Saturday, March 22, 2008

Politics, Again?

Ok, let me fill ya'll in. I did interview with Senator Bennett's office earlier this week, and I completely bombed it. It was ri-dic-u-lous. There was one point in the interview that I almost busted out laughing at how pathetic I was doing. For the life of me, I couldn't get my crap together. Unfortunately I was still really sick and I couldn't concentrate on talking myself up. I was too focused on not passing out, which as it turns out, is not a good interview strategy.
On the flip side, I do have an interview with Senator Hatch next week which will give me an opportunity to totally redeem myself, knock on wood.
You know what though, a part of me really is questioning if its worth it to get back into working in DC again. At some point you just have to ask yourself if its worth it. And this is exactly why... So, I really need a females imput on this one. Why in the name of chubby bald men does a woman stand beside her low-life husband during a press conference two days after he was ousted by the media for spending tens of thousands of dollars on illegal hookers??? And, if that seems too obvious, how is it that a woman who has known that her husband has been unfaithful for the majority of their marriage who even had "sexual relations" with his intern, is willing to be so 'forgiving' and look the other way???
Here's a few little fun facts about some of the things I've learned while in DC and through the political 'grapevine'
Idaho Senator Larry Craig has been having sexual parties with guys younger than him at least since 1982.
The story of former Congressman Mark Foley who sent "sexual texts" to his intern was shopped by the media for 3 months and was only released 6 weeks before the 2006 elections to sway public opinion and give Democrats the majority in the House, Senate, and Governorships.
Current Governor of Florida Charlie Crist was reported to be single before the election because "he hadn't found the right girl yet" However, everyone who worked for Crist, including the political office I worked for in 2006 knew that he is in fact, Gay. He's still very single by the way, that's weird.
And my favorite, Congressman William Jefferson from Louisiana made police escorts take him back to his home shortly after hurricane Katrina to retrieve $70,000 of bribe money from his freezer cause he thought the homeless people in the district that he represented might find it and take it from him.
What the Hell, right?
I hope I answered the question of why I'm hesitant to go back to DC.
DC has a lot of evil people in it. There's no more correct way to say that. End of Story.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Real Love

I've been away from this for a while mostly because I've been so sad about the loss of my younger sister's husband and brother-in-law due to cancer last week. Its been a hard trial for my family and especially for Joy who I care about a great deal, so I don't wish to say a lot about it other than I feel that I've learned an important lesson that all of us can benefit from this.

Almost two years ago I was on a date with a girl that I cared about a great deal. When I went home and fell asleep I awoke a few hours later to learn that she'd had a tragic accident while trying to get in her apartment. She broke both of her feet and a portion of her back. I went to the hospital where she was and was terribly sad to see her there in pain. As the day went on her family and I decided that someone should stay the night in the hospital with her. I volunteered as soon as I could and tried to make myself comfortable on a chair next to her bed. If you know my you'll understand that it's difficult for me to fit on a chair to sleep on and it turned out to be a long night for me, but it didn't matter, I cared about the girl in pain next to me more than my comfort at that time. I only lasted one night on that chair and a few nights later she was able to go home from the hospital. I learned from this experience that I really was in love with that girl. Even with that experience, it doesn't even begin to compare with what I witnessed last week.
Last week I visited my sister Joy who was staying in the hospital with her new husband. She had been sleeping on a chair next to her beloved husband Eric for over a month. When I walked in the room and sat on the chair, and we talked with her, I knew what real love was again. I know now, that even though Eric has moved on, his and Joy's marriage will last forever. Because of their temple marriage, and because they love each other more than what most people have been married a lifetime could understand.
Love you Joy and Eric.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The depressing Academy Awards

