Monday, August 31, 2009


I've been wondering about this for a while now...

First, a little bit about me... When it comes to politics, I'm a little conflicted. I'm a registered Libertarian, but since attaining the right to vote, I've found myself more often than not, voting for and supporting candidates for the Democratic Party.

Living in Utah, in a predominantly Mormon community is interesting though. Mormons generally vote Republican. Somehow they have it in their minds that to vote otherwise is to promote the work of Satan. I've been called a traitor and a "wolf in sheeps" clothing in the past year, due to my choice of candidate in the 2008 presidential debate and my stance on Prop 8. With few exceptions Mormons intensely dislike the current US president, categorizing him as a Socialist (gasp!) and some of the more extreme members believing him to be a racist - which considering the LDS Churches history and beliefs with regard to race is laughable at best.

I was raised Mormon. One of the principles of Mormonism I was taught was that of the United Order, or the Law of Consecration. The idea is that basically, that at some point in the future, when Christ reign supreme on the earth, and everyone is forced to acknowledge that the Mormons are Gods chosen people, at that point, Christ and his 'one true Church' will control everything, and we can live this law. The law is basically that everything belongs to the Church, and each contributes his all, and is given accords to his means.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

You can read more about it, in an excellent post today by Mormon Heretic - here.

I just find it both ironic and mildly amusing that a Church which esteems a philosophy of total equality as the ultimate human experience, would get so worked up when they perceive that a black man might have the audacity to suggest such a thing....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Ultimate MLM Idea

Gentle reader, what I am about to share with you in the answer to the age of question of "How can I get rich quick?". I share this with you because I trust you to use this knowledge wisely. I would however ask that you not share this with those who lack any sense of integrity or are of weak moral character.

For those who don't know... the term MLM refers to a Multi-Level Marketing organization or scheme. Utah seems to have become a mecca for schemes such as these and so I feel as though I am somewhat of an expert on them. In an effort for full disclosure though, I do need to mention that while I have listened to many sales pitches and studied various organizations who utilize MLM strategies, I have never actually joined one. This despite as one sales rep so nicely put it, "Obviously, I just don't want to help people."

The problem I see with almost all MLM's is that they involve some kind of tangible product or service. The problem with tangible products or services is that fads get old, science can prove your claims to miracle drugs false and with anything tangible, people will eventually begin to see through it. Of course if you get into the market, make your millions and then close up shop, you'll still walk away with a decent chunk of change, but there is a better way!

So here are the Urban Koda tips for setting up a successful MLM.

1. Pick your product or service.

Remember this needs to be something which is not tangible or able to be proved or disproved by science. Some of the best schemes like this involve the after-life. Humans are naturally inquisitive about the unknown, perhaps motivated by a fear of it and they will flock to you in droves, if you can claim to know something they don't. And you have to know it. It's a sure knowledge or nothing in this game.

2. Set up your leadership structure.

This is a tricky one because in many respects, it will look like you are sharing power, but you'll need these people to handle the thousands who come flocking to you for answers. It's important however to make this structure as exclusive as possible. I would suggest limiting it to only one gender (preferably men, since their pride and arrogance, makes them less likely to leave a 'high' position.) Offer benefits to these men, but keep them very quiet. This is a good way to enhance number 1. They have to appear to the general populace as though they are excited about having the answers to the questions, not material goods.

3. Seize control over your sales force.

There are going to be some who see this idea, and think... Why can't I profit off a scheme like this? You need to find a way of dealing with these men quickly and violently. Character assassinations always work well.

For those who remain and want to seek profit within the lower ranks, you need to take control of their lives. Let them think they're free to leave or sell the products however they wish, but have that be only on illusion. Some excellent ways of doing this could be to institute the following:

Mandatory dietary guidelines
A dress code
A strict initiation ritual
Blood oaths and covenants

Don't share the entire idea with people at first either. Give them just enough to get them interested and then as they exhibit more loyalty, you can share more with them. The feeling of privilege and importance as they progress upwards will prevent them from questioning progressively more bizarre rules you come up with. You'll know you have it made when you can control minute details of their lives, like what brand of underwear they choose to wear. You laugh, but it can be done!

4. Purify the sales force

This is perhaps the easiest part. Tell your sales force that there are some among them, who are spies, or who do not want the organization to succeed. If the organization fails, no one gets the final prize. They'll take care of regulating each other themselves. You may have to discipline the occasional person, but as long as you do this publicly and with as much humiliation as possible, the rest will fall in line.

