About Evan McMullin

Posted by  $  nickursis 7 months, 1 week ago to Government
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An interesting guy here, seems to have a lot of positions that resonate with people in the Gulch, especially around government and politics. Joined the party a little late, but may be worth looking at. Seems a mix of Libertarian and old Republicrat.
SOURCE URL: https://www.evanmcmullin.com/about_evan


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  • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
    He is a mormon and will do whatever the grand dragon of the mormons say. A lot of what the grand dragon says is actually not bad- fiscal responsibility and family values. BUT, they are very intolerant of anyone who does not go along with their grand dragon. Its a CULT, plain and simple.

    I would never want a cult to run our government. Neither would most people. And I dont want some crooked woman running our government either.

    That leaves Johnson (who cant possibly win), and Trump (who might if the trump haters get a life and realize the alternative is crooked hillary this time, period.)
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
      Have you ever even talked to a real Mormon? Ever listened to anything their leaders say? I'm betting no since you refer to them using the same lingo as the KKK.

      They are not a "cult". They are the fastest-growing philosophical/religious movement in the world and they have congregations in nearly every nation. If you look up any worldwide catastrophe, you will see their people there on the ground helping out and distributing aid - under the radar. One of their "grand dragons" as you want to call him, Ezra Taft Benson, actually headed the Department of Agriculture under Dwight Eisenhower. Want to know what he was against? Farm subsidies. And he grew up a farmer! Want to know why he was against subsidies? Because he opposed the idea of government welfare and felt like everyone should work to support their own. What a novel concept, eh?

      I know a few Mormons and they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and some of the best patriots as well. They certainly have their kooks like Harry Reid as well, so there is a grain of salt. You may not know this, but the Bundy family, Finicum families and Hammond families are all Mormons.
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      • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
        I have known mormons. There are a lot of them in Las Vegas , where I live, and I have seen them use their political influence and powers to promote THEIR religion, to the detriment of non-believers.
        I dont like that part, which is why I am inclined to call it a cult. There are documentaries that show how it IS a cult, but I havent been close enough to personally see that.

        This said, their fiscal ideas are quite good, as are the family values they espouse. I just wouldnt want one to be president and be in a position to push their religious beliefs off on me or use their power to enforce them.

        Plus the fact that it is a "religion" based on fixed ideas sent down from some prophet and enforced by the grand dragon in salt lake city.

        I am very tolerant of other religions like mormonism, and I wish THEY were as tolerant of my views on life. I can be friends with mormons, but I would have to realize that whatever their religion told them to do, thats what they would do regardless of rationality
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
          Of course they use their influence to affect public policy! Everyone does and to infer that someone shouldn't should shock anyone on this forum! Such an argument can easily be turned around as an argument against freedom of speech. I reject all such claims that only certain people - like the ones you agree with - are entitled to participate in public policy discussions. And you should absolutely reject such notions as well. You don't have to agree with them - that is different. But to criticize them for being politically active when there are so many "sheeple" in this nation? I wish there were MORE people who knew what they stood for and were willing to lawfully and reasonably participate in the political process!

          "There are documentaries that show how it IS a cult, but I havent been close enough to personally see that."

          You seem to have obtained all your ideas by listening to their critics. You're a staunch Donald Trump fan. Imagine I'm a Hillary supporter and my opinions of Trump are only what I hear from the Hillary campaign. For the same reasons, I can't really fault you for having a negative opinion. I'm just asking whether or not you are willing to entertain the thought that you are only getting one side of the story. For the same reason that I would never allow a Catholic to tell me what and Objectivist believes, I want to hear what Mormons believe from their own mouths.

          "their fiscal ideas are quite good, as are the family values they espouse. I just wouldnt want one to be president and be in a position to push their religious beliefs off on me or use their power to enforce them."

          So just a question, but is that paranoia talking or a real concern? Because we've had religious Presidents all throughout our history and none of them have pushed religion from the pulpit... until Obama - and he's been pushing Islam. This question was also brought up specifically when Mitt Romney was running for president and I thought his statements on the matter were pretty clear and well-spoken (assuming McMullin holds to those statements). And when I really think about it, I can't say I'd mind having an honest person with conservative economic views as President. That would be a refreshing and welcome change! And someone who isn't constantly being badgered about sexual improprieties or other such distractions? Who instead of wasting press time and considerable resources defending himself or herself from the scandal of the day could actually get to the issues? I'm really starting to like such an idea.

          "Plus the fact that it is a "religion" based on fixed ideas sent down from some prophet and enforced by the grand dragon in salt lake city."

          Did you know Harry Reid - a Nevadan - is a Mormon (or claims to be)? If he is any indication of Mormons' "taking orders", I'd say you're pretty safe.

          "I am very tolerant of other religions like mormonism"

          Really? You'll pardon my skepticism, but your repeated use of words to describe them like "cult" and "grand dragon" lead me to conclude very differently. If you want to show tolerance, the first thing would be to stop using terms like those which have a decidedly negative - and quite frankly offensive - connotation.

          "I can be friends with mormons, but I would have to realize that whatever their religion told them to do, thats what they would do regardless of rationality"

          They have closely-held beliefs just like you do. And they are entitled to them under the First Amendment just like you are entitled to yours. As to their rationality, again, it seems rather premature to judge their precepts when you don't really even know what they are. That's a knee-jerk reaction, not a reasoned objection. I think a more rational decision would be to look at the principles they espouse and go from there.
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          • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
            In Las Vegas, the mormon leadership is pretty open about affecting local government to BAN what they call sex clubs and private parties where consensual sex was allowed. And this was to be done through government power. Thats using government power to enforce their beliefs. Its right out in the open here, with the grand local dragon himself saying that if they werent illegal already, they should be made illegal.

            I say thats wrong, and its a specific example of what I am talking about with the mormon leadership. Just like with anything else, I have had mormons tell me that they are mormon, "but they do other things..."

            For a long time they hated blacks and wouldnt allow them to even be in the church (they gave up on that however ). They do hate gays, and the families of people who come out are instructed to disown them and not have contact with them (I personally know several gay people who have had this experience).

            Maybe you are mormon, which is why you defend mormonism so much. If so, I am sorry I offend your sensibilities, but these are my thoughts on the subject and I should be allowed to express them. Note that this does not infringe on any human rights of you or mormons in general. I would never chase them across the USA as happened years ago, and I could care less what their beliefs are, so long as they basically dont use government to enforce them on me.

            Actually I can understand why mormons band together and try to get into government positions. Its a protective measure to keep from having what happened years ago repeated. I get it. But I didnt chase them from state to state to get rid of them in the past, and they have nothing to fear from me. I just dont feel comfortable with a card carrying mormon being in a position of power over me. Thats all..
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
              "the mormon leadership is pretty open about affecting local government to BAN what they call sex clubs"

              So you and they have a policy disagreement about a societal issue. That's precisely the role of government. You can argue and say that your belief is in opposition to theirs and that's going to be true. But every single policy decision of government IS a moral decision. And if we truly say that our government is "of the people, by the people, and for the people" to try to restrict any given group from attempting to participate in the legislative process through legal means (assuming of course all the means were legal) is to violate our own First Amendment. They aren't doing anything any differently from the Sierra Club (minus the eco-terrorism thing), the NRA, or hundreds of others groups expressing their own self-interest. What you really have a disagreement with is their morality principles. I get that. I just want to make sure you understand where your own objections are coming from as well. But what everyone should recognize is that republican government is never going to be anything but a contest of ideals. It's never going to be 100% agreement. What is key is in how we deal with those differences of opinion.

              "I say thats wrong"

              Wrong because it differs from your values or wrong from a moral perspective? They are two completely different lines of reasoning.

              "For a long time they hated blacks and wouldnt allow them to even be in the church"

              If you'd like to know the whole story, I can give it to you, but since it's a little off-topic I'll suggest a private thread. Short version: it was never about hate and membership was never forbidden.

              "I am sorry I offend your sensibilities, these are my thoughts on the subject and I should be allowed to express them."

              There is a hilarious quote I like to rely on: "He who takes offense when none is intended is a fool. And he who takes offense when it is intended an even greater fool." I don't take offense from someone honestly giving their opinion. In this case: you. And yes, you have every right to express your opinions. My larger concern was that you seemed very eager to want to restrict one group's First Amendment and fundamental right to expression simply because you disagreed with them, and moreover that you had never engaged a member of that group to understand their point of view. If you turn the entire situation around, the imposition into their communities (who started Las Vegas?) of these sex clubs is an affront to their beliefs. Someone has to give. So they can either ignore their teachings entirely or they can vote based on what they believe in. I have to admire them for their conviction - even if it isn't popular.

              Ignorance breeds mistrust, but in many cases it also simply leads to erroneous conclusions. In your case: the irrational (and if that offends you I apologize) fear of a religionist like a Mormon attempting to "convert" through force some part of this nation. In my opinion, that would be an impeachable offense, and one I think both Democrats AND Republicans could agree on. I would hold the same opinion of a Sikh, Muslim, Jew, or Wiccan, but I'd really only be worried about the Muslim since their religion espouses coercive conversion as a legitimate policy position. If world history tells us anything, however, I'd be even more worried about a communist gaining the Presidency. Communists have killed more than 100 million of their own citizens in the past 100 years or so - and the first two things they did was to forbid religion and outlaw guns.

