Notes From All Over — for Week Ended 2 May

Comment here on the Notes From All Over for the past week.

  1. Protestors to Greet Pres. Monson in Cedar City Today
    • Protesting President Monson. ABC TV4 News, 5/01/2009. Protest seeks civil rights for homosexuals in Utah.
  2. “Right now it isn’t like a huge scare, it’s more of a precautionary thing, but this Sunday we won’t have church. Schools are all shut down; all public gathering places are shut down. Also the President recommended that we wear those masks…”
    • LDS parents concerned for sons health while in México. By Scott Evans. KTVB TV7 Boise, Idaho, May 2, 2009. LDS Missionary serving in Mexico reports on the effect of H1N1 2009 (Swine flu) virus on missionary work and LDS Church in Mexico.
  3. Religious Freedom Report: LDS Church Mentioned re: Cuba, Russia and Venezuela
    • LDS Church mentioned in religious freedom report. By Scott Taylor. Deseret News, May 1, 2009. The U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom released its annual report released Friday. The LDS Church is mentioned in sections on Cuba, Russia and Venezuela.
  4. The Post Mission Return: A Nomad’s Adventure.
    • Mormon student from Columbus returns to Japan on different kind of mission. By Allison Kennedy. Columbus OH Ledger-Enquirer 2 May 2009. Brandon Riggs, who served an LDS mission in Japan, is returning to Japan to live like a nomad. “I’m going to be playing a street guitar and harmonica and earning money for the trains and ferries. I’m going to go on an adventure.”
  5. Awesome tactic for avoiding thorny questions (starts at about 1 minute in). Hat tip: Clobbergirl
    • Avoid the tough questions. Use Jesus. by Jerod Clark. ThinkChristian, May 1st, 2009. A local politician testifies of Jesus in order to avoid tough questions from a reporter.
  6. More on Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell’s hand in overseeing torture techniques
    • Waterboarding, Interrogations: The CIA’s $1,000 a Day Specialists: New Focus on Two Retired Military Psychologists Called the ‘Architects’ of the CIA’s Techniques. By BRIAN ROSS, MATTHEW COLE, and JOSEPH RHEE. ABC World News, April 30, 2009.
  7. “This test is surprisingly stringent, and lots of movies that have ’strong female characters’ do not pass this test.”
    • My thing. by Starfoxy. The Exponent, April 30, 2009. Starfoxy discusses the Bechdel-Wallace test for when a movie has strong female characters.
  8. “Do not expect too much of me; I am weak and need your support. Do not find fault with, nor criticise us, but sustain us in our labors.”
    • Electing the Bishop, 1895. By Ardis E. Parshall. Keepapitchinin, May 01, 2009. Under the direction of the Sevier Stake Presidency, the priesthood of the Marysville, Utah Ward nominated and elected their bishop.
  9. “Never stop dating her. Never stop courting her. Never stop letting her know how important she is to you.”
    • Your Wife’s Greatest Enemy. by Mike Fitzgerald. Put on the Armor of Light, 1 May 2009.
  10. Prosecution of Vancouver Polygamists to reach Canadian Supreme Court at Cost of $1 Million
    • In the end, it may be legal bills that sink the polygamists. by Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun, May 01, 2009. The bankruptcy of polygamist-owned firm leaves FLDS group unable to pay Canadian legal bills.
  11. Church Cancels Mexico Services due to Swine Flu, notes AP
    • Mormons Cancel Church Services in Mexico. Associated Press, April 30, 2009. Swine Flu leads Church to cancel services, and news makes AP wire.
  12. Did Glen Beck’s Promotion Lead to This?