5. Money

Perhaps the biggest problem with a traditional MLM is that money gets shared amongst everyone in the scheme. This is perhaps my most brilliant idea yet (In my most humble of opinions). Tell them that the money is needed to expand the organization. The real reward for participation is the final prize - that intangible question which only you can answer. Set up a financial plan where everyone contributes a portion of their income, and have it all directed directly to you. Ka Ching!!!

6. Rewards

Now the people will be excited for a while, but in time they're going to want something in return. One of the things humans crave is to be needed. Set up groups out in the community and try to get everyone involved. Everyone needs to have a job they can do, that is essential to the operation of the local organization. Ultimately you want to keep them as busy as possible with running the organization, that they don't have time to actually consider the organization itself. You may need to give a little money back for a building or something, but you can use that as an opportunity to ask them to give more (Guilt works nicely here). Also at this point, you should have elevated the upper echelons of power to a point where you can use their presence as a reward as well. These men need to behave like Rock Stars, and the people will begin to treat them as such.

7. Expansion

Your base membership is going to yield some strong returns, but in the long run, the only way to get more money is to get others involved. Friends and families work well initially, but expand the ideas in 6, and have the members feel duty bound to recruit others. Guilt is going to be a huge motivator here. Use the peoples own fear of losing family and friends as motivation to share the idea. But instill in them the idea, that if the friends and family reject the idea, that they are seeking the destruction of the organization. You may run into some opposition while doing this, but you can handle that easily with my final point.

8. Opposition

Some one on the outside is going to figure out that you're little more than a snake oil salesman. Initially the character assassinations might work, but eventually the voices will grow louder. You need to convince your followers that anyone who says anything against the intangible product is seeking their destruction. Teach them to refuse to listen to anyone who contradicts the prize or against reading anything not authorized by you. That might sound weird to someone not inside the organization, but once you control every aspect of their lives, they'll see that as a reward.

If this doesn't work for you, perhaps you could consider religion as an option.

L. Ron Hubbard is widely rumored to have said "The way to make a million dollars is to start a religion."

The benefit of starting a religion is that of course you don't have to worry about paying taxes, but the problem in the case of religion, is that you're messing with God, and you run the risk of falling foul of his strict blasphemy laws.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Too busy

I've been pretty busy of late, so busy in fact that I don't think I've actually watched TV in over 2 weeks.

Fortunately TJ Shelby obviously has - Check out his blog on the right hand side! I found this gem from the Daily Show over on his blog this morning.

I'm not going to offer comment at this point, other than to point out that there is nothing worse than a hypocrite.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I'm not sure when the change happened, but from childhood, up until a few years ago, I'd see soldiers marching in formation and be filled with pride and a sense of awe...

Now all I feel is sorrow and regret at war, and the utter waste of human life which it brings.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Thinking it's time for something kinda funny, and although I would usually post something like this on my fitness blog, I think those here may get a kick out of it as well...

Check out the photo in this link

The guy on the right is one Dave Zabriskie. He's a Utah native and pro cyclist. He did really well in the Tour de France this year, and is racing as a solo rider in the Tour of Utah this week. He blew by me on Monday while I was out walking, and I can vouch for the fact that he is freakin' fast!!!

There is some controversy around this photo though, aside from the object of the dude on the lefts attention. DZNuts is a cycling product which was designed for Dave to protect the tender parts of the anatomy from the rigors of cycling. DZNuts - protection for Dave Zabriskie's Nuts - Ha ha ha!!

Anyway, the controversy is actually the fact that he race in his Garmin/Slipstream race kit, but then wore a different race kit for the awards (he finished 2nd in the prologue). He'll likely have to pay a $500 fine, but I think the advertising is worth it - I'm even wondering if I should try some DZNuts for the UK!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sieg Heil! said the Sheeple

I have to hand it to Sarah Palin, the Republican Leadership, and all the lobbyist for the Health Care industry... Absolutely brilliantly played!!

2 weeks ago, Sarah Palin comes out with a ridiculous statement about the Obama Death Panels.

When examining the bill, it would appear that her comment actually comes from two, very separate parts of the bill.

1. The new bill now allows reimbursement of expenses which may be incurred for a meeting between the doctor and a patient, and/or the patients family, related to end of life care. Not euthanasia or anything like that, but things like hospice care, nursing home care and how to set up a living will.

2. The new bill also addresses the need to medical care to be rationed.

The first one is pretty easy to understand. It's something which previously has not be reimbursable, and which I think would be very valuable indeed. When I get to the point where loved ones are needing significant nursing care, or facing a battle against terminal illness, I would like competent advise on how best to care for them and keep them most comfortable and well cared for.

The second one is a little more tricky.

