Category Archives: Ethics

A Life Change That Helped My Happiness

I came across this brief announcement in the news…

Mormon church excommunicates leader for first time in nearly 30 years

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James J. Hamula – excommunicated Mormon leader

In some ways, a big part of me says, “not significant enough to comment on.” Another part of me, prompts me to use what little abilities I have to speak my mind clearly.

I hope he and his family find their way. I refer back to my own 20+ years experience as an active member of that religious organization. In that time, I went from devout follower, to an enlightened person who is grateful to be out of that organization. Perhaps this will be the break they need to extract themselves from such mind befuddlement, into an understanding of the lies, distortions, historical chicanery, counterfeit scripture, and the “guilt hold” this religion can have over someone’s supposed, free will.

Fortunately my immediate family has also worked their way out from under the social pressure, the repetitious pronouncements, and the circumventing of rational thought. They too realize how isolated from reality someone can become as long as they’re so heavily invested, in which their personal happiness can only be achieved by reinforcing their commitment to the organization, and most especially to its leadership.

The desire for people to be part of a group in which they identify with common beliefs and functions, and to elevate its leaders as special, set apart with distinctive insight, dates back to the earliest periods of tribal affinity and survival against hostile elements, infirmity, uncertainty, creatures, people, and to repel those things that would undermine their survival. It didn’t take long for humans to fill in the knowledge gaps with superstitious lore and set aside some people who pretend to know more than the common person. This becomes comforting, as we try to express our deepest feelings of devotion, ritual, compassion, and explanation into what happens after we die.

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Thomas S. Monson Mormon President

Religion can and often does fill in the blanks when we don’t know, whereas a lengthy education process seems too complicated for many people to understand. As we become further initiated, inculcated, and fully brought “into the fold”, we replace objections and logic with prepared phrases from supporting text or the words of others within the same organization. We not only worship the unexplainable, unfathomable, unknowing, rejecting doubt as insufficiently devoted or not passionate enough, and substituting guilt and recrimination when we don’t meet group expectation or total acceptance.

It’s relatively easy to observe the leadership of these organizations say the same things, they speak in similar controlled tone, they look-alike, and often are educated at the same schools. Acceptance comes through adherence. There are numerous phrases or words defined to mean unique things for the group. Intolerance, bigotry, character assassination and rumor generalizations have been directly loaned, re-translated with euphemism.

The only safe thing for your mind, and for the benefit of others within your family, is to have the courage to recognize the self-deception and the group think mentality, and get out.

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| 08 August 2017 | “On Tuesday morning, James J. Hamula was released from his position in the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after disciplinary action.

LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins provided no details about the removal. But the church did confirm Hamula was no longer a member of the church and that his ouster was not for apostasy or disillusionment.

In cases involving members of Mormonism’s presiding quorums — rare as they are — the faith’s governing First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles form a disciplinary council to consider such actions.

Hamula, 59, who could not be reached Tuesday for comment, was born in Long Beach, Calif., and served in many positions with the Utah-based church — including as a full-time missionary in Germany, bishop, stake president (overseeing a number of LDS congregations), mission president and Area Seventy.
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What is Memorial Day?

I failed to post this yesterday as a follow up to the Memorial Day 2017 dedication I posted on Twitter.

Yesterday wasn’t about me or others that have served, or are serving in the military.

Its about those soldiers, sailors, marines, and air corps, who gave everything they had to the cause of bringing conflict to a conclusion, and to allow people the opportunity to choose for themselves as to how they want to govern.

All the criticisms of the military, our government, our industrial, technological, or wealth, has nothing to do with Memorial Day. There were many people who chose to use it to support their political, ideological, and critical view points. It has nothing to do with that at all.

The United States, for all its flaws, shortcomings, and mistakes, has at its core a desire to keep the world safe enough for people to choose for themselves a way of life. Written in its foundational documents, are the basic humane principles of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

When a person enters the military, they become part of a history of a nation that wants to protect those foundations. and has been willing to do so at great personal risk, significant loss of life, wealth and reputation. To argue we gave blood for treasure is to ignore that no amount of industry, or military victory, has offset the price we spent, or the blood we spilt, not just for ourselves, but many other nations as well.

Our history as a nation has been to cede back the lands, rebuild the basic civil foundations, and for decades, donate vast resources & money in order for the weak to become stronger. We are not a conquering people, we’re a liberating people.

How do I know this to be true? I’m one of the millions, who over the centuries, left my home, voluntarily gave a portion of my life, to be trained, skilled, and willing to defend this country. We desired no lands, sought no riches, and did things few are willing or able to do.

I have this one day of the year to thank those who were required in the course of their service, to lay down their life to benefit, defend, secure, the liberty of others, including me. That’s Memorial Day. A day which we as a nation should remember those who died for us, yet we so soon forget in our normal, comfortable, and mostly peaceful journey.

 

Economics 101 – The Mess We’re In

Politicians have modified capitalism to suit their largest contributing supporters, thereby enhancing their future elections. This is often referred to as Crony Capitalism 1.

Here are some basics which people are either ill-informed, or refuse to understand because their beliefs override facts.

  • Poor people don’t employ other poor people.
  • People that possess money, or obtain credit, leverage their ideas and talent at great risk, often employ other people.
  • This can enhance the wealth of those business leaders who combine & leverage the labor and skills of others in creative ways.
  • Creditors and investors provide capital to the business, and benefit by the financial gain of the company.
  • Those whose primary object is to decide what’s fair in compensation, for the labor and skill of employees, do so by taking more from those who create and sustain that employment.
  • Eventually, the balance is tilted under government control, such that they and their closest friends & allies, receive the greatest benefits through confiscating the profits from the investors and the company.
  • They (politicians) redistribute profits to appease the employees, and describe that as fair. Creditors & investors withdraw their support.
  • Those who have placed themselves at the greatest risk and have used their imagination to begin or enhance the business, now find their financial rewards diminished.
  • These dwindling profits, and the lack of investors, push the owners into foreclosure and bankruptcy and they join the throng of those who have already staked out their claim for government assistance.
  • In the end, everyone’s standard of living has diminished except the politicians and their cronies.
  • The poor become more poor because business has been destroyed by those who gained their office through a promise of fairness.
  • Larger business, through the support of their friends in government, buy the distressed assets at reduced prices and become more wealthy.

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  1. Crony Capitalism An economy that is nominally free-market, but allows for preferential regulation and other favorable government intervention based on personal relationships. In such a system, the false appearance of “pure” capitalism is publicly maintained to preserve the exclusive influence of well-connected individuals.