    • Legal tiff erupts over Skousen’s popular books. By Linda Thomson. Deseret News, May. 01, 2009. Skousen family-run organization claims copyrights in “The Five Thousand Year Leap” and “The Making of America” while Skousen-founded National Center for Constitutional Studies claims right to continue printing the books.
  13. “Some LDS members are seriously questioning their faith as the church continues to recognize undocumented immigrants as worthy of baptism, temple entrance and missionary work”
    • Immigration arrest of missionary puts focus on LDS policy: The church leaves the issue to individual conscience. By Sheena Mcfarland. The Salt Lake Tribune, 05/01/2009. Jose Calzadillas, who was detained by ICE as he was leaving his Ohio mission field, was released from custody following an April 22 hearing. But his case has led to debate among LDS Church members over the Church’s policy to ignore immigration status.
  14. Justice Souter to Step Down
    • Supreme Court Justice Souter To Retire. by Nina Totenberg. Morning Edition (NPR) 30 April 2009. Souter will retire at the end of the Court’s term, giving President Obama his first opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court Justice.
  15. Understanding Limbaugh: Liberals Don’t Get It
    • PRESS BRIEFING BY PRESS SECRETARY ROBERT GIBBS. The White House Press Office, March 2, 2009. Press discusses Limbaugh’s comments over the previous weekend which suggested he wanted the Obama economic plan to fail.
  16. “Choose the same hour each day, and make it a duty to keep that time, for that purpose, invariably,” advises church magazine. No, it’s not talking about scripture study.
    • Constipation. by Ardis E. Parshall. Keepapitchinin April 29, 2009. “Constipation is a serious condition, and if neglected often leads to dangerous and even fatal results. It is the cause of more sickness and disease than any other known source.”
  17. Understanding Colbert: Conservatives Don’t Get It
    • Colbert Study: Conservatives Don’t Know He’s Joking by Jason Linkins. Huffington Post, 04/27/09. A study from The Ohio State University shows that lots of conservatives seem to not understand the intrinsic, underlying joke of The Colbert Report.
  18. The Evolution of “Mormon”: When do you use the term Mormon, and when the Church’s name
    • Living with the “Mormon” nickname. By Joel Campbell. Mormon Times, Apr. 29, 2009. Campbell shows how the media has ignored the LDS Church’s aversion to the term “Mormon” Church.
  19. Bybee Not Ideologue
    • Torture Memo Author Not Seen As Ideologue. by Ina Jaffe. All Things Considered, April 30, 2009.
  20. Judge Keeps Kids from Attending LDS Church after Divorce
    • Judge Bars Divorced Man from Taking His Kids to Mormon Temple. By Sarah Fenske. Phoenix New Times, April 28, 2009. Despite joint custody, LDS man can’t bring his children to LDS Church, “avoid further confusion and conflict in the children’s lives,” according to the Judge.
  21. Keepapitchinin story becomes book.
    • Survivor’s son tells a story of faith and courage. By Molly Farmer. MormonTimes, Apr. 29, 2009. Joseph Tippets’ ordeal, described on Keepapitchinin (, has been told in a book by his son.
  22. Chelsea Handler’s Mormon Connection.
    • Chelsea Handler cuts loose. By David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer. San José CA Mercury News, 04/30/2009. E! Network party girl “was born the youngest of six to a Jewish father and a Mormon mother in Livingston, N.J.”
  23. SL Trib: LDS lawyers, psychologists had a hand in torture policies
  24. LDS lawyers, psychologists had a hand in torture policies. By David R. Irvine. Salt Lake Tribune, 04/29/2009.