              "Actually I can understand..."

              The history is certainly there, but I think there is a simpler answer: that they are encouraged to be politically active. Not to take a particular side or party, but to vote their beliefs. I really think that is what is happening in Utah and why McMullin is playing well there. Mormons are big family people. They look at Donald Trump and they see another Bill Clinton. Then they look at Hillary Clinton and see something arguably worse. To them, nearly ANY third party is going to be attractive!
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              • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
                Wrong because they are using government to take away my rights. Government is supposed to protect my rights according to the constitution. I consider that an immoral act on their part. My ability to petition the government on an equal basis to the mormons is not the issue. I am not disputing that. I could go to the city council meetings. But it is not right for the mormon contingent to try and convince the government to give them what their religion wants by taking away my right to start a business that does not infringe on the rights of other people (lets assume that the people who attend a sex club are doing so with full knowledge of what goes on and approval of it.)

                Its the using of government to secure religious goals that THEY hold, at the expense of my right to conduct business between other people who do not hold to the mormon beliefs.

                I would think that you would have no issue with this. It just so happens that I am NOT a mormon. If I was, I would still feel that using the government to prevent others from doing what my religion thought was wrong- was indeed wrong.
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
                  And just exactly which right are you referring to? Property? No one else is your property. Life? There is no infringement or threat to life involved. Expression? Still not affected. Rights are individual - not group. As soon as you involve the actions of a second party, you have moved away from rights to contracts. And one of the primary functions of government is contract arbitration and enforcement.

                  "If I was, I would still feel that using the government to prevent others from doing what my religion thought was wrong- was indeed wrong."

                  You have voiced a common misconception: that government can "prevent" anything. That's simply not true. Law enforcement is purely a reactive measure - not a proactive one. The very same arguments are used to support gun control laws. What laws do is affix a penalty for engaging in a certain type of behavior. "Minority Report" is and will remain fiction. If I understand you correctly, the laws Mormons were in favor of was the prohibition of certain types of establishments within their communities. They didn't say you can't do it elsewhere - just not around them. I can think of a lot more examples of this exact kind of legislation that are entirely legal and have never been overturned as violating a basic right: sex offenders near schools, adult bookstores near schools, etc.

                  Again, I understand that you have a philosophical disagreement with them regarding sexual attitudes. But as I stated before, republican society is all about giving everyone the say in how and what laws are created. There are going to be disagreements - like the present one. But there are two primary fallacies in your argument. First and foremost is the assumption that they would attempt to force through executive fiat these types of laws on the populace. I would say that you might have a justification to your concern if such had ever happened before. Barring some evidence of this, however, in the 200+ years this nation has existed, I simply see no evidence or justification for your concern. The second is that being a religionist somehow disqualifies one for office. That one is very specifically addressed in the Presidential qualifications and specifically rejects any kind of religious test for holding office.

                  Again, I'm not trying to get you to vote for McMullin. I'm not going to. But your fear and paranoia of religionists is dramatically biasing your views towards them. I'm not saying you have to join them either. But we have enough division in this nation. You've already pointed out several of their positive views. I'd say that there are plenty of groups out there we would do worse to collaborate with.
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                  • Posted by term2 7 months ago
                    I would say that the mormons who are in power here in Las Vegas use their position to prevent me, for example, from inviting people to my house or my business location that I might rent, and exploring their own sexuality after paying me money for setting up the comfortable meeting place. I say I have a right to set up and operate any business paid for by paying customers and offering a service to them, and I shouldnt be prevented from doing so. In Las Vegas it was a definite mormon thing to prevent this, and its wrong. Its not a matter of petitioning the government to pass these laws- the mormons have made their way INTO the government so that THEY can pass them.

                    This is why I am reluctant to let card carrying religious people (mormons are just one example by the way) into positions of governmental power. The separation between religion and government becomes blurred and very difficult to maintain.

                    I have no issue with people who believe in the mormon religion or any other, with the possible exception of islam (where its written into their beliefs to kill infidels like me). I offer to them the same acceptance of their views as they offer to me. Neither myself OR the believers in mormonism should use governmental powers or physical force to enforce their beliefs on others.
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                    • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
                      "I say I have a right to set up and operate any business paid for by paying customers and offering a service to them, and I shouldnt be prevented from doing so."

                      No. They simply told you to do your business elsewhere than in their communities. As I pointed out before, there are a lot of completely Constitutional restrictions on where certain kinds of businesses may be located within a community. If the community votes to say we don't want a natural gas power plant in our county, they have the right to do that! (Happened recently here.) Your right to own a business doesn't give you a right to put it anywhere you want. Again, the most common example is there are a lot of restrictions about "adult" businesses being near schools or churches. And these are completely legal.

                      "Its not a matter of petitioning the government to pass these laws- the mormons have made their way INTO the government so that THEY can pass them."

                      Yes. They are participating in the political process, and you are criticizing them for doing so! Your argument is that because their opinions differ from yours that they shouldn't be participating! Can you not see that? Attempting to tell someone they can not or should not participate in public policy or seek public office is flat out wrong. It is a violation of right to expression. I'm not telling you you have to vote for them, but you can't argue to restrict their participation. That is wrong.

                      "The separation between religion and government becomes blurred and very difficult to maintain."

                      That's because it's a fiction in the first place. Government is all about the institution of moral values and their enforcement within society. To say that one can divorce morality from government is to deny reality. The real question will and always comes back to whether or not government protects the individual rights to life, property, and expression.
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                      • Posted by term2 7 months ago
                        One more thought. By your conceptual reasoning, what if me and my non believers passed a law that said mormons could not build a mormon temple in my town, and actually were forbidden from believing in mormon tenets, and were not allowed to have more than one wife (this last thing actually happened in the USA). I would be totally NOT in favor of those restrictions as a violation of the rights of mormons. So if they can have a temple, I should be able to have a sex club (by the way, this example isnt really what I would like to do, but it actually happened here in Vegas, so I know something about it)
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                      • Posted by term2 7 months ago
                        I have to say that you have drifted into being a statist who thinks that all bets are off if the majority want something. By your reasoning, the local government could forbid all green houses or houses with plastic pipes or romex wiring inside- all bets are off. I say that going down that road is a slippery slope to having the mob (majority) dictate my entire life. I say that is just plain wrong. By that reasoning, not believing in mormon tenets could be made a capital offense if they wanted it.
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                    • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                      term, the issue isn't isolated to just this topic, look at how the huge block of anti abortionists try to rule the Republicrats and the opposite side in the Dumbocraps. Religion has a nasty way of sneaking into issues where it overrides the individual freedom. I agree with your point regarding doing whatever you want in the privacy of your own room or building, as long as it is all consensual and not forced. It then starts to drift over to the "right thinking, and the wrong thinking" ideas. Religion is probably the biggest cause of death in world history, especially when you substitute a political system in it's place and give it the same attribute.
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                      • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
                        If you are going to lump communist atheism into that overly-broad "religion" umbrella, I'll echo you. But generalities are incredibly dangerous. They get used to convict the innocent with the guilty in more cases than not. Generalities are the tools of progressives and those who speak in broad, nondescript statements so as to sway opinion without really saying anything. Stick to specifics. Atheism is a belief set. Christianity is a belief set. Progressivism is a belief set. But more important are the principles inherent to the belief set. That's where the rubber meets the road.
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          • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months ago
            Re: “Of course they use their influence to affect public policy! Everyone does and to infer that someone shouldn't should shock anyone on this forum!” Consider me non-shocked. If someone is using their influence to gain subsidies or other special privileges from the government, or to prohibit others from engaging in activities that offend their religious beliefs, then of course they shouldn’t.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
              "If someone is using their influence to gain subsidies or other special privileges from the government..."

              They are engaging in coercion or unequal treatment and should not be tolerated, I agree. However, the argument presented did not fall under either of these categories insofar as I understood it. Clarification may show otherwise.

              "or to prohibit others from engaging in activities that offend their religious beliefs"

              Uh, EVERYTHING offends someone else in some way. The reason we have a republican government is so that we can attempt to protect basic rights and then offend the fewest people possible. ;) As I pointed out, you are never going to get 100% agreement from all parties while still protecting the right to expression and self-determination. There are going to be conflicts of opinion. The Constitution provides for a reasonable and lawful approach to dealing with societal conflicts. As long as both parties stay within Constitutional provisions, that is the best we can do. But the notion that a religionist is prohibited from engaging in the political sphere is and should be repugnant to anyone on this forum. You don't have to disagree with them: their life views and goals are different. But any time someone starts talking about limiting someone else's participation in the political sphere, my spidey-senses start tingling. That is the road to communism and it is anything but tolerance. Freedom dictates that we respect everyone else's right to their own opinions - even those we disagree with - and most importantly their right to participate in a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people".
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months ago
                Re: “But the notion that a religionist is prohibited from engaging in the political sphere is and should be repugnant to anyone on this forum.” Nowhere did I say that. But religionists engage in the political sphere to advocate and enact laws that give religion a privileged status, such as tax exemptions for churches, and that discourage or prohibit private conduct that is not approved by their religious tenets. This is wrong. And in regard to toleration of other viewpoints, atheists vote for religionists a lot more than religionists vote for atheists. How many declared atheists are governors, congressmen or presidents? At a guess, zero. Toleration should go both ways.
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
                  "But religionists engage in the political sphere to advocate and enact laws that give religion a privileged status, such as tax exemptions for churches"

                  Uh, don't businesses do exactly the same thing? Doesn't EVERYONE try to limit the control of government over them? Absolutely! Think about the argument you are making here. You are criticizing one group of people for trying to do exactly the same thing everyone else does! (And you are justifying taxes on businesses and individuals in the first place...)