So I hope I was the only one out of all my friends that wasted their time watching the Academy Awards, but somehow I get the feeling that I probably wasn't. For the most part this year it was exactly how I expected.
Jack Nicholson was sitting there, close to the front, smiling at everything, Jon Stewart made fun of Conservatives, the most anti-American documentary won the best documentary category, the best female actor of the year was won by some French chick no one's ever heard of before, and the best motion picture of the year was won by a film no one I know has and will probably never see. Was that it? uhh yep.
One thing however did make me think a little bit this year. Since it was the Oscar's 80th anniversary, before they would announce who the winner of the individual categories were they would go back and show who previous winners were chronologically. I watched it the first few times and didn't pay much attention to it until they did it for the Male Actor of the year. They showed guys like Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, and I got all excited, and then they announced who it was going to be this year, and that's when it hit me. Daniel Day Lewis? Just looking at him made me like, what? He had two big loop ear rings! He looked like a chick! Could you just imagine our grandparents giving him the male actor of the year? Yep, me neither. I don't know, maybe he did a really good job in "There Will Be Blood" but it just goes to show how far our entertainment has declined.
I also noticed it when they showed all the movies that had won the Picture of the Year. A lot of the older movies I had seen because that's how I was raised, so I knew that were good quality films, and just seeing the little clips they showed made me feel good. We haven't had a good Picture of the year since "Lord of the Rings," and that was in 2003! When I saw the winners of the past 10 years, or even 5, I felt... disappointed to say the least.
I'm sure you all don't need me to tell you this but, watching the Academy Awards made me realize again that we got to figure something else out for entertainment. Do we make our own movies? Do we know some directors that are decent people that can make them? I don't know what it is yet, but maybe some of you do.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Jazz are Screwed

I'm calling it right now. I just watched the Jazz loose to the LA Clippers. The Clippers!
Even though the Jazz have the best record in the Northwest Division, they're screwed. The Lakers recently got Pau Gasol, and every game Kobe's playing like he's possesed. The Suns, who already had the best record in the West just got Shaq. And the Mevericks, picked up Jason Kidd.
The West is really really good right now, and it doesn't look like they're going to get any worse. Which means this, either the Jazz are going to have to play better then they ever have in their lives just to get out of the Western Conf. or, their dead.
End of story.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Linkin Park

Don't get me wrong I love rock music, but when I was looking to see how much Linkin Park tixs were when the come to SLC on March 8th, it reminded me of a guy I knew.
As well as a lot of you perhaps, during the last two months of my mission I had a lot of personal learning moments that have helped me gain perspective on a lot of things. On one particular instance there was a young guy who was attending school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Just so you can picture him in your mind he had punk black hair, a pierced tongue, and big gauges in his ears. In short, 'emo' But he was such a nice kid.
During our first discussion he was so happy, and even cried a bit. He told us to come back so we did. During our second discussion he told us about his failed family life, and then he showed us his room and his guitar etc. On his wall he had posters of Linkin Park all over the place. I knew who they were, but I didn't know much of their music cause they became big right before I left on the mission. He told us how the pain went away when he drowned himself in that kind of music. We tried so hard to get him to do productive things like read, and go to church, we even helped him write a letter to his parents. But every time we came back it was as if we had to start at ground zero again. I tried to understand why.
I remember thinking at the time it was because of the music he listened to all day. Linkin Park. It was hindering his progression. As long as he relied on destructive music to comfort him he could not progress. He even became hostile at times for no rational reason. Eventually, we had to let him go.
Now, I've been home for over 4 years, and I've listened to plenty of Linkin Park. I forgot about that time and place almost until I bought tickets to support the very same thing that contributed to my one time friends destruction.
It's pretty sad to myself, and a bit ironic I guess. That I, the one who flew thousands of miles to save a soul from destruction, was almost willing to pay 40 dollars to front row tickets to contribute to my own. Perspective.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Why do we let the little things keep us down?

You know I've often been asked my opinion about things that other people do to see if I thought they were bad or not. Mostly they're just little things like, do you think this is dishonest? I know a lot of us have been in this same position so you will be able to relate with me on this.
For example, someone recently just asked me if it was dishonest to buy something from Walmart, use it once, and then take it back the same as when they bought it. No harm done right? these are interesting questions, mostly because of the expected response. The questioner wants you to excuse the action regardless of how small it may seem. Rationalizations begin with very small issues and always lead to larger problems. This is the result of raising a generation of people pleasers. Now, before some of you think I'm too hypocritical, because obviously for most of you that know me know full well what weaknesses I have, let me tell you a way that I've thought about answering this question without compromising principles and lead to what we Christians refer to as eternal progression. I've thought about this quite a bit so I hope this helps.