First a personal experience... I used to be part of an Emergency Rescue Unit in New Zealand. Part of the training I went through was on how to deal with mass casualties. Here's the scenario... You come to a natural disaster or a multi car wreck. You are alone, or have minimal volunteers with you and are facing significantly more casualties than you can handle. How do you decide who to treat first? As I recall, we spend the better part of 4 hours discussing it. You need to evaluate likelihood of survival - can this person realistically be expected to pull through. Quality of life if they do survive, and many more possible scenarios. It was one of the hardest pieces of training to go through, and one I still think about it. In many ways, it's trying to decide, who can you best help to live, but at the same time, who are you going to have to allow to die.

Second, an article from the Salt Lake Tribune last week, about health-care rationing. Read it here.

The problem we face, is as we strive to make health care more accessible, by more people, decisions need to be made as to who most needs the help. I can understand why people would struggle with this idea, especially older people, who seemed to be the most outspoken about Ms. Palin's comments.

This posting isn't about rationing health care though...

After a huge kerfuffle was made about Palin's comments and how they exposed the evil of the new administration, good news came out right before the weekend. The senate committee responsible for this has scrapped the provisions from which arose Palin's 'Death Panel' allegations. You can read about that here

So basically, the rationing of health care, which might reasonably be expected to play a larger role in the life of Palin's parents or her handicapped son was completely ignored. Instead, we've managed to find a way to help our elderly people be less prepared for the future as they approach the end of their lives.

Score a win for the politicians and the health care industry, and a loss for our senior citizens!

And yet all the sheeple stand and say "Sieg Heil" to the quitting governor of Alaska.

Monday, August 17, 2009

White Shirts and Multi-level Marketing

Please understand, this isn't a post directed at Mormonism - rather it's directed at a culture which has sprung up within Mormon communities, and while it would seem at odds with basic Mormon teachings, actually basic Christian teachings too, it gets embraced which some much vigor and enthusiasm as to make me sick...

Case 1:

I'm a facebook guy. I'm not an addict, but I like the program. I've made many great friends, caught up with countless others, and just like the way the thing works. So there I was right before lunch today, perusing the latest updates, when... We'll call her MZ for this example... MZ pops up in the Chat window.

First a little history on MZ... Just over a decade ago, I was a Mormon Missionary in Africa. MZ was as well. I wasn't a huge fan of her but she was OK. My companion (coz you have to go two by two), absolutely loathed her, but he and I got put in a position where we had to work with her closely and so he tried really hard to overcome that. A couple of months later, we played a wee prank on the lady missionaries - nothing bad, just something fun to remind us that we were normal people behind the badge.

Next thing I know, I get hauled down to Mission Presidents office and absolutely chewed out by the man. Turns out... A - My loving parents had absolutely screwed me over on a separate incident, although at the time I was unaware of this. B - My companion kind of had a thing going with MZ, which she initiated. I found out about A, only after I got done with my 2 years. I found out about B that night.

Apparently MZ had taken the prank seriously, and called the Mission President to confess everything, and narc on us at the same time. Me and the companion got sent to horrible areas and put on bikes, although in hindsight - the bike wasn't a bad place for me to be - but we got screwed for the remainder of our 2 year terms, but I digress.

Next time I speak to MZ, she's happily married and living in Arizona. She calls up out of the blue, and starts talking about her new business to my wife... Primerica. Every person I have ever had approach me about Primerica, starts with the long story of how broke they were, how much financial trouble they were, but Primerica save them. And now they want me to take financial advice from them... Sorry folks! I ain't buying. MZ was no exception, and when my wife explained my bad experiences with it, she dropped the conversation...

And then had her husband call and talk to me about my bad attitude towards the greatest thing in the world. 2 hours later I get him off the phone, still unconvinced and thoroughly annoyed. Turns out he was a huge porn addict as well (Nice good Mormon boy that he was!) He would watch it all night long, and then mentally and physically abuse her and their kids during the day. They're divorced now and she's remarried....

Which brings us to today...

MZ: hey Koda! What's up?
Koda: Not much! You?
MZ: just keeping busy!
I have a question for you ... mr marathon fitness runner! :):)
have you ever used the Access Bar?

First of all... I'm pretty open about the fact that I'm a triathlete. And I don't want to get all technical, but I run as part of that, I do marathons to train for triathlons, and you've mentioned marathon and runner in the same delightful nickname. My BS detector is starting to glow...

Access Bar... Why do I know that name...

Koda: Is that a sports bar? And my ignorance probably answers the question...
Oh wait... Is that the melaleuca one?
An acquaintance worked in there a year or two back, and got me a few samples to try...