                  "and that discourage or prohibit private conduct that is not approved by their religious tenets. This is wrong."

                  Wrong is used to declare an argument a violation of morality. So first, you're going to have to cite the specific policy under discussion and then declare what you believe the "correct" morality is. And of course there is going to be disagreement...

                  And we're right back to square one.

                  The problem is not that you view their morality as incorrect, it is that you discount their ability to express their version of morality simply because it doesn't match up to yours. It's a contest of moral opinion - no one is arguing otherwise! But we have to be willing to have a discussion about it. Reality and the principles of reality aren't going to change - they don't care if someone is a Mormon or an Objectivist.

                  One last point I would make: If the object is to get people to buy in to any given ideology - whether Mormonism or Objectivism - they are going to have to proselyte: to make their case to individuals. From what I see from the Mormons, Objectivists have a long ways to go to catch up. I don't see any Objectivists riding bikes with those little black tags going door-to-door. And I'd much rather see that than a Muslim with a sword telling me to convert or die.
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                  • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months ago
                    Re: “You are criticizing one group of people for trying to do exactly the same thing everyone else does! (And you are justifying taxes on businesses and individuals in the first place...)”

                    There’s a big difference between opposing compulsory taxation for everyone and lobbying for a privileged tax status that you are not willing to grant to others.

                    Re: “Wrong is used to declare an argument a violation of morality. So first, you're going to have to cite the specific policy under discussion and then declare what you believe the ‘correct’ morality is.” That should be obvious considering which forum we’re on. Wrong is initiation of force. Examples include Sunday closing laws, zoning regulations on businesses in the proximity of churches, laws regulating sexual conduct and prohibiting interracial and same-sex marriages.

                    Re: “. . . And of course there is going to be disagreement...” Forcing one person to conform to another’s behavior on religious grounds is much more than disagreement.

                    Re: “The problem is not that you view their morality as incorrect, it is that you discount their ability to express their version of morality simply because it doesn't match up to yours.” Show me one instance where I say or imply that others do not have the right to express their views.
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                    • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
                      "There’s a big difference between opposing compulsory taxation for everyone and lobbying for a privileged tax status that you are not willing to grant to others."

                      I agree. But I would also point out that communities give tax breaks to large businesses all the time as an incentive to be in their communities. I'm not going to criticize any organization for trying to get a tax exclusion for themselves. I don't try to justify one behavior when I believe the underlying behavior to be the bigger issue. I don't think there should be individual or corporate taxes at all - which would eliminate the issue entirely. There was a reason that the Founding Fathers wanted the Federal government to be funded by tariffs.

                      "Wrong is initiation of force. Examples include Sunday closing laws, zoning regulations on businesses in the proximity of churches, laws regulating sexual conduct and prohibiting interracial and same-sex marriages."

                      So now you're getting into specific policy measures that each deserve their own threads. I've already covered zoning and the courts have upheld those restrictions - like them or not. Laws about sex are moral laws, however. What I would point out is that each deals with contract interactions - not rights. Government absolutely has the ability to set community standards for interpersonal relationships, i.e. contracts, because they are the realm of concern for everyone not just the individuals taking part. Much of a contract is whether or not that contract is recognized by others and who is going to be charged with enforcing that recognition. To assert that I can marry whomever or whatever I choose and force others to acknowledge that contract...? I strongly recommend that you re-examine your premises on the initiation of force.

                      "Forcing one person to conform to another’s behavior on religious grounds is much more than disagreement."

                      The use of government and its force to compel action is of grave concern, I agree. But at the end of the day, what you are really griping about are the standards that any organization wants to set up. That is a matter of policy debate. If a community voluntarily votes to hold a group of standards, that's how laws get written. I would tread very carefully here in outright declaring any use of government and its associated enforcement authority to be out of bounds. Better to discuss the principle or standard first - then decide if government action is warranted.

                      "Show me one instance where I say or imply that others do not have the right to express their views."

                      If I improperly associated you with those who wish to prevent groups with opposing viewpoints from holding office or participating in the electoral process or voicing their opinions, I apologize.
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                      • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months ago
                        Re: “I would also point out that communities give tax breaks to large businesses all the time as an incentive to be in their communities. I'm not going to criticize any organization for trying to get a tax exclusion for themselves.”

                        You are conflating two issues here. When religious (or business) organizations engage in the political sphere to advocate and enact laws that give them a privileged status, that is immoral from an Objectivist point of view. When they claim such privileges under existing law, the morality of such action depends upon the circumstances of each individual case, including whether the claimant supports or opposes the laws that give rise to these special privileges. (I agree that there should be no individual or corporate taxes at all. My observations above are more general and apply to any special privileges bestowed by a government.)

                        Re: “So now you're getting into specific policy measures that each deserve their own threads.”

                        In your previous post, you said “you're going to have to cite the specific policy under discussion and then declare what you believe the ‘correct’ morality is.” I complied. What’s the problem?

                        Re: “Much of a contract is whether or not that contract is recognized by others and who is going to be charged with enforcing that recognition. To assert that I can marry whomever or whatever I choose and force others to acknowledge that contract...?”

                        Wrong on all counts. A contract does not require recognition by others as long as it does not violate individual rights of others. A contract does not force others to acknowledge it, a contract simply upholds the rights of the contracting parties to abide by its terms as long as such terms do not involve initiating force against others. What others think or acknowledge is of no consequence, as long as these “others” do not seek to violate the individual rights of the contracting parties.

                        Re: “If a community voluntarily votes to hold a group of standards, that's how laws get written.”

                        We’re talking about the principles of a proper government, not the practices of existing ones. Morality is not determined by voluntary votes. Objectivism views laws that violate individual rights to be immoral, regardless of whether or not such laws are sanctioned by a majority of voters.
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                • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                  Indded, an excellent point. I find that the religionists tend to forget it more often than the non-religionists. Just because you do not belong to the religionist group, does not always mean you are an atheist. I know some Christians who believe that a woman has the right to decide her own body destiny, and that God will sort it all out. I can live with that idea, as it removes the forceful oppression of one group on another, yet still respects their beliefs.
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          • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
            Blarman, I have know quite a few Mormons also, and they have always been a standoffish group. I delved into their religious structure and it is not very mainstream. I also subscribe to the rule that each person is individual, and own their own life in all respects, but also believe they are responsible for their actions. So, I cannot say Mormons are not responsible for their actions, in fact their standoffishness seems to be a result of owning their own actions. So, while I do not want to say they are a cult, they do have some of the traits assigned to the term. Although, in that respect, about 98% of social groups do. As far as espousing principles, I hesitate to rely on anything, anyone says anymore, as propaganda is in high regard in most circles today. Actions speak more to it, and I cannot say I have seen any negative actions from the Mormon community.
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          • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
            Freedom of speech does not mean respecting what anyone says regardless of what it is and does not mean tolerating theocracy. That they try to use their influence to affect public policy for their religion is why term2 denounced it.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
              Actually, I'm going to disagree with you here on all counts. Freedom of speech is a two-way street: I have to respect your ability to vote your views just as you have to respect my ability to vote mine. It isn't freedom if one side's privilege is infringed. You would be just as wrong to attempt to tell them they can't vote as they would be to try to tell you you can't.

              Theocracy? Who is advocating that? What term2 cited was a public policy decision but hardly an attempt to impose a change in governmental structure. I would also point out that tolerance is different than agreement. Tolerance is all about allowing others to choose their own path in life, but it doesn't mean you have to agree with it or sanction it.

              "That they try to use their influence to affect public policy for their religion is why term2 denounced it."

              And that is precisely why I must strenuously object. You can have a disagreement and debate the morality of the principles in question - absolutely. That is what the debate should focus on. But the conversation has revolved around someone else's right to think what they want - to own themselves and their own consciences. That realization should be enough to direct the conversation back to a discussion of principles. To denounce someone for voting their beliefs is an attempt to infringe on their First Amendment right of expression and association. It is to attempt to say that because they disagree with you that they should have no say in the matter. That is wrong.
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              • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months ago
                Re: "To denounce someone for voting their beliefs is an attempt to infringe on their First Amendment right of expression and association." No it isn't. Denouncing is not an initiation of force and therefore is not an infringement. And my freedom of speech entitles me to denounce someone for "voting their beliefs" if they believe in government repression, such as Nazism or Sharia Law.
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                Freedom of speech does not mean voting and otherwise imposing religious beliefs through government. Freedom of conscience does not mean controlling others with physical force. Government controls claimed to be sanctioned by religious faith is theocracy. It has no place in a civilized society. In a civilized society based on the rights of the individual voting means voting for specific policies implementing and protecting those principles, not overthrowing government for theocracy through competing faiths in the name of conscience. That is why a free society is not possible when faith dominates the culture.
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                • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                  That also applies to political parties, which stand in for religion, I would point to the Nazis , Communists and Fascists of Italy as prime examples of that effect. One of the weaknesses is you are not voting for a policy per se, but a person who says they will do this or that, and then proceed to do something different. The Obamanation and his nightmare health plan is a prime example of that. "Change" indeed....
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                  • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                    Obama didn't do something different than what he had said, he just didn't campaign on what "fundamental change" meant in practice because he knew that emphasizing it was controversial and would risk losing the election for them. The voters didn't ask and the intellectuals made sure it wasn't brought up. His supporters knew exactly what it meant.

