Thursday, April 30, 2009


More baby pictures (and pictures of us) at Hope you enjoy them. I hope we'll be in Utah/Idaho some time this summer, but much of that depends on my job situation (and I'm still looking).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When the media fails

Two instances, in the past week or so, when media has failed. One, with the Deseret News. The other with every major TV news outlet, including CNN, MSNBC, and FOX.
The second one first. David Barstow, of the New York Times, wrote two articles describing how retired generals, who worked for TV and radio outlets as analysts on the war, were not reliable sources. Those two articles won a Pulitzer. And the major TV news outlets have not made a peep. Not even when the allegations in the article were investigated by Congress. The whole subject is taboo.
It reflects badly on the TV news outlets if their employees, these retired generals, are shown to be unreliable sources.
But, in my eyes, not reporting this reflects even more badly.
The two prize-winning articles are here and here.

The other instance where media fails--an LDS missionary is arrested in the Cincinnati airport. He's a good missionary, done with his mission, planning on going home, and ICE picks him up. He's not in the country legally.
The Salt Lake Tribune picks up on the story, and interviews church officials including Elder Holland about the missionary and church policy regarding undocumented missionaries.
The Deseret News doesn't mention it. At all.
Recently, the Deseret News has claimed that it is becoming more Mormon. Its new audience is LDS people worldwide, and not just in Utah. This article would be the perfect example of something that would interest LDS members throughout the US. But the only newspaper that's picked up on it (that I know of) is the Salt Lake Tribune. Those members who read Deseret News to pick up on events in the LDS world have to find out about this story elsewhere. By refusing to even mention this story, Deseret News's reliability, in my eyes, plummets.
Any thoughts on why Deseret News would not publish this story?
In any case, it's becoming more and more clear to me that people who wish to be informed cannot rely on a narrow area of media to be informed. Different media outlets have different reasons for publishing or suppressing certain information. So if you get all of your news from the radio, or all of it from TV, or all of it from the Deseret News, it's time to branch out.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Undocumented LDS missionary arrested by ICE

I spent considerable time trying to track down information about this topic...and then the Salt Lake Tribune goes and publishes an article that would've answered a lot of my questions.
Oh well.
This news from Cincinnati, of all places (and I wonder if the missionaries in our ward know more about this--I'll have to ask them).
For those who still doubt what the church's take is on having undocumented immigrants serve missions in the US, here's an article, along with ample quotes from Elder Holland, on the issue.
It seems clear that, unlike many conservatives, church leaders do not view illegal immigration as much of a sin (although they do discourage it).
I support the church 100% on this issue.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Info on an LDS soldier, one of the first women to die in Iraq

This happened in 2003. A long time ago, but as we find out more and more about what exactly was happening in Iraq at that time, we have a better understanding of what would drive a faithful LDS woman to what's apparently suicide.
The article is here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Media cover-up

This article is about how the media is ignoring a Pulitzer-winning investigation. From there, follow the links to the actual investigative article.
Before today, I did not buy into media conspiracies.
Now? Well, for some great writing and an amazing story you will not hear on CNN, MSNBC, or FOX, take a look.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Could we please leave politics out of Sunday School?

Baby Peter and I are in Sunday School; the lesson is on the law of consecration. I'm sitting next to a friend who's had a hard time feeling like a part of the ward; the Hillary Clinton bumper sticker on his car hasn't helped things. And then, the lesson being about the law of consecration, someone brings up "Spread the wealth" in a negative manner.
I find myself thinking of the society in 4th Nephi--a pretty much perfect society, with no poor (which could just mean that everyone was industrious and had work)...and no rich. No rich sounds like there's definitely some sort of (perhaps voluntary) spread the wealth thing going on...
My better judgment prevailed, however, and instead of pointing to 4th Nephi and continuing the politics in church thing, I turned to Mosiah 4 (give to the poor even if you think they don't deserve it, because we're all beggars before God). The conversation turned to not judging others, and away from politics.
Afterwords I mentioned to my friend that I hate it when politics is brought up in church. He agreed, noting that it happens frequently.
I believe this is a serious problem. It's hard to feel like you belong at church when it seems like everyone else embraces a different political party. Unfortunately, too often we keep our mouths shut, and the ward suffers because of it.
It's not just politics. I remember at BYU when a student discussed in testimony meeting how happy he was that a class he was in didn't discuss evolution (as his biology class had). A few minutes later, our Sunday School teacher became my immediate hero when she said, at the beginning of Sunday School, that she didn't see a conflict between evolution and the gospel. Then she taught her unrelated lesson.
If I'm teaching, how do I handle things when politics, etc. is brought up? If I'm a class member, how do I handle things?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A visitor

Thomas Griffith, a former stake president and institute teacher of mine, showed up at UC Law yesterday. He's a judge on the DC Court of Appeals--which means that he's probably the most powerful LDS judge out there. The DC Court of Appeals is often called the second highest court in the country because they hear a lot of high-profile cases, including some of the more important federal cases.
A former professor of mine worked for Judge Griffith, and I'm guessing that's how the law school managed to get him as a visitor. He'll stay for a total of three days, sitting in classes, meeting with students and faculty, and giving presentations. Yesterday he talked to first-year students, today he came to one of my classes and spoke to a large group of students and professors during lunch, and tomorrow he'll meet with five of the seven LDS students (the other two had emergencies come up and will be out of town). His days here are busy--his schedule is packed with various activities.
I've been surprised about a number of things.
First, he's a very funny person. His institute class was more serious (and also the best institute class I ever attended). Here, he's constantly making jokes. He's also very insightful. The students love him. The applause he got today was the most applause I've heard all semester.
He's very animated. He's small, so perhaps the animation is a way to make up for that.
He's not afraid to make references to his faith. He doesn't preach, but when mentioning great writers, he mentioned C.S. Lewis. (I like C.S. Lewis, although personally I would say he's a great thinker and a good writer, and not a great writer). He made other small references to belief in God, being Christian, and his disagreement of Roe v. Wade (although he says that as a judge, he made an oath to uphold the law, and it's law, so he would uphold it in court).
His visit is a very positive thing for the LDS students at the school. My friends, even the very liberal ones, have been impressed, and the seven LDS students have a great example of how a good LDS attorney should act.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A BYU professor's work with climate change