  25. “I believed at the time, and continue to believe today, that the conclusions were legally correct.”
    • Official Defends Signing Interrogation Memos. By NEIL A. LEWIS. New York Times, April 28, 2009. Bybee breaks silence and defends memos he signed.
  26. Leahy invites Bybee to testify on the Hill
    • Leahy invites Bybee to testify on Hill. By JOSH GERSTEIN. 4/29/09. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) has invited the federal appeals court judge under fire for his role in writing legal memos that some analysts say enabled torture to defend himself at a committee hearing.
  27. “Bybee and Peterson: Two Mormons, Two Different Ethics On Torture”
    • Bybee and Peterson: Two Mormons, Two Different Ethics On Torture by Ann Wright. Huffington Post 29 April 2009. Bybee’s authorized ten “enhanced interrogation techniques” are compared with the actions of U.S. Army Specialist Alyssa Peterson who refused to use Bybee’s interrogation techniques and ended up committing suicide.
  28. The incredible story of Susan Boyle
    • The incredible story of Susan Boyle. By Elia Gourgouris. Mormon Times, Apr. 28, 2009. Frumpy 47-year-old Scottish woman’s success on “Britain’s Got Talent” wins her international fame — in case you haven’t noticed.
  29. How Many LDS Does It Take To Limit Cofee Consumption?
    • Gilbert coffee shops thrive despite LDS coffee policy. By Katherine Greene. The Arizona Republic, Apr. 28, 2009. Gilbert, where 15% of the population are LDS Church members, has seven Starbucks stores, about half the average for similar-sized cities.
  30. Glen Beck Called Savvy Fraud
    • Glenn Beck: A Savvy Fraud Who Knows Just How to Please His Audience of Conservative Suckers by Alexander Zaitchik., April 27, 2009.
  31. Opinion Shifts to Allowing Same Sex Marriage (did Prop 8 Effort Backfire?)
    • New poll shows opinion shift is strong and consistent. by CLS. Classically Liberal, April 28, 2009. “We know the end of this debate and it won’t go the way that the Religious Rights wants it to go. The more they try to get traction on the issue the more they end up falling on their face,” says this blogger.
  32. What Happens When You Make Fun of a Temple Recommend
    • Sheriff: Disciplinary action taken against joking jailer. By Matthew K. Jensen. Logan UT Herald Journal, April 28, 2009. Police sargeant who poked fun at arrested man’s temple recommend was also an active LDS Church member.
  33. Bybee compared to Peterson
    • Walsh: On opposite poles: two Mormons on torture. By Rebecca Walsh. Salt Lake Tribune, 04/28/2009. The connection of the torture memos to Jay Bybee and the suicide of Army interrogator Alyssa Peterson over torture are contrasted.
  34. Bybee a “movement conservative apparatchik”
    • Apparatchiks by Paul Krugman. New York Times Blogs April 26, 2009. In Bybee’s world, following orders and getting rewarded for his obedience was what it was all about; he’s completely shocked to find that the rules have changed.
  35. Its not the texting, its the content of the text
    • Woman sent to jail for texting in court. By Sarah Dallof. KSL TV April 28th, 2009. Judge gave 30 days to mother of 4 for texting husband about content of his case.
  36. Terry Eagleton skewers “Ditchkins.”
    • Those ignorant atheists: In this witty book, Terry Eagleton argues that Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and their ilk are shockingly ill-informed about the Christian faith. By Andrew O’Hehir., Apr. 28, 2009.
  37. Community of Christ wins dispute over RLDS name
    • Community of Christ wins dispute over RLDS name. By Dan Margolies, Legal Affairs. Kansas City Star April 27, 2009. Wins trademark infringement case against offshoot Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
  38. Miami Dolphins cut John Beck
    • Dolphins cut former BYU QB John Beck. By Tom Kirkland, KSL Sports Director. KSL TV, April 27th, 2009.
  39. Douthat’s first NYT column… why the GOP would have been better off running Cheney against Obama
    • Cheney for President by Ross Douthat. New York Times, April 27, 2009.
  40. LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter: “Abuse of any kind is incompatible with the Church of Jesus Christ.”
    • Walsh: On opposite poles: two Mormons on torture. By Rebecca Walsh. Salt Lake Tribune, 04/28/2009. A comparison of the roles of Jay Bybee and Alyssa Peterson in the recent torture scandal.
  41. Drift, not disillusionment, is more often the cause when Americans give up their faith or change religions
    • Study Examines Choice of Religion: Spiritual Attitudes, Not Church Policy, Cited as Reasons. By Jacqueline L. Salmon, Washington Post, April 28, 2009. A survey, by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is the first large-scale study of the reasons Americans switch religious affiliations. Researchers found that more than half of people have done so at least once.
  42. Wingnut calls First Presidency to repentance on immigration.
    • Comment #212 by WatchDog made 27 April 2009 on post Undocumented Missionaries by Kevin Barney, By Common Consent 25 April 2009.
  43. Jessawhy comes out of the feminist closet — in testimony meeting.
    • Coming out of the Feminist Closet. by Jessawhy. The Exponent, April 27, 2009.
  44. I’d put my money is on Ken Jennings
    • Computer Program to Take On ‘Jeopardy!’ By John Markoff. New York Times, April 26, 2009. Jennings may be one of the contestants to face the machine.
  45. Where were the nail-prints?
    • Where were the nail-prints in Jesus’ hands – in his wrists or his palms? by Rob Bradshaw. April 27, 2009. Supports claim that nails were placed through the wrists.
