governor, Gary Herbert, is a pragmatic person. Without any noticeable charisma, he shows the personality of a kitchen mop (does the job without any bells and whistles). That doesn’t make him an ineffective leader, and I believe he has shown some leadership in his dealings with the state legislature. I also believe when it comes to fighting same sex marriage he has been placed in a tough situation. Because of the overbearing influence of the Latter-day Saints church on Utah politics they have to be leaning on Herbert to see things their way. But the LDS Church isn’t providing millions of dollars necessary to fight same-sex marriage.** It is left to us taxpayers — the willing and unwilling — to pay the costs to fight their battle.

Herbert is left trying to justify the cost of that battle. He may realize he has already lost. He just can’t be shown to give up; his conservative and church-going constituents demand he fight it out to the end. Because of those he is beholden to, his church and his conservative supporters from the Republican Party, he has to put up the fight, no matter what it costs the state.

There is no group the Utah legislature appeases more than the LDS Church. Every year before the legislature meets some legislators discuss proposed bills with Church leadership. Like the Roman emperors of 2000 years ago it’s a thumbs-up or down situation. If the church gives thumbs-up to the proposed bills they will be passed. If thumbs-down, well, there you go. They are consigned to the legislative trash barrel. Is that even legal, mixing church and state like that? In Utah the line is often crossed. No one really believes there is a true separation of church and state in this state.

Without really having to do anything but be a presence the Mormon Church can exert influence on laws and society in Utah. You could hardly call them an official registered lobby, unless you consider them to be a sort of de facto, elephant-in-the-room lobby. Everyone in the legislature knows the Church’s reach. Those who go against them will feel the chill as a shadow falls across them and their future political aspirations.

On the other hand there are vocal lobbies who work the legislative sessions relentlessly. There are the usual special interest groups, and we expect that. In the case of Utah, though, often the anti-federal philosophies of those tea party-types in the legislature can hurt the wider population for the benefit of the few. Philosophically the biggest lobbies would be the NRA,*** and those pitching oil and gas schemes for Utah’s wilderness areas. But another very powerful lobby is the Eagle Forum, a national right-wing group run  locally by Gayle Ruzicka. Ruzicka is a 70-year-old woman who wears her conservative armor and does battle with liberal dragons. She has powerful friends; she and many of her allies are from ultra-right Utah County, home of Brigham Young University and the most solid group of conservatives in the state. When I was in high school the big conservative powerhouse was the John Birch Society, based locally in Provo (Utah County), which had basically one enemy, communism. It eventually lost its thunder and influence. I believe it was because of its single-issue agenda. The Eagle Forum has no limit to its agendas. It is more of a morality-based organization, fighting those ever-present minions of the devil and their Satanic ideas (like the notion of all people being equal under the law). They fight against sex education and against educational programs they think lack “Utah values.” The whole idea of same sex marriage sends them into nightmares of apocalypse and fiery damnation.

Letters in the local newspaper often ask, ‘Who is this Ruzicka woman and who elected her?’ The letter-writers miss the point. She doesn’t need to be elected. All she has to do is get her base out to either support or defeat a candidate. That is controlling the entire legislature, much more powerful than being a single lawmaker.

Mormons are often asked to share their testimony as to the truthfulness of their belief in the LDS Church. Okay, two can play at the testimony game. It is my testimony that reason and human dignity will prevail, and gay people will have full rights to marriage and all of those benefits (including the bad parts) of marriage. Those like Gayle Ruzicka and her eagles will have to find something else to fight off, because it will be the law of the land. Not only in the home of the Saints, Utah, but everywhere in these United States.

*“How Different are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same Sex Relationships: Findings from the New Family Structures Study” (2012).

**After all, they were a group visably active in California with money and funding for an anti-gay marriage law a few years ago...a law since found unconstitutional.

***A group which probably doesn’t even need a full-time lobbyist in Utah, since the Republican legislature is snug in its pockets.