This blog post is about climate change, evolution, government spending on the sex lives of flies, computer models, and starvation in Africa. But mostly about climate change.
A BYU professor, a former ecology professor of mine, is doing some pretty cool stuff in Africa. Here he talks a little bit about his research and why things like climate change matter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The West

We're visiting Utah and Idaho in late May and early June. I'll try to stop by some places in Salt Lake, Idaho Falls, and Boise to drop off my resume (and maybe some other places in between).
As far as other places to look for work...
We'll seriously consider anything in the West. If any of you happen to know attorneys who aren't afraid to hire someone with good grades from a good Midwestern law school, put in a good word for me. We've made Provo, Idaho Falls, and Cincinnati work for us, and I'm sure we'd be happy living in other areas, especially ones in the West.
But I should probably also try to make an effort to go out and hand my resume, personally, to law firms and government organizations in specific places. And I've got to narrow those places down. I'll probably only be able to fly out to one or two places, outside of Utah/Idaho.
I've decided I'm not terribly excited about anything that's more desert than where I grew up. My first reaction, at the age of 7, to the dreary brown that is Utah, after spending two years in Switzerland, was disgust. I still prefer green to brown. So there goes Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Utah and Idaho are acceptable because they're not as hot and because of the close proximity of green mountains--and, of course, because that's where our families are.
April doesn't like rain, which means Washington and Oregon are out (along with, unfortunately, all of Europe). If I were still single, they'd still be in. And, like with all other states in the West, if I get a job out there, I'm sure we'd be happy living there.
California is probably out, due to the high cost of living, unless I can manage to get some kind of connection hook-up. Two of my uncles lived in the Bay Area, and I worked there for about a year, so that might be a possibility. Still, I'd have to make twice as much there as I would in Utah or Idaho to make it worth our time.
Montana and Wyoming don't have any decent-sized cities, so I'm not going to seriously consider them unless I have a pretty good lead.
That leaves Colorado (in addition to Utah and Idaho). I might see if I can fly out there sometime this summer. I've never really spent time in Colorado, but from what I know, it's not too different from Utah and Idaho, except with fewer church members.
Thanks for the recommendations. I'll keep Albuquerque and Seattle in mind.
Meanwhile, anyone know anything about Boise or Denver?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Mad about using taxpayer money to bail out car companies?

I thought about posting this straight onto my blog, but there's two or three bad words on it, so I'll refrain. But it's hilarious enough for me to post a link to it anyway...(warning, PG or PG-13 language).

Where to settle down

We're looking for some advice on where to live after law school.
First, some background.
Finding a job after law school is a pain, especially if we want to live somewhere other than Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana.
Usually, law school grads work for the same company that they worked for between their second and third year of law school. They interview for that job the beginning of their second year.
Of course, if you go to law school in Ohio, and want to get a job out West (to be a bit closer to family), that presents some problems.
I may end up spending a couple of months living, and working, in the West, between my second and third year. That means I need to visit places out West this summer, to show my interest, and ask for a follow-up interview (where they fly me back in, on their dime, to interview).
Utah and Idaho would be nice places to live, if only for the family factor--but Utah is saturated with law students from good law schools, and everyone in Idaho is sure that the unranked University of Idaho Law School is the best law school in the world. I'll try for jobs in those states, but my chances aren't great. There are only a handful of UC law grads practicing in those two states. And to be honest, I'm not sure we want to live too close to family.
Elsewhere in the West is different. Almost every other state has numerous UC Law grads.
My plan is to fly out to a couple of big cities this summer. Possibly Seattle, Portland, etc.
The criteria: a nice, affordable place to live, and within 45 minutes of a big city (where I'll probably work).
Unfortunately, the affordable requirement means that Bay Area California is probably not an option. What about places in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon? Other places out West?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

How to dress when meeting with church leaders

Lessons learned from this past week:
How to respectfully and appropriately dress when meeting with church leaders:

How to respectfully and appropriately dress when meeting with church leaders FAIL:

New General Authorities

My favorite religion professor at BYU, Matthew Richardson, is the new second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency.
He taught a marriage and family class--he made it very applicable and interesting. He struck me as being an intelligent, wise man.
I remember him telling us to attend a particular science lecture on conservation and stewardship of the Earth.
I just took a quick look at my notes from that class (well worth saving) and I have penned in there that he's a Styx fan.
Guess Sister X in the MTC was wrong...rock 'n roll isn't all satanic. :)
Any other comments about general conference or the new people called to leadership positions?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


If you have yet to own the greatest TV series of all time, now's your chance. is offering it (new) for $20 (and free shipping if you buy $25 or more).

Meanwhile, Joss Whedon has announced that he will be creating some additional episodes of Firefly for online viewing.
Here's the link...
Oh. Sorry. Couldn't resist an April Fool's joke.

By the way, any comments/recommendations about the latest Whedon series? How good is it?

I'm in the middle of season 2 of Buffy (the whole Buffy series is on, although the picture quality isn't as good as it should be).