                    On the eve of the election the video surfaced of Obama announcing earlier to a radical reporter that he was going to shut down the coal industry. Almost no one cared. It had no reality to them.

                    By the second term everything he was doing was obvious to anyone who looked -- including the controversial and popularly rejected Obamacare. They voted for him anyway.

                    Anyone who looked at who and what Obama was in principle could easily see it from the beginning, and the same is true of Hillary. Most voters don't care because they are Pragmatists with implicit collectivist premises. They accept his general philosophy but still don't like the consequences for their own lives when it comes down on them. But they don't know the connection, don't know the alternative, and no one was articulating and explaining a rational alternative on principle. The intellectuals made sure of that.

                    They voted for him because they accept his collectivist-statist premises in the form of Pragmatic progressivism. They weren't voting for just a person, but they weren't voting for the explicit policies either. They voted for the person enunciating destructive ethical and political philosophy which they feel comfortable with and accept, and are helpless to challenge. The intellectuals keep it that way.

                    So it isn't a matter of politicians saying one thing and doing the opposite. They feed the collectivist pablum in terms the voters want to hear, but don't dare discuss the details because the country isn't ready, yet, to fully endorse it. That is changing rapidly as America loses its sense of life and there is no explicit philosophy articulated to defend it. The intellectuals make sure of it.
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                    • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                      That was my point, which you have eloquently detailed. Polticians are always deliberately vague, so that when they execute their real objectives, everyone is none the wiser. The Beast has also said she would shutdown coal, clearly, and it made news for a nano second, and was whisked away, why Trump hasn't used it in ads in PA, with the tag line like: "She will kill your job", is a mystery.
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                      • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                        Politicians are deliberately vague when they are appealing for votes by being all things to all people and getting people to hear what they want to hear. The classic example is the non-committal letters pretending to be supportive in pretended responses to constituents.

                        They are not vague when they are assuming fundamental premises they know they can take for granted. Today, the Progressive-Pragmatist assumption that government power, in increasing scope and intensity, is always to be assumed as a 'tool' to do 'what works' in accordance with collectivist goals is increasingly common and taken for granted.

                        But Pragmatism, with its opposition to principle on principle, is a parasitic philosophy that relies implicitly on philosophical premises for what is regarded as a proper goal and for what counts as "works"; the Progressive version is collectivist and altruist. The politicians invoke that to the hilt, keeping the full meaning of the premise implicit to not frighten people who might see the implications for their own lives. Those premises are always there, but not invoked openly the way they are under outright communism and socialism -- which is why the socialists Democrats are still only gradually re-introducing the term 'socialist'.

                        This dependence of politics on prevailing philosophical views and sense of life is critical to understand. Politics is the consequence of philosophy. Changing the prevailing politics requires changing the prevailing accepted philosophy. There are no shortcuts.

                        The Progressive-Pragmatism, with its inherent collectivism, altruism and statism, is the current form of it that must by openly identified, fought, and rejected. America used to have a characteristic individualist, reality-oriented sense of life in contradiction to the prevailing explicit philosophies promoted by intellectuals and which could be relied on to defeat their politics. That is rapidly being lost. It is why 'common sense' appeals and vague pro-Americanism is not enough to stop the statists.
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                        • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                          The independent "individualist" is indeed an endangered creature, and look at why: The education system has been corrupted to require you "fit in" and "must be nice", along with the social stigmatisim of "not being in the group". Social media and interaction is based on the number of likes, or friends. People grow up worried about what others think of them, as a primary indicator of self image and worth. My kids grew up needing tohave 3 sizes too big pants hanging on their asses, to "fit in", and couldn't make a decision based on their own feelings, but on what everyone else thought. Yet they did all three grow up to be responsible individuals (although the oldest one is still enamored with the Dumbocrap agenda, as he is in the military still and has not felt the pain of losing 45% of his paycheck to the looters). Without a serious change in our social structure, we will continue down this road, I fear.
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
                  Is not atheism just as much an ideology as anything put forth by a religionist? Absolutely. If your positions were reversed, however, would not you be arguing your right to vote your opinion? I believe you would. Is not every issue ultimately a moral one? YES!

                  "Freedom of conscience does not mean controlling others with physical force."

                  There is a dangerous lie hidden in that statement: it assumes that freedom of conscience means a divestiture from moral law. That is simply not true. Every choice has a consequence. You - as an atheist - choose to believe that there are no consequences after this life for moral choices. Religionists disagree. Thus their perspective is that they are not only concerned with the here and now, but the hereafter. It is a fundamental difference of opinion that I'm not trying to change either way, but which must be recognized as a major part of this entire discussion. As to what force is involved, I see no evidence of such being initiated. Force would be attempting to coerce policy makers, rig elections, buy votes, etc. Participating in the political process? Hardly.

                  But I think the other issue - and the larger one IMO - is that you are taking the side of censorship. That has been and continues to be my point in this thread. You claim you want a "civilized" society, but the Constitution provides for that: it allows everyone to participate and vote their beliefs at the ballot box. It allows everyone freedom to express their beliefs and live by them as long as that doesn't infringe on others' rights. Under discussion was a public policy decision on what amounts to zoning. I don't see anyone attempting to force anyone into a theocracy. That's a red herring. And I would simply point out that they can make the reverse claim back at you: that you are attempting to force them into an atheistic worldview and abandoning their principles.

                  "In a civilized society based on the rights of the individual voting means voting for specific policies"

                  Yes: policies based on beliefs and principles which are going to differ from one person to another. You are free to disagree with those principles. You are free to attempt to persuade others that your point of view has more merit than some others. And so are they. The First Amendment protects that right. To attempt to deny that right simply because you disagree with their ideology violates any claim to "civilization" you might make! If their thoughts and opinions are not their own - if they are not permitted to own the products of their own minds because you disagree with them, you violate a cardinal rule of Objectivism and the very rights you claim to uphold condemn you!

                  "That is why a free society is not possible when faith dominates the culture."

                  If communist atheism is any indicator of freedom, I'd much rather take my chances with the religionists. I don't see them murdering hundreds of millions of people. This nation was founded by Christians - and I'm not just talking the Founding Fathers. Those fleeing to this world were fleeing to find a place where they could worship as they chose. What do I see here? I see people who want to restrict that freedom and impose an atheistic worldview. Maybe term2 had it right after all. Maybe the Mormons do see this as their last stand. There's no undiscovered country they can flee to at this point. If the very nation that was supposed to protect their right to conscience is now being used against them, maybe they have a point.
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                  • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months ago
                    Re: “Is not atheism just as much an ideology as anything put forth by a religionist? Absolutely.” Absolutely not! Atheism (a-theism) is lack of belief in a supreme being, or god. How is that an ideology? It says nothing about what else a person believes or doesn’t believe. Just as a lack of belief in astrology or witchcraft says nothing about a person’s political ideology.

                    Re: “Under discussion was a public policy decision on what amounts to zoning.” Zoning is almost always a violation of the property rights of the zoned, and is frequently used to advance a statist ideological or religious agenda. (Example, no establishment selling liquor being allowed within 500 feet of a church.)

                    Re: “You are free to attempt to persuade others that your point of view has more merit than some others. And so are they. The First Amendment protects that right.” There’s a world of difference between having the right to persuade other people and having the “right” to vote for, say, Sharia law. Under Objectivist principles, there is no right to initiate force, and there is likewise no right to vote for laws that direct the government to initiate force on your behalf.

                    Re: “If communist atheism is any indicator of freedom, I'd much rather take my chances with the religionists. I don't see them murdering hundreds of millions of people.” Then take a good look at the Middle East. The only reason they are not murdering hundreds of millions of “infidels” is that they do not have the capability – yet. Or check out what Christians did to the native population when they conquered North and South America. Equating atheism with communism is no more valid than equating Christianity with virtue.

                    Re: “I see people who want to restrict that freedom and impose an atheistic worldview.” Please give a specific example.
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                    • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
                      Atheism absolutely is an ideology. An ideology is a belief set. Atheists argue that they themselves are the ultimate authority on moral matters, rather than some external being. But until they can prove that no such external authority in fact exists, it is a belief subject to all the very same criticisms that atheists level at religionists. It is a competing world view. It has no sole claim to moral authority.