  46. Spanish-Language Women’s Fireside Draws 700
    • LDS Spanish-speaking women commended for faith. By Jamshid Askar. Deseret News, April 26, 2009. More than 700 women from 32 Spanish-speaking wards and branches descended on the Utah Valley University campus Sunday for a fireside featuring Julie B. Beck and Silvia H. Allred.
  47. Mormon Monks
    • Mormon Monks by Nils Bergeson. Mormon Thinking, April 25, 2009. “I realized that Mormonism has its own type of “monastic order,” albeit quite different than that order which exists in other religions… When it comes to the secular world and the religious world, Mormons are expected to find a balance between the two, so that they might participate in both 100%.”
  48. Mormons taken in the NFL draft
    • A roundup of Mormons in the NFL draft. Mormon Times, Apr. 27, 2009. At least four Mormons — Austin Collie, Paul Kruger, Fui Vakapuna and J.D. Folsom — have been drafted by NFL teams this weekend.
  49. 17 Books of Mormon a month, for nearly 4 1/2 years!!
    • Patriarch gives away 874 Books of Mormon. By Paul Rucker, Roanoke Virginia Stake Public Affairs. Mormon Times, Apr. 26, 2009. Since January 2005, Vearl McBride has handed out 874 free copies of the Book of Mormon to strangers that he meets.
  50. Traitor is Novel of the Year
    • Best LDS fiction named at Whitney Awards. By Michael De Groote. Mormon Times, Apr. 26, 2009. The winners of the 2008 Whitney Awards were announced on Saturday, April 25, at a dinner event at the Provo Marriott. The best novel by a new author was “Bound on Earth” by Angela Hallstrom, which won a similar award from the Association for Mormon Letters earlier this year.
  51. Has the Spaulding Manuscript Theory been “thoroughly discredited”?
    • Debunking the Spaulding Manuscript Theory. Mormon Heretic, April 26th, 2009.
  52. Inviting the single Saint to stay in church.
    • Inviting the Single Saint to Stay in the Church. by Keri Brooks. The Posts of My House, March 18, 2009.
  53. The Explorer blockquote bug … explained. I think.
  54. “Sometimes beef is just out of place. Maybe we’re eating a rootbeer float and don’t appreciate a greasy meat patty dropped on top of the ice cream.”
    • Comment by Ardis Parshall on A Question for the Bloggernacle: Where’s the Beef? by Jared. April 25th, 2009. In response to Jared’s suggestion that the Bloggernacle is too often missing the scriptures in discussions (”where’s the beef?”), Ardis suggests that sometimes the scriptures are out of place in a discussion.
  55. “[B]ringing Mormons and gays back together through direct action and creative casseroles.”
    • ‘Sister Dottie’ wants to bring us together: One character play cooks up casserole-size humor to ease gay-LDS disputes. By Roxana Orellana. The Salt Lake Tribune, 04/25/2009. Local radio personality Dottie Dixon, actually male actor Charles Lynn Frost playing a 50-something Spanish Fork resident and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is taking her message from the airwaves to the stage. A one-character comedy, “The Passion of Sister Dottie S. Dixon,” will be premiered May 1-May 17 by the Pygmalion Theatre Company.
  56. 40,000 volunteers participate in inaugural “Mormon Helping Hands” service day in Southern California
    • 40K participate in first Mormon service project day
      Mormons and non-church volunteers participate in ‘Mormon Helping Hands.’ By KELLI HART. The Orange County Register, April 25, 2009.
  57. The South Park Guys Are After Mormons Again
    • New York Production Listings. Backstage, April 24, 2009. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are planning Mormon Musical, a new musical about the Mormon faith they wrote with Bobby Lopez (Avenue Q). Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu) is reportedly cast in a workshop.
  58. Obit of the Mormon Ringmaster-Tim Holst
    • Timothy J. Holst, Who Filled Circus Big Top With Talent, Dies at 61, By GLENN COLLINS. New York Times, April 22, 2009. Holst is described as a life-long member of the LDS Church, who served an LDS mission to Sweden. He also visited 164 countries for Ringling Brothers as the circus’ chief talent scout, which he became after starting as a keystone cop clown and working as a singing ringmaster.
  59. Mormon Soldier’s Refusal to Torture, and Suicide, Remembered
    • Amid Media Debate: The Soldier Who Refused to Torture–And Killed Herself a Few Days Later. By Greg Mitchell. Editor & Publisher, April 25, 2009. Spc. Alyssa Peterson committed suicide in September 2003 a few days after refusing to take part in interrogations that likely involved torture.
  60. Book of Mormon Supports Death Penalty, says Montana Pol
    • Money, Morality, and Repealing the Death Penalty by Elaine de Leon. Religion and Ethics Newsweekly April 24th, 2009. Republican judiciary committee vice-chairman Ken Peterson, a Mormon who opposed repeal [of the death penalty], said the Book of Mormon and “eight books in the Old Testament” support the death penalty.
  61. Hatch says his two-year mission inspire new Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
    • Hatch says LDS mission part of bill inspiration. The Salt Lake Tribune, 04/22/2009. During the congressional debate, Hatch said he drew inspiration for the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act from his two year mission for the LDS Church, adding he wouldn’t trade his two-year mission for all of the years he has served in the Senate. Hatch lead the charge to rename the legislation after Kennedy.

