Sunday, June 08, 2014

Mormons Voting Against a Future General Authority

Been a while since I last posted...

Larry Echohawk, a fairly new General Authority for the LDS church, ran a major campaign for governor of Idaho in the 1994 elections.  The other major contender was not LDS.  Had Echohawk won, he would've been the first American Indian governor of any state.

Echohawk had played football for BYU, and he'd worked as an attorney at Fort Hall (in Bingham and Bannock counties in Idaho) and as a politician in Bannock county.  He served as Attorney General of Idaho from 1990 to 1994.

So how did the very heavily-Mormon counties in Eastern Idaho vote?  For convenience, I'm just including the larger counties.

Bannock County (Pocatello): 9,871 to 16,709 (61% of total vote)
Bingham County (Blackfoot and Shelley): 6,096 to 6,991 (51% of total vote)
Bonneville County (Idaho Falls): 15,839 to 12,146 (42% of total vote)
Jefferson County (Rigby): 3,872 to 2,444 (37% of total vote)
Madison County (Rexburg):  3,359 to 3,113 (47% of total vote)
I haven't included numbers for fringe candidates. 
Statewide, Echohawk received 44% of the vote.
So Bingham and Bannock Counties--the communities where Echohawk had 
lived and worked--voted for him, although the Bingham County vote was 
fairly close.  The rest voted against him.
Not only did Echohawk lose in Bonneville County, Jefferson County, and 
Madison County, all heavily Mormon, but two of those counties actually gave 
him less percentage of their vote than the state as a whole did.

I can't find details on how many LDS church members lived in these counties in 
1994.  City Data has current information on how large the LDS communities are 
in these counties.  
Bannock County has a smaller percentage of church members than the other 
counties on my list.  Outside of Bannock County, my guess is that well over half
of the people here were LDS. 
Keep in mind, these counties are all part of the Mormon corridor.  And yet 
most of them refused to vote for a future General Authority.

Why?  Not sure, but the fact that he's a Democrat probably didn't help.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sci Fi TV

So, some good sci-fi stuff currently playing.

My favorites:

Falling Skies
Dr. Who

Frankly, I'm most impressed with Falling Skies and Continuum.  Continuum has elements of time travel; Falling Skies is, of course, about an alien invasion and the resistance.

Person of Interest and Grimm are also fun.

Any recommendations in the genre?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Professor of False Doctrine

A BYU-I religion professor's "Documents List."  Holy crap.  And the ratemyprofessor reviews confirm the crazy.  I was under the impression that BYU got rid of this kind of religion professor with the retirement of Joseph Fielding McConkie and Randy Bott, having replaced them with very excellent, doctrinally-sound professors who actually aren't total idiots.  Apparently BYU-I has a bit of keeping up to do.

A bit worried, I dug up a course list of BYU-I's Biology Department, and a list of required courses for Biology majors.  Whew.  At least their Biology Department is on the right track, teaching real science even if some members of the religion department can't handle it.  If only that religion professor knew as much about biology as those biology professors know about religion...

In any case, here's hoping BYU-I can get rid of the CES-type religion professors and hire religion professors with a bit more credibility.

A fun side-note--my wife actually took a class from this guy.  This class permanently soured her on religion courses, and not because of the false doctrine, but because of the poor teaching method.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

What in the World Happened in the 1940's?

Directly from the church website at

"History of Young Women Recognition:

Requirements of 1915 included:
  • Care successfully for a hive of bees for one season and know their habits.
  • Cover 25 miles on snowshoes on any six days.
  • During two weeks, keep the house free from flies, or destroy at least 25 flies daily.
  • Without help or advice, care for and harness a team at least five times [and] drive 50 miles during one season.
  • Clear sagebrush off of one-half acre of land.
From the 1940s to the 1960s, Beehives earned emblems to sew onto a Beehive bandalo. Some of those requirements included:
  • Strive to get your full nine hours’ beauty sleep each night this month. Make it a habit.
  • Increase your self-confidence by acquiring a good posture (sitting, standing, and walking).
  • Politeness in all things is the mark of a lady. Practice at home being considerate and polite. Learn to accept directions graciously.
  • Make the dinner hour joyous by improving table manners of the entire family.
  • Look for something beautiful every day for two months."
I'd love to say this is a joke.  It sure sounds like one.  But unless someone's hacked the church website and is having some major fun, it's sadly not a joke.