                      "Zoning is almost always a violation of the property rights of the zoned"

                      I disagree and so do the courts - not because it is a matter of property, but because it is a matter of contract, like all business. And contracts are not rights. Other people get a say in whether or not they are going to recognize your business contract. And when it comes to sexual matters and children, parents absolutely get a say in how and when those topics come up with their children. And that includes having a brothel across the street. You may disagree, but legally you've got a tough argument to make - one that has been shot down time and time again.

                      "There’s a world of difference between having the right to persuade other people and having the “right” to vote for, say, Sharia law."

                      Implementation of Sharia law would necessarily mean an abrogation of the right of expression and association. Voting for such, however, does not. I would absolutely agree with you that voting to alter the basic government of the United States would necessarily mean voting to give up the rights recognized therein. It would be voluntarily voting for enslavement. It would not be something I would do or condone, but millions vote for economic slavery every election cycle when they vote for Progressive policies. It is stupid, but it is their right.

                      "Equating atheism with communism is no more valid than equating Christianity with virtue."

                      Atheism is a belief set. Christianity is a belief set. Virtue is a principle. Equating a belief set with a principle is logically absurd. But communism stems from atheism, so there is a direct correlation there. The first two acts of every communistic government have been to outlaw religion and to outlaw private ownership of firearms. Do I equate Objectivist atheism with communist atheism? No, which is why I specified. What I was pointing out was that communism is an atheistic philosophy and it has been the direct instigator in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people just in the past 100 years or so. And that wasn't due to wars (differences of opinion) with other nations, but simply purges of dissenters within their own ranks.

                      And just so you know, but I lived in Greece for two years. There were a lot of refugees there even 20 years ago from all over the Middle East trying to escape the repressive regimes of Islam. I should have been more specific when I said "religionists" to specifically exclude Islam. I agree with you that their 1200+ years of violent history disqualify them from any kind of consideration for a rational government of rights. Most other religionists, however, are more than happy to live and let live, which is what I was getting at, even if I didn't express it as cogently as I could have.

                      "Please give a specific example."

                      Obamacare: Little Sisters of the Poor v Sibelius or Hobby Lobby v Sibelius. Roe v Wade. Dale v Boy Scouts of America. Those are some pretty big ones. I can name a few others as well if you would like.
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                      • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months ago
                        Atheism is not a belief set, it is a lack of belief in a god. A proper morality is derived from the nature of man and the requirements for his proper functioning as a rational being, not from the alleged commandments of a supreme being that demands obedience. You can’t prove a negative – the burden of proof rests on those making an assertion, such as that there is a god that created the universe and keeps it in existence. And extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

                        Contracts are not rights, but there is a right to enter into a contract. Recognition of a contract by others is not required in an Objectivist legal system, only that the contract not violate the rights of non-contracting parties. The “brothel across the street” can be avoided by contracts among neighbors voluntarily limiting the uses of their properties.

                        Voting for Sharia Law is an attempt to initiate force, and is therefore not anyone’s right. The fact that the voter is attempting to use the government to implement this force does not change the nature of the voter’s act.

                        Communism does not stem from atheism, and in fact there are Christians who advocate communist economic systems. If communism was a necessary consequence of atheism, then Objectivist atheism would not be possible. And these are not the only two varients – atheists can be found across the entire political spectrum. This means that there is no way that atheism can be an ideology – atheists are too diverse in their other beliefs.

                        Most Western religions are happy to live and let live, but this is a relatively recent development. Most European wars from the Middle Ages through the 17th century had strong religious components. We happened to be born in the right place at the right time.

                        Re: “What do I see here? I see people who want to restrict that freedom and impose an atheistic worldview.” By “here” I thought you meant the Gulch. Hardly anyone here in the Gulch wishes to restrict religious freedom and impose an atheistic worldview, but neither do we sanction religionists restricting our freedom and telling us how to live our lives.
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                      • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 months ago
                        " An ideology is a belief set."
                        Strong atheism asserts there are no gods. I can see how you'd call this a belief set. Weak atheism just rejects any claims or evidence for gods, just as they would reject the FSM.

                        My rejecting the FSM is not the same as calling myself "the ultimate authority on moral matters".
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                  • Posted by ewv 7 months ago
                    Atheism is not an ideology and the not basis of anything. It is simply disbelief in a supernatural being. It is not possible to "base" a government on not believing in the supernatural. Communism in Russia was based on Marxist Leninism in a mystical culture of religion with its altruism and irrationalism that made collectivism acceptable. This country was based on the Enlightenment, not Christianity. The Dark and Middle Ages were based on Christianity.

                    A form of government does not come out of a vacuum. It depends on the dominant philosophy and sense of life of a culture. A rational government protecting the rights of the individual depends on a philosophy of reason. The fact that religionists insist on 'voting' to impose their statism in the name of their conscience does not make it an equal alternative. We reject both faith and multiculturalist relativism. Both are antagonistic to civilization. Competing faiths fighting it out, excluding rationality to evaluate choices and the rights of the individual, make civilization impossible. That is why our system of government excludes religion from government and was not supposed to put our rights and system of government up for grabs at every election, whether from religious cults or viros or any other statists. You have gone from a discussion of states battling Federal controls over land to the dead end and off-topic religious proseltyzing.
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      • Posted by ScaryBlackRifle 7 months ago
        I co-habited with a young Mormon woman for a time. She and her family were quite cordial to me despite the fact that her father and I were the same age. It probably didn't hurt that her Dad and i were both beta testers for Microsoft ;-) He was a mechanical engineer and I taught software.

        That said, I've known one other Mormon and he was "a piece of work" ... dishonest and manipulative and a thief.

        I don't think you can make any generalizations about Mormons beyond the assertion that most of them are financially conservative and family oriented.

        I've read the Book of Mormon and the history of that organization and yes, I consider them a cult ... but they seem, in general, to be one of the nicer cults.

        That said, and having been ordained in two very different religions, I consider every organized religion to be a cult. None of them stick to the Bible when it's inconvenient to do so.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
          "I don't think you can make any generalizations about Mormons beyond the assertion that most of them are financially conservative and family oriented. "

          We can certainly compare Harry Reid to Mike Lee and see both ends of the spectrum, I agree.
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        • Posted by  $  7 months ago
          Now that is a pretty good summation of things. I do agree with the cult statement, even though some are "good" and some are "bad", each seeks to impose a specific set of rules and behaviors on it's members, and a lot of the time, there is little compliance. I would cite the Catholic church as a prime example, many Popes were fathers, yet they could still go into Mass with a straight face, as well a work political deals. The Inquisition is another example. I would rather have a Greek model of morals and ethics (although they also couched a lot in the "gods") but at least they valued the individual, if the individual could prove themselves.
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    • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months, 1 week ago
      Trump might win anyway. A lot of Gary Johnson's support comes from unhappy Democrats who would reluctantly vote for Hillary if Johnson were not in the race.
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      • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
        I look at Trump as a way to slow down the crony crooked stuff thats been going on. The shady regulatory deals, the crooked foreign relations disasters and wars that benefit the munitions manufacturers and others at our expense, and the high taxes that permit all this stuff. Trump is no libertarian but he has exposed the crap that goes on in the election process and how hard it is for anyone to mount a third party campaign and actually win in an electoral college system.

        A welcome change for 4 years. We have tried the establishment and there is no reason to think that following its rules will suddenly produce better results than it has in the past.

        Trump is not a libertarian by any stretch, but he can help remake the system so perhaps a libertarian has a chance in the future. Hillary will cement the control of the establishment with her cronyism, and it will be harder for third parties in the future. Look at what she did to Bernie Sanders this time (and the idiot is campaigning for her now !!! Did he get bought off too?)
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    • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
      Well, it seems to my old tired brain that each and every one of the potential candidates brings their own brand of "grand dragon" with them. I just know Hillary Beast is so arrogant she will start/continue to do whatever she wants in open, and damn the law.
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      • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
        Probably any of the presidential candidates since the beginning has had some sort of intellectual irrationality or at least inconsistency ! What I would like this time is just to have the socialist tendencies at least slowed down and individual rights respected, and for our country to be respected by other countries and we respect them and their differences.

        Hillary will sell me out for the biggest donor, and I dont even know who they are or what it will cost me. Trump at least spent his own money and doesnt NEED to do this at all- he has a good family, a nice business, and he should enjoy life now. I do believe him that he would like to protect the USA and inspire us to be great again. Call me a dumbass for thinking this, but its what I think. I could care less if he mouthed off in some locker room talk. That stuff happens all the time, but is hidden. Bill Clinton did worse than that, as a lot of actual presidents have in the past, but he was enabled by Hillary.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
        Excellent observation, nick. We have to judge the candidates on what they have done, not merely what they promise. Hitlery deserves to be executed for what she has done. Trump should have his day in court if anyone ever actually has evidence of any crime, and otherwise the so-called accusers should be treated as anyone else with a personal opinion- ignored by an unbiased media. But I predict that women will decide who to vote for based on fear, not with reason, and Hitlery will be elected by cowardly women voters, only to be removed from office having looted the white house (again) for less than a year.
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        • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
          I think we have found agreement. You are right in your comments. Why people could actually want Hillary in a position of power is crazy. the only ones "stronger together" with her are her big money donors !
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        • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
          I am inclined to agree Freedom, I am believing there will be an impeachment before a year is up. I also believe it will fail after they make a deal. The whole timing of the mess says "rigged" which is what Trump tries to say, but he is so convoluted it gets lost.
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  • Posted by  $  CBJ 7 months, 1 week ago
    He is backed by some anti-Trump Republicans.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evan_Mc...