6 comments for “Notes From All Over — for Week Ended 2 May

  1. I really hate to admit it, but I’m kind of enjoying hard-right membership angst over the fact that the Church is stridently more liberal on immigration than they are…

  2. Re 16: For some reason I don’t understand, unless it’s a matter of not quite believing you’re seeing what you’re seeing, that Constipation story has been the top draw to Keepa for three days straight, bringing in just as many readers on Days 2 and 3 as on Day 1.

  3. #6. Just remember, the two Mormon guys who created SERE knew nothing at all about interrogations, yet the CIA put them in charge of interrogations! It should also be noted that these two guys considered detainees lower than dogs. Once again, how is that compatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    #15. What do liberals not get? Limbaugh wants Obama to fail. Seems pretty clear to me. :)

    #24. The only argument that he can make in order to keep his precious seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    #25. Bybee won’t testify on the Hill unless subpoenaed. Then he might try the silly “executive privilege” claim. He’s not going to give up his precious seat, which he struggled for at the OLC, that easily.

    #26. Note the huge difference between the two. Peterson was a lowly grunt. Bybee was an elitist. One had far more worldly things to lose than the other. Put in perspective why Bybee would never have written his legal analysis any other way. He really wanted the 9th Circuit.

    #29. And he is simply an entertainer. Problem is, I don’t think he realizes the danger of going where he goes with his program. (Hence, for example, when Pres. Buckner collapses on his show, the cameramen don’t rush to his aid, thinking it is all part of the show!)

    #30. Yes, Prop 8 backfired. I still, honestly, don’t know why the church pushed for it. It looks badly for the Mormons to only press for this in California and not in Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and soon in New York, and other places.

    #33. Krugman is a pretty smart guy. It’s a good idea to listen to what he has to say. :)

    #38. It’s actually a fairly good column. Douhat is millions of light years an improvement over Bill Kristol (who had to make corrections to almost every single one of his columns, that’s how terrible he was). And Douhat is right about getting Cheney to have been the Republican nominee (or someone who fit that mold). But Douhat doesn’t understand that the public already made the choice between Cheneyism and, well, reality. The Republican party is left with the real extremists of the bunch, and it will be a very long time before more moderates will ever want to consider allying themselves with such extremists.

    #39. Lame lame lame lame lame. Abuse is incompatible with the Church of Christ? What the heck is up with such a vague answer!?!? Doesn’t church leadership realize that many of its prominent members seem to be at the heart of the approval and instigation of the use of torture? How can torture be compatible with the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ? Not abuse. and not the Church. The real question is torture and the Gospel. Not abuse and the Church. But the real answer seems to be a bit dirty. Christianity has, in its long history, not minded the abuse of people who happen to be non-Christian. We’d never want a Christian to be waterboarded. And I’m quite sure that if a Mormon were to be waterboarded by an enemy, the church would do all in its power to influence the enemy to release the Mormon. There has to be more from church leadership on this issue.

    #58. I’m really glad that liberal bloggers have brought up Alyssa Peterson. I remember when her story came out way back then. It was a very sad story. The military did their usual coverup (just like in Pat Tillman’s case), which of course made matters worse. This is a Mormon who stood for the Gospel of Jesus Christ when it mattered. She was ridiculed by the world. She was abused by the world. Jay Bybee is a Mormon who did NOT stand for the Gospel of Jesus Christ when it mattered. And the world rewarded him.

    #59. Heh, Book of Mormon also supports theocracy. Should we push for that now?

  4. Jay Bybee does not speak for his church, nor does Jay Bybee’s church speak for him.

  5. Ugly,


    Jay Bybee does not speak for his church, nor does Jay Bybee’s church speak for him.

    But Bybee does speak for the church. Peterson speaks for the church. YOU speak for the church. I speak for the church. That’s what we are taught. We are taught to be examples to the world in word and deed! We are taught to be representatives of Christ at all times.

    This is no ordinary Christian religion we are a part of, Ugly. We are the Body of Christ. At least, that is what we are taught on a weekly basis.

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