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Letters, June 30, 2016 

Mormon power, A message for everyone and Society in decline

Mormon power
In the just completed 2016 Utah legislative session: The frequent worst air in the nation was not even addressed. No teeth were added to the State's weak hate-crime law Health care was denied to a hundred-thousand poor residents. Legalization of medical marijuana was voted down. Public school teachers are still prohibited from providing any real sex education. Even educating students about safe sex or birth control is still forbidden. However, the legislators did provide $53 million to build a deep-water port in Oakland, Calif. to store Utah coal, before its shipped to foreign countries so that these countries can further foster global warning. No funding was provided to increase alternate forms of energy or for re-training coal miners for new careers in the wind and solar industries. No efforts were made to properly fund public schools or to reduce class size. With 80 percent of Utah legislators being affiliated with the LDS Church along with the governor, lieutenant governor and the attorney general, I feel that it is reasonable to blame the Mormon Church for the mess Utah is in. As the late Apostle L. Tom Perry told me a few weeks before his death," No one has the right to ever question the LDS leaders or any of the church's writings." I assume that the "no one" would extend to all the state's legislators and all other elected and appointed officials. I'm not sure of the consequences of going against the church would be for the state Mormon legislators and the other elected officials. Based, however on the church's past treatments of any who would stand in opposition, I presume the punishment would run from a slap on the offending wrist up to being kicked out and thus being forbidden to ever get to go to the Celestial Kingdom to copulate with a plethora of young girls on one's own planet. When a corporation is accused of not looking out for the best interest of the public, the CEO is usually held responsible. LDS President Tom Monson, does not have a CEO title. However, he does have the following titles, in addition to president: prophet, revelator, translator and seer. So just as President George Bush said to Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Association, as New Orleans was drowning during Hurricane Katrina, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." I'd like to paraphrase, You're doing a heck of a job, Monson.
Ted Ottinger
Taylorsville

A message for everyone
Where are the vigils for the approximately 3,600 women and children killed by drones using your taxes? Whether Glynis is right about Orlando being partially staged [Letters, June 16, City Weekly] or not: If we are going to have a vigil for the LGBTQA, shouldn't we also commemorate the little kids in Pakistan-Yemen killed by the people you voted for and think are so great? Ted Cruz, John Kerry, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton support the carnage in a multitude of ways. Hillary's emails regarding the drones were just emerging as the main focus of that investigation. The shooting happened two days later and now nobody seems to care. Bernie says drone strikes have "done some good things" and he would not end them if president. How about if straights and gays alike apologize for not really caring about all the kids they financially helped blow up. It's the equivalent of about 135 Sandy Hooks at this point. Then, after that, they can stand up for themselves with not as much guilt on their minds. Perhaps even join the Pink Pistols firearms self defense organization.
Craig Morgan
Ontario, Canada

Society in decline
The media, the talking heads who profit most from polarization and now the instant information available on the internet (whose source some never question as being entirely accurate) are integral parts of the problem. Then there is the sheer volume of people in an overcrowded, competitive world. There is also the problem of pure semantics. I.e., take the word "liberal" for example. It's original definition was closer to live-and-let-live, do your own thing, mind your own business ... rather than what some groups of thought defines as (purely for political reasons) and is likened to evil incarnate. This sort of closed-mindedness and hardline, punitive attitude does nothing but perpetuate the polarization. Who really gains from this?

I have noticed that there appears to be entire cultures and regions that are more prone than others to continue the angst-ridden polarization. For example, in the state of Arizona, some groups are bent on owning automatic weaponry (responsible for the mass-murders we are witnessing almost daily) and who seem to be willing to die rather than give up the right to own such weaponry. On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have the state of California, and in particular. Marin County, where I live, where the culture is committed to curb gun violence and have initiated gun buy-back programs that have been very effective. Gun violence is virtually non-existent here in Marin County. There is also a "liberal" point of view when it comes to gay people, immigration, and overall acceptance of one another (Works for me).

What can you say? It's a world gone mad and you cannot change the minds of those gone mad. So, I say in the meanwhile, eat, drink and be merry and tomorrow find ways to be more compassionate for the happiness of others and for yourself.
Dennis Kostecki
Sausalito, CA

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