    McMullin is polling high in Utah, where he was born, and could carry the state. If he does, then since Utah has 6 electoral votes and New Mexico has only 5, Gary Johnson would have to carry more than his home state to place third in nationwide electoral votes and be considered for President by the House of Representatives.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
      Interesting point. Gary Johnson has just been almost Trump like in his little faux pas, this guy, though an unknown, appears to at least be literate and intelligent on issues. He was interviewed on Fox and came out really good compared to Trumps weird scowls and screams of rage.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 7 months, 1 week ago
    Just a wee bit late, but perhaps he's prepping for 2020. If he truly is interested in running, where was he 6 months ago? Or maybe he just wants to burn off some excess money. He seems like a right guy, but with such questionable timing, I wonder at his sincerity. Just testing the waters? I suppose we'll see.
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
      He jumped in right after Cruz conceded to Trump at the behest of the #NeverTrump-ers. There were many who saw the coming train wreck of Donald Trump and were looking for another candidate. Yes, it was definitely last minute and had almost no hope of being a major factor.
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  • Posted by wmiranda 7 months, 1 week ago
    Several problems with McMullin. Like Johnson, he doesn't have a chance in hell these elections. Superpac funded in part by Soros front company. Donated to Hillary and Clinton Foundation. Has received donation from Clinton Foundation. This is the old mythological Trojan horse. He's the patsy brought to you by Never Trumpers Bill Kristol, Mitt Romney and Glenn Beck. May talk a good line, but look at Hillary. She talks a good line, based on over 30 years of doing so, but she's corrupt to the core. No Johnny come lately is going to beat Hillary, rather, help her by distracting from her legacy of deceit. No need to wonder, I support the big mouth, former playboy, non-politician, goal oriented businessman Trump and the cool, calm and collected Pence.
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    • Posted by frodo_b 7 months ago
      "Trojan horse"... thanks for that. I've been looking for the best term to describe him for the past few days. "Plant", "Interloper", "Quisling" -- none of those seemed quite right. But "trojan horse" fits him to a T.
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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 7 months, 1 week ago
    Actually, why not just write me, Radio Randy, in?

    I've never had an affair, groped women, run in corrupt political circles or abandoned dates to drown in my car. I, also, know virtually nothing about politics, but carry a copy of the Constitution with me, daily. These facts, alone, probably make me more qualified than either of the top two candidates for President.
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 7 months, 1 week ago
      Whoa, whoa, whoa! Me dino threw my Roll Tide cap into the ring just yesterday!
      Just looked around to say, "Oh, yeah, there you are" to the little brown U.S. Constitution paperback WITHIN REACH OF MY (politically incorrect) PC!
      Never done those bad things and even my ex has a high opinion of me.
      You can't beat that with a stick and I've only used one to whack a couple of convicted felon inmates within a 21-year career.
      Dino For Defense (with reasonable restraint).
      To paraphrase what a woman says in the samurai classic Sanjuro, "A good stick stays in its baton ring."
      I couldn't find a clip of "A good sword stays in its scabbard" but I did find this (just wait for the sound) for you to enjoy.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NNaj...
      Wasn't that just peachy keen?
      Furthermore, me dino done fired two rounds (one bullet for each escape attempt) to keep a total of three inmates from escaping over the years.
      Dino For Border Control!
      I am old dino and I approve of this message.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
      Uh, you and about 50 million others, maybe. The politicos are a special species that are immune from all the normal things that bother us mere mortals, and like the greek gods they pretend to be, any mortal getting mixed up with them ends up either rich or dead.
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  • Posted by willystarman 7 months ago
    I know that many LDS people are going to vote for Evan McMullin for President, especially in Utah. I see the reasoning. He's a Mormon, and he claims to be a Constitutional conservative. I have just now read McMullin's whole website. He said that Gary Johnson is "not Libertarian enough", but in McMullin's website, I don't see that he will reduce even one dollar of the total federal budget. Now, if one does not think government is too big, how can he claim to be a conservative? Well, there is a term for it, it is called NEOCON. That is someone who doesn't really think govt is too big as such, just that it doesn't spend money the right way or enough on the right things. McMullin in his website calls for greatly increased military spending, as if America should be the world's policeman. Thomas Jefferson certainly had a different view, “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations...entangling alliances with none”. And none of his planks point out that things like federal involvement in education, energy, medical care or retirement are unconstitutional. He does not even say he would abolish the Dept of Energy, and the Dept of Education, which Reagan promised but didn't deliver. If I had the opportunity to meet McMullin I'd love to know about his work for Goldman Sachs (perhaps the most corrupt financial institution in the world) and how that relates to his support for the globalist sovereignty-destroying Trans Pacific Partnership. And as a former spook, does he not find it unconstitutional for the NSA to record all our emails and phone calls, or does he think it is just useful tools of the trade? How about the naked body scanners at the airport? Wouldn't the Founding Fathers think that an unreasonable search?
    If you are considering voting for McMullin I hope you will look at the 15 reasons why you should vote for Gary Johnson and read his issues pages at http://www.johnsonweld.com/issues . If you think govt is too big, if you really want to cast a vote for liberty, Gary Johnson and all Libertarian candidates down the ticket should get your consideration.
    All that said, however, I will be tickled to see Utah be won by McMullin. I just wish it was because he is a big defender of the Constitution, which he is not. I'm voting for Johnson. And by the way, I am a LDS (non-practicing), a Libertarian since 1981, a registered Republican, and I live in Utah.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months ago
      I also heard his interview on Fox last week, and he claimed he was for "smaller government". I am really tired of these buffoons thinking all they have to do is babble the right phrases and people will fawn on them. He appears to be a Dud.
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  • Posted by frodo_b 7 months ago
    I suspect he's polling as high as he is in Utah because he's a Mormon.

    There's no way I'll ever vote for him. He is a CIA agent (one never really retires from the CIA) and and employee of Goldman Sucks.
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  • Posted by chad 7 months, 1 week ago
    Studying the man a little deeper reveals he has many of the same plans as Hillary Dillary Dock and is very socialistic although he does know how to sound libertarian to draw off some the crowd that wants to vote for Trump. Our current system is not a free republic but a popular vote communist system that will rarely attract any who are not corrupt. Those who are not corrupt are ineffectual in this corrupt system. Galt's Gulch should be looking for a place to live unobserved.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
    Former CIA operative doesn't sound libertarian. Sounds more like trying to siphon votes from the libertarian party using an agent provocateur to maintain statist control. Just suspicious to me. Combine that with woking for Goldman Sachs and in Committee on Foreign Relations and he sounds like a complete insider with no experience or connection to the private sector or ordinary people. Big thumbs down on McMullin.
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
      Before hypothesizing, why not actually go read his position statements? I've listened to a couple of his statements and though I don't agree with him on everything, he's got by far the best foreign policy ideas of any eligible candidate - including Gary Johnson. Don't pan the man's past until you can demonstrate that those connections rule his political ambitions.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
        Actions are much more important than words.
        "Best indicator of future behavior is past behavior," Henry Bowman
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
          So which specific actions concern you? That he worked at Goldman-Sachs? Your response here doesn't tell me your specific concerns with McMullin other than allusions to his work history. That's pretty paranoid imo.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
            His entire career is helping government agencies and a bankster looter that invade our privacy, unethically steal our assets, and steal our liberty. He has been a looter his entire adult life. What has he done in the private sector? Its not paranoid to suspect looters are up to no good. They have proven it repeatedly. McMullin expects support without showing any intention to reform? Not a chance.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
              -1 and more if I could. That's worse than speculation. That's outright accusation and incrimination and I'll ask you to present your evidence of direct culpability immediately or retract your statements in full. We deal in FACTS here. Link to an article that specifically supports any of the claims you have made here. What you are engaging in is nothing short of character assassination by association. You've stuck your neck out. Time to either pony up or back off.
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              • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
                No backing off, blarman. You are welcome to your opinion. He has admitted to being a CIA agent. He has admitted to working to assist Goldman Sachs and the GOP in the Committee on Foreign Relations. I do not trust anyone who has been looting the people by working for the CIA, helping steal from people working for Goldman Sachs, and assisting government in their efforts to take away my liberty. Then without any experience outside this he wants to be trusted as president? Rubbish.
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
                  You've proposed a scientific test: that Evan McMullin committed acts in any of three areas which disqualify him for eligibility in the race for President of the United States. That's fine. But you have rendered summary and prejudicial judgment on the man and admitted that you have no evidence to support your conclusion. And you want the rest of us here to support that kind of logical misbehavior? No. I've seen you argue logical points before of this very same nature that you now openly admit to violating. How disappointing.
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                  • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
                    He has repeatedly worked in positions in government that act to reduce liberty, increase the state, and loot from others. Anyone with a brain knows what the CIA does. Anyone who was an adult in 2006-2008 knows what Goldman Saches does. McMullin CHOSE voluntarily to work for the enemy. I don't have to be there in person to understand that. I can't help that you cannot see it. I'm not asking for your blessing, blarman. As I said before you can have whatever opinion you wish.
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                • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
                  Freedom, you do have a valid point. I would not go so far as to condemn him for that, but it seems a little antithetical to be for less government when you either have worked for said government or one of it's major recipients of it's largess.
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                  • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
                    If he did a valuable job, was he the recipient of welfare or was he receiving his due? Again: the troubling aspect of ffa's comments are that there is no justification for them whatsoever. He implies that anything government touches is tainted and corrupt, yet his own preferred candidate was a governor for goodness' sake!