MZ: lol, yeah it is Melaleuca .. you know about it?

OK Folks... LOL's in places they really shouldn't be make my ass twitch, and the BS Detector is now emitting a good solid glow.

Koda: They were still developing the wrappers I think.
Right now in prepping for IronMan, I'm almost exclusively on Hammer products....
Perpetuem and Heed
MZ: hmmm, well, they are AMAZING!!!!!!
not sure if you knew the science behind them, but it allows your body to access fat immediatly as soon as you rais your heart rate, instead of having to wait the normal 20-25 min. that it takes
it is all patented and scientifically proven of course

Of course it is!! Anything else you'd like to quote from the box of them in front of you? Perhaps I should add... They weren't bad tasting bars, but for $2 a bar, the only one's I'll be trying are free samples, and I generally only take liquids when I race - Note how she jumped right over my comment about Hammer Nutrition too...

Koda: I'm guessing you're a melaleuca distributer....
MZ: well, not really a distibuter, since I don't actually sell the products, just set up shopping accounts, but yes, I own my own business with them
I've been using the products for 13 years though
just started doing it as a business last year
I just met Dr. Wang, the scientist that did the research leading up to the develpment of the access bar
incredible man ... incredible research, and discovery
Do you know who Shalane Flannagan is?
not sure if I spelled her first name correctly

My kids try play the semantics game with me sometimes... They're learning it doesn't work...

Did you hit your sister in the arm?
Why is she crying?
I don't know...
Are you the reason she's crying?
Did you touch her?
Kind of...
How did you touch her?
***Kid motions punching***
I asked if you hit her. Why did you lie to me?
I didn't lie, you asked if I hit her, but I punched her.

Kid usually ends up in his room for a long time after this one...

But back to MZ... There is a pause because a co-worker comes in to ask something...

Koda: Sorry - just chatting to a visitor
MZ: no problem
I was just asking if you know who Shalane Flannagan is... she is a silver medalist in long distance running ... anyhow, she swears by the access bar
Koda: YEah - Iwatched her run at the olympics - pretty awesome runner!
MZ: yeah, she is amazing
Koda: I'd better head out though on my lunch break. I'm pretty set on my nutrition for now, but I'll let you know if I want to try those Access bars out!

Freakin' HELL!! No contact for 6 or 7 years, and all you want to do is make a sale. If I could compare the whole sales thing to sex (And just so we know, if I was single and her and I were the last humans on earth... Still hell no!). In this interaction I guess I would have been the woman and her the man. First date, she comes to pick me up, walks right in the door, strips me naked and tried to have sex - no foreplay, nothing. Wouldn't work with sex - wouldn't work for a sale either.

And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
2 Nephi 28:8

Mormons love multi-level marketing. Utah is MLM central. It's all about get your friends to make you rich.

Case 2:

So... to escape MZ, I take a walk around City Creek Canyon... A mile or 2 into it, I come across 2 LDS Church employees. How can I tell? They're wearing long-sleeve white shirts, suit pants and have their suit jackets slung over their arms. It was 80 freaking degrees outside - so why dress like this? The LDS Church believes that it's employees are the most professional in the world, and so they need to look the part, hence if you leave the campus during business hours, you are to wear a suit - jacket and all - technically they should actually have had their jackets on, but I digress.

The problem is... The LDS Church pays their employees like utter crap (at least the lower level ones), treats them like crap, and if any of them have the audacity to try and excel, they get hauled into HR and asked to play solitaire at their desks for a couple of hours a day, because they're making their co-workers uncomfortable with their performance - True story, it happened to me!. But keep paying your tithing anyway - it's going to worthy causes ;-)

That's not my point today though... As I pass, one of the guys is complaining to the other...

Have you heard about Markham?
Apparently over at his office, the management have decided that they can wear colored shirts on Fridays.
And I guess Markham feels he needs to do this to fit in. (With a rather sarcastic and judgmental tone)

By this point they had passed me and where out of ear shot.


The LDS Employee handbook used to state that white shirts were preferred, but light colored shirts were acceptable. But even back then, whenever someone wore a light blue, or light yellow shirt, the corridors buzzed after they walked by. I wonder if it's changed or if everyone just still assumes that means it's a white shirt or else...

Judge not, that ye be not judged.
St. Matthew 7:1

Although in fairness, the founder of Mormonism did update it to read...

Now these are the words which Jesus taught his disciples that they should say unto the people. Judge not unrighteously, that ye be not judged: but judge righteous judgment.
JST Matthew 7:1-2

Apparently a righteous judgment is the one surrounding another man's choice of shirt color.