You could start to answer this question by asking yourself and answering a few questions. Is this something Jesus would do? Well no. But, am I on the same level Jesus is? Still no. But am I trying to become like Jesus? Of course. So, when am I going to be like Jesus? Someday. Therefore, am I eventually going to have to obey this rule and not be dishonest? Yes. The last and perhaps most important question is... What steps can I do and am willing to take now so that I will someday be able to follow this simple rule? And then do them!

This line of questioning leads to admitting that certain actions are just wrong no matter how small. It doesn't do any good to rationalize our actions that are just not right at times. It also acknowledges our imperfections and our dependence on the Atonement. Also, it provides a way for us to make small goals to help ourselves while inviting Christ to assist us in overcoming simple sins that may be keeping us from progressing.
This is just something that's been on my mind quite a bit lately. I hope it is helpful, and if anyone has ideas to add to this formula please let me know. In case you didn't figure this out yet, I'm not perfect either. ha

Saturday, February 16, 2008

why Barack Obama???

Ok, I'm sorry to bust out one of my nerdy topics so soon but, I can't hold this back anymore. Something's got to be said, cause if I have to talk to another person that tells me how much they love Obama without knowing ONE SINGLE THING ABOUT HIM, I'm going to have to knock myself unconscious just to keep myself from doing something else that I would regret. And, if you don't know anything about politics, well, you should, so read this.

This is without doubt the most interesting political race I have ever seen, and if you know me and where I've been the past 4 years, I've seen my fair share. Just a question, what do you get when you combine the most Liberal Republican debating the most Liberal Democrat... The 2008 Presidential Election.
I'll say it right now, Barack Obama is going to be the next JFK. This man is winning the hearts and minds of Americans faster than you can say Herbie Hancock. I talk to everyone I can in Utah, the most conservative state in the country and it seems like everyone is in love with the guy. Not only is he going to win this election, but I can see Barack winning in a complete landslide over McCain. How???
Obama is the most passionate and moving speaker since Ronald Reagan. Every young American is in love with him, and everyone, since he was first elected Senator just a couple years ago, is afraid to criticize him because, ok I'll say it, he's black. And nobody wants to be accused of being racist. The experts have all come up with these stupid reason why no one will criticize him, but that's it. Simple. I'm not going to lie, I like Obama. Personally, if I could invite any politician to come over and watch the NBA all-star game, it would be him, hands down.
And there in lies the danger. Did you notice how I didn't even mention anything he believes. In New Zealand of all places when I was there on vacation and I had to stay at the airport all night for my flight the next morning, I read his newest book, "The Audacity of Hope." Great title huh? Well, this is what I learned. Barack is left... far left. In fact, experts say he's the most Liberal politician in congress right now. Wow! Yep, only nobody knows that. I think 20 year ago you could have passed him off as the next Vladimir Lenin. If you don't know who that is, look him up.
People, especially my peers in Utah have no idea what the guy believes. All they know is that he's a cool guy and that they hate Hillary Clinton. I'll tell you right now that I would rather have Hillary any day than elect Barack. She's far more rational on the issues.
So, just to name a few of the things he believes... He wants to socialize health care, make the constitution more "flexible," raise taxes dramatically, redistribute America's wealth within America, and redistribute America's wealth outside of America to the rest of the world. Also, his political philosophy is that of moral relativism, and situational ethics, in other words, there are no absolutes. As a Christian, its hard for me to accept an individual who doesn't believe that anything can be certain. In short, he wants to expand government control to the point where we become a socialist european country. These are just a couple of the issues we will face with Barack. Its funny to me how one of his slogans is "Real Change" I believe him, I believe he can change America, just not the America that I want to live in.
If you're ok with all that, and still think its cool to vote for Barack, then vote for him. I'll I'm saying is, I told you so.
Last question, What else does this remind you of... Who do you get when you promise to save everyone by taking away individual personal responsibility, use force, empower leaders and institutions and not individuals. And, pass it off SUCCESSFULLY by making it sound like a great idea by being a great speaker?
you tell me.