What happened in the 1940's?  Seriously.

Also, no woman spoke in the regular sessions of General Conference between 1946 and 1984.

Again, what happened in the 1940's?  Thank goodness those days are over...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Harvard Religion

In which the most prestigious (and probably the coolest) former bishopric gets even more prestigious:

This is cool for a couple of reasons.  First, it's freaking Harvard, and it's safe to say no member of the church has ever been in the religion department here (or in any other truly top-tier school, unless you include Vanderbilt).

Second, Duff David Holland is just a cool dude.  A bit quiet, unassuming, yet still friendly.  The obligatory young married member of the Singles Ward Bishopric.  The kind of guy who wasn't afraid to ditch Sunday School with a couple of guys in the singles ward to go visit someone in the hospital (and yes, we made it back before church ended).  Who showed up to singles ward picnics and made a point of talking to the new kid.  Who shied away from talk of his famous father.

Congrats, Duff.  Good to see you making a name for yourself.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Will Led Zeppelin Finally be Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame prides itself in recognizing " the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame."

And yet critics have noted that many of the most important bands in rock and roll have been ignored by the Hall of Fame.  Most notably, Led Zeppelin, who pioneered hard rock and metal and sold hundreds of millions of albums.

Vocalist Robert Plant admits his disappointment at being ignored so long by the Hall of Fame.  "Sure, it's a bit of a surprise we haven't been inducted yet.  It's a bit of a shame.  But we're proud of our music, and our record speaks for itself.  And we're not alone in being ignored for so long--Rush and Heart were only just inducted last year, and Deep Purple, among other great bands, hasn't been inducted yet either."

Rush drummer Neil Peart, at last year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, stated that he was "deeply influenced by Led Zeppelin's music.  They really deserve to be here with us."  In 2009 Metallica band members expressed similar feelings towards Rush.  Perhaps in another three years Led Zeppelin will finally be recognized by the Hall. 

The list of bands not yet inducted is surprising.  Besides Led Zeppelin and the highly influential Deep Purple, bands like Kiss, Jethro Tull, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, King Crimson (the pioneers of progressive rock), Yes, Boston, Styx, Foreigner, The Moody Blues, Bon Jovi, Peter Gabriel, and ELP are not a part of the Hall of Fame.  Meanwhile, plenty of inducted artists aren't even close to rock.  Many pop artists, blues artists, R&B artists, etc. are somehow part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The list includes all sorts of non-rock names no one's ever heard of, along with bigger non-rock names like Madonna and Aretha Franklin.  Names that have nothing to do with rock and roll. 

So why has a band like Led Zeppelin been shunned for so long?  Perhaps the executives who run the Hall don't like the music.  Perhaps they don't like Jimmy Page or Robert Plant.  Perhaps they don't like the nonconformist sound.  Perhaps they don't believe the band fits their image of an MTV world.  Perhaps they want the Hall of Fame to have a more American and less British flavor.  Who knows.  The business executives in charge of the induction process aren't telling.  In any case, the failure of the Hall of Fame to induct Led Zeppelin, as well as pioneering bands like Deep Purple and King Crimson, leave many people believing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a joke.

And as long as bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple aren't a part of the Hall of Fame, rock fans will continue to mock it.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Microsoft Office Issues

So a few months ago I bought Microsoft Office 2010.  I bought it specifically because it promised me an upgrade to Office 365 once 365 came out.  When that happened several weeks ago, I created a Microsoft account (using my work email as user name) and signed up for it.

Problem is, Microsoft insists on verifying my email address before I can upgrade.  I try to verify, and I'm told there's a "temporary" problem with the service.  Except it's not exactly temporary.  I used a Godaddy email address (my work one, attached to my website) and apparently Microsoft discriminates against Godaddy and refuses to allow those email addresses to work.  Microsoft also won't allow me to change my email address/user name (in fact, they won't allow anyone to change it--a "temporary" problem that's been going on for several months now).  I try to create a new user name for Microsoft and install Office 365, and I'm told I'm out of luck because I've already installed Office 365.

I'm sure all that made perfect sense...

In any case:

I hate Microsoft.  Maybe it's time to make the change to Google Docs.