Concerned about God...

I'm getting concerned about God...

Just read this story today... Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder. It would appear that the old mantra of "The devil made me do it!" have been replaced by, "God told me to do it."

And then there was the whole Iraqi debaucle, which was started because a couple of guys (allegedly) in Afghanistan got told by God to destroy the United States, and so then to mix is up a little bit, God told George Bush to attack both Afghanistan and Iraq, in order to bring peace to the region.

I'm starting to lean towards George Carlin's way of thinking...

But I want you to know something, this is sincere, I want you to know, when it comes to believing in God, I really tried. I really, really tried. I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is f*cked up.

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the résumé of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say "this guy", because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man.

No woman could or would ever f*ck things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he's at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn't give a shit. Doesn't give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results.

I tend to think there is some kind of supreme being or entity out there, but I very much doubt that he's telling people to kill each other. Seems like it's just become a convenient excuse for being a bigot.

5/12th's of an IronMan

It's been a long weekend... I'm planning on writing more, but, here's a teaser to whet your appetite...

Friday - hectic day, finally got ready to leave for Provo about 3 hours later than planned. Alternator in our van gave out halfway there, so wife and kids spent the night at grandma's and I got to spend a night alone in the hotel.

Saturday - My first half Iron Man Triathlon... Everything looked good until 2 minutes till the start when the wind started. Swim got postponed for almost an hour and then halved. Bike went ok, except for the wind - good going out, rough coming back. Run Rocked!!! As my brother said... With the shortened swim, I'm about 5/12ths of an IronMan now - but damn it... The 70.3 sticker is going on my Van TONIGHT!!

Sunday - Spent the morning fixing the alternator in the van. Spent the afternoon driving around Antelope Island (We needed an excuse to help the battery get recharged!!) and then toured the ranch out their too.

Those of you who live in Utah will appreciate this...

Nothing beats the feeling of being able to tour an historical location, and not get asked for referrals at the end of it!!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm not a gun nut, but...

I've think I've mentioned before a gentleman that I did some business with a few years ago that likes to send around the ultra conservative Republican emails. I haven't received one from him in a while, and I've suspected it was because most of his "Obama is a muslim extremist" emails got a snopes link in response from me.

Apparently it worked, since I got an email from him this morning and right up top was the line....

Confirmed on -

I've made known my stance on Gay Marriage, the need for Health Care reform, several other issues, so I probably need to weigh in on this one.

The second amendment of the United States states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I'm not a gun owner, at least not yet. I was however privileged enough to fire a Rock River assault rifle over the weekend, and I'm lusting after one for myself ever since. Ain't she a beauty?

Don't mess with my 3 yr old! on Twitpic

I also understand the importance of the right to keep and bear arms. People seem to get fixated of 1 of the first 2 amendments, but I think they both need each other in order to work.

The first amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

OK, but back to the topic of gun control...

I think that the right to keep and bear arms is critical to the defense of freedom, not necessarily from foreign invader but from those within the country who would seek to take it away.

There is a very real problem with gun violence though, which needs to be addressed.

The problem is:

If you control who can own a gun, those who honor the law, who have obtained a weapon legally, you're exercising control over a group of people who aren't likely to cause problems.

People who would use a firearm to commit a crime, aren't likely to obey the law in the first place, and wouldn't think twice about obtaining a weapon through illegal means.

I tried looking at the bill, but whoever coded the page did a crappy job and after error #247, I gave up trying to click through them all. If the email is right though, and snopes claims it is, the bill would require all guns to be registered and tightly controlled.

I don't think the men who proposed this bill are doing it with the intent to confiscate all firearms, but by passing that bill, it does open the opportunity for someone to launch a program like that in the future.

I would propose the following as an alternative method of gun control...

The US Legal System is based on the principle of innocent until proven guilty, and I think it could be reasonably be applied here.

I would support the creation of a national database of those who have forfeited the right to bear arms through their own actions or circumstances that mean that could cause a real danger to themselves or others. Perpetrators of armed assaults, those with mental illness which could cause a situation when they could be a danger to themselves and others and the like. If you want to buy a gun, have the store owner run your name against the database, and if it comes up clean, you can buy the gun.

I also think that we need to educate people better. After firing a rifle this weekend, I'm 100% sure none of my kids will be going near any kind of firearm for the next couple of years.

I don't support the sale of fire-arms to minors, and would prefer that people take a class on firearm safety prior to purchasing - but I understand the problems in enforcing that.

So bottom line is...