                    I will be more than happy to denounce McMullin for a policy stand I don't care for or to criticize his background for acts he personally was involved in which were immoral but I refuse to participate in or do anything but denounce the use of character assassination and guilt by association such as in the claims made by ffa without justification. ffa has declared himself prosecution, judge, and jury and with only his own bias and opinion upon which to act. That directly flies in face of anything an Objectivist would do and I'm going to call him on it. I would expect nothing less if I - or anyone else in this forum - were to engage in the same.
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                    • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
                      That is the problem with a short fuse candidate, it becomes unclear whether he is really as he says, or not. His experience is questionable, in that none of it would seem to generate a "less government is better" approach. Don't get me wrong, I really, really like what is on the outside, the question is: what is on the inside? That is what we run into over and over again. People will still say Billy boy was a wonderful president, yet he did nothing substantial, he had 8 years of gridlock.
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                      • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
                        I agree. We don't have a lot of history or policy discussion with which to view McMullin. And he hasn't thrust himself into the political ring like Trump in the past. I, too, would like to see a more seasoned individual. But, then again, I'd also like to see a return to the true Electoral College and a lot of other strictly Constitutional matters. ;)
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      • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
        OK, blarman, I wasted time looking at McMullin's pages. He wants to increase the size of the military with no rational reason to do so. He wants to continue meddling in the business of other countries where there is no danger to America. He wants to continue neocon empire building which turns friends into enemies and passive enemies into active support of terrorism against Americans. His policies create problems where none existed before. His economic policies are completely non-existant. His policies are rubbish, and are quite predictable based on his career experience.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
          And THOSE are arguments I can agree with you on. These are arguments based on substance - not hyperbole or opinion. I told you I didn't agree with his positions, but your attacks were something else entirely, which was why I called you out on them. Thank you for spending the time to voice cogent objections to policy positions.

          Regarding the size of the military, I can cite several rational reasons to argue for such a position such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, etc., so that one is a matter of debate, especially given the age of our military and the sheer size of territory we have to defend. I think there are arguments to be made there on both sides and both deserve our consideration.

          Regarding meddling in the affairs of other nations, I will probably agree with you. There are various forms of "meddling" - everything from espionage to economic, however, so any real debate would have to be very specific. I'm not generally inclined to political or military meddling in other nations, but I'm all about sanctions and economic policy as a tool for foreign diplomacy.

          Regarding empire building, that too is a mixed bag. I think it's okay to help build up a potential ally, but the biggest problem is that you have to start with a culture espousing similar values. In my opinion, the Middle Eastern nations simply don't qualify there, which is why our efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. have been such miserable failures. But at the same time, I don't believe the "chickens coming home to roost" nonsense. I have a friend who was a Colonel who served in Afghanistan who did a special informative session with pictures to explain the situation over there - why it was a mixed bag. But I don't blame the US. I believe that every individual makes their own choices in life: choices that include who to make their enemies. Those who want to attack us have been doing so since the inception of the US. To try to blame that on political decisions made in the past twenty years is just looking for a scapegoat and misplacing blame the same way Obama tries to blame Bush for all his problems. The issues with those people run much deeper into ideology than simply response to certain actions. Those are excuses to hide the real intent and emotion.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
            We will disagree on the use of the military, blarman. I don't care to use my time to argue about it. Almost everything done since 1990 by the US militarily has been a disaster, and it has created the wrecked economy, the loss of liberty, the unconstitutional expansion of government, 9-11, the insane national debt, the unbridled power of the executive branch that the Revolution was fought to end. That is the same idiotic foreign policy that McMullin, and Trump, and Hitlery want to follow. With leaders like these wasting their resources the people would be better off to cut military spending by 70%. The USA has attacked and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Hate us for our Freedom? What a Sick Joke! the US military has bombed people into submission because the dictator that the US put in power got greedy with one of his neighbors, then the US did it again ostensibly because he had WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (OOOO, BAD.) Lying sacks of shit in Washington wage war for money, not ethical principles. Give the looters a hammer and every country in the world looks like a nail. Time to take away the hammer.
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            • Posted by  $  7 months ago
              You do have a point. However, it is just a part of the whole abuse going on.
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              • Posted by freedomforall 7 months ago
                You're right about that, nick. As long as they have the resources provided by income taxation and the deferal reserve they will never allow peaceful reduction of their power. WIdespread disobedience by the serfs is required to interrupt the taxation IV that feeds the vampires in DC and Wall Street.
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                • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                  And there in is the problem. We cannot get a revolt at the ballot box. I do believe Trump is a bit of a whack job (so are all the rest of them), but it is so clear the media got a hold of the dirt a long time ago, held it till the right moment, and the accusers/video mix was set just right to generate an emotional meltdown when he was put to the roaster. That does add up to voter fraud, in addition to the know claims every election, that never get investigated, but become a joke that gets repeated often "How many times can you vote in Chicago?" "As many as you want". Ha Ha.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
              But you do choose to argue about it. I would point out, however, that your choice of argument is not on the size, but the policy of use. I agree that the military has been used poorly for the last 25 years. From Bill Clinton using it in Serbia and Africa to distract from his scandals to Bush attempting to use it for nation-building to Obama as a cover-up to overthrow governments, I agree that all of these are not the proper role of the military.

              I also agree that there is a ton of wasteful spending in the military. I used to live in a military community and had friends who were pretty well connected and they griped about the waste and conflict of resource allocation that was largely a result of the Pentagon. I watched a great movie about the building of the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and how it was a typical case of shifting priorities and trying to do too much with a single platform - of Pentagon morons who were trying to invent a multi-purpose silver bullet instead of specializing.

              "The USA has attacked and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people."

              That's a pretty tall claim. Care to back it up with facts? Thousands? Maybe. Innocents? Doubtful. But 100x that? That's excessive even for hyperbole, and it's nonsense.

              "Hate us for our Freedom? What a Sick Joke!"

              Have you ever met and talked to a real Muslim? A fundamentalist? I have. He was an ex-PLO propagandist who had worked for Arafat's group and the insights he shared about the PLO's purposes were shocking. I will tell you this much: Islam HATES the freedoms the US represents. They always have and always will. It is part of their ideology. Why? Because their ideology has always been about conquest and subjugation - about forcing a single way of thinking on everyone else. There is a reason they call us the Great Satan and it is because we encourage freedom of thought. And they hate that. They hate people whose opinions differ from their grand caliphate. And they hate them enough to wage war on them and kill them. They've been doing it for at least 1200 years - to argue that the US made a dent in that at all is beyond farcical.

              Have the leaders of the United States made grievous errors in the use of our military? Absolutely. But I don't pretend for one minute it is the one-way street you claim.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
      Go look at his page, and then tell me that he is worse than Trump, The Beast of Gary Johnson. He st leasts sounds rational about issues. Trump and the Beast both are screaming insane people and Johnson, when he can talk, is somewhat tolerable,until stuff like this rolls out:

      https://www.yahoo.com/news/gary-johns...
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      • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
        Actions are much more important than words.
        Johnson's actions as governor and even his resposes after stumbling on air in his campaign indicate an ethical person. I don't agree with some of his propsals, but I do agree with the most important ones and I think those could make the others a non issue in reality. I think it is much more likely that Johnson can learn presentation skills than for Trump (or Hitlery) to suddenly become ethical, or for McMullin to suddenly want to restrict government power when his entire adult life experience is working to expand government.
        Based on McMullin's actions and experience:
        (1) CIA operative -BIG NEGATIVE
        (2) Goldman Sachs operative - BIG NEGATIVE
        (3) GOP Committee on Foreign Relations operative - BIG NEGATIVE
        McMullin has been working for the enemy his entire life. No chance I trust that he is telling the truth as a candidate.
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        • Posted by term2 7 months, 1 week ago
          He is also a card carrying member of the mormon cult. He will do what their grand dragon says to do- some of which might be good, but the intolerance mormons show to non believers reminds me a bit of islam.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
    Hmmm, his home state of Utah is the location of the big NSA facility, isn't it?
    Guess he could get the NSA employee vote.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
      I wouldn't know I am not cleared for that information and I deleted all the emails..er scrubbed...er my server blew up..
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      • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
        Good one, nick ;^) Based on the polls there are a lot of NSA employees in Utah... over 20% of the people in the latest poll are for McMullin.
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        • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
          Thank you, sir. Some of the comments do seem to illustrate some questions for him, his timing is also suspect, basically jumping in after the primaries. If he is as dedicated to his principles, I have to wonder where he was at 2 years or so ago, and starting up then? If he was provable, checked and tested for a while, maybe he would have actually had a chance, this late in the game does seem to say "spoiler".
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          • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
            He jumped in when (among many others) Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney decided they couldn't endorse Trump or Johnson. Mormon connection? Probably. Romney is very influential in the fundraising sphere of politics among Republicans.
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            • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
              I am not impressed with either Romney or Beck, Beck is all over the place, and Romney did not campaign in a way that seemed to indicate he wanted the job. My humble opinion, of course. I cannot say that pedigree sways me. I do wish he had been there earlier though.
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              • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
                I have found that Beck, like we all should be, good and honest at adapting to a constant flow of new integrated information...I too had different thoughts about things in the past...I too have grown by finding the truth of things and I am sure at some point, I'll come full circle with a whole new perspective...shaking my head at what I used to think.
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                • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                  My issue with him is he whips up a rant, gets people all charged up, and then seemingly deflates. He was a prime mover behind the Tea Party, and then when they did not embrace all his religious requirements, seemingly tossed them aside. He mixes religious requirements into social structure, and that is never a good, or workable mix.
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                  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
                    Hmmm...didn't see that...
                    I don't fear the christian religious thing...I understand the bicameral end of it and if you're awake, one can still use his mind... what does bother me is the islamic thing...that too is a teaching but one that actually does physical harm and is of only the brain...a very very sick brain at that.
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                    • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                      Each has it's flaws. It is in the interpretation and implementation where we go down crap hill. Islam, in and of itself, is as peaceful a religion as Christianity, as they share a lot of common roots. The issue comes in when you get the self styled "experts" who proclaim they know god's will (which is really illogical, given that god, by definition knows everything and anything, even up to whether Trump groped 10 or 20 women, and apparently couldn't care less), and they usually use violence to impose that vision. Just like every religious craze, the violent ones get the news and the history, while the quiet, respectful people are shunted aside. One reason, of all the religions I have run into, the Native American beliefs seem the most cognizant of some connection to spirituality, for the most part (they had some doozies as well for violence). It always comes down to the human penchant for ramming their ideas down everyones throats.
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                      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
                        Remember...it is the organization of the teaching that went arye with Christianity (and that was propagated by the bicameral brain). Many still believe the OT was something more than history...they are wrong...and of course...the word of their god...was actually a simple yet profound wave transfer of entanglements...we experienced them all the time...it's called, insight...only to those of a different voice, one not of their own, like we have today, it seemed to them, to be magic...the shame of it is, those that haven't yet awakened in that sense, even with the mind...still think it's magic.
                        This is my conclusion after 20 years of study.
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                        • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                          I wonder how often it is just the act of communicating that slews everything. In the Navy we did the basic communications drill, where you start with one sentence "Bob gave Jill a peanut butter sandwich" and by the time it gets around "Bob raped Jill and ate her peanut butter sandwich". Now take something as complex as a religion, use word of mouth for a few years, then write it, then introduce power politics, then monks doodling away in the monkery..and until you get to the printing press, it is wide open to all kinds of variation. Yet some tribes have never used written words and their stories can be traced back to pictographs for hundreds or thousands of years.
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                          • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
                            Add to that the enterprising soul who sees merely the opportunity to use an organization - especially of trusting souls like Christians - for personal gain and power... Why do you think all those Reformists left the Catholic Church? They saw the blatant hypocrisy and how the Church has changed basic doctrine to enrich themselves (a thing called indulgences. Basically it was money one would pay to the priest to have their sins commuted.).
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                            • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                              No argument there. My favorite is the fish thing, the Church ruled fish on Friday to support the Italian fishing fleet in a depression. One of the classic manipulations in history.
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                          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 7 months ago
                            Well...bicameral man had a better memory than we do today...that's all they had and except for a few, (and that was because of an unknown voice-rulers, mom, dad, brother or great ancestors) they could not make up stuff...but everything was mystical magic.
                            Now the rulers? the Priest?...they were no smarter and bicameral also, only with more information with no (mental) right to have that information.
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              • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
                I too was disappointed in Romney. I could almost believe that the way he caved in the second and third debates after such a brilliant performance in the first one was... intentional. No explanation there at all.

                As for Beck, I enjoy the storytelling. I really appreciate how he draws in the context and history of any particular issue. His grasp of history is incredible, but I don't always see eye-to-eye on the politics. And he called Benghazi for what it was on the third day - a collusion by Hillary to cover up arms sales to militant groups.

                I can't stand listening to Hannity anymore. He's let his cheerleading for Trump outweigh all other considerations. I used to listen to Rush as well, but he doesn't seem to be as relevant any more. Savage was always interesting, but his extreme-of-extreme views and rhetoric turned me off - as did our local station's decisions to stop carrying him. Alex Jones has the occasional gem, but you really have to search through the conspiracy theory stuff and it's generally not worth my time.
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                • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                  That was my take too, it was almost as if he was told to be easy on him or something, this goes back to my "government in background" theory. Too damn much happens in plain sight now, as if someone wants us to know we have no control, no legal system but theirs, and no country.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 7 months, 1 week ago
            The only problem I have with his timing is that it seems to be lacking in planning and wasteful. I could understand a patriot acting on his calling in a political situation like this election with 2 unacceptable candidates, but his background is as an insider, and his foreign policy proposals look like more neocon rubbish, and largely inadvisable. Johnson's foreign policy beats McMullin's to dust. Utah is a red red red state that would certainly have gone to Trump. McMullin's candidacy appears to be purposely handing Utah's electoral votes over to Hitlery.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
              I think you misjudge just how much the Mormon population despises adulterers. They are not forgiving on that topic, which is why neither Hillary nor Trump are polling well in the LDS-dominated Utah. Is McMullin a last-minute candidate with a lot of red flags? Yup. But when a lot of Republican donors openly refuse to donate to or support Trump, you can bet they aren't going to stand idle. They went looking for someone and McMullin's name popped up. The Koch brothers decided instead to sit this one out. Different strokes for different folks.

              Your inference that they don't support Trump to put Hillary in office is ridiculous. They are facing the same quandary you have voiced time and time again: the problem of the lesser of two evils. You support Johnson because you don't like either Trump or Hillary. They don't like Trump or Hillary either, they just don't like Johnson as an alternative - whether that is because of a sentimental connection (McMullin is a Utah boy) or a religious one. They aren't trying to throw the election any more than you are by voting for Johnson. They are voting their conscience - come what may.
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  • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
    It is strange this guy comes out of the Mormon woods, educated at Brigham Young, goes to the CIA, hits Goldman Sachs and then becomes a DC insider, who is adamantly against big government. Honesty is not anything anyone in politics thinks is required or desired, just the good soundbite. But with the garbage choices we have today...
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
      A few facts you may not know, but the CIA and FBI both commonly recruit at BYU (and Mormons in general). Why? First, many of them speak a second language fluently (as a result of their voluntary missionary program) and they understand the people because they spent time with them. That's invaluable field intelligence experience they (the CIA/FBI) get for free. Second, Mormon theology holds honesty and family of very high importance so Mormons who work for the CIA/FBI are the very lowest risk category for espionage, etc. That's a lot of plusses you don't find in the common applicant.

      I don't agree with McMullin on all his policies, but I would take a Mormon at their word over many others - and most especially the two major candidates. I don't think he has a realistic prayer of winning - even in Utah - but I'd vote for him before I'd vote for either Trump or Hillary.
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      • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
        They also get a lot of inside knowledge to bring back to the Mothership....
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
          Sorry, I didn't get enough of the context to follow your comment. Care to expound?
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          • Posted by  $  7 months, 1 week ago
            Working in the "secret" part of government exposes you to a lot of things they would rather keep secret. As with the Beast, signing a form saying you understand the penalties for mishandling and revealing classified information, does not always equate to doing it. There is nothing to stop a person of that faith from working inside for a few years and taking their info back to their church, for future use as needed. There is nothing saying it happens, but it would be an excellent way to gather information. Maybe there is a reason they flock to the secret side? The Beast proved you can say "I'm stupid" and people agree with you, then elect you Prersident, so, no penalties...
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 1 week ago
              Um, that's quite the conspiracy theory, don't you think? This isn't the Vatican we're talking about with political ties affecting billions of people and a history of 1500+ years of controlling nations. But hey, maybe you can be the next Dan Brown! ;)
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              • Posted by  $  7 months ago
                Oh, I do believe the Mormon Church has a very long reach. I was filled in on some of the background by a guy I worked with who was very devout. Go look at their fundamental beliefs and you will shake your head. They seem to try to do good things, but almost always in the guise of conversion.
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months ago
                  Do not all of us attempt to influence those around us to think more like ourselves? What else is a forum for? ;)

                  Seriously, though, I would question any group who wasn't actively attempting to promote themselves and gain converts as lacking a conviction of their own principles. Is not the act of the Objectivist to post "Who is John Gault?" signs an act of proselyting? Of course it is! The bigger question is whether or not the principles are sound. And I guess whether or not they are forcibly "converting" people (i.e. Islam).
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