I support the rights of the citizens of this country to own guns and I think this bill is a bad idea.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


And if I may make one more correction... I was researching a little more into Socialism and definitions surrounding that political system, and I discovered something interesting...

Apparently Socialism is more of an economic philosophy than a political one.

It would also seem that what I thought to be Socialism is actually a derivative of Socialism called Social Democracy. It seems to be a conglomerate of some of the pro's of Socialism, combined with the benefits of living in a Democracy, and therefore, avoiding the problem (hopefully) of a totalitarian government which then seeks to control all.

I definitely need to do more reading into this... But if you're interested, the wikipedia entry has some good stuff here.


I went on a camping trip to a ranch this weekend and in front of my wife and friends, told my son, "Don't be turd dude!"

He was whining about wanting to go and hang out in the trailer, which he and my daughter has already put into a complete state of disarray and broken the door handle off. He didn't want to hang around outside enjoying the fresh air, playing in the hay and with the dogs.

The word turd was on my mind after reading a favorite quote of a friend on FaceBook which read... "If you're going to be a turd, go lie on the lawn"

Anyway, my use of the word garnered much hilarity amongst the friends... My accent is mostly South African, with a hint of Kiwi, and some Utahn sprinkled in for good measure.

Apparently when I say Turd, it sounds very 'proper'.

But that's not the point of this post. Following some heated discussion with a reader following my last post, he pointed me toward an article. He also send me some Glenn Beck audio.

I should add that although this reader and I differ more often than not, and are both likely the cause for heads being banged against computer desks in in both our homes, it's always an informative debate and I don't think I've had a discussion with him where I haven't learned anything.

Let hit Glenn first.

Dammit Glenn! You're a funny guy and you have an excellent way of putting things. I think you could be a real influence for good on this country... That said though... Being a TURD and saying dumb stuff like I mentioned in the previous post make it really hard to listen to you. Even after I lost faith in Bush, the Republicans, Hannity and Rush, I still liked to listen to you everyday on the way home from work, but then it got to the point where every time I turned on, it was the end of the world, and the Apocalypse was coming and all of that crap. I suspect I may have had bad timing, and perhaps by turning on at the same time as I left work every day, I was just hitting right at the point in your show when you planned to do that stuff. I just couldn't listen to it, and still arrive home 30 minutes later, not wanting to find a cliff to drive off.

It's a great pity! Glenn you could be so much more. Get off the political stuff and come back to normal fun stuff. A little less gloom and doom and a little more 109.5 The Frog and Moron Trivia. I swear I'll come back if you do! I'll even subscribe to the newsletter that it took me 6 months to get unsubscribed from. Perhaps I'll even back order the 2007 copies of Fusion magazine which I put in the trash last week. A little more fusion between entertainment and enlightment and a little less bidding to your conservative masters.

Now lets hit the article. It made a lot of sense and pointed out some very real problems. If I may quote...

With the Republican party leaderless and in backbiting disarray following its destruction by the ideologically incoherent George W. Bush, Democrats are apparently eager to join the hara-kiri brigade. What looked like smooth coasting to the 2010 election has now become a nail-biter. Both major parties have become a rats' nest of hypocrisy and incompetence. That, combined with our stratospheric, near-criminal indebtedness to China (which could destroy the dollar overnight), should raise signal flags. Are we like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?

To all those TURDS in Washington... Seriously guys, what the hell is wrong with you.

The article is here. I would highly recommend it and a huge thanks to Mr. D. Sirmize for the find.

I was right, but I would rather I wasn't...

Or perhaps I'm just a prophet... Either way, I have the kind of damming evidence of hypocrisy and fear mongering that would give even the great Rush Limbaugh an instant orgasm!! And the best part is, I don't even have to really add any commentary, since I think it speaks for itself.

First, lets put all of this in context...

The Health Care reform bill provides for a person, or family of a person to meet with a doctor concerning end of life care. So if you have an aging parent, you can meet with your doctor and discuss things like hospice, living wills and that kind of thing. Previously this type of visit would not have been covered by Medicare. I personally think it's a good thing. I've never been through the impending loss of a loved one and so when I am faced with that, it would be nice to be able to speak with a professional about it, and find out what options we have available. It is not by any stretch of the imagination a provision to allow euthanasia, or encourage euthanasia or anything even close to that.

On Friday, the great Sarah Pallin made the following statement on her FaceBook page...

"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society' whether they are worthy of health care."

Like I said - no real commentary is needed.

I made mention a few weeks ago that acquaintances of mine firmly believed this same thing, that the Obama Health Care plan would allow for abortion up to 2 years old and uthenasia of anyone over 60. And since the only news these people listen too is the Glenn Beck show and Rush Limbaugh, I made the assumption that they had gotten this from listening to his show. I was called out on it, since I had no evidence, and there may well not have been any evidence at the time. I was merely making an assumption, which may well have been based on assumptions made by these people while listening to Beck and Limbaugh...


Again, no commentary is really needed.

I was asked yesterday about my sources... I typically don't listen to any radio shows or TV's shows dealing with politics, since my personal feeling is that all of them (both left and right) generally use fear to connect with the audience and establish an intellectual addiction. In following up on the death panel story tough, I did check a couple of other sources which I found very informative and though provoking in one case, and absolutely hilarious on the other.

Lets do the thought provoking one first...

I don't watch Keith Olberman. I have seen his show on only 3 occasions. Once last year with his comment on Prop 8. Once last week on his comments about how the Senate and Congress (both Republicans and Democrats) have been bought and paid for by the health care industry and are simply doing their bidding. And then yesterday with his comments on the statements made above and their impact on our society.

A few things really stood out to me while watching this:

1 - Sarah Palin has become popular because many Republicans feel she was treated unfairly by the Liberal Left Wing Media Machine. I believe there were a few incidents of this from left wing extremist, which was regrettable and inexcusable, but I believe the biggest effect on this story was the conservative media hosts pretending that it was far more wide spread than it was and blowing it way out of proportion. Personally I think it would be great to have a woman president. And if the Republicans can find an articulate and intelligent woman to run, she might even get my vote, but Sarah Palin is not that women. Anyway moving on... Keith's comments about her use of her child in her statement I found particularly poignant.

2 - The responsibility which lies with Palin, Beck and others for the words they say. I've said this before on this blog. When you have a public forum and you shout your opinion in the homes of millions of American's, you bear a certain amount of responsibility for how your words get interpreted.

3 - Finally his analogy about your neighbor and driving. I think it's a message that could well be taken to heart by all involved in politics.

But without further ado...

Now, I'll admit that was a little heavy, so here is perhaps the political commentator I watch the most of... I've found his to be the most objective news show out there, which is kind of sad, since it's a COMEDY NEWS SHOW!!

Monday nights episode dealt with this issue as well. It's funny, and it gets even funnier in segment 2. But at the same time, I think it helps to paint a disturbing picture about the lengths people will go to, to avoid the other team accomplishing something - albeit a picture with bright, neon colors!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter - Obama Death Panel Debate
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rubber my Duck!

I like this... Combining comedy with topical issues, it's like the way I want this blog to be, but it works and it's done in about 2 minutes!

And I think we all know someone like this...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Reasons for War

I've been thinking a writing up a post on War...

I want to test out the hypothesis that all wars have a foundation in some form of Religious belief system.

Can anyone think of a war which hasn't either been started, or revolved around that?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


I know this is going to torque a few of my readers, but it's just my opinion, and you are perfectly within reason to disagree.

I've been thinking about socialism lately, and I'm coming round to believe that it may actually be a good thing...

I was talking with a buddy while we were running the other day, and he made an interesting comment. He's one of those real right wing leaning, gun enthusiast type people, the kind I usually avoid political discussions with, but that aside.

He made the comment that he felt that capitalism, socialism and communism were all perfectly fine ways of running a country. The problem is when people get greedy and abuse the system to benefit themselves. We may not have agreed on who should have been voted in as president last year, but I wholeheartedly agree with him on that.

So... With that in mind, allow me to share a couple of ideas as to why I think Socialism would be a good direction for the US to head in. I do speak with some authority on this, since I spent some time in New Zealand, which is run on a socialist system - even though while there I thought socialism was 'The Devil'.

1 - Health care
It's the hot topic right now, so why not! Everyone in New Zealand has access to decent and affordable health care. It's not just emergency health care, it's everyday prevention type stuff too. The problem with only providing emergency health care is that generally by the time you think you need it, it often too late. A key argument against Universal Health care is that the US has the best health care in the world. Leaders from other countries come here for medical attention... But the question I would ask, is... At what price do we have the best health care? Price being the key word. It's all about money, and if you have a lot of it, you can afford the best. If you don't... Sucks to be you, I guess!

2 - Standard of Living
The thing I really like about New Zealand was the equality. While there were some who were rich, they were few and far between. But at the same time there weren't very many poor people either. Minimum wage is pretty high, and top wage earners don't make much more... Or if they do, they get taxed at a higher rate. It puts people on more of an even playing field. The main argument against this is the lack of motivation, but check out #3

3 - Quality of Life
I loved living in New Zealand, because of the Quality of Life. People care passionately about Rugby, Cricket and Beer. The pace of life is slower and people are very laid back. Part of this is cultural, but I think that culture has been impacted by the Socialist form of government. Money isn't the object for our existence, but it seems like in the United States, its become that. We want more, we want it now, and we want more that the other guy has. It's how we measure success. Money isn't the object of your existence in New Zealand, rather it would appear that life is.

During the election last year, many accused Mr. Obama of being a socialist. I think somehow Americans have it in their minds that socialism equals everyone is poor, wears drab clothing and has to stand in line for bread at the store. The thing is though, even though some of his ideas are definitely socialist, he ran with them as his platform, and as they say on American Idol... America voted.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

So close!

This posting probably belongs on my other blog, but I'm trying to get a series started over on that one to do with the financial aspects of religion.

Anyway, so I've found a new blog I like... I used to read one by a guy (or gal) who went by the name of Bishop Higgins. I don't know what happened to him, but since June, he's been really quiet. But I found another one yesterday and it might be even funnier. It's the blog for the Spanish Fork 401st Ward. You can link to it here.

So this morning, I started at the beginning of his blog, and was reading through. He referenced something in the Journal of Discourses that related back to something I've been discussing with Mrs. Koda, so I thought I would post it here. It makes a really great point up front, and then does a complete 180, and goes completely wacko at the end.

For those who don't know... The Journal of Discourses is a collection of speeches and other articles by the founder and the first couple of leaders of the LDS Church. For many years, Mormons were encouraged to have this collection in their homes, but about half a century ago, the Church asked all of these to be handed back in. Reviewing some of the topic contained there in provides both an explanation as to why they did this, and also a fair amount of entertainment.

You can find this particular quote here. You'll want to hit the next page link in the top left, and then go to page 128.

I'll break the quote into 2 parts... Oh and it's by Brigham Young - Prophet #2, Founder of Utah, and the dude who was responsible for settling Utah and establishing Salt Lake City and many of the surrounding towns.

Ladies and gentlemen, I exhort you to think for yourselves, and read your Bibles for yourselves, get the Holy Spirit for ourselves and pray for yourselves, that your minds may be divested of false traditions and early impressions that are untrue.

Thinking for yourself - hmmm. Now that's a novel concept. You may recall my account of the dipstick from my local congregation who called at 6am a couple of Sundays ago. Mrs. Koda has been defending the man by saying that it wasn't his fault, since he was asked by his leaders to call. By my opinion is that while he was asked to call, he should have paused, thought about the ramifications of calling someones home at 6 freaking am on a Sunday, and realized it was a bad idea.

Stephen R. Covey in his book, the 7 habits of highly effective people, talks about the ability that humans have to receive a stimulus and then consciously decide on the response. He maintains our response - ability is what separates us from the animals, and I tend to agree. The LDS Church would appear to have become an organization that seeks to remove this ability, rather than encourage it.

So that was the cool part of the quote... The next bit was really interesting. Mormon folklore teaches that BY taught that homosexuality caused the downfall of Rome, and in fact I had a fundamentalist type guy use that in a debate on the matter last year. Anyway, so with that in mind...

Those who are acquainted with the history of the world are not ignorant that polygamy has always been the general rule and monogamy the exception. Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively that in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of woman among them, and hence this monogamic system which now prevails throughout all Christendom, and which has been so fruitful a source of prostitution and whoredom thought all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay at the root of their institutions both national and religious.

First of all, after reading that I was rotflmao!!!

Second, did anyone pick up the logical inconsistencies?

One of the justifications taught within the LDS Church to support the notion of polygamy amongst the early members, was that there was a surplus of women who needed husbands - and generally that need was so that the women could purchase land and that kind of thing. Of course a study of history would prove that idea completely inconsistent with how the practice was implemented, but that's another topic for another day.

So... too many woman means they had to practice polygamy, and yet the argument put forth in that quote deals with the scarcity of woman, and how the notion of monogamy somehow promotes wife stealing and robbery... Interestingly enough, wife stealing occurred a great deal when the founder started practicing polygamy.

Anyway, I found the whole thing both humorous and ironic. Elsewhere I've read that at the point, the LDS Church has not outlawed the drinking of alcohol, and it is noted that BY himself was known to have a beer. Perhaps it was a quote like this that persuaded successive prophets to ban alcohol all together...

Of course the flipside might be... This whole monogamy thing might be the whole reason that the US and the World seems to be going to hell in a handbasket - at least according to the more religious and conservative individuals in the world. If that is indeed the case, perhaps the 'Conservatives' really need to take a hard line against